This is a mobile proxy. It is intended to visit the IOMfAtS Story Shelf on devices that would otherwise not correctly display the site. Please direct all your feedback to the friendly guy over at IOMfAtS!

On Earth Peace, Good will toward men, except Evan

by Toby Johnston

Chapter 3

We three Järvinen's of Orient are, wearing skis we traverse afar

The next morning, as always, my stomach was in knots from the moment we awoke. I ate little at breakfast. As we rode to the race, I slipped into my own Zen space to get my mind in the right place. Evan just sat quietly next to me; his hand resting, not moving, on my leg. The connection was really nice, I could get used to adding this to my routine! The adrenaline was flowing big time when we arrived. I checked in, got my number placard, then rejoined dad and Evan outside for a final gear check and stretching.

It looked like there would be just over a hundred racers. The men ski 20km, the women 15km—it's actually one 5km loop with the shooting range at the end and you just repeat. That meant Evan and dad could hang near the range, watch my shooting and gauge my race! You never know what you're going to face in an open event like this; sometimes it's highly competitive; other times a casual crowd shows up. By the looks of the age, attire, and prep going on amongst the racers, this one was going to be competitive!

Finally, the race got underway. It's really a race against the clock, as they launch us two at a time in rapid succession. Their target was 30-60 second intervals, which meant the last racers were going off almost 30 minutes to an hour after the first. With that kind of a start, you really had to ski your own race; set your own pace. I got off to a good start, beating my mate to the point where the track narrowed. I'd been training religiously; but today felt even better than usual. I knew it was the fact that Evan was there to cheer me on. It kind of gave me reason and boost to surge!

At the first shooting stage, I threw myself down next to a college aged guy in dark blue. He had already downed his first target when I started shooting. I consciously slowed my breathing and therefore heartrate as I hit the ground. Cycled the toggle to load my first round, deep breath, half exhale, aim, fire! Again, and again. The guy in blue was still there with one to go when I was up and on my way—five for five! He passed me up not too far into the second loop, but I felt really good as he definitely had more upper body strength than I did. I caught up with him again at the second, standing shooting stage; but he finished up just ahead of me. As I headed out though, I spied him doing a penalty loop which meant he had missed a target. I was briefly ahead of him, and then he passed me. That was the last I saw of him until after the race.

I spied Evan and dad as I moved out from that second stage; Evan ringing his cowbell like nobody's business! Both of them were cheering wildly which was a big ego boost! Grandpa says, the last 10km is what separates the men from the boys. I was still feeling really good. Breathing steady. Legs solid. Shoulders hanging in there. I was passing more skiers than were passing me—always a good sign. The last loop was definitely a tough one—I had been driving myself hard the entire race, and I was feeling it. I knew I was slower on my final shooting stage than on my previous three.

Dad and Evan were all over me after I'd crossed the finish line and peeled off to the side, coasting as I rested my hands on my knees. Evan gave me a huge hug as he ran up to me. I think both of us came really close to actually kissing; but there were way too many people around. All of a sudden, I heard someone calling my name which startled me as Evan and dad were the only ones, I thought I knew at the event.

Then I saw that college guy with another in tow skiing towards me and waving, "You're Vilho, right?"

More confused, I nodded, "Umm, yeah. I go by Vil though. How do you know who I am?"

He smiled and pointed at my placard, "Number 77. My coach is helping to run the event; I checked out the race roster. I wanted to come by and say hi; I'm Stephen. Stephen Allen. Dennis and I race for UVM. You skied a really nice race, and you outshot me!"

I grinned, "I'm hoping I skied a good race, haven't seen any results yet. I do know I shot well."

"You shot awesome! And I have seen the preliminary results. There're still more skiers to come in, but you're definitely up there. Where are you in school?"

"Middlebury Union. I'm a sophomore."

That surprised him, and he instantly launched into full-on recruitment mode! The whole UVM program, the coach, ties to the US Olympic team. It was pretty cool actually; especially since UVM was very high on my list given its environmental sciences and wildlife management programs. With dad's okay, he dragged me off to meet his coach—Evan coming along as my chaperone!

The coach ended up knowing my coach at Middlebury Union—they had actually raced together back in the day. I had a good discussion with him and promised to keep in touch with him over the next couple of years—kind of neat to be sort of recruited. Even cooler, he shared with me the informal race results. I came in first in the U18; and 12th overall! If you shredded out the women and the 'casuals', you probably had about 60 out of the 100 that were really in the competition—so I was in the top 20% of that grouping. Not too shabby for a sophomore!

I was super proud of my performance. When you looked at the detailed data, you could see that my shooting performance had helped me jump several slots ahead in the rankings. If this had been a regular Nordic race, I would not have done as well—still would have been a solid performance, just not as 'spectacular'. Evan was beyond excited about how well I had done. I think I was even more happy that I had skied well for Evan than for the race itself.

Dad and Evan practically had to pour me into the Defender for the ride home. I was exhausted and my legs were like Jello. I spent most of the ride home leaning over on Evan's shoulder. He had his arm tucked back behind me, sort of holding me close which felt really nice. I'd changed out of my facing suit before we left the event, and was just in sweats and a t-shirt. About halfway home, I felt Even slip his fingers up under my shirt and he just gently stroked his fingers back and forth against my skin—sigh!

Evan helped me stow all my gear once we got home. The skis went up on the racks in the work room (which held a pretty dizzying array of racing, touring and telemarking skis, times five family members). My rifle went into the gun safe—ammo stored away, chamber flag in the weapon, chamber itself checked and rechecked multiple times (I'm hugely ODC on that!). Grandpa had told each of us, many times, of how he had almost been shot with an 'unloaded' pistol his brother was cleaning (it took out great grandma's kitchen window instead!)—so we well-schooled in safety first!

Like after every morning race, Mom had a big, hot lunch all laid out on the table when we came in—she knows her baby wouldn't have eaten anything more than a power bar before a race! I tucked in something fierce to another round of Christmas dinner leftovers. I could eat Christmas dinner all year long and be a happy boy. Fortunately, I had dad and Evan there to fill mom in on the details of the race while I stuffed my face.

I'd just shoveled a forkful of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and peas (yes, all on one fork!) in my mouth when mom asked what the plan was for the rest of the day. Now I've been raised as a polite young man, so I tried to hurriedly chew and swallow so could I respond. I wasn't fast enough.

Evan gave mom and enthusiastic grin, "We're going to head over the high school, hit the weight room for Vil's first upper body workout, then I'll toss him in the whirlpool so he can recover from his race."

I raised a questioning eyebrow across the table at my boyfriend, and was met with a very self-satisfied grin. A week into my first relationship, I knew there was no point in arguing. Not that I would—we had talked about Evan helping me build up my upper body strength for racing (not to mention my wanting to build up my 'beach muscle'!)

I swallowed my answer, which was going to be a cleaned-up version of 'we're going to go to my room, get naked, and snuggle'. Like they say, 'no plan survives first contact'—guess we're working out! At least I got to finish eating while Evan went upstairs and packed us a duffle.

I didn't think to ask what he'd packed, but I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when we got to the locker-room and he handed me his stolen 8th grade jock, a pair of my white running shorts, and an older t-shirt he must have dug out from the bottom of my drawer. Knowing where his mind was going, I happily put on a show as I stripped and dressed—bending over in just his jock to 'search' in the almost empty duffle! The shirt was going to be on the tight side, but before I put it on, Evan took it from me and asked if he could fix it.

I wasn't sure what he meant by that, but I shrugged okay. It was an old shirt, so I didn't care what he did with it. He borrowed my pocketknife and 'fixed' the sleeves, as in he hacked them off. 'Okay, that's going to be embarrassing—I don't have bulging arm muscles like he does!' Evan seemed very pleased with his work though—if his eyes and hands were any indication once I put the shirt on.

There were a handful of his hockey teammates I recognized from the Christmas service already working out when we got there. They all swung by to say hi—to both of us, which was cool. Showing off the 'guns' in either tank tops or hacked off sleeves like mine seemed to be the norm. I was looking at a serious array of pumped-up arms, which only made me more self-conscious of my, let's be generous and say 'lean', body. I kind of folded my arms to make 'em less obvious.

When they went back to their lifting, Evan leaned over and smacked my arms apart, "Vil, you've got awesome arms. Don't try and hide them. So, you're not as bulked as these guys; they're football and hockey players; they're sprinters. They couldn't run a cross-country race to save their lives; let alone strap on a pair of Nordic skis. And there's no way they'd come in first in a U18 biathlon!"

He might be right about that, I guess there are different body types depending on your sports. Evan kind of leaned in, "Give me three months with your body type, and I'll have you looking seriously ripped! Trust me, you're going to see gains really quickly." Then he softly added, "And don't forget, you're the one I have the hots for, not those mooks!" (Okay, way to go Evan on pumping up the Vil ego!)

I wasn't completely ignorant of the whole weightlifting thing, but as I scanned the room, I wondered how you picked what to use—barbells, dumbbells, the machines. Fortunately, Evan was there to demystify it all. He gave me a broad rundown on what the three-month plan would be; how we'd work back/bi, chest/tri, shoulders and legs in a methodical cycle. I felt a lot more comfortable once I kind of had the overall context, until he started me lifting!

For the next hour and a half, he put me through my paces—it was quickly apparent it was chest and tri day. We started out on the bench press, which was humbling, as I couldn't come close to benching my weight. I asked Evan how much he could lift—almost 'one and half Vil's'! My ego started failing all over again.

Evan gave my shoulder a really nice squeeze of encouragement, "Vil. You can't think about it that way. I'm bigger than you. You're not competing against me; you're competing against you." (I guess that made sense too—I got a lot to figure out about this whole lifting thing.)

Over the last half hour of lifting, the other guys were trickling out. By the time we headed to the whirlpool, we were definitely all alone. The pool was pretty decent size, located in a little room all on its own. Eva had the duffle, so I figured we were just going to change in and out of our trunks right there. I was kind of right. We got to the room, and Evan fished our trunks out of the duffle, knelt down and stuck 'em right into the water1

I watched curiously as he pulled them back out, wrung out the water, and hung them up—okay, that seemed odd. Then he turned to me and just said, "Ready?"

"For what?"

"Getting in the water, silly!"

"Aren't we getting in our trunks?"

"Those? Oh no. I just got those wet in case your mom did the laundry—can't be bringing home dry trunks!" he smirked, as if that were blatantly obvious.

I grinned as I now understood Evan's plan. I kicked off my sneakers; dropped my running shorts and jock in one fell swoop, quickly followed by my t-shirt; and lastly my socks. As I straightened back up, Evan was naked from the waist down and struggling with his t-shirt. I moved up close to help him, surveying his mottled bruises as they came into view. It had only been a week since the Prick had almost killed Evan. His bruises were now a myriad of colors—purple, yellow, almost brown, some still angry red.

I gently ran my fingers across Evan's bruised torso as he looked on. He must have seen the pained look on my face, for he lifted my chin up, whispering, "It really doesn't hurt too much anymore—pretty much just my ribs and arm." Here he is the wounded one; and he's trying to make me feel good. Sigh…I'm so in love it's almost painful.

I leaned in and pulled him tight against me, burying my head in his chest. Neither of us was hard and having my soft cock pressed up against his actually felt really nice and comforting. I felt him wrap his arms around me and slide his hands down to caress my butt. The cast was kind of rough; but by now I was used to it. I mimicked his moves, splaying my hands out across his muscled cheeks, grinning into his chest when I felt him flexing his cute butt under my fingers.

As wonderful as this embrace was, I wanted to get in the water, so I reluctantly pulled away, grabbed the plastic bag and tape out of the duffle, and carefully wrapped Evan's arm. I flipped on the jets, and we slid into the warm water, sitting on opposite benches and sliding our legs forward so they rested next to each other's butt. For a while, we both just lay back with our eyes closed and enjoyed the warm water swirling about our tired muscles.

I felt Evan's hand graze along my shin, and gave a little moan as I felt him start to give me a one-handed leg massage. I opened my eyes to see him smiling

Enough massaging, I wanted my boy. I pulled my legs back and slowly lowered myself into the bottom of the whirlpool, the water moving up the sides of my face like a submerging submarine until I felt it close over my head. Then I rotated and gently pushed myself across to Evan, my hands finding his spread thighs and pushing myself up out of the water right in front of his chest.

"Sexy," he whispered as he brushed my wet hair back out of my eyes and darted his head in for a kiss.

"You make me feel so sexy," I blushed as I brought my knees up on the bench on either side of him and scooted in tight to sit in his lap. My hardon brushing against his as the swirling bubbles caressed both of us. I squirmed as his one good hand sought out my butt and the caressing began. I think he likes playing with my butt almost as much as I like him doing it!

My hands tenderly held those prominent cheekbones, as our tongues fought for dominance. No winner of loser though; this was definitely a 'participation trophy' event! I worried briefly about 'leakage' into the whirlpool, but then figured the chlorine would handle anything. Honestly, I could have stayed right in that position all afternoon until we were all wrinkled and pruned. Eventually though, Evan pulled back and ran his fingers across my chest, "You're getting all flushed. You should probably sit up here and get out of the hot water for a bit."

I think we both knew the hot water had nothing to do with my flushed chest, but who was I to argue?! I hopped up on the edge of the whirlpool, quickly spreading my legs wider when I saw Evan maneuvering in between them. He stretched up for a kiss, but then very quickly started moving down to my chest. I arched back, stretching out to offer myself up to whatever Evan wanted to do with me. I wanted him to know that I was his.

I gasped when I realized he wasn't stopping his 'Skipping Kisses' at my chest (he'd proudly so branded them—'because they skip across your body like a stone on water'). My stomach started fluttering uncontrollably as his lips and tongue teased both lobe and groove. I thought my cock was next, but Evan deftly avoided it, instead kissing his way down the edges of my pubes.

I spread my legs as far apart as I could to give him access to work his magic—and he did! I didn't even know the crease between my thigh and my groin was a 'place'; but my body sure figured it out when he ran his tongue all the way along it. If I could have detached my legs and hung them on the pegs with our damp suits, I would have done it in a heartbeat.

Olly had asked if we were 'moaners or screamers'—well, in the small, tiled whirlpool room, I think I was both—moaning as Evan teased by body; screaming when he finally took pity in me and lowered his mouth over my pulsing cock. Thank God the other athletes had long since departed the building! He locked eyes with me as his mouth slid up and down; his tongue working the same magic on my cock that he always did in my mouth.

I wanted to last. I wanted to enjoy a thousand swirls of his tongue. I wanted to spend the afternoon locked with those beautiful green eyes as he bobbed up and down on my shaft. I couldn't and didn't. As much as I tried to hold off, the tingling overwhelmed me. I held my hand lightly on his head, my fingers twisted in those auburn locks, as I unleashed my torrent. I could see Evan smiling around my cock, his Adam's apple bobbing as he rapidly swallowed.

He kept those incredible eyes locked with mine, gently bathing my cock with his tongue until it became so sensitive that I had to beg off. To say that I had an ear-to-ear grin on my face would be a massive understatement. I slid down into the deepest part of the whirlpool and motioned Evan to get up on the bench.

"You don't ha.." is about as far as he got—until I told him to shut the fuck up! Nicely of course.

"I've dreamt about doing exactly this, with exactly you, for four years Evan. No wait, that's not right, 'Fantasized' is a better word—over, and over, and over again. I think we can agree that I am a very willing, very enthusiastic, participant!"

Evan smiled, running his fingers along my jaw line like he loves to do, "Well then, it would be rude of my to make you wait—since clearly you have been a very patient boy!"

And he stepped up onto the bench—standing above me, grinning, water droplets trickling down his muscled body, his cock proudly standing upwards and outwards from his groin. I couldn't even see the bruising he was just so perfect. I made a mental note to thank the designers of the whirlpool; they couldn't have gotten the dimensions more perfectly aligned for these two boys. I didn't have to bend over; I didn't have to stand on tiptoe. I just had to shift forward ever so slightly to land my own 'skating kisses' up and down his quivering shaft.

After I'd kissed the third blob of precum to drool down from his slit, I opened wide and took him in. I'm pretty sure I leaked my own blob into the water as I felt his head sliding in across my tongue—I was born for this! I couldn't imagine a more wonderful feeling than holding the most precious part, of the most precious boy, softly in your mouth. I tried to remember what Evan had done and copy the most mind-blowing blowjob I had just gotten (okay, it was also my first ever, so I guess by definition the best!).

As I bobbed up and down on his shaft, I slid my hands up his muscled thighs and kind of held on the sides of his butt. I pushed and pulled him, telegraphing (I hoped) a desire for him to thrust—which he did. He took over and gently pumped in and out of my mouth; quickly figuring out just how far in he could go before triggering my gag reflex (sadly not as deep as I wished, but I'll work on that!). Pretty soon, I felt his actions getting a bit more frantic, a bit more urgent; so, I knew he was getting close.

I was really surprised when I felt him swell up even more thickly in my mouth. I didn't expect it, but immediately figured out what that meant! I was able to pull back just a little before he started shooting rope after rope onto my tongue. I did remember to swallow, and tried to as fast as I could, but some spilled out (guess the same chlorine I was thinking was needed for me would take care of Evan!).

After he calmed down, he slid down into the deeper water with me and we hugged, kissed, and just leaned our foreheads together and gazed into each other's eyes. We were pretty pruny by the time we struggled out of the water. I'm not sure who really needed more help—Evan with his broken ribs and arm; or me with my now non-existent leg power!

We rinsed off quickly in the small shower, dressed and slowly walked back across the athletic fields to our house. By now, dusk was full upon us, so I felt safe slipping my arm around Evan's waist, and he reciprocated. That felt really nice. I wondered if I'd have the ball to do this if it were light out—maybe, in time.

I was so knackered; I don't really remember dinner. I know we brushed our teeth and then rolled into bed. I think I was sound asleep before Evan even had the chance to fully spoon me. I do remember that we woke up around 2am and went another round. And in the pre-dawn hour, Evan showed me how to do a sixty-nine. It was an eventful day!

The rest of the week kind of flew by. Evan's second eye appointment showed good progress (though I failed him on my how many fingers am I holding up test!). He had his first session with the psychologist that mom had arranged—we talked about it afterwards and he thought it went really well. Most importantly, he felt comfortable talking to her and thought she was really nice; so that boded well for future sessions.

We had a very low-key New Year's, just hanging out with mom and dad (or Jake and Mary if you're Evan). They went up to bed well before the ball dropping, so Evan and I shifted over to my bearskin rug in front of the dwindling fire and cuddled there while we watch the televised events (and kissed of course!). Mostly we spent the week enjoying each other's company, taking nice walks in the woods, and deepening our knowledge and understanding of each other. With Evan's eye still bandaged and his arm in a cast, it kind of limited our options.

Evan surprised me with a 'home date' actually outside the home—which was really special. One because of the date itself; two because of who helped pull it off. It was the two of Evan's teammates I'd noticed at St Stephen's on Christmas Day—Jason and Henry. Turns out the three of them had 'done stuff' together before the two of them became an 'item'. Jason, picked us up at the house and drove us to the Middlebury Snow Bowl—a small ski slope associated with Middlebury College. We rode the lift to the top and we had dinner at the Hilltop Lodge. Henry was our waiter and arranged for us to have an outdoor table all by ourselves with heaters.

I almost told him right then and there that I loved him; but I chickened out, again. I did say that I "loved the date, the dinner"—that's almost the same right? (No. Ignore that question. It's not; I know that.) I had time though, right? I didn't want to push too fast. Little did I realize that events might intervene that might never give me the chance to tell Evan how massively in love with him I was. That for the second time in this Christmas Tide, evil would be unleashed in Middlebury. (Ugh, that sounds over dramatic, but it's true!).

It was late Saturday afternoon, Jason and Evan had dropped me at St Stephan's for the evening Mass of Epiphany. From there, Jason and Evan were running over to Evan's house to pick up some more things that he needed and then I would meet Evan back at our house after the Mass. There would be a full up Mass tomorrow, but this was a smaller and shorter affair, mostly for the elderly or infirmed congregants. It was just me, Kyle, and a few others assisting Father John.

We all knew the set-up procedure by heart, and quietly went about our preparations. I felt really distracted throughout the prep—I kept thinking about my missed opportunity back up on the mountain. But something else was wrong. I could feel it. I just didn't know what it was. Father John opened the service, and we immediately launched into We Three Kings--those members of the choir present joined by the congregants.

Watch the YouTube videos of We Three King's of Orient Are performed by King's College Choir

I was doing the reading from the Old Testament, the Book of Isaiah—disquieted or not, I had to get through it. I stepped up to the lectern, and began; unbeknownst to me, Evan was in danger again. I nervously cleared my throat, "A reading from Isaiah,"

"Arise, shine; for your light has come,"

Evan and Jason parked in the driveway of his old house, pulling the truck up close to the garage…

"and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you."

Evan fiddled with the lock, puzzled that it didn't work…but shrugged as the door eventually opened…

"For darkness shall cover the earth,"

Evan flipped the switch, but no lights came on…had the power already been turned off?

"and thick darkness the peoples;"

In the gathering dusk, there was still enough light to do what they needed, so Evan led upstairs…

"but the Lord will arise upon you,"

They negotiated the darkened hallway by feel, uneventfully reaching Evan's bedroom…

"and his glory will appear over you."

In the darkness, they failed to note the dark shadow moving in behind them from the front bedroom

"Nations shall come to your light,"

Evan moved about his room, gathering items he needed, while Jason waited at the door, ready to carry…

"and kings to the brightness of your dawn."

Jason stiffened as he felt the cold barrel of a pistol pressed against the back of his neck…

"Lift up your eyes and look around;"

"Evan…," Jason whispered ever so carefully…

"they all gather together, they come to you;"

Evan froze, then heard, "My boy! I've missed you so much. How about a hug for your dear old Dad!"

"your sons shall come from far away,"

"Wha…what are you doing here? You're in jail?!"

"and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms."

Alex smirked, "It's Vermont, their jails are meant to hold drunks…"

"Then you shall see and be radiant;"

"Dad, what are you doing? You know they've got to already looking for you!"

"your heart shall thrill and rejoice,"

Alex laughed, "We're heading to St. Armand, Canada my son. You'll be long gone before they find out!"

"because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,"

Alex was quite pleased, "Many thanks for providing a car, saves me having to find one!"

"the wealth of the nations shall come to you."

Alex waved his pistol, "Garage. We're done chatting. We can father-son bond on the drive north."

"the young camels of Midian and Ephah;"

Alex directed Evan and Jason to the garage where he'd already pre-staged his gear…

"all those from Sheba shall come."

Alex stood, pistol in hand, watched as he had the boys load the SUV—skis, backpacks, other gear.

"They shall bring gold and frankincense,"

He tossed the zip ties onto the floor, "Put those on your friend, hands and feet."

"and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord."

The SUV loaded, Alex shoved Evan into the wheel well in the back and got behind the wheel.

I cleared my throat, "The Word of the Lord"; the congregants responded, "Thanks be to God." I nervously returned to my seat, with a growing sense of dread. I subtly tried texting Evan; knowing Father John would be livid if he saw me. At least if he texted back, I would feel the vibration in my pocket. I pretty much tuned out the rest pf the service—the reading of the Psalm, Epistles, and the reading from the Gospels. Only really cluing back in for the final hymn, What Child Is This?

Watch the YouTube videos of We Three Kings of Orient Are performed by King's College Choir

The only good thing was that this evening Mass was the 'Father John Lightning Mass'—even the communion was a bit rushed. As soon as the service ended, I grabbed Kyle and practically dragged him out of the church. Fortunately, his dad was waiting out front with the car warming and was in a hurry himself to drop me back home.

Even in the darkness, I spied Uncle Mike's cruiser in our driveway as we rounded the corner. I love Uncle Mike, but his was the last car I wanted to see. I bolted into the house, barely waving goodbye to Kyle and his dad, and skidded to a stop as I rounded the corner into the kitchen. Dad, mom, and Uncle Mike were all standing there looking very serious—another bad sign.

I was so nervous; I could barely get out a "What's wrong?"

Uncle Mike took a deep breath, "Alex Donovan escaped custody. He was being transported from county lockup to Burlington since he's facing State charges. The van hit a moose and crashed. He escaped when the guards were unconscious, taking a pistol with him."

"Where's Evan?!"

They all looked at me like I had three heads, "He's not with you?"

Mom later said she could see the blood drain from my face, and I went completely white. I could barely whisper, "No. He and Jason Clark went to the Donovan house to get some stuff. That was right after they dropped me at Saint Stephan's. He should have been back here a while ago."

Uncle Mike immediately keyed his radio, "Urgent. This is Addison One. Anyone near the Donovan residence?"

It seemed to take forever (it was probably seconds), but finally his radio crackled, "Addison One, this is Craden. I'm 4 minutes away."

"Go now! Code 3. Possible escaped fugitive Alex Donovan on the premises—armed and dangerous. Possible hostage/kidnapping situation with Evan Donovan and Jason Clark. Addison Base, I want back-up sent as well."

Another voice came on quickly, "Addison One, this is Ralston. I'm 8 minutes out. Responding Code 3." We heard the siren come on just before the radio cut off.

Uncle Mike tried to give me an encouraging smile, but I could tell he was beyond worried. Mom came up behind me and wrapped her arms around me, holding me tight. She tried to calm me down by running her fingers through my hair—which always worked—except now.

After an interminable delay, the radio crackled again, "Craden. On site. House is dark. Making entry." Then silence.

A few minutes later, "Ralston. On site. Making entry." Silence. We waited. I felt the sweat trickling down the small of my back. 'Please…please…Please'

"Addison One, Craden over."

"Go ahead, Andy."

"I have one boy here, tied up." My heart soared! "Jason Clark. He's okay." My heart crashed. 'Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I should have gone with him to the house! I should have kept him at St Stephen's. I should have told him I LOVED HIM!'

"Addison One. Alex Donovan was here. He took Evan Donovan with him. Left in Clark's SUV about an hour ago. Said they were heading for the Highgate-St Armand crossing."

"Notify his parents that he fine, but bring him to me here to Jake Järvinen's. I need to question him directly." He keyed his radio again and started barking out orders: BOLO on the Clark SUV; get Vermont State Police spun up; notify CPB at the Highgate crossing and shut it down; alert the Mounties on the Canadian side!

Dad and uncle Mike were talking quietly on the other side of the kitchen, I couldn't really hear what they were saying—I think that was intentional. Mom just held on to me. Reports kept coming in on Uncle Mike's radio. I guess that meant lots of people were getting involved; but it seemed like nothing was happening. Why wasn't someone chasing the Prick north—there's only one highway?! My mind was racing as I replayed what I'd heard over the radio again and again.

Finally, Deputy Craden arrived with Jason, who ran over to me and gave me a big hug as soon as he saw me. I squeezed him like I wanted to squeeze Evan but couldn't yet because of his ribs. Uncle Mike sat him down in the living room to walk through exactly what had happened, step by step—we all listened in. Jason rattled off everything they had loaded. My ears perked up when Jason mentioned loading skis—that made no sense. Evan said that his dad refused to ski.

I lost track of the discussion a bit while my mind churned. And then it clicked: skis; two heavy backpacks; why he took Evan instead of just doing something unthinkable right there at the house. I jumped up, "They're not going to the Highgate Crossing. He's going to cross over through the woods!"

Silence. Everyone just stared at me. Couldn't they see it? It all was so completely logical. I ticked through the details just like Mr. Burgess does on our Merit Badges. Uncle Mike pursed his lips, thought for a bit, looked at dad, and shrugged his shoulders, "Makes sense."

Now I saw a ray of hope! "We have to go after them. We can catch up to them easy! Alex Donovan doesn't even know how to fucking ski. Evan's injured—they're going to be slow!"

Dad looked doubtful; Uncle Mike at least was listening. I pressed my case, "Evan's mom bought those skis 5 or 10 years ago. His dad refused to use them—they probably haven't ever seen wax. They've got heavy packs. We can track them—for Christ's sake dad, tracking is what this family does!"

Then I heard mom. For the first time, she spoke up, "He's right Jake. There's no one better to find them. Franklin County's probably got a couple of deputies on duty; you're lucky if there's a State Trooper in the area. No way they know the woods and tracking like the three of you."

I saw dad's eyes flick towards me. He opened his mouth, but I didn't even let him get out a syllable, "Oh no. I'm going. I'm going even if you're not. I'll drive myself, without a license."

He seemed to acquiesce, but then Uncle Mike threw a wrench in my idea, "We can't track them through the woods if we don't know where they started. We would still have to find the car."

"That should be easy, just activate the LoJack." We all turned. Jason was looking back at us with a 'duh that's easy look'.

"Your car has LoJack, and you didn't think that was a useful bit of information to share?" Uncle Mike grimaced.

Jason looked embarrassed and shrugged, "You never asked. My parents have it on all our cars."

Uncle Mike keyed his radio, "Addison Base. Key in the stolen car report on the Clark SUV. Let me know when you get the LoJack activation." He then looked at dad and I, "Gear up. We can head north and get updates enroute."

I took the stairs two at a time, ripped open my closet door and started throwing my hunting gear out onto the bed. My street clothes ended up strewn about the floor as I dressed in record time. I started to run downstairs, but diverted to Evan's room—grabbing his long underwear, ski pants, and fresh socks.

As I sprinted past my parent's bedroom, dad called out telling me to load up the telemark, not racing, skis; and to open the gun safe. (no duh—dads masters of the blindingly obvious!). Dad and I had been out on our telemark's recently, so I just threw them on the roof rack. I grabbed Olly's skis for Uncle Mike and gave them a rush wax job. Then Evan's clothes went into my 'go pack', poles, and some other gear went into the back of the Defender.

My hands were shaking as I opened the gun safe. Arming up to hunt a deer was one thing; arming up to hunt Alex Donovan was a whole other level of scary. To say the adrenalin was pumping was an understatement! I drew on my biathlon training—taking a deep breath, slowing my heartrate, forcing myself to calm down. The routine kicked in. My bear pistol, a Sig P320, loaded, safety set, went into the kydex holster strapped to my thigh. My Czech mountain carbine loaded, safety set, went into the back of the Defender.

As I laid dad's pistol and rifle out on the workbench, Uncle Mike came in from his cruiser, and stowed his Bushmaster and some gear with the growing pile in the back of the Defender. I have to admit, Uncle Mike looked pretty badass in his police cold weather gear. He put a blue strobe light on the roof of the car above the driver's seat. We were ready to go, except for dad. Finally, he emerged from the house. Checked his gear and was ready to go.

Uncle Mike made us all stop and run through what we had stowed in the car—no going back once we left. I went and grabbed a couple of all-purpose waxes just in case; dad grabbed our white winter camouflage shells. Mom came out and gave us all hugs; and then we were off. Uncle Mike behind the wheel, the blue strobe flashing, we headed north. It had started to snow I knew it was an hour and a half drive, give or take, so I again forced myself to slow down and relax (or at least try to…a little bit).

Uncle Mike's radio crackled from time to time as reports came in. From the sounds of it, the entire Addison Country Sheriff's office had mobilized and come into the office to help! They were in constant contact with Franklin County, the Staties, CBP, and the Mounties. The LoJack report came in, locating the Clark SUV in the general area you'd expect if they were looking to cross near Highgate.

We were probably 30 minutes out when a Franklin deputy came on and informed Uncle Mike that he was onsite with the SUV. It had gone off the road into a ditch, stuck but otherwise appeared fine. No sign of the occupants. He dropped dad a pin of the location. Uncle Mike vectored off the highway and began working our way in. I felt the same tension building up inside me as I did before every race—I needed to get out of the car and get going!

In the final stretch, Uncle Mike killed the strobe, the headlights caught the swirling snow as we eased onto a narrow gravel road and finally pulled up behind the Franklin cruiser. The deputy waved us in and greeted Uncle Mike. He glanced over dad, and then I saw his eyebrows shoot up when he looked at me—he didn't say anything though. He led us over to the edge of the forest where Evan and his dad had donned their skis.

There had definitely been no effort made to minimize the tracks. Even with the time delay and the falling snow, they were clearly visible. I followed the tracks in a few yards—knowing Evan was injured, it was easy to pick out the uneven nature of his tracks versus the even, but clumsy tracks of his dad. About ten yards in, I saw a very visible V imprint had been made with skis along the Evan track. I wondered if it was deliberate. I was going to go further in to check, but Uncle Mike called me back to gear up.

We donned our winter camo suits, backpacks, and slung our rifles. Uncle Mike handed dad and I radios similar to his in case we had to separate. We carried our skis and poles a few yards into the woods before clamping in. As we started out, three white clad figures moving through the night in the swirling snow with rifles on our backs, I felt the eeriest shiver—this must have been what my great grandpa felt back in the 1930's when he skied into the forests to defend his country from the Russian invaders.

Now that the 'race was on', I was calmer and more focused, but I was definitely over-eager to find and rescue Evan! I pushed off first and took the lead in following the Donovan's' tracks through the snow. Uncle Mike and dad didn't stop me and make me take the rear; but they did admonish me to stay close. We hadn't gone more than a hundred yards, when I saw another V in the snow—I smiled, knowing that Evan was leaving markers intentionally!

I was a little annoyed that Dad and Uncle Mike were lagging, and I kept having to slow down to let them catch up. But then I guess they weren't training like I was. Thankfully, the tracks were still fairly visible, despite what must have been a good 90-minute head start. The terrain was rough, no prepared trails and tracks on this 'race'! In addition to Evan's V's, there were multiple signs of slipping, sliding, and even the occasional tumble on the part of our quarry. No surprise given the lack of experience and likely no wax on their skis.

I lost track of time the further we went deeper into the woods. I was solely focused on the tracks; driven by the knowledge that we were steadily catching up and that clearly Evan was still okay (and alive). The snow was thickening though, and the tracks becoming more obscured. Eventually Uncle Mike called a pause; worried that we would lose the track and might end up inadvertently passing the Donovan's in the darkness. He had us spread out, just like we had done when pursuing the bear last year.

I stayed in the middle, with dad and Uncle Mike on either side. I listened carefully for the double keying of the radio—Uncle Mike's signal to proceed—and then moved forward. My eyes straining against the snow and the darkness to stay on course. Another 30 minutes, maybe? And then I saw it—a bright light through the trees; I mean really bright! My heart quickened. I kept my cool though and carefully eased forward; keeping the light towards the corner of my eyes so it wouldn't destroy my night vision.

It was them—I'd found Evan. He was alive thank God! They were stopped in a clearing. I silently moved up to the edge of the wood, and scanned right and left: Evan and his dad were seated on logs; between them the source of the light, a Coleman propane camping stove; a poorly set up tent was just beyond them. I was behind and to the left of his dad. I planted my poles and eased off my backpack, setting it to the ground. Unslung my Brno Mountain carbine and flipped the safety to off—I already had a round chambered.

Per Uncle Mike's instructions, when we found our quarry, we were to key the mike three times, wait for the others to come, and then move in together. I obeyed the first part. I wasn't waiting. I wasn't going to give the Prick the chance to hurt my Evan again. I wasn't going to make Evan sit there one moment longer thinking he was fucked. I keyed my mike three times, another three just in case, and pushed myself forward.

I felt that grandpa and great grandpa were right there with me as I emerged silently from the trees; I knew dad and Uncle Mike were closing from the left and right—there was a whole lot of Järvinen fury about to descend on this asshole! A gentle slope ran from the woods into the clearing; I didn't even have to use my legs to propel me along. I held my rifle in the ready position, finger at the trigger guard, as I glided across the clearing. I wanted to position myself so that I could hold my rife on Alex without Evan being in the line of fire.

I was trying to be as quiet as possible, but I could have been whistling 'Yankee Doodle' and I don't think they would have noticed me. They call a campfire in the wilderness 'Nature's TV' because everyone gathers around it and kind of loses themselves in the warmth and the flickering flames. I guess the Coleman stove is the cellphone of the wilderness—smaller but equally mesmerizing!

Startled, Alex Donovan leapt to his feet when I turned my skis to halt my forward progress and skis scrunched up against the snow. By then, I'd set my rifle firmly into my shoulder, my finger now on the trigger. He was looking down the barrel from a whole 10 yards away. I wished I had a picture of the look of confusion on his face—a white clad figure; appearing out of thin air; a rifle in hand!

"Who the fuck are you?!" he yelled (oh there's a clever question!)

"I'm Evan's fucking boyfriend!" I answered with a calm firmness I wasn't expecting.

Guess he thought that was a stupid answer, or that I was a stupid kid. He laughed and started to reach for the pistol in his belt. I leaned forward and took up the slack on the trigger, "I wouldn't move another muscle Mr. Donovan. This is an 8mm Mauser rifle. That's a big round. At this range, I won't miss. The round will destroy your heart. It will take a good chunk of it out through the fist-sized hole it will leave in your back. You will be dead before you hit the ground."

He froze, but clearly wasn't convinced yet, "That's assuming you have the guts to pull the trigger you pint-sized faggot."

(I briefly wondered why anyone would call the person—man, boy, or otherwise—holding a loaded rifle on them a 'pint-sized faggot'.) The question actually made me smile for some reason, "A year ago, I faced down a charging bear with this same rifle. I put two rounds into its chest when it was closer to me than you are now."

"Big difference between a bear and a person kid," as his hand moved again.

I nodded, "True. Will I shoot to defend my boyfriend? Will I shoot to protect the boy I love more than anything else in this world? Hell, yes, I will."

Then I heard the swish to my right and left, and I knew that Uncle Mike and dad had finally arrived. I breathed a massive sigh of relief. I had no doubt that I could have pulled the trigger; but I sure as hell didn't want to have to. I could see the fight go out of the Prick when he saw the cavalry arrive. His hands moved out away from his body, away from that pistol.

Uncle Mike moved in behind Alex, while dad went directly to Evan to make sure he was okay. Every fiber in my body wanted to be the one doing that, but I couldn't move until Uncle Mike had taken care of the Prick. "He's got a pistol in his belt," I warned Uncle Mike.

"Roger that Vil," Uncle Mike acknowledged, "Want to lower that rifle while I secure it?"

"Not really Uncle Mike," but I did it anyway, slightly, my finger still on the trigger.

When Uncle Mike moved in, I caught the Prick tensing up again, just like I'd seen a cornered coyote do when it had run out of options.

"Careful Uncle Mike. He's thinking he's going to make a move," I warned.

Looking at the Prick, I calmly explained to him what would happen. "I still have my finger on this trigger. A couple of degrees up and you will be back in its sights—your groin anyway. Remember that 'big round'? It will take your dick clean off, and probably your balls too (true statement). It'll blast it out through your asshole (hyperbole, but dramatic). You probably won't die right away. You'll have few seconds to search around in the snow for your manhood to try and put it back on (kind of true)."

Uncle Mike chuckled, "Mr. Donovan, you picked the wrong gay soprano to piss off!" Then in a very 'authoritative Uncle Mike' voice, "Now lock your fingers behind your neck and let's get this done."

The Prick did as he was told. Uncle Mike retrieved his pistol, cuffed his hands behind his back, sat him down on the log and zip-tied his legs together, then read him his rights. Breathing another big sigh of relief, I flipped the safety and re-slung my carbine—just in time for Evan to fly across the space between us and wrap me up in his arms!

I didn't care that dad and Uncle Mike were right there, and I sure as hell didn't care that the Prick could see us. I looked up at the most beautiful boy in the world and kissed him! I kissed him deep. I kissed him again and again.

We both were giggling, laughing, grinning, crying as we held each other, and the relief washed over us. Evan leaned his forehead into mine. "I knew you would come, Balzar. I left V's for you to find."

I nodded as vigorously as I could, "I know. I saw them. I knew they were for me!"

As we gazed into each other's eyes, briefly oblivious to the world around us, I realized Evan's eye patch was gone. I was looking into two of the most stunning green eyes in the world, even if he could only really see out of one.

Eventually I heard dad, "Umm boys? I hate to break this up, but we've got some work to do."

Still holding each other, we looked up, questioning.

"It's late and the snows still coming down heavily. We're going to have to spend the night here and head back to civilization on the morning when the snow's stopped. That means we'll have to turn this into a proper campsite."

The Boy Scout in me kicking in, I looked around, "We'll need to stomp out a flat spot for the fire, gather firewood, built a lean-to, and do something with that sorry-excuse for a tent."

Dad smiled, "Good run down, now get to it!" (Spoken like a true dad in charge…you boys do it!)

There were already the two opposing logs that Evan and the Prick had been sitting on, clearly the remains of a previous campsite. The four of us stomped back and forth, firmly packing the snow in between the two logs. Once we'd accomplished that task, I retrieved my pack and poles, got out my survival saw, and we went in search of wood.

Evan and I walked into the woods. He looked around, clearly at a loss, "What makes good wood to gather?"

I smiled, "Welcome to my world Evan! First, we need a base for the campfire—wet wood, so it won't catch fire. We just want it to keep the fire above the snow—so small saplings, still standing." I pointed out a couple.

Evan nodded, "Got it. Makes sense."

We cut down two good trees and hauled them back to the campsite; in spite of his broken arm, Evan was able to do yeoman's work. There, we cut the trees into five-foot lengths and laid them next to each other. Next, we went in search of dry wood for the actual fire.

Evan caught on quickly, "So we want dead trees for that I assume? How do we find those?"

I grinned as I shared another 'secret', "We look around! Dead trees, with branches, show up as humps under the snow."

Evan thoughtfully surveyed the area, "Like those? Or those over there?"

I nodded, "Both good places to start looking!" And so, we did! Pretty soon, we had a growing pile of wood, more than enough to get us through the night with a good-sized campfire. Back into the woods for more saplings, I showed Evan how to build a lean-to, complete with pine boughs for the sides and flooring.

In the meantime, Dad and Uncle Mike had rejiggered the tent, properly this time and cleared it out, leaving only a sleeping bag so they could stick the Prick in there for the night. Evan spied the two backpacks, and quietly whispered to me that we had to get those far away from his dad. I didn't ask why, just walked over and picked 'em up. We stowed them up under a pine tree—in the hollow under the lower branches.

There wasn't much by way of food, so we downed a couple of power bars for dinner. Uncle Mike and dad told Evan and I to head off to bed; they would handle the watch over night. I made the command decision to take dad's sleeping bag and zip it together with mine for Evan and me leaving Evan's original bag for him.

Evan watched my handiwork and giggled, "We're going to sleep together, right here? Your dad going to be okay with that?"

I smirked, "You have a dirty mind young Evan! Doubling up is very straight forward cold weather survival discipline. Double the body temperature in a confined space, nothing more than that!"

He snorted, "Yeah, right!" (Well, we both were right actually!)

Dad and Uncle Mike were gathered round the roaring fire going as Evan and I went to bed—once more proving the old adage about 'Nature's TV'. I showed Evan how we sat on the bag to take off our boots; knock the snow off then and stow them at the bottom of the bag. He smirked as I showed him how our clothes followed suit, lining the sides of our combined bags. All very Boy Scout handbook recommended I assured him—and it is, honest. The added benefit of getting to hold my almost naked boyfriend (boxer briefs only) in my arms was purely a side benefit—kind of!

I was correct. Within a few minutes of our sliding int our combined sleeping bag, Evan and I were quite warm—okay, maybe the naked chest to naked chest, intertwined legs, and roaming hands helped! We did give each other lots of little kisses; but we were 'good', honest.

Evan was gently stroking the side of my face when he brought up the drama of earlier, "I'm pretty sure I heard someone say, 'the boy I love more than anything else in this world' this evening."

I blushed, "You did? I don't think I recall that! Are you really sure you heard that?"

"Absolutely. Unequivocally even!"

I jinked, "Hmmm. Maybe there was some other boy here this evening?"

"Yeah. Don't think so. There would have been telltale prints in the snow; and you know I'm an expert tracker."

I tried doubling back, "Oh really?! You must have had an awesome teacher."

"You're avoiding the question."

I made one last attempt at dodging, "I don't think I heard a question."

"Do you really love me more than anything else in the world?" he asked softly, continuing to run his fingers along my jawline.

I had been adeptly cornered. I gave Evan a little kiss on his cold nose and nodded, "I really do love you more than anything else in the world. I've loved you since I first saw you in the seventh grade; these past two weeks have put that love on steroids."

"Was that so hard to say?"


"Yeah? How can the incredibly brave boy who has saved my life, twice, who faced down a bear, ever be terrified?"

My heart pounding, "Because I can control all of those other things. I can't control whether you love me as much as I love you. That's terrifying."

Evan shifted his face forward, rubbing my nose along mine. He gave me that dimpled, eye sparking smile that just melts my heart, "Would it be less terrifying if I told you that I love you with all my heart? I love you with every fiber of my being! I dream about us growing old together."

My face broke out in the biggest smile, best I could do was muster a whisper, "Yes. Way less terrifying! I love you so much Evan." I pulled us even tighter together, going in for a kiss. A delicate kiss. An 'I love you so much' kiss.

In between our kisses, Evan giggled, "I guess both of us got really hard, really fast. Looks like telling the boy you love that you love him, is pretty intense!" I just ground into him!

Eventually, we shifted. Evan rolled on his back; his arm held me tight; my head tucked into his neck. We both sighed, just enjoying being together, and looked out at the still swirling snow coming down in the light of the fire.

"This is so pretty, so magical. The lean-to, the snow, the fire, so peaceful." Evan murmured. "I wish you and I were here all by ourselves.

I absorbed the scene Evan was framing, and Away in a Manger seemed like the right hymn. The lean-to over our heads reminded me of the manger in Bethlehem. Ever so softly, I started singing. No organ. No choir. I know dad and Uncle Mike could hear me, but like Christmas morning, I was singing just for Evan. Just us and the falling snow, My version was a little sacrilegious, but Mr. Atlee wasn't around, and I'd like to think Jesus would be okay with my version.

Away in a manger, No crib for a bed
My beautiful Evan, Laid down His sweet head
The stars in the bright sky, looked down where He lay
My beautiful Evan, Asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing, My Evan awakes
But Beautiful Evan, No crying He makes
I love You, My Evan. Look down from the sky
And stay by my side, Until morning is nigh

Be near me, My Evan. I ask You to stay
Close by me forever. And love me I pray
Bless all the dear children, In Your tender care
And fit us for heaven, to live with you there

Watch the YouTube videos of Away in a Manger performed by King's College Choir

As the last notes faded, Evan wrapped me in hirs arms and hugged me tight against his chest. I snuggled in, vaguely aware that Evan mentioned that he 'needed to tell me about something really weird' just as I fell asleep. I know I didn't stir all night; I'm pretty sure Evan didn't either. I think we were both just too exhausted from all the craziness of yesterday.

Uncle Mike had the fire blazing again when I lifted my head and gazed around. The soft dawn light was just beginning to peek over the mountains. The snow had stopped, but had left its pristine blanket of fluffy white pureness over the land. My movements had opened our sleeping bags just enough to hit Evan with a little blast of coldness, as he quickly roused as well.

As beautiful as the scene was, we both were eager to get home, so we quickly dressed inside the sleeping bag and set about breaking down our camp. I retrieved the two heavy packs from under the pine tree. If we were going to carry these back, Evan and I would have to redistribute their contents and those of my 'go pack'. It was then that I realized why Evan was so concerned about the packs—the bottom of each was filled with cash, like a lot of cash, like bundled stacks of money cash!

I didn't even ask. Time to understand that later—we had to get out of the woods. It wasn't too difficult to deal with the redistribution, as the top of each bag held the Prick's stuff—that got tossed in the back of the lean-to. We then spread my gear between the two packs, set them against the lean-to, and joined dad and Uncle Mike by the fire. At least we had hot coffee to wash down the morning's Power Bar breakfast!

Uncle Mike roused the Prick from the tent and plunked him down on the log in front of the fire while we struck the tent. That and everything else we didn't want to carry went into the lean-to—either someone would come back for it; or it would be left for a hiker-in-need who happened by. While Uncle Mike explained the plan for getting back to the cars; I put a quick layer of wax on Evan's and the Prick's skis—it would help us move faster.

The Prick gave Evan and I the stink eye when he saw us hoist 'his money packs' on our backs—I just gave him a cheery 'FU' smile. If I saw the look of pure love in Evan's eyes last night; I saw the look of pure hatred in the Prick's eyes this morning! I couldn't wait to be done with him; to have him back in custody and away from my Evan. Uncle Mike had to take off the zip ties and uncuff him so he could ski back under his own power—I didn't like that, but there wasn't any other option.

Uncle Mike made the Prick head off first, 'I want to keep you where I can see you!' Uncle Mike and dad were next, then Evan, with me bring up the rear. I was fine with that as it meant the Prick was a good ways from Evan, with Uncle Mike and dad in between; and it meant I could keep an eye on Evan just in case anything happened. Of course, when it did happen, I was totally unprepared!

About an hour into our trip back to civilization, we were on a ridge, skirting the edge of Rorke's Drift, a very steep fall off. That slope and the river at its base marked the border between the US and Canada. I guess the Prick had realized he wasn't going to get near the packs Evan and I were carrying; and was soon going to be back in the lock-up. Apparently, he'd made the decision that cutting and running was the best option—who knows what the fuck he was really thinking!

No one had noticed, but the Prick had slowly been extending the distance between himself and Uncle Mike. Me, I was reveling in the most awesome boyfriend discussion Evan and I had exchanged last night. All of a sudden, I heard Uncle Mike shout from up front. I heard a parting 'See ya later fuckers' from the Prick. I heard dad yell something; then a very urgent Uncle Mike yelling, "BACK, BACK, BACK!"

I might have been reveling, but I knew exactly where we were, where the dangers were. I didn't think. I instinctively acted, grabbing Evan's pack from behind and immediately propelling myself backwards and away from the proximity to the edge. As we shifted back, I saw the crack develop along the edge of the fall-off. I kept us moving backwards. For a good 20 yards, the snow at the edge broke off and disappeared from view.

On the other side of Evan, I could see dad and Uncle Mike—similarly backing up like we were—but no Prick. "WTF Uncle Mike?!"

He just shook his head in disbelief, "He just yelled 'See ya later' and launched himself over the edge."

Evan started hyperventilating, "He's getting away, again?! He just going to come after me until I'm dead!"

I slipped my arm around Evan's waist and pulled him tight against me, "I don't think he's getting away Evan." Dad, Uncle Mike and I all looked back and forth at each other. We'd seen the fall-off. We knew the slope. We'd seen that broad swath of snow fall away.

Dad shifted over and put his arm around Evan's shoulder, "There's no way he's going to make it down that slope Evan. It's a Double Black Diamond on a good day. It's covered in new snowfall. He's a novice skier. And he's started an avalanche." (the rumbling beyond the edge was increasing).

Uncle Mike swore under his breath and fiddled with his radio, "Addison Base, this is Addison One." Addison Base came right back, and Uncle Mike had them patch him through the Mounties. Bottom line, he was really pissed with himself that he'd let the Prick get too far ahead of him; he was really pissed the guy went over the drop off; and he was really embarrassed that he had to tell all that to his buddy in the Mounties. We could hear both sides of the conversation over the radio; his buddy was giving him a normal ration of shit (for a Canadian, they're uber "polite"!), but agreed to handle things on their side of the boarder.

"Handle it", from the conversation, was clearly meant as 'recover the body', once the slope had stabilized and they'd gotten a bead on his location. Neither Uncle Mike, nor the Mountie, gave any indication that they thought he'd make it to the bottom in one piece. Uncle Mike dropped a pin to his buddy; at least they'd know exactly where the Prick went over the side—it's pretty straight forward from there.

There was nothing else we could do from where we were, so we continued on our way—same order as before. Evan was quiet, I knew he wasn't convinced that the Prick wouldn't make it off the mountain and come looking for him again. I vowed to not let Evan out of my sight until we had resolution.

Late morning, we finally made it back to the Defender. The Franklin County guys had pulled the Clark car out of the ditch which was really nice of them. Their sheriff met us as we emerged from the woods. He and Uncle Mike went a little way down the road to have a 'Sheriff-to-Sheriff' talk, while we loaded up all our gear. When Uncle Mike got back, he told us he need to spend some more time 'debriefing' his counterpart, so he would drive himself back in the Clark's car and we should head on home—no arguments from Evan or me!

Evan and I sat in the back as dad drove the hour and a half back home. We should have been belted in, but I was going to hold Evan the whole way back. I sat sideways with one leg up on the seat behind him, the other tucked in under both of his legs—so he was basically sitting sideways in my lap, my arms wrapped around him. Mom, Olly and Maria met us in the garage when we rolled in and smothered both of us in hugs and kisses. Olly even helped us unload and put up all our gear. I quietly put the two backpacks into our old gun safe—basically an empty box that had been great grandpa's (as opposed to the newer, climate controlled, safe).

Evan and I quickly downed some lunch, but then begged off and went upstairs to get some real sleep. I carefully closed and locked the door; Evan raising his eyebrows as he heard the distinctive 'click'!

He smiled and moved on close, "Locking the door so we can sleep?"

I blushed and felt really shy once again. But I pressed on, "Maybe sleep, later. I want to make love Evan. Now. Right now. Not later. Not next week. I love you so much; you love me. I want you in me; I want me in you."

He pulled me in close and wrapped his arms around me, making me feel warm and safe like he always does. I buried my face in his neck, waiting for him to answer.

Finally, I felt him nodding his head against mine. He whispered in my ear, his warm breath tickling me, "Me too Vil. I'm ready. We're ready. We do need to shower first though; seriously we do!"

I'd already shucked my hunting gear downstairs, so I was just wearing sweats and a t-shirt; Evan was still in the clothes he'd had on when he was kidnapped. He reached down and very slowly, very erotically, pulled my t-shirt up and over my head—his fingers grazing over my chest and sides as he went. I tried to match him piece of clothing for piece of clothing, but I was going to be naked long before he was—so I concentrated on him until we evened back out in just our obscenely tented boxer-briefs.

Then we moved back into hug, to kiss, to give tons of caresses (God I love being touched…everywhere!), and back in for more kisses. I was hell bent on my objective though; it was time to move this along. I gave Evan on last peck on the lips, and then began to slowly, but deliberately, kiss and lick my way down his body. My knees hit the floor as I kissed his abs and delved my tongue into his adorable little belly button.

I hooked my fingers into his waistband and pulled his bower-briefs forward so I could get them over the head of his cock. Once it was clear, I slid my fingers around to the back and skinned them down over his cute jock butt; kissing his head and his emerging shaft as I moved them down his thighs, and dropped them in the pile of discarded clothes. Leaning in, I buried my face into side of his pubes and inhaled him as I pressed his burning cock up against my cheek. It was so warm. So velvety smooth. S hard. I could feel his pulse.

I could have stayed there a long time, but Evan had other ideas. He reached down and pulled me upright. He was then in charge, kissing his way down my torso as he stripped me naked. I gazed downwards, completely taken with my beautiful Evan. I was still not entirely believing how my world had fundamentally changed in such a short time. Here I was, looking down on the most stunning boy--his broad shoulders, his tapered back leading down to the cutest, muscled butt. I ran my fingers through his gorgeous, auburn waves as he kissed his way all over my groin. Good thing too as he lifted up one of my legs, making me balance, as he leaned in and attacked the crease—he's an adept student of what drives Vil crazy!

I was going to lose it though, so I had to tap out—literally, I tapped him on the head, "Shower time. Now."

He stopped mid-lick, tongue tip still attached, and looked up, "You sure? You seem to be enjoying this."

I nodded, "If you keep going it's going to get messy, too soon, and in the wrong place!"

"Can't have that. Ok. Shower time—but that's step two; have to take care of step one first."

I didn't ask. One of the benefits of having a boyfriend who's more experienced that you are is that he knows how to do stuff—correctly. I like that. Evan took my hand and led me into the bathroom. There he dove into his dop kit and pulled out a rubber ball thing, "Gotta get clean first. Sorry, it's not exactly romantic; but it is necessary."

Well, you can imagine what happened next—I don't need to provide that detail. Evan helped clean me out; and I him. The 'expulsion' part was most definitely not romantic—ugh! I did find the, umm, insertion and filling to be oddly romantic. Or more accurately, incredibly intimate. Not in a sexy way or anything, but in a 'I'm sharing this level of trust and exposure' kind of way—if that makes any sense.

The shower was way romantic, erotic, sexy, and sensual—and 50 other adjectives! We'd showered together only once before—in the whirlpool room. That had been amazing, and there'd been a lot of touching; but this was a whole new level. We took our time. We took our turns. We washed, rewashed, fondled, kissed. We most definitely, most thoroughly, cleaned our butts—thank God, 'cause I was kind of freaking out in light of the 'expulsion', it can't have been good back there.

Evan turned me to the wall and starting with my dimpled cheeks, worked his way inwards to my crack. His hands were all soapy and slippery, which felt really nice. I shuddered as his fingers slipped down along my crack and seriously moaned when he found my hole. At first, he was just making circles, but then he squatted down and pushed his finger up inside. I'm pretty sure I clenched as hard as I could when he did that—that's wrong right? The whole 'push out thing' I'd read about?

No matter, his finger was thin enough and slippery enough that it slid right in—despite my 'help'. I started to relax after he'd fiddled around in there a bit; that is, until he twisted his finger around and hit my prostate! Holy shit! I mean I knew I had one, and I'd read it was supposed to feel good if someone 'massaged' it. But Sweet Jesus! I actually saw a glob of cum, no shit, white, thick, cum—pop out of my slit and roll down my shaft!

For the second time, I had to tap out. I was beginning to wonder if I was going to survive losing my virginity—if not, at least I would die blissfully happy! We switched positions. I was once again mesmerized by my boy—his corded, muscled back; that taper from his broad shoulders down to his narrow waist. The water ran down his body like a mountain stream in the spring before plunging down into his crack.

I gently soaped and massaged his whole back; then shifted down, past his cute butt, and did the same to his muscled thighs. Evan definitely has sprinter legs compared to my distance legs; thicker, tighter muscles. I gave him little kisses on each cheek before spreading them apart and getting my first, up close look at his most intimate part. I know people have a whole lot of names for that part—some cute, some rude, a lot weird.

Evan's his most intimate part? No question. His is a rosebud—pink, all kind of folded in, and just beautiful. Not only is his hole a rosebud, it's a Princess Hitomi—a delicate, fleshy shade of pink. Don't argue with me on this one, I have my Gardening Merit Badge. I got it helping old Mrs. Elliot down the block. Her entire backyard is festooned with roses that she and her husband planted decades ago. I can name all the different varieties of roses that she has—but please don't tell I compared her Princess Hitomi to Evan's butthole; she probably wouldn't appreciate that!

I got him all soapy and clean, and then I pushed my finger inside him just like he had done with me. It was so tight; I could feel his muscle flexing around my finger. It was so warm; if his cock felt hot against my cheek, this was a hundred times warmer. It was so soft; I could feel the delicate walls inside him with the tip of my finger. Evan moaned softly when I gently pushed in and out; he gasped loudly when I twisted my finger and found his bump!

I circled and pressed it for a little—so thrilled by the resulting moans, groans, and body twitches of pleasure I was triggering out of my boy! Evan lasted way longer than I had, before he called 'uncle' and we turned off the water. We patted each other dry, which felt very nice, but did little to calm each other down. I think if Evan had reach out and touched my cock right then the bathroom would have been very messy!

Evan reached out for my hand again, and walked me back to our bed. We cuddled in under the covers, both of us wordlessly understanding that we needed to relax a bit. We just held each other and traded little 'I love you' kisses for a while. Eventually, Evan wrapped his arms around me and rolled; he onto his back, me on top.

"I want you inside me first," he whispered. I nodded—after all he was the experienced one, and I was following his lead.

I did have my plan though—the way I wanted to make love to him—'Always Prepared' right?! I kissed my way down his torso as I maneuvered myself between his legs. I grabbed both legs and pushed them up towards his chest. Evan handed me the tube of lube from the side table; but I set that aside—not part of my plan yet!

Yeah, I dove in on his Princess Hitomi. I wanted to be as intimate, as loving, as I possibly could be. I was secretly relieved that he just tasted like Evan—with a little soap—but I would have manned-up even if he hadn't. His gasping, the spreading of his legs even further, was all the encouragement I needed! I licked, I lapped, I wiggled, I flicked, I rolled my tongue and pumped! I had to hold on tight to Evan's hips 'cause he kept writhing around.

"Stop squirming!" I giggled.

"I can't help it!" he gasp-whispered. "Stop torturing me and get inside me!"

Several fingers and lots of lube later, I shifted up and got in position. I leaned over and locked eyes; Evan reached down and positioned me for entry. I pressed, slowly, gently, forcefully. I started to worry that I wasn't going in; but then it happened. I felt him open. I felt me pop in. I bent down and kissed as I slowly slid all the way inside. And then I came.

I couldn't help it. It just happened. I was coming before I even realized it. I shuddered. I whimpered in our kiss. I guess technically I was 'in'; but I hadn't even pumped—not once.

"Did you just…"

I nodded, feeling my eyes tear-up, "Oh Evan, I'm sorry. I couldn't help it."

Evan hugged me tight, stroking my back, "It's okay Vil. It's okay. I love you!"

"I love you to. God this is so embarrassing. I'm so sorry."

"Stop saying that you're sorry. And no, it's not embarrassing. It's adorable."

"Adorable I have a hair trigger?!"

"Adorable that you love me so much, and I'm such an awesome stud, that you were overwhelmed!"

Okay that made me laugh, and feel slightly less embarrassed. "I guess we just made a Virgin Remember When!"

Evan giggled, "Oh definitely. I'll be reminding you of this often, Balzar. No wait, I have a new name for you—Vil the Impaler!"

I guessed Vil the Impaler sounded way better than Vil the Hair Trigger! I darted my head back in to give my boy another I love You kiss, and whispered, "So…was it good for you?"

Evan was laughing so hard and trying to be quiet that he couldn't answer. His chest heaved, making me slide back and forth, making my still hard cock start pumping like I was supposed to have done.

I felt Evan squeeze me, "You're still hard. Go again. You get a do over!"

So, I did what boys do, and I am happy to report that I lasted way longer the second time around. Evan's hands were all over my lean, hard body as I flexed in and out—and I truly and properly impaled him! Second time around, we both were much more attuned to my building climax. Evan pulled me in for a very deep tongue kiss and played with my nipples—that quickly pushed me over the edge. He didn't need to ask if I'd come this time!

We cuddled for a little bit, but I didn't want us to fall asleep before I had Evan in me. Oh, and Evan hadn't come at all yet; so, I guess he was raring to go as well! If me making love to Evan was awesome (which it was!); Evan making love to me was a million times more awesome. He had me squirming on the end of his tongue just like I had done. It hurt a little bit when he first entered me, but he was so slow, so gentle, so loving that the pain quickly was surpassed by the billions of pleasure sensations reporting in from every fiber of my being!

He kept whispering in my ear how much he loved me as he came. I felt so connected, so whole, so one with Evan. I could feel his heart pounding against mine as he rested his chest on mine. The weight of his body made me feel so protected, so warm, so loved. He lifted his head just a little—we locked eyes, we kissed, we grinned and giggled.

He rested his forehead against mine, smiled, "Happy losing our virginity to both of us!"

I was confused. What?! "Both of us? You said you'd had sex with boys before!"

Evan shook his head, "I'm pretty sure I said 'I'd done stuff' with boys. 'Stuff', not 'had sex'."

"So, we're both each other's first?" I murmured. How special is that! I couldn't have dreamed for a better 'first time surprise'! And here I thought he was the way more experienced one guiding me. "I think I love you even more," was all I could think so say.

Evan pulled the down comforter up over us and we snuggled in. We talked quietly about 'us', about the rest of high school, about college, about all those things in between now and 'growing old together'. Eventually we both dozed off to a blissful sleep—until Olly burst in!

"Jesus. It smells like sex in here!" he laughed as he flung open a window, hitting us with a blast of freezing cold Vermont air.

"I locked the door," I mumbled, trying to argue with reality as I burrowed into Evan.

"You did. The hallway door; not the bathroom—rookie little brother mistake! Dinner's in 30. I strongly recommend a shower before you come downstairs!"

We did make ourselves presentable and made it to dinner on time. Thankfully, Olly and the rest of the family were there to carry the conversation. Evan and I ate voraciously, but were pretty quiet—a combination of sex and still processing the events of the past few days, I guess. We went straight back to bed after dinner—yes, a lot more cuddling and yes, a lot more sex before we actually fell back to sleep.

We didn't set foot outside the house the next day—we built a roaring fire in the living room and just hung out there watching TV. We were definitely tired from the events of the past two days; but really, I think both of us were kind of afraid to go out given that had no idea where the Prick was (I know I was)! I asked Olly and Maria to stay around too—safety in numbers, right; they were awesome and readily agreed. That led to a very brutal game of Monopoly. You would think that one's boyfriend would be loyal, supportive, helpful, kind—not my Evan. He crushed me with hotels on Park Place and laughed about it! It was really nice just to hang out and chill, no drama.

The next morning, Uncle Mike arrived early with a detective in tow—official business obviously. We all gathered in the living room. I tucked a pillow in behind Evan and sat on it—so I could wrap him in my arms for support and still see everyone else. Good news; bad news; gross news.

Good news—the Prick would never threaten or hurt Evan ever again. Period.

Bad news—for the Prick anyway, he was dead, gone, finished, 'kuollut' as Grandpa would say. He never made it off Rorke's Drift. The Mountie's had picked him up on airborne thermal camera about halfway down the slope. He wasn't moving. It took a day though before it was safe for the Mountain Cold Weather team to go in to make the extraction—due to the avalanche threat.

Gross news—the Cold Weather guys got there; but the wolves got there first. Nature's pretty Darwinian right? There are hunters; and there are prey. Unless you are experienced in the woods, you probably don't realize how quickly one can go from being the hunter, to being the prey. Alex Donovan had triggered a small avalanche when he went over the ridge. It caught up with him, and slammed him up against a tree—fracturing his leg and pinning him in tight. The Mounties surmised that the smell of blood, and probably his cries, got the wolves' attention. The tracks in the snow told the rest of the story—observing, testing, closing in. Wolves are careful. They said there were defensive wounds on his hands, so he was obviously somewhat conscious when they made their move. The coroner's report simply said "Exsanguination—wolf bite to the throat".

Evan was quiet, but I felt the relief in his body once we knew. No more threat. No more looking over his shoulder. No more Prick making his life miserable. (Me, I was more worried about those poor wolves' tummies—I hope the Prick didn't upset them.)

Uncle Mike and the detective had a ton of paperwork to get us through. Dad and I had to give statements on our version of the events from tracking, to capture, to escape. They had to get a statement from Evan, starting with the kidnapping at the house. This is where things got very strange—shit that's a massive understatement!

Remember the 'really weird' thing Evan mentioned back up in the lean-too? Seems the Prick was rambling the whole way on the drive north when he had Evan in the back: 'You'll be useful to help me get my money to Canada; Then I'll take care of you just like I did your dad; Too bad we have to go north instead of south, I could have buried you together on the old homestead!' Yeah. You could have heard the proverbial fucking pin drop when Evan relayed this part of the story.

Olly just swore under his breath, "Well that doesn't make any fucking sense. He's your dad. Obviously, he didn't kill himself. What the fuck do you think he was talking about?"

I guess it takes a certain type of person to be a detective; or a good one anyway. I watched closely as he read back to himself what Evan had shared. Then he looked up at Evan and asked the simplest question, "Are you sure he's your father?"

We all stared at him like he was stupid. He pressed on, "Yes, he was married to your mom. Yes, he has been your father as you were raised. But do you know that he's your actual, biological, father? Ever had a test? Any obvious similarities between you and he?"

I tried to think. Evan's auburn hair, green eyes, and skin coloring all came from his mom—that was obvious. The rest of Evan though—his high cheekbones, shape of his eyes, his build—not that I knew Alex Donovan well, but I didn't see any obvious similarities.

Neither Evan nor the rest of us could come up with anything obvious, so the detective went out to his car and came back with a DNA test kit. "We have Alex's DNA on file from the initial arrest. I'll get a swab from you, and we'll have an answer one way or the other in a few days."

Evan and I went for a long walk into the woods after Uncle Mike and the detective left. We had to get out of the house—this was just all too weird. We needed some Vil-Evan alone time. We held hands from the moment we left the house. For a long time, we walked, not talking; just holding hands, rubbing hands. Comforting each other with touch—it sure worked for me; I knew by now it worked for Evan too. I figured this was Evan's time to think; I'd wait until he was ready to talk before I shared my thoughts.

Finally, Evan sighed, "If he's not my dad, that's a good thing, right? I mean that would mean I don't have his blood in me. I think I'd be happier if that were true. Otherwise, it's like you said, back before Christmas, he'd always be part of me."

I winced, wishing I could take back that brilliant statement, "Even if he's really your dad, you're not him. Your obviously more of your mom than him. But yeah, let's keep our fingers crossed."

"But if he's not my dad. Then who is? Or who was I guess—since, well, you know…"

I nodded and stopped. Looking around, I spied a small log and dragged him over to it, stepping up on it so I could be at his eye level. I reached out and held his beautiful face in my hands, my thumbs gently rubbing those high cheekbones, "If he's not, then you and I—together—will figure out who is!"

I guess I said the right thing, for I got that smile. That smile that made his whole face brighten up, that made his green eyes sparkle, that triggered those adorable dimples, "You and me together, 'til we grow old, I think I love that idea!"

Talk about this story on our forum

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.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead