Plan A: A Kiss at Night

by Driver

Chapter 9

If you do the right thing, even with the wrong attitude, you've still done the right thing

I loved Aaron Castle, I really did. He was effeminate in his mannerisms, but he was all boy in most ways. He had this sweetness about him that everyone loved. He was bright and friendly, outgoing, and usually cheerful.

He was also pretty strong, though he'd never be called athletic. Still, where I could do maybe ten chin-ups, Aaron could do twenty and more, and barely start breathing hard. Yes, he weighed less, but that wasn't all of it.

After Billy had stumbled out of the room, I looked again at Aaron. He was good looking to the point of being pretty, but I didn't think I'd ever consider him girlish again because that wasn't really how he was. His mannerisms translated into girl-like, not girl!

His voice was the big thing, rich and sonorous, it was the first thing that attracted me to Aaron, and it still turned me on.

I can't kid around forever, though. The reality of it was that Aaron Castle was really one sexy guy. He was handsome and in shape, tanned, just perfect. Add in that he was the nicest guy on the planet, the most loving, the most sincere, and you can understand my feelings for him.

He was more of a water rat than me, too. He was used to it where I wasn't. They had this lake house, a pool at home. I liked the water, I really did, but I'd never be as comfortable around it as someone who had grown up with it. Aaron made me promise to try water skiing the next day, then we fell asleep alone in our little tent. Yes, others had wanted to share our space, but Aaron could be pretty forceful when he wanted to, and we spent the night by ourselves.

Aaron woke me up the next morning, though I don't know what time it was. I never minded waking up, and Aaron was such a happy waker-upper that he made me laugh. I liked new days, I really did, and Aaron was absolutely ecstatic about them.

"Evan," he said as he poked my chest, "Wake up! It's morning, Evan! Evan?"

My eyes blinked open, and Aaron kept it up. "Come on, Evan, it's morning! Time for breakfast, time for water skiing." He started kneading my chest, "Come on, Evan. Wake up!"

I pushed him away, snapping, "Jeez! I'm up!"

Aaron pulled away from me as if I'd burned him with a torch. "Sorry," he mumbled, "I didn't want to get you mad."

Oh Lord. "I'm sorry, Aaron. I'm sorry, okay? You can't go around waking me up, then asking me questions ten seconds later, you just can't!" I tried to pull myself up into a sitting position, and only got partly there. "Give my brain a few minutes to get working, then talk to me." I kissed him, "Sorry I jumped on you. You know I love you."

"Grouch," he mumbled, then smiled. "Race you to the bathroom!" and he bolted out of the tent.

I jumped up and chased after him, calling, "Cheater!" but he was far ahead of me. When I went into the house there were signs of life here and there, lots of other people still snoring away. Aaron's grandfather met me when I was halfway up the stairs, and he was coming down.

"Morning, Evan," he smiled as I stood to the side so he could pass. "are you enjoying yourself?"

"Yes, I am," I replied, and he kept going. I finished the stairs, then went into the room where my bag was and got my shaving things. The bathroom door was closed when I got there, but I tried the knob and heard Aaron on the inside.

"Evan?" he asked.

"It's me. Want me to wait?"

The door opened and he stood there smiling, "Depends on how private you want to be. You can come in if you want, I'm just washing up."

I held up my shaving kit, "That's what I was going to do," I said as I entered the room. It was an old-fashioned bathroom, almost all white inside except for some green design in the wallpaper. There was a claw-foot tub with a shower ring that had been added on, a very tall toilet, and a pedestal sink. The only places to put stuff were a metal enclosure around the radiator and a wooden shelf under the oval mirror that was on the wall over the sink.

I guess plumbing stays pretty much the same, but bathroom design had sure changed since that one was put together. Aaron had to go to a linen-closet in the hall to get us towels and wash cloths. We watched each other in the mirror as we washed our faces and combed our hair, then Aaron gave me some more space when I started shaving. We made some small talk, then brushed our teeth at the same time.

That had been fun, but by then I had to use the toilet, and I didn't really want to do that with Aaron in the room. I didn't even want to tell him what I had to do, so I said I had some reading to catch up on, and he understood right away.

Aaron left, I went, then I headed downstairs. There was some activity, but people were being quiet because a lot were still sleeping. Aaron held up a juice carton in a questioning way when he saw me walk in, and I nodded. I could tell that breakfast wasn't a big production. There were boxes of cold cereal, loaves of bread, a few bowls of fruit. It wouldn't be a hot, cooked breakfast, just sort of a build-your-own cold one, which was fine with me.

Aaron rubbed noses with me and smiled when he handed me my juice. "I hope everything came out okay," he smiled.

I replied, "You're a sick individual, Aaron. We just take what we want here?" I asked, indicating the food.

"Yup," he said, "and take fast, because it won't last long. I'm sure you've never tried one, but how'd you like an onion and tomato sandwich?"

I looked at him in astonishment, "For breakfast?"

He patted my shoulder, "Never mind. Help yourself to whatever. I'm making a sandwich."

Aaron turned toward the refrigerator and stopped in his tracks when I called, "Aaron!"

He turned around, a question on his face. I asked, "Tomato and onion?"

He smiled and nodded, "Want mayo?"

I watched Aaron build the sandwiches. Sliced hard rolls, slathered thickly with mayonnaise on both halves, then a heavy slice of Bermuda onion, then many thin slices of late-season tomatoes so full of liquid he could barely get the slices on the sandwich. He shook on some salt, then took a pepper grinder and blackened the tops of the tomatoes.

I laughed through the whole process, but could only enjoy after the first tentative bite. Lordy, the things that can taste good in combination! Onion and tomato didn't fit all that well with orange juice, but I'd finished the juice, and the sandwich did go really well with a glass of white milk. I found myself laughing because something that sounded so gross on the surface turned out to be so sensational in practice. Onion sandwiches for breakfast? Why not?

Aaron swallowed a bite, smiled, and asked, "Your sandwich is funny?"

I still chuckled, "No, it's good, and that's what's funny. I would have thought awful for sure, but this is really good."

Aaron, his sandwich hand heading back towards his mouth, smiled and winked at me. A sexy wink, and it made me grin back.

Billy came in, announcing his presence loudly, but he shut up soon enough when he saw us there. I smiled at him, "Hey, big boy! Want an onion sandwich?"

Billy made a face, "Jesus, Castle. You already have Evan eating that crap? Whatever happened to toast and jelly for breakfast?" He looked back at me and grinned, "Big boy, huh? I think I like hearing that."

Aaron laughed.

I fluttered my eyelashes and said nothing. Billy started fixing a bowl of cereal, asking, "So what's on for today? A repeat of last night would be pretty amazing."

Aaron choked on his milk, "Forget it, Billy. I want to teach Evan to ski. You can drive the boat."

"Even better," Billy said. "Who's going to spot?"

"We'll find someone," Aaron said. "You'll ski too, won't you?"

Billy smirked, "But of course! You don't think I really came all this way to play with a couple of bad-breath fairies, do you?"

I knew Billy was kidding, but I tried to rein him in. "I think that's exactly why you came, Billy. If our breath smells like onion, guess what your dick smells like? If you want to find a girl, you better look for a vegetarian!"

Aaron laughed, and Billy blushed, saying, "Fuck off, Evan. I can get girls, you know. It's just a tough time right now."

Aaron giggled more loudly, "Alright, Billy. Do you know where Dean was last night?"

Billy grinned, "You may not know this, Castle, but Deanie Beanie got his weenie wet last night, and it was with your cousin!"

Aaron laughed before he talked, "This is vacation, Billy. If you alliterate one more time, we'll run you over with the propeller!" He grinned at me, "right, Evan?"

I really laughed. I loved the easy way Billy and Aaron had with each other, and they let me feel part of it even though I was new on their scene. They really knew and understood each other, and I was catching on even though I was late to the game. They played word games all the time, but that's all it was ... just games. Alliterations and double-entendres were the stuff of their lives, and they could be hugely funny with them.

"Okay," I started. "Who first said Deanie Beanie?" and they both raised their hands, and when they saw the other hand up, they started yelling out what liars they were.

I didn't interrupt. I really loved that Aaron and Billy had each other long before I came around, and especially that their friendship still worked the way it always had. They had their own funny language, and their own way of dealing with each other.

I finally butted in, getting my face between them, "So, I saw silly Billy getting his willy washed. Does that count?"

Aaron started laughing riotously, and Billy put his hand up like a traffic cop and whistled loudly, "Okay, that's enough! Not you too, Evan!" He took a moment to laugh, "Water skiing is a serious sport. If you suddenly burst out laughing, you could kill yourself very easily. He. Haha. Got my willy washed?"

We all laughed, and headed out into the yard after we ate. Some other people were there already, and I talked to a few more cousins that I'd only half-met the night before, and we recruited water skiers, boat drivers and spotters.

If I could have done what I really wanted to, and looked closely at all the other Aaron-like people there, I probably could have taken a day to do it right. The ones I hadn't met properly, there were Spenser and Cecily, twenty-two years old twins, and there was nine year-old Thomas and five years old Max for boys, then girls of three, seven, eight, ten, thirteen and nineteen. They were all named Aaron. Well, they should have been. Aaronette, maybe.

I think it made me silly after awhile. Family resemblances were one thing, but it was identicality with the Castle clan, almost like the funny mirrors in an amusement park. I was surrounded by almost-Aaron's, and I was hugely amused by it. Put an Aaron here, put an Aaron there, here an Aaron, there an Aaron, everywhere an Aaron Aaron! YES!

It was debilitating at the same time, and getting killed on water skis looked pretty good, so when I saw the real Aaron protrude from the crowd, I kind of accosted him. I was laughing, "I can't believe this! These kids all look just like you!"

Aaron smiled shyly, "You mean I look just like them, right?" His smile brightened, "It's only true on my father's side. The other side is normal."

I grinned, "Normal?"

Aaron grinned right back, "Yeah, ever see the movie, 'The Birds'? Well, woo hoo hoo, it's 'The Castles', coming soon to a telephone wire near you."

I stared and Aaron poked me, "Hitchcock? Remember?"

I shrugged, "No. Telephone wires?"

Aaron squared up in front of me and gripped both my shoulders, a serious look on his face. "We have some serious video renting to do, Evan." Then he grinned, "But not now, let's show you how to water ski."

"Okay," I acquiesced. I looked back and forth between Aaron and Billy, and didn't detect any particular mischief. "Let's learn to ski!"

Aaron grinned, "Come on!" and ran across the road toward the docks, his hand behind him beckoning us to follow.

I grinned and ran after him. It wasn't so much that I wanted to learn to ski, I just didn't want Aaron's butt to get out of sight, especially not in his bathing suit. Even running, I thought, "P is for pathetic," and that's what I probably was, but I didn't care a whole lot.

Aaron was already in the boat by the time I got there, and he waved me off when I started to climb in. "Wait, let me check things out first."

He turned the key on without starting the motor, tested different things, said, "We need gas," then checked some more things, and finally let the rest of us climb aboard. The boat was a bow-rider, and I sat up front with Billy and Spense and some miniature Aaron whose own name I didn't recall. Aaron drove with Justin beside him, and there were three more people in the back. After a trip to the marina for some expensive gas, Aaron wanted to ski first, so Justin drove the boat, pulling Aaron around a series of islands. Aaron did most of the trip on one ski, until he signaled that he was done and let go of the rope, sinking fairly graciously into the lake.

I had watched as closely as I could, and also listened to Spense comment on how Aaron was doing, paid some attention to Justin's driving, and just generally tried to make myself less nervous. Aaron skied well, I could see that, and since we were in the middle of the lake, Billy took his turn next, and looked to be doing fine until something sent him flying into a pretty spectacular splash. Spense couldn't tell me what tripped Billy up, but he pointed out what Billy did right, and letting go of the rope made perfect sense to me.

When the boat pulled the tow rope back to Billy, he indicated he was all done, then when we helped him onto the boat he was all lame. He said he got his tip in the wake when he tried to go slalom, and pulled a muscle in his leg. He was favoring one leg, but it didn't seem like any big deal. He took over driving the boat so Justin could ski.

Oddly enough, Justin wasn't that good, merely competent. He stayed straight behind the boat, where Aaron and Billy had been criss-crossing the wake. I shouldn't say he wasn't good, just unadventurous. Billy gave him a long ride, and when we were back near the dock Justin dropped the rope and got almost to shore before the skis sank.

It was my turn, and I was going to start out in shallow water so somebody could stand there and help me balance. According to everyone, the trick was getting up on the skis, and once there it was to keep the tips from going under water, keep my knees, and thus the skis, straight ahead, enjoy the ride, and let-go the rope if I went down.

I was anxious but not really scared. Justin stood behind me, holding me in a good position to get up. Spense was driving the boat, and Aaron was spotting me. The rope tensed up slowly as Spence pulled away, and when it pulled taut Justin followed me, and then gave the signal.

God, what a strange sensation. I was pulled forward and up, and Justin was yelling for me to stand, but I did at the wrong time, my legs went wide, and I splashed right onto my face. I did let go of the rope, so there was no damage done, and Justin caught the rope for me when Spense brought the boat back.

Getting up was definitely the challenge, and it took me four tries, but I finally did it, then I was lost as to what to do next and promptly went down again. Now I was offshore, with no Justin there to steady me, and I kept going under water when I tried to put the skis back on. I was in trouble, having a really hard time, and Justin couldn't walk out to help me.

To my surprise, help came from a canoe, one that contained Aaron's mother and her sister, Lilac.

Lilac said firmly, "Don't fight your life jacket, Evan. You can rely on it. Lean back and pull the skis on, you won't drown."

Trust is an odd commodity. If Lilac was trying to drown me, then I'd drown. If she was trying to show me the right thing to do, then I'd learn the right thing. How could I tell?

If it was anyone else giving me those instructions, I would have listened instinctively, but Lilac had a problem with me, and the problem was therefore reciprocal. I couldn't trust her until Aaron's mom said, "Yes, trust your jacket, Evan. Stay straight, that's the trick."

I tried it, and the life jacket really did keep me in place if I put my mind to it, and I managed to get the skis back on. It's one of those things that's easy enough, just not on your first try.

When I indicated that I was ready, Spense tensed the line up once again, and I GOT UP! Haha! What an excellent feeling! My only thought was, "I'm water skiing! Holy shit! I'm doing...!"

I went down again, face first, cause unknown, but I'd really had some speed up and it was fun. When I surfaced, I was a little dazed, but mostly from surprise. I found the skis and swam after them, then held on until Spense brought the rope by again, and I snagged that with ease.

What happened next was pure Evan Smiley. I'd had cracks at the different parts, knew what was coming, so it was just a matter of my head controlling my muscles, and I'd get a ride around that island. It's just what I always did when it came to any kind of test. My knowledge might be limited, but I could focus on it, and I could do it right if I held that focus.

In practice, it may have been a bit more than that, because alone in the deep water it really wasn't easy to get the skis back on my feet, and there was a certain amount of splashing and swearing involved, but it eventually came about. I waited while I thought about what was coming, then I signaled and the boat started moving.

This time I did it. I came up on the skis, found a rhythm behind the boat, and stayed up until a cross-wake from another boat tripped me up, but I went down with glee, my orthodontia bills paid in full, because surely my happy grin blinded anyone who caught a sunny reflection from my teeth.

I know, it's a little accomplishment. I never cared if they were big or little, just if I could repeat them if I tried, and I was now a water skier, and I could do it again. Which I did. They pulled the boat close, and Aaron asked if I wanted to try tandem, and that sounded great to me.

In a few minutes we were both behind the boat, Aaron jumping the wake and getting way out away from the boat while I just hung on, but it was huge fun. What a great sport, too! Wild the way Aaron could play, but wet, fast and wonderful the way I was doing it, and I was a rank beginner.

I got dumped in another wake, and decided to just get on the boat and rest. I could try again later. Aaron quit too, and we had the bow to ourselves as other people skied. When Justin took over the boat so Spense could ski, Aaron kissed me. I don't know why, but it was the best kiss we'd ever shared, and he wasn't even trying to be erotic.

It was just a smooch, but after all that activity, right on the boat on a beautiful day, it's hard to make it better. It was the way my dad kissed my mother when there was no special reason to kiss. Kind of like I'm here, you're here, and we need a little kiss. It was romantic but not sexual, not passionate. Just a kiss, and I loved getting just kissed, even when I started it.

Aaron smiled dreamily, "I love you, Evan, I really do. Is it possible that things could get better than they are right now, right this second?"

I looked into his dark eyes and thought, then I snickered. "Well, we could have our own boat. Maybe a cabin cruiser?"

Aaron laughed, "That's you, Evan! I'm barely here, and you're already looking ahead." He grinned at me, "Tell you what, let's take the Hobie out. It doesn't have a cabin, but it'll take us places we don't need one."


Aaron glared, "Don't ask stupid questions." He grinned and sang, "Born with a horn ... Come on, Evan, help me get this one right. I need rhyming words for prick, penis, hardon, stiffy, cum, jizz, horn ... what else? Oh yeah, maybe boner, balls, suck ... come on, you know!"

I was already laughing. Aaron could and would come up with his own rhymes, and it was the game that was fun. I remembered something I used to do with Chris, which was to twist names, and said, "Ever see that movie, 'Saving Ryan's Privates?" and Aaron burst out laughing.

He had tears in his eyes, but managed, "Better yet, how about 'Shaving Ryan's Privates?", and we both howled with laughter.

Other people looked at us, but we just laughed, and that brought us our own sense of solitude.

When we went back near the docks, there were people waving, hoping for a chance to ski. Aaron said, "Let's get off, let somebody else go."

I shrugged, "That's fine with me."

He grinned, "You did well for your first time, you know. Try again later on, I think you've got it."

Yay! I loved praise. I touched Aaron's nose with mine, then tapped Billy's shoulder. He was sitting rubbing his leg. "We're getting off," I said. "You staying here?"

Billy smiled, and his face was all red from the sun. "No, I'm getting burned. My leg is wasted anyhow."

When we pulled up to the dock, Aaron and I jumped off along with a few others, then there was a loud, "Oof," from behind us, and we turned to see Billy pushing up from the dock, which he'd apparently fallen on.

I ran over and helped him up, and could read some pain in his expression. "You okay? What happened?"

Billy winced, looked down and started rubbing the inside of his right leg. "I really pulled a muscle. Let me use you to get the weight off. " He scowled, "Dammit! Just what I need," as he put his hand firmly on my shoulder.

I walked slowly back toward Aaron, and Billy was having a hard time hopping beside me. I kept slowing down until he could keep up with me. Aaron looked at Billy and asked, "You need the emergency room? How bad is it?"

Billy stepped from foot to foot, obviously in distress. "No hospital, it's not that. It's a pulled muscle, I think. Get me someplace where I can lay down."

Aaron looked around, then asked, "How about a hammock? That way you can stay outside."

Billy smiled and nodded, then both Aaron and I took an arm and led him toward the house. Bill was in pain and it was very slow going. A couple of the adults noticed us, and after determining the problem told us to sit down while they went to get something to carry Billy on. Even sitting was hard for him, and I was a little worried, but not a whole lot. I'd pulled muscles, and I knew how much it could hurt, how it would just go away when it decided to. There was no cure but to wait, and that's what we did.

When the guys came back, it was with a folding lawn chair. Billy sat in it, and the four of us carried him easily back to the house, while Billy pretended to be smoking a big cigar. Even in pain, he tried to be the joker.

Behind the house there were two hammocks, one big one hanging between two trees, and beside it a smaller on in a hammock stand. We helped Billy into the smaller one, and I tried to help him stretch out while Aaron went to get him something to drink and a pain killer.

Billy grinned, "Leave it to me to screw up, huh?" The grin softened into a smile, "You guys don't owe me. Leave me here and go do what you want. I'm fine."

I shrugged, "I don't know if we were going to do anything. We can all hang here for a while, heh, I said hang, and that's what you're doing."

Billy slapped absently at me and snickered, saying softly, "You're the man, Evan." I smiled and poked his shoulder, "No, you're the man, Billy. I'm really glad we met. I don't want to freak you out, but things really took a turn for the good the day we met. I was on my way to being a hermit."

Billy smiled, "Sorry, no hermits allowed," then his eyes got wet, "It's not me, Evan. I guess it's not you either, it's like us, like we feed off each other, and good things happen." His smile brightened, "Look at what's changed since you showed up."

I started to protest, but Billy kept on, "Stop it and listen. You don't know the history, Evan, but there are at least two happy people where there used to be two black holes, and it's because of you. I'm talking about Aaron and my brother, and thanking you personally for both of them. I know you didn't do anything, but you still made it happen."

Billy was being pretty gracious, and I wasn't used to that.

I said, "That's not true, really. I think me showing up changed something, I'm not sure what it was, but you're right. I haven't done a thing ... except, except maybe to fall in love. How cool is that? I have to leave everything I know behind because of my dad and brother, and I turn around and find everything I ever wished for. Three lives changed, Billy, because I'm in that column, too." I poked him and laughed, "Don't tell me you're not changed after last night, either!" I giggled, "I like your squeal, it's like a baby piggy."

Billy gave me an incredulous look and drew an enormous breath, then he burst out laughing. "Evan, as long as I live I ... cannot ... will not ... "


"Where do you guys learn that shit? I mean, if that's a sin against nature, then I'm writing a whole new book!"

I snickered and was going to ask something when Aaron approached with a tray with drinks and snacks on it. He set it down on a chair and passed out pink lemonades, and some ibuprofen for Billy, then asked if anyone wanted cheese and crackers, which was a pretty silly question.

We drank and snacked for a while, and Billy dozed off in his hammock before long.

That was a great opportunity for Aaron and me to fool around, and we both got in the bigger hammock, laying pretty much face to face. We kissed quickly, then just looked at each other, which always made me smile.

I started tracing Aaron with my finger, starting at his ear and lazily going down his neck, then his shoulder and arm. Aaron was smiling, and I said softly, "It's like you were custom-built, Aaron, just for me." I giggled, "If I could do the blueprints, I'd come up with a you every single time." I got tears in my eyes, "How come you're so perfect for me? I don't know if I deserve this."

Aaron smooched my nose, "It's not an earned thing, Evan. I mean, you're a good person and you deserve good things, but love isn't earned. Well, maybe some is, but not the kind we have. It was that first day ... night ... the first time we met. I never once in my life had someone look at me the way you did. Maybe it wasn't decided right then for you, but it was for me. Oh, God, Evan, I just had this feeling."

I smiled and kissed him, "Are you accusing me of having good instincts? I felt the same exact way. I mean, it didn't seem possible that I'd ever find someone like you, and ... damn ... there you were!"

Aaron smiled dreamily, "Standing there in the dark, yelling at a car?"

I laughed, "Yeah, I guess. When I get a car you can yell at it whenever you want. I love you, Aaron." He started to say something, and I put a finger to his lips, "Let me finish. You make me brave, Aaron. I get strength from you. I can be gay when you're with me. I mean, I am queer, but it's you that makes it possible for me to be gay." I chuckled, "Am I making any sense?"

Aaron's eyes teared up, and he whispered, "Yes, and I know you mean that." Aaron pulled back to look at me for a second, then pulled back close, "It's lonely, isn't it, Evan? All these people around, all these friends, and I'm not knocking them, but it's still lonely without ... somebody. God, I think it's my nature to despair, and I'm lucky to have the family I do."

My eyes questioned Aaron's, because this was new ground for me. I knew the basics, that his family knew he was gay and took him at face value. I didn't know about Aaron's own pain, and I hadn't told him about my own.

It wasn't even a fair comparison. I didn't have any real pain to compare, just normal growing-up things. I'd gone home crying a handful of times, but way back in grade school, and I had absolutely zero recollection of the specifics. Somebody picked on me, touched a nerve, or they beat me up, whatever.

Aaron and Billy got picked on for reasons. Billy was short, and therefore 'pickable' and Aaron was a 'sissy'.

Let me tell you, the short kid wasn't short in every respect, and he was a really decent person. The sissy could act, stand up in front of a crowd and put on a performance, and he could water ski better than his athlete of a brother.

He could think, too, Aaron could. He knew what he was, where he stood. He knew a whole lot of things, and I learned from him.

I've said it before, so last time here. Aaron and I were both gay. If you stood us against a wall and asked a stranger who was the gay boy, Aaron would have been the answer one hundred percent of the time. People took him to be gay right up front.

If I thought somebody should know about me, I had to tell that person. I don't know how surprised they'd be at the news, but people weren't running around guessing that I was gay.

I didn't know exactly what to make of that difference. I'd liked from the beginning that Aaron was and could be out like he was. I envied it, though I could never picture myself as being anything like Aaron. It wasn't something I'd even try, but to him it was as natural as I was to myself.

I knew Aaron was gay before I even met him, and maybe that helped me embrace it, but his mannerisms were exactly what got me going. I'd met some slightly effeminate men in my life, but nothing to prepare me for Aaron, yet all he ever did was charm me. I loved him, and just the way he was.

I wouldn't in a million years call myself macho. That wasn't my style, but I wasn't like Aaron either, and I kind of wished I was. It just seemed easier to me, though I could think some really stupid things sometimes.

Still, it made some sense that if I was more like Aaron, then people would have an idea about me. That's an understatement, if I was anything like Aaron then I'd be pegged as gay, and it didn't seem to bother Aaron that he was.

I smiled at him, and asked a question that I'd never asked before. "Why do you like me, Aaron? We're way different in a lot of ways."

Aaron lifted his head, smiled, and nestled his face near my armpit. "God," Aaron sighed, "don't make me admit this." He snickered, "It's ninety percent physical, Evan, maybe even a hundred percent. I think you're beautiful, and you're all put together the way you are, and you have that nice smile and that happy dick. Just looking at you is like the equivalent of giving me a giant steroid injection." He smiled shyly, biting his lower lip.

I smiled, "All physical, huh? I think you're fibbing a little bit."

Aaron shook his head no, that shy smile still there, and I wondered if he was being honest. In a way, the idea of me being so physically attractive that nothing else mattered was kind of flattering, not that I believed it for a second. Still, Aaron could have won me on a looks-alone basis himself, at least as long as touching was allowed. We were physical, and had been all along. I loved to touch Aaron and to have him touch me, and I didn't need a brain to process those sensations.

Still, there was a lot more there for me, and I was sure Aaron was kidding me, because he always kidded me. I decided to kid back, and looked around, saying, "Um, gawa!"

Aaron's head jerked up, and he looked hesitantly at me, that smile still there. "What?"

I shook my head yes, grinned, and said, "You heard me, um gawa! That's what us living hunks without brains say to communicate." I made crazy with my eyes, and went like I was going to bite Aaron's nose off. "Ah hoo wha!" I cried, flapping my arms wildly. "Ugga booga! I eat white boy!" I grinned, "Even betta! White boy eat me!"

Aaron laughed and looked around. He was always the opportunist, and seeing nobody he asked, "can I?"

I deflated, "What about my performance?"

Aaron licked his finger and touched my nose with it, "Sorry, ugga booga, or whatever you call yourself, but that wasn't very convincing." He squeezed me to him, "No, the boy I love is very bright, very well-spoken, very creative, and very sensitive to me."

I grinned, "You just said it was only my body."

"I just lied," Aaron whispered, smiling quietly at me, "and I know you know I did." Aaron's fingers started going off in the way they did when he wanted to say something, and wasn't exactly sure of what it was. He relaxed back into the hammock, then came back on his side, feeling me up a little and nosing into me. "Your body would do it in a minute, Evan, don't forget that. It's the boy who lives inside that bod that I love, though, and I don't really know how to tell you all that I feel."

I grinned, righteous after all, and kissed Aaron. "I knew that."

Aaron glanced at Billy, who was still napping, then kissed the tip of my nose. "Evan, if I was a cook, you'd be my souffle. If I was a bus driver, you'd be my first and last stop. If I was a singer, you'd be the song, a writer, the play." His face scrunched up, and he wheezed out a laugh, "I can't believe I just said that. Oh God, Evan, I mean it, I really do, but if I was really the cook I'd probably burn you alive! I mean, we have a history of this already!"

Aaron made me laugh. I thought back to the night of our smoky admission of love, and the recollection was a happy one. Laying close in a hammock, we already had a little history, we did, but there was a lot more ahead of us. I had a feeling, and it was already kind of built in, that Aaron and I had a future together, that there would be nobody else to look for, so we could concentrate on doing, though what we'd do hadn't begun to be defined.

We'd do good things, that much was a given. I might work for a landscaping company forever, but I could end up running it. Aaron could act, and who knew where that might bring him. Maybe just a teacher or a coach, but maybe he could make it, get to Broadway, television or the movies.

We could both be utter failures, too. Who knew? Even failures at one thing can wait tables, that's not a real failing.

The world needs librarians, clerks, gas station attendants. There are myriad ways to earn a living, so total success in a career wasn't a must-have thing. I knew I could make a living because I already was. Aaron had a nose for acting, but he was also a generally bright person, and very outgoing. He could sing, too. If the things he loved to do didn't work out so well, he'd be good at anything that involved entertaining people, or anything on the periphery.

Right then, Aaron asked in a whisper, "Did you ever see the movie, 'Sleeper?'"

"Sleepers?" I asked.

Aaron giggled, "No, but it's funny that you saw that movie." Then he jerked his head up, "You saw it, right?"

I said, dreamily, "Yeah, whoosis was in it." I glanced at Aaron, "I'm sorry, I'm bad with names. That kid who was in 'The Client', only older."

Aaron grinned, "I thought I was the only guy on earth who thought he was cute. Cute's not the word here, he was way past that, and I'll think of his name. He was in another great movie, too, about a kid with AIDS."

It was funny, because I knew the actors, the movies, but neither of us could come up with names or titles. What was better to know was that we watched and liked the same things, and that I wasn't the only guy on earth who thought guys on the screen could be sexy. Oh, God. I suppose I knew it, but it was nice to know that my perversions weren't mine alone, and that it was Aaron who shared them with me.

It was fun for me. We went through a list of boy actors, and pretty much agreed on who was really cute, semi-cute, or not cute, but sexy just the same. There was a serious side to that, and I asked Aaron, "Is this the perverted part, Aar? These guys don't know us, not from Adam, but we're both jerking off to them, and we're not alone. Cute doesn't make gay, but I can't help it sometimes. I'd feel really, really weird if I thought somebody was jerking off to me."

Aaron looked at me and snickered, "Well I do, but I know what you mean. What's the difference anyhow? I mean, girls watch guys act, guys watch girls. We're a different kind of guy, that's all. I'm sure the lesbian girls aren't going to see Tom Cruise in movies, no siree. They're there to check out his squeeze."

I giggled, "His squeeze? Does that make you my squeeze?"

Aaron looked petulant, "I certainly hope so. Actually, I have something that could sure use a squeeze right about now."

Billy startled both of us by saying, "So do I."

Two heads turned as one, and Billy kind of wiggled his eyebrows and smiled hopefully.

"You got yours last night, O'Shea," I said.

"I'll say," Aaron added happily.

"Come on, guys," Billy pleaded, "I'm all injured here. I could use a distraction from the pain."

Aaron said, fairly seriously sounding, "The best way, Billy, is to center the pain in another locale. Evan and I can show you how to do it, and the pain is supposed to turn into pleasure almost right away."

I started snickering, trying to keep quiet, when Billy asked, "Really? That sounds worth trying."

Aaron had turned to Billy, so his backside was against me, and I had my arm draped over him, my fingers resting on his tummy, and I could feel it start to buck before the laugh came out audibly. "Okay, Billy," he wheezed. "I think it'll work best if you're on your hands and knees."

I looked quickly at Billy and saw the heat rise in his cheeks and ears. Then he snorted, "Dammit, Castle. You got me that time." He caught me looking at him and looked away. "You know, you should watch what you say in front of Evan. He believes everything he hears."

"I do not," I protested, then softened my line, "but I believe my friends."

Billy was still blushing when he looked at me, probably remembering the line he first used when he told me about Aaron. "Um ... maybe your friends ... this one at least, aren't always all that honest, Evan." An evil smirk appeared on his face, "You, on the other hand, seem to be totally without guile."

He saw my hand slipping toward Aaron's dick and smiled, "Tell me you don't want a repeat of last night and I promise to believe you. I'm sorry it went up your nose, but Aaron should have warned you about me. I was incapable of speech at the time."

Aaron and I were both giggling fiercely, threatening to make threadbare the hammock rope from sheer vibration. I said, "Fuck you, Billy. If you were any kind of gentleman, you'd offer to take a load up each nostril just to make up for that. I think Aaron's right. Bend over, man."

Billy laughed, "Okay, I will if I have to, but let me say one last thing in my own defense. If you ever have to take a crap at school, I'd be the absolute last person you'd want in the stall next to you. I am absolutely, totally and thoroughly disgusting when it comes to it, and that's when things are just going one way. If you try introducing something, who knows what might explode. So, no. Sorry guys. You know I'd love to accommodate you, but the environmental implications are too severe to take that chance. We can't just think of ourselves here, there are future generations we might put at risk."

I said, "Spoken like a true politician. What are you, the next Al Gore?"

Aaron was laughing, "He is, Evan! Billy says whatever he wants. If you believe him, fine. If you don't, he'll tell you something else until you either do believe him, or you forgot what it was all about to begin with." Aaron grinned at Billy, "Billy's a ... circular thinker!"

Billy grabbed at his crotch, "Circle this, Aaron!" and his voice choked. "I don't really get compared to Gore do I? Isn't that kind of harsh? I mean, can't you just call me Harrison Ford and let it go?"

Oh Lord, I loved listening to the two of them. The words were different, the insults were different, but it was just like me and Chris under the surface. You could say any mean thing you wanted to, and it would always be taken for the joke it was.

My father once told me, after overhearing me and Chris go at it one night, that insults were considered to be a form of high art in lots of circles, then he couldn't give me any examples of those circles. That was so typical. I had a sense of humor, and my dad did too, but we rarely managed to laugh with each other unless it was at television or something.

Aaron stopped laughing and shuddered slightly when my hand found its target. He pressed back into me little as I stroked him gently, and cooed quietly in his ear. Billy stared for a moment, then rolled his eyes and laid on his back, staring straight up. "This is really unfair, guys."

"It's not unfair, Billy," I said. "Feel free to join us, just come prepared to do your share."

Billy growled, "I'm not a performance artist, Grins."

Doing Aaron like I was right there was probably evil, because he was into it; shuddering and moaning and squirming, oblivious to Billy. I asked, "Why don't you have a girlfriend, then?"

Billly sat up. "Why? I'll tell you why, but prepare to hear some good old Anglo-Saxon language. Claudia fucking Schiffer is why I'm a free agent. The fucking cunt picked the night before school let out to dump me, and I didn't see it coming. Three months, Evan ... a whole semester, and all of a sudden I'm toast because Arnold Limppickle has a car and I don't. I know you're not into girls, so this is how it works. Go steady for more than a month and you're considered taken, not available, out of the pecking order, or the pecker order, or whatever the hell it is. The last day of school you go get your report card, clean out your locker, and that's it. If that fucking beast gave me one more fucking day's notice, it would have been okay, but no. School got out with everyone still thinking we're going out."

Aaron squirmed and squealed, and I realized that I'd brought him over the edge while I wasn't even paying attention to him. I kissed his ear and asked, "You okay?"

Billy grinned, shook his head, and put his hand over his eyes, muttering, "I don't believe this."

Aaron was right back at him, "Actually, I think you should watch from now on, Billy. It's about time you saw me getting something."

"Yeah," was all I could think to add. I started giggling, and was soon joined by Aaron. Billy was snickering before long, so it was okay.

After a moment of silence, I let Aaron squirm away from me, and said to Billy, "Sorry about the girlfriend. She sounds like a jerk."

Billy grimaced, "Not really, but that was really a sucky thing to do to me. I'm over it, and I'll be back in the land of new opportunity next week."

Aaron said crisply, "I need to get in the water. You coming, Evan?"

I nodded and started to scramble from the hammock. Billy tried the same thing and groaned, clutching at his thigh. "It's still bad?" I asked.

Billy nodded, and when I was on my feet I went to check out his leg. "Where," I asked.

Billy pointed at a spot where his leg protruded from his bathing suit. I looked and said, "It's not black and blue," as I poked at it, "does it hurt to the touch?"

Billy shook his head no, and I took his ankle in one hand and placed the other palm on his knee and gently pulled the lower leg straight, eliciting a gasp from Billy almost immediately. If the muscle had torn there would be discoloration by then, so I said, "I hate to say it, Billy, but the best thing is to get up and work it out. Take another Advil and give it fifteen minutes, then try to walk it off."

Billy sighed, "I know. Hand me a pill, okay?"

I got him one, and gave him a cup with some melted ice in it, then Aaron and I left to swim. Well, Aaron had to get unglued really, but we'd swim to accomplish that.

Aaron had his chrome-yellow trunks on, and he asked me, "Does it show?"

I looked, and said, "Pretty neat, actually."

Aaron went, "What?"

"I said it's kind of neat, like skywriting."

"Cut it out!" Aaron cried, trying to look himself. "What are you talking about?"

I looked at him, "It came out in letters, Aaron. It says 'I creamed my pants.'"

We were approaching a lot of people as we neared the lake, and I assured Aaron that if he didn't make a fast break and crash right through them, that they'd all know what we'd been up to.

He seemed to believe me, and went dashing through the people and into the water, not really stopping in the process, but swimming out into the lake. I hurried after him, laughing, and was tired when I finally caught up. I laughed, "You should argue, Aaron, then you'll know when I'm kidding."

He smiled and kissed my cheek, "I knew that. It just seemed good to have a reason for not spending time on the beach."

"Are we going to tread water all day?" I asked.

Aaron said idly, "M.m. I'd like that, I think."

I said, "It's nice, Aaron, but I can't keep it up forever."

"Yeah, that's a sad fact of life, isn't it?" he responded.

"What are you talking about?"

Aaron grabbed my arms and stopped the motion they were making, and I found that we were in neck-deep water. We could stand there all day if we wanted to, and I started laughing. "I thought we were in deep water."

Aaron said, "I could tell. The North end of the lake gets really deep, but down here you can almost walk across. It's no more than ten feet most places, and that's only in the middle."

I kissed him, "You could have told me."

He kissed back, "You could have restrained yourself. Now you need to get off and I don't, and I don't know if I like these serial progressions that much."

"You don't?" I asked.

"Well ... I do, really, I guess. I don't know, it's like reading something ... one chapter at a time." He grinned quickly, "I like it when love happens all at once!"

"Mmm," I said, "I like that, too. How 'bout we just smooch out here, and when you're ready again we'll take that Hobie boat out."

Aaron kissed me, pulling me to him, and stopped long enough to breathe, "Cat, Evan. It's a Hobie Cat, and I really like your plan."

"How long do you think?" I asked later, between kisses that were becoming more erotic by the moment.

"How long for what?" Aaron panted.

"Until that Hobie ride, Aaron, what did you think I meant?"

He reached down and felt me, sighing, "Now, Evan. Your rudder's ready, and mine's right here for a spare. Let's go."

I laughed, "You're something else, Aaron. Have I mentioned that I love you?"

He stopped and turned, and we came together to kiss. "I love you too, Evan, and I love saying it, and that you're there to hear it." He smiled, "We have these moments, and I've dreamed them before, just like this one. Me all wet, kissing somebody in the lake, and now I can see that somebody was always you, Evan. You're not deja-vu, you're a dream come true."

Charmed as usual by Aaron, I shut up and kissed him again. It was a dream come true for me, too, though I had no real picture if its coming in my head, just the dream that it would all work out for me someday. Now it was, and far more beautifully than I could have imagined. With Aaron's face foremost in my new dreams, the old ones seemed pointless, kind of sad.

We waded for a long time with the water over our shoulders, then the bottom came up quickly and we were on the shore, where grills were going and people were eating.

Aaron and I ate a couple of hot dogs, then slipped away to the dock. It took us some time to get the sailboat ready to go, and when it was all set the breeze had all but disappeared. "Don't worry about it," Aaron said, "it'll kick up. Anyhow, you could sneeze and make this boat move."

We untied the boat and pushed off, paddling to get clear of the docks, then Aaron caught what breeze there was and we were off. He'd been right, because it didn't take much, and I laughed when water splashed up through the middle of the tarpaulin we were sitting on. It was clear that Aaron knew how to sail, too, and that was a thing I knew nothing about. I'd seen pictures of Hobies up on one pontoon and people hanging it, and that wasn't happening, but we were moving pretty fast nonetheless.

Aaron was all concentration for awhile, and I just watched him, admiring his competence with the boat. He was enjoying himself too, and I could see that. He was looking all around, but everything he saw seemed to please him, as it did me.

I liked being out on the lake just for the fact that I was. It was a different view than I was used to, and a different one in every direction. The shore was built up, mostly cottages and houses but a few condo-type developments, and the marina. The only undeveloped parts of the shore were a few parks. One, Aaron said, was a town park, and the other was a state park.

It became clear after awhile that the Castle property was one of, if not the, biggest private things on the lake. There were newer houses, and bigger and more majestic ones, but nobody else had that stretch of lawn down to the water. Aaron's yard seemed bigger than the state beach, and almost as big as the town one.

I was impressed, but more impressed with Aaron's sailing. He had me doing little things to help, but mostly ducking the boom when the sail moved. When we got near the middle, he pulled the sail tight and we started moving much more quickly.

I put my face to the wind and just enjoyed it. When the boat headed straight up the lake, Aaron had the full effect of the wind, even though there wasn't much.

He'd been right, though, it didn't take a hurricane to move that type of boat, and it was exhilarating to ride the wind with Aaron, and it was plenty for me. We were moving out, and righteously. The lake we were at was probably a mile wide, at least in places, and about seven miles long, and we were headed seriously for the opposite end that we'd started from.

That boat moved on a whisper, and I thought we were really going fast, then Aaron said, "Move to the left and hold on tight," and pulled the rope he was holding tighter, and we went up on one pontoon. The left was the high side, and I slid there as did Aaron. The boat settled a little, but not back down to the water, and we were flying.

I laughed with excitement, and that got Aaron grinning. I didn't know a boat could move that fast without a motor, but it did. We approached the end of the lake in no time, and Aaron did something that immediately put the other pontoon down, slowed us dramatically, and caused the sail to swing way to the side. He said loudly, "I should have told you, if I ever say 'prepare to come about', that means duck, because this mast is coming your way. I should have said it just now, but I knew it was going the other way. If I say 'coming about', that means duck right now, otherwise you're going swimming. Got it?"

I smiled, "Yeah, coming about. I've got it."

"Good. Prepare to come about."

He pulled the sail a bit tighter to pick up a little speed, then gave the rudder a mighty yank and let the sail flutter. When the rudder turned the boat enough to pick up the wind on the other side, I saw what it was all about, because that sail came flying back fast enough to knock my head off. Hah! I was prepared, though, because Aaron told me to be!

The ride in the other direction necessitated that we do a lot of that, because heading into the wind like we were was called tacking, and you couldn't just go straight to get where you were headed. Aaron explained, and I got the idea of how it worked, and it struck me just how cool it was that a sail worked just like an airplane wing.

The lake had several islands, and the two largest were kind of like a pair in the middle. From most directions you'd think there was one big island there, but there was a channel between them. The island closest to us had quite a few houses on it, and the one beside it was just woods. That's where we headed, and I guessed out loud, "Is this where we were last night?" when Aaron loosened everything up, then jumped in the water to pull us ashore on a small beach.

"This is the place," he said. "Give me a hand, here. I can't beach this with you on it."

I jumped in and helped Aaron pull the boat up, then we sat on the tarpaulin for a few minutes. I put my arm around him and said, "You should change that, you know."

"Change what?"

"All that coming about jazz," I laughed. "Can't you say turning around or something? I mean, give me a warning that tells me to duck my head, not grab my dick!"

Aaron laughed, "I thought I was pathetic. That's really bad, Evan."

I kissed at his ear, "I know, I'm a bad boy. I thought you liked that."

Aaron pressed close, saying, "I never said I didn't. I like you, especially when you're bad."

I sighed, "I like you, too, Aaron. Isn't that the best thing? I mean, I don't think I could help loving you, I'm all foolish about you. Liking you the way I do ... it's like the biggest bonus you could give me."

Aaron looked at me, "That's nice that you'd say that, Evan." He sighed and shrugged his shoulders, then kind of sagged. "I love you, Evan, and you know that. It's not that easy being me sometimes, though, and you should know that, too."

"What? What do you mean?"

Aaron looked at me, almost crossly, and said, "Come on, Evan. Look at me." He grabbed my chin and made me turn, "I mean look at me. I'm a sissy, Evan, a girly-boy. It's all I'll ever be."

I hugged him, "Stop it, Aaron." Then I didn't know what to say. It was true enough, and Aaron was right. I couldn't tell him he wasn't effeminate, not girlish, and I had to struggle for words at first. "Don't say that, Aaron. I mean, well ... go ahead and say it if that's what you think."

I looked at him, and he had tears forming in his eyes, and it broke my heart. I pulled him closer, treasuring the feel of his warm, bare skin against mine. "Aaron," I whispered, "You're not a girl, believe me. You're as much a boy or man as I am, as anybody is." I squeezed him, "Trust me here, I've seen it again and again." I kissed his hair because he was looking away. I wanted to make it right, though, so I kept it up. "You have some mannerisms, that's all. They don't define you any more than playing baseball defines me. I don't even think it has anything to do with you being gay." I patted his shoulder, "Look at it this way, Aaron. If you weren't gay, I'd still be alone, and I'd spend all my time wishing you were." I giggled, "If you don't want to be like you are for yourself, then think about me. Besides, you're an actor. You can be anything you want for awhile, but if you don't go back to being you I may have to cause bodily harm."

Aaron giggled, "Sure. I love you anyhow, Evan. Want to go in the woods and mess around?"

I looked around, "No porcupines or anything?"

"Heh, not a one."

"Lead the way, then."

* * * * * * * *

"Somebody's coming," I whispered, handing Aaron his bathing suit and sitting up to put mine on.

Aaron looked at me stupidly, and I said, "Get dressed. Somebody's coming!"

He sat up too, still kind of oblivious, but he was functioning, "Who?"

I laughed, "I really don't know, Aaron. Somebody seriously nosy, I guess, if they come to an island in the middle of a lake to see us making out." I slapped my own cheek, "Ooh, what's wrong with me? Maybe they're just here to pick berries or something."

Aaron said, "I never knew there were berries here. What kind?"

I was starting to think I'd created a monster, when I caught Aaron with a look on his face that told me he was just fooling, and he had managed to cover himself. I wanted to kiss him, but footsteps and voices were very close, and suddenly Reno and another boy about his age crossed into the little clearing we were in.

Aaron and I both smiled, and Reno said, "Hey, guys, this is Randy. We saw your boat. This is my cousin Aaron and his friend, Evan."

We all said hello, and Aaron asked, "Do you live on the lake, Randy?"

Randy was looking between Aaron and Reno, finding the same face on different bodies, and I could tell he was speculating on it.

He said, "No, we rented a house this week. I just met Reno when we were out skiing."

"You met on water skis?" Aaron asked with surprised humor in his voice.

Reno said, "We didn't crash or anything, just played wake tag for awhile, then they went into the dock next to ours."

Aaron stood, brushing pine needles off himself, so I did the same thing. "Where are you going?" Reno demanded.

I said, "I want to ski again. That was my first time this morning."

The two boys seemed excited, "We'll go with you!" Reno sang out, and Ryan nodded eagerly, so we walked back to the shore. The wind seemed really dead, so after Aaron determined that Reno could get their canoe home by himself, we borrowed a paddle and just paddled the Hobie back behind him. It wasn't a quarter mile from the island anyhow, and didn't take long.

We secured the Hobie and dropped the sail, leaving it intact in case the wind came back up. Billy was hobbling towards us, doing much better than before, then Dean and Chrissie came running toward the dock, and in no time we were all on the bow rider to go skiing.

Aaron drove the boat out into the lake, then I got first ups on the skis, and I was all excited about it. I didn't feel like a pro, but I knew what to expect by then, and it was exciting rather than daunting. I got into the floatation jacket and jumped into the water, then Chrissie handed me the skis and I got them on, and she tossed me the tow rope.

Maybe I did feel a little professional, because it all seemed pretty easy. Chrissie stayed to spot me, and Aaron pulled me up quickly and effortlessly, and I got a good ride until I decided to try jumping the wake. That may have been a little premature, because as soon as I hit the rise of the water I caught a tip under it and splashed down pretty spectacularly.

I didn't care. I came up laughing and signaled that I was all done. The boat came around and I got scooped out, and while I was still drying my face Dean had gotten in the water.

I watched him. That closed face I'd known at first was all gone, and he wore an excited look while he got ready, then a little worried when the boat started up, but he was soon skiing and grinning. He was pretty good, too, on one ski right away, and jumping the wake back and forth. He didn't last too long, but he gave up willingly, and tossed the rope high and sank gracefully.

When we got around to fish him out, I helped him into the boat, and he had this merry smile on his face just like Billy's. I hadn't really thought about that smile of Billy's, but it suddenly struck me that it was the face of a happy little kid, all innocent and carefree. Dean was seventeen, Billy fifteen. I hadn't seen a whole lot of smiles from Dean to begin with, but Billy often had that innocent one, and I'd never placed it before.

Now Dean had it, and I loved seeing him look so happy. Our history was short, and kind of acidic at first, but Dean wasn't the left turn from Billy that he's seemed at first. He was coming out of hiding now, and it seemed that he liked what he was seeing, especially Chrissie. She appeared to really like him, too, so he was off my list of things to worry about, at least for the weekend.

Dean was different from Billy, but they had that intelligence, that somewhat detached sense of humor in common. Dean wasn't tall, but he wasn't as short as Billy. The family resemblance was pretty strong in their coloring and around the eyes. Billy was cute, and Dean wasn't cute, but he was pretty good looking in a leaner, meaner way.

Chrissie was obviously taken with him, and I kind of regretted that there wasn't an Aaron head for Billy, because he'd tossed Aaron my way pretty freely.

The worry wasn't that immediate, because the night before Billy had given up probably a month's worth of sexual functionality. He'd be okay, and he was still my friend. I put my hands on his shoulders while we watched first Reno, then Ryan take turns skiing.

When we got back to the dock, everyone was pretty tired looking, and I felt kind of beat myself. I could envision a little more time in the hammock, and that's where Aaron and I headed after putting some more clothes on. When we were dressing, Aaron suddenly stopped and pulled my hand.

"What?" I smiled.

"This," he said as he leaned in and kissed me. He smiled hopefully, "We're good together, aren't we?"

I grinned, glad to see Aaron confident again. "Yeah, we're way good together. People like us together, too, do you get that? I mean, I feel it all over."

Aaron looked at me for a long moment, then he relaxed and smiled, "Yeah, that's what I think, too." He smiled a question at me, "I don't know what it is, Evan. I know what I feel for you, but other people seem to see it all on their own."

I grinned, "That's because I always have a hardon around you."

Aaron nodded happily, "That's what I figured, too."

We were kissing when Reno burst into the room, and both Aaron and I blushed, and I guess Reno did, too, though with his dark skin it just seemed that his ears got even darker. He eyed us warily, asking, "It's true, then?"

I nodded, keeping my eyes on his. He said, "Oh boy, I just popped Randy in the nose for calling Aaron a fairy."

I sighed, and Aaron said, "You better go un-pop him, Reno."

I added, "You can't unhit somebody. Maybe let him take a swipe at you."

Reno's expression was one of confusion, and Aaron said, "Go apologize, Reno. Then if you want to talk about it, we'll be in the back yard."

Reno stared, and said quietly, "Okay," and turned to leave.

Aaron said, "Reno?" and the younger boy turned around again. Aaron smiled and said, "Thanks, Reno, for taking my side. If you have any trouble, ask Gramps to go with you. He's good at fixing things up."

Reno nodded, still seeming confused, then he finally smiled before leaving.

I looked at Aaron, "Why'd you make him apologize? The little shit called you a fairy."

Aaron smiled, "It could have been worse, and I don't think I need a twelve-year-old defense team."

I nuzzled his cheek, "Not when you have me around."


I grinned, "Yeah, grrr!"

Continued ...

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