“Huck, are you still awake?”
“Barely, but yeah, Tom, I’m awake.”
“Thanks for, you know, letting me sleep with you.”
“Don’t worry about it half-pint, I know that couch isn’t too comfortable.”
“It isn’t that bad, it’s just, you know, I couldn’t sleep.”
“Is everything ok?”
“Yeah. I guess so.”
“You know that I’m always here, if you ever want to talk about anything. And I do mean anything, Tom, anything at all.”
“I know Huck, I know. Mmmmm, I like it when you squeeze me tight like that.”
“I like it too.”
“And I like feeling your breath on the back of my neck like that. It’s so warm, and it’s like the warmth is spreading all over me.”
“You smell good,” sniff, sniff, “right here,”
“I’m probably all sweaty, it was hot today.”
“You still smell good,” sniff, sniff, sniff, “for a half-pint.”
“Stop, that tickles!”
“Hee, hee, hee. You’re tickling me.”
“I know,” sniff, sniff, “do you really want me to stop?”
“No, hee, hee, hee.”
“I didn’t think so.”

“Hey, Huck?”
“Yeah, Tommy?”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Of course, anything.”
“Well, uh, did you ever, you know, like, when you were my age, did you ever, um, you know, like, with yourself?”
Chuckle. “You’re asking if I ever jack-off?”
“Wellll, yeah.”
“Sure I have.”
“Yeah. All guys do it. And any who say they don’t are most certainly liars. They might not do it a lot, but they have done it.”
“Did you do it a lot?”
“What do you mean by ‘a lot’?”
“I don’t know, like, should you do it every day, or...”
Chuckle. “Don’t worry, Tom. Unless you’re rubbing it raw, or you’re doing it so much that you’re not getting on with the rest of your life, then there’s no problem.”
“I could probably do it at least a dozen times a day.”
“Yeah, I remember those days.”
“When did you stop doing it?”
Loud chuckle. “Well, let me think. The last time I did it, hummm, it was, uh, this morning, right after I woke-up.”
“Reeaalllyyy? I mean, you still do it?”
“Sure, of course. You might think I’m old, but I’m not. And I’ll bet that I’ll still do it when I am old.”
“Yeah, me too. You know, the first time I did it, I did rub it raw. I couldn’t touch it for two or three days.”
“I did the same thing my first time. But even though it hurt like hell, I did it again the next day, just a lot more carefully.”
“So, um, if you did it right after you woke-up this morning, then, well, you did it, um, right here. In your bed?”
“Yep. And I also did it right here, last night right before I went to sleep.”
“I did it last night too. Three times. And I would have done it this morning too, but I had to get up too early.”
“Three times, huh?”
“Yeah, most nights I only do it twice. But last night, well, I was so excited about coming here, I couldn’t get to sleep.”
“Why couldn’t you sleep tonight?”
“I dun’no. I was just thinking, and, well, you know, I couldn’t get my brain to shut-off.”
“What were you thinking about?”
“Nothing. I mean, I was, uh...”
“It’s ok, you don’t have to tell me. That’s the great thing about thoughts, they’re all yours. And you don’t ever have to let another person in on them unless you want to.”
“But I want to. I mean, well, I was thinking about, um... Well, I guess it all started the last time I was here.”
“Last year?”
“Yeah. Remember, you had to go to work that one day and I was here all by myself?”
“Yeah, I remember.”
“Well, I, uh, oh, I can’t believe I’m telling you this...”
“Tom, it’s ok, you don’t have to...”
“No, I want to. I was snooping and I found something.”
“Yeah, um, I’m sorry, I mean, I know I shouldn’t have been looking through your stuff, but...”
“It’s ok, half-pint. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s rude to go through other people’s things. But I don’t have anything to hide from you. So, what did you find?”
“Well, I saw some magazines and stuff.”
Chuckle. “In the bottom drawer of my dresser?”
“Did you just see them there, or did you actually take a look at them?”
“I looked at them.”
“What did you think?”
“I thought they were cool. I mean, I never saw anything like ‘em before. Not with, you know, all guys.”
“Is that, I mean, do you like? Well, are you???”
“Yeah, Tom, I am. Is that...”
“It’s cold, Huck. Don’t move away from me.”
“Sorry, I just... Is that better?”
“Yeah. I like that.”
“I do too Tommy, I do too.”

“What now?”
“I’m sorry, you wanna sleep. I’ll shut-up.”
“No, I’m not sleeping half-pint. What do you want?”
“You sure?”
“Yeah, Tom, I’m sure.”
“Ok, sorry, but I just, well, I wanted to know, like, when did you know, uh, that you, you know...”
“When did I know I was gay?”
“I guess I always knew. It wasn’t like I was disgusted by girls, but I just always knew I liked boys better.”
“I think I do too.”
“Oh yeah? What makes you think that?”
“Well, like you said, I think I always knew. I mean, I’ve had girlfriends, and I’ve done stuff with them, but I’ve done stuff with other boys too. And, you know, I think I like boys better.”
“It’s getting warm in here.”
“Just a second ago, you said it was cold.”
“It was cold when you moved away from me.”
“So, now it’s getting too warm, and you want me to move back some?”
“No, no. I didn’t mean that. It’s not too warm, it feels good. I like how it feels with your chest-hair tickling my back.”
“You like that huh?”
“Yeah... Wait, stop, I’m ticklish. Stop!”
“You said you liked being tickled.”
“I said I liked your chest-hair tickling me, not your fingers.”
“Huh, sorry, I thought you meant...”
“Oh! That’s... It’s... Oh! Oh my Gosh!”
“I’m sorry Tom. I’m so sorry!”
“No Huck! Don’t move, cold, remember.”
“Tom, I can’t...”
“Yours is hard too. I can feel it.”
“Tom, we...”
Sigh. “Yeah Tom?”
“I, uh, well, I like feeling it there.”
Huff. “Tom?”
“Yeah Huck?”
“Aw hell, half-pint, I like feeling it there too.”

“Uh, Tommy, um, do you know what you’re doing?”
“Uh, yeah Huck, hee, hee, hee, I’m rubbing my butt on your boner.” Hee, hee, hee. “I got a boner too.”
“You do, huh?”
“Tom, I think we need to talk.”
“We are talking.”
“No, you know what I mean. We need to talk about, well, this.”
“Oohhh, it feels so big. And hot too.”
“Tommy, please. We should talk.”
“It would be easier to talk if you’d stop pushing it against me like that.”
“You’re pushing back against me, not me... Oh, sorry. It feels so good, I didn’t realize...”
“I like it when you do that, Huck.”
“Oh, Tommy. We can’t...”
“Huck, wait. Don’t let me go yet.”
“Tom, let go of my arms. We shouldn’t...”
“Wait, just let me explain.”
“Explain what?”
“Well, like I said, I saw those magazines last year and, well, it all made sense.”
“It did, huh?”
“Huck! Stop! I told you, that tickles.”
“Sorry, go on, ‘...it all made sense.’”
“Ok, hee, hee, hee. I never this to anyone before, but last year, well, I sort-of got caught.”
“Caught doing what?”
“Well, you know, me and this other kid, well, we were sort of messing around with each other, and, well, after a while he brought another kid in, so for like a week the three of us were messing around together, and then I came here. So when I was here, and I saw those magazines and stuff, I was getting really excited to tell my two friends all about it. Only, when I got home I found out that the new kid went and told his parents all about what we’d done.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. That must have been terrible.”
“It was. Everyone in the neighborhood knew about it. But I don’t think anyone said anything to my mom, or if they did, she never said anything to me about it. But I know most of the other parents, and all of the kids knew. Only, they didn’t know that me and the first boy had been doing things for almost a full year, before the other kid started messing-around with us. So, as far as anyone knows, it just happened a few times. I was a mess for, like a whole month, but then I started feeling like I was thinking about it more than everyone else was.”
“That’s probably true.”
“Yeah, I mean, no one stopped being my friend, or anything. And me and the boy who told on us, we just sort-of ignore each other.”
“What about the other one?”
“Oh, we’re still friends too. But we don’t fool-around anymore. He tries to, every once in a while, but I won’t.”
“Why not?”
“I don’t want to get caught again. One time, well, that could just be experimenting. Most all guys do that, then they find girls and.... But if I got caught twice, well, then everyone would know I was doing more than experimenting.”
“Seems you’ve put a lot of thought into it.”
“Yeah, I guess. But, well, it is me. I mean, I know what I am. I don’t have to like it, but there’s nothing I can do to change it.”
“What do you mean, ‘...I don’t have to like it...’ Don’t you like who you are?”
“No... I mean, yeah, I mean... It’s not like I hate myself, or anything. But, I just, well, I’m different. And I know that, and like I said, I know I can’t change that. But, well, sometimes I just wish I wasn’t different. I mean, I tried. I messed-around with girls too. And it’s not like it wasn’t good, but, well, with boys, it was just better.”
“I know what you mean.”
“Do you? Really?”
“Yeah, I think so. You see, I guess I was around your age, maybe a bit older, and there was this girl...”
“But I thought you said you like...”
“Just listen. See, the thing I liked most about this girl was her boyfriend. I mean, she was a pretty girl, just about the prettiest in my school. But her boyfriend, well, at least in my eyes he was the hottest guy I’d ever seen. So, when the two of them were together, and my buddies would catch me staring at them, I could always just say that I was ogling her.”
“What did he look like?”
“This is weird, but I thought about him for the first time in years, just earlier tonight. Remember that show we were watching, right after we ate? And that guy was on it, the one with dark-hair, who kept falling on his roller-skates.”
“Yeah, I like him. I think he’s cute.”
“Me too. Well, the guy I went to school with looked a lot like him. Except, he was a little bit bigger than the guy on TV. Now, I don’t remember exactly what all happened, but the guy heard that I liked his girl, and wasn’t too happy about it. And I guess that somehow, that caused a big fight between him and the girl, and they ended-up breaking-up. Then all of the sudden, the girl is all over me, telling me that I was her hero, for getting her away from her horrible ex-boyfriend. And all of the sudden, she was my girlfriend.”
“The other guy was pissed-off, wasn’t he?”
“He was. In fact, when he heard that me and the girl had, well, gone-all-the-way, he, ahhh...”
Chuckle. “Tommy, look, maybe I shouldn’t...”
“No, please Huck, I wanna know what happened.”
“Well, see, here’s the thing. I wasn’t a big guy, not back then, and I’m still not.”
“You’re bigger than me.”
“Not for long.”
“Really, you think so?”
“If you’re not bigger than me next year, you’ll surely be the year after.”
“I hope so.”
“Yeah, well, for now, you’re still just a half-pint.”
“So what happened?”
“Oh, I was telling you a story, wasn’t I?”
“Don’t be stupid.”
“So now I’m stupid.”
“That’s not what I said.”
“Hey, careful! Not so rough.”
“Sorry, it just feels so good.”
“I know, but...”
“But, what happened? What did that guy do?”
“Well, like I said, he was mad when he heard I was going-out with her, but when he heard that we’d done it, well, that pushed him over the edge a bit. See, I guess she went and told her girl-friend everything we’d done. That girl told her boyfriend, who just happened to be best friend’s with the ex-boyfriend. So I guess the way he heard it, my girlfriend went on and on about how much better I was than he was.”
“Were you?”
Chuckle. “You know, the thing is, I probably was.”
“I’ll bet.”
“Hey, easy there, Tommy. So anyway, where was I?”
“The guy you liked just found-out that you were better at fucking the girl than he was.”
“Tommy, such language.”
“Yeah, whatever... But that’s what happened, right?”
“Yeah, I guess it was. So... Oh, I can’t believe I’m telling this to you.”
“Well,” Chuckle. “Now that I think about it, I’ve never told this to anyone before.”
“Why not?”
Extended chuckle. “Like I said, Tommy, I think I understand what you meant when you said that you knew you were different, but that didn’t mean you had to like it. Because that’s exactly how I felt back then. But when that girl came-on to me, it was like I wasn’t different any more. And then after the first time we, uh, did it, well... That was the first time I ever really wondered if I’d been wrong. I mean, it was incredible. I’d never felt anything like what I did with her. But then the second time we did it, well...”
“It wasn’t so good?”
“No, in fact it was great. But for some reason, well I know why, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Her ex-boyfriend. Thinking that he’d been doing the same things I was doing with the same girl. He’d kissed the lips I was kissing. He’d fondled the breasts I was touching. Not so long before, it had been his naked body lying next to hers, him getting on top of her... And like I said, it was great, even better than the first time.”
“And she liked it too?”
“She said she did. And the way I heard it, she went on and on to her girl-friend about how much better I was than her ex. At least that’s what he told me.”
“You mean, he told you she said you were better than he was?”
“Yep.” Chuckle. “Oh shit.”
“Whatever. You want to hear the story or not?”
“Sorry, go on.”
“Ok, so, once the guy heard I was better than he was, well, being that he was so much bigger than me, and more popular and all into sports, when I was in the chess-club and had never even attended any sporting-event, it pissed him off. He was the big-man-on-campus, a shoe-in for prom-king, and I was a nothing. And to think that I could do something, anything, better than he could, especially something so manly, as doing it with a girl, well.... So one day after school he got me alone in the locker-room and...” Sigh.
“Huck, you don’t have to tell me about it, not if you don’t want to.”
“Thank you Tom, I know. But, it might be good for me to get it off my chest finally. And I hope it helps you see that I really do understand how you feel.”
“Now it’s your hairy legs tickling mine.”
“Do you want me to stop?”
“No. Just tell me the story.”
“Alright, already. So, ok yeah, I found a note shoved in my locker from him. It said to meet him ...

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