Friday took forever to arrive that week. By Thursday, Alan was sure that it would never come. But that night, his mom took them out to a little restaurant. They hadn't really eaten out much, ever. Alan got to drive. He was actually pretty good at it and enjoyed being behind the wheel. What adolescent guy doesn't? He wished someone from school could see him. After the meal, it was on to Penney's to exchange the shoes for a larger size. Susan mused that Alan had big feet, just like his dad. She wondered again why she was thinking about Al Naughton so much lately. Then it dawned on her that her son was almost the age his father had been when they had had their short-lived romance. But for the years that separated them, the son could have almost been his father's twin.
Friday finally did arrive. It started rainy and cold - a typical April day in the Midwest. No one wanted to get up, but life goes on despite ugly weather. Once at school, most of the students woke up enough to function, and the teachers thanked God that the dull day at least kept spring fever from running rampant.
This Friday started with a special homeroom to register for next year's classes. Homerooms were sub-divided alphabetically. That meant that students from Dave Jackson through Amy Kearns were together. Among those was Tom Katz. Fortunately, that was about the only time Brad saw him on any given day. Alan wasn't quite so lucky. He had a drawing class with Tom. Shortly after the first bell, Mrs. Simmons, one of the counselors came in to explain the course options for their senior year. Brad could opt out of gym since he would play sports all year. Alan got exempted for track in the spring. Both guys were in several AP classes together along with Dave, Amy, and Jeri Janson.
Watching the others happily chattering away as they darkened the ovals on the scan sheets, Tom glowered. No one talked to him. Well, he didn't need anyone. Someday soon, his dreams would come true. He only needed to get the old man's gun-cabinet key. He'd just wait until some night when the old man was drunk. Since that was pretty frequent these days, the wait shouldn't be long. The old man would be the first to buy the farm. That thought brought a smirk to the sullen face.
For Brad and Alan, Friday crept along like the week had. By the time lunch period came, it had been at least a month since homeroom. Several of the homeroom kids ate together most days. Jeri, Dave, and Amy were there along with Jim, Alan, and Brad.
Lunch today consisted of mystery meat, fries, and coleslaw. The alternative was a hamburger and fries. Brad chose the latter since he hated the armadillo nuts, as most of the boys called the entrée. In his haste that morning, he had forgotten the sack lunch Fran had made for him. Alan had packed a lunch from home as usual. Finances were better, but the money wasn't that plentiful. The boys were excitedly discussing their weekend plans when Courtney Forbes came and pushed her tray between them.
"Hey Brad, have you ordered the tux yet?" Courtney was turning the conversation to her favorite subject at the moment - prom activities.
"Yeah, don't worry." "I haven't forgotten that I'm your escort."
How could he forget, considering all the money it was costing him? He knew he should be flattered to be asked to the senior prom by one of the most popular girls in the class. Hardly anyone but seniors would be there. He should be thrilled, but he felt that he was just doing what their families expected. Somehow, his heart wasn't in it. He would rather go boating or camping or anything - maybe with Alan. What was going on in his head?
Prom was the social event of the year for kids in this small city. There were all-night parties. Some students even rented hotel rooms and smuggled in coolers of beer and booze. Many of the town's adults turned a blind eye to such activities as long as kids weren't out driving. But none of this appealed to Brad. All this was going through Brad's head while Courtney babbled on about her dress, the limo that her parents were renting, and the fact that they could party all night at her cousin's house. That last fact jolted Brad from his musing and made him feel even worse. Shit, he thought, I won't away from her all night!
Art was the next to last period of the day. Mr. Hanson had set up a still life to be worked on in pastels for several days. Alan looked over to where Tom was working. Tom seemed to be applying himself. But then, most people did if they wanted to remain in the class. Don Hanson was strict about the "no talking" rule. Don kept some soft Baroque music going on the CD player to quiet students' minds and to minimize the distractions from outside of the room. Walking quietly around the room, Mr. Hanson didn't intrude, but always seemed to be there when needed. He loved his subject and he loved his students. This was his life in the years since his lover had left him. No one here knew about his former life. In this sleepy city, he felt it was best to keep it that way.
Tom's work that day was very expressive. The color was fresh and vibrant. He seemed to know instinctively what tones and hues went best together. Mr. Hanson tapped Tom on the shoulder and asked him to step into the hall. Realizing that Hanson sent offenders into the hall, Tom began to stew, wondering what was coming.
Out in the hall, Don Hanson put his hand on Tom's shoulder in a caring way.
"Don't touch me!" Tom hissed through clenched teeth.
Tom wasn't used to a kind touch. Touching meant hurt.
"Okay, Okay. Sorry, no offense intended," said Hanson soothingly. "I just wanted you to know that I have been watching you work and lately you have improved immensely. You have a lot of ability - maybe even talent. Your color sense is awesome. If we could get a portfolio of your work together, you might apply to an art school next year."
"I can't go to art school. My old man would never part with the money for some fairy thing like that. He'd be afraid they'd turn me queer."
"Well, there are scholarships. And, there are plenty of artists who aren't "fairies" as you put it. Yes, some are gay. But there are also gay pro football players and gay truck drivers, etc. You can't be turned into something that you are not. Anyway, I firmly believe you could have an art career. Give it some thought over the summer. Stop by my house if you want, and we can do some work before you senior year."
Mr. Hanson always seemed to feel a kind of caring for the ones who were the least lovable.
The voice in Tom's head was saying: "Where the Hell is he coming from? "No one likes me! What is he doing fucking with my mind? Could I really do that? Nah! He really is a good guy. I guess I won't take him out with the rest." Could I possibly…?
The school day finally came to an end. Alan hurried home and packed his toiletries into the new case his mom had just brought home.
"Wow, Mom, you are spending the rent money on me this month."
"Don't worry, son." "I haven't bankrupted us yet. You deserve a few nice things. And I don't want you to be ashamed when you stay with Brad's family."
A few minutes later, Alan drove them to the address Brad had given them. Both he and his mother were overwhelmed by the gracious two-story house with triple garage and spacious, well landscaped yard. Susan was, once again, glad that she had purchased the new things for Alan. She thought about the new underwear. Her mother had always worried about the family having decent underwear in case they were in an accident or something. Having someone else know about one's sub-standard underwear would have been very embarrassing to Susan's mother.
One's status in society was important - much more so than a young girl's feelings as she remembered. Susan wondered if her mother was alive and if she ever thought about Susan and the "bastard" grandchild she refused to acknowledge. Lots of old memories were surfacing this week.
Seeing the car in his drive, Brad bounded out to meet them. He insisted that Susan come in to meet his parents. Susan felt almost unworthy of entering this upscale home; however, her apprehension was quickly dispelled by Fran's gracious manner. Within a few minutes, Susan felt like she was chatting with old friends. There was no doubt where Brad got his ability to make people feel welcome. The boys watched and smiled at how well the 'rents were getting along. As for Brad, if he noticed that Alan's clothing was better than usual, he didn't mention it. That was way cool in Alan's mind. It was like this was normal - how things always were.
That evening, the boys hit the study guides hard. Both felt that they had made progress. They had the kind of tired, but good, feeling that comes from accomplishment - the stuff that true self-esteem is made of. About 9:30, they were summoned to the kitchen for cookies and milk. Garret and Lindsay were there as well, each vying for Alan's attention. Anyone could tell that Lindsay thought Alan was one fine specimen of maleness. Her actions embarrassed her older brother. Alan took it all in stride. While not being used to so much attention, he found that it wasn't that bad.
When bed-time rolled around, Brad said that Alan could share his queen sized bed or sleep in the guest room down the hall. Alan opted to stay with Brad, much to Brad's relief. Alan hadn't thought about pajamas and was suddenly nervous that he might be committing a social error. Thankfully, Brad just stripped down to underwear and climbed into bed. Alan followed suit, carefully clinging to his own side of the bed. It was great being in bed with Brad, but scary too. Alan wanted to cuddle up against his friend and run his hands over the warm young body beside him. The very thought of it started a stirring in Alan's loins that caused his young cock to harden. Yeah, this was scary, but nice.
Sometime during the night as the house cooled down, the boys ended up cuddled together in the middle of the bed. Each had pleasant dreams and rested well. When the morning sun streaked through the east window, it fell on two handsome youths with tousled hair and very obvious hardons. Neither Brad's briefs nor Alan's boxer briefs left much to the imagination. Neither boy had any reason to be ashamed about how they measured up.
Brad's giggling about morning "wood" staved off any embarrassment that might have occurred. Alan was thankful that Brad could be so casual about it. Alan reasoned that having a brother only a couple of years younger must make Brad less self-conscious.
Showered, groomed, and fed, the two guys went back to studying. Alan was amazed as how Brad could clarify some of the math formulas that had eluded him for a long time. He was equally gratified that he could explain some of the grammar rules in ways that Brad seemed to understand. They were like two parts to a puzzle. At one point, Brad remarked:
"If you could put us together into one person, you'd have one very smart kid!"
Alan had to agree that they complemented each other. Yet in other ways they were very much alike. Both had hair that was on the dark side of blond, but that would bleach in the summer sun. While Alan was slightly taller and thinner than Brad, they could wear the same baggy style clothes for the most part. Outfits that were more fitted would present a problem perhaps. Alan had hazel eyes that turned brown, khaki, or green depending on the colors he was wearing. Brad had icy blue ones that none-the-less looked warm and inviting. Alan could get lost in them if he let himself. Damn! He'd have to watch that if he didn't want to screw up this friendship.
Saturday night, both guys were restless after their arduous day.
"Alan, are you still awake?" Brad whispered.
"Me too." Brad said, stating the obvious. "Lie on your stomach and let me give you a back rub."
He said this as he retrieved a beach towel from the closet. Alan complied and soon Brad was straddling Alan's legs and giving him a good massage using some baby oil he kept in the nightstand drawer for other purposes. When the cool oil hit his back, Alan stiffened at first, but then began to relax under Brad's ministrations.
"Wow, where did you learn to do that?" Alan asked in a lazy tone.
"I got a full body massage when we were on a cruise ship. They had some scented oil and it was so relaxing that I fell asleep."
"I think I could do just that. My body feels like Jell-O." Alan found all this relaxing, but also stimulating. His unruly boy part was beginning to sprout as usual. And, unless he was completely mistaken, Brad was having the same reaction. Hmm, could Brad be feeling what he was?
"Okay, Jell-O boy, it's your turn to do me."
Alan got the oil and tried to do what Brad had done to him. As he reached the top of Brad's shoulders, he knew that Brad must be aware of his aroused state. But nothing was said and as Alan worked his way down Brad's muscular back, he could rock back so that his "rocks" were not against Brad's butt. Finally, he worked on Brad's thighs and legs. This was great. Alan couldn't decide if he like giving or receiving the best. Brad was kind of moaning in a quiet way. Alan was happy to be able to give pleasure to his friend. All at once, Brad turned over.
"Do my arms and chest, please."
"No problem." Alan had said.
But there was a problem. This position placed his growing erection at Brad's crotch. Alan did his best to keep high above his buddy. When Alan got to massaging near Brad's nipples, Brad began to moan in earnest.
"Oh Alan, that feels so good," he panted.
Alan didn't know what to do. He was feeling more turned on by the minute. Hearing Brad's expressions of pleasure made his cock grow even harder. If this kept up, he was going to cream his underwear. Just when he started to panic, Brad reached his arms around Alan's neck and pulled him down upon himself. Then placing his hands on Alan's butt, he began to move Alan's body back and forth over his own. After a few moments of this, both boys exploded in mind-shattering, star-flashing bliss. Neither had ever experienced anything so wonderful. The earth had moved because of them.
When the high of the moment began to recede, Alan felt weighed down by an overwhelming sense of guilt and fear.
"I'm sorry, Brad, please don't hate me," whispered Alan on the verge of tears.
"Hate you? How could I hate you? I'm the one who started this. I wanted it. I wanted you. I want you like I've never wanted anyone before. With that, Brad gently kissed Alan on the lips. Alan's feelings of hope began to rise again. Evidently, Brad was feeling what he was feeling. If so, this could be the best day of his life. Brad had said he wanted him.
Both boys got up and shed their sticky underwear. Brad locked the door.
"Okay, Alan, now we can sleep naked like I usually do."
With that they cuddled together as both had dreamed of doing and fell into a deep, peaceful sleep. But how would they feel about this in the morning?