Chapter Ten


After a long silence Derrick asked, "You and Keith ever do anything?"

"Do anything?"

"You know, play around," Derrick said. "Don't pretend you don't know what I am talking about."

Something suddenly clicked and I asked, "Was that what you and Andre were doing? Playing around?"

Derrick looked sheepish and said, "Yeah, what did you think?"

"You two were lovers?" I asked, hoping I get a clue as to what exactly the two had been up to.

"Nah, nothing a serious as that, we were just jerking off together. The Major saw it and went ballistic. You and Keith ever do anything like that?"

"Sure" I answered, "when we were younger, but not since. Why did you ask?"

"I guess because of how you just dropped your pants without thinking. Kinda made me wonder."

I laughed and said, "Ask my mom or Keith's about trying to keep clothes on us. By the time we could walk, I'm told, we kept on as few clothes as possible."

"You ever been in love?" Derrick asked out of the clear blue.

"Just how do you plan to get out of this one?" I asked myself. "I thought I was a sometime ago and I guess I was, but it seems kinda childish now, but then it wasn't. Yeah, I'd say I have been in love."

"What happened?"

"My love wasn't returned and it was made very clear it never would be. Took me awhile, but I got over it. Wouldn't have missed it for the world, but hope I never have to go through that again. I'm never going to fall love again until I can be sure about the other person," I answered, lying through my teeth, lying to both Derrick and myself and hoped it didn't show. "You ever been in love?"

"Nope, I can honestly say I haven't. Had a couple crushes when I was in middle school, but that's all they were, crushes. You think Joe and Trey are in love or is it just sex?"

"I think when you get to know them you'll know the answer to that. It's pretty obvious they are in love. They act like two love struck teenagers at times. Yeah, they are as in love as my mom and dad. I'm sure of that. If you think about what all they had to put up with because they were lovers, I think you'd have a pretty solid 'yes' to that question."

"How did you know you were in love?" Derrick asked.

"Why all the concern about love all of a sudden?" I asked.

"Well, I guess because I think I might be in love. Since I never have been before, I need help."

I laughed and said, "I guess the first question you need to answer is how is the way you feel now different from anything you have experienced before."

Derrick smiled and said,"Well, there have been people who turned me on before, you know, you see them and make wood, so that's not different."

"Yeah, well, you can mark that up to lust. I know about that." Then being a dumbass, added, "Had an experience with that last summer at baseball camp." As soon as the words were out of my mouth I knew I had set myself up. Derrick was sure to catch on since he wasn't dumb and would know there were no girls at baseball camp. Also, would he be fool enough to believe I had only experienced lust once? "Real dumbass, Tom," I said to myself. "But maybe not," I thought. "If Derrick's gay, he may get a signal and then..." I can dream, can't I?

I guess Derrick was too wrapped up in his maybe being in love. He ignored the obvious in what I said, but he did give me a kinda funny look as he said, "Well, I guess I know about lust. What teenage guy doesn't? But what I feel now is different. Well, some of what I feel is different, not all of it. Yeah, lust is involved, but beyond that, there's something else."

We were both silent for several minutes. Finally I said, "I guess you think you are in love and as time goes on, you fall more in love or less. Maybe that's the best way to know. If your love grows, then it's love. If not, it's not." We were both silent again. I dared not look at Derrick. My heart was in my throat and racing double time. I was in pretty bad shape. If Derrick named a girl I know my world would come crashing down again.

"Well, I know it started as lust," Derrick laughed. "Yeah, real lust. There may not be love at first sight, but there's sure lust at first sight! Man, is there! Then only a short time later I realized that I was feeling different, thinking different about him and I was pretty sure I was in love."

Him??? HIM??? Derrick said "HIM," I'm sure he did. I was thrilled, plunged into despair and really to fight for Derrick all at the same time and all because he said "him."

"Yeah, I think I'm in love," Derrick said slowly, thoughtfully.

I finally screwed up my courage and looked a Derrick. He had a smile on his face which left me weak all over.

He reached out and touched my face with his long slender fingers and said, "Yeah, it's different, very different and I think it's love." I was completely paralyzed by his smile, his touch, his words. I couldn't move as he took my hand in his, brought it to his mouth and kissed my fingers. "Yeah," he said again, "I think it's love."

I wanted to respond, but I was too stunned. Finally I was able to take a deep breath-I had been holding my breath, I discovered-and then said, "Derrick, I have been in love and I know this is love, but a thousand time more than before." I drew his hand to my lips as he had done and kissed his fingers.

I suppose you think we immediately became a heap of rutting males consumed by lust and trying to fuck each others brains out, but we didn't. For the longest time, we just lay there, gazing into each others eyes with silly grins on our faces. Eventually I was able to reach out and take Derrick's face in my hands, pull his lips to mine for a very gentle kiss which quickly became more passionate. As our tongues engaged in a lover's duel, Derrick moved closer until our bodies were together, our hard cocks being pressed between us.

Derrick started moving his hips in small circles and before we knew it, we both started breathing heavy and I felt sudden release and the wetness of my sperm. At the same time, I felt Derrick's cock pulsing against me.

After our climax, we lay on our backs, side by side, not looking at each other. The sounds of the rivers, the warmth of the sun, Derrick beside me-all spelling contentment, that is, contentment for a few minutes. Then the evidence of my lust for Derrick because cold and clammy. "Cold cum can really destroy a romantic mood," I said.

"But that's all it can destroy," Derrick said.

We got up, walked to the river's edge and wash our briefs, then used them as a washcloth to clean up. When we finished, we stood up and Derrick reached out and took me in his arms, and we again exchanged wonderful, gentle kisses.

Holding hands, we walked back to the blanket and lay down, naked, and we talked and talked and talked. Derrick talked about how he and Andre had started jerking off before puberty and had done so until that day the Major had caught them. "But that's all we did," he said. "I guess it's safe to say I was never in love with Andre. Never did I want to take him in my arms, hold him close, kiss him. Never would what I have just experienced with you have meant anything with Andre. Yeah, I'm in love!" Derrick exclaimed as he brought my face to his for another kiss.

I told him about what had happened with Keith-I mean about falling in love with him and what happened as a result of my telling him. I didn't tell him about the night on the moon watching rock. I might one day, I don't know. I guess keeping secrets from your lover is a bad habit, but that night was so personal that I couldn't tell Derrick. And I guess even more the idea that it involved Keith meant I didn't feel free to talk about it. I never did tell Derrick about it, and discovered much later neither had Keith told him.

That day, obviously, marked a real turning point in my life.

School became more and more unbearable because of the wonderful weather. There should be a law against cooping teenagers up in a classroom when the weather outside is beyond perfect. At least we-Derrick, Keith and I--had baseball.

The baseball team was remarkable. Last year's season was the best ever and we only won one more game than we lost. This year's team was not losing at all. Derrick was a big factor in that. He was such a great pitcher that he was getting write ups in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Scouts were looking at him already. If he kept improving with age and strength, he'd probably be grabbed up by a farm team before college.

With the publicity, his stepdad, the Major, suddenly decided to be a father. He even flew Derrick's mom and himself down for a ballgame, but Derrick refused to speak to them. Hypocrite that the Major was, he even gave a reporter an interview in which he praised Derrick and said how proud he was to give the young man a father figure. But when the reporter asked to have a picture of the Major and Derrick together, Derrick told him he didn't have time. The reporter, no wonder, looked surprised.

Keith's truck was coming along fine and one Saturday he asked Derrick and me to go to Macon with him. He had located several body parts at a salvage company there and when the owner found out what he was doing, told Keith he'd give him a real deal on the parts if he could have a photo and talked about helping young people. "Small price to pay," Derrick said.

When we reached Macon, the man had a photographer from the Macon Telegraph ready to take pictures. After the pictures were made and the body parts loaded, the owner of the salvage yard offered to take us to lunch and we accepted. Over lunch we found out why he was so anxious to get our photos. Seems a young reporter was recently fired from the Telegraph for plagiarism. He had lifted material from other newspapers in a story about declining enrollment in automotive vocational classes.

"In the investigation which followed, the newspaper discovered his figures about the decline were low, not high. There's an attitude that says kids who take vocational classes are dumb and the classes are beneath 'good kids.' Truth of the matter is, if we don't get more kids involved in vocational classes, automobiles will have to become disposable. I want to help out all I can and selling parts as cheap as possible for vocational classes over the state and giving them to students here is an easy way to do that."

Derrick and I had not told Keith about us. I don't know why, but there hadn't been what seemed like the right time. On the way back from Macon we were just listening to a CD, saying nothing when Keith said, "By the way, you two, if you think you are keeping a secret from me, you're fooling yourselves. Think I should send you my dentist's bill for the day you two finally got together."

I blushed and Derrick got that smile on his face, a smile which melted me every time I saw it. "Be happy to pay it-when I get some money," Derrick said.

The three of us talked about the two of us, Derrick and I telling Keith about our getting together. Later, when we were alone, Keith asked, "Did you tell Derrick about us? About the night on the moon watching rock, I mean."

"No, I didn't and don't think I will. That's very precious to me and I think it's something that I'd like to keep just as it is."

"Thanks," Keith responded. "I wouldn't mind if you told him if you wanted to, but thanks for making it something special between us."

"You did that," I responded.

Summer was just around the corner when Keith, Derrick and I started making plans for it. Derrick's mother and stepfather had more or less demanded he return to Baltimore permanently after school was out. Derrick had refused and the Major had gone ballistic again.

Things were still up in the air when, one fine April day, the two of us went to the river without Keith. He made some excuse, but I knew it was just a way to give me private time with Derrick. I had talked with Joe and Trey the afternoon before, asking for advice. Derrick and I had limited our love making to getting off by rubbing our bodies together and stroking each other. The last time we have been together, just the two of us, we did a lot of tongue bathing each other and kissing each others cock, but I wanted to do for Derrick what Shawn had done for me and when I tried it, it just didn't seem good enough. When he tried taking my cock into his mouth and working miracles with his mouth and tongue, it was good, but not as good as I knew it could be. Don't get me wrong and make no mistake about it, it may not have been the best in the world, but even a novice is not bad!!

I guess you could say Trey and Joe gave me some tips and I tried to remember what they had told me and was completely focused on Derrick and giving him pleasure with my tongue and mouth. I had told Derrick I wanted to be focused on him so I didn't want his fooling around with me at the same time. I knew I was doing better than I had before I talked with the two guys and the fact that Derrick soon filled my mouth confirmed it. And if I was better, Derrick's mouth was an absolute pleasure machine after he took my cock inside it.

It seemed we just couldn't get enough of each other until we were, frankly, just exhausted by our love making. Satiated, we lay beside each other, looking into our lover's eyes.

"Tom, Man, I love you. I love you more than anything in the world. And if the Major thinks he is going to get me back to Baltimore, he's full of it. Right up to his eyebrows."

"How are you going to stop him?" I asked. "He may not be your legal guardian, but your mom is. She can force you to go back."

"Wanna bet? Grams is my legal guardian. The social worker Grams and I talked with made sure of that." Derrick seemed to change the subject abruptly when he asked, "What would happen if your parents learned you were gay?"

I was surprised by the question, thinking Derrick knew the answer to that question. "They know," I responded, wondering where this was headed.

"Well, ok, but what if they knew you and I were lovers, having sex?"

"Well, I think they'd be pretty dumb if they haven't figured that one out. They'd probably want to make sure I was mature enough emotionally to handle it, probably would wish I had waited until I was older, but they'd not get all bent out of shape over it," I answered, as truthfully as I could.

"Well, you know how my announcing I was gay would go over with my mom and the Major. He'd go completely berserk and Mom would back him all the way. So I'll just tell them I'm a faggot and the Major will lose it and toss me out-as though I was in! I'll be right back where I started except Grams is in better shape and I definitely like it better since I got kicked out the first time. So that'll take care of the Mom and Major problem, just announce I'm a faggot," Derrick laughed-but I thought there might have been a note of something else, fear maybe. If there wasn't a note of fear in Derrick's voice, there should have been.

Two days later I dropped Derrick off at his place and saw a car with Maryland plates on it parked outside. As he left the car, Derrick said, "Guess it's showdown time. Talk to you later."

I was not cool with what I knew was going to happen or at least I knew what was going to be started by Derrick announcing he was gay. Mom and Dad got home a few minutes after I did and it wasn't long before I was called into their office.

"Son, I hope you feel free to tell us what's upsetting you. If not, know we are here for you," Dad said.

Dad never pried into my business and Mom seldom did, but anytime I was upset, she switched on her mama button and set out to discover what was bothering me. "Everything at school going ok?" she asked, trying to be subtle and lead up to the big question. I had once told her she was about as subtle as a freight train, but she didn't change.

"Yeah, fine," I answered. "Or at least as fine as school can ever be when the weather outside is getting better and the classes inside are getting duller and duller."

"Everything ok with Keith?" She was working her way up to the big question and Dad was amused as I was, but I decided just to cut short the game.

"Mom, why don't you just come out and ask what you want to ask? I'll either answer or not and working your way up to the big question won't change that. I'm more than a little nervous and upset because Derrick's mom and stepfather are here. I saw their car when I took him home. We had been to the river and he told me-again-that they were really putting on the pressure for him to go back to Baltimore permanently. He's refusing to go and I think there will be trouble. His stepfather has attacked him physically before and I think would not hesitate to do it again. And I think Derrick will provoke him."

"How? Why?" Mom asked.

"His Grams is his legal guardian, but his mom can revoke that at anytime and Derrick wants to make sure she gives up trying to force him to go back to Baltimore."

"And how is he going to do that?"

I gave up. I could tell Mom to mind her own business-politely, of course-answer her string of questions which would take a long time before she asked the big one or I could tell my parents what was going on. I decided to take the latter course.

I had been standing in the doorway, but if this was going to be a real family discussion, I guess I needed to really be part of it. I went on into the office and sat down.

"Mom, Dad, the Major, Derrick's stepfather put him on the street when he caught Derrick and a friend jerking off. Seems the friend not only dropped Derrick as a friend, but also told tales about him. Derrick won't deny he's gay--he is-but he and the friend were just jerking off. Anyway, the Major roughed him up and his mom told him to get out, stay out and gave him fifty dollars to get to College Park. He has never said so, but you know he had to hitch a good part of the way if he had only fifty bucks."

"You know how the Major had taken an interest in Derrick since he has become a sports hero. That's what all this is about. Well, there's one thing that will get the Major off his back and that is announcing his is gay and has a lover. He plans to do that as soon as he can. I'm nervous because I don't know what the Major will do."

"And is he? Does he?" Mom asked.

Dad was almost laughing out loud as I said, "Yes."

"Yes what?" Mom asked.

"Yes he is gay and yes he has a lover," Dad said. "How could you have missed that, Rebekah? All you have to do is take a look at your son and Derrick together and you have to know the answer to both questions is yes."

"Is that true, Tom?" Mom asked.

Dad was getting a big kick out of the whole conversation and I saw no reason not to prolong it. "Is what true? That Derrick is gay? I told you he was. That he has a lover? I told you he did."

"I know you told us that. That's not what I'm asking. Are you and Derrick lovers?"

"What do you mean lovers?" I asked, trying to sound innocent.

"Well, are you, you know, having, you know, sex?" Mom would have fainted dead away had she heard herself saying "You know."

"Well, let's put it this way. We're not there yet, I mean where we want to be having sex-I prefer making love-but we're working on it, practicing."

"And you are enjoying the practicing, right?" Dad laughed.

We all got serious then and Mom and Dad said what I told Derrick they would say. They wished I had waited until I was older and hoped that I was emotionally mature enough to handle having sex. Dad did venture that since no one was beating up on us and we weren't all guilt ridden, he thought I was emotionally stable enough to handle sex. Mom finally agreed. Both did ask if we were practicing safe sex and I told them we hadn't really done anything where that would be a serious question, but added that neither Derrick nor I had any reason to be concerned about the other harboring some disease. Mom did say she'd like for us to be tested just to be sure. Since I had nothing to worry about, I agreed we would.

That was pretty much the end of the conversation. I was again thankful I had the parents I did. I knew they were behind me. Maybe they wished I had not been gay, not had a lover, was not having sex, but given the givens, they were still my parents and I knew they loved me without question.

Well, Derrick didn't just walk in and say, "I'm gay and having sex with a man. He played it cool and pointed out that he was playing baseball with a good team, was known by the Georgia press. "If I go back to Baltimore, I'll have to start all over and the team may be no good and I'd get lost." After talking for half an hour, the Major agreed that it would be best for Derrick to stay in College Park. Derrick then pointed out that it would be nice if he had his own room and suggested his Mom and the Major give him an allowance and help Grams pay the rent on a larger apartment. They even agreed to that. So Derrick was able to get what he wanted and have the Major and his mom pay for it without revealing he was gay and had a lover.

When I told Derrick how things had gone at my place, he agreed that there was no reason for us to be tested, but to satisfy Mom, we were and, of course, were clean and intended to stay that way.

The week after Derrick's mom and the Major had returned to Baltimore, Derrick, Keith and I moved Grams and Derrick into a neat little two bedroom apartment. With the allowance Derrick's mom and the Major were sending Derrick and their help with the rent, Derrick and Grams were very comfortable.

The spring was a beautiful one and was even more so since I was in love with and was loved by Derrick. We spent a lot of time at the river-sometimes with Keith and sometimes alone. We talked with Joe and Trey from time to time and our love making technique was definitely improving with practice and how we loved to practice!

We had hoped Keith would fall in love again or at least find a girlfriend, but it didn't happen. As time passed he mentioned LaTasha less and less often, but occasionally when we three were at the river, he would get a far away look in his eyes and I knew he was thinking about her. Generally he was pretty upbeat, but at times he seemed to be sinking into depression again. Dad and Mom thought he should still be in counseling but his parents said he'd snap out of it. "He's young," his dad would say.

School became an impossible bore, but the three of us knew we had to keep grades up and if we slacked up, the guys we were tutoring would know it before we did. About the only good thing about school that spring was finishing up Keith's truck-and baseball. A better redneck vehicle did not exist in Georgia and Keith loved driving it and hopping out when a gang of rednecks gathered to admire it.

The team was really hot and Derrick got us noticed. He was just finishing his sophomore year and already scouts were sniffing around. When we made it to the regional playoffs, the Major came down and made a big deal of being Derrick's stepfather. He talked with the scouts much to Derrick's disgust. Derrick had told him he definitely would not do anything about becoming professional until he had at least given college a try. Of course every college in half the country was waiting anxiously until they could sign him to an athletic scholarship.

Around the first of May we had a real hot spell and the three of us had gone to the river to cool off. Derrick had finally felt at ease getting naked as Keith and I had always done. As we lay stretched out on the blanket, Keith said, "This year we plan and get our schedules together." We talked about that for some time and reached a few conclusions. We three agreed we'd do a baseball camp, but would find one other than Sarge's, maybe one better known.

"I, for one, am not interested in computer camp this year," I said. "Last year's was really a waste of money. I knew as much or more than the instructors. The only good thing about it was the non-computer activities."

"I kinda didn't make it to computer camp last summer," Keith grinned, "but I sure am not interested in someone trying to tell me about computers when I know more than they do."

"You can put me in that same group," Derrick said.

Of course we'd have to check with our parents, but the three of us decided we'd do a good baseball camp, maybe a summer school session so we'd have some slack in our schedule the next year and then just loaf.

"Sounds good," Keith said, "but how about our spending some time in North Carolina? We drive and have our own transportation. We can certainly feed ourselves, take care of ourselves."

"Great idea!" I said. "Fantastic idea. Derrick, you'll love North Carolina!"

As soon as we got home, I asked Mom and Dad about our using the North Carolina place. Dad thought it was a grand idea, Mom, of course, was concerned that we might not take care of ourselves-you know, she did the mama thing. But so far as my parents were concerned, we had the house for two weeks at the end of the summer. It really worked out well since the two of them had a two week conference in Vegas the second and third weeks of August.

The baseball coach recommended a baseball camp in Tennessee which ran the last two weeks in June. A session of summer school started the day after the Fourth of July and ended the first week of August. The second and third weeks of August, Derrick, Keith and I would be in North Carolina. Mom and Dad would join us the last week in August, the week before school started again. A full summer, but it sure looked like a good one.

Sometime during the spring, Keith and I realized that the group we had been playing with were taking gigs in rougher and rougher clubs, but when we were told the next gig was one where Keith probably should stay home, that did it. We told the group we'd just rather not play gigs anymore and after that the only playing Keith and I did was for ourselves, family and friends.

Everything was lined us for a great summer and we three were really ready for it to start.