cute nerd

The Secret Life of Nerds

A Short Story
by Kewl Dad
Editor: Stan S.

kewl_dad1@hotmail.com

Part One - The Bet


"You want me to do what?" Kevin said slightly rising in his seat at the lunch table where he sat with his three potential new friends.

"We want you to pick a nerd, any nerd," Thomas said holding his arms wide, "and make friends with him."

"And, be his friend for 30 days. That is your initiation into the group," Roger added.

"Soooo.... Is this something you guys did?"

"No, of course not," Terry said leaning in to grab a fry from Kevin's tray, "We've always been together, no need for us to prove ourselves."

"Hey, eat your own fries," Kevin laughed, as he swatted Terry's hand away. 

"So let me get this straight: all I have to do is make friends with this kid, this nerd, and be his friend for 30 days? And then I'm in?"

"Xactly," Thomas said making a goofy face, "Think about it Kev, we could make you do something really embarrassing or risky, but this is easy. A piece of cake. So what do you say? Wanna hang with the big boys?"

"I guess, sounds easy enough. Soooo how long do I have to find this guy?"

"Mmmm...how about a week? Next Monday at lunch you can tell us all about it. And Kev, pick a good one," Thomas laughed.

After lunch Kevin thought about the initiation and how simple it sounded. Only he'd never been that great at making friends, and that was partly the reason he wanted to be part of the group. This was his first year in middle school and he didn't know anyone. He knew there was safety in numbers, and the quicker he found a group of guys to hang with the safer things would be. 

John F. Kennedy Middle School was like most middle schools in most towns, it had its share of bullies, nerds, skaters, dopers and losers, and regular kids just like him who were just trying to fit in, and if it took making friends with a nerd to do that, then that was what he'd do.

As he sat in Math class that afternoon he looked around to see if there were any likely candidates nearby. Fortunately he didn't have to look far. On the front row, three seats in front of him, and two seats to his right set Philip McKinney. Philip was your typical nerd, smart, quiet, an avid reader, a chess player, and a loner. Kevin knew he was smart, for the short time they'd been in the same math class, he'd seen the boy raise his hand at the hardest questions, and he always had the right answer. He also noted that the boy never made eye contact with anyone except the teacher, Mr. Feinstein.

As if he could feel Kevin's eyes on him, Philip suddenly turned and looked Kevin's way. Then seeing Kevin's peering eyes, he quickly blushed and turned away.

Kevin nodded, a contented smile on his face as he realized, he'd found his nerd. Now to put his plan to work.

When the bell rang Kevin bolted from his seat and made sure he was waiting outside as Philip exited the classroom.

"Hey, uh..hi, uh Philip. I'm Kevin. I was wondering if I could talk to you for a minute?"

Seeing the look of fear on Phillip's face made Kevin feel bad. He'd never bullied anyone, and in fact had often been the brunt of bullies. Thus the reason he was trying to join the group.  He decided this wasn't going to be easy. That he'd have to be really careful and not scare Philip away.

"Sorry didn't mean to scare you," Kevin said in as gentle a voice as he could muster, "I uh, I'm just having some trouble with the math assignment we were given today. I couldn't help but notice that you seem to be really good in math, and I was hoping maybe...well, that maybe you could help me," Kevin said giving Phillip a pleading look.

"I suppose so," Philip said in a shaky voice, "but right now I have to get to class."

"Oh sure, totally... I understand. Me too, but I was hoping maybe after school, uh...on the bus, you could help me." The fact that Philip rode the same bus was a big plus too.

"Howww...do you know which bus I ride?" Phillip said sounding worried.

"I've seen you a couple of times, that's all. So, what do you think, can you help me?"

"Sure, okay, but I really have to go now."

"Yeah, me too. Sorry I kept you, and thanks. I'll see you on the bus, okay Philip?" Kevin said giving Philip what he thought of as his best smile.

In PE he gave the good news to the other guys, "Hey guys, I found my guy."

"Oh," Terry giggled," I didn't know you liked guys."

Terry was outwardly gay, and everyone knew it, and because he was part of the group no one gave him any grief over it.

"Very funny," Kevin said laughing, "I meant my nerd. Name is Philip and he's in my math class."

"Philip McKinney?" Thomas asked,"Oh man, you picked the King of the nerds. He moved here last year and I went to 6th grade with him. He actually wore a pocket protector till some kid took it away from him," Thomas laughed. 

"He that kid with the dorky looking glasses?" Roger asked laughing. "I heard he's a real brain."

"Unlike someone else I know," Terry said punching Roger in the arm.

"Oww... for a homo you punch pretty hard," Roger said rubbing his arm.

"Shut the fuck up!" Terry said getting red in the face. Then giving Roger a seething look, he stomped off.

"What's his problem?" Roger grumbled.

"You called him a homo," Thomas said shaking his head," you know he hates that word."

"Damn, he must be on his period."

"Roger, shut the fuck up," Thomas said walking away.

Kevin hesitated only a second and followed Thomas' lead. Of the three boys, he liked Roger the least. Obviously Thomas was the leader, but he was smart and fair, and so far Kevin hadn't heard him say one bad thing about anyone. He liked Terry too. Not that he was gay, but he found Terry's personality to be refreshing and funny. He'd never known an openly gay person before, but after meeting Terry he decided they were just like everyone else. They had their ups and downs, their own fears and phobias, but in the end, they were just like regular people.

While shooting baskets, Kevin saw Roger approach Terry and begin talking. He watched with interest as they interacted, then suddenly they bumped fists, high-fived and ran off together to the gym floor. 

Later he mentioned what he'd seen to Thomas, and Thomas laughed. "Those two are always fighting. They've been friends forever. Wanna' know what I think? I think Roger is hot for Terry. When they were younger, before puberty hit, they used to mess around. Then one day Terry just cut Roger off," Thomas laughed, "I think that was when Terry finally figured it out...that he was gay."

"Seriously? Dude, you think Roger is gay too?"

"Naw, not gay...just horny, " Thomas laughed, "But I do know he'd do just about anything for Terry."

"I've never known a gay person before," Kevin confessed, "but I think...Terry is really cool. I Like him a lot, but not that way," Kevin chuckled.

"Too bad," Thomas said slipping his arm around Kevin's shoulder, "we been trying to find Terry a boyfriend since school started."

"Uh, Is Terry the only gay kid in the  whole school?"

"Huh? Are you kidding? There's over 500 kids here, and the boys outnumber the girls. So if you figure that roughly 10% of the population is either gay or bi, then there should be a couple dozen guys who are gay."

"10%? Is that for real? So....Terry is the only one who is out?"

"That we know of. I mean there may be some other kids, but Terry is afraid to look."

"Why is that? You would think that being out and all it would be easy for him to find someone."

"I don't know. Maybe you should talk to him about it. But you got one thing right, he is a good guy."

On the bus Kevin took his usual seat toward the back and waited for Philip. Fortunately the bus was never completely full, and most times he sat alone. Today was no exception, and when he saw Philip appear at the front of the bus he stood and waved to him.

Philip seemed to take a deep breath as he made his way toward Kevin, his eyes on the floor the whole time. Only when he finally reached Kevin's seat did he finally look up.

"Hey," Kevin said in a friendly voice, "Window seat or aisle?"

"Oh, it doesn't matter," Philip said softly.

Kevin scooted over to the window seat and allowed Phillip to sit down beside him before he began pawing through his backpack in search of his math book.

"Thanks a lot for helping me," Kevin said glancing over at Philip, "I usually don't have this much trouble, but math this year is a lot harder. I guess they didn't do a very good job in sixth grade of preparing us for middle school," he joked.

"Okay, well...why don't we work the problems at the end of the chapter? I'll show you how, then you can work some, and if you have any questions or need any help I'll be right here."

For the first time since he'd met Philip he looked the boy over. Beneath the horn-rimmed glasses and the stylish haircut was a face that was actually cute. His eyes were green, Kevin noted, and his eyebrows and eyelashes were thick, accenting those eyes. His lips were full and rosy, his teeth appeared to be perfect, and Kevin noticed he even had dimples.

     His body was slim, but not skinny, and he seemed to have some muscle definition in his arms and legs. From what Kevin could see, in most ways, Philip was just an ordinary boy. This sudden realization reminded Kevin that despite their differences most kids were the same inside. Just as he'd discovered that Terry, despite being gay, was no different than most other kids, he'd discovered that Philip, the nerd, was just a boy like him.

The truth was Kevin was actually quite good at math and really didn't need Phillip's help, but this was a way to get into Philip's world. As they leaned in together across Kevin's math book, Kevin was aware of two things, the heat coming off Philip's body, and his unique scent. Both he found pleasant and almost unsettlingly exciting.

He'd recently began to experience some of the first signs of puberty, including sprouting hair in strange places and a growing penis which stiffened at the most embarrassing times. He'd done his share of experimenting with boys his age when he was younger, but had always considered himself to be straight. Lately though as his hormones had began to give him fits, he'd begun to think about both boys and girls in a sexual way. It was all sort of confusing, and meeting Terry had only made things more confusing. Even though Terry never talked about having sex, he exuded self confidence and seemed happy with his sexual persuasion. 

He knew the mechanics of gay sex and had even practiced a few of the moves himself, when he was younger, but could he bring himself to do those things again...now that he was older? And what about the butt stuff? He'd never had any desire to do anything like that when he'd messed with other boys, but then he wasn't sure all gay boys did that. Maybe some only did the dick stuff, but kissing was probably part of it, and he didn't know how he'd feel about kissing another boy. Heck, except for a peck on the cheek he'd never even kissed a girl before, so he was certainly no expert on the subject. It was all very confusing and the hormone monster wasn't helping.

Like most boys he'd discovered that touching himself was pleasurable, but not until he was introduced to masturbation by an older neighbor boy did he realize just how pleasurable it could be. Once Pandora was out of the box, so to speak, there was no putting her back. Masturbation became Kevin's favorite thing to do, and once puberty set in he found himself obsessed with his stiff penis. It was not unusual for Kevin to masturbate 2 or 3 times a day, and sometimes more. He supposed it was normal, but with no close friends to talk to about those things, he floundered in a sea of hormones.

"Uh Kevin?"

"What, oh...sorry," Kevin said blushing as he was pulled out of his thoughts and back to reality.

"Do you want to try one now?"

"Sure.." Kevin didn't want to give away the fact that he actually knew how to do the problem so he kept asking questions as he worked it and Philip answered them patiently. Kevin had to admit, Philip had a way of explaining things that was actually better than most of his past teachers, and his patience seemed inexhaustible. "Oh, yeah...I see. Man you explain things really good," Kevin said grinning.

"Well," Philip said softly.

"What?'

"I explain things well, not good," Philip said blushing and looking stricken. He'd wanted Kevin to like him and now he was acting like a total spazz and correcting his grammar.

"Oh, yeah, I always get those two mixed up," Kevin said grinning.

Philip managed a smile. He wasn't mad at all, was it possible Kevin liked him? No, that was crazy. First of all they'd just met, and secondly Kevin was one of the cool kids. He'd seen him hanging out with the other cool kids and there was no way he'd want to be friends with someone like him. That was probably why he'd wanted to meet on the bus. He knew none of those other cool kids rode that bus, and the kids who did wouldn't think much about it. No, he was sure Kevin was interested in only one thing, getting help with his math. And eventually, Philip reasoned, he'd either catch on and no longer need his help, or he'd decide Philip could do his math homework for him. As bad as that was, Philip reasoned, if that happened at least he'd get to see Kevin once in a while outside of class. He blushed at the thought of that and felt a strange stirring in his stomach and a bit lower.

"Is this one right?" Kevin asked looking up from his work.

"Ummm...almost, this should be negative instead of a positive though."

"Oh, yeah, duh," he said said grinning as he hit himself in between the eyes with the palm of his hand. Truth was he'd made the mistake on purpose so Philip would continue to help him.

Kevin worked a couple more problems, making minor mistakes, and Philip patiently corrected him, then Kevin did the last few correctly to show that Philip was doing a good job of teaching.

"Those are perfect, I think you're getting the hang of it now."

"Thanks to you. You really know how to explain things."

"Well, I didn't do that much. You seem to have a good grasp of the concepts and you learn quickly.  I enjoyed our session very much," Philip said blushing. Why did I have to say that? Philip lamented to himself. Now he'll think I'm a complete idiot.

"Actually so did I," Kevin said smiling warmly, "you know, there's an exam Monday and I could really use some help studying for it. I don't suppose you'd consider coming to my house and studying with me after school on Friday?"

"I...really? You want me to come to your house?" Philip asked in disbelief. This had to be some kind of trick. Maybe he and those other boys he hung out with were going to do something to him if he showed up. He'd heard about the things some of the so called cool kids did to kids like him and he trembled a little, but still...it would be a way to find out if Kevin really liked him or just wanted his help.

"I'd have to ask my parents. If they say no would you be agreeable to coming to my house instead?" Philip said thinking himself clever. If Kevin was trying to set him up then this would surely wreck his plans.

"Either way is fine by me. Hey, by the way where do you live?"

Philip couldn't believe his ears, had Kevin, cool Kevin, actually agreed to come to his house? He was so busy processing that tidbit of information that he almost missed Kevin's question, and it took him a moment to respond.

"I, umm live on Hope Street, across from the park."

"No way," Kevin said grinning, "We're practically neighbors, I live on Cherry, thats only two streets over." Kevin thought it odd that he'd never seen Philip in the neighborhood before, but then figured that Philip probably wasn't much of an outdoor person. Added to that was the fact that Thomas had said he'd only lived in the neighborhood since last year.

"This is my stop," Philip said as the bus lurched to a halt.

"Our stop," Kevin laughed as he gathered up his things, "how did I not know this before?"

Philip shrugged, but he knew the answer: cool guys like Kevin didn't notice nerds like him.

"Have a good evening boys," Mrs. Malloy said as they exited the bus.

"Thank you Mrs. Malloy," Philip said politely prompting Kevin to reply as well.

"Yeah, thanks...you too," Kevin said trying to sound enthusiastic.

On the sidewalk Philip stood nervously waiting for, for what he didn't know. Fortunately Kevin took charge.

"Come on, I'll walk you home. That way I can see which house is yours. It's on my way anyway."

"Oh, okay," Philip said, his heart beating unreasonably fast in his chest. Am I ill? he wondered, Am I having a heart attack? My palms are all sweaty, and I feel hot, and my stomach feels like it's full of butterflies.

"So do you ever go to the park? I mean, since it's so close."

"Occasionally," Philip said, although the truth was he'd only been there once and hadn't stayed long.

"Cool. Hey maybe if we get through studying in time we could hang out in the park a little while. I mean if your folks let me come over, or whatever."

"That would be fine, if we have time." Philip said without commitment.

"Cool, so what do you do for fun Philip?"

"Well, I like video games, and music," Philip said opening up more and more to Kevin as he got to know him better, "and I collect books."

"Books? Like just any books, or special ones?"

"Only hard cover books. I don't bother with paperbacks. Someday, when I'm grown I hope to have enough books to fill my own home library for my children," Philip said blushing. Other than his parents he had never told anyone about this particular dream and now that he had, he fully expected Kevin to laugh out loud or take off running.

"That's so cool," Kevin said sincerely. He liked books too, maybe not as well as Philip, but he could certainly respect Philip's intentions. But there was something else revealed here and Kevin wanted to explore that area next, "So, you want to get married someday...and have kids?"

"Of course," Philip said stiffly, "My parents fully expect that of me."

"Wait, so you only want to get married and have kids cause your folks want you to?"

"Well, of course if I meet the right girl, I'm sure it would be...um, nice," he said blushing.

Kevin laughed and pounded him gently on the back, "You dog you, chasin' the ladies already."

"Aren't you?" Philip asked then looked stricken, then pulling away a little he stuttered, "I mean of course you are, I didn't mean to imply..."

Kevin raised an eyebrow, "Imply what? That I don't like girls?" Kevin said trying to sound offended, but seeing the frightened look on the boy's face he cracked a smile, "Can I be honest with you Phil? Can I call you Phil? Philip sounds sooo for..mal?"

"Yesss...thaat wou..would be fine," Philip said shivering with fear and disgust at himself. He had ruined everything by saying what he had...he was sure of it. And yet...Kevin wanted to give him a nickname. This was all too confusing.

"Okay, first of all...Phil, relax dude. You are way too uptight. What I was gonna' say was: the truth is Phil, this whole boy girl thing is kind of confusing and I don't know exactly what to think about it. I mean I think it's really cool that you already know that's what you want, to get married and have kids, but dude I don't even know how I feel about girls yet." Kevin couldn't believe he was admitting his most private feelings, but he supposed Phil wasn't the kind of boy who would go around spreading tales.

Phil actually smiled, "I can understand that Kevin, I'm a little confused myself, but after all...we're only 12."

"Yeah, tell that to my hormones," Kevin mumbled and Phil actually guffawed a little, covering his mouth and looking at Kevin with wide-open eyes.

"Oh, so I don't guess you have that problem Mr. Smart Guy," Kevin said grinning as he attacked Phil and tickled him.

At first Phil was scared, then realizing Kevin was just being playful, he giggled in a very un-Philip-like way. He'd never had anyone just treat him like a normal boy, and while it was confusing, it was also...enjoyable. It was as if he suddenly realized what he'd missed out on all those years just being a smart kid. He'd never had a best friend, never been to a sleep-over, or been invited to a birthday party, and while none of that had ever bothered him before, or seemed important, suddenly he wanted all those things and more. He wanted a friend. Did he dare think Kevin could be that friend?

Kevin stopped tickling Phil and they continued their trek to Phil's house. Soon they would be there and Kevin would leave him and that made Philip sad. Ignorance is bliss, and until now Philip hadn't known what he was missing.

"Kevin?" Phil said so softly that Kevin could scarcely hear him.

"What Philster?" Kevin laughed, coining yet another nickname for his new pal.

"Do you..um, want to come in for a little while when we get to my house?" As soon as the words left his mouth Phil felt like crawling in a hole somewhere. Of course someone as cool as Kevin wouldn't want to hang out with someone as lame as him.

"Sure, is your mom home?" Kevin said easily, "If she is maybe we can ask her about the study date."

Date? Phil almost swooned at the sound of that, for despite his plans to marry and father children, he wasn't even sure he liked girls. But lately he'd begun to notice other boys in a whole new way. Kevin was one of those boys, and Phil thought he was handsome, and sometimes just seeing him caused that hot thumpy feeling in his tummy. And now, here he was right beside him, talking to him like a regular kid, revealing his secrets, and...tickling him. Phil was almost giddy, he was so overjoyed.

"Yes, she is always home. She doesn't work. My father is a Doctor and provides for us," Philip said, then again regretted his words. That had sounded a bit arrogant and not "cool" at all.

"Cool, what kind of doctor?" Kevin said looking impressed.

"He's an Orthopedic Surgeon at St. Marks," Philip added, suddenly feeling very proud of his father.

"Wow, cool," Kevin said, "so does he buy you lots of cool stuff?"

Phil shrugged, "I have everything I need, a computer, a gaming system, my instruments, and my sound system. And of course my books."

"Sound system?"

"I like music...a lot, so I have invested a lot of money in a quality sound system. I have a 100 watt amplifier, a CD player, and two turntables for vinyl records. They're making a comeback you know, the warmth and richness of  the sound with vinyl excels  all other recording media...in my opinion."

Kevin was genuinely impressed. At home he had an I-pod loaded with digital music, and ear buds were the only way he ever listened to it. Apparently there was a lot more to Phil than met the eye.

"Cool, maybe you can show me your...sound system and play me some music. Uh, what kind of music do you like?"

"Well, as you might have guessed, I like the classics, but...I also like other types of music, including rock and roll, alternative, and...and please don't laugh, disco and dance."

"Why would I laugh? I like all those things too, well...maybe not classical so much, but some of it."

"This is my house," Phil said as they came to a sprawling two story house that looked out of place in this middle to upper income neighborhood. 

The house actually occupied two lots and featured a three car garage and circle drive with a porte co·chère. A BMW convertible sat beneath the porte co-chére and Kevin whistled appreciably. From where they stood Kevin could see a wrought iron fence in the back and a large pool surrounded by a cement deck. 

"This is the house that banker guy used to live in," Kevin said excitedly. He'd passed by it many times on his way to the park, and a couple of times he'd even dared to look through the fence. In addition to the pool there were manicured gardens and lots of trees with a gazebo smack in the middle.

"Holy cow, you have your own pool. Do you even swim?" Kevin asked, then felt bad for assuming that Phil wasn't athletic enough for such a simple thing.

"Actually, it's the one athletic endeavor I am adept at. I...even considered going out for the swim team this year, but I changed my mind," Philip said sheepishly.

"Why's that?"

There was no way Philip could tell him the truth, that he was afraid to be around all those other cute boys in various states of undress. The small swimsuits they wore concealed very little and Philip was afraid he would become aroused and be the brunt of the others jokes or worse, be labeled a Fairy.

"I was afraid it would interfere with my studies, and my parents expect a lot of me academically."

"Too bad, I bet you could do both. Can we go in?" Kevin said eying the house almost hungrily.

"Of course, where are my manners?" Philip blushed, "Follow me."

From a gold chain around his neck, Philip produced a door key and opened the ornate heavy wooden door beneath the porte co-chére and led Kevin inside. Kevin's eyes darted left and right taking in the grandeur of the place and whistled appreciably.

"Wow, this place looks like a museum or something," Kevin chuckled, "solid wood and tapestries everywhere, and that spiral staircase looks like something out of a movie."

"I guess I've never really looked at it that way before," Philip said cocking his head, "It's actually smaller than our home back in Ohio, but I like it better. There's such a thing as too big."

A woman in her late 40's emerged from a hallway to the left and gave the two a warm smile, "Oh Philip dear I thought I heard you come in, and who is this handsome young man?"

"Mother this is Kevin Morgan, Kevin this is my mother."

"How lovely to meet you. Are you a friend of Philip's?" she said extending her hand. 

Kevin took it shyly and shook it weakly. He wished adults would get with program and use fist bumps like all the kids did. But then he supposed someone as sophisticated as Mrs. McKinney would look silly bumping fists with a 12 year old. He almost giggled at the image, but managed to change the giggle to a smile at the last minute.

"It's nice to meet you ma'am," Kevin said politely. He was usually quite nervous around strange adults, but something about Mrs. McKinney made him feel calm.

"You didn't tell me you'd made a friend," she said turning to her son.

Before Philip could reply Kevin jumped in. "Oh we've known each other since school started but only today did we find out we had so much in common," Kevin said grinning, "see, I asked Phil..uh, Philip to help me understand some math problems and we sort of hit it off right away, right Philip?" Kevin said grinning.

"Yes, that's correct. Mother, Kevin wanted to know if it would be all right to come over Friday after school so we could study for our math exam Monday."

"Oh, I see...so you're helping Kevin with his studies?" she said looking at Kevin with appraising eyes. Was this boy just using Philip to get a good grade or perhaps force him into doing his work for him?

Again Kevin took the lead, "Yes ma'am, it started that way, but I think we're starting to become friends. I was hoping if we finished our studying in time, that we could go to the park and hang out...if that's all right with you ma'am," Kevin said giving Philip's mom his puppy dog eyes and best smile.

Mrs. McKinney wasn't entirely convinced that Kevin was on the up and up, but she really wanted Philip to have friends and if Philip wanted to try this, she would allow it. However she would have a talk with Philip later and monitor the situation closely.

"I think that would be agreeable. I'll discuss it with your father, but I'm sure he will feel the same. Why don't you take your new friend into the kitchen? Mildred will give you your snack and then perhaps you can show Kevin your room."

"Yes mother, thank you," Philip said giving his mother a warm smile and a warmer hug.

"You're very welcome son," she said kissing the top of his head. She loved her son with all her heart and she knew his life wasn't an easy one. If this new friend could help Philip fit in, or more importantly make him happy, then she would do everything in her power to help.

Philip led Kevin to a spacious, modern kitchen where a rotund Spanish woman who appeared to be in her late 50's was bent over a stove.

"Hello Mildred," Philip said giving the woman a quick hug, "this is my friend Kevin. Kevin this is Mildred, she takes care of us," he said smiling affectionately at the woman.

"How wonderful to meet you," she said in near perfect English, "I will fix you both a snack. Sit down and I will bring it to you," she said with smiling eyes.

Kevin liked her immediately, and once he was seated he gave her a good looking over. She was pretty, even for a woman her age, and had a nice smile, rosy cheeks,  and warm smiling eyes the color of chocolate. Despite being a few pounds overweight, her body was definitely feminine and she looked cuddly. Cuddly in the way that moms were, and the way that Philip had hugged her, Kevin wondered if Philip hadn't been cuddled a few times by this warm loving woman.

Their snack was tortillas filled with cheese and a spicy meat with a sweetish-spicy relish. Kevin took one bite and moaned his approval, "Oh man, these are so good. You're a really good cook Mildred."

"Mildred is amazing. She cooks, she cleans, she takes care of us," Philip said warmly.

"It is my pleasure," Mildred said humbly, "I have been lucky to know this family since this one was just a tiny nino," she said smoothing back Philip's hair, "he is like a son to me, and his mama and papa are like family."

"That's cool, it's like you have two moms."

Next Mildred sat a plate of deep-fried tortilla chips covered with sugar and cinnamon and a spicy apple topping. This proved to be as delicious as the tortilla and Kevin was in love with Mildred's cooking by the time they'd finished their snack.

After thanking her enthusiastically Kevin allowed Philip to lead him upstairs. Rather than using the ornate spiral staircase, Philip led Kevin to a staircase beyond the kitchen. This staircase was narrow and straight and as they climbed it, Kevin couldn't help but stare at Philip's shapely rear end. 

It seemed so out of place on Philip's slender frame, what he'd heard called a bubble butt, and he wondered what it would look like bare. Would it be fish-belly white or tanned like the rest of Philip? That was another surprising thing about Philip, his skin tone. In the winter most kids paled a little, but Philip's skin was tanned and healthy looking making Kevin wonder if it was his natural color or if he used a tanning bed or something.

"This is sort of my private staircase," Philip said as they emerged into a short hallway, "My rooms are in here," he  said motioning toward a door to the left of the landing.

Rooms? Kevin thought, but his question was soon answered.

"This is my bedroom," Philip said leading Kevin inside.

The bedroom was spacious and tidy, and as Kevin looked around he saw a full size bed in front of a double window with a night stand on either side of it, a dresser with mirror, a chest of drawers, a study desk with a PC atop it, and across from the foot of the bed was a bookcase which held a gaming system and 32" flat screen TV.

"There's a bathroom through there," Philip said pointing toward an open door across from the one leading in from the hall, "and another bedroom which holds my sound system and book collection. In Ohio my room was large enough to hold everything, but here I have to use both rooms."

"Uh, speaking of bathrooms, can I use yours?"

"Oh, yes, of course," Philip said blushing at the thought of Kevin doing something as intimate as urinating in his very own bathroom.

Without even bothering to close the door behind him, Kevin checked out the bathroom and gaped in awe at what he saw. In addition to a whirlpool bath, there was a huge walk-in shower, a separate enclosure for the toilet, and something he'd never seen in a private home before, a urinal tucked away in one corner. Smiling he went to the urinal, unzipped and hauled out his pride and joy and began pissing. It felt good to relieve all that pressure, and as happened most times when he freed the little monster from it's cage, he began to raise his  one-eyed head, eager for some fun.

"Not now," Kevin scolded his best friend in the whole world, "later, I promise" then he giggled, shook off the last few drops and put little Kevin away.

Washing his hands in a sink that looked like a large sea shell, the faucet made of intricate gold metal, he studied his reflection in the mirror. Making a face he laughed and then stuck out his tongue, then grabbing the thick hand towel hanging nearby he began drying his hands.

"Hey Phil," he said from the doorway, "can we see the other room now?"

Phil, who had been waiting anxiously and trying not to think about what was going on inside his bathroom, jerked his head up and blushed deeply, "Yes, of course," he said joining Kevin in the bathroom.

"Man, I can't believe you have your own personal urinal. That is sooo cool," Kevin said laughing.

"Yes, it's quite convenient, especially at night when I awake and have to use the bathroom." He almost said urinate, but that sounded so stiff and boring. He knew most boys his age said pissing, but he wasn't quite ready to start using slang.

"The shower is way cool too, I bet four people could fit in there."

"It has 8 shower heads as well," Philip said smiling, "it's very relaxing."

"I bet, and stimulating too I bet," Kevin said grinning devilishly, "if you know what I mean."

Philip blushed bright red, for he did know what Kevin meant, and had recently found the stimulation more and more appealing, "Yes, very," Philip mumbled, "Through here," he said leading Kevin into a bedroom which appeared to be a mirror of the other one, except this one was furnished quite differently.

Lining two walls were built-in floor to ceiling book cases, and though nowhere near full, they held hundreds of hardback books. On the far wall another smaller free standing bookcase held an amplifier/tuner with CD player, and two large professional turntables. Looking around Kevin saw at least six speakers, one in each corner, and two atop the bookcases on either side of the room, but no cables were visible anywhere. Either the speakers were Bluetooth or they'd been wired through the wall, floor, or ceiling.

In the middle of the room were two matching recliners with a small table between them. They seemed to be placed for maximum exposure to the speakers, but only one of them showed any signs of use. Overhead track lighting with the individual lights positioned to shine where needed, finished out the room.

"Oh my God, this is so cool. Can you play some music, I bet it sounds awesome from there," he said pointing toward the two chairs.

"Of course, why don't I put on a vinyl record? Then you can hear what I mean about the sound quality."

"Go for it, uh...what kind of music is it?"

"I think you'll like this," he said mysteriously, "have a seat."

Kevin sat in the closest chair and leaned back. The chair was so plush and comfortable that he found himself feeling a bit sleepy. Then just as he closed his eyes he heard and felt Philip settle into the other chair. A few seconds later the music began..

Philip had chosen ELO's Mr. Blue Sky and as the opening instrumental began Kevin could literally feel the music coursing through his body. He'd heard the song a few times in a commercial or a movie maybe, but until now he'd never realized how cool a song it was. He was taping his foot and moving his head and body in time to the music and when it got to the part where the voice was sort of distorted he thought it sounded like a robot or something and that was even cooler. He really loved the last robot sounding words and when it was over he was cheering and clapping.

"That was awesome," Kevin said grinning at his new friend, "I don't know much about records or how stuff should sound, but that was the coolest thing I've ever heard. What else ya' got?"

Philip was pleased that Kevin seemed to be as enthusiastic about the music as he was, and next he chose The Beatles Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band, and as it played in the background they talked.

"So you have two chairs, who usually listens with you?"

"No one really, sometimes my mother or father for a song or two, but since I don't really have any friends, it's usually just me."

"Well, now you got me...I mean if you want..." Kevin said giving Philip a hopeful look.

"I think having you as a friend would be wonderful, but aren't you worried about what other students at school might think? I mean I'm not exactly in your league."

"Naw, I don't worry about that stuff. I have friends of all kinds," Kevin said stretching the truth a bit. Actually becoming Philip's friend was how he hoped to get in good with Thomas and the others and actually have some friends.

"Well, if you're sure, I am very agreeable to having your friendship," Philip said smiling shyly.

"I'm sure. In fact I'd like you to meet a few of my friends tomorrow. Why don't you sit with us at lunch and I'll introduce you."

"I don't know Kevin, are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'm sure. We sit by the window, I'll look for you."

"I know where you sit," Philip said before he could stop himself. Truth was he'd noticed Kevin right away and had sort of been watching him ever since. He also knew one of the other boys from grade school by name, but had never even so much as talked to him.

"Oh yeah, you been stalking me?" Kevin teased.

"Nooo," Philip said feeling as if he might start crying at any moment.

"Phil, buddy...calm down. I was just joking."

"I know," Philip said relaxing a bit.

"Well, I should probably get going. My mom will be home soon and she likes for me to be home when she gets there."

"All right," Philip said trying not to sound as disappointed as he felt, "I'll walk you to the door."

"Okay, maybe Friday you can show me around outside. I'd love to see your pool up close."

"Yes, perhaps you'd like to swim. The pool is heated and quite nice, even this time of year."

"Awesome, I'll wear my trunks under my clothes then."

At the front door Kevin offered his fist to bump and at first Philip wasn't sure what to do, but he'd seen other kids bump fists, and at the last minute he raised his fist and gently bumped Kevin's fist, grinning widely.

"Well, see ya' tomorrow at school. I'll ask my folks about Friday but I know they'll say yes."

"Goodbye Kevin. Thank you for walking me home. I've enjoyed your company," Philip said smiling.

Again Kevin was struck by how cute Philip was, especially when he smiled, and he felt the sudden urge to hug him. Wow, where did that come from? Kevin wondered, then giving Philip a smile and a wave he turned to go, "Oh...and thanks for helping me with the math problems. Later dude," he said turning back around. Then grinning he started home.

Philip's mother was waiting for him when he stepped back inside and he gave her a happy smile, "Kevin had to go home, but we really had a good time mother. He even likes the same music I do."

"That's wonderful Philip, but I'd like to talk to you about your new friend..."

Philip's smile faded as he followed his mother into the small sitting room at the front of the house as he prepared himself for the worst. What if his mother forbade him to see Kevin again? But no, she'd already approved Kevin's coming over Friday to study. He supposed he was only making trouble for himself by assuming the worst and finally decided to just listen to what his mother had to say and go from there.

"What is it mother?" he asked innocently.

"I just want to make sure that this boy genuinely wants to be your friend and that he's not taking advantage of you."

"Taking advantage of me?" Philip asked with wide-eyed innocence.

"Yes, perhaps by asking you to do his school work for him, or something of that nature. He hasn't demanded money from you has he?"

"Mother, Kevin isn't like that. He's a fine and decent person," Philip said becoming just a little agitated.

"Well, as your mother it's my job to make sure that doesn't happen. But I also know how important it is for you to fit in and to have friends, so...I am going to allow you to see this boy, but I will be watching closely to make sure things are as they should be," she said giving Philip a smile.

"Thank you mother," Philip said jumping up to hug his mother, "I promise if things get out of hand I will tell you, or...stop seeing him."

"I trust you son, and I love you very much and I want you to be happy. Now then, why don't you go change and get ready for dinner. Your father will be home soon."

In his room Philip was almost giddy as he stripped off his clothes and began to change. This had been by far the best day he could remember having in a very long time. Kevin was so much fun to be around and his playful attitude was contagious. Phil...he thought smiling, he calls me Phil. No one had ever given him a nickname before, well not one that wasn't just to make fun of him. "Philster," he said aloud then laughed, "Thank you, thank you, thank you Kevin," he said beneath his breath.

When he got down to his underwear, fashionable boxer briefs, he noticed there was a slight tent in them. Pulling the elastic out he gazed down at the offending member and the sparse patch of blondish hair above it. He knew all about puberty, hormones, and the mechanics of sex, but he was still captivated by this particular part of his body. He was a child of the internet and his parents had never imposed any kind of restrictions on his browsing, relying instead on their son's intellect and upbringing to guide him. He'd never disappointed them, visiting only safe websites, but he'd still gleaned enough information to know that he was a little ahead of most boys his age, both in sexual maturity and penis size.

He also knew that masturbation was both natural and healthy and he felt no more shame in doing it than he did scratching an itch or moving his bowels. That it was both pleasant and satisfying were a big plus, and lately a new element had been added as he'd begun to fantasize about boys while he masturbated. Girls never entered his mind at these times but he didn't necessarily think he was gay. He considered himself to be just curious, and because he knew more about boys' bodies than girls', he reasoned that was why his masturbation fantasies involved them.

He glanced at his stylish wristwatch and saw that it was just after 5. His father usually arrived home sometime between 5 and 6 depending on his patient load, so he might have time, he reasoned. Glancing at his bedroom door and making sure it was closed all the way, he walked over to his bed and lay down. Then lifting his slim hips he pushed his underwear to his knees and released his now fully erect penis.

At 5 1/4" in length it was well above the average size of a 12 year old's penis and he had a fair amount of pubic hair just above it. Though his testicles were still smooth they had dropped and hung free beneath his slender penis, and just recently he'd begun to ejaculate semen. He knew that soon his body would begin to produce sperm and that would be added to the mix, but for now his emissions were sparse and manageable. For this purpose he kept a box of tissues by his bed, and reaching over and grabbing a handful he began.

Unlike most boys his age, Philip's penis was uncircumcised. His father was uncircumcised, and his father, and as far as Philip knew all the men on his father's side of the family were also intact. For this reason Philip needed no lotion when he masturbated, and from all that he had read on the subject, he believed his penis was more sensitive than most other boys. He took some satisfaction in knowing that for once he was different in a good way.

Closing his eyes it wasn't surprising that it was Kevin's face and body that he visualized as he continued to stroke his rampant pre-teen penis. It didn't take long to get to that aching point of no return, and speeding up a bit, he brought himself to a spectacular, and unusually messy orgasm. Resting just a moment to allow his heart to slow down a bit and his breathing to return to normal, he cleaned up the mess and pulled his underwear up. Discarding the used tissue in the bathroom commode he washed his hands and continued getting dressed for dinner.

-----

A few blocks away Kevin was just getting to his room when he heard the garage door opening and he went downstairs to greet his mother.

"Hello honey. How was your day?" she said giving Kevin a warm hug.

"Great mom, I made a new friend today," he said grinning.

"That's wonderful dear. I want to hear all about it, but first I need to change and get dinner started. Maybe you can help me in the kitchen and we can talk."

"You're just trying to get some free labor," Kevin joked.

"Darn, you're on to me," his mom laughed, "why don't you go fill the pasta pan with water and put it on to boil?'

"Yes ma'am," he said saluting and then running off giggling.

By the time Mrs. Morgan made it to the kitchen Kevin not only had the water for spaghetti on to boil he had pulled out a package of hamburger and had it browning in a skillet.

"My little chef," Mrs. Morgan said coming up behind her son and hugging him, "I'll take it from here. Now, sit and tell me all about this new friend."

Kevin climbed up on a bar stool and sat at the breakfast bar nibbling a carrot as he told her about Philip. He didn't think it prudent to mention the fact that making friends with Philip was a sort of an initiation, instead concentrating on the math tutoring angle, and when he'd finished his narrative his mother smiled.

"So this boy lives by the park in the Miller's old house. I love that house I wish we could afford a place like that."

"Aw mom, it's cool and all, but I like our house...it's more like a regular house and feels cozy. Phil's house seems kind of cold and, I don't know, unlived in, like a museum or something."

"Well, you're probably right, but a pool would be nice," she said wistfully.

"So can I go over to Phil's house Friday after school to study?"

"I don't see why not. Is it a sleepover or will you be home for dinner?"

"Uh, well...I think it's just to study so I'll probably be home unless they invite me to eat with them. Their cook makes the best tortillas I ever tasted," Kevin said rubbing his tummy.

"She must be quite a woman to take on that huge house and still find time to cook."

"She said she'd been with them since before Phil was born, so that means she moved from Ohio with them."

"Well, if you can charm her out of any of her recipes let me know," his mom chuckled.

Mr. Morgan arrived just as his wife was draining the spaghetti, and sticking his head in the kitchen he sniffed the fragrant air and sighed, "I smell garlic and onion and tomatoes. Let me guess...spaghetti ala Cathy," he joked, Cathy being his wife's name.

"And salad ala Kevin," Kevin joked, "Hi dad, anything exciting happen today?"

It was a running joke between them. Mr. Morgan was a State Farm Insurance agent, and most times work was less than exciting.

"Nope, no hail, tornadoes or fires, but I sold four new policies today," he said snatching a bread stick from the basket on the table and taking a bite.

"That's good, are we gonna be rich now?" Kevin teased.

"Nope, but we can eat a couple more days now," he joked.

"All right dad!" Kevin said giving his dad a high-five.

"Wash your hands boys, dinner is ready."

As they ate and caught up on each other's day Kevin eventually worked his new friend into the conversation.

"Oh, yeah. That's Doctor McKinney's son. I have the policies on their house and three vehicles. Be nice to them son, can't afford to lose customers like that," Mr. Morgan said grinning.

"Oh, so I shouldn't TP their yard on Halloween?" Kevin teased.

"Only if your disguise is foolproof," Mr. Morgan said deadpan.

"Walt, don't encourage him," Mrs. Morgan scolded.

"Mom, you know I would never do anything like that," Kevin said giggling, "unless I was totally sure I'd get away with it."

"Any dessert?" Mr. Morgan said wiping the last of the spaghetti sauce off his mouth.

"Yes, chocolate cake. I baked it just for you dear."

"Hey, what about me?" Kevin whined.

"I baked it just for you dear," she said turning to her son and grinning.

"Dad," Kevin said in an aside whisper, "I think mom's been replaced by a pod."

"Tide pod maybe," his dad joked, "bring on the cake woman."

"Yes master," she chuckled, "and when my two boys finish their dessert they can do the dishes."

"Yes ma'am," both said at once causing a burst of laughter from all three.

-----

"So Kev, how's it going with your nerd?" Roger asked as Kevin slid into his seat at the lunch table.

"Great, in fact...I asked him to sit with us today so I could introduce you guys."

"Oh this oughta' be fun," Roger chuckled.

"He's actually a pretty nice guy," Kevin said hoping Roger didn't say or do something stupid, "so if you want this thing to work, don't mess with him too much, okay?"

"Roger," Thomas warned, "don't screw this up. Just watch what you say."

"Hey, I'll be good," Roger said grinning, "wouldn't want to scare the little nerd away."

"Do you actually like anyone?" Terry asked looking pained.

"I like you guys," Roger chuckled, "except Kevin of course, but if he pulls operation Nerd off, then I'll add him to the list."

"Gee thanks...I guess," Kevin said frowning.

"Relax Kevin, doesn't matter what Roger thinks. He's only here cause' Terry and I tolerate him," Thomas laughed.

"Here comes your new buddy now," Terry said softly.

Kevin turned just in time to see Philip walk in the door, then standing he motioned him over.

"Hi," Kevin said, "I saved you a seat next to me."

"Hello," Philip said not making eye contact with anyone as he sat down, his zippered lunch bag in his hands.

"Phil, this is Thomas, Roger, and Terry. Guys meet Phil," Kevin said smiling.

"Hey Phil, we went to grade school together, remember me?" Thomas said nodding.

"Yes, hello," Philip said glancing up just for a moment.

"Hey Phil," Roger said boring a hole in the boy with his eyes.

"Hello."

"And I'm the token gay," Terry chuckled, "out and proud."

"Hello," Phil said looking into Terry's eyes a bit longer than with the others. He'd heard about Terry and of course seen him around, but hearing him confess his sexuality and that he was proud of it impressed him.

"So Phil, what did Mildred send today?" Kevin said gazing at Phil's lunch bag. Then to the others he said, "Mildred is Phil's folks' cook, and she makes some bomb tortillas."

"I haven't looked yet," Phil said unzipping his lunch bag, "Mildred always surprises me, but it's always delicious."

Today's lunch was 2 tiny ham and cheese croissants, an apple, celery, and carrot sticks, a container of dip, and a container of homemade banana pudding with sliced bananas in it. A 10 oz container of fruit punch rounded out the meal.

"Oh man, that looks good," Kevin said with envy, then staring at his own lunch with disdain, he sighed.

"I can't eat both of these myself," Phil said offering one of the croissants to Kevin, "I'd be happy to share."

"Really? Are you sure? Well, if you insist," Kevin laughed, taking the croissant and licking his lips.

Across from them Roger was biting his tongue, trying not to tell them how "gay" they were acting, but a warning look from Thomas removed any further doubts as to whether he should speak up or not. Terry thought the two looked cute together and he wondered if Kevin saw what he did? That Phil was crushing on him big time, and that he was screamingly gay. This would make for interesting conversation when he and Kevin were alone, but he knew better than to say anything around Roger. Thomas was probably okay, but definitely not Roger.

"Chips?" Kevin said offering one of his bags of Doritos to Phil."

"I don't eat chips very often, except of course Mildred's homemade tortilla chips, but I do like these." he said accepting the offered chips, "I'll share my carrots and celery and apple if you'd like."

"Naw, that's okay. I have plenty here, even a piece of chocolate cake from dessert last night."

"So Philip, you live over by the park right?" Thomas asked when things quieted down, "in that big house with the pool?"

"Yes, that's correct," Philip said looking up only long enough not to appear rude.

"So do you even swim?" Roger smirked.

"Yes." Philip replied, not bothering to look up. He could sense that Roger didn't like him and he saw no need to play up to him.

"Philip is a swimmer," Kevin added, "he almost went out for the swim team, right Phil?"

Phil nodded, but didn't answer, instead concentrating on his lunch.

"So is it Phil or Philip?" Roger sneered, "or is Phil just Kev's pet name for you."

Suddenly Philip looked up and directly into Roger's eyes, and all the mean things anyone had ever said to him and all the times he'd ever been bullied filled his brain, then for the first time in forever, Philip McKinney spoke up for himself.

"My given name is Philip, but my friends call me Phil," he said boldly, then looking at Kevin he smiled.

Kevin suppressed a laugh, and Thomas and Terry looked ready to start rolling on the floor. Roger shrank back in surprise and gave Philip a dirty look. He liked the nerd even less now and couldn't wait for the 30 days to be up so he could put him in his place.

After lunch, Philip excused himself leaving the four alone. As soon as he was out of ear shot, Roger began.

"My friends call me Phil," he mocked, "what friends? Except for Kevin that nerd doesn't even know anyone, and that's only going to last a month."

Kevin stirred uncomfortably. He had no intention of dumping Phil after 30 days, but he didn't want to fight that battle till he had to.

"Good job Kev," Thomas said ignoring Roger's outburst, "Philip seems to be coming along nicely."

"He's actually a pretty cool dude, you should see his book and music collection..."

-----

Later in the only class Kevin shared with Terry, Terry pulled him aside before the bell rang.

"Phil is cute," Terry giggled, "if you two don't become boyfriends I might give him a try," he said quietly.

"What do you mean?" Kevin asked defensively, "I'm just trying to make friends with him, not go steady with him. I'm not gay..."

"Uh huh," Terry said sounded unconvinced, "well, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but my gaydar says Phil might be a little gay," he laughed.

"A little gay? Is that a thing?"

"Yeppers, but actually I think he's a lot gay."

"Naw, he told me he was going to get married and have kids some day."

"I'm sure that's what he tells his folks too, and he might do that, but it won't change who he is inside and he will probably regret it, maybe even fool around with guys on the side."

"He's sort of young to figure out that stuff, don't you think?"

"Maybe, maybe not. I've known since I was 10...maybe even younger, but I knew for sure the year I turned the big one oh."

"Anyway, even if he is...I'm not..so all we can be is friends."

"He'll settle for that, but he'll always wish for more."

"It's just for a month anyway, right."

"Kevin Morgan, if you make friends with that boy and then dump him I will never speak to you again. I would expect that from Roger, but not from you," Terry scolded.

"The others expect me to, right?"

"Roger would love for that to happen, but Thomas won't expect you to dump him. He'll respect your decision either way probably, although he might feel like I do. Thomas is a cool guy and a lot deeper than you think."

"I'll be honest. I like Phil and I don't think I could just dump him like that. I mean we've only just started being friends and it might not work out, but I guess I feel like it ought to be his choice. He deserves that."

"That's the Kevin I was hoping for," Terry said putting his arm around Kevin's neck.

"Boys, take your seats," Mrs. Curtis, their teacher said. Then to the class, "Pop quiz time."

 

The Secret Life of Nerds
Part Two - The Visit


On Friday the boys got off at their stop and walked the short distance to Philip's house. As before Mrs. McKinney greeted them then sent them off to the kitchen for a snack. Mildred greeted the boys warmly and offered them pigs-in-a-blanket and fresh squeezed lemonade. Again Kevin made a big show of telling Mildred how tasty everything was and when she presented them with fresh baked lemon cookies Kevin took one bite and repeated his earlier accolades.

Afterwards they went up to Phil's room and sat at Philip's desk going over the math questions at the end of each chapter and comparing answers. Kevin was careful to mess up once in a while, but Philip was intelligent enough to see through his ruse before too long.

At first he was confused. Why would Kevin pretend to need his help when he was clearly a gifted student? Was it to get close to him, and if so, why? Was he setting Philip up for a fall? Did it have anything to do with the boys he'd been introduced to today? It was all so confusing, but he really liked Kevin and decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and not say anything for the time being.

After an hour of studying, Kevin began fidgeting and yawning as if bored. "Can we take a break, maybe swim a while? I'm wearing board shorts under my jeans."

"All right, just let me get changed," Philip said standing and stretching a moment, "I hope you don't mind but the only swimwear I have are Speedos."

"That's fine, swim naked if you want," Kevin teased, causing the boy to blush.

"I...would if no one was home," Philip said blushing even redder.

"You're a wild man Phil," Kevin laughed, "better keep an eye on you."

From his dresser drawer Philip pulled out a pair of fluorescent green Speedos and headed to the bathroom. While he was gone Kevin slipped off his shoes and socks and removed his shirt and pants, then folded them and placed them on Phil's bed. This left him in a pair of blue and orange board shorts that came almost to his knees. They were last years and a little snug in the seat and crotch since he'd grown some, but they fit him well enough for swimming.

When Phil returned he had a huge colorful beach towel wrapped around him from chest to knee and another towel in his hand.

"Here's a towel for later," Phil said smiling. He couldn't believe how excited and happy he was to be going swimming with Kevin and he hoped he didn't make a fool of himself by doing or saying something stupid.

"Are you naked under there?" Kevin teased as he pretended to lift Philip's towel.

"No," Philip said pulling away, "but my suit is very revealing."

"So...I'm gonna see you sooner or later. What if you wait till we get to the pool and then you whip it off and I'm so overwhelmed by your hotness that I pass out and hit my head or fall in and drown? You gonna take that chance?" Kevin teased.

Philip actually giggled, "I don't think that will be a problem, but if you insist on seeing me half naked I suppose I can accommodate you."

"That's okay, I was only teasing," Kevin said grinning, "Come on Philster, last one in is a rotten egg," he said as he took off running.

Philip recovered quickly and was hot on his heels, but the towel was slowing him down and in a sudden moment of desperation to win, he stripped it off and threw it over his shoulder. As he made it to the bottom of the stairs, Kevin, who had been laying in wait, tackled him.

It was a toss up as to which boy was more surprised: Philip at being ambushed, or Kevin at suddenly having a handful of almost naked boy. As they tumbled to the floor both were red-faced, but still managed to laugh.

"Got ya'," Kevin giggled, "Boy you weren't kidding, that thing is skimpy."

"The idea is that the less suit you wear the less resistance in the water. That's why they're very tight and elastic so they move with your body."

"It looks good on you," Kevin said panting, still holding the half naked boy in his arms.

"Thank you." Philip said blushing even redder.

Suddenly Kevin realized how weird the situation was, and he let go of Philip and stood, then offering the boy a hand up he said, "Come on, let's go Philster."

Although the temperature outside was in the mid 50's, the pool was warm and soothing as they slid in. As long as they stayed in the water they were fine, but as soon as they climbed out to dive, they were shivering.

After swimming the length of the pool they clung to the side and just floated there and talked.

"Your folks ever talk about wanting another kid?" Kevin asked trying to sound serious.

"Not really, but I think mother was unable to bear another child."

"There's always adoption, I know this one kid who'd make them a perfect son..."

Philip smiled, he had a pretty good idea who that person was, but he decided to play along, "Oh, really? Well, I could discuss it with my parents if I knew who this child was."

"Huh, oh yeah. Well, he's your age, and  a really cool kid, cute too, and polite..."

"Do I know this boy?"

"Yeah, he's in your math class."

"In my math class," Philip said trying to look as if he was thinking it over. Then a smile filled his face and he burst out with, "Is it Mark Richards? I heard his parents got a divorce..."

"Mark Richards, who's that? OH..oh, I get it. You're making a joke."

"Yes, I think the real boy is...you," Philip giggled.

"Well, can't blame a guy for trying."

As they floated there on their backs Kevin would occasionally glance over at Philip's crotch. At first he thought he was seeing things, but after a few furtive glances it became apparent that Philip was packing some major junk in his Speedos. Dare he mention it? Kevin wondered, or ignore it and continue to wonder if Philip was hung better than he was?

"Do those Speedos squeeze your junk or do you wear a jock or something?" Kevin finally said, trying not to sound too interested.

"They have a built in pouch to hold things in place, but I've seen some of the older boys looking as if they were in distress, especially if they became, you know, aroused," Philip said blushing again.

"Aroused? Oh yeah, hard," Kevin laughed, "you ever have that problem Philly Boy?"

"I...I suppose all boys suffer that malady at times..."

"You crack me up Phil. Don't you ever just use regular words like..like, boner, or dick?"

"I...I don't use slang very often. My parents think it's crude and shows a lack of intelligence and upbringing."

Kevin's smile disappeared, "So is that how you feel about me?"

"No, no...not at all. That's what my parents believe. I think the way you talk is just fine and it excites me a little," Phil confessed, "I like everything about you Kevin," he said looking over at his friend with tears in his eyes, "Please don't be offended by what I said."

"I'm not," Kevin said touching Philip's arm gently, "I just feel kind of out of place I guess. But I'm loving this pool," he added grinning.

"We should probably go in now, there's a shower just off the kitchen where we can rinse the chlorine off."

The shower was just off the laundry room and though not as big as the one in Philip's room it easily accommodated the two boys. Philip in his tight Speedos and Kevin in his see-through board shorts were quite a sight to behold and as they covertly checked each other out they talked softly about the things that interested them.

Up close Kevin could clearly see the outline of Philip's penis and unless he was a shower and not a grower, there was no mistaking that he was hung better than Kevin. When hard Kevin predicted that Philip would out measure him by at least an inch, and judging from the apparent size of his balls, out shoot him as well.

Philip was well aware that he was better endowed than most boys his age, but he thought Kevin's penis looked just fine, pressed against his thin wet board shorts. In a way he wished he could think of some excuse for them to be naked, but decided that would be too weird and he dismissed those thoughts.

When they had the chlorine washed off, they dried off as best they could and returned to Philip's room.

"You can use the bedroom again, and I'll use the bath," Philip said grabbing a bath towel for Kevin.

"Screw that," Kevin said grinning, "we can both use the bathroom. Don't wanna get water all over your room."

"Uh, all right I suppose one of us can use the toilet enclosure..."

"Are you shy Phil? It's just us two guys. I know it's not cause you're ashamed of your junk, cause it's pretty obvious you're hung like a pony," Kevin chuckled.

"I...I've never been naked with anyone before," Philip confessed.

"Hey, that thing you're wearing is almost like being naked, so don't sweat it."

When Philip still didn't make a move Kevin sighed, "Do you want me to turn my back? Cause I will, and I don't even care if you stare at my fabulous rear end."

Suddenly Philip burst out laughing, and all his fears of being naked with Kevin melted away.

"No, I'm not worried. We should just look at one another and be done with it, then all the mystery will go out of it."

"Works for me," Kevin said slowly working his wet clingy board shorts down.

The whole time both boys were removing their swimsuits their eyes were on each others lower half. As Philip's dark patch of hair came into view Kevin marveled at how much thicker it was than his own. He supposed that was only natural considering the fact that he seemed bigger below than Kevin was, and he concluded that Philip must be further along into puberty than he was.

Philip, who had never seen another boy naked in his entire life, found himself strangely excited at the prospect. When Kevin's blondish pubes came into view he anxiously awaited what came next, even as he was freeing his own boyhood.

"Gosh," Kevin said with genuine awe, "You're pretty big down there."

"I suppose I'm a little more developed than most boys our age, but you look just fine yourself."

"Something is different about your...um...dick. It has skin, is that what uncut means?"

"Yes, as far as I know all males on my father's side of the family are uncircumcised, or uncut."

"Wow, it looks cool. Uh, how does it work.?" Kevin said instinctively moving a bit closer.

"I just retract the foreskin, like this, and it looks similar to yours."

"Wow, cool. Uh...so when you...uh, you know, rub one out, how does that work?"

"Rub one out?" Philip said giving Kevin a confused look.

"You know, jerk it, jack, uh...masturbate, that's the scientific name I guess," Kevin said blushing. He supposed the reason he was so bold with Philip was because he knew Philip would never reveal what they talked about to anyone else.

"Oh, yes, that. Well, as you can see the foreskin moves easily along the shaft, and it's naturally lubricated by my semen, so there is no need for any other lubrication," Philip rattled off almost automatically, then realizing how personal and revealing what he'd just said he dropped his eyes and blushed bright red. His hands automatically went to his crotch in an attempt to cover himself, but somewhere along the way his penis had become semi-erect and his embarrassment was doubled.

"Hey, why'd you do that?" Kevin said staring at Philip's crotch, "this was just getting interesting."

"You must thing I'm perverse to become aroused in another boy's presence," Philip said sounding near tears.

"Then I guess I'm perverse too," Kevin giggled pointing at his semi-erect penis with both hands, "Dude, we're 12. I get hard sometimes for no reason and I bet most guys do too. And we been talking about sexy stuff, so...what's the big deal?"

"I just...this is the first time I have ever been naked with another boy."

"Have you been naked with a girl?" Kevin teased.

"Nooo," Philip said sounding horrified.

"Well, me either, but I've seen my friends' dicks a few times," he laughed, "now I've seen yours, so now it's no big deal...right?"

"I suppose," Philip said relaxing a little.

"So move your hands then," Kevin said smiling, "I wanna see what the competition looks like," he teased.

Slowly Philip moved his hands, a grin spreading across his face, and Kevin moved yet closer. When he so close they were almost touching Kevin bent down and took a closer look. Like himself Philip was smooth between his legs with only a mustache of pubes just above his cock. Kevin noted with interest that Philip's balls were a bit bigger than his and hung a bit lower and again he wondered if Philip could produce more semen than he could.

"Nice," Kevin said straightening up. "now you look at me, then we can get dressed."

Philip didn't look so much at Kevin's equipment as he did the rest of his body. He liked the way Kevin's developing chest merged into his flat taut stomach and then faded into a V as it melded into his pelvis. He liked Kevin's sturdy legs with a covering of downy hair so light it was barely visible, and even his small sturdy feet. After all this was his first time seeing a boy naked and there was more to a boy then just their sex organs.

"You look very fit and quite handsome," Philip said after a moment.

"O..kay," Kevin chuckled, "Now for a look at the backside, then we can get dressed," he said turning his back to Philip.

Philip was surprised at first, but soon his appraising eyes took in Kevin's strong back, his tapered waist and...the two soft pillows that he sat on. Philip had never thought about this particular part of a boy, or a girl for that matter, but now confronted with Kevin's shapely rear he realized there was indeed more to the human body than he had once thought.

"Now you," Kevin said spinning back around, "shake that bootie," he chuckled.

Philip did as he was instructed, actually more nervous at Kevin's eyes on his behind than he had been when they were on his front. Kevin didn't spend much time looking Philip's rear over. It was pretty much as he expected, small and shapely, a swimmer's rear, but he did have to admit it was nice.

"Nice butt," Kevin said smiling, "okay now all the mystery is out of things. We can change in front of each other and even shower together and it will be no big deal, right?"

"Yes, I see what you mean," Philip said grinning.

As they dressed they talked about school and the upcoming test and Kevin could definitely see a change in Phil's attitude. He was more outspoken now and his formal way of speaking was beginning to loosen up some. He wasn't using slang quite yet, but Kevin knew it was only a matter of time.

Once they were dressed they returned to Phil's room and hit the books again. Kevin continued asking Philip's help even when he didn't need it, and Philip continued to play along. He wasn't sure what was going on there, but he wasn't about to rock the boat at this point.

Around five thirty Kevin stood and stretched and announced that he should probably get home. He was half way hoping that Phil would invite him to stay for dinner, but he supposed in a home situation like his he wasn't used to making decisions like that.

"I understand," Phil said trying to mask the disappointment in his voice, "thank you for coming over and for studying with me."

"Like you needed it," Kevin chuckled, "I'm the one who needed the help, so...thank you."

"You're very welcome. I enjoyed spending time with you," he said grinning.

"Not to mention getting to see my bod," Kevin teased.

"I did rather enjoy that, but I believe you did too," Phil said grinning.

"Phil, you devil, you're really starting to loosen up. That's so great."

"I suppose you have something to do with that, and for that I thank you again."

"You're welcome," Kevin said smiling. 

"I'll walk you to the door," Phil said smiling from ear to ear.

This time they used the front stairs and Mrs. McKinney heard them coming and met them at the bottom of the stairs.

"Mother, Kevin is leaving now. We finished our studying and even had time to swim a bit."

"Well, it was nice having you young man, please come back again soon."

"Is tomorrow too soon?" Kevin asked grinning, "We didn't have time to go the park today, and I could really use a bit more studying for the test."

"What do you think about that Philip?" She asked deferring to her son. Personally she wasn't quite sure about Kevin's motives, but his visiting seemed harmless enough. Not to mention the look of joy on her son's face.

"I think that would be fine mother, perhaps Kevin could come for lunch and meet father."

"Would that be agreeable Kevin?" 

"Yes ma'am. What time should I come?"

"Shall we say...11:30? I'll have Mildred prepare something special for you boys."

"Thank you ma'am. Anything Mildred fixes will be great. Well I really should go. Can Phil walk me to the sidewalk?"

"Yes, but hurry back Philip. Have a good evening Kevin, we'll see you tomorrow at 11:30 then."

Once outside Kevin paused under the porte co-chére and turned to Kevin. 

"Just so you know my dad sells insurance and your folks are one of his customers."

"Oh, I see. So is that why you suddenly want to be my friend?" Philip said looking hurt. This could explain Kevin's sudden interest in him, he supposed. A business deal was all it was, paying homage to the client's son to insure he kept his business.

"No, don't be silly. First of all: my dad didn't even know who you were till I mentioned your dad's name, and second: I'm not like that. I just wanted you to know so there were no surprises later on. Me and my folks aren't rich, but we're not poor either. We have a nice house but nothing like yours, and we don't have a pool or a cook. We're just regular people, so...I just wanted to make sure you're cool with us being buddies, that's all."

Philip relaxed then and smiled, "I have no control over my economic situation anymore than you do. I'm not wealthy, my parents are. But all that doesn't matter as far as I'm concerned. I would want to be your friend regardless of your social or economic situation. I like you Kevin," he blushed then, "I have never had a real friend before and I want us to be friends very much...so, as you keep telling me: don't worry so much," he added grinning.

"Good, well gotta go. See ya' tomorrow. I'll skip breakfast so tell Mildred to fix extra," Kevin said grinning.

"I will make sure there is plenty. Goodbye Kevin and thank you again for coming over."

"Thanks for the help and for inviting me, maybe next weekend you can come to my house."

"I'd like that very much."

Kevin started off, then turning to wave at Phil who waved back enthusiastically. Philip stood watching till Kevin was out of sight then turned to go inside. His father pulled in just about that time in his BMW and Philip met him as he climbed out.

"Hello Philip, did you come to meet me?" he asked sounding amused.

"Hello father, I walked my friend Kevin out and was just about to go back inside, but when I saw you I wanted to of course greet you."

"Is Kevin this new friend of yours that your mother told me about?"

"Yes sir, he is a fellow student and I've been tutoring him in math."

"That's fine son, do you think the two of you might become friends?"

"I hope so father, I really do. He is quite an extraordinary person," Philip said smiling.

"You really like this boy, don't you?" Dr. McKinney said with laughing eyes. Unlike his wife Dr. McKinney  was much more personable and easy going.

"I really do father, but then he is actually my first real friend, so I really don't know how I am supposed to feel."

"Just go with your feelings son. If it's meant to be, then it will be."

"Thank you father, I will. He's coming for lunch tomorrow so you'll be able to meet him."

"Good, by the way what is this boy's last name? Perhaps I know his parents."

"Morgan sir. Kevin says his father is an insurance agent and that you are one of his clients."

"Walter Morgan? State Farm? Yes, Walt is a nice guy. I can only hope that his son takes  after him."

"I think so sir," Philip said hoping to win his father over before he actually met Kevin, "he is very polite around adults."

"But a regular boy around his peers I hope," Dr. McKinney chuckled.

"I suppose father,  but I like him just the way he is."

Dr. McKinney had suspected for sometime that his only son might be struggling with his sexuality, but as a doctor he didn't feel it was anything to worry about. Those things had a way of working themselves out, and whatever the outcome, he knew he could accept it, even though he wasn't quite as confident his wife would feel the same.

"Well, you know what is right and what is wrong so I leave it to your good judgment to decide how to handle this new friendship. Your mother and I both feel very strongly that it is important that you have friends for your emotional and physical well being. So, that being said, have fun and be a boy," he said putting his arm around his son's neck and leading him inside.

Meet the Parents


Kevin showed up right on time the next day and rang the doorbell. Philip opened the door almost immediately as if he were standing on the other side of the door and waiting, which he was, and greeted Kevin with a big smile.

"You look very nice today Kevin."

"My mom made me dress up," Kevin said pulling at the collar of his pullover, "She'll be sorry when I come home all dirty," he laughed.

"Mildred has been cooking all morning and I think you will very pleased with what she has prepared."

"I can't wait, I'm starving," Kevin said just as his tummy growled causing both boys to laugh.

"Come on in, I want to introduce you to Father."

Dr. McKinney was already seated in the small breakfast nook overlooking the pool, and his wife was in the kitchen assisting Mildred. When the two boys walked in Mrs. McKinney greeted Kevin with a smile. Then Mildred greeted him warmly. Dr. McKinney looked up and smiled, waiting to be formally introduced.

"Father I would like to introduce you to my friend Kevin Morgan, Kevin this is my father, Dr. McKinney."

"Hello sir," Kevin said offering his hand, just as his father had instructed him, "It's a pleasure to meet you."

Dr. McKinney laughed, "Well, the pleasure is mutual. Philip has told me that you two have been studying together and are slowly becoming friends."

"Actually sir, it's happening kind of fast. I don't make friends this easily usually, but Phil, uh..Philip is easy to like."

Kevin couldn't have picked better words to endear himself to Dr. McKinney and the others present, and to Philip it meant the world.

"Thank you Kevin," Philip said sincerely, "I feel the same way about you."

"Philip tells me your father is Walt Morgan, your father is a fine man, and any son of Walt's is welcome in our home."

"Thank you sir, I agree, my dad is a nice guy and I try to be a lot like him."

"Well, shall we have our lunch and get to know each other better?"

Mildred had prepared a veritable feast, all traditional Mexican dishes, including taquitos, fajitas, tacos, burritos, and cheese queso with home made chips. There was also those thin crispy cinnamon chips with a warm apple topping, and fresh fruit and vegetables with dip. She had made a gallon of her homemade lemonade for the boys,  but the McKinney's had a glass of wine.

"Oh man, this is so good," Kevin said digging in, "Thank you Mildred for cooking all this just for me," he said grinning.

"You are welcome Kevin, enjoy yourself."

"So you live nearby, is that correct Kevin?"

"Yes, on Cherry street, just two streets over. Phil and I ride the same bus and have the same stop."

"That's convenient, perhaps Philip can visit you at your home sometime."

"Yes sir, I invited him already. Maybe next weekend."

"I think that would be agreeable."

Mrs. McKinney seemed reserved, deferring to her husband to question Kevin and determine his sincerity. As far as she was concerned, as long as Philip was happy, and not being coerced in any way, she was happy. 

Dr. McKinney was not so much testing Kevin as he was just getting to know him. He felt that it was important to make sure Kevin felt as comfortable around him and his wife as he did around Philip. In that way he could make sure he was doing everything he could to help their friendship grow.

After lunch the boys retired to Philip's room and listened to music while their food settled. Not that Philip had eaten that much, but Kevin had stuffed himself and was a bit lethargic at the moment. However, Philip had eaten more than was usual, and he guessed it was because he enjoyed Kevin's lively conversation and company so much.

"Want to go to the park when this song ends?" Kevin asked after a while.

"Yes, that sounds fine. I was wondering, did you wear your swim trunks beneath your clothes today?"

"Naw, I forgot, but I could run home and grab them."

"Or, I have several more Speedos, you could borrow one if you'd like."

"You just wanna' see my hot bod in a skimpy little suit don't ya?" Kevin teased.

"I've seen you naked, remember," Philip said smiling, "the mystery is gone."

"But I still have a nice bod, right?"

"Very nice and I think you would look splendid in a Speedo."

"Then I'm in, but first let's go to the park so I can run some of this food off," Kevin groaned, then before he could stop it a loud fart escaped, "Oops, sorry, all those beans." Kevin giggled and it was contagious, soon both boys were laughing.

At the park Philip deferred to Kevin and followed him around taking in all the sights. He was loathe to admit that he'd only been to the park once, but Kevin didn't seem to notice his unfamiliarity with the park and was glad to lead him around.

When they came to the small pond a flock of ducks and geese waddled up demanding food, but Kevin quickly shooed them away, "Dang beggars, get outa' here," he laughed.

Philip was laughing at Kevin's antics and it suddenly occurred to him that he hadn't laughed that much in his whole life. Kevin was fun and funny, and even things like passing gas, which he'd thought offensive at one time, seemed funny now.

"Let's go up there," Kevin said pointing toward a wooded area beyond the pond. The park and the wooded area ran all the way through this side of the neighborhood and abutted the main road on the far side.

"What's up there?" Philip asked with concern. Philip was not a rough and tumble boy and was more comfortable indoors than out, but Kevin on the other hand, was wild and adventurous, and Philip wasn't sure if he was ready to follow him into the wilderness.

"Trails, a little creek. It's really cool," Kevin said smiling.

"Are there any...umm, wild animals there?"

Kevin almost laughed, but seeing the look on Phil's face he simply grinned, "Well, there's probably a squirrel or two, maybe a raccoon, but they won't bother us if we don't bother them."

"Well, I guess that's all right," Phil said, still feeling a little worried.

"Come on, it's not far and it's daylight out so...the wild animals won't be out yet," Kevin laughed.

"All right, but if I get eaten you'll be the one who will have to tell my parents," Phil said grinning.

"Why Phil," Kevin said slipping his arm around the boy, was that a joke? You surprise me more by the minute," he chuckled.

As they walked along the narrow path leading into the woods Kevin pointed out various points of interest and recounted past adventures.

"One time my friend Josh and I found an injured bird over there. I think maybe a cat or something must've attacked him. Josh loved animals of all kind so he took it home and nursed it back to health. Then when it was all better we brought it back and turned it loose," Kevin said straight-faced.

"That's wonderful, and did the bird fly away?"

"Yeah, it was something. We just stood there and watched it fly away, it was beautiful. Then all of a sudden this big hawk or something swooped down and plucked that little bird out of the air and flew off with it," Kevin said looking at Phil to gage his reaction.

With a look of horror on his face Phil looked up into the trees and in a trembling voice he said, "Really? Do you think there are any of those big birds around here now?"

Kevin burst into laughter and slapped Phil on the back, "I was kidding, the bird did just fine. He even tweeted thanks as he flew away."

It took Phil a minute to catch the double meaning of "Tweeted", then he burst into laughter and laughed so hard he bent over double.

"Oh Kevin, you are so funny," he said when the laughing subsided, "I haven't laughed this much in ages."

"Yeah, I'm a riot all right and it's good to hear you laugh. Come on, the creek is this way."

"This is actually kind of fun," Phil said as they approached the creek.

"Stick with me kid," Kevin said in a funny voice, "and I'll change your life."

"You already have," Phil said sincerely, and for once he didn't feel bad about confessing his true feelings.

"Aww, I haven't done that much," Kevin said blushing.

"Yes, you have," Phil said in a husky voice filled with emotion, "you have shown me things I never knew I was missing, and...what it means to have a friend, a true friend. Phil raised his glasses then and rubbed at his eyes. Allergies, he supposed, nothing to cry about.

"It's not like I'm not getting something out of it too," Kevin said, a little uncomfortable with Phil's sudden show of emotion, "You're a great guy. I like being with you."

Phil smiled and blushed a little, "I feel the same."

"Hey, over there, look, it's a beaver," Kevin said excitedly, "Probably gonna' build a damn."

They walked to the edge of the creek and stared across at the creature in awe, and Phil thought he had never felt as at peace with things as he did at that moment. Shyly he stole a look at Kevin and smiled. His stomach had that thumpy feeling again and he felt his heart speed up. Inexperienced as he was in the ways of the world and human emotions, he could not process the feelings coursing through him. Had he been a bit more worldly he would have recognized what he felt as a crush, and that crush was growing day by day. In some ways he was lucky that he didn't know what was happening, for if he had, he would have no doubt been worrying if Kevin noticed, or worse: if Kevin was crushing too.

Kevin motioned to a fallen tree not far away and suggested they sit for a while and Phil followed eagerly. Sitting side by side only inches apart, Phil felt happy despite the nervousness and confusion he felt around Kevin.

"You've never had a friend before?" Kevin asked suddenly.

"Not really. I've had acquaintances before, you know, mostly other boys like me," he said sadly, the mood suddenly swinging in the other direction.

"Even when you were younger, like in grade school?"

"Well..." Phil said softly getting a far away look in his eyes and smiling slightly, "when I was in 3rd grade I had a neighbor in Ohio named Oliver. He was...well, not what you would call overly bright," Phil's smile increased as he thought about his old pal, "he was fun though, really fun to be with and he was always laughing and always happy. I envied him in many ways, what he lacked in scholastic ability he more than made up for in a love for life."

"Sounds a little like me," Kevin teased.

"No, actually I find you to be intelligent and fun loving," Philip said quickly, "but I had forgotten just how much fun life could be until I met you."

"So this kid, Oliver, what kind of stuff did you guys do? Did you get into any trouble?" Kevin teased, poking Phil playfully and causing him to giggle.

"No, nothing like that. We swam a lot, my family had a large pool back in Ohio, and he taught me to play, really play...like most kids do naturally. We got dirty and we ran around and laughed and had fun. My parents were a little unsure at first, about us being friends, but I guess they are like most parents in that they wanted their child to be happy. I think that is why they have accepted our friendship so easily Kevin. They can see that you make me happy," he said then blushed.

"Your folks seem nice. I like them and I hope they like me too. So, what happened with Oliver, why didn't you stay friends?"

"Oh, he moved away one summer to New York. We tried to stay in touch online, but Oliver never was one for technology. After a while I guess we both just sort of gave up."

"That sucks, my friend Josh moved away too, then he moved back to town, but he went to another school so we really don't see much of each other."

"I bet you've had lots of friends, haven't you?"

"A few good ones, but I gotta' admit going into 7th grade I really didn't know that many kids. Then I sort of ran across those guys I introduced you to and started hanging with them at school, but we really don't hang anywhere else."

"So...they're not really your friends?"

Kevin sighed, "It's complicated, we're friends but not really close friends."

"Thomas seems nice," Phil said gazing at Kevin almost reverently, "But I don't much care for the one named Roger."

Kevin laughed, "You're a good judge of character, he's a dick weed. Terry is nice too, even if he is gay."

"Oh, that's right. I'd forgotten that Terry is gay." 

"Yeah, and it took a lot of guts to come out like he did. Of course no one messes with him cause Thomas and Roger have his back."

"Is that why you wanted to be in that group, for protection?" Phil asked, suddenly beginning to see things more clearly.

"Well, there's safety in numbers, so I thought it might be a good way to start the year out right."

"Yes, I can understand that. Kevin, can we go back now?"

"What? Oh sure. Can we swim when we get back?"

"Yes, that would be nice," Phil said thinking about how Kevin would look in a Speedo and blushing.

"I hope your mom doesn't see me in that skimpy little swimsuit though," Kevin said sounding worried.

"Why's that Kevin?"

"Because no woman alive could resist this bod," he laughed.

Phil laughed too and his happiness returned.

In Phil's room Phil pulled out several brightly colored Speedos and held them up for Kevin to see, "What color do you prefer?"

"I like the yellow and black ones. I'll look like a bumble bee, and I can sting anyone who gets too close," he teased.

Phil laughed and handed them to Kevin then chose a bright yellow pair for himself, "These are one of my favorites, they remind me of sunshine," Phil said smiling.

"And bananas," Kevin teased, "banana Laffy Taffy, it's that color."

"I suppose I will have to take your word for it. Shall we change here or in the bathroom?"

"Here's fine," Kevin said quickly stripping off his shirt, then sitting on Phil's bed to remove his shoes and socks. 

Phil followed his lead, sitting at his desk to remove his shoes and socks, and then he skinned off his pullover and stood to remove his pants.

Kevin watched with interest to see if Phil was really going to go through with getting naked in front of him even as he continued to undress. When both boys were down to their underwear Kevin led the way, quickly lowering his underwear then dropping them to his feet.

Phil watched covertly, and then taking a deep breath he followed suit. Kevin was proud of him, he had expected him to turn his back or try to conceal himself in some way, but instead he calmly remained facing Kevin and slowly stepped into his swimsuit.

Kevin took his time putting his own suit on, giving Philip a chance to check him out, albeit covertly. It felt naughty and fun to expose himself this way, and the way Phil was looking at him he seemed to be enjoying the show.

"I hope I don't pop a boner," Kevin teased, "I'd probably rip them out."

"They're surprisingly strong," Phil said grinning, "I've never had a pair rip for that reason."

"Oh, so you've had that problem before?" Kevin laughed, "There's a wild man inside you just waiting to get out, isn't there?"

Phil wiggled his eyebrows comically and just smiled as he wiggled into his Speedos, but so far there didn't seem to be an arousal issue.

Once they had their suits pulled up and their junk rearranged comfortably, they checked each other out.

"How do I look?" Kevin asked posing this way and that.

"Very nice," Phil said grinning, "See for yourself,"  he said pointing to the full length mirror on the back of  the door.

Kevin walked over to the mirror and stared at his reflection and whistled, "Wow, I'm hot...aren't I. Damn, how do you keep your hands off me?" he teased.

"It's not easy," Phil teased back, "but when you have a body like mine, it's easier."

"Why Phil, you didn't even blush when you said that. And, you do have a nice bod."

"Come on, let's go put our amazing bodies to use...in the pool," Phil said smiling.

As they walked down the stairs side by side, Kevin felt as if something had changed between them once again. Gone was the awkward and insecure Phil, and in his place was a fun and funny boy who seemed to feel more comfortable in his own skin. Kevin liked to think he had a lot to do with Phil's metamorphosis, and he felt proud of himself.

It had bothered him at first that becoming friends with Phil was just a silly bet to earn him a place in the group, but after being with Phil and getting to know him, he felt good about the whole thing. If not for the bet he'd never have met Phil, never got to know what a smart and funny kid he was, and watch him evolve and grow. 

He realized that on some level he was starting to get attached to Phil and that confused him a little. He'd had friends before but had never felt exactly the way he felt about Phil. Maybe it was because he felt protective of Phil, or sort of like a mentor. Sure Phil was supposed to be helping him with math, but as it turned out he was helping Phil with something much more important, learning to be happy.

"Kevin," Phil said noticing Kevin's self reflection, "If you weren't here with me...what would you be doing?"

"What? Oh, well...probably watching TV or playing video games."

"Don't you have any friends you hang out with?"

"Not really, but I do have this one guy I sort of like hanging out with," Kevin said looking serious.

"Oh, what's his name, does he live nearby."

"His name is Philster and he lives right here," Kevin laughed as he poked Phil playfully.

"Oh, well...I have this friend named Kevin, but he's sort of a prankster and he's always teasing me," Phil said grinning.

"You know you like it," Kevin laughed, "Come on race ya' to the pool." he said taking off running.

In the pool they swam several laps to loosen up and then floated in the middle while they rested. The temperature was warmer today and the water felt warm and soothing. Kevin thought to himself that he could certainly get spoiled to having access to a pool, but he was sure that even if Phil didn't have a pool he'd still like him. It wasn't all the cool things Phil had that made him cool, no Phil's coolness came from within, and Kevin was fast becoming almost obsessed with him.

"Did you ask your folks about adopting me?" Kevin teased.

"No, but they are quickly becoming attached to you, so at least you'll be able to spend a lot of time here."

"Hey, we could get married and then they'd have to let me move in," Kevin said cracking up.

Phil laughed, but a shiver ran up and down his spine. He knew Kevin was only joking, and that neither of them was even old enough to marry, not that they were gay, but it still gave Phil a tingling feeling to have Kevin say such a thing.

"I'd expect you to woo me for a while, and we'd have to date for a year or two to make sure we were compatible," Phil teased back.

"And let me guess, no messing around till we were married," Kevin laughed.

"Oh, I think that's part of the process of seeing if two people are compatible," Phil said, then realizing what that implied he blushed.

"So do you kiss on the first date Phil?" Kevin said grinning. This was fun, talking crazy stuff like this, but sort of exciting too.

"Well, it would depend on how the date went..."

Kevin howled with laughter, "Oh Phil, you're so funny."

"Have you ever...kissed anyone?" Phil asked, then regretted his choice of words, wishing he'd said a girl, and not anyone.

"Not a kiss, kiss," Kevin said honestly, "A girl kissed me on the cheek once."

"No one besides my mother has ever kissed me," Phil admitted.

"Well, pucker up," Kevin teased, "and we can fix both our problems."

Phil knew Kevin had to be kidding, but why had his penis stirred at the thought of a kiss between them?

"Perhaps after our first date...if it goes well," Phil said laughing, then he swam off leaving Kevin to figure out if he was serious or just busting his balls.

Kevin watched as Phil climbed out and adjusted his suit. Was he starting to chub up? Kevin wondered, then running his hand down the front of his own Speedo he realized he had a slight erection himself. He stared at Phil as he mounted the diving board and found his erection growing. He was confused by his attraction to Philip, but he'd been dealing with his attraction to boys for a while now, and though it had been faceless bodies he'd fantasized about before, now he had a real live boy to replace them. The fact that Phil's body was a thing of beauty, and that he had seen him naked, only added to the attraction and fueled his fantasies.

With grace and precision Phil made his dive and Kevin held his breath as he watched his smooth lithe body spring up and forward before knifing into the water and disappearing.

Kevin waited for him to surface and as the seconds ticked by he began to panic. What if Phil had hit his head or got a cramp? He thought starting to swim that way. Then suddenly he felt something touch his legs and a second later Phil surfaced directly in front of him.

Grabbing onto Kevin for support, Phil wiped the water from his eyes and grinned at his new friend. They floated there staring into each other's eyes for what seemed like forever, neither boy speaking, their hearts in danger of escaping their chests.

It would be hard to say which boy started moving first, but soon they found their faces moving closer until at last their lips met. The kiss was quick and a bit awkward, but to the two boys it was the most amazing thing they had ever experienced.

Unknown to the boys, Dr. McKinney had chosen that exact moment to peer out the window and witnessed what he assumed was his son's first kiss. Smiling he pulled the curtain closed and retreated to his office. That his son's first kiss was with a boy neither surprised nor upset the Doctor, but he didn't think now was the time to share this new information with his wife. He vowed to keep an eye on the two and if their relationship progressed then, and only then, he would breach the subject with his wife.

In the pool the boys were suddenly very aware of each other and the awkwardness of what had just happened. Phil released his grip on Kevin and floated nearby, his face red with guilt and his body shivering, not from the cold, but from fear. Fear that he'd messed up everything. He gave no thought to the fact that Kevin had participated willingly, or that it took two people to kiss, instead believing that he had somehow caused it to happen.

Kevin wasn't quite as terrified as Phil, but he did feel a bit guilty for getting so carried away. In his mind he believed he had been the one to initiate the kiss and he worried that Phil would be so upset that he would never want to be alone with him again.

"We should go in," Phil said in a trembling voice.

"Yeah, I probably should go home pretty soon,"  Kevin said trying not to let his emotions show.

Silently they climbed out and wrapped a towel around their bodies and went inside. Both boys were uncomfortable while showering the chlorine off, but neither made it known in an attempt to keep things normalized to some degree. After all they'd seen each other naked twice now and had agreed it was no big deal anymore. They were somewhat mollified by the fact they were still clad in the Speedos at this point, but soon they would be faced with the ordeal of changing in front of each other once again.

"That was fun," Kevin said just to break the ice, then regretting the possible implication of his words he quickly added, "the swimming and diving I mean."

Phil mumbled his agreement then shut off the water and both boys climbed out and began to dry off a bit before going upstairs. Still not speaking, they climbed the back stairs and entered Phil's room. Kevin was tempted to grab his clothes and run to the bathroom, but he decided to do so would have only made things worse. No, he needed to project a sense of normalcy and nonchalance if he was to get through this.

Drying off his upper body, then his legs and feet, he grabbed his underwear and laid them out on Phil's bed. Then stripping off his swimsuit he quickly covered himself with his towel as he dried his middle and rear end.

Phil followed Kevin's lead laying his underwear on his dresser, but Kevin was barely aware of him as he concentrated on his own attempt at indifference.

The silence in the room hung heavy on them both but neither could think of anything to say. Kevin considered apologizing and hoping for the best, but decided that doing so would only make both of them more uncomfortable. No, it was best to just keep quiet and never mention what had happened and hope they could both forget it and move on.

When Kevin had his underwear on he pulled on his shirt then sat on Philip's bed and donned his pants. As he was struggling to get his socks on he looked up at Phil who was just slipping his pants on, but he quickly averted his eyes.

Once Kevin had his socks and shoes on he sat there for a minute as he contemplated how to make his getaway without sounding as if he were fleeing for his life.

"Well, I should get home. My mom wants me home for dinner. I had a great time though."

"So did I," Phil said trying not to be sad, even though he was sure this was the end of their friendship, "I'll walk you to the door."

Kevin was glad neither of Phil's parents were nearby and at the door he didn't linger. "Well, see ya' Monday in math," Kevin said smiling. His heart was breaking and he didn't know why. Surely losing Phil's friendship so soon shouldn't be this traumatic.

"Yes, I hope you do well on the exam."

"I'm sure I will, and I know you'll ace it. Well, bye."

"Goodbye," Phil said, quite sure that this was goodbye forever.

On the way home Kevin mulled everything over in his head and regretted not being brave enough to just talk things out. Maybe Phil would have been cool with what happened, but by not talking about they'd made it weird. 

Was it weird? He wondered, At the time it was pretty amazing. I even felt a tingle in my crotch and my heart was beating so fast. But wait, wasn't that the kind of stuff people in love felt? Or was it a sex thing? 

He was so confused and there was no one he could talk to about this stuff. Then it dawned on him, there might be one person who would understand, but could he bring himself to talk about something this personal with someone he hardly knew? Then he remembered what Terry had said about Phil being gay and the whole thing began to make sense. That must be it. Phil was gay and he'd wanted the kiss as much as he did. Wait, did I just admit that I wanted to kiss Phil? OMG, am I gay? he wondered feeling a bit panicky.

Sure he'd been thinking about boys a lot lately, but he thought about girls too, didn't he? What was it about Phil that he liked so much and why had they become friends so quickly? Did Terry see what he didn't, that their attraction to one another was mutual?

As soon as he walked in the front door his mother yelled at him to come to the kitchen. Fear nearly froze him to the spot. What if as soon as he had left Phil had ran to his parents and told them what had happened? How could he explain kissing a boy?

"What's up mom?" he asked anxiously.

"Your father is taking us out for dinner so I want you to shower and put on your tan Dockers and that nice plaid shirt I bought you."

"I showered after we swam," he said willing his heart to slow down, "but I'll go change."

"All right dear. Did you have fun? Don't get spoiled to  that pool," she chuckled.

"Yeah, we had a good time."

"Did he ask his parents about visiting you next time?"

"Yeah, they said probably." Kevin decided that sounded safer, just in case he never heard from Phil again.

"That's good," she said barely listening now, "Well, go get dressed."

Kevin wasn't really all that hungry, but he didn't want to draw attention to his funk so he forced himself to clean his plate. His parents tried to pull him into their conversation several times, but his heart wasn't into it. He knew he had to be careful, but talking just took too much energy and he couldn't think of anything useful to say anyway.

"Are you all right?" Mrs. Morgan asked at last.

"Just tired I guess," Kevin mumbled.

"Did anything happen today at you new friend's house that has upset you?" Mr. Morgan asked, seeing right through his son, "Did his parents treat you well?"

"No nothing like that, and Phil's folks are really nice. His dad said you were a fine man, and any son of yours was welcome in his house."

"That's good. Maybe you'll feel better after a good night's sleep."

"Yeah, just tired, that's all," Kevin said yawning for effect.

Back at home Kevin kissed his folks goodnight and headed to his room. He quickly stripped off his clothes and piled into bed, but sleep would not come. He kept replaying the kiss over and over in his head, wondering if Phil was as confused as he was about the whole thing. At the time it had felt so right and so amazing, but afterwards the guilt and shame had been overwhelming.

Was it because he was afraid he'd lose Phil as a friend, or was it something much deeper? Could it be that he feared he was gay? All his life he'd been taught that being gay was wrong, or at least not easy, but after meeting Terry he'd decided that gay people were really no different than straight boys in the ways that counted. They could still be decent and funny and fun to be with. What difference did it make if they liked girls or boys?

He thought about his parents attitude toward gays and realized that while they hadn't just come right out and said that being gay was okay, he'd never heard them talk bad about anyone who was. In fact his dad had a co-worker who was gay and married to another man. His dad had said they were both nice guys and when they'd decided to adopt a boy last year he'd given his name as a reference for the adoption agency.

But it was all so confusing. He thought he liked girls, and though he'd thought about both boys and girls when he masturbated, until Philip came along he'd never thought about anyone in particular. His feelings for Phil were even more confusing. He'd had friends before, close friends, but he'd never felt this way about any of them. Was this what adults called puppy love or a crush? He wondered.

He was sure of one thing though, he didn't want to lose Phil as a friend and if that meant apologizing and begging his forgiveness, then that's what he'd do. Meanwhile he had a lot of thinking to do.

-----

Two blocks away Philip McKinney lay in his own bed staring at the ornate ceiling as tears rolled down his cute face and wet his pillow. This was the first real friend he'd ever had and he was convinced he had ruined everything by letting his guard down and acting on his emotions. He'd wanted to kiss Kevin practically from the first moment they'd become friends, but now that he had it seemed like everything was ruined between them.

He didn't understand exactly what he was feeling for Kevin, but he knew it was more than just friendship. The only love he'd ever had was that of his parents and he was hardly prepared to recognize the feelings he was now experiencing. All he knew for sure was that he was hurt and sad and afraid that he had just lost the only friend he had ever known. His sobbing became louder now and he was glad his parents room was far from his own. There was no way he could ever explain to them how he felt. No, there was no one he could turn to for advise or comfort, no one, or was there?

Suddenly he threw back the covers and grabbed his robe and headed out the door and down the back stairs. At the bottom he paused, his resolve suddenly eroding, but luckily the one person he thought he could trust appeared almost as if by magic.

"Philip, my baby," she cooed, then seeing the tears on his cheeks she asked with concern, "What is wrong? Are you ill?"

Phil shook his head, "Nnnooo," he sobbed, "Oh Mildred, I've ruined everything," he bawled falling into her loving arms.

In her room Mildred sat Philip down on her bed then went to her bathroom to get a wet cloth to wash his face with.

"Tell Mildred what is the trouble," she said cuddling him to her side.

"Oh Mildred, I have ruined everything," he hiccuped, "now Kevin will never want to see me again."

It took some coaxing on Mildred's part, but eventually she got the whole story out of him and then she smiled. "Oh Philip, can you not see that this boy likes you too. I could see it in his eyes and the way he treats you. Do not worry about the kiss. People who like each other often express their emotions this way. He would not have kissed you back if he did not have feelings for you."

"But...he was so quiet and he wouldn't look at me..."

"He was probably as worried as you were. He might think it is you who does not like him now. You must show him that nothing has changed, speak to him as always and remain friendly. I am sure he will do the same if you show him you still want to be his friend."

"Do you think so," Phil sniffed.

"Yes, I think so. Now you need to get your sleep. Go on to bed and do not worry. Perhaps tomorrow you can call this boy and talk to him, but do not mention your fears, just be as you were."

"That's a good idea. Thank you Mildred," Phil said wiping his eyes and hugging her, "I knew I could count on you. I love you so much," he added squeezing her tight.

Mildred kissed his face and  smoothed back his hair, "I could not love you more if you were my own," she said, tears glistening in her warm brown eyes, "Now you must go and get your sleep, you are a growing boy," she said smiling warmly.

Philip smiled back and hopped up. Mildred followed him to the door and as he started out Mildred gave him a gentle slap on the butt, "Goodnight Philip, sweet dreams."

"Goodnight Mildred, and thanks."

-----

On Sunday Kevin puttered around in his room most of the morning and only came down when it was time for lunch. His mother had fixed sandwiches and potato salad, but all Kevin could think about was the delicious food Mildred had prepared. And that of course caused him to think of Phil and what had happened.

"Can I have some chips instead of potato salad," Kevin mumbled.

"Yes dear, are you still tired? Didn't you sleep well? I hope you're not coming down with something."

"I'm fine mom," Kevin said digging a bag of Doritos out of the pantry, "I just need some fresh air. When I finish lunch I'm gonna go for a walk."

"Are you going to The McKinney's?" Mr. Morgan asked.

"Naw, maybe the park. I might see him though...if he's outside."

"All right son, just stay out of trouble," his dad laughed.

"Dad, have I ever been in trouble?" Kevin laughed.

"Not since you dumped the talcum powder in your mother's underwear drawer when you were 4," he chuckled.

"Did I really?" Kevin laughed, "Boy, I don't remember that one."

"I had to wash all my unmentionables and it took forever to get all that powder vacuumed up," his mother added, "but for the most part you were a good boy, and still are. We're very proud of you."

He wondered if his parents would still think he was so good or be proud of him if they knew that he might be gay, but he hoped he'd never have to find out. 

After lunch he placed his dishes in the sink and went upstairs to grab a jacket. Then calling to his parents that he was leaving, he walked out the front door and headed toward the park. As soon as he was out of sight of his house he pulled out his cell phone and called Terry. 

"Sup?" Terry asked sounding sleepy.

"Did I wake you up?"

"Nope, but Sundays I don't do much, just lay around mostly. I was watchin' this dumb show on Netflix called Mr. Young."

"I've seen that, it is dumb, but kind of funny sometimes."

"Not to mention there are some cute boys in it," Terry laughed.

"Yeah, I guess. Uh, Terry any chance we could meet up today and talk?"

"Sure what's up?"

"I'd rather tell you in person, it's kind of personal."

"Oh, okay...ummm, where are you?"

"Near the park on Hope street, by Phil's house."

"I'm way over on Salem, that's about a mile from where you are."

"Damn, hadn't thought of that."

"Hold on, I might be able to get a ride from my ass-swipe of a brother."

Kevin waited anxiously while Terry shouted to someone in the room and then Terry was back on the phone, "I'll be there in about five or ten minutes. Where will you be?"

Kevin told him to meet him in the small parking lot and trudged on hoping Terry didn't arrive before he did. As it turned out they arrived almost at the same time. Kevin was surprised to see that Terry's brother looked nothing like him, and in fact looked Asian.

He waved as he backed out and Terry waved back. 

"That's your brother?" Kevin asked trying not to sound as surprised as he was.

"Step actually. That's Ken. Mom and dad adopted him when he was a baby, then I was born and they wound up with two boys."

"That's so cool. So he's been your brother as long as you've been alive. Do you guys get along?"

"You know, we fight sometimes but we're bros. We got each other's back."

"Is he gonna come back and get you?"

"Yeah, I just gotta call him. He's going to his girlfriend's house to wait."

"Let's go sit by the pond?"

"Okay, what's up with ya'?"

Once they were seated on a park bench and had sent the geese back to the pond, Kevin turned to Terry and sighed.

"Does your brother know...about you being gay I mean?"

Terry laughed, "Sorry, but yeah, he knows. He figured it out before I did. Besides, I'm out at school so I made sure I was out at home first and that no one would freak. Why? What's that got to do with what you need to talk about?"

"Something happened...between Phil and me and I'm sort of worried about it, that's all."

"OMG, did you guys mess around? Cause if you did it's no big deal, but I want to hear every detail."

"Worse," Kevin said wilting in to himself.

Terry frowned, "Start at the beginning, tell me everything."

Kevin sighed and began. He found Terry was easy to talk to and things he hadn't intended to share came spilling out with all the rest. Finally he got to the kiss, and as he described the moment he suddenly realized that it didn't seem as embarrassing or weird as it had at the time. He concluded by telling Terry how uncomfortable he and Phil were afterwards and the awkwardness of the shower and being naked together as they changed.

"Aww," Terry said laying his hand over his heart, "that is so cute. I told you Phil was a gay boy."

"But what about me? Why did I do that? Am I gay too? What does your gaydar say about me?"

Terry looked thoughtful for a moment then leaned in and kissed Kevin on the cheek. Kevin didn't pull back but when it was over he did look around to see if anyone was nearby.

"What was that for?" Kevin said grinning.

"Just to see what you'd do. You didn't freak so that's a good sign."

"So...I'm gay?"

"Naw, I mean only you can decide that for sure. You can like another boy and not be 100% gay. It's not about what kind of equipment someone has, it's what's inside. It's obvious you and Phil like each other a lot...so the kiss was just your way of expressing that."

"How do you know all this stuff?"

"Because I saw a shrink for a while."

"What? No, did your folks make you go hoping they could make you turn straight?"

"No, nothing like that. I asked to go. I wanted to understand why I was different and learn to live with it. My therapist was great. The first thing he told me was that I wasn't broken and he wasn't there to fix me. That meant a lot to me and after that day we got along great."

"So your folks let you see a therapist and they accepted your being gay...just like that?"

"Yeah, my folks are great and Ken was my biggest supporter, still is," he said fondly, "I think he thought he was bringing me here to meet a boyfriend," he giggled.

"Oh man, that could be embarrassing next time I see him," Kevin chuckled.

"Hey, I'll set him straight, eventually," he said grinning.

"So what should I do? How can I fix this thing with Phil?"

"You know what Kev? I think you worry too much. Just act like nothing happened and see what he does."

"I can't, cause...well, maybe I liked it and I hope he liked it too."

"Then go over there and talk to him. Tell him how you feel."

"I can't do that, he'll think I'm weird or something."

"Trust me, he will not think you are weird. But you can always just say you really like him as a friend, and you just got caught up in the moment or something."

"That might work. But what if he won't even see me? What if I walk over there and ring the bell and his mom or dad send me away?"

"Then you'll know, but trust me...Phil has not told his folks anything. For one thing he probably loves you by now. After all you kissed him. And for another, no kid tells their folks that kind of stuff."

"I suppose, I know I sure didn't tell mine. But they knew something was wrong and kept asking me if I was okay."

"Is Phil that close to his folks?"

"I don't think so. His mom seems sort of stiff and formal. His dad seems pretty cool though."

"His dad's a doctor, right?"

"Yeah, some kind of surgeon."

"Wow, no wonder they can afford to live in a house like that."

"Yeah, it's like a frickin' museum though. I like my house better, except I wish we had a pool."

"You gonna go talk to him?"

"I...I guess so. Hey thanks a lot for meeting me and for the talk," Kevin said offering a fist to bump, but Terry ignored it and hugged him instead.

"Hey, if it doesn't work out with Phil I'm available," He laughed.

"Want me to wait with you till your bro comes?"

"Naw, go on...go see Phil and tell him you love him or something," he laughed, "I might hang out a while. I got some thinking to do myself."

"Okay, thanks again," Kevin said standing, "I owe ya'."

"You're welcome. Always happy to help young lovers," he said grinning.

"I'll call ya' later and let you know how it went."

"You better. Now go!"

Kevin laughed as he walked away, but suddenly the gravity of what he was about to do descended upon him. What if he made a fool of himself? What if it was no big deal to Phil and he thought Kevin was crazy for bringing it up? What if, what if? By the time he got to Phil's house he was bundle of nerves, but there was no backing down now.

As he neared the front door he noticed there were no cars in the circle drive today and he wondered if anyone was even home. Maybe they'd gone out for the day, but more likely, he decided, their expensive cars were in the three car garage.

Taking a deep breath Kevin stepped up to the ornate front door and rang the doorbell. As he waited he thought about what he would say, but he didn't have long to think. Suddenly the door opened wide and there stood Phil dressed in jeans and a pullover and looking very cute and very surprised.

"Kevin, how nice to see you. Would you like to come in?"

"Yeah, but I was wondering if we could maybe go for a walk in the park and talk?"

"Certainly, let me tell my mother and grab a jacket," he said sounding anxious.

Mrs. McKinney appeared just about then, having wondered who was at the door, and she smiled and greeted Kevin warmly. "Hello Kevin, how lovely to see you again. Philip, you didn't tell me you were expecting company."

"He didn't know I was coming ma'am. I was just out for a walk and wound up at the park and, well...I just thought I'd see if Phil wanted to join me. If it's all right with you that is."

"That sounds fine. Philip be sure to wear your jacket and take your phone."

"Yes mother, I will. Thank you. I'll be right back Kevin."

As Phil ran up the stairs he couldn't suppress the feeling of happiness he felt. Apparently his fears were unfounded and Kevin still wanted to be his friend. Then as he grabbed his phone and donned his jacket he had another thought. What if Kevin had merely come by to break off the friendship? He knew Kevin was the kind of boy who would be polite and not just dump him without explaining why, and this might very well be why Kevin was here. So it was with mixed feelings that he returned to find Kevin waiting for him in the foyer.

"I'm ready," Phil said smiling.

"Cool, let's go," Kevin said nervously.

"How are you today?" Phil asked as they walked across the street toward the park.

"Good, really good. How bout' you, how you doin'?"

"I'm fine. I'm really glad you came by," Phil said smiling nervously.

"Well, I really came by cause' I need to talk with you about something."

"Oh, I see..."

"It's nothing bad," Kevin said quickly when he saw the stricken look on Phil's cute face.

"Let's go sit by the pond."

Phil followed alongside Kevin, his heart beating fast and his body shivering with fear and dread, and when they reached the pond he felt like running and jumping into it.

Kevin looked around for Terry, but assumed he must've either called his brother or headed home on foot so he could do his thinking.

Once they were seated Kevin shooed the geese away before they could get close and turned to Phil.

"First off, I wanna say I'm sorry for acting like a jerk yesterday and running off."

"You didn't..."

"Wait, let me finish," Kevin said sighing, "I don't know how you feel about what happened in the pool, that's sort of why I'm here, but I shouldn't have just left things like they were yesterday. I'm not even sure how I feel about it. I kept blaming myself, but I talked to someone and he helped me to see things differently. I don't think I was to blame, but I don't think you were either, cause I don't think there's anything to feel bad about. What happened...just happened. We sort of got caught up in the moment..you know?"

Phil was smiling now and Kevin thought he had never seen him look so cute. 

"Kevin, may I say something?"

"Sure, go ahead."

"First of all I don't blame you for leaving yesterday. We were both feeling a little uncomfortable about what happened, and I would have probably done the same thing if it had been me. Secondly, you certainly weren't to blame for what happened in the pool. Like you, at first I blamed myself, but I thought about what happened all night and again this morning, and I came to the same conclusion that you did, that neither of us was to blame. What happened was...well, confusing, but I don't think it was bad or shameful and I don't think we should feel guilty about it. Do you?"

"No, not really. I did at first, but Terry explained things to me and I understand things better now."

"You told Terry about what happened?" Phil asked sounding concerned.

"Yeah, sorry, but I had to talk to someone and he's a cool dude..."

"And gay? Is that why you talked to him, because you think...what we did was gay?"

"Well, I guess...at first, but even Terry says it doesn't necessarily mean that . He says sometimes friends just get carried away and do stuff...like, like...well what happened to us."

"Kissing, you mean kissing? You can say it Kevin, I don't mind."

"Yeah, kissing. We're friends, right? So we just sort of got carried away. It's not like we Frenched or groped each other or anything," Kevin laughed nervously.

"So, where do we go from here Kevin?"

"Huh? Well, I was hoping we could just go back to things the way they were. You know, being friends and having fun."

"I'd like that very much," Phil said finally relaxing, "but I'm not sure things can go back to being exactly like they were," he said grinning.

"Oh, why's that?" Kevin asked curiously noticing Phil's shit-eating grin.

"Because now that you've tasted my sweet lips how can you ever live without them?"

Kevin burst into laughter and pounded Phil on the back, "Yeah, well, who says I have to?"

They walked around for a while after that, laughing and talking, and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. It was a far cry from the way the day had started and both boys felt a sense of exhilaration at the way things had turned out.

"Still want to come over next weekend?"

"Yes, very much. My parents are almost as excited about my having a friend as I am," he chuckled.

"Great. This may be too soon to ask this, but do you think you might want to sleep over next Saturday?"

"I...I don't know. I have never slept over before. Do you have room for me?"

Kevin laughed, "Dude, you'd sleep in my room, with me. That's how a sleepover works, but if you're scared to be alone with me..."

"No, no, it's not that. It might take some convincing on my parents' part, but if you are sure you want me, I will ask them."

"Cool, ask em'. If they need to talk to my mom, that's cool too."

"Kevin...thank you for talking to me and not making a big issue of this thing."

"The kiss? Well, I don't know whether to be relieved or offended," he laughed,  "You sayin' my kiss is no big deal?" he teased.

"No, in fact...it was quite nice," Phil said blushing.

"It was, wasn't it. Whew, who knew my first kiss would be with my best friend, a guy?"

"I'm your best friend?" Phil asked picking up on that part first.

"Yeah, as a matter of fact...yeah, you are," Kevin said blushing.

"I feel the same," Phil said not bothering to state the obvious, that Kevin was his only friend.

"Good, well...I should probably get home and you need to go home and start working on your folks so they'll let you sleepover."

"All right, will you walk me home?"

"Yeah, come on," Kevin said, and suddenly he had the most powerful urge to take Phil's hand, but of course he didn't.

-----

On Monday at lunch Kevin saved a spot for Phil and when he arrived he waved him over.

"Hi Phil, ready for the math quiz?"

"Yes, I think so. Our studying was a big help."

Kevin laughed, "For me maybe, I doubt you needed it."

Phil just smiled. It wasn't the help with math that he was referring to, it was spending time with Kevin that helped him.

Roger sat glaring at the two and wondered what Phil would think if he knew Kevin's only interest in him was to insure him a place in the group? He knew he couldn't tell him himself, but he couldn't be held responsible if someone else let it slip, now could he?

He knew Terry would be pissed if it ever got back to him, but it might be worth it to keep Kevin out of the group and wipe that smug smile off the nerd's face. He smiled an evil smile and thought about how he might make that happen.

Phil aced the math exam as usual and Kevin only missed two problems which was pretty typical for him. After school they met on the bus and shared their grades.

"I only missed two," Kevin said proudly, "thanks to you."

"Kevin...you don't have to pretend any longer. I know you are actually quite good in math," Phil said smiling.

"How long have you known?"

"Well, I suspected that first day...here on the bus, but it was later at my house when I finally figured it out. The only thing I still don't understand is, why? Why did you pretend to need my help?"

"I just couldn't think of any other way to get to know you," Kevin said bending the truth a little. Technically that was true, but of course there was more.

"But why did you want to get to know me?"

"I don't know, I guess I just wondered what it would be like to be your friend."

"Were you that desperate?" Phil laughed.

"Why would you think that? Look at how it turned out, you're a great guy and we're getting closer every day...right?"

"Yes, but sometimes it all just seems too good to be true."

"Well, maybe I feel that way too...sometimes."

"Really?"

"Yeah, really. Just don't worry about why Phil, just enjoy it and worship the ground I walk on," Kevin teased.

"I do," Phil said seriously, then he grinned.

"So did you ask your folks about Saturday?"

"Actually I did," Phil said mysteriously, but not elaborating.

"So...what did they say?" Kevin asked anxiously.

"Oh, well. As expected they had some questions and concerns."

"Ooookay, and?"

"Oh, well...they said yes," he said grinning.

"You dog, why didn't you tell me at lunch?"

Phil frowned, "I don't feel comfortable around the others yet, especially Roger. I think he hates me for some reason."

"He hates everyone, so feel privileged to be included," Kevin teased, "So what time are you coming over Saturday?"

"My mother is going to call your mother today and work out the details. We'll find out tonight I guess."

"Gnarly," Kevin said excitedly, "we are going to have so much fun, even if I don't have a pool."

"That doesn't matter, I'm sure it will be fun."

As usual Kevin walked Phil home and they paused at his drive to say goodbye. "I'll call you later, okay?"

"Yes, that sounds fine. Thank you for walking me home, I will see you tomorrow."

"Right, talk to ya' later Philster."

The Secret Life of Nerds
Part Three - The Sleepover


The sleepover was arranged by the two moms, and Philip would be walking the short distance to the Morgans sometime after noon.

The day of the sleepover Kevin got up early and had breakfast then straightened up his room one last time and made his bed. His mother had changed his sheets the day before and Kevin had been careful not to soil them during his usual nightly activity.

At 11:30 he had a sandwich and a soda and decided to walk over to Phil's to accompany him to his house. As he turned the corner and headed down Phil's street he saw Phil headed his way carrying a gym bag and he ran to meet him.

"Hi, thought I'd come show you the way," Kevin said happily, "I know you had the address and all, but I didn't want anyone to kidnap you or anything on the way," he teased.

"I doubt anyone would want me," Phil chuckled.

"Sure they would, cute kid like you. So what's in the bag?"

"My clothes and a couple video games you might enjoy. Oh, and my toothbrush and a few other things."

"Cool, so you ready to have some fun?"

"Yes, I'm very excited, but I must admit I'm a bit nervous as well."

"I promise I won't try to kiss you again," Kevin teased.

"That's not why I'm nervous," Phil said grinning, "I've never slept with anyone before."

"It's no big deal really, I have a queen size bed and there's plenty of room. It's not like we'll be on top of each other," Kevin giggled.

Phil blushed at the thought of that, but didn't comment. The very thought of being so close to Kevin caused goosebumps up and down his body and that hot thumpy feeling in his tummy. He was still a little confused about his feelings concerning the kiss, but the way Kevin had joked about it gave him hope that maybe it might happen again.

They arrived at Kevin's house after a few minutes and Kevin lead the way inside.

"Mom, dad...we're here," he yelled.

"In the family room," his mother called out.

"Come on Phil, time to meet my parents," he laughed manically.

Phil smiled nervously and allowed Kevin to lead him into family room where Mr. and Mrs. Morgan sat on a couch watching TV. Mr. Morgan muted the TV as they entered and greeted them with a smile.

"Hi guys."

"Mom, dad...ta ta ta ta, this is Phil, my new friend," Kevin said in a silly voice, "Phil meet the rents."

"Hello ma'am, sir," Philip said blushing, "it's a pleasure to finally meet you."

"Hello Phil," Mrs. Morgan said smiling warmly, "Kevin has told us a lot about you, but he didn't tell us how handsome you are."

"Uh, mom...don't lay it on too thick, you'll give Phil a complex," Kevin laughed.

"Nice to meet you son, your father is a fine man and from what I've heard, a brilliant Surgeon."

"Thank you sir, I'm very proud of him."

"I bet he's proud of you too, from what Kevin tells us, you're a fine young man."

Phil blushed again but Kevin swooped in to save him further embarrassment, "Okay, that's enough mushy stuff. Come on Phil, I'll show you my room."

Phil nodded then thanked the Morgan's one last time before following Kevin up the stairs. Phil hadn't really had much time to check things out before being dragged off to meet Kevin's parents, but on the way to Kevin's room he surveyed his surroundings with interest.  

The house was smaller than his own of course, but it seemed warmer and cozier and more lived-in, and he liked that feeling a lot. Everything looked neat and clean, the furniture well kept and stylish, and the floors spotless. Phil knew Kevin's parents didn't have a housekeeper, and that gave him a whole new respect for Mrs. Morgan. To keep a house this size in such pristine condition was truly a work of love.

"Your parents seem very nice Kevin, and your house is lovely."

"Not as big as yours, but I like it here. Just wish we had a pool."

When Kevin showed Phil his room he smiled excitedly. "I've pictured what your room would look like in my mind, but nothing I've come up with was even close. It's amazing, it's so...so...you."

"Is that a compliment Phil?" Kevin laughed.

"Yes, I can see your hand in everything here, the posters, the books, the models...even in the curtains and bedding. It's perfect, it's wonderful. I love it."

"Whoa, calm down Phil," Kevin laughed, "you're acting like a groupie or something. I'm not gonna' have to worry about you stealing a lock of my hair or a pair of my dirty underwear am I?"

"No," Phil said blushing, "I'm sorry if I sound silly, I'm just very excited to be here."

"Let me see," Kevin giggled dropping his eyes to Phil's crotch, "hmmm...doesn't look like you're too excited..."

"What? Oh....no...not that kind of excited," Philip giggled.

"Oh, okay...well maybe later," Kevin teased. He was surprised at his own excitement and how happy he was that Phil was there. His worries about the kiss seemed small and petty now, and he felt like he could joke about things just like before.

"I don't do that on the first date," Phil teased back.

"Why Phil, is that a joke?"

"Maybe," Phil said grinning.

"So, what games did you bring?" Kevin asked then, changing the subject before things got too far out of control.

"Hold on, I'll get them..."

They played the games Phil had brought for a few hours before Kevin suggested they go downstairs for a snack. Phil followed Kevin like an excited puppy, a huge grin on his face, and when they passed through the family room he noticed Kevin's parents were snuggled up on the couch watching a movie. He thought that was sweet, but he couldn't imagine his own parents ever doing anything that romantic. The only displays of affection he could ever remember seeing between his own parents were a kiss on the cheek or a quick hug. That wasn't to say that they weren't more demonstrative of their affection for one another behind closed doors, but if they were Phil had never witnessed it.

"How does a PBJ sound?" 

"Fine, but I'm not sure I can eat a whole one, maybe we could share one."

"Don't worry, if you don't eat it I will," Kevin said grabbing the bread and digging the peanut butter and Jelly out of the cupboard. 

Phil watched with loving eyes as Kevin made the sandwiches. He liked everything about his new friend and marveled at how meticulously he went about the simplest task. He found it interesting that Kevin applied peanut butter to both pieces of bread, but when he thought about it, it made perfect sense. The peanut butter kept the jelly from seeping through the bread as well as adding more flavor to the sandwich.

When Kevin finished the sandwiches he placed each one on a paper napkin and cut them in half diagonally. Then sliding one to Phil he dug two bottles of juice out of the fridge and handed one to Phil.

"It's really good," Phil said smiling, "you're a good cook."

Kevin laughed, "Dude, I didn't cook it, I just slapped it on some bread."

"Okay, then you're a good...host."

"Well, just returning the favor. After all I've been to your place more than you've been to mine."

"I hope this won't be my last visit..."

"Not if I have anything to say about it."

"My parents think a great deal of you," Phil said giving Kevin a shy smile, "but not as much as I do."

"Why Phil, are you getting sweet on me?" Kevin teased.

Phil blushed bright red and lowered his head. Perhaps he'd said too much.

"Aww...don't get all shy and embarrassed. I was only teasing you. I like you a lot too. You know, I think maybe I like you more than any friend I've ever had."

"Really? You're not just saying that?"

"No way, I wouldn't lie about something that important."

Phil looked at Kevin and blushed, "I really don't have much to compare our friendship with, but I can definitely say...I am happier than I have been in a long time because of it."

"Me too, Phil. So what say we go outside when we finish our snack and I'll show you around the estate," he teased.

Despite the fact that Kevin's back yard was nothing compared to his own, he was genuinely interested in seeing everything, if for no other reason than because it was where Kevin spend part of his time. He was interested in everything about Kevin, what he ate, where he slept, and anywhere he spent time.

"My friend Jerry and I tried to build a treehouse in that tree in the corner of the yard and Jerry fell out and broke his arm, so that was the end of that."

"That's awful, uh...where is your friend now? Does he go to our school?" Phil asked wondering if he had some more competition he didn't know about yet.

"Naw, he moved to California last year. I really miss him too. He emailed me for a while, then he made new friends and well...you know how that is?" Kevin said shrugging.

"Didn't you have other friends?"

"Yeah, of course. Back in grade school, but all of them go to the other Junior High. The dividing line is at 25th street and everyone on the other side of it goes to Reed."

"But don't they still call you or text you or come see you?"

Kevin shrugged, "Not really." Of course Kevin hadn't really done much to keep their friendship going either. It wasn't that he didn't like old friend's company, but he had just never felt that close to them, and since school started he hadn't given them much thought till now, "It's just not the same as it was when we were in the same class and saw each other every day."

"Is that why you joined those boys at the table...and made friends with me?"

"Well, let's just say a guy needs friends and I didn't really know anyone."

"Well, I'm glad you chose me and I promise I won't let you down."

"Look Phil, I don't expect a lot of you, so just relax...okay?"

"Just the same I will be the best friend you've ever had," Phil said stubbornly.

"Okay, I believe you," Kevin chuckled, "so far you've done a great job. Hey, wanna play catch for a while? I have an extra mitt."

Despite not being all that athletic, except for swimming, Phil could catch and throw reasonably well. And though this was not exactly his thing, he enjoyed it simply because he knew Kevin liked it, and he was all about pleasing Kevin. After a while he had to admit it was kind of fun, and good exercise, and he could see that Kevin was really enjoying himself and that made it all the more appealing.

When the sun finally began to set they went inside and played some more video games until it was time to order the pizza. When Kevin asked Phil what kind of pizza he liked, he seemed unsure what to say and Kevin wondered if he'd ever eaten pizza before. They settled for pepperoni and when it came they took their plates and drinks up to Kevin's bedroom and sat on the floor in front of the TV and ate.

"This is really good," Phil said after awhile, "We never have pizza at home, at least not this kind. Sometimes Mildred makes her Mexican pizza, but it's nothing like this."

"Well, I bet it's good though. Everything Mildred has cooked so far has been great."

"Yes, it's quite good. Perhaps next time you're over I'll have her prepare it."

"Cool," Kevin said going back to his pizza. 

For a while nothing more was said as they enjoyed their meal, and when they were finished Kevin suggested they go downstairs and see what they could find for dessert. Phil followed close behind Kevin and couldn't help but stare at his shapely backside and muscular frame. He found himself blushing at the thoughts that came into his head, but that didn't keep him from looking.

"Cookies," Kevin said imitating the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.

Phil laughed, he had never known anyone as fun and funny as Kevin and his feelings for him were growing more intense by the moment. The butterflies had subsided somewhat and he was starting to feel more comfortable around Kevin with each new encounter.

They took their cookies to Kevin's room and ate them as they finished drinking their soda and when the last crumb was devoured Kevin suggested they wash up before going back to the video games. As they stood side by side at the double vanity in the hall bathroom Phil stole a look at Kevin in the mirror and  their eyes met. Phil looked away and blushed, but Kevin kept right on staring, and when Phil dared to look back he was met by a big smile.

"You are so cute when you act all shy," Kevin chuckled.

"I'm not cute," Phil said looking away again, "you are...no, you're handsome. Cute is for girls, boys are handsome."

"Then you're handsome," Kevin said stubbornly, "here, let me do something," Kevin said grabbing Phil's shoulders and spinning him around to face him.

Reaching up slowly he removed Phil's glasses and carefully folded them and placed them on the vanity.

"There, now you're gorgeous. You should really consider getting contacts, but I like the glasses too," Kevin added.

If Phil had ever needed any motivation to get contacts, nothing compared to this. If Kevin wanted him to get contacts then he'd talk to his parents about it as soon as he got home.

"I don't think of myself that way," Phil admitted as he stared into the mirror, trying to see what Kevin saw.

"Phil, look at that handsome puss in the mirror," Kevin laughed, "You're a fox, and you got a hot bod too."

Phil blushed, but not as much as usual and he smiled at the boy in the mirror. Maybe he was cute....or handsome, he decided, but not nearly as cute or handsome as Kevin.

"You make me feel good," Phil said softly, "I never felt this way with anyone else."

"Me either," Kevin said moving his face closer to Phil's. 

Phil turned his head and they locked eyes and just stood there for a moment, the only sound their slow breathing and the beating of their hearts. Suddenly, before both were even aware of what was happening, they had leaned in and their lips met in a soft slow kiss.

Phil pulled away first, looking panicky and blushing bright red. Assuming he had initiated the kiss and afraid of what Kevin might think of  him he started to apologize.

"I..."

"Shhh..." Kevin said placing a finger against Phil's soft lips, "Don't even think about apologizing," he said as if he were reading the boy's mind, "I wanted it too, and I want more." It was Kevin's turn to blush now and his smile said he was sincere and Phil relaxed a little.

"This is all so new to me..."

"For me too," Kevin assured him, "it's not like I go around kissing boys all the time," he laughed, "you're the first, and it just seems so right. Please tell my you feel that way too."

"I...I do. I was afraid at first, but now...now I feel like it's the most natural thing in the world."

"Me too," Kevin said softly, "let's go to my room, there are some things I need to tell you."

"Oh," Phil said expecting the worse. And as he followed Kevin back to his room he was filled with dread.

"Sit down," Kevin suggested as he closed the door behind them, "this is gonna be sort of hard for me, but I hope you will hear me out and not run off before I'm done."

"I would never...."

"I know, cause you're a cool guy," Kevin said smiling, "Well...here goes. First of all, I sort of had an ulterior motive in joining the guys at the lunch table. This is my first year in middle school, and like I said, I didn't know anyone. I knew from experience in grade school that you need friends or you wind up getting picked on and singled out by the bullies and the idiots. I wasn't sure what to do at first, then I noticed the guys at the table and I asked a boy in my math class about them. He said they were all three friends and had been for  years and that sometimes they would let another kid into their group if they all agreed he was cool enough.

At first I thought I didn't stand a chance, then after I had a run in with one of the jocks, I decided to give it a try. Turned out the guys were pretty cool, well except Roger who is kind of a jerk. But Terry keeps him in line most of the time. Well, you met em' so you know, and Terry is gay, and like out and that's cool..."

"I like Terry," Phil said softly.

"Terry is a cool dude. So...anyway...they let me in the group and then I met you and now everything is great."

"So...then what's the problem," Phil asked picking up on Kevin's mood.

"This might not be a big deal, but one reason I wanted to find some friends was...well, I'm not really sure...but, I think I may be gay," Kevin said lowering his head, "I hope that doesn't mess things up for us, cause I really do like you, but I'm not sure how you feel even with all that's happened. I just thought you should know...in case things got...well, serious."

"Is that your big secret?" Phil said smiling warmly, "I sort of hoped you were...ummm gay, I mean, cause I'm pretty sure I am too. I mean I just thought that was obvious with all that had been happening between us. The kiss and well...being naked together at my house."

"Yeah, I guess that must sound silly," Kevin admitted. What he really wanted to tell Phil was about the bet, but he was afraid to. Afraid that Phil wouldn't understand and would reject him for being such a jerk and taking the bet. If he was lucky Phil would never know. The thirty days would pass quickly and then he'd be part of the group, but that really didn't matter that much anymore. What really mattered now was that he and Phil were friends, and hopefully more than that before it was all over.

"Is that all?"

"Yeah, well...except that I really like you a lot and I think I'd like to get to know you better, way better," he laughed as he blushed bright red, "if you know what I mean."

"I feel the same way, but this is all so new to me."

"Me too, but we can figure it out together. We can take it slow and just do what comes natural. Heck, it's not like I'm experienced either."

"So, now what shall we do?"

"Well, a shower sounds good about right now, wanna shower with me?"

"What about your parents?"

"There's not enough room for all four of us," Kevin joked, and both boys broke out laughing.

There was a door leading from Kevin's bedroom into the bathroom he used, as well as a door off the hall. Once they were inside Kevin latched both doors and started the shower before beginning to undress. At first Phil just watched Kevin as he slipped off his shirt revealing his chiseled chest and flat tummy, then he began to follow his lead, never taking his eyes off Kevin.

"Looking good," Kevin said giving Phil a thumbs up when he got his shirt off.

"Thanks, but not as good as you."

"I like your bod Phil. You're so smooth and sleek, like an otter or something," he said grinning, "all that swimming has given you one heck of a hot bod."

"And playing sports has  given you one as well," Phil said smiling.

"Okay, enough mutual admiration, off with the panties and let's get cleaned up."

Phil found he was shaking a little as he finished undressing, but once he saw the look of lust in Kevin's eyes he forgot his own insecurities.

"OH Phil...you are so...f-ing hot," Kevin stuttered, "I don't know if I can keep my hands off you."

"Who says you have to," Phil said grinning.

The shower felt good and their excitement waned a little as the warm water cascaded over their bodies and they concentrated on getting clean.

"Here let me wash your back," Kevin offered grabbing the poof and squirting some body wash on it.

Then moving up behind Phil he began to lather him from his shoulders to his cute rear. The effect was immediate and Phil's excitement was soon obvious. 

"Ooops someone is saluting me," Kevin teased, "guess it's my turn to salute back, here wash my back," he said offering the poof to Phil.

Phil turned slowly, blushing slightly, but when he saw Kevin was suffering the same malady he relaxed a little. 

"Are you glad to see me Philster?" Kevin teased.

"Yes, and apparently you are glad to see me too," Phil threw back.

"Oh, yeah...I am so glad to see you, all of you," Kevin said lustily.

Phil began washing Kevin's back then, marveling at the hard muscles beneath his soft smooth skin and shivering with desires that left him breathless. Despite all his misgivings about his sexuality and of being with Kevin, nothing had ever felt so right.

"Kevin," Phil said softly brushing Kevin's ear with his soft lips, "Is it too soon to say it...to say...to say...I...Iove you?"

Kevin turned his head and their lips met. When the kiss was over Kevin locked eyes with Phil and smiled, "No, I don't think so...cause I feel the same way too. I just don't know what it all means yet."

"I think I'm the happiest boy in the whole world right now," Phil said as tears stung his eyes.

"Say boy, let's not talk too much, grab on my waist and put that body on me," Kevin sang.

Despite being a nerd Phil recognized the lyrics from Ed Sheeran's Shape of You and he laughed. After all, even nerds liked music.

"Umm..." Phil said softy, then he too sang, "I'm in love with your body," as he hugged Kevin from behind.

"Hey, watch that thing," Kevin joked, "I'm not quite ready to loose my butt cherry."

"Sorry," Phil laughed, "I just washed it and I can't do a thing with it."

"Why Phil," Kevin said laughing, "You made another joke."

"Yeah, you're definitely a good influence on me."

Kevin began to sing again, "Last night you were in my room, now my bedsheets smell like you," and they both cracked up laughing.

They finished washing and rinsed off without much else happening, but both boys were filled with anticipation as they dried off.

"Here, let me dry your back," Kevin offered taking his own towel and dabbing at the water on Phil's back, "You have a nice butt you know," he giggled as he let the towel and his hands wander down to those twin mounds.

"Thanks, I never really gave it much thought before, but you have a nice butt as well."

"Well, don't go gettin' no ideas about plugging mine. I'm not quite ready for that stuff."

"Oh, me either, but it's nice to look at and to touch. May I dry your back now?"

"Yeah, that would be nice."

By the time they were dry their excitement had waned a little and they were able to stuff their mostly soft penises back in their underwear long enough to make it back to Kevin's room. Phil neatly folded the clothes he'd been wearing and laid them on the dresser then stuffed his dirty underwear in a zippered compartment of his backpack.

"Which side of the bed do you want? Since you're my guest you get to choose."

"It doesn't matter, which side do you usually sleep on?"

"I usually sleep in the middle. I sort of roam when I sleep. So don't be surprised if I wind up touching you before the night is over."

"I wouldn't mind that at all," Phil said blushing. Even with all the teasing and joking around they'd done he still wasn't sure where things were going.

"Oh, well...in that case, count on it," Kevin said grinning.

"So...is it too early to go to bed?"

"Naw, but let's watch a movie. Then if we get sleepy or something we can always just turn off the TV and you know, go to sleep or whatever," Kevin said blushing.

"Oh, yes...I see...yes, that sounds fine."

Kevin grabbed the remote and inserted a DVD in the player and then turned off the room light and the bedside light and the two boys laid down side by side. They propped their heads up so they could see the TV and for a while they were quiet as they watched the movie.

The boys were so close together that they could feel the heat coming off each others body and smell each others unique scent. Kevin felt his excitement building again and adjusted himself to relieve some of the pressure. Phil's eyes followed Kevin's movement and he licked his lips nervously as his own excitement stirred between  his legs.

"This movie is lame," Kevin said about a half hour into it, "how bout' we listen to some music instead and just talk?"

"That sounds fine," Phil said trying not to sound as anxious as he was.

"Want something to drink?"

"Uh, sure if you do."

"Come on, let's go grab a snack and a soda," Kevin said piling out of bed.

"But, we're just in our underwear..."

"My rents are in bed, but even if they weren't they wouldn't think anything about it. I run around in my undies all the time."

"Oh, okay," Phil said feeling a bit naughty and that felt good. He knew he would never run around in just his underwear at his house, but when he thought about it, his Speedos were actually more revealing than  his boxer briefs and he never felt shy about his parents seeing him in those.

There was no one stirring except the two hungry boys, and after raiding the pantry they returned to Kevin's room with a bag of chocolate chip cookies and a bottle of Mt. Dew each.

"I hope you like Dew, it's the only soda I like. My folks don't buy it for me all the time, but I talked them into it just cause you were coming over."

"It tastes wonderful," Phil said sincerely as he took a big drink, "thank you again for inviting me over."

"Aww, you're welcome. We're having fun, right?"

"So far it's been the most fun I've ever had, just because I'm with you," Phil said blushing.

"Me too, well...swimming at your place was fun, and showering," Kevin said grinning, "Cookie?" he said offering a cookie to his friend.

"Thank you," Phil said taking the offered treat, "perhaps tomorrow we can go to my house and swim."

"Yeah, that sounds good. And I can wear one of those bikini things again," Kevin giggled.

"Speedos, they're called Speedos. In Europe it's what almost all men wear, and swimmers wear them because they offer less resistance in the water."

"I know that, plus they make you look sexy. I think swimmers are sexy, I think you are sexy," Kevin said blushing at his boldness.

"Not as sexy as you," Phil said reaching over and touching Kevin's chest, "you're so muscular."

"Ummm...your hand feels good there," Kevin said putting his hand atop Phil's and holding it there, "I'm full...wanna go brush our teeth and go back to bed?"

"Yes," Phil said staring into Kevin's eyes, "I think that would be a good idea."

They peed and brushed their teeth and once back in bed Kevin turned the bedside lamp off and for a moment they lay there letting their eyes adjust to the darkness. Then turning onto his side Kevin stared over at the boy next to him and sighed.

"Are you as nervous as I am?"

"More, I'm a nervous wreck," Phil chuckled.

"We shouldn't be nervous, should we? I mean we know what we want...right?"

"I see what you mean, but who goes first?" Phil asked rolling his head to look into Kevin's eyes.

"Well, we could sort of meet in the middle I guess," he said scooting a bit closer.

"Yes, that sounds good," Phil said advancing a bit as well.

When their lips met this time there were none of the fears or inhibitions that had been present before. The kiss was tender and sweet and only toward the end did a little tongue play come into it. Kevin giggled when he felt Phil's soft warm tongue push against his and Phil giggled back. When they broke the kiss at last they pulled back and smiled at each other.

"I like kissing you," Kevin said softly, "I never knew kissing could be such fun before. I mean all my life I've seen boys and girls kissing, but never two boys kissing. Why don't they tell us about that stuff? Why aren't there movies or books about that stuff?"

"There are stories," Phil said blushing, "I can show you the sites to find them, and I think there are a few movies, but they're not shown on TV or anything. Mostly they're foreign films. People in other countries aren't as hung up about sexuality as our country."

"So, you knew kissing boys was fun?"

"No...I mean, I'd never done it, but yes...it looked fun and I suppose I always thought about what it would be like to kiss another boy, but till you came along I didn't have much hope of that happening. Now, I can't get enough of your lips."

"Well,  here...have another helping," Kevin said moving even closer this time and wrapping his arms around Phil as their lips came together once more.

"Mmmm," Phil moaned voicing his approval.

The kiss progressed, as kisses often do, and soon their bodies were entwined as they pressed their excited boy parts together. The kiss was deeper now and wet and exciting. It was a lover's kiss now and it spoke of what was to come next, but neither boy was in any hurry to get there.

They pulled apart eventually to catch a breath of fresh air and to let their hearts slow down a bit, and Kevin grabbed his soda and took a drink, then offered the bottle to Phil who accepted it with a smile. There was something very sensual about sharing a drink with someone you cared for and both boys felt a tingling from the small act of intimacy.

"I'm so hard," Kevin said softly, then blushed.

"Me too," Phil admitted.

"Want to...to loose our underwear now?"

"Yes, if you do."

"I do, my boys need some room," Kevin giggled.

Their underwear came off quickly and even in the dim light of the room they could see each other standing stiff and proud. As they lay back down both boys were staring at the others rampant member and anticipating what was to come next.

"Uh, I don't know what we're supposed to do, but I think maybe we should just start by touching each other. Is that okay?"

"Yes," Phil squeaked, causing him to blush and Kevin to chuckle.

"Okay, here goes...together..okay?"

The reached for each other at the same time and both moaned softly when they felt a strange hand on their most private part for the first time. But it was more than that. The excitement was as much about touching as being touched and to do both at once was a sensation that was overwhelming.

"You're so much bigger," Kevin said again, "it's hard, but it's soft too. It's like a sponge on a piece of steel or something."

Phil giggled, "A good description, and that includes yours. It feels just right in my hand. You have nothing to be ashamed of Kevin, yours is perfect."

Kevin didn't reply. If Phil liked his junk, then that was fine. He was pretty fond of it himself and it had been his best friend since he discovered it was good for more than just peeing. His thoughts turned to the things he did when he pleasured himself and he wondered if Phil would like those things too.

"Can...can I touch your balls?"

"Yes," Phil gasped.

"You can touch mine if you want," Kevin said as he let his free hand wander down to Phil's hairless nut sack.

"Ohhhh...that feels nice," Phil said as he returned the favor.

"Yeah, one of my favorite things to do...while I...you know? Jerk it."

"Do you want me to...."

"If you want, and I could do yours."

"All right, I think that would be fine for our first time," Phil said relieved that they had decided on something so easy and familiar. Though he'd seen enough porn and read enough stories to be familiar with the mechanics of boy on boy sex, he was nonetheless nervous about looking foolish in front of Kevin.

They were quiet as they fell into a rhythm, stroking each others cocks and feeling up each other's balls as the feelings ran rampant through their adolescent bodies. The intensity of their feeling was almost too much to handle and not surprisingly neither boy lasted long.

Phil came first, splashing a generous amount of watery cum onto his flat tummy before oozing a bit more out onto Kevin's hand. Though Kevin stopped his movement he continued to hold onto Phil's throbbing member even as his own orgasm boiled up from deep inside him and erupted almost violently.

Kevin had been a powerful squirter even from the first wet come at age 11, and he outdid himself that day. As the first gusher shot upward it climbed high, then splashed onto Kevin's chiseled chest, and seconds later a second less powerful burst shot up and came down on his flat tummy. 

"Wow, you come a lot," Phil said as the third less powerful squirt joined the second. 

"Yeah, but I never came that much before," Kevin panted, "you made me feel so good."

"You made me feel good too. It was wonderful and the best part is...I don't feel guilty or embarrassed."

"You shouldn't feel guilty or embarrassed. We both wanted it. It's our business and private. No one else ever needs to know what we do. We like each other and it's just a way of expressing that....right?"

"I think it's more than liking you Kevin, especially now. I'm pretty sure I love you."

"I guess I feel the same way, but like I said I don't know what all that means. This is my first time."

"Me too, but it's wonderful."

"Yeah, it is pretty nice. Uh, I suppose we should go get cleaned up now," Kevin said grinning.

"Yes, I suppose,"Phil said looking at his cum covered hand.

"Sorry about that."

"Don't be, it was wonderful and this is part of you and I love it too."

"Okaaay," Kevin chuckled, "if you say so."

They washed up in the bathroom and returned to bed still naked and automatically snuggled up to each other. They kissed again, but this kiss was sweeter and with less passion. They were sated for the moment and the sexual frenzy was replaced by fatigue now.

"Goodnight," Kevin said yawning, "that was fun."

"Goodnight Kevin. It was wonderful, but very tiring," Phil said mimicking the yawn.

"Ummm...yeah..so tired...." 

Kevin awoke sometime later and found Phil spooned against his backside, his hardness pressed into the crack of his butt and he smiled. He knew he wasn't ready for anything as serious as that, but he had to admit Phil felt good back there. He wasn't surprised to find he was hard as well, but sleep overtook him again before he could decide if he needed to do anything about it.

"Good morning," Phil said as Kevin's eyes drifted open.

"Hi," Kevin said smiling, "what time is it?"

"8:06," Phil said glancing at this phone.

"Uh...too early," Kevin said covering his head with his pillow.

"I had to go use the bathroom and when I came back I couldn't go back to sleep. I've been laying here watching you sleep ever since."

Kevin threw the pillow aside, "Really? Do I snore?" Kevin joked.

"No, you look very peaceful when you sleep, like an Angel."

"More like a devil."

"Not to me. In my eyes you are perfect."

"You must love me," Kevin chuckled.

"I do."

"I love you too, how bout' a kiss?"

"Okay," Phil said happily.

The kiss led to other things and a repeat of the night's activities, and by the time they were cleaned up, had peed, and brushed their teeth, it was time for breakfast.

Kevin's mom had made blueberry waffles and bacon and oatmeal and the boys discovered they had quite an appetite after their morning romp.

"So mom, Phil wants to know if I can come over and swim today. Is it okay?"

"I suppose, but I want you home by five for dinner."

"Okay mom, no problem."

"Thank you for letting me come over," Phil said to Kevin's mom, "and for this delicious breakfast."

"You're very welcome Phil. I'm glad Kevin has made such a good friend."

"I'm lucky to have Kevin as a friend as well."

"Well, you're welcome any time. You boys have fun, but be careful."

They walked to Phil's and spent the afternoon swimming and cavorting in the pool, but since Phil's parents were close by there were no opportunities for intimacy. However later when it was time to shower off the chlorine, they wound up in the shower off the laundry room, naked and horny and things progressed rather quickly.

After a bit of kissing and fondling they got down to business and quickly helped each other achieve an intense orgasm. As their seminal fluids swirled down the drain they laughed and kissed one last time, happier than they had ever been in their young lives.

"Well, thanks for coming over and for letting me come over and swim. I had fun," Kevin said giving Phil a little wink as they stood at the front door saying goodbye.

"It was a wonderful weekend. I will see you tomorrow at school."

"Yeah, tomorrow. Well...goodbye," Kevin said wishing he could kiss Phil one last time.

Phil who felt the same way reached out and squeezed Kevin's shoulder, "Good bye Kevin. Have a good evening."

"Yeah, well...see ya," Kevin said and this time he forced himself to go.

Phil watched him until he was out of sight, then sighed and went back inside almost running into his father who was just coming out of his home office.

"Oh, hello father."

"Hello Phillip. Did you have a good time this weekend at your friend's house?"

"Oh yes father, it was wonderful," Phil said, then realizing how that might sound to his father he added, "his parents are very nice and we had a lot of fun. And Kevin is a very nice boy."

"I wonder if I might speak to you in my office," Phil's father said looking serious.

"Of course father," Phil said starting to worry.

"Sit down son," And when Phil was settled on the leather couch there his father sat down across from him in his expensive leather desk chair.

"Have I done something wrong father?" Phil asked in a trembling voice.

"No, of course not. Relax son. I just wanted to have a little father and son talk with you."

"Oh, all right," Phil said relaxing a bit.

"You're growing up so fast now. Soon you'll be a teenager," his father said wistfully, "Where does the time go?" he added looking past his son, "As I said, you are growing up fast, and having reached puberty, you know about some of the changes that go along with that."

"Father..."

"Oh, if you're wondering how I know you've reached puberty," he laughed, "you mother brought it to my attention the first time she noticed the stains on your sheets."

"I...I'm sorry..."

"Phillip," his father said getting up and coming over to sit beside his only son, "it's nothing to be embarrassed about. You are not the first boy to ever stain his sheets and I didn't mean to imply that you had done anything wrong. I'm a Doctor, a man of science, and I know all about the human body. It's a wondrous thing and nature will have it's way no matter what."

"What you are experiencing is normal and natural and I was not trying to imply otherwise. Now, to the meat of this discussion. Along with the changes to your body, you will have certain urges, and at times you will feel as if a stranger has taken over your body," he chuckled.

"I assure you, all those feelings are normal as well. At your age most boys are beginning to come into their own as sexual beings and to notice girls."

Phil squirmed a bit in his seat waiting for what might come next. His father surely had to know he had never shown any interest in girls, and now he had taken up with Kevin, and it must be obvious that he was gay.

"However, some boys begin to notice other boys instead." he said pausing to let that sink in, "And that's okay too. I pride myself on being open and progressive and though your mother is perhaps a bit more reserved, she and I have discussed this subject and we are in full agreement. If you are one of those boys who are more interested in other boys than girls, then that is fine with us."

Wow, this was a surprise. They were giving him their blessings to be gay.

"That being said, I want you to know that if you ever have any questions that you need help with, or feelings that you can't  handle, I want you to feel comfortable coming to us for help."

"Thank you father. I think I am fine at the moment," Phil said hoping to end the conversation before he broke down and told his father everything.

"All right, I won't press the issue, but I felt it was important to clear the air and hopefully assuage any fears you may have had about how we felt about this particular subject."

"Thank you father. Is that all. May I go now?"

"Are you sure you don't have any questions for me?"

"Yes sir, I'm sure, but I want to thank you for the offer."

"Well, all right then. I suppose you can go now. Dinner will be served shortly. Why don't you go wash up and I'll see you in the dining room in a little while?"

The Secret Life of Nerds
Part Four - The Truth Comes Out


At school on Monday, after eating his lunch Philip excused himself  to go to the bathroom. Kevin was engaged in a lively conversation with Terry and barely looked up then went back to whatever he was saying.

Despite the strides  he'd made since meeting Kevin, Philip was still a little shy and preferred using a stall to the urinals. He had just closed the stall door and started to relieve himself when he heard the bathroom door open and then voices.

"Yeah, the bet was he had to make friends with a nerd for 30 days to join the group. Not that that group is so hot to begin with," a voice Philip didn't  recognize said.

Philip continued to relieve himself not really giving much thought to what had been said until the next words came forth.

"Yeah, I heard he picked that nerd Philip McKinney. What a loser. Boy imagine how surprised he's gonna be when the other kid drops him like a hot potato once the 30 days is up. I wouldn't want to be that kid's folks, he'll probably need therapy or something," the other boy laughed.

"Yeah, imagine that nerd thinking anyone really wanted to be his friend," the first boy laughed, "Nerds are so lame, and have you heard the way he talks? He's like a walking dictionary, no one wants to be around someone like that"

"Yeah, no way is that kid Kevin really interested in him. It's all just part of the bet. And when the 30 days are up, you can bet that kid will go running for the hills." More laughter, the flushing of the  urinals then the door opened and then only silence.

Philip stood holding his limp member, not even able to bring himself to shake off the last few drops of pee. Somehow he managed to get himself put away and zipped up and found himself at the sink washing his hands and staring into the mirror.

So that was it? Kevin had made friends with him on a bet, just to get into the group at the table. How had he been so stupid? He wondered, He had always known Kevin was out of his class, and too cool to want to be friends with someone like him. It had always been about Kevin getting into the group and he was his ticket in, that was all he was.

He felt so foolish, so...so used. He wanted to cry, but tears wouldn't come. He didn't know what to do, but one thing was certain, he could never face Kevin again. Drying his hands he wandered out into the hall and then headed to the nurse's office.

One of the advantages of being a good student was that the teachers and faculty accepted everything you said at face value, and so when Philip told the nurse that he was feeling ill, she didn't doubt him. After taking his temperature and questioning him a bit she finally decided to call his mother, who agreed that if Philip felt the need to see the nurse, then he must indeed be ill, and she agreed to come pick him up as soon as possible.

Meanwhile the bell rang ending lunch period, and only then did Kevin realize that Philip had not returned. Assuming he had to do number two, and knowing how shy Phil was, Kevin just assumed that he'd gone on to class afterward and didn't worry too much about it. That is not until he walked into the class they shared after lunch and he wasn't there.

Approaching the teacher Kevin tried to be nonchalant as he asked about Phil's absence.

"Mr. McKinney is ill. His mother came and got him during lunch period," the teacher said giving Kevin a wane smile. He knew the two boys had been hanging out lately and thought it was surprising at first, but eventually she had come to accept that sometimes opposites did attract.

Kevin found it hard to concentrate the rest of the day and when the final bell rang he was out the door and grabbing his cell phone out of his backpack as he ran.

Once outside he punched in Phil's number and waited for him to answer, but all he got was voice mail. He left a brief message, begging Phil to call him and then went out to wait for his bus.

At home Kevin tried again to reach Phil, and again reached his voicemail. So, after having downed the snack his mom had prepared for him he asked permission to ride to Phil's house.

As he peddled his bike there he tried to keep calm, but he just couldn't shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong. Little did he know that was the case all right, but it had nothing to do with Phil's health.

Philip's mother answered the door on the second ring, but she looked less than friendly and that worried Kevin even more.

"Is Phil okay? I tried to call him, but he didn't answer," Kevin said quickly.

"Philip is fine," she said giving Kevin a serious look, "Something apparently happened at school today that has upset him greatly, but he won't tell me what it was. Do you have any idea what it could have been?"

"No ma'am, we were having lunch, then he went to the bathroom..alone. I mean usually I go with him, but I was talking to a friend..." Kevin rattled on, not thinking how it might sound that he always went to the bathroom with Philip.

"I see, well...perhaps after he's had some time to think about things he will open up to us."

"Maybe I can find out what's wrong, if I could see him..."

"I'm afraid not. Philip doesn't want to see you right now."

"He..he said that?" Kevin said feeling more hurt and pain than he had in ages.

"Yes, in no uncertain words. I'm sorry Kevin, but my first responsibility is to my son and if he says he doesn't want to see you, then that's the way it is...for now. I'm sure he will come around eventually, but for now..."

"Yes ma'am, will you give him a message for me though?"

"I suppose," she said giving him a little smile. She liked Kevin and thought his influence had been a positive one and sympathized with him at the moment.

"Tell him...tell him, that I meant what I said and I'm not confused anymore. He'll know what I mean. Will you tell him that for me?"

"I don't understand, but I shall tell him. Now, I must go check on him again. Perhaps you can talk to him tomorrow at school."

"Yeah, thanks," Kevin said turning to go, "Be sure to tell him..okay?"

"I promise," she said shaking her head in dismay. What on earth did that cryptic message mean?

"Philp dear, are you feeling better?" She said as she checked on Phil a few minutes later.

"I'm fine mother," Philip said looking up from the book he'd been reading.

"Kevin was here..."

"What did he want?" Philip asked stiffly.

"He was concerned about you dear, that's all. That's how friends are."

"He's not my friend."

"Philip, is there something you'd like to tell me?"

"No," Philip sighed, "What did he say?"

"Funny you should ask. He was very adamant that I give you a message, let's see...he said, to tell you that he meant what he said and...and that he wasn't confused anymore. Yes, I believe those were his exact words. Do they mean anything to you?"

"No, nothing," Phil said softly, "I think I'll take a nap now mother. I'm very tired."

But sleep wouldn't come. The words his mother had relayed to him kept coming back. He meant what he'd said and he wasn't confused anymore.  Was this just another lie to hurt him, or was he wrong about Kevin? Perhaps those boys in the bathroom had been lying. What if they had known he was there and intentionally meant for him to overhear their conversation just to hurt him.

But it did make sense, what they had said. Why else would someone like Kevin make friends with him unless their was some ulterior motive, for instance earning the respect of the group. He was so confused and hurt, but his intellect finally took over and he decided Kevin deserved a chance to explain. If it were true and Kevin admitted it, then he'd deal with that, but if it were a lie, then he'd apologize to Kevin and things would  be fine again. However, he doubted things would be that simple, and that he was probably in for a lot more hurt before this thing was over.

He barely touched his dinner that evening, and though his father tried to pull him into the dinner conversation, his answers were usually monosyllabic. Dr. McKinney didn't like to pry unnecessarily into his son's life, but somehow he thought this might have something to do with the talk they'd had. He made a mental note to discuss it with his wife later and see if she had any insight into what was going on.

After dinner Philip excused himself to his room and while Mildred cleaned up the kitchen his parents retired to the den and talked over a glass of wine. When Philip's father heard about Philip coming home early from school and his reaction to Kevin's coming to see him he put two and two together. Was it possible that Philip had a crush on this boy Kevin and he'd been rejected or perhaps exposed at school? It worried him, not that his son might be gay, but he knew that other children and society in general could be cruel and unaccepting and Philip was not the kind of boy who could handle their ridicule well.

"I think I'll have a little chat with him, maybe check him over, just to make sure he's okay. He might have a touch of the flu or something," Dr. McKinney said using Philip's excuse of not feeling well as a reason to talk with him.

"Yes dear, I think that's an excellent idea, but I can't help but think this has something to do with his new friend, Kevin." Then she told him about the message he was asked to deliver and Dr. McKinney knew there was more to the story than he understood.

"Come in father," Philip said looking up from his desk where he'd been trying to concentrate on his homework.

"Hello son. Are you feeling all right now? Your mother says you took ill at school and had to come home. I hope it's nothing serious."

"No sir, I think it may have just been an upset stomach. I feel fine now."

"Well, just to be safe I thought I'd give you a once over," Dr. McKinney chuckled, "I may be a surgeon, but I still know a thing or two about medicine."

"If you think it's necessary father..."

Dr. Mckinney took Philip's temperature with an ear thermometer and then his blood pressure, which  understandably was a bit high. After all it was obvious the boy was in some sort of emotional distress. But a look down his throat showed nothing but healthy tonsils and sound straight teeth.

"Lift your shirt son," Dr. McKinney said and when the boy did he was surprised at how muscular the boy's chest had become as of late. He felt bad for not paying enough attention to his son and he knew he was growing up fast and maturing and soon, well soon he'd be a young man.

After listening to his son's heart he felt a little teary eyed and emotional. This was the child he had created, and he felt as if he should share his son's pain.

"Would you like to talk about it son?"

Philip knew his father well, and he knew not much escaped him, and he knew there was no need pretending nothing was wrong.

"I'd rather not father, not yet. I have some thinking to do and then...I need to talk to someone and make sure I understand what's going on before I act."

"I see, and this someone, would his name be Kevin?" his father asked grinning.

Philip nodded, "Yes sir, but I really don't want to say much more about it."

"I understand son, but I want you to know that whatever the problem is...that I and your mother are here for you...no matter what. Our love is unconditional."

"I know," Philip said as tears stung his eyes, "and mine as well."

In an uncharacteristic move the Doctor hugged his son to him and kissed his hair, "I love you very much Philip and your mother and I are very proud of you. No matter  how this turns out you need to know that you are a wonderful young man and someday you will make someone  special very happy."

The tears came then and for a while Philip just allowed his father to hold him and soothe him as he cleansed his soul. When at last he sat up and wiped at his eyes, he felt a little embarrassed.

"I'm sorry father, I didn't mean to fall apart. I guess...I guess I'm just tired."

"You're twelve years old son, you'll entitled to break down occasionally. In fact, we all are. Sometimes tears can be good for a person. Now, I believe you have homework to finish and I've left your mother wondering what's become of me," he said giving Philip one last hug, "Remember son, if you need us, we are there for you...always."

Philip was too overcome with emotion again to speak so he simply nodded and gave his father a return  hug.

"Well, you were gone a long time...is he all right," Mrs. McKinney asked with concern.

"Physically our son is fine, emotionally...well...not so much." and then he explained as best as he could about what he thought was going on with Philip.

"I've known for sometime that Philip was different, perhaps gay but I wasn't sure how you'd react," Mrs. McKinney said not expecting quite the reaction she received from her husband.

Laughing and shaking his head Dr. McKinney managed to squeak out, "And I was afraid of how you would react. Oh, my I guess we need to talk more often."

They both had a good laugh then, but when it was over the seriousness of their only son's situation mellowed them out.

"Poor dear, do you think that he has a crush on this boy and it's not mutual?"

"Well, that message didn't sound like that. I'm not sure what's going on exactly. Perhaps it's Kevin who's  crushing and Philip is not sure how he feels about the situation."

"But he seems so happy around this boy and he's always talking about him, Kevin this, Kevin that."

"I'm afraid until Philip is willing to share with us all we can do is guess. But I think it's important that we be united in this. Now that I know you are accepting of Philip's possible persuasion, I think he needs to know we are both supportive of him and his relationship...if one exists."

"He's so young..."

"He'll be a teenager in a few months, and it doesn't take a doctor to tell you all hell is about to break loose."

"Oh dear...I'm not sure I'm ready for that..."

"You're a good mother, you'll figure it out."

"Thank you dear, and you're a good father and a good husband. What say we go upstairs and praise each other for a while."

Dr. McKinney laughed, "Why dear, are you horny?"

Mrs. McKinney blushed and didn't reply, instead she took her husband's hand and led him off to the bedroom.

-----

"Something is going on with Phil," Kevin whined to Terry as they entered the school building that next day, "He'd left early yesterday and when I went to his house he wouldn't see me."

"Did you guys have a a fight or something?"

"No way, we never fight. I'm worried. What if...well, what if he feels bad about what we did and he doesn't want to be with me anymore? He wasn't on the bus today either, but I saw his mom dropping him off a few mintues ago."

"Calm down, the kid adores you. Just talk to him, there he is now..go..go and make up," Terry laughed as he gave Kevin a gentle push in Phil's direction.

"Uh hi, how are you feeling today?" Kevin said as he approached Phil.

"I'm fine, thank you. How are you?" Phil said looking and sounding a little uncomfortable.

"Look, Phil...if I said or did anything..."

"No, it's not that," Phil said not quite sure how to start, "We need to talk, alone...perhaps after school."

"Oh, okay...sure, but I hope it's not bad news," Kevin said feeling him out a little.

"I'm not sure. I guess we'll find out. Right now I have to go to the office and check in and give them a note from my parents. I will see you at lunch."

Kevin stood watching him walk away and sighed. 

Meanwhile Terry had been waiting nearby and he rejoined Kevin. Then slipping an arm around Kevin he leaned in and whispered, "Well, what'd he say?"

"That we should talk...after school," Kevin said numbly, "I just don't understand. Everything was going so good and then bam...he's like...mad or  upset or something and I don't know why."

"Hmmm...well...I guess you'll have to wait till after school to find out. Or...I could try talking to him for you.."

"NO! Definitely do not talk to him. This is between him and me. I mean I appreciate it and all, but Phil feels uncomfortable enough about us as it is."

"Gotcha, well, see ya' at lunch lover boy," Terry laughed as they split up to go to their lockers.

By lunch time Kevin was eager to see if Phil had softened any, and after grabbing his lunch bag from his locker he headed to the cafeteria. The usual gang was already seated and as he slid in across from Terry he gave him a wry smile. Terry gave him a knowing look and then went back to whatever it was he was saying to Roger who was being his usual grumpy self.

"Hello everyone," Philip said when he finally slipped into the seat Kevin had reserved for him.

"Hey Phil, how's it hanging?" Roger said grinning lewdly. He'd heard about what happened in the bathroom the day before, and even though he'd had nothing to do with it, he was glad someone had taken the initiative and put the nerd in his place.

"Fine," Phil muttered opening his lunch bag.

"Hey, what did Mildred send today?" Kevin asked trying to act as if there was nothing wrong.

"Umm...roast beef sandwiches and potato salad, and some cookies. I'm not very hungry would you like to share?"

Well, that was encouraging, Kevin thought, at least he's sharing his lunch and being friendly. Maybe it was nothing serious and they could talk it out.

After lunch Kevin walked Phil to his locker and thanked him once again for sharing his lunch, "Tell Mildred it was yummy," he said smiling warmly, "Um...I was wondering do you want me to come over after school?"

"I was thinking...well, perhaps we could meet in the park by my house."

"Oh, okay. I can ride my bike over then. Should I come right after school?"

"Meet me there at 4 o'clock."

"Okay, 4 o'clock then. Well, I guess we should head to class..."

This was the only class that he and Phil shared, but little was said on the way there and when they settled at their desks Phil pulled out his math book and all but ignored Kevin. Kevin wanted to say something, but he managed to bite his tongue, and soon class began and he tried to concentrate on what was going on in class.

Kevin hurried out the door after the final bell and was the first one on the bus that day. He waited for Phil, then gave up when he saw him get in his mother's car and drive away. What was that all about? He wondered.

When he arrived at home he grabbed his after school snack and ran to his room, and between bites he changed out of his school clothes and into his favorite jeans and an Atlanta Braves tee shirt. He finished his snack, peed, and brushed his teeth, then grabbed his Braves ball cap and ran downstairs.

"I'm going to the park to meet Phil," he yelled to his mom, "be back by dinner time."

"Be careful..." she admonished, then smiled. She loved that Kevin had found such a good friend and she had a feeling they'd be seeing a lot more of Phil in the future.

On the way to the park Kevin let his mind wander, but he was still no closer to figuring things out by the time he arrived. As expected Philip was already there, sitting on a park bench and feeding bread crumbs to the ducks.

"Hi," Kevin said riding up and parking his bike, "Looks like you came prepared."

"Yes, I enjoy feeing them, it's very relaxing."

Sliding in beside Phil he reached into the bag between then and grabbed a handful of break crumbs and began feeding the ducks as well.

"Thank you for coming," Phil said after a while, "I thought we should talk somewhere quiet and where we could be alone."

"Okay," Kevin said, the feeling of dread washing over his once more.

"Kevin, is it true?" Phil said jumping right into things before he lost his nerve, "Did you become my friend simply to be accepted into that group of boys at the lunch table?"

"What no, sort of..is this what this about?" Kevin said feeling relieved, then confused, then worried.

"I overheard some boys talking in the boys room yesterday. They said you became my friend simply as a dare...to gain admittance into that group of boys. Is that true?"

"Look Phil, it's not what you think. At first that was all it was. Remember I said that I was trying to make some new friends...that I didn't want to go into Junior High without friends? So, that was how I found out about the group...and I thought I'd see what I had to do to join them. So, then see...they said all I had to do was make friends with...with well, someone...like you."

"A nerd," Phil offered.

"Yeah, but I don't think of you that way. Okay, maybe at first, then after I got to know you..."

"And you found out I had a pool..."

"No, that had nothing to do with it. Phil...please, you gotta believe me. At first it was just a dare, but then...then when I found out how nice you were and how much fun and all the little things about you..well, I really started liking you."

"I see. But you didn't call off the bet...did you?"

"Well, no...but I think everyone knows by now that I really like you and the bet doesn't mean anything. I know Terry knows, cause we talked about it and Thomas is cool."

"And Roger, what does he think?" Phil said looking away, unable to look into Kevin's eyes for fear he'd lose his resolve and just cave in.

"Who cares what Roger thinks? Roger is a jerk, even Terry and Thomas admit that, but they've all been friends a long time..."

"And now you're one of them. Oh wait, not quite...the 30 days isn't up yet, so...it looks like you lose after all," Phil said standing, and then before Kevin could react Phil was walking quickly away.

"Hey, wait..." Kevin said jumping up and running to catch up, "You've got to give me a chance to explain. I'm sorry. Look, I don't need those other guys. As far as I'm concerned I don't want to be part of the group anymore. All I want is to have you for my friend."

"You should have told me what was going on Kevin. I feel like I can't trust you anymore. I'll have to think about this. I'm not sure I can forgive you, but I promise I'll give it all the thought it deserves."

What did that mean? Kevin wondered, Was it worth any thought at all to Phil? Had he already made up his mind? Was this the end?"

"Phil!" Kevin all but shouted causing Phil to slow, but now stop completely.

"Don't walk away from me, please. I...I love you and I can't imagine losing you, not now, not ever," Kevin said baring his soul and opening up his heart to the boy.

Phil closed his eyes and only then did he realize he was crying. He loved Kevin too, but he was hurt and scared and he felt betrayed. He wanted to give in and forgive him, but he had to be sure.

"I love you too, and I think that's why this hurts so much. I have to be sure I do the right thing and I'm too emotional right now to know what's right or wrong. Like I said...I'll think about it. Now, please...go home and let me have some time to myself."

"All right," Kevin said wiping at his eyes, "I understand. I'm really sorry about not telling you, but I didn't want to hurt you, and now...now you did get hurt and I feel awful. I just want us to be together, like we were...no, not like we were, I want us to be...to be closer...like, well...you know. But I know you need to think about it. So take you time, cause I want you to make the right decision. Meanwhile I got to do something..."

"Kevin, don't do anything stupid..." Phil warned, seeing how emotional the boy was.

"I won't. I promise. Phil...I...I love you," Kevin said and then before he broke down completely he grabbed his bike and rode off  across the park, heading home.

Phil watched him till he was just a speck on the horizon then wiped at his eyes again and headed home. His mother called to him as he came in but he excused himself to his room and fell across his bed and had a good cry.

"I need to talk to you and Thomas and Roger," Kevin said after calling Terry.

"What's going on?" Terry asked sounding worried.

"It's important, is there any way we can all three meet outside of school?"

"Well, you're in luck, Roger is at my house and I'm sure Tommie will come if I call him."

"Good, umm...what's your address?"

After calling Thomas Terry called Kevin back and it was arranged for them to meet at Terry's house in a half hour. It was a long bike ride for Kevin, but it gave him time to think and to calm down some and by the time he arrived he felt he was ready to face the three.

"Come on in," Terry said leading Kevin inside his modest house. 

Terry was dressed in soccer shorts and a sloppy tank top and was barefooted, and Kevin noticed his toe nails were painted blue.

"Leave your shoes at the door, okay? My folks don't allow shoes in the house."

"Oh, okay..." Kevin said toeing off his shoes.

"My folks won't be home for an hour or so, the others are upstairs in my room, come on."

Roger was lounging on a big brass bed surrounded by stuffed animals and throw pillows and as Kevin looked around the room he thought it had a feminine look to it. There were posters of teen heart throbs and a few of expensive cars, but no sports posters or anything of that nature.

"Hey Kev, what's up?" Thomas said from his seat at a desk that held a lap top that was opened to FaceBook.

"Hi guys, sorry about this, but I need to talk to all of you."

"This about nerd boy?" Roger smirked.

"What do you know about Phil?" Kevin said looking accusingly at Roger.

"Oh, nothing. Just heard he's upset or something," Roger said trying to look innocent.

"Yeah, well...somehow he found out about the bet, and now he's upset and he's not sure he wants to be my friend anymore."

"Well, the 30 days is almost over, I think we could probably let you in anyway..." Roger said grinning.

"Roger, Kevin was in a long time ago," Thomas said giving Roger a mean look, "What's important now is helping Kevin fix this thing with Phil."

"Yeah, it was a dumb bet anyway," Terry said giving Kevin a harsh look, "Kevin is in and as far as I'm concerned so is Phil."

"Yeah, I feel the same way. Hey, maybe if you told him that he'd feel better about things," Thomas suggested.

"Wait, hold on. Don't I get a say in this?" Roger protested.

"NO!" Both Terry and Thomas said at once.

"Just shut up for once Roger," Terry said sitting down beside Roger and cuffing him gently, "or you might be the one on the outside for a change."

"Hey, I was in from the start...."

"Don't remind us," Thomas scoffed.

"Fuck you guys then," Roger said starting to get up.

"Lay back down," Terry said jumping on top of his old friend, "We still love you, we just aren't going to put up with your bullshit."

"Get off me fag," Roger said, but he didn't sound mad, nor did he resist too much. Truth was he liked having Terry's body pressed against his.

"No, I'll sit on you if I have to. Now, Kevin, what can we do to help?"

"I...I don't know. I actually called you together to tell you I didn't want to be part of the group if it meant losing Phil, but...but you've made me see that maybe I can have both."

"Yeah, thanks to these two bleeding hearts," Roger grumbled.

"Do I have to gag you?" Terry warned.

"What with?" Roger said lewdly.

"Just you never mind, but it would gag you, that's for sure."

Roger laughed, despite the situation he was enjoying sparring with Terry.

"We can talk to Phil, if you think that would help," Thomas offered.

"Yeah, we knew right away that you really liked Phil and weren't hanging out with him just to get into the group," Terry added.

"I...I don't know. I'm so confused," Kevin said falling down into a straight back chair near the door.

"You in love with that nerd or something?" Roger said sounding more curious than accusing.

"I..." Kevin blushed, "I don't know," then taking a deep breath he went on, "Yeah, I am. I've got to quit denying it. I'm not ashamed of how I feel, but it's all so new to me..."

"I've known all along," Terry said smiling, "and he feels the same way. Now, if we can just convince Phil that your intentions were good."

"Damn, me and Thomas are gonna be outnumbered now," Roger groused, "Three fags in our group..."

"Shut up Roger," Terry said digging into Roger's ribs and causing him to squirm, "You're not as straight as you think you are. Look at that tent in your shorts..."

Roger blushed but couldn't think of a witty comeback. Truth was he liked Terry a lot, always had, and the fact that he was openly gay was not only intriguing but exciting. He liked it when Terry touched him but he still felt the need to protest. In fact if Kevin hadn't called this meeting he'd had hopes that he and Terry might have done more than just touch.

"I guess I'll just have to wait and see what Phil says, but thanks guys. This means a lot to me. I feel bad about accepting the dare, but I'm sure glad I met you guys."

"It was a stupid dare," Terry said again, "forget it. Now, as long as we're all here, how about we play some video games?"

"Naw, I really need to get home," Kevin said frowning, "but thanks."

"Yeah, me too, come on Kevin. I'll walk with you and leave these two alone to torture each other," Thomas laughed.

Since Thomas lived in the same direction as Kevin they rode side by side on their bikes and talked a bit.

"You know what's going on with those two...right?"

"Ummm..those two? Oh, you mean Terry and Roger?"

"Yeah, what's it called...sexual tension? Terry wants Roger so bad it hurts and Roger wants something too, but he's too stupid to know what."

"That seems so strange. I mean Roger seems so homophobic."

"Well, you know what they say? Most homopobes are just struggling with their own sexual feelings. I think if Roger would just give in, he'd find out it's nothing to be afraid of."

"Uh, none of my business, but...have you ever...you know...with a guy?"

"Sure, and it was fun, but I think I like girls better. I don't stress over it though. If I met a boy I liked a lot I think I could go that way and not sweat it. But I'm not lookin' for either right now."

"You're a nice guy, you and Terry both, but I have to admit...I'm a little afraid of Roger."

Thomas laughed, "He's harmless...all mouth. But...I can't help but wonder...well, how did Phil find out about the bet?"

"You don't think Roger told him...or had someone do it?"

"Don't know, but I intend to find out. Find out all you can from Phil and let me know. If Roger had anything to do with this...well, we'll deal with him then if we have to."

"Surely he's not that mean..."

"I hope not. Well, this is my turn off...see ya' tomorrow at school. Oh, and Kevin...don't worry. I think Phil will come around. I can tell that he really likes you. You're a nice guy too."

Kevin thanked Thomas and all the rest of the way home he kept thinking about Roger. What kind of person enjoyed hurting other people? He just couldn't imagine being that way and he wondered if Roger's confusion about his sexual identity had something to do with it.

Roger and Terry take a tumble


"You really want that nerd in the group?" Roger asked as he and Terry sat side by side playing a video game.

"I like Phil, maybe more than I like you," Terry said elbowing Roger roughly.

"Ow, that hurt. You're pretty rough for a fag."

"I can whip your sorry ass any day."

"Oh yeah, wanna try?" Roger said pausing his game.

"What? You serious?"

"Yeah, put your money where your mouth is."

"Okay, you're on, but not here. Too crowded. In the family room."

"What about your folks?"

"They won't be home for another hour, maybe more. Come on chicken."

Roger followed eagerly, his heart beating fast and his palms sweaty as he anticipated  what lay ahead. 

"Take off your shirt," Terry said stripping off his tank top to reveal his slim smooth upper body. His nipples were pierced and each held a small gold ring, "and no grabbing the nipple rings."

Roger laughed nervously, "Okay, when did you do that?"

"I asked my folks and they said no...but what they don't know won't hurt them."

"What if they find out?"

"Well, what's done is done. Now get that shirt off and let's get at it."

Get at it? Roger went hard at those words, a fact that did not go unnoticed by Terry who just just smiled. He too was hard and was looking forward to their wrestling match.

They stood facing one another, a look of nervous anticipation on their faces and then Terry feigned a move and Roger countered. Suddenly they came together, hands locked as they pushed their arms up high, each trying to dominate the other.

"Ugh, you're arms are strong," Roger said through gritted teeth, "is that from beating off so much?"

"If that was true, you'd be ten times stronger," Terry countered.

"How do you know how much I beat off? Been fantasizing about me?"

"Well, I just know you don't have a girlfriend or a boyfriend and I never see you with anyone really, except us..so, I assume you jerk a lot. What  boy doesn't?"

"Do you, or do your boyfriends take care of that for you?" he grunted as he tried to push Terry's arms down and get a better grip on  him.

"Nope, never been with another boy, well unless you count those times you and me and Thomas fooled around."

"We were just little kids, I don't think that counts," Roger said blushing.

"Yeah, that's what I thought. Cause back then I didn't know for sure that I liked boys that way."

"When did you figure that out...um, that you were gay?"

"Oh, I guess when I turned 10. Boys were all I thought about then," Terry said grinning.

"Did you ever...you know, think of me or Thomas that way?"

"Can't tell ya'," Terry said going in for the kill, and suddenly Roger was on his back on the floor with Terry atop him.

"How...did you...do that?" Roger asked between ragged breaths.

"I took some martial arts classes last year...you know, us gay boys have to be able to defend ourselves, what with all the homophobes running around."

"Has anyone been messing with you? Cause if they have just let me know and I'll take care of it."

"My hero," Terry laughed as he lowered his face to within a few inches of Roger's.

Roger was still breathing hard, in fact you might say he was breathless from being so close to Terry. He looked up into Terry's cute face and bit his lip.

"You...smell nice," he muttered before he could stop himself.

Terry seemed surprised, then pleased as he smiled down at Roger, "I use body spray," he said blushing.

"Is that your? Are you?" Roger said suddenly aware of something  hard poking his thigh.

"Sorry, this is the most physical contact I've had with someone in a long time," Terry said grinning, "but I think you have the same problem," he said letting his knee rest against the bulge in Roger's shorts.

"Ugh...stop or I'll make a mess."

"Wouldn't want that," Terry laughed as he moved his knee back where it was as he straddled Roger, "Do you give?"

"No, no way. I can beat a fag," Roger laughed as he suddenly grabbed Terry and reversed their positions.

Now it was Terry who was flat on his back staring up at the grinning face of the much bigger boy.

"Now, who's in charge?" Roger laughed.

"You are, you big stud," Terry grunted, "Take me I'm yours," he added laughing.

"You wish," Roger scoffed, not knowing if Terry was serious or just funning.

"Yeah, I do," Terry said softly.

Roger kept his position straddling Terry, his arms supporting his upper body, as he tried to think of a witty comeback. He'd always liked Terry and the gay thing hadn't bothered him at all, even though he did give him shit over it just for fun, but this was getting way too intense.

"Terry," Roger began, but suddenly Terry reached up and put his arms around Roger's neck and began pulling him toward him.

At first Roger resisted, but just a little, and then he gave in and suddenly his lips were being smothered by Terry's. As kisses go this one wasn't that outstanding, but to Roger who's experience with kissing was limited to pecks on the cheek, it was the most amazing thing he'd ever felt.

"Why...why did you do that?" Roger stuttered as he finally pulled away.

"I don't know, I just did. Do I need a reason?" Terry asked trying not to sound as scared or vulnerable as he felt at the moment.

"I guess not. I guess it's what fags do...right? Kiss boys?"

"Not just any boy. I have to like the boy first."

"You, you like me that way?"

"I'm sorry," Terry sighed, "I always have. I know it's a waste of my time, but I can't help it."

"No, it's okay," Roger said trying to sort out his own feelings, "but I think we should talk about this some."

"Okay, but first...can I kiss you again?"

"I guess, I mean you already did it once...so why not?"

This time the kiss was better, softer, wetter, toe curling in fact, and both boys were breathless and panting when it was over.

"Oh shit," Roger suddenly said jumping up and running off toward the bathroom.

Terry sat up and watched him retreat as fear washed over him. What if Roger freaked out and didn't want to be friends anymore? He moaned to himself. Why couldn't he keep his stupid feelings to himself.

He stood and was about to go back to his room when Roger reappeared looking flushed and sheepish.

"Sorry, I'm so stupid...I made a mess in my shorts after all," Roger lamented.

"Oh, that," Terry said sounding relieved, "Well...so did I," he added pulling out the waistband of his shorts and peering inside.

They both laughed then and Terry went off to clean up.

-----

"Good morning Kevin," Phil said as he approached Kevin who was digging in his locker.

"Oh, hi Phil," Kevin said hoping Phil had good news for him.

"I've given this thing a lot of thought," Phil began, "and I've decided that you deserve a second chance."

"Oh, wow, that's great. Thank you so much," Kevin said trying to control his emotions. He wanted so badly to jump on Phil and hug and kiss him, but he knew this wasn't the time or place.

"You're welcome, but we still need to work some things out. Can you come over after school today?"

"You bet, I'll be there. This is so great," Kevin  gushed, "You won't be sorry...I promise I will never lie to you again."

"All right, well...I'll see you at lunch then," Phil said trying to hide his own excitement. He guessed he'd known from the start that once Kevin explained and apologized he'd forgive him, but he felt like he had to make Kevin suffer just a little.

At lunch Kevin was bubbling over with joy and the others noticed right away.

"So, did lover boy forgive you?" Terry teased.

"Yeah, he said I deserved a second chance," Kevin said smiling as he glanced toward the door waiting for Phil to arrive.

"I told you the kid was crazy about you," Thomas said, "but we still need to find out how Phil found out about the bet. Any ideas Roger?"

"What, no...why would I?  Hey, you don't think I told him do you?"

"No, I don't think you're that stupid, but I do know you sometimes tend to run your mouth and maybe someone else heard about it and let it slip."

"Hey, I can't control everyone, just myself," he said glancing at Terry nervously.

"Roger didn't know, I'm pretty sure..." Terry offered, though he didn't go on to explain why he felt that way.

"Well, someone let it slip and I want to know who," Thomas said looking grim.

"Hey, it's over and done. Why can't we just forget it," Kevin suggested, "Oh, there he is," he added excitedly as he stood and motioned Phil over.

"Hello everyone," Phil said dropping a huge paper bag in the middle of the table. From it emanated the most delicious fragrance and within seconds everyone's mouth was watering, "I had Mildred make a special lunch for us to share. There is fried chicken and potato salad and baked beans and her homemade rolls."

"Screw this cafeteria food," Roger said reaching for the bag and soon all the containers were out on the table and everyone was digging in.

As they ate they talked about school and all the things that interested kids their age, but nothing was said about the bet and the consequences of Phil finding out about it.

After lunch Kevin walked Phil to his locker.

"That was really nice of you to bring lunch for everyone. They're really a cool bunch of guys and they  like you a lot already, but now I think they love you," Kevin joked.

"All except Roger perhaps," Phil said stating the obvious.

"I don't know, today he seemed different. I think he's trying Phil, we just gotta give him a chance.

"I suppose. I was wondering though, is there something going on with Terry and Roger?"

"Why do you ask?" Kevin said completely clueless.

"Well, I couldn't help but notice that they kept giving each other little looks...you know...sort of like we do sometimes," Phil said blushing.

"Oh, well..now that you mention it. You know Thomas sort of hinted that the two might have the hots for one another, but I just figured Roger was so straight and all..."

"Or in the closet perhaps. You know a lot of homophobic people are simply in denial of their own feelings."

"I've heard that. Well, I guess we'll know soon enough, cause I don't think Terry is very good at hiding things like that."

"Yes, well I wish them luck."

They walked to class together then and talked till the bell rang and then turned their attention to the lesson and forgot about all else till the period was over.

At the end of the day Kevin was relieved to find Phil waiting for him on the bus and as he slid in beside him he let his hand rest on his leg.

"Hi, glad you're back to riding the bus."

"I just didn't feel like facing you yesterday. I'm sorry."

"That's okay, everything is fine now...right?"

"Yes, we'll talk more about it later at my house."

As soon as Kevin got home he checked in with his mom and grabbed his bike and was off to Phil's house. On the way over his stomach was tied up in knots. What did Phil still need to talk about? He wondered. Hadn't they pretty much said all that needed to be said?

"Hello Kevin," Mrs. McKinney said as he let him in, "Philip is waiting in his room. You can go on up, he has snacks for the both of you up there."

"Thank yo ma'am," Kevin said feeling some better.

"You're welcome Kevin, and I just wanted to say....thank you for being Philip's friend. You've no idea how important you are to him...and to us."

"I think I do, but thank you for saying that. Phil, uh...Philip is important to me too."

She nodded and went about her business and Kevin plodded upstairs taking two steps at a time. When he got to Phil's room the door was open and music was playing. Kevin recognized it as Sia's Chandelier and he smiled. He'd introduced Phil to that kind of music and he'd liked it a lot.

"Hi party boy," Kevin teased.

"Oh, hello Kevin. I have some some of Mildred's homemade burritos and a soda for you."

"Yummy, so I guess what you want to talk about must not be too bad, cause you're feeding me," Kevin joked.

"Not bad, but important," Phil said closing his door and looking serious, "first we eat then we talk."

"Yes sir," Kevin said saluting.

"So, I been thinking about Terry and Roger," Kevin said after a bite of the huge delicious burrito that barely fit in his hand. He went on to explain how he had called the group together and that Terry and Roger were already at Terry's house, alone, and then how they had left them there later, still alone. "So I guess they could be...you know seeing each other or whatever. I mean Terry is pretty lovable and I could see Roger giving in to his charms."

"Well, I hope if he does he doesn't wind up hurting Terry."

"Well, Terry is pretty tough. I think he can handle Roger. They've been friends since they were little kids...Thomas too."

"That must be wonderful, to have friends that stick with you that long."

"Yeah, well...I thought I did, but you know how it is? People change and move on..." Kevin said sadly.

"But we won't, will we?" Phil almost pleaded.

"Not if I can help it,"  Kevin said laying down his burrito and putting an arm around Phil, "I've never felt this way about anyone, and when I thought you might dump me over this stupid bet thing...I, well, I just felt so hopeless and lost."

"I don't think I ever really considered dumping you, but I was just so unsure of what you really felt. Did you really like me, or was it all about the bet?"

"Wanna hear something funny? I forgot about the bet about the second day after we met. It didn't mean anything anymore. In fact being in the group really didn't matter anymore, cause I'd found the friend I wanted to hang out with."

"Do you mean that?" Phil said looking very emotional.

"Yeah, once I got to know you I didn't care about anyone else."

"You said you loved me..."

"I do, but gosh...Phil, we're only 12. What do we know about love? I mean I guess no one is too young to love someone, but all I know is that I want to be with you almost all the time, and you're all I think about, and if I ever lost you...well, I don't know what I'd do."

"I would say you have described love rather well," Phil said grinning.

Heartened by their conversation, Kevin picked up his burrito and tore into it with a grin, "Tell Mildred she's the best cook ever," he mumbled.

After their snack Phil suggested they go for a swim and even though Kevin still felt a bit self conscious wearing the skimpy swimwear Phil provided, Kevin enthusiastically accepted the offer.

"You look good in those," Phil said grinning at Kevin in his bright red Speedos.

"You look like a real fox," Kevin said leering at Phil's slender swimmer's body.

"Come on, before we forget what we were going to do," Phil laughed as he led the way to the heated pool. 

"Boys, slow down," Mrs. McKinney admonished, but she was all smiles seeing how happy Philip was with his friend. It had been too long since she'd heard this much laughter in their house.

"Does your mom and dad really like me?" Kevin asked as he floated  near Phil after they'd tired of doing laps.

"My parents think you are wonderful Kevin. My mother surprised me most however. I didn't know she was so concerned about me having friends until I met you. She said she was afraid at first that you would hurt me...my feelings, but then when she got to know you better, she decided you were a nice boy and she approved 100 percent."

"Your dad seems nice, what little I've seen of him."

"My father is very open with me and we have an understanding. I can come to him with any problem without being judged."

"And...did you go to him with this problem...the bet?"

"No, I saw no need to worry my parents when I was sure I could work things out on my own."

"And you did, we did," Kevin said letting his hand graze Phil's thigh under the water and out of sight in case Mrs. McKinney might peek out at them.

"I'm afraid I'm quite hard now," Phil giggled.

"You and me both buddy," Kevin leered, "what do you think we should do about that?"

"Well...nothing for the moment, but later when we shower the chlorine off, who knows what might happen?" he said swimming off and leaving Kevin to stare at his cute behind as he broke the water.

"You're killin' me Phil," Kevin laughed then he swam off after his boyfriend.

In the shower later there was a lot of kissing and touching, but nothing too serious. Sex was still new to the two and they were still a little shy in initiating things.

"We could...just jerk off," Kevin suggested.

"That would be fine, or...we could help each other out," Phil suggested, suddenly feeling rather naughty and bold.

"Yeah, that would be better," Kevin said grinning, "but it's not gonna take much."

"For me either," Phil said reaching for Kevin's rampant member and giving it a squeeze causing Kevin to moan softly.

Then returning the favor Kevin moved a bit closer until they were in the perfect position to pleasure one another. When it was over and they had spilled their young seed on the shower floor they kissed and pressed together as they came down from their orgasmic high.

"That was nice," Phil cooed.

"Very," Kevin agreed, "Boyfriend..."

"I like the sound of that," Phil said happily, "Boyfriend."

"Come on, we should get dried off and dressed before  your mom comes looking for us," Kevin teased.

"Oh, I don't think there's any danger of that, but I suppose we can't stay in here all evening."

Once dressed again, Kevin reluctantly said it was time for him to go, and after saying goodbye to Mildred and Mrs. McKinney, Phil walked him to the door. Mrs. McKinney had disappeared and Mildred was safely in the kitchen so Phil decided it was safe to give Kevin a hug and kiss.

As they pulled away Dr. McKinney was just coming through the door from the garage and when he saw the two he smiled.

"Well hello Kevin, how are you young man?"

"Fine sir," Kevin said blushing. Had Dr. McKinney seen them kissing?

"Are you staying for dinner?"

"No sir, I have to go home now, but thanks for asking."

"Some other time then, well goodbye Kevin, it was nice seeing you again."

"You too sir," Kevin said, and then when he had left Kevin whispered to Phil, "Do you think he saw us kissing?"

"Probably not, but don't worry either way. My father is a very open-minded man."

"It's still embarrassing..."

"I'm not embarrassed at all," Phil said grinning, "In fact I've never felt more proud or happier." Then leaning in he kissed Kevin once more.

"Uh, I better go," Kevin said blushing.

"Okay, say hello to your parents for me," Phil said bubbling over with joy.

"I will. Well, see you at school tomorrow."

"Kevin..."

"Yes..."

"Will you text me later to say goodnight."

"Yeah, I will," Kevin said grinning, "and I might send you something else too."

"Oh, I can't wait to see what that might be," Phil said grinning just as wide.

-----

At lunch the next day Kevin couldn't help but notice there was something different about Roger. For one thing he wasn't his usual surly self and he didn't seem to even notice the others at the table. Terry seemed different too, quieter maybe, and he kept looking over at Roger and smiling shyly from time to time.

Thomas carried the bulk of the conversation that day, as Phil and Kevin listened with feigned interest as they sat with their legs touching beneath the table where no one could see.

"Damn, is anyone listening to me?"  Thomas chucked, "You guys are looking all starry eyed at each other," he sighed, "First Kevin and Phil, and now, these two," he said making a sweeping motion toward Terry and Roger.

"You're just jealous," Terry said grinning, "We'll have to find you someone to stare at ."

"Thanks, I'm fine," Thomas said rolling his eyes.

"Wait a minute," Kevin said realizing what Thomas had just said about Roger and Terry, "you two are...?"

"He's still in denial," Terry said softly, "but yeah, we're together now. I finally turned him to the gay side."

"I'm not gay," Roger mumbled, "but my boyfriend is."

Everyone laughed, then Thomas said, "Well, it's about time you finally figured that out. Seriously, I'm happy for you guys."

"Yeah, that's great, really great," Kevin agreed.

"I hope you're as happy as Kevin and I are," Phil said smiling.

"You...mean that? Even after all the crap I gave you?" Roger said sounding surprised.

"Yes, I mean that sincerely. I don't hold grudges."

"Oh, okay...well, if it means anything...I had nothing to do with you findin' out about the bet. I know who the guys were who were talkin', but they didn't even know you were there till later. They told me all about it later and I...felt sort of bad about it."

"Oh, well...in a way it was good to find out. That way Kevin and I were able to clear the air and put that behind us. But thank you for telling me."

"Welcome. I'm sorry...sorry about that...and about being a jerk. As far as I'm concerned you're part of the group too."

"Thank you Roger, I feel welcome here," he said looking at Kevin with those cow eyes that lovers get.

"Well, maybe you guys can double date," Thomas sighed.

The End