Luke grimaced as he accepted the proffered pliers and nervously studied the broken device that was still attached to his shaft. The sharp edged blades in his hand looked like they could cut through anything—literally—and it didn't take long to pass them back!
"Can you do it?"
"You’re fucking kidding?” Ryan raised his eyebrows as he took back the pliers and examined the sturdy blades, testing them with a finger. His tone was stiff. “You want me to do it?"
"Look, I'm not sure, alright," Luke muttered. Sitting now on Ryan’s bed, he peered uneasily at the tool, and then back to the broken SmartKlamp. "If you think you remember how to do it, then yes. But for God's sake don't cut the wrong thing off!"
Aware that his junk was on display, he tried to make light of the situation to cover his own nerves. He wasn't sure it was working, but at least Ryan seemed ready to help and hadn’t thrown him out of the house…
"Summers, you're such a fucking wuss!" Ryan looked exasperated, and it didn't sound like friendly banter, either! However, he bent to kneel between Luke’s knees all the same. They both leaned forward at the same time over the top of Luke’s dick, and heads clashed. It wasn't hard, though Ryan leaned back quickly, rubbing his forehead.
"SHIT!" He glared angrily. "Give me some space for fuck’s sake!"
Ryan’s face darkened as he studied the device. “You damn well fucking should be!"
It wasn't hard to speculate that they were no longer referring to a minor head clash, and Luke recoiled. He felt like a total shit. Forget 'The Tale of Two Cities', this was more like 'The Tale of Two Dicks', and even with his broken SmarKlamp, Ryan had still pulled the short straw on that issue that day…by a long way!
“Oh God, Ry, I'm sorry. It all happened so quickly. I didn't know what—“
“Just leave it.” Ryan was thunderous.
Discouraged, Luke leaned back again, resting on his elbows as he tried to keep out of the way. Before he had time to convince himself that Ryan wasn’t about to cut off something else in revenge, Ry had squeezed the handles and snipped through the white plastic frame. Unexpectedly easily, the outer framework fell away. Within moments, all that was left was the fractured tube. With the framework out of the way, Luke leaned forward and studied the remains, seeing what was nestled inside the clear plastic more clearly now. He blinked in surprise
"Oh! Well, that was easy enough."
He still couldn't help but grimace. None of this had been the ending to his circumcision journey he'd anticipated—sitting half-naked on the bed of a steaming-mad friend while said friend went at him with a pair of pliers! In the circumstances of that day, Luke’s own show of nudity was uncomfortable, and he pressed on, needing to get this over with as soon as possible so he could cover up.
"Well...now the tube,” he said, hoping that, with a quick pull, it would slide off, too. “Maybe I can have a go at that?" Hoping it would be as straightforward as the frame, he tugged at the plastic cylinder.
He was disappointed. With the scar line appearing to be glued to the plastic, the cylinder didn't budge. He pulled a little harder, but other than it feeling quite uncomfortable, it seemed completely stuck in place. Discouraged, he looked up again.
“I don’t know…it seems stuck.”
"I think we just have to lift the skin a bit.” Despite Ryan's simmering anger, he seemed willing to help as he studied the remaining piece. “It looks like the scab has stuck on the tube as it dried out. Probably if we wet it as well, that might do the job. Or we could just leave it if you want?"
Luke chewed at his lip. Getting the frame off had been a good start, but it didn’t really change anything. With the tube still there, the sharp edge was still going to cut into him. Leaving it had to be the last resort, and he shook his head.
"Don't stop now...I really need to get it off if we can."
Ryan stood. "Okay...well, don't go anywhere. What we need is—" Without completing that, he left, giving no explanation of what he was up to.
Don't go anywhere? At least Ry had said 'we'.
As Luke waited, he ran his fingers through his own tightly trimmed bush that hadn't much grown since he'd trimmed it for the operation.
At least he had some...
He grimaced at the stark reminder of how much a mess their friendship had become, wondering if the day could get any worse. He'd dreamed about a number of rather intimate moments—and there had been quite a few—with Ryan. None of them were meant to be like this! He closed his eyes. On top of it all, he wondered how he was going to explain any of it to his mother.
Ryan was back shortly with a bowl, a cloth, and an assortment of knives and spoons. Dumping the latter on the bed, eye contact was minimal as he passed through to his bathroom.
"What the hell are these for?" Luke asked. He was examining the cutlery as Ryan came back with a towel, some soap, and the bowl—now filled with warm water. Lifting a spoon, it didn't seem appropriate to ask Ry if he was feeling peckish.
Ryan placed the bowl of water carefully on the floor.
"Like I said, your skin has dried onto the tube where the device was gripping it." His tone remained cool as he lifted up one of the spoons. "The warm water should help, but we need to loosen it somehow."
"Have you got a better idea?"
Luke shook his head. Better ideas had gone south the minute he'd left Ry to hang.
"So what's that for?" he asked as Ryan lay the thick, dark green towel next to him on the bed.
"You, you asshole!" Ryan rolled his eyes and seemed more than a little exasperated, though perhaps a little less fuming. "Now shift onto it—I'm not having you making a mess of my bed!"
Neither of them seemed to doubt that it would be Ryan who would attempt the removal as Luke did what he was told.
"I guess we both get to show off our dicks today!" Luke said. It was a glib remark to cover his anxiety, but he immediately regretted it as Ryan's eyes flicked up and his face darkened.
“You think that’s fucking funny?”
“No, of course not. I just—”
“Then just fucking shut it!" Once more, Ryan was distracted and angry. Dropping his eyes again, he returned to the job in hand.
Luke knew he'd messed up again, though he didn't know what he could say that wouldn't come across badly. At a loss, he remained tight-lipped as Ryan began to sponge warm, and slightly soapy, water over his shaft and around the tube, concentrating on the ring where a dark, healing scar seemed fused to the remains of the device. An uncomfortable silence lay between them as rivulets dripped off Luke and onto the towel.
After a short while of gentle soaking, Ryan took the edge of a spoon and pushed gently at the ring where skin and plastic met. Softened by the water, the scab seemed to have dissolved at the edges and it moved.
Luke watched, remaining hopeful. At least it hadn't hurt much.
More warm water was sponged into the clot until, bit by bit, it gave way. There was only a little discomfort during the process until, finally, the last section slipped loose and they could both see the skin move freely at last. The relief Luke felt was tempered by the awful silence that remained between the two of them.
Ryan leaned back and his face was stony.
Interpreting the look as 'I'm finished with you', Luke assumed the job was being passed to him, and he made to sit up. But before he could take hold of the tube, Ryan reached in again and got there before him. Without a word, Ryan placed his hand right at the base of Luke’s shaft and took a firm grip around the whole circumference, drawing down the loose skin to keep Luke still. Then he took hold of the tube in his fingers and, at last, manipulated it out of the snug position it had been resting the last ten days.
As it came away, Luke gritted his teeth. Even though he could see that Ryan was trying to be careful with the sharp ends as the tube slid away, he sure felt it as it slipped over and off his glans.
Finally, it was gone.
It should have been a moment of triumph, and he waited for Ryan to join his relief, hoping to see the return of a grin, sharing the success. But Ryan didn't seem ready to party as he continued to hold Luke's now fully revealed, and rather neatly unhooded dick. Instead, Ryan kept his face turned down and continued with the water and cloth. There was quite a bit of remaining gunge and dead skin around the line of the cut and Ryan kept working at it, gradually cleaning away parts of the scab that were ready to come loose.
In the process, Luke noticed a small black piece of suture come away as Ryan picked it out with his fingers and scraped it onto the side of the bowl. It was the single stitch the surgeon had put near the frenulum to ensure that place healed well.
Despite what Luke secretly felt about Ryan, having anyone close to his dick in this way was horribly uncomfortable, yet he did what he was told. He strained, wanting to see for himself, but Ryan's head was in the way as, methodically, water and cloth was used around Luke's shaft.
Ryan shifted slightly to one side and, finally, Luke was able to get a better view.
The scab, though still angrily red, looked a whole lot better now that a week’s worth of gunge had been wiped away, though the shades of skin tone between his now visible foreskin and the remaining shaft skin were clearly demarked by the livid mark. It was an eyeful, but what really got his attention was the feelings he was getting.
"Ry..." It was becoming slightly more pressing.
“What?” Ryan didn’t look up, but the tone was gritty as he continued his self-appointed task of holding Luke's shaft and cleaning. Luke grimaced as the sensations over his sensitive glans were quite painful as the cloth continued to graze him.
Discomfort...and something else.
It was time to stop.
“Ry…” He hissed with edgy concern.
"I said wait." The reply was curt enough to get Luke to zip it again, but he was beginning to feel quite urgent as his upward crawl began. He couldn't help it. Released after the long wait, the sensations being inflicted by the cloth were a bit much.
Wait? For what?
Something was coming that wouldn't wait, and he found himself caught between a rock and a hard place as he began to fill the hand that held him. And once the remaining skin began to pull tighter, there was no stopping it. Yet, taking the cloth in his right hand, Ryan held his shaft with the other and continued the wipe Luke down as his dick grew. It wasn't right, and way past uncomfortable to be held in that way, though Luke felt trapped. Not only had Ryan got him out of some dangerous damage, he knew his own behavior that day gave him zero legs to stand on.
Still, it was humiliating as Ryan continued—quite blatantly it seemed—to ignore him, seeming focused on the need to clean as thoroughly as possible. That Luke was becoming aroused was undeniable, yet Ryan didn’t seem to care a shit that he was now holding a developing chub. In fact, he almost seemed to be provoking it, and Luke squirmed as his erection hardened to fill Ryan's grip.
Fully aroused by it now, the cloth was wrapped around his length. Without doubt, Luke knew he was being jerked, yet there was nothing remotely exciting about it at all. He was furious that the enjoyment of exploring his new shaft in his own way, was being stolen from him. At the same time, there was nothing in Ryan's demeanor that indicated that he was actually enjoying the arousal either. The rough cloth scraped up and down Luke's shaft, catching his intensely sensitive glans. It was demeaning and it was an agony. And yet he was fast coming to the realization that it still had the approaching potential to make him spurt.
"RY! STOP!" Incensed, he lurched up and made to smack away the offending hand. As it came close, Ryan's other hand shot out like a snake and grabbed Luke by the wrist.
"IT'S NOT THAT FUCKING NICE, IS IT!" Ryan snarled. Spittle coated his lips, and his eyes held such violence that Luke quailed and went silent. Ryan continued to seethe. "How do YOU like being jerked off when it's not what YOU want! It's..."
He seemed to stumble, at a loss for words. Glaring, he lurched to his feet and backed away. Turning at the wall, he beat the plasterboard with both hands and screamed. “THE FUCKING SHITS!”
Freed from Ryan’s grip, Luke’s erection remained steely rigid. Shamed by it, he tried to cover himself with his hands. Even more dismayed by what he was seeing in Ryan, he cowered on the bed.
"Ry...I’m really sorry..." It was just a word. How many times in his life had he spoken it? Too many and too few.
Adamantly, Ryan refused to acknowledge Luke was there—the only indication he gave that he’d even heard what Luke had said was the small tick at the corner of his clenched jaw.
"I know it's not enough, but..." Luke tailed off. What else was there to say? "...but thanks for helping me with the SmartKlamp." He waited a few more moments to see if Ryan would give him anything, but it was hopeless.
Ryan twisted and gave him a look that fired daggers. “Just get dressed and get the hell out!” Brimming with outraged offense, he threw down the cloth, stumbled across to the balcony doors, wrenched them open, and lurched outside.
Luke remained frozen on the bed. It all had a sense of finality about it, and his dick wilted, no match for his self-loathing. At any other time, he would probably have spent more time examining the results of the months of waiting for the moment his circumcision was completed. Now, it seemed irrelevant, so, quite carefully, he pulled his boxers back up, followed by his pants. Every movement brought an edgy discomfort, but he tried to ignore it as he redressed.
Casting his eyes one more time to where Ryan stood glaring over the backyard, Luke tried one more time.
"I...I'll see you tomorrow.” He waited a few moments for a response, but there was nothing, so he turned away and shuffled down the stairs.
With his tender glans being scoured by boxers and a bike seat, the cycle home was a nightmare he never wanted to have to repeat, made more miserable by the knowledge that he’d lost a friend. Could things ever be as they had been before this awful day? He'd doubted it earlier, but now he was sure. And the only one who was to blame for that in the end was himself.
His only explanation had been ‘It all happened so fast’. What a crock of shit that was when he could easily have stepped in and done more than enough to disrupt it. He’d convinced himself he couldn’t risk it, when the truth was he’d just exchanged his best friend for a chance to see him being jerked off.
He finally made it back to their house, and walked, albeit quite gingerly, into the kitchen. The sausage casserole was already out of the oven, and around the table sat his mum, Si and Toby.
Skerrit? Fucking great timing!
“And what time do you call this?” His mum wasn't hiding her irritation. "Didn’t you listen when I said we were eating early today? You know I'm going out!"
"Sorry." He didn't feel like giving an explanation right then—especially within earshot of Toby Skerrit. Settling onto a chair, he passed his plate.
She spooned him a good plateful, though he wasn't at all hungry and he picked at it without much enthusiasm. Then she got to what she normally asked around that time of day.
"Do you have any homework?"
He nodded. “A bit. I’ll start on it straight after dinner.” In fact the only thing he really wanted to do was get out of the kitchen and get to the obscurity of his room.
"We've done ours." Simon studied Luke through narrowed eyes and Luke tried not to scowl. Perhaps it was a bit mean, but he wondered what that ‘homework’ consisted of. If it hadn't have been so stupid, he would have thought Toby was mocking him as he stabbed on a sausage with his fork, and bit off the end.
Simon pushed for news. "Is everything okay?"
"Is something wrong?" asked Lucy, pouncing on it as she started doling out some fruit salad. She offered Luke a bowl, but he shook his head and passed.
"So how's Ryan?" she probed. “That's where you've been, right?"
"He's fine." This was not going to be something they'd talk about at the dinner table. In fact Luke didn't want to talk about it at all. "Just a bit under the weather, that's all."
She frowned, probably trying to read between the lines. "He hasn't been around for dinner for a while. Why don't you ask him over one of these days?"
Luke grunted. After being thrown out the way he was, and after all he'd done, he doubted they'd see Ryan in this house again. It made Luke want to scream.
How could he have been so stupid?
It was all history now, but what he did know was that what he really had to do before the end of the day, was to ‘fess up’ to her about the SmartKlamp. Admitting what had happened only as they were walking into the doctor's office the following day would hardly be good timing.
But it was awkward—the more so with Toby hanging about.
After helping clear his plate and being excused to go and get on with his homework, he stepped out into the hall. Then he put his head back through the door and said, "Mum, can I just see you a moment?"
She could probably read in his face that something wasn't right, as she came quickly enough. He stepped into the lounge and she followed him and closed the door.
If he'd been in the kitchen with the other two, all he would have heard through the wall would have been a muffled, "You did WHAT!?"
* * *
"What do you mean you broke it!?" In the lounge, his mum lowered her voice, though he could see she was reeling with the implications of his confession.
"It was an accident!" He shrugged as if it didn't matter. "I tripped on the stairs at Ryan's and banged it on the step and cracked it. It wasn't my fault." He reached into his pocket and brought out what remained of the Klamp. "I thought it was best to take it off."
"You took it off?" Disbelief stared out of eyes that were glued to the device in his hands. “How?”
"A pair of pliers." The term ‘pliers’ didn’t seem to put her at ease, so he hurried on. “I had to. It was cutting into me!"
He cringed at another bad choice of words. "Well it might have, if I'd left it."
"Is it bleeding?"
"Of course it’s not!"
She turned to the door. "We should call the surgeon."
He pulled a face as he watched her dropping into one of his least favorite 'mother' modes. At the door she paused. "On the other hand," she muttered, "maybe we should just go straight down—"
It was as if he wasn't even there as she continued to deliberate. "No—call first, just to make sure there's someone who can see you..."
"Mum...what are you talking about?"
She looked surprised. "For goodness sake! To get you seen of course! You're right, though, they'll probably suggest going straight to the ER." She studied him and then her watch. "Maybe we should just go straight there now."
He ground his teeth.
Bloody hell...she was living in her own little world!
He crossed his arms. "There's no point in calling anyone or going anywhere. It's fine." Fine if you didn't count the awfully agonizing sensations over his glans whenever he moved!
She frowned, but wasn’t to be put off and tried to sound motherly. "Luke, it has to be checked."
“I did check.” He glowered at her. “And I'm telling you it’s fine!”
He could see her motherly attitude harden into something less flexible as they faced up to each other, though she didn’t immediately reply.
He spoke slowly enough so she would get it. “We’re going to the doctor’s office tomorrow. It can be checked then.” He rarely crossed her like this, but the day was unusual and he wasn’t up to being walked over. “You’re just going to have to trust me. I am not going to the ER!”
In truth, it wasn’t that straightforward. What he’d really wanted to hear from her was a few words to say that there would be nothing to worry about. Instead, he'd got the Spanish inquisition and a complete overreaction. As they glared at each other, the door opened.
“Who’s going to the ER?”
“Luke is!" She threw up her hands. "For goodness sake, tell him, Hon!”
“Tell him what?” Looking like he’d just come in from work, Geoff's eyes flicked across the scene looking bemused and then confused.
“Luke has broken his SmartKlamp. He’s cut himself. He needs to go to the ER to get it checked.”
Luke groaned. “Oh for God’s sake, Mum! I haven’t cut anything! Weren’t you listening?”
“This is ridiculous,” she fumed. “You’ve just been circumcised and have had a dangerous accident with the device. What are you thinking? Of course we need to have it checked!”
WE? Luke glared at her. It was his SmartKlamp!
The door pushed open again. “Did you say Luke has broken his circumcision thing?” Simon stood there wide-eyed. Next to him stood Toby.
“FUCKING HELL!” With the day he’d had, this was the final straw! “Go outside and shout it around the neighborhood, why don’t you!” Angrily he pushed by them all and stormed upstairs.
* * *
Ten minutes later, there was a tap at his door. He’d been lying on his bed reading a book, though he was far too wound up to know what the last few pages had been about.
“WHAT?” He glared as the door opened and his dad looked in.
“That went well…”
Geoff came in, closed the door behind himself, and sat on the bed next to Luke. He didn’t look mad—in fact, he was smiling. There was certainly one thing about his dad that Luke was sure of...he was quite different from his mum!
“Is everything okay?” His dad raised his eyebrows just a little.
"Don't you start!" Luke made an attempt to go back to his book. “Why shouldn’t it be?”
He knew he wasn’t making it easy, but he was still fuming. His dad made no attempt to argue the point, and eventually Luke gave up and threw the book down.
“Why can’t she just leave me alone?”
Geoff shrugged. “That’s mums I guess. Be easy on her. Maybe when you’ve got kids of your own, it’ll make more sense?”
When you have kids?
Luke shifted uneasily, and felt a touch of guilt. If there were no girl in his life, there would probably be no children. On top of everything else, was he going to be responsible for her never having grandkids running around the house?
“It’s not my fault,” he muttered. He couldn’t help who and what he was.
“Nobody is saying it’s your fault sunshine! If it’s broken, it’s broken. No point crying over spilt milk! Mum just wants to know everything is okay.”
"And I told her it was!"
His dad seemed to sidestep Luke's bullishness. "It must have been a bit worrying when it happened?"
Luke grunted. "I fell on the stairs." Vividly he remembered lying on the carpet in pain. He grimaced. "Actually, I thought I'd sliced my dick off!"
His dad nodded. "Mmmm...I get the picture, but probably not a safe term with your mother!"
How his dad managed to keep a straight face, Luke had NO idea, but he couldn't help it and smirked. "Wanger, then!"
"Marginally worse." His dad grinned, too. "So, can we take it for granted that your..."
"Willy?" Luke offered, helpfully.
His dad nodded sagely. "Mmmm...much better. Can we take it that your 'willy' hasn't been left on the Alexis staircase?"
"I think I still have it, yes."
"That's fine, then." Geoff stood, and without further ado, he stepped to the door.
His dad turned and Luke could see something in his face. They both knew they weren’t finished yet. He sighed. It was a relief really and he'd sleep better with a second opinion.
"If you don’t mind, would you be all right to just check it anyway? Just in case?"
How his dad did these things, he had no idea. Ten minutes ago he’d been spitting chips, but his dad had this way of just getting round problems without making you feel bad. No wonder they paid him a lot!
His dad shrugged, seemingly unsurprised by the change in heart. "Sure. I can have a check if you want."
Carefully, yet again Luke unsnapped his pants and pushed them and his boxers out of the way. His stubble came into view and he shot off a warning glare. "And before you say anything, I had to trim it for the op!"
"I know." His dad grinned. "Mum told me."
Sparing him any other teasing, his dad examined the place where the device had done its job. "Well, it seems neat enough.”
He looked up, apparently satisfied, and smirked. “I’ll let mum know that you’ll probably live!" He indicated the still angry scar line. "Is it sore?"
Luke shook his head and grimaced. "No, but it really chafes when I walk."
"Ouch!" His dad pulled a face and grinned mercilessly. "THAT, sunshine, is the high price of circumcision! That’s what you wanted, that’s what you get!"
He waited while Luke had pulled up his clothing once more. “Mum said you all seemed a bit on edge earlier. Something about Ryan. Is he all right?”
Guarded, Luke lowered his eyes. “It wasn’t a good day.”
“Anything you want to talk about?”
Thankfully, his dad didn’t press. “Fair enough. You know you just have to shout if you need help.”
Luke nodded, though there were some things that even a star of a dad like his could never help with. They chatted for a few more minutes, and with it Luke began to calm down at last. Then his dad left him to get out of his school things with the idea of risking a cool shower.
Simon slipped through the door.
“Are you okay?” Simon asked, his eyes flicking downwards. “Did you really break it?”
Luke had broken several things that day, but he guessed his brother meant the SmartKlamp. He sat back down on the bed...the shower could wait.
“I’m fine. It was just a silly accident.” Maybe on some other occasion he would have told his brother to mind his own business, but just then he was too tired to become bullish again.
“Not good…he’s still really pissed off.”
“He won’t even talk to me anymore.” Luke stared at the floor feeling glum. It could have been worse—he'd almost had a glass thrown at him! “He helped me get the thing off after I broke it—”
“That’s good isn’t it? That he helped?”
Luke nodded. “It was cutting into me. Without his help, I couldn’t have done it otherwise.” Deciding to be honest, he added, “But then he threw me out. I don’t know what else I can do other than wishing we could start the day over.”
“Perhaps he’ll come round a bit more, tomorrow?” murmured Simon. He seemed genuinely worried too. “Do you still have to go to the doctor’s in the morning?”
“I guess so.”
“So what time will you be back to school?”
“Dunno, really,” Luke replied. “Probably not till after recess.” He stood up. “I was going to try to call him again, but maybe I should just leave it and wait till the morning. He was pretty upset. Right now I need a shower.” He looked pointedly at the door and Simon got the message.
As soon as he undressed and stepped under the water, he shot up as hard and as fast as he had done on Ryan’s bed. The tightness that came with his renewed erection was really uncomfortable, to the point where he began to doubt that the circumcision style of ‘high and tight’ had been that wise.
He put the questions to one side—it was a bit late to go back on that now. The whole shaft was certainly far too uncomfortable to even CONSIDER a leisurely rub. Either way, he wasn’t going to touch it until he was given the all clear, and he tried to simply ignore the boner, hoping it would go away.
Dressing, the incessant scraping across the end of his dick was temporarily solved by stealing a pair of his brother’s rather too small Kmart briefs. Having everything packed away tightly was like a tonic!
Dressed again, he lay on his bed…and promptly fell asleep.
He woke again half an hour later and felt better—at least most of him felt a little better—and he went downstairs to find some Tylenol.