The Sailor's Stories

2069 Chapter twenty three – Book II

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Even though the afternoon was wearing on, the sun was still hot and shining brightly out of a beautifully clear blue sky. There was even a mild breeze wafting in slowly through the open window at the far end of room, though it did little to bring down the somewhat stifling ambient temperature. This was especially obvious for the two boys standing in it, they were hot, sweaty and somewhat uncomfortable, both from the overall warmth in the air and their relatively long walk home earlier. But in Tyler’s case, there was also a little, all be it subtle, tension in the air. Not a really bad kind of tension, he’d thought to himself on more than one occasion since he’d become aware of it, more nerves than anything else. However, it was causing him to sweat a little more than the situation would normally require and what’s worse, was that he was becoming increasingly aware of it and was pretty sure the other boy was too. But to be honest, by that stage, they were both starting to get pretty ripe, as young teen boys tend to do at one time or another. Or at least, it was becoming more and more obvious, that they were both starting to smell more than either boy could readily ignore at the time.

This was particularly true for young Corey, definitely more so than Tyler anyway, though only because of his hard skating earlier on, not that he was in any way specifically dirtier in general. To be fair, Corey wasn’t an overly dirty sweaty, or smelly kid to begin with, maybe a little more so than his brother, who would always appear immaculate, but no more so than other teen boys. He would even freely admit to the fact, that he wasn’t as fastidiously clean as his twin, never had been rally, but most times he did make an effort if he actually thought about it. So having said that, although  normally he wouldn’t care too much about the state he was in from one moment to the next, looking at Tyler, he was certainly thinking about it now. But to be fair, it really was only because he had the company and the fact that he was feeling more nasty than usual, not to mention sticky, that it even crossed his mind at all. Once the thought was there though, his usual apathy fell by the wayside and he decided to take a much needed shower, so started to undress, all be it, very nonchalantly.

Surprisingly enough and at first, Tyler hadn’t even noticed, what with being far too enthralled by his  surroundings. Corey’s room was not that unlike any other teen boy’s, there were a few posters of his favorite skaters, including some girls, on the walls and the faint odor of boy, which he’d only just started to notice as well. That is, until he looked around and saw the now mostly naked, well-toned, even bordering on sculpted, body of Corey standing beside him. When he’d moved there was anyone’s guess, but the fact that he was and wearing nothing but a pair of those same check patterned cotton boxers he’d noticed all over the place, really started to make his heart race and forced his palms to go all clammy. The sudden feelings of trepidation and impending heart failure, now coursing through his mind and body, were completely new to young Tyler, because usually, he wasn’t at all shy in these kinds of circumstances. This time though, something was decidedly different, this time he felt a full blown body blush coming on, starting in his toes, before creeping rapidly over his entire body and he hung his head in a more than bashful manner. For the second time that day, he wished the floor would open up and swallow him whole.

While the moment itself, stretched into ever longer agonizing minutes, Tyler had actually started to panic a little, but, even though he certainly felt it, he still couldn’t really figure out why. After all, he had thought he would be completely used to nakedness by now, since he had in fact, seen more naked flesh in his short time on this earth, than most people would see in a dozen lifetimes. Boys were boys the world over and he’d certainly seen his share, so he was sure that he definitely shouldn’t be feeling like he was, but what was really weird, was that Corey wasn’t even totally naked yet. Thinking about it though and a little more closely, as the silence grew stronger and more drawn out, he realized, in all that time, other than one occasion, he’d just simply never felt the same level of attraction, that he was certainly feeling now. In fact, if Tyler was completely honest with himself, he would have to admit, that he had never seen someone with the same kind of total and all-consuming beauty before, as he was seeing now, even Scott hadn’t affected him like this. Corey was just someone, in his opinion anyway, who would be equally  and easily at home on the front cover of a magazine or a billboard, or something, as he would at the local park.

Tyler knew it wasn’t just Corey’s body, which on closer inspection was somewhat statuesque, ripped but not overtly bulging, not in that muscle bound ugly kind of way anyway, but the whole of what he offered. The boy’s mind was sharp and equally as attractive and as he’d already shown earlier in the afternoon, he was replete with a subtlety graceful power, in the exactness and economy of his movements. Even the boy’s personality was exciting to the young teen, obviously loyal and caring, which as far as Tyler was concerned and sadly, was everything he’d ever been looking for. Over the next few minutes, he came to another sudden and startling conclusion, which was simply that, he was going to struggle mightily with those feelings and for a very long time. Because, although he just couldn’t deny them, at the same time, he really didn’t want them either, didn’t need the complications they would undoubtedly bring, especially this early in the relationship.  By that point Tyler was praying his rapidly excited and rebellious body wouldn’t betray him, although he was pretty sure it almost certainly would and thought it more prudent just to start planning on how to hide the evidence instead.

While the embarrassment of that, all to sudden and unwanted knowledge set in, Tyler blinked his eyes several times, because they had gone dry with frustration, when something else became more evident. He just couldn’t get over how incredible Corey looked and as Tyler mastered himself enough to subtlety eye him over, he marveled at the perfect combination between skater, surf-god and boy, which were in fact, his three most favourite things. He did try to make his attentions as unobtrusive as he could, but he wasn’t prepared for just how observant Corey actually was. For Corey’s part, not being that used to a boy feeling the way about him, as Tyler obviously did, he was somewhat oblivious to his attentions at first. But having said that, he wasn’t completely naïve either and after a while he did start to notice the other boy’s wandering eyes. The more he thought about it though, the more he found he just simply didn’t care. He knew he looked good to some people and was somewhat proud of his body himself, add to that the fact that he was very secure in his own sexuality, all he really felt about it was flattered.

What he didn’t take into account, until much later that is, was the position he was putting  poor Tyler into. Mentally kicking himself for the fool that he was, without a further thought, Corey stepped back and headed towards his bathroom and that shower he so desperately needed. With his own embarrassment rising, he started fumbling with the waistband, before promptly and without thinking again, kicking his boxers onto the floor. He was now completely naked and this time he actually heard, the very audible gasp from Tyler. This was the first time, he realized exactly, just what he was doing to the poor boy. Turning back to face him, Corey grabbed the nearest thing to hand, which just happened to be that same blue t-shirt from the day before, in order to cover himself. He wasn’t quick enough though, because Tyler did catch a very good glimpse at the very obvious center of everything that made Corey a boy, not to mention the firm ripeness of his posterior beforehand.

With a somewhat bashfully, yet ashamed and very apologetic look on his face, Corey looked straight into the soft brown eyes of Tyler, who was trying admirably to avert them as much as he could. Although he failed miserably, the fact that he did try, brought a weak smile to Corey’s face, but he had to say something…

“Fuck… dude!… I’m really sorry… I didn’t even think…” Corey said, trying to keep everything covered as much as he could. “Everyone is so used to seeing me… um… this way… I really didn’t mean to embarrass you dude… it’s just being naked is no big thing here, you know… I sometimes forget when other people are around.”

“Ahhh… It’s… um… ok, really…” Tyler said, thinking about anything he could to keep himself in check. “But… um… wow… this is awkward dude… can you… ah… just go and have your shower, so I can maybe… um… calm down a bit?”

“Shit dude… yeah… um… I’m really sorry…” Corey replied, smiling rather sheepishly, as Tyler just waved him off.

Roughly ten minutes later, Corey was back in his room, he did have the sense to take a clean pair of boxers with him though, so that he wasn’t naked when he came back. He was however, still feeling a little awkward from earlier and couldn’t even look at Tyler, before he’d at least pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Tyler on the other hand, in the preceding few minutes had finally managed to gain control over his arousal and so wasn’t quite so embarrassed anymore. At least he was able to look the other boy straight in the eyes now, which in and of itself, went a long way to assuaging Corey’s initial fears. While Corey was in the shower, Tyler had actually started to see the funny side of the whole situation. So much so, that he just comfortably stood up, grabbing the clothes he’d pulled out of his pack and headed towards the recently vacant bathroom. Even though they still hadn’t said anything to each other up to this point, he felt a lot braver within himself with everything that had happened so far and in a moment of uncharacteristic bravado, gave the boy a reassuring smile and a light friendly smack on the butt when he passed him by.

Corey was sitting at his desk, just messing around with his laptop, answering a few emails, when Tyler returned from his own ablutions. Tyler barely made any noise at all, coming back into the room proper, but Corey had been waiting, since he’d heard the water shut off. Tyler was still a little apprehensive, especially after the smack, about how things were going to go. Although when the two boy’s eyes met, for the first time again, Tyler could tell Corey had seen the funny side as well. The cheeky twinkle he was really beginning to like was back and the other boy was doing everything he could to suppress his grin, which broke out all over his face anyway, along with a very mischievous look in his eyes.

“You took you’re time… must’ve seen something you liked, huh?”

“Yeah, I did…wait… what?… No!… shut uuuup!” Tyler whined, rolling his eyes, slightly flustered all of a sudden.

With his response, it was all Corey could do, not to fall off his chair at the extreme relief rushing through him, the laughter he couldn’t quite suppress didn’t help either. That more than anything else, was probably what broke the ice of the moment. Even Tyler started laughing, all be it, after briefly blushing with embarrassment. Whether or not, he had in fact actually been caught out, would be anyone’s guess, as the boy himself wasn’t letting on and only he would ever know anyway. Afterwards, once both boys had regained control of themselves, still a little red faced, but on the whole, much happier in each other’s company, they simply smiled at each other, a full face smile which conveyed more than just words could ever do.

“I am really sorry about what I did to you before though dude… I never meant to upset you… you do know that right?… but honestly… I’m not sorry for getting naked… I really like you and I will try to think about your feelings in future… but I’m not going to change who I am… I hope you understand that?” Corey stated.

“I do… and I wouldn’t want you to change either… seriously… for me or anyone else…” Tyler replied, as he plucked up the courage for what he had to say next. “I just want you to know though… and I’m only going to say this once… I am gay and I do think you’re really hot… so…”

“You do?… wow… that’s um… kinda cool man… and I know what you are and I totally don’t care either… you’re more than just your preference to me dude… and even more than that, you’re my friend…” Corey said, cutting the other boy off.

“Yeah well…” Tyler continued, as he plonked his butt down onto Corey’s plush and very comfy bed. “Just remember that each time you catch me perving…”

“Hahahaha…. Ok… I think I can live with that… and I will try…”

Those very few simple words spoken in such a heartfelt way, seemed to settle any remaining awkwardness between the two boys and with that out of the way, Corey got up out of his chair, to go and sit beside his friend on the bed. As he did so, he slipped his arm comfortably over the other boy’s shoulders and Tyler without thinking, instinctively leaned back against his chest. Maybe he was emotionally exhausted, or maybe he was just plumb tuckered out in general, but all he felt this time was the warmth of simple companionship. With that companionship came a love of sorts, he could feel it building within him, strengthening and solidifying what he already felt. Even then, it definitely wasn’t what he was used too and at the same time, it certainly wasn’t in any way romantic either, no this was something different. A kind of safe warmth, that he hadn’t felt in a long time and it made him feel good, really good, so he just decided to shut up and go with it.

For a long time the two boys sat there, staring out of the window, in comfortable silence. Corey maintained his hold on Tyler and after a while, Tyler had slipped his own arm around Corey’s middle to hold him back. In a way, they both realized how much they needed that kind of togetherness, all be it for very different reasons. The funny thing was, it was Corey who thought he was getting the most out of the embrace at first, but after a while Tyler started talking. That’s when he realized just how wrong he was, because the boy didn’t just stop at the mundane. They had already learned so much about each other that day, far too much in some cases, but with the complete comfort and ease with which Tyler was now feeling, he felt it was finally time to lay his soul bare. Although it did seem a little early to him at the time, to reveal everything that is, he really just wanted to get it over with. He thought to himself and quite rightly in his opinion at the time, that if it was too much for Corey, then at least the split would be early and before he had invested too much in the friendship. What he didn’t count on was Corey and over the next hour or so and amidst more than a few tears, he managed to get the bulk of his story out.

Corey stayed silent throughout the entire tale, although at times, especially with some of the really horrible or gruesome bits, he did hold on a little tighter. Being the smart boy that he was, he knew when it was best to just keep his mouth shut and listen. This was one of those times, he couldn’t not show his support though, hence the constant contact. For his part, he couldn’t believe how anyone could live through that kind of life and still remain sane, or at least as sane as the boy seemed to be.  It became very clear to him and very quickly, that Tyler was stronger than he was making out, yet at the same time he came to understand just how brittle he actually was underneath it all. For the first time, he began to understand how good his own life was and this of course, just made him more determined to love and protect the boy, who suddenly felt so good in his arms.

For Tyler, when the words started to spill out, so did a lot of the poison he’d been holding in his heart and the weight, which pushed his shoulders down on a daily basis, felt like it lifted a little. Because, just like Corey the night before, finally being able to get out his story, especially to someone he knew he could trust wouldn’t try to hurt him with it, was nothing short of a cathartic experience. In fact the more he told, the better he felt, even more so, when Corey held him tighter through the worst parts. There was no judgment in that embrace, which also made him feel good and it continued long after he’d finished. Tyler was happy, happier than he’d been in a long time, but at the same time, didn’t want to bring the whole weekend down, he desperately wanted to do something, anything different, in order to take his mind off of things, so decided to make known his feelings about the condition of Corey’s room.

“I know you said you wouldn’t change for me…” He said, while wiping the last few tears from his reddened puffy eyes. “I get that… but jesus!… you really are a slob… you know that right?”

“Hey!…Yeah ok… maybe you’re right… but, well… I am still in the unpacking stage, you know?”  Corey replied, uncharacteristically blushing slightly.

“What do you mean… ‘Unpacking Stage’?… when did you move in?”

“I dunno… about three weeks ago, I guess…”

Tyler couldn’t help but feel a slight flutter in his tummy, when he turned his head to look up at the slightly bigger boy. Corey was just so damn cute when he blushed and he knew it was going to be hard to keep his eyes off of him. He was determined to try though, he owed his new friend that much. Besides, not that he really thought he would, he didn’t want to creep the guy out either.

“Well…” Tyler stated, somewhat flamboyantly. “I just love the way you’ve organized everything so far…”

“Um, thanks… I think… wait… you’re making fun of me aren’t you?”

“Yup…” Tyler said, with a wicked grin of his own, while pushing a few articles of clothing around the foot of the bed with his naked toe.

Not being able to stand it any longer, Tyler slipped off of the bed to sit on the floor, where he started to pick up, fold and sort through the clothes he found there. He did get a bit of a funny feeling when he picked up some of Corey’s underwear, making his body tingle slightly while holding them. He pressed on anyway though, feeling that by this point he was well and truly committed. Not surprisingly, as the floor started to clear, he found a veritable goldmine of other knick knacks and belongings, most of which he was amazed to have missed as he’d walked over them earlier. It was like the other boy’s life was laid out bare before him, as if he could fill in all the years they hadn’t known each other, just by taking a quick look around the room. Corey, on the other hand, just watched, with a more than amused smirk, while Tyler put all of those various parts of his life which he’d found, into some semblance of a working order. Although and much to Tyler’s amusement, Corey did quickly snatch away the teddy bear, the other boy had found under the bed, before putting it with clear love and respect against the pillow and out of reach. Tyler just chuckled slightly and moved on, at the back of his mind, quietly wishing he still had his own childhood friend.

A little while later with most of the floor now clear, a few old CDs Tyler had found just underneath the bed, caught his eye and putting his thoughts of cleaning aside for the moment, he began to glance through the inserts. He was again struck by the similarities the two shared, before subtly mentioning that he had most of them, but found one in the pile, that he would really like to have. Corey was long past CD’s, obviously being more a child of the electronic age than Tyler, he took a quick look at the pile and told him he could take any he wanted. What Corey failed to understand about Tyler’s need, was the sentimental aspect of having them to hold, rather than just bytes on a hard drive. They were still so similar, but this was when it suddenly seemed evident to Tyler, that he certainly had more of a romantic view of things, than his friend did. Music was a fairly safe topic though and the two boys spent the next hour or so talking more about what they did or didn’t like. Sometime during that conversation, Corey became so embarrassed about his inaction, that he got up and started helping Tyler tidy things away. The work wasn’t that hard and he knew the only reason that he hadn’t done it so far, was because he couldn’t be bothered. He couldn’t help but notice now however, that with the two boys working together, as they were, they made very short work of it and in no time, the room started to take on a decent shape.

When they had finally finished putting everything into what became its proper place, the two boys stood in the center of the room and surveyed all of what they had achieved together. Tyler was happy the room was mostly clean, knowing it would have seriously bugged him, if he’d left it much longer. Corey was just happy he’d had Tyler to help him clean up and that it was finally done. Not a moment too soon either, because it seemed, as soon as they stopped working, they heard a loud knock at the door.

“Hey guys ahhh…. holy shit!… what the hell happened here?” Danny said with a bemused smile, walking into Corey’s room. “It’s like a demolition video in reverse…”

“He did…” Corey replied, with a giggle of his own, indicating Tyler, who’d gone all shy again at the new face and sort of hid partly behind the bigger boy. “Danny… meet Tyler… Tyler… this is Uncle Cam’s partner Danny”

“Hey there…” Danny said, with an instant and warm smile, as he held his hand out, to which Tyler took rather timidly. “It’s so cool to put a face to the name…”

“You too…” Tyler managed to reply, just before he looked up into the face of Corey with an amused bafflement and mouthed the word ‘Partner?’ Corey just nodded back and Tyler left it at that.

Danny hadn’t noticed the small exchange, but if he had, he wouldn’t have cared anyway, He was however, very used to shy, he’d been quite a shy boy himself once, so he just ignored it and carried on. “Well, I like it… looks like you’re gonna be a good influence on him…”

“Thanks…” Tyler replied with a little more confidence.

Corey on the other hand, was smiling broadly now, having guessed correctly how accepted by everyone that Tyler would be. He felt even more love for his family, build up within him, as weird as it was and if that was even possible. But one question remained to be asked…

“Um… you know you’re welcome here any time Danny… but why are you here?”

“Oh… yeah… I came up to see if you guys were hungry… we’ve finally got everything ready down at the diner and Reggie’s just itching to get some customers… if you feel up to it of course…”

Were they up for it? They were growing boys, of course they were up for it! In fact, all it took was the mere mention of food, for both boys to instantly notice the strong empty feeling in their respective tummies. Danny hadn’t waited around for an answer though, as soon as he’d said what he came to say, he smiled his knowing smile and left, leaving the boys to make up their own mind. In all fairness, there wasn’t much of a decision to be made and both boys followed him out only a few short minutes later, after throwing on some socks and shoes. It wasn’t until they’d made the trek down the well-manicured lawn at the front of the house and into the camp proper, stepping up onto the veranda decking surrounding the main building, that Tyler realized he’d forgotten all about his impending interrogation.

The main building itself was somewhat large, more of a barn than anything else and in fact, had probably started out that way to begin with. It was of course, really the apex, or center, of the entire camp and held most of the things necessary, with which to run the whole operation. This included the main office, booking desk and reception area, a small garage come store room, for the out-runner and maintenance supplies, and an even smaller but well stocked general store. As interesting as all that surely was, what really drew the boy’s attention, was what filled up the rest of the building, the rec room and diner. The recreation room itself, which took up most of the building, as seen through another set of doors at the far end of the veranda, was huge, comparatively speaking, with an impressive floor area, along with what looked like a small stage at the back. Obviously, the room was designed originally to house small performances or dances or something, but if pushed, could easily sit well over a hundred people. At the moment though, it looked as though it was set up as a play area, with various big table games, like foosball and air hockey, though there were also various video and pinball machines dotted around the room as well. Both boys were sure that they would spend a bit of time in that room over the weekend, but only to make sure everything worked properly.

Corey had actually only been inside the building once and even then, his stay was brief, but more to the point, it was well before Reggie had sunk her attention into it. So what greeted them, when they finally stepped into the room proper, was something straight out of one of those surf movies from the fifties. The walls were freshly painted an off, but still sparkling white and were covered with old signs and posters, not at all unlike a very famous restaurant chain. Which was probably where she got the idea from in the first place, but that was of course, where the similarities ended. The booths you would have expected to find, were nowhere to be seen, instead, around the room was mostly laid out with tables and chairs in a white and blue two tone color scheme, placed carefully, but so they could easily be removed for whatever reason. For music, or atmosphere if you will, there was no main jukebox, preferring instead, to go with smaller versions on each of the tables. Then there was the counter, which appeared to be marble, but wasn’t and was set out with the usual bottles of ketchup and mustard, stands of straws, napkins, and anything else a diner would need. On the far end of it, next to a concertina window and the double doors to the outside, was glass covered ice cream freezer, with what looked to be many flavors inside.

The back part of the counter looked like it was completely new, with a large iron hotplate and deep fryer, soda fountain and soft serve ice cream machine, a glass door fridge full of drinks, along with a fancy looking coffee machine as well. It was only later and on closer inspection, however, that it looked as though some of the appliances had been simply salvaged and thoroughly cleaned. For the two hungry boys right at that moment though, it wasn’t what they were, it was the deliciously mouth watering smells and thoughts, of what was in them and on them, which truly monopolized their attention and brought them ever closer to the counter, where the rest of the family already were.

“Take a seat boys… I’ll get you a drink in minute… and there should be a burger each shortly…” Reggie said, without even bothering to look round, truly scaring Tyler, who stopped just short of sitting.

“How’d she do that…” Tyler whispered to Corey, who had stopped right along with his friend, but was edging him forward with his arm.

“I dunno really… she just does… we can’t get away with anything when she’s around… but don’t worry about it… she’ll love you… I know she will.” Corey replied, with a reassuring glance, as they finally sat down next to each other on the bar stools built into the floor.

The other two boys and the two men, which made up the rest of the Trevallian family, greeted them warmly as they sat down, but didn’t say much. Given that they were too busy stuffing their faces with the homemade burgers and fries, the remainder of which they could all smell still cooking away happily, it was hardly surprising. Reggie didn’t pay them too much attention either, she was far too busy preparing the food. She did momentarily stop what she was doing though, but only to pour, then place, two frosted tall glasses of icy cola in front of the newcomers. Which were then followed moments later, by two large burgers and fries, on round white plates, only then did she stop to look at the boys and look closely she did, mostly at Tyler.

At first, it made him uncomfortable, it was as though he was the subject under a very powerful microscope. But what was strange about that, or probably the most unnerving thing, was that she did it with just a glance and a look, which you could more commonly find on your loving grandmother and although Tyler didn’t have one, he did know what they looked like. Every now and again, she would eventually look away, as if to check on everyone’s progress, but her eyes would always come back to Tyler and in those moments, he could almost feel her peeling back the layers of his soul, with her soft caring, but questioning stare. For a long time she appraised him, taking in and absorbing every little detail, like a jeweler would, to a rough cut diamond. After a while, Tyler began to lose all track of his surroundings, he hadn’t even noticed the others had finished and were now watching the exchange between them. The only things left to him, were his plate, the food on it, those piercing eyes and the soft noises of Corey beside him, then she spoke…

“All right you lot… if you’re done, then go find something else to do… I’m sure you two boys have some homework and as for you two…” She said to Cam and Danny, as she cleared away the dishes. “There’s still that last cabin which needs fixing before the guests arrive… sooo… OUT!”

And out they went, each of them knowing well that matriarchal tone and knowing with great assurance, when there was no point in arguing. On his way out, Cam did give both Corey and Tyler a reassuring pat on the shoulder and the two younger boys did something similar, both whispering the words ‘Good luck’ as they too left the building, following the older men. This left Corey and Tyler alone with Reggie for the first time and although she busied herself with cleaning and polishing, she kept Tyler still very much under her inquisitive gaze. He was getting kind of used to it though now, after all, it wasn’t like he hadn’t been watched before, all those pictures of him circulating through cyberspace, not to mention the videos. Somehow, somewhere, he was always being watched, he knew that, and sadly he knew what the watchers were doing. That didn’t really bother him either, but as time went on, the silence was starting to take on a life of it’s own, an oppressive life, that was making him start to feel nervous again. That is, right up until he felt the soft warm embrace of a small hand wrap around his own underneath the counter and gave him a reassuring squeeze.

“Reggie, stop it!… you’re making him nervous…” Corey stated firmly, finally coming to the end of his patience.

“Oh!…you’re still here…” Reggie replied, turning to face the two young men, a look on her face, that seemed to suggest, she was indeed surprised to see them still sitting there.

“Come on Reggie… you know we are… what are you waiting for?… at least say hello, or something…” Corey said, while locking straight onto her eyes, eyes that were usually so caring and comforting, eyes that now showed a little sparkle of mirth as they raised slightly in his direction. “Fine… Tyler meet Reggie… Reggie, this is Tyler… and he’s my friend, so be nice.”

Reggie put down what she was doing, wiped her hands slowly on the dish towel in her hands, then leaned her elbows on the counter. Resting her head into her outstretched palms, she put her face into the direct eye line of Tyler, who was at that time slowly chewing a mouthful of burger, which he then swallowed with an audible gulp. The mixture of his facial expressions, put together with all too timely gulp, was far too much for Reggie and she let slip a small, but hearty giggle.

“Hello Tyler… it’s nice to finally meet you… now that we’ve been properly introduced that is…” She said, as she shot a mirthfully disapproving glare at Corey, who just rolled his eyes in response, then she turned back to Tyler and asked sweetly. “ Are you enjoying your burger?”

“Ah… yes ma’am…” Tyler replied, just after he’d wiped his mouth off, to give his most appreciative smile.

“Oooo… I like that… this boy certainly has some manners in him…” She said, then looking back at Corey, she firmly stated. “You could learn a thing or two here Corey Ryan McTiernan… those napkins aren’t just for decoration you know?”

Corey said nothing, just sat there and looked back at her with a ketchup, grease and mustard covered cheesy grin, before once again filling his maw with whatever he had to hand. Reggie was used to his antics, so merely scoffed at him, just before she flicked her towel his way. For his part, Corey knew that she wouldn’t hit him, knew that the towel would stop just short. Tyler however, was under no such illusion and let slip a slight gasp, as he felt the tension, that had so recently abated, start to build again and his eyes went wide with shock.

“Shit dude… calm down, it’s ok, it was just pretend… she’d never actually hit me, or you… or any of the others either… Reggie tell him…” Begged Corey, with a look of worry at his friend, as he slid his arm over the other boy’s shoulders to comfort him.

“Oh of course I wouldn’t…” She said, reaching out to gently and caringly stroke the soft skin of the smaller boy’s face, Tyler jerked back out of fear at first, but the pleadingly sorrowful look in her eyes, convinced the boy she wasn’t trying to hurt him. “But you weren’t to know that and I’m sorry I scared you.”

“S’ok..” Tyler mumbled, in reply.

“I know what will fix this…” She said, then took a step back, bringing her hands together and with a broad questioning smile, like it had only just occurred to her. “How about some Ice Cream?”

Both boys nodded their heads in the affirmative and Reggie cleared their plates away, then busied herself with the building of two large hot fudge sundaes. After taking his first bite  of the rich and creamy dessert, Tyler seemed to calm down and was soon starting to enjoy the company. They talked while they ate of course, just small talk at first, between the three of them, comfortable chatter, like you would expect in these situations. Although, Tyler did pick up on the odd, very subtle, but inquisitive, question here and there. They were pretty easy to spot after a while, now that he knew what to look for, that is. But by the same token, they weren’t in any way threatening in nature either, that he could tell at least, just a little bit more than the usual ‘Getting to know you’ type. It was only because he was feeling more and more comfortable with the situation, that he decided to answer them honestly, just like he did with the rest. Corey on the other hand, was ever watchful throughout, but only in case he had to steer the conversation away from anything that might hurt his friend, other than that and surprisingly, he was mostly quiet.

By the time the boys had finished their desserts, Corey having licked both his and Tyler’s bowl clean, Reggie was somewhat satisfied with what she’d discovered. There was still so much more that she wanted or needed to know, depending on your way of thinking, but she had gleaned enough from the boy to be comfortable with having him interact with her family, although she was still deeply concerned about him. Her concern this time was not of the possible danger he represented to others, in that respect, he was pretty harmless she’d decided, even though there was still some there. No, it was more to do with the dangers the boy represented to himself that worried her. She could see the very real pain, born from what little she had gotten about his past and could see the very real close attachment the two boys were building with each other, that’s what worried her the most. She just wasn’t sure if Corey could handle any more damage to his heart. What she hadn’t counted on, was the way she was starting to feel about the boy herself, which was in fact pretty similar to the way Corey felt, the only difference being, was that Reggie could do a lot more about it.

These thoughts she kept to herself however and sent the boys off to do whatever it was that boys do. Which is exactly what they did, spending the rest of the night in Corey’s room, playing video games and talking softly with each other about nothing much at all. In fact the only time either boy left the room during that time, was to go downstairs, to say goodnight, before brushing their teeth and heading to bed. Corey hadn’t thought much about the sleeping arrangements and simply stripped down to his boxers, before pulling the covers back, to slide in on his side. But Tyler had been thinking about it and this caused him some momentary panic, until Corey, with a slightly sleepy voice said…

“Well?… are you gonna get in, or not?”

Written by bigct/Octavius

October 15, 2011 at 23:41

6 Responses

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  1. What more can I say that I haven’t said in the past? I feel so blessed that you share your story with us to pull our thoughts and emotions into your words. I wish there was more I can do than just write acclamations in a comment box, but for now it will just have to do. I can say this though, you’re ahead of Cody on posts now!

    Thanks again ever so much for all you have done. Now…Get back to work!

    Rick

    October 16, 2011 at 05:41

  2. Just wanted to say thank you for continuing with the story. I’m looking forward to the next installment, which I hope wont take long.

    Thank you!

    Ruphus

    October 16, 2011 at 09:57

  3. Well, Do I have to say it again? You are wasting your time in your whatever mundane job. This story needs to be published when the time comes. C.T., you are turning into a master story teller. The last few chapters have a very nice balance and you have the most important aspect of story telling down pat: likable characters. Keep it moving and you will be fine. Don’t worry bout the critics. Write the story for you from YOUR heart. That is what matters. Well, I need to find the time to put my story down. Been thinking about it alot. Cheers Mate! Summers coming for you. I just wish it would leave good old Arizona alone. Still way too hot.

    Dawngreeter

    October 16, 2011 at 13:12

  4. Love the way you are developing/introducing Tyler to the story and building multi-levels relationships with the characters. There is a certain tension building that makes me look forward to the next chapters to see where and how the twists and turns develop. Keep up the wonderful work…..

    Mark

    October 18, 2011 at 06:47

  5. I don’t know CT.

    After reading the chapter again (albiet more slowly this time), it almost seems like Cory is developing his own little crush with Tyler. Either that or he’s developing that “mother hen” situation with Tyler, wanting to protect him from all evils, knowing that Tyler’s gay, and the experience of all the crap Dale and Carl when through at their old school.

    Only time will tell if I’m thinking along the right lines or not. Not too much time though!

    Rick

    October 21, 2011 at 15:17

  6. You were right, a bit of nice for a change. I like it. As others have said, you have a talent for writing. But what I love the most, is that you have the talent to not only write the dramatic stuff that keeps people on edge, but also the gentler parts that make it seem more real and calm both the character’s and reader’s hearts down. Not many people can do both well, or at all. So I applaud you.

    Hope you’re well!

    143

    _Kevin

    Kevin

    October 21, 2011 at 19:21


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