Justin still remembered the first time he had slept over at Rick and Alan's. He'd spent time with them ever since he turned ten, they had babysat him at his house but he didn't sleep in any bed except his own until he was eleven. Sarah and Simon had arranged with Rick and Alan for Justin to spend the weekend with them so they could have a weekend away for their anniversary.
Justin was used to wearing pyjamas to bed, but that night as he was messing around with Rick, he spilled a drink all over them before he went to bed. Rick suggested Justin do what a lot of adults did and sleep in his undies. It was a new experience for him and one he never went back from.
For his thirteenth birthday Rick and Alan took him camping for the weekend. Justin was a little nervous, the thought of going to the toilet in the middle of the woods didn't appeal to him, but Rick had chosen a site with a building for showers and toilets. He experienced a few firsts on that trip. His first proper holiday without his parents, his first time camping, his first time seeing Alan and Rick naked, as well as his first time being naked in front of anyone other than his parents, and that hadn't happened since he was eight. He had been really nervous showering that first night and when he sprouted a boner, he became even more nervous and tried to hide it, until Rick told him it happened to every guy and it was nothing to be ashamed of.
Justin had enjoyed the weekend so much it became a regular thing. They'd go away for his birthday every March, they also went for a few weeks over the summer and the occasional weekend when they could. So over the years between camping and the guys taking him swimming he had grown used to being naked around them and even having an erection in front of them became a non-event.
So when he got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and bumped into Alan he didn't think twice about Alan seeing him naked or that Junior was standing to attention. Justin just went into the bathroom, used the toilet and went back to cwtch up to Alex. Before he settled down to go back to sleep he spent some time watching Alex sleep. He couldn't believe how lucky he was. Only a little over a week ago he was jerking off imagining what it would be like to have sex with someone. Now he was lying next to his boyfriend, who he thought was as cute as hell, having recently had oral sex with him for the first time. He kissed Alex on the lips and settled down to go back to sleep.
When Justin woke up again, Alex was gone. He picked up his boxers, put them on and went downstairs. The smell of bacon wafted up to him as he walked down the stairs.
"About time you got up, Alex has been up for ages. Do you want some breakfast?" asked Alan.
"When have you known me turn food down?"
"True, do you want black pudding and mushrooms?"
"Yes please, where is Alex?"
"He and Rick have gone into town. We needed a few more bits and pieces for the party. I know you didn't get much time last night to think about what you were going to do today, but when we were talking to Alex earlier, he mentioned that while he needed to do some studying today he would like to stick around for the party."
"I don't see why we can't if you guys are happy for us to be around all day."
"As if you need to ask. You know we are always happy to have you round here."
"I do, but I don't like to just assume you don't have something else to do."
"Fair enough, now how about you get stuck into this and I'll get back to what I was doing before you came down."
"Thanks, how long do you expect Alex and Rick to be?"
"I'd say another half hour, why?"
"I was just thinking, if Rick can swing by the house, Alex can pick up some of his school stuff and he could also get some running clothes for the two of us. That way we can go for a run before the Royal wedding starts and then we can work on his revision."
"I've got a different proposal for you, how about you and Alex stay for the rest of the weekend? We can drop you back home after we go swimming on Monday. If you want to, I can check with your mom before I talk to Rick and Alex."
"I think that's a great idea, we didn't have anything planned for the weekend."
Ok then, you carry on eating your breakfast and I'll give Rick and Sarah a call."
Alan went off to the living room while Justin continued to eat. After a few minutes he returned.
"There we go, all sorted. Sarah thought it was a good idea, as did Alex when Rick asked him, so they are going to swing by and pick up some things for the both of you for the rest of the weekend."
"I just remembered, there was something planned for tomorrow. Alex needs to go and have his stitches taken out."
"That's alright, Sarah told me and I said I'd take him to get it done."
"If you've finished your breakfast, you may as well go and watch some telly while you wait for Rick and Alex to get back."
"Are you sure, I can help you if you need me to."
"Until Rick gets back with the shopping, there's not much left to do here."
"What about the dishes, I don't mind doing them if you want."
"Go and watch some telly, I've got it all sorted here."
Justin went into the living room after he placed his plate on the worktop near the sink. He'd been sat there for a while, watching an old episode of Stargate SG1, when the phone rang. Alan shouted from the kitchen asking him to answer it.
"Hello.......Hey sexy, is something wrong?.......The swimming stuff is in the same cupboard as the running stuff........I'll wear Speedos, you pick whatever you feel more comfortable with......Yeah bring the running stuff as well and we can go for a run when you get back........No, I don't need anything particular just a couple changes of clothes, oh hang on, can you bring that book I've been reading.........Ok sexy, I'll see you soon."
Alan stuck his head in just as Justin was finishing on the phone.
"Aw that was so cute, I take it that was Alex?"
"Yeah, he said they'll be about another ten minutes."
Alan went back out to the kitchen and Justin went back to watch the telly. When Alex and Rick pulled up, Justin went out to help carry things in.
"So you finally surfaced then, come on let's get these bags in." said Rick.
"Hey, it's not my fault that I slept later than the rest of you." said Justin.
It only took one trip to get all the stuff out of the car and into the house with the three of them helping. Justin and Rick took the stuff out to the kitchen while Alex took the rest up to their bedroom. When Justin got to the bedroom he was presented with the sight of Alex bending over taking his jeans off.
"Wow, what a sight."
Alex jumped at the sound of Justin's voice.
"You scared the shit out of me, you could have knocked, you git." he said with a grin.
"I'm only paying you back for the other day when you did the same to me so, you ready to go for a run?"
"Yeah, that's why I was getting changed, you doofus."
"I don't know where we can go though, I'm not that familiar with this part of town."
"That's ok, I am. I guess I should have mentioned this before, but my parents live in the next street."
"Oh boy, why haven't you said anything before?"
"I don't know, the first time I came around here was after the beach and I didn't want to spoil the rest of the day, what with it being such a good one. Since then I hadn't thought about it until yesterday, and well, it was your big day so I just kept quiet. Besides I know my parents, there's no reason for them to come over here so there's no need for me to worry about it. Now are we going running or what?"
"Ok, if you are sure it's not a problem."
The boys quickly got changed before going down to let Rick and Alan know they were heading out and would be gone about an hour.
Alex led Justin to a park that was a lot smaller than the one they normally ran in. The park didn't have any of the child things like swings and slides, it was just a few trees and grass. Alex pushed the pace a little at the beginning. When they'd finished their fourth lap around the park they sat down for a rest. After a little breather they started back on their laps, this time Justin pushed the pace and seemed to be losing Alex before he slowed down to let him catch up. Alex took up the lead and chose a different route to get them back to Rick's. By the time they got back, they were sweating like pigs. They sat outside for a few minutes to cool down before they went in.
"You go and grab a shower first, I want to ask Rick something." said Justin.
"Anything I need to worry about?"
"Nah, I wanted to ask him if he had a film I thought we could watch tonight. You have so much to catch up on I'm sure you won't have seen it before."
"What is it, you never know I might surprise you."
"Have you heard of The Power of One?"
"Can't say I have."
"It's about a boy who grows up in South Africa around the Second World War. It's a really good story."
"Ok then, I guess I'll head off to the shower."
Justin found Rick and Alan sat in the living room.
"Um... guys, I don't know if it's going to be a problem, but Alex told me earlier that his parents live in the next street. He said he hasn't said anything until now because there wasn't an appropriate time, but I'm wondering if going to this party is a good idea considering the fact that you said there would be people from a few different streets there."
"What does Alex think?" asked Rick
"He says his parents only leave the street in their car so I guess he doesn't think they'll be there. I just don't want to see him get upset if they are there and they cause a scene."
"Well we've got two choices, we can stay in and have the party in the house, or we can go and see what happens. I think asking Alex what he thinks is best." said Alan.
"I guess you're right, um, do you have the DVD The Power of One?"
"I think so, why?" asked Alan.
"I suggested to Alex that we could watch it later tonight."
"Can't see that being a problem, there's nothing on the box we want to watch." said Rick.
"Cool, well I'd better go grab a shower. I'll talk to Alex about the party when I go up."
"Ok, see you in a bit." said Alan.
Justin headed upstairs to the bedroom. When he got there he stripped off and walked to the bathroom in his birthday suit. Alex was just stepping out of the shower when Justin walked in.
"You really don't believe in knocking! And what is with you walking around naked all the time?"
"What do you mean all the time?" Justin said as he moved to get in the shower.
"Well you've just walked from the bedroom naked and Alan said he saw you in your birthday suit with Junior pointing your way last night when you went to the toilet."
"I guess I've grown so comfortable being naked around them between camping and swimming I don't think about it. When they started taking me, I got embarrassed getting undressed in front of them. I was around thirteen, puberty was just hitting and I was sprouting wood all over the place. Until then I'd only really been naked in front of my parents and that hadn't been for years. Rick and Alan told me about how they'd gone camping once, they pitched the tent in this out of the way place, got undressed and didn't get dressed again until they took the tent down at the end of the holiday. They told me that having erections was part of being a man and that it was nothing to be embarrassed about and eventually I stopped thinking about it. Were you ever naked in front of your brother?"
Justin walked past Alex, grabbing hold of his cock and giving it a squeeze before jumping in the shower.
"Before I started cutting up we were. I can't remember the last time though. I don't know if I can be as carefree about being naked as you are."
"It just takes a bit of time. You seem to be more comfortable being naked in front of me than you were even a week ago."
"True I guess, I just…… with you it's different, I don't know how to explain it. I suppose you've shown that the scars on my arms don't matter and you don't make me feel self conscious about them, with other people I automatically think they are judging me because of them."
"Well, like I said, with time you'll stop thinking about what other people think about them."
"Who knows, so what did Rick say about the film?"
"He said they have it and he and Alan don't see why we couldn't watch it later. There is something else I want to talk to you about though. Let me wash my hair and then we can talk again."
"Ok, well while you're doing that, I'll go and get dressed."
"Alright, I'll only be a few more minutes and I'll be in."
Alex closed the bathroom door as he left. He was just finishing getting dressed when Justin walked in with a towel wrapped around his waist.
"So, what's this other thing you wanted to talk about?"
"Well, know you mentioned that you parents live in the next street?"
"Well, are you sure you are going to be alright going to this party when there is a chance they could be there as well?"
"I know my parents, there is no way they are going to a street party. I'm almost certain my father will find some sort of sin that would stop them from going to it."
"Alright, I just wanted to make sure. I don't want you getting upset."
"That's sweet and all, but you can't protect me forever. I may go to town one day and bump into mom and dad there, or I may never see them again. One thing I do know there is going to come a time when I will be upset, it's almost a fact of life."
"I know but I don't want you to feel like you have to cut up."
"I can't promise I won't cut up ever again. All I can do is take it day by day; and with help from you, your parents and Rick and Alan, I may never feel the need to cut up again. But if I do, I know there are people who care I can turn to."
"Now where am I going to get some of this studying done?"
"I was thinking we could set you up on the floor in the living room so you can see the telly. That way you can watch the wedding while you do one of those past papers."
"Sounds like a plan."
Alex moved up close to Justin, pulled the towel from around his waist and gave Junior a squeeze while he kissed Justin.
"Right, I'll see you downstairs."
"You mean you are going to leave me like this?"
Justin pointed to Junior who was starting to stand to attention from the contact with Alex.
"You did say you had stopped being embarrassed by erections around Rick and Alan so one more isn't going to make a difference."
Alex chuckled at his own joke as he left the bedroom with his school things before Justin could throw a pillow at him.
When Justin walked into the living room, Alan and Rick were sat on the sofa together and Alex had spread some of his school stuff out over the floor.
"Justin being as you're the only one standing, how about making a pot of tea? Do you want tea Alex, or something else?" asked Rick.
"What else do you have? I'm still a bit warm from the run and shower."
"You're more than welcome to go and look for yourself, other than the alcohol you can have whatever you like." said Alan.
"Ok, thanks." Alex got up and waited for Justin.
"So you and Rick want tea then?" asked Justin.
"Yes please, and I think there are some snack bars in the kitchen somewhere, if you two are peckish."
"Do you two want anything with your tea?"
"No thanks," said Rick.
"No ta, I'm good," added Alan.
"Two teas coming up." Turning to Alex, Justin said "Let's go see what we can find then."
When Justin got in the kitchen he pulled Alex into an embrace and kissed him, grabbing and squeezing his bum while they snogged.
"Mmmm that was nice. I'll put the kettle on while you look for those snack bars." said Alex.
"I've got something you can snack on," sniggered Justin.
"I don't think you'd be too happy if I started to bite and chew on Junior."
"No, I think that could be painful. I'll look for the snack bars."
"Have you thought about how we are going to talk to your parents about us sleeping together?" asked Alex.
"Not yet. Come on, when have I had chance to think about anything? Since yesterday, I've had my driving test, we've heard Rick and Alan's story, been bowling, had the best night of my life in bed with you, when I get up this morning Alan suggests we stay the rest of the weekend and then we go for a run, a shower and here we are. When was I supposed to have had a moment to think about telling my parents I want you to sleep in my bed with me?"
"Fair point. Why don't we talk about it later before we go to sleep?"
"Sounds like a good idea. Then if we still have some questions, we can ask Alan and Rick tomorrow."
"Found them bars yet?"
"Are you really that hungry?"
"Well unlike you, I only had cereal and that was a few hours ago now."
"Didn't you want a cooked breakfast then?"
"I didn't feel that hungry when I got up this morning which is why I went with cereal."
"Found them, here you go. While we wait for the kettle, what do you want to drink? There's always coke here, or there's juice."
"What flavour juice is it?"
"They've got apple, orange or mixed fruit."
"I'll have some apple please."
"Ok, what paper are you working on now?" asked Justin.
"I thought I'd have a crack at one of the Maths ones. It's one of my better subjects so it shouldn't take too much concentration, not like History or Geography."
"Rick is good with Maths as well. So if you get stuck and I can't answer it, I'm sure he can."
"That's good to know. Now let's have another kiss before I let you sort the tea out since you know what everyone takes and we go back in the living room."
After a bit of tongue action Alex went into the living room carry a glass of apple juice for himself, coke for Justin and a couple of snack bars for the two of them, with Justin bringing the tea.
"Here you go." Justin said to Rick and Alan.
"Thanks. You just missed Posh and Becks. I can't believe some of the people who are going to this wedding. I can't wait to see her dress." said Alan.
"You know you can be really girly sometimes." said Justin.
"What's wrong with wanting to see her dress? I remember seeing the video of Diana's dress when she got married to Charles, that was amazing for the time. It's a shame that William's going to be wearing regimental uniform, but I can understand that."
"So how much longer before the bride gets there and this thing starts?" asked Alex.
"Not much longer now, the wedding is due to start around eleven so I'd say another twenty minutes or so." said Rick.
"Oh-My-God." said Alan.
"What?" asked Justin.
"Did you just see Harry walking? He's walking like he has something holding his knees apart."
"That's better than some people, I've seen blokes walking around like they have melons under their arms as well as between their legs. It makes them look like they're some sort of gorilla." said Alex.
"Not as bad as others I've seen lately. I've noticed there seems to be a new craze going around, boys and young men seem to walk around with their hand on their cock." said Rick.
"Now you mention it, I've noticed that too. Is it some sort of sign? If it is, I missed the memo for it." said Justin.
"I've seen boys doing that as well, I've never been brave enough to ask why they're playing with themselves when you can see them talking to others." said Alex.
"Not to mention how clean their hands must be if they're handling their cock and balls all day." said Alan.
"Ewwww." said Rick.
As they waited for Catherine to arrive at Westminster Abbey, Alex got on with his Maths paper, Justin continued to read his book while Alan and Rick continued to watch the telly.
"She looks stunning, that dress is amazing." said Alan.
"It does but it's not really my style. I don't think it would suit me." said Rick.
"Trust you." said Alan.
"The dress does look nice but I've never been big on fashion." said Justin.
"I'm not much of a judge either." said Alex.
The four of them watched the ceremony as William and Catherine became man and wife. As soon as the ceremony was over and the couple had walked down the aisle, Alan got up and went to the kitchen. Justin followed.
"Is there anything you want a hand with now?" Justin asked.
"Yes please. Can you pop out and see if they've set the tables up in the road?"
"Sure, I'll be two ticks."
Justin was true to his word. "Yep, there's quite a few tables set up a few houses down."
"Good, can you help me carry some of this down then?"
"How did you get this together?" Justin asked.
"Well, there was a small group of women mostly who took charge of organising the party. They asked each house to provide a couple of different dishes large enough for about a dozen people. Some got stuck with sandwiches, others had quiche and what not. We fell lucky, I offered to make a corned beef pie and they were happy with that but asked if I could add a few other things. So I thought we'd provide cheesy pineapples, some chicken drumsticks and chicken nuggets for those who don't like drumsticks."
"Chicken is chicken isn't it? What's the difference?"
"Oddly enough there is a difference, because one has meat on the bone and one doesn't. I've known a few people who don't like eating meat off a bone. More so with drumsticks."
"Weird. So are we just carrying it out to the tables and plonking it down anywhere or is there some sort of plan?"
"Nope just place it where you can."
Justin carried out containers of drumsticks and cheesy pineapples while Alan brought the cuts of pie and nuggets. Justin had left the front door open on his way back from checking the tables were out so it was easy to get the food out there. When they got there Alan started talking to a few of the women who had also started to bring food out while Justin went back in to see what else was happening on the telly.
The next big thing to happen on the telly was when William and Catherine stepped out onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace. They waved to the crowd and were joined by other members of the Royal family and friends. Then they kissed.
When they had seen the kiss, Rick switched the telly off and with the help of Alex and Justin, took a few bottles of pop and some beakers out to Alan in the street. When Justin got there, he noticed a lot more food had appeared since he had helped Alan earlier.
After about ten more minutes the street was full of adults and kids of all ages in the party mood. Someone had brought a stereo so there was music playing, kids were dancing and fooling around and most of the adults were talking in small groups. One woman attempted to get everyone's attention and failed miserably. Someone, who Alex assumed was her husband, managed to get the music turned down and succeeded where the woman had failed. She took over and told everyone to start helping themselves to the food.
Alex tried a little of most of the different dishes around. He found some spicy meat thing, which he later found out was cold cuts of tikka flavoured chicken. There were onion rings, eggs cut in half with some sort of filling where the yolk had been, crisps, finger cakes and someone had even set up a chocolate fondue set with fruit skewers.
Alex and Justin were talking to one of Rick's neighbours when Alex heard his name being called by a voice he knew well.
"Alex......Alex it is you, oh my God, I thought I'd never see you again."
Alex turned around to see his brother Jerry almost running towards him.
"Hey, where have you been, I've been worried sick about you, mom and dad refused to talk about you," gasped Jerry
"Calm down Jerry, it's alright."
"So what's happened? Why did you run off?"
"It's a long story, have you got time for us to talk? I can't believe mom and dad let you come here."
"Yeah, I got plenty of time, they don't know I came here. Since you left, dad's spent even more time with the vicar. Mom, well you know what she's like, I just told her I was going to the park."
"Ok, give me a minute, I want to ask someone something and then we should be able to talk."
"Oh and Jerry, this is Justin, Justin this is my brother Jerry, in case you missed it."
Alex left Jerry and Justin while he went to ask Rick or Alan if he could take Jerry into the house so they could talk.
"Hey Justin, how'd you know my brother then?"
"How I know your brother is all wrapped up in where he's been, and what he's been up to since you last saw him, so I'll let him tell you."
"Oh ok. Hang on, don't you go to Connor High?"
"I thought I'd seen your face around."
"Yeah well, it's that sort of face, Alex told me you're into rugby, do you play for the school?"
"Yeah, and I've had a few sessions with the Cardiff Blues youth team when they've had open days."
"Sounds like you're a good player."
"I'm not bad, I'd love to play for Wales one day but I don't know if I'll be that good."
"Plenty of practice and hard work is what Mr Harris tells me makes a better player."
"So you are on the football team at school then?"
"I've kept my toe in, but with me being in sixth form we don't have enough players to form a team. So Mr Harris lets me play with the fifth formers, because of my age. I'm not allowed to play in the games but I can practice with the team. What about you?"
"I am good enough to get a starting place most weeks but Mr Norris won't allow any of us to slack off. He makes us train hard all week."
"Sounds like Mr Harris, I've seen boys benched for two or more games because they didn't take practice seriously enough."
Just then Alex returned.
"Hey, Alan said we can talk in the house. Come on it'll be quieter and more private in there."
"Ok." said Jerry.
"I'll catch you later Jerry, it was nice to meet you."
"Hey, I want you to come along as well." Alex said.
"Are you sure you wouldn't prefer to talk to Jerry alone?"
"You already know everything so it's not like I need to hide anything from you and besides I wouldn't have said if I didn't mean it."
"If you're sure, lead the way."
"Come on then."
Alex led the other two to the house. He unlocked the front door and walked into the living room followed by Jerry. Justin closed the front door behind him.
"Take a seat Jerry, this will take a little bit of explaining and we may as well be comfy."
Jerry sat down in one of the armchairs, with Alex sitting in the other one.
"Do you want something to drink Jerry? There's coke, juice, water or tea." asked Justin.
"I'll have some coke please."
"No thanks, I'm alright for now."
"Ok, I won't be long."
"Jerry, what did mom and dad tell you happened on my birthday?"
"Dad said he'd told you to get help for something, I presume it was something to do with why we had to take you to hospital, you refused and ran off."
"That's not what happened. Look a lot of what I have to tell you is difficult for me to talk about and will probably be difficult for you to hear. I will understand if, after you hear what I have to say, you agree with dad, I hope you don't though."
"Alex what are you talking about? You are my brother, and when have you known me agree with dad?"
"This is different Jerry. Rather than run around in circles I guess I should just come out and say it. I am gay."
Alex waited for Jerry to take in what he had just said, expecting the same sort of reaction his father had had.
"And.... I've suspected you might have been for a while. Alex it's no big deal for me."
With tears in his eyes, Alex got up and hugged his brother.
"You have no idea how much that makes me happy."
Justin walked in with the drinks to see Alex in Jerry's arms and guessed it had gone well. He held back for a few seconds to let the brothers support each other.
"Come on, let's sit back down and I'll tell you the full story."
"You know I never believed dad's story. I was sure it was complete bull, I knew it was when your stuff disappeared. He wouldn't tell me where it went or who took it. He claimed to not know where you were. He also told me that I was to have no contact with you what so ever."
"Sounds like dad."
"You two ok?" asked Justin as he came in with the drinks, "Here you go Jerry. There's more ice if you want some."
"Ok, I don't want to go into too much detail right now if that's ok, but I will tell you most of it. A few years ago when I started to realise that fancying boys was wrong according to dad and the vicar, I tried to make myself straight. That was when I started to cut myself. I thought that if I could hurt myself enough when I was thinking about boys, I would eventually stop thinking that way and I'd start to fancy girls. On my birthday, my hand slipped just before you came into my room. Oh and by the way you scream like a girl."
"I do not, I just didn't expect to see all that blood, I was scared Alex. I thought you might have done something stupid, you know like those kids in Bridgend."
"It was a stupid thing, but I was young when I started to do it, and at the time it made sense. Still does actually, although with help from Justin and his parents, I can see now that no amount of pain, self harming or anything else was going to turn me straight."
"Even I know that much. People are born gay Alex. Why didn't you talk to me? I know I'm younger than you but I wouldn't have told mom and dad, no matter what it was."
"I'm sorry Jerry, when I started you were too young and then I just fell into a routine."
"So what happened after the hospital?"
"I should add that one of the ways I would try to turn straight would be to look at that catalogue I had. If I started to feel something, I'd get my blade and start to cut up. Well when you and dad went to look in my bedroom when we got back from the hospital, he came down with the catalogue, he threw it at me and asked me to explain why I had it in my room. I ended up crying because I knew the only way I could explain it was to tell him I thought I was gay, and I knew what he thought of gays. When I didn't answer him, he got really angry and told me to get out of the house and never come back. He told me as far as he was concerned he only had one son. Mom just sat there with this look on her face, I didn't know at that point and still don't, what hurt more right then, the look mom was giving me, or the cut on my arm."
"He just threw you out? No money, nowhere to go?"
"I got my jacket from by the door as I went out and started to walk down the street. When I eventually stopped I sat down on a bench, that's where Sarah found me, that's Justin's mom. She stopped and talked to me and took me back to her house and that's where I've been ever since. Social services are the ones who came and got my stuff from the house. They also got mom and dad to sign some papers so that they are no longer responsible for me. Sarah, Simon and Justin have been so good to me."
"We haven't done that much Alex," said Justin.
"Trust me, you've done more than I expected anyone to do. Your parents gave me somewhere safe to sleep when all they really knew about me was that I was a self harmer who was gay."
"Yes, but you know why mom did that. You reminded her of her brother. I've heard the story of Uncle Terry years ago and with you it was like a repeat show, the situations were so similar."
"Hang on, I don't want to sound angry, but you could tell a complete stranger you were gay, but you couldn't talk to me?"
"When I told Sarah, I was close to a complete breakdown. I was still trying to get over something that had happened in school. I'd been to hospital because my hand had slipped, I was weak from the amount of blood I'd lost and I was tired from walking. I'd been fighting with myself over trying to stop being gay and when I needed my parents the most, they threw me out of the house and disowned me, for something I did not choose or had any control over. At that point I felt my life may as well have been over. I told Sarah I was gay more to push her away than to get comfort from her. I assumed that the second she knew I was gay, she'd get in her car and I wouldn't see her again. Instead, she took me home and made me feel like a part of her family."
"Alex, you are a part of our family." said Justin.
"I know, that's something I'm getting used to."
"So what's happening with school?" asked Jerry.
"Living with Sarah, Simon and Justin, I am still able to stay at Connor High. Sarah is going to go with me on Tuesday to explain the change of address and guardianship."
"That's good, at least I'll be able to see you when we are in school."
"I've only got a couple of weeks in school before I break up for study leave and then I'll have my exams and then who knows."
"So how are we going to see or talk to each other then?"
"To be honest Jerry I haven't thought that far. I didn't expect to see you until we were in school and even then I thought you might not want to talk to me."
"I can't believe you thought that. Don't you trust me or something?"
"In the last two weeks my head has hardly had a moment to stop spinning. I hoped you wouldn't react like mom or dad did, but I didn't know what dad had said to you since my birthday. He could have told you God only knows what and turned your head so you wouldn't want to talk to me."
"I guess. I don't want to lose you again Alex, it's been horrible not knowing what happened to you. I know we weren't that close but since you've been gone I've really missed you, being able to goof around with you and stuff. It's so boring now, you know what dad's like with friends. At least when you were there, I could have a laugh with you, now I don't even have that."
"I don't know what we can do just yet, but I've got something else to tell you. I hope it doesn't bother you but Justin and I are sort of together."
"You mean you're gay as well?"
"Yes, does that bother you?" asked Justin.
"Hell no, my brother has a boyfriend, I think it's great for him."
"Oh Jerry, you don't know how much that means to me," said Alex, hugging Jerry once again. "We better not stay here much longer, you don't know when dad is going to get home and if you are not there, he's bound to start looking for you, you know how he can get; but listen, I don't want you to worry about me. Sarah and Simon are really nice and there is Justin. We are staying here with Rick and Alan this weekend so if you can get away from mom and dad over the weekend come over, I'm sure it'll be ok and we can talk some more."
"I'll find some way of getting here."
"Justin, can you write down a few phone numbers so Jerry has them in case he needs to get hold of me, until we can sort something else out?"
"Well we'll probably be either here or at home so what if I write down my mobile, my house and Rick's house phone?" asked Justin.
"I think that should do. Just make sure you're careful with them Jerry. If dad finds out you've been talking to me, all hell will break out."
Justin got up and found a pen and some paper and began to write down the three phone numbers.
"I will, I've got a couple of places I can hide it. He never checks my school stuff so if I keep it in my pencil case he'll never see it."
"Does he check your wallet? I know he never did with mine. It would be better to keep it in your wallet if he doesn't; you'll have it with you at all times then, just in case."
"Good idea. I don't think he even knows what my wallet looks like."
"Here you go Jerry," said Justin. "I've written them down with just initials so it's a little less obvious and I've put the word ICE on top. It just stands for In Case of Emergencies. It was good to meet you and I am glad you are ok with Alex and me. I know I probably don't need to say this, but can you please make sure you don't tell anyone. It wouldn't do any good for anyone in school to find out about us; more than likely it would lead to a lot of trouble for the both of us."
"Well that was something I wanted to ask. You see one of the few boys dad has allowed me to hang around with, well, he's gay. One day not long after we started at Connor High, he told me he thought he was, can you believe that, an eleven year old?"
"I can, although it's not what happened with me." said Alex.
"I was fourteen before I worked it out. Rick and Alan were around twelve I think. Thom was a bit older when he realised. I don't know anyone who knew that young. I suppose it is possible though," mused Justin, without realising he'd just outed Rick and Alan to Jerry.
"I wasn't so sure when he told me myself," said Jerry. "I mean at eleven who really knows what gay is, right? I didn't until he explained it. I don't know if I was naive but spending time with him I noticed some of the things, like he had no problem being close to me and I just assumed it was a gay thing, and I noticed Alex had no problem with that either, though I suspect now you didn't realise. This friend also asked me not to tell anyone else, he said if his parents found out there would be trouble, just like with Alex. I promised not to say a word and while I've been true to my word and not used any names, I don't think it would take you too long to work out Alex. Look, I know he would love to be able to talk to you two, is it alright with you if I tell him about you? That way then he can come out to you himself."
"This may not sound how I mean it to, but we want, no, need to be careful with who knows about us. If I am honest, I am terrified of people in school knowing. I've got just over twelve months before finishing Connor High, and in the five and a half years I've been there, while I've witnessed bullying, I've never been on the receiving end of any of the really bad stuff that goes on. Everyone gets a ribbing now and then but that's all I've ever suffered and I'd like to keep it that way. But more importantly, Alex is already having a hard time from some bullies."
"What!" exclaimed Jerry.
"Later," replied Alex, quietly.
"Honestly, he needs someone he can talk to about all of this. He doesn't have many friends he can talk to, and I am the only one he has told although I'm not sure why. He struggles to cope sometimes. I am sure he hasn't started to harm himself but he has to spend a lot of time on his own because of his and our dads' stupid ideas about spending time with friends; and since Alex's birthday dad has been even worse with me, so he's had to spend even more time alone."
"I tell you what, this may backfire but I have the least to lose. You can tell him why dad kicked me out. If you can, bring him with you sometime over the weekend and we can talk. We won't mention that Justin is gay or that he's my boyfriend. If we think we can trust him, then we can let him in on the rest."
"Are you sure? You know how bad the bullying has been already, it's only going to get worse if they find out." said Justin.
"Yes, but you are forgetting something, actually a couple of things. First, I only have two weeks in school then I'll be on study leave and I won't have to go into school unless I have a problem with the revision. Second is that I have my brother and my boyfriend to help watch my back. I know you can't do a lot Jerry but they will be less likely to do anything with people around. Thirdly, this kid is in the same boat. When he told Jerry he took a big risk and put a lot of trust in him. If we tell him about us, we will be putting a lot of trust in him. If he told someone about us, he'd be risking Jerry or you and me possibly telling his parents about him. So tell whoever it is that you have someone you think he should meet, you can tell him my story, and we'll see how it goes."
"Thanks Alex, I know he will really appreciate it."
"Right, I'm going to give you two a little time alone and go and find Rick and Alan to tell them all is good. See you soon Jerry," said Justin.
Justin made a move to go.
"Aren't you going to kiss your boyfriend goodbye, or are you embarrassed because his kid brother is here?"
"I have no problem kissing Alex in front of anyone I know isn't going to punch my head in for it, but I don't know how Alex would feel and until I know that, I don't push him into situations that will make him feel uncomfortable."
"When did you get to be so forward? You're thirteen," asked a surprised Alex.
"I may only be thirteen but thanks to dad being so pushy, I've grown up quicker than most kids my age. You know how often we are told in school how mature the two of us are. So do I get to see you two kiss before I go or what?"
"Why do you want to see your brother kiss his boyfriend?" asked Alex.
"Why not? I've got to get my kicks from somewhere."
"I guess there's no harm in it. Come on, he'll nag forever until he gets his own way, trust me." said Alex.
Justin moved over to Alex and kissed him on the lips before pulling back.
"You call that a kiss? I've done that with my grandmother," sniggered Jerry.
"You are pushy aren't you, we're going to have to watch him." said Justin.
Justin pulled Alex up from the chair, locked his arms around Alex's waist brought their faces closer and started to kiss him again. This time he started to push his tongue forward into Alex's mouth. They snogged for a little before Alex broke away.
"Now, does that satisfy you?
"Hell yes. It was wicked cool to see."
"Right, I'm off to find Alan and Rick. See you soon Jerry."
"See you Justin." said Jerry.
"See you in a bit." said Alex.
Justin left the two brothers standing in the living room.
"You should be heading home, dad's going to be looking for you any time now."
"I know, but I don't really want to. It's been great seeing and talking to you."
"I'm sure we'll work something out. See if you can think of anything before you come over tomorrow."
Jerry grabbed Alex and hugged him again.
"Come on then you'd best be getting home."
"Ok, I'll see you tomorrow right?"
"I didn't think I'd get to hear you call me that again."
"I know and I'm sorry about leaving you but I didn't have a choice."
"I know. Ok, enough of this soppy stuff, you need to go be with your boyfriend and I need to get home."
Jerry and Alex left Rick's and headed back out to the party. As they got closer, Jerry started to move away from Alex.
"I'll see you tomorrow." said Jerry.
With that Jerry started to run off towards his house leaving Alex looking for Justin, Rick and Alan.
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