Castle Roland

Wearing the Inside Out

by D'Artagnon


Chapter 14

Posted: 26 Mar 15

Human Touch

And then he sat up, his hand shooting out to push the doctor's hands out of the way. "Oh, that's enough," Jack said, shaking his head. "Thanks, I needed that." His hair stood out at weird angles and steamed a bit. I didn't care, though.

For maybe four complete seconds, no one in the room moved, spoke or breathed, just stunned. Then Jack, looking around, slightly dazed asked, "Something I said?"

"Jack!" I screamed, breaking my mom's grasp and charging into the room. I even got in there before his brother. I shoved my way past the doctor and the Momma Bear nurse and crashed the hospital bed, almost tackling Jack.

"Oouff! Hiya, Carver."

"Hiya yourself, Toothpick." And we just hugged, holding on like there was no tomorrow, when really, there were nothing but tomorrows.

The doctors insisted on keeping Jack overnight for observation. They let me stay over on the promise that I at least go home and shower, change clothes and eat something. Not necessarily in that order.

Leaving the hospital we ran into a small flood of press people, TV cameras, reporters, stuff like that, but they let us go when the doctor started giving the report of Jack's waking up. Fortunately, he kept it clinical, with no mention of me and Jack almost falling all over each other.

At home, we had to pass through a police cordon and another whole tribe of TV news crews. Again, I was instructed to lay down in the back of Aunty's Taurus wagon, to keep my face out of the papers, they said. It was easy enough to get into the house from the garage, or as Aunty calls it, "from down cella." I was promptly sent upstairs to play with the soap while Mom and Aunty assembled hotdogs and mac & cheese.

After I got out of the shower, I could hear the TV running a story about Stamos' capture. They listed his previous crimes and all the Federal warrants for his arrest, including a very substantial reward for his capture. I always heard stuff like "the FBI most wanted list," I just never paid it much attention. Never thought in a billion years I'd have anything to do with the capture of number 18 on such a list.

Jack's brother got interviewed a lot, saying that once the FBI was done examining and taking evidence from the house that he might sell it to help pay for Jack's medical bills and maybe college fund. Seems his brother's day job was some serious big to-do in finance and he knew his way around money. You wouldn't think so if you looked at his house across the Mill Stream, but apparently he is one of those workaholic types that spends most of his time on the job or playing, but not much time at home.

The good news that I took from it was that Jack would be covered. And he wouldn't be taken from me again. And that Jack's brother was suddenly a lot cooler than I'd thought before. I mean, he was just a shadow with keys before. Now, he was Jack's legal guardian.

I came down stairs, my hair still damp, pulling a loose shirt over my head. Mom and Aunty were sitting there watching things as I came down. They both were looking at me strangely.

"What? Is my hair standing up?"

"You just… the way you did that, rolling your shoulders, was so like your father," Aunty said. Mom's eyes were full of tears, barely held back.

"He'd be so proud of you, Paul," Mom said, coming forward and giving me a long hug.

"I know he'd be proud of you too, Mom."

"Alright, you," Aunty said, ruffling my wet hair. "Sit. Eat. That's an order."

While we scarfed down the dogs, the TV kept running, the local stations having a field day. The big time cable news stations also were running the story, as well as the national networks. Aunty had unplugged her kitchen wall phone and the other house phones because they kept ringing off like a smoke alarm at a cigar convention. One of the local cops was keeping the reporters from banging down Aunt Sarah's door. A couple more were keeping the camera crews from both addresses, manning a line of barricades and police tap.

So we were a little shocked when there was a knock on the door.

Mom looked up, her eyes narrowing. Aunty stood and answered the door with a slightly clenched jaw, but she opened the door wide, hugging someone tall. In walked Canterbury police Sergeant Daniel "Ozzie" Osmond, Mitch Tannagord, Kenny, Robby and Robby's parents. The adults quickly greeted each other, sharing hugs. Kenny and Robby rushed me, knocked me out of the chair. I had the presence of mind to put down my hotdog before they tackled.

Those two are evil when it comes to tickling. Fending them both off was not easy, and lasted until Mitch actually lifted both of them off me by the back of their jeans. That dude is strong. I could still sort of see him as the giant blue guy with the short horns above his eyes.

"Let him eat boys," Robby's mom said.

"There's plenty if you two are hungry," Aunt Sarah said. That was all it took. Feasting was on. I hadn't realized I was so hungry until I saw how deep those two piled their plates. While the three of us kept putting away the food, I overheard the conversations in the living room. There was talk about keeping Jack and my name out of the press as much as possible. There was also a mention from Sergeant Ozzie that the FBI agent was going to push for the reward money to go to Jack and me, set up in trust funds for college, naturally.

"How's it feel to be a hero?" Kenny said, raising his glass of ice water to his grinning lips. A quick glance at Robby showed the blonde boy taking a huge bite out of a hapless hotdog covered in mustard and celery salt.

"I'm not a hero," I replied. "I'm just not a…"

"Victim?" Kenny finished, as I struggled for a word.

"Yeah, guess that fits." I nodded towards the living room as the adults were sharing a laugh about something. "This kinda was like the worst possible thing that could have happened to this town, and like, because we freed Jack, we kinda set things right, huh?"

"Maybe not completely right," Robby chimed in. "But you certainly brought some light back after some pretty dark days. Too bad no one's going to know it was you."

"I like it better that way."

"Oh?" Kenny said, setting his glass down and pouring a refill.

"Yeah." I felt that I should somehow support that with like logic or something, but strangely, it sounded better to just let it stand alone. Kenny seemed to agree as he smiled my way. Damn he has sparkly eyes!

"And that other thing?" Robby said, idly forking a few stray noodles.

"What other thing?"

"That happily ever after thing."

"Oh, you mean, me and Jack?" Robby nodded. "We'll see. But I think we're on the same page."

We were interrupted when Ozzie walked over. "Anytime you're ready, Paul."

"Dude, you get to ride in a police cruiser!" Kenny said, energetically. "You gonna use the siren, Ozzie?"

"That's up to Paul. But we can go code three if you want."

"That's lights and sirens. Lucky prick!" Robby grinned.

"I don't wanna be all flashy. Still," I thought, "means we can go really fast, right?"

"A little fast," the cop agreed, smiling slightly, the corners of his salt-n-pepper mustache rising. "Just finish everything on your plate or Doc Saunders will send you up hospital food."

I immediately resumed shoveling cheesy goodness into my face. Before long it was time to head out. Our guests left and Robby and Kenny gave me bro-hugs. Mom pushed my old school backpack into my hands. I could hear crinkles inside and felt a bit of weight sag in the bag.

"What's this?"

"Some snacks. And a couple of books for Jack," she replied. "if he reads as much as you say he does, he's probably going bonkers in that hospital room." Her smile faulted for a moment. "My little boy is growing up so fast."

"I'm not exactly little anymore."

"Oh hush. Just like your father. Captain Obvious." She bopped me on the shoulder and let me go.

For the record, riding around in a cop car doing 85 with the lights and sirens blaring is fan-fricken-tastic!

On the short trip back to the hospital, Ozzie said, simply "Thanks kid. A lotta demons got put to rest today. A lotta souls will rest easier tonight." Later I would learn that Ozzie was one of the kids affected by the monster flu bug Stamos inflicted on the school. The virus cost him a lot, two friends, a girlfriend who died from the disease itself, two cousins and a sibling. Plus, he'd lost his ability to make babies himself. Despite all that, he still stuck with his little New England town, still found ways to serve his community. My respect level for him and my parents and my new home went up enormously.

I was escorted up through the emergency room entrance, past any possible media people, and to an elevator. From there I made my way up to Jack's hospital room alone. It seems like that elevator took forever, and I found myself, well, anxious.

Thinking about it now, I remember looking at myself in the slightly reflective metal of the elevator door, seeing myself grinning like an idiot. I remember thinking things like: Where was my tough guy attitude? Had I really changed so much in all of this that I let my poker-face go completely? I took that moment to shake myself out of those thoughts. Jack and I had a lot to talk about. I needed to approach things without being love-struck.

And although many times I'd thought about how I felt about Jack and the numerous times I'd tossed around the "love" word and all the crap we'd both gone through for each other, the full impact of what "love" means finally caught up with me.

Oh sure, love and loss had left Mom a hurting, reactive, lashing out bitch, but it was what brought her back to me as well. And it brought me and Jack together, and brought Jack back from the brink. And it brought me back as well. It's scary to think that I was really crazy, semi-suicidal and ready to chuck it all that day at the Mill Stream bridge. That day when Jack and I first met.

I'd always heard of sudden revelations pouring into you. You know, like in bad internet stories or worse television shows or crappy chick flicks. Until then, I sorta understood how profound that sort of thing could be. At that moment, I felt it. Like a wave, like a glass filling and over spilling under the kitchen tap. That short elevator ride, alone for just that few moments, I felt full to bursting. I was a sponge washed on shore, swelled and refilled by the incoming tide.

The elevator doors opened and the Momma Bear immediately set her clip board aside and walked over to me.

"Honey, are you okay?"

"Hummn?" I said stepping off the lift.

"You hurt?"

"No. I'm okay."

"Then why are you crying?" she asked, as the elevator doors closed behind me.

"Am I?"

As if in answer, she plucked a small pack of tissues from her scrubs vest and handed me a fresh one. Surprisingly, I didn't even feel the tears that apparently were streaming down my cheeks. I took a moment to clean up before heading down to Jack's room.

His door was open, the lights off inside, so I casually leaned against the door jamb, trying to be all cool. I even tried to keep my expression neutral and stuff, even though I could still feel smile muscles in use. I looked over and found him at the window, the blinds pulled up so he could look out over the river and the stars overhead. Well at least as much as you could see in a partly reflective surface.

"Hiya, Carver," he said, not looking away from whatever had his attention outside.

"Hey, Toothpick," I said, taking a few steps into the room. "I see you're feeling better."

"I am somewhat weak. They say it's not unusual after being defibrillated for the patient to have lowered levels of electrolytes and occasional muscle and joint pain from the electricity…"

"Uh, Jack," I interrupted.

"Yes?" I gave him a tilted head stare. "Oh, right. Yes, I'm feeling better, although there's still a way to go."

"I can see your undies, too," I said, setting the backpack on the chair beside the bed. I could see his reflection smile in the window glass.

"Fortunately, my brother brought some up to me. Otherwise this ridiculous open back hospital gown would display more."

"Gur, right," was all I could think to say. Other parts of me were thinking in different ways to that thought. Those satiny green boxers shifted and twisted as he moved, reflecting light and shifting color. Can't have been Jack's choice. While green is definitely his color, I don't see him going for something flashy like that if it's purely a functional thing.

Then again, maybe Jack could be asserting himself now that he has more choice about things in his life. Something about that made me feel better. Weird.

"I feel we need to talk," he began, turning around. The darkness outside gave a sharp contrast to his skin, which seemed strangely paler than before. Normally, his tan was even and deep, from all his time working out in the garden. He seemed smaller somehow. Strange, protective urges swelled in me seeing him like that.

"Sure. Mom packed us some junk food and a couple books for you."

"Wow. Things between you and her seem to have patched up. You wont need me to help you anymore."

"Yeah, well. Things might be cool with Mom again," I said, putting a knee on his hospital bed, "still think I'll need your help, lotsa ways."

"They… removed the explosives at the back of my head, along with my spinal radio antenna," he said, a serious look coming to his face. "I never realized how much I'd come to rely on my digital connection. It feels strange."

"Maybe they can hook you up with a wireless of some kind."

"The doctor joked about that, but I asked if he would look into it. Oddly, there is research in that area, so there may be hope in that vein."

"I was joking."

"The doctor said he was as well, but I feel he is more understanding and actually intends to help me there."


"Yes. Apparently the chip set in my cranium is advanced enough that it should remain compatible with current market computer technology for many years. Apparently, the radio system father employed was the weakest part of my wetware-hardware interface."

"Your chips and dip, huh?" I said tapping my temple, probably grinning like an idiot at my own bad joke.

He returned the comment with one of my usual mildly annoyed looks, with a subtle sigh. He's surprisingly good at that. Guess we've rubbed off on each other.

And why did that thought make me blush?

"Oh come on, that's like so brilliant," I said, trying to defend my joke.

"In a very dark universe, even the smallest single glint can a beacon appear," he quoted, sounding all poetical.

"You joking on me again? Cuz if you are, kinda need to work on that subtlety thing. I mean, you know I'm the dumbest person in the room, right?"

"I only joke because I care, Carver."


"I think you know that by now. I've had a lot of time to think about it. And idyll time with a brain like mine can seem an eternity, switching back and forth between human and machine speeds."

"Yeah. Oh, I think we have some new friends to hang out with. If you don't mind that kinda thing, that is."

"The ones that helped you?"

"That helped us," I replied, stressing the "us," part.

"I think I like that. I definitely need to thank them for helping me escape father's control."

"Seems he caused a lot of pain for this town, Jack. He was a very bad man."

"I know," he sighed. "I think I knew all along. Part of me was always concerned that things weren't normal between us." He turned and leaned his forehead on the window, staring out at the lights of Canterbury. "I want to try and fix some of that, if I can."


"That I don't know yet. Will you help me?"

One of my father's favorite expressions sprang immediately to mind. Something that fighter pilots say, I guess.

"Oh just try and shake me now," I grinned, seeing my reflection beside his in the glass. Our eyes connected in the reflection, seeing both each other and outside at the sleepy, calm city lights.

"Is that an innuendo?"

Damn, I never, like, felt a blush before. My face must have shifted red so fast that astronauts on the space station would have thought the whole planet jumped away from them like 80 billion miles.

Sorry for that reference. You hang out with Jack long enough, weird science facts, like Doppler red shifting, start filtering into your vocabulary. Even if you don't completely get it the first time. I know I don't.

So of course, I had to recover some face, quickly. "Wow. Jack makes a possible joke about whacking off," I replied, voice flat. "Who'd'a thunk it?"

"Sarcasm. Yes. I've read about that," he said, dead pan.

And we both sort of stopped, staring at each others reflected eyes. The traffic light visible out on Lincoln Avenue shifted from green to yellow to red and back to green again before either of us spoke.

"I feel kinda anxious," I said, not really sure what was motivating me.

"I feel it, too. Something has changed between us. Something more than just the incidents of the last week."

"Yeah," came my thoughtful response. I lifted my leg and collapsed it under me as I leaned into the hospital bed. He turned and came to stand on the opposite side. In my expanded senses I could almost feel the air vibrating between us.

"This may be… difficult," he said, glancing down at the bed at first. "I have had many thoughts about you, Carver."


"Yes, those headaches with pictures you sometimes complain about."

"Honestly, if you're thinking of a career in comedy, maybe you should stick to backyard farming."

He sighed loudly as he walked around the bed and made an effort of closing the door, getting a "goodnight boys," called down the hall from Momma Bear. As he came back into the room more, he wiggled his shoulders, tucked an elbow inwards and was suddenly out of the hospital gown.

"How the hell…" I started to ask, amazed again by this awesome boy.

"I've read seven books on stage magic and escape artistry. Mr. Houdini is an idol of mine."

"That's kinda impressive, Toothpick. Never would have figured you for a fan of magic."

"It's not magic. It's science. It's deception. It's skill."

"Yeah, I guess when you look at it that way it's…" I started saying as he tossed the hospital gown onto the rolling table thing. He stood before me now basically bare save for his undies. My eyes traveled over his body and just drank it all in.

His skin was still that soft, even tan, flawless, rippling with firm yet yielding shapes. I'd say he was cut, the perfect example of streamlined muscle. His legs were firm and had a sort of glow to them in the hospital room lights. He had his wrists crossed before his groin, almost as if he were covering the treasures lined up under his green silk boxers.

"We need to talk," he said, getting my eyes to shift back up to his. "You should get comfortable. We wont be interrupted until morning."

"Made arrangements?" I asked, coyly, nodding my head at the door.

"Naturally. I'm only in here for observation."

"Kinda implies being observed," I returned, shucking my shoes. I was starting to pull off my socks when he moved again, going to the other side of the bed, clicking on the wall TV from the bedside remote.

"That is your primary role," he grinned, tilting his head, slightly. "You will observe me. I'm sure if something requires a nurse you know how to get their attention."

"I uh, err," I sputtered.

"That is not the talking I had in mind."

"Perhaps you should tell me what you do have in mind."

"Yeah," he said, adjusting the TV. It had a movie about short guys and rings and some hyper scrawny crazy guy and some kind of sword swinging war filled the screen. Probably an awesome flick, but my eyes had something else taking up all my attention.

Then I noticed him climbing up onto the hospital bed, his eyes indicating that I should take the opposite end. There were two fluffy pillows at that end waiting for me. I grinned back at him before peeling off my tee shift.

"This is kinda like that night on the couch."

"As much as I could replicate, considering," he agreed, folding his legs and pressing his hands into the mattress in the space between the triangle of his lower limbs. "I am… wanting to continue the experiment."

I nearly tripped with my pants halfway down. The sight of him at that angle, with what he was saying had me a bit more anxious than before. How I managed to get out of those pants and crash headfirst onto the end of the bed, I'll never know. So much for superior genetics, reflexes, balance and agility. At least I was strong enough to keep from falling off.

When I had recovered enough from my face plant, I looked to see him smiling at me, a big genuine smile that lit up his face. Wow, I remember thinking to myself, he's beautiful.

"Continue?" I said licking my lips.

"Yes. If you are still willing."

"If is not a factor," I grinned back. Why does talking like this always make me so horny?

"I believe the exact moment before Father called and ordered me to send you home, we were," and he actually paused, as if searching for a word before saying, "close."

"You might could say that," I replied, managing to get back on my end of the hospital bed without further incident. I lay with my right side parallel to his right side, his ankles coming up to about my elbows, while mine were nearly in line with his ear. I always knew we had a height difference, but this time I could see it more clearly, especially with the steady rise and fall of his tummy as he settled in beside me.

I could feel his body heat in the temperature controlled air of the hospital room. "Although only one of us can see the TV this way," I grinned.

"Then we'll have to entertain ourselves," Jack said, "somehow."

"About that night?" I asked, watching as he settled back into his pillow. "We were kissing when the phone rang. Like, really kissing."

"I remember."

"Where did you learn to kiss like that?"

"I hadn't practiced, if that's what you mean."

"No, I get that part. I mean," I asked, looking for the right way to phrase what was in my brain.

"Why did I do it? Or how did I know what to do?"


"Well, I wasn't even sure I was doing it right. I simply went with the empirical and anecdotal evidence I found in literature and from the internet." He paused, getting a shy, uncertain downcast look to his face. "And I was mostly following what you did, once we started. Was it done properly?"

"Jeeze, Jack, I dunno. It was my first real kiss, too. I mean, I've never made out with anyone before."

"Oh," he said softly.

"But I do know this: I liked it and want to test your kissing theories more. You know, for the sake of science and all." His head tilted with a slight Jack grin.

"For science," he agreed, meeting my eyes again. "These feelings… they are so new to me. So strong. I know it may be unfair, but, I think we should take things slowly."

"I can do slow," I said, speaking monotone and with elongated vowels, sounding kinda derpy.

"You know what I mean," Jack returned, slightly annoyed.

"I know, Jack. I'm really glad you're my…"

"Yes?" he interrupted, almost a little too anxiously.

"Whew! Wow, this is hard." And it was. Here I am, wanting a label to give what Jack and I are to each other and right when I am face to face with it, I get nervous.

"Say what's in your heart, Carver," Jack said. "Nothing you say to me will change how I feel. Still, we both need to hear it, and we both know…"

"That I need to be the one to say it?" I asked, already knowing the answer. His smile turned into a worried almost flat expression and he nodded. At that moment, I felt so many butterflies in my stomach, I'm surprised I didn't float off the hospital bed.

I looked him over, shirtless, laid back, face slightly down turned. Those shiny green boxers highlighting the paleness of his chest. His piercing stare, with those green eyes, capped by that soft layering of brown hair. I felt so much all colliding in me at that moment.

"This is kinda embarrassing."

"And yet?" he asked, his hand sliding up to caress my calf muscle, making it twitch with his gently, electric, teasing touch.

"And yet," I began, licking my lips, "I can't deny it any longer. I love you, Jack Thomas." I waited a moment, seeing the smile come back to his face. "Will you be… my boyfriend?"

"Yes, Paul. I will," he grinned back, leaning forward over his own knees. I leaned forward as well and we shared our first kiss as an official, labeled couple.

And then it got to be more than just a kiss. His hand slid forward and found the bottom of my thigh, just inside my undies. I could feel his thumb tracing the crease of my leg, his fingers curled under, moving slowly around just behind my butt cheek. My own hand slid up his bony shin to his knee, the outside hand reaching to up the side of his neck as we kissed. It was a soft pressing and moving of lips at first, just testing each other.

Then I gripped his head more tightly as I opened my mouth to try more. He seemed to sense what I was up to and opened his lips a little with me, my tongue slipping up through my teeth to tickle his upper lip. I suddenly opened my eyes as I felt his hand slip up behind my balls.

We broke the kiss, both inhaling deeply, eyes snapped open and looking at each other. His smile was not only genuine, but a little dopey. His green eyes sparkled.

"Surprise," he said, as his fingers roved under my sack, making my balls lift and tighten. I never gasped like I did just then from my own fingers there. I smiled, my own hand sliding along his thigh towards those shimmery green boxers.

"Find something you like, Toothpick?" I said, breathily.

"The start of something," he replied softly, his New England accent sounding lots deeper all of a sudden. And then his fingers traced up along where my sack and leg met, upwards more still and traced around the base of my unit. I could feel his fingertips tickling the skin as they brushed through my short and curlies. I could feel his thumb lifting up along my sack, brushing over Lefty as it encircled the other side of my shaft.

I gulped, as his gentle touch squeezed along the base of my business, and heard him gasp as well. "More than you expected?" I teased.

"It's one thing to guess and be right," he said, licking his lips. "Totally different animal to feel. It's softer than I'd imagined."

"Feels pretty hard to me!"

"I mean the skin on the outside." His fingers gripped tighter and more of his palm contacted the underside, the edge of his wrist brushing my tip. "It's plenty firm," he said, softly. "And warm."

My fingers gripped into the soft warmth of his thigh as his hand explored. It was a totally different animal, like he'd said, being touched instead of having your own hand there. My fingers slid in deeper along his thin thigh. But his boxies were a little confining and I tugged a little at the hem, trying to get more room. We both sorta wanted to be a little less clothed just then.

"Together?" he asked, his fingers making little flutters along my tube, brushing up against my undies.

"I want to see you," I said, feeling slightly out of breath.

"You can. You are seeing now," he teased. I don't know where he's been hiding that smile, but it completely gets my attention. Then again, with where his hand was at that moment, he had all of my attention.

"You know what I mean," I replied, grinning like the idiot I am.

"I am yours to command. I locked the door, so…"

"I think I've created a monster."

"I think I've found a monster," he returned, quickly, his hand grasping firmly for a moment before going back to the fluttery movement. I gasped and had to lean my head back for a moment. "Besides," he said, causing me to look back into his green eyes, "I want to see, too." And his cheeks went into full on blush. I'd never seen him blush like that before. I felt myself twitch in his grip, realizing that.

My hand slid up along his thigh as I pulled his face closer for another kiss. Our lips met softly this time, and I pushed my tongue just onto his lips, feeling them there. My fingers slipped inside the leg of those shiny green boxers and I turned my hand so my knuckles brushed softly at what I so wanted to see there. I felt his whole body tense, lift slightly and then sigh as my fingers teased over his scrotum, which was hard and tight, smooth under my touch. Few hairs brushed against my fingers as I slid my hand around on his most intimate skin. He was hard and pointing up, and I split my thumb and fingers around Jack's shaft, taking his heat and hardness into my palm.

"Oooh, I see you found something," Jack said, his voice breathy and soft.

"More than something, Toothpick," I said, as we stared into each others eyes. He squeezed mine and I squeezed his in return. I think he was looking to see how much pressure he could stand and how much I could take. An unspoken dare of sorts. I had no problem responding to that dare, but I don't think either of us wanted to win. We were together in that moment, testing each other, exciting each other, exploring the limits of this new world we'd found together.

And damn if it wasn't a lot of fun!

We took our time. We took turns, sometimes giving full access to our partner while remaining passive under his hands. Sometimes we were more aggressive, demanding access, using all of our senses to examine and play with our partner. He was tender, he was hungry, and he ate up all the attention that I could give him.

And I feasted on what he gave me.

So many things fell into place for me as we teased one another. It was so relaxed, so freeing. We took time to look, looking with hands and eyes. I had the impulse to taste and smell as well, but figured that Jack was in control of how far things happened so far. Sure, he wanted me to lead, but I was pretty sure that we needed to take whatever else happened in stages. Besides, we had time.

Eventually we got down to the main event, sort of. Neither of us was what you'd call experienced. Which meant we didn't know about the fancy, advanced-level stuff. And just then, it didn't really matter.

We both lay back, hips touching, thighs raised, each with a hand tucked under our partner's leg, exploring, taking charge of things, teasing. Our outside hands were busy with our own business as we helped each other along. More than once, I'd make a sweep of his outer thigh, up across the crease of his hip, across his tight belly, down across the base of his shaft, through the few hairs sprouting there (with a scratching sort of touch there), stroking over the shaft and tippy, back under his shaft as his hand retook control there, gently brushing over his sac and back up the curve of his bony butt to slide along the inside of his nearer thigh, hugging it. And then back. And he'd do the same. At some point, I do remember licking his leg, like the bony part from the knee.

It was intense. It was hot. It was much more than I thought such simple things might be. And for the two of us, it was more than enough. We couldn't get enough of each other, and we weren't even doing any of the things that you see in the gay porn stuff. We didn't need to go any further.

I felt him cum, with my hand massaging the tightness of his sack about like how most guys hold a computer mouse. The sack grew even tighter, and his legs quivered beside my head. I felt his balls draw up, climbing up beside the base of his dick and almost vanish into the firm smooth flesh there. So my hand moved up and gripped the base of his shaft. That seemed to do it for Jack. He called out my name, like a long, drawn out, syllable, the pitch of his voice seeming to climb higher as it happened, even as he seemed to be running out of air to moan.

"Pauuuuuuulieeeeey!" he called out, his hand a gentle blur, flicking his hood up over his red tippy. I squeezed the shaft at the bottom, making him harder still, if such was even possible. He arched his back, his hand near my balls grasping them tightly, his thumb hooking up around the base of my own cock.

"I love you, Toothpick," I called feeling his body bouncing around on the bed beside me. My own feelings were at that point as well, and I kept my own hand going while he squeezed me through our first shared experience. It took me almost a minute after he'd finished to get to where I was going, but he kept his soft yet firm hand on me the whole time, teasing and stroking in time. My own spare hand was rubbing over his belly and wound up replacing his on his unit, giving him gentle strokes while I shot all over our hands. He kept gasping and moaning as I stroked him, his penis going into that not quite hard state, full and sensitive and ruddy, but not that firmness it had been moments before.

I guess it kinda goes without saying that I'd never look at just jacking off the same way ever again. And sharing that with Jack, him sharing it with me, staying with me even after his own orgasm had ended, just made me feel enormously closer to him. Made me realize that while I loved him for doing this with me, I loved him for a lot more than just this.

I got up to clean myself off. Jack's belly was only streaked with a pair of clear lines, one that nearly reached his neck, with a couple of dribble pools near his navel. I took a sample of his juice and licked it off my finger. In a fit of curiosity, he rubbed a finger in his stuff as well and taste tested. He grinned a bit, making a face as well. I cleaned us off, making sure to check for drippings and possible pillow stains, since I knew I'd shot pretty far, too.

After making sure we were both clear of any evidence, I snuggled up behind him, spooning, and felt his whole body sigh against my chest.

"So," I said, inhaling the scent of his shampoo again. "How was it, Toothpick?"

"Illuminating!" Jack breathed, draping his arm over mine, lacing our fingers. I gripped him tighter and nuzzled the side of his neck. I had to be careful not to bump the bandages that covered his stitches. It still sometimes amazes me that just hours ago he'd been in a coma and I'd had to jump into a hole in space that lead into his head to wake him up.

"I think I understand now," he said, sighing. Something about all the sighing felt really, really good.

"Understand what?"

"What all the literature seems to go on and on and on about." He tilted his head to put his lips closer to mine. "Paul?"


"I want to do more. I think I truly enjoy sex-play with you. And I know you want to do more. I know that I do."

"Yeah," I said, snuggling tighter against him. I could feel my bone starting to harden under his bottom. The difference in our height made him fit well inside the cup of my shoulders and hips as we spooned together. He wiggled slightly and the rising shaft of my very happy penis snugged right between his buns, but didn't slip inside. I could feel my tippy nuzzling the back of his scrotum. Unconsciously, we both sighed.

"I know what I want to happen, eventually," he continued, resting his head on the combination of his pillow and my bicep. "But I think we should go slowly. I want to understand fully before we…"

"Do it for real?" I offered. His fingers in our laced grasp tightened, and he pulled my arm tighter against his chest. "I'm not going to leave you, Jack. I love you, and I can wait until you are ready."

"I'll try to make it so you don't wait too long," he whispered.

"Uh uh! Nope. Only when you're sure," I replied. "I might be impatient, and hungry for more of you, but I want it to be good for you. For us."

"So, this is enough?" he asked. I think we both knew that he meant more of this was enough, but we were conserving words. We'd just had a draining and emotional experience. Sometimes less is more when talking about, well, more.

"Jack, I don't know a whole lot about this stuff. I want to do more, with you. But I don't wanna screw shit up either. As long as we're both comfortable, and not pushing each other too far, I'm good with it."

He pulled my hand up to his face and kissed my palm.

"Okay," he whispered and pulled my arm tight over his chest, my elbow riding over the crest of his hip.

"Okay," I replied, pulling his body tighter against me, both my chest and hips. And without another word, we just fell asleep, dreaming together about an uncertain future, but one no longer alone.

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