Castle Roland

On The Screen

by Jack Scribe, of Honored Memory


Chapter 25

Published: 8 Apr 14


by Jack Scribe


It was barely a week after spring break and the meeting with Eunice and her lawyer, Henry. Justin had returned to school in Minnesota and the L.A. family was back in their busy schedule. With my management team, I had completed the hiring process of all personnel for the new El Padre restaurant in Balboa Park. Training would begin next Monday, May 3, with a soft opening on Friday, May 15. Ten days to whip the new crew into shape.

Dave and I had agreed to be the first responders to Eunice's Lifeline emergency alert service. Therefore, when the bedroom telephone rang at 3:00 a.m. early Saturday, it was a May Day in more ways than one. We both rushed over to her house and found a lifeless Eunice sprawled on her bedroom floor. We notified the Lifeline emergency control center that Mrs. Palmer had passed away and contacted the San Diego police.

After the police processed the death, we called a mortuary in El Cajon. Eunice's instructions included a request for no funeral services and a simple cremation. Her ashes, along with the ashes of her long-deceased husband, were to be returned to Minnesota for a simple earth-to-earth scattering.

Around 6:00 a.m., Dave and I called Justin and informed him of the events. With all the planning and time Justin had just spent with Eunice, it was determined that he wouldn't need to return to San Diego. Henry's legal assistant arranged for the house to be sold and donated all of the furniture and Eunice's clothes to the Salvation Army. Eunice and Justin had earlier boxed all of her personal papers and effects for Justin's safekeeping, and his stuff had been stored at our house before he returned to school.

Dave had arranged for another boy's week at the Gull Lake cabin starting June 8, and all the troops were ready for the Minnesota visit. Brent and Doug were bringing Bryan; Dave's old buddy Russ and his partner, Trevor, would be coming up from Chicago; and Justin would get a ride with his roommate from Shattuck-St. Mary's school to Minneapolis. Dave would meet him at the airport on Monday, so that they could drive up together.

I regretted that the restaurant opening would prohibit me from getting together with the guys and another visit to the lake. However, there was always next year and this was a valuable building block in my career. 'With all the craziness of opening this new restaurant,' I thought, 'Dave's planned absence is a blessing.'


'Wow, triple-wow, my biggest wish might come true.' Bryan had asked me if I had any problem with a close friend being gay during our weekly phone call. He was so calm and as-a-matter-of-fact about the question. 'No put-down's or negative slams. How friggin' cool is that. Could it be that Bry was trying to tell me something about him diggin' guys?' I regretted that we hadn't discussed sex and things when we'd spent the time together in San Diego.

It was the end of Memorial Day weekend and we were both studying for end-of-semester finals that would take place after the following week. Since Gram's passing, Bryan always called long distance on Mondays. We always got caught up on what had happened in each other's lives that past week and what was in store for the week ahead. On this call, we both said that we were looking forward to the vacation at Dave's cabin.

"Justin, let me ask you a question. How do you feel about guys being gay?"

I hesitated for a moment before answering his question. "I have a good friend at school who says he's gay and it doesn't make any difference to me how he shuffles the deck." I didn't add that my school buddy and I had played around this year.

"Yeah, I kinda thought that you'd be cool with people being different."

"Shattuck is kinda uptight conservative. I mean, you don't run around with a flag saying, 'I'm gay'. But my friend decided to come out to me. Boy, was he relieved at my positive response." 'Cumming out on my stomach was more like it,' I thought with a smile. And my positive response was to shoot a big load, moments later.

"The same thing happened to me with my best friend at school."

"It's no biggie. I mean, we both have dads who are gay and love us. Right? I'm sure you feel the same way as I do...I thank my lucky stars that I have Dave and Mike in my life."

"Absolutely. Brent and Doug saved my ass, literally."

I wondered what he meant by that? "We're both very fortunate."

We danced around the issue before I changed the subject to our school studies. We were both 'acing' our courses and were on track for academic scholarships. The next school year would be prep-time for the SAT tests.

"I can't wait to see you next week. From what both my Dads said, we will really love Uncle Dave's cabin."

"I've seen pictures of this neat, old, haul-ass speed boat that Dave has. Water skiing is definitely in the picture for me."

"Me, too. You and I will have a lot of fun. Listen, I'm signing off for the night. Good luck on the tests and I'll see you soon at the lake."

"You got it, Bry. Knock 'em' dead at school. I can't wait to see ya. Bye, bye."

"Bye, cuz."

Cuz. We had started to think of each other as cousins and I thought that was rad. 'Would we ever be kissing cousins?' I wondered, with a smile, 'and would we ever be fuckin' cousins?'

The rest of the week flashed by. I had five tests and crammed studying into the early morning hours for last minute knowledge retention. I loved my science courses and was already charting a plan to become a doctor. My roommate, best friend and J.O. buddy, had invited me to drive up to Minneapolis with him and his dad on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend at his house. On Monday morning I planned to take a shuttle van service from my friend's house to the airport. There, Dave and I would meet and go up to the lake.

Following Dave's suggestion, I shipped all my clothes and personal effects to our home in San Diego except for what was needed for travel and the lake. 'Our home,' I thought...with all the implications, 'is pretty neat.'

He also informed me that Gram's house had been sold because of its prime location in the heart of gay San Diego, and the proceeds were deposited into my bank account. Dave and I would spend some time in St. Paul after the lake vacation to meet his Uncle Trey, and he also wanted me to speak to his financial advisor about investing my inherited money. 'I lucked out with getting some neat guardians,' I thought, 'maybe I'll start calling them dad like Bry does with Brent and Doug.'

I was a little bummed when Bryan told me that their trip from L.A. would be delayed by one day. Because of last minute pre-production changes on Doug and Brent's movie, they were taking an early evening flight from LAX. They planned to stay in a hotel near the Minneapolis airport and to drive up on Tuesday morning.

The shuttle service got me to the airport late morning and I had been sitting at the gate for the past half-hour. I grabbed a sandwich in the food court and busied myself by reading a new Tom Clancy novel. I was distracted for a while when a hunky blond guy, in cargo shorts and a tee, sat down across from me and occasionally stole glances. 'Whoa,' I thought as I stowed my book in the backpack and got up to meet the arrival, 'I love the arrival of summer in Minnesota when all the hot studs shed their heavy clothes.'

"Announcing America West, flight 757, arriving from Phoenix at gate C-9," came over the PA system. Dave's flight from San Diego had one stop in Phoenix.

The airplane slowly moved into position for the gate tunnel jet way to be secured. It was amusing to see the pecking order of travelers as they disembarked and walked into the terminal. The front of the plane catered to the businessmen and they were the first to get off. Almost without exception, each of the first passengers to enter the terminal wore suits with ties. Boring. Next came young moms with tiny crumb-snatchers. Finally, the bulk of the passengers, in Southern California and Arizona casual, started filing out. Hot.

In the back of the crowd, towering over everyone, I saw the man who, along with Mike, was now the most important person in my young life. I had a lump in my throat as I yelled out, "Hey, Dave, over here." Dave recognized my voice and briefly scanned the crowd before he located me. He smiled and waved. I decided to go for it as he approached and try out his new title. "Hi, Dad," I said with a huge grin.

"Hi, Son," Dave replied naturally as he walked up to me.

We hugged, held each other longer than usual and kissed each other. I noticed a few people give us curious looks at the embrace. 'Screw 'em,' I thought. There was no reason to be ashamed of showing affection for this guy. He was wearing jeans, a tee and an untucked shirt, with sunglasses propped up on his head.

"So, I've graduated to dad status?" he asked with a smile.

"You and Mike, if that's okay. I figured that having two dads - like Bryan - is pretty cool."

"More than okay...Mike will be very pleased with the promotion and I'm totally stoked." Dave winked and added, "Call us either by name or dad...whichever seems appropriate at the time."

"Super," I said as we started walking down the concourse to the baggage carousels. "I'm really excited about getting up to the lake and vegging out. This past exam week was tough."

"You're confident that you passed, aren't you?" Dave looked a little concerned.

"Oh, passing is no problem. I'm just concerned about getting 'A's'. By the way, how'd my 'Pops' do on his tests?" I asked, laughing while playfully punching his arm. We approached the 'down' escalator and descended to the baggage area.

"Pops, my ass," Dave replied as he smiled and playfully hit my arm, "Getting good grades must run in the family...Son. My big concern was also to ace the courses...which I think I did. We can both veg out this week - well, maybe for a day or so. Without Mike on hand, I'm going to need your help to feed and entertain our guests."

"Count on me. I'll be a good galley slave."

We enjoyed small talk until the bags belched out of the carousel. After we collected all our belongings, Dad and I walked over to the car rental counter. Twenty minutes later, sitting in a shiny, new Jeep Cherokee, we were on our way to Brainerd and Gull Lake.

"Without Mike being with us, I'm going to give Brent and Doug the master bedroom," Dave said. "You okay bunking with me in my old room?"

"Um, yeah, I guess," I answered, giving him a curious glance. 'Being with Dave is cool,' I thought, 'but it'd be cooler if I was bunking with Bryan.'

"Relax...the room has two double beds, dufus," he said with a laugh. "Russ and Trev will take the smaller bedroom, and Bryan can sleep in the living room. The couch makes up to a comfortable bed."

"Sure, that'll be fine. I'm just curious about how a cabin has so much space?"

"Let me give you the poop about my place. Our family has always called it a cabin. In truth, Justin, it's a pretty sharp, two-story, winterized home. It was mom's favorite and has been in my dad's family for years. That's why I kept it. Probably the best decision I made at the time, cuz everyone loves coming here and I get a good rental dollar the rest of the season. I really didn't appreciate how well organized my mom was at managing households until a couple of years ago. She was very talented."

I noticed Dave drift away in his thoughts for a few moments as the fence posts dashed by in the Minnesota farmland.

"Ah, Dave, can we talk about me going to school this fall. Whaduya think about me transferring to a school in San Diego? Shattuck's great and all that, but I really want to settle in our home in California."

Dave glanced at me a couple of times and contemplated his answer. "Actually, we've done some research on this. The money that your dad funded through his insurance doesn't limit you to Shattuck-St. Mary's. There's a terrific private school in La Jolla called The Bishop's School that has very high academic standards and a solid alumni association."

"The bishop? As in..."

"Episcopalian, originally. For pre-med, I don't want you to mess around with the public schools. And if your educational funds get stretched, we'll make up the difference," Dave said with determination.

"Dad, I don't want to tap you out," I answered with concern. "You're going to school and need money. I mean, Mike makes good bucks, I guess, but tuition to a private school is serious bread."

"Hey, we're family and that means no secrets. I've never mentioned this, but when my folks died I was left with a very comfortable inheritance. Don't worry about it."

"Then I'd like to investigate the school as soon as possible," I replied.

"Great. I'll tell Mike to start the enrollment process when he calls tonight. Also, we'll talk to Russ up at the cabin. My oldest friend in the world is starting medical school at Northwestern and will be terrific for advice. He and Trev are driving up from Chicago and should arrive this evening."

"Does he know about the schools out west?"

"He was considering USC at one point and I'm sure that he'll recommend either that or UCLA."

"Jeez, that would be super. I mean Bryan is going to attend UCLA. It'd be fantastic if we were at the same school." I grinned as Dave quickly cocked his head and raised an eyebrow.

"You've really become good friends with him, haven't you?" Dave asked in a warm, fatherly manner.

"Yeah, really good. I fact, we now call each other cousin or cuz."

"In our little nuclear family world, it sounds just fine. And I know Brent and Doug would approve."

"Bryan's called me at least once a week since Grams left us? I think that I've got some very strong feelings for him." I looked at Dave for a reaction.

"Have you and he had any talks about how you feel?"

"Shit, Dave...whoops, sorry," I replied with a short eruption of frustration. "I don't even know for sure if he's gay. I plan on getting together with him tomorrow when they arrive and figuring out a way to bring up the topic."

"That's a good idea - get it out on the table. There's a great hiking trail not too far from the cabin. Why don't you two take a little walk tomorrow afternoon? I've got a map you can use."

"I appreciate the suggestion. What'll I do if he feels the same way?"

"Well, a kiss might be a good start," Dave replied with a chuckle. "Seriously, do what comes naturally. Can I ask you a personal question?"

"Ah, yes," I answered, tentatively.

"How experienced are you having sex...with guys?"

There was a sudden silence as I squirmed in my seat. "I'm...well, not very. I mean, my roommate and I have, ah, you know..." I said, gesturing with the universal jerk-off hand sign language. I looked nervously at Dave for a reaction. He smiled and considered my answer.

"That's a start, buddy. Listen, for what it's worth, we both know that getting off is awesome. When I was your age, Justin, I probably found some way to ejaculate at least twice a day," Dave said with a wink. "Talking like this doesn't make you feel uncomfortable, does it?"

I laughed and felt a little relieved at his candor. "Heck, no...I guess doing that runs in the family, too," I replied, laughing harder. 'God, it's neat,' I thought, 'not to be afraid to talk with Dave this way.'

"Okay, serious, again. Touching someone you like a lot is much more rewarding. Just lying together, naked, with your hands slowly exploring every part of your partner's body can be really hot. And then, when you add your mouth and tongue...well, Justin, that's about as good as it gets."

I became aware that I was listening with my mouth wide open while my cock was begging to be released from the confinement of my pants. "Wow. I guess I've got a lot to learn. You mentioned the mouth, um, I guess, oral stuff? I, ah, well, what do you do?"

"Well, first make sure the teeth don't get in the way," Dave said with a smile. "The rest just comes more ways than one."

We both broke out with laughter at the pun.

"Promise me that you'll always ask Mike or me any questions you have."

"I promise, Dave."

"And let me know if you want me to trade sleeping arrangements with Bryan. If it's to be, cuddle time is terrific. The other promise is to seek me out if you guys decide to try other things. Aside from helpful hints on technique, there's also things that need to be considered to be safe."

I knew what he meant by other things and figured that safe meant using rubbers.

"Dad, Dave, I love Mike and you so much. I promise and cross my heart...Scout's honor," I said as I leaned over and gave him a big, sloppy kiss on the cheek.

"Well, you might want to consider joining the Scouts, first," Dave replied with a laugh.


The rest of the drive up consisted of Justin talking about school and the possibilities of attending The Bishop's School in the fall. I knew that we would have to get the transcripts from Shattuck-St. Mary's soon and use a little political grease to get him in. There were more applications for the school than openings. We made a pit stop along the way, topped off the gas tank and got a couple of sandwiches at the deli counter of the mini-mart station.

I smiled at the trust he had shown in asking me such intimate questions. As we turned into the driveway to the cabin, I considered all my experiences with Russ at Justin's age.

"Whoa. You're right, Dave. This isn't just any cabin," he said as we drove up to the parking area. When we stopped, Justin jumped out of the Jeep and took in everything within visual range.

I popped the rear door open and said, "Help me with the bags so we can go in and get organized." It was around 3:00 p.m. I figured that Russ and Trev would be arriving around 6:00 p.m. Russ wanted to get here before darkness. "I'll give you a tour around the place after we get settled in the room."

"Awesome. I wanna see it all," Justin said with bubbling enthusiasm.

We were able to bring in the luggage and backpacks in two trips. I silently and proudly smiled as Justin absorbed Mom's interiors. After we unpacked in my old bedroom, I told him to get into a comfortable change of clothing and meet me in the kitchen. Because he was a fellow Minnesotan, I didn't have to remind him that it still got pretty chilly in the evenings.

As I was making a final check of all the provisions that had been delivered, Justin came into the kitchen wearing sweat pants, a tee and sneakers.

"What can I do to help?" he asked.

"I've got the kitchen pretty well organized. There's some fruit and cheese to snack on if you want...I figure that we'll eat around seven if Russ and Trev get up here on time."

"Good idea. And a bottle of water?" Justin asked.

"Everything's in the fridge. Make up a plate of food for both of us and take it down to the dock. I'll change and meet you there."

He grinned and gave me a thumbs-up. Even though we were less than ten years apart in age, I was getting comfortable with the idea of being a father figure, a counselor and a friend. 'It's a delicate balance,' I considered as I went upstairs, 'and I don't want trying to be a buddy cloud the issue for when I may have to be strict on an issue.'

After removing my clothes, I picked up the phone and dialed Mike's office. It was 1:30 p.m. California time.

"Good afternoon this is the new El Padre. How may I help you?" I recognized the voice.

"Mr. Swenson calling Mr. Cole," I replied with a smile.

"Hey, buddy, you made it. From the time, I assume that all went well meeting up with Justin?"

"Yes, no problems. And our son had many questions about a certain young man who's arriving tomorrow."

"Son? He must have picked that up from Bryan."

"You're right. He told me he felt comfortable calling us dad and wanted to make sure we were okay with the title. I obviously answered in a positive manner...for both of us."

"Have you had to put your dad hat on yet?" Mike said with a snicker.

"Yeah...and it fit pretty well. I'm proud that he's not hung up about talking about very personal matters concerning sex."

"The topic of the day was S...E...X.?" Mike asked.

"The guy's 15...and everything's stirring inside. You remember that feeling, don't you...old man?"

"Old man? Kiss my..."

"I plan on doing that...when I see you back in San Diego." I licked my lips and smiled at the thought. "The big concern, as I see it, is that he has the hots for Bryan - in a big way - and is curious about how to proceed. Apparently they still haven't gotten to the point where either has mentioned they're gay. I strongly advised that he find a private place somewhere up here and talk things out with Bryan."

"I think we were right not to out Bryan to Justin. These are things that the boys will have to figure on their own."

"Mike, I agree completely. I also gave him a few pointers if anything progressed beyond being friends. He admitted that his experience was not that great."

"I'm proud of you. Most young guys, gay or straight, are really lost at that age and often don't have someone to turn to."

"I'm going to monitor the situation with Doug and Brent when they all get up here tomorrow morning. Unless I miss my guess, we've got a real case of puppy-love between Justin and Bryan."

"Keep me posted. I know they're in good hands."

"By the way, we made the right call on initiating an application at The Bishop's School. Justin wants to move back with us and go to school in San Diego."

"I'll call the school tomorrow. Both the Connors are alumni."

"You've got it under control, then. How's the restaurant going?"

"Working my buns off and I just thank God we don't serve lunch. We did 250 covers on Saturday and that's darn good for a restaurant that's just been open two weeks. Mr. Connor is very happy at the progress, so I guess I haven't screwed up too badly."

"Sweetheart, I'm not surprised you're doing so well. You get back to work and I'm going to spend some time down on the dock with Justin and carry out Eunice's request." I had hand-carried the ashes of Eunice and her husband with me. "And then we need to get ready for Russ and Trev's arrival."

"Pass on my prayers, Dave. Talk with you tomorrow?"

"You bet. Love ya, babe. Bye."

I re-dressed in jeans, a sleeveless sweatshirt and deck shoes and joined Justin on the dock with the bag I had brought from San Diego. Arriving at the dock, I felt the entire past three weeks of stress leave my body. The late afternoon sun was creating deep shadows from the opposite shoreline, along with glistening highlights on the lake's surface.

"This is so beautiful," Justin said, leaning back on the bench at the end of the dock. Turning to me, he noticed the bag I was holding. "Whatchu got?"

"The ashes of your grandparents," I answered, sitting down beside him. "I thought that if you have no objections we could fulfill her final wishes on the grounds of our cabin."

He visually honed in on the bag as I offered it to him. Reverently, he removed the two canister-style urns and considered his next words. "Ashes to ashes," he said quietly to the urns as he stood.

"Follow me, Son." I rose and walked back up the dock to the groomed lawn. Justin was right beside me. "I'll show you a good private spot. It's an area behind the gazebo that I always considered my secret place as a small boy. It can be our secret place, now." He nodded as I led the way.

"This is perfect," Justin said approvingly when we arrived.

In the middle of several pines was an open area that was matted with old pine needles, cones and general ground cover. He set down an urn so that he could unscrew one canister at a time. Methodically, he spread the ashes of his granddad around the ground. Finished, he retrieved Eunice's ashes and repeated the same procedure. I respectfully stood behind him.

"Goodbye, Grams," he whispered. We stood silently before he turned and hugged me.

I noticed a glow of contentment on his face as he leaned in and kissed me. I returned it as a father or brother would.

"Thanks, Dave. You and Mike are my family, now."

"You're turning 16 soon and I think it's time for a father and son beer," I replied with a wink. "Just one, though."

"Ohhh, Daaaad," he said with a smile. We took each other's hand and walked back to the kitchen.

"One-beer, kiddo. Them's the rules," I replied with a laugh. "Go back to the dock and I'll bring out a couple of Grain Belt's. After we finish the snacks and brew, we'll need to get ready for our guests. Russ and Trev should be here within the hour"


This was a series of firsts for me: first time out of California, first vacation and first airplane flight.

I had visited LAX on a school field trip, but never as a passenger. It was impressive, in my mind, to observe the special services that Brent and Doug were offered. What was really neat was the VIP lounge where we waited prior to boarding. It was like a huge living room with small, private office suites. Sandwiches, snacks, Cokes and every magazine imaginable were available. Brent explained that he now needed these extra steps for privacy when traveling.

We waited in the lounge until everyone was boarded; then a friendly attendant escorted us to the gate and the plane. We had literally just stepped in and sat in the first seats in the cabin when the door closed.

In the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, even though it was mid-evening, I noticed a less frantic rush of people who where dressed with lots less their style of clothes, and their lack of a tan. Everything was tidy and in order. Even the air, once we picked up the rental Chrysler convertible, seemed cleaner and crisper. 'Maybe those environmental groups have a point about pollution,' I thought as I took a breath of the Minnesota air, 'cuz it feels better.'

At the Radisson Hotel, north of the city, the welcome was warm and attentive. It was pretty obvious that the entire staff had been briefed on our arrival. Even at 9:00 p.m., the general manager personally greeted and escorted us up to our two-bedroom suite. I was impressed that Brad took the time to say 'hi' to several of the staff and signed a few autographs. He winked at me as we rode up the elevator. We'd had a long conversation a couple of weeks ago about his celebrity status and how he compartmentalized the Brad and the Brent. Most of the time he was Brent, who loved Doug and me, expected me to get good grades and relied on me to help out with the chores at home. Brad was a guy who acted for a paycheck and played into the fan's fantasies to help sell tickets.

Doug gave me a rundown of the cabin while we drove up to Gull Lake. So I wasn't surprised at the size of the rustic house when we approached it a little after ten in the morning. We turned into the driveway and immediately passed an old stone marker with the Swenson name attached. In addition to a Jeep, there was a Volvo with Illinois plates parked out front. As we got out of the car, the front door opened and Uncle Dave appeared, followed by two other handsome men. 'They must be Russ and Trevor?' I wondered. Finally, in a burst of energy - my cousin appeared.

Justin jumped down the steps and trotted over to the car. "Hey, guys, welcome to Minnesota," he said as he reached the passenger door and opened it for Brent.

"How's my favorite nephew?" Brent got out of the seat and pulled it forward for me.

I scrambled out of the back seat as Brent and Justin were finishing a hug. "Hi, Cuz," I said. Brent stepped back and I was next to move in for a little welcoming affection. "It's great to see ya."

"This place is neat, Bryan," he answered with a big grin, "and we're going to have loads of fun."

Doug came over, gave Justin a peck on the cheek and said, "I think I know two young guys who are happy to see each other." He grinned and ruffled Justin's hair.

At the same time, the older trio approached and Doug offered introductions of the two new faces to me. There was a lot of hugging and kissing among the adults, but I politely shook Russ and Trevor's hands. They seemed to be nice guys and were definitely in the hunk category. 'Like my dads and my uncles,' I thought, 'these dudes are H.O.T.'

"Brent, you and Doug are taking the master bedroom. No arguments," Dave said. "I'm sharing my old room with Justin, and Bryan will be quite comfortable on the sleeper couch in the living room."

"The shower alone is worth the price of admission," Brent replied as he laughed and patted Dave's back. "Bryan, why don't you and Justin get the bags from the trunk so we can get organized?"

"Your wish, Sir," I said with a smile. I took the keys and went to the rear of the car to open the trunk.

"Justin, you can put Bryan's stuff in the den closet, downstairs," Dave suggested. "Once you sort out the bags to the rooms, give Bryan a little tour of the place. You might want to check out that hiking trail I mentioned before lunch. But wear your watch because we'll probably gather in the kitchen around noon."

I noticed Dave and Justin exchange big smiles but didn't think much of it.

"Come on, Bry. We'll get you squared away," Justin suggested.

As we grabbed the bags from the car, I smiled at the Navy slang that had crept into our vocabularies. Now that I was part of my new family, the bathroom was now referred to as the head.

"Sorry about the couch, but Dave says it's comfortable and it's near the fireplace. I thought we'd be bunking together, but I don't think Dave wanted to sleep there," Justin said with a shrug. "But there's a great shower just off the kitchen you can use and a hamper for dirty clothes."

"Hey, it's cool. I've slept in worse places." With bags in hand, we walked up the steps of the cabin and went inside. "Whoa, this is definitely not a cabin," I said as we entered the great room.

"Pretty neat, huh?" Justin replied with a grin.

"Yeah, neat." I slowly looked around the room and took in the great feel of the place. "Um, what did Dave mean about a hiking trail?"

"If you want, we can go for a little hike on a trail he's used since he was a kid. The trail is across the road and I've got a map. First, let's go upstairs and drop off the luggage. Leave your bag down here." He motioned for me to follow him.

"A little hike would be fun, but, these deck shoes are prolly not ideal," I answered as we arrived on the second floor.

"Why don't you change into some shorts and your sneakers?" Justin walked into the master bedroom and sat down my dad's bags.

"Okay, give me five to unpack and get dressed," I replied while I looked around the nifty bedroom.

"Super." Justin was bubbling with enthusiasm. "It's warm enough not to worry about a long shirt during the daytime. Let's go back down so you can get organized and I'll tell Dave that we'll be gone for a while."

He showed me the closet and the head before he left. I decided to work out of my suitcase for any changes of clothes - there was nothing that needed to be hung. I had just stowed away my toiletries kit in the shower area as Justin came into the kitchen. He was wearing his San Diego Padres cap to match my L.A. Dodgers cap.

"Let's grab some bottled water and hit the trail," he said, opening the refrigerator. He handed me a cold bottle and off we went - out of the cabin and across the road to a well-marked trail.

Within minutes, we were walking through a lush, dense forest.

"This is about a far away from L.A. as you can get," I said with a chuckle. We had been walking over the well-used path for about 15 minutes. Justin told me about his discussion with Dave concerning coming back to San Diego to continue school and I was thrilled at the possibility of having him nearer. 'Between the train or a bus, we can hang pretty often,' I thought as we walked further into the forest. "Can we take a breather?" I asked, as we approached a large, old, fallen tree-trunk.

"For sure. Let's sit for a few minutes and take a breather," Justin suggested.

There was a tranquil, private aura in this forest with patches of sun filtering through the tree branches. However, I was feeling very nervous being around Justin. It was one thing to have telephone conversations, but quite another thing to be with him...alone. I was bursting to tell him how I felt. 'Crap,' I thought, 'what if Justin laughs at me when I tell him that I'm nuts about him? Or worse when I tell him I'm gay?' I tried to control my rapid breathing, the erratic beating of my heart, and a queasiness in my stomach, as we sat down on the log and I tried to absorb the stillness of the moment.

"Cuz, I'm not a mind reader but you seem to be thinking about a lot of stuff," Justin said out of nowhere, "and you don't seem to be enjoying this hike."

"I am. It's great out here. It's just that...remember when I asked you if you'd have any problem with a friend being gay?"

"Sure. And I told you that it would be no problem, whatsoever." He turned and looked at me, intently.

"What would you think...if your best L.A. is gay?" 'Whew,' I thought, 'I said it.'

Justin continued his stare as he scooted closer and put his arm around me.

"I'd say, 'welcome to the club'," Justin answered. His intense stare slowly changed into a brilliant grin.

It guessed it was my turn to move closer. "You mean..."

"Yeah, me too."

I was a little startled when he leaned in and gave me a friendly kiss on the lips. I moved back in reflex and surprise. Justin reacted as if he had done something wrong so I quickly grabbed his hand and said, "I've been waiting for this kiss for a long time." I initiated a return kiss...a long kiss...that eventually included our tongues nudging each other.

"It has been a long wait," Justin said breathlessly. "I like you a lot but didn't know how to bring up the subject. Scared, I guess." He stood and pulled me up with him. This time we both aggressively moved into a lip lock that started with tongues and progressed from there. We darted, probed and explored each other. I could feel his crotch expanding against me as I naturally ground my hard dick into his thigh.

"Justin, I think I like you much more than 'a lot'."

"I can tell," he said with a snicker.

"Yeah? Look who's talking?" I boldly brought my hand down to the outline of his woodie. He duplicated my actions and then started rubbing my hard cock back and forth.

"Oh, shit. I'm so turned on, bud," I moaned. "If you don't stop soon, I'll shoot right in my pants." I started rubbing him, outside his khaki cargo shorts, and thought, 'That's quite a dick he has.'

"Good point," he replied while he looked around.

I did the same thing and didn't see or hear anyone. Justin quickly unbuttoned and zipped down his shorts. I did the same, and then released my boner from my briefs - the cotton was already a little wet from my excitement. I shrugged when it slapped against my stomach.

"You've got a nice one," Justin said as he stared at my crotch.

He lowered his underpants, and now both of our dicks pointed up towards the sky.

"Looks like we're both pretty good in the size department," I replied with a lustful giggle.

As if scripted, we stood side by side, grabbed our cocks and started slowly masturbating. We sped up the action and it didn't take long for both of us - I'm sure he was as horny as I was - to explode. White, silky, jizz shot out in long ropes across the path as we convulsed to a satisfying finish. Judging from the trail, it appeared that we both had released an ample amount of cum.

"Man, I've dreamed about this day," Justin said, as he reached over and milked the last, remaining juice from my still-hard dick into his hand. He winked, brought his hand to his lips and a hungry tongue lapped up my cum.

'Well, two can play this game,' I decided. I gathered the last of his stuff from the tip of his red, still-swollen peter in my hand and tasted it. 'Salty but nothing yucky.' I smiled and said, "I have a feeling that we both will want to do this again."

"But next time, Bryan, I want to do it to you." His stare zeroed in on me and held a fix.

"Me, too...and soon," I said as I adjusted my softening dick in my briefs and pulled up my pants. "But right now I think we probably should get dressed before someone comes along."

Justin did the same thing, and then pulled me in for another kiss. I could taste my jizz on his lips and I was sure he was experiencing the same thing.

"Why don't we go back to the cabin? You and I have lots to talk about. I want you to know, Bryan, that this is not just about getting off with a friend. I'd like us to be more than friends, if you want?"

His big blue eyes were turning me on. "I want...oh, do I want," I replied, before launching another erection producing kiss. I felt the cold, wet spot on my underwear and decided that Justin and I would have to plan on a private laundry afternoon within the next day or so.

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