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|Joseph was anxious to see Aaron. Technically, Aaron was the 16-year- old's older brother's friend, but he considered him his own friend as well. It was cool to hang out with a college dude, and Aaron was totally cool with the scrawny kid hanging around all summer. At least, he never said anything to him about hitting the road, not like his own brother, Jesse, who never missed an opportunity to treat him like shit.
Joseph knew all about Jesse and Aaron, even though his brother was all trying to lie to him before like he'd care they were butt buddies. Aaron told him a while back about it. Aaron was cool. Since then, Jesse'd cooled off a lot more, too. And now being around the two guys was a lot more fun.
Most of the time.
Aaron was such a surfer dude it was almost funny. He had a shock of white-blonde hair, sun-bleached from dirty blonde, and his skin all over was tanned a deep brown. Except his had a tan line that Joseph could see sometimes, that showed how white he was, really. He had blue eyes and a ready smile and, if Joseph paused to consider it, a tight, hard body with a nise chest that showed off the constant paddling he did. His body was sleek and beautiful. At least, Joseph supposed it was.
Jesse, his brother, had a more sculpted frame, less athletically graceful, more hard bulges. He only spent time on the beach improving his tan or playing volleyball. He'd gained his muscles at the gym, after months of training. He'd had a thin body like Joseph still had, but now it had filled out so well that he took to wearing tank tops almost all the time.
The two guys were now completely open about their relationship. Their mom even knew, although she didn't seem all that comfortable with it, yet. And Aaron had taken Jesse to meet his parents, who according to Jess were so agreeable about their relationship one might think they were gay themselves.
Joseph was having feelings of his own, and he was wondering what to say about them. Plus, he was more than a little curious about what they did. The way Aaron talked about it, it was nothing. It made sex sound a lot less mysterious and a lot more, well, silly. "You jerk off?" he asked one time.
"No," Joseph lied.
"You're fucking me. Everybody jerks off."
"I don't." Joseph was lying, but this open talk about stuff he'd never even think of talking about with anybody was making him feel horny, which he found weird. He usually got really embarrassed thinking about this stuff, but Aaron's open attitude and gregarious nature, along with looking at the guy's handsome face, was making Joe feel something else entirely.
Aaron pressed him. "Never?"
"You've never been watching, like, Baywatch or sneaked a Playboy under the covers with you and had some fun with the monkey?"
"Okay." He smiled and nodded. "And you liked that, right?"
"It's okay to admit it. Like I said, everyone's done it. Because everyone likes it. I've done it. Jesse does it. Jesse does it a lot, come to think of it. Your mom and dad probably did it, but maybe they don't anymore. Your teachers at school -- yeah, even the butt ugly ones." He shrugged, taking a swig from his Coors can. Aaron wasn't wearing a shirt and a trickle of sweat trailed between the sleek muscles of his chest. He had some hair there, and around his small, very dark nipples. He had one leg perched on the arm of the couch and when he scratched his crotch, the head of his dick poked out from his shorts like a turtle. It looked funny, like it had a sweater on.
Aaron noticed the kid staring at his crotch and he tucked himself back in. "Sorry, dude," he said. Aaron liked Joe. When he got a little older, he was going to be a serious heart-breaker. But no matter how beautiful he was, he was still two years shy of legal. Plus, you just don't fuck with your lover's brother, no matter how old or pretty he is.
"Yours looks different."
"My what?" Joe nodded his head toward Aaron's shorts, his bright eyes darting toward where the tip of his dick refused to hide completely away. Aaron arched a brow when their eyes met again. "It does?"
Joseph nodded and settled back on the couch. "Funny, sort of."
Aaron pulled one leg of his loose shorts back and exposed his cock again. "Doesn't look funny to me."
Joseph thought that was cool, that Aaron would just pull out his dick like that. Like it was nothing. Just two guys on the couch. Two buds. Him and Aaron. "There's too much skin."
"Oh, I get it. You've never seen an uncircumcised cock, before?" Joseph shook his head. "You know what that means?" He shook his head again. Aaron yelled, "Jesse, your little brother is seriously uneducated!"
"No shit, Sherlock." Jesse rounded the corner of the dorm room and set a bag of Fritos on the table next to a shiny black box with the letters IGE on the lid. The box was half-open and there was a sheet of paper and a couple of tiny bottles next to it. He spotted what was hanging out of his lover's shorts and asked, "What the fuck are you doing?" He wasn't angry, he sounded more amused than anything else, even laughing slightly.
"Joe wanted to look at my dick."
"And you show your dick to just anyone who asks?"
"When they're cute I do." He smirked at Jesse then shoved sideways against Joseph, who laughed.
"Put him away." Aaron re-tucked and reached for the corn chips. "Gross, you were just playing with yourself and now you're going to eat with that hand?"
"Chill, Jess. I stick your dick in my mouth and you never complain about that."
"Ewwww." It was a gut reaction from Joseph.
"Sorry, Joe." Aaron popped a Frito in and started munching. Joe's lips pursed, then he blurted out, "So, how come you're gay?" Aaron almost choked when he started to laugh. Jesse said, "Yeah, how come you're gay?"
Aaron looked over and asked the kid, "How come you're straight?" Joseph felt himself go cold, but he was going to say it. "I never said I was."
Now it was Jesse's turn to choke. "Pardon me?"
Joseph took in a breath. "I never said I was straight."
"Well, this is an interesting development. Since when are you gay?" Joseph shrugged. "I dunno. I dunno if I am or not. How do you know?" "It's really pretty easy."
Jesse folded his arms across his chest. "Oh, is it?"
"Sure. Okay, Joe, we were just talking about jerking off. And when you jerk off, usually you need a little visual assistance to move things along, right?" Joseph nodded. "If you're straight, that usually involves women. I mean, even if you're gay, you can appreciate a beautiful woman. Women are beautiful creatures."
"Some women, yeah, that goes without saying. Anyway, so there's that feeling you get when you look at certain people though that goes beyond just thinking they look good. There's something more that happens, sometimes, and you can feel yourself, um, really, really appreciate them. Things about them. If you're a straight man, you get that from women. If you're a gay man, you get that from men."
"But I think you look good."
"Well, uh, thanks and all. But when you look at me, have you ever wanted to kiss me? If you pulled out Mr. Happy right now and you wanted to get off, would you think about someone like me, a person with a dick and muscles and an Adam's Apple with hair on my body and not a tit to be seen anywhere, or a woman with soft skin and round breasts and soft shoulders and like that?"
He shrugged. "I dunno."
"Well, okay, what makes you think you're gay?"
"I don't think we should be talking..."
"He brought it up, Jesse. I think he wants to talk about this. We're pretending everything hunky dory with your brother, here, hanging out with us, everyone's cool, no one's uncomfortable. But if he's not cool with it, or he's confused, you think we should just smile and nod? Would that have helped you three years ago?"
Jesse sighed and then sat on the floor. "So, Joseph, what's up?"
"I've been... I've just been..."
"Look, Joe, just be honest. Confusion is natural."
"Confusion and jerking off." Aaron laughed. So did Jesse. Joseph was happy the tension was broken.
"Well, I mean, when did you know you were gay, Jesse?"
Jesse's brow furrowed. He never thought he'd be talking about this to his kid brother, but Aaron was right. It was all better to have everything out in the open. "A long time before I admitted it to myself, that's for sure. Um, I think I was twelve or maybe even younger. I'm not sure I remember. Anyway, I do remember that when I realized that I was starting to think about sex, about getting off, it was when I saw some guy instead of some girl.
"I can remember just staring at this one guy, Russ, on our block. Remember Russ? He lived a couple of doors down, was always working on that Mustang of his. A classic he bought as a junker, he told me. And he'd be outside working on the engine, digging around in there, and he'd be strutting around in his oily T-shirt, and some cut-offs and I hadn't seen anything like him up close. He had a really nice body, Aaron. Classic. Big chest, huge arms. I think he was just some macho guy, into cars and beer and working out. Probably 19 or so at the time, never seemed to mind me hanging out. So I'd ask about how he got so big. He'd let me feel his arm when he made a muscle. I'd squeeze it, I remember it was so hard and I could feel it bulge under my fingers."
"Stop, Jesse, I'm getting horny." Joseph thought Aaron was making fun, but he saw that his dick was starting to tent his shorts. His eyes lingered on the site and then Jesse cleared his throat.
"Sorry," Joseph said, and he started blushing.
Jesse's eyes narrowed, and then he continued. "So, yeah, I started hanging out more and more with Russ. You were a pipsqueak still shitting your pants, Joe, not much fun for me."
"If you were 12 then I was 8! You used to ditch me and..."
"And you'd cry and I'd get smacked. Meanwhile, I was sitting over at Russ's watching the way his shoulders bunched when he stretched and the way his chest had a separation and the way his belly had these round rippled muscles -- he'd lift up the T to wipe his face and show off some abs you could grate cheese on -- and I was feeling pretty good about that, but I think I was just believing it was hero worship."
"Instead of muscle worship, huh Jess?" He smiled, kicking across at Aaron's leg. "Well, don't leave us hanging out here, so to speak. What made you start wondering if something else was up?"
"Well, when I was beating off in the bathroom -- and don't laugh, Joseph, I notice that you spend a good few minutes longer in there when I'm home than you used to -- when I closed my eyes I was thinking about Russ. I would see his arms, the round bellies of his biceps, the smooth tanned skin that coated them, the way his stomach muscles tensed when he was getting up off the cart from under the Mustang. I sorta thought that everyone did this. I mean, no one talks about their whack-off time with their buds, and if I was weird I sure didn't want to know it.
"Then pretty soon Russ was asking if I wanted to work out with him."
"No shit?" Joseph saw that Aaron's hand was resting on his crotch now. And was there a wet spot on his shorts leg?
"And he was just really cool about it. He had some weights and a bench in his basement and he'd take me down there and show me how to lift, making sure my technique was good. He had all these bodybuilder mags down there and I felt like I'd discovered heaven. He'd let me borrow them, thinking I guess I wanted to improve my technique but I just used them for some nighttime hand jobs, and this was while you were asleep in the next bed, Joseph." He laughed. "I was really getting off on all those pictures of these huge guys and their massive bodies. I was so into it. And I'd go back over to Russ's place and watch him work out, probably spent a year, a year and a half watching that guy grow bigger and bigger and then, one day, he moved away. Probably went to college or something, or just moved out. Whatever.
"Luckily, he left me some muscle mags and told me to keep at it."
"And you did!"
Jesse smiled and flexed his arm. A decent bicep jumped up, swelling there like a hard ball. Joseph had to admit that he admired that about his brother, that he looked like he could kick serious ass. It was a look he wanted, too, but he'd never pursued it because... because...
"I'm like that, too."
"Huh?" Aaron's response was just as quiet.
Joseph looked up. "I'm like that, too," he repeated. "Like what you said, Jesse. And I was... I'm ashamed of it so I never look. I stay away from the gym because I don't want to... I don't... I don't want to..."
"You don't want to like it." Joseph nodded. "Because you watch the bodybuilder shows on ESPN and at the guys in the audience and you think, `I'm like them. I like bodybuilding.' Right? But you know it's different, because they're into the size and strength out of admiration. But you aren't."
"Right,' admitted Joseph.
"But you want to know what?" Aaron leaned over and whispered, "Some of the guys in the audience, and some of the guys on stage, are into for the same reason you are, kid." He smiled and winked. "It ain't no secret that there are plenty of guys just into guys, and plenty of them are there so they can go home and be with all those muscled studs and feel their muscles and, you should excuse the expression, get fucked."
"So, you're telling me you're gay, Joe?" Jesse was looking over, and his expression was odd. Like he was holding his breath or something.
"I guess so."
"Hot damn, Joe. Let me be the first to welcome you to the family!" Aaron reached over and surrounded the kid in a tight hug. Jesse stood up and wasn't exactly beaming with pride, as far as Joseph could tell. In fact, he looked worried. Aaron looked into Joseph's face and then followed his gaze toward Jesse. "What's your problem?"
"Not sure, I guess. I think... I mean, I think it's great that you're able to say that, Joe. But I wonder if it's true."
"Your brother just admitted to you something you didn't even admit about yourself to yourself until you were 20, and you're giving him shit about it?"
"No, it's just, I haven't really heard it from him, yet. You sound sort of tentative, Joe."
"I guess... I guess I am. I mean, I've never done it with anyone, so how do I know for sure if that's, if I'm..."
Aaron leaned forward, his elbows on his knees, looking Joseph in the eye. "Joe, I knew when I was 14. I mean, I just knew it. I didn't care about what most of my friends cared about in that department. They'd be all over a Playboy one of them swiped from somebody's dad and you could see them getting all hot and bothered. Titties, you know? Big bouncing boobies put `em in a lather. But I never felt it. Not with that. But it was sort of like how Jess described it with me, too. Only my neighbor wasn't an older dude fixing his car, it was my best friend. He was the first."
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