What's Your Worth?

By MS_Alberta

Over half of all marriages end in divorce. This is a fact. So it's no surprise when step-families begin showing up more and more. Robyn and Matthew were getting married. They had both been married before and were now attempting to start over, Robyn being a widow, and Matthew having been divorced. Each of them brought a son into the new family, as well. Dylan, Robyn's son, had just turned 13 and was just beginning to show a real athletic talent. He was also eager about having a new family. Maxwell, Matthew's son, had also just turned seventeen, though he looked more like he was in college, and had mixed feelings about the marriage. He had always wished his parents would get back together, even though they had split up years ago. But, like Dylan, he was excited about having a little brother, even if he would only be a step-brother. So it was; the families moved to a new town and into a new two-story house with a pool and settled in for the summer.

At first, the boys had been understandably upset at leaving their hometowns. Dylan threw one massive tantrum about having to leave his whole life behind; all his friends, his school, his new swim team, and the most important thing, the cemetery his father was buried in. His mother finally understood, and helped the boy through it all, explaining that his father would always be around, because she had Dylan, and there was so much of his father in him. Dylan and Robyn spent the rest of that day alone, talking about his father and soon after, Dylan was ready to start over somewhere else.

Maxwell's reasons were a bit more difficult to resolve. He would be leaving his high school just before his senior year, and while citing all the things he would be giving up, just like Dylan had, his biggest worry was how a new school would affect his chances for college. The couple negotiated for days with the new school district, trying to ensure Maxwell's future would not be jeopardized. Luckily for Maxwell, Robyn, while being a single mother, had not fallen victim to the statistic of the �poor single mom�. In fact, she had supported her son very well, through her work as an uncompromising and frankly sometimes, terrifying lawyer, and in the end, the school district caved into their demands. Maxwell would face no complications in his new school.

The summer passed and as September arrived the boys grew closer. Robyn was particularly glad about this, because she knew how naive her son could be, and now felt Maxwell would be looking out for him. And he did, sticking by him whenever he could, Maxwell figured that there was really no point in trying to make new friends, since he'd be gone in a year's time. But one thing began distracting him; his 17 year old body. With no friends, he tried to fill his time as best he could, working out, studying, and mostly goofing off with Dylan, but none of these things could ever make him forget his own needs. Unfortunately for Maxwell, by his own nature he wasn't really into masturbation. He could do it alright, but he never experienced the same pleasure as he did with another human being, in fact, whenever he had been forced to masturbate, it always felt like such a waste, since the sensation was actually very numb to him. By the beginning of October, Maxwell had taken to wearing baggy clothes to hide his constant and unsatisfiable erection. He was beginning to get desperate and had even begun flirting around the school, but always stopped himself, realizing that he had no intention of starting a real relationship.

One Saturday, during one of their wrestling/tickling matches in the pool, Dylan ended up with his face planted in Maxwell's crotch, and Maxwell's member, even restrained by his speedos, quickly grew to fill the space in the boy's mouth. Only one ecstatic moan escaped Maxwell's lips before he pulled Dylan off him and quickly swam away to the pool�s far wall in shame. Dylan followed and asked "What happened? Did I do something wrong?" The boy's voice grew small as he spoke those last few words, almost as if were about to cry. Maxwell, still with his body pressed up against the wall, looked over and brushed Dylan�s wet hair out of his eyes, "No, Dylan, not at all. Don't cry. I was the one who did something wrong. My�- that part of me should never have touched you.� Dylan�s face perked up a bit, realizing that he had done nothing to make his big brother mad. He lifted himself out of the pool and sat down, with his shins and feet still in the water, slowly swinging back and forth. �It�s okay, Maxwell. They�re making us take health class this year. I know about guy needs. I also know that you�ve been walking around with a woody under all that clothes for at least a month now.� Dylan giggled as he finished his sentence. �But how did you kn- It doesn�t matter. I�m sorry, Dylan.� Now it was Dylan�s turn to comfort his brother, �I told you, its okay, the only thing I don�t get is, how�d you make it so big, so fast?� Maxwell�s face burned bright red, �Well, my �guy needs� haven�t been taken care of for a while�� �Well, why not? All you have to do is wrap your hand around it like this and begin playing with it� Dylan innocently laid back and pulled down his speedos to show his older brother the proper way to jerk off. Maxwell�s face grew even redder, and he quickly turned his head away, �No, Dylan. I know how to do that.� Dylan stuffed himself back into his speedos, �So, what is it then?� he asked. Maxwell peeked over and saw Dylan had put himself away, even though he speeds now had an obscene bulge in them. �You�re the best brother I could have wished for, Dylan. I�m not making any new friends at school, because I know I�m just going to have to leave them next year. So, �no friends� also means �no dates�. As for� you know, touching myself, it never felt as good for me as it does for other guys, I guess. I need another person with me.� Maxwell slowly pulled his body away from the wall to check if his own bulge had gone away. Thankfully the cold water had done the trick. �Ohhhhhh, I understand now!� Said Dylan, getting his brother like he was a math problem. �It�s okay, big brother. You�ll be fine.� And with that, Dylan stood up and walked back to the house leaving his older brother with a puzzled look on his face.

Maxwell woke up the next morning feeling strange. He felt like he had dreamt something, but couldn�t remember. Whatever the dream was about, the strange feeling he got from it quickly turned into an amazing feeling. He hadn�t felt this good since he was at his old school. As he sat down to the breakfast table he finally noticed he didn�t have his constant erection. He quickly ran back upstairs to check his sheets. He was relieved to find them clean and white. He hadn�t had a wet dream. How weird, he thought, I guess my body�s just adapting. His parents set out breakfast and called down Dylan. Robyn left the kitchen and made her way up the stairs. Dylan came down with his mom a few minutes later. Apparently, he had slept in. The boy�s parents made jokes that now Dylan was a real teenager, teasing him about getting up so late in the day. The rest of the week went just as well. It felt like the whole world had finally become an easy place to be in again. As October ended, and November passed, Maxwell did have one complaint, though. He was getting slower in the water. The high school didn�t have a competitive swim team, but they did offer it as a P.E., and Maxwell had been the fastest there. Now, he was fifth or sixth fastest. On the last day of school before the winter holidays, he climbed out of the water and asked the coach for advice.

The coach only chuckled and said, �Well, first off. What happened to all your muscle? If you want to be fast, you need to stop slacking off in the weight room.� Dylan looked down at his body, but didn�t notice anything different. He stepped into the locker room and found the scale. It read 170 lbs. That can�t be right, last time I weighed myself I was 190� he thought. He walked over to the weight room and looked at himself in the full body mirrors. He really looked at himself this time, oh my god� he began noticing all sorts of things were different. After a workout in the pool, he had always been able to find his muscles bulging and veins standing out. Now his body showed small muscles and few veins. His pecs used to push out from him, casting a shadow, now they were barely even there. His arms had lost a lot of definition. Most of the veins that had criss-crossed his forearms had disappeared now. He went through the rest of the day in a daze. What is happening to me he thought, am I going crazy. He was glad the vacation started today, he needed sometime to figure out what was happening to him. He met up with his brother and they started walking home. As they walked, Maxwell began noticing things about Dylan that only made him feel even stranger. Dylan�s jean cuffs were now lifting up and showing bare ankle every time he took a step. His shirt was stretched tight across his body and only barely met the top of his pants, with his underwear�s waist band peaking out. The sleeves rode high on his arms now, too, barely covering his shoulders. When Dylan put his arm out to reach the button for the walk signal, his shirt lifted up and Maxwell could actually see Dylan�s stomach.

The boys got home and once inside Dylan turned to Maxwell and shouted �Race ya�!� The boys dropped their bags and began half running, half stripping down to nothing, through the house, making their way to the pool.

They both dove in at the same time. Maxwell surfaced with a huge smile on his face and said, �Thanks, Bro. I needed that.� Dylan just beamed back, he could tell Maxwell had had a rough day, and had felt a good race would cheer him up. After the incident in the pool on that Saturday, the boys had grown a lot closer, even to the point where racing through the house, and leaving a trail of forsaken clothes that lead to the pool had become the sport of choice in their house. But Maxwell�s smile wavered when he realized for the last month, they had been diving in at the same time. When they first started this little ritual, he had always beat Dylan. They treaded water for a while in the middle of the pool, �Dylan?� Maxwell asked, �Do I seem different to you?� Dylan�s own smiling face grew more serious. �Yeah, Maxwell. You do. And I think I know why.� Maxwell�s stroke faltered, �What?� Dylan�s body tensed and he treaded backwards, away from Maxwell. �What do you know, Dylan?� He asked, less threatening, but just as authoritative. �Umm, Ok, Just don�t be mad, okay? Please. Don�t be mad.� Maxwell knew Dylan felt bad about whatever he was about to tell him, so he let the boy take his time. �You remember when we talked about your �guy needs� not being taken care of, right? And you said I was the best brother in the world, right? Ummm, ok, forthelasttwomonthsIvebeensneakingintoyourroomandtakingcareofyourguyneeds foryou�� The boys continued treading water, �SLOWER and clearer!� Maxwell said loudly. Dylan started over, �Sorry, I said �for the last two months I�ve been sneaking into your room and taking care of your �guy needs� for you�. Are you mad?� Maxwell heard Dylan�s voice grow small, and whenever Dylan did that, he couldn�t help but want to hug his little brother and protect him from the world. �No, Dylan. I�m not mad, but we really need to talk about what you�ve been doing. You can�t just go around touching...� Dylan shook his head. Maxwell continued �More than touching?� the boy nodded. �Oh. Well, umm, what exactly?� �My mouth� Dylan quietly replied. �Oh�� there was a long pause as Maxwell stared into the pool and tried to take in this information. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Dylan getting restless and waiting for him to continue, �Also, none of that really explains what�s been happening to me�c�mon.� They made their way over to the shallow end and sat on the steps. �But it has to, Maxwell. The time I started, you know, was time I started growing. Didn�t you notice? I�ve been wearing your old clothes for a month now. I think my hair�s gotten darker, too.� It hit Maxwell like a truck. Both the jeans and the shirt he had watched on his brother today had belonged to him. They were Christmas presents from his sophomore year. �Stand up straight� Maxwell ordered. Dylan glided away from the stairs and did so. Maxwell saw it now, Dylan wouldn�t be fourteen for months still, but the boy was already fitting into his clothes from when he was 15. �How much taller have you grown?� Maxwell asked. �Ummm, last time I checked, 5 inches or so.� Dylan had been 5�3 so now� �You�re 5�8!?! That�s impossible, nobody grows 5 inches in less than two months.� Maxwell stood up and came over to Dylan, �See, there�s something wrong with your math, you only look about two inches shorter� than� me�� what Maxwell was saying slowly dawned on him, �Am I shrinking!?!� �Yeah, Maxwell, I think you are. I�d say you�re at about 5�10. You used to be around 6�1, right?� asked Dylan. Maxwell just stared at his brother. �Maxwell?� Dylan asked, trying to get some kind of acknowledgment from him, but Maxwell just continued to stare, giving Dylan a cold almost alien glare. Dylan, he thought, Dylan is the one causing all this! It was all too much for Maxwell. He climbed out of the pool and collected his clothes and locked himself in his room. Dylan was left naked, and cold, in the pool and began to softly cry, �I don�t understand��

That night the boy�s parents noticed Maxwell�s silent and locked door and Dylan�s red bloodshot eyes. Matthew noticed the worst thing, though. He recognized the silence that comes over a house after an argument, it was the same feeling he had known so many times after the terrible fights with his first wife. Maxwell didn�t come out at all on Saturday, and Dylan seemed like a ghost, drifting from room to room, but never interacting. The couple tried to ask the boys what had happened, but got no answers from either of them. The house grew quiet and the lights turned out. Dylan found his way to his bed and fell asleep on top of the covers, still in his clothes. In the room next door, Maxwell couldn�t sleep; he was pacing his room, trying to figure out what was happening to his body, to his family, and to the young boy who had become his best friend in the world. And to top it all, he realized it had been a week since Dylan last� and he was beginning to feel the effects. His body was ready, it had been trained by Dylan�s weekly visits and now he was finding it hard to cope. He quietly crept out of his room and into Dylan�s. He sat down on the floor beside Dylan�s bed and watched him sleep. He began comparing the face he saw now; to the one he had met all those months ago. They were definitely different. His hair had gotten darker and longer and now covered his ears. His skin remained fair, but he knew Dylan would never get another freckle, he�d tan from now on. But his eyes, h knew his eyes were the same, even if he couldn�t see them while he slept. Maxwell noticed they were so puffy from crying since yesterday afternoon. Maxwell began to cry, realizing what he had put the little boy through. Little boy� he thought, he�s nearly as tall as me, now�. Finally, overwhelmed he put his arms around his brother, holding him close. Maxwell heard Dylan�s rhythmic breathing stop and knew the boy was awake. He heard him begin to cry, and for a second, Maxwell felt like he should leave, like he should pack his things and walk out the door, and never come back, for fear of hurting Dylan again. But then he felt his brother�s arms encircle him. Dylan continued crying, but now there was laughter mixed in, as well. Maxwell said �I don�t care what happens to me. I know what you did, you did because you love me. I think we just got confused, we�re supposed to be brothers, but I think I feel more than that, do you?� Dylan let go, wiped his face, and nodded a �yes�. Maxwell continued �I�m sorry, I haven�t told anyone that I�m� you know� gay.� �Is that what we are?� asked Dylan. Maxwell nodded. The boy considered this and told Maxwell, �You know, I haven�t made any friends in school either. I didn�t want to stop spending time with you. You make me feel funny inside.� He took Maxwell�s hand and put it on his chest, �here, you make it tight in that spot, and I get start to get really warm when you�re around.� The boys lied back together on Dylan�s bed just staring out the window, at the starry country sky. Eventually Dylan noticed Maxwell�s recurring problem and Maxwell noticed Dylan�s attention was elsewhere. Dylan stood up off the bed and faced the wall. �I don�t want to fight with you anymore. It hurts too much. If I� you�ll be mad at me again.� whispered Dylan. �It�s okay.� said Maxwell, �I�m fine with whatever you decide. If being with you, means I have to change, I can do that� Is it okay with you? You�re changing, too, you know.� The moon hide behind some passing clouds and Maxwell couldn�t see Dylan�s expression in the dark room, he couldn�t even tell where he was standing anymore. �Dylan?� Maxwell whispered out to the dark room, and then he got his answer, when he felt the smooth, soft body of Dylan climb on top of him. Maxwell let his hands grasp the boys taunt shoulders and move down his long narrow back, all the way down, over his curves, to the top of the back of his thighs and he began gently rubbing there and felt his brother�s body lanky body shudder on top of him. Maxwell�s hands revealed how much the boy had grown more than his eyes had. The moon came back from behind the clouds and Maxwell could see a pile of clothes on the floor, and the most important person in the world lying on top of him, trusting him completely. Maxwell moved to undress himself, but Dylan did that and many other things for him that night.

The boys had a hard time explaining the whole situation to their parents. Robyn was quiet and contemplative, Matthew on the other hand was very vocal. He had never thought he had a problem with this, but he had never thought his son, no, his sons, would ever bring it up, he just kept repeating �I don�t know how to feel. What am I supposed to do?�. The boys told their parents what had been going on every Saturday for the last two months, that it had been Dylan�s idea, and that Maxwell had never known of it, let alone encouraged it, that is, until last night. Oddly enough, it was harder for them to tell their parents about their relationship than it was to tell them about their changing bodies. The boys gave them examples of all the ways they were changing, and that is was more than just a growth spurt for Dylan or a problem with Maxwell�s workouts in the gym. At the end of the longest Sunday breakfast anyone in the family had experienced, Robyn simply said �I believe them�. All eyes were on her. She turned to Matthew, �Matt, we both know they�ve gotten so close. Somewhere in our heads, we both knew it wasn�t the love two brothers have. It was more. I know you saw it yourself in the way they fought this weekend. It wasn�t the way brothers fight, it was more painful than that. It�s only coincidence that we love each other as well. As for whatever else is going on with their bodies, they�re young men now; we can�t make this decision for them. We�ll have to let them decide and support them in whatever they choose.� Matthew gazed up at his wife. This was one of the many reasons he loved her; she was so strong inside, �I�ve got enough brains to know my head isn�t too clear right now. But that�s ok, I trust you.� He said to his wife. �If that�s what you think is best, you- all of you,� motioning to the boys, �have my full support, too.�

The boys broke their tradition. They no longer limited themselves. And with that, the changes started to slow, eventually stopping all together by mid-summer. Even with the slowed changes, both boys found themselves with radically different appearances by the next year. Dylan had grown even more into a man and looked nothing like a ninth grader should, but he still attended classes. Every now and then he would hear snickers or jokes about him, but he would ignore them, knowing he had something amazing waiting for him at home. Maxwell had gotten even smaller, but still had some muscles which he rigorously worked out, regardless who else was around. He took pride in his new body, always remembering why he had given up his old one. Maxwell enrolled full time in the State University. Robyn had taken the boys aside one day in August and asked if they would like her to help them out by un-orthodox means. After all, she was a very resourceful lawyer and she knew how to help people start over with new names and new lives. She even suggested they switch identities. The boys thanked her, but said they had to go through this; it�s what they had chosen to give up to be with each other. However, that didn�t stop people from assuming Maxwell was Dylan, and Dylan was Maxwell. The boys loved the looks on people�s faces when they told them the truth. They never could explain to anyone why they looked the way they did, they couldn�t even explain it to themselves. All they really knew was that they had made real sacrifices for each other, and even though people gave the strapping 14 year olds flirtatious looks, and gawked at the adolescent college freshman, the boys stayed together. •

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