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Still Time - Fall Anthology 2023 - Leap of Faith Due 10/1 ×
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Boys Becoming Men - 2. Chapter 2

The darkness was a welcomed friend, allowing him to process his bizarre reaction only a moment earlier.

The reprieve from Paul's closeness to figure things out, specifically why he seemed to respond in such a... for lack of a better word, 'contrary' manner when he was in Paul's arms, was very much needed. He acknowledged the fact that he bumped his head pretty hard on his steering wheel, and that he lost a bit of blood. There was also a chance that he might have suffered a concussion. But was that enough to justify how his body had responded?

His heart was still beating hard in his chest from earlier when Paul tried to reach over to remove his clothes. He'd been in changing rooms many a time, so he wasn't exactly shy. And come to think of it, he didn't have anything to be shy about -- he was pretty built too, maybe not as much as Paul, but he was no pushover either. So why did his heart start to race when Paul tried to tug at his wet t-shirt?

Then he reasoned with himself, it's not like guys in the changing rooms reach over to undress each other, no sir they didn't. That was definitely why he reacted like that, even if Paul meant well, he told himself.

But the back of his mind thought different. It nagged and screamed at him that it was most likely because the idea of being semi-naked in his room with a semi-naked Paul turned him on -- no, you will NOT go there! He wasn't going to explore those nagging thoughts.

Then he realized, here he was over-thinking seemingly minuscule occurrences while Paul was a few doors over oblivious to his internal conflicts. He had probably not given it another thought.

Chill out, he told himself. Act cool. This wasn’t the time to be wasting thinking about how he reacted earlier. In fact, there will never be a time to ever think about it again since it was really nothing. So you shouldn’t dwell on any of these horrid thoughts, he decisively told himself.

So concentrated was he on his train of thought, he momentarily forgot how wet he was, or the fact that he was in bed with his soaked clothes.

Grabbing the flashlight on his bedside table, he switched it on, cleared his throat and called out to Paul.

"Hey man, you okay?" His voice sounded unsteady, like he had run a few miles.

A muffled reply came from further down the hallway. "I'm good, you're really prepared -- there's a flashlight and packs of candles in here." He then heard the shower being turned on. Good. I’ve got a bit more time to myself.

He reached over and placed the flashlight back onto his bedside table facing it directly up towards the ceiling, dispersing the light more evenly in his room albeit in a weak glow. Slowly getting up, he changed his wet bed sheets before he stripped out of his wet clothes.

He caught sight of himself in the mirror in all his nakedness. He was five feet, eleven inches tall; not only average for a guy, but way below Paul who towered over him.

Unlike Paul who, aside from a minor trail of hair that was present on his abdomen, was pretty much hairless… he, on the other hand, was much hairier in comparison. He had a dusting of chest hair that was sure to thicken the older he got, as well as a slightly thicker trail of hair that ran along his abdomen.

He had especially hairy legs which got hairier the higher it ran up his thighs. So much so that one of the good natured running jokes in the showers at school was his 'hairy junk'. Good natured or not, it didn't put him off one bit. He was well aware of the fact that, despite everyone referring to his junk as 'hairy', he also happened to be very well endowed. Something he had going for him, he acknowledged. And other than that, some of the girls who he'd been with had always commented on how sexy his chest hair was.

But at looking himself in the mirror, and consciously comparing himself to Paul, he couldn't help but feel completely under average. He flexed as hard as he could, and posed as if he were a bodybuilder, but his budding musculature was… only that; budding. Especially when compared to the boy a few rooms over who seemed to have developed a man's muscled body.

Shaking his head, he put on a warm thick t-shirt and a pair of old faded blue jeans. Picking up his discarded sheets and wet clothes from the floor, he threw them in his laundry basket before noticing Paul's wet t-shirt still on the floor from earlier.

He bent down to pick it up when the unmistakable smell of Paul mixed with the smell of rain wafted up from the t-shirt to fill his nostrils. He was once again reminded about how masculine and admittedly sexy Paul smelt. Not being able to help himself, he brought the t-shirt closer to his nostrils and inhaled deeply. The effect was instantaneous – he felt a hardening in his jeans that grew by the second. This was not helped by images of a shirtless Paul which began bombarding his mind.

And just as if his hand had a mind of its own, he began to slowly touch himself. Whatever he had told himself earlier to justify how he reacted to Paul, was now out the window.

There was a sudden and loud knock on the door which startled him into realizing what he was doing, so he guiltily threw the t-shirt across the room into his laundry basket. He mentally kicked himself for getting carried away and not hearing when the shower was turned off.

The door opened a fraction. "Can I come in?"

Quickly composing himself, and hastily adjusting his hard-on, he replied, "Yeah man, come in."

Not trusting himself on his feet, and trying to hide his raging hard-on, he sat down on his bed and crossed his legs as Paul swung the door open.

Best decision.

Paul looked so incredibly handsome he wasn't sure if he'd been able to remain on his feet if he was still standing.

Paul strode over with a small smile on his face showing off his very symmetrical facial structure, as well as his even white teeth. His dark wet hair was slicked back casually, yet it looked like he had just stepped out from an old Hollywood movie.

Liam noticed that the t-shirt he gave him to wear was slightly too small, so it was tautly pulled over his chest emphasizing his prominent pectorals and flat stomach. His muscular arms were battling to free themselves from the tight constraints of the t-shirt, as every single movement and unintentional flex could be seen clearly under the taut material.

His heart skipped a beat when he also noticed the band of his boxers peeking over the loose fitting track pants he also gave Paul to wear. He realized how weirdly turned on he was knowing that Paul was wearing his boxers... that HIS boxers, which once cradled his manhood, was now cradling this Grecian God’s.

"Hey, where should I put these?" Paul asked holding out his wet clothes.

Not having confidence to answer, and still somewhat overcome by the feeling of attraction that hit him like a bus, he nodded his head to indicate his laundry basket. Dropping his clothes in the basket, Paul then plopped himself next to Liam.

"How're you feeling? Slightly better, maybe, being out of your wet clothes?" Paul asked gently.

He didn't think it was possible to get any harder, but hearing Paul's deep and genuinely caring voice made his manhood throb even more. He coughed. "Yeah definitely, I actually feel much better. Did you shower okay?" he asked trying his best at nonchalance while attempting to hide his hard-on further by subtly stretching his t-shirt over his groin. He cringed inside when he realized how silly his question sounded. God. Did you shower okay? Really? He wished the floor would open up to swallow him and his stupidity whole.

Not batting an eyelid, Paul replied, “Yes, I did, plus your hot water was still hot even though your electricity went off. I also found this in your bathroom cupboard for your head,” Paul said pulling out a bottle of iodine and Band-Aids. “Allow me."

Without waiting for a reply, Paul unscrewed the bottle, then realizing he didn't have anything to pour it on, raised a corner of his t-shirt and poured a few drops of the solution on it.

Heaven almighty, Liam lamented inwardly as he caught sight of Paul's abs again.

As the t-shirt was tight, Paul stood up and pulled what little of its corner he could and cleaned the cut on Liam's forehead.

This time Liam didn't object to Paul's close proximity, not wanting him to be in any way suspicious about his reaction earlier. At the same time he tried his best to swallow the burning desire that was welling up in some deep formerly unknown crevice inside his body.

His thoughts were complicated by the fact that he hadn't had time to process this desire properly and find out what the hell it meant, and where it came from. So he sat there silently and soon became mesmerized as Paul's hard abs leveled with his face.

He gulped audibly. He cast his eyes upwards as if to curse the cosmos, or the heavens, for this nonstop onslaught of sheer sexy masculinity; a fact that he was still trying to get over since he had truly never seen, felt or reacted to a guy like this before.

But what a mistake that was.

He instead gazed into Paul's face that was fully concentrated on cleaning and disinfecting the cut on his forehead.

It was the small things that he noticed that made his heart not only begin to pick up speed again, but also skip a few beats in the process.

It was the way his eyes narrowed and brows furrowed while concentrating on tending to the cut. Like how he would bite his lower lip when he thought he pushed too hard on the wound; even the way he'd cock his beautiful head to the side while continuously staring intently at what he was doing. And every so often he'd moisten his lips between biting them, leaving a gleam of saliva on his extremely kissable lips. This only further heightened the slow burning sensation Liam felt in his gut.

He could feel his cheeks flush.

Fearing he would do something he might regret, he closed his eyes and attempted blocking out the man standing in front of him. But he might as well haven't had bothered. It appeared someone had stolen a moment when he wasn't conscious to tattoo images of Paul behind his eyelids. Feeling somewhat unsteady with his eyes closed, he opened them again and was left with no choice but to stare into Paul's abdomen which was covering his field of view.

This close, he could clearly see every little detail of this Grecian God’s stomach. He noticed the ridges that separated each abdominal muscle were much deeper than he initially thought. He could also almost count each hair that trailed along the lower middle of his stomach, which vanished under the band of the boxers he was wearing.

Not being able to help himself, he looked further down, and, despite the loose fitting track pants Paul was wearing, he could make out the generous bulge where his manhood lay. He felt saliva start to gather at the base of his tongue. Feeling guilty and once again worrying Paul might notice that he was being checked out, he swallowed hard and looked away.

It was then he noticed a small birth mark the size of his thumb on Paul's right hip that resembled a bird in flight. He almost reached out to touch it when he was snapped out of his trance by Paul who suddenly dropping his t-shirt.

"Almost done," Paul announced before picking up a Band-Aid and ripping it open.

So preoccupied was he studying Paul, he didn't feel any of the burning sensation on his forehead from having someone touch and clean it. He could now feel the full sting of the cut.

"There you go! All done!" Paul said with a flourish, running his forefingers back and forth over the adhesive.


"No problem-o, least I could do."

Liam shyly looked at the floor unsure of what to say next. Sensing that things were about to turn awkward, Paul sat back down next to Liam and thought of something to say.

"I hope you don't mind, I used one of the new towels in the bathroom." Not his best opener.

"Not at all, you're welcomed to whatever in the house – we'll probably be stuck here for at least three days until the storm passes, so feel free to use anything you need that you can find," Liam replied somewhat shakily, yet realizing only then the reality of his words. Three days with this guy in his home.

A lot can happen in three days.

"Thanks man. Soooo… tell me about yourself. How long have you lived here?" Paul asked.

Liam felt slightly embarrassed. He had never in his entire life been anywhere else outside of his small town. "Pretty much all my life, can't say I've been outta town since... well, ever. You?"

"Me? We've actually only been here for about six months, we moved from New York."

Not being able to curb his excitement, and regaining his confidence, Liam responded enthusiastically. "Wow nice! It must've been awesome living in New York, the city that never sleeps! I promised myself that if I ever got the chance to travel, and maybe make something of myself, New York would be the place to go. So what made you and your family decide to move here?" Liam asked in wonderment. In his head, he couldn't begin to understand why anyone would move out here in the middle of nowhere, especially coming from somewhere like New York! Dreams came here to wither and die.

Paul carefully considered his reply. "My parents have always wanted to move to a small town away from the fast paced city life, maybe own and run a farm, but they've only ever talked about it. They were too busy with their commitments and jobs in New York so they kept putting off stuff they wanted to do. But then my dad died… and I guess my mom realized life was too short, and too unpredictable not to seize it and do what you wanna do while you're still alive. So... here we are," Paul finished matter-of-factly.

Liam looked up to Paul and saw that his attempt at indifference didn't meet his eyes.

There was a brief moment of silence before Liam asked quietly, "How did your dad die, if you don't mind my asking?"

Paul paused for a moment, noting the sudden turn in the conversation. He sighed and slumped his shoulders forward. "He died in a car crash. Worst day of my life when I was told."

There was another prolonged silence until Liam finally replied. "I'm sorry for your loss. I know it must've been difficult."

Fixating on a spot on the floor, he confided, "My dad died too, but a few years back. He suffered from prostate cancer. Every day we watched him slowly die. It was pretty horrible."

Now it was Paul's turn to gaze at Liam, noting the pain etched on his face. Without hesitating, he reached out and placed a hand on Liam's shoulder. "It's a lie when they say that with time it's easier to forget, huh? There hasn't been a day that's gone by when I don't think about my dad."

"Definitely," was all Liam could say. He was once again struck by a feeling of security, and he knew it was because he was in Paul's company. For someone he still didn't really know, Paul sure knew how to put people at ease. He looked over to Paul and smiled sadly. "Not exactly the best conversation to be having with someone you barely know."

Paul chuckled and agreed, "Yeah, totally. Not exactly the conversation to start having too, to get to know someone either, eh?"


Liam and Paul spent the next few hours sitting in bed sharing their life stories, oblivious to the storm that was thundering outside. The more Liam got to hear from Paul, the easier it was for him to reciprocate and share his own life story. Every so often there would be a deafening thunderclap outside that would put a damper on their conversation, but so immersed were they in each other's lives they'd only pause briefly to ascertain everything was okay before continuing.

Despite only knowing each other for a few brief hours, both felt a growing sense of camaraderie. For Liam, his seeming earlier physical attraction to Paul which he had initially tried to dismiss, not only became entirely confirmed as the night wore on, but was further reinforced.

The more he heard Paul speak, the more he felt the burning desire in the pit of his stomach grow. He couldn't put a finger on it exactly, and he couldn't explain it properly to himself either. But it felt almost… right… to be at this place, in this exact moment in time, with this person he was slowly getting to know. Like it was destiny. He realized how silly and corny that sounded. And it didn't help he always saw himself as a self-proclaimed cynic… but sitting here with Paul, utterly alone while a storm raged outside… It felt otherworldly, unreal. Like he was somehow in another life; with that, his mind slowly took grip of the possibility that in that context, and at this place, and at this moment in time, he could be allowed to rest his defenses and permit himself to fully feel and explore whatever it was that he was feeling.

As they spoke, Liam found out that Paul was the eldest of five and, like him, the only boy. Despite his parents having jobs in New York, they were extremely well off from investments they made during the internet boom.

And if that wasn't enough, his dad's parents owned some oil rigs outright off the coast of Texas. This was a sensitive subject for Paul, as his father and his parents had many disagreements, some which eventually lead to his dad severing ties with them and leaving to make his own fortune in New York.

His father died before he was able to make amends with his parents, something that was still raw for all involved. But their family were beginning to finally reconnect again, with all four of his younger sisters staying with his grandparents while him and his mother decided to move to Liam’s small town.

Before it got back to depressing waters, Liam tactfully switched topics.

"So if you're from the city, why are you so tanned? I also noticed your calloused hands so I assumed you worked regularly on a farm."

Paul laughed aloud. "But I do, I've been living here for six months, remember? We bought the hundred acre farm that belonged to the old Bailey couple out in West Cuffman, kept on their hired help, and even hired a few more. I've been working on the farm almost every day since then, learning the ropes from the old hands who're still there, working alongside some of the most humble men I've met… it's hard work, certainly, but very rewarding."

Before he could stop himself, Liam blurted out, "That explains why you're so buff."

Paul laughed again and shrugged his shoulders. "I worked out regularly when I was back home in New York, but I only really started bulking up when I began working full days on the farm here. And you become so involved in the work, and at the end of each day basically crawl into your bed and die, so you don't really notice the subtle changes happening to your body. It just hit me one day when I was going through some old photos from New York and saw how much bigger I've gotten." He then turned to Liam, "You're not so bad yourself, you're pretty well built too."

It was Liam's turn to laugh and dismiss Paul. "Riiiiight, like I could be compared to the likes of you. I've still got a pretty long way to go."

"Nah, I think you've got the perfect balance -- you're nowhere near scrawny, but you're not overly buff either. My sister says that quite a lot of women don’t like guys who are overly muscular. Apparently a lot of them turn out to be very self-absorbed, or maybe it's just the guys she's been dating. But then again, that's probably her way of saying I'm self-absorbed."

Liam's cheeks flushed again. Missing the joke, all he caught was Paul referring to him and using the word "perfect" in the same breath. "Thanks… I think."

"Hey, so what high school did you graduate from? Wait, how old are you again?" Liam suddenly asked. "I've just started my senior year, and I'm hoping to get a scholarship outta here for college.”

"Oh, that's great," said Paul, "You seem like an intelligent fella, I'm sure you'll do well. And.. uh… I just turned nineteen three weeks ago." Liam saw Paul avert his eyes. He suddenly looked uncomfortable.

"You don't have to answer that if you don't want to," Liam quickly interjected, fearing that he might’ve asked something unintentionally sensitive.

"No, not at all. I'm surprised you didn't ask sooner actually… I didn't graduate from high school, I dropped out not long after my dad died."


Taking notice of Liam’s sympathetic expression, Paul was encouraged to continue. "Not my best decision, but I was diagnosed with clinical depression not long after he passed. In all honesty I was a bit relieved when I was told, it really explained a lot about how I felt at the time… I didn't have the energy nor the drive to keep going. I started eating less, then began to lose weight… Most of the time I wanted to be alone. So one day I just… stopped attending school. And my mom didn't ask any questions."

"I'm sorry to hear that," Liam said softly, "… if it's any consolation, high school sucks anyway."

Paul smiled. "Don't be sorry, I needed time off to get my head on straight again. And moving here and spending most of my days working on the farm really helped; the physical labor, the sweat, the intensity involved goes a long way when you're wanting to vent all your anger and frustrations out on something. Some days I wake up feeling great and look forward to getting back on the, but other days I don't make it far from bed… but I force myself to get up anyway, if not for me, then for my mom and sisters who're always worrying about me. This isn’t fair on them."

Liam nodded, yet unsure of what to say next. "So… no plans to go back to school?"

"Nah, I'm comfortable with my current situation. But we'll see how things go," Paul replied, slowly stretching while stifling a yawn. "Listen to me ramble, I don't think I've ever spoken this much about myself to anyone before… my sister is probably right, maybe I am self-absorbed," he said chuckling.

Liam realized that it had been a long day, and they did spend many hours chatting and getting to know each other. Paul must be tired.

But he couldn't help but ask, "On the off chance you decide to go back to high school, maybe you'll consider St. James High? That's where I go. We've got a few students who've… repeated their senior year, if that helps. Would be great to have you there," he finished lamely.

Paul's face broke into a wide grin as he laid backwards onto the bed, gazing thoughtfully at the ceiling. "I'll keep that in mind. Who knows? Life… really is unpredictable."

Liam could barely contain his enthusiasm. If there was a chance, even a little that this guy would end up at his high school and walk the same halls as he would, that would surely make for an exciting senior year.

Following suit, he lay down next to Paul and shut his eyes, and both began listening to the sounds of the storm running rampant outside -- the howling wind, heavy rainfall pounding the roof, and the sounds of the occasional thunderclap. Maybe because they were both tired, or maybe because both had grown comfortable with each other in the short span of a few hours, but neither felt awkward lying next to each other.

Liam thought about how earlier in the day he had tried his best to persuade his mother to take his siblings and go stay with their Uncle Tom. It felt like it was a lifetime ago… and here he was, a few hours later, alone in his home with Paul whom he'd only just met. Yet it felt like he was spending time with an old friend. Thinking about Paul's comment about life and unpredictability, Liam finally opened his eyes and replied, "Yes… Yes, it is."

But Paul didn't hear him. In a matter of a few short minutes, he had managed to drift off into a deep slumber. Liam lay awake for a while still, soaking up the exhilarating feeling of lying next to this person. He turned to Paul and took in each little detail.

He continued to lay there for the next few hours, studying the face of this stud, while belatedly processing the confused feelings he had been having.

Just before he fell asleep himself, he finally managed to accept that… putting aside the questions of whether he was gay or not, or the fact that he'd only ever had feelings and experiences with women prior to that day… the hard truth was, in the course of less than a day, he had fallen undeniably, totally and utterly in love with the person laying next to him. The idea was as much confusing as it was overwhelming.

Copyright © 2012 boys2menstory; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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