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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.

Puppy for Sale - 13. Suspicious Revelations

I was getting frustrated... frustrated because over the last four days, Dave had been round after school three times chatting to Steven about shit. Sure there were the odd glances and smiles but other than that, nothing since his text.

It would have helped a lot if I could just get him alone for a few fucking minutes to talk to him, but even if I could, what the hell would I say? I had thought about texting him, but again, what would I say? His behaviour was just confusing me, and it was doing my head in.

Why send me a text saying he likes me if there was no follow-up?

Each time he came round, I would pray Steven needed to use the bathroom for a minute, just so I could have a few words, but Dave never stayed long enough for that to happen. I felt weak... weak because I didn't have the guts to text him, and I was too scared to bring anything up with Steven just in case Steven was the problem here. Oh, and not to mention whether Dave would freak out of I did!

I had my theories... theories that kept me awake long into the night. I remembered back to a few days ago when I passed him in the hallway as Max took us to Greenstone. Maybe he viewed my going that day as a snub to him. After all, I had never contacted and said I HAD to go but didn't want to. Well, that was one theory. Another was that maybe he got spooked about Steven knowing so much and was frightened about revealing he might like guys. I tried to discount that one because Dave had to have known I would show the text message to Steven... hmm, or would he have? GRRRRR, my fucking head was a mess with scenarios that wouldn't quit spinning!

"What's up with you?" Steven asked, pulling his attention away from some girl he was chatting to on his phone.

"Nothing, why?" I replied as we both lay in our room.

"Bullshit, you hardly touched your dinner, and you have hardly spoken to me since I came home from school."

"Really, it's nothing," I repeated, wishing he would just quit asking.

"Is it the foot... is it that girl Cindy?"

"No, my foot feels much better... look, for fuck sake, I said it’s nothing now will you just stop?"

"Hey Fuckface, I'm just trying to be friendly, fuck you then!"

I turned over to face the wall, not even bothering to apologise this time. For once, Steven knew he just needed to shut the fuck up and actually do it."

"I'm going downstairs if you are going to be like this."

"Good, give me some peace and quiet!" I shot back, huffing.

"Asshole," was his parting word to me. Then, he left our room and slammed the door making the whole house vibrate. I could hear Susan's muffled voice downstairs scolding him for his tantrum before I got up and went to the door.




I was walking much better now, and even moving about without my crutches which no longer hurt so much. It was a relief not to feel agony every time I needed to go somewhere, which right now, was downstairs.

"Where did Steven go?" I asked as Susan cleared away the dishes from dinner.

"Something about going to Billy's, he'll be back at nine, or at least he better be."

"Oh, okay," I said, starting to walk back out."

"Have you two argued?"

"Meh, something like that... it was probably my fault, he was just asking me loads of questions, some of which were repeated, I got irritated and shouted at him. I'll apologise later."

Susan tutted. "You boys, I don't know."

I plodded back upstairs and threw myself onto the bed before grabbing hold of my phone. Unlocking the screen, I shifted onto my back and brought up the last message... the only message Dave had sent me and clicked on the reply icon. What was I waiting for? I thought, as I stared at a blinking marker on the screen. But above my empty reply box was the previous text, and that was what was sending me crazy.

I like U2. It stuck out at me.

I read it fifty times, hoping it would give me some courage to text something back, but still, I just stared blankly at the screen. Then, in a flash of pure frustration, I did something that just went against the grain of my personality - I texted something back... and worse still, I pressed send.

Prove it!

"Fuck, fuck, fuck," I muttered, throwing the phone down as if it was red hot. What the fuck had I done? I was giving him attitude, and he hadn't done anything wrong. I lay there with my hands over my face, full of regret, and then...

Bing! I went the phone, as it started flashing at me. I nervously picked it up and unlocked the screen again, swallowing hard as I did.

U won't let me!

Came the reply. "What...won't let you... what the fuck..." I mumbled, then started to tap a reply.

I don't know what you mean???

I waited...

And waited...


tri'd 2 catch ur attention more than once, U just turn away, or leave the house, I thought Steven was having a joke with me about U liking me!

I didn't know what he was talking about, but one thing was for sure, he had me all wrong.

Had to leave house to find out about a friend, didn't know you were coming round. Can't talk in front of Steven about how I feel, too scared


Oh, well me 2, Ste doesn't no I like U, it's hard, soz if I got the wrong idea!

My hands were now shaking with I don't know what, and I felt all hot and lightheaded. My stomach was in knots. I wanted to see his face so badly, it hurt. I needed to set him straight... I needed him to set me straight.

Is there any chance I could see you tonight?


Cant get out of house, lil bro is awake and mum is working. How about tomoz?

It was disappointing to hear him say no as I desperately wanted to see him, but it didn't take long for me to tap out a response to his new offer.



I'll come out lunchtime. So, can U meet me at the top of ur road at 12?

I didn't even know if that would be possible for all kinds of reasons, but I was not about to say no to a guy that was making me crazy with new feelings.

I'll be there!


Good, can't w8

I let my expensive phone fall from my hand onto the floor as I lay there in utter confusion, shock, fear and happiness. Then, needing to spend some excess adrenaline, I started kicking my feet in the air and rubbing my hands up and down my face in excitement. I pulled my pillow tight over my face before screaming, "WHooohooo!!"

I was on cloud nine with a hint of terror pushing me to freak out a little.

Steven got back around half past eight, revealed by my glancing at the clock as he entered our bedroom. I closed my eyes, pretending to be asleep, but he didn't fall for it.

"I can see your eyelids flickering, Bonehead. Are you gonna tell me why you are being such an asshole tonight?"

I opened my eyes and smiled, looking at him standing there with a pissed look on his face.

"I'm sorry for yelling at you, okay? it's... it's, just sometimes I just want to be left alone."

"Well, if you just said."

I smirked. "I did if you remember."

"Well... erm, I'm... glad you're okay!"

"Ha, you almost apologised, didn't you? You just stopped yourself short."

"Did not!"

"Whatever... so how was Billy?"

"How did you know I went to Billy's?"

"Mum said,"

"So she's Mum now, is she?"

"You know what I mean... I came down because I felt bad and then was told you had gone out to Billy's."

"I just needed some air, and the atmosphere in here was rather... toxic."

"I text Dave while you were out."

"Good for you. Is that why you are in a better mood,.. been promised a fuck?"

"Steven, you are so crass, that really is all you think about, isn't it… anyway, no, I don't think we are quite at that stage yet, do you?"

Steven Shrugged. "Well, something put a smile on your face between me leaving and coming back... oh now hold on a damn fucking minute, I know what's going on here... it’s him, isn't it? That’s why you were so prickish with me!"


"Oh my god, you were huffy because he hadn't sent any more texts to you, and your little brain couldn't cope. Aww, there there!" Steven said, stroking me like a cat.

"Fuck off," I grinned. "Well, maybe that was part of it."

"All of it, you mean... so what did he say?"

"Can we be serious for a moment?"

"O, oh," Steven said, sitting down on his bed. "Okay, shoot, I don't know how long I can last without laughing at your desperate state."

"I might need a favour, but I want you to promise you won't get offended."

"The fact that you have asked that tells me I'm going to be offended, but ask away."

I rolled my eyes. "I was wondering if there was a chance you could maybe take off to Billy's on Sunday for a while so I can have the bedroom to myself?"

"What? Why, what's happening Sunday?"

"Well, if I can clear it with Mum and Dad, I was going to ask Dave to come over, you know, so we can-"

"Have sex?"


Steven shrugged. "Sure, whatever."

"What? I mean... is that it? You're not gonna throw a wobbly or ask why you're not invited or..."

"Jensen, if it stops all these little hissy fits and mood swings and I get a quiet life, then a few hours away from here is a good trade, but you better check with Mum and Dad first as you said."

"Yeah, yeah, I will. Oh, thanks, Steven, you're the best."

"I know; what can I say? So are we friends again?"

"No, we're brothers!" I replied, getting up and hugging him.

"Hey, watch the hair."




I walked into the kitchen around nine and saw the back door was open. I could see Susan hanging the laundry out and stood there planning my moves. She could see me through the blind as she waved at me, two clothes pegs in her mouth.

Stepping outside onto the damp concrete, I greeted her with a wave.

"Good morning, Puppy... sleep well?"

"Yeah, good, thanks; Max and Steven gone?"

"Yep, just you and me again... as always," she replied, smiling. "Oh, I had a letter from Steven's school in this morning's post and guess what?"

"What, what, tell me?" I said, starting to get excited.

"You're in!"

"Whoa, no way, that's... that's awesome. So when do I start?"

"Haha, slow down. We need to get you in for an open day first, and there will be some forms to fill out, so I can't give you that answer yet. But I'm hoping in the next couple of weeks. The Headmaster is keen to get you up to speed on things before your grade moves into exam stage."

"Wow, okay, well I'm ready when they are... wow, school... a real school."

"Oh, how I wish Steven would have that enthusiasm, Puppy. My life would be so much easier."

"Yeah... So, erm... do you... do you have any plans today?"

Susan sighed, stopping what she was doing and looking at me. "Darts meeting... please give me a reason not to go."

I laughed as realistically as I could. "Well, like Max said, they need you...so what time is that?"

"Eleven till two. I don't know why I still go to these meetings. It’s not like I play for the team very much. I'm more like a stand-in now. God, listen to me jabber on about trivial things. Anyway, if you'd like me to stay here with you, then I'm more than happy to cancel... maybe we can make cakes as we said."

"NO! Erm, I mean...Nah, you go to the meeting; I’ll be fine here."

"Well, if you're sure?"

"Yeah," I said casually, waving my hand down. "Maybe I'll tidy the chicken run up or something like that."

"Well, you don't have to, but that would be great Puppy. I must say they seem to have taken to you... they must know a kind soul when they see one."

"Thanks, Mum," I said, then wondered why Susan had just burst into tears. "Oh my God, what's wrong?" I asked, trying to walk over to her quickly.

"You... you called me Mum. Oh, oh, I'm sorry, I’m so silly, it just hit a nerve, that's all."

"Sorry that I upset you," I said, feeling bad for her.

"Oh God no, Puppy, you just made my year; it was just so unexpected and natural."

"I'll say, I didn't even realise I had said it. Would you like me to get you a tissue?"

"You're so kind, but no, I'm coming in now. Look, the washing is all done. But, oh, dear me, crying like some old fool."

"It's okay, makes a change from it being me," I said, trying to lighten the mood.

I was just about to walk back into the kitchen when Susan grabbed me and pulled me into a suffocating hug. I enjoyed the embrace hugging her back, and we stood like that for a couple of minutes, sending telepathic messages of love to each other, I was sure.

"Okay, I made you up a few sandwiches, and there is plenty of juice in the fridge. Your pain medication is on top of the microwave, and make sure you take them with a full glass of water. Now, are you sure you are going to be okay?"

"Susan, relax, I'll be fine; I was home alone the other day when Max had to go to work, remember?"

"Yes... aww, I know I fuss, I just worry, that's all. I know you are not used to being without people around you."

"I might have had people around at Greenstone, but I was in my room alone nearly all the time."

Susan nodded, hopefully acknowledging my reasoning. "Right, well, you have my number and your father's too, so call if you need us."

"I will."

Susan leaned forward and kissed me on the head, holding my cheeks in her hands, smiling.

"See you later then."

"Yeah, bye, Susan."

I waited until she was out of the front door and then sighed. The house was now in complete silence as I just stood there in the hallway, taking in the peace. Excitement about my pending meet up with Dave was starting to build, so I went upstairs to check on my phone, hoping that our plans still stood.

Nothing was showing that would indicate he had tried to get in touch with me, so I took that as good news, thinking that he would have the decency to let me know if he had second thoughts.

Padding into the bathroom, I stood in front of the mirror and tried to decide how best to have my hair when I met Dave. Since Steven had cut it so short around the back and sides, my choices were limited to the top. I deliberated between spiky with gel, cropped with mousse, or brushed sideways with wax.

I tried all three for good measure and settled on spiky and messy... with gel.

"Now, what to wear," I mumbled, heading back into the bedroom. I pulled out every piece of clothing I owned and lay them out on my bed. Then, using Steven's bed as a canvass, I began to lay out sets of tops and bottoms, seeing what went well. I was no fashion expert, but looking at my latest arrangement, I could see that red and green should never be seen.

After wasting nearly twenty minutes fucking around doing that, I settled on some blue jeans and a white Lacoste shirt, pre ironed by the lovely Susan, of course. I then decided that my black Adidas plimsolls would go better than the Nike sneakers and threw them to one side.

Looking down at my feet, I suddenly remembered! "Ah shit, bandage!"

Time was now getting critical, and I needed to get a move on. I snuck into Max and Susan's room and found my final ingredient. Pulling the top off Max's Hugo Boss bottle, I sprayed a few healthy blasts of aftershave onto my neck.

Quickly getting dressed in my chosen clothes, I pulled on a plimsoll and strapped up my support boot, picking up my crutches on the way downstairs. On the way through to the kitchen, I found the spare front door key, which hung next to Max's car keys and went and stood by the front door.

I had about ten minutes to kill.

Looking in the large mirror that hung just by the door, I inspected myself for defects before trying to shake the tension out of my body.

"Hi, Dave, good to see you... Hi Dave, thanks for coming... no, no no, too formal. Hi Dave, glad you could make it? Nah... too sarcastic. Hi Dave, you look nice. Nope too forward.... Oh shit, erm..."

Chastising myself in the mirror, I decided that whatever I said when we met was going to sound stupid, so I might as well accept it. Taking a deep breath, I pulled on my coat hanging on the stair frame and opened the front door.

The road was quiet when I stepped out, the only noise being someone cutting a bush with some machine down the end of the street. Closing the front door, I positioned my crutches and started to walk down the driveway.

It was a slow and tedious journey, and my wrists were starting to ache, not being used to travelling long distances on crutches... not that the road we lived in was particularly long.

As the slight bend in the road opened up, I could see Dave standing by a lamp post at the end of the street as promised.

He looked well nice in his uniform.

I tried to act cool, but the smile that was forcing itself onto my face was undoing that coolness. I looked like a Cheshire cat by the time I reached him.

"Hello, Jensen," Dave said shyly.

"Wow, you came... I mean, Hi Dave."

"How are you?"

"Yeah, I'm good, thank you, and you?"

"I'm good, thanks."

Hmm, this was awkward! I thought.

"Look, Dave, I erm... I don't have a clue how this is supposed to go. Jeez, I have never done this before. I was thinking about all the things I wanted to say to you and then of course, when I get here, that all goes out of the window because I'm so nervous, and I mean... you probably are too, and I don't want to talk about silly things, but what should we... I mean, how should we start this conversation... ha-ha, Hmm, I rambling, aren't I?"

Dave grinned. "It's cute, though."

"Sorry," I said, dropping my head. "Erm, so how much time do you have? I mean, you can come back to my place if you want. No one is in." I said, pointing back up the street.

"I have about forty minutes, but within that time, I hopefully can conjure an excuse to skip Religious Studies, so I accept your offer."

"Excellent, that's great... yeah, that's good, I'm pleased you said yes. Ha-haha-ha...hmm."

"You make me smile."

"Do I? Sorry, I'm just nervous."

"You're apologising for making me smile, Jensen. You know, there are worse things you could do."

I sighed. "I'm hopeless at this; I’m sorry."

"And stop apologising," Dave commanded, laughing hard. "I'm a little nervous too, if it makes you feel any better?"

"Hehe, not really."

As we both approached the house, I was about to get my key out when Dave pulled out a set of his own and opened the front door. My jaw almost hit the ground when he went in, casually holding the door open for me to come in AFTER him.

"You're wondering about the key, right?"

"Uh, yeah, it had crossed my mind."

"Steven not told you?"


"Hmm, I guess not. It's kind of a long story, but right now is not the time."

I looked at him strangely, wanting to know more, but he was right. Time was limited, and I also wanted to talk about other things... So I guessed he did too.

We walked into the kitchen and stood there in silence for a few seconds, looking into each other's eyes.

"So...so, erm, would you like some juice? Or how about a sandwich?" I asked, breaking the tension a little.

"Can I be honest?"

"Sure, sure, whatever you want."

"My stomach is full of butterflies right now, and so I'm not really hungry, but if you wanna eat some lunch then-"

"No... no, I feel the same, it's just I know it's your lunch hour and, well, you gotta eat right; I mean, that's what you do at lunch, isn't it? Heehee, no point having a lunch break if you don't eat lunch, I guess. I wonder if everyone didn't eat at school break whether they would just replace lunch with another les...son...."

Dave was smiling at me again and shaking his head. "Do you always talk this much?"

"Mostly," I admitted, smiling back.

Dave's face then took on a serious look, and he inhaled quickly. "I was worried when you didn't text back, you know."

"I didn't know what to say. I wanted to... hell, I wanted to actually talk to you, but with Steven and all I-"

"I know, I get it now. I'm sorry, I thought you were pushing me away."

"It's cool; I can see how it looked, but Steven is... well, you know what Steven is and... erm, would you like to sit down?"

"Sure," Dave replied, sitting at the kitchen table. I joined him opposite and let my crutches lean against the wall.

"Dave, just so we are clear on something... How much does Steven know?"

"About my orientation? Or my feelings for you?"

"Both, I guess."

"Nothing. He and the guys have their suspicions about me liking guys, but it's not something I have ever admitted. As for my feelings for you? Well, Steven has made me fully aware of your feelings for me, but I never knew what to think because I know what a joker Steven is. I thought at first maybe he was playing a game to try and get me to admit I was into boys... you know, like saying you liked me, so I would say I liked you back..."

"Confirming their suspicions, yeah, I get it."

"Yeah, so when you left that night with Max, and then other nights when you haven't spoken to me, I thought that maybe what Steven said was sort of a joke? That like, perhaps you didn't have any feelings for me?

"Uh-huh." I nodded,

"What made it worse was that you didn't reply to my text, and then I thought maybe Steven had made it up about your liking me and that I had made a complete fool of myself."


"I know, it all sounds silly, but I had to be careful, and that's maybe why I was giving off mixed signals. I didn't know how much you knew or what your true feelings were... until yesterday, of course, when you text me back finally."

"Look, Steven is right; I do like you. You are stunning and have a beautiful nature," I stated, making him look away in embarrassment. His face was now red, and he wore a natural cute smile on his face.

"Stunning?" Dave said, reeling his neck back.

"Yeah, it's a word I learnt from Steven; he uses it to describe girls he likes. So I thought it was a good word."

"It's a typical Steven word, yes, but thank you, I'm flattered you think so."

"You are very handsome."

"Okay, stop now, your making me look like a beetroot."

I laughed. "Now that is cute."

"So now we both know how the other feels. I mean, what now?" Dave asked.

"I'm not sure. I am well out of my depth here, Dave. I erm... I mean, my circumstances, you know, in the past? Well, it's meant that I have never experienced anything like this before. So to me, this whole... this whole thing... well, it's like learning to walk for the first time."

"Don't worry, I'm new at this too, and Steven has filled me in on some of your previous life at Greenfields? Not that I asked for information or anything."

"Greenstone... and hey, don't worry; I know what a motor mouth Steven is, and really, it’s fine. It's not a secret anyway. Some of it is just hard to focus on and remember that's all."

"Sorry, Greenstone." Dave looked at me sincerely, almost as if being able to connect with that comment. His eyes told me something, but what, I didn't know. It was a look I could have sworn Cindy had given me on a few occasions, and I had to shake my head to snap out of my gaze of him.

"Say, I was going to ask you if you wanted to come over Sunday so we can have-"

"Can I kiss you?" Dave cut me off, staring into my eyes.

"I... I guess,"

He slowly got up from the table and stepped towards me before placing his lips ever so gently on mine. The new feeling it generated was electric and left me wondering what to do. I could see his eyes were closed, but they opened again as he pulled away and gave me a smile.

"You have soft lips, very kissable." He remarked.

"Thanks," I said, feeling lightheaded and floaty.

"You were saying?"


"About Sunday."

"Right... right sorry, yeah erm...Jeez, I can't get what you just did out of my head now."

"Would you like me to come over Sunday? I think you were asking?"

"Yes, that was what I was going to ask. Would you like to come over Sunday?"

"What about Steven?"

"He will be going to Billy's."

"I would love to; I'll see if I can get away for a few hours."

"Great, I'll check with Susan and my dad. It should be fine, though."

"I look forward to that... Erm Jensen?"


"Are you going to tell Steven I was here today?"

"I wasn't planning on it, only because no one knows you are here today."

Dave sighed. "I know asking you that makes it look like I see you as some guilty secret, but I'm just not sure I am ready to let Steven and the others know about me yet. If I thought Steven could keep a secret, I probably would have told him ages ago, but it’s Jessie I worry about more than anyone."


"Uh-huh, Jessie's father is a Captain in the Army and a complete homophobe, Jessie is nowhere near as bad, but as you saw down at Cutters Farm, he still holds a slither of his father's sordid views on the matter."


"Phobe... it means someone who hates or is scared of gay people."

"Oh, well, that's not nice, is it?" I said, frowning.

"Yeah, that's why it is so frustrating with Steven because I know he would support me and protect me... he always has, but I know he'll blab, so I can't say anything. I was thinking of doing it when I left school so that if things got weird in our group, I knew I didn't have to see one or more of them. I mean, I know Billy would be cool with it, he is indifferent on the subject, and Steven... well, you know Steven, but Jessie is the loose cannon in all this."

"Yeah, I see what you mean."

"However, my plans to do it when I left school may have to change now."


"Ha, what you want me to try and keep my secret while at the same time trying to keep my eyes off you?"

"If I were being selfish, I wouldn't want my feelings for you to be a secret, but I understand your position." I said.

"It's okay; I’ll figure something out. By the way, Steven said you might be coming to join our school?"

"Oh, well, might be, has actually changed to will be... I found out today."

"Well then, I am going to have to own up to my... preferences. Having that distraction is definitely going to give it away," Dave grinned, touching my hand. I curled his fingers into mine and pursed my lips together.

"I like you, Dave. I mean, I really like you."

"You're a sweet guy, and I like you too. I did ever since I saw you walking down that jetty at Cutters Farm, and you opened your mouth and spoke. I knew you were my kind of person right then. But, damn, you're even cute passed out," he declared, teasing.

"Yeah, but I don't go much on the pain that went with it."

"No, I guess not, Jensen. I apologise for making fun."

"Nah, it’s fine; I took it as a compliment."

Dave looked at his watch and sighed. "I need to be going, and now I will be thinking about you all through class."

I grinned shyly. "And I you, except not in class obviously."

"Yeah, obviously." He smiled back. "So, hopefully, I will see you in a couple of days. We can text later if you like?"

"I'd like that, Dave, yeah."

"It's a cyber-date then; I’ll see you later. Don’t get up. I’ll see myself out."

Dave got up from his chair to leave before pausing and turning around. He came back up to me and placed another soft kiss on my lips, making me feel all warm and fuzzy. Then as quick as it happened, he was gone... off back to school, leaving me fizzing with excitement and melting with amazement.

That was it. I was under his spell.


What are these feelings I have? It was a question I kept asking myself over and over again as I lay there in my bed, as usual, my mind racing. Steven and I had stayed up pretty late while he taught me the rules of a game called Monopoly, but that seemed like an age ago as I glanced at my phone.

It was four a.m.

Having cleared the hurdle of getting permission from Max and Susan regarding Dave coming round and confirming with Steven that he was still going to Billy's place, I should have been calm. But, instead, I was restless... restless because I kept thinking that even after getting the all clear, somehow, Dave would not turn up.

It was no good. I needed to get up. I decided to go and get a drink of milk, opting to heat some, hoping it would settle my mind. As I placed the cup in the microwave and switched it on, a bleary eyed Max came walking into the kitchen in a pair of rather colourful boxer shorts.

"Hey champ, everything okay?" he asked, rubbing his eyes, before sitting at the table.

"Can't sleep," I replied, watching my cup go round and round on the glass plate.

"Yeah, I heard you get up. Thought I'd come and check on you."

"You can't sleep either?" I asked, turning around to face him.

"We have a massive Oak tree to cut down tomorrow. It sounds silly, but I was lying there awake thinking how to approach it... Puppy, this tree is massive and over two hundred years old. I'm wondering if the tools we have are up to the job."

"It's normally the silly things that keep me awake too, so I know what you mean."

The microwave beeped, and I took out my steaming cup, walked over to the table and sat down. Max swung around, so he was facing me and smiled.

"So, what's keeping you awake tonight, Champ, another bad dream?"

"Oh no, nothing like that."

"Well, if it weren't a bad dream, then from my experience, the three things that normally keep you awake are money, work or your love life. Since the first two are things you don't have to worry about, is it your love life?"

"Max!" I chirped shyly.

"Hey, we've all been there. So what's going on? Maybe your Dad can offer some advice. I'm not that old, remember?"

I pursed my lips together. "It's just..."

"Take your time," Max said, seeing I was thinking hard about how to put what I wanted to say.

"It's just I don't know how to handle these feelings, Dad"

"So tell me what sort of feelings they are."

"I dunno; I mean, you know Dave, right?"

"Yep, known him for a long time... he even stayed with us on and off for a while."

"Oh yeah, I meant to ask that. Why does he have a key?"

Max sighed. "Long story, Puppy."

"Yeah, that's what Dave said, too," I chuckled.

"I'll let him tell you about it when he's ready. Right now, I wanna know about you."

"Okay, well, Sometimes I feel like I just wanna run to his house to be with him, and I feel like my heart is gonna burst out of my chest. Do you know what I mean?"

"Uh-huh, that, my boy is called a crush, and from the sounds of it, it's a big one you have there."

"Is it normal?"

Max laughed. "Oh yeah, you bet it is."

"But... but it's like it almost hurts, Dad. It's not a negative feeling as far as I can tell, but something about it feels uncomfortable."

"Yearning, Puppy."

"Yearning?" I repeated, raising a brow.

"Yeah, I think that's the emotion you are trying to describe. When you long for something important to you, or you miss something, you yearn for it. I had the same feeling you describe after I met your mother."

"Yeah, well, whatever it is, it sucks!" I declared, dropping my head.

"You'll see Dave soon, and once you do, you'll feel better. It's not like he's a million miles away; he’s a few streets away."

"That's if he turns up," I remarked, feeling negative all of a sudden.

Max groaned. "Now, why would he not turn up for a chance to be with someone like you?"

"I dunno, I just feel I'm not good enough for someone like him."

"Hey, my Son is a good looking boy, and I know that because I am very handsome myself," Max stated, bursting out laughing. I knew he was trying to lighten the mood, but I wondered if he meant it... about me, I mean.

"He could be with anyone he wanted," I pouted.

"Yeah, maybe, but pretty soon, he will be coming to see you! Look Puppy. It sounds to me as if you are in some kind of rush for something. My advice? Just go with the flow, don't be one of those guys who smother. Be cool about things... about your feelings. Dave? I've known that boy for a while, and he is as loyal a person as you can get. I think you have been listening to Steven too much."

"What do you mean?"

Max giggled. "Oh, you know, In Steven's world, the girls are falling at his feet, and none of them last more than a week because he moves on to the next best thing. Yeah, I know. I’ve heard him telling you stories about how he is god's gift to girls and how he trades each one in when they get boring."

"Yeah," I said, grinning.

"Well, reality or not, Puppy, not everyone is like that. I can tell you Dave is not, so if you are worried about that aspect, then don't."

"It's just a small part. The rest is finding out what to do. I mean, sometimes I just sound like a blabbering fool when I talk to him, and I'm worried I'll just come across as weird."

Max smiled. "Puppy, there is no manual to this. Everyone is different. If you feel nervous, you can bet that Dave feels the same."

"Yeah, I guess."

"Well, anyway, I'm not gonna have the usual conversation I've with Steven frequently, but whatever happens, just be safe okay?"

"Safe? What, you don't think he's dangerous, do you?"

Max cleared his throat. " Erm, that's not really what I was getting at. Let's just say that if the two of you... well, you know... do things, then-"

"Ooooh, you mean sex, right... Oh my God, you didn't mean sex? I said, turning a shade of crimson.

"Look, I know it's embarrassing to talk about at your age, but just be careful and don't get silly in the heat of any moment."

"I'm sorry, I don't understand."

Max looked like he was in excruciating pain by the look on his face. "You're both young, and although I am sure there is no chance of any babies happening and Dave has no issues with his health, I'm still recommending that you get into good habits when practising sex."

"Health issues?"

"Oh God," Max muttered. "Puppy, sometimes guys... and girls, as they get older, have different partners they will go on to have... relations with, and occasionally one of them might-"

"Hang on... relations?"

Max sighed. "Puppy, shall I just say it how I want to, and then maybe you will get it?"

"I think that would work better."

"Okay, don't fuck Dave without a condom and if fucks you, make sure he wears one. Also, if you or he decides to fuck anyone else, then make sure you wear a condom also. People can have diseases and infections that are spread through anal and oral sex, and I don't want you to end up with what's known as a Sexually Transmitted Disease."

As Max finished, he ran his hand down his face, looking altogether red-faced and sweaty. I had to almost stop my eyes from falling out of their sockets and drag my jaw off the table, But at least I now understood what he meant.

"Erm, thank-"

"You're welcome," he said quickly, getting up from the table and leaning his hands on the work surface, dropping his head.

"It's okay, you know, I get what you mean," I remarked, trying to break the tension.

Max just shook his head and started to laugh. "I think I even shocked myself there."

"Just for the record, though, I don't think anything like that is bound to happen."

Max turned around and looked at me, a sly grin on his face. You're sixteen, hormones raging... never say never, that's all I'm gonna say. Anyway, Champ, I'm going back to bed; good night, and make sure you try and get some more sleep, yeah?

"Night," I said, watching him disappear from the kitchen. "And yes, I will."

Hmm, I thought. What the hell is oral sex?




I was awoken from my slumber with a half-naked Steven bouncing up and down on my bed. Although slightly annoying, I couldn't complain, really seeing as I had a first class view of his jingling junk bouncing away through the gaps in his loose Boxer shorts as I stared up at him.

"Now something tells me that you think it's Christmas, so I thought I would perform the same action I used to on mum and Max's bed when I got up Christmas morning."

"Huh?" I said, frowning. "And would you please get off me now?"

"What do you mean, huh... I pronounce this special day, Dave Day." Steven announced, finally jumping down off my bed.

I rolled my eyes. "Oh, yeah, but Santa doesn't exist, and Dave does, so this is better than Christmas," I declared, already feeling some excitement.

"What? Santa doesn't exist?"

"No, you dick!"

Steven slowly covered his face with his hands before starting to cry. I jumped out of bed and went over to him. "What the... Steven, I'm sorry, I just assumed..."

"It’s fine. Just leave me alone for a minute; I’ll get over it."

I stepped back, biting my bottom lip, feeling terrible. I had just ruined something massive for Steven, and it was breaking my heart. All the kids at the home used to get so excited at Christmas knowing Santa had been, jeez, I used to be one of them, but I thought at sixteen, Steven might have found out by now.

"Jensen?" Steven asked emotionally, facing away from me still.

"Yeah," I replied nervously.

"Could you go to the bathroom, please, and get a bottle of naivety, please?"

"Sure Steven, where is... you BASTARD!" I yelled. Steven turned around and fell back on his bed in a fit of laughter.

"Oh... oh... oh my God, your face! Your face was amazing!"

"You are a shit!"

"I know, and don't you just love me for it?" Steven said, sticking his pink tongue out at me.

"I thought I was gonna get hanged by mum and dad for ruining the secret, not to mention I felt awful for you."

"Ha, I noticed my feelings were second in that list!"

"You know what I mean."

"I gotta tell the guys about this. Billy will have a coronary when he hears it."

"Well, thanks for making me look an idiot in front of your friends."

"Hey bro, you don't need me for that!"

"Fuck you," I shot, grabbing my pillow and hitting him passionately with it. He managed to get me in a headlock and push me onto my bed.

"Come on fucker, is that all you got," he teased, pushing my face into the mattress.

"Arrrhhh, my foot, my foot," I screamed, immediately making him let go of me.

"Jesus, are you okay? Did I hurt you?"

I grinned. "Got you! Hahahaha, you fell for it... the look on YOUR face now. You wait till I tell the guys bla bla bla!" I tore at him, getting my own back.

"You fucking little... grrr, you're gonna pay for this, you'll see," he declared.

"Promises, promises."

"Actually, I'm feeling kind of tired today. So I might skip Billy's," Steven said casually, pretending to get back in bed and sleep.

"GET UP; you can't do this to me, you promised!" I squealed.

"Oh, my eyes are so heavy, and this bed is so warm," He added, faking a yawn and stretching his arms out.

"If you don't go out today, I will take my revenge while you sleep for real tonight, you know that, don't you? After all, you know how crazy I can be... how... how unstable I can be. So do you think you'll be able to sleep soundly tonight as I creep around plotting your gruesome death," I said in a crazy whisper, spinning my eyes round with a mad look on my face.

"You are fucked up, Jensen, FINE. I’ll go out today."

"I'm so glad you saw sense," I said, twisting my hands together, glaring at him.

"In other news, what were you and dad talking about downstairs at some God awful hour?"

"You were awake?"

"Briefly, but then I heard your voice and fell asleep with boredom again."

"Boohoo, you're so funny... anyway, it was just about Dave, so... "

"Why didn't I guess? So what, did the old man give you the birds and the bees jabber I have to have every two weeks, mandatory?"

"Birds and the..."

"Sex tips... he's an expert, you see," Steven said, tapping his nose.

"Oh, right. Well yeah, he did explain it to me, I guess."

Steven rolled his eyes. "Just let it go over your head. You’ll get used to it when you and Dave start to bump and grind. It's like dad is saying it’s ok to fuck someone as long as he issues his verbal diarrhoea license on it first."

"Actually, I found his talk quite informative."

"Yeah, you would, I guess," Steven muttered under his breath. "Anyway, I did too when I first heard it, but after five hundred times, the old talk seems to lose its shine a little. You catch my drift?"

I nodded, hardly understanding what Steven was going on about but feeling it better to agree.

"I'M NOT DEAF, YOU KNOW," Max hollered up the stairs. Steven hitched his shoulders up and pulled a face, making me grin.






"He's late," I said, pacing the kitchen, looking at the clock.

"What time did you say to come round?" Susan asked, putting the finishing touches to some cookies before putting them in the oven.

"I texted him last night and said eleven," I replied.

Susan looked up at the clock and smiled. "Puppy... it’s five past."

"Am I being stupid?"

"No, of course not, but it's not like he's an hour late, is it?"

"I guess... so do I look okay?"

"Very handsome," she replied, looking me up and down. "Why don't you sit down? I’m sure he'll be here soon."

"I can’t. I just need to-"

Ding dong, the doorbell chimed, causing me to jump out of my skin.

Susan grinned at me. "See?"

"I'll go get it."

"I would," she said, chuckling.

I brushed myself down and checked my hair in the mirror before opening the door. Dave was standing in a pair of really nice designer jeans with ripped knees and a black ribbed puffer jacket.

"Hey," I said, smiling like a fool.

"Hey... so could I come in? It’s kind of cold out here."

"Oh, shit...erm yeah, sure come in."

"Thank you."

Dave kissed me on the cheek after making sure no one could see. Straight away, I vowed not to wash for a month.

"Come on through, Susan is making cookies," I said as I hobbled through to the kitchen minus my crutches.

"Hello, David, Lovely to see you; how are your mum and brother?" Susan asked, kissing him on the forehead

"Drama, as usual, Susan, you know how it is, but my brother is good. He’s four in a few days."

"I know. I have a card ready; you could take it with you when you go later on."

"Sure, thanks," he replied.

"So, would you boys like a drink, or shall I just leave you to it?"

"Coke? I asked, looking at Dave."

"Sounds good."

Susan pulled out the bottle from the fridge and got two glasses from the cupboard, pouring us both a drink.

"I saw Max when I came cutting the hedge. That should be the last one for this year, right?" Dave asked.

"I hope so. That damn thing does grow fast; I’ll say that."

"Would you like to go upstairs?" I asked him, eager to talk.

"Sure, lead on...I'll see you later Susan, thank you for the drink."

"Aww, your welcome sweetheart, make yourself at home."

Dave followed me slowly up the stairs and into the bedroom before toeing off his sneakers and jacket. He sat on Steven's bed, which I had made before Dave got here and cleaned up a little. Then, shuffling back until he leaned against the wall, he pulled his knees up and stared at me.

"It's good to see you again," he said, smiling. I was surprised how comfortable he seemed to be in the bedroom, looking relaxed on Steven's bed, but then I realised that he did used to spend a lot of time here.

"I thought you weren't coming at one point," I announced, feeling relieved he was actually in the room with me.

"Yeah, sorry, I did plan to leave earlier, but... well, home stuff, you know."

"So, how have you been?"

"Yeah, good... thinking about you a lot."

"Hmm, me too."

"Thinking about yourself? Oh right, okay."

"No, I mean-"

"Hey, I'm kidding, Jensen, just trying to ease that petrified look in your eyes."

"Is it that obvious?"

"Yeah, but like I said, Friday... it's cute. So, what shall we do today?"

"How long do I have you?"

"My mum starts a shift at three, so I need to be home for my brother, so I guess until then. What time is Steven due home?"

"I said I would text him... look can I start off by being honest with you?"


"Steven does know about you, and him being out today is not just a coincidence... I asked him to go out."

Dave stayed silent as if taking in my statement. Of course, this was a big gamble, but I wasn't comfortable hiding stuff, especially to Dave.

"Will you please say something?"

"What do you mean he knows about me?" Dave asked cautiously.

"Well, it's pretty obvious, I mean, if you think I told him, then I didn't, I would never do that because you asked me not to, but with me liking you and asking you to come here, and then you accepting, it's just obvious right?"

"So he knows I'm here today?"

"Erm, yeah," I said, biting my bottom lip. I was sure he was going to flip out, but then again, it just wouldn't be him, from what I knew.

"I see."

"So, as I say, it's pretty obvious."

"Depends. We could just be spending time together as friends, right?"

"If it were like that, then Steven would be here, wouldn't he?" I asked, trying not to aggravate him any more than I had to.

"What did you say I was coming here for then?"

"Just to talk."

"Did he believe you?"

I smiled. "Well, he has his own theory, but you know Steven."

"Shit, this is bad. I should go... I shouldn't be here, he... he might say something to the others."

Dave got up off of the bed and stepped forward, and I grabbed him out of desperation. "Look... please, don't go, just... just hear me out."

I pleaded. He looked scared, even a little cross. But, eventually, he did relax a little and sit back down.

"I know you say you haven't told him about me, and I believe that, but asking him to go out and then telling him the reason for that is because I am coming round is almost tantamount to announcing my sexuality, Jensen."

"Look, I know you are fearful about this, and yeah, like I said, it looks obvious, but haven't you thought that if he were going to say something, he would be doing that right now at Billy's?"

"How do you know he isn't... how do you know they both haven't invited Jessie round there to have a jolly old discussion about it?"

I mused at his question. "Well... well, I don't, but I'm sure he won't."

Dave ran a hand down his face. "Arrh, what a mess."

I stood silently, feeling helpless. I had a horrible feeling he would bolt for the door, and I now wondered if being honest had been the right thing to do.

"I'll call him... I'll make sure he doesn't say-"

"NO! No... that will just make things worse, just leave it." Dave cried, getting to his feet again.

"I've really ruined this, haven't I?"

Dave blew air through his lips and placed his hands on his hips. "It's not ideal, Jensen. But I need to accept the blame for this anyway."

"Blame... why?"

"Because of how long I've let this drag on for. Besides, as I said to you on Friday when we met, I need to figure something out if we are going to spend more time together, so maybe this has saved me the job."

"So you're not angry?"

"I'm worried, but no, not angry. Anyway, you're far too cute to get angry at."

I blushed. "So, will you stay?"




Dave sat down on Steven's bed, resting his elbows on his legs. The fear of him bolting for the door was now leaving me, and I was able to relax a little. For some reason, he looked even better now I was able to gaze at him properly.

"Dunno if I told you this, but you look real nice," I said, initiating a shy smile from him.

"It was just something I threw on," he replied, but I knew he’d made an effort, just like me.

I got up and closed the bedroom door causing a strange look to come over Dave's face. "Just for some privacy," I remarked. Then, sitting back down on my bed, I got into a crossed legged position and leaned forward. "You've gone quiet. Are you still thinking about Steven?"

"A little, and I feel bad because today was supposed to be kinda special... about us, you know?"

"I guess I caused you to feel like that, right?"

Dave sighed. "No, Jensen, it's me, but hey, let's not talk about that anymore. I’m staying, I'm here, and I want to know all about you."

"You mean this crazy person who ended up in a kid prison?"

"Kid prison?"

I laughed. "Just what Steven calls it... It's a children's home.

"Yeah, Steven has told me some stuff, you know him, but it sounds like you've had a tough life."

I sighed. "It would be easy to say yeah I have, and in some ways that is true, but to be honest, Dave, for the most part, it's been ok, you know? I was very young when I went there, so it's been all I have ever known. The penalty I paid for that, though, is that I don't know a lot about the real world."

"You seem pretty clued up to me?"

I chuckled, thinking why. "Yeah, Steven has taught me loads about being a dude, as he calls it, and Max and Susan have been great with the other stuff. But even so, I still get overwhelmed with some things that other people would take as everyday occurrences."

"Well, I think that innocence is very attractive if I may say so." Dave declared, making me blush slightly. "So what's it like sharing a room with Steven? I remember when I stayed here, he was very territorial."

"We get on much better now; it was hard at first. But yeah, I know what you mean. Steven has his ways and likes things in certain places. So I felt the best way to appease him was just to fit into that. But, to be honest, I'm really easy going and coming from pretty much nothing at the home, I didn't care what this room looked like or how he wanted it."

"Uh huh."

"So, I want to ask, that's if you don't mind, I mean, you might think I am nosy, but I'm just curious and-"

"Just ask," Dave said, cutting off my rambling and chuckling.

"You have-"

"A key to your house?"

"Yeah, um, I was kinda wondering what led to that."

Dave paused for a moment, looking at a spot on the floor. "It was a complicated time... still is in a way."

"I'm sorry, it's none of my business; we don't have to talk about it."

"No, it’s fine. I’m just thinking back to how it all started so I can explain it to you."

I decided to get up and go and sit next to him on Steven's bed. I lightly made circular motions on his back as he gathered his thoughts.

Dave rested his hand on my leg and looked at me, smiling.

"I like it when you touch me. It makes me feel good." He said. Something told me that, just like me, he had missed anyone being tactile in his life. It made me feel sad for him.

"When I was at Greenstone, although the staff were nice for the most part, no one ever really hugged you or touched you. Maybe those were the rules but even as a young kid, I never remember anyone picking me up and cuddling me. So I know how being touched makes you feel, believe me."

Dave moved his mouth towards mine and placed a soft kiss on my lips. He cupped the back of my head with his hand. "You don't know how much I have wanted to do that since I got here," he remarked, slowly pulling away.

"I'd be lying if I said it hadn't crossed my mind wondering if you would."

"Your lips are amazing; I've never felt like this before."

"Me neither. It’s kind of mind blowing, isn't it."

"Ha-ha, I've kind of gone off topic a little. I’m sorry, you are just so distracting. So the key?"

"The key," I repeated.

"Basically, about three years ago, my mum found out my dad was seeing another woman at work. You see, my dad works in central London and we were always used to him working long hours as he's a Stockbroker. But it was getting to a stage where sometimes he was coming home at like, one in the morning and telling my mum he was working late because of a major float coming up."

"A major float?"

"Yeah, like when a private company sells shares to the public. I don't know much about how it works, but apparently, it's a busy time for people like my Dad."

"Oh, okay."

"Yeah, so one particular night, I was woken up by the sound of them fighting. It was really scary, actually. So I went into my little brother's nursery and closed the door. He was only about a year old, and I remember just sitting down by the side of his cot hoping that he didn't wake up from all the noise."

"What were they arguing about?"

"My dad had attended a birthday party of one of his work friends. Anyway, someone there had taken some pictures of the man whose birthday it was and posted them on Facebook. It was in some badly lit pub in London, and there were a few group photos and some of this man just messing around pulling faces."

"So, what's so bad about that?"

"Well, nothing at first glance, but as my mum found out, in two of them, if you look closely, you can see in the background, my dad with his tongue down another woman's throat."

"Oh my god, he was caught out by those pictures?"

"Yes, and that's when it all got horrible at home. After a few weeks, she forgave him but then found out it was still going on a couple of years later. Basically, all the time he said it was a one off drunken thing, he had been seeing her."

"How did your mum find out that?"

"One of my dad's friends who obviously had a conscience apparently told him that what he was doing was wrong because he had a family, and either he told his wife, meaning my Mum, or he would tell her himself. Suffice to say, my Dad didn't have the guts to tell my mum he was still having an affair, so my Dad's friend called her and told her what my Dad was up to."

"Wow, that's so sad. So, how did you end up staying here."

"Mum and dad were arguing daily after it all came out, and she had told him two weeks previous that she wanted him out of the house, but he had refused to go. By this time, my Mum was drinking heavily because of the stress of it all. My Dad was also drinking, and with the two of them drunk, it was a recipe for disaster. My Dad started hitting my Mum one night during a pretty bad argument, and I stepped in to protect her. My Dad lost his temper with me and punched me in the face splitting my lip, so I ran out of the house, and the only place of could think of going was here."

"Wow, that's awful, Dave," I said, squeezing his neck lightly. "I'm so sorry you had to go through that."

"Yeah, it was pretty tough... still is. Anyway, he eventually left, and now he lives with his mistress at some apartment in London.

But my mum had never been the same since and now she just drinks all day, even when she has to go to work. She had to get a job so we could keep the house. My dad still has to pay some money, but it was not enough, so my mum got a job in a working man's pub. The place is sleazy, and I don't like her working there, but she shouts at me, saying if she didn't, we would all be homeless or living in some damp shack."

"My God!"

"She's nasty when she drinks, and I get the brunt of it. Sometimes she blames me for Dad leaving and says having us kids made her ugly. I try to ignore it, but when it happens all the time, you start to believe it, you know?"

I shook my head in disbelief. Dave was not to blame here in any way. I felt crushed for him. I never knew what he'd had to endure at home and putting that together with what he's been through at school. I wondered how he'd coped. 

“He told me about what happened with you at school; I hope you don't mind?"

"I thought he might have done, yeah that was a bad time, but I've forgiven him and the other two."

"So, going back to you being here, was that a long term thing?"

"It went on for a few months; I'd mainly stay here at night, which was usually when my mum was worse. I felt bad for leaving my brother, but mum was always better towards him than me, and even though she was drunk most of the time, I knew she would never harm him. It was always me she inflicted her anger on. Susan has been amazing. She's spoken to my mum, and that helped a little. My mum even went into rehab for a while... that's when I went back home full time, but since then, she has started drinking again. I blame that pub she works in. It’s like trying to diet while working at McDonalds. You are doomed to fail."

"Does it still get bad?"

"Oh yeah, but as I'm getting older and used to it, I've just learned to cope. Sometimes I just cry myself to sleep as a way to vent. I read mostly. It helps me escape, you know?"

I took his face in my hands and gazed at him intently. "I think you're the bravest person I have ever known," I said, kissing him on the cheek.

We sat in silence for a moment, curling our fingers together as we both came to terms with Dave's admission. For him, it must have been hard admitting all that. I knew he felt weak for telling me somehow, and at times he did look uncomfortable. But, for me, it resonated quite a lot as to how my own life had been. Sure, the violence wasn't there for the most part, but the loneliness that came with being isolated from love was bang on the mark.

"It's funny how you never know what goes on behind closed doors, Dave. I remember watching the TV at Greenstone and realised that somehow when children have hard lives and troublesome parents, they should automatically come from a poor background. I guess what I've learnt is that it takes all sorts, eh?"

"It does, Jensen," Dave replied solemnly. "Jeez, look at me, I've come round here to be happy with you, and now I have depressed us both."

I chuckled. "Nah, I'm glad you told me and thanks for trusting me all that hard stuff."

"I think you are right, though... about being honest, I mean. It’s better to be upfront about stuff, and I feel I can trust you." Dave said, stroking my leg.

"You can, and I can relate to what you have said. My life has had its challenges, too, and I'm happy to share that with you. Besides, with Steven as my brother and your friend, there won't be a lot of secrets left between us soon anyway."

Dave sniggered. "Yeah, you got that right."

I paused for a moment. "I'm really glad we met; I want you to know that."

"Aww, me too. So tell me, how did you know you were into boys?"

"Wow, erm... hmm, you caught me off guard with that one. Erm..."

"Sorry, just curious."

"No... no, that's okay, I'm just thinking. So, have you ever seen the movie Brokeback Mountain?"

"That's the one with the two cowboys who fall in love, right?"


"I've heard of it."

"Well, I think that's when I first noticed something was different about me. Dave, you need to understand that while I was at Greenstone, I was isolated from most things and that included the subject of sex. Living here... and with Steven, I look back now and laugh because I didn't know about girls, or boys, or sexual stuff, so it was never something I was brought up to connect with."

"But didn't you have sex education or see stuff on TV?"

"Sex education? Ha, non-existent. My first sex lesson was taught to me by Steven... oh, and I got my first safe sex lesson from Max last night. As for TV, Greenstone had a filter system that cut off any programmes deemed inappropriate. So no, quite literally, I knew nothing about anything." I declared, giggling.

"So what about this girl Cindy, Steven mentioned. Didn't you have any feelings develop for her?"

"No, Cindy's and my relationship was like brother and sister. But, equally, there were no other children at the home near my age that I could relate to as I hit puberty, so as normal kids would probably find out from their friends at school what jerking off, sex, and stuff like that was all about, I had no reference."

"Hmm, seems unreal."

"Yeah, it's tough to explain to people, but that's just what it was like. So, what about you?"

"Me?" Dave asked, raising a brow,

"Yeah, like, when did you know?"

"Pfft, I had a crush on Steven. I think I even did when he was evil to me. He was the first boy I ever had those sorts of feelings towards. At first, I wondered what was wrong with me. After all, I never got that with any girlfriends I had at school, and I was... still am, friends with some beautiful girls. It sounds unfortunate, but there were times when I used to lay in bed daydreaming about Steven, even after he had beaten the shit out of me the previous day. As he would say... it was fucked up."

"Oh my God!"


"You swore... I've never heard you swear before."

"And that's shocking to you?"

I laughed. "Uh, yeah, it is actually."

"Hmm, well, I don't swear very often. It must be said."

"I know what you mean about Steven, though. He is rather attractive."

"Jeez, Jensen, he's your brother!" Dave sniggered.

"I guess, but you know, it's not like we are blood related. In fact, we’re not related at all."

"Have... have you seen his body?"


"Amazing, isn't it!" Dave said, licking his lips unconsciously. I hoped.

"Careful, I might get jealous... but yes, it's pretty easy on the eye."

"Haha, jealous? We just met."

I took on a serious look, slightly hurt he said that. "Is it wrong then... to be jealous, I mean?"

"Hmm, I don't know. You look at me as if I'm the expert."

"It's just... I like you and was hoping we could become more than... than, um, well this, I guess."

"You mean as in boyfriends?"

"If that is the normal thing to do, then yeah."

"Don't you think it's a little early for that?"

"I don't know, I mean, when is the time you say it, or mean it, or feel it?"

Dave's eyes went wide, and he took in a quick breath, letting it out slowly. "I think we should just see how things go. Let’s not rush into anything, okay?"

"Are... are you having second thoughts about me?"

"Whoa, hold on there... what are you talking about? Where has this come from?"

"I don't know. I’m just scared now. It’s like you are backing away from me."

"Backing awa... Jensen, I..."

He didn't finish his sentence, as before I knew anything, he had grabbed me, forcing his tongue into my mouth, exploring the inner recesses of it. My eyes went wide as I took in the new experience, wondering what the hell I was supposed to do. I tried to imitate what he was doing, wondering if I was getting it right. Dave didn't seem to complain as he slowly pulled me down onto the bed and clamped my head in his hands, kissing me ever more passionately.

The thirty or so seconds he was attacking my mouth with his soft wet lips was mind blowing as I embedded these new feelings forever in my mind. The taste of another person's saliva was never something I anticipated enjoying all that much, but Dave's was like nectar... sweet and pure.

Eventually, he slowly pulled away, and I even lifted my head, following him, not wanting the moment to end. My action made him smile the cutest I had ever seen him do.

"Still think I'm backing away?" He asked, winking at me. I could have died happy, right there and then.

"Sorry, I went a bit crazy for a second."

"Well, I hope that put your mind at rest. I like you, Jensen... I like you a lot, and me saying I want to see how things go does not mean I am backing away. It means, let's just see how things develop. We don't need to have a title to express our feelings. When it feels right then, we'll know we are together, but I just want to enjoy being with you right now. Is that okay?"

"Well, when you explain it like that, it's fine. Why didn't you just say that?"

Dave rolled his eyes and kissed me on the lips again before wiping some excess away with his thumb. "Messy, Puppy!"

Dave and I were lying on my bed and had been chatting for the last two hours. I had my head on his chest while he stroked my hair as we quietly talked.

Just then, we heard Steven's voice before footsteps coming up the stairs. I went to dive off the bed, thinking how it would affect Dave if Steven saw us, but Dave stopped me, pulling my head back down onto his chest.

"What are you doing... he'll see us," I hissed.

"Let him. I’m tired of running from who I am."

Steven came into the bedroom humming and stopped in his tracks as his eyes settled on a very intimate looking Dave and me.

"Hello Steven," Dave said. I would have loved to have seen the expression on Dave's face but couldn't. I didn't know whether he was shit scared or fucking crazy.

"Well fuck me sideways, fancy seeing you here, oh, and in the arms of another guy... well finally Dave... finally."

"Hi Stevie," I said, almost smug.

"I didn't know you were comi-" Steven started.

"You can drop the surprised look, Steven, You knew I was coming round, and I know you were sent out. It’s fine. I admit it, I'm... I'm gay."

Steven laughed. "Well, you know, Dave, I think I could have told you that."

"So, how did the others take it?" Dave asked, almost sarcastic.

"The others?"

"Billy and Jessie."

"Jessie wasn't there, it was just Billy and me, and they didn't take it anyway because I didn't tell them anything."

"You're joking, right?"

"Hey, I can keep some secrets... well, ones that are worth keeping."

"Hmm... now part of me wishes you had told them."

"Well, I can phone them now if you want Dave and tell them the good news," Steven said, pulling his phone from his pocket.

"NO! I will do it and thank you. It means a lot to me that you didn't."

"No sweat... so, did you fuck or what?"

I screwed my face up at Steven, half out of disgust and half out of embarrassment. "Um, no, STEVEN! We didn't do anything like that...Jesus, you are something else sometimes.

"Oh C'mon, you mean since I went out, you have managed to keep your clothes on. Man, If I were gay, I would have fucked both of you round the bedroom by now. Oh, and I must say, you actually look very cute lying there together. I’m almost jealous... I said almost!"

"You have a wonderful way with words Steven, I look forward to your next syllable with great eagerness," Dave said, not impressed.

"Shush posh head. Oh, but when you do get down to business, make sure you get our boy Jensen here to shave his asshole, he's a hairy fucker waist down."

"STEVEN! I squealed, my face jetting with heat.

"What?" Steven replied innocently. "Have you seen his legs, Dave? Jensen, show Dave your legs. They are like... well covered."

"I happen to like that," Dave remarked, pulling up one leg of my Jeans. I gently pushed his hand away, feeling like I was under some kind of fucking microscope.

"Oh, and one more thing..." Steven started until I threw a pillow at his head. "Wait, I think Dave needs to know this."

"No, Steven, he doesn't; you are totally embarrassing me now," I said, glaring at him. Steven smiled and looked at Dave.

"All I was going to say was that when he cums, stand back because, firstly, there is gallons of it, and secondly, he shoots hard enough to dent metal." Steven looked bad at me with a smirk, "I wasn't going to say ANYTHING about you being hung like a horse!"

"Right, that's it, fuck off, Ste..." I stopped suddenly, feeling the unmistakable twitching of what was Dave's thingy pressing against my lower back.

He was...aroused? Man!

I slowly twisted my head around and looked at him. He just smiled at me and shrugged his shoulders. Steven looked at us both strangely, wondering what was going on like he had missed some private joke or something.

This was turning out to be the best Sunday of my life!


Dave stretched out causing me to wheeze as his body pressed against mine. "Well, I guess I better be going soon. Got to be back to look after my little brother."

"God, the time has gone fast," I remarked, looking up at the clock.

"I need the bathroom. Don’t you go without saying goodbye," Steven said, heading out of the room. Dave nodded.

"Hey, um... would you like to stay over next Saturday night?" I whispered, stroking Dave's hand with mine.

"Really? That might work, my mum has the weekend off for once, so I doubt I'll be called upon... unless she has another male guest over. What did you have in mind?"

"Dunno," I shrugged. "Sometimes I wish I was eighteen already. I’m due to get some money, then we could go out somewhere for the day and then come back here."

"Perhaps its fate Jensen, you are hardly mobile right now," he said, looking down at my foot.

"That's due to be taken off soon. So then I can wear shoes again... well, that's the plan. But look, I'll see if I can score it with Max and Susan, and I'll let you know, yeah?

"Steven will be here next Saturday night, right?"

I looked at Dave and grinned. "Thought you were the one who wanted to take it slow?"

His eyes went wide. "Oh my God, I didn't mean for of that,"

I blushed, feeling embarrassed I'd assumed. "Oh, well, I just thought..."

"No, Jensen, it was just a passing question. Maybe we could do something together... the three of us."

"I'm not enough to satisfy your mind alone?" I said, smirking.

"What's this about being satisfied? Jensen letting you down in that department already, Dave?" Steven winked, coming back into the bedroom. I frowned at him.

"I should get going," Dave remarked. "Thank you for a lovely day, and thanks for not saying anything to Billy, Steven."

"Yeah, no sweat."

"I'll see you out," I said, looking suspiciously at Steven.

"Bye, Dave," Steven added before collapsing on his bed.

"Yeah, see you at school Steven, bye."




"What are you smiling about?" Steven asked as I returned to the bedroom after seeing Dave out. I felt warm and fuzzy after we had shared a quick kiss away from prying eyes in the hallway, just before I let him go.

"It's just been a good day, that's all. Thanks for giving us some time; I'm so happy right now."

"Yeah, you look it."

"So, did you keep it a secret from Billy that Dave was round here?"

Steven smirked. "What do you think?"


"I couldn't help it, but look; he will keep his mouth shut while I have anything to do with it."

"And Jessie?"

"Doesn't know, and Billy won't tell him if he knows what's good for him. But, look, Billy is cool, trust me. I'll handle the fallout from Jessie if it comes to that."

"Well, just make sure you do. Dave is going through enough right now without Jessie adding to the mix."

"Jensen, I know Dave better than anyone, so please don't lecture me on his troubles, okay?" Steven demanded, suddenly serious.

"Whoa, okay... I was just saying."

"Well, don't, you might be in this little bubble with him at the moment, but I've seen some fucking dark things go on with his family, so don't tell me how to handle things."

I stayed quiet. He had a point, I suppose. I didn't know Dave, Jessie or Billy anywhere near like Steven did, so I guess it might have come across like I was trying to think I did.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you mad. I just feel for him."

Steven sighed. "Yeah, bro, we all do. It’s shit for him... and you know, I'm glad you two have hooked up. He needs some happiness in his life right now."

"I'm sure you provide enough of that with your mouth," I remarked teasingly.

"Whatever, Boner, I need to take a-"

"Boys... Dinner!" Susan called from downstairs.

"Guess I'll take that shower later then. I'm guessing you can handle things on your own now in the bathroom department, yeah?"

"Yeah, it's okay now; I can put weight on it. C'mon, let's go. I’m starving.

As we got downstairs, Susan was just bringing a whole roast chicken over to the table. Max had just come in from the front garden, and we all seemed to convene together at once.

"Steven, go and wash up. Your fingernails are disgusting," Max said, grabbing hold of Steven's left hand.

"Yeah, I was helping Billy with his dirt bike. Unfortunately, it’s got an oil leak."

"I hope you aren't planning to ride that thing," Susan chimed in, handing Max a carving knife.

Steven just rolled his eyes and went to the bathroom. "It feels like I haven't seen you all day, Max. Everything done out there?" I asked, sitting down.

"Yeah, he's been a busy boy, haven't you, Max," Susan said, smiling at him.

"Yep, all done, mind you, I did get a bit carried away though and trimmed back next door's bush."

"Why, was old girl Sally getting a bit hairy down there?" Steven snorted, walking back into the kitchen.

"STEVEN!" Susan cried, covering her ears. "You will be the death of me, Steven Chase, I swear to God!"

"It was just a joke, mum, jeez."

"It was dirty... and don't you encourage him, Max, sitting there thinking I can't see you laughing, it's not funny!"

I just sat there frowning, wondering what the hell had just happened. "Sorry, did I miss something? What has Sally got to do with Max trimming back her bu-"

"Never mind," Susan cut in. "It's just Steven being filthy as usual."

"Jensen, a bush is another word for vagina hair."

"OH MY GOD!" Susan screamed. Max was about to split at the seams as he burst out laughing, real hard. Steven was in his element.

He had made Max almost wet himself and Susan have a coronary. He and Max suddenly high fived, and Susan just shook her head with utter disapproval.

"Let's eat, enough of the bush talk," she said. I could have sworn she almost grinned... well, almost!

Max started to carve the chicken, having to stop every so often because he had the giggles. Susan poured some wine for us all and tried to ignore him.

"So, how did your day go with Dave?" Susan asked. "I tried not to disturb you both, even though I had hot cookies in the oven."

"Yeah, it was nice, we talked loads, and I found out lots about him."

"That's great, honey. I didn't want to say too much about his problems at home. I hope you understand. I just thought it would want to be something he discussed when he was ready."

"Yeah, I'm sure he appreciated that, and it’s fine. I pretty much know everything now."

"Good, he's a nice boy," She declared, pouring some gravy onto her dinner. "You could learn a few things from him, Steven."

"Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm a big disappointment." He sulked.

"Oh shush, you know that's rubbish."

"I've been thinking," Max piped up after putting a mouthful of food in his mouth. "I think we should move."

"Whoa," Steven shot.

"Erm," was Susan's only word.

"Where to?" I added.

Max smiled as we all looked at him with our mouths open. "It was just a suggestion."

"Don't you think it would have been nice if you had discussed this with me first, Max, before announcing it in front of the boys?"

"It just came to me. Besides, we need a bigger house, we can afford a bigger house, and I know you would like a separate dining room."

"Don't try and sweet talk me, Mr, with your additional dining room idea! You know how I hate it when you just announce things on a whim."

Max dipped his head down and stayed silent. It was clear that as sweet and soft as Susan was, it sure looked like she was the boss.

"What about school?" Steven asked.

"What about Dave?" I added.

"Hey, slow down there guys... look, it was just a floating idea, and even if we did move, I'm not talking the other end of the country. Although I would like to move further out of the city."

"I think we should leave this discussion until your father and I have had a chance to talk this through, right Max?" she said, glaring at him. Max just nodded and put another fork full of food in his mouth.

Taking advantage of the momentary silence, I placed my cutlery down and prepared a pre-practised question I had.

"Um... I was, erm... well, I was wondering if Dave might be able to sleep over next Saturday?"

Susan and Max stopped eating and looked up at me. I kept switching my view between the both of them and tried on my best smile.

"But where will he sleep, Puppy?" Max asked.

"Max," Susan said, tilting her head at him, a slight glare in her eyes.

"Oh... oh right, I see," he said, correcting his trajectory on the subject. "Susan? What do you think?"

"Don't see why not-"

"Hey, don't I get a say in this?" Steven barked.

"I thought you would be okay with it," I said, saying please with my eyes.

"Well, I am okay with it; it would just be nice to be consulted. I might want an early night that night."

"Now you're just being awkward," I hissed, kicking him under the table.

"Look, sort it out amongst yourselves, boys, but your mum and I are fine with it," Max suggested.

"Cool, thanks," I said, giving Steven a smug look. His eyes suggested a horrible death was imminent.

Back in our room, Steven was on his computer looking at.. well, who knows, while I sat on my bed texting Dave on my phone. I was thinking about Cindy again, mentally chastising myself for putting her out of my mind as I had become so wrapped up in the new boy I had in my thoughts. It had felt so long since I had had any contact with her that I started to think maybe she had just forgotten about me rather than anything suspicious at play.

I let my head drop down on my pillow and stared at the ceiling.

"What's up?" Steven asked, turning around, an obvious boner in his pants.

"Are you interested?" I asked back, eyeing his crotch. Steven looked down and sniggered.

"Hey, I'm a red blooded male, but yes, I'm interested."

"Just thinking about Cindy, that's all."

"What about her?"

"Do you think it's possible to be so close to someone and then for them just to be able to forget about you?"

Steven mused on the question. "Dunno, never been in that situation. Why don't I try and do a search for her? What’s her surname again?"

"Batton," I replied, not holding out much hope.

"Hmm, Cindy B-a-t-t-o-n... " he tapped away. "Okay, got a few results here... some girl in the US, but she is twenty six. Another one here who is a stripper... yeah, I don't think that's her. Nope, nothing that sounds like your girl."

"Never mind, it was worth a try, I guess."

"You're giving up?"

"Maybe I should, Steven. If I don't, it will just haunt me forever... like it's doing now."

"She was your best friend, right?"

"Totally," I replied passionately.

"Then don't give up!"

"What else can I do? Greenstone will never give me the name of her parents. She hasn't contacted me... and I don't know if she even wants to, or can."

Steven stroked his chin for a moment. "Hmm, what if there was a way to make the kid prison give up its secrets?"


"I have a plan, but it's risky," Steven declared, sighing.

"Risky as in illegal?"

He Snirked. "Yeah, kinda."

"Oh no, I don't want no part in any activity that's gonna get us into trouble. I don't want Mum and Dad regretting ever finding me."

"Relax, will you? It might not even come to that. Do you wanna hear my plans?"

"Plans... you have more than one?"

"Jensen, when you wanna pull off something tricky, you always have a plan B in mind."

"Okay, let's hear it then, but I do not agree to anything yet."

Steven jumped off his computer chair and onto his bed, getting into a crossed-legged position. I leaned back against the wall and pulled my knees up, wondering what nonsense was about to come out of his mouth.

"First, I need to know what sorts of records are held at Greenstone."


"Yeah, like all those urchins that live there, do they have paper records in some vault or something, or computer records?"

"Both as far as I know, but the paper ones are held in a filing cabinet, nothing fancy like a vault."

"I'm glad you said both because that makes both of my plans optional."

"What are you suggesting?"

"Where are the paper files kept at Greenstone?"

"The homing records are kept in Charlotte Grange's office, the Medical ones in a locked room on the third floor."

"It's just the homing ones that interest me."

"Why, what are you planning?"

"Wait... lemme bring up a picture of Greenstone on my computer, then I want you to tell me where Charlotte's office is located," Steven said, rushing back to his PC with a sort of excitement I found strange.

I got up and went over to join him. He typed the name of my home in some box that had Google above it and clicked. Straight away, loads of different pictures of Greenstone came up on the screen.

"Now, I need to find one that's been taken in high resolution. That should help you." He said, talking more to himself, I felt. Moments later, a large picture appeared on the screen that showed the house and a small part of the parking lot.

"No," I said, shaking my head. "You need to get the other side. Charlotte’s office is round the back of the building."


Steven came out of the picture and flicked down the search page. "There!" I said, touching the screen. "That's a good one."

Steven clicked on the image, and sure enough, another large picture appeared, but this time showing the rear of the building. "So?" Steven said, looking at me.

"Hold on, I'm trying to get my bearings... okay, that window there," I stated, pointing at one of the old white windows that uniformly sat within the building.

"How do those windows open?"

I huffed. "How the fuck should I know? It's not something I paid much attention to while I was looking for new parents. Oh yes, sorry, Mr Watson, can you postpone looking for any parents for me for a while, so that I can fully investigate how the windows open at this place before I go? I might need to break in one day... Jesus!"

"Well, it's either that or we go to plan B, you sarcastic shit! So do you want to find your friend or not?

"Give me option B!"

"It’s plan B, twat!"


"Plan B, I will need to call a friend for."

"I hate it already... getting others involved, are you mad?"

"I share a room with you, don't I...now shut up and pass me my phone. It’s on my bed." Steven demanded.

"Oh, I'll get that then, shall I?"

"Hey, I'm doing all the leg work here! What are you doing? Apart from watching me... like you always do, I might add."

"Who are you gonna call?"

"Ghostbusters? Ha, actually, my friend, Ming... well actually, he's Jessie's friend, but what's the difference."

"Ming? What a strange name."

"His full name is Ming Chow Lang Yeung. He’s Chinese and a whizz on computers."

"Yeah... he sounds like he would be for some reason."

Steven put his finger up to his mouth, indicating he wanted me to be quiet.

"Hey Ming, It’s Steven... yeah, I'm good, listen, I have a challenge for you... yes, it's legal." I rolled my eyes. "Yeah... can you come over?... now. Yeah, now, why is that not possible?... okay... yeah... yeah, good... okay see you in ten."

Steven hung up his phone and smiled at me. "What have you gotten us into?" I said fearfully.

"Nothing yet, listen, I'm gonna see if he can do this and do it safely. If he can't, then we'll think of something else."

"Steven, I don't even know what THIS is."

"I'll explain it when he gets here."

Steven's phone buzzed, and he picked it up, swiping the screen. "Great, he's outside. Wait here; I’ll be right back. I don't want you injuring yourself, do we?" I gave him a sarcastic look and watched him leave the room.

"Who is it, Steven?"

"Just a friend, mum, he's not staying long," Steven called back.

Moments later, I could hear Steven and Ming coming up the stairs before entering the bedroom.

"Ming, this is Jensen, my Brother... Jenson? Ming!"

"Nice to meet you, Jensen."

"Hi, Ming." I said, holding out my hand. We shook.

"He's starting out at our school soon," Steven announced to Ming.

"Really, poor boy...Nah, only joking, you'll be fine," Ming said, taking a seat in Steven's computer chair. "So what's this all about, Steven?"

"Simple. Can you hack into a database of a children's home?"

"Whoa, Steven, I don't think that is a good idea, man... anyway, what for?" Ming asked, a little intrigue telling on his expression.

"Ahhh, I see I got you curious. Well, we need a name that's all and-"

"You need a name, Steven, I dunno if I want anything to do with this! It sounds bad, judging by Ming's reaction. I dunno what you are talking about when you say hacking, but I know the word means to hack at something."

"Relax... and besides, if you don't know anything about it, it will be easy for you to claim ignorance, yeah?" Steven assured me before turning back to his friend. "So, Ming, can you do it?"

"It depends. If it's a simple case of there being a firewall and the usual basic PC security, then I don't see why not, but if it has been beefed up-"

"It won't. It’s run on a shit budget, right Jensen?" Steven asked, flicking his head to look at me.

"I don't know. Why are you asking me?"

"You lived there."

"Yeah, but I don't know what fucking security they have on their systems, do I...I think you need to forget about this."

"Don't listen to him Ming, he'll be thankful if we can pull this off, more than you know, so what do you need from me, apart from my PC?"

"About half an hour and some coffee, Oh and the name of the building and where it's located."

"I'll grab the coffee. Jensen will fill you in on the other stuff...be right back."

Ming had been tapping away for an hour, and I was just lying there watching the two of them converse. Now and again, Steven would step up behind Ming and rest his hands on the back of the chair as if getting impatient.

"Okeeey, I think I'm in, just got to undo the encryption on the database. So once that's done, what do you need?"

"Can you search for a girl on there, called Cindy Batton?"

"I'll need to see how many files there are. It might take a little while to find what you need. It’s unlikely there will be one huge file waiting to be opened, Steven."

"So, how long will it take?"

"How long is a piece of string? I have masked your IP address, so there are no worries about being traced if that's what you are worried about?"

"You're the expert, but knowing that makes me feel a little better." Steven declared, looking around at me and grinning.

I shook my head. "I still think this sounds very dangerous."

"You heard him Jensen, it’s fine, he's masked the... what's it called, address thingy."

"There is a file here called Child PVD," Ming announced. Steven came and looked at the screen before turning to me.


I shrugged. "Dunno what that... oh, hold on... PVT? Yeah, Child Parent Vetting Disclosure. I had to have a PVD with Max, I remember now." Steven nodded and turned to Ming.

"Click on it."

"Damn, it's encrypted!"

"Can you do anything?"

"Maybe, give me some time... and must you hang over me... go make me some more coffee if you want to help."

I was amazed by Steven's obedience when he wanted something done. I followed him with my eyes as he dutifully left the bedroom to get more coffee for Ming.

"Is there any way we could get into trouble for this Ming?" I asked, feeling quite uneasy about what was going on. If we were found out, there was no doubt I would be suspected, seeing as I was the one with the history at Greenstone.

"It should be fine, Jensen. We are only looking at files. We do not plan to remove any. So once I break the link, there is no way for them to ever know someone was in here. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, I am masking your IP address, so if we were being traced, it would look as if the attack came from... hmm let me see... um, in this case, Zambia."

"Great, I understood all that. Thanks very much." As Ming turned back to the screen, I shook my head.

He'd lost me as soon as he spoke.

"Here you go, Master, more coffee," Steven said, returning to the computer screen.


"Okay, just a few more seconds, and I should... there, bingo, I'm in."

"Great!" Steven chirped.

"So, the name again?"

"Cindy Batton... we need to know who she left with, so look for names that are connected with her file."

I got up from my bed and wandered over to the computer, curiosity now getting the better of me, seeing as this appeared to be working... whatever Ming was doing.

"Got a Watson guy listed here, and what looks like his wife, maybe?" Ming said.

"No, that's the Home Director," I stated. "He'll be on there as the one who signs stuff off.

"Well, it says here, Cindy Batton, dur dur dur... into the care of Dennis Michael Watson and Jane Theresa Watson. It's been date stamped. Post vetting procedure passed... bla bla bla, given in right to the said parents, such of this date... bla bla bla," Steven reeled off.

I shoved Steven out of the way to get to the screen. "What the fuck are you talking about?!"

"Look, it says right here... and, there is an address... number thirty eight Badgers Lane."

I brought my hand up to my mouth, perplexed.

"Are you okay?" Ming asked as I stumbled forward. I kept reading the screen, over and over again. Dennis Watson!

What the hell was going on?

"This is the same guy you always mention, right?" Steven asked me.

"Yeah, but why would he tell me... I don't understand all this."

"Is that all you needed, guys? Want me to break the link?" Mind said, So So anyway his head round to face us.

"Yes, I've seen enough," I stated, walking away from the screen. I'd been lied to, big time. But at least it was one mystery solved.


Why is it when you think you've finally got life worked out, something comes along and blows your mind? The revelation of Mr Watson taking custody of Cindy was hard to get my head around. So many questions arose from that one piece of information it made my head hurt. Not least of all was why I was being lied to.

"So what now?" Steven asked, watching me pace the bedroom.

"Dunno, I'm thinking," I replied, hands behind my head. "What's he hiding?"

"The man... in the database?" Ming asked. I didn't want to stand here explaining the whole background of this to someone I didn't know, so I just nodded.

"I think you should tell Dad," Steven suggested.

"What can he do? It’s...it’s not like we can just turn up there and demand to speak to her, don't forget, we don't even know about this, do we?"

Steven drew in a quick breath. "Good point. I guess that might generate suspicion."

"Part of me wishes I had never let you do this. I think I'd been better not knowing."

"And now you do bonehead, so quit whining."

"That's easy for you to say. You didn't know her. You don't care, do you?"

"I care about you, dickhead... look at you, you're all stressed."

"I'll be fine; I just need to think things through."

I really wanted Ming to go now. I felt bad thinking that because he was the one that had supplied all the help getting this out. Right now, though, I just wanted to be alone... yeah, even without Steven.

Maybe Ming read my mind... either that or my body language because just as I sat down on my bed, he announced he was going.

"Thanks for the coffee Steven... nice to meet you, Jensen; I hope you get what you're looking for, pal."

"Thanks, Ming, hey, I'll see you at school, yeah?"

"Yeah, cool, pal."

"Bye Ming, thanks for all the help," was all I said, wanting to retreat into myself.

Steven followed Ming out of our bedroom to see him off while I sat, rocking back and forward like some lunatic, I imagined. Leaning over to my bedside drawer, I pulled out a blister pack of Citalopram pills I was currently taking, forcing one out. I knew that this type of tablet was not going to cure me of any ill-feeling instantly, but somehow the process of taking it made me feel a little better.

"You okay?" Steven asked, returning to our room.

"Suppose," I replied as Steven came and sat next to me. "I'm just wondering-"

"OH MY GOD, what have you done?" Steven screamed, picking up the almost empty blister pack of pills.

"What?" I cried, shocked at his outburst. Moments later, Max and Susan came running into our room.

"What's happened? What’s all the shouting about?

"Jen... Jensen's taken an overdose."

"What? Max and I said together.

"Oh honey, why?" Susan whined. "Max, we need to get him to the hospital."

"Whoa, what are you talking about... Steven, mum...just slow down." I shot back, holding my hands up. "Steven why would you think that?" I added, clambering to get away from Susan, who was now pulling at me, looking a little hysterical

"Look, the pack, its... its almost empty."

"Uh...DUH! That's because I have been taking them. They are bound to deplete over time. I keep them in this drawer."

Max rolled his eyes, and Susan let go of me. "Steven, for Christ sake, is this another one of your pranks?" he asked, breathing out a sigh of relief.

"No! I just thought..."

"It's probably my fault, I don't usually have the packet left out, and I was in a pretty bad mood earlier and... oh what a mess," I declared, shaking my head. "Steven didn't know the pack would be empty."

"I'm sorry; I saw the pills and got scared you'd done something silly, like before."

"It’s fine Stevie, better to be safe than sorry, I guess," Susan added, trying to calm everyone."

"At least you care," I added, managing a smirk.

"Actually, most of that was acting," Steven replied, smiling at me.

Susan tugged at Max. "Ok, boys, we're going back to watch TV after that false alarm, try and not to give your dad and me a heart attack again, please."

"Sorry," we both said in unison.

Max and Susan left the room and went back downstairs. I looked at Steven and grinned.

"It's heart-warming. It really is."

"Don't start, shit for brains, or I'll hurt you."

"It's ok, you know, I know you care about me; I think it's really sweet."

"Yeah, well, maybe I do, ok?" he replied, almost shyly.

I got up and stepped towards Steven, giving him a big hug. He didn't respond, as his pride was acting like a reversed magnet. It was ok though. I knew he liked it.

"Why don't you just send a letter to Cindy with your details on it?" Steven said, breaking the silence that had ensued for almost an hour now.

"Because it leads back to the same question, no matter how many bright ideas you come up with Steven... how would I know where she lived if I'm not supposed to know?"

"Well, I don't see you coming up with anything. She's not even my friend, and I'm putting in more effort."

"Would you like me to jerk you off? You are getting very frustrated lately... perhaps I can relieve some of that tension."

"ME? You're a fine one to talk. I wasn't the one pacing up and down this room like fucking Road Runner earlier... and no, you can't. It would purely be for your sick pleasure, not my frustration, and you know it. Besides, you'll get plenty of cock next week."

"Oh shut up, nothing like that is gonna happen."

"Why not, because I'll be in the room getting ready to post it on Facebook?"

"No, because I haven't got a clue what to do if you must know. So go on, laugh, take the piss." I huffed.

Steven stayed quiet for a moment. "Is that why you have been so uptight when I've brought up the subject?" he asked, serious for once.

"No, I get uptight because you assume that I'm gonna be like one of your porn people on that computer, and the truth is I'm shit scared and clueless. What if he asks to do stuff? He says he hasn't been with anyone, but I know he's probably been exposed to a damn sight more than me when it comes to sex."

Steven sighed. "Look, I'm sorry if I made you feel inadequate, but the truth is, Jensen... you are." He said casually. We both burst out laughing, and I threw a pillow at him.

"Jesus, the first sexual experience I'll have is gonna be shit, isn't it?"

"Haha... yeah, probably, but what the hell, as long as you both enjoy it, right?"

"Do you think I should wait for him to initiate it?"

Steven shrugged. "I dunno."

"Well, you seem to be the expert... or so you say."

"Yeah, but then I have never done guy on guy Jensen; it’s a little different. Look, if you want my advice, don't over analyse it. If something happens, it happens, ok?"

"I know, you're right, I just can't stop thinking about it, and it's making my stomach fill with butterflies. God, I have so much crap in my head right now. It’s really stressing me out. Dave, Cindy, not to mention you almost calling the paramedics for mum and me having a fit."

Steven got up and closed our bedroom door, and I followed him with my eyes.

"Take off your shirt."

"What? No... hang on, why?"

"Just take off your shirt and lay on your front."

"What are you gonna do to me."

"Final offer or I'm gonna leave you to implode." He said, standing there.

"Fine," I said, bowing to his demands. "I unbuttoned my shirt and slipped out of it, chucking it to the end of the bed. Then, laying on my stomach with my head facing out, I watched as he rumanged about under his bed. "What are you looking for?"

"Oil... give me a sec... ah, there it is."

"Oil, what sort of oil? I hope you aren't gonna be nasty to me."

"Just shut up and lay quietly," he commanded, turning our main light off and switching his lamp on.

Walking over to my bed, he suddenly straddled me putting his legs on either side, sitting on my ass. I suddenly felt the cold contents of the oil hit my back before feeling his hands come down on me. First squeezing my shoulders, he then worked in the oil by running the palms of his hands up and down my back in a slow and rigid motion.

"Nice?" He asked, continuing the rhythm.

"Hmmm, yeah," I replied, closing my eyes.

"Don't get used to this, ok? I’m not gonna be your massage slave whenever you get stressed, got it?"

"Just keep doing that," was all I said, dreamily. "Where did you learn how to do this?"

"I didn't. This is my first time."

"It feels good, and it’s working, I feel better."

Steven ran his hands down the side of my rib cage, making me shudder. I knew his actions were purely platonic, but I was battling with myself not to get aroused by it.

"You better not have a boner," Steven suddenly remarked as I let out an involuntary groan. "Actually, don't even tell me. I think I know the answer."

"Does that bother you?"

"As long as I can't see it, no."

"If I told you I did and that it was because of what you were doing, would it bother you then?"


"Sorry, just teasing... you are very good, though."

"That's what all the girls say when I put my dick in them."

"I rolled my eyes, even though they were closed, and sighed. "Let’s be honest here, Steven, and I hope you can be because it's me you are talking to…, not Billy or Jessie."


"What?" I asked, confused.

"You are about to ask me how many girls I have had sex with. If you want the honest answer, it’s one."

"Oh, right, it's just you make out that it's been loads."

"Nope, one girl, maybe ten or so times."

"When was the last time you had sex with her?"

"About four months ago, we don't talk now anyway."

"Why not?"

She has a new boyfriend. We went out for a while until her friend Carly said I was sleeping with some girl I didn't even know. I wouldn't mind if I had, but I hadn’t, ... anyway, that's old news."

"What was your first time like?" I asked, as Steven made long slow motions right from the bottom of my back to the top of my neck. "Aaaahhh, that's nice,"

"A disaster. I got it inside her and shot my load in around twenty seconds. The worst part was she laughed. I think I could have dealt with it better if she'd got pissed off, but she laughed, Jensen. After that, we didn't talk for a few weeks until we met again at Jessie's house, and she offered me another chance to prove I was not a two rubs and a squirt kind guy, as she put it."

"And did you?"

"Well, obviously, doughnut!"


"So you see, there is no point planning in your head what your first time with Dave is gonna be like, or even thinking about what will happen because I can guarantee, it will always be different. But one piece of advice that Jessie taught me... always jerk off a few hours before you have sex. That way you won't cum so fast."

"That was good advice from him, then?"

"Hell no!"

"Why not?"

"Because he fucking told me after I'd had sex with her and shot my load... pretty useless information after you have made a complete ass of yourself, wouldn't you say?"

I sniggered. "Yeah, I guess so."

"Right, Mr, you're all done. I hope that helped."

"Hmmm, yeah, I could have that done all night, but thanks. You're a triple M," I said, giggling.

"A what?"

"A Mean Massage Man!"

"You are so lame, Jensen... so lame!"

Steven climbed off me and wiped his hands on a nearby towel. I twisted myself over onto my back and sighed with a mellow satisfaction.

"I feel all sleepy now," I remarked, putting my hand behind my head.

"Yeah, I was thinking of getting an early night, unless you want to watch a movie or something?"

"Up to you, although I might fall asleep. What did you have in mind?"

"Dunno, might flick through Netflix and see what's on there, but I really need to take a shower first."

I woke up in the silence of our room. Steven was fast asleep, breathing peacefully, the TV was off, and it still looked dark outside. Wondering what the time was, I squinted to see if I could see the clock on the wall, but it was just too dim. Instead, I reached for my phone that was balancing on the edge of my bed and pressed it on. Hmm, five fifty-two, I thought, also seeing I had a message.

It was from Dave, just saying goodnight.

I must have fallen into a deep sleep when Steven went for a shower because I don't remember him coming back into the room, OR my phone alerting me to the message from Dave, which came through at just gone ten. Damn it, I thought, now wide awake, worrying that he might think I was ignoring him.

Badly needing a pee, I got up and wandered to the bathroom, turning on the light. I stared into the mirror and pulled down my eyelids. I looked pretty good for someone who had just slept for God knows how long.

I pulled up the seat on the toilet and let a satisfying stream of urine fall into the bowl. It was real nice feeling my bladder empty as I contemplated a shower before everyone got up for work, school and, in Susan's case... housework.

Funny how everyone has their routines, I thought, switching on the shower and flushing the toilet. Mondays were always ironing day for Susan, apparently. She would watch daytime TV while I would typically stay in our bedroom, keeping out of the way.

"Puppy, is that you in there?" Max called through the closed door. I went over to it and pulled it open.

"Yeah, sorry, did I wake you?"

"It's okay. I was getting up soon anyway. Did you want a cup of tea; I'm making one for myself?"

"Yeah, okay, thanks. I'll be down in a minute."

"Okay... oh, and don't forget to wrap that thing up before you get in the shower," Max said, looking down at my foot.

"Oh, yeah, I will. See you soon."

I closed the door again and pulled a freezer bag from the vanity unit. It was Susan's bright idea with the bag, and together with an elastic band, it made for a good watertight foot jacket.

Stepping into the shower after removing my boxers, I let the warm water run over my body, shuddering with the sudden change in skin temperature. Once I had acclimatised, I went to work on cleaning my body, starting with my face and working downwards. I massaged soap into all the nooks and crannies before washing my short blond hair, which had now begun to feel a little greasy.

Walking into the kitchen, I saw Max sitting at the table, a load of documents in front of him. The cup of tea he had made me was sitting across the table from him, and I picked it up, taking a sip.

"That looks involved," I remarked, taking a seat opposite him.

"Monthly accounts, Jensen. Running your own business means you have to do all this stuff yourself. Plus, I have two other guys who work for me, so I have to make sure they are paid and paying the right tax. All that, and I also have to make sure I'm turning a profit." He reeled off, letting his cheeks fall into his hands, elbows on the table.

"Hmm, sounds complicated."

"If I were as good as Maths as you are, it probably wouldn't be. Anyway, I thought I'd make some inroads into it before starting a new job today... this one is in a spooky old forest." He remarked.

"Is there anything I can do to help?"

Max Laughed before seeing my serious face and killing the smile left on his face. "That's kind of you, but I think this would be too... actually, yeah, you have a go." Max passed me three bits of paper. "That's all the outgoings for the entire month," he said before giving me another two sheets. "And that's all the incomings... oh and this one," he added, passing me another. "This one is the men's wage bill."

I laid out the papers all in front of me and scanned through them. There were figures everywhere. Some, Max has crossed out and replaced. Some were scribbled out altogether... it looked a mess.

Max leaned back in his his chair and watched me intently, I noticed, looking up at him and smiling. "Too much for you?" he asked, grinning. I just shook my head and stayed silent.

I pulled a pen over and took a blank sheet of paper from the table, and started to scribble down some figures. Max waited patiently as ten minutes passed by before I put the pen down and gulped down the rest of my tea.

"What... have you given up?" he asked. I gave him a puzzled look.

"Given up? No, I've finished.

"Impossible !" Max gasped.

I shrugged. If you want me to be honest, I think you make it harder than it needs to be. Figures need order, and these pieces of paper are chaos. But I managed to work it out."

"Okay, my little accountant, do your worst," he said, smirking at my previous comment."

I took in a deep breath. "Subtracting tool hire and fuel costs for the two vehicles you own, which I see are on a separate line you made a profit this month of five thousand, eight hundred and sixty two pounds. You need to factor in tax and national insurance for the men because, as I can see, you have only included basic pay here. Once the tool hire costs are taken out, which I see you make every quarter, and you add up tax and national insurance, you'll be left with a net profit of three thousand and eighty-two pounds. Fuel needs to be calculated, of course, and I see you have a pending invoice due to be paid, and this could adjust those figures... but I haven't included that. I can see that fuel from the previous month was around two hundred and twenty pounds, so if you estimate the same this month, then that should leave you with a profit of around two thousand eight hundred after every single thing is paid."

I gathered up all the sheets and passed them back to him along with the pen. Max's jaw was wide open, and his eyes looked like he'd seen a ghost.

"What are you?" Max murmured under his breath. I smiled and leaned back in my chair. Yeah ok...

Slightly Smug!

"He's a weird sleeper, Steven remarked, patting into the kitchen.

"Well I'll be damned, up before your mother, what's with you?"

"My bladder was full. What’s his excuse?" Steven replied, knocking me on the shoulder.

"Same, plus I needed a shower."

"Jensen, no one wakes up deliberately just because they need a shower."

"Well, I had slept for ages."

"Tell me about it. I was up for us watching a movie, and when I came back in, you were out of it."

"Yeah, sorry about that, I must have been real tired. So, will you be meeting Dave today?"

"Yes, Jensen, I will be meeting Dave," he replied, rolling his eyes at me.

"Would you please tell him I fell asleep last night, and that's why I didn't text him back?"

"Awww, so cute, thinking he is going to disown you because you didn't reply to his cutey wooty text. Meh, give him credit homeboy; he’s not that insecure."

"Grrr, just tell him, OK?"

"Whatever... I need to eat. And anyway, why don't you just text him yourself?"

"Well, I will. I just thought you could verify I was asleep to him."

Steven looked back at me on his way over to sort his breakfast. "Verify? Do you think he's going to go off you because you didn't text him back? What's the matter with you Sickbrain? Lay off the paranoia pills!"

"Steven, be nice, will you?!" Max said, authoritatively. "As you can see, Puppy, Steven is the pinnacle of early morning people; his moods are just divine."

"Dad, it’s Monday, It's raining, I have double science today, and I'm hungry. Please tell me what there is to be so happy about."

Steven pulled out a bowl from the cupboard before getting down the box of cornflakes on top of the refrigerator. He skilfully placed the box back on top while opening the door and pulling out the milk all in one motion. Sugar went on, and within seconds, he was at the table. I could tell Steven was world-class in the time-saving department when he needed to be.

"So what are you doing today, shithead?"

"Steven, don't speak to your brother like that, please. Jesus, some of you kids can be so abrasive towards each other."

I hoped I wasn't included in Max's grouping.

"Dunno, dickbrain, but probably have more fun than you will."


Max sighed. "Puppy, don't speak to your brother like that, please."

Yep, I probably was now!

"Thank you," Steven said to Max. "I like it how you don't mind letting him get away with it."

"That's because everything he knows, he got off you, so how can I blame him."

"How is that true?"

"Because you are the only one he's been able to learn that stuff from. You don't hear me walking around calling your mum a shithead, do you." Max went back to his papers.

"I don't know... do you?"

"Well, there was this one time when... wait a minute...No!"

"Haha, Busted!"

"Who's busted?" Susan asked, appearing in her dressing gown. "And why are you three up so early."

"Puppy woke me up," Max said, smirking at me.

"I needed a piss-"

"Steven, please! Your mouth needs to learn some manners."

"Yeah, Steven, no swearing before your Thirty. It upsets your mother."

"Don't encourage him, Max, we didn't bring him up to swear and be rude."

"You let him get away with it," Steven said to Susan, huffing and pointing at me.

"Actually, I never heard Puppy swear before."

"You wait, he'll slip up one day, and I'm gonna be there... you'll see, then you'll know."

"Eat your breakfast, and stop making me out to be less perfect than you know I am," I said, teasing him.

"Okay, so today we need to get you to the hospital, get that dressing taken off. I also need to take you into the school and get your uniform fitted, and then we'll go for lunch if you like?" Susan offered, "Say about eleven-ish? I want to get the ironing done first."

"I thought the dressing would be done Wednesday?" I asked.

"Was it, Max?"

"Not sure, sorry, love, I've been so busy."

"Well, we'll go today anyway. Maybe they will reduce the bandage down, and you'll be able to wear shoes again. How has the pain been?"

"Almost gone; it hurts a little bit now and again, I guess."

"Sounds like it's healing well then," Max said, looking up from his documents.

"Good," Susan remarked. "Oh, Steven, you said the other day you need some new football boots?"

"Yeah, my other ones are getting a little tight. I think my feet are still growing," he mused.

"Okay, if you print me off a picture from the JD sports website before you go, I'll pick them up for you. How much are the ones you want?"

"A hundred and twenty." He replied. Max almost choked.

"WHAT?!" He cried. "For a pair of boots?"

"Dad, I need these special ones for grip."

Max looked over at me. "Better adjust that bottom line, Puppy... put it to zero this month!"

Steven smiled, knowing he would be getting his boots, before dumping his bowl in the sink and disappearing from the kitchen.

A hundred and twenty pounds for football boots, I thought. I was just grateful to get fed each day. But then, I guess he was used to getting what he wanted, and who was I to add an opinion.

Copyright © 2021 James Matthews; 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.
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Chapter Comments

Steven is proving himself to be a terrific brother to Puppy.  It’s just what he needs to acclimate to his new life.

Such happenings!  Susan becomes Mum, Dave becomes his boyfriend, he gets to start school soon!  Wow!  If he had been on the old meds, I wonder if he would have been able to enjoy all this without getting overwhelmed and going off the deep end.

Now Greenstone.  Something stinks there and it seems to be getting worse. Legally, I don’t have a problem with Watson adopting Cindy.  It’s happened in real life where caretakers/teachers have wound up adopting kids.  I have a friend who did this!  But, why the secrecy? Watson knows how close the 2 kids are.  Why would he prevent them from contacting each other, especially if Cindy is happy about all this?  Does she think Puppy has abandoned her? Watson should bring her up-to-date about that.  There seems to be more going on than we know at this time.

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Yes I believe Puppy is truly beginning to "live" and feel comfortable in his new life with a family, a brother that seems to care about his happiness and now a new boyfriend!  School will be the next big adventure!

Greenstone, as specifically Watson,  still remains a mystery - with all the secrecy surrounding Cindy's adoption!! Something is just not right and it smells like a "cover-up"!!

Great writing James, you paint a very vivid picture of all the characters and I'm thoroughly enjoying the ride!  Thank you!!

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