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SUMMARY: Two boys growing up together in an idyllic beachfront community share a passion for baseball. One excels at the game and plays it with reckless abandon; the other, less talented, studies the game and those who play it, hoping someday to share what he learns with others. Best friends since childhood, the two have seen how baseball can bring them closer together. Now, having just graduated from high school, it’s about to show them a crueler side of the game. Baseball is about to separate them even though neither wants that to happen. You can find a longer synopsis of the entire story here. Please note that italics are typically used to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself.
WARNING: This story is a work of adult fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Unless otherwise indicated by context, all of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs portrayed or mentioned in this story are fictional, not depictions of real people, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs. Please note that the story may describe, depict or otherwise include graphic portrayals of relationships between men and/or adolescent boys that are homosexual in nature. If you do not like or approve of such discussions or it is illegal for you to read such material, consider yourself warned. If you continue to read this story, you are asserting that you are fully capable of understanding and legally consenting to reading a work of adult fiction.
NOTICE: This story is my property and protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. It may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author. However, you may not use this work for commercial purposes or to profit from it in any way. You may not use any of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams, clubs, or other fictional locations described in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon the story in any way. If you share this story with others, you must make clear the terms under which it is licensed to them. The best way to do that is by linking to this web page.
NOTES: Please check these notes every week. If there is something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so.
You can’t just stand here all night staring at the building, Ethan.
You need to make a decision.
Reentering the building, I walked to the elevator and pushed the button that would summon it. The door opened, letting me in. I looked at the array of numbers on the board, hesitated momentarily, and then pressed two.
The elevator deposited me there quickly enough and I walked towards the corridor where Dennis lived. No one was in sight when I got there. That made everything easier. Walking down to Apartment 224, I looked around once again. With no one in sight, I rapped softly, opened the door and walked in.
The lights in the place were on, but Dennis was nowhere in sight.
“Boo,” he said, jumping out from behind the door.
He was holding a hammer in his hand and instinctively I ducked away until he lowered it, letting me know he had no intention of using on me.
“Jesus, Dennis, you scared me,” I said. “What’s with the hammer?”
“I invited someone else here a few months ago,” he replied. “He brought a friend along and they beat me up pretty badly. I just wanted to be prepared in case you tried the same thing.”
“Not that I thought you would,” he added, walking over to the dining room table and putting the hammer down.
“Can I offer you a drink?” he asked. “I’m not old enough to buy beer or liquor, but I have Diet Coke and Seven Up; plus milk, water, and instant coffee. Would you like any of those?”
“No,” I responded. “I’m good.”
“Come over and sit down on the couch with me,” he continued, motioning for me to join him as he headed toward a sofa that had seen better days.
I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.
“Um, well, maybe just for a moment or two,” I said.
I walked over to the couch, but didn’t sit down. Instead, I just stood there looking at him.
“I’m probably not going to stay very long,” I added. “I just felt like maybe we should talk a little more and, you know, maybe we could . . . we could . . . um . . .”
“I don’t know,” I sighed, unable to find the words for what I was trying to say; if I even knew what I was trying to say.
Looking down at him, I decided to be honest.
“I don’t know, Dennis. I don’t think I could be a very good friend for you. I mean, the thing is, usually I’m tied up in the evenings playing ball or away on a road trip somewhere so it’s not like I can do the kind of stuff most people do; you know, go to a restaurant or the movies or whatever. I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to come up here. I wish I could be the friend you’re looking for, but I don’t see how that’s possible.”
I was looking for an easy way out, but Dennis wasn’t interested in providing one.
“You could be the best friend you could be and that would be enough for me,” he replied. “Or we could just have sex tonight if that’s asking too much. I realize it’s hard for someone in your situation and I appreciate your honesty. If you just want to skip the social pleasantries and get to the sex, we can do that. I like you, Ethan, and I’ll let you do whatever you want.”
“I mean, it’s not like I’m a virgin or something,” he continued. “I’ve had sex before, mostly with men I’ve hooked up with through Craigslist; older men, usually married, who like getting their dicks sucked but with wives unwilling to do that for them. I’ve never been fucked so you don’t have to worry about me having AIDS or something like that. I’ll assume you don’t either. If I’m wrong about that, feel free to tell me. You seem honest to me; different, kind of nice actually.”
He was trying to make it as easy for me as he could, but that made it even harder in some ways.
“Um, well, I haven’t really done anything much at all,” I responded. “There was this one guy I knew; I used to, um, well . . . he, um, he was just looking for some relief and I, um . . . I would help him out; um, with my mouth, I mean. That’s about the sum total of my experience.”
He didn’t say anything in response and I felt like I should say something more.
“I mean, it’s not like I don’t appreciate the offer, Dennis, and maybe I’m just nervous, but don’t you think we should get to know each other a little more before doing stuff like that? I mean, all I know is your name and that you work at the pizza restaurant up the road and live here. You know even less about me.”
“What would you like to know, Ethan?” he asked.
“Um, well, I dunno,” I said. “I mean, do you work full time or are you going to college? What do you want to do with your life when you grow up? Do you have a boyfriend or someone special? Stuff like that I guess.”
He looked over at me and smiled.
“No boyfriend, no one special,” he replied. “I’m working full time, trying to save a little money to attend community college, but there isn’t much left after I pay the rent on this place and buy groceries. My parents can’t help me out that way. They wouldn’t even if they could.”
“What do I want to do with my life? Would it be over the top to say I would like to marry you and be your wife?”
Hearing him say that shocked me.
“Um, yeah, that would be saying a lot given how little we know about one another,” I replied.
“Well, I didn’t mean it to sound so personal like that,” he said. “I was just trying to say I would like to meet someone special and become best friends and live happily ever after like everyone else. I realize it’s probably not going to be you. But I don’t know what else to dream for.”
“I mean, I only have a high school degree, no specialized training, no parental support. I have to support myself, which I’m barely able to do. I’m gay, but I don’t have any friends; as you saw tonight, guys hate me. I try not to think about the future too much because, honestly, when I do, I don’t see any way forward for myself.”
“I guess that’s why I would like you to fuck me tonight, Ethan. I’m not asking for a wedding ring or any kind of commitment, just a few moments of pleasure in an otherwise crummy existence; and when I saw you tonight at the restaurant, something told me you’re not entirely happy with your life either. Maybe a few moments of pleasure would help both us get through the night.”
He was being totally honest and it made me think how hard life can be at times. You try to keep yourself busy at whatever you do every day. You try to find ways to fill up the hours before you retreat to your bedroom and close your eyes and welcome the darkness and don’t have to think about stuff anymore. But the longing is always there no matter how hard you try to ignore it. It never goes away. I understood what he was saying.
“I don’t know, Dennis. Maybe you’re right, but, honestly, I don’t have a lot of experience with any of this and I’m nervous.”
“That’s okay, Ethan,” he responded. “It isn’t rocket science; although I think lift-off can be kind of fun, don’t you?”
That made me laugh and just laughing like that made it easier to cope with what happened next.
He stood up, took my hand, and led me to his bedroom. Then, nonchalantly, he started taking off his clothes until he was totally naked. I just stood there staring at him while he did it, uncertain what to do. I could see I had been right earlier. He was lean, not muscled or defined like I was, and still had a little baby fat, especially around his breasts; and like the high school boys had teased, his penis seemed to be a little smaller than average.
Except for the usual places, his body was mostly hairless; but there was a small tuft of fluffy blond hair on his chest and a little treasure trail that connected his belly button with his groin.
“Um, well, should I take my clothes off?” I asked when he finished.
By now my throat was dry and I was having trouble getting the words out. I realized how stupid my question had been.
“I guess it depends on how quickly you plan on leaving,” he said. “But, yes, it would be nice if you did. It would make things a little more personal, like we’re friends or something.”
So that’s what I did. I stripped off my clothes while he picked up his own, took them over to the closet and started to hang them up.
By the time he was done I was naked. I was also aroused and that was embarrassing. Turning around, Dennis stared at me for a moment. I guess he must have liked what he saw because he complimented me on my body several times. I tried to return the favor by saying nice things about his.
Walking over, he looked at me.
“Would it be okay if I kissed you now?” he asked.
“Um, sure,” I responded.
Leaning over, he kissed me momentarily, then stepped back and stared into my eyes. It wasn’t a passionate kiss, just a gentle one, but I liked it. It was the first time I had ever been kissed by a boy.
Taking me by the hand, he led me over to the bed and the two of us climbed on to it. He turned around, facing away from me, and handed me a little tube of lubricant.
I could feel myself starting to hyperventilate. I wasn’t ready for this.
“Can I ask something?” I said.
“Sure,” he responded.
“How does it get decided that I, um, I’m the one . . . I’m the one doing this to you and you’re the one taking it from me?”
“I don’t know exactly,” he responded, turning around and facing me. “I just assumed that was the way you would want it because you’re more masculine than me.”
“Why?” I asked. “What exactly makes me more masculine than you, Dennis, and why should that matter in any event? Maybe we should flip a coin. Wouldn’t that be fairer? Or take turns. I mean, it’s just kind of confusing at times. Shouldn’t it really depend on what each of us wants?”
“Absolutely,” he replied. “It should and I guess that’s why I would like you to do it to me. I like you and think it would be very special for me to have someone like you be my very first.”
By now I realized this was the wrong time and place to be having this conversation with him; and yet, the more I thought about it, the more the whole thing confused me.
What difference does it make? He wants this to happen. You can make it happen for him, Ethan. What’s the big deal?
Opening the tube, I spread some of the lubricant on and pushed one of my fingers inside him gently. It was a sensation I had never experienced before. I remember liking it. He seemed to like it too because he moaned softly.
I put on the condom he had given me and lubricated it as well. I wasn’t certain whether you were supposed to do that, but it seemed like it would make everything easier. I pushed in a little harder than I had planned and it felt really good sliding in. And then it just slid right back out for some reason.
I tried again and the same thing happened again; and then a third time and again it slid out.
“Sorry,” I said, embarrassed. “I must be doing something wrong.”
“You’re nervous,” he said, “and so am I. This is my first time, at least for this. Is it your first time as well?”
“Yeah,” I responded.
“That probably explains it then,” he said. “What do you think we should do?”
I thought about telling him the truth, that I wanted him to do it to me. But for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to say it.
“Um, well, maybe it’s like I said before; maybe we need to get to know one another better before trying something like this. We would probably be less nervous; and to be perfectly honest, I would be just as happy to kiss you some more. Tonight was the first time I’ve ever been kissed by a boy. Maybe we could do that some more?”
He seemed to like that idea and that’s what we ended up doing. We just laid there together on the bed facing each other and spent a long time kissing each other. Toward the end, as we became more aroused, we took turns helping one another with our hands. It was pretty intense, at least for me, especially when he pushed one of his fingers inside me. That was incredible.
When we were finished, we talked some more. Finally I told him I needed to leave.
“I would really like it if we could become better friends, Ethan,” he said. “Is there any chance you could spend the night here with me?”
“I don’t think I could do that,” I answered. “The guys I live with would probably get worried. It would be the first time I ever spent the night away from the apartment; and without letting them know in advance, I think they would get nervous and maybe call the police.”
“Okay, I understand,” he sighed. “But I would like to see you tomorrow. How about tomorrow morning; are you free by any chance? The reason I ask is I’m part of a little group here in Columbia and tomorrow we’re going down to Annapolis. There’s going to be rally down there at the state capitol to support marriage equality. Would you like to come along?”
That set off alarm bells.
“I can’t do something like that, Dennis,” I replied. “I mean, I support marriage equality, but ballplayers like me are in the public limelight and I doubt the people who own the team I play for would be very happy if I took a position on something like that.”
It was partly true. To keep their fan base happy, management shunned any kind of controversy and expected us to do so as well. But there was more to it than that. If I went to a rally for marriage equality and someone recognized me, it might raise questions with my teammates. That was the last thing I needed.
Dennis seemed to understand, just not entirely.
“Okay, I see,” he said. “That was probably asking too much, but how about just coming along on the bus we’ve chartered? We could talk on the ride down and back without you actually participating in the rally. What about that, Ethan?”
“I don’t really think I should go anywhere near something political like that, Dennis,” I responded.
He was disappointed, but also persistent.
“Okay, well, uh, how about after the rally when I get back here then?” he asked. “I have to be at work by 4 p.m. but maybe we could take a walk before then. We should be back from the rally by 3 p.m.; would you like to go for a walk then, maybe a walk in the park where we met tonight?”
“We wouldn’t have much time, maybe just thirty or forty-five minutes. But I’m off from work at 10 p.m. so maybe we could get together at my place after that. You could tell your teammates you had a hot date or whatever and then we could spend the night trying to get to know one another better.”
Do you really want to be seen in public with someone as effeminate as Dennis, Ethan?
Suddenly I felt ashamed of myself.
“I have a game tomorrow night,” I responded. “I’m not sure when I’ll get back here exactly. You can never be sure how long a game will go on, but probably my game would be over by 10 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. and I could come over after that. My teammates would be surprised and they would probably kid me a lot if I told them I was going to be out all night, but I think maybe we could do that.”
“And, well, um, I guess I could meet you at the park around 3 p.m. for a walk. I need to be at the stadium by 4 p.m. so it would have to be a real short one.”
“Okay, it’s settled then,” Dennis replied. “I’ll see you at the park tomorrow around 3 p.m.”
While he pulled on a pair of shorts, I got dressed. We walked to the door together. He opened it; and then, just before I left, he leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. It was nice and I was about to return the favor when I spotted a man coming down the hall. I decided to leave quickly.
I made my way back to the other side of the building and went to bed. I remember tossing and turning a lot that evening. I wasn’t sure what to think exactly. Dennis seemed to be very nice although I remember thinking it would have been better if he had been more like the boys and men I looked at on the internet whenever I could do that safely.
Not everyone can be a model, Ethan. Not everyone can work out and be in perfect shape. People have to work. They come home tired. Working out is part of your job because you make it part of your job, but not even all of the guys you play with are in perfect shape. Some of them are pretty dumpy; and, besides, why is it just about what shape he’s in?
He has a very cute face, beautiful even, and he smiled at you back at the apartment and he has a terrific smile. He seems very nice. He’s trying to make things better for people like you by going to that rally. He isn’t looking for just a quick roll in the hay. He could be a very good friend, just the kind of friend you keep saying you want.
He’s not Hunter. No one is ever going to be Hunter. But you haven’t seen Hunter in a long time now. You’re not in touch with Hunter and you don’t have any friends either. Wouldn’t it help to at least have someone to talk to; maybe someone to hug at night? Sleeping together in the same bed with him could be very nice.
Oh, yeah, sure; go ahead and delude yourself, Ethan, another voice responded. The season is going to be over in a couple of days. You’re going home to Rehoboth Beach to see your Mom and Zachary; maybe even Hunter if he can get down from Newark. Then you’re heading off to Florida to play winter league ball.
Do you think that’s fair to Dennis? Do you expect him to wait until next season rolls around and you’re back in Columbia? Do you even know for sure you’ll be back in Columbia next season? How fair is that to him; or to Hunter for that matter?
You keep saying you love Hunter and yet here you are, jumping into bed with some stranger. Look, Ethan, you know what this is about. It’s about the sex. You want him to fuck you.
Isn’t that funny, Ethan? He’s definitely swishier than you, more effeminate than you; and that’s why he wanted you to fuck him tonight, because he thinks you’re more masculine than him. It’s just like those high school boys. They didn’t have a clue you were gay, but they know he’s gay.
What would they think if they saw the two of you in bed doing what you really want him to do?
Think about it, Ethan. You and Dennis are in bed. Both of you are naked. Your legs are up in the air and he’s fucking your ass and those boys walk in and catch you being screwed like that. Wouldn’t that be humiliating, Ethan; for them to see you like that?
Enough! I replied, mad at myself.
You’re turning this whole thing into another one of those crazy fantasies. Dennis is very nice. I just have to explain everything to him so he doesn’t get his expectations too high. That’s all.
Just don’t be too honest, Ethan, the voice responded. If you tell him the truth, he may not want to pursue it. I mean, what’s in it for him after all?
I put the whole thing out of my mind and eventually fell asleep. The next morning I tried not to think about what had happened very much. I spent part of it doing chores and part of it writing a letter to Zachary. I had promised him I would write a letter at least once every week when I wasn’t home and it was one of the few things I was diligent about.
I knew he shared them with my mother and she would write back and Zachary would add some words to whatever she wrote. It was kind of unusual actually. Most guys on the team kept in touch with friends and family via e-mail and things like Skype. I had tried that for a while myself after getting promoted to Columbia, but stopped after someone ripped off my laptop.
There were times when I would go down to the library and shoot off a quick e-mail using one of their computers, but there was something more personal about getting those letters from my mother and Zachary and responding to them the same way. When you wrote a letter, you lingered over things a little longer. You would stop and review what had happened the previous week; think about things and then decide the most important things you wanted to share.
By the time I had finished writing my letter it was almost 3 p.m. I sealed it up, addressed the envelope, put the stamp on and then walked down to the lobby and sent it off. Pushing open the door to the building, I started walking toward the park. It was another nice day and there seemed to be a lot of people scurrying about. Seeing them made me nervous.
Do you really want to do this, Ethan?
As I entered the park I saw three figures in the distance where I expected to be meeting Dennis. As I got closer, I could make them out. There was Dennis and two of the boys I had met from the high school team the previous evening. Dennis was just sitting there on the bench and one of the other boys was shouting at him.
I recalled his name was Jason. He was the one who had tortured Dennis the most at the restaurant and he was screaming loud enough to make out most of the words as I came closer.
“Fucking faggot . . . I’m not going to ask again . . . get that queer ass of yours off that bench and out of this park, you little fairy . . . NOW!”
I quickened my pace and was on the three of them soon enough.
“Hey, what’s up, Jason,” I said, trying to divert his attention from Dennis.
He turned around and looked at me and for the first time I could see that his face was contorted in anger. But it seemed to disappear the moment he looked at me. He smiled and nodded. It was almost as if everything was suddenly normal again.
“Oh, hey, great to see you, Ethan; what brings you out here this afternoon?”
“I was just taking a little walk before I have to go to the stadium. We’re playing tonight at 7:05 p.m. Am I going to see you there tonight, bud?”
“No can do, Ethan,” he responded. “I got a hot date tonight and I’m afraid she takes precedence over your game.”
“No problem,” I responded. “I know how that goes. But, um, what’s the deal here? You seem kind of, um, well, agitated.”
“I am,” he said. “Neil and I were on our way over to the basketball court to shoot some hoops when we spotted this asshole sitting on the bench over here. I know what the little fag is up to. He’s just sitting here waiting for some young boy to walk by so he can offer to give the kid a blowjob. All these fags are child molesters and it just pisses me off thinking about it. I have a younger brother myself and I don’t want some freaking pervert messing with him.”
“The bottom line is I was just telling the little queer to get his fucking ass out of this park before I beat the shit out of him.”
“And you better get those feet of yours moving now, fag; and I do mean NOW!” he added, turning his attention back to Dennis.
Dennis didn’t say anything and I could see that was only infuriating Jason more.
“Um, well, maybe that would be a good idea?” I suggested to Dennis, looking over at him.
“No,” he said, looking back at me. “It’s a free world. This park is open to everyone. I’m waiting for someone, but not a little boy. I’m not a child molester and I’m not going to leave just because some bigot hates me.”
“You’re right about that, you little fairy,” Jason replied. “I hate cocksuckers like you. And you know why?”
“Probably because you want to suck mine,” Dennis interjected. “You’re probably gay, too, Jason, and just trying to hide it from yourself.”
To say that wasn’t helpful would be an understatement. Jason lunged toward Dennis and it was only with the greatest of efforts that I was able to wedge my body between the two of them.
“Hey, hey, hey; Jason, cool it,” I said. “Can’t you see what he’s doing? He’s trying to get you to hit him and that way you’ll be the one arrested when the cops show up. Come on, Jason. Why don’t you, me, and Neil head over to the basketball court and shoot some hoops. I don’t have a lot of time before I have to leave, but it’ll be fun; certainly a lot more fun than letting this dude get to you. What do you say?”
He didn’t want to do it. By now the rage in his eyes was more intense than ever; the hatred all too evident. What he wanted to do was to beat Dennis to a bloody pulp and I think he would have tried if his friend hadn’t walked over at that moment, put his hand on Jason’s shoulder, and reinforced my efforts.
“He’s right, dude,” Neil said, softly. “This isn’t fun. Ethan’s right. Let’s go shoot some hoops together. That’ll be fun.”
Jason shook Neil’s hand off of his shoulder and took a deep breath.
“Okay,” he said. “You’re right. Let’s go.”
The three of us started to walk toward the court; then Jason stopped, turned around, and looked back at Dennis.
“If I ever see you in this park again, you’re dead, faggot. I’m going to kill you; and then I’m going to cut that cock of yours off and shove it down your own fucking throat so people will know what got you killed.”
Oh, god, please don’t say anything, Dennis, I said to myself. Please?
Please don’t say anything.
Dennis didn’t say anything, but he didn’t look away either. He just sat there impassively, holding Jason’s gaze; and in the end it was Jason who broke off that little stare down and then turned around and walk away with Neil and myself.
I spent the next thirty minutes or so shooting hoops with the two of them; and then, apologizing, I headed back to the apartment building to get some things before heading over to the stadium.
By then Dennis had disappeared.