You Don't Know Me

Chapter 9

By Dabeagle


I walked Ky to his doorstep, where we said goodnight. I didn't really want to go in and share him with his folks, and I'm not sure if he wanted to tell them we were an item. Parents get weird when they know their kid is entangled with another person. I walked the rest of the way home, humming to myself and reliving the way it felt to hold Ky.

I changed for bed and sat up with the Benoits in the living room and read my book with Ramses trying to lick my shorts. I hate that, it leaves this weird wet spot on the material. I gave up after about a half an hour when I realized I was re-reading the same paragraph over and over because I kept thinking of Ky.

"So," Mrs. B said, stretching the word out and glancing at her husband in a knowing, yet teasing fashion. "Kyle Winters. More than just a friend these days, isn't he?"

I gave her a goofy smile. "He's my boyfriend, now."

"How long have you been plotting this?" she asked with a grin as she marked the page in her puzzle book and closed it.

"Plotting? I didn't, really," I told her. She flashed a look that said she wasn't buying that. "No, really!"

"You and Kyle have been close since, well, since we've known you. You mean to say you weren't scheming all that time?" Mr. B asked with a wink.

I smiled at them and rolled my eyes. Adults thought they were so slick when they tried to get information out of a kid. "Ky was my friend before anything else. I didn't even know he was gay until last night."

"You move fast!" Mrs. B said with a laugh.

"Hey, Ky is amazing. If there was anything I could do about it, he was going to be my boyfriend!" I told her.

"Well, how did this come about?" Mr. B asked and closed his book as well. In a way I thought this was nice of them, to take an interest. I presumed it was also to figure out if it was a healthy relationship.

"Well, I told you how Giles got his first kiss the other night, remember?" They nodded and I continued, "So last night Kyle and I baked cookies and then hung out in his room while they were cooling, right? Ky was kind of moping because he thought he'd have had his first kiss by now. I told him I'd have bet he'd have had one by now." I put a finger in the air in response to both their mouths opening. "He's a good looking guy. I figured he'd dated but we hadn't ever talked about it. So, he came out to me."

"You mean he didn't know you were gay?" Mr. B asked.

"No. It hadn't really come up - we'd never talked about who we were into or anything. But once I knew he was gay, I had to try, you know?" I grinned and told them how we'd held hands and how Kyle had thought I was screwing with him.

Mr. B cleared his throat and glanced at his wife before addressing me. "I didn't think we'd have this conversation so soon, but I think it has to be said."

I sighed internally. "Just because we're dating doesn't mean we're trying to screw. I'm trying to get to know him better and enjoy this," I said with what I thought was a lot of patience.

"Well, it'll make the agenda some day, so it makes sense to have those things covered. After all, you don't want to come out into the living room with your pants down to clarify things, do you?" he asked with a hearty chuckle.

I rolled my eyes, I couldn't help it. I never thought of myself as much of an eye roller. It must be the age. "Okay, agreed. No sex, does that about sum it up?"

"Drake," Mrs. B said as she shifted on the couch and tucked her leg underneath her. "Let's not forget I'm a school nurse in a high school. We hand out condoms. I'm also not into making up rules for no reason or ones I can't enforce. Okay?"

I closed my fat mouth and nodded.

"So what we want is for you to be respectful. If that time comes for the two of you, be mindful that there are little ones in the house. Be mindful there are others who live here with you. Be mindful that just because you have a door doesn't mean you should close it and invite suspicion." She sighed. "We want you to respect yourself and the person you're with. You only get one first time."

I nodded slowly. "I'll remember."

After letting Ramses out for the last time I headed to bed with a furry dog at the foot of my bed. I'd tossed aside the shorts and tee shirt, per usual, and was lying in bed wondering just how I'd been so lucky at this point. Yes, my body had helped to attract Ky, but clearly he hadn't liked who Drake had been. There was also the fact Drake had been straight. So far I thought I was doing pretty well with this second chance. So thinking, I drifted to sleep, hoping for sweet dreams of Ky.


In the morning I was woken just after seven-thirty by Ramses scratching at the door. He'd heard the kids get up and wanted out to see everyone. I grabbed my shorts and tee shirt before heading out to let him into the yard.

"Morning," Mrs. B greeted me.

"Good morning," I replied as I sat down to have breakfast. The twins were already seated and making noise. Jessica was giggling and asking about Kyle and I just shook my head. I think I was about her age the first time I looked at a guy and felt something other than 'Oh look, another human' come over me. Justin asked if I'd play basketball with him in the afternoon and I said I would. Right after breakfast, the twins disappeared and I helped clean up after the meal.

Mr. B came in through the front door and nodded a hello. I heard him go into the kitchen and tell Mrs. B the line at the quick change had been short so he was back faster than he'd expected. I glanced at the clock in my room and was surprised to see it was after nine. I scooped up my phone and called Kyle.

"Hey, Drake," he said in greeting, but his voice let me know he wasn't thrilled.

"Hey, Ky. What's going on?" I asked as I flopped onto my bed.

"My mom is what's going on," he grumbled. I heard a door close and then he continued. "She's going shopping for a new couch, and at first I was happy because she'll take Dad to do that stuff, not me. But then it got better, because she was going to do a big grocery shopping and that means grandma would go too - she has special stuff she wants. I'm all thinking is I'm going to have the house to myself for most of the day, and then she drops it on me."

I grinned. "What chore did she give you?"

"How did you-never mind." He sighed and I heard him sit heavily on his bed. "She wants my room cleaned."

I was a little confused. His room hadn't been that bad a few days ago. I said as much.

"Yeah, well, she wants it 'Mom clean'. That means all the laundry I've been putting off, under the bed-the closet! I have to clean and organize it! It'll take all day!" he groaned.

I couldn't help but smile. I remembered complaining bitterly on weekends as a kid when I'd have to do chores and my own kids had done the same. It hadn't been any more fun as an adult, but you had a little more control, sometimes.

"Well, how about if I ask if I can come over and help you?" I asked.

"Well," he said in a speculative tone. "I'm not really supposed to have anyone over while my parents are gone."

"Oh," I replied, disappointed.

"But, I guess if I don't tell them...and they see how nice my room is, or if we are outside playing ball when they get back then...right?"

As broken rules went I didn't think it was that bad. Besides, if I focused his room would be done in plenty of time.

"Sure. Let me find out what the score is here and I'll let you know. Okay?"

"Okay," he said sounding relieved. "Thanks, Drake."

"Of course, Ky."

I wandered out into the kitchen where the Benoits were enjoying a quiet moment with a cup of coffee. Ramses was sitting between them, looking back and forth. I guess he assumed since they were at the table, they had food.

"Morning," I said to Mr. B.

"Hey, kiddo. How'd you sleep?"

"I love that bed. So much better than the group home," I said with a small laugh.

"That's good," he replied and sipped his coffee. "You planning your day?"

"Well, I told Justin I'd play basketball with him this afternoon. I wanted to see if you wanted me to do anything, though, before I asked if could go to Kyle's for a few hours."

"Sure. I'm thinking about getting the lawn mowed tomorrow," he said as he glanced out the back door.

"I can do it," I replied. "Or I can help the twins with their rooms. I don't-hey, has Pam said anything to you about being able to get some stuff from my old house?"

"No," Mrs. B replied. "At least, not an answer. She did mention you'd asked. Was there something in particular?"

"Not that I can remember," I said with a grin and tapped the side of my head. "But if there is a guitar or any musical instrument, I'd like to grab it. Maybe a computer for school. I assume I have other clothes, maybe sports gear. I honestly have no idea what's there. I was just about to say there isn't much to clean in my room outside of dusting or something and it made me think of it."

"Oh, right," she said with a nod. "I'll give her a call this week. In the meantime, you can head out, but take your phone, okay? We might go out this afternoon, which will throw a wrench in Justin's plans for you."

I shrugged. "There'll be plenty of time. If I tell him I'm going to do something, though, I have to make sure it's not me breaking my word."

I took a quick shower and pulled on jeans and a tee shirt, both name brands of course, and headed over to see Ky. His parents' car was gone and I knocked on the door. He looked relieved to see me.

"I thought you were going to call?" he asked. He was dressed only in a pair of shorts and I made an exaggerated leer at him. "Stop, pig. Get in here," he said with a scoffing laugh. He blushed as he backed up to admit me and I enjoyed the way it made his face look.

I grinned and followed him up to his room. I was surprised at how much the room had changed. He had two full hampers of clothes by his bed, I assumed clean and waiting to be folded. His bed had been stripped and I glanced at him. He wore a slightly miserable look.

"I have to fold all these, my sheets and stuff are in the wash now. I have to dust and vacuum but the worst is the closet," he said, and we both glanced at the door. Oh yes, the bulging doors. I tried to hide my smile, but he caught me and grimaced.

"Well, I'll start on the clothes," I said. "Just tell me where they go in the dresser, and you can focus on the closet, since I don't know what to do with your stuff in there. When I get done, I can help you. Sound good?"

"That'd be great," he said, and he let out a deep breath.

With a little smile at him I went to his desk and cleared it off so I'd have a folding space. I emptied the first hamper onto the bed and started to sort tee shirts from hanging stuff, pants and then his underclothes.

"Where do these things go, now?" I asked.

"Um, bottom two is for pants and shorts. Middle are for shirts and the top is for socks and underwear. Just toss them in," he said. I paused and lifted up a pair of his underwear. A square short design with a white slash on the left leg that grew wider as it dove down the leg, through the dark blue of the rest of the cloth. I turned and showed these to him and he blushed slightly.


"I'm just imaging them somewhere else," I said with a wicked grin.

"Picturing me in my underwear?" he asked. A blush crept up his neck and was the cutest thing ever.

"Not quite," I replied as I finished separating the clothing. I turned and looked at him, the question clear on his face. "I was picturing them on the floor, right after you'd taken them off."

He tilted his head down and looked at me as if to say 'Really?'. He also had a red patch on either cheek. He laughed a little and said, "You keep dreaming, Drake."

I carried his tee shirts over to the desk and lost myself in the rote motions of folding his clothes. I wasn't surprised to find some clothes still in his dresser and that they were unfolded. I folded them and then began putting his stuff away. I folded his underwear, more to save space than anything else, and then matched his socks and put them away as well.

In the meantime he took the doors off the closet to give himself space to work unimpeded. I was stunned at the amount of junk he had in his closet. Some of it really was junk and he had a garbage bag on hand to start throwing things out. I had set aside the clothes to put on hangars and, my first job done, I sat down to admire Kyle.

He had a very pretty face, and I think that would be the first thing to get anyone's attention. He was slender and had a darker skin tone; he must have soaked up the sun when he'd gone to the beach. His shoulders were still widening, and his waist was narrow. His stomach was flat but not hard or muscled. His pecs weren't large, and his legs were also athletic but slender. He really was a nice looking guy, as a whole. The fact that he was so good on the inside made any exterior flaws, shortcomings or imperfections superfluous. I could care less that he wasn't well muscled or didn't have a six pack. He was great, he could kiss and he'd stolen my heart sure as anything.

Recalling I'd not yet had a kiss from him I stood and walked up behind him, slipping my arms around his waist and pulling him against me. He put his hands over mine and chuckled, leaning back into me even as he admonished me for distracting him.

"Well, you're distracting me," I said firmly. "You're over here looking hot, and I haven't had a kiss from you yet. I'm thinking that needs to change."

I nuzzled his neck while he laughed at me and patted my hands. "I haven't brushed my teeth, Drake."

"Mmm," I hummed as I kissed his neck and he leaned back a bit more.

"This closet...isn't going...Jesus. What the heck am I doing?" he pulled away and fixed me with a stern look. "You said you'd help. You keep this up and I'm going to be in big trouble in a few hours when my folks get home. Now you just...keep those fantastic kisses for later, because I want them. I do."

I tried to look abashed, but I wasn't quite sure I was pulling it off. "I folded the clothes, Ky. What do you want me to help with next?"

He ran a hand over the spot on his neck I'd been focused on. "Um. Sheets and blankets are in the dryer downstairs, should be done. Would you bring them up, please?"

"Sure," I said with a nod.

"Um. Shit," he said and turned slightly. "I'm sorry. I'm so...fucking torn. I really do have to get this done, and you have no idea how hard-tough! Tough it was to go back to cleaning," he said and turned red.

I sucked my teeth in and ran my tongue over my lips. "I'll just get those sheets. Toss the empty hangars in a pile for me for your shirts?"

I was laughing to myself as I went through the house and hunted for the door to the basement. I loved teasing him, that was true, but I also as enjoying how keyed up he was getting over me. It was a novel experience to have someone good looking be turned on by me. It was also kind of impressive that he was able to override his hormones to focus on the mundane task of cleaning a closet. I found the basement door and the dryer had just finished, so I pulled the sheets and comforter out and set them on a folding table. Obviously his mother folded things down here and brought them up afterward; Peggy was the same way.

I started to fold the sheets and then kicked myself. These were going on his bed, duh! I gathered them up and made my way back up to his room. I entered the room and said, "I feel so dumb. I started to fold them and then I remembered...."

Dropping the sheets on the bed I was stunned to see Kyle wearing the square cut underwear I'd teased him about earlier and leaning against the edge of his desk. He wasn't looking at me but, not being able to miss me entering the room, he crossed his arms and blushed slightly as he continued to not make eye contact.

"Holy shit," I breathed.

He jerked but otherwise didn't react.

"Ky. You good. I mean." I licked my lips. "So, so good."

His eyes wandered over to my face and he smiled tentatively. "I felt like a prude a second ago."

"This is very un-prudelike," I said with authority.

"I brushed while you were gone."

It was all the invitation I needed. With a few long strides he was in my arms, wrapping his own around my neck, and I was blown away by his patented kiss and the feel of his body pressed to mine. I put one hand between his shoulder blades and the other on the small of his back. Unexpectedly his pace picked up and he pulled my face in harder, kissing me deeply.

My hand slipped down onto his butt and he jumped forward, startled. He put me off balance and I stumbled a few steps, hitting his bed and pulling him down on top of me. He looked down at me with a hungry look, eyes wide and then he lay on top of me, kissing me and running a hand up my stomach, pushing my shirt up as he went.

I groaned and deliberately put a hand on his butt and pulled him closer to me, rubbing his obvious hardness onto my own. My fingertips slipped just under the waistband and Kyle suddenly flopped sideways, landing on his back and breathing hard.

"Stop. Stop," he said through his gasps.

I had turned to follow him but held off, just barely. His chest was heaving. His nipples were hard and his lips puffy from the kiss and I wanted nothing more than to resume that kiss and touch him and feel him touching me for the rest of forever.

"Are you okay?" I asked, my own breath a little ragged. "What's wrong?"

He sighed and grunted out a 'Fuck' and stood up. He walked to his dresser and pulled on a tee shirt and jeans before leaning his hands against the dresser and swearing under his breath. I looked on in disappointed confusion.

"Ky? Babe...what did I miss?" I asked.

He let out an unhappy sounding laugh and turned around to face me, leaning against the dresser.

"Drake, you used to fuck girls and mark them on your wall or your headboard or whatever. That's not you, now, but I can't fucking forget," he said dejectedly. "You didn't do anything. It's my own...neurosis." He looked at me with intensity as he stated, "I wasn't going to stop. I wanted to get your clothes off. I wanted...something to happen. And then...and then...."

"My past came up," I said with a sigh.

"I'm sorry," he said in a whisper.

"I am, too," I said as I stood and walked over to him.

He looked up at me with a sad expression. "Is that it, then? Did I just blow this up?"

I let out a snort. "Kyle. Baby," I said softly and pulled him to me gently. He fell into me, wrapping his arms around me and laying his head on my shoulder. I rubbed his back and luxuriated in having him pressed to me.

"Listen," I said softly into his ear. "I was getting excited, for sure. But you know, I think we should spend time getting to know each other better. When that happens for us, I want you to be able to trust in us. Please don't ever do something because you think you have to to it for me, okay?"

He nodded and growled. "I did want to. I kind of still do."

I squeezed him lightly in response. The tension was draining from him and I realized that we were a bit more precarious than other new couples. I had a history. I also had a very real determination to love Kyle. He was open to the idea and seemed attracted to me, but he was worried it wasn't real. He'd get there, in time. I needed to give him the time and space he needed to be sure.

"I don't mind telling you this 'being held' thing is pretty awesome."

I smiled at him, pleased his darker mood was lifting. Although a part of me seriously wanted to push the issue and spend time just ravishing Kyle, I figured I should move us to safer topics. "You have homework to do over the weekend?"

"No. There is that English project due next week, but not really."

"We could work on it if you want. Get it done ahead of time," I said, knowing how he'd react.

"Shut up," he told me. He stepped back and I let him, but I didn't want to. He paused and he got 'that look' again. I waited for him, waiting to see what he was processing. He frowned and looked up at me.

"You know, not that I'd want to go back, but shit made more sense before you lost your marbles."

"Memories," I said.

"Same thing with you," he replied and danced out of my reach with a laugh. It felt natural and I was glad the awkwardness seemed to be gone.

"So what's banging around in that empty space over your shoulders?" I teased.

"How do you know I was even thinking of anything?" he asked and stuck his tongue out quickly and walked over to look at what still had to be done with his closet. He looked at me over his shoulder, waiting.

"Easy," I said and looked at him affectionately. He was waiting so I kept looking at him with a little smile on my face.

"Come on, let's hear it."

With an indulgent smile I said, "You get this vacant look on your face and I can see all the way to the back of your empty head."

"Asshole," he muttered. I laughed and grabbed him from behind, holding him and resting my chin on his shoulder.

"You get a very pensive, worried look. Most of the time I wait to let you tell me what's wrong. So," I said and nuzzled his neck. "What's wrong?"

He giggled and twisted from my grip. "That tickles," he said with a laughing snort.

"So?" I asked, leaning against the desk. He glanced away and then moved so that he stood in front of me.

"It bothers me. You point out things and say this or that makes me a good person. I want to be a good person. Especially for you," he said and looked at me. His eyes were clear and his expression serious. "But just yesterday I was telling you how Jim was annoying and...Christ, what if I'd given him more of a chance? Is it really that unfair?"

"Ky," I said and pulled him to me. He wrapped his arms around me and rested his chin on my shoulder. "You aren't a mind reader. People get turned down or break up everyday. Plus you can't go around assuming you have responsibility for everyone's feelings. Yeah, be polite and do go out of your way, but that doesn't mean you date people you don't want to just to spare their feelings."

"I don't know. I just feel stupid. I should have...I don't know. Been a friend to him. Helped."

"You will. You'll be his friend and he'll see that and get over this temper tantrum. Or not. And that," I said, nuzzling gently into his neck, "is what makes you a good person."

I kissed his neck and he sighed lightly, tilting his head to give me more access. I didn't want to give him a hickey, but I didn't want to stop loving on him either. I moved up and down the soft skin of his neck, laying small kisses and sometimes tasting his skin with my tongue.

"Mmm. That feels nice," he said wistfully. I moved down his neck and nudged his shirt collar a tad, going as far as the material let me, but conscious not to carry us over the line and back to where we'd been. He leaned back and let his gaze flutter over my face. "Do you think he was right, though?"

"Who?" I asked petulantly as I tried to bring him close enough to resume my ministrations.

"Jim. Is it not fair that we're a couple?"

I stopped dead and looked him in the eye, hard. "Life is not fair. You didn't do anything wrong." And he can't have you, I thought to myself.

He pushed his lips down into a line and nodded. "You're right. I just feel weird. I'm not used to two people...wanting me, so, it's on my mind." He paused. "Bothering me. Did I hear him right? Did he really say it wasn't fair you got me? Like you won me at the fair or something?"

"Yep. It was that game where you shoot the water gun at the clown's mouth, you know the one? Makes a balloon fill up?" He pulled back and I kept him from getting away.

"You sure like busting my nuts, don't you?" he asked with a little smile.

"You aren't a prize to be won, that's true. But if you were? Well, I hit the jackpot."

"Oh my God, what a cheesy line!" he laughed as I pulled him back to me. He resumed his hold around my neck and rested his head again on my shoulder. We stayed that way for a few minutes and my gaze wandered over to his hole of a closet.

With a sigh of regret at letting him go I said, "That closet isn't going to clean itself." The closet did get cleaned well. We didn't do much fooling around, but it was sort of unavoidable. As time went on we settled back into the people we usually are when we're together. It was, bar none, the best time I ever had cleaning out a closet.

Within a few hours we had his room looking fresh and sparkling. I made his bed for him and entertained myself by picturing him tucked away in it. He rewarded me with a really nice make-out that only ended when my stomach growled. He started to giggle as we kissed and it broke the moment a bit as I started to laugh as well. We went downstairs to the kitchen and he pulled out sandwich stuff and glasses for juice. We made our lunch and talked. Sometimes we teased, others we flirted and it felt wonderful and incredibly normal.

We moved over to the couch in the TV room and sat down, leaning on each other. We kissed on occasion, stroked each other's hair or tickled when the mood struck. It was just silly time. He pushed me over at one point and lay atop me, grinning down at me. I may have been grinning back.


"Yeah, Ky?"

"How long did it take you to think you might love me?"

"Hmm." I thought for a moment and ran my hand up and down his back while my other hand settled into the small of his back to keep him with me. "It's tough to be sure. I know I liked you for who you were right away. I liked you more when you got nicer as I helped out Giles." I thought some more. "I think when you came over to the Benoits last Saturday was when...yeah, I definitely fell in love with you then."

"Why then?" he asked with a chuckle.

"I know I'm a better person around you. I wanted you to come over so I could see you, yes, but I wanted the Benoits to see who I was when I was with you. You came out into the yard and played with the twins, read to them. It just showed me...your soul, I guess."

He stayed silent for a moment before speaking softly. "Do these lines work on anyone else?"

"I don't know. I only say things like this to you," I told him.

He let out a ragged breath. "Drake. I'm falling. I mean hard."

I put a hand behind his head and pulled him down to rest on my shoulder. "It's okay, Ky. I'm here to catch you."

He chuckled. "That was also cheesy. makes me feel good." He paused. "It's kind of a rush, but it also scares me. I've never fallen for anyone like this, Drake. I...think I'm in love."

"Well, that's good since you want to get married and have a dog together," I said with a chuckle. He leaned back and looked me in the eye.

"I'm serious. I always liked your outside and fantasized a little that I could win you over. I never tried, never really talked to old Draco. But...fuck. Ever since we held hands in my room I've been all kinds of messed up inside. I feel like my stomach is weird, like warning me not to eat. Do you feel like that?"

"Sometimes," I admitted. "Like, whenever you kiss me."

His lips curled into a slow smile. "Was that a hint?"

I put a hand on the side of his face. "Normally, yes. Right now I just want you to know it feels like my heart is shaking in my chest. You have no idea what it means to me that you might love me."

He looked down at me, studying my face. "My mouth feels dry. I'm getting a drink," he said as he climbed off the couch. "Want one?"

"Sure," I agreed and followed him.

"What did you do last night?" he asked.

"Had an incredibly awkward sex talk with the Benoits," I told him.

"Oh, my God!" Kyle burst out and covered his mouth while his face turned red. "Why? Didn't you tell them we just started going out?"

"Well, I couldn't really blame them," I said in an innocent tone. "I mean, after you molested me in the hallway last night I figured-"

"Wait, what? You did not say that!" he cried out and laughed before swiping at me.

I laughed with him and shook my head. "It was one of those 'When the time comes' speeches."

"Oh, Christ," Kyle said with a grumble. He poured into our glasses from lunch and handed me my drink. "One of those 'When the time comes just say no?' kind of speeches?"

"Nope," I said with confidence. "Mrs. B told me the nurse's office hands out condoms."

"She did not! You dick," he said with a laugh and shoved me. I grinned insolently at him and his eyes grew wide. "She did? Shit! I hope she doesn't say anything to my parents!"

"Why? You think we should skip condoms?" I asked cheekily.

"No way! Who knows what you've got with the girls you banged!" he said. The cheer drained from his face quickly and he scowled. "Son-of-a-bitch. I'm so sorry, Drake."

"Don't be," I said with a shrug. "Maybe I should get checked out, though. Couldn't hurt, right?"

Silence fell between us, something a little awkward that was broken when Kyle spoke again. His voice was pitched low and sounded a little nervous. "So. Where did you leave things with them?"

I smiled affectionately at him. "They just told me that, when I was ready, to be respectful of myself and the person I'm with."

He blinked. "They didn't just say no screwing in the house?"

"Nope. Why, you want to screw in the house?"

"I didn't say that!" he yelped.

"So you want to screw outside, then?" I teased.

"You're impossible," he grumbled.

I laughed and couldn't resist pulling him to me again. "Kyle I won't say something stupid, and a lie, and say I don't want to or it doesn't matter. It does matter. For me, it'd be my first time. I know," I said as he started to open his mouth. "But even considering the memory loss, knew Draco. Did any of those girls mean anything?"

His eyes grew the slightest bit wider as he stared at me. "No."

"You mean everything to me," I said softly, yet brooking no doubt. "I want you to be my first time. I know it'll blow me away as much as the first kiss, and every one you've given me afterward. I'm cool with waiting. You're driving the bus, you get to decide when you want that to happen. I'll wait for you."

He pulled his lips inward and looked away for a moment. "We're talking, like, sex here. But, what kind?"

I looked at him in confusion. "I don't understand."

He looked back at me. "What about, like...hand jobs. Or blow jobs?" he asked, his face blushing a deep red.

Grinning I said, "Everything is at your pace. If you want to fool around, I'm willing."

He bit his lip. "I want to see what you look like."

Who knows where that would have led. We were both startled by the sound of a car door closing outside. His eyes grew wide and he swore.

"Shit! My parents!"

"Kyle, are you upstairs?" His mother's voice overlaid the opening of the front door. "I have groceries! Give me a hand, please."

"We'll finish this later," he said to me, narrowing his eyes playfully.

"I'll go out the back. I'm going to head home, okay? Call me," I said as I slipped through the sliding door as the sound of plastic bags rustling reached my ears, no doubt someone bringing the first of the aforementioned groceries in.

I crept around the side of the house and darted down the street, hopefully unseen. My heart was beating from nearly being caught but was also still in the throes of Kyle's last statement. He wanted to see what I looked like. I'm sure he meant sans clothes. I wanted to see what he looked like, too. More, I wanted to touch him like that. How incredibly frustrating! I burst out laughing at myself as I crossed the front lawn of the Benoits.

The garage door was up and Mr. B was inside at his workbench.

"Hey, Mr. B," I said as I approached him.

He glanced at me and nodded, "Hi, Buddy. What's up?"

Leaning against his bench I shook my head. "Not much. Just helped Kyle clean his room."

He shook his head and chuckled. "I've never met a kid so willing to do chores."

I shrugged. "Things have to get done. I don't have to like it but...besides, he'd have gotten in trouble if it wasn't cleaned up."

"Was it that bad?"

"Not really. Lots of clothes to fold and his closet was a major wreck. Outside of that, not bad," I told him. "What are you doing?"

He sighed. "My wife loves this lamp, but the fixture in it went bad. I'm trying to repair it, but it's a pain in the balls."

"Oh," I replied, not knowing what else to say. I had a healthy respect for electricity.

"So, Drake, I've been meaning to ask - are you planning on playing basketball for the school team? There is a travel league starting up, too. Local league that hooks into some of the CYO schedules."

I smiled. "That sounds like fun. Do you know when tryouts would be?"

"It just so happens that I do," he said with a grin. "Tuesday and Thursday night this week for the travel league. Tuesday and Wednesday after school for the school team. Kyle plays on both, I assumed you'd want to as well."

"Yeah, for sure." I paused. "How did you know Kyle plays for those teams?"

He smiled as he worked on the lamp. "Because my wife likes to be at home games in case anyone gets hurt, so she says." He glanced at me and winked. "She loves the game. But she saw Kyle play last year."

"Huh," I said in reply. "What about travel? Mrs. B nurse for them, too?"

"Sometimes," he said with a chuckle. "Only for the team I coach, though."

"Would you be my coach?"

"No, I coach Justin's team. Don't worry, though," he said and grinned at me. "I'll be working you outside of practice."

"Cool," I said and grinned.

"Of course you'll be expected to maintain your grades and keep your nose clean," he stated.

"Jeremy seems to be steering clear, so I hope that won't be an issue. My grades are pretty good and I'll make sure Kyle is passing."

"You have that kind of control?" he asked and laughed.

"Well, I'm helping him with math. But we have this English paper due next Wednesday, and I offered to help him get it done this weekend but...he wasn't enthused."

"Well, nobody's perfect, right? Kyle seems like a super kid. Ow! Damn!" he pulled his finger back as a spark jumped between two wires. He pulled the plug from the socket and frowned. "I thought I had done that part. Wait, those wires shouldn't be off of there...Jesus. Chinese junk, the solder broke loose! That could have started a fire, for the love of Pete."

I left him to his work and went inside to find the twins being sent to their rooms 'until their attitudes improved' as Mrs. B was telling them. My phone chimed and I pulled it out. Kyle.


I frowned. 'For?'

'You being over.'

I had a sudden feeling this wasn't Kyle. I don't know why but I racked my brain wondering if we'd done something to tip off his folks. 'What do you mean?'

'Two plates and two glasses in the sink.'

I groaned aloud. 'Shit. I'm sorry, Ky. I'll tell them it was all me. Didn't they like the room?'

'The room looks great, Drake. But Kyle knows he's not supposed to have friends over while we're not home.'

The hairs on the back of my head stood up. Shit. It was one of his folks. Another message flashed onto my screen.

'You guys are just lucky I found them and not my wife. She was busy being very pleased with the room. I appreciate you bending over backward for Kyle but you're not to be in our house without us present without permission. Understood?'

I gulped. 'Yes, Mr. Winters. I apologize. For the record, Kyle didn't ask. I offered and, considering his closet, I think it was too tempting to pass up.'

'Kyle made his own mess. I'll speak to him. But this is your only pass.'


I sighed. I hope he wasn't going to get into too much trouble.

"Something wrong?" Mrs. B asked, sounding a little frazzled.

"I screwed up a little," I confirmed.

"How so?" she asked as she pulled out chicken to defrost for dinner.

"I went over to Kyle's to help him clean his room," I said. "But his parents weren't going to be home and we both knew I wasn't supposed to be in the house without his folks home."

"Are they paranoid you're going to knock boots?" she asked with a grin. "I shouldn't have said that!" She burst into giggles.

I gave her a cock-eyed grin. "I think it's more of a general rule. I broke it. Mr. Winters gave me a warning, I just hope Kyle doesn't get punished too hard."

"Well, I can understand that rule. They really don't know you, and they want to keep the things they have, be it through loss or breakage. I'm a little surprised you broke a rule like that, though. Premeditated, so to speak."

I glanced at her and saw she was waiting to hear what I'd say. "I weighed it in my head. I figured, after seeing the room and the closet, that his parents weren't really expecting him to get it all done. I think they wanted him to make good progress while they did what they needed to. But," I said with a finger in the air. "I figured that most parents would be more forgiving of a transgression if more than they'd hoped for got achieved. For instance, Kyle's room was perfect when we got done."

"And you only went there to clean, huh? No making out?" she asked, teasing.

"Oh, we made out," I said seriously and then chuckled. "That wasn't the end goal, though. I wanted to spend time with him and help him. I accomplished both, and I was right - his parents forgave the broken rule, because they saw the results."

She shook her head and crossed her arms. "I'm a little amazed with how honest you are. Don't think it'll get you out of every consequence, by the way, but I'm still amazed."

"I understand that," I told her seriously. "I did get that in-school suspension. But," I said with a shrug. "I don't cotton much to lying. I didn't lie to Mrs. Barker. I wouldn't lie to you guys when we talked about the fighting. I won't lie to Ky for anything. I have so much work to do because of who I was. If I want people to think differently of me, I have to actually be different." I shrugged and widened my eyes at her before continuing. "I don't want you and Mr. B to ever regret opening your home to me. Disrespecting you by lying is exactly that. I want Ky to trust me, to trust in the idea of us. Our relationship will go nowhere if he can't feel confident in that." I paused and took a breath. "I know most relationships that start at this age don't work out. But Kyle is unique and I think I am, too. I feel like...I've waited a lifetime for him. I'm not going to drop the ball now."

She crossed her arms and leaned against the counter. "You know, Drake, I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about you and your situation."

"Oh?" I asked, not sure where she was headed.

"This has to be the most...the oddest case of amnesia or whatever. It's almost like you're taking advice from a middle-aged man and actually following through instead of just blowing it off like a normal teen."

I smiled tightly. "You got me. I'm a fifty-year-old in a fifteen-year-old body going through my second puberty."

She there her head back and laughed. "You couldn't pay me to go through puberty again."

I felt pressured by the conversation. Of course there was no way she or anyone else would believe me if I told them, yet I still felt like I was under a microscope. "Well, I guess you didn't have anything major to want to do-over, huh?"

Her smile faded slowly and she regarded me soberly. "You know, Drake, your old self...he knew he was a good looking kid without the knowledge that looks fade. He was cocky and self-assured with his parents money while never realizing he'd have to make his own someday. Drake Mathews was a tragedy unfolding." She paused and cleared her throat. "I was always jealous of girls who had the looks. The wardrobe. That intangible quality that allowed them to be popular. It was probably those same jealousies that led to me saying 'Yes' to the first boy that showed real interest in me."

I blinked at her, not sure how to reply to such an intensely private revelation.

"Having to make the decision that you're not ready for children is hard under any circumstances. When you thought you were in love and it's his child...." She sighed and looked at me. "Everyone has regrets, Drake. I turned out fine. I got an education and found a man who isn't perfect - not as perfect as I'd imagined my high school boyfriend to be. But, to be perfectly honest since you value that so much...he's perfect for me."

I swallowed and said, "Thank you. I'm sorry you went through that."

The corner of her mouth pulled up. "I won't say I'm not sorry, too. But I lived and I learned from it. I think it's essential to life that we make mistakes and learn from them. Being a pretty teenager has no bearing on future success. Pretty women are trapped into marriages with ogres all the time. I think it's what you do with your brain that counts - and don't ask me how we got to that topic."

I nodded absently. I don't know how we got there, either, but I have a feeling it was something I needed to know and should have figured out a long time ago.

I spent the rest of the day at home. I did some of my own laundry and helped get dinner ready. I took Justin outside after we ate and played basketball with him, eventually putting him on my shoulders so he could try to dunk. Mr. B came out and we all fooled around for a while. Eventually he sent Justin in to take his shower and he worked one-on-one with me. My first impression was that he knew what he was talking about. When the sunlight fled for the day he turned on the flood lamps for the driveway and we kept going. By the time we finished up I was a soggy, ragged ball of worn out teen.

We went inside and he praised me for my work. I checked my phone and had a message from Kyle waiting.

'I see Dad already got to you. He gave me a warning. I've never broken the rule, but he wasn't thrilled with me.'

I tossed my sweaty clothes into my hamper and took my towel and something to change into and hit the bathroom. As the water warmed up I sent him a reply.

'I'm sorry I got you in trouble. I hope you didn't get punished too badly?'

I climbed into the shower and cleaned quickly, just to get the sweat off. I toweled off and put on clean underwear - Calvin Klein, of course. Everything I'd inherited was brand name. I put on my normal evening ensemble of shorts and a tee shirt and headed back to my room. As I hung my towel the phone chimed again.

'Stop. It was my responsibility. Don't treat me like a kid.'

I scrunched my lips together. 'Okay. I mean, I offered but you could have said no. I could have said no, once you told me. So not totally on you, Ky.'

'Yeah, okay, you have a point. What are you doing?'

'Just showered. You?'

'Picture. Please?'

I grinned and took a selfie.

'Jerk. You didn't say you were dressed already.' He followed it up with a laughing emoji.

'Have to give if you want to receive,' I replied and added a face with its tongue out. 'Hey, are you trying out for basketball this week? School team and travel?'

'Yeah. You are, too, right?'

'Mr. B suggested it tonight. I will definitely.'

'What are you doing tomorrow?'

'Told Mr. B I'd mow the lawn. You?'

He didn't reply and I plugged the phone in to charge. I headed out into the living room and curled up on the couch to read, Ramses joining me. In between turning pages I rubbed his ears and he pushed into me, loving the attention. Eventually the Benoits joined me and went about their evening relaxation; he reading and she working her puzzle book.

At ten I brushed my teeth and said goodnight. I tossed my tee-shirt and shorts onto the chair and sat on my bed to check my phone before I turned off the lights. There was a message waiting. It was an overhead selfie of Kyle, shirtless and lying flat on his back in bed. He was smiling and the note attached read 'What does this get me?'

I grinned and held the phone up and away, adjusting myself so that I was sitting on my feet. I wanted him to see I was just in my underwear. Sort of a challenge. Attached to the image I said 'You get this. What now?'

I turned off the lights and lay back, waiting to see if Kyle would escalate. The phone chimed.

'Okay, that one was good enough to jerk off to. I'm tired now, goodnight!' he wrote and added in a face with huge lips blowing a kiss. I chuckled and thumbed in a reply.

'Video next time. Goodnight, Ky. Love you.'

'Goodnight. I love you, too Drake.' I let out a satisfying breath. Kyle loves me back.

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