With their huffing becoming less noticeable, Connie took a careful look at Jesse, who returned the stare, unflinching. They looked for a few minutes, before Connie finally stood upright, the ache in his chest no longer. He glanced around a bit, to get his bearings, then with a sort of 'follow me' nod, he moved further into the dense grove of trees, that really weren't all that dense.

Fact is, the forest was just old, and not many new trees could survive among the more older, established one's. There was amble space between the huge giants, mainly covered with various bushes and foliage, that could survive with limited sunlight. The large trees provided a huge canopy of leaves and limbs, that filtered out the sun. It also gave the lower area, where they were, a sort of twilight appearance.

You could see the haze really, that was all sorts of stuff, like pollen floating around. The odd beam shone through, making it seem like huge bolts of light. It was cooler too, than if you were just out under the sun, which suited them both, as they made their way further into the forest. Connie knew that the other's would come for them, but that they rarely moved far into the forest.

Ever since he had been a kid, he had played in the forest, despite its reputation. For him, it really was a sanctuary, and it was okay with him, if the other's were too chicken to venture far into it. Some said it was haunted, other's said it was possessed. While the local preachers didn't come out and agree, they did warn the unwary about the evils that lurked in wooden groves, and how its ancient past, was one best left unexplored.

He used to laugh at that, but there were times, when he had been just walking along the natural paths, that he wondered about the forest. Not like he believed it was haunted, or had evil spirits living in it, just that it felt odd, strange. Still, it was the one safe refuge he had, and there always was something to keep him going, if the need arose.

A small stream ran deep through the forest, and it never seemed to dry up in the summer, like many of the others. There was fish in it too, but he didn't try to catch any, unless he was hiding there for a long period of time. He valued the wildlife, sticking to the berries and stuff. He even found a couple of fruit trees, off in a grove of their own, set apart, that had surprised him when he had found them.

It never stopped amazing him either, at how the forest seemed to keep its natural beauty, and yet there were always an easy path to follow through, as if it had been made just for that purpose. Maybe it was haunted, or maybe it was a fluke, but it held it in awe, realizing how the forest always seemed to surprise him, in a good way.

He turned to watch Jesse coming up, who had fallen a bit behind. He waited by a large tree, that was near the stream. He could feel the cool air around, and he decided it was deep enough in, that they could maybe take a break. Jesse did seem to be lagging a bit.

'We can catch a break here, if you want.'

'Yeah sure, if you want, man this is fucking awesome, so old and yet, it feels so alive.'

'Really? You feel that?'

'Uh huh, don't you?'

Connie had sat down, resting against the trunk, and was staring up at Jesse. He could see the amazement in his eyes, how he kept looking around, upwards too, that surprised him. He never figured him for a nature lover, or that he would so get the place, yet that is exactly what he had done.

'yep, just, never figured anyone else would.'

Jesse moved closer, and sat himself down, crossing his legs over and leaning back onto his hands. His head tilted upwards, staring at the lush covering above, at the long thick limbs that were bigger than most of the trees in town. His eyes seemed to be glittering, as Jesse kept looking all around.

Even as Connie watched him take it all, he couldn't help but notice how he sat, how his groin seemed exposed. There was no mistaking how well he filled out the crotch of his jeans either, and how firm it all looked. It had been a long time since he'd been able to just lean back, and enjoy something as natural as that.

'so uh, what's the deal?'


'yeah, why won't they come in here after us? They don't like big trees, or are there some dangerous critters in here, a bear or two maybe?'

He laughed at the idea of some big bear crashing through the underbrush, to rear up and roar out, scaring everyone out of the woods. It would be worth it too, to see Tim come face to face with an angry bear, on its hind legs, claws extended.

'Nah, nothing like that, they just think the place is haunted, home to evil spirits or some mean ghost.'

'for real?'

'uh huh, hell, the only thing this town ever agreed on, was to block some forest company from wanting to cut down some of the trees. They were all afraid of the evil being let loose on the town.'

'no shit?'

'no shit, but I've been coming here since a little guy, never saw any ghosts, or anything.'

'how can, I mean, that's just silly, isn't it?'

'Oh, I don't know, silly that something evil lives here, because how good anything this great, let anything evil live here? But, I don't know, at times, I kinda wonder if there isn't some spirit, or something like that here.'

'I know what you mean, I think.'


Jesse looked at Connie, then lowered his head and turned away. Connie watched the expressions changing on his face, at how the filtered light kept adding and moving shadows across his thin face. The way his lip seemed puffed up on one side, from the fight, all made him sit quietly, watching him thinking. How his eyes seemed to sparkle one second, then grow dim for another moment.

If anything, Jesse's face seemed to grow even thinner, and the way his forehead wrinkled into a frown, sort of, made him hold still. It was as if Jesse was trying to make up his mind about something, and Connie didn't want to intrude. It was eerie in a way, because he didn't know the guy. Oh sure, he'd seen him around, admired his lean looks, but that was as far as it ever went.

Okay, maybe an odd thought when whacking off, but it wasn't like he obsessed over him. He just liked how he looked, and okay, wouldn't mind a tumble with him, but hell, he didn't even know if he was gay or not.

'It is, it is like as soon as you walk in, get a bit further in, you feel a sort of calm come over you, almost as if it was like some jacket or something, that you put on, when it starts to get cold. And yet, I dunno, it just seems unexpected, and then, at the same time, sort of what you would expect. Not making much sense, am I?'

'No, you are, it is, I guess not easy to put into words.'

'That's for sure, when you try, and hear yourself, you sort of feel like a boob or something.'

'Uh huh, but I don't know, maybe that is part of its whole mystery. I mean, you hear yourself saying something odd, sappy even, and yet, you just felt like you had to try.'

'yeah. Uh, how long you figure they gonna keep hunting for us?'

'I don't know, awhile I suppose, considering how I decked Tim. I should have been satisfied with getting a few licks in, then let him win, but...'

'you just had enough?'

'yeah, how'd you know?'

'Been there, more times than I like to think of, I mean fuck man, you'd figure by now I'd be used to that shit.'

'Uh, what shit?'

'Being called a fag, having to let them win, when you just know you can kick their sorry homophobe asses each time, it gets tiring.'

'Uh, you uh...'

'gay? Yeah, can't u tell?'

'no, really can't, guess I never, I mean... shit, I can't.'

'I have the same problem, everyone I know talks about gaydar, about being able to tell, and I dunno, I think it's all bullshit.'

'I feel that way myself, I mean sure, some guys it isn't too hard to figure out, but most, no way can I tell.'

'me neither.'

They both sat there, doing everything but look at each other. A small breeze seemed to be blowing through the forest, making the air fresh, with all the scents from deep inside. Small clusters of pollen seemed to be on an endless journey, as the air swirled around them, as they were both lost in their own thoughts.

Connie felt no longer alone. To begin with, he wasn't the only one who had trouble a fellow queer, and that sort of made him feel like he was less of a freak. Odd to think of that, but when you don't feel like you belong to the main group, and can't tell who is in your own group, makes you wonder if you aren't some sort of, well freak. To know you weren't alone, kind of made things okay.

He felt himself relaxing even more, and the more he thought about it, he began to hum a bit. It wasn't anything catchy, but it was rather funny, as this thought kept whirling around in his mind. Connie felt himself grinning, as he settled back a bit into the tree trunk, which made Jesse look at him, in a quizzical way.

'uh, wanna share what has you beaming?'

'LOL, beaming? No, just that, I had this thought, and well, it makes me laugh, a bit.'

'Oh, so you gonna share?'

Connie grinned as he sat back upright, this time looking straight into Jesse's face. He saw how his face looked, and how thin his body was, but he also could feel the desire for him, growing. He was comfortable being with him, not just because he had helped out in his fight with Tim, but in just how he talked, how he looked.



'God you are an impatient bitch, aren't you?'

'Hey, I haven't said I'd be a bottom, or anything, so watch it yourself... Bitch'

Connie burst out laughing, and as he watched Jesse laugh with him, he also noticed how damn hot he suddenly looked. Not that he wasn't hot before, but the worry seemed gone from his face, and there was a whole lot more happiness shining through his face, than he had ever seen in one guy.

'Fuck, okay, so ask yourself this, smarty pants, here we are, two ordinary queers, right?'

'Uh yeah, though I like to think of myself as being a bit above ordinary, if you don't mind.'

'lol, okay above average, and we both, have troubles figuring out who else is gay, right?'

'Uh, yeah we already went through this.'

'Yeah yeah, but if we have trouble telling, and we are gay, how come guys like Tim and Parker can so easily tell we are? Unless...'

Jesse looked puzzled for a second or two, as he went over it all in his head, then he began to giggle a bit, as he looked over at Connie. The way his eyes seemed to shine, as he got Connie's meaning, and the giggling became a bit louder, a bit more from inside. His face was simply aglow, as he thought about the prospect, and then he started to laugh uncontrollably.

'Oh fuck, that is rich, but then too, can you imagine that guy you pummelled, being gay? God, he'd die a blasted virgin, no self respecting fag would do him, not the way he looks. Say, you don't think he picks on you because, well, secretly he's got a crush on ya?'

'Oh Shit, man you trying to make me puke?'

'lol, no, but damn, I never thought about it, just how do some of them know about us, unless they got their own gaydar happening? That is priceless.'

'Uh huh, kind of thought you'd see the irony in it.'

'oh man, suddenly the idea of being holed up out here for a bit, doesn't seem so bad.'

'It can be okay, uh, what about your folks, they going to worry?'

'Them? Nah, I've stayed out for days before, way before I was eighteen, never called either, and it was, well... no, not a problem for me, you?'

Connie could see the quick mask come up, to hide the pain of what his home life was like, not like his was any better. Strange how they could be proud of his winning boxing matches, because that is what a guy does, but not about him being gay.

Parents could be so difficult. He could remember how his parents would yell at him to keep his music down, the hardcore heavy metal he liked, then bitched at him when he put on some classical music, saying it was for sissy boys, not their son. Stranger was how they played the same classical stuff, during their dinner parties.

'no, not a problem, not for ages.'

'then I guess we are set, to camp out, uh, except uh...'

'what? You going to tell me you never camped out before?'

'no, I've camped out, just I usually had food and a sleeping bag with me, I am not some caveman.'

'lol, sorry, uh not a problem, I got a stash a bit further in, some canned stuff, and dry wood too, for a small fire.  Come on, we'll head over now, would hate to have you catch a cold now, you poor frail thing.'

'Damn if I hadn't seen you deck that thick head, I'd take you on, but for now, I'll just bide my time.'

'Oh? Think I'll let my guard down, and you jump and get your shots in?'

Jesse stared at him, as he stood up. Connie couldn't help but notice a bit of firmness in his basket, and he quickly glanced away, but not before Jesse had noticed. Funny thing was, he felt a bit excited about spending the night with him, even though he hadn't really thought about it, in a sexual way.

'didn't figure you for a bottom, but hey, suits me fine.'


'maybe, if you play your cards right, us skinny runts, we like big strong he-men to worship at our shrine.'

'Jesus, where do you come up with this stuff?'

'I read a lot.'

'Too much fiction, by the sounds of it.'

'Nah, just harlequin for men.'

'They have that? Oh shit... you got me, didn't you?'

'Uh huh, Mr Big Strong He Man, I done got ya. Now come on, I didn't get breakfast, so let's go see what goodies you got hidden away.'

Connie began to turn away, to lead the way when he glanced back. The way he had said the words, was almost flirty sounding, if there was such a word. Certainly seemed to have more than one meaning, and he wondered, was Jesse really hitting on him, or just acting? Somehow, he didn't think Jesse was all that more experienced in sex with guys, than he was, but still, he did talk a better game.

Then too, the way his eyes kept looking at him, moving away as soon as he turned to look at him. Was he checking him out, or was he just hoping he was? Damn, he wished he had a better knowledge into this sex shit. Not that he was some virgin, but hell, wasn't easy to get laid, and sure wasn't frequent enough, for his tastes.

He had tried it both ways, had his time with girls, but it was cock that made him cum, that made him weak in the knees. Still, there wasn't exactly guys lined up for him to taste, sure as hell not as good looking as Jesse. Though he had done alright, it was the idea, that he might be getting hit on, that made his chest swell a little. No one had really hit on him, this way, and those that had, well, it was more about the sex, than anything more.

The path was becoming a bit more difficult, and Connie noticed how careful Jesse was, to keep close behind him. A couple of times he had glanced back, noticing that Jesse had one eye focused ahead, the other seemed to be checking out his tush. It sort of gave him a bit of a warm glow inside, as he continued to move carefully. They were deep into the forest, but could still hear the river running nearby. It was like an endless ribbon of shimmering sapphires & emeralds, the way it glistened in the filtered sunlight.

The trail took on an upward incline, and he could feel the strain in the back of his legs, as he moved slowly uphill. His eyes were now focused for the tell tale signs that told him where he was, and which part of the trail to keep on following. It was one of those trails, that had many branches, that led really nowhere.

Jesse was managing to keep up, but Connie could hear his heavy breathing, from the long walk. He felt it himself, as he saw the last sign, and veered off one more time. Jesse stumbled on a fallen tree limb, staggering forward. He collided briefly with Connie, who felt an immediate charge of electricity run through his body.

The feel of Jesse's body up against his backside, was amazing. The mumbled apology seemed like he was embarrassed, yet surprised too. He could feel the way his body had pressed up against his, and he could still feel how damn good it felt, how it made his dick quiver a little, and his ass ache. He had never really felt that way before, least, not quite the same.

Sure he'd gotten a boner over a guy, felt his ass twitch too, but it all seemed so automatic, so disconnected from his thoughts. This was different, as he felt the bump, not just in the normal physical way, but in a sort of emotional way. He didn't really know Jesse, yet it felt like he did. That touch, bump or whatever you want to call it, didn't seem out of place, but made him want to feel it again, only his mind wished they wer both starker's, not dressed.

They came out into a sort of semi clearing. You could see patches of blue up in the sky, and the brush was considerably shorter than what they had been trekking through. Off to one side, was a small rock outcropping, that had loads of moss growing over it, along with hanging branches of some sort of bush.

He stopped and let Jesse move up next to him, to stare at what was to be their camping spot. He stood there, his chest heaving a bit, as he surveyed the area. Connie saw how he noticed the river that seemed to run from deep on the right, across and then disappear down the left, sort of making this spot appear like it was jutting out.

Jesse took in the whole area, seeing that the small river was a lot wider at this spot, than he had noticed anytime earlier. The clearing wasn't all that large, and yet many old and dead tree limbs dotted the far right side. Off to the left, was the rock overhang, though you really had to squint, to insure you were looking at rock. There was that much vegetation covering it all up.

'Nice, but uh, this it?'

'Yep, the outside part.'

'What you got a trap door somewhere or maybe a lift, to go up that big one there?'

'lol, no but those branches, they make for a nice cover, and if you get right up close, you'll see what they cover. Until then, well, you wouldn't notice the little cave underneath.'

Jesse moved forward, up to where the branches hung down from the slab of rock. He stopped as he peered beyond the branches.  It gave Connie a chance to check him out, which he wasted no time in doing. He didn't notice before, just how bony Jesse looked. His elbows looked like little door knobs, and in checking out his ass, he couldn't help but notice how flat they looked.

Oh you could see the seat, an a bit of a curvature to them, in the jeans, but no real flesh to speak off. Yet, he found it attractive, as it matched the long legs, and the slender frame above. Connie noticed how his back had ridges, along the spine, that were outlined beneath the thin t-shirt he was wearing.

'Sweet, so uh, how far in does it go, hard to tell, even from this close.'

'Not far, maybe ten feet, bit less maybe.'

'Nice place to hole up in, so, okay to go in?  Or you still want to check out my ass some more?'

Connie felt his face flush, then he couldn't help but laugh. He had to admit it, Jesse did sort of just speak his mind, and well, it was refreshing, fun too.

'For now, besides, you had the whole walk up here to check out mine, figure I am entitled to a gawk or two.'

Jesse didn't say a word, but instead he leaned forward, as if to look further in, but instead placed his hands on his knees, and stuck his bum further out. He began to wiggle it a little, as he turned his head to stare over at Connie. His eyes were wide open, and a huge grin was across his face.

'that a better view for you?'

'it'll do, it'll do'

'you sure now, wouldn't what to deprive you of your time to view.'

'I should hope not, but yeah, nice ass, bit scrawny, but then again, I kind of like 'em that way.'

'Oh you do huh?'

'Uh huh, I do.'

'As if...'

'As if what?'

'As if you even know what a premium tushie like mine is like, bet all you've been used to are those kind that flap around, when you them apart.'

'And how would you know?'

'Told you, I read a lot.'

'Yeah, but I assumed you meant you were just looking at the pictures, didn't know you could actually read the text too.'

'oooh, you are such a bitch.'

'uh huh, listen to who is calling who a bitch.'

'uh look Jesse...'

'yes? Don't tell me, I am too skinny for you, right?'

'Like I care? It is just, I mean... I am not what you would say a long standing veteran of being gay. I uh, I mean, I've known I am for ages, just that hands on experience, is a uh, well, uh, not quite so easy.'

'Oh and like I am some professional? Shit man, I may have had one or two more than you, but that doesn't make me a slut.'

'I never said that, nor did I mean it that way, shit man, honest.'

'lol, I know, guess it is just the excitement, that maybe, uh, uh, that maybe...'

'maybe what?'

'I really wish there was some handbook about all this, but, look Connie, I like you, and well, I wouldn't say no, if you ah, wanted to examine things a bit, uh more uh, personal?'

'shit, you wish there was a handbook? Man, I haven't a clue about all this stuff, least, not when it is more than, well, just sex. You know?'

'Yeah, uh, is there where you sweep me up in those big he-man arms, and take me into your little hideaway & ravage me?'

'I don't know, not much there to ravage, not much meat, and us he-men, we like our meat.'

'Bitch, I bet I got more meat than you can handle, care to find out?'

Connie couldn't help but laugh, at how Jesse looked at him, when he said it. His hips were pushed out, and he had to admit, that package of his sure had grown a lot fuller, than last time he checked it out, but then, so had his.  Then too, the way Jesse looked at him, his face slightly slanted, his eyelashes batting quickly at him, his lips a bit puffed up, as if in a near kiss.

To be continued...



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