I'd forgotten to tell Kyle that I wouldn't be training on the morning after the boxing tourny. By the time I'd arrived at the gym, he was there. "Fuck, I'm sorry, Kyle. I meant to tell you yesterday that I wouldn't be here this morning."
"I guessed that when I didn't see you. So how come you're early for school?"
"'Cause I remembered that I'd forgotten to tell you, and I knew you'd be here. Sorry, bro. Been here long?"
"Nope -- I was just changing outa my school uniform -- but I'm not gonna hit out if you're not training -- so we can just chill this morning."
"Cool. Not much fun on your own, I guess."
"Hey, I know this is gonna sound kinda dumb, but I wanna know something."
Sex. It had to be some kinda question about sex, so I prepared myself for worst. "Shoot."
"Well," he said, pointing to the ring, "that's where we spar, right?"
"And last night at the tourny, you boxed in a ring. Correct?"
"What is all this shit, Kyle?"
"It's called a ring!"
"Of course it's called a fucking ring!"
"So why is it fucking square?"
Well, that cracked me up big time. "How the fuck should I know?" Actually, the question had never occurred to me -- and I guess he'd made a legitimate point -- and at least he hadn't given me the third degree about boners or jacking or whatever. "Anyway, forget all that shit. Are you and Steph gonna come with us tonight?"
"Where are you going?"
"Buckingham fucking Palace. Where do you think? Corners, I guess."
"I'll check with my folks to see if it's OK -- and I haven't asked Steph yet."
"Steph'll be cool -- her folks don't restrict her too much," I said as I watched Kyle change back into his school togs. "Hey, how was your old man telling me about that short jab? I didn't think it was gonna work out, but I got desperate."
"Well," Kyle laughed, "you should've seen him when you sent that dude to the deck. It was like it was me out there 'cause he was going so damn ballistic."
"Like you out there?"
"Yeah, y'know -- like you were his son or something."
I didn't quite know how to react to that, except to feel honored. "He's so fucking cool. It's almost like we were long time buddies the way he raps me."
"He gets along well with all my friends, and he knows how to suss people out."
"'Cept you," I laughed. "Anyway, check this out." I lifted my shirt and showed Kyle the bruises I'd gotten from last night's fight.
"Fucking hell! That dude gave you a right fucking workover! Talk about black and blue! Painful?"
We rapped until the bell rang for the first class of the day. It was as though we'd always been friends, even though we'd only known each other for a few months. Actually, it felt more like we were brothers who'd managed to avoid the normal sibling rivalry shit. There was also something totally cool about Kyle's face. It was almost too cute to be a guy's face -- it made you wanna hug him -- and when it dissolved into a cheeky grin, it was almost impossible not to feel a strong attraction. Brother? Buddy? I didn't know quite how to classify that dude. He was a one-off. All I knew was that it was fucking wicked to be in his company.
As we made our way to class, I decided risk asking a particular question. "Hey, what's it like to be with me?"
"Promise not to laugh?"
"Remember the first time you phoned my house just to see how I was doing?"
"Yeah. I remember not wanting to make that call. I'd get to the last couple of digits and hang up."
"Well, when I answered the phone and it was you, I was over the fucking moon."
"I didn't know what to say."
"Me neither," he laughed.
I gave training a break for the next few days to allow my bruises to heal -- but I did manage to go clubbing with Carol on Friday night. I told Kyle about how she'd all but raped me. "We were both so damn horny that if she hadn't been into it, I would've grabbed the vacuum cleaner at home." That cracked him up big time, but I wondered if I should've told him. Apart from making jokes in the showers about boners and jacking, Kyle didn't talk about his sexual exploits. Maybe he didn't have any, although I would have found that difficult to believe. He was a good looking guy, and well built, and he had a totally cool personality. I figured he could have just about any chick he wanted.
It was a few days later, after I'd resumed training in the mornings, that Kyle noticed my bad mood. Well, he didn't need to be a fucking brain surgeon. When I was in a bad mood, it was no fucking secret -- and I'd given him a pretty tough time in the ring.
"Hey," he said as we showered, "can I ask you something?"
"Like you and I have become pretty good friends, right?"
"I reckon so. Not too many people would let me knock them around like I did you this morning."
"You fucking hurt me this morning."
"Hey, Kyle, are you wussing out on me?"
"You know it's not that -- I can handle anything you throw at me."
"Yeah, fucking right. So how come you're complaining?"
"I can! But this morning you were totally pissed off and it seemed like you took it out on me!"
"Shame. Did I hurt you?"
"Fuck off. I'm being serious here."
I guessed he must've been serious, 'cause he didn't have a boner like he usually did. Not that it was easy to tell. Kyle's dick was about six inches long whether it was hard or soft. "OK. So?"
"So what's the buzz? What's hassling you?"
I put my head under the shower to avoid his gaze. "I guess my mom's boyfriend pissed me off."
"So take it out on him for a change. What's he doing?"
"Everything's fine when he's not there. But then he walks in and tries to run my fucking life for me -- like he's my fucking father or something."
"What does he do?"
"It's just the way he talks to me -- like I'm some fucking lighty."
"So tell him to fuck off! Nope! I'm kidding. Have you tried talking to him?"
"I did tell him to fuck off once, and we ended up fighting. He fisted me so damn hard I stayed off school for a few days."
"A while back -- before I met you."
"What does your mom say?"
"I don't think she can actually see what's going on. Problem is, she really likes the guy, and he's good to her, as well as good for her. She's also had a pretty rough time since my old man walked out."
"You're gonna need to sit down with them and talk -- before you do something really stupid."
"It's cool. I'm OK."
"OK? Like this morning?"
"Hey, just let me deal with this thing."
"Beat you up every morning to release the tension." Before I knew it, the fucker had lunged at me and tried to bear-hug me. We were both naked, so I pushed him away. "Fuck, Kyle! Put on some pants, dude. What if somebody walked in here and saw us wrestling nude?"
"Yeah, you're right. I kinda forgot that we were naked. Sorry."
"It's cool. Just think first."
"You wanna come around to my place after school?"
"I'll see how it goes."
OK, so I guessed Kyle didn't deserve to be on the wrong end of my temper when I was in a bad mood, but I found it difficult not to target him. He was such an easy fucking target! He liked me and kinda offered himself as a sacrificial lamb. Why? Fucked if I knew -- or understood. Why would a guy do that? Why would a guy offer himself as a punching bag? Did he really like me that much? Should I be suspicious? Too many questions. Too much that didn't make sense.
When I arrived at Kyle's house, he was up on the roof fixing some tiles that had shifted during the recent storms. "Wanna hand?"
"Yeah, I'll fix the tiles and you can jack me off."
"Sicko." I climbed up the ladder and helped him with some of the tiles.
"Thanks, Mark. I was beginning to feel like I needed four hands up here."
"Well, I just felt like chilling with you for a while. I'm gonna see Carol later. What are you looking at?"
"Your biceps. They bulge big time when you replace a tile."
"Biceps bulge, dude. That's what they're supposed to do."
"By the way, I spotted Alan in the changeroom this morning. He was alone taking a leak. Never said a fucking word."
"Sensible. So why are you looking at my biceps?"
"No particular reason."
No particular fucking reason. What kinda lamo answer was that? The dude was admiring my bod, but didn't wanna say so. The weird thing was, if any other guy had started paying attention to my muscles or whatever, I'd have fucking decked him on the spot. But when Kyle gawked at me, it was kinda different -- like it was a compliment but without the threat of… of what? Of being the object of his sexual desires? Nah. Kyle wasn't like that. Sure, he joked about it, but it wasn't for real. He was way too macho to be gay. But, despite that, there was a feeling of belonging when I was around him. Hard to explain. It was a sorta warm, contented feeling -- a different feeling to the one I experienced when I was with Carol, and certainly different to anything I'd experienced with another male, father or otherwise. Anyway, whatever it was, it was causing me to come back for more.
"What are you thinking?"
"You've been pretty quiet while you've been helping me with the tiles."
"I guess I was thinking how cool it is to chill with you."
"You wanna marry me?"
"Fuck off, Kyle."
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