By Julien Gregg
Edited By Rob Hawes

Author's Note: This story does not endorse a way of life. It merely describes one. The reader is left to form his or her own conclusion and make their own choices. The characters in this story do not practice safe sex. I can't urge my readers enough to always be safe. Life is precious. Why chance it?

Chapter Twelve:

Two days later, Ian was at the mall with Sebastian again. This time he wanted to buy his uncle and Jory presents. To try and make sure that his uncle understood that his not wanting to come inside his house had nothing to do with his sexuality or anything like that, Ian had convinced the man to come to the house for Christmas. His mother was so thrilled that he'd managed to get Evan's promise to be there that when he asked if he could buy Evan and Jory presents she'd handed him money and told him to call one of his friends. She'd even offered Sebastian gas money for taking him which Sebastian politely refused and told her that he'd do it so he could spend time with his friend.

He hadn't heard from Andy in the two days since the incident at Andy's house and he was sort of happy about that. He didn't want to hear what Andy thought about him. He was sure that something would be said eventually and he could only hope that no one was around when it was said. He thought about that as he and Sebastian combed the mall in search for a present for both Evan and Jory.

"Well do you want to get them one gift as a couple or separate ones?" Sebastian asked when they'd been there for over an hour and had found nothing.

"I'm not sure," he replied. "I don't really know them very well."

"Well I know them pretty well," said Sebastian. "Why don't we shop for Evan first. He'd be the easiest to buy for."

"Thanks, Seb," he said as they started off through the people.

"No problem, Ian," Sebastian said, smiling at him. "Evan collects watches so the best thing to get him would be a watch."

"That sounds good," Ian said. He was happy to at least know something about his uncle.

"What makes it really good is that he never buys himself a watch," said Sebastian as they walked. "His collection is all gifts from others."

"So this would make my gift really nice," said Ian more to himself than to Sebastian.

"Exactly," he replied as they entered a jewelry store. "How much money do you want to spend?"

"I'm not sure," Ian replied. "Let's look and I'll decide when I see the prices."

"Sounds good," said Sebastian as they made their way over to a counter of nothing but watches. There were watches for men on the right and for women on the left.

Ian found one almost instantly. There was a brushed steel banded watch with tiny honey-colored stones for numerals. The same tiny stones were at the tips of the minute, hour and second hands. The price wasn't so bad that he couldn't afford to get the watch and still be able to buy Jory a present so he bought it. The store offered gift wrapping for a small fee and they were off to find Jory's gift while Evan's was being boxed and gift wrapped.

"That was a great selection," Sebastian said as they were heading out of the store.

"I liked it as soon as I saw it," Ian replied. "Do you think Evan will like it?"

"He'll love it," Sebastian said with a grin. "Now what do you want to get for Jory?"

"I'm not sure," he said. "Could you maybe give me a hint as to what he'd like?"

"Well Jory is a sentimental guy," said Sebastian. "He likes gifts that he can display. If you got anything that had to do with a dog that he could display he'd love it."

So they went to the Hallmark store and browsed the shelves of collectable figurines. Ian saw a perfect one right away and he pointed it out to Sebastian. The statue was about ten inches tall and about fifteen inches wide. The subject was a little boy sitting on a city curb. A telephone pole stood behind him with a sign tacked to it about a missing dog. Behind the boy was an angel carrying a grey and black dog. The angel was male and had dark hair and eyes. He was dressed in a flowing white robe with a golden halo above his head. The statue was delicate but Ian thought it was perfect.

"That's perfect," said Sebastian with excitement. "Have you seen Spanky?"

"Spanky?" Ian asked.

"Jory's dog," Sebastian said quickly. Ian remembered Evan saying something about putting the dog in the kitchen before he'd driven him home the other day.

"No," he replied.

"Well this dog looks a lot like Spanky," he said. "The angel looks a lot like Evan. This is perfect, Ian."

Ian took a box from the shelf and headed for the counter, but Sebastian pulled him by the arm. He led him to the card section of the store and explained that he should get them a Christmas card. They looked through them all and finally chose one with a Christmas tree on the cover and a poem about Christmas inside. He liked it on sight.

The statue was priced at forty dollars which was less than half the cost of the watch. That would leave Ian with around sixty dollars. His mother had given him a lot of money to shop with and he'd added it to what was left from his previous shopping trip. He still had the money because his parents had told him to keep it. The only place he went that required money was the diner and his meals were free there so he still had the money. So he got cards for his family and a few for his friends as well.

They went straight to the food court after picking up Evan's watch at the jewelry store. They had Galina's Pizza again and laughed and chatted about the gifts that Ian had bought for his family. Ian was happy again and didn't think about Andy at all while they ate and Sebastian's good looks weren't affecting him much at all. He sat happily chatting with Sebastian while he ate his slice of pizza and drank his soda. When they were both finished Sebastian told him he had to take him home. Sebastian had to be at work at the diner soon.

He was pleasantly surprised to see Evan sitting at the kitchen table with his mother when he came in the house. He smiled and told them that he'd be right back after putting his purchases downstairs. He just hoped that his brother wouldn't say or do anything to upset Evan and make him leave. He really wanted to sit and talk with his uncle.

"You seem to be in a better mood today," Evan said when he got back upstairs and sat across from him at the table.

"Yeah," he said, smiling. "I'm sorry about the other day. I wasn't in the best of moods and just really wanted to get home."

"Ian, did something happen?" asked his mother. "You came in and went straight downstairs that day."

"I had a little argument with a friend," he replied. "No big deal."

"Well if it was Andy, he's been asking me if I've talked to you," said Evan. "He said he didn't think you'd talk to him if he came over here or called."

"Of course I would talk to him if he came over or called," said Ian. "We only had an argument. That doesn't mean that our friendship is over."

If Andy had been asking about him then maybe he wasn't as angry as Ian had thought he was. He hoped he wasn't. His friendship was important to Ian and if nothing else he'd at least like to have that part back. He would understand completely if nothing sexual happened between them again. He still felt guilty about what he'd done. He should have at least discussed it with Andy before doing it.

"That's good to hear," said his mother. "Andy seems like a nice boy and I'd hate it if the two of you ended your friendship over a simple argument."

"I'll call him later and tell him that we're fine," replied Ian.

"So your mother tells me you've been shopping all day," said Evan, changing the subject.

"That's right," he said, smiling. "More Christmas."

"That reminds me," said Evan. "What would you like for Christmas?"

"I still have no answer for that," laughed Ian. "Dad asked me the same thing and I told him that whatever he wanted to get for me would be fine so I'll say the same to you."

"You must have some idea," laughed Evan. "You've been spending time at the mall. Surely you've seen something that you want."

"Well there are a lot of things at the mall that I would like to have," he laughed. "That doesn't mean that they're practical."

"Christmas gifts shouldn't be practical," said Evan. "They should come from the heart and be something that the recipient enjoys."

"Well whatever you buy I will enjoy," replied Ian. "After all it's supposed to be the thought that counts, right?"

"You're an exasperating person to buy for," laughed Evan.

"All right," he said, smiling. "I love DVD movies. I've seen all of the ones you left downstairs. By the way your stuff is still down there."

"Thank you for taking care of it for me," replied Evan. "Any particular kind of movies?"

"Action movies are really good," he replied. "Dramas are all right if they're not too over the top. I really like movies like The Day After Tomorrow."

"I'll keep that in mind," Evan laughed.

"We'll sit down to eat around noon," said his mother. "You and Jory are more than welcome to come earlier if you'd like. I promise to make sure that Alex doesn't say a word."

"I don't want my nephew in trouble because of me," said Evan firmly. "I can't change the way he feels and that hurts, but I'd rather not add to it by his getting in trouble because of me. Jory and I have talked it over and we've decided that we'll be here no matter what Alex says. I have another nephew who wants me here."

"I'm so happy that you both will be here for Christmas," said his mother with a happy smile on her face. "Family should be together on the holidays."

Shortly after that Evan had to leave to get to work. Ian thought about what Evan had said about Andy asking about him and tried to decide if he should call him. In the end he decided that he'd told Evan he would call Andy so he should call him. He just wasn't so sure he wanted to hear what Andy had to say, but when he called all Andy wanted to do was apologize for overreacting over and over again. In the end Ian had to assure Andy that he wasn't angry with him and agree to hang out with him again soon.

Later that evening his mother and father wanted to talk to him about the trial. Ian was thankful when they told him that Alex would not be allowed to make the trip. Arrangements had already been made with the parents of one of Alex's friends for him to stay with them for however long it took in Illinois. His father said that he would talk to the school about Ian's assignments for any of the days that he would be gone for the trial. These things only calmed Ian's fears about the trial slightly. He still had to face Thomas Harvey Schultz in the court room.

Then the strangest thing happened the following day. Andy had come over to hang out and Ian was shocked when his mother asked if Andy would like to spend the night. Andy had called his parents and gotten their consent and then he left to go back to his house and get clothes for the next day. Ian didn't know what to think about Andy's spending the night. He wasn't sure that he actually wanted him to. What if something happened and Andy got mad at him again. He hadn't held Ian's hand while they were downstairs watching television so Ian was sure that the sexual element of their friendship was gone for good.

"I really am sorry for the way I reacted the other day, Ian," Andy said when they were back downstairs. They were watching a movie that Andy had brought with him.

"It's all right," Ian said for the fiftieth time.

"No it isn't," replied Andy. "I shouldn't have yelled at you like that. I was just so surprised by it. Then I had a chance to think things through after you left and I decided that you hadn't done anything to really hurt me. I mean I actually liked it so I don't know why I got upset to begin with."

"You liked it?" Ian asked in shock. After the way he'd reacted Ian had thought he hated it.

"Well yeah," Andy said with that shy smile on his face. "I mean, I'd never done anything like that before with anyone. Ian I've never even been with a girl before."

"I'm still sorry I did it," Ian said after a moment. "You don't have to worry. I won't do anything like that again."

"Can we go back to the way things were at least?" Andy asked, taking Ian's hand in his and looking at him with a pleading look.

"If you really want to," replied Ian. "I was warned not to let you talk me into doing anything that I didn't want to do, but it was me that made you do something that you didn't want to do. I'm sorry for that, Andy. I really am."

"It wasn't exactly like that, Ian," Andy replied. "If you don't want things to go back to the way they were I understand, but I don't want you thinking that you took advantage of me. I could have stopped you at any time. I think I was more upset by how much I liked what we did than anything else."

"Let's just not talk about it anymore," Ian said, acutely aware of where they were and the fact that Alex had not been happy to hear that Ian was being allowed to have a friend spend the night when he hadn't been allowed to even have friends over since Ian had been brought home. "At least not here."

"All right," Andy said, but he didn't let go of Ian's hand.

When it was time to go to bed that night Ian was a little nervous about the fact that they would be sleeping in the same bed. They both stripped down to their boxers and climbed under the covers. Ian switched off the light and plunged the room into darkness with apprehension. Then he felt Andy take his hand under the covers and he thought it might be all right. He drifted off to sleep after what seemed and eternity of worrying about the fact that they were in bed together.

He woke before Andy the next morning and was very aware of the fact that they were cuddled together with Andy's arm tightly around his waist. He could feel Andy's erection against his backside and just the thought of it brought back the day that he'd rode Andy's dick. He finally started to think about why he'd done it.

He'd wanted to make Andy feel good. That was true, but was that all there was to it? He hadn't thought about it on purpose since it happened. Now he couldn't stop. He remembered the feeling of Andy's dick inside of him and he had to admit, at least to himself, that he liked it. What did that mean? After all of the times that he'd been molested he'd been angry and filled with hatred for the men that had used him. He never once liked the feeling of their dicks inside of him. Why had he liked it so much when it was Andy?

At that moment Andy snuggled even closer to Ian, nuzzling his face into the back of Ian's neck. Ian felt his own erection growing and decided that he had to get out of that bed. He carefully extracted himself from Andy's tight embrace and stood on shaking legs with his back to the bed.

"Morning," Andy said behind him.

"Good morning," Ian replied, slipping a pair of sweat pants up his legs. "Do you want the bathroom first?"

"No, you go ahead," said Andy. "I'm going to stay here for a bit."

Thinking of Andy's erection, Ian understood why he'd want to stay under the covers for a while longer. Ian got fresh clothes for himself and headed for the small bathroom off the family room. As he stood under the shower spray he couldn't get his mind to stop focusing on the feeling of Andy's erection pressed against him in the bed. His own erection refused to abate and he finally wrapped a soapy hand around it and brought himself to a knee-shaking orgasm. Then he rinsed his body and turned off the water.

He looked at his reflection in the mirror above the sink and thought he saw guilt in his own eyes. What did he have to feel guilty about? He was gay. That was all there was to it. He'd been so ready to admit that fact to himself before he'd had anal sex with Andy. Why was it so hard to hold to that conviction now?

He met Andy on his way back through the family room. Andy was holding his own clothes as he passed him and Ian mumbled that he'd wait for him. While he waited he picked up his clothes from the day before and put them in the hamper. Andy's clothes he just sat on top of his bag. Then he made the bed and went back into the family room to sit on the couch and wait for Andy.

He felt awkward fifteen minutes later as he sat at the kitchen table with Andy beside him and his brother across from him. His mother put plates of waffles in front of him and Andy. Alex watched Ian as they ate. What was it that his brother was looking at? What was he seeing? Ian felt very uncomfortable and thought about asking Alex to stop staring at him but thought better of it.

Andy stayed to help decorate the Christmas tree, which seemed to make Alex angry. Andy paid absolutely no attention to Alex so Ian didn't worry about it. Once the tree was completely decorated his mother took pictures of it. Then she wanted a picture of Ian and Alex together in front of the tree and Ian nearly refused. In the end he stood beside his brother and let her take the picture. As soon as it was taken both boys moved away from each other. Ian joined Andy on the couch and Alex sat in the recliner.

They sat in a tense silence as they pretended to watch television for a while. Andy finally told Ian that he should be getting home and promised to call later. Ian walked him to the door and then went back downstairs. He wasn't going to sit in the living room with Alex for any amount of time alone.

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