A Sort of Homecoming
Albert was failing school. The weather was turning warmer, Miss Wilder had
a voice in just the right pitch to make a young man of fifteen close his mind off, and his seat was near the window. Plus,
there were issues with the view. An hour would go by before he realized that he had done nothing more than stare at his seat
mate out of the corner of his eye and fantasize about touching those hands, kissing those lips....
Andy Garvey had a slim frame, soft doe eyes in a wonderful blend of amber
and chocolate, and soft dark brown hair that would occasionally hang down in his face. Once Albert caught himself reaching
up with his hand to brush it away when Andy looked over. He feigned swatting a fly to cover his mistake. When Andy looked
back at him and gave him a lopsided grin, Albert felt like a vise was gripping his heart.
Albert felt that Andy was trying to give him hints, but was so unsure of his
own feelings, that Andy couldn’t quite figure out how to get the message across. Albert thought that today might be
the day. They had decided to go swimming in the pond behind the Garvey’s barn after school. Albert told his Pa that
Andy was going to tutor him. He hoped it would be the other way around.
Before Albert came to live with the Ingalls, he had lived a hard life. His
father was a drunk who worked for the rail. It was a hard life for a man, let alone a young boy whose creamy skin and soft
lips betrayed his French ancestry. Albert had found comfort in a few of the younger men that sought him out over the years,
but learned to avoid the rough men who would have broken him. There were men who looked for boys with soft features like Albert’s,
men who liked to see how quickly that creamy skin would bruise. Men that would grab handfuls of his wavy black hair and force
his head down to soothe their frazzled nerves after a hard day.
Albert learned to avoid those men, but he had looked for a companion to share
the few tender feelings that were left in him. Never had he thought there was anything wrong with loving another boy. Until
the Ingalls found him and brought him into their family, he had never darkened a church’s door. He now understood that
his natural affection for other males was to be kept a secret. Not denied, but something to be kept sacred and private.
"Class, I want the fourth and fifth years to turn in your essays on our
President tomorrow. The rest need prepare for your upcoming math quizzes. Class dismissed."
Andy gave Albert a nudge with his elbow and said, "Come on. I’ll race
And with that, he ran off with his rope bundled books slung over his shoulder.
Albert laughed and made to follow. He passed Olsen’s Mercantile and headed down the dirt path past the lumber yard.
He could see the dust Andy kicked up in front of him, but he couldn’t see Andy.
"Andy! Wait up!" Albert laughed.
As he got closer to the woods at the edge of the Garvey farm, he started getting
panicked. He still couldn’t see Andy. Then he felt something heavy crash into him and force him to the ground. His head
hit the hard packed dirt and he saw stars for a minute. When his eyesight cleared, he saw that Andy was straddling his hips
with both of his arms pinned to his sides. Andy had a grin on his face until he saw Albert wincing from the pain in his skull.
Andy let go of his arms and leaned forward and placed his hand on the side
of his head. "Are you okay? Gosh, Albert. I didn’t mean to hurt you."
Albert couldn’t quite figure out how he was feeling. The boy he loved
was sitting on top of him, his face was inches away and he looked so worried. Albert gave his head a little shake and smiled
back at him. "I’m okay. Just hit my head a little hard, that’s all."
Albert jumped off of him and gave him a hand to stand up. Albert felt the
loss of his body keenly, but thrilled when Andy moved behind him to look at the "wound." His fingers ran through Albert’s
hair to feel for bumps or cuts. Albert’s eyes closed at the sensation.
"No blood, but you do have a teeny bump. You’ll be okay, right? I mean,
you still want to swim, right?"
Albert looked over his shoulder and gave him a smile. "Yeah. Lead the way."
He wasn’t sure, but he thought he saw confusion, and maybe excitement, in Andy’s eyes when he had smiled at him.
They got to the water’s edge and Albert stood still, unsure of what
to do. Did they undress? When Albert went swimming in the pond by the Ingalls’ farm, he was usually with his adopted
sisters and swam fully clothed. Andy, who had no sisters, began pulling his shirt over his head one handed, and kicked off
his boots. Albert couldn’t move. When Andy unbuttoned his pants and made to pull them down to swim in his knickers,
Albert realized he shouldn’t be staring and began unbuttoning his shirt.
He felt eyes on him when he pulled his shirt over his head and saw out of
the corner of his eye that Andy was watching him with his mouth slightly open. Albert continued as if he didn’t know
he was being watched. He kicked off his boots and unbuttoned his pants and stepped out of them.
"So, you got a dock to jump off of?"
Andy looked away, but not before Albert saw the red creeping up his cheeks,
embarrassed at having been caught staring. "Uh, yeah. Right over there. Come on."
Andy jumped in and Albert followed. Albert tried to stay under as long as
possible, working the mud in between his toes. When he felt a burning in his lungs, he kicked up and broke the surface with
a huge gasp. He found Andy floating on his back next to him, slowly pushing the water back and forth with his arms to stay
afloat. Albert joined him, the two boys staring at the clouds and enjoying the peace. It felt like they were the only two
people in the world.
After a moment, Andy began to tread water. He smirked and then dove under
the water. Albert felt arms go around his waist and pull him under. Andy pushed his head down and tried to stand on Albert’s
shoulders. Albert grabbed Andy’s ankles and pulled him down in front, then popped up to the surface to catch his breath.
When Andy tried to do the same, Albert wrapped his legs around the other boy’s waist and pushed back, rolling under
the water with Andy in his grasp.
They fought good-naturedly for a few minutes until they found themselves back
by the dock and laughing. Andy reached up and held on to the edge of the wooden platform with his hands while Albert treaded
water in front of him with giggles still escaping him. Andy got quiet and looked at Albert, his head tilting to one side as
if looking at something new.
Albert felt a wildness building up in his chest and very casually moved
closer to Andy in the water. He felt Andy’s feet touch his sides and slowly work their way to his waist and hold him
in place. Albert couldn’t take his eyes away from his friend. His tongue came out and wet his lips, and he noticed Andy
staring at them. Their breathing had become very shallow.
Albert let one hand dip below the water’s surface and take a hold
of Andy’s ankle, his fingertips grazing the rough hair. When he saw Andy’s eyes glaze a bit and his pupils dilate,
he let himself become bolder. He moved closer in the water to his friend, and was pleased to feel Andy pull him still closer
with his legs. His belly was now level with Andy’s, and let his eyes close when he felt the heat pouring off his friend
even in the cool of the water.
Albert allowed his hand slide up from Andy’s ankle to the back of his
knee, where he took it in a firm grip. He let his other hand reach up and grab hold of the wooden platform above their heads.
That action caused their bodies to move even closer, making Andy gasp as they rubbed against each other.
Feeling bold, Albert deliberately let his torso rub up and then back down
Andy’s bare chest, letting his eyes close at the sensation. After a moment, he felt soft hair tickling the side of his
face and opened his eyes to see his best friend bringing his face to the side of Albert’s neck.
Albert softly nuzzled his cheek, bringing his mouth closer to Andy’s.
His heart felt like it was going to burst out of his chest, and his stomach was twisting into knots. He had always wanted
this, but he was scared that Andy would realize what he was doing and push him away. When Andy breathed, "Albert," and leaned
in for a kiss, he thought he had died. Those soft lips he had stared at for months were tentatively rubbing against his. The
soft brown hair was slick and wet with water, but that meant it was in no danger of covering Andy’s eyes.
Albert continued to rub their torsos togetherand then began to shift his
hips in a loop, grinding against his friend. When Andy gasped into his mouth, Albert took the opportunity to trace his lower
lip with his tongue. The moan elicited served as encouragement. When he felt Andy use his tongue back, he allowed himself
to breathe again.
The boys moved under the dock to rest against the shore, no longer content
to hold themselves above the water and deny themselves the pleasure of touching one another. Albert eased Andy onto his back
and held himself over his friend. Andy cupped Albert's face, pulling him back to him. Albert rested on his elbow and continued
to rock his body against Andy.
He shifted to his side and allowed his free hand to trace lazy circles on
Andy’s chest. When their mouths separated, Albert buried his face in Andy’s neck and placed soft kisses and bites
there. He didn’t want to say or do anything to break the magic of his first kiss with the boy he loved.
Andy pushed him off and turned his head to the side as if to hide. "We shouldn’t
be doing this. My Ma thinks it’s a sin for me to kiss a girl, let alone..."
Albert sat up and drew his knees to his chest, resting his head on his knees.
He looked at Andy for a full minute. "I don’t know about it being sin. Guess I don’t know much about it, but I
do know that lots of men do it."
Andy looked at him with a shocked expression. "They do?"
Albert gave the tiniest of nods. "Guess when men get lonely enough, they realize
that feeling good and loving someone is okay. Doesn’t Reverend Alden say we should love each other and all love is from
Andy’s breath was coming in small hitches. "Are you saying you love
Albert blushed to his roots and looked at the ground. "I’m just saying
that anything that makes you feel happy and good like this can’t be a sin."
He lay back on the bank and counted the spaces in the boards with his finger
tips, trying to ignore Andy staring at him. "I know you didn’t have it easy in Mankato. I know you saw stuff you wish
you hadn’t, living in that orphanage. And I know what it’s like to want someone to care about you. And, well,
I guess what I’m saying is I do. Care about you."
He felt Andy’s hand brush against the side of his, and took what he
was offering. They lay side by side, hidden from the world, connected only by their hands and the feelings building up in
Albert sighed, "I better get home. Pa will wonder why I’m not back to
help with the chores," he grudgingly climbed out from under the dock and began to get dressed. Andy did the same. When Albert
made to leave, he felt a hand grab his and turn him around. Andy’s thumb softly stroked Albert’s calloused hand.
"Can you come back tomorrow after school?"
Albert’s smile was his answer.
Albert was so worried that everyone would know what was going on between the
two boys, that he worked extra hard in class all day. Miss Wilder noticed and gave him extra marks for his diligence. He felt
a knee nudge his under the desk and dropped his face to hide his grin. Andy muttered under his breath, "A for effort," and
rubbed his leg up and down against Albert’s leg.
He was glad they were the oldest boys in the class, and thereby had the desk
at the back of the room. Miss Wilder seldom left her desk to walk the classroom, so there wasn’t a likely chance that
anyone would notice.
After what seemed like the longest day of his life, school let out and Andy
and Albert grabbed their things and left the one-room schoolhouse together. Carrie, Albert’s younger sister, called
out to him and asked him if she could come along.
"Better run along home, Carrie. Ma will be wanting you to help with baby Grace.
Let Pa know that I’m at Andy’s studying. He said it was okay."
Satisfied that she wasn’t following them, they began walking along
the wheel ruts towards the Garvey farm, occasionally swinging at each other with their books or dinner pail, laughing the
whole time. When they got to the pond, they both looked at each other nervously.
It seemed to mean something to undress this time. Albert pulled his shirt
off and tossed it at Andy’s head, desperate to break the tension. Andy laughed, took his shirt, pants and shoes off
in record time, and dove right in to the pond. This time when Albert dove in, he immediately surfaced and looked for his friend.
Andy was swimming on his back headed straight for the dock. He looked at Albert and nervously looked away.
Albert dipped under the surface and swam towards the dock. He popped up a
few feet away from where Andy was doing pull ups on the wooden slats. Albert treaded water and watched the muscles in Andy’s
back work. He moved closer and reached a hand out and gently placed it on Andy’s lower back. Andy stopped and held his
place, then slowly moved down, allowing Albert’s hand to lightly run to the nape of his neck as lowered his body into
Albert shifted his body so it was back under the dock and he was resting on
the sand, facing up. He closed his eyes and focused on his breathing, willing his friend to come to him. After a few minutes,
Andy took a deep breath and lay next to Albert, resting on his side.
Albert had decided that Andy needed to set the pace. He was obviously nervous
and concerned about what they had been doing, and didn’t want to scare him off. Not after finally kissing him and knowing
that Andy felt something for him in return. He let out the breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding when Andy lightly
ran his fingers over Albert’s stomach. Albert opened his eyes and looked at him, then closed his eyes and let a smile
play across his delicate features.
Andy moved closer and leaned over, his wet hair tickling Albert’s chest.
Albert giggled and opened his eyes and saw Andy smiling back. Albert reached up a hand and rested it on Andy’s chest,
then turned his hand over and let it gently slide down to his belly. He tugged on the waist of Andy’s knickers.
Andy leaned down and kissed his lips. He felt more bold and angled his head,
deepening the kiss. When Albert traced his lip with his tongue, Andy instinctively knew to open his mouth. Albert had one
hand buried in his soft, brown hair, still damp from the pond. The other hand had not left the waistband of Andy’s knickers.
Albert pressed the heel of his palm and softly rocked it back and forth against
the hardness he felt there. Andy pulled away slightly and looked at him. Panicked, Albert began to stammer out an apology
when he felt Andy push back against his hand and close his eyes.
Albert buried his forehead in the crook of Andy’s neck and let his
hand slide down and cup him through the thin material. He felt Andy shake against him, and Albert kissed his neck in an attempt
to soothe him. Albert began to rub his hand up and down the length of him, causing Andy to spasm occasionally and gasp at
Albert pressed his other hand to Andy’s hip, causing the other boy to
shift to his side. He then took Andy’s hand and pressed it to his own hardness. His eyes watered at the happiness welling
up inside of him. That this beautiful boy he had grown to love through their friendship would kiss him and touch him like
this... He opened his eyes and saw Andy staring at him, his eyes hazy. Andy was hungrily bucking his hips against Albert’s
hand, unsure of how to relieve the pressure building up inside.
Albert looked at him questioningly and began to slide Andy’s pants
down. Andy let his head rest on the sand, and raised his hips in compliance. Albert slid his own damp knickers down below
his knees, then leaned back and began to grind himself against his friend. Andy curled forward and cried out softly against
Albert’s neck. Albert clung to him, kissing his face, his hair, his neck, and whispered sweet words into his ear as
he felt their most sensitive areas rubbing against each other, freed of their restraints.
Albert took Andy into his hand, and rubbed the tip with his thumb and gripped
him tightly in his fist. With his thumb on the tip, he began to pump his fist, causing Andy to breathe heavily. When Albert
took himself into the same hand, and began stroking them both at the same time, Andy’s eyes shot open and looked at
Albert in disbelief.
Andy’s fingers grabbed Albert’s chest and held on. They pressed
their foreheads together and watched what was happening between their bodies. Andy grew bolder as he felt himself nearing
completion. He let his hand slide down between their bodies and softly cup Albert behind his erection. He gave him a small
squeeze and Albert panted into his shoulder, cried out, "Gah, Andy, I... oh, God."
Andy watched with a strange feeling of satisfaction as Albert ejaculated against
his stomach. His own release quickly followed. They both lay back, legs touching, sides touching as they attempted to catch
Albert leaned up on his side and looked down at his new lover, afraid of
what he might see. Andy reached up and traced his jaw line with his finger. Feeling a tightening in his chest, Albert leaned
over and kissed him softly on the lips, each eye, and behind his ear before he lay back down.
Andy spoke so quietly, that Albert was afraid he was imagining it. "I guess
I know what you meant about something feeling so good, and making you feel happy, not being sin." He turned his head and looked
at Albert. "I don’t think what I’m feeling is wrong. But...I don’t know how to make it be okay."
Albert felt like a lead weight had been dropped on his middle. "I know. Guess
we can keep seeing each other like this. If you wanted to." He didn’t dare look at Andy, afraid of what he would see.
Andy replied, "Well, we are best friends, ain’t we? Don’t see
no reason why two friends can’t spend some time together..."
Albert smiled and opened his eyes. He turned his head and looked at him. "It
helps, you know? Having someone to care about?" Andy didn’t have to ask to know he was talking about the pain of being
abandoned, about growing up with no one to care for you.
Andy felt something break inside of him. All the years of loneliness he
felt at the Mankato orphanage, the knowledge that he was an outsider when he came to live with the Garveys, and always feeling
something was different inside of him. Now he understood, and more importantly, he had someone that felt the same. And he