Buoyed by the brief visit, the strapping, 13 year old Matty, returned to the crackling heat of the dense cornfield, and resumed his work with renewed vigor, all the while, smiling, and thinking how lucky he was to have a true friend like Bobby. He pressed on, picking faster and faster, heaving bag after corn-filled bag onto the grassy tractor path, his arms glistening with sweat, his white cotton shirt soaked from the effort, but a keen, focused look of determination on his face… Soon, he was gaining on and passing the frantic group of young pickers, stunned, like competitive swimmers at the speed and strength of the blond haired boy…. All of them soon realized the futility of the competition, and, a weak banter, mixed with laughter, rose from the pollen covered fronds… “Damn, Matty, slow down… you’re too young to have a heart attack!”, yelled Tyler, in a feeble attempt at humor.  Matty picked on, his head lowered, searching left and right for the hidden ears of corn, his keen instinct telling him, in a split second, whether to rip the new-found ear off the stalk, or leave it for the next picking… His hands were flying now- he was a machine, he thought, bones of steel, sinew like wire cable, oiled and tuned, precise in every motion, till he reached the end of his third row of conquest and  had tallied his total at 15 bags of sweet, Seneca Chief….
       The crew had fallen far behind, as the lean boy stepped out of the sweltering green fronds, and into the cool shadows of the surrounding elms… He turned and looked back, in satisfaction… This was his kingdom, his passion, his earth, his connection to the present and the past. He looked to the top branches of the hovering trees and imagined himself flying, over the arching branches and swooping down to skim the tasseled tops of the perfectly straight corn rows, like a regal bird, an eagle perhaps… Inhaling, the boy stretched his tired arms over his head and tugged his soaked shirt past his ears and then, taking it with both hands, he snapped it in front of him, while the remnants of the morning’s work fell from the wet fabric… He looked at the dirt that stained the bottom of the shirt, especially in front, and imagined his mother  gathering the dirty laundry to wash and shaking her head, at the continuing challenge that farmwork presented… Long ago, Matty’s mom had perfected a regimen that magically restored the soiled clothes to pristine condition. It was a series of pre-wash procedures that included soaking and spot scrubbing and re-soaking and scrubbing, until the machine was turned on and the stubborn dirt vanished into the mysterious recesses of the teetering washer… Matty was always amazed at his mom’s tenacity when it came to washing clothes… No son of hers would ever have an excuse for going about looking dirty… It was a matter of deep pride.

        The boy stood alone at the bottom of the field and thought about the long list of duties that lie ahead, for the next week… Nervously, he checked the dirty wristwatch on his left hand, and wiped the pollen from the crystal… 8:15… Where had the time gone, he thought? Clenching his wet shirt in his left hand, he headed back to the parked tractor. Time enough to load the harvest, and make ready the produce stands for the day’s business… He climbed aboard the tall blue Ford and pressed the starter button… The tractor roared to life, a signal to the other boys that time was running short. Slowly, he turned the machine down the grass path along the edge of the field, and drove to the first pile of burlap bags… The tops of the corn plants rustled and shook, in the distance, as the 5 boys made their way to the collection points… and the day had begun. For the next 3 hours or so, the focus would shift from stocking the ‘cornstands’ to sorting the newly picked tomatoes, and then, smaller crews would disperse on foot to the closer vegetable patches, to harvest additional bushels of squash, green beans and cucumbers, as well as the now- ready crop of cannonball watermelon, that were waiting in the experimental area to the west of the farmhouse…Matty gathered the boys as they reached the collection points, driving the tractor almost at idle speed, never completely stopping, unless a younger boy couldn’t keep up, as the boys heaved the bulging bags of corn  to the ‘stacker’ that rode in the trailer. His job was to neatly stack the bags of corn, alternating them in rows, one perpendicular to the row beneath… the most space- efficient way to load each trailer…

         By the time lunch rolled around, every boy was shirtless, and, the whole crew was feeling the heat and the burden of the hard work… As a surprise, Matty rounded up the boys and, with the trailer full of tanned young bodies, headed to the  little waterhole that was located in a meadow in a secluded part of the farm… The buzz from the trailer increased as the boys eagerly anticipated the cool water of the little pond… Matty grinned as the good natured banter became an argument about the pending ‘chicken fight’, and the old alliances returned… the stronger boys as the bulls and the younger, lighter boys as the riders… The tractor rounded the final corner, and even before it had stopped, the air was thick with the laughter of the invigorated group as pants and shorts were hastily stripped off and underwear was hidden in the rolled up parcels, occasionally tugged at and stolen by various culprits to be held as ransom for a prior grievance… 11 naked boys now raced through the muddy path that led to the glistening pond, hooting and hollering, playing ‘grabass’ and taunting each other with nicknames like ‘Peanut’ or ‘Noodle dick’…

      The water of the quiet pond was shattered as boy after nude boy dove or ran into the emerald water, their tanned backs in stark contrast to their skinny white backsides… Matty surveyed the group and waited for the commotion to crescendo, before joining the rest.. He stood, grinning, with his arms crossed, on the bank of the pond, and, just as he was about to dive, felt a pinch on his right buttcheek.  A grinning Bobby stood to his left, and slightly behind him. Matty reddened, and looked at his friend, who was beaming in his usual way… The boys stood, side by side, and glanced at each other, trying to keep their eyes from betraying them, but, it was no use… Bobby was a beautiful boy, and Matty always felt tortured in his naked presence… He felt the familiar sensations start to take hold, moving from his quivering backside , where Bobby’s hand still rested, to his belly and then to his groin… Matty scowled at his buddy, and quickly dove into the cool water, before it became apparent to the others, what was going on…

  Bobby followed quickly behind his blond buddy, and joined the fracas in the middle of the pond, that was starting to degenerate into a combination of chicken fights and tackle football… The younger boys were tossed about, in playful fashion by the older boys, and, eventually hoisted onto shoulders where the competition raged, to see who ‘survived’ the tugging and pushing mass of legs and arms, of the water soaked warriors…More than one alliance was broken as new, secret ones formed, till even those were shattered in the culmination battle of the final combatants, cheered on by the defeated teams… It was a blast for the now refreshed boys, and Matty finally called the troops to order, amidst the groans of the reluctant boys… Lunch awaited though, and the boys were herded out of the once pristine pond and back to the awaiting trailer… A few lingered, and took the opportunity to christen the nearby weeds, to the jeers of their mates, before returning to the trailer to reclaim their stolen underwear… The boys donned their work -worn levis and shorts and the final score was calculated by the warring parties- a give and take, with Matty as the referee, as the sun arched high in the summer sky, and dried the last reminders of the noon time duel from the hungry boys’ bodies…

       The cadence of the August day was interrupted only by the passage of time… a blur of sweating bodies and back wrenching work, as the teenaged boy wrestled the earth for it’s bounty and led the cadre of young farmhands through the constant grind that the green fields demanded… Weeding and tilling, feeding and watering, nursing and comforting, till the day was spent, and the tired boys dragged their shoeless feet down the dusty road that had brought them here some 12 hours before… The day was done, as Matty said goodbye to the tired gang and made his way to the milking barn, to make a final check on the month old calf that had been ill…  Calf and mother were content, so Matty secured the barn door and walked slowly to the shaded arbor where large bunches of ripened grapes hung… He sat down on the weathered bench that was built around the inside of the structure and leaned back against a cedar support, and felt the rough wood scrape against his naked back.  His skin tingled a bit; the reminder of a summer day on his tender back… He winced… Tomorrow, it would be a good idea to wear a shirt, he thought…
       The long shadows of the dying day now reached across the still fields, and in the surrounding woods, the gentle calls of the crickets rose to meet the darkening sky… Matty surveyed the beautiful landscape one last time, and struggled to his feet… A wave of warm satisfaction overtook the tired boy, as he made his way to the rambling farmhouse that was nestled in the woods…. The door was shut, but not locked… there was no need. Matty  walked in and stopped to wipe his dirty feet on the braided rug that sat just inside the kitchen door… The house was quiet, except for the distant tic/ toc of the grandfather clock, and the boy turned to the right and wound his way through the living room and down the short hallway that led to the Eastern wings of the house. The shower beckoned, and the youngster  grabbed the small duffel bag from the hall cubby, where he  had stowed it, earlier in the week, once he had learned of the situation and his looming responsibility… Inside the bag, Matty had packed the necessities of a teenage boy’s life-  clean underwear, extra t- shirts, shorts and blue jeans…. and, of course, some heady reading material… the latest issues of ‘Mad’ magazine!! Matty grinned at the cover- Alfred E. Newman peering up at him from the bottom of the bag…  A guilty pleasure… actually, a banned ( by Mom, and the Catholic church) pleasure…Matty shrugged his shoulders, thinking about that… what was SO bad about the humor in his favorite magazine that made it the work of Satan??  Well… that was just adult stupidity, as far as the boy was concerned….
       The tired boy stripped off his pants and underwear, and leaning into the shower, adjusted the spray of water until it was just warm… He stepped into the tepid cascade, and felt the soothing coolness draw the heat from his weary body… He closed his eyes and let the water wash over his head and back as he rocked slowly, in and out of  the torrent … His thoughts drifted far away, to the summer before, and the naked midnight swim that he and Bobby had managed at the local public pool… He grinned at the thought of his best friend carrying him  ‘piggy back’, while Matty wrapped his tanned arms around the boy’s neck, hugging him in an embrace that neither boy wanted to end, as they waded through the shallow end of the pool towards the dark and deep end that was usually off limits, and reserved for diving…
       A voice suddenly startled Matty out of his stupor… “Hey, Dufus!!”
      The shower door opened, and Bobby pushed his way past his stunned pal, laughing hysterically at the confused look on Matty’s face. “Hey, Koles, ANYBODY could have come in here… don’t you know how to lock a door?”
      Matty looked at his naked friend and retorted, ” Nobody but you, would have tried!! Don’t you have a shower at home, maniac??”
     “Sure I do, birthday boy, but, this is WAY more fun!! When was the last time somebody helped you wash your back?” With that, the grinning boy snatched the bar of soap off the metal soap tray and, lathered his hands with the soap… “Well, do you want me to start on your front or your back?? I mean, make up your mind, I’m getting hungry… ” Matty stood, red- eared and speechless, until his smiling friend reached towards him… He quickly turned his back, and Bobby giggled as he started to apply the foamy froth to his best friend’s neck and shoulders, gently kneading and massaging his way up and down the tanned back, until he reached the pale buttocks… Matty stood with his hands on the tiled wall of the shower, his eyes closed and his breathing short and shallow, as the gentle hands lingered in the hollow of his back and softly caressed him, then moved down, and separated, smoothing the residue over the white cheeks and upper thighs, squeezing and pulling the orbs apart and bravely exploring the dark crevice, probing and trembling …. Bobby’s face now rested against the 13 year old’s back, as his fingers worked their magic… He softly kissed Matty’s shoulders and neck and then, he nibbled at the back of his buddy’s ear, biting softly, sucking and tasting …. Every nerve ending was afire as Matty’s fingers clawed at the smooth tiles…. Now, Bobby wedged his legs between Matty’s and pushed the boy’s feet apart, until he was standing up against his slender friend with his  erect member  gliding up and down the soapy crack, as he  humped the virgin backside… Matty couldn’t move, even tho he was the stronger of the two.. He opened his eyes and glanced down at his own erection, just as his buddy reached around and grabbed the rigid penis, rubbing the enflamed head, and squeezing it  harder and harder, while the water cascaded, unnoticed, over the two boys… Matty felt the tip of Bobby’s finger enter his clenching butt and then, both boys reached the point of no return… Bobby probed deeper , as Matty exploded in his tight grip, panting and begging his friend to stop, but not meaning it… Bobby shuddered and pulled Matty closer as he reached his own climax and shot his boy fluids between the clenching pale white cheeks of his best friend’s butt… The boys stayed like that for a moment, spent , until their breathing normalized and the warm water started to cool… Bobby kissed Matty’s neck and hugged him… “How was that, dufus? You really needed that, huh…” He turned Matty around, and reaching up, gently pushed the wet hair away from the boy’s eyes.  “Happy birthday, buddy…” Matty started to respond, but, stopped, and bit his lip as his eyes filled with tears… He nodded and rested his head on his best friend’s shoulder,  embracing him until his trembling body stilled, and the joy returned to his broken heart….

    Continued in Part 4… Final Chapter…

  

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