Bobby walked with Matty towards the dirt -packed parking lot, but stopped about halfway there and turned down the side trail to where he had parked his new transportation.

             There in the deepening darkness, Matty could make out the glint of chrome and the refection of the filtering light from the half moon as it caressed the muscular bike, a Honda CB 450… It was a few years old, but it looked brand new and whenever Bobby spoke of it, he smiled excitedly…

           It was something that made him happy, even tho it frightened Matty in a strange way… It was a motorcycle like many that the tall blond boy had seen, but when he saw Bobby on its back, roaring away, Matty felt unnerved by the throaty rumble and the possibilities that crossed his mind… But, he had always been a worrier, or so he told himself, and so he fought the transient thoughts and pushed aside his fear.

               After all, Bobby had a right to his happiness.

           “Hey Bubba… Why don’t we ride my bike down to the shore?  We can leave your car here… Put the roof up and it’ll be safe. You’ve only been on her once! Whatta ya say?”

               “Oh geez Bobby, I don’t know… It’s a hour and a half ride down there… Maybe it would be better…” Matty saw the growing look of dejection on his buddy’s face and stopped. “On the other hand, I could spend the time  feeling you up, if you promise to keep her in the middle of the road, and not drive us  off a cliff, or something!  Uncle Sam might get pretty upset if I show up in more than one piece!”

                Bobby’s face brightened instantly, and he was actually exuberant for the first time. “You’re gonna LOVE this, Bubba! This will be SO great ! We’ll just lock up your car and grab that blanket out of the trunk!  We can sit on it on the way down and … Oh, you might want to grab your sunglasses, tho. We’re gonna be going faster than when we did the last time, and the wind can kind of be a bitch on the eyes…”

                   “Oh, right… ” Matty winced. He hadn’t thought of that. Still, he just nodded … He didn’t want ANYTHING to detract from this last night together.

                    So the two lovers made the last minute preparations. Matty started the Corvair and engaged the little motor that raised the convertible top, and latched it down. Then, he rolled up the windows and locked the doors before opening the trunk. Bobby always got a kick out of that, for you see, the trunk in the Corvair was at the front of the strange little car!

                      “So, someone stole your engine again,” the blond boy snickered.

                    “Yeah, I hear that they’re prized for their awesome power and that people with Ferraris like to have a spare engine around, just in case…”

                       “Here, they left this nice beach blanket instead!” Matty tossed the special blanket to his friend that he had stowed in the car once the weather got warm. It was a blue and gold blanket that he and Bobby had taken comfort on for over a year now. Sometimes in the treehouse, and sometimes in special, private places that the two boys had found over the years…

                      Bobby caught the blanket and wrapped both arms around the soft fabric.He  buried his face in it and inhaled deeply.

                        “God, it smells like jizz!  You been jerking off on this, Bubba?”

                         “Every day, sometimes 6 or 7 times,” Matty replied without hesitation.

                          “EWWW!!  I knew it had to be you!”

                            Matty slammed the trunk. “You love it… Don’t be lying … Come on, let’s hit the road. The ocean awaits!”

                        Bobby giggled, and grabbed the slender blond boy around the waist as he walked by and kissed him quickly on the neck and then nibbled a bit, as Matty pushed at him, laughing. “Cripes, man. If you give me a big hicky, how am I gonna explain that? I’m supposed to be going to a party and spending the night with friends.”

                       “Tell your folks that you got attacked by Diana Lysicki. She’s got a reputation… “

                         “They don’t know that!  I doubt they know any more than a few kids in our class. ‘Sides, I’m a GOOD boy, remember?”

                         Bobby nearly wet his pants at that, as he laughed, doubled over and clutching himself, tears forming in his eyes…

                     He threw the folded blanket at Matty as the tall boy  chuckled at the dramatic reaction. “Man… don’t pee your pants. It’s a long way to Misquamicut! I really don’t need to be lying on a wet blanket when we get there!”

                  Bobby staggered to the bushes near the bordering woods, still half- doubled over, to the sound of a zipper being unfastened. Matty shrugged and joined him, and the two teenagers stood side by side as they had done hundreds of times over the years and christened the wild blueberry shrubs and swatted mosquitos at the same time…

                         “Let’s get out of here!” Matty declared, using his left hand to swat at the now swarming ‘skeeters’ as he hopped up and down, zipping up at the same time. “That one tried to bite my dick!”

                          “FUCK!!  I know what you mean! Where the heck did they all come from, suddenly?” Bobby replied.

               ” Once that breeze died down, they found us… They were just waiting for some fresh meat! Is that bike faster than a speeding mosquito?”

                        Bobby laughed and grabbed Matty’s arm, as the boys sprinted to the waiting bike, bumping into each other and waving their arms like helicopter blades… Bobby climbed aboard the candy-red Honda and rocked the machine off it’s kickstand and then started the chrome-plated engine with a quick flick of his right foot… He revved the engine and then let it idle. To the tall, blond boy, it sounded like a poorly tuned lawnmower as it  rumbled and sputtered. But to his best friend, it was his pride and joy. He sat atop with his legs splayed, keeping the machine upright, and flashed his patented smile at Matty, beckoning him to climb up on the back of the vibrating 450.

                   Matty oblidged, as the shorter boy moved a bit foward, looking over his shoulder. As he did, he placed the folded blanket on the leather seat and with a smirk, pinched his lover on the butt, so that he would lift up and share the blanket. Bobby did and repositioned it a bit to make sure it wasn’t impeding on the exhaust pipes. He also motioned to Matty to steer clear of the pipes. “Once we get going, they’re gonna get hot, but it’ll be OK as long as you don’t lean your legs in tight… Well, you’ll know if your legs are too close, ’cause you’ll get burnt pretty quick!”

                 “Great….”, Matty muttered, under his breath, but he snuggled up close to his buddy and wrapped his arms around his waist. Then, he leaned foward and kissed Bobby on the neck and sucked on the skin a bit, to Bobby’s laughing objections…

                    “So.. Now you’re gonna pay me back and I gotta explain how I got the hickeys when I get home!”

                   “You’re a better lier than me… You’ll figure something out. ” Matty shouted, above the staccato din of the warming engine.

                    “Yeah, I’ll just tell the truth. Seems nobody believes me anyways,” Bobby laughed.  “Hold tight, Bubba… We’re outta here!”  And, just like that, they were. Rumbling down the dirt path and onto the gravel of the small parking lot. Passing to the right of the idle Corvair and then onto the winding road that led to the main gate of the sleepy park. They paused there for a second as Bobby glanced over his shoulder to check on Matty’s sunglasses, and then patted the side of his lover’s right leg, and with a roar, accelerated onto the darkened road as the tall, thin boy tightened his grip and hooked his fingers under the heavy leather belt with the double holes all around.

                        It was frightening at first… While Matty loved feeling Bobby’s lean body between his legs, he was also a little nervous in his role as a passenger as Bobby directed him to ‘just relax’. They roared around the first curve and steered a course for the backwoods turnpike that would take them away from the little town in the valley and to the special beach on the Rhode Island shore where Bobby’s parents owned a tiny cottage … One that his grandparents had left to them a few years back. One that Matty had never stayed in but had seen on a side trip to the shore on ‘Senior Skip Day’ that very year.

                          It was a warm night that stayed warm, but on the back of the cruising Honda, it felt like  an early summer morning… Matty closed his eyes and remembered the hundreds of times he had careened down the asphalt road and onto the dirt- packed farm path in the early morning light on his trusty bike, the wind rushing through his blond hair and the morning mist dampening his tanned face.

                                     Those days were to be just memories from now on, as the torch had been passed to a new crew of eager boys who would earn their way to manhood in the cauldron of sweat and back- breaking work that was so vital to the small farm… It was odd, he thought. For almost his entire childhood, that farm had been an extension of his being. There, he had sweat and bled and grown from a boy into a man. He had not said goodbye, because it would always be such a big part of who he was. But now, as he remembered, his heart felt heavy. It was as if something had died. Something  precious, yet he had forgotten it’s meaning… Until now.

                                        He tightened his arms around the taut waist of his lover and placed his forehead on the boy’s nape as the miles flew by, and the bike engine droned on and on, the vibration reaching through him and lulling him into the future and the new life that awaited. He inhaled deeply and tasted the familiar scent of his beautiful companion, and felt his heartbeat in his loins, where his hands now rested.

                                      Bobby smiled . Matty could feel it in his heart, even if he couldn’t see it.

                               The darkness caressed the boys as the bike sped  south, eating the pavement that the lone light marked in bobbing, laser- like sweeps. Soon enough, the road narrowed as the unfinished highway gave way to the winding roads of the southern burroughs and the boys weaved their way past the quaint villages and forests and into New London county. It was onto I-95 now and the bridge over the Thames River, past the sub base where only a year before, the tall, blond boy had been thoroughly examined as part of the process for an appointment to a service academy…

                                 Matty glanced to his left as they ‘ throttled up’ and reached the apex of the long bridge, but there was nothing to see  but some twinkling lights upriver, where the submarines would be moored. He smiled, remembering the day -long experience. He and the surviving group of nominees, perhaps 30 at that point, were escorted through the process, filling out long forms about their health and being prodded and weighed and studied for defects… After all, some of them were soon to be chosen as the future military leaders of the nation!

                                       He remembered the intimate questions… Some of them, embarrassing. ‘Are you circumcised?’ was one… A few boys had looked at each other in despair and it became obvious that they simply didn’t know! So, the ‘Seaman’, a young sailor who was guiding them through the paperwork, tried to educate the boys that had apparently been absent on that day in ‘Human Sexuality’ class and described the difference between ‘circumcised’ and ‘uncircumcised’. Matty was stunned to see that the boys STILL didn’t understand, so the sailor finally threw up his hands and asked them to drop their pants. There were some red faces at that point, but it was all worth it… Especially for Matty, who along with one other boy near him, seemed to be checking out the cuter of the three boys with their BVD’s at their knees. Matty had prayed that nobody noticed his more than curious observation, and turned a little red when his ‘neighbor’ caught his gaze. In fact, both boys turned red and Matty looked away quickly, his heart racing and threatening to give him away…. But, it was over just as quickly, and all the boys seemed a little embarrassed, so it was all good. Being young and gay would take some practice…

                       It was after 10 o’clock as the Honda 450 reached the white- colored  beach roads of Westerly. Bobby had slowed as they worked their way towards the beach areas and as a ‘7 Eleven’ convenience store appeared, he pulled into the parking lot so that they could pick up some supplies for the nighttime venture.

                             Matty was glad he had, and was happy to stretch his legs after the long trip. He goosed Bobby as he jumped off the bike, and giggled at the boy’s look of mock terror. Some things never got old…

                                  Bobby got off the bike after engaging the kickstand and tried to adjust himself, to his buddy’s laughter. He was having a tough time of it, because he was completely erect and in the lightweight shorts he was wearing, it was impossible to hide.

                                    “Cripes! Look what you’ve done to me, Bubba!” he muttered, jumping up and down in a feeble attempt to tame the ‘dragon’… This just made the tall boy laugh more, but he kept  out of range of Bobby’s expert soccer kicks. He had taken to blocking them occasionally, using his skills acquired in two years of  Kokondo, but when he did, it sometimes hurt his forearm and bruised Bobby’s shin at the same time, so he much preferred to stay just out of range.

                                 “Come on! Think about dead cats, or something… I’m hungry.. And, thirsty. I know, think about your old lady in the shower!” Matty said, doubling over with laughter.

                                    “Oh my God! You sicko! Why did you have to put THAT picture in my brain?” Bobby retorted. ” I hope you’ll be happy if I can’t get a boner for the next ten years!”

                                     “You can’t go ten minutes without a boner, Roberto, so don’t  be talking about ten years! Lord… Hey! Looks like it worked! More or less…. Come on! Let’s stock up on some stuff for tonight. I got a hankering for a Hostess apple pie or two, and a chocolate  Yoo Hoo… Gotta get my sugar fix while I can… God knows what I’ll be allowed to eat out in Colorado…”

                 “Sounds delicious!! Make that two or even three! You’re a man after my    own taste, Bubba!  Hey, I wonder if they have the hot dogs they sell back home?”

              “Maybe… ”  Both boys tussled as they reached the glass door of the    convenience store, pushing and tugging to be the first through, laughing as they  had for so many years about the most frivolous competitions… It was as tho they  could read each others’ minds and acted on these impulses at exactly the same  times.

                        Once inside the store, the boys rounded up an odd assortment of  confections mixed with some healthier   snacks like cashews and orange juice, and  made their way to the register where a guy about their age stood, smoking a  cigarette and looking bored. He perked up as Matty dumped the items on the  counter and shook his head, smiling.

                            “Wow!  PARTYYYY!  Are you guys throwing one at your house? Do  you need some booze?”

                                  “Naw!” giggled Bobby. “Just me and my bud…” he said, draping his arm around Matty’s shoulder. “Gonna go skinny dipping and see if we can attract a few sharks…”

                     Matty groaned.” I wish you wouldn’t jinx us like that! Cripes! Maybe I’ll eat the stuff and watch you swim. At least that way, someone will be left to tell the story…”

                       The dark- haired boy grinned and then giggled as Bobby rolled his eyes and tousled Matty’s hair. He had a nice smile, and the tall blond boy noticed that the boy seemed to be checking out Bobby’s white shorts. He nervously averted  his eyes as Matty caught him.

                     “So, you guys from around here?” he asked.

                  “Nope! We just came on an overnight… Matty here is heading off into the ‘Wild Blue Yonder’ shortly, and we’re celebrating a little before he leaves.” Bobby said, squeezing the blond boy into more of a headlock and then, to Matty’s consternation, kissing him quickly on the right cheek.

                          Matty pushed him away, laughing and noticed that the dark- haired boy was laughing as well…

                          “Matty, huh? ” He extended his hand… “I’m Joe… I mean, Joey. My friends call me Joey…” He suddenly seemed embarrassed but Matty grabbed his hand and motioned towards Bobby.

                                “Nice to meet you Joey… You can call my buddy Dickhead… Or, if he’s on his best behavior, Bobby… “

                                 Bobby laughed and pushed Matty out of the way and shook Joey’s hand warmly. “He exaggerates! I’m actually a very nice guy… I just love my Bubba!!” And with that, Bobby licked his lips dramatically and resumed his assault on the taller boy, spinning him around and grabbing him from behind, in a bearhug, while Matty rolled his eyes…

                                    “Forgive him…” Matty got only two words out before Bobby was goosing him… Joey seemed to be enjoying the spectacle and stood behind the counter, grinning broadly…

                                     He interrupted the tussle. “Hey… Maybe… If you want, I can join you guys a little later, after I get out… I’m only on till 11 tonight. Got a replacement coming in then. Maybe we could hang out for a while.”

                                     Matty unlocked Bobby’s ‘death grip’ on him. He looked at Bobby, who seemed on board. “Yeah, OK. If you want, we’ll be camping out near the dunes in the sanctuary. Don’t tell anyone, OK?”

                                     Joey shook his head excitedly … “I won’t… Uh, should I bring anything? Maybe some beer or some weed…”

                                    Matty frowned a bit… “Naw… we’re not really into that Joey… Thanks for offering only…”

                                   “Oh, hey!  I’m sorry!” Joey replied, reddening. “It’s just that all the guys around here seem to think that you’re square if you show up to a party without booze or weed… It’s cool that you guys don’t need that to have fun…” He seemed even more nervous, now.

                                     Bobby, in his typical manner, just shrugged it off and with a big grin, put Joey at ease again.” It’s cool, Joey… Bubba can’t be doin’ that kind of stuff… He’s heading off into the military pretty soon… It’d be a hell of a thing if he showed up stoned…” He giggled and tugged at Matty’s shirt and the two teenagers headed for the parking lot and the Honda bike. “See ya if you still want, Joey!”

                                        Joey waved as they wrestled their way through the door. “I’ll find you! I promise! Save some ‘Cracker Jacks’ for me!!”

                                       And so it started, innocently enough.

Continued in Part 5…