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The following story is for adults and contains graphic descriptions of sexual contact between adolescent and adult males and the power imbalance of these relationships. Like so many of my stories, this is a voyage and return.

If you are a minor, then it is illegal for you to read this story. If you find the subject objectionable, then read no further. All the characters, events and settings are the product of my overactive imagination. I hope you like it and feel free to respond.

Fourteen runs through five progressions, with frequent interludes. If you would like to comment, contact me ail.

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Anton and Daniel 4

The light awning helps a lot. He squeezes a wedge from the last of the fresh lemon down the mouth of the Tecate, knowing the cold sweat building on the can won’t last in the afternoon heat. The mangled rind follows the juices into the red and gold can. The heat is building in Surocco, so Fourteen escapes to the shaded cockpit.

      “Personally, I’d rather be like your mother,” Todd said.

      “My mother is a woman,” I pointed out. “And I gotta tell you that picturing you in a dress, heels, and makeup is a bit unnerving.”

     “First off, I want to be a police officer, like your mother. Second, the idea that you are picturing me in a dress, makeup, and heels is more than a bit unnerving,” he replied. “Just how long have you been fantasizing about me as a woman?”

      Once Todd got started it was hard to turn him off. “Excuse me!” Todd called out.       Everybody in the lab turned to face him. “How many people find it disturbing that Adam has been picturing me as a woman?” Lots of hands went up.

     “Ignore him, please!” I protested.

     “Adam, don’t be ashamed, embrace your feelings!”

     “Let me know when you’re done, Todd.”

     “In this day and age it’s important that all of us accept you for what you are and how you feel. In fact, I take it as a compliment that you fantasize about me.”

     “I don’t fantasize about you!”

     “Don’t be embarrassed. I’m sure you’re not the only one who fantasizes about me.” He turned to the girl on one side. “Right? You must admit I’ve entered your dream world at least once or twice.”

      She stopped laughing and looked like she was choking on something.

     “Don’t be shy,” he said. “Embrace your feelings, too. Live the fantasy and you could become part of the total Todd experience.”

      She turned beet red, gathered up her things, and practically ran away. The other two girls beside us pretended to ignore us now.

Rule of 3, by Eric Walters, something Jeremy Gates read before in the school library. GooglePlay ebook this time. Having a decent phone and rather a lot of Levi’s money in his pocket is so satisfying, Fourteen decides. He had to be strategic with data. Surocco anchors near WiFi as thoughtfully as Anton seeks quiet harbours from the tempests. Once anchored or moored to a marina slip, wind blown mariners became Starbucks antisocials. Soon, every device starts piggie-suckling at the World Wide Web’s generous tit. Fourteen bought all three ebooks in the series in a $30 splurge.

Jeremy Gates’ Chillicothe life was too engaging for books. He had read the first in June, and thought the next two promising. School ended and Shane and Jeremy had outdoor-indoor things to do. Levi started Fourteen on reading during the long Mÿ Sòn Temple Hajj. High School math and American history, Fourteen slogged through that like Frodo dragging himself through a dreary now to Mount Doom and an uncertain after (cue the eagles). Climbing with Keon and Malcom King’s dry library fended off insanity over the months at the Pueblo. The Surocco now is very engaging, but there is too much getting from here to there. It is very Interstate from Bull Shoals to North Platte once Anton sets the autopilot. You dream of dogfighting over France and find it is a milk run. Fourteen needs entertainment in the silence.

The Surocco-now is an endless untethered, Good Vibrations summer (Anton plays Beach Boys). The poking into Gulf of California bays is done. Anton plans a long Pacific stretch to Puerto Vallarta. Adam’s flight over the American apocalypse will keep Fourteen entertained. Reading through Rule of 3’s the second time, Fourteen reaffirms he is the unassuming hero Adam, brash-best friend Todd remains Shane. The old (and coincidentally dying) Herb is suddenly Levi (dying) Fisher. That is a new connection to Eric Walter’s story and Fourteen’s life. Not much else connects, Rule of 3’s Adam had his flying skill and a girl to perv on. Fourteen can hardly cook-fuck his way out of his current apocalypse.

The familiar hetero-boy banter from the beginning of the book makes Fourteen frown. Play the game, Jeremy Gates always had to warn himself in his closeted Chillicothe before. Jokes about gay attractions, not that there’s anything wrong with it. Shane, Wade, and Shay would joke just like Adam’s friend Todd. Jeremy Gates had to be all Rule-of-3-Adam flustered-patient-forgiving with his friend’s. Jeremy let the jokes slide by, hid the burn. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

Fourteen takes a sip from his cold Tecate and scrolls the page on his Galaxy. There is something comforting about rereading a good story. Suspense is fun-essential, but omniscience is reassuring. Fourteen would love to re experience his flash in the pan love-struck (cock-struck?) affair with (fucking) Cordell. Knowing that sad ending, Fourteen could reassign allegiances. Fourteen read on through the book’s before exposition, knowing Adam, Todd, and (lovely) Lori were headed to the blackout that sends them from their mundane school day now into the story’s life-death after. You never see what’s coming, Fourteen tells Adam as he sips a cold Tecate slouched in Surocco’s cockpit.

“Man, your boat is something else.” The words are in heavily accented English. The voice on the dock belongs to an indeterminate youth with a low profile fitted cap and horn rimmed glasses. The cap is salt stained like Fourteen’s Padre cap. No judgement, but the simple cap is friendly. Hip Hop bling-caps like Wade wears are not a good look. Friendly Asian face is drinking in the ketch’s detail.

“Millennium Addition,” Fourteen replies. This is how Anton Schroeder always introduces his pride and joy. “She’s almost twenty years old.” More of Anton’s proud self deprecating style. Very-different Levi kept the Luxor Winnebago ship shape, but the KOA comparison-brag never interested him like it does Anton. Levi’s answering questions about the RV’s 7,500 watt Onan diesel generator kept inquiring minds off the winsome travelling companion. Otherwise, Levi let the SnowBirds brag about their own big (expensive) rigs. Anton likes to brag.

“Helm looks pretty up to date.”

In port, Anton has put the cover shields over all his readouts. The visitor is right. Everything is up to date. Fourteen takes vicarious pride in this. Slate and Blaze Guthrie never let Fourteen drive the Chris Craft over Bull Shoals, but Anton is teaching him to pilot the high-tech ketch. Catastrophic contingencies the Master of Surocco explains. Some dream-after, Jeremy Gates could sail the Caribbean on his own. Now, there is a not so bad looking indeterminate youth passing time with him.

Raül glances off to where José and Laticia loiter near a sailboat beyond the fresa boy sipping his chela in the sailboat’s cockpit. The young Gringo slouches against the cushions with one leg propped on the bench. The American is young and fit. Skinny, compared to the usual crowd. They sail by  Topolobampo or pass through on the Baja Ferry. Raul’s rawhide strength comes from hard work. The young American has nothing better to do than swim, perhaps. Raul smiles at the boy.

“It is a nice boat, man.”

“Which boat are you on?” Fourteen asks. He puts the can of beer down on the deck beside him. Remy Gates’ boy is too polite to drink in company.

“My friend Jose, his uncle has a fishing boat.” Raul shrugs. A fine Zodiac is hanging off the stern davits and a new outboard is clamped onto the guardrail. “Topolobampo is my home.”

Fourteen switches to Spanish. Everywhere is multicultural, even Chillicothe. “Soy Jeremy  Yo vengo de Ohio.” He grins.

“Raul,” the youth on the dock replies. Raul cocks his head. Fourteen has a bad accent, no worse than his Americano. Raul obliges the Gringo by answering in Spanish. “Can I see your boat?”

Raul can see Anton’s ketch from the marina dock. Fourteen realizes he is being asked for the KOA tour. “Sorry, it is not my boat. It belongs to Anton. I just crew.” There is a sprinkling of English here. Sailor, crew? Angela Montreal’s Spanish lessons hardly extended to the nautical. Fourteen decides Daniel has to up his language-lesson game.

José and Laticia argued the boy on the boat was the older man’s son. He should have left when the other two did. Tripulación de veleros, el chico de cabina, this made more sense. “Your employer, he has gone with his friend?”

“Daniel wanted to see Chihuahua’s buildings. They took the Copper Canyon Train Tour.” Fourteen kicks himself. There is just this tiny spark of anxiety, like when he walked the streets of San Diego expecting trouble. Say less, he warns himself.

“Oh yes, the Copper Canyon Tour. It is very popular.” Raul has never taken it. They talk from ship to shore about the obvious differences in their lives. “So Jeremy, can I see your boat?”

Fourteen frowns his embarrassment. “I shouldn’t. Anton is not here, sorry.” Fourteen is fifteen and bored. Hanging out with another teenager is very tempting. Balanced against this generational impulse to socialize, is growing paranoia-wisdom earned over eight months. The scarring from Cordell still throbs. He no longer trusts himself to manage these emotions. His beer lays neglected on the deck. “Come on over; it won’t hurt to have you on the deck.” When Raul is over the gangplank, Fourteen offers him a beer.

It takes a moment to lift the covers off the expensive navigation gear to take a peak. The Super Maramu is a handsome ketch. It takes money to own one. Raul imagines more below. There is time to lift the cushions on the cockpit storage. They are Americans, Raul finds a shotgun in the lazerate beside the helm. The fish spear looks nice too.

Fourteen’s life looks easy from where Raul stands. The way things have been happening on the fishing grounds, it is enough to make you pull your hair out. One day the water temperature is down-right frigid, the next day they are much warmer in the same area. José says the currents are changing and swirling. When they are out in José’s uncle’s boat, they see some areas with dirty water, especially in the bay. The skippers taking tourists out say areas that are normally fishing machines, disappoint anglers as the available species thumb their nose at baits. Tiny bait is everywhere. Whales may love this, but young fishermen like José face daily challenges that their uncles saw once in ten years. “No worries amigo, there is nothing new about this sort of thing!” José reassures Raul. Then Raul’s young skipper pays him off in fish. Raul’s mother shakes her head and observes, “Talk is always as cheap as the boat they put you on!” José and Raul just need a break, a little cash.

Fourteen returns with two fresh cans of beer. Raul is curious about Fourteen’s landlocked America. Fourteen evades details. It would be easy enough to StreetView Chillicothe, but Fourteen neglects to mention the name. He tells the Mexican youth about the dull reality of his suburb before. This is of little consequence. Raul drinks the beer and accepts another just to set the Gringo at his ease. He is more than willing to answer Fourteen’s questions about life on the coast. Chillicothe or Topolobampo, it is the rare teenager that does not believe life begins beyond his dull hometown. Raul finds Topolobampo stifling. For the fresa boy, Raul will make it enticing.

“Have you seen the town?” Raul begins.

“What is it? La Estrella? I put in galley stores there, for our next long passage.” Fourteen replies. He has walked to stretch his legs. It is another port.

“How old are you?”

“Eighteen,” the lie comes easily. Raul’s eyes sparkle behind his horn rim glasses. Fourteen grins back cautiously. A smile put him into Patrick and John’s Bronco and another into Cordell’s Blazer. Fourteen knows this.

Dieciocho, mi culo! Raul decides. The Gringo is younger, surely. “You haven’t seen my town.” Raul shakes his head. “Let me take you out to meet some girls. Sitting on this boat must be dull. Is this a holiday?”

Fourteen stays on script. “I dropped out of school, decided to see the world, decided to crew.”

“Then you should definitely come meet my friends. Listen, do you mind? I need to take a leak real bad.”

Fourteen can hardly say no. He points the way and Raul dives down the gangway into the galley and Surocco’s tidy saloon. Raul glances at the map station to his right. Fourteen slides down behind him. “Through the bulkhead and to the left.” Raul nods.

Fourteen leans on the galley counter, tapping his fingers nervously on the fiddles. This is like his parents” anniversary in Nashville. Just turned fourteen, and Wade persuaded Jeremy, Dude! There has to be a gathering! Everyone had a good time except Jeremy. His friend’s friends got drunk-silly on pulled-liquor. The house party now was spoiled by panicked after-images of Fourteen’s parent’s return. Letting the unexpected visitor below Surocco’s deck was like that. “Watch the boat,” Anton said.

 

Raul takes it all in. Uncle Alejandro’s boat is not some panga outboard powered fishing boat like Laticia’s family owns. The Segundo Aire is an ancient Luhrs 340 F. B. Sedan saltwater fishing boat. The interior is brittle vinyl and foam vomited everywhere. Her thin hull has stress-cracked. When Raul and Jose stand on the bridge deck, it squeaks. The whole helm console moves. The Segundo Aire is headed to the grinder if the young men cannot fix it up. The foreign tourists Instagram Jose’s boat for local color. They will not charter it. Uncle Alejandro’s boat was never this nice. Segundo Aire is only fit for work now, Surocco is a well-appointed luxury.

Fourteen takes the complements for Anton Schroeder as Raul comes back from the forward head. “Very nice, man.” Raul bounces on the bench like Wade sizing up Jeremy’s basement for the Gates’ Gathering. Fourteen plays the fiddles. If he joins his visitor in the saloon, security is breached. Fourteen has to lure his visitor on deck with questions about Topolobampo’s youthful nightlife. Raul takes the bait.

There is pressure on Fourteen to abandon his watch and be a kid. Cordell Faulkner promised Jeremy Gates San Diego care-free August-Fair cebeci escort excitement. He is not eighteen, he is fifteen, and Fourteen itches for adventure. Friendly ball cap, horn rimmed glasses, Raul feels safe. Reaching the cockpit, Fourteen caught the young couple on the pier watching Surocco. “Your friends?” He asks Raul.

“No, man. I think they deliver groceries or something.”

“You’re not in school?” Fourteen wonders at Raul’s age.

He has to wonder at the young man’s sociability. If you are not into breasts and have no extra sensory gen-dar, intentions-interests are a struggle. How does a gay guy drop hints in Spanish? Fourteen wonders. I could kiss you right now, just saying, Fourteen bared his heart to Cameron Kreuger in North Platte. The vibe was there in Cameron’s room. Hell, Cameron flipped (off a bike) for him the first time they met. Raul is pleasing-fit. It took a week to seduce (fucking) Cordell Faulkner. Fourteen has days.

“Oh sure,” Raul shrugs as if this is irrelevant. “Cobaes 64, school is done today. So, I was going to take Second Air out for a bit.” Perhaps Jeremías could be enticed onto Jose’s boat for the evening, Raul speculates. “We could fish, you should see Jose’s boat. Ana, that’s my girlfriend, she could bring some friends.” I can get you laid. Did Raul really have to spell that out for the Gringo? Ana’s best friend Yolanda was a slut. She would eat this pretty boy before they reached Segundo Aire. “We can watch the sun set out past El Pechocho. Have you seen dolphins?”

So tempting! Not the fishing boat, another perfect sunset, or the girls. Fourteen knows it has to be the Wright girl to catch his interest. Sophie is somewhere else, with her perfect understanding of Fourteen. Being part of a gathering, that was tempting. Jeremy Gates off the parched coast of Sinaloa with a group of people his own age. “I’m gay, you know.”

Raul makes adjustments. The sex is not his thing, even for Jose’s needs. Jose and Leticia would never let him hear the end of it if he fucked this boy. “Then we will bring Rafael.” Rafael would tell Raul to fuck off. The boy has pride. Too bad for Rafael, Raul decides. If the young boy saw Jeremy, he might melt. It is almost nice to think of hooking the two boys up. Raul sips the can of beer while he waits for the Gringo gay boy to think it through.

Cruising past Tijuana’s teaming coast, Daniel and Fourteen watched the shark-sleek hull of Maritime Search and Rescue cut through the water. A red helicopter clung to the streamlined black and white superstructure. “Do we need to worry about pirates and drug smugglers?” Daniel asked Anton.

Anton dismissed it. “Along the border there is trouble. There is some fuel theft along the Gulf Coast, but the Pacific coast has no incidents. People are friendly, the government is vigilant.” The three shipmates on Surocco watched the Mexican Navy go its way. “The main problem is petty theft in the ports.”

That is why Anton likes to leave someone in Surocco. That’s why having Fourteen join them on the Copper Canyon sex-ride to Chihuahua was not a good idea. The marinas had good security, but if they anchored and took a side trip, the boat was vulnerable. Anton had experience along this coast.

“I never had trouble in Mexico. I lost a tender in Vancouver once. Nobody will take the ketch. It would be insane to pirate the Surocco and cruise it into a well policed harbour. Those days are long gone.”

“Where do we store the cutlasses?” Fourteen joked, fresh from his escape from San Diego.

“They might grab valuables and ship’s instruments they can sell on the black market.” Anton explained.

Fourteen gathers that Raul wants Fourteen off the ketch. The young couple have walked away toward the gate of the marina. He wants the company. “I have to watch the boat.” His better angel suggests. “Anton and Daniel will be back tomorrow. I could see your friend’s boat tomorrow, maybe?”

Raul is not sure if young Rafael (who will tell him to fuck off) ever made it with a boy. Prying the Gringo off his boat will not work. Raul imagines Ana and himself in the V-berth while Rafael distracts Jeremy in the Stateroom. The fancy ketch will have music they could play loudly while Jose strips the helm. The Americano is okay. Raul imagines a small party on the ketch and four happy teenagers just having fun. Wake up on the ketch with Ana; no theft to spoil the morning. Jose’s plan is risky, anyway. Rafael would like this boy.

“That’s cool,” Raul capitulates.

Fourteen tries to return to Rule of 3’s. Air, water, food, we can last without each for a while. What about friends and family? Fourteen wonders. Three months, three years? Three strikes and you are out, even with the fouls, but then the pitcher burns three balls before you are safe on first. Fourteen is not sure how to read the count. He has thought he was safe before. It is a whole new ball game after San Ysidro, Fourteen tells himself.

After grazing in the galley, Fourteen is on edge. He prowls Surroco, absently sounding off the names of all her parts. The lazerets are full and Fourteen lists the contents of the stowage. Below his feet, the bilges hide more. Fourteen reviews the contents in his mind. Anton has made him learn the sailboat’s entire anatomy.

Above Fourteen’s Pilot Berth, the chases carry wiring and winch cables. Anton takes the time to lead Fourteen along these paths. In the companionway beside the birth, Fourteen almost chokes. Alone on Surocco, feeling nervous about Raul’s visit, Fourteen pulls the Velcro free so he can reach his hand into the chase. The pocket Beretta Nano and everything Jeremy Gates comes back in his hand.

Fourteen sits on his berth and reads each precious document again. He takes the Beretta Nano to his galley domain and checks it carefully. Satisfied, Fourteen slips it in his waistband. He will guard Anton’s boat from the cockpit. It will be safe when the Master of Surocco returns with Daniel.

Fourteen goes back to reading Eric Walters. Perhaps he is hoping Raul will come back with some friends. It has not been three months since he had one. There is still time. Friends know you, Fourteen reminds himself. Three minutes for air, three days for water, three weeks for food, three months for friends, Fourteen stops at that. Three years for your family, Jeremy Gates is not sure about that. He pretends to be eighteen. It is a bit much to think about that. Somehow, he needs to get back to his family before he is genuinely eighteen. The Beretta Nano in his waistband reminds him that this may not be possible.

To begin with, the Ayers family was fond of dancing. Daniel knew they were out of step with the times. Daniel’s Boomer parents danced disco. Clubbing was different in the Millenium; but Daniel, moshed in a dazzling light extravaganza, techno-pounding cardio, could visualize his peacock-polyester mom and dad line dancing their courtship. “It was a meat locker,” his dad advised wisely. “We binge-drank simple mix-drinks, sweated profusely and houndogged the ladies. Saturday Night Fever? We felt like that.” His parent’s wedding picture looked like everyone had just paused on the dance floor. Daniel’s parents only danced with each other in their ballroom class and infrequent weddings: monogamous dancing.

Grandma Ayers was the Great Generation. Her generation danced carpe diem to Swing and Big Band. Rose Ayer danced out of the Great Depression and through World War Two. She posed Rita-Hayworth-negligee on the suggestive bed for grandpa-Ayer-boyfriend (She eighteen, he twenty-three in uniform). Rose danced carpe diem with all the boys because next day …. “Your parents take it far too seriously, Davy. I don’t know when they became so uptight. If you’re offered a dance, just dance.” Grandma Ayer had a different attitude towards dancing: not monogamous.

Daniel Ayers decided Grandma Rose had the right attitude; although, he allowed for the possibility that he might change his mind about switching dancing partners. Daniel was twenty-four, his generation hardly danced, but it was his turn to jive. He thought about this as the Chepe Express jerked out of the last station. Daniel Ayers and Anton Schroeder were definitely not monogamous.

From Los Mochis, Daniel and Anton shared the right-hand pink and green seats for nine hours. Daniel’s toes went numb in the overly air conditioned car. So did his posterior. They paced the train a lot. Parts of the Copper Canyon looked like the Grand Canyon. Parts were jade-green-soft-shroud over the steep slopes. Bare cliffs rose out of this forest and stood bleached against the sky. It was a sight to see. The red and black train crossed dizzy bridges. At one point, it took a curve across a shallow ribbon-river dwarfed by imposing curtain walls of copper-green stone. This was Anton and Daniel’s adventure, but the wonder of it all made Daniel want to share it with Fourteen.

Anton booked primera, he knew how to slum, but rarely did. The doubts about their plan began halfway to Creel. “You gotta know,” Daniel observed over the train’s menu, “The food has to be better in the towns we are passing.” While Fourteen watched Surocco in Topolobampo, the partners planned a day trip to Chihuahua, some night action to stretch their cramped muscles, and a quick flight back to the coast. Perhaps an extra day if Chihuahua was entertaining.

Chihuahua was entertaining for two days; disappointing too. Anton hoped to taste the local flavours of Chihuahua. Instead, they settled for Dieter and Rolf from Fürstenwalde. Dieter and Daniel shared a predilection to rule. Anton’s train ride in Chihuahua was another nine hours of verdant valleys and stone-hard peaks with waterfalls.

Towards dawn, Dieter told Daniel (over Anton’s body) that the Germans took five days to reach Chihuahua. “You missed so much taking the Chepe Express.” Rolf lifted his lips from Anton’s hard nipples to agree. “Auf den Knien, süßes Fleisch!” Dieter addressed Anton. “Ja das ist gut, sehr eng, also offen ….” Daniel roughed up Rolf’s lips while Anton took Dieter’s Teutonic length. The German’s were Anton’s age, but very fit. “Time, I think, to break you.” Dieter grunted, imagining that was even possible.

Anton phoned Fourteen in the morning. “We are going to be a little late, darling.” He explained to his cabin boy. Daniel waved for more coffee and Anton smiled a memory at him. Fourteen sounded put out. “I know, I know, poor boy, all alone. We decided to take the train back to Los Mochis. Some things we missed along the way. Do be good, Fourteen.” Fourteen was resigned. “Four more days, probably. Daniel or I will stay in touch, let you know how we are doing.”

“Well, he sounds a bit disappointed. Do you mind taking in the sights by yourself?” Anton asked his boyfriend. “The train leaves at ungodly 6:00 again. I need some rest. If you encounter anyone interesting, bring them back to the room. This afternoon, please.” Anton sipped fresh coffee. “Too bad Dieter and Rolf had to leave for Mexico City.”

Daniel and Anton left Chihuahua with no new memories to arouse their private love making. Passing ships in the night, that was what the four men were. It was a special trip back to the coast; however, Daniel missed his young partner on the adventure. Anton loved the food and found the Tarahumara fascinating. He gathered stories and impressions to sprinkle in future conversations. He gamely hiked with Daniel, but he was not Fourteen.

As the train gathers speed, Anton dozes in the seat beside Daniel. Daniel watches the Copper Canyon passing by. The five-day trip is a better experience. Daniel is filled with memories of precarious suspension bridges, tall waterfalls, and archaeological parks. He wanted to see Pierre Volada. The waterfall was deep within Copper Canyon, a day’s hike Anton did not want to try. The Paquime ruins at Casas Grandes, with its softened maze of vacant dwellings, was something only Daniel might appreciate. Fourteen would have loved. The four-wheeler trip out to the hot springs. Daniel needed Fourteen’s adolescent exuberance to share the Adventure Park zipline. My God, the kid would have loved that wild ride, Daniel smiles. They should not have left the young man, always a boy to Daniel’s mind, out of this adventure.

Daniel looks at Anton sleeping beside him. They started their trip back to the coast in Creel. Fourteen has his part in this journey, but this long voyage is for the partners. Daniel wants to kiss Anton, remind him of the dark shores and exotic mist rising off the still waters of Lake Arareko. The Germans, young Fourteen and all the partners they have shared, what matters is what Daniel and Anton have together. Lake Arareko reminds Daniel of this. He was glad Dieter urged them to take their time coming back. You take the excitement of dancing with strangers back to the one you love. Grandma Rose understood that.

Rafael tells Raul to fuck off. Raul would be okay if he did not hang out with bandits Jose and Leticia, but the older boy did hang out with the couple. Jose taught the older teenager to be a user and Rafael is wary of them all. Rafael is notorious around Cobaes 64. If this was Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, or any number of sophisticated cities in Mexico, Rafael would not be quite so notorious. Perhaps his slight figure of gayness would be comfortably anonymous. Perhaps it might be unremarkable to hold a boy’s hand or steal a kiss.

Rafael tells Raul, “Vete a la mierda,” but not before he sees a picture of the American boy on the sailboat. This is unfortunate because now Rafael is thinking of the boy waiting at the marina. Thoughts of the boy drive current local infatuations from his head as he grinds through the school day. The boy in the picture is thin-waisted, shirtless on his fancy boat. Very suntanned-sun-bleached in the right ways behind his dark glasses. Rafael is left with a good impression-hunger. Raul could have sent Rafael the picture. It should be studied closer. “Hello, my name is Rafael Martinez,” he practices in English. No, just Rafael; who says their last name?

Raul did not say where this gay boy like you has left his Americano employer’s sailboat. He tries Club Marina because it is close to where Rafael knows Jose’s uncle keeps his old fishing boat. It is not that Rafael plans to help Raul with some nefariousness imagined by Jose. School is over for the day, his parents work, there is nothing better to do when you are fifteen, and live in Topolobampo. Rafael tells himself this.

How do you find a needle in this haystack? Rafael asks himself.

Not so hard, it seems. Club Marina was the right place to look.  A boy in shorts and dark glasses has climbed half way up the mast of a large sailboat with two masts. The recognizable dark glasses are still fixed to his face and he wears a ball cap. The boy hangs off the spreader as if to test his strength. The bare torso is delightfully recognizable to Rafael. Rafael strolls past the swimming pool, just a harmless local teen trespassing çeşme escort on the private marina just as Raul had. He threads his way over to the long sailboat with its two raised cabins. The boy on the mast looks down.

“Hello, my name is Rafael Martinez. Raul said I should meet you. I don’t know why.” This comes out in Spanish. Maldita sea! Rafael frowns slightly.

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. The boy on the dock rattles it out like that. “Como desées,” Fourteen replies more to himself than the boy in a red and white school uniform below him. “I’m Fourteen.” Fourteen wants to grab a stay and slide swashbuckling down to the deck. He has not tried that yet, and he thinks he will hurt himself, very embarrassing.

“Catorce?”

The familiar confusion, Fourteen sighs. “My name is Jeremy. I’m fifteen. Fourteen is just my nickname.” This too is in Fourteen’s novice Spanish. He begins his climb down to the deck.

“I see.”

He’s gay, both fifteen-year olds acknowledge to themselves. The parallel ends there. Raul did not elaborate on his conversation with the chico gay estadounisdence from the day before. You should meet this perno caliente, Raul advised sharing Fourteen’s picture. Rafael is gay, but he’s hombre cachondo like everyone else at school, so he will welcome some casual action. Unless Rafael is submissive, prey to some real man. The high school boys have not decided on this. Raul would laugh to see him here on the dock. Rafael frowns a little at this.

He’s gay, both fifteen-year olds acknowledge to themselves. The parallel ends there. Raul simply advised Fourteen, Then we will bring Rafael. So name is Rafael Martinez is obviously gay, and Raul has sent this Latino honey pot to distract him. Fourteen was ready to repel pirates all night with the Beretta Nano tucked in his waistband. Sweet dreams of John Cannon nosing about his crotch with the Saturday Night Special and other things. Fourteen woke up gun-barrel-hard, somewhat unsatisfied-disappointed. Raul is a (fucking) Cordell bullshit-artist. Fourteen cannot shake that conviction. The scorpion stings, that is in its nature.

Rafael is not pretty. There is something Cameron-Krueger-solid about the boy on the dock. He has a pleasing I’m-growing-into-it youthfulness Fourteen has missed as he celebrates mingling with mature men’s bodies. Young beauty tips two ways: Fourteen can slide gracefully into handsome, or lose a great deal in the translation. Ugly ducklings can be graceful swans. Time tells. Male cocks are another matter, as Fourteen has decided. Rafael is not unpretty.

This all settles in Fourteen’s mind by the time he has reached Surocco’s pristine faux-teak deck. Argh me matey, come aboard! The conversation continues in a mix of Spanish and English; each teenager working through the translation. It is cute, actually. One will interrupt the other with a missing word or phrase. Fourteen swings from side to side on a steel cable as he wanted to slide down the stay. Rafael watches him swing from one side to the other, bumping his hips into the guard rail.

“He mentioned you.” Fourteen eyes the visitor from behind his sexy glasses.

“Raul.”

“Right, Raul.” Fourteen checks his pole dance. “Permission to come aboard.” Rafael has to be the scorpion’s sting, but Fourteen’s tangerine smile flickers across his lips. Daniel and Anton are somewhere Fourteen is not, he feels galley-slave chained to Surocco”s bench. It is a very dull now with the marina pool, the spiral glass of Icicles No. 5, and Eric Walter’s once-read book. Fourteen needs to cruise (as it were).

Fourteen removed the gangplank in a futile gesture. Surocco hugs the dock. Rafael does not scorn the offered hand. They duck together under the low awning over the cockpit. Anton scorns effete air conditioning. “Sex should be sweat-lubricated and pungent.” Anton advises his young lovers. “Or it should be a furnace that drives the North Atlantic cold out of your body.” Fourteen is suckling shore power. Surocco’s air conditioner’s gamely keep ship’s quarters cool.

“Can I get you a beer?” Fourteen offers.

“No, that’s okay.” Rafael declines. He is not sure why he is here, exactly. Well, that is a lie. Rafael knows why he is here. Raul declaimed the man was gay. Rafael is still not sure what to do with this information. Fourteen produces two Topo Chico bottles. The hint of cold citrus is welcome after the dusty walk from the school. “Gracias.”

“Your boat?” Rafael waves the bottle around the spacious saloon and galley.

“Surocco, and she is not my boat. I just crew. Anton is the captain.” Fourteen comes around the galley and settles on the nearest bench. “We are going farther south.” His dark glasses ended up in the galley. He takes an unconscious pose on the bench. One tanned leg is on cushion, clear lines from folded crotch to pointed chin.

Rafael takes a seat across at the wide sweep of bench surrounding the large table. “She is very nice.” Not the richest boat to visit Topolobampo. The local boats line the waterfront across the street from Rafael’s house. Beyond this local-industrious modesty, Rafael can watch the rich-useless anchor. Some boats are … impressive. Rafael’s mother likes to comment on the tourists. They come off the Holland American Cruise Line and swarm on to Los Mochis. A ferry ride across to La Paz just brings more affluence into Rafael’s mind. This sailboat is quite nice.

“I sleep there.” Fourteen points to a narrow bunk along a narrow hallway. They talk about Anton’s sailboat because it is a comfortable-safe beginning. Fourteen asks about Rafael’s life. He moves to the table across from Rafael. “Hungry?” Rafael is slender-fifteen, of course he is hungry. Fourteen finds snacks and two more drinks as the courtship continues.

Rafael’s father is at the naval Sector just before the Ocean Terminal. His mother works with his grandmother in a family restaurant, otherwise they would live in Los Mochis half an hour away. “I’d rather live in Los Mochis.” Rafael confides. Topolobampo is depressing.

“You’re near the ocean.” Fourteen observes. He is quite taken with the live-aboard life. This gypsy now erases the before. He can enjoy the effect without remembering the cause. 

“We don’t have a boat.” Rafael shrugs. “Los Mochis would be easier. There’s more to do.”

“You are gay?” Fourteen gets to the point. The snack is carbs that Fourteen schemes to keep from Anton. Daniel and Fourteen have a plot to coax their partner into better shape. Fourteen nibbles a potato chip. There are Lays and Cheetos, naturally. Fourteen tries Barcel crunchy rolled tortilla snacks (Fuego Chilli and Lime). Rafael’s untasted cock might be interestingly spiced with that.

“Yes,” Rafael acknowledges. “I’m known for that. Some think puto, most think it is maybe funny in some way. It is not a big thing.”

“Puto?”

“Faggot”

“I am not out. I have not told anyone at home.”

Being known for that, this lies at the heart of Jeremy Gates’ reluctance to come out. He cannot get past living as a visible, out-of-step minority. Rafael continues to describe feeling like the people in his life accommodate him. It is as if he was a vegetarian in a community of carnivores. Pick your prey, chase it down, rip it open and feast on the liver. Rafael’s friends are not sure if you can do that with an artichoke. Fourteen laughs at that analogy. They share a smile that eases the conversation.

“No artichokes in Topolobampo?”

“Güey, the gays in my school are like buried truffles! You have to sniff them out and dig for them.” Rafael tries a snack and washes it down with the soda. The table lies between them.

Fourteen makes a move. Just get a fresh drink, lean in for a kiss. “Can I get you another drink?”

“No, this is good.” Rafael looks around the Saloon while Fourteen roots for a fresh bottle in the fridge. He twists toward the flat screen mounted on the wall. He senses Fourteen behind him.

Fourteen takes a deep breath. “I could kiss you Rafael, just saying.”

“Bueno,” Rafael smiles indulgently. Probably, bueno means the kiss idea is not a problem for Rafael either. Maybe it means I hear your feelings. Fourteen does not puzzle this out. He sees a green light opportunity. Fourteen leans in and plants a passionate kiss on nacho-cheese lips. His hand travels to Rafael’s chest where he can cup the nipple beneath the school uniform fabric and finger-tip feel the heat of Rafael’s armpit.

Fourteen is the first boy Rafael has kissed. The lips attached to his are hungry-inviting. The scent of sun-baked, soap-washed male is truffle-meaty. Perhaps Rafael came for this, but when bare chested Fourteen’s fingers fumble with his shirt buttons, Rafael pushes the amorous Americano away. “No mames!”

Fourteen is not an asshole, but this moves too quickly for Rafael. Rafael is not some Topolobampo Puta for the Gringo tourist. Fourteen tries another tempting kiss. Rafael’s palms are at Fourteen’s bare chest. The boy is wrapped in his arms as their bodies press together. The second closed-lip kiss lingers till Fourteen kisses his way to the soft spot below Rafael’s ear.

“No,” Rafael insists as Fourteen tugs his shirt aside so he can taste a bare shoulder. “No” This one is almost a wail. Fourteen’s hands move behind Rafael to cup his cheek. There is a crescendo of “no’s” as everything slips back into Fourteen’s mind.

Fourteen turns abruptly away from Rafael’s warm body. Without a word, he goes to the galley. His shaking hand pours three fingers of Anton’s red wine. He looks at the spillage for a moment, then wipes it with the cloth. Fourteen is still trembling when he lifts the plastic juice glass to his lips. After a sip, Fourteen turns back to the other boy, defensively.

“You’re being crazy. You’re a fucking idiot! Goodbye.” Rafael declares in his My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. The blushing boy rattles it out like that. Fourteen watches as Rafael collects his school bag.

“Como desées,” Fourteen replies. There is nothing more he can say as his visitor vanishes up the gangway to the cockpit. There should be something to say, he realizes. Fourteen chases after Rafael, but the Mexican boy has jumped ship. Fourteen climbs back up the mast so he can follow Rafael’s retreat.

You’re being crazy, Rafael accused. Fourteen hugs the mast and lets his crotch pole dance across the track for the baton car. The rape in the barn came back to Fourteen with Rafael’s protests. You hardly listened to him, Fourteen accuses himself. He was so consumed by the now that he almost pushed himself into another after regret.

Fourteen leans back off the mast. Rafael got him hard. He dangles back a moment, hanging to the footrest. Being crazy, but it was not going to be like the barn. It was going to be the sweet Cameron-grapple sending sparks between them. It was going to be the impulsive kiss he planted on Daniel that led to sex. Scott Beck in Albuquerque, just a harmless seduction.

Estás pero si bien pendejo! Rafael said. Fourteen hugs the mast and looks for Rafael. He has vanished into the rambling port. “Not an idiot!” He tells himself defensively. Fourteen looks around the small marina. Everything lazy-busy on the water. Mistaken, perhaps; he is Fourteen, not innocent Jeremy Gates from Chillicothe. He remembered the difference in North Platte while he necked with Cameron. Rafael is Chillicothe Jeremy or Cameron Krueger. Fourteen is … Sophie. Not an idiot, just free being me. Still, Daniel and Anton were in the Copper Canyon, and Fourteen is horny on his own.

After a long day where Fourteen swabbed down the stern lazaret and aired the gear stored there, checked for messages, read his book, paced the marina being friendly, jacked off in the head, took the Zodiak for a pointless adventure, he settles in the cockpit with a fresh tortilla wrap and (yes) a glass of red wine. He does not yet see the point of Daniel’s home school lessons.

Shrimp is plentiful and Fourteen remembers Levi loved his sandwich wraps as they drove along. The local vegetables are pleasantly unfamiliar to his pallet. He will try it out on Anton, who pretends to be a gourmand. Raul has not returned. Fourteen imagined the bespeckled Asian youth would humor him with another attempt to lure him away from Surocco.

“Idiota, I’ve come to show you the town.”

Fourteen blinks at Rafael. As before, he stands on the dock in his red and white school uniform. All is not forgiven, but the game is still afoot. Fourteen grins no-hard-feelings at the slight teenager. “I have to watch the boat.”

“The marina is secure, idiota.” Rafael waves generally about. “You have money?”

“Some,” Fourteen concedes.

Rafael stays on the dock while Fourteen gathers clothes and his identities. Fourteen is incognito-modest in his shorts and Padres cap. As incognito as his tangerine will ever allow him.

Fourteen secures what he can: skylight hatches, and the Zodiak shackled on its davits. “I suppose nobody will break in,” he glances around nervously. Rafael makes him give the day’s security $50 US. Surocco will be watched. A taxi is waiting. “A taxi?”

“I have to change my clothes.” Rafael explains.

He lives along Lazaro Cardenas. A stoney beach and weeds bring you to the quiet waters of the bay. A volcano-hill dominates the view across the water. Fourteen looks at this from the second floor balcony of Rafael’s whitewashed casa. Three planters hold small trees that someday might offer shade. He leaves Rafael his space while he imagines the boy stripping off his uniform and walking nearly naked about his room.

The boys walked the streets of Topolobampo. Houses like Rafael’s are shoulder to shoulder with abandoned buildings and small shops. On Bentito Juarez, Rafael introduces Fourteen to his grandmother. They meander on towards Rafael’s school. There are teenagers about their own business (or lack thereof). Rafael does not acknowledge them.

Rafael is very conscious of Fourteen’s presence. He might imagine the Gringo is a new boy in school. Someone with permanence to share this now that stretches to some Mexico City perfect after. The kiss upon his shoulder is not forgotten. The hand that touched his ass, not forgotten either. The idiot is a gentleman today. Just slightly taller, the muscles of his chest concealed by a loose shirt. The sparkling eyes shaded by polarized plastic. Rafael imagines Fourteen in better TV settings, wonders what thoughts move behind the clean lines of Fourteen’s face. Rafael thinks about the boat that will sail away, and the kiss offering something more.

Malecón de Topolobampo; the town pier begins with a wide concrete walk lined with wind-blown palms. “It is a hangout.” Rafael shrugs. He points out teenagers ordering food. The concrete ends and Rafael leads Fourteen out on an industrial pier. Topolobampo jumbles off a narrow beach to Fourteen’s right. To the left is the placid bay and hard low cim cif yapan escort mountains rising steeply from the shore. Rafael has brought them there for no particular reason. He keeps his distance from Fourteen, talks about his father and mother’s work. They are dancing with each other. It is disturbingly like rambling about the Pueblo with Keon or (maldito) Cordell.

A well-used white and black freighter lies moored to the long pier. Rafael turns back at the freighter without a word. He does not react when Fourteen closes the distance between them. Now, they are walking towards small open fishing boats and a few larger ones. The bigger boats remind Rafael of Raul and Jose.

“Why would Raul risk trying to take things off Surocco?” Fourteen must be reading Rafael’s mind. Perhaps not, because Rafael is thinking of a bare chested Americano’s lips on his shoulder.

José has to keep his uncle’s junk afloat, Rafael thinks. “Raul’s friend is a little desperate. Your sailboat is safe.” Rafael has confidence in his father and the navy. Mexico has no time for disruptive pirate nonsense. This was Mexico, not the coast of East Africa. “Raul just thinks he’s Zorro.”

“Zorro? I don’t know that word.”

“This is his birthplace, well, El Fuerte.” The old tourists get off their ships and pile onto busses just to see the hacienda. Rafael makes the Z with a finger. Fourteen does not even notice the gesture. “Swashbuckling outlaw hero.” Rafael shrugs.

Rafael tutors Fourteen’s Spanish as they walk. Just once, Rafael stops to talk with a group of girls their age. “Este idiota es Jeremy.” Rafael introduces.

La virgen San Rafael, Fourteen wants to reply. But Rafael’s tone is friendly, even promising. Large lettering spells out TOPOLOBAMPO in a crescent on the pier. A youth in knee-torn, faded jeans perches on the L. Fourteen is blatantly boy watching.

The day ends back at the marina gate. They turn away from each other, and go their separate ways.

“Los Mochis today.”

“Don’t you have school?” Fourteen is almost certain it is Thursday, if only because Daniel messaged him from a Tarahumara tourist market to say they would definitely be back on Saturday because Anton wanted to leave on Sunday. Rafael is colorfully dressed in joggers and a shirt that affirms, I’m gay.

Fourteen is colorfully undressed on the pilot’s berth. Rafael might or might not have been studying Fourteen’s broadening shoulders, the tuft of man-hair in his armpit, the tanned length of curvaceous back muscle on each side of Fourteen’s defined spinal cord. He might or might not have been thinking of rollos de una noche. Falls come before pride, as Jeremy Gates could explain ruefully.

Rafael feels his dignity evaporate further when Fourteen rolls onto his feet. He really is a ridiculously pretty boy, Rafael thinks grumpily. He stands his ground, despite the assault on his eyes. Rafael hears there are young men and women who stake out the pier where the infrequent cruise ships moor to disgorge the rich old tourists. Perhaps this flirting with the Gringo is a little like that. Rafael is not sure where he wants this to go.

“No time for breakfast. The taxi is waiting.” Fourteen makes Rafael wait while he scoops local mango chunks into his mouth.  Following Rafael’s example, Fourteen slips on a pair of long pants and a T-shirt. It might’ve been intentional that he ate his mango in his underwear. When they reach the entrance to the marina, Fourteen finds Rafael has brought two teenage girls with him.

Yolanda and Araceli, bespeckled pencil thin and forgivably beyond voluptuous, wait with unrepressed excitement by the familiar cab. They share a giggle at Fourteen’s Yaqui-Yankee accent. The fix is in as Araceli bulldozes slight Rafael into Fourteen’s hip in the back seat. Fourteen suspects the local chess club have rebelled with nefarious cause. This is all very before for Jeremy Gates. This is lost high-school-moments, Shane getting Jeremy into big trouble.

The ride is only ten minutes and costs Fourteen $10 from the stash Keon King insisted Fourteen keep for himself. He is not comfortable leaving Surocco abandoned. Anton told him he had to stand all four watches. Something of a joke at anchor and more honoured in the breach on passage. Anton was always on watch, even when Fourteen hovered apprentice-ready by the helm. To get away is freeing. To date a boy is irresistible. Fourteen wants to trust the marina will keep a watchful eye out for Raul and his shadow-friends.

The two girls hot-red-chilli-pepper Fourteen with context-questions. He answers them and humbly takes instruction on his Spanish. The coastal peaks are left behind as the four-lane highway cuts through the parched plain. Los Mochis approaches very quickly. Finally, the boulevard is lined with hedge and well spaced trees.

The taxi leaves the teenagers at the botanical gardens. The two girls drop back so Rafael can imagine himself alone with Fourteen. Rafael is in mierda profunda with his parents. His phone will not stop vibrating in his pocket. The school phoned mother. With luck, she did not message father. So unlike you, Rafael! This will all be dealt with (much) later. What about your plans? For now, Rafael’s plans are quite immediate.

The boys walk past geese wandering-pecking on a golf-green lawn between soaring trees. Their destination seems to be a small fountain in a shallow, sandy pool, lined with palms. A thin beauty in tight jeans and a shapely top passes by. The strap of her small purse bisects her breasts. Fourteen seems to spare her a disinterested glance.

“The plants are so amazing.” Fourteen breaks their silence.

“They are not native. A rich American planted all this a hundred years ago. These trees come from India, Africa, and Australia.” Rafael answers in English, so the conversation switches to Fourteen’s language.

“That is the world, isn’t it?” Fourteen is thinking of transplanted Asian-Raul, so very Mexican. “My home town is small. Bigger than your town, much smaller than Los Mochis. Everything is mixing up around the world.”

“I thought I was serious, but you never laugh. Are you always like this?” Rafael has caught little of the tangerine freshness. It is hard to picture Fourteen cavorting at the August Fair with Shane, Shay, and Wade. Rafael has not seen him play tag with Keon or flirt with Daniel. Fourteen gives him a crooked smile.

“I could make you giggle.” Fourteen teases-invites.

It does make Rafael smile. The smile drops. “You are the first boy I have kissed.” Rafael watches for Fourteen’s reaction. His confession draws the soft smile and a nod. Kissing boys, or taking someone’s hand without eyes judging. Rafael thinks of Mexico City. “I want to go to UNAM, probably stay with my Aunt.” He is sorry he said this. Fourteen is a complete unknown. Okay, there is the knowing of Fourteen’s lips and ridiculous beauty of his body in white briefs. “What do you want to do?” Rafael asks this despite himself.

“Maybe have a ketch like Anton. Liveaboard. Entiendes vivir a bordo? Sail from place to place, bring people on to crew. Anton is a master. He is teaching me everything I need to know.” Anton will brag about everything, but oddly, he has never said how much Surocco cost him. Fourteen guesses a quarter of a million. He is fifteen, finding that much money is irrelevant. Jeremy Gates is running from the law, sailing seems a good option.

“You could do that?”

Good question, Fourteen wonders. There is too much unknown about Levi Fisher’s legacy-wergeld. Antigua might answer that. Kale Euler’s grasping mother made one mistake, she ignored her lawyer’s advice and mentioned missing money to Remy and Greyson Gates. Greyson coldly mentioned civil litigation on Levi Fisher’s estate. Their son’s year is a puzzle now. The Gates need answers.

“I am what I am,” Fourteen replies. University was a given in the Gates’ home. He lets Rafael lead him back to post secondary education. Daniel Ayer has told Fourteen some entertaining stories of young freedom. Sophie’s live-aboard is better for a footloose fifteen. He brushes the Mexican boy’s hip with his hand, the perks of the beach.

“Rafael, the mall!” One of the chiquita-chaperone intrudes.

“We’re going to the mall?” Fourteen asks, slipping back into Spanish.

Ariceli begins in acerbic English, “See the picturesque colonial plaza. Enjoy a barbecue buffet-style lunch,”

“And tap your feet along with some colorful Mexican folkloric dances.” Yolanda finishes scornfully. “You can take Jeremy to G-LOW Club another time. We went shopping, and pizza.”

“Don’t worry,” Rafael reassures Fourteen. “We will help pay for the pizza.” His phone vibrates angrily in his pocket. Rafael ignores it. He cannot ignore the tingling of being close to Fourteen.

Back at the marina, the four teenagers stand on the street spinning out the day of truancy. Raul and Jose came by. The bored marina security tells Rafael this. The business of the marina discouraged their half-baked plans. Despite himself, Rafael is doing exactly what Raul asked him to. More guilt, he admits to himself. Trouble is waiting for him at home. The periodic vibration in his pocket reminds Rafael of this unfortunate circumstance.

The farewells are awkward. The day is unfinished and everyone knows this. Fourteen hurries off to check Surocco. The three walk away, until Yolanda and Ariceli begin to nag Rafael. Finally, the girl’s browbeating turns physical. They drive Rafael back to the marina, refusing to leave until he has passed through the door.

No problems, Fourteen sighs relief as he catalogs the ketch’s deck. He has made no friends at Club Marina, so no floating KOA neighbors watch his back.

“It’s good?” He turns to Rafael’s voice.

“It’s good,” Fourteen replies. Rafael finally feels Fourteen’s blinding tangerine heat his body.

They are twined on the V-berth trading tongues and catnips. Rafael’s apprenticeship moves quickly. The Gringo knows so much, time is short, Rafael may not get a second chance. When Fourteen bites Rafael’s earlobe, Rafael must reciprocate. If Fourteen pauses to run his fingers across the dark hairs on Rafael’s forearm, Rafael chooses a moment to take his turn.

Buttons open on Rafael’s cotton shirt, his shoulder is free to kiss. Rafael is a ball of sweet candy rolled about Fourteen’s mouth. You cannot stop salivating and instinct tells the mouth to bite down, crack a sliver of salty-sweetness off so you can get a burst of extra adrenaline-flavour on your tongue. Instinct overwhelms everything in Rafael’s cautious mind. Who”s the idiot now? Rafael’s heart whispers.

Rafael allows Fourteen to tug his shirt off. Dark nipples lay bear on to Fourteen’s tongue. His partner is Cameron-innocent. Fourteen is more determined this time. He seduced reluctant Scott Beck in Albuquerque, he can charm the pants off a shy-curious Mexican boy. Fourteen is used to grown men. Rafael is Keon-slender in Fourteen’s hands.

“Nipple,” Fourteen whispers in English, and then he sucks the nub between his teeth.

“Pezón,” Rafael chuckles.

“Pezón,” Fourteen replies. The nipple is hard, so he bites it. “Pezón,” he licks across Rafael’s flat chest to the distinct gutter between the muscles. “Umm, sternum.” Fourteen’s tongue tastes male flesh in a lap back to Rafael’s mouth.

“Esternón.”

“Esternón.” Fourteen breaths, and then his tongue returns to Rafael’s mouth. They learn to kiss each other. Cheeks friction-slide together as Fourteen moves to blow softly on Rafael’s earlobe. He moves on. “Shoulder.”

“Hombro,” Rafael feels the pelvic-pressure on his thigh as Fourteen bites his bare shoulder.

“Hombre,” Fourteen tries a hickey on His partner’s shoulder.

“No idiota, hombro.” Rafael giggles this time. He is content to lie on his back and let Fourteen touch him. Rafael’s cock strains-contained. His breath catches as lips and tongue move on.

“Supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis!” At subscapularis, Fourteen kisses the soft flesh folding into Rafael’s armpit. His tongue probes the sensitive cavity filled with black hair.

“Hahaha! I have no idea.” Rafael is torn between curling his arm over his head and pressing his bicep close against his side. “You know strange things for a bum on a boat.”

“I had a good doctor. He taught me many things.” Fourteen sniffs the soap-freshness mingling with vanilla-testosterone (sweet and pleasant). Anton is teaching me the parts of boats, “Lazaret, davit, bilge, cockpit,” and yes, he does rest a palm on Rafael’s distended organ. Levi taught you how to drive a man crazy, Fourteen reminds himself, eyes connecting with Rafael’s.

Did I come for this? Rafael asks. This boy, like me, is so confident with his shirt off. How far? The question hangs in the air between their open eyes. Rafael has burned his bridges today. Storm clouds are gathering over his house, other questions avoided. Where have you been? What have you been doing? This waits at home for Rafael. Was it worth it? 

“Sí por favor,” Rafael answers the silent ask in an adolescent husk.

“Genial, ahora te voy a hacer sentir bien!” Fourteen tries. He moves quickly into action, the slow seduction set aside. In the confines of the V-berth, Fourteen slides Rafael’s pants down off his hips. As Fourteen tugs, Rafael catches his cock to keep it from snagging on his waistband. He wants the Americano to make him feel good.

Fourteen lightly taps up and down Rafael’s shaft with his fingers, like he is fingering the guitar’s frets with one hand. This helps Rafael to stay hard by keeping blood flowing into the spongy tissue of his penis. The boy’s cock wilts with his uncertainty. Fourteen smiles at Rafael to show his appreciation for the meat beneath his fingers.

Next, he takes Rafael’s erection between his open palms and his hands are ping-pong paddles. The damp glans is very lightly batted back and forth. “Ahh!” Rafael exhales as the quick touches invigorate-tease his pulsing cock. His taught skin burns.

Fourteen’s Interlocked fingers capture Rafael’s tantalized shaft. He places the pads of both thumbs on the boy’s stretched frenulum. He touches me! Rafael thinks in wonder. He has to watch Fourteen masturbate his virgin cock. Cinco centavos-size circles into his sweet spot. Rafael is pleasured by thumbs moving clockwise and counterclockwise.

“Madre de dios, me voy a correr!”

Fourteen smiles satisfaction. Too easy, he tells himself. Four pulses, the last a weak upwelling on Fourteen’s fingers. Whatever Rafael wants to say is broken off by Fourteen’s enveloping mouth. There is fluid to gather on the spent cock and panting torso. Fourteen roams Rafael’s simmering body.

“What were you going to say?” Fourteen asks as he lies beside Rafael.

“Irse el avión,” Rafael laughs.

“What?”

Rafael shrugs, “It’s out of my mind now.”

Brief, Anonymous Survey:

Readers are often too busy or reluctant to reach out to authors. I appreciate hearing from you all. Please take my Fourteen Survey (Again). It is a quick Google Form where you can comment on this next section Jeremy Gates’ time with Anton and Daniel.

I have written a variety of short stories and novellas. You can follow this safe link to my Body of Work.

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