the-squirtthe-squirt

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Subject: The Squirt (Revised) This story is an entirely fictional work of adult erotic fantasy, copyright Boy Mercury X 2018. If you’re underage in your jurisdiction, please come back when you’re of legal age. Nifty depends on your donations. Please help by giving fty/ donate.html Huge thanks to graham groans for his inspirational art and bountiful help on this story. See his stuff at grahamgroans.tumblr. He’s amazing. My ebooks are available through jmercuryjones, almost all for free. Email me at [email protected] or ail. I love to hear from you. Humble thanks to Jane Austen. THE SQUIRT by Boy Mercury X 1. The Squirt was genuinely excited for Thanksgiving. The holiday itself didn’t matter to him, but it did to his dad, and for that reason alone he wanted it to be perfect. As a senior, this would be his last Thanksgiving living at home. Next year he’d be just another holiday traveler like his brother Trent. His father, Sam, who always called him Emmett, not Squirt, took the whole week to prepare the holiday meal. No one would think to look at him, with his brawny shoulders and squared jaw with graying scruff, what a dedicated cook he was. He himself said before he became a single father to three boys the only thing he knew how to cook was a steak. The Squirt was the youngest, so he couldn’t remember it himself, but seeing his father prepare an entire Thanksgiving feast himself, he found it hard to believe. His dad mastered cooking the same way he did his business, with the eye of a craftsman and a persistent heart. Sam didn’t have much opportunity to show off his cooking skills these days. The boys were dispersing, and there wasn’t much call for everything he was capable of. Trent lived in another city and was engaged to a girl they’d never met. Chris came and went, weaving in and out of their lives like an alley cat, so unpredictable. Sometimes Sam’s rugby buddies would come over for big pots of meaty chili or summer barbecues. But mostly it was him and the Squirt, living together in the house on Box Hill, like an old married couple in the house on whose children had moved away, sharing the ordinary household responsibilities. But this was not an ordinary week, or even an ordinary holiday. It was the last Thanksgiving before everything changed. Time was running out. 2. To no one’s surprise Chris never confirmed that he’d be joining the family for dinner. He made it hard to plan, that way, but when he did arrive he was so warm and engaging no one could remember the earlier irritation. Then he’d vanish again, often without a word. After the spell of his company faded, those he charmed were left knowing nothing more about him than before. It might have been tiresome in someone less gracious, but grudges just didn’t stick on Chris. And as Sam always said, you had to cut him some slack, all things considered. No one knew how, but Chris was always a step ahead of Trent’s visits. He showed up with his feline sixth sense just before Trent, slinked into Sam’s kitchen on his slim hips, poured a cup of coffee and hiked himself up to sit on a kitchen counter. He did it all silently, as if he still lived there and had just come down from bed. “Good morning Christopher,” said Sam, flipping thick slices of challah french toast onto plates. “Did you forget something?” Chris half rolled his eyes. As fluidly as he’d taken up his perch he slid back down to accept a hug and hair tousling from Sam. He returned to his counter the better for it, with a plate of hot syrupy french toast. “Got some new ink there?” Sam asked, setting the rest of the french toast into a warming tray for Trent. Chris held out his pale veiny limb to show some Celtic knot-work ringing his forearm. “A little Irish heritage, Sam,” he said. He never called Sam *uncle*. Sam looked it over and made his Not-Bad face, and the Squirt felt warm inside seeing them interact like the old days. The Learys were purportedly Irish, but Sam said they were just mutts with some Irish, Scots, Czech, and lots of mystery ingredients in some lost recipe of genetics. They were such a DNA stew that most of them, like Trent and the Squirt, looked hardly related at all. Then there was Chris, who was only Sam’s nephew but shared more of the dirty blond Leary good looks than either boy Sam called son. And even though they shared their coloring and features, Chris was slim and supple, whereas his father Uncle Hank was as burly and thick as Sam. It had frustrated the Squirt, growing up surrounded by such obviously athletic guys — Chris with his panther build, brother Trent a solid wrestler, even his rugby player father and uncle — feeling lanky and pale. But he was growing to appreciate his own swimmer’s build. And he recognized he was handsome in his own way. The long line of girls at school who fell for him gave him ample evidence of that. He befriended each in turn, but none of them were what he was looking for. He had his father to tend to, and the rest could wait till college, he decided, and was content with that most days. When Trent arrived in a navy suit and tie, Chris just asked, “You travel like that?” “Went to the airport straight from an audit,” Trent said, placing his travel bag just so against a kitchen wall. “Airports are a shitshow today. If you dress professionally you get treated a little better.” “Wouldn’t know,” said Sam, turning from his food prep to hold out his arms for his firstborn. Trent compliantly stepped into Sam’s arms for a long bearhug. He groaned as Sam rocked side to side and buried his face into the crown of cropped brown curls. His protests were muffled by his father’s chest, “Dad, your whiskers are scratchy.” “Shhhh,” Sam said in a hush. “I haven’t seen you in almost year. I just want to smell the top of my son’s head. Put up with it for a minute.” It seemed a shame to the Squirt that his oldest brother had gone from high school champion wrestler to something as boring as a CPA. Even now his jock body struggled against his conservative get-up, his bulging biceps constrained by the jacket, the white shirt collar cutting into his thick wrestler neck. Even his natural curls licked up here and there, despite Trent’s efforts to train it to a more conservative shape. But Sam always said you can’t wish a different life on other people, just love them the best you can and hope for their happiness. At almost ten years the Squirt’s senior, Trent was mostly a mystery to his baby brother. He was all sports all the time when he lived at home, then gone to college on a wrestling scholarship, and from there straight to a big accounting firm in the Midwest. But with shelves full of his trophies and photos of him in his singlets with his square-jawed good looks, he loomed large in the Leary house even years after he moved out. “Hey Squirt,” Trent said, cocking his head at his brother, taking up a plate of french toast. “Emmett,” the Squirt corrected him. “Yeah, good luck with that,” laughed Trent, and even Chris chuckled. Nicknames could be hard to shake. Sam ignored the exchange, pulling out his roasting pan and rack and baster. The turkey wouldn’t be cooked until the next day, but he believed in having everything in place, and liked to test his equipment, especially the things he used only once a year. He ran some hot water and squeezed the bulb of the baster to suck it up, feeling the warm satisfying swell in his hand. “When you’re done eating,” he said to the boys, “take your stuff up to your room. I need the whole kitchen. Christopher, the guest room is all set for you.” “Actually,” the Squirt announced, “it’s not. I invited Roger to stay over.” Caught off guard, Sam squeezed the bulb of the baster, and a jet of warm liquid arced up high, landing on the counter in a loud splat. “You invited Roger to sleep over?” he asked. “Well yeah,” said the Squirt. “Everyone gets so full and it just seemed like — it would just be easier.” “I can just go sleep at home,” Chris said, but Sam and the Squirt both insisted he stay. “You can sleep with Trent,” said the Squirt, and Trent shrugged in agreement, as if it didn’t matter. “It was thoughtful of you to invite Roger,” Sam said to the Squirt. “But I wish you’d told me. I have breakfast planned for Friday morning and my numbers are off.” “He can have mine. I don’t mind,” the Squirt offered. “Are there any other surprises I should know about, Emmett?” Sam asked with an arched blond eyebrow. “No sir,” said the Squirt, hand over his heart. “No surprises.” Silently, the Squirt ran over his list. There were six guests, four beds and a sofa: 1. Dad – his own room 2. Himself, Emmett – also in his own room 3. Trent, his brother – in his converted attic bedroom 4. Chris, his cousin and pseudo brother – sharing Trent’s bed 5. Roger, Dad’s rugby buddy – in the guest room 6. Uncle Hank – he could have the sofa where he’d probably pass out after dinner anyway. All according to plan. 3. Trent and Chris headed up to the renovated attic bedroom they both knew well. Trent with his efficient bag, sized precisely to airline carry-on specifications, Chris with a worn backpack slung over a lean shoulder. There wasn’t a single date anyone could point to when Chris moved in as a boy. It must have started slowly, during his father Hank’s string of sour marriages and divorces. *Could Chris stay over for a few hours? Could he spend the night?* Nights became weekends and then school breaks, and before long he was spending as much time in Sam’s house as he did Uncle Hank’s, and then even more. Sam would have offered to try to make it official. Chris was as much his boy as Trent and the Squirt. But it was understood by all that though the arrangement suited Uncle Hank, he’d never agree to anything formal. For all of Uncle Hank’s chaotic life, it was well known that he never a slight — real or perceived – go unmet. If it seemed Sam was taking Chris, the insult would earn them both a slap down. Unless Hank might even refuse to let Chris stay at Sam’s. So they carried on, Chris shared Trent’s bed, as if every night were just a sleepover. Eventually, Sam renovated the attic for Trent, leaving his old room for Chris, or as they publicly referred to it, the guest room. That way each boy could have a room of his own. But on the first night, Chris trudged up the attic stairs in his hand-me-down pajamas behind Trent as if Sam hadn’t gone through the trouble. They were so used to sleeping together, neither wanted to be alone. Sam relented and bought a queen-size bed for the growing boys, and it was understood by everyone but Uncle Hank that Trent’s room was Chris’s too. Years later, walking up the attic stairs, Chris eyed Trent’s jock asscheeks working against each other with every step, smirking at the sight. His cousin was more ample than they were as boys, filling out his pants seat. The room was still much as Trent left it, shelves crowded with wrestling trophies and high school memorabilia. “You didn’t leave anything behind,” Trent said, noting the absence of anything of Chris’s, as if he’d never been there. “Not my room,” replied his cousin. “Shut up,” sighed Trent, jerking the tie from his neck. “It’s as much yours as mine.” “It wasn’t the same without you,” Chris rebutted, leaning against the dresser they once shared. Trent grimaced and pulled the white shirt up and over his bulky shoulders, revealing a tight white tank top. It clung to him like a wrestling singlet, and he yanked it up and off in one swift move. The sight of Trent looking so good drew Chris up from the dresser and across the room. He stepped up close and ran his fingers through the thatch of dark hair between Trent’s chunky pecs. “I missed that.” Trent but his bottom lip and wrapped his hands around his cousin’s slim hips, pulling him in closer. Their first kiss was soft. The next was harder, wetter, Chris grabbing Trent by the ears as their tongues and teeth met and clashed. “You never call,” Trent groaned between licks and bites. “I didn’t want to talk to your girlfriend.” “Fuck you,” Trent grunted, wrapping his fists around the fabric of Chris’s thermal shirt and yanking it over his head. He swallowed as his eyes and trembling fingers ran over Chris’s lean muscle and ivory skin. His cousin had always had the most beautiful V-taper he’d ever seen, and he looked better than ever. Chris should have wrestled, Trent always said — in the ring, that is. There was plenty of wrest ling in private. But now his lithe body was adorned with inked artwork. There was ornate willowy script Trent couldn’t read, a joker face from a playing card, Celtic knotwork, and — there, at his wrist where the blue veins showed through his pale skin, a heart ringed by a crown. Taken from the Claddagh ring. Trent kissed it softly. Chris’s first ink. “You’re still in fighting shape,” Chris said, shrugging off his cousin’s attentions. “For a CPA.” Undeterred by the affected distance, Trent reached down to wrap his beefy arms around Chris’s lean haunches, lifting him to turn and drop into their bed. “I can still take you.” He nuzzled his face into Chris’s lean abs, hooking his fingers in his cousin’s waistband and wriggling the jeans down, exposing the full pouch of his briefs, jerking them down around his legs. He nearly growled as he buried his face in the slim waist, and into the underwear, sniffing the ash blond pubes and feeling the slap of Chris’s firm cock against his face. He parted his lips to kiss the pale erection, then ran the flat of his tongue against it, swirling over the head. He hiked himself up to access his own belt, wrenched it open and pushed the snug suit trousers down over his solid ass and thighs. His blue boxer briefs were tented, and he had to pull them away to get them off over his chubby erection. “You look amazing,” whispered Chris, with his side smile. Even in his late twenties, Trent was still every inch the college jock, broad in his chest and shoulders, thick-necked. His compact body built and showed muscle easily, seeming to flex with every breath. He somehow maintained his tan even in November, several shades darker than the rest of the family in summer, his nipples the color of copper pennies. The mesh of hair at the center of his chest and his pubes was deep brown and downy. “Yeah?” Trent asked, straddling Chris. He wrapped a meaty hand around their cocks to hold them together, smearing each other with their precum, Chris’s long and pale, his own thick and ruddy. “Yeah,” Chris chuckled, the most reliable trigger for Trent’s own laugh. Trent leaned back, showing off his blocky torso for his cousin while in turn he admired his own view. Chris was still slim — fuck, he must still be a 28-inch waist — but he wasn’t a boy anymore. He was a man, more muscled than when they shared this bed, mapped with blue veins just under the surface. Hotter than ever. Trent rose up on his knees, flexing his ass and thighs, He reached down to tuck Chris’s cock under him and then up between his solid ass cheeks, slowly rolling his hips up and then down again against the big, curved, dripping cock. He spat into his hand and reached around to lube Chris before pulling his cheeks apart. The freckles across his face went red as he continued his slow grind against his cousin. “I want you in me.” Chris’s body was wracked with little tremors of pleasure as Trent worked his cock, teasing the head with his asscheeks and the tight ring of muscle between them. “Dude, what would your girlfriend say?” Chris asked. “Come on,” Trent replied, nudging the tip of the head. He grimaced, then eased as his hole began to spread. “This doesn’t count.” “Two sets of books?” Chris asked, “Funny math there, buddy.” Trent stopped his grinding and looked to Chris with a changed expression. He lifted himself off his cousin, letting his cock drop against his belly, expertly dismounting both Chris and the bed. “I escort izmit can sleep on the sofa tonight,” Trent said, not even trying to hide the irritation in his voice. “The Squirt shouldn’t have put us together.” He took a pair of dark sweats and a matching hoodie left hanging on a hook next to his bed, untouched since his last visit, and yanked them on. “I’m going downstairs,” he said, zipping the hoodie up part way, leaving visible his chest hair and the parting of his pecs. Trent turned on his heels to leave, his round ass cheeks bouncing with every step in his old sweats. “Fucker,” whispered Chris under his breath, alone. “You know what you’re doing to me.” 4. “Emmett,” said Sam, judging his pumpkin pies and selecting the best-looking of the three. “Would you bring this to the Phams? If I go, I’ll get stuck talking, and I want to do some prep for the stuffing before bed.” “Dad, I don’t know if they even eat pie.” Sam looked taken aback, offended by the very idea. “Emmett,” he said gravely, “everyone eats pumpkin pie.” The Squirt rolled his eyes, yielding. He took the pie and exited the kitchen door, grateful for its warmth in his hands in the chilly close space between houses. The door opened with a billow of warm air from the Phams’ steaming kitchen. “Hey Tai,” said the Squirt, seeing his neighbor. He’d hoped for Mrs. Pham to answer the door, but it was too late now. He held out the pie, hoping Tai would just take it and close the door. Instead Tai just looked at him as if he’d been expected and had barely made it on time. “Hi Emmett,” he replied in his monotone, stepping back. “Come in.” Emmett forced a polite smile as his eyes fell to the Phams’ little yappy dog, Hoa, jumping up and down between Tai’s sturdy calves and shins, exposed by his unseasonal shorts. He never knew how to talk to Tai. It wasn’t just Tai’s prolonged silences or oddly formal grammar. It wasn’t his thick black hair and how it fell on his forehead. It wasn’t his legs and how naturally his shin guards soccer socks fit them. And it wasn’t even the flat-footed way Tai walked, or how he padded around barefoot. But why did he walk that way anyway? And why did he wear shorts even in November? It wasn’t the way his English was so perfect you’d think he was born speaking it, except for every now and then, like when he’d say inanimate objects were *younger* when he meant *newer*. That was cute, the Squirt had to admit. It was just his… *everything* that made him the most irritating person the Squirt knew. “My dad made you a pie. It’s pumpkin. For Thanksgiving.” “I know what Thanksgiving is,” Tai responded, with barely a trace of emotion. “So…” said the Squirt, looking around for Mrs. Pham to break up the awkward exchange. “Making a turkey?” “For what?” asked Tai. “For Thanksgiv… oh,” said the Squirt, realizing he’d stepped into a joke. “How else would we make turkey pho all week after?” Tai asked. The Squirt really didn’t know if he was joking or not. “So. Stop over tomorrow if you want,” said the Squirt. “Around five.” As soon as he’d extended the invitation he didn’t know why he had such a thought, much less why he said it out loud. Fucking Tai Pham and his calves. The Squirt didn’t have time for this. 5. They had Wednesday dinner at the table, instead of watching TV with bowls in hand, the way the Squirt and Sam usually did. As they ate, the Squirt studied the tension between Trent and Chris. His brother slouched back in his chair, his balled fists dug into the front of his hoodie, pulling it down low, the thatch of chest hair peering out over the V of the zipper. The more Trent scowled, the more animated Chris became, chatting up Sam and laughing easily at his jokes, even the dumb puns. That in turned seemed to deepen Trent’s sullen mood. They knew how to dig each other into their own trenches, when they weren’t getting along, the Squirt observed. “Did you see Chris’s new tattoos?” the Squirt asked Trent. “Yup,” Trent said, biting his thumbnail. The Squirt frowned at his brother’s indifference to his efforts to lighten his mood. Sam seemed oblivious to whatever was between them. He’d tell the Squirt to leave well enough alone, if he’d had anything to say. *Let them work it out*, the Squirt could hear Sam in his head. He could be irritatingly imperturbable. And he had kitchen matters to attend to. He liked to prep his ingredients the night before Thanksgiving, especially for the stuffing. It let the flavors mellow, he said. As he began his work he turned his music on, a playlist of Aretha Franklin, The sounds streamed through the little speakers he’d installed into his kitchen. As he diced onions and celery, the muscles in his forearms flexed subtly with each chop. “Trent,” he said, pouring the aromatic vegetables into a buttered sauté pan, “come stir this.” Trent rolled his eyes, but Sam persisted. “Come on. I have mushrooms to cut and bread and…” “I’ll help,” Chris offered, rising from his chair. “Good man,” replied Sam with a wink, handing him the paper bag of mushrooms. Trent followed suit, taking over at the pan, his stirring random and disinterested. Imperceptibly, Sam slid his own hand onto Trent’s, adjusting the motion to one more fluid, catching the chopped bits in the melted butter. As the smells rose Trent inhaled and his resistance subsided. Rock Steady started up, one of Sam’s favorites, and as he rifled through his pantry he let his hips lightly swayed. By the time he poured hot broth over dried porcini — his secret to good stuffing, he said — he was moving to the music. Chris too was caught up in the song, in his loose limbed way, and even Trent was bouncing lightly to the beat. There was a little smile creeping into the corners of his mouth, and his close cropped hair was curling in the in the steam coming off the pan. It had been a long time since he’d let his curls be so unruly. Sam moved through his kitchen on subtly grinding hips and rolling shoulders, more gracefully than anyone would expect from a man with his build. He nodded approval at Chris’s cutting technique and hovered near Trent, but not too near, giving the boy his space as he managed his task. Rock Steady filled the kitchen, and the Squirt sank into the pleasure of watching Sam give out more tasks, he and Chris and Trent in in a slow-building dance, smiling and even laughing. You couldn’t resist Aretha, Sam always said. It really did feel like the old days. The Squirt took a breath and popped the question to Trent. “Ever think of moving back home?” Everyone — not just Trent — turned to look at him. “What?” Trent asked, stiffening. “No. No.” “Could always use a set of hands in the shop,” offered Sam, resting a hand on his hip. “Manage the books.” “Thanks, Squirt,” Trent whispered dismissively. Well, that was clumsy, the Squirt thought. His irritation with Tai had thrown him. Even so, why did Trent have to be such a fuckboy? He had everything. Good looks, a stupid job — but one he wanted — and a girlfriend, unfortunately. What the fuck did Chris see in him anyway? 6. “You didn’t need to bring anything,” Sam said, beaming at the sight of Roger with his heavy casserole dishes. “I’m not having Thanksgiving without my Nan’s sweet potatoes,” Roger replied, with a friendly smirk on his handsome face. “Oh, you think I can’t make sweet potatoes?” Sam scoffed, his hand on one side of the casseroles, Roger’s fast on the other, like some holiday tug of war. “You do okay for a white boy,” Roger winked, as he let the dishes slide from his fingers into Sam’s steady grip. Sam set the casseroles on the kitchen counter and gave a bro hug to Roger, clapping him on the back. “Thanks man. Glad you could be here.” “The ER can survive without me this year,” Roger said, sliding his arms out of his winter jacket. The Squirt didn’t know exactly when Roger had buddied up with Sam, more so than the other rugby guys. It had just crept up, how they teased each other more, were more attentive. More in tune. You just hit it off with some people, he supposed. He’d definitely noticed that of all the rugby crew, Roger was the best looking. His angular jaw and swivel hips were more sculpted than the other guys, who tended to the bulky and jowly. He dressed better too. Like he actually gave a little thought to his appearance. The form fitting turtleneck he arrived in was a good case in point, hugging his flat belly and the swell of his chest, setting off his jaw. If Sam had to have a buddy, the Squirt reasoned, it was nice for him to be so easy on the eyes. Sam lifted the top off one casserole, revealing an orangey mash covered with encrusted pecans, dotted with caramelized marshmallows. “Oh. My. God.” he groaned, leaning in to get a better smell. “Beautiful.” Roger laughed, clearly pleased by tempting his host with his dish. The Squirt noted how Roger rested a hand on the small of Sam’s arched back when he stood up straight again, and frowned. Roger was nice enough, and it was good for Sam to have friends. But this contact seemed overly familiar. Intrusive, even. And he didn’t know why his father had to fawn that way. In fact he didn’t even use marshmallows on his own sweet potatoes. He said they were uncalled for. But there he was making a scene over Roger’s. It was stupid, but it seemed like a betrayal. The Squirt peeled back the tin foil from the second casserole, exposing a golden brown crust on white and gold swirls, topped with a tan crumble. “What’s this?” he asked. It looked like… “Mac and cheese,” Roger answered. “For Thanksgiving?” the Squirt asked, his voice tart. Whoever heard of mac and cheese on Thanksgiving? Sam groaned and clapped a fist to his chest, over his heart. “You’re killing me.” Roger slyly eyed the distaste in the Squirt’s face. “You’re depriving the boy,” he teased Sam, who shrugged in response. When Chris and Trent descended, Sam introduced them to Roger. He’d only been part of rugby crew for a few months and had never met Sam’s eldest before. “So you’re Trent,” he said, his eyes narrowed subtly. He glanced at Sam and then back to Trent again. He smiled his winning grin. “You’re older than I expected.” The Squirt sighed. Adults could be so awkward. 7. The Squirt prepared the final dish, and his one responsibility, the cranberry sauce. It had been his job ever since he was little, when he insisted he needed something to do. It might seem simple, but it was — Sam told him — the most important part of the meal. It had to be done just right, coming out all in one piece, molded by the can, ridges and all. Sam made another fresh cranberry dish too, with orange and spices, but you couldn’t have Thanksgiving without the can. When he turned it out onto the special oval plate, it slid out with a satisfying slurp, just right. They kept a seat for Uncle Hank, who arrived when he arrived, as he usually did. He’d said he’d bring mashed potatoes, which was a bust. He showed with a bag of potatoes, not even cleaned or cut much less cooked, with the rest of the meal already on the table. “No worries,” Sam told his brother, giving him a man hug, “I had some sitting around anyway and cooked them up as extras. Have a seat.” The Squirt rolled his eyes at the whole exchange. As if Sam had really cooked up *extra* potatoes. Everyone knew Hank couldn’t be relied on to bring anything but his drink of choice. The only surprise was how he’d screw up, not if he would. Making things worse, for years he’d had an attraction to Hank that defied his own sensibilities. It couldn’t be helped, the Squirt told himself. Whatever else was true of Hank, he was a good looking man, if a little past his prime. Just like Sam, he was naturally built, with big shoulders a powerful chest and slim hips, looking almost like a cartoon bulldog. Even his growing belly came off as just more masculine. It was all about proportions, the Squirt reasoned. Working construction suited him, giving his muscles more rocky substance than you’d expect in a middle aged man, especially one with his taste for drink. Though he was graying now, the Squirt had seen the photos of him in his younger days, when he was almost unbearably handsome, with a crown of golden ringlets and heavy lidded blue eyes. You could see how he’d seduced so many women with his devilish eyes and features that were equal measures beautiful and rough. The antics he’d gotten into — and gotten away with — were the stuff of family lore. To hear Sam tell it, his angelic looks had gotten him into more than his fair share of trouble, and had saved him nearly as often. It wasn’t that he *wasn’t* attractive that bothered the Squirt about the lust Hank inspired in him. It wasn’t even that he was the Squirt’s uncle that bothered him. It was that Hank was such an ass. He’d used just about everyone, took without hesitation, gave nothing in return, and somehow conned Sam into loving him for it. When he wanted to, Uncle Hank knew how to turn on the charm. Sustaining it was another matter. When he took off his heavy bomber jacket, the Squirt could see the balls of muscle in his biceps swell and contract, and his black t-shirt rise up over the underside of his belly, where the fur trailed down into his low slung jeans. Despite himself, the Squirt chubbed up. Oh well, he thought, he’d had so many dirty thoughts about Hank over the years, what was one more? They ate early, because Sam liked to have a Thanksgiving snack again a few hours later, before bed. It was agreed that he’d outdone himself. The turkey skin crisped to a seductive brown, but the meat — even the thick breast — was tender. Every dish followed suit, filling and comforting and beguiling to eat just a bit more. Sam had seconds and thirds of Roger’s sweet potatoes and mac and cheese, saying they had a new tradition. The Squirt picked at the cheesy crust, still unsure of the whole idea, though he had to admit if they were adding a new tradition this would be a tasty one. “That was the best,” Sam said, turning to his buddy and tapping his fist on Roger’s shoulder. “I gained twenty pounds.” “You can manage it,” Roger laughed, elbowing Sam in return. “Seriously,” Sam groaned. He tipped his chair back and ran his hands over his belly, lifting his flannel shirt to show his swollen belly, a seam of dirty blond hair running down the center. “I’m dying here.” “You call that a belly?” Hank laughed across the table. He hiked up his black t-shirt over the mound of his own rounded girth, firm and furred with silvery curls. “That’s a belly.” He teased Roger to join in, and reluctantly the Thanksgiving guest raised his turtleneck to reveal his near-washboard abs. Even after dinner, the swells and hollows were evident. “Well,” Hank said, effecting a lusty sigh, “fuck *that*.” Hank and Sam laughed, and Roger did too, and even Trent and Chris shook their heads and joined in. But the Squirt frowned. It was so like Hank to try to one-up Sam. And there was something about the way he could seduce everyone into laughter that rankled the Squirt. Couldn’t everyone see him for what he was? Done with the whole affair, he stood up to clear the table, and Sam tugged at his shirt. “Do me a favor,” his father asked, looking up at the Squirt plaintively. “Put the pies in to warm up in a few minutes?” He looked apologetic. “I would but I’m so full.” “Sure,” the Squirt answered. “Low and slow,” Sam said, “If you put it at two-fifty…” “I’ve got it Dad,” interrupted the Squirt. He was practically a grown-up. He could handle this. Hank broke out his whiskey and poured some for everyone. *Very generous,* the Squirt thought, sarcastically. But he picked up a tumbler and took a sip. The way it seared his throat was a welcome sensation, and he took another, under Sam’s watchful eye. He didn’t normally drink in front of his father, or anywhere else for that matter. But Sam had always been willing izmit escort to let the boys have a bit at family gatherings. A little whiskey after a dinner was a ritual among the men of the family, and Sam always said it was better to let the boys have a taste and grow into it, rather than being lured by the forbidden. Between trips to the kitchen, the Squirt took more scalding sips of his drink. He couldn’t knock it back the way Hank or Sam could, but he wanted in his own way to keep up. “So how long are you in town?” the Squirt heard Roger ask Trent as he carried a last stack of dishes into the kitchen. “My flight is at ten-fifteen,” Trent said. He glanced at Sam. “If you can give me a lift.” “Tomorrow?” Sam asked in surprise. “Not even through the weekend?” The Squirt looked with irritation at the dishes to be washed and the pies waiting to be warmed. This wasn’t where he needed to be. He turned the oven up to 500 and slid the pies in. If low and slow worked, it stood to reason the high and fast would do the job in half the time, and let him be about more important things. “Why are you going back so soon?” he asked, rushing back to the table. His intensity raised eyebrows, as he’d never made a fuss about his brother’s coming and going before. “What’s it to you, Squirt?” Trent replied. “What about Dad?” the Squirt followed up. Sam shot him a little frown. *Leave it, Emmett*, he could hear his father say in his head. Trent’s whole face furrowed up. “Dad’s fine.” The Squirt’s mouth shifted from side to side and he took his seat. The conversation was moving on, the older men joking about something stupid, Chris and Trent looking away from each other. “What about…” he fumbled for the right words. Time was running out. “What about Chris?” The table went silent, the Squirt having everyone’s attention, Chris shifting uncomfortably at the mention of his name. “What about him?” Trent asked, his square jaw rolling. “He hasn’t seen you for so long,” the Squirt said, “and he…” He could feel the weight of Trent’s steely brows on him. But he’d gone this far. And he was running out of tie. “Everyone knows, Trent,” he said softly. Imploring. “Everyone.” “Knows what?” asked Uncle Hank, wiping his whiskey-wet lips on his furry forearm. “Nothing,” Trent declared flatly and firmly. Sam and Roger’s eyes ping-ponged around the table, from Trent’s reddening face to Chris’s downcast eyes. “Everyone knows what?” Uncle Hank asked again, louder this time. “There’s nothing to know,” Trent all but shouted. The Squirt looked Trent square in the face. “You love him,” he mouthed silently across the table. “You do. Trent. You do.” Trent looked away from his brother, biting his thumbnail. Then he shoved back from the table and stood up. He dug his fists into his hoodie, judged the whole lot of family with his eyes, turned and walked away. “Oh,” said Uncle Hank. He shook his head. “What tangled webs we weave.” He laughed. “Weave and weave and weave.” He knocked back a shot. “The lot of you’ve been at my boy since he was — ” “Oh go have another drink,” the Squirt said with a scowl at his uncle. “Like you ever gave a shit about — ” “Emmett,” Sam interrupted. “No Dad, it’s true,” the Squirt blurted, “he was never a father, he didn’t — ” “Now the bastard…” Uncle Hank began. “That’s enough,” Sam declared in his deepest voice. Uncle Hank laughed. Low and then loud, and for a long time. “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child,” he finally said, and laughed again. He shook his head and turned to Chris, asking “Anything to add, my boy?” Chris looked up and sniffed, his brow furrowed. “Is something burning?” 8. In the kitchen everyone gathered around Sam as he pulled the smoldering pies from the oven. “Jesus, Emmett,” Sam said. “Five hundred? What were you thinking?” “It was just for a minute,” pleaded the Squirt. Or it was *supposed* to be. Sam frowned, looking over his pies, pumpkin and pecan, both charred and smoking. “Maybe we can scrape off the tops,” he said. “There’s still whipped cream.” As Sam tried to peel the blackened layer off and everyone else shifted in place uncomfortably, there was a knock at the kitchen door. “Who drops in on Thanksgiving?” Hank asked, chuckling again. “Oh fuck,” muttered the Squirt. “I told Tai to come for pie.” “You did?” asked Sam, his voice raised in surprise at his boy’s gesture. The Squirt opened the door, the words already forming on his tongue. “Sorry Tai. I screwed up, there’s no pie…” Standing in the doorway his neighbor grinned slyly. He was holding out a golden brown lattice topped dish. “What’s this?” asked Sam, leaning over the Squirt. “My mom sent it,” Tai said, his flat tone slightly animated, holding out the pie higher. “Apple.” “Well,” Sam said, licking his lips, “come in!” Sam sliced the pie and served it, with some of his charred pumpkin filling on the side and heaps of whipped cream. Even Trent came back to join in for dessert. Sam savored his mouthful, mulling it over. “There’s something in this — I can’t put my finger on it…is it pepper?” “Cinnamon,” said Tai. “Saigon Cinnamon.” “Is that it?” asked Sam, dabbing the filling with a finger and licking it off. “I’ll be damned.” Tai sat back, satisfied. “Well, you saved the day, Tai,” Sam said, clapping the boy on his shoulder. “No thanks to the Squirt,” Trent gloated. He owed his brother a dig. He recounted a story about the year the Squirt ate so much birthday cake he barfed on Sam’s shoulder while he carried the boy to bed. Chris joined in with his own story about how the Squirt ran away from home, setting up camp under a shrub in the backyard, till Sam negotiated his return home with brownies. They were all stories they knew by heart, but Tai and Roger made for a fresh audience. “Why do you call him Squirt?” Tai asked. “Because I was so little,” the Squirt answered with a shrug. There was a long awkward silence, until Trent and Chris both looked down and snorted. “What?” asked the Squirt. “Isn’t that it?” “When we heard he was coming,” Chris mumbled, “Trent said… he said it looked like Sam had one more squirt left in him after all.” Trent giggled first, and then laughed. Chris joined him, and Hank, and even Sam and Roger. The Squirt looked at Tai awkwardly. Even though his cheeks burned with embarrassment it felt good to hear everyone laugh, and to have Tai beside him. 9. The dishes rested unwashed, Sam insisting he’d take care of it later, and Roger saying he’d help. After more drinks and more stories, and a late snack of leftovers, Tai left and everyone seemed ready for bed, except Hank who sat on the porch with another drink and a cigarette. He’d turn in soon enough. “I’ll go home,” Chris offered, inciting protests from Sam and the Squirt. Even Roger insisted he should go home himself, freeing the guest room. Trent stood up and said “Just come to bed.” Chris looked at him silently. “Come on,” Trent said, nodding his head toward the stairs. “Don’t be stupid.” Some unspoken communication passed between him and Chris. The Squirt didn’t understand their private language of looks and nods, but he sensed they each yielded something to the other in the exchange. Chris rose to his feet finally. “Night, Sam,” he called to the kitchen. “Night Roger.” He gave a nod to his cousin. “Squirt.” He followed Trent up the stairs wordlessly, as he had thousands of times before. A big satisfied smile broke out on the Squirt’s face. “I’m going to bed too,” he announced. “A word, Emmett,” Sam said, “Roger, would you give us a minute?” The Squirt squirmed in his seat as Roger left the room. He’d been disciplined so few times by Sam, but he could feel it coming on. “I’m sorry,” he said, trying to defuse Sam’s admonition even before he spoke. “I know you worked on the pies, and I — ” “Not the pies, Emmett. I don’t care about the pies. I mean I do, but — but about your behavior at the table.” “Oh.” “That was uncalled for. It embarrassed your brothers, and was awkward as hell for Roger who, may I remind you, *you* invited. And humiliating to your uncle. ” “Oh as if he cares,” the Squirt said, rolling his eyes. “He cares Emmett. He doesn’t say it, but he cares.” “Well someone had to say something. He’s the worst. He’s an asshole.” “If things were different, maybe… but Emmett… he’s divorced again. His son barely talks to him. He’s past his prime, and the longer he lives the further from it he’ll be. To have you — you who has everything before you — to have you humble him in front of his family. In front of his son. I’m disappointed.” “Dad — ” He wanted desperately for Sam to stop. “This isn’t fun for me either,” Sam persisted. “But I have to be able to tell you when I think you’re wrong. I have to. Or I’ll fail you.” He looked somber. “That was badly done, Emmett. Badly done.” In the kitchen of their home on Box Hill, The Squirt felt a hot swell of emotion in his throat, and his eyes burned. He had no defense against his Sam’s disappointment. It sank in him like an anchor. If he weren’t so determined to reveal the depth of his hurt, he’d have cried. Instead, he stood up and left the kitchen. Roger stood in the hallway between the dining room and kitchen, his arms folded across his chest, leaning against the doorway. “You folks know how to do a holiday.” Sam threw his kitchen towel over his shoulder, grimaced and sighed. 10. Trent and Chris ran up the last steps to the attic, stripping as they did, so by the time they stood at the center of the room where the roof peaked, kissing, their clothes were a pool around them of discarded jeans, sweaters, sweaty tank tops and dampened briefs. Their erections snaked against each other, and in the humid crevices made by their hips and flat bellies meeting. Their lips and teeth came together, both tender and clashing, and their hands grasped, hungry for the feel of each other, clutching sides and rears and pecs, fingers snarling in each other’s hair. Trent broke away, his lips reddened and slick, drunk on the taste of his cousin. “Pin me,” he said in his breathy voice. A natural competitor and fierce wrestler, it had always thrilled him to be dominated, but only by someone he could trust to see him that way. It wasn’t the only way they fucked, topping and bottoming each other times beyond count. But in the end, it was Chris who was the only one he could surrender to. It had always been Chris. His cousin’s eyes darted to the nightstand on Trent’s side of the bed. “Is it…?” Trent opened the drawer, leading Chris by the hand. In the top drawer was a squeeze tube he pulled out and pressed between his fingers. It was still good. Trent sighed with relief as Chris wrapped hands around his thick frame, turning him to bend over the bed, kissing his broad muscled back, each press of his lips going lower, down to the sculpted small of his back. There he nuzzled the dimples over the mounds of Trent’s ass, and bit teasingly into them, feeling their meat between his sharp teeth. When Trent gasped and reached back to pull the cheeks open, Chris’s tongue trailed lower, prying into the sweaty cleft, poking the pit there, nudging into and inside his cousin. He knew how to play that body like a musician, understanding which subtle touch would elicit which sounds. But he knew also neither of them would last long, not after so much time apart. The sound of Sam’s Aretha playlist rose like dreamy heat through the ducts from the kitchen as Chris took the tube in hand, squeezing a long trail of clear thick lube from the root to the head of his cock. He squeezed out a spiral of it on his two fingers and reached down to pry into Trent. The fireplug of a wrestler arched his back and hiked up his ass, fucking himself on his cousin’s long fingers. “Do it,” he groaned. “Don’t tease me.” Chris took mercy and pressed the head of his cock against the soft, quivering hole, nudging the tip in. He let Trent push back on it, engulfing him, then shimming his ass in that sexy way he did, taking the full length into himself inch by inch. It was surprising how much he took so quickly, but Trent was always impressive in what he could do with his body when he wanted to. His will power was a gift. Trent grasped at the bed sheets as Chris pulled his cock back and then slid forward again, touching that spot deep in his cousin that only he’d ever felt. He built up with slow steady thrusts, feeling his rigidity in Trent’s tender yielding insides, losing his own self control as the outer muscles squeezed him like a vice. He hadn’t been celibate between Trent’s visits — far from it — but no one could work his cock like Trent. The thick wrestler could milk a load out of him just slow-twitching his ass. Chris could see stars in his eyelids as he pounded into Trent, the sound of *I Never Loved a Man* filling his ears from the kitchen downstairs. Their bodies knew how to work together, slamming and meeting, responding with trust that the other would interpret each other’s needs and give in kind. “Fuck,” Chris groaned, his cum building in him faster than he could hold back. “Yeah,” Trent murmured, slamming his ass back against Chris’s thrusting pelvis. “Nut in me, bro.” It would’ve been better for Trent to not talk, the sound of his voice, his desire, making it harder for Chris to hold back. “Not yet,” he groaned “Oh fuck bro, yeah NOW,” Trent laughed, pushing back harder onto Chris, slamming his ass on his cousin’s slim hips, his pelvis rolling in a controlled grind. “Give it to me.” Chris made an involuntary animal sound, *Unghhh* as his fuck pace accelerated and his cock swelled, shooting his load inside Trent in gush after gush, driving the head of his erection home into his cousin’s core, filling him. “Yeah,” Trent gasped, his hole flexing and contracting on the root of Chris’s cock, as he reached a hand down to milk himself. “Stay there.” Trent’s head rolled on his thick neck as he ground against Chris, spreading his rear to draw the erection in ever so slightly deeper, stroking his prostate, nudging his pleasure spot, coaxing out his own load. He gasped out loud as the hot cum boiled up in him and then forced itself through his fat cock, spewing onto their bed. His body heaved with every gush, Chris on his back, roughly grabbing his solid tits, drilling the last of his own nut deep inside Trent. Trent collapsed onto his belly, Chris dropping his slight weight on top of him. Not technically a pin, but Trent was down for the count, in a way he hadn’t been for so long. He laughed, deeply satisfied, pulling his cousin’s long vascular arms around his chest, feeling Chris’s lips on the nape of his neck where his curls had been shaved down. They snuggled until their breath slowed and the sweat on their skin cooled. “You’re never going to come home to stay, are you?” Chris asked in that voice he only used with his cousin, and only there, in their room. “You’re my home,” Trent whispered, wrapping his hand around Chris’s. “You are.” Turning on their sides, they drifted quickly into sleep, to the sound of Sam’s pots being put in their place, Aretha’s voice and each other’s breath. 11. The Squirt lie awake, arguing with Sam in his head. He’d been so right, even if Sam didn’t see it. But for his every point and counterpoint, the ultimate rebuttal was the look of disappointment in Sam’s face. It was the blow against which he had no armor. Why couldn’t Sam see the virtue of his intent? The purity of his heart in this matter? He’d have to go convince Sam of his own rightness in calling out Hank. He pulled on his pajamas, slid his feet into his wool slippers and weaved in the dark to Sam’s kitchen in the dark stepping light, careful not to make any sounds that would wake their guests. From the empty dining room he could see the soft light in the little hall to the kitchen, izmit kendi evi olan escort and could hear subdued sounds of music. Aretha again. Of course. The long live recording of *Dr. Feelgood*. He turned into the hall, ready to make his case, “Dad…” on his lips. But before it could escape, the Squirt froze and put his back to the wall, sliding down as quietly as he could. His heart raced in his chest and throbbed in his ears as he tried to make sense of what he was seeing. Sam was leaned over his big butcher block table, supported by his thick forearms on hands spread wide. He was gasping and the Squirt thought for a second he was crying, but that was wrong. And Roger was by his side, behind him – comforting him? Pushing? No. Groping. “Fuckk me…” he heard Sam groan in a tone he’d never heard in his father’s voice before. Instinctively, knowing he’d intruded on some profoundly private moment, the Squirt stayed down, out of sight but where he could still see what he wasn’t meant to see. Sam’s shirt was open, and one of Roger’s hands was running over his meaty torso, grabbing at his big pecs and down the seam of blond hair on his belly, into his pubes. His cock — Sam’s cock! — was standing erect, thick and meaty, with a fat head on top of a veiny curved shaft. His rocking hips drove the big bow of his cock up over the butcher block, thrusting into the air. And at his rear, Roger’s hand was curved under his hairy rugger ass, pushing up into him. “You like that?” he whispered to Sam, *Dr. Feelgood* playing. “Shhhhhh,” Sam hissed. Then shuddered. “Yes… fuck yes…” Roger smirked and wrapped his free hand around Sam’s thick cock as he drove his fingers harder into his rear. The Squirt gulped, seeing his father ride back to meet Roger’s thrusting fingers, letting his cock slide through Roger’s fist. The Squirt’s own dick was rock hard and already soaking the front of his pajamas with precum. Sam twisted his pelvis, corkscrewing on Roger’s fingers and fucking his fist, picking up his pace and breathing harder. “Unfff hurry,” he gasped in a hush, glancing at the hallway entrance. “I’m gonna fuck it out of you,” Roger whispered. Sam grunted in response, breathing out hard through his nose like a bull. The Squirt’s head reeled, breathing as silently as he could, struggling to not touch his own erection, so close to blowing his own load that one touch would trigger it. Roger wrapped an arm around Sam’s shoulder, across his breast bone, and the other still working Sam’s ass in earnest, driving into hole between his blond furred cheeks, letting him jerk his own cock as his eyes rolled back in his head. “Oh my God,” Sam groaned from deep in his chest. His breath came on rapid and he was swallowing hard. He opened his mouth and gasped long and loud as a single squirt of cum spewed out of his cock. A second late another shot — a blast — shot up through his meaty cock and arced high in the air before hitting the butcher block with a wet splat. Sam’s groans were choked as he milked out the rest, in two more arcing surges and then a long steady stream, Roger pushing it out of him, nuzzling his face and kissing him. When the quake of his cum subsided, Sam turned to Roger, driving his tongue into his buddy’s mouth. He wrapped a hand around the visible bulge in Roger’s pants, asking “Now what about you?” Roger looked to the kitchen door, just above where the Squirt was slunk down on the ground. “Mmmm, later,” he replied. “No need to push our luck.” Sam was still breathing hard, buttoning his jeans, as Roger ran a kitchen towel over the cummy mess. “Heh. Looks like you did have one more squirt in you after all.” “Shut up, asshole,” Sam laughed. He wiped his sweaty hair back into place. “Mmm,” Roger murmured, wadding up the towel in his hand. “When are you gonna tell them about us?” “Oh… eventually,” shrugged Sam. “The Squirt will be gone to school soon. Maybe then.” He looked up at one of the kitchen speakers still playing Aretha. “Love is a serious business.” Sam returned to kissing Roger, their bodies pressing up against each other. The Squirt felt his heart throb hard in his chest, and turned to slide out on his hands and knees. 12. The Squirt opened the front door to go outside. He had no idea where from there, only knowing he needed to get out of that house. The chill air hit him like a cold slap, waking him from a familiar and comforting dream. He bunched his hands and stuffed them under his armpits for warmth, as realizations struck in him in succeeding waves. How long had his father and Roger been at this? This wasn’t the first time they’d been… intimate. The more he thought of it the more the weight of the betrayal multiplied. That they’d done it, that they’d been at it for who knows how long. That it was a secret. All those nights when he and Sam had dinner together, as if it were just the two of them… and what had Sam been thinking all those night? The question strummed torturously at some chord in him that he didn’t dare name, so tender was it. He’d been practically married to Sam himself, in his mind. Forsaking all others. No wonder it had been so easy to reject the crushes others had on him, to shoo any crushes he might have had himself, putting it off for some unspecified something in college. To risk nothing. He already had his perfect partner. They made dinner together, cleaned together. Laughed and were quiet together. He could know Sam loved him, and could give back his own heart. It seemed they knew each other in a way no one else could. But now he could see there was some other side of his father that he’d never even suspected, much less come close to. There was a deeper intimacy he’d never known with Sam, and never would. There was no cleverness that could change it, no coy trick, no boyish charm. The finality of it scorched him. He’d never know Sam really. Not the way Roger did. Even his meager awareness of it was a form of theft. He’d never felt such loss, not that he could remember, and he gasped in the cold. “So it’s us, is it?” a deep warm voice asked, as he rocked back and forth on the porch steps. Fuck. It was Uncle Hank on the porch swing, putting out his cigarette. He looked rough and handsome, with the moonlight shining on the silver in his cropped curls and the whiskers on his jaw. The tumbler of whiskey in his hand was brown and looked warm in the crisp air. “I guess so,” the Squirt sniffed. Hank rose to his feet and weaved his way over, dropping his weight next to the Squirt, sidling up close enough for the Squirt to feel the warmth remitting from his burly form. “It’s a snake pit of secrets, this family,” Hank sighed, looking out onto the street. He handed the tumbler to the Squirt who took it and sipped a mouthful. It scalded his throat and nose, but it felt good and he took another gulp. Hank ran a big warm hand under the Squirt’s t-shirt, and the firmness of it was calming. “Looks like everyone’s getting some but us, right?” His voice was warmer and more comforting. The words formed in his mouth more loosely than any way the Squirt had ever heard him talk before. It was a side of Hank that the Squirt had only seen around the edges before. The hand in the Squirt’s shirt reached around under his armpit, hugging his chest. The rough fingers grazing his nipple. A shudder of pleasure rippled through his body and he felt his dick stiffen, tenting his pajamas still damp from what he’d spied earlier. “There you go,” Hank said, his voice smoky, at the feel of the boy tensing and releasing under his touch. The Squirt could see how Hank had won over so many. His features were still handsome despite age and abuse. His voice and fingers instruments he knew how to use, a craftsman in his own way as much as his brother Sam. Sam. The squirt shuddered at the thought of his father, Hank’s confident hand on him, sitting so close. He turned toward Hank, their faces near enough to feel each other’s warm breath. It took so little for the tips of their noses to touch, tickling, and their lips to brush. “Uncle Hank,” the Squirt whispered with a tremble, turning away. The meaty hand worked on him, weakening his resolve and pumping up his long held desires. “Nuh-uh,” Hank whispered in reply, his nose brushing the side of the Squirt’s face, right into his ear. “Not really.” “What?” the Squirt asked, rolling his head, feeling the hand slide down his side, into his pajama waistband. More than anything he wanted Hank to take hold of his cock, milk it. “You’re nothing to me,” Hank said in a voice so warm but at the same time gently mocking. “You’re not his. Not a one of you is.” Hank didn’t have to say who he meant by “his”. The Squirt knew. He knew it was Sam. “She was a whore,” Hank hissed into his ear, his fist wrapping around the base of the Squirt’s erection, jerkin him. “Is that what you want?” The Squirt didn’t know if his uncle meant the hand job or the information. But either way, he whispered, “I do.” He was hungry, starved, for the intimacy of the moment, the connection. Something only the two would share. And though Hank wasn’t Sam, in some ways was his opposite, they were brothers. They had something in common. “A good lay, though,” Hank sneered. “She got *that one* in a three way.” That one… Trent. “He’s not even white. Black Irish my ass. Black more like it.” He chuckled and then spoke more gravely. “Sam was a soft touch, said he’d marry her. Be a dad. What the fuck ever.” He worked the Squirt’s erection with smooth firm strokes, lubed by gushes of precum that surged as he spoke. It all made sense. The lack of family resemblance. Even Roger… Roger could see it when he met Trent. “Uncle Hank,” the Squirt moaned, his eyes closed, thrusting his erection into the rough fist. His heart beat hard, driven by the forbidden twin thrills of revelation and the pleasure building in his body. “You were the last straw,” Hank rasped. “There wasn’t supposed to be another. He was done with her, but kept you.” Something tickled inside the Squirt, deep in his guts and balls. Affirmation. He’d known, always, not exactly but something. Maybe it was why he clung so tight to Sam, knowing their connection was so much more tenuous than biology, just a choice really, that could have gone one way or another. “So we’re nothing to each other,” Hank exhaled into his ear, his tongue flicking at the Squirt’s ear. The hand around him felt so good. He might regret it later, maybe forever. But he was about to give in, give himself up completely, to the only person who wanted him in that moment. “Hi Emmett,” said a familiar flat voice at a slight distance, followed by the sound of rustling leaves on the walkway. It jerked the Squirt out of the swirling undertow of lust and loss. His eyes opened to see Tai, in his coat and his stupid shorts, his little dog Hoa on guard at his side, snarling. 13. Hank slowly withdrew his hand from the Squirt’s pajamas. He was done, but defiantly betrayed no rush. “I’ll go in,” he said, smirking at Tai, kicking back the last of his whiskey. He looked oddly satisfied for someone interrupted. The boy stared back in his inscrutable way as he rose to his feet, and turned into the house. As the porch for shut, Tai stepped up, taking the place beside the Squirt on the steps. Hoa stood on her hind feet, pressing her forepaws against the Squirt’s knee. “How are you doing?” Tai asked. “Cold,” sniffed the Squirt. Whatever heat he’d felt with Hank was gone, leaving him with just chilly awareness. And Uncle Hank got his. Paid the Squirt back for the dinner scene. He deserved it, he supposed. “I ruined Thanksgiving. I ruined everything.” “It’s just pie, Emmett.” “Not that,” the Squirt snorted and laughed, despite himself. “I tried to get my brother to move back home. So my dad wouldn’t be alone when I go to school.” He looked away down the dark, lonely street. “But he already…” His face contorted. “He couldn’t wait for me to be gone.” “I don’t think so,” consoled Tai, Hoa’s panting breath making vapor question marks that dissipated in the night air. “It’s true,” the Squirt said. “He has… *someone*. And Trent and Chris… they have each other. Everyone does but me.” Tai leaned in close to him. Too close. “You’re so dumb, Emmett.” He pressed his lips to the Squirt’s, kissing him softly. The Squirt inhaled sharply with surprise and responded in kind, kissing Tai more eagerly and hungrily than he’d have expected if he’d let himself think about it before. His neighbor’s mouth was hot in the cold, and his tongue flicked playfully against the Squirt’s. “Tai…” the Squirt gasped between kisses. He looked over his shoulder, up at his house, the bedside light of his room beckoning through his window. “Do you want… to come in?” Tai looked at the bedroom light. “For a little bit.” He glanced at Hoa, panting. “I have to bring her.” The Squirt considered the implications of bringing Tai to his bedroom. What they might do. What he hoped they’d do. And the little dog watching, her head cocked. It was undignified. Not the romantic pairing he’d imagined. But it was good. “Bring her,” he said. Wandering into the house in the dark, they passed Uncle Hank stretched out on the couch, his breath already heavy with intoxicated sleep. They passed the hall where to the kitchen and its golden light, where Sam and Roger were putting away the last of the dishes, their night time voices murmuring. They passed the door to the attic where Chris and Trent slept pressed against each other, as close as two people could be, perhaps dreaming. And then finally they reached the Squirt’s room, and shut it as quietly as they could behind them. 14. On Friday morning the Squirt padded into the kitchen, the November light pouring in. “You’re up late,” Sam mumbled, not looking up from his newspaper. “Yeah,” said the Squirt. He had half his head in the clouds, still thinking of the night before. He could almost feel the lips on his, his handsome neighbor’s hands on his body, the pleasures they’d traded. “I, uh…overslept.” Sam slowly peeled the newspaper page, his eyes scanning the print. Without looking up he said, “Tai was here.” “He was?” asked the Squirt. He’d left in the middle of the night – how did Sam know? “When?” “Mmm yeah. Stopped by a little while ago.” The Squirt sighed with relief. It was a Thanksgiving miracle. “Said you should come over for dinner. Something about turkey pho.” The Squirt felt a hot rush in his cheeks. Turkey pho sounded great. Suddenly he realized the time. “Did I miss Trent? I wanted to say goodbye.” “Oh, about that,” Sam replied, turning to face the Squirt. “Looks like he’s going to stay a while.” “What?” asked the Squirt. “Yeah,” said Sam, scratching his scruffy jaw. “He went with Chris to get some things so he can stay over too.” “Really?” asked the Squirt. “You think…?” “Don’t get ahead of yourself,” said Sam. “It’s just a few days.” The Squirt took in the sight of his father, his brawny frame perched on a stool, so oblivious and so omniscient at the same time. He weaved across the kitchen, coming to rest at Sam’s side where he dropped his head against the bulk of his shoulder. He was as sturdy as ever. After a long silence, Sam wrapped an arm around his boy and said “About last night… I hated calling you out like that. I… I know you’re almost grown up… you’re almost a man.” He pulled the Squirt close. “But I have to be able to tell you when I think you’re making a mistake, because Emmett… all your choices, they add up. They define you. I guess I want you to be careful of the *kind* of man you’re going to be.” The Squirt swallowed. It was hard to hear. But not the hardest thing he’d heard that Thanksgiving. But he could be a man. He could bear it. “I know,” he whispered in reply. “Happy Thanksgiving Dad. If it’s not too late.” “Not too late at all,” Sam said, turning his face to plant a smooch on the boy’s cheek. “You and Tai getting to be a regular thing?” The Squirt didn’t answer. Instead he wanted to stay in the moment, enjoying the warmth and presence of his father. There’d be time to talk later. END

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