Sunday, April 10, 2016

Chapter 24

Amadeo grinned broadly when he saw Angelo the following Friday.  The Di Marco's had been having such a good time that they'd asked the owner if they could extend their vacation for a few more days.  The owner had been thrilled.  His house was so small that there wasn't a great demand for it, and the next couple wasn't due til the weekend.  He was so pleased that they wanted to stay that he'd only charged them half rent for the rest of the week and had given Joshua the option to rent for the July Fourth weekend again the following year.  


The younger boy's light coffee skin was darker, almost bronze, making his teeth look whiter than they usually were.  "Dad confiscated my books, tossed me out of the house with my watch, a beach bag, a towel, a fiver to buy drinks, a pail, a bottle of suntan lotion, and a threat that if I came back to the house before lunch without a respectable collection of shells in the bucket he was going to tan my hide."  Angelo had laughed as he showed his friend his shell collection.  


He winked at Amadeo, checked the living room to see if anyone was nearby, closed the door and whispered, "I walked for what felt like forever looking for shells and stuff, and there it was, Avalon!"
  

At Amadeo's puzzled expression Angelo explained.  "I found this great used book store?  I bought almost two dozen really great books for like two dollars, and on the way back I saw these little kids collecting shells and stones and offered them a buck for whatever they had, bought myself a Coke, spread out the towel and sat there reading."


Amadeo gave his friend a mock stern look before the two of them burst into laughter again.  When they stopped laughing, he stood there for a moment, admiring his boy.  He cracked open the door to peek out again and grabbed Angelo into a fierce hug, kissing him until they were both breathless.  "I missed you so much." he whispered.


Angelo looked up at 'Deo with a slightly dazed look.  His heart was racing.  "Let's go somewhere." he suggested.  'Deo kissed Angelo behind the ear sending a tingle down his neck.  He took a deep breath and let it out slowly before walking into the kitchen where his mother and father sat, drinking lemonade.


"Mamma, Pop, we're going to head out for a bit, okay?"


"You're going to see him all day tomorrow, Angelo!" his mother protested half-heartedly.


"Just for a little while, mamma, please?"  Angelo pleaded, widening his large, dark eyes just enough, coupling it with a boyish, charming smile.


"Get going, brat.  Be home by lunchtime.  Understand me?" his father said with a no nonsense expression.


"Yes sir."  Angelo smiled, waving at his parents before running out the door with Amadeo close behind.


Julia looked at her husband, the corner of her mouth quirking up slightly, "I thought I was the soft touch." she said pointedly.


Joshua watched through the door as Angelo and his best friend ran down the driveway and into the woods, then stood up and walked closer to his wife.  "You are, my love.  Just one of your many endearing traits.  You must be rubbing off on me." he growled as he gently drew her up from her chair.  She giggled as he began to kiss the curve between her neck and shoulder and working his way up. 



***WARNING:  The following section contains reference to intimate relations between under aged boys.  If this disturbs   you feel free to skip over it.
    (The X is not the rating but merely denotes the beginning and end of the scene)



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Angelo felt as though he would burst if they didn't find a safe, quiet place soon. The longer he had to wait the more the pressure built up inside him.  He lead Amadeo deep into the nearby woods at the end of his driveway, to a clearing that he had made the summer before where he often went to read and think without being disturbed.   They stopped in the sun dappled clearing and found themselves entangled, kissing desperately, tugging off and tossing aside each other's t shirts and fumbling with the button and zipper of each other's cut offs as they heeled off their sneakers.


"Wait!  Wait!" said Amadeo breathlessly.


"Wait?!  I don't wanna wait, Dae!" replied Angelo, eyes wide in disbelief.


Amadeo kissed his boy deeply and stood back, desire and the sparkle plain in his sunlit coffee eyes as he took in the sight of his flushed and slightly petulant boy.  "Just wanna put the shirts down, we didn't bring a blanket." he answered, a tiny smile of understanding, deep affection and amusement lifting the corners of his mouth.


The two picked up their discarded shirts, turned them right side out, laid them on the ground carefully but quickly and finished kicking off their cut offs and shorts.  Angelo then dove in to kiss the amusement off of Amadeo's lips.  


Neither of them knew how or when they ended up on the ground and neither cared.  Neither had ever touched another male intimately or had ever had sex.  Although each of their parents had given them 'the talk' years ago and they both knew the basic mechanics, neither of them had any idea how it would work between two men so they went by instinct, kissing, caressing, fondling, getting lost in the feeling of being skin to skin until neither of them could tell where one of them ended and the other began. Lips, teeth and tongues found places that had the other gasping.


Amadeo had never before found the fragrance of shampoo and soap to be intoxicating, but those combined with the scent that was just naturally Angelo aroused him in a way he'd never experienced before.


Angelo was sure that he had to be dreaming again, but he swore that this was by far the best one yet and he prayed fervently that he didn't wake up from it any time soon.


Afterward they laid in the warmth of the sun and each other, sweaty and sated, their breathing slowly returning to normal, Angelo with his head on Amadeo's chest.  His senses seemed heightened.  He could hear the sound of 'Deo's heart, each breath as he inhaled and exhaled.  He took pleasure in the pleasant, spicy odors of clean sweat and soap that were Amadeo.  He giggled as he heard Amadeo's stomach growl, and again as his own growled in response.  He glanced at his watch.


"It's five of twelve.  We're gonna be late for lunch." he said softly.  "We should head back at some point."


"Ummm."  'Deo breathed.


"Pop's gonna smack me for being late." he said, grinning into 'Deo's chest.  But boy was it worth it, he thought to himself.


"We'll tell him he's gotta smack me too then, deal?"  Amadeo quipped.


"Yeah, right." Angelo replied with a chuckle.  "Oh man, I just realized..."


"What?"


"We're kind of a mess."  


Amadeo huffed in laughter.  "Ya think?" he asked, smiling down at his boy and planting a kiss on the top of his head.  "Come on, put your things on, I have an idea."


Angelo gave Amadeo a curious look but reluctantly got up and dressed, after which Amadeo lead him further into the woods.

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The two boys walked along a faint and narrow path, which eventually gave off onto a wider and much clearer route.  "Ever been here?" Deo asked.


"I've seen this but I didn't know where it lead."  Angelo replied.


"You're in for a treat then.  It's actually on the Ketterly's property but they've always allowed the kids around here to use it."


"What's 'it'?" Angelo asked curiously.


"Come on, you'll see."  'Deo said with a grin.


They walked for another five minutes until they came out into a larger clearing.  Amadeo gestured grandly as though he'd discovered the place himself.  "Ketterly's Pond." he said proudly.  "Ah," he said quickly, seeing Angelo beginning to take his sneakers off, "I'd keep those on, and your clothes too.  The edge is a little slippery until kids really start using it," he explained.  


"Take your watch off though." he said as he removed his own, placing it carefully in the shade of a nearby tree.


Angelo shrugged. "It's water resistant."


"Perhaps," Amadeo responded with a mischievous glint in his eyes, "But if you take it off you won't have a tan line on your wrist where it was."


"That doesn't bother me."  Angelo laughed.


Amadeo sighed, loving his boy more and more for his complete lack of guile.  "If you have a tan line then you won't be able to tell your father that you didn't know what time it was while we were swimming." he said, once again feeling a surge of affection.


It took Angelo a moment or two to register what his friend was suggesting.  He couldn't tell a convincing lie if his life depended on it and everyone who knew him knew it.  "You're a very devious person, you know that don't you?"  Angelo retorted, awed and delighted as he removed his watch and placed it by Amadeo's. 


The boys gripped each other by the wrist and ran into the water, which was still slightly chilly despite the July sunshine.  They dove in, wrestling and splashing, taking turns dunking each other, swimming laps, and racing.  Other boys came along, some wearing trunks, others unselfconsciously stripping down to shorts and joining the fun.  Most stayed, some did a quick lap and left, cooled off for the time being, admitting with a guilty grin that they were AWOL from chores and had to get back before they were missed.


Eventually Angelo and Amadeo dragged themselves out of the water, soaked, happy, and pleasantly tired.  They retrieved their watches, and waved goodbye to the other boys.  Once they were out of sight of the others they walked hand in hand through the woods as they meandered back toward Angelo's house, stopping occasionally to enjoy a kiss, but the closer they got to Angelo's house the more nervous the boy became.  Amadeo noticed his boy worrying his lower lip with his teeth.  


"Ange," he said worriedly, "Is it going to be really bad when you get home?"


"I don't know, Dae."  Angelo looked at his watch.  "I thought we were only in there for a little while!  We're so late!  Pop's gonna blister me! I don't think he's gonna... do what he did *that* night... you know." he replied uncomfortably.  "I don't mind getting smacked I guess.  I guess I deserve it.  But what if they say I can't come over tomorrow?"  Angelo responded, looking anxiously up at his friend.  "What if I get grounded for the rest of the summer or something?"


Amadeo put a comforting arm around his friend and gave him a quick hug.  "Let's go face the music, then." he said quietly before releasing his friend to walk beside him.




They arrived at Angelo's house minutes later and Amadeo's stomach plummeted to come to rest with jarring force in the vicinity of his pelvic bones.  His father's car was parked in it's usual spot near the fence between the barn and the house.  He took a deep breath and patted Angelo on the shoulder.


Angelo's parents and Amadeo's father, who were sitting at the table drinking coffee, looked up at their sons, expressions of relief turning to irritation and anger.


Joshua turned in his chair so that he was directly facing the boys, his jaw clenched and his mouth little more than an angry slit.  "Where. Have. You. Two. Been?" he asked icily.


Angelo licked his lips and swallowed nervously.  "Papà..." he croaked.


"Lunch time in this house is noon, not three o clock." he said sternly.  "We were about to go out looking for you again if you didn't show up soon."


"Again?" 'Deo asked, trying to calm his nerves.


"The two of you left here this morning at nine, and I know I told you to be back by lunch time.  When you didn't show up by two I called Johnny here and we started to search for you.  Around two thirty we ran into one of the boys who'd been at the pond and he told us you were there but by the time we got there you were gone.  We had no idea where you actually were."  Joshua scolded.


"What were you doing for six hours?"  Johnny Rossi demanded, looking pointedly at his son.


Angelo's eyes widened just a bit and he took a breath, but Amadeo interjected, unconsciously stepping in front of Angelo as though to protect him.  "It was all my fault Dad, Mr. and Mrs. Di Marco.  We were messing around in the woods for a while.  Angelo told me that it was close to lunch time but we were all dirty and sweaty, so I took him to the pond to cool off and get clean, we only meant to be there for a little while.  When we got there he told me his watch was water resistant but I told him to take it off anyway, I took mine off too, and we left them under a tree.  I'm sorry," he blushed slightly, "We weren't watching the time.  It was my fault."


Joshua Di Marco pinned his youngest son with a look.  "Angelo..."


Angelo looked at his father from beneath his long lashes.  "Yes sir?"


"Look me in the eye, ragazzino.  Is that what happened?"


Angelo only took a second to think about it.  Longer would have been a giveaway, and the way that Amadeo had phrased his narration, he'd told the truth.  He raised his head and looked directly into his father's eyes.  "Yes sir."


"Except?"  Joshua prompted.  Assured by the direct eye contact and quick answer but looking for something more.


Angelo looked at Amadeo whose reply was an uncertain expression and a quick shake of his head.  He then looked back at his father, faint inquiry on his face.


"Did Amadeo twist your arm and force you to go to the pond?"


"No sir."  Angelo replied nervously.  


"Did he force the watch from your wrist?"


"No sir." he said quietly.


"Did he threaten you in any way or prevent you from leaving so that you could be back in time?"


"No sir."  He knew where this was heading and decided to end the game.  "It was my fault too, that we're late.  I'm sorry for not paying closer attention to the time and for worrying you all." he said with a sigh.


"So what do you propose we do about it, Angelo?  This isn't the first time you've wandered off, is it?"


Angelo looked at his father with a pleading expression.  "But Dae was with me this time, dad! I was safe, really!  It's not like the other times, honest!"


"Amadeo, I think it's time we went home. I'd like to talk to you about what happened today."  Johnny said firmly, giving his son a meaningful look as he stood and put his hand on the door knob.


"Yes sir."  Amadeo replied quietly.


Johnny Rossi looked over at his friends with a smile.  "Still on for tomorrow?"


"Wouldn't miss it."  Joshua replied, also standing, and placing a firm hand on his youngest son's neck.  "Camera da letto. Ora."
(Bedroom. Now.)


Angelo tried to smile as he gave a small wave goodbye to his friend.  He turned and went toward his bedroom with the air of a man walking up the gallows stairs.


Amadeo's stomach knotted.  "Mr. Di Marco, really, it was all my fault.  Please don't..."


"Amadeo," Joshua began gently, "It was my no means *all* your fault.  My son has a mind of his own, and he frequently decides to do things that he knows I don't approve of, whether it's something he chooses to do on his own, or whether it's something he allows himself to be lead into.  Either way he has to take responsibility for his actions.  Understand?"


"Yes sir."  Amadeo replied reluctantly.


"Let's get going, 'Deo.  Julia, Joshua, we'll see you tomorrow then."


Amadeo followed his father to the car, eyes downcast.  Once in the car he sat on his hands which were oddly cold considering the time of year.


Johnny paused before starting the car.  He gave his son a searching look.


Amadeo saw his father from the corner of his eye and then quickly trained his gaze on the frayed cuffs of his cut offs.


Mr. Rossi started the car and headed home.  He and his son were going to have a serious discussion that evening.


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