For Your Eyes Only
by Eliot Moore


Chapter 8 (December 2006 and February 2007)

Pino did not come over on Sunday. I suppose his was grounded in some minor way for wandering down town without permission. I thought about that as I spent the time relocating books. Pino was thirteen and change. I had been travelling down to Wallace Books since I was nine I’m sure; visiting dad, playing with the computers and helping in the store. The old building was an extension of my home and the closure of a business on the street was like an old friend moving away. Wallace Books was eight blocks from my home and I knew the path well. Pino’s folks didn’t see it that way.

My brothers descended on the house midweek and because they had to be back in Fort McMurray for Christmas we celebrated early. Paul had a brand new GMC Sierra. I watched from the porch as Peter sat behind the wheel listening to Paul rave about his new toy. The truck was sweet and I could imagine the hamster turning the wheel in Peter’s head. He was a journeyman carpenter. There was work for him in the Tar Sands. I knew why he didn’t follow his younger brothers. The reasons were Emma standing beside me and dad leaning on the truck. Peter would fix the house and renovate the store. Emma had her own way of keeping Peter preoccupied in St. George. Jasmine connected again. Her tour was ending soon and everyone was excited about her coming home. I made an effort to talk with her. Our conversation was brief and stumbled along. She asked me if I had received her gift, I hadn’t but I thanked her anyway. I had this overwhelming impulse to ask her how Wasim was. I giggled at the thought and she asked me what I had found so funny. I couldn’t say. Somehow the laughter helped and we talked more warmly after that. I opened her present later. It was a Lungee, an Afghani man’s traditional turban. Emma helped me figure out how to roll it around my head. I studied the affect in a mirror and imagined wearing it with Pino; just it. I needed to learn how to wrap it more tightly. It slipped off my head as I was masturbating into the sink with that on my mind.

We did the drama in January. Definitely the worst time to stage it, but I was not the only replacement in the cast. By closing night I’m sure our director was anxious to see the back of us all. I didn’t much like the play. It was old fashioned and the plot was silly. I liked acting and it was okay that Justin and Nate didn’t come. Mom had to work but managed to catch the technical rehearsal. Emma made Peter and dad come closing night. Pino came to watch both nights. He came back stage the first night and quietly told me I could do better. I noticed him in the front row and I think he threw me off. The second night Jessica told me Glyn and I were on fire together. I was disappointed Pino had missed it. I told him so when he came over one afternoon. He smiled and told me I had been wonderful. He had been there it seemed; only he did not want to fluster me. We were beginning to distract each other at that point.

The new semester started and Glyn and I shifted classes. I was glad to find him in my new social studies class. We sat together as before and at the first mention of a project Glyn grinned at me. Nate was in that class too. He and I were not that tight, so I was surprised that my friendship with Glyn put his nose slightly out of joint. I think Justin liked Glyn. Frankly, at by that point it would have stupefied me to meet anybody who did not naturally gravitate to Glyn’s charms. The ninth grade social studies course was an incomprehensible study of culture that I had to drag myself to at 8:45 am. Glyn kept me awake with his enthusiasm.

The first day of class stands out in my mind. Glyn and Anthony Hawkins traded quips about the Conservative Thatcher government’s policy on oil royalties. Anthony beamed at Glyn when our teacher prompted a change in topic. He recognized a fellow traveller in Glyn. He may also have experienced a glimmer of hope that a newcomer such as Glyn would not reject him out of hand. “Ant” Hawkins was compact. While his Sunnyside neighbours were slamming into us in the park Ant could be found gossiping with the girls on the park benches. He feigned interest in shopping with them. Ant invariably dressed in regulation male, but it came across as something of a costume. Everything was a bit too clean and while the rest of us struggled to keep our clothes fitted to our eccentrically shaped adolescent bodies, Ant’s wardrobe fit a bit too well. The girls treated him as something of a mascot. I suppose I dismissed Anthony like the rest. His little comet circled Jessica Prefontaine and Jessica Dilsner’s binary. When I first attached myself to Jessica with my rather erratic orbit, Anthony timidly tried to approach me. I responded to his hesitant greeting with a blank stare and something inarticulate. I imagine that would have been enough to discourage Anthony, but I was also flanked by the indifferent stares of my friends.

Nate was brooding in the seat behind me. He tried to smother Anthony’s hopeful spark. “The fairy is boning for you Fleming.” The boy wilted and buried his head in his binder. The comment had been loud enough to reach Anthony where he had been twisted in his seat. So was Glyn’s reply.

Glyn turned on Nate with an unexpected fury. “Fuck off you dick.” Glyn’s vehemence surprised me and I stared at him with interest. He glanced at me once and then slumped into his seat with an air of defeat.

“Fuck you too Fleming,” Nate muttered back. I told Nate to drop it and he poked me in the shoulder with his pencil. That earned me a glance from Glyn before he withdrew some place I couldn’t follow. As the class went on I watched Anthony Hawkins slowly shake the moment off. The lesson drifted by me, but Anthony sat raptly attentive. He offered an eager opinion, and when Glyn again disagreed with him he countered brightly. He was a resilient kid. He never turned to look at Glyn again that period.

Over the next week I watched Anthony cautiously shift closer to where Glyn and I sat along the windows. Even though there was no seating plan, people are creatures of habit. By the third day most people have staked their territory. Anthony bravely turfed one person after another. Their verbal fencing continued daily. Finally he nerved himself to sit in the seat in front of Glyn. I think he would have liked to try for the seat behind Glyn, but that seat was hotly contested by a number of the girls. Gavin Okanee’s heavy bulk was usually established in the seat before Glyn. Anthony was planted in the seat apparently absorbed in the textbook when Glyn and I arrived. Glyn was turned back toward the girl behind him when Gavin loomed over Anthony. “Get the fuck out of my desk.” Anthony quailed under Gavin Okanee’s glare. I watched to see what Anthony would do. Gavin nudged the small boy and Anthony sat frozen to the chair.

“Hey Gavin,” he shifted his attention to me, “It’s Tony’s desk okay?”

Gavin mulled that over for a moment then rolled his eyes at me, “Whatever Simon.” He shifted over and sat in front of me. I punched his shoulder to show my appreciation then I sat back tapping my pencil against the edge of my desk. I thought about Anthony as he fussed about with his supplies.

Glyn was staring at me with a smile on his face. I stopped tapping, “What?” He just shook his head and smiled at his books. I shrugged my shoulders and went back to tapping until the teacher walked down the row and told me to stop.

Later Glyn poked Anthony on the shoulder. Anthony rotated quickly and when Glyn asked to borrow a pencil Anthony almost fell apart finding a fresh pencil in his book bag. He froze with it in his hand and Glyn had to pull it gently from his fingers. Anthony seemed determined to avoid looking at Glyn unless Glyn tapped his shoulder. At the end of that period Glyn was able to draw a whispered farewell from the bashful boy.

“Thanks,” Glyn remarked as we watched Anthony make his way down the hallway. He walked with a dancer’s grace, shifting quickly around larger boys when he could, quickly recovering his balance when he collided with some adolescent mountain. I turned to Glyn confused by his gratitude. He nudged me and we started walking toward our second period classes. I waved at Justin when he called out from where he stood with a group of the guys from our neighbourhood and answered one companion’s question before moving on. Glyn continued, “What you did for Tony; you have weight around here, you know?”

I had to laugh at that ridiculousness. “What school are you going to?”

“Same one you are going to Si. Guys like Tony need guys like you to stand up for them. Can you imagine being him, feeling so alone in his skin, being different?”



“Oh,” I thought about Anthony. “He’s different Glyn, but I don’t think he’s gay.” I could see that pretty clearly. Anthony probably hung around the girls desperately wishing they would see past the shortness, slender frame and too neat clothes to the horny man-child within. Anthony probably burned with rage that people thought he was gay. It was hard being different, I knew. You could understand his attraction to Glyn well enough without imagining he was gay. Glyn was a prince.

“Would it matter to you if he was?”

“Why should it?” I responded guardedly. Not for the first time, I wondered what Glyn would think of my game with Pino.

Anthony was in my computer lab that afternoon. They only squeezed one in each week but it was a nice way to end the day. He was sitting primly as close to the teacher’s station as he could manage. On an impulse I shifted to the station next to him. “Hey Tony,” I tossed off before running through the log in. The unexpected greeting earned me a quick look. I reflected that the boy needed to learn to slouch and hang out with the guys. He sat like a girl. I failed to log in the first time. I ran through it a second time and hit return before swinging around to acknowledge a friendly jab. We run through a typing tutor at the beginning of class so things are laid back in the lab. I think our teacher was checking her email.

I still wasn’t into the system. I re-entered my username a second time being careful to avoid troublesome extra spaces. When my login failed a third time I put my hands behind my head to think. “What’s wrong?” Anthony’s voice was a soft whisper.

“My password isn’t working.”

“I always pick something I won’t forget. If you pick something complicated it’s easy to get confused.”

“Shut up,” I murmured abstractly. I scratched my head in frustration before attempting the six letter password a fourth time. When it failed a fourth time I was stumped. Everyone else was busy and our teacher had started circulating around the room. Anthony had returned to his keyboard. I noticed his cheeks were flushed and he was biting his lower lip. “Sorry Tony, I didn’t mean it to sound that way. I do use a simple password and I haven’t changed it since October.”

Anthony noticed the teacher drifting ominously closer and hid his email before summoning the courage for another comment. “Mrs. Burke will reset your password for you.” He virtuously began rattling away at the keyboard lesson the program presented to him.

“Well sure, but how did my password get changed in the first place?”

“Did you share it with someone? Is it something simple someone could guess?”

“No I never… oh fuck me senseless,” I trailed off in a whisper. I bit my lip and wiped the palms of my hands on my pants. My fingers paused over the keys a moment and I tried pino. That failed and I realized the name was too short. Pino004 worked and I was logged onto the network, “Yes!” I crowed. Anthony’s eyes slid toward me and then returned to his screen. I followed Anthony’s example and opened the typing tutor and then my student email. I scanned the list of messages for Pino’s latest note. When it popped open I found a red framed Bond poster with a tuxedoed Roger Moore, gun in hand staring intently at me, For Your Eyes Only was printed across the bottom in white letters. I rattled a quick reply, Wasim is my friend, be at my house, Friday at 7:00, and then sent it.

Pino had guessed my password. I felt lightheaded at the thought. I changed my password back to James, savouring the name as I typed it. My face began to burn. I wondered what Pino thought of my choice. It was impossible to concentrate on my other messages. Mrs. Burke wandered past, praised Anthony’s effort and warned me to get back to typing. I dutifully returned to the program, my thoughts on Pino and my plans for our next game. Glyn’s words came back to me: you have weight around here. It never seemed that way to me. I’d lived in the neighbourhood all my life, just as my mom and dad had. Our family seemed to know everyone and when you’ve played shinny with a guy like Gavin Okanee since third grade it was easy to get him to step off. Alone in your own skin, I knew that feeling too well. I always felt a bit lost and alone. I never completely exposed myself to anyone; except maybe Pino. I logged off and slowly typed in Pino’s username. I am not sure why it seemed so important to me to know. His account opened with Simon. I laughed out loud and that caught Mrs. Burke’s attention. I suppressed my excitement and touched the screen as if my hand might reach up the hill and through my neighbourhood, leap across the snow choked gully dividing us and find its way to Pino’s school where he might now be sitting in some computer lab touching his screen. It was a small thing between friends I suppose, using our names for passwords. I just didn’t feel so alone in my skin when I thought of Pino.

Pino and I had seen a good deal of each other in the seven weeks since we stood shivering together on the Canadian Transcontinental Railway track. Dad started to grumble when I skipped meals to chat with Pino online. He started meeting Glyn and me at my house after school. I went over to Glyn and Pino’s place too. Sometimes Pino brought his friend Robert or Kyle, the chubby boy I had seen in his kitchen. There were games to be played and when I learned Robert and Kyle played hockey, we played pick up down at the rink. Mostly we were with others, but when Pino and I could, we would slip off into our private world where Pino was the clever spy and I his fanatic nemesis. We became students of Afghanistan politics and current events so we could spar. Aasir’s file grew in Pino’s study desk and I began one of my own. Jasmine filled in local colour when she began responding to my emails.

Too often, the game was a hurried collaboration staged in our bedrooms. They were always fuelled by a persistent series of thefts perpetrated on my room or person by Pino. They always ended with Pino’s capitulation. Perhaps 004 was foiling Aasir’s latest bomb plot at 15 Wing, St. George or Aasir was infiltrating a Canadian base in Kandahar. It hardly mattered. After a fierce exchange of rhetoric and a prolonged wrestling match that left us perspiring and hard, I would subdue 004 with Wasim is my friend. We could not always wait to be alone. One time while Glyn and Justin were playing Halo in my bedroom, Pino stepped into the bathroom and I followed. I whispered in his ear, pressed him against my body with a wandering hand while the other hosed the toilet bowl with his stream. The gurgle of the tank was louder than Pino’s high pitched wheezing or his soft cry when his organism reached its flood. He wouldn’t allow me to go back to the bedroom hard. He cut me off with a hand to my mouth before I could tell him Wasim is gone. My pants fell to the floor. My legs trembled, Pino’s soft member planted wet kisses on my hip as my erection glided through his fist. I’m not as quiet as Pino. I soaked his shirt as I pressed my lips into his shoulder to stifle my cries, the heady freshness of Pino strong in my nostrils. I forgot to send Wasim away that day. Pino pointed it out a few days later as he explored my erection, his own satiated penis rubbing against my tensed scrotum. But that was all so hurried and furtive.

I lived for the prolonged matches; Pino and I with time on our hands and the privacy to use it. Wallace Books was our only refuge. Dad became accustomed to Pino’s visits and Pino lent a hand with the increased custom of our coffee bar. Dad told me privately that Pino probably deserved some money for his efforts. I joked that I would work something out with him. After dad closed up the silken nylon cords came out. Then it was candle wax and ice, a butter knife stiletto threatening Pino’s manhood, and whatever else my imagination let loose. It was the anticipation of my ejaculation soiling his virgin flesh and for Pino, the long torment of withheld release until his flesh screamed and his strength gave out and he confessed whatever trivial secret we had fabricated for the moment.

January was a particularly brutal month, so we caged rides home in the evenings. Each time we waited in the window for our parents the memory of my lips on is penis rose between us, unresolved like the room that lay hidden behind my bedroom bookcase. I climbed the stairs from time to time trying to decide if the unforgiving climate of Assiniboia was warm enough, or if Pino and I were hardy enough to go there together. Even on the edge of fifteen, the room was pregnant with meaning for me. Like Wallace Books it was a place of possibility. The tattered layers of wallpaper begged to be stripped away. The raw wound where the plaster had been flayed away exposing the dry ribs of lath needed a healing coat. It needed the tattered venetian blinds ripped free so the bright sunlight could guild our bodies as we played the game. Sometimes as I lingered in the room I had the impulse to pick up a hammer or crowbar and strip it all away; remake the room into a warm and inviting place. A place where friends might laze away an afternoon in privacy while the green summer leaves rustled in the trees.

One night, waiting for Pino’s father to pick us up in the January cold I nudged my friend and asked him for his name to fill the silence between us. Pino smiled at me, “Pino is good enough.”

“No it isn’t,” I replied frowning. I was tired of the name game. “That’s just a name Glyn gave you.”

“Well you better think of a different one then,” he responded lightly. He turned his bright eyes on me and I liked his smile very much. He would be persistent in this I realized. I mulled it over silently as we waited. I couldn’t think of a name that suited him better.

In the computer lab sitting next to Anthony I laughed a second time and Anthony studied me curiously. The February weather was numbing to the bone and unforgiving, but I didn’t care. It was time Pino found his way up to my secret room.

Glyn was private about his relationship with Brittany and he said little to satisfy my curiosity. At first I assumed he was reluctant to hurt my feelings. I realized as we became better friends that this was the innate discretion of his nature. If anything, Pino’s temperament was even more circumspect. I puzzled over Pino’s friendship with Robert and Pino offered no clues. Then too I had to wonder how much the brothers shared with each other. I found a confidence shared with one had to be repeated to the other. I repaid the brother’s tact in kind. The day after Anthony found his way into our lives Glyn opened up a little.

Jessica caught up to me on my way out for lunch. She was blowing me off for lunch and insisted I give her regrets to my mother. They had something of a mother-daughter relationship. Jessica stood higher in mom’s regard than Brittany had, and she was always welcome to join me for lunch. Jessica was a sprite compared to Jasmine; otherwise they were similar. At any rate she was a girl my mother could approve of. That made Glyn’s greeting words all the more ironic. “There is something a little indecent about you two groping each other.”

“Hey Glyn, we’re keeping it clean here.” I gave Jessica another parting peck on the lips. She greeted Glyn with a warm smile and bounced away to a basketball practice.

“I don’t care how clean you think that was. The two of you are twins and that makes it incest,” he quipped back.

“As if,” I protested. I turned back to watch her slim jean-clad rear gyrate down the hallway.

“I don’t know Si,” Justin interjected. “I mean you and Brittany were bad enough, but Jessica is a bit beyond freaky. Are you sure you are not a narcolept?”

“Narcissist,” Glyn volunteered helpfully.

“Yes that,” Justin narrowed his eyes at me. “Perhaps that explains the full length mirror in your bedroom.”

“You insisted I date her Justin,” I protested weakly, “and mom put that mirror there for Jasmine, honest.” They laughed at me.

I invited Glyn and Justin home for lunch. Justin begged off but Glyn accepted when I told him mom was home. She fed him well. Glyn waited until we were on our way back to the school before he returned to the subject of Jessica. “Jessica and Brittany are in my math class. I’m not sure Brittany likes her. I guess that must be why the four of us never hang out together.” I refrained from making a comment.

“It’s just a coincidence really.” Glyn shot me a quizzical look as we negotiated the slippery sidewalk back down the hill to school, “Their looking like me. I bone for all sorts. Megan Ludwar, do you know her?” Glyn shook his head, “Tenth grader?” He shrugged his shoulders so I let it pass. Megan Ludwar was different than Jessica. She was the kind of girl I thought I should like: a blond Valkierie with prominent breasts and wavy blond hair, sort of a female Glyn to Jessica’s Simon. The truth is I was more at ease with the slender Jessica. What we had was comfortable. Was that enough I wondered. Comfortable was not the word I would use to describe my relationship with Pino. “Anyway, Jessica and I get along pretty well.”

“She seems nice. I’m glad for you.” It was said quietly.

“Well I’m glad I have your approval,” I jogged Glyn’s shoulder so he would understand I took his interest kindly. He bumped me back. “And would I have Pino’s approval do you think?”

Glyn smiled back. “That is between you and him I think.” He walked on a few more paces before adding, “I know she has the look Pino is after.”

“Oh? How do you figure that?” To my knowledge Pino had not met Jessica.

“Jessica is hot and you know it. I like her looks too.” I shot him a look and groaned loudly. “I didn’t mean it like that Si. Pino and I just sort of have the same tastes you see.”

“So who’s the girl that’s got Pino dizzy in his mind?” I dismissed the girl I had briefly seen in his kitchen, she was the wrong type.

“He’s been a dizzy boy, but that’s between you and Pino too.” After that comment Glyn abruptly switched the conversation to the February break two weeks away.

Friday night Dad kept me busy at the store until after six. I had to phone Pino and tell him I would be an hour late. The weather had warmed up slightly and that meant the attic room would be more hospitable. As I walked the familiar blocks I closed in on an older couple walking hand in hand. I didn’t recognize them. They might have gone to Central or Mother Teresa. They moved in step, shoulders touching. When the broad sidewalk narrowed on a strip a shovel width wide, the boy gave up the path to his girlfriend and tried to negotiate the snow banks. He gave up the effort and fell in behind her. She turned back on him each time he poked at her back. The path widened again and stopped to snake her arms around his back. They drew close for a kiss. I stopped and watched them from a distance.

The kiss seemed… passionate. I had been curious when I noticed their need to be in constant contact with each other. I had seen that sort of thing often enough from my brothers. I had wondered what it would be like to feel that way. At fourteen, I thought it bold to kiss Jessica in the school hallway, but I felt no magnetic pull toward her. Maybe that came with love.

The girl noticed me watching and stared at me for a moment over her friend’s shoulder. She said something in his ear and they both laughed before continuing on up the path. My presence did not deter the pair from resuming their closeness. I guess nothing mattered to them but each other. I followed in their footsteps a little farther thinking of Jessica and then on an impulse I ploughed through resisting drifts that hemmed me onto the well trodden path. I ran across the rutted road, leaped a bank of snow and ran on up the hill toward my house. My heart pumped from the exertion and exhilaration. Pino was coming.

Mom had left for work and dad was still at the store. The house was empty. I checked the street once more for Pino and then ran up the stairs to see if the space heater I had started in the third floor room had warmed it sufficiently. I noticed Pino’s coat on my bed. The key to the back door lay on top. Pino had found his own way to my secret room. He had moved the concealing bookshelf back into place. I pulled it back and bound up the stairs three treads at a time.

Pino was sitting in the Adirondack Chair beside the old steamer trunk and lamp. My book was in his lap. The happy greeting I had ready died on my lips when I saw his face. For the moment there was only the surge of blood from my final dash and a strange light headedness when a smile played across Pino’s lips. His smile died abruptly.

“I got here before you. Your mom let me in before she left.” He sat there looking uncertain. “I had to see it just in case you changed your mind.”

“I had some plans. I was going to bring you up blindfolded.” He nodded at that. I gestured for him to stand up. I stepped around the 2X4 frame on the floor as he set the book aside and rose to his feet, “A little torture on the stairs; probably some tickling.” He swayed a little when I ran my fingers over his ribs and sides, but he listened silently. He was only wearing a t-shirt so I pulled it up over his head and brought it back down past his shoulders so the fabric pinned his arms behind his back at the elbows. “Aasir was going to beat on you. Get rid of some of his rage at the way you killed Wasim’s family.”

“They were hiding Taliban terrorists. They wouldn’t leave when we came.”

“I know,” The tragedies of war; I cupped a hand to the side of his face and punched his cheek and jaw in a gentle slow motion. His head gave way each time, pressing into the hand I held against his cheek. I back handed him across the mouth in slow motion. The wetness of his lips slid across the back of my hand. “Wasim still hates you though.”

I punched his bare stomach in slow motion with both hands. He let his head fall on my shoulder close against my neck as I beat a rhythm that seemed to match my heart. Our feet began to shuffle and we danced in a circle; Pino’s head pressed against me and my knuckles kissing the heat of his body. Finally I stopped and pressed one palm against his heart. I was amazed to feel the strength of his pulse as we continued to shuffle. He gave a short laugh and I echoed it. Our eyes met when he lifted his head and we shared an understanding. I had no wish to hurt him and he had no interest in that sort of pain.

“So once 004 had been softened up a little I planned to tie him up.”

“The rack?” Pino pointed with his chin to the arrangement I had made on the floor. “No, over here,” I grabbed him by the front of his pants and led him over to the corner where the ceiling had given way.

He let me tie his arms together and then tossed the end of the rope over a joist. I stood behind him so I could avoid touching his groin as I slid his pants free. You see boys in a change room. Their many different forms fascinated me. Pino’s full butt cheeks were inches from my face as I pulled his pants away from his feet. I wanted to touch the back of his legs, but Pino’s early arrival had left me unprepared. I knew I was supposed to wait until we began the game. “So there you are. I will leave you there a moment while I prepare myself.”

“Not too long Si.”

“I have something to show you.” Having Pino in the attic room was unsettling me. I paused at the top of the stairs for a last look at his stripling form stretched up to the joist. His eyes mirrored the anticipation I was feeling in my chest and groin.

I had protested that the full length mirror was my mother’s idea. The truth was I often stood and studied myself. It probably didn’t help me. I would worry about my lack of muscles or worry that the contour of the muscles I had were derisory. I kept my hair short because my brother’s shaggy hair never looked quite right. It troubled me that my nose was broken. People always looked at it. I thought my eyebrows wrong. Pino was much better looking and it was obvious why Brittany preferred Glyn. With Pino’s face and proportions I was sure he could get anyone he liked. I worried all this as I stripped and put on a pair of sweat pants. They hung loosely about my waist threatening to slip free. My penis was poking out obscenely. I tried to tame its enthusiasm with a jock strap. I carefully wrapped the Lungee around my head and surveyed the affect. It would have to do. No amount of eating could induce the flesh to fill out as my brother’s bodies had at my age. There was no time for some magic transformation. Pino was waiting.

I was startled by the sound of bare feet pounding down the stairs. I spun around just as Pino tumbled through the doorway naked. He came up short when he saw me and blinked. “Si, how cool is that? Sort of studly, where did that come from?” He fidgeted in the doorway.

“Jasmine sent it to me. She knows I’m interested in Afghanistan,” I replied vaguely. “Sorry I was taking so long; it’s hard to wrap it.”

Pino bit his lip, “I have to go to the can.” He gave me a self-conscious grimace. “I won’t be long.” He dashed past me, penis waving hello as he passed me but there was not one errant jiggle in his pale bum.

“Do you want some help?” He slid to a stop in the doorway and turned back.

“Not this time Si…” Then he skipped away. I turned back to the mirror while I waited for him. I thought about Pino’s comment. Did I look okay in the Lungee? Pino’s bright enthusiasm, his grace and strength drew me on, but I could hear the murmured warnings that I was about to make a huge mistake. The mirror failed to give me reassurance so I turned away and sat on the bed. Time passed and I flopped back feeling foolish.

“Well that was embarrassing.” I lifted my head to find Pino standing at my feet. “Did I kill the game?” He looked at me with such wide open innocence. He raised his arms unselfconsciously, linked his fingers behind his neck and then swivelled his slim hips.

“Shit happens,” I had to smile. I sat up and he stopped his nervous movement. My hand wanted to touch his hip. It had its way and I allowed it to rest briefly along his flesh. “Are we still on?”

“Yep,” he frowned slightly, “I’m sorry I’m spoiling it for you.”

I just shook my head. He stood there naked before me, a willing partner in a game more exciting than anything I had done before. “Need a hand?”

“No, I can handle it. Just give me a minute.” He turned and almost skipped back to the stairs. I watched him go and suddenly I couldn’t stand it anymore. I stripped my belt off my pants and chased after him. I caught him half way up the stairs and grabbed him around the waist and he went to his knees.

“Enough of this 004,” In a few quick moves I had his arms tied behind his back. My groin was mashed against one butt cheek. It seemed worth chancing a comment to Pino. “This arrangement seems strangely familiar. What does it remind me of? Ah yes, Wasim.”

“Just as I suspected Aasir, your dark side has been revealed once more.” He squirmed against me and my patience reached its limit, “Poor Wasim, better you should use a soldier like me than some poor boy.” That left a small pause between us. I ended it by tugging him back to his feet and leading him back to the ropes dangling from the rafter. I went to the old trunk where I had stashed a few game props and returned with a long scarf. “A blindfold, I can take whatever you can imagine. You can’t frighten me with a blindfold, forget the blindfold.” I hesitated. I really wanted him blindfolded for what I had in mind. He would let me blindfold him if I wanted, but there was something in his eyes that made me stop. I steeled myself and gave up on the blindfold.

I knelt down before him. His penis was soft. As soon as I touched him he began to stretch out toward me. I couldn’t meet Pino’s eyes. Our game had been so light hearted up to this point and I was afraid I might spoil it. Without warning I sucked the swelling sausage into my mouth and used my tongue to play around its surface. He continued to grow. He forced his way deep and I gagged unexpectedly and pulled off of his length. I stared at his penis as it swayed before my face. I was not ready for his reaction. Brittany had offered oral sex to me. Each time she did I wondered what it was like to taste a penis. Since I had briefly kissed Pino’s organ I had strange dreams where I could contort my body and nibble on myself. They seemed so real and when I woke I would lie a while, a disappointment welling up in me. I took Pino’s curved shaft and guided it back to my mouth.

I was sensitive to his reactions. I scraped his flesh with my teeth and he pulled away from me. My lips froze around the ridge of his crown unwilling to release him. He slowly pushed himself back on my mouth. Adolescent male aroma mingled with the familiar scent of my own bathroom soap. Pino had remained silent but I could hear his deep breathing after a time. His hips began thrusting at me. Two fingers wrapped around the base of his shaft protected the back of my throat as his movements became more insistent.

“I’m going to cum Si,” Pino trembled out. “Oh God damn Si, you better get off me.” His warm thigh against the back of my hand shivered and tensed. He pulled back suddenly so I grabbed a solid cheek with my free hand and pulled his hips back toward me. I shook my head vigorously. Pino slipped a hand free and rested it on my shoulder. He swayed a bit as he used the other hand to support his quivering body. “No,” and then I tasted Pino and felt Pino’s force pulse against my fingers and tired jaw. His aroma was sharp and heavy in my nose. He lost strength in my mouth so I reluctantly allowed him to slip free. Pino’s hand touched the side of my face. He caressed my hair once and then his hand sought the loop above his head.

I turned around before I stood. I paced back to the Adirondack chair trying to connect my actions to the game we were playing. Pino’s flavour lingered on my tongue and in the back of my throat. “I will break you down in many ways.” I offered tentatively, my back to him. “Your Nintendo numbed mind will be as easy to use as your body.”

“That was…” there was wonder in his voice. I twisted around. Even though it had been me on my knees, me sucking a boy’s cock, it was Pino’s face that had turned bright red. I had been so worried about his reaction. My own uncertainty was mirrored in his eyes. The colour drained from my face as I imagined his thoughts. I knew I had gone too far again. I had embarrassed him the first time when my roughness made him ejaculate. Now he had been pushed into this intimacy. He was searching my face earnestly for something but it seemed to elude him.

“Too much, are you okay?” I almost said too gay. The thought screamed in my head. Words stumbled from my lips as I sought safe ground, “We talked about it. I thought you might like to know what it was like. Lots of girls do it these days.” The sparkle growing in his eyes died like kindled flames extinguished by an incautious breath. “I guess it’s not such a big deal. I mean, only a skank would do it with a stranger. There are some girls like that. Justin knows some, but when it’s your girl friend you’ll see how it’s really done.”

“Shut up,” he cut me off. “I liked it Simon.” Pino blushed again. He was giving up information and that was not part of the game. James, I thought and a soft smiled flickered over my lips. I exhaled with relief. He looked so fine standing naked before me, one foot resting on the other, so at ease with his well-knit frame. His penis was shrivelled from the winter chill my jury rigged space heaters could not defeat. I could so easily have crossed the room and started once again. Pino thrilled me and I had to bite my lip to avoid blurting out something foolish. I finally met his eyes and his eyes sparkled assurance reassurance again. This was our very private game and we made the rules.

“It was very cool,” I admitted in my turn. “You felt like 005.” I wondered over to a window and toyed with the broken blinds. I hunted for a suitable way to tell Pino my need. “No matter, you are my prisoner. You are so much hot meat on the table to me. I use you as I see fit.” Hot meat slipped out. I coughed. At times the rules of the game made things harder for me. I tried to summon up some bravado to mask my desire. “You are not the first Canadian soldier to fall into my hands, like the others you will do everything I wish.”

“There have been others?” His voice was soft and his uncertain look drew me across the room to where he stood toying with the rope around his wrists.

“I didn’t mean it that way.” His arms were probably tired so I slipped the loops free and his arms dropped. Pino watched my face intently. “You are a special prisoner. I …” Pino still had an anxious look and words failed me, the game could not contain what needed to be said, “No Pino.” He nodded, and after that there was a silence.

”I think you have never met someone like me.”

“True,” I grinned, “I’m not sure I ever will.”

“I’m too well trained. You have no power over me. I would have to be drugged or hypnotized before you could make me suck your cock and I’m sure you couldn’t do it.”

“And if I could?”

“I suppose I would be on my knees right now at a word from you.” Pino blushed.

“I suppose so.”

“But what would Wasim say?”

I smiled at that. “Wasim is my friend.” Pino licked his lips. I was feeling weak as I anticipated what was unfolding. I took him by a hand and led him back to the chair. I had meant to sit in the chair, but Pino moved in front of me and dropped onto the edge of the seat facing me. I had meant to give him instructions. Instead I stood mutely while he tugged my sweat pants down. He paused at the sight of the jock strap and then drew that down too until it stretched across the middle of my thighs.

“You’re so long.” His fingers felt along the shaft and tickled my scrotum. I knew I wasn’t anything remarkable. It felt good anyway to hear him say it though. I brushed my palm against his short blond hair. Pino pressed and caressed my penis for a while. I felt vulnerable before him. My arousal was laid bare before him. I knew my penis jerked involuntarily in his hand and clear fluid hung like a dew drop on its tip. I longed to feel Pino’s lips and tongue on my flesh. Pino’s hand continued to tease me. The delay became exquisite in its agony and I promised I would repay Pino for it. Pino was staring at the crown, his long lashes flashing with each blink. His lower lip trembled a moment and he pressed his lips together to try and control it. I saw a tear trickle down his cheek.

My hand covered Pino’s where it wrapped tightly around my shaft. I stopped his movement. “It’s okay Pino. You don’t have to do it if you don’t want.” I felt stupid that I had pushed him to this. Why should he want to give me oral sex simply because I had wanted to taste him so much? He looked at me briefly with an expression I should have read with ease. The tears welling up in his eyes and I was sure he condemned my desire for him. “I’m sorry,” I whispered. He rolled his eyes with an exasperation I did not understand and turned his back on me. He slumped cross legged at my feet and propped his head on one arm. Pino took a ragged breath and swiped a hand across his eyes with an angry gesture. He shook his head slightly in irritation and stared at the ridiculous frame I had constructed in the middle of the room. I had upset him in some way and it left a sharp ache in my chest I did not understand. My penis still throbbed painfully between my legs. I felt humiliated at its blind need for his touch. The fire still burned through me and I might have wept that Pino did not feel it too.

“Don’t hate me please,” he commented absently. That left me speechless. I put a hand on his shoulder expecting him to shrug it off. When he didn’t, I dropped onto the floor behind him. My ridged member brushed against his back momentarily. Pino could not see me blush.

“I don’t Pino. Believe me I don’t”

“Does it come easily to you? I mean; shit how do I say this? You seem so comfortable doing this, and I feel like such a kid.” I rested on my heals, hand still on his shoulder. “I thought when I was finally here I might feel different. Things would be clearer.”

“My secret lair, something of a disappointment I’m sure.” It didn’t matter to me. I could imagine what the room might be when dad and Peter fixed it. It would never be my room, despite the architecture of my imagination. It was something economical for mom and dad to give to assorted strangers; part of their retirement plan. My dreams lay down town. I had easily dismissed the third floor room with its collapsed ceiling. It was an anonymous location without significance to me. Significance lay in Pino between my bent knees. I focussed briefly on the walls around me. The shabby uninviting room suddenly symbolized my desire for Pino: coarse and ugly. I desperately wished I could take the last half hour back.

“Brittany probably sucks Glyn’s cock right? I could see her doing that.” Pino shuddered unexpectedly and added in a disbelieving tone, “He said he loves her. He bought some condoms when we were at the mall. I suppose they are fucking. I shouldn’t have said that.”

I put my other hand on his shoulder and massaged Pino gently. “Yes I suppose they are.” My answer was brief. I knew we shouldn’t talk about Glyn.

“She did stuff with you too. Did you love her?”

“Not really, I liked her. I realized when she dumped me that she never really turned me on.”

“But you did stuff with her. How is that possible?”

I did not want to talk about Brittany with Pino. Pino felt good beneath my fingers. I rubbed my penis along his back wanting to keep my passion live, guilty that I was using his lithe athletic body as a tool. He reached behind his back and squeezed my erection, “Sorry.” His hand pulled my fingers off his shoulder and he pressed back against me. He guided my hand to his crotch and I realized he was still as hard as I was. “I shouldn’t have sucked your cock.”

“Shut up, I meant it. It was nice. It’s just I’m not ready to try it yet.” My heart fluttered and his warm felt a little more promising. I squeezed his shaft. “I’m sorry Si. I can’t explain right now.”

“Is that all 005?” I pulled his hands behind his back and nestled them against my crotch. I wrapped my arms around him loving the arrangement. “That’s no big deal.” I threw the word off casually, burying my disappointment. I wanted him to do this for me, but I couldn’t push him. Pino saw it differently than I did and I would have to be patient. His head was so close to my face. It was tempting to put my lips on the short hair covering his scalp. Pino was not ready for that sort of affection from me. He seemed uncertain about what we were doing. Letting him see how much he meant to me would be unfair.

The attic room was proving a disappointment. Instead of immersing ourselves in our private war, we had spent our time talking. Our masks kept slipping. My time with Pino was important; I didn’t want to lose this. “Si, you are squeezing me.” I realized I had one hand tight around Pino’s chest hugging him. The other hand was roaming around his body. I let go of him. Pino turned around and straddled my hips. He took my penis in hand and shot me a question with his eyes. I nodded silently and he began masturbating me. His erect penis stretched to his navel a few inches from my own. I looked at it for a minute as Pino expertly massaged me, then I closed my eyes and leaned back against the chair.

After I exploded, I opened my eyes. Pino had a wistful smile on his lips as he toyed with the jock strap. His hands were covered in my semen. “See, it’s messier this way,” I scolded him. He met my eyes. There was a plea for understanding or forgiveness in his look. He must have felt guilty. “You’re a strong man 005.” “Some things are worth waiting for Aasir.” He toyed with my spent penis unmindful of another glistening streak added to his hand. “Your people have been fighting the world and each other forever I think. Don’t you think it is time to stop fighting, be friends with us?”

“We Afghanis have our pride 005. Friends like you are always hanging around with guns explaining how fucked up we are. We are happy with who we are so let us be.”

“Are you?” he asked.

“Am I what?”

“Happy with who you are.”

“Mostly,” I was happy I could share this side of myself with Pino. The bone necklace shifted against his throat as he eyed me critically.

“Glyn says, fuck what other people think.”

“Glyn says?” I thought that belligerent remark uncharacteristic of the easy going Glyn. He seemed accepted by everyone. Glyn hardly needed to worry about the criticisms of his peers.

“He worries about me,” Pino replied cryptically. The conversation must have made him uncomfortable because we returned to the war between us. I remembered I was supposed to force the password to my account out of him. He let me slap him around a bit as we traded insults about each other’s cultures. His hands were free so he turned the tables on me with a few well placed blows. After that the foolish shadow boxing became an earnest wrestling match. Sweat reanimated the smears of my dried semen as our muscles strained together. We ended the match with Pino’s shoulders pressed into the stained carpeting and our groins sliding together.

“We always defeat you Westerners. Why do you keep coming?”

“Well your friends bombed us pretty bad, what were we supposed to do?”

“So the government says. Do you think most of us gave a flying fuck what was happening in New York and Washington? Do you still want to see my new toy 005? There is still time before anyone gets home.” The rack I had built lay neglected in the middle of the room. Pino looked over to it and nodded. When we had both struggled to our feet, I symbolically tied Pino’s hands behind his back. My hands brushed his round buttocks and he stepped in toward me until our groins brushed. I was heady with the scent of my own fresh spill and a light musk radiating off of Pino’s body. Pino grinned at me. It was a moment when I might have leaned forward and stolen a kiss from his lips. I imagined his arms wrapping around my waist pulling me close. Pino’s hard erection pressed into my stomach and the sensitive length of my penis nuzzled against its base like two lovers mingling. I grinned back at my friend knowing I wanted to kiss him.

Moments later Pino was spread-eagle six inches off the floor on an old wooden bed frame I had found wandering the back alleys. His ankles and wrists were tight but I added more rope at his shoulders and hips. When I was done Pino couldn’t move. It made me slightly sad. I touched his rampant erection lightly. I liked securing him. It was as if the act of tying Pino up made him mine. Wrestle a boy to the ground and pin him; feel his strength beat against your body, knowing for that moment you possessed him. I liked possessing James Fleming. I would have to untie him eventually and set him free. Free to find some girlfriend who would never understand how a self assured boy like Pino could crave moments when he was bound and helpless. Wasim is my friend, childish words to give us licence to explore ourselves in safety. Savouring the hard length of Pino’s body I searched for the simple words I could use to insure that I would always be able to possess Pino.

“Can I Pino?” I squeezed his erect penis wanting to taste it again; certain that his reluctance to reciprocate meant my own explorations were over.

“Please,” he whispered back. My mouth fell on him.

We were teenagers grasping at a precarious privacy on a Friday night. Manoeuvring around our watchful parents’ schedules, we furtively satisfied our mutual curiosity sporadically in a dingy basement and a bare attic bedroom. Closing in on fourteen and fifteen, time was always against us. I pushed away my disappointment in Pino’s reticence and took heart in his continued desire for my touch. I took what I could get. In the remaining minutes of our time together I learned to draw him to the edge and hold him there. I rested my inexperienced mouth from time to time and we traded quips about Wasim, civilian casualties and Afghan views on women. His passion ebbed and flowed like the tide until I couldn’t hold him back. Afterward, I lay draped across his body, reluctant to break contact with him.

My dad’s voice drifted up the stairs signalled the end to our game. I hastily untied Pino and he hovered at the top of the stairs while I scouted out the situation. I answered dad and as he was coming up the stairs I started tossing Pino’s clothes up to him. Dad poked his head through my door, “Everything good?”

“Yes, sure; Pino’s still hear. We were just hanging out.” I had a sudden panic as he stood watching me. Did I have a Pino-moustache on my upper lip? I wiped my mouth quickly. Dad ignored my naked torso and glanced at the open doorway. “I was just showing Pino the room upstairs.”

“We should get started on that soon.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Have you eaten?” I told him I hadn’t, and he promised to put something together for me. I waited patiently for him to leave and when he did Pino came down the stairs.

“I turned everything off,” he leaned against the jam. I asked him to help me pull the shelf back into place. “This is so cool Si.”

“No it isn’t. It’s stupid. Any normal family would hang a door.” He stopped tugging on the shelf and turned to me. My grumbled response troubled him.

“I’m sorry Si.”

“For what?” the game had been erratic, but Pino’s spirit still lingered in my mouth and I was content. I smiled despite the mournful cast of his features.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t, you know.”

I could have hugged him, but I simply gave him a quick rabbit punch to draw a smile to his lips. “Forget it kid.”

“I wanted to Simon,” his response was urgent and pleading.

“It’s okay Pino, believe me,” the smile faded from my lips, “You’re okay with it aren’t you? I mean me doing that?”

“Well yes,” Pino blushed, “The game right?”

“Sure, the game,” we were both smart enough to know his bondage and my desire were something more than a spy game, but our parents were not the only obstacles we were manoeuvring around at that point, “Next time?” I asked hopefully. He nodded with another blush.

“But what will Wasim say?” he teased.

“He’s busy.”

“Building road bombs in the cave no doubt, something big to flip an armoured car,” he added. I knew he had to leave. We dragged the moment out with inane remarks.

“Until the last of you have been driven from our mountains.”

Pino finally gathered his coat. I followed him down the stairs. He paused to greet my dad in the kitchen. Then I followed him out onto the side walk. I stood shivering without my coat. We froze looking at each other. I was struck by a sense that things were not finished between us. Pino may have felt the same way. He seemed reluctant to turn away.

“I suppose I should be careful on the way home.”

“Yes, my country is full of mines.” I punched him on the shoulder, it was all I dared. He punched me back and grinned.

“See you soon,” he finally blurted. “I’ll tell Glyn you said hi.”

“Yes, sure,” I shivered as he turned to walk away. At the end of the block Pino turned around. He waved when he saw me still watching him.

“Bye Si,” He waved once more.

“Bye Pino,” I should have said it then, but how was I to know it would be two months before we would be together again? I played the short hours we had spent together over in my mind during the long separation. I came back to the memory of his flesh and blocked out our conversation as best I could. It became a solace to me.


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