When life gives you lemons . . . suck it

Joshua paused for a moment in the hallway. The house was dark – Carter's mom went to bed early. He debated locking himself in the bathroom, but at the last second he darted into the game room two doors down from Carter's bedroom. He felt tears course down his cheeks as he locked the door behind him, heard Carter's footsteps in the hall.

"Joshua!" Carter banged on the door.

"Go away, Carter, I don't associate with bigots." Joshua spat with all the venom he could muster, trying not to make it obvious that he was crying.

Joshua backed away from the door, leaning against the pool table. He brushed stinging tears from his eyes, frustrated with the flood of his emotion.

He was so ashamed of his obsession with MCatthews stories – with Carter's stories. Stories of unlikely love, stories of love that was engulfing, consuming, stories of mind-blowing sex complimented by perfect affection . . . and they were all lies. They were all lures – traps for abandoned little fag-boys – and he had fallen for it.

Joshua could almost see Carter typing the words he had wallowed in – jacked off to – waited on with bated breath. How could he not have seen it? In some ways – the phrases used, the motivations of the characters – he could see Carter. How could he have been so stupid? He knew better than to believe in fairytales.

Joshua slammed a fist onto the pool table. He knew better!

"Joshua, Joshua. Joshua," Carter spoke his name like a mantra. "Joshi, please, listen to me . . ."

"Go away, Carter!" Joshua's voice scraped like nails on a chalkboard.

"Joshi . . ."

Joshua caught his breath. Was Carter crying too?

"Joshi, it's not what you think. I would never – I never thought you were reading . . ."

Joshua closed his eyes, not daring to hope that he was wrong about Carter.

"Please, Joshua . . ." Carter's voice broke with an undeniable sob. "I never . . . Joshi . . ."

Joshua bit his lip, walking slowly to stand by the door.

"Joshua, it was . . . I couldn't be . . . Joshua." Carter gave a shuddering gasp. "Joshua, Joshua. Joshi . . . I love you, Joshua."

Joshua felt his knees go out. He slumped against the door. He pressed his palm against the door, almost as if he could feel Carter through the wooden barrier.

His lips formed words, but he couldn't say them aloud. Say it again, Carter. Please, let it be true.

Joshua sucked in a breath as Carter's voice drifted through the door again. "Joshua, I love you. I've always loved you."

Joshua barely noticed that his tears had dried up. He was entranced by the sound of Carter's voice flowing around him, into him.

"I . . . I can't believe you were reading my stuff and you never – that you couldn't see they were all you. You and me . . . I can't . . ." Carter's voice changed and Joshua recognized his next words from one of MCatthew's first stories – a description of a character. ""Skin like pale porcelain, warm, brown eyes sparkling with flecks of gold. And feathering chocolate hair sweeping into those coffee-colored eyes, glancing up, smiling, full of unintentional sensuality." Joshua . . . Cameron, David, Elliot, Ryan, Hyrum, Miles, Porthos . . . They – they're all you. I – I tried to write someone else – I tried so hard to stop writing you – to stop writing us . . ."

"Why?" Joshua couldn't stop the question from sliding off his tongue. He didn't know if Carter had even heard – if he wanted Carter to hear.

"Joshua . . . please let me in. Please talk to me . . ."

Joshua chewed his lower lip. He wanted to believe Carter. Of course he wanted to believe him - he had fantasized about Carter since he was twelve.

Suddenly decisive, Joshua stood and unlocked the door, yanking it open. Carter fell backward as the door opened. He looked up at Joshua in surprise.

Joshua felt a lump form in his throat as he looked at Carter's tear-streaked face. It reminded him of the only other time he had seen Carter cry – when Carter had told him why his dad didn't live with them. And those tears had been angry and frustrated. He'd never seen Carter look so vulnerable. All the things he had wanted to say disappeared. Joshua turned and walked back into the game room.

"Joshua?" Carter scrambled to his feet and followed Joshua into the room, not bothering to fully close the door behind him. "Joshi, I -"

"Stop talking." Joshua's voice was rough from crying. He perched on the edge of the pool table, feeling like a child as his feet swung above the floor. He couldn't look at Carter. "If you were – if you're gay, why didn't you ever tell me?"

Carter stood at the corner of the pool table, absently picking at the edge of the green felt lining. He gave a nervous sort of laugh, it sounded strangled. "I'm not gay."

Joshua felt his anger flare up again. "Then what was all that –"I love . . ."" his voice wavered. "All that love crap?"

Carter kept his eyes on his fingers, anxiously stripping away bits of the felt. "I'm not gay. I'm . . . It's only you. I'm . . ." he laughed again, it sounded forced and painful. "I'm Joshua-sexual, I guess . . ."

Joshua stared at Carter, unsure what to say.

Carter glanced up. "I . . . how was I supposed to tell you? You – I . . . Do you remember Preacher Teller?"

Joshua frowned. "That bigot who used to teach at First Church?"

"Yeah. Do you remember when we used to go to church there? Your family sat right behind me and my mom."

Joshua's voice became terse. He remembered too well. "Yeah."

Carter swallowed. His voice was soft. "I was going to tell you I loved you. It was a couple months after we'd moved in and I finally thought I was brave enough to tell you. And then we were sitting there in church . . . and Preacher Teller said those who lie with man as with women would burn."

"You didn't tell me because you're afraid of hell?"

"No. But when he said that . . . You know how the congregation said "amen" when they agreed? My mom -" Carter's voice hitched. "When he said that, my mom didn't just say "amen", she said "Praise the Lord!" and then she reached over and grabbed my hand and she . . . She smiled at me."

A tiny tear fell from the corner of Carter's eye. Joshua felt a stabbing pain in his stomach – Carter never cried. It looked wrong on him. Carter, the protector. Carter, the cooler-than-thou straight guy . . . it looked so wrong.

"I couldn't be gay – I can't be gay. I can't love you, but I do." Carter looked Joshua in the eye. "When I saw you and Tony on my bed with that candy cane . . . when I saw you on my bed . . . I wanted to kill him. And then you told him to kiss you . . . and you didn't wait for him – you kissed him and I . . . Jeez, I just wanted to die. But I couldn't stop watching . . . It was like I was seeing one of my own stories . . . but it wasn't me you were kissing."

Carter bit his lip and looked away. "I wrote what I did because I was trying to purge myself of you – I slept with half the girls in the school trying to forget about you. I thought I could be happy for you and Tony, but when I think about him touching you, I . . . I want to rip his head off. I tried so hard to let you go." His voice was a whisper; his fingers clenched into white-knuckled fists. "But I can't . . ."

Joshua saw his fingers move as though they belonged to someone else – saw them close the distance between him and Carter, saw them unclench his best friend's hand and gently twine with Carter's long fingers. Joshua smiled slightly when Carter's eyes met his. "I always knew you were gay."

Carter playfully shoved him, smiling weakly. "I'm not gay, I told you."

"Come sit by me," Joshua tugged on Carter's hand. He wasn't sure it was wise to bring Carter into such close proximity, but he couldn't help it.

Carter hopped up onto the table, swinging his legs as Joshua had, albeit with his feet much closer to the floor – just as they had when they were little. Holding hands, sitting side-by-side was just like when they were twelve and thirteen.

"I was so scared to like you when you first moved in, Carter." Joshua hadn't planned to tell Carter anything, but when he started talking, he couldn't stop. "I was so scared that you would hurt me – or I would hurt you. I used to have nightmares about you calling me faggot. Sometimes I had them every night." He cleared his throat nervously. "I never told you this, Carter, but before you moved in I . . . I hurt someone really badly. And I, um, I lost everyone who cared about me except my family,"

Carter's thumb traced a circle on Joshua hand as his voice caught.

"You were my only friend – the only person who cared about me." Joshua glanced at Carter apprehensively. "I guess that's why I was afraid to tell you I . . . I liked you too - liked you like that, I mean. Back then . . . and I guess I've never told you that I loved – love you too . . . I didn't want to lose you."

Carter looked at Joshua, his finger slowing its restless movement. His gaze lowered, dark lashes obscuring his somber blue eyes.

Joshua could hear his own breathing. He couldn't take his eyes off of Carter's mouth – sensuously curved, blushing pink lips, almost-straight-but-not-quite white teeth.

Then Carter was leaning towards him – his soft lips brushing Joshua's. And he couldn't kiss Carter, he couldn't, but he was . . . and it felt so good.

Joshua jerked away from Carter. "We can't. Your mom -"

"Is sleeping downstairs with Prince Valium." Carter reached for Joshua, but the smaller boy dodged.

"Tony -"

Carter cradled the back of Joshua's head in his hands. "Is sound asleep. Please, Joshi . . ."

And then his mouth was crushing against Joshua's, his tongue flickering into Joshua's mouth. Joshua gasped for air. It felt so good.

Carter's hands were firm at the base of Joshua's skull, keeping them close together. Joshua clung to Carter's shirt, dying to feel Carter pressed against him. As though reading his thoughts, Carter pulled back slightly, pressing Joshua backwards onto the table.

Joshua wriggled backward until his head touched the rim of the pool table, his legs tilted upward by the opposite edge. He was watching Carter, his breathing shallow. Carter's gaze was smoldering – it made Joshua shiver with desire.

Carter slid off the table, hoisted himself back onto the surface to kneel over Joshua, straddling him. Carter grasped Joshua's wrists forcing them over his head before leaning down to reclaim Joshua's mouth.

Carter held Joshua's wrists with one hand, using the other to trace Joshua's chest – circling his erect nipples through the fabric of his shirt.

Joshua moaned into Carter's mouth.

Carter released Joshua's lips, hovering above him, breathing heavy. Joshua couldn't keep his eyes off of Carter's sensually swollen lips. Carter's hand traveled lower on Joshua's chest. "Can I . . ." he licked his lips. "Can I touch you?"

Joshua could only nod and then he could feel Carter's fingers tracing the outline of his erection through his jeans. He hardly noticed when Carter let go of his wrists to devote the attention of both his hands to Joshua's body.

Carter dragged the hem of Joshua's shirt up, pulling it over his head roughly. He left it tangled on his arms as he brushed his fingers over Joshua's nipples. Carter trailed his fingers down, letting his nails scratch Joshua's sides gently.

Carter quickly undid Joshua's jeans, reaching into the denim confines to explore the shape of his cock.

Joshua mewled, bucking his hips against Carter's fingers.

Carter jumped slightly and then smiled evilly. He rubbed Joshua through the light fabric of his boxers, running his thumb over the clothed head of Joshua's dick, drawing a whimper from the smaller boy. Carter leaned up to press his mouth to Joshua's again, tentatively reaching beneath Joshua's waistband.

Joshua gasped when Carter's fingertips ghosted over his cock, grabbing Carter's shoulders in a vice-like grip. Carter tugged off Joshua's jeans and boxers quickly, dropping them to the floor.

Carter delved into Joshua's mouth with his tongue, trailed kisses down Joshua's neck, to his chest. "Scoot up,"

Joshua inched upward over the rim of the pool table. His back arched as Carter's kisses moved constantly downward. Carter tugged on Joshua's nipple with his teeth, sending a shudder through the younger boy's body.

Carter traveled over Joshua's chest, licking and nipping at his stomach. Joshua moved up, the edge of the table digging into his back, begging Carter with his body to move lower, incoherent moans winding from his mouth. Carter nuzzled Joshua's hip, lapping at his skin.

When Carter's mouth lowered onto Joshua's cock, the smaller boy arched sharply, losing his grip on Carter.

Joshua fell backward, the edge of the table cutting into his back. Carter grabbed Joshua, wrapping him in his arms, pulling him back onto the table.

"Oh. My. Gosh." Carter was shaking as he held Joshua close to his chest, their limbs a tangled mess.

"That was . . . close . . . and scary." Joshua gasped.

"Maybe we should get off the pool table."


Carter let go of Joshua, slowly climbing off the pool table. Carter held out his arms and lifted Joshua like a child. Carter lowered Joshua onto the long, plush couch before tugging of his shirt.

Joshua reached up and tugged on Carter's waistband. "Take your jeans off – wanna see your dick."

Carter grinned and undid his jeans, letting them fall to the floor. His cock sprang free, fully erect and Joshua groaned, brushing his fingers down Carter's thigh. "Come here."

Carter knelt on the couch, his cock hanging over Joshua's face. Joshua reached up and drew Carter's member down, into his mouth.

Carter moaned softly as Joshua's tongue flickered around the head of his dick. Joshua let Carter's cock out of his mouth, trailing saliva. His breathing was heavy. "Lay down by me – suck me too."

Joshua thought fleetingly that it was lucky Carter had a long dick, because otherwise their height difference would have made 69ing impossible and then he couldn't concentrate anymore.

Though Carter's skill was nothing compared to Tony's, Joshua found himself gasping as Carter's tongue writhed against his cock. Carter gently touched Joshua's balls gently, stroked his thighs.

Joshua hummed contentedly around the dick in his mouth as Carter's fingers caressed him, Carter's mouth engulfed him.

Joshua whimpered as Carter let his dick slide out of the warm cavern of his mouth. Joshua couldn't tell what Carter was doing, but a few moments later he felt the heat surrounding him again and he relaxed.

He jumped as he felt Carter's fingers trail between his butt cheeks, searching for his hole. The thought of having Carter inside him made him moan in anticipation. When two of Carter's fingers pressed inside him, Joshua came, feeling his cock twitch inside Carter's mouth in response to the movement of the digits inside him.

Joshua increased the suction on Carter's dick, sliding his tongue up the slit to taste the pre-cum flowing from it. Carter tasted so different from Tony – like salt instead of spices. Earthy instead of exotic.

Joshua felt guilt churn inside his body even as he worked Carter's dick with his mouth and hands. How could he be doing this to Tony?

And when Carter came, Joshua let the warm semen drip from his mouth. He couldn't force himself to swallow it.

A/N – This chapter was so hard to write – I couldn't stop laughing at my boys' teenager-ness. I mean, how much more high school can it get than: "You don't understand me!" "I hate you!" "I love you!" "I've secretly loved you too!" "Let's make out on a pool table!" "Sweet!"

I hope it's readable . . . I guess I did warn you (maybe I shoulda warned myself . . . hmm).

On a slightly less high school note – I love you guys! I think the last chapter got more love than any other so far (can't say for sure because that would involve counting and I'm lazy).

TimeOfYourLife – Well, no more fighting . . . how that affects Joshua/Tony has yet to be determined :)

Fang – I think your amusement has rubbed off on me. I can't stop laughing at my boys. Poor, poor boys *laughs*

AlphaBeatKayGee – What are you confused on? I'm hoping things are getting clearer . . . if not more mature LOL

Chronically Creative – Well, no real true buttfecking yet, but some fun anyway :)

Night's-Freedom – Well I'm glad you like.

Jade Blacksoul – I'm glad you were actually surprised, I thought I was being too obvious LOL