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I looked up as Pal walked through the door. I smiled at Angel, but stayed back as he whispered something to Pal. The two said their goodbyes before Angel walked down the steps. He disappeared into his jeep and drove off.
“How’d the date go?”
“Fine,” Pal said.
I could see something in Pal’s face. The absence of color, aside from the red on his nose and cheeks, led me to believe otherwise.
“Was he mean to you?” I growled, ready to go for the door. “I swear, Pal, I’ll give that ass a piece of my mind if he did. I…”
“I… Can I talk to you?”
I followed Pal down the hall, into his room. I closed the door behind me. Pal paced the room for several moments before he sat down.
“I showed him the stitches,” he said.
“Why?” I asked, more surprised than anything.
“Because I lied to him when I said I couldn’t swim.”
“Oh.” I sat down. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s not something to be sorry about. We both agreed to be more open with each other. That started out with me showing him my stitches.”
I set a hand on his leg and looked into his eyes, trying to absorb his bad feeling. I knew it wouldn’t work, but I liked to think looking into someone else’s eyes could help relieve them of their pain.
“Dean, I want to ask you something.”
“I’m here. Whatever you need, Pal, I’m here.”
Pal closed his eyes.
“Me and Angel might be going steady.”
I jumped on the bed, bringing him into a hug that he didn’t expect. I pulled away as soon as I remembered he had stitches.
“You didn’t hurt me,” Pal laughed.
I started to rise, but Pal stopped me.
“Yeah?” I asked. “Something else you wanted to ask?”
“Y-Yeah.” Pal took another deep breath. “What about, uh, I…”
His blush brought the subject in clear context.
“You mean sex?”
Pal’s cheeks turned redder than I had first seen them.
“What you want to know about it?” I asked.
“You don’t have to sound like that. It makes me feel guilty about asking.”
“There’s nothing to be guilty about. You ask, I’ll tell.”
“You did it again!”
I laughed and gently punched his shoulder.
“Hear thee, young sir, for I am here to give thou wisdom on the sins of the flesh.”
“Don’t go all religious on me,” Pal smiled. “Please?”
“I won’t. Besides, me and Brad don’t even go to church.”
Pal smiled, but it soon faded as the seriousness of the conversation came back.
“Did you and Brad have sex when you guys hooked up? I mean, how soon was it?” He stopped. His eyes went wide. “Shit!” His eyes went wide again. “Oops! Sorry.”
“It’s ok. About the swearing, I mean. Your question is too.” I leaned back and closed my eyes. “Would you believe me if I told you I waited until I was eighteen until we had sex?”
“You were sleeping with him before you were eighteen?”
“Not sexually. I spent the night at his apartment every once in a while over the two years until I was eighteen, but that was it.”
“What if Angel… what if he wants sex?”
“Then he’s not the kind of guy for you,” I said, pulling my knees to my chest. “If a guy wants you for sex, you get rid of him. God knows that a horndog like that might’ve had it somewhere where it shouldn’t have been.”
“What if we both wanted it?”
“You’re not telling me you want to sleep with him after the second date, are you?”
“No!” Pal shouted, then lowered his head. “Sorry.”
“It’s ok. I didn’t mean it as a rude question.”
“I don’t want to sleep with him, not right now. I mean, we just met, you know? I think we should wait until we know each other a little more before we sleep with each other.”
“At least until the stitches come out,” I winked. “It won’t be much fun if you’ve got stitches and he’s doing you hard.”
“Sorry. You’ve probably heard it all before.”
“You mean the sex, or you and Brad doing it?”
Pal turned crimson and crawled out of bed, going for the door. I laughed and blocked him from leaving.
“Dean, please; I don’t feel good anymore. I think I need a shower.”
“You mean you feel dirty?”
“Uh, yeah.” Pal rubbed the back of his neck. “I shouldn’t have asked you. Maybe I should try asking Brad.”
“He’s worse than I am,” I grinned. “Sit back down, bud.”
Pal did as asked.
“I will, however, you use condoms if you decide to have sex early.”
“I know that,” Pal said. “Did you and Brad?”
“I had a test done before I moved out of my aunt’s and Brad showed me his paper. So, no, we didn’t, but we were both clean.”
Pal bowed his head again. I wrapped an arm around his shoulder, hoping to make up for the embarrassment I had just caused.
“You’re growing up, just like Brad said,” I said, squeezing his arm. “It’s ok to ask questions, Pal. I wish I was able to ask my dad questions like you’re asking me, but he was a homophobic, alcoholic prick.”
“It’s ok. Don’t be sorry; you didn’t do anything.”
Pal spread himself out on the bed, closing his eyes.
“I think I’m going to get some sleep. Thanks for talking, Dean.”
I brushed his short bangs out of his eyes before leaving his room.
It reassured me to no end that I had given him the advice he had asked for.