In Don't Look Back, Marshall's memories continue, of how he fell in love with Lee. Read more of their story in this week's installment. Then see what the other Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!
Don't Look Back #45 (9.2)
Marshall’s education came to a complete standstill for five long years. Always on the run, moving from town to town, lover to lover, Rhonda never bothered to enroll Marshall in school. She never stayed in one place long enough for the local authorities to notice. Once he and Lee were reunited, there was never a question of putting him back into the public school system. They continued as they had before, with Lee homeschooling Marshall. There was no library in Burnham, so they had to go to Tucker Falls for some of the books they needed. Others they purchased at a chain book store there. Lee made sure Marshall studied every subject, from history to math to science, English and Spanish. When Marshall expressed an interested in learning about computers, they found books on programming, and Marshall devoured them, revealing a natural talent for the subject. Lee encouraged him to write his own programs, and was very proud of him.
Besides the things that could be learned from books, Lee didn’t neglect Marshall’s physical education. He took Marshall hunting and fishing. They went on long walks, and sometimes went to nearby state parks and hiked. Marshall loved the time he spent with Lee. Just him and Lee and Mother Nature. He’d never been so happy.
Thanks to Lee’s loving attention, Marshall grew even taller, and began to fill out. His shoulders were broader, his chest more defined, and his legs longer. He let his hair grow until it reached past his shoulders, and he liked the way it looked. He took more interest in the clothes he wore, although sometimes his idea of what he should wear clashed with Lee’s. Sometimes Lee would argue with him, other times he’d not say a word and Marshall would feel triumphant and smug, wearing his hard-won purchase proudly. Usually, after a few days of strutting about in his new clothes, he discovered that they weren’t really as cool as he’d thought they were in the store, and he’d sheepishly admit as much to Lee. Lee would laugh, produce the receipts, and they’d return them for something else.
Life was good. Marshall wasn’t looking over his shoulder quite so much anymore. The more time passed, the more easily he could breathe. Rhonda had no way of finding them, and he suspected she didn’t care enough to try. He’d been nothing but a pain in her ass. She was better off without him.
Roy was a constant in their lives, and sometimes joined them when they went hunting and fishing. He was a frequent visitor in their home, and was very highly regarded by the residents of Burnham. Marshall knew Roy’d only moved there because of him and Lee, and he loved Roy for that.
By the time he was fifteen, Marshall’s feelings for Lee hadn’t changed. If anything, they’d only grown stronger, and he was finding it harder and harder to hide how he felt. Sometimes, at random moments, he’d look up at Lee and find him looking at him, and he’d swear he saw something in Lee’s expression. Something that made him think maybe his feelings weren’t one-sided. But when he looked again, whatever he’d seen was gone, and Lee’s face revealed nothing. Marshall decided he was imagining things. Wishful thinking on his part.
Marshall had a computer of his own. Lee had built it just for him. They shared Lee’s work space, sitting on opposite sides of the room. Marshall studied, while Lee worked. Marshall had taken to the Internet like a duck to water, and it didn’t take him long to discover the vast amounts of porn that was available, although he kept a watchful eye on Lee whenever he accessed it, which was a little tricky, but he managed. He had definite ideas of what it was he wanted Lee to do to him, and with him, and he found himself spending more and more time in the bathroom.
One day a brilliant idea hit him. It seemed so obvious he wondered why it had never occurred to him before. If he wanted Lee, he needed to show him how he felt about him. Did he expect the man to be a mind reader? He would show Lee just what he had to offer, and he would watch him closely, to see if Lee felt the same way. His heart beat faster just thinking about being held by Lee, being kissed by him… being loved by him, in the way one man loved another.
Although they slept together, they no longer showered together. A few months after Marshall’s return, Lee had told him that Marshall should have his privacy. Marshall had accepted that explanation at the time. But looking back, now, Marshall had to wonder if there was more to it than that.
He began to go out of his way to be naked in front of Lee, without seeming to do it deliberately. Lee never said anything, but Marshall occasionally caught him biting at his lower lip, as if he was holding something in. Could it be? Could Lee want him too? Then why didn’t he say something, do something? Wouldn’t that make sense? If you want something, you went after it.
Well, Marshall wanted Lee something fierce.
Then one day, Marshall saw the proof with his own eyes. He’d practically done a strip-tease in front of Lee, before heading to the shower before bed, when his glance was drawn downward, and he saw a big bulge in Lee’s jeans. His heart rejoiced at the sight.
That night, his heart thumping as they lay in bed together, he rolled over and looked into Lee’s beautiful eyes. Without warning, he closed the space between them and claimed Lee’s lips in a kiss. For a brief moment, Lee kissed him back, with passion, before he drew back and whispered, “No.”
“Why not?” Marshall countered. “I love you, Lee. I want to be with you.”
“Because we can’t…”
Marshall’s heart plummeted.
to be continued
Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!