Chapter One: Notebook
"Oh that's just great" Sunny Strifer groaned as his mother told him that she had accidentally chucked away his favourite notebook, which pages were filled with poems and secrets of his everyday life. He'd left it on the coffee table where newspapers and magazines had been dumped on top of it until his mother has collected them up and dumped them in the bin over a week ago. Now the notebook was long gone and he'd never see it again. He hung his head sadly with a pout while his mother just patted his head and said softly, "I'm sorry darling. I guess you'll have to re-write them in a new one…you wrote them all in draft first remember?" he blinked up at her blankly for a moment and then realised what she had just said as she gave him a small knowing smile.
"I totally forgot, you're a genius!" he kissed her cheek and then scrambled up the stairs to his bedroom, skidding across the laminated floor in his pink patterned socks and coming to a halt next to his closet which he yanked open and rummaged through, sending shoes and old notebooks flying across the room behind him.
He then jumped up and ran over to his desk to get out the drawers and searched them until he had the copies clutched in his small hands. "I found them!" he called, smiling as he let his drawer drop to the floor and hurried over to grab an unused notebook to write them in. He had dozens of notebooks full of poems, lyrics and some were used as journals. He found writing always helped him deal with what life had thrown his way, especially poetry.
A few lines later he stopped his careful copying as he mother called from the bottom of the stairs, "Talking of rubbish being thrown away, can you take it outside please? They collect tomorrow!" Sunny sighed but did not argue, instead he hurried down dressed in his slightly too short denim shorts and white t-shirt with a pink happy face on the front that was ripped round the middle to expose his smooth flat stomach. He felt no shame in dressing in a way that would tell all the world what his sexual preferences were, and the only people he sometimes saw outside of school were his tormentors, who made his life hell whether they knew that he was gay or not. Having shoulder-length blonde hair, big blue eyes with long dark lashes and a name like his had attracted bullies all his life.
Sunny grabbed the bags and carried them outside to dump in the bins, and as he turned around away from them he spotted a tall dark haired man dressed all in black walk out of the house opposite. His hair was ruffled, big and spiky, his skin pale, his jacket flapping open to reveal a shirtless torso, toned and looking delicious so Sunny found his mouth watering. INew neighbour? Lucky me/I he thought, fighting back a blush as lustful images popped into his brain.
The man walked through the gate and turned to close it, and it was when he turned back that he looked up and locked eyes with the blonde across the street watching him with sparkling eyes.
Sunny gasped when he realised he'd been staring and managed to stammer out, "Um, hi…I've never seen you around here before, are you visiting someone?" At first it seemed like the man wasn't going to answer, and Sunny was about to retreat, but then he did reply in a soft deep voice, "Kind of. Could you point me in the direction to the Art Museum? I know there's one near here somewhere" Sunny smiled and explained which way to go, happy he could help just so he could speak to the man. He blushed shyly when the man crossed over to stand on the other side of the gate leading to Sunny's front lawn. "Thank you so much, I hope to see you again soon" the man said, reaching out to slowly brush some stray strands of hair out of the teen's eyes, who looked away nervously and nodded, "Pop around anytime, what's your name?" he found himself leaning up against the gate as the man's hand lingered, leaning close enough to feel the heat coming off that broad chest. He found himself wondering how soft the stranger's pale skin was, wondering whether he'd ever get a chance to feel those muscles beneath his wandering hands.
"Riccardo…yours?" the man was leaning closer and closer but very slowly, and staring intensely into his eyes as if the teen was prey caught in his web ready to be devoured. "Sunny" the teen replied a little breathlessly, unable to look away from Riccardo's deep gaze. "What a beautiful name… Sunny" Riccardo whispered and took a deep breath, inhaling the boy's scent of coconut and lemon.
Just as suddenly as it had all started, the man pulled away with a sly smirk spread across his handsome face. "Thanks for the directions, see you soon" he said, the last part sounding more like a promise than a casual goodbye. "Uhh…yeah no problem, see you later" Sunny stuttered and then watched as the tall dark stranger began walking off down the road.
He quickly turned and ran back into the house with legs that felt weak and wobbly, and went straight to his bedroom to gaze out the window at the fading figure of Riccardo.
For the rest for the day he wrote new poems and added to his latest journal, listening to music as he did so until it was time to eat. After watching television shows with his mother for a while he went up to bed and lay in only his underwear atop the covers thinking about the mysterious-dripping-with-sex-appeal man living across from him. His hand drifted downwards and touched the hardening bulge beneath the soft material of his briefs, and he gasped softly at how sensitive he was at the touch. He bit his full bottom lip and glanced at the door, and then rubbed the tip of his hardness a little, biting back a moan and blushing furiously as he suddenly realised what he was doing.
He felt bad for doing such a thing, and he didn't really know how to do it right, as he had never masturbated before since he'd never really thought about sex all too much. It was only recently he'd been thinking about what it would be like to have a girlfriend and having no desire to have one left him wondering what having a boyfriend would be like instead. Now that kept his interest, so much so that he made up the perfect guy in his head, and just a few weeks later a man fitting that profile had moved in just across from him.
"I need to see him again" he whispered to himself in the dark as he dipped his hand inside his underwear to experiment, even as he felt dirty and wrong for doing so. He knew nearly all teens his age were having sex or had at least touched themselves, watching porn or looking at dirty pictures but he'd never understood the fascination until the moment he laid eyes on the sex-on-legs opposite his house.
The following morning, Sunny decided to sit at his window and see if Riccardo showed up outside at some point. For hours he sat there, sipping lemonade and munching on sweets, flipping through women's magazines he'd taken from his mother's 'throw out' pile downstairs to keep him from boredom during his day of borderline voyeurism. All he needed was a pair of binoculars and he could have seen through the windows of the dark house.
He was well aware how pathetic it was to be sitting waiting to just get a glimpse of his crush, but since he had no friends to spend his spare time with, it was a way to waste the day away. When Riccardo finally came out to stand on the grass with bare feet to read the newspaper that had been thrown there hours before, Sunny slowly crept away from the window and rushed downstairs, only slowing as he opened the front door, strolling out and trying to look casual as he retrieved the paper in his own yard.
Riccardo looked up and a slow, sexy smile upturned the corners of his sinful mouth, "Good afternoon!" he called, sounding like he was trying not to laugh. Sunny gave him his best smile and waved, "Hey Riccardo, how are you?"
The new neighbour gestured for him to come over, so Sunny shyly walked over and through the gate, feeling secretly ecstatic that he'd gotten passed that gate as if it were the first barrier to overcome, as it really had been the day before as it had stopped him from getting any closer to the man. "I'm good thanks Sunny, you?" Sunny's knees went weak at hearing that smooth seductive voice say his name. "I'm great thank you, did you find the museum?" he replied quietly as his shyness overcame him.
"Yeah, thanks to you I found it just fine" Sunny beamed and ran a hand through his hair, suddenly feeling flirtatious as Riccardo studied him from head to toe with a slightly predatory smile ghosting his face. "That's good, so you like art?" he asked and tilted his head, silky hair falling away to reveal a soft-skinned neck. Riccardo's eyes flickered to that revealed patch of tempting skin, his gaze lingering there with a look of hunger before he glanced back up to look into Sunny's eyes. "Yes I love it, have you been to that museum often?" he replied absently.
"Oh no, I've never been, it's only recently opened and I haven't had the chance to go yet" Sunny replied, sounding a little sad. "Well I only managed to see a bit of it yesterday, would you like to join me today?" Riccardo asked as he tossed the paper back onto the grass. Sunny grinned and nodded, "That'd be so great, what time?" he resisted the urge to jump and down with joy at the thought of spending time with his current obsession. "Well we can go now if you like, I just need to put my boots on" Riccardo suggested, knowing the museum was probably only open for a few more hours and he wanted to make sure they got to look at everything.
"Um…I should probably go change first" Sunny mumbled, looking down at his torn faded jeans and scuffed converse shoes. "No way, you look fine. Come on, would you prefer to go on my motorbike? It'll be fun" Riccardo asked with a grin, that widened when Sunny replied, "Motorbike huh? I've always wanted to have a go on one of those".
Riccardo nodded and got some keys out of his pocket to open the garage door, "I'm just going to let my mum know I'm going out" Sunny said, feeling a little embarrassed to have to do so when his new crush was older and didn't have to tell anyone.
"Sure, I'll just get my boots on and get the bike ready while you do that" Riccardo said, not seeming phased by the fact Sunny had to go tell his mother of his whereabouts, which made the teen fall for him all the more.
Sunny soon returned after quickly running over to his house, and informing his mother who had looked all too knowing as she saw how happy her son was, and had agreed instantly to him going out, relieved that he was finally spending time away from the house.
Riccardo handed him a black shiny helmet, "Hold on tight OK? You can either hold my waist or there's a bar on the back" he then put on his own helmet and swung his leg over the bike. Sunny tried not to grin as he slipped on the borrowed helmet and climbed on behind his new friend, wrapping his arms around the man's waist. "Like this?" he asked nervously. "Yeah, if you want me to slow down just tap my shoulder alright?" Riccardo shouted over the roar of the engine as he started it.
Sighing in content, Sunny enjoyed the thrill of the ride and the chance of holding onto his crush so closely, while it lasted. They parked near to the museum and Sunny took off his helmet with another sigh, "That was so cool" he murmured. He opened his eyes to see Riccardo watching him with a small smile as he brushed his delicate fingers through his hair. "Sorry, um, I'm ready to go in" he said, flushing with embarrassment.
"That's OK, come on" Riccardo gave him that sexy grin again, and began walking towards the large building. Sunny hurried after him, feeling like an idiot. The first section they came to was Impressionism and in each section they passed through they lingered for quite a while, "Wow" Sunny gasped as he gazed at a large painting that was dark and hauntingly beautiful. "Amazing right?" Riccardo whispered in his ear from behind, making Sunny shiver and go bright red, enjoying the closeness. "Finished?" Riccardo asked with a knowing grin as he moved to stand beside him. "Oh yeah, I am yeah" Sunny stammered, and so they carried on into the next section with Sunny trying his best not to drool the entire time.