"Well now, Mr. Morris, what are we gonna do, with your folks out at the river this weekend?" Carlos asked Zack with a glimmer in his eye. Carlos was a foreign exchange student from Spain, one year older than Zack, more than an inch taller and broader, with black crew cut hair and shining mischievous black eyes. He'd been staying with Zack for about a month, just a short way into the school year.

It had taken Zack a little while to adjust to Carlos - he was pretty aggressive and Zack's charm and wiles didn't faze Carlos at all in his conquest of Zack for rule. The thing that Zack hated the most is when Carlos would get him down or trapped in a corner and then start poking his ribs - of course he'd giggle and squirm, but then Carlos would put his in a chock hold and really go to work on his rib cage. Zack's face would be beat red and he'd be gasping for air, all the while Carlos would get a satisfied smile on his face and keep prodding until Zack collapsed. That was torture! Normally when he was in an impossible fix, he'd yell or whine to try to get out of it, but no-can-do if there's no air. Another thing was that his dad was not sympathetic at all, and two or three times had volunteered to hold Zack down while Carlos "taught him a little lesson" by pummeling his stomach and then grabbing both his sides and screwing his thumbs up toward Zack's armpits. Both of em were asking "What are you gonna do, Zacky?" and it went on forever.

Zack's charms did work on Carlos, though, and the two became better and better friends. Now when they jostled each other in the hallway, Zack could grin or laugh for a moment and say "c'mon, don't start this stuff" with even chances of being let go.

Carlos had made friends with some of the older guys, and he invited Zack to catch a ride home with them later. When he met up with them in the parking lot, Zack was feeling kind of boisterous and started boxing around with Ramiro, one of Carlos' friends he knew. He didn't really know Billy or Trent that well, they were the oldest, and Billy was rather mean, but it was his car they were going in.

So, Zack and Ramiro box around for a few minutes and then Ramiro fakes and Zack fall right onto the hood of Billy's red hot-rod. Zack leaps up only a moment before Billy is right there to move him off the hood, with a scowl, and they pile in the car to go. Zack's pretty embarrassed and from the hump in the back seat between Carlos and Ramiro, he leans forward and apologizes to Billy. Billy looks redly into Zack's blue eyes in the mirror as they turn onto the long, straight road to Zack and Carlos's, then to Zack's hand, offered over the seat. Billy grins slyly and says "gimme your arm then" and Zack dutifully reaches forward.

Before he even knew it, his right arm was twisted completely around in it socket and Billy wasn't letting up. The guys guffawed at Zack's predicament for a few minutes while Billy grumbled that he would teach Zack not to mess around. Zack's arm was really starting to hurt, but he'd die of embarrassment before he'd cry or beg in this crowd. Being sensitive to his situation and wanting to rescue Zack from real pain, Carlos flashed a grin at Ramiro and said "hey, I know. Let's tickle him! That's worse than anything and Zack is really super ticklish. Here, watch" Carlos said as he retrieved Zack's arm to Ramiro's firm grasp and started to simultaneously poke Zack right under his right ribcage and massage that spot in the crook of Zack's neck, while Ramiro grasped Zack's left kneecap and they all rolled with Zack's laughter as he tried to scream "no no ha heeeioeee!"

Zack didn't know whether to be grateful to Carlos or not several long minutes later when Billy pulled into their driveway. Zack was really glad to be escaping, still nursing his hurt arm, and brandished a dark look at Carlos when he invited the guys into the rec room to "horse around" for awhile.

As they got out of the car, though, Billy looked very carefully at the hood of his car, ominously. Zack went straight into the bathroom downstairs, having to go pretty bad after all that laughing and jiggling in the car. As he came out of the wash room, the rec room was quiet, with the guys standing or lounging against the furniture in a circular sort of way.

Trent, wearing a sly grin with his tousled red hair and strong V torso, stepped toward Zack, who stepped back practically into Ramiro's arms, which wrapped around him and Trent said "so" slowly and pushed a little more, his fingers starting to play on Zack's stomach through his oxford shirt. Zack tried to hide the waves of butterflies Trent was giving him with a grimace, trying to sputter his miraculous "C'mon guys, spl hee..." as Ramiro hooked Zack's left arm over his shoulder and propelled his over near Carlos, who was waiting with fingers poised to dance a rhythm on Zack. He tried in vain to pull back, but Carlos and Ramiro each grabbed the front of his now-untucked oxford tail and tugged him back with a muted squeal and some buttons popping while Trent edged in behind Zack, who was laughing out loud and trying to get down to the floor to avoid the onslaught.

Through this, Billy had been watching Zack, glowering a little, and as Zack slipped to temporary safety on the carpeted floor, Billy ambled over and now Zack was surrounded by four older, stronger boys who thought Zack needed some torment, with out any rescue in sight.

Motioning toward the wide low cushioned bench in front of the sofa, Billy ambled that he'd like to ask Zack some questions to see if he we was fit to live. Billy still looked angry, but Zack knew from his delivery, and the snickers of the guys, that he was a toy on a rope now, as they hauled him up roughly onto his back on the bench and slipped his oxford sleeves off. "For your own safety, pal" chimed Carlos.

Zack's arms were pinioned above his head, one held by Trent and the other by Carlos, and the ceiling fan overhead wafted the musk from under his arms, not offensive, dusky, while Zack nervously sputtered for a way to reason with and charm Billy, who settled down alongside of him and cracked his knuckles slowly, now with Ramiro holding his legs.

Zack hushed and bit his lip lightly as Billy's large rough hands landed on the flanks of his sides and began to touch in between his ribs, slowly. Billy spoke after a few moments, as Zack tried to squirm imperceptibly, "Gee, Zack, you'll be fine if you can just answer a few simple questions for me." His eyes were like hypnotists, and Zack could not look away from the possessing demonic brown orbs, as he felt Billy's hands starting to draw circles around the smooth patch of skin right beneath his underarm. Zack sucked in his breath sharply as Billy's pressure increased, then lightened and traveled down toward his midriff, still tan, and taught with slight indentations at the side of his stomach walls.

With insidious punctuation (on Zack's tender ribs) Billy casually asked "How many coats of polish does it take to make my car shine, Zack?" Who was laughing staccato now and started to shake his head "what, you don't know?" as Billy stepped up to that deadly smooth patch and started drilling like a worm gun, his fingers twirling in Zack's dark blond underarm hair, fingers stroking, probing, wiggling. Zack was laughing very hard now, his eyes screwed up and not making much sound at all, still self conscious and not wanting the guys to hear him screech like a sissy. "I guess I'll give a you little while to think about it." He now started to play a game of chase on Zack's stomach with one of Ramiro's hands, the two moved wildly over his bucking expanse of muscle, but all the while Billy's eyes locked on Zack's.

Sensing he needed a break, Carlos suggested smartly that Ramiro should pull off Zack's loafers AND socks, and then as an afterthought added to tie Zack's ankles to the legs of the bench with his socks, if they stretched out. Ramiro found himself engrossed with Zack's feet, which smelled fresh and felt very very soft to his nimble fingers as they played along his soles, sending Zack into fresh hysterics.

Unmoved, Billy leaned back over Zack again, and with a glimmer of a smile, said "hey, I'll help you out. I'll tell you how many coats of polish my babe takes, you just have to keep count, allright?" Zack was both giggling and gulping air and knew that this offer was not really going to help him, but Billy placed a hand on each side/rib, with his thumbs reaching in toward the center of his belly, and started to rub and squeeze in some impossible way that made Zack emit a high pitched howl and then break out with laughter, hoping to get an arm free to save himself, Billy went on for a full minute with no let up, nodding "I think we have agreement here, don't we?" While Zack tried to breath as much as he could with Ramiro much more gently tickling his feet with Billy's pause.

"See," Billy said with relish now, "I'm going to tell you coats of polish with looong steady strokes like this (as he tested Zack's lower right ribcage) but we don't want it to be too easy for you, now do we?" Billy cackled "Well, do we?" he went on insanely, using just his forefinger and thumb to scamper back and forth along that line between Zack's navel and jeans. The guys were all really enjoying themselves, as both Carlos and Trent would explore Zack with their free hands, and using very different types of touch which only further sensitized poor Zack.

Trent was much lighter and more teasing, while Carlos was absolutely vigorous, goose-biting and digging deep into Zack's muscles for the heartiest gales of laughter.

So after a moment of rest, maybe two minutes, Billy locked eyes with Zack again and asked him if he was ready for the test yet. Zack just blushed a little redder, as Billy continued "aw that's all right, we can just keep goofin' around with ya for awhile if you like?" prompting Zack to nod yes with a gasp. "allright, then, you count these strokes (three of four delivered with emphasis got Zack started all over again, just as beautifully) while trying not to get confused while Carlos does this (stroking hungrily into Zack's left underarm, scratching, poking) and while Ramiro does this (an electric toothbrush had materialized, much much to Zach's dismay) and Trent does this (kneading softly but persistently along the right side of Zack's ribs and belly). With all three of them at work, Billy just watched Zack laugh his head off for at least five minutes, his captors allowing him momentary breaths but no breaks, when finally, with a flourish, Billy commands Zack that Zack hasn't even asked to his start his count yet, and when did he want to start?"

Fearing the worst, Zack was trying to nod vigorously for Billy to begin his additional torture, but he was laughing so hard (& going hoarse) that he really wasn't able to tell exactly when Billy delivered some of his "polish strokes" so of course, when they quieted Zack down later and asked him "how many coats?" he responsively laughed at the question, trying to curl up into a ball. With wild instincts, Carlos lunged, saying, "oh, pretty blond boy thinks we're funny now , eh?"

It was quite a weekend.