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Crossroads: Tales from the Heartland - 2. Tennis, Anyone?

“This is so cool,” my boyfriend, Lance, said as he snuggled against me. We were sitting together, naked, in my parents’ Jacuzzi. Although we weren’t wearing anything, there was nothing sexual about it… at least not yet. We were just enjoying being together and sharing the wonder of our newfound love. As much as I wanted to make love to Lance in every sense of the word, I didn’t want to rush things. Lance was two years younger than me and, at thirteen, I didn’t want to push him into things he was not yet ready for. At fifteen, it was up to me to put the brakes on the relationship - to show some maturity and protect my boyfriend, even if it was from my own sexual desires. Lance was special and I wanted a long-term relationship with him – one of those ‘forever’ ones.

Placing his hand on the inside of my thigh, Lance slowly rubbed back and forth, inching his way upward until his hand was touching my scrotum. He then started kneading my balls and then gently grabbed hold of my dick, looking up at me with his adoring eyes as he said, “I love you, Kev. I really, really want to feel this inside of me.” I was seriously tempted to take him up on his offer, but we’d barely done more than make out with each other so far. We hadn’t even jerked each other off, much less traded blow jobs. Going straight for a home run was not the way to start off a lasting relationship. Neither one of us was really ready for that and, as young as Lance was, I couldn’t help but feel that I would have been taking advantage of him.

So just as I had when he touched me the first time, I gently grabbed hold of his wrist and removed his hand from me, softly explaining, “Much as I appreciate the sentiment, and I absolutely love the feeling of you touching me, we’re not ready for that, my little Lancelot. We’re still getting to know each other. I love you too, but I want our love to last. If we do too much too soon, our love may go down in flames and I couldn’t bear that. I want us to be together forever and always.”

“I understand that, Kev,” Lance replied, “but I’m so horny I could pop a nut.”

Laughing, I responded, “I’m hornier than you could believe but we need to take it slow. I’m comfortable with what we’ve done so far… making out, jerking off together… maybe in a few months we can do some other things too, but we have a lot of growing together to do before we’re ready for more.”

“You just think I’m too young,” Lance protested.

“Well, yes, you’re two years younger than me, but you’re a hell of a lot more mature than any other thirteen-year-old I’ve ever met. Hell, you’re a lot more mature than I was at your age. This… what we’re doing… It just feels so right. We’re made for each other.”

“So how about some of that making out you were talking about?” Lance asked.

He didn’t need to ask twice. I slowly lowered my mouth to his and what started out as a few tentative pecks soon turned into an all-out lip-lock as our tongues explored each other’s mouth. I pulled my Lance tightly against me as both our hands freely explored each other, drinking in all the sensations that were coursing through our young bodies. I could clearly feel Lance’s hard member pressing into me as mine was into him, and I seriously worried that if we continued, we might both cum in the Jacuzzi, making it pretty obvious that I’d used it and in a very embarrassing way.

Still, there was something wicked about being naked with my boyfriend in my parents’ Jacuzzi in the dead of winter. I was powerless to stop what was happening as I felt myself building toward a climax, much as I sensed Lance was too. If I didn’t stop this now, it would soon be too late. Before I had the chance to break our lip-lock, however, I heard the booming voice of my father as he shouted, “WHAT THE FUCK?”

Finally managing to pull away from Lance, I shouted, “DAD! What are you doing home?” He should have still been at work for several hours. He never came home before seven or eight in the evening, if that, and Mom was even worse. They were both attorneys at one of the top law firms in Indianapolis. They worked very long hours and made a ton of money, and I mean a ton of money. I pretty much had the house to myself all afternoon and evening after school, so there was little point to worrying about getting caught - until now. Obviously I hadn’t heard Dad come in over the sound of the Jacuzzi.

“What I’m doing home is that I live here,” Dad answered. “We won a big case today and since it ended earlier than we expected, your mother and I decided to take the rest of the afternoon off and to go out for dinner and celebrate. We came home to change. The last thing I expected was to find our son… our faggot son, apparently… doing a little celebrating of his own. Your mother will be home any minute. She’s really going to love this.”

“Dad?” I asked, wondering what was going to happen next. His calling me a faggot certainly didn’t bode well.

Getting an evil look on his face, my father looked directly at Lance and shouted, “YOU! GET THE FUCK OUTTA THIS HOUSE. Get out NOW. I Don’t ever wanna see your face again. If you even so much as look at my son again, I’ll take my hunting rifle and I’ll KILL ya. Now GET OUT!”

Looking at me with worry in his eyes, Lance obviously was afraid for my life. Without saying a word, I could clearly read what he was saying with his eyes. He didn’t want to leave me. He was afraid for me. That was sooo like my little Lancelot - always thinking of others first before himself.

Attempting to smile at him, I responded by saying, “I’ll be all right, Lance. Everything will be OK. You just need to go now, please? Go now, and I’ll see you tomorrow at school. Everything’s gonna be fine. You’ll see.”

“I SAID GET OUT OF MY HOUSE NOW!” Dad shouted again.

Tentatively at first, Lance stood up and started to get out of the Jacuzzi. He reached for a towel to dry himself off, but Dad shouted at him, “I said NOW!” causing poor Lance to flinch and almost fall out of the Jacuzzi in the process. Terrified now, Lance gathered up his clothes from where he’d left them, strewn all over my parents’ bathroom floor, and he ran out of the bathroom and, presumably, out of the house. Unfortunately, my mother chose to enter just as Lance was leaving, giving her a good view of a soaking wet, naked Lance.

“What was that all about?” Mom asked with an amused look on her face that quickly faded when she saw the distraught look on Dad’s face. “Carl, what’s going on?” she asked.

“Why don’t you ask your son,” Dad answered with a surprisingly unemotional voice.

“Kevin, what’s going on?” she asked, looking directly at me.

Looking down, I started to say, “Dad caught me and Lance together in the Jacuzzi.”

Before I could even finish my sentence, however, Mom responded with, “Kevin, I can’t understand a word you’re saying over the sound of the Jacuzzi.” She then shocked me by simply reaching down and turning it off. Without the turbulence from the water jets, my body was soon on display. This was sooo embarrassing. My parents hadn’t seen me naked since I was nine years old. I could feel myself blushing furiously.

“Tell her, Kevin,” Dad commanded me. “Tell her how you’re a filthy faggot.”

“What?” Mom exclaimed. “You can’t be serious, Carl. Kevin’s a good boy. He’d never do such a thing. He’s a star athlete. He plays tennis and rugby. He’s as manly as a boy could be. There’s no way our son would do that to us. There’s just no way.”

“What do you mean by, ‘no way I’d do it to you’? This isn’t about you, Mother. This isn’t about you or Dad. This is about me and what I am… not what I choose to be. I’m gay, Mother. That’s just the way it is. I didn’t choose to be gay. I’m just not attracted to girls… at all…”

“Was that your boyfriend?” Mom interrupted.

“Yes,” I answered honestly, but her follow-up question was completely unexpected.

“How old is he?” she asked.

“He’s thirteen,” I replied.

“So he’s not even in the upper school yet?” Mom went on, stating the obvious. “How the fuck did you ever meet?” Mom had never, ever sworn in front of me before. She was royally pissed!

“Lance plays tennis and he’s good,” I explained. “He’s really, really good. Of course he can’t play on the high school team, but the intramural teams are determined by ability and not by grade level. When we play against each other, he beats me more often than I beat him. Lately we started playing doubles as partners. We play well together. So far we’ve won every single match we’ve played together.”

“Well that’s something that’s going to have to end,” Mom responded, making my heart sink. Playing tennis with Lance was one of the things I looked forward to the most at school, but I soon came to realize that tennis was the least of my concerns.

“In fact,” Mom continued, “maybe it would be best if Kevin didn’t go to the same school as his little boyfriend. He’s obviously been a very bad influence on him.”

“You got that right,” Dad chimed in. “I pretty much already decided we need to send Kevin somewhere else.”

I saw my world crumbling around me as they continued their conversation almost as if I wasn't even there, still sitting in the cooling water of the Jacuzzi, my skin wrinkling up like a prune. Park Tudor was the only school I’d ever known. It was a very expensive, private, K-12 school located just a few blocks away, over on College Avenue.

We lived in a very exclusive development known as Lake Shores. Located entirely within a bend in the White River, our house sat on Dawson Lake, the largest of three oxbow lakes formed before Europeans settled the area, when the river changed course as it meandered on its way through central Indiana. Our house was palatial and, as an only child, I lacked for nothing.

I even had my own car already - a Mercedes SLK250 Roadster convertible valued at over fifty grand. I wouldn’t be able to drive it legally on my own until I got my license in June, but my parents bought it for me for my fifteenth birthday, even before I got my learner’s permit. They wanted to be sure I could learn how to drive in style.

On an intellectual level I knew that other kids didn’t live the way I lived, but it all seemed so irrelevant to me before now. Nearly everyone I knew at school had money and, although it might not be as much as we had, a lot of the kids had even more. I’d never known any other lifestyle. Lance’s parents were affluent too. His dad split a long while back but, even still, he and his mom lived in a sprawling mansion on North Meridian, up near the Meridian Hills Country Club. Compared to their mansion, our house was just a house.

“We could send him to North Central,” Mom suggested. Although I cringed at the thought of going to a different school, North Central was reportedly an excellent public school - perhaps one of the best in the state.

“Are you crazy?” Dad responded. “North Central’s nearly half black and Hispanic. Do you really want our son mixing with those types?”

‘Those types’? What the fuck? Park Tudor had plenty of Latino and African American kids, not to mention just about every other nationality. My best friend was black and one of the few who wasn’t rich, either. He was attending on a scholarship. The best thing was that, when I came out to him last year, he thought it was really cool to have a gay best friend. He’d even suggested that Lance and I double date with him and his girlfriend, but that would have meant coming out and we weren’t ready for that. What did being half black and Hispanic have anything to do with the quality of the school?

“Maybe we could get him into Broad Ripple?” Mom suggested. “It may be across the line, but it’s certainly close enough. He could easily walk there, just as he does now.” Broad Ripple High School was also an excellent school - the best in the city school system. It was a magnet school for the arts and it reportedly had a very active GSA. I could definitely see myself going there, although my Mercedes would prolly stick out like a sore thumb in the student parking lot next year.

“Are you kidding?” Dad answered. “That place is queer central.” So much for thatidea.

“We could send him to Culver,” Dad suggested. Culver? Culver Military Academy? It had a good reputation, but a military school was definitely not my idea of the ideal place for a gay boy to go to school. Plus it was in the northern part of the state. I would never see Lance if I went there.

“Of course if we’re going to send him to a boarding school,” Dad went on, “why limit ourselves to Indiana? Why not look at the best schools in America? Perhaps he could go to Exeter, for example.”

“In Massachusetts?” Mom asked. “The first state to allow gay marriage?”

“I hadn’t thought of that,” Dad replied, but then added, “Actually, I think it’s in New Hampshire.”

“Same difference,” Mom countered. “They let fags marry too.”

Hearing Dad call me a faggot had been bad enough. Hearing Mom refer to us as fags was like another slap to the face. It nearly made me cry.

As the two of them continued to argue back and forth and as the water in the Jacuzzi continued to cool to the point that I was almost shivering, I finally broke into the conversation and said, “If you would please excuse me, it’s gettin' cold, sitting in this Jacuzzi. I’d like to get out of here and get dressed.”

“Are you asking us to leave our own bathroom?” Mom asked.

“Well yeah,” I replied, “unless you’d like to see my privates in all their glory.”

Clearing his throat, Dad said, “Come on, Dear. We’re obviously not going out to celebrate anything tonight. Let’s go downstairs and see what we can come up with for dinner.

‘What a joke,’ I thought to myself as I watched them leave the bathroom. For them, seeing what they could come up with for dinner amounted to asking Serena, our housekeeper, for a few ideas of things she could prepare for us.

As I stepped out of the Jacuzzi and dried myself off, I began to wonder what had happened to Lance. He certainly didn’t have time to dry himself off. Did he at least get dressed before he left the house? Did he put on his coat? Visions of him running down the street, trying to get his clothing over his wet body as he braved the elements, filled my head. Would he even think to use his cell phone to call for his driver to pick him up? His house was at least two miles away. There was no way he could walk that in the bitter cold, dressed as he was and wet as he was. There were no sidewalks either. He’d have had to walk on ice-covered streets. What did he do?

As soon as I finished dressing and in a near panic, I grabbed my iPhone and called my boyfriend only to hear his phone ringing where he’d left it, on my desk. Fuck!

With nothing else to do and realizing that I was actually starved, I headed downstairs to see what my parents were up to, hoping and praying that they’d had a chance to simmer down and return to reality. I could hear the sounds of Serena doing her thing in the kitchen and almost headed that way, when I heard some low voices coming from the downstairs study. Tiptoeing my way over there, I stood outside the door and listened to what my parents were saying.

“This one sounds promising,” I heard Mom say. “They claim to have a very high success rate, and that a number of their alumni are now happily married and have children of their own. There are a lot of testimonials…”

“Testimonials don’t mean shit,” Dad replied. “Anyone can make up something and post it as a testimonial from a satisfied customer. We may only get one shot at this. I want to send our son to the best program available, anywhere, no matter what the cost.”

‘Best program?’ I thought to myself as alarm bells started going off in my head.

“Is there any independent site that can verify these claims?” Mom asked.

“There are a lot of them cited, but there are plenty of complaints against them too,” Dad responded. “It certainly makes you question just how independent they really are.

“Maybe we should just go with the LDS program,” Dad suggested. “At least it’s sponsored by a reputable church with a well-known track record.”

LDS? The Later Day Saints? The Mormons? The most homophobic church out there? FUCK! My parents were planning to send me to one of those places that claimed to turn gay kids straight! No way, no how was I gonna do that.

Panic overtook me as thoughts raced through my head as to what I could do. I couldn’tlet them send me to one of those places. No way was I going. I had to do something, and I had to do it now. Try as I might to think of a way to talk my parents out of it, I didn’t see how I could. They’d obviously made their minds up. No, I couldn’t take any chances. I had to get out of the house and there was no time to spare.

Deftly running back up the stairs and into my bedroom, I took a look around and decided what I thought I could fit in my car. Because it had a tiny trunk, that didn't amount to a whole lot and luxury items like my X-Box were quickly rejected. In the end the only technology I would take with me would be my MacBook Air, my iPad and, of course, my iPhone. I grabbed Lance’s phone too, just in case. Fetching the largest suitcase I thought I could fit in the roadster, I filled it with simple, practical winter clothing, and a few summer items too. Who knew how long I might be on my own now? Perhaps for the rest of my life. I would have packed a second suitcase, but I realized I might need the space for Lance’s things.

I needed money, and lots of it. I had my own American Express card, but it would be useless once my parents realized I’d run away. They’d almost certainly cancel it. The same was true of my debit card, even though it was linked to my very own bank account with my own money. I didn’t have much cash on me - not more than a few hundred dollars. I’d have to stop at an ATM as soon as I could and take out as much as I could, and that would have to last me a while. Perhaps Lance could do the same.

Putting my suitcase by my bedroom door, I quickly tiptoed down the stairs to make sure the coast was still clear. The only problem was that the garage was through the kitchen and I had no idea what Serena would do. I would have to take my chances. I realized I’d better talk to her first.

Slowly and quietly opening the kitchen door, I poked my head inside, only to see Serena motioning me to come inside.

“Kevin,” she said, “I don’t think you’d better stay here tonight. I think you’d best go away for a while.”

“I heard,” I replied. “My parents are talking about sending me to one of those places that claim to turn gay kids straight.”

“Yeah, they are,” she confirmed. “I must say I was shocked. I knew you and Lance were close, but I’d have never thought either of you was gay. You know I love you, no matter what.”

Hugging her, I replied, “I know. I love you too, Serena. Why couldn’t my parents be like you?”

“Because they’re rich and they’re used to being able to buy whatever they want in life. Life gives them a gay child… they’ll spend whatever it takes to have him fixed.

“I had a nephew who ended up in one of those camps. He was never the same again… and he’s still gay. You can’t let your parents send you to one of those places. You have to go.” Then reaching into a drawer, she pulled out a wad of bills and shoved it at me. “This is our grocery money. It’s all I can give you. There’s just over three thousand here. That will have to be enough to get you started. Spend it wisely. Buy fruits and vegetables. Stay away from junk. You can’t grow into a healthy adult unless you eat right.”

"Thanks, Serena,” I replied as I hugged her once again. “I don’t know what I would have done without your help. I love you, and I’ll miss you.”

“I can only hope this isn’t really goodbye. I’ll call you if and when your parents have a change of heart… if they don’t cancel your cell phone. Also, be careful driving. You look too young to have your license and, as I’m sure, has already been drummed into you, you aren’t allowed to drive with another teenager in the car. If the police stop you with Lance in the car, you’ll be dead meat, so don’t do anything that would make the police stop you.

“There’s a good chance your parents will report your car stolen, however. Fortunately, I have a friend who works in IT for the Metro Police who owes me a favor, big time. If your parents do report your car stolen, I’ll try to get my friend to delete the theft report from the database, so if anyone runs the plate, it should come up clean. That probably won’t work for long, but it will at least buy you a little time.”

As I started to hug her again, she stopped me and handed me a piece of paper. “This is the address of a nice lady who has been known to help gay kids now and then. Her name is Miss Alice. I heard she broke her hip a while back, but I think that she’s better now. Maybe you can go there and check it out. Maybe she can put you and Lance up for a while.”

After a final farewell hug, Serena said, “Go now. I’ll keep your parents distracted while you make your getaway.”

Moments later I was driving my Mercedes north on College, being careful to stay under the speed limit, particularly as the roads were somewhat icy and slick. Driving on ice was a new experience for me and I quickly learned to avoid making sudden turns. Sliding toward a ditch certainly taught me what not to do. Thankfully, I regained control before leaving the roadway.

When I reached 71st Street, up by my school, I turned left and made my way to Meridian Street, turning right. Lance’s house was only a few houses up on the right. His driveway was several hundred feet long. I pulled around to the back entrance as we always did and I prepared to ring the doorbell, but then I noticed something moving out of the corner of my eye.

“Kevin?” a young teenage voice called out and I saw my Lance, huddled on the ground under some bushes, trying to stay warm. He was dressed in his warm down coat but under it was only wearing a light shirt and jeans. It was the same outfit he’d been wearing when he was over at my house.

“What are you doing out here? I asked.

“My Mom threw me out of the house.” he answered simply.

“But why’d she do that?” I asked, pretty much already knowing the answer.

“She simply ‘can’t have a gay son’,” Lance replied, and then he elaborated. “When I ran out of your place, I literally ran out the door, my clothes still in my arms. I was running, outdoors in the fucking freezing cold, soaking wet and carrying my clothes with me. I quickly realized I could never run home naked, so I stopped and put my clothes on. At least I did remember to grab this coat or I would have really been in trouble.

“So I got dressed, and I put on my down winter coat, and I reached for my cell phone to call for my driver only to realize I’d left my cell phone in your room.”

“As I discovered,” I interrupted.

“Right. So with no other options, I walked home in the freezing cold. It took me more than an hour to get here and I was chilled to the bone by the time I arrived. It was scarier than Hell too, with all the snow and ice. More than once, I got honked at by an oncoming car.

“Of course my mom was home and she asked me why I walked home and why I hadn’t called for a ride. I told her I left my cell phone at your place. She asked me why I didn’t just go back and get it. Of course she couldn’t leave well enough alone. She kept pestering me and pestering me and, finally, I admitted that you were having some problems with your parents and that they’d asked me to leave.

“She still couldn’t understand why I couldn’t have simply gone back and gotten my phone. She called your place…”

“FUCK!” I interrupted.

“Yeah, fuck is right,” Lance resumed. “When she found out why I had to leave so suddenly, she asked me if it was true. I wasn’t about to lie to her and make it look like it was all your doing. I couldn’t do that to you… not even to save my own skin.

“Anyway, that was when the shit really hit the fan. She told me she couldn’t have a gay son and that I had to leave. Immediately. She said if I didn’t get out of the house right then and there, she would grab her cute little Smith and Wesson and put a bullet in my head. I couldn’t believe my own mother would say that. She then shoved a wad of money at me and told me to use it to get as far away from her as I could. When she went to the study, where she keeps her gun, I decided not to wait to see if she’d really shoot me.

“My first thought was to go back to your house to see what was going on with you. I was sick with worry, but then I thought that maybe you’d try to come here, and you did! If I’d set out for your house, we might have missed each other.”

“What if I hadn’t come?” I asked.

“Then I’d have waited until morning and come looking for you,” Lance answered.

“By then you might have frozen to death.”

Rather than answer me, Lance just rolled his eyes.

“Listen,” I said pulling out the piece of paper Serena had handed me. “I have the address of an elderly woman that sometimes helps gay kids who need help. She doesn’t live too far from here either… just a few miles south on North Meridian, closer in to the city.”

“Well, it’s not like we have any place else to go,” Lance replied as I helped him up off the ground. He got in on the passenger side and I walked around and got behind the wheel. Turning the car around and heading back out onto Meridian, we went in search of Miss Alice, a woman who might be able to help us.

There certainly were a lot of nice mansions all along North Meridian Street. As we got further into the city, they were on much smaller lots, but the acreage was still nothing to sneeze at and the houses were just as grand as those further to the north. As we got closer to the address we’d been given, we passed the Governor’s mansion, which was fucking huge!

Soon, we came to the address of Miss Alice’s house, but out front was a sign that read, ‘Meridian Manour B&B’. I wasn’t sure why they misspelled manor like that, or if they even realized they’d misspelled it. I had a sinking feeling as we drove up the driveway that Miss Alice didn’t live here any more.

Steeling every ounce of courage I had, I got out of the car, as did Lance, and we walked up to the front door and rang the bell. A kindly-looking lady answered, but she certainly wasn’t what I would have called elderly. Old maybe, but not elderly.

With nothing left to lose, I stated, “Hello, Ma’am. My name is Kevin and this is my boyfriend, Lance.” Yup, I blurted it out, just like that. “We heard that there’s a nice lady that lives here and that she sometimes helps gay kids,” I continued.

“Well,” she answered, “I certainly would like to think I’m a nice lady, and I have helped gay kids out, more than you could know, but you’re probably talking about my Aunt Alice. I’m afraid she died a little over six years ago.”

My heart fell upon hearing that. Another dead end. “Well thanks anyway,” I replied and I started to turn around to head back to the car.”

“Wait,” she called out. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t help you, and I’m certainly not going to send you back out into this miserable weather, even if you do drive a luxury car. Speaking of which, you look a bit young to be driving.”

With a look of resignation on my face, I replied, “I’m only fifteen. I won’t have my license until June. I didn’t exactly have a choice. When my parents found Lance and me making out in their Jacuzzi, they threw him out of the house, naked, soaking wet and carrying his clothes. When I heard them making plans to send me to one of those programs that supposedly makes gay kids straight…” I noticed the lady cringe when I said that, “I knew I had to get out of there tonight. When I got to Lance’s house, I found him huddled outside. His mother found out what had happened and threatened to shoot him in the head if he didn’t leave.”

“Oh you poor kids,” the lady said as she enveloped first Lance, and then me in a warm hug. It felt really good - more like the hugs Serena gave me than the ones from my parents.

“And how old are you, Lance?” she asked my boyfriend.

With a little nervousness in his voice that probably only I could hear, he responded, “I’m thirteen, Ma’am.”

“Well for the record,” the lady responded, “I think you two make an adorablecouple.” Then turning to me, she said, “Kevin, if you’ll hand me the keys, I’ll have my husband park your car out back, where it won’t be visible from the street.

“At the moment, we only have one guest staying with us. Winter isn’t exactly a high-volume time for us, once the Christmas season’s past, so you can have your pick of our rooms. You’re welcome to stay with us as long as you like, but we will need to make arrangements to make it legal. I’ll warn you up front… we have to make an attempt to reconcile you with your parents…”

“Fuck!” I replied.

”I can imagine how you feel but, from a legal standpoint, we have to, and it is in your best interest if we can patch things up,” she explained. “Rest assured, however. We’ll do everything we can to keep you safe and won’t do anything that might cause you harm. If there’s even a hint of any impropriety, we’ll take your parents to court and sue them for custody. However, I must also caution you that if there’s a relative willing to take you in and to provide a nurturing, gay-friendly environment, the courts are more likely to decide to go that route.”

“Double fuck,” Lance responded.

“I know how it all sounds but what is the alternative? That fancy car won’t give you a roof over your head… at least not for long. Speaking of which, you’d have to sell it as a black-market vehicle… essentially as a stolen car. You’d be lucky to get ten cents on the dollar for it.”

“Crap,” I replied.

“By the way,” she said with a laugh, “My name’s Barbara, or just plain Barb, and my husband, who has undoubtedly been listening through that open door, is Rick.” At that moment, a distinguished-looking man emerged from a side door off the entryway.

“Welcome to our home,” the man said, and then he added as he looked directly at Barbara, “By the way, I called the boys and they should be over shortly. I think these boys might relate more easily to a pair of young men, barely out of their teens, who’ve been just where they are.”

“That’s a very good point,” Barbara replied, and then she looked at Lance and me and explained, “Six years ago we took in a couple of boys who were facing problems similar to yours. Actually, maybe I should say they took us in, as they were squatting here at the time my Aunt Alice passed away. Aunt Alice left me this house and my husband and I decided to turn it into a B&B… what you might call a guesthouse, or a small hotel.

“Speaking of which, have you boys eaten?”

Almost as if on cue, my stomach rumbled, causing everyone to laugh.

“Well the second ‘B’ might stand for ‘breakfast’, but we’re always happy to feed our guests at any time of the day or night. Come with me and we’ll get something from the kitchen,” Barbara added as she led us further into the house.

“May I take your coats?” Rick asked as we started off. I’d actually forgotten I was still wearing mine and promptly handed it to Rick, as did Lance with his.

We entered a huge modern kitchen and Barbara immediately went to the refrigerator and started taking out an assortment of meats, cheeses and condiments with which to make sandwiches. It was thrown together, but we were starved and it was actually a very nice meal.

As we were in the midst of chowing down - me on my second sandwich and Lance on his third - the back door opened and in walked a couple of very young-looking men - one black and the other white - and a black kid who couldn’t have been more than ten, or so I thought. The kid was obviously a boy, but his mannerisms were so girly. I hated to resort to stereotypes but I couldn’t conceive that this boy, young as he was, was anything other than gay.

“Hi Barb. Hi Rick,” the black man said as he proceeded to hug them and kiss them on the cheek. The white man then did exactly the same thing. Then turning their attention to us, I felt like I was being scrutinized under a microscope. The black man got a warm smile on his face and said, “Bro!” as he enveloped me in a tight hug. I noticed that the white man was doing the same thing with Lance, and then they switched places and hugged us again.

“I’m Ricky,” the white boy said to us, “not to be confused with Rick, and the incredibly handsome guy next to me is the love of my life, Ty. Oh, and this is our son, Jerome, but he likes to be called Jerry. Obviously, we adopted him, ’cause his parents couldn’t deal with having a child they presumed to be gay…”

“But I am gay,” the boy responded with evident pride in his voice.

“You may well be,” Ty replied, “but you’re still young and there’s a chance you may turn out to be straight.”

“But Dad,” the boy countered, “You said you knew you were gay when you were my age and even younger, right?”

“Beyond a doubt,” Ty answered.

”And I know I’m gay, too,” the boy responded. “I’m plenty old enough to know. I’m twelve now, you know.”

Laughing, Ty responded, “And you never let us forget it.”

Turning back to us, Ricky continued, “It’s hard to believe that it’s been six years already since our own parents threw us out of the house after finding us in a compromising position.”

“My dad found Lance and me making out in his hot tub,” I explained.

“Ooh, a hot tub,” Ricky responded. “Why didn’t we think of that?”

“Yeah,” Jerry chimed in. “Ty and Rick got caught with each other’s dick in their mouths.”

I could feel myself blushing in response to that. They were both good-looking young men. I could imagine how hot it must have been with them as teenagers - young teenagers from the looks of it - engaged in a 69. Wow!

“Jerry!” Ty admonished his son. “How many times do we have to tell you that’s not for public consumption!”

“But it’s the truth,” Jerry challenged, and then he turned toward Lance and me and added, “Sometimes, they’re such prudes! They’re still in school, but they’ve already forgotten what it’s like to be a kid, you know?”

Shaking his head, Ricky continued, “So what we’re saying is that we’ve been where you are, and we’re here to help you. Barbara and Rick took us in during our most desperate hour, fighting for us every step of the way. They even managed to deal with an aunt that tried to get custody of Ty so she could take out a mortgage on our house… the house Ty’s father left him when he died.”

“Fuck,” I responded.

Barbara seemed to give me the evil eye, but then Jerry rolled his eyes and said, “Like I don’t hear the ‘F’ word every day at school, a billion times…”

“Anyway,” Ty continued, “if it hadn’t been for Barb and Rick, we would have never made it. They did so much for us and if you’ll let them, they’ll help you too.”

We must have gone on talking for a couple or three hours, relating each other’s experiences in increasing detail as the night went on. At some point Barbara brought out a rich chocolate cake that was delicious, but it was the conversation that kept us up so late. Ricky and Ty came from very different backgrounds than Lance and I, yet we all shared so much in common. Being gay and rejected by one’s own parents was far more of a unifying factor than attending private or public school, or having or not having money, for that matter. It was heartening to hear that Ricky’s parents eventually came around, but what happened with Ty’s father, getting drunk and then crashing his pickup into a tractor trailer, made me shudder.

Before we knew it, it was after two AM and poor Jerry was asleep with his head lying on the kitchen table. Looking at their kid, Ricky said, “Well, I guess we’d better get our son on home.” Then, after a short pause, he looked up at Rick and said, “You know, the boys might feel more comfortable at our place. After all, we experienced what they’re going through ourselves.”

“That’s a serious thought,” Rick answered.

“But you guys have classes to attend,” Barb pointed out.

“True,” Ty answered, “but my first class isn’t until the early afternoon, and the boys could always come over here while we’re out.”

“Or I could watch after them,” little Jerry volunteered as he lifted his head from the table.

You, young man, have school tomorrow,” Ty countered.

“It was worth a try,” the little stinker replied.

“Speaking of which, we have school too,” Lance pointed out.

Shaking his head, Rick answered, “No, going back to your school under the circumstances would be a very bad idea. Your parents could track you down and pull you out of the school, sending you wherever they please.”

“Can’t let that happen,” I agreed.

“The situation’s particularly tricky with you going to a private school,” Rick continued, “but the fact that you’re not in the public school system gives us a bit more flexibility, at least in the short term. We can explore our options in the morning. For the time being, consider yourselves home schooled.

“What Ty was thinking was that the two of you might like spending the night over at their place. They have a very nice house only about a block away. It’s nothing like this one, but they have plenty of room for you and you might appreciate spending time with another gay couple that’s been through some of what the two of you have.”

“The one problem is that we go to school at Butler and you’d have to come back over here while we’re in class,” Ricky explained. “Don’t feel you have to and you’re certainly welcome to spend the night right here but, if you’re interested, Ty and I would be delighted to have you.”

“What do you think, Lance?” I asked.

“I think it would be cool to spend the night with Ricky and Ty… and Jerry too. He and I are nearly the same age.”

“Looking for a new boyfriend already?” I asked with a laugh, although I wasn’t entirely joking. I didn’t think I was the jealous type but I’d never had another gay boy around before.

“Oh NO, Kev,” Lance responded. “You know I only want you! We’re perfect together.”

“Besides, I already have a boyfriend,” Jerry chimed in.

“You do?” I asked in surprise.

“He thinks he does,” Ty answered for him, “but it would help if he actually talked to him, you know?” Then, turning to his son, he continued to ask, “You don’t even know if he’s gay, do you? Chances are he’s straight, you know.”

“I’m pretty sure he’s gay,” Jerry answered, “and I’m pretty sure he likes me. I’m just afraid that if I actually talk to him… me the guy everyone knows is gay, he’ll end up punching me in the nose.”

“So you’d rather be miserable, pining away at him all day and never getting a chance to know him, than to take a chance on him beating you up?” Ricky asked. “Didn’t you say he’s a real nice guy?”

“He’s a wonderful guy,” Jerry replied. “He’s sweet and kind, and he’s always looking out for me, like I was his little brother or something.”

“Do you really think a boy like that would beat you up?” Ty asked.

“Well, maybe if he needed to to keep from getting beat up himself but… no, he’d never do that.”

“Sometimes you just have to take a chance,” Ricky reiterated.

“Out of curiosity, how old is this boy?” Barbara asked.

“He’s thirteen,” Jerry answered, “and I’m twelve,” he restated emphatically and yet defensively.

“At twelve and thirteen,” Barbara continued, “you boys are just starting puberty. Your friend may not even realize what he wants just yet, even if you do.

“I think the bottom line is that you need to become friends first. Just having his friendship will make a difference in both your lives. Then if you end up getting closer, you’ll be best friends who happen to fall in love… not lovers who are trying to become friends.”

“That’s what happened with Lance and me,” I broke in.

“Boys, you need to get to bed,” Barbara reiterated. “Jerry, you have school tomorrow and it’s almost three AM and you have to get up in a few hours!”

“Crap,” Jerry responded.

“Come on, guys, let’s go,” Ricky said as he started making his way to the back door.”

“Shouldn’t I bring my luggage with me?” I asked.

Shaking his head, Ricky said, “Don’t bother. It’s late enough as is. We have all the essentials like toothbrushes and deodorant, and even clean boxers that should fit. We can come back for your luggage tomorrow.”

Walking down Meridian Street, we cut over to Illinois when we came to the first cross street and then continued walking down Illinois for close to another block. Although not nearly as nice as Meridian, Illinois had some nice houses, including the one we stopped in front of. For an older house, it was large and even had a stained glass window over the front door. Inside it was even nicer, with extensive wood paneling and elegant antique furniture.

Ty showed us to one of the guest bedrooms upstairs and, with our help, he made the bed with fresh sheets. He showed us the bathroom across the hall and gave us each a clean toothbrush and a set of towels. Utterly exhausted, Lance and I stripped down to our boxers and made our way across the hall to the bathroom, where we proceeded to wash up and brush our teeth. It was while we were in the middle of brushing our teeth that the door swung open and Jerry walked inside. Unlike us, Jerry had stripped completely.

“Hi guys,” he said as he got out his toothbrush and nudged us to the side so he could fit between us, in front of the sink. He stood there brushing his teeth, right next to both of us and not wearing anything. What an exhibitionist!

I finished brushing my teeth and then walked up to the toilet. Unlike Jerry, I felt a bit embarrassed and it took me a minute before I was able to let loose my stream. Lance, on the other hand, walked right up and stood beside me, and soon his stream was joining mine in the toilet bowl.

As I stepped away from the toilet, Jerry stepped up to take my place next to my boyfriend and let his own stream loose, his urine joining ours in the toilet bowl. I figured he’d say his goodnight and head back to his own bedroom when he was done, but Jerry just followed us across the hall to the room Lance and I were sharing.

“So tell me,” he asked as he jumped onto the bed and sat naked, Indian style, motioning for us to join him, “How did the two of you meet?”

“Couldn’t it wait ’til the morning?” I asked, noticing how tired Lance seemed to be. He looked like he was falling asleep on his feet. Truthfully, so was I.

“Nope,” Jerry responded, ignoring the not so subtle pleading of my eyes. “I want all the juicy details, -don’t leave anything out!”

The poor, sexually deprived boy was almost salivating. When it came to sex, however, there really wasn’t anything to tell - at least not yet. On the other hand, when it came to love, I couldn’t help but smile when I thought about how it all started.

“Lance is an awesome tennis player,” I began. “He’s much better than I am and I used to resent it when we played opposite each other, ’cause he usually beat me.

“Anyway, we started playing doubles together as partners, and we found we played better together than we ever played separately. We just seemed to know what the other one was gonna do, you know? So we started talking after our matches. I found that even though he’s almost two years younger and two full grades behind me, Lance is really, really smart.

“So we found we had a lot of common interests. We both love science fiction, for example, especially the classic stuff like Jules Verne and Isaac Asimov. Soon Lance was coming over to my house all the time, or me to his, and we’d just lie on our beds together, talking for hours about our favorite books and about all sorts of things. So we were already best friends before we became boyfriends.”

“How didyou become boyfriends?” Jerry asked.

I could feel myself blushing as I answered. “Lance and I played tennis together at school, and Lance has a tennis court at home, so whenever we ended up at his house, we usually played tennis when the weather was nice.”

“Last October was really warm,” Lance said, as he picked up the story. “It was unusually warm going into Halloween… Indian Summer, I guess you’d call it… with temperatures up into the eighties.

“So Kevin and I were playing tennis, wearing only our shorts and tennis shoes. We played an unusually intense couple of sets…”

“And you beat me as usual,” I lamented.

“I always beat you, Kev,” Lance replied. “Get used to it, ’cause that’ll never change. Anyway, by the time we finished, we both had sweat pouring down our bodies. If it were still summer, we woulda prolly gone for a swim to cool down, but we’d already closed up the pool for the year, so I suggested we take a shower.”

“Naturally I assumed he meant we’d take separate showers,” I took over the story. “Not that we hadn’t showered together at school before, but that was in a communal shower with all the other guys, so it was different. Lance wanted us to shower together, just the two of us.”

“I just wanted to cool off,” Lance explained. “I wasn’t thinking about anything sexual at the time, other than the fact that Kev was incredibly hot with his buff, sweaty body. I thought a good cold shower could cool me down in more ways than one. I just never gave any thought that the two of us would be alone together, naked in the shower.”

“Lance’s house has a shower room in the pool house and that’s where he took me,” I continued. “Before I even realized what was happening, Lance had stripped down and was under one of the nozzles, lathering up.”

“I opened my eyes to see Kevin just standing there in his shorts and tennis shoes, literally gawking at me,” Lance resumed speaking. “At first I thought he was just being a dumb ass and so I asked, ‘Aren’t you gonna shower?’ But he just kept standing there. Standing there and staring at me. Now I knew I was gay and I was really enjoying looking at his hot body, but it slowly dawned on me that maybe Kevin was gay too. I couldn’t help but notice that he had an erection. In that instant I had an epiphany. Do you know what an epiphany is, Jerry?” My boyfriend asked but Jerry just rolled his eyes.

“I realized that, not only was Kevin my best friend, but that I loved Kevin. I was inlove with Kevin,” Lance continued. “So I stepped out from under the shower spray and walked up to Kevin, who was still in a daze, and I pulled him into a hug.”

“The shock of feeling his ice cold wet skin against my hot sweaty skin was enough to pull me out of my daze,” I related, “but I really liked the feel of Lance’s arms around me, so I did nothing to break the contact we shared. I looked down into his eyes and he looked up into mine and said…”

“I said, ‘You know, the only thing we never discussed in all these months is girls. Aren’t teenage boys supposed to talk about girls?’” Lance continued. “I lifted my head further and kissed Kevin, and then I said, ‘Personally I’m not interested in girls.’”

“And I replied, ‘Me neither,’” I continued, “and then I kissed Lance back, and much more aggressively. We made out for what seemed like hours as the shower continued to run in the background, Lance in the nude and me in my shorts and tennis shoes, both of us hard as a rock.

“Eventually we realized that if we continued making out in the shower, his mother would come home and we’d be caught. So we finished our shower together, sharing a single nozzle and taking the time to wash each other, and then we dried each other and got dressed.

“We’ve spent nearly every day together ever since,” I concluded.

“So you see, we became best friends first, and only then did we become boyfriends,” Lance added. “Someday soon, I hope we’ll become lovers.”

“You haven’t done it yet?” Jerry asked in surprise.

“Nothing more than we could do on our own,” I answered as I blushed furiously.

“So you wanna do something now?” Jerry suggested, surprising me greatly.

I was about to say something when Lance beat me to it. “As much fun as it might be, Jerry… and as much as I’d like to have sex, I only want to have sex with Kevin. I want my first time to be special… not some circle jerk with a friend. Not that you aren’t sexy…” my boyfriend added, which caused Jerry to color up visibly, even with his dark skin.

“Not only that,” I threw in, “but you have to go to school in just a few hours.”

“Yeah, I know,” Jerry replied as he got up off the bed. “Sometimes I just think with my dick instead of my head.”

“Don’t we all?” I responded.

“Goodnight, guys,” Jerry said with a yawn and then added, “See you when I get home from school.”

“Count on it,” I replied, and then Jerry gave a short wave and disappeared out the door. I closed the door behind him and then got into bed. Lance joined me and I put my arm around him and pulled him close.

The next thing I knew the room was filled with sunshine, and I needed to pee! However, not only was my arm still around my boyfriend, but there was another arm around me as well. Jerry had snuck back in sometime after we went to sleep! Extricating myself without waking the other two up was not going to be easy. Perhaps I should have realized it was an exercise in futility, but I had to try.

Carefully taking hold of Jerry’s hand, I tried to lift his arm off my body, but that only caused him to pull me even closer to him, causing his morning stiffie to poke me exactly where I didn’t want it to be. Needing to break contact, I twisted, turning myself in bed until I was lying on my back. Jerry’s arm was still draped across my chest, however, and when I tried to lift it off me, he practically climbed on top of me, his chest landing on top of mine.

When I noticed a smile creeping across his face as he tried to suppress his laughter, I realized he was awake and likely had been since I first started to pull his arm off me.

“You little shit,” I whispered just loud enough for him to hear.

Opening his eyes, he said, “Your story made me feel real horny, so I had to jerk off. I would’ve exploded if I didn’t, you know? So after I finished, I couldn’t get to sleep, so I came back here and climbed in bed with you. Last night I actually squirted for the very first time. That’s how much I was turned on. Let’s face it, I need to get a boyfriend of my own… a real boyfriend.”

“Sounds like a plan,” I heard my boyfriend say as he turned around to face me, then got up on his elbows and looked down on Jerry and me. “Now get off my boyfriend, Jer,” Lance continued. “He’s mine and I want to show him how much I love him.”

“Not before I pee!” I exclaimed, and then I shoved them both aside and I made a beeline for the bathroom. Only moments after I let loose, Lance and Jerry joined me in front of the toilet and their streams joined mine in the toilet bowl. This time neither Lance nor I bothered with our boxers. If Ricky or Ty spotted us in the hallway, so be it. We were all guys here, after all.

As the three of us washed our hands, Jerry said, “Something tells me I missed the bus.”

Laughing, I said, “I’d say that’s a good assumption.”

“Let’s go get something to eat,” Jerry suggested, “and then we can shower and figure out what we’re gonna do the rest of the day.”

“Sounds good to me,” Lance agreed.

As Jerry started to run out of the room and down the stairs, I called out to him, “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

“Like what?” he called back.

“Like maybe your clothes?”

“Nah,” he replied. “It’s already 1:30 in the afternoon and my dads are in class. We have the house to ourselves.”

“Well we’ll be right down after we put on some clothes,” I called down.

“He’s just a bit over the top, isn’t he?” Lance said with a laugh as he picked up his clothes from the previous day and pulled his boxers on. Taking a whiff of his shirt, he wrinkled his nose and said, “Guess I’ll have to ask Jerry for a clean shirt after we take our showers. No way I’m putting this one back on.”

Picking up my own shirt and noticing it too was pretty rank, I opted to go barefoot and shirtless, like my incredibly hot-looking boyfriend. “He seems pretty harmless, though,” I replied. “He’s just your typical sex-crazed twelve-year-old gay boy is all.”

“Are you jealous?” Lance asked.

“Should I be?” I replied.

Laughing, he answered, “Not that I have anything against effeminate boys, but he’s not my type. At all. He seems nice enough, though, but I find his mannerisms a major turn-off.”

Pulling my boyfriend to me, I asked, “And what exactly is your type?”

“I’m into the buff athletic types,” he answered. “I’m especially into tennis and rugby players,” he added as he looked adoringly into my eyes, and then we kissed.

The kiss seemed to go on and on until we heard Jerry say, “Whoa, that’s hot. When you didn’t come down, I came back to see what was going on.”

Breaking our kiss and turning to look at him, he continued, saying, “You guys look incredibly sexy in just your jeans.”

“You’re right about one thing, Jerry,” I replied. “You need to get a boyfriend. Badly.”

“You got that right,” he giggled, and then added, “So are you coming down?”

“Yeah,” I answered as I grabbed Lance’s hand and we followed Jerry down the stairs.

“So what would you guys like?” Jerry asked as he got out three glasses and filled each one with orange juice. “I can make eggs, any style you’d like, or I can make pancakes or waffles, or any kind of sandwich. We have tuna, sliced turkey breast, I think there’s some roast beef and ham, or I could thaw out some ground meat in the microwave and make us hamburgers.”

Incredulous, I asked, “You can cook?”

“Of course I can cook,” Jerry answered. “My dads taught me how. They lived on their own for several months and would have starved if they didn’t cook their own meals.

“How ’bout I make us some frittatas?” he asked.

“A fri-what?” I asked in turn.

“A frittata,” Jerry replied, “It’s made in a skillet and contains potatoes, eggs, meat and vegetables. It’s really good.”

“I guess that would be fine,” I answered.

“Fine with me,” Lance agreed.

Jerry then proceeded to get out some ground beef from the freezer, which he thawed in the microwave, a package of frozen hash browns, green and red peppers and mushrooms from the refrigerator, as well as a large carton of eggs.

Setting a large skillet on the stove, he grabbed an apron and put it on, saying, “Splattering grease can cause some really nasty burns, particularly if it lands on the more sensitive areas of my skin.”

He threw the ground beef into the skillet and turned up the heat, stirring the meat around as it started to sizzle. He then washed the peppers and the mushrooms, slicing them into small, bite-size pieces. He went back to the skillet and stirred the meat once again, then he lifted the skillet off the burner and took it to the sink, pouring the fat out before returning the skillet to the stove. I was impressed by how well he seemed to know what he was doing.

“This is the one shortcut I take,” he stated as he opened the package of frozen hash browns and emptied the contents into the skillet, with the meat. “It would take me another hour to slice, dice and cook enough potatoes from scratch. The frozen hash browns are just as good, and it saves a lot of time.”

Stirring the meat and potatoes together, he then added the peppers and mushrooms to the mix and stirred everything together, turning down the heat and covering the skillet.

Grabbing a large bowl, he deftly broke each of a dozen eggs cleanly in half, adding the contents to the bowl without missing a beat. Finally, he whipped the eggs together, removed the lid from the skillet and poured the eggs over the contents, watching them simmer until he seemed satisfied they were done.

Grabbing three plates, he took a spatula and served a third of the concoction onto each plate. It smelled delicious. Getting out napkins and silverware, he set three places at the kitchen table and said, “Come and get it… Oh, would you like some coffee or tea? I’m really hungry, so I wasn’t really thinking about it, but I can make it if you’d like.”

“Maybe later, some coffee would be nice,” Lance replied, “but right now I’m starved!”

“Same here,” I agreed, and then added, “This smells wonderful.

Lance and I sat down at the table, and then Jerry removed his apron and hung it back up, and the little nudist plopped himself down in the remaining chair.

Taking a bite of the frittata, I was amazed by how good it tasted. Echoing my feelings, Lance said, “This is awesome.

“Thanks,” Jerry replied, “but it was really nothing. You saw how easy it was…”

“Easy for you, maybe,” I countered, “but I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea how to make it. I could probably burn water without trying,” I added.

“You rich kids,” Jerry responded, “with your fancy cars and your tennis courts and in-ground pools, yet you can’t even prepare a bowl of cereal.”

“That’s a bit harsh, Jer,” Lance argued. “I’d gladly give up all that stuff, just to have parents who cared… a mom who didn’t threaten to kill me if I didn’t get out of her sight, just ’cause I’m gay.”

“Oh God, I’m sorry Lance, Kevin,” Jerry responded. “I guess we’re all pretty much in the same boat when it comes to that.”

“Except that you have a couple of dads who understand and care about you,” I pointed out. “You’re so lucky that Ty and Ricky came along and wanted to adopt you.”

“Things’ll work out for you too, now that you’re here,” Jerry suggested, but I wasn’t so sure.

After finishing our late breakfast, we all headed upstairs and took our showers - separately - brushed our teeth and got dressed. I was due for a shave, but that would have to wait until I could retrieve my shaving kit. Jerry helped us find some clothes we could wear. His clothing was too small even for Lance, but Ricky and Tyler still had some of their clothing left from when they were kids and I had to admit it looked pretty good on us.

“So what happened with school?” I asked Jerry.

“The dads looked in on us when it was time for me to get up,” he answered. “I guess they realized we’d been up most of the night and I would have just fallen asleep in class, so they called in sick for me. ’Course I’ll have to make the coursework up,” he added with a sigh. “There’s no slacking in this house, but it sure beats the alternative of having parents who don’t care.

“So… you guys wanna do anything?” Jerry asked. “I have an X-Box Kinect system and a ton of games,” he suggested. “You wanna have a look?”

Lance and I readily agreed. Looking over the extensive collection of games he had, we decided to play the new DDR game that had just come out. I’d played Dance Dance Revolution before and thought I was pretty good at it, but the system I had at home used a conventional mat with clearly marked squares. The new Kinect version didn’t need any of that - it sensed your movements and scored you based on how well they corresponded to the flashing lights and positions marked on the screen. I quickly discovered that this was nothing like playing the original version, as a move that would have counted as a full point might only earn the player a half-a-point on the Kinect version. In other words, the more precise your dance moves, the better your score.

Knowing we’d be breaking a sweat, we stripped down to our boxers and took our turns. It soon became obvious that Jerry was so much better than either Lance or me, it was ridiculous. Jerry was a natural. Man, could he dance!

We were still at it when Ricky and Ty came home from their classes at Butler. “Have you touched base with Rick and Barbara?” Ricky asked shortly after walking in the door. Embarrassingly, we admitted that we hadn’t even thought of it.

“That’s OK, boys,” Ricky responded. “They would have called here if there were anything urgent. I know Rick was looking into your home situations. I don’t know if you were aware, but Rick is a lawyer and he knows all about your rights and your parents’ responsibilities. I’m sure we’ll hear all about it when we go over there for dinner.”

The three of us boys went back upstairs and took another round of showers, and then we got dressed yet again in Ricky and Ty’s old clothes. It was as we were headed downstairs, with me and Lance holding hands, that we noticed that we had a visitor and dropped our hands. Seated in the living room and talking to Ricky and Ty was a stunningly handsome boy of perhaps thirteen or fourteen. Even seated, I could see that he was tall for his age. He had a somewhat dark complexion and facial features that hinted at him being Hispanic. His hair was short and black and he had a very thin and sparse, but distinct mustache on his upper lip but, otherwise, his skin was smooth and hairless as far as I could see.

“Carlos!” Jerry practically shouted. “What are you doing here?”

“I brought you your assignments from today, man,” the boy replied. “I missed seeing you in school today, but I guess you had an eventful evening and night last night.”

“Yeah, we did,” Jerry answered, and then motioning us forward, he added, “By the way, this is Kevin,” he said as he pointed to me, “and this is Lance,” he said as he pointed to my boyfriend.

Shaking our hands, Carlos said, “Nice to meet you guys,” and then added, “you make a really cute couple.”

“Dads!” Jerry shouted, “You TOLD Carlos about Kevin and Lance? You OUTED them without their permission?”

“You should know better, Jerry,” Ty replied. “We’d never do that.”

“Sorry if it was forward of me,” Carlos responded. “I just figured that if they were having trouble at home and they were here, they were prolly gay. After all, that’s why you’re here, Jer, isn’t it?”

“Well yeah, but it’s not like I advertise it, Carlos,” Jerry answered.

Giggling, Carlos answered, “In your case, you don’t need to advertise it, but it’s all cool. We’re all family, here.”

“You’re gay?” Jerry asked in evident surprise.

“I thought you knew,” Carlos replied. “I mean, I’ve been dropping hints all over the place that I liked you, but you never responded, so I thought maybe you weren’t interested.”

“This the boy you were talking about, Jerry?” I asked.

The intense blush that was evident, even on Jerry’s black skin, made the answer pretty obvious. Turning to face Carlos, Jerry looked right into his eyes and said, “I guess I’m pretty dense sometimes. All this time I was scared shitless that you’d punch me or something for coming on to you, and you’ve been coming on to me. I didn’t have a clue.”

“You serious?” Carlos asked, and then added, “and you seriously thought I’d punch you out?”

“I didn’t think you would,” Jerry answered. “You’re one of the nicest guys I know, but some guys take offense, you know, when you hint that you think of them that way.”

“Yeah, but I’m not some guys,” Carlos responded as he placed his hands on Jerry’s shoulders, looking down into Jerry’s eyes. “So would you like to go out with me this weekend? Perhaps tomorrow? Maybe go out to dinner and take in a movie?” he asked. Then looking over Jerry’s shoulder, he motioned toward Lance and me and added, “We could even double date if you want.”

“O God yes,” Jerry answered as he pulled Carlos into a tight hug, looked up into his eyes and planted a quick peck on his lips.

Carlos responded with a kiss of his own that was not nearly so brief, and then he said, “I could definitely get used to this.” His whole face lit up as a grin took over his face. Man, was Carlos ever cute! Not as cute as Lance, but I was prolly biased.

“Sorry to interrupt, guys,” Ricky broke in, “but we need to get over to dinner with Barbara and Rick.” Looking over at Carlos, he added, “Carlos, I’d invite you to join us, but we’re gonna be discussing some private things related to Kevin and Lance’s home situation.

“If you have any more questions about coming out to your parents, please don’t hesitate to call us and, if worse comes to worst, you know you’re welcome to stay with us as long as necessary.” It sounded like Carlos had had quite a conversation with Ricky and Ty while we were in the shower.

After Carlos left, we were soon taking the short walk over to the Meridian Manour B&B. I asked Ty about the misspelling of ‘Manour’ and he just laughed, and then explained that they were using the Old English spelling, just to be fancy.

When we walked into the mansion, Barbara and Rick were talking to a tall, slender man. Although we’d never met, I would have known who it was anywhere. The resemblance was uncanny.

“Dad?” Lance asked. “What are you doing here?”

“Why didn’t you call me?” the man asked his son in return. “You know I would have come get you.”

“No, I didn’t know,” Lance answered. “Mom said you hated us… that you didn’t love me anymore… that you left us for some other woman…”

“The bitch,” Lance’s father responded, and then he asked, “Did your mother actually tell you I ran off with another woman?”

“That’s what she said,” Lance answered, but then he got a thoughtful look on his face and said, “No, that’s not what she said. She said you left us for someone else.”

“That wasn’t exactly true either,” Lance’s father replied, “but it’s a little closer to reality. What actually happened is that your mother caught me making out with someone else. She caught me making out with another man.”

Fuck! Lance’s dad was gay!

“No shit!” Lance said so eloquently as a smile spread across his face. “So Mom threw you out ’cause you’re gay too. That is so cool!”

Chuckling, he responded, “It didn’t seem ‘cool’ at the time, particularly when she pulled her gun on me.”

“She actually pulled her gun on you?” Lance asked.

“That’s why I left without even saying goodbye to you,” he answered. “I thought she really was going to shoot me.”

“She threatened to pull her gun on me too,” Lance added.

“So I heard,” Lance’s dad replied, “and that was her big mistake. No one threatens my son. I let her keep the house and have custody because I thought I had no choice. After all, what court would have allowed me to see you, after I’d been caught making out with a man? Now I have a reason to fight for you and for what I legitimately earned. It’s not just me I’m fighting for anymore.”

Then looking directly at me, he asked, “This your boyfriend?”

I felt like a tiny ant under a microscope as I answered, “I’m Kevin Lawson, sir,” as I extended my hand.

With a warm smile on his face, he asked me, “How old are you, Kevin?” as he shook my hand.

Swallowing hard, I answered, “I’m fifteen.” I was conscious of the stubble that covered my face and made me look so much older than Lance was.

“And you love my son?” he asked.

“You can’t imagine how much I love him,” I answered honestly.

“Oh, I think I can,” he replied with an even broader smile. “After all, even as you feared for your own safety, you thought of Lance first. Your parents threatened to send you to a place where they use torture to make you go straight. You had every reason to get as far away from here as possible and, yet, you headed straight for your boyfriend’s house to make sure he was OK. When you found out that he wasn’t, you brought him here, even though it dramatically increased your chances of being caught.

“Kevin, you’re the kind of young man that should make any parent proud. It’s truly a shame your parents don’t see it that way. In any case, you’re just the kind of man I want as my son’s boyfriend. Welcome to the family.”

Before I even had time to react, Lance’s father had pulled me into a tight hug and my arms automatically went around him and I hugged him back, tears streaming from my face. I felt him pull an arm away from me and then we were in a three-way hug, with my little Lancelot at my side.

After we pulled apart, Lance asked his father, “So what happens now?”

“Well for the time being, we’re going to stay right here. I’ve rented a couple of rooms… one for me and one for the two of you. Then we go back to court and challenge the divorce settlement. I have your mother on tape admitting that she threw you out of the house and that she was planning to shoot you if you resisted, so there shouldn’t be any problem getting custody away from her. She also admitted that she fully intended to shoot and kill me. With the right legal team, I doubt that we’ll have much trouble voiding the divorce settlement and getting the house back. My hope is that she’ll go voluntarily… otherwise she could wind up in jail.”

“What about me?” I asked.

“Your parents have already signed over guardianship of you to me,” he replied, much to my surprise.

“The courts take a rather dim view of parents who send their kids to these reorientation camps against their will,” Rick explained. “When I explained that I was representing you as your attorney and that the lawsuit we were planning to file would probably make the news, they quickly agreed to our terms. They’ll be providing child support payments too.”

“Not that we need them,” Lance’s father added, “but they owe it to you to pay up, and I’m more than happy to extract a little revenge in the process.” In truth, I was nothing more than a trophy child to my parents - something to show off with their other possessions. Now that they knew I was gay, the trophy was tarnished and they were glad to get rid of it.

Looking up at Lance’s father in awe, I asked him, “Dad? Can I call you Dad? My own father wasn’t half the dad that you are.”

“I would be honored, Kevin,” he replied as he pulled me close to him. Once again we cried in each other’s arms. We cried tears of joy.

Dinner that night was awesome as Barbara served us course after gourmet course. It was a feast.

Lance and I spent our first evening together with our dad in the sprawling mansion that was the Meridian Manour B&B. As we headed upstairs to the room that Lance and I would share, Dad turned around and said, “Listen boys, just because I’m letting you share a room doesn’t mean that I’m giving you a green light to have sex. I know you’ve probably had plenty of sex and I’m not about to stand in the way when you’ll undoubtedly find a way to do it anyway.

“I guess what I’m trying to say is to be gentle with each other, and to remember that sex is an expression of love and not the other way around. Also, keep in mind that I’ll be in the room right next door,” he added as he winked at us. Talk about spoiling the mood! However,that didn’t stop us for long.

Taking the key card Dad gave us, I unlocked the door to our room and then surprised the hell out of my Lancelot when I picked him up and carried him inside. Once I set him down on the bed, he looked up at me with his adoring eyes and said, “I can’t believe you carried me across the threshold. How sweet!”

“I love you, Lance,” I responded. “I want to be with you, always.”

“I love you too, Kev. I feel the same,” he replied, and then he reached up to me and kissed me.

Our kissing quickly became intensely passionate as tongues sought out tongues and our hands roamed freely over each other. Before long, our shirts and shoes were discarded and, not long after that, the rest of our clothing. Minutes later I found myself on my back with Lance pinning my shoulders in place as he looked down upon me with love in his eyes.

“Please don’t make me wait any longer, Kev,” he admonished me. “Make love to me. I’ve been ready for a long time now. I need to feel you inside of me. I’ll wait for you no matter how long it takes but, please, don’t make me wait another day longer. You’re the only one I want… the only one I need. I want to lose my virginity… to you.”

“I’m so sorry, Lance,” I responded. “You’re right… it never was about you being too young. It was always about me and about me being scared. Having sex is kind of like saying goodbye to the innocence of childhood… not that I’ve been the least bit innocent for some time,” I added with a giggle. “Seriously, I’ll soon be sixteen, and you’ll be fourteen in less than a month. They say high school relationships don’t last, and you’re not even in high school yet,” I added with a laugh.

“We’re gonna prove them wrong, Lance. We’re gonna be one of those couples… childhood sweethearts… that survives. We may want to work our way up to anal… the last thing I want is to inflict pain on you… but let’s not hold anything back. Never again. Let’s see where our love takes us.”

It turned out to be quite a night as the two of us explored our sexuality together. In spite of my suggestion to take it slow, we pretty much did anything and everything that night and for many nights to come.

I would have liked to say that we moved back into Lance’s mansion a short time later, but his bitch of a mother hired a top legal team and they managed to tie things up in court for nearly two years, by which time I was a senior and starting to think seriously about going to college. Fortunately, she never sought custody of Lance and he remained with Dad and me throughout the ordeal.

Lance moved to the upper school the next fall as a freshman, and I was a junior. Throughout my junior and senior years, Lance and I played doubles on the Park Tudor tennis team, winning championship after championship. At the time of my graduation, we remained undefeated.

The following year I went to Butler of course, so I could remain close to Lance as he finished high school at Park Tudor. Butler wasn’t Ivy League, but it was still an elite private university and it provided an excellent education. When Lance took early graduation the following year, at the age of seventeen, I transferred to Harvard and entered the Pre-Med program, and Lance entered Pre-Law. The year after that, we got married.

Just as Dad said, sex was an expression of the love we shared for each other, a love that even still continues to mature throughout all the aspects of our lives…

Copyright © 2021 Altimexis; All Rights Reserved.
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Kevin's parents are equal-opportunity haters, looking down on Blacks and Hispanics in addition to gays.  Supposedly well educated, they accept the false, fixed belief (the definition of psychosis) that gays can be "cured" and have no problem with the idea of  torturing their own child into a semblance of their "normal."

Kevin's dad, who probably thinks of himself as a good man, has no compunction about throwing a naked, wet 13 year-old boy into the snow and "bitter cold." He has no justification for this act of child abuse, and I'm sorry to see that he gets away with it.

Lance's mother is even more extreme, threatening her son with death and leaving the room to retrieve her gun.  (Talk about religion becoming insanity.) 

That Serena has heard that Alice was gay friendly suggests that Auntie had a reputation for helping multiple gay kids, not just Ty and Ricky. (May she rest in peace.)

Wonderful to see Ty and Ricky again. And Jerry's a kick! He certainly calls it as he sees it!

Yay for Lance's Dad, not to mention Barbara and Rick!  A "happy ever after" ending is never certain, but I'm glad that Kevin and Lance ultimately have the opportunity to pursue their love and their relationship. (But Kevin, get out of pre-med while you can!  Trust me.... 😂)

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Another great chapter pointing out how phony some folks can be, what I found hard to understand/believe is that Lance's mother was caught threatening both her son and ex-husband with a loaded gun on tape!!! 

She should have been arrested, charged, the gun taken away and locked up for attempted murder. No ifs ands or doubts about it. There's no way in heck she should have been able to drag out the proceedings for the better part of two years.

“Well for the time being, we’re going to stay right here. I’ve rented a couple of rooms… one for me and one for the two of you. Then we go back to court and challenge the divorce settlement. I have your mother on tape admitting that she threw you out of the house and that she was planning to shoot you if you resisted, so there shouldn’t be any problem getting custody away from her. She also admitted that she fully intended to shoot and kill me. With the right legal team, I doubt that we’ll have much trouble voiding the divorce settlement and getting the house back. My hope is that she’ll go voluntarily… otherwise she could wind up in jail.”

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