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    Altimexis
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Crossroads: Tales from the Heartland - 5. Finding Myself

Warning: This story deals with a pederast who picks up teenage boys. It is not meant to glorify nor condemn intergenerational sex, but rather to provide a frank portrayal of a man who was a victim himself and of the thoughts and feelings of one of his victims. Although sexual activity is inferred, there are no graphic descriptions beyond kissing and touching, activities that still might be considered illegal in most jurisdictions.

Tears streamed down my face as I walked backwards along the old highway, my thumb extended beside me as I hoped and prayed someone would stop and give me a ride out of the hellhole that had been my home for twelve years. Yet at the same time I almost hoped someone didn’t stop. I’d been through enough in my young life to know that most people wanted something from you. Fuck, my own uncle had been porking me since I was seven. That’s right, my own uncle! So what do you think happened when I finally got up the nerve to tell my parents about it? They called me a liar - and worse.

They said I was a fucking homosexual pervert and that if we had sex, it was because I seduced him. How do you like that? That’s right, my uncle repeatedly raped me for more than five years and my parents said it was me that seduced him. How many seven-year-olds do you know that would want to seduce a grown man? How many grown men do you know that could be seduced by a seven-year-old boy?

So what did my parents decide to do? They planned to make me live with him! No fucking way in hell was I gonna do that, so I ran away. I stuffed my backpack with all I could fit into it, half of it food, ’cause I sure as fuck couldn’t eat my clothes and God alone knew when I’d find anything else to eat. Then I hightailed it outta there. I wasn’t sure where I was gonna go - I just knew I had to get away from home - far away.

Trouble was, I was only twelve years old. I was big for my age at five feet, six-and-a-half inches tall and looked like a teenager, but no one would have ever mistaken me for anything besides a runaway. If I was spotted by the police, I’d be picked up on sight and more than likely returned to my parents. That was something I couldn’t allow to happen under any circumstances. No, I was gonna hafta stay far away from the kinds of places the cops might look for a runaway kid. That meant no hitching on the Interstate or even anywhere near the Interstate. Even the major highways were patrolled too.

Of course there were parts of downtown that were known as places street kids could hang out. Fort Wayne was big enough to have big city problems, like drugs, homelessness and prostitution. As naïve as I might be, even I could recognize that trying to make a life for myself on the streets of downtown Fort Wayne would have been like jumpin’ from the frying pan into the fire. I might as well have offed myself right then and there, ya know?

No, the main reason for running away was to try and make a better life for myself on my own than I’d have had with my fuckwad uncle. My future might not have been worth shit but I still had hope. What I would do after the 37 dollars I had in my wallet ran out, I hadn’t a clue. The thought that I might hafta turn a few tricks along the way, just to survive, made me shudder but, Hell, I’d been doin’ it with my uncle since I was seven. For now I just wasn’t even gonna think about it. Like everyone’s always sayin’, I was gonna hafta take it one day at a time.

Obviously, taking a bus was out of the question. I didn’t even have enough money for a ticket to Indy, let alone to get outta the state. Dangerous as I knew it was, hitchhiking was my only option. Just how the fuck was I gonna manage to hitchhike while avoiding the main roads? Fort Wayne was a large enough city that people didn’t just pass through. Most people bypassed the city altogether on Interstate 69, heading from Detroit to Indy and points south, or vice versa, or they might take Interstate 469 around the east side of the city, which was where we lived.

Even the highways, U.S. routes 24, 30, 27 and 33, were all four-lane divided roads with interchanges, just like the Interstates. Truckers and anyone else traveling between Fort Wayne and Toledo, Columbus, South Bend, Lafayette or dozens of other small cities and towns in Indiana or Ohio would almost certainly stick to those highways - highways patrolled by the State Police. No way, no how could I take a chance on hitchin’ a ride on one of those routes.

’Course there were plenty of county roads - roads that went to exciting places like Payne, Ohio. They were just the ticket to freedom that a runaway twelve-year-old kid like me was looking for - NOT! But at least they were country roads and hitchhikers even as young as me weren’t that uncommon. Not that I’d ever done it before, but for the kids that lived on the farms outside of Fort Wayne, sometimes there wasn’t any other way to visit a friend.

My destination aside, there was an even bigger problem with taking country roads. How the fuck would I find my way? I couldn’t exactly use my cell phone - one of the first things I did when I left the house was to power it down, ’cause I knew the police could use it to track me. I was gonna have to find a place that still sold paper maps. Maybe I could get one at a truck stop. That thought gave me an idea, though an insanely great idea.

I couldn’t hitchhike on the highway, but even the people who drove on it had to stop for gas or to get a bite to eat, or maybe to piss or take a dump. Gas stations and truck stops were a perfect place to hitch a ride. Of course the cops musta known that too, so I’d have to be careful. So long as I didn’t hang around any one place too long, I figured it should be pretty safe.

I lived in a suburb just inside of Interstate 469, off of Rose Avenue. Rose Avenue was also known as U.S. Route 24 and it was a major thoroughfare. Once it crossed I-469 it split into Old U.S. 24, a two-lane country road that passed through a series of rural towns. The New U.S. Route 24, a four-lane divided highway was the main road to Toledo, but Old Highway 24 ran parallel to it the whole way. My parents and I sometimes drove on the old road before the new highway was finished, and we still took it in the summer whenever they wanted to buy fresh vegetables. A lot of the farmers set up stands on Old Highway 24, just for that purpose. You could actually see the new highway from the old one in many places. It was that thought that helped me make my mind up. By stickin’ to Old Highway 24, I could follow the highway without bein’ on the highway. It was easy to get to from my house, it led me out of state and there were plenty of truck stops and gas stations along the way - least that’s what I thought.

I left the house before sunrise and, with it being late July, that meant getting up really fuckin’ early. I wanted to get going before the workday started - before my parents had a chance to realize I was gone. Hell, they prolly wouldn’t even notice I wasn’t there ’til they got home from work. I also knew I had a very long walk ahead of me. It could be hours before someone might stop.

How long it might take to walk the whole way to Toledo, I hadn’t a clue. I remembered hearing it was something like a hundred miles. A hundred fucking miles! If I walked fast, covering about four miles in an hour, I could make it there in just over a day! Realistically, allowing time for rest breaks and sleep, it would take me at least two days to walk it. But then I remembered that soldiers cover maybe twenty miles in a day. Course that involved carrying all their heavy gear and all, but I wasn’t in near as good a shape as a soldier. Fuck, walking to Toledo would take me forever! I sure as fuck had better catch a ride.

It was a hot day and I did my best to ration my water so I wouldn’t have to stop to refill my canteen any more than I had to. I wanted to keep my shirt on but after walking for what I guessed to be a few hours, with temperatures already approaching ninety and, with the humidity to match, I finally pulled my shirt off and stuffed it into my backpack. I didn’t know for sure how long I’d been walking, ’cause I didn’t have a watch and couldn’t take a chance on using my cell phone.

The problem with going shirtless was that it could attract just the wrong kinda driver. The last thing I needed was to be raped and dumped by the roadside. I might as well have stayed with my uncle if that was what was gonna happen to me. I was lookin’ for a safe ride outta town and not with some sicko pedo if I could help it. Swallowin’ real hard, I realized I might not have much choice, and walkin’ without a shirt only heightened my sense of danger. I hated to advertize what I had to the wrong sort but it was hot as blazes. I just couldn’t stand the heat with my shirt on. I was gonna hafta be careful.

The walking seemed endless as I trudged along. It felt like I was on a road to nowhere as I passed field after field of farmland. The sun beat down on me relentlessly as sweat ran down my face and into my eyes, and down my body too. Even though it felt like I’d been walking for hours, the sun wasn’t even close to being overhead. My water was going way too fast and I’d yet to pass anything more than the occasional farmhouse.

There wasn’t any shade along the way either - just a row of trees on either side of the road that separated the roadway from the adjacent farms. It wasn’t even enough to provide much privacy when I had to do my business.

Finally I seemed to be coming to a town, although it didn’t look like much of one. There were some houses that didn’t even front on the highway, and a couple of industrial-looking businesses. There was also what looked like a high school… and there was a gas station! A Marathon station with several rows of pumps, a convenience store and some diesel pumps for the trucks. It wasn’t a real truck stop but it was close enough.

I entered the convenience store and savored the feel of the cool air on my bare chest. It felt fantastic! I longingly eyed the refrigerated cases with their rows and rows of soft drinks and was momentarily tempted, but thought better of it. Soft drinks were a luxury with no nutritional value at all. Besides which, there was a drinking fountain next to the restrooms, and it was free!

Speaking of restrooms, I made a beeline for the men’s room and took advantage of my first real bathroom since leavin’ home. After doin’ my business, I splashed cold water on my face and washed the sweat off my body. It was as I was washing myself that it dawned on me I’d forgotten to pack my deodorant. I’d forgotten to pack any toiletries at all - not even a toothbrush. How fuckin’ stupid I’d been! I realized that already I prolly didn’t smell too good and that no one would give me a ride if I stank. Much as it pained me, I was gonna hafta spend some of my meager funds on deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, but not here. Convenience stores were way too expensive!

I was gonna need some sunblock too, and that I would buy here. Although I had a dark tan from bein’ outdoors all summer, I knew I’d still have a nasty sunburn by the end of the day if I didn’t apply sunblock before goin’ any further. And I needed socks! I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten to pack socks. If I went without socks I’d blister for sure. No way I could walk a hundred miles without at least one extra pair a socks. Those I could wait to buy at a cheaper place but, even still, my money was gonna go way too fast.

I picked out the cheapest generic brand of sunblock with the highest SPF factor I could find and took it to the cashier. The strange look she gave me reminded me that it prolly wasn’t right for me to be paradin’ around a convenience store without wearin’ a shirt but, truthfully, I didn’t give a fuck. It was hotter than shit outside and I needed to cool off.

Throwin’ the sunblock into my backpack, I thought I’d wait to see if one of the truckers would give me a ride. No use wastin’ any of my five-dollar tube of sunblock if I was gonna be riding in someone’s cab the rest of the day. I spotted about six or seven trucks parked around the service station as well as a couple trucks at the diesel pumps.

I approached the diesel pumps and went up to the first trucker and said, “Mister, is there a chance I could maybe hitch a ride with you?” The guy looked to be about maybe forty or fifty and he looked harmless enough, but the way he looked me up and down gave me the creeps. “Ah, never mind,” I said and crossed over to the other side of the pumps and the other trucker there, who was considerably younger - perhaps only thirty or so.

“Could I maybe hitch a ride with you?” I asked.

“Aren’t you a bit young to be hitchhiking?” the trucker asked as he looked me in the eyes. “You look like you could be thirteen, but your face is younger. I bet you’re only twelve, huh?”

Shit! “Nah, I’m thirteen,” I answered, wanting to seem as old as possible in the hope that he’d give me a ride.

“Nice try, kid,” he responded, “but your eyes dilate when you tell a lie, just like they did just now. You’re only twelve and should be home with your parents… not looking for someone to pick you up and do God knows what with you. Then lowering his voice, he added, “The guy you just talked to… his name is Ralph. I don’t know what his last name is, but I’ve seen him pick up boys before. He does it all the time. Sometimes I’ve picked up the kids after he drops them off by the side of the road. Those are the ones that wouldn’t put out for him. It seems the price for riding with him is to take it up the ass…”

“Couldn’t be worse than what I put up with at home,” I responded before realizing I’d prolly said too much.

Getting a softer look in his eyes, the trucker asked, “Was it your dad?”

Shakin’ my head, I replied, “My uncle.”

Puttin’ his hand on my bare shoulder, he asked, “Which way you headed, son?”

“Anyplace but Fort Wayne,” I answered.

“Unfortunately for you, that’s just were I’m headed,” he responded, and then he added, “but I’d like you to consider going back there with me. I know you’re probably afraid of what will happen to you in ‘the system’ or that you might even be sent back to your parents…”

“You got that right,” I replied.

“But listen to me,” he went on, “that’s not what’s gonna happen. If you tell them your uncle raped you, they aren’t gonna put you back into a situation where you could be harmed again without checking things out, and thoroughly…”

“But what if they believe my uncle?” I asked. “What if they believe my parents?” I went on. “Even if it’s a remote possibility, I can’t take a chance, ya know?”

“And what do you think lies for you in the other direction?” he asked. “How far do you think you’ll get without having to resort to begging, stealing or selling your body? Food costs money. Clothing costs money. When it turns colder, a roof over your head costs money. And what about school? How far do you think you’ll get in life without at least a high school education?”

Again shakin’ my head, I replied, “I just can’t take a chance, mister. I know things aren’t gonna be good for me, maybe for a long time but, whatever happens, it’s gotta be better than they would have been at home.”

“I can only hope you’re right,” the trucker replied, and then he got out his wallet and handed me a fifty dollar bill! “Here, son. Take this. Think of it as a loan. Use it to get to a youth shelter. There’s one in every major city and they can help you get back on your feet and to stay off the streets. You can pay me back by making something of your life. Do that and I won’t have to spend my tax money to pay the state to keep you in jail some day. OK?”

“Thanks mister,” I responded enthusiastically. “Thanks a lot! I promise I’ll make something of my life. No way, no how I’m goin’ ta jail. Kids get raped in jail. ’Sides, I have things I wanna do with my life. Maybe I’ll be a vet some day like my dad is when he’s not bein’ a jerk and accusin’ me of bein’ a homo pervert…”

“You’re gay?” the trucker asked in surprise.

Shakin’ my head, I replied, “My dad thinks I’m gay ’cause I said my uncle raped me. The only way a ‘fine man like my uncle’ woulda had sex with me was if I seduced him. Yeah, right!”

“Even if you are gay,” the trucker responded, “that’s no way to treat your own son.

“Anyway,” the trucker continued, “I need to get on my way to Fort Wayne. Son, I wish you the best of luck, and use that fifty wisely.”

“Believe me, Mister, I will,” I replied as he shook my hand. I watched him drive away and then I headed to the first truck that was parked. There was a kinda grassy area around which a bunch of trucks were parked. I wasn’t sure why, but I soon found out when I saw there was no one inside the cab. The engine was runnin, though, and seein’ another door behind the cab, I wondered if the trucker could be inside. Naïve as I was, I had no idea what was back there but was about to find out.

I banged on the door and soon I heard some noises from inside. The door opened part way and a head and shirtless torso popped out and asked, “What the fuck do you want?”

Swallowin’ hard, I asked, “Could I maybe hitch a ride with you?”

“Gees, kid,” he responded, “can’t you see that I’m trying to sleep?” Then he slammed the door shut and that was the end of that. So that was why these trucks were here. They were parked while the truckers caught a nap. I was just about to try finding a trucker that was awake and was considering just waiting until someone came out, when I heard the sound of tires on gravel. That wasn’t unexpected at a gas station, but then out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of something different about the car that just pulled in.

Glancing quickly in the direction of the car, I saw that it was a state trooper. Fuck! I thought to myself that I needed to stay calm and look natural. If I ran or did anything sudden, the trooper would prolly come after me. I had to look like I had reason to be here and that I knew where I was goin’

Turnin’ back to the truck I’d just been investigatin’, I called out rather loudly, “Thanks, for the lift, Dad,” and then I casually walked away. I coulda said more but stopped myself at the last moment. Why would I say something like, ‘I’ll be staying at Timmy’s’ if Dad was presumably giving me a lift to Timmy’s in the first place?”

Resuming my walk eastward on Old U.S. 24, after passing through the rest of the town, such as it was, I came to a roadside park, prolly left over from when this road was still the main highway. More out of curiosity than anything, I walked back into the woods that flanked the park only to discover that the park was built on a river! Realization dawned that this was the Maumee River, which winds its way from Fort Wayne all the way to Toledo before emptying into Lake Erie. The water looked muddy and I doubted it was drinkable, thanks to all the farm runoff, but at least I had a way to cool off. There wasn’t much privacy but I didn’t care as I stripped outta my clothes and waded out into the water. It felt fuckin’ fantastic!

I lost track of time as I swam in the water, makin’ sure to keep track of where the park and my clothes were. The last thing I wanted was to find myself in the middle of nowhere, dressed only in my birthday suit. Reluctantly, I got out of the water after a while and waited ’til I was just barely dry before putting my clothes back on. It was then that I noticed I already had a blister on the back of my heel. Fuck! I could only imagine what it would look like by the time I got to Toledo.

Before I resumed my journey, I decided I needed to deal with my increasing hunger before I went any further. It had been hours since I’d eaten breakfast and I was starving. Judging from the sun, it was still only ten o’clock if even that. However, there was no way I was gonna make it until noon to eat lunch.

Opening my backpack, I got out one of the packages of string cheese I’d brought with me and tore off one of the individual servings, which I started to unwrap. ’Course as hot as it was, the cheese was completely melted, but it tasted wonderful. It would have been perfect on toast or even just with bread, but bread would have taken up way too much room in my backpack. After finishing the first string of cheese, I decided I needed another and so I tore off another portion.

After finishing the cheese, I got out a Kit-Kat bar and unwrapped it, only to find that there was nothin’ left but wafers and chocolate soup. I ate the wafers as best I could and then literally licked the chocolate off the wrapper - and off my fingers! It was messy but it sure tasted great. Once finished, I closed up my backpack and then went to the restroom to take care of my business and to wash the chocolate off my face and hands.

Before leaving the woods and going back out into the unrelenting sun, I decided that now was a good time to apply some sunblock, and so I did. I would have liked to apply fresh deodorant too, but that would have to wait until I bought some.

Once back on the road, I quickly came to a huge industrial plant right next to the highway. It was a B.F. Goodrich tire plant. I wondered what the fuck a tire factory was doin’ here, out in the middle of nowhere, but then I remembered it was still only minutes from Fort Wayne by car or truck. The gravity of my situation was beginning to sink in as I realized just how short a distance I’d gone and how much further I had to go, just to get to Toledo. What’s worse was that Toledo wasn’t really my final destination at all. It was nothing more than a goal - a place to get to before I figured out what I was gonna do next. I didn’t even know anyone who lived there.

As the enormity of the journey ahead began to sink in, the water works started. I couldn’t help it. Even though I was almost a teenager… even though I’d been takin’ it up the ass from my uncle for the past five years… even though I’d had to deal with shit no adult should halfta deal with, underneath it all I was still just a kid. I was a very lonely, desperate kid facin’ an uncertain and maybe hopeless future. But cryin’ wasn’t gonna get me outta my situation, so I pulled myself together and went on.

With nothin’ better to do as I plodded my way along between the endless fields of crops, I started to think about just what my next steps might be. I was a twelve-year-old boy with parents that didn't want to have anything to do with their so-called homo pervert of a son. My only other living relative as far as I knew was my uncle, who’d been raping me since I was seven. I really was on my own.

So what would I do once I got to Toledo? Live on the streets? Survive by stealing food? Stealing clothes? Sooner or later I’d need money and that would mean begging for it, or stealing stuff I could sell, or sellin’ drugs… or sellin’ my body, just like the trucker said. If I did any of those things, I’d be no better off than if I’d stayed in Fort Wayne, except that I’d be in Ohio. If I was caught, I didn’t know if Ohio would send me back to Indiana or not, but it was prolly safer than bein’ in Fort Wayne.

I just needed to get far enough from home that I didn’t hafta worry ’bout bein’ sent back. Maybe then I could look for a shelter that helped kids, like the trucker told me to. I was only a kid, so I knew I needed help from adults. I could deal with livin’ in a shelter or a group home. I was a big kid and I knew I’d do OK if it came down to a fight and I could take care of myself. I wasn’t looking for parents to love me or anything, I just needed someone to provide me food and a place to stay, some clothes and, yes, an education. I definitely wanted to go back to school in the fall. I just needed help to survive until I was old enough to get a job.

’Course I could have a job right now if I was willing to sell myself. No, sellin’ myself meant dealing with johns and pimps and prolly drugs and AIDS and I didn’t want ta have anythin’ to do with any of that. However, what if whoever offered me a ride expected me to have sex with them, like that Ralph guy? Strangely that didn’t bother me nearly as much as it prolly shoulda. I was runnin’ away from home ’cause my uncle had been rapin’ me for years. Why would I have sex with a stranger when I wouldn’t with my uncle anymore?

The answer was simple. I wasn’t gonna sell my goods if I could help it but I hadta get away from here. I just hadta. If that meant lettin’ some older guy stick it up my ass, well, it wouldn’t be anythin’ I hadn’t been doin’ with my uncle for the last five years and it offered me a chance - a chance to buy me my freedom.

But at least with my uncle, it was safe. Far as I knew, I was the only one he was doin’ it with. If he had AIDS, I’da had it by now. Doin’ it with a stranger was another matter. I was gonna hafta use protection. Perhaps I needed to buy condoms too, but the mere thought of that made me blush as I walked along. A twelve-year-old who looked maybe thirteen buyin’ a box a condoms would definitely raise some eyebrows.

When the sun was straight over my head, I came to the first major highway that crossed my route. It was Indiana State Road 101, but there wasn’t a gas station or a truck stop in sight. Lookin’ to the south, toward the new highway, it looked like there might be a town on the other side of the highway but it was too far away to really see anything. I was tempted to go there but it didn’t look all that promising, and it looked to be at least a couple of miles away. I decided to pass.

After walkin’ maybe another half-hour, I came to State Line Road and a sign welcoming me to Ohio. Hooray! Goodbye Indiana - maybe forever. As I passed the sign, I turned around and gave Indiana the finger.

It took another hour before I came to the first real town I’d seen on my journey, the thriving town of Antwerp, Ohio, according to the sign. Compared to Fort Wayne, it wasn’t a very big town, but it was large enough to have several traffic lights, a community park and a large, modern combined Junior and Senior High School. There was an A&W Drive-In and the smell of their burgers made my mouth water almost enough to stop there for lunch. Even with the extra fifty dollars, however, I knew I still needed to conserve my money. I had to make it last.

I passed a Pit Stop gas station and thought about stopping there, but decided I’d either look for something else or come back there later. The first order of business was to buy my supplies at a place that was cheaper. Continuing along old U.S. 24, or County Road 424 as it was called here, I soon came to a series of shops that lined Main Street. They didn’t seem to have a CVS, but there was the Antwerp Pharmacy, right across from a Subway. It was a nice, modern pharmacy and it fit the bill.

I’d never bought things for myself before and I soon realized just how much I’d relied on my mother to pick out my things. Just shopping for deodorant was a challenge. There were so many brands and so many varieties within each brand. I ended up buying what my mother usually bought for me, ’cause I knew it worked! Maybe next time I’d try somethin’ else. Picking out a toothbrush and toothpaste wasn’t much better. I was about to buy the same brand of toothpaste my mother always buys, but then I noticed an off-brand that was half the price. Maybe it wouldn’t taste as good, but it still had fluoride, so how bad could it be?

Next I came to an aisle with some basic clothing and found that they had socks on sale. They weren’t very stylish and I knew I’d look dorkey in them but, at a dozen for only ten dollars, they’d last me a while, so I put them into my basket. Finally I took a walk down the aisle with the condoms. Was I really brave enough to buy a box? No, I wasn’t. If someone wanted to pork me, then letthem provide the condoms!

There weren’t many other customers in the store and those there were looked at me strangely as if I were from another planet. Then it dawned on me that I still wasn’t wearing a shirt! I hadn’t even thought about it. When I walked up to the cashier, however, she said, “I’m sorry, Honey, but you have to wear a shirt to shop in this store.”

I was about to tell her what she could do with her store but, then, thought better of it and said, “Oops, I’m sorry but my Dad's over at the Pit Stop fillin’ up and I left my shirt in the car. Do I really have to walk back there, just so I can pay you for this stuff?”

“No, I suppose not,” she replied as she rang me up. “Just remember to put your shirt on the next time you go shopping,” she added.

Stuffing the bag with my purchases into my backpack, I headed back outside into the blistering heat and headed back to the old highway. There was a Marathon station at the corner, but it was small and wasn’t of much use to me. I went up to the guy inside and asked, “Sir, besides this place and the Pit Stop, are there any other gas stations around here?

“In town, not really,” he said, “but there’s a large Sunoco by the new highway.”

“Is it far?” I asked.

“Nah,” he replied, “you just need ta follow Main Street, stickin’ to 49 as it makes the jog to Erie Street, then head south and it’ll be on your right.”

“Thanks,” I replied as I turned around and headed back down Main Street. I wasn’t sure what he meant by following 49 until I noticed a sign for Route 49, and I followed it as it indeed made a couple a turns, takin’ me one block over. The walk down 49 to the new highway, however, was long! He musta thought I was goin’ by car. Yeah, it would have been real close If I hada car - not that I could drive yet.

Although the Sunoco station was large and modern, it wasn’t a truck stop and it was really just for cars. Still, there were several cars there and, having walked so far to get there, I figured I might as well check it out. The first order of business was to use the restroom and so I headed inside, once again oblivious to the fact that I wasn’t wearin’ a shirt.

After doin’ my business and while I was walking through the convenience store on my way out, a young guy, who looked like a teenager or maybe a college kid, looked up at me, stared at my body briefly and then looked into my eyes and smiled. It prolly shoulda creeped me out but it didn’t. Something in his eyes told me he wasn’t gonna hurt me. He looked to be just a kid himself - a kid who looked like maybe he’d been through somethin’ like I was goin’ through.

“Hot day out there, isn’t it?” he began and when I just stood there, not sayin’ anything, he added, “Sorry if I sound a bit forward, but I’m a salesman and I’m used to talking to strangers. It’s what I do all day,” he added with a smile and I couldn’t help but smile back.

Then remembering why I was here in the first place, I asked him, “I don’t suppose you would be headed to Toledo by any chance, would you?”

“Toledo’s my next stop,” he replied with a grin. “Why do you ask? Surely a young guy like you wouldn’t be hitchhiking, would you?”

“Usually I take the bus,” I lied, “but I lost my bus fare playin’ pool with friends. I’m pretty good at pool and if it hadn’t been for a new kid that joined us… a kid who could wipe my ass… I usually win big when I play.” Then looking down for effect, “It was pretty stupid of me.”

“That’s a pretty original story, but I suspect it’s just that… a story,” the man answered and my heart sank. Shit, was I that obvious when I lied?

“However, I’m always happy to help out folks in need and something tells me you have been through some tough times lately. Besides which, I always enjoy the company when I travel. It makes the trip go faster.

“My name’s Scott, by the way,”

“Jay,” I replied as we shook hands. I didn’t realize until after I said it that I’d given him my real name.

Following Scott out to the parking area, he led me to a black Lincoln Navigator. “Nice wheels,” I said as he unlocked the car and I walked around to the door to the shotgun seat. When I opened the door, I noticed right away that the vehicle was totally decked out. I immediately noticed the rich smell of new leather as I hopped in and closed the door, enjoying the feel of the soft leather seat and the cool air from the air conditioner against my bare skin. I wondered if maybe I should put on my shirt but decided against it, ’cause it might’ve drawn more attention than just leaving it off.

As we drove away, Scott asked, “Could I ask you how old you are, Jay?”

Feeling just a bit nervous and tempted to lie, I decided against it. “I’m twelve,” I answered.

“Really!” Scott exclaimed. “You look so much older! I would have figured you for at least thirteen… maybe even fourteen.”

With a bit of a giggle, I replied, “I’m big for my age, but no way I look fourteen. Thirteen maybe, but I know I look young.”

“You don’t have to answer this Jay,” Scott started to ask, “but what’s your real story? What is a twelve-year-old boy doing hitchhiking to Toledo? Chances are you’re either running away from home, or you’re tryin’ to return.”

Swallowing hard, I replied, “I’m running away from home, but I had no choice! My uncle’s been abusing me for years and, when I told my parents, they believed him and not me. They were gonna send me to live with the bastard and I just couldn’t, ya know?”

“Yeah, I do know,” Scott replied.

“Listen, Jay,” Scott went on, “I know I don’t need to tell you that hitchhiking’s dangerous and I know you must be pretty desperate to be traveling with a total stranger, but if you’re gonna hitchhike, you can’t tell the people you ride with that you’re a runaway! Not even if they ask nicely like I did. By admitting to being a runaway, you pretty much told me that no one knows where you are. Sure, your parents might be looking for you…”

“I doubt it,” I replied.

“But even if they are looking for you, they have no idea where to look. By tonight you could be hundreds of miles from home and in any one of several directions. With what you said, I know this and I could do anything I wanted with you without anyone else knowing about it. I could rape you, kill you and bury you deep in the woods and no one would know.”

I was startin’ to realize just how dumb I’d been. When I’d thought of it before, the idea that someone might kill me, just to use my body, seemed so far fetched. No one was really evil enough to do that, were they? Actually, I knew that there were people evil enough to do that. I’d seen stories about that on the news and on the Internet. I was royally fucked.

Was Scott tellin’ me that’s what he was gonna do with me? I figured whoever picked me up might demand sex in return for a ride, but the thought that they might just as soon off me so I couldn’t tell on them was something I wasn’t prepared to face. I could only hope that Scott’s warning was nothin’ more than helpful advice. I was petrified of what the answer might be, but I had to know. Scott seemed nice enough, but maybe it was all an act.

Swallowin’ hard, I asked, “Am I gonna hafta have sex with you for this ride?”

With a startled look on his face, Scott answered, “Not that the thought didn’t enter my mind Jay, but you’re so young. I’ll admit, I approached you in the store because you’re a very good-looking boy. If you were a bit older, I might have made some moves on you, seen if you’d be interested in getting some meals and a stay in a warm bed in a hotel for a little fun…”

“Have you done it with other kids?” I asked. I needed to know what I was up against.

“I’ve done it with a few,” he answered, seeming to choose his words carefully. “It’s not that I set out to pick up hitchhikers or to have sex with boys or anything, but if an opportunity presents itself…”

“Am I an opportunity?” I asked, pushin’ the matter further.

Not sayin’ anything for the longest time, Scott finally responded, “When I first approached you, I thought you might be. I knew you were young, but you look big for your age and when I thought you might even be fourteen, well, I let my little head rule my big head. I know fourteen is way too young, too.

“When I started out in this job and came across my first hitchhiker, I swore to myself I was going to stick to boys who were at least sixteen years old. Sixteen is legal in this state. It’s legal in all threeof the states in my territory. But then there are… temptations.”

“Temptations like me?” I asked.

“Maybe we shouldn’t go there, Jay,” Scott answered. “Yes, I’m tempted, but you’re only twelve. Twelve is way to young to be having sex…”

“But my uncle started porkin’ me when I was only seven,” I answered indignantly, realizin’ only after I’d said it that I prolly said too much.

Puttin’ his hand on my bare shoulder and looking into my eyes for a brief moment before turnin’ back to look at the road, he went on. “No kid should have to go through that. You never had a chance to have a childhood. Not that my life was much better, but at least I got to live a normal childhood until well into my teens.” Then lookin’ into my eyes again for a brief moment, he continued, “You’re vulnerable, Jay. It would be so easy to take advantage of you, which is why I can’t do it. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I took advantage of you like that, but there are others who will. You need to be careful, and you need to learn how to divulge as little information as possible.

“What I’m saying is that you have to formulate a good story and make it believable. The story about losing all your money playing pool was a nice first attempt, but what twelve-year-old would gamble away his bus fare? It just doesn’t ring true. Instead you might have told me that someone stole it. Bus stations are rather unsavory places, so the notion that a beggar got aggressive and stole your money is a lot less far fetched. See what I mean?”

“Yeah,” I answered. “I’m just new at this, you know?”

“I think I do know,” Scott replied. “I had a really tough time with my parents myself, which is kinda why I picked you up. I sometimes pick up boys who look like they need help and not just because I’m attracted to them. I went through hell and ended up living nearly a year on the streets of Indy…”

“Did you have to sell your body?” I asked nervously.

Shakin’ his head, Scott responded, “I couldn’t have been a prostitute if I tried.

“To make a very long story short,” he continued, “my parents had trouble accepting that I was different. I hope it doesn’t freak you out that I’m gay…”

Laughin’, I replied, “I kinda figured as much, ’cause you’re a pedo and such.”

Visibly cringing, Scott answered, “I’m not a pedo - at least I don’t think of myself as one. And not all pedophiles are gay, either,” Scott continued. “Actually, the term for a guy who likes to have sex with young pubescent boys is a pederast, but I don’t even think of myself that way, either. I see myself as a gay guy who went through hell, thanks to his parents, and who has trouble having normal sexual relations as a result. I get sick to my stomach, literally, from having sex with guys my own age. It’s kinda like my lust has been frozen in time, back at the age I was when my parents found out…”

“What happened… with your parents I mean?” I asked.

“My parents totally freaked out when I came out to them,” Scott explained. “I thought they loved me, no matter what, but I couldn’t have been more wrong about them. They just couldn’t accept having a gay son, so they put me into one of those programs to make gay kids straight. Trouble is, you can’t make a gay kid straight any more than you can make a black kid white. The program they put me in was a real bad one too. They tortured me until the thought of having sex with anyone made me sick… really, really sick.

“I never did learn to fake it the way some of the kids did and I was ultimately deemed a treatment failure, and released with only the clothes I wore. My parents refused to take me back, so I hitchhiked to Indy, intending to sell myself if I had to, to survive. Trouble was, I couldn’t get it up any more, thanks to all the torture I’d been through, so I had to resort to begging and, all too often, stealing.

“I got arrested a couple of times,” he went on. “The second time the judge sent me to a halfway house for gay kids run by a local minister. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I got back on my feet, I caught up with what I missed in school and I went to college, earning my MBA this year.

“So you see,” Scott said in finishing his story, “I know all too well what it’s like to be on your own at a young age and to have to survive on the streets.”

Doing the math quickly in my head - I’m good at math - I asked, “So you’re, what, twenty-three?”

“Twenty-two,” he replied. “My birthday’s not until September.”

As we drove along, I sat there, lost in thought. So Scott had been through a rough childhood too. It didn’t start ’til he was a teenager, but the hell he went through in that program and then living on the streets was easily worse than anything I’d ever experienced. By comparison, gettin’ porked by my uncle seemed pretty tame. It gave me a lot to think about.

After a while, the silence got to be a little oppressive and so I asked, “So what is it exactly that you sell?”

“I’m a pharmaceutical representative,” Scott answered. “My clients are doctors and I try to sell them on prescribing the drugs my company manufactures.”

“You push drugs?” I asked with a devious-sounding laugh.

“No, it’s not like that at all,” he replied, obviously taking my question way too seriously. Then he suddenly exclaimed, “Oh! We got to talking and I almost forgot about lunch. It’s a little late for lunch but, if you haven’t eaten since leaving home, you must be starved! Would you like something to eat?” He asked as he reached behind my seat and pulled out a paper bag and tossed it to me.

As I opened the bag to look inside, he continued, “The sandwiches are from Shapiro’s, down in Indy, and they’re awesome. There’s smoked turkey, corned beef, and pastrami sandwiches in there, as well as some of the best pickles you ever tasted. And there are some bags of chips and some cans of coke in there, too. Just leave me one of the sandwiches, OK?”

Not even realizing how hungry I was, I grabbed the turkey and corned beef sandwiches, a bag of barbecue chips and one of the cokes, and a whole pickle that was wrapped in plastic wrap, leaving the pastrami sandwich for Scott. He was right. The sandwiches were incredible and even though I wasn’t crazy about pickles, the pickle was really, really good.

As we both ate our lunch, we talked about what Scott did for a living - how he worked for a small pharmaceutical company that made cheaper versions of some of the name brand drugs doctors prescribed. I guess they were generics, but Scott said some of their products were alternatives to drugs still under patent, and that they were often better than the name brands. It all sounded like a bunch of BS to me but, hey, it was a living and he got a nice car in the deal, too. Anyway, Scott went around to doctors’ offices throughout Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, tryin’ to get the doctors to prescribe his company’s drugs.

It sounded kinda creepy when he spoke of how his company actually kept track of the prescriptions the doctors wrote in his territory and paid him a commission based on how many prescriptions they wrote. I had naïvely thought that doctors prescribed what they thought were the best drugs! I asked him if he had to go through any special training for the job and he explained that he had to take a couple of pharmacy courses in school, and he went through a two-week intensive training course at the company’s headquarters before he actually started the job. He’d only been working for a couple of months!

“So how many hitchhikers have you picked up in the two months you’ve been on the job?” I asked.

With a sheepish look on his face, he admitted, “I’ve picked up three boys so far. You’re the fourth one.”

“Only boys?” I asked with a grin on my face.

“It’s not like that!” Scott responded. “Most hitchhikers are boys.”

“Girls run away too,” I countered.

“All right, I admit that I enjoy the company of boys more,” he answered. “Don’t let it creep you out, but I am gay, after all, and I enjoy the company of cute boys…”

“You think I’m cute?” I asked as I kinda batted my eyes.

With a broad grin on his face, he answered, “Maybe we better not go there, Jay.”

Oh yeah, he definitely thought I was cute. Actually, if I was gonna hafta put out, Scott was an incredibly good lookin’ guy. He looked more like a teenager than an adult. I couldn’t believe it, but I got a boner just thinkin’ about seein’ Scott naked. What the fuck was that about anyway? ’Course I got a boner thinkin’ about nearly anythin’ these days. I guess it came with being a ‘pubescent boy’ as Scott put it.

“You sleep with the three other boys you picked up?” I asked, which caused Scott to nearly choke on the piece of sandwich he was chewing on at the time. The way he turned bright red pretty much gave me my answer. “How many of them did you sleep with?” I asked.

With a sheepish look on his face, he asked, “Don’t you think that’s kind of private?”

“But you already admitted to sleeping with boys,” I answered, “and you got me curious an’ I wondered if they were all over sixteen, or maybe not…”

“Listen, Jay,” Scott replied, “It’s not what you think. I’m not going to make you have sex with me if that’s what you’re worried about. I already told you that. I’ll admit, you’re a good-looking boy, but you’re only twelve. I really have been trying to stick to teens who look to be at least sixteen. I don’t want to go to jail. It’s just that sometimes I see a cute boy and I can’t help myself. I would never make a kid do something they don’t want to do, however… and, like I said, I don’t want to go to jail.”

“Of the three boys,” I asked, “how many do you think were younger than sixteen?”

With a sigh, Scott answered, “One of them admitted to being fifteen. Even though the others claimed to be sixteen, they looked like they were closer to fourteen.”

“So prolly none of them was of legal age, yet you slept with all of them?” I asked.

Rather than say it out loud, Scott merely nodded.

“You’ve gotta do a better job of working on your self-control, Scott,” I joked, but Scott took it all too seriously.

“I know I’m pretty fucked up, thanks to my parents,” he explained. “It’s like I’m trapped with the feelings I had when I was a kid, just before I went into so-called treatment to cure me of being gay. I still have the attractions I had when I was a teenager and, because of that, I can only get it up with teenage boys. I’d like to develop relationships with men my own age, but I get sick to my stomach whenever I try. The only way I can seem to enjoy sex is when I’m with a boy…

“But I mean it when I say you don’t have to sleep with me tonight, Jay,” he continued. “I have some clients to see this afternoon. I’ll be happy to drop you off and you can go your own way. I’ll even pay for your dinner…”

Coming to a snap decision and with an obvious quiver in my voice, I asked. “If I… If I slept with you tonight, could I maybe stay with you tonight? Could I maybe ride with you tomorrow, too? Could I maybe stay with you a while. I really have no place to go… and I’m kinda scared. The farther I can get from Fort Wayne, the better…”

“Jay, I can hear it in your voice, just how scared you are,” Scott replied. “I could never take advantage of you under the circumstances. I’d really like to help you, but I have a job. I can’t take time off from my job to help every stray runaway I come across along the way. In fact, the official company policy is that we can never pick up hitchhikers. I could be fired from my job if anyone ever found out…”

Looking down at the floor mats, I responded, “I’m sorry I even brought it up.”

After riding a little further, Scott began, “Jay, I’ll tell you what. I’m not gonna ask you to sleep with me. It just wouldn’t be right, but I really would like to help you and I think I know someone who can help. Maybe I have a plan, but I won’t be in the right place until a few days from now.

“Why don’t you come with me for the next few days?” he continued. “If you promise to keep out of sight, you can stay with me in my hotel rooms and in my apartment in Cincinnati, and I’ll make sure you have plenty to eat. You just have to trust me, that where I take you will be in your best interest…”

“You aren’t gonna take me back to Fort Wayne!” I shouted back more than asked.

“No, I wouldn’t think of taking you back to Fort Wayne, nor anywhere near your parents.”

“Good, ’cause I’d jump right outta this movin’ car if you said you were gonna. And you aren’t gonna turn me into Child Protective Services or the police, are you?”

“No, Jay, I won’t,” Scott promised, “What I have in mind is a much better solution. I just can’t tell you more about it just yet.”

I was kinda curious as to what it might be, and why he couldn’t tell me, but I sensed I could trust him - that I needed to trust him. But then I had another thought and I asked Scott about what was on my mind. “If we share the same hotel room, do you really think you’re gonna be able to keep your hands off of me? I mean, you did say you were tempted to have sex with me. I didn’t bring any pajamas and even at home, I don’t wear them. You’re gonna see me naked if we share a hotel room. Will you be able to look the other way?”

Swallowing hard, he replied, “I have every intention of keeping my end of the bargain… just don’t flirt with me. I know you don’t intend to, but everything you do is just so damn sexy. The way you bat your eyes when you ask a question, the way your mouth moves, the way your long fingers hold your sandwich. You’re a certified hottie, Jay. Just please, try not to be so sexy around me.”

Was this guy serious? Was I really that sexy? I sure as fuck didn’t think so but, on the other hand, my uncle did. The thing was that Scott himself was an incredibly handsome guy. Truth be told, he was smokin’ hot, but where did that thought come from? If I were truly straight, why would I even think that? Still, the more I thought about it, the harder I got. I couldn't help it. Pretty soon the tent in my shorts was so large that there was no way I could hide it, no matter what I did to try to hide it, and Scott noticed. Boy, did he notice.

The next thing I knew, Scott took his right hand off the steering wheel and placed it firmly on my left thigh, sliding it up and down my thigh and then up the leg of my shorts and inside my boxers. The feeling of his hand against my ballsack sent a jolt of electricity throughout my body. I was shocked and felt powerless to stop him. Strangely, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to, but there was no way to describe it other than as a feelin’ of bein’ violated. No doubt, what Scott was doin’ felt good - real good. In fact, it felt pretty incredible, but it also felt wrong and I was powerless to stop it.

After fondling me for a while - a nice longwhile - which was making me even more insanely hard, he withdrew his hand and said, “Much as I’m enjoying this, this isn’t the time or the place.” He was right - we were passing through the city of Defiance, Ohio and there was no place to do anything more without being seen.

Then turnin’ and lookin’ me right in the eyes, Scott said, “I’m sorry, Jay. I’m so very, very sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I knew you didn’t want me to do it, but I did it anyway. I guess I talked myself into thinking you wanted it, because you had a boner but, still, I took advantage of you and, for that, I’m sorry.”

Rather than say anything, I just nodded my head, letting him know I agreed with what he said. Swallowin’ hard, I realized that there was no way Scott could avoid havin’ sex with me. He talked a good talk but when it came down to it, he’d hop in the sack with me and there’d be not a damn thing I could do about it. I therefore resigned myself to the fact that the price for all Scott said he’d do for me was that I was gonna hafta have sex with him. End of story.

I didn’t care which way we headed from here as long as it was away from home. Cincinnati would do quite nicely for the time being and, besides which, the more time I spent with Scott, the longer I would be fed and sheltered, and I really liked the thought of that. Although I hated the way my uncle raped me for more than five years, for some reason, spending time in the sack with Scott didn’t repulse me in quite the same way. Not that I wanted it but, to an extent, the thought of sex with Scott excited me. Maybe it was because he seemed more like a teenager himself than a man. Maybe it was because he seemed like a really nice guy. Maybe it was because he’d been through similar things himself and could understand. Or maybe it was because I was desperate. And I had to admit, Scott was hotter than hot, and I was horny. If only I could get past the feelin’ that I was bein’ used.

We were driving through the outer suburbs of Toledo and we soon pulled up in front of a Hampton Inn. Pulling into a parking space, Scott turned to me, laughed and said, “You’d probably better put a shirt on, at least until we get up to the room. I think it’ll look a lot less odd if you go in with me to check in. After that, you can come and go as you please.

“I have to spend the rest of the afternoon with clients. I should be back here by seven, and then we'll go out to eat. There’s a pool and an arcade, but I don’t suppose you have swim trunks with you or money for the arcade.”

I shook my head, indicating I had neither, not wishing to let him know that I still had about seventy dollars on me.

“The room has pay per view movies and video games. Hampton Inn is part of the Hilton chain and they’re usually pretty nice. What’s more, the company pays my expenses up to a set allowance, so most of the tab will be picked up anyway.”

Pulling on the shirt I’d worn earlier in the day, which I realized kinda smelled as I did so, I followed Scott into the hotel and stayed by his side as he checked us in. We went up to the room and Scott showed me how to access the on-demand movies and the video games. Figuring I was all set, he left the hotel to go see his clients. Once he’d left, I wasted no time in strippin’ down to my boxers and makin’ myself comfortable on the bed.

True to his word, Scott returned almost exactly five hours later. In the interim I watched two really awesome R-rated movies on the pay-per-view, both of them with liberal amounts of blood, guts and sex, and I was just getting started on a gory video game when he showed up. Scott took us to a really cool brewpub downtown with beer batter fish that was the best I ever had. He even let me taste a sip of his beer, which tasted pretty vile if you asked me.

It was as we drove back to the hotel parkin’ lot that I started to feel nervous. I knew that there was no way Scott could avoid being tempted by me. He thought I was sexy for reasons I couldn’t comprehend, and I didn’t really know what I was doin’ that excited him - perhaps it was me just bein’ me and there was no way I could avoid that. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy it, but Scott would do with me whatever he wanted and I would let him. It was the price I was gonna hafta pay.

When we got back to the hotel room, Scott told me again that nothing was gonna happen and not to worry about it. I guess I kinda did look nervous. He then suggested I take a shower before going to bed. I knew I kinda smelled funky from walking so long in the hot sun, so I didn’t object. Actually I was lookin’ forward to a shower - just not to what would come afterwards.

Strippin’ down to my boxers, I grabbed a clean pair to put on when I got out of the shower and headed to the bathroom. Sighin’ inside, I resigned myself to whatever was gonna happen. The hotel room only had a single king-size bed. Only later would I learn that the sofa pulled out into a second bed, but I didn’t know that then.

The feelin’ of the hot water as it cascaded over my body did little to relax me the way it usually did. My anxiety only increased as I went through the motions. When I turned off the shower and opened the curtain, I found that Scott was already in the bathroom with me, brushin’ his teeth. Swallowin’, I realized that this was prolly it as I dried myself off, not even botherin’ to hide myself as I did so. I couldn’t help but notice how Scott’s eyes were fixed on my dick the entire time.

Scott was still brushin’ his teeth by the time I finished dryin’ myself, put on my boxers, applied my deodorant, got out my own toothbrush and walked up to the sink beside him. He had obviously forgotten what he was doin’ as he watch my every move. It wasn't until I’d finished rinsing my mouth out that he seemed to realize what he’d been doin’ and rinsed his own mouth out with a blush and a sheepish look on his face.

With scarcely a thought, I got into the king-size bed and watched as Scott did the same. Turning to face him, but with what I could only describe as a sound of terror in my voice, I said, “I know you can’t help yourself, Scott. It's OK, really.” It wasn’t that I wanted to have sex with Scott, but I knew that it was gonna happen. I just wanted Scott to be honest about it, with me - and, I guess, with himself.

“You seem frightened out of your mind,” Scott replied. “Besides which, it just wouldn’t be right.” Then he turned away from me, reached up and turned out the light.

For a long while I lay in bed staring at the back of his head. After a while, I thought that maybe he’d gone to sleep but I could tell from the sound of his breathing that he hadn’t. He was wide awake, just as I was. Finally, I said, “Are you just gonna lay there, awake all night?”

Takin’ in a deep breath, he turned over and faced me. “You don’t know how difficult this is for me, Jay. I know I shouldn’t do anything, but you have no idea how badly I want to touch you.”

Rather than say anythin’, I simply stayed quiet, layin’ within an arm’s reach of Scott. One of his arm’s length, anyway. The next move was his. I was literally shakin’. There was no way that Scott couldn’t not feel it through the bed, but his desire to have sex with me was overpowering and I knew that he wouldn’t be able to resist, and he didn’t.

We got up early in the morning, ’cause Scott had to see clients in Dayton at noon and he had plans for me, or so he said, and we had to hit the road by seven at the latest. Ugh! Needless to say, although the room included breakfast, we stopped at a Micky D's drive through along the way. I was surprised when we passed right through Dayton, and even more surprised when we stopped at a Target store shortly after it opened. Scott bought me a skimpy pair of speedos, which made us both blush, and a pair of flip-flops and then we were on our way again.

Shortly after that, we pulled into the parking lot at King’s Island Amusement Park, just outside of Cincinnati. Holy fuck, wow! Scott bought me a ticket for the whole day, which included all the rides and the ‘Soak City’ water park, and he gave me more than enough cash to buy lunch, dinner and snacks. I guess it was his way of makin’ up for what he did last night, but I sure wasn’t complainin’. He told me he would meet me at the front gate when the park closed at 10:00, right after the fireworks. I was all set for the day.

I had a blast. I rode all the roller coasters, some of them multiple times. I spent hours in Soak City getting thoroughly drenched. In spite of my dark tan and all the sun block I slathered on, I got sunburned, going around in nothing but my speedos and flip flops all day. It was worth it, though. There was so much great eye candy and I couldn’t help soaking it all in. There were so many boys around my age, and a lot of them had great bods. I wasn’t ready to admit it just yet, but I was increasingly suspicious that maybe I really was gay. I didn’t even notice the girls, which in retrospect, should have been a major tip-off that I wasn’t straight.

And then there was Scott. I knew that he was hot, and he was gay, and in spite of my initial fear, I really enjoyed doing what we did together. Maybe I wasn’t gay and I might not know for sure for a while yet, but I sure as fuck enjoyed the sex I’d had with Scott. He’d been gentle and he made sure I got as much out of it as he did. I still felt kinda violated, but it was nothing like what my uncle did to me. It felt more like doin’ it with another kid… and I felt love.

Scott took me home to his apartment in Cincinnati that night. His last name was Fielding and he didn’t seem to give a shit that I knew his full name and where he lived. He trusted me and I was beginnin’ to feel comfortable puttin’ my trust in him. Yeah, maybe Scott was takin’ advantage of me, but I liked all the attention he was givin’ me and, let’s face it, I liked havin’ a roof over my head and food in my stomach.

I went to bed with Scott that night willingly and, when he kissed me on the lips for the first time, I kissed him back. We ended up spendin’ more time makin’ out than havin’ sex. I knew he was usin’ me, but I could also tell he cared about me. I hadn’t known him long, but I was fallin’ for Scott and it felt like nothin’ I’d ever felt before.

The following morning at breakfast, Scott sat me down and we talked over breakfast about my future. The moment he said it, I knew what he was gonna say couldn’t be good.

“Why can’t I just live here?” I asked him. “I could travel with you wherever you go. We could have sex all the time. You wouldn’t need to pick up hitchhikers anymore. You’d have me. I’m only twelve and I’ll always be younger than you. Maybe we can stay together forever,” I suggested earnestly.

“My precious Jay,” Scott replied, “What about school?”

My face fell when I realized that I couldn’t go to school if I traveled with him all the time, but then I had a thought. “Couldn’t I be home schooled?”

Shaking his head, Scott replied, “In order for that to happen, I would have to become your legal guardian. Unless your parents went along with it, I would have to become your foster parent and eventually adopt you. There would be a thorough background check and my previous history of life on the street would be bound to come out. What do you think the chances would be of my being allowed to foster you with a history like that?”

With tears in my eyes, I admitted, “You’d prolly end up in jail.”

“Which is a good reason for me not to get anywhere near CPS. And like it or not, you need to make a life for yourself with kids your own age. You deserve a girlfriend, or maybe a boyfriend with whom you can learn about life together. The last thing you need is to learn about life and sex from a daddy.”

“But I already know all about sex!” I protested.

“Do you?” Scott asked. “Was what you and I did the last two nights even remotely like what you did with your uncle?”

The tears overflowed my eyes and ran down my cheeks as I realized he was right. Pulling me into a tight hug, Scott gently petted my short hair as he said, “I know, Jay, I know. I feel it too. If you were only ten years older, maybe you could have been the boy who could have made me normal. But even though I’ll never be capable of a normal relationship doesn’t mean that you have to be that way. You’re still young. You’re still capable of a normal life… and love.”

Pulling away from me, Scott looked into my eyes and said, “I have to be in Indianapolis tonight, and then Terre Haute tomorrow. Let me take you to the man who helped me so much… more than you can know. He’s a minister but he’s gay too and he runs a halfway house for runaway gay teens. I know you’re not sure that you’re gay and maybe you’re not but, I can assure you, Reverend Slater won’t discriminate against you if you turn out to be straight.”

I actually laughed when Scott said that, and I smiled, but then the realization that we’d be going back to Indiana set in and I started to panic.

“You can’t take me back to Indiana,” I shouted. “If you try, I’ll run away.”

With a look of compassion in his eyes, Scott responded, “Reverend Slater literally saved my life. He’s a good man and I know you can trust him. He would never let CPS send you back to your parents. He’d help you run away before he’d let that happen,” Scott added with conviction and, so, I decided to take a chance. I decided to go to Indianapolis with Scott. I decided to take a chance that Reverend Slater could help me find a better life.

The trip to Indianapolis took just over two hours and, before I knew it, we were pulling up in front of a large, stately old house in the shadow of downtown. Indianapolis was ginormous compared to Fort Wayne. It was fuckin’ huge!

A distinguished-looking older man I guessed to be around forty or fifty came out of the house and said, “Hi Scott, how are you doing? I guess you brought another one for us?”

“Hi Keith,” Scott answered. “I take it Charlie’s at the Church.”

“It seems he’s always at the church,” the man named Keith answered. “When he proposed opening this house, I was all for it. Of course I still am… I just didn’t realize how much ‘volunteer work’ I’d be doing here when my boyfriend had his church responsibilities. Reverend Slater is a busy man, when he’s not busy being the love of my life.” Wow, this must have been the reverend’s partner.

As I got out of the car, Scott introduced me, “Keith, I’d like you to meet Jay. Jay, this is Keith, Reverend Slater’s boyfriend.”

As we shook hands, rather than look at me, Keith looked at Scott and said, “Scott, you need to get help. This is just plain wrong. You might have thought Craig was sixteen, but he was barely fourteen. This kid’s even younger.” Then finally looking at me, he asked, “How old are you, son, thirteen?”

Shaking my head, I responded, “I’m twelve.”

“Jesus Christ, Scott!” Keith exclaimed. “Having sex with anyone under the age of sixteen is statutory rape, but twelve? No kid that age should be having sex…”

“Who said we had sex?” I interrupted. The intense blush of Scott’s face made it difficult to deny, however, so I countered with, “Besides which, my uncle started fuckin’ me when I was seven.”

Visibly shaken, Keith responded, “That’s horrible, but it doesn’t mean you should have sex with another man to get away from your uncle.”

“But I had to!” I nearly shouted. “My parents didn’t believe me. They accused me of bein’ a homosexual pervert. They accused me of bein’ the one that seduced my uncle. They told me they were gonna make me live with him. I had to run away. Scott saved me. He’s the best…”

“I didn’t make him have sex with me,” Scott interjected. “It just happened…”

“As it did with Craig?” Keith questioned. “Boys don’t have sex with adults unless they feel compelled to. You may think it was consensual, but neither of the boys would have willingly had sex with you, had they not been in a desperate situation.”

Much as I hated to admit it to myself, I realized that Keith was right. I enjoyed my time with Scott, but I would have never done what we did had it not been for my having to run away.

“I want to help you, Scott,” Keith went on, “but Charlie and I can’t just look the other way. Certainly you must know that. I appreciate that you brought the boys here… boys who desperately need our help… but you’re breaking the law. Frankly, even a sixteen-year-old is too young for you, even if they are legal, but when you bring us someone so obviously under age, we have a legal obligation to turn you in…”

“NO!” I interrupted. “You can’t turn him in! Scott saved me!”

Turning to look right into my eyes, Keith continued, “You aren’t his first, you know. We have another boy, Craig, staying here right now who is a former conquest of Mr. Fielding.”

For an instant I felt a pang of jealousy. Where was that coming from? Then I realized that I was glad Craig was here. As with me, he did the right thing, which was exactly what I told Keith.

“Scott,” Keith finally said, “once again I’m going to look the other way, but only on the condition that you get help. I’ll report Jay’s abuse by his uncle and leave it at that. I don’t want to discourage you in the future from bringing kids in need to us, and more than anything I want to see you find happiness with someone your own age. You’re a good guy, Scott, but you’ve become a sexual predator. I know how much this must be tearing you up inside.”

“You have no idea,” Scott sobbed as tears poured from his eyes.

“Let me get you some help, Scott,” Keith continued. “Neither Charlie nor I want to see you go to jail. Let me find someone in Cincinnati to help you…”

“I’ve already been through counseling… years of counseling… you know that,” Scott interrupted.

“Perhaps you’ll need counseling for the rest of your life, Scott,” Keith replied, “but wouldn’t it be worth it to help you keep yourself in check… to help you avoid adding insult to injury with kids like Jay here?”

“Yes, I know you’re right,” Scott answered. “At least I’ll give it a try.”

We said a tearful goodbye the next morning as Scott prepared to depart for Terre Haute. Although Scott might have taken advantage of me, in his own way I think he loved me and I loved him. Over time, I came to realize that he loved me enough to let me go - enough to want to help me in spite of what it cost him in return. He promised to see me again the next time he passed through Indy and stopped to visit Reverend Slater. I smiled, imagining that, in spite of his best intentions, he’d be dropping off more boys in the future or at least sending them here. I couldn’t help but wonder if one of them would turn out to be my boyfriend.

As it turned out, August was a busy month of changes for me. I didn’t spend much time in Indy after all. I really liked Reverend Slater, his partner, Keith, and their two adult sons, Kevin and Lance, who were legally married to each other and attending law and medical school at Harvard. Very cool. What I didn’t like was living in Indy - well not Indy particularly, but I didn’t like living in a bigger city. Indy wasn’t a big city like New York but it still had close to two million people, which was about twenty times the population of Fort Wayne. I used to think Fort Wayne was way too big for my tastes!

Reverend Slater, working with members of his church, managed to find me a couple of foster parents that lived up in Kokomo. What’s more, Reverend Slater worked with a lawyer and got my parents to give up their parental rights to me. I guess the threat of taking legal action against them and my uncle for conspiracy to commit sexual molestation was enough to get them to sign me away.

Kokomo was a small city of about fifty thousand, located about an hour’s drive north of Indianapolis. It was close enough for me to visit the Reverend and yet removed enough from the city to be livable. Size-wise I thought it was just right for me - big enough to have its middle schools and a high school, not to mention a major shopping center, critical things for any teenager, but not overwhelming like Indy was.

After taking a gazillion tests, I was placed in the High Achiever program at Central Middle School. I was really lookin’ forward to starting back to school in September. Who knows, perhaps I’d find a friend there.

Copyright © 2021 Altimexis; All Rights Reserved.
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I like the way all of the stories link in with each other.

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