This story may contain scenes of sexual activity between males. If you find this offensive or if it is illegal for you to read this in your jurisdiction, please do not do so. The author does not condone the violation of any laws.
This story is based on an idea I have contemplated for many years but never had the courage to write. Some elements of this story have appeared in previous stories I have written, as I did not think at the time I would ever write or publish Brother Jonathan. Please forgive any redundance.
The story may seem rather dark, but it deals with several difficult subjects. I can assure you that it will have a good ending. Beyond that, I say nothing more. I am grateful for those readers who understand and appreciate what I am doing here and who have written me. I encourage you, even if you disapprove of what I am writing, to let me know what you think at free7thinker (at) operamail.com. Thank you very much!
by Free Thinker
"I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan:
very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love
to me was wonderful, passing the love of women."
II Samuel 1:26 KJV
Wednesday, March 17, 1982
"Good morning, Scottsburg! It's a beautiful day. Fifty-two right now at the airport, fifty-eight downtown. Inbound traffic moving pretty smoothly with only the usual slowdowns. It's St. Patrick's Day! Keep listening to NewsRadio 780 for the latest St. Patrick's Day specials...."
Jonathan groaned as he turned and reached for the alarm clock and pushed the snooze button. As he turned back, Matt snuggled up closer.
Matt. Jon smiled and squeezed the young man and felt him respond by squeezing back. He looked down at the youthful face, the light scattering of freckles across the nose and cheeks, his brown air with its streaks of red. It was hard to believe he was a freshman in college. And, it was hard to believe that such a rough looking boy, could be so loving, so sensitive, so understanding.
He wanted this moment to last forever. Their bodies seemed to fit so perfectly together as Jon lay on his back and Matt lay across his chest, his arm draped across Jon's torso. He could feel the moist warmth of Matt's breath across his chest and his erection, already throbbing under Matt's thigh, grew even more intense. That seemed to trigger something within Matt, for his own penis seemed to push even more intensely against Jon's hip.
He reached up and brushed a strand of hair from across the boy's forehead and kissed the skin. There were a couple of pimples on the boy's forehead, but Jon didn't care. Matt looked up with his brown eyes and smiled. Slowly, with a groan emanating deep from within, he crawled up on top of Jon. He looked down at the man with a broad grin, a grin that melted Jon's heart.
"You're so beautiful," Jon whispered.
"You're so hot," Matt replied.
Jon leaned up and kissed the boy on the lips. Matt pressed back and soon their tongues were lushing through their lips and entering the others' mouths, loving, exploring, seeking.
Eventually, they broke apart. Matt pulled away and looked down at Jon, his hair falling forward. Jon looked up and whispered, "I don't want to lose you."
Matt closed his eyes. Was it possible? Could it be after such a hellish life that someone actually cared for him? That someone wanted him for more than just sex? That someone loved him?
"You don't have to," he replied. "Can I stay here?"
There was just a hint of hesitation in Jon's movement, but after his years in The System, it was enough to alert the boy that he something was wrong and he had to be careful.
Jonathan noticed that the boy did not say "live," but "stay." Can I stay here; not, can I live here.
"Don't you live in the dorm?"
"Huh?" Matt replied. "Oh, uh, no. No, I don't live in the dorm."
Jon looked him in the eyes.
"Where do you live?"
Think quick, Matt. He looked down at Jon, at one of the only people who had treated him decently in years, at the only person who seemed real, at the only person who acted as if he actually gave a damn about him. He couldn't lose him. He couldn't. It would he heaven if he could stay here and maybe even bring Kyle here, get his Little Buddy out of that hell-hole at Pushitaw. What would be the best way to handle this? Should he make up something, a probable story that Jon would buy? He seemed pretty smart. He was probably a lawyer and knew all the tricks. Probably, honesty was the best track with him. But, what if honesty turned out not to work? What if Jon freaked out?
He couldn't lie. First, Jon would figure it out. Second, Jon deserved the truth. He was the first decent person he had met. He had to be honest and hope it worked.
Jon saw the hesitance in Matt's face, saw the thought processes going on in Matt's head through his eyes. A warning sounded inside him.
The boy sighed.
"Jon, I... I didn't tell you the truth last night."
Jon didn't realize he had done it, but Matt could feel the body beneath him stiffen slightly.
"I'm not a college student. I don't have any place. I ran away."
Matt's heart broke when he saw the looked of controlled panic in Jon's eyes. He could see the man was trying hard not to lose it. He had to be careful. He had to work this as skillfully as anything he had ever worked before.
Slowly, Jon rolled to his side, depositing Matt on his side. He pulled away.
Carefully, his voice even, Jon asked, "How old are you?"
Matt swallowed. He knew it was over.
He saw the panic grow in Jon's eyes. He added, "In two weeks."
"Oh my God," Jon whispered as he climbed from the bed. "You're fifteen? Fifteen?"
Matt looked down. Oh, well. That's the way it had always been. That's the way it would always be.
"Yeah," he replied with resignation. "I'm fifteen."
As the boy dejectedly crawled from the other side of the bed, Jonathan demanded, "Do you know what you've done?"
"Yeah," Matt replied, the first hint of anger creeping into his voice. He was not going to let this guy put all the blame for this on him! "
I know what I've done. I went home with a man who likes to have sex with young guys."
Jon was clearly on the edge of panic. Matt realized he had pushed him too far. This wasn't Jon's fault. He was a good guy. He was probably in a position where this could really fuck things up for him. The best thing for both of them was for Matt to just disappear.
"Listen," he said softly as he pulled his jeans on. "I'm sorry. I'll just go. You don't have anything to worry about. I won't tell anyone. I won't try to blackmail ya or nothin'."
Jon was achieving some degree of control over himself now.
"Look, um, is there anything..."
Matt raised his hand without looking up as he slipped his feet into his torn up sneakers.
"I'm OK. I can take care of myself."
Jon looked at him with sudden compassion.
Matt shook his head as he stood up. He pulled his dirty Journey shirt over his head.
"Don't, man. I'm Ok. Don't worry."
He walked up to Jon, who was still naked, and kissed him on the cheek.
"You're one of the good ones."
He then walked to the front door and before he left, he looked back and said, "See ya."
Jon turned and watched as Matt descended the stairs to the sidewalk. Besides the incredible jumble of emotions already crashing through his psyche was the hope that Matt might be able to depart unseen by Jon's neighbors. This, however, was not to be. The mother from across the street was just climbing into the Chevy Caprice as her son ran down the walk toward the car. Jon stopped breathing as he saw Matt and the boy wave at each other and exchange friendly words. Then, Matt ran across the street and climbed into the back of the car before it drove away.
Numbly, Jon sat down on the edge of the bed. He took a deep breath before the walls disappeared and thousands of people stood before him, shouting invective and hate. He jumped up naked and screamed, "No!"
He was standing alone in his bedroom, panting, covered in sweat. He closed his eyes, clenched his fists.
Running into Jason Kendall was an amazing stroke of luck. Matt hadn't the slightest idea where to go or what to do when he was walking down the steps outside Jon's townhouse. Jason calling to him had left him confused for a moment. How would he explain coming out of Jon's place in such a way as not to get the man in trouble? Years of moving from one foster home to another, of living on the streets and surviving juvenile shelters had taught him, however, how to lie and to lie effectively. He explained the man was helping him find another foster family and they accepted it. And, when they arrived at Matt's old school, he followed Jason inside and, when his friend turned left, he turned right, exited back outside and ran the two blocks to his old place of employment.
As they had driven toward the school, Matt's mind had begun working again, looking for alternatives, thinking of something, seeking another way to survive yet another day. David. That was the only other alternative. He was the only other person who seemed to give a damn about him, the only person at The Scandal who treated him as a human and not as a servant. David would help him, give him advice, think of a way to get Kyle out of Pushitaw so the two could escape to California.
He sat behind the dumpster in the alley behind the restaurant. It was still early, so David probably wouldn't be arriving for awhile. The hateful bitch who was married to the owner arrived in her Mercury Capri. He carefully hid as she stormed into the back door. A couple of the cooks arrived next. They had always treated him fairly as they had in common their dislike of the wait staff. But, it wasn't safe to talk to them.
However, when the bartender pulled up. Matt stepped out. The bartender was an older gentlemen, truly a gentleman who seemed to understand a lot and who had befriended David. Matt knew he could trust him.
"Hey, Henry. How's it goin'?"
"Not bad. You coming back?"
"Naw. Things aren't workin' out too good right now."
"Matty, I'm sorry to here that. Can I help?"
"Well, is David workin' lunch today?"
Henry looked down at the gravel.
"Sorry, Matty. He quit Monday night."
"Yeah, just walked right out in the middle of his performance."
Matt's shoulders sank.
"Aw, man. What happened?"
"Well, Chip said he told him about you leaving and he seemed to get pretty upset."
Matt's eyes grew wide.
"That's why he quit?"
"I don't know. He stormed out after Chip told him, so we assume that's why."
Henry then paused before asking, "Listen, Matty, its none of my business, but you and uh David aren't, like, you know..."
Matt turned his head in disgust.
"Shit! Is that what everybody thinks?"
"Well, you have to admit, it looks a little strange."
Matt shook his head.
"Man, it sucks how people think shit without any proof. David's just a really good guy. He'd never do anything like that. He's cool. He's my friend."
Henry reached across and squeezed Matt's shoulder gently.
"I've always liked David. He is a good guy. I'm sorry. I just thought you should know what people are saying."
Matt nodded. Henry added, "Is there anything I can do for you?"
"Well, um, you know where David lives? I need to ask him something."
Henry smiled sadly.
"Yeah. He's in the old brick apartment building in the middle of the block on Ninth between Adams and Buchanan. Second floor, the front west corner apartment."
And, as Matt ran off, the bartender watched him with sad and wistful eyes.
"Take care, little guy."
David's apartment was in the middle of a neighborhood near the campus of Scottsburg University called the "Student Ghetto," full of old apartments, run down houses full of students, and frat houses with loud stereos blaring Van Halen's "Girl" four years after the song had been popular. He stood in front of the building. The screen had fallen out of one of the ground floor windows. The white paint along the door frame was peeling. There were a couple of empty Coors cans in the bushes by the steps. The curtains, such as they were, seemed to be drawn in David's window.
Slowly, he entered. The smell of pot hit him immediately. He could hear Springsteen from behind one of the doors and the unmistakable sound of a guy and a girl in the final moments before exploding in orgasm. He grinned as he climbed the stairs to the second floor, where the smell of bacon overpowered the odor of cannabis. He listened through David's door and, hearing nothing, knocked.
There was no response. He waited a moment and then knocked again. Still nothing.
"Hey, David!" he called as he knocked a third time. "Its Matt!"
He could hear rustling sounds from inside the apartment.
"Yeah, man. Open up!"
"Just a minute."
And, then the door crept open as David, clad only in a pair of wrinkled red gym shorts, his hair disheveled, his eyes bloodshot, swollen, and half-open, glanced around the hall with a paranoid look.
"Man, let me in," Matt said with a chuckle.
David smiled sheepishly and allowed the boy to enter.
As David closed and locked the door, Matt looked about the wreckage of David's apartment. A bookshelf with boards supported by cinder blocks stood against one wall on which was a small television with its rabbit ears twisted in painful contortions. There was also a cheap stereo next to the TV, and books and dirty clothes strewn all over the place. In front of a worn couch was a coffee table on which Matt spied a bong, a film canister, a small brown bottle, and several gay porn magazines.
"Cool place, man," he said with a grin. "Smell's like shit, but it's cool."
David was still trying to gather his wits.
"So, David, did I wake ya up or somethin'?" Matt noted that the front of David's shorts seemed a little distended. "I didn't interrupt nothing, did I?"
"No, man. I was a sleep. Have a seat."
Matt sat in the middle of the couch, directly in front of the bong. David sat in an equally disreputable chair to the side, resting his arms on his knees as he leaned forward.
"So, dude. Ya gonna share the wealth?" he said, pointing to the bong.
David looked at him with disappointment.
"Matt! I can't let you get high."
"Aw, come on, man. I've had it really rough the last few days. I could use a good high right now."
David stood up and walked over to the table as Matt reached for the bong. David snatched it from the boy's grasp and started toward his bedroom.
"Ah, man. I thought you were cool," Matt pouted, though he was still grinning. He reached for the little brown bottle.
"Hey, is this poppers?"
David turned around and snatched the bottle out of Matt's hands, as well.
"So," the boy continued, picking up one of the porn magazines. "Any of the pages sticky?"
David sighed, turned around, added the magazine to his collection of contraband, and said, as he continued back to his bedroom, "I'm gonna slap the shit out of you. Now what the hell are you doing here?"
Matt paused and looked down at the now empty coffee table.
"You aren't glad to see me?"
David returned to the chair.
"Of course, I'm glad to see you. I'm thrilled. I'm just surprised. I thought you went back to Pushitaw?"
Matt paused, prepared to gauge David's reaction to his news.
"I ran away."
David's eyes grew wide.
Matt's voice grew slightly defensive.
"I had to, man. It was hell. I got raped my first night back by a counselor and some of the guys. Shit like that happens all the time and nobody does nothin' about it."
David looked at the boy with concern and fear.
"Last weekend some big-ass politician came asking questions and then one of the guys he was talking to hung himself Sunday night. Then yesterday, that politician gets found dead in his car and they say both were suicide. It wasn't, man."
David clenched his fists in fear. Matt continued.
"Yesterday, this old, fat, fuck of a counselor told me it was time to pay the rent and he brought me to some cheap motel on the east side so I could have sex with some rich businessman. So, I climbed through the bathroom window and got away."
Suddenly, Matt's strength began to ebb. He sniffed and David could see his eyes turning red.
"Oh, Matt," he said as he stood up and crossed over to the couch. Matt looked up at David and as the man sat down and wrapped his arms around him, Matt's strength, his reserve which had kept him going, suddenly collapsed and he burst into tears.
For several minutes, the two sat, clutching each other, sharing their pain and strength. As, Matt began to regain control, he sniffed and wiped his nose with his wrist.
"Ya gotta help me, David. I don't know where else to go."
"I'll do what I can, Little Buddy."
With those words, Matt acted almost as if he had been slapped.
"David, I gotta a friend in there we gotta get out. His name's Kyle and he's twelve, almost thirteen. And, he's... he really special. I'm really scared for him. I don't think he'll make it if we can't get him out."
"But, Matt, even if we get him out, where are you going to go? What are you going to do?"
Matt took a breath.
"We're gonna go to LA. Live on the beach. I'm gonna get a job and make sure Kyle gets into a school, somehow. I just need some help to put it all together. Can you help me David?"
David's heart was pounding and his stomach was in knots. What was he going to do?
"I.. I can try, I guess. I don't have a lot of cash right now."
"Yeah, I heard you quit the Scandal."
David looked surprised.
"How'd you know?"
"I ran into Henry as I was waiting in the alley for you. He told me you quit when you heard I got sent back to Pushitaw."
David looked downward in disgust.
"It wasn't, really. I hated it there anyway and the Shrew was getting to me and when Chip said something to me about you, I just kinda snapped."
"Yeah. I know what he said."
He paused and then carefully looked up at David.
"Is it true?"
David took a breath. How should he respond?
"Well, I certainly like you, Matt. You're a friend. I'm concerned about you. You're cute and you're a good guy and I respect you a lot. But, you're too young for me as a boyfriend"
He squeezed the boy. "But, I'm your friend. You can rely on me."
Matt relaxed, though after a moment, he looked up and said, "You know, though, Henry said everyone is saying you and I are like, you know, boyfriends."
"Is that what they're saying?" David asked with a chuckle. Suddenly, however, the color drained from his face.
David looked at Matt with horror.
"They think we're together? If the authorities look for you at The Scandal, then someone's going to say that and then this the next place they'll look! This is the last place you can stay!"
Matt's face fell.
"Shit. What am I gonna do?"
David walked around the room, lost in thought. He wandered over to the window and opened the curtains. His face froze.
"Well, right now, your going out to the hall and climb up to the third floor. There's another stairway at the end that leads up to the roof. Go. Now!"
"Because, they're here."
Matt's eyes grew wide with fear.
David was already grabbing the boy and pushing him to the door.
"Go the stairway at the end of the hall on the third floor and wait for me to get you. Go. Now!"
When Matt was gone, David ran to his room and hid anything that could be considered incriminating for anything and through on an Ocean Pacific t-shirt just as a loud and firm knock erupted at the door. He took a deep breath, tried to calm himself, opened the door.
The two police officers he had seen emerging from the black and white parked under his window, stood before him. The two glanced with barely concealed disgust first at David and then behind him at the detritus in his living room.
"Are you David Hathaway?" one of the officers asked.
The second officer moved his head through the frame of the door and looked around the living room as the first continued.
"Do you know a Matt McAllister?"
"Yes. I used to work with him at The Bohemian Scandal. He was a busboy, I was a waiter."
"How well did you know him?" the man asked with almost a sneer. David took a breath.
"Well, we were friends. Most of the wait staff treated him like dirt. He worked hard and was honest, so I guess I was his only friend."
The second officer step backed.
"Do you know where we can find him?"
"Well, I heard he was sent to the Pushitaw Boys Home Monday."
"He's not here?"
David shook his head innocently.
"Mind if we look around?"
David decided that cooperation was probably the best option. He stepped back. The two policemen swaggered in and, now, made no attempt at all to hide their disgust. One of them walked into the bedroom and then checked the bathroom. The other picked up some dirty clothes, checked out the books on his shelf and then checked under the couch. David couldn't control himself.
"He's not under the couch."
The officer snorted derisively as the other one returned to the living room.
"If you should happen to see him or should learn something about him, you'll let us know."
He handed David a business card.
As the officers left, David breathed again. He sat down on the couch and discovered he was trembling. It was several moments before he began to relax. But, just as he was about to go to poor Matt hiding on the roof, another knock startled him. Opening the door, he found the second cop, the one who had sneered so much, grinning.
"He didn't happen to drop by while we were gone, did he?"
David used all he had learned from biting his tongue with the Evil Untamed Shrew and said, simply, "No."
He waited a few more minutes after the police car had driven away and then went up to the roof. Matt was seated on the tar, gazing up at the clouds. He pointed to one as David approached.
"That one looks like a bunny rabbit."
David's heart broke as he saw the little boy that was inside the street-hardened adolescent. He looked to where Matt was pointing. Indeed, the cloud did resemble a rabbit.
"It's OK, Matty. They're gone."
Matt sighed and looked down.
"I know. I also know one of them came back."
"I can't stay here, can I?"
David shook his head.
Matt dropped his head in defeat.
"I can't get Kyle out of Pushitaw. We're not going to California. I'm gonna have to go back. If I can't get Kyle out of Pushitaw, I have to go back to take care of him."
David sat down next to the boy and wrapped his arms around him. His heart was filled with reluctance, but he knew he had no choice.
"Matty, there's a chance I can help you."
Matt leaned over and rested his head on David's shoulder.
"I know someone who might be able to help."
"Who?" Matt asked softly.
David looked off at the sky.
"Someone I used to know. I haven't seen him in a long time. But, he might know what to do." He sighed. "I don't know if he'll want to see me again. He probably hates me. But, it's the only thing I can think of."
Matt squeezed David.
"Thank you for being my friend."
David kissed the boy on the forehead.
And, so ends Chapter 7. I am grateful for your loyalty and interest in the story and for your writing to me. Your emails to me are what keep me writing. Please comment at free7thinker (at) operamail.com. Thank you!!!!