Chapter one contains nothing that could serve as a masturbatory fantasy, so probably you can read it no matter where you live or what your local ordinances may be. If you happen to be that hypothetical (and almost certainly non-existent) reader who obeys the warnings at the beginnings of these stories, don't go on to part two, which may be far too naughty for you. If you are, however, the typical nifty archives reader, you may wish to skip this part and go directly to part two -- although I'd really like it if you read chapter one first. A good fantasy deserves, in my opinion, a good set-up. Either way, enjoy.
This story will be in four parts, and only four parts. Once those four parts are posted, there will be no updates, so it will not be rising back to the "top of the list." Fan mail and usenet group passwords (please) may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew & Lonny & me
Chapter one: Role Model
"Did they tell you?" he asked.
"Tell me what?"
"That I'm gay."
I didn't swerve. I didn't hit the brakes. I just kept driving, although I probably would have missed my exit if it had been time to get off the highway.
"Well, no," I replied. "They didn't mention that. Are you sure you put it on your application?"
I took my eyes off the road long enough to catch a glimpse of him, sitting beside me. According to the organization's rules, he was supposed to be in the back seat, where he was less likely to be killed if I inadvertently crashed my car while he happened to tell me he was gay. His look was very serious.
"It wasn't on the application," he informed me, "but I thought my Grandma probably told them. I think that was the whole idea of getting me a man to hang out with. You're supposed to turn me straight."
It was a very amusing idea, for reasons I had failed to note on my own application. The subject had come up in the interviews, of course, given the rampant paranoia abroad these days, and I never actually lied. Well, maybe I lied a little. Anyway, I hadn't volunteered for those kinds of reasons. I just thought it would be nice to have a boy in my life. You may think I'm lying right now, but I wasn't looking for sex.
Okay, you don't believe me -- but here's what I said:
"Well, you're not even twelve yet, so you really shouldn't be having sex with anybody. And I'm old enough to be your grandpa, so if you wanted to have sex with someone I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be me. Let's just go to the game and start getting to know each other, and leave talking about gay stuff until next time. Okay?"
Okay, you don't believe me -- but, at the time, at least, I meant it.
I glanced over at him again. His body was slumped down a little, but I couldn't tell if it was from relief or regret. We drove on in silence for a minute or two. Then, as I pulled off at the exit, he spoke again.
"You know, Billy, I hate football."
"That's fine by me," I answered. "I hate it too."
"So why are we going to a stupid minor league football game?"
"We're supposed to like it, I guess," I replied. "And they gave us the tickets."
"So, let's go someplace else."
The kid made sense, and I wished it were possible, but we were stuck. "We're in box seats," I said, "with Hillary and Amanda." Hillary and Amanda were the co-directors of the mentoring program. Why women were in charge of a program to match boys with men remains a mystery to me, but that's the way it was.
And so we watched the minor league football game with Hillary and Amanda and a couple of other boys and their volunteer male role models. We ate french fries and drank giant tubs of orange soda. Eventually it was over, only about an hour after both of us were totally bored.
So that was my first outing with Matthew. Amanda wanted to give us tickets for another game the following Saturday. Before I could figure out a way to decline politely, Matthew blurted out, "Do we have to? It's boring."
Amanda looked at me, and I could almost hear her thinking at me: "This boy needs help! Boys are supposed to like football, and it's your job to teach him that." I shrugged, and grinned at her.
"Maybe we can try it again in a few weeks. I was thinking next week we might try a little fishing up at Burns Pond. That way I could bring my dog along, and let him run around the woods."
"You have a dog!" Matthew exclaimed. "I love dogs!"
"Well, that's good," I said. "Because he loves kids."
I saw Amanda's wheels turning. Dog. Fishing. Opie of Mayberry. Solid, traditional man-boy bonding stuff. "Sounds like fun," she said. "Give us a call and tell us how it went."
A week seemed like a long time, and I was disappointed that Matthew hadn't called me to get together after school on a weekday afternoon. I'd written my number on three different pieces of paper and stuffed them into three of his pockets, figuring he probably wouldn't lose all of them. I told him he could call any time, but I didn't hear from him. On Thursday, I decided I'd better call his Grandmother and firm up our outing for Saturday.
"No," I assured her, "my dog won't bite him. Matthew and Bam Bam will get along just fine." (Yes, I named my dog after the son of the Rubbles in the Flintstones cartoon. You'd have to meet him to understand why.)
Matthew lived with his grandmother, Laura. His mother used to live there too, but decided, as Laura explained to me the first time we met, that having a child was "too confining." Matthew had seen his mother less than a dozen times over six years, mostly at Christmas. Nobody had so much as a clue as to who Matthew's father might have been. As you may have inferred from the only question she asked about our outing, Grandma Laura was a few cards short of a full deck, even before her daily half-liter of gin.
"I'll feed him dinner before I bring him home," I added.
"I'll make sure he takes his key," she replied. I didn't understand why she said that at the time. I found out later.
Saturday morning I loaded Bam Bam into the car, stopped at the deli for sandwiches, drinks, and snacks, and got to Matthew's around 11. Laura opened the door for me. She had put on makeup and done her hair, but she was still wearing a flimsy nightgown that barely concealed her large breasts. Pretty obviously, it was for my benefit. As I'd told Matthew on our first outing, I was old enough to be his grandpa -- which made me just about the appropriate age for his grandma, presumably. I concentrated on the dark circles under her bloodshot eyes, and pretended not to notice her trying to seduce me.
Matthew darted out of his bedroom, grabbed my arm, and pulled me towards the door. "Bye," he said to the old tart. "See you tomorrow!"
"Why did you say 'tomorrow?'" I asked. "You'll be home tonight."
"She'll be passed out by then," Matthew replied, then devoted his full attention to greeting and being greeted by Bam Bam as we got into my car. Matthew's face was thoroughly washed, and Bam Bam was thoroughly stroked and scratched. Eventually they both settled down, Matthew in the front seat and Bam Bam in the back.
It was only when we got to Burns Lake Park that I realized I hadn't put the fishing gear in the car. Matthew didn't mind at all, since all he really wanted to do was run around the woods with the dog. So, instead of parking at the lot near the path that most of the fishermen used, I parked at the entrance to a trail on the far side of the park. We loaded lunch, dog biscuits, windbreakers, and assorted odds and ends into a couple of day packs, and started hiking. It was one of those autumn days when the leaves are turning, but summer seems to be attempting a comeback. We were happy we'd worn shorts.
Bam Bam, of course, didn't stick to the trail, and had a grand time running through the trees and leaping through the undergrowth. At one point he spotted a deer, and took off after it, disappearing entirely.
Matthew gripped my hand. "Where is he? Will he get lost? How will we get him back?"
"Don't worry," I said, enjoying the feeling of his little hand in mine, "he'll come back in a few minutes -- as soon as he figures out he can't catch it. We'll just wait here, and he'll find us."
"Should I call him?" he asked.
"Sure," I told him. "If he hears you calling him, he'll probably come back sooner. I can tell he already loves you."
So, squeezing my hand a little tighter, Matthew started calling Bam Bam. A couple of minutes later, the dog bounded out of the trees and jumped up on us, knocking Matthew backwards into a heap of red and yellow leaves and giving him another face washing. Matthew giggled uncontrollably, and the two of them wrestled around until I told them it was time to move on. There was a stream just a little further up the trail, and I knew Bam Bam was ready for a drink.
When we got to the stream, one of those that fed Burns Lake, Bam Bam waded in and started slurping up the fresh, clear water. "Hungry yet?" I asked Matthew.
"Yeah," he said, "and thirsty too."
"Well, I have a secret spot near here that's a great place to eat lunch, but you have to promise not to tell anybody else where it is."
I could tell by his expression that he liked the idea of a secret. "Okay, I promise."
"Then take off your sneakers and socks. We have to walk in the stream."
The water was chilly, but not nearly as cold as it would have been in the spring, when it was fed by melting snow and ice. I led him carefully from stone to stone, taking his hand at the tricky places, until we came to a spot where there was an opening among the trees, letting the sun shine through. I pulled a ground sheet out of my pack, and spread it out over the thick layer of fallen leaves and vegetation that covered the ground. It was as comfortable as a mattress.
We ate our sandwiches and drank our drinks. I let Matthew give Bam Bam more biscuits than he should have had.
"Nobody else comes here?" Matthew asked.
"I don't think so," I answered. "I've never seen a sign that anybody else ever was here."
"So it's a real secret. I could tell you a secret too, if you want."
"If you want to tell me," I said.
"We'd have to talk about the gay stuff."
"That's okay," I replied. "This is a good place, and a good time. I'm pretty sure Hillary and Amanda aren't hiding behind those trees."
"You have to promise not to tell -- even if you don't want to see me anymore."
"It's okay," I said. "I promise, and I also promise it won't make me feel different about you. I think you're a really cool kid."
He looked hard at my face, judging my sincerity, I suppose, before he spoke. "Okay. I met a new friend this week, and we've been hanging out. That's why I didn't call you. His name is Lonny, and he's older than me, in seventh grade."
"And you've kind of got a crush on him, huh?"
Matthew blushed a very cute blush. "Yeah, I guess. And I'm not sure, but I think maybe he might want to be my boyfriend."
"Did he tell you he's gay?" I asked.
"No," he answered, "but some other kids think he is. He really doesn't have any friends besides me."
"And did you tell him you're gay?"
"No," he said, with a hint of a tear in his voice. "I'm afraid to tell him. What if he's not, and I tell him I am, and he doesn't want to hang out with me anymore? And then what if he told everybody? I couldn't go to school anymore."
By the time he'd blurted out his worst-case scenario, real tears were running down his face. Bam Bam, who had been napping in the sun, raised his head to see what was wrong. I reached over and pulled Matthew into a hug. He tensed up for a second, then relaxed, hugged me back, and started sobbing. I kissed the top of his head, and rocked him. Slowly, he calmed down.
"Matthew," I asked, "do you actually know what gay guys do together?"
"They kiss and stuff. Right?"
"I was wondering what you think the 'stuff' might be. You know, gay guys don't just kiss, they have sex."
He buried his face in my shoulder, and didn't answer, so I tried again.
"Matthew, imagine this. Imagine Lonny is sound asleep, and he's so tired you know he won't wake up no matter what you do. What would you like to do?" He buried his face further into my shoulder. "Come on, it's okay. Tell me."
"Well," he said, his voice muffled in my armpit, "maybe I'd pull down his pants."
"And then what?" I asked.
"Well, maybe I'd rub his butt." He giggled. "And put my face on it."
"No," he said. "Just that."
"Well," I told him, "that's not even all that gay."
"No, it's not. It's just fooling around, the way boys sometimes fool around. Don't worry," I said, "we'll figure it all out. I'll help you."
"You will?" The next thing I knew he was simultaneously smiling and crying and planting little boy kisses all over my face. At that point, I knew I would do anything... anything in the world... to make Matthew happy. I added a few loud kisses to his adorable round cheeks, and couldn't resist squeezing his other adorable round cheeks while I was at it. Then Bam Bam added his rough tongue to the mix, licking up tears and cleaning up one very cute runny nose. We couldn't help laughing.
As we waded back down the stream, I found myself having a bit of an internal struggle. By the time we reached the trail, love had won out over my better judgment. "Do you think," I asked, "Lonny might want to join us for supper at my house tonight?"