This story is copyrighted, which means it belongs to me.
Don't read further if you are under age where you live.
Practice safe sex. You owe it to yourself and to others.
the third of my "Colby" stories, the first two being "Brody Comes Home"
and "A Writer's Romance." Readers of "Brody" will recognize some of the
characters here. Although I hope you'll read those stories if you
haven't, it isn't really necessary. You'll get all the information you
need to follow this story right here.
I want to remind my readers that I write formula fiction, romances. So even though you may guess Justin's destination, I hope you will enjoy his journey.
Sincere thanks to Mickey and Drew for their encouragement and editorial help. –Tim
Two young men came out of the gym and began walking toward the student parking lot. The first of them was a rangy 6'1" with black hair and brown eyes. His broad-shouldered companion was shorter, about 5'10"with light brown hair and blue eyes. Both wore crew cuts.
"I know you wanted to play third base, Jus," the taller one said, "but our defense has really improved since Coach moved you to shortstop. You're a natural in that position."
Justin shivered slightly. It might be spring in
The centerfielder for the Higgins High Hornets grinned back. "That's my job, dude. Hey, you wanna go for a burger or something?"
"I'd like to, but I've gotta go home, grab something to eat, change clothes, and get back to school. Tonight's the Symphonic Winds concert."
"Oooh, gotta go and be a groupie for your boyfriend, huh?"
"Up yours, Morelli!"
"In your dreams, Quinn," Steve replied, chuckling. He stopped beside his car. "Then I guess I'll see you at practice tomorrow. Enjoy the concert."
"Thanks, bud. Later."
Justin hadn't wanted to play baseball at Higgins High. He'd played his freshman and sophomore years at St. Anselm's Academy, but when he transferred to Higgins the fall of his junior year he'd taken some flak for being openly gay, a problem he'd never faced at St. A's. It was mostly a few of the football players who'd caused the problems. They'd call him "faggot" or "queer" as he passed them in the halls or in the lunch room. Twice he was tripped. The second time it happened, Justin found himself sprawled on the floor, the contents of his backpack spilled all over. He got up and slugged Carl Lobocki in the gut. By the time the two were separated, Justin had a black eye. Both boys were sent home for fighting.
The next day the principal got on the P.A. system and talked for ten minutes about how diversity was valued at Higgins High and how intolerance wouldn't be tolerated. After that, Justin found himself a hero among the gays, the geeks, and some of the girls in his class. For as long as it lasted, he wore his shiner as a badge of honor.
During the rest of that year he'd made friends, but he refused to go out for baseball when spring rolled around, unwilling to expose himself to what he saw as the homophobia of the jock culture. That summer, however, Justin had met Brody Cox, with whom he had immediately become infatuated, and Dave Cromer, both older than he by several years. They'd invited him to play on their summer-league team, the Higgins Hammers. Later, after he'd started his senior year, both Brody and Dave had urged him to try out for the baseball team when spring came. Justin resisted, claiming that too many other things were going on. It was his senior year, for fuck's sake.
And now he had a boyfriend. But even
The guest conductor for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble's spring concert was Hardy Wolfe-Ridgway, head of the music department of nearby Windsor University.* Justin had expected the program to be mostly marches, but he was surprised. They played a nice mix, including arrangements of some Beatles' tunes plus wind settings of works by Bach, Handel, and Vaughan Williams. The only march was the second encore, which was, of course, "The Stars and Stripes Forever." The audience was delighted when the tubas stood and played the flute/piccolo part in the second strain.
After the concert there was the usual mob in the hall outside the auditorium, but Justin spotted
"Sure, but tomorrow's Friday and that's a school day, so be home by 11:00."
"Aww, Dad, it's 10:00 now. Can we make it 11:30?"
Mr. Keller grinned and said, "Well, you're about to graduate from high school and this is a special occasion. Sure. Justin, I assume you'll drop
Justin grinned. "You can count on it. I'll have had enough of music talk by then."
"What news?" Justin asked.
"I'll tell you later, okay?"
* * *
Justin and Gary were having milkshakes and fries at the BK.
"Gare, that Wolfe-what's his face dude, the guest conductor, was seriously hunky. I mean, with that curly blond hair and all. He looks like he's got some muscles, too. Not your typical musician."
"And he's gay, too."
"Yeah, but how did you – oh, of course, your gaydar is, as you keep saying, infallible."
"Uh huh. But what's with the hyphenated name? Is he a Brit or something?"
"No shit? That's so cool!"
After taking a long swallow of his shake and then stifling a burp, Justin said, "So, what was the news your mom was talking about?"
"Hey, Gare, that's great! I know that's the one you were really hoping for. But why
"What's wrong with being near home?"
"Jus, I've never been anywhere, except for Interlochen last summer. I want to get away from Higgins."
"Okay, but what about the others, the
"They're more for people who want to be concert performers. I know I'm not good enough for a career as a soloist. Besides, I think I'm more interested in composition, theory, conducting, that sort of thing. And IU is great for those things."
"I should've known you'd have it all figured out. So, congratulations, Keller. You know I'm happy for you."
"You could come to
Justin waggled his eyebrows and grinned. "Yeah, I'd love to have that sweet little ass available any time I wanted it."
"Well, it is a nice ass."
With an exasperated expression,
"Okay, straight answer. I've got my acceptance at Carnegie-Mellon and at Case.[CWRU closed their architecture school some years ago, according to Johnny. Change this before posting to Nifty.] As I've told you, my folks, for reasons I don't understand, aren't all that excited that I'm thinking of majoring in architecture. I've still got to make up my mind whether I want to follow in the parental footsteps and if so where I want to go to college."
"I'm sure you could study architecture at IU."
"Yeah, I probably could. But the thing is, I think I might like
"You sure you just aren't afraid to leave home?"
"Oh, shit, man. You know better than that. I'd insist on living in the dorms. I`m still just not sure about the whole thing."
"Well, that's unusual for you."
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, just that you're usually so self-confident."
Justin wiped his hands on his napkin. "You know me pretty well, Gare. I thought you'd have seen through that by now."
"Look, when you're always shorter than most of the guys your age, and when you're gay as well, you can either let everybody call you a shorty, a wimp, a faggot and crawl away with your tail between your legs, or you can let them think that sort of shit doesn't matter to you. I've always managed to hold my head up and still be who I am. But I used to go home and cry into my pillow a lot, too." He grinned. "I hope I'm not disillusioning you."
"No, babe, not at all." He raised an eyebrow. "I've always known you're a cream puff at heart."
"Keller, you know I hate it when you call me `babe'."
"Oh, sorry. I forgot. I do know that, though I don't understand why."
"Because it's, well, I don't know, it's, it's too girly or something. I'm gay, but I'm a guy, dammit, and calling someone `babe' just turns me off."
As they left the Burger King, the two boys made quite a contrast.
On Saturday morning Justin picked
"Hey, Gare, wanna stop by and say whassup to Brody?"
"Oh, you're in need of a Brody fix, are ya?"
"Watch it!" Justin replied, pretending to be angry.
Brody Cox was an ex-Marine who was now a freshman at nearby
Brody, 6'2", blond, blue-eyed and very good looking, didn't seem to realize just how his looks affected others. Justin had been immediately smitten. He'd screwed up his courage to come on to the older guy and been gently rebuffed. Brody had made it clear that he had a brotherly affection for Justin, but that there would never be anything more than that between them.
Brody, now living with David Cromer, had worked in the Cox family business since the previous June when he'd returned home. On Saturday mornings he could usually be found at Petal Pushers, where Justin and Gary often dropped in on him on their way to the mall or whatever they had planned for the day.
Justin had repeatedly told
They pulled into the lot behind the shop and parked. Entering through the back door, they found Brody on a stool next to one of the long work tables, reading. He looked up and smiled when they came in.
"Hey, Brody," the two boys said simultaneously.
"You making like a student?" Justin asked, grinning.
"Yeah. But you give me an excuse to stop. It's been like a tomb around here this morning, so I've gotten a lot of reading done. Want something to drink?"
"I could do with coffee," Justin said. "How about you guys?"
"I'm coffeed out," Brody said.
"I could use a cup,"
"Yeah, it looks like you could."
"Well, Jus, you know how to do it."
As Justin spooned coffee into the filter, Brody asked, "So, what's up with you guys this morning?"
"Oh," Justin said over his shoulder, "
"Come on, Jus, how do you know he was gay? Your famous gaydar?"
"But hey, don't put down my gaydar. I've got a pretty interesting picture to prove how good it is."
"Don't rub it in, twerp!"
"Call me twerp again, and I might have to show the pic around."
He was talking about a very embarrassing picture of Brody, taken to pay off a bet about the reliability of his gaydar. Brody had bet Justin the previous summer that Dave Cromer was straight. And now Brody and Dave were a couple.
Thinking it best to change the subject, Justin said, "
"I've been accepted at
Brody got off the stool and hugged
"Now," Brody said, looking at Justin and raising an eyebrow, "if we could just get this guy to get off the pot and make up his mind . . . ."
Justin grinned. "Get off my back, okay? I'll make up my mind before they revoke my admission, or whatever it is they do when you wait too long to respond."
Later, after they'd finished their coffee, Justin asked, "Sarge, what are you doing this afternoon? Are you and the studly Dave gonna spend the afternoon fucking?"
Brody chuckled. "Someday, Jus, your mouth's gonna get you in big trouble. But for your information, the studly Dave and I are gonna plant shrubs this afternoon. He's got a contract to do the planting around one of the new houses in the Castlemaine subdivision, and the rain earlier this week put them behind. He and I are gonna do some work so his regular crew can have the weekend off."
"Oh, man, I can just see the two of you in your work boots and jeans, all muddy and sweaty! Hot, hot, hot!"
"Be still my heart!"
"We need to get a hose and wet down you randy little fuckers," Brody said, laughing. "There'll be mud and sweat, sure enough. But the sexy part comes later, when we shower together and then get it on."
"Yeah, Sarge, you're talking to a couple of horny teens here. No need to make the picture even sexier."
"You're the one that brought up the topic . . . twerp. So what are you guys up to when you leave here?"
Justin grinned. "Well, we were planning to go to the mall, grab some lunch, and see a flick. Now I'm thinking maybe we should find a private place and get naked."
Brody laughed. "Yeah, the pheromones in here are pretty thick. What's gonna happen when you two are on different campuses?"
"Uh, yeah, we haven't worked that out yet," Justin said, having lost some of his self-assurance. Then he looked at
Laughing, Brody said, "You two aren't fooling me. I just wonder if either of you has a whopper to chew on."
"You had your chance to find out, jarhead," Justin said, grinning. "And as for my friend here, I'll never tell."
"Well, guys, have fun."
"Oh, we will, won't we Gare?"
In Justin's car,
Justin snickered. "My hole isn't that big, dude, as you know. So, are you really hungry? And do you really wanna go to a movie this afternoon?"
"Lick your lips again and we won't make it to the BK."
They made quick work of their burgers, fries, and colas. When they got to the Kellers' house they ran up to
Pushing his knees into the mattress, he raised his hips.
After a few minutes
"That was great, ba—uh, Jus, but I couldn't breathe."
They lay there content, enjoying the warm haze that comes at such times.
And they awoke three hours later.
"Geez, man, we're stuck together."
They pulled apart, breaking the patches of dried semen.
"I didn't think I was sleepy, but that was nice. I always sleep best when your arms are around me,"
Justin turned his head and licked his friend's ear. "Yeah. You wanna take a shower or are we gonna fuck?"
They chose the second option and then they showered.
* * *
Justin and his dad had resumed their habit of running together before breakfast as soon as the winter snow cover melted and they were able to run on more or less dry pavement.
When Justin was little, Larry had taught him how to hold a bat, had taken him to his T-ball and later little league games whenever his teaching schedule permitted. As he grew older, Larry took him to
Like Moira, Larry had been perfectly accepting and supportive after Justin had come out to them. Both parents had been truly surprised when he told them, when he was 15. They say parents often have a sense when they have a gay child, but Justin had been all boy, an excellent athlete. Whatever they may have felt privately, they didn't even make him feel guilty by talking about the grandchildren they'd hoped for. Justin had pretty much fought his own battles so far as being gay was concerned, but he always knew his folks were there whenever he needed them.
They never complained when he got his ears pierced and began to wear a small stud in each ear. They didn't even complain when, in his junior year he let his hair grow long and began wearing it in a pony tail – though they both told him they were happy when, after he met Brody, he started wearing it short again.
Sometimes as Larry and Justin ran the only sounds were those of traffic and their feet slapping on the pavement. Sometimes they talked.
"How do you feel about that?"
"I'm glad for him. It's where he really wants to go."
"And being apart won't be a problem for you two?"
"Well, it's pretty much in the cards, isn't it, Dad? I mean, I don't want to go there, so we're gonna have to be apart."
"Son, from what you're telling me, it sounds as if you and Gary aren't as close as I thought you were."
"Shit, Dad! I'm trying to be mature here, to do the grown-up thing.
"Don't be upset with me, Justin. I'm only trying to understand."
"Have you decided where you do want to go to college?"
"What's wrong with
"Well, for one thing, your old man's on the faculty here. And not only that, if you're really serious about majoring in architecture, you'd be in my department."
"Is that a problem for you?" Justin turned his head toward his father and smiled.
"Not at all. I just thought it might be one for you."
"Would you be happier if I went to Case Western or Carnegie Mellon?"
"They both have excellent departments. So does OSU. Don't worry about what I want. Just do what you want, Son, please."
"Okay. I know I have to make a decision soon. I promise I'll think about it."
"You really need to shit or get off the pot, you know."
"That's just what Brody said when he was lecturing me on the same subject."
"Justin, do you think I'm lecturing you?"
"No, Dad. I'm sorry. I know you just want what's best for me. Like I said, I'll figure it out soon, okay?"
"Okay, dude," Larry said, grinning at him. Then he speeded up and talk ended. Justin kept pace as they sprinted for home.
*For the story of Hardy and Matt, see Paul Daventon's "Dukes of
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