STANDARD WARNING: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to individuals, living or dead, is pure coincidence. Do not read this story if you are offended by man-to-man romance or sex. Do not read if you are underage according to the laws in the country, state/province, county, city/town/village or township where you live. There is sex between males. You have been warned!

Copyright 2001 by Nick Archer. Permission is granted to Nifty Archives, ASSGM, and gaywritings, to post one copy. No part may be copied, reproduced, republished, or reposted on another website without written permission from the author.

Family Instincts

By Nick Archer

Chapter 20

Later that night after energetic and lengthy sex, Marty held Vince in his arms. Vince slept peacefully. His sleeping face looked innocent and much younger than he was.

Marty had been nervous about using the services of a prostitute. Almost all men, straight or gay, young or old, handsome or plain, rich or poor, repeated the same mantra: I never paid for it. It was a badge of honor. There was an underlying subtext: I may have had sex with someone I picked up in a bar. I may have slept with a person I met in a public place. I may even have had sex in a public place – in a restroom, or on a beach, in a parked car, or perhaps even a moving car. But I never paid for sex.

Marty had now paid for sex.

It was not at all what he expected. He had expected Vince to run out of his apartment as soon as he climaxed. He had expected Vince to perform like a robot. Marty had an image of Vince filing his nails while Marty sucked the younger man’s cock, and the only way to tell if the hustler was enjoying himself was if he dropped the nail file. But Vince didn’t.

He actually talked to me. He asked questions about me, and he seemed genuinely interested in my answers. We talked for almost two hours before we even kissed. And what a kisser! And he sure knew how to please me.

Vince had discovered the secret to being a professional hustler. Vince knew to cater to the whole client. That meant talking to them, putting them at ease, perhaps even joking with them once Vince got to know them. Vince knew that sex was much more than the contact of body parts. Sex was in the mind. Vince’s favorite quote went something like; the brain is the most potent sexual organ.

With his regular clients, he tried to discover a mutual interest, besides sex, that he could use as a talking point. It could be that they both liked Seinfeld, or the client was a Bulls fan, or interested in sports cars. He could talk about Jerry’s funny monologue comparing a washing machine to a nightclub for clothes, or Michael Jordan’s latest game, or the horsepower of the V-12 engine in the Dodge Viper. That’s why Marty felt like he was on a job interview when they first arrived at the apartment.

That’s why Vince was so successful. It wasn’t his changeable wardrobe or image, although he was rightfully proud of that. It wasn’t that he knew how to suck someone off in less than five minutes. It wasn’t that he could role-play and not only did it well, he enjoyed it.

It was that Vince made his clients feel cared for. He made them believe that they were interesting, intelligent and personable, and attractive. And Vince made his clients believe he cared about them – enough at least to carry on a conversation with them. That’s why he could command such a high price.

Intellectually, Marty knew all these things. But he didn’t care.

As he held the younger man, he could feel his heart beating regularly beneath his smooth skin of his chest.

I never want this to end, Marty thought. But, of course, it would.

Taking a cue from Matt, Tim started his grocery shopping earlier on Saturdays. He found that if he could get to the store early, it was less crowded, the checkout lines were shorter, and the boys didn’t make unreasonable food requests, or worse, want to go with him to the store. Tim had taken one, two or on one disastrous occasion, all three boys to the grocery store. It was not an experience he wanted to repeat. The food bill was high enough for three adolescent boys, let alone all the snacks they tossed in the cart when they went with him.

He brought the groceries home, and began to unload them from the Jeep. Last night’s rains had brought cooler temperatures and drier air. Tim found himself thinking he might go for a jog when he was done.

Jake shuffled downstairs first. Tim was kneeling, putting canned goods in a lower cabinet.

From the refrigerator, Jake pulled out the container of orange juice and started to guzzle the liquid directly from the carton.

"Hey!" Tim corrected. "Get a cup!" And when Tim, who was still on his knees, came head-to-head with Jake’s morning woody, he added, "And go put some clothes on."

"We’re all guys here."

Tim sighed. How many times had the boys used that as an excuse for everything from putting the toilet seat down to nudity? In a way they were right; they were all males, right down to Prints and Tommy’s new gerbil. But Tim and Matt were trying to instill at least a sense of modesty and decorum in their boys. The house wasn’t a locker room, after all.

It was a parent’s dilemma. Which rules did they need to create? When should a new rule be implemented? Who should create it? What were the consequences for breaking a rule?

When it had just been Brian living at the house, it was easy. Brian was self-disciplined enough that he required few outside rules and regulations. Tommy’s arrival had changed that. Tommy was younger, and needed more direction. They made a schedule for household chores. They kept a calendar in the kitchen for the boys to write down their many activities and appointments.

But, on many levels, it was Tommy’s predilection for sleeping late that prompted rulemaking in the Rosato household. New rules had to be made governing bedtimes and quiet times, homework, television viewing and computer use.

Matt was trying to be less authoritarian and let Tim take control of some discipline and enforcement issues. They also believed in getting input from the boys as to how a problem should be addressed and what the consequences should be if they didn’t follow a particular rule. Inevitably, they were harder on themselves than Matt or Tim ever would have been. This allowed the adults to walk the fine line between being permissive parents and drill sergeants.

On the issue of nudity, the line was drawn on the main floor. They had to be clothed, or at least wearing underwear, although Matt would have preferred something more modest, like sweats.

Tim stood and closed the cabinet. Putting a hand on his bare shoulder, he looked the boy in the eyes. "What was our rule about nudity?"

"No nudity on the main floor. But I’m not nude!" he protested.

Tim glanced down at his tented boxers and raised his eyebrows. "You might as well be."

"Shit, man." Jake mumbled. The closer the court date, the more Jake’s language deteriorated, Tim observed.

He chose to ignore his expletive. "Go put some shorts on and we’ll go for a jog."


As he shuffled out, Brian shuffled in. "Brian’s only wearing his underwear," Jake whined on his way down to his room.

"Brian doesn’t have an erection," Tim told him.

Brian draped his arms around Tim’s neck. Tim gave him a firm hug. "I can’t get over how tall you’re getting," he told the boy. He gave Brian several affectionate pats on the rump.

"Keep patting me on the butt like that and I might get a woody. Then you’ll have to yell at me, too." Tim laughed and released him. Brian began to rummage through the cabinets. "Did you get the Oreos?"

"Yes. And NO, you may not have Oreos for breakfast." He firmly closed the cupboard door. "Would you like to jog with us?"

Brian thought about it. While Brian was in shape, he was not an athlete, and jogging seemed sort of a useless pastime to him. Still, it was a glorious morning, and he was itching to get outside.

"OK." He took the stairs two at a time and unearthed a pair of shorts that should have been in the laundry several days prior. On a lark, he grabbed his cell phone.

They left a note on the dining room table for Tommy on the outside chance that he would get out of bed while they were gone.

They jogged east on the shoulder of 26th Street, until they could switch to the paved trail that encircled the huge wooded complex. Just as they switched to the trail, a white Cadillac swerved, almost as if it was aiming for them! It’s tires squealed and left a trail of acrid smoke. The driver applied the brakes so abruptly, the body of the car still rocked on its springs once it had come to a halt. The white Cadillac then accelerated down the hill, and up the other side, wildly swerving the whole time. It turned right into the entrance for Sauk Trail Woods North.

"Shit," Jake mumbled. This time, Tim didn’t even think about correcting him. If Jake hadn’t used the word, Tim would have. Their hearts were thumping in their chests, and not from the physical exertion. They had just had a very close call!

"Let’s go find out what he’s up to," Tim said to the boys." Still breathless, they nodded their agreement. They approached the steep hill leading down to the dam that created Sauk Trail Lake. The trio slowed to a walk as they scaled the incline on the opposite side of the dam. At the top of the hill was the entrance to Sauk Trail Woods North. The long parking lot ran parallel to the lake and the only entrance and exit was onto 26th Street. This part of the Forest Preserves was known as the Black Forest because it was a favorite gathering place for African Americans. On this bright Saturday morning, it was empty except for Tim, Brian and Jake, and the reckless driver of the Cadillac.

"Hey, you guys!" Brian motioned them over to the shelter. There were two sturdy shelters made of fieldstone in this part of the woods. It smelled of wood smoke. Bits of charred wood from the two fireplaces crunched under their feet. They hurried to a corner of the shelter where they were reasonably sure the driver could not see them. The large land yacht stopped in a far corner of the rectangular parking lot. The driver got out and opened the trunk. With great effort, the fat man pulled out a long object that was wrapped tightly in a green army blanket. He disappeared into the woods, but they could hear the rustle of the underbrush as he dragged the heavy object into the woods. He didn’t drag it very far.

"That’s Barry!" Brian exclaimed, forgetting for a moment to be quiet.

"Who is Barry?"

"He’s the guy who tried to take pictures of me in New Buffalo."


They ducked behind the stone walls of the pavilion again when the fat man jumped into his car again and sped off. Jake started to giggle, but covered his mouth. They watched the car pause at the entrance and then turn left onto 26th Street in the direction of Park Forest narrowly missing a Celebrity.

"He’s gone! Let’s go!" Jake started running across the parking lot.

"Stop!" Tim commanded.

Jake and Brian continued running.

"I said STOP!" Tim bellowed.

In unison, they started complaining and whining. "We want to see what it is!" "It could be a body!" "Can’t we just go look?" "We won’t touch it."

"No way," Tim replied. "It’s all wrapped up, anyway, and to get a look at it, you’d have to unwrap it. It’s probably just a dog."

"No way! It was way too big to be a dog!" Brian took out his cell phone.

"Brian, give me that phone." He held out his hand.

Brian made a face, but he knew he was defeated. He dared not defy Tim. Matt would surely kill him if he did. His shoulders drooped as he walked across the clearing and handed Tim the phone.

Tim flipped it open and was rewarded with a beep. He dialed 911 and hit the Send button.

"That’s where we saw him dump the body," Jake bragged to John, Dave, Brent and Carl. The area was now cordoned off with bright yellow barricades.

"Wow! Did you actually see the body?" Dave asked.

"’Course we did," Jake lied. Brian flashed him a disapproving look.

"What was it like?" Carl almost whispered.


Let’s see you talk yourself out of this one, Jake, Brian thought to himself.

But, he didn’t need to. Just then a Forest Preserve Police Jeep pulled up. A muscular officer hopped out of the vehicle. "You kids move on," he said in a deep voice.

"But...." Jake started to protest.

"No. I said move on."

As Matt drove home early that Saturday, he thought the summer holidays are a stupid time to be open. Especially when the weather is as nice as it is. Matt had left work at four that afternoon. Business had been slow, and Tim called around noon and told Matt what had happened in the woods that morning.

After Tim called, Matt had been ready to leave right then and there. But, he persuaded himself to stay at least until the afternoon before he took off. The mall was closing at six, anyway, as it did every Saturday night. Almost all Chicago malls close at six or seven on Saturday night.

He worried about what effect the incident would have on the boys. He was concerned that Brian be left out of any investigation. And he obsessed about what Barry might do if he found out.

Everything seemed like business as usual when he arrived home. Brian was watching TV, Jake was on the computer, Tommy was playing with his gerbil he named Killer, and Tim was sorting laundry. Matt sat next Brian and wrapped his arms around him. "How are you doing, buddy?"

Brian shrugged, not removing his eyes from the TV screen.

"Wanna talk about it? It might help."

"Not really."

Jesus, what did I rush home for? They’re all acting like nothing happened. But to Brian he said only, "Ok. I’m here if you want to talk."

"Oh, hi, babe," Tim kissed him. "You’re home early."

"I thought they’d be more upset. Are you OK?"

Tim regarded him strangely. "Yeah, I’m fine."

"Do they know who it is?"

"No, they wouldn’t tell us anything," Tim said as he loaded the washer.

"What’s wrong with you guys? I would be freaked if I saw someone dump a body off. You are acting like he dumped lawn clippings."

Tim shrugged.

"You..." Matt said as he wrapped his arms around his waist. He kissed Tim’s neck and nuzzled his ear. "You are so frustrating. Have you watched the news to see if there’s anything on about it?"

"The news hasn’t been on. Oh, by the way, Marty called. He just has to talk to you." Tim’s tone was just a touch on the sarcastic side. He wasn’t jealous of Marty or the relationship Matt had with Marty. He was upset by the fact that Marty didn’t take him into confidence. Marty didn’t gossip or dish dirt with Tim, and it irritated Tim. Tim knew Marty had a history with Matt going back to high school. He also suspected that his age had something to do with it. But, Matt told Tim everything, anyway, so Tim reasoned Marty might as well open up to him.

"Give Mary my regards," Tim said sarcastically.

Before heading upstairs, Matt kissed Tim. "Jealousy does not become you, babe."

"Tell me what happened, Martin."

"It’s terrible. It’s awful," he moaned.


"I’m in love."

Matt sighed. "You’re not only the president of the Boyfriend of the Week Club, buy you’re also a client. What’s the name of this week’s flavor?"


"Vince? Hmmm. And where did you meet him?"

"In Boy’s Town. On Clark Street."

"What? A hustler?"

"Yes, I’m afraid so. Does this warrant an invitation for dinner?"

"You’d better get your ass out here."

In times of stress, humans look to stories to ease the pain and provide relief from reality. Hollywood knows this. In the 1930’s, they turned out some of the best films ever made. They also cranked out a lot of drivel. The intent was to distract an impoverished nation from just how weary and hungry they were.

Later, paperbacks made books more affordable for the masses. Television and later, VCR’s brought entertainment into everyone’s homes.

The boys greeted Marty with enthusiasm. He had brought videos.

"What’s the theme for tonight?" Matt asked, knowing his friend’s penchant for themed video nights.

"Bad musicals. Xanadu, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and, of course, Rocky Horror Picture Show. We can make fun of them as we watch them."

"Nothing will be tossed during Rocky Horror. I just want to make that clear," Matt said with a grin.

"Oh, man!" Brian complained. "Hey, can I see if Mike can come over?"

"Sure, hon. And invite Leah, too. She might enjoy this."

In times of stress or crisis, we turn to these mediums for a good story. Sometimes, re-reading a book or viewing a tape that has already been seen can bring comfort. Knowing how a book or movie turns out brings predictability in the face of uncertainty.

Xanadu was about half over when Matt got up and went to the kitchen to use the phone to order Chinese food. Marty followed him.

Once Marty was safe in the kitchen, his lower lip began to tremble and tears ran down his face.

"Oh, Marty," Matt took him in his arms. "This is not you at all. It was just a one night stand."

"He was so sweet to me," Marty sobbed. "He knew just what to say."

"In other words, he was manipulative."

"Well, no one else has bothered to say them to me."

"What else happened? Something else must have happened."

Marty explained what had happened the previous night. He told Matt how he had rejected the first, younger hustler that approached the car in favor of Vince. "When I took him back to Boy’s Town this morning, he made me drive all over. Do you know what he was going to do?" Without waiting for an answer, he continued his story. "He was going to give the money to the younger kid. He said the kid needed the money more than he did."

"Marty, Marty. Don’t you see? He was feeding you a line, and you fell for it."

"No, I think he was telling the truth."

Matt regarded his friend. He is much more desperate than I thought. He’ll believe anything, even what a young hustler tells him.

They returned to the living room. Marty was still wiping his eyes. Brian and Tim noticed but tactfully didn’t ask about it.

As the movie neared the end, Matt threw his head back and laughed. "I love this ending. The roller disco scene is hilarious!"

"Time for your costume change, Miss Newton-John!" Marty put in.

As the credits begin to roll, the two leads, Olivia Newton-John and Michael Beck are silhouetted and talking to each other.

"They’re telling each other that this movie was a bad career move," Tim quipped. Marty and Matt looked at each other and cracked up.

"Now, you’re getting the idea!" Marty encouraged.

Just then, the doorbell rang. Their food had arrived.

Matt set out the cartons on the dining room table. "You may eat in the living room, but please be careful not to spill. Hey, Tommy, can you turn on The Weather Channel? I want to see what the rest of the weekend is going to be like."

Jake grabbed the remote first and turned on CLTV. "They have better weather. More accurate, I mean." A brief scuffle ensued.

"That may be so, Jake, but you didn’t need to grab the remote from your brother." Matt stopped himself.

Tom Skilling was presenting the weather. Rain was predicted for the rest of the weekend. When Tom was finished with the weather portion, he threw it back to the anchor desk.

"Acting on a tip, the body of a man was found today in the Sauk Trail Woods between Chicago Heights and Park Forest. The man was identified as Ted Thedford, a writer for the gay newspaper Windy City Times. Police are looking to question this man..."

When the cable channel flashed the picture of Barry on the screen, a stunned silence passed through the room. The enormity of what they had discovered earlier in the day finally sank in.

".... Barry Hauser. He was observed leaving the scene in a white Cadillac El Dorado with Illinois license FR 2558. If you have any information, please call the Forest Preserve District Police or the Cook County Sheriff or your local law enforcement agency."

Brian had carefully put his plate of sweet and sour chicken on the coffee table and covered his mouth throughout the story. "Barry," he muttered.

Silence entered the room with a partner. The partner was death. Together, they sat in the suburban living room with the men and boys and stared each one in the eyes.


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