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 2000 by archer. Permission is
granted to Nifty Archives to post one copy. No part may be copied, reproduced,
republished, or reposted on another website without written permission
from the author.
“That’s the relief counselor, Dane,” Mike answered in response to Brian’s question. “Today is Tip’s day off.”
Dane was from London and had the most charming accent. He laughingly told the kids that they were the ones with the accents, since his country had originated the language. Sometimes the kids had a hard time understanding him and his different terminology. The boys always corrected him, for example, when he said ‘football’ for ‘soccer’. But Dane took in all the teasing in good grace. Privately, Brian thought he was very cute, too, with his brown hair and eyes. And Brian thought his accent was sexy.
Dane was one of four counselors hired for the summer through Eurocamp. Eurocamp was an agency that hired counselors from Europe to work in the United States. Besides Dane, there was Richard who was also from England and who taught woodworking. Karl hailed from Germany and instructed archery, and the camp nurse, Kirsten, was from Sweden.
Summer camps were having a difficult time filling their staffs, in part because of the strong American economy and because camp counseling traditionally does not pay very well. Camp Homewood was no exception. The European counselors benefited since they could see the United States and, in some cases, work on their English. The agency paid their plane fare back and forth. Many stayed in America after camp was over to do some sightseeing.
The afternoon went smoothly, even though Gary resumed his position on the deck of the Nature Lodge and refused to assist Brian in teaching the afternoon class. Dane turned out to be relaxed and easygoing, though not a pushover. The campers in Illini tried to convince Dane to bring them pop from the counselors' lounge, but he refused with a smile.
Just before lights out, Jason said to Brian, “I think you should give it a time limit. Like a few days. If he doesn’t shape up, then you go to Tip or Bill.”
Dane glanced at his watch. “Almost 9:30. Time for Tattoo.”
They stood on the screened porch, Jason already in his underwear, waiting for Taps to start. The air was heavy, damp and humid. When Chris began the Tattoo song, Brian found his mind wandering to Matt and his home.
The four other campers in Illini, Cory, Jeff, Ray and Ryan took off in various directions. Jason, Mike and Brian stayed behind. Jason read a comic book, Mike was reading a Star Trek paperback and Brian listened to his Walkman. Brian stretched out on his back, as did Jason in the bed next to him less than three feet away. Every so often one of the boys shifted his weight, which caused the metal bed frames to squeak. Brian could hear the noise even above the music in his headphones. It was a comfortable, friendly moment, even though no words were spoken. Brian listened to his music mostly with his eyes closed opening them from time to time to see Jason turn a page or glance over in his direction.
Brian could clearly see the lump in Jason’s jockey shorts grow. Brian knew he shouldn’t be looking in that direction; and that if Jason saw him looking, it could cause huge trouble.
At 10 PM, the rest of the campers came crashing back into the cabin. They resisted Dane’s attempts to settle them down. They finished eating their snacks on the porch, since food wasn’t permitted in the cabin itself. Brian closed his eyes, oblivious to the activity around him.
Finally, the lights went out at 10:30.
Brian drifted off to sleep.
Later that night, Brian awoke and realized he had to use the restroom. He sighed with frustration. This was a process he’d sooner avoid. Because there were no toilet facilities in the cabin he had to find his way to the showers, which was on the other side of Sioux cabin. He slipped on his shoes, but dispensed with putting on any other clothes. The cool night air caressed his bare thighs and tickled his penis beneath the thin cotton underwear.
He could see the path clearly, since there was a sodium vapor lamp on a pole in the quad, and another attached to the exterior of the showers. He finished the necessary function quickly and returned to Illini, carefully stepping over the stones in the dusty path as if they were droppings.
He opened the screen door a quietly as he could, making sure not to let it slam. His eyes adjusted to the dim light inside the cabin, although light from the lamps in the quad streamed in the windows.
Everyone seemed to be asleep. Brian slipped off his Nikes and lay on his bed. He glanced over at Jason, who was not under the covers. Instead, his thighs were spread and his hand was underneath his jockey shorts.
Brian closed his eyes. Within minutes he heard bedsprings creaking rhythmically. At first, Brian thought Jason was just shifting his weight. But he wasn’t. Brian had heard the other boys joking about it, teasing each other and making fun of it. But Brian hadn’t done it, yet, nor had he seen anyone else do it.
“What are you looking at?” Jason whispered fiercely. “Ain’t you never seen someone jack off before?”
“No,” he admitted. He had heard the talk. But his brothers were much older and they had never discussed it with him. Brian might have asked Matt, if he knew Matt a little better.
Jason swung his legs over the side of the bed, and pushed his underwear to the floor. He leaned back on his left elbow and continued to rapid stroking motion with his right hand. Jason wasn’t gay, but the idea of someone watching, even if it was another boy, was exciting.
Brian also swung his legs to the floor, pulled his erect penis out of his underwear and simulated the motions Jason was making. It took several different approaches for Brian to find the right combination of friction, pressure and motion. Brian had a sensation like a hard lump in his crotch. He felt like he was going to pass a marble.
“Oh God,” Brian grunted and then came.
“Don’t get that stuff on my bed,” Jason whispered fiercely.
Brian mopped up the cum with one of his own dirty socks. He fell asleep rapidly.
All the next day, he felt like laughing.
He had discovered a secret, and couldn’t wait to show Mike. He could make
his own body feel good. Later on, it would serve him well, as a release
from stress, to curb his sexual tension and clear his mind, even to help
him sleep. Brian had discovered the joys of masturbation. And that discovery
made him feel proud, powerful, masculine and very grown up.
Each day, Matt ran home from work to see if there were any messages from Tim. There never was. Unknown to Matt, Tim refused to leave messages on a machine. It was one of his quirks. Matt’s machine did not record the hang-ups, so he never knew that Tim was trying to call him.
Matt thought about calling Tim, but dismissed the idea. He couldn’t risk having Patrick answer - not after that incident in the bathroom at Chicago Dough Company. He couldn’t speak to Tim’s mom -- he had never met the woman. And she was best described as unstable both by Patrick and Tim. Matt thought that it was unwise to leave a message on their machine, since he didn’t know who would retrieve the message.
Caller ID had just become available, but Matt balked at paying extra for the service, and besides, it would only indicate if Tim had called. Matt even thought about buying a new answering machine that stamped each call with the time and date of the call.
So, Matt did one of the things he did best: He procrastinated.
His schedule at work was jumbled because his assistant manager, Anna, had taken a week of vacation in June, and Matt ended up working a rare Sunday. Also, the Fourth of July holiday was coming up, and that meant further disruption in his schedule. He had to work on the Fourth, which fell on a Sunday this year. The Mall also operated on holiday hours Monday, July 5th. Most people had the day off.
Matt began drinking more. Before the argument with Tim he had cut his alcohol consumption down to a beer or two every weekend. Now, Matt found alcohol to be a good anesthetic. It provided a barrier between him and his emotions for Tim.
Marty took him out one Saturday night to the 129 Club in Blue Island. They occupied two adjoining stools at the bar. Matt was feeling no pain. But, instead of feeling lighthearted and uninhibited, he felt heavier and more depressed. Matt watched each face as it entered the bar in the impossible hope that it might be Tim. Marty swivelled in the stool to talk to some friends Matt wasn’t fond of.
“You two are quite a sight,” Matt said to the two friends. Daniel was very tall and thin and James was short and heavy.
“What do you mean?” Daniel asked.
“When you two are together, you look like the number ten.”
It took a moment to sink in that they had been insulted. “Fucking bitch,” James said to Matt. They walked away in a huff.
Marty grabbed Matt’s bicep and dug his nails into the flesh. “What the hell is your problem?”
“Nothing,” Matt said morosely. “I just can’t stand those two. They’re so holier-than-thou.”
“I’ve never seen you like this. You usually leave the bitchiness to me.”
“Yeah, well, maybe it’s time to change that.” Matt’s voice rose as he spoke. Several of the other bar patrons cast disgusted looks in Matt’s direction.
“Come, on, hon. It’s time to go.”
“Why? It’s not even midnight, yet.”
Marty dug his nails into Matt’s bicep again. He whispered into Matt’s ear, “Now, dammit, before I draw blood.”
They started back to Marty’s apartment. Matt vomited two separate times in the five block distance to Marty’s. Matt hadn’t gotten sick from drinking since his days at Illinois State.
He was far too drunk to drive back to Park Forest so he spent the night at Marty’s apartment. He was asleep in the second bedroom before Marty could remove his clothes. Marty watched Matt’s face as he spread a blanket over him. Matt’s behavior that night rattled Marty. He had never seen Matt drink so much or get so out of control. It scared him. He touched Matt’s face affectionately. Marty knew what Matt’s problem was. Matt missed Tim.
Unknown to both men, Tim tried to call
Matt’s number six times that night. He didn’t leave a message.
On the morning before Independence Day, Mike said to Brian that he wanted to talk to him. Brian agreed, but wondered about the request.
Vance resigned that morning. Without even writing a note of resignation, he packed his car after breakfast and simply left camp. His departure left a hole in several schedules, and the other counselors pitched in to fill the gaps. Tip volunteered to cover quad duty in the Indian quad that night.
After Tattoo, Mike and Brian found time to talk. They went down to the waterfront. They couldn’t enter the waterfront area after dark, but they sat in the grass near the gate leading to the waterfront.
“What’s wrong?” Brian asked Mike.
“That’s what I was going to ask you. Are you mad at me?”
“No, not at all. What makes you think I am?”
“You’ve been ignoring me.”
“No I haven’t.”
“You spend all you time with Jason.” So
that was it, Brian thought. Mike’s jealous.
“I thought we were going to have so much fun this summer,” Mike continued. “Doing stuff together.”
Although Brian was largely unaware of it, and would have denied if told, he had status among his peers. They viewed him as cool and smart, if a bit detached and aloof. He was one of the McIlvain’s favorites, and that fact had not gone unnoticed by the other boys. And by keeping tabs on Gary’s activities at the Nature Lodge, or lack thereof, he had also endeared himself to Tip. Tip was too much of a seasoned veteran to admit that Brian was one of his favorites, although he certainly was. Mike knew that some of his newfound popularity had come from his association with Brian. But that wasn’t the only reason Mike sought Brian’s company. Because, secretly, Mike was attracted to Brian. Unfortunately, Brian didn’t feel the same about Mike. He liked Mike, liked to talk to him - maybe cuddle with him once in a while, but that was about the extent of it. Brian wanted to be friends with Mike, but Mike wanted more.
“I’m sorry, Mike. You know how it is. The nature lodge is keeping me busy. I heard that they might fire Gary.” Brian wasn’t above using gossip to change the subject.
“Who would they replace him with?”
“I don’t know.” The two boys watched an adult figure approach them. “Look, I’ll try to spend more time with you. OK? Just like on campus,” he added quickly before the counselor came within earshot.
Mike replied, “OK,” although his tone of voice told Brian that it clearly was not.
The arriving counselor was Dane. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. “I hope I’m not interrupting.”
“No,” Mike mumbled. “I was just leaving.”
Brian watched him walk away sadly, wishing he had said something to resolve the issue. Brian and Dane watched the water reflect the lights on the other side of the lake.
“Pretty, isn’t it?” Dane commented.
“Everything all right between you two?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“You don’t sound sure.” Dane left it at that. He didn’t want to pry. They were silent for a long moment.
“The answer is yes.” Dane finally said.
“You were wondering, and the answer is yes.”
Brian was perplexed. “I don’t understand.”
“I’m a poof.”
Even in the dark, Dane must have seen the blank look on Brian’s face.
“Oh, I hope you’re OK,” Brian tried to sympathize, not having the slightest idea what he was sympathizing for.
Dane chuckled. This conversation was beginning to sound like an alternate version of Who’s On First? Dane lowered his voice, “I’m gay.”
“Oh.” What else could Brian say? “That’s cool,” he added hastily.
“That’s between us, right, mate?”
“Sure.” Brian was pleased to know that his gaydar was functioning correctly.
“I guess we’d better start heading back,” Dane said.
On the path back to the main camp, Brian spotted Tip doing duty in the Indian quad. He sat in the gazebo with his flashlight and his ever-present clipboard. Brian said goodnight to Dane, and went to talk to Tip. He began to describe what had happened at the nature lodge that day.
“You can tell who the good counselors are,” Tip said to Brian, momentarily changing the subject. “They’ve got the lights out and they’re reading to the kids. The bell rang to signal light out and one by one the lights went out in the cabins except for Menominee. Gary slammed out of the cabin.
“Gary, you’re not supposed to leave until the kids are settled down and the lights are out,” Tip reminded him.
“Fuck you,” Gary responded, and walked away.
“Snappy retort,” Tip called after him. “His days are numbered,” he mumbled to himself. Tip jotted some notes on his clipboard.
“Brian, you are doing the right thing. We both saw what a loser he is. You are going to amount to something, while he’s going to be a wife-beating, trailer-living, redneck scumbag.” He smiled at Brian.
The lights were still on in Menominee, so Tip strode over to the cabin. He rapped softly on the door of the cabin with the end of his flashlight. “OK, lights out Menominee.” There were some protests about not being ready for bed, but someone finally turned the lights off.
“The natives are restless tonight. Of course, if they had a decent counselor, we wouldn’t be having these problems.”
Tip and Brian resumed their conversation. Within a few minutes, a camper appeared on the porch of Menominee. “Tip,” he called.
Tip picked up his flashlight and walked over. “What’s wrong?”
“Tommy’s crying and he won’t stop.”
“What’s wrong with him?”
“I don’t know.”
Brian watched from the gazebo. He saw another boy appear on the porch. This boy had red hair and looked to be about ten or eleven. He was wearing only his underwear. Brian had seen him on campus a few times, but like most of the other junior high boys, he seldom spoke to the younger ones. Tip spoke to him in low tones, and the boy returned in a shirt, shorts and shoes he had hastily put on. Tip and the boy approached the gazebo. The redhead had been crying.
“This is Tommy,” Tip explained to Brian. “He’s a little homesick.” Usually the first week of camp was the worst for homesickness. But, as most camp counselors can attest, sometimes homesickness can flare up again around the Fourth of July.
Tommy sat on the bench next to Brian, and continued to cry.
“Tommy, are you having fun at camp?” Tip asked him.
Tommy nodded. Brian studied Tommy. He had red hair, and a smattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose. Brian remembered that he had green eyes and a set of perfect, white teeth.
Tip tried distracting the younger boy’s attention. “Hey - Fourth of July tomorrow. Fireworks and a cookout. Lots of fun.”
Shouts and the sound of feet slapping the floor could be heard from Sauk. Tip sighed, picked up his flashlight and headed toward the offending cabin.
Brian placed an arm around the younger boy. He never showed affection like this to another boy, especially in the open. It was part of his carefully created facade that he maintained at St. Luke’s. Brian had some concept of how damaging it would be if news of his sexuality got out. That was another reason he liked Matt so much; he could relax around Matt. Matt and he had something in common. And he could ask Matt questions and could expect an honest answer from him. Brian resolved to ask Matt about masturbation at the next opportunity.
Brian had an idea. When Tip returned a few minutes later, after snuffing the nocturnal games in Sauk like a candle, Brian asked to borrow Tip’s flashlight. His own flashlight had died a couple nights ago. He trotted to the nature lodge, fumbled with the key and finally gained entrance. Prints rubbed up against his ankles. He picked up the little tabby.
“You’ve got a job to do,” he said to the kitten which he held against his chest. He could feel the vibration of the kitten purring as he carried him.
When he returned to the gazebo, he handed Prints to Tommy. The younger boy stopped crying immediately.
“That was a good idea, Brian,” Tip said to him. “You’ve discovered pet therapy.”
Brian hunkered down on one knee in front of Tommy. He looked into Tommy’s eyes, which were almost as green as the cat’s.
“Th-thanks,” Tommy said to Brian.
For a response, Brian wrapped his arms
around Tommy, pressing the small animal between them.
There you go, Dane! Love and kisses!
Thanks and love to Richard who spends his time editing
and proofing! And thanks to you, the readers, for responding to the
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