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, 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.
The gray light streamed into the basement where the boys were sleeping. Brian awoke first. He was on his side, facing a wall. He could feel the body of the other boy pressed against his back. Jakes left arm was draped over his side, and his hand hung limply near his chin. He could hear Jake snore softly in his ear.
A wave of panic overcame him. This couldnt be happening! When his mind cleared the sleepy mist, he was thrilled and excited. Did Jake do this on purpose? Is he aware of what he is doing? Does he really care about me? Hope burned white hot in Brian. He must know what he is doing.
Jake held Brian in that position for what seemed like an eternity. Brian had an erection, partially because of the thrill of the other boy cuddled up to him, and partially because he had to take a piss badly. He didnt want to move because he was enjoying the affection so much, even though Jake had done it in his sleep.
Brian could hear Jakes breathing pattern change, and knew he was waking up. What would Jake do once he realized the position he was in? Would he blame Brian? Would he be upset? Would he tell the other kids that Brian was trying to start something?
"Morning," Jake whispered. Then, to Brians shocked delight, he pulled Brian closer. And he could feel something else. It felt like a cucumber pressing against his butt. Then, Jake breathed in his ear.
"Can I tell you something?"
Oh, my God Brian thought here it comes. Does he hate me? Does he know Im gay? Does he know Im totally in love with him?
"Sure," Brian managed to croak out.
"You are my best friend."
Brian had a mixed set of emotions. On one hand, he was thrilled that their relationship meant a lot to him. On the other, Brian wanted much more.
"Thanks," Brian said, with just a hint of sarcasm.
"I mean it. I usually hang out with girls. I always have a girlfriend, because I hate being alone."
Brian wasnt sure how to respond. "Thanks."
"We called this staffing because were concerned about Mike Rosen," Bill said to the men and women around the table. They included Debbie McIlvain, Father ODonnell, the Director of Home Life Roger Cooper, Mindy Rice who was the principal of the school and his homeroom teacher Frank Mistretta.
"His grades have fallen, and hes not himself lately. Our concern is that he may be clinically depressed. "
Bill paused as he shuffled through some papers. "The first thing I did was have the doctor examine him to determine if theres a physical cause." He summarized from the report. "The doctor said basically that theres physically nothing wrong with him. He found no disease, hormonal imbalances or evidence of drug use, so thats been ruled out. He made a note that he is underweight and small for his size, but we knew that already."
The other adults chuckled.
Bill directed the next question to Frank, whose job it was to research home living situations. "No, not that we know of. His mother has had little contact with him since she returned to the prison in Dwight. He has never had any contact with his father."
"So, no clues there." He rubbed his eyes. Mikes case was driving him to distraction. "We let him stay in Trees another year, even though hes a freshman in high school. Hes too physically small to deal with some of the hulks in Hargrave or Spaulding. Also, hes not socially or emotionally prepared to live in the high school cottages. The idea was that we would move him over at Christmas. This is going to set him back quite a bit."
"Yes," Debbie agreed. "He just takes the bullying. You all remember, he would stand up to Demetrius. Now, everyone is pushing him around. He just wont stand up for himself. Hes stopped going to band, all he does at the cottage is sit in front of the TV until bedtime. Hes also sleeping a lot and is very difficult to get out of bed in the morning."
"Thanks, Debbie." He rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
"Have your sessions with him brought anything out?" ODonnell asked Bill.
"No, not that I can think of. Thats why I wanted to pick all your brains to see what you thought."
"Its about the same in school. His grades have fallen though the floor, and we don't know why," the school principal reported.
"You know, theres been a rumor going around ." Debbie began.
"And we all know how reliable they are," Mindy said. There was more laughter.
"I heard that he was involved in some sex play at camp."
"Jason Delcore and Brian Kowalski."
Bills eyebrows shot up. He said nothing, but continued to doodle on the notepad in front of him.
"Of course, Brians not here to confirm it. Jason is a pretty reliable source," Frank added.
"But even if its true," Bill interjected, "it doesnt explain his depression."
"I think its Brian." As Debbie spoke, all eyes turned to her. Debbie and Tom did an excellent job as houseparents and their opinion was respected. "They were good friends. I think he misses Brian. And he could be feeling left behind. He started high school this year, which we all know is trauma time for a lot of boys here. Their thinking is If Im not adopted by high school, Im never going to get adopted. How is Brian doing, by the way?"
"I just saw him Saturday. Hes doing extremely well. Hes doing well in school, making new friends." Bill tapped the pen thoughtfully on his lips. "That could be part of Mikes problems," Bill agreed. "He feels like Brian moved on without him. Weve seen other examples of this, but never to this extent."
"As much as I hate to suggest it, we may need to consider medication for Mike," ODonnell suggested. As a rule, St. Lukes stayed away from behavior medications.
"I want to avoid it, if possible. I wonder if contact with Brian might help."
"It may also do more harm than good," Frank interjected.
"Still, Id like to try," Bill said. "I know Matt Rosato would help if he needed to."
"You have my blessings, in the literal and figurative sense," ODonnell said.
Jim, Chad and the rest of the football team began peeling the layers and layers of their football uniforms in the steamy locker room. The Mustangs had lost again and the mood in the locker room was somber. Still, there were shouts and most of the boys were making plans for later that night.
"I hate losing," Jim said as he tossed his filthy jersey into the locker.
"Me, too," Chad replied. "You going out with Maggie tonight?"
"Yeah, I guess so." Jim replied
"Whats wrong? Shes not putting out?"
"She never does. I always end up going home and jerking off."
"You dont have to."
"Dont have to what?"
"Go home and jack off."
"What do you mean?"
"Jim, my friend Ive got the solution for girlfriends who wont put out."
"And who would that be? Mandy Johnson? No, thanks."
"No, no, no. Its a new concept," Chad said with a wide smile. "Get your rocks off, no commitment, no bullshit. And its only ten bucks."
"What do you call it? A vacuum?"
Chad looked over his left shoulder, then his right, then moved closer. In a conspiratorial tone he whispered, "Its a kid."
By this time, both boys were stripped to their jock straps. Chad continued, "Its top secret. Only four of us know about it. You make five. And you cant tell anyone. The kid meets us under the bleachers on 99th Street."
"Who is it?" Jim demanded.
"Who is it?" Jim repeated, this time in a whisper. "Whats her name?"
"He. Its a he."
"Follow me," Chad said as they walked across the darkened field. Darkness fell about 6 PM by mid-October. Fall was in the air; still the night was warm. The wind had the dusty smell of falling leaves.
Jims hair was still damp from the shower, and he was tingling with anticipation. He followed Chad across the field. Light from the sodium lamps in the student parking lot was the only light.
There were five of them. Jim trailed behind. It never occurred to him what the others would be doing while he got what he paid for.
In the dim light, Jim could make out a figure under the bleachers. He looked short, and wore a leather jacket. He paced back and forth. Even in the dim light Jim could tell he had red hair.
Marcus had brought some weed, and the sweet smell permeated the air. They passed the joint between them as they approached the bleachers. When they were almost to the bleachers, Ryan demanded their money. "Ill give it to him, since Im going first." Since Ryan could bench-press 300 pounds, no one was going to argue with him.
They watched Ryan approach the kid and hand the money to the short kid. Ryan stood with his back to the other four boys. The kid stuffed the bills in his pocket, then fell to his knees. Ryan shrugged as he obviously unbuttoned his jeans.
Chad, Jim, and the two other boys inched closer toward Ryan and the redhead. They were curious, full of anticipation and horny. As they moved closer, Jim could see how young the boy was. Jim had been hoping the kid was their age, but short. Now, he could see that was not the case, and he began to feel uneasy.
"How long has this been going on?" Jim asked Chad.
"Since the beginning of the season."
Ryan grunted loudly as he climaxed, backed away, and zipped his pants. Marcus went next.
"How old is that kid?" Jim asked Chad. Chad didnt answer; he was watching the action with concentration.
Jim asked louder, "How old is that kid?"
The kid stopped what he was doing, peered around Marcus thigh and spoke directly to Jim.
"Im eleven. Whaddya gonna do about it?" Then, he resumed on his current customer.
Tommy almost skipped home that night. He stopped at McDonalds on the way and once he was home, he plopped in front of the TV. His mother was not home, and he was not surprised. The chair he sat in was worn and tattered. The one-bedroom apartment was filthy and cluttered, but it was the only home Tommy had ever known. He had vague memories of an older brother and sister, but those memories were fading fast. They both left as soon as they could. Like Tommy, they knew of their mothers drug addiction but did not have the means to deal with it.
Nor did Tommy have the vocabulary or sophistication to explain the underlying reasons for his little enterprise. To Tommy, it was survival, pure and simple. The fifty dollars would last him through the week and he would be able to buy food. He had even paid the Commonwealth Edison bill by taking some money to the currency exchange at 95th and Kedzie. He told the woman that his mom was sick and she sent him to do it. It wasnt too far from the truth.
What Tommy could not explain was the pleasure he got out of it. He liked the company of the football jocks, with their lean, masculine, athletic bodies. That Tommy was gay was still a vague, unformed idea in the back of his mind. Nor could Tommy have verbalized that his needs for attention and affection were also satisfied during these encounters. Sometimes, one of the kids would pat him on the shoulder or mumble thanks. That satisfied his affection needs, but didnt solve the larger problem.
There was one kid there tonight Tommy had never seen before. He thought his name was Jim. Jim was the last one to go, but he refused to unzip his jeans. While the other kids walked away, their laughter floating behind them, Jim remained behind. When Jim was reasonably sure they couldnt see, he pulled the younger boy to him and cried. Jim never said a word. To Tommy, the hug was the most rewarding thing that had happened to him that evening.
Jim was crying because he had a brother who was eleven. Jim hoped his younger brother never had to do this.
Jim was torn. That weekend he avoided his family, especially his little brother. Jim was certain everyone could see the guilt in him. He remained in his room most of the weekend. When Monday rolled around, his stomach was churning so badly; he stayed home from school. He returned to school on Tuesday, his stomach calmer, but his heart leaden with guilt and shame. Jim desperately wanted to tell someone, to unburden his load. But who? Certainly not his football teammates, who laughed, flirted with girls and strutted down the halls as if nothing had happened. Even Chad went through the day with cocky assurance.
Finally, during study hall, he went to the guidance office, and selected the counselor he thought would be the most sympathetic and spilled the whole story.
The incident turned into a minor scandal within days. Most of it was gossip. The administration chose to keep the incident quiet; therefore the teammates were allowed to continue playing football.
The counselor Jim had tuned to was also a mandated reporter so she called the Department of Children and Family Services. She also called the social worker in the elementary district she knew and trusted.
The social worker was all too familiar with Tommys case. She knew that the judge had thrown the book at his mother the last time she released Tommy to her. The judge had warned Sarah Grady that this was the last chance she would get to keep Tommy. The next time Sarah ended up in court for a violation of her probation, any kind of drug offense, or for neglecting Tommy again, she was going to terminate Sarahs parental rights.
Miss Michaels had just begun the science lesson in the afternoon when the district social worker came to her door. They spoke briefly and Miss Michaels called Tommy up. Tommy followed the social worker to an office and Miss Michaels continued the lesson.
After 3:15, Tommy returned with the social worker to clean out his desk and hand in his books. The teacher was crestfallen. Tommy was an average student, but he was such a likeable boy. Most of the time, he was cheerful and funny. He was outgoing and popular with his classmates. She knew of his home problems. Sometimes he was dirty and so tired he could barely keep his eyes open. But he was making progress. Now what was going to happen to Tommy? She was stricken. She wanted more time to work with him. She could make a difference. Her grief was for both Tommy and for herself.
Karen Wesolowski was preparing some lessons in her office after school that day. The secretary was gone for the day, but she had left the radio on. Annoyed, Karen stepped into the main office to turn it off. She wished she could toss the radio out the window and be done with it. As she switched it off, she saw the district social worker, Mary Helen Michaels, Tommy, and a woman she didnt know start to leave the building. She tapped on the floor-to-ceiling glass. All four heads turned to look at her.
Tommy waved sadly. "Bye, Mrs. Wesolowski."
Through the window, Karens eyes met Mary Helens. Miss Michaels shook her head ever so slightly. Karen knew exactly what she meant. Tommy was leaving.
"Wait!" Karen shouted and held up her index finger for a moment. She trotted back to her office, and grabbed a box out of her desk drawer.
She met the quartet in the hall outside the office.
"Take the rest of these," Karen handed the box of strawberry Nutragrain bars to Tommy. "Theres only one gone."
"Are you sure you dont want them?"
She smiled as bravely as she could. "Theyre all yours."
He reached up and hugged her. "Ill miss you."
"Take care, Tommy." Once they left the building, Karen went back to her office, shut the door and cried.
The DCFS caseworker and the district social worker were startled at the condition of the apartment. Even so, they both had seen worse.
"Wheres my mom?" Tommy asked.
The two professionals exchanged glances. The DCFS worker took a deep breath and explained. "Shes sick. You mom has a drug problem."
"I know," Tommy mumbled.
"You are probably going back to St. Lukes."
The two women stayed longer to help the boy pack his few belongings into plastic Jewel grocery bags. There were holy pairs of underwear, faded jeans, threadbare T-shirts and a filthy little leather jacket.
They had expected the boy to be more emotional. In fact, children in Tommys position often became inconsolable or hysterical. Instead he seemed calm, resigned, almost relieved that it was happening.
Tommy really did love his mom, for all that she neglected him and he would miss her. But at St. Lukes, there would be three meals a day. He would sleep in a bed, not the living room couch, and the bed would have clean sheets. Peggy, his housemother, had been nice to him. He had made new friends and had fun at camp. And maybe he would get to see Brian again.
"Do you have everything?" The social worker asked.
"Buddy! Ive got to get Buddy." The boy quickly left the room and within a minute returned with a tattered, brown stuffed dog.
The irony of the situation struck the two workers immediately. Here was a boy who had performed sex acts to survive. He was cold and calculating enough to have a standing appointment with some high school boys underneath the bleachers at the football field. He didnt seen to have too much remorse about the things he had done or about the fact he was leaving the apartment for good, or his school or teachers. He didnt even seem too shaken that he couldnt see his mom. Yet, he was sentimental enough to have a stuffed animal.
The social worker bent over. Her eyes got misty. "He must be pretty special," she said, pretending to scratch behind the dogs ears.
"He is. Hes my best friend."
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome. Just click on one of the links below. And don't forget to check out my website and my other story here on Nifty, Pocketful of Stars, in the Young Friends section.
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