Jack Edwards


The Activist , Pt 15

“Relax, Loren,” Dr. Davidson said as he directed me to a comfortably padded chair. The chair was angled slightly toward his chair, with a small table between.

“We’re simply going to talk,” he told me. “I want you to understand that I’m not going to try to ‘cure’ you of anything. Okay?” He smiled encouragingly.

I nodded.

“Tell me why you think you’re homosexual.” Dr. Davidson said.

I told him. I told him everything from seducing Jimmy in junior high to falling in love with Nate. He was a good listener. I even told him about my Christmas with Nate and how we talked about our future together. I didn’t tell him about Chase, though. I wasn’t sure I’d ever tell anyone about Chase.

“Your father,” Dr. Davidson said, “is struggling with your homosexuality. You know that?”

I nodded.

“He has asked me about treatments, and I’ve explained to him that there are conditioning techniques which have, on occasion, proven somewhat effective at helping young men redirect their sex drives… when they want to.”

“I don’t want to,” I told him.

He smiled and nodded. “It didn’t sound like you would,” he said. “But not everyone is happy being homosexual.”

“I’m happy.”

“I understand. You have Nate. Do you think you would be as happy if you didn’t have him?”

“No. But I still wouldn’t want to be conditioned.”

He smiled, patiently. “You make it sound involuntary. Perhaps I should have used different wording. I was discussing therapy, and using conditioning as a therapeutic technique to help someone, perhaps you, change. Think of it as changing habits; in this case, a habit of mind.”

He smiled sympathetically. “None of us is the person we want to be. Sometimes we want to change ourselves. Sometimes, we are the way we are, because of things which happened to us when we were young; things we had no control over. Sometimes we develop habits which we developed before we knew much about the direction those habits would take us. Have you never wished you were like other young men? Haven’t you ever thought someday you might want a family? Sons? Daughters?”

I shifted uncomfortably. “That doesn’t mean anything. I wish I was smarter. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have red hair.”

He chuckled. “Your father tells me that you're very smart, and I believe him.” His gaze shifted to my hairline. “As for your hair, I think a lot of guys, and girls, must envy you.”

He leaned back in his chair, studying me.

“Do you think you’ll be happy ten years from now, Loren? Twenty years from now?”


“Don’t answer so quickly. Think about it. Do you know any happy homosexuals who are ten or twenty years older than you?”

I shook my head. “I don’t really know any gay guys that much older than me.”

“How many happy homosexuals your age do you know?”

“That depends on what you mean by happy,” I said. “I’m not sure how many straight guys I know who are happy; at least, happier than me. Maybe they’re less happy. I’ve got Nate.”

He studied me a moment longer, and then leaned forward.

“Okay, Loren, let’s take it from there. My job, ultimately, is to help people be happy. You’re happy because you’re in love with Nate. So let’s talk about your relationship for a moment.” He smiled. “I don’t do any relationship counseling, and I’ve never counseled a homosexual couple. I can’t imagine that anyone ever has. I’m sure I’ve never heard of a homosexual couple who have talked about a lifetime commitment to one another the way you and Nate seem to have.”

He shook his head and spread his hands. “I’m surprised at what I’m thinking.” He looked me in the eye. “You seem like a sincere young man, Loren, and I find myself wanting to encourage you the way I would want to encourage any young man, your age, who thinks he’s found ‘the right one’.”

He leaned back and sighed. “You’re sane and happy. You know how many sane and happy people I see in here?”

I shook my head.

He smiled. “If you were straight, I’d tell you that you’re not too young for marriage, but that you will need to work hard at it.

“Every relationship has its own dynamic,” he told me. “But the happy relationships that last, always have commitment; the determination to stay together. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love takes a hell of a lot of work; especially for a young couple. You make more mistakes when you’re young. You tend to be more self-centered. It’s natural. You and Nate will have your work cut out for you. You’ll have to forgive a lot of those young mistakes. You’ll have to learn to make little sacrifices for each other, and sometimes, big sacrifices.”

He smiled sadly. “You’ll have work with your families as well. You will particularly need to work out things with your father,” he said.

I nodded. “Yes, sir.”

“Be patient with him. Homosexuality stirs up a lot of conflicting emotions in any man.”

“I just hope he’ll be patient with me,” I said.

“Hasn’t he been?”

I thought a moment. “Yeah, I suppose he has.”

Dr. Davidson smiled. “Father and son is another type of relationship where the parties have to forgive and sacrifice. At least you’re both working on it, right?”

I nodded. “Yeah, I guess we are.”

“I’m coming home a couple of days early, Thumper,” I said, lying back, cradling the phone.

“Why would that be?” Nate asked, and I could hear the smile in his voice.


“Because you miss me?”

“Parts of you.”

“Oh,” Nate exclaimed in his Natasha voice, “you devil!”

“I miss all of you and you know it!” I told him. “Every little molecule.”

“Some molecules are bigger than others.”

“My favorite ones are the big molecules… but I like ‘em all.”

“God, I miss you!” Nate said.

Stefan wandered into my room while I finished packing; hands in his pockets. He stood close by. When I glanced up, he smiled at me.

“I just wanted to say something,” he told me.

I paused with a folded shirt in my hand.

Stefan bit his lip, thinking about what he wanted to say. He took a breath. “It’s just that… well, Chase is one of my two best buds, you know? Since elementary school. And well… ” He paused, hesitating. “Chase was scared, but really, really needing you to be nice to him. And well, he and I talked, after he spent the night in here. We talked, and… he didn’t tell me a whole lot… I mean, like I didn’t want to know a whole lot… but we talked.” Stefan’s eyes rose to mine. “What you did with Chase… ”

My gut clenched.

“You were nice to Chase,” Stefan said, his eyes dropping again. “Thanks.”

I laid the shirt into my bag, and reached for the next. “You know, some little brothers could be assholes,” I said. “I mean, about the way I am; that I’m gay.”

I glanced at Stef. “Thanks for not freaking out.”

He smiled, ruefully. “I’m really not down with it, you know? I mean… with you being gay.” He shrugged. “But you’re my brother. I mean, nobody ever gave me shit when we were kids because they knew you’d stand up for me.” He shook his head. “I’m not gonna let anybody give you shit; not even me.” He smiled again. “Except the kind of shit I’ve always given you.”

“Fair is fair,” I said. “I’ll keep giving you the same kind of shit I’ve always given you.”

Stefan smiled. He shuffled, awkwardly a moment, then quickly stepped up to me, and gave me a fast hug. He let me hug back for a brief moment, then he pulled away.

Then acting as if nothing had happened, he sat on the edge of my bed. “So,” he said, “UT gonna make it to the finals?”

“Thank you for seeing Ben Davidson,” Dad said, as we waited for check in to begin for my flight.

“Did he tell you what we talked about?” I asked.

Dad shook his head. “No. He told me that he liked you, though.” Dad smiled briefly, then looked away. “Ben says he wants to take me to lunch sometime. I get the impression, he wants to counsel me.”

“Will you let him?”

Dad looked me in the eye. “Did you?”

I nodded. “Yeah, I did.”

“Did you talk about treatments?”

I shook my head. “We talked about it, but not about me undergoing any.”

Dad nodded thoughtfully, and gazed out the windows of the airport gate. “If you need to,” Dad said, “you can talk to him again, or he could probably line you up with someone in Austin.”

I gazed out the windows as well. “I wouldn’t mind talking to him again sometime, Dad, but I don’t need to; not right now. And I don’t want to talk to anybody in Austin.”

Dad nodded. His jaw worked, the way he did when thinking things over. Close by, a young mother struggled with two little boys. We watched them.

Dad turned to me. “When’s your first competitive meet?”

“I forget. I’ll ask coach again and let you know. Do you think you’ll come to one?”

“Stefan and I, both,” he said, smiling.

The sun was setting on the horizon. I gazed at it through the plane window, rehearsing different scenarios in my mind. What would I do when I saw Nate? Pretend nothing happened? Could I pull that off? If not, should I pretend something else happened in Oklahoma that affected me; other than Chase? Plenty of other things did happen. Stef knew about me for one thing. I saw a shrink for another.

I leaned my forehead against the window. I thought about the things Dr. Davidson told me. Would Nate forgive my ‘young’ mistake? Make that my stupid mistake.

New Years Day, my mom almost found out that Chase had spent the night before, in my room. How would that have looked, after all I’d told my parents about my undying love for Nate? How stupid would getting caught with Chase have seemed?

But then I thought about Chase’s warm body, lying naked on my side; hugging me the same way that Nate often did; or like Pauly did. Was what I did really that wrong? Wasn’t it good for Chase? Wasn’t it good that he had an opportunity to be with another guy? Or… were some good things bad, because of the bad they could result in?

Lights were appearing on the ground in the twilight below. I didn’t want to lose Nate. I didn’t want to end up alone, and in my heart, I knew there was only going to be one Nate in my life; only one Nate for me. I didn’t deserve him anymore. I had betrayed him. But I couldn’t lose him.

I resolved to change. Right there on the plane, I resolved with all my heart to make myself different; to be stronger, smarter.

I thought of how Travis wanted me to be an activist. Well I’d be one; but my activism would begin with me, to change me.

At eighteen, I didn’t know how hopeless self-change can be, especially involving a guy and his sex. But sometimes, when you don’t know that something can’t be done, you actually do it.

All the scenarios I’d run through my mind on the plane, stayed on the plane. As soon as I saw Nate, I had only one response; the same as his. We threw our arms around each other, hugging hard and desperately.

My own heart had been wounded by my infidelity. I had been wounded and Nate’s arms were healing.

We didn’t kiss; not there in the airport. We simply hugged… hard and long.

We kissed in the car, out in the parking lot. His hand stayed on mine, on the gear stick of the Mustang. We said little.

Nate helped me carry my bags to the bedroom, and he closed the door. He started to pull me into his arms, but I stopped him with a hand on his chest. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t let him love me as if nothing had happened.

“I screwed up, Nate,” I told him, eyes down. “God, I don’t know how it happened! Not really.” I lifted my eyes to his. “Chase spent the night in my room, New Year’s Eve.”

For a moment, Nate stared at me, as if not comprehending. And then he looked incredibly sad. His eyes dropped. He sighed, wearily. He dropped to his butt on the floor and leaned back against the bed.

“I screwed up, too, Loren,” he said. He shook his head. “I thought talking to you on the phone that night would make it easy to resist fucking up, you know?” he glanced up at me.

I nodded, and took a seat on the floor beside him.

“There was this really cute guy here… Daren. I’d never seen him before.” Nate smiled sadly. “He reminded me of you, but he’s blond, and still in high school.”

I thought of how Chase reminded me of Pauly.

“Travis made Harvey Wallbangers, and I had a few, which was dumb,” Nate continued. “Daren wanted to kiss me Happy New Year, and it just sort of happened.”

I glanced back at the bed. “In here?” I asked.

Nate, looking pained, nodded. He swallowed, and his eyes dropped. “Travis came in, too.”

I frowned. “You let Travis fuck you?”

Nate shook his head. “Daren and I fucked him; he was pretty drunk.”

I couldn’t resist a small smile. “You two fucked Travis?”

Nate smiled sadly. “Yeah.”

I smiled wider. So did he.

Our smiles faded, and our eyes dropped to our laps.

“Nate,” I said, quietly. “I don’t want it to go that way for us.”

“I don’t either,” he said. “We can’t do it to each other.”

I laid my hand on Nate’s leg. “I’m sorry,” I said.

Nate put his arm around my shoulders, and leaned the side of his head against the side of mine.

“Yeah. Me, too,” he said.

“Maybe we shouldn’t be apart for a while,” I suggested.

“Not ever.”

I smiled. “At least we’re roommates now,” I said. “We’re together every night.”

He nodded.

“I’ve had a dream,” I told him. “My dream was that you and I would stay together… always.”

Nate hugged my shoulders. “It’s my dream, too. You know that,” he said. He kissed my cheek. “It’s our dream, and it’s still our dream. We won’t give up, baby,” he said.

“We’ll never give up,” I agreed.

Nate leaned his forehead on mine. “I’ve been out of my mind the last couple of days; worrying. But then you hugged me at the airport, and I’ve never felt better in my life.”

I squeezed his thigh. “Yeah.”

I stood up, and pulled him to his feet by the hand. I pulled him into my arms and we kissed. “I love you, Thumper,” I whispered.

“Oh, God, I love you!” he murmured.

He had on a pullover sweater vest. Grabbing the bottom, I pulled it up and off him. Then I folded it, and set it on the dresser. I unbuttoned his shirt and laid it over the sweater. He took off my shirt, laying it up with his.

We embraced again, bare-chested. We nuzzled, tenderly. His familiar smell, the feelings, back in his arms… how could I ever lose that? I kissed his soft cheek.

“Belong to me, Nate, and I’ll belong to you.”

He nodded. “That’s the way to do it… belonging to each other.”

I felt over his tight shoulders, slender torso, and hard back and chest with my hands, caressing, stroking. “You are so damned perfect,” I told him, unfastening his belt buckle, “inside and out.”

We undressed ourselves and crawled into bed, facing one another. We kissed and stroked each other from cheek to hip with our fingertips. I pulled Nate’s top leg up over my hip, opening him to me. I spit and rubbed it on my crown, while he spit and rubbed it into his bottom. He grabbed my shaft and guided me. When my crown entered him, I twisted my hips more belly down, and drove in farther.

We shifted, my legs between his, rolling Nate to his back under me. We hugged ourselves into a ball, tightly. At first, I didn’t even move my hips. My cock felt long and thick and deep inside him. It throbbed. If we stayed that way long enough, I would have come without moving. But Nate began to move, and we moved together.

While Nate remained in bed, I retrieved the gift from one of my two bags.

“From my mom,” I said, handing it to him.

Nate sat up and opened it. The gift was a French cookbook. An even thicker and more expensive cookbook than the one I had given him for Christmas. Mom’s even had more pictures.

I sat beside him, and Nathan thumbed through the pages, reading, getting excited.

“It’s beautiful,” he said. He pointed out recipes to me.

“They’ll look a lot better when you’ve cooked them,” I told him.

“Can I call your mom?” he asked. “Can I call her to thank her?”

I kissed his shoulder. “That’d be cool.”

He grabbed the phone and handed it to me. I dialed home. Jessica answered. I asked her to go get Mom, then I handed the phone to Nate.

He didn’t just thank her. She evidently commented on what I told her Nate had fixed for Christmas and they got into a big conversation about cooking. So I pulled the bed sheet back, got on my belly between Nate’s legs, and started fondling his dick.

“Loren!” he gasped, covering the receiver.

I looked up at him, grinning. “I told you once that I’d get you back.” I lowered my head and sucked up his cock.

Nate went rigid, and his next answer to my mom was in a higher voice.

When he finally got off the phone with Mom, he flipped me onto my stomach and screwed the shit out of me. I expected it. I wanted it. And I laughed when he tickled me hard because I kept saying “Thump! Thump!” with each of his thrusts.

For a month, I settled down to studies and track, and Nate and I settled into our roommating. Whoever got home first each day made sure to greet the other with a tackle and a kiss.

Things did not go so smoothly for Pauly, though. The Christmas break proved fatal to his relationship with Brian. Brian picked up a new boyfriend while Pauly was away. I found out that even basically decent guys like Brian could be assholes when it came to sex and relationships.

At first, Brian tried juggling both Pauly and the new guy, without telling Pauly. But secrets are hard to keep in the small orbits of the gay world. Nate and I found out before Pauly did. I wanted to kick Brian’s butt, but knew that would be hypocritical.

“He’s our best friend,” Nate said. “We’ve got to tell Pauly.”

“Agreed,” I said. “But sometime, privately.

That Friday night, Pauly showed up in our living room. Nate and I were alone, on the couch together, watching TV.

“I thought you had a date,” I said, when Pauly showed up.

He shrugged. “Brian had to do something for a professor tonight. He’s had a lot of extra projects lately.”

I glanced at Nate. He nodded. Getting up from the couch, I took Pauly’s hand.

“Pauly,” I said. “Sit between us. We’ve got something we need to tell you; something that we didn’t want you hearing from someone else.”

Pauly sat down with a worried frown. He glanced at Nate, then at me. Nate laid a hand on Pauly’s back. Pauly tried smiling at me, worried.

“Pauly,” I said, “Brian has another boyfriend.”

At first, Pauly’s face didn’t change. He went white, though, and the light went out of his eyes. “Who?” he asked in a small voice.

“A guy he met at The Pearl,” Nate said. “He’s not a student. He works at the capital building.”

Pauly shook his head, his eyes filling with tears. “No, you’re wrong,” he said.

“Pauly,” Nate said. “Loren’s telling you the truth; why would he lie to you?”

“But how do you know?” Pauly asked, as tears began to run down his cheeks.

“Everybody knows,” Nate said, and I wished he hadn’t said it that way. “I’ve seen them together at the mall. Loren’s seen them in Brian’s car.”

Pauly’s head dropped. He said nothing. Tears fell silently into his lap. He knew we were right.

Nate and I hugged him from either side. Pauly collapsed into my chest, his head under my chin. He sobbed.

Gay guys, especially effeminate ones like Pauly, can be drama queens sometimes, but there was nothing fake or melodramatic in Pauly’s breakdown. He was genuinely devastated. Grief over a lost ‘true love’ can be as deep and real as that over a death; especially for someone as vulnerable and devoted as Pauly. Nate and I hugged him and rocked him, and wished we could do something for his hurt.

When his sobbing finally slowed, Nate brought Pauly some water and Kleenexes. Pauly blew his nose and dabbed his eyes, then took a small drink, still leaning against my chest.

“Have you eaten?” I asked.

Pauly shook his head.

“Are you hungry?” Nate asked.

Pauly shook his head again.

“Do you want something on TV?” I asked.

He shook his head.

I glanced at Nate. I saw that he knew what was going through my mind, and probably had the doubts I had. It would make no sense to a straight guy, but it made perfect sense to Nate and me. Nate smiled at me, and rubbed Pauly’s back affectionately.

“Pauly belongs to us,” Nate said quietly. “He belongs to both of us.”

I nodded.

We got up, and led Pauly, one of us on either side, back to our bedroom, and closed the door.

We hugged him between us. We kissed the sides of his head, his cheeks.

“We love you, Pauly,” I whispered. “You know we love you.”

“Like Loren told me once,” Nate said softly, “we’re here for you. We aren’t going anywhere.”

Pauly looked up at me with his wet eyes and a hopeful face. I kissed his lips and Pauly melted into me. We undressed him, and ourselves, and laid Pauly back onto the bed, moving up on either side of him.

We covered him with our bodies, and fondled and kissed him. We each took a nipple and sucked gently until we had him squirming under us. I got between his legs and wrapped his legs around my waist. I entered him, lying on him, cradling his smaller body under mine. I made a small ball with him, much like I had with Chase, but this was so right, so much the way it was supposed to be; not like it had been with Chase, behind Nate’s back. Nate lay pressed to our sides, kissing Pauly in turn, stroking my butt, stroking Pauly’s legs and shoulder.

I came inside Pauly, when he writhed under me with his own orgasm. Nate licked Pauly’s belly clean, and then moved over Pauly himself. I worked my head between their bellies and sucked Pauly up hard again, and timed his orgasm as best I could to coincide with Nate’s.

We lay on either side of him afterward, propped on our elbows, stroking his chest and legs while Pauly lay back with his eyes closed.

“You okay, Pauly?” I asked quietly.

He nodded, but his mouth tightened.

Nate looked at me, questioningly. I thought I knew what he had in mind; that he’d ask Pauly to stay with us that weekend. I wasn’t sure, but I nodded, trusting Nate.

“Would you like to move in with us for a while?” Nate asked.

That, I thought, was even better.

Pauly’s eyes opened, and tears filled them. He looped an arm behind Nate’s neck, and one behind mine, and pulled us together.

Someone at the school paper heard about my speech in Social Sciences at the end of the previous semester, and they wanted an interview. I turned them down, of course. That would have been no way to keep a low profile.

It didn’t prevent Travis from mentioning me in an interview he gave at the end of February, when he was trying to get his gay activist group official status at the school. In fairness, it was a good sized article, and Travis mentioned me only once, in regard to my talk the previous semester. He mentioned, however, that I was on the track team.

That was all it took.

“Dad,” I told my father over the phone, quietly, from our bedroom. I could barely control my voice. Tears streamed down my cheeks, and I hurt badly inside. “I’ve been kicked off the track team, Dad. I’m losing my scholarship.”


One more chapter to go. Thanks again to those of you who have sent encouraging emails!

As I've said before, reader emails are the only pay we Nifty writers ask for or receive, and I do like to hear if a chapter was enjoyed or not. :) My email address is jnuanced@gmail.com.