SUMMARY: At a time of national turmoil, the lives of four boys become connected as each struggles to accept his sexuality and to address the challenges he faces in life. To the extent the boys succeed in coming to grips with those challenges, it may be in ways that prove surprising or troubling. This story is also being published on my blog and you can find a longer synopsis there. While some events, locations and features in the story have been moved forward or back in time for dramatic and other purposes, it takes place during an era when prejudice against homosexuals is rampant and the gay revolution in America is still in its infancy. Italics are typically used within the story to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.
WARNING: Sex is not the primary focus of this story. If you're looking for erotic content, you'll do much better with other stories on Nifty. While sexual content is secondary and incidental, the story does include some scenes that depict sex and violence, sometimes graphically depending upon the characters and circumstances involved. For that reason, the story is intended for mature audiences only. If you do not wish to read such material or it is illegal for you to do so, please look elsewhere. The story remains the property of the author and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission. It is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author, but you may not use this work for commercial purposes. You may not use any of the characters, bars or other fictional locations described in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon this story in any way.
AUTHOR NOTES: I plan to finish posting Part I of this story by September 6th. After that I will only be posting one chapter a week and chapters will always be posted on my blog first. This is my first effort at writing a story. Comments and constructive criticism are welcome. Flames will be ignored. If you would like to let me know what you think, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER: In Chapter 11, Josh and Nolan are left alone together in their hotel room in Williamstown. After toying with Nolan, Josh finally reciprocates what Nolan taught him the previous evening. Josh expresses concern about what would happen if his friends at school knew what he had done. The boys discuss how words are used to stigmatize them and Nolan encourages Josh to remain strong. Nolan explains one of the other things they could do, but indicates they'll have to wait until another time because of the need to use condoms, which he assumes they don't have. Then they discover Josh has a single condom and they flip a coin to see who gets to use it. Nolan lies about the outcome of the coin flip in order to let Josh win and the two boys take their relationship to still another level. Later, after more kissing, they fall asleep in one another's arms.
Part I - Innocence Aroused
The wake-up call came much too soon the following morning. Since I was the one nearest the phone, I picked it up and mumbled something to the anonymous voice on the other end of the line. Looking over at Josh, I could see he was still sleeping like a baby.
I remember thinking how good looking he was as he laid there naked, his arms and shoulders exposed, the sheet clinging gently to the rest of his body. I decided to cut him a break and let him sleep while I took a shower. Then I climbed out of bed and looked around the room.
Better mess up that other bed, I said to myself. No sense letting Dad know I was sleeping with Josh last evening if he decides to come in and inspect the place.
I pulled down the coverings and did the best I could to make it look like it had been slept in. A couple of moments later I heard the knock on the door and walked over to it. Opening it just a little, I could see my father standing there.
“We’re up, Dad,” I said. “At least I am.”
“What about Joshua?” my father inquired.
“I’m going to let him sleep until I finish taking a shower. I’ll get him up after that.”
“That’s fine,” my father replied. “Meet your mother and myself at the restaurant around 7:45 a.m. We need to be over at the college by 8:45 a.m. sharp and I’m not exactly sure where the admissions building is. That’s where we’re supposed to meet our tour guide.”
“Ok, Dad,” I replied, closing the door. “We’ll be down in plenty of time.”
My shower that morning was refreshing. I just stood there letting the water warm me up while going over the events of the previous evening again and again in my mind. It had been the very best evening of my life, no doubt about it, and I wanted to remember every detail for the rest of my life.
I started to towel myself off while I walked back to the bedroom.
“Time to get up, Josh,” I said in the cheeriest voice I could muster. Not that it was all that cheery, of course. It was too damn early to be really cheerful after all.
Josh just lay there, unmoved.
“Come on, Josh,” I said, raising my voice just a little. “We need to get up.”
But there was still no response from him.
I walked over and sat down on the bed next to Josh and started to shake him awake ever so gently.
“Come on, Josh, it’s time to get up,” I urged. “Rise and shine, sweetie.”
Jesus, I remember thinking, I’m becoming my mother.
Suddenly an arm emerged from the sheets, grabbed hold of me, and pulled me down roughly next to Josh.
“Sweetie? Did you just call me sweetie, Nolan?” he asked.
“Sure thing, goat boy,” I replied, giggling.
“You really are suicidal, aren’t you?” Josh responded, suddenly opening his eyes and grinning at me. Then he pulled me closer and planted a kiss on my lips.
I tried pulling away, but he was holding me tight so I decided to give up. I was really beginning to get into that kiss when Josh finally pushed me away.
“Ok, I’ll get up, but only to give you a thrill,” he said, tossing off the sheets and exposing himself to me. He was sporting a morning woody.
“Oh, fuck, the horror,” I said, placing a hand over my eyes. “It’s Penis Man. Have you come to rescue me, P-Man?”
“You wish,” Josh replied, bursting into laughter. Then he jumped out of bed and made a dash for the bathroom.
While he showered, I rummaged through my clothes. I wanted to look really sharp for Josh that morning so I pulled out the white t-shirt with the long red sleeves I had been saving for a really special occasion. I pulled it on and took a look at myself in the mirror.
Stunning, I remember thinking to myself. I really do look absolutely stunning in this.
Josh must have agreed because the next thing I knew he was wrapping his arms around me and staring at my reflection in the mirror.
“You look really terrific, Nolan,” he said, smiling at me. He could have been flattering me, I suppose, but I knew he wasn’t because I could feel him going hard as his groin pressed against my butt.
“Thanks,” I responded, pulling away from him. “I would love to stay here all morning making passionate love to you, but we need to get down to the restaurant for breakfast before my Dad comes looking for us.”
My parents were already seated and eating when we entered the restaurant that morning. It was one of those buffet deals where you just filled up your plate with whatever you wanted. Both Josh and I loaded up. Then we joined my parents at the table.
“Did you boys sleep well last night?” my mother asked.
“Yes, Mam,” Josh replied. “At least I did. I can’t say for Nolan.”
“It was absolutely the most delightful night of sleep I’ve ever had in my life,” I responded, trying to suppress the grin that was spreading across my face.
“That’s easy for you to say,” Josh replied, trying to draw attention away from me. “You didn’t have to listen to yourself snoring.”
“I don’t snore,” I replied, huffily. “At least I don’t think I do.”
“No, you don’t snore, at least not most of the time, Nolan,” Josh replied. “You just talk too much for your own good some of the time.”
I got the hint and quickly turned my attention to the food.
Later, after we had finished checking out of the place, my Dad drove us over to Bascom House where the Admissions Office was located. We were supposed to meet our tour guide there and he was waiting for us when we arrived. For a tour guide, he was pretty hot looking, not at all geeky like I had expected him to be. I remember Josh and me exchanging glances when we saw him. I was pretty sure both of us were thinking the same thing.
“Hi, my name is Paul,” he said, greeting my parents, then shaking hands with the two of us. “Paul Pierson. I’ll be your guide today.”
And with that he was off and running.
“Welcome to Williams College. We’re going to start by attending what’s called a group information session with some other high school students who are here today. It’ll be led by one of our admission counselors and will cover a lot of things, including the nuts-and-bolts of academics, special programs, and the admission and financial aid process. It should last about an hour and there’ll be a lot of time for any questions you have. After that, I’ll show you around the campus. Tours usually last between 75 and 90 minutes, but I’ll be happy to spend however long you like and to answer any questions you have. Before we begin, is there anything special I can show you today?”
“Yeah,” I piped up, grinning.
You could show me that hot body of yours by getting totally naked with Josh and me and then demonstrating how sexy college boys like doing things!
“And what would that be?” Paul replied, looking over at me and smiling.
“Umm, well, my friend here, he’s into athletics big time. So I wanted to make sure you took us by the athletic department and showed us around the different facilities you have here for sports.”
“Sure,” Paul replied. “I would be glad to do that. No problem. Which one are you, Josh or Nolan,” he asked, turning and looking at Josh?
“I’m Josh,” came the reply.
Yeah, and he’s my boyfriend, Paul, so don’t get any funny ideas, I remember thinking.
With that Paul led us inside so we could attend the information session. It was boring as hell, just some older dude yakking at us for a really long time. I could tell none of the kids were having much fun, but all of the parents were taking lots of notes.
The main point I recall was the school didn’t take financial considerations into account in deciding who to admit. If they admitted you and you could prove you needed financial aid, the guy claimed the place would provide up to 100 percent of the cost of attending. While that seemed to be good news for someone like Josh, I couldn’t wait for the session to be over. I was more interested in hearing what Paul had to say about the place.
Eventually the session did end and Paul led us off on our tour for the day. I could tell he had done it a lot. Unlike our guide the previous day, he didn’t speak in a series of canned spiels. He was more interested in helping us understand the place than in passing along some pre-packaged bits of information.
Sometimes he was funny. Sometimes he was serious. But throughout the whole thing he was incredibly smooth, anticipating questions before we could ask them and slowly building a picture of the school as the best thing since sliced bread without downplaying some of its potential drawbacks, especially for someone like me from a big city. But Paul was from a big city too and he seemed to like the place.
I liked Paul a lot and I could tell Josh did too.
As I said, the tour was a lot more thorough than the one we had gotten at Middlebury. He even brought us by the financial aid office so Josh could collect more information on that. Then it was on to the Athletic Complex where Josh even got to talk to the coach of the hockey team. They seemed to hit it off really well so I was happy about that.
It was about three hours later when we finally returned to the lot where my Dad had parked the car. I was surprised at just how long Paul had spent with us. As we were crossing the street, I noticed a rainbow colored flag flying out the window of one of the buildings on campus. I had seen flags like that before on the internet so I decided to ask about it.
“What’s that?” I asked Paul, pointing to the flag while my parents and Josh waited for his answer.
“Umm, well, ah . . . .”
He seemed at a loss for words. But then he regained control.
“Williams recognizes that its students come from diverse backgrounds,” Paul said, launching into the kind of canned spiel that had been so noticeably absent from the rest of the tour. “It respects that diversity by allowing like-minded students to come together in organizations that reflect their shared interests and that help build and sustain a supportive environment for them. That particular building is Hardy House where a number of student organizations have offices. And that rainbow colored flag is the symbol used by the Queer Student Union, an organization for gay students.”
My parents were listening attentively and I could tell they were uncomfortable with the whole thing, but for reasons different than mine. I was annoyed more than mad and decided to let Paul know that.
“I see,” I responded calmly, in a voice I tried to keep entirely neutral. “Well thank you for explaining that, Paul. It was very helpful, I guess,” I added, trying to let him know it hadn’t really been helpful at all. I began wondering whether I was wrong about Paul.
When we finally got back to our car, he pulled me aside.
“That building you mentioned, Nolan,” Paul said. “Sometimes it upsets parents when they hear gay people have a place to hang out together here at Williams. But it’s a really cool place, and it’s where my friends and I hang out a lot.”
I had seen the word gay used a few times on the internet, but this was the first time I had ever heard someone use it to describe people like Josh, Paul and me. To me it sounded a lot nicer than most of the other words people used. I liked it.
“Really,” I said, grinning at him. “Well, if Josh and I decide to come here, we may decide to hang out there too.”
“I hope you will,” Paul replied, returning my grin. “I thought there might be something special between the two of you. It’s a terrific college, Nolan,” he continued, “especially for people like us who are gay, very welcoming, very supportive. I’d really encourage you and Josh to apply. You’ll like it here.”
“You could even come back and do an overnight visit in October or November,” he added. “If the two of you sign up soon enough, I might even end up as your student chaperone for the evening. I’ve included my e-mail address in the information packets I prepared for the two of you. If you decide to do it, just let me know and I’ll see if I can arrange it. I’m sure the two of you would be happier with me as your chaperone than someone else,” he concluded, smiling at me.
“Oh, yes, I definitely think we would be,” I responded.
I would have continued our conversation, but my Dad came over and interrupted the two of us.
“Is there a good place to eat around here, Paul,” he asked, “other than the student union? We’re looking for something with a little better food today.”
“There are several, sir,” Paul replied. “Poppa Charlie’s Deli is one of the local favorites. Good subs. Hot Tomatoes has terrific pizza although I have to add that some people from New York City don’t seem to like it that much. Isabella’s on the road over to North Adams is an excellent value. But personally I like Jack’s in North Adams. It has absolutely the best hot dogs and hamburgs you’ll ever taste. And it’s very inexpensive too.”
“It’s about six miles up the road over there,” he said, pointing, “on Eagle Street, just off Main Street. If you just stay on that road, you can’t miss it. Eagle Street will be on your left at the end of Main Street as you drive into town, just before the Civil War monument at the top of the hill.”
“Let’s eat there,” I said to my Dad. “I’ve been dying to eat a really big hot dog on this vacation. Maybe even two,” I added, winking at Paul. Fortunately, he was able to keep a straight face although he did wag his finger silently at me like I was a naughty boy once my Dad turned around and walked away.
With one final round of thanks all around, we climbed into the car and headed off for Spring Street and the campus bookstore. The two of us picked out our purple and gold t-shirts, and then my father pointed the car up the road toward North Adams.
It turned out to be one of those old New England mill towns that had seen better days. Unlike a lot of places, it actually had a real Main Street. But you could tell the shops were struggling to survive and that money was tight in that town.
We found our way to Jack’s and both Josh and I liked it a lot. My parents were definitely less than impressed since it wasn’t exactly the classiest place to eat, but by then everyone was so hungry we decided to stay just the same. Josh had a hamburger while I ate two hot dogs. They were really delicious, especially with all the condiments I loaded them up with!
Score one for Paul, I thought.
Later, after we had finished eating, we drove around town to see what was there. But there wasn’t a lot to see except a bunch of churches and some really neat older buildings. Then my Dad headed the car back toward Vermont. When we got to Bennington, Josh made a suggestion.
“There’s a monument here to the Battle of Bennington,” he said to my parents. “It was a pretty crucial battle in the Revolutionary War so you might want to stop and take a look if we have the time.”
“Why thank you very much, Joshua,” my mother responded. “We should do that, Jim. Both you and Nolan like history so much and we’ll probably not get up this way again anytime soon.”
It didn’t take much to convince my Dad so we followed the directions to the Monument, parked the car, and got out.
I kind of wanted to laugh because it wasn’t the most impressive monument I had ever seen. In fact, it was downright pathetic. Determined to rub it in, I decided to let Josh know exactly how I felt about it.
“That thing looks like your penis, just smaller,” I whispered in his ear. I should have known better, I suppose, because he immediately started blushing.
“And just what did you say to Joshua, young man?” my father asked, looking at me rather sternly. “It must have been pretty naughty to make Joshua blush like that.”
“Oh, he blushes at anything, Dad,” I responded, dismissing the question. “I was just commenting on how small that monument is.”
My father glared at me momentarily, then decided to let it go.
Eventually we got back into the car and headed north on Route 7. Even with the way my dad drove, we managed to make it back to the farm in time for dinner. My Dad had called ahead to let Josh’s Mom know we would be there on time.
Later, after a brief detour into town to show off our new t-shirts to some of his friends, Josh and I headed back to the farm and told our parents we were going to go to bed early that night.
“We had to get up so early this morning,” I said. “I’m really tired out now.”
“And all the driving,” Josh added, backing me up. “It just wears me down.”
No one seemed to mind so we headed off to the tent. But sleep was the last thing we were thinking about. When we got there, we stripped off our clothes as fast as we could. Then the two of us embraced and started kissing each other harder than ever, determined to pick up where we had left off the previous evening.
It was Josh who finally pointed out the all too obvious dilemma we faced.
“Damn,” he said, coming up for a breath from the longest kiss ever. “I want to try that thing we did last night again so bad I could scream. And you should do it to me too, Nolan. You’ll really like it. But, like I said, that was the only condom I had. What are we going to do?”
“Maybe we could get away without using condoms this one time, Josh,” I said. “I mean, the thing is, how could either one of us be HIV-positive? We’ve never had sex with anyone except each other. Maybe we could do it without condoms just this one time?”
“No way,” Josh said. “I don’t want to take any chances. You’re the one who convinced me to avoid doing things like joining the Army that might get me killed, Nolan. Remember?”
“Okay,” I responded. “I understand. So that just means we have to buy some condoms; and probably some kind of lubricant too. They must carry them at that drug store in town. Why don’t we go there tomorrow and buy some?”
“Can we do that?” Josh asked. “I mean, is it legal for kids our age to buy condoms?”
“I dunno,” I replied. “I think it must be. I mean, yeah, they don’t let us buy alcohol, that’s for sure. And I’m not sure we could buy cigarettes either, assuming we were dumb enough to want to. But condoms? Why wouldn’t they let us buy condoms?”
“Because adults don’t want us having sex, you doofus,” Josh replied, grinning at me. “What planet did you grow up on, Nolan?”
“Well, I refuse to entertain the possibility of not having sex as an option,” I said. “I’ve got enough money to buy some, I think, so we’ll just go into town tomorrow and get them.”
“No way I’m going into that drug store to buy condoms,” Josh protested, a look of horror spreading across his face.
“Why not, Josh?” I asked. “You just said you wanted to do it real bad and we needed to use condoms. Now you’re telling me you don’t want to actually buy them? How weird is that?”
“I can’t go there, Nolan,” he replied, and it was pretty obvious from his reaction he was getting really nervous all of a sudden. “All those people know my Mom, including the owner, Mr. Jessup. If I try to buy condoms, they’ll tell her. Then she’ll want to know why I’m buying them and it will just be a big mess explaining the whole thing.”
I could see how that might be. But I wasn’t about to let him off the hook entirely either.
“Ok, then, I’ll buy them, you wimp,” I replied. “They don’t know me or my parents from a hole in the head, and I don’t mind doing it. But you better be real nice to me tonight, Josh, or maybe I’ll keep them all for myself. I’ll be able to do it to you because I have them, but you won’t be able to do it to me.”
“Oh, I’ll be nice to you tonight, sweetie,” Josh said, grinning, then ducking when I tossed my pillow at him.
After that he pulled me closer and started kissing me really passionately.
That evening wasn’t nearly as satisfying as the previous one for either of us. Still, it was definitely pretty good, especially for me since Josh delivered another mind-blowing performance on my body and it felt really terrific.
But the truth is both of us were really tired from the trip and it wasn’t long before each of us started yawning. It was time for bed, no doubt about it.