This story is fiction. It depicts, sometimes explicitly, sex between teenage boys, between boys and men, and between boys and females, both teenage and adult. If you find such things offensive, or reading such things is illegal where you live, please read no further.

The Letters

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Edwards:

Please excuse our invasion of your privacy, but we have some information that we thought you might appreciate.

We have come to know your son, Danny, very well. First of all, you should know that he is healthy, doing well, and happy, except for the rift with his family which bothers him a great deal. Danny and two friends have started an escort service and are doing very well financially. As you can appreciate, one must be well mannered, handsome, well groomed and sensitive to operate such a business. I can tell you personally that the boys look like princes when they are dressed up ready to go out on one of their appointments.

And now about us. We are a married couple with two beautiful boys aged six and five. We do not engage in any sort of sexual activity, except for what society has deemed 'normal' between each other. In fact, like you, we find the idea of gay sex disgusting, but not the people who practice it. As the saying goes, there's no accounting for taste. We simply feel that, if you love your son, you should accept him, including any preferences he might have which are different from your own.

As you know, Danny and Charlie have been friends for some time. You may not know that, until recently, their relationship was just that... friendship. Then one night the boys made a discovery: that they were in love. And they do love each other, very deeply, from what we have seen. Having made that discovery, and you have probably heard the stories about how two other boys discovered them too, they felt they had no alternative but to leave home, for two reasons: They did not want to hurt you or create an environment that would be constantly hurting, and they did not want to live a lie. But with society and its attitudes being what they are, they knew they could never live the life they want so desperately with each other in the environment they found themselves in, and so they left.

These two boys are not raving perverts, nor are they sick or crazy. They are simply two young people who are very much in love, and as you well know, we cannot always choose with whom we fall in love. The boys didn't choose to fall in love, nor did they suddenly decide to become homosexuals. Nor did you, his parents, do anything "wrong" to cause the whole thing. Their sexuality was probably decided years ago, perhaps even before they were born. Having discovered their true identity and their feelings about each other, they are trying to make the best of their situation. And above all, they are honest. They are truthful about their love, only deceiving when they feel they have to because of the situation they are in. They do not flaunt their sexuality, but just accept it for what it is. They do not ask you to be proud of them for what they are doing, or understand it, because they do not understand it themselves. They merely want what any son wants... to be accepted as they are; overlook your differences and be proud of them. They have handled this situation better than many men twice their age.

In closing, from one parent to another, if our boys turn out to have the courage and honesty that these two have, gay or not, we will be delighted. And we will consider ourselves to have done our job well, as you should feel. That the boys are gay is not a result of anything you did or didn't do, nor could you have prevented it. It's just a part of the way they are. Be proud of your son. He is a fine young man. But he needs to know that you know it."

Dan and Charlie were fighting a losing battle with tears as they read the letters John and Linda had prepared. There was an attachment showing details on how to respond, a picture of the three all dressed up, and each boy added a handwritten note to his respective parents telling them once again that he loved them and was sorry for any hurt he had caused. The Jenkins' explained that they felt it better not to mention the 'triangle' just yet, until they saw the reaction from the letter as it stands. And so with a great deal of anticipation, the boys mailed the letters.

Jerry was in a deep depression. After two weeks of tolerating his sullen mood, Dan could stand it no longer. "Jerry," he said, "we can't help you or support you if we don't know what's wrong. I thought a love relationship meant that we shared things and supported each other." So Jerry finally broke down.

"I'm worried," he confided. "For the first time in my life I have a family, someone who really cares about me, and now I may well lose that again."

"Oh, the letter," the other two said in unison.

"Yes, the letter. I've seen it happen before. You'll get a lovely letter back saying all is forgiven, please come home, and you'll be gone."

"Jer," Dan said softly, "I hope I do get a letter like that. I hope more than I can say that some day I can have my parents visit us, and that we can visit them. But there's a hell of a lot more to consider. Parents or not, forgiveness or not, I still got caught doing things with Charlie that teenage boys just don't do. We'd still be the object of some pretty serious persecution back home, and Truro is not the kind of place to forget things like that. It's a small town, and people don't forget. I really wish we could go home and some time we will, but you'll go with us, and it'll only be for a visit. We three have made a life here. We all love each other, and I for one couldn't stand to be apart from either one of you. So please believe me, here is where I want to be, and I'm doing what I want to do. Nothing can change that. I've thought long and hard about where I want to be and it's here. I love my folks more than I can ever put in words, but that part of my life is over and I just have to accept that."

"Jerry," Charlie added, "Dan said it all. I feel the same way."

Of course it would take a lot more than a little speech to convince Jerry, but he appreciated the effort anyway. And he already knew that Dan and Charlie meant what they said when they said it. He just wasn't so sure they wouldn't change their minds if the opportunity presented itself. If he were totally honest with himself, Jerry didn't even know what he wanted! He knew that in may ways they would be better off back in Nova Scotia, back in school. But on the other hand, Dan was right. Whatever they did now, their lives would never be the same as they had been. And if he allowed himself to be selfish, Jerry didn't know what he'd do without his two friends, partners and lovers. But for the time being, all he could do was wait and see.

The next few weeks were busy ones. First there were the "snow birds", visiting Canadians, then as March came, the college crowd, looking for a good time and ways to spend their money. By the time April came, the three already had a significant bank account. Their business was very quickly becoming legitimate. They had been buying clothes like they were going out of style and were seldom seen, even in jeans, without looking like something out of a fashion magazine. They enjoyed looking good; for each other, their clients, and for themselves. They took courses in etiquette and ballroom dancing. All three had lost their appetite, most of the time, for illicit sex, gay or otherwise. They had all they wanted at home. There were still the wealthy, lonely men and women who wanted more than an evening out and they responded to that requirement, but it was always very profitable for them, and they never allowed themselves to take risks with their health, safety, or their legal position. More and more, their personal sexual preference became unknown and, for that matter, irrelevant. They still, however, kept close contact with 'the club', because that was one place the three of them could go as lovers and be accepted without question. Dan had learned to drive the Mustang and was planning to buy a car of his own, but for the moment, both cars were 'ours', not any one individual's.

They had been flown to Miami, Atlanta and Dallas to attend fancy balls. Of course none of them had ever flown except for business, and they were quite confused why their clients would not simply use a local service. But in all cases they were clients who had used the service in Daytona and were assured that they could get exactly what they wanted, and with discretion. The boys quickly learned that discretion was the most important part of this business... clients who were willing to pay good money for an evening's activities usually did so because they had something to hide. So they made sure their clients knew that they considered themselves under the same obligation as a doctor or lawyer, making a big thing out of 'privileged information' whenever they were asked about other clients.

In late spring Danny had to go to Atlanta alone for a week. That made Jerry and Charlie very nervous, what with Danny being under age, and they still considered him the baby of the trio, even though he had proven many times that he was quite capable of taking care of himself. So they simply chided him in the way they'd got into the habit of doing. "I can hardly wait till you get on that plane," Jerry teased, "and I get to have this fantastic piece of manhood all to myself," his hands caressing Charlie in a suggestive way.

"That's all right," Dan retorted, "While you two are fooling around with that old familiar stuff, I'll be up in Atlanta snuggled up to a gorgeous big black basketball player." The truth is, they did like to pair off sometimes, but it went all ways, and the one left out never seemed to mind, knowing that he'd be included next time.

Dan landed in Atlanta, a very nervous youth. He would never have admitted it to the others, but his first venture out of town on his own was frightening to him. He was indeed to meet a basketball player, a very famous one, and he knew not why. There had been hints of a sister, but too general for Dan to draw any conclusions. Per his instructions, he picked up his bags, went downtown and checked in, then waited for a call.

Dan hadn't been waiting very long when the phone rang. They talked for a few minutes about nothing in particular, then the voice on the other end, who identified himself simply as Jack, asked if he could come over. Dan said sure, that that's why he was here, and Jack said he'd be there in about fifteen minutes. Dan hung up and busied himself sprucing up.

When Dan answered the light knock on the door, he was confronted by the tallest, blackest man he'd ever seen. "Hi, I'm Jack," the man said, and Dan invited him in. Again more small talk as Dan poured them both a drink. He tried to steer the conversation to the purpose of his trip to Atlanta, but Jack skillfully avoided the issue. Dan sensed that Jack was very nervous, but not being one to avoid issues, he hit the matter head on.

"Jack," he said, "this trip is costing you plenty, and I believe in giving your money's worth, so why don't you just tell me what I can do for you? Anything you say won't leave this room, and if you ask something I can't give I'll tell you so, straight up, with no hard feelings, okay?"

Jack sat silently for a long time. Finally, after having examined every speck of the glass he was holding, he spoke. "I've heard," he stammered, "that you're gay, is that right?"

"I guess you could say that," Dan answered. "I feel comfortable with both sexes. Why, is that important to why I'm here?"

"Yes, I guess it is. You don't follow basketball, do you?"

"No, I don't. But I assume you're a player of some importance."

"Yes, I am, but what no one knows is, I'm gay too. But for the sake of my career I haven't had sex with anyone, male or female, for four years."

This was by no means Dan's first encounter with a famous person who didn't want his secret out, but never before had he met someone so afraid that he completely stopped all sexual activity.

"Well," Dan said, "you don't have to worry about me. I don't want my name in the papers any more than you do."

"Doesn't it bother you that I'm black?" Jack said apprehensively.

"No more than it bothers you that I'm white. To tell the truth," he added apologetically, "I've never been with anyone black, male or female, and frankly, I'm curious. Ordinarily I'd never admit that, but I'm trying to be honest."

Dan had walked over to Jack and began running his hands through the other's wiry hair. Jack sat in the chair, obviously very nervous and just as obviously enjoying Dan's gentle touch. As Dan caressed his head, ears and neck, he began to feel very attracted to the huge man. He lingered around the long slender neck for some time, then he was exploring Jack's shoulders and chest. It was, Dan thought, the most muscular body he had ever touched, and the touch was far from unpleasant. The thought of this perfectly tuned human machine under his hands was drawing him, pulling him closer, driving him wild with desire. Jack still had not moved when Dan began to peel off his T-shirt; then he simply leaned forward and raised his long arms to allow the shirt to be pulled off.

"You've got a beautiful body," Dan panted as he thoroughly enjoyed caressing the sinewy torso before him. Jack's eyes were closed, he made no sound, but he was certainly enjoying the massage he was receiving. Without warning, and to Dan's surprise, Jack's hands went to work.

When Dan's lips touched Jack's, both were strangely startled; but their surprise was not that it had happened, but rather that it was so sweet, so soft, so tender. Dan had been kneeling between Jack's long legs as he caressed the athlete in the chair, but he'd had to rise to his feet to kiss him. Now Jack emitted a low growling sound and wrapped his long muscular arms around Dan's slender body, picked him up as easily as a piece of driftwood, and carried him across the room and deposited him on the bed as gently as if he were a piece of fine china. Still their lips were united, as their tongues explored every minute detail of each other's mouth.

When finally they broke the kiss, both Dan and Jack were urgently, but still gently, pulling the other's clothes off. Whether it was the novelty of his first black man, the feel of this magnificent muscular body, or what to Dan was a slightly different scent, he had no idea; but Dan knew he must have this gorgeous creature, and have him now! He was totally out of control now, completely in Jack's power, and Jack was in his. Never, ever, had he had such feelings, such desire for a client!

The unlikely couple lay together for almost two hours. Neither spoke, at least audibly. But both spoke with their hands. Each was absolutely fascinated and thrilled with his first interracial experience. Dan was so captivated by Jack that he simply could not get enough, and nothing was out of bounds: NOTHING!

After a long period of exploring, touching, caressing, Dan worked his way slowly down the magnificent body with his lips, his tongue. He nibbled the large nipples until they were erect and hard; he continued his journey, nuzzling the navel and swirling his tongue around it. His pace accelerated until he was at last staring Jack's gigantic weapon in the eye. It was gushing pre-cum as Dan flicked it with his tongue, nibbled the shaft, kissed the balls that were easily the size of golf balls. He went wild with desire as his nostrils reacted to the mild scent that he found there.

He took the head in his mouth and paused, sucking gently, allowing the flavor to fill his mouth, his whole being. Then he slowly descended until his nose bottomed out in the black pubic hair, a full third of Jack's big thing right down his throat. There was no suction now, just a gentle movement up and down, his tongue swirling around the head and slit on the upstrokes, emitting a low growling sound when it was in his throat, the vibrations of his vocal cords giving Jack a sensation that froze him on the spot.

When he thought Jack was about ready to climax, he pulled his mouth reluctantly off the object of his desire and took one of the huge balls in his mouth, rolled it around in his mouth, then released it and took the other. He caressed it with his tongue; bit down on it gently, sucked on it greedily. Jack was moaning, writhing, rising to meet Dan's mouth wherever he placed it. Dan knew it wouldn't be long now, so he returned to Jack's cock and took the head in his mouth and sucked hard as if to encourage the torrent he knew would soon come.

"EEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCHHCHHHHHHHHH!" Jack moaned, "OH DANNYYYYYYYYYY!" His body went rigid, shuddered violently, and Dan's mouth was being filled to overflowing with Jack's orgasm. Dan swallowed desperately, trying to get every drop. He didn't want to waste any, but in spite of his efforts there was ejaculate escaping from his lips. There was no thinking now, only pure ecstacy as the thing in his mouth kept spurting and flowing that wonderful nectar.

When the storm was over, Dan lay cuddled in Jack's huge arms. It occurred to him that these arms could have easily crushed him to a pulp, but they were as gentle as any he had ever experienced. They lay that way for a half hour, neither moving a muscle except to kiss occasionally. Then Jack's hands slowly began exploring again. Dan could simply not get over how gentle Jack could be, in spite of his size and strength.

When Dan felt Jack's fingers drift between his buttocks and into his crack, an electric shock went through him that he'd never felt before. He had never had the experience before, had never considered the pleasure that anal play could bring. He and Charlie had discussed it from time to time, agreeing that they would try it some day, but neither was in any hurry. But now, with Jack's index finger probing around his opening, seeking entry, Dan suddenly wanted urgently to have Jack inside him. He concentrated on relaxing, as Jerry had explained to them so many times. It would greatly reduce the pain, he had told them, especially the first few times.

Jack's finger was inside to the second knuckle now, and still Dad didn't object. It felt... it just felt right! His circuits were overloaded with the pleasure, with the anticipation what was quickly becoming inevitable. He thought of Charlie, but only briefly; he was in heat NOW, wanted this gorgeous man NOW, could seemingly refuse him nothing, NOW!

"You ever do this before?" Dan panted.

"Only once, when I was about fifteen. I hurt him pretty bad so I never did it again."

"Till now!" Dan said.

"I can't, Dan," Jack said as his finger invaded a little further.

"Please, Jack. Just do what you're doing till I get used to it, then I want you inside me."

"I'll hurt you!"

"I don't care!" Dan pleaded urgently, "I want you. Please?"

Jack did enter him that night, twice! The first time was painful for Dan by anyone's measure, but Jack was slow and careful, pausing each step along the way. Dan had to use every bit of self control he could muster to keep from screaming, and he absolutely couldn't hold back the tears. But even at that, there was a fullness, a completeness, a fulfillment that was new, exciting, and wonderful. Two hours later Dan wanted it again, and this time it was a lot easier.

It was after noon on Saturday, twenty-four hours after they'd first met, when Jack and Dan showered and got dressed. Dan was so sore after their passionate night that he was forced to decline further advances. Both were thrilled with their experience and neither wanted to leave; but Jack was playing the Omni in just a few hours, and of course there was practice before that. "Want to come to the game?" he asked as they towelled each other after a shower.

"I'd love to," Dan returned quickly. The thoughts of Jack doing his thing on the court was quite stimulating to Dan, and at this moment, in a certain bathroom on the fifteenth floor of a downtown Atlanta hotel, Dan was in love and totally out of control as he looked up into Jack's deep brown eyes, then dropped silently to his knees. He desperately wanted this time never to end.

"Of course," Dan ventured as they dressed, "You'll be coming back up after the game?"

"I dunno, Dan," was the doubtful reply. "The team usually goes out afterward and, well, it might look odd if I don't go." Dan was disappointed, but he said he understood, and suggested they meet after the team outing. But Jack seemed reluctant.

"Tell ya what," Dan offered, "I won't check out till noon tomorrow so if you want to drop by, I'll be here." Jack agreed, then paid Dan in case they didn't meet again. After he was alone Dan decided it was time to phone home. He swallowed hard and dialed the number.

When he heard Charlie's cheerful but concerned voice, Dan was suddenly overcome with remorse over what he had done and, perhaps more important, what he had felt. He knew he could never explain over the phone, so he said simply that he was fine and added that he was going to a basketball game at the Omni tonight. Charlie wanted to talk, which was the last thing in the world that Dan wanted to do, so he lied and said he wasn't alone, that he had to go. After they'd hung up, Charlie's puzzled look drew a concerned one from Jerry.

"Is he all right?" he asked.

"I dunno, Jer," was the bewildered reply. "He seemed... I dunno... distant I guess. Yeah, that's it, distant. Homesick, maybe. He's going to a big game tonight, so maybe that'll make him feel better."

Meanwhile, in Atlanta, on the fifteenth floor of a very posh hotel, a young gay teenager was feeling anything but gay. In fact he wanted to die as he buried his face in the pillow and cried. For perhaps the fiftieth time in his life, Dan was contemplating suicide. No one knew of this side of Dan, but Dan knew now it was all related to what he and Charlie had discovered about themselves. But like all the other times, he concluded that death would solve nothing, and probably cause more problems. So he lay on the bed and cried until he couldn't cry any more.

At the Omni, Dan tried to get involved in the game, but it just wasn't in him. On the court, Jack played better than he had in weeks, but of course Dan didn't know that. All he knew was that he was in a lot of trouble; trouble so deep he just might not get out of it. He knew there was no future with Jack, nor did he want one. And he knew Charlie would be furious, and with good reason. He had violated a trust; he had allowed Jack so many liberties that they'd agreed were not for sale, and had done it willingly. And throughout the entire process there was never so much as a hint of a condom.

Dan also knew there was every reason to believe that Jack would be knocking on his door some time before morning. What would he say? How could he tell him how he felt, after all he'd said already? Would he lose control again when confronted with Jack's willing body? To Dan's astonishment, he suddenly realized that everyone was starting to leave. The game was over, and Dan didn't even know who had won!

It was Monday morning before Dan could get a flight out of Atlanta. The flight up had been exciting, enjoyable. It wasn't Dan's first trip by air, of course, but it was his first on his own. But coming home held no attraction for Dan today, so the airplane that would carry him down the coast was like a giant instrument of torture. Dan's entire body was aching now, and in his imaginative, depressed state, it seemed that everyone noticed that he was walking funny, flinching every time he moved.

It isn't a terribly long flight from Atlanta to Daytona, but to Dan it was a millennium. He had dreaded getting aboard the plane for hours, even contemplated changing his flight and heading elsewhere. But where? And besides, he'd done enough damage already. No, it was better to tell Charlie and Jerry, then if they wanted to give him the boot, then so be it. The thought of leaving the two most important people in his young life was too much; for the fifth time since Saturday night the tears were coming in a torrent. A passing stewardess noticed him and sat down in the vacant seat next to him. Of course she assumed that Dan was on his way to attend a funeral or some other family calamity. Given his age, and the fact that this was a school day, it was a reasonable assumption.

"My name's Christa," she said as she took Dan's hand. "Is there anything I can do?"

Dan regarded her through teary eyes. "I don't think so," he answered, "but thanks."

"Why don't you try me? Is it a family problem? A death?"

"Not exactly. I sorta wish it were a death... mine. No, it's just something I have to do when I land, and it ain't gonna be easy. But if you're really serious, I could sure use a beer."

"I think you know I can't do that," Christa apologized, "But maybe I can do something better." With that she gave Dan's hand a squeeze and disappeared.

Moments later she was back with a snifter of brandy. "This'll warm your insides," she offered, patted his hand again, then she was gone to answer a call button.

When Dan walked off the plane, he was perplexed and somewhat relieved to see only Jerry waiting for him. After a warm, unashamed embrace that had some passing folks wondering, Dan wanted to know where Charlie was. It was only 1:30 in the afternoon, and he almost certainly should've been home. "He had to go to Miami," Jerry replied, "may be there for two or three days." Dan wasn't sure whether to be relieved or not, but he was definitely disappointed after having psyched himself, to say nothing of being half snapped on brandy.

"Okay, spill it," Jerry ordered as soon as they were in the car.

"Spill what?" was the defensive reply.

"C'mon, Dan-O, Charlie noticed something when you called, and you've hardly said two words since you got off that plane. That's hardly like you, after having had what should've been a pretty good time in Atlanta. Oh, and your eyes are so bloodshot I was afraid you might bleed to death. You've been crying, Danny boy, and you're half drunk. Now what the hell's goin' on?" Dan started to cry again.

"Jer," he sobbed, "can it wait till we get home?" Since they were almost there anyway, a bewildered Jerry agreed.

"All right," Jerry said as soon as they were in the door, "what is it? Who did you rob, or maybe kill?"

"It's Jack," Dan faltered, "I don't know... I'm afraid..."

"Dan, did you get caught? Were you two arrested?"

"Don't I wish! That'd be easy to handle! Jer, I got pretty carried away. We did some pretty wild things."

"Dan, you forget, I've been in the sack with you. I know only too well how carried away you can get. So what's the big deal?"

Dan then proceeded to tell Jerry what the big deal was. He explained in every detail how they had received each other orally and anally, repeatedly, and with no protection, not even once! "I'm so sorry, Jerry," he blubbered, "I just couldn't seem to help myself. It was like... like... well, like I was in some kinda trance. And when Jack came back to my room after the game, it started all over again. It's like the minute I laid eyes on him, my mind went blank and I could only think of... well... desire I guess."

After quizzing Dan about Jack and his past, Jerry concluded that there was little risk of disease, assuming of course that Jack had told the truth. He let his young apprentice know in no uncertain terms that it had been a stupid thing to do, but the risk seemed to Jerry to be low. "Looks like once more," he lectured, "you got lucky and got away with acting like an asshole."

"You mean you're not upset?"

"Of course I'm upset. In fact I'm downright pissed off. But like I said, it could've been worse."

"But what about us? Our commitment?" Of course having had casual sex long before he'd had lovers, Jerry had missed the main point of Dan's concern.

"Oh, Jeez," he gulped, "I see what you mean. Well, I can live with it, and we'll just have to deal with Charlie when he gets back."

They didn't have to wait long, because Charlie arrived home Tuesday afternoon. He was tanned, rested, and happy. He hadn't told his buddies when he was arriving, but just took a cab when his plane landed. He bounded in the house, met both Jerry and Dan with a very passionate embrace and kiss, then proceeded immediately to pump Dan about the very thing Dan wanted to forget: his weekend in Atlanta. Dan seized the opportunity and spilled the beans, all of them, liberally sprinkled with comments like "I'm sorry," "I don't know what happened," and "I'll never do it again." When he was finished he looked at Charlie and braced himself.

Charlie looked back at Dan for what seemed to Dan like hours, then said simply, "Well, thanks for telling me, Dan. I knew something was wrong when you called."

There was no yelling and screaming, in fact there was nothing. There was nothing at bedtime either, because Charlie announced he was sleeping in the spare bedroom because, he told them, he had a bit of a sunburn and was rather sore. A week later he was still there.

"Are you planning to move into that room permanently?" Jerry inquired. It was Sunday afternoon, almost two weeks since Dan's return from Atlanta, and still the cold war raged. Dan had gone out for a walk and Jerry had seized the opportunity to try and defuse the situation.

"I honestly don't know, Jer," was Charlie's vague reply. When he realized he'd get no more of an answer, Jerry tried again.

"Don't you think you've punished him enough?"

"I dunno what you're talking about."

"I think you do, Charlie. You can't tell me your sunburn has lasted two weeks. Dan's miserable, you're miserable, and I am too. And for what?"

"You make it sound like it was nothing."

"It IS nothing, unless there's something I don't know." At last Jerry had found a button and unwittingly pushed it, hard. Charlie's eyes widened and his face flushed.

"Nothing?" he challenged loudly. "Nothing? So you're taking his side in this?"

"I didn't know we were drawing sides," Jerry answered calmly.

"Jerry, seems to me it was you told us never to do anything without rubbers, wasn't it? And didn't you tell us about anal sex, how dangerous it is, and that we should try it with each other first? And didn't you tell us that if we didn't have trust, we had nothing?"

Jerry agreed that he had said all those things and more. He also agreed that Dan and Charlie had made some agreements, many of which Dan had broken in Atlanta. "But," he pointed out, "Who broke them first?"

"What's that supposed to mean?" Charlie demanded.

"Just what it sounds like. Are you forgetting Jane already?"

"That's different."

"You're right, it is different. What you did was the same. She told you there was no reason to fear disease and you believed her. Dan did the same and I gave him hell for it. Anyone give you hell Charlie? And of course there's the fact that she's a woman, and you went around here ranting and raving about how you'd decided you didn't like guys after all. There's the difference. Then there's the fact you're still seeing Jane whether Dan likes it or not. And of course there's her chauffeur."

Charlie snapped a look at Jerry that could kill. "What about John?" he demanded.

"I'm not stupid, Charlie. I know about him and your little escapades. I don't know if Dan knows or not, but it's pretty obvious for anyone who takes the trouble to look. The point is, Dan seems to have realized that there are times when you're gonna slip and fool around. He understands, and he makes allowances. He has admitted his sins and apologized for them, which is more than you've done. And you've cut him off, shut him out, and hardly speak to him. That's different than the way he acted too."

"You know what I mean," Charlie said weakly, "And so does he."

"Does he? How, Charlie? Have you told him what's eating at you? Do you know yourself?"

Charlie considered this last question for a full minute. Indeed he did not know what was eating him, but he wasn't about to admit it. "Well," he sighed, "it's time Dan figured out what he wants."

"He's fifteen years old, for God's sake!" Jerry said in exasperation. "And you expect him to have all the answers?"

"He was old enough to make up his mind to leave home."

"Yeah, well, maybe he was and maybe he wasn't. He gave up a lot for you, Charlie. But don't worry or feel guilty about that, 'cause he's leaving." The words sent a chill through Charlie's whole body.

"Leaving?" he repeated, "When?"

"I dunno for sure, but within the next week or two. He says if you don't want him, then he's gonna try and make up with his folks, and he wants to do it before his birthday."

"Just like that? He didn't plan to discuss it with me at all? That's crazy!"

"You mean the way you discussed with him before you moved into the spare room? Charlie, he has no reason to believe you care!"

"Maybe he's not goin' home at all. Maybe he's goin' to move in with Jack."

Jerry found himself having to fight the temptation to flatten Charlie where he stood. "You're just a kid yourself," he said quietly, "And because of that I'll try and let that remark pass. I think we both know how stupid it was."

"Was it, Jer? Was it that stupid?"

"Goddammit, Charlie, keep it up and I WILL deck you. Danny adores you, and if you can't see it, maybe you deserve to lose him. Maybe he should go home. From all I've seen and heard, he gave up a pretty terrific family for you. Maybe you just aren't worth it." Without another word, Jerry went out and slammed the door behind him. Charlie was alone now, seething and stewing. It didn't help a whole lot knowing Jerry was right. Half an hour later Dan showed up, as if in response to some invisible cue.

"Where's Jerry?" he asked Charlie brightly as he popped a Coors.

"I dunno," Charlie replied sullenly. The last thing he needed right now was for Dan to be in a good mood, but it seems that's exactly what he'd got. It seemed the walk had done him a world of good, and now he was grinning like the old Dan. Maybe he found a little action while he was out, Charlie told himself. Then aloud he said, "I hear you're planning a trip?"

"Trip?" Dan questioned.

"Yeah. Jer says you're goin' home. Thanks for telling me."

"Charlie, last time I told you something it got me in a lot of trouble. Besides, I hadn't decided till now, I was just thinking about it."

"So you've decided?" Charlie was trying to get the information without appearing unduly interested. In fact, he was frantic inside, but his make-up wouldn't allow him to show it.

"Yep," Dan replied, "I'm stayin'. If you don't want me, well, Jerry still does, and nothing's changed back home." Dan was having to make a supreme effort to keep his voice steady, but he was doing it.

"I don't want you?" Charlie demanded, "It wasn't me took a big black dick up the ass."

Now Dan was furious too. "Is that it?" he demanded, "Is that what this is all about? You're jealous 'cause you weren't the first? Well, for your information, Charlie baby, you're not gonna be the second either, or the third, or any other number, long as you treat me that way. I told you I was sorry and I meant it. But I can't undo it. I wanted to tell you all about it and I really wanted you to be the one, but it just didn't work out that way. But you're not gonna drive me out. Oh, and you're not gonna make me miserable either. I'll say it again once more, then it's up to you. So you better pay attention, 'cause here it comes, for the last time.

"One: I'm really sorry for what I did. I was wrong and stupid, but I can't undo it.

Two: If that's what you're all hung up about then fuck me right now. Here, or wherever." As he spoke, Dan ripped all his clothes off, turned his back to Charlie and bent over. "Go ahead," he challenged, "Shove anything you want up there. Broom handle if it'll make you feel better.

"Oh yeah, and here's number three:" Dan straightened up and turned to face Charlie. His voice softened and the tears started. "I love you, Charlie, and I'm so sorry..."

Dan had no way of knowing, in fact Charlie didn't realize it himself, but had Dan not said he was staying, Charlie would more than likely have made up. But now the crisis was over, the panic in Charlie subsiding. Regarding Dan standing facing him, his naked body trembling from emotion as the tears streamed down his face, Charlie was again overtaken by something inside... Something that made him want to hurt more. He didn't understand it, wasn't even aware of it really. Much of his conscious awareness wanted to embrace the sobbing boy and tell him it was all right, but he didn't. The Mr. Hyde within him won the conflict, and he turned and went upstairs. The beast wanted him to say something like, "Get dressed, you look ridiculous," but fortunately Charlie's more rational side won that battle and he said nothing.

It was three a.m. when Dan suddenly woke up to the sound of... what? He wasn't sure. Had he heard sobbing from Charlie's room, or had he imagined it? It had taken Jerry considerable time to get Dan calmed down after Charlie's rejection, so they hadn't been asleep that long. Dan knew in his rational mind that it was practically impossible for him to have heard what he thought he heard, but something had awakened him. Jerry was still sound asleep, so Dan got quietly out of bed and crept out of the room.

Charlie's door was closed, but Dan was determined now. He had suddenly decided what he had was worth fighting for, and tonight was the night. If Charlie didn't want him, he was going to have to say so. He quietly turned the knob and slowly pushed the door open. There was just enough light filtering in the window that Dan could make out Charlie's form on the bed. He was lying face down, face buried in a pillow. He was still fully dressed and to Dan's amazement his whole body was lurching spasmodically. He was indeed crying, almost hysterically. It was all Dan could do to keep himself from jumping and shouting with joy, because he knew why Charlie was crying. His uncanny fifteen year old insight had told him what had happened the previous afternoon, and that now Charlie was feeling remorse, punishing himself for rejecting what Dan had said was his last chance. So Dan padded over to the bed and lay down, whispering to Charlie as he did, "Sounds like you could use a friend too. Wanna move over so I can be your friend?"

Charlie looked up, aware for the first time that he wasn't alone. "Dan, I..." he started, but Dan placed a finger on Charlie's lips, a signal to be quiet.

"What we need to say," he directed, "Can't be said with words."

It was noon Monday before Dan and Charlie finally came to life. Jerry woke up at eight and went looking for Dan. When he found the two sleeping boys he tiptoed in the room, kissed them both tenderly, then left and closed the door.

"Too bad you couldn't invite your friends to your little party," he said with mock hurt when they finally appeared. Both Dan and Charlie began to make apologies and excuses, but Jerry assured them there was no need. "I'm just relieved y'all got back together," he said sincerely.

"Well," Charlie announced with a devilish grin, "If it matters, you didn't miss anything, at least nothing more than a lot of hugs and kisses."

"I didn't?"

"Nope," Dan added. "But we've all been missing far too much lately, so I suggest..."

"I'm 'way ahead of you," Jerry interrupted as he jumped up, "Y'all want some breakfast?"

"Sure do," Charlie answered, "But what we want isn't served in kitchens."

A few days later, Jerry was doubly pleased that the cold war had been resolved when he got a call from the Jenkins'. They had a surprise for Dan that was truly worthy of him, and now they could all share it. Dan's birthday was April 11. They had planned a party at the Jenkins' home, so on the afternoon of the 11th the three of them were getting their hair styled, a manicure, facial, and generally being pampered to death. As much as anything, they were going through the process because they had come to like it. Dan's hair was long and golden, with gentle waves throughout. Jerry kept his coal black hair just covering his ears, and Charlie's was somewhere in between. And it was always neat and clean.

They arrived at the Jenkins' for dinner about six o'clock, teasing Dan that at last he was sweet sixteen and never been.... never been what? They were having some friends over at eight, so that gave time for a leisurely dinner together with the boys.

As soon as they had eaten, as they were sitting at the table enjoying each other's company, Linda said to Dan, "We agreed to keep this till later tonight, but I can't wait. Happy birthday, sweetie." And with that, she handed Dan an unopened envelope. "We have some explaining to do, Dan," she went on, "but read the letter first. Hopefully it'll do part of the explaining for us." Dan and Charlie had visited the Jenkins' often, both with and without Jerry. Their relationship had developed to the point that all three were perfectly at home here.

"Dear son," Dan read aloud.

"We have been exchanging letters with the Jenkins' for some time now. Please don't be angry with them, it was at our request. We still don't know where you are and that pains us, but we understand. And the Jenkins' have made it very clear they will not betray any confidence until you are ready.

I won't try to tell you that your little revelation was not a shock, because it was. I'm not sure how we would have handled it had you not left, but you are probably right... it might not have been pleasant. But John and Linda have made us see that this is something beyond your control or choosing, and that we should view it, not as an affliction or some terrible sin, but as a part of you. And they have made us see that you both have all the other qualities that you always had; we're finally able to see that you're the same two sweet boys you always were, only we didn't know you nearly as well as we thought we did. By the way, we know more than you think we do... we know about Jerry and of the three of you and your unusual relationship. We also know how it happened. Jerry must be a very special person to treat you two the way he did, and he must have an insight that we don't have to see the qualities in you that we overlooked.

Danny, we believe that what you are doing, and the way you are living is, not right or wrong because that's not for us to say, but certainly not the type of lifestyle we'd hoped for you. It's sort of like white parents adopting a black child. Their hearts are in the right place, but the pressures of society will always impose an added stress, and take it from us, there will always be a lot of stress in a lifetime relationship; you don't need to add any more. But you are our son, and we're proud of the way you've taken the situation you found yourself in and made the best of it. And for the record, we're feeling a little guilty too. Knowing what we know now, we realize there were always signs there, but we didn't see them. Of course it's probably just as well, because we would likely have tried to 'cure' you had we suspected.

Danny, we have spoken to Charlie's father, and I'm afraid he's adamant, at least for the moment, that Charlie is possessed with some kind of evil, so here's our proposition: We would like all three of you to come for a visit. We will treat all of you as our sons, and there will be no talk of your relationship unless you wish it. We love you, son, and we miss you terribly. We're proud of you too, and your loyalty to Charlie and Jerry. You have taught us an important lesson in the last few months, and we are anxious to show all of you that we've learned it well. Please write us when you can, we will be anxiously waiting for your answer.

Your loving parents,

Mom and Dad"

Danny just sat there, stunned. He showed no emotion whatsoever, just sat there looking into space. Tears were in Jerry's and Charlie's eyes as they watched him and listened as he read, but Danny just sat there. Jerry and Charlie were at his side now, one kneeling on each side of him. "It's all right!" he whispered over and over. Without moving his eyes from some imaginary spot on the opposite wall, one hand dropped on each side of him and searched till they found the hands of his lovers. Then he shouted, tears coming in an explosion, "I can't believe it. It's all right! I've got my mom and dad back!"

Only then did the others know that Danny had been worried much more than they'd realized. In seconds the seven of them: Jerry, Dan and Charlie; John, Linda, and the two boys were all embracing in one large mass. There were arms and legs everywhere, amply lubricated with tears. The two little boys had not the faintest idea what was going on, but they had no doubt that whatever it was, it was good. When they had all settled down again, Dan looked at the Jenkins' and said simply, "Thanks... you're the greatest."

"Glad we could help," John replied, "But remember, things will still be a bit uncomfortable for a while." Then to Charlie he said softly, "I'm sorry, Charlie, just give him a little more time. It was quite a shock to him."

"No," Charlie responded, "I don't think so. He's not the type to be supportive of things he doesn't understand or agree with. I was never the kind of son he wanted anyway. But it's all right. It happened just the way I expected it would, and right now I'm so happy that the one I love is happy, I'm not concerned about my dad's attitude." That drew a big wet unashamed kiss from Danny.

The party was, as expected, a huge success. There were married couples, gay couples, and single people, all mingling without regard to sexual, or any other, orientation. There were black, white, and yellow. John and Linda had obviously chosen the guest list carefully to avoid a scene and to make everyone feel more comfortable. They danced with women and men and, of course, with each other. The boys' formal dance training had made them very much in demand in these situations, and they found that they had come to enjoy the suave way they were required to act when they were working, so more and more that was becoming a part of their normal behavior.

At the height of the festivities John called for quiet as he dialed a certain telephone number in Nova Scotia. "It just isn't right," he explained, "That a boy go through his sixteenth birthday without talking to his folks." So a very nervous, but nonetheless beaming teen took the receiver with a shaking hand.

After the connection was made, Dan was sent upstairs to the bedroom phone where he could have some privacy. Everyone present knew the story, but no one asked what he talked about; neither did Dan volunteer any information. But when he descended the stairs and rejoined the party, there was a look on his face, a radiance, that said now he could truly relax. That glow also told Charlie and Jerry that they were in for a pretty intense time before they slept. Nothing, they had learned, turned Dan into a raging animal like intense emotion.

It was very late when the three boys got home and began getting ready for bed. They were exhausted, but they were happier than they'd been for a long time. They weren't drunk or even close to it, but they were certainly high on emotion. As they were undressing Dan suddenly approached Jerry with his big brown eyes even bigger than usual. "Could... could you do me a favor?" he asked tentatively.

"Anything," Jerry replied lightly. "Anything at all for our birthday boy. Just name it."

"Well..." Dan stuttered, "I don't wanna hurt your feelings, but Charlie and I..." Suddenly Jerry realized that this wasn't a moment to be treated lightly. Dan was having a great deal of difficulty with his request, and of course Jerry concluded the worst.

"What is it, Dan?" he queried, "Are you two leaving?"

"Oh, no!" Dan answered quickly, "nothin' like that. It's just that... well, Charlie and I have a little unfinished business that we'd like..."

"You want me to leave?"

"If you would. Just for an hour or so. Please understand, there's just something I gotta do." Jerry said he understood, but he didn't. He had searched Charlie's face for a clue, but he seemed to be in the dark too. So Jerry left, after receiving a promise from Dan that they'd call him in an hour or so.

"What was that all about?" Charlie demanded as soon as they were alone.

"It's... well... It's Jack, Charlie." Charlie's entire body went rigid.

"Jack?" he echoed, "He called you?"

"No, but it's..." Dan was having even more difficulty now, and Charlie was completely bewildered as to what was on his mind.

"Dan," he said with exasperation, "would you please just spit it out? We've had our fight, so hopefully now we can work things out together if there's still a problem."

"It isn't exactly a problem, Charlie. It's just that... well... you know what we did..."

"You did a lot of things, Dan. But I've been tryin' real hard to get over the whole thing, and I thought I was doing pretty well. So..."

"You are doin' well, Charlie, maybe even better'n I am. And that's what I'm talking about."

As they spoke, Dan had put his hands to work, exploring the one part of Charlie he had heretofore left untouched. "Remember what I told you, when we had that big fight, about how you could... er... do it to me if you wanted?" As if to illustrate his meaning, Dan's finger had found an opening and was entering, causing Charlie to gasp with surprise and... he didn't know what else, but he made no move to stop the intrusion.

"Dan," Charlie whispered, "are you telling me you want to... you want to do... that to me?" Dan was quivering slightly now, his finger having entered as far as he could get it.

"Yes, I am," he answered almost inaudibly. "Please? But first I'd like you to do it to me."

"But didn't it hurt?"

"Yes it did, Charlie, it hurt like hell. But strangely enough, I enjoyed it, hurt and all. And with you I don't think it'd hurt near as much, 'cause Jack had one hell of a..."

He didn't finish the sentence, because he was too busy gasping as Charlie's fingers followed his lead. "I thought you'd never ask," Charlie said softly as they completed the act, "But please stop me if I hurt you."

For the next hour they did hurt each other, but neither minded or wanted to stop. After they had become more comfortable with what they were doing, they went to get Jerry. "You were wrong, Jer," Charlie announced when he came in. "It isn't unpleasant at all; in fact it's downright great!" Jerry eyed him curiously.

"What the hell are you talking about?" he demanded. "From all the screaming that was coming from in here I thought you were both being killed!"

"I can tell you all about it," Charlie bargained, "But I'd far rather show you, if you'll trust me."

Well, Jerry did receive the demonstration. There is no need whatsoever to go into details, but suffice to say by the time they finally went to sleep, all three were sold on their new pastime.

After the party and the news from home, the three found added vigor and enthusiasm to apply to their trade. Dan had called his parents several times and had long talks with them, eventually telling them where he was, and even giving them his correct address. After the second call, the three had made tentative plans to drive to Nova Scotia in June. Meanwhile they were very busy and enjoying themselves, it seemed, more each day.

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