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Note: Thanks to Tim for feedback on the draft chapters.  I owe special thanks to Robb and Rock for doing the final proofreading and catching all those silly little errors I missed.

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Finding Family

by Jeff Allen





It seemed like our freshman year had just begun, and all of a sudden we were getting ready to start our second year. Maybe time really did move faster as you got older.

The apartment we moved into was cool beyond belief. It was only three or four blocks from campus so we could walk to classes and not have to worry about using the bus system or hunting for a parking place in the lots like so many of the other students who lived off campus. Another good thing was that Karl Henson's apartment was just a few houses up the street.

Our apartment was the bottom floor of a three story Victorian. It had three bedrooms, but TJ, Josh, and I had decided to use the middle-sized bedroom as a study room. It easily held three desks, some bookcases, and audio gear. Hey, we needed to listen to tunes while we worked! Josh took the smallest bedroom while TJ and I shared the largest. I think I came out way ahead on the deal because TJ would be back in Carterville most weekends to see Donnie. Our landlords lived next door with their three kids, but that wasn't a problem because the landlords were Kevin and Kathy Williams. They both taught English at the university, and we'd all had Kevin for intro to literature.

The second floor was a two-bedroom apartment occupied by Brian Barnes and Steven Ngyuen, who were on the soccer team with us, and Steven's boyfriend, Mike Hernandez. Mike was a bio major like TJ, Josh, and me.

Jonathan Pittman and Wes Dawson moved into the smaller two-bedroom apartment on the third floor.  Since all of the tenants were gay, we started calling the place "Faggot Flats."

There was another apartment above the garage next door at the William's place, but that was still vacant. Kevin told us he'd rented it to a guy who had been in the army and would be starting school that fall.  Like most of the other students, he wasn't there yet. We were all there because the soccer and football teams were starting practices.

We were a little worried about an army vet being in the apartment right next to "Faggot Flats," but Kevin assured us that he'd told the prospective tenant that we were gay, and the guy told Kevin he didn't have any problem with it. Kevin even hinted that he thought the guy might be in the closet.

"I've got pretty good gaydar for a straight guy," he told me, "and I think your new neighbor has potential."


I liked all the guys in the three apartments. The only down side to the place was that I really liked one of the guys, but he seemed to see me just as a friend. I'd had a heavy crush on Brian Barnes since meeting him the year before.  At that time Brian was involved with an MBA student who was from Russia.  However, Sergei had graduated the previous December and returned to Russia. Brian and Sergei tried to keep the relationship going, but by the end of spring semester the word was that Brian was starting to see other guys. I wished he would start to see me, but that hadn't happened. I was just another friend and another guy on the soccer team.

Damn! TJ had Donnie. Jonathan had Wes.  Parker and Karl were getting along real well. But other than an occasional mutual jack off session in the shower with Josh, he and I were flying solo. I needed to try to find someone other than Brian Barnes to lust after.


I thought I'd kept in pretty good shape over the summer by running and working for Ladd Brothers' Lawn Service, but preseason football practice was murder! First of all it was darn hot for the mountains. If this was global warming, man, I was ready to move north! Being in the mountains, Carterville and Adams were supposed to be cool in the summer. Wrong! Second, I was really busting butt because I wanted the first string middle linebacker slot. I thought I had a shot, and I was going to do my best to show the coaches I had it in me to be their number one guy on defense.

We'd completed two weeks of two-a-day practices. The next day was freshman move in day so the coaches had given us a break. Only afternoon practice, but we had to show up at the dorms in the morning to help all the freshmen move in.  That was okay with me. I was ready for the break, plus Isaac South would be moving in as a freshman. Parker was bringing him down in the morning. I was looking forward to seeing them. After living all summer in Parker's house with Coach's Cubs, I found that I really missed the guys.

Wes Dawson and I were walking back to the apartments after the afternoon practice talking about how dog tired we were and hoping that our soccer jock roomies had gotten home earlier and started dinner.

We were still about a block away from the house when we spotted a jogger and his dog headed our way.  Both Wes and I stared slack jawed at the sight coming toward us. The guy didn't look that tall, but he had a fantastic build. Of course all we could see was his nicely muscled legs below the short running shorts. He had on a long sleeved tee shirt that seemed out of place in the heat of the early evening.  The shirt was tight across his nicely mounded pecs. He had short dark hair and a goatee. Kind of a rugged looking face. All of that was notable, but what really caught my attention was the tool swinging between his legs as he jogged.  Man, that thing had to have been at least 7 or 8 inches long, and it looked like it was slapping his upper thighs with each step!

Wes and I exchanged glances. Wes licked his lips as he waggled his eyebrows. I started to laugh. I wasn't watching where I was going and stepped off the curb. I went down. Hard.  I sat up on the side of the street and looked straight up one leg of the big-dicked jogger's shorts. The guy was kneeling on his right knee on the sidewalk right in front of me. That opened the left leg of his shorts. The fully packed nylon pouch liner of his shorts bulged. I could see the outline of the head of his cock. My dick gave a jump inside my pants, and I swallowed hard trying to decide if I should just lean forward and take a bite out of the piece of meat in front of me.

Just then the guy's dog decided to lick my face.

"Hey, Mason, leave the guy alone!" The jogger moved his dog out of the way and extended his hand to me. "You okay, buddy? That was quite a fall."

He and Wes helped me to my feet.

"Thanks.  I'm okay. Just wasn't watching where I was going."

"If you're okay, I'll get back to my run. Be careful."

The guy started off down the street with his dog bounding along next to him. Wes and I watched his nicely rounded ass until it disappeared around the corner. Then Wes broke into peels of laughter.

"Hey, I've always been a little distractible. Gimme a break."

"Oh, man, that was classic! Both of us were perving on the guy.  You really went down hard, dude. Sure you're okay?"

"Yeah, I may die of embarrassment, but I'm okay."

We walked the last block to our new apartments laughing and jostling with each other.

"Hey, the new guy's moved into the garage apartment over at the Williams's."

I looked over.  There was what looked like a new Chevy extended cab pickup truck with a shell over the truck bed in the parking area for the apartment. Beside it was a shiny red `68 or `69 Pontiac GTO with a black vinyl roof.

"Sweet rides.  Kevin said it was just one guy moving into the place. I wonder if both those are his or if he's got company."

We made a detour over to the garage apartment to introduce ourselves to the new neighbor, but no one answered the door so we headed back to our places. Trey, TJ, and Jonathan were already home from soccer practice. Wes and I were in luck...they'd already started dinner. We sat in the living room of our apartment and had a beer before dinner.  Everyone got a good laugh at my expense as Wes vividly described my earlier tumble.

I didn't think of our new neighbor until after dinner. When I looked over at the garage apartment again, the pickup truck was gone.

The next morning was freshman move-in day. All the fall sports teams had the day off from practice with the expectation that we'd be around to help the new students move into the dorm. Of course this move-in day was special to us because another of Coach's Cubs was starting school at Adams State. 


I was going to be living in the dorm while the rest of Coach's Cubs would be living in apartments close to campus.  Freshmen under the age of twenty-one had to live in the dorms.  University rules.  I was kinda bummed about it at first.  Then I realized I'd meet more new people by living on campus, and I'd still be able to walk a couple of blocks to see the rest of my "brothers." 

Everyone came from Carterville to Adams State to help me move into the dorm. Well, everyone that is except Tyrone.

We'd kind of agreed that our relationship was ending. He'd been a great boyfriend. I liked him a lot as a friend, and the sex was great. But we just weren't going to be in the same place for the next several years.  Tyrone was already being scouted by some heavy-duty college basketball programs. I wasn't going to play sports in college. I'd gotten a full academic scholarship to Adams State, and I was planning on going to law school after graduation.  See what I mean about not being in the same place?

Ryan rode with me in my old Nissan Frontier pickup with most of my things piled in the back protected under a tarp. Coach followed in his Expedition with Nacio plus Donnie and his boys.  While I was going through orientation, the rest of the Carterville Crew was going to be visiting my other "brothers" who were already in Adams. Coach was going to be staying at Karl's. Everyone knew what they were going to be doing. The rest of the crew was crashing at Trey, TJ, and Josh's new apartment for the weekend.

With all the guys helping, it only took like ten minutes to get me set up in my dorm room.  I was the first one in the suite so after we got stuff set up and unpacked and all my "family" took off, I was left alone.

I didn't stay alone for very long.

The first other guy to show up in the suite was my roommate, Robert G. Hendricks Jr., who quickly informed me that he was called Robbie. He and his folks sort of blew into the room carrying suitcases, bags, and bedding.  They were followed by Trey and Josh who were laden down with more of Robbie's things.

Before I could introduce them, Trey and Josh gave me a thumbs up sign and disappeared down the hallway. Maybe it was good they disappeared so quickly. I knew I was going to have to have a discussion about being gay with all the guys in the suite. Introducing Trey and Josh as my brothers might have started that conversation sooner than I wanted.

Robbie's folks were still getting him settled in when the other two guys in the suite arrived almost simultaneously. Eric Barger and Derek Garner each had more stuff than both Robbie and I combined.  There was no way all those material possessions were going to fit into one small dorm room. Indeed, they all didn't fit. When all of the families left, my new suite mates and my new roommate and I spent the afternoon trying to fit everything into place.

My roommate, Robbie, was maybe a couple of inches taller than my five feet nine inches.  He was from outside Charlotte. He was good-looking with out being either "cute" or "handsome."  He had medium brown hair and brown eyes. I guessed his weight at around a hundred and sixty pounds.

Eric was from Wilmington and sported a "surfer" look with bleached tips at the ends of his longish dark brown hair. He smiled a lot, and when he smiled a pair of dimples showed up on his cheeks. His eyes were a brownish hazel color. Physically he was the tallest at about six feet two inches, but he couldn't have weighed more than a hundred and thirty pounds. He had no hips or butt to speak of, and he constantly had to pull his cargo shorts back up.

Blond and blue-eyed Derek Garner, hailed from the town of Cary just outside Raleigh.  He and his family had moved to North Carolina from Boston a couple of years earlier. There were still traces of a New England accent in his speech. He was only about five foot six or seven in height, and he was stocky without being fat. He looked like he'd spent a good bit of his time with the weights. I guessed his weight at one eighty. I was close.

The four of us ate lunch together in the cafeteria before separating to meet with our assigned orientation groups. We met again for dinner. There was a floor meeting that evening where our resident advisor introduced himself, laid down the rules of the dorm, and had all of us on the floor introduce ourselves.

After the meeting Robbie, Eric, Derek, and I sat in the common room of our suite and shot the breeze.

I knew I had to get my little speech over with and tell them I was gay. I wasn't sure what would happen. We'd all filled out a housing/roommate survey over the summer.  I'd indicated on the survey that I was homosexual, and there were several questions on the survey about our attitudes towards other religious, ethnic, and cultural groups including a couple about our feelings about homosexuality. I hoped the folks in Student Housing who made out the rooming assignments paid attention to the survey and the guys sitting in the room with me had all answered the questions honestly. I vividly remembered Trey telling me about his experience the previous year with Chuck Myers who refused to stay in a suite with three gay guys.

I waited for a break in the conversation, screwed up my courage, and began, "Uh, guys, can we be serious for a little bit. I've got to ask you something. How would you feel if one of us was gay?"

That stopped the conversation.

Derek was the first to speak. "I don't know how I'd feel.  I guess it would depend on how the guy acted. I mean, I know some gay and lesbian kids from high school. Some of them were real obvious. Most just seemed like regular kids."

Surfer Eric was next. "Hey, dude, it doesn't bother me.  I don't like swishy guys or girls that have more testosterone than I do, but it's okay otherwise. What ever floats your boat, man."

My roommate, Robbie, was silent for a moment before speaking. "Isaac, it's okay with me.  I've got a first cousin who's gay.  Other than digging the guys, he's just a regular Joe."

I looked at him.  "How would you feel if your roommate was gay?"

"Are you telling us something?"




"Yeah, whatever, man."

"So you guys are going to be okay with me being gay?"

Robbie smiled and punched my arm, "Hey, it means I've got less competition for the girls."

I knew it was going to be a great year!


That week of freshmen orientation flew by, and all of a sudden it was the start of fall classes. The orientation people had done their best to keep us busy. Man, that was nothing compared to how busy I was when classes started!  I wasn't sure about my major. I thought maybe history, political science, or English. Since I wasn't sure, I was taking classes in those areas plus college math and a biology course.  I figured the math and bio would be the toughest courses for me, but I could get some free tutoring in those subjects from my "brothers" Trey, TJ, and Josh `cause they were all bio majors.

The weekend after the first week of classes was Labor Day weekend. No classes on Monday! The other guys in the suite slept in most of the weekend, but I was up early each day to jog with Karl Henson and Coach, who was down visiting Karl

After the jogging we'd stop in at Trey's apartment. It was a full house since Coach had brought Ryan and Nacio, plus Donnie and his two boys along for the weekend. They were all cramped into the apartment, except for Coach, who was staying with Karl. It was crowded and noisy over there, but it was just like being back home!


On Labor Day weekend all of the guys from Carterville came and stayed in Adams.  They arrived Saturday morning; however, I was busy with the team getting ready for the first home game so I didn't get to see them until early that evening. We won the game, and I saw a good bit of playing time. I was a happy camper.

On Labor Day, our landlords, Kevin and Kathy Williams, had a big barbeque in their back yard.  There were dozens of people there.  I met several of the professors from the English Department plus a couple of the grad students...both Kevin and Kathy were profs in that department. In addition to all of the English types, there were the guys from our apartment house. Justin and Megan Barnes were up from Chapel Hill as were Andy Hatcher and C.Z. Johnstone who had lived in our apartment the previous year. Justin and Megan were staying with Brian Barnes, one of our upstairs neighbors. Andy and C.Z. were staying out with Doc Griffith and Coach Stevenson. Kevin and Kathy's nine-year-old son, Gary, and Andy Hatcher's six-year-old son Greg were really great with Micah and Grant Micheaux, who were three and four. They all but took over the parenting duties. For their part, Grant and Micah followed Gary and Greg around like little puppies. The four boys were shadowed everywhere they went by Larsen, Andy and C.Z.'s dog.


Kevin and Kathy knew about the Carterville Crew so they included Coach and Karl Henson among the guests as well as inviting our brother Isaac and his suite mates for the barbeque.

I was standing next to the beer keg chatting up a cute English grad student I thought was probably gay when the mystery jogger with the big dick and his dog walked up to the keg. I did a double take. The guy was dressed in sandals, cargo shorts, and a long sleeved tee shirt. This time I looked more at his face than at his crotch, although he was still showing evidence of a substantial package in those cargo shorts. I'd describe his face as more rugged and strongly masculine than handsome. He had a visible scar that cut through his left eyebrow and another on his left cheek bone that was in the same plane as the scar in his eyebrow.  I noticed that his goatee hid another scar at the left corner of his mouth. When I'd seen him before, I didn't think he was all that tall, but standing next to the keg I could see that he was just about my height of six four. I'd always been attracted to smaller guys, but this guy was major sexy.

He grabbed a plastic cup and started to get a beer from the keg.

I reached for the pump. "Here, let me help you."

He looked at me.  His eyes were a gray-green in color with long dark lashes. They just sort of drew me in.


"Uh, I think we met a couple of weeks ago. I'm Josh Locklear.  I'm the clumsy guy who couldn't stay on the sidewalk."

"Right. I thought you looked familiar." He finished pouring his beer, wiped his hand on the seat of his pants and extended it to me.  "I'm Brandon Harris."

"Are you one of Dr. Williams' students?"

"No, I'm one of his tenants. I've got the apartment over the garage."

"Hey, the guy with the cool vehicles.  Is that GTO a `68 or a `69?"

"She's a `69."

"Sharp car."

He smiled slightly.  "Thanks. That's my baby. Well, along with Mason here." He reached down and scratched the dog's ears.

"I'm glad to finally meet you. I live over in the bottom floor of the other house. We'd been kind of wondering about the person above the garage. Guess our schedules don't match."

"I work most nights as a waiter over at Cantana's. The lights in your place are usually out by the time I get back from work."

"Yeah, all of us are on either the football team or the soccer team. We're not keeping very late hours. We all have to get up and moving early in the morning for morning practices."

"From your build, I'd guess you're one of the football guys."

"Got that right! My soccer-crazy roommates have tried to teach me the game, but I like football a lot better. Doc Williams mentioned something about your having just gotten out of the army. That right?"

"About a year ago actually.  I'm going to school on the G.I. bill.  Well...on that and the tips from waiting tables."

"Cool. You don't sound like you're from around here."

"No. I grew up near Salt Lake City, but I've only been back there once since high school."

"Where were you stationed in the army?"

I saw something pass over his face. A slight movement of the mouth. A change in the color of his eyes.

"I was stationed a couple of places."

I expected him to go on and tell me where he'd been stationed, but he didn't.

"Say, let me take you and Mason around and introduce you to the guys in my house. You need to know your neighbors."

I grabbed his arm and steered him away from the beer keg. Man, his arm was solid!  The cute English grad student I'd been chatting up was forgotten, and as we walked away he was left standing beside the beer keg.

I introduced Brandon around to all of the guys in the house plus Parker, Donnie, and Karl. Mason never left Brandon's side. We ended up standing at the edge of the crowd near Brandon's shiny GTO.

"Well, I think you've met everyone. You ready for the pop quiz?"

"I think I could do okay, but I'm a little confused. Parker and Donnie don't live here, right?"

"That's right.  Parker's the soccer coach at Carter County High School in Carterville. He's Trey's uncle, Isaac's adopted father, and guardian or honorary father to most of the rest of the Carterville crew. We call ourselves 'Coach's Cubs.They took me in when my mother died last year."

"Sorry about your mother."

"Thanks.  I don't think I would have made it without Trey, TJ, Parker and the rest of the cubs. Matt Stevenson and Gary Griffith have been pretty great to me also."

"What about Donnie?"

"He's TJ's boyfriend."

There was a short pause. "Okay. Doc Williams made sure I didn't have a problem with gay neighbors before he would rent the place to me. Guess he meant TJ."

"No. He meant all of us. Everyone over in the house is gay."


"Yup. Everyone. We've started to call the place Faggot Flats."

Brandon laughed, and I saw a true smile on his face for the first time. His smile was a little lopsided. It looked like the scar on the left corner of his mouth prevented that side from opening to a full smile.

"You're not upset?"

"No. I'm just surprised. I wouldn't have pegged any of you guys as being gay."

"Hey, you haven't seen the way we've decorated the apartment yet."

That got another laugh from Brandon.

"Actually that's not true. None of us got a very big dose of the gay decorator gene.  We're pretty basic in that department. Ryan, TJ's straight-as-an-arrow younger brother, has more decorating sense in his little finger than the rest of us put together."

"That's funny.  Hey, you want to take a look at the GTO?"

"Thought you'd never ask."

We not only took a look at it, we took it for a ride. Man, that thing had power! Mason rode in the backseat with his head over my right shoulder so he could stick his tongue out as the air rushed past us and drool down my neck. I didn't really notice the dog drool at first `cause I was busy checking out the big bulge in the crotch of Brandon's cargo shorts. I was doing a little drooling of my own.

When we got back from the ride, Brandon had to get ready to go to work at the restaurant. We shook hands again, and I told him that we'd have him over for dinner the next time he had an evening off from waiting tables.

I hadn't gotten any pings on my gaydar about him, but that didn't matter. He seemed like a great guy, and I enjoyed his company.

(To be continued)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many of the characters who play parts in this story were previously introduced in either "When Love Comes" (last posted in the College section on Sept. 6, 2001) or "Love of a Lifetime" (last posted in the College section on May 19, 2003). While not necessary, readers may find it useful to read the two earlier stories posted on this site.  Both previous stories are also posted at

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