This story concerns teenage gay males who are involved in sexual situations. If it is illegal for you to read such stories, or if you do not like to read such stories, please leave now.

This story is copyright 2006 by the author who retains all rights.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

This is my second submission to Nifty. This is a continuation of “Kiel’s Story” which was last posted on 7/24/06. It is not necessary to read “Kiel’s Story” before reading this, but it may help you understand where the character relationships started. Any comments or questions are welcome at:

A warm thank you goes out to all who’ve written. I appreciate knowing someone is actually reading this stuff. I try to respond to all, including flames, but time is precious in my life, so if I didn’t answer yours, please accept my apology.

Tim and the Corsair

by Carl Holiday

Chapter 15 – Welcome to Sunny LA

Until I went down to California to spend three weeks with my Uncle Walter, I had never been in an airplane. Dad, of course, flew all the time when he was selling pipe, but the rest of us were relegated to ground transportation. Mother, Sally, and an unusually passive Johnny took me to the airport.

Johnny was upset about me getting to leave for three weeks, when he, Scott, and the new kid, a strange, ugly, schizo named Arnold, had to stay home. I think the only thing that saved us on the drive was Johnny’s new meds that kept him sort of subdued all the time. He was never happy, but never sad, either. He was accompanying us simply because he wouldn’t be a problem. He couldn’t be a problem. I kind of felt sorry for him.

What the other three boys didn’t know was that Doctor Randall was trying to figure out how to get me out of the group home environment on a permanent basis. As far as he was concerned, I was practically over whatever it was that made me want to kill myself. The dark ogre had been defeated. I figured the easiest solution was to find another house for the group home and allow our house to revert back to a regular home for Mother, Doctor Randall, Sally and me; except, no one seemed to be working in that direction. All the effort seemed to be directed toward getting me out. Even Mother seemed to be okay with the idea. Sally, of course, was oblivious to anything.

What I didn’t know, at the time, was that Uncle Walter was in on the act, too. It seemed my three week adventure in Movieland was to be a sort of test to see whether I was compatible with Uncle Walter’s lifestyle, which included extended trips out of town where I would be required to fend for myself, for the most part. He did have a butler of some sort who took care of a lot of things like my airplane ticket, which was one way. If I wasn’t such a pushover, I might have questioned that.

Mother and Sally were kind of teary eyed when they said there goodbyes. Johnny, on the other hand, just kind of hung his head down, staring at the floor. I wanted to kiss him, but all I could do was give him a chaste hug and whisper in his ear, “I’ll be back in three weeks and we’ll do something. Just us. Okay?”

He looked at me, but the sparkle wasn’t in his eyes anymore. There was half of a smile and he kind of nodded, but it was so slight I wasn’t sure. I could have sworn the old Johnny was still in there, somewhere trying to get out.

“Come back,” he said, as a little tear dribbled down his cheek. I brushed it away with my finger and turned away from him.

I showed my boarding pass to the ticket agent and walk down the ramp to the airplane. My adventure had begun.

I had a window seat in first class, but since I’d never flown before I didn’t have a clue what I was missing back in coach. The stewardess, who looked like she might have been only a couple years older than me, asked what I wanted to drink. Something about her demeanor suggested she was more than ready to kneel down in front of me and give me the blowjob of my life. It was her hands that betrayed her, though. She worked for a living. She used those hands a lot and they were definitely a lot older than her face.

“How much is a Coke?” I asked.

“It’s free,” she said. “Have you ever flown before?”

“No, this is my first time.”

“You’re not nervous, are you?”

I could imagine a scared, little kid being nervous about being enclosed in a long metal tube for an extended period of time. I read about airplanes. I knew all the physics about flying. I also knew that a two hundred fifty pound man could be sucked out one of those little windows if it accidentally broke. I was less than a hundred twenty.

“No, I’m not nervous about flying. Could I have some water?”


All I could think about was being in LA for three weeks with Uncle Walter. It was hard to imagine what it would be like to live with a man who was just as queer as me. I didn’t suspect he had orgies because he was too business-like. On the other hand, maybe he had a boyfriend, someone young, in college, cute, who was secretly planning to seduce me. We’d spend three weeks at Uncle Walter’s beach house in Malibu, which he never told me about, but I assumed he had because he was in the movie business and that’s what you were supposed to have. Or, maybe, just lounge out by the pool while Uncle Walter’s butler, or whatever he was, served us Cokes and rolled joints for us.

I didn’t think Uncle Walter was the type to smoke marijuana, though. He seemed more the scotch and soda kind of person; maybe rye whiskey with a splash of spring water.

What I didn’t know was what I was going to do. Three weeks in a house in a city I wasn’t familiar with; and, during the summer. Where was I going to meet other kids? I certainly hoped I wasn’t going to be put to work. I was too smart to be expected to do manual labor beyond cleaning my room, or giving another guy a demonstration on how well I used my hands. I was beginning to dread going down there.

And, then, the plane started down the runway. There’s that moment when the world drops out from under you and the plane takes off. That critical moment when an untightened screw, a missing bolt, or some other kind of screwup sends the plane careening down the runway as it bursts into a raging ball of fire.

The plane took off.

When I got off the plane in LA I wasn’t looking for Uncle Walter. I was looking for movie stars. Since I didn’t watch television enough to know who was staring in what, I was placing all my hopes on seeing a movie star, but there weren’t any. Actually, there wasn’t even an Uncle Walter. There was a man, though. He was older, like maybe sixty or something. Grandfatherly he wasn’t, more like distinguished, like a butler. I walked towards him, but a little girl got there first and he picked her up and kissed her on the cheek.

“Geoff? Geoff Johnson?” A voice asked at my shoulder. I turned and saw a tanned, blond haired, man in a light gray suit probably not more than thirty, I guess. He was maybe six feet tall, taller than me, of course. Green eyes. I’d never met anyone with green eyes before, but this guy had green eyes. His face was angular, but his hair was nearly down to his shoulders.


“I’m Bertrand, Mr. Johnson’s assistant. I’ve come to fetch you.”

“You’re British.”

“No, I’m not.”

And, he turned and walked away. I followed. Well, he certainly sounded British, or at least what I expected British to sound like. One thing, though, he had a cute ass and his shoulders were broad. I was beginning to wonder how he assisted Uncle Walter.

We retrieved my luggage, but he had a skycap take care of it. There wasn’t that much and I could’ve carried it, but I guess that wasn’t done. We got into a cab, Bertrand sitting on the driver’s side and me on the other. He gave the address and no more words were spoken the whole trip. He seemed standoffish, pompous, maybe. Like going to the airport to get me wasn’t something on his list of duties.

I was trying to pay attention to which way the driver was going, but after we passed Sunset Boulevard Bertrand started talking.

“I’m from Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand, originally. My parents moved all of us to York, in England, to be close to my grandmother who was dying. I guess there was some inheritance mother was expecting. I was at Cambridge when Walter met me in London. I’d come down to visit a friend and we sort of bumped into one another in Harrads buying shirts, I think. I’ve been with Walter for nearly ten years, now.”

“So, that makes you his?”



Boyfriend was my guess, but maybe he was Uncle Walter’s assistant. I didn’t know Uncle Walter at all, since he and my father never spoke. But, Bertrand certainly looked like a boyfriend. I certainly was ready to make him my boyfriend.

Uncle Walter’s house had a wrought iron gate, but it was already open. The house didn’t look all that big from the street side, but after the cab left and I had to tote my own bags, the house started to get bigger. We went in the front door and Bertrand stopped.

“You will use the side entrance from now on,” he said. “The front door is for guests. If you have friends over, they will use the side entrance, too. If not, you will instruct them accordingly.”

“You don’t like me, do you?” I asked. He was too cold, too formal. He certainly gave off a “don’t touch me” feeling.

“It is not my place to like you or not like you,” Bertrand said. “You are Walter’s nephew, therefore, you are family. Whatever your relationship with Walter is, it is not my concern.”

Well, maybe, he wasn’t Uncle Walter’s boyfriend.

We were standing in the foyer and it was the kind of foyer you think about when you’re trying to imagine what a foyer might look like. It was probably as big as our living room and the floor was some kind of polished rock, kind of pink, white, and gaudy. The walls had paintings, abstract I think, certainly not paintings I would have put up.

“Your room is upstairs,” Bertrand said, turning and starting up the staircase that seemed out of some Busby Berkeley movie. I expected a bevy of ballerinas to come bounding down, but they didn’t. Bertrand still had a cute ass, though, and I decided I’d follow it anywhere.

At the top of the stairs two hallways went off in opposite directions. I looked over the railing and determined a head first fall just might do it. You get that way when you’ve been on suicide watch, looking for ways to do it yourself. You kind of get the ability to judge heights. The only problem with this one was there wasn’t enough height to get vertical before hitting the cold stone below. You’d hurt a lot, then probably die, but you’d hurt a lot. Suiciders aren’t looking for agony, they’re in agony already. They’re looking for quick relief.

“Was there something?” Walter asked.

“No, just admiring the view,” I said. He looked at me then shook his head. He was definitely an adult, no sense of humor.

“Your bedroom is this way,” he said, heading off toward the right.

“What’s in the other direction?”

“Your uncle and I have our suites on that side of the house. You have no business going that way.”

And, a very unwelcome to you, too.

“This is your room,” Bertrand said, opening a door halfway down the hall. “Walter decided you’d do better with the morning sun.”

First of all, there wasn’t a bed. That was the first thing I noticed. Then I noticed the room was about as big as our house. There was a pool table in the middle of it. A couple of black leather sofas and a television along the left side, a fireplace and French doors leading out to a balcony on the far side, a bar with stools and a refrigerator on the right side along with double doors which led into the bedroom. I could see myself living here for the rest of my life, except I’d have to get rid of Bertrand.

The bedroom was big, not as big as the other room, but still big. The bed had to be at least a king. Plenty of room for lots of boys. But, it was the mirrors that threw me off. The closets had mirrors. There was a mirror above the bed. There were mirrors on the walls.

But, it was the painting that stopped my heart. It was a portrait, sort of. The two boys, well, not really boys, but certainly not adults, were naked. Not nude, naked. There’s a difference. They were very much wrapped up in what they were doing and it wasn’t building model airplanes or picking raspberries. I couldn't see any genitals, but I knew they were there. That was as obvious as hell. I swallowed.

“You have orgies here?” I asked. It certainly looked like a room where you’d want to have an orgy.

“No, oh the painting, that’s one of Walter’s. Do you like it?”

“Uncle Walter painted that?”

“Yes. Does it bother you?”

I heard the condescension in his voice. I’m a real queer, you’re only a boy, from the sticks, besides.

“No, I’m not used to seeing art like that.”

“If it bothers you too much, I might be able to find something more to your liking. Bambi, maybe.”

“Look, I like it, okay? I’ll jerk off looking at it the whole time I’m here. Okay? That’s what you want, right?”

Okay, I was a little mad, no a whole lot mad. This pompous ass, it was still cute, though, was making me mad.

He stared at me for a moment then slowly walked the few steps that separated us and brushed my cheek with the back of his fingers. He was smiling.

“Walter said you were queer, but I didn’t believe him. Your bedroom is this way.”

I followed him back out into the hallway and we headed toward the other end of the house.

“If you bring any friends to the house, they can use the television and pool table, but the other room will be locked. If you want to have a tryst, use your bedroom.”

“Where do I find friends around here?”

“I believe Walter is arranging that.”

My bedroom was a bedroom. The bed was probably a queen, snicker, snicker. And, there weren’t a lot of mirrors. It had its own bathroom which was about as big as my bedroom at home. The bathtub was almost big enough to swim in. The shower stall had room for four boys, not that I intended on having four boys in my shower, but there was room for them. The toilet was in its own little room. Everything was polished rock. A geologist’s dream bathroom, certainly not my dream bathroom.

The bedroom had two paintings, naked guys doing naked things to each other. There was a French door leading out to a small balcony, high enough to take care of business if I was so inclined, which I wasn’t, anymore.

“I like it, I guess,” I said. “Are all the paintings of naked guys?”

“Don’t you like nudes?”

“Oh, I like nudes, but those guys are naked.”

“Oh, yes, I suppose you’re right. Do you want something different?”

“No, if I don’t meet anyone, I can always jerk off looking at the paintings. Kind of like an in-home dirty magazine.”

“It’s meant to be art.”

“Hi! I’m Brian.” He was a tad shorter than me with wavy, sun bleached brown hair barely touching his ears, rosy cheeks, a thickening of peach fuzz on his upper lip, a practiced smile, and hands that were too big for the rest of his body. He may have been cute when he was ten, but adolescence was tearing his good looks to shreds.

“I’m Geoff,” I said holding out my hand, which was ignored.

“I guess I’m supposed to hang out with you while you’re visiting sunny LA,” Brian said. He hadn’t made a move to come inside. Frankly, he looked bored. He was wearing a short-sleeved white shirt, khakis, and brown penny loafers, definitely not my idea of hanging out attire, which was blue jeans, a t-shirt, and broken in black high-tops.

“Yeah, my uncle said you were coming by this morning. So, what do you have in mind?”

“Well, I guess we could go over to my place so I can dress down a bit.”

“Sure, let’s go.”

When Uncle Walter came home from a dinner engagement the previous evening he seemed really excited that he’d arranged to have a television star hang out with me during my stay.

“I don’t watch that much television,” I said. We were out by the pool. Bertrand brought us iced tea and disappeared.

“You haven’t seen Treasure Island?” Uncle Walter asked. His eyes sparkled in the late evening light.

“Oh, that kiddy show Sally watches. Yeah, I’ve seen it a couple times. So, my new friend is on that show?”

“Brian DeBree plays Jed.”

“Oh, the big kid with the weird smile. I always thought his named was pronounced Deb-ree.” I’d seen it a couple times when Sally needed watching. Built in babysitter has to watch what baby wants.

“Yeah, the smile,” Uncle Walter said. He looked liked he’d swallowed a lemon seed. “Anyway, his agent owes me a favor. The kid is supposed to be nice away from the camera, a real down-home American kid.”

Brian was driving a suped-up ’57 yellow Chevy coupe that he drove like a tractor. We didn’t talk all the way to his house, which was down the hill from our place then left a little bit. Basically, he drove busy street to busy street, when a few side streets might have shortened the trip by a couple miles. His house was a family home, a three-bedroom rambler. I imagined there was a mother, father, Brian, a little brother, and maybe an older sister. There was a cocker spaniel inside. She looked old, tired, and worn out.

“I’ll be right back,” Brian said, leaving me in the foyer. There didn’t seem to be anyone else at home, which was confirmed in a few minutes when he came back without any clothes on. He went into the living room and was rummaging through a stack of magazines. There wasn’t a break in his tan, but his ass was flabby. It kind of hung from his hips like a heavy curtain. His dick on the other hand wasn’t anything to write home about, but definitely had a certain appeal, maybe too much appeal for me.

“You like it?” Brian asked, standing in front of me, his dick perking up. “Why don’t you suck it?”

“Sure, why not,” I said. I could’ve said no. I could’ve said I didn’t suck cock on a first date, but it had been a few days since Scott and I had spent some time together. I knelt down and got the silly thing going.

Then the phone rang.

“I’ve got to get that, it might be my agent,” Brian said, pulling his swollen dick out of my mouth. “Oh, come on, you can do it while I talk on the phone.”

I followed like the puppy dog I was. I had him in my mouth before he picked up the receiver.

“Hey, this is Brian … Oh, hi, yeah, haven’t talked in a while … No, been busy trying to get on that new Walter Johnson project … You are? … Well, his nephew is sucking my dick right now … Would I kid you? … No, a real pushover … Yeah, good tongue action … Why don’t you and your brothers come over? … No, but I bet you can fuck him … No, he’s easy.”

I pulled off. I might have been a pushover, but I was not easy. And, who asked me if I wanted some stranger’s dick up my ass.

“Wait, I’ve got to go,” Brian said. “Something’s come up.”

I stood up and headed for the door.

“Hey, you’re not done,” Brian said.

“Yeah, I am. Call him back and offer your own ass. Fucker!”

I walked out the door and when I reached the sidewalk, turned right, which is the way I thought we’d come. After two blocks I came to a busy street and crossed at the light. I figured all I had to do was head west and up hill and I’d eventually come to a street I recognized from yesterday.

After walking for about a couple hours, or so, I came to a busier street. There was a payphone on the corner. Time to call Bertrand for a rescue. Luckily, I had my dime. My mother always told me, “Never leave the house without a dime in your pocket.” When in doubt, call.

“Johnson residence.”

“Bertrand? This is Geoff.”

“Is something wrong? Where are you?”

“Brian’s an asshole.”

“I could’ve told you that. Where are you?”

“I don’t know. It’s a big, busy street. Lots of cars. Uh, I’m looking at an Italian restaurant across the street. Mama something, pizza …”

“Is there a street sign?”

“Yeah, Santa Monica Boulevard and King’s Road.”

“There’s a small café, I think it’s behind you on your left?”

Glancing to my left there was a blue neon sign. “Yeah, Jimmy’s Place.”

“Go in there and I’ll be down within the hour. You know, you could’ve picked a better part of town to get lost in.”

“But, I prefer pizza.”

“Don’t go in the pizza place. You’re much too young for Mama’s.”

“Serve liquor, huh?”

“Yes, but it’s not the liquor. Just go in Jimmy’s.”

He hung up. I wanted a pizza, but I guess I’d have to settle for a hamburger. Jimmy’s was a diner out of the Thirties or Forties, lots of chrome with booths across the front under the smoke stained window facing the street. There was a counter with black upholstered, chrome trimmed stools. There was a sour smell of old grease. All the booths were full. The stools at the counter were empty, so I sat at the one next to the cash register.

Ever have that feeling all eyes were looking at you? That’s was what I felt like as soon as I sat down. I glanced around and there were only men in the place, except for the waitress who was walking over to me.

“Got any money, honey?” She asked. Only, up close she looked more like a he. She reminded me of Darling who definitely didn’t do a very good job of looking like a she.

“Yeah, I’d like ah, um …”

“Here, look at a menu,” she said, pulling a piece of paper from behind the salt, pepper, and sugar holder on the other side of the counter. Her name tag had “Sugar” engraved on it. She was wearing a loose, frilly top like Darling always wore, the kind that emphasized nothing, especially the lack of breasts. Her blond wig reminded me of Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot. There was too much makeup, but there wasn’t a hint of beard. Actually, there wasn’t a hint of facial hair, smooth as a baby’s bottom. The hands, though, were a dead giveaway. Those were guy hands, strong, muscular, and probably used to jacking off on a regular basis.

“You’re staring,” Sugar said.

“Oh, sorry, you remind me of someone back home,” I said, trying to figure out whether a BLT with chips sounded better than a Hamburger Deluxe with fries. They didn’t have Coke, it was the other shit. I’d have to settle for Seven-up.

“And, where is home?”

“Up north of Seattle, I’ll have the, uh, Hot Roast Beef Sandwich.”

“No, you’re more the Grilled Cheese type.” There were a couple chuckles from the booths. “You’re staring, again. Didn’t your mother ever tell you it wasn’t polite to stare?”

“Yeah, but you look a lot like Darling. I just never believed …”

She looked like she’d seen a knifing out on the sidewalk behind me. “You know Darling?”

“Yeah, I said that.” I looked behind me, but there wasn’t anyone outside.

“Wait a minute, let me get a good look at you.” She came out from behind the counter and said, “Stand up, kid. Go on, get off the stool and let me look at you.”

I did as she asked, even turned around because she probably needed to see my ass for confirmation of my identity. Knowing Darling, she definitely needed to see my ass.

When I turned back to face her, she had the biggest smile I’d ever seen. “Well, I’ll be damned! You’re Geoff, aren’t you?”

Sitting back down on the stool, I said. “Yeah, you know Darling?”

“We’re practically sisters! But what are you doing here? You’re not on one of your crazy binges, again?”

I shrugged a little. “No, I’m down here visiting my uncle and kind of got lost so his assistant told me to come in here and he’d come and get me. What was weird was he said I was too young for the pizza place across the street.”

“Oh, honey, you’re definitely too young for pizza.” There were some more chuckles from the booths. “So, honey, what was this assistant’s name? Is she cute?”

“Bertrand. Am I missing something here?”

“Bertie! Then you’re the nephew we’ve all been hearing about.” She turned toward the kitchen and yelled, “Jimmy! Set the kid up with today’s special.” Turning back to me she smiled softy. Her hand lightly touched my wrist. “So, Geoff Johnson how do you like sunny LA?”

“Not too well, so far,” I said, frowning. “My uncle set me up with a kid to hang out with, but he turned out to be a jerk.”

“Your uncle is a producer. He probably called Casting to see if they had an extra kid hanging around.”

“He called the kid’s agent. Something about a favor.”

“This town runs on favors, honey. You want to hang with some real kids? I’ve got a couple nephews myself that might be interested in getting to know you.”

“That’d be great.”

Bertrand walked in and everyone stopped talking. He walked straight up to Sugar and they did that fake kissy-and-huggy thing with their faces. I couldn’t help noticing Sugar’s hand went right into Bertrand’s crotch. I was beginning to think this might be some kind of everyday queer hangout or something. I glanced out the window wondering what was going on over at the pizza place and why I was too young to be there.

My meal showed up. Sugar and Bertrand were talking, so I started eating. In between bites, I started glancing around the place, but I couldn’t tell if any of the other patrons were queers. I heard a few slightly effeminate voices, but that didn’t confirm anything, either. But, Sugar and Bertrand were certainly queer. Then, suddenly, unexpectedly, a hand crossed my ass. I turned and the guy smiled. It wasn’t a leer, but there was a tinge of lust in the eyes. I looked over at Sugar and Bertrand.

“What’s wrong, honey?” Sugar asked, taking the man’s money. I felt his friend walk behind me. He didn’t touch me, but I definitely felt him.

“Do you have a booth I can sit in? I feel like a chicken on display at the butcher’s.”

I know my face turned red when everyone, including the cook, started laughing, but what was the joke? I hated not knowing what I said that was so funny. They just kept laughing.

When the laughter finally died down to an occasional giggle, Sugar helped me move me to the empty booth. She smiled, “You’re so young and so cute!”

But I still didn’t know what was so funny. I was going to have to ask Bertrand what the joke was because suddenly the subdued atmosphere came alive. It was like I’d turned a switch and the movie started.

The nephews turned out to be seventeen year old, Ruben, and fifteen year old, Rick. Ortega was their last name. I thought I could practice my Spanish skills with them, but Rick said, “We’re from Illinois, Peoria, Illinois. The last person in our family to speak Spanish was our grandfather.”

Ruben was taller than me, over six feet at least, muscular like a quarterback, but didn’t act like a jock. His face was more round than long and his smile was natural. He had a California tan and straight black hair like mine, but his was long and pulled back into a ponytail that hung past his shoulders.

Rick was Ruben’s opposite. He was like me in many ways, not too tall, slender, neatly trimmed straight black hair, thin sensitive lips. His hands looked like they’d feel good caressing my naked body. The bulge in his jeans wasn’t too obvious, yet invited exploration. His ass was cuter than Johnny’s and Scott’s put together, not as cute as Tim’s, but very close.

“Come on in,” I said, leading them into the kitchen. “Could I get you something, a soda, ice tea, juice, water, I think we even have some imported water, whatever that is?”

“No, I’m fine,” Ruben said, sliding into the dinette.

I looked at Rick, but he just shrugged and sat opposite his brother.

“What’d you guys have in mind to do?” I asked, trying to keep my eyes off Rick, but knowing full well they were zeroed in on his crotch looking for some sign of what was hidden beneath the denim.

“You’re the guy from out of town, what do you want to do?” Ruben asked.

“I don’t know, how about the beach?”

“Mama won’t let us go to the beach, she says that’s where the pushers and junkies hang out,” Ruben said.

“Well, I don’t want to do the touristy shit,” I said.

“Good, we’ve been to Disneyland too many times,” Rick said.

“What do you guys normally do?” I asked. Rick just sat there, looking cuter than hell. I wanted to go over and sit next to him and lock my lips to his.

“Hang out mostly,” Rick said, shrugging and staring at the table.

“Shoot hoops when we get the chance,” Ruben said. “Or, go over to Julie’s to use their pool. She’s my girlfriend. You got a backboard?”

“I don’t think so, but we can look,” I said, heading toward the door. They came along like a couple of puppies. I went out to the driveway and followed it around the house. I’d never been back this way, so I didn’t know what to expect. The driveway expanded into a wide circle of asphalt. There was a four car garage that seemed to have an upstairs room, or something. But, there was no sign of a backboard.

“Damn, four cars,” Rick said, practically whispering. “What does your uncle drive?”

“I don’t know if he owns any cars,” I said. “I’ve only been here two days. Come on, let’s see what’s in the back.”

The two puppies followed me into what I thought was the back yard. It turned out to be a garden with lots of shrubs and flowers and stone paths, but at the bottom of the hill there was a pool and a sports court with a tennis net and two backboards.

“I don’t think we have a basketball,” I said.

“Oh, we got balls,” Rick said, suddenly blushing and turning his face away.

“Yeah, we got balls, but Mama sends Ricky with me so I don’t use mine. Right little brother?”

“Yeah, we don’t want you getting Julie pregnant, like she’d let you do her. She’s so Catholic, she dreams of becoming a nun, like Jennifer Jones.”

“She’s not that bad,” Ruben said.

“Who’s your girlfriend?” I asked, looking at Rick.

“He hasn’t got a girlfriend, he’s a fag,” Ruben said. He sneered it like it had two or three “a’s”, like faaag. Rick kind of hung his head and walked away. After a few yards, he took off running. I could’ve sworn it sounded like he was crying. Maybe that’s why Sugar wanted her nephews to meet me.

“Don’t worry about him, he’ll be back after he’s cried like a baby for a while,” Ruben said. You could almost hear the disgust in his voice, like he was ashamed of his brother. “So, what’s your girlfriend’s name?”

“Tim,” I said, looking directly at him.

“That’s a guy’s name.”

“Exactly.” His eyes did the “I’m not going to look at you” routine.

“Then you’re like …”

“Exactly, like Rick. So, I suppose you’ll be wanting to leave.”

“No, hey, look it’s cool,” Ruben said looking away from me. “It’s just that Ricky needs protecting because the guys don’t understand him, but if you’re queer, too, well that makes it okay, you know? Come on, let’s go get my basketball and we’ll stop and get Julie, too. Then you can hang with Ricky while me and Julie get it on, you know? You got any chips and snacks around here?”

“I’ll have to ask Bertrand,” I said, following Ruben back up to the house. I still didn’t know what to make of the way he said Rick was a fag. It sounded like he was disgusted, but suddenly it’s all different because I’m queer, too. Now, all I had to do was to get Rick to open up and maybe we could get it on as his brother said.

“Now, that guy is definitely a homo.”

“You know Bertrand?”

“Yeah, he and my uncle Stefan are like together all the time. I’ll wait out here and you can go in. No, I’ll be out in my car.”

“Then your uncle Stefan is the waitress at Jimmy’s?”

“Yeah, I mean that’s just too weird, you know?”

“She’s kind of nice.”

“No, hey, you queers are something else. A man dressed up like a girl, that’s just too weird. I mean she’s, I mean he’s, see you got me doing it. He’s cool and all, but acting like a girl is just strange.”

“Do me a favor and don’t tell Ricky about me, okay?”

“You call him Ricky and he’ll slug you. Yeah, you queers, you guys are just too weird.”

I went into the house and began to search for Bertrand. Since I wasn’t certain what he did exactly, I had no idea where to find him. So, I just started going room to room, hoping I’d eventually find him, but after two doors, I found his office where he was working at a typewriter. He looked up when I opened the door.

“Don’t you believe in knocking?” he asked. He didn’t have a shirt on. I couldn’t see any chest hair, but there were a lot of tanned muscles.

“I didn’t know where you were,” I said. “I can’t go around the house knocking on every closed door, can I?”

“What do you want?” It sound like he was mad at me, again.

“I’m sorry for barging in on you, but do we have any chips and dip, or crackers, or something like that?”


“Well, can I get some?”


“I don’t have a lot of money.”

“Walter didn’t talk about that, either?”


“Okay, come with me and I’ll get you some.” He stood up and he was naked. He was half-hard, too. Being particularly interested in nice, long, uncut dicks, it was love at first sight. “Oh, sorry, let me get my robe.”

“You don’t have to on my account.” My eyes were locked on that beautiful piece of man flesh. I wanted my lips around it.

“Well, I’m not going to have you ogling.”

“Sorry,” I gasped, suddenly unable to breathe and talk at the same time. “It looks so, uh, nice, delicious.”

“Get away from me little boy.” He put on a baby blue terrycloth robe and tied it with a double bow. His cock was still evident, tenting the front of the robe.

“Were you working on anything important?”

“It’s a book I’m writing,” he said, heading for the door.

“You’re a writer?” I asked. I’d never met a writer before, hurrying to catch up. “Do you have anything published?”

“Yeah, six novels so far,” Bertrand said, he was heading upstairs. He had nice legs, too. His feet looked liked they were used to being without shoes. “But, nothing you’d read.”

“What do you mean, I read lots of things.”

“Not my stuff.”

“How do you know?” I took my eyes off him. I couldn’t ogle and walk up stairs at the same time.

“You’re still a little boy. Little boys don’t read my books.”

“I’m not a little boy,” I almost yelled. “I’m sixteen years old.”

“You’re still too young to read my books. You can’t even buy them.”

“I could read them in a library. What’s your last name?”

“My books aren’t in libraries,” Bertrand said as he opened the door to his bedroom. I followed him in. It was very neat and tidy. There was a latex dildo on his nightstand next to a bottle of lube. “I write porn, okay?”

“Yeah, sure, okay,” I said, staring at the dildo. It was fairly realistic looking and even had what looked like a half of a scrotum with two huge testicles.

“Here’s a fifty, that should do you for a week or so,” Bertrand said, but I wasn’t listening. My ass was quivering in anticipation of having that thing up inside me. “Geoff, here’s your money. What the fuck? Oh, shit!”

He went over to his bed and put the dildo in the nightstand drawer.

“Geoff? Hey! Geoff!” He was nudging my shoulder.

“What? Huh? Oh, yeah, uh, sorry. You were saying? Something about pornography.”

“Here’s your money, now go away,” he said, but my mind was still trying to figure out a way to get that thing into my bedroom.

“Huh? What?”

“Geoff, like you said, you’re only sixteen,” he said, grabbing my hand and putting the fifty in it. He was close to me, very close, close enough for me to reach out and touch the lump under his robe.

“Can I ask you something personal?” I could smell him. It was a fresh scent, full of lavender.


“You and my uncle, what is it you do?” His face was smooth, freshly shaved.

“I’m his personal assistant.”

“You said that.” His nostrils flared when he breathed.

“I take care of his personal business, like giving you money to go buy things.”

“Yeah, but …” His eyes sparkled.

“We stopped having sex eight years ago,” he said, almost like he was telling me a secret. “We get along a lot better when sex isn’t cluttering up our relationship. Okay?”

“Yeah, thanks, I was just wondering,” I said. He was closer now. I don’t know if I moved toward him or he moved toward me, but there were only inches between us. I was looking down at his toenails, they were trimmed and looked polished. I felt his hand lift my chin. He kissed me lightly, his soft lips barely touching mine.

“Now, go with your friends,” he said, stepping away from me. “You know, Geoff, you are okay. A few years older and, well, you’d be a lot more okay.”

“Thanks, I guess.” I didn’t want to leave, but really didn’t have much choice as he was practically pushing me out the door. At the top of the stairs I stopped, and said, “Can we talk sometime?”

“Sure, maybe later tonight, okay?” Bertrand said, we were close, again. Then he smiled. “Go on, your friends are probably wondering if you’re coming at all. Oh, and get some hamburger, hot dogs, buns, oh, and a cabbage, too. I’ll make some coleslaw. Wait, I don’t think we have any pickles, either. I’ll start up the barbecue for lunch, okay?”

“Sure, thanks.”

Maybe Bertrand and I were going to be friends after all.

When I got out to the car—it was a white over green ’56 Buick Roadmaster in need of body work—Ricky was sitting in the backseat. I climbed in with him and he gave me a questioning look.

“We’re going to get Julie, right?” I said, smiling. He looked away. His eyes were red and puffy from crying. “She’s going to need to sit up front with Ruben.”

“What took you?” Ruben asked, pulling up to the turnaround in front of the garage. “We were beginning to wonder.”

“We had to talk. I got a fifty. We need to get chips, dip, hamburger, a cabbage, hot dogs, buns, pickles, and whatever else you guys want. Bertrand said he’d fix lunch for us.”

“Well, then we definitely need to get Julie first,” Ruben said. “Girls are better at grocery shopping than boys. Now, you two in the back, I don’t want no kissing.”

“Ruben, shut up!” Ricky exclaimed. He blushed and turned away from me.

“Hey, Ricky, it’ll be okay,” I said placing my hand on his shoulder. He flinched, but didn’t try to get my hand away from him.

“A lot you know,” he said. “Everybody says it’ll be okay, but none of you understand.”

“I understand.”

“No you don’t. You’re just saying that to make me feel good.”

“No, I understand. I do. I know what it’s like to get shoved up against a locker at school. I know what it’s like to have a stupid fucker grab the collar of my shirt and threaten to punch my lights out. I know what it’s like to have some asshole spit in my face. I know what it’s like to be called homo, queer, fag, pervert, and things that don’t even make sense. I know what it’s like to have a friend’s parents say I can’t be with him anymore because they’re afraid what I have might be catching. I know what it’s like when a father stops talking to you because he’s disgusted at what you are. And, you know what?”

“What?” He was staring at me as what I’d just said started to sink in.

“I know what its like to find out there’s at least one other boy in the world who is like me.” I smiled and caressed the back of his neck.

“You guys aren’t kissing are you?” Ruben asked looking in the rearview mirror.

“Ruben, please,” Ricky said. He looked at me. Then his eyes went away.

I was going to have to do something about Ruben’s insensitivity or give Ricky some pointers on good comebacks like, “Yes, and Geoff almost swallowed my tongue,” or, “No, but Geoff has his hand in my pants.”

I took my hand away from Ricky’s neck and moved it down between us. He placed his hand on mine, but didn’t look at me. I settled for holding hands. I didn’t want to scare him off with a bunch of sex talk or touchy-feely shit. He was too innocent and fresh. I was falling for him and I couldn’t help it. I wanted to press my lips against his, but that would definitely scare him off.

When we pulled up in front of Julie’s house, Ricky let go of my hand.

“I’ll be right back,” Ruben said. “I don’t want to come back and see you guys kissing.”

“I never kiss on a first date,” I said. “Suck cock, now that’s a different story. Of course, we’ll have to strip to really get into it. So, if you see a bare foot sticking up, keep Julie back or she’ll get impure thoughts.”

Ruben looked at me like he really believed me. I smiled.

“You fucking queers are too weird,” he said before turning and walking up to Julie’s house.

“Feels good when you get them,” I said. I looked at Ricky, but he was staring at his shoes.

“I’ve never done anything with another boy,” he whispered. “I don’t know what to do.”

“Do you think you like me?” I asked. He was so nice I didn’t want to go too fast or he’d balk and runaway.

“Yeah, but I don’t know what to do about it.”

“Would it be okay with you if I helped you out?” He was scared, but I wasn’t quite certain what he was scared about.

“Like what?”

“Like you sleep over with me tonight and we talk about things,” I said. I had no intention of talking about anything other than what he should do with his tongue when we started kissing, or where he should put his hands when we started kissing. I figured kissing was a good place to start.

“Mama won’t allow it,” Ricky said.

“How do you know if you haven’t asked her yet?”

“I can’t ask her,” he said turning his face away from me. “Then she’ll know.”

“How about if I talk to her? I can be awfully persuasive. I can be nice and sweet, too.”

He turned back to me. He looked like a scared little boy who had broken the neighbor’s window and has to go tell Mama. He was biting his lower lip, trying to force himself not to start crying.

“Okay, you win,” I said placing my hand on his thigh just above the knee. “We’ll just spend some time together today. If you come back tomorrow, we can spend more time together.”

“Move over, here comes Ruben and Julie,” he said pushing my hand away.

I sat back and watched Ruben and a young girl, who couldn’t have been much older than Ricky, walk toward the car. Ruben’s hand kept trying to get behind her, while she kept batting it away. She was smiling, though. It was just a game they played. She was slender, very slender, but not skinny. She had nice legs, tanned. Her hips were slender, too. Not baby making hips. Either her blouse was very loose or she had small breasts, I couldn’t tell, even when she open the door and knelt on her seat, looking back at us.

Her brown hair was short, almost cut like a boy’s. Her eyebrows were too big for her face. Her nose was small, perky. Her lips were full, good for sucking cock, but sloppy for kissing. She had a nice smile.

“Where’d you find your twin brother, Ricky?” She asked. “Hi! I’m Julie. You must be Geoff.”

I took her hand and held it, looking into her eyes. She was a lesbian. I don’t think either Ruben or Ricky knew, but I knew. It was as plain as day. She was using Ruben to be safe. She wasn’t devout or chaste. She didn’t want his dick anywhere outside of his pants.

“Hi, nice to meet you,” I said. I meant it, too. “Did you bring your swimsuit or are you just coming over for the sun?”

“I don’t swim,” she said. “It’s not that I can’t. I just don’t. Okay?”

“No problem, I hardly going swimming either.”

Ruben got in and I guess we were heading for the Ortega house. I sat back and looked over at Ricky. He was looking out his window. I reached over and took his hand in mine. He didn’t try to pull away, but he didn’t look at me. I hoped I hadn’t pushed too hard, I hoped I didn’t scare him away.

The Ortega house was a three bedroom rambler out of Anywhere, America. Except for the palm trees, we could’ve been on a residential street in North Park, Minneapolis, Buffalo, or anywhere else. Street, sidewalk, front yard, and then house, it was so ordinary. I was kind of glad Uncle Walter had a huge house in the hills. I followed Ricky into the house. His mother was watching a soap opera and she smiled when he kissed her cheek.

“Hi, I’m Geoff Johnson,” I said, standing close to the end of the sofa where she was sitting. Her hand was soft in mine, a mother’s hand.

“Nice to meet you, Geoff,” she said. Her voice was from back east somewhere, further east than Illinois, New England maybe. Her hair was dark, but then there was little light in the living room, other than the television. “You’re Walter Johnson’s nephew.”

“Yes, I’m down here for a few weeks for a visit,” I said. The room smelled of onions. There was dust on the furniture. There was a glass of something on the end table close to her. I wanted it to be iced tea, but the glass was too short for iced tea. It was the right size for liquor, though.

“My younger brother, Stefan, said you’re from up north. How do you like sunny LA?”

“I haven’t seen much of it, yet.”

“Ricky? Where are your manners? Where’d you get off to?”

“I’m getting my swim trunks, Mama,” he yelled from somewhere in the house.

“Ricky is a special boy,” she said. Her voice was soft, barely audible over the TV. “He has trouble making friends. A lot of boys don’t like him, most really. Will you try to be nice to him?”

“I know how it is,” I said, wondering if I should sit down somewhere or keep standing. She looked up at me. She knew he was queer. “Yeah, me, too.”

She smiled and nodded her head. “Stefan said you’re a nice, gentle boy. I can see that in you.”

“I won’t do anything to hurt Ricky,” I said. “He’s a good boy. You’ve done a good job raising him. I hope I can be a good friend for him. I don’t have many close friends, either. It’s kind of hard.”

I couldn’t think straight. She was so understanding. Ricky came out wearing cut-offs, a white t-shirt, and white high-tops. I was falling for him. I knew it and I couldn’t help it.

“I can’t believe how you two look so much alike,” she said.

“Mama, Geoff asked if I could sleep over at his house,” Ricky said as he came up beside me. “Please?”

“Make sure you take your toothbrush,” she said. She smiled at me when he ran back to the hall.

Ricky was not much help carrying the groceries into the house, putting them on shelves in the pantry or refrigerator, or staying out of the way so that the rest of us could get the job done. He was floating on cloud nine because Mama said he could sleep over with me. Only, he didn’t know why and I wasn’t about to tell him she knew he was queer.

When everything was in its place, I told Bertrand I’d help with lunch when he was ready to start and then pointed Julie and Ruben out the back door. “Ricky and I have to go upstairs to put on our swim trunks, we’ll be down shortly.”

Ricky was standing at the door holding his overnight bag. He looked like someone who’d missed his bus and was hoping there’d be an extra run just for him. He was anxious and excited.

“Come on, Ricky, we’ll go up the back stairs,” I said as I opened the door to the laundry room. “Come on, Ricky, it’s this way.”

He was so excited I was afraid I was going to have to pull him by the hand to get him to move. Then Bertrand went to him and whispered something in his ear. Ricky looked at me and smiled. Then he hurried over to where I was standing.

“Okay, I’m ready,” he said, following behind me as I wound my way around the washer, dryer, chest freezers—why there were three I had no idea—and a myriad of tables covered with all sorts of laundry, including a number of items only women wore. I immediately thought of Darling, then Sugar came to mind, but I totally dismissed Uncle Walter. Bertrand on the other hand did have long hair and he did spend, according to Ruben, a lot of time with Sugar.

“Ready for what?” I asked, finally getting to the door to the stairs. In an earlier era, these stairs would have been used by the help, but we used them simply to avoid the long walk out to the foyer, then going up the Busby Berkeley staircase.

“For whatever you had in mind,” Ricky said. He sounded too eager.

“I planned on changing into my swimming trunks.”

“Oh, I thought, no, that’s stupid, we hardly know each other.”

“For what?”

“You’re going to laugh at me. I won’t say it.”

“Sex? Were you thinking I’m taking you up to my room so we can have sex?”

“Well, yeah, isn’t that what this is all about?”

I was beginning to wonder if this kid had any idea what it meant to be queer. It certainly wasn’t all about sex, as far as I was concerned. Well, maybe, sometimes, but not all the time.

“Look, Ricky, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about me,” I said turning to him when I reach the landing for our floor. “Yeah, I like having sex with boys, but you’re a virgin. You have absolutely no idea what I like to do. And, you haven’t done anything, so you don’t know what you like or don’t like.”

“I like you,” he said pushing me back as he came up onto the landing. “I like you, okay? There I said it.”

He was looking at me, waiting.

“I like you, too,” I said. “But that doesn’t mean we have to go into my bedroom and have sex. Can’t we get to know one another first? Can’t we at least do something other than throw ourselves onto my bed and act like rabid bunnies?”

“Rabid bunnies?”

“You know what I mean.”

I opened my door and my eyes immediately went to the painting opposite the closet doors. The two boys still hadn’t started fucking, but I knew they were close to doing something. Then I turned to Ricky, but he seemed oblivious to either of the paintings.

“Where should I put my bag?”

“Over there on the sofa should be fine.”

“Where am I going to sleep?” There was a hint of trepidation in his voice, like he didn’t want to hear what I was about to say.

“In the bed, of course.”

“With you?”

“God, Ricky, you were all hot to get naked and to amazing things to my body, but you’re afraid to sleep with me?”

“Well, I’ve never slept with another boy.”

“You’ve never kissed another boy, either. Come on, let’s get into our swimming trunks.”

I started to strip. There was a pool out there and I wanted to get in it. That didn’t mean I wanted to swim. Cannonballing into the pool was a lot more fun that working up a sweat swimming back and forth and getting nowhere. After I slipped my briefs to the floor, I turned to Ricky. He was staring at me.

“Haven’t you undressed in front of another boy before?” I asked. I wasn’t about to wait for an answer. I was on a mission of personal pleasure. I went over to the dresser and pulled out my two swim trunks. “Which one do you think I should wear? The red one or the blue.”

“With your lily white skin, you’d better stick with the blue. Don’t you get any sun up where you live?”

“No, it rains, mostly. Up until the Fourth of July, most people are plagued with moss growing between their toes because it’s so wet all the time.”

“You’re a card. You know that.”

“I try and sometimes it helps to be funny.”

Ricky looked at me then pulled off his t-shirt. He had muscles where I had only skin and they were nicely tanned. He slipped off his shoes, then looked at me, again.

“Are you going to watch me undress?”

“You watched me.”

“You’re giving me that eye.”

“What eye?”

“You know, the eye guys give you in gym.”

“Look at me, I don’t have any muscles, my dick is pathetically small, and my ass is, well, it is kind of cute, don’t you think?”

“You’re funny.”

“Yeah, and you have a nice dick,” I said as the cut-offs and briefs hit the floor. Another fine example of natural selection, at least seven inches of tender boy flesh all the way down to the uncut end, a lush crop of curly black pubes at the end of a dark line descending from his navel, and two large reservoirs of tasty boy juice hanging seductively in a dark pouch of crinkly skin. I wanted to get down on my knees and worship the god of sex and accept his sacrifice of unborn babies.

He looked at me and smiled, then I saw his eyes go past to the painting behind me. His dick boned up quickly. He sort of stumbled and I rushed to him. Those two behind me were especially hot because both their faces were buried into a place I wanted to explore on Ricky.

“They’re, uh, um …”


“Yeah, uh, can I use your, uh, bathroom,” he said trying to push his way around me.

“Wait, Ricky,” I said, trying to grab him before he got away. I got a wrist and held on. I could see fear in his eyes. For all the bravado he had earlier, he was suddenly scared that something might actually happen, something that he wasn’t prepared to deal with.

“Come here and sit with me on the bed,” I said trying to pull him away from the bathroom door. I was not about to let him go in there and take care of something he wanted me to have only minutes earlier. “Come on, I’m not going to bite you, yet.”

His dick was throbbing to the beat of his heart. It was calling me to give it pleasure dicks had sought since before time began. My mouth filled with spit in anticipation of taking that beautiful thing down my throat.

“Now you can’t see either painting, right?”

“There’s another one?”

“Oh, god, Ricky, you’re so unobservant. No, don’t turn to look at it. I want you to shut your eyes and lie back on the bed. That’s it. Now, put your hands behind your head and don’t open your eyes until I say so. Okay?”

“Okay. What are you going to do?” His voice was barely audible.

“Make you feel good,” I said lowering my lips to his. They had been there only a moment before I felt his body shudder under me and something hot splattered against the side of my face. I turned to look and got a wad right between the eyes. Three more bursts spewed out onto his chest and abdomen. “You little devil, you did that on purpose.”

He smiled at me and sort of giggled. My thumbs went for his ribs. I was going to tickle him until he peed. Coming on me like that was not going to go unpunished; except, Ricky was a lot stronger and must have taken wrestling because before I knew what was happening I was on my back with him straddling me, forcing my arms onto the bedspread.

“Don’t mess with Ricky,” he said. “Now, what?”

“I don’t know,” I said, smiling. “You’re the one sitting on my dick.”

“Ooh, is that what this is?” He moved forward and back rubbing himself against me. A couple more times and we wouldn’t have to worry about me, either. “You know, I bet if I move forward just a little more and then kind of scoot back. Yeah, your thing knows where to go doesn’t it?”

“We don’t have any lube,” I said trying to picture in my mind what was about to happen.

“Did you look in the drawer?” he asked. He leaned over and opened the nightstand drawer. “What’s this? And, this tube of stuff?”

He held up a box that had a clear cellophane window. Inside was a dildo, almost exactly like Bertrand’s. The tube was what we needed.

“That’s lube, put it on my dick and it’ll go inside you easier,” I said trying to breathe while Ricky straddled me. He was small, but surprisingly heavy, too; or, was he just pressing down because he was so excited.

He squirted some of the stuff onto his finger and began daubing it onto my dick. God, it felt good. It felt, too good. About the time he went around the rim of the glans the third time I knew I couldn’t hold back. My body tightened and Geoff’s good stuff spewed out onto my bare chest and tummy. (I didn’t have an abdomen. Abdomen implies abs. I didn’t have abs, therefore, I didn’t have an abdomen.)

“Oh, man, you did it, too,” Ricky said falling down onto the bed beside me. “I guess this means we’re meant for one another.”

“Does it?”

“I think so because I do like you. You make me laugh.”

“I like you, too.” I rolled onto my side and kissed him. He smiled and we didn’t go anywhere or do anything except talk until Bertrand called on the intercom saying it was time to fix lunch.

Later that night while Ricky was watching something totally stupid on television, I went in search of Uncle Walter and Bertrand. I’d been in that house only two and a half days and I still hadn’t been everywhere. There were so many rooms it reminded me of the mansion on the Beverly Hillbillies, which I didn’t watch that much, but enough to know Uncle Walter’s house wasn’t that big. It still had a lot of unexplored territory, though.

Following the sound of voices, I found them out on the patio drinking a dark red wine. I almost laughed out loud when I saw Uncle Walter wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. There are some people that were never meant to wear blue jeans. His middle-aged paunch looked so silly sitting there in front of him like he had a small melon stuck in his pants.

“Uncle Walter, can I talk to you for a moment?” I asked. I sat down on the edge of a wrought iron chaise longue upholstered in blue, green, and white flowery cotton. There was a light scent of flowers in the air.

“Bertrand, pour him a small glass of wine,” he said. “If you’re going to be with us, you’re going to have to learn how to drink wine.”

“But I’m not old enough,” I said as Bertrand poured barely a shot of wine into a small tumbler then added about the same amount of water.

“Bull! Kids your age are drinking this stuff all over Europe,” Uncle Walter said. “Plus, you’re having only that much and if you don’t drink it before you leave, well it isn’t going with you.”

I took a small sip. It had a sharp metallic taste.

“Yep, he doesn’t like it either,” Uncle Walter said. “Now, what does my favorite nephew want?”

“Do I have to go home after three weeks?” I was thinking of Ricky lounging on one of the black leather sofas upstairs. I’d had the best day of my life with him and I didn’t want to think I was going to lose him.

“Well, it’s a little early to be discussing that, but no you don’t have to leave.”

I looked at him and then remembered the one-way airline ticket. “Is there something going on that I should know about?”

“Like what?”

“Is this some kind of test, or something? I mean, is my living here with you guys this summer supposed to have something to do with Doctor Randall trying to find me someplace to live outside the group home?”

“Geoff, you’re too smart for your own good. Yes, this is a test.”

“I thought so.” You can fool a kid some of the time, but you can’t fool a kid all the time. Eventually, we start putting two and two together. They send us to school and then they’re surprised when we start figuring out what’s going on.

“You’ve fallen in love, again? What happened to the boyfriend? Tim wasn’t it?”

“I don’t think I’ll ever see him, again.”

And, I truly didn’t. It’d been too long. I could hope for the best, but I wasn’t going to pine away for someone who, in all likelihood was never going to come back. I had to move on, but I did, still, have the Corsair to remember him. I still had that.

“Do you have a driver’s license?” Uncle Walter asked.

“No, crazy boys don’t get to drive.”

“Bertrand, call Reginald down at the garage tomorrow. I want Geoff to learn everything he can about a car. And, which car? He certainly won’t be driving the Benz or the Ferrari, but what about the Roadster? It certainly would make him the envy of every girl on campus, wouldn’t it?”

“Don’t ask me about girls,” Bertrand said.

“Well, don’t look at me, either,” I said. “I don’t know what girls like.”

“Yes, I think Geoff will drive the Roadster,” Uncle Walter said. “And, Bertrand, find out what’s the best driving school. I don’t want you ferrying him all over when he can do it himself.”

“Yes, sir,” Bertrand said.

I looked at him and he just shrugged. He really was Uncle Walter’s assistant.

“Can I ask another question? Yesterday, when we were at Jimmy’s …”

“What were you doing down there?” Uncle Walter asked. He looked shocked and angry, like I’d done something horribly wrong.

“That kid you arranged for me was an asshole, so I left him and tried to find my way home. I sort of ended up on Santa Monica Boulevard.”

“Well, at least you were heading in the right direction. But, what were you doing in Jimmy’s?”

“Bertrand told me to go in there. I wanted to go to the pizza place across the street, but he said I was too young. What was that all about? And, what was so funny when I said I felt like a chicken on display at the butcher’s?”

Uncle Walter literally spewed a mouthful of wine across patio at me. Then he started guffawing like a donkey in heat. Bertrand was smiling so hard, trying to stifle laughing, too. He looked at me with puppy dog eyes.

“What’s so funny?”

“You! That’s what’s so funny,” Uncle Walter said as he finally started to calm down. “Did he really say that?”

“Yes, brought the house down,” Bertrand said, looking at me and smiling. “He certainly made an impression on the noontime crowd.”

“I wish I’d have been there.”

“But, what’s so funny?” I asked.

“Geoff, dear, a chicken is a young boy like you,” Uncle Walter said. “And, you saying you felt like one must have been something to hear.”

“Like me? What makes me a chicken?”

“Geoff, think about yourself,” Bertrand said. “What makes you different from all the other boys?”

“I’m queer. Oh, you mean, oh, that is funny. No wonder they were laughing at me. Kind of makes me feel embarrassed.”

“Never, ever feel embarrassed about who you are,” Uncle Walter said. “You’re smart and you’re young, a little naïve, but that will change with time. And, you’re too young to go into that pizza place. Guys don’t go there for pizza.”



“I’ve heard about places like that,” I said. “There’s a bowling alley up near where I live that has a reputation as a place to get a blowjob, if you’re so inclined. I’ve always been kind of scared about going there.”

“As well you should. You’re too young to be hanging around places like that. Now, do I need to find you another boy to be your friend?”

“No, I’ve got Ricky,” I said. “He’s spending the night.”

“Ricky? Bertrand who is this Ricky fellow?”

“Do you remember Ruben Ortega from the Treasure Islandcast?”

“Yes, nice boy, I’m surprised I haven’t seen more of him, but who is Ricky?”

“His brother, he’s about Geoff’s age.”

“Wait a minute, do you mean to tell me you have a friend somewhere in this house unattended?”

“Yeah, why?” I answered. He sounded angry. He looked angrier. “He’s upstairs in the lounge watching TV.”

“Oh, good, I was afraid he might be wandering around,” Uncle Walter said. “That electronic babysitter was the best invention America ever came up with. Sucks their little minds in and holds them tight. You can go now. Bertrand and I need to discuss some things.”

“Yes, sir,” I said. I’d been dismissed. My uncle, the movie producer, simply dismissed me. I got up, looking at my nearly full glass of wine. He was right about that, I hadn’t finished it. Bertrand got up and walked with me back into the house.

“Do you boys need anything?” he asked. “I can make some popcorn. There should be some sodas in the refrigerator up there.”

“No, thank you,” I said. “He just dismissed me like I was some kind of employee.”

“He probably thinks you are, but that’s just the way he is. You’ll get used to it.”

He kissed me, again. It was like Mother and I kissed. He held me close to him and I kind of felt like he loved me. Maybe we were going to be friends.