DISCLAIMER: The following story is a fictional account involving teenage boys who are gay and trying to cope with love and homophobia. Sexual activity takes place in this story and there are references to gay sex, and anyone who is uncomfortable with this should obviously not be reading it. With a few very obvious exceptions, all characters are fictional and any resemblance to real people is purely coincidental. Conversations with real individuals are strictly hypothetical and not meant in any way to imply an actually conversation that has taken or might take place. Although the senators in this story bear strong resemblances to Senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh of Indiana, any references to their beliefs are based on pure conjecture. Although the story takes place in actual locations and establishments, the author takes full responsibility for all events described and these are not in any way meant to reflect the activities of real individuals or religious establishments, governmental nor school or corporate policies. The author retains full copyright of this story, and of stories based on these characters.

Please note that this is the twenty-first in a series of short stories known collectively as Naptown Tales. The series of stories can be found on my GayAuthors Page and on the Naptown Tales Page at Awesome Dude. Slightly modified versions of some of these stories that are suitable for younger teens can also be found on the Altimexis Page at Codey's World. Please see the Introduction for important background on the series.

Summer Internship

A Naptown Tale in Twelve Parts

by Altimexis & David of Hope

by Altimexis

Junior Politics - Will

What a life! Here I was, a college freshman at the University of Chicago, studying Pre-law, and living in a gorgeous high-rise condo that my parents bought me, right on Lakeshore Drive. I had a spectacular view of Lake Michigan that afforded me the most incredible sunrise views imaginable . . . not that I was ever up early enough to see the sun rise, mind you.

Yeah, I was living a life most people could only dream of. I had a terrific girlfriend. We went to parties every weekend and got high all the time. Man, it was great. If only . . . if only . . . well, we just won't be going there.

I had my goals in life . . . and my ambitions. My parents were real `limo liberals' and major donors to the Democratic Party, and I had worked hard on the Obama campaign. I was going to be a White House Intern this summer, and when I finished law school, if my parents had anything to do with it, I'd clerk for the Supreme Court. After that, I'd run for the State Assembly back home, and then the State House, and then Congress or the Senate, and then it'd be on to the White House itself. Yeah, my parents had it all figured out.

Hell, when I got down to it, it's what I wanted, too. Except for that one thing . . . the one thing that could make it all fall apart. Well, I wouldn't be the first gay politician, but no one can get elected to public office if they're openly gay. Well, no one but Harvey Milk, anyway. Even Barney Frank waited until he was well established in Congress before he came out, and you didn't see him running for president, now that he's out.

No, my path to the presidency, if I made it that far, would be a lonely one. I'd have my affairs where I could find them, but I'd have to be very discrete, and have a wife and kids for appearances, like so many politicians before me. That was just the way it had to be. America would never be ready to accept an openly gay president. No-one could ever know the truth about me, and so far no-one did. I'd had a few encounters along the way, but they'd always been anonymous one-night stands. Not even my parents knew.

The sound of my cell phone ringing brought me out of my reverie. I answered it, to hear a very familiar voice. "Will, I have a big favor to ask of you." It was Rahm Emanuel, the president's Chief of Staff and the former Congressman from Illinois. Not only that, but he was a personal friend of the family. It was Rahm who'd gotten me the internship position for the summer. Most kids had to fight for these positions, but not me.

"'Sup, Rahm?" I asked. "What can I do for you?"

"I have a couple of kids who'll be interning at the White House along with you that I'd like you to take under your wing this summer. Nice kids. Sharp kids. Kids who'll give you a run for your money some day."

"Why do you need me to take them under my wing?" I asked. "I mean, if they're bright enough to get into the internship program, they certainly don't need a chaperone to watch over them. I mean, we're all adults here."

"Well that's just it," Emanuel interrupted, "they're not. They're just sixteen years old."

"What?" I practically shouted. "I thought you had to be eighteen to even be eligible for the internship program. Are they some geniuses or something, to be in college at their age?"

"No," Emanuel said with a laugh, "They're still in high school, but I suspect they could probably qualify for college entrance if they tried. Wait 'til you meet them, Will. They're something else. Trust me. They're exceptional, which is why I invited them into the program. They're going to go far."

"So you want me to babysit a couple of high school juniors?" I said with obvious annoyance in my voice.

"Babysitting is hardly what I'd call it," Rahm spat back at me, "and it's just as likely that they'll be future movers and shakers in the Washington establishment just as you'll be, so getting to know them now couldn't hurt. Consider it another political connection that'll serve you well in the future. They're around your age, they're from the Midwest like you. Hell, they're even gay!"

My throat started to close up and I could barely breathe as the implications of what Emanuel had just said sunk in. Did he just say what I thought he'd said? "G . . . gay?"

"Will, you're not obvious, if that's what you're worried about, but it's my job to notice things, like where someone's eyes wander. If you want to keep your secret, you're going to have to be much more careful.

"Now David and Jeremy, on the other hand, make no bones about being gay. They've taken the attitude that they can make it in politics by being who they are. The surprising thing is that they've managed quite well . . . even in the Midwest. David's the president of his class, and they're both very popular in school from what I've been told. Of course, their personalities probably have a lot to do with it.

"Times are changing, Will. When you meet these boys, you'll see what I mean."

Although I wasn't crazy about the idea of taking care of a couple of adolescents in the White House for the summer, I wasn't about to protest any further to the man who'd gotten me the job, especially when he was a family friend and now seemingly the one person who knew my secret.

The next day, I got copies of David Reynolds' and Jeremy Kimball's application packets via DHL Express, complete with attached color passport photos. God, they were both real lookers. Why did they have to be so attractive? Couldn't they have looked like geeks? David was particularly handsome, with hazel eyes, wavy brown hair and ruggedly handsome facial features that highlighted a slightly crooked smile that could melt any girl's, or guy's, heart. His stats listed him as six feet, four inches and only one hundred seventy pounds. This guy was simply stunning.

Jeremy wasn't half-bad looking himself, possessing the typical `California Surfer' look, with long, golden hair, blue eyes, flawlessly smooth skin, and a dazzling smile. Even through his shirt, I could see that he had unusually muscular shoulders and when I read his dossier, I quickly understood why - he was his state's swimming champion. Measuring six feet even in height and weighing one hundred sixty-five pounds, which I imagined was all muscle; I was practically drooling at the thought of seeing him in the flesh as well.

I'd definitely have to be careful not to stare around these two. Besides which, I gathered they were a committed couple, and the last thing I wanted was to be seen as trying to steal either one away from the other. And of course I didn't want to be found out!

Included in the packet was a DVD video interview with the two boys, and if I thought they were good looking in their photos, I was literally mesmerized when I watched them on my 52-inch flat screen TV. To say they interviewed well was an understatement. I could instantly see why Emanuel was taken with them.

Jeremy was a little shy at first, but once he got going, it was obvious that he was exceptionally smart and had an unusual grasp of political issues for someone his age. He was a tried and true liberal with a firm commitment to Democratic ideals and an extraordinary breadth of knowledge when it came to world history. Rahm was right - Jeremy Kimball could give me a run for the money, even with the two-year age difference.

David was another story entirely. He was every bit as smart as Jeremy, but although he might not share the depth of knowledge that Jeremy had, he had an absolutely dazzling personality and he had one of the fastest minds I'd ever witnessed in anyone at any age. He literally came up with answers on the spot that were clear, succinct, and often witty. When I finished watching his interview, I knew he was someone special. I had no doubt that he would be president someday. Even if he were gay, people would still vote for him. I now understood how he was elected Class President at his high school. I understood why both boys were so popular. Hell, even I might have come out if I'd had them for role models back home.

Jeremy and David epitomized the notion of what was gay and cool - I'd never met anyone like that before, much less two. They totally upended the old stereotypes. I could never pull off what they were doing. For me, I would have to stay in the closet, but Jeremy and David were definitely people I would want to have in my social network.

I would just have to find a way to keep my hard-ons under control while around them . . .

Part One

Political First Focus - Kurt
by Altimexis

I didn't think I'd ever been so nervous in my life. What the fuck was I doing here? Me, Kurt DeWitt, an ordinary, fifteen-year-old gay teenager, and here I was, sitting in the office of our state's junior senator. God, I wish Trevor could have been here with me, but he had his own crisis to deal with.

As president of our high school's GSA, Trevor often got calls to help with teens just coming to terms with being gay. I guess some family was thrown into chaos when their fourteen-year-old son got caught looking at internet porn. Gay porn.

'Course my own coming out story was pretty dramatic . . . I told my story to the damn city, right on the front page of The Star, to a readership of some fifty thousand. Yeah, my dad sure didn't take it too well, either. Oh, he already knew about me and had plans to ship me down south to the Christian Academy to try and make me straight, since the pastor of the Hope Evangelical Covenant Church just couldn't have a gay son. Faced with such a public humiliation, he just up and left town, leaving my mom, my two brothers, and me, to deal with it on our own. Well, unlike Dad, we knew the true meaning of Christian love. And so did my boyfriend, Trevor, who's also a member of our church.

I knew that he'd help that family deal with having a gay son, but that meant I'd have to face the senator on my own for this pre-summer internship interview, and that sucked - big time.

So here I was, sitting in the senator's local office, waiting to be called in to meet with him. What was I doing here?

I actually had a chance to meet our senior senator while some of our friends and I were on Spring Break last month in Washington, D.C. My friend, Jeremy Kimball's dad arranged the whole thing, and we all met with the senator, who's like the second highest-ranking Republican senator on Capitol Hill, or something like that. He seemed like a real nice guy and he arranged for a super knowledgeable tour guide to take us all around Washington. We all had a great time.

What we all didn't expect, however, was for President Obama to show up while we were meeting with the senator and, boy, did our friend, David Reynolds, give the president a piece of his mind. Yeah, he sure told him what he thought about his lack of a record on gay rights. By the time David got done with him, the president's Chief of Staff was offering David and Jeremy, David's boyfriend, summer internships at the White House. Whoa - none of us could believe it. I mean, summer internships are hard to get, and they're supposed to be for college students, but after David's performance, they decided to bend the rules a little.

Then the senator really blew us away by suggesting that Trevor and I could be summer pages in the Senate. Damn! 'Course, we didn't know it at the time, but that really opened up a can of worms. Trevor more than qualifies - you have to be at least sixteen, have a 3.0 GPA and be a junior in high school. Well, no problem there, on all accounts, in Trevor's case - in fact, he has a 3.93 GPA, near perfect scores on his SATs and, having just finished his junior year, this is the last year he'd be eligible for the summer page program.

I'm a different story, however. Oh, my grades are good enough - my GPA's 3.87 - I just can't seem to get A's in gym, dammit, but I'm only fifteen and I'll just be starting my sophomore year next fall. I just didn't qualify, pure and simple. Not only that, but there are only thirty pages allowed at a time, and they rarely allow two from the same state . . . in fact, the only exceptions ever have been for twins. Something tells me there'd be quite a scandal if they did it for boyfriends.

But the senator really, really had his heart set on both Trevor and me being pages this summer, for both of the three-week summer sessions. And that's another thing - I felt kind of funny about taking two spots from someone else. There's a reason they split the summer in two like that, so that more kids can get a chance to be pages. The program is highly competitive, but the senator really thought we should spend all six weeks in the program . . . that we had `exceptional potential', as he put it.

Well, the only option was for me to be a page in the House of Representatives instead of the Senate, but what would have been the good of that . . . or for me to page for our state's junior senator, who was a Democrat. Not that I had anything against the Democrats or anything - in fact, I'd helped out with Obama's campaign, but I came from a family of lifelong Republicans and my beliefs were much more aligned with the Republicans and this was just foreign territory to me.

I just wasn't sure how I felt about working for a Democratic senator is all. And waiting in his office really sucked. The incessant ticking of the grandfather clock was just driving me nuts! Finally, the door opened and the senator appeared with a man at his side.

"I wish I could help you, Ralph," the senator said to the man, "but there just isn't money left over in the budget, now that we've put so much into the stimulus package. Bailing out Detroit, bailing out the banking industry, bailing out failed mortgages, bailing out consumer debt. . . . I know this state loved the man, but George W. did more harm to the economy in eight years than you could ever imagine. And you know I tried to warn you, too . . . but I'm not one to say, `I told you so'," the senator said with a smile. Sighing, he continued, "So when it comes to farm subsidies, I'll do what I can to keep the president from pulling the plug, but you know as well as I that he's not at all sympathetic to agribusiness. Family farms are different matter, but the people you represent are no `mom and pop' operation.

"Sell your land back to the families you bankrupted in the last century," the senator said with a sly smile, "and then we can talk."

"You little bastard," the man named Ralph said as he lightly punched the senator in the shoulder."

"Hey, we all do what we have to, to survive," the senator said. "And be sure to give my best to Susan and the kids," he added.

After the man had left, the senator came up to me and I rose to my feet. The senator was easily over six feet, so that he towered over my five-foot, nine inches. At least Trevor was only five-eleven, so around him I wasn't nearly so height-conscious. But then the senator reached out with his hand and grasped mine firmly and smiled at me with one of the warmest, most genuine smiles I'd seen in a while, as he said, "Kurt DeWitt, I've heard so much about you from Dick. It's a genuine pleasure to finally meet you."

As we shook hands, he continued with, "Come into my office and we can chat for a bit and get to know each other better."

The junior senator led me into his office with a gentle, fatherly push of his hand on the small of my back. His office had rich, dark paneling and a surprisingly homey feel to it with a large, but unobtrusive oak desk tucked in the corner, out of the way. Taking up most of the office were a leather sofa and chairs around a coffee table. It looked more like a living room than an office. I immediately took a liking to the senator, although I didn't know why.

"Well, Kurt," the senator began with a smile, "I understand you're a Republican, but I certainly won't hold that against you in this state, of all places."

"Senator," I said, "truthfully, I was raised in a very conservative Evangelical Christian home. My father was the pastor of our church, and when he discovered his youngest son was gay, he made arrangements to ship me away for a little `reprogramming'. The thing is, I still have conservative Christian values, but I believe in Christian values as Christ himself taught them. I also believe the Bible was written by men, and has been subject to reinterpretation through the ages.

"I may have conservative values, but I carry liberal ideals, and it's the blend of these philosophies that makes me what I am today. I champion gay rights, and women's rights, and equality for all. That said, I believe there should be limits. Teenagers are not ready to be parents, but abortion is not the answer to teen pregnancies. My Evangelical peers do not want to teach about condom use in schools, but if we don't, we risk spreading HIV. I believe in pragmatism. First and foremost, we must teach abstinence, but abstinence only goes so far, and for that reason, condoms need to be freely available. More than anything, however, parents need to be comfortable talking to their kids. That alone would do more to prevent the spread of HIV and teen pregnancies than all the rhetoric and condom use, combined.

"Tell me, is that a Republican viewpoint, or is that a Democratic viewpoint?" I asked.

"That's an interesting social philosophy, Kurt," the senator said, "especially coming from a lad of your age. I'm probably a bit more liberal than you are on social issues, but not by much, and rather conservative on fiscal issues."

"I'm very much a fiscal conservative," I volunteered. "In fact, that's one of the things that really bothers me about the mess we're in right now. I never did understand the logic of cutting taxes. I generally like the small government message of the Republican Party, but supply side economics were this country's ruin, and deregulation turned out to be a disaster. As my friend, Jeremy Kimball likes to say, we may never know how much money was lost through schemes on Wall Street that amounted to nothing more than legalized money laundering. It just sucked money out of the economy and fueled speculation.

"Now we're being forced to borrow from our future, just to survive, and it'll be our children who have to pay the price for our foolishness. I'm just not sure the stimulus plan will even work. Don't get me wrong . . . my friends and I all supported Obama . . . McCain's strategies would have only made things worse, but things look pretty bleak right now."

"Kurt," the senator said, "you and I see precisely eye-to-eye when it comes to the economy, which is pretty amazing considering you're just finishing up your freshman year in high school. You're a pretty smart guy.

"Now as you know, the Page Program is supposed to be for high school juniors, and you have to be sixteen to be eligible, so you don't really qualify."

I looked down at the floor when he said that and my heart sank, even though it was the answer I was expecting.

"And I didn't like the idea of being strong-armed into taking someone from across the aisle when there are so many kids who are deserving, particularly when Dick said he thought you ought to page for the full summer and not just three weeks.

"Since there are so few pages, getting two from one state, particularly a smaller state, can be tough, but both Dick and I have seniority, and my party's in power, and you and Trevor both have impressive backgrounds . . . but now there's the little matter of the Congressional Gold Medal that should more or less cinch it for you."

It took a minute for what the senator had said to sink in, and even then I still wasn't grasping it.

"Congressional Gold Medal?" I finally asked.

"Yes, Kurt, the Congressional Gold Medal. As soon as you get to Washington, one of the first things it will be my pleasure to do will be to participate in a ceremony awarding you the Congressional Gold Medal.

"Actually President Obama had planned to award you the Young American Medal for Bravery, which `recognizes individuals exhibiting exceptional courage, extraordinary decision making, presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of their own personal safety, to save a person whose life was in actual imminent danger', and you certainly do qualify for that and will be receiving the Presidential Medal as well, but Dick and I felt what you did went far beyond just saving young Sam Franklin's life.

"Not only did you perform a selfless act of bravery without any hesitation to save young Sam, but your swift action resulted in saving countless other lives as well, and you went to extraordinary lengths to ensure the perpetrator's capture, but you didn't stop there, either, did you? So many people, even adults, go into hiding after they've been raped. You, however, have spoken out about your experience. You've helped countless others, and allowed your presentation to be made into a DVD.

"And still, you continue to give of yourself, volunteering, counseling, and your story is even the focus of an upcoming edition of Frontline, to be aired on PBS, is that not right?" he asked.

"Well, yes," I admitted, "but what I did was pretty stupid. It's just that telling my story is a way for something good to come of it, you know? I can't change what happened . . . all the bad things that that pedophile did to all those kids. I can't make up for the kids that are now HIV-positive and I can't change the fact that I was raped. By telling my story, I can `pay it forward', as they say. Maybe I can give other kids the knowledge to keep something like this from happening to them."

"Kurt, you're an amazing young man. To save a life is one thing, but you possibly saved many lives, and since then you've been using your story to potentially save countless more, and for that the nation is grateful. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor the Congress can bestow on one of its citizens. Both Dick and I sponsored your nomination, and it sailed through both houses.

"The courage you possess is a rarity, Kurt, particularly in someone so young. You are more than deserving of the page position this summer, and of being able to be a page in the Senate at the same time as your boyfriend.

"There's one thing I must caution you about, however, my young man. There have been numerous scandals in the past involving the Page Program, and the news media in Washington love nothing more than a scandal. If there's even a hint of a scandal, they will be all over it in the blink of an eye.

"Twenty years ago, there was a huge scandal involving pages and gay sex . . . that some Congressmen were getting it on with some of the male pages. Even today, it's not cool for some politicians to be out, and there's only one openly gay man in Congress. The reality of course is that there are as many gay senators and representatives as there are in the general population; nearly all of whom are in the closet. Some of them are known to the rest of us and very discrete about their affairs, but others are deeply in hiding for a variety of reasons.

"Having openly gay pages on the floor of the Senate could present a problem in two ways. Firstly, it could present a temptation to the more deeply closeted members, and you have to figure there are some ten gay senators, which could lead to embarrassing situations. Politicians, after all, have been known to have their zipper problems. Secondly, if the news media were to get wind of you guys, there could be the assumption of a scandal before anything even happens."

"Senator," I responded, "Trevor and I are out. We've been out for a long time. Everyone knows about us at school. Heck, I came out on the front page of The Star a year a go at New Years. That kind of news is bound to catch up with us. I mean, it's not like we're flamers or anything, but we have no desire to go back in the closet, and I'm not sure we could ever put the genie back in the bottle, even if we wanted to. Most importantly though, we're monogamous . . . there's no way we'd be unfaithful to each other.

"Are you saying you'd disqualify us for the Page Program, just because we're out?"

"No, not at all," the senator said. "In fact, if you wanted to show up in drag, although I'm sure some of the senators would have a problem with it, so long as it was in the female page uniform, we couldn't discriminate against you for it. I just suggest you be discrete is all."

"Senator, Trevor and I will do the best we can, but with four gay guys sharing an apartment, I fear that word's bound to get out eventually."

"Who said you'd be staying in an apartment?" the senator asked. "No, no, no, we'd never put you up in an apartment. For one thing, the rents in the district are astronomical. For another, there's the whole safety issue. We can't have sixteen-year-olds running around unsupervised. The parents would give us hell. No, we have a couple of dormitories set up, just for the Page Program. One for the Senate, and one for the House."

This was definitely news to me. I was really looking forward to the four of us being free and on our own for the summer, and now it turned out we'd be under adult supervision after all. And there was the matter of David and Jeremy, who would be interning in the White House. Where did they fit in?

"Senator, what about our friends, David Reynolds and Jeremy Kimball? They'll be interning at the White House. I thought the whole idea was that we'd all be sharing an apartment nearby, like maybe at the Watergate or something."

The senator chuckled and said, "And how many millions do you have available to spend on an apartment at the Watergate? You might be able to rent a tiny flat on Capitol Hill . . . more of a dive actually, in a not so nice neighborhood that's recently been gentrified, but there's no need for that. We'll be putting you all up in Daniel Webster Hall, right near the Hart Office Building where I have my Washington office. You'll all have your own dorm room with a private bath for the four of you, and for your $600 per month each, you'll get breakfast and dinner included, so it's a pretty good deal. Now as far as your friends are concerned, even though the residence is intended for Senate pages, it's a very straight shot up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. They'll have full use of the limos we all use to get back and forth between the White House and the Hill."

"What about parking for our cars?" I asked. "Not that I have a car, since I don't have a license. In fact, I'll be missing out on Driver's Ed this year but, hey, the internship is way more important. I'll go to a private driving school if I have to. Trevor, however, wanted to bring his Jetta with him, and David and Jeremy wanted to bring at least one of their cars along. . . ."

Shaking his head, the senator said, "Sorry to disappoint you boys, but the answer is, `No'. Private cars are not allowed to be kept by the pages, unless they stay off-site and live locally with a relative or adult friend, and even then, they are not provided with parking. But why would you want to drive in Washington?" the senator asked. Putting up his hands in a defensive manner, he answered his own question saying, "I know, you're teenagers, but a car is a liability `inside the beltway'. We have an excellent Metro and you can literally get everywhere without the need of a car. I strongly suggest you take advantage of all that DC has to offer by Metro and by bus," he said.

"So does this mean I'm in?" I asked.

"No, Kurt," the senator said, "it's a highly competitive application process, but I seriously doubt that any of the other applicants will have a Congressional Gold Medal," he said with a grin. "You and Trevor, with recommendations from one of the most senior members of the Senate and from the President himself stand to be near the top of the applicant pool. Seriously, I'll look forward to working with you this summer."

The senator shook my hand firmly and showed me to the door. It was a good interview and he had me smiling to myself.

Bringing Up Brother - David
by Altimexis

"Jer, slow down!" I shouted as we accelerated around a tight curve on Allisonville Road. "You're going close to eighty miles an hour!"

"Relax, Dave," my boyfriend shouted back to me over the sound of the wind rushing by. "The speed limit's sixty, so I'm not speeding by that much."

It had only been a week since Jeremy got his license, and as a present for his sixteenth birthday, his parents had gotten him a red Porsche Boxter convertible. It was a really sweet ride, but then it should be, at close to $50k. Me, well, with my father having just started a new job at less than half what he'd made before, and me doing a summer internship at the White House instead of a real job with real pay, I was going to have to wait a while to get my own set of wheels. But I didn't mind . . . I didn't mind one bit. I loved the thought that we'd be spending our summer in the nation's capital, together, and right now I was with the boy I loved and he was having a blast driving his new toy.

Suddenly, there was the sound of a siren behind us and I caught a glimpse of a flash of blue in the rear view.

"Oh shit," Jeremy said in that cute voice of his as he pulled over to the side of the road. When we came to a stop, Jer unfastened his seatbelt and reached for the glove box, retrieving the vehicle registration from inside. "I am going to be sooo grounded when Dad finds out about this," he added.

"It's not like I didn't warn you," I said with a smirk.

The police officer stood behind us for what seemed like forever, writing stuff down, and then he approached Jeremy's side of the car.

"Hand me your license and registration, please," he said matter-of-factly.

After the officer had looked at Jeremy's license for a few seconds, and then looked back and forth between the license and Jeremy for a bit, he asked, "Are you by any chance related to Tom Kimball?"

"He's my dad," Jeremy answered.

Shaking his head, the officer said, "The Chief would have my head if I gave a ticket to the kid of one of the biggest benefactors of the Fraternal Order of Police, but Geez, less than a week after getting your license? If you were my kid, I'd ground you for a year for driving like that. 'Course if you were my kid, I couldn't afford to have you driving a Porsche, either. No kid should have this much horsepower in their hands . . . especially a boy. It's just too much temptation. Believe me, I don't want to read about you on the obituary page someday."

"Then write me the ticket," Jeremy said. "I don't want any favors, just because of who my father is. I can't learn responsibility unless there`s consequences. I'm not just some spoiled teenager . . . my dad won't blame you for doing what's right. I was having fun without thinking about the danger. If a kid had run out in front of me, I'd have never forgiven myself."

Smiling at Jeremy, the officer replied, "Although a ticket would put you within one infraction of losing your license, I think a warning will suffice. For one thing, your father will know about it, and since a fine probably means little to him, he can come up with a much more fitting way to deal with this episode. Secondly, I think you've already realized just how serious speeding can actually be. I do not like the idea of someone so young driving a car like this; sooner or later you're going to have to learn to deal with handling this kind of power . . . power that can kill.

"With the money your family has, that kinda applies to life, doesn't it? You might as well start to learn how to handle that kind of power, you know."

Although Jer was facing away from me, I could see by his body language that what the officer was saying was really sinking in and having an influence on him. It kind of affected me, too. It was a profound metaphor.

"One other thing, Jeremy," the officer said as he handed his license and registration back to him, along with the written warning, "I noticed you removed your seatbelt as soon as you pulled over to the side of the road. When you do that, you have no way to prove you were wearing it while you were driving. A lot of unscrupulous police officers will cite you for failure to wear a seatbelt, just because you don't have it on when they approach your vehicle. Not that I expect you to face this situation again, but if you ever are pulled over again, never, ever, remove your seatbelt until the officer asks you for your license and registration. Then and only then should you remove it."

"Wow," Jer said, "I had no idea."

"Most people don't," the officer said, "and they often get stuck with an extra ticket because of it."

After the police car had pulled away, Jeremy sighed loudly and said, "Phew, my heart's finally starting to slow back down."

"He's a good cop Jer. I'm sure this car's a lot of fun to drive," I said, "but from now on, I think you'd better stick to the speed limit."

Before I knew what was happening, Jeremy had opened his door and was standing next to me, on my side of the car.

"All right, Mr. genius that I love, since you know what's best for me, let's see how you do at driving my car."

"What?" I asked incredulously.

"Seriously, Dave, I was going to let you take a turn at driving it, anyway. You're my boyfriend, and I want you to experience driving it . . . it's a real rush. After making that comment, though, your chance to drive it is now!"

Jer just stood there grinning at me, waiting for me to get out.

"I'm not sure if I'm even insured to drive this thing," I cautioned.

"You're covered on your parents' insurance, right?"

"Well, yeah," I answered.

"And my parents put full insurance on this baby . . . you can believe it, so we're all set. We have a huge umbrella policy, too. Something like ten million for just about any and all contingencies. No worries, Dave, just enjoy."

Finally, I realized what Jeremy was asking of me, and a huge grin split my face. I was going to get to drive his Porsche Boxter. Rather than opening the door, I literally leapt over it in my enthusiasm and ran around to the other side, jumping over the driver's side door and into the driver's seat. I had to make quite a few adjustments, since I was a good four inches taller than my boyfriend, but then we were ready to roll.

Man, did that car take off like a rocket. When I looked down at the speedometer, I was sooo embarrassed - we were already going 86 and accelerating - so I eased off the gas and dropped back down to a more acceptable 65. I couldn't believe how well this baby handled compared to my parents' cars, although we felt every little dip and bump in the road. It was also sobering to realize that as low to the ground as we were, a lot of bigger cars, particularly the SUVs, just didn't see us. More than once, I had to quickly swerve to avoid someone slamming into us. Man, that was scary.

"So what do you wanna do now?" I asked. "Shall we head over to your place for a little fun?" I suggested as I raised my eyebrows.

Shaking his head, Jer said, "I think our brothers are both over there. Let's head over to your place."

"Sounds good to me," I said as I cut across on 91st street. Yeah, it didn't take much and I was always up for a little fun in the sack with my lover. Besides, in only a few days we'd be leaving for Washington to start our internships. Even though we'd be mostly on our own, sharing a room with Trevor and Kurt would definitely put a crimp in our style. Even though Trevor and Kurt were very good friends and even though they were both gay, we'd definitely have a lot less privacy than we were used to. Jeremy and I were committed to one another just as Trevor and Kurt were, and we were definitely not into group sex or interested in any kind of partner swapping. Once I fell in love with Jer, that was it for me.

Pulling into our driveway, I left the car in gear and applied the parking brake. Even though it didn't look like rain, knowing how true the old joke could be about our climate having four seasons and that they sometimes came all in one day, I put the top up before I locked the car and threw the keys back to Jeremy. We headed inside and shared a passionate kiss as soon as we were inside the door.

"Mmmm . . ." I purred into his mouth. "I will never, ever grow tired of the feel of your lips on mine."

"Or the silky texture of your tongue sliding against mine." Jeremy responded.

Yes, there was no doubt about it; we were so much in love. We were boyfriends all right, but so much more. We'd known each other for nearly two years, now, but we both knew that we would be together forever. We'd already been making plans to choose our colleges together . . . to plan our careers together. We'd be getting married, so I guess that made us fiancés, but that was only a formality as far as we were concerned. We wanted to see gay marriage legalized because we felt it was our right, but in our eyes, we were already married. When we were ready, we'd have children and raise a family. Someday, we hoped we'd be grandparents.

Whoa, here we were, sixteen-year-old teenagers, and I was already thinking about being a grandpa. Talk about getting ahead of myself. I dunno, it just was such a turn-on for me. It just seemed so domestic or something. I was making out with my boyfriend, loving him to pieces and we were grinding our crotches together and it was taking all my willpower to keep me from shooting my load right then and there.

"You sure are one horny devil," Jeremy said as he reached down and lovingly felt me through my shorts.

"So are you," I said as I did likewise.

"Come on, let's hit my bedroom and lose these clothes," I suggested.

Jeremy giggled as he took my hand and pulled me in the direction of my bedroom, the shameless bulge in his shorts leading the way.

Even though there was no one home, I still closed my bedroom door and locked it. Our mouths were instantly connected once again for a brief moment, but then we separated just long enough to strip each other of our shirts and to toe off our shoes.

We lay on my bed and made ourselves comfortable as we again started to make out, with only our shorts and boxers left to hide the throbbing erections that told the story of the love, passion and excitement we shared for each other. Even then, a wet spot was starting to soak through my shorts, and I knew I had better remove what little clothing I had left before the cum stains became more obvious.

As I was just about to do so, I noticed that the door to the bathroom I shared with my brother was wide open, and that the door to his bedroom was ajar.

"I'd better go close the connecting door to Brad's bedroom, just in case he comes home early," I suggested.

"Good idea," Jeremy agreed.

Not expecting anyone else to be home, I literally froze in my tracks as I reached for the door to my brother's bedroom and started to close it. The door was just open enough that I could see my brother's bed, and what I saw was a shock. My brother and a girl were lying naked, on top of his bed, making out. Holy fuck, now what was I supposed to do?

Brad was only thirteen. He was too young to be having sex with a girl. On the other hand, Jeremy and I had been sexually active since we were fourteen, so what was the big deal? On the other hand, Jeremy couldn't get pregnant, but on the other hand, we could get AIDS just as easily as Brad could. Shit, should I just close both bathroom doors as quietly as I could and pretend I didn't see anything?

Before I could decide on a course of action, however, Jeremy took the decision away from me by sneaking up behind me, touching me, startling me in the process and asking me, "David, what's wrong?"

Of course, when Jer touched me, I just about leapt twenty feet into the air and screamed in surprise at the same time. So much for keeping quiet. So much for discretion. At least I did end up closing the door in the process, but the end result was a loud girl's scream from inside, and Brad could clearly be heard to shout, "What the fuck?"

Knocking gently on the door, I said, "Brad, I'm sorry, but we thought you were over at Jeremy's place with Cliff. Otherwise, we'd have gone over there. We didn't mean to startle you, bro. Honest."

I heard some rustling from inside, and then Brad entered the bathroom, wearing only his boxers.

"I'm sooo embarrassed," was all Brad said as he sat down on the toilet seat. "I thought you guys would be halfway to Chicago by now. I never expected you to show up here."

"We might have been," Jeremy said with a smirk, "if I hadn't gotten stopped for speeding."

"Oh man, you serious?" Brad asked. "No wonder you came back here."

"The cop knew who Jer's dad was, and let him off with a warning," I filled Brad in.

"Money sure talks," Brad sighed.

"I'd rather have gotten the ticket, and faced the wrath of a father who was around enough to care to ground me, and make me work to buy my own car, than to have all this money poured on me," Jeremy lamented.

"Yeah, I guess it sucks to be you," Brad agreed.

"No it doesn't," I protested.

"You're right Dave," Jeremy said in realization. "To be sure, I'd rather have parents who were around once in a while than have the huge mansion and the fancy car and all. But, when it comes to what's really important, I've got the most precious thing of all . . . the true love of a lifetime."

"And don't ever forget it," I said as I drew my boyfriend into a hug and kissed him deeply.

"Um, guys," Brad said, clearing his throat. "What are you going to do about what you saw?

"Yes, well, there is that," I said with a bit of a laugh. "Why don't you guys put your clothes on, and we can all meet in the family room in, say, five minutes and talk about it?"

"Yes, Mommy," Brad agreed with a smirk as he slipped back inside his bedroom.

"Well, so much for our privacy, I said as I turned to face Jeremy, giving him a kiss one final time before we headed back into my own room to put our clothes on.

After Jeremy and I had dressed, I headed into the kitchen and grabbed four sets of glasses and a one-liter bottle of Coke Zero. I also got out some hummus and some baked tortilla chips - now that was my idea of a perfect snack.

We were joined shortly thereafter by a sheepish-looking Brad, and a very cute African-American girl who appeared to be about Brad's age.

"Come on in, guys. I won't bite," I said with a laugh. "I'm David, Brad's brother, and this is my boyfriend, Jeremy."

The girl got a really surprised look on her face and said, "My God, it's true. I mean I'd heard rumors, but it's really true . . . Brad . . . your brother really is a fag."

OK, this was not going well. Turning to her I said, "I caught you in bed with my brother, and yet I've extended you my hospitality, and you're already calling me names? I don't even know your name yet. Now, if either you or my brother had any manners, I should at least know that much by now."

Finally, my brother's brain kicked into gear and he said, "Charisse. David, I'd like you to meet Charisse, and I'd like to apologize for her calling you that. Believe me, after today she's gonna know just how much I love my gay brother, and how wrong it is to call someone a fag."

"What do you mean it's wrong," she said, "and how can you stand to share a bathroom with him? Why haven't your parents done something about him, anyway? Why don't they get him fixed, or something?"

"Boy are you naïve," Brad said. "That'd be like having you fixed, to make you white."

"Why would I need to be fixed because I'm black?" she asked. "There's nothing wrong with me being black, but there is something wrong with being a faggot. All you have to do is read the Bible."

"Charisse," Brad sighed, "so many wars have been fought in God's name based on what was written in one version of the Bible, the Quran, or other religious books and manuscripts. I'm not even going to go there, except to say this. . . . The South invoked the Bible to fight the North in the Civil War because the Bible said it was justified to own slaves. They said the Bible made it OK to own your ancestors. It was the very same section of the Bible that supposedly claims homosexuality is a sin.

"Parts of the Bible were inspired by God, but parts of the Bible were rewritten by people to suit their own needs over the millennia. They used it to justify owning slaves, or to justify keeping people down, or to justify prejudice against those they didn't understand."

"That still doesn't change the fact that fags are disgusting," Charisse insisted.

"My brother is one of the most accepting people I know," I said to Charisse. "Not many people can look beyond race and yet, knowing him, the color of your skin never even entered his consciousness when it came to choosing a girlfriend. You on the other hand are being out and out racist."

"How dare you call me a racist, you faggot," she spat at me.

"I think you'd better go," Brad said.

"Don't worry," she said, "I have no intention of staying. And by the time school starts next fall, everyone will know you have a faggot for a brother. Hell, they'll think you're a faggot, too."

"Charisse," Brad replied, "all my friends already know that David's gay. Everyone in the high school knows he's gay. He's the Junior Class President, and he ran unopposed. He and Jeremy are two of the most popular boys in the whole school. They have a lot of gay and straight friends over there who belong to the Gay-Straight Alliance. Hundreds of kids belong, the majority of them being straight. I'm gonna join once I get over there. In fact . . . It's high time we have a Gay-Straight Alliance in each of the middle schools, you know? Someone needs to do something about it, and I'm gonna be that someone."

"I can't believe this," Charisse said.

I noticed tears starting to flow down Jeremy's cheeks and remembering the cruel way he'd been outed in eighth grade, I thought how having a GSA in middle school could have saved him from so much torture. The thought that my very straight brother was willing to take a potentially unpopular stand during his eighth grade year made my heart swell with pride.

"You'd be willing to do that, bro?" I asked in awe.

"That, and more. Hearing the attitudes of people like Charisse just drives home how much GSA's are needed in our middle schools. Trouble is, so far no one's been willing to stand up for gay kids in middle school. You remember those kids Trevor and Kurt talked about, that they met at the race, Memorial Day weekend?"

"Billy and Rick," I remembered.

"Yeah, right, Billy and Rick." Brad agreed. "Those kids suffered terribly throughout middle school. Just think how much of a difference it would have made if there'd been a middle school GSA for them. I'm going to go into each of the three middle schools and I'm going to organize a GSA. I know it'll be tough going at first, but if we can get enough straight kids like me to step forward and say, `I'm willing to help my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters be whom they're meant to be', then the gay kids will feel comfortable stepping forward, too."

"Brad," Jeremy said, tears still streaming down his face, "I always thought of you as a nuisance, but I want you to know that I love you, man."

"I love you, too, Jer," Brad replied. "Since I first met you, I could tell how much you mean to my brother."

"But it's more than that, Brad. You're one hell of a great guy. David's lucky to have you for a brother, and I'm lucky to have you for a brother-in-law."

Brad and Jeremy grasped each other warmly in a tight hug that lasted at least a minute as Charisse looked on, hands on her hips, in utter contempt before she finally just said, "Well, since you've decided to completely ignore me, Brad, I'm leaving."

Turning to me, Brad said, "Just give me about twenty minutes." Turning to her, he said, "I'll walk you home."

"Don't bother," she said, "It's only a few blocks. I think I can manage it on my own." With that, she simply left.

Brad literally collapsed onto the sofa, a look of utter frustration on his face. "How could I be so wrong about someone? Of all people, I thought that she would understand. African Americans have suffered from racism almost more than any other group. How could she be such a racist herself?"

"Brad," I asked, "I found you in bed with her. You were naked and seriously making out with her, and I have a feeling if Jer and I hadn't come home when we did, you would have gone all the way, am I right?"

Brad turned bright tomato red and nodded yes.

"Forgive me for being so nosey, but wasn't it a bit premature to be having sex with her if you didn't know her all that well?" I asked.

"I suppose you're right, but Cliff and I wanted to get some experience with girls and Charisse and Linda were interested in getting some experience, too," he answered.

My eyes opened wide as I realized that there was another couple involved, particularly if it involved Cliff, who was HIV-positive.

"Before we go any further with this, Brad, is Cliff at home, having sex with Linda?" Jeremy asked.

Rather than say anything, Brad just nodded his head in the affirmative. Man, if we'd gone back to Jeremy's place, we'd have been confronted with a surprise there as well. There was no way we were going to have privacy that afternoon, no matter what.

"Brad, you realize the consequences to Cliff having sex are much graver in his case, because he's HIV-positive, don't you?" I asked.

"Of course, but that's the beauty of it. Linda's HIV-positive, too. That's what started the whole thing. Cliff doesn't have to worry about her getting HIV if she's already HIV-positive. You should'a seen how happy Cliff was when they met. They're both happy, 'cause not only can they have sex with each other, but they really like each other, too."

"Well, I still think you guys are too young, but then Jeremy and I were only fourteen when we became sexually active, so I'm not one to talk. The main thing I think is that Jeremy and I have never really fooled around. Except perhaps for that first day when we met, we have always made love. Love makes all the difference.

"Even still, we always use condoms. That's because we aren't taking any chances on spreading diseases between us. It's not that we don't trust each other, 'cause we do completely, but it only takes one mistake to alter both our lives forever. It's also a hygiene thing, and we'll probably always use condoms for that reason.

"Now with girls, there's always the added risk of pregnancy and until you're ready to have kids, you always, always need to use condoms. I assume that Cliff is using a condom, isn't he?"

"I would hope so," Brad answered.

Grabbing his cell phone, Jeremy dialed Cliff's number. "Hey there, Cliffy."

"Well, David and I came over to his house to have a little privacy, only to find we weren't alone once we were undressed and in his bedroom," he answered.

Although I could only hear one side of the conversation, I could catch how embarrassed Cliff might be feeling.

"Oh shit is right," Jeremy said. "So how are things with you and Linda?" he asked.

 "We didn't exactly give him much choice but to tell us, Cliff, so don't blame Brad. Besides, Charisse turned out to be a homophobic racist, and left as soon as she realized Brad's brother's a faggot."

"Ouch is right. So listen, although I'm not sure I agree with the way you and Brad are going about things, I'm leaving it up to you guys to discuss your girlfriends and sex with the rents, and you will discuss it with our parents." He said glaring at Brad, then added, "Am I clear on that?"

"Do we have to?" Brad asked, looking first up at Jeremy and then to me.

"Yes, you have to," Jeremy replied into the phone, "but keep in mind that both ours and Brad's parents have accepted David's and my relationship, including the sexual part, since we were fourteen. I don't think you have anything to worry about as long as you're open and honest from the beginning."

After a pause, Jeremy continued. "The other thing I want to ask you about is the precautions you're taking. You are being safe, aren't you?"

There was prolonged silence on the line.


Again, prolonged silence.

"Cliff, please don't tell me you aren't using protection."

Another pause.

"Cliff, that is such a naïve attitude. You know there are multiple strains of HIV. Just because you're both HIV-positive doesn't mean you can't transmit a different strain of the virus to one another. If you pick up a second strain, your condition could become doubly difficult to treat. Either or both of you could wind up with a super-strain of the disease that's resistant to all of the current medications. You know this, which is why using protection is still important. Plus of course you still have to worry about the possibility of getting her pregnant."

 "Cliff," Jeremy said, "It doesn't matter if she just finished her period an hour ago, man, the cycle of ovulation is highly variable and can start right after the end of her period. Once again, you're playing Russian roulette. Whatever is done is done, but if you intend to continue a sexual relationship with Linda, you absolutely must discuss it with Mom and Dad, and you must use a condom every single time you have sex with her.

"We love you, bro, and we want you around with us for a very long time. Will you promise me you'll do that?"

"Good! That's all I can ask bro," he said before closing his cell phone.

"God, I don't know what we're gonna do with the two of you," I said with a huge grin as I turned back to my own brother, "but we love you anyway."

Just then, we heard the sound of the garage door opening and the distinct sound of Mom's car driving in.

"Holy crap!" Brad exclaimed. "If you guys hadn't come home. It would have been Mom that'd have caught me and Charisse in bed together. What a fuckin' mess that would have been!"

"You got that right, Brad," I agreed, "but you're still gonna have to tell her."

Looking down at the floor for a moment, Brad looked up at me and said, "Yeah, I know. I almost made a big mistake, bro, but you stopped me from makin' it. I'll talk to Mom and Dad . . . like you did. I never realized how much guts that musta took . . . to tell them you were gay! Man, I have a new appreciation of what you must've gone through. I just hope Cliff isn't making a big mistake, too."

"I'll make sure Cliff has someone to talk to," Jer piped in, "whether it's my parents, or Carlotta, our housekeeper, his shrink, or maybe even your parents, but I'll make sure he gets the help he needs."

Cliff might not have been born Jeremy's brother, but he loved him no less. That was one thing I really loved about my boyfriend. His compassion knew no bounds.

As I noticed, it had been a while since Mom had parked the car in the garage and she still hadn't entered the house, I jumped up and rushed to open the door to the garage. Sure enough, she was attempting to balance a series of file boxes, one on top of the other, before bringing them into the house.

"Mom, let me help you with that!" I practically scolded her. "It's going to take you three times longer to bring all those inside than if you'd made three separate trips," I pointed out as I lifted the first couple of boxes off her stack and carried them inside and into her office.

Once the four of us had everything inside, she asked, "What are you boys all doing home on a beautiful spring day during your summer vacation anyway?"

Dodging the question for the moment, I asked, "But why are you bringing so much work home with you when school's out?"

"I'm getting ready for the summer term," she answered. "You know a teacher's work is never done, and you still haven't answered my question."

"Well, Jer and I were out having some fun with his new car," I started to answer.

"Oh, so that's his Boxter in the driveway!" she exclaimed. "I guess I should have known."

"So anyway, we decided to come home to have ourselves a little . . . a, privacy."

"You came home to have sex," she said with a slight grin, boiling it down to the basics.

"Mom, you know I can't talk about it with you . . . well, not like that, but Jeremy and I are a dedicated, committed couple. You know we love each other, and in a couple of years, we'll get married. Yes, we make love, and I'm not about to apologize for it."

"I know, sweetheart," my mother said as she stretched up on her tiptoes to kiss my cheek, "and I didn't mean to imply that I disapprove in any way."

Motioning to my boyfriend, she said, "Come here, Jeremy."

When he was in front of her, she grabbed him into a half-hug, craned her neck, and kissed his cheek, saying, "You know, I already think of you as my son-in-law, and I love you to pieces, too."

"I'd never think of making you boys wait for what is a natural expression of your love for each other," she added as she grabbed me into the hug and pulled the two of us together into a three-way hug. What a great mom!

"Mom," Brad said, clearing his throat, "there's something else you need to know. It's . . . a . . . about me . . . and sex, and something I'm not exactly proud of." Tears started to form in Brad's eyes as he said, "I made a serious mistake today. Could we sit down and talk about it?"

Brad did talk about it with Mom. He talked about everything that happened, including things he hadn't yet told Jeremy and me. He explained how Cliff had met his girlfriend, and came up with the idea of Brad finding a girlfriend, too, and how they could talk the girls into having sex with them. The problem was that while Cliff genuinely seemed to like Linda, Brad was just interested in Charisse for sex . . . he was using her. The real eye-opener was when she called me and Jeremy `fags'. That sure changed his feelings for Charisse in a hurry, and now he wanted to make it up to us.

Brad told Mom about his idea to start a GSA at each of the three middle schools in the school district. Mom, being the astute mother and teacher she was, wanted to make sure Brad wasn't planning to do this out of a sense of guilt. Although he did feel guilty, Brad was energized. He really wanted to do this, and I loved him for it. Mom assured him she would do everything she could to help him with his project, including navigating the treacherous waters of school politics, and I assured him that he would certainly have the full support of the high school GSA, too.

Mom also told Brad that she sincerely hoped he would wait to have sex, and reminded him of the message from Kurt DeWitt and Sammy in the video he and I had watched on sexual abuse a few months back.

"There's no rush to have sex, you know." Mom said. " It's not a race, and you have plenty of time. Most kids your age are still virgins, at least when it comes to experience with the opposite sex, and will remain so for another couple of years or more. Believe it or not, some kids won't have their first sexual experience until they leave for college and there's nothing wrong with that.

"The experimentation you've probably done with Cliff notwithstanding," she continued, causing Brad to turn beet red, "you can afford to wait, but if and when you find that special girl, remember that sex is a wonderful thing that brings on some very powerful emotions that can overwhelm you. Never, ever fear to talk to me or to Dad about sex and love. Remember, we were once your age, too, and we've gone through everything you're going through. We'll help you get through it, and help you make the right decisions. And just as we condone your brother's sexual activities, you might be surprised at how we respond to yours when the right person comes along."

Brad gave our mom a hug and as he did, I marveled at how tall he'd gotten in just the last few months. He was going to need a whole new wardrobe before the fall for sure. He must be five foot, nine inches by now. I could'a sworn he was five-three last time we checked. At this rate, he'd surpass my height eventually.

"Cliff's gonna need some help, too," I mentioned to Mom.

"Yeah, especially with what Brad said about him, he could really get into trouble. Last thing we need is a couple of love birds with an HIV super-infection and a baby on the way."

Turning to me, she said, "If you and Jeremy would like to pick up some salmon filets at Marsh's, I'll fire up the grill out back and we could invite Cliff and Linda to bike on over here and maybe we can ease into a frank discussion without them even knowing it.

"Sounds like a plan," I said, "Just try not to get a speeding ticket on the way to the store."

Mom raised an eyebrow and Jeremy punched me lightly in the shoulder as we headed out the door.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Trab and Alastair in proofreading our stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Codey's World for hosting them.


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