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

Part Five
A Day at the White House - David
by Altimexis

I groaned at the sound of four different alarms on four different cell phones all going off at the same time. There had to be a better way.

Pulling myself out of bed, I stretched to my full six-foot, four-inch height and then some, and then I realized - first of all, I was naked in a room I was sharing not only with my wonderful boyfriend, but with two other gay guys; and secondly, that I was sporting a full-fledged boner that was sticking up at a 45-degree angle, and everyone was staring at it. Jeremy was simply grinning at it. He'd seen it thousands of times before, but Trevor and Kurt's mouths were open and they seemed to be in shock. Not that my equipment was unusually large that I was aware of, but I'm a tall guy to begin with, and my equipment was proportional to my size.

"You can look, but you can't touch," Jeremy said as if reading the looks on their faces. "That's all mine."

"Sorry guys," I said. "I'm not used to sharing a room with anyone besides Jeremy."

"Same here," Trevor agreed as he got out of bed, his boner leading the way as he walked to the bathroom. The sound of piss hitting water a few seconds later told us he was taking care of business.

One thing we'd all agreed on last night was that since we all slept in the nude at home, we weren't going to change our ways here, and so we'd all gone to bed naked. Sleeping in separate beds, it wasn't like there was anything that was going to happen, or could be alleged to happen, anyway. Little did we realize at the time how naïve that assumption would turn out to be.

After Trevor emerged from the bathroom in a sleepy, but obviously relieved daze, I went in and emptied my bladder, and then exchanged a brief peck on the lips with Jeremy as he went in to do likewise. Finally, Kurt had his turn at the toilet. I almost did a double take when I saw Kurt's equipment. Proportionally, he was the best hung of us all.

"Pretty impressive, isn't it?" Trevor said when he caught me staring.

"I'd hate to imagine what it's like to bottom for that!" I said, and then immediately regretted it, realizing I'd said something far too personal. Turning beet red, I immediately said, "I'm sorry, Trev. I'm really sorry, Kurt. I shouldn't have said anything."

"No worries, Dave," Trevor replied. "It's prolly what everyone's thinking. I'm not ashamed to tell you that I live to bottom for my Kurt, either. His love fills me up inside . . . literally!"

"I guess I'll have to take your word for it," I said.

"So how are we gonna do this?" Kurt asked. "Four guys and one bathroom?"

"Do you shave, Kurt?" I asked.

"He thinks he needs to shave at least once a week," Trevor said, ribbing his boyfriend, "but he could prolly go the whole summer without shaving and we'd never notice it."

"Very funny," Kurt said. "You'd be the first to complain, too, when you tried to kiss me. Just because you cant see my blond stubble doesn't mean it's not there, and I'm up to twice a week, now. I can wait another day or two, but I do need to shave very soon, and I'll need to shave again before the Medal ceremony on Sunday."

"Fair enough," I said. "The shower stall's pretty small, so I think group showers or showering in pairs is out.

"Anyone here use an electric shaver?" I asked.

"I do," Trevor answered.

"I can use either," Kurt said, "and if it'd help, I'll use Trevor's."

"Yeah, it would," I said. Trevor and Kurt, you guys go first. If you shower and brush your teeth first, you can shave out here. Then Jeremy and I can jump in the shower and shave at the same time you're shaving."

"Sounds like a plan," Trevor said as he got out his toiletries and headed for the bathroom.

Well, it did sound like a plan, but we still managed to get in each other's way more often than not, and barely made it down in time for the breakfast orientation session. Trevor and Kurt looked really cute in their page uniforms. Jeremy looked stunningly handsome in his suit. There was no other word to describe him, except possibly . . . beautiful.

As soon as we entered the Webster Hall dining room, all conversation stopped. It was pretty obvious that the people we'd met last night had spread their knowledge of us to the rest of the 28 senatorial pages who would be with us for the summer, or at least for the next three weeks. Many of them gave a scowl at us, and some of them even moved away from us as we took our seats. Talk about making us feel welcome.

As heaps of food were plopped down in front of us at the table, the Sergeant at Arms began the orientation session. I took one look at the food and quickly realized I would starve if I didn't speak up, and soon. The man had barely begun to speak, when I raised my hand.

"Mr. Reynolds, I'll be taking questions at the end of the session and in response to specific points I make. I haven't even begun to speak and already you have a question?"

"It's the food, sir," I replied. "I specifically wrote that I'm a vegetarian. I was very specific about that when asked if I had any dietary requirements. I wrote that I could eat fish and seafood, and that dairy products are OK, but I will not eat any meat or poultry products. These hash browns are laden with bacon, and the scrambled eggs are loaded with sausage."

"The bacon and sausage are both made from turkey, not pork," the Sergeant at Arms replied.

"Last time I checked, turkey is still poultry," I explained.

"Well, there is a fruit cup at your place as well, and I assume you can still eat the fruit," he answered, which got a round of laughter from all the pages due to it's double meaning.

"You can have my fruit cup, too, David," Jeremy offered, "and believe me, this will all be taken care of by nightfall. You have my word on it. You're paying six hundred a month for a crappy room with a crappy twin bed and a shared bath. The least they could do is give you decent food. One phone call will clear this up."

Wow, it must be nice to be able to wield that kind of power. Come to think of it, a call to my dad would probably get the same results - I just was more reluctant to go that route. Jeremy was more accustomed to politics and power, but I was more consumed with political passion. We were an interesting pair.

Trevor and Kurt were kind enough to give me their fruit cups as well, so I definitely didn't starve, but the whole thing was certainly nerve wracking. In the meantime, the Sergeant at Arms went through a whole bunch of policies and procedures for Webster Hall, and he went over the Code of Ethics, emphasizing the history of scandals that had plagued the page program in the past. He made it clear that boys were not allowed on the girls' floor after curfew, and vice versa, and that we weren't allowed in other pages' rooms under any circumstances, whether by invitation or otherwise, regardless of the gender of the occupant. Fraternization was to take place in the lounges and only in the lounges.

He went on to say, "Now I understand that some of you are gay. That is nothing new. There have always been gay pages, just as there have always been gay senators and gay representatives. Some of our worst scandals have arisen when our Congressmen have attempted to take advantage of pages by luring them into inappropriate sexual relationships, so beware. The fact that some of you are openly gay may make this particularly dangerous, and if anyone makes a pass at you or you think someone has made a pass at you, come see me and we'll nip it in the bud. I know most of the Congressmen who are gay, even if they don't know they are gay.

"One thing I want to emphasize while we're on the subject is that just because you are gay and you share a room with other gay pages, that is not a green light to have sex with them in your room. The Code of Conduct still applies. I don't care if you are in a committed relationship with that person and have been for umpteen years, or if you're engaged to be married to that person. Sex in Webster Hall, whether it's between boys and girls, or between people of the same gender, is strictly forbidden. Just because it's with a roommate is no excuse. If you are caught having sexual relations with anyone in Webster Hall, you will be expelled from the Page Program."

`Well, so much for fun,' I thought. If we wanted to do anything, Jeremy and I would have to go to a hotel. How sleazy. I wondered if they'd throw people out just for jerking off in their own rooms, too.

The rest of the orientation session dealt with items that were more specific to the Page Program, such as protocols and procedures, different duties, rotation of duties and reporting to the different senators' offices. True to form, each page was given a digital pager by which they could be reached at any time, day or night.

After the orientation session was over, we all returned to our room, brushed our teeth once more and made sure our laptops were locked away securely. Jeremy and I then met Will in front of the building, where he was already waiting for us, right on time, in a midnight blue 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet. What a sweet ride! You could buy a small condo for what it cost!

"I'll get in back," Jer volunteered. "I think you'll need all the leg room you can get in this thing," he suggested as he gave me a quick peck on the lips and climbed in back.

"Nice set of wheels," I said as I got in front with Will.

Sighing, Will said, "It has its advantages, but there are times I'd gladly give it all away for what you and Jeremy have. Don't get me wrong . . . I don't think I could ever be comfortable the way you guys are, but to be able to have a fraction of the happiness you two share would be so awesome. A car is just a car, and let's face it, how often do you get a chance to drive one of these flat-out in Washington traffic?"

Smiling, I said, "Jer hadn't even had his license one week when he got pulled over in his Boxter. Sometimes I think this much car is more of a liability than an advantage."

"You would have to bring that whole thing up," Jeremy chided me.

In no time at all, we pulled up at the White House and, much to my surprise, were ushered inside, where the Porsche underwent a complete underbody search for bombs. As we parked in a side lot by the West Wing, I commented, "I didn't think mere interns would be allowed to park here."

"Believe me, we're not," Will explained, "but Rahm gave me a one-day pass for today only. Usually, I walk from my apartment and, after today, you'll need to walk or take a limo or a shuttle bus from Webster Hall."

Making our way into the West Wing, Will introduced us to some of the other interns, as well as to a variety of White House staffers as we went. I didn't know how I would ever manage to keep track of all the names and faces of the people we were meeting, and yet he seemed to know them all. As if he'd read my mind, he said, "I know it's a lot to take in, guys, but keep in mind that I've already been here a couple of weeks. I had a substantial head start on you."

We started, not unexpectedly, on the ground floor, where we were immediately introduced to the Secret Service officer in charge. We already had our ID badges, and of course had undergone full background checks before we ever left home - not that a couple of sixteen-year-olds would be expected to have much of a background in the first place.

Will took us on a tour of the ground floor of the West Wing, including the Situation Room, which was really, really cool, and the swimming pool. All in all, I was surprised at how compact the West Wing really is.

We headed up a flight of stairs and came out right by the Vice-president's office; however, the Vice-president was on `The Hill' at the time, and passed by the office of the President's National Security Advisor. At that moment, as I passed by that office, I had a sudden and strange thought that I should stop and say hello to Trevor. Very strange . . . I knew Trev was on Capitol Hill, so why did I expect him to be in the office of the National Security Advisor? We passed through the main lobby of the West Wing and by the office of the President's Press Secretary, and again I had a strange sensation that I should stop and give my regards to my friend Lance Cohen. But Lance was attending Northwestern University's famous Medill School of Journalism, and was currently back in Indiana. Why did I expect to see him here?

Will showed us the Cabinet Room, which was currently vacant. Well duh, of course it was vacant, or we would have never been allowed to see it now, but again I had a strange sensation of déj vu. I imagined seeing the room as it would be at a time of crisis, filled with people, but not with the current president and his cabinet. Altaf was there, and so was Gary Phillips, but most every other face was one I didn't recognize. What the significance of this vision might be, if one could even call it that, I had no idea.

Next introducing us to President Obama's secretary, Will asked, "So where's the president today?"

"Actually, he's in the office for a change," she answered. "Would you like to see him and introduce the boys?" she asked.

"They've already met, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind seeing him again," Will replied.

Pushing a button, she said, "Mr. President, I have a couple of new interns out here, if you have a moment."

"Please, send them in," boomed the reply.

"Go on in," she told us.

Will led the way as we quietly entered the Oval Office. I'd previously seen mock-ups of the Oval Office at the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri and at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, but nothing could compare to the experience of walking into the real Oval Office and shaking the hand of the President of the United States.

Even though I'm a couple of inches taller than President Obama, he's such a `larger-than-life' figure. He stands tall and he has a certain presence about him. I know people have said the same thing about me, but with his finely tailored suit, his dazzling smile, his straight teeth and the way his eyes latch onto your own like a laser, you know you have his undivided attention from the start. I absolutely admire the man, even more so now that I've met him. Yes, I still fault him for not being more proactive on gay rights - and I'm not going to let him off the hook so easily on that - but he's doing a hell of a job marshalling the country and the world through what I still believe to be an economic depression. I may just have to cut him a little slack while he deals with the economic crisis, but gay rights will have to come, too.

"David, it's good to see you again," President Obama said to me with his trademark warm smile as he shook my hand.

"It's great to be here, Mr. President," I said in reply. "I want to thank you again for extending this opportunity to Jeremy and me."

"It's an opportunity that's well deserved," he said as he released my hand and moved on to Jeremy.

"Jeremy, welcome to the White House," the president said as he shook my boyfriend's hand.

"Thank you, sir. It's my pleasure, and a privilege to be here," Jeremy replied.

"You know," Obama started to ask, "a lot of women would be envious of your hair, and I suppose many guys too if I'm going to be fair, but how do you swim with such long hair? Doesn't it affect your times?"

Sighing, I said, "Jeremy's beautiful golden hair is one of the things I enjoy the most about him, but even the largest cap can't easily cover it all."

Turning to my boyfriend, I said, "Jeremy, you heard what the President said. I love your hair, but it would sadden me to think you might have lost out on your dream of making the Olympic Team because of your hair. Let's face it, you're going to have to cut it when you enter the professional world. When it comes time for the Olympic team trials, please cut your hair short. I won't love you any less," I said with a smile.

"You two act like an old married couple," President Obama remarked.

"We are an old married couple," Jeremy agreed. "We've been together two years now, and we're definitely getting married when we turn eighteen. We're high school sweethearts . . . no different than if we were a boy and a girl."

"Mr. President," Will broke in, "I know you're a busy man, so we won't take any more of your time. Thanks for seeing us."

"Actually, it's my pleasure, boys," the president said. "Gay rights hasn't exactly been a `front burner' issue for me these days, but it is important to me. It's one of those things that's a `hot button' topic, however, and ramming something down the nation's collective throat could easily cause a backlash that no one wants to see. We want to do this right and we want to see real progress that leads to true gender equality.

"At the end of the day, boys, I want Americans to feel comfortable with the notion that marriage is a fundamental right that applies to all, no matter whom they choose to marry; I want Americans to feel comfortable with the idea that every child is entitled to a happy home, regardless of the makeup of that home; and I want more than anything to dispel the myth that gay men and women are any more likely to violate someone's personal space than are straight men and women, particularly as it applies to the military.

"But as young children, we were all taught to fear the boogieman. A half-century ago, the boogieman was a black man. In some places, he was an Asian, a Latino, or a Jew. Throughout history, we were always taught to fear the stranger who would entice little boys to get into cars, and there was always the supposition that all gay men and women were perverts who preyed on children.

"You two have played a major role in changing attitudes in one of the most conservative states in the Union. While you're here, I'm definitely going to be picking your brains to see how we can try to replicate that on a larger scale, and start a dialog that could lead to larger things, nationwide.

"Oh, and David?"

"Yes sir?" I asked.

"Have you seen the movie, Milk, yet?" the president asked me.

"Yes, of course. Both Jeremy and I have seen it," I answered.

"Good. I would have shown it to the two of you if you hadn't," he replied.

Continuing, he said, "Don't let anyone tell you, you can't make it in politics because you're gay. You have the personality, the drive, the ambition and the mind to make it. You have everything you need to occupy this office one day. I sense that about you. I know you probably have your doubts . . . everyone does. You have to want it to succeed."

Turning to my boyfriend, he said, "Jeremy, although you may walk in David's shadow, you have all those same qualities. You could just as easily occupy this office someday, if you want to. Whether or not you do so is strictly up to you. I sense great things for the both of you. Rahm read my mind when he offered the two of you internships this summer. You belong in this White House. I think you will learn a lot here."

"Thank you, Mr. President," Jeremy said in seeming disbelief. I could tell that he was largely star struck by Obama's comments.

"Thank you, as well, Mr. President," I added.

"Enjoy yourselves, boys," the president said. "From time to time, I'll invite you to have lunch when I'm free."

With that, Will ushered us out of the Oval Office and into the corridor outside. He showed us the Roosevelt Room across the way, which was a large conference room not unlike the Cabinet Room. Finally, he took us to meet Mr. Emanuel. As we approached the Chief of Staff's office, once again, I had a feeling I should be meeting someone else there - this time Kurt. Why would I expect to meet Kurt there? I knew damn well he was paging on `The Hill' along with Trevor. The whole thing made no sense.

I presumed that Will would ask for an appointment, or at minimum ask if Mr. Emanuel was free, but he just marched right past the Chief of Staff's personal assistant, or secretary, or whatever she is called and simply asked, "Hey Cin, may we go in?" Just like that. Talk about informal.

"You know, anyone but you, he'd raise a fit, darlin'," she said. She then pushed a button and said, "Will's here."

Before Emanuel could even answer, Will had already opened the door and barged on in, with us in tow.

"Will," Emanuel said, "how many times do I have to tell you. One of these days you're going to catch me in the midst of getting a blowjob." Both Will and Emanuel then burst out laughing, and Emanuel went on to say, "Of course then I'd have to return the favor, but with you, it'd be a guy giving you the blowjob." Man, did Will's face color up with that remark.

"Rahm, please. How do you know I'm even out to David and Jeremy, anyway?" Will admonished the Chief of Staff.

"You're right, Will. I shouldn't have assumed that. I naturally assumed you all had gaydar, but I know that's really just a myth. You are, though, aren't you?" he asked.

"Amazingly, yeah," Will replied. "I didn't even have to tell them. They picked up on it right away, even with me telling them about my girlfriend."

"Speaking of which," Rahm interjected, "I heard you had a rough time of it over the weekend."

Will sank his whole body into one of the plush chairs in the office and buried his head in his hands. "I'd really like to forget the whole thing. If it hadn't been for David and Jeremy, and their friends, I don't know what I'd have done. They really helped me keep my cool. What a fucked up bitch of a girlfriend I have.

"Rahm, I need a girlfriend for a cover, and she's from a good family, but she could have really wrecked my whole career," Will despaired.

"What exactly happened?" Emanuel asked.

"After showing the boys around, getting them settled in at Webster Hall and taking them out to lunch at a great sushi place in Arlington, they asked if they could see my place at the Watergate. When we stopped there, we found Sherrie passed out on the bed, with a couple of lines of unused coke on the nightstand.

"The guys were great. Jeremy did some basic first aid stuff . . . getting the airway cleared and restoring breathing while I called 9-1-1, but we all ended up spending the rest of the weekend at DC Police HQ. Jer's and my parents came and their lawyers provided counsel, and my apartment was searched. Of course I underwent a drug screen, which came back clean. It's been a long time since I've used anything."

"Did you know she was a user?" Emanuel asked.

"Yeah, I knew, and I'd been trying to get her to quit or at least cut down for quite some time. Letting her move in with me like that was a big mistake," Will admitted.

"Did you get rid of her stash before the police arrived?" Emanuel asked.

"Thanks to David, I did," Will replied, nodding his head in my direction. "I don't think I'd have thought of it if he hadn't suggested it. I flushed with some Clorox, too."

"That bit of quick thinking more than anything may have saved your career, Will. You're forever in David's debt. Any significant quantity of coke found in your apartment would have made you an accessory, and the presumption would have been that you're a dealer. The stain of a felony drug conviction would have made the goal of political office an elusive one for you."

Turning toward me and looking me directly in the eye, he said, "Don't get me wrong, tampering with evidence is a felony, and if you'd been caught, it could have ended your political career, David. The one thing in your favor is that you're a minor and there's a chance, with help from your parents' lawyers, you'd have gotten tried in juvenile court with a sealed record that would have gone away in two years, but I wouldn't want to count on that. At sixteen, you could still be tried as an adult.

"The bottom line is that you gave your friend advice and he acted on that advice in a way that likely saved his career. Although what you did was technically aiding and abetting, I think you did what anyone would have done under the circumstances. I think you did the right thing, but I will deny ever saying that if asked by the press," he said with a smile.

"Now then," the President's Chief of Staff continued, "Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Kimball, welcome to the White House. Will is a longtime family friend and he tends to get away with murder around here. Whatever you do, don't do as he does. He calls me `Rahm', and occasionally he calls me some other choice names, but I'd appreciate it if you call me `Mr. Emanuel', particularly around the other interns. I know they call me other things when I'm not around, but we're trying to command some respect around this office."

"Yes sir, Mr. Emanuel," I said as I shook the man's hand.

"You bet, Rahm, old buddy," Jeremy said as he shook Mr. Emanuel's hand. `Did my shy, reserved boyfriend really say that?'

"You are way too much like Will," Mr. Emanuel said as he shook Jeremy's hand. "The two of you could have been twin brothers. I'm going to have to keep my eye on you."

It was at that moment that I realized that Will and Jeremy did indeed have a lot in common and shared very similar backgrounds, the only major differences being that Will's parents had a lot more money, had been a bit dishonest in order to get it, and had been much less accepting of their son's homosexuality. Other than that, they could have been twins, or more likely, cousins.

From Emanuel's office, Will took us up to the second floor, where all the staff offices were, including all the interns' cubicles - not that we'd actually have a chance to spend much time there, or so we were told.

As interns, we were largely glorified gophers, running to do the bidding of one or another of the President's key staffers, or occasionally of the President himself. Unlike Trevor and Kurt, however, we weren't paid for our work and, hence, we were also here to learn the ropes. In fact, if we ever did do substitute work for a paid position, we were supposed to be put on the payroll and given a paycheck. Because of this, we all had to fill out employment paperwork, just in case that happened during our time as interns. The paperwork was also required for us to receive benefits, which included liability coverage, employee discounts, the employee food service, and optional healthcare coverage, which we wouldn't need, since we were covered under our parents' insurance.

After Will introduced us to the second floor staff, he set us up with user accounts on the White House computer network and showed us how to access some of the basic software we might be asked to use. Of course, we were restricted from accessing classified information, but we were able to access some surprisingly important information, such as the President's calendar. As Will pointed out, however, our access to the information was tracked, so we definitely would not want to access it unless we truly needed it.

By lunchtime, we felt we'd already put in a pretty long day. When our stomachs started to rumble, Will said, "Usually, we'd just grab lunch in the staff dining room here at the White House, but since we have wheels, would you guys like to see if Trevor and Kurt are free for lunch?"

Rather than answering, Jeremy got out his iPhone. "Hey Trev," he said when someone answered, "You and Kurt free for lunch by any chance? S'OK if you're not, being the first day and all, but since Will has his car, we could swing by and pick you up."

After a moment of listening, he continued, "Oh, I see." Turning to Will, Jeremy said, "How long before we'd go to lunch?"

"We could go anytime," Will answered.

"We could make it anytime, Trev," Jeremy spoke into his iPhone. After a pause, he continued, "Yeah, OK, we'll wait to hear from you."

Turning back to us, he said, "Kurt's not with him, so he's not sure they can both make it. He's going to call Kurt and try to pin down a time they're both free, and then call me back.

"One thing I'm wondering about, Will," Jeremy asked. "The 911's a tight squeeze for four people. How are we gonna fit five of us in it?"

Laughing, Will answered, "Kurt'll have to sit in Trevor's lap, You guys will have to be wedged in real tight in back and we'll have to pray we don't get into an accident. In any case, we won't go far."

Just then, Jer's phone rang, and he answered it. "Yeah, Trevor, what's the deal?" he said off the bat. "Uh huh, that's great! We'll pick you up in front of Hart in twenty minutes, and Kurt in front of the Supreme Court building in twenty-five. See ya."

Turning to Will, Jeremy said, "Got that?"

"Loud and clear," Will chuckled.

The ride, after we picked up Kurt, was comical to say the least. We ended up driving to Georgetown, where parking was practically non-existent, but we eventually did find a space. We ate at a really cute Mediterranean restaurant that had an outstanding vegetarian sampler that was humongous. It was easily enough for Jeremy and me to share while everyone else had their gyros. I was really proud of Jer . . . he was becoming less and less dependent on meat every day.

Noticing me staring at him, he said, "What?"

"Well, you could have had what they're having, you know," I answered him.

"Yeah, but it makes you so happy to see me eat this stuff, and besides, meat kinda grosses me out now, and it's all your fault," he pouted.

Instead of saying anything more, we just gave each other a quick peck on the lips. We were totally in love with each other. When Trevor and Kurt saw what we did, Trevor pulled Kurt into him and gave him a quick snuggle, which brought smiles to both their faces. Will, on the other hand, looked so lonely.

"Is there any word on Sherrie?" I asked him, recalling the events of the weekend.

Sighing, he said, "I expect she's going to be released from the hospital later today. She really needs to be there at least another day, but her parents are raising a real stink, and they usually get their way. Their attorneys have made a deal with the DC police . . . she'll go into a drug rehab program and the charges will mysteriously just go away. It's really amazing how far a little money can go when it comes to such things. The problem is that Sherrie isn't cooperating with any of it. She doesn't want to go into rehab. She doesn't want to go home with her parents . . . and she's an adult capable of making her own decisions."

"What happens if she refuses to go along with the plea her parents worked out?" Trevor asked.

"Well, they can't force her to go with them, but they can certainly pay any of her fines. She might end up with some real jail time, but then her parents might feel sorry for her and since it's a first offense and since there was so little coke on her at the time, their attorneys might get her sentence reduced to probation only, in which case she'll end up back in my apartment, probably snorting up all over again."

"If that happens, you gotta kick her out," I stated emphatically.

"I know that, but how?" Will asked with obvious incredulity written on his face. "She won't take `no' for an answer, and her parents, with their fucked-up logic, will expect me to be her drug rehab under the circumstances. I'm so totally screwed," he practically cried.

"Can't your parents help?" I asked.

"You don't know what you're talking about, Dave," Jeremy broke in. "Will's parents will side with Sherrie's parents. They'll expect him to help her. It's `the right thing to do,' so to speak."

"Damn," was all I could say.

"We better get back," Will pointed out.

"Definitely, before the senators `page' us," Kurt agreed.

The rest of the afternoon raced by as Jeremy and I learned a lot about the inner workings of the White House. We each took turns meeting with key staffers, learning about the roles they play in keeping the operations going, and in keeping President Obama informed, and on time. All in all, we had a great day.

When it came time to return to Webster Hall, rather than troubling Will, we took a White House limo back to Capitol Hill, as do most staffers who need transport back and forth between the Capitol and the White House, and as we'd be doing from now on. It was pretty cool!

When we got back to our room, it was obvious that someone had been inside in our absence. Not that there was any sign of forced entry or anything. The lock showed no sign of tampering, and the windows were still locked, but all of our bed linens had been stripped from our beds and thrown on the floor, and our towels had been thrown in the shower and were soaking wet. At least none of our personal belongings had been messed with. That would have been more than unnerving.

We reported the obvious tampering to the Sergeant at Arms, who made a note of it, but there really wasn't anything else to be done. Concerned that a past occupant of the room might still have a key, I asked if the lock might be changed, and he told us that it would take a week, but he would put in a work order to do just that. We all breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that we would have a brand new lock on the door.

Dinner was a much better affair than breakfast had been - at least as far as I was concerned. I wasn't sure if it had anything to do with Jeremy's phone call from this morning, but the main entre was salmon, and not one item contained beef, pork or poultry. I could eat everything, and everything tasted great. Not only that, but in contrast to breakfast, all of the pages treated us with respect. It definitely seemed that we were off to a much better start.

After dinner, everyone broke into smaller groups and chatted with each other. We retreated to the lounge and got to know some of the other pages we'd missed on Sunday. Just about everyone asked us if the rumor was true that we were gay. My answer was to the point - "Jeremy and I have been out and proud for two years. We're not ashamed, and back home we were both elected to the student council, even though everyone knew we're gay, and I was elected Freshman Class Treasurer, and then Sophomore and Junior Class President." Kurt then added, "I came out on the front page of the local paper," and Trevor added, "and I'm the President of our school's Gay-Straight Alliance so, yeah, the rumors are definitely true." For good measure, I then threw in, "Anyone else want to come out while we're at it?"

When the room remained silent, Kurt said, "Too bad. I guess ours will be the only room with an orgy tonight." The looks on everyone's faces were priceless. Trevor wasn't going to leave it like that, however. He quickly threw in, "He's just kidding, guys. We're not into group sex. Not by a long shot. We're committed couples. In fact, Kurt and I are getting married next summer. David and Jeremy are getting married when they turn eighteen, too. There's no gay sex going on in our room."

Looking from face to face, it didn't look like many of the pages believed Trevor, however. No, I think they were taking Kurt all too seriously. . . .

Paging Trevor Austin - Trevor
by Altimexis

Things were a lot more orderly getting ready for work on Tuesday morning. For one thing, we decided to stagger our wake-up times, so rather than all our cell phones going off at once, they went off sequentially at five-minute intervals - first mine, then Kurt's, then David's and finally Jeremy's - so we weren't tripping over each other quite so much in the bathroom. Keeping my shower down to five minutes was a major challenge, though, particular when Kurt entered the bathroom with his morning wood leading the way. I was so in need of relieving myself after that, but there just wasn't time. `Maybe it would be better for David or Jeremy to shower in-between the two of us,' I thought to myself. I would definitely have to bring this idea up for tomorrow morning.

Breakfast was a much better affair than yesterday's as well. We were served a choice of Greek or Western omelets, which pretty much satisfied everyone's tastes, except for a few kids who were allergic to eggs and were able to get oatmeal instead. Being the real carnivores Kurt and I are, we had the Western omelets, which were delicious. David and Jeremy of course had the Greek omelets, which they said were excellent, too. It's so funny, the way Jeremy's become a real vegetarian. He used to be a meat eater, just like Kurt and me, but I guess David's influence has rubbed off on him after two years.

I love those guys, though. They're really my best friends now. Ever since we spent so much time together over Spring Break, we've become closer than ever. I can't imagine not being together with David and Jeremy. I hate to think about going away to college next year and leaving them behind. I know they're both seriously thinking about Harvard for pre-Law and I really hope they get in there. It would be sooo cool if they got into Harvard pre-Law and Law, and I got into Computer Science at MIT, and if Kurt got into BU for Sociology and then one of the member schools of the Boston Theological Institute for his graduate training. Maybe we could all share an apartment together in Cambridge. Life couldn't get any better than that.

"Paging Trevor Austin. Come in Mr. Austin," Kurt said with his cute little laugh. He looked so adorable.

"What?" I asked with a tilt of my head.

"It's just that you looked like you were a million miles away," he replied.

"Yeah, I was," I agreed. "I was thinking about how cool it would be if the four of us all went to school in Boston . . . if David and Jeremy went to Harvard, if you went to BU for your BA in Sociology, and then onto the Boston Theological Institute, and of course if I went to MIT. We could all share an apartment in Cambridge . . . nothing fancy . . . just a two bedroom place is about all we could afford in Boston, but we'd have a lot more freedom than we might in married student housing, and I think we all get along great."

"That's actually an excellent idea, Trev," Jeremy chimed in. "Assuming David and I can get into Harvard."

"You guys'll get into Harvard," Kurt said with a wave of his hand. "Of that, I have no doubt."

"Seriously, though," David continued the conversation, "Boston's an expensive place to live, so sharing an apartment could make it much more affordable for all of us, and we already know we need to live in a state that permits gay marriage. For now that means Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine or Iowa, and soon probably New York or the District of Columbia . . . or possibly California if they get their priorities straight. I don't think I need to tell you that you guys are my closest friends in the world."

"That's exactly how I feel, Dave," I agreed. "That's what got me thinking about this in the first place.

"Remember the first time we met?" I asked.

"It was at that party at Gary Phillip's place, just before Homecoming," David asserted.

"Actually, that was the second time," I corrected him. "The first time was in the lunchroom at school. I was sitting with my best friend, Ryan, who unfortunately has since moved away. Ryan's brother was in your class, and he sat down with us, and before long, we were joined by a whole `gaggle' of other freshmen. Then this cute boy with wavy brown hair came up to our table and introduced himself to say he was running for Freshman Student Council, and another boy with long golden hair was with him who introduced himself as his boyfriend, just like that."

"We were very upfront about our relationship, from the moment we started high school," Jeremy noted.

"And that gave me hope," I said. "It showed me that being gay wasn't something to be ashamed of. You guys showed me courage.

"Then when I met you at Gary's party in advance of the Homecoming dance, I felt comfortable enough around you to come out to you. I told you about my plight at home with Evangelist parents, and you had the idea of my hosting a party at my house . . . a party to which you were invited . . . a party at which I could see how my parents would react to an openly gay teenage couple."

"The idea worked pretty well," David pointed out.

"It would have worked better had I not been seen dancing with you at homecoming," I lamented.

"Well, you did push the timetable up a bit by doing that," David agreed, "but things worked out in the end. Your parents may be religious, but they're accepting, and they love Kurt and treat him as their son-in-law. You couldn't ask for more than that."

Pulling Kurt into a half-hug, and incurring a number of stares from around the room in the process, I said, "Yeah, you're right. I'm really lucky that way. A little over a year from now, we'll be married . . . legally, and beginning a lifetime together. I couldn't be happier."

"Nor could I, sweetheart," Kurt added. "If it hadn't been for your meeting David and Jeremy and your coming out publicly, my Dad might not have tried to make an example of you to the whole congregation. Had it not been for my own contact with David and Jeremy, he might not have found out about my being gay and tried to punish them by getting the school GSA disbanded. And it was thanks to you, Trevor, and your computer skills, that we discovered the link and what my dad was really up to. It was thanks to all of you that I came up with the courage to come out, and in a big way.

"Look at all the interconnections. Trevor, when I first met you, you were so painfully shy. Now look at you. You're the freakin' president of the GSA! You've built one kick-ass website, but more than that, you've done some amazing things to help dozens of kids at school. You're one of the most outgoing guys I know, and it would have never happened had it not been for what my Dad did to you. In spite of that, however, you still seem to love me."

"Are you kidding?" Trevor asked. "Honey, you're not your father. You're one of the most selfless guys I know." Starting to tear up, he continued, "The way you put your life on the line at camp last summer . . . you're one in a million, Kurt. There's a reason you're getting that Congressional Gold Medal this Sunday."

"Anyway," Kurt continued, "David and Jeremy, you guys mean the world to Trevor and me. We prolly wouldn't be a couple if it hadn't been for you, but it's more than that. You guys are our best friends. I think you'll always be our best friends. I love you guys as much as I love my own brothers . . . maybe even more so."

"Wow," Jeremy said, "All those lonely days and lonely nights living by myself in that mansion my parents built in Lake Shores. You probably can't imagine what it's like to grow up surrounded with so much wealth and yet to be bankrupt when it comes to friendship.

"When I found David, it was the most incredible thing. Suddenly I had someone who understood me . . . not just because I'm gay, but he truly wanted to know me as a friend. I fell in love with him because he wanted to get to know me as a friend first . . . the sex came later . . . and I admired that about him. The money and the toys I had meant nothing to him, and they still don't. David and I were meant to be together from the moment we laid eyes on each other.

"With you guys, Trevor and Kurt, I've learned the true meaning of friendship . . . not the friendship one has with a lover, but the friendship one has with good buddies. I've heard the expression, `he would give you the shirt off his back,' before, but with you guys, I know you really would. Day or night, if I needed you, you'd drop whatever you're doing and would be there for me, or for David. I really, really love you guys.

"My older brother and sister were already away at college by the time I was eight, so I never knew what it was like to really love a brother as my peer before we took in Cliff and I really love you guys like I love my brother."

"And I love you guys like I love my brother, too," David added.

I think we were all a little teary-eyed after our little love-fest, sickening though it might have been to someone from outside our group, but time was wasting and we all needed to get to work! There would be time to work out the particulars later, but I think we were all agreed that we wanted to try to go to school together in the future if at all possible.

After finishing up our breakfast, we made doubly sure everything was secure in our room before we headed out. David and Jeremy called for a White House limo, and Kurt and I simply walked a couple of blocks to the Hart Senate Office Building, where our senators had their offices. Other mornings, we'd been told, we'd need to report elsewhere, but today we'd been told to report directly to our respective senators.

Going our separate ways, I entered the office for the senior senator from my home state. Inside, the receptionist - or was she a secretary? - we'd first met during our Spring Break, was already busily at work.

"Good morning, Trevor," the light-skinned, African American woman said. "I hate to tell you this, but we start our day a lot earlier than the Congress at large, and if you eat your breakfast with the rest of the pages, you're going to miss a lot of what goes on in this office. The Senator is a very early riser," she added in hushed tones with emphasis.

"You might want to ask for a voucher and get your breakfast at Union Station, or if you prefer, you and your boyfriend are more than welcome to grab breakfast in the Congressional Dining Room. The Senator would be delighted to get you a dining pass. It's one of the perks of seniority."

"That might be nice," I agreed, thinking how much I'd miss eating with David and Jeremy . . . and how much I'd miss my sleep!

"Let me see if the senator's ready for you," she said as she buzzed into his office.

"By all means, send that lazy teenager in here," came the reply.

"You heard him," she said as she motioned to the large doors behind her.

"Senator," I said as I approached him with my right hand outstretched, "it's a pleasure to see you again. I'd hoped that I would see you yesterday, but of course we were tied up all day with orientation, protocols and procedures."

"As I knew you would be, but you should have checked with my office nonetheless to find out what time to start today. Just because Webster Hall doesn't serve breakfast until seven doesn't mean you don't have to be here until 8:30. When Congress is in session, unless I have an early morning committee meeting or am out of town, I'm generally in my office every day by 7:00 AM at the latest. Sometimes, I'll need you here even before that. If I have an early morning committee meeting, I may need you here by six. It's the nature of the job."

I cringed at the thought of getting up that early, but I just smiled and said, "Yes sir."

Smiling, he said, "I know it's not natural for a city boy to get up that early, but you might as well get used to it. We come from a farm state and nearly half our constituents are farmers."

"Actually, according to the 2000 census, about two-thirds of the state's population lives in truly urban and suburban areas," I countered, "and that'll probably only have increased by the time they collect the 2010 census next year. Although the amount of land dedicated to agriculture is still substantial, the percentage of the population involved in farming is quite small. Most people have gravitated to the cities and larger towns, where they work in light industry, although a lot of those `rust belt' jobs have dried up of late."

"Sounds like you were paying attention during your state history class," the senator remarked. "In any case, a lot of our constituents are up at the crack of dawn and that's when they like to call, and I like the office to be operational to take their calls. I've even been known to answer the phones myself. It's also a great time of the day to get things done.

"Now one huge advantage you have is a short commute, and there'll always be a pot of the best gourmet coffee waiting for you when you arrive, but if ever you get here and there isn't one, feel free to put one on for us.

"I don't know what Cindy may have told you about breakfast, but just like on the farm, you should get your morning chores out of the way, first. That'll let your body wake up slowly and you'll find you're much more productive without all your blood being shunted to your stomach . . . and you won't have to get up quite so early if you just have to do your bathroom chores and get dressed before coming over here. I'll have a series of things for you to do for me, then you and Kurt can get breakfast over in the Congressional Dining Room . . . I'll see to it that you both get passes for that . . . and after a proper breakfast . . . much nicer than the one they serve at Webster Hall, mind you, you'll attend to your regular paging activities to which you're assigned.

"Now for today, I have a special task in mind for you. This one's kind of `off the record'. I need you to go over to the Library of Congress to look some stuff up for me. If anyone asks, you're looking up some old legal documents for me that aren't computerized. What you'll really be doing is helping me to help some of our constituents with a rather thorny problem, and maybe helping us to get another Republican in the Senate in the process.

"As you may know, for a long time, Congress has paid subsidies to farmers to help provide them with a safety net. Without these subsidies, a lot of farmers would never be able to make a living. The subsidies also play an important role in helping to regulate the farming industry, keeping farmers from overplanting their fields. If every farmer planted every inch of their fields with crops, we could end up with an oversupply of food, driving prices down below what it actually costs to grow the crops. The farm subsidies help pay farmers to plant only as much of their fields as the industry can support, and no more. It keeps any one farmer from profiting at the expense of the others.

"While we all feel for the plight of the small `mom and pop' farmer, most farms in America today are owned by large corporations, and they get these subsidies, too. When Obama campaigned, he pledged to end farm subsidies to corporations. Although Obama certainly means well, if corporate farms lose their subsidies, they will be forced to make up the difference the only way they can, by planting more crops. The result will be a rapid decline in food prices, which will be great for consumers, but it will almost certainly put family farms out of business altogether. Ending corporate farm subsidies will spell the end of the family farm, which is exactly the opposite of what Obama wants to do.

"Now the junior senator from our state is all in favor of the president's plan. He's supporting his party's line. So what we're going to do is give him just enough rope to hang himself. He'll never see it coming, and no matter how the voting goes in the end, the farmers of our state will never forgive him for coming down on the side of a failed policy."

Although I got what the senior senator was saying to me, I'd met the junior senator, whom Kurt was working for, and even though he was a Democrat, I really liked the man. He was honest and seemed to be very sincere about wanting to help his constituents. On top of that, although I was nominally a Republican, I was increasingly disappointed in the degree of conservatism to which the senior senator subscribed. Yes, he was honest, but his voting record was not one I would have been proud of. Kurt and I were both moderates more than we were Democrats or Republicans.

"So what I'd like you to do, Trevor, is to spend the day at the Library of Congress. Ostensibly, you'll be tracking down some old legal documents for me that aren't computerized, but what you'll really be doing is looking up every farm bill you can find that was authored, co-authored or sponsored by the junior senator's father during his eighteen years in the senate. It's ironic, but his father was the senior senator when I was elected to the senate, and now I serve in the senate along with his son."

"His father was a genuine hero," I opined, "who survived a plane crash and ignored his own injuries to rescue a badly injured Senator Kennedy and his aide from the wreckage. He wrote two constitutional amendments and wrote the Equal Rights Amendment, which sadly never was ratified, or gay marriage unquestionably would be a reality today. It bothers me that he was unseated by such an idiot . . . an embarrassment to the Party."

"Let's not go there, Trevor . . . that idiot was the son of one of the most influential families in the state and, frankly, I was surprised he managed to pull it off. I was even more surprised when he became the vice-president. He sure gave the late night talk show hosts fodder for a long time," the senator agreed. "In any case, I do need as much ammo as you can gather to use against the current junior senator."

Sensing my unease, he continued, "Politics is a dirty business, Trevor. I know you respect the man, but he's pursuing a wrong-headed policy, hatched by a well-intentioned, but ill-informed president. This is a real opportunity for us to flip a seat in the Senate from Democrat to Republican."

"Sir," I said, "I'm here to serve you and the taxpayers are paying me to serve their interests and I'll do whatever you tell me to. I'll go to the Library to Congress and gather the information you requested and if you wish, I'll make copies of all the legislation and bring them back to you as soon as I figure out how. I'm just seventeen years old and I'm very naïve and I don't have the vast experience in politics that you do.

"One thing I should probably remind you of before I start doing this is that my boyfriend, who is my fiancé, is working for the man you intend to smear. I know that you got Kurt his job, but you must realize that Kurt and I have no secrets from each other. We talk about everything. If I do this for you, I'm going to tell him about it. You honestly can't expect me not to. To do so would be to expect me to choose between my loyalty to you and my loyalty to the man I will marry next year . . . the man I will spend the rest of my life with . . . the man I love more than life itself. If I tell Kurt, it will put him in the middle of an impossibly difficult situation. Therefore, you must realize that from now on, this is not a clandestine operation.

"Secondly, Mr. Senator, as someone who will be able to vote next year, my priorities at the ballot box will be focused on who can deliver what is important to my own interests, not on their party affiliation. Yes, I tend to lean Republican, but Kurt and I worked for the Obama campaign because we very strongly believed his policies on the war and the economy were the right ones. Yes, we'd rather see lower taxes and smaller government, but in this economy, that's the least of our concerns.

"Given the choice between finding a compromise solution that avoids the farm disaster of which you speak, but leaves the junior senator in place, versus replacing the junior senator with a less senior senator in the minority Republican party . . . a senator who'll bring our state far less clout, I'd far rather have the former. What's more, if I ever found out that you were involved in dirty tricks to sully the good name of our junior senator or his father, I'd vote you out of office."

With a grim look on his face, the senator said, "Well one things for certain, Trevor . . . You're not your father. Your father would have taken on the assignment without hesitation. To him, loyalty always came first . . ."

"Don't be so sure about that, Senator," I countered. "I don't know what he might have done when he was my age, but he recently fired an employee for taking an assignment to secretly photograph a couple of high school girls for their parents, to prove they were a lesbian couple. He gave the parents their money back, too, even though they already had the photographs. Sadly, the damage was already done and the couple is no longer together. One of the girls is even pregnant. The bottom line is that my father's a man of principles and he's not about to profit from a bunch of religious, homophobic zealots.

"Today if you asked my father to do something that was against his principles, I truly believe he would turn you down, even if it meant he'd pay a heavy price for it," I concluded.

Sighing, the senator said, "When I was the young mayor of our city, I was commonly known as `Nixon's favorite mayor'. It was a name I felt I deserved . . . a name I'd earned for my loyalty to the president. I would have done anything for the man and I mean anything.

"When the Watergate scandal broke, it nearly ended my political career. I tried to distance myself from the president. I even said words to the effect that he should fear for his soul, but those were just words. Truth was, I was more like Nixon than I'd cared to admit. I was willing to do just about anything to advance my own career, and although breaking into Democratic headquarters was a bit extreme, anything short of that, that wasn't entirely illegal, wasn't off the table as far as I was concerned.

"Watergate was a real eye-opener for me. There's a reason I'm considered one of the most honest men in the Senate. If anything, I've overcompensated since then. Lobbyists know that I'm not for sale . . . but politics is still a dirty business, and sometimes we do need to get down in the trenches and dig a little. In spite of what our president says . . . and don't get me wrong . . . I admire the man tremendously . . . partisan politics plays a very important role in Washington. Among our system of checks and balances, having an opposition is our most important check of all."

Rubbing his hands together as he sat across from me, the senior senator said, "Here's what we'll do, Trevor. I understand that it would put you in an impossible situation to expect you to do this clandestinely. I couldn't and shouldn't have asked you to do it that way. I still want you to look up the relevant information and to make copies of the legislation in question and bring it back to me. Feel free to discuss it with Kurt and tell him he's free to let the junior senator know what's going on. At some point, I'll go over my findings with the junior senator myself. With any luck, I'll be able to pressure him into making a compromise. We'll do it together, and I'll only use the information to force him out of office as a last resort. Otherwise, we'll keep everything completely above board.

"Does that meet with your approval, Trevor?" he asked.

"Completely, Senator," I replied.

Spending my morning in the Library of Congress was a real trip. There are three separate buildings that comprise the Library, and finding my way around them was an education unto itself. I was surprised at how just anyone can access the Library, and how people from all over the country were there looking up all kinds of obscure information. The library houses records that date back, literally, to the beginning of the Congress. Every single bill . . . everything that has ever been entered into the Congressional Record . . . can be found there. Of course more recent records can be accessed by computer from anywhere in the world, and somewhat older records are on microfiche, but some things are only available in hardbound volumes. It was a real trip back in time.

The library is also a museum of sorts, with many different kinds of books, documents and artifacts. There are always tours going on, and there is a theater with multimedia presentations. I'd had no idea all this stuff was there.

There were several fellow pages at the Library, and many, many congressional staffers as well, not to mention, I later found out, some of the Supreme Court clerks. The Library of Congress houses the largest law library in the world; hence everyone tends to go there to look up important decisions and opinions to use as arguments in deciding a case. At one point I even spotted Justice Stephen Breyer himself. Whoa.

It took me some time to familiarize myself with the operations of the Library, but the librarians were more than helpful and I quickly learned how to look up and cross-reference all of the legislation in question, and then look it up in the voluminous tomes, deep in the stacks of the Library. Rather than making paper copies of everything, however, I had everything scanned and e-mailed back to the Senator, with a cc to myself, to be archived or printed as he saw fit. This was so much more practical than filling my backpack with tons of dead trees.

I nearly lost track of the time, but then my stomach was letting me know it was already afternoon when my cell phone went off. My face lit up when I saw the caller ID was from my honey.

"Hey babe," I answered.

"You free for lunch?" Kurt asked.

"I could do lunch if you're not too far away," I answered. "Where are you?" I asked.

"I've spent the whole friggin' morning at the Library of Congress," he answered.

"You're kidding me!" I practically shouted, but then quieted down. "That's where I've been, but the place is huge. It's no wonder we never ran into each other. Where exactly are you."

When he told me, I turned around, walked about ten paces, turned left, walked another five paces and found him sitting hunched over at a carrel. We were that close all along.

I tapped him on the shoulder, he turned around and the biggest grin took over his face. The cell phones were quickly forgotten.

We ended up just going to one of the staff cafeterias at the Library, and spent the rest of the afternoon working together, even though it slowed us down a bit. It turned out that the junior senator was well aware of the issues the curtailment of corporate farm subsidies could cause, and was busily working on a compromise behind the scenes that would even the playing field without rewarding them with subsidies they didn't need. As Kurt pointed out, with the drop in the price of oil over the winter, the price of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides had dropped dramatically, whereas the price of food had actually risen, so corporate farmers were far from hurting. They didn't need to make up for lost farm subsidies at the moment - they just needed strong incentives not to get greedy and plant more than their fair share of the land. And should costs rise as they invariably would, the senator had a plan to even the score for years to come.

Kurt related that the junior senator was aware that his senior colleague was up to something, but he was shocked to learn of the depths to which he was willing to stoop to protect corporate farm subsidies, even to the extent of using the junior senator's father's record to smear his good name. We both agreed that while I should continue with what I was doing, we weren't gonna let that happen.

By the end of the day, we were positively beat. It was late and we were tired. When we got back to Webster Hall, we immediately knew that something was wrong when we got to our room, because the door was ajar. Kurt started to reach for the door knob, but I stopped him, knowing that someone could potentially still be inside, or that there might be a slight chance of there being fingerprints on the knob.

On the off chance that it was just that David and Jeremy inside, I called their names out, but there was no answer. I then knocked on the door, and still got no answer. I called David on his cell phone and found that both he and Jeremy were still at the White House and were just getting ready to call for a limo. I explained what was happening, and he said they'd be there right away.

While I waited by the door, Kurt went to get the Sergeant at Arms, who came immediately. The Sergeant gently pushed the door open, revealing that our room had basically been trashed. Our beds had been overturned, the mattresses thrown off the beds and onto the floor, the lamps thrown onto the floor and broken, and our clothes strewn about the room and left in rumpled heaps. It was a scene of total destruction . . . it made me want to cry.

Man, I couldn't believe how our room had been trashed, but after the police came and investigated, and took our statements, there wasn't anything else that could be done. Of course they didn't actually find anything. Naturally, there were no fingerprints they could actually use or anything like that, and other than a couple of broken lamps, nothing was really damaged. It was all dismissed as being nothing more than harmless vandalism, but it sure didn't feel harmless to us.

At least we got some action out of it - the lock on the door was changed the very next day, and there were no other incidents the rest of the week. Even the other pages seemed to leave us alone after that. I guess they realized that a line had been crossed, and they didn't want to draw attention to themselves as possible suspects.

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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