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 Twelve
No Place Like Home - Jeremy
by Altimexis

After two years of playing high school soccer, not to mention playing middle school soccer before that and in the youth soccer leagues even before that, David and I had played just about every position imaginable. One thing the coaches knew not to do was to play us against each other, as we often became distracted, particularly if we were playing shirts versus skins. What could I say . . . David was just so damn sexy, and he felt the same way about me.

Well, now that one of the most amazing and disruptive summers in our young lives was drawing to a close, soccer practice was in full swing and David and I were trying out, both hoping to make the varsity team. We both knew there was a good chance I'd make it, and a fair chance David would not. David was tall and lanky, and his ball handling skills were not always the best. He often made up for that, however, in physical stamina, determination and his love of the game. He also had a phenomenal ability to rally the rest of the players, particularly when our backs were up against the wall.

When we were freshmen, there were some players who made a big deal of the fact that David and I were boyfriends, but that died down in a hurry when I demonstrated that I could score goals. In fact, I quickly became one of the lead scorers in the game. Since then, I've played mostly offensive positions, whereas David has played a mix of offensive and defensive positions, including goalie. With his height and speed, he's actually not half bad at stopping balls from entering the net, but there are others on the team who are better still.

The first couple of weeks had mostly been about getting us all back in shape after what for many had been a lazy summer. Unfortunately in our case, spending the summer at the White House hardly lent itself to vigorous exercise, so David and I were definitely in need of some serious reconditioning. The congressional hearings we'd been forced to endure were also a major emotional drain on us from which we needed to recover and, particularly in my case, we were still dealing with the news that my foster brother, Cliff, had nearly come down with AIDS. His counts were finally on the rise, but his immune system was still in a very weakened state, and he was far from out of the woods.

A lot of good things had come out of the summer, however. The internship was fantastic and in the end, we got to know a lot of cool people really well, including the President, the Vice President, the First Lady, Rahm Emanuel, and many members of the President's cabinet. Hillary Clinton was one amazing lady with a presence that in many ways matched that of her husband. Of all the friendships and acquaintances made over the summer, however, I valued that of Will Kramer the most, even with what happened to him in the end. In many ways, Will was too good for politics, but I think David had the perfect idea for him, to become a legal scholar and eventually a federal judge, maybe even on the Supreme Court.

The travesty of the so-called prostitution scandal if anything boosted our political fortunes at the expense of those who initiated the rumor and those who fanned the flames - particularly the members of the ad-hoc ethics committee. More important than anything, it brought David and his brother closer together. I think we were all proud of the way Brad organized the whole student protest thing. He really showed what he was capable of . . . that he's every bit as much a politician as David.

The publicity he received sure kick-started his efforts to get GSAs going in all the middle schools. After returning from Washington, he got a huge number of volunteers, both gay and straight, from all three middle schools in the district. He even got some interest from students in schools in other districts, too. Brad's been talking to Trevor about setting up a citywide gay youth council to coordinate the activities of all the GSAs in the entire metro area. With so many kids coming out, we prolly need something like that. Brad's become a local gay kids' hero, and he's not even gay!

The biggest surprise of all for the summer, however, has been Sammy and Paul's performance in summer school. Actually, it's Sam, as he prefers to be called, and he's come a long, long way. It's gonna take a lot of getting used to, but he's really been working on his language, and he barely speaks with an accent anymore. It's still there, and he prolly always will have at least a little bit of one, but most of the street language is gone and he pretty much talks like a regular teenager. Both he and Paul did great in summer school - so great, in fact, that they won't be in Special Ed next year. They'll both be in regular eighth grade classes.

I`d had a strong feeling Sam would be able to make it, but seeing Paul make it was a real surprise. Everyone knows Paul has Down's Syndrome and is a little slow. He sure needs a little reminding not to forget things, but I guess with a lot of studying with Sam, he manages quite well in school, and his test scores have soared. I know he has to work harder to learn the material, but Sam's been there for him, and it's made all the difference in the world.

Right now, both Sam and Paul are with Trevor and Kurt, enjoying a week's vacation at Disney World in Florida. It's the first time for Sam and Paul, and I bet they're having a blast.

Anyway, getting back to soccer, after a couple weeks of brutal exercises, drills and the like, we're finally getting down to some actual tests of our skills, and were playing some practice games.

As Coach called out positions for each of us to play on opposing teams, he said, "Reynolds, Kimball, I'd like to try something different with the two of you."

"Sure, Coach," David answered.

"Whatever you say," I agreed.

"Kimball, I want you to play Offensive Midfielder," Coach barked.

"Sure thing, Coach," I replied. Offensive Midfielder, while not as glamorous a position as Striker or Center Forward, was a crucial position, and one that could be brutal. Teammates looked to the offensive midfielder to set the plays up - the offensive midfielder was held responsible for making sure the team scored goals. In this position, I would be in charge of the team's offense. I sure hoped the Coach wasn't considering me for this position on varsity!

"Reynolds," the coach continued, "I want you to play Defensive Midfielder."

"But . . . I've never played that position before . . . and that position's usually reserved for the Team Captain," David protested.

"Are you questioning my judgement?" Coach asked David.

"No sir," David replied.

"Good, I didn't think so," the coach said with a smile, "and don't go getting cocky on me. This isn't permanent, you know. It's just something I want to try out. It's just a hunch I have." He shouted to everyone else at the top of his lungs, "NOW LET'S GET MOVING!"

Personally, I would have never considered David for the position of Defensive Midfielder, but I could understand where Coach was coming from. This was a very cerebral position. The person who played it needed to have a strong personality and to be able to motivate the entire team to play well. He also needed to have good physical stamina, but physical coordination wasn't the most important asset. The offensive and defensive midfielders also needed to work well together. In that light, Coach's strategy suddenly made sense.

As the first practice game got started, it was like seeing an entirely new David. He took charge of the game, implementing Coach's strategies and motivating the team like I'd never seen anyone do before. The rest of the team were in awe of him, and he and I were in perfect sync, coordinating defense and offense perfectly, turning over the ball so many times, the other practice team practically gave up. Coach made some switches between the two practice teams, but the result was still the same.

At the end of the day, the coach called us over and said, "I was right about putting you two in those positions. You make a formidable pair." Chuckling, he said, "Maybe I should try recruiting at a GSA meeting," to which I replied, "Most of the people you meet there will be straight."

"I keep forgetting that," he replied. "Things sure are different than when I grew up . . . different for the better . . . much better."

"Does this mean we've made varsity?" David asked.

"Nothing is final until the end of the week," Coach answered, "but you'll probably want to keep your fall extracurricular activities light," he said with a wink. "I have a feeling with you guys in these positions, we're going to have a particularly good season this year, and you're still only juniors, so we'll get you for another year."

Coach was grinning from ear-to-ear, and I didn't have the heart to tell him David and I were seriously considering early graduation. For us, this year would probably be our last in high school.

After practice, David and I headed to my house, where he planned to spend the night. It was ironic but, even though we'd been together day and night in Washington, we rarely had any privacy while there, and the draconian rules in Webster Hall precluded us from having any sex. Indeed, we used to joke that they could expel us for jerking off. So now we were making up for lost time!

We thought we'd have some privacy at my house, but we were wrong. When we drove up in my shiny red Boxter, and headed inside, we immediately heard the sounds of laughter filtering through the great room from outside. Sure enough, Brad and Cliff, and their girlfriends, Kayla and Linda, were all splashing around in the pool.

We headed down the steps and out the doors that separated the great room from the poolroom. The roof of the poolroom was retracted, and all the atrium doors were open, effectively making the pool an outdoor pool for the summer. Our boathouse and boat dock were clearly visible, as were the muddy waters of Dawson Lake just beyond. I loved having a year-round pool - it was probably the reason I'd become a potential Olympic contender - but none of it meant anything without David.

As the younger kids noticed us, Brad called out to David, "Hey, bro. How was soccer practice?"

"It went great!" David replied to his brother. "Coach all but said we'd made varsity. He put Jeremy at Offensive Midfield and me at Defensive Midfield."

"Whoa," Brad said. "Isn't that like being Team Captain or something?"

"I'd have to be elected by the rest of the team, but it's often the case," David answered. "It shocked the hell outta me, but Jeremy and I played really good that way. Better than good. I turned the ball over a lot, and Jer then set it up for a quick goal. We work well together in those positions. Coach somehow figured we'd work well together that way, and he was right. And somehow he figured I'd make a good defensive leader. Not even I thought that, but he was right.

"So how'd football practice go?" David asked his brother.

"Pretty good. At least they haven't kicked me off the team, yet," Brad answered.

"Are you kidding?" Kayla practically shouted with obvious pride in her voice. "You're the best wide receiver they have."

"She's a keeper, Brad," David agreed. "She's right about that."

"Cliff," I suddenly asked with a hint of obvious panic in my voice, "is it safe for you to be in the pool?"

"That's what we're all celebrating," he answered. "My counts are way up and Doc Rick cleared me for swimming."

"That's great news!" I shouted.

"So why don't you guys put on your suits and join us . . . that is unless you'd rather skinny dip," Cliff said with a sly smile.

"We had other . . . plans," I said with a blush, "but a swim does sound nice, and we can always do those things later, since David's spending the night." Turning to my boyfriend, I asked, "What do you say, David?"

"Sounds great to me," he replied.

Actually, we did end up spending suspiciously more time up in our bedroom than was necessary to strip out of our clothes. David was just too damn sexy - it was entirely his fault.

When we got back downstairs, me in a pair of my Speedos and David in conventional swim trunks, Cliff asked, "OK, we have a little bet going. Which was it? Did you jerk each other off, did you dry hump each other, was it a 69, or did you just really make out like crazy?"

I must have turned bright red, which made it pretty hard to deny we'd done something. Yeah, we'd 69'ed, but that was a very personal matter and I'd be damned if I'd tell my young brother that, much less in mixed company.

"Cliffy," I said, "I'll tell you the details if you tell all of us the details of what you do with Linda behind closed doors."

"You tell them that and you'll be eating Jell-O for weeks," Linda answered for him.

"Touché," Cliff agreed.

"You know what would be nice," I said. "Labor Day's coming up, and then it'll be back to school for us all. Sam, Paul, Trevor and Kurt will be returning soon, too. It'd really be great to have an end-of-summer party, you know?"

"That's a great idea," Brad agreed. "One thing`s for certain . . . this has been a summer to remember, in more ways than one! Let's celebrate it. But I don't want to have a huge party . . . just a few really good friends."

"Trouble is, we know people in five different grade levels, spanning eighth through twelfth grades," I pointed out. "It's hard to see how we could have less than fifty people, and that's cutting the invite list to the bone. More realistic would be around two hundred, and we'd still prolly be offending some people who consider us good friends."

"And we have less than two weeks to pull the whole thing together," David noted, "but still, I like the idea. Let's brainstorm a list of who we'd like to invite, and we can call Trevor and Sam and get their ideas while we're at it." Turning to me, he said, "We'd probably better get your parents` permission, too. We are talking about holding it here aren't we?"

"Where else?" I said with a smile.

The idea of a party settled in our minds, I dove into the pool, and we all horsed around in the water a while until Carlotta called us out for dinner, which consisted of grilled halibut steaks, corn on the cob, fresh green beans and wild rice, followed by frozen yogurt, all served out on the pool deck. She was a miracle worker in the kitchen. The food was delicious.

After dinner, we all went downstairs to the game room, where a DDR tournament quickly ensued. I'd always thought David was the absolute champion at this game, but I guess I just really sucked at it, 'cause the younger kids blew us both away. Brad was way better than his brother, but the champion was Kayla, whose feet seemed to move at the speed of light.

By the time we had all finished playing, we were six sweaty, nearly naked teenagers and I was as horny as could be. I just wanted to take my Davey right then and there.

As it was getting late and the girls had to get home, we decided we'd all better take showers. We actually have two separate shower rooms downstairs in the game room just for this purpose, and we certainly hoped the brothers and their girlfriends would use them separately, as intended, but David and I wanted a little privacy, and so we headed upstairs to my room, with it's private bath.

Once my door was closed behind us, I turned around to face my boyfriend and pulled him into a loving embrace as our lips came together and our tongues began a slow, sensuous dual. David and I knew each other so well - no words need ever be said. The feel of his bare chest against my own was indescribably hot. I loved this boy more than life itself.

Slowly, I moved my hands down his back as I felt him do the same. I pushed my hands under the waistband of his swim trunks and gently cupped the strong, but soft mounds of his cheeks. Moving my hands back up to the waistband, I hooked it with my thumbs and gently pulled it down, exposing my lover's manhood, just as David did the same with me. We both stepped out of our swimwear, leaving both of us completely naked before each other.

We instantly went back to our embrace and our lips and tongues were reunited. When we came up for air, David asked, "I think the shower can wait until after our first round of love-making, don't you?"

"Definitely," I replied. We were hot, we were sweaty and we smelled of chlorine, but we didn't care. We were hot for each other, and at the moment, the only thing that mattered was our love.

David never ceased to amaze me with the way he could create such heavenly feelings for me here on earth. With each gentle touch of his long, slender fingers, each little peck of his lips, each little nip of his teeth and each little lick of his tongue, he aroused within me sheer feelings of bliss that I was convinced no one on the planet had ever experienced before. Of course I wasn't lying idly by, either, but David was definitely the dominant partner, and I found I really liked it that way.

When David entered me, there was no question we were made to be united this way. The feeling of his pulsating, warm member inside of me was just . . . perfect. If I could find a way to spend all eternity joined this way, I surely would. With each thrust, electrical shocks coursed through my body and my whole world seemed to tilt. I could feel my own member, pulsating, trapped between our abdomens as our bodies made contact from our nipples on down to our pubes. We kissed passionately as we make love to one another.

I was with the boy I loved, he was in me, and we were making passionate love. What could be more perfect? But all things must come to an end and I felt the pressure building within my balls. Our breathing became more rapid and David sped up his thrusts as I sensed that he, too, was reaching the point of no return.

Sweat poured over our bodies as I felt my sphincter clamp down on David's member and the dampness spread between our bodies as I was consumed by intense pleasure. David's back arched as he filled the condom. We knew that Trevor and Kurt didn't use condoms - that is their choice. We continue to use condoms, not because of lack of trust, as we trust each other implicitly, but it's more hygienic this way.

"Let's get that shower," David said after he came down from his high.

"Yeah, let`s," I agreed.

As much as I enjoyed our lovemaking session, nothing could compare with the feeling of being in David's arms. Just cuddling with him is the best feeling in the world. Not that we didn't have some more intimate fun that evening, but the best part was just being with the boy I loved.

Soccer practice the rest of the week went great. Coach kept us in the midfielder positions and the rest of the team seemed to respond well to us there, and to look up to both David and me. At the end of the week when the cuts were made, we'd both made varsity. At the first team practice, the varsity team elected David to be Team Captain. Coach said the vote was unanimous.

The next few weeks were gonna be busy! We only had a week left to plan our Labor Day weekend party, and then school would be starting. David had a hell of a lot to do as Junior Class President for the start of the school year, and we both had responsibilities as members of the Student Council. On top of all that, we'd be practicing like crazy with the soccer team, playing a few games, and then it would be time for Homecoming in just three short weeks. Just thinking about it all made me dizzy.

David and I went with all the parents to the airport to welcome Trevor, Kurt, Sam and Paul back from Disney World. Boy, were they all smiles, coming through security - Sam and Paul couldn't stop chatting about all they'd done during the week on the way back home in the Austins` Escalade. They were tripped out about the girls they'd met.

It was great to have our best friends back home, but I could tell that Trevor still seemed to be living under a cloud. Until there was a resolution of the file sharing issue, there was still a possibility he could be facing jail time, or at least hefty fines. Indeed, he'd only been allowed to go to Florida with the proviso that he check in with the FBI in Orlando, and he'd have to check in with the FBI back home upon his return. The whole thing sucked, but our lawyers told us it could take months for the FBI to sort through Trevor's computers and decide whether they had sufficient evidence to make an arrest.

In the meantime, the rest of us had finally gotten our computers back about the same time we returned home. The Feds had confiscated not only our laptops, but also our home computers and our parents' home computers. They returned everything, all right, but wiped the hard drives clean in the process. We had to reinstall everything from scratch - a process that took us all days. In my case, I had thousands of dollars worth of music and movies on mine, but fortunately, I had a complete off-site backup and was able to restore everything from that.

The next day was school orientation. We all got our class pictures taken, our new locker assignments and our class schedules. David and I both had busy schedules! Trevor and Barry Smith had a table set up for the GSA, and I was really pleased to see that a lot of kids were stopping by to get information - particularly freshmen. This was great! Kurt spent a lot of time at the booth, too, and a lot of kids stopped by, just to say hi and to congratulate him on receiving his Congressional Gold Medal. A lot of kids we didn't even know came up to David and me, too, just to say how sorry they felt about what we`d had to go through with the whole scandal and all.

When we stopped by the GSA table, there were a couple of African American kids standing there, talking to Trevor, Barry and Kurt. One of them was a very muscular boy with short-cropped hair. Everything about him screamed `jock'. The other had long, bleached hair and looked rather effeminate. Sadly, there were very few black members of the GSA, so it was refreshing to see these two taking such an interest.

"David and Jeremy," Trevor spoke as we approached, "You didn't sit with us at the race last spring, but these guys are Billy and Rick, and they live over in the old part of Grandview, so they went to middle school over on Westlane Road. And get this . . . they've been a couple since the fifth grade!"

"Whoa!" I said. "I didn't even think about my sexuality back then. In fact, the first time someone mentioned to me they thought I might be gay wasn't until the seventh grade, and then I was outed in the eighth grade."

Chuckling, Billy said, "Yeah, we kind of heard the story of how you came out. Groping your best friend in gym class . . . definitely not the best way to stay in the closet!" he said with a giggle. "But in our case, I'd been protecting Rick since we were little kids. He was always on the small side, and what many would call a sissy, but I used to beat other kids up for calling him that."

"I hated it that you'd do that," Rick said, "but I hated being called a sissy even worse. I think I always knew I was different, and once I knew what the word meant, I knew down deep I was gay, probably from the time I was seven or eight. I was soooscared Billy would hate me when he figured it out, but he stuck by me as we grew up, no matter what happened. We were friends . . . best friends."

"We were more than friends," Billy admitted. "I didn't realize it at the time, but I was head over heels in love with the guy, right from the start, and when my hormones started to kick in, even as early as when I was eleven, there was so much more I wanted to do with him. I didn't know what it was I wanted to do . . . I just knew I wanted it bad.

"But when the other kids kept taunting him and calling him a faggot, and when he cried to me and said they were right . . . that they had every right to call him that 'cause he was gay, I put him in his place. I told him in no uncertain terms that no one deserved to be called something like that, that he better not be down on himself for being gay, 'cause I was gay, too, and that I loved him more than anything.

"We came out to the `rents' that day, and to our classmates as boyfriends the next day. We've been an out couple for three-and-a-half years." Billy said as he slipped his arm around Rick's waist without any hesitation at all. "Everyone at our school is used to seeing us together in the halls, holding hands and all. 'Course it helps that I can mop the floors with just about anyone's face. Everyone knows that no one can attack my Ricky and live to see another day."

"Billy's the quarterback of the freshman team," Trevor mentioned.

"I might have guessed," I commented. "David's the captain of the varsity soccer team. He's the Defensive Midfielder, and I'm the Offensive Midfielder."

"And you've been the state swimming champion, two years in a row," Billy said as he reached out to shake my hand. "You guys are legends around here, and prolly the best-known gay couple in the whole damn city. And now with Kurt winning the Congressional Gold Medal, he and Trevor are right up there, too. We're finally getting our due.

"Plus that whole thing your brother did, David, was totally awesome. Of course Rick and I went on that trip. I know you didn't know us from Adam, but we had to go. What Barry did for his brother, and what yours has done for you . . ." Billy started to get tears in his eyes, "and now there's gonna be a Gay Youth Council for the whole city. This is just so fucking incredible. Unfortunately, a lot of my teammates have hassled me 'cause I'm gay. This is still the Midwest and we still gotta watch our backs, but we've come so far, thanks to you guys."

"It sounds like you guys have had a lot to do with things, too," I said. "Hey, we're having a party this coming weekend to celebrate the end of the summer. It's at my place on Sunday, starting at noon and prolly going 'til midnight. We'll have lots of food, and swimming, boating, dancing and games. There'll be a live band, but no booze or drugs, and we'll send anyone home who tries to bring any."

"That's cool," Billy said, "I don't go near the stuff. Tobacco neither. Sounds like you have a big place, and on a lake if you have a boat."

"Yeah . . . too big in my opinion, but it's great for parties. We live in Lake Shores, right by Broad Ripple, not too far from school, actually," I explained. "One thing, though. Please don't go advertising the party to your friends. We're trying to keep it small, but it looks like we may have one or two hundred kids at the rate we're going."

It ended up being more like 250 by the time Sunday came around. It's just that it was hard to invite closest friends without making some very close acquaintances feel slighted. We couldn't, for example, invite one member of the varsity soccer team without inviting pretty much the whole team. The same went for Brad and his football team, and of course there was the varsity swim team, even though swim practice was months away. We had a lot of very close friends from the GSA, but fortunately, a lot of them had been seniors last year and had graduated and moved away. The only ones still in town were Debbie and Cathy, and they had a new baby. I was, nevertheless, pleased when they RSVP'ed that they would be able to attend.

My parents were great about the whole thing and they even splurged and hired caterers to provide the food, so that made things easy for me and the rest of us. For the music, we auditioned several different area bands - they were mostly kids our own age. We chose one called `Benny's Benders' - with a name like that, I kinda wondered if they were gay but, nah, not likely. They played classic rock mostly, with some of their own stuff that was actually quite good.

Guests were instructed to wear or bring swimwear. I made sure there were lots of towels available, and plenty of bottles of high-SPF sunscreen. I didn't want any of our guests getting burned.

The party went really well. Our house is set up fantastically well for a party like this. We had guests inside up in the great room talking and eating. There were guests downstairs in the game room playing ping-pong, pool, foosball, air hockey, pinball, DDR and a host of video games. Most of the group were in and around the pool, which was where the band was set up. They started playing their tunes at 5:00. We also had kids going out in the boat on the lake, but I was strictly supervising that, making sure everyone wore a life vest and that the boat wasn't overcrowded. I wasn't letting anyone ski who wasn't experienced - this wasn't the time for beginners. I didn't want a drowning on my head.

With so many athletes among us, we got a game of touch football going. It wasn't my usual sport, but I held my own. Somehow, the football players outvoted the soccer players. The main thing was that we all had fun . . . and it was great seeing all the guys running around wearing next to nothing. Hey, I'm a normal red-blooded gay boy, after all.

Later in the evening, we cleared an area of the deck and had dancing. About a third of us were gay, and there were a few lesbian couples, so this was not your typical teenage dance scene! I mean, sure, David and I introduced same sex dancing at our high school a couple of years ago, but here at our party, it was almost more the rule than the exception.

I spotted Trevor and Kurt dancing together and noticed they were both in a particularly good mood. I knew they probably felt rested from their trip to Disney, but with school starting back up, they still seemed entirely too happy, so I cornered them and asked what was up.

"It's great news, Jer," Kurt answered. "The FBI's dropping their investigation of Trevor's alleged music swapping activities."

"Yeah," Trevor confirmed. "They finally brought back all my computers yesterday. 'Course not before they wiped the hard drives clean," he fumed.

"They did the same thing with all our computers," I related. "At least I had a full backup I was able to restore from, but poor David had to reinstall everything from scratch, and he was really pissed," I explained. "With thousands of dollars of iTunes downloads, however, I wasn't taking chances."

"Well they took everything I had and wiped it clean," Trevor related with bitterness. "I'd have been beyond livid, particularly since my parents gave all my CDs away, but I use an Internet backup service, so all my files, including my music files, were backed up off site. I still have days worth of work ahead of me doing a rebuild of my operating system and all my applications on all my computers, but at least I'm not going to jail."

Putting my arm around him, I said, "Trevor, why make it so hard on yourself? Why don't you just get a preinstalled version of Ubuntu?"

"How the fuck do you know about Ubuntu?" Trevor asked.

Laughing, I answered, "Hey, I'm not just a dumb blond."

"I never said you were, Jer . . . it's just that as a Mac user, I never pegged you as a computer enthusiast. I have nothing against Ubuntu," Trevor explained. "I just like to do the installation from scratch myself so I'll know exactly what's going on under the hood, so to speak . . . that's all,"

"I'm a Mac user by choice, Trevor. Mac OS ten runs on top of Darwin, which is Apple's variation of BSD UNIX, you know. Darwin is open source. Yeah, I know Apple's no paragon of corporate responsibility, but if they didn't protect their platform, there would be no Apple left to protect. Apple sets the bar for computer usability . . . everyone knows that, which is why we need them around. But anyway, to each their own," I said with a smile. "There is, after all, a fine line between genius and craziness. You know David and I love you and Kurt like brothers, don't you?"

"Speaking of which," Trevor said, "There's gonna be a special convocation at school during homecoming, honoring my baby."

"No shit," I said.

"Yeah, and they're gonna display Kurt's medals in a special display where everyone can see them," Trevor continued.

"Oh geez," Kurt said as he bushed. "The whole thing's sooo embarrassing."

"Perhaps just a tad, but you're still gonna be a great role model for other gay kids . . . for straight kids, too," I said.

"Yeah, I guess," Kurt said, "I just have to keep reminding myself of that."

"Anyway, congrats on being cleared," I said once again to Trevor.

"Yeah, that is such great news," Trevor agreed. "Our lawyer's even getting a formal letter verifying that they won't pursue the case. And from now on, no more file swapping, no matter how wrong-headed I think the recording industry may be."

Later that evening, I got a chance to sit down and chat with Cathy and Debbie. I noticed they were holding hands.

"How are you guys doing?" I asked

"We're doing great, Jer," Cathy answered. "Life's finally beginning to settle down."

"How's the little one?" I asked.

"Getting bigger, and stronger all the time," Cathy answered. "He cries a lot, but I guess that's to be expected. "He keeps us up a lot, but I suppose that comes with the territory, too."

"Do you guys have your own place?" I asked.

Shaking her head, Debbie answered, "Not yet. Perhaps when we start school in January. For now, we're staying with my parents, who've been great. They've really done a 180 on the whole gay thing, and they accept Cathy's and my relationship totally."

"Wish I could say the same for my parents," Cathy said, "but they've gotten a lot better since little Tim came along, and since the wedding. I guess `resigned' would be a better word for it . . . they're resigned to the fact that their daughter's a lesbian."

"So where is little Tim," I asked.

"With my parents," Debbie said. "They've been wonderful about baby sitting. They adore their grandson, even though he's not their flesh and blood.

"And thanks for inviting us, Jer," Debbie said with a warm smile. "It's been great seeing so many of our old friends."

"It's been great seeing you guys," I said.

The party finally wound down shortly after midnight. There would be a lot of cleaning up to do in the morning, but thanks to my parents' money, that wasn't my problem to worry about.

David and I slept in, and after making slow, leisurely love, I said, "You know what I feel like?"

"What, my love?" David asked as he ran his left hand through the long strands of my hair and ran his right hand across the sticky mess on my chest.

"I feel like doing something special today . . . just the two of us," I said. "It's our last day of freedom . . . our last day before the start of school.

"Maybe we could go hiking in Turkey Run or go canoeing Down Sugar Creek between Turkey Run and the Shades," I suggested. "Kind of a last summer fling.

"Sounds like fun," David said, "but we'da had to get started way earlier, and prolly made a reservation weeks ago for the canoe, ya know. A hike in McCormick's Creek followed by a nice dinner at the Inn would be nice, but it's already almost 2:00, and by the time we drive there and back, it'd hardly be worth it."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," I admitted, "and ditto for Brown County and the Nashville House and all that," I sighed.

"Why don't we just go downtown?" David suggested. "We could check out the sales, maybe see what's playing at the Imax, see if anything's new at the museums and take a leisurely stroll along the canal."

"Sounds like a plan," I agreed.

After taking a shower and grabbing some leftover food from the party, we checked out what was playing at the Imax inside the State Museum and bought tickets for a 7:00 show.

From my house, being right by Broad Ripple, it only takes ten or fifteen minutes to get downtown. We parked in one of the garages attached to Circle Centre Mall and started checking out the sales, starting with Nordstrom's. Neither of us needed anything, but we ended up picking up some cool new threads for school nonetheless.

With our stuff securely locked away in my Boxter, we decided to check out some new exhibits at the museums, and then go for a stroll along the canal. The funny thing was, what we thought would be an afternoon spent by ourselves - just the two of us - was anything but. Everywhere we went, people came up to us and told us how glad they were that we were exonerated. No doubt about it - we were local celebrities now.

Looking up at the State House, which was straight ahead, I asked my lover, "So you really want to be governor someday?"

Looking back at me, without any hesitation in his voice, he said, "Yeah, Jer, I do, and I'm gonna do it, too. You've seen how people react to us, babe. Two million people call this town home, and prolly a majority of them already have a favorable impression of the two of us. There's another million . . . million and a half up near Chicago that are pretty liberal. They won't give a shit that I'm gay. That's already half the state population right there. For the rest, we just have to focus the campaign on the issues, just like we did during my first run for Class President."

"There will be plenty of folks, particularly the Bible Belt crowd, who'll make your being gay the number one issue of the campaign," I pointed out.

"There'll always be people who try to do that, Jer," David said as he put his arm around my shoulder, "but we won't let them. They always try . . . and they fail," he said with a huge grin on his face - a slightly crooked grin - the same grin I fell in love with more than two years ago, and I couldn't help but pull him in for a brief, but passionate kiss.

Someone shouting `faggots' interrupted the kiss, but it was nothing we hadn't heard before.

"There will always be assholes like that, Jer, who can't see past their bigotry, but we don't need them to win," my David said. "And being the governor is the best way to effect change, and to change the minds of small-minded people like him.

"After I'm governor, then perhaps I'll run for the senate, and after that, who knows?"

"Maybe the Oval Office," I suggested.

"It could happen," David admitted. "When we were in the White House, I got some really spooky vibes . . . almost a feeling of déj vu . . . but if it happens, you'll be right there with me as my right-hand man."

Walking hand-in-hand with my soul mate along the canal, I somehow knew he was right. No one could predict the future, but I had a distinct feeling this was our destiny. I shuddered at the revelation Paul had over Spring Break - that David would be buried in Arlington Cemetery, and the vision I had in my dream - I was convinced it would mean he would die while in office. It would kill me if anything happened to David. Still, it would be even worse for the nation, and for the world.

Maybe that's where I came in. Everyone's always saying I'm David's equal in every way, and even though I don't have his wit, and can't think on my feet the way he can, I would go to the ends of the Earth to make the world a better place. David always says he gets his political ideals from me, but I think it's more a matter of the two of us feeding off each other. We're a team, and if David does become president some day, we'll go to the White House together.

But if something does happen to David while he's president, maybe my role will be to carry on his legacy. Not that I would be the president - at least not right away - but the world would need someone to help stay the course . . . to continue the message of peace and hope.

What was I thinking? This was all silly. David and I were still teenagers. It was cool to think about the future, but in the here and now, we had a whole year of school ahead of us.

Legal Scholar - Will
by Altimexis

"Do you mind if I sit here?" a young man's voice said as I was looking down at my macroeconomics textbook while sipping on a skinny vente caramel macchiato. A brie and pesto on ciabatta sandwich sat half-eaten, next to the book. It had been more than a month since I'd returned to Chicago, and the fall semester of my sophomore year of pre-Law was in full swing. The horrors of my final days in Washington were finally behind me, although it would probably be months, or perhaps even years before the mess Sherrie made of her life would reach its conclusion.

Sherrie remained in a `persistent vegetative state', which was worse than being in a coma. In a coma, there was always the hope she would wake up, but Sherrie was awake - she exhibited primitive reflexes, she opened her eyes in response to pain and her eyes even wondered the room, but never once did they focus, nor did she ever show any signs of being aware, nor did she ever take a breath on her own. She was in every sense a vegetable, and were the doctors to turn off her ventilator, she would die.

Most of the doctors thought that's exactly what should be done. My own parents thought that would be the right thing to do. Sherrie herself had signed an organ donor card on the back of her driver's license. By allowing her to die naturally, at least something positive could result from what otherwise was the waste of her life. Her parents, however, kept holding out hope . . . false hope that she'd recover and once again be the little girl they'd raised. And of course they blamed me for what had happened. It was 100% my fault that she used cocaine - never mind that I never touched the stuff - and it was my fault that she overdosed.

They also made it clear they would use everything they had to keep me from succeeding in life. A career in politics was now out of the question - they'd see to that. Any attempt to run for public office would be met with rumors and innuendo. Actually, that was fine with me. Thanks to recent events, a career in politics was the last thing I wanted in life. David and Jeremy, and even Trevor and Kurt might be able to pull it off as openly gay men, but I couldn't, and after what had happened, I'd decided I was through with hiding. I was going to come out. It was only a matter of how, and when.

So instead of pursuing politics, I was going into academic law. Sherrie's parents couldn't touch me there, and my parents made it clear they would use all of our family resources to protect me and clear the way for an eventual rise to power as a legal scholar. Who knows, someday I might even be appointed to the bench this way, and maybe even to the Supreme Court by President David Reynolds. I had no doubt he'd one day be president, so it could happen, and by then, Sherrie's drug overdose would be a long-forgotten memory.

"So can I sit here?" the voice asked again. "Sorry," I said. "I guess I was really lost in thought." I then finally looked up from my textbook into the most amazing set of blue eyes I'd ever seen. He had a roundish, but not overweight face, dark blond, very curly hair and wore bronze-framed glasses. His was truly the face of an angel.

I could feel myself blush as I was rendered speechless. I realized I'd seen him before in some of my classes, but most of the classes were humongous and I'd never seen him this close before. I didn't even know if he was gay - I sure hoped he was, but in an instant I knew - call it intuition, that this was the man I was going to marry.

As he sat down, I saw he had a vente caramel macchiato and a brie and pesto on ciabatta sandwich. "You have good tastes in food and drink," I said with a smile.

"Hey, I hadn't noticed," he replied. "That's pretty cool . . . so anyway, I noticed you're in Sanderson's Econ class too, and you have the book open and all, and there aren't many open tables, so I really hope you don't mind me sitting with ya."

"Why would I mind?" I asked. "You seem like a cool enough dude, but it'd be even cooler if I knew your name."

"Oh, sorry. I'm Brian Phillips, and before you get all weird on me and think you're talking to a ghost, other than the fact that we have the same first and last name and that we're both gay, the Brian Phillips they wrote the song about and I have absolutely nothing else in common."

My pulse quickened when he admitted he was gay. This was fantastic. "I've seen his picture on the internet, and you're much better looking . . . that's for sure," I said. "You're way cuter," I admitted, blushing furiously.

His whole face lit up when I said that, 'cause I'd just outed myself to him. "You think I'm cute, huh?" He asked.

"Majorly so," I said with a sheepish grin. I guess the place and time for coming out was here and now. "Actually, I know some friends of the other Brian Philips quite well. We met while I was doing my internship at the White House this summer."

"Wait, what did you say your name was?" Brian asked.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I never introduced myself," I admitted. "My name's Will Kramer."

Brian's eyes got big as saucers as he realized who I was. "Aren't you the guy who's girlfriend OD'ed on cocaine and ended up in a coma?" he asked.

Looking down at the table, I said, "Brian, I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, but you need to understand that from the time I was twelve, my father paraded `suitable' girls in front of me, hoping I'd hook up with the `right kind', and I'm not just implying that in terms of gender. Coming from the sort of political background I did, the possibility of being out and in politics never even occurred to me.

"It wasn't until I met the teenagers I was telling you about . . . I'm sure you've heard about them . . . the four kids involved in that alleged prostitution scandal . . ."

"Who hasn't?" Brian laughed. "What a crock that was, and Kurt DeWitt was a Congressional Gold Medal winner, no less. The whole thing was a political ploy by the right that backfired."

"I couldn't agree more, but at least it had a happy ending," I agreed. "Anyway, it wasn't until I met them that I realized it's possible to be true to yourself and still be in politics . . . but now that this thing has happened with my `girlfriend', going into politics isn't really a career option for me anymore," I stated sadly.

"No, I suppose it's not," Brian said, seeming genuinely sad for me.

"But the silver lining in all this," I related, "is that now I'm out to my parents, and they're OK with it, and now I'm free to find myself a boyfriend."

"So you're in the market," Brian said. "You find any prospects yet?"

"I think I may have found someone today," I replied. "He's incredibly cute, has an angelic face with deep blue eyes, curly, dark blond hair, wears bronze-rimmed glasses and likes caramel macchiatos and brie and pesto sandwiches on ciabatta bread."

"And what makes you think this boy's available, or even interested in you?" Brian asked, driving my heart into my throat.

"Well, are you?" I asked.

"Most definitely," he replied with, for the first time, what could only be described as raw nervousness, "but you seem so sure. We've only just met, and we hardly know each other."

"Brian, when I met Sherrie, I knew she was bad news, but both sets of parents pushed the relationship because of the beneficial family ties that would result. I went out with her in spite of my better judgment and it led exactly where I thought it would. If I'd listened to my heart instead, none of this would have happened.

"I am an extremely good judge of character," I stated matter-of-factly. "The moment I looked into your eyes, I knew that you would be the man I'd marry, and would spend the rest of my life with. I'm not saying we shouldn't get to know each other first, and I know it probably sounds a bit clichéd, but I just have an incredibly good feeling about this."

"That's amazing, Will," Brian said. "I've been getting the same good vibes. I want to get to know you, too.

"So you really see us together for the long haul?" he asked.

"Definitely . . ." I said as the biggest grin I'd ever felt took over my face.

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


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