Firstly, if it is illegal for you to view homosexually explicit materials where you live, or if you are under 18, or if consensual sexual activities between male teens offends you, do not read this story.  If you elect to read this story, you indemnify the author, Nifty and any other site this story appears at, from any legal responsibilities for doing so.  

All copyrights and other rights for this story are reserved by me. Any link to this story should point to

This is not a boy-lover story. It is a semi-fictional, semi-autobiography and self-fantasy of my own sixteenth year. While some, or similar, situations my have occurred, all names and locations are changed. This is a work of fiction.

You can read more about the origins of Ray's Circle at .  You can also read my other stories, poems and short works at  You can contact me at gaystories at or IM 

This story was originally released on Nifty over a year ago and was not finished, and was released in the wrong category. It is now finished and later chapters are being edited and cleaned up. It is now listed under High School Friends where it belongs.

For all the goodness than comes with closeness, between friends and more.
For all the beauty, obscured and obliterated by the actions of idiots,
To all the ones who can tell the difference,
and especially to the ones who live the difference...

Ray's Circle


present day


It was the last Wednesday in February.  A cold, wintry day on Chicago's near west side.  It was also Ray's sixteenth birthday. Many boys turning sixteen would be focused on getting that ticket of freedom, a driver's license.  But when you live in a large city like Ray does, the likelihood of it leading to actually driving, especially ever having your own car, was pretty low.  It was even more unlikely given Ray's, or rather his family's, economic situation.  His dad carpooled to work, his mom got rides from friends or used a bus or train to get to work.  His dad was taking him to the DMV next Saturday anyway, so he could worry about it then.  Besides, the events planned for tonight were much more imminent, and important to him,.

Ray's parents did own a car, a two year old Bonneville four-door sedan.  It was used on weekends, sometimes, or for family trips to relatives or cookouts, but usually resided quietly in the garage.  Ray had his bike, a Huffy 26" chromed five-speed, and he used it almost every day, even deep in the Chicago winters.  Ray had really wanted it, and was very glad to have it.  Even some of the rich kids raised their brows at it from time to time.  It had been a birthday present when he turned twelve.

Ray's birthdays were special to begin with; he was born February 29th.  But this year it was a real year, his birthday actually existed for only the fifth time, including the day he was born, in his entire life.  Others call it Leap Year, Ray called it a real year.  Ray didn't know exactly what was in store this year, but he knew it was going to be special.

Today, as he pushed through the main doors of the school and walked out into the cold, winter day, Ray's thoughts were firmly on tonight.  As he unlocked his bike, and the few other students also leaving school early were walking past him, his thoughts were focused on the events planned for this evening.

After dinner, five friends were coming over for a small party. Since today was a Wednesday, and a school night, it was agreed, well, his parents had told him, no big party tonight.  On Friday night, the real party would start at six at his house with his parents and all his friends.  Another party, the real party, with just his best friends, and most importantly, no adults, was set for 8pm:  Elsewhere.  Elsewhere, for Ray, because he still didn't know where his friends were going to take him. Sometimes his circle of friends were very good at keeping secrets.

Tom, Jeff, Eric, Brent and Ryan would be coming over tonight; most of The Circle.  Ray had invited the entire Circle and a few friends from school for the first Friday party with his parents on Friday.  There would be even more at the real party later on Friday night, as the entire Circle would be there. The guys coming over tonight had said they were bringing small presents, stuff Ray's parents wouldn't be surprised about.  His best friend, Tom, had already told him what he was bringing.  He wouldn't talk about the gift he had for Friday night, not a word, just a slick smile.

Tonight will be cool, thought Ray as he pushed off and started riding away from the school, but I'm really looking forward to Friday night!

Ray knew they would not be able to really party at his house, but he hoped, almost knew, that they would be able to when they went off for the real party later.

Wherever it's gonna be, he thought again and again.

Despite Ray's best efforts, two girls had gotten invited to the first party Friday.  Ray was certain that he was being 'set up for some' by his buddies, and he dreaded the thought, but could do nothing to prevent it without demanding that no chicks be at the party.  Doing so, Ray was certain, would set off alarm bells with his parents and his friends.  

One of the girls coming was Marie.  She and Ray had some history.  She had lived in the house next to Ray since they were first built years ago.  She was tall, especially for 17, and pretty.  Long, curly, dark-honey hair, and always very tanned.  Ray liked her breasts because they were pretty big, and she liked showing them off in tight tops and sweaters. She had been dating Berry from school until they broke up last month, so Ray was pretty sure she was most likely the one they were setting him up with for the 'big surprise'.

Too bad it wouldn't be Berry, Ray thought.

Ray had often taken long looks at Berry when he had came to pick Marie next door up in his five year old Mustang convertible last summer.  Berry was one of the rich boys that lived in one of the much larger houses surrounding the four smaller, newer homes that Ray, Tom and Marie lived in.  Ray would watch Berry sitting in the driveway next door in his convertible in those waning summer months, his blond hair shining against the black of the car's interior.  Slightly tanned and a slim jock, he was almost a year older than Ray, and had matured much more; something Ray had known he liked for some time now.  His features were taking on the sharper and larger proportions of a man, and his body was hardened from years of baseball and soccer.  He was on both of the teams at school, and one of the best players on either of them.  Yes, Ray found Berry much more attractive than Marie.

At sixteen, Ray was fairly certain he was gay.  He wasn't a virgin anymore, in any sense of the word.  That was lost at 12, along with a few other things, most importantly his simple innocence.  A cute girl at a lake during the family vacation had been Ray's first sexual experience, and now at sixteen, still his only encounter with the opposite sex.  And if Ray got his way, the only one.  He knew after the events of that summer at the lake that he wasn't nearly as interested in the girls as he was the guys.  By the next summer, at thirteen, he was pretty sure. By fourteen, almost entirely certain.  At fifteen, he knew full well, but had yet to deal with it, though he was by then well experienced.  By sixteen, today, he was doubtless, and he had dealt with it; he thought.

Ray was a brownish red-head with deep brown eyes behind his glasses, and fair skin with a few freckles.  He had the All-American Boy look.  He was sturdily built with wide shoulders, and the football coach had more than once approached Ray about the team.  Ray always had the 'just not a fan' and 'really busy with stuff' excuses ready, and the coach didn't push the matter.

The wrestling coach was another matter; Coach Taylor often talked to Ray about the wrestling team.  He was short and slim, a former feather-weight wrestler, and often mistaken for a pupil by teachers on parent-teacher nights; much to his apparent amusement.  Ray had always put the coach off with the same arguments, but this coach was more insistent.  Ray also thought that perhaps the coach was after more than just his wrestling efforts.  Ray had heard rumors to that effect more than once, but rumors among kids rarely had much to do with the truth, as Ray had personally learned by now.  Besides, he was far too shy to even think of dealing with that possibility, though it intrigued him a great deal.

Sighing and releasing the handlebars of his bike, steering by balance, Ray reflected on how time moved along, changing so many things.  Ray's reddish-brown hair had grown wilder and longer, and his shoulders and hips had widened.  Just last month he had talked his parents into a new pair of glasses, wire-frames instead of the brown plastic-framed kid's kind he had worn for as long as he could remember.  Unlike some kids his age, he had no beard or mustache and only a downy fuzz had sprouted on his chest, arms and legs; like most redheads, he was decidedly lacking in body hair.  He had always expected more by sixteen, maybe some shadow above his lips at least, but nothing so far.  At nearly 5' 6" and 140 pounds, he was sturdy without being fat, muscle replacing his youthful softness.  He didn't work out, but by riding his bike all around the streets of the Chicago suburbs, he had developed a solid physique with strong legs.  All those hours on his bike had also rounded out and firmed his butt, and he was quite proud of that.

As he now swerved on his bike through the few other kids heading home early, Ray's mind wandered back to the days when his family first moved here from the apartments downtown as he huddled deeper into his winter clothing.

He had lost the few friends he had had when he moved, and he was forced to start all over again.  It didn't take as long as Ray had feared, though, before he had met a new friend, one who would become his best friend.  Eventually he formed a tight group of close and well-trusted friends out of the middle-class kids living among their stuck-up, richer neighbors.  Within two years The Circle had been formed.  This band of friends would evolve over the next years, gaining a rare member temporarily, but the Circle of The Seven remained a strong and loyal group.  Outwardly, The Circle was well-known.  The member's parents knew the term well, and often used it to describe other members. 

"Going out to hang with one of The Circle?" some parents would ask. 

Around school they were also recognized as a tight group of their own.  Most of The Circle were not nerdy enough to be banished to the Nerd clique, not athletic enough to be accepted by the Jocks, too poor to be in the Rich Set, not depressed enough to join the Goths, not smart enough to be with the Brains, not cool enough to be a Head, and smart enough not to be a Pet.  Yet, each member separately fit into at least one of those cliques, and spent some time, at school and out, among them.  But The Circle became the center of things for nearly all of them.  For Ray more than anyone else.

Nearly all the members of Ray's circle of friends, including the members of The Circle, were 'the Lessers', as the richer kids called them.  The Lessers were the ones who lived in the smaller, middle-class homes newly built among the mansions and near-mansions of the neighborhood.  Most of the larger homes were nearly a century or more old; grand affairs with high fences and manicured lawns.  Just a mere four years ago, one of the old homes had been demolished, the land divided into smaller plots, and several mere three- or four-bedroom homes built; to the horror of the neighborhood.  And so, the inhabitants of these homes became known as the Lessers.

Not only did social and economic considerations isolate this group of friends from the rest of the neighborhood, so did cars: The rich kids had them.  Most of the families in the newer houses barely made ends meet in order to live in this neighborhood.  Most of the new houses, small as they were, still sold for over half a million dollars apiece.  Affording a single car had been nearly a luxury for Ray's folks when they lived in the apartment downtown.  Now, with a house payment instead of rent, a second car was certainly out of the question. 

As Ray rounded another corner and started down another wide, suburban residential street, he pondered on the dark shadow hanging over this week.  Not just the heavy, dark winter clouds that were perpetually overhead during a Chicago winter, not the social barriers, not the financial separation, but rather this particular shadow had developed over the last few years, was deeply personal, and had grown darker and more foreboding over time.  It hung over him  every week.  Every day.  Every hour.  In every way.

Ray's mind wandered back to when he was twelve and he admitted something that was very difficult for him, even if only to himself; he liked looking at and thinking about boys far more than girls, and was probably gay.  At least, he had done some stuff with boys, and noticed he liked looking at and doing these things with boys, but girls seemed strange and not nearly as interesting.  From what he knew of the female anatomy, it seemed messy, disgusting and absurd.  Blood?  Yeast infections?  Discharges?  Tampons, douches, creams and ointments?  Gross!

For a while he lied to himself, tried to convince himself he was just curious and would outgrow it soon.  He didn't believe that for long.

From the age of about ten or eleven, Ray had been curious about sex, just like his buddies and nearly every other boy.  By the time The Circle had been formed, the boys often bragged and lied to each other about getting lucky or "gettin' some".  They all knew it was all bull shit, but they rarely called each other on any of it.  It was all in fun and good times among good friends.  As time went on and the boys grew older, almost all the gang had gotten hold of porn mags from someone at some time or another, bringing them to the Friday meetings of The Circle.  They would sit around smoking grass and flipping through the pages, making comments and laughing.  Almost every Friday night, by the last page of the magazine, each boy was fondling their crotch openly and commenting how good 'a bitch' would be about now.  The Circle got together nearly every Friday night, and if there was pot and mags around, the night invariably had one of these sessions.  Never, not once, had any of them ever touched each other or done more than self-fondling, adolescent gestures of braggadocio, or the quick flash or dare.  Not in the group, that is.

Currently, The Circle consisted of Ray, his best friend and neighbor, Tom, Jeff and his younger brother, Todd, Eric and the rich twins, Brent and Ryan.  Tom's older brother, at 18, was an honorary member, as were several other boys.  Ray was the oldest, at now sixteen.  Tom was just a few months younger than Ray, and Jeff next, at barely fifteen.  Eric was fourteen, and the twins, thirteen.  Jeff's brother, Todd, the youngest, nearly thirteen.  

Other members came and went, usually during summer breaks, and always relatives or friends of the seven.  While inducted into The Circle and initiated official members, these honorary members were not part of the inner Circle of Seven, as they all referred to themselves privately.  Not every member of the tightly knit group showed up every weekend, but rarely were there less than three members of The Circle during these Friday sleepover meetings.

Tom, also Irish-German, had very white, fair skin with nary a blemish.  His head and face were circular and round with wide, black eyes behind a small, rounded pair of silver wire-rimmed glasses.  Straight black hair hung from his scalp in a typical Moe-style bowl cut for the entire time Ray had known him.  Tom stood about 5' 6", and at one time was overweight.  He was not athletic in any way, even today, but had suddenly become thinner, going from a near butterball to slightly soft while growing a mere two or three inches.  Being short as well clinched his lack of interest in playing sports; his awkwardness sealed that interest.  Tom had an interesting tick of flexing and curling the fingers on his left hand as his right performed even the most mundane tasks.  He could catch a ball thrown to him, but it was an ungainly sight.  As for throwing the ball, Tom looked plainly girly doing so.  He wasn't effeminate, nor limp-wristed, he simply was poorly coordinated.  Tom dug cars.  And chicks.  And movies.  Usually in about that order.  Ray often thought how Tom would be in heaven once he had a car and could take a girl to the movies.  Tom was born two months after Ray, making him the second oldest of seven.  Tom and Ray were the founding members of The Circle, best friends, and neighbors.  And Ray loved Tom considerably.  Not just as his best friend, not just for the way Tom was always there for him, and not just because he was Ray's closest confidant, but because he was Tom.

Jon, Tom's older brother, was sturdy but not fat.  Around 5' 10", he wasn't thin either, but he had no extra weight at all.  He was trim and slightly muscular. He had a weight set that he used every day, and his body showed the signs of all the time he spent with it.  He had dark brown hair and brown eyes in his round face, and a slightly pale, clear complexion.  He refused to let his mustache or beard grow for a single day.  Jon wasn't a regular member of The Circle, but being one of the first honorary members, he did spend more than the occasional Friday night with The Circle.  When he did so, he was usually the life of the party, bringing porn magazines and regaling the younger boys with tales of his sexual activities with various girls from school.  He was a popular guy, had gone through no less than a dozen girls, and still had them lined up to date him.  Ray easily understood why.  He didn't love Jon any more than any other friend, but Ray did love all his friends.

Jeff was the next oldest, and he was the fourth to become a member of The Circle.  At just under 5' 10", he was going to be fifteen in just a couple months and was around 170 pounds.  Jeff literally towered over everyone else, not just because he was the tallest beside Jon, but because he also had a strong presence with his wide shoulders and broad chest.  When Jeff had started his puberty growth at twelve, Ray was surprised at his rapid development.  At almost fifteen now, Jeff had caught up and surpassed Ray and even Jon.  With straw-colored blond hair that was slightly wavy but never curly, round, soft blue eyes, light blond eyebrows, a strong chin and cheek bones, fair skin and braces, his Nordic ancestry showed clearly.  His height and build, and most especially in his facial features, were obviously from Scandinavian stock.  He was slightly beefy, not fat, just built big with some softness.  He was no athlete, but he was capable of being one.  Jeff had a fairly unique attractiveness Ray had noticed the first time he saw him on the school bus that day in Ray's sophomore year.  Ray referred to Jeff's kind of build as 'svelte', although the classical meaning was a bit more than Ray used the term for.  Sexily stocky was another.  Ray had noticed Jeff's growth and had kept close track of his big hands and long, strong fingers over time.  The glimpses Jeff gave everyone during Friday night dares or games left little doubt to the other members of the group that Jeff was well-endowed, in length and girth, and probably the biggest boy of them all.  And that his pubic hair was very light blond.  Ray loved that.  Ray also loved Jeff, period.  Not like Jon, not like most of his friends, not even like Tom, his closest and dearest friend.  >From that first day, Ray loved Jeff.  Period.

Eric was the thinnest and most outgoing of the group.  At fourteen, his hair was strawberry blond, and his pale blue, almost gray eyes glinted under his nearly invisible reddish-blond eyebrows.  His skin was always tanned looking, even in the cold, sunless months of a Chicago winter.  Ray and Eric met when Eric was moving into another of the new subdivisions just being built on another former mansion lot about three years ago, some blocks from his own home. At fourteen, 5' 4" and 140 pounds dripping wet - as Ray had seen him more than once - Eric was no threat to anyone, even though he tried to be.  Eric didn't know much about his family tree, or never spoke of it, but Eric's ancestry had to have some of the Angel Aisles in it, for Eric had the bright red body hair only Scots and the Irish seem to have.  His underarms and pubic hair were coppery-red.  A close look would reveal downy hair on his chest, arms and legs, but it was almost invisible, as was the moustache he had yet to even consider shaving, as pitiful as it looked.  Slightly built, with an energetic personality, Eric was the tornado of the group, always doing something or fidgeting around.  Hyperactive didn't do him justice, as he could literally not sit still for more than five minutes.  Eric also had a slight country accent, almost a drawl.  He once mentioned growing up in Indiana, but never said much else about his history.  He was also an enigma.  Eric was the third member to join The Circle after Ray and Tom.  

Brent and Ryan, the twins, were barely thirteen.  Both showed all the signs of growth spurts and puberty in full swing.  Brent was by far the more outgoing. Skinny, gawky, with buck teeth and a narrow face, boring blond-brown hair and an average complexion, he would never be a lady-killer.  The twins were not identical, and Ryan, the younger of the twins, shared the hair and skin color, but little else.  Both stood about 5' 4" and weighed around 120 pounds.  Ryan's head and face were rounder, smoother and his teeth straighter.  Ryan wore wire-rimmed glasses where Brent did not wear glasses.  Brent was the athletic type, loving to skateboard, bike, and liked about any loud rock music.  Ryan was more introverted, liked reading books and listening to country music.  Brent and Ryan did share another trait; bright, piercing, gray eyes.  Brent and Ryan were the only two rich kids who even talked to anyone from the smaller houses, and as such, were the only two rich kids to become members of The Circle.  They were members five and six, becoming members earlier in the same summer as Jeff's brother, who had yet to become a member.  Even though the boys had dissimilar interests, they were almost always in each other's company, only rarely being apart.

Finally, Todd, Jeff's little brother, who was the shortest and the youngest of The Circle.  Not the smallest, just the shortest and youngest.  Not obese either, but he was surely a big boy.  He had breasts that the guys teased him about constantly, and he hated playing sports or riding bikes.  Karate was different, and Todd liked to watch any kind of boxing or wrestling on television.  He was a video game fanatic in the strictest sense of the phrase as well.  He knew every video game, was almost always the first to finish a new game or figure out a tough spot that stymied the rest of the group.  There were no other kids around Todd's age or younger in the neighborhood, unless you counted Sofie, the five year old who lived closer to the twins than the rest of the group.  Naturally, Todd ended up hanging around the older kids, and eventually was the last to be initiated into the group, forming The Circle of Seven.  

Tom and Ray met four years ago when their families moved to the same patch of new houses.  They became friends so quickly that neither remembered exactly when or how.  Both were not, of course, very popular at school when it started later, and since Tom had moved in nearly next to Ray less than a month after Ray had moved in, they became the closest of friends. 

The brand new homes had just been built on four plots divided out of a formerly larger plot of land where an empty, six bedroom, semi-gothic brick mansion had been struck by lightning and burned down.  The land was sold by the trustee to a development firm who quickly slapped four standard, three bedroom ranch style houses with driveways and attached garages on the land.  While all four new houses were separate, with a thin strip of grass between them, they were nonetheless not much more than town homes.  One large driveway served the first two houses' garages, the houses mirror images of each other. Another identical driveway served the other two houses, again, mirror images of each other.  And all along the road to either side of the four new homes, either high hedges or rows of blocking evergreens mixed with the older maples, oaks and cypress, blocked the view of the large, ostentatious, older homes.

As the years had passed, and Ray had become more certain of his sexuality, and had experimented with nearly each of his friends, Tom had yet to take that step with him.  Though Ray always felt the closest to Tom, after more than two years as neighbors, there had been no experimenting or other sexual activities between them.  Nothing more than what occurred during meetings of The Circle, that is.  Dares to 'show it', or games of 'who's the biggest' were the limit of the sexual activities the group participated in, and therefore also the limit of any sexual activities between Ray and Tom.  Often this had led to more, when Ray and another member were alone at some time or another, except with Tom.  It had been that way for two years.  But, finally, two years ago, when Ray and Tom, as the two oldest of the group, had just turned fourteen, they had finally done a bit more together.

As Ray rode to the local book and hobby store where Tom was to meet him later, bundled in layers of heavy winter clothing, he warmed himself with one of his most pleasing memories.