This is the sequel to Dance of the Wicked Boys. It is not imperative that you read the first novel before reading this one as I have included enough hints throughout the first chapter as to what happened before that a new reader will not be completely lost. However, I would hope you would read the first one as it will help you understand the motivations and the feelings of the characters in the sequel. The story takes place in 1970, so the descriptions of New York City, Times Square, and the drive from New York City to the Hamptons may not seem accurate for a contemporary story, but show the way it was forty-four years ago. Times Square wasn't always a Disney Theme Park. Also, the use of anachronistic terms such as “Negro” or “colored” represent the thinking and ways of speaking of the America of 1970 and in no way are intended to be disrespectful to African-Americans. One of the themes of this story is opposition to bigotry and prejudice! Further, there may be things and ways of thinking regarding sex and intergenerational relations that many today would find abhorrent, but which, once again, reflect the way things were in 1970 rather than today. SPOILER: no adult men have sex with underage boys in this story, though it might seem that such might happen. However, the story does explore the feelings and the anguish such desires might engender.
Ballet Academy of America and Ballet of America are fictional entities and any resemblance to existing institutions is purely coincidental. Greensburg is a fictional city.
DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER! This story may contain scenes of sexual activity between underage males. If it may be illegal for you for read this in your jurisdiction or if you are offended by the subject matter of this story, please read no further. I would be very grateful to hear from you about my story. Please write to me at:
frthnkr1957nifty <at> gmail <dot> com
And PLEASE contribute to Nifty! This is an invaluable resource for the GLBTQ community and a bastion in the fight for Internet freedom and Free Speech!
Two- The Dance of the Wicked Boys
“Oh, my God, Teddy! You should have seen him! Rafi stood there in front of the twit and said, 'Well, you see, dear, I actually have partied with Andy Warhol and you, child, are nothing more than a pretentious, social-climbing poser. Now would you please remove your hand from inside my pants and release my penis before I take that fondue fork over there and perform a tracheotomy on you?”
Teddy roared with laughter from the front seat of Alistair's Lincoln, Geoffrey chuckled behind the wheel and Dylan grinned with joy. He glanced over at Rafael, sitting behind Teddy and on the opposite side of the back seat from Dylan. The older teen was staring pensively out the window at the end of the LIE and the turn-off onto Route 78. He had said little since getting in the car beyond monosyllabic responses to questions. Even when Dylan had slid over and placed a seductive hand on Rafael's left hand, the fifteen-year-old had silently removed it and continued to stare out the window.
“Rafael,” Dylan said softly, “you've been like a corpse for the entire drive. Relax. They can't get into trouble driving in a Porsche 911. The car's too small.”
Rafael snorted and shook his head. “I can get in trouble in the trunk of a '49 Ford. In fact, I did once. My father was restoring one in the garage when I was five and I was caught once playing with my pee-pee while hiding in the trunk. You can get in trouble in any confined space.”
Dylan rolled his eyes and said, “Well, that was you, Rafi. We expect that kind of deviant behavior. Conrad is not going to take Jeremy's virginity driving along Highway 27.”
“No, I don't think he will, but he could take Jeremy's heart.”
Dylan's eyes grew wide and he exclaimed, “Oh, my God! You're jealous! Rafael Colón, Rafael Colón is jealous!”
“Yes, God damn it!” the teenager exclaimed. “Are you happy now? Yes, I'm god-damned jealous! For once in my sick and sordid life I'm truly in love and I am so jealous of Conrad Hartsfeld right now that I could disembowel him with my bare hands!”
Dylan sat back and sighed. “Rafael, you love Alistair, but you've never been jealous of all the men he fucks. And you're the Heinous Anus, for God's sake! You're jealous of a twenty-nine-year-old man and a twelve-year-old boy?”
Rafael closed his eyes tightly as Teddy turned around and looked at him with concern. A moment later, Rafael said in a controlled voice, “Jeremy is romantic and idealistic—and very naïve about the ways of the world. Conrad's a decent man, but he's a world-renowned dancer. He's performed in London, Paris, Amsterdam... you name it, and he's had men in every one of those cities. How can a boy like Jeremy resist the charms of a man like that?”
Dylan frowned and said, “You were okay with it yesterday...kind of.”
“Yeah, well. That was before I saw the way Jeremy was looking at him when he drove up this morning in that damned Porsche. Man, Conrad could seduce the straightest twelve-year-old boy in the country in a car like that, let alone a naïve romantic like Jeremy.”
Teddy started to speak, but Dylan interjected, “Rafi, yesterday you were saying in the locker room that Jeremy could do whatever he wanted, that you wanted him to have fun, that you didn't care what he did or who he did it with. What's the deal?”
“I was thinking of other boys in the shower,” Rafael replied, “not worldly dancers from the company. I mean, the only man I was afraid of before this was Alistair. Now, I've got to worry about Alistair and Conrad with Jeremy. I don't know, now. I... I... God, I love him. I love him so much that it's killing me! It's killing me to sit here in this car and do nothing! I love him!”
Teddy leaned over the back of the seat and smiled with love at his nephew as he said, “This is what I said you were afraid of when we were on the plane. You've never been in love, Rafael. You've loved and you've lusted, but you've never been in love. This is what it means. Love is wonderful and beautiful and feeds the soul, but it can also pierce your heart and fill you with agony, and that's the price you pay for being in love. You're not going to lose Jeremy, Rafael. You may have to share him in some ways, but you're not going to lose him. Jeremy is too much in love with you.”
Rafael closed his eyes tightly and then declared angrily, “The first thing I'm going to do when I get there is march right up to that bastard and punch his God-damn lights out. He can't have my boyfriend! He can't have my Jeremy!”
Dylan and Teddy looked at the teenager with shock for a moment before Dylan grinned and said, “I believe, Rafi, that I said the same thing yesterday morning to Jeremy about you.”
Rafael sighed and his shoulders slumped in defeat as he shook his head.
“Damn it,” he said with despair in his voice. “It's not fair for me to want freedom and then not extend it to him. And, he's not going to go out roaming all over town looking for it. He's too idealistic and romantic. He would never do anything like that. But, that's why I'm so scared.”
He looked at Teddy and said, “I'd feel a lot better if I knew he was just having meaningless sex. But, if he develops some emotional bond with Conrad or Alistair or someone else, then...”
Dylan placed a hand on Rafael's arm and said, “Let me ask you this, Rafi. If you walked into the shower after class right now and everyone was getting it on, would you join them?”
Rafael thought about it and then smiled ruefully. “No, I wouldn't.”
“I don't want to do it with anyone except Jeremy. Maybe Alistair, but I really think I could say no to him now.”
He looked at Dylan and Teddy with amazement as he said, “My God, I really do love him. I really don't want to do it with anyone else. What the hell's happened to me?”
Teddy smiled and said, “You're growing up. You're in love. Welcome to the real world, Rafael.”
Dylan smiled and said, “It's going to be all right, Rafael. When we get there, you can have your talk with Conrad. He's a gentleman. He really is. He was a perfect gentleman with me and I know he wouldn't do anything to hurt either you or Jeremy. Talk the situation over with him and I think you'll feel a lot better.”
“Another thing to think about Rafael,” Teddy added, “is that it's only been a week since you and Jeremy have gotten together and a lot has happened since last Wednesday. This has been a whirlwind week not just for you, but especially for Jeremy. His emotions are probably even more erratic than yours. So, I think you should just relax and soon the two of you will ease into your routine once school starts and training starts.”
Rafael sighed again and said, “Yeah. I know. I should just relax. It's just that I hate sitting and doing nothing. I need to get in my tights and start dancing. When we get there, I may just skip lunch and go right into his studio and dance my ass off until I get all this out of my system.”
Geoffrey watched thoughtfully through the mirror and said, “Actually, Rafael, Alistair's caterers have brought a wonderful lunch. Maybe a quick run around the estate first and then some of their great salmon and pasta and shrimp.”
Rafael nodded and replied, “I've just... this is all so new to me. I've... never felt like this for anyone before.”
“You're not accustomed to feelings, Rafael,” Teddy replied. “Some people drown their feelings in alcohol or drugs. For you, it was always dancing with a little sex thrown in.”
“A little?” Rafael muttered with self-disgust.
“You're learning what it means to be human and to love,” Teddy said. “I think it's beautiful. In fact, you and Jeremy are inspiring me. I may have to start outlining a new story about young love now.”
“Just as long as you change the names to protect the guilty,” Rafael responded.
Geoffrey smiled as he slowed for a light at the entrance to MacArthur Airport. This situation involving Jeremy was giving him much to think about and he was definitely going to have to discuss this with Alistair.
Conrad released Jeremy's hand. They came to a turn-off from the highway and the man downshifted as the boy looked around at the scenery. They took a narrow side road through a highly wooded area, passing several gates within high walls or thick hedges and trees. After turning several times, Jeremy said, “How do you remember which road to take with all these twists and turns?'
“It can be a very private place, which is one reason this is such a popular area,” Conrad replied as they turned into a gate. “However, we're here, so you don't have to deal with any more turns. Of course, another advantage to all the twists and turns is that it makes it harder for you to run away!”
He grinned and raised and lowered his eyebrows suggestively. Jeremy giggled and said, “Why would I want to run away?”
“Oh, one never knows.”
“It would take a lot for me to run away,” Jeremy replied with a similar raising and lowering his eyebrows.
Conrad chuckled as they emerged from the woods and drove past a wide lawn. Before them was a “modern” style two-story house of steel, glass, and concrete.
“Wow,” Jeremy exclaimed as he gazed at the house. “This looks just like Rafael's house back in Greensburg—except it's bigger.”
“Alistair always was a size-queen,” Conrad muttered with a grin.
“What does that mean?” Jeremy asked innocently.
“Never mind,” Conrad replied as they pulled up to the door and a distinguished looking man with perfectly coiffed red hair, wearing a blue sport shirt and chinos emerged from front door and walked gracefully toward them. He looked at Jeremy with surprise and as Conrad jumped over the driver's door and strode around the front of the car, the older man said, “What a surprise, Conrad! I wasn't expecting you for another hour!”
“I'm sorry,” Conrad said as he and Alistair embraced. “I had to demonstrate the superiority of German automotive engineering to Jeremy, here!”
Alistair laughed and winked at Conrad as he said, “I wasn't expecting Jeremy to arrive with you.”
“Well, we met yesterday and I spent the afternoon with Jeremy and Rafael in Studio Three-B and we became fast friends.”
Alistair smiled as he watched Jeremy nimbly jump over the passenger door as he had seen Conrad do. He gazed at Alistair with an awe-filled smile as the man grinned at him and extended his hand.
“So, I finally get to meet the boy everyone is talking about!” Alistair exclaimed as he took Jeremy's hand. “Alistair Mountjoy,” he said, his blue-green eyes locked on Jeremy's blue-gray eyes.
“Jeremy Fenwick,” the boy replied with a strong voice that hid the amazement and nerves the boy was feeling on the inside. He gave the man a masculine handshake, as his father had taught him to do, and added, “Mr. Mountjoy, it's an honor to meet you, sir. It's been my dream since I began dancing to train with you, sir.”
“The honor is mine, Jeremy,” Alistair replied as they continued to shake hands, “that a young man of your skill and potential would choose my school for his training.”
“I had to, sir,” Jeremy replied with his trademark toothy smile. “Rafael is training here and he's the best, so Ballet Academy must be the best.”
Alistair finally released the boy's hand and grinned at Conrad “I don't know if the boy's training for ballet or to run for office,” he said.
“He is amazing,” Conrad replied.
“Yes, he is,” Alistair replied, turning his eyes back to the freckle-faced boy. “I watched you dance yesterday, Jeremy and I was most impressed.”
“I wish I had known,” Jeremy replied. “I'd have given you a better show.”
Alistair assumed the boy was too naïve to have intended the obvious double-entendre and replied with a grin, “Well, it was good enough.”
Jeremy shook his head and said, “My father always said good enough is never good enough.”
Alistair smiled as he studied the boy and replied, “You're father was a wise man and I can see where his son got his motivation and attitude.”
He placed a friendly hand on Jeremy's shoulder as he glanced back at their luggage and said, “Geoffrey's not here, Conrad, so while I give Jeremy a tour of the house, do you mind taking your suitcases up? I've put Jeremy with Rafael in the room to the left of mine and you in the room to the right.”
In a suggestive tone, he asked, “Do we need to change the assignments?”
“Not yet,” Conrad replied with a grin as Jeremy blushed.
“Good,” Alistair replied with a significant look. “Come with me, Jeremy, and I'll show you around.”
“You have a beautiful home, Mr. Mountjoy,” Jeremy said as Conrad watched with a tinge of jealousy as the two entered the front door.
“Thank you, Jeremy,” Alistair replied with a friendly squeeze to the boy's shoulder, “but, Mr. Mountjoy passed away in 1962. You can call me Alistair. All the best people do.”
Jeremy giggled and said, “Your house looks a lot like Rafael's, but it's a lot bigger.”
“That's what I've been told,” Alistair replied in an ironic voice. “I understand we had the same architect.”
“I love the goldfish pond here in the hallway,” Jeremy declared as he paused by the rectangular pool that extended through the center of the house.
“This is the atrium, as they had in Roman houses” Alistair explained, “and these are koi, similar to goldfish, but much larger. It's one of my favorite things about the house.”
“It's sure a long drive out here,” Jeremy remarked as he followed the man into a large sitting room with a grand piano. “Do you drive every day?”
“Oh, no,” Alistair replied with a grin. “I have an apartment in the city. I come out here on weekends if I have the time or for holidays. I don't get away enough and I'm actually thinking of selling the place. I don't have a family and it's just me. I really don't have anyone to share it with. It's good for parties though, like the one I've having Friday.”
Jeremy saw the wistful look on Alistair's face as they stood in the room and was surprised when the man suddenly looked over and said, “Let's go out back. I have someone I'd like you to meet.”
Jeremy smiled and followed Alistair back to the atrium and then through the house to the French doors at the end. They stepped out onto the veranda and Jeremy gasped as he looked around, first at the formal garden to the left, the swimming pool in the center, and the large patio with what looked like a wooden stage to the right beside which the caterers were setting up a buffet. A handsome man with a distinguished looking dark beard was seated under a large umbrella. He lowered a glass of lemonade from his mouth and smiled before rising to his feet.
“Jonathan,” Alistair called as they crossed the veranda to the patio, “Conrad has arrived early and he's brought Jeremy with him.”
The man smiled at Jeremy and nodded his head as the two approached. He extended his hand to the boy and said, “I'm Jonathan Durham.”
“The famous composer?” Jeremy asked as he extended his hand. As Jonathan smiled and nodded, Jeremy added, “My parents and I saw Tea and Hemlock when we came to New York five years ago. They loved it.”
“You didn't?” Jonathan replied with a wink.
“Oh, yes!” Jeremy quickly added. “It was wonderful!”
“Oh, don't give me that!” Jonathan replied with a laugh as he slapped Jeremy on the back. “Any seven-year-old red-blooded American boy would have preferred to watch the Yankees whip the Red Sox!”
Jeremy blushed and giggled, responding, “Actually, I'd have preferred to watch the Mets beat the Cardinals.”
Jonathan laughed and said, “Watch out, Alistair! We've got a National Leaguer here!”
Alistair grinned and said, “I'll try not to hold it against him when I assign roles.”
“You're a Yankees fan?” Jeremy asked with a grin.
“Guilty,” Alistair replied.
Jeremy sniffed and said, “Maybe I should have checked to see who Mr. Balanchine likes.”
“Woe hoe!” Jonathan cried as Alistair laughed. “You've got a real pistol on your hands, Alistair!”
“That's the way I like them,” Alistair replied with a wink to the boy. “Spunky!”
Jeremy giggled with delight as a housekeeper approached. Alistair grinned as he cocked his head to the side and asked, “Would you care for something to drink, Jeremy? Iced tea? Lemonade? A Coke?”
The housekeeper nodded and left as Alistair pulled out a chair from the table under the umbrella. Jeremy sat down as the man asked, “So, how was the drive out here?”
“Very exciting,” Jeremy replied, trying to discreetly adjust his erection under the table. Alistair smiled, but pretended not to notice. Jonathan gave him a warning look.
“Conrad is the best driver,” Jeremy continued, “and that Porsche is boss!”
“I can imagine. Is it the six cylinder or the four?”
“The six!” Jeremy answered excitedly. “It's the 911, not the 912. Man, it can accelerate!”
Alistair laughed and as Conrad strode casually out onto the veranda, the man shouted to him, “Jeremy's regaling us with reports of your Jackie Stewart-like driving on the LIE!”
“Jackie Stewart!” Conrad exclaimed with shock as he approached. “Nein! Rolf Stommelen! Please! I drive a Porsche, not some pathetic Lotus!”
“Actually, Stommelen does drive a British car,” Jonathan piped in.
As Alistair and Jonathan laughed, Conrad gave Jeremy a narrowed-eyed look and said, “Traitor.”
“He forced it out of me!” Jeremy cried.
“Hardly. He probably bribed you with promises you'll get to be Siegfried in Swan Lake next year.”
Jeremy shook his head and said, “No. Albrecht.”
Alistair chuckled and said, “We won't do Gisselle again until '72. You'll be what...14? You might have to fight Rafael for that one.”
Conrad chuckled and said, “Oh, Queen Diva already thinks she's a principal.”
Jonathan laughed and Alistair smiled, though he watched Jeremy hide his frown. “Don't worry, Jeremy. Conrad is actually one of Rafael's greatest admirers. In fact, if I hadn't already taken the role of mentor to him, Conrad would have done so a couple of years ago.”
“Really?” Jeremy asked with surprise as he turned to Conrad, who inhaled.
“Actually, I've found a dancer to mentor.”
“That's what I suspected,” Alistair replied in less than enthusiastic voice.
“Jeremy is truly a gifted dancer,” Conrad said with a smile to the boy. “I worked with him for three hours yesterday and I can tell you he dances with a grace and elegance that is very rare in boys his age. He has a motivation and an enthusiasm that are rare, as well. I am in awe of his determination. In fact, he was expressing earlier the hope that we could have the studio this afternoon.”
“Actually,” Alistair said with smile to the boy, “I was planning to work with Jeremy myself this afternoon. I've heard so much about our budding Nijinsky that I'm anxious to get him in some tights and get to work!”
“Of course,” Conrad said with a deferential nod.
“Of course, you can join us, Conrad,” Alistair added. “Jeremy would benefit from the insight of one of the greatest dancers in the world.”
Conrad smiled in appreciation of Alistair's compliment, but it was clear to Jeremy that he was less than pleased to be sharing the studio with the great man.
“I'm sure Rafael will want to join you, too,” Jonathan remarked.
“Oh, yes,” Alistair said. “He hates to share the limelight, though in Jeremy's case, he may have to.”
Jeremy smiled and said, “Rafael is the most wonderful friend anyone could have. When he came to Greensburg last week, he could have just spent the week by the pool, but when he found out what had happened to me, he did everything he could to get me here. He's...”
Jeremy felt a rush of emotion and looked down for a moment before looking back up and declaring, “Rafael is the greatest. I love him.”
Alistair and Conrad both reached out to him and squeezed his shoulders as they nodded in agreement.
“We all love Rafael,” Alistair said. “He's beautiful, he's gifted, and he has a heart as big as any I've ever met.”
Jeremy smiled and nodded as Jonathan watched the scene from the side. His eyes met Alistair's and a message passed between the two. Alistair sighed heavily and nodded.
“Finally!” Teddy cried as the Lincoln turned into the gate in front of Alistair's estate. “I thought we'd never get here!”
“Maybe we'd have gotten here sooner,” Geoffrey replied with a smile, “if we'd taken that left turn in Albakoikee.”
“That or if you'd have gone above forty miles per hour!” Teddy sniped. “I knew I should have gone with that German! They know how to drive!”
“Now, Teddy, you were cursing him earlier,” Geoffrey replied. “You said we were going to drive past a smoldering pile of aluminum and sauerkraut on the LIE.”
Rafael grinned and asked, “Hey, what happened, Teddy? Monday, you said you were going to wear a green carnation today to declare your undying love for Geoffrey.”
“The heartless cad has toyed with my emotions and rejected all my heartfelt advances.”
“What?” Geoffrey exclaimed with a grin. “All I did was slap your hand away every time you tried to grab my crotch!”
“Well, it wouldn't kill you to give an old man a thrill, would it?” Teddy replied with hurt feelings.
“Old man? You're thirty-nine, and not in the way Jack Benny's thirty-nine. Get up off your butt and go find your own pretty, young thing! Unless, of course, you want to pay me more than Alistair does.”
“Ah, there's the rub!” Teddy declared. “Finally! I may be able to exceed the Great Mountjoy at something, assuming my next book sells.”
“What about your trust fund?” Rafael asked.
“I don't get it until I'm forty. Mummy made certain of that, the hateful shrew. Now, I know where your vicious mother got her personality.”
“Does that mean that to get the money you actually have to admit that you are forty?”
“Oh, my God!” Teddy cried, eyes wide with terror.
Alistair emerged from the front door as Geoffrey, laughing hysterically, pulled up to the house. He gave Teddy a curious look as he opened the front passenger door. Teddy heaved himself to his feet and declared, “They're pleasuring themselves at my expense. The younger generation today have no respect for their betters.”
Alistair grinned as he hugged Teddy and kissed him on the lips.
“Ah, Teddy. I've missed you.”
He glanced at his watch and said, “Conrad and Jeremy arrived forty-five minutes ago.”
“Yes. Did you require Geoffrey to stop at every package store on the way to inspect their stock of Scotch?”
“No, sadly, though I shall descend into your Scotch cellar and not emerge until Monday. Geoffrey chose to drive like the New Yorker's old lady in Dubuque. It was maddening being passed by aging Republicans in Buicks.”
“You life is a living hell,” Alistair said with a grin.
“It is. It is,” Teddy replied as he walked toward the front door. “Now, where's your damn booze?”
“Rafi!” Alistair cried as he held his arms out and embraced the smiling teenager. “I have so missed you, dear.”
“I've missed you so much, Alistair,” Rafael replied as he felt his erection grow with the man's embrace. He closed his eyes and lay his head on the man's shoulder.
“I have a special surprise for you, Rafi. We'll talk about it in a minute at lunch,” Alistair whispered into the boy's ear.
“What is it?” he asked as he gazed into the man's eyes, still in Alistair's embrace.
“Patience,” Alistair said with a grin. “Isn't that what I always say when you're plaintive?”
“Sadist,” Rafael replied as he stepped away.
“And, Dylan!” Alistair exclaimed as he held his arms out to the other boy. “Girlfriend!”
“Miss Thing!” Dylan replied with a grin as they hugged. Alistair turned toward the front door with his arm around the teenager's shoulder as he said, “From what I hear in all quarters, Rafael is going to be passing the torch of the Heinous Anus down to you now. Is this true?”
Dylan laughed demurely and said, “How heinous I get this weekend depends on who's here at the party.
“Jonathan's here,” Alistair said as they entered the house.
“Oh, I can get very heinous with him!”
“Oh, and Teddy's Things, are coming Friday.”
“Oh, I'm sure they're coming Friday, but when will they arrive?”
Alistair swatted the boy on his butt and Dylan jumped and yelp, giving the man a “Come fuck me” smile.
“Oh, thank God!” Teddy cried as he emerged onto the veranda and saw Jeremy sitting with Conrad and Jonathan on the patio. “You're alive! You didn't die on the autobahn!”
Jeremy grinned and cried, “Oh, man! It was too far out!”
Rafael forced himself to grin as he walked quickly over to the boy and wrapped his arms around him.
“I really was worried about you,” Rafael whispered in Jeremy's ear.
“I was okay,” Jeremy replied, “though I thought I might have made a fool of myself. Then I found out that I didn't.”
Rafael raised an eyebrow, but Jeremy whispered, “I'll tell you later.”
Rafael sighed deeply as he kissed the top of Jeremy's head. He glanced at Conrad and found the man watching them with...jealousy?
“You're very fortunate, Rafael,” he said quietly.
“Yes, I am,” the boy replied.
Alistair smiled at the gathering and said, “Oh, how I wish Mario's mother wasn't ill. I was looking forward to his wry sense of humor.”
Conrad chuckled and said, “He used his mother as an excuse again? Alistair, he's going to Ptown and won't be back until the day before we start work on Corsair.”
“His mother's not sick?” Alistair exclaimed with surprise.
“Alistair, if his mother was actually sick as often as he uses that excuse, she'd have a permanent residence at Columbia-Presbyterian. Didn't you know his mother is Mario's Bunbury?”
Alistair rolled his eyes and said, “I'm going to have a talk with that boy when he gets back. I only hope his ass isn't so abused when he leaves Provincetown that he can't dance.”
“Mario's a top,” Conrad replied with a grin. “I don't think you have to worry about that.”
“Oh, is that what he told you?” Alistair replied with a grin. “I know for a fact that's not true. Mario can beg better than anyone I know!”
“Mario's a bottom?” Rafael cried. “You can't be serious!”
“He swings both ways” Alistair replied. “He's mostly a top, but he can be persuaded to lift his legs...with the proper inducement.”
Jeremy leaned over to Teddy and asked, “An enormous zuckerschticken?”
Teddy grinned and said, “You're catching on, Little One.”
“All right, everyone,” Alistair announced. “Come to the buffet! We have gazpacho, shrimp, salmon, and pasta!”
After getting their food and returning to the table, Conrad looked up and said, “Alistair, Jeremy and I were discussing ideas for a new ballet and he had a very interesting concept that you might like to hear.”
Sitting between Conrad and Rafael and across from Alistair, Jeremy's eyes suddenly grew wide as he blushed severely. Alistair smiled and said, “Oh, do tell, Jeremy.”
“Um, well,” he started off weakly, “I was looking at Conrad as we were driving down the highway and I thought to myself that he looks like a Viking and that you could create a ballet about Vikings and he could be the Viking Chieftain, standing on the bow of a Viking longboat. Then I thought that maybe it could be about Leif Ericson discovering America and maybe Eager...”
“...Aeger,” Conrad corrected.
“Oh, yeah, Aeger, the Norse god of the sea, and Thor could have a conflict maybe, one trying to keep Eric from discovering America.”
Alistair nodded and said, “Interesting. Very interesting. Would there be any women in the ballet?”
Jeremy's eyes grew wide with consternation and Conrad cut in, saying, “Aeger had several daughters. Perhaps they can be worked into the story somehow.”
Alistair nodded and said, “Possibly. Possibly. It's an idea. Of course, Vikings may not translate well into the grace and elegance of ballet...”
“Oh, man,” Jeremy muttered as he looked down. “Stupid. Stupid. I should have known that.”
“No, it's not stupid at all. This is how we brainstorm to come up with new works. I think it's something to think about, Jeremy. You've got a creative mind. You might think about choreography as a career after your dancing days are over.”
“I do like to think about new ways to dance,” Jeremy said. “I want to be a choreographer. I want to create fantastic new ways to dance that no one's ever even conceived of.”
Alistair smiled and Rafael proudly hugged the boy as Jeremy added, “Saturday night, me and Rafael were working in the studio in his basement and we took a break and he put West Side Story on the record player and set it to 'Cool,' you know, the dance where they're trying to calm down the one guy, and we danced to it. Rafael was dancing more along the way Jerome Robbins choreographed it, but I was just dancing free-style and making up my moves as I went and it was so fun. I was just moving the way it felt good to and it was the most fun I'd had since... I don't know. I loved it. I think it would be way cool to be able to choreograph. I'm going to take the choreography classes at Ballet Academy. I'd love to do that.”
Alistair smiled as he watched the excitement in the boy's face and studied Jeremy's eyes as they flashed and jumped about with each expression of his passion and emotion. Conrad, too, was watching, though his eyes also watched Rafael and noted the love and pride in them as the teenager watched the boy he loved describe his feelings about what he and Rafael had done Saturday night. He sat back and pressed his lips together as he looked across the table and saw Teddy studying him. He smiled sadly and nodded. Teddy smiled sympathetically.
“I'm surprised that Rafael didn't choose one of the Sharks' dances instead of a Jet's dance,” Alistair said with a wink. “You know, Jeremy, I have a huge collection of music here and when we have a little down time, I think it would fun to find some music that we can dance to, music we can get creative with. It's always fun watching young people get creative because you haven't yet been told you can't do certain things, so you have a lot more creative freedom and you take chances. You color outside the lines, so to speak. I want you to have fun while you're here.”
Alistair grinned suddenly and added, “Though God only knows what will happen if I let Rafi and Dylan loose unsupervised on the dance floor!”
Rafael grinned and said, “I'll do things you never realized a human body could do!”
“That's what I'm afraid off,” Alistair replied. “And, I suppose when you get out of the hospital you'll want your place back at Ballet Academy?”
“Oh, I won't go to the hospital, unless it's to visit you after the stroke you have watching us!”
Alistair raised an eyebrow and everyone uttered a collective, “Uh, oh!”
“You three!” Alistair declared, pointing to the boys, “Get your tights on. I shall expect you on the dance floor in twenty minutes! I want to see what I have to work with!”
“Yes, sir!” all three boys declared as they jumped up from their chairs, grinning.
“So, what do you think?” Rafael asked as he closed the bedroom door behind him.
Jeremy sat down on the edge of the king-size bed and took a deep breath before replying. “Alistair is the most amazing man. He's so handsome and cool and...He's so nice.”
“Yes, he is,” Rafael said as he set their two suitcases on the bed. “Was he what you were expecting?”
“Yes and no,” Jeremy replied. “I mean, yeah, he's like this magnificent, god-like man and then he's just so friendly and cool and relaxed. He's even more beautiful in person than in his pictures. I can't believe he's thirty-nine. He's...I can see why you're in love with him. I bet he really is just the most wonderful man in the world when he's in bed.”
Rafael nodded as he opened his suitcase. Jeremy stood up and walked to the end of the bed to do the same. As Rafael removed his dance things, he asked, “So, are you feeling better about dancing for Alistair now?”
Jeremy nodded and smiled, replying, “Yeah. He's not scary or anything. I can go down there and really show him what I can do without feeling so nervous.”
“I knew that once you met him, you'd realize you don't have anything to worry about,” Rafael declared as he slipped his sandals off. “You're going to be just fine.”
However, as Jeremy slipped off his boat shoes and took off his socks, the teenager asked in a carefully controlled voice, “So, how was your drive with Conrad?”
“Oh, Rafael...” the boy began with a dreamy smile. “Conrad is the most wonderful man in the world.”
“I thought Alistair was,” Rafael replied, looking away from the younger boy as he pulled his shirt off.
“They both are, but Conrad... there's something about him. He was so nice and fun and wonderful on the drive. We didn't really drive dangerously, but we did have fun. Oh, man, the way that engine roars and the power! The get-up-and-go! And, he knows just how to control it and cut in and out of traffic and... He's so...amazing and masculine and elegant and...”
“Did he...I mean...it isn't really any of my business, but...”
Jeremy smiled as he whipped his shirt over his head and laid it in the open suitcase. “He didn't kiss me or try to do anything sexy with me, if that's what you're worried about. But, he was so romantic.”
He had started to unfasten his shorts when he stopped and looked at the older boy. “I did kind of make a fool of myself, though.”
Rafael raised an eyebrow. He slipped his shorts and underwear down, leaving himself naked and only partially erect before the boy he loved. “What happened?” he asked in what he hoped was an encouraging voice.
Jeremy looked down and swallowed before lowering his zipper and answering, “Well, I was sitting there looking at him once we got on that two-lane highway and he was so cool-looking with those sunglasses and the wind blowing his hair and his hand holding the gear-shift and he was handsome and sexy and I was so hard... so hard...God, Rafael, I would do it with him in a heartbeat, he is so sexy! Well, anyway, I was so hard and he said something that made me think he might want me that way, you know, and I didn't know what to do, you know, whether I should let him know that it was okay if he wanted to do something...”
Jeremy slipped his shorts and briefs down, letting his erection snap upward and bob several times before he continued, “I thought I should let him know that if he wanted to, he could do something. So, I kind of slipped down the seat and spread my legs so he could see my boner in my shorts, but he didn't do anything and I got scared, but then I thought I wasn't being obvious enough, so I reached down and started rubbing my boner...”
Rafael had frozen, holding his dance belt and staring at Jeremy with a dead look on his face.
“Well, he didn't do anything and after a minute I began to think I had just done the stupidest and nastiest thing in the world. I felt so dumb and dirty and gross. I sat up and I was about to start crying when he reached over and took my hand and squeezed it and then he kissed it and we just drove the rest of the way, him holding my hand and neither of us talking, until we got to the turn-off into the woods here. I thought I had ruined everything, but I think he was letting me know it was okay, but that he wasn't going to do anything.”
Rafael nodded numbly and said in a weak voice, “That's possible.”
“I don't know if he wants to do it with me or not, Rafael,” Jeremy said. “How can you tell?”
Rafael pushed the suitcase back and sat down on the edge of the bed, his nakedness forgotten, struggling to keep his emotions under control.
“It varies from situation to situation and from person to person.”
Jeremy watched the older boy's face, reluctant to ask, but feeling Rafael was the only person he could turn to in this matter.
“Do you think Conrad wants to do it with me?”
Rafael took a deep breath and said, “Jeremy, there are straight men in America who would drive over their wives for the chance to do it with you. Of course, he wants to do it with you. But, I know that Conrad is sincere in wanting to be your mentor and he might think that sex would get in the way of that.”
He slipped his legs through the dance belt and wearily stood up as he added, “I don't know if he will try to have a sexual relationship with you or not. I know that he likes you very much. I'll say that.”
“Does Alistair want to do it with me?”
“I would think so, but once again, Alistair has a lot of self-control and he might feel it isn't good for him to do that with you, him being the director and all. I...I really don't want to think about other men having sex with you right now, Jeremy.”
A look of concern came over the younger boy's face as he said, “Oh, God, Rafael! I'm sorry! I didn't think it would hurt your feelings to talk about it! I'm sorry!”
Jeremy tried to hug Rafael. The teenager rose and the two embraced tightly.
“Rafael, I love you. I love you. I love you,” Jeremy declared, his face against the teenager's chest, his eyes tightly shut as he clung to the older boy.
“I love you so much, Jeremy, that the last three hours have been hell for me. I didn't think I’d be so bothered by this. I didn't think it would hurt for you to be with someone like Conrad. I thought I would be cool with everything, but I love you so hard and so much that... I wanted to kill Conrad while we were driving here. I'm sorry, Jeremy. I'm so sorry.”
“Oh, God, Rafael! I'm so sorry. I must be a real sick jerk to want to do it with two other men and here you are and you love me and you're dying listening me to go on about how wonderful they are.”
Rafael took Jeremy's face in his hand and said firmly, “No, sweetheart. You have nothing to apologize for or to feel badly about. I told you it would be okay and it isn't fair for me to have that freedom and for you not to have it. Besides, I know what it's like to be held and loved by a man. You want that, too, Jeremy, and I understand. I won't get in the way. I won't. I want you to have beautiful moments with Conrad. I do. Truly. I do.”
Rafael took a deep breath and added, “Teddy told me in the car that this is the first time I've ever truly been in love. I don't feel jealous about Alistair doing it with other guys, but the pain I feel over you is because I love you so much and this is the first time I've experienced anything like this and... I need to just deal with it. I know you love me, Jeremy. I know that. I'm not afraid of losing you. I'm not. I want you to get everything you can out of all this. I want you to learn as much as you can. I want you to impress Alistair and Conrad as much as you can. I want you to absorb every bit of knowledge and experience as you can... And, if Conrad chooses to...do something, I want you to feel free to say yes or no for yourself and not have that decision be based on me. Okay? Promise me that you won't let my feelings get in the way. Promise me.”
Jeremy nodded solemnly and said, “I promise. I love you.”
“I love you, too,” Rafael replied before he stepped away from the boy and looked down at Jeremy's fierce erection. “However, there is something we need to take care of before you go down there. You won't be able to concentrate with all the hormones rampaging through your system right now. Yeah, we all get boners when we're in our tights around Alistair, but you look like you could fuck a bowl of mashed potatoes right now.”
Jeremy giggled and Rafael smiled as he sank to his knees before him.
“So, what do you think of Jeremy?”
Dylan grinned at Conrad as he asked the question. The two were already in the dance studio below the second floor bedrooms and had begun their stretches at the barre as they awaited Rafael and Jeremy—and Alistair.
“I think he is an interesting boy with a creative mind and an amazing gift for dance.”
Dylan smirked and said, “Yeah, that's the diplomatic answer. Now, give me the real answer.”
Conrad glanced with irritation at the fourteen-year-old and said, “I think, Dylan, you forget our different places here. You are a trainee and I am a principal dancer.”
“Uh, huh,” Dylan replied, “and, you're cock's been up my ass a half-dozen times. Now, Rafael is my closest friend and his boyfriend is now one of my closest friends. I love the little guy. So... what do you think of him?”
Conrad frowned and said, “He's beautiful and sexy and I would love to take him to bed and make love to him. However, for at least the time being, I need to concentrate on being his mentor and building up his trust. I have no doubt I could easily have done anything I wanted to with him this morning, but I didn't. He practically masturbated in front of me, the poor kid. He was so...”
Conrad stopped and looked directly as Dylan. “Jeremy needs to focus on his dancing. He needs me to be a model for him, a teacher, an adviser, a friend, and that is what I will be. You can report back to Rafael that he has nothing to worry about. It will not be me who deflowers young Jeremy.”
Dylan stopped and looked at Conrad seriously. “I love Rafi, but I wouldn't betray a confidence to him. To be honest, I wish Jeremy wasn't in the scene, because it would be easier for me to get Rafael to be my boyfriend. I'd love for you to take Jeremy away from him, but I know they love each other too much. Rafael thinks that you'll be Jeremy's Alistair. I was just wondering if that was true.”
“Possibly at some point, but honestly Dylan, I can't see anything sexual happening for a long time. Jeremy needs a lot from me, but that's not something I will give him now.”
At that moment, the door to the studio opened and Rafael entered, followed by Jeremy.
“Well,” Rafael exclaimed with a smile. “I'd have expected to find Alistair in here trying to pull Dylan off Conrad!”
Conrad smirked as he resumed his barre work and said, “I've been able to resist the allure of Miss Thing's insatiable appetite.”
Dylan smirked and said, “It did seem to take the two of you a long time to change and I can tell from Jeremy's blush why!”
Rafael rolled his eyes as he walked to the barre and said, “You know, Jerm, we won't be able to keep anything secret with the way you blush all the time.”
“I can't help it,” Jeremy replied with an embarrassed grin. “Maybe when I get used to all this...”
“Depravity?” Conrad suggested, smiling.
Jeremy giggled, but before he could respond, the door opened again and the boy gasped as he saw Alistair enter in his gray tights and white leotard. Alistair noted the shocked and lustful look in the boy's eyes, but he turned to Conrad as he walked across the floor and asked, “Did I miss the depravity?”
“Oh, that's later,” Dylan replied with a grin.
“Oh, really,” Alistair asked as he suddenly started snapping his fingers and walking in the style of a West Side Story dancer. “Do you need to play it cool, Dylan? Cooly, cool Dylan? You have a rocket in your pocket, Dylan? You gonna play it cool, Dylan?”
“I want to pop!” Dylan cried, imitating the scene from the musical, as he threw his hands into the air.
“I want to bust!” Rafael cried, following his friend's example.
“I want to go!” Jeremy shouted.
“Keep it cool, cooly cool, boy!” Alistair replied with a seductive smile at Rafael. “Keep it cool!”
He began to laugh and the other joined in, and Jeremy immediately found himself at ease with the great man.
They all worked at the barre, doing their stretches and chatting about various things related to ballet. Alistair paid careful attention—without seeming to—to Jeremy's comments and his stretches. Every once in a while, he would make a suggestion to the boy or a compliment.
“Even in your stretches, Jeremy, you show an amazing grace and elegance,” the man declared. “I can't believe you've not been dancing the summer. After less than a week, you are truly exceptional.”
Rafael winked at Jeremy and then whined, “Hey, what am I? Chopped liver?”
Jeremy giggled and said, “No, you're road kill, but you taste just like chicken.”
“Woe hoe! Jeremy!” Alistair exclaimed. “Good one! I can see you dish it out with the best. But, can you take it?”
“He'll find out tonight,” Rafael said as he practiced plié, “when I give it to him without lube!”
“Oh, Rafi, please,” Alistair responded. “You Nelly thing. It never works when you try to sound butch. You on top is almost as funny as Dylan on top!”
“Hey! I come from the world of machismo!” Rafael replied, adding, “and, I've learned from the best.”
Alistair smiled, but he gave the teenager a serious look. Conrad noticed and said soothingly, “Alistair, we all know about you and Rafael and no one in this room would ever say anything. You can trust Dylan and you can certainly trust me.”
Alistair said nothing and acted as if nothing had happened, though he walked out to the center of the floor and began performing a variety of kicks, leaps, and spins as the others continued their stretches at the barre. Jeremy felt that a pall had descended on the room, but a few minutes later, after Alistair had leaped and kicked his way around the studio several times, the man smiled and turned to Jeremy, declaring, “All right, Mr. Fenwick, if you would please, come out here and we can see what you can do.”
As Jeremy nodded and gracefully strode out to the center of the floor, Alistair asked Conrad to put a record of generic training music on the turntable and then turned to Jeremy. They spent several minutes on typical “center” work—Port de bras, Grand Battement, and then moved on to the adagio moves, the slow moves that develop control and balance. Alistair would make delicate suggestions, demonstrate what he meant, and then watch as Jeremy performed, after which he would nod and move on to the next move. The other dancers worked on their own particular practices in other areas of the studio, though they kept a careful watch on Alistair and his work with Jeremy.
Jeremy was concentrating too hard on listening to Alistair and doing what the man asked to think about how much fun he was having, but when they stopped for a moment to drink some water, Jeremy grinned as they walked to the water pitcher in the corner and said, “This is the most amazing experience of my life.”
“I'm glad you're enjoying it, Jeremy. It's a pleasure to work with someone as gifted and as eager as you. Young people such as you make it all worthwhile. Sometimes I think I'd like to give up directing the company and just focus on the academy and working with my trainees. I always feel re-energized when I've spent time with my trainees.”
“Do you miss performing?” Jeremy asked as he drank.
Alistair nodded and said, “That's like asking someone who's lost an arm if they miss it. I love performing. I love dancing on stage. The applause and cheers of the audience are like wine to me. Now, I concentrate on creating the experience for my dancers, but yes, I miss performing. In some ways, I live vicariously through my dancers.”
“I want to dance for as long as I can,” Jeremy declared.
“Well, let's hope for a long career, Jeremy, but you must remember that as you grow older, it will become more painful and the chance of a career-ending fall or accident of any kind grows, so enjoy every day you dance. Live every day to the maximum. Every moment in your tights and on the dance floor or on the stage, every moment should be cherished. We are performing the most beautiful of the arts. We combine music, acting, art, and movement. We embody everything. We express our emotions with an eloquence denied other artists because we use our bodies to convey our pain or joy, our feelings, our love, our hate, the rapture of life, the agony of life.”
Jeremy gazed into the man's eyes and his own grew moist. Alistair smiled and ran his fingers through the boy's hair before he suddenly declared, “All right! Back to work, Mr. Fenwick! I hear that your Grand Jeté en tournant is an experience to be savored. So, impress me!”
They worked on the spinning leaps for quite some time. Jeremy would perform several, then Alistair would discuss them before he would demonstrate the point he was making. Jeremy stood in awe as he watched Alistair perform live the move he had performed a decade earlier for the poster on Rafael's wall. And, each one the man performed was as perfect as Jeremy could imagine, his muscled arms and legs perfectly parallel to the floor, each leap performed with amazing energy and vitality. Alistair's beauty inspired the boy and when he leaped, he forced himself to do so with as much power and elegance as he could. He soon exhausted himself, though he continued to push himself as the two of them worked on other difficult moves. Rafael and Dylan had long finished their routines and Conrad has walked over to watch and make mental notes about Jeremy's dancing. Occasionally, Alistair would ask Conrad to demonstrate something and sometimes, they would both perform and Jeremy could watch in stereo.
At one point, however, as he was spinning across the floor in chaînés tournes, he lost his balance and fell to the floor. He immediately jumped up and resumed without batting an eye, but when he was finished, Alistair placed a gentle hand on his shoulder and said, “I think that is enough for one afternoon. Take it easy for the rest of the day.”
“Oh, no! I can still go! I'm not tired at all!” Jeremy exclaimed.
Alistair smiled and nodded as he replied, “I'm sure you can go on for quite some time more, but I have a few things to do and I do think I want to save your feet for tomorrow and Friday. We don't want too many blisters interfering with what I expect will be a stellar performance Friday night.”
He smiled at Jeremy, gazing into his eyes as the boy looked adoringly at him. Slowly, Jeremy nodded and Conrad put a hand on his shoulder as he said, “Come, Jeremy. Let's go talk and then we can shower and relax on the veranda before dinner.”
“You boys are welcome to swim if you like,” Alistair declared as he walked on toward the pitcher. “Naturally, Dylan, it's clothing optional.”
“Oh, thank God!” Dylan cried. “I want to roam free! Free! Free I say!”
“There are no Tonys for performances in my studio,” Alistair replied as he swatted Dylan's butt.
Rafael looked at Jeremy and whispered, “I'm so proud of you, sweetheart.”
“Oh, Rafael, I'm so happy,” the boy replied emotionally. “This is the greatest day of my life.”
“You said that yesterday,” Rafael replied with a grin.
“And, it was, and today's even better!”
Rafael winked and said, “Man, by Friday you may just explode from too much rapture and ecstasy.”
Jeremy giggled joyfully as the two older boys left the room. Alistair drank his water and then, as Conrad and Jeremy poured their own, said, “Jeremy, you are truly a one-of-a-kind dancer. With the proper work and training, you will be a star, one of the true greats. Thank you for coming to Ballet of America.”
“Thank you, sir,” Jeremy replied, on the verge of tears.
“Conrad,” the man said, “I am depending on you, as Jeremy's mentor...”
He stopped and the younger man nodded. “I understand. I know what we have here and just how special Jeremy is.”
Alistair nodded and then turned and left the room, leaving Conrad and Jeremy alone sitting backward on the bench before the piano in the corner. Conrad looked down at Jeremy and smiled before he wrapped an arm around the sweaty boy. He leaned down and kissed the top of Jeremy's head as he said, “You're magnificent, Jeremy. You truly are. You're going to be a joy to train and mentor. You love what you’re doing. You’re eager to learn and perform, and you have a natural talent that is truly amazing.”
Finally, it was all too much for the boy and Jeremy broke down in elation and emotion. Conrad wrapped his arms around him and held him tightly and Jeremy sobbed with joy. At one point, he said, “If only my parents could be here to see this and to hear what you all are saying.”
“They'd be very proud of you, Jeremy,” Conrad replied.
“You really think so?” the boy sobbed.
“Yes. And, I'm proud of you, too.”
Jeremy looked up at the man through tear-filled eyes and softly said, “I love you.”
Conrad inhaled, but said nothing. He pulled the boy's head against his chest and held him tightly. Jeremy closed his eyes. Yes. He was dancing in Heaven.
I hope you are enjoying my story. Please let me know at: frthnkr1957nifty <at> gmail <dot> com