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
“Did you have fun with Dylan?”
Jeremy smiled at the words whispered into his ear as the two showered together in their bathroom. Rafael had turned and entered the room, seeing Jeremy walk toward the balcony. He had asked what Rafael was doing out there, naked in the dark, and the older boy had honestly told him that he was masturbating. Jeremy giggled and he removed his clothes as Rafael fought to hide the pain inside him. Only when they were together in the shower, their soapy bodies sliding together, though neither trying to reach orgasm after both had achieved multiple climaxes not long before.
Jeremy grinned as he looked into Rafael's eyes and nodded.
“Dylan's fun. It's almost like messing around with your best buddy,” he replied. “We were beating off and playing with each other's titties and we just got so horny that we started sucking each other at the same time! Did you know that if one of you turns around you can both such each other's dicks at the same time?”
Rafael chuckled and grinned. “Yeah, I heard about that somewhere.”
Jeremy giggled, acknowledging his love's greater experience and closed his eyes as they held each other. Later in bed, they simply held each other, Jeremy resting his head on Rafael's chest, his erection—did that thing never go down, Rafael wondered—pressed against the teenager's hip, as they quietly drifted off to sleep.
It was in the middle of the night when Rafael awoke to Jeremy moaning and squirming against him. The boy, however, wasn't in the throws of sexual ecstasy. He was terrified, crying as he struggled against something while thrashing in his sleep next to Rafael.
“Jeremy!” he said urgently as he was able to gather his wits and realize what was happening. “Wake up, sweetheart! Wake up, Jeremy! Wake up! It's all right! It's just a dream!”
“Mommy! Mommy! Please! I love you! No, Mommy!”
“Jeremy!” Rafael said louder as he shook the boy harder!
The boy opened his eyes and pulled away from Rafael in terror as, panicked, he looked around the room before he desperately climbed from under the covers and stood between the bed and the dresser in a stance ready to run as he fearfully gazed about him in confusion. His eyes met Rafael's as he gasped for breath and then he sighed with despair.
“Oh, God,” he breathed.
“Come here, sweetheart,” Rafael said softly as he held his arms out.
“I... I can't,” Jeremy replied, as he looked around the room at the floor. “I have to be alone. I can't...”
“Come here,” Rafael ordered firmly. “Now. Come here, Jeremy.”
Automatically, the boy looked at him and then walked back to the bed, climbed in, and lay down under the cover with his back to Rafael. The older boy pulled the covers over them and whispered, “It's okay, Jeremy. It's okay,” as he spooned up behind him, wrapping his arms around him. Jeremy, however, could not relax. Rafael felt the stiffness throughout the boy's body as he tried to caress and relax the boy. He felt Jeremy's convulsions, though, before he heard the soft, quiet sobs. Gradually, Jeremy relaxed and eventually his sobs died. Not long after, Rafael fell back asleep. Jeremy, however, did not.
“There you are!” Alistair exclaimed from his chair at the breakfast table on the patio. “I thought we were going to have to go up there and drag the two of you out of bed!”
“Or throw a bucket of cold water on you,” Teddy added with a grin from the buffet the caterers had set up, “to cool your libidos!”
Rafael and Jeremy were wearing their tights and leotards as they emerged from the house. Both seemed subdued, however, which Conrad noticed immediately. Dylan smiled innocently at Jeremy, but grimaced curiously when the younger boy only slightly smiled.
“We had things to talk about this morning,” Rafael said softly as they walked over to the buffet.
Alistair watched them as the conversation at the table resumed, but neither spoke as they put food on their plates and poured orange juice into their glasses. Jeremy sat down between Dylan and Conrad and Rafael sat down across the table from him, giving him a loving smile, which Jeremy answered with a shy smile of his own. Dylan leaned over and whispered, “Was Rafael upset about last night?”
Jeremy shook his head and said, “It's nothing. Everything's cool.”
Conrad smiled uncertainly at him and asked, “Are you ready to work this morning? I want us to go through a full performance of 'Friends' and try to make it as cohesive and smooth as possible. I want it to flow and be more than just a demonstration of individual ballet moves. I want it all to blend together. You ready to work?”
“Yes. Very,” Jeremy replied. “I want to work all day.”
“Well, actually,” Conrad replied, “I think Alistair would like to work with Rafael this afternoon on The Gazelle, so we don't want to monopolize the studio. We can do a little more work tonight, if you want, though.”
“Okay,” Jeremy replied quietly with a reserved smile and a blush. “That would be nice.”
Conrad smiled at him and then glanced across the table to see Rafael studying the scrambled eggs on his plate.
Alistair studied the somber air at the table and then smiled as he suddenly declared, “Tedward, you seem uncharacteristically chipper this morning. Like Mame's friend Vera, you normally seem to think of eight in the morning as the middle of the night. What has you so ridiculously happy?”
“I've been inspired,” Teddy replied. “I returned to my pen and paper last night after our little conversations in the lounge and I got to work outlining a new story. I've decided that after being immersed in the delightful world of ballet I should actually write about it. I am putting my current project aside and writing about the trials and loves of ballet dancers.”
“Oh, dear,” Jonathan muttered. “I certainly hope that your characters aren't thinly veiled descriptions of us!”
“Of course they are,” Teddy replied. “I must write what I know. So, the composer will frequent that arcade on Forty-second Street for naughty boys, the Artistic Director will be god-like and universally loved, and the dancers will all be sex-crazed and insecure. I shall make Jacqueline Suzanne look like June Cleaver. It will be all the rage. Of course, there will have to be females in the story and since I have so little experience in that area, I may have to have a few conversations with members of that persuasion, but I'm sure that won't be too difficult.”
“Perhaps you should spend some time with Mr. B.,” Alistair suggested. “I hear he quite likes the other persuasion.”
“I shall be combining the best and worst of both Balanchine and Mountjoy in my protagonist. The story will be brutally honest and shamelessly full of lies. It will be a bestseller.”
“You realize, of course,” Jonathan said, “now that we know what you're doing, we're all going to be on our best behavior and buttering you up so our characters will come out looking better?”
“I am not above taking bribes,” Teddy replied. “A little Scotch, perhaps a touch here and a feel there, a little kiss stolen under the arbor...”
“Teddy,” Conrad said, “have I ever told you how much Boys in the Square meant to me?”
“Yes, you have, but I may require more tribute before I make the star dancer in my story a positive and likeable character.”
Jeremy shyly looked at the man at the end of the table and asked, “Am I going to be in it?”
“Oh, yes, dear! Most definitely. You're going to be...”
His face suddenly clouded and he seemed uncertain of himself. Jeremy frowned, but before he could ask him what the problem was, Teddy said, “I haven't completely flushed out your character.”
Alistair saw the discomfort that had suddenly descended across the table and rose. “Yes, well, I'm sure it's going to be a profoundly fascinating look at the ballet world, as all your books are of their particular worlds. In the meantime, however, we have dancing to do! Hurry and finish your breakfast, boys—and Conrad! We must get our morning practice under way!”
The boys quickly finished their breakfast and once they and Alistair and Conrad had disappeared into the house, Jonathan leaned over to Teddy and asked, “Should I assume that Jeremy is the tragic character in the story, the innocent, naïve, and eager young dancer who is destroyed by the deceit and venality of the New York ballet scene?”
Teddy looked down at his coffee and said, “Not just the ballet scene, but every scene in this fetid city.”
Jonathan frowned and asked, “No optimistic message as is typical of a good Teddy Cochran yarn?”
“For some reason, I'm not feeling optimistic, right now,” Teddy replied. “I feel a cloud over me, over all of us. I'm feeling that I must move on beyond the typical, plastic happy ending that infects all my stories. I have a feeling that something is about to happen and its leaving me unsettled and uncomfortable, and the feeling has infected my work. This is not going to be a typical Teddy Cochran story in which all the characters overcome their challenges and end up living happily-ever-after. Life is not 'happily-ever-after,' and I am starting to think that someone needs to tell Jeremy that it's a swirling, sucking shit-hole of uselessness and despair.”
Jonathan flinched with surprise before Teddy smiled and added, “And, they lived happily ever after.”
Dylan and Rafael were at the barre doing plié, the younger of the two glancing across the room at Jeremy, in the center of the floor practicing port de bras to fifth. He stood with feet turned out, one before the other, as his arms were curved downward before they rose gracefully to above his head and then outward to horizontal before they seemed to swim before returning to where they started. He repeated the move over and over and Dylan touched Rafael, who looked back over his shoulder and asked, “What?”
“What's up with Jeremy?” Dylan asked. “He's racing through everything. Have you ever seen a port de bras performed that quickly?”
At the same moment, Alistair, who had been doing his own warm-up and practice in the corner, looked over and asked, “Jeremy, are you on your way to a fire?”
Jeremy looked at the man with confusion and responded with a confused, “I'm sorry?”
Rafael stopped and watched with concern.
“Jeremy, I've been watching you and you're racing through everything as if you're trying to get this over with. Do you have plans?”
“Oh, uh, no sir,” Jeremy replied with mortification. “I, no sir. I was just...I'm just trying to practice hard and... I... I'm sorry.”
Alistair smiled as Conrad stood in the opposite corner, watching as well. The older man walked gracefully over to the boy and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. He leaned forward and whispered into his ear, “You seem a little preoccupied this morning. Is there something bothering you?”
Jeremy's face turned a brilliant red as he looked down in shame and replied, “No, sir. I'm very sorry, sir. I'll try harder, sir.”
“No, you won't try harder,” Alistair replied. “You will relax. This isn't a race and you aren't competing with anyone right now. I want you to be graceful and elegant, smooth, beautiful. Like this.”
He performed a perfectly graceful and elegant port de bras to fifth and then smiled at Jeremy.
“If there's anything bothering you, Jeremy, dance is a perfect way to shrug it off and leave it behind. I've always found that when I'm bothered or worried about something, concentrating on my dancing, focusing on my movements, listening to the music and letting my body and mind respond to it is a marvelous way to free myself of my problems. I know Rafael has always done that. Whenever his demons are tormenting him, he often escapes into his dance and he always feels so much better. Dance liberates you from the ugliness in life and lets you immerse yourself in the beautiful music and the pristine world of ballet.”
He smiled at the boy and slowly raised his fingers to Jeremy's face. Placing them on his eyelids, he softly said, “Close your eyes, Little Man. Imagine you're in a peaceful field of wild flowers under a clear, blue sky and a warm, brilliant sun. You can feel the heat on your skin and the cool, tender caress of the breeze as you stand in fifth position and slowly, gracefully raise your arms to first and slowly, gracefully up. Yes, there, and now elegantly to the side and let your fingers float outward as a gentle wave goes out from your torso through your arms, to your hands and fingers—yes, so beautiful, so delicate and polished and refined. So good, Jeremy, and now bring them down again. There. A perfect port de bras. Again, slow, graceful, to first, yes, up, yes, and now down, slow, such a refined and stylish grace, let the wave flow through your arms to your fingers, and down. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.”
Jeremy opened his eyes slowly and smiled with serenity.
Across the room, Dylan grinned and said, “Alistair has such a way of almost hypnotizing you when he works with you.”
Rafael nodded and said, “It really is amazing how he brings any and everything out of his dancers.”
Alistair ran his fingers over Jeremy's face and said, “Ballet is about strength and power, but it is also about delicacy and beauty and elegance. The danseur must use his masculinity, yes, to be strong and powerful, but he must also reach deep inside to find that feminine side as well. It's in all of us, Jeremy, that gentle femininity. It doesn't mean being a ballerina. It means understanding that we are all of two natures, man and woman, masculine and feminine...”
“Yin and yang,” Jeremy softly said.
“Exactly,” Alistair replied with delight. “Just like the pendant you and Rafael are wearing. “You've been a dancer for four years, Jeremy. You've worn the tights, you've mastered every move. You know your masculine side, Jeremy, your strength, your muscular side, but you need to know your feminine side better. You need to feel that grace and tenderness, the soft and gentle side. Man and woman, strong and graceful. War and peace.”
He leaned forward and whispered into his ear, “Can you be gentle, Jeremy? Can you be in touch with your feminine side, Jeremy, that inner girl within you, Jeremy, that graceful side of your personality?”
“Yes,” Jeremy replied softly, his voice slightly higher pitched than normal.
“Good,” Alistair replied sensuously. “So let's do this again, softly, gracefully, an elegant and lady-like port de bras to fifth as a boy feeling that girlish side of him, arms in position and flowing elegantly to first, so smooth and beautiful and up and you look at the sky and see the beauty above, yes, and now you bring your arms down, flowing as if you're a leaf in the wind, until your arms are at the side and the wave emanates from your shoulders and flows, flows out to your hands and fingers, yes, so graceful and feminine, and now bring them back down. So pretty. So beautiful.”
Jeremy smiled demurely at Alistair and the man smiled back and said softly, “The great dancer knows how to switch from the powerful masculinity of the Grand Jeté to the gentle femininity of the port de bras. And, he knows how to combine them both, to unite two seeming opposites into one simple union of strength and grace. You can do that, Jeremy. You can be both masculine and feminine, strong and graceful, graceful and strong. So, how do you feel now, Jeremy?”
“Wonderful,” the boy replied with an enthusiastic grin.
“Good. Now, let's see some powerful and graceful Grand Battement. I want to see those masculine and feminine kicks.”
Dylan smiled at Rafael and said, “Isn't it amazing how he brings Jeremy out of his funk and brings out the different sides of his nature, making him forget whatever was bothering him?”
“Yes, Alistair is wonderful,” Rafael replied with emotion.
Dylan looked at him and asked, “Jeremy had another nightmare last night, didn't he?”
Rafael silently nodded and said, “I don't know what to do. I don't know how to keep him from having them. I thought maybe that they might disappear after a while, that once he started actually working and dancing and getting into the routine, that they'd disappear and he'd be okay.”
Dylan shrugged and said, “It's only Thursday, Rafael. How long have you been here? Three days? Give him some time.”
“I think it's getting worse. I don't think it's getting better. I think it's getting worse.”
Dylan frowned and sighed. “Maybe last night's nightmare was my fault.”
Dylan looked sharply at Rafael, who had been watching Jeremy kick with Alistair coaching him.
“How did you know? Did he tell you?”
“He didn't need to. I saw you,” Rafael replied. “I knocked and when you didn't answer, I opened the door. I was going to ask you where he was, but I saw you two sixty-nining on your bed.”
“Are you upset?” Dylan asked carefully.
Rafael shook his head and replied, “No. I was, but I got over it because it's not fair for me to fuck around and then get jealous when he has some innocent fun. It's just that...I've never been in love like this before and I don't know how to act. Anyway, I don't know if what you two did contributed to his nightmares last night, but they might have. I don't know what they were about. He wouldn't talk about them. He never does.”
Dylan frowned and resumed his practice for several minutes as Alistair and Conrad began to work with Jeremy on his adagio moves— arabesque, attitude, developpe. After a few minutes, as Rafael and Dylan moved onto their work in the center of the floor—their own Port de bras and Battement practice, the redhead softly said, “You know, once he starts training with the other guys, once we get back into the routine of school in the morning and training in the afternoon and evening, maybe then the nightmares will go away and he'll relax and feel like everything's fine.”
“That's what I'm hoping,” Rafael replied. “To be honest, most of the time, he's fine. It's just early in the morning after he wakes up from one of his nightmares, or if something happens during the day that reminds him of his nightmares that he gets that morose air. He was racing through everything this morning because he was trying to forget what he went through last night. But, look at him now after Alistair and Conrad have been working with him. He's fine. He just needs to dance and he'll be fine.”
“You know,” Dylan asked, “that Andy and Dante are coming today.”
'Oh, hell,” Rafael responded as he stopped his Port de bras in mid-air.
Dylan grinned and said, “I thought you've you’d been lusting after Dante since he started last year.”
“I've had Dante and he's totally far-out,” Rafael replied, “but Andy loves to fuck and it's hard for me to say no to him.”
“You've got to admit he's always got great weed.”
“I don't get high,” Rafael replied stiffly as he continued his Port de bras.
“Well, excuse me, Mr. High and Mighty,” Dylan replied with offense. “I'll remember that the next time I see you on your knees at one of Daugherty's parties.”
Rafael gave Dylan an irritated look and said, “There's a difference in sucking guys off at a party and doing drugs. Maybe you're jealous or disgusted with my sex life and quite frankly, I don't give a damn. But, I won't, I repeat, I won't fuck up my dancing with uppers, downers, or anything else. There's a reason you always have to struggle at the end of the year to get another invitation back to Ballet Academy, Dylan!”
Dylan froze and looked at the older boy in shock. Alistair and Conrad both heard the comment and stopped, as well. Alistair frowned angrily and strode over to the two.
“Did I just hear you correctly, Rafael?”
Rafael defiantly declared, “Andy Daugherty's a druggie. Why would you invite him here?”
“It's none of your business, Rafael. You forget who you are and who I am. How dare you make such comments to a fellow student. You owe Dylan an apology. He's a trainee at Ballet Academy of America because he has earned a place here as one of the finest dancers in the world and you, Rafael Colón, are in no position to question that or to cast aspersions about another student's training. How dare you?”
Rafael's face was drained of color as he stood before the man, refusing to look away. He took a deep breath and said, “Alistair, you look away at the drug use in the school.”
“No, I don't. I know who's coked up and who isn't. There are dancers who disappear from both the school and the company and you can guess why. I don't give preferred assignments to drug-users. I take care of the situation in my own way and I will thank you, Mr. Fourth Year student, to let me run my academy and my company.”
Rafael was clearly frustrated. He took several deep breathes and then said, “Why, Alistair? Why would you invite a loser like Andy Daugherty to your party? Because his daddy's running for President in '72? Because they donate millions to the arts? Is that it?”
“Yes,” Alistair replied. “Because this is the United States and the arts are always in financial trouble and the Daughertys donate hundreds of thousands to us and because I don't want to lose it. I admit it. Because their money does more good for the company than their pathetic son harms it. Let's be honest, Rafael. That's how America works. The rich buy their way. They rig the rules, and those of us in the arts have to kiss their asses. You think it doesn't make me sick to have that loser in my school? I can't stand the sight of him, but I know that sometime before his father's Presidential campaign begins, he'll be arrested by the NYPD on a drug charge and that will be that. He'll be expelled from the school, Bobby Daugherty will buy the kid's way into a second-rate dance school somewhere out of the way in a city without any real news media, and the man will lose the first few primaries and drop out of the race and all will be right with the world. In the meantime, I make nice with him because Dante Harris lives with him and Dante is a hellatious dancer and the only black student in the school and I do respect him. The only way to get Dante is to take Andy because the Daughertys know that Dante comes from a poor family in Mississippi and they want everyone to think they're nice liberals by letting a poor black kid from Mississippi live with them.”
Rafael looked away with disgust and Alistair sighed.
“Look, Rafi, I understand how you feel. I agree with you. But, I've already had a talk with Bobby Daugherty and Andy has stopped dealing in the school. If trainees are stupid enough to go to his parties, I can't do anything about that. But, he's not dealing in the school and I won't allow that. Now, when he and Dante get here this afternoon, you will treat him with the respect that a fellow trainee at Ballet Academy deserves. Now, take that diva routine, Rafael, and shove it up your rather well-used ass and resume your Port de bras. And, by the way, you need a more fluid motion in your arms when you bring them down.”
Rafael stood there for a moment looking at the wall before him as Dylan walked away toward the barre. Jeremy had watched the entire incident with horror as Conrad kept a hand on his shoulder.
Alistair approached Jeremy and in a soft voice, said, “Will you excuse me, Jeremy? I have a few things I need to do right now and I'm sure Conrad can take over.”
Conrad squeezed Jeremy's shoulder and then walked to the turntable in the corner to flip over the album of generic practice music that had been playing. Rafael stood frozen, conflicting emotions of shame and anger boiling within. The music began again and Dylan resumed his practice, though with his back to Rafael.
Conrad and Jeremy resumed working on his arabesque, Rafael gave up his routine and began to perform a generic dance with several energetic moves that allowed him to take his mind off the incident that had just occurred. He danced it over and over as the others continued their practice until the album ended. He flipped it over and let it start again for the others before he left the room. Jeremy caught Dylan's eye and the fourteen-year-old simply sighed in response and walked out in pursuit.
He found Rafael sitting outside on the far end of the veranda, opposite the patio where the caterers were preparing the lunch buffet. Alistair was still in his tights and leotard as he spoke with a man who appeared to be in charge of the caterers. He also seemed unaware of Rafael at the end of the veranda or Dylan standing by the French door from the atrium. Soon, the man entered the house through the kitchen door. Slowly, Dylan walked over to Rafael, who sat on the edge of the veranda, looking out at the formal garden. Dylan sat down, but Rafael seemed unaware of his presence until, after a few minutes, he turned and looked at Dylan.
“I don't know what got into me,” Rafael said as he gazed at the fountain in the center of the garden. “You know I love you, Dylan. You’re my best friend. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I just don’t know what got into me.”
“I understand,” Dylan replied. “You’re worried about Jeremy and it’s all building up and you’re under a lot of stress.”
“But, that’s normally when I thrive. I live on stress. That’s how I dance. That’s when I dance my best, when I’m most stressed. I put it all into my dancing. I...don’t know what’s getting into me. I really don’t.”
Dylan took a deep breath and said, “You’re right about Andy. He doesn’t have any business at Ballet Academy, but Alistair’s got to do what’s best for the school.”
Rafael turned to face Dylan and said, “It’s not about Andrew Daugherty. I couldn’t care less about him. It’s...I was so pissed at you last last night for having sex with Jeremy. I know it’s hypocritical. I know it’s inconsistent. I know I’ve said all along that it’s okay for Jeremy to do whatever he wants to do. I know it all, but I could have killed you, last night. It was a great night for me, the best. Alistair had presented this incredible and amazing dance to me and I’m going to perform it on September 18 and I was on this incredible high from just all the adrenaline and everything that had happened and I was looking forward to sharing my joy with Jeremy and then...Then Jeremy's with you and later has one of his nightmares again and then I find out that Andy Daugherty is coming...”
He sighed wearily and said, “Ballet Academy means everything to me. Ballet Academy saved my life. I left a world of pain when I came here and Alistair has done so much for me and...”
Dylan scooted over and put an arm around Rafael's shoulder. “Look, I know I'm not the dancer you are, Rafael. No one is. You're a phenomenon. I'm not even an average dancer here. I struggle to keep up, but I also love life. I've accepted that I'm not going to dance for Ballet of America when I get out of training. I know I might not even finish here at Ballet Academy. I'm pretty sure that if I don't go with one of the smaller companies or one of the regionals, I'll end up on Broadway and then I'll teach somewhere. I know that and that's okay. I don't need to be at the top the way you do. I don't have that burning drive, that fire in the belly that you have. And, sometimes I smoke some weed with the guys to forget or to have more fun. I understand why you hate drugs and...”
“It's not about that. I'm just stressed out worrying about Jeremy.”
He looked up and saw Alistair standing in the doorway from the atrium. The man was still in his tights and he looked to the teenager like a god standing there. They looked at each other for several seconds before the man slowly approached.
“We'll spend the afternoon in the studio working on The Gazelle. We'll have lunch first and then Dante and Andy will arrive while we're working.”
Rafael nodded and said, “All right.”
“I love you, Rafi,” the man said softly.
Alistair waited a moment and then said, “He'll be all right. He just needs time to adjust to everything. He's undergone a tremendous change in the last week. He underwent an even bigger change last spring. It takes time, but Jeremy's strong and he'll survive and he'll be fine. And so will you.”
He then placed a hand on Dylan's shoulder and added, “Dylan, there's no reason why you can't dance for Ballet of America when you leave training. The only thing holding you back is your lack of self-respect. You're good, son. You're very good. You can do it. You and Rafi are very similar. You just need to develop a little self-respect. I'm going to watch you this year, Dylan and I'm going to have M. Renier ride your tail in Ballet Technique. By God, I'm going to make a dancer out of you by the time we're finished.”
He smiled at the boy and Dylan smiled sadly as he looked down at the wooden floor of the veranda. Alistair lifted his chin with his finger and said with a smile, “You will do it.”
“We need to talk.”
Jeremy looked at Conrad curiously as he rose from his chair after finishing his lunch of high carb pasta salad. Dylan glanced at his watch and said to no one in particular, “Geoffrey should be leaving soon to pick up Dante and Andy at the train station.”
Jeremy stepped away from the table as the man turned and started up to the veranda and to the door to the atrium. The boy followed him inside until they were standing by the long koi pool. Conrad was holding something behind him and then held out a blue and turquoise swimsuit.
“Take your shorts off and put this on. Oh, and bring your boat shoes.”
“Why?” Jeremy asked with a grin.
“We're going to the beach. Just you and me. I like Dante, but I'm not a big fan of Andy Daugherty. Besides, you need to play and have some fun while we're here. You're about to spend the next eleven months working that cute ass of yours off.”
“Just you and me?” Jeremy asked.
Conrad smiled and nodded. Jeremy grinned and said, “I'll be right back!”
He had wondered why the dancer was wearing a Navy blue swimsuit with his green Izod. Now, running up the stairs as he grinned down at the man, he knew why. He felt his erection immediately pop up in his khaki shorts as he reached the second floor and he ran quickly to his bedroom.
Rafael was in there, changing into a different pair of tights, as Jeremy entered.
“What's up, Jerm?” he asked with a cautious smile.
“Conrad's taking me to the beach while you and Alistair work on The Gazelle this afternoon!”
“Cool,” Rafael replied with a reserved smile.
Jeremy noticed, as he quickly pulled off his shorts and underwear, how restrained was Rafael's enthusiasm at the news. He stood before the teenager with his erection pointing toward him and flirtatiously sang, “Rah-fay-el. Would you like to suck my dick before we go?”
“Maybe Conrad can,” Rafael replied evenly as he looked away, carefully adjusting his tights.
Jeremy's smile immediately disappeared as he asked, “Are you upset?”
Rafael exhaled and turned around. He tried to smile as he replied, “No. I'm not. I'm just...I love you and I know we have a relationship that lets us be with others sometimes and I know I'm... I've just never been in love before and it's different and weird and I love you so much I can't stand it, sometimes. I know you like Conrad. We talked about you last night. He likes you very much. He respects you and your motivation. I...I shouldn't be jealous and I'm really not. I want you to have fun and tonight, when we go to bed, I will make love to you and we will be so happy.”
“I love you, Rafael,” Jeremy replied. “Don't worry. I don't think Conrad's going to do anything sexy with me. He just wants to go to the beach and have some fun.”
Rafael smiled and said, “All right. In that case, go have some fun.”
Rafael grinned and kissed the boy before he sank to his knees and grinned. “I guess he'll just have to wait a few minutes until I get my recommended daily allowance of Jeremy sperm.”
When the boy finally reappeared downstairs, clad in his swimsuit and yellow pullover, Conrad was nowhere to be seen. Concerned that he had offended the man by taking so long, he ran to the back, but Dylan, naked and about to jump into the pool, said that Conrad wasn't back there. Jeremy ran to the front of the house and when he opened the front door, his panic subsided as he found the man sitting in his Porsche, listening to Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and smiling under his Ray-Bans.
“I won't ask what took you so long,” Conrad remarked with a grin. “I'll just see if you're blushing.”
Jeremy giggled as he approached the car and Conrad studied him carefully. “Yes, I do believe I detect a bit of a blush! Was it fun?”
“Yes,” Jeremy replied shyly as he climbed over the door and dropped into the seat.
“There still seems to be a bit of swelling down there,” Conrad observed with another grin. “Didn't he finish you off?”
“Yes,” Jeremy replied with exasperation. “It's just that...well, sometimes he's so good that I can't go back down afterward.”
Conrad was about to make a comment he knew he would regret, but was cut-off by the horn of a Lincoln Continental. He looked in the mirror and Jeremy looked over his shoulder as Geoffrey drove up in Alistair's car with two teenage boys in the backseat, one with golden blond hair and an imperious air about him, the other a black boy with a round face and closely cut hair.
“I believe Lord Daugherty has arrived,” Conrad declared with disdain, “with our school's token Negro.”
Jeremy looked at Conrad with surprise and the man said, “I've been urging Alistair to try to recruit more black trainees. So far, Dante is the only one. I'm hoping more try out at the auditions next month.”
Geoffrey climbed from the car and saw that Andrew Daugherty was simply sitting there. The young man grinned at Conrad as he walked around the front of the Lincoln and over to the passenger side of the Porsche as he said, “I think his Lordship is waiting for me to open the door.”
Conrad grinned and asked, “Was it really bad?”
“Oh, man. Its a four-minute drive from the station and I'm already on the verge of beating the Holy Fucking Shit out of him. If his father wins the election in '72, God help the Secret Service and the servants in the White House.”
“Don't worry,” Conrad replied as Dante shyly opened the other door and climbed out. “Someone will surely find pictures of Bobby Daugherty in bed with a hooker. Either that or Andy will get arrested in a Bronx shooting gallery next year.”
Dante slowly approached the car as Geoffrey said, “I'm off to take m'lord's luggage up to his suite.”
Conrad grinned at Dante, who walked up and softly said, “I'm really sorry. He's in kind of a bad mood today.”
Geoffrey smiled at the teenager and said, “Don't worry. I know how to handle shits like him. I went to a whole school full of Andy Daughertys. In fact, I think we may be related. I have a great-grandmother who was a Daugherty. That may explain why I can't stand my mother's side of the family.”
Jeremy giggled as the young man walked back to the car. Conrad had turned down the radio and smiled at the black teen as he said, “It's great to see you again, Dante. How has your summer been?”
“It was great,” the teenager replied with a toothy smile as he tried not to gawk at Jeremy, who discreetly placed his hands in his lap. “I went home to visit my mother and my folks and I'm back now to get some practice in before class starts. I've got to get back into shape.”
Walking past the rear door of the car Geoffrey slapped the window as the blond glared at him and he yelled, “Hey! Get a move on, there! I'm putting the car in the garage after I take up your suitcases! You don't want to spend the rest of the day in there, do you?”
The boy shook his head and opened the door, declaring, “Good help is so hard to find these days.”
“Yeah?” Geoffrey replied as he lifted suitcases out of the trunk. “Tell that to your cousin Trip. He sucked my dick last April at Chad Wilhite's party. He says you whine like a girl when he sucks yours.”
Andy looked at the young man with outrage and then huffed as he marched toward the Porsche. He looked at Conrad and nodded his head as he said, “Mr. Hartsfeld.”
“Andrew. It's nice to see you again. Boys, this is Jeremy Fenwick. He'll be joining Ballet Academy next month. He's been training under Anna Pulchova.”
Andy pushed ahead of Dante and extended his hand with a smile as he quite obviously checked Jeremy out and said, “Hi! Andy Daugherty. You look pretty hot. You're a good dancer?”
“Yes, I am,” Jeremy replied as he failed to resist checking out Andy, as well.
“Dante and I are third year dancers,” Andy said he smiled arrogantly. “You'll have to come up and party with us tonight. Are you swimming this afternoon?”
“We're going out to the beach,” Conrad replied, adding quickly, “I'm sorry we don't have room. See you later.”
Before Andy could point out that he had two seats in the back, albeit tight ones, Conrad gunned he engine and sped away, giving Jeremy's erection an extra surge.
“Did you see how that Andy guy was looking me over?” Jeremy asked as they sped through the trees and to the road in front of Alistair's property. “I thought he was going to rip my clothes off!”
“He probably wanted to,” Conrad replied. “Would you let him?”
“No way,” Jeremy replied. “He's a jerk.”
“Then why are you squeezing your penis?” Conrad asked with a grin.
Jeremy blushed deeply and said, “Actually...”
“You think Dante is sexier?”
Jeremy squirmed uncomfortably in his seat and then replied, “My parents would be horrified to hear me say this. Of course, my parents would be horrified if I liked any guy, but they'd be doubly horrified if they knew I liked a black guy, but yeah. I think Dante is really sexy. He's got a great body and a nice face and... Do you think I'm sick or weird or wrong or something?”
Conrad turned onto the narrow road and gunned it. “Of course, not! I think it's perfectly natural for you to find a black guy attractive. Even if you are a Southerner.”
“Hey, I'm not like the other people down there,” Jeremy declared quickly. “I'm not prejudiced. I think black people should be treated just like white people.”
“I think that's very admirable of you, Jeremy. I'm proud of you, but if you keep squeezing your penis like that, I'm going to suggest you just pull it out and do it.”
Jeremy blushed again as he quickly released his erection. “I'm sorry,” he said softly as Conrad laughed.
“Don't worry about it, Jeremy. You're twelve and you're a walking hormone right now. Besides, you just saw two hot fourteen-year-olds—and yes, Andy is sexy and Dante is very sexy—and you're sitting in a Porsche 911 with a beautiful danseur. I'd be very surprised—and not a little disappointed—if you weren't hard.”
Jeremy giggled shyly and said, “You're a lot more relaxed today.”
“Yes, I am,” Conrad replied as they sped along the winding road. “I suppose it's the good company I'm with.”
Jeremy smiled at him as he smiled back.
“You're a very handsome man,” the boy said cautiously.
“Thank you,” Conrad replied. “I appreciate that, especially coming from such a beautiful boy as you.”
He reached over and squeezed Jeremy's left hand before releasing it and downshifting as they passed the train station and came to Highway 27. He turned right onto the highway, but then turned left a block later on Atlantic Avenue.
“How far is it to the beach?”
“About a mile,” Conrad replied. “It's at the end of this road.”
“Cool! I didn't realize we were this close to the ocean!”
“Haven't you seen the seagulls?”
Jeremy giggled and Conrad grinned as he asked, “How often have you been to the ocean?”
“Oh, lots,” the boy replied. “We used to go to Ft. Lauderdale a lot and Miami Beach. Dad has friends in Malibu and we went to Puerto Vallarta once.”
Conrad noticed that Jeremy had used the present tense when speaking of his father and the boy realized what he had said afterward. Before Jeremy could react, however, Conrad said, “There are some extraordinary beaches in the Mediterranean that you must visit. Perhaps if I go next year, you would honor me by accompanying me.”
“Really?” Jeremy asked with surprise.
Conrad nodded and said, “We'll stop in Paris and Milan for a bit and I can introduce you to some friends of mine in the ballet world.”
Jeremy looked at the man with awe and said, “You'd do that for me?”
Conrad smiled at the boy as they slowed for the stop sign at Bluff Road. “You still don't get it, do you, Jeremy. You don't realize just where you are.”
“We're in the Hamptons,” the boy replied with confusion.
Crossing the street and heading down the slight hill past Bluff Road, Conrad shook his head and said, “Jeremy, you're at one of the finest ballet schools in the world. You're one of the best twelve-year-old dancers in the country, maybe in the world. You're at the top, Jeremy. You get personal attention from Alistair Mountjoy. You get to swim at the beach with Conrad Hartsfeld. You've arrived, Jeremy. You've made it. You're here. You're at the top. I don't think you fully realize or grasp what this means. You're at the top, Jeremy. All you have to do now is bleed and suffer and work until you drop from exhaustion to stay here. In return, Jeremy, you get to dance with the best and greatest in the world—and you get to accompany me to Paris and Milan and Majorca. Or maybe Mykonos.”
Jeremy stared ahead as he saw the beach approaching. He looked down at his feet, at the boat shoes, and shook his head.
“I guess I don't really get it. Everything seems like a surprise to me, like I'm in a dream.”
Conrad slowed down and turned into an almost full parking lot to the left. He paid the parking fee to a man in the wooden shack guarding the lot and then pulled into one of the few parking spaces left. When he turned off the engine, he turned toward Jeremy and smiled.
“It will probably be a lot more real to you when you actually start your daily routine, your daily grind of getting up at dawn, doing your exercises, going to school, going to training, staying until eight or nine and then going home to do your school work and passing out over your algebra homework and waking up at dawn to start it all over again. Of course, when you're thirteen or fourteen, you'll start auditioning for some of the productions with roles for young dancers—Midsummer Night's Dream, Peter Pan, Coppélia. You'll start entering the competitions. Of course, all of that is in addition to what I described earlier, and then, by the time you're Rafael's age, assuming you haven't had a nervous breakdown by then—and I'm not kidding here, Jeremy. I'm absolutely serious—assuming you haven't had a nervous breakdown by then, then you start the real work. That's why Andy Daugherty does drugs. That's why Rafael turns the showers into a daily orgy. They do these things to stay sane because of all the pressure. But, with the pressure, if you survive, come great rewards, as well, and one of those rewards, Jeremy Fenwick, is that you get to go to Paris with Conrad Hartsfeld and lie on the beach with me in Majorca—or here at Amagansett.”
Jeremy looked at him with determination. “I understand. I know it's going to be hard work. And, I'm grateful that men like Alistair and you are helping me. I'm so grateful. I think you're the most wonderful man I've ever met—except for my father, of course. I won't let you down, Conrad. I swear. I will work as hard as I can. I'll make you proud. I will.”
“I know you will,” Conrad replied, “which is why we have to get out of this car now, take that blanket in the back and that cooler down to the beach before the afternoon is over, and have some fun.”
Jeremy giggled and replied, “All right!”
They climbed from the car and Conrad said, “Wait a moment.”
He walked around to Jeremy, leaned into the car and removed a tube of suntan oil and dropped to his knees before the boy.
“Take your shoes off for a moment,” he ordered as he squirted cream onto his hand. Jeremy did as he was told and then Conrad began to apply the cream to the top of his feet, to his calves and knees and up his thighs, as high as inside the leg openings of his swimsuit. Jeremy felt an instant erection form with the man's touch on his bare skin, but this time he was not embarrassed, even when Conrad looked up and saw the rise in Jeremy's swimsuit right in his face, just inches away.
“Take off your shirt,” the man said huskily.
Jeremy did as he was told, his hands trembling as Conrad stood and applied more ointment to the boy's back. As he rubbed it in, he also massaged the boy's back, paying careful attention to his lower back and his shoulders. Jeremy turned to lean on the car and moaned audibly. Conrad smiled, fighting his own urges to spin the boy around and kiss him passionately. When he was finished, he ordered Jeremy to face him and when the boy did, Conrad applied more cream to the boy's chest and stomach. As his hands slid over the boy's nipples, Jeremy moaned loudly and Conrad quickly withdrew his hands.
“I'm sorry,” he said softly as he resumed his work, avoiding the boy's two large, erect nipples.
“That's...okay,” the boy mumbled. “It just...felt so...good.”
“Yes, um, yes. I understand,” the man replied as he finished the boy's stomach and went to work on his neck and face.
“We don't want you to look like a lobster tomorrow night when you perform for everyone, do we?” he said as he smiled into Jeremy's eyes.
“You're so...kind and wonderful and...”
Conrad placed a finger on Jeremy's lips and said, “That's enough, Little Man. Let's go hit the beach now.”
In a shaky voice full of lust, Jeremy asked, “Don't you want me to put some on you?”
Conrad reached into the back of the car and removed a large beach towel as he replied, “I already took care of that. Here.”
He pulled the ice chest out of the car and took one handle as Jeremy grabbed the other. The boy slipped his feet back into his Topsiders and the two proceeded toward the beach.
“This looks familiar,” Jeremy said as they walked past the dune grass and onto the beach. “It's like I've been here before.”
“The beaches in the Hamptons are famous,” Conrad replied. “Maybe you've seen pictures of it.”
“That's it!” Jeremy cried. “There's a picture on Teddy's desk back at the apartment of Alistair and Rafael when Rafael was twelve standing here on this beach! That's where I saw it!”
“That's quite possible. We're only a couple of miles from Alistair's house,” Conrad replied.
They found an empty spot on the crowded beach and set the cooler down before Conrad spread out the towel. Jeremy slipped his Topsiders off and stood barefoot in the warm sand as he looked around with a huge grin on his face.
“It's not very hot here,” he stated. “Don't they have summertime in New York?”
“They do,” Conrad replied as he opened the cooler and tossed a liter bottle of Perrier to the boy. “It can get in the nineties here, but not like it does for the whole summer down where you're from. It's probably around eighty right now, but don't let the temperature fool you. You can still get a nasty sunburn. It's also important that we stay hydrated. You and I are going to have a workout tonight!”
Jeremy nodded as he drank his water and looked around. He then giggled to himself as he thought of the kind of workout he'd like to have with Conrad. The Man raised his eyebrow at the boy and kicked some sand on his legs.
“Behave, boy, or I may have to toss you out in the water.”
“Oh, yeah, Old Man?” Jeremy replied as he screwed the cap back on his bottle. He tossed his sunglasses onto the blanket as he set the bottle down and said, “You have to catch me first!”
He took off running through the sand toward the very water that Conrad had threatened to dunk him in. The man followed, not trying very hard to catch him, as he called, “Don't ever challenge the great Conrad Hartsfeld, young man! Other's have rued the day they were so foolish!”
“Words, words!” Jeremy cried as he abruptly turned at the damp sand. The surf flowed over his feet as he ran, causing him to splash and loose speed. “Blah! Blah!”
However, the loss of speed was enough for Conrad, not really trying, to catch up and grab Jeremy. He lifted the squealing boy into the air and threw him over his shoulder before marching out into the surf.
“Let me down!” Jeremy cried with laughter. “Let me down!”
“Oh, I will!” Conrad replied. “Believe me!”
He had gone far enough that the waves were riding to his chest before he leaned forward and threw Jeremy, his arms and legs flailing wildly, into the water. Conrad laughed as he watched the coughing boy rise and fling the water from his face. Jeremy laughed and then lunged forward, knocking the man over into the water. For several minutes, they wrestled in the periodic waves, laughing and calling out challenges to each other until Jeremy began to tire. Then, for several minutes, they stared out at the vast expanse of water, watching the waves coming to shore, gazing up at the sky and the thin, wispy cirrus clouds above. Conrad stepped over to Jeremy and dropped down.
“Climb on my shoulders,” he said and Jeremy did so, his erection pressing into the back of Conrad's neck as the man stood.
“This is so beautiful,” the boy exclaimed.
“Yes, it is,” Conrad replied. “You should see the clear, blue Mediterranean sky. It would take your breath away.”
“I want to see it,” Jeremy replied adding after a second, “With you.”
“You will,” the man replied as he turned to the side and began walking parallel to the shore, the waves washing gently over his right side. Soon they turned and walked back ashore toward their blanket. Conrad let the boy down as they reached their spot and Jeremy looked up at the man with love before they sat down on the blanket.
“This is such a beautiful place,” Jeremy said softly.
“Yes, it is,” Conrad replied.
“I don't think I've been this happy in a long time,” Jeremy added. “I don't remember the last time I was this happy.”
Conrad ruffled the boy's damp hair and leaned back on his arms. Spreading his legs, he said, “Sit in here and lean back against me.”
Jeremy smiled and nodded, sitting down between his legs and leaning back against his torso. He could feel Conrad's erection pressing against his butt, but he did nothing to encourage the man, though he softly declared, “I love you, Conrad.”
“I know, Jeremy,” he replied. “And, I love you.”
For a long moment, neither spoke, though Conrad could look down Jeremy's body and see the boy's erection quite plainly poking the swimsuit outward. He sighed heavily.
“You do realize, Jeremy, that you and I can't...go to bed together.”
There was a long pause before Jeremy replied, “I know.”
“It doesn't mean that I care for you any less. Quite the contrary. I love you very much, Jeremy and that's why I can't have sex with you.”
“I know, but I don't understand why.”
Conrad looked down and inhaled Jeremy's red hair. The boy added, “I know you dated Dylan.”
“Yes, I did,” Conrad replied. “And, I dated Dante Harris and Andy Daugherty, too.”
Jeremy turned his head and looked up at Conrad with surprise as he replied, “Andy? I mean, yeah, I can understand Dante. He's hot. I love his body and his black skin is sexy and he looks like he's really sweet. But, Andy Daugherty?”
“Yeah, well, it wasn't for his personality. I used him and he used me. I wanted an entree to Dante, because Dante is staying with the Daughertys and Andy wanted to get fucked by one of the greatest dancers in the world. You have to admit, though, that he's sexy.”
Jeremy shrugged as he looked out over the ocean and lay his head back against Conrad's shoulder. “He's okay. I like his golden hair. It's pretty. And, he has a nice body and a nice tan.”
“He's never going to amount to anything,” Conrad said. “He doesn't deserve to be at Ballet Academy. He's here because of his family's money. They know it and he knows it. He does the bare minimum necessary to keep from being kicked out. He'll never be anything, though, and there's no way to get into his head and rescue him from the future he's set out for himself. It's a shame, really.”
“He doesn't really have to do anything, does he?” Jeremy replied. “I mean, doesn't he get his trust fund when he's twenty-one?”
“I suppose, if you want a life of drifting aimlessly from one party to the next until you OD on pills or heroin or whatever's in his future. Dante's different, though. He knows his escape from Tupelo, Mississippi is through Ballet Academy of America and he's going to do everything he can to succeed. I admire Dante and I have to admit that I briefly considered mentoring him... until you came along.”
“Why didn't you?”
“Because you have more promise,” Conrad replied, “and because there are several dancers who are willing to help Dante. Because you... you're special, Jeremy. There's something about you that makes you different from any of the other dancers at Ballet Academy. And, I love you.”
Jeremy closed his eyes and felt Conrad's heartbeat as he lay against the man.
“So, if you love me and I'm special, then why can't we have sex like Rafael and I do?”
“Well, because I'm afraid that would change the relationship we have. I want to mentor you, I want to help train you. I want to work with you to make you the truly extraordinary dancer you can be, and I don't want to complicate that with sex. Does that make sense.”
“I guess,” Jeremy replied. “But, what if I want it?”
Conrad kissed the top of the boy's head and said, “Maybe I'm doing this more for me than you. Maybe it would make it difficult for me to mentor you if I complicate things with sex.”
Jeremy turned around and faced the man before he declared, “I love you and I'd let you do anything you want to me.”
Conrad frowned and took a deep breath as he looked around at the other people on the beach. “Jeremy, we need to be more discreet here on the beach.”
The boy blushed and nodded as he scooted away and picked up his Perrier bottle. As he unscrewed the cap, he said, “You're the most beautiful man in the world and I would do anything for you.”
“I know, Jeremy. You know, I grew up in the suburbs of Boston before I came to Ballet Academy and they use the word 'wicked' a lot there as an adverb. They'll say 'She's wicked hot' or 'He's wicked smart.' Well, Jeremy, you are a wicked fantastic dancer and you are wicked sexy and wicked beautiful. You're a wicked boy, Jeremy.”
He thought it curious when the expression on the boy's face changed. Jeremy turned and looked out across the Atlantic. For several minutes, neither spoke until Jeremy finally drank the last of his Perrier. He rose and said—with a decided lack of enthusiasm, “Let's go swim more.”
Conrad nodded, but said, “We'll have to leave soon, though.”
Jeremy nodded and then began to walk toward the water. Conrad followed him to the edge of the surf, where the boy seemed to study the ocean thoughtfully before he took Conrad's hand and walked out into the water.
I hope you are enjoying my story. Please let me know at: frthnkr1957nifty <at> gmail <dot> com