This is an original homocentric love story. If you are offended by homosexual relationships, do not read. All characters and situations are fictional and of my own creation. Any resemblance to real situations or people, living or dead, is completely coincidental. See chapter one for further warnings and copyright information.
I woke up feeling a little claustrophobic. When I opened my eyes, I discovered why. I mumbled, "Good morning, Jer," to him. Jeremy was laying next to me on top of the covers, his face mere inches from my own, his eyes staring into mine.
"Whew! Morning breath!" Jeremy complained, leaning back and holding his nose.
I laughed at him. "Well, what did you expect? And if you don't move and let me out of bed, there's going to be laundry needing done, too!"
Jeremy scrambled off the bed, and I was right behind him, sliding out from between the sheets. Jer got an eyeful of my jockey-clad morning wood as I made for the door, and the bathroom. I would have been a lot more self-conscious, except he'd already seen everything I had, the sneak. To my embarrassment though, Mrs. G got an eyeful too as she came out of Jeremy's room with a laundry hamper. Too late to do anything about it, I just tried to cover myself up as I blushed and mumbled a "Sorry, Mrs. G," and hurried on to the bathroom to relieve my bladder.
That taken care of, I washed up, brushed my teeth, made sure my erection hadn't come back (when you're my age you get various degrees of them so often that if you're only half hard, it's sometimes difficult to tell), peeked out of the bathroom door to make sure the coast was clear, and made a dash back to the bedroom to get dressed. Unfortunately for those plans, Jeremy was waiting in ambush, and as I entered the room he tackled me, and we wound up in a tangle on the bed.
"Come on, you horndog, get off me!" I complained, laughing. When he persisted in trying to wrestle me down, I turned the tables, and soon I was crouched over him, pinning his arms above his head. "Now, what was that all about?" I asked, still grinning. He was grinning too, but he didn't answer me - just lunged up at me, trying to kiss me.
"Ah, so that's the plan, is it?" I teased. He nodded, his eyes twinkling with mischievous joy. "Well, we can't have my boyfriend starving for affection, can we?" I asked rhetorically as I leaned down and claimed his lips: an action he enthusiastically complied with.
It was an activity that was still new to us, and we were still figuring out how to get our noses out of the way and the best way to get our lips to work together, but it was sure fun experimenting. It also served to get my mind off other things. There wasn't a damn thing I could do about it, so I might as well try to forget about it. That wasn't going to be easy, but this was sure helping.
A couple of minutes later I heard a feminine voice from the direction of the door. "Heh-hem!" I froze. Jeremy took a second more to realize that I was no longer participating, and why. Unfortunately, he also rubbed up against me a few more times while his mother watched. I blushed furiously, thinking of the picture we must present. My again-excited state was hidden between Jeremy and I, but that meant I couldn't move without exposing it. "Oh, god!" I moaned into Jer's neck, still not moving. Any other position would be worse. I raised my head a bit, so my voice wouldn't be muffled. "Um... Mrs. G? Could you give me a minute to get decent, please?" I didn't dare to look at her. Fortunately, Jeremy was fully clothed.
"You are planning on making an honest man of my son, aren't you, Ethan?" she asked, amusement clearly plain in her voice.
'She's making jokes?' I thought incredulously. 'Okay, let's play her game.' "Um... Just a minute, Mrs. G. I haven't asked him, yet."
She choked. I sniggered quietly. Revenge is sweet. Jeremy looked confused. When I heard Mrs. G laughing at having the tables turned on her, I repeated myself. "I really can't move, Mrs. G, without embarrassing both of us more than I already am. Can I get dressed?" I risked a glance in her direction. She was blushing! But at least she didn't look too upset. Jeremy was grinning to beat the band. He was enjoying this far more than he should have been, the brat, especially when he'd been humping against me while she watched! I wondered if he knew that. Regardless, I resolved to make him pay for him laughing at me as soon as we were alone.
"I'll be back in five minutes, Ethan." Through the humor there was a definite note of warning there - that I had better be dressed, and not be molesting her son. Well, I just assumed that last part. Now, whether I could follow that last assumed direction was another matter. Especially as there was that little matter of revenge...
"Jeremy, let Ethan get dressed," she instructed sternly.
I heard the door close, and I turned my attention to the young blond under me. "So you thought that was funny, did you, my traitorous little friend? You're going to pay for that!" I started tickling him, not giving him time to answer. When I had him begging for mercy and gasping for breath I let go, got up, walked over to my overnight bag, and got my clean clothes out.
Still panting a bit, Jeremy said, "I like you calling me your boyfriend, Tan. But what did Mom mean, 'make an honest man' out of me?"
I was pretty sure he was just teasing, but his expression was serious, so I played along. "Just a sec, Jer. Let me get dressed, first." As I got my jeans and shirt on, I had time to put together what I wanted to say. When I'd finished, I went over and sat down with what appeared to be a very curious blond. I took a deep breath. "Okay. The simple answer is that she was asking if I was going to ask you to marry me; but she did it only as a joke. What I really think is that she said it because it probably looked like we were getting ready to have sex."
He looked a little panicked at that, and blurted out, "But we weren't!"
"I know that, and I'm pretty sure your mom does, too. But it made her nervous. Remember the guilt trip she pulled last night?" Jeremy nodded. "Well, she's just not ready for her 'baby' to grow up."
Jeremy looked a little affronted by being referred to as a baby, but shrugged it off and returned to teasing me. "So when are you going to ask me to marry you?" he asked with a grin.
I slapped his arm, then looked at him curiously, remembering a few things. In light of some of the knowledge he'd shown, it was curious he'd not known about that phrase, but that wasn't really important. "Jeremy, you've commented on words I've used before, but you're no slouch yourself. What's your story?"
His cheeks tinted a little bit. "A little like yours, but I'm not nearly that smart. I've only got a one-thirty-three IQ."
I was surprised. "A one-thirty-three is nothing to sneeze at, Jer. It's a long way from an 'only'. And I'm kinda relieved, too."
He looked at me curiously. I blushed a little. "Well, love alone can't make a relationship last. 'Least that's what I've read. It helps that you've got the brains to be able to understand a lot of things I can. We'll be able to talk about a lot more."
It was the second time he'd called me that, and I was curious about this nickname he'd just given me. "Tan?" I asked.
Shyly, he asked "You don't mind, do you? You've been calling me 'Jer', and I wanted to give you a nickname, too. Only there isn't a whole lot you can do with 'Ethan'. I didn't like the sound of 'Eath', but 'Tan' sounded okay. Is it?"
I thought about it for a second, rolling it around in my mind. It sounded sweet from Jeremy, but I wasn't too sure about other people using it. "I like it," I said, smiling. I'd just have to correct anyone else who decided to use it.
Jeremy beamed, then remembered what had started this last detour. "Now, if you're through putting me off?"
"Putting you off?" I was honestly surprised and confused.
"I've tried to talk to you about sex any number of times, and we always get sidetracked!"
"Sex?" I exclaimed. I was stunned. I was sixteen, so I was turned on by the idea of course, but to be so blunt about the subject?
"Yeah, sex! You know, that thing that two loving people do with each other?"
Sarcasm? There was that attitude, again! Grrr!
"Well, that's certainly a loving way to bring up the subject, isn't it?" I shot back angrily.
I could see that my remark had hit home, so I backed off. "I'm sorry, Jeremy, but we've really ruined the mood for this conversation right now, haven't we?" It was more of a statement than a question.
He nodded in agreement anyway. "I'm sorry I lost my temper, Tan," he whispered.
He looked so forlorn.
"Jer? Can I have a hug?" I asked.
Suddenly I was wrapped with blond deliciousness. Moist blond deliciousness. He was leaking from the eyes. I guess he really was sorry.
"Shhh, Jer, it's okay," I whispered as I held him. I keep forgetting that he's only days away from his fifteenth birthday, and not quite as mature as me. Not that I felt that mature. I felt guilty. Still, he was almost fifteen; just a year older than I was when I realized what I wanted. He seemed to be a bit more advanced in that department than me, though, so maybe I should stop treating him like an innocent porcelain doll, even if he kinda looks like one.
My stomach growled, and Jeremy started shaking. Shit; did I hurt him that badly? But then he raised his head, and I could see he was trying to keep from laughing. "Well, I guess nobody likes to talk about sex on an empty stomach," he said, then tore out of my arms and out of the room.
"Come back here, yout brat!" I yelled, chasing after him. He and I both knew that what he'd said wasn't worth the effort we were putting into it, but it was a welcome distraction. As we raced through the house, him using furniture as barriers while I chased him, the phone rang. I instantly sobered and came to a standstill, and watched as Mister G picked up the phone. My appetite was gone. Of course I could only hear one side of the conversation.
"Hello?" he said into the receiver.
He glanced at me. "Hello, Evelyn." My heart sank. This was that call. Mister G listened for a few seconds, then said, "He's right here, listening." There was another pause as he listened to my mother on the other end, before he said, "Okay." He put one hand over the bottom of the handset, then said to me "Grab some toast and cereal. Your mother and I have some things to discuss in private. You can eat in your room. Take Jeremy with you."
Realization didn't dawn, it exploded. It hadn't worked. My dad wasn't going to accept me. There was no other explanation. "I can't go home, can I? If it was okay, you wouldn't need to talk to my mom that long." Jeremy just stood there, helpless, and hating it. I could see the sadness in Mister G's eyes as he realized that his effort to protect me from the truth just a little longer had failed. But all he said, in a very quiet voice, was, "Get some breakfast. You're going to need your strength."
I was too numb to care. I just turned and went to 'my' room. Jeremy came in a few minutes later with breakfast stuff, but I couldn't muster any enthusiasm for it. I kinda half-heartedly nibbled on some toast, just waiting. My future was being decided, just as I had predicted. Legally I was my parent's property, or the system's, until my age reached some magic number. More to the point, I was now a problem. I'd probably wind up in a foster home somewhere. It was a cinch that I wouldn't be wanted here, where Jeremy's parents knew I had feelings for their son. Jeremy sat down beside me and put his arms around me, trying to comfort me. Oh, yeah. The fact that Jeremy was willing would only make it more imperative for them to get rid of me.
What seemed like hours later, but was still too soon, Mister G knocked on the doorframe to let us know he was there. "Ethan? You want to talk to your mother?"
I nodded. My legs felt like lead as I walked to the phone. My mouth was dry, as well. "H-hello? Mom?"
"Hello, Ethan." It didn't sound like her. She sounded so defeated. "How're you doing, honey?"
"Mom, please. Just tell me? Please?"
The silence seemed to drag on before she sighed, then started speaking again. "Tom said that you'd guessed. Your dad didn't take it well. He's promised not to hit you, but he wants you out. It's just going to take some time, honey."
"Was he quiet about it, or did he yell?" It was more than morbid curiosity. How he reacts when he's angry tells a lot about how long it's going to last. If he yells about someone he'll be over it pretty soon: a couple of weeks or months, at most. If he's quiet... Well, if he's quiet, you don't want to be on the receiving end, because you've pretty much fallen off the ends of the earth, as far as he's concerned. And I could tell my mom wished I hadn't asked that question.
"He was quiet, wasn't he?" I guessed.
"I wish I could tell you he yelled and cussed his head off, son, but... "
I sighed. "So what happens now? Courts? Foster families?"
I heard her start to cry, and I realized... "Oh, god. I'm so sorry, Mom. You're caught between us, aren't you? I'm sorry. You've probably already covered all this with Mister G. I'll just ask him."
"No," she sobbed. "No, I'll be all right. Give me a second." She took a couple of deep breaths. I could hear how shaky she was when she let them out, but she pulled herself together and started filling me in.
"I'll have to make this fast. He'll be back from the store, soon. Your father has decided to take any consequences of abandoning you. And as much as I love you and support you, Ethan, my place is with him, no matter how wrong I think he is. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make, and I'm still not sure of it. Tomorrow we're going to get the papers to make Mister Graves your legal guardian."
She said a lot more, but my head was ringing with two essential facts: I no longer had a family, and I wasn't going to be separated from Jeremy. Between the two extremes of emotion I was completely numb - out of it. I no longer understood what she was saying, or even if it was in English.
Mister Graves noticed my condition and gently took the phone from me, interrupting my mom to let her know that I was in shock, and he'd fill me in on the rest later. He had Jeremy take me back to the bedroom, where Jer had me lay down. Then he laid down next to me and wrapped his arms around me. I needed it. Nevertheless, when I started coming out of it and the reality started sinking in, I started hyperventilating.
Now don't get me wrong; I'm not a wuss, or that easy to shake, but my world had just collapsed around me. Anyway, Jeremy panicked and yelled for his dad who, fortunately, knew what to do. He got a small paper bag and had me breathing into it. Eventually I calmed down enough that Mister G could let me know what the immediate future held in store. That I could deal with. Long-term was too scary right now.
"Your father has decided that you can keep your belongings," Mister G told me. "Not that he had much choice, after I called the police."
"You called the police?" I asked. I was a little in awe that he'd go to those lengths for me, and hurt that it had been necessary.
"You better believe it. Anyway, to make a long story short he won't let you in to get any of it, but he'll put everything out on the lawn. He'll be working his regular shift tomorrow."
I was still shakey, but knowing my dad, I had to ask. "Did he say when?"
"Did he say when he'd be throwing my stuff on the lawn?"
"Tomorrow. He said he'd be working his regular shift tomorrow, so I'm sure that's when he'd... " He'd been watching my face while talking to me, and something must have told him he was on the wrong track. "What is it?"
"My father rarely lies, but he has this way of saying the truth that makes it sound like something else: especially when he's after revenge. And with what Mom told me, I'm among the worst of the worst, in his mind. I think we might want to go over there now. If I'm wrong, I'll apologize for the trouble I've put you through."
Mister G wouldn't allow Jeremy to come along, not knowing what might be waiting for us. I agreed. Although I was fairly certain there wouldn't be any violence, I was scared as hell, and if I broke down yet again, I didn't want my new boyfriend to see it.
I wasn't wrong. My stuff was all over the front lawn. I stayed in the car while Mister G went to the door to make sure all my stuff was out there. When he came back, my father just stood in the doorway and watched as we gathered everything up. My computer was out there, too.
Just as we were finishing, my father came over to us. Mister G got in front of me, but my father (I refused to even think of him as my dad any more) told him, "I just want to ask him a question." Mister G moved aside, but was close enough to grab my father if he tried anything.
His coldly glaring eyes boring into me, the man who used to be a loving parent said, "Your mother told me you were a damned faggot: that you had admitted it to her. I want to hear it from your own lips. Is it true?"
Knowing my father, it wouldn't matter what I said. If I told the truth, I'd be less than the dirt beneath his feet; if I lied, he'd be able to see it, and I'd be worse than that. "It's no-ones fault, and nothing I chose to be," I said. It was enough. He didn't yell, cuss, or hit me. I almost wish he had. What he did was worse. He spat in my face. He didn't even wait to see what my reaction might be - he just turned around and went in the house. It was over, as far as he was concerned. I no longer existed. All that was left was paperwork.
I wiped the spit off my face and looked over at Mister G. He was staring in the direction my sire had gone: too shocked to move, evidently, from the expression on his face. Then slowly his expression changed, color rising in his face. He took a step in the direction of the house.
"Please, Mister G," I said. "It wouldn't do any good. He'd simply call the police, and you'd be in trouble."
He looked at me, appearing astonished. "You're taking this very calmly," he said almost accusingly.
"Not really, but I'm not going to give him the satisfaction of seeing me break down in front of him," I replied. "Can we go, now?"
On the way back to his house, my control started slipping, and I started crying again. By the time we pulled into the Graves' driveway I had completely lost it. My resolve regarding Jeremy in that regard forgotten, I ran into the house, and after a short, frantic search for him, I found him in his room playing a video game. When he saw me and the condition I was in, he jumped up and did just what I had hoped he would; he wrapped his arms around me, and just held on.
When I'd recovered enough to talk, he asked what had happened. Actually he'd asked several times before, but I hadn't been able to answer. Anyway, I told him, and he started muttering and cussing under his breath, and looking as completely murderous as his beautiful features would let him.
"Let it go, Jer," I said. "He didn't hurt me, he just - I don't know - humiliated me - and disowned me, I suppose. The point is, it could have been worse. I've read stories on Nifty Archives where kids have been beaten nearly to death by their fathers after coming out to them. So I guess I'm lucky that I got away without any of that." I sighed. "I sure don't feel lucky, though."
"Ethan?" I looked up and saw Mister G in the doorway. He wasn't looking very comfortable, and I just assumed it was because of what had happened at my mom's place, until I realized that Jeremy and I still had our arms around each other. I blushed, and moved a couple of feet away from my blond boy. Jeremy immediately closed the distance again, giving his dad a distinctly unfriendly look as he reclaimed me. At that, Mister G got a wry grin on his face, and shrugged.
"Ethan, we need to settle living arrangements. Can you come out into the living room, please?" Mister G requested.
Oh, god. As if today hasn't been awkward enough. "Okay, Mister G."
I looked at my clinging vine. "Jeremy?"
Jeremy let go reluctantly, and as we got up, he took my hand. I looked at him, bemused by his protectiveness. It felt good right now when I needed the caring, but if this continued, I'd have to have a talk with him. I liked the contact, but the attitude might get a bit wearing.
When we were seated in the living room, Mrs. G came over and joined us. Mister G came right to the point. "Ethan, you're going to be living with us for the foreseeable future, so we need to make some decisions. With the way we see things are going with you and Jeremy, we don't think it would be wise to let you share a room." Jeremy and I both blushed, but I couldn't disagree with him, and evidently Jeremy knew that, too. "We don't often have overnight guests, so we'll just make the guest room yours. You can arrange and decorate it any way you'd like, within reason. I'd rather the walls weren't black or plastered with too many posters, but otherwise we'll just play it by ear."
I nodded. That sounded more than reasonable to me. My emotions were taking a beating though, as each word drove home to me the fact that I couldn't go home any more.
"Your clothes should probably all be washed, since we don't know which were clean and which dirty," Mrs. G said. Even this vague reference to this morning's events threatened to undo me. My clothes had been scattered over half the lawn, mixed with my books and other stuff. My posters had all been ripped down, though, so they were pretty well ruined. I had actually been surprised to find that my computer hadn't been smashed, or damaged by rough handling. Maybe Mom had taken care of that.
Mister G took charge again. "We'll see about getting your computer hooked up to the Internet as soon as possible. Jeremy's already is, so it shouldn't be a problem. We can go over our house rules within the next day or two, but if you have any questions about anything, be sure to ask."
Turning to his son, he said, "Jeremy, you know the house rules. Don't let Ethan get in trouble by keeping quiet."
Jeremy looked indignant. "Why would I do that? I love Tan."
I blushed at his words, but shit! Jer was too damned impetuous. I looked at Jeremy and said, "Jer? After two days?"
He glared at me, not getting the hint. "No. After two months of watching you in school! The last week only confirmed it for me."
Jeremy's parents and I could only stare at him. I felt special, but at the same time I wanted to stuff a sock in his mouth. I'm not sure what Mister and Mrs. G were feeling, and I wasn't sure I wanted to know. I had to say something, or this could all come crashing down around my ears and ruin Jeremy's and my chances of a relationship.
"Jer, I thought we had agreed to take it slow - get to know each other better, first?" I said.
He had the grace to look a bit abashed, but stubbornly, he went on. "I never agreed to that. I just didn't say anything when you said it."
I closed my eyes, grappling for patience. "Jeremy. Listen to me. You're intelligent, so think about it: How do you think your parents are reacting to what you're saying?" The parents in question looked at me in surprise, then I guess they decided to let me handle the situation - or maybe they were just waiting to see if I'd hang myself with the rope they were giving me.
Jeremy looked thoughtful, looking at his mom and dad, then a little scared, as he looked back at me. "Oh."
"Yeah," I replied. "But it takes two, Jer. And while I think I might love you too, we still don't know each other very well."
I turned to Mister and Mrs. G. "I thought Jeremy and I could work on this together, but if I have to be the one to slow things down, if that's what it takes, I'll do it." I could feel tears gathering again. I was going to dry up and blow away if this kept up. The fact that I was sixteen and acting like a damned crybaby didn't help my self-image at all, either. "I hope this doesn't change anything?"
Jeremy was looking miserable, now.
Mister G looked at his wife. She gave him the minutest nod, then he turned to me and said, "We - Amy and I - talked for a long time last night about this, as well as what we should do, should things turn out as they have with your family. We also gave very careful consideration about how to handle it if you and Jeremy became... involved. We'd prefer, of course, that nothing happen until after Jeremy was eighteen," I felt Jeremy's body stiffen beside me, but I gave him a look, trying to tell him, without words, to be patient and let his dad finish. "But we realize that isn't a realistic expectation. So all we're going to ask right now is that you don't do anything together until we get some information for all of us to read. I know who to contact. As a school principal, I have to."
I was awed. "You guys must be the best parents... " I couldn't go on, as the contrast with my own father hit me. The earlier threatened tears spilled over. I wanted so much to have Mister and Mrs. G hold me, but I was afraid, for some stupid reason.
Mrs. G must have seen my need, because she quickly came over to me, sat on the other side of me from Jeremy, and gathered me in, while Jeremy put his hand on my shoulder to let me know he was still there. That did it. The spill became a flood, and I held onto her like a life raft: which, in effect, the whole Graves family had just become for me.
The rest of the day consisted of putting my old things away in my new room while trying not to give in to my grief, and panic over the future. The day's events had put a tremendous strain on me, and by eight that night, I was wiped. I took a quick shower and went to bed. If I dreamed, I don't remember it.
Monday dawned bright and clear. The way I felt, it should have been grey and drizzling. Mister G had called the school district supervisor the previous evening and told him that he, Mister G, had to take that day off, and maybe the next day or so also, and outlined why. No details, just that my family had kicked me out, and he needed to go to the courthouse and file for legal guardianship. He kept using the term 'personal business' a lot. People can be such nosy parkers.
There was no way what had happened with my dad was going to remain secret, so there was no reason to prevaricate. I just hoped my sexual orientation didn't become common knowledge. As far as I was concerned, too many people knew already. The funny thing about being out of the closet though, by choice or not, is that once you're out, you can't go back in. You can try, but it just doesn't work.
My mom came over at about nine o'clock, and after she and I had a big hugging and crying session, she and Mister G took off for the courthouse. By the end of the day, it was done. How, I don't know, and I never asked. I always thought that such things dragged on for weeks. The judge they'd talked to wanted Mister and Mrs. G to file to become foster parents because, she said, it would give them more benefits from keeping me, and give me a more stable legal standing.
Somehow that didn't sound right. I'd heard stories from foster kids who'd been tossed out by their foster parents, or yanked out of a foster home by the system with no explanation or warning. At any rate, if it was ever mentioned again, I didn't hear about it. My position was more secure with the Graves having legal custody of me from my parents than from the state, and if by some miracle my father changed his mind, it would be easier to go home.
I would have felt worse, but Mom had said that she'd visit at least a couple of times a week. I wouldn't be able to come over to visit and use the pool, though, even if my father wasn't home. He could be unpredictable about when he'd 'pop home' for something. So now I had no father, a visiting mother, and a new home. And let's not forget my delectable, if somewhat impetuous, new boyfriend. It could have been worse, but my father's complete rejection still hurt like hell.