The following contains scenes of sexual activity between males. If it is illegal for you to read this in your jurisdiction or if you feel you may be offended by doing so, please read no further. The characters portrayed in this story may engage in behaviors that would today be considered unwise and unsafe. The author does not encourage such behavior: nor does he condone the violation of any laws. Please respect yourself and your partners. Please do not copy or distribute this story without the knowledge or permission of the author.
    This story contains some elements of a previous story of mine, The Secrets of Waldo. If you would like to read other works by me, go to the Nifty Home Page and click on the FreeThinker link under  Prolific Authors.
All characters in the story are fictional and any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This is fiction and a fantasy. It did not happen.
    Any use of racial epithets is not intended to be offensive in any way, but is used to show the state of mind of the character using them. The author rejects all forms of bigotry and racism, as the story will show.

    I would like to know what you think. If you have any comments or suggestions, please email them to my address: chriswriter@, (this is not a hyperlink). Thank you so much for reading my story and for the wonderful support you have given me over the last three years.

Courage and Passion
By FreeThinker

“The school-boy, above all others, is not the simple being the world imagines. In that young bosom, are often stirring passions as strong as our own, desires not less violent, a volition not less supreme. In that young bosom, what burning love, what intense ambition, what avarice, what lust of power, envy that fiends might emulate, hate that men might fear.”
Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister and novelist, Coningsby, 1844

Chapter Six
In Which a Bargain is Regretted and an Outrage Committed

   Sean Lindquist nervously carried his lunch tray away from the cashier and carefully scanned the cafeteria for a safe, isolated place to sit and eat unmolested by bullies or those who wanted to befriend him. Spotting an empty table near the far wall and seeing no major obstacles between him and his goal, he set off for the table, carefully watching for any stray feet or vicious shoulders that might seek to interfere with his journey. Halfway across the cafeteria, still standing and still holding his tray, out of the corner of his eye he noticed Robby, Ethan, and Zhenya standing in line waiting to pick up their trays. He couldn’t tell if they were watching him, but he hoped they didn’t see him. He wanted to be alone. All he asked for were a few blessed moments of solitude. He didn’t think he could take another five minutes of Ethan and Robby trying to make him laugh or Zhenya’s looks of concern. He knew they meant well, but he just couldn’t take it anymore. He just wanted to be alone.
    He sighed with relief as he reached the table. He set the tray down and pulled his chair out, hoping that if his back was to the rest of the cafeteria, the others might not notice him. Sitting down, he closed his eyes, clasped his hands in his lap, and, as inconspicuously as possible, said Grace.
    He was a third of the way through his fish sticks and fried potatoes when, afraid to turn around and look, he began to feel that, perhaps, he would escape another lunch of encouragement and hearty jokes. He permitted himself a rare genuine smile, (as opposed to the fake, polite smiles he attempted with the others), and was about to take a bite of fish when his heart sank.
    “What the heck are ya trying to do, here? Hide from us?”
    Sean struggled to hide his disappointment as he looked up and replaced his real smile with his fake smile. Robby was coming around the corner of the table to set his tray directly in front of him. Zhenya was following. Ethan set his tray beside Sean.
    “No,” he answered weakly. “Why would you think that?”
    “Because you’re sittin’ here all by your lonesome, crouching down, with your back to the cafeteria and you look like I just kicked your dog!”
    Ethan chuckled and grinned as he collapsed into the chair beside Sean.
    “No, I…”
    “Aw, hush. It’s OK,” said Robby with a huge smile as he sat down. “You aren’t getting’ rid of us that easy. Shoot. If Ethan hadn’t kept being nice and getting in my way, we would never have become best friends. Isn’t that right, Ethan.”
    “He’s right,” said Ethan in the same ‘used-car-salesman” voice as his friend. “We’re persistent. We’re going to make you like us!”
    “Hey! We have to be friends,” Robby continued. “Nobody else’ll have us. We’re all we’ve got. Nobody likes Ethan here ‘cause they all think he’s a hippy-freak-weirdo. They all think I’m crazy and I'm gonna start whalin’ on ‘em. Everybody hates Zhenya ‘cause they all think he sounds like Boris Badinov. And, everybody hates you ‘cause they’re jealous of your never-ending boner.”
    Ethan cracked up and even Zhenya smiled, though the boner comment caused a flush in his pale cheeks. Sean however, closed his eyes and clenched his fists. If only Robby had given another reason, any reason but that one for why everyone hated him. Robby realized he had made a mistake when he saw Sean close his eyes and clench his mouth. But, before he could apologize, Sean very forcefully, yet quietly, asked, “Do you have to bring that up all the time?”
    Robby swallowed and opened his mouth as Ethan frowned and started to put an arm around Sean’s shoulder. However, as soon as he came in contact with him, Sean jerked away.
    “Look, Sean, I’m sorry.”
    Robby looked genuinely contrite as he gripped the sides of his lunch tray.
    “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I know that embarrasses you…”
    “Shut up!”
    Sean’s outburst shocked the three. Robby looked as if he’d been slapped.
    “Well, sorry!” he said with hurt and anger. Ethan gave him a significant look and he frowned, picking up a fish stick with his fingers and dipping it in the nasty looking tartar sauce. Zhenya, who, in addition to Pop Tarts, had fallen in love with American ketchup, watched Robby, picked up a fish stick with his fingers and dipped it his generous blob of red stuff. He watched nervously as Sean seemed to struggle with something inside, before his shoulders finally sank and he looked as if he were surrendering.
    “I’m sorry,” he muttered in defeat.
    “Hey, it’s OK,” said Ethan with an understanding smile. “If we’re coming on too strong, we’ll back off and give you some air. It’s just that we’ve been trying for two weeks and we know that it’s tough for you and we like you and we just… you know… we wanna be your friends.”
    “I don’t need any friends,” Sean replied softly. “If you really knew me, you wouldn’t want to be my friend.”
    Ethan and Robby looked at each other. Neither knew what to say. Zhenya swallowed his fish.
    “Sean, I know what you say. I have secret I don’t tell no one. I know Robby and Ethan have secret they don’t tell no one. Everybody has secret they think everybody will hate. Your secret, it don’t matter. We are your friend.”
    Robby and Ethan looked in surprise at Zhenya; that was the most he had ever said in one moment and it was surprisingly deep and thoughtful. And, right. Sean, looked downward in shame and, after a moment, whispered, “You’re right.”
    He then looked up and, with a shy grin added, “But, your English is getting worse.”
    Ethan snorted and Robby grinned. Zhenya thought for a moment and then said, with a grin, “I fuck you, Sean.”
    Robby choked. Ethan coughed. Sean ‘s eyes opened wide.
    Robby grinned.
    “No, Zhenya. It’s just ‘Fuck you.’ Not ‘I fuck you.’”
    Zhenya furrowed his eyebrow.
    “Is it not, I fuck, you fuck, he fucks, we fuck, you fuck, they fuck?”
    “Quit saying ‘fuck,’” Robby said, looking nervously around. “You can’t say that. But, the insult is just plain, ‘fuck you.’”
    Zhenya nodded.
    “OK. I remember.”
    “Yeah,” said Sean with an unexpected grin. “and, by the way, fuck you, too, Zhenya.”
    Ethan raised and eyebrow as he grinned.
    “By George, I think he’s got it!”
    “Yes,” said Robby as he put an arm around Zhenya’s shoulder, “I think Dr. Koronov has made a breakthrough with our patient.”
    Sean blushed and grinned shyly.
    “Alright, alright.”
    The others dug into their lunches and began to chatter about all manner of things boys chatter about. As they finally stood to carry their trays to the conveyor belt, Zhenya asked, “Sean, what do you play at audition tomorrow?”
    “'Stars and Stripes Forever,’” he replied.
    “Wooo, you’re really takin’ chances there!” said Robby with cheerful sarcasm as he dropped his tray on the belt. Zhenya looked confused.
    “It’s an American military march by John Phillip Souza,” Ethan explained.
    “Ah. It has good flute part?”
    “It’s like the star of the piece,” said Ethan.
    “I’m really scared,” said Sean. “I… don’t really think I can do it. The only reason I’m going tomorrow is that it will my grandfather proud if I make it.”
    They were entering the hallway as Robby said, “Don’t worry, Sean. You’re the best flutist in the orchestra. You’ll make the Youth Symphony easy.”
    Sean blushed.
    “A flute player is a ‘flautist.”
    Robby rolled his eyes as they turned a corner and headed back to Fourth Period Science.
    “OK,” said Ethan with a grin, “so why don’t the Great Flautist and Fiddler on the Roof there and Jascha Heifitz here all come over to my place tonight for a sleepover! We can practice our audition pieces and then Mom can drive us over to Schaumberg Hall together in the morning!”
    Robby looked at Ethan suspiciously.
    “What?” Ethan replied with exaggerated innocence.
    Robby smirked.
    “I can’t. I have to spend the weekend with my grandparents and they’re driving me over tomorrow.”
    Ethan looked seriously disappointed.
    “I cannot, too, “ said Zhenya. “Papa takes me to Ian’s tonight for dinner and practice.”
    Ethan sighed as they came to the door to Science class.
    “What about you, Sean? Wanna spend the night at my place? We can have a great time!”
    Robby was suddenly fuming. He looked at Ethan with anger, but Sean saw nothing.
    “I can’t, but thanks. There’s a concert of Scandinavian music at church tonight that Granddad and I are going to.”
    “Wooo, that sounds like a barn-burner,” Robby said. “That sounds a lot more exciting than a night at Ethan’s.”
    Sean and Ethan both heard something in Robby’s voice.
    “It really is nice,” said Sean with hurt feelings.
    “It really does sound nice,” said Ethan with sincerity.
    Robby frowned with shame.
    “Yeah, it does. I’m sorry, Sean. I wish I got along with my grandparents as good as you get along with your granddad.”
    Sean smiled shyly as he took his seat.
    “Yeah. He’s the nicest man in the world. I’m super lucky.”
    It was not until after the bell rang for the end of Fourth Period that Robby had a chance to speak with Ethan about what had angered him.
    “So what’s with invitin’ the others to a sleepover and then invitin’ them again after I say I can’t go?”
    “You’re not jealous, are you?”
    Robby looked at Ethan with shock.
    “Well, yeah! I mean what about all the stuff you say to me when, you know, and all the stuff I say to you and stuff. I mean, come on!”
    Ethan grinned.
    “Don’t worry,” he said softly as they reached their lockers. “I know we’re boyfriends.”
    Robby was shocked. He had never thought of their friendship in that light; but, it made sense. They were boyfriends.
    Sean, however, was also shocked. Neither Robby nor Ethan had seen Sean following them and didn’t know that he had heard every word they had spoken to each other. He was stunned. He stood for a moment at his locker, several down from Robby and Ethan, and couldn’t remember his lock combination.
    Ethan and Robby! Ethan and Robby were… well… like that! They were… they were just like him! They did it with each other! They actually did it with each other! They were boyfriends! He wasn’t alone! He wasn’t the only one! He wasn’t a sick pervert! If guys as cool as Robby and Ethan, (well, he thought they were cool, if a little annoying in their persistent attempts at friendship), if guys as cool as Robby and Ethan were like that, then maybe he wasn’t so bad, after all!
    Sean didn’t remember walking to Fifth Period Math and he was surprised to find himself already in his desk and Mr. Worsley asking for their homework to be turned in. He opened his notebook and removed the three sheets of problems from the previous day and handed them forward. However, as he did, he noticed giggling from the girl beside him. Looking to his right, he found her and several other girls looking at his lap.
    He wanted to die. He was hard.
    He tried to casually place his hands in his lap, but, of course, that did nothing to lessen the levity. It grew so bad that Mr. Worsley turned around and demanded to know the reason for the laughter. Several girls and a couple of boys were helpful enough to point to Sean.
    “Mr. Lindquist? Would you like to enlighten us?”
    Sean felt faint. He looked up at the teacher in panic. He could think of nothing to say. His face was burning, his eyes were watering, he could barely breath.
    Mr. Worsley looked concerned. He went to his desk and wrote out a pink slip and walked to Sean’s desk. He placed a hand on Sean’s forehead.
    “My God, son. You’re burning up! Here. Take this to the nurse.”
    Sean couldn’t stand. First, he didn’t have the energy. Second, it would put his boner on display for the entire class to see. He swallowed.
    “I… I don’t need to go to the nurse. I’m OK.”
    There were more giggles and chuckles and, suddenly, Mr. Worsley saw the reason. He blushed himself and quickly turned around.
    “Um, perhaps you need to splash some water on your face.”
    Sean knew that if he stood and left, everyone would assume what he was doing.
    “I don’t need to,” he said weakly.
    “Yes, you do,” replied the teacher with his back to him as he walked up to his desk.
    Some of the boys now had moved from malicious chuckles to open laughter. Sean could take no more. Sitting in the second desk from the back, he stood, immediately spun to the back, and quickly walked to the back door of the class.
    Once outside in the hallway, he leaned back against a locker, his face contorted in pain and humiliation as the tears poured down his face. Why? Why did this have to happen to him? Why was he always hard? Why was everyone always seeing it? Why was everyone always laughing at him? Would it never end?
    “What the fuck’s the matter with you?”
    Sean opened his eyes and through his tears saw Matt Hunter, the tough kid who sat beside him in Social Studies, walking past. His shaggy brownish red hair was falling across his forehead and almost obscured his curious but contemptuous eyes.
    Sean sniffed and dropped his head back against the locker, closing his eyes and wishing he were dead. After a moment, Matt shook his head, snorted derisively, and turned away. Sean lifted his head to watch him walk down the hall. His jeans were too small for his quickly growing body and squeezed his legs and butt. His dirty, red-striped pullover was too small, as well, and hugged his developing torso. Despite the pain in his breaking heart, Sean couldn’t take his eyes off the receding figure and, with disgust, he realized his dick was twitching in his pants.
    Clutching the pink slip in his sweaty left hand, he slowly turned and started walking down the hall toward the boys room, sniffing deeply, wiping away his tears with his forearm. When he reached the restroom, he placed his hand on the door, but hesitated. Feeling nervous, as if he were being observed, he looked up and down the hallway, but saw no one. Swallowing, he pushed the door open and entered.
    He walked past the ancient sinks along the wall to the left and saw his pink face and puffy eyes reflected in the mirrors above them. He stopped at one, turned the faucet, threw cold water over his face, and dried it with a paper towel. He sniffed again and walked through the entrance into the next section.
    There was no one along the row of urinals to the left. Glancing quickly to the right, he could see no feet in any of the doorless toilet stalls. He walked up to the middle urinal and stood motionless for moment. Then, slowly, painfully, he raised his right hand and lowered his zipper over the rigid rise in his pants. He unfastened his belt and the snap, opening the flap of his pants. He hooked his thumb over the elastic band of his Fruit-of-the-Loom  briefs and pulled it down under his balls.
    Despite all the humiliation, all the pain, all the heartache of the last ten minutes, he was still rigidly hard, still perversely, revoltingly hard.
    He was disgusting. No, Robby and Ethan weren’t like him at all. They were nice, good boys. He, Sean, was a sicko. He didn’t deserve them as friends.
    His head fell forward against the green and white tile of the wall, the faint smell of urine and disinfectant rising to his nose. His boner stood out stiffly pointing to the white porcelain of the urinal. With such a feeling of contempt that he thought he might become ill, he brought his right hand to his penis and grasped it.
    Robby and Ethan. They were so lucky. They had each other. He had no one. There was no one to confide in, to share his pain and love, his embarrassment and joy. No one. Oh, he had his Granddad, the sweetest man in the world, who would die if he knew the blackness in Sean’s heart; but he could never admit to his Granddad the daily Hell he experienced at school or the ugliness inside that was his soul. He could never hurt his grandfather, who had suffered so much in the past, who had lost so much when Sean’s father had been taken and when his grandmother had passed on.
    No. Sean was alone.
    He was stroking his boner now, the feeling starting to build. He pushed his hips forward and leaned back slightly, his eyes closed.
    Robby and Ethan. He had seen both boys naked and they were so beautiful, Robby with his cute red hair and freckles and Ethan with his smile and that beautiful golden ponytail. There was something about Ethan’s smile that seemed so… knowing, as if he knew what you were thinking.
    Robby and Ethan. Together. Naked. Hard. Kissing. Hugging. Jerking each other off.
    Sean was breathing hard now, his hand pumping faster as visions of Robby’s and Ethan’s dicks floated past him, Robby’s thin and white and hairless, Ethan’s thicker and longer with that almost invisible spot of silky dark hair at the base. When they was hard, Robby’s had to be three inches long and Ethan’s had to be maybe five. So long, so pretty.
    He could see the two sitting naked on the bed, holding each other’s dick, rubbing, feeling, stroking as they kissed, tongues pushing into each other’s mouth as they Frenched. He could hear them breathing, moaning as they loved each other, saying “I love you” to each other, Ethan stroking Robby’s freckled face, Robby running his fingers through Ethan’s long hair.
    Sean moaned as he stroked himself, his eyes rigidly closed, his mouth open as he breathed heavily.
    Suddenly, the door opened. In a panic, Sean quickly pushed himself forward, hoping to obscure his boner within the side of the urinal. His hands were trembling as he heard the soft sound of sneakers approaching. He was afraid to look to his side, but when the person came up beside him, his heart sank. He knew from the dirty sneakers and the tight jeans that it was Matt Hunter standing at the urinal next to him.
    Sean was trembling with terror that Matt would know he was jerking off. It was bad enough all the times that people had seen him hard. But, to be caught jerking off, and by Matt Hunter of all people, was too much!
    But, wait. Why would he choose that urinal? There were six along the wall. Sean was at the fourth one. There were two others closer to the door that Matt could have chosen. Why the one right next to Sean?
    And, why had he not said anything? Desperate to remain as motionless as possible, Sean listened and allowed his eyes to move to the left. Matt was just standing there before the urinal. It was not until after a long moment that he finally raised his hand and unsnapped his jeans.
    Sean felt a stab of anxiety. You didn’t need to unsnap your pants if all you were going to do was pee. Sean had unsnapped his pants, but he was…
    Oh, no. No. Not that.
    Slowly, Matt lowered his zipper and, to Sean’s shock, he saw the boy was wearing no underwear. He saw, instead, the swollen and swelling base of Matt’s cock and the dark hair surrounding it. Suddenly, underneath the fear and shame, Sean found curiosity, interest, and… to his mortification, lust.
    Matt opened his fly completely and pulled his rapidly growing cock out and into the open air. He leaned back from the urinal and allowed Sean a completely unobstructed view as it rose to its full and rigid six inches. Sean was no longer pretending to look only out of the corner of his eye. He had turned his head and was looking directly at Matt’s boner. He was barely breathing.
    “I figured that’s what you were doin’,” said Matt softly.
    Sean looked up at his face and saw the sneer. Another wave of humiliation and shame swept over him. He said nothing.
    “Instead of playin’ with that puny thing, why don’t ya take hold of this.”
    Matt had turned to face Sean and his erection was exposed completely, pointing directly at the frightened boy. Sean was unable to take his eyes away from it.
    “Come on,” said Matt a bit more forcefully. “Feel it.”
    Sean could not move. He wanted to. He wanted to run from the restroom. He wanted to run home to the safety and security of his home and the love and reassurance of his grandfather.
    “Come on, faggot. Feel it!”
    Sean clenched his fists in rage, in humiliation, in frustration, and in fear of the desire that was growing within.
    “Tell ya what, Sean-boy,” he started, pronouncing the name phonetically, “scene.”
    “It’s ‘Shawn,’ not ‘scene.’”
    They were the first words the boy had spoken.
    “What?” Matt demanded.
    “My name. It’s not pronounced ‘scene.’ It’s pronounced ‘Shawn.’”
    His voice trembled as he corrected Matt, surprised, even as he spoke, that he was doing so.
    “Whatever. Tell ya what. You sick of everybody givin’ ya shit? You sick of getting beat-up and worked over?”
    Sean swallowed, looking Matt fearfully in the eyes, but saying nothing.
    “Are ya?” Matt asked, this time with a hint of gentleness in his voice.
    Sean barely nodded.
    “Then, tell ya what. Let’s make a deal. You take care a me and I’ll take care a you.”
    Matt could see from the hint of confusion on his face that Sean didn’t understand what he was offering. He grinned and grabbed his boner with his right hand.
    “You take care of me,” he said, wagging his cock in front of Sean, “and, I’ll take care of you.” He released his cock and prodded Sean in the chest with his index finger.
    “You got it?”
    Sean paused a moment and looked down at the huge cock. Matt was a year behind his class, having failed the fifth grade. At thirteen, he was far more developed than Sean. His boner was bigger and had hair. Sean was mesmerized by it; revolted by the experience and the offer, yet mesmerized by Matt’s boner.
    Was he serious that he could stop the harassment, the humiliations, the beatings?
    “D-d-do you mean it?” he asked softly.
    Matt grinned. He took Sean’s left wrist and pulled his trembling hand to his solid, firm boner. He heard the sigh from Sean’s throat and knew he had him.
    “You take care of me,” he said softly as he guided Sean’s hand around his cock, “and I’ll take care of you.”
    Sean’s fingers were already encircling the fat teenage boner.
    “You promise?”
    Matt grinned.
    “You leave it up to me. Just take of little Matt and big Matt’ll take care of you.”
    Sean was so conflicted. The hope that he could somehow escape the daily torment he faced was more than he could turn from. And, the cock in his hand, the first he had ever felt in his entire life other than his own, was so hard, so big, so… hot.
    He swallowed and nodded. In almost a whisper, he replied, “OK.”
    “Good. You got a deal. Now…”
    Matt took Sean by the arm and pulled him to the last stall of the other side of the restroom. Pulling him in, he pushed Sean down, making him sit on the toilet, his pulsing dick in Sean’s face. Fearfully, lustfully, the boy looked up at Matt, not comprehending what was happening. Without being told, he pulled his pants down to his shoes and spread his knees wide, giving his own erection the freedom to stand in the still air of the boys room.
    “OK. Suck it,” said Matt, taking Sean’s head in his hands and guiding it forward. Sean pulled back in fear and disgust.
    “Suck it,” Matt replied. “What are ya? A retard?”
    “Suck it?”
    “Well, what the fuck did ya think I wanted ya to do with it? Draw a picture of it?”
    Sean looked up in confusion and fear. Matt frowned.
    “You never sucked a cock before? What kinda fag are ya?”
    Good question, Sean thought ruefully. He looked down in shame, tears forming in his eyes again.
    “OK. OK. Don’t start crying like some girl. Here. Open your mouth. Wider. Yeah. I’ll take it easy. Just let it in. Yeah. That’s it. Watch the teeth, man. Don’t bite my dick off.”
    Slowly, Matt guided his boner into Sean’s mouth. He had to open his jaw almost as wide as he could, but he was able to take Matt’s dick until the head came to his throat.
    “Oh, yeah,” said Matt appreciatively. “That’s good. You gotta sweet mouth there.”
    For his part, Sean was a torrent of conflicting emotions. He was so revolted at the thought of Matt’s cock in his mouth that he was struggling against the need to gag, to throw up. He was certain Matt would not look upon that as fulfilling his obligation in the deal. Yet, there was something exciting about what he was doing, a wicked thrill at committing an act so indecent. And, then, there was the thought that this was all he was good for, doing something so grossly perverse. He still wanted to run from the restroom, yet he knew he couldn’t, wouldn’t remove Matt’s boner from his mouth.
    The hardness, the taste, the feel of the rigid cock against his tongue as it slide in and out, the strong smell of perspiration and boy, all combined to make him feel more excited and aroused than ever in his life. He grasped his own dick with his right hand and started pumping it, slowly at first, then faster and with more force.
    “Yeah, that’s it,” whispered Matt.
“Get off on it. Yeah. Suck me.”
    Sean wanted him to shut up, yet the words lit a flame inside him.
    Matt was holding his head by now and moving his hips back and forth, fucking Sean’s mouth. Sean allowed him to. Matt moaned. Sean did so, as well. He pumped his boner as hard as he could as Matt worked his hips in and out and back and forth, fucking the boy’s mouth and watching with hunger and lust.
    Suddenly, with a high-pitched “Nnng,” Sean’s eyes pressed tightly shut and he felt his entire body grow stiff.
    “Oh, yeah, do it,” Matt whispered as Sean’s body quaked. He felt the boy’s mouth tighten around his boner and the feeling inside him explode. He shut his eyes, scrunched his face, and threw his head back as he began to shoot his cum into Sean’s mouth.
    Sean’s eyes suddenly opened in shock as the last waves of his bang, as he thought of it, faded away. Something was filling his mouth. Something liquid and creamy and sour. This time he did gag.
    Oh, my God, he thought. He’s peeing in my mouth!
    He pulled back in a panic and tried to push Matt’s hips out of the way.
    “What the fuck you doin’?” Matt demanded as a streamer of white cum shot out of his cock and landed on Sean’s cheek. A last spasm and spurt oozed from the slit and dripped onto Sean’s bare knee. He looked at the creamy white goo.
    “That’s cum,” said Matt with surprise. “Man, doncha even know what cum is?”
    Sean was speechless, looking up at Matt in complete bewilderment. Matt looked down at Sean’s dry dick and hand.
    “Listen. The way you bone up all the time, any day now you’re gonna start shooting that shit outta your dick whenever you get off. That’s cum. That’s what makes babies. You’re supposed to eat it when you suck a dick.”
    Matt was stuffing his cock back into his old, faded jeans. Sean looked down in shame and revulsion. Matt paused.
    “Look. It’s OK. There’s lots a fags that do it.”
    That did not seem to comfort Sean the way Matt thought it would. He took a breath.
    “Look. A deals a deal. You don’t need to worry no more. I’ll watch out for ya. I’m not like gonna be your bodyguard or nothing, but if someone’s givin’ ya a hard time, I’ll take care a ya. OK?”
    Sean nodded, still looking at the floor in misery.
    Matt, however, suddenly took Sean’s face in his hand and jerked it upward.
    “But, remember. This is our little secret. You tell anyone, and I mean anyone, and I’ll cut your nuts off and shove ‘em down your throat. You got that?”
    Sean could barely whisper, “Yeah.”
    Matt looked at Sean’s round baby-face, at the red and blue eyes, and saw the fear and self-loathing in the boy. He released the chin and smiled in what he thought was a reassuring way.
    “You did good for your first time. You’ll be OK.”
    He turned and took a step out of the stall; but, before leaving, he turned and said softly, “Thanks.”
    Sean barely nodded an acknowledgment. He listened as the sound of the sneakers receded into silence, only to be followed by the squeak of the door as it opened and closed. When he was certain, he was alone, he sighed and looked down at himself in shame. The thought occurred to him that he was little better than a whore; he had sold himself to Matt in return for protection. He was simply a whore.
    He realized that some of Matt’s cum was still in his mouth. The realization caused a wave of nausea to sweep over him. He quickly climbed off the toilet, spun around, and fell to his knees before gagging into the white, porcelain bowl. When he could gag no more, he wiped his mouth with toilet paper and stood uncertainly, pulling up his pants, gingerly tucking in his shirt tale and staggering to the sinks in the front. He splashed cold water on his face and realized, as he looked at his reflection in the mirror, that he couldn’t return to class. There was no way he could face anyone, no way he could endure an hour of gym, no way he could play his flute in Seventh Period. He would go home.
    He trudged out of the restroom and down the hall to the stairs leading up to the second floor. There was no class in the Orchestra Room during Fourth Period and he was able to retrieve his violin without incident. He returned to his locker and withdrew his Social Studies and French books. He hoped either Robby or Ethan would rescue his Math book and notebook from Fourth Period when he failed to return. He stood for a moment plotting the safest escape from school. It was both convenient and a hindrance that he lived across the street from the school. Mr. Huber’s office looked directly along the main walkway from the front door. He quickly took off toward the east side door and, as he crossed the grounds to 18th St., he nervously looked toward the front door and several of the windows until he was safely behind a short wooden privacy fence along the side of his house.
    As he opened the back door, he was enveloped in the sweet fragrance of an apple pie baking in the oven. He could hear a vacuum cleaner running somewhere in the house, drowning out the cheerful, lively sound of A Little Night Music coming from the living room. He swallowed and took a deep breath.
    Stepping gingerly through the kitchen and into the dining room, he could see his grandfather sitting in his favorite chair in the living room reading one of his hundreds of books. Nervously, he stood in the doorway from the dining room and softly said, “Hi, Granddad.”
    The elderly gentleman turned in surprise.
    “Why, Sean,” he asked in alarm. “Why are you home? Is there something the matter? Are you ill?”
    Sean looked down at the floor, looking for courage and finding little.
    “No, Granddad. I’m not ill. I…”
    He paused a moment. His grandfather set the book on the side table and stood.
    “Put your things down, son, and come here. Come and tell me all about it.”
    He held his arms out invitingly. Sean couldn’t help it. Seeing the love and acceptance se freely offered, he began to cry. He dropped his backpack and his violin case and ran to his grandfather, who wrapped his arms around the boy and, in distress himself, sought to comfort the sobbing boy.
    It was several minutes before his tears began to subside. Sean sniffed deeply and began to pull away from the grieving man, whose eyes showed the pain from which he had tried to shield his grandson. He reached into his pocket to withdraw a clean handkerchief and handed it to the boy. He guided Sean to the couch on the other side of the fireplace beside which he had been sitting. As they sat, a cool breeze blew into the room from the window behind them, pushing out the delicate curtains between the two chairs flanking the window. The vacuum cleaner upstairs was turned off, leaving them in silence, with only the Mozart and the faint cheers and yells of boys on the playing field across the street.
    Sean’s grandfather wrapped his left arm around the boy, who snuggled much as he did when he was just a child. Sean felt safe and secure in his grandfather’s embrace. He didn’t need to worry about the daily ridicule and humiliations of life at Waldo. He did not have to think about the dreadful bargain he had made. It was not necessary for him to think of the depravity and perversion to which he had sunk that day. He was little Sean again and his grandfather loved him and that was all he needed to know at that moment.
    Sean could hear footsteps descending the stairs and looked up just as an elderly black woman in a white dress appeared.
    “Why, Sean!” she declared, repeating his grandfather’s exclamation. “what are you doin’ home? You ain’t sick, are ya, sweetheart?”
    Sean swallowed and shook his head.
    “Marvela,” said the elderly man, “could you bring Sean a glass of… what, apple juice? Would you like some apple juice, son?”
    Sean nodded, grateful for the kindness in his grandfather’s voice and in the housekeeper’s face.
    “I’ll have it out here in jiffy,” she declared as she quickly turned.
    His grandfather took the handkerchief and wiped away the residual tears. He ran his finger along the boy’s nose, as he did when Sean was four or five and visiting with his parents, crying over some punishment or another. He smiled and drew a reluctant smile from the boy.
    “There. And, here’s Marvela with your apple juice. Now have a good drink and tell me all about it.”
    Marvela handed the glass to Sean and squeezed his shoulder before going back to the kitchen, but not before pausing in the doorway for quick look back at the boy and a sad shake of the head.
    “Granddad, I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to sit here and listen to the music.”
    The man ran his fingers through Sean’s hair, brushing it back off his forehead, and sighed.
    “They are giving you a hard time at school, are they? The bullies? Are they beating you? Tell me. Are they beating you?”
    Sean heard the fear and anger in his grandfather’s voice and felt the stiffening of his body.
    “No, Granddad, they’re not beating me up. They just… they just laugh at me. All the time. It never stops. They’re always… laughing.”
    At this he began to cry again. His grandfather took the glass in his hand and placed it on a coaster on the side table, holding the handkerchief until Sean’s renewed sobs began to subside. He squeezed the boy to him, hoping to show through the strength of his hug the love he felt. His eyes wandered around the living room as he held his grandson, at the Constable painting of Salisbury Cathedral on the wall opposite, roaming past the shelves flanking the fireplace and overflowing with books, and stopping at the row of framed photographs along the mantle above the fireplace.
    There was the picture of his son, the father of Sean, proudly wearing his Army uniform and the picture of the him the day he completed his internship at St. Luke’s Hospital. Beside them was the photograph of his wife taken along Lake Windermere in the early thirties with his tiny son at her feet. And, finally, there was the oldest of the photographs, faded and yellow, of a young man in a uniform, his blond hair slicked back, a look of such pride and confidence on his face, his eyes wide with joy, his mouth showing such a true and sincere smile. Few people in his youth ever smiled for a photograph. But, then, few people were as genuine and true and good as the subject of that photograph, either.
    Anders Lindquist felt a tug at his heart as he looked first at that photograph and then down at the now quiet boy in his arms, who snuggled close to him for reassurance. Could it be that the curse that afflicted him had passed a generation and manifested itself in the sweet, quiet boy he held? He had often wondered if the gentle kindness of the boy was a sign of something deeper and to be feared. He took a deep breath and knew the answer.

    Although Schaumberg Hall was on the edge of the Sheffield College campus and only five blocks away, Sean and his grandfather arrived in style in the old Studebaker Lark which his grandfather kept in mint condition. A meticulous driver, Mr. Lindquist carefully pulled into the parking lot and carefully slid into a space between a familiar looking Mercedes and a dark green Lincoln Town Car. Despite his pre-audition jitters and his usual lack of confidence, Sean was excited to see Robby accompanying a man who must have been his grandfather up the walk toward the entrance to Schaumberg. Sean was anxious to introduce his grandfather to his friend.
    A shiny red Volkswagen was pulling into the lot just as the two of them closed the doors on the Studebaker.
    “Zhenya! Zhenya!” Sean shouted with unaccustomed enthusiasm. The Russian boy was just climbing out of the Beetle several spaces down and smiled with surprise at Sean’s eagerness.
    “It is truly a pleasure to meet you,” Anders Lindquist said to Alexei Koronov as Sean introduced Zhenya and his father. “I’ve read several of your poems and I saw a production of The Falcon here at Sheffield College a couple of years ago. It was very moving.”
    Dr. Koronov smiled indulgently, but it was plain he was glad to make Anders’ acquaintance. As the four slowly moved toward the door, Sean took Zhenya aside and whispered, “Thank you again for bringing my stuff by yesterday.”
    Zhenya smiled.
    “Was not a problem. Robby and Ethan were very frightened for you. We are happy you are OK.”
    The two boys smiled at each other.
    “I don’t know how happy I’ll be later,” Sean said. “I don’t know which will be worse, passing the audition or failing.”
    They entered the side door to the building and were bombarded by a raucous cacophony of voices and instruments.
    “What do you mean?” Zhenya asked. “I do not understand.”
    Sean frowned and thought.
    “If I fail, Granddad will be disappointed. But, if I pass, I don’t know if I can take the stress. It’s hard to be in the Youth Symphony and I don’t think I’m good enough.”
    “Well, do not worry. I have heard you play flute. You are good. No worry. Look. There is R-r-robby.”
    They approached the redhead and his grandfather and after the obligatory introductions, the boys stood to the side as the men spoke of their interests in their charges musical education.    
    “I saw Gavin Dietrich a minute ago,” Robby spat. “He was looking pretty cocky.”
    Sean frowned.
    “His family contributes a lot of money to different things in Sheffield. His dad probably bribed them to let him in. He’s not that good a trumpet player.”
    Robby shook his head with contempt.
    The three boys turned to find Ethan and his mother behind them. Ethan introduced them. Robby’s grandfather was polite, but he looked at Ethan’s ponytail with barely concealed suspicion. He was about to comment when Sean’s grandfather suddenly stiffened, looking past him with a cold expression on his face.
    “Bob! Bob McDonnell!”
    Everyone turned to find Gavin Dietrich and an elderly man in an obviously expensive suit approaching. Robby’s grandfather reached out with a broad smile.
    “Gavin! Good to see you again. How’s the family?”
    Robby was stunned to see his grandfather on such good terms with Gavin Dietrich’s grandfather. They were warmly shaking hands while Gavin stood watching him with amused contempt. Robby wondered as he remained motionless and expressionless if every male in the Dietrich family were named “Gavin.”
    “They’re all doing splendidly. I’m here for my grandson’s audition. Gavin, shake hands with Mr. McDonnell. His bank is one of your father’s biggest clients.”
    Gavin smiled superciliously and shook hands with Robby’s grandfather. The boys all watched with sour expressions, refusing to speak.
    “Which one of these is yours?” Mr. Dietrich asked with a warm smile. Robby’s grandfather put a friendly arm around his shoulder.
    “This one. Robby shake hands with Judge Dietrich.”
    “Ah, Robby McDonnell,” said Gavin’s grandfather with condescending friendliness. “I’ve heard of you. You go to school with Gavin at Emerson, don’t you?”
    “Pleased to meet you,” said Robby with the minimum politeness. His grandfather smiled indulgently.
    “Yes,” he said. “I think there was some unpleasantness there a couple of weeks ago. But, I think its all straightened out now, isn’t it Robby?”
    Robby looked at his grandfather and saw the significant look in his eyes.
    “There’s no trouble now,” he said evenly. Gavin continued to grin.
    “Well, I’m sure Robby is learning the ways of the world,” said the Judge. “If he isn’t, he soon will.”
    Robby saw the smug look on the man’s face and felt his own face flush with fury. He bit his lower lip and remained silent as Gavin struggled to keep from laughing. The men watched Robby, but he refused to respond.
    “Well,” said the Judge after waiting a moment for the significance of his words to sink in with the boy, “we need to get going. Gavin’s audition is down the hall. Of course, it’s all a formality. Gavin’s a shoe-in, aren’t you, son?”
    The men were shaking hands when the Judge noticed Ethan’s mother standing at the side. He looked at her curiously.
    “We’ve met, haven’t we?”
    She stepped forward.
    “Emily Spencer. I with Walden and Spencer.”
    “That’s right! Your partner is representing those protestors who occupied the Administration Building here.”
    ‘Who are alleged to have trespassed while exercising their First Amendment right of Free Speech and Free Association.”
    The men, except for Sean’s grandfather, raised their eyebrows.
    “You don’t really believe all that hooey, do you?” the Judge asked.
    “Of course, you know, Your Honor, that I am prohibited from discussing the case with you in this environment.”
    “Yes, well.”
    The Judge looked to her left and saw Sean’s grandfather.
    “I’m sure we’ve met before,” he said extending his hand. “Gavin Dietrich.”
    “Yes, I know you, Gavin. I’m Anders Lindquist,” said Sean’s grandfather without extending his hand. The Judge’s hand halted and withdrew as the look on his face became cold, but correct.
    “Ah, Anders. How nice to see you again after all these years. How have you been doing since…”
    “I am well.”
    The Judge paused and looked at Sean.
    “I assume this young man, who has the Lindquist family’s good looks, must be your grandson.”
    “Yes,” Anders replied coolly. “Sean.”
    The boy did not extend his hand and the Judge did not offer his.
    “You attend Emerson, as well?” he asked the boy. Sean merely nodded once, sensing there was significant history behind what was happening.
    “Sean Lindquist. Anders Lindquist’s grandson,” he said with wonder, as if placing the name in a mental file cabinet for future use. “I’m so glad you had a family, Anders.”
    That was a strange comment to make, Robby thought as he saw Mr. Lindquist’s eyes grow cold.
    “Well, we must not be late. Come along, Gavin.”  The Judge gave a hearty wave to the group. “Good luck, all.”
    “Robby,” said his grandfather as The Judge and his grandson departed, “you could get over your snit and learn to act with a bit more civility and decorum in situations like this.”
    “I think Robby handled himself quite well,” said Ethan’s mother. Robby’s grandfather raised an eyebrow.
    “Yes. Well, come on, Robby. We don’t want to be late either.”

    “It was rigged!”
    “Oh, it was not. Quit finding excuses for your failures. Face it. You just weren’t good enough. Next time, if you’ll practice more and quit spending so much time with that hippy-friend of yours, you might earn a spot.”
    Robby was furious as he and his grandfather walked down the hallway from the audition room that afternoon.
    “You don’t understand. You heard Gavin’s grandfather make that remark about me learning the ways of the world.”
    “Grow up,” his grandfather replied with dismissively. “Dietrich and Hoffman have represented the Bank for decades. He’s not going to waste his time rigging an audition over a mere schoolyard spat.
    Ethan was waiting in the lobby as they emerged from the hallway. When he saw Robby’s face, he knew the outcome of the audition.
    “You didn’t get in,” he said, more as statement than question. Robby fumed.
    “But you did so well,” Ethan said with wonder. “You played that perfectly!”
    “They said it wasn’t challenging enough.”
    Ethan’s eyes grew wide with surprise.
    “Koronov’s Second Concerto wasn’t challenging enough? There’s something wrong here. I can understand me not making it. I’m not nearly as good as you or Zhenya. But, you played that perfect!”
    Zhenya appeared from the side with his father.
    “Congratulations, Zhenya,” said Robby softly.
    Zhenya shook his head.
    “When they ask if I am Alexander’s grandson, they go crazy. They want to make me star of orchestra and make me play solo on Dmitri’s and Alexander’s music. I don’t want to be star. I just want to play.”
    “You deserve to solo,” said Ethan. “You’re great.”
    Sean was emerging from a room in the hallway opposite them across the lobby. He looked sad and his grandfather’s arm was around his shoulder.
    “I guess Sean didn’t make it,” Ethan commented as he and his grandfather avoided everyone by cutting behind a group of people and slipping out the door. Gavin and his grandfather were in the group and Robby clenched his fists when he saw Gavin look toward them. Gavin grinned and shook his head in sad commiseration.
    “He knows,” said Robby. “He knows.”
    “How could he,” said Ethan. “The brass auditions were in another room.”
    “He knows,” said Zhenya. “You know how he knows.”
    “You see,” Robby demanded of his grandfather. “He knows! His grandfather fixed it!”
    “Don’t be silly,” said his grandfather patronizingly. “Now, say good-bye to your friends and let’s go.”
    “Remember what I taught you,” said Ethan as he looked Robby in the eyes. “Let it go. It’s not right, but there’s nothing we can do about it right now, so do what I taught you.”
    He squeezed Robby’s arm and looked in his eyes. Zhenya patted him on the shoulder.
    As they were walking toward the heavy brass and glass doors, Robby’s grandfather said, “You know, I think you shouldn’t spend so much time with that Spencer boy. I don’t think he’s a good influence on you.”
    “Ethan’s the best friend I’ve ever had,” he replied with a bit more emotion than he intended.
    “Well, your father wouldn’t have approved.”
    “Oh, I don’t know,” Robby replied as he looked back one last time and saw Ethan smile at him. As his grandfather pushed the heavy old doors open, Robby added, “I think he might have.”

And, so ends Chapter Six. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you write to me with your opinion at chriswriter@operamail. com. Thank you so much for your support!!!