Click on the link below to read Chapter 2 of Connected in the pdf format (better formatting).
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SUMMARY: At a time of national turmoil, the lives of four boys become connected as each struggles to accept his sexuality and to address the challenges he faces in life. To the extent the boys succeed in coming to grips with those challenges and in doing the right thing, it may be in ways that prove surprising or troubling. While some events, locations and features have been moved forward or back in time for dramatic and other purposes, the story takes place during an era when prejudice against homosexuals is rampant and the gay revolution in America is still at its beginnings. You can find a longer synopsis of the entire story at my blog here. Please note that italics are typically used to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself.
WARNING: This story is intended for mature audiences only since it includes scenes that depict graphic sex and violence. While I realize people read stories like this for different reasons, you may be disappointed if you’re reading my story primarily for sexual content. There is some, which is why I’ve included the warning. But if sexual content is your primary focus, you may do better on a site like Nifty.
NOTICE: This story remains the property of the author and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission. It is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author, but you may not use this work for commercial purposes. You may not use any of the characters, bars or other fictional locations described in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon this story in any way.
AUTHOR NOTES: This is my first effort at writing a story. Comments and constructive criticism are welcome. Flames will be ignored. Any help with spelling and other errors would also be appreciated since I would like to correct those wherever possible. Feel free to leave a comment below or to contact me at kitkatkid[at]planetmail[dot]net if you would like to let me know what you think. Please note that this story may also be published on Nifty at some point. However, individual chapters will always be published here first. Thanks for reading the story. I hope you enjoy it.
THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER: In Chapter 1, Nolan, a sixteen year old boy from New York City, reacts angrily when his parents force him to spend the last month of his summer vacation with them on a farm in Vermont. He gets more annoyed on the drive up to Vermont when his father doesn’t allow him to do any of the driving and his parents drone on about things he finds boring. When they finally arrive, he learns a mistake has been made and he is going to have to stay in another boy’s room on the top floor of the farmhouse. Later Nolan wanders away from the farm. He spots a boy skinny dipping in a lake and then tanning himself on a large rock. Gay but not out, Nolan likes what he sees. When the boy on the rock starts to get dressed, Nolan decides to head back to the farm.
By the time I got back to the farm, my parents had moved all of our stuff into the place and were just sitting around on the porch taking in the scenery.
“Let me show you your room, Nolan,” my Mom said, leading me into the house and then up three flights of stairs to the top floor.
Oh, great, I remember thinking, a little winded by the climb. Maybe I can throw myself down these stairs and break something so they have to take me back to New York.
“What do you think,” my Mom asked as she showed me the room?
The room was small, really small; and even with the window open, it was stuffy as well, very stuffy in fact.
“It’s really hot up here, Mom,” I protested.
“I hate Vermont already. And I’m going to hate it even more if I had to spend the next month cooped up in this room,” I whined. “Can’t we go back to New York?”
“Look, Nolan, I’m afraid we don’t have very much choice,” my Mom responded.
“We’re not going to cancel our vacation just because this room is a little warm. This is a very nice room and you’re lucky to have it at all. It will cool off just fine in the evening if we leave the window open. So you’re just going to have to make do, young man.”
“Why don’t you unpack your bag,” she added. “Dinner will be served downstairs in about thirty minutes. Please make sure to wash your face and clean up before coming down. And be sure to wash behind your ears, sweetie.”
Stop with the sweetie, damn it, would you, please?
But I was too tired to argue with her about it just then. Reluctantly, I unpacked my bag. When I was finished, I laid down on the bed.
Why me? Why do I have to be here? What did I ever do to deserve this?
I was thinking of taking a nap and closed my eyes. But as soon as I did I started thinking about the boy I had seen down by the lake earlier that day. Just thinking about him made me pop a boner.
Hell, I might as well play with myself. How else will I ever get through this crummy vacation?
But before I could even get started, I heard my mother’s voice again.
“Ten minutes until it’s time to come down for dinner, Nolan,” she shouted from two floors below. “And remember what I said about cleaning up.”
Damn, I remember thinking, annoyed she had interrupted me just then. Is anything ever going to go right on this trip?
I climbed off the bed and splashed some water across my face in the little bathroom adjacent to the room. Then I decided to take a quick shower.
I stripped off my clothes and got into the shower, which was really just an old bath tub to which a shower head had been precariously attached somehow.
Yuck. This has got to be the worst shower I’ve ever used in my life.
But the shower itself was kind of refreshing and that helped improve my mood.
When I finished drying myself off, I remember examining my body in the mirror on the opposite wall and not being exactly overwhelmed with what I saw reflected there.
I didn’t weigh a whole lot and wasn’t nearly as tall as I wanted to be. No one would ever mistake me for a bodybuilder, that was for sure. I barely had any hips and my waist was way too small. Worst of all, my body was almost completely devoid of hair. I mean, yeah, my pubes were coming in okay and I could also see just the very beginnings of some stubble under my arms. But I had nothing at all on my arms, my legs or my chest; and as for my face, forget it. It was pretty apparent I wasn’t going to be shaving for like a gazillion years.
It made me look like some kind of freaking eunuch, for Christ’s sake! Or, worse yet, like I was still twelve years old.
Most people would have called me skinny, I suppose, but I preferred to think of myself as lean. A lean, mean, faggot machine! By then I had pretty much accepted things the way they were and was just trying to deal with it as best I could.
“Time for dinner, Nolan,” my mother shouted from down below once again.
I wasn’t really that hungry to be honest, but knew I would have to put in an appearance. And if I had to put in an appearance, I was determined to make sure everyone knew I wasn’t some stupid hayseed from Vermont.
With that in mind, I picked out some of my very best clothes and pulled them on quickly before descending the stairs.
Everyone was already seated when I entered the dining room. There was my Mom, my Dad and some other people, including the woman who had greeted us earlier. Most surprising of all, there was the boy I had seen swimming earlier that day, just sitting there at the table, staring down at his feet as if he had athlete’s foot or something.
“This is my son Joshua, Nolan,” his mother said, introducing him to me. “Joshua, this is Nolan. He and his parents will be staying with us for the next month. Nolan is the boy who is going to be staying in your room.”
“Hi,” Joshua said, finally looking up from his feet and smiling at me from across the table. Then, just as quickly, he looked down again, as if he had spotted a huge zit on my nose and was incredibly disgusted with me or something.
I was really glad he looked away because his smile was just incredibly cute and I could feel my groin becoming aroused once again even while the rest of me was going weak in the knees.
Damn, I remember thinking. This boy is so freaking hot I am going to wet myself right here at the table!
“Hi yourself,” I responded, belatedly, sitting down quickly and hoping he hadn’t noticed the stirrings in my pants.
When he looked up again, I did my best to return his smile without letting on just how totally aroused I was by looking at him. I remember thinking he was even cuter up close than I had originally thought. He was a little taller than me, with shaggy brown hair and these really incredible brown eyes that were framed by thick lashes and the most perfect set of eyebrows I had ever seen in my life.
You’ll probably think I’m just being stupid, but to me there was something special about his eyes. They seemed to hold my attention and refuse to let go, welcoming me into his soul at the very same time they were conquering my own as well.
And then there was that smile of his! He had a really wonderful smile. Not that he smiled all the time, of course. But that was interesting too. When he wasn’t smiling, his mouth curled into an expression that seemed at once both serious and questioning. To me it seemed like it was concealing some deep inner wound that needed to be comforted somehow. It made me wonder what was going on inside him.
Unlike my own skin, which was entirely white, Joshua had an incredible golden brown tan. It seemed to cover his whole body, at least the parts I could see, but I knew from staring at him down at the lake that his butt was definitely whiter. Staring across the table at him only reconfirmed he was definitely in great shape. I remember wishing I had a body like his, muscular without being grotesque like some of the men I had seen on the internet and in the magazines who were into lifting weights.
On the other hand, his clothes didn’t do his body justice at all and weren’t nearly as cool as mine. He was wearing blue shorts that seemed kind of old and ratty, and a t-shirt that had definitely seen better days. Still, he looked good in those things and I remember thinking I had over dressed for dinner.
With the introductions more or less over, Joshua’s mom started bringing food to the table. I can’t remember exactly what she served for dinner that evening, but it was definitely good.
It seemed to me the other guests must have busy plotting their escape from the place just like I was because they didn’t say very much at all that evening. Instead, my parents and Joshua’s Mom did most of the talking. Eventually she got around to asking me some questions. I figured she would because part of her job was making sure the guests felt comfortable, as if they were really back home.
“So what do you like, Nolan,” she asked? “Do you like sports? Joshua is a big Red Sox fan, of course, especially this year, what with them doing so well, but I suppose you might like the Yankees since you’re from New York City.”
“No, Mam,” I replied. “I’m not really into sports that much. Organized sports, that is. So I’m not really interested in the Yankees. Or the Mets. Or the Giants, the Jets, or the Knicks either,” I added, trying to head her off before she could pursue the subject any further.
“What about the Rangers,” Joshua interjected?
“Or do you hate hockey too,” he added, smiling at me?
I recalled seeing a poster of some hockey player up in his room so I figured Joshua was probably a fan.
“No, I like hockey,” I lied, looking across the table into those incredible brown eyes of his. “Not that we go to any of the games or that I follow it real close, of course. But I like it.”
“Cool,” Joshua responded. “I’m a huge fan of the Bruins and the Catamounts.”
“What the heck is a catamount,” I asked, curious?
“It’s some kind of animal I’ve never seen in real life,” Joshua replied. “It’s also the nickname of the University of Vermont’s hockey team. They’re really good and they’re just going to keep getting better and better in the next few years. I play on the hockey team at my school and our coach promised he would take us to a game at the Gut this winter.”
“The Gut,” I asked, totally confused once again?
“That’s the name of the arena they play at up in Burlington.”
“I didn’t know you liked hockey, Nolan,” my Dad suddenly interjected out of the blue, much to my displeasure. “In fact, as far as I can recall, you’ve never shown any interest in it at all before this evening.”
It was annoying, very annoying!
Who invited you into this conversation, you dumb fuck?
“I like hockey better than some of the other sports, Dad,” I replied, turning and glaring daggers at him. “But it’s kind of hard to like something a lot without going to the games. And you never have time to take me to any of the games because you’re always working late or attending some political function with your Republican friends,” I added, trying my best to embarrass him in front of everyone at the table.
I could tell he was really annoyed and remember being quite pleased with myself.
Fortunately for me, Joshua’s Mom was a born diplomat and quickly turned the conversation elsewhere before either of us could escalate it further.
“Well, then, besides hockey, what else are you interested in, Nolan,” she asked?
“I like music,” I replied. “Of course, my mother doesn’t like my taste in music, which is kind of surprising since I don’t have any one particular taste when it comes to music. But I can pretty much count on my mother disliking any music I like. Isn’t that right, Mom,” I added, shooting daggers at her?
You’re next, woman, I recall thinking.
“Now you know that isn’t true, Nolan,” my mother responded. “I don’t have a problem with the music itself. It’s just all the drugs and offensive lyrics that bother me. Drugs are bad for you and some of those groups don’t set a very good example for boys your age, sweetie.”
Sweetie! There it was again and this time in front of Joshua no less. I remember gripping my knife really tightly, wondering whether anyone would be able to stop me before I lunged at her and plunged it into her freaking heart!
I was about to get into it with her about what she had said when Joshua’s Mom rode to the rescue again.
“What kind of music do you like,” she asked, smiling at me?
“Just about any kind, Mam,” I responded. “I like country and western, rhythm and blues, old fashion rock and roll, and classical too. I like rag time, jazz and the big band sound, soul, folk, and disco as well. If it’s music, I pretty much like it.”
“Really,” she replied. “Do you have any favorite singers or groups? Perhaps that young boy singer. I can’t even remember his name. What’s his name, Joshua?”
“Justin Bieber,” Joshua piped up?
“Yes,” his mom said. “He’s the one I was thinking of. Do you like him, Nolan.”
“He’s more popular with the girls, Mam,” I responded. “But, sure, I like him. I like just about anyone who tries to be creative musically.”
“You know, when I was a young girl a long time ago, I liked this singer named Elton John,” Joshua’s mom said. “It was so long ago I don’t suppose you’ve even heard of him or any of his songs.”
“Everyone’s heard of Elton John, Mam,” I replied. “And I do like his songs, especially some of the earlier ones.”
“Really,” she responded, smiling at me. “I was so young and I was just in love with him and so many others I can think of back then. Even some of the older groups like the Beatles and the Beach Boys and Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. My older sister liked those groups a lot so I guess I liked them because she did.”
“That’s the thing about music, Mam,” I said. “It can be timeless. Me and my mom went to see a show on Broadway not too long ago called Jersey Boys about Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. I loved the show and I loved their music. And as for the Beach Boys, well, Brian Wilson is still writing and performing today and I love everything the Beach Boys ever did.”
“Whenever I go into Hollister back in New York to buy stuff, I love watching that live internet feed they have of the ocean in California,” I added. “I mean, I want to move to California some day and go surfing. I guess that’s why I like the Beach Boys so much. I think surfing off the coast in California would be really cool.”
“Someone told me there’s one up in Burlington, but we don’t have any Hollister stores around here,” Joshua interjected. “Not that we could afford any of that stuff, of course. But I like the Beach Boys too. They don’t play oldies like that too much on the radio up here in Vermont, of course. And it’s not like we have anything to play music on at the farm anyhow. The radio’s been broken forever.”
The radio? Who listens to music on a radio anymore, I remember asking myself?
I guess that pretty much broke the ice between us because Joshua and I started talking up a storm on our own after that. When dinner was finished, the two of us went outside and he showed me around the place.
Not that there was all that much to see, of course. Just an old barn and a tractor, both of which were falling apart. Plus some animals, including a couple of cows, some sheep and a lamb, a lot of chickens, several cats, assorted other creatures, and what turned out to be one hell of a nasty goat. For some reason, that goat took an instant dislike to me and seemed determined to impale me on its horns, which looked kind of dangerous. Fortunately, Joshua came to my rescue and shooed the damn thing away. I was grateful for that.
As far as I could tell, they kept the animals to entertain the guests more than anything else, especially the little kids. Except for that damn goat, I suppose, which they probably kept to intimidate anyone who was thinking of complaining about the food or the service or whatever.
Later on I apologized to Joshua.
“Sorry I’ve kicked you out of your room, Joshua,” I said.
“Call me Josh, Nolan,” he replied. “My mom calls me Joshua but I prefer Josh. And as for the room, well, you don’t have to apologize. I’m glad about it actually. It can get hot up there in August so I appreciate the chance to camp out. Do you want to see my tent?”
“Sure,” I responded.
Not that I was really interested in the tent, of course, but Josh was and I was interested in Josh so I was determined to be interested in whatever interested him.
Josh led me down the hill to the tent, which he had set it up near where the trail headed off into the woods. When we got there, he took me inside.
“Wow,” I said, surveying the place. “This is really big. And a lot cooler than your room, that’s for sure.”
“It is,” Josh responded. “If you want, I could ask my Mom whether you could stay here with me. There’s more than enough room for both of us and I’m sure you’ll find it more comfortable. But it’s up to you, of course.”
“That sounds good,” I responded. “Let’s go ask her right now.”
And with that the two of us walked back up to the farmhouse and into the kitchen where his mother was washing the dishes by hand.
“Mom, um, well, me and Nolan were talking,” Josh began.
“Nolan and I were talking,” his Mother interjected. “I’ve told you the correct grammar a million times, Joshua.”
“Oh, sure, Mom, sorry,” Josh replied. “Well, the thing is, Nolan was just mentioning how hot my room is and I told him there was room enough in the tent if he wanted to camp out with me. I have an extra sleeping bag he could use. Would that be okay, Mom,” he asked?
“I’m not really sure, Joshua,” his mother responded, her body tensing up ever so slightly as she continued washing the dishes. “His parents paid for a room for Nolan and I’m not sure they would want him staying in a tent instead. I would probably have to refund some of their money and you know how tight money is, Joshua.”
I could tell from the look they exchanged it was the money worrying her more than anything else.
“I’m sure it’ll be okay with my parents, Mam,” I interjected. “Let me go ask them right now. And don’t worry about the money either because I’m sure my parents won’t ask for a refund.”
For all my whining, I didn’t really hate my parents completely. They were an annoyance more than anything else although there were times when I felt totally suffocated by them. Still, they were pretty fair most of the time and I figured they would do the right thing if I handled the situation correctly.
Since I knew my Dad would still be mad at me for what I had said at dinner, I avoided him and went directly to my Mom. I tried to disarm her by giving her a big hug. Mom always loved it when I hugged her like that and it paid immediate dividends. After explaining the situation, she quickly agreed I could camp out with Josh and they wouldn’t ask for any refund.
“But only as long as the two of you get to sleep at a decent hour,” both sets of parents eventually agreed. “If we hear you making a commotion or if you seem tired out in the morning, Nolan will have to sleep in the room upstairs. Understood?”
“Yes, Mom,” I responded.
“I understand, Mam,” Josh chimed in.
After that the two of us moved some of my stuff down from his room and into the tent. Later my parents and I went into town and did a little exploring. I tried to be extra nice to thank them for letting me camp out. As for the town itself, well, it was nice enough, I suppose, one of those places that painter dude, Norman Rockwell, like to paint a long time ago. But I was more interested in getting back to the farmhouse and learning everything I could about Josh.
That boy is going to be mine before this vacation is over, all mine. He might as well surrender right now because there’s no way in hell he’s going to evade the love web I’m going to spin around him.
Or at least that’s what I kept trying to tell myself. Truth be told, I wasn’t really sure what would happen next or how you went about spinning a love web exactly.
When we finally got back to the farm, it was already time for bed. I was kind of tired from all the driving in any event so I didn’t mind turning in. I went outside with Josh and the two of us made our way down to his tent.
“I guess we better go to bed and be quiet,” Josh said. “At least this first night,” he added, grinning at me.
He started to strip off his clothes and I remember silently gulping at the sight of his beautifully tanned body. I turned around quickly so he wouldn’t notice just how aroused I was becoming.
“Do you wear jammies or what in the sleeping bag,” I asked, slowly pulling my t-shirt off while I tried thinking of things like my Mom that would help me go soft. “I’ve never been camping before.”
“Usually I just wear a t-shirt, nothing else,” Josh replied. “It definitely gets cool in the morning out here so the t-shirt helps keep my shoulders warm. The sleeping bag is enough to keep the rest of me warm.”
“That sounds sensible,” I replied. “Maybe I’ll keep my briefs on though,” I added. I already knew I had plans for them before the evening was out.
“Whatever you want, Nolan,” Josh responded. “My tent is your tent,” he added, grinning.
I remember hoping Josh wouldn’t take a close look at me while I was taking off my clothes. My body suddenly seemed pretty pathetic compared to his and I was really embarrassed about that. But he didn’t say anything about it at all or make fun of me like he could have. It seemed like he was easy to be around and that made me feel kind of comfortable, not like I usually felt around other boys.
When we were finally settled in, I didn’t want to fall asleep right away.
“What’s your favorite Beach Boy song,” I finally asked, breaking the silence and looking over at him?
It was a test to see whether he really liked them or had just said that to fool me into thinking he did. Kind of like the way I had fooled him by saying I liked hockey.
“I don’t know,” Josh said. “I like all their songs. But I especially like Wouldn’t It Be Nice because sometimes I wish I was all grown up and could get away from Vermont. What about you?”
“Right now my favorite is Fun, Fun, Fun,” I said. “Cuz I’m hoping to have some fun this summer,” I added. “Lots and lots of fun actually.”
“Me too,” Josh replied. “That would be nice. For a change.”
So, unlike me, Josh had passed the truthfulness test because he really did know some Beach Boys songs whereas I knew nothing at all about hockey. But I figured I could learn and promised myself I would.
After that we talked for a long time about lots of different stuff. Josh must have asked me a million questions about New York City, what the people were like, where I spent time hanging out, all the tourist attractions, and such. When he had finally exhausted those, we talked about our schools some and what it was like living in a small town in Vermont. It was pretty apparent he didn’t like that at all.
Eventually we settled down and stopped talking. I waited for him to fall asleep. When I was sure he was, I closed my eyes, tucked my right arm inside the sleeping bag and initiated the mechanical movements that would produce the result I was looking for. Thinking about Josh’s naked body on the rock down by the lake, it didn’t take very long.
I fell asleep pretty quickly after that.
Things were beginning to look up. Or at least it seemed that way to me right about then.