Click on the link below to read Chapter 10 of Connected in the pdf format (better formatting).
Or just read it below online in the html format.
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 is being archived on Nifty. However, individual chapters will always be published here first. Thanks for reading the story. I hope you enjoy it.
THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER: In Chapter 9, Josh’s coach catches the two boys kissing in the high school locker room. The coach tells Josh to come back to school that evening to explain why. Nolan tries to help Josh come up with a plausible story to explain the whole thing. Later he follows Josh back to school and records the conversation between Josh and his coach. The coach tries to blackmail Josh into beginning a sexual relationship with him, but Josh resists. When the coach tries to force Josh to do so, Nolan intervenes and tells the coach he’s recorded the whole conversation. In the end, Josh and Nolan are able to leave after working out an understanding with the coach.
Neither of us said anything on the walk back to the farm. But just before we got there, Josh started crying, if only momentarily. He must have been embarrassed to reveal his emotions in front of me like that because he quickly got control of himself. But I couldn’t blame him after what he had been through.
“That was so freaking scary,” he finally said. “I can’t believe what he was trying to do. But thanks for following me, Nolan, and thanks for recording what happened. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t shown up. Thanks.”
“Hey, you’re my best friend and that’s what best friends do, Josh,” I replied, grinning at him. “Someone really cute told me that once.”
“And I’m really proud of you, too, Josh,” I added. “You didn’t let him force you into doing something you didn’t want to do. That showed a lot of guts. Your Dad would have been proud of you. I sure was.”
When we got back to the house, we decided not to go in. Both of were too shaken by what had just happened and I don’t think either of us could have faced the adults without spilling the beans once they saw how upset we were. Instead, we just screamed our good nights and headed down to the tent. When we got there, we ducked inside, undressed pretty quickly, and climbed into our sleeping bags.
I figured Josh would have no interest at all in messing around considering the day he had gone through so I just said good night and tried to calm myself down. It wasn’t easy, though, and I guess it must have been a hell of a lot harder for Josh.
“I can’t do this anymore,” he finally said, breaking the silence.
“Do what?” I asked, nervously.
Oh, Jesus, this is it, Nolan, I said to myself. He’s going to break up with you. Damn it! You’ve screwed everything up again!
“I’m too upset by what happened,” Josh said. “I need someone to hold me. Can you do that, Nolan?”
I remember being pleasantly surprised.
“Sure, I would like that,” I replied, trying to remain calm for Josh. “Why don’t we ditch the sleeping bags and just use them as a covering to keep us warm?”
“Yeah, I was thinking the same thing,” Josh said.
Both of us were out of our sleeping bags in a flash. I rolled over next to Josh and wrapped my arms around him. It was so comforting. I remember thinking it couldn’t get any better than this.
“Why?” Josh asked out of the blue. “Why does this have to be so freaking hard, Nolan?”
It was a good question. I had asked myself the same thing a gazillion times. I didn’t really have a good answer, but I had to say something. Josh was in too much pain to ignore it.
“It isn’t hard, Josh,” I replied, “at least not all the time. When we’re alone together like this in the tent, or down at the lake, or walking alone together in the woods, it isn’t hard at all. It’s easy to love you when we’re alone, Josh.”
“But we’re not alone most of the time,” Josh responded. “It’s not like we can ignore the rest of the world.”
“I know,” I said. “I know we can’t. But it’s not like we’re alone anymore out there either. We have each other and we can support each other. We can help each other deal with it. I mean, maybe it’s even a good thing. If everything was easy, would loving you mean as much to me? Would I take you for granted? Not remind myself every day how lucky I was to have someone like you who loves me? Maybe it’s just hard sometimes so we can really appreciate the times when we’re alone together.”
I’m not sure it made any sense. All I knew right then was I didn’t want it to be hard for Josh. And it must have helped some because Josh rolled over and pulled me closer to him.
“This is better,” he said, sighing, “a lot better. I love you, Nolan. I really do.”
“I love you too, Josh,” I replied. “I want you to be my boyfriend.”
“Really,” Josh said, as if it came as some kind of surprise. “You want me to be your boyfriend? That’s just so awesome, Nolan, it really is.”
“I would really, really, like that,” he added. “It would be so cool to be your boyfriend.”
I couldn’t believe it. Josh wanted to be my boyfriend. To me it didn’t make any sense at all. Maybe that’s why I suddenly felt the need for some reassurance myself.
“Can I ask you a question, Josh,” I said?
“Sure,” he replied. “Why don’t you ask me a question about hockey,” he added, grinning at me. “I should be able to answer anything you ask about hockey.”
“Oh, forget it, you doofus” I said, laughing. “I was going to ask why you like me, but it’s obvious the only thing you like is teasing me.”
“Well what kind of dumb question is that anyway,” Josh replied, arching his eyebrow. “Why wouldn’t I like you? You’re only the cutest boy in the whole universe and now I’m officially your boyfriend. You told me so.”
“Stop it,” I said, hitting his arm with my fist. “I’m asking a serious question here. I mean, think about it, Josh. Me liking you is easy to understand. You got so much going for you. You’re smart. You’re good looking. You’re a terrific athlete. You have a really hot bod. You even have a really hot goat, for crying out loud,” I added, grinning at him.
“I could list a thousand reasons for liking you,” I continued. “But I’m not any of those things. Well, maybe I’m a little smart. But, other than that, I just don’t get it.”
“Why are you so hard on yourself all the time,” Josh replied, suddenly turning serious. “I mean, first off, like I just told you, you’re incredibly cute. And, the thing is, the more I’ve gotten to know you, the more I like you. Oh, sure, you’re a little skinny, but that’s going to change now that you’re working out. But you’re so smart. You were on to Coach Johnson before I even had a clue what he was up to and I’ve lived in this town my whole life and known Coach forever.”
“And the way you handled that whole situation? I could never have pulled that off. That’s when I knew for sure you really cared about me. And, the other thing is, well, you’ve been incredibly patient with me, Nolan. If the situation was reversed, I would have probably dumped you a long time ago. But you’ve let me deal with this at my own pace and you’ve been completely supportive the whole time. You don’t pressure me to do stuff I don’t want to do. You’ve been everything anyone could want in a friend. So just stop it, Nolan. I’m really lucky you want me to be your boyfriend.”
“You really think I’m cute, Josh?” I asked.
I knew I was begging for compliments by then, but no one had ever told me I was cute before.
“Like I said, the cutest,” he replied. “First off, you have absolutely the most perfect hair I’ve ever seen. It’s isn’t exactly brown and it isn’t exactly blonde. It’s something in between and just the perfect color to me. But mostly when I look at it all I see is just this tangle of curls that hang together perfectly and really make you look incredibly sexy.”
“And then there’s those eyes of yours,” he continued. “People kill for eyes like those, Nolan. Plus, unlike mine, your nose is just perfect. And those lips. They just beg to be kissed. Like I said, you’re the cutest boy in the whole world and now you’re mine, Nolan. I’m officially your boyfriend. So I don’t want to hear any more doubts about whether I like you. I wouldn’t be your boyfriend if I didn’t.”
It just felt so good to finally have someone who liked me, especially someone like Josh. I just lay there, letting his words soak in. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t fall asleep. And I could tell Josh was having trouble getting to sleep as well.
“Josh, I know it’s what got us in trouble in the first place, but do you think I could have a good night kiss before we fall asleep?” I asked. “I’ll understand if you don’t want to.”
“No, I want to,” Josh responded.
And with that the two of us resumed the kiss we had begun that afternoon. I think it was the longest kiss we had ever shared up to that point.
When we stopped momentarily to catch our breath, I remember snuggling up as close as I could to his body and liking everything about it. I liked the warmth it provided and the touch of his hair. I liked how he smelled. I liked the touch of his skin pressing against mine, so smooth and so perfect. I liked listening to his heart beat and hearing him breathe ever so gently
It seemed like I has been thinking about this moment forever, wondering whether it would ever happen; and now here we were and everything seemed to be happening just like it had in my dreams.
This is incredible, I remember thinking. How do people live without being close to someone like this? It’s just so perfect.
Looking into his eyes, it seemed liked Josh was experiencing the same thing as me. He was holding me close now, almost clinging to me. He was rubbing my shoulders and back softly and I remember it feeling just so incredibly good.
I placed my hand on his thigh and started rubbing it gently. Josh’s body seemed to go completely limp and he began moaning, softly at first, then louder as I used my hand to continue exploring his body. I was surprised at just how responsive it was to the touch of my hand.
I rubbed my lips against his momentarily, then began kissing his cheek and his neck. I had never kissed his neck before.
“It feels good,” Josh whispered to me, “so good. But I don’t know what I should do, Nolan. I want you to feel good too, but I don’t know anything about how to make love.”
“Just relax, Josh,” I responded. “Just relax and let me show you how.”
Who was I kidding, I wondered? I was a sixteen year old kid. What did I know about making love? The only thing I knew for sure was I wanted him. I wanted Josh more than anything I had ever wanted before in my life.
I wasn’t sure why, but I decided to kiss his nipples and Josh started thrashing around uncontrollably. They were obviously very sensitive and by now he was moaning continuously.
“So good,” he stammered. “That feels so incredibly good, Nolan. Don’t stop. Please don’t stop.”
All of it seemed kind of strange to me. On the one hand, he seemed to welcome wherever I kissed him and by then I was kissing him everywhere. But I could sense his body was tense as well, wondering what would happen next. I rolled him over so he was lying face down, then slowly began massaging his shoulders and back with my hands, trying to see whether it would help him relax.
Slowly I could feel the tension being released from his body. When my hand brushed against his butt by mistake, he started thrashing around uncontrollably again.
“That feels so good,” he moaned. “I’ve never felt this good before in my life. I love you, Nolan, I really do.”
Maybe this is the way you make love to someone, I thought. Maybe it’s just about sharing yourself with someone, letting them explore your body and sharing your own with them.
I rolled Josh over again on to his back, smiled down at him and gave him a gentle peck on his lips.
“Do you trust me, Josh?” I asked, looking as deep as I could into his eyes.
“Completely,” he responded. “I trust you completely, Nolan.”
“Good,” I replied, “because I need you to trust me now. I need you to close your eyes and just stop thinking. I need you to let me show you how good love can be, how beautiful it can be, how easy it can be.”
Josh looked in my eyes for a moment, then closed his own liked I had asked him to do.
I took a deep breath. I knew what I was planning to do. I had seen guys do it on some of those porno sites I visited on the web. Watching them do it had aroused me, excited me, stimulated me until it produced the reaction I was looking for. But now, alone in this tent with Josh, it wasn’t about me. It was about Josh, about making him understand it could be something more awesome than anything he had ever experienced before in life. And it was about sharing that experience with him.
I looked down at him, then kissed him gently on his lips once again. I didn’t push my tongue into his mouth as we had done before. I just allowed our lips to rest there together for what seemed like forever. Then, when the moment seemed right, I pulled away and kissed him on his cheeks, on his neck, and on his shoulders again.
Josh sighed and I could feel his body finally relax. His eyes remained closed as my lips darted around his body trying to make him feel good. Later, when I glanced at his face, I could tell he was in some other faraway place, a better place, a place where nothing was hard anymore.
And yet, as far away as he was, he was in touch with me throughout the whole thing. It was as if some gigantic dam deep within him had finally broken, flooding me with sighs and moans, words of encouragement and pleasure, a sudden grunt and an occasional giggle when I kissed him where he was ticklish, words that pleaded with me, begged me, and just some totally random sounds that seemed to come out of nowhere. The whole thing was weird.
I moved back up, kissing his neck again, then his cheeks and his forehead.
I’m not sure how long I kissed Josh’s body that evening. At some point I stopped thinking about what I was doing and allowed myself to drift off to that place where Josh was. We were alone together there now, smiling at one another, just the two of us.
We were swimming alone together, lifting weights, holding hands in a darkened movie theater and giggling at the silliness of what we were seeing on the screen. We were trying to catch his goat together to herd it back into its pen. We were stumbling and falling and rolling on top of one another in the fields. It was just Josh and me and it was peaceful and beautiful and everything I had ever wanted.
And then Josh moaned softly and I could feel his body go tense.
“Nolan, something is … I’m … I’m going to …” he moaned. “Omigod, this is unbelievable.”
I could feel him place his hands on my head, see him lift his hips off the ground; and then Josh just moaned once again.
It surprised me, just like I was a little surprised to see where all the kissing had brought me. I had known I was going there. I didn’t know I had already arrived.
“So good,” he stammered, “so freaking good. It was just so good, Nolan.”
Then came the realization of what he had just done.
“Oh, damn, I’m sorry, Nolan,” he cried, pulling away. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. I’m really, really, sorry, Nolan.”
Like I said, it had surprised me, not so much what had happened but just how powerful his need had been. It had almost overpowered me in fact, but to me it had been worth it just to see the look of ecstasy on his face for that one brief moment before the guilt and the shame had overcome him.
“Why are you sorry, Josh?” I asked. “I’m not. It’s what I wanted. I wanted to make you feel good. I wanted you to be happy. I hope I did it okay.”
“You did more than okay,” Josh responded. “It was awesome, Nolan, just totally awesome. I’ve never, ever, experienced anything like that in my life. Oh, god, you were so right. If this is the way it’s going to be, everything else will be easy. I love you so much, Nolan. I really do.”
“I don’t know about you, but it was really powerful and intense for me, Josh,” I said, “incredibly so. I think you’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
“I’ve been waiting forever,” he responded. “And I didn’t even know what it was I was waiting for.”
“Well, now you know,” I said, grinning at him. “And so do I.”
“Let’s switch so I can do it to you,” Josh responded.
I wanted to say yes. My baser instincts were screaming at me to say yes. I desperately wanted to experience what he had just experienced. But then I recalled what had happened earlier that evening with Coach Johnson. I knew it was something Josh would never forget and I wanted him to remember this day for something more beautiful than that. And right then, alone with him in the tent, it seemed like the perfect moment to capture. I wanted both of us to remember that moment forever.
“Not tonight, Josh,” I replied. “Tonight I just want to be hugged and fall asleep in your arms. Tonight is about showing you how easy it’s going to be for the two of us. You can remind me about that tomorrow.”
Then I let Josh spoon up behind me and wrap me in his arms. We fell asleep pretty quickly after that.
The next morning my Mom took me aside after breakfast, never a good sign.
“Your father and I have a surprise for you, Nolan,” she said, “and, yes, I know how much you don’t like our little surprises. But, ever since we went to Burlington and visited the University of Vermont, it’s been on my mind that we’re near two very good schools, Middlebury and Williams. I’ve spoken with the Admissions Offices at both and we’ve decided to take you on a tour of each of them so you can see what they have to offer. We’ll drive down to Middlebury today and take the tour there. When we’re finished, we’ll drive on to Williamstown, which is in Massachusetts, and stay there overnight. Then we’ll tour Williams tomorrow.”
There was a part of me that wanted to get mad, but I knew deep down she was just looking out for my future.
“I know this comes as a surprise,” my Mom continued, “but these were the only days I could arrange back to back tours like this. I hope you won’t be too upset with me, Nolan. I know it’ll take you away from Joshua for two days, but this is about your future, sweetie, and it’s important. It’s something we need to do. We need to look at some of the little Ivies.”
I understood what she was saying. The problem was Josh. After what he had gone through the previous day with Coach Johnson, he needed all the support I could give him. This was going to change everything unless I could turn things around and quickly. So I decided to act like an adult for a change.
“I don’t have a problem with this, Mom, but I do have a request,” I said, as calmly as I could.
“What?” she asked.
“It may surprise you, but one of the things Josh and I have been talking about lately is college,” I replied. “He wants to go college too, but his mother doesn’t really have the money to send him. So the only way he can go is if he gets a scholarship. From talking to him, I think he has a pretty good chance because his grades are really good and he’s an excellent athlete too. But, the thing is, his Mom is never going to have the time to take him on tours of different colleges like you and Dad are doing with me. She’s too busy making a living for the two of them. I would like Josh to go with us so he can see what these schools have to offer.”
I was surprised at just how calm I had been getting the words out.
“It’s nice of you to be so considerate of your friend, Nolan,” my Mom replied. “But I don’t know whether he would want to go with us or even whether his mother would let him go. As you know, she counts on him to help her out here at the farm, sweetie. And I’m not really sure Middlebury and Williams are the right kind of schools for a boy like Joshua either. UVM probably makes more sense for him.”
I remember sighing. What is it with adults? Why are they always so dense and elitist?
“Look Mom, I think his mother will let him go if we explain it,” I replied. “And as for the rest of it, Josh is at least as smart as me, maybe even smarter. Plus he’s a really good athlete. So, if he decides to apply, I think he might have a better chance of getting into those schools you want us to visit than I do. But, just like me, he needs to know whether they suit him. And the only way he’ll know is if he gets to tour them like me. Please, Mom, this is important.”
It seemed to me I was being perfectly reasonable, but I knew I was begging and the decision was hers. Expecting her to veto the idea, I was surprised when she agreed so easily.
“Well, I suppose we could ask his Mom,” she replied. “It’s not like you’re going to have a formal interview at either of these schools. They don’t seem to do that too much anymore. It’s more just a tour of the campus to see what they have to offer. So I’ll ask his mother, Nolan. But I’m not making any promises, sweetie.”
I wasn’t surprised at all when Josh’s Mom jumped at the chance. I knew she would like the idea.
“I think that would be so helpful to Joshua,” she replied when my mother laid out our plans for the next two days and our offer to bring him along. “But I’ll have to give you some money to pay for his food and his room.”
“You don’t have to do that, Emily,” my Mom replied. “We were going to get a separate room for Nolan in any event so there won’t be any additional cost for that. And as for the food, don’t even think about it. I’ve never seen Nolan eat as much as he has since he got here so it would be our pleasure to pay for Joshua’s meals. It’s only fair.”
After the adults had finished talking, my Mom sent me off to find Josh down at the barn to explain what we were thinking and see whether he wanted to join us. It came as a surprise when I told him, but he jumped at the chance, at least initially. But then he started to get a little nervous on me so I asked what was bothering him.
“I don’t really have a lot of nice clothes like you, Nolan,” he said. “You look so cool in them and I don’t want to embarrass myself at those schools by coming off as some country bumpkin. They’re very exclusive schools.”
“It isn’t a problem, Josh,” I told him. “I’m not planning to wear anything fancy, just jeans and a t-shirt. We’ll be dressed pretty much the same way the whole time, but you’ll need to bring an overnight bag because we’ll be staying somewhere in Massachusetts tonight.”
Having put his mind at ease, the two of us raced up to his room and started packing right away. I even let Josh try on a couple of my things I thought might fit, including one of my favorite t-shirts. It was tight, but he looked perfect in it.
When we were finished packing, we hurried downstairs and tossed our stuff into the car. Eventually my parents were ready and we were off on our latest adventure. I knew having Josh along would make it a lot more fun for me, for both of us really.
It didn’t take very long for us to get to Middlebury. The town, that is, not the college. Both of them had the same name, which seemed a little weird to me. As for the town, it was small, but then all of the towns in Vermont seemed tiny compared to New York.
We met our tour guide at the Admissions Office. She turned out to be a student at the school, which surprised me. More surprising still, she paid a lot more attention to my parents than to me or Josh, almost like she didn’t have time for two immature high school boys; and while she knew a lot about the place, all her remarks seemed kind of rehearsed, like she had memorized them and was looking for just the right one to pull out at each of our stops. At one point she mentioned the students called the place Club Midd and that made my parents laugh for some reason. I didn’t get it and thought it was kind of stupid actually.
Don’t get me wrong. She was very helpful in showing us around the place and in explaining the advantages of attending college there. My parents asked her a lot of questions and her answers seemed to make sense. Josh and I had a few of our own and she handled those pretty easily as well. She hadn’t planned to take us by the athletic department so I asked if she could do that for us. I think Josh appreciated that and he managed to pick up some information about the different programs available to him.
The tour itself took about an hour and then we had lunch at the dining hall on campus. The food seemed pretty good, not as good as what Josh’s Mom cooked but about the same as what I was use to back at school in New York. All in all I liked the place and it was a pretty neat experience, especially having Josh along with me. Later, we went over to the campus bookstore and ended up getting matching t-shirts in the school colors, blue and white. Then we spent some time shopping in some stores my Mom wanted to check out. That was pretty boring, but having Josh along really helped pass the time.
It was kind of late when we headed off to Williamstown and it took us a couple of hours to get there. By the time we arrived, we were hungry so we decided to eat at the place we were staying, the 1896 House. It was expensive and the food wasn’t as good as Josh’s Mom made, but it sure did the trick that evening.
Later, after my parents had checked us in, Josh and I decided to see what our room looked like. It was actually a suite, with a living room and a separate bedroom. Both of the rooms had televisions, and the bedroom had two queen sized beds for Josh and me. They were the biggest beds either one of us had ever slept on.
I sure hope we only end up using one of these tonight, I said to myself.
After we finished dropping off our bags, we drove around Williamstown with my parents. There really wasn’t much to see, but it seemed nice enough. A little quiet perhaps, but by that time I was getting use to that. In fact, it was nice not hearing sirens blaring all night long.
After getting some ice cream cones at one of the shops downtown, it was back to the hotel. Josh and I went to our room and decided on the spur of the moment to take a shower together. That was the first time we had ever done something like that and both of us were giggling like crazy about it.
Since I knew my father would be stopping by before he and Mom went to bed, the two of us just waited for him in the living room while watching TV. Eventually I heard the knock on the door and went to open it up. My father came in, took a quick look around, and got down to business immediately.
“Look, boys, I know you don’t think I was ever your age, but I was. So I know what the two of you may be thinking. Let me keep it simple. If I get a call from the hotel staff complaining about any noise coming from this room, one of you will have to come over to our room and spend the night with us. Is that understood?”
“Yeah, I understand, Dad,” I replied, “we’ll be quiet.”
Josh just nodded his assent.
“Another thing. I don’t want the two of you boys destroying this place in a pillow fight or whatever. Understood?”
“Yes, Dad, we’ll behave,” I promised.
Would you please get the hell out of here, Dad? Because Josh and I were planning something a little more interesting than a pillow fight and you’re really beginning to piss me off with all the yakking.
“Finally, I’m not going to tell you boys when to go to sleep exactly. But we have to be up early in the morning, by 7 a.m. at the latest. So I’ve left a wakeup call for you and I’ll be coming over here myself to make sure you get up at that time. You can stay up however late you want, but keep in mind you’ll be getting up early. If you’re smart, you’ll get to bed at a decent hour, midnight at the very latest and sooner if you’re smart. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Dad,” I said again, sighing. “We’ll go to sleep at a reasonable hour. Won’t we Josh?”
Josh nodded his agreement once again.
With that my Dad took one final look around the room, then turned and left. I walked over to the door and locked it behind him.