Chapter 10

First Love, First Time

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SUMMARY: The year is 1973 and Lane Bailey is a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. A homosexual with ambivalent but often negative feelings about his sexuality, he also has a strong attraction to his brightest student, a Harvard junior named Paul. As graduation approaches, his conflicted feelings and despair grow and he tries to recall a time when he was not homosexual. That arouses powerful boyhood memories. What follows is a journey of self-discovery, one in which Lane eventually comes to a better understanding of himself and ends up learning much about life, love and sex in the process. Please note that italics are typically used to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself.

WARNING: This story is a work of adult fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Unless otherwise indicated, all of the characters in the story are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. While certain places described or mentioned in the story are real, liberties may have been taken with the truth to enhance the story. This story may describe, depict or otherwise include graphic portrayals of relationships between men and/or adolescent boys that are homosexual in nature. If you don’t like or approve of such discussions or it’s illegal for you to read such material, consider yourself warned. If you continue to read this story, you are asserting you are fully capable of understanding and legally consenting to reading a work of adult fiction.

NOTICE: This story is my property and protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. It may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author. However, you may not use this work for commercial purposes or to profit from it in any way. You may not use any of the characters or fictional places in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon the story in any way. If you share this story with others, you must make clear the terms under which it is licensed to them. The best way to do that is by linking to this web page.

NOTES: Please check these notes every week. If there’s something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so. April 18, 2016: Thanks for reading the story. If you enjoyed it and would like to see it continue, be sure to check out my post about how that could happen on April 21, 2016.

FIRST LOVE, FIRST TIME

Part 1 – Lane’s Story

Chapter 10

Later, after Bruce and I said our final good-byes, it started to rain. That provided some relief from the heat, but complicated my departure from home. Concerned about the roads, my parents tried to persuade me to stay and I had to spend time reassuring them everything would be fine.

Eventually they relented and I was able to leave, but as I drove through town the rain picked up in intensity and I began to wonder whether they might be right after all. For a moment I even considered stopping at Bruce’s place to wait out the storm.

Maybe he’ll invite you to spend the night, Lane.

Detouring out of my way, I drove by the house where he rented an apartment. The place was dark and by now it was pouring. Realizing he wasn’t home, I turned around and pointed the car toward Cambridge.

The long, winding, drive up the Mohawk Trail seemed more treacherous than usual because the roads were slick and the darkness and fog made seeing anything difficult. When I finally reached the top and began the long descent toward the Pioneer Valley, I was happy. It allowed me to focus my thoughts once again on my conversations with Bruce.

He had given me a lot to think about and sorting it out was elusive. I realized now Bruce had been the first boy I loved although I was pretty certain there was no sexual dimension to my love as well. That was certainly the case when I was ten and drawn to his charismatic personality, his skill as a baseball player, and his kindness.

It was a bit harder to be certain of the absence of sexual longing when I was fourteen. There was something going on inside me, no doubt about it. Some vague, imperfectly understood, sense of attraction; some longing to touch someone I was in awe of in the hope that would cure me of whatever affliction was ailing me and thus make everything better.

But it had yet to form fully into a sexual attraction; a desire to kiss, hug or touch him in some specifically sexual way. Perhaps things would have been different if the incident had taken place months later. But it would have been winter then. If I was at the lake at all in the winter, I would have been there by myself.

By then the long winter would have overtaken my soul in any event. It had finally dawned on me that I was attracted to other boys, sexually attracted to them; and I hated myself for that because it made me different at a time when I wanted to be the same as the rest of the boys.

The seeds of self-hatred had been planted and now they were growing within me. That was the only choice I had made. I had internalized the self-hatred that had consumed my life all these years. But I hadn’t chosen to be homosexual and would never understand why I was.

I had foolishly searched for some event or moment in time I could point to as the turning point; as if knowing would somehow allow me to change things.

It was a delusion. There was no specific event; no specific moment in time. It had been there lurking from the moment I was born waiting for the right time to reveal itself; that moment when adolescence kicked in and, like other boys, my thoughts turned to sex.

For many of us the initial focus was on other boys, the friends we were closest to. But then at some point things changed and most boys turned their attention to girls. It was impossible to know precisely how or why that happened, but that it happened there can be no doubt; at least for most of the boys it happened that way.

A few of us were left standing alone because, whatever the process was, it never happened for us. We would watch as the rest of the boys moved on while we remained frozen in time; frozen in our sexual attractions.

There’s the mistake, Lane, I said to myself.

You’ve spent all this time focused on the past trying to understand something that’s inherently not understandable.

Bruce understands the futility of doing that. He’s dealing with it. He’s moved on.

You need to deal with it too.

In the distance I could see a car approaching rapidly from the other direction. Its high beams were on, blinding me.

I sensed it was moving too fast and moved as far as I could to my side of the road; and yet, even having done so and having blinked my lights, pounded the horn, and slammed on the brakes, it was a close call before he finally veered away and sped off in the direction from which I had come.

It was a very close thing indeed.

A couple hundred yards up the road I pulled off in a safe location and exited the car. On this side of the mountain, there was only a mist in the air but I was still shaking from what had just happened.

You could be dead now, Lane. Think about that.

Like everyone else, you take life for granted, but life is short; much too short to squander hoping for some reprieve, hoping for something to change or some chance to do everything over again.

There are no do-overs in life, Lane.

As I stood there in the darkness, I wondered whether I would ever be able to change; ever be able to overcome the feeling of being a failure I had experienced all these years.

“The only way to change is to change,” I whispered to the darkness and trees surrounding me and to the water flowing down from the heights into the small creek that would become larger with each passing mile and then empty into the Connecticut River.

“And you know what? Loving Bruce was a good thing because he’s a good person and I’ve tried to be just like him ever since I realized that. I try to treat people fairly. I work hard to be a good teacher.”

“Yes; I like Paul, but I never tried to seduce him; never tried to use my position of authority over him to benefit myself in any way. I’ve always tried to give him my best advice even if it wasn’t the advice that would have made things easier for me.”

“It’s not the same thing exactly, but I think I’ve treated Paul the same way Bruce treated me that day at the lake. I’ve never tried to take advantage of him and there’s nothing wrong with being attracted to him if I treat him fairly; honestly.”

“This is where it ends, Lane; right here on the Mohawk Trail. I’m not going to spend the rest of my life hating myself or living a lie. This is where it ends once and for all.”

Having explained myself to the night, the trees and the creek, I climbed back into my car. Pulling on to the road, I turned on the radio. The station was playing a new song by George Harrison that had recently been climbing the charts.

Now, for the first time, I focused on the words more than the voice I had always found so haunting.

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to touch and reach you with,
heart and soul . . .

****

“Did something happen while you were home, Lane?” Paul asked casually as the two of us sat leaning against the wall watching the Red Sox play still another game on my tiny black-and-white television set.

We were sitting in my room on a Saturday evening not long after both of us returned to Cambridge. When I got back to town, the first thing I did was to stop by Mr. Bartley’s to see whether Paul was back. It turned out he was and we agreed he would come by to see me in my room at Wigglesworth Hall across the street after he finished work that day.

It had been a couple of weeks since then and Paul and I seemed to be spending more and more time together. His weekday job at The Coop selling various items of overpriced clothing featuring the Harvard logo to tourists determined to purchase some mementos of their visit to the campus was apparently not very taxing.

He was somewhat busier on Saturday, especially around the noon lunch hour, but even that wasn’t tiring him out. He had lots of energy, but not a lot of effective ways to burn it given his determined effort to save money for his last year at Harvard. So he ended up gravitating to my room most evenings and I was happy to spend the time with him because I enjoyed his company.

I had a car and we would often pile into it on Sunday and find our way to some local historical site he had never visited in his time on the east coast. We had toured Concord’s rude bridge on the first of those trips and he had been astonished and mildly amused at my ability to recite Emerson’s Concord Hymn from memory, especially its first and most famous verse:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

And then, having quickly memorized the thing himself, we took turns much of the rest of the day surprising one another by bursting into verse at totally inappropriate times.

Paul had done it first. Sitting in my car at a stop light in downtown Concord, the windows down, he had turned to the car to our right and recited the verse to the startled occupants of that vehicle. Doing that sent both of us into spasms of laughter and in search of even more wildly inappropriate moments to recite the poem.

It was silly and stupid, but lots of fun and both of us enjoyed the day. It didn’t stop there, however. Soon enough both of us were looking for still other opportunities to prank one another with Emerson’s words; over lunch or in response to a question about the weather or as we emerged from the T after a trip into Boston.

People would eye us strangely and that was precisely the reaction we sought as it would bring on still another round of laughter.

With each passing week we ventured a bit further from Boston in search of some obscure historical site hardly anyone visited. The drives gave us a chance to talk and we did a lot of that. In the process we learned a great deal about one another, including things both obscure and ridiculous; like how Paul had worried as a boy that he was destined for Hell because he had stepped on a worm accidentally.

We were on our own pretty much because hardly anyone we knew was around Cambridge that summer. Anderson seemed to be the primary exception. We had run into him one day as we returned from Fenway Park after I had splurged and bought us tickets in the right field bleachers.

The seats weren’t nearly as good as those Professor Jeffords had given me, but the crowd was rowdier and it was only with the greatest difficulty I had somehow persuaded Paul to sit down and not recite Emerson’s words during the seventh inning stretch.

The Red Sox won that day and we were in a good mood as we emerged from the Harvard Square station.

“Well, well, look at what we have here,” Anderson said when we bumped into him. “Cambridge’s version of Batman and Robin; I’ve been told the two of you have been spending a lot of time together this summer.”

“And just how is the boy wonder doing?” he added, turning to Paul.

“Or perhaps I should ask who the boy wonder is doing?” he continued, looking at me.

I recall being puzzled. Anderson seemed to be suggesting there was something sexual between me and Paul, which wasn’t the case.

“Still as obnoxious as ever, Anderson,” I said. “Why am I not surprised? Are you headed into Boston to find a friend because you don’t have any in Cambridge?”

“Fuck off, asshole,” he responded angrily, hastening down the stairs toward the train.

I had touched a nerve, but didn’t regret it.

“What was that all about?” I asked, turning to Paul.

“I’ll tell you later,” he responded.

****

Except for that one run in with Anderson, it had been much like this for weeks between Paul and me. If anything, my own work was even less taxing than his. That left plenty of time for us to spend together.

And now, relieved of any compulsion to worry about the nature of our relationship, whether I was behaving appropriately, and all the rest of the questions I had spent time worrying about the previous year, I was having the time of my life.

It was the best summer I could recall having in a very long time.

I wasn’t even thinking of Paul in a consciously sexual way anymore. I had squashed any lingering suspicions he might be homosexual; and even if I was wrong about that, knowing I would be off to Washington in a matter of weeks while he remained in Cambridge put any idea of a sexual relationship out of the question.

It wasn’t just the geographic distance that would separate us soon enough that made any relationship other than friendship impossible. There was also a chronological difference between us as well, just as there had been between Bruce and myself.

Bruce had wisely understood we were at different places in time even if we were sharing the same space together momentarily. He had known he would be leaving North Adams soon to spend years on the minor league circuit and that had made him behave in a way that was appropriate toward me.

I felt like it was a model perfectly suited for my relationship with Paul. Still, I was surprised when he posed the question that Saturday evening.

“Did something happen while you were home, Lane?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “These last few weeks it just seems like something has changed about you. I mean, I’ve always admired and respected you; and the more I got to know you, the more I liked you as well. But, now, I dunno. These days you seem so much more relaxed and confident; even happier I would say.”

It was nice to hear that because it confirmed I had changed in some ways, but I tried to deflect his question nonetheless.

“Maybe it’s you, Paul,” I said. “Maybe that visit back home to Oregon did wonders for you; got you back in touch with nature and away from all the foolishness and pretentiousness back here in Cambridge. Did you ever consider that? That it’s you that’s changed, not me?”

“No; that’s not it,” he responded immediately, dismissing the notion. “I mean, sure, it was good to go home; to stay up late at night having fun with my friends and then sleep in late the following morning knowing I had nothing to do.”

“Don’t get me wrong,” he continued. “That was great and the truth is I have changed in some ways. Being home gave me time to think about some things I’ve been avoiding thinking about. I came back east rested and relaxed and determined to be honest with people from now on.”

“That’s why Anderson was so nasty last weekend when we ran into him. I told him something that made him angry. I knew it would, but it’s not like we were ever really friends in the first place.”

“What did you tell him?’ I asked, curious.

“I’ll answer your question if you’ll answer mine,” he replied, grinning. “The point is that I’m still the same Paul in many ways; the same shy person who has trouble making friends and worries too much about too many things.”

“Why’s that, Paul?” I asked. “What does someone so young, so popular with your classmates, and so well liked by your teachers have to worry about?”

“That it’s all built on a foundation of sand,” he replied, softly.

His answer surprised me.

“Would you like to elaborate on that?” I asked.

“No,” he replied.

“But I would like you to stop evading my question,” he added, a grin spreading across his face. “I’ve never run across anyone quite so adept as you at evading questions you don’t want to answer.”

“Is that so?” I said, sticking my tongue out at him in an effort to lighten the mood. “Do you know what I have to say to that?”

“No; what?”

By the rude bridge that arched the span . . .”

“Stop,” he said, bursting into laughter.

I had made him smile, but he knew exactly what I was doing.

“You see?” he said. “There you go again; not answering the question but raising one of your own and then trying to prank me into giving up.”

“But not tonight, Lane,” he added. “Tonight I’m not going to let you off the hook. I need an answer as to why you’re suddenly so much more relaxed and confident. It could be any answer. I’m not picky.”

“You could tell me someone in your family died while you were home and you’ve inherited a million dollars and don’t have to work anymore. You could tell me Senator Kennedy called and wants you to join his staff when you get to Washington. You could even tell me you met some old flame while you were home and made mad, passionate, love the entire time.”

“But I need some answer.”

We didn’t make mad, passionate, love, Paul, but I guess I did run into an old flame while I was home and that did make all the difference for me.

“Ah, well, you see; now you’re on to me,” I replied, playing along with him. “It wasn’t Senator Kennedy who called. It was Jackie Kennedy. She was in North Adams while I was home and we spent two weeks having tête-à-têtes every day over lunch and dinner. I told her I was madly in love and must have her, but she dismissed me as a very foolish young man, someone much too silly for someone like her.”

“Well Jackie made a mistake then,” Paul responded, picking up on my words; “a big mistake. I would have never made a mistake like that if it had been the two of us having those tête-à-têtes.”

I had been joking, of course, but the tone of his voice made it clear Paul was serious; even if I wanted to be mistaken about that, he made it impossible by turning and staring directly into my eyes from where he was sitting on the bed next to me.

The whole thing flustered me. I didn’t know what to say, just that I needed to say something, anything really, to defuse the situation.

“Uh, well, I’ll have to remember to tell Jackie that the next time I see her,” I finally responded, turning my head away from him and staring across the room.

By now the room had fallen silent and I felt awkward.

“In any event, I’m thirsty,” I said, turning back to Paul and pretending I had missed the point. “Would you like something; I have some bottled water and cold Pepsis in the refrigerator?”

“Yes; I would like something,” Paul responded. “I would like to know why you keep ignoring what I’m telling you, Lane. I’ve told everyone else I know in Cambridge because I’m tired of lying, but for some reason you keep pushing me away whenever I try to tell you.”

“I don’t understand,” I replied, confused. “How have I been pushing you away?”

“You just have been,” he replied. “I tried to tell you that Friday evening I came by your room in Conant. I tried to tell you that night you had the wedding rehearsal for your friends and then came down to talk to me at Winthrop. I tried to tell you after that first Red Sox game we went to. And I’ve been trying to tell you these last couple of weeks by spending every free moment I have with you.”

“But no matter what I do, you ignore me. What do I have to do, Lane? Put it in words like I have with Anderson and everyone else? Tell you I’m homosexual? I am, you know. Isn’t it obvious by now? Do I have to tell you I think you’re homosexual as well? I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty certain you are.”

“I’m attracted to you, Lane; I’m attracted to you partly because you’re a smart person, a kind person, and the type of person I want to be like. But mostly that’s just a polite cover for the fact that I’m sexually attracted to you.”

Having said that, he stood up, walked across the room, and closed the door I had taken to leaving open in the evening so the students I was proctoring would feel free to pop in if they wanted. Then he walked back over toward me.

“Stand up,” he commanded.

Not knowing what else to do, I stood up and stared at him, his face just inches away from mine now.

“Are you attracted to me, Lane?” he asked, staring into my eyes.

I tried to turn my face away from his, but he reached over with his hand and prevented me from doing that.

“Uh, well . . . uh . . . I am, Paul,” I said; “and, um, that’s why I don’t think . . .”

Before I could even get the words out of my mouth he leaned in and kissed me on the lips. It was a gentle kiss, a chaste kiss; not one designed to arouse or excite.

By now I had closed my eyes, not wanting to acknowledge I knew what he was doing. But even so I knew, as did Paul. Suddenly my knees began shaking and I found it difficult to breath. My heart was pounding. I didn’t know what to do, what to say.

Wrapping his arms around me, Paul pulled me closer to him. He was hugging me now, running his hands up and down my back; smiling at me and trying to reassure me in the process. Then he pressed his lips against mine again, this time more forcefully.

This was a more passionate kiss, one designed to arouse, and it had the intended effect. Pressing his body against mine, Paul forced me down on to the bed and crawled on top of me. By now his hands were everywhere; exploring, touching, caressing, stimulating.

A part of me wanted more, wanted to give in; and yet somehow I managed to wrestle myself free from his grasp.

“Stop,” I pleaded.

“Why?” he challenged.

“I don’t think . . .”

“You don’t think what, Lane?” he asked, interrupting. “You don’t think you’re enjoying this?”

“No; it’s not that, Paul,” I said. “It’s . . . it’s . . .”

“It’s what?” he asked.

“I don’t know whether this is right,” I replied. “You’re very young and I’m your teacher and, uh . . . .”

“You were my teacher, Lane,” he said. “You’re not even a student here anymore, just a summer school employee. If you like me, why do you always end up pushing me away? It’s very frustrating, Lane.”

“I’m not pushing you away,” I replied. “I’m just not sure this is the right thing to do knowing I’ll be leaving for Washington at the end of the summer and you’ll be staying on for your senior year.”

“What difference does that make?” he asked. “It’s not like Washington is on some other planet you know. We can talk on the phone; write each other. I’m sure we’ll have opportunities to see one another during the course of the year.”

“I don’t know,” I said. “That would be asking a lot of you, don’t you think? To try to carry on a long distance relationship when there are so many better possibilities for you?”

“What possibilities?” he asked.

“I’m not sure exactly, but we’re not the only people in the world like this after all. What about Tim Reardon? He seems like a very nice young man.”

“He is,” Paul responded. “But I don’t feel the same way about Tim as I do about you, Lane. Look, I don’t know why I’m attracted to you. Does anyone ever know? If you’re telling me you don’t feel the same way about me, I’ll stop. I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll stop.”

“In fact, I can leave now if that’s what you want,” he added. “But I’m an adult, Lane, not some young boy you need to protect; not someone you have to make decisions for. I can make my own decisions about what I want. Can you?”

I just stood there looking at him. I wasn’t sure what to say.

“Okay,” he finally said, shrugging his shoulders. “I’ll leave.”

Standing up, he started to walk toward the door.

“Please don’t leave, Paul,” I said, pleading with him. “I want you to stay. I do like you. I just don’t know what to do.”

Turning around, Paul walked over to me.

“Stop fighting it,” Paul said. “That’s what you need to do. I thought something had changed while you were away, but now I’m not certain about that.”

Suddenly I realized he was right. I was allowing myself to slip back into my old ways and I needed to stop.

“You’re right,” I said. “I do want this.”

Standing up, I pushed Paul against the wall and started kissing him. I wanted him to know just how attracted to him I was and for the two of us to seal what I hoped would be a lifetime friendship no matter what else happened.

Paul responded immediately. If anything, he intensified his efforts. And knowing this was the moment I had been waiting for all my life, I responded to his intensified efforts by returning them in kind.

I became an eager participant; clawing at his body, trying to find some way to rip off his shirt. He moved back slightly providing just enough clearance for me to do that.

Oh, God, I thought, staring at his chest for a moment.

It was a stunningly beautiful male chest; smooth, firm, and hairless, with two beautiful nipples that were beckoning me.

I placed my mouth on one of them and began nibbling it ever so gently. He shuddered and then stepped back, allowing me to begin better exploring his chest with my lips and tongue.

At some point I found myself tugging at the shorts he was wearing.

“These pants have to go,” I said.

Paul smiled and allowed me to strip them off. Within a moment his briefs were off as well and the thing they concealed was pointing directly at me.

“Time for me to return the favor,” he said, moving quickly to strip off my clothes as well.

Now both of us were completely naked and I was the aggressor, Paul having yielded the role to me so that I could pleasure his body. And then, finally, inexorably, I was on my knees and my lips were where both of us wanted them to be.

Paul maneuvered us on to the bed, leaned back and allowed me to move up and down; to kiss and play with the tip, then to move down again and beneath to those twin factories working overtime to produce what would be needed to make the evening perfect for us.

And then, finally, completely aroused and stimulated, Paul moved to position himself over my body. Wrapping my legs around his waist, I slid them as high as I could and pulled him closer to me.

Paul reached over and retrieved the shorts I had pulled off. Reaching into the pocket, he found what he was looking for. He slid off the top, applied some to his hand, and then to me as well.

“I’ve wanted this so long,” he whispered; “so long, Lane.”

“Me too,” I responded.”

Then he pressed forward between the twin peaks and found what he was seeking. A moment later he slid inside me; slowly, gently and much to his delight.

“Yes . . . oh, yeah . . . that felt so good!”

“Tell me about it,” I added, whimpering.

He smiled down at me.

“More, Paul,” I pleaded. “I need more of you inside me.”

Locked together firmly, he pressed forward and then retreated, moving deeper and deeper inside with each new thrust. He did this repeatedly until the pleasure overwhelmed me and I found myself moaning; softly at first, then louder.

Hearing me moan, his movements became swifter, harder, and deeper. And then he was all the way there, touching something that made my body shudder and begin shaking as wave after wave of pleasure coursed through it.

I was groaning now, repeating the same words over and over again.

“Oh, god; oh, god; oh, god;” I couldn’t stop repeating the words as one wave of pleasure crested and gave way to another, more powerful still, and then still another; wave after wave of pleasure.

Paul’s rapid thrusting slowed momentarily. He pulled back one final time, then pressed forward as hard as he could.

“Yes . . . yes . . . ohhh, YES!”

I could feel him exploding inside me again and again and didn’t want it to end. Instinctively, I tightened and held him firmly in place.

“Oh, god,” he moaned even as the last precious drops became part of me.

Collapsing on top of me, I could hear our hearts pounding in rhythm.

It was my first time, his first time as well I would later learn.

It was what both of us had been longing for, hungering for.

It was the beginning of an extraordinary evening, a loving evening, not the end.

It was perfect.

End of Part I

Interested in seeing the story continue?

Prefer another, more contemporary, story about gay students at Harvard? Check out

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23 thoughts on “Chapter 10

  1. Wow at long last what I had been hoping for has happened and Lane has at last let himself enjoy being what he really is, a gay man. Paul had to work hard to get him to open up and I liked that. I also liked the way you put in a very good account of how we take on to ourselves a negative thought about our sexuality. Every gay man and woman has to go through this process of self acceptance if they are going to be happy as a fully integrated person. You explain it well and that is your gift as a writer. Thank you for the story and I really hope you will continue to the next section of the story.

    ps I had a great holiday and enjoyed catching up with two chapters and this one in one reading and not having to wait another week for the next chapter.

    1. I’m glad I didn’t ruin your holiday with these last three chapters, Graham 🙂

      I was worried about that, but I guess things worked out okay.

      I understand that the serial approach to writing can leave people frustrated when they find a story they like. It’s natural to want to keep reading on quickly to see how things turn out.

      But there’s another side to that and Chapter 10 illustrates the point very well.

      The truth is I was writing and rewriting Chapter 10 almost up to the very last minute before posting it; so much so that I wondered whether I was ruining things completely (and even whether I should postpone Chapter 10 for a day).

      People may not believe it, but I do rewrite these stories as I go along. I start with something I think is worth posting, but by the end I’m amazed at how many changes I’ve made and how the story has shifted in both tone and direction.

      Of course, never having seen earlier versions, it’s fair for you to wonder whether I make things worse with all the rewriting and editing. I don’t think so, but I’m probably not the best judge.

      In any event, thanks for comment, Graham. It’s appreciated very much.

  2. Please continue with part 2. I am a romantic and very much would like to have you continue developing this relationship and having it grow into a life long experience coving all of life’s ups and downs, but always having a positive outcome.

    Thanks

    Harry in NC

    1. Thanks, Harry. There’s nothing wrong with being a romantic. As cynical as I may seem at times, there’s a part of me that’s a romantic as well. I guess that’s why the endings are always happy even though that isn’t always the case in real life.

      I wish it was as easy as me sitting down and just writing Part II, but I deliberately avoided trying to think about future parts as I worked on Part I. So I need you and others to help out if you want more.

      Please be sure to come back on Thursday and read the post I put up at that time. And then give me an honest answer. That’s all I’m looking for.

      Whatever you do, I’m glad to know that the story appealed to a romantic. That actually made my day.

  3. Great ending to what I hope is just part one! As to where to take the story…I think you know where you want to go with it…keep up the great work! Have yet to read anything of yours I haven’t loved!

    1. Ah, but there’s the rub, Jordan … as I mentioned to Harry, I don’t have a clue as to where the story should go next.

      It’s not that I don’t have any ideas. The problem is I have too many. Being so close to the story, it would help if I had a better sense where readers would like to see it go next so be sure to check out my Thursday posting and let me know what you think.

      In any event, it’s nice to know you like the stories. That helps more than you can imagine.

  4. So Kit…”It was the beginning of an extraordinary evening, a loving evening, not the end.” If I had to answer the question what is your hallmark as a writer I would have to say “character development”. I want to take you back to chapter 9 for a moment. After reading that chapter I couldn’t imagine how you could just drop the story after Part 1. There is so much more that Lane has to experience…certainly life in Washington DC would offer considerable fodder for a part 2 at least. I am reminded of all that happened in Connected and how easy it might be for you to both continue the development of Lane’s character and add the spice that life in Washington could add. I guess what I am saying is don’t stop now…

    Stan

    1. Thanks, Stan. This is definitely a good start as to where the story should go next, at least where you think it should go next. One thing I noticed, for example, is that you didn’t insist on Lane and Paul ending up together. Other people do seem to want that. So what’s an author to do?

      The point is that I’m in a demanding mood so I need you (and others) to keep thinking about this and help me fill in the blanks. My Thursday post will be an effort to help you think about that; and it’s not like there’s any rush so you’ll have plenty of time to think about all of this if you want.

      Now that you have told me what you think I’m good at as a writer, I need you (and others) to tell what I’m not so good at. That’s the only way I’ll ever get better as a writer so feel free to be candid.

      But, again, thanks for the ideas and suggestions.

      1. First let me say that I have read all of the stories you posted and I am very impressed with your abilities and at one point wondered why you haven’t tried to get your work published. As I said before, you have an amazing talent for describing what is in the heads and hearts of your characters. You have a lot of psychological insight, much of which probably comes from your personal journey through life. I am thinking about Catcher in the Rye as I write to you and I think you have the talent to have written that book. Don’t be so hard on yourself!

        To be successful on the internet you have to know how to market there. It’s not enough to write a book, an author has to be thinking about how he/she can get it out there. May I make a suggestion? Take Summer Boys,Summer Dreams and Connected and prepare them as an author would, to be published. Set up a Facebook page. Google, Amazon and some other sites allow an author to self publish. Do some research on the web about self publishing online.

        You had a moment or two in this post where you were really down on yourself and your writing project. While I can’t promise success I know that the journey to getting your work published will teach you a lot about the process and yourself.

        I hope you don’t feel that I am out of line here. I want you to succeed!

      2. Thanks for the response, Stan. You’re certainly not out of line and I take your suggestions in the helpful spirit they’re offered. It’s late and I have to be up quite early tomorrow so I don’t have a lot more to say at the moment except thanks for wanting me to succeed.

  5. Like the others, I hope you will continue with Part 2. Part 1 has been an excellent read and ended exactly where I and, I think, many others hoped it would – and also where I think you yourself wanted it to end. I really have enjoyed the way you have built up the story, seemingly edging closer all the time to this denouement, but always leaving a little element of doubt that we would arrive at this longed for destination. That is what is so good about your writing: the development of the characters and the plot. You take your time and proceed at the correct pace. You are an excellent storyteller and I hope you continue to provide us with such magnificent stories.

    I know that you have expressed some doubts in your postings about whether you will continue with this particular tale. I am not, I think, alone in hoping that you will do so. In some senses, one could argue that the story has reached an ending – in that Lane and Paul have found each other physically and emotionally, taking what was obviously a strong and building attraction to a logical conclusion. But having finally made love, it would be great to see how their relationship develops and (we hope) deepens. They seem to be attracted to each other in so many senses more than the purely sexual that one would love to see it growing – as Harry says – into a life-long experience.

    Anyway, congratulations on achieving the end of Part 1. Whether you do proceed to Part 2 or not is of course your choice alone – but at least you can feel you have support for doing so. Whatever you do, please do not deprive us of your storytelling skills and the wonderful characters and situations that you create. Your readers are very grateful to you for these and I for one hope to enjoy many more of your stories in the future. Like Jordan, I have yet to read anything of yours that I haven’t loved.

    All the very best to you!

    Ludo

    1. Thanks for some very interesting, revealing, and helpful comments, Ludo.

      When I started this story, the premise seemed simple enough. Write a tale about someone’s first love and first sexual experience. We always hear that love and sex are different things so I felt like they should be separate tales, not a single one, in the story I wanted to write.

      The question was how to tie them together somehow. That wasn’t as easy as it might seem at first glance, but I think I did a reasonably good job of it.

      As I began posting the story online and it progressed, however, I became less and less certain about how Part I should end. Bruce was such an admirable character and there was a part of me that wanted to see him and Lane end up in bed together.

      But what would become of Paul if I did that?

      So I pretty much stuck to how I planned it originally, which isn’t the same as saying that Bruce and Lane won’t ever end up in bed. Lane did say that he was heading back to North Adams at the end of the summer after all. Whether that kiss in the woods was dessert or an appetizer isn’t addressed in Part I.

      In any event, who knows what could happen if Lane does go home at the end of summer? From your comments, it seems like you would like to see Lane and Paul’s relationship deepen, but perhaps there’s another reader out there who could sort all of this out for me 🙂

      I mean, do we really want Bruce to spend his life in a closet in small town America?

  6. Good story, as always. And if I’ve got any ideas about the follow-up of your story? What shall I say? You’re the author, I’m just a reader who enjoys your stories. Please, move on.

    1. Oh, come on, Dick. I’m sure you could say more, a lot more, if we were having dinner together and I pressed you for more 🙂

      In any event, that’s why I’ll be posting on Thursday; to help you and others think about what should come next. Please stop by and take a look.

      But no matter what you decide to do, thanks for the positive review. I appreciate it.

  7. Some General Comments

    First of all, I have to say I’m a little surprised at all the comments encouraging me to continue the story. I wasn’t expecting that, especially after no one offered any suggestions last week for how I should end Part I.

    I took that as indifference. Perhaps I was wrong about that. In any event, I feel like I should add a few additional thoughts to what I’ve already said.

    When I began this story, the plan seemed simple enough. I already had another story in the pipeline that I was going to begin around the end of May, one that would run through the end of 2016.

    I figured that perhaps I would be able to find the time to write Part II of this story between June and December if there was any interest in having me do that and people were willing to pitch in and help out.

    If there wasn’t much interest or very many suggestions about how to continue, I thought that perhaps I would have time to start working on another story for 2017. I have an idea for one, but haven’t gotten very far in fleshing it out because I wanted to see how people reacted to this story.

    Like I said, that was the plan when I began the story. But I’m not sure it’s still valid anymore.

    For one thing, I’m not sure whether I want to go forward with the story I have in the pipeline, partly because many people will find it controversial, perhaps even distasteful, and may well be annoyed that I would write such a story.

    If that wasn’t enough, the story I had planned to post next is different from my other stories in a way that may ultimately leave many of you unhappy (although that may not be obvious at first).

    Finally, there’s always the issue of whether I even want to continue posting stories online given how small my audience is. That’s not your problem and there’s nothing you can do about it, but I spend a lot of time on these stories and I’m not sure what I’m getting back since I realize my limitations as a writer and I’m not sure I’ll ever get any better.

    Like they say, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result 🙂

    All of this is just another way of saying I hope you’ll take a close look at the post I’ll be putting up on Thursday and give me an honest reaction; and also at the post I’ll be putting up next Monday about my plans for the future and for this site.

    Having said all of that, I want to thank all of you for suggesting I continue this story. It didn’t seem to me to be a story that was resonating with you as readers. Perhaps I was wrong about that; and even if I wasn’t and the story didn’t do very much for you, I appreciate your encouragement and support nonetheless.

    Thanks!

  8. Kit,

    I couldn’t see a relationship with either Bruce or Paul. Long distance relationships rarely work.

    As for Part 2, I have given it some thought. Lane is given a research project in which he discovers that many presidents and other statesmen were members of a secret society (something like Masons). He decides to investigate the matter further because of what he learns about the society. You could create a love interest with one of the people he interviews. After all with his background in History it should be easy to flesh out a scenario like this.

    Stan.

    1. This is an interesting idea, Stan. As a general rule, however, I like to keep my stories historically accurate. I know George Washington was a Mason and I imagine some other Presidents might have been. But I don’t know that any recent Presidents were Masons and creating a purely fictional secret society they were members of would pose a lot of challenges for me I think.

      But let me think about this some more.

  9. Kit, Ok, read your post this morning and decided to revise my comment about Lane’s investigative work into the Nixon Impeachment. There are so many places the investigation could go. For example, the year before 1972, J Edgar Hoover died. It was rumored that Nixon had his office searched for the secret files J Edgar Hoover kept. When Lane discovers this fact he remembers rumors about Hoover being homosexual and in a long term relationship with Tolson, his sidekick. While he continues his investigation into the impeachment of Nixon as his job requires he decides to also look into Hoover’s life and legacy. The time in which your story is set is only a few years after the Stonewall incident and Lane can see the possibility that gay life in America would be changed in ways he never could have imagined before and becomes more comfortable with the possibilities that a long term relationship with someone could one day not only happen for him but that he and whoever he had as a lover could live out in the open.

    I think the story should continue and I know that it isn’t easy to be a writer. I will help in whatever way I can. It’s possible that this project could turn out to be a fascinating book and one in which Lane decides to write a book that could possibly get published if in the book something new is uncovered about the relationship between Hoover and Tolson, the relationship between Hoover and his mother and the relationships between Hoover and Washington insiders. Lane would have the opportunity to interview some of the players affected by Hoover’s secret files and perhaps the love interest can be developed around someone Lane interviews. It could start with a clear mutual attraction and develop in a way that this person helps in his investigation.

    What do you think?

    Stan

    1. Wow! Here I am writing a story about the 1970s and I never even thought about a J. Edgar Hoover/Clyde Tolson connection. It makes me wonder what else I’m missing about that era 🙂

      It’s another interesting idea, Stan, and would take the story in a different direction. I thought people would focus on the collapse of the Nixon presidency and what role someone like Lane might play in that. But the Hoover angle is an interesting one too.

      As I said before (and imagine I’ll be saying quite a bit), let me think about this some more.

    1. Thanks for the link, Stan. I’ll definitely take a look at it.

      I also have at least one response to my latest posting if you’re interested in what others are thinking.

  10. I AGREE WITH STAN AS TO long distance romance / commitment as i am in NOW! It is difficult, but Not impossible —however i am saying that with MANY years of common habitat. For first love, that could / would be VERY difficult.

    As to Lane –I realize that from the background / location of your previous great stories that you MUST have MUCH experience and knowledge and real love for Washington D,C. and it’s baseball team. A love I do NOT have with just a small amount of “real life” experience in that city and surrounds — but to each his own! With this background, i might suggest that Lane consider NOT going to the US capital, but try a position in a small college in a RURAL town!; perhaps close to Paul. I do agree with this “coupling” and hope you continue it — of course I EXPECT “happy” ending to stories I read or I am sorely disappointed. What is “wrong” with “placing” your story; part 2, in a rural setting. I suspect that you have had some contact with lif outside of a metropolitan area and so think that you could “pull it off”. Even in the 70’s, they were those of us who chose and or had to live in rural areas of the nation and like Bruce (even as a teacher and in a Catholic school) were gay and very closeted, but NOT without outlets and love! Why NOT explore something like this in your part two –even if it is a “side trip” to detail future plans for Bruce — as it is “hell” to be in a rural area without similar minded people and a companion / partner!

    I realize that this “LOCATION” is out of your most of your previous stories, but could you be comfortable with this venue?

    I also agree with a previous commentator that if Lane does go to D.C., that it would be very interesting to include and tie in the “two faced” “activities” of J.Edgar!

    At any rate, THANKS MUCH for all of your previous stories.

    1. Thanks for the comments, Cowpuncher. I found them helpful.

      In addition to Homo!, which I’m still pondering, I’ve been trying to do some writing now that I have some time away from posting a story. I’m pretty close to finishing up Chapter 1 of another semi-political story set in Washington. It starts with the death of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Where it will go from there, if anywhere, remains to be seen, but I do like this first chapter very much.

      Of course I’ve liked many a first chapter since I began writing so don’t go by that 🙂

      I’m pretty good at churning out first chapters, but usually my interest fades pretty quickly. We’ll see about this latest one.

      I’ve actually thought about a Part II for First Love, First Time based on Bruce. I think he has the most potential in some ways to be an interesting character and to have a compelling story to tell.

      I just don’t know if I have a good feel for the problems and issues gay men might encounter in a somewhat rural area. Without that I might end up floundering. Then, too, I probably need some time away from my latest story. Sometimes it get stale for a writer if you try to mine the same territory too much. But we’ll see.

      I’m surprised at just how much of a nerve J. Edgar Hoover seems to arouse with older men. I don’t really know whether he was gay and closeted and that could make writing about the man a bit dicey. I’d have to do a lot more research on him and I’m not sure whether he’s worth the effort.

      In any event, thanks again for the comments. I’m off now to do some more writing.

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