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SUMMARY: What if you were homosexual but refused to admit it to anyone, especially yourself? The year is 1971 and fourteen year old Jimmy Barnes has discovered growing up in a small town can be boring in a way not even the solitary masturbation sessions he enjoys so much can relieve. When his best friend takes a job at the local newspaper, Jimmy finds himself on his own for the summer. What follows is a decade long saga with numerous twists and turns, a tale that’ll reveal the best and the worst of the nineteen-seventies and beyond.
WARNING: This story is a work of adult fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Unless otherwise noted, all of the characters in the story are fictional; any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. While some of the places described or mentioned in the story are fictional as well, others may be real. However, some liberties may have been taken with the truth to enhance the story. Please note that the story may describe, depict or otherwise include graphic portrayals of relationships between men and/or adolescent boys that are homosexual in nature. If you do not like For approve of such discussions or it is 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.
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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.
While Bobbie headed off to change, I was led back to the main level and then into a large room filled with books, magazines and newspapers.
Two couches and a pair of chairs, all of them leather, helped fill the space, but it was a mahogany desk and high-backed chair in the very center that anchored the room. The desk itself was massive, larger than any I had ever seen.
It was neater than most desks as well; nothing was out of place. That made me wonder whether it was there for decorative purposes only.
With nothing better to do, I paced back and forth. Talking to Bobbie had succeeded in calming me down. He had seemed completely normal when we talked at the pool. It was as if nothing at all had happened. But now, alone and with more time to think, I found myself becoming agitated again.
This is all Charles’ fault, I recall thinking.
Bobbie isn’t really like that. There’s nothing wrong with Bobbie; nothing at all. He’s incredibly masculine, not some wannabe girl.
He’d never do something like that if it wasn’t for Charles.
Just thinking about it made me angry.
Within a couple of minutes Bobbie arrived. He was wearing an English style navy blue blazer over a light blue shirt that was open at the collar and matched with a pair of khaki pants that looked pretty expensive.
What I later learned was a three point pocket square added a dash of color to the outfit, calling your attention to his chest and shoulders in the process.
Seeing him dressed like that, I remember feeling self-conscious. My clothes looked shabby by comparison, but he didn’t seem to notice or care.
“What do you think of this room?” he asked, smiling at me.
“If you like to read, I guess this is the room for it,” I responded.
“Charles likes me to spend some time reading in here every day, especially the newspapers,” Bobbie said. “He likes to discuss the events of the day over dinner with me, at least when he’s here.”
“I’m not into reading that much,” I replied. “My friend Jeff usually fills me in on the latest news when he gets home from work in the evening.”
“Did you like my fashion show today?” Bobbie asked abruptly, suddenly changing subjects on me.
Not wanting to hurt his feelings, I tried to parry the question.
“It was confusing to me; not what I was expecting. I don’t know how I felt about it. I guess maybe I’m just not into fashion very much.”
“I heard you didn’t like it at all,” Bobbie said. “If you didn’t, you should say so. I won’t hold it against you. I like people who’re honest with me.”
“Like I said, it was confusing,” I replied again, uncertain how honest to be.
“What was confusing about it?” Bobbie asked, pressing the point.
“I don’t know,” I said, shrugging my shoulders. “Except for this one older drag queen I met at the Hide and Seek, I’ve never seen a guy wearing female clothing before. It seems kind of weird.”
“Not that you didn’t look good,” I added, trying not to offend him. “You did; heck, that stuff you were wearing at the end — the panties, bra and the rest of it — looked better on you than any of the stuff my girlfriends used to wear.”
“I certainly hope so,” Bobbie said, grinning. “All those things came directly from Paris. They’re the latest in high fashion. I’d be disappointed if your girlfriends wore nicer stuff. But you still haven’t explained why you found it confusing. I put extra effort into that show knowing you’d be here.”
“Why?” I asked, confused. “Why would my being here make any difference?”
“Because unlike the rest of the boys, Eric told me you’re interested in girls,” he responded. “He said you had a couple of girlfriends back home in North Adams and that intrigued me. I was interested in seeing how you would like me as a girl; how I compared to your former girlfriends.”
“But from what you just told me, I guess I didn’t compare very well,” he added.
“No,” I responded, trying to reassure him. “You looked terrific. Honestly, you looked prettier than any of them and the things you wore were nicer as well. It’s just that, um . . .”
Stopping myself, I wondered whether I should say what I was thinking.
“It’s just what?” Bobbie asked. “And by the way, thanks; I appreciate the compliment, especially coming from you. To me, that’s the real test of how well I look dressed up as a girl; whether someone masculine like you thinks I look good.”
Hearing Bobbie say that put me at ease so I blurted out what I’d been thinking.
“It was confusing because I don’t know whether you look better as a girl or a boy,” I replied. “I know that sounds stupid, but it’s the truth and sometimes the truth can be confusing; at least to me.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” he said. “If you can’t decide, I guess that means you like me either way and that’s good. I want you to like me because I like you.”
“Thanks,” I replied, relieved I hadn’t offended him but also surprised Bobbie had said he liked me.
As much as I was attracted to him, I didn’t have a clue what he really thought about me up until then.
“I do like you, Bobbie,” I replied. “I like you a lot. It’s just that I don’t understand why someone as masculine as you would dress up like that.”
“Not that there’s anything wrong with it,” I added. “I mean, Eric explained the whole thing to me after the show; how Charles makes you wear those things. So I understand better now; although it doesn’t seem very nice of your friend to make you dress up like that if you don’t want to.”
“He doesn’t make me do it,” Bobbie said. “I do it partly because I like exploring my sexuality, but also because Charles likes seeing me dressed up that way at times. Not all the time, of course; when we’re out and about or traveling on business, he likes me to dress like this. Casual preppy is what they call it.”
“But in the bedroom he likes me to wear pretty things, frilly things, so that’s what I do because it makes him happy. Where’s the harm in that, Jimmy? Haven’t you ever done something just to make someone happy; or had someone do something to make you happy?”
“Sure,” I replied. “But I don’t think I would do something like that for another guy; wear panties and a bra and that kind of stuff.”
“Why not?” Bobbie challenged.
By now I was uncomfortable being interrogated about something I wanted to forget.
“I guess because it would make me feel less masculine somehow; weird even,” I replied. “God made boys and girls different. That’s why they wear different clothing.”
“And that’s the other thing, Bobbie,” I added, warming to the topic. “It’s one thing to do something like that in front of your, uh . . . your friend; I guess I can understand that. But why would you do something like that in front of the rest of the boys. They were hooting and hollering at you for crying out loud. Why would you deliberately embarrass yourself like that?”
“I did it because they are my friends,” he replied, calmly. “When we’re in town I usually have the boys I know from Capitol Hill out here a couple of times a year. Most of the time we live in New York, but when we’re in Washington I like to get together with the friends I had before meeting Charles.”
“They love coming here because they know they’ll get a good meal and have a great time,” he continued.
“Right now they’re down in the game room on the lower level. They’re playing with all the stuff we have and having tons of fun in the process. In a couple of minutes they’ll switch to the pool and the exercise room, both of which they like using. This place is a terrific escape for them. They love coming out here and I love having them.”
“But sometimes they get a little jealous. Not a lot, but sometimes they ask themselves why they couldn’t have been the one Charles chose rather than me. I mean, it’s hard to blame them for that. All you have to do is walk around this place or any of our other places to see how fantastic they are.”
“I put on the fashion show for them as a reminder that nothing comes without paying a price. They get to see some of the things I wear to make Charles happy; and every one of them can relate to that because they have to do stuff themselves to keep their daddies happy.”
“Hooting and hollering at me for wearing dresses and lingerie? They’re not trying to make me feel bad. It’s just their way of showing I’m no different than them; and it makes them feel better about themselves because none of them have to do something like that for their daddies.”
“They can go back to Washington after having some fun here feeling better about what they don’t have to do.”
I was surprised to hear that. I don’t know why, but it made me admire Bobbie more that he was willing to let himself be humiliated to make the other boys feel better about themselves.
“Let me ask you something,” he said. “Do I look like a girl to you?”
“No,” I replied; “at least not now. You look normal enough; just like me and the rest of the boys, only better.”
“What do you mean; better?” he asked.
“Better dressed, better looking, whatever; the point is you look totally butch now, but you looked like a girl before at the fashion show.”
“And what’s wrong with that?’
“I don’t know,” I said, shaking my head. “Maybe you’re right; maybe there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just that . . . .”
“It’s just what?” Bobbie asked, pressing still harder.
“It’s just that my best friend growing up told me a long time ago that homos liked to dress up as girls. His name was Tommy and we used to joke about that all the time. Not in a mean way, a cruel way, but we joked about it; boys dressing up like girls and how weird that would be.”
“And now there you were dressed up like a girl and I was actually attracted to you. I mean, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I actually got stiff looking at you. I don’t know why, but I did and that’s pretty confusing to me.”
“I see,” he responded. “Thanks for telling me that. You know, Jimmy, sometimes people have to confront the thing that scares them the most to overcome the fear that paralyses them.”
“What does that mean?” I asked, confused.
“Think about it,” he replied. “Think about what you’re afraid of.”
“I’m not afraid of anything,” I said.
“Sure you are,” Jimmy responded; “and I know exactly what. I used to be scared of the very same thing. All I’ll say is this; being afraid is nothing to be ashamed about. The question is whether you want to spend your whole life living in fear; if not, you need to come to grips with what scares you. If you do, you’ll find out it isn’t so scary after all.”
I wasn’t sure I understood what Bobbie was getting at, but I was relieved when he changed the subject to something less serious.
“Would you like to go down to the game room with me?” he asked. “The other boys have left by now and I think you’ll like it.”
“Sure,” I responded.
So that’s what we did. We visited the game room together. Like everything else in the mansion, it was unbelievable. In addition to a large billiards table, there were a ton of other things; ping pong and air hockey tables and a lot of machine games like the kind they had at the Hide and Seek.
The two of us must have spent more than an hour there checking everything out. It was fun playing with Bobbie and by the time we left I was feeling better about things.
Returning to the other side of the lower level, we walked by the pool.
“Are you sure I can’t persuade you to go swimming with me?” he asked. “I love swimming.”
Hearing him say that reminded me I loved swimming as well.
“Oh, hell, why not?” I said, pushing open the door and entering the place. “But this is going to be embarrassing for me; damn embarrassing.”
“Why?” he replied, confused.
Pulling off my shirt, I unbuckled my pants and quickly stripped them off.
Bobbie’s eyes widened as he spotted the g-string, but he didn’t laugh like I thought he would.
“Wow, you look great in that thing, Jimmy,” he said. “I’m glad I gave it to you; and thank you for wearing it today.”
“You mean you don’t consider me a complete doofus for wearing it here?” I responded.
“Why would I think that?” he said. “You look hot in it; volcanic actually.”
“I don’t know. If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have worn it because the darn thing doesn’t provide very much support. But wearing it made me feel closer to you for some reason; and I guess I admire you, Bobbie. I don’t know why exactly, but I do. I like you a lot. I wish I didn’t totally embarrass myself whenever I’m around you.”
“You don’t,” he replied.
As Bobbie stripped down, I jumped into the pool. He quickly followed me in. Diving below the water, I checked him out.
Thank God, I said to myself, relieved. He isn’t bigger than me. We’re the same.
Once that little inspection was finished, we started horsing around in the water; splashing each other, trying to see which of us could hold our breath underwater the longest; all the things Tommy and I used to love doing when we were kids.
It made me happy being so carefree again.
Later I challenged Bobbie to a race to the other end of the pool. From what I could tell I led most of the way until a final kick allowed him to catch up with me. It wasn’t clear which of us had won and that made me happy as well.
I don’t how long we spent in the pool that afternoon, but it was Bobbie who finally reminded me what time it was.
“We should probably dry off now,” he said. “I understand you need to get back to town to make dinner for your friend. I’ve got the limo waiting for you.”
Reluctant to leave, I was surprised at just how quickly the afternoon had passed. It had been fun. Even the fashion show seemed less threatening now.
Bobbie’s right. It was actually kind of a hoot to see him dressed up like that; and he looked good in that stuff, too, Jimmy. Admit it; you were attracted to him.
What’s the big deal? It’s not like Bobbie’s weird or anything. He’s totally hot. But more than just being hot, he’s fun to be around.
“Uh, well, thanks for inviting me, Bobbie,” I said after we finished drying off and were dressed. “I had a really good time; and, uh, I’m sorry if I said or did anything to upset you. I didn’t mean too. It’s just that, uh, well . . . it’s just that I’m still getting used to all this stuff. Being from a small town, it’s new to me.”
“Yeah, I understand,” he replied. “Sometimes things can seem scary or weird when they’re new or different, but just relax. All of us went through the same thing and we’re here for you, Jimmy; at least I’m here for you.”
“You’re welcome here anytime,” he added, handing me a small card with his name and telephone number printed on it. “Just give me a call. I’m looking forward to seeing you again.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I’ll try not to make a pest of myself. I know you have lots of friends.”
“I want you to pester me,” Bobbie replied, looking directly into my eyes. “I may have friends, but living with Charles can be lonely at times given how busy he is. Like everyone else, I could use a best friend. If you’re interested, that is.”
I couldn’t believe he had said that.
Me? Bobbie’s best friend?
“Of course you probably won’t have time for that now,” he added.
“What do you mean?” I asked, confused.
“I suspect you’ll be getting an invitation to the join the club next week,” Bobbie said. “And once you’re a club member you’ll be spending all your free time with one of the other boys; whoever the luck of the draw decides, not someone you choose.”
I hadn’t thought about that, but realized immediately Bobbie was right and suddenly felt panicked.
“Unless . . .”
“Unless what?” I asked, interrupting.
“I mean, it’s probably not something you’d want to do, but I suppose you could ask to be an honorary member,” Bobbie suggested; “at least for a few months until Charles and I go back to New York. If you were an honorary member like Del used to be, you wouldn’t have to participate in the weekly drawing.“
“That would leave more time for the two of us to spend together. Assuming you’re interested in doing that, of course. I’ll understand if you’re not.“
“No, I’m interested,” I said. “I’m definitely interested. I mean, I know what it’s like not to have a best friend and I’d love to be yours. I just don’t know what I’d say if someone asked why I only wanted to be an honorary member.”
“Why don’t you leave that to Eric and me,” Bobbie responded. “You don’t have to worry about it. I think we can work that out.”
“Thanks,” I said, relieved.
I can’t believe this, I said to myself. This is perfect; exactly what I want.
Lots of new friends, but all my free time with Bobbie.
What more could I ask for? It’s perfect.
After that Bobbie and I went back upstairs. I started to walk toward the door where the chauffeur was waiting, then turned around.
“Could I ask something else?” I said.
“Of course,” he replied.
“What’s the story with Del? I mean, when I drew the short straw on Tuesday, everyone gasped as if I was about to die; and then you stepped in and offered to let Del choose between the two of us. When Del picked you, they gasped again. I don’t understand what that’s all about.”
“It’s a long story,” Bobbie replied, smiling.
Then, suddenly, he burst out giggling.
“Sorry,” he said, seeing me looking at him strangely. “That probably wasn’t the best choice of words. Let’s just say Del has a rather large, uh . . . a rather large appendage. It’s quite long, actually, and quite thick as well.”
“The reason he’s only been an honorary member of the club up until now is because none of the boys were ever willing to bottom for him. Truth be told, no one has ever bottomed for Del and that’s been a frustrating experience for him.”
“It’s a shame really. He’s very nice and everyone loves sucking his cock, of course; at least as long as he doesn’t try to push it in too deep, which he never does. But, like I said, no one wants to try letting him fuck them.”
“That’s why everyone gasped when you drew the short straw. They figured Del would ask you to do that and they didn’t know what to think. Everyone wants Del to top someone, but no one is willing to volunteer for the task and they were concerned for you. That’s all.”
“So why did you step in?” I asked, surprised.
“Because Eric told me you’re a top, not a bottom; I figured things might not go well for that reason. Knowing how much you wanted to be part of the club and how much Del likes me as well, I figured I’d volunteer to take your place as his friend for the week.”
All of this came as a shock. The idea of letting myself be fucked was hard enough to deal with; letting someone like Del do it was even scarier.
“Did you . . . did you . . . .”
“Did I take care of the problem?” Bobbie asked. “I did. That’s all you need to know.”
I remember being stunned.
“Uh, well, I don’t know what to say,” I replied. “Thank you for getting me off the hook. I hope you didn’t have to do anything . . . uh . . . anything, you know, painful.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Bobbie said, smiling. “I never do anything painful. Let’s just say I found someone willing to help Del out with his problem, someone who likes me a lot. Both of them have promised to support your membership in the club so I don’t think you’ll have any problem with that.”
I remember wondering who it might be, but decided not to ask. Then it dawned on me.
No, I said to myself, shaking my head in disbelief.
It can’t be. I know he said he’d do anything for Bobbie, but he’s smaller than any of us.
“In any event, you should be on your way, Jimmy,” Bobbie added, ushering me out the door. “You’ll end up stuck in traffic if you don’t leave now.”
The drive back into town proved uneventful, but gave me time to think about everything that had happened that day.
I looked at the card Bobbie had given me with his name and telephone number on it.
Classy, I thought, totally classy; unlike you, Jimmy.
I wasn’t proud of myself.
Face it, doofus; you’re way too judgmental. You were upset with Bobbie for dressing up like a girl because you think it’s wrong somehow; not masculine.
But why is it wrong? Why does everyone have to be exactly the same? If God wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made us the same.
I wasn’t a religious person, but for some reason my thoughts turned to God on the drive home.
I didn’t know anything about God except what the priests and nuns had taught me in Sunday school, which was funny because they taught it on Saturday, not Sunday; at least that’s the way they did it in North Adams.
To be honest, I had never spent much time thinking about the stuff they had taught me. God was for people way smarter than me and mostly I just memorized what they wanted me to learn so I could repeat it back to them when they asked.
If I had asked, I was pretty certain the priests and nuns would have told me that dressing up like a girl when you were a boy was wrong. That having sex with a boy was wrong if you were boy; that having sex with anyone you weren’t married to for that matter was wrong.
But how do they know what God wants?
God made Jeff too. He made Bobbie. He made Eric, Del, Ryan and all the rest of the boys I want to be friends with.
Why did He make them gay? They don’t have any control over who they’re attracted to. Neither do I for that matter.
Just thinking that surprised me. It was more thinking than I had done in a long time, but I was pretty sure I was right.
I mean, the priests and nuns told you God is perfect, Jimmy. If God’s perfect, He doesn’t make mistakes. He wanted people like Jeff, Bobbie and Eric to be gay; and if that’s the case, people need to stop hating on them. There’s nothing wrong with being gay or bisexual; nothing right with being heterosexual.
It all depends on how you look at things and how you treat people. It’s all part of the plan; and while you’re too stupid to understand the whole plan, you should know enough by now to stop being so judgmental.
You need to grow up, Jimmy. You’re living in a big city now, not some small, boring, town in the boondocks. People in a city like Washington are a lot smarter than you, a lot smarter than people back in North Adams. Like Jeff’s always saying, they’re more sophisticated, more cosmopolitan. They’re not narrow-minded and bigoted.
You can keep living in the past or you can try to grow up and see the good in people. Being gay isn’t the end of the world. Civilization isn’t going to collapse because someone dresses up like a girl.
The point is, everyone’s different, including you, Jimmy. That’s a good thing, something to be happy about, not something to get your panties all in a bunch about.
The next thing I knew I was giggling hysterically.
Boy, if Tommy could see you now, he’d be proud of you for using your head to figure that out, Jimmy.
Yeah, he would. Maybe I should try thinking more often.
I thought about that for a moment.
Nah, probably not, I concluded. That’s enough thinking for one day. Thinking too much can give you a headache.
But I felt good, smarter somehow. There was no denying it; just like there was no denying I liked Bobbie as well.
Slipping his card into my pants, I remember thinking I liked him a lot.