I leave a note on Mike Sr.’s desk saying we need to get the studio recording done as soon as possible. I know not to call his office for a while. After all the tumult of the past few days, I decide that the False Gods group deserves Sorrento’s. I call Mom/Susan to let her know I’m not going to be home for dinner. I also tell her that my friend Jack is sleeping over. So many bases to cover just to feel like an honest kid again.
Sorrento’s is great. We toke up and drink beer, extolling their many virtues. With our new protest cred we discuss what Bob Dylan songs to perform. I remind them that we’re no longer a cover band and can use Dylan for sit-ins only. I get booed down. Flo sits on the other side of Jack with me, teasing him when she discovers he is already wearing my underwear. He is more relaxed with her as she insists on giving them a ceremonial snap. I realize she is prepping him, when Edi and her change places after returning from their lady’s room for note comparisons. I pay more attention to Flo. Jack slowly gets to know Edi. She has to pull information out of him, which I make sure to listen to. I let Flo fiddle with my clothes. I need to relax after so many goings-on. Jack tells Edi that he has older brothers and sisters. He’s called his parent’s November Mistake. They are already grandparents. They let him do pretty much what he wants, mostly going to museums and listening to music, which has never been a problem. He has a couple of close friends whom he describes as nerds and fag hags. “No one knows he’s gay,” Edi says, “Except for about twenty people in this group, now.”
He gives her a beatific smile, which makes me chuckle, until I see Jace studying the whole situation.
I need to gather intelligence from Flo about Edi’s current feelings. Jace’s 16th birthday orgy is coming up. Jace strokes Edi’s nappy hair which makes her shiver, meaning she still has feelings for him. We walk a fine line. When it comes time to pay, I say we’re on the owner’s tab. I still leave a big tip.
Hippie drives us all home. Jack sits in my lap. I have an arm around Flo and Edi. Everyone notes when Jack gets out with me. Hippie wants to know if Jack is coming to the next dinner with his moms. Jack looks at me for confirmation.
“Please say we’ll both be there, if that’s okay.”
Hippie has no problem with gay issues, as long as it doesn’t involve him.
Once we get upstairs, Jace starts pulling Jack’s clothes off, which Jack does to me, even popping the buttons on my jeans. It is a full-on three-way until everyone collapse from exhaustion.
In the morning, Jack says he felt me inside him all night. Sweet dreams. I tell him to call his folks to say where he is, which he does. After that he calls his nerd friend and proceeds to detail how he’s lost his virginity. He gets ready to dial again, but all the sex talk has made me hard. I whistle and he comes running.
Jace watches and signs, “Bravo,” and snuggles up to me. I go back to sleep. We’re twenty minutes late for English. Everyone cheers when we walk in, especially for Jack who is walks a little stiff. Mr. Clark just shakes his head, but also smiles. He’s our fag hag.
At Nutrition many black students come up to the Out Crowd table and express appreciation for the new openness and increased bus service. Some athletic looking girls look uncomfortable at how possessively Jack holds on to me. Other black girls are all interested in Jack, asking him about his role as Queen of the Fairies; then they start to giggle so much that they can’t say any more. I ask if they’ll help with the unity dance that the school promised. They completely pick up the ball, promising to get a dance committee together with an equal number of white, Hispanic and black kids. One of the black girls shyly asks if our band will play live, instead of a DJ with recorded music. Robby and I say we’ll talk about it. The Out-Crowd offshoot plays the Motown style that’s best for dancing. We’re working on our concert debut opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd. “Ew, they suck,” the girls say, looking at us as if we’re rednecks.
“Hard not to be a southern rock band in Florida.”
“Not if you’re black,” they observe.
“Well, we’ll do something about that,” I promise. “We do Michael Jackson in our shows.”
“Oh, Michael,” they coo.
Robby and I get up and sing ‘ABC.’
Soon the whole quad is singing and dancing. AP Spencer shows up to shoo us back to class. When he sees Robby and me leading the group, he looks disgusted and walks away. Robby is king of the school. I remember an English lesson on Greek hubris and worry. I’m not about to rain on anyone’s parade. Jack and I have different classes for the rest of the day. Robby doesn’t want to ditch when he’s just been crowned king shit. Jack joins me for lunch as our merged group now has a regular table. Mr. Clark comes by and says we all need to make the first afternoon rehearsal. A school photographer is coming by to take cast pictures.
“Full makeup and dress?” Jack asks in bated breath.
At final bell, I run home and get the Love jeans and ruffled shirt Joey bought me. I return just in time for the photos.
“Can’t you be Titania, just for the photos?” Robby whines.
“I’m a minstrel,” I declare, standing barefooted in my elf outfit.
“Fine. I just wanted you in a dress, like all the other girls.”
“Ew,” they all go. The butch stage crew is laughing and pointing.
Robby positions Jack in the middle of the Queen’s fairies, primping the wig and adjusting his dress, Jack is oblivious to Robby’s flirting. He smiles and winks at me.
“Get over here at Titania’s feet so it looks like you’re wooing her with a song,” he orders.
I hook up the SG and lay at the throne, playing eerie stage music while everyone else is arranged for the photos. After the main shoot is done, I move into the corner and continue playing the music we plan for the show. Robby continues to primp Jack, getting him in all the shots since he is now the show’s star. The boy playing King Oberon is hardly in any shots. Finally, they have the whole class line up including the butch stage crew. He positions all the boys in dresses to look as pretty as possible. All the boyish crew frown and look tough. He and Mr. Clark stand in the middle. Robby has Jack on his arm. That’s the extent of rehearsal. We’re all dismissed. Grant is told to practice as the Indian Changeling with Titania. Robby stays to direct them.
By the time I get to Michael’s, the Out-Crowd is going through their set of dance/pop songs. There are lots of errors, which mostly came from John on guitar. Stu, Tim and Jenna are standing around while he tries over and over to play the notes properly. He looks so relieved to see me. I haven’t paid him much attention since Jack showed up.
“You need to stop thinking about what notes to play. All those sessions at Spec’s trying to learn through sheet music were a waste of time. Stop looking at your fingers. Close your eyes and play what’s in your mind.” Jace positions himself behind John and takes over his hands. He feels what is happening, sighs and starts playing the lead intro for the Monkees theme song.
The rest of the band jumps in and everything clicks.
Then my mind snaps. Where are Robby and Jack? Why didn’t I wait for them? Why was Robby flirting with Jack? What would Robby do?
I instantly know. I sign to Jace to stay with John. He’s glad to but signs back ‘Why?”
I just shrug him off and run out of the music room. I have my bike which I throw down in Robby’s back yard. His window is locked and I hear mumbling and protests. I run around to the front door and burst into Robby’s room.
Jack is backed into the corner of Robby’s bed. “What the fuck, you asshole,” I scream at Robby. Jack has thrown his feet up to protect himself. A naked Robby has thrown Jack’s legs over his shoulders He has Jack in a strangle hold with one hand and is holding his dick in the other. Jack looks mortified when he sees me.
I throw Robby off the bed and onto the ground. I pick him up and give him a forearm blow to his shoulder. Down he goes again. I pick him up the second time and scream into his face, “What the fuck, you asshole.” I punch him in the stomach and slam his Adams apple with my forearm again. He goes down, unable to breathe, gasping and choking. I hold him down with my foot.
“You’re out of the band. I never want to see you again. I want to kill you right here and now. If you tell anyone I will testify that you forcibly raped Mary last Halloween.”
He keeps gasping, finally barely uttering, “It’s my band.”
I kick him in the nuts. As he screams, I tell him, “If I ever see you again I will kill you.” Then I kick him in the stomach.
Jack is in shock. I grab his clothes and pull him off the bed. He clutches me, unable to form words and staring at me in fear. We march out of the house, as Robby’s mom stares at us in terror. “Your son is a child rapist.” I yell at her.
I drag Jack upstairs. I insanely fuck him for thirty minutes without any intention of stopping. Finally, I start to cry. I just hold him, his legs wrapped around my waist and arms around my neck, with his eyes shut and sobbing. I thought I was so over this. Where is Jace? I left him with John and the Out-Crowd. I imagine them enjoying playing the pop songs he loves, while I break our sex pact at this very minute. I can’t stop crying as I lay on top of Jack, once I’m finished fucking him.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” he cries. “I didn’t understand why he was being so nice to me. When we went to smoke a joint, he attacked me and pulled my jeans down. I tried to fight him with my feet. He pushed them into the air and was about to fuck me. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry you saw it. You hate me, I know it.”
“Shut up. Does it look like I hate you. I fucked you because I love you, to make you know that this was not your doing or your fault. Robby was raping you. You want him to go to jail, I will call the cops.”
“No. No. Please don’t tell anyone. I’ll die. They’ll blame me for acting like a girl.”
“Okay, we can do it later. Do you want to be a girl?”
“I want to be the boy you love.”
“Boys don’t cry. You can fuck me for as long as you want later tonight, but we have to go back to practice. You don’t want me to tell. And I don’t want you to tell anyone.”
The look he gives me shows I have really scared him. He’s afraid of me. I start crying again. If Jace were here, he’d stop all the sentimental crap. Well, the fucking wasn’t crap. I kinda enjoyed beating the crap out of Robby. One look at Jack makes my heart break. Jace and I fucked the shit out of him since he’s came out as gay. Welcome to the club. Now he sees what sex is without love. It scares him.
“Come sit in my window in my arms. The band can wait (what do I tell Jace about our sex pact?).” He cuddles in my arms, sniffling.
“I fucked you as hard as Robby would have raped you but I did it for love. Now you know I won’t let anyone else touch you (well, maybe girls). I want you and I will protect you with my life. Robby wanted to violate you. He’s not even gay. He uses sex to get power over people. He even does it to adults, like Mr. Clark.”
Jack’s eyes are wide with terror. Does he understanding?
“I fucked you to show I love you. Can you tell the difference?”
“I knew the moment he started to take my jeans off that he meant to hurt me. I was afraid of him.”
“That’s why it’s rape, regardless of our age. Don’t leave me again. The minute I saw you hadn’t returned from school I realized what Robby was doing. Luckily, I was in time to stop him. This isn’t about you. It’s about him and me. He wanted to hurt me through you. If he hasn’t learned his lesson, I will kill him.”
The fear returns to his eyes. He pulls me even closer and closes his eyes, sensing all the emotions boiling inside me. He starts purring like a cat. Now I feel like a hero and scratch him behind his ears. My heart rate goes down.
Soon Jace appears, at least to me. I keep rocking Jack who is barely awake.
Jace signs, “What happened? You left and now it looks like you’ve broken our sex pact.”
“You’re not mad?”
“Just a little jealous for missing out. Let’s both fuck him in a 3-way.”
“I caught Robby trying to rape him. He’s pretty traumatized.”
“So a little sympathy sex.”
“Just come over and cover both of us up in the window.”
He settles by my left knee and wraps his arms around Jack.
“So what did Robby say?”
“Nothing. I beat the crap out of him. I knocked him down three times, put my foot on his neck and kicked him out of the band. Then I kicked him in the nuts and stomach, came back here and fucked the shit out of Jack.”
“Is Jack sorry he screwed up?”
“I showed him the difference between being violated and being loved. He got the message.”
“For thirty minutes? That’s you guys’ first time, you know.”
“Naw, maybe if Edi stops loving me for him.”
“A bit soon with girls for him.”
“Maybe we’ve found our first naturally gay person. Felix and Phillip and all that rough trade at the Eros Lounge, they don’t know how to love anyone but themselves.”
“You’re a hater now?”
“Naw, I know there’s no room for haters in your heart.”
I kiss him and Jack looks up. “What are you doing.”
“Oh, were you signing too. Is he mad we had rough sex?”
“We had a pact not to do that alone. Tonight’s the first time I violated that.”
“Is he mad?”
“No, just sorry that you got violated by Robby. The rough sex part turns him on.”
“I like Jace. Can I kiss him too. That’s what you were doing, right?”
Jace bends over and kisses deeply into his mouth as Jack responds with his eyes shut. Now I finally understand why people shut their eyes. Searching for their perfect lover.
“I think Jace likes me,” he responds and hugs me. “Well, let’s get in bed. You promised I was going to fuck you for the first time tonight.”
All’s fair in love and war. Also, I was a little drained from the fight. It’s worth it
Robby’s sick the next morning. Mr. Clark asks me to work on the dance steps. I switch the music to throw in a little Nutcracker’s ‘March of the Unknown Toy Soldier’
and The Mikado’s Yum Yum Entrance. The boys prance around. The girls shout hoots and lewd remarks at them.
At band practice, everyone wonders where Robby is, as he’s our only source of weed. I give Iggy twenty bucks. He says to forget it and pulls out an oz. Finally I tell them I kicked Robby’s ass and he’s out of the band. I say it was none of their business why. No one complains as everyone has been the butt of his control games. Michael winks at me, “Finally grew a pair?” he asks. He’s just like his dad. I love his straight ass. Our rehearsal is pretty dispirited. No Michael and Robby bickering. The fear of no pot dealer. They finally ask me what happened.
“I threw him on the ground, then picked him up and hit him in chest and he went down again. Picked him up, hit him in the stomach and a forearm to his Adams apple. Kept him down with my foot to his neck. Told him I’d kill him if I saw him again. Kicked him in the balls and then in the stomach. I walked out and told his mother to call the medics.”
“Okay,” they all say. seeming distressed. Maybe we shouldn’t celebrate at Sorrento’s on this development. They all look scared of me. I’m glad. Jack, though, has his hero-worship eyes on me. My Queen Titania. I calm down enough to worry that I had been so rough with him the first time we really had penetrative sex. He has to be sore but is putting on a positive face. John seems to be the one who connects the dots. When we start going over additional verses for ‘Look before You Leap,’ I have to play guitar and let go of Jack. John has been sitting with me (and Jace). He puts his arm around Jack who looks lost when I stop holding him. John is still in Junior High. Jack is more on his level emotionally. The attempted rape is way beyond his ability to cope. His resilience level is more on a par with a Dungeons & Dragon’s penalty, than being stripped and forcefully fucked for thirty minutes thinking it’s his own fault for getting into the situation. I’m pleased that John is ready to reach out. I suggest at the end of rehearsal that Stu, Mike Jr., John and Jack all come with me to Sorrento’s. I call Mom Watt who agrees to meet us there. No pot or beer for this group. We all cheer when she shows up.
“Sit and have a famous Miami slice,” I request, suddenly aware I’ve been ordering everyone around. In a quieter voice, “Meet Jack; he’s my new boyfriend.”
Jack blanches at being outed to a parent, but Mom puts him into a big hug to welcome him. Of course, Jack starts to sob.
“He’s had a kinda hard day, so we thought pizza and some mom might help.”
“Yay, Mom,” all the boys shout. Jack perks up.
Stu asks, “Is Jack my new brother?”
“Of course, any boyfriend of mine is part of the family.”
“I’m your brother, too,” says John to Jack.
Mike Jr. looks left out.
“Can best friends be family, too?” he asks Stu.
“Sure,” he answers. The two of them start wrestling at the table.
“Calm down, boys,” Mrs. Watt orders.
Everyone, including me, says, “Yes, Mom.”
Everyone is laughing. We don’t need the pot and beer. I feel twelve again. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, not a bad thing when you have just tried to kill your best friend.
Mrs. Watt smiles at me when she notes that Jack gets out at my house. Once upstairs and sitting in our window, he asks me how many brothers I have.
“No brothers by blood, but it started with Stu. He was my first friend when I came to Miami. I liked him being a pest. His real brother Scott fought with me until we became boyfriends, so we told Stu that I’m another older brother and their mom told me to call her Mom, too. Scott and I broke up. Jace escaped the bullying at his house and moved in with me and after a month or so we became boyfriends. Mrs. Watt told Jace to call her Mom, and Stu adopted him as another brother. When Jace was killed by his older step-brother, John was taken away from his own family and went to live with the Watt’s. Stu adopted John because Jace was their mutual brother.”
“So, there’s you, Stu, John and now me?”
“Don’t forget Jace.”
Jack is suddenly sad and hugs me. “I wish I had known him.”
“You do know him. He’s your guardian angel.”
“I don’t believe in heaven or hell.”
“You can believe in Jace. He’s always with me. That’s why Robby could attack you when we were separated.”
“So, it was Jace who tried to kill Robby?” he looks hopeful that I can’t be so mean. “No, I have a bad temper when it comes to Robby. Sorry, but I don’t love him like I love you.”
“You love me?” he looks stunned.
“Of course, dumb shit. Do you think I would have tried to kill my best friend if I didn’t love you?”
“I would never hurt you.”
“That means I’ll love you even more, as I get to know you better .”
“It’s just a big crush right now.”
“Exactly. I’ve been crushing on you for so long but was afraid to let you know. Then I got high and couldn’t help myself.”
“You weren’t subtle. I had to throw you over my shoulder and drag you home to bed”
“And you fucked me all night long.”
“No. You dreamed that part.”
“And in the shower?”
“No. Your imagination got you off while you blew me.”
He looks confused. “What about last night?”
“First time. Not exactly gentle and loving.”
“I don’t want to be taken gently. You’re hot blooded. That really turns me on.“
“How’s your butt feel about it?”
“I don’t care. Love should hurt.”
“You’re crazy. The hurt comes after the love is gone.”
I run my thumb across his butt crack and he winces.
“Com’n,” and I drag him into the bathroom with a tub. We get into a steaming bath. He relaxes into my arms and I massage his butt until it relaxes completely. Several farts bubble up, making us giggle.
Susan hear us and asks why I’m taking a bath.
“Hard days work, Mom. We need to relax.
“Someone’s with you?”
Oops. “Yeah. You haven’t met Jack. We’ll come down once we’re done.”
Jack tenses up again. “Let’s just see how it goes. Maybe I won’t have to sneak you in like I had to do with Scott and Jace. The worst that can happen is we’ll have to sneak around.”
Jace is sitting, facing us in the bath, with the steam rising through his ethereal body and his hands jacking Jack.
“Can we take care of this before getting out,” as Jack shows me his hard-on.
Once done, he is half-asleep in my arms.
“No sleeping in the bathtub,” as I raise him out of the water.
While dressing, I ask, “You haven’t been lying to me about your parents. They’re okay with you staying over?”
“They’re used to it. All those D&D marathons.”
“Will they tell Susan and my dad that.”
“Sure. Do I have to tell my parents you’re my boyfriend?”
“How old are they?”
“Jesus. They’ll have heart attacks. Just let them meet me first.”
“Okay. We’ll meet yours now. Can I say you’re my boyfriend?”
“If they ask, don’t lie. Best to be yourself and know that they like the real you, not some fake chump who’s trying to impress them by lying. Dad has a big bull shit detector.”
“Will he give me a lie detector test?”
“No, it’s like gaydar with us. He just knows when someone is trying to pull the wool over his eyes. Don’t lie.”
“Okay. You’re making me nervous.”
I kiss him and he smiles.