Tim Castle moves to Miami from Anchorage, Alaska in 1973. He grew up a military brat, moving every few years as his dad’s Air Force assignments dictated. He joins the youth swim team at the University of Miami, close to his home in Coral Gables. He’s just turned fifteen. Negotiating teen social cliques proves more complicated than his experiences with military kids. He used to easily make and lose friends as families rotated in and out. His friendship with the Watt family starts off on a sour note. He fights with 15-year-old Scott Watt for calling his ten-year old brother Stu “Stupid.’ This frenemy relationship with Scott eventually reaches a climax when Tim saves Scott’s life during a dangerous night swim in Biscayne Bay. Scott is smitten with Tim’s heroics. He insists on being with Tim 24/7. Scott moves in with Tim. Tim tells Scott about being molested by his 19-year-old cousin the previous summer. He admits to being attracted to the older teen.
The relationship climaxes on the night before the Watts are to leave for their summer vacation. Scott asks Tim to have sex, sparked by gay feelings which he feels are love. Tim impetuously goes on the Watt’s vacation to North Carolina. The two boys have wild adventures with the local good ol’ boys of their own age. It includes stock car racing, running bootleg liquor and several orgies with older women. This AC/DC relationship hit the rocks when Tim’s New York City girlfriend Tina returns. Scott’s jealousy motivates him to consummate his own girlfriend relationship with their mutual friend, Lydia. The live-in arrangement for the two boys ends when Tim goes to NYC to rescue Tina’s brother. That weekend Scott gets caught having sex with Lydia. Tim is so distracted that he injures his back on a trampoline. He is unable to train with the team. The neighborhood pot dealer, Robby, is a peeping tom, exposing the two boys’ relationship as juicy gossip. Tim falls in with Robby’s gang of pot-heads, winning grudging respect for not denying he’s gay. Nightly adventures stoke Tim’s love of risk taking. He burns the candle at both ends for too long, Tim’s athletic career comes crashing down. Scott condemns him for being a loser. Tim turns to Jace, a 15 year-old member of the stoner gang. He allows Jace to hide at his house while guards from a drug program search for him. Tim convinces Jace to stand up to his folks. Jace is saved from drug rehab. Tim’s transformation from jock to stoner is complete when he returns to high school from his sports injury. His swim coach fails to recognize his star swimmer now in stoner garb, slouching through the halls.