Tales from Bentonville
By David Lee
Copyright © 2005, 2016
Copyright © 2005, 2016
School resumed as usual the following morning, though anyone who felt too traumatized to return so soon automatically received an excused absence. The board of education had met the night before and had voted to keep things as normal as possible. Well, it wasn't exactly as usual. Instead of homeroom, there was another assembly. Several people from the community came to talk to the kids and offer support to those who needed it.
Among them was Lori Evans (Albers). She said she would remain at school to visit privately with anyone who wanted to talk. She also gave out links for websites to visit and a hot-line number kids could use anytime, day or night. Other counselors that she knew from the university had volunteered to help. There were enough of them to meet with all of the kids who needed their services.
Classes were shortened accordingly and the day seemed to fly by. In the afternoon, there was a major track event which also helped distract young minds and burn off excess energy. Dane and Colt participated, but didn't place high enough to go to the state meet.
Other spring sports and music concerts continued on schedule. Banquets to honor the participants in second-semester sports were not canceled either. For the most part, life in Bentonville went along at its usual pace for the next week.
One thing was out of the ordinary. Some late spring mushroom hunters found an overturned car down in a ravine. Inside were two badly decomposed bodies. Given the registration of the vehicle and other personal effects, the bodies were identified as those of the Tracewell's. John and Dan's missing parents had been found.
The sheriff's department speculated that the couple had been caught in the tornado and tried to outrun it. Evidently, their car had been blown off of the road. There were no skid marks to indicate that they had applied the brakes. The car must have been airborne when it left the road because it had cleared the guardrail without even denting it. The accident was a mystery which would never be explained completely. The Tracewell boys wondered if their parents had been drunk and simply missed the curve in the road.
Neither young man knew how he should feel about it. Their mother and father had abandoned them emotionally some years ago. And, they hadn't had any contact with the boys since the hearing about Dan's guardianship. It didn't seem like a time for tears. Those had been shed or choked back many times in the past.
The boys did not have a funeral or a visitation, much to the dismay of their parents' drinking buddies. They had the bodies cremated and buried the ashes inside of one of Lottie's ceramic pots. She had suggested that some kind of ritual would help bring them closure. So, afterward, they sat in the sunlit widow's watch talking to Darrin, Cory, and Charlotte about the early days. Lottie encouraged them to write down the stories of family life before booze had become their parents' major hobby.
"It will help you put this into perspective," she maintained. "It's good to dwell on the pleasant things and let the others go."
The Sunday before prom was Mothers' Day. After church, John, Darrin, and Dan took Miss Charlotte and Emma out to a fancy restaurant in Cosgrove. Luckily, they had made reservations well in advance. The place was very busy, but it was the kind of establishment where people were allowed to dine at leisure in a quiet atmosphere despite the hoards who wanted seating.
The ladies walked in proudly wearing the orchid corsages the boys had pinned on them in the morning. They felt like grandmothers to these kids. Lottie's grandchildren lived far away and seemed to be too busy to visit Bentonville as adults, though they had seen her in Arizona on several occasions not long ago. Emma and her late husband had never had children of their own. She was especially pleased to be treated like a grandmother. It made her feel like part of a real family, as if she wouldn't have to grow old and die alone.
The lunch was exquisite. Darrin spared no expense. He made sure the ladies were given the special menus which didn't show the prices. Lottie suspected what he was doing, but didn't open her mouth about the cost because she knew the boys wanted to do this. It wouldn't be right for her to prevent them from being generous. So, she had the prime rib, medium rare and a glass of good red wine to complement it.
Prom was held just before graduation. The affair had been postponed because of the storm's destruction and the gun incident at school. It was kind of a non-event for the kids that Dane and Colt hung with because it involved upper-classmen and not them. They assumed many of their friends wouldn't attend when they were seniors because of their orientations. Small towns probably wouldn't smile on two guys attending as a couple. Therefore, John had no reason to go this year because he didn't want to rock the boat by showing up with Darrin on his arm. He wasn't about to ask a girl despite the fact that Darrin had said it wouldn't bother him if he did.
Graduation wasn't a big occasion for the boys either. They did attend the ceremony to support John. It wasn't surprising to see all of their gay friends there for similar reasons. John smiled in the realization that he had gone from being an unpopular loner to the position of a guy who had a group of real friends. It wasn't like he was suddenly a school idol, but he definitely had people whom he could count on. They were guys who knew most of his secrets and liked him anyway.
The post-graduation party at Lottie's big house was a hit. More people came that afternoon than John had ever imagined would show up for him. Darrin had purchased a basketball hoop (the portable kind) to set at the end of the drive. He had also set up a volleyball net in the spacious backyard and a number of youths were taking advantage of both.
During the early stage of the party, Darrin was busy slicing and serving slabs of medium rare roast beef that he was cooking to perfection on two grills. The succulent meat went on croissants which had been split in two. There were several kinds of sauce available to use on them. This was a much higher form of cuisine than the usual Bentonville fare. Most people served cold cuts and cheese to put on hamburger buns.
Lottie had paid for excellent cuts of meat. She had also, with Emma's help, created a huge amount of homemade potato salad, three-bean salad, and baked beans, as well as mounds of fresh veggies for those watching their calories. There were gallons of ice tea and lemonade. Several coolers were kept supplied with cold pop. Nothing was too good for her "adopted grandson."
The centerpiece of the affair was a tier of decorated cupcakes under a sign of congratulations. Miss Charlotte had seen something on the Oprah Show that said this was the new rage for parties and she wanted John's to be first-rate. She and Emma had spent weeks decorating them, so they looked like works of art. Her large freezer had been full to overflowing.
In the off chance that it might rain during the party, all of the food was placed on long tables set up in Lottie's immaculately kept garage. There were a few rented dining tables and chairs in the garage also, but the majority had been placed outside under a dining fly. Most people chose to sit outside in the gentle warm breeze of late May.
Joel, Alex, Dane, Colt, Trevor, Sara, Jerry, and Carrie all came about the same time, and all stayed until nearly the end. They enjoyed each other's company and some games of volleyball and basketball. This was the only party most of them attended that year because they didn't have much connection with other seniors.
When the party was winding down and other guests were leaving, John asked Alex, Joel, Dane, and Colton to stay later because he wanted to talk to them. He did this when there weren't others around to overhear it. So, in the late afternoon, his gay schoolmates were still present.
"I'm going to begin the paramedic course at Cosgrove Community College early in June. I'll be staying here and commuting. If you guys decide to start something like a gay/lesbian alliance group or anything next year, I'll be happy to help. I think something like that would not only help curb bullying, but could save some kids from drugs or worse. I'm not sure if I would have admitted to being gay and joined or not, but it might have changed my life."
Then John realized Cory and Dan were standing within earshot. He had thought they were still playing some one-on-one down on the driveway.
"Shit! I've outed you guys without intending to. I know those two can be trusted."
Darrin winced and John blushed.
"I'm sorry. I'm trying to watch my language in public. Darrin is trying to make a gentleman out of me without resorting to washing my mouth out with soap."
"Maybe he'll tie you to the bed for punishment," Alex grinned.
"Ooh, I think I'll say some more objectionable words!" John said with a leer. "But really, I'm sorry for opening my big mouth at the wrong time."
"We're out already," Joel smiled. "Remember, we did it in a big way at the dance."
"Yeah, we're not, but it's okay," Dane said. "And I'm not really afraid to be."
"Neither am I." Colt chimed in. "Hey Dan and Cory, come over here and meet two more queers!"
Dan and Cory came jogging over closer. They had overheard the earlier exchanges, but had been trying not to. They assured Dane and Colt that they were okay with the "gay thing" and then went back around the corner of the house. They returned a couple of minutes later walking hand in hand.
"As long as everyone is admitting things in this group, I guess we had better fess up too." Dan giggled. "We aren't ready to come out at school just yet, but we have to tell someone and I guess we can trust you guys as much as anyone we know."
"We weren't sure until about a week ago." Cory added. "We probably wouldn't know yet if we hadn't kissed. Dan, the man, is really good at it!"
The rest of the guys grinned at the two blushing basketball players. They did make a very cute couple. Now that they were out to Dan's brother and a select group of friends, they could hardly keep their hands off of each other. It reminded Dane and Colt of their freshman year when they first kissed in the locker room.
"Get a room!" Colt snickered.
"We've got one," Cory responded. "In fact, we can make out here or at my place, but we have to be very careful at home because I'm not out to my mom and brother. Please don't tell anyone."
"Don't worry; we're good at keeping secrets. Hey, we're planning an all-guy week at Camelot this summer and you guys should come!" Dane suggested.
The guys, other than Joel and Alex, asked about what, and where, Camelot was. They thought that spending time in each other's company would be great. Cory and Dan got wide-eyed at the possibility of running around naked for days at a stretch. It made them a little nervous despite the fact they had been in many locker rooms and knew from those experiences that they held their own in the category of genital endowment.
"I'm going to be too busy with work and school to take you up on a week's stay, but maybe I could go for a weekend," John said.
"Me too, until break time," Joel added.
"What are you talking about?" Alex asked. "School's over in a few days."
"I've been working something out, and I was going to tell you tonight." Joel sighed. "I wanted you to be the first to know. If I take American Government classes and a language arts course at Cosgrove Community this summer, I'll have enough credits to graduate early. We can get out of here the same year and go to college together: that is, if you want to."
"Oh, Baby, of course I want to! I've been trying to figure out how I could take a year at Cosgrove Community and commute so I wouldn't have to be away from you. I've been so afraid that someone else would try to steal you if I went off to college and left you here."
"More like some hot university stud would try to bed you down in the dorm," Joel ventured.
"I wouldn't be unfaithful to you," Alex assured him.
"You two are going to need a room, next," Dan laughed. "I could let you have mine for a slight charge."
It was getting toward the dinner hour and Darrin could count on the fact that teens would be hungry again. He invited the other boys to stay to help eat leftovers if they called their parents first. All were granted permission.
Their friendship grew a lot that evening as they pitched in to help Darrin straighten up the garage and yard. It was amazing to Colton and Dane to watch Alex and John get along and actually enjoy each other. Who would have thought this could be a possibility given the animosity between them in the first term? Of course, who would have thought Dane and Joel would become friends after the impetuous thing Joel had done to Colton in the bathroom in the fall?
Darkness was closing in on Sunday evening as the kids went to their homes. Joel and Alex volunteered to drop Cory home on their way so Darrin or John wouldn't have to make an extra trip. Dan really wanted to sleep with his boyfriend that night, but he knew it was pointless to ask with final exams coming up soon. There would be plenty of opportunity in the coming summer days.
Most of the following week was devoted to reviewing for, and taking, final exams. There was one baseball game that some of the students attended, but not much else went on.
Dane and Colt asked Greta if they could have some guys at the cottage for the first days of summer freedom. She agreed to it as long as they promised not to have any drugs or hard liquor for it. The boys kind of rolled their eyes in response. They knew they were both tamer than their fathers had been. They'd heard about some of the parties.
Then, she handed each of them a plastic bag and told them that it was a belated birthday gift.
"Grandma, you gave us more than enough for our birthdays. We know you put in a chunk on the car. You really shouldn't do more." Colton was quick to say.
"These are practical and I didn't spend all that much because I got a package rate for the whole family. This way we can stay in touch. And, who knows, it might just pull you out of a bad spot sometime."
Inside the sacks were cell phones. Greta had taken advantage of a new calling plan which allowed family members to call each other without being charged for air time. She got everyone in the extended family to join with her so that the kids could contact their parents no matter where they were. The boys were delighted, of course. The phones had lots of features including a camera.
When the last final was over at noon on Friday, Dane and Colt packed up the Camry with food and supplies and headed for Camelot. Joel was bringing Alex, Cory and Dan about an hour later. Darrin and John would arrive after dinner in the evening. Dave and Dustin were scheduled to come sometime in between.
By the time the first four guests pulled up to the gate, Dane and Colton had everything squared away and were dressed in the skimpy bathing suits from their Mexican trip. They were getting ready to launch the boat when they heard the distinctive sound of the Cayenne's horn. Dane pushed the remote button to open the gates.
Dan and Cory tumbled out of the back seat whistling at their nearly-naked hosts.
"That's pretty hot, but I thought we were going naked for a few days," Dan snickered.
Colt promptly bent over and mooned him. That brought howls and catcalls.
"For the sake of the old people who have cabins up here, we have to have on something when we take the boat out," Dane laughed. "The sight of that much prime meat would probably give them all heart attacks."
Since the boys had all eaten on the way, they were eager to get changed into swimsuits and take the boat out as soon as possible. After Joel and Alex put on their equally scandalous apparel, Cory and Dan felt positively overdressed.
"We're going to have to get something sexy to wear if we hang around these guys very much," Cory ventured. "Where do you find them? J.C. Penney's certainly doesn't carry stuff like this."
"My dad's partner ordered these on line from www.moda-audaci.com. We gave the address to Dave a couple of weeks ago so he and Dustin could get something 'fitting' for the occasion too. We didn't know you two were gay at the time or we would have told you." Colton informed him.
"Whoa, this is more info than I can handle at once," Cory exclaimed. "Your dad is gay and has a partner? They bought you these sexy little pieces of Lycra and Spandex and allowed you to wear them in public?"
"Yes to all of that," Colt grinned. "Dad's partner is really a very nice guy and he thought we should all show off our 'Johnson hardware' when we went to Mexico after Christmas. They looked pretty hot in their suits too."
"Shit! You're gonna make me cream my board shorts if you don't stop talking like that."
"You should visit the website. There are some pretty hunky-looking studs modeling these. That is, if you don't mind looking at guys in their 20's and 30's." Dane giggled. "We need to talk Grandma into getting wireless out here so we can use the laptop to share some of this stuff with you guys."
"Anyway," he continued. "I'll stay here to let Dave and Dustin in if the rest of you want to take a spin around the lake."
Shortly after he had made the offer, he saw Dustin's pickup pulling up to the gate. A few minutes later, the newest arrivals were dressed in skimpy suits and ready to enjoy the lake.
Fortunately, the boat was rated for nine passengers so all who were there at this time could go together. When John and Darrin arrived, they couldn't all go at once, but that wasn't going to be a problem. With that many guys, there would be plenty of other things to do.
Colt piloted the craft around the lake skillfully making sure he didn't raise too much of a wake around where people were fishing from their docks. He got out to a spot which was less populated and opened the engine up. The boat shot forward with ease despite the number of passengers. Of course, none was overweight and the inboard motor was a powerful one.
After the initial ride, the boys wanted to try waterskiing. Alex and Joel were accomplished at the sport; Dane and Colt were able to get up because DJ had taught them the initial steps. However, they were still a little shaky on the water and took spills more often.
The other boys had never even tried to water ski, but being pretty strong and active, they all managed to get up and out of the water for at least a few hundred yards before it was time to quit and prepare dinner. Dustin and Cory were the last to get the hang of it, but were thrilled when they did. All of the guys whooped and hollered to cheer them when they finally got up. Cory was elated that his arms were strong enough to take the workout.
Everyone, but Joel and Alex felt drained by all of the exertion. So, the two of them fired up the grill and took care of cooking the burgers. Dane and Colton had prepared some other things ahead at home, so there wasn't much else to do other than to set the table, set out some salads and chips, and pour something to drink.
Joel had smuggled in a bottle of wine which he shared with everyone. He said it was for celebrating the fact that all the guys could now water ski. The Johnson boys figured since Greta had specified that they have no hard liquor, she probably wouldn't spaz over a glass of wine.
"So, you wouldn't have opened it if Cory or Dustin hadn't gotten the hang of it?" Dane chuckled.
"Well, then it would have been a consolation drink in their honor," Joel grinned.
There wasn't enough wine for more than a small glass apiece, so no one got silly. They did feel kind of mellow by the time dinner was ready.
Since May nights can still get chilly and the boys didn't want to put on lots of clothes, they built a fire in the downstairs fireplace. The whole cottage was comfortably warm by the time a horn blast signaled the arrival of the final two guests.
Darrin actually blushed when he entered the living room. The sight of so many nearly naked teens made his cock twitch. He hadn't expected this. Dane sensed the young man's discomfort and offered to have the guys put on shorts.
"No, that's okay. I don't mind seeing this much skin, but I don't want anyone to think I'm messing with under-age guys. It could cost me my job!"
"We'll be good and we won't do anything that will worry you," Dane assured him.
When it came time for sleeping, Dane put John and Darrin in one of the private downstairs rooms. He put Cory and Dan in another one nearby. Dave and Dustin shared a bed in the loft. Alex and Joel shared another. Dane and Colton had the third. They pulled the panels in place to give each couple some sense of privacy. However, they had all been together having sex in daylight before, so there was no embarrassment about overhearing the low moans and sighs which emanated from each section of the loft. In fact, those sounds heightened everyone's pleasure. It was rather like making love with the soundtrack of a porn movie playing in the background. Needless to say, no one held out too long.
Dave and Dustin were probably hungrier for this than any of the other boys. Given the chilly atmosphere created by Dustin's mother, the guys had to be especially circumspect at his house. She had set strict rules about sleepovers, to the point of not allowing Dustin to go to Dave's more than once a month until Gary, his dad, had intervened. Even getting permission to come for a few days at the cottage had been difficult. Gary had let his wife assume the boys would have no chance to engage in sexual contact because they'd be in the company of a bunch of other, straight, boys. He had been unable to look at Dustin when he told her that because he was afraid they'd both break out laughing.
Dave and Dustin began by kissing passionately. They were like two people who had been stranded in the desert for days without food and water. Their French-kissing along with rubbing their bodies together had caused them to cum in the sexy swimsuits they still had on.
"Damn, I'd better put these to soak in the sink or they might get stained," Dave snickered.
He returned, naked from the bathroom a couple of minutes later and resumed kissing his boyfriend again. This time, it was gentler and not so urgent. They explored every square inch of each other's body with their hands, tongues, and lips. In half an hour, they were steely-hard and ready for more action.
They assumed the 69 position on their left sides and began to suck gently, but firmly. Dave opened up his throat and took Dustin to the pubes. Dustin gave a big moan accompanied by a shudder. Dave couldn't smile fully with that monster buried in his esophagus, but he experienced the joy of giving intense pleasure to his partner.
Dustin responded by taking all of Dave's more modest cock deeply too. His nose was nudging between Dave's big balls, massaging them gently with each thrust. Both were in heaven. It was great that the first orgasm had been achieved quickly because it allowed them to work up slowly and sensuously to the second one. When it eventually happened, it was no less intense than the first. If there was less cum, no one noticed or complained.
Eventually, all of the guys settled down into very deep sleep patterns. Many of the stresses of the end of the year were easing away in this setting. Camelot was aptly named.
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