Castle Roland

The Concord

by Sequoyah


Chapter 11

Posted: N/A

ASP The Concord Five--Michael

When I got home Friday, Mom said, "A bit late today, aren't you?".

"Yea, I took Mary Kathryn home to get her things to take to the Greywolfs' and spent some time with them. I realized, when I was there, I seldom see Greywolf and Yong Jin except at school. I need to do something about that."

"I suspect they will appreciate it. I know when David and I speak to them, they really miss Matt but also having the house full of kids. I miss Matt and Luke as well. Sure wish I could make the party but I'm having a coming-out party of my own before too long," she laughed.

I went upstairs and started working on Monday's assignments. I had an essay due the following week and was having trouble getting started on it. I looked at the notes I had taken on 'The Scarlet Letter'. The essay had to be about some aspect of the novel. I finally gave up, picked up the phone and called the Greywolfs'. Yong Jin answered. "Yong Jin, I am having a real struggle with the Scarlet Letter essay. Think I might come over, rather than Mary Kathryn coming here, and sit down with you a while this evening?"

"I think so. I'm pretty well caught up with grading. Come over for supper if you like."

"Thanks, Yong Jin. I'll check with Mom and call you right back."

Mom said she thought it was a good idea. "I know they will enjoy having you and Mary Kathryn."

"Well, I know I said something about needing to see them. And having supper is a social call, I guess, but this isn't just a social call. I really need help with my essay. I usually knock off an essay in no time but, for some reason or other, I can't get started on this one." I called Yong Jin and told her I'd be there for supper, and asked her to tell Mary Kathryn. Having put the essay off until later, I tackled AP American history. I had finished with both when I heard Dad arrive. I went downstairs as he came in the kitchen. "How was your day, Dad?" I asked.

"Not sure you want to know," he said. "I planned to get home earlier but we got a call just as I was getting ready to leave. It was a real mess. Two cars full of Independence students were, I'm sure, drag racing on the other side of town. They were side-by-side when they topped a hill and the one in the wrong lane did a head-on with a tractor-trailer rig. There were six kids in the car. Three were killed outright, three are in critical condition--two of whom, I think, will not make it. The motor was driven into the car and crushed the three in the front seat. Plus they didn't have their seatbelts fastened, so they were thrown forward as well. Two of those in the back seat didn't have their seatbelts fastened either. One was literally thrown from the back seat through the windshield and landed on the front of the eighteen wheeler."

"The one who had on a seatbelt will probably make it. She didn't look too bad, but has a leg that was so crushed she may lose it. I can take just about anything, but when I see kids slaughtered in a foolish accident, it's tough. I always have a moment when I'm afraid it's one of our kids."

"Who were they, Dad?" I asked.

"I don't know. They were so mangled I doubt I would have recognized them had I known them, but I didn't. One of the EMS crew members said the one who may make it was a Leister, but I'm not sure of that. Michael, I know you aren't prone to showing out in a car, but if I ever catch you or anyone with you not wearing a seatbelt, speeding excessively or driving recklessly, it's no car until you are fifty. Especially if you have a car full."

"Dad, I don't think you have to worry about that. The whole gang gets kidded about our driving because we don't show out. Bill's car is a lot hotter than mine, but he's a real stickler about defensive driving. He was in a wreck when he was ten or so and remembers it very well. I suspect this tragedy will make kids a bit more careful when driving--for a week or so. Jonesy has threatened to take away driving privileges from everyone unless scratching off in the parking lot and gunning motors doesn't stop. The student government has really cracked down on showing out in the school parking lot, but that doesn't mean half the guys don't scratch off, burning rubber as soon as they're off school grounds."

"It's such a foolish testosterone thing. Now we'll be having funerals for kids instead of seeing them at homecoming or a school dance. It's such a waste," Mom said.

"Yea," I answered. "Well, I'm off to the Greywolfs'."

"What's the occasion?" Dad asked.

"Yong Jin is going to help me with an essay and she invited me for supper."

"The fact that Mary Kathryn is there has nothing to do with you suddenly needing help with an essay, I suppose," Dad chuckled.

"Well, it might have had something to do with it, but I'm having a real problem with a Scarlet Letter essay."

"That's because the men in it are all weak and rotten," Dad said. "Not a very flattering picture of the male half of the race."

"Wonder if that's why Yong Jin chose it as our second novel of the year? Well, I'll be back later," I said and left for the Greywolfs'. It was nice, if chilly, outside so I walked.

When I reached the Greywolfs', they and Mary Kathryn were in the family room watching a TV newscast about the accident Dad had talked about. I watched as the video showed the car. I was amazed that anyone got out alive. The car was a chunk of twisted metal. Of course, the film had been made long after the accident since the camera crew had to come from Lexington. The next scene was outside the hospital. "As reported earlier, two passengers and the driver were killed outright. Three were reported earlier in critical condition. Since that first report, one of those has died. One remains in very critical condition and the sixth is in critical condition but is maintaining her own, according to doctors. The victims have not been identified since nearest of kin have not, as of this report, been notified."

Greywolf clicked off the TV and said, "I guess there is no way to convince teenagers they are mortal and that the laws of physics have not been repealed. It is really sad."

"The really sad thing is that we all see that mess of twisted metal and hear about the dead and dying, and it impresses us, but for how long?" Mary Kathryn said. "Within the week, kids will be scratching out of the school parking lot, burning rubber."

A few minutes later, we were sitting at the kitchen table having supper when the phone rang. Greywolf answered it and said, "It's Matt". He talked to Matt for a while, then Yong Jin talked to him. When she finished, she handed the phone to me.

"Matt, how's life treating you?"

"Hectic, that's how it's treating me. I'm so covered up with all I'm involved in I really don't get to see Luke as much as I like, and you know that's hectic."

"Not really. You'd have to see Luke 24/7 to see him as much as you'd like."

Matt laughed and said, "You're right of course". We talked about the upcoming party, school, and other things that someone away from home wants to hear. When I finished, he talked to Mary Kathryn, then Luke talked to her.

When she hung up, Mary Kathryn asked, "Did Matt or Luke tell you Luke is singing with a combo? I can't believe it! I knew he had a decent voice, but he has always stopped singing as soon as he thought someone was listening."

"They said nothing about that to me," I replied. "Luke did say something about a combo and they were practicing at the house. That's really funny. I can't see Luke as a rock star."

After we finished dinner, Yong Jin and I sat down to work on my essay. "Dad said I might write about the men in 'The Scarlet Letter'. As he said, they are pretty weak characters. I've been thinking about that. It's pretty obvious Dimsdale and Chillingworth are weak, so obvious that there's nothing to write about. But I like the idea."

"Michael, why do you think 'The Scarlet Letter' is required in the AP American lit class? I mean beyond it being American literature."

I thought about that for a minute or two and finally said, "I don't know, other than the fact that we keep referring to it in AP American history."

"You are on the right track."

"And it makes the characteristics of the Puritans concrete by telling a story. Man, I'm sure glad I didn't live in a Puritan settlement!"

"Why? Why in particular?"

"The religion was oppressive and I think any time religion and government walk hand-in-hand, life gets pretty bad, especially for someone who is outside the religious group."

"Ok, look at the two men now."

"You know, I think I could prove they were weak because of their attachment to Puritanism."

"Go to it and see what you come up with."

Mary Kathryn and I were working at the kitchen table, she on math and I on my essay. After half an hour, I had a thesis: "The two men in Hester's life were weak and ineffectual as a result of their Puritan beliefs." I had also found my supporting materials and written the opening paragraph. "Half your essay is done when you get a good, strong opening paragraph," Yong Jin had said again and again in class. Of course it wasn't literally true, but once I got a good, strong opening paragraph, the rest was easy.

I worked another half hour and had the rest of the essay sketched out. "Mary Kathryn, I need to go home and get this essay finished or close to it." When I leaned over to kiss her goodnight, I whispered, "Leave Matt's window open and a shining knight may show up to make your dreams come true."

Mary Kathryn laughed and whispered, "I hope he doesn't do a pratfall the way he did this afternoon. I'll be waiting," she said.

When I got home, Mom and Dad were in the den. Dad called as I came in the door, "Did you get anything done other than necking?".

"I will have you know, oh strict father, I kissed Mary Kathryn goodnight and, other than that, we did no making out and I got a good start on my essay. Thanks for the suggestion. I couldn't use 'the men are weak' because that is obvious, but it put me on the right track. I'm doing 'Chillingworth and Dimsdale are weak because of their Puritan beliefs'. I have the opening paragraph completed and the balance sketched out. I'm going up and see if I can finish it tonight. It's due next week, but the more I can get done the easier it will be to stay caught up after the Ohio trip." I hugged Dad and kissed Mom on the cheek and went upstairs.

I took a shower--a long one--and used a bit of cologne that I liked and Mary Kathryn was crazy about, put on a robe and worked on the essay. Yong Jin was right: once the opening paragraph is done, the rest is easy. By 10:00 I had a complete rough draft and the first edit done. I did my math assignment and AP chem. I was running out of school work by 11:00. I knew Mom and Dad were in bed and probably asleep, but Yong Jin and Greywolf were night owls. I needed to be very sure they were asleep before Sir Michael gave Lady Mary Kathryn the lovin' she wanted.

I was lying on my bed, listening to some music, when the phone rang. I grabbed it in a hurry, hoping Mom and Dad had not heard it and that they hadn't been awakened by it. "Michael here," I said into the phone.

"Michael, Christopher. Have you heard about the kids who were killed this evening?"

"Yea, Dad was ready to come home when the call came in, and he was on the run to pick them up."

"I talked to Dan a few minutes ago. He was on duty this evening when they brought in the three who were alive. One died shortly after they arrived. The other one in extremely critical condition has since died. Only one is still alive and it looks as if she will make it. What I called about was to ask if you didn't think the school should do something Monday. I think it would help me, and I didn't know any of them, but surely a lot of students did and something would help them as well, I think."

"Good idea, Christopher. I know school counselors will be brought in from the other schools and the peer counselors have done training in grief counseling, so I suspect we will be busy. I'll call Jonesy and get back in touch. I do think it's a very good idea. Glad you thought about it. How's Dan doing these days?"

"He's fine. Working himself to death with school and two jobs. I'm really glad he was invited to the party and can go. He needs a real break."

"I need to remember what all he's doing the next time I complain about not having time to do anything."

"Well, I better get to bed. I'm working at Granddad's place tomorrow after school. Goodnight."

"Goodnight." I hung up the phone and made myself a note to call Jonesy the following day about some kind of memorial service.

I looked at the clock and saw it was 11:30. I was positive Mom and Dad were sound asleep, so I slipped on sweats and, as quietly as possible, went downstairs and out the front door. I almost let the screen door slam, but caught it in the nick of time. There was no moon, but I had made the trip to the Greywolfs' so many times in my sixteen years that I probably could have walked it blindfolded. I checked to make sure there were no lights on in the house and there weren't. I was positive everyone--except maybe Mary Kathryn--was asleep.

As I started up the trellis, I got tickled when the thought occurred that it might as well be called Lover's Lane, since Luke used it often to reach Matt and now I was "traveling the trellis" to my love. I climbed through Matt's window and stole down the hall to the guest room. The door was open and I walked over to the bed. There was no light in the room and I went too far, ran into the bed and fell, sprawling, across the bed and Mary Kathryn.

"I hope you are a very awkward Michael Andrews or we are both in trouble," Mary Kathryn said. "You seem to have developed a very mean, clumsy streak lately. Kicking over kitchen stools and falling into a lady's bed."

"Well, I would have done better if you had left a night light on."

"Didn't see one. But now that you are here, I don't think we need any light."

I got myself straightened out and lay beside Mary Kathryn. She took my face in her hands and kissed me ever so gently. That was the beginning of some very long and increasingly passionate foreplay. It ended, of course, with our making love with no bounds. After experiencing another climax which set off sky rockets in my head, we lay together, our legs entwined, Mary Kathryn's head resting on my chest. We talked of our love, of what having sex meant to us and a lot of what would be nonsense to anyone not in love.

I guess we talked for half an hour before Mary Kathryn reached down, found my cock and stroked it slowly. In about a nanosecond, I was hard and ready for action again. This time the foreplay was shortened and the love-making longer. Finally, my body went rigid, my back arched and I thrust as deep as possible into Mary Kathryn as the sky rockets exploded again. After my climax, we lay together, neither of us speaking. When I had grown completely limp and slipped out of Mary Kathryn, I was pretty near exhausted. Again, Mary Kathryn rested her head on my chest. I was content, happy, relaxed.

The next thing I knew I was waking up. I didn't know how long I had slept or what time it was. Mary Kathryn was asleep, her head on my chest. I shook her gently and when she was awake she asked, "Michael, what time is it? How long have we been asleep?"

"I don't know, Mary Kathryn, but I better get the hell out of here!" I kissed her quickly, felt around until I found my sweats, pulled them on, kissed Mary Kathryn again and rushed out of her room, being as quiet as possible. I climbed through Matt's window and across the roof to the trellis. It was pitch black and I was feeling my way down the trellis. When I thought I had reached the end of the trellis, I turned loose to fall to the ground about six inches below. I was mistaken! I hadn't reached the end of the trellis and fell a couple feet, I guess. When I landed, my ankle turned over and I knew I had done damage when I started walking home.

By the time I got home, sneaked into the house and upstairs to my room, the ankle had started swelling. I debated whether or not to risk waking up Mom and Dad getting an ice pack out of the fridge or just ignore the swelling. I finally decided it was foolish not to ice the ankle, and went downstairs as quietly as possible. I took the ice pack out of the freezer and limped back upstairs. I knew the ankle would still be a problem in the morning even though I used the ice pack. How was I going to explain that to Mom and Dad?

I didn't sleep too much as the ankle was really bothering me and I had to take the ice pack off at regular intervals. Some time later I went back downstairs for a second ice pack and put the thawed one in the freezer. I finally fell asleep and slept for a couple hours without waking up. When I did, I dressed in sweats, took the ice pack downstairs to the freezer and walked out of the house. The ankle was definitely a problem. I saw Mary Kathryn running from the Greywolfs' toward me. I walked to the end of the front walk to meet her. When she arrived, I said, "Don't think I'll be doing any running this morning. I stepped off the trellis last night before I got to the bottom and twisted an ankle."

"Michael, what has gotten into you? You were never this clumsy before. Think you need to cut out sex if it's going to make you a staggering oaf," Mary Kathryn laughed, then said, "Why don't we just forget the run this morning?"

"I want some explanation for the twisted ankle. Let's walk down the road until we are out of sight from my house, sit down, then I'll hobble back, having twisted an ankle."

"Ok, but I think you and I need to do some serious thinking about lying to our parents. They trust us completely and if that trust is broken, it may never be given again."

"In spite of the fact that you are right and I agree, when and where are we going to make love?"

"I really don't know, but have some real guilt feelings about taking advantage of the Greywolfs."

"I can see your point, Mary Kathryn and, to tell the truth, I feel pretty rotten about taking advantage of them as well. At the same time, I don't know how we can be completely above board and have sex."

"I don't have problems not telling everything, but I sure hate to lie. There is too much at stake."

"I hadn't thought about it that way until I got home last night, but I sure felt guilty when I thought about what we had done--I don't mean having sex. I feel absolutely no guilt about that. I mean about taking advantage of the Greywolfs. I won't come creeping into your bed tonight, much as I want to."

"Thanks, Michael," Mary Kathryn said and kissed me gently. "But this time, we'll stretch the truth about your swollen ankle. I think we can go to your place now. Put your arm around my neck and I'll help you, Limpy."

When we walked into the house, Mom was in the kitchen, just making coffee. "Mom, I have twisted an ankle," I said.

"Get an ice pack on it at once," she replied. "Keep it iced for twenty minutes then no ice for twenty. That's about all that can be done. Are you sure it's just a sprain and nothing broken?

"I'm sure. Do you need to look at it?"

"I think I better." Mom looked at the ankle, looked up at me and said, "This doesn't look as if it just happened," she said as she moved my foot around.

"Ouch, damn that hurts."

"Well, I'm sure nothing is broken. Ice it as I told you," she said as she turned my foot loose. I suspected she knew I hadn't turned the ankle this morning, but she said nothing.

I went upstairs, showered, dressed and and called Jonesy. She suggested Bill and I get together with her first thing Monday morning. I hung up then went down to breakfast.

"Your mom says you sprained an ankle this morning," Dad said after greeting me.

"Yea. It's pretty sore too."

"Keep icing it," he said, "and use crutches so you don't make it worse. I guess you won't be doing chores today."

"Not if I have to do much walking."

"I'm sure your mom can find things for you to do which don't require a lot of walking."

Mom did find a lot of little jobs to keep me busy. I finished about mid-afternoon. "Mom, if you are through with me, I think I'll pick up Mary Kathryn and go for a drive. The day is too pretty to stay inside."

"I guess you can get off for good behavior--and I expect the behavior to continue."

"Of course," I replied.

Mary Kathryn and I went for a long drive, going up into the mountains. We found a very secluded spot, spread a blanket and ate a couple apples she had brought. We lay back on the blanket, talking and making out. Finally I said, "Mary Kathryn, this is a very secluded place and nobody is going to see us..."

"You have something in mind?"

"Damn right, Wild Woman, and I will show you if you will save me from walking by bringing a little something from the glove compartment." When she came back she laughed and said, "This one says it's green and mint flavored! You wait until I get that Bill."

"You better go easy or we may be without even a plain, no-color, no-flavor one." We did some passionate making out which included undressing each other. Again, Mary Kathryn kissed the head of my hard cock and then rolled on a bright green condom. When it was on, she took the head in her mouth, licked it with her tongue, looked up at me and said, "It's mint flavored alright."

"I don't give a big fat damn what flavor it is, but I sure dig you licking my cock."

The woods were ablaze with autumn color. A small stream nearby babbled as it made a small waterfall over a stone outcropping. Our love-making fit perfectly its woodland setting. We seemed in harmony with all that was going on around us. Having made beautiful love together, we lay in each other's arms, listening to the sounds of the forest. I didn't know when we slipped off to sleep, but we did. When we awoke, Mary Kathryn made another trip to the Tracker's glove compartment and came back, kissed me and asked, "Would you like to try an orange one?" and laughed.

Having made fantastic love a second time, we relaxed, our legs entwined and Mary Kathryn's head on my chest. As she lay there, she started tracing the scar which covered much of my chest. She looked very pensive. "Why do you do that, Mary Kathryn?"

"It reminds me of how close I came to losing you and reminds me never to let you go."

"I don't think that's something you need worry about, MK. Nothing at all to worry about." She raised her head from my chest, kissed me and said, "I think we better go. I still have a couple things I have to do today, like mow the lawn. It's my job since Luke left."

"Wish you hadn't said that because it reminds me that I need to mow ours. I'm kinda surprised Dad didn't say something to me since I hadn't done it already." I stood and started folding the blanket as Mary Kathryn went to the Tracker and returned with a waste bag.

"I think we best get rid of the love peelings and not trash this place."

The family had referred to condoms as love peelings ever since Dad told a very bad joke about a couple who had gone to a farm to spend their honeymoon. After they had been in their room a couple days, not even coming down for meals, the old farmer knocked on their door and asked if they were all right. The new husband answered, "We're fine". "Don't you need to come down for a meal?" the old farmer asked. "No, we're living on love." To which the old farmer replied, "Well, I wish you'd stopping throwing the love peelings out the window. My chickens are eating them and dying."

We took back roads home, enjoying a perfect October day and the beautiful fall colors in the mountains--well, everywhere. When we got back, I took Mary Kathryn to her place so she could get the mowing done before going to the Greywolfs'. I went home, started the mower, climbed on and began mowing the acre lawn we had.

ASP--The Concord Five--Christopher

I didn't see how it would ever be of any use, but I had taken driver's ed in my old school. I was surprised when Granddad asked me if I could drive. "I've had driver's ed and drove then. I was pretty comfortable driving and got my permit, but after driver's ed I didn't get to use it since the old lady never had a car and wouldn't have let me use it if she had."

"Christopher, I seldom have enough time to drive with you, so there's little I can do to help you get a driver's license. But I hope you can find someone who will go with you while you practice. You'll need to get a permit and then, if you can find a licensed driver to go with you, you can take the car and practice until you are ready to get your license. You do that and I'll be happy to let you use the car anytime I'm not using it."

During our Thursday night phone call, I told Dan what Granddad had said. "I sure would like to drive enough to be ready to get my license," I told him.

"I have a license, for all the good it does me. I'd be happy to drive with you when I have time," he said. "As a matter of fact, I'll have a couple hours free tomorrow afternoon. Like to go get your permit then?"

"Sure. Maybe I can get Granddad to drive me over to pick you up."

"I'm feeling great these days and need the exercise. I'll walk over and be there when you get home from school," Dan said. When I got home from school Friday, he was there. Granddad gave him his car keys and we went to the DMV. There was no-one else waiting for a license or permit, so it only took us about half an hour for me to get my learner's permit.

After getting the permit, Dan said he had almost an hour before he had to go to work. When we got to the car, he said, "I think it best that I drive until we are out of town, then you can take over."

As soon as we were out of town, Dan stopped the car and we exchanged places. It had been so long since I did any driving that I made mistakes, but fortunately the road was empty. I drove for half an hour, then turned around and drove back to town. When we got back to Granddad's place, Dan told me he had four hours free Saturday afternoon and would come by so I could drive some more. Granddad drove him home while I took care of the restaurant.

Dan came by the restaurant at 2:00 Saturday. He said he thought I could drive in town. I drove out of town and headed into the country. I drove on past the Andrews' and some distance further into the October countryside. The day was absolutely spectacular. The sky was unbelievably clear and blue with only a few lazy, fluffy clouds. The trees were all aglow with reds, oranges, russets and yellows. "I am surprised at how warm it is," Dan said. "I know you are used to much colder weather than we have here, but this is unusual for here. What a perfect day!" he said as he clapped me on the shoulder.

We had crossed the river between the Andrews' and Larsens' and we were crossing it again when Dan said, "Turn right on the road coming up shortly. It's just a dirt field road, but it runs along the river a mile or so off the main road." When I had made the turn, Dan laughed and said, "Millie came down this road last spring and, while skipping rocks on the river, fell and broke her hip. I can just see her doing that."

When we reached a place where the road was practically on the river bank, Dan said, "Let's stop here and go down to the river. We should have brought a blanket to sit on, but I guess we can do without."

We walked toward the river and a huge maple tree. I didn't think I had ever seen anything as beautiful as the gnarled old tree, every leaf gold, red or orange. It had already shed a lot of leaves, but was still beautiful. The leaves it had shed could not be missed when I looked at the tree. As we walked under it, Dan bent, swept up a large armful of leaves and tossed them at me. I immediately did the same and soon we were engaged in a leaf fight, laughing and just having fun. Dan finally grabbed me, put me on the ground and started heaping leaves on me. I reached out and grabbed his ankles and pulled him down in the leaves with me. We wrestled around in the leaves for several minutes. Finally, we kinda ran out of steam and Dan got up, extended his hand to me and pulled me to my feet. We walked to the river bank which was covered with leaves from the old maple and sat down, side-by-side.

We both were silent for a good long time, just watching the river. The sun made the ripples in the river flashes of silver and the still water reflected the blue, blue sky. I was so at peace, so very, very much at peace, something I had known only a few times in my seventeen years.



We both spoke at the same and that made us laugh. I loved to hear Dan laugh. He had a very manly laugh, but it was also almost musical. It so matched the sparkling river and the golden day.

"You first..." We both spoke at the same time again and that set off a new round of laughter.

Dan pointed to me, but did not speak. "Dan, you know you said you had the same feeling I had? I mean that something was bugging you, but you didn't know what it was?"

"Sure. Mrs. Cromwell told me I would find out what it was and it would make me very happy. I think about it constantly and the answer still seems just out of reach. I still haven't figured out what it is. Have you?"

We were sitting side-by-side but, before I answered, I moved so I could see his face. I had to see him. I looked into his eyes and suddenly was scared. I didn't answer immediately because my answer... well, it might ruin a good friendship and I had so few friends in my life. Now, when I had good friends and especially Dan, I was terrified I might lose them, but I really wanted to let Dan know what I thought was bugging us. I continued to look into Dan's almost black eyes and, instead of saying anything, reached out, put my hands behind his head and drew him toward me. I looked deep, deep into his beautiful eyes and kissed him. At first it was a very gentle kiss but, before it ended, it was very passionate. When I broke the kiss, I looked into Dan's eyes again and said, "Yes, Dan, I think I have". I waited for his reaction, my heart pounding because he had to know what I meant and I didn't know how he would respond.

Dan had a very startled look on his face and I expected him to tell me to take my queer ass and go to hell. I was frozen, waiting for his reaction. Slowly a huge smile spread across his face and he said, "I think--I hope--you're right, Chris," still smiling. Then he wrapped his arms around me, pulling me close, and his mouth covered mine in a wonderful kiss. He broke the kiss and sat looking into my eyes, a smile still covering what, for me, was the most beautiful face in the world.

As we looked into each other's eyes, Dan said, "Chris, I gradually fell more and more in love with you each time I saw you in the hospital. I thought, the first time I saw you, you had changed from the asshole person I had heard about and he was gone forever. Then, I thought you were dying and any hope I had of you ever learning to love me was vanishing. When you had been snatched from death's jaws by Michael, I didn't think there was any hope for me because of your talk about gays. Yet, in spite of that, every time I was with you I loved you more, and not being loved in return hurt more." Dan then kissed me again. It was a very loving, gentle but passionate kiss.

I felt big tears running down my face. "Dan, I love you so very, very much. I don't deserve your love, but I am soooooo happy that I have it." We were both silent, smiling and exchanging tender kisses.

After a while I felt I had to tell Dan something about myself. "Dan, Michael once told me he thought I protested too much and I must be concerned about my sexuality. He was right, of course, but I had convinced myself I was straight. I guess a part of the reason was what had happened to me. But while I was in the hospital, I worked though a lot of things and that was one of them. The day you lost your balance and fell on my bed and practically on top of me, I wasn't sure whether or not I was gay, but I sure as hell knew I loved you, Dan. I haven't seen the counselor more than a few times, but we talked about me being abused and I told her I thought I was gay, but every time I thought about being gay, I remembered having been raped. I felt I had nothing to offer anyone. I mean I am still frightened of the idea of having sex."

"Chris, you have to know I have the same problem. I realized I was gay a long time ago and wondered why I didn't enjoy having sex with men as McBride forced me to do. I know now that having sex for a video or for money isn't what sex is about. There's no love involved. But there is love here, Chris, and sex can wait until we are ready."

"I am so glad you understand, Dan. But I sure as hell don't have any objection to kisses," I laughed.

"Nor do I!" Dan said and with those words he, again, pulled me to himself for a fantastic, tongue-in-the-mouth, kiss and that certainly wasn't the last one! After some hot kisses, we lay side-by-side, looking into each other's eyes. "Chris, I was so afraid I'd let how I felt about you slip and we wouldn't even be friends. Every time I thought about what you said about gays, I got cold chills. I knew I would live without us being lovers, at least I thought I could, but if I lost your friendship I didn't know what I would do. And every time I saw you or talked to you on the phone, I was praying that I didn't say anything that would tell you how I felt."

"Dan, I not only worried about that, but also had a real struggle with myself. I didn't want to be gay, but every time I thought about you, I realized I was. It took me a while to come to grips with that and I still had to worry about what your reaction would be. I don't know when I might have said something to you had you not said your special friend would be at the Halloween party. I kept trying to figure out who that might be and I kept coming up with the same answer. Keith Lewis and I were the only two not attached. When he told the Fellowship he was gay and of his experience with Rocky, I realized he wasn't your special friend or he would have said so. At least I thought he would have. That's when I decided to let you know how I feel and let the chips fall where they may, even though I was terrified. Damn, I am one lucky guy!" I, once again, covered Dan's lips with mine for a fantastic kiss.

"I'm very glad you decided to let me know because I don't think I would have done it. At least, I don't think I would have been straightforward with it. I guess, sooner or later, I would have made a slip and let you know, but I don't think I would have had the courage to come out with it the way you did."

"Dan, I was scared shitless when I kissed you but I had to do it. I had to let you know how I feel or just dry up and die. Even if you had told me to go to hell, I would have let you know and that was important to me, very important."

We lay side-by-side and talked about who we would tell and who we would not. We talked about what we saw ahead of us now that we had declared our love for each other. We also talked about having sex and, again, both of us said that could wait until we were both really ready. We knew that having sex, even with someone we loved, would bring back some very painful memories we each wanted to forget, but could not. We then talked as lovers talk. Maybe it wouldn't be important or make sense to someone else, but it was very important to us.

After one very long, very passionate kiss, Dan laughed and said, "You'd never know I was afraid of sex if you saw my hard cock!".

"Same here," I laughed. Then I reached down and rubbed Dan's hard cock through his pants. I looked into his eyes, smiled and opened his belt and slid his zipper down. He smiled back and did the same for me. I slipped his pants and boxers down his strong legs and freed his hard cock. He followed suit and soon we each held the other's hard, pulsating cock in his hand. I started stroking Dan's cock slowly, admiring it all the while. He was matching me stroke for stroke. Gradually each of us started moving our hand faster, while gazing into the eyes of our newly announced lover. I was hot and hard before Dan undid my belt, so I knew I could not last long. I knew I was close to going over the edge, but I didn't realize how close. Long before I was ready, I said between clinched teeth, "Dan, I'm..." I didn't get all the words out before I was hit by a climax which took my breath away. I guess my shooting cum over Dan's hand sent him over the edge, because he practically shouted, "Chris, I love you, Babe," as he covered my hand with his seed.

The air was full of the fragrance of our love-making as we lay back on the leaves, our smiles and kisses celebrating our having made love--not as fully as we would one day, but it was special and sealed our love nonetheless. Soon, too soon, Dan said, "I think we better get cleaned up and head back to town". We both slipped our pants and boxers the rest of the way off our legs and walked to the river. Dan had taken a handkerchief from his pants and we used it to clean up. Our love-making may have left us still half-hard, but the river water's chill took care of that!

We went back to where we had left our clothes, got dressed and walked, arm-in-arm, to the car, pausing at least a dozen times to exchange a kiss.

I got in the driver's seat, started the car and managed to turn it around without too much trouble. I drove down the farm road slowly, enjoying the feel of Dan sitting close, his hand resting lightly on my thigh.

"Dan, I know we talked about it some, but I am dying to tell someone about us. What I really mean is I am dying to tell someone about you loving me. Somehow or other, I feel that would make it real. Silly, huh?"

"Tell anyone you want, Chris. It's real to me now and I want the world to know 'I'm in love with a wonderful guy'," Dan sang from South Pacific. I laughed because I had never, ever been so happy.

As we neared the Andrews' place, Dan said, "Michael's mowing his front lawn. I can't think of a better person to be the first to know about us."

"Yes!" I said, and turned into the Andrews' drive when I reached it. Dan and I piled out of Granddad's car and walked toward Michael, who shut off the mower, climbed off of it, got a pair of crutches and limped toward us.

"What's wrong with the foot?" Dan asked.

"A little mishap on the road to love," Michael laughed. "For heaven's sake, don't go blabbing it or Mary Kathryn and I will be in deep doo-doo. I took a misstep climbing down a trellis after visiting her last night. Twisted an ankle. But what's up? I don't know when I have seen bigger smiles on faces. I would guess I am about to hear good news."

"No, not good news," I replied, "great news."

"Let me guess. You two have finally realized what a good part of the world--well at least the important people in Concord--have known for a while. You are in love with each other."

"Boy, you sure know how to take the punch out of an announcement," I said, trying to sound like a spoiled brat.

"Hey, how can it be an announcement when you are the last to know? Come on in the house and we'll see if Mom can't rustle up something to drink and a snack. Aside from the fact that all your friends had this figured out before you two did, who's to know and who's not to know?"

"Good question," Dan said. "We have talked about that and I guess any of our friends can and maybe should know, but the general public? No announcement to them. They'll just have to figure it out."


"Sure. Why not?" Dan said.


"Sure, Michael."

We went inside and Dr. Andrews was in the kitchen. When I saw her I blurted out, "Damn, you're big. Looks like at least twins."

"I thought everyone knew, Christopher. It is twins and they are going to be guests of honor at a coming-out party soon." While she was talking, she prepared a plate of cookies and glasses of lemonade, and put them on the kitchen table where the three of us were sitting. As soon as the cookies and drinks were on the table, she sat down with us. "What have you two been up to this beautiful fall day?" I felt my face get hot and knew I was blushing.

"Look, Christopher has never been around Matt but he has caught the disease," Michael laughed.

"What disease? What have I caught? I think I am well now."

"You have the MGTD--Matthew Greywolf Transmitted Disease--to wit, you blush," Michael laughed. I, of course, turned even redder. "Mom, these two disreputable young men have been out in the country somewhere discovering what all their friends have known for a while now. They are in love. I mean they are in love with each other."

"Is this true? Are you sure? Might it just be a moment's infatuation?" Dr. Andrews asked, but her smile and eyes gave away the fact that she was joking.

"Yes, it's true," Dan said as he leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. "To be honest, I thought Chris was a complete assh..."

"Asshole. Mom has certainly heard that said about Christopher by moi," Michael said. "And I can tell you, Dan, you never knew what a complete asshole he was and could be. Amazing what baptism in cow shit can do for a fellow."

"Michael!" Dr. Andrews said in a very stern voice.

"Not nice, Mom, but very true."

"I'm afraid I would have to agree," I said.

"I'll say 'Amen' to that from what I heard about him from very reliable sources," Dan said, then laughed.

I was blushing like mad when Dr. Andrews said, "Tell us all about this latest romance".

"One time Michael told me he thought I was confused about my sexuality because I protested too much," I said. "And I did. I said awful things about Uncle Michael... I can call him Uncle Michael, can't I?" Dr. Andrews and Michael both nodded, "...and Mr. Stevenson. And about Matt and Luke who I haven't even met. Anyway, while I was in the hospital, I did a lot of thinking about a lot of things, but that wasn't one of them until one day I realised that, gay or not, I was in love with Dan. I was afraid to tell him..."

"Because you were afraid you'd lose a friend. Damn! I think that must be one of the major problems gay men have," Michael said. "Luke almost killed himself over loving Matt and being afraid to tell him. But that's another story."

"I don't know when I first realized I was in love with an ex-asshole," Dan laughed, "but every time I saw Chris in the hospital, I fell deeper in love with him. After he was out, we talked on the phone at least once a day and I found I was looking forward to hearing his voice. His great Greek face filled my dreams--day, night and wet," Dan laughed. I blushed, and Michael and Dr. Andrews laughed loudly.

Dan then told them about his conversation with Mrs. Cromwell and how both of us had the same nagging anxiety lurking just out of of our consciousness. Dan told them why we were out driving, where we had gone, and how I had announced my love for him with a kiss. "So we are a couple of new lovers," Dan said.

"I wish both of you many happy years together," Dr. Andrews said. "I don't have to tell you being gay, if it is known, is not an easy life. I hope and trust that your love for each other will see you through."

"Dr. Andrews, since you are a doctor, we have a real problem maybe you can help us with. I guess you know that gay couples have sex."

"I think I figured that out with Matt and Luke, Eugene and Larry around," she laughed.

"Well, we have a problem. You know how I was abused?" Dan asked. Dr. Andrews nodded. "Well, Chris has also been raped several times."

Michael had told me some time ago it was almost impossible to get his mom really angry, but I watched as her face got white and she said, through clinched teeth, "The bastard that would do that should have it cut off so short he pisses like a woman!"


"I mean it Michael. I really mean it. Sorry I interrupted."

"Do you mean Larry as well?"

"I guess there are exceptions to the rule and Larry has certainly gone through hell because of what he did. But someone raping someone and leaving them feeling abused and violated... yea, cut it off."

"Anyway, we are not ready to have sex even though we really are in love. It's a real problem for us."

"Christopher, are you in counseling? I know Michael said Dan had insisted you see a counselor."

"I started a week ago and it has been a big help. I don't think I would have told Dan otherwise."

"Your counselor can help you work through the emotional and psychological aspects of that. When you are ready, I will be more than happy to talk to you about the physical aspects. That is going to be extremely important for you two. It's important for any gay couple, but what was not a problem for, say, Matt and Luke, could be a major problem for you, calling up very unpleasant memories. So give me a call when you are ready to talk."

"Thanks," both Dan and I said.

"I've got to get out of here. I have night shift at the hospice tonight," Dan said.

"Dan, you have fallen in love with someone who was well on his way to wasting his life. You have been there as well. I admire both of you. And, Dan, I really admire what you are doing at the hospice. Chelsea and Gladys both sing your praises. If they were other people, I might take what they say with a grain of salt, but neither of those two are guilty of false praise. In fact, they are seldom guilty of praise at all," Dr. Andrews said. "By the way, I am deeply honored that you allowed me to be a part of a wonderful afternoon you will always remember."

"Thank you for being here for us, and for the lemonade and cookies. They could be habit-forming," Dan said.

"Yea, thanks much, Dr. Andrews," I said.

As we walked outside--slowly, since Michael was on crutches--I asked, "By the way, I haven't heard. Did Linda's letter work? Is Rachel going next week?"

Michael laughed and said, "Never let it be said that a self-important, self-righteous bigot is not always ready to prove he is superior. The arrogant son of a bitch told Rachel the letter proved he was important at the school and she was fortunate to have him as a guardian. 'My little girl has been selected for an important social studies project,' he told his wife," Michael laughed.

I joined his laughter and Dan looked puzzled. "I'll explain on the way home," I told him.

As Dan and I drove back into town, I told him about Rachel and the letter. "I know Jacob's dad," he said, "and I think his mom must have played around some to get Jacob. His dad is a first-class bigot, among other unpleasant things," Dan said.

When we reached Granddad's place, he offered to drive Dan home since I knew he would be unlikely to make work on time if he had to walk. Unfortunately, I had to take care of the restaurant so I didn't get a goodbye kiss but, as he walked out the door, Dan blew me one which I returned.

Author's Note: With the Concord Five getting ready for a party in Ohio, there will be a change in the usual posting pattern. The next chapter posted will be "The Concord Five, Chapter 12". This will be followed by "The Oberlin Five, Chapter 11". "The Oberlin Five" will then continue the story. Accordingly, "The Concord Five" will be suspended until the Corcord Five return to Concord. In anticipation, the Oberlin Five will be in Concord Thanksgiving and "The Oberlin Five" will be suspended until they return to Ohio.

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