Mountain Magic by Sequoyah


Chapter Seventeen


The swim meet got started on time, but our first event wasn't until 10:30 when I was diving. We had only four divers, but we were about equally matched and all better than average. By the time we finished, we had racked up a goodly number of points for our team.


When I came out of the water from my last dive, I saw Jason and Wesley giving me a high sign. Jason was obviously pleased with my performance, but that was to be expected. What surprised me was Wesley, who appeared just as excited as Jason and just as happy.


The rest of the meet went well. The team had talked among ourselves and figured we didn't stand a chance against the three Asheville teams, but thought we might against swimmers from Hendersonville, Marion and

Morganton. We were all surprised, I'm sure, when the meet was over and the winners announced. Both Hank and I got a medal and our team came in third, behind Marion and Morganton. Asheville didn't even place.


After we had dressed, Hank and I went to meet our families in the lobby. Hank's dad said, "Good meet, fellows. Good meet. Now are you ready for a little celebration?"


"Food, I need food," Hank said as he feigned a faint.


"They are expecting us at Gourmet Uptown," Mr. Dennison said. "We've added so many to the two families, I asked for a private room and got it." I hadn't given it any thought, but there were five in the Dennison household and the same in ours now.


After lunch, Granddad and Grandmom said they needed to go to Asheville to do some shopping. Jonathan and Rosemary went back home with the Dennisons and Hank came with the three of us.


When we got to our place, we went upstairs to our den and flopped down. The den was warm because it had warmed up outside since last night and the wind had died down. The upstairs tended to reflect the outside

temperature a great deal more than the rest of the house because the roof wasn't insulated.


As soon as we were comfortable, I said to Wesley, "Ok, out with it. You have gotten off easy to this point, but now I want the story, all of it, Wesley, and I mean ALL of it"


"It's kinda family business," Wesley responded.


I was in no mood to baby him. Sure he was family, but he had been the one who was unhappy about that in the past and now wanted me to take him in without telling me what was going on.


"These guys ARE family, Wesley, a hell of a lot more family than you have ever been. So anything you have to say to me, you say to them."


Wesley hung his head, saying nothing. I could see big tears forming and running down his face. I guess I felt sorry for him, but I meant what I had said. Jason and Hank were a lot more family than Wesley or any other Wilson had ever been. Blood is NOT thicker than water so far as I am concerned!


Wesley finally looked up and said, "You promise you'll not throw me out--at least until I can find a place to live?"


"You heard Granddad. No-one's going to throw you out unless you are hiding from the law or putting the family at risk. Now out with it." I sounded a lot firmer than I felt, but I guess there was at least a little desire for revenge in me.


"I guess I need to go back to the beginning--the very beginning. From kindergarten on, Franklin Ramsey was my best friend. As we grew up, we did everything together. Douglas, remember when I showed you how to jerk off?" Wesley grinned and I blushed and nodded. "Well, Franklin had showed me how long before we could cum, and we jerked off together. After we could cum, we started doing each other."


"When we reached fifteen--about the time I showed you what Franklin and I had been doing--I thought Franklin and I were together forever, not just friends. Then he got himself a girlfriend and soon there was no place for me, well except in his sex life. Then he started doing her and I was pushed

out of his sex life as well. I had no sex life except with myself. I was jealous of his girlfriend and resented her. I missed doing things with Franklin. I found out I liked doing things with a boy--that was one of the reasons I showed you how to jerk off."


Wesley paused, I suppose for dramatic effect, and looked confused. Jason and I looked at each other and Hank said, "And? Get on with the story."


Wesley was surprised, I suspect, at our lack of reaction, looked a bit more confused then, after further hesitation, continued, "You know how the family works, Douglas. When I was sixteen I was introduced to Sharon Randolph and told we would be married as soon as I was out of law school and settled in a good law firm. Yeah, my mother and father had decided I would be a lawyer--I was never asked. Douglas, you escaped the whole 'courtship' business of the 'right' families."


Wesley sighed and said, "So did your mom and, as you know so well, the family never forgave her. Anyway, there were a lot of events, carefully planned by the families. I saw a great deal of Sharon, but was never alone with her for more than ten or fifteen minutes. Everyone is so afraid one of the 'nice young girls' will get pregnant. Of course, most of the 'nice young men' were out fucking 'not-so-nice' young girls.


For 'engaged to be engaged' couples, there are dances, teas, picnics and, of ourse, the debutante ball. I enjoyed being with Sharon most of the time, but I never thought about her as anything more than a fixture for an event--you know, like hot water for a tea party."


"You sure you need to know all this?" Wesley asked. I nodded and he continued, obviously with reluctance. "Sharon's brother, Dwight, was away in England at Oxford the year it was decided she would be my partner for life. Summer, when he came back, there was a welcome home party for him at the country club. I was invited, of course. You need to know that while I wasn't very interested in Sharon or any other girl ..."


Wesley paused, looked up and said, "I was interested in boys--men." Wesley looked around, clearly to see our reaction. I don't know what he thought when there seemed to be none. "When Dwight walked into the room and I saw him the first time, I fell in love with him. Well it was more lust than love, but both were there, I guess. Before the night was over, Dwight and I had found a few minutes away from the party and he asked me what I was doing later. I told him I would have to take Sharon home and nothing after that. 'Meet me at the boat house,' he said and I agreed."


"I took Sharon home, kissed her goodnight and drove out to the lake where the Randolphs had a place. I parked the car at the house, some distance from the landing, and walked down to the boat house. Dwight was waiting for me. 'We have the place to ourselves,' he said. 'Want to go skinny dipping?' I wanted to, but I was afraid as soon as I saw him naked I'd pop a woodie. I needn't have worried. I undressed and, as soon as I was nude,

Dwight looked at me and said, 'Beautiful! Wesley, you're beautiful.' I blushed, looked at him, saw he had a nice woodie and said, 'Not bad yourself, Dwight!' He grabbed my hand and we raced to the end of the dock and dived into the lake."


"We swam for a hour or so then we crawled out of the lake and lay on the dock. I suddenly realized I needed to call my parents or they would start trying to find me and get everyone upset. When I told Dwight, he said we'd go to the house and call. I started to get dressed but Dwight said, 'I told you we have the place to ourselves. There's no reason to get dressed and I like you the way you are.'"


"At the house, I dialed my home and while I was waiting for someone to answer the phone, Dwight was blowing in my ear, nipping at an ear lobe, licking a nipple. When Mother finally answered the phone I almost laughed, thinking about how horrified she would be if she could see me--nude, a throbbing hard-on and streaming precum as a man got me hotter and hotter."


"Finally, Dwight took the phone from my hand and said, 'Mrs. Wilson, this is Dwight Randolph. I really need to get to know Wesley if he's going to be my brother-in-law. I kept on until he agreed to come out to the lake with me. We have just gotten here and have so much to talk about. I think he should spend the night.' I don't know what Mother said, but Dwight said, 'I'll take good care of him, Mrs. Wilson.' Just before he hung up he said, 'Sure, Mrs. Wilson. I'll have him home in time for his dental appointment at 3:00.' As soon as he hung up the phone, Dwight said, 'I have you until we have to leave for your dental appointment at 3:00 tomorrow,' pulled me into his arms and kissed me hard, passionately."


I wondered just what was going on here. Sure, I had told Wesley I wanted the whole story, but he was giving me footnotes with the chapter and verse. I glanced at Jason who was looking puzzled, then got a sly smile on his face. As he did, I became more puzzled and then it hit. Wesley was risking everything to test us. He was finding out quickly whether or not we meant it when we said we would not throw him out. If he was allowed to stay, we could never throw him out later because we hadn't known the whole story. On the one hand, he was really testing us and on the other, making sure we knew just who we were letting into the family. I glanced at Jason again and grinned. I noticed Hank wasn't smiling, but he didn't look like he would strangle Wesley either.


"Dwight kissed me again, said, 'I think we need to celebrate getting away from our scheming parents,' went to the kitchen and came back with two beers. I won't go into the details as I'm sure you're not interested, but that night Dwight and I had sex until we were both exhausted. We fell asleep and woke up midmorning and had sex again before we ate and again after we had breakfast--all of which we did without getting dressed." Wesley laughed and said, "I was sore for a week!"


"That was the beginning of a relationship which, for me at least, was one, not just of lust, but also of love--and for both of us, no doubt about it, great sex. The Randolphs' lake  place was about half-way between my home in Charlotte and Davidson, where Dwight  was a student. As often as possible Dwight and I would meet there and have a night of  love and sex. He often told me he loved me and I was definitely in love with him. Between times of having sex, we talked about our future, our future as a couple."


"Looking back, I realize I did most of the talking, but I was sure we had a future together. The Randolphs had chosen a woman for Dwight to marry, Nancy Edwards, but he wasn't as firmly attached to her--officially--as I was to his sister. Before he went to England, it had been decided that since Dwight was going to be there for a school year and traveling about as a part of his college career, the announcement of his engagement would be postponed."


"Now that he had returned, the announcement was made and, along with it, the date of the wedding. The two would be married when he graduated from Davidson. The families, for reasons I never understood--well maybe I did later, maybe they knew--were in a rush to get on with a wedding even though Dwight still had law school in front of him."


"I had started thinking about the difficulty of getting out of marrying Sharon even though we were only engaged to be engaged. Shortly after Dwight's engagement was announced, I got the brilliant idea of tackling the question sideways. To make a long story short, I asked Dwight how he was going to get out of marrying Nancy since his wedding was now on the near horizon."


"He told me he wasn't. 'I'll marry her and fuck her to produce the two or three required kids. Hell, she's got more money than you can think about. I'll have an easy life. We'll have separate bedrooms and also you and I still have the place at the lake. We'll still get together. I have no intention of giving up the great sex we have. Don't worry about it.'"


"I was hurt because what I thought I had with Dwight, and what I wanted, was love, not just sex. I didn't say anything about my feelings and everything rocked along about as it had before."


"The wedding was scheduled for next summer and Dwight was spending more and more time in social events leading up to that, making preparations for the wedding, getting into law school, etc. We saw very little of each other and, when we did, I saw a change in Dwight. He started drinking more and more. It reached the point where, when we managed to get to the lake, we were lucky if we made love once because he was soon too drunk to get it up and he stayed drunk for the rest of the time we were there."


"When I said something to him about his drinking, he said Nancy was on his back about everything. 'I can't seem to do anything to please the bitch. Because of Nancy's nagging, I have been drinking too much at school and my grades have fallen, so my parents are also on my back. Wesley, I drink to stay sane.' He was hiding in the bottle."


"A few weeks ago he called me and wanted us to meet at the lake. I agreed to meet him, but had decided to tell him I couldn't go on. As much as I loved him, I could no longer live with a few minutes here and there when he could get away and was sober. I had also decided I'd tell him I was no longer willing to live a lie. If he loved me, we could be a couple, but I was not going to be his 'sex on the sly' partner any longer."


"When I arrived, Dwight was waiting for me in the den. I felt my resolve start to weaken and, before I could say anything, Dwight took me in his arms and said, 'Wesley, I want to make love--not just have sex, but really make love to you. I want to let you know just how much I love you. No alcohol, just your love to make me dizzy.' My resolve was completely gone, but that was ok. If Dwight meant what he said, I didn't need to make the speech I had gone over in my mind a thousand times in the past three days."


"Needless to say, we didn't skinny dip or run around outside in the nude, but our clothes were off and we were making love big time five minutes after I arrived. The rest of the evening we spent in making love. Exhausted, we finally fell asleep in each other's arms. It had been a wonderful evening and Dwight had been true to his word. He drank no alcohol."


"It was cold so when he woke up the next morning, Dwight started a fire in the fireplace. When it was roaring, flames leaping high, he came to the bedroom and picked me up and carried me to the den where he put me down on the rug before the fireplace. We were soon making love."


"In the back of my mind I was thinking about us. I thought--I knew--we had a future together. After all, Dwight hadn't had a drink since we arrived and there was definitely more going on than having sex; Dwight was making love to me!"


"Unfortunately we were so involved with each other that we did not hear a car arrive or the door open. You know what happened. The first thing I heard was Nancy shrieking, 'Dwight, you perverted son of a bitch! You're being serviced by a goddamn cock sucker!'


Nancy might have been wrong about the goddamn part and everything else, but about

 Dwight being serviced by a cock sucker, she was dead on target."


"Again, to make the story short, Dwight did some fast talking and came out smelling like a rose. The wedding was still on. The Charlotte pecking order placed the Randolphs at the top, with the Edwards just below and the Wilsons well down the scale. It was soon clear I was to be the scapegoat."


"Clearly, any love Dwight had for me was soon forgotten as he struggled to salvage his privileged lifestyle. There was a series of family meetings--to which I was not invited--of the Randolphs, Edwards and Wilsons. Unfortunately for me, Dwight, the great talker, was in on the meetings and, I heard, made all sorts of statements about me and how I had seduced him while he was drunk. He promised right and left about what he would and would not do in the future and the Edwards accepted him at his word."


"The Edwards are one of those very rich families who are also very religious--I think trying to overcome guilt generated by how they got their money. Anyway, they are extremely right wing politically and religiously. They and their religion had the answer to 'curing me' of my homosexuality."


Wesley looked at us in silence after his statement and, I guess, was surprised that he still had not gotten a rise out of us. "So, how did you end up here?" Jason asked.


"As I said, the Edwards are right wing, evangelical Christians, ready to damn any gay man to hell. Since they and the Randolphs have money and position, what the Edwards said went. 'God can cure Wesley,' they told my parents--by this time Dwight had convinced them he was straight as an arrow or at least would be acting as such which was, to the Edwards and Randolphs, the same thing. I guess my revenge lies in the fact that sooner or later he'll get caught fucking another man," Wesley said, sounding very bitter.


"Anyway, the Edwards gave my parents the address of a Christian clinic. 'With the help of God, Wesley can become an upright, straight, born-again Christian who will be a good husband and father to Sharon's children.' I was surprised I was still in the running, but I learned I was the only one in the race. I might be a poor choice but, for reasons unknown to me, I was the only choice. I never learned why. Anyway, no-one asked me if I wanted to 'be cured'. I was given no say in the matter."


"My mother and father put me in the car and drove me to St. Paul's Christian Clinic in the mountains near Boone. My parents signed me in, wrote a check for a month's treatment and left. They had 'good riddance' written all over their faces when they said goodbye."


"An attendant took me to a tiny room where I was told to strip and dress in the clothes my mom had brought to the clinic: a pair of jeans, T-shirt, shoes, socks and underwear. I watched while the attendant examined them to make sure I wasn't sneaking insomething--I don't know what."


"The attendant stood and watched me undress and dress. He took the clothes I had been wearing and said, 'Dinner is at 7:00. Your treatment will start then.'"


"He left and when he did I looked at my surroundings. There was a toilet and wash basin squeezed into a tiny closet. The room itself had a bed and nothing else. Then, when I decided to explore the facility, I discovered I was locked in."


"At dinner, I saw twenty, twenty-five 'patients'. The food was pretty bad--very bland and very little of it. In the coming weeks I never knew what it was not to be hungry. Before we were allowed to eat, there was a long period of hymn singing. The food would have been bad enough warm, but by the time the hymns were over, it was cold but we still were not allowed to eat."


"There was a long, long prayer, telling God what wretched and sinful creatures we were, then we were finally allowed to eat. While we ate in silence--I never was allowed to speak to anyone except staff the entire time I was at the clinic--someone read Bible verses to us or read from a book which again and again spoke of the damnation awaiting fags. All of this was part of the treatment."


"When the meal was over, there were chants: 'God loves His children. God hates fags.' This went on for thirty minutes it seemed. After that, I was ready for bed, but no such luck. I was assigned to the team cleaning up the dining room."


"When that task was finished, we were marched to our rooms and told to undress. Nude, we were marched to the showers where we were given a towel and soap. With a room full of fags in the nude, some really good looking, you know what happened. I tried everything I could think of not to look at the guys around me, some really hot. Nothing worked."


"I wasn't the first to spring a woodie, but certainly I was among the first. I was embarrassed, but that was nothing compared to what happened next. One of the attendants was walking around the shower room and when he saw my woodie, he whacked it with a thin bamboo cane. I couldn't remember anything in my life hurting like that, but it was only the beginning."


"Do you know what sleep deprivation is?" Wesley asked. All three of us nodded. "Well I was permitted no more than five-six hours sleep in any twenty-four hour period, and those were never together. The longest I think I ever slept was a couple hours. Anytime I nodded off, I got a bamboo cane across the shoulders. I think the place had a monopoly on bamboo canes."


"Anyway, I was called at all hours to go to the chapel for prayer, to meet with my counselor, for shock treatments--yeah, I was given electro-shock twice. I was told to expect more. It didn't happen, but I lived in dread of them. Later I learned electro-shock was stopped because there was no signed permission from my parents. I found that out when I was ordered to write for a signed statement giving permission for additional sessions. I wrote the letter because I was not allowed to sleep or eat until I had done so."


"Meanwhile, I had at least two hours a day with a 'counselor' who harangued me with Bible verses, prayers and preaching, all telling me how terrible I was and what awaited me when I died. Sometimes I told the 'counselor' what he wanted to hear just to get a few minutes peace."


"At the end of the second week I thought I had outfoxed the whole staff. I could shower without popping a woodie, I agreed and did everything I was asked. It was bad, but not impossible. 'Only two more weeks,' I thought, 'and I will get out.'"


"After the second week, parents could visit for two hours Sunday afternoon. I suspected my parents wouldn't bother, but found out they were required to come. Before I saw them, they had a conference with the counselor assigned to me and he assured them I was making progress, but was far from cured. 'We have signed papers for more intensive treatment,' my mother said, 'and even though it's costing us a thousand dollars a week, we

have paid for another four weeks. We have been assured you will be cured by the end of the eight weeks.'"


"I begged them to take me home. I promised I'd never look at another man, that I would be celibate the rest of my life. My mother told me she and my father knew change was difficult but they wanted a son who was straight, upright and not a pervert. My father said practically nothing all the time they were with me."


"Nothing in the routine I had come to know changed until the Wednesday after my parents' visit. Wednesday afternoon when I went for my appointment with my counselor he had me dress in a hospital gown, back in front. I was then put in a chair, my arms and legs restrained and a sleeve kind of thing placed over my cock. I wondered what it was since I had never seen anything like it. I soon was able to make a pretty good guess when

wires were attached to it, wires running to somewhere behind me."


"In front of me was a screen, and soon pictures started. Projected on screen were slides of the hottest men you could imagine, all nude, with hard bodies and hard cocks. I could feel my erection begin and when I was not quite half-hard, an electric charge shot through my cock and balls. I thought I'd faint. I knew perfectly well where the wires from the sleeve covering my cock ended! They ended in a shock box. The pictures kept on and before I

knew it, I was hit with another charge."


"For the next three days I endured those 'aversion treatments'. The clinic was using the same thing some states use on sex offenders. I knew it seldom worked on them and didn't see why anyone thought it would work on gays, but use it they did. By the third day I managed not to get hard by unfocusing my eyes, thinking about the shock, anything to avoid looking at and responding to the pictures. Then the movies started--movies of hot, hot guys jerking off. It was another couple days before I could get through a session without being shocked two or three times, but I was making progress in controlling my arousal. I thought I was going to beat the bastards."


"Once again I was fooled. When I went in a couple days ago, I was stripped, and connected to the shock box as usual. They started movies of guys sucking each other. Again, every time I began to get hard, I was hit by a charge--larger than before I was positive--to my cock and balls. I passed out several times. Later, I lay in my bed crying--because of Dwight's betrayal, because my own parents were having me tortured, and I guess because my self-worth was headed for the bottom."


"But there was more in store for this wreck of a fag. I was a zombie from lack of sleep, several pounds lighter from lack of food, and depressed from constant abuse and knowing that there was more to come. I didn't think I could have gotten it up had Dwight been giving me a blowjob, but I had finally licked the bastards, I thought. Wrong!"


"When I was led into the 'treatment room' day before yesterday, I was stripped as usual, but given no hospital gown. I was told to get on my hands and knees, my ass in the air, my asshole exposed. The movies started, movies of guys fucking. Unlike the earlier ones which had little in the way of dialog, the guys fucking and being fucked were urging each other on, groaning, really carrying on. Even in my state, I'll admit I began to get hard. I was braced for the shock to my cock, but not for what actually happened. Not only was I hit by a charge to the cock and balls but also I got one to my asshole from what I know was a cattle prod. I passed out several times before the session was over, and each time was revived. Later I lay in my bed thinking of nothing except escaping my tormentors--well I also daydreamed of how I could kill them."


"I finally came up with a plan--desperate, but so was I. When I was on duty, assigned to cleanup after breakfast, I would take out the garbage--it was part of the cleanup crew's job--and once outside, I'd run."


"I got my opportunity yesterday. I carried my windbreaker to breakfast, telling my 'escort' I needed it because I would be taking out the garbage. Just before the end of breakfast, I managed to get a food fight started which quickly became a riot. The attendants were so busy trying to calm things down and protect themselves that they didn't see me go into the kitchen. I picked up a garbage pail and walked out the back door as if I were on duty and all was well. As soon as I was outside, I ran."


"When I reached the gate, I hid in the bushes. There is not a guard on the gate as it is controlled from the main building. I knew a delivery truck would show up sooner or later and I'd try to escape the grounds. I was lucky. I had just gotten hidden when a bread truck came to the gate, leaving. When he stopped to wait for the gate to open, I got on the back bumper.

The first time he stopped for a light, I hopped off."


"I didn't know what to do because I knew if I went home, I'd be sent back. I thought about appealing to Dwight, but in my heart I knew he was only concerned about his own ass--in more ways than one." Wesley grinned briefly. "He had found me a good sex partner but that was all there was and all there ever would be, and I wanted more. I deserved more."


"I was standing on a street corner, thumbing, when an older couple stopped and asked if they could give me a lift. When I got into the car, they told me they were on their way to Asheville for a craft show. 'I sure would like a ride to Asheville,' I told them, thinking I'd at least be warm and getting further away from St. Paul's."


"I thought I needed a story to keep the old couple from asking too many questions so I said, 'I came to Boone last night with a cousin and he ran off and left me, and me with only this windbreaker to keep out the cold. I don't know what he was up to, but I think he was running from a bad drug deal.' The lady expressed pity for me and commented she thought the war on drugs was already lost. I agreed. 'Well, make yourself comfortable. We will drop you off wherever you like in Asheville,' she added."


"I was asleep in seconds, which kept me from having to keep inventing stories. Just before we got to Asheville, the lady woke me up and asked where I'd like to get out. I told her Pack Square. I don't know why I remembered there was such a place in Asheville, but I did. Anyway, when I got out, the woman handed me a twenty dollar bill and said, 'Get something to eat.'"


"I was just running away from the clinic when I got in the car. I didn't care where it was headed as long as it was away from the clinic. I guess I must have been thinking while I was asleep because, as soon as I realized I was in Asheville, I thought about contacting you, Douglas. I didn't know how to go about that but I saw an internet cafe across the street from where I got out, and spent a few dollars and was lucky enough to find your e-mail address and e-mailed you."


"I waited and luckily got your e-mail before I left the cafe. I still had money left from the twenty dollars, but knew I couldn't find a place for the night with what I had. I ended up spending the night in a homeless shelter a young panhandler directed me to. I tried to call you, but when I started crying, the shelter person told me I had to be quiet or leave."


"Since I had a general idea of where you lived--I recalled you mentioning Coldsprings sometime or other--I decided to hitch a ride to Coldsprings and hope for the best. It took most of the day, but that was because I took any ride I could get headed in the general direction of Coldsprings. Fortunately, it was warm when I started out, but I ended up spending a lot of time waiting for the driver to do some business or other and zigzagging around. Then, as you know, the weather took a turn for the worse and I was still not

here. Anyway, that's the story. You promised you'd not turn me out until I had some place to go. I'll hold you to that."


"No problem, Wesley," Jason said. "You are a human being who has suffered enough. But what are you going to tell the grandparents?"


"I guess the truth. Have any idea how they will react?"


"Not the slightest," Jason answered.


I thought, "Not the slightest, Wesley, but I'd sure like to know and looks like you are the test case."


"Wesley, no-one is going to toss you out--unless you try to hit on one of us," I said. "I do think we need to think about how, when and what we tell the grandparents. They need to be told, and soon."


"You also need to remember your family hasn't been exactly nice to them. To tell the truth, I know exactly what your parents would do if I went to them in the same situation." Wesley was hanging his head, so I decided to lighten up a bit. "But, as Jason can tell you, our grandparents are good-hearted people. All in all, I believe it best if we talk to them tonight."


Jason and Hank agreed and I guess Wesley did. He said he did, but he had very little choice. We decided we would tell the grandparents the bare facts about the "treatment center" and how Wesley ended up there. "No use to go into details," Jason said.


"Meanwhile, I need to get home," Hank said.


We drove Hank home and when we got back decided to take naps. I was exhausted after the swim meet and Wesley was catching up on his rest after weeks of sleep deprivation. Jason closed the door as he came into my--our--room. I had stripped down to my briefs and T-shirt and crawled into bed. Jason did the same and as we snuggled up to each other I asked, "Jason, what do you think Wesley was doing--not just telling us what had happened to him in a general way, but with all the little details? Any ideas?"


"I am sure he was testing us, seeing just how far he could go before we told him to start packing. What did you think was going on?"


"Exactly what you said," I replied. "I wonder how much he'll tell the grandparents?"


"Just in case he decides to tell all--and I mean all--I think we need to talk with Granddad first. I know he won't want Grandmom to hear all the details--unless HE decides to tell her."


"Jason, how about we get the whole outing business over with? How about we tell the grandparents about us as well?"


"Maybe. Let's wait and see how that goes."


"Ok, now kiss me before I go to sleep." Jason gave me a great kiss and I snuggled against his hard body and, wrapped in his arms, I was soon asleep and dreaming of making love to him.


I was rudely awakened when Jason shouted and jumped. "What's up?" I asked.


"I dreamed I was admiring your nice ass, got a woodie and took a hit from a cattle prod. Damn, that's what was done to Wesley. That's inhuman and to think it was done in the name of religion."


"Yeah," I answered before I was asleep again.


We slept for an hour before Wesley knocked on the door and asked, "May I come in?"


"Sure... just give us a minute" Jason answered and slid out of bed, grabbed his pants and started getting dressed. As he did, he threw my clothes to me. We were both half-dressed when Wesley came in. "Have a decent nap?" Jason asked, pulling on his shirt.


"I don't think I could have done otherwise," Wesley smiled. "For the first time in weeks I slept without nightmares. As a matter of fact, I was thinking when I woke up that I hadn't had nightmares, but might be facing a daymare. I'll tell you the truth: I am not looking forward to baring my soul to your grandparents. Which reminds me, Douglas, I didn't know that you had a cousin."


"Well, Wesley, Jason's not exactly my cousin. We're brothers." I then told Wesley how Jason came to be a part of our family--omitting any reference to his being gay.


"Well, that makes me feel better about talking with Mr. and Mrs. McElrath."


"I think we need to tell the grandparents we'd like to have a family pow wow after supper," Jason suggested. "Right now it's time to do the chores. Wesley, I guess you can help with the milking." Jason and I were able to keep from laughing as Wesley said he'd be happy to help. Granddad and Grandmom were in the kitchen when we got downstairs.


Granddad insisted on coming to the barn with us and as we walked, Jason asked if we could have a family pow wow after supper. Before Granddad could answer, I reminded Jason we probably needed to have a man-to-man talk first.


"Whatever you guys think best," Granddad responded, and we agreed we'd like to speak with him first. Well, I think we all agreed. I'm not absolutely sure Wesley wanted to talk with Granddad before he talked with both the grandparents.


Wesley tried his hand at milking with the same success Jason and I had when we first tried. Jason finally gave Wesley other things to do while we milked. As we were walking back to the house, Wesley commented on how he had missed having milk recently. I told him there was plenty of milk, but I suspected he'd have to get used to it since it was raw, not pasteurized or homogenized.


After the excellent dinner we had very late in the day, Grandmom had some of her homemade vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for supper. In spite of having eaten late--and plenty--Wesley put away as much as Jason and I combined, and we are not small eaters!


During supper, Granddad told Grandmom he needed to have a man-to-man talk with the fellows. After we had finished supper, Grandmom fixed hot chocolate and a plate of brownies, and the men of the house took them and went upstairs.


As soon as we were all seated, Wesley said, "Mr. McElrath, I know you think I have a lot of brass asking you to help me after the way my family treated your son and his family. I know how cruel my family can be. I know that from inside the family when they and I said some very cruel things to Douglas and his family over the years. Now I know it from being a victim of the same crazy thinking. I only hope you will show me forgiveness I don't deserve and the kindness you have shown Jason even though I have no right to ask."


"If my family had just disowned me and put me on the black list the way they did Douglas's mother it would be bad enough, but they added physical pain to the emotional pain of being rejected. They had me locked away to be tortured. They did so because I am a fag." Wesley looked at Granddad as he spoke. If there was any reaction from Granddad, I didn't see it. Wesley then told Granddad his whole story, leaving nothing out.


Yes, I was absolutely sure Wesley was testing Granddad as he had tested Jason, Hank and me.


As Wesley told the story, Granddad listened with what seemed to be little or no reaction. He, along with Jason and I, was silent.


When Wesley finished, we were all looking at Granddad, who sat with his head in his hands. Finally, he looked up at Wesley and said, "Wesley, I don't understand men who love men. I never have. I don't know whether they choose to love men or are born that way. I have heard those who hold both positions. If it is something you choose, then I think you need to deal with your choice and its implications. On the other hand, if you're born that way, then you need to think about how you live as--what?--a gay man. Can you

help me out here?"


I gave Jason a quick glance and he made a circle with thumb and forefinger which only I could see. I smiled in answer. Wesley was definitely paving a way for us and I was thankful.


"Mr. McElrath, I don't think anyone in their right mind would choose to be gay. Not only is society against you, but also often your family and friends. Look at what has happened to me. I have known I was attracted to boys as long as I have felt attraction to anyone--sexually I mean. I don't know... I guess since I was twelve or may be thirteen, I have known that what others felt for girls I felt for boys."


"If it had been a choice, I am sure that I would have changed my mind when I was being held in that so-called clinic. There is no question, at least in my mind, that I was born gay, am gay and will always be gay. Because of that, I am now, essentially, without a family and have turned to people who have every right to despise me for help. From talking with Douglas and, especially with Jason, I have a hope that in time I can become a part of this family. If not for the long-term, then at least long enough for me to get on my feet."


"Wesley, I won't promise anything long-term. That will depend on a lot of things, including what Jason, Douglas and Mrs. McElrath think about the situation. In the short-term, you're welcome. These two guys can tell you how things are done around here, and it's up to the three of you what you want to do up here," Granddad said as he indicated the den with a sweep of his hand.


"Granddad, I think most of that has been settled. Wesley can have Jason's room and Jason will share mine. I think that's the only major decision to be made."


"Fine. I'll leave the three of you to discuss the situation while I go downstairs and speak with your grandmother. I'll call you down when we have made some decision."


When Granddad left, Wesley said "That went better than I expected," with a great sigh.


Since who would be in which room had been settled, there wasn't a lot of discussion for us to do about our life together. There was the question of getting enrolled in school if he was going to stay around.


When I mentioned that, Wesley said, "We have a problem. If I ask for my transcript, I know my parents will find out where I am and I don't know what I would do if they come to get me. Until I'm eighteen, I suspect they can haul me back to that place."


We explained to Wesley the importance of pulling his weight so far as chores were concerned. Money seemed to be a big problem since he couldn't ask his parents for money. "We'll definitely have to do something about clothes too," Jason said. "In the meantime, I think you could wear mine."


"That's fine, except he'll have to have a heavy coat and only one pair of jeans since yours are too short," I said.


"Yeah, we'll have to make a run to Asheville," Jason said.


He had just finished speaking when Granddad called from downstairs, "We need you three down here." His voice revealed nothing as to which way the wind was blowing.