Saga of the Elizabethton Tarheels
Since spring break began the next day and
teachers and students would be setting on "Go!" long before the opening
bell, there was no studying after school Thursday. Instead, the Clan got
together to discuss what we would be taking, to make sure we had everything
we needed and to make final arrangements for getting to the airport. Lacy,
John's stepmother -- or as the two of them had decided to call her, his
dad's wife -- had volunteered to drive the SUV to take us all to the
airport. "Looks like things are working out with you and Lacy," Bobbie said
when John told us.
"We're getting to be real friends," John
replied, "now that the mother thing has been settled." He had told us a
couple weeks ago that once they got over the idea she was to be his mother,
things were improving. Seems she told him she was concerned they were not
getting along. "Since we both live in the same home, we need to do something
about it." John had invited her to his room, thinking it is always best to
do battle on your own turf.
When she arrived, she had said, "John, for
starters, I am not going to try to take your mother's place or be your
mother. Not only would it be foolish, I know you don't like the idea and
neither do I. How about us being friends?" John said he had been taken by
surprise because he had thought she was trying to take his mother's place
or, if not that, drive a wedge between him and his father.
After he gave the matter a moment's thought, he
had replied, "Mrs. Thurmond, how about you being my older sister? I've
always wanted one."
She had stuck out her hand and said, "Deal.
Let's shake on it! And, by the way, my name's Lacy."
"We started developing a real good relationship
after that. I actually like her and can see how Dad fell for her. Can't
quite understand how someone as young as she is goes for someone as old as
Dad, but good for them," John said.
Anyway, Thursday after school, we did what we
needed to do to get ready and, after a final check of our lists, everyone
left except Justin. As they left, Clarisa appeared and Justin and I packed
under her sharp-eyed supervision, rechecked our lists, and she finally
declared we were ready to go.
We went down with her and had a glass of juice
while she finished supper. As we talked, it suddenly occurred to me Clarisa
would be alone for a week. "You know, Clarisa, you will have a whole week
free while we are gone. You'll be free at last! Free at last! Thank God
Almighty, Clarisa, you're free at last." When I started, Justin grabbed
Clarisa and started waltzing her around the kitchen, holding her feet off
the floor, as the two of us continued chanting. When he finally set her back
on her feet, I asked, "Why don't you do something interesting, exciting,
daring or, at the very least, different?"
"Yeah, Clarisa, why don't you?" Justin chimed
in. "Have a wild adventure, climb a mountain, shoot the rapids, catch a
whale. Well, at least, take a trip."
"Take Mother's car and hit the road. Or better
yet, take my car. Yeah, that sporty WRX."
"Who'd take care of the house and all, child? I
can't just walk off."
"Clarisa, the house won't need taking care of.
It'll just sit here whether you are inside or not. There'll be no-one here
you need to think about. Mother's in Europe somewhere, probably having a
good time, Justin and I will be in the Florida Keys, definitely having a
good time, so why should you sit here? Why shouldn't you be having a good
time as well? Lock up the house, turn on the alarm, pile in that sporty car
and take off! You never take time off and even when you have gone on
vacation, it's been with us so you were just on duty somewhere else. How
"Well, I might think about it," she said.
I had a very generous allowance from Father --
Mother laughed when I called it hush money, but that was what it was -- and
I never spent all of it. In fact, I spent very little of it, usually less
than forty dollars a week, fifty dollars a week max. What would I spend
money on? CDs? Occasionally. New game for the Playstation? Not lately. Gas?
How much did I use? Very little. Food and shelter? I lived at home. Clothes?
Maybe something special, but Clarisa bought my clothes and she knew
more about what I needed and wanted than I did.
Spoiled baby? Likely. Anyway, not only did I have money left from my weekly
allowance, but also I hadn't spent any of the Christmas money from Father
beyond what I had spent for Christmas gifts, so I had a healthy bank account
and an idea.
"Justin, we need to go out for a while. Come
"Can we, maybe, eat supper first?"
I laughed. Supper was on the table, waiting for
us to eat. "Never mind, I can just freeze it," Clarisa said.
"On pain of death," Justin said and he and I dug
in when Clarisa joined us.
After supper, we went to an ATM and I got the
max it would let me have -- $350 -- and asked Justin if he could get $150
more, which he did. When we got back to the house, I gave the cash to
Clarisa and said, "Clarisa, I am ordering you to do something while we are
gone and you have to spend this $500 on yourself -- not on family, not on
friends, not on anyone except Clarisa. Every penny has to be spent on
Clarisa." She protested, but I reminded her it was an order. "You better
have a surprise for us when we get back," I said.
Clarisa didn't need any money from me to take a
trip. Unlike the not-so-long-ago when "family servants" worked long hours
seven days a week for little beyond food and clothes -- the latter usually
hand-me-downs, Clarisa was paid a fairly decent wage and, like me, had room,
board and clothing, except for something special she wanted, furnished. I
knew she had a healthy bank account as well, but that wasn't the point.
After Justin and I had gone upstairs, John
called to say his stepmother would pick us up, with our luggage, in the
morning and drive us to school. "That way, the luggage will be loaded when
she comes to get us after school. We'll be ready to head for the airport the
minute the last bell rings. She'll meet us in the parking lot and that way
we may be able to make the plane by 4:00."
Next morning, when Lacy came by my place, she
had already been by Susan's and I saw Susan was bringing a great deal more
than a medium suitcase and backpack, which was what Justin, John, and I had.
When we got to Adam's he also had a medium suitcase and backpack, but Bobbie
had more than Susan. I remembered Mrs. Crandall's warning, but said nothing,
knowing it would do no good.
Friday, school may as well have been out before
the opening bell since neither students nor teachers were thinking about
anything except the last bell. Just after the roll had been checked in
homeroom, Mr. Agnue, the principal, came on the intercom for the usual
morning announcements -- to which not more than five students usually paid
attention -- and began with, "Students, as we all know, next week is spring
break. Please be careful, be safe and come back to school in one piece. To
help you get off to a good start, we will be on short schedule today." Maybe
only five students had been paying
attention, but not one missed that announcement!
Short schedule meant class periods would be shortened to the minimum the
state would permit, time between classes reduced and lunch cut -- who could
eat school lunch anyway when we'd be free for a week shortly? Short schedule
meant we'd be out of school at 2:40 instead of 3:30.
John leaned over and said to Justin, "I'll call
Lacy and tell her we're getting out early. Pass it on."
"Don't know that it will make any difference,
but Mrs. Crandall gave me a number to call for directions to Flight Line
Aviation," I said to Justin. "I'll call and let them know we'll be at the
airport earlier than we thought." John and I asked to go to the restroom
where, immediately, out came the cell phones and we made the calls.
When the last bell finally rang, we joined the
mad rush to the parking lot where Lacy was waiting in the SUV. We all six
piled in and were among the first cars leaving.
As soon as we were on our way, I punched the
Flight Line Aviation number into my cell phone and almost immediately a
voice answered, "Flight Line Aviation."
"This is Marcus Porcher again," I responded.
"Lucky you," the woman replied, "your plane is
on the ground, taxiing toward the terminal as we speak. It will be ready to
take off shortly after you arrive. When you approach the airport, look for
the sign to our place. It's a right turn. See you in a few."
Thirty minutes later we were at Flight Line
Aviation's terminal where a sleek jet was on the tarmac, wheels chocked,
waiting. It took us, maybe, fifteen minutes to get our luggage stowed and
climb aboard. Minutes later we were all buckled in and headed down the
As soon as we were at cruising altitude, the
hostess served food -- cold shrimp with cocktail sauce well-laced with
horseradish; veggies with dip; finger sandwiches, fresh fruit and a
selection of drinks. Since we had all skipped lunch, food disappeared
rapidly. The hostess laughed and said, "We were advised to lay in more food
than usual for six passengers. If someone had told us you were high
schoolers, it would have made sense. Hope there's enough!" There was, more
than enough, and when we had eaten all we wanted, we settled down -- Susan
and Bobbie watching a chick flick, Justin and I reading, and John and Adam
We were about half-way into the trip when the
intercom clicked on and the pilot said, "Best get seated and seat belts
fastened. We have just had a warning of the possibility of some rough air
ahead." Bobbie woke Adam and John, and we had just gotten our belts buckled
when the plane dropped and then slid sideways. "Folks, this is no joke. Stay
as I don't know how long this rough ride will
last. I'm heading up, looking for smooth air." We had a rough fifteen or
twenty minutes while the plane bounced around and climbed, looking for
Even with the rough weather, we landed in just
over two and a half hours from our takeoff. As we came in, the plane was, I
guess, caught by a sudden tricky wind and a wing dipped dangerously close to
the runway. The plane quickly righted itself, touched down and bounced --
twice. The hostess looked at us from where she was buckled in up front,
laughed and said, "A perfect landing to end a perfect flight. Welcome to the
I was the first to bound down the steps where
Antwon was waiting. "Good to see you again, Antwon."
"Welcome back to the Florida Keys, Marc," he
replied as he embraced me.
"Antwon, these are my Clan members..."
"Don't like that word, Massa Porcher," Antwon
whined in a good imitation of movie black face and laughed.
I laughed as well and said, "Understand, my man,
understand. Nonetheless, my Clan: Susan and John, Bobbie and Adam and
Justin." Antwon raised an eyebrow when I introduced Justin, as if asking a
question, but I did not respond -- I didn't know what he was asking.
"Had a letter or two from Mother and she seems
to be having a great time," I said while we waited for our luggage.
"Yeah, the staff got letters from Mrs. Crandall
yesterday. She says your mom is doing well. She was looking pretty good when
she left, but I think being pampered on a cruise and traipsing over Europe
with Mrs. Crandall will speed her complete recovery. She came very close to
going on to gloree ah," Antwon's imitation of a black preacher was perfect.
"Well, let's get the luggage and be on our way." As he spoke, he pulled out
a cell phone, hit a speed dial number and spoke into the
phone, "You may bring the car around." I assumed
Antwon would be driving the van, but apparently he was not as a Hummer limo
drove onto the tarmac, headed for us. When it arrived, a fellow in a "Hummer
Limo Service" uniform stepped out of the vehicle and helped get the luggage
stowed. That done, Antwon got in the passenger's side up front and we were
The drive to the mansion seemed much shorter
than when I had come down to see Mother. I guess it was because everyone was
excited and talking at once, and the time before I had been anxious to see
Mother. In what seemed no time at all we were at the front door. As we were
getting out of the limo, Mrs. Metzer appeared at the door. I'm sure she had
been alerted by Antwon and was waiting for our appearance. She was the house
manager and a very nice lady. I had, of course, met her when I was down
before. "Welcome back, Marc," she said.
"Thanks, Mrs. Metzer, looking forward to being
here," I responded. "Mrs. Metzer, my friends: John and Susan, Adam and
Bobbie and Justin. Clan, Mrs. Metzer who makes sure this place runs
"Welcome, all of you. Just leave your luggage
where it is. Antwon and Derick will put it in your rooms. Marc, you will be
in the suite you had before. I put Justin in its other bedroom. John and
Adam, you have the suite across the hall from Marcus. Susan and Bobbie, you
have a suite in the East Wing. Marc, if you will show the fellows to their
rooms, I will show the ladies to theirs. I have arranged for you to have
dinner in the terrace room. Marc, after you and your friends have
freshened up, show them there, if you would.
Three-quarters of an hour enough time?"
"Sounds good," I replied.
"Mrs. Crandall wants you to have a wonderful
time and if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Ladies,
"Fellows, follow me," I said and headed up the
The seven of us walked up the central stair and
separated at the top, guys to the left, ladies to the right. As we headed
down the hall, the ballroom came into view. As soon as they saw it, Justin
and John said "Wow!" in unison. "I could see this place was huge when we
drove up," Adam said, "but at that I never imagined it was like a palace."
"Wait until you see your rooms. Here's our
suites. John, Adam, that's yours," I said as I pointed across the hall.
"There are two bedrooms off of the living area with a connecting bath. Do
what must be done and come to our room in half an hour or so and we'll go
down for supper. Justin, we are over here."
I was surprised that our luggage was already in
our rooms, but then we had talked a bit with Mrs. Metzer and walked up.
Antwon and Derick had taken the elevator. Justin, your room's through that
door, but before you put your things away, take a look at this," I said as I
walked into my bedroom and opened the bathroom door, revealing the Jacuzzi.
"Damn, that's big enough for the whole Clan,"
Justin exclaimed. but right now I have a more pressing need! I was so struck
by this place I forgot," he said with one of his heart-stopping smiles as he
rushed to the toilet, took out Mr. Smith and released a powerful stream. As
soon as he started, you know what happened! I was beside him immediately.
That taken care of, we washed our hands and then
splashed cold water on our faces. "Man, I am looking forward to that
Jacuzzi!" Justin said. We each went to our own room and put away our things
and had just walked into the living room when John and Adam knocked on the
door and walked in without waiting for a response from us. As soon as they
were inside, Justin said, "Come here and have a look. Man, you are not
The two took one look at the Jacuzzi and Adam
said, "Holy shit! I can see where I'm going to spend some time. Just wait
until I get Bobbie in that!"
"Later. Right now it's food time," John said.
We went down to the terrace room. I was
surprised that the sun was approaching the horizon, as I hadn't realized it
was as late as it was. Shortly after the four of us arrived, Susan and
Bobbie appeared, escorted by Mrs. Metzer. "Mrs. Metzer, your timing is
excellent!" Susan exclaimed. "We are having dinner at a beautifully
appointed table and watching a spectacular sunset at the same time."
"Yes, it is quite beautiful and this is a great
place to watch it," Mrs. Metzer replied. "Marcus, you know your way around
so I'll leave you and your friends to your own devises. Again, if you have
need of me, call. Dial 1 on any phone. If you need something -- linen, soap,
anything, dial 5 and someone will bring you what you need. Mavis is on duty
tonight. Ah, here she is now. I'll leave you in her good care. Enjoy your
Mrs. Metzer left as a gray-headed woman, very
stately in appearance, dressed in a maid's uniform, came bringing gazpacho
which she served and disappeared. It shouldn't have taken long for six
teenagers to devour the soup, but everyone was so excited and talking at
once that it was a while before we were ready for the next dish. After she
removed the soup dishes, Mavis served a very nice fish, accompanied by a
green salad. For dessert we had lemon sherbet. All very light and in keeping
with the warm spring temperature in south Florida. Everyone finally calmed
down and relaxed and we took our time eating, still spending a lot of time
talking as if we hadn't seen each other for a week.
By the time we had finished dinner, it was
twilight. As we stood, Adam said, "I think I need a walk to take care of the
kinks from the trip down and to work off some of the food I just put away."
Everyone seemed to be up for a walk as well.
"You have a lot of walking space, I said. There's the beach, a garden and
the area around the lake. By the way, if you walk around the lake," I
warned, "don't get too close. It has 'gators. BIG 'gators."
The six of us walked down the steps from the
terrace, and at the bottom, Adam and Bobbie, John and Susan headed for the
beach but in opposite directions, Adam and Bobbie walking up the beach and
John and Susan down. "The garden's over there," I said to Justin, pointing.
"Mrs. Crandall says it is a great place for moon watching. The moon is just
peeking above the horizon and, if I remember correctly, it should be nearly
Justin took my hand and said, "Then let's go
wait for the moon."
Justin was still holding my hand when we passed
under a rose-covered arch into the garden. As we entered, he dropped my hand
and slipped his arm around my waist. I hesitated a moment, then put my arm
around him. We walked toward a tree and sat down on a garden bench under it.
We sat in silence, our arms about each other and
watched as the moon, bright orange, rose out of the sea. Soon it was high
enough and so bright the garden was flooded in moonlight. For some reason, I
suddenly realized Justin was not watching the moon, but me. I turned
slightly and when I did, found myself looking deep into his black, black
eyes, my heart pounding. As I continued looking into his eyes, I felt an
almost irresistible urge to kiss him and was terrified by the thought.
On the one hand, if I had any balls, I would,
but on the other, to kiss him would surely end our friendship and that I
couldn't endure. I was still gazing into his eyes when, before I could act
one way or the other, Justin smiled, leaned forward until his lips brushed
mine like the wing of a butterfly as his arms pulled me close to his body. I
was so shocked that I instinctively jerked away.
Before I could say anything to explain my
action, Justin cried, "I am so sorry! Shit! Damn, Marc, man, I'm so sorry,
so very, very sorry. I don't want to hurt you or drive you away. Marc,
please, please forgive me." Justin was crying, huge tears streaming down his
My stomach tied itself into a knot when I
realized what I had done. My heart sank and a sick feeling swept over me.
Justin thought I had jerked away from him because he had kissed me!
He was standing, facing away from me. I was
sure he was about to run, so I grabbed his hand and held on tightly as I
stood and turned his body to mine. I smiled and then wrapped my arms about
him. He got a very surprised look on his face which quickly turned to a huge
Justin smile. My arms wrapped around him, I pressed my lips to his in a
passionate kiss. As the kiss continued, Justin's lips parted and I slipped
my tongue between them. I was flooded with the taste of Justin, wonderful
Justin who loved me!
We finally broke our kiss -- well, we eventually
had to come up for air -- and sat looking into each other's eyes. "Marc, I
have loved you so long and had no hope you'd ever love me -- I mean other
than as a friend. I was afraid if I told you, it would be the end of our
friendship. I was afraid you'd tell me to take my gay ass and get out of
your sight. I feared what would happen if you knew."
"Justin, I'd never tell you to take your ass out
of my sight! I want you and your nice ass with me always. I have dreamed of
you, longed to hold you in my arms..."
"That's kinda strange. I mean I kept hinting
every way I could, trying to get you to show how you felt, but you never
seemed to catch on."
"The truth of the matter is I can be pretty
dense. Looking back -- I mean that day with the crowns -- it was obvious to
everyone in the mall, wasn't it?" Justin grinned and nodded. "Yeah, well, I
still didn't get it. I was too frightened to see what everyone else saw. I
never tried to make any move for fear you would discover how I felt about
you and hate me. I knew I couldn't live without you. If that meant you were
only a friend, I would have that at least. But I was so very afraid I would
lose even that, and I'm not nearly as brave as you are."
"Two suffering guys too afraid to show each
other how we felt. I guess the Florida moonlight finally gave me courage
but, hey, we've got a lot of time to make up," Justin grinned, looking into
"Well, we need to get started," I grinned back
Now I need to take time out here to tell you why
what followed immediately and in the near future wasn't entirely uninformed,
just amateurish. See, while I had been more than a little reluctant to admit
to myself I really was gay, I knew it and spent a lot of time on the
Internet reading gay stories -- especially those that had more to them than
"our eyes met, he sucked my foot-long cock, then fucked me with his
fourteen-inch tool" -- you know the stories. I also read a lot of advise
about being gay, gay sex and all, I mean.
I found out later the same was true of Justin.
Of course, he wasn't as free to explore as I was. He had to be a lot more
careful since he didn't have his own computer. After he was assigned to the
new store, often he had been asked to lock up and after the store was
closed, used the computer. So we knew some things -- in theory at least.
I guess I thought I had one up on him because a
couple months before, I got up the nerve to subscribe to a gay porn site and
had watched some porn while jerking off -- fantasizing about Justin, of
course. Justin certainly hadn't watched porn on the store computer. So while
we thought we weren't ignorant headwise, bodywise we were definitely
amateurs, to say the least. But a lot of things in this world come
naturally! It was not surprising, then, that our kisses were getting hotter
and hotter as our tongues did battle -- the kind of battle in which losers
are also winners. After a lot of kisses, Justin said, "I'm sure this bench
is great for moon watching, but it's not very good for making love."
"So we are making love?" I grinned, looking into
"Love-making requires a lot of practice," he
laughed, "and we've hardly started, but yeah."
I suddenly remembered some of the porn I had
seen. Some of it got me hot as hell, but there was some that just kinda
disgusted me. It was not what I'd call love-making, rather, it was kinky
sex. So there were some things I wasn't interested in trying now and some
I'm pretty sure I'd never be interested in. I didn't know how much Justin
had seen or what he had in mind. I loved him, but I realized there was a
whole side of him I knew nothing about. Maybe he'd really go for some really
kinky stuff but, then, he could say the same about me. Finally I asked
somewhat hesitantly, "Are you ready to, you know, do it all?"
"Not sure what you mean by 'doing it all', but
I'm pretty sure I'm not. We're new at this and have a life-time ahead of us.
A lot to try and work on and I am going to enjoy every bit of it!" With
that, he got up, took my hand, and pulled me to my feet. After a long, long,
open mouth, busy tongue kiss, we walked, arm-in-arm, toward the house,
stopping frequently for long, lingering kisses.