Saga of the Elizabethton Tarheels

by Sequoyah

Chapter Sixteen

We had been waiting twenty minutes when Justin asked with a weak grin, "Think we should start organizing a search party?" 

"Why? You in a rush for your execution?" I asked. 

Finally, Bobbie walked into the room, towing a very unhappy Adam behind her.

She led him to the one of the two love seats in the room -- Justin and I were sitting on the other -- where they sat down. Bobbie still held Adam's hand -- assuring him she'd stick with him or to keep him from leaving? Probably a little of both. 

Finally, Bobbie said with a sigh, "We have talked and talked, but nothing has changed except Adam has -- reluctantly -- agreed to come and listen, but no promises." 

"That's all we ask, Adam" John said. "Justin, do you want to start?" 

"OK, first thing I want you to know, Adam, is that the Justin and Marc you knew two days ago -- have known since kindergarten at least -- are the same Justin and Marc you see before you now. We haven't changed. Oh, our relationship has changed -- pretty dramatically, that's true -- but we are the same people. You know more about us now than you did two days ago, but then that's not at all strange. We are always learning more about our friends and, for that matter, about ourselves. Marc and I sure as hell know more about each other than we did this time yesterday. We discovered we are in love with each other, but even that hasn't changed because we have been in love with each other for a long, long time. None of that changes who we are. Can you hear that? None of what I have said changes who were are. If anything, it means we -- and you -- know more about who we are than we did, but the bottom line is we are the same Marc and Justin you have known for years. We all need to remember that, but especially is it important for you to remember that since you are rejecting who you now know us to be. 

"Second, the Justin and Marc you have known since kindergarten have been gay since kindergarten. Well maybe not, since homosexual and heterosexual doesn't seem too important to kindergartners, but we have been gay since we have been anything. Some research seems to indicate you are gay or straight from the moment of conception. Other research suggests it is some other point at which gay or straight is determined. Regardless of when it was determined -- and it is determined most all serious research says and as gay men, we know that -- we have been gay as long as you have been heterosexual. How long have we known we were gay? For about as long as you have known you're straight, I guess. Of course, I don't think anyone is conscious of being gay or straight until they become conscious of being sexual beings. Maybe if anyone is looking carefully and knows what they are looking for, there may have been signs Marc and I were gay and you and John were straight when we were very young. Maybe not, I don't know. 

"The major difference between our being and acknowledging our sexuality, that we are gay, and yours -- that you are straight -- is a result of social pressure. I don't know about everyone, but the two of us denied to ourselves we were gay for a long time because being gay carries a heavy price, a very heavy price. If you need proof of just how high the price can be, look at what's happening here.

Marc and I are in danger of losing a life-long friend because we are gay. God only knows what it will cost us in the future. Being gay has cost more than one person his life. People have been killed simply because of who they love. We all know about the millions of Jews killed during the Holocaust. Fewer know there were thousands of homosexuals killed as well. In our own lifetime we heard about Matthew Shepard, but no doubt he is only one among many. Many young men -- men our age and younger -- die by their own hand simply because of how they experience life as a gay person. 

"Yeah, Marc and I wanted to think we were not gay and did as long as possible."

Justin fell silent. The room remained silent as six pairs of eyes seemed to have found something interesting in the carpet. 

Justin had been expressing his -- and my -- feelings so well I waited for him to go on, but when I looked up, our eyes met and his seemed to say, "Your turn." 

"Adam," I said, my voice barely audible because the lump in my throat. "Adam," I managed to say a bit more strongly, "We are gay." Having said that aloud, I felt the lump dissolve. "We have known that for -- I'm not sure how long because, as Justin said, we denied it to ourselves. But I guess deep down, we have known it from the time we were consciously sexual beings. You know, from the time you started finding thoughts, fantasies were sexually stimulating -- probably as early as when we were eight or nine, but at that age we didn't do a whole lot of thinking about such things one way or another. Certainly by the time we were nine or ten we knew it and by thirteen there was no question at all in our minds and it didn't matter whether we acknowledged it to ourselves or not. 

"But that, I suspect has nothing to do with what you consider the most important question: Why did we choose to be gay? For exactly the same reason you chose to be heterosexual. Please consider that carefully. We choose to be gay for exactly the same reason you chose to be heterosexual. You know, one day you were thinking about it, looked at the options -- gay, straight, AC/DC and flipped a coin, consulted Tarot cards, whatever and said, "I choose straight," and you were straight. Didn't happen that way with you and didn't happen that way for us. You didn't choose; we didn't choose. You saw you were straight; we saw we were gay. 

"Next question, maybe: Would we have chosen to be straight if we had a choice? I don't know. But being gay or straight is never a choice, regardless of what some -- always heterosexuals -- say. Maybe it would help to look at the question from a different perspective. Try this: Would I have chosen to be a woman? Can you imagine being a woman? I can't. Oh, I can think of some things I would do, might do, wouldn't do, might not do, if I were a woman, but I can't sustain that long -- because I am not a woman and cannot truly imagine being a woman. I suspect a part of that is I can't take it seriously because that is not a realistic choice for me. Likewise, I can't imagine being straight. Brief as my experience is with playing being straight, it is enough to know that's not me.

So, can you imagine being gay? Of course you can't! You might imagine something you would do or not do if you were gay, but I doubt you can give serious thought to what it's like being gay. You simply cannot imagine being gay, can you?"  I could have been on thin ice here if what some folks say is true, that those who protest most about gays are closet homosexuals, but I was about 90 percent sure about Adam and damn sure he thought he was 150 percent straight. 

I paused, hoping Adam would make some response since he appeared to be in some other world, waiting for this to be over so he could just leave. Everyone was silent when, finally Adam looked up and practically shouted, "Hell no! God damn right! There is no fucking way I would even think about being gay, much less imagine being gay. I'd cut it off and be nothing before I'd choose to be gay." 

Well, if the theory was correct, Adam would seem to be more gay that Justin and me but, again, I was sure he was not so I responded, "Right! The thought never occurred. One reason it never occurred is because society is geared up to say if you are male, you're straight, so unless you are gay or think you might be gay, you don't imagine it or think about it. Not only that, but since there is not the option of choosing, you can't imagine being gay because you couldn't be. Well, since I can't choose not to be gay, I can't imagine NOT being gay. We are who were are and what we are and nobody, but nobody, gave us a choice. That's about as clear as I can make that. 

"Then there's another side to the issue, which, maybe, has more to do with our being here now than simply the fact that Justin and I are gay. Not only am I gay, but I am also in love, not just in love, but in love with a man and, maybe, to make matters even worse for you, one of your best friends is gay and in love with another of your best friends who is gay and who returns the other's love. I wouldn't be surprised if you felt betrayed and surrounded by gays who had been -- are -- two of your best friends. Yeah, I can appreciate part of how you feel. 

"But let's talk about this being in love business. I don't think anyone has ever really understood love in any of its forms. I know I haven't. You know how we say of a couple, 'I sure don't see what she sees in him?' Well, I wonder if she could say what it is. Why do you love Bobbie? Did you choose to do so? Did you one day just wake up and say, 'Today I'm going to fall in love with Bobbie?' Did you work at it, being in love, I mean, or did you just wake up one day and realize you were? Of course, you work at the relationship, you damn well better. I guess you could say you are working at staying in love, but did you work at falling in love? Could you have told anyone when you fell in love why you were in love one week and weren't the week before? No, I don't think you could or can. I don't understand the love I have for each of you, my friends from the time I had friends. Even less can I explain why each of you has loved me and shown me that love almost as long as I can remember. I know that it's more important to me than anything else in this world except for one other thing, Justin's love for me, not as a best friend -- although that has been and always will be important -- but his love for me as his lover. His love for me, and my love for him, is different from my love for any one of you and any of your love for me. Sure is it, but it's all love. 

"Love is a very strange thing. I don't understand it but, like anything of real value, it doesn't have to be explained. What I do know is that I love every one of you and the love I receive from each of you is a treasure beyond price. But there is more. I love Justin as my soulmate, my lover. I love him with the totality of my being. I don't know how to explain my love for him beyond that. It is a great, wonderful mystery -- just, as I am sure, Adam, your love for Bobbie is a great and wonderful mystery." 

"Now just a goddamn minute!" Adam exploded. "Don't you dare compare some faggot love for real love. Hell no! You say your love for Justin is like my love for Bobbie? Bullshit! You're goddamn crazy. Compare our love to the love two ass-fucking, cock-sucking faggots have for each other? Fuck you! I'll not stand for that kind of queer shit!" 

The violence of Adam's outburst floored me, leaving me stunned and speechless. But not Justin, who said quietly, "Adam, I'll take a great deal from you. I have a lot of patience, but I will not stand by and have you say the love Marc and I have for each other is not real love. And, yes, I do dare to compare it to the love you and Bobbie have for each other." 

Adam was getting very red in the face and attempted to stand when Bobbie jerked his hand, pulling him back down. "You agreed to listen, Adam," she said quietly through clinched teeth, "so, damn it, listen!" 

"I agreed to listen to two boys I thought were my friends," he responded in a very angry voice. "I didn't say I'd listen to a couple of faggots trying to justify being ass-fucking queers!" 

Bobbie shot up and said, in a cold, clear voice, "Adam, you agreed to listen without saying what you'd listen to or not listen to. You promised me. Now shut the hell up and listen!" Bobbie was standing, arms akimbo. I think all of us, including Adam, were surprised at an assertive Bobbie we had not seen before. Must be something in the Florida air! "Well?" she asked in a manner that clearly suggested disagreeing was not an option. 

Adam gave a grudging nod and Bobbie sat down. 

"Anyway," Justin started again, "Just to set things straight, neither of us have ever fucked an ass or anything else. That said, I love Marc and he loves me. That's it in a nutshell. And that is more like the love between you and Bobbie than it is like the love we all have for each you as friends. Why? Because, while it's not about sex, as I am sure you know, Adam, that is a part of it. No normal eighteen-year-old male can deny there is not an element of lust in just about anything he does and more so in his thoughts. Since Marc and I just admitted we were in love with each other last night -- and were surprised by it -- sex has played a part in our expressing that. But the truth is, the sex has not been any more than the sex you and I and John and Marc had when we were younger, playing around and sometimes jerking each other off. We have brought each other to orgasm pretty much as we did them. Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean. The sex we have had -- as little as it involved -- was a lot better than jerking myself off, but it was not earth-shaking sex except for one thing: love was involved. Yeah, and there was a lot of passion that wasn't present in our jerk off sessions." 

Adam was clearly uncomfortable being reminded of that earlier experimentation, but so was John and -- truth? -- I was and even though Justin had been doing the talking, so, I suspect, was he. It was not something you talked about in front of your women friends. 

"I'm sure that when you and Bobbie have sex there is a lot of lust on both your parts, but also there is more, a lot more than just lust, else it's just sex. I hope and trust that sex between you is not just a way of getting your rocks off, but a means of expressing your love for each other in a very profound way. When, when not if," Justin said with a sly grin, "Marc and I have more profound -- not sure what the word is here, but you get the idea -- sex, it will be in response to normal -- note that, normal, even if gay -- eighteen-year-old lust, BUT, and that is a most important but, more than that, deeper than that, it will be one means of expressing our love for each other." Justin paused, looked at me, and obviously had decided the ball was now in my court. 

I was surprised when I knew what needed to be said next and was debating with myself about how to approach it. I knew, without a doubt, what part of Adam's problem was whether he knew it or not. Finally I decided to just jump in feet first and said, "What the hell? Adam, in all of that -- including the sex -- it is the same as with you and Bobbie. Hold it!" I held up my hand to stop Adam who once again had started to get up. I rushed ahead, "From your point of view, there is, of course, what I call the ick factor. May surprise you to know that from my point of view, there is an ick factor when I think about you and Bobbie -- having sex, I mean. 

"You don't have to be an atomic scientist to know that one of the problems people have with gays is gay sex. Even those who might otherwise see nothing wrong with gays having sex, sometimes ask 'How can you possibly do THAT? It makes me sick to think about people doing that! That is just plain nasty!' Something like that. Even if you haven't heard similar remarks, you have probably thought it. I'm sure this will come as a real shock and surprise, but I understand there is nothing gays do that straight men don't do. Of course, their partners can't perform the same acts because of the difference in equipment, so to speak. Anyway, when I think about a man and a woman having sex -- yes, for example you and Bobbie -- my response is 'How can you possibly do THAT? It makes me sick to think about people doing that! That's just plain nasty!' Yeah, that's right. I suppose a bisexual couldn't understand either attitude, but then I can't understand him or her. But you know something? I don't spend time thinking about you two having sex and I'm positive neither of you are going to spend more than a few seconds thinking about our having sex. 

"Look at it this way. It's like me trying to imagine my parents having sex," I half grinned. "In the first place, I really can't. I know they did -- or somebody did -- because I'm here, but when I try to picture that, I either can't or it's pretty disgusting. I would place money on your having the same reaction to your parents having sex, yet it is very obvious they have because you're here and there are all those rug rats at your place." I was surprised to see Adam half grinning in spite of himself. "I see you understand that. And frankly, Adam, I can't think of anything else I can say, need to say, want to say, except I have loved you as a friend -- my very best friend for years..." I didn't add, or remind him, that his changed relationship with Bobbie had changed our relationship. "...and I don't want that to change. I would sacrifice an awful lot to preserve our friendship, but don't ask me to deny who I am or give up a relationship with the man I love. That I cannot and will not do. That's all I have to say." 

"Guess I don't need to say it, but I will," Justin said, "the same goes for me."

Silence descended on the Clan and, after a while, John breathed a sigh of relief and half grinned and asked, "Any questions before the exam?" and quickly added, "Actually, Adam, I know this is a shock to you in a way it wasn't to the other three of us. We three had suspected the two guys were gay and in love before they admitted it to themselves. I speak only for myself, but I wish the best of everything for them. I have loved them as friends since diaper days and that has not changed. Because I love them, I am happy because they are happy. I know they face a hard road ahead. You know that. Your initial reaction is proof of that. I am willing and eager to support them any way I can. I guess as your friend, and because of your past friendship with the two of them, even if it is not to continue, I ask that you at least not make things more difficult for them." 

"Just what do you mean?" Adam asked and I could tell he was already getting defensive. 

"Nothing very complicated," Bobbie answered for us. "Keep your damn mouth shut. I know this new love in our midst is causing problems for our relationship as friends, but you let on about their relationship to anyone -- anyone -- outside this group and you are going to discover exactly what the wrath of a woman is. I'm struggling already with someone who will let their bigotry come between them and life-long friends, so don't push it. You damn well better not push it!" 

"Damn! That relationship is in big trouble," I thought to myself, "What has come over Bobbie? She has always been the perfect little cheerleader-jock's girlfriend." 

Adam, it appeared, was at least as confused and bewildered as I was. This, obviously, had not come off as he anticipated. Bobbie stood, extended her hand and said, in a voice which brooked no argument, "I think a walk would be good for both of us." When they reached the door, she turned and said, "Later." 

"Well, that went about as I expected," Susan said. 

"Actually better than I expected," John said. 

"Really?" Justin asked. "I'm not even sure how it went." 

"Makes two of us," I said. 

"Well, at least no-one has a bloody nose," John grinned slowly. 

We were all silent. when, out of the blue, Susan said, "John, I think you need to join the new lovers in their suite tonight." 

"And the reason for that is? Oh, you want me to listen to the groaning and moaning, maybe pick up some pointers? Don't you think it'll make me hopelessly horny?" he asked with a grin. 

"I don't think so," she grinned, "at least no hornier than usual. I suspect you are one of those who'd say something like, 'How can they do THAT?', go to see exactly how it was done, then write a research paper for AP biology on it! Don't think, beyond maybe in the kissing department, their techniques would be of much use to you," Susan laughed, then became quite serious, "I'd like to clear the way for Bobbie to spend the night with Adam. Let's be honest, we can get all self-righteous about Adam's attitude, but it is not new or a surprise to us. I feel sorry for him. After all, in his mind all his best friends and girlfriend have turned on him." 

We talked about that for several minutes until John said, "Look, we are not going to solve anything talking. Basically, there's nothing more we can do except not abandon Adam. It's really all up to him." 

"Right," Susan agreed, "And we all know there's good stuff in Adam and I, for one, feel sure he'll come around. He'll just take some time to work it out. You know that's how Adam is about anything. So, I think it will be good for Bobbie to be with him tonight. WE all know she is much more than a cotton-candy-brained cheerleader and has been good for Adam. The Bobbie we saw tonight is the best hope the big lug has of becoming the great guy we know he can be. Further, I know they don't need you as an observer AND you'll not share my room AND Justin's bed will not be used. Perfect solution, you use Justin's bed and, since there is that gym-sized bathroom between his room and Marc's, they'll have to both yell at the top of their lungs simultaneously..." 

"And if they do, I'll want to see the show and will come running. Well, if you'll not let me share your bed, I guess I need to run grab my DOP kit before the lovers -- the other lovers," John grinned, "return." 

"Don't forget your jammies," Susan said as John started out the door.  

"What jammies?" he asked over his shoulder and laughed. 

"I guess I'll leave you two alone," Susan said. "May get John to go for a moonlight walk on the beach. Good night and sweet dreams -- later," she laughed. 

"Good night and thanks, Susan, for everything and thank John for us as well," I said. 

"Yeah, thanks a million," Justin added. 

Susan was barely out of the door before I was in Justin's arms. 

"Justin, I love you so much, but all that scares me. It scares the hell out of me. I mean, Adam was our friend..." 

"Is our friend, Marc. Adam is our friend. He has just had one hell of a shock. Like Susan said, give him time. And we both know it will not be easy, but I'm sure he will find our friendship -- his and ours -- more important than maintaining an attitude he can hardly explain. But right now, we need to be working on the lost time we have to make up," Justin said as his mouth covered mine and we started hard work on the task with hot, passionate kisses. 

We had been developing our kissing technique for several delicious minutes when Justin reached up the leg of my shorts and grasped my cock encased in my briefs. "I'd say you need to start going commando," Justin grinned, "except it might hang out for everyone else to see." 

"Don't be funny. It's a nice one, I'll grant you, but it won't hang out much, especially when you're around. It doesn't hang at all then. It stands at attention, ready for action." 

"Yeah, well, just what you got in mind?" he chuckled, "as if I didn't know." 

In response, I slid off the love seat, grabbed Justin and pulled him to his feet. As soon as he was on his feet, his arms were wrapped around me and his open lips covered mine as I sucked his tongue into my mouth. Without breaking the kiss, I quickly swept him into my arms and started toward the bedroom. 

"Whoa," Justin said before I had taken more than two steps. "The door." He didn't need to explain. Even though the Clan knew we were gay and lovers, we wouldn't like John or one of the others coming in without giving us a few minutes to get decent if we were doing what we planned on doing a lot of, so to speak. 

I turned around, still carrying Justin and walked toward the door. Just as he reached out to flip the lock, there was pounding and I had to move quickly to avoid the door as it burst open. John said, "Oh! Glad you are still decent. We've got a problem, a big one."