North and Jason had walked back to the condo. The others had taken the Max to stations near their homes to change, and they were all meeting for dinner at seven at North's. Tonight was Jim's night to cook. Tom would be chauffeur and would drop the crew at the club later and then pick them up.
Jason was in his room trying to decide what to wear. He put on chinos and a long-sleeve shirt. North walked in and said, "You're not going to a school dance, you know."
"All right, smart ass, I've never been to a place like this. Tell me what to wear."
"This is a first. I've never had a gay friend ask me for fashion advice. Usually it's the other way around."
"Just help me out here, please."
"What!? Are you nuts?"
"Oh, come on. You've seen me naked. I'm not going to try to jump you, for God's sake."
Jason nervously shed his clothes until he stood in his boxers. "That's as far as I go."
"Like hell. Do you have any boxer briefs?"
"Like you wore the other night?" North nodded. "No."
"Just a sec." North dashed out and returned with a pair. "Try these. They may be a bit snug, but that couldn't hurt."
Jason turned away from North and slid the boxers down. "Nice ass, man," North commented.
Jason quickly turned back to a smiling North. "You're enjoying the hell out of this, aren't you?"
"Me? I'm just rendering assistance."
Finally, Jason just went with it. He pulled North's boxer briefs on. They were snug, but not uncomfortable. He was acutely aware of how they hugged his package. He saw that North was staring at him.
"Why does everyone assume I'm interested in Jonathan or that he's interested in me?"
"You've got to stop censoring yourself when you feel attracted to other guys. Don't be stupid about it; just don't hide your feelings from yourself. I know Jon's attracted to you because he told me so while you were talking to Annie. He blessed me out for not telling him that you were my hot gay friend."
"He thinks I'm hot?"
"I think you're hot, and I'm straight."
Jason looked down and then remembered he was standing there in his underwear, or North's underwear. "How 'bout getting me dressed the rest of the way?"
"Right. I'm thinking yellow short shorts and a mesh T-shirt." Jason looked as if someone had punched him. "You are so easy, Jason. Put some jeans on."
Jason pulled a clean pair of jeans from his bag. "These are kind of faded and frayed."
"Exactly. Put them on." Jason pulled the jeans up and held his hands out.
"Turn around." Jason turned, and North looked pleased.
"If I was a good friend to Jon, I wouldn't let you wear anything more. But, let's find a nice T-shirt, and the long-sleeve shirt you had on will go over it, open with sleeves rolled up."
When Jason finally got everything on, North gave him a thumbs-up and started to leave, when Jason called him back.
"So what's the etiquette for this place?"
"Dance with the one you came with."
"Look hot, gay friend. You are fresh meat. Guys are going to be all over you."
Jason looked stricken. "I mean to dance. It's not a sex club. Jon won't complain, but if you're interested in him, stick with the crew and give it a chance. Just don't drink anything anyone else offers you."
Jason again looked afraid.
"No alcohol, but some creeps have been known to medicate people's drinks. Last, and this is the tough one for you, have a good time."
"I'll be sure to ask Jonathan to help with that."
"Good man, and, while I'm thinking about it, I'm pretty sure that Frannie and Mary have reluctantly concluded you play for the other team, but pay them a little attention, just not too much."
"How come they're not paired up with guys?"
"You have a woefully developed gaydar. If you ask them, they'll tell you they're bi, but they mostly take care of each other. For you, they'd make an exception."
"Oh. You people are so unusual. They won't be upset that I just don't think I'm into women that way?"
"Doesn't mean you can't dance with them, does it? And, we're very usual, or at least we don't think we're curiosities. Do you think you're unusual?"
Jason didn't answer. He'd have to think about that one.
Annie and Jon showed up a bit later. Jon took a long look at Jason and, raising his eyebrows, broke into an approving grin. He gave Jason a hug and later made sure he chose a seat across from him. Jim treated them to a great stir-fry. He and Tom mostly listened to the crew of teen-agers converse during dinner, except when one of them asked a question of the their elders, usually as if consulting an ancient oracle.
Annie and Jon had brought bags to take to Goldendale. Jon had dashed through the hall to put his in Jason's room, and North had put Annie's in his. The trip to Goldendale tomorrow would start late in the morning because Jim and Tom knew that North and crew would want to sleep in.
When the others, Pete, Frannie, and Mary arrived, Jason noted that they were dressed much like he was, sort of normal. He thought they were a good-looking crowd.
While Jim got the kitchen squared away, Tom corralled them, reminding them to look out for each other, and told them to have fun. Jim and Tom had been nervous the first few times North had gone to the club, even though it had a decent reputation, but North had never had run into any trouble there. Both fathers were proud that North had chosen a place where Jonathan and the girls would feel comfortable
Jim hollered from the kitchen, "Fun, not crazy!"
"Yes, Mother." North rolled his eyes at Dad Squared.
They put up the rear seat in the Tribeca and squeezed in. The kids immediately put on seat belts, and Jason did so as well, learning that Jim and Tom wouldn't move the vehicle until everyone was belted. The drive to the club was short, and Jason's anxiety didn't have long enough to get really out of control. He was sitting in the middle row of seating, between Jonathan and Annie. Jonathan put a hand on Jason's thigh.
"It's not a performance, Jase. Don't worry about how you look. Just have fun."
Jason heard the nickname and smiled to himself. Jon's touch calmed him and excited him at the same time. He was thankful that he was wearing a pair of North's underwear that contained the swelling. They arrived a little before nine-thirty.
As they were piling out about a block from the entrance, Tom reminded them, "I'll be back for you at one. Some of us have to travel tomorrow, so don't keep me waiting."
Annie snapped, "Don't be rude, Northy. We'll be here, Tom, and thanks."
Everyone else added thanks before Tom pulled away. The summer evening was warm, but the air was dry and comfortable as they lined up at the entrance. After having IDs checked, they paid their covers, got their little paper bracelets and plunged in. The music was loud, which startled Jason.
'We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto,' he thought.
Little tables surrounded the large dance floor, and at the back was a bar serving soft drinks and bottled water. The DJ was above the bar on a scaffold. The clan moved across the floor toward an empty table. Jason, busy looking around, would have lost the others if Jonathan hadn't taken his hand. Jason almost pulled away, but seeing same-sex and mixed-sex couples dancing with each other, he relaxed and let himself be pulled along.
Jason was trying to get accustomed to the noise and activity when Frannie and Mary pulled him onto the dance floor and began to shake to the music. They were pleased to discover that Jason actually had some moves. The girls danced around him, pushing in and retreating from him. Their laughter and posturing were infectious. He could see that they cared a lot about each other when they danced together, but they never left him out. He was most surprised by strangers who fell into their gravity, some of them really fine-looking guys.
North had been right about one thing—Jason was new, and a lot of people were interested in looking him over. The girls always cut the guys out after a short while. Finally, Frannie motioned to Jon, and he joined them. When he got close to Jason, the girls drifted off.
Across the floor, Jason spotted Annie and North. Their eyes never left one another. He turned to see Jonathan staring at him just as intently.
They had to shout a bit to be heard above the music and the crowd. "I knew you'd be good on your feet."
"You're supposed to school me."
"In a minute, Jase."
"I love when you call me that."
Just like in the movies, the crowd faded from Jason's eyes and he saw only Jonathan—his athletic grace, his smile, and those gold-flecked eyes. His anxiety dropped away, and he felt safe and normal. He began to enjoy himself as he had never before. He wasn't hiding his sexuality, and no one around him cared that he was with another boy.
After the song ended, he was about to suggest heading over to the table when a slower song began. Jonathan reached for his arm and pulled him closer, placing his hands on Jason's flanks. The music and voices quieted.
"Is this okay?"
Jason smiled warmly. "Oh, yeah."
Then Jonathan pulled him in until they were touching from chest to thigh. Jason, taller than Jon, placed his hands around Jon's shoulders, and felt Jon's hands slide behind him at his waist. Those hands pulled him tight as Jason's head rested on Jon's shoulder. Warm breath washed over Jason's ear.
As they swayed on the floor, their feet hardly moving, Jason felt Jon's hard-on pressing into his own. He didn't pull away, and Jonathan moved one hand down to the top of Jason's ass.
"Jon," Jason whispered, "this feels so right; it's almost painful."
"I'll never hurt you, Jase."
Then Jon smiled and said, "That's an impressive piece you're rubbing on mine. You are so hot, and more so because you don't seem aware that you are. All the guys, at least the gay ones, here are jealous of me."
The song ended, and they walked back to the table, where Annie and North were resting, as well. Annie looked at them and grinned a wide grin. Looking at their dicks, she said, "That happens to North when we dance, too."
Jon said, "Lucky you, and lucky me."
The clan danced the rest of the night away in many combinations. For the most part the others were good about allowing Jason and Jonathan to be together. Jason knew that this was where he needed to be. Goldendale was becoming a foreign land now, a land with his home and parents, but foreign. A little sadness tainted his joy.
Shortly before one, they found Pete, who was talking with two girls. He looked at his phone, disappointed. However, both girls gave him their numbers.
Jason held hands with Jonathan as they left the club a little before one. Walking back to be picked up, the group chatted about the evening. Frannie and Mary were ragging on the new couple.
"Now we have to put up with another North-Annie axis."
"You two have your own axis going, so don't complain," North told them.
"But, we don't act all dreamy."
"I seem to see dreamy behavior occasionally. And, you were both basically unconscious when you first got together."
"Yeah, I guess you're right, at that," Mary said, hugging Frannie. "Anyway, I think they're cute. I can't believe Jonathan's so bewildered."
"I'm not bewildered, Frannie. I'm just warm with possibilities."
The clan piled into the Tribeca, and Tom asked how it went. All the voices announced the newly born true love.
"Give them a break, guys. They're going to ditch you if you keep that up."
"They know we're happy for them. If Jason's going to survive in the pack, he has to learn to take it. Jonathan already knows."
Jonathan looked at Frannie. "Don't push it, woman. You're going to scare the horses."
Frannie knew he meant it. "Got it, Jon. Sorry. You two are just so right together."
Jon took Jason's hand and laid his head against Jason's shoulder. After Tom dropped the others off—fortunately, everyone lived on the west side—the remaining four and Tom rode the elevator to the top of the condo building in silence. Back in the apartment, Tom reminded them to get some sleep.
"We're not dragging you out of bed at dawn, but we want to head east after an early lunch."
Looking at Jon and Jason, he said with exaggerated seriousness, "I mean it. Get some sleep." Jason look flummoxed until Tom smiled. "You two, be safe, and keep the noise down." Jason blushed deeply.
"That your way of making sure nothing happens?" Jon asked.
"Jon, how could you think that?"
The four kids got the shower order straight. North and Annie showered together, but Jason didn't think he was ready for that. He didn't know what he was ready for. He showered next and waited in the room until Jon came back with a towel around his waist. Jon started to release the towel.
"You and North have a lot in common."
"Sorry, I don't think much about dressing for bed when I stay here. The first times I slept over, I just about went crazy. He's so open and so unbendably straight."
"Tell me, how did you guys work it out?"
"What was to work out? I wanted him that way, and he didn't want me. I'm not a jerk and neither is he, so we became best friends. I came out to Annie and then to him. They got me through it."
"They're okay with it now. I mean they let me see North and the dads whenever I want. They don't exactly advertise that they have a gay son. No PFLAG meetings for them."
"It's an organization for parents and friends of gay kids."
"That's a good idea, I guess."
"How about you? What do your parents think?"
"They don't have a clue. Hell, I didn't really recognize it myself until North and his dads showed up."
"Oh, yeah. Big time, mostly about my dad."
"You going to tell them?"
"Yes. I don't know when, though. I think my mom will be okay, but Papa is another story. She knows about North's family, but he doesn't. Tom told me if things got bad I could stay with them."
"That's Tom and Jim, and they mean it."
"When did you know?"
"I knew when I was five. I'm a little too flighty to conceal it, so I took a lot of crap. North was my first real friend, and he obviously didn't give a shit. I've had a couple of short-term boyfriends, but mostly they wanted sex. Well, I did, too. But, I want more. So, I guess there's not a big gay community in Goldendale?"
"Big? Try nonexistent."
"You might be surprised. Maybe you're not the only one in the closet."
"I can't think of a way to find out."
"Do you want to find out?"
Jason looked over at Jonathan who had crawled into the other twin bed. His eyes had adjusted to the dark, and he could clearly see him with the covers pulled to his waist. Jonathan was slender, yet defined. No hair that Jason could see. Jason's penis plumped up.
"I think if I could find one person to learn with, I'd be okay. I mean I don't want to get laid by a series of guys just to try it."
"What about me?"
"How fast do people fall in love?"
"I don't think they fall. I think they learn love; not that chemistry isn't great. I feel chemistry with you, and I never expected it to hit me so hard. I've spent a long time jealous of North and Annie. Now, I'm not feeling so jealous."
"I have no idea what to do or how to do it."
"Jase, you didn't need instruction at the club. You just let yourself risk feeling good. I meant what I said. I'll never hurt you on purpose."
"I'm just afraid I'll screw it up."
"Why don't you come over and lie down with me. We don't have to do anything, but I'd finally like to see what sleeping with someone is like."
Jon saw Jason's hesitation. "If you don't want to, don't worry about it. I don't want you to do anything you don't want."
"No. The problem is I do want to. I just don't want to lose myself."
"I won't let you get lost. Promise."
Jason left his bed, and walked over to Jonathan's. When he got to the bedside, he dropped his shorts, and, as Jon held back the covers, he climbed in, facing Jonathan. "Twin beds. Promotes closeness, no?"
"That's what I had in mind." Jon reached up and stroked Jason's cheek. Then he put his hand behind Jason's neck, pulling him in until they were kissing.
Jason realized he was holding his breath and released it into Jon's mouth, as if offering his spirit. He was glad he had brushed his teeth. Jon's lips opened, and Jason let his tongue taste Jon's mouth—sweet and a bit minty. The kiss deepened until Jonathan broke it off and moved his mouth to Jason's neck, where he bit lightly. Jason shivered and clutched at Jon's back. Their dicks were pressed against each other as they made out. After a bit, Jonathan asked if Jason was all right.
"All right? I'm feeling fucking stupendous, thank you."
"You're welcome, but I'm the one who's thankful. You are so beautiful and authentic. Besides North, I've never met anyone like you." He reached down to take Jason's penis in his hand.
"Whoa. I'll come in three seconds if you do that. You've played with one before. I haven't other than my own. I want to see yours. Do you mind if I turn on the reading light?"
"Good idea, young man."
Jason returned after turning the dim light on. As he reached the bed, he pulled the covers off Jon, knelt, and leaned in toward his midsection. He reached out and pried Jon's hardness away from his belly. Jon was smaller than Jason, but Jason thought him perfect in shape, weight, and girth. He was cut where Jason wasn't.
Jason asked, "What do I do?"
"Fuck, Jase, just do what you'd like done to you, but do something." The need in Jon's voice was obvious.
Jason began to lightly stroke Jon, gradually increasing the firmness of his grip. He leaned up to kiss Jon, who groaned into his mouth as he pulsed his cum out onto his chest, Jason's shoulder, and finally, his belly. Jason broke the kiss and smiled.
"Making someone else come is so cool, but we kind of made a mess."
"Under the bed. Towel."
Jason retrieved the hand towel and gently wiped Jon off. Jon took the towel and wiped Jason's shoulder. Before Jason could jump back in the bed, Jon pulled Jason's dick into his mouth.
Three seconds later, Jason screamed, "Fuck!" as he emptied into Jonathan's mouth. Shortly afterwards, Jason got too sensitive to let Jon keep sucking him and he pulled away.
"Damn, Jase, where do you keep all that? You almost drowned me. You're my first uncut one; I like it."
Jason fell back on the bed, lying across Jon and then kissed him. "You have to teach me how to do that!"
"Let's hope we didn't scare the horses."
Jason laughed. "That's the second time I've heard that tonight. What does it mean? I'm all right, but I'm no horse."
"You're close enough. It's a story Tom told us when he was talking about PDAs."
Jason looked puzzled. "Public displays of affection. The story is that some Madame in the old west told a preacher who was haranguing her, 'I don't care where people fuck as long as they don't scare the horses.'"
They settled into a peaceful sleep, Jason spooning Jon from behind. Jon wanted to ask Jason how he felt about what just happened, but he felt Jason beginning the relaxed breathing of a deepening sleep.
Before he blanked out, Jason thought, 'Why would anyone ever want to sleep alone?'