Finding Tim

by Charlie

Episode 227 - Jay

My name is Harold Porter Bruder III. With the nicknames Hal and Junior taken, I was called Jay; I like it. You know, in the Gang it's considered quite an honor to be asked to write one of Charlie's episodes. Well, I am so honored, and I'm delighted to tell you that I'm the first grandCOG to be so honored. As I write this it is 2018, and I'm nineteen years old, and I'm the first, and thus far the only, teenager to be so honored by Charlie. In many ways it's kind of an awesome responsibility. However, as Charlie reminded me, if I screw up, the episode will never see the light of day (or the internet). However, since you are reading this, my efforts seem to have been good enough to pass muster with Charlie.

OK, so I'm nineteen and writing in 2018. But the time that I'm writing about is 2012, when I was thirteen. I was in middle school in eighth grade. I had a girlfriend, Marcy Hollings, who was in the same grade, and we had a lot of classes together. Seventh grade is a little too young for "dates" but Marcy and I did things together after school (like going to the library or going for ice cream or Cokes–places we could walk to). We went to the several school dances together–my father, Junior Bruder, always drove. In eighth grade we got a little more serious, but having to be driven everywhere by a parent is a little bit of a pain. At least I had really great parents who didn't enter into the car conversation unless they were asked. However, both Marcy and I were very comfortable around Louise, my mother, and Junior.

We started going out for dinner regularly on Friday nights. We'd walk to the library after school, study (or talk) there for a while, and then walk to one of several inexpensive restaurants that were within walking distance. The walking and the dinner gave us lots of time to talk, and we found we really enjoyed our conversations together. These ranged over all kinds of subjects from silly to quite serious. We were interested in following the presidential elections, even though we couldn't vote. We both strongly favored Obama, but neither one of us particularly disliked Mitt Romney–he was just too conservative for us. We both had very liberal parents, and it'd rubbed off! And, yes, we did talk about the fact that our opinions were very much shaped by our parents, and we didn't see anything particularly wrong with that.

Marcy wasn't a GrandCOG, so that closed off a whole range of conversations that we might've had, had she been a GrandCOG. I questioned my parents about how much I could tell Marcy about the Gang, being a GrandCOG, and inevitably the sexual implications of all that. In seventh grade my parents suggested that I really didn't know Marcy well enough to get into much conversation about the Gang. The GrandCOGs were just my good friends, and over the year Marcy met most of them. She hadn't been invited up into the aerie where several of the GrandCOGs lived.

I raised the same question with my parents early in eighth grade and got a different answer. After some considerable conversation, they agreed that Marcy was a very nice girl, could be trusted, and that our relationship was serious, at least as serious as a relationship can be in middle school. Further, my parents had gotten to know Marcy's parents, Michael and Susan Hollings, and believed that they could be trusted as well.

So at one of our Friday dinners, as fall moved toward winter, I broached the idea of being a GrandCOG.

"A GrandCOG? What on earth is that?"

"It's simple. It's a Grandchild Of the Gang, or most simply a child of a COG, and a COG is a Child Of the Gang."

"Jay, that isn't very helpful. Is this going to be riddle night?"

"No, but I'm opening a subject that it's going to take quite a while to explain, and I really didn't know where to start. Let me start with the Gang which was originally a group of eight boys at a summer camp in Michigan. They've remained best friends for over fifty years, and the Gang's grown to over a hundred. A COG is one of their children, all of which are now members of the Gang themselves. I'm the child of Junior and Louise Bruder. Junior is the son of Hal Bruder who was one of the original eight campers that made up the Gang. My mother is Louise Forsythe, who is the daughter of Jim and Kara Forsythe. Jim was also one of the original eight."

"Do all of these people live here in Grand Forks?"

"Almost all do."

"All right, so who are the other boys in the original eight?"

"Tim, Charlie, Ronnie Littleton, Andy Oldfield, Tom Grayson and Franklin Munson."

"Tim and Charlie are part of this Gang?"

"Yes, and a lot of other interesting people."

"Like who?"

"Do you know Sid Madison, the artist; or Auggie Madison the sailor?"

"I've heard of them; I don't know them."

"I call him Uncle Sid. Auggie is a wonderful guy. You'll love getting to know them."

"I'm lost."

"Let me try to tell the story of the Gang from the beginning. Remember, I'm the third generation, and a lot of this story happened before I was born. It's all second and third hand. But I can give you a pretty good idea of the Gang and its history."

OK, reader, I left out the sex and skimmed over a lot. But after about an hour she sort of had the idea of what I was a part of. And I made it clear that as she and I continued to be close friends (no thought of our being lovers) the Gang could be part of her experience as well.

"Jay, I'm going home tonight and think long and hard about all of this. May I share with my parents?"

"I haven't told you anything that's secret or hidden–though we like to keep the whole idea of the Gang to ourselves. To the outside world we prefer to just be individuals. And, remember, I say, 'We,' but I'm not really a part of the Gang, just a GrandCOG. But that makes me part of the whole Gang experience. So, yes, talk to your parents, but please ask them to not share all this with their friends and neighbors."

By this time we were on her front porch. She kissed me goodnight and slipped inside.

By now you've guessed why I chose that time to tell Marcy all about the Gang. Well, not all about–a key aspect was missing, but I certainly hoped that might be rectified in the not too distant future. After all, I was a very healthy eighth grader, past puberty by almost a year. Marcy was a very pretty girl, sexy as well–at least to me. Well for me pretty and sexy were almost synonymous. I was certainly hoping that things might develop in such a way that I could explore that sexuality.

As soon as I asked my parents about talking to Marcy about being a GrandCOG and the Gang they guessed my ulterior motive. I easily admitted it, and they indicated approval. They reminded me of the Gang, COG, and GrandCOG rules of talk first and don't push beyond one's comfort zone. I indicated my willingness to follow those rules, but I also understood that the first might be difficult. Even with my experience with the other GrandCOGs, with whom I easily talked about sex, I knew that bringing up the subject with Marcy was going to be difficult and take some nerve. I was pretty sure that I was ready.

Now I need to pause and update you about the lives of the GrandCOGs. I was the oldest, but Liam was just four months younger, and I'll just note for the record that he'd reached puberty as well. And just to be clear, I'm well aware that a lot of changes take place during puberty, that it is a period not an instant, and so forth. But here I mean, quite specifically, the ability to produce semen either in night dreams, masturbation, or some other way. Of equal importance to this story is the fact that Liam lived in the aerie, the sleeping area in the attic of The Lighthouse. In that venue, a year earlier, Franklin's sex education course, with its masturbation demonstrations had taken place. Living in the aerie, and just about a year younger than Liam and me were Anton, Bobby, and Ginnie; Bobby being Liam's brother. Of the same age, but not living in the aerie was Cindy Carson, Bobby and Liam's first cousin. While only Liam and I had hit puberty, all of us were sexually active with each other–usually in the aerie. What did this mean? Playing with private parts, tickling, teasing, giving Liam and me orgasms, and trying to get the younger boys to have orgasms. Did it take up a lot of our time? No. The games were usually of short duration and often days would pass with little sexual activity. The important thing was that we were all comfortable with that activity. We knew it was private and had to stay in our small group, but we had no sense that it was forbidden, wrong, or dirty. It was, quite simply, fun.

I was also part of a bicycling trio of Owen, Liam, and myself. Owen was a year older, but the three of us really functioned as equals. We'd also gotten in the habit of letting sex play be a part of our bicycle trips. And that had led to increased activity with others back in Grand Forks, especially in the aerie. Oral sex was now pretty common.

I had a suspicion that my sexual experiences far exceeded those of Marcy. I wasn't sure whether that was going to be a problem for me, well, us, or an advantage. I did know that my playing with the GrandCOGs was strictly play, I envisioned something different with Marcy. I don't want to say that I was falling in love with her, but clearly we were becoming more than playmates.

After that goodnight kiss I was delayed a week or so by bicycle rides I'd planned with Liam and Owen. But soon we arranged another Friday night dinner, and I thought I was ready to broach the subject of sex. So I thought. Whether I had the courage would have to be seen.

We went to the library together, which was our habit. But I encouraged us to go to dinner a little earlier than usual. I also got a taxi so that we could go to Jerry's, which was nearer to the university than our school. Marcy tumbled immediately that something special was up. As soon as we were settled in one of Jerry's very private tables (I'd called in advance) she asked, "OK, Jay, what's up?"

I was tempted to just say, "Sex," and let the chips fall where they may. But I thought better of that. Instead, I said, "I'd like to follow up on my conversation about the Gang."

"I'd like that, too. I'm full of questions."

"Shoot."

"How much do you guys plays with other boys and girls, or do you limit yourselves to just your in group?"

"Well, I'm dating you."

"That's not what I meant. Do you include other kids in your group?"

"I'll be honest; probably not as much as we should. There's a reason, and I'll get to that before the evening is out."

"Secrets?"

"Just let me move at my own speed. Next question."

"You live with your parents, but a lot of the group of kids your age live together in the house you called The Lighthouse. What kind of living arrangement do they all have there?"

"Boy you certainly know the right questions to ask. Five couples live in The Lighthouse. Two are gay couples, the others are straight. One of the gay couples, Shel and Brian, have adopted kids. Nick and Evan have not. There are a total of eight kids, six boys and two girls. Six of them are ages ten to thirteen. Brian and Shel's kids are ages five and six. They all live in a big room in the attic which they call the aerie. They all live together like they were brothers and sisters."

"By that I guess you mean that they undress together and don't try to hide from each other."

"Yeah."

"There's more, isn't there?"

"Yeah."

"Give, Jay."

"OK, they have five double beds, all shoved together like one bed. They all share the bed, in different arrangements each night."

"Jay, how often have you had a sleepover with Liam?"

"My God, you do know exactly the right questions, don't you."

"Are you going to answer?"

"Yes. Fairly often."

"And it's sexy, isn't it?"

"Yes."

"OK, just one more question."

"Just one?"

"It's the key question."

"Shoot."

"Is your agenda for tonight to invite me to join in the fun in the aerie?"

"I have to slow this down to give you an honest answer. The answer to your specific question is no. However, my agenda for tonight was to invite you to do a lot of the same things together, just the two of us."

"And later to invite me to the aerie?"

"Honestly, I hadn't thought that far ahead. But I'm sure that if you were enthusiastic about doing things with me, it could lead to your joining us in the aerie. Now, I have a question for you."

"Fair enough. Ask away."

"All of us GrandCOGS and residents of the aerie have parents that know about and are comfortable with everything that goes on in the aerie. What about your parents?"

"I honestly don't know. I've had really good sex education from my parents. I've told them about your Gang, and we guessed that there was an unspoken sexual element. We weren't sure about The Lighthouse; we didn't know about the aerie. They know I'm here with you tonight, and we guessed that sex might be talked about. How they'd relate to your story of the aerie I simply don't know."

"Well, that makes them a lot more open and liberal than the average parents in Grand Forks. So, they think I'm likely to talk about sex tonight. Would they be comfortable if you agreed to some kind of sexual relationship with me?"

"Yes. They are surprised that it's coming in middle school, but they say they'd be very surprised if I got through high school a virgin. They are adamant that they don't want me to be a parent in high school. Or college. In Dad's words, 'We'll help you any way we can to weather the sexual storms of high school and eager high school boys. But we can only help if you're open and honest with us. You certainly have been this far'."

"That sounds a lot like the attitude of most–really all–of the parents in the Gang. It's sort of their mantra."

"So where to we go from here?"

"You know a lot about my sexual history in the aerie, and that's almost all of it. What about yours?"

"I'd love to be able to tell a tale of sex with a bunch of boys or girls, of group masturbation, of naked moonlight sails on quiet lakes, petting in the movies, and strip poker with a group of campers at a campground we were staying at. Sadly, it just ain't so. I masturbate. That's it. Period. Can you deal with that?"

"Of course. I honestly don't know whether you'd be more enticing if you were completely experienced sexually, or completely inexperienced. Both are enticing in their own way."

"If we do anything, you have to take the lead. OK."

"Of course, but you'll be leading very soon. I sense that sex is going to move pretty fast with the two of us."

"You know, up till right then it was all, 'If.' That was a more definite statement."

"Are you comfortable with that?"

"Completely."

"So where do we go from here?"

"You lead."

"You remember my telling you about The Hideout? It's sort of our playhouse."

"Yes."

"We go there. This evening if you'd like."

"I'd like."

"We can walk from here. I'll get the check and we can go."

I can only guess what Marcy was thinking as we walked to The Hideout. I know what I was thinking: My God, that went smoothly, and I couldn't possibly have dreamed of a better outcome. I also was wondering just how far things might progress that night. Well, it was pretty obvious that it would at least progress to our both having an orgasm, as to whether that was oral or manual remained to be seen. I'd be happy with anything, and it appeared that Marcy would as well.

We got to The Hideout. Wait! Remember, The Hideout had moved. Tim and Charlie were back in their house, and one of the three houses behind had been converted into a new Hideout. But this Hideout was different, because it had been designed by Carl to be The Hideout, and was extensively remodeled to his design. Four bedrooms had been reduced to three, and two of them had oversized showers. I mean really oversized–the largest Carl had yet designed. Each had eight regular showerheads and eight handhelds, and plenty of room for eight boys, girls, men, women, you name it. The third bedroom simply had a large tub-shower. All three rooms had king size beds.

We went in the back door with the combination lock, and directly up to one of the master bedrooms. There were other kids in the house–we could hear them–but no one in the bedroom we headed for, and, more importantly, no one in the shower. The bedroom had a lock, which was rarely used, but that night it seemed wise to turn it. I didn't think Marcy was ready to have someone walk in on her while she was naked and playing with me on the bed or in the shower.

Once in the bedroom I said, "OK, you need to tell me how fast you want to move. At this point we sort of have two choices. We can lose our clothes or we can grope and touch each other through our clothes."

"That's for movie theaters and car seats. Take your clothes off and then help me get mine off."

This was an inexperienced girl? I did what I was told. I was soon naked, hard as a rock, embarrassed as all get out, and surprised that being naked with Marcy gave me the reaction that it did. I'd never responded to Ginnie that way.

Marcy said, "I'll take off my shoes and socks; then you work on my clothes."

She did. I started to unbutton her blouse, when she paused me with her hands. "I've been very brave up to this point. I was determined to keep up with you, the experienced boy. But when you started to unbutton me, I knew that I was crossing a threshold. I don't know if I'm ready."

I said, "A Gang rule is never to push someone beyond their comfort zone. I guess that's what I'm doing."

"No, I want to go forward. I need to be pushed. Go ahead and unbutton me."

I did, and she let me slip off her blouse, exposing a bra that was virtually unnecessary. I slipped my hand under the bra and massaged her tit. She said, "That feels good. Take off my bra and keep doing that."

I did. Then I slipped my hand under the elastic waistband of her pants, and massaged through her panties. She let me do that a long while, and then said, "Pull them down. Pants and panties. It's time we were both naked."

I did, and then I backed away from her so that she could see me and I could feast my eyes on her. She was beautiful. Everything I'd imagined from her breasts, to her waist and below. Very little pubic hair, and what there was was light brown. There's not much to say about the vulva, but it sure looked intriguing! She walked over to me and took hold of my dick, squeezing a little. I said, "Tickle my balls." She did. I was afraid I was going to explode. I suggested, "Let's take a shower."

"Together?"

"You won't believe this shower stall." She had to believe it, because she was now standing in it. We each stood under a shower head, and I handed her one of the handhelds, keeping one for myself. I aimed at her tits and then her pubic region, and she quickly got the idea and aimed for my tender spot as well. I never cease to be amazed at how sexy a shower can be. But I stopped us before there were any orgasms, and we dried each other off and headed for the bed. I asked, "Just how far do you want to go this evening?"

She answered, "Well, you have two choices. This isn't going to be our last time together, so you can advance gradually, a little farther each time we're together. Or you can do what you'd like to do tonight. I'm not sure being frustrated by moving gradually is all that great an idea. It's up to you. Do to me what you'd like. But I'm not yet on the pill, so no fucking me."

"Don't worry, fucking isn't on the agenda, and won't be for a long time. Let me hug you, cuddle up, and see what happens. Then you can do the same for me."

She flopped on her back, spread her arms and legs and said, "I'm all yours." I lay beside her, kissed her, and then moved down her whole body, avoiding the sexual areas. Then I moved to her tits, and down to her public area. My tongue slipped into her crack, and then I decided I'd rather begin with my fingers. They explored her pretty thoroughly, and then I let my tongue find her clitoris. As I tongued her clitoris my finger pumped into her vagina and she exploded with a mighty heave, pushing my head and hand away.

"That was awesome. Nothing like masturbating. God, Jay, that was absolutely fantastic. Thanks for not choosing to go gradually." She lay there a while, quite contented, and then continued, "I have a couple of questions before we go on."

"Ask away."

"You used your tongue on me. Would you like me to do the same to you, or use my hand?"

"I love to be sucked, but not all girls are ready for that; it's up to you."

"OK, you answered that question. Next. If I suck you, you're going to come in my mouth. In your dream of dreams, what come next?"

"You're asking me whether I want you to swallow my cum?"

"No, I'm making it more open than that. In your dreams, what comes next?"

"You hold my cum in your mouth, move up and kiss me, and we share the cum. It all gets swallowed."

There was no more talk. Her mouth and tongue were all over me, kissing, tongue in my teeth, nibbling on my nipples, sucking my balls, licking my dick, taking it all in her mouth, biting gently, sucking hard, holding on as I shot my load, kissing me, sharing my cum, swallowing along with me, and finally laying contentedly beside me.

I was in seventh heaven, and I lay there a long time. Finally, I said, "That was the performance of a very experienced woman, not a novice. Have you been holding out on me?"

"No, but I've done a lot of reading. Not manuals, some really great pornography. I've dreamed of doing that to a boy for some time."

"Where did you get the porn?"

"There isn't much you can't find on the internet. You have to lie about

your age, but they have no way of checking."

"Are you talking about porn movies or stories?"

"Both. The movies get boring very quickly. They're almost all the same. Slam, Bam, Thank you, Ma'am. Except the stuff you get for free, usually cuts off before the Bam. But the interesting things to watch are the foreplay, but that's usually pretty lame. But sometimes you find a good one."

"What about the stories?"

"The best stuff seems to be written for gay boys. But what gay boys do to each other is very much the same as what a girl can do for a boy up to the point of fucking. So what I did for you this evening was mostly drawn from stories of gay boys."

"Wow, that's neat. Gay sex doesn't bother you?"

"Should it?"

"No, of course not. You certainly know that I have a lot of gay friends."

"And considering that the aerie has six boys and two girls, if you're having any kind of sex there it must include gay sex."

"It does."

"But you still like sex with girls–like me?"

"It's sort of a given in the Gang that there's a little bit of gay and a little bit of straight in everybody; it's just that most people have more of one or the other. I think I have more straight in me than gay, but gay sex is fun."

"Someday I'd like to try lesbian sex."

"Ginny or Cindy Carson I'm sure would love it. Cindy is a year younger and doesn't live in the aerie, but she visits often."

"Two days ago I wouldn't have dreamed about this conversation. And a month ago, before you told me about your Gang, it would've simply been surreal."

"Welcome to the surreal world of Jay and the Gang. By the way, do you think you'd like to try a cross-country bike ride?"

"You mean like you, Owen, and Liam take?"

"Yeah."

"I could never keep up with you."

"They'd be willing to go slow as they thought of the delights awaiting them at the lunch and rest stops."

"You are positively evil."

"OK, so what else is new?"

"Cold weather's coming. If we're going to take a bike trip, it'd better be soon. Pick a date and I'll talk to my parents. I'm sure it'll be OK."

"I'm supposed to ride with them Saturday. I'm sure they could be convinced that a slow ride would be fun."

I'll note here that they were easily convinced. We knew our way around all of the nearby rural roads and we quickly laid out a fairly short route with several out of the way places for stops. The next Saturday came quickly, and turned out to be quite an adventure. To begin with, I thought that it'd be a good idea if Marcy and I had some time alone together before she became the only girl with three horny boys. So two nights that week we visited The Hideout, and she convinced me that she could hold her own with Owen and Liam. The question might be could Owen and Liam hold their own with Marcy?

Saturday turned out to be a big surprise. The most important thing is that it was unseasonably warm with only a light wind. What luck. I had thought that I might bring a heavy blanket, but I didn't need to. Marcy was a pretty good cyclist, and slowed us down only a little. At the first rest stop, in a little woods by a creek, she told us, "OK, I know that sex is on everybody's mind, including mine. I know about your rules. Talk first. OK, we're talking. Respect comfort zones. Jay'll tell you that my comfort zone is a wide as his, and you know about his. Last, no fucking. Enough said about that. So, let's get naked."

We did. Marcy continued, "Jay, you're first. Lay down, and the three of us are going to explore your body, do everything to it that we can think of, ending with you spurting your cum God knows where. Then it's your turn Owen, since you're the oldest; then you Liam. And guess what, guys? You get to take care of me after lunch."

They weren't shy about playing with me, and three tongues covered my body quite thoroughly. Marcy organized it so that when I came my dick was in her mouth. Owen and Liam were quite startled when she immediately kissed them, and then me, sharing my cum all around. That wasn't further than the aerie had gone, but that Marcy would go that far surprised them.

Owen and Liam got the same treatment. Then Marcy said, "OK, let's get back to bike riding. I guess we need to put our clothes back on for that."

Lunch followed in about two hours, and at Marcy's suggestion it was eaten naked. She then lay down on the grass, in a spread-eagle position and just waited for us to do something. It didn't take us long. She loved it. So did we. At our afternoon rest stop clothes stayed on, and the conversation centered on bicycle riding around North Dakota. All of a sudden our group of three had become a group of four.

That evening I asked Marcy what she thought her parents thought of me and the events of the last few weeks. Her answer surprised me. "Jay, for some reason they seem to have great faith in you. As soon as I raised any questions the first thing they asked was, 'You're talking about doing this with Jay, right?' As soon as I said yes (who else could it be with) then the answer was always that it was OK with them. By the way, they want me to invite you to dinner. Be prepared for some pretty blunt conversation."

"You know I can deal with that. There are no subjects off the table in dinner conversations at our house."

Dinner was the following week. We drank fruit juice in their living room–no alcohol, not even for the adults–and then moved to the dining room for a very nice ham dinner. The Hollings were very pleasant, and talked about how they'd enjoyed meeting my parents a few times at school events and a couple of neighborhood parties. The Mr. Hollings said, "I'd like to tell you a little story. My insurance business includes selling business insurance to protect against the loss of a business' key employees. This almost always involves talking to the top officer in a business. Naturally, Fred's Sports is a possible lucrative account, and I was eager to do business with them. Eventually I was working with Andy Oldfield, and we quickly realized that we'd been neighbors about twenty years ago in the neighborhood that he still lives in. Frankly, I'm surprised he still lives there. With his position in Fred's Sports he could live in the grandest house in Grand Forks. I guess you could say the same thing about Fred Milson as well. Considering their wealth they live remarkably simple lives. But I'm off my subject. We got talking one day and he asked me about children, and I proudly mentioned you, Marcy. Out of the blue he asked, 'She got a boyfriend, yet?' I said, 'She does, a boy named Jay Bruder; I think he's the grandson of the runner, Hal Bruder, but I'm not sure.' He said, 'Indeed, Jay is Hal's grandson. A wonderful boy, just like his father and grandfather.' I asked Andy, 'Do you know him?' 'Hal is one of my closest friends, I've known him since we were about Marcy's age. I know both Junior and Jay quite well. Wonderful boys'."

Michael Hollings continued, "So when Marcy seemed to be getting kind of serious about Jay I found an opportunity to ask a little more. 'Andy, it appears that Marcy and Jay and getting pretty close. As a concerned father, should I be worried?' Andy's answer wasn't at all what I expected. I expected to hear that Jay was a great boy, etc. etc., but I got a different response. He told me, 'Mike, almost certainly Jay's going to push you to your limits. He comes from a group that's more or less treated as adults beginning in grade school. And they are given a great deal of freedom, including sexual freedom. They push all kinds of boundaries, but ultimately stick to some very important rules. The most important of these is that they don't push each other further than people are comfortable with, and they have a firm 'no fucking in high school' rule that is scrupulously followed. And one other thing, Jay won't do anything with Marcy that he thinks is behind your back. With the typical boy, you can wonder and wonder what's going on. With Jay, you'll know. It'll push you, but you can trust him completely.' 'Thanks, Andy. I'll keep that in mind when I find myself being pushed by Marcy and Jay'.

"And now you know why Susan and I were willing to tell Marcy that we were comfortable with her saying yes to sexual invitations from you, Jay. We had a little background. And then your story of the Gang, which explained Andy's relationship to you, filled in a lot of blanks that Andy hadn't."

I'd been spellbound as Mr. Hollings told his story of Andy. The Gang called him Good Old Andy, and clearly for a reason. My God, he'd smoothed the way for me, and I didn't even know it. I knew a thank you to him was called for, and probably a story as well. His generation has always supported the younger generations, and in return they like to know what's going on and hear stories of the kids. We always get called kids and we've learned from Tim to like it!

That dinner was followed by a request from Marcy to visit the aerie. It was easily arranged, and Liam was delighted to play host. Marcy was amazed by the bed (the five beds were laid out to look like one) and actually took her time to look over the rest of the room. It was filled with comfortable chairs, study desks, and a couple of game tables. She asked, "No toys?"

Little Pete answered that with, "We've got lots of toys in The Hideout. We play over there."

Liam said, "There aren't many kids here right now. What you really want to do is come by in the evening, or better yet spend the night."

I jumped in with, "Do you think your folks would be OK with that?"

"My folks have surprised me a lot recently. All I can do is ask."

Ask she did, and she was not excessively surprised with the answer, "I don't think there is much going to happen there that hasn't already happened on your bike trips or at Jay's."

Well, her mom was right. We spent the night in the aerie the next Friday night. Liam and company shared the aerie mantra, stolen from you know where: "What happens in the aerie stays in the aerie." I have to respect that, so I'll leave the details to your imagination. With the blessing of all the parents of the kids involved, we spent one night at least every other weekend in the aerie for the next few years.

But I need a disclaimer here. Reading this you could easily believe that my relationship to Marcy was almost exclusively sexual and/or that we spent an inordinate amount of time with no clothes on. Neither could be further from the truth. Well, yes, in the couple of months that I've described here, sex pretty much dominated the relationship. Think back to your first month or two of having sex with your partner. Be honest. Our relationship soon backed down to having some kind of sex just once or twice a week. That wasn't because we deliberately limited ourselves, rather as sex ceased to be forbidden, we found other things more important. Like studying, thinking about the future, going on dates together and with friends–the normal life of teenagers.

But there's no question that sex deepened our relationship. By high school we were certain that marriage was in our future. We had a big engagement party at the end of our junior year. Some time during that year I'd mentioned to Shel that Marcy and I thought we'd announce our engagement at the end of the school year. Bang! Shel was in control; I should probably say Shel was in command. Before I knew it, Shel was ready to invite our entire high school class, all of the Gang, COGs and GrandCOGs and their friends and significant others, and virtually everyone in Grand Forks who knew me, Marcy, our parents, or grandparents. And the list of runners that knew Hal was almost endless, and both Hal and Shel insisted they should be invited. (Many of them came.)

"Shel, where or earth are you going to have this party?"

"In the velodrome. The Field House is too big, but the velodrome will hold everybody."

"Are you going to feed people?"

"Damn right. I was thinking of ribs, chicken and beef on skewers, with all the fixin's."

"And just how do you propose to pay for all of this?"

"In the Gang that's a forbidden question. I'll deal with it. You won't. Your job is to show up, with your future bride on your arm, smile a lot, kiss often, greet everybody and thank them for coming. You will answer the question, 'Aren't you a little young?' with a simple, 'I don't think so; neither does Marcy.' All that and have a ball. Oh, yes, Coke will flow. Beer and wine will not. And velodrome security will insure that alcohol doesn't get in. Drugs are harder to police, but they'll do their best."

You, dear reader, will have no trouble figuring out how this was paid for, and neither did I after a little thought. Shel had simply asked Tim and Charlie for access to Fred's trust for the Gang. And, of course, they said, "Yes."

A year later it was a wedding. You wouldn't have expected it, but both Marcy and her mom were wedding traditionalists, except that they bought into the idea that it couldn't take place in a church or other venue that wouldn't host a holy union or other commitment ceremony for gay couples. That ruled out their church, and most others locally. The Unitarian church was simply "too modern" and wouldn't do. What would?

We decided on a outdoor wedding, with the velodrome as an indoor backup. We found a grove of trees on a farm outside of town that was just perfect. It was owned by a farmer who was more than delighted to get a little extra income for no work at all. He even had a nearby field that was perfect for parking. We rented chairs and set them out in a church-like order. We didn't need an organ; Toppy promised a full orchestra! And a large chorale. The guest list was similar to our engagement party, except that for our high school class we limited invitations to folks who'd actually showed up for the engagement party, or at least sent a polite R.S.V.P.

Toppy easily convinced Marcy, but it took a little longer to convince her mom, that they didn't want the wedding march, they wanted the Triumphal March from Aida. This time Toppy played one of the business, and the other two were played by two trumpeters from the University Band. The full orchestra played as the wedding party entered, but it was the three business that played for Marcy's "Triumphal March."

Up front, guiding the ceremony, were three ministers: Rev. Peter Olson, Marcy's minister who was far ahead of his Methodist denomination regarding gay rights, Rev. Barbara Saxon of the Community Church of East Grand Forks, and our own Franklin Munson, whose right to marry someone in North Dakota derived from a online "ordination,' but who nevertheless didn't consider himself to be a minister and never used the term, Rev. All three signed the marriage license and not one of them lays claim to being the sole "marrier."

We continue to live happily ever after, but the details are outside of the date range of this episode–I've already pushed the calendar too far (with Charlie's permission, of course). Just to keep it straight, we were married in June of 2016.

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