Knots, Book 3
by Elias Scott
Gina's talking to me. I can't believe it. She's been on my mind over the last few months because Andy, Thomas, and I were having sex. Girls are a puzzle to me since I've been having sex with guys. I'm not sure she was ever someone I lusted after. For that matter, I don't think I ever lusted after anyone. After all, lust is one of the seven deadly sins. That had nothing to do with it, but it just seemed like it wasn't the right way to look at people. Now and then I found myself looking at guys like possible sex partners. That really bothered me. The one thing I wouldn't let myself do was be like Randy. You know how they say look, but don't touch? That's the way it would have to be.
A few guys I didn't know had been coming up to me and making small talk. They seemed nervous, and I think they might be gay or think they may be and just couldn't talk about it. I should have helped them out by giving them some kind of opening, but I didn't do it. There were too many other problems in my life to worry about problems in theirs. I feel guilty about it now, but that's the way it was then. Sometimes, when our lives are tied in knots we have no time to worry about the knots other people have in their lives.
Andy told me about his talk with Jason Settles. It sounded like he and Settles had a nice conversation. I should do the same thing, but I haven't been able to bring myself to do it. Eventually, I made a commitment to talk to some of the boys who came up to me.
Sex was on my mind a lot. I kept wondering what it would be like to have sex with Gina. I wondered how it would compare to having sex with Andy or Thomas. I've read enough to know that some gay guys seem to think girls carry some kind of plague, but they're human just like us. They have feeling and desires just like us. Why we think they're so different is beyond me. Yes, at least at the time I preferred guys. I like sucking cock and I love having a cock in my ass. The question I kept asking myself was, "Can I give up guy sex to love a girl, get married, and have children?" I didn't know the answer. While all this was going through my mind, I was thinking of Thomas being on the "injured reserve" as Andy liked to say and I knew my options were few because of my parents. Andy's parents seemed far more understanding, but I think that's because he was honest with them from the start. Everything came as a shock to mine.
It finally hit me that I was going to have to take the whole thing head-on so I asked to speak to them on Saturday at breakfast. It was tense. Well, at least I felt tense. They were probably too, but did their best to look calm.
My mom cooked bacon and eggs along with hash browns and pancakes. It was like she was having a celebration when in fact they had no idea what was coming. Or at least I didn't think they did.
I cleared my throat. "I don't know quite how to say this, but I need to say it."
My dad nodded at me. "Go on. We're listening."
"I'm sorry for not telling you about Andy and me and the others, but I knew you'd be disappointed in me. Well, at least I thought you would be. But now I know you're more disappointed that I didn't tell you. But how does a son tell his parents he's having sex with other guys even if he thinks they might understand."
They sat silently as they stared at me.
"Go on," my dad urged.
"The fact is that this all started because I was afraid Andy was going to commit suicide. He had tried having sex with me once or twice and I told him no. I warned him about Dillon and he ignored me. I could have easily said, 'I told you so,' but I didn't. He looked so hurt and I was so afraid for him that I did the only thing I thought I could do to console him. You probably think it was the wrong thing, but at the time it seemed right. After all, Dad, you always tell me that hindsight is twenty-twenty. And I now understand what you mean."
I stopped and waited for them to say something, but they just continued to give me their undivided attention, which I'd like to say I wanted, but it unnerved me. "Aren't you going to say anything? Aren't you going to scream at me or tell me I'm stupid?"
They shook their heads. Shit, I thought.
My mom was the first to answer. "No, we're not, Matt. We love you. We don't approve of what you did, but it's done. Don't forget, you're the one who asked for this meeting. So the burden is on you. We're here to listen."
I rested my hands on the table and fidgeted with my fingers, staring at them the whole time. It seemed like hours had passed before I said anything. "This is hard. I've had sex with guys. You know that and not only just Andy, but Thomas and Randy too. I keep thinking you must hate me. But I know you don't. Sometimes I wish you would. It would make it easier to fight against your anger. I could dig in and think you don't love me and all your words mean nothing, but you don't hate me even though I'm filled with guilt."
My dad put his hands on mine to stop my fidgeting. "Matt, we love you. You don't need to feel guilty. We might not approve, but your mom and I think you did what you did because you really care for Andy. How can we fault you for that?"
"I do love Andy, Dad. But I had no idea that the sex could be so powerful. And that's why I wanted to have this talk. I want to continue having sex with Andy. I don't even know if I am gay or bisexual or what, but I like what he and I have. I like having sex with Thomas too. You probably hate hearing this, but it's the way it is. I'm sorry for not telling you sooner, but I think you understand why."
My mom put her hand on my arm and rubbed back and forth. "Do you really think so little of us?"
Shit, that hurt. That really hurt. "Uh. No. But I feel ashamed."
"Ashamed of what?" she asked.
"Ashamed that I was having sex with guys. What parent wants to hear that? No matter how understanding you are, you can't tell me it doesn't bother you?"
She patted my arm. "How did we react when Andy told everyone at dinner that night that he was gay?"
She had me there. "You accepted it."
"Why would it be any different for you?"
"I don't know. I just thought it would."
Dad rubbed his hand through his hair. "Matt, what we're angry about is that you have been living a lie all this time. We didn't bring you up that way."
I dropped my head and said in a low voice. "I know."
There was silence for a few seconds before my dad said, "I have a feeling you're not done. Just keep in mind we will always love you."
My fingers fidgeted again. "Well, it's this way. I'm not sure if I'm gay or bisexual. But I do know that I want to continue having sex. You have made it clear that you are going to prevent me from doing that, but I don't think it's right. What's done is done as you said, and it's too late to turn back now. Andy, Thomas, and I have something special that goes beyond sex, but keeping us apart isn't going to work for anyone. I know you love me, but I think I'd be angry if you said no."
"No to what?" my dad asked.
They might love me, but they sure weren't making this easy. "No to our getting together to play basketball, going swimming at the pond, and having sex. We're friends and we're going to have sex. Maybe it's not the way you'd like it, but that's the way it is." It felt good to finally get that off my chest.
But my mom was no fool. "What about Gina?"
"We're meeting under the elm tree in front of the school on Monday."
She frowned. "Are you leading her on?"
"No. I'm going to talk to her the same way I'm talking to you. She felt betrayed because I didn't trust her. She was also upset because I gave Andy my virginity. She didn't quite say it that way, but that's what it amounted to."
A sad look crossed my mother's face. "Do you understand how she feels?"
"She's hurt. But like I keep saying, there's no going back. I'm just hoping we can be friends."
"Is that why you're meeting under the elm tree?"
My dad smiled. "Matt, I hate to say, but that sounds a bit romantic."
I smiled too. "Yeah, it kind of does, doesn't it…But it's not romance. Right now I don't feel capable of romance. It's all about sex." It seemed so strange to hear those words come out of my mouth. I was only fifteen and yet everything that happened changed me and made me see life in a new light.
My parents' faces looked so sad.
I went on. "I never thought it would come to this. I love Andy, Thomas, and Gina but not in the way everyone talks about love. I'm afraid I'll never be able to love?"
"Matt," my dad said. "You are still the same boy we raised to be honest and mature. Sometimes young people make mistakes and their lives change. But there isn't any need for you to just give up on yourself. You're only fifteen. You have a lifetime ahead of you. There will be plenty of time to fall in love and we'll accept whatever you decide. But we want you to go slow. When you talk about having sex, are you thinking you might have sex with a lot of different boys?"
I looked down. "I don't know."
"Have you thought about it?"
"What answer did you come up with?"
"I don't know. That's it. I look at guys differently than I did before. Hell, I look at girls differently than I did before. It's something I'll have to figure out."
Mom put her hand on my forearm again. "All we can ask Matt, is that you tell us what you're doing. We know sex is powerful, but we don't want you to be promiscuous and have sex with anyone and everyone. That's not good for you. Do you understand that?"
"Yes and no."
"What do you mean?"
"I suppose if I loved Andy and he was my boyfriend, I'd just have sex with him. Same goes for Thomas. But since they're not, maybe I'd like to have sex with other boys or even some girls. I don't know. I'm one confused fifteen-year-old."
My father managed a small smile. "We understand what you're going through. Like you said, what is done is done. We'll have to make the best of it. Your mom and I can accept that you will have sex with boys. While we don't like the fact you're having sex at all, we'll be understanding only if you promise that you won't become some teenager who has sex with anyone and everyone. And you need to promise to have safe sex. Can you promise us that?"
"Yes. I promise."
"Remember, Matt," my dad said as he stopped my fidgeting hands. "Your mom and I both love you and want what's best for you. We expect you to be honest with us the same as you expect us to be honest with you. So we're not going to keep you from doing things with your friends even though we know that you may be playing more than basketball, going jogging, or having a sleepover. Believe me, it's not going to be easy, but we'd rather have everything out in the open rather than everything done in secret." He stood, put his hands under my armpits, pulled me up and gave me a long tight hug. "I love you, Matt."
My mom waited for him to let go and did the same. I was glad I talked to them and I knew I was blessed with great parents. At the time I still had some doubts about whether I had a green light for sex or not, but it seemed that they decided they were going to trust me to do the right thing and that seemed like a big responsibility.
Matt called that Saturday to tell me he'd talked to his parents and thought they were going to trust us to do the right thing. Of course he and I thought the right thing was to get together as often as possible and fuck. His parents really surprised me, but from what I could get out of Matt, they were more upset with him not telling them than the fact he might be gay. You noticed I said, might be gay. He loved gay sex, but he didn't want to admit he was gay. He preferred bisexual and as long as we were still having sex, I didn't really care what he called himself.
Matt and I took the bus to the hospital to visit Thomas. It was sad seeing that sexy boy sitting in bed and knowing he was going to be out of commission for a couple months. What bad luck. His spirits were surprisingly good. Coach Ward, the JV basketball coach and Coach Gilbert, the varsity coach, came by while we were there. What great guys. You'd have never known from their attitude that they ever gave a thought to the fact that the three of us all had sex together. It's too bad more adults aren't like them. Coach Gilbert always set the tone for the basketball program and Coach Ward's attitude reflected his.
Matt apologized for being so pissed at me on Friday when I went over and talked to Gina and Emily. He's meeting her under the elm tree on Monday. It sounds so romantic. The image of Matt and Thomas kissing under the bleachers popped into my mind. I hate to say, but my thinking was that if I could get him and Gina together, Thomas and I would have a better chance. Although Thomas still clung to the idea that he and Matt might be a couple.
Sometimes life is strange. Matt and I spent Sunday together shooting hoops and sitting in my room talking about basketball, Dillon's trial, Randy, and Thomas' bad luck without ever touching each other. It was like there was some invisible shield between us. We joked about it too. Neither of us wanted to make the first move so neither of us did. He said, "Let's wait. It's too soon, don't you think?"
"Yeah, there's plenty of time."
He rose to go. "Yeah, plenty of time."
Judge Fienberg rapped his gavel and called the court to order.
Dillon Burke was dressed in his dark blue suit and red tie. Thomas' dad rolled him in in a wheelchair. Andy and Matt were dressed in slacks and polo shirts. Randy came dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Kyle wasn't present.
Judge Fienberg pointed his gavel at Roger Wheeler. "You may begin your closing arguments, Mr. Wheeler."
Wheeler was dressed in a blue pinstriped suit, blue shirt, and blue tie with fleurs-de-lis spotting it. He held his yellow pad in his hand as he walked toward the jury. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we have been here over a week listening to the testimony of young men whose lives have been changed by Dillon Burke." He pointed at Dillon. "Look at the defendant. He looks innocent. But inside lurks a man who likes young boys. He prefers young boys. If he preferred boys his own age, we might just say he's gay. But he likes younger boys. He was a senior and seventeen when he seduced two thirteen-year-old boys, Thomas Galbraith and Randy Barnson. Testimony from the younger boys during this case showed how he slowly seduced Thomas Galbraith, Randy Barnson, and Andy Gibson. He raped Matt Spence. All of these boys were virgins at the time. Dillon Burke stole their virginity. He led the boys to believe they were giving it to him, when in fact, he was stealing it through stealth, use of gifts, his status, wealth, and his good looks to lure them into having sex with him. Dillon Burke continued to have sex with Andy Gibson after he turned eighteen. This is statutory rape.
"The boys admit that they never thought about their sexuality before Dillon Burke. It's like some ask, 'When did you choose to be heterosexual or choose to be homosexual?' In most cases, we do not consciously make these choices. But at the time Dillon Burke entered their lives, they had not thought about it. Yes, some boys do think about it when they are even younger and many say they prefer boys. But in the cases of Thomas Galbraith and Randy Barnson, they said they hadn't thought about it until faced with the decision as to whether they were going to give into Dillon Burke's sexual advances. They now testify that they see themselves as gay young men. Matt Spence, on the other hand, says he's unsure. But we do know that all these boys had their first sexual experience with Dillon Burke and have continued to have sex since. Some of their testimony shocked the jury. You must ask yourselves, would any of these things happened if Dillon Burke had not seduced or raped these boys?
"The defense would like us to believe that these young boys seduced him. Even if we were to accept that maybe one of them did, it is obvious to any thinking person that it could not have been true of all four boys. Mr. Burke would like us to believe his good looks and other gifts were the reason the boys wanted him.
"Everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty. For this reason we cannot say that Dillon Burke is guilty of perjury, but I can tell you that I plan to prosecute the defendant for perjury because I believe there is enough evidence to prove he is guilty. But only a jury can decide that.
"Dillon Burke is a predator and needs to be stopped. Our fear is that if nothing is done and he does not receive counseling, he could easily sink to a level that would lead to more serious offenses as he gets older. We ask that you find him guilty of statutory rape. He was not eighteen when he seduced Thomas Galbraith and Randy Barnson, but he was eighteen when he had sex with Andy Gibson and raped Matt Spence. Dillon Burke needs you to find him guilty so he can get the help he needs to prevent him from committing more serious crimes in the future. Thank you."
Wheeler sat down and Joel Banta rose. "The district attorney would like us to believe that our client is evil. That he seduced these young men, when in fact they seduced him. Dillon Burke did nothing wrong. The alleged victims lied in their testimony because they were jealous of each other and wanted to punish Dillon Burke for having sex with other boys, including Kyle Jarvis. Your decision here could ruin a young man's life. Dillon Burke is a good student and has a future as a college quarterback. If he is found guilty, he will have no chance to accept any of the scholarship offers he's received prior to his unjustly being accused of statutory rape. You cannot allow the lies of these young men to ruin Dillon Burke's life.
"I could stand before you and go into every detail of the testimony, but that wouldn't change the fact that these boys lied and framed the defendant. Mr. Wheeler is playing unfair by bringing up the fact that he plans to prosecute our client for perjury. His statement is prejudicial, despite the fact he says Mr. Burke is innocent until proven guilty. The fact remains that those boys should be accused of perjury and not our client. They lied and because of their lies we ask that you find Dillon Burke innocent of all charges."
Banta walked to his seat and sat down. Judge Fienberg gave instructions to the jury. "The word seduced and seduction came up quite often during this trial. Seduction is not a crime. The purpose of this proceeding has been to decide if Dillon Burke is guilty of statutory rape as it relates to Thomas Galbraith, Randy Barnson, and Andy Gibson. You need to decide if he is innocent or guilty of statutory rape for any one of them or all of them. You must also decide if he is guilty of raping Matthew Spence. The jury is excused to deliberate." He rapped his gavel. "Court is adjourned until the jury returns with a verdict."
Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself - and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is. - Jim Morrison
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