The Apartment

Chapter 6

Ray was drowsing, at the edge of sleep; it was the wee small hours before dawn. Across the room Andy lay sleeping, half on his back, half on his side. He looked ... sweet. innocent. young. His slender, almost hairless body was draped in total relaxation; his long thin arms were folded, with his hands under the pillow below his head. One armpit showed, with a single blond hair contrasting with his fair skin. His penis, now soft and small, peeked out from beneath his thigh. All in all, Ray thought he was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

He thought back over the past few hours — Donny leaving "to pay Van," he and Andy stripping for bed, kissing, and beginning gingerly to explore lovemaking, then Andy taking him to Chay, and amazingly encouraging him to play with and suck off the small Asian boy's amazing dick.

Then back to their room, for something even more amazing. Immediately they got into the room, Andy had pulled him down onto his bed, and began grinding his hips against Ray's. Surprised but pleased, Ray had joined in with enthusiasm, and the expected happened: Andy reached climax, shooting onto their pressed-together bellies, and Ray came only seconds later. They had pressed close together, cuddling, as the afterglow faded, and then Andy had surprised Ray yet again, by lazily running a finger through Ray's cum and then tasting it. Feeling kinky and exulting in the freedom to do it, Ray had hunched himself down and licked Andy's off his tummy.

Andy's gentle but insistent hands drew him back face to face with the blond boy, and they shared a gentle, prolonged kiss. "I love you," Andy said to him. "Thank God you came home with me."

Touched, Ray said, "I love you too," and realized how very much he meant it. He bent in and instigated another kiss, which Andy, surprised and pleased, responded to. A half hour of lazy affection ensued, kissing and talking of nothing in particular, multiple reiterations of how much each loved the other.

Ray had begun to feel arousal again, and was worried at how Andy would respond. He need not have worried; Andy had noticed with a great smile, reached and began playing with Ray's dick, and then smoothly rotated his position to begin the 69 he'd suggested earlier. Ray had joined in with alacrity, surprised that Andy was stiff again. Ray came before Andy this time, but again the timing was nearly simultaneous.

Sexual desire sated for the moment, they had kissed again, and then Andy slowly dozed off. After caressing Andy's cheek and shoulders, Ray had gently extricated himself from the embrace, and went over to his own bed.

Ray wasn't sure how he felt about all this — it was like a dream come true for him, and, perversely, that worried him: he felt like something would destroy his happiness, sooner or later. And there was still the ghost of the condemnation he'd experienced, niggling in the back of his mind, telling him that he and Andy were engaged in something that any right thinking person would call evil.

The click of the front door brought him back to full consciousness. He listened to the footfalls, relaxed as he realized it was Donny coming in. He walked past their door, looked in on Jack (who had been resting quietly), and headed for his own room.

Ray heard Chay's voice. "You're back! How'd it go?"

"Just fine," Donny answered. "Van enjoyed himself — and so did I!"

"You know I would have gone in your place," Chay said.

"And you know why that wouldn't work," Donny rejoined. "He knows how old you are — he sure ought to! — but your appearance would make it a guilt trip for him."

"Yeah, I know ... but ...."

"Look, first, I needed to do it. I'm the one that got him involved, I'm the one he asked, and I'm the one equipped to satisfy him. And hell, I needed it myself! It's not like it wasn't something I enjoyed just as much as he did."

Chay again: "I wish ... never mind."

Ray realized he was eavesdropping on something he probably wasn't supposed to hear, but wild horses couldn't have torn him away from listening.

"I had a little fun, too, tonight," Chay said after a pause. "Andy brought Ray down here. Long story, and Ray's to tell, but it seems he got fucked over by a friend, and Andy correctly diagnosed that I was the one to help him through it. With sex."


"The boy gives a good blowjob!" Chay chuckled. "Apparently he came out to someone he trusted, sucked him off, and got outed for it. That's apparently a part of his story, why he ran."

"And giving you a blowjob fixed that?" Donny was skeptical.

"Giving one to someone with a dick that reminded him of his friend's, who enjoyed and appreciated it and treated him right, was the medicine he needed," Chay explained. "As well as something I enjoyed a lot."

"So we both spent the evening being sex therapists?" The laughter in Donny's voice was rich and heartfelt.

"And enjoyed it, too, right?" Chay tossed it back to him.

"Yeah. Sometimes it feels like I'm using Van, but it's what he wants, what he enjoys," Donny said. "I owe the man a lot — we both do — it's just that that seems like the wrong way to pay him."

"I think you'll probably never understand it," Chay said. "For someone who's learned to enjoy it, there's nothing that feels better. Trust me on that one. I don't think, despite all the times, you've ever really believed what it does for me."

"I can't get the feeling I'm hurting people out of my head," Donny said. "And given who I am, that makes it really rough for me."

"Jeez, you're tense," Chay said then, apparently touching Donny's body. "Get undressed, and let me work the kinks out."

There was silence then for a few minutes, except for low moans from Donny as Chay evidently gave him a backrub. Ray privately made note of that as something he could do for Andy, if and when Andy needed it. Then, "Roll over." It was Chay in a take-charge mode.

"Um...." Donny started to object.

"Roll over, I said," from Chay, followed by "That's what I thought. Guess what I'm going to do!"


"We just had that discussion, Donny. You don't get it, I know. But I know how Van feels — I feel the same way. So relax and enjoy."

A few low moans followed. Ray listened, but soon drifted off to sleep, the day's events and the late hour catching up with him.


Ray found himself awakened by something gentle he couldn't identify. Opening his eyes, he saw Andy's face a bare six inches from his own, a playful expression on it. The gentle sensation proved to have been Andy's lips and hands on his own face and neck, sweetly awakening him.

"C'mon, want some breakfast?" Andy asked. "Or ... we could find something to do right here," this with an eye to Ray's morning wood and a playful attempt at a dirty-old-man leer.

"Wuzza," Ray said indistinctly. Then, "breakfast sounds good. And I need to find a toilet — fast!"

"Aw, darn!" Andy said with mock sadness. Ray sat up, started to reach for clothes. "Don't worry about that — I like seeing you just like that!" This of course made Ray blush.

Andy was all but dancing on his way out the door. Ray compromised by slipping on the lowcut briefs he'd put on yesterday and a fresh T-shirt, feeling slightly embarrassed that an inch or two of skin showed between T-shirt hem and the elastic at the top of the briefs.

He made his way to the bathroom and with relief made use of the urinal. The shower was running as he walked in, and turned off while he was relieving himself. Peewee stepped out, wet and perky, and grabbed a towel from a pile. "Dry me!" he demanded of Ray.

With a grin at the 11-year-old, he dried off Peewee's hair, shoulders, back, and chest, then paused. "You better do the rest," he said.

"Why?" asked Peewee.

Ray started three times to answer, with explanations about modesty, why big kids shouldn't touch little kids, and so on, and realized he didn't have a good answer. It wasn't like he wanted to molest Peewee or something; he was coming to look at him, as the rest of the guys already did, as a much-loved, mischievous little brother. With a sense of having crossed another bridge, he toweled dry Peewee's butt and then his private parts, which saluted his efforts. "Does that thing ever stay down?" he asked Peewee with a grin.

Peewee giggled. "It's more fun this way!" he said.

"Yeah, I guess it is," Ray answered, remembering Andy's — and Chay's — and starting to develop one of his own. Slightly embarrassed at that, he diverted the discussion. "You had breakfast yet?"

"Yep," Peewee said. "But I'm hungry again!"

Ray threw one arm across the younger boy's shoulders and they walked to the kitchen.

Pauly was cooking sausages and eggs, and was just dishing Donny up a plate as they walked in. "Mornin', Ray; there's just enough left for you," he said. "Grab a plate."

Ray located the plates in the second cabinet he checked, mentally indexing what was stored in the other one for future reference.

"I want some more!" Peewee said.

"Hang onto your butt; I need to cook some more," Pauly said to him. Peewee being Peewee, he took the instructions literally, and grabbed his own buttcheeks with both hands, with a big grin on his face. Ray laughed.

"O.J. in the refrigerator if you want it," Donny said. When Ray went to get it out, he added, "Would you mind pouring me a glass while you're at it."

"Sure," Ray said, feeling warmed that he was a part of things, "'S probably my turn for dishes, too," as he brought Donny his orange juice and set his own down at his place.

"Yeah," Pauly said. "Just be careful not to feel like you need to do everything. We've never set up a rotation; it would feel too much like assigned chores. We just work it out day to day, with everybody taking a turn — usually without bitching," the last with a meaningful glance directed at Peewee, who said, "Bite it!" in response.

Pauly looked consideringly at Peewee's crotch. "That doesn't look like more than a single bite," he said with a deadpan expression. Peewee quickly covered his private parts with both hands.

Ray and Donny were laughing heartily at this. Pauly took up the eggs he'd been cooking, gave Peewee a second plate, along with a sausage patty, and took the rest of the eggs and two patties himself, set his cookware in the sink to soak, and carried his plate into the living room.

As Pauly was finishing this, Chay came walking in, wearing sweatpants, and poured himself a cup of coffee. "That'll stunt your growth, you know," Pauly said teasingly to him.

"I think I ended up pre-stunted," Chay said with a grin, sitting down at the table.

Ray looked at Donny, and remembered the conversations of the past evening. "Tell me about Van, Donny," he said, wondering if he was trespassing into forbidden ground.

"What do you want to know?" Donny asked.

"Well, um, first I knew of him was when he came in with you last night, and took care of Jack," Ray explained, fumbling for the right words. "And then you went out afterwards to pay him. Um, I've got a little money if you need help with that."

Chay choked on his coffee. Donny glared at him.

"Well, Chay told you his story, right?" Donny began. When Ray nodded yes, Donny went on. "After three months on the street, he was a mess. I, um, don't want to go into how we reconnected" — Chay gave a nervous laugh — "but I knew he needed help." Donny paused. "The clinic's for the homeless, street kids, people on Welfare — free medical help. There's laws they do have to abide by, but they played games with some of the provisions, so they could help runaways without being required to contact the parents, and stuff like that."

"I knew I was taking a risk with Chay's freedom, but he needed medical help, and that took priority," Donny went on. "We lucked out in getting Van — he cares about kids. After the second visit to the clinic, he had me bring Chay to his apartment, on the hours he had off from the clinic, and treated him there, where there'd be fewer questions. By the time Chay was back on his feet, we'd run into Peewee, and again he helped without questions. Then Mikey. We owe him a lot."

"Donny, your guilt trip is showing," Chay interrupted. Their eyes met, and a lot of unspoken conversation went on in that gaze. Finally Chay broke it with, "I'm telling him the truth, Donny. You aren't doing anything wrong, and I wish I could make you see that."

Chay turned to Ray. "Van is a real sweetheart, and I do owe my life to him — it was that bad. But, Ray, after last night I know a little bit about the demons you're fighting, and you may have a hint about mine. Van's no different from us; he has his own kinks. One thing I can say for sure is, he'd never hurt a child, never willingly mess with a teenager's mind to hurt him. But...." Chay paused. "I needed ongoing treatment, and the worst part came after our first two visits, at the clinic. We were hiding out in an abandoned warehouse at the time, and there wasn't much in the way of facilities there, and that didn't help. The second time we went to his apartment, we ended up staying the night. It wasn't planned; I was just too weak to leave, and Donny stayed with me. Van made him up a daybed for the night."

He stopped again. "Ray, have you ever seen Donny naked?" Mutely, Ray shook his head no. "Donny, stand up and drop trou." Chay's usual easygoing voice had a snap of command to it, and his warm smile had vanished; whatever this was about, was serious.

Donny grimly gestured no, he wasn't doing it. "Donny, Ray needs to know the truth here," Chay said. "You've told the rest of us never to be ashamed of who we are; take your own advice." Donny seemed to be debating something in his head. "Do it!" Chay said, with authority and compassion mixing in his tone.

Donny stood up. He was shirtless, wearing his preferred loose-fitting baggy jeans. Hesitantly, he unbuttoned and unzipped them, let them drop, and slid down the boxers that doing this had revealed.

Ray's eyes bulged. Donny was very well hung. Peewee giggled. With a grumpy sound, Donny pulled his pants back up, and refixed them.

Chay's voice was full of gentleness as he went on. "Van's reaction was pretty much the same as yours, Ray. Donny was lying half asleep on his back on that daybed, with that transplant from a stallion dangling out the fly. I've never got the full story of Van's childhood, but what I've pieced together is that he was the chubby little boy that an older neighbor boy used for sex, and he came to enjoy it — much the same as me with my uncle. To make a long story short, by the time the night was out, Van had gotten Donny inside him, and apparently enjoyed it a lot. That was how Donny 'paid for the house call ' — because that's what Van wanted."

"I don't know if you've ever done that, Ray," — he shook his head no at Chay's implied question, startled at the story — "but guys who enjoy it, enjoy it a lot. Including me. Donny doesn't get that, doesn't understand how anyone can like it. And he feels guilty for being the one doing the, well, the fucking. But for somebody like me or Van, having that big thing inside you is like no other thrill there is." Chay paused. "You heard us last night, after Donny got home, didn't you?"

Nervously, Ray said, "Yes," feeling guilty again at eavesdropping on their conversation.

"Did you look in on us?"

"Uh, no, I didn't feel it would be right."

"It wouldn't have been a problem," Chay said with a smile. "We don't have anything to hide — or at least I don't. But you knew he came home all tensed up and feeling guilty, right?"

"Um, yeah. And you gave him a backrub. I fell asleep about then."

"Then you didn't know that in relaxing him, I turned him on. And we finished out the night with me sitting on his dick, riding him and feeling great. I shot all over his chest."

Donny turned several shades of red through this. The little Asian boy looked at him with deep affection and said, "Donny, you've helped everybody else with their problems. Let us help you deal with yours too. Sure, you enjoy fucking guys — but the guys you're fucking enjoy it just as much. Or at least Van and I do. It's, I don't know, like someone giving you the best sex of your life, from the inside out. And I can't imagine you doing it to anyone who doesn't welcome it; that's not your style."

"It just seems wrong," Donny said. "Like something I want, but wrong somehow."

And it dawned on Ray why he was in on this conversation. "Look, Donny, do you see anything wrong with me and Andy falling in love?"

"Well, no, but...."

"But nothing, dude! Two days ago I was in exactly the same boat you're in — attracted to guys and feeling nothing but guilt for it. I remember thinking how cute Andy looked when he first started talking to me, and felt like I was evil for even thinking that. I don't know if we'll ever want to try out anal sex, him and me, but it sure sounds to me like you're feeling the same sort of thing I was — stuff you and Andy and Chay talked me out of, guilt laid on me by people who didn't understand. If you like it, and Van or Chay likes it, and nobody's getting hurt, where's the problem?"

Chay was beaming. "Exactly, Ray! Do you have an answer for him, Donny?"

"Well, no, but it's different."

"Different how? I had two of the best cums of my life last night," Chay said, "once from Ray's blowjob and once from bouncing up and down on your dick. I liked them — a lot. If I'd been hurting someone, I wouldn't have enjoyed it — but Andy wanted Ray to suck me off, to deal with a problem from his past by doing it, so I wasn't hurting anybody there."

"And I can't thank you enough," Andy said from the kitchen door. "You loosened Ray up enough to make it a night I'll always remember." Chay gave him a radiant grin.

"The difference, I think, is that you feel guilty for enjoying yourself in a way you feel dominates other people — even if that's what they want. And like Ray said, that's something you've helped all the rest of us, or most of us at least, to get past. So it's time for you to take the medicine you've been prescribing for others, and relax and enjoy yourself." Chay was doing his best to reach out to his longtime friend.

"Besides," Andy interjected, "sex is important, but it isn't the main thing here. Think about the context: you didn't do that for Van simply for your own pleasure, or as a hustler doing what he wanted for pay — you did it because it was something he wanted, and you've repeated a dozen times that we owe him. You did it for a friend, as a part of friendship — just as you've brought all of us here. because you care. We've got a warm place, food, appliances, furniture, companionship, love — and it's all because of what you put together." Donny's and Chay's eyes met as Andy said the last part of that.

"What do you mean, Andy?" Chay asked.

"Donny's the one who brought us all together. He's the one with the food stamps, he found us this place. It takes all of us to make it work. But it took Donny to get it going, however he pulled it off." Andy was trying to express his gratitude for what he'd found offered to him, which he felt especially strongly with the support he'd gotten in his quest for Ray.

Donny and Chay sighed. "Well, Chay, Andy," Donny said, "you've given me something to think about."

Ray grinned at Donny. "Well, I seem to remember somebody saying to give people time to adjust. D'you think maybe you're entitled to that, too?"

The belly laugh the boys shared at Ray's well placed zinger, turning Donny's standard message back to him, was another step in the healing.


Things settled down for a bit. Ray did up the breakfast dishes; Chay started a load of laundry. Andy brought in a movie on TV, and settled down next to Ray when he was done. With a sense of daring, he pulled the other boy into a snuggle, and they relaxed, watching the movie together, skin touching skin, not as erotic but as comfortable, relaxed, easy. After burning off some energy, Peewee slipped into a spot on the couch next to Ray, on the opposite side from Andy, and cuddled in close. Ray, who had always wanted a little brother, found the gesture strangely touching.

Pauly came out after a while, looked around the kitchen, and made up two bowls of instant oatmeal. Mikey came out from the bedrooms, whispered to Donny, and the two of them walked back.

Mikey came back to the living room, and accepted his oatmeal. "Jack's urine is bloody," he said. "Blood pressure seems to be okay still. But Donny wants to check with Van."

Donny came back out, dressed. "Andy, Ray, you want to tag along while I go check with Van?"

Pleased at the idea of being able to get out for a bit, Andy nodded yes. Ray said, "All I've got is my jean jacket; has it warmed up enough?"

"Wear my jacket, Ray," Chay said. "It's loose enough on me that it'll fit you fine."

The two boys ran back to their room and dressed, rejoining Donny.

The street was ... warmer, more vibrant, in the daytime. People drove by, intent on errands or other business. Men were at work at the surrounding businesses. Donny waved airily to a dumpy old woman as they left the walkway between the buildings; she glared back at the boys. Ray quailed; "Don't let her bother you," Donny said. "She's a harmless old biddy, who's been there for years."

The clinic was located in what had been an old grocery store a few blocks away; internal partitions did a passable but inadequate job of breaking down the floor space into exam and treatment rooms.

Donny strolled up to the receptionist and asked for Van. They took adjoining seats, and Andy and Donny looked over the other clientèle waiting. At Ray's quizzical look, Andy whispered, "We keep watch for guys that might fit in, people we can help. That's how Jack, Peewee, and I noticed you. Take Benny, over there; he's a decent person, we know him, but he'd never fit into our group; he's too inured to life on the street, to looking out for Number One exclusively. We'd help him in a heartbeat if he needed it, but bringing him into our group? No way; it'd never work." Andy looked sad at the idea.

After a few minutes, the receptionist called them, and they went back into the maze of offices and rooms. A buxom middle-aged woman with reddish-brown hair wearing nursing whites walked in. "Good morning, boys," she said cheerily. "Van's finishing up with a patient; he'll be along to talk to you, Don, in a minute. He suggested it might be a good idea if we got a baseline physical on these two — make sure nothing's wrong now, and give him a picture of what they're like healthy in case they take sick."

"It's up to you two," Donny said to them, "but it sounds like a good idea to me."

Andy caught Ray's eye, clearly allowing him to make the decision. "Okay," Ray said hesitantly.

"Don, you can wait in Van's office across the way," the nurse said.

"Okay, Dorothy," he answered, stood up, and left, evidently heading for Van's office.

"Do you boys need privacy from each other?" Dorothy asked with a smile.

"No, we share a room," Andy answered.

"Okay, then, strip down, and I'll do the usual indignities, temperature, blood pressure, and all that," she went on. Catching Ray's expression, she said, "Don't worry about being naked in front of me. When I'm on duty, I'm a nurse intent on my patients' wellbeing, professional to the core. If there's anything strange about your body, or if you get an erection or something, it's nothing I haven't seen before." She chuckled. "A few days ago, we had a hustler in here with priapism — he'd used a cock ring to keep an erection up, and it wouldn't go down enough to remove it. We eventually fixed the problem with an ice pack."

"Brrrr," Andy said, involuntarily shivering as he stripped.

"I'm only telling you that," Dorothy went on, "so you'll know that whatever it is, I've probably seen a lot worse. Fresh runaways with welts from having been beaten, boys with incontinence from repeated anal rapes — if it happens, we've seen it. A couple of healthy teenage boys are not going to surprise me."

Ray was shocked but reassured by her matter-of-fact tone. He started to undress. Dorothy set to work on Andy's physical, and followed it by beginning Ray's.

Ray noticed she left the top of the chart, where there were spaces for name, address, phone, and so on, blank. He asked about it.

"Just give me your first name and your age," Dorothy said. They both did, and she filled in those blanks, and for accress wrote "c Don" with a dash above the letter C.

"What's that mean?" Andy asked, pointing.

"It means you're with Don," she explained. "Most of our clientèle is homeless in one way or another; if they're staying with someone, we tag it that way. The C with macron — the mark above it — is medical Latin for 'with' and we use it as shorthand for 'staying with person X' in place of an address. This way, we can tell you from the 19-year-old Andy who makes porn videos and lives in the rooming house over on Polk Avenue." She smiled. "You boys look fine to me; I'll let Van know you're ready for him." And she bustled out.

Van walked in with Donny, glanced over their charts, listened to their chests and did a couple of other tests, and told them to get dressed. As they were doing so, he turned to Donny. "I'll go along with continued home care for now, but I don't like the sound of things. I'll try to swing by and check on Jack again later. Be ready to send him to the hospital, though."

Donny nodded seriously. "I called Gil from your phone. He'll do what's needed if we have to."

Van in turn nodded agreement. "Things are their usual mess around here. I'll try to catch you later, but for now, I've got patients waiting."

"Okay, Van. Thanks." And the chubby little doctor was gone.

"Contrary to what you may be thinking," Donny said, "I didn't drag you over here to get a physical. That was Van's idea, and while I think it was a good one, he blindsided me with it. C'mon; let's go get lunch."

They walked out of the clinic, down the street, and Donny turned into a diner at the corner. "This place doesn't look like much, but they have some great food," he said with a smile. "Order what you like."

"Um, I left my money at home," Ray said.

"My treat," Donny replied. "Don't sweat it."

Donny had a large bowl of homemade chili with what appeared to be fresh-baked bread, Andy a rich beef soup and a giant sandwich, and Ray found himself in possession of a large slab of veal lasagna that was delicious. The three ate heartily.

"Who's Gil? You've mentioned him to Van a couple of times," Ray asked Donny.

Donny seemed taken aback by the question. "He's ... a lawyer that Van and I know," he began. "He ... tries to make sure kids get treated right. If we need to, he'll act as Jack's legal representative — guardian ad litem is the legal term — to satisfy the hospital's requirements for authorization for treatment." Donny seemed distinctly ill at ease with the question.

The diner had a cross-section of people in it — a few workmen buying lunch, an old man nursing a coffee and bowl of soup, a few older teens and young adults in a booth to themselves. A policeman walked in, sat down at the counter, and ordered a coffee. He gave the clientèle the once-over, and his eyes settled on Andy. All three boys noticed him.

Donny spoke in a very low voice. "You two get up and walk towards the door, slowly and talking with each other as if you hadn't noticed. I'll cover the check. When you get outside, turn left and head for the next corner, walking. When you get there, split up, and run in opposite directions. I'll go the other way." Nods of agreement met his instructions.

They did as Donny had instructed; the cop did not seem to react. Ray wondered if that was a false alarm or if there was real trouble afoot. At the corner, they split up according to Donny's plan, and Ray went running.

After a few minutes, he slowed to a walk. There was no sign of pursuit, and he wasn't quite sure where he was. He turned right, and shortly thereafter was rewarded with the sight of the machine shop, with a couple of trucks idling in front of it. Spotting the stone church, he walked that way, and after a couple of false starts he saw the apartment building. He cut down the walkway, in through the exterior door, knocked three times, and Chay let him in.

He started to tell what had happened, was interrupted by Donny's arrival, and together they started over, explaining to Mikey, Pauly, Peewee and Chay the story of their morning.

But there was no sign of Andy. Ray began to get worried.

To be continued.


Editor's Notes: I'm beginning to get worried too. Is this a cliffhanger? {Author's Note: No, just, in Dark Star's words, a 'slight dramatic pause'.} We already have Jack needing medical help, and now Andy is missing. I sure hope that he will be okay and come home soon.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher