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by Ryan Field
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: It's the summer of 1978, it's the middle of the disco era, and dancing is one of the hottest trends. But eighteen year old Junior has never seen the inside of a gay bar or danced with another man. His mother and father think he's just shy about meeting girls and that he'll grow out of it. His little sister drives him insane with her constant invisible companion, a talking dog named Elmer. All Junior cares about is meeting the right man and falling in love. But when his parents buy a summer home in an exclusive resort community in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, his prospects of finding love don't look too promising. His first day there he meets an aggressive, abrasive young woman who isn't the least bit shy about letting him know she wants to get to know him better. And the more he ignores her, the more she chases after him. While his mother and father are enjoying all the amenities of the resort, and his sister is flirting with one of the waiters, Junior mopes around watching everyone else have fun. That is until he meets a handsome young dance instructor named Carlo who changes his life in ways he'd never dreamed were possible. From the minute Junior lays eyes on Carlo, he knows he's in love. And in order to prove his love, he's willing to make personal sacrifices that no one else has ever been willing to make for Carlo...
eBook Publisher: Ravenous Romance/Ravenous Romance, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: April 2010
10 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [228 KB]
Reading time: 157-219 min.
Chapter One * * * *
In the summer of 1978, everyone still called him Junior. His real name was Maxwell--the same as his father, Dr. Maxwell Edgar. He was eighteen years old and heading into his freshman year at Yale that fall. Jimmy Carter was president and Johnny Carson was hosting The Tonight Show. This was before anyone knew about AIDS, before there was a national discussion about legalizing gay marriage, and before famous actors and actresses openly admitted they were gay.
Junior's father was a well-respected general practitioner, in an upscale community in Philadelphia's Main Line section, and it was the first full summer his father had taken off in more than twenty years. Junior's mother was a housewife who changed the living room draperies from white damask to beige moire every five years and helped organize charitable events in the community. Junior had never known anyone quite like his mother. She had the ability to look perpetually busy by doing absolutely nothing at all.
The entire family was going away that summer. Junior's parents had bought a summer home in Northeastern Pennsylvania the previous winter. It was located on the highest elevation of the Pocono Mountains, in a private gated community called Pocono Mountain Farms. Junior's mother had been bugging his father to take time off since before Junior was born and she'd finally won.
So on a warm morning in June, they packed the trunk of Dr. Edgar's brand-new navy blue Lincoln Town Car and headed north. Junior's mother, Elaine, sat up front; Junior was in the back seat with his younger sister, Laney. Though the car was a barge, Junior sat bunched up against the door behind the driver's seat and Laney sat close to the door behind the front passenger seat with her knees pressed together. The wide armrest in the middle of the enormous back seat was up, and there was an empty space between them. But the seat wasn't really empty at all. Laney's best friend, a large invisible dog named Elmer, was resting quietly. Supposedly, Elmer was a black mongrel, with pale blue eyes, long ears that pointed up, and the ability to speak. He went everywhere with them.
Elmer had been around for three years, since Laney had turned thirteen. The entire family had been sitting around the dinner table one Wednesday night, just like any other normal weeknight, when Laney announced that she wanted to introduce them to her new friend, Elmer. She smiled and gestured to an empty space beside her chair. Dr. Edgar coughed on a brussels sprout; Elaine Edgar dropped her fork with a clank. Junior just sat there, staring at the empty space next to his sister's chair with wide eyes.
A month later, after three therapists and a battery of medical exams that came up with nothing, Junior's parents struck a deal with Laney. If she promised not to mention Elmer in public, to anyone, they'd allow Elmer to be part of the family without any arguments or questions. Laney agreed. After that, Dr. Edgar smiled and said Laney had a great imagination and that she was just going through a harmless adolescent stage. Elaine even did some research about creatures like Elmer at the public library and discovered the word Puca (pronounced pooka), which she learned was typically a harmless shapeshifter of Irish folklore that brought humans good luck.
Only Junior's family wasn't Irish, and neither Junior nor Laney were allowed to mention their good luck charm--Elmer--in public. Not even when Elmer said something important. And according to Laney, he spoke fluent English all the time.
When they finally reached their exit on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Dr. Edgar asked Junior's mother for toll money and Junior sat up to look out the window. He'd been reading Kahlil Gibran all the way up, trying hard to make the two-hour trip go by faster. Gibran's writing on spiritual love comforted Junior and gave him hope. Junior's teenage years were almost behind him and he'd never experienced romance or love with anyone. He was still a virgin. In those days young men like Junior, those attracted to other men, kept their feelings just as quiet as a teenage girl with an invisible black dog named Elmer.
When Junior lurched forward to look out the window, Laney gave him a dead stare and pointed to the empty space between them. She shook her index finger and said, "You're sitting on Elmer's tail." Her eyebrows knitted together and her lips tightened.
"Ah well," Junior said. His mouth was half open and he edged closer to the door. "Tell Elmer I'm sorry." What else could he say? This had become a way of life by then; there was no use arguing with her.
"You tell him yourself," Laney said. Then she gazed down at the empty seat and smiled. "He didn't mean it, Elmer. He's just a klutz."
His mother turned her heard and gave Junior one of her famous raised-eyebrow looks.
So Junior shrugged his shoulders and said, "Sorry, Elmer, it was an accident," to the blank space on the seat. Then he looked over at his sister and rolled his eyes. Laney had pulled a pocket mirror out of her purse and she wasn't paying attention to him anymore. She was checking her hair, picking at it with the tail end of a long pink comb. She'd just had her hair cut like Farrah Fawcett for the summer, with thick wispy curls and streaks of blond that made her look older than she really was.
Twenty minutes later, Junior saw a green sign with bright gold letters that read Pocono Mountain Farms and his father hit the left turn signal. He pulled up to the security gate and handed the guard a small identification card. The guard handed it back, smiled, and said, "Welcome, Dr. Edgar. You can drive right up to the main clubhouse and pick up your beach passes, pool passes, and everything else you'll need for the summer."
Then a long wooden pole lifted and they drove onto a smooth, dark road lined with tall leafy trees and low, flat shrubbery. On the way to the main clubhouse, they passed hidden driveways that led to newly built high-end chalets and log cabins. The man who had developed The Farms had envisioned it to resemble a Swiss resort, with every amenity available to the residents. The small private colony had been built around the former estate home of a very wealthy woman who had been the heiress to a banana fortune. Each home was at least three thousand square feet, and each had been situated on a two-acre lot.
The clubhouse, as it was referred to by everyone, turned out to be a sprawling stone mansion with an east wing and a west wing. There was a swimming pool, formal gardens, a private lake, and a professional golf course. The clubhouse had several dining rooms, a professional gym, a spa, and practically every other amenity a five-star hotel had. Though no one in Junior's family cared much for skiing or winter sports, this was also a year-round resort community. Dr. Edgar was planning to rent his house out during the winter months, hoping to make a little extra money on the side.
When the car pulled up in front of the main clubhouse, a round, portly man threw his arms forward and shouted, "Welcome to The Farms, Dr. Edgar!" His name was Ben Timberlake. He was the developer and the man who now ran the clubhouse and oversaw all the activities. He was a huge fan of Dr. Edgar's. He claimed Dr. Edgar had saved his life during a routine appendectomy. Ben had been given a drug that had caused a severe allergic reaction, and Dr. Edgar had been the only one who'd been able to diagnose it correctly. Ben had been the one who had talked Dr. Edgar into buying a summer place there, at a huge discount. And because Ben was so thankful to Dr. Edgar for saving his life, he'd given Dr. Edgar one full year there without paying any community association dues. This included everything from clubhouse activities, to dancing lessons, to weekly trash pickup.
Dr. Edgar stepped out of the car and smoothed his slacks. He crossed toward Ben and reached for his hand.
"Welcome," Ben said. "It's so good to see the man who saved my life. How was your trip?"
"Wonderful," Dr. Edgar said. Whenever Ben mentioned that Dr. Edgar had saved his life, Dr. Edgar smiled so widely, his gums showed.
Elaine stepped up behind her husband and shook Ben's hand. Then Laney opened her door, slowly rose from the car, and waited a minute too long to close the door. She stood there staring at the empty back seat, smiling at nothing. Junior's parents and Ben were facing Laney. While Laney hesitated and stared at the back seat, she nodded and made a gesture with her arm. As far as Ben Timberlake knew, Dr. Edgar only had two children. So he tipped his head to the side and leaned forward to see if there was anyone else getting out of the car. When he saw the back seat was empty, he blinked and pressed his palm to his throat.
Junior looked at Dr. Edgar and smiled. Dr. Edgar cleared his throat and gave Elaine a nod. Junior knew his parents didn't want Ben to know about Laney's imaginary Puca friend, Elmer. So Dr. Edgar quickly looped his arm through Ben's and turned him around. Elaine grabbed Ben's other arm. Ben tried to look back, but Dr. Edgar kept talking fast. And without giving poor Ben a chance to speak, Dr. Edgar and Elaine carted him off the main dining room, where they were handing out resident passes and identification tags.
Laney slammed the back door shut and followed them to the clubhouse, taking slow steps, stopping to look down at Elmer every so often. Junior smiled and shook his head, leaning back against the Lincoln's wide trunk lid. Though Junior would never have admitted this to anyone aloud, he didn't mind having Elmer around. There had been times when he'd thought that he'd actually seen Elmer, too. It always happened fast, while he was turning his head or reading something. He'd sense a distinct presence and out of the corner of his eye, in a flash, he'd see a dark image that resembled a dog. But when he turned to face it head on, there was nothing there.
While Junior was watching Laney, he heard deep, loud voices. He turned to the right and stared down toward the bottom of a well-trimmed grassy ravine. A men's soccer team was jogging onto an athletic field. They were hooting and yelling, passing a soccer ball back and forth. From where Junior was standing, he could see their strong, hairy legs bouncing up and down. They were wearing skimpy white shorts, white athletic socks, and oversized red jerseys. He was too far away to see any bulges between their legs, but his imagination didn't let him down. When he started to picture all those thick, floppy penises jerking around in tight sweaty jock straps, his brand-new designer jeans began to tighten. He'd always had a thing for soccer players.
He squared his shoulders and turned around fast so his erection would be against the trunk lid. He clenched his fists and willed his dick to go down again. He thought about foods he hated and the time he'd received a D on a final exam. His dick had a mind of its own, and thinking about bad things always seemed to do the trick. But just when his erection started to subside, two good-looking young guys walked by and smiled at him. They were carrying tennis rackets and they were both wearing white tennis shorts. The one on the left had dark hairy legs, and the one on the right had enormous thigh muscles covered with a thin layer of blond fleece.
Junior smiled back and nodded, but he was picturing himself going down on his knees in front of them. He'd pull down their zippers with his teeth and take turns pressing his face between their legs. He had a thing for tennis players, too.
Then he shook his head fast and tried to focus on bad things again, willing his erection to disappear. He was wearing a white polo shirt that day, with black horizontal stripes across the middle, and it only came down to the top of his waist. If he'd known there would have been this many hot-looking guys in The Farms he would have worn the green polo that covered his entire crotch.
He felt trapped. Back home he would have run to his bedroom and pulled his collection of porn magazines out from under his bed. Sometimes jerking off was the only way to relieve the tension. But Junior had left all his magazines at home, knowing it wasn't safe to travel with magazines of nude men and a nosy little sister.
Then he felt a tap on his shoulder. Before he even had a chance to turn his head, someone said, "Hey, I'm Valerie Timberlake, Ben's daughter. Your mom and dad said you'd be out here. They told me to come out and introduce myself."
The second he heard Valerie's high-pitched nasal voice, his erection started to shrink. He made a mental note to remember her the next time he needed to control himself.
He turned all the way around and reached for her small puffy hand. "It's nice to meet you," he said, silently thanking her for saving him from what could have been an awkward erection moment.
Valerie wasn't a bad-looking young woman. She had long, bushy black curls, sharp angular features, and long, thin arms. She was wearing a blousy peasant dress that afternoon, with a white off-the-shoulder top and beige earth shoes. Her eyeglasses were large round discs with thick lenses. She mentioned she was also a entering her freshman year of college, then looked him up and down and smiled.
Immediately, Junior crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back into the car as far away from Valerie as he could get. He knew that look in Valerie's eyes. He recognized that soft, sultry tone in her voice. This had happened to him before. Aggressive girls like Valerie were always looking him up and down, staring into his eyes with that painful come-hither expression on their faces. Her head was tilted to the side and her chin was pointed down. She gave him a half smile and her eyelashes started to flutter when she looked at his lips.
"You have such thick sandy blond hair," she said, moving closer. "And such large blue eyes."
"Ah well," he said, "you have nice hair too." Her hair reminded him of steel wool dipped in black paint. And her skin was too soft and milky for his taste.
"Do you like to dance?" she asked. "There's a band tonight in the main dance hall and everyone's going to be there." She took a small step toward him. Her cheap flowery perfume turned his stomach and made his nose itch.
Junior edged to the side of the car, making sure he didn't rub against her bare arm, and stepped away from the car.
"Ah well," he said. "I'm not much of a dancer, to be honest. I have two left feet."
Then he heard Laney's familiar voice near the front end of the car. "Come on, Elmer," she said. She was walking toward the car and Dr. and Mrs. Edgar were coming up in the distance. When poor Laney realized she'd said Elmer's name out loud in public, she pressed her palms over her mouth and gasped.
"Hey," Junior shouted, rushing to Laney's rescue and saving himself from Valerie at the same time. "There she is."
He left Valerie standing in the street alone and ran over to Laney. He threw his arms around her and hugged her as tightly as he could. "I was wondering where you were, kid."
"Who is Elmer?" Valerie asked. She put her hands on her hips. She looked around, but it was only the three of them.
Laney's mouth opened wide and her head fell back. Junior hadn't hugged her this way since they'd been toddlers.
"Elmer is a little nickname that Laney uses for me," he said. He looked down at Laney and smiled. "Right?"
Laney nodded yes.
"Well. I love that. It's so nice. To see a brother who is close to his sister is refreshing," Valerie said. Then she wiggled her fingers and smiled. "I hope I'll see you tonight at the dance. Everyone's going to be there. We'll have bunches and bunches of fun."
"Yes. The dance. We'll see."
"I have to run now," Valerie said. "I'm off for my tennis lesson."
"Bye now," Junior said, forcing a smile.
As Valerie turned to leave, Junior opened the back door for Laney and Elmer. He patted Laney's shoulder and smiled. Laney didn't say anything to him. She was still worried about talking to Elmer in public. He waited for Elmer to get into the car first, then Laney climbed inside and he shut the door. Then looked up at the sky and took a deep breath, wondering how he was going to get through the entire summer with Valerie Timberlake on his heels. * * * *
The new summer house was off the golf course, within walking distance of the main clubhouse. And it was better than Junior had imagined it would be. The exterior resembled a classic A-frame chalet, with walls of glass, cedar siding, and a chunky six-foot stone foundation. Every window looked out to a heavily wooded landscape layered in multiple shades of green. There was a massive stone fireplace in the main living room and a wood-burning stove in the family room. All together there were three floors of living space. The master bedroom was on the second floor, the main floor of the house. Laney and Elmer chose a wide square bedroom on the first floor--so Laney would be more easily able to let him outside to relieve himself--off the family room. Junior chose one of the two bedrooms, up a long narrow flight of stairs, on the third floor. He knew it would be private there. He could lock the door, lie down on his bed naked, and masturbate below a wide open window, and no one would ever be able to see him. He had urges so strong he wasn't sure if he'd ever be able to control them.
He knew he'd be masturbating alone a lot that summer. He was surrounded by good looking men in short pants, bathing suits, and athletic gear. And none of them seemed to be gay. Even the word gay in reference to homosexuals was still only catching on in 1978 and most people in the mainstream were not comfortable using it unless they were whispering.
After everyone was settled and unpacked, the entire family went down to the main clubhouse for a dance lesson in an outdoor pavilion overlooking the lake. His mother was excited; she didn't want to miss anything. The woman who ran the affair introduced herself as Stella. She spoke with a slight New York accent, chewed bubble gum, and reminded Junior of Olivia Newton-John in Grease--after the transformation, when Olivia becomes a voluptuous blond temptress. Stella's makeup was thick, her flouncy leopard-print dress was too short, and she had a six-inch line of cleavage. Junior couldn't decide whether or not he liked her crystal chandelier earrings better than her towering black stilettos. And when he saw the way her long red fingernails curved downward, he pressed his palm to his heart and sighed.
Stella wasn't like his mother, or the rest of the staid women at The Farms. She had style and sophistication; she knew how to make men weak with just one look. He'd overheard his mother and father speaking about someone who worked in the clubhouse who used to be a Rockette. Now he knew it had to be Stella. He wanted to walk up to her, introduce himself, and tell her how much he loved her shoes.
While Stella was organizing the group into a dance line, Valerie Timberlake sidled up next to Junior and poked him in the ribs with her elbow. She was wearing another peasant-type skirt and blouse, and flat white sandals with those large loops for her big toes. This time the skirt was black and the blouse was white. The only makeup on her face was a thin layer of neutral lip gloss. He guessed she was going for that natural look. But he thought she could have at least had her unibrow waxed. He looked down at her fast and smiled, then looked back up at Stella and listened closely to the dance instructions.
"I was hoping you'd be here," Valerie said, speaking over Stella's smooth voice. "I rushed all the way over from my riding lesson so we could dance together."
"Ah well," Junior said. "Isn't that nice of you?" He didn't know what else to say. For the life of him, he could never understand what it took for some young girls to get the hint. Clearly, he wasn't responding to her obvious sexual overtures. And if she thought he was just being shy, she was clearly mistaken. This, for Junior, was one of the hardest parts about being a young gay man. He wanted to just smile and tell her the truth, that no matter what she did he'd never be interested in her romantically, and that it had nothing to do with her on a personal level. But all he could do was smile and pretend to be polite, while she continued to prod and poke and shove her way into his life without his permission.
Thankfully, the music began to play and Stella started dancing. Her long legs flew up, her body jiggled, and her arms dangled above her head. She danced back and forth, shaking her hips to the rhythm of the reggae music, and everyone in the group tried to follow her steps. She explained a few classic dance techniques, then showed a few that were more complicated. The older guy standing in front of Junior gazed at Stella's long legs with his glasses on the end of his nose and his mouth half open. Junior's father had a similar expression, until Junior's mother poked him in the ribs. When Stella finally shouted, "Everyone follow me in a round-robin circle," Valerie placed her small hands on Junior's hips and he marched forward. His hands were on his mother's hips, and his mother was holding his father's hips. Laney was in front of his father. Junior had a feeling that Elmer was sitting this one out on the sidelines with a grin on his face.
The group formed a line and danced in a connected circle. When Stella finally shouted, "Okay, when the music changes, you'll be dancing with the man of your dreams," she threw her arms up and grabbed the older gentleman who had been gawking at her legs. The music switched from reggae to a slow ballad. Junior found himself holding Valerie Timberlake. Valerie batted her eyelashes and snuggled into his body. Junior's mother and father were dancing next to them. His mother gave his father a look, then gave Junior a wink. Junior rolled his eyes and looked up at the pavilion's ceiling. Evidently, his mother liked the idea of him dancing so closely with Valerie Timberlake.
This didn't surprise him. After all, he was twenty years old and he'd never even brought a young woman home to meet his family. His mother kept saying, in that knowing way she claimed to have, "He just has to meet the right girl and he'll be just fine."
Ben Timberlake personally escorted Junior and his family to the best table in the dining room that night. When they were seated, he called the waiter over and said, "These people are my special guests, and I want them to have whatever they want." Then he smiled and introduced the waiter. "This is Marvin Epstein," he said. "He's entering Princeton this fall."
Marvin was tall and dark and lanky, with a Roman nose and slight cleft in his chin. The minute Marvin smiled, Junior noticed Laney sit up straight in her chair. For the first time since they'd entered the dining room, she wasn't looking down at the empty space beside her chair where Elmer was resting.
"It's nice to meet you, Marvin," Dr. Edgar said. "What will you be majoring in at Princeton?"
Marvin nodded at Dr. Edgar, and flashed Laney a quick smile. "I'll be pre-med."
"Excellent," Dr. Edgar said. "Junior here will be going into pre-med at Yale this fall."
"Isn't that nice?" Elaine said. "I'm sure you two young fellas will have a lot in common this summer."
Junior smiled at Marvin. But he was clenching the white cloth napkin on his lap, wondering why she still used the word "fella" in 1978. This was another thing his mother always did that annoyed him. She was constantly trying to make new friends for him, without taking into consideration the fact that he didn't need her help and he preferred to choose his own friends.
Ben Timberlake walked up to Laney's chair and said, "And what are your plans?"
Laney tossed her head back and flipped a blond curl. "I'm going to become a beauty expert," she said. "I'd like to own a chain of beauty salons." Then she looked down to the right of her chair and frowned. She said to Ben, "Could you please step to the left a few inches?" Evidently, fat Ben Timberlake was standing on Elmer's tail.
Dr. and Mrs. Edgar froze.
Junior looked up at the ceiling and smiled.
Poor Ben Timberlake looked down at the empty space beside Laney's chair, pressed his palm to his barrel stomach, and took two gentle steps to the left.
"Yes, yes," Dr. Edgar said, "Laney is a regular beauty expert already." He spoke fast and loud; he knew it was time to change the subject so no one would wonder about Elmer.
"I'll say she is," Marvin said. Then he smiled at Laney. "I'll be right back with rolls. Then I'll take your orders."
Dr. and Mrs. Edgar were too busy worrying about whether or not Ben Timberlake thought it was odd that Laney had asked him to move away from the chair to notice what was happening. But Junior was watching Laney and Marvin. He saw the way her eyes followed Marvin to the other side of the restaurant. It was the same way Valerie Timberlake looked at him earlier that day. The only difference was that this time Marvin looked back when he thought no one was watching and he winked at Laney a couple of times.
After dinner, they went outside to a large veranda off the main dining room where people were dancing to slow music. It reminded Junior of one of those wedding bands, where the lead singer is too loud and usually off pitch. They were playing a Sinatra song and couples of all ages were swaying back and forth. Valerie Timberlake walked up to where Junior was standing beside his mother and asked him to dance.
"He'd love to dance," Elaine said. Then she smiled at Junior and added, "You two young people go and have some fun."
Valerie was strong. She grabbed his hand and yanked him onto the dance floor. Junior looked back at his mother and raised an eyebrow. He felt as if he'd been ambushed.
While they danced, Valerie bragged about how she was going to get her degree in business management and then get a real-estate license. She had that air of superiority that some small-town people acquired when they haven't been exposed to anything better than what they already knew. Valerie said she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps, and that they were already looking at other sites in the Pocono Mountains to start another gated community just like The Farms.
When she hinted that both resort communities would need a good full-time doctor, Junior smiled and said, "I'm going to specialize in infectious diseases. And I'd like to spend a good deal of my time working in third world countries, where doctors are scarce."
This third world country thing had only been a thought and he hadn't worked out all the details yet. Actually, Junior hadn't decided on any specialization. But he wanted Valerie to know, in no uncertain terms, that he had no intention of becoming a general practitioner who spent his time putting Band-Aids on tourists in a second-rate resort community in the middle of nowhere.
"Do you have any hobbies?" Valerie asked.
"I jog and I lift weights," he said. He also spent a good deal of his spare time with all-male porn magazines. But he didn't mention that.
"I like to throw pottery," she said.
"Throw it where?"
She tapped his chest and laughed. "Be serious," she said, with a giddy flirtatious lilt. "You know what I mean."
He didn't have a clue. Junior knew nothing, and could not have cared less, about pottery.
"I also like to blow glass," she said. "I find the control aspect of blowing very satisfying."
Junior took a quick breath and rolled his eyes. This time he knew exactly what she meant. He felt like blowing every young guy in the room that night, especially the cute young cocktail waiter circling the dance floor. The guy had been looking over his shoulder in Junior's direction, giving him quick dead stares, with his large brown eyes. He had short sandy hair, a small compact body, and droopy eyelids. He wore a fitted white shirt and tight black pants. When he crossed the dance floor carrying a tray of cocktails, his puffy ass rounds seemed to be following him. He had that look about him that suggested he'd be very exciting in bed.
A minute later, the band stopped playing Sinatra and kicked up the beat with a newer disco song. Junior had never actually been to a real disco club, and in 1978 this wasn't something people his age admitted out loud. Disco music was everywhere, especially gay bars. Junior was dying to go to a disco club, but he still wasn't of legal age. He could have slipped into a straight disco with straight friends without being carded, except for him that would have been futile. And he didn't have any openly gay friends to take him out. So he kept a copy of the infamous Gay Yellow Pages under his bed with his stack of male porn, waiting for his twenty-first birthday. This little book, back then before the Internet was even a dream, was the gay man's companion and lifeline to gay civilization. The Gay Yellow Pages listed every bar, restaurant, disco, nightclub, and bathhouse that had ever existed. And the minute Junior turned twenty-one, he was going to start investigating as many as he could.
Valerie jerked to the right and moved faster. She had more power and strength than he'd imagined. Her thick ankles bounced and her body rocked and swayed to the even, pounding disco beat. He wasn't exactly sure what she was doing, but he tried to follow her steps anyway. Before Junior even knew what was happening, Valerie was leading him around the edge of the dance floor, throwing him forward and pulling him back to her bosom. He didn't put up much of a fight. Compared to the older couples trying hard to do the jitterbug to disco music, Valerie wasn't half bad. One older woman, wearing a chicky-chicky pale pink sweater dress and white poppit pearls, looked like she was doing the Irish jig. Ben Timberlake was dancing with Junior's mother, and they looked like as if they were doing a waltz in double time.
The band was playing a well-known disco song from the movie Saturday Night Fever that almost sounded like the original version. As a matter of fact, the band was so good that Stella, the slinky blond dance instructor from earlier that day, strutted out in a black mini-dress and silver high heels. An attractive guy in dark glasses followed her onto the dance floor and took her in his arms. The people on the dance floor hopped to the sidelines, leaving the center of the floor open for Stella and the guy with the dark glasses. For one dramatic second, Stella and the guy stood dead still in the middle of the dance floor and stared into each other's eyes. Then their legs began to gyrate in unison as if they'd been rehearsing their moves for weeks. And while everyone else on the dance floor watched Stella twirl and spin, Junior couldn't take his eyes off the magnificent man with the dark glasses.
Besides dark glasses, the guy was wearing a black T-shirt, skintight black pants that flared slightly at his ankles, and pointy shoes with two-inch Cuban heels. His ass was round and solid, and the bulge between his legs jutted forward into a neat puffy mound. He had wavy light brown hair that was medium length and slicked back with something shiny. When he grabbed Stella and twirled her, his biceps popped and his pecs jiggled. When Stella pressed her body close to his and he ran his palm down the side of her body, he bucked his slim hips into Stella's pelvis as if he were preparing to mount her.
This guy knew how to move his hips with the disco beat, and without moving any other part of his body. At one point, the bulge between his legs vibrated so fast, Junior could see the outline of his dick. It felt as if he were on the verge of crossing the line from PG-rated dancing to R-rated dancing. The woman beside Junior pressed her palm to her open mouth. People gasped and murmured to each other. Across the dance floor, Ben Timberlake furrowed his eyebrows in disapproval. Ben ran a family environment at The Farms and he didn't like distasteful actions of any sort.
"Who is that guy Stella is dancing with?" Junior asked. He and Valerie were still dancing on the sidelines with the rest of the crowd. She'd stopped pushing him forward, but she held his hand so hard the tips of his fingers were going numb.
"That's Carlo Pagano," Valerie said. "He's a professional dancer and instructor here every summer. He comes from Newark, New Jersey. We call him Nickie Newarker."
"He's very good," Junior said. He couldn't take his eyes off Carlo Pagano. He'd never seen such a handsome, rugged man dance so well. Though Junior was still holding Valerie's hand, he was imagining backing into Carlo's strong solid body, while Carlo ran his hand down Junior's side instead of Stella's. Junior would arch his back and spread his legs for Carlo. Carlo would place his hands on Junior's waist and Junior would nod yes, letting Carlo know he was willing to do anything to please him.