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The Talon House

Staking My Claim


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Staking My Claim - Chapter One

By Nickolas James

As I stood in front of the mirror, trying on new outfits and striking one pose after another, I thought about the new school year, which was only days away. Two days, to be exact, and I was strangely looking forward to it. I puckered up and blew a kiss into the mirror, knowing that there was only one thing missing from this moment.

I walked up to my CD rack and picked out The Wall by Pink Floyd. I knew it was a depressing CD for most, but to me, it seemed perfect. I was in one of those moods, and the recent passing through of Ernesto had set things up perfectly. It was almost an ironic way for my summer to end. I was hearing different things all week. Some forecasters said that we wouldn’t see anything but rain, while others told us we would experience gale force winds along with the rain.

My parents were skeptics, to say the least. Neither one of them ever bought what the weather men in our area said. My dad liked to scoff at the idea of Doppler Radar, and he said that they were a cheesy way for forecasters to garner an audience.

Then last Friday Ernesto blew through here with a vengeance, knocking down trees and in the process, our electricity. We were out of power for almost 8 hours while the storm made its way through our region. When it was over, the battery on my IPOD was almost dead, and I was getting sick and tired of not having a TV.

I’m Andrew Stout. I had just turned 15 and I was about to start my Sophomore year at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach. I’m also gay, but I was only out to three people. My mom and dad make up two of the people on that list.

Telling them wasn’t the awkward, terribly emotional, love testing experience most people talk about. In fact, if anything, they were rather blasé about the whole thing, and to be honest, so was I. Nothing in our home is taboo, and they’ve always taught me to be honest about my feelings because, to quote my dad, “There’s no amount of riches in the world that equal the reward that comes from being true to who you are.”

That said, the coming out process was just that....a normal function in my day to day life. Telling them that I was gay was as simple for me as telling them that I was hungry, or that I wanted a new bike. In fact, I felt a little proud of myself for being able to identify with my feelings.

To me, that was the best part of coming out to my parents. It wasn’t the idea that I had some kind of secret that I was hiding. I wasn’t hiding anything. What I was doing was discovering who I was.

Once that discovery was made and I was sure, I sat down on the couch with my mom and dad like I had every day after school for as long as I could remember, and I told them. They didn’t interrogate me about whether or not I was sure, or if I had been abused. They knew me well enough to know that I was sure of myself and of my feelings.

Samuel and Tanya Stout were my loving, free spirited, and open minded parents. They had raised me to be a confident, loving, free spirited and open minded person. If I tried to accomplish something, they never interfered with my efforts, either with help or obstruction. If I succeeded, they told me how proud they were of me for setting a goal and attaining it. If I failed, they told me how proud they were of me for trying and they encouraged me to try again. I couldn’t have asked for two better parents.

The only other person who knew about it was Jarred Fedina, my boyfriend. Well, okay, he wasn’t really my boyfriend. Not yet anyway.

I remember the first time I saw him. I was in front of Food Lion, selling popcorn for my troop, and he actually stopped to talk to me. I had a feeling he might have been gay too, but even if he hadn’t been, he was really nice, and I wanted to get to know him. Of course, I had to be careful in front of my scout master, but part of me wanted to act gay so he’d get the picture. He was definitely cute.

When he made it to my place that weekend, we sat on my couch and watched the entire first season of Will and Grace, then, when I was sure the coast was clear and my parent’s were no where around, we went to my room. I purposely let him spot one of my Pansy Division CD’s, and from there it was all academic.

I was hoping for more that first day, but I was happy that he made a move. It was really sweet how he reached for my hand and smiled at me in his shy way. Of course, I had never been kissed before, but I had my own ideas of how it would be. Well, it was even better than I thought.

The real bonus for me, though, came after we made out. We simply laid together in my bed and snuggled close. It felt good to rest my head on his chest and feel his arms around me while I played with his left nipple, slowly tracing my fingers around it and every once in a while, sucking on it while he ran his fingers through my hair.

It was obvious that he liked me, too. Every time my parents would leave me by myself, I would call his cell and he would almost always come over right away. But I also got the feeling from him right off the bat that it was better to communicate my feelings to him through my actions and not my words. Still, I knew that one day he would let me know that he cared about me.

As time went by, we moved on from simply making out and cuddling to more serious things. One Saturday he came over while my parents were in Nags Head, North Carolina for the day and he gave me my first blow job. I knew I wasn’t his first, either, because he was so good at it.

My suspicions were even further cemented when we finally went all the way. He obviously knew what to do, and I just laid back and let him do all the work. In the back of my mind I wondered who else he was seeing, but I didn’t let on because I didn’t want to ruin our perfect moment. I had to have it that day. I knew that if I could prove to him that I would be there for him when he needed me, and with no strings attached, that I could make him mine.

I knew Jarred was seeing someone else, too. I didn’t know who it was, and I didn’t know how long he had been with whoever it was, but I knew there was someone. But I also knew that I was going to have to claim what was rightfully mine. As soon as Jarred left, I made plans for the next time we saw each other.

Unfortunately, I didn’t hear from him. I started to panic a little at first, thinking that maybe I wasn’t good enough in bed for him. Then my thoughts turned to what he was doing when he wasn’t with me. Maybe the other guy was more experienced. Maybe he was cuter. Maybe Jarred didn’t like me anymore.

So I tried to call him on the phone. I left him a couple of messages, but I still didn’t hear from him. I called again, but I felt so silly and so desperate that I just sat on the line, trying to figure out what to say. Finally I just gave up and hung the line up.

That was probably my lowest point. I couldn’t even bring myself to get out of bed that morning, and as the thoughts of losing Jarred swirled around in my head, I became hysterical and realized that I was really in love with him. I decided to call him one more time.

This time when I got his voice mail I left a message begging him to call me back. I knew how pathetic it must have sounded, but I was desperate to hear from him. When I hung up, I laid back down in my bed and thought about what a mess my love life was.

About an hour later, the familiar sound of We belong Together by Mariah Carey came from my phone and my heart skipped a beat. It was Jarred, and I knew it. That was the ring tone I picked out just for him. My palms were a little sweaty and my legs even felt weak as I hit the answer key.

Hearing his voice for the first time in ages was like a symphony. A warm feeling enveloped my body as he explained everything to me and then told me that he had been thinking about me. He even confessed to me that he had a hard time being away from me. He told me that he was failing a class and that he had been grounded by his folks. Part of me wanted to believe him, but another part of me knew better. I could hear it in his voice.

Still, I relented. I knew that if I was patient enough, Jarred would come back to me. I also knew that when he did, I was going to be ready. I was going to give him what he needed, and I was going to make him mine. I was going to prove to Jarred Fedina that I was all he needed.

Eventually, the day did come. He showed up at my door, and I was ready for him. As soon as I shut the door, I latched onto his mouth with mine and we kissed. As our tongues dance, I greedily took in the warmth of his body, running my hands up the back of his shirt and all over his back while I tasted his delicious tongue.

But something was on his mind. I knew it, and I also knew that he hadn’t come here to have sex with me. He was here for something else. Something that was worse than any fate I could have imagined. Before he even had a chance to get the word out, I cut him off and told him that I knew what was going on.

I wanted him to hold me. I was feeling rejected, and even worse, I was feeling ugly. Something about the way Jarred had picked the other guy over me after we had sex made me feel like I hadn’t been good looking enough, or maybe I wasn’t cool enough. I just needed some consolation, so we sat down on my couch, where we had sat together so many times before, and we cuddled. Then we kissed. Then, as Jarred confessed to me what I already knew, and a few things I didn’t know, I forgave him.

Then I took him upstairs and gave myself to him again. I needed another chance to prove to him that I was the one he loved. That I was the one he needed. That I was the one who needed him.

When Jarred walked out of my house that day, it was with the promise that he would be back, and that we would still see each other. For me, that was confirmation enough that I hadn’t given myself to him in vain, and that I still had a chance to have him all to myself. I swore to myself that day that no matter what happened, I wasn’t going to blow that chance.

As I stood in the mirror, looking my face over for any signs of acne, I smiled to myself. The last couple of months had been great. Especially lately, since “the bitch”, my name for that sorry excuse of a person Jarred calls his boyfriend left for band camp.

I guess in reality I had no real reason to hate Phillip Cassiante. Well, except for the fact that if it weren’t for him, I’d be Jarred’s one and only. Oh, and the fact that he makes the love of my life miserable.

I actually met him one time. My dad and I were coming home from Panera Bread down on Nemo Parkway and we happened to stop at a 7-11 for gas. I went inside to pay and there was Jarred, coming out with a Slurpee in his hand. I should have known then what was going on, but I was never suspected a thing.

Jarred and I were talking when Phillip walked up and asked who I was. I was scared he was going to figure out that we were gay, so I made up a story about going to the same church as Jarred. Phillip seemed to buy the story, and everything seemed fine. I saw Jarred that weekend and everything was fine between us. In fact, we never even talked about Phillip.

Jarred was going to come over, too. My parents were going to a party and I had the house all to myself again. As soon as they left, I was going to call him and let him know that the coast was clear. I couldn’t wait, either. There was something deep down inside of me that was aching for him to make love to me that day. It was a feeling I couldn’t describe, but when he was inside of me, it was total ecstasy. Just knowing that he was going to be there made my body quiver with anticipation.

There was another reason I was waiting for him so eagerly, too. Sure, the sex was great, but I had another reason. I was going to make my move. Phillip had been gone to band camp almost all summer, and while he was gone, I got to take his place. When he got back, I hated being displaced on Jarred’s list of priorities, so now, I was going to make my move. By hook or by crook, I was going to have my day in the sun.

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