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Finding Tim

A Fourth Alternate Reality

by Charlie
With editorial assistance from Dix and John


"California, here we come." That song title must rattle around in the head of nearly every California visitor, and their numbers are legion. And a lot of those visitors go there to stay. Of course, the line is misused. We all tend to forget the next few words, "Right back where I started from." Most of the people saying "California, here I come," are not heading back, but are heading to California for the first time. That certainly described Tim and me.

Grand Forks was a railroad town. We had never ridden the train to or from Grand Forks, but we were aware that in its heyday the railroad had been an important part of the town's economy. The Great Northern had come through Grand Forks as it wound its way from Chicago, Minneapolis, and Fargo, to Grand Forks and on west to Seattle. The famous train to the west was the Empire Builder and it still ran. In 1970 the Great Northern had merged with the Burlington Railroad and had become the Burlington Northern, and the Empire Builder continued. In 1971 rail passenger service was taken over by Amtrak, and the Empire Builder continued to run. Tim and I decided that we'd head west on the Empire Builder. What a trip! It meant boarding the train about four in the morning (not a problem for Tim). Everyone was still asleep, and we headed into our bedroom and went to bed as well. We found that a rolling train was conducive to sleep, and upon reawakening about eight in the morning we found that a rolling train was conducive to other things that often go on in beds. Everyone said that Amtrak couldn't duplicate the great days of rail in America, and that certainly is true. But the scenery seen through the domes hadn't changed, and Tim and I were fascinated to watch the country roll by. First the plains of North Dakota and similar scenery in Montana. Then the fantastic trip along the southern border of Glacier National Park. We had considered planning a stopover at the park, but decided that we didn't really have that kind of time - this was to be a railroad trip. We hoped that someday we'd get back to the west in a car, when we could poke around all sorts of interesting places. We reluctantly waved goodbye to the National Park as we headed for bed on our first full night on the train. As the train continued west across the mountains of Idaho and Washington, we slept, awakened early, and watched the scenery as we ate breakfast. We got into Seattle midmorning, about a hour too late to catch the train to Los Angeles. We spent the day being typical tourists in Seattle, spending the night in a hotel near the Amtrak station. The next morning we boarded the Coast Starlight, Amtrak's train to Los Angeles. We delighted in the western scenery, another night on the train, and the enforced relaxation of train travel. The train was good for Tim; nothing else in his life had so effectively enforced leisure. His comment was, "I couldn't have stood it, except that it was so good to have time with you, Charlie."

An evening arrival in Los Angeles, a taxi ride to Hollywood, another night in a hotel, and we were ready to go. I tried to convince Tim that we could sleep late the next morning, as the folks in Hollywood were, of all the people on earth, not morning people. Tim had me running several miles before breakfast! "Enough of this forced leisure!" was all he'd say.

We'd made some phone calls before we headed west, so we had some idea of what we planned to do. We headed for the offices of the Writers' Guild. They had a person whose job it was to try to match writers with possible jobs. Most were likely to be single writing projects rather than the salaried positions Tim envisioned. We got exactly the reaction we expected, "You're looking for writers in Hollywood that would move to North Dakota? Actually move there, take their families, buy a house? What do you think could possibly entice a Hollywood writer to make such a move?"

Tim was ready with his answer to that. "Well, first of all, if you're out of work, a steady income looks pretty good. Second, we plan to pay well. Third, Hollywood isn't necessarily the best place to raise kids, especially teenagers. Grand Forks is a good place to raise kids. But, if you're into Hollywood glamor, I don't have the right job. But, I don't think someone who's really into the glamor of Hollywood is likely to be the person I want to write for me."

"OK, so you're looking for a talented writer, unemployed, happily married with kids, who's looking for a well-paid steady job. Right?"


"The last time I saw one of those was in a soap opera. Not in real life."

"How close can you come?"

"Leave off the talented, and I can find you lots."

"OK, let's assume that I'm going to have to pay a lot to entice someone to move. How much?"

"At least $25,000."

"Am I supposed to be shocked by that figure?"

"You can pay that much, steady?"

"We can double that."

There was a visible change in his demeanor. "I've got two or three people in mind that you can entice with that kind of money."

"You going to give me their names, or have them call me?"

"I can't give out names. I'll let them know. And I'll send out a letter to everyone on our placement list telling them what you have. I'll get the letter out this afternoon, you'll start getting calls tomorrow. Where are you?"

"We're at the Roosevelt, and one of us'll stay by the phone for the next two days. We hope to be interviewing before long. And please be sure that women are included, we're looking for a three person team, and I think at least one should be a woman."

"There aren't a lot of women writers."

"We'll find one."

"Good luck, guys. I've never heard of a university wanting to hire writers, at least not real professional writers."

"Yeah, and most of the speeches you hear around universities sound like they were written by amateurs, or worse. I have to give a lot of speeches in the next few years, I have neither the time nor the talent to write my own, and I want them to be good."

"Writing movie or TV scripts isn't the same as speeches."

"Both have to entertain. The information I want to convey will be supplied. I think this'll work. Who knows, though? It's an experiment."

"So if it doesn't work, what do these guys do who have moved to North Dakota?"

"They get a year's contract, and if we terminate in under four years we'll move them back to Hollywood. The University of North Dakota is a good employer; we'll treat them well."

"I thought they were working for an outfit called Development Consulting?"

"They will be. But it contracts to the University, and its employee relations will be as good or better."

"Frankly, it sounds interesting."

"We hope so. We'll be waiting by the telephone. Somebody better call."

Tim had about four names of people in Hollywood who might help: John Flitkin, a small independent producer; Val Michaels, a long time director of low budget movies, and a couple of technical people that Prexy knew. Three of them were alumni. We visited all four in the rest of the day. They were intrigued with our plans, and we got a few names of writers we might call. Flitkin was very interested in us, and suggested that he might like to do a mid-length documentary about us; the main emphasis would be on being gay and being an athlete. We told him we'd think about it, and he assured us that he'd get back to us at some point. It was an interesting day, and we had hopes for the next two. That evening we called all of the names we'd been given, told them what we were looking for, and three of them asked us to send over more information. The hotel arranged for a taxi to take information packages to the three.

We headed out the next morning for an early run, had breakfast in a funny little café that we happened to run past, and got back to the room by 8:30, well ahead, we were sure, of any phone call that might come from a Hollywood writer. We needn't have hurried. The first call came at 11:30 and Tim talked to the man, Arlo Hunter, for about thirty minutes. It was a name that we'd gotten from Val Michaels. Arlo agreed to come around to the hotel at 3:00 to talk further. Tim avoided the word interview preferring to keep the conversations more informal.

Three other calls came in before 3:00 and two of them led to appointments, one for the evening and another for the next morning. Arlo arrived promptly at 3:00. He was totally unassuming, shy even. But he had a wry wit, and a long history which included a wide variety of writing projects. Tim introduced himself, and me as his partner. He explained his ideas for university development and how speeches and speech writing fit in.

Arlo was intrigued with Tim's plans, and (of course) thought he'd fit right into the scheme. He handed us a pile of the stuff he'd written. Tim asked about how he worked; if he'd worked as part of a writing team; what he thought of moving to North Dakota. All of his answers seemed right. He had once lived in Brainerd, Minnesota, so the idea of moving to Grand Forks wasn't completely alien to him. He had two teenagers, a boy 15 and a girl 13 who he thought would do better in Grand Forks than in the looser atmosphere of Los Angeles - he didn't live in Hollywood.

Tim asked if he had ideas about who else might be on the writing team. Arlo proposed his wife, Arlene, also (in Arlo's words) an experienced, talented writer. Tim was liking what he saw and suggested that Arlo and Arlene join us for dinner the next evening. Arlene should bring her portfolio. Tim also noted that we'd be joined by Fred and Marty, who'd handle the formal job arrangements if things happened to work out.

The interview that evening was a bust. The guy couldn't deal with the idea that he'd be working for a "queer," and that ended that. After he left Tim wondered out loud to me how the guy could survive in Hollywood. An awful lot of artists were gay. I didn't have a clue.

The next morning we met Alan Cohen. Alan had gotten word of the job by telephone from the staff at the Writers' Guild. He was young, handsome, talkative, interesting, a graduate of UCLA, and was sick of writing scripts for sitcoms. When introduced to me he said, "Glad to meet you, Charlie. It's a real privilege for a young gay man to meet the most celebrated gay couple in America. I've watched your careers since you came out in Minneapolis. Wow, you guys have guts."

Well, we weren't going to hire the guy because he was gay, nor because he knew who we were. But it sure got him a keen audience before which to strut his stuff. And he strutted well. Interestingly, his first writing job had been while he was a student at UCLA. He'd worked for Ozzie Nelson on scripts for the last year of the show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. He'd gotten the job through one of his teachers, and considered it one of his most valuable experiences. His later experiences hadn't included another show of that stature, but suggested solid progress in his profession. He was tired of never being sure where the next job would come from, and liked the idea of being a staff writer, with less pressure to produce. I assured him that Tim could, and would, apply considerable pressure to produce. He responded, "Not like the TV industry. It's really dog eat dog here, and I'm really intrigued with the idea of getting out of this rat race and still having a good job."

He was invited to join the party for dinner that evening. Tim had arranged for a small private dining room in the hotel, and dinner was set. Fred and Marty arrived about 4:00 p.m. having flown in via Minneapolis during the day. We updated them on our activities the last three days. We got three more phone calls, one of which led to scheduling a visit to the hotel for the next morning.

Dinner was wonderful. We ate well, and basically gave Arlo, Arlene, and Alan the floor and let them talk. Once we got past jokes about auto clubs, triple A bond ratings, and a reference to the Association for the Alleviation of Asinine Abbreviations and Absurd Acronyms, we found all three of them to be great conversationalists. Arlo had a Associate's degree from a California Junior College and Arlene had graduated from LA State. Tim was delighted with the varied background in public high education, and got them talking about their school experiences. They'd all been involved with both high school and college newspapers, and both Arlo and Alan had written plays that their schools had produced. Alan was working on a script for a play which he hoped would make it to Broadway, but it had a long way to go. Arlene confessed to, in her words, "the proverbial novel."

Arlo said, "Now I limit my writing to things which I know somebody's going to pay me for."

Fred mostly listened, but did ask if they thought they could work together. Arlene responded with, "Of course. And, of course, that's the only possible answer we could give. But we're getting along well this evening, and we've all worked on team writing efforts. We'll be being paid to get along, we'll get along. But after this evening, I think we'll work well together regardless."

Marty asked, "Are you going to be able to work all day with your spouse and then go home and spend the rest of the day together."

Arlo answered, "Tim and Charlie seem to get along pretty well together, working and playing. I think it'll work. If I didn't think so, I wouldn't have suggested Arlene for the job."

Marty asked Alan, "Are you married? Family? Children?"

"You weren't here for the conversation yesterday. I'm gay. It's not a secret, but I don't go shouting it around. I was up front about it yesterday with Tim and Charlie, because I thought they should know who they'd be getting. I assumed that it wasn't going to be a problem! I don't have a partner, and I'm not particularly fond of the "gay scene" as they call it in Los Angeles."

Fred said to Arlo and Arlene, "I assume that doesn't bother you."

Arlene said, "Not in the least. This is Hollywood. Gays're part of life out here."

Tim mentioned the interview we'd had with a writer that couldn't deal with the idea of working for a gay man. Arlo said, "I can't imagine that out here. At least he was up front. That could've been a disaster."

Tim said, "Charlie's being a part of this process assures that the subject isn't ignored. With each visit I introduce him immediately as my partner."

Alan asked, "If I may ask, when do you hope to settle this? How many people are you talking to?"

I said, "You all are the first. We'll keep the phones open another day. We are talking to at least one other person tomorrow. Then we're going to all put our heads together and decide where we stand. If you don't mind being called in the evening, we'll call you with the next steps tomorrow evening."

"Good. We'll all be looking for the call."

We spent much of the evening reading the writing samples that AAA, as they were going to inevitably be called, had left with us. The interview the next day was interesting, but the man clearly wasn't in the same league as AAA. So we now had to answer the question, "Do we look further, or work with these three?"

Fred said, "I liked them. I liked what I read. But we need to know more. I think the job is theirs to lose, but let's bring them out to Grand Forks as soon as we can get them there, and see how things go out there. Tim and Charlie, invite them to stay at your house - you'll learn more seeing them up close. Have them spend several days, maybe even a week. They need to be sure they're going to be happy in North Dakota."

I said, "I think we should have Arlo and Arlene bring their kids along. We can keep them entertained, and having the kids happy there is going to be important."

It was settled. We called them all that evening and invited them to Grand Forks two weeks hence. They accepted, and were enthusiastic about bringing the kids.

After the phone call Tim said, "OK, that's done. I think it'll work out. Now there are two things I want to do before I leave this area."

"What's that?"

"Visit Disneyland and swim in the Pacific Ocean."

We did both. We were at Disneyland when it opened the next day and didn't leave till they pushed us out the gate. We rode everything. Saw everything. Enjoyed everything, but we agreed that "It's a Small World" was our favorite of the rides. I think we rode it five times, and the song rattled around in both of our brains for the rest of our stay in California. We loved being kids again. It was a perfect day. The next day we took a taxi to a Pacific beach and spent the morning in the sand, sun, and surf. That afternoon we walked over to the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see the stars in the ground. That was fun, but not the most exciting adventure on the west coast. The next morning we all flew back to Grand Forks. It'd been a great two weeks. Oh, yes. Because I know you're curious: Fred and Marty had their own room and stayed in it at night. Puppy love!

In the next week Tim had a chance to talk at length with Prexy and share his ideas, plans, and dreams. Prexy just nodded and responded, "Well, I learned a long time ago not to discount your dreams. Besides, that's why we hired you; you're bringing a new dynamic to the University, and I know it's one that we'll benefit from. Now, I don't say this to squelch you - not that I could - but we have $75,000 in the budget for your salary and support. There's funding in the administrative budget for a secretary. Anything else you want to spend you're going to have to raise. That won't even make you blink, will it?"


"Exactly the response I expected. OK, I'm sure that the Trustees are going to accept you proposals, as long as they aren't asked to add more to the budget than the $75,000."

"I expect them to dig into their own pockets. I've already made that clear."

"Lot's of luck. But you didn't need it a dozen years ago, you probably won't now."

Tim asked, "Can we make the Alumni Office part of the Development Office?"

"You wouldn't be asking that if you hadn't already conned Mary into supporting this. Am I right?"

"Of course."

"Is this with reluctance or enthusiasm?"

"In Mary's words, 'The Alumni Office would love to hitch its wagon to your star.'"

"I'll give Mary a chance to confirm or deny that, but I'm sure that you wouldn't be suggesting it if you weren't certain of her confirmation."


"I'll talk to Mary. It'll have to go to the Trustees. Are you ready to hit them with two big issues all at once, and in your first meeting with them?"

"Second meeting."

"OK, but it's been a while."

"Not two things; three things."

"And the third would be?"

"We need space for the Development Office. The Alumni Office is in that old house, but it sits on a good site. Let's tear it down and build a really good Alumni Center, with room for the Development Staff, editorial offices for the new magazine, and the Alumni Office. I envision it being sort of a club for alumni, with a good restaurant at cheap prices."

"And what'll that cost? And, where do you propose to get the money?"

"I won't know what it'll cost until Carl designs it. The Development Office will borrow the money, and pay it back with an additional 5% administrative surcharge on all development gifts until its paid for. That'll make only a 15% administrative overhead on gifts, which is still good."

"I really didn't understand what I was letting myself in for when I offered you a job. Well, I was warned a long time ago to hang on tight when on board your roller coaster. You'd better hang on, too."

When Tim gave me a detailed blow by blow of the conversation that night at dinner I couldn't believe my ears. "You hit him with all of that in one meeting?"

"All of it."

"And you still have your job?"

"All of it."

"I hope the Law School isn't going to expect ideas out of me at this same fast and furious pace."

"I have complete faith in you, Charlie. You'll give them what they need. But remember, I've been thinking about this job for years. Only in the past few months did you know that they envisioned an administrative role for you in the Law School. And you still don't really know what your main assignments will be. My job's easy to define: 'Raise money. Lot's of money.' How was your day?"

"My day was fine. Hamilton was down in Fargo on some sort of business at ND State. They delivered the furniture to my office and I spent the day getting settled. I was able to go at a very leisurely pace, which I appreciate and which you don't even comprehend."

"Now, Charlie."

"Don't, 'Now, Charlie' me. I enjoyed today, you would've hated it. By noon you would've been at the gym, pool, or out running. I browsed through books as I put them on the shelf, reread some of my old papers, read a little Lincoln - I even found something that should've been in the dissertation, but that I'd missed - and still have a few things to sort tomorrow. I meet Hamilton at 11:00 a.m. I'm sure that we'll have lunch together."

"I hope you have some new ideas to bounce off of him at lunch. They expect a lot from you, you know?"

"One thing I want to do is find out about their alumni relations. They need to be linking into all of the alumni office plans that you're making."

Tim said, "I don't have any idea who handles professional school alumni matters. I guess that is a question that I should be asking at my end as well."

"Yes, I'm sure it is. And it may be different for each school."

"So what else?"

"What else, what?"

"What other new things are you going to propose to Hamilton? Surely you'll come with more than one bright idea."

"I think we need to do a major study of the quality of the school, particularly as it's seen from outside. I'd like to interview and survey a lot of groups: alumni, practicing lawyers, judges, business leaders, I'm sure we can think of others. What do they know and think of the school, and what has been their experience working with our graduates? Just where are we starting from as we plan the future?"

"Do you think Hamilton will be open to that? It could make him look bad."

"Or good. I don't think he has an ego problem. I think he'll go for it. And I think we may learn a lot."

"Anything else?"

"I don't claim to be superboy. Two ideas are enough for the first meeting. Besides, I have a feeling that Hamilton has some ideas of his own."

We'd finished dinner and were loading the dishwasher when Tim said, "It's a lovely night. I want to have glorious sex with you tonight, but outside, in the grass or flowers. Let's take a run out into the country, find a secluded spot, take our clothes off, enjoy each other, and then run back."

"How come all this running business? The nice night, nudity in the grass, sex under the stars - that all sounds great. Running there doesn't sound too bad. Running back after we're done sounds absolutely miserable. You're going to have to come up with a better idea."

"You're a wimp."

"You went after me, remember? That I wasn't the athlete you were was as obvious then as it is now. Let's take a drive in the country."

"In a car?"

"What else?"

"I don't know. But somehow driving out in the country doesn't sound so romantic."

"There are a lot of teenagers who'd dispute that. And a lot of girls' fathers that wish you were right that the car isn't romantic."

"OK, you win. You drive. Let's head over to Minnesota."

We went to the car, Tim totally rejecting my suggestion that we might like to take a blanket along. We headed across the Kennedy Bridge and then north on Route 64. We went a few miles and then tried several roads to the left, all of which headed toward the river. On our third try we came to a dead end where we found a little path the led to a spot where we could look out over the river. Clearly this was a seldom visited spot, and we felt comfortable sitting there thinking about sex. We watched the sun set in the west, over the river, as twilight approached. This was the northern summer, so it wouldn't really be dark for at least another hour, but it was dark enough for us to feel secluded and safe. We were sitting on pine needles, and I asked Tim if he now wished we'd brought a blanket.

"Not a bit. This is going to be sex au naturel."

"Take your pants off and sit on those pine needles and then say that."

He did. In fact he took everything off, laid down on his back, and said "Come on, Charlie, join me."

I did. The needles weren't as prickly as I'd feared they would be - at least until he grabbed a bunch and rubbed my genitalia with them. I decided not to take up the challenge and simply grabbed him and hugged him. He emptied his hand and hugged me back. We lay there for a while, looking out over the river, just enjoying each other's presence. Before long Tim's mouth was enveloping my penis which was responding enthusiastically. I tried to reciprocate, but Tim just signaled me to relax and enjoy myself. I did, and I certainly enjoyed myself. Soon he was kissing me and sharing me with me. He lay back and clearly was hoping to get the same treatment. I said, "What would you do if I just got dressed and walked back to the car?"

"You wouldn't make it."

"Shall I try?"

"Go ahead."

"I'd rather have a snack first."

"That's better." I took him in my mouth and before long had the wished for snack, shared appropriately. We lay there a long while, just holding hands. Finally darkness closed in and we slowly dressed, walked back to the car, and drove home. We next drove out to that spot about a year later and discovered bulldozers had destroyed it for what would soon be a new subdivision of expensive homes. Ah, progress.

When we got home we found the foursome sitting in our living room. "Where've you been?" asked Jim.

"We took a drive up along the river," answered Tim. "What brings you all here?"

"We're horny. We've had enough of each other, we decided to branch out. We got here about ten minutes ago and decided to give you two a few minutes to get home."

I said, "Well, we stopped above the river, sat and watched it a while, and then did other things. That might slow down any such efforts we extended in your direction."

Andy said, "I've never noticed your libido appreciably slowed by a little thing like a first orgasm. I assume that whatever might come along here, it'd only be your second."

"I think you can count on that."

Kara said, "Let's start in that wonderful shower of yours."

"How do you know about our shower?" asked Tim.

"Everybody knows about your shower. And the kinds of things you do in it. Besides, Marty's invited us over many times. How do you think we had a key to get in?"

"I wondered," I said. "But since we want all of the Gang to have a key I didn't really think about where you would've gotten one already. Good for Marty."

Amy said, "You know, we can talk in the shower. It'll be much more interesting than talking here."

We headed upstairs. The group was so comfortable with each other that undressing wasn't particularly erotic, just something we had to do before we could get into the shower. Tim, of course, led the way. To this day I marvel at the speed at which he removes his clothes. Tim was followed by Kara, and the two of them took control of the shower heads on hoses. As the rest of us stood under our own shower head, Tim and Kara methodically gave us water massages, with a definite emphasis on preparing us for later adventures in bed. At first I thought Kara planned to finish the job in the shower, as she carefully lifted my penis to get at my balls and the sensitive underside of my dick. But then she moved on to Amy, while Tim moved between Jim and Andy.

Andy was in a very sensitive mood and Tim only had to aim the spray at his groin to get him giggling and dodging the spray, or blocking it with his hand. He was so sensitive, that every time Tim scored a direct hit, Andy shook all over, and turned. Tim would follow him through his turn and really get him. Finally the rest of us came to Andy's defense by reaching up to our shower heads and aiming them directly at Tim's face. That backed him away from Andy, who took the moment of freedom to take the other hose from Kara and join in the attack on Tim, moving from face to groin and back.

We never bothered with soap. The excitement wore off and we shut off the showers, paired off, and dried each other. Very thoroughly. Then we headed to the bed. Andy said, "I'm going to get even with Tim. You four hold him, spread eagle, on the bed. I'm going to tickle him to death."

I was next to Tim. I grabbed him in a bear hug, and flung him on the bed. The others caught him and he was quickly held, spread eagle. Andy knelt between his legs and very slowly approached him, aiming for his ribs. Tim was pretty ticklish, and it was obvious that Andy was ready to capitalize on it. He moved slowly all around Tim's torso, with emphasis on his ribs, nipples, belly button, and finally his balls. Then back to his ribs. Tim giggled, jerked, pulled, and even threatened. But I knew Tim well, and I was quite certain that he was delighted by the whole thing. The third time Andy passed down by his balls, he moved up to the underside of his dick. Almost the instant his fingers connected with the dick,Tim ejaculated. Andy grabbed his dick and pumped with one hand, while he spread the cum all over Tim with the other, in particular making sure that his face was covered. Then he slid off the bed and we let Tim go.

Instantly Tim grabbed Amy and hugged and kissed her, getting the cum all over her. He moved on to the rest of us, but most of it had been left on Amy. Then he said, "OK, who has guts enough to let me do that to them?"

Jim said, "No one would dare admit they couldn't take it. Choose your victim."

Tim choose Kara. As I knew he'd be, he was an even more effective tickler than Andy had been. He had Kara wildly flopping all over the bed, even as we tried to hold her down. When he finally stuck a finger in her vagina to bring her to climax, she came like a locomotive. As she came to rest, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "You're next, Charlie."

Before I knew what was happening I was pinned on the bed, Kara was between my legs, and I was being tickled mercilessly. However, it was a game we'd played at Camp White Elk when I was a camper. One boy would strip to the waist and would lay down on the bed and hold the bed frame above his head. Another boy would straddle him so that his hands could get to his ribs and chest. A time was agreed upon, usually five minutes, and the boy on top would tickle the one on the bottom until either he took his hands off the bed frame, which made him the loser, or the time was up, which made him a winner. Then they reversed positions. Most kids couldn't take it for five minutes - even the ones that liked to claim that they weren't ticklish. If both, in their turn, failed to hold on for the agreed time, then the one that held on the longest was the winner. Sometimes nothing was bet, the game simply led to a winner being declared. Sometimes we bet candy bars or small amounts of money. More likely it was either a five minute tickle or a bare butt spanking. The five minute tickle was the same, except that others held you so that you couldn't use your hands to stop it. The bare butt spanking was just as described. You bared your butt, grabbed your ankles, and the winner got to whack you three times on each cheek. It could really hurt. I got my share, because we bet on a lot of things. But I never lost a tickle match. I figured it was just a matter of the mind, and I learned to steel myself so that I could stand just about any form of tickling.

There was a big difference between the games at Camp White Elk and this one. At camp shirts were off but pants (or swimming suits) were on. When Kara hit my balls I knew this was something different than I had experienced at camp. But my hands were pinned by Jim and Andy. The only out was ejaculating, and that's exactly what I did, instantly, forcefully, and with a mighty heave that shook my whole body. Tim, who was holding my right leg, said, "My God, that was spectacular. Charlie, that was wonderful."

Kara flung herself on top of me, getting my cum all over her as well as me. Then she said, "OK, Charlie, I guess you get to choose your victim."

I think I'd rather have sucked someone, but tickling was the game of the day. I chose Amy, who then chose Jim. When Jim's turn came he said to Andy, "OK, buddy, you started this. Now I get to finish it."

Jim should've been a professional torturer. Between his vocal sound effects, his exquisite attacks with his fingers held high over Andy's head, his delicate fingers all over his scrotum, sometimes only touching his hair, his fiddling with Andy's sphincter, and his quick and obviously painful pinches of his nipples, Jim kept Andy going for over a half hour. During this time he never touched his dick. All of a sudden he slammed his mouth down on Andy's groin, virtually swallowed his dick, and was rewarded with a torrent of cum headed down his throat. Jim clearly knew his man, because Andy's reaction to all of this was to grab Jim in a wonderful bear hug, which was only broken by the need for them to kiss each other. Amy watched all of this and said, "Those two have the most wonderful thing for each other. The amazing thing, however, is that they're willing and able to share their love with Kara and me. But at times like this we just feel honored to be spectators."

Someone turned out the lights. I pulled the sheet up, and we slept in a heap. All six of us. Slowly we wiggled around so that we were all spooned together and actually fit the bed. Tim never set his alarm and we all slept past seven. We showered again, but this time with the intention of getting cleaned, which we certainly needed, rather than aroused.

As soon as I was awake I called Fred and suggested that he and Marty come over and join us for breakfast. A call to Franklin brought him and Phil, and Peter and Norma. The twelve of us gathered in the kitchen and collectively fried bacon and eggs, made toast, squeezed oranges, and cut up bananas and strawberries. We carried it all to the big table in the dining room and we had a feast. Fred made a telling comment, "As the number of the Gang living in Grand Forks grows, how are we going to have fun gatherings like this? Where'll we have them?"

I said, "The spontaneity of events like this is one of the wonderful things about the Gang. We have to think through the implications of our numbers growing. We'll find a solution." We didn't have one that morning.

Marty did ask, "OK, what brought all this on?"

Andy gave a pretty vivid picture of the previous night's activity. Fred said, "Tickling, huh? When I was in high school we used to have tickle contests to see who could take it the longest. I don't remember it being sexual though. And it was only the boys. We played on the massage table in the locker room. The boys weren't nude - we weren't into that. They'd have their jock straps on."

I said, "Last night I was thinking of similar games we used to play at Camp White Elk."

"Not with me you didn't play those games," said Tim.

"If I'd played with you nothing on earth could've stopped me from letting my hands roam where they shouldn't have. There was no way I was ever going to let those games get started that summer, Tim."

"I'd have been just as unable to stop. God, it would've been fun."

"Fun, maybe. But it might've brought our romance to an end. Better we waited till last night."

Norma said, "This sounds intriguing. Peter, did you ever play any kind of game like that as a kid?"

"You really want to know?"

"Of course. I'm learning something new about you."

"Yeah, we played a tickle game. Ours was a little different. We had a bunch of about eight guys that did everything together. I guess we were about fourteen or fifteen. The group sort of broke up as we started going with girls. But one summer we really got going. There was a woods on Jack's property where we could be sure we wouldn't be disturbed. We had a tickle game we played a lot. A guy would lay down on the ground and another straddle him and tickle him. He had to keep his hands over his head, palms together. If he moved his hands, that is separated his palms or brought them up over his head, he lost his shirt. That made him easier to tickle, and if he moved again his lost his undershirt. The next time his pants were pushed down to his ankles, and finally his underpants were pushed down. Once he was exposed, the tickling stopped, and he was jacked off. I've forgotten how long you had to go without moving your hands to be allowed up, but most of us lost and got jacked off. That was, after all, the main point of the thing. We didn't think of it as homosexual, just a game. We had a couple of other games that involved jacking off."

"Circle jerk?"

"Yeah. But we had another. We'd pair up. I think we used a deck of cards to make the pairs random. One person from each pair would pull down his pants and lay down. The other would jack him off. Each pair started at once. In a circle jerk, the idea is to be first. In this game, the idea was to be last. As soon as all but one had come, we stopped, and everyone cleaned up and pull their pants up. Then the other partners pulled down their pants and the contest was repeated. That left us with two winners who hadn't come. They each were stripped naked and we all joined in at jacking them off. As soon as one came we had a winner. Well, we usually did. Sometimes, by the time someone yelled, 'He's coming,' and the other group had stopped jerking the other guy, he might've come. Then we didn't have a winner. When we did have a single winner, he was king for the rest of the day. This meant that for the rest of the day we did what he wanted. If he wanted pizza, we went and got it, and he didn't have to pay. If we went to the movie, we paid his way in and he picked the movie. If he wanted to play basketball, that's what we did. There usually weren't many sexual overtones to the idea of being king. However, usually the first thing that the king called for was to have a circle jerk. Since the king wouldn't have come as yet, and the rest of us would have, he'd almost always win the circle jerk, and pocket a few dollars. We played a number of games that led to picking a king for the day, but that was the only one that involved jacking off."

Norma said, "I'm not quite sure how we girls might fit into such a game, but it would be fun to watch you guys be teenagers again and play a game like that."

Peter said, "Norma, I'm seeing another side of you."

"Just like I just saw another side of you. And, honestly, I liked what I saw. The idea that you were this sexy little teenager is very appealing. Now, what did you do with the girls?"

"'What did you do with the girls?' might be the more appropriate question," he asked back.

Norma answered, "You know, I don't remember anything like that. Amy, Kara, what about the two of you? Did you ever play any kind of sex games as teenagers?"

Amy said, "Well, there was a group of us girls in high school. We'd sleep over at each other's houses. The group might've had a dozen members, some more central to it than others. Rarely did the sleepovers involved more than four to six. Sometimes it got sexy; that sort of depended on who was there. There were a couple of girls that seemed to really be into playing around with other girls. Most of the rest of us could take it or leave it."

"What did you do?" asked Jim.

"One girl, Pam was her name, I think, like to stick up her finger and say, 'Let's pretend this is a boy's dick. Who wants it?"

"Somebody would say, 'I do,' and would pull up her nightgown. The finger would go inside. It usually led to an orgasm. Sometimes that was it; sometimes other girls would start playing with each other. But most nights nothing happened. That's about all of my high school story. In college there was nothing but talk, usually about boy conquests, and a lot of it was lies."

Jim asked, "What about you, Kara?"

"I remember one slumber party in high school. We were a pretty sexless bunch, at least that was true when just the girls got together. There were about eight girls sleeping in the basement of one of my friend's houses. The host girl, we called her Pigeon for some reason that I can't possibly remember, hadn't told us anything about her plans, but at about midnight there was a very soft knock on the basement door. She let in Allen, a boy from our class. He'd told his parents he was spending the night with a friend, but had come to join us. We were all in our nightgowns, and he hadn't brought any pajamas or anything. We said, 'What're you going to sleep in?'

"Allen responded with, 'Why don't we all sleep in our birthday suits?' That was followed by silence, so he continued, 'Are you all chicken?'

"One thing that high school students can't stand is to be called chicken. So we all sort of mumbled, 'OK.'

"He stripped down to his boxer shorts. We could see his penis, because it was hard and kind of sticking out. He said, 'OK, now it's your turn.' None of us was eager to pull off our nightgowns, but Pigeon pulled off hers, exposing herself completely. Allen followed suit. Very slowly, one by one, the rest of us stripped, but we all sort of sat so that not much showed. There was one bed and a bunch of sleeping bags. Allen lay down on the bed, arms at his side and legs spread. 'You can touch it, play with it, lick it, suck it, just about anything you want. Believe me, I'll enjoy almost anything you do.'

"Pigeon clearly had had something going with Allen before. She tickled him a little and said to us, 'Girls, you won't get a chance like this again. Allen's a good sport. I suggest you join the party.' I guess eventually we all did, most quite hesitantly.

"Eventually Allen said, pretty loudly, 'Look out.' It was too late for a couple of us who got hit. One girl got some semen in her hair. She wasn't too happy about that. Then Allen cleaned himself up and climbed into a sleeping bag. It happened to be mine. He said, 'If anybody wants to sleep in here with me that would be fine. Otherwise, good night.' I thought for a long while; nobody else moved to climb into the bag, so I decided to. Allen cuddled behind me, wrapped his arms around me and played, first with my nipples and then with my clit. Before he started he whispered, 'I'll stop anytime you say.' I never said, and he didn't stop until I'd had an orgasm. It was my first with another person. It sure beat masturbating. Allen was a fun, sexy, horny, but respectful boy. We dated for most of the rest of the time in high school. He never fucked me; he wouldn't fuck me even though I asked. He always said, 'You know, Kara, we're going to go our separate ways after high school. I'm not the guy you want to lose your virginity to.' I didn't know it then, but he was right. You know, I wonder where Allen is now. I hope he's married to a really wonderful woman. He deserves it."

Jim said, "You told me about Allen, but you never told how you met him. That's quite a story. I think I'd like to meet Allen."

"I've never told that story to anyone. What is it about this group that gets people to open up about themselves?"

"That's the magic of the Gang," I said. But the key is that we all know that the Gang'll be totally non-judgmental."

By mid-morning the party had broken up. We all had responsibilities and headed our separate ways. Tim and I stayed a little while to clean up the kitchen - we'd refused offers of help from the Gang. I said, "Tim, it's wonderful to have so many of the Gang so close. This morning was completely spontaneous and wonderful fun."

"We heard some interesting stories."

"I think that all teenagers have sexual experiences of one sort or another that would be interesting, but in our culture nobody's willing to share stories like that. The Gang is different."

"I know. How did we ever get where we are within the Gang?"

"I'm not sure. Somehow the first summer we learned to trust each other and be honest with each other. With the sexual tensions of that summer, honesty and trust sort of inevitably led to conversations not dissimilar to the one we just had. By the way, Kara's friend Allen was quite a character - a sleepover with eight girls."

"And no fucking."

"Somehow kids need to learn an important lesson - you can have wonderful orgasms without intercourse."

"It's an important lesson, but nobody's teaching it."

"It's a fucked up society."

The dishes were in the dishwasher, the kitchen was clean, and we headed off to campus. We held hands as we walked. We didn't always walk that way, but the important thing for us wasn't that we were walking hand in hand, but that we felt comfortable walking that way when we wanted to. We loved Grand Forks.

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