“Okay, Wolfie,” I thought to myself, “Now connect this blue wire with the other blue wire, and that black wire with the other black wire. Tighten the screws in the strip connector…done!”
I pulled on the string and it worked! The new fan that I had just installed in my bedroom was working and it began to cool the room a bit. Aw, that was better! Don’t get me wrong; I do like it hot. But in my bedroom, there are better ways to make me hot than the summer noontime heat.
Storm seemed to like the cool breeze, too. He was lying on my bed and looked at me with his beautiful brown eyes. I lay down next to him and started to rub his furry belly, and when I scratched him behind the ears, he growled his satisfaction. He really loved it when I stroked his fur, and I loved to do it. Storm was a beautiful dog, one-half pure gray wolf, and the rest a mixture of husky and German shepherd.
Oh, maybe I should introduce myself. My name is Torsten Wolfe, and I live in Baysville for about a year now. Most people here have their problems to pronounce my first name, thus they just call me Torry or Wolfie, and sometimes Chief, when it’s official business about the Fire Brigade. I was born in Germany a bit over 29 years ago. I was an engineer on a missile cruiser in the German navy for over 4 years. There I learned to repair everything under the sun. Well, almost everything. When you’re out on the water for several weeks or even months, you cannot call a repair service or order any spare parts. Most times you have to improvise with whatever materials might be on hand at the time. I had gained a really good reputation on the ship, and my captain had been very proud because our engines were always running.
I had only been a few weeks away from my promotion to Sub lieutenant when someone found out that I was gay. I still don’t know how they found out, but from that day on, my career in the navy was over. Well, officially the German navy is very tolerant, but on board ship, you are in a different world. I don’t want to bother you with all the sad details, but only three months after my outing, I quit.
I should not have had any problems to get a great job as an engineer, coz former military engineers are wanted everywhere. But I did not want to hide anymore; I did not want to live a fake life. Then I remembered the name of a little town, which was slightly different. I had heard about it a while ago during a maneuver with US forces, when I had talked with a cute pilot. So I took my few bags and moved to Baysville, where I felt welcome from the very first second.
Mayor Eggland offered me the job of Chief of the Fire Brigade, and of course I accepted. That way the town pays me, but I do not have to work too much. There aren’t many fires to extinguish here in Baysville, unless Luis’s cook sets the fat on fire in the kitchen at Lusiad’s. We don’t have many smokers here (even the Mayor has quitted some weeks ago), thus I do not have to worry about wildfires caused by thrown-away cigarettes. And the Boy Scouts who camp out in the State Forest or Pine Island have learned how to make a good and safe fire.
Speaking of the Boy Scouts, in my free time I am the leader of Troop 69, also known amongst ourselves as “The Wolfpack”. We are the only Troop in the entire state that we know of that flies the Rainbow banner. We have left the Boy Scouts of America because they discriminate against gays, and joined a new National organization called, “Scouting For All”. Even the straight Scouts are proud to be different from all the rest! I love outdoor activities, and thus it is not only an honor but also a pleasure for me to lead this troop. And the kids obviously like me. The younger boys even proudly call themselves, “Wolfie’s pups”.
But unfortunately, I do not have as much free time as I thought I would at first. Everybody in Baysville knows that I’m an engineer and quite good in repairing things. And believe me, there are always many things to repair. But I like that job. I love to work with my hands, and furthermore I earn loads of tax-free cash, free meals, and even free beer sometimes. It’s a good life.
I was still rubbing Storm’s belly when I heard an eerie howl in the living room. My cell-phone was ringing! (I know, I’m crazy, but have I mentioned that I’m a wolf fanatic?) So I gave Storm a last kiss on his wet nose and hurried to answer the phone.
“Wolfie here, what’s up?” I asked.
“Phew, good that I reach you, Wolfie!” an upset voice said. I recognized Luis from the Bottle Bank. Americans say that we have similar accents, which of course we do not. “Can you come over at once? We have an emergency in the bar!”
“Sure, no problem Luis, I’m on my way!” I replied. “What happened?”
But he had already hung up, so I could only guess what was wrong. A fire? Hopefully not! And besides, a fire alarm would have reached me over my beeper. But whatever it was, I decided to hurry up. I ran out of the house and jumped in my black Pontiac Firebird with the larger than life-size face of a gray wolf on the hood and hunting wolves loping along together on the sides. I told you that I’m a fanatic!
A few minutes later I stopped in front of the Bottle Bank, right next to the Sheriff’s Bronco. If Rich Restless was here too, it must be a real emergency indeed. I quickly grabbed the toolbox that I always have in my car and ran into the bar. There was a small crowd standing by the counter. Luis, Chris and TJ were behind it; Rich, Bubba, Judge Bondi and some other guys in front of it. They were all talking at once, discussing something I could not understand. But it seemed to be pretty important, because none of them noticed me at first. Eventually, when I had almost reached the counter, Luis looked up and saw me.
“Wolfie! Finally!” he shouted.
“What’s wrong, guys?” I asked, a bit confused. “I don’t see an emergency here. I don’t smell smoke, and the jukebox is playing, so the power is on, too. Do you have a surprise for me? It can’t be a surprise party for my birthday. That was back in April. Hey Luis, you remember that party, right? When you started to dance on the table and taking off your…”
“Aw, come on, Wolfie, nobody wants to hear those old stories!” Luis interrupted me and blushed slightly. “You should better have a look at the problem!”
“I would, if you finally told me what problem you have!” I laughed.
“Oh, right, sure. The beer pump is out of order! I can’t tap beer! And my guests want their beer on tap, not from a can. Please buddy, take a look and see if you can fix it quickly!”
“That’s all?” I exclaimed. “I ignored two traffic lights on my way here! You didn’t hear that, Rich. Emergency, my ass! One could think that you guys are Germans! WE go crazy if we cannot have our beer on tap! Verruecktes Volk!”
“What was that?” Luis asked.
“Nothing!” I said and grinned. “And now step aside, gentlemen, and let me fix your problem.”
“Hey Judge,” Luis complained, “isn’t there a law against German insults in a public bar? I’m sure Wolfie always insults us when he switches to German like that!”
“I’d never insult you guys! I’m sweet and innocent!” I said, causing an outburst of laughter. “Sad for me, but nobody believes me. Poor old Wolfie!”
I opened the tap, but nothing was coming out of it, not even air. There was no pressure in the pipes, and without pressure, no beer would come up from the barrel in the cellar below. I quickly checked the plastic piping and connections under the counter, but they were ok. The problem had to be somewhere in the cellar, so I took my toolbox and went down the stairs.
This cellar was really a nice place. First of all, it was cool down there, even in summer. But furthermore, Luis used this room as a wine cellar. I lust after good red wines, and Luis had some really fine bottles down here. Yes sir, this was a place where I could stay for hours at a time!
But now I had to find the problem on the pump. The barrel was almost full, the connections were ok, and there was no short circuit. Too bad, it was not a simple problem. But after a few more minutes, I found it: a jammed valve. It could have been worse. I had to fumble a bit, but it was not hard work. I removed the valve, cleaned it (since I had no spare parts), and installed it again. A quick look at the manometer showed me that we had pressure again. My job was done.
Before I went back upstairs, I spent a few moments at the shelf with the finest vintage red wines, and after hesitating for a second I grabbed a bottle of Portuguese Douro wine (Vinho do Douro, as they call it there). Back in the bar, Luis was already tapping beer for his guests. He smiled broadly when I came up the stairs.
“Hey mano, thanks for your help! How can I…hey, what are you doing with that bottle?”
“First of all, you’re welcome, Luis!” I replied. “And this nice bottle here is the payment for my work. I think that I will enjoy it very much tonight!”
“You better enjoy it a LOT! That’s some of my best stuff,” Luis complained, “Do you have any idea how expensive that vintage is?”
“Last time I checked, it was about $90 per bottle.” I said and grinned. “Strange, but that’s almost exactly my fee for this out of hours emergency repair job. But if you want, I can bring it back downstairs. And then I could remove this part of the pump again and…”
“Nooooo! Err, I mean, ok, take the wine. And thanks for helping me out so promptly. I knew I could count on you, whatever the trouble was!”
“No problem! Prost and cheers guys. Viel Spas noch, I’m off again!”
“CHEERS, WOLFIE!” they shouted, almost in unison.
“Hey, Wolfie, wait a second, you could help me, too.” Sheriff Rich Restless said. “Well, actually we could help each other.”
“Uh oh,” I laughed, “Somehow I get the feeling that I won’t have time to enjoy the evening with a glass or three of wine. But ok, what’s up, Rich?”
“Well, you know that Gary Blaze left Baysville under the cover of night almost three months ago. Nobody knows what really happened, but people say that he was up to his ears in debt to lots of people. Now I hear that he also has problems with the Feds. I have an official enquiry from the FBI about him and his on-line activities. I’m betting that he went underground. I don’t know what more I can do about that, but I do know that we have an ownerless store with lots of computer stuff. I already talked with Mayor Eggy about it, and if you want, you can take over the shop. The Town will pay you for your time in preparing an inventory so anything valuable can be sold at auction to go against his debts. Evidently, he is no big loss for the town, but he did leave quite a mess to be cleared out. So, what do you say?”
“Hmm, this is an interesting offer!” I replied. “Could I rent the place myself after it’s cleared out, do you think?”
The Sheriff replied, “I don’t see why not. The landlady would probably be happy to have a paying tenant again after all these months.”
“Who is the landlady?”
“Her name is Mrs. Laura Pratt. She’s a very nice lady, but almost 80 years old and not able to do much about the property. You would be helping her enormously as well!”
“I could use a place to store all my tools and repair supplies. And that way I could make my little repair business sort of official. I even know a bit about computers. Not enough to run a Hi Tech business, but enough to clean up Gary Blaze’s mess. You know, you can’t really repair that stuff anymore today, with all the electronics inside. Anyway, at least I will have a closer look at the place. Do you have the keys?”
“I was hoping that you would do it. Here are the keys, feel free to check it out anytime! Oh, and please call me if you find anything that makes you suspicious.”
“Sure thing, Rich. See ya later, buddy!”
Gary Blaze’s old shop was only a few streets away on the corner of 8th Street and Lilac, and it was on my way home, anyway. Thus I decided to stop there and have a quick look. When I entered the shop, I stepped into chaos! The whole space was covered with smashed CD-ROMs and shredded papers. Most of the computers didn’t have any hard disks anymore, and I even found some of the destroyed hard disks in a corner. Obviously, someone had tried his best to demolish every little bit of evidence of what he had been doing. So we would probably never find out why Gary Blaze had really left Baysville.
Anyway, there was a lot of work to do here. But not now, for I had a date with a bottle of red Douro wine tonight. Maybe I could pay some of my Scouts for the cleaning job. I could ask them during the next camp-out weekend. Kids are always short on money. I’m sure they would be happy if they could earn some extra cash.
I turned off the lights and locked the door again. Singing along with the songs on the oldies station, I drove back to my comfortable little house. Storm was dozing lazily on the porch, basking in the early evening cool. But before I had time to open the door, he jumped on me and licked my face.
“Down boy, down!” I laughed. “Yeah, I’m happy to see you too, now let me in, you crazy doggie!”
Eventually I managed to get into the house, with Storm falling over my feet as usual. I put the wine in the fridge for just a little while to cool it down to the right temperature and then turned on the computer to check my e-mail and to surf for a while. There were about half a dozen e-mails from people in Baysville who asked me to repair something, a few messages from old friends and family in Germany who still stayed in contact with me, and a short reminder from Bubba. He had asked me to help him with his landing lights tomorrow, and how could I resist such a nice guy. Too bad that he was already taken.
I made my usual journey through the message boards, but there was nothing really interesting tonight, besides the usual quacking. So I quickly answered my e-mails and logged out again, for I had better things to do. I opened the bottle to let the wine breathe, and I could smell why Luis had not wanted to give it away. He had probably planned it as the prelude of a nice evening (and a hot night) with Chris.
Well, now I would have a nice evening. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be a hot night with anybody else. Sometimes it sucked to be single, especially when you see all the happy couples in Baysville.
The next morning (well, it was almost noon), I drove out to Bubba’s place. When I arrived at his house, I was just in time to see Bubba and Rich kissing good-bye. They are so cute together. Why couldn’t I have someone to kiss me good-bye in the morning? But the day was too beautiful to stay sad for long, and so I was smiling again when I left my car.
“Morning, lovebirds, how are you?” I asked.
“Morning, Wolfie!” Bubba replied. “We’re great, thanks buddy. What about you? And thanks for coming over, I appreciate your help on this project.”
“Hey, don’t thank me before you get my bill! But you’re very welcome. I like to help my friends. Now show me where you have all the stuff so we can get to work.”
“Yeah, you do your work, and I’ll go and do mine.” Rich said as he walked to his Bronco. “Have fun guys, and be good! Bye, Wolfie. And honey, I’ll see ya tonight!”
We waved good-bye to Rich and went over to the hangar where Bubba had stowed the dozens of cartons of landing lights. Actually he had wanted to install them right after he had bought them, but too much had happened since then. Ian and Jeremiah, the two young runaways, had needed their lives stabilized. And Karl, that bastard of a stepfather, needed dealing with. I was still shivering when I thought back to the day when he had tried to kidnap the boys. Thank God, Rich had saved them before anything worse could happen.
And meanwhile, the boys could smile again. They both came out of the house to help me and Bubba carry all the stuff to the landing strip. Bubba said that he had rented the backhoe for three days, and hoped that would be enough. I replied, “Depends on how many rocks and roots we have to get through…after all, it’s a mile long ditch you want here, yah?” Bubba replied with another “Yah!” and the boys laughed. So over the next two days, I ran the backhoe and the other three moved rocks and stones and kept the narrow trench clear for the laying of cable. We ended up with a foot-wide ditch from the hangar to one end of the landing strip, where I could lay the big wires for the power supply. While the boys and some friends were busy filling in the ditch by hand behind us, Bubba and I placed each and every one of the lights in its correct position. Geez, there were a lot of lights. Ian and Jeremiah had much more fun than I did…they and their two friends had pizza and junk food overnights in their loft for two nights while the project was being completed!
Then came the longest and loneliest part of the job, coz I had to connect all the lights with each other. Bubba couldn’t help me, coz he wasn’t an electrician. And Ian had gone off for the day with his friend TJ. But fortunately, Jeremiah offered to help me as a handy man, carrying my tools, tightening screws and so on. It was nice to have him around, and he even talked with me, although I still was a stranger for him. But then again, if you’re living in Baysville, you can’t be a stranger for long.
“Hey Jeremiah,” I said, “you’re really skillful, dude. If you ever need a job, just call me!”
“Thank you sir, it’s fun to help you, I really like it.”
“Sir? Oh boy, don’t call me sir.” I laughed. “You make me feel as old as Dr. Dave, and he’s truly an old geezer! Just call me Wolfie, like everybody else does, ok?”
“Ok, no problem sir, I mean, Wolfie!”
“That’s better! So, what do you think about a break and an ice-cold drink?”
“Sounds great. I’ll run over to the house and get us some cokes!”
“Good boy! Bring them over to the side of the hangar, where we can sit in the shade.”
Five minutes later we were relaxing in the grass, sipping our cokes, and chitchatting like old friends. I did not ask him anything about his stepfather. I had heard enough to know that it was better not to touch that subject. When Jeremiah told me that he didn’t know many boys his age yet, I had an idea.
“Hey, have you ever been a Boy Scout?” I asked.
He shook his head. “No, never. Ian and I wanted to join, but fucking Karl never let us.”
“Well, I don’t know if you knew it, but I’m the alpha male of the Wolfpack.” I had to grin when I saw his puzzled look. “I mean that I’m the leader of the local Boy Scout Troop 69. And we have an outing next weekend. So, what do you think? Do you want to become one of Wolfie’s pups?”
“That would be great!” Jeremiah shouted with excitement. But then he became sad and looked down at his feet. “But I don’t know if I would be welcome. I heard that they want to ban gay boys from the Boy Scouts.”
“We don’t have that rainbow banner for no reason! We voted to leave that homophobic Boy Scouts of America for just that reason. We now belong to ‘Scouting For All’, and they welcome everybody! Believe me, Troop 69 is just the right place if you want to make new friends. So do we have a deal? I’ll pick you up Saturday morning, and we’ll stay out until Sunday night. Oh, and don’t worry about the equipment. You bring your own clothes and I’ll bring everything else you need.”
Now Jeremiah agreed happily. This boy was so cute when he smiled. I was sure that he would not stay alone for long. Eventually we went back to finish our work, and now Jeremiah talked a lot more than before. He asked me lots of questions about the Wolfpack, about the other boys, what we did in the woods and so on. He was getting really excited about it.
When Bubba came back home some time later, he noticed the change at once. He was surprised and happy about it, and of course he did not mind at all that Jeremiah wanted to join Troop 69, on the contrary.
“Inviting the little guy to the Boy Scouts was a great idea, man!” Bubba said to me when Jeremiah had left to take a shower. “Why didn’t I think of it? I owe you one, Wolfie!”
“Nah, it’s ok,” I replied, “Seeing the smile light up his face was the biggest reward I could get!”
I showed Bubba that his new landing lights worked fine, so he would be able to land in the dark from now on. And I had added a special feature to the lights. You could turn them on ‘disco-mode’, and you had a nice lightshow. If someone wanted to perform an open-air rock concert, Bubba’s landing strip would be a good place.
Saturday morning was the start of another Scout weekend. Those weekends were always filled with action and fun, but unfortunately they were always far too short. But soon the summer vacation would start, and then we would camp in the woods for two full weeks. I was really looking forward to that!
This weekend would be special though. On Sunday, we would start a collection campaign in Baysville and Green Valley, in order to raise money for the new Harvey Milk School and the shelter project being planned. This had not been my idea or the idea of the town council. No, some of my boys had come up with the idea on their own. I only hoped that there would be no problems with narrow-minded homophobes. But I knew that I could count on my squad leaders; they would take good care of the younger boys.
I organized my backpack and stowed the rest of my camping equipment in the car, along with the extra gear for Jeremiah. Storm jumped into the back seat of the car. He always joined us on our camping trips, and the kids loved him. I knew that he would not run away… I never have to worry about him.
Ok, now I had everything I needed. Only a quick call at the dispatcher’s office to tell them that I would not be available for any fire department emergencies during the weekend and to call my back-ups instead, and I was finally ready.
Before driving over to Bubba’s house, I stopped at Eva’s General Store and bought a few six-packs of beer. I knew that you had to be 21 if you wanted to officially buy and drink alcohol here. But hey, I come from Germany where you had to be only 16 years old. And thus, I usually shared a few beers with the older guys after the campfire. Of course, I did not get them drunk, and furthermore I had permission from all of their parents.
Now the car was really full, there was just enough space left for Jeremiah. When I arrived at Bubba’s place, the boy was already sitting on the porch, impatiently waiting for me. As soon as he spotted my car, Jeremiah jumped up and came running towards me. I had hardly climbed out when he jumped into my arms and hugged me tight. Wow, I had not expected such a reaction from that shy boy. But obviously I had hit the right spot when I had invited him to join the Wolfpack!
“You’re really here!” Jeremiah shouted happily. “I was afraid it was only a joke!”
“Hey, calm down, boy!” I laughed. “Make a promise, keep a promise; that’s what I always say. I promised to pick you up, and I never break a promise. So, are you ready for some fun?”
“YEAH, of course I am! I’ll just say bye to my brother. IAN! BUBBA! Wolfie’s here, I gotta go now!”
Bubba and Ian came out of the house to say their good-byes and to wish Jeremiah lots of fun. Ian hugged his brother for a long time and whispered something in his ear, which I could not hear. And Bubba thanked me again for taking Jeremiah with me. Hmm, who knows, maybe Ian would spend the weekend with TJ, so Bubba and Rich would have some time alone.
Eventually, we had stowed Jeremiah and his small backpack in the car. At first the boy was a bit scared when he saw Storm on the back seat, but soon he realized that this wolf was just a big puppy dog, like his owner.
It was only a short hike this time, for we would stay at a campsite in the State Forest just outside of the town. Usually we went deeper into the woods, or even to the small island in the middle of the lake by canoe. But since we had planned the collection campaign for tomorrow, we stayed a bit closer to town. The boys would have to do enough walking tomorrow.
When we reached the meeting point, many boys had already arrived. Their parents or some of the older guys who already had their own cars had brought most of them. I had already thought about which Patrol I would send Jeremiah to, and I had decided to send him to Scott’s. Scott was one of my best squad leaders, a great guy, just turned 18 years old a few weeks before and very responsible. Very cute as well. He would take care of Jeremiah and make sure that he had a good start with the other boys.
I talked with some of the parents while we waited for the last boys to arrive. Most of them were people from Baysville, while the parents from Green Valley usually just dropped their kids and picked them up without talking much with me. Well, that was fine with me, for I cared more about the kids than their parents.
Finally Troop 69 was complete. The last parents had left and the squad leaders collected their boys for the short hike to our campsite. Jeremiah stayed by my side and looked a bit lost. It was time to introduce him to his new friends now.
“Scott!” I called. “Would you please come over for a moment?”
“Okies!” he replied and walked towards us, smiling as always. Sometimes I got the impression that his smile got even broader when he talked with me, but I guess that was just my imagination. “Hi, Wolfie! Everything’s ready, we can leave if you want.”
“Thanks, Scott! But first I have a new ‘recruit’ for your Patrol. This is Jeremiah, I’m sure you’ve already seen him around Baysville. He wants to join us, meet other boys and make new friends. Take good care of him, I count on you!”
“Hi Jeremiah!” Scott said. “Welcome to Troop 69. Believe me, you’ll love it!” They shook hands. “Ok then, let me introduce you to your new squad. Laters, Wolfie!”
“Alright, now have fun Jeremiah! Oh, and Scott?”
“Yes?” he looked back and smiled again.
“No questions, ok? If he does not want to talk about anything, don’t push.”
“No problem, buddy. You know that I’d do anything for you!” He winked at me and left with Jeremiah.
And then we walked, singing some happy tunes like the old German song “Oh du schoener Westerwald” and one of my favorite marching songs, “March for Revenge” from Manowar. Storm ran from one end of the group to the other, sniffed on some crotches and licked all hands he could reach. Some of the boys joked that Storm was inspecting to see who had jerked off recently. Boys will be boys!
Soon we came to the place where we wanted to pitch our tents. This was always a very funny time. I can’t remember a single campout when nothing had been missing; like a tent peg, a hammer or a tent-pole. And so it did not take long before one of the Patrol leaders came and told me that they were missing a whole tent. They had all the poles and pegs and ropes, but no tent. Well, bad luck for them, now they would have to sleep very close together in the remaining tents.
As usual, I had a small tent for myself. As soon as I had pitched it, I checked if anyone needed my help. But besides a little hint here and there, the boys could do it on their own. They also collected dry wood and dug a hole for the campfire tonight. They also dug the latrine and laid out the area for washing and cleaning up. No boys peeing or crapping next to the tents in this Troop, I can proudly tell you! Then I went over to Scott’s group to see how Jeremiah was doing. He was still a bit shy, but I could see that he was warming up. Scott grinned at me and gave me two thumbs up, which was all I needed to know.
The rest of the day passed with the usual outdoor activities, like a paper-chase, identifying animal tracks, some archery, and so on. You can put it in three simple words: fun, fun, fun! We had lots of sandwiches for lunch, along with cold clear water from a small creek. And for dinner, we had a barbeque on the open campfire, with potatoes in the glowing fire, sausages on sticks and even steaks on a small grill. The food was a gift from the local butcher whose son was one of the Scouts. Yeah, it’s always good to have some connections. It makes life a lot easier!
Later that evening we all sat around the campfire, telling scary stories about ghosts and vampires and werewolves. The boys drank their coke, lemonade, orange juice or water while the Patrol leaders and I had our beers. Well, actually only Scott and myself had beer; the others drank Diesel, a mixture of beer and coke. Can you believe that they didn’t know about that drink before I came to Baysville? But now they loved it!
I discussed the plans for the next day with my squad leaders. We had to make groups and to decide which group should walk through which streets and so on. Since we wanted to collect money not only in Baysville but in Green Valley as well, we had to be a bit cautions. It was not a legal problem, for we had all the official authorizations we needed. The problem was the possibility of hostile or homophobic people! Therefore I had asked some of the parents to accompany the boys. And furthermore, Rich had promised me to send one of his deputies on patrol near our groups, even if Green Valley was not quite their responsibility.
The full moon was standing bright in the cloudless sky. Slowly the first boys vanished into their tents, and eventually I told the rest of them to call it a day, too. I was tired as well. I had not worked very much or walked very far, but the day in the fresh air and above all the beers had made me a bit sleepy. Storm would sleep by the campfire, and I just wanted to crawl into my tent when Scott patted my shoulder.
“Hey Wolfie,” he said quietly, “I just wanted to tell you that you don’t have to worry about Jeremiah. He gets along great with the other boys.”
“I’m glad.” I replied. “Thanks for all your help, Scott. Now have sweet dreams!”
“I will! But, umm, there’s one other little problem…”
“What problem?” I asked.
“Well, I loaned my tent to the group that forgot theirs. And now I have no place to sleep, since Jeremiah took the last free place in our group. So do you have a little place for me in your tent?”
He gave me his best puppy dog look, and I just could not say no. Hey, this gorgeous strawberry blond guy with the fascinating gray eyes wanted to sleep in my tent. Hell, I was already building my own little tent in my shorts. I had always said no when he asked me this in the past (which he had been doing for almost two years already!). But this time I remembered that he was now 18 years old and legal, so I gladly said yes, and he grabbed the last two cans of beer before we crawled into the tiny tent. Actually it was meant for one person, but if you moved close enough together, and put most of the gear outside under a tarp, there was enough room for two. If they took turns breathing, that is!
We both stripped to our boxers and lay on top of our sleeping bags, for it was still too warm to sleep inside them. Drinking the last beers, we talked a bit about this and that. I could not help but let my eyes wander up and down his body in the semi-darkness, and of course I could not hide the bulge in my boxers. But Scott just grinned at me and I could see that he had quite an impressive boner as well.
After a while, we did not talk anymore. We just looked at each other for what seemed like an eternity. I was lost in his eyes! We had already been lying pretty close to each other, but eventually Scott was lying in my arms and I was holding him very tight. We both snuggled into comfortable positions and drifted into dreamscape.
I had a little hangover when I woke up the next morning, and at first I thought that the last evening and night had been a dream. But then I felt this soft and warm body in my arms, and I knew that it had been reality. I opened my eyes and saw Scott’s face, only inches away from my own, and a second later I felt his sweet lips on mine.
“Good morning, Wolfie!” he whispered. “Did anybody ever tell you that you look cute when you sleep?”
“Morning, Scott…No, it’s the first time somebody makes me that compliment. Thank you!” I kissed him on the nose. “In the navy they only told me that I snore.”
“Well, they were right about that, too. Though it’s more like a soft growling. I liked it!”
“Don’t tell me that you’ve been awake all night to look and listen to me! You will need your strength today!”
“Nah, don’t worry, I only woke up a few minutes ago. Not long enough to look at all parts of you properly.”
He ground his middle against my morning wood, while licking his lips seductively, sending shivers through my body. But before he could lick more than just his own lips, we heard the first noises from outside. Boy Scouts are early birds. So we waited for a few moments until our erections weren’t too obvious anymore and crawled out of the tent.
First of all, it was time for a quick cat wash now. I had put some cans of water in the glowing fire before we had gone to sleep, so we did not have to wash with ice-cold water. Yep, those are the little tricks that make camping a bit more comfortable. I was just drying my face when I noticed something: Scott’s tent was standing there with the other tents of his squad, and obviously it had not been used last night. So he had not really needed a place to sleep. He had only told me that because he wanted to get into my tent. What a cute little rascal!
“Scotty…what’s that?” I asked, and pointed at his tent. I tried to look serious, but it didn’t quite work.
“Well, I would say it’s an empty tent.” He said and grinned. “But maybe we should ask someone for a second opinion.”
“Silly boy! I should have known it. You fooled me to get into my tent! But I don’t complain, on the contrary!”
“You told me often enough that I couldn’t dream any dreams about you until I was 18 and legal…and now I am…Right?”
I pulled Scott close to me; hugged him tight and angel kissed him on the lips, in front of all the other boys. Of course they all started to shout and whistle and make kissing sounds. I looked around and saw all the smiling faces, and those faces told me that I was doing the right thing.
Eventually we were all ready for our collection campaign. Our stuff was packed, the fire was out and there was no trash lying around anymore. So we hiked back to the parking area where the parents who would help us today were already waiting. We quickly divided into small groups and got into the cars. Jeremiah would go with me, as well as Scott. And of course Storm.
Our district would be a bit difficult, for we wanted to knock on the doors of Rev. Creed and some of his followers. I told the boys not to be afraid, and not to listen to them if they should start to talk about rude topics. We had a good start, and in the first few houses there were no problems. The people were friendly, and of course they happily gave us some money for the shelter and the new school being planned. Some gave a bit more, some gave a bit less, but they all gave what they could give to help. Only twice the door was slammed shut against us. Well, even in a town like Baysville there are some unfriendly people.
Then we stood in front of Rev. Creed’s house. I hesitated for a moment before I knocked on the door, but I was determined not to go away without at least trying it. So I knocked and we waited, but there was no reaction. I knocked again, but still nobody opened. I did not give up and knocked for a third time, and finally we heard a voice through the door.
“Go away! I know what you want, but I will not support such a sinful project! The Lord will punish you!”
“Reverend Creed,” I said, “this is for the kids. Didn’t Jesus say: ‘Let the children come to me?’”
Now the door was flung open and I looked directly into the flashing eyes of Rev. Creed.
“Don’t you dare to tell me what is written in the Holy Book!” he shouted. “I have studied it for many long years, and I know what is written! And now go away. You will get what you deserve on Judgment Day!”
Storm started to growl. Usually he was nice to everybody, but obviously he did not like Rev. Creed at all. And I think he was not the only one in Baysville.
“And keep that Cerberus away from me!”
The door was closed again!
Ok, so we wouldn’t get a cent from this man. Anyway, who cared about him? Nevertheless our collection campaign had been a great success! We had collected a nice amount of money, and I hoped that the other groups had similar results.
We all met at Lusiad’s to count the money and to celebrate. Chris and Luis served us free hot dogs and burgers, fries and coke, and we all chilled out after two days of fun. Mayor Eggland and Judge Bondi joined us too, so we could give them the collected money with best compliments from Troop 69!
Slowly more and more people came to see what was going on. Ian and TJ were there, and Jeremiah told his older brother everything about his first adventure with the Boy Scouts. In the early evening, the first parents came to pick up their kids. I was just talking with Bubba and Rich who were both pretty active on the shelter project committee when I heard an angry voice at the entrance. There was a man from Green Valley, the father of a 13-year-old boy, and he was shouting at his son.
“It’s not enough that you play with this queer troop, now you are even sitting here in this faggot restaurant!”
From one second to the next, the whole room got quiet. I did not like it at all when someone was shouting at my boys, not even if it were their own parents. Thus I slowly walked over to the man in order to talk to him. He did not look at me; he kept on browbeating his son who was crying in the meantime.
“But Dad, they are my friends, and I…” the boy tried to say, but his father rudely interrupted him.
“Shut up, Jordan! I don’t want you to come here anymore. They will only try to make a fag out of you, too. This was the last time, and that’s the bottom line!”
“Noooo, dad, please, don’t…!”
“I told you to shut up!”
The man raised his hand to slap Jordan in the face, but I grabbed his arm and held it, so he could not hit the boy. The guy was bigger and heavier built than me, but I had learned some self-defense techniques in the navy, and I did not step back. I held his arm and stared in his cold eyes.
“Don’t you dare to hit him!” I said in a very calm voice. “I will not allow you to hit any of my boys!”
“Your boys?” he hissed. “I can imagine what you do with them when you are alone in the woods! You fags are all sick!”
“We are not sick. In fact, we are quite healthy in mind and body.” I replied. “But a man who beats his own son is truly the sick one. I would never hurt those kids, for I care a lot about each and every one of them!”
“Oh really? Well, if you care so much about my son, you can have him! I don’t want him in my house anymore!”
He turned around without saying another word and left. Jordan stood next to me and looked at the floor, tears running down his cheeks. I took him in my arms and hugged him tight while the other boys and men surrounded us. The father was gone; the son was still here. It looked like Baysville had just gotten another new resident.