The daily serial fictional based on Chicago's Boystown neighborhood: Boystown series by Danny Bernardo

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15-19 Recap (Volume 2)

Gay gamers and first times on week 4 of BOYSTOWN Volume 2. Volume 3 launches October 8.

15-19 Recap (Volume 2)
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Gay gamers and first times on week 4 of BOYSTOWN Volume 2. Volume 3 launches October 8.


Any confidence or self-assurance Charlie had built up instantly deflated at seeing Hunter's schoolboy giddiness at talking to that hipster boy with Buddy Holly glasses.

"Who was that?" Charlie asked, raising his voice slightly to be heard over the growing crowd at The Pitstop.

"Oh just some guy. Met him at Chicago Comics."

"The guy that blew you off when he saw you go-go dancing?"

"Yeah. But everyone deserves a second chance, right?"

"Sure," said Charlie, wishing that it were he getting the reprieve.

"Want another shot?"

"Nah," said Charlie, trying not to let his disappointment show. "I probably should get home, getting kind of tired."

"For sure. Take care of yourself." Hunter watched Charlie go, and then realized that they had been in the middle of another conversation. "Wait! Charlie, what were you about to tell me?!" But it was too late: he was gone. Hunter worried for a moment, but figured if it were important, they'd talk about it in the morning.


Scott biked up to The Pitstop right as Hunter was locking the door.

"Wow, that was quick," said Scott. "I thought I'd be able to grab a quick shot of something while you were closing up shop."

"I can open up again real quick... "

"Nah," said Scott. "Let's just grab a bottle of something and head back to your place."

Grabbing a couple of forties from 7-11, Hunter gestured for Scott to enter the apartment quietly so as not to wake Charlie or Tyler. As he opened the door, he found Charlie asleep on the couch, the movie "The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green" blaring on the TV.

"Hey, Charlie," said Hunter, gently shaking him awake.

"I thought you were going out."

"Nah, we came back here."

"Hey," Scott said quietly, adding a friendly wave.

"Are you guys gonna watch a movie out here?" Charlie asked, groggily getting up, knowing what that usually meant in gay code.

"Nah," Hunter said, much to Charlie's relief. "We're gonna play some PS3."

Fuck: Charlie had no idea what that meant in gay code.


The forties long finished, Scott and Hunter entered their tenth round of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Hunter had the home team advantage because his controller had all of his preset combos, saving him from less button mashing. Even then, though, the intense fighting game took its toll and they took a quick break to shake out their cramping hands.

Hunter always hated this part. As much as he hated go-go dancing, at least the relationship with the client was cut and dry and not confusing, albeit one-sided. Was this a date? A hang out? A hook up? The years of go-go dancing did a number on his libido, he hated just randomly hooking up. How did porn stars do it, he wondered. The last person he just randomly hooked up with was... Charlie. And look how that turned out.

"Man, I really want to utilize some of the Capcom characters," said Scott. "But the novelty of playing as Hawkeye never gets old."

"Yeah, Jean Grey will always have a spot on my team." Hunter wished he were better at this. He never understood why he seemed to draw as much attention as he did. Especially since the moment he got any guy alone, he lost any sort of game that he thought he had.

"How'd you feel about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2?" Scott asked, perusing Hunter's games.

"Story was pretty good, game itself got pretty repetitive."

"Kinda like going out in Boystown," chuckled Scott, Hunter joining in. "Yeah I found it pretty boring too. Maybe it'd be better with someone else."

Hunter wondered whether that was some sort of flirty statement. Maybe he should make some sort of witty rebuttal? Something about switching teams? No, that was lame. God, why was his game so off?

"Well," said Hunter. "Maybe we could try it in co-op mode?"

"Well... " said Scott, getting closer. "I'd definitely be up for co-opping with you." Scott kissed Hunter long and hard. They dropped the controllers as they continued to make out, unbuttoning each others shirts and unbuckling each others belt buckles.

"Damn," Hunter thought, as they made their way to his room. "Now HE has game."



Tyler stood in awe of Andy's studio loft. Almost every square inch of the exposed brick was covered with paintings or inspirational clippings. By the window, brushes lay in a mason jar full of water muddled with color. At the center of the room stood an easel with a huge blank canvas.

"Wow, your place is so... "

"Neat?" Andy teased.

"Yeah but more than that. It's amazing."

"Thanks," he said, offering Tyler a beer.

"Do you have any pop?"

"Like a Warhol or Lichenstien?"

"Is that a new flavor of Coke?"

"Oh, soda? God, I'll never get used to Midwesternese. Sure." He went to the fridge and grabbed Tyler a Coke in a glass bottle.

"I just wanted to say, I've really liked seeing you for the past few weeks," said Tyler.

"It's been, nice," Andy said, unsure of where the conversation was going.

"I also wanted to say, thanks for... y'know... letting me take things slow."

"Hey, it's all about living in the moment, right?"

And Tyler suddenly seized the opportunity of that moment. He kissed Andy abruptly and passionately. Andy reciprocated, taken completely aback. Tyler pushed Andy to the bed, fumbling to undo his belt, unbutton his jeans, to rip off his shirt. Tyler lay on top of him, looking at the beautiful, artistic man that he was lucky to start to call his. He kissed him even more hungrily, kissing his way down his nipples, down his stomach, and down to the throbbing bulge in Andy's boxers. It was just like he'd seen in the movies.

Tyler had done everything so expertly, Andy would never have known that it was his first time.


"Thank you," said Tyler, laying his head on Andy's chest, playing with his hair.


Tyler kissed Andy's chest and closed his eyes serenely. The moon shone through the window and they lay there peacefully drained, falling asleep. Andy woke up slightly as he felt Tyler's finger running over his smooth chest. Playful at first, Andy realized that he was tracing words on him: "I. Love. You." Andy looked down at Tyler, kissed him on the head, and got out of bed, making sure not to disturb him.

He approached the blank canvas, grabbed a brush, and began to work. As the sun rose, he emerged covered in reds and blues, standing in awe of his new painting. He looked at Tyler then back at the painting. He decided that this latest work would be called "Regret."



Scott woke up before Hunter and lay there for a minute in his arms. He hated having to leave, but he had to get his day started. He got up quietly, careful not to wake Hunter as he fished for his boxers in the dark. He wanted to kiss Hunter goodbye, but he was sleeping so peacefully, it seemed a shame to disturb him. He would just text him later and set something else up. It seemed too good to be true: a hot, geeky guy who was good in the sack. Scott was kicking himself for judging Hunter too harshly when he saw him stripping at Cocktail. Hunter seemed like a decent guy.

Heading down Halsted in search of a decent cup of coffee, Scott could swear that someone was following him. He shook it off as the bustle of the post rush hour crowd as he hit up the Kickstand for an Americano. As he grabbed a lid from the service bar, a lanky effeminate man with oily hair bumped into him, almost deliberately

"Excuse me," said Scott, not going a good job masking his annoyance.

"No worries," said oily femme. As Scott made his way to the door, oily femme grabbed his arm. "Wait a minute! I recognize you!"

"Oh yeah?"

"Yes, I saw you at The Pitstop last night. With Hunter."

"You know Hunter?"

"Who doesn't? Boy gets around."

"Right. Well, thanks for the heads up, but I really should get... "

"You two hooked up last night didn't you? How far... ?"

"I don't see how that's any of your business."

"You're right," smirked oily femme, dramatically throwing his scarf around his neck with a flourish. "It's not. I just hope you wrapped it up. Wouldn't want him leaving you the same lifelong ‘gift' he gave me." Oily femme headed for the door.

"Wait. What are you talking about?"

"Next time you see him," oily femme said, stepping out the door. "Tell him Daryl said hi." And he was gone.


"It doesn't really mean anything," Ralph said, ringing up Hunter's purchases of the final issue of Spider-Men and X-Factor #244.

"It's a pattern, Ralph," Hunter insisted. "The last two guys I've hooked up with have just slipped out while I was sleeping."

"That's no more a pattern than Scott Summers and his thing for telepaths."

"And we all know how that turns out. Somehow, no matter what, it gets all Dark Phoenix."

"Scott is a nice guy."

"Dude, he divided the mutant population and constantly leads his half like a militant army."

"Hipster Scott, not Cyclops."


"I'm sure sometime tonight he'll text or... " The front door of Chicago Comics opened and in stepped Scott. They both looked at him but his eyes were fixed on Hunter. Scott was looking right through him, his jaw clenched with rage. He shook his head and walked out. Hunter ran after him.

"Scott! Wait!" Scott stopped dead in his tracks, paused, then turned around, the same look of fear and daggers still in his eyes.

"Daryl says hi," was all he could manage.

"What the fuck?"

"Ran into him at a coffee shop. Saw us together last night. Had lots to say."

"I bet he did. He's been trying to fuck up my life forever. Listen, he's full of shit, he's a coked up has-been drag queen, you can't believe... "

"So you didn't give him some life threatening disease?"

Hunter's blood ran cold. "What exactly did he tell you?"

Scott took two steps closer to Hunter. "I'd rather hear what you're not telling me."

Hunter grew quiet for a moment. Sweat started to form on his brow as he tried to form words. "With Daryl, it wasn't... he was in a car accident, he needed a blood transfusion. It wasn't detectable when I volunteered. Hell, it's barely detectable now."

"Fucking Christ."

"My T-Cells are still up. I'm on the latest meds. My doctor says that you wouldn't even know... " He stopped, having not said it aloud to anyone besides his doctor in a long time.

"Fucking say it."

"... you wouldn't even know I was positive."

A cab passed. Crowds clad in blue and red heckled and hollered their way up Clark street up towards Wrigley Field. A pair of goth teens left The Alley, arguing about something or other. Not a word was said between Scott and Hunter.

"You should've told me."

"You were never at risk. I made sure we didn't do anything that would've... "

"You should have FUCKING TOLD ME."

Hunter grew indignant. "You never fucking asked." Scott shook his head and walked away. This is why Hunter didn't do this. The dating thing. The hookup thing. It was all too fucking complicated. What was the point anyway? Eventually he'd...

Out of nowhere, Tyler came up, wearing that goddamn HRC t-shirt and clipboard. He looked at Hunter, who was still too hurt and incensed to wonder how much Tyler had heard. This is what happened when he opened himself up to someone, even just a little bit. He gets stepped on, he gets abandoned, he gets even more broken then he started. That's why Hunter never trusted anyone.

Then Tyler hugged him in the middle of the street. There were no tears, there were no words. Tyler just held him. And Hunter held him back.



"To my Bitches!" said Tristan, raising his vodka cranberry high. "Especially Braden, you old, old dried up, crusty, withered old hag. Happy birthday!" Ephraim and Jaison cackled and slammed their drinks back as Braden's eyes narrowed at Tristan.

"If I recall, Tristan," Braden said, sipping at his Long Island iced tea. "Your birthday is before mine."

"Yes Braden, but I'm only twenty-three. And some months."

"Yeah," said Jaison. "One hundred and fifty months!" That got an "ooh girl" and a snap from Ephraim, so they slapped five and did a quick "drop it like it's hot" bounce.

"Anyway," said Tristan. "The night is young. Unlike Braden. So let's dance this shit out!" The Bitches pranced their way to the dance floor. A strong grip on his shoulder forced Tristan to turn around.

"Oh. Hey."

"How is he? He's out of the hospital right?"

"Yeah. He's fine. Now if you'll excuse me... "

"Hey Tristan," said Diego, coming out of the bathroom and putting his arms around his boyfriend. "We missed you the other night at the gala."

"Yeah, it was... wait. What are you guys doing here? Shouldn't you be at MiniBar with... "

"Well, hello Tristan!" said Chadwick, martini in hand with Bryan close behind him. "Long time no see."

"Chadwick. Bryan. Hey. What are you guys doing here?"

"We felt like a little change of pace," Bryan said. "And this IS supposed to be the it spot at the moment, is it not?"

"Can we go?" Mason whined, coming in from the dance floor, followed by Josh.

"We've just gotten our drinks," said Chadwick. "And look who's joined us."

"Hey Tristan," said Josh.

"Hey," Tristan said, wondering how long before the Bitches realized he was still...

"Trick, there you is!" shouted Jaison, coming over from the dance floor. "We turned around and were all, where the fuck that bitch go?" Braden and Ephraim came up close behind. Looks were exchanged all around. It was Prada versus H&M, Cristal versus Alize, Oprah versus Snookie. It was Tristan's worst nightmare: his worlds had collided.

"Well how quaint," said Chadwick, sizing up the Bitches with a passing glance. "Tristan, aren't you going to introduce us to your... friends?"

"Who the fuck is this bougie bitch?" asked Jaison. Chadwick and Bryan hid their offense behind a clenched jaw laugh.

"Tristan, your friends are so... colorful," Bryan said, his jaw still firmly clenched.

"Maybe we SHOULD go," Josh whispered to Mason.

"Are you kidding? The night JUST got interesting," Mason whispered back.

"¿Qué pasa con tus amigos?" Ephraim asked Diego.

"Um, whatever, I don't speak Mexican," replied Diego.

"I'm not Mexican!"

"Tristan!" said Braden incredulously, pulling his arm.

"Tristan," Chadwick chirped, pulling his other arm.

Caught both literally and figuratively in the middle, Tristan did the only thing he could: he bolted for the equalizer that was the dance floor. If they followed him, great everyone would be too busy dancing to be catty at each other. And here, he could escape into the bass, the music, the soaring vocals of...

"Hey Son," came a raspy voice as someone pulled him from behind and thrust their hard-on against his ass.

"Now's not the time, Bruce."

"Excuse me?" said Bruce.

"I'm with my friends and... "

"Oh, so you're too fucking good to be seen in public with an old man like me. Is that it?"

"No, it's just... "

"But you're not too good to suck my dick or fuck me when you need to make rent?"

"Bruce, you're blowing this out of... "

"This is the last straw, Tristan. First you blow me off at that event... "

"... my friend was DYING... "

"... now this? You're cut off. Don't call me for anything ever again." And Bruce disappeared into the crowd.


Jaison and Bryan stood in silence at the urinals. Their cliques had disbanded when Tristan left for the dance floor, so this meeting in the bathroom was purely happenstance. That's what Jaison thought, until he kept catching Bryan staring at him through the mirror in front.

"What?!" Jaison snapped.

"Nothing. I'll just have you know that Chadwick and I are very happy."

"Good for you. Now excuse me, I'm pissing."

"So don't try anything."

"Let me guess: he's slept with exactly one black guy, before you met, and it's his little party story that he likes to tell when you and yours share your ‘indiscretions' so he doesn't seem like an all out racist, that he can ‘get down,' and all your friends love the story because it pales in comparison to theirs by sheer virtue that it was with a (gasp) black man, and yet somehow, deep in your heart, you worry if there isn't truth to the adage ‘once you go black'... " Jaison shook his dick at the urinal, nearly mesmerizing Bryan.

"How did you... ?"

"If there's one thing you faggots are, it's unoriginal. And don't worry, I don't want your Martha Stewart wannabe boyfriend." Jaison flushed the urinal but remained unzipped. "You, on the other hand... "


"Hey," Bruce said, approaching Diego on the dance floor. "Remember me?"

"Yeah," Diego blushed, with maybe one too many rum and cokes in him.

"You're just looking fucking adorable tonight."

"I know," Diego said, but secretly was ecstatic inside. His boyfriend never told him that he looked adorable anymore. They danced for a bit, Bruce getting closer and closer. They grinded hard on each other, Adam Lambert's "Strut" playing out the cadence in which Bruce's cock rubbed against Diego's ass, pounding hard, trying to break through the denim barricade in time to the music. Diego turned around.

Maybe it was because he loved the constant attention or he was sick of worrying if his boyfriend was still in love with his ex. Maybe Bruce just looked extra handsome in the dim blue light of the dance floor. Maybe Diego just wanted to make out with Bruce, so he did. Bruce reciprocated, drinking Diego in, his hands sliding down the back of his pants, hoping that the other dancing bodies would hide the fact that he was fingering Diego out on the dance floor. Diego moaned, threw his head back, and let Bruce kiss all over his neck, nibble at his ear. Diego loved the attention, from the other people on the dance floor, from Bruce. He craved it. He didn't give a fuck who saw him.

Even his boyfriend who watched the whole thing unfold when he came back from the bar with their drinks.



Tyler woke up and checked his phone.

No text. No call.

"Hi, do you have a minute for marriage equality?"

No text. No call.

LaTrice almost chopped off Tyler's finger because he was too distracted in the Haven kitchen because there was...


Sigh. Charlie came into the doorway of the kitchen as Tyler was washing up.

"Hey Tyler, you almost done? We can walk home together."

"Yeah, I'll meet you out front."

He checked his phone again. Still nothing.


"So hopefully by the time I'm cleared to go back to work this strike will be over. It is gonna be weird starting again, especially since I wasn't even around to start the semester."

"Uh huh." Charlie had to pull the mom-car-arm as Tyler tried to cross the street without having the right of way; he was too preoccupied with his phone.

"Tyler, everything alright?"

"Andy hasn't returned any of my texts or calls. It's almost been a week."

"Did you guys have a fight or something?"

"No! That's the thing. Last time I saw him, we had an amazing night. We even... " he looked around and lowered his voice. "... did it."


"That's good, right? Like that's supposed to be a good thing."

"Yeah of course. But babe, sometimes... some guys will just ditch you once they get what they want. Not saying that he is or... "

"Andy's not like that. He's an artist and stuff. They're in tuned with their feelings and whatever."

"Well maybe that's it then. Didn't you say he was having a hard time painting? Maybe he's still struggling with it and is too busy."

"He painted something the morning after."

"Well then maybe he's on a roll. Either way, or I know I'm the last one to be dishing out relationship advice, but either way, you can't obsess over it. Stop checking your phone. He'll get a hold of you when he... "

And waiting at their outer door was Andy. The space between them was odd. Uncertain. Charlie excused himself upstairs and left them alone.

"Hey," Tyler said, stepping in closer, filled with anxious excitement.


"I've been trying to get a hold of you."

"I know, I... "

Tyler stepped in closer and leaned in for a kiss. "I missed... "

Andy turned his head, dodging the kiss. "Tyler we... we should talk."


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