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

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16-20 (Volume 8)

Hunter and Tyler confront their pasts while Charlie looks to his future in week 4 of volume 8. Catch the launch of volue 9 on June 17 on GoPride!

16-20 (Volume 8)
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Hunter and Tyler confront their pasts while Charlie looks to his future in week 4 of volume 8. Catch the launch of volue 9 on June 17 on GoPride!


Fitz was waiting for Hunter outside The Pitstop as he closed up. 

"Hey babe, what are you doing here?" Hunter asked. 

"Couldn't sleep." 

"A lot on your mind?" Hunter asked as he locked up. Fitz said nothing as they walked to Halsted, to nowhere in particular. "I think I know what this might be about?" 

"Oh yeah?" Fitz asked cautiously. 

"Yeah. Virgil came in. Told me what your captain said." 


"That's great babe," Hunter said, kissing him.

"I killed a man once," Fitz said, as they crossed Aldine. That made Hunter stop in his tracks. "I didn't mean to, really. It was supposed to be a standard issue domestic disturbance. This guy...he had a knife to his wife's throat. He was drugged out of his mind, we didn't know what he was capable of. He shifted, I had a shot, and I took it." 

"Why are you telling me this?" 

"We all have moments in our past we're not proud of that. That was mine. Do you have any?" 

"Most of my life, actually. When I first got to Chicago, I was completely on my own, not a cent to my name. You don't wanna know what I had to do to survive." 

"But that's in your past?" 

"This is my life now," Hunter said, wrapping his arms around Fitz. "You're my life now." 

"That's good enough for me," Fitz said, kissing him.




"What are you gawking at, Chuck?" Eddy asked as Charlie stared at her intently. 

"It's's been a while," he said, retreating to his pint. 

"I've been keeping a low profile." 

"Afraid of more crazy stalker ex-tricks?" 

"That but mostly...I don't know. 'The Life' just doesn't appeal to me anymore, you know? After everything that happened, I is important. My friends are important. You're important. Everything else just seems..." 



"I'd hardly call it boring," Charlie laughed. "Just wait outside of Berlin on any given 4 a.m. and watch the drag queen drama unfold."

"Not that kind of boring, Chuck," Eddy said, downing her whiskey and ginger. "There's just nothing here any more, you know? It's all so been there, done that. When you clear thirty, it'll make sense." 

"Don't remind me," Charlie said, ordering two shots of Jameson. "It's like a death sentence." 

"Maybe in Boystown," Eddy said. "But in the real's when it all starts to make sense." 

"It is really good to see ya, sis," Charlie said. 

"I know. I'm sorry I've been so MIA. I feel like I saw you more when I lived back in Cali then when I moved here." 

"Yeah. I think this is the longest I've gone without seeing you." 

"School scandals aside." 

"Right," Charlie laughed. He downed his shot and looked at Eddy straight in the eye. "So how would you feel about me moving to the other side of the world?"




Tyler sat quietly with his beer, losing himself in the pulse and the beat of a busy night at Scarlet. Not even a year ago, he'd stood in this very spot, lost and helpless, barely any money in his pocket. And even if he had just a little bit more money in his pocket, even with all the things he went through and overcome in the longest few months of his life, he still felt lost and helpless. 

He sat there alone and looked out into the crowd. A sea of sweaty bodies, dancing with each other in a space barely bigger than his living room. He was overwhelmed by the smell of Abercrombie cologne pouring off the Hollister clad bodies of posturing boys, each prettier than the next. A few months ago, he would've given anything to be a part of that sea, posturing along with them. The funny thing was, to Tyler anyway, was that this sea, this posturing, looked exactly the same tonight as it did the first night he'd arrived. Nothing had changed.

A cute guy clad in a deep v-neck tee in jorts approached. "Boy a boy a drink?" he asked. At first glance, this guy seemed like a kid, a mere babe barely out of high school, with his pouty lips and perfectly coifed hair. On closer inspection, Tyler would have posited that they were the same age. 

"No thanks," Tyler grinned, remembering the first time someone had asked him that. 

"What? You got a boyfriend?" 

" don't." 

"You think you're too good for me?" 


"Because you're not." 

"I never said that I was." 

"So why won't you buy me a drink?" cute guy asked, as if someone had told him no for the first time. 

"Because it'll taste better if you buy it yourself." Cute guy walked away with a huff and an eye roll and Tyler couldn't help but chuckle. His phone vibrated and he ignored yet another lame apology text from Brad. Instead, he ordered another beer. And on the first sip, he discovered he was right: it did taste better.




Bruce was startled at the handsome young face that answered the door. 

"Aren't you Alex's classmate?" he asked. 

"Oh hi," Robbie said, a bit startled. 

"Who's at the door?" Steve asked, coming in from the other room. 

" friend's...boyfriend?" 

"What are you doing here?" Steve asked Bruce. "I thought we were done.

"Can I come in?" Bruce's tone was so colorless, so drained, that Steve felt compelled to invite him in, no matter how much animosity still sat between them. 

"Robbie, would you mind going to your room? We need to have a"

"New boyfriend?" Bruce asked as Robbie closed the door. 

"A little young for me," Steve said sarcastically. "We're in the process of...Wait, did he just say his friend's boyfriend?" 

"I didn't come over here to discuss my love life." Or lack thereof, he added silently. 

"Right. Well, not to be brusque, but what do you want?" 

"I want to sell you our properties back." 

"What? But why?" 

"To be frank...I need the money." 

"I don't know Bruce." 

"Please," Bruce said, grabbing Steve's hand tightly. "I'll take below market." 

"Is everything ok?" Steve asked. 

Don't tell him, don't tell him. "I'm fine. Call David. Just please...think it over." 

"Sure. I'll think it over." 

Bruce left the condo hurriedly and sank down in the hallway. That may have been his last chance.



"I can't believe you guys showed up," Hunter said, greeting Charlie and Tyler at the Cultural Center. 

"I can't believe you didn't tell us about it," Charlie said. 

"'ve both been busy..." 

"Never too busy for you, dude," Tyler said. 

"And it's not that big of a deal. It's only a small showing for all the City College Art Programs." 

"That is a big deal!" Charlie said. "Come on, how many people from your class got their assignments chosen to be exhibited for the end of the term?" 

"Just me," Hunter said sheepishly. 

"See...huge deal." 


Tyler wandered around the Cultural Center, admiring the art work in the gallery as a jazz band played in the foyer. This is the City he'd moved to, this is why it couldn't compare to Strongsville. One could lose oneself in the beauty of a big city, something new around corner, not like a...  

"Small town, huh?" The hairs on the back of Tyler's neck bristled at the familiar voice. He cautiously turned. 

"Andy, what are you doing here?" 

"I'm teaching a semester of art next fall, thought I'd check out how kids getting their gen eds and going to vocational school express themselves through art." 

"Ah. Well, I should get..." 

Andy stopped Tyler from running off. "You look good." 

Fitz roamed the gallery trying to find Hunter. He stopped in front of a charcoal sketch:a forlorn Asian American man looking distantly out a window. It was Charlie. 

"Doesn't it speak volumes?" said a middle aged man behind Fitz. "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. I'm just so proud, this artist is one of my best students." 

"Oh, you're Hunter's teacher? I'm Fitz. Caleb. Fitzgerald. Fitz Everyone calls me Fitz." 

"A pleasure. What do you think of the piece?" 

"Oh I don't know from art. I'm not...the type, I guess." 

"Surely you must feel something." 

Fitz studied it for a moment. "'s a good likeness. It looks exactly like Charlie." 

"It's more than that. Look how Hunter caught the exact tone of melancholy in the eyes. The tension in the subject's hand as he presses it against the window. I tell you, I've seen a lot of sketches in my day, beautifully executed, sure, but this one...I feel as if it almost has a soul of it's own." 

"He's good!" Fitz beamed with pride. 

"Usually I'd say it's because the subject was so intriguing. But again, it's in the negative's apparent that Hunter feels something for the subject. Whether he knows it, deep down inside, there is passion and feeling there." 

Fitz stood there in front of the piece, studying it, trying to see what this artsy fartsy type saw that he wasn't. He saw none of what Hunter's teacher said. Maybe therein lay the problem. He glanced around the room again and saw Hunter and Charlie by the jazz band. Smiling, laughing. They fit so perfectly in this scene, something that Hunter would probably do more of. Which meant that Fitz would have to go to show his support. Fitz looked at them from a far: they just fit so perfectly together. 

Charlie looked down and saw Ben's number flashing on his screen, which was odd since Ben was supposed to be at work. 

"Sorry, I have to take this." 

"Don't worry about it. I've got to find Fitz anyway." 

"Hello?" Charlie asked as Hunter searched the crowd. 

"It's about Doctors Without Borders..." 

"They were able to replace you? You'll be able to stay?" 

"No," Ben said. "They've placed me. I leave for Africa on Monday."




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