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

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21-25 Recap (Volume 9)

The boys go to prom and Charlie has to make the ultimate decision in the final week of Volume 9. The tenth and final volume of BOYSTOWN launches Monday, July 29 exclusively on the GoPride Network.

21-25 Recap (Volume 9)
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The boys go to prom and Charlie has to make the ultimate decision in the final week of Volume 9. The tenth and final volume of BOYSTOWN launches Monday, July 29 exclusively on the GoPride Network.


Any other night Steve would've been happy that The Pitstop was so slammed but having to send Hunter home early for being too drunk put a strain on his already understaffed team. He picked up the slack and slung drinks. He worried about Hunter: obviously Fitz's death had taken a great toll on him, but he wondered how much slack he could really cut him before he'd reach his own breaking point. 


"Steve!" a familiar voice called approaching the bar. He looked up to see Bruce standing right in front of him. 


"Not now, Bruce. Can't you see I'm slammed?" 


"You never returned my phone calls." 


"And you never learned to take a hint." 


"Steve, I swear the properties are actually making money. In a few years, you'll make your investment back, I swear." 


"I told you when we broke up: all I see when I see those buildings is our failed relationship. Twenty years that I'll never get back." 


"It wasn't all bad." 


"No, but it wasn't all great either. I'm happy now, Bruce. I love my life a lot." 


"I know. I just... I need the money." 


"What? One of your little twinks finally bleed you dry?" Steve scoffed. 


"I'm dying," Bruce said simply. 


Steve almost dropped the glass in his hand. He recovered and called one of the bartenders over to cover his section. "Step into my office," he said to Bruce. "Let's talk." 




It was sleek. It was chic. And it scared the hell out of Tyler. 


"Where are we?" Tyler asked, searching the sea of glassy eyed clones for a familiar face. 


"Mini Bar, silly," Mason said, taking Tyler by the hand and walking him to the back. 


"I feel so out of place," Tyler remarked, observing the abundance of expensive clothes and impeccable haircuts. 


"You're with me," Mason said. "You belong." 


"It's not my scene, really." 


"What is your scene? Holed up in that homeless shelter, hiding out from the world?" 


"Well, the first place I ever had a drink in Boystown was Scarlet. But I've been hanging out at The Pitstop." 


"That place is so done," Mason scoffed. "I mean, sure it was great when it first opened, when it was new. But now they just let anybody in." 


"Isn't that the point?" Tyler asked. 


"Alright, here we go," Mason said as they approached his booth of friends with table service. "Be cool, be charming, and... "


"I know, be myself." 


"No," Mason admonished. "Follow my lead. This isn't just a night out with brews and the boys. You're entering the elite of gay society, Tyler. You're actually about to belong." 


As they approached the booth, some tipsy twink spilled his cosmo all over Tyler's shirt. 


"Here," Mason said, quickly taking off his summer blazer and putting it on Tyler. He assessed Tyler's appearance for a moment and took a breath. 


"What?" Tyler asked. 


Mason had to repress the urge to kiss him. "To the manner born," he said, simply.




"Steve said we could have the whole bar to ourselves," Eddy said, crossing things off her mental checklist. "So the trick is to get him there." 


"That shouldn't be too hard," David said, refilling their cups of coffee. 


"We'll just have to be sneaky about it. Charlie hates birthdays and surprises even more." 


"Well, there's no way we're going to let this one slip our minds like last year," David said. "He's turning thirty. That's huge!" 


"Charlie's turning thirty?" Josh asked, coming in from the bedroom. 


"Yes, as a matter of fact," Eddy sardonically demurred. "We'll be taking him out to dinner. A select few, very very close friends and family. " 


"Aww, that's a shame," Josh said, doing some lunge-stretches. "It would've been fun to join." 


"Maybe next time," Eddy said. Josh gave David a quick kiss and went out for his afternoon run. 


"Looks like you're getting your cake and eating it too," Eddy smirked. 


"We all are," David smirked back. 


"Just don't let Charlie see. At least not yet. He gets squirrely whenever it has something to do with an ex." 


"They weren't even together. Didn't they just go on a few dates?" 


"You know how he gets. Once he 's mentally staked his claim... " 


"Well we're claiming that hot blond in the name of David." 






Robbie felt Alex staring at him as they stood in line to take their prom picture. 


"What?" Robbie asked. "Did I spill punch on my tux?" 


"No," Alex said. "It's look so handsome." 


"Oh. Um...thanks." 


They stepped up in front of the cheesy back drop as the photographer awkwardly tried to put them in a pose. 


"Wouldn't it be funny if we kissed in the picture?" asked Alex. 


"Why would it be funny?" 


"Well, cuz, you know...people would see the compilation and be all 'whoa! There's two guys kissing!' Right?" 


"I don't see how that's funny." 


"Oh," Alex said, frowning as the photographer snapped a shot of them. 




Robbie came running up to the table, sweaty from dancing. 


"This is so much fun!" Robbie said, as Alex sat sulking. "Why weren't you out there dancing?" 


"Oh please. They're not even playing good music." 


Brandon came up to the table, sweaty and winded from dancing. "Man, Robbie, you got moves," he said. 


"Thanks," Robbie blushed. 


"You coming back out?" 


Robbie looked at Alex who was still sulking. "In a minute." When Brandon left, Robbie asked, "What's wrong?"  


"You're supposed to be my date!" Alex pouted. 


"I am. I came here with you. We took pictures. You didn't want to dance, so I thought..." 


"Ugh, let's get out of here. This is so lame." 


"But isn't the point of prom to spend it with everyone at school? Like a last hurrah?" 


"My parents are away for the weekend," Alex cooed. "I thought we could go back to my place..." 


"I don't know if I feel comfortable with that." 


Alex blinked. "Um, why not?" 


"Well...I mean you're a good friend, Alex, but I don't know if I see you like that." 


Alex was aghast. "But...I mean...I'm cute! Like so cute!" 


"Well, sure," Robbie said sheepishly. "But, that's not all there is, right? When you like someone? It's supposed to be like the kind of person they are and their personality and chemistry and stuff?" 


"Yes, and what kind of person are you looking for that I'm not?" 


" A nice person." 


Alex sat there, speechless. It was the first time he'd ever been rejected. Ever. 








Charlie woke with a start and was face to face with the distinct outline of an orange bird. A phoenix. He'd seen it somewhere before. Not in this context (he knew it was Hunter's) but it seemed oddly familiar and comfortable to him. 


Charlie got up, wiping the embarrassing pool of drool from when he fell asleep on Hunter's shoulder. What happened tonight...shouldn't have happened. But it felt...right. 


Charlie went into the kitchen to pour himself a glass of water. He thought about Ben. He thought about the kids at school. He thought about Robbie, who seemed to need him more than ever. Charlie thought about his life. About being a grown up and making grown up decisions. 


Charlie remembered a promise he made to himself, long ago, about moving out of Boystown by the time he turned thirty. Charlie thought about how uneventful turning twenty-nine had jam packed yet commonplace everything that had happened in that year had been. 


Did he need a change? 


Was it time for a new life? 


Even with what just happened with Hunter...was a life travelling the world while Ben saved third world countries the right thing? 


Charlie thought about his life. He thought of a promise he made to himself long ago. He sighed as he finished his glass of water and checked to see if the front door was locked properly. 


He almost kicked over the lease renewal slid under the door. 


Charlie was going to have to make a decision. 




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