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

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15. The Benefit

"You look very handsome tonight, dear," Edward said, straightening Tyler's tie.   "I'm gonna throw up," Tyler said, looking at the people in suits and tuxes entering the ballroom.   "Well that would definitely knock ya down a few points."   "What if nobody shows up?

15. The Benefit
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"You look very handsome tonight, dear," Edward said, straightening Tyler's tie.


"I'm gonna throw up," Tyler said, looking at the people in suits and tuxes entering the ballroom.


"Well that would definitely knock ya down a few points."


"What if nobody shows up? What if we don't raise any money for Haven?"


"They will and they have. I can't believe you pulled this all together so quickly. And so elegantly. I hope it didn't cost too much."


"More than you know," Tyler said, as Mason approached and pulled him away.




"Thank you for coming," Steve said, greeting Other David with a hug and kiss. "It'll mean the world to Edward to have family here."


"Wouldn't miss it for the world," Other David said.


"Where's David?"


"At coat check. And if I know him at all...straight the bar."


Steve chuckled. "And...the other one?"


"Josh? Right behind him."


"Don't tell Edward, but part of me envies you guys. I mean, the time we grew up, there were no rules or norms. We were just queer, there was no normal. Most of us took lovers because, well we didn't know anything else really. Growing up, I just wanted what my parents had."


"I know what you mean."


"But you kids these days, you're making your own rules. Defining yourselves and your relationships by your own terms. It's great."


"Yeah,"Other David said, scanning the crowd for his better halves. Thirds?



"Let's just have a few drinks and forget our troubles for a bit," Eddy said, taking Charlie's arm as they headed for the bar.


"What troubles have you got?" Charlie asked indignantly.


"Oh...I dunno...just haven't gotten laid in MONTHS that's all."


"And whose fault is that?"


"Well it's no for lack of trying. Just after that crazy bitch...I don't know, I feel like I have to get to know a girl before I sleep with her."


"Would you look at that? Big Sister's growing up. And it only took an eighties prime time soap style kidnapping to make it happen."


"Get a life," Eddy said, slapping Charlie's arm, not seeing the broad and handsome man she was about to bump into.


"Edwina," said broad and handsome.


"Thomas," she replied curtly.


Tom took Charlie's hand. "Can we talk?"




"Don't let them find me," Tyler said, hiding behind Hunter.




"My new boyfriend and his gaggle."


"Glad to know things are going well."


"They're fine. He's just...a lot."


"Looks like," Hunter laughed as the aforementioned boyfriend and gaggle approached.


"Help me," Tyler asked as he got dragged away again.




"So I broke up with Diego," Tom said, handing Charlie his glass of wine.






"I know you have a boyfriend and I really have no right to ask but..."


"I don't have a boyfriend. Anymore."


"Oh," Tom said, taking Charlie's hand. " I have a right to ask?"


"Hey guys, what's new?" Josh interrupted, drink in hand. Charlie's phone vibrated with a text from Ben: "I still miss you."


"You have got to be fucking kid me," Charlie thought to himself.




"Are you here now?" Mason asked as Tyler fidgeted in his suit.


"Sorry, I had to thank my friend for coming..."


"That ghetto piece of trash," Chadwick scoffed. "Wasn't he a gogo boy at Cocktail?"


"Gross," said Bryan.


"Well you certainly can't hang around him anymore," Mason said.


"Excuse me?" Tyler asked.


"Uh oh, don't look now," Chadwick said.


"Ex-boyfriend parade by the bar," Bryan said.


They all turned to see Tom and Josh talking to Charlie.


"What the hell are they doing here?" cried Diego.


"And why are they making time with that slant eyed faggot? God, I don't know what they ever saw in him, stupid Chink."


"Ok, that's it," Tyler said, ripping Mason's arm off of him. "Those are my best friends you're talking about so you can take your judgmental, superficial asses and fuck yourselves. We're done."




David was at the silent auction table when his better half found him.


"Hey babe," David said, looking up from the table.


"Where's Josh?"


David started to scan the room. "He's...oh he's at the bar talking with Charlie. And...holy shit...He Who Shall Not Be Named!"


"We've named him again, you realize."


"What the hell is going on?"


"Babe, can you listen to me for a second?" Other David pleaded, taking David's hand. "I love you."


"Ok. I love you too."


"But I think you'll be happier with Josh."




"Neither of them are the right choice," Eddy said, sneaking up behind Hunter who was staring across the room at Charlie, Tom, and Josh.


"Yeah, it's a shame what happened with Ben," Hunter managed weakly.


"He wasn't the right choice either," Eddy said, giving Hunter a knowing glance.


"He told you?"


"He told me."


"What makes you think I'm the right choice?"


"What makes you think you're the wrong one?" They watched as Charlie walked away from Tom and Josh and headed for the exit. "What are you waiting for? Go get 'em, Tiger."




Charlie needed some air so he sat on the curb and hoped no one would follow him.


"Charlie?" Hunter called.


"Go away," Charlie said. "You're the last person I want to see?"




"Why does life have to be so convoluted and complicated?"


"Why do you have to make it that way?"


"I'm just fucking sick...of all of this, you know? Ben, Tom, I just...I can't right now. This is why I never wanted to stay in Boystown. It's too fucked."


Charlie stormed off. When he made it across the street, he felt bad for snapping at Hunter and turned back. Hunter lay prone on the sidewalk. Charlie rushed over: Hunter wasn't breathing.





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