Taking Off the Mask
Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without
and know we cannot live within.  -James Baldwin
Chapter 7
“James!” my mother shouted from her office when I returned home from the nursing
home. “I want to see you a minute.”

“Yes, Mom?” I asked as I entered and took a seat in a chair beside her desk. She
looked at me over the top of her glasses.

“How was your day?” she inquired. “Did Mr. Wilbur take you for any more money?”
I reached in my pocket and pulled out the remaining money I had.  She looked at me
and smiled.

“Are you going to continue to let that elderly gentleman keep taking your allowance
each week?” she joked.

“It looks like it,” I admitted.

She stopped and studied me for a minute. “You’re sixteen now, and growing so fast.
You’re turning into a very handsome young man.” I looked down at the floor as my
face began to redden.

“I want you to be very careful tonight,” she warned. “You may be sixteen, but you’re
still young. As you get older, you’ll find that I’ll be giving you a little more freedom
when it comes to going out.” I looked up and nodded.

“I know how these parties can be,” she continued. “I’ve seen enough television specials
to know that drugs and alcohol will be there. If you are going with a guy like Donovan
Michaels, then I’m sure there will be a lot of popular kids there. You’ve never really
hung out with that kind of crowd before. I just want you to be careful, Honey.”

“I’ll be all right,” I assured her. “I can take care of myself.”

“I didn’t say you couldn’t,” she replied. “It’s just that there will be a lot of..um..I guess
I’m trying to say is... there will be a lot of temptation. Sometimes people try hard to fit

“Don’t worry, Mom,” I assured her. “I’m not going to drink, and I definitely won’t be
doing drugs.”

“You didn’t say you definitely wouldn’t drink,” she responded sternly before a smile

“Well, maybe a sip or two,” I admitted. Even I knew that at one of Sylvia’s parties, it
would be hard to abstain from drinking a little.

“Be home by one thirty.” She turned and started typing on her computer. I was going
to correct her and tell her we had agreed on my curfew being at one o‘clock, but
maybe she had changed her mind. I certainly wasn’t going to argue with her.

I went to my room and tried to take a nap, but I tossed and turned. I was too excited.
It was my first real date, and I was afraid that I would do something to screw it up. My
mother was right when she said that I wasn’t used to running with the popular crowd.
Even I was wondering why Donovan had invited me.

Jackie dropped by a little after seven. I think she was more excited about my ‘date’
than I was. I took a shower while she got my clothes ready. When I came back to my
room with my towel wrapped around me, she handed me a pair of red bikini underwear.

“Here,” she said excitedly. “Put these on and let me see what you look like in them.”

“Jackie!” I shouted. “I’m not wearing these, and I’m definitely not going to let you see
me in them.”

“Nonsense,” she huffed. “You wear speedos all summer at the pool; so I’m not going
to see anything I haven‘t seen before.” She held up the red bikinis. “These are Pete’s.
I found them in his dresser. I think he wore them for Valentine’s Day last year.” She
giggled as she handed them to me. “Now go in the bathroom and put them on; then
come back and let me see how they fit you.” I gave her an angry look, but she placed
them in my hand and pushed me out the door.

I put them on, and then wrapped the towel around before going back to my room to
get my shorts. I had no intention of letting Jackie see me in them.

“Why do you have the towel wrapped around you?” she asked. She walked over and
attempted to take it off, while I clung to it tightly.

“Come on, James,” she said angrily. “How can I help you get ready if you’re acting like

“Jackie,” I responded. I looked down at my cock. “I can’t let you see me.”

“James, you’re gay,” she responded. “I don’t think there’s much you have that will
interest me.” She took the towel, and with one tug, pulled it off me. I was standing
naked before her with just the red bikinis on.

“Nice package,” she exclaimed as she stared at my cock tucked into the bikinis. “That
should make Donovan happy.”

“Jackie!” I squealed. “He’s never going to see it.” My face continued to burn from
embarrassment. I couldn’t believe I was standing nearly naked in front of her.

“Don’t say never.” She turned me around and slapped my butt. “Nice ass, too.”

I quickly grabbed the shorts and put them on. She stood back and studied me. “Those
are too baggy.” She walked over to my dresser and held up several more, before
deciding on a pair of white shorts. “Put these on.”

I took the shorts and put them on, but they were extremely tight. I hadn’t worn them
in a couple of years, and I’d gained some weight since the last time I had them on. I
sucked in my stomach to fasten them. Jackie walked around inspecting me.

“These are too tight,” I insisted.

“They are perfect,” she grinned. “They show off your round butt and give you a nice
little bulge.” I don’t think I could have turned any redder than I already was.

“But I can’t breath in these,” I exclaimed.

“Get used to it,” she responded. “Girls have been wearing tight clothes for years to
get guys to look at them.”

“Well, I’m not a girl,” I admonished her.

“No, you’re not,” she replied. “But you’re still trying to attract a boy.” I couldn’t argue
with her on that point. “Now put on your shirt.”

I pulled the green polo shirt over my head. “Should I tuck it in or leave it out?” She
again walked around me, inspecting my body. This time I didn’t feel as uncomfortable;
that is, until she started rubbing my small nipples.

“What in the hell are you doing, Jackie?” I yelled as I jumped away from her.

“I’m trying to get your nipples hard,” she answered. “That shirt looks good on you,
but it would look better if your nipples showed a little.”

“My nipples are just fine,” I insisted.

“Have it your way,” she huffed as she walked over to her bag and pulled out a small

“What’s that?” I asked, afraid to know the answer.

“Clear fingernail polish,” she answered. “Sit on the bed and give me your foot. Now we
need to make your toes look sexy.” Realizing it was useless to argue with her, I spent
the next fifteen minutes letting her apply polish to my nails. She had me put on my
sandals, and then she stood back and admired her work.

“You do have the cutest toes,” she giggled.

“Shut up, Jackie!” I moaned. She grabbed me by my arm and pulled me across the hall
to the bathroom. She then applied a mousse to my hair and tried to give it a spiked
look. I have to admit, though; when she finished it looked really good.

She led me back to my room and placed me in the center. She then walked around me
several times.

“You look really hot, James,” she said admiringly. “I take back what I said the other
day.” I looked over and gave her a questioning look. “You’re the second hottest guy in
our school.”

Just then my mother walked in and let out a small whistle. “Would you look at you!”
she exclaimed. “You look really nice.” She walked over and put some finishing touches
on my hair.

“Who’s the lucky girl?” Jackie’s eyes widened, and she started coughing. I knew she
only did it to stifle a laugh. I was trying hard to keep a straight face.

“What is wrong with you two?” she asked. She looked over at Jackie. “So he does
have a girlfriend?” Jackie’s face was ready to explode with laughter. She hurried out of
the room and ran into the bathroom. I could hear her laughing from across the hallway.

“She’s such a strange girl,” my mother remarked as she continued to inspect me. She
looked down and noticed my tight shorts.

“Don’t you think those shorts are just a little too tight, James?” Not only was my face
red, but I think my ears were bright scarlet also.

“Jackie thought I looked good in them,” I managed to mutter.

“Yes, well she would,” she replied. “Why don’t you put on something that’s not quite
as revealing.” She walked over to the bed and looked through the shorts that were
strewn on top. She handed me the beige khaki shorts I had originally decided to wear.

“Put these on.” She handed them to me and then left the room. I was zipping them up
when Jackie reentered the room.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Mom didn’t like the white ones,” I responded.

“Of course not,” she replied. “She’s your mother. Oh well, those look okay, I guess.”

I looked at the clock on my dresser. It was a quarter to nine. Jackie continued to work
on my appearance until I heard the doorbell ring.

“He’s here!” she squealed. My heart started beating rapidly, knowing that I had to go
downstairs and meet Donovan for our ‘date.’

When I walked into the living room, my mother had already cornered Donovan. She
was talking quietly to him. I became embarrassed because I knew she was giving him
the same speech she had given me earlier.

When he looked over her shoulder and noticed me approaching, a huge smile appeared
on his face. My mother turned and gave me a puzzled look, but I was too busy staring
at Donovan. He looked hot; hotter than he normally looked.

He was dressed in black. He had on a tight black shirt similar to mine; only his hugged
his body and accentuated his strong muscles. His long, black hair was pulled back into
a small ponytail. His brown eyes sparkled as he watched me walk across the room and
stand beside my mother.

“Hey,” I said nervously.

“Hi, James,” he smiled. “I’ve just been talking to your mother.” I gave him a sheepish
smile, not knowing if it was a good encounter or not. Suddenly, Jackie gave me a quick
shove from behind.

“Oh, yeah,” I said. “Donovan, this is Jackie, my best friend.” She stepped beside me
and grabbed my arm, squeezing it so tightly that I was sure she had cut off the

“Hi, Donovan,” she swooned.

“Hiya, Jackie,” he said sexily. I thought Jackie was going to rip my arm off from the
deadly grip she had on it.

Donovan looked down at me and smiled. “Ready?” I nodded and headed to the door
with him behind me.

“It was nice meeting you, Mrs. Hoskins,” he turned and spoke. “You too, Jackie.”    
I looked over and watched Jackie’s knees buckle. When Donovan turned, Jackie
mouthed the words,  “I hate you.”  

“Be home by two,” mother shouted as I closed the door and headed to Donovan’s car.
He opened the passenger’s door and waited for me to get in before closing it. When
he got in, he looked over and grinned.

“I’m glad you’re going with me tonight, James,” he said. “You look really hot.”

“Thanks,” I said embarrassedly. “You look good too.”  

As we pulled off, Donovan reached over and rubbed my bare leg. “We’re going to have
fun tonight.” I looked down at his hand on my leg and prayed I wouldn’t get hard from
his contact. When a car pulled out in front of us, he took his hand off and kept both
hands on the steering wheel the rest of the way to Sylvia’s.

When we pulled into the development where Sylvia lived, cars lined the road. The
homes were huge with well-manicured lawns. I thought we would have to walk a
distance to her home. However, Donovan pulled up to a large white colonial home and
turned into an empty space in the driveway.

“My private parking space,” he boasted. “No one parks here but me.”

He got out, walked to my side and opened the door before I had a chance to unbuckle
my seatbelt. He offered his hand to me, and he helped me out. I was beginning to feel
uncomfortable. I felt he was treating me as if I were a girl.

As we walked up the drive to the house, he put his arm around me and pulled me in
tightly to his side. “Let’s go have some fun,” he said excitedly as he reached down and
ran his hand across my ass.

When he opened the front door, there was a burst of loud music. The rooms were
extremely large and filled with raucous teenagers. To the left, was a large room that I
assumed was a parlor. There must have been about thirty people dancing wildly to the
music. Almost everyone had a drink in their hand; and I could smell the aroma of weed
permeating the air.

“Come on, James,” shouted Donovan into my ear as he grabbed my hand and led me
toward the kitchen. Several people stopped to talk to him, and he didn’t seem to mind
them seeing us holding hands.

As we made our way to the kitchen, Sylvia emerged and stumbled over to us.
“Donovan, Darling,” she slurred. “I see you made it.” She focused her eyes on me and
asked, “Who’s your boy toy tonight?”

Donovan gave her an angry look, and then he leaned down and whispered something
into her ear. She looked over at me and said, “I’m sorry. You have to forgive me. I’ve
had a little too much to drink.” Donovan grabbed my hand once again, and he led me
into the kitchen.

“What’s your pleasure?” he asked. He poured a rum and coke and handed it to me. I
nodded and took it while he made himself the same drink. I took a swig and started
coughing. Donovan put his arm around me and laughed.

“Go slow, Little Dude,” he warned. “We’ve got all night.” He put his arm protectively
around me and led me around the house, stopping to talk to some of his jock friends.
They would look at me and then raise an eyebrow. I was becoming uncomfortable,
because I knew they were scrutinizing me to determine if I was suitable enough to be
with him.

I spent most of the first half hour pulled tightly into Donovan’s side as he socialized
with people I had only seen from a distance at school. A few times he tried to include
me in the conversation, but most of it involved sports.

As we walked around, I was becoming increasingly aware of the fact that I was outing
myself to some of the most elite students at our school. Donovan’s protective arm
around me left no doubt that I was his date for the evening. It was also obvious that
they were aware that he was gay.

“Hey, this is my song!” He grabbed my arm and pulled me into the area where others
were dancing. A slow song that I didn’t recognize was booming through the speakers.
Donovan reached out and pulled me into his body and wrapped his arms around me. I
started to blush as when he began sexually grinding his body into mine.

“Relax.” He looked down and smiled. “You’re too tense. I told you before, I don’t bite.”
He then leaned down and kissed me gently. My body melted into his as I savored the
taste of his full lips against mine. When he pushed his tongue into my mouth, I could
taste the rum still on his lips.

When we pulled apart, I noticed that most of the people in the room had witnessed
our kiss. I again began to blush, realizing that I was now officially out. I had just
passionately kissed Donovan in front of a whole room of students from our school.

He pulled me into him, and I rested my head on his firm chest. I could hear his heart
beating, and it suddenly became apparent that he had an erection pushed against my
side. I could feel its enormous girth grinding into me each time he moved to the music.
I could also feel my own cock begin to harden. Donovan raised his knee and rubbed it
against my hard cock.

He leaned down and whispered in my ear, “This is nice.” I looked up and nodded. All of
a sudden it seemed that the room had emptied and we were alone.

“Smile for me,” he whispered in my ear. “I love it when you smile. You have the cutest
dimples.” I started blushing. Donovan liked my dimples!

When a fast song came on, we stopped dancing. He grabbed my hand and led me
back into the kitchen. He poured us another drink and then led me out to the
backyard, where more people were gathered. It seemed that most were paired up and
making out. Donovan and I appeared to be the only male couple. In fact, I don’t think I
had seen anyone else that I would consider gay the entire evening.

He led me over to a lounge chair by the pool side where we sat down. There were no
lights, and it would have been hard to find our way if it  hadn’t been for the rays of the
moon. He straddled the seat and then patted it, indicating he wanted me to sit in front
of him. He put his arms around me and pulled me in tightly. I could feel his breath
against my neck, sending chills down my spine.

“Relax,” he whispered in my ear. “I’m not going to bite. We’ll, maybe just a little.” He
began to nibble my earlobe and lick his tongue around my ear. I could feel his cock
hardening into my back. Mine was also beginning to grow larger, as it made a
noticeable bulge in my shorts.

“You like this?” he whispered sexily into my ear. I nodded my head and leaned further
into him. I could smell the rum on his breath. I was feeling a little dizzy from the drink,
and my inhibitions were melting away. I was comfortable in his arms, and it didn’t
matter that many of our classmates could witness our actions.

I tensed up when he reached down and put his hand under my shirt and started
rubbing my smooth stomach. I was hard as steel when he started rubbing his hands
gently around my nipples.

“Damn, you’re hot!” he moaned as he stuck his tongue once again in my ear. He ran
his hand slowly down my stomach before reaching inside my shorts. I stopped
breathing when he grabbed hold of my hard cock. I closed my eyes and prayed I
wouldn’t erupt in his hand.

“There you are!” I opened my eyes to see Sylvia standing over us. She was teetering,
and I was afraid she was going to fall into my lap.

“I need to see you a minute, Donovan.” She reached down and took his hand.

“Now, Sylvia?” he responded angrily. “I’m kind of busy here.”

“Yes, well,” she looked down and gave me a condescending smile. “There’s someone I
want you to meet. It will only take a minute.” I scooted forward as Donovan got up.
Before standing, he rubbed his erection seductively against my back several times.

“I’ll be right back,” he said as he leaned down and kissed me. He staggered across the
patio and disappeared through the door.

I sat back and watched the people around me. I had drunk about four rum and cokes,
so I was feeling rather lightheaded. Since I was not used to drinking, I was surprised
that I wasn’t feeling sick.

Most of the couples were involved in some very heavy petting. Several girls had their
tops off, and their boyfriends were kissing their breasts. A girl in a chair about six feet
away was leaning down. She appeared to be giving her boyfriend a blowjob. Another
couple across the pool looked like they were having sex in a lounge chair. No one
seemed to be paying anyone any attention. I guess this was a common occurrence at
Sylvia’s parties.

I closed my eyes for a few minutes until I felt someone sit down at the end of the
chair. I opened my eyes, expecting to see Donovan; but instead sat a guy I had seen
around school on several occasions.

“Here.” He handed me a plate with a ham sandwich and some potato chips. “I hope
you like this.”

“Thanks.” I took the plate from him and set it down between us. We stared briefly at
each other before he extended his hand to me.

“Roy,” He said. “Roy Reed.” I recognized his name immediately. He was a running back
for our school. During football season, his picture was constantly appearing in the local

“James Hoskins,” I replied as he gave me a firm handshake. He picked up the plate and
handed it to me.

“Eat something, James,” he insisted. “You’ve had a lot to drink and you need to eat

“I’m all right,” I assured him; however, I took the sandwich and started eating. I  didn’t
realize that I was hungry. It was well after midnight and I’d had nothing to eat since

Roy watched as I ate the sandwich. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable. With all the
sex going on around us, I was pretty sure he was going to try and make a pass at me.

He was a nice looking guy, but with rather ordinary features. His face was round with
red cheeks. His hair was strawberry blond and cut short. In the dark it was hard to tell
the color of his eyes, but they appeared to be light blue. He probably carried a little
more weight than he should. However, football season was over, so he would probably
lose some of it by the time the season started again.

“Are you having fun?” he asked. “Sylvia’s parties can get a little out of control
sometimes.” We both looked around as the sex seemed to be getting a little more

“Um,” I stammered, “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

“I didn’t think so,” he responded. “What are you doing here anyway? This doesn’t
seem to be your scene.”

“Donovan invited me,” I replied quickly.

“I know. I’ve been watching you guys.”

“Are you gay, too?” I asked. Roy appeared stunned by my question, but then he
started laughing.

“No,” he grinned. “I’m not. Donovan’s my best friend, and sometimes I have to keep a
close eye on him. He tends to drink too much. His mother would kill me if I let anything
happen to him.”

“So, you’ve been friends a long time?”

“Yeah, since the first grade,” he smiled. “He’s like a brother to me.” He sat for a minute
and studied me. Our eyes met briefly, and then I looked down.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure,” I replied. He studied me again before speaking.

“Why are you here tonight?” he asked. “With Donovan, I mean. You seem like a nice

“He doesn’t date nice guys?” I laughed.

“I don’t mean this in an insulting way,” he said apologetically, “but Donovan usually
likes athletes. You know- guys with a lot of muscle.” I became embarrassed when he
scanned my body.

“To be honest, Roy,” I replied, “I’ve been asking myself that since he invited me to this
party. I really don’t see what Donovan sees in me.”

“Are you kidding?” he laughed. “I’m straight, but you’re a really good looking guy. I
can see why he asked you out. It’s just you seem rather..um, what’s the word.. fresh.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Donovan’s been around,” he said. “And I get a feeling you haven’t. I’ve watched you
staring at some of the action going on. You don’t seem to be very comfortable with it.”

“Yeah, well, this is kind of new to me,” I said embarrassedly.

“You still a virgin?” My eyes shot up and met his.

“Is it that obvious?” My face began to redden.

“Yes,” he laughed. “It is. I watched when Donovan kissed you on the dance floor. You
acted like you didn’t know what to do.”

“I didn’t,” I grinned. “My first kiss.”

“Just be careful, James.” He reached out and patted my leg. “Donovan can be forceful.
Don’t let him talk you into doing anything you’re not ready for.”

“You care a lot about him, don’t you?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied, “but I care about you too. I don’t want to see you get hurt. Just be
careful.” He patted my leg once again, and then rose from the chair and strolled back
into the house.

I lay back and closed my eyes. My head was beginning to swirl from the alcohol I had
been drinking. The sandwich Roy brought me helped some, but I still felt lightheaded. I
rose from the chair and headed into the house to look for Donovan. It had been about
a half hour since he left with Sylvia.

When I walked into the kitchen, he was talking to a few other basketball players. He
smiled when he saw me, and then stumbled across the room. He leaned down and
kissed me roughly on the mouth.

“There you are, James.” His breath reeled of alcohol. He was swaying back and forth,
and I was having a hard time keeping him on his feet. He grabbed my hand and led me
from the kitchen.

“Come with me.” He pulled me toward a large staircase.

“Where are we going?” I tried to pull my hand away. He gripped it more firmly and
began to lead me up the stairs.

“Sylvia’s bedroom.”

Chapter 8                                    Return to TMJ