The Rainbow Dynasty: Io: Chapter 1

 

 

The Rainbow Dynasty

Book 1

 

Chapter 1: THE RAINBOW TICKET

“You press your dick up against my thigh.
And then you rise…
My sunrise, my Egyptian God, My Osi—
I mean, Osiris, bliss the way you kiss
Me on my lips
Feeling amazing, remember elevation
Press down those fingers into my eclipse
Into my half moon crest, blessed
Fingering deep into my darkness
And we all know what happens next
When your shuttle enters into my space
You’re a brave soul, staring this black hole in the face
And the chase stops, somehow the condom pops
Somehow the booty drops, Somehow the hips lock
Feeling amazing, still elevation
And right before a new universe, right after the Drake Verse
I utter the words first, Nothing I could say is worse
I have a question…
Audience Participation, OK?
Riddle me this:
Ms. Obama said out of Ms. Obama’s mouth,
When they go low, we go high
Not when they go low, we go yo
Or when they go low, we show woe
We go high! I wondered what Ms. Obama was talking about.
So I went the safe route, went to ask my baby right before we bang out
I ask him.
Riddle me this:
All day long it’s in and out. What am I?”

I wait for the crowd. The crowd erupts, “A dick.”

I shake my head dramatically, pulling away, “No. That’s not what he said. 2nd clue. I discharge loads from my shaft. What am I?”

“A man.”

“Wrong again. That’s not what he said. Both men and women go down on me. What am I?”

No one knows. Everyone is quiet.

I raise my hand up as though I’m a kid in a class and in that very moment several fingers fall down until only my pointer finger points to the sky.

“I am an elevator. Fuck my mind. Raise me up. Make it amazing. I told you didn’t I? Remember elevation.”

The crowd claps. It’s some new age type of poetry that shocks them. Took me fifteen minutes to write but they love it. The month is January. The room is filled with hipsters. People like me. People who need something to take their minds off the reality of life. Our life that is.

My world was different. Something called the Phase had just ended. It was a disease that had a strange effect on the world. It was based on sexuality. I know it sounds weird. Imagine what would happen if a disease caused straight people to randomly turn gay. Well, imagine that world turned so anti-gay that actual gay people were put in concentration camps.

And then imagine what happened when the disease ended.

And those gay people were released.

“Loved it,” Rich says.

“Loved it?” Apple Sky pushes past Rich, smelling like exotic weed and sage, “That was fuckin amazing Io. It’s like you own your sexuality. You know. You were all, ‘I’m a man. I’m gay’ or whatever…”

Apple Sky sounds like a clown but she was actually really important in my little click. In Alphabet City, she was pretty much the IT girl. She had this look in her eyes that let everyone know that she was the girl who you wanted to be cool with. She had this Rihanna thing going. Not physically but just her look. She was dark and beautiful though with white hair. A lot of people said she looked like Storm from the X-Men and Apple Sky ate that shit up. She ate it up all the way to over 500K followers on Instagram.

Let’s just say Apple Sky was kind of a big deal and the fact that I hung with her, kind of made me cool in my own way.

“Thanks, both of you,” I state.

Rich lifts up his eyes,” Especially me?”

Rich. Let’s just say sex on a fuckin stick. I’d always had a crush on him. He was this Italian kid from the Bronx. He had tan skin and this hairy chest that drove me fuckin’ crazy. He loved walking around naked often. And the hair was everywhere. It was on his legs. It was even on his furry bubble butt. Somehow though it managed to not really be anywhere near his dick. His big, long, Italian Stallion uncut dick. I’d seen it a million times. Rich was something of a nudist.

“Especially you, my straight boyfriend,” I laugh.

He’s used to me grabbing on him, coddling him and even taking a flirtatious swipe every once in a while at his genitals. His ex-girlfriend hated me because he loved to cuddle. To make it fair he’d cuddle anyone but I loved to piss her off. Yeah. Rich was straight. You ever meet the perfect man but the only problem is that he was straight. Rich and I spent all of our time together. Every second. He knew I was gay. Matter of fact, he was an ally. He was one of those weird straight guys that had more gay friends than straight friends. And we loved him for it.

“I hope you guys are really enjoying having the freedom to even PRETEND to be gay,” a voice states.

I turn and almost immediately Rich and I have the same reaction. It was my ex. Paulo. He walks around the corner bringing the same heat that used to scorch me daily when we were together. Paulo was like the sun. He was always there. He could even be warm sometimes. He was kind of necessary but you don’t really want to just “sit directly underneath the sun for too long.” It burned.

Whether it wanted to or not.

“The gang’s all here,” Rich states, tapping his foot and looking at me.

I know why he’s looking at me. Paulo wasn’t really a part of our friendship group. I’d brought him in when we started dating. Neither one of my friends really took to Paulo’s personality but Apple Sky started going into business with him to promote these poetry nights and he just became a part of the group even after we broke up. None of us could shake him. And he seemed to know we wanted to. Our relationship/friendship was getting worse.

“In the South, they are hunting gays. Hunting them!” Paulo states, “The President is afraid to interfere because he is scared of a 2nd Civil World War.”

My world was different. After the Phase, the South became infuriated with the idea of homosexuality having been linked to the disease. Even after the virus went away, the South remained hostile to what they called the Homosexual or Gay Agenda. They’d gone on an invisible war in the south hunting and killing gays wherever they existed.

It was genocide.

And for a long time, no one did anything about it.

“That’s why New Jerusalem was formed,” I state.

Being a poet was one thing. I was good with words. But we liked to think of ourselves as some sort of Bohemian society. Being a part of Apple Sky’s gang was a big fucking deal. She was one of the voices of the New Alphabet Society movement. This was the Z Renaissance. We were Generation Z, a generation obsessed with fixing all the mistakes of polluting Baby Boomers and the lazy tech-obsessed Millennials. We would be the generation that would fix the world. We would heal the world.

And we backed the New Jerusalem Act. An Act that would separate a part of the United States and deem it a nation of its own.

“The Gay Country?” Apple Sky asks, “God…what I wouldn’t do to visit there. I need to renew my passport.”

“You can’t say shit like that in public,” Paulo states, “What if Sugar Bear Brown got the word you said that? He’s conscientious of appearing ignorant. You can’t visit New Jerusalem, Apple Sky. They closed off their borders. Everyone knows that.”

Apple Sky looks down. She is clearly uncomfortable talking about this topic. I had to agree with Paulo. It was shocking that she was ignorant of what was going on in New Jerusalem. It was all over the news. You would think someone as liberal as Apple as Sky would know everything there was to know about the world’s first GAY NATION.

Desperate not to look embarrassed she turns to us, “He’s right. He’s fuckin right. Guys, I should have fuckin known that.”

I nod in agreement, “Especially with all the controversy going on. Everyone is talking about it…”

I look around. Sure enough, people were whispering. New Jerusalem this. New Jerusalem that. Everyone in here was liberal. They were progressive. They were supportive of New Jerusalem. That wasn’t the case for the majority of people. New Jerusalem took over parts of the DMV area…especially Northern Virginia. Let’s just say the Virginians didn’t like the idea of being told they needed to evacuate their fucking city. About 20 percent refused to move. It was agreed on that they can stay under the law of the new gay government of New Jerusalem. Let’s just say shit wasn’t really working out as planned down there.

“You seem to know a lot,” Apple Sky looks over at me, “Let’s go out for coffee, Io. You know you are my favorite star.”

My parents named me Io. It was a star that circled Jupiter. A lot of the Bohemians liked it. It was actually the first thing that stuck out to Apple Sky. She met me at a poetry jam and was high off something and just kept talking about the story of Io in Greek mythology. I never could remember it but I always meant to ask her to tell me again.

“I actually don’t know too much about New Jerusalem,” I state.

“Really?” Paulo asks, “You used to get a lot of calls from that area.”

“I”m gay. A lot of my friends moved to help build it out,” I state, “Those were the ones who gave me info on the drawing.”

“Drawing?” Apple Sky asks, “What drawing?”

I’m shocked. I’m not the only one. Others turn to her. Apple Sky didn’t know about the New Jerusalem drawing?

“The President of New Jerusalem hired all gays to build out New Jerusalem. They were the Founders. They have been the lucky ones living there so far,” Paulo explains, “But there are other homes. They can’t take every gay person in the world. It’s not enough space. So there is a drawing.”

“You mean I didn’t know about this?” Apple Sky asks.

She needed to lay off the drugs.

“Relax. We submitted your name. You were there,” I state, “Well kind of. Sugar Brown is having a Drawing Party later tonight. Everyone coming right. Rich?”

Everyone nods. Everyone but Rich. I can see his face go all sour and serious. He’s so goddam handsome. It’s hard not to look at him. He is usually the loudest one in here. He is a proud ally, sometimes hanging with only gay people. He loved the poetry jams. He was a true Bohemian. So it is strange that he didn’t get excited about the New Jerusalem draft.

He pauses, “I’ll come. For your gay boyfriend.”

~

It’s later that night. I walk into my closet and see all this expensive stuff. They were gifts that just came in. Gifts from my very wealthy cousin who seemed to love to show off all the money he got and all the places he got to go see. Back in the day people joked Dom was my little boyfriend because he’d go everywhere holding my fucking hand.

Me and my cousin Dom were close back then but we’d grown distant. At least I have.

“Who came into my room?” I ask walking out to the hallway.

My brother Caesar shrugs, “Not me man.”

Caesar and I were never close. We looked alike. Our parents had us as close together as possible. He’s a little older though. And he never lets me forget it. They even named us within our family tradition taking Roman names. Not like it mattered. Caesar and I couldn’t be any more different.

“I did,” my dad states from the room.

I look over at my dad. He’s quite the looker. He’d always been. Strong, statuesque. He let me know that men in our family carry ourselves like that. He had two brothers. One that we were close to and the other not so much. All ‘Castle men were a good height and weight.

“Call Dom, tell him I said thank you…”

“I don’t dress like that,” I tell my dad, “Besides Dom probably got one of his assistants to buy all this shit.”

“Watch your mouth. You’re not 18 yet,” he explains to me, “Besides I need to talk to you. About us moving….”

“I don’t want to talk about this.”

“You can try to pretend like it isn’t happening but it is,” my dad explains, “You need to have those conversations with your friends. You need to say your goodbyes. Tomorrow…”

Tomorrow. Too soon. Way too soon. I walk back to my room and shut the door. I slam it. I hear the hinges rattle when I do. I’m feeling anxious. I’m feeling on edge. I didn’t want to leave our old house. I didn’t want to leave the comforts of my home. I look outside. I didn’t want to leave Rich. Not now when we are starting all of this. Not now when everything is finally making sense.

The draft party is one of the biggest events. Everyone wants a Rainbow Ticket. It was how you knew you were going to New Jerusalem. Images of New Jerusalem are on the screen. I think that’s what images of New Jerusalem were but honestly, these were the same images going around for years. No one knew what New Jerusalem really was like anymore. Not since the President of New Jerusalem turned the country darker than North Korea. No one knew what went on there. Supposedly they weren’t ready to be seen by the world.

But this was the first step to them getting themselves ready. They needed a population.

All these gay people gathering around to celebrate the drafting of people into New Jerusalem. Who wanted to be in New Jerusalem? Every gay person in America and perhaps the world. I knew America had the most available houses but that only left so many available.

People were beyond nervous and this party had over 300 people in attendance. I was in VIP, thank God due to my connection with Apple Sky. A new age projector flashes an image over everyone’s head showcasing the live Draft results.

“5 people can live in a house,” Apple Sky states, “Based on your audition tape, right? They base it off who you get along with.”

Apple Sky had been desperate to read up about New Jerusalem before the party. I tried my best to help her. Truth is through my mind was absent. I was more worried about another friend of mine. I’m concerned about Rich. He shows up last to our VIP section, even after Paulo who always shows up late.

Rich is drunk, walking in throwing his arm immediately around me in a way that causes Paulo to raise up his eyebrows and give him a side-eye.

“Bae…” he states, “I got held up. Meant to call you.”

“Rich what the—”

I look down noticing Rich’s hard dick. He looks down sees that it’s hard, seems delighted and grabs it really good. It’s nice and long. That’s when he grabs it again this time grabbing my hand and pulling it over to his hard dick so that it could bounce off and he could laugh and yell, “BOING” like an idiot.

“Sorry, I was making out with Dierdra out back…” he states.

“Dierdra the tranny?” I ask.

Rich gives me a shrug, “What? Just because I’m straight doesn’t mean I can’t get hard from kissing a tranny. I like the female figure. And I’m a freak.”

“They are entering our draft area,” Apple Sky is stating tearing up, “I’m so excited. I’m so nervous. They’d choose me right. They’d choose me of course…”

She looks so excited.

“Apple the chances are low that something like that would happen,” I start off.

“BItch, please. I’m Apple Sky. I’m getting chosen.”

I think about stressing how low the odds are but then again she was Apple Sky who knew. Maybe a part of the draft was looking into Social Media following. No one was completely sure what the Gays of New Jerusalem were looking for when it came to entry into the country. Some people even assumed the priority would go to those people in the South and other places who were fleeing the backlash from the Phase.

“Can I talk to you for a minute?” Rich asks.

Weird.

I shrug though shaking.

I get up and try to get Rich away from the others before anyone, especially Paulo, notices. I manage to get him all the way to a private bathroom in the VIP area. He sits on the bench in that area clearly drunk. I walk over to the sink and start rinsing it off. In the meantime, I look in the mirror.

“You’re sexy as hell, don’t worry,” Rich states from the bench.

Sexy was a strong word to describe me. I was handsome. Definitely that, at least. I had a regality about me. Strong chiseled jawbones, brown skin from having an African American Father and an Indian mother. Not Native American, by the way, Indian from India. It helped a lot with the Bohemian thing that I have strong features from the Indian and African American side of me. I had a big nose, big lips, tan skin, and oval eyes. My ears were kind of big and my hair was pretty long but I always tied it up into a man bun. It looked like pure silk and I knew if I ever grew it long it would put a lot of people to shame.

But I never grew it long. I wasn’t a show-off. I liked to remain lowkey.

It was all about a vibe to me.

And Rich. He was always a vibe.

“You always say the nicest fuckin things man,” I state, “What did you want to talk to me about?”

“I wanna try it…”

“What?”

“I wanna try it,” He states, “And I been thinking hard as fuck and you’re the person I want to try it with.”

“Yo Rich, I’m so confused. What is IT?”

“Sex.”

There are moments in your life where real life and dreams seem to encounter. At this point, I’m not sure if I’m awake or asleep. I look around realizing that time is moving in its normal speed but when my eyes circle back onto Rich who is desperately waiting for a reply I feel like I’m in a dream world again. Did Rich just ask to have sex with me?

I check my heartbeat to confirm. Yes. He did.

He asked to fuck me.

“Um when?” I ask.

That seems like a logical question to ask as a follow-up right. Details. I sound nervous though. I sound like a bumbling fucking wreck. The man of your dreams was literally throwing his sex at me and somehow I was still managing to be the bumbling one?

I try to stay cool. Zen. Everyone else thought I was so cool but Rich got me off guard. It wasn’t going to happen again.

“Wait. You would do it?”

I had to be cool. Relaxed. Chill.

I shrug, “Sure why not?”

Deep inside though my mind is going nuts. Especially when he gets off the bench and makes his way over to me. He presses himself up against me. Chest up against the chest. He was still hard from making out with that tranny he made out with earlier. I wonder if this was his plan. Take slow steps towards trying a gay experience. We all sort of knew it was coming one day.

Rumors of course.

“Rich gonna go gay one day,” was not an uncommon saying around our friend’s group.

And here it was. Rich going gay.

“I find you attractive,” Rich states, “I just want to bend you over, and eat your ass. Put my tongue deep into your ass cheeks. Make you moan. Make you wet. And stick my dick all the way deep inside of you. Do you like it? You want me to do it?”

He was talking. He was trying to talk himself into this. It was cute. Actually, I’ll give him more than cute. It was kind of sexy.

“Don’t talk about it, be about it,” I state.

He likes me. I knew he did even before knowing he might be attracted to me. We just clicked. We both were the laid back guys. The guy who never got really upset about much. The guys who could go to a crystal shop and still be OK with drinking heavily processed beers while the others shunned their noses at anything made in a factory.

He bites his lip. I’ve been thinking about this for a while when he leans in and presses his lips up against me. I am up against a wall breathing in his cologne as his lips ease up onto mine. They are soft. Pretty and light.

“Nice?” I ask.

He nods, “Nice.”

He kisses again. He’s enjoying it. Getting into it. I’m letting him. I let him explore my mouth soon, using his tongue. He’d done this with me before during spin the bottle and drunk nights. Rich always gave the gay boys a show and there was a line of guys who wished they were me. Somehow though Rich always managed to spin the bottle to me. It’s like he had it down to a science. It was gay physics.

This was different though. No audience. No one clapping at how great of an ally Rich was. So open-minded that he was willing to kiss a gay guy.

No. This was Rich wanting to kiss me.

And this was Rich making it happen.

“I’ve wanted this ass so much…”

He presses his hands up against my ass. His fingers slowly tickling my hole. His pinky is only inches away from the entrance. And just when I think he’ll play with it a little more he bends down, turns me around and begins to eat me. He tongues me down. His tongue lashing at me. I shudder at the feeling taking it all in. Time passes.

I am left shaking and wet when I feel him inside of me.

“Oh fuck,” he states.

He’s raw. He trusts me. HIV was still a thing but a cure was developed some time ago. It was actually a side product of them trying to find a cure for the Phase. Still, there were dangerous things out there and he trusted me. He knew that I didn’t just fuck anyone. We’d been friends for a long time.

In and out. He squeezes my thigh. I try to listen for sounds of elation. I’m wondering if he’s enjoying it as much as I am. I bend my ass over further. I lift my leg. I want him to feel me as best as he can. His dick is so big. It’s just how I imagined it. I imagined there would be more looking in the eyes though. There’s none of that.

He cums. Inside of me.

And then he pulls out quickly and shivers. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing like he enjoyed what just happened or a bad thing like he was disgusted. Either way, I take my time to turn around and by the time I completely do so he is dressed.

“I’ll head out.”

“That’s it?” I ask, “What about what just happened?”

“Thanks,” he states.

I’m confused, “That wasn’t a favor. I enjoyed it. Did you?”

He pauses for a moment. Rich looks confused. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was. I just really wanted to know if what happened made anything a little bit more clear to him. Was he really an A still? Was he really just an ally?

“Can I think about it?” he asks.

I nod and wait a few minutes after he leaves the bathroom to leave as well.

~

The party is a little better when I get back. This Ally named Marilyn has a brother who was accepted to New Jerusalem under the Female-To-Male Initiative. I join them for shots. Marilyn squeezes my cakes, The Female-To-Males were definitely having a moment celebrating while a short little bio of the New Jerusalem society was shown on the screen.

“This is the future,’ Apple Sky states, “Our future.”

Someone else is called. There is a loud eruption. At this point, Rich returns to the table. He usually would come to sit near me but he goes to Paulo to have small talk. That was one of the strangest things immediately Apple Sky seems to be in tune with a different energy.

“Something’s off between you two,” she states, ‘There is all this hostile, hot, raw angry passion. Sort of like when you have sex. Oh my god, you two had sex.”

She says it loud. Too loud. I shove my elbow into her. Goddam Apple Sky and her goddam mood energy. The girl was more in line with the spiritual world than anyone I’d ever known. Sometimes I thought she was straight up psychic. Let’s just say it really worked in the world that she was in. She had a lot of people believing she was the next Ms. Cleo or something.

“It was fuckin…amazing,” I whisper to her.

It was no point in me lying to Apple Sky. She knew my aura way too much for me to fake any sort of funk.

“Oh my god, this changes everything. I see marriage for you. I really do. It’s in the stars…”

“Marriage isn’t even legal,” I state.

Not gay marriage. Not anymore. The US took it away during the first negotiations with the South. They said it was going to be temporary. Fuck that. It wasn’t temporary. They never fucking gave it back.

“In New Jerusalem, it is,” she winks at me.

“I don’t even know what he thinks about me,” I state, shrugging off the idea, “I was just a test for him. He wanted to know why the hell all his friends were gay and he’s a straight gay. He wanted to know why he’s a male fag hag.”

“Nowhere near a hag. He’s way too sexy,” she assures me as though I don’t know, “Talk to him about it.”

I look over at Rich. Somethings wrong with him.

“Not today. He’s in a weird mood with this New Jerusalem theme.”

“Maybe he’s nervous about making it.”

“I doubt they’ll let a straight person in New Jerusalem,” I state, “I heard they have a newer way of testing how gay you are. Or at least they are developing one. Oh well. Look they are done with our area anyway. Didn’t get a Rainbow Ticket.”

I shrug. I don’t care but then I notice Apple.

Before I can finish Apple looks up confused, “They passed our area. They called out like 10 names and passed our borough completely. WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT!”

She is pissed. She explodes. Paulo and Rich walk back over to see her in the middle of it. Others are upset too, some even crying. Who knew it was that serious? I look at a sea of people who seem somewhat lost Bout what to do now that their New Jerusalem dreams were crushed.

Apple starts crying. Ridiculously crying and she was making a huge fucking scene.

“It’s not even fucking worth it,” Rich states, “New Jerusalem is shit. Trust me I know…”

It’s weird he says something. I don’t care what he says though. Whatever it takes to stop my friend from tearing up the way that she does. I knew Rich and Apple were close. They probably spoke more throughout the day. Rich would do anything for Apple, which is why I think wherever this is going is a positive place.

“Listen to Rich,” I tell Apple.

Paulo gives me a weird look. A look that says he’s irritated. Maybe he had a reason to be. Maybe I shouldn’t just put everything into Rich’s hands.

“You know about New Jerusalem?” I ask.

“I was born there.”

I’m shocked. We all are. We all look over at Rich. I’m impressed. Rich nods with this show of solidarity, “Yeah. 18 years ago was when the project started. People think it was just because of the Phase. What they don’t know is that the idea actually started as a right wing plan. They felt like if they could have a designated “gay area” then the gay agenda wouldn’t affect their neighborhoods. Back then it was just Northern Virginia. My mother divorced my dad and left when I was really young and came here. My dad refused to ever leave.”

“Wow. You know anyone back there?” Apply Sky asks, “Your dad?”

“My half brother. We talk about it. He’s saying don’t be fooled by New Jerusalem. He says they are outlaws. These things don’t work. Think about the Back to Africa Movement.”

“You’re not even gay,” Paulo interrupts, “What the hell are you talking about?”

Rich looks irritated, “You don’t know what I am.”

None of us did. That was the problem. None-the-less though I am confused on what is going on here.

“New Jerusalem is the hope of a new world,” Paulo explains to everyone, “Gay people finally have a country of our own. And why shouldn’t we?”

“It’s a dump-hole.”

“Yo fuck you man,” Paulo states.

The tension between the two is tough. Weird all these signs of peace, love, and rainbows with the New Jerusalem theme and there was tension. I have to say it takes a lot to get people on Paulo’s side. He didn’t have a likable personality. Paulo was handsome and looked kind of nice, but then he opened his mouth and you figured out he can come off as a know-it-all. Rich was the opposite. Usually, he was cool, lowkey and non combative. Except for today. Except when it came to New Jerusalem.

People are on Pauli’s side. Even though some seem pissed they weren’t chosen.

“That was my fuckin home,” Rich explains, “Taken over like that. How would you fucking feel? How would you feel if you lived somewhere forever and you just had to move out? Because the government gives it to someone else.”

I literally wince when he says it. He looks so broken. I felt bad for Rich. Really bad. He had a point.

And Paulo. Like the dickhead, he just shrugs, “Tough luck. That’s the law. You can go to live somewhere else.”

I can’t believe he is so insensitive. I’m not shocked when Rich lunges at him. Paulo lacks respect and there was only a matter of time before all the crystals, weed and good zen failed and someone wanted to beat his fucking ass.

We manage to break them up before they do too much damage to each other but what little they got to do was enough to get everyone on edge. These two guys didn’t’ like each other in any way.

“Rich, are you saying that New Jerusalem is corrupt?” Apple Sky asks.

“Ask him,” Rich states, pointing to me.

I don’t know why people do that. Every time I’m just minding my own business people look at me. It’s as though they want me to be something more than I am. Describe Io in one word and that is chill. I just want to be chill and relaxed. No stress. I didn’t deal well with stress. I like my life. I am content. I don’t want anything more than what I have. So when all this other shit comes up and fucks up my karma I get weird.

And I don’t like it.

“C` mon Io…” Paulo pleads.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I knew what I knew about New Jerusalem. It was a little bit more than I was willing to admit openly. Seeing Rich and Paulo go back and forth about it though puts me in a weird place. I needed to choose a side.

And I choose Rich.

I add my two cents, “The system is corrupt. I have family there. I know.”

“You have family there?” Sky asks.

“Paulo said so himself. I got a lot of calls from there,” I state, ‘It’s extended family. My uncle, his husband, and their two kids. All my other extended family is there too.”

“You guys from there?”

I shake my head.

“Not really. They moved there…but I hear stories of a ton of corruption.”

That’s when Rich shakes everyone off, “See I told you. It’s corrupt. The Castle family is a family of complete outlaws. Faison Castle is a monster. There was a reporter who put out a story when he was running for president talking about how the elections were corrupt. The story never made it out. The reporter was found dead.”

“Shit…”

There are whispers forming around the room. Other people saying things they’ve heard about this Faison Castle.

“Faison Castle. President of New Jerusalem,” Apple Sky opens up her tablet, “He’s kind of sexy. Silver wolf. Gheesh…but yeah shady history.”

“Get onto the scandals. The Trafficking of straight men into sex slavery. The civil rights violations against straight people in his country. How about the Faison Castle placing members of his family all over his administration.”

“Sounds like something a dictator would do,” Apple Sky notices.

Rich agrees, “A left-wing dictator. They have some odd socialist community in New Jerusalem. Just because we are on the left doesn’t mean that we should support any extremists…”

Rich seemed sure of this. Real sure.

Apple Sky nods, “If this is true maybe we should even look into boycotting New Jerusalem.”

“You guys are getting dramatic,” Paulo states, “It’s a young nation. The youngest nation in the world. Give them time…”

Rich shakes his head, “Under the Castle Dynasty…New Jerusalem will crash and burn. It’s going to be epic. This social experiment is going to be HISTORICAL.

Rich is laughing.

I join in. I don’t find anything funny but I also don’t wanna be the one weirdo who is too serious about politics. Especially in international politics.

And surprisingly things cool off a little bit. That’s when Rich walks over to me. I’m shocked when he puts his arm over my shoulder.

“What’s this?” I ask.

He shrugs, “For having my back. For being patient with me earlier.”

“Does this mean?”

He appreciated me being there. It’s weird this whole time trying to impress him and being supportive was the only thing I had to do. He locks his arm around me. Real tight. That’s when he kisses me. He kisses me really hard. His lips pressing up against mine. There is a coolness as he does it. The sensitivity of it all. He leans in and does it again and again and again. Each time smacking louder. Each time making sure that people were aware that we were kissing in public.

“Oh…this is happening,” Apple Sky rejoins us.

At this point, Rich’s tongue is halfway down my throat. He leans back out, happy with himself and gives me a toothy grin.

“Yeah, this is happening.”

“What is this?” I ask.

“We’re going to have to find out,” he states.

He leans down and his dick is hard. I get nervous almost immediately and he pulls me in to give me more kisses. This time more kisses to calm me down instead of turning me on. Maybe let me know that we didn’t have to address the anaconda in his pants tonight.

I got Rich hard!

This was the best day of my life but I’m way too cool of a guy to express that.

“Nothing pulls you out of character does it?” Apple asks, “You have like one emotion: laidback.”

I shrug, “It’s no big deal. We’re just vibing…”

Rich smiles he keeps his hand over me for much of the night. He begins asking me what I wanted to drink and eat before going to the bar. He mistakenly even calls me bae one time that night.

And I’m in heaven. The man of my dreams was finally showing interest.

Just at that moment with the nervousness of where my relationship with Rich was going, we are interrupted. A song.

A song I’d heard a million times.

In the darkness, we are going to be the ones that set
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet

It was a recording but I knew the words so well. The fucking anthem. Not here. Not now. I’m desperate. I start shuffling around. I wasn’t ducking. I was panicked. It wasn’t me.

“One sec…” I announce.

Rich says something. I don’t hear it. I’ve pulled away fast. I quickly trip over myself trying to get to the door. Halfway through I feel an arm grabbing me. It’s Paulo.

“We need to talk,” he says, “I feel like ever since we broke up you’ve been treating me weird.”

“We agreed to just be friends Paulo. We aren’t compatible remember?”

“I don’t want you back.”

I had no time for this.

“Then what are we talking about. I was leaving…”

“I’m sick of this relationship that you have with Rich. Date someone else, not our straight mutual friend. You told me nothing was going on between you guys….”

He says something else. Not sure what because I push him off of me. I literally try to shove him off of me.

I had to get out of here!

I had to get out of here now!

“Through life and death, through war and peace
There is no resistance to which we cease”

I see the doorway! My friends are calling out my name.

“IO! Io!”

I look back. It’s weird. My name is pronounced literally the way it’s spelled. “I-O”. So to hear an entire section screaming it out and then random people thinking it’s funny to call it out as well causes a bit of a disturbance.  And suddenly the music stops.

I keep running. To where things are quieter away from the crowd. I’m close to the doorway. Shadows are everywhere. If I can just sneak off…

I turn back to see the faces of my friends. Apple Sky and Rich seem confused. Paulo seems bothered. My other friends have all joined in on the chorus of getting me back and I’m running so fast that I don’t realize I run into someone.

I run right into a guy so muscular it’s like hitting a brick wall.

All of a sudden it’s love at first sight.

This man is FINE!

This man had been moving alone in the shadows as well away from the big procession that was coming.

He has on all black on and it fits him like a glove. He’s captivating and alluring causing my eyes to settle on him almost immediately. He reaches down to grab my hand and pull me up but I literally feel it in my loins. He’s irresistible in a way especially when our hands touch. Who the hell was he?

“Hello,” I state.

I see him searching for something in his pocket, I am taken by him. His hair was a light brown which curled slightly around his ears and hung over his forehead with two strands falling into his eyes. The effect emphasized the green flecks in his hazel, almost almond-shaped eyes and brought the intensity of his gaze to my attention,

I nod, “You with the New Jerusalem procession. Giving out tickets?”

He shakes his head, “Not with them. No.”

Weird.

“Why you here then?” I ask.

“Why are you running?”

“I was leaving.”

“Sneaking away. Don’t wanna get caught by the Gays. Don’t blame you. They are the worst. A whole gang of them are out there. Followed them here.”

“Why?”

“They are looking for someone, I need to find him first.”

“Who?”

“Io literally pronounced I-O.”

“That’s me….”

He didn’t seem local. He didn’t seem like one of the Bohemian kids. None of us would dare show up at a place like this wearing black. It’s not my style for sure but it’s mysterious. He seemed so confused by me here instead of in a more common area. It was almost like he was staring straight through a photo of me. His skin lolled lightly tanned, but I could tell it was his natural color, suggesting a Middle-Eastern ancestry, despite his Asian looking eyes. His strong jawline and narrow mouth created a handsome profile.

“THAT’S HIM. THAT’S THE NEPHEW. DO IT! KILL HIM!”

“Assassin!’

I don’t know who screams it but I see the look on the boy’s face when he sees me. He seems stressed when he finally exposes what he was out here to do.

I try to turn and end up tripping over my own feet and falling to the ground. I look up to see him standing there! He’s approaching me! He’s slow….and shaky but he’s still approaching me.

He squints his eyes. They are full of focus.

A gun comes out. My mouth gets dry when I see the boy aim at me. He struggles to shoot me and then just at the last moment when he pulls the trigger I close my eyes.

BANG!

Just then there was a tussle. It’s the only reason I’m probably alive. I look over to see the handsome gunman being taken down by someone. I’m shocked when I see who that person is as the person restrains the gunman.

Security comes to arrest the gunman.

And I walk over and notice who it is, “Dom?”

“You shouldn’t be here without security. You know who you are,” my cousin states.

It’s that talk. It’s that talk that I’m scared of. But it’s too late. My friends are running over to see if I’m OK. By the time they get there, they wonder now why I’m having a conversation with this handsome guy who is standing at 6’4” and looks like he stepped out of some little girl’s princess story.

Rich grabs me pulling me towards him, “Io please tell me you’re OK…”

“If someone is trying to assassinate him is OK then I guess he is,” my cousin Dom says.

“Who is this?”

I don’t answer. I don’t say a word. How can I?

Two seconds later pass and it’s revealed. The procession comes out. It’s a big thing. A really big thing. Dozens of these strange people in rainbow-colored garb walk out. It’s clear they have an agenda. It’s clear they are here for a reason.

“Io,” the envoy states, “You’ve been invited to New Jerusalem. Your family is being notified of this incident but I’m going to need you to come with us now sir…”

Apple Sky seems confused, “Wait he got an invite?”

Rich is the only one who picks up on it.

“Of course he did,” Rich explains, “Man how couldn’t I have seen this before. I knew the last name wasn’t a coincidence…”

“What are you talking about?”

“Io isn’t any regular person. His family isn’t a regular family. Io’s last name is Castle.”

Everyone turns to me.

I feel awkward. But I had to live in my truth. This was the first assassin that tried to take my life but it wasn’t the first time I was afraid of one.

The truth is I was Io Castle, the nephew of Faison Castle, president of the first gay country of New Jerusalem.