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A Dark Time...

This is the backstory of how the Blackwood Pack began. It was born out of tragedy but I’m so proud that in the end, we survived and even began to move forward with our lives.

So my story starts in an ordinary way with no indication of what was to happen to us. It was the end of the school year and my brother Zane had driven down to help us pack up our stuff—a year’s worth of books, clothes, bedding, pictures and a multitude of trophies and souvenirs the six of us had collected.

We spent two days laughing and joking while packing, and loading up the van. We’d leave the next morning and so on our last night, we hit the local gay club where we spent the night drinking, dancing and getting—or giving as the case may be—blow jobs. It was during a break in the action when Carson or maybe it was Zane suggested we take a short detour and see Las Vegas.

You know how it is. Get seven guys together who are feeling no pain from a night of drinking and when one of them says “Vegas” everyone joins in claiming it’s the best idea they ever heard. So, of course, the rest of the evening was spent boasting or bragging to each other about what's a “must do” in Vegas. As the eldest, I should have stopped it or at least not encouraged the idea but it was the end of a very long and tough year, so a little fun sounded great.

The next morning found us on the road, eager to live the dream we created the night before. Young and free, with no need to get home in a hurry, we made a bee-line for Vegas. During the trip, we sang, remembered funny experiences and gave Zane enough information about what to expect at college—mainly in the-getting-great-sex department; he was blushing as we pulled onto the Strip.

Ahh, the Strip! Where an endless supply of fun awaited us. And I remember how eager we all were. Why, we never even checked into a hotel—there wasn’t any reason to as far as we could see. We planned on gambling, drinking, dancing and maybe getting fucked for two straight days. So why pay for a room when no one was planning on sleeping. Made sense to us. We parked our van in a guarded parking garage and hit the street.

First thing, gambling—something we all excelled at. Why, you might wonder? Well, the seven of us were close in age and we stuck together when we were growing up. Trouble—hell that was us. It didn’t matter what or who or how, but trouble found us no matter what. One of us always had what turned out to be a not-so-bright idea. In desperation our mom sent us on camping trips—far away or so she thought, from anything that might get us in trouble. So we spent time hiking through our pack lands.

Once we found a spot to set up camp, Dakota would cook our dinner which always took longer than for the food to disappear into our bellies. Then we’d sit around the campfire and inevitable the deck of cards would make an appearance. It’s safe to say, all of us knew our way around a game of Blackjack or Poker.

Free from the stress of studying for final exams, we hit the street, breaking into groups of twos and threes with everyone promising to meet at a spot in 48 hours. I made sure everyone had a phone and then, after giving my usual cautions, we split up. Logan and I hit the Blackjack tables at the first casino we found. I love the game and am quite good at it. I was blessed with a fantastic memory so I usually won my hand. Logan relied on my cues so together we cleaned up. We moved on to other casinos, sometimes playing Roulette or Craps or the slot machines, but usually ended at the Blackjack table. I told you it was my favorite!

During the day, Logan and I grabbed a bite to eat several times to keep up the energy for our mad, end-of-the-school-year blowout. Towards evening we found a gay club and decided to get a booth and watch the dancers to see if there was anyone we wanted to hit on.

Logan and I crossed paths several times with our other brothers that night as well as the next morning. We’d gotten lucky at the gay club we found and Logan and I each had a rousing round of sex before meeting up for breakfast. Sitting at a mom-and-pop diner, we planned our day. More gambling was certainly on the menu along with some sightseeing at all the different hotels and casinos. That was my concession to Logan who never could pass up checking out interior designers’ works.

After several hours of Logan viewing and taking photos in each hotel, we headed back to my favorite game. My goal was to win enough money to take my younger siblings to Disneyland. At home my four sisters and two brothers were waiting for me to go on the trip. This is the gift I gave them at the Long Night Moon Festival our family celebrated last

December. Part 1 of 3

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