The Lernier Family
© 2011 Russ Nielsen
All Rights Reserved




Chapter 51: Clay and Collin

Collin sat in his car, staring up at the light in Clay’s bedroom window and wondering if he was making a huge mistake coming here.  He had fantasized about being with Clay for months now; but, he wasn’t sure if this was the best thing for him – pursuing Clay.  His friend, Glenn, had warned him to be careful chasing a straight guy, like Clay.  He knew Glenn meant well; but he wanted Clay with an intensity he had never experienced before in his life.  None of his past crushes compared to what he felt for Clay.  However, Glenn’s words kept echoing in his head. 

“Collin, Clay will break your heart.  He’s straight and if he gets involved sexually with you, it will only be an experiment on his part.  You will end up getting hurt.”  

Glenn’s dire warning was chased out of his head by the memory of his conversation with Rick earlier in the day.

“Do you really think I might have a chance with Clay?” Collin asked, hope flickering in his eyes.

Rick smiled, and said, “I think you might, especially since Clay is the one who keeps seeking you out, and not the other way around.”

Collin grinned.  “Yeah, he’s spent almost as much time with me as he has with you and Glenn.”  He stopped and frowned as he remembered Glenn’s words of warning.  “Glenn thinks Clay will break my heart.  He thinks Clay is a straight guy who wants to experiment with a gay guy.  He doesn’t think Clay is good for me.”

Rick nodded his head.  “Glenn has expressed those same thoughts to me, as well; but if you don’t take chance, you’ll never know if Clay likes you in that way.”

Collin agreed, saying, “I like Clay a lot and I’m willing to take a chance with him.”

Rick said, “I’d go for it.  What’s the worst thing that can happen?”  He raised an eyebrow and waited for Collin to answer.

“He can reject me and tell me to get lost,” Collin responded, worrying Clay would do just that.

“It wouldn’t be the end of the world, would it?” Rick asked, trying not to smile at the worried expression on his friend’s face.

“No, so I guess I’ll see if Clay’s interest in me extends beyond mere friendship,” Collin said.

“Now, that’s more like it!” Rick said, giving Collin a reassuring pat on the back.  “What Glenn forgets sometimes is the fact I was supposedly straight when he met me.”

Collin laughed and said, “Yeah, I’ve heard about your sexual exploits as a single guy.”

Rick grinned.  “I was quite a ladies’ man, back then.  I made sure I bedded a different woman each weekend.  My motto was ‘fuck’em and leave’em.’  I wasn’t interested in getting into a relationship, because I only wanted the sex.  After what happened with my ex-girlfriend, I was a little gun-shy about getting into a long-term relationship with anyone.”

“So, what made the difference with Glenn?” Collin asked, curiosity flashing in his eyes.  “Why would you want to have sex with a guy after having been with so many women?  Not only that, why did you settle down with Glenn, instead of doing your usual ‘fuck’em and leave’em’ routine?”

Rick thought a few moments, before responding.  “First, when I met Glenn for the first time, I loved how his seeing me naked affected him.  It turned me on to think I had the same impact on him as I did on the chick I had in my bed that morning.  I decided that morning to seduce Glenn, knowing I could add him to my long list of conquests.  At least, that’s how it started.”  He paused before continuing.  “As for why I didn’t treat Glenn like every other bitch I had taken to bed, it was his vulnerability, I think.  He had just been dumped by his boyfriend, which left him completely devastated.  I wanted to comfort him and protect him when I saw how broken up he was.  I wanted to fix things for him.  You could say I wanted to be his knight in shining armor.  So, instead of seducing him, I ended up pulling him into my arms and comforting him.  He cried on my shoulder and shared his pain with me.  It reminded me of how I felt when Angie dumped me.  It hurt like hell to know she hated me so much, when she sent her brothers to beat me up.  In the end, I couldn’t treat him like another conquest.”

Collin smiled, and said, “Well, Glenn does call you his Prince Charming.”

Rick acknowledged the truth of that statement.  “Yes, he does and we’ve been living our ‘happy ever after’ for many years now.”

With a wistful look on his face, Collin said, “I want what you two have, Rick.  I’ve watched your family very closely for some time, now.  There is a lot of love in this home, and I want the same kind of love for myself.”

Rick nodded his head.  “Everyone deserves to be happy, Collin.  I just hope things work out between you and Clay.  If not, then it will be some other lucky guy.”

Collin said, “Thanks for talking with me, Rick.”

Returning to the present, Collin’s eyes refocused on Clay’s window.  He could see his light was still on, so he wasn’t asleep yet.  Gathering his courage, he climbed out of his car, crossed the street and entered the apartment building.  A few moments later, he arrived in front of Clay’s apartment and knocked on the door.  He waited impatiently for Clay to answer, rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet, while trying to tamp down the flight response pushing at him.  He knocked a second time, wondering if Clay had fallen asleep with his light on.  He was about to give up and leave, when the door opened.

Clay was sprawled out on his bed in nothing but his boxers.  He felt like his world was coming to an end, because Janelle didn’t want him, anymore.  There was nothing like being kicked while you’re down.  He had been making a lot of progress toward getting his life back to normal, when Janelle had served him with divorce papers.  He shook his head and tried to clear his mind of the thoughts of his many failures. 

He reached for his cell phone and found he had a text message from Collin with the selfie attached.  He loved the sight of Collin’s boyish smile and the way his dark brown eyes peered at the camera with his wind-blown blond hair.  Most of all he loved the fact he was shirtless, showing off his well-muscled body.  He smiled and thought of what it would be like to have sex with the hot stud smiling at him from the screen of his phone.  He reached down, taking his rock-hard cock in his hand.  As he stroked himself, he imagined how it would feel to fuck Collin.  After a few moments, he released his cock, suddenly shocked at how aroused he was, thinking about having sex with a guy.  He still hadn’t quite gotten his head around the fact he was lusting after a guy; but, then again, he had been spending time with Collin as often as he could! 

After seeing how happy Rick and Glenn were, he had to admit it didn’t matter who you loved, as long as you were happy.  That thought had led him to consider dating a guy, especially after his wife had made it clear she wasn’t coming back to him.  Of course, Collin had come to mind, and not just because Collin had been flirting with him almost from the moment they met.  Clay liked Collin - a lot.  He was handsome, witty, and fun to be around.  Then, Clay had an epiphany - Collin would make the perfect companion and husband.  The thought rocked his world!

How could he think of having sex with Collin, when he was still married to Janelle and still loved her?  Things between them had been improving; until Janelle had filed for a divorce.  Deep down, he was still reeling from the shock.  He had thought they would be able to work things out, enabling them to put their family back together.  Now, it seemed they would never be a family again, since Janelle had made it clear she wasn’t coming back to him.  She said she wanted to remain friends, for the children’s sake.  However, she also made sure he knew she was dating another guy.  That had hurt – a lot!  After he had time to think about what she had said, he had become extremely angry, not to mention deeply hurt.  He hated the fact they had to wait a year for the divorce to be final.  If she didn’t want him, he wanted their marriage to be terminated sooner rather than later!

He had turned to Collin for solace when he was served the divorce papers.  Collin had hugged him and reassured him things would work out for the best.  Now, laying on his bed, alone, his thoughts returned to Collin and what it would be like to get the handsome guy into his bed!   His hand returned to his throbbing cock, wishing Collin was in bed with him.   He was nearing his climax when he heard someone knocking on his door.  Looking over at the alarm clock on his nightstand, he wondered who would be knocking on his door at this hour.

He pulled on his jeans, adjusting his still hard cock, and went to answer the door.   First, he peered out of the peephole and was surprised to see Collin standing there, as if he had appeared on his doorstep by magic.  Seeing the object of his sexual fantasies standing on his doorstep caused his cock to come back to full attention, pressing hard against his jeans as he unbolted the door and opened it.

He met Collin’s gaze, and asked, “Is something wrong?”

Collin grinned and said, “No, nothing’s wrong.  I thought I would stop by and see you, that’s all.  I know things have been pretty rough for you since Janelle told you she wanted a divorce.”

Clay nodded his head and said, “Yeah, I’m pretty miserable.  Please come in.”  He moved out of the doorway, giving Collin enough space to enter the apartment.  Clay closed and locked the door, then followed Collin into the front room.

Collin said, “I hope you don’t mind me coming by so late.”

Clay said, “It’s okay.  I was just unwinding a bit, before going to bed.  I’m glad you stopped in.  It’s lonely around here after the kids go to bed.

Collin sat down on the couch and indicated Clay should join him.  “Come sit by me.”

Clay hesitated for a moment, before deciding he wanted to explore his feelings for this man.  He knew he probably shouldn’t, since he was still married; but he was lonely and Collin obviously wanted him.  He could see the lust in Collin’s eyes as his heated gaze travelled over his body from his bare feet, to the obvious erection tenting the fabric of his jeans, to his bare chest, then to his face, and finally meeting Clay’s eyes.  Clay blushed as he sat down next to Collin.  He felt like he was still in high school, going out on his first date.  He turned toward Collin and smiled.

Collin grinned at him and asked, “You know I’m interested in you, right?”

Clay nodded his head, swallowing hard and trying to contain his nervousness.  “Yes, I know you like me; but I’m still a married man, at least for the next few months until the divorce is final, not to mention I’m straight.”

Collin said, “I know I’m probably going to regret this, but I have to disagree about the straight part.  I know you’re married, but I also know your wife filed for divorce; so, I’m willing to take a chance you’re not as straight as you claim to be.  Glenn has already warned me not to chase you.  He doesn’t want either of us to get hurt.”

Clay’s eyes widened in surprise.  “Glenn warned you to stay away from me?”

“Yes,” Collin said.  “He’s afraid you’ll get with me only because your wife isn’t available to satisfy your sexual desires.  He thinks you’ll drop me as soon as your wife decides she’s ready to get back together, leaving me with a broken heart.”

Clay nodded his head in understanding.  “He’s just trying to protect you, Collin.  I’m pretty messed up, right now.  I’m still in love with Janelle, but she’s made it clear she doesn’t want me, anymore.  Added to that, I’m so lonely.  You don’t know how much it means to me that you find me attractive.  I know I shouldn’t get involved with anyone right now; but I like being in your company and you’re so good looking.  I should tell you to run as far away as you can from me; but…”  He paused and cleared his throat, screwing up his courage.  “I find you extremely attractive and I want to see where things go between us.”

Collin looked into his eyes and said, “I want that, too.  I’m aware of the risk I’m taking with you and I’m okay with it.  Besides, Rick thinks we make a good couple.”

Clay looked at Collin in amazement.  “Rick thinks…”  He stopped, unable to continue.

Collin nodded his head and said, “Rick encouraged me to find out if there is more to this than mere friendship.  I want to be more than friends, Clay; and I’m willing to take a chance on you, to allow us to explore our feelings for each other.”

With their eyes locked on each other, Collin leaned toward Clay, who met him half way.  Their lips touched in a tentative kiss.  Clay pulled back, meeting Collin’s gaze.  “Let’s try that again.”

Collin grinned, and lifted his hand and placed it on Clay’s neck, pulling him to him.  He kissed Clay’s lips, pushing his tongue into his mouth, eliciting a soft moan from Clay, as he deepened the kiss.

After making out on the couch for a while, Clay pulled back, gasping for air.  “Let’s take this to the bedroom.  I don’t want the kids walking in on us.”

Collin nodded his head in agreement.  “I agree it would be more comfortable to continue this in your bed; but, I don’t think your kids would care if you had sex with me.”

Clay took his hand and pulled him to his feet.  “No, Markley definitely would be happy for me, and I’m sure Michaela would be, too.”

They made their way down the hallway and into Clay’s bedroom.  Clay closed the door and locked it.  He shed his clothes, then turned to help Collin out of his.

The next morning, Clay awoke with an unfamiliar weight on his chest.  He looked down to see Collin’s blond hair and the memory of their hot, fiery coupling flooded back into his mind, causing his cock and balls to ache with desire for the gorgeous man in his bed.  There was a light tap on the door, and he remembered he had locked his door last night.  He called out, “Just a minute.”

He gently untangled himself from Collin and reached down to retrieve his boxer shorts, pulling them on as he made his way to the door.  He unlocked it and met his son’s clear blue eyes.

He tried to block Mark’s view into the room, where Collin still slept with the sheet covering his bottom half, leaving his chest bare to Mark’s view.  But he knew he had failed as Mark’s eyes grew wide.  Then, he grinned and said, “Congratulations, Dad!”

Clay blushed and said, “Thanks, son.”

Mark said, “I’ll leave you to get dressed.”  He leaned into his dad and whispered, “I like Collin a lot.  I’m glad you finally got together.  I was beginning to think you’d never get around to asking him to be your boyfriend.”

Clay smiled and clapped his son on the shoulder.  “I’m glad you like him, because I think he’ll be spending a lot of time with us.”

Mark nodded his approval.  “Great!  I’ll tell Michaela.”

Clay said, “Please don’t, Markley.  I want to be the one to tell your sister about Collin and me.”

“Sure, Dad,” he replied, turning to walk back to his room.  As soon as he closed his bedroom door, he dived for his phone, texting furiously.  He couldn’t wait to tell David about Collin spending the night with his dad!

Clay closed the door, locking it.  He padded across the room to the en suite to relieve himself.  He washed his hands and returned to his bed, climbing in beside Collin.  Collin snuggled close to him and murmured, sleepily, “Love you, Babe.”

Clay went completely still, not sure he had heard correctly.  How could Collin already love him?  Was it possible Collin had fallen in love with him?  He knew he liked Collin more than a little bit; but though they talked often, they hadn’t dated or even spent time alone together, until last night.  Collin’s warmth lulled him back to sleep, forcing him to abandon the many questions he had swirling around in his head.

Clay had the most amazing dream!  In his dream, he was close to orgasm with Collin’s wet, hot mouth on his cock.  As he arched his back, shoving his cock further down Collin’s, he realized it was no dream!  He opened his eyes to see Collin’s blond head, bobbing up and down on his steel pole!  The sight sent him over the edge!

Collin released Clay’s softening cock and looked into his eyes with a smug grin.  “How did you like that?”

Clay grinned back, and asked, “Was that a rhetorical question?”

Collin laughed, and said, “Yes, because I already know the answer, as do you!”

Clay reached down and pulled Collin up for a passionate kiss, leaving them both breathless.  Clay said, “I’m falling hard for you, Collin.”

Collin reached up to stroke his cheek with the tips of his fingers, as he peered intently into Clay’s eyes.  “Good, because I’ve already fallen for you.”

Clay nodded his head.  “I heard you say you loved me last night.”

Collin’s love shone in his eyes as he said, “I wondered if you heard me.

“I did, and I’m very happy,” Clay said.  “But you know I’m still in love with Janelle.”

Collin swallowed hard, but managed to say, “But she doesn’t want you, and I do.”

“I know, but it doesn’t change the fact I still love her, and she is the mother of my children,” Clay said.  He put a finger to Collin’s lips, preventing him from speaking.  “Please let me finish.”  When Collin nodded, Clay continued, “I’ll never stop loving the woman I married; but, Janelle is no longer the same woman.  She’s changed and she’s made it clear I’m not part of her future.  As much as that hurts, I understand her desire to start a new life without me.  At first, I was hurt and angry at her for rejecting me; however, I’ve had some time to think about it and I’ve decided I want a fresh start, as well.  I want to start over with you at my side, Collin, if you’ll have me.  I know you deserve someone better, because I’m so broken and have very little to offer you.”

Collin leaned in to lightly kiss his lips.  “Clay, I’m aware of your imperfections and I still want to be with you.  I’m willing to work with you to provide a home for our family.”

Clay’s smile lit up his face like the sun breaking through the clouds, as he pulled Collin into his arms and kissed him thoroughly.  When he pulled back, he grinned at the dazed look in Collin’s eyes.  He loved that look and kissed him again.

A few days later, Kyle sat next to Ashley, watching her finish her dragon.  Dragons were her specialty.  She had taken an interest in dragons when their Dads had read “The Hobbit” to them, followed by “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  He smiled as he remembered the many nights they sat up with their Dads, listening to them narrate the story with different voices for each character.  The characters had come to life, so vividly, they sat mesmerized as the story unfolded.  Since that time, Ashley read every fantasy novel featuring dragons she could find!

Kyle asked, “Which dragon is this one?”

She glanced up from her work and replied, “It’s a black dragon.”

Kyle snorted, “I got that part from the drawing.  I wanted to know if it was from a particular story.”

She shook her head.  “No, it’s just a dragon I dreamed up.”

“Oh,” he said, disappointed.  “I was hoping it was from one of those fantasy books you like to read.”

Again, she shook her head.  “I just decided to draw a black dragon for Michaela’s birthday.”  She put the finishing touches on her drawing, then she added the words ‘Happy Birthday,’ to it.   She picked up the paper, showing it to her brother, and asked, “What do you think?”

He smiled and said, “It looks great!  Michaela will love it!”

“Thanks,” she said, putting the drawing inside her sketch pad.  She looked over at Kyle and asked, “What’s up?”

Kyle cleared his throat.  “I needed to ask you something.”

She raised her eyebrows and said, “Okay.”

He met her gaze and said, “One of Catherine’s friends asked me to go to a youth dance with her at their church.”

Ashley gave him a puzzled look.  “So, what’s the problem?”

“I don’t think our Dads would approve.  Their church is extremely anti-gay.  I don’t’ think I should go, but I don’t want to hurt Rebecca’s feelings.”

“Have you talked to our Dads about it?” she asked.

He shook his head.  “Like I said, I don’t think they would approve.”

“Well, you should probably tell her you can’t go,” she said.

He shook his head, “But I want to go out with her.  She’s really cute and funny.  I think you would like her.”

“Does she know we have two dads?” she asked, pointedly.

“I don’t know.  I think Catherine may have told her,” Kyle said.

“Since you don’t know, you should talk to her about our dads so you know how she’ll react.  Then, you can decide whether or not to go with her to the dance,” she said.

Kyle hugged her and said, “I knew you would be able to help me out!”

She laughed and said, “That’s because I’m a girl and girls always know best.”

Kyle kissed her on the forehead and said, “Okay, little sister, I’ll let you get away with that one, this time.”  He stood and made his way to her bedroom door.  With one hand on the doorknob, he turned and said, “I love you, Ashley.”

She grinned and replied, “I love you, too, big brother.”

He left her room, returning to his own.  He pulled out his phone to call Rebecca.  When she answered, he said, “Hello, Rebecca.”

“Hey, Kyle!  What’s up?”

“I wanted to talk to you about my Dads,” Kyle said.

“What about them?” she asked.  “I know they’re gay, if that’s what you wanted to tell me.”

Kyle asked, “So, you don’t have a problem going out with me, because my Dads are gay?”

She laughed.  “No, Kyle, I don’t care about that.  My parents are the ones who have a hang up about gays, not me.  I think you should be able to marry whomever you fall in love with.”

Kyle gave a sigh of relief.  “Great!  I was worried you were like Catharine.”

Rebecca said, “We go to the same church, but it doesn’t mean we’re the same.  Catharine and her parents are religious fanatics.  I’m not like them.”

“I’m glad, Rebecca,” he said.

“Have you talked to your Dads about going to the dance tomorrow night?” she asked.

“Not yet, but I’ll ask them now I know you’re not like Catharine,” he replied.

“Great!  Call me back, when you find out if you can go.  If you can’t go tomorrow, would you like to come to my hula recital?” she said.

“I didn’t know you knew how to dance like that,” Kyle said.

“I’ve been learning how to perform hula dances since I was five years old.  My Mom is from Kauai.  She doesn’t want me to forget my heritage,” she said.

“That’s really cool!” Kyle said.  “I’d like to come.  Is it okay for me to invite the rest of my family?  I know my sister, Ashley, would love to come, too.”

“Sure, everyone is welcome,” she said.  “Call me back after you talk to your Dads.”

“Okay.  I’ll call you right back,” he agreed and ended the call.

Kyle jumped up from his bed and ran down the hall, sliding the last few feet to the door of his Dads’ bedroom.  As he tapped on their door, his phone buzzed, letting him know he had a text message.  He pulled it out of his pocket and tapped the screen.  The text message opened up with the words, “Here’s the poster I made announcing my hula recital,” followed by a picture of said poster.

Kyle tapped out a text, “Thanks for the invite,” and hit send.  He looked up as his Dad opened the door.  Rick looked at Kyle and asked, “What’s up, son?”

“I needed to ask you and Daddy about going to a youth dance with Rebecca tomorrow night,” Kyle answered.

Rick said, “Come in and sit down, Kyle.”

I looked up as Kyle sat down across from me, as Rick closed the door and returned to his place next to me on the loveseat.  He put his arm around my shoulders and asked, “So, where is this dance and who is Rebecca?”

Kyle looked nervous as he glanced at me, then at Rick, before he answered.  “It’s a youth dance at Catharine’s church.”  Seeing my frown, he quickly continued, “I’ve already talked to Rebecca about you and Dad.”

I raised my eyebrows and said, “And…?”

“She’s okay with you guys being gay.  She already knew I have two Dads and is okay with it,” he said.

“What about her parents?” I asked.

Kyle cringed, but said, “Rebecca said they aren’t accepting of gays.”

“So, why do you want to go out with her?” I asked.

“I think it would be fun,” Kyle answered.  “She’s cute, and I like her.”

Rick asked, “What if things get serious between you two?”

Kyle rolled his eyes and replied, “They won’t get serious between us, Dad.  I’ve already been down that road with Catharine.  The dance tomorrow is a group date.  We’ll be going with a group of kids from school.”

Hearing that additional piece of information, I relaxed a little.  “Okay, you can go, as long as it’s a group date.”

Kyle grinned, practically bouncing in his seat.  “Rebecca also invited us to go to her hula recital next week.  She invited the entire family.”

Rick turned to me and said, “That sounds interesting.  I’d like to go to that.”

I nodded my head.  “I’m sure Ashley will like to go as well.  Okay, tell Rebecca we accept her invitation to the recital.”

Kyle jumped up and crossed the distance between us in a flash, giving me a hug.  “Thanks, Daddy.”

Rick said, “Hey!  What about me?  Don’t I get a hug, too?”

Kyle laughed and turned to hug his Dad.  “I love you, Dad.”

I laughed as Kyle practically sprinted from our room, his phone in hand.  We heard him talking in excited tones to Rebecca.  I turned to Rick and asked, “I wonder if we sounded like that when we were his age?”

Rick grinned and answered, “I’m sure you did.  I, on the other hand, never sounded like that.”

I jabbed him in the ribs and said, “I’m going to ask your mom about that, next time I see her.”

Rick wrapped his arms around me, lifting me onto his lap.  “You go right ahead and do that.”

His lips covered mine as I started to reply, effectively cutting off any further conversation.  By the time we surfaced for air, the only thoughts left in my head were directly related to getting my lover’s clothes off!

My phone rang and I pulled it out of pocket.  I looked at the screen and saw it was Clay.  “Hey! What’s up?”

Clay said, “It’s Michaela’s birthday today.”

“I know,” I said.  “Ashley reminded us this morning we’re going out to eat with you to help celebrate.”

“I was calling to confirm you were coming and to ask if we could go to your house for cake and ice cream after dinner?”

“Sure, Clay,” I responded.

“Thanks, Glenn.  Our apartment is a little small to hold everyone.  I thought it would be more comfortable at your house,” he said.

Laughing, I said, “Not to mention Collin is working tonight and doesn’t get off in time to join us.  You know you can ask Jeff to cover for him.”

Clay said, “I know, but I hate to shake things up at your place.”

“Clay Henderson, you need to stop worrying about everybody else and think of what makes you happy.  If that means asking Jeff to cover for Collin’s shift so he can be with you tonight, then do it!  It’s no big secret you’re dating the guy.”

Clay asked, “You’re not angry are you?  I know you warned Collin to stay away from me.”

“I’m not angry with you, Clay, and I’m not angry with Collin.  I just worry you’ll hurt him, Clay.  Collin is a great guy and he’s fallen hard for you,” I said, pausing for a moment, trying to decide whether or not say anything more.  Making up my mind, I continued, “Clay, I can see you both have eyes only for each other, and I believe you’re sincere in your desire to be with Collin.”

Clay said, “But…”

“But are you sure you’re ready to admit your gay?” I asked.  “Can you be out and proud with Collin?  If you can’t, I’m worried about the long-term viability of your relationship with him.  I should know, I had the same issues with Rick because he was in the Marine Corps and we had to hide the fact we were a couple.”

Clay said, “But you managed to work things out, Glenn.”

“Yes, we did,” I acknowledged.  “I just wanted to make sure you thought things through before anyone gets hurt.”

Clay’s first reaction was to get angry with Glenn for interfering; but then, his heart warmed as he realized Glenn was just as concerned about him as he was about Collin.  “Thank you for worrying about us.  You’re a good friend, Glenn.  I’ve been upfront with Collin about my state of mind.  I even told him he should run as far away from me as possible, because I’m so messed up, emotionally.”

I said, “I’m glad to hear you put your cards on the table.  Did Collin do the same?”

“Yes, he did.  Both of us have been honest with each other.  We have gone into this relationship with our eyes wide open, Glenn.  Both of us want to see where we end up, even if it means we go our separate ways,” he explained.

I nodded my head, even though he couldn’t see me.  “Thanks for hearing me out, Clay.  I know you don’t have to listen to me; but, I’m glad to know you’re both doing the best to make things work, knowing there are many obstacles in your way.”

“I’ll call Jeff to see if he’ll let Collin join us for dinner,” Clay said.

“Good.  We’ll see you tonight,” I said, ending the call.

His phone beeped, indicating he’d received a text message.  He tapped the screen, causing the text message to appear.  He read, “Daddy, may I bring Rebecca to dinner with us.  I know it’s Michaela’s birthday dinner and I’ve already texted her.  She’s okay with it, but I wanted to make sure you and Dad were good with as well.”

I messaged Kyle back, “Sure, do you need the car?”

A smiley face showed up on the screen with the words, “Yes, please!”

I answered, “Okay, see you at home.”

“K,” was the reply.

I turned to Rick and smiled, “Kyle has asked to bring Rebecca to dinner with us, tonight.”

Rick returned my smile, and asked, “So, did you answer him?”

“Yes, I did,” I replied.  “I told him he could bring her, and offered to let him take the car.”

Rick laughed.  “I think you’re spoiling the boy.”

I met his gaze and grinned.  “Why shouldn’t I?”

“I was just stating facts,” Rick said, raising his hands in the air.  “I’m not objecting to what you’re doing.”

“Good,” I said, leaned against him.  “You also heard my conversation with Clay.”

“Yes, I did, Babe,” Rick answered.  “I think you should cut them some slack.  They’re both adults and don’t need you to be their Mother Hen.”

I jabbed him gently in the ribs.  “I’m not mothering them!  I’m trying to help them avoid getting hurt.”

“I know you mean well, Babe; but, let them work things out on their own.”

I gave a deep sigh.  “Okay.”

Rick kissed the top of my head, and said, “Thank you for letting it go.”

Later that evening, we arrived back at the house after a wonderful meal at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant.  When Clay asked Michaela where she wanted to go for her birthday dinner, she wanted to eat at the Mount Vernon Inn.  Surprisingly, Clay asked Janelle to bring her boyfriend, since he wanted Collin to be there.  Everyone arrived at the appointed hour and the hostess showed us to our tables.

We sat across from Janelle and her boyfriend, with Clay and Collin next to me on my right.  Janelle smiled at Clay and said, “Clay, this is Avery Luger.  Avery, this is my soon to be ex-husband.”

Seeing her smug expression, I wanted to reach across the table and slap her.  Luckily, Rick held my hand in his, preventing me from causing a scene.

Then, Clay said, “Glad to meet you, Avery.  I’m glad Janelle has found herself a new man.”

Avery smiled and said, “Nice to meet you, too.”

Neither of the two men extended a hand to the other.  It was obvious there wasn’t any love lost between them.  Clay’s next word’s wiped the smug smile from Janelle’s face.  “Janelle, I want you to meet my boyfriend, Collin.”

Clay put his arm around Collin’s shoulders and leaned over to kiss him on the lips.  Janelle’s look of shocked incredulity was priceless!  Collin blushed, then said, “Nice to meet you both.”

Avery’s look of pure disgust spoke volumes; however, he quickly recovered, bringing a neutral look to his face.  “Collin,” he said, barely acknowledging the introduction.

I said, “I’m Glenn and this is my husband, Rick.”

Avery met my gaze, trying to hide his distaste.  Before he could say anything, Rick said, “Obviously, you’re uncomfortable, Avery.  I hope you can resist saying anything you may regret later.  This is a birthday party, after all, and we should be celebrating, NOT making judgments about people we’ve just met.”

Avery’s mouth hung open in surprise.  Before he could respond, I said, “The same goes for you, Janelle.  We’re very happy you’re here to celebrate Michaela’s birthday and we’re glad you brought Avery.  I was hoping you would find a nice guy who would make you happy.”

Janelle gave me an ashamed look, and said, “Thank you for reminding me why we came.”  She placed her hand on Avery’s arm, looking into his eyes.  “Yes, I’m very fortunate to find Avery.  He’s a wonderful man.”

Avery leaned over to kiss her and smiled into her eyes, “I love you, Babe.”

It was obvious from Janelle’s reaction that she felt the same way toward Avery.  I glanced over at Clay, who met my gaze and mouthed, “It’s okay.”

At that moment, we were distracted by the loud laughter coming from the table next to us.  I looked over to see Kyle imitating one of his teachers, which had the entire group of young people laughing and guffawing.  My attention was diverted away from them by a tug on my sleeve.

“Daddy, I need to go pee,” JJ said. 

“Okay, little buddy, let’s go,” I said.  I stood up, taking him by the hand.  I leaned over and asked, “Josh, do you need to go, as well.”

Josh said, “No, Daddy.”

“Okay,” I said.

As I left the table with JJ in tow, I overheard The General say, “If you’re really good, I’ll give you my dessert.”

Mrs. Campbell warned, “General, you’re spoiling that child.”

The General gave his wife an innocent look, and said, “He’s not spoiled, just special.  He just got the cast off his arm, today; so he’s extra special.”

Mrs. Campbell laughed.  “Yes, all of our grandchildren are special, dear.”  Turning her attention to Josh, she said, “Just make sure you eat your dinner first, darling.”

Josh nodded his head.  “Yes, Grandma.”

After dinner, we caravanned to our house for cake and ice cream.  We gathered around the table to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Michaela.  Michaela made a wish and blew out the candles on the cake with one breath.

JJ and Josh erupted in cheers.  “Yeah, you got your wish!” JJ exclaimed, bouncing up and down in his chair.

Michaela smiled at the twins and said, “Yes, I did.”

Clay asked, “What was your wish?”

Michaela grinned up at her father.  “I’m not telling.”

He laughed and said, “Okay, be that way.”

I asked, “Michaela, do you want to cut the cake or do you want me to do it??

She looked at me and said, “I’ll do it.”

I passed her the cake knife and pushed the plates across the table to her.  Rick said, “I’ll dish up the ice cream, while you cut the cake.”

She cut the cake into nice even squares and started placing them on the plates.  Rick served the ice cream, giving each one their favorite flavor – vanilla, chocolate or strawberry.

Kyle and Rebecca sat next to Ashley at the table.  I looked over at Rebecca and said, “I’m looking forward to your hula recital next week.  We love Hawaii.”

Rebecca smiled and said, “I’m happy to know you’ll be there, Mr. Lernier.”

I laughed and said, “Please call me Glenn.”

Rick said, “And I’m Rick.  I’m not old enough to be Mr. Lernier!”

“Okay,” she said.

“How long have you danced the hula?” Janelle asked.

“I’ve been dancing since I was five years old,” Rebecca said.  “It’s an important part of my heritage.  I’m native Hawaiian and many of the dances tell the stories of my people.”

“Rebecca doesn’t sound Hawaiian,” Avery said.

“Rebecca is my English name.  My real name is Lepeka Wainani Moana Pukui,” she said.

Avery smiled and said, “That’s quite a mouthful.”

Rebecca nodded.  “That’s why I go by Rebecca instead.”

I said, “One of my college friends went by Jimmy instead of his Hawaiian name, Kimo.”

Rebecca smiled.  “My little brother’s name is Kimo, but he goes by James, not Jimmy.  He says Jimmy is a sissy name.”

Mrs. Campbell asked, “How old is he?”

“He’s eight years old,” she replied.

Mrs. Campbell nodded.  “It’s important to a young man his age to have a grown up name.”

Rebecca laughed.  “Yes, he claims he’s all grown up now.”

Kyle said, “James wants to go with me to the gym.  He says he wants muscles like mine.”  We laughed as Kyle struck his muscleman pose.

“Kyle is James’ hero,” Rebecca said.

Smirking, Purev said, “I’m glad he’s someone’s hero.”

Kyle looked at his brother and said, in protest, “Hey!”

Purev laughed.  “It’s okay, big bro., not everyone can be an 8-year old’s hero.”

Kyle leaped up from his chair, reaching for Purev.  Purev avoided his grasp and fled the kitchen with Kyle on his heels, followed by the rest of the teens.

The adults helped the little ones finish their cake and ice cream, sending them into the family room to play with their trains.  Once they were settled, I turned to watch the teens play their video games for a moment, before returning to the kitchen to rejoin the rest of adults.  The General was recounting some of his experiences in the Marine Corps.  He had all of us laughing in no time.  We spent the rest of the evening chatting and enjoying the company.  After an hour or so, Janelle and Avery left, followed by Mrs. Campbell and the General.

Kyle walked into the kitchen, holding hands with Rebecca.  “Dad, may I drive Rebecca home?”

Rick smiled and said, “Sure, you know where the keys are.”  A few weeks ago, Rick mounted a key rack on the wall next to the front door.  He decided it would solve the problem of lost keys.  I smiled, remembering his explanation.

“If you remember to put the keys on the key rack when you come in the door, you won’t lose your keys, anymore,” Rick said, grinning at me.

Kyle asked, giving me his signature smirk, “What about Daddy’s cell phone and his wallet?”

I reached over to lightly smack the back of his head.  “Don’t get smart, boy!”

Rick laughed.  “He does have a point.  How long has it been since you lost your cell phone?”

I blushed with embarrassment.  “Two days ago, but I haven’t lost my wallet in over a year.”

Kyle laughed.  “You’re so absent-minded sometimes, Daddy.  We need to get you one of those devices that beeps when you clap so you can find your wallet and cell phone.”

Rick’s expression turned serious.  “Maybe we should.”

I shook my head, and protested, “I don’t need one those devices.  I can keep track of my wallet and cell phone just fine without one.”

Kyle grinned and asked, “How many cell phones have you lost, Daddy?”

Before I could answer, Rick said, “12 of them since we’ve been married – 7 of them have gone through the wash and the other four were left at hotels, restaurants or friends’ homes.”

“At least, my wallet hasn’t gone through the wash,” I said, defensively.

Rick pulled me into his arms.  “True, but how many times have peopled called to tell you they have your wallet?”

I looked up into his eyes and said, “Three times, but you love me, anyway.”

Rick cupped my cheek and said, “Yes, I do.”  He leaned down to kiss my lips.”

Kyle’s voice pulled me back to the present.  “Dad put up the key rack so Daddy won’t lose his keys, anymore.”

Rebecca looked at me and smiled.  “My Dad did the same thing at my house, because my mother is always losing her keys and her purse.  He put up hooks for our coats, hats, keys and purses in our foyer.”

Rick put his arm around my shoulders and said, “See, I’m not the only one to put up a key rack, or a coat rack.”

“We don’t have a coat rack,” I said.’

“That’s because we have a coat closet, Babe,” Rick said.

Kyle grinned, grabbed Rebecca’s hand, and said, “Let’s go.”  The two teens left the kitchen. 

We heard Rebecca say, “I like your dads.  They’re really cool.”

After they left, Clay said, “Thank you for letting us crash at your house.”

“You’re welcome,” I said.

Collin smiled, and took Clay’s hand.  “I guess we’re officially boyfriends, now.”

Clay blushed and met his boyfriend’s gaze.  “I hope you’re not mad at me.  I just couldn’t stand the look on Janelle’s face when she introduced Avery.  So, I had to put her in her place.”

Rick and I laughed.  “It’s more like you dropped an atomic bomb!” Rick said.

Collin agreed.  “Both of them were pretty shell shocked.”

“But Avery’s disgust was pretty evident,” I said.

“Yeah, it was,” Rick said.  “But he seemed to get over it by the time they left here tonight.”

“Yes, he appeared to relax and unbend after the General started telling stories,” Clay said.

“The General is one smart cookie,” Rick said.  “I’m sure he intentionally took charge, to make sure the rest of the evening went smoothly for Michaela.”

“You’re right, Babe,” I agreed.  “I love the Campbells.  They have always been there for us.”

Clay nodded his head.  “And they’ve been there for my family, as well.  He sighed, and looked at the clock.  “I guess it’s time for us to head home.”  He stood up from the table and turned to pull Collin to his feet.  The two of them walked into the family room.

Mark and Michaela saw them and stood up, knowing it was time to go.  Michaela hugged Ashley, and said, “Thank you for everything.”  She released her friend and walked over to her dad.  “Thanks, Dad, for making my birthday a special one.”

Clay hugged her and kissed the top of her head.  “You’re welcome, Michaela.”  He released her and reached for Collin’s hand.  They walked hand in hand down the hallway to the front door, followed by Mark and Michaela.

We saw them off and returned to the house.  After getting the twins into bed and saying ‘good night’ to the teens, Rick led me to our room and closed the door behind us.  He pulled me into his arms and said, “I think it’s time for bed.”

I looked up into his eyes, and said, “I hope you didn’t intend to go to sleep, because I have other things in mind.”

Rick laughed.  “Exactly what did you have in mind?”  It didn’t take me long to show him!

I lay safe and warm in Rick’s embrace, drifting off to sleep, when a loud thump jerked me out of my slumberous state.  I asked, “What was that?”

Rick answered, “I don’t know, but it sounded like it came from the boys’ bathroom.”

I untangled my limbs from his and rolled to my feet, grabbing my robe as I headed for the door.  I followed the light coming from the bathroom’s open door.  I looked inside to find Josh sitting on the floor with the towel rack in his hands.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes.  “I’m sorry, Daddy.  I didn’t mean to break it.”

I sat down next to him, pulling him onto my lap.  I smoothed his hair, as I said, “It’s okay, son.  It’s not broken.  We’ll put it back up on the wall, tomorrow.”

Josh dropped the towel rack on the floor and turned to hug me.  “You’re not mad?”

“No, I’m not mad,” I said, kissing the top of his head.  “Do you want to tell me what happened?”

Josh nodded his head, burying his face against my chest.  I waited, holding him close.  Finally, he pulled back and looked up into my eyes.  “I had to go pee.  So, I got up and came in here.  After I washed my hands, I was drying my hands on the towel, when I decided to hang on the towel rack to see if my arm was strong enough to hold me.”

“Let me guess…that’s when the towel rack came off the wall,” I said, smiling.

He nodded his head and said, “Yes, and I fell on the floor.”

“Were you afraid your arm wouldn’t work right?” I asked.

Again he nodded his head.  “When I got the cast off of my arm today, it felt so weak.  I was worried it wouldn’t get strong again.”

“Remember what the doctor told you?” I asked, softly.

“He said it would get stronger, as I began to use it again,” Josh answered.

I smiled and nodded.  “Give it some time, Josh.  I’m sure your arm will return to its normal state quickly enough.”

Josh gave me an intense look.  “How can you be so sure?”

“Because I broke my leg when I was little,” I replied.

His eyes got big as saucers.  “Really?”

“Yes, really,” I said, smiling at him.  I touched both of my legs.  “Do my legs look weak to you?”

He looked at my legs and then back up at me.  “No, they’re both strong.”

“Yes, they are,” I said.  “So, both of your arms will be strong, too, just like my legs are.”

Watching him closely, I could see him thinking about what I’d said.  His expression finally cleared and he smiled up at me.  “Okay, I believe you.”  He hugged me and I kissed his cheek.

“You need to go back to bed, son,” I said.  He stood up and I reached for his hand.  “You’ll need to help me get up.  I need a big strong boy to help me.”  He grinned and pulled on my arm, as I got to my feet.  “Thank you, Josh.  You see, even Daddies need help, sometimes.”

Josh laughed and said, “Kyle’s right.”

I stopped and looked down at him.  “What is Kyle right about?”

“He said you and Dad are getting to be elderly,” Josh said.

I huffed, “I’m not elderly.”

Josh said, with a seriousness not usually seen in someone so young, “Yes, you are.  Kyle said only elderly people need help crossing the street and getting up out of chairs.”

“He said that, did he?” I asked.

Josh nodded his head, solemnly.  “He told us we needed to help you and Dad, because you’re elderly.”

“Well, Kyle is right.  You and JJ do need to help me and Dad around the house, because you live here; but, we’re definitely not elderly,” I said, making a mental note to have a chat with our oldest son!  I escorted Josh back to his room and tucked him in.

I returned to our room and Rick asked, “What happened?”

I told him about Josh’s adventures with the towel rack, ending with our conversation about the elderly.

Rick laughed.  “I think we need to show Kyle who is elderly and who’s not.”

I snuggled next to my husband and let my hands wander over his body.  “I don’t know about Kyle; but, I think you should prove to me you’re not elderly.”

“What did you have in mind?” Rick asked, arching against my hand as I encircled his hardening cock.

“I don’t know.  I’ll leave it to you to decide how you’ll prove you’re not too old,” I said, leaning in to kiss his lips before trailing kisses down his throat to the base of his neck.  Hearing his moan of pleasure, I knew I had him right where I wanted him!

Prev To be continued . . .

A Note from Russ:

Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant:

Hawaii State Society -

Police Brutality in the USA: