The Man from Swift Current
© 2011 Russ Nielsen
All Rights Reserved




Chapter 121: Málaga

When we awoke the next morning, Tyler and Joey were sitting on the foot of our bed.   They were dressed in board shorts, and I could see the waistbands of their Andrew Christian underwear.   They were shirtless this morning, showing off their nicely tanned chests.   It was a beautiful sight to wake up to!   I grinned at them and said, “You guys are sure looking good this morning!”

Tyler laughed and said, “I’m glad you approve of how we look this morning.   It always makes me feel good, knowing I can get your motor running, Glenn.”   He pointed to my morning wood.

I licked my lips and said, “It’s too bad you guys are married.   I sure could have fun with you guys right now.”

Joey smiled and said, “Even if we weren’t married, Rick wouldn’t let you mess around with us.”

Hearing that, Rick opened his eyes.   He yawned widely and stretched luxuriously, his muscles flexing as he did so.   I ran my hand lightly over his six-pack abs and leaned over to kiss him.   “Good morning, Babe.”

He grinned and sat up.   He gave me his hand to help me sit up and looked over at Tyler and Joey.   “You’re right Joey; I wouldn’t let Glenn mess with you guys.   However, I agree with Glenn, you guys are looking great this morning.   You seem to have a glow about you.”

Tyler nodded his head.  “That’s because I have the greatest husband in the entire world.”  He reached across the bed and took Joey’s hand in his.  It was easy to see they were very much in love with each other.  Tyler looked at us and said, “We wanted to talk to you guys.”

Rick raised his eyebrows and asked, “What’s on your mind?”

Tyler looked at Joey, before answering Rick’s question.   “We’ve been thinking about starting a vacation travel business, and we wanted to know what you thought about it.”

I said, “Have you looked into what the demand would be for such a business venture?”

“Yes, we have.   I think, if we created a company specializing in gay travel adventures, we would have a good chance of success,” Joey said.

“Also, we have considered hiring Peter and Morten to work for us, in exchange for paying for their college education,” Tyler said.

“We think they would be great partners in a travel business because they have done so much touring on their bikes.   They know their way around the countries they have visited, and, before they’re done traveling for the summer, they will have visited six more European countries,” Joey said.

“Have you spoken to them about it?” I asked.

“No, we haven’t.   We wanted to get your thoughts on the subject and then we wanted to talk to Grandpa Scarborough,” Joey responded.

Rick said, “From what you’ve said, I assume you would concentrate your efforts on European destinations.   Is that correct?”

“Yes, that is what we were thinking.   Later, we would expand our business to cover the entire world,” Tyler said.

I said, “I think it’s worth investigating.   Before committing any money to the venture, I’d want to know more about the market for such a business, and we need to gather data regarding its potential for profitability.   There have been a lot of changes in the travel industry limiting how much money a travel agent can make.   In fact, with all of the discount travel websites, I’m not sure you would be able to turn a profit at all.”

“We’ve done some research we can show you after breakfast.   I think we can make a go of it, along with several other business ventures we have in mind,” Tyler said.

Joey said, “We talked to Greg and Cory about our ideas just a few minutes ago.   Greg wanted us to talk to you guys to get your thoughts.”

Our bedroom door opened, and Greg and Cory walked in.   They wore their bikini swimsuits.   Greg smiled and asked, “May we join you?”

Rick moved closer to the edge of the bed, pulling me with him.   “Sure.   Hop in.”

I rolled over, so Rick was spooning up against me, making plenty of room for Greg and Cory.   Cory climbed in first, facing me, with Greg spooning him.   Cory smiled and said, “Good morning, Glenn.”

I gave him a kiss on the lips and said, “Good morning, Cory.”   During our month together in Madrid, we had become very close friends with Greg and Cory, as well as Tyler and Joey.   Our love for each other had solidified to a point where we felt very comfortable around each other and trusted each other.   It warms my heart to know I have such good friends who love me.

Rick reached over and ruffled Cory’s hair.   “Good morning, Cory.”  Greg had placed his arm around Cory’s waist while he propped himself up with the other.  Rick had wrapped his arm around my waist, as he pulled me close.   Now, he reached over and took Greg’s hand in his, and gave it a gentle squeeze.  

Greg met Rick’s gaze and smiled.  He said, “I’m glad we’ve been able to spend the last month together.   It has meant a lot to me.”

“It has for me, too,” Rick said.

Greg glanced over at Joey and Tyler.   “Have you talked to them about your ideas yet?”

Tyler nodded his head.  “Yes, we did, just before you guys showed up.”

Greg looked back at us and asked, “So, what do you think?”

“I think we need to do some more investigation into the market for a travel company,” Rick said.

Greg nodded his head.   “I agree we need more information to make a sound investment decision.   However, I thought they could start by setting it up as an internet business only.   That way they wouldn’t have the costs of a bricks and mortar establishment.”

Cory added, “If their target audience will be gays, then the internet is the best place.   Most gay guys I know are pretty technologically savvy.”

Joey said, “Well, maybe the younger generation is pretty connected, but what about those who aren’t as skilled at using the internet?”

I said, “Well, I think you’ll still reach them.   My mother is pretty old fashioned and doesn’t use a computer at all, but she does use her cell phone a lot.”

Tyler said, “Even Sr. Nájera uses the internet.   I’ve seen him on his cell phone.   He has a laptop as well.   He uses his webcam quite a bit with his grandchildren.”

Rick said, “I think it could be a start, but it won’t make enough money to sustain the two of you.”

Joey looked at Rick in surprise.   “Why do you say that?”

“Because I researched travel options for all of the guys and found quite a few websites catering to gays.   All of them promised gay-friendly tours and listed gay-friendly hotels, etc.   Most of them also listed countries not to visit, because of their anti-gay laws,” Rick said.

Joey said, “We were trying to think of what kinds of business ventures we could set up, to provide Peter and Morten an opportunity to work with us.”

As if by magic, the two guys in question appeared in our doorway.   Peter said, “I wish we lived here with you guys.   Seeing how comfortable you are with each other and the love you share really shows me what we’re missing.”

Tyler said, “We were just talking about you two.   Come in and sit down.”  They walked in and pulled the two armchairs next to the bed.  As soon as they were seated, Tyler continued, “We want you guys to work with us in a new business we’re thinking of setting up.”

Morten’s eyes grew wide with surprise.   “Are you serious?”

“Yes, we are,” Joey said.   “We want you to go to school here, and work with us in our new business when you’re not studying.”

Peter said, in amazement, “I can’t believe you’re offering to go into business with us.   You barely met us a couple of days ago.”

“We know,” Tyler said.   “But we’re willing to take a chance on you.   From what we’ve seen, you’re both hard workers and are willing to do what it takes to get the job done.”

They looked at each other and then back to us.   “We don’t have work visas to stay in Spain,” Peter said.

“That can be fixed,” Tyler said.   “You can apply for the appropriate visas today.”

Morten said, “But we don’t have any money to go to school.   My parents disowned me, and I very much doubt Peter’s parents will pay for his schooling, let alone mine.”

Peter said, “That’s true.   My parents won’t be exactly willing to pay for anything since I went against their wishes and married Morten.”

Tyler looked over at us and said, “Thanks to the Scarborough family, we have scholarships paying for our college education.   Since that will free up the money we would’ve spent for college, we can offer to help you with your college expenses.   If we get this business off the ground, you’ll be able to earn enough money to pay for an apartment near the school.   In the meantime, you can stay with us.”

Joey said, “We still have to talk things over with Mr. Scarborough and Sr.  Nájera before we can finalize anything.”

Peter said, “We appreciate the generous offer, but we need to talk it over between ourselves, first.   We haven’t really decided if we’ll go to college, or if we’ll just find jobs and work for a while.”

Joey said, “That’s okay.   I would’ve been worried if you jumped in without thinking things through.”

Tyler said, “We expected you to need some time to discuss things.   We haven’t worked out all of the details ourselves, either.”

At that moment, Rachel came running into our room.   She climbed on her Daddy’s lap and said, “Daddy, Sarah needs out.   She says she’s hungry.”

Joey kissed Rachel’s cheek and said, “Okay, Rachel.   Let’s go get Sarah out of her bed.”   Joey stood up with Rachel in his arms.  

Tyler said, “We’ll talk more, later.”   He stood and followed Joey out of the room.

Peter looked at us and said, “What would you guys do if you were in our shoes?”

Greg said, “I would do what you feel is best for your situation.   I think Joey and Tyler mean well, but it may not be the best thing for you guys.”

Rick said, “I don’t want to influence you either way, but they are offering you a pretty sweet deal.”

Morten said, “That’s just it.   It seems almost too good to be true.   I’ve never heard of anyone helping out total strangers.”   He put up his hand to forestall any protest on our part.   “Think about it guys.   You’ve only known us a few days.   How do you know we won’t run off with the money, or ruin your friends’ business venture?”

 “We don’t,” I said.   “However, we think we know you well enough to take a chance on you.   You’ve shown you’re willing to put everything on the line for each other.  To me, that says a lot about your character.   You’ve been loyal to each other, and you’ve seen each other through some pretty rough times since you left Norway.”

“How do you know we weren’t telling you stories to get your sympathy?” Peter said.

“You weren’t, and you know it,” Cory said.   “If that had been the case, you wouldn’t have accepted the invitation to stay here because we would have found out fairly quickly you weren’t telling us the truth.”

Morten said, “We’re still not sure about committing to go to school here.   I know I haven’t made up my mind what I want to do with my life.   I’ve only thought as far as getting married to Peter.   I kind of didn’t think past that.”

Peter said, “I guess you could say we’re typical teenagers in that sense.   We live pretty much in the present.”

“That’s not totally true, Peter,” Greg said.   “You have had to plan your route for your bike trip.   You’ve had to figure out where to stay and how you were going to feed yourselves.”

Morten said, “That’s true, but if our parents knew how close to starving we’ve come a few times, they would’ve gone ballistic.”

Peter turned to Morten and said, “You mean if they hadn’t disowned you.”   Turning back to us, he continued, “We’ve had a couple of lucky breaks along the way, like meeting up with you guys at that dance club.   Staying here with you guys has been a vacation for us.   We haven’t had such deluxe accommodations anywhere on our trip thus far or made such good friends.”

Morten said, “We love the warm weather here.   We are very excited about going to the beach.”

Both of them already sported dark tans from their journey south from Norway.   Of course, being bikers, they were in top physical shape; and being tall, well-built, with blond hair and striking blue eyes, they reminded me of Norse gods!

Joey poked his head through the bedroom door.   “Let’s meet in the kitchen so we can make our plans for the rest of the day.”

Greg said, “Okay, Joey.   We’ll be down after we get showered.”   He stood up and turned to help Cory.   He looked at us and said, “Let’s shower together.”

I nodded my head and said, “Peter and Morten, you’re welcome to join us.”

Greg grinned and added, “There’s plenty of room in the showers here.”

Peter returned Greg’s grin and said, “Okay.”

We got up and followed Greg and Cory into our en suite.   “I’m glad Tyler bought a house with large showers in each room,” Peter said.   “I think the people who built this house must have been gay!”

Greg and Rick turned on the showers and adjusted the temperature.   Standing in the shower with five very hot gay men had my motor running!   Rick pulled me into his arms and kissed me deeply while his hands roamed my body.   He released me and said, “I think we should have a competition to see who can shoot the farthest.”

Peter’s eyes went wide as he realized what kind of competition it was.   He smiled broadly and said, “I’ve never been in a competition like that.”

Greg laughed and said, “You haven’t lived with gay guys before.   Our first day in Minneapolis, our roommates pulled us into a shower with them, like we are here, and we had a major jerk off session and competition.   Zach won that contest.”

Rick said, “I believe it.   I’ve beat Zach a couple of times, but he sure can shoot!”

We lined up, and the competition began!   When it was all over, Peter exclaimed, “Wow! That was fantastic!”

Cory said, “It sure was, especially since you won the shooting contest.”

Morten gave his husband a lecherous grin and said, “Now you know why I married Peter.”   He pulled Peter into his arms and kissed him deeply.

After that, each couple stood under a shower head, helping to wash their partner.   It was one of the most memorable showers I’ve ever had!   While Rick and I dried each other off, the rest of the guys wrapped towels around their waists and returned to their rooms to get dressed.

Rick said, “I must be turning completely gay because I really liked showering with the guys.”   He pulled me into his arms.   “In fact, I’m so horny right now I need some relief.   He kissed me deeply, as he maneuvered me over to the bed and pushed me down on the mattress.  When we came up for air, I could see the lust in his eyes.   A thrill of anticipation ran down my spine, as I put my hands behind his head and pulled him closer.  

I whispered, “Come on, tiger, make me yours.”  Rick did exactly that! 

Later, we joined the rest of the guys in the kitchen.   As we sat down at the table, Greg said, with a smirk on his face, “Well, it’s about time you lovebirds showed up.”

Cory said, “Yeah, we could hear you guys nearly a block away.”

I protested, “We weren’t that noisy.”

Peter grinned and said, “No, you weren’t; however, everyone knew what was going on behind your closed bedroom door.”

Rick laughed and said, “Of course you all knew what was happening; because you had just left our shower, and you could see how aroused we were.   It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out!”

Greg acknowledged the accuracy Rick’s statement.  “That’s true, but we had to give you guys a hard time about it.   I’m glad you’re still madly in love with Glenn.

Joey observed, “They still have that special glow about them.”

We were holding hands and were sitting so close together our legs were touching under the table.   “It comes from having sex with the one you love the most in the entire world,” I said, leaning over to kiss Rick on the lips.  

Tyler smiled and said, “I want to thank each of you for showing us how wonderful it is to be in love.   It’s been great to see you guys demonstrating how to treat your husband, or partner.   What’s more, each couple has a different dynamic going on between them, yet there is a deep and abiding love binding you together.  We’ve seen it in your eyes and in the small, little touches.”

Joey added, “It’s done us good to be around you guys.  You guys have been an inspiration to both of us.”

Peter said, “We haven’t spent as much time around you guys as Tyler and Joey, but we agree with them.   As newlyweds, we’re still exploring our relationship with each other.   Meeting you guys has opened my eyes to the fact there are many more guys like us who are married and have successful relationships.”

Morten said, “We know Glenn and Rick aren’t married yet, but that will come in time.   It’s obvious you love each other very much.”

Tyler said, “I hate to interrupt this love fest, but, guys, we need to talk about taking this party to the beach.   We need to help Mom and Dad get their place set up as well as arranging things in our own place.”

“Where are your parents?” I asked.

“They are upstairs getting things together for our trip to Málaga,” Tyler said.

“When are we leaving?” Rick asked.

“As soon as you guys are ready,” Tyler replied.   “While you guys eat your breakfast, the rest of us will go up and pack our stuff.”

Rick and I ate a quick breakfast and soon followed them upstairs.   We went into our bedroom and threw our stuff into our luggage.   We hauled our stuff down to the front door, where we met the rest of the crew.

Tyler said, “It looks like we’re ready to go.”

Joey called out, “Rachel, where are you?”

Rachel came running out of the front room.   “I’m right here, Daddy.”

Joey knelt down and scooped her into his arms.   “Thank you for coming when you were called.”

He carried her out to the car and placed her in her car seat, buckling her in.   He leaned over and kissed the top of her head.   “I love you, baby.”

Rachel reached up and said, “Hugs.”

He hugged her and said, “You’re all ready to go.”

He turned to see Hank coming out of the door with Sarah.   He carried her over to Joey and said, “Here’s Sarah and her diaper bag.”

Joey took her from Hank and said, “Thank you for helping us get ready.”

Hank smiled and said, “You’re welcome, son.”

Joey walked around to the other side of their car and placed Sarah in her car seat.   He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.   “There you go, little one.   We’re ready to go.”   He buckled her in and handed her a teddy bear to cuddle with on the ride to Málaga.

Meanwhile, Tyler had finished loading their luggage in the trunk of the car.   He came up behind Joey and wrapped his arms around his waist, kissing the back of his neck.   He put his mouth next to his ear and said, “I love you.”

Joey turned his head to give his husband a quick kiss.   “I love you, too.”

They climbed into their car and waited for the rest of us to finish loading our gear.   Before long, we were on our way out of the city.  All of us chipped in money to rent another car to transport us to Málaga.   Rick was the designated driver, and I became, by default, his navigator.   Greg and Cory rode with us.   Joey and Tyler drove their car with the girls in the back seat.   Peter and Morton rode with Sr. and Sra. Nájera, while Hank and Louise drove their own car, loaded with their belongings for their new house.   They had sorted their things into those that were for the summer house and those that would stay in Madrid.   They had purchased an apartment in the building Joey and Tyler had decided to invest in along with Sr. Nájera.   Their apartment wouldn’t be ready for them to move in until the end of the summer.   As we drove, we put the finishing touches to our plans for entertaining the guys when they arrived in Málaga.   We shared our plans with the adults to make sure we would not cause any trouble and to solicit their assistance as our competition judges.

I sat on the beach and counted off the guys, to make sure everyone was accounted for – Rick, Peter, Morten, Joey, Tyler, Zach, Todd, Robbie, Adam, Mark, Brandon, Justin, Brian, Cordell, Michael, Duane, Mason, Jeb and Larry.   Counting me, there were twenty great looking gay guys working on their tans, wearing swimsuits that hid nothing.   Rick caught my eye and grinned.  “Glenn, what are you thinking?”

“I was just thinking how fortunate I am to have such great looking friends.   I just can’t imagine how any gay guy wouldn’t be jealous of me.   I have the best looking man as my boyfriend and there are 18 hot studs sitting next to us to feast my eyes on.”

Rick said, “We sure caused a sensation in Torremolinos yesterday, especially on the nude beach.   Every one of us is in good physical condition, not to mention how good looking we are.”

Larry overheard our conversation and chimed in, “Yes, I agree with Glenn.   You guys are all great looking.   I told Jeb he had some pretty stiff competition for the best looking guy in a bathing suit.”

Jeb said, “Fortunately, for me, everyone else is married except you two, and I know you’re in a committed relationship.   Otherwise, I would be worried I’d lose my guy!”

Larry said, “I never imagined I’d be on the beach with a bunch of gay guys.   I mean, I have never been able to be so open about being gay before in my life.   Being here has really opened my eyes to how much discrimination I’ve had to endure in Atlanta.   Everywhere we’ve gone this past week the people are very open and friendly to us.   I’ve not seen one negative reaction to holding hands with Jeb or giving him a quick kiss in public.”

“What have you liked the most about your vacation thus far?” I asked.

Larry grinned and said, “The competitions you guys have put together for us.   I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact I participated in a couple of them.”

Jeb laughed.   “His favorite one was being the judge of the kissing contest.   Of course, he couldn’t help shooting off half way through the competition.”

Larry blushed furiously, his face turning bright red.   “I was so horny and the guys were so hot and sexy.”

Jeb patted his boyfriend on the shoulder.   “It’s okay, Larry.   I would have been in just as bad a way as you if I had been in your position.”

I looked at Rick and asked, “Should I spill the beans about the competition for tonight?”  Rick nodded his head and grinned.   “We’re going to have a competition to see which couple has the best make out session.”

Larry’s eyes grew wide.   “Who’s going to be the judge of that competition?”

I grinned, wickedly.   “Are you volunteering?”

Larry shook his head, vigorously.   “I’d be so amped up; I wouldn’t be able to watch without some relief.”

Peter, who was sitting on the other side of Rick, spoke up.   “Morten and I will volunteer to be the judges.”

I looked at Peter and said, “Okay, let me tell you the rules.”   I explained how the competition would work, and Peter whistled.

“Wow!  I can’t wait until tonight,” Peter said.

“We’ve arranged for the girls to stay with Hank and Louise tonight, so we’ll have the house to ourselves.   The Nájeras are staying with them as well.   We didn’t want to embarrass anyone or cause any problems with the adults,” I said.

Rick said, “So far, we’ve kept the competitions pretty tame, compared to the ones we did on our last trip.”

Jeb nodded his head.   “That’s true from everything I’ve heard from Cordell and Michael.”

“We had to, given the circumstances,” I said.   “We have cleared each of our competitions with Joey and Tyler, as well as with their parents.   We all agreed this one called for us to make sure the little ones weren’t around, and the older folks volunteered to spend the evening babysitting them.”

“I wondered why Louise and Sra. Nájera were judges for most of our competitions,” Jeb said.

Tyler said, “Mom and Sra. Nájera actually volunteered to be our judges.”

Joey laughed and said, “I overheard them talking about how much they’ve enjoyed doing it.”

Larry asked, “Do you blame them?   I certainly don’t.   If someone offered to let me judge a competition with 20 gorgeous guys, I’d jump at the opportunity, especially when it involved a swimsuit contest like the one we had yesterday.”

“That was Tyler’s idea.   He ordered the skimpiest swimsuits he could find and wanted us to wear them for the contest,” I said.

Larry nodded his head.   “When I saw those swimsuits, I almost refused to wear one.   The one Tyler gave me barely covered my dick, let alone anything else.   I’m glad Jeb suggested I shave my pubes, so I looked decent.”

Jeb smiled and said, “You looked great in it, and the women agreed since you won the contest.”

Larry smiled broadly.   “I have to admit I was very flattered when they found me to be the best looking guy in those swimsuits.   I had some pretty tough competition.”   He glanced over at Zach.   “Zach looked damn good in his!”

Jeb said, “Yes, he did.   I’m just glad he’s married to Todd because I’m afraid Larry would be all over him.”

Larry took Jeb’s hand in his.   “You’re right, but he’s unavailable.   I’m just glad you’re not the jealous type, and will let me enjoy the eye candy.”

Jeb, laughing, said, “As if I wasn’t enjoying the sight of all these great looking gay guys, as well!”

Larry said, “Well, we can both enjoy the scenery.   I think this trip has been the best thing for us, Jeb.   We’ve been able to be ourselves without fear of being attacked by crazy homophobic people.   Seeing these guys in loving relationships has helped me understand what we can have, as well.”

Jeb said, “I agree.   Watching Robbie and Adam has been very entertaining.   You certainly can tell they’re newlyweds!”

Robbie looked over when he heard his name.   He grinned and came over to Jeb and Larry.   He gave them an eye full since he wore one of the skimpy swimsuits Tyler had given him.   He sat down on the sand and asked, “What’s up?”

Jeb replied, “We were just talking about how great you and Adam are doing.”

“And you can sure tell you’re newlyweds,” Larry added.

Adam joined his husband on the sand next to Jeb and Larry.   “You two could get married, you know.   You certainly love each other.”

Jeb nodded his head.   “Yes, we love each other very much, but we haven’t really talked about marriage.”

Larry said, “Well, I’ll fix that right now.   Jeb, will you marry me?”

Jeb looked at Larry in surprise.   He reached over and took Larry’s hand in his and said, “Yes, I’ll marry you.”

“See how easy that was?” Larry asked Jeb.

Jeb nodded his head.   “I didn’t know whether or not you were ready to get married.”

“I wasn’t until I saw how happy Robbie and Adam are,” Larry.   “Plus, being around all of these other married gay couples helped me understand being married would be a great thing for us, too, just like it is for them.”

Rick said, “Congratulations, guys!”

“Yes, congratulations,” I said.   I managed to smile and kept the envy I felt from coloring my voice.   Fortunately, Robbie came to my rescue!

“Congratulations on your engagement, guys!” Robbie exclaimed.

Adam said, “I’m very happy for you guys.   You’ll have to let us know when you’re getting married so that we can come to your wedding.”

Larry looked at Jeb and said, “I want to be married as soon as we can.”

Jeb said, “We’ll have to go to Canada to be married because we aren’t citizens of any of the European countries where gay marriage is legal.”

“I would suggest flying into Toronto on your way home,” Robbie said.   “Toronto is a great place to be married.   Adam and I are thinking of moving there after we graduate from college.”

“We want to live in a place where we are accepted for whom we are, and, more importantly, where we can raise a family without fear of discrimination,” Adam said.   “There is too much hate toward gays in the United States.”

“Things are changing, but we will never be fully accepted, and will always live in fear of our lives and those of our children because of the deep-seated hatred religious people instill in their members,” Robbie said.   “I saw too much of it when I came out in high school.   I don’t want to expose my children to that kind of hatred.”

“We’ve been talking to Zach and Todd about it.   Zach thinks there is a pretty good chance he’ll be drafted by one of the Canadian hockey teams,” Adam said.   “If that happens, we’ll definitely be moving north of the border.   We want to be close to them, as do our parents.”

I said, “I want to live in St. Catharines, where the rest of my family lives.”   I glanced at Rick.  

He smiled and said, “I know you want to move home to Canada, Babe.”   He took my hand in his and gave it a gentle squeeze.

We played in the sand and surf for a few more hours.   Later, we returned to Tyler and Joey’s home and their parents’ place.   We showered and dressed for dinner.   Sra. Nájera prepared a really nice meal for us.   Afterward, the adults retired to Hank and Louise’s home with the girls, leaving us to have our competition.   We gathered in the recreation room.   The guys looked at me, expectantly.

I stood up and said, “Tonight’s competition will be a contest to see which couple has the best make out session.   Peter and Morten have volunteered to be our judges.   Now let’s go over the rules.”   I outlined them and asked, “Are there any questions?”  There were none.  “Let the games begin!”

At the end of the allotted time, Peter and Morten conferred, then turned to announce the winning couple.   Peter said, “The winning couple is Robbie and Adam.”

Robbie jumped up and let out a shout, “Hurrah!”

Adam grinned from ear to ear.   “We had a lot of practice on our honeymoon.”

The rest of us applauded their win.   I stood up and said, “That is our last competition.   I believe we have a tie as to who has won the most points.”   I pulled out my notebook, where I had been keeping track of who won each competition.   “The top individual winner is Robbie!”

He stood up and took a bow.   “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“The best couple is Zach and Todd,” I said.

Zach stood and said, “Thank you, but it’s all about Todd.”

Todd blushed and stood next to his husband.   “Truthfully, it’s an equal partnership, and we thank you all for the great time we’ve had.”

I said, “This is our last night together since we’ll be going our separate ways tomorrow morning.   Some of us will be going on a tour of Europe, others will be returning to the United States, and Tyler and Joey will be returning home to Madrid.   I want to thank all of you for arranging your schedules to spend time with us.   It has been totally and completely awesome.”

We spent the rest of the evening talking and enjoying each other’s company.   I looked around the room and marveled what good friends I had.   In the three years since I met Rick, I have learned to love him more than life itself.   The road we have traveled hasn’t been an easy one, but we have been made stronger because of the difficulties we’ve faced together.  

I have been able to survive each challenge I’ve faced because I’ve made lifelong friends along the way.   The men in this room are what I have come to think of as my band of brothers.   Some I have known longer than others, but, just the same, they are still my brothers.   There is a sense of camaraderie between us I’ve never felt anywhere else.   Each one of these guys is unique, and that uniqueness makes them very special to me.   Even though we would be going our separate ways tomorrow, I knew the bonds of friendship we have forged during our time together will endure for the rest of our lives.

The next morning we bid farewell to Duane and Mason, who had to return to work in Atlanta.  

Duane said, “Thank you for the wonderful time.   I wish we could afford to spend more time with you guys, but we have to return to work.   Unfortunately, our project is rolling out next week.   However, we did extract a promise to honor our request for an extended vacation over the holidays in December.”

“I hope you got that in writing,” I said.

Duane said, “We did.   By the way, we are looking forward to seeing you in the office, Glenn.   Our boss told us you’d be starting with us at the end of August.”

Mason said, “We can’t wait to have another gay guy at the office.   Our boss is gay and is in a committed relationship with his partner.”

Greg said, “That has to be really cool to have a gay boss.”

“It is pretty awesome.   However, he sometimes flirts with Duane,” Mason said.   “I hate it when he does that.”

Duane said, “You don’t have to worry, Mason.   I’m a happily married man.”

Mason said, “I know, but I still worry sometimes.   You know what attracts him to you is you’re such a redneck.”

Duane grinned and said, “I’m mighty proud of that fact.”

Mason laughed.   “No one would mistake you for being gay, given your attitude.”

“That’s the whole point,” Duane said.   “You have to admit nobody messes with me.”

Mason said, “That’s true.   I’m the one they always harass.”

“That’s because you’re so obviously gay,” Duane said.   “I’ve tried to tell you to stop acting that way.”

“I know you have, Duane.   I’ve done a lot of work on my body to build up my strength, but I don’t have the same body build as you do.   No matter how hard I try, I still look like a wimp,” Mason complained.

I looked him over and said, “No, that’s not true, Mason.   You have a swimmer’s body.   You look strong and wiry, instead of looking like a bodybuilder.   You have the same body type I do.   I work out with Rick two to three times a week, but my muscles don’t bulge like his do.”   I reached over and put both hands around Rick’s bicep.  My fingertips barely touched.   “See what I mean.   His arm is nearly twice the size of mine.”

Rick said, “That’s because I have so much extra testosterone.   It helps me build up muscle mass.”

“It also accounts for your heavy libido,” I said, laughing.

Rick laughed and said, “I haven’t heard you complaining about all the sex.”

“I’m not complaining.   I’m just pointing out there is a big difference in body types between us,” I said.

Mason said, “I guess you’re right about that.”

Robbie said, “I think Duane is very handsome.   I especially like the mustache and goatee.”

Adam said, “I agree with Robbie.   I think I’ll grow a mustache and goatee just like Duane’s.”

Robbie said, “No you won’t because I like how smooth your skin is after you shave.”

Adam leaned over and kissed Robbie.   “Anything you want, Robbie.”

I looked at Adam in surprise.   “Since when do you give Robbie everything he wants?”

Adam smiled.   “During our honeymoon, we agreed we would try to give each other everything we have ever wanted.”

Robbie said, “Our honeymoon was the best thing for both of us.   Costa Rica was the perfect place.”

Adam said, “I think I did pretty well choosing where to go on our honeymoon, don’t you think?”

Robbie smiled.   “Yes, you did.”

Peter said, “Our bike trip has been our honeymoon.   We still have the rest of the summer to go.”

Morten said, “We decided we’d take the entire summer to tour Europe on our bikes.”

“It’s been a great time,” Peter said.   “We’ll be starting the next leg of our journey later today.”

Joey said, “We have to head back to Madrid tomorrow.   Tyler will begin an internship with a telecommunications company in a few days, and he needs some time to get ready.”

Tyler said, “I’m really excited about it.”   He told us all the details about the company.   “They also have subsidiaries in South America.   I want to get my doctorate in Chile, so it would be perfect if I could work for this company while I finish my education.”

Greg said, “I know you said you wanted to study there, but I thought you had changed your mind since you got married.”

Joey said, “We talked about it, and I encouraged Tyler to continue to pursue his dreams.   We will move with him to Chile.   Mom and Dad have said they will stay here to keep things running because we plan to return to Spain after Tyler completes his doctorate.”

“But Chile doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages,” I pointed out.

“You’re right, Glenn.   That’s why we won’t be living there for very long.   In fact, I’ve tried to convince Joey to stay here with the girls.   I would be there for about 9 months to finish my course work.   I can write my doctoral dissertation from here, and fly back to present it.”

“That’s what I’d do,” Rick said.   “You don’t want to risk the safety of your family in a homophobic country like Chile.   The same thing applies to the United States.   There are too many anti-gay laws on the books that could put you and your family at risk.”  

Joey said, “But no one ever gave me any trouble in Virginia.”

“That’s because you weren’t married to a guy, Joey.   All it would take is for someone to call Child Protective Services (CPS), and you could lose your children.   In many states, you have no rights, once CPS steps in and takes your children from you.   I’m just warning you; you need to be very careful where you go.   Believe me, I’ve done my homework.   I was quite shocked at the power CPS has to break families apart.”

“But that’s not what we’re worried about right now,” Joey said.  

Rick responded, “Not only did I do research on the anti-gay laws of the different states back home, I also checked out the laws of each of the countries we’re going to tour, and I’ve avoided those that don’t recognize gay marriages or civil unions.   You should research what rights you have in Chile before you decide to go.”   Rick held Joey’s gaze.   “It’s imperative for you to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety and happiness of your family, Joey.”

Joey sighed in resignation and said, “I get it.”   He looked over at Tyler.   “I’m sorry I’ve been so stubborn about going with you, Tyler.   However, I don’t want us to be separated again.”

Tyler took Joey’s hand and said, “I’m sorry for being so insistent on going to Chile.   I’ve looked into a doctoral program in Barcelona, just in case things don’t work out for me to go to Chile.   We’ll have to do some additional research before we decide what to do.”

Sra. Nájera said, “I think you should stay in Spain, Tyler.   This is your home, and you need to be near your family.   My cousins live in Barcelona.   We can introduce you to them, and they will help you find a place to stay while you study.   Barcelona is a wonderful city.”

Hank said, “I agree with Mari.   Now that we’ve moved to Spain, I think we should stay together.”

Tyler looked at his mother.   “Do you feel the same way?”

She smiled and replied, “Yes, I do, but it is up to you and Joey to decide what your future holds.”

Greg said, “I vote for staying in Spain.”

Cory said, “Babe, don’t put any more pressure on them.   Let them decide for themselves.”

Greg kissed Cory.   “Of course, you’re right, Cory.”   He turned to Tyler and Joey.   “I’m sorry.   I shouldn’t have chimed in when I did.”

Joey smiled.   “That’s okay, Greg.   You’ve never been one to be shy about telling people what you think.”

Greg grinned.   “That’s very true.”

We continued to talk about our plans until it was time to take Duane and Mason to the airport.   We saw them off, then returned to bid farewell to Peter and Morten.   That left the rest of us to get ready for our tour.   Rick outlined his plan for us to visit France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and England.   London would be our final stop, before flying home to the United States.

We spent our final night in Spain enjoying the beach.   Sra. Nájera cooked a special meal all the guys raved about for days!   We all agreed we would be talking about the memories of our trip to Spain for many years to come!

Prev To be continued . . .

A Note from Russ:

Something all parents of gay children should read:

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