|The Man from Swift Current|
|© 2011 Russ Nielsen
All Rights Reserved
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|Chapter 124: Dad’s Reconciliation|
I was very happy we had finally made it to the Thanksgiving holiday. I was totally exhausted from keeping up with my coursework and working part time. Rick’s classes were beating him up pretty badly, as well. Despite the heavy load, our relationship couldn’t have been better! We have grown so close we finish each other’s sentences. Duane and Mason tease us because we’ve become so close. Of course, we tease them right back, because they are just as close to each other as we are!
I was standing in the kitchen, trying to decide what to cook for our dinner, when a knock came at the door. I walked into the foyer and opened it. Kerry smiled and asked, “Are you going to invite us in?”
I laughed and said, “Sure, come on in.”
Egan was holding her hand, looking up at me. “Uncle Glenn,” he said (at least that’s what it sounded like), holding out his hand to me.
I knelt down and scooped him into my arms. “How are you, little buddy?”
He giggled and pinched my nose. He burbled, “Good.” Egan’s speech was still very garbled, but if you listened closely enough, you could tell what he was trying to say.
“Do you want a cookie and some milk?” I asked.
Egan nodded his head. I smiled at Kerry and said, “Come into the kitchen and I’ll get Egan his cookie.”
Kerry sat down at the kitchen table and I put Egan in his high chair, buckling him in. Since Egan spends a great deal of time with us, we picked up a high chair, a car seat, and a baby crib. We love Egan very much, and don’t mind babysitting the little guy, so Keith and Kerry can get their studies done.
“How is Keith’s job working out?” I asked.
“It’s been going well, except for the lack of study time,” Kerry said. “I know you’re going through the same thing with your job and classes.”
“I know exactly how it feels,” I agreed. “I’ve told Rick to hold off on the internship until next semester. One of the engineering firms here in town has offered to take him on, part time.”
Kerry smiled. “That’s great. Keith really likes his work, but he doesn’t think he’ll stay with that company.”
I asked, “When does Keith get home from his trip?”
“Tomorrow night,” Kerry responded. “I’ll pick him up from the airport. After he has a chance to rest a bit, we’ll drive straight to Grandpa and Grandma Scarborough’s house.”
I handed Egan his cookie and a Sippy cup with some milk. He immediately bit into the cookie. “He looks so much like his Daddy,” I said, sitting down across from Kerry.
Kerry said, “Yes, he does. It seems he changes from day to day. One day he looks so much like Keith we call him Keith’s mini-me. On other days, he looks more like me.”
I smiled and asked, “Are you planning to have more children?”
“Yes. However, we’re going to wait a while. After we graduate, I’m going to continue in the master’s program. I got my acceptance letter today.”
I said, “Congratulations!”
“Thanks,” Kerry said. “May I stay for dinner with you guys? It’s gets so lonely downstairs.”
“Sure. You know you’re always welcome here,” I said. “I don’t know what to cook for dinner, though. Any thoughts?”
Kerry said, “How about grilled salmon on a bed of rice with a green salad?”
“That sounds good and it’s pretty easy to prepare. I’ve found a recipe for apple strudel I want to try,” I said.
“That sound delicious,” Kerry said, smiling. “I don’t know how you and Rick stay so thin, when you eat such high-calorie things like apple strudel.”
“It’s called having a merciless physical trainer,” I said, laughing. “Rick has us running 5 to 10 miles three times a week, and lifting weights when we’re not running. Of course, we go swimming and play racquetball or basketball on weekends.” Kerry had returned to her pre-baby weight. She had always been very beautiful, and having a baby had only enhanced her beauty. “Kerry, you’re the most beautiful woman in the entire world. If I weren’t gay, I’d try to steal you away from Keith.”
Kerry laughed. “Thanks, Glenn. I needed to hear that today. I’m feeling very big and fat today.” I gave her the “look,” and she laughed again. “Alright, I admit I’m worrying about keeping my man’s attention.”
“Well, I think you’re worrying needlessly, Kerry. Keith loves you very much and practically worships the ground you walk on. Besides, I’ve always thought you’re drop dead gorgeous, and I know Keith thinks the same thing,” I said.
“Thanks, Glenn,” she said, and self-consciously smoothed her hair with her hand. Her blond hair hung down her back to her waist. “Where is the recipe for the strudel?”
“It’s right here,” I said, pulling a 3X5 card out of a drawer next to the kitchen sink. “The directions are pretty straightforward.”
She read over the ingredient list and the directions. “I agree, this should be pretty simple to make.”
“I’ll make the dough, if you’ll make the filling,” I said.
Kerry said, “Okay. Let me put on an apron, first.” She walked over to the pantry and opened the door, retrieving a couple of aprons. She handed one to me and put one on herself.
We chatted about our men as we made the strudel. I could tell she really missed Keith. We put the strudel in the oven to bake and sat down at the kitchen table to talk.
“How are your parents doing,” Kerry asked.
“Mom said thing are going much better. She still lives in Swift Current, but Dad has moved into town to be with her,” I said.
“I can’t believe she took him back, after he messed around with that other woman,” Kerry said. “If Keith ever did that to me, he would never see me or Egan again.”
“What if he had a boyfriend?” I asked, grinning.
Kerry laughed. “Keith is so straight, Glenn. I don’t think he would even look at a guy in that way.”
I thought about telling her what had happened between Rick and Keith when Rick and I became a couple. I decided not to tell her Rick had fucked Keith that day. If Keith wanted to tell her someday about what happened, that was up to him.
“What’s going on, Glenn?” Kerry asked.
My eyes focused on her concerned face, and I said, “I was just remembering the first few days Rick and I spent together.” It wasn’t quite the whole truth, but it was close enough. “Do you remember the first time you had sex with Keith?”
Kerry blushed, as the memory of that time came back to her. “Yes, I do. It was the most wonderful night of my life.”
“We’re you married, then?” I asked.
“No, it was about nine months before we were married. Rick had gone on reservist duty that weekend, and we had the apartment to ourselves. Keith was wonderful to me. I was a virgin and Keith was so kind and gentle with me. I’ve never been with anyone else,” she said.
“That is so cool! I wish I could say the same thing when we get married, but I had a boyfriend before I met Rick,” I said.
“I remember you telling me about some guy named Ian,” Kerry said.
“Yes, that’s the guy’s name. He was an exchange student from Norway. After we graduated from high school, he returned home to Norway, and I’ve never heard anything more from him,” I said. “I’m glad he dumped me, because I wouldn’t have Rick in my life, otherwise.”
Kerry looked over at Egan. “Egan, you have made quite a mess.” Egan had eaten his cookie, but had shaken the milk out of the Sippy cup all over the tray and on the floor surrounding his high chair. She stood up and took the cup from Egan. “Egan, we need to clean up the milk you’ve spilled.”
I got up, walked over to the kitchen sink and pulled out a clean wash cloth from the drawer next to the sink and got it wet. I handed it to Kerry. She cleaned Egan’s face and hands, first then used it to wipe down the tray. She bent down and wiped up the milk off of the floor. Meanwhile, Egan was pounding the tray with the palms of his hands and laughing. It was a high pitched, baby laugh, full of joy and happiness. It made me smile. Maybe someday, Rick and I would have children of our own, I thought wistfully.
“I think it’s time to read stories, Egan,” I said. Kerry removed the tray from the high chair, and I unbuckled him from his seat. I lifted him into my arms, and carried him into the family room. Sitting him on my lap, I pulled out a couple of picture books Keith and Kerry had left at our condo. I pointed to the photographs and asked, “What is this?”
“Elephant,” Egan said, touching the page with the tips of his fingers. We did the same thing with each page, until we finished the book. Egan squirmed and wiggled to get down. I released him, and he climbed down off of my lap. He walked across the room to his mother, lifting his arms up to her.
She picked him up and sat him on her lap. He sat still for about a minute, before getting down and walking back to me. He was drooling, so I grabbed a tissue and wiped his face. “Egan must be getting more teeth,” I observed.
Kerry said, “Yes, he’s getting his first year molars. He’s been pretty miserable the last couple of days. He wants to be held all the time. The problem is that he won’t sit still for more than five minutes.”
I said, “You mean he is more active than normal, because Egan has never stayed still for long.”
Kerry acknowledged I was correct. “Yes, that’s true, or maybe it’s because I’ve been on my own all week. He seems to need more attention than usual.”
“It sounds like you need a break,” I said. “Leave Egan with us tomorrow, and go out for a few hours with your girlfriends; or drop into one of those places where you can get your nails done, and a facial, or something. You know, just go pamper yourself.”
Kerry smiled and said, “Glenn, you always know how to cheer me up. I won’t have time tomorrow, but thanks for thinking of me. I hope Rick knows what a treasure you are.”
I was startled to hear Rick’s voice. “I do know I’ve got the best boyfriend in the world.” He walked over and sat down next to me on the loveseat. Putting his arm around my shoulders, he kissed me.
“I love you,” I said, smiling at him. I inhaled deeply. “You smell good.”
Rick leaned over and whispered in my ear, “I taste good, too. I need you to give me a blow job.”
I blushed and said, “You’ll have to wait a bit.”
Kerry‘s eyes sparkled with merriment as she said, “I can see Rick is a little frisky. I’ll take Egan downstairs until dinner’s ready.”
Rick smiled at Kerry. “You don’t have to go. We can go to our bedroom and close the door. ”
Kerry nodded her head. “Go ahead, guys. I’ll take care of dinner.”
I picked up Egan and carried him to his mother. Rick took my hand and led me to our room, closing the door behind us. Rick wasted no time getting our clothes off. He wasn’t kidding when he said he needed some relief. I looked up from his very erect steel pole and blue balls, and met his gaze. “You must have been thinking about me all day.”
Rick admitted, “Yes, I’ve been daydreaming of fucking you all day long. I’m so horny my balls hurt.”
I reached down to caress his cock and balls, as I kissed him deeply. I maneuvered him across the room to our bed, gently pushing him down on the mattress. He looked up at me expectantly, his eyes full of lust. I gave him a broad grin and said, “I hope you’re ready.”
Rick nodded his head. I began my strategic assault on his body, causing him to arch his back and moan in ecstasy. It wasn’t long before he surrendered to me!
Kerry pulled the salmon from the oven and placed it in the warming oven. She knew that Rick and Glenn wouldn’t be ready to eat for a while.
Egan walked into the kitchen and said, “Hungry.”
“Okay, Egan, come here and I’ll get you your dinner,” Kerry said, smiling at her little boy.
Egan walked over and held up his arms to be picked up. Kerry reached down and scooped him into her arms. “Would you like some fish and rice?”
Egan replied, “Rice.”
She buckled him into his high chair. She scooped some rice out the rice cooker and placed it in a plastic bowl and added some salmon from the warming oven. Kerry put the bowl on the table and said, “It’s hot, Egan. We have to let it cool down, first.” She blew on it to speed up the cooling process. Egan started slapping his hands on the tray. “Would you like some apples?”
“Apples,” he repeated after her.
She walked over to the refrigerator and retrieved an apple from the crisper. She peeled it and diced it into small pieces, adding the apple pieces to the bowl with the fish and rice. It was a special bowl made just for toddlers, with three sections to keep the different foods from getting mixed together. She tested the temperature of the rice and fish, finding it had cooled enough for Egan to eat it. She placed it on his tray with a baby spoon.
Egan ignored the spoon, and started picking up his food with his hands. He tried the salmon and spat it out, making a face. Next, he tried the rice and ate all of it, followed by the diced apples. When he finished, he picked up his bowl and held it out to her. She smiled, “Good job, Egan. Do you want some juice?”
“Juice,” Egan said, nodding his head.
She filled his Sippy cup with apple juice and handed it to him. “Drink it this time. No shaking it out on the floor,” she warned him.
Egan drank thirstily, draining the Sippy cup. He held out the cup for her to take from him. “Gone,” he said.
Kerry smiled and said, “That’s right. It’s all gone.” She took the cup from his hands and placed it alongside his bowl in the kitchen sink. She moistened a wash cloth with warm water and turned to wash Egan’s face and hands. “You’re all done baby.”
She removed the tray from the high chair and rinsed it off in the sink, drying it with a dish towel. She returned it to the high chair, unbuckled Egan and carried him into the family room, placing him on the floor with his toys. She grabbed a beanbag chair and sat on the floor next to Egan to wait for the guys.
As she watched Egan play with his blocks, she thought about how wonderful he was. Her love for him knew no bounds. Her thoughts turned to her husband. She missed him terribly. Rick and Glenn always welcomed her to their home, which helped her with the loneliness she felt; but she felt she had already imposed on them more than she should. They were always willing to babysit Egan for her. She was constantly amazed how the two men had taken to their little nephew. It was like the little guy had captured their hearts the moment they had laid eyes on him.
She hoped someday soon, Rick would marry Glenn. She hadn’t always felt that way. Over the last few weeks, she had spent a great deal of time with them, since Keith was travelling with his new job. She had seen how perfect they were for each other. She knew they loved each other, but she had somehow thought it wasn’t the same kind of love she had for Keith. She had never said anything about them being together; but she had held out hope that they would split up, and each find a woman to marry. Kerry thought the world of both men, and wished the best for them; and, for her, the best meant marrying a woman, and having a family.
Kerry looked up from where she was playing with Egan to see the two men enter the room. She smiled, as she noticed how they were holding hands, and seemed to have eyes only for each other. It was obvious they loved each other. She still remembered how negatively she had reacted to the news Keith’s cousin, Glenn, was gay. She also remembered how she had convinced her sister, Ruth Ann, to participate in an attempt to “rescue” Glenn from being gay. That had been over three years ago, now. She was glad she and Ruth Ann had failed, because she could see how happy the two men were. She doubted Glenn would have been as happy with Ruth Ann; because he would have been living a lie, trying to pretend he wasn’t attracted to other men. She understood that, now.
She could see Rick and Glenn getting married and adopting children. She wondered if they would decide to find a surrogate mother to have their child. The thought crossed her mind that she would be willing to be that surrogate, if they asked her. She was surprised she felt that way, but it seemed natural for her to help Rick and Glenn realize their dream of having a family together. They were, after all, members of her family; and family takes care of family.
Kerry stood up and said, “I put dinner in the warmer, so when you’re ready, we can eat.”
I smiled at her and said, “Thank you for rescuing dinner.”
“Not a problem. I fed Egan already, but I’m sure he’ll be good for another cookie.” she said.
Egan heard the mention of a cookie and said, “I want a cookie.”
“See,” she said, picking him up and carrying him into the kitchen. She buckled him into his high chair.
I retrieved the salmon from the warming oven, while Rick scooped the rice into a serving bowl. Kerry grabbed the salad out of the refrigerator along with the salad dressing and soy sauce. We put everything on the table that Kerry had already set for us.
“Thank you for setting the table, Kerry,” Rick said.
We sat down and Rick offered grace. Everything tasted good to me. I gave Egan two cookies, which he quickly demolished! He ate most of them, but quite a few crumbs ended up on his tray.
Kerry said, “Egan, cookies are for eating, not smashing into pieces.”
Rick laughed. “He’s just learning how things work.”
Kerry smiled. “Yes, I’m sure he is.”
I said, “He’s just like Rick, trying to figure things out.”
Rick grinned. “Yes, that’s true. I have managed to figure out one thing though.”
I raised my eyebrows and asked, “What might that be?”
He reached over and rubbed the inside of my thigh. “I know how to keep you happy.”
I put my hand on his and said, “I can’t argue with that.”
Kerry asked, “Where are you guys going tonight?”
“We’re meeting some of our friends for a few drinks,” I said.
“I hope you’re not going to one of those gays clubs,” Kerry said. “The police have been making sweeps through them, to harass gays. That’s the last thing you need to have happen to you.”
Rick agreed, “You’re right about that. We’re going to the Havana Club tonight.”
Kerry smiled. “Keith has taken me there a few times. I hope you have a good time.”
“We will,” I said. “The football team is celebrating Cordell’s birthday there, tonight. We told him we would show up for a few minutes.”
“Since Glenn doesn’t drink, it doesn’t make sense for us to stay very long. We can’t dance there, because someone might report me to the military,” Rick said. He put a finger to my lips and said, “I know what you’re going to say, but don’t, please.”
I heard the pleading in his voice, and nodded my head. “I won’t, I promise.”
Kerry smiled, and said, “I’m glad you stopped arguing with Rick about his military service.”
I looked at her and said, “I haven’t given up trying to convince Rick to leave the Marine Corps; but, I have decided since Rick knows how I feel, I don’t need to be as confrontational about it.”
Rick took my hand in his, and said, “It’s made things a lot better between us.”
“I was letting it drive a wedge between us,” I said.
Rick said, “The night Glenn’s mother called us is when everything came to a head for us. We both realized how much we meant to each other, and made a commitment to help each other. I agreed I needed to get out of the military as soon as possible, and Glenn agreed to stop pushing me about it.”
“We have worked hard since then to make our relationship our number one priority. We’ve gotten a lot better at communicating with each other,” I said.
“Keith and I have noticed a big difference in how you treat each other,” Kerry said. “It’s much more loving and kind. In fact, we were talking about how we needed to mirror your behavior toward each other in our own marital relationship.”
Rick smiled, and said, “Thank you for the compliment, Kerry. It’s nice to know our hard work is paying dividends. I’ve made it a point to spend at least an hour talking to Glenn every night, instead of jumping right into my homework. We talk every morning, as we go out for our early morning run.”
“Most importantly, we go out on a real date, at least once a week, if not more,” I said.
“The dating thing has made a huge difference,” Rick said. “I have Glenn’s undivided attention, well mostly undivided, when we go out. He still gives good looking guys the once over.”
“But you love me, anyway,” I said, leaning over to kiss him.
Rick said, “Yes, I do love you very much.”
Kerry said, “Whatever you guys are doing, keep it up, because it’s working.”
Egan was pounding on the tray, demanding our attention. Kerry said, “Egan, it’s time for bed.” She stood up and unbuckled him from his high chair.
I said, “We’ll clean up. You go ahead and take our little guy downstairs, and get him ready for bed.”
Kerry smiled at us, gratefully. “Say, ‘goodbye,’ to Uncle Rick and Uncle Glenn.”
Egan waved his little hand in the air, and said, “Bye bye.”
They left us, and we quickly did up the dishes and wiped down the high chair, table and counters. As I let the water out of the sink, Rick came up behind me. He wrapped his arms around my waist and whispered in my ear, “You’re so sexy.”
I turned my head to meet his lips. I could feel how aroused he was. Not breaking our kiss, I turned in his arms and deepened the kiss. When we finally came up for air, I said, “Are you sure you want to go out?”
Rick’s eyes sparkled with mischief, as he gave me his Cheshire cat smile. “No, but we did tell Cordell we’d be there tonight.”
“Okay, let’s go, but let’s make an early night of it,” I said. I squeezed his package. “I want some of this, later.”
Rick kissed me and agreed. “You’ve got a deal, Mr. Nielsen.” He released me and took my hand, leading me out to the foyer. Rick opened our coat closet and handed me a sweater. “It’s a little cool outside, so you’ll want this, Babe.”
He pulled out his matching sweater, and we left our condo. Rick asked, “Should we take the Corvette tonight?”
I smiled and replied, “Only if you want to take her out. I’m fine with taking the Land Rover, or the Jeep.”
Rick walked over to his Corvette and pointed to the other side. “Will you grab the car cover on that side?”
“Sure,” I said. I helped him uncover the beautiful red Corvette. We folded up the cover and put it away, before climbing inside.
Rick turned the key in the ignition and the car roared to life. He grinned at me. “I love my car.”
I laughed. “Yes, I know. I have to compete with her sometimes for your attention.”
Rick’s grin widened. “You don’t have to worry, because she doesn’t give me as much pleasure as you.” He leaned over and kissed me on the lips.
He put the car in gear and backed the car out of her parking space. He peeled out of the parking lot, putting down some rubber on the pavement! I just shook my head. Rick can be such a kid sometimes! I put my hand on his thigh. I love the feel of his muscles under my hand. Rick glanced at me and said, “Don’t play too much down there, or we’ll have to turn around and go home.”
I gave him my most wicked laugh and said, “That wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all.”
Rick put his hand over mine. “Remember, you’re the one who agreed to go to Cordell’s birthday party.”
“I know. I’m not sure how things are going to work out though. Most of the football team will be there,” I said.
A little while later, Rick pulled into the parking lot and found a suitable parking place. Rick won’t park his baby in just any old place. It has to be the perfect spot. He got out and walked around to open the door for me, giving me a hand up. He pulled me into his arms for a quick kiss, before letting me go.”
“That’s to get you through the evening,” Rick said.
We walked into the club and were directed to Cordell’s party. Cordell looked up and saw us. “Hey guys! I’m glad you could make it.” Michael was seated next to him. Larry and Jeb were seated across from them. Cordell pointed to two chairs and said, “Take a seat.”
“Where are the rest of the guys?” I asked, looking around.
“Some of the guys are over at the bar,” Cordell said. “The rest haven’t arrived yet.”
The waiter showed up at our table to take our order. Rick ordered a beer and I got my usual diet soda. Rick caught my glance when he ordered the beer. He didn’t say anything; but he pulled his keys out of his pocket and handed them to me.
I smiled and said, “Thank you, Babe.” I slipped the keys into my pocket. We had previously agreed that, if Rick wanted to have more than one beer, he would give me his keys.
Larry said, “You won’t believe what happened to Jeb today.”
We looked over at Jeb, waiting for him to give us an explanation. He took a long drag on his beer. “My parents sent two of their missionaries to try and convince me to return to their church.”
Larry said, “You should have seen Jeb quoting scriptures to them. He had them running scared!”
Jeb laughed. “I showed them they were religious bigots based on their own Bible references. I told them they needed to study their Bible, because they obviously didn’t know it well enough to understand how un-Christian they are.”
A group of guys came over to our table. One of them said, “Hey, Cordell! Happy birthday, dude! Who are your friends?”
Cordell said, “This is Michael, Glenn and Rick. You already know Larry and Jeb.”
“I’m Armonni Greene,” he said. “These are my teammates, Parris, Walter and Leon. We’re all linebackers.”
Cordell said, “Pull up a table. We can make room for you guys.”
We rearranged the tables and the guys reassembled themselves. Armonni sat down next to me. He was a very handsome man. In fact, all of the guys were perfect male specimens! Armonni had a ready smile and a firm handshake. “Glenn, what are you guys doing for the holidays?”
“We’re spending it with my family on my grandparents’ peach farm,” I said. I explained where it was.
“That sounds really cool. I’m driving home to Florida tomorrow morning. I’m an only child, as are my parents; so there won’t be very many of us,” Armonni said.
“I’ve never really been alone, with three older brothers and a younger sister,” I said. I tried not to be too obvious about giving him the once over; but I did manage to get a good look at him as he was moving the tables. He was tall, with dark brown skin, dark brown eyes, curly black hair, a slightly crooked nose, and a brilliantly white smile. He boasted a thin black mustache on his upper lip.
He met my gaze, and smiled, “What sports do you play?”
“I’m into soccer. I also do a lot of swimming and running, to keep in shape,” I said.
He reached over and squeezed my upper arm. I flexed my biceps and he nodded his head appreciatively. “You’ve been lifting weights, as well.”
“Yes, but only under duress. Rick insists we lift weights at least three times a week,” I said.
Rick said, “It’s the only way to keep in shape.”
Armonni agreed, “That’s right. Coach has us lifting weights every day, as well as doing the cardio stuff.”
Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of more of Cordell’s teammates. We were introduced to them. They had gathered around our tables and Armonni said, “Time for the birthday song.”
The entire team burst into their rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.” We joined in and had a good laugh when Armonni poured his beer over Cordell’s head. Cordell said, “Thanks for coming, guys.”
They spread out among the surrounding tables. It wasn’t long before several of them went out on the dance floor, having brought their girlfriends with them. I looked over at Rick and said, “Let’s go.”
Rick nodded his head and looked across the table at Cordell. “Thanks for inviting us, Cordell. We’re making an early night of it.”
Cordell said, “I’m glad you came.”
We paid our bill and made our way out to Rick’s car. I climbed into the driver’s seat and started the engine. Rick was pretty relaxed, after having several more beers. I drove us home and parked the Corvette in its usual place. Rick helped me cover her up, and I took his hand. I led him into our building and up to our condo. I turned and locked the door, then led him into our bedroom. We stripped out of our clothes and hit the en suite. I turned on the shower and adjusted the temperature. We had a nice leisurely shower. Our foreplay had us both very amped up. We spent the rest of the evening satisfying our desire for each other…it was a perfect ending to a wonderful evening together!
The next morning, we took our time getting ready for our drive to Grandpa and Grandma Scarborough’s place. I was a little nervous about spending the holiday with them. Grandpa arranged to have our entire family flown in for Thanksgiving. So, that meant all of my siblings would be there, plus Mom and Dad. It had been a little over a week since Mom had called to let us know she was going back home to live with Dad. She reassured us they had been able to resolve their differences to her satisfaction. She had sounded very happy.
They had decided they needed to start afresh, and would use the trip to Georgia as an opportunity to begin a new stage in their relationship. They planned to go on a second honeymoon, following the holiday. After the initial surprise had worn off, we congratulated her and Dad.
We had packed our bags for the long weekend and placed them by the door, when Rick pulled me into his arms. “Babe, will you stop pacing the floor. You’re acting like a caged animal.”
I looked into his eyes and said, “I can’t help it, Rick. I’m worried about how things will work out with everyone being at Grandpa and Grandma’s. I’m still pissed off at Dad for messing around with Renata. I know Mom has not only forgiven him, but has gone back to him. I just don’t know how I’m going to handle things when I see him. On top of that, we really haven’t spent much time with my brothers since they accused us of being the reason for Mom and Dad’s separation. I’m not going to put up with any of their crap. If they say one word about us being gay, I’m not sure I can keep my temper.”
Rick took my face in his hands. “It will be alright. I promise. If anything starts to go haywire, Grandpa will put a stop to it. You know he won’t put up with any nonsense from your brothers; or anyone else, for that matter.”
I put my hands over his. “I know, but I still can’t convince myself everything will go smoothly.”
“Glenn, you worry too much,” Rick said.
I took his hands in mine, kissing each one. “I know. I’m trying to settle down.”
Rick grinned lecherously. “I know the perfect antidote for your nervous condition.”
I laughed. “That’s your answer for all my ills.”
Rick led me down the hall to our bedroom. “It’s worked every time, hasn’t it?”
I blushed and admitted, “Yes, it has.”
“Good. I’m glad you admit getting fucked by me has a calming effect on you,” Rick said, still grinning like a Cheshire cat.
I guffawed. “Yeah, it leaves me so totally exhausted I don’t have a choice but to relax.”
“That’s the whole point, Babe,” Rick said, stripping me out of my clothes. He gently pushed me down on the bed, then, did a slow strip tease routine.
By the time he joined me, I was so amped up I couldn’t stop myself from seizing his body, pulling him on top of me. Rick uttered a guttural growl, before capturing my lips in a deep kiss.
We lay exhausted in a tangle of arms and legs. Rick rubbed noses with me and asked, “Are you okay, now?”
“I’m more than okay, sweetheart,” I replied, still coming down from the feeling of euphoria that always accompanied our lovemaking. I lightly caressed his back and broad shoulders. I love the feel of Rick’s rock hard muscles. His very masculine appearance is a real turn on for me!
He lightly bit my neck. “I like how you taste.” I leaned my head back to give him better access. He kissed his way up my neck to my jawline; then captured my lips in a deep kiss.
He pulled back and gazed into my eyes. “I love you, Glenn.”
I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him to me. “I love you, too.”
We stayed like that for what seemed like forever. A calm, peaceful feeling had come over me, and I didn’t want to lose that feeling. Finally, Rick stirred and whispered in my ear, “Babe, we need to get on the road.”
I nodded my head. “I know, but I was just enjoying the feel of your body next to mine.”
Rick kissed me and said, “You get to feel my body next to yours tonight.”
I smiled. “Alright, I guess I’m ready.”
He stood up, turning to give me a hand up. He pulled me into his waiting arms and held me tight. I leaned my head against his chest, listening to his steady heartbeat. He nuzzled my hair until I lifted my head to meet his lips. “Let’s get showered.”
After a quick shower, we got dressed and hauled our gear down to the Land Rover. I like the Land Rover for travelling. Rick climbed in, and started the engine. He pulled out of the parking lot and headed toward the main highway. We talked and joked around during the drive to Grandpa and Grandma’s house.
We pulled into the driveway and parked the Land Rover behind Grandpa’s Lamborghini. Rick said, “I think Greg and Cory are here, already.” He pointed to the red Ferrari parked next to Grandpa’s car.”
We climbed out and were greeted by Jack and Miriam.
Jack was bouncing up and down with excitement. “Uncle Rick, we flew on an airplane.”
Rick smiled. “That’s exciting. Who came with you on the airplane?”
Jack pointed at his sister, and said, “Miriam, Mom and Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Eric, Aunt Laura, Aunt Nancy, Uncle Shawn and Uncle Randy.”
Miriam said, “We’re all here, now you’ve arrived.”
I grabbed our gear from the back of the Land Rover and came over to where Rick was talking to the two children. “You have both gotten a lot taller since we saw you last.”
Jack grinned and held up his hand, with his fingers spread out. “I’m five years old and I go to school, now.”
Miriam said, “I’m seven and I’m in the second grade.”
“Wow! You both are growing up too fast,” I said. “Do I get a hug?”
I knelt down and both children gave me a hug. They turned to Rick, and Jack said, “It’s your turn, Uncle Rick.” They gave him a hug.
Jack said, “Everyone is inside.” He turned and ran toward the house.
Miriam followed him, racing him to the door. Miriam held the door open for us, as we entered the house. Grandma met us in the foyer. “Hello boys. You’ll be staying in your usual room.”
I sat our gear on the floor and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Rick did the same. “Is everyone here?”
Grandma smiled and said, “Yes, now that you’re here. Greg and Cory arrived about an hour ago from Minneapolis.”
“I thought they were here since their car is parked next to Grandpa’s,” Rick said.
We took our stuff to our room. We were standing in the hallway outside our room, when Greg and Cory came out of their room. Greg smiled and said, “I’m glad you guys finally made it. Cory and I have been relaxing a bit from our long drive.”
I said, “It’s good to see you two.” I hugged them and kissed both on the lips. Greg held me close and kissed me deeply.
Rick tapped Greg on the shoulder and coughed. “That’s my boyfriend you’re kissing.”
Greg let me go and laughed. “Glenn kissed me first.”
I grinned at him. “Yes, I did, and I enjoyed it.” I looked over at Cory. “You’ve got him well trained, Cory. He’s become a much better kisser than the last time we saw you.”
Cory put his arm around Greg’s shoulders. “He’s had lots of practice.”
Greg turned his head to kiss his husband. “Cory is the best teacher.”
Cory grinned and said, “I try.”
I asked, “Are Uncle Bob and Uncle Corey here?”
“Yes, they’re downstairs,” Greg said. “It’s nice to have five gay couples in the family. I never dreamed I’d be part of a family that is so accepting of gays.”
Rick agreed, “I feel the same way.” Rick took my hand in his, and we turned to go downstairs.
We entered the family room. Uncle Bob and Uncle Jasper were seated together on the couch, with Uncle Corey and Uncle Dylan next to them. Uncle Corey smiled and said, “Hey guys.”
I walked over and hugged them. When I got to Uncle Dylan, I glanced over to Uncle Corey and asked, “Can I kiss your husband, Uncle Corey?”
Uncle Corey looked at his husband and grinned. “Sure.”
I kissed him on the lips, pushing my tongue between his lips. I pulled back and laughed at the surprised look on his face. “Uncle Dylan, you need to work on your kissing skills.”
Uncle Corey guffawed, “Dylan always tells me he’s already learned how to give me a kiss.”
Rick smiled and said, “I think we should have a kissing contest before the holiday is over. We just need to find unbiased judges.”
Greg said, “I’m not sure my brothers can handle that kind of excitement.” He said it with a straight face, but winked at me and Rick.
Uncle Bob protested, “We’re not so old that we can’t handle a kissing contest!”
Uncle Jasper agreed, “I think we can put these young guys to shame in that department.”
Uncle Corey said, “I think we’re up to the challenge, aren’t we, Dylan?”
Cory said, “I was afraid this was going to be a dreadfully boring holiday. I should’ve known Glenn would figure out a way to make things interesting.”
Uncle Bob said, “We’ve heard about your competitions at the beach.”
I looked at Rick, who shrugged. “Who told you guys?” I looked over at Greg.
Greg laughed. “I’m the guilty party. I had to tell them about how much fun we had, both in Cancun, and in Spain.”
Giving me a hurt look, Uncle Dylan said, “We were feeling very left out.”
I said, “I’m sorry I didn’t invite you guys last time. I’ll remember to let you know when we plan to make our next beach trip.”
Uncle Dylan smiled. “That’s more like it.”
Uncle Jasper said, “By the way, we’ve decided you need to stop calling us your uncles. We want to be just one of the guys, like Greg and Cory.”
Uncle Bob said, “We want you to call us Bob, Jasper, Corey and Dylan from now on.”
I nodded my head. “I’m good with that, but it may take a while for me to get used to it.”
Rick said, “I’m glad you guys decided we didn’t need to be so formal about things. I’ve always felt calling you guys ‘uncle’ was a bit much.”
Dylan said, “We did, too. It seemed to put up a barrier we all wanted to tear down. It was pretty apparent you weren’t comfortable inviting the four of us on your beach trip.” I was feeling pretty badly about not including them. Dylan stood up and pulled me into his arms, kissing me deeply. “There, is that better?”
I grinned and said, “Much better. You just might be able to win the kissing contest with that one.”
Dylan turned to Corey and said, “See, I can make a good impression, when I want to.”
Corey said, “I never doubted it.”
Greg said, “We’ll have to tone down the kissing contest to keep it G-rated, though.”
Jasper said, “We could invite all the couples to participate.”
“We could ask Mr. Curtis to be one of the judges,” Dylan said.
Corey grinned and said, “Maybe we could ask the new guy to be a judge, as well.”
Dylan laughed. “That would really be a good one! The guy’s name is Frances Moon.”
Bob said, “I’ll talk to Mr. Curtis about it. When do we want to do it?”
“Let’s do it this afternoon,” I said. “We need to talk to the rest of the folks. By the way, where are Mom and Dad?”
“They’re in the kitchen with Stan and Sharon,” Bob said. “I think Keith and Kerry are outside, by the pool, with Tina and Jason.”
“Is Roger here? Keith said he was bringing his new girlfriend,” I said.
“I think Roger might be in the kitchen. I think they’re talking about possible wedding plans,” Corey said.
“Keith did say Roger seemed pretty serious about his girl,” Rick said.
“She’s quite a looker,” Jasper said. “Her name is Penelope Gonos. She’s from a prominent Greek family in Raleigh.”
I took Rick’s hand and said, “Let’s go talk to the adults in the kitchen.”
Bob laughed. “I’m glad I don’t qualify as an adult now.”
I grinned and said, “Since you’re a newlywed, I don’t think you count as an adult anymore.”
We walked down the hallway to the kitchen, where we found Uncle Stan and Aunt Sharon, talking with Roger and a very pretty girl.
Roger smiled and presented her to us. “Rick and Glenn, this is my fiancée, Penelope Gonos.”
We chorused, “Nice to meet you.”
She smiled and said, “Roger has spoken very highly of you both. I’m glad to finally get to meet you.”
“Congratulations on your engagement,” I said. I walked around the table and gave Aunt Sharon a hug.
She said, “It’s good to see you, Glenn.”
“Where did Mom and Dad go?” I asked.
“They went outside to join the rest of the family by the pool. It’s such a beautiful day, everyone decided to spend some time in the sun,” she replied.
We left the kitchen and went in search of my parents. Rick asked, “Are you sure you want to see them right now?”
“I want to get it over with,” I said. “I don’t want to wait.”
We walked out on the patio and across to the gazebo. Mom and Dad were seated next to each other on one of the benches. Tina and Jason were seated across from them, while Keith and Kerry were seated in the swing with Egan sitting between them.
“Hi Mom and Dad,” I said, walking over to give Mom a kiss on the cheek. I didn’t meet Dad’s eyes, but sat down next to Mom. Rick kissed Mom’s cheek and joined me on the bench.
Mom said, “I’m glad you boys came. I wasn’t sure you’d come.”
Dad said, “Thank you for coming, Glenn. I owe you an apology. I know I hurt you as much as I hurt your mother with what I’ve done.”
Hearing his apology and the sincerity in his voice, I looked up and met his gaze. “Yes, you did cause us a great deal of pain.”
“Your mother and I have committed to starting over. I would like to ask you to give me a chance to start over with you, as well,” he said.
“That will depend on how you treat Mom. She loves you very much, so much so she is willing to overlook your indiscretion, and agreed to start anew with your relationship. I can see she’s happy; but it isn’t easy to wipe the board clean and start over,” I said. “I should know. I’ve done some pretty stupid things, too.”
Rick squeezed my hand, reassuringly. “Yes, we’ve had a few things happen in our relationship that have caused us more than a little pain. But we’ve moved past them and have managed to become stronger, as a result.”
“I’m hoping your mother and I can do the same,” he said, taking her hand in his. “I hope you can forgive me, as well, Glenn.”
Mom said, “I’ve told your Dad he has to work things out with each of his children, without my assistance. I want him to be able to have a relationship with each of you; by earning your trust.”
I said, “Frankly, I’m afraid it will take some time to rebuild.”
Dad said, “I know, but I’m willing to put in the time and the effort to earn back your trust, Glenn.”
“Have you talked to my siblings, as well?” I asked.
“Yes, I have talked to them about starting over,” he said. “Randy is in the same place as you, Glenn, as far as the trust issue is concerned.”
I nodded my head. “That doesn’t surprise me.”
“I have done the most damage to you and Randy, of all the children,” Dad said.
Our conversation was interrupted by Miriam and Jack running up Mom and Dad. Miriam said, “Grandpa and Grandma, Uncle Corey says we’re going to have a kissing contest. He said to tell you to come inside if you want see it.”
Jack said, bouncing up and down with excitement, “Uncle Bob says he plans to win.”
Mom looked over at me and asked, “Is this your idea?”
I grinned. “Yes, it was my idea. I thought we could make things fun for all of us.”
Dad laughed. “I never would have thought to have a kissing contest. Do you want to be part of the contest?”
Mom smiled and said, “Sure. It sounds fun.”
Miriam turned to Keith and Kerry and said, “Are you going to come, too?”
Keith smiled and said, “Yes, we’ll come.”
Keith stood up and turned to help Kerry up. Egan held up his arms and Keith lifted him into his arms. Miriam and Jack each took Mom and Dad’s hands and escorted them back into the house. Keith signaled for us to hang back a bit.
When Mom and Dad were out of earshot, Keith said, “You weren’t exactly friendly to your Dad.”
“Why should I be?” I asked, looking Keith in the eyes.
“You need to let go of your anger, Glenn. Your Dad has been working hard to repair his relationships with your brothers. Eric is still pretty angry at him and Gary only a little less so. Since we’ve been here, Eric and Gary have avoided being in the same room with him. The same goes for Randy and Shawn. It’s been pretty uncomfortable. I’d like to enjoy our holiday together, but you guys need to unbend a bit and at least be civil to him,” Keith said.
I said, “I’ll give it my best shot, Keith, but I’m not promising I’ll be able to do any better than my brothers.”
Kerry put her arms around me and said, “Please give your Dad another chance. We have spent the last hour listening to him. He is really sad his sons won’t forgive him, despite his repeated apologies. He knows he was wrong and did a lot of harm to his family.”
I said, “Okay, I’ll try to keep my anger under wraps.”
She released me and said, “We love you, Glenn. We want you to be happy. Holding a grudge against your father is not in your best interest.”
Rick put his arm around my waist and said, “I’ll help him, Kerry. Together we can get through today.”
We walked back to the house and entered the family room to find everyone was gathered there. I walked over and hugged Randy and Shawn. “It’s good to see you guys,” Randy said.
Shawn said, “You both look great!”
Rick smiled. “It’s been a real tough job keeping Glenn from getting fat.” He patted my flat stomach.
I protested, “No, it has not! I have been lifting weights with you, so I’ve put on muscle, not fat.”
Rick laughed and said, “Glenn’s got rock hard abs now.” He lifted my shirt and rubbed his hands over my abs. I tightened them instinctively.
Randy smiled. “Who would have thought my scrawny little brother would ever bulk up like that?”
I said, “Not me. I never imagined I would ever have enough definition to qualify as looking buff.”
Rick put his arm around my waist and said, “I’ve been working on Glenn for three years now, and I’m finally seeing some good results.”
Nancy walked over to us and said, “Hey! Don’t I get a hug?”
I laughed. “It’s good to see you, little sister.” I gave her a hug and kiss on the cheek.
She turned to Rick and said, “Hello, brother-in-law.” She hugged Rick.
Rick said, “How’s my favorite sister-in-law?”
“I’m good. I can’t wait to graduate though. I’m more than ready to move on with my life, especially now that I’ve been doing clinical work at the hospital” Nancy said.
We turned as Gary, Jessica, Eric and Laura came into the room. We greeted them, but were interrupted when Bob and Corey stood up. Bob said, “May we have everyone’s attention, please.” He waited for everyone to quiet down, then, continued, “We want everyone to participate in a kissing competition and these are the rules.” He outlined how it would work. “Remember, this is a family friendly game, so keep it G-rated.” He looked meaningfully around the room.
All of the couples took turns kissing, including Grandpa and Grandma. We wolf whistled and howled as we had a second round to break a tie. Grandpa and Grandma were voted the unanimous winners.
Grandpa grinned and said, “It goes to show you’re never too old.”
Grandma agreed, “That is so true, my dear.” They held hands and it was obvious they were still deeply in love with each other, after all these years.
Grandma said, “Thank you, Bob and Corey, for getting us started off right. We’ve got lots of activities planned for the next few days. We’ve arranged for horseback riding for those who are interested. There are plenty of board games and computer games, etc. For the young ones, there will be a treasure hunt. For you guys, Grandpa has arranged for a Turkey Bowl football game with my cousin’s family. It will be the Scarboroughs against the Campbells. The game will start at 8:30 AM tomorrow at the local elementary school. Are there any questions?”
Jack raised his hand. “Grandma, when may we go horseback riding?”
“You may go as soon as your parents can drive you over to the stables,” Grandma said.
Jack clapped his hands and said, “Miriam, let’s go horseback riding now.” He looked up at his Dad.
Gary smiled and said, “Okay, we’ll go over in a few minutes.”
Most of us decided to ride horses for the rest of the day. We came back just in time for dinner. Grandma had an extra table set up in the dining room to accommodate the crowd. The meal was superb and everyone was relaxed. Gary and Eric loosened up and we soon were trash talking each other, just like old times.
After dinner, we helped clear the tables and wash up the dishes. The children started playing board games, while the adults migrated to the family room.
Grandpa asked, “Eva, please play the piano for me.”
As usual, he was sound asleep after the first piece. She kept playing for a while. Later, she signaled for me to replace her at the keyboard. I played some of my favorites, then, yielded my place to Corey.
I went into the kitchen to get a glass of water. I drained the glass and put it in the sink. I turned to return to the family room, but was surprised to find my father standing behind me.
He took me in his arms and hugged tight. He said, “Son, I love you very much. I’m so sorry I’ve hurt you so much.” He released me and I could see the tears on his cheeks.
I held his gaze and said, “I love you, too, Dad.” I found I meant what I’d said. I guess I did still love him, despite everything he had done.
Dad said, “Hearing you say those words means more to me than you know. I know I’ve messed up, and I don’t deserve your love, but knowing you’ll give me a second chance gives me hope, someday, things will be better between us.”
I put my arm around his shoulders and said, “The best thing you can do to help heal the wounds in our family is to do your best to make Mom happy. Nothing else will do as much good to prove to us you really mean what you’ve said.”
Dad nodded his head in understanding. “I get that, Glenn. It’s taken me a long time to realize just how poorly I’ve treated your mother over the years. I’m still trying to make amends for that.”
We left the kitchen and returned to the family room. Rick looked up at me and beckoned me to join him on the couch. I sat down and he pulled me close to him. He whispered in my ear, “Are you okay?”
I nodded my head. “Yes, I’m fine.” As I said those words, I realized I really was okay. The anger I felt toward my father was gone. It felt good not to have those hard feelings constantly dogging my thoughts. I relaxed into Rick’s arms and leaned my head on his shoulder, as I listened to my uncles singing some of their favorite show tunes, with my mother accompanying them on the piano.
Later, in our room, Rick held me in his arms and looked into my eyes. “Are you feeling better about being here with your family?”
“Yes, a lot better,” I said.
“I think it’s helped Gary and Eric to be around Bob and Corey and their husbands. I think it opened their eyes to the fact same-sex couples are just like straight ones. I was pleasantly surprised when Dylan took them to task for being prejudiced against gays. He really laid into them for trying to cover up their anti-gay sentiments,” Rick said.
“I think it helped that their wives agreed with Dylan, and basically told them to shape up or they would leave them. Laura, particularly, told Eric she would file for divorce on their return to Canada if he didn’t change his behavior,” I said.
“She put Jessica to shame for not insisting Gary change his attitudes, as well. Laura called her on it, and told her off, too,” Rick said. “Now, that was amazing.”
“I’m still surprised at Jessica’s behavior. She seemed so open and friendly when I brought you home that first time. I wonder what happened to cause her to change her mind about us,” I said.
“People are very unpredictable, Babe. They can change in a blink of an eye,” Rick said. “You think you know someone pretty well, then, you find out they really aren’t who you think they are.”
“It’s kind of like your friend, Sam. You thought he was straight, then you found out he was gay and dealing drugs, too,” I said.
Rick’s expression changed to one of sadness. “Yes, that is true. Sam was a very good friend to me. I’m glad the guys who killed him are behind bars, and will stay behind bars for a long time to come. The new guys in our reserve unit are pretty cool. Lt. Col. Bachman has made it clear he won’t put up with any kind of harassment or hazing of any kind from anyone.”
“Are they young guys?” I asked.
“Yes, they are. They kind of remind me of you when you first moved to Atlanta,” Rick said, smiling at me.
I laughed. “You mean they’re pretty naïve, like I was.”
“Yes. They are kind of clueless. I’ve taken them under my wing, and I’ve tried to help them out,” Rick said. “Things have gotten a lot better since the new guys joined us.”
“I’m glad of that,” I said. “Where are we going to spend Christmas this year?”
“Let’s stay home this year. I want to start some of our own traditions for the holidays,” Rick said.
“I’m good with that,” I said. I kissed him and said, “I love you, Babe.”
He rubbed noses with me and said, “I love you, too.”
I snuggled closer to him and laid my head on his chest. I soon drifted off, feeling safe and warm in Rick’s arms.
|Prev||To be continued . . .||Next|
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