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




Chapter 130: University of Minnesota Graduation

Our flight to Minneapolis was uneventful.   However, we received the usual glares of disgust, for holding hands in public.   It has never ceased to amaze me how straight people want gays to hide their affection for each other, when they are in public, as if that would make us disappear.   Maybe by pretending we don’t love each other, we won’t cause mental and emotional stress in straight people!   We should never cause distress in those who discriminate against us, because they might have to look inside themselves, and see the monsters they are.    How can rational people say it’s okay for straight people to hold hands in public, but not gay people?

We were standing at the baggage carousel; when an elderly lady approached us followed by an elderly gentleman, who was obviously her husband.   She marched up to us, and said, “You should be jailed for holding hands in public.   It isn’t right for two men to hold hands in public.”

I responded, “Maybe you should be put in jail for holding hands with your husband.   I find it extremely offensive to see people your age holding hands in public.”

She looked at me in shock.   She hadn’t expected me to respond to her in such a manner.   “How dare you speak to me that way?” she said, indignantly.

I replied, “Maybe you can answer your own question by answering mine.   How dare you speak to us that way about something that is none of your business?”

Her husband took her arm, and said, “Please accept my apologies.   My wife has lost all sense of propriety.   She often says things to people she shouldn’t.   Please excuse us.”   He escorted her away from us.   She kept looking over her shoulder, as she went.

I waved to her, and blew her a kiss.   Rick gave me a hard stare and said, “Glenn, that’s enough.”   His tone was serious.

I looked up at him, and said, “Alright, I’ll stop.”

Greg laughed, and said, “Glenn, you’re a crack up.”

I gave him a bow, and said, “Thank you for the compliment.   I do try very hard to please.”

Rick cuffed me up the side of my head.   “Quit making a spectacle of yourself, and grab your luggage.”  

I knew he didn’t like how “in your face” I get around ignorant and rude people.   There was no way I was going to “turn the other cheek,” when the old bat was so obviously filled with her own self-importance and self-righteousness.   I met Rick’s eyes, and decided not to argue with him.

“Yes, sir!”

Rick’s expression softened, and he grinned.   “Now, that’s more like it.”

I stuck my tongue out at him.   He laughed, and stole a quick kiss.   “You shouldn’t stick your tongue out at me, because you know I’ll always collect payment.”

I laughed, as I put my arm around his waist.   “I know I can always count on you.”

I love my guy so very much!   He knows just how to handle me, when I get upset with people.   He also knows how to make me very happy!

We left the baggage claim area and followed Greg and Cory out to the passenger pickup.   We called Zach and Todd when we landed, so we didn’t have to wait long for them to arrive.   It’s about a 20-minute drive from our house, just off of Como Avenue, to the airport.  Zach pulled up to the curb.   He put the Toyota 4 Runner in park.   He jumped out and helped us put our suitcases into the back of his vehicle.  

Zach looked at Greg, and said, “I’m glad you guys made it back in time for our graduation.”

Greg said, “I told you we’d be back.”

Zach grinned, “I know you did, but I know how things can go, sometimes.”   He turned to me and Rick, giving each of us a hug.   “I’m very happy to see you two.”

Rick said, “We wouldn’t miss your graduation for anything.”   He slapped Zach on the back.   “You and your husband rank pretty high up there in my book.”

Zach kissed Rick on the lips.   “Welcome home, Rick.”

Seeing him kiss Rick, I said, “Hey!  Where’s mine?”

He took me in his arms, and kissed me deeply.   His kiss left me breathless.   “Wow!”

Zach laughed, and said, “You’ve been properly welcomed home.   Now, jump in the back seat.”   He swatted me on the rear, as I climbed into his car.

Cory climbed in beside me in the third seat.   It was a good thing Zach had bought the seven passenger model; otherwise, we would have been sitting on each other’s laps!

Rick said, “I can sit in the back, Cory.”

“No, you sit in front with Greg.   You both have longer legs than we do,” Cory said.

Rick nodded his head.   “Thanks, Cory.   It’s not always easy for me to get in and out of that seat.”

Greg laughed.  “Cory just didn’t want you two to make out in the back seat, while the rest of us have to wait until we get home.”

Cory grinned at his husband.   “Well, I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right.”

Zach looked in his rearview mirror, and said, “All four of you look really good.”

Greg said, “We’ve just spent the last few days in the pool.”

Todd turned around in the front seat, to get a better look at us.   “I can tell.   You look like gingerbread men.”

Rick said, “We taste like gingerbread men, too.”

Todd laughed.   “Is that so?”

“Just ask Glenn,” Rick said, grinning broadly.

He looked at me, and I nodded my head.   “Yes, he does.”

Todd licked his lips.   “I think we need to check that out for ourselves.   Zach, what do you say?”

Zach said, “I certainly do.”

Greg said, “We get to use your bedroom, since you have the king-sized bed.”

Zach met Greg’s eyes in the mirror, and grinned.   “You’ve got a deal.”

I looked at Cory, who was beaming with excitement.   He said, “I can’t wait.   I’ve dreamed of all six of us getting it on, since we went to Cancun together a while back.”   He was practically bouncing up and down on his seat.

Zach said, “Stop talking about it!   I’m already so horny it hurts!”

Todd said, “Zach and I have been talking about what we would do, when Rick and Glenn got here.   We’ve really missed you guys.”

Zach soon turned onto our street, and pulled into the driveway.   We jumped out of the car and grabbed our bags out of the back.   As we entered the house, we were mobbed by Adam, Robbie, Justin and Brian.   There were hugs and kisses all around.  

Robbie took my hand, and led me into the recreation room, where Mark and Brandon were seated on the couch.   Adam followed, with Rick.   Robbie said, “I’m so excited that you’re finally here.”

Smiling at him, I said, “We’re just as excited as you are.”

We sat down together on the couch next to Mark and Brandon.  

Mark put his arm around me and said, “We’re glad you’re here.”

Meeting my gaze, Brandon added, “Thank you for coming.”

Rick said, “There’s nothing that could’ve stopped us from being here for you guys.”

Robbie said, “I’ve missed you, Glenn.   I really like Greg and Cory, but it’s not the same as having you here.”

Rick said, “Now, don’t try to convince Glenn to move back here.”

Robbie grinned.   “That’s exactly what I have in mind.   We need both of you, here with us.”

Adam looked at Rick, and said, “I’ve been given the assignment to work on you, until you agree to move to Minneapolis.”

Rick laughed, “Okay, you two.   I get it that you need someone to take Zach and Todd’s place, since they’re moving to Toronto.   However, we can’t move here at the moment.”

Robbie asked, “But why not?”

“I’ve still got two more years with the military,” Rick said, not meeting my gaze.   We’ve argued many times about his insistence on completing his time with the Marine Corps.

“Can’t you transfer here?   I’m sure if you approached your chain of command, they could work something out for you,” Adam said.

Rick looked around the room.   “Why do I get the feeling you’ve been rehearsing these lines?”

“Because we have,” Justin said.   “We really want you guys to move back in with us.   There is so much change going on around here it has me worried.”

Brian wrapped his arms around his husband’s waist, and said, “I’m here for you, Justin.”

Justin kissed his husband.   “I know, dearest.   I’m just saying I don’t like change.   I’ve finally found a family who loves me.   I guess I never really thought about what would happen when the guys graduated.”

There was a deep silence in the room, after he stopped speaking.   We were all thinking of Justin’s suicide attempt when he first moved in with us.  The memory of it made me shudder.  

Shaking off the dark clouds of that memory, I looked at Justin and Brian and asked, “How are things with you, Justin?”

He replied, “I’m fine.”

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it,” I said, firmly.

Justin held my gaze, and repeated his answer.   “I’m fine.   Between Brian and the medication I’m taking, I’ve been doing really well.”

Brian confirmed Justin’s statement.   “I’ve been to all of his doctors’ appointments, and he’s telling you the truth.”

I smiled, and said, “That’s great!   Then, you don’t need us to move in with you.”

Mark said, “Don’t forget, we’re moving, as well.   We’ve found a nice place not far from here in Loring Park.”

Brandon said, “After our graduation ceremony tomorrow, we want you guys to look over the place with us.   Here’s a photo of it from the street.”   He handed around a photo he had printed out from the listing on the internet.

“It looks really nice,” I said.

Mark said, “It’s about the same size as this house.   We’ve become accustomed to having the run of this place, so we didn’t want to downsize too much.”   He stopped, and put his arm around Brandon’s waist.   “Brandon wants to have a large family, so we need a place big enough to house all of those children.”

Brandon said, “We want to start a family, as soon as we can find a surrogate.   I want us to have our own biological children.   We’ll both donate sperm.”

Zach said, “Todd and I want to start a family, as well, now I’ve gotten a permanent job.   We’ll probably use the same company as Mark and Brandon, unless we can find one in Toronto.”

Mark nodded his head, and said, “We found a company that has offices in California and Maryland.”

“Isn’t there one here in Minneapolis?” I asked.

Mark answered, shaking his head, “Not one that we’ve found.   Because Minnesota doesn’t recognize gay marriages yet, there aren’t many services for gay couples.

Brandon added, “Except those who advertise themselves as offering ‘ex-gay’ therapy.   There are plenty of those.”

“When will straight people get it through their heads that being gay isn’t a choice?” Cory said.

Brandon said, “Probably never.   Every single one of us has suffered at the hands of the straight people in our lives, who’ve rejected us, when they should have reached out to us.   They failed us, and continue to fail us.”

His voice was hard and full of the pain he still felt.   He was correct – all of us had been rejected by someone in our lives for being gay.

Zach said, “I think you’re right, in that most of us have had bad experiences with straight people.   As for us,” he pointed at Adam, Robbie, Todd and himself, “We’ve had a wonderful support network of friends and family.”

Brandon wasn’t ready to concede his point.   “But you’ve been harassed for being gay by teammates and others.”

Zach said, “Yes, we have, but I was just pointing out the fact we’ve been extremely blessed with a family who accepts us without question.   We have a ‘band of brothers’ who love us very much.  I agree the rest of the world treats us pretty crappy, but I try to minimize the interactions I have with people outside our family and friends.”

Todd said, “We’re hoping all of you will move to Toronto, if we end up living there for any extended period of time.   Our marriages are recognized there, and we can raise our families in an environment that doesn’t condemn us.”

Adam said, “Robbie and I are already looking into internships with companies in the Toronto area.”

Robbie said, “I’ve been working on Mom and Dad.   I think they’re thinking of moving with us to Ontario, when we graduate.”

Todd said, “Our parents are thinking of doing the same.   In fact, Dad has already looked into some property just outside of Toronto.   I think they’ve found a 40-acre place.   I don’t know why they want so much land, but Mom seems to want to live out in the country.”

“We want to be close to the Ricoh Coliseum where I’ll be playing when we have home games,” Zach said.   “We’ve found a couple of homes in the Bloor Village West neighborhood that we like.   We’ve made arrangements to see them this weekend, if they haven’t been sold by then.   We’ve also found two homes in The Annex neighborhood of Toronto we want to check out, as well.  We’ve been working with Grandpa Scarborough to make sure we make a sound investment, like we did, here in Minneapolis.”

“Janice’s parents suggested we buy a house in the Uxbridge area, but it’s a little further out than we want to be,” Todd said.

“Speaking of Janice, where are my cousin and his wife?” I asked.

“They’ll be over a little later.   The Caldwells are in town for the graduation, and so are your Aunt and Uncle,” Todd said.

“I knew Uncle Dave and Aunt Mary were going to be here,” I said.   “I talked to them a couple of days ago.”

Robbie said, “Our parents are driving down from Duluth tonight.   They are taking us out to lunch before the commencement exercises.”

Zach said, “We have to be at the Mariucci Arena at 6 PM.   The ceremony begins at 7 PM.”

Brandon said, “My graduation ceremony is the following day at 4 PM because I’m getting a liberal arts degree.”

Mark said, “The rest of us are getting degrees in computer science or engineering, so our graduation ceremony is tomorrow.”

We spent the rest of the afternoon catching up with our friends.   Later, we heard a knock on the door.   Zach stood up and went to answer it.   He returned with Ben and Janice, followed by both sets of parents.

We stood up to greet them.   There were hugs and kisses all around!   Zach and Todd brought in the chairs from the kitchen so that there would be enough chairs for everyone.

Janice’s Dad looked around the room.   “Well, Janice tells me you’re the best group of guys she has ever met.”

Robbie responded before any of us could get a word out of our mouths.   “She’s right, except for Ben, of course.   You should have seen him before he married Janice.   She’s the only reason he’s fit to be around.”

Ben laughed and said, “Dad, don’t listen to him.   The truth is Robbie is talking about himself, because he married his better half.”

Adam grinned, “That is so, Mr. Caldwell.”

“Please call me Jake,” Mr. Caldwell responded.   “There’s no reason for us to be so formal.”  

The other adults agreed.   “Please call me Vivian,” Mrs. Caldwell added.

“And we’re Dave and Mary,” Uncle David said.   “Ben and Janice have nothing but good things to say about you guys.”

Robbie said, “I hope they didn’t forget to include the rest of our friends.”

Janice said, “We didn’t forget about Donica, Irene, Patty, and Jimmy.   They aren’t here right now.”

Jake said, “We would like to invite all of you to dinner with us as a token of our appreciation for your love and support for Ben and Janice.”

Zach said, “We’d love to go, but our parents will be here shortly.”

Ben said, “We thought of that already.   I called them and invited them to join us.   They will be here soon.”

Zach smiled.   “I should’ve known you’d think of including them.”

Ben said, “I’ve got you covered.   I also touched bases with your parents, Todd.   They’re coming as well.”

Robbie said, “Did you arrange for our other friends to join us, as well.”

“We did,” Janice said.

“We’ve reserved a semi-private room at the Capital Grille,” Jake said.   “However, we aren’t buying the alcohol, just dinner.”

That got a good laugh from all of us.   Zach said, “We can understand why you wouldn’t foot the bill for the alcohol.   Some of us can drink quite a bit.”

“But since Glenn’s here, we’ll have a designated driver,” Brian said.   “That’s another reason we want you to move back, Glenn.   That way Justin will have company since he can’t drink any alcohol.”

Jake asked, “Why can’t you drink alcohol?”

Justin replied, “It interacts with my medications.”

Before Jake could ask additional questions, Mark said, “We won’t be drinking very much tonight.   I want to make it across the stage without losing it.   There’s nothing worse than a hangover.”

Jake’s cell phone rang.   He pulled it out of his pocket and answered it.   He ended the call and said, “The Andersons and Ingrams are waiting for us at the restaurant.”

“Cool, let’s go,” Zach said.  

We piled into our vehicles and caravanned over to the restaurant.   The hostess led us to the semi-private room that had been set up for our use.   Zach, Todd, Robbie and Adam walked over and greeted their parents.

Jake walked over to their table.   “I’m Jake Caldwell and this is my wife, Vivian.”

Sam said, “Nice to meet you.   I’m Sam Ingram and this is my wife, Vickie.”

Brad shook Jake’s hand.   “I’m Brad Anderson and this is my wife, Melissa.”

I introduced my aunt and uncle.   “This is Dave and Mary Nielsen.”

Uncle Dave said, “It’s nice to meet you.”

“You must be Ben’s Dad,” Melissa said.

Uncle Dave smiled.   “Yes, Ben is my son, and Glenn is my nephew.”

The adults sat down across from the Andersons and Ingrams, while the rest of us greeted our friends, who had just arrived.

Jake said, “I hear you’re looking at some property near Toronto.”

Brad said, “Yes, we are.   We’ve found a nice place in Clarington.   The house is fantastic and it sits on 40 acres of land.”

Sam said, “We’ve been looking at homes in Oshawa.   We don’t want quite so much acreage.”  

“We’re located in Uxbridge,” Jake said.

“We saw a couple of listing in Uxbridge, but we want to be closer to the lake,” Melissa said.   “We’ve already been on one house hunting trip, and plan to take another with the boys right after graduation.   We’ll still keep our place in Duluth until Robbie and Adam graduate.   After that, we will probably sell the house here in the States.” 

Vivian asked, “Are Robbie and Adam planning to move to Toronto, as well?”

 “Yes,” Melissa said.   “They plan to work for Canadian companies as interns.   Robbie is looking into continuing his education at the University of Toronto.   We’re very excited to be moving to Toronto, especially since Zach will be playing for Toronto.   He has always dreamed of playing for a professional hockey team.   I’m very happy for him.”

Brad said, “I’m also very grateful he has a very supportive spouse.   Like Robbie, Todd is planning to continue his education at the University of Toronto.”

Sam said, “We’ve talked about helping him start his own software engineering company.”

Jake said, “Ben will be working with me at my consulting company.   It will give him a steady income, while he becomes familiar with the area and begins networking.   Having a network of contacts is one of the keys to success in the consulting world.”

Dave said, “Thank you for taking Ben under your wing.   I know he was worried about getting a job after graduation.”

Jake said, “I have to admit I’m doing it for selfish reasons.   I want to keep my daughter close to me, and I’m hoping Ben will want to take over my consulting business when I’m ready to retire.”

Mary smiled, “We understand your desire to keep your family close.   We’re planning to retire and move to St. Catharines.”

Vivian said, “That’s good news.   It won’t be difficult to convince Ben to stay in the Toronto area, since you’ll moving this way soon.”

Dave said, “We’ve talked to Ben about our retirement plans, so he knows we’re moving to St. Catharines.”

They continued talking about their children and their post-college plans.   Meanwhile, the younger set had a great time visiting and catching up on their lives.

After dinner, we returned to our place and the adults left for their hotels.   We sat in the recreation room, relaxing.   Rick was getting a little frisky.   It was obvious he wanted to fuck me.   Zach caught Rick’s eye and motioned we should go upstairs.   Todd saw the signal, and said, “Let’s take this party to our bedroom.”

**** ***

Peyton lay between Corey and Dylan, staring at the ceiling.   His mind kept going over what Grandma had told him about her beliefs.   He stopped in mid-thought.    He hadn’t thought of her as Mrs. Scarborough!   He had thought of her as Grandma, just like Rick and Glenn did.  He really had started to see himself as part the family!

Did this mean he was actually capable of changing?   His first stint in jail had only exacerbated his character flaws.   He came out of prison a rotten excuse for a human being, with only the thought of revenge on his mind.

His second time in prison had left him a shell of a man, barely able to function.   He had been subjected to the most heinous and vile treatment men can devise.   He had seen pure evil in the eyes of the men who beat him and sexually abused him on a daily basis.   They enjoyed inflicting pain on others.   Most of them would spend the rest of their lives in jail, never to breathe free air again.   It didn’t matter to them that they could be charged with more crimes.   They were already incarcerated and had no motivation to improve whatsoever.  

Unfortunately for Peyton, he didn’t have a cell mate who could protect him like the first time he was in prison.   He had traded sex for protection.   John was a huge man and would take anyone down who wanted to challenge him.   Without someone to protect him, he was quickly forced into a sex ring run by the prison gang.   His cell mate, Marty, was his pimp.   When he wouldn’t cooperate, Marty arranged for him to be repeatedly gang raped.   He had been through hell!

The memories made him shiver.   Corey said, “Are you cold?”

“No, I was just remembering being gang raped,” Peyton said, his body still shaking.

Corey said, “You’re safe now.”   He moved closer to Peyton, molding his body to his.   He lifted his hand to his face to caress his cheek.   “No one will rape you, or do anything to you.   You’re with family.”

“I know,” Peyton said.   “I was just thinking how quickly I’ve started to adjust to calling your mother, Grandma.”

“Good.   I’m glad to hear you’re beginning to feel more at home here,” Corey said.   “I have to admit I was a little skeptical about taking you in.   My father has a habit of taking in every stray that comes his way.   When we were little, Dad took in a homeless family.   They lived with us for almost a year.   He helped them rebuild their lives.”

“I didn’t know that,” Dylan said.   “Do I know them?”

“Yes, you do.   It’s Sherriff Smith’s family.   His father had lost his job.   They lost their home, and were out on the street.   When Dad heard about it, he brought the Smith’s here, to live with us.   Daniel and his two sisters went to school with us, while his parents worked on the farm with Dad.   Mr. Smith had an affinity for cars that endeared him to Dad.   They worked together to restore old cars, when they weren’t working on other things.   Dad suggested to Mr. Smith that he open an auto repair business, with Dad as his partner.   Dad would provide the needed capital, and Mr. Smith would run the repair shop.”

“I wondered why Dad was on such good terms with the Sherriff,” Dylan said.

“It goes beyond that, Dylan.   Dad paid for Daniel’s college education.   Dad encouraged him to attend the university, just as he did his two sisters,” Corey said.   “Dad set up a college education fund for our high school, and persuaded most of the local farmers to contribute to it.   At first, there was only enough money to send one or two kids to college, but now it funds about 20 or so kids.”

“Wow!   I didn’t know Dad was so much into helping the community,” Dylan exclaimed.

“Dad has always said the only way to combat ignorance is through education.   He believes society as a whole is much better off when people are educated and can think for themselves,” Corey said.

Peyton shifted his leg, his cast bumping up against Dylan.   Dylan said, “I just wish you didn’t have to wear these casts.”

Peyton said, “You don’t know how badly I want to them be gone.   The casts themselves aren’t so bad.   What I hate about them is the fact I can’t take care of myself.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Dylan said, smiling at him.

Peyton asked, “Corey, what made you change your mind about taking me in?”

“After I heard you tell us what you had been through in prison, I decided Dad was right to take you in.   No one should be treated like you were.   I could see you had been mentally and emotionally destroyed by those savages who abused you.   I looked into your eyes and I saw how much you were hurting.   I wanted to take you in my arms and comfort you,” Corey said.   He gently kissed Peyton.   “You looked so adorable, laying here helpless and needy, I couldn’t resist the urge to protect you and make you whole.”

Peyton laughed.   “I’ve never been told I’m adorable before.   I’ve been called many other things, but never adorable!”

Dylan reached over and began stroking Peyton.   “I agree with Corey.   I think there are many things about you that are adorable.”

Peyton moaned with pleasure.   “Please, don’t stop.”   When he felt Dylan’s mouth on his cock, he said, “Dylan, don’t do that.   We don’t have the test results back yet.   I don’t want to give you AIDS.”

Dylan said, “I know, but I had to taste your cock.”   He moved up and kissed Peyton on the lips.   “Thank you for looking out for me.”   He reached down to finish what he had started.

The next morning Corey and Dylan helped Peyton with his morning duties.   They had just finished dressing him, when there was a tap on the door.  

“Breakfast is ready.”

“We’ll be right there,” Corey shouted.   They lifted Peyton out of bed and into his wheelchair.   They wheeled him out of his room and down the hallway to the kitchen, arriving just as Grandpa was sitting down at the table.  

“Good morning, boys,” he said, smiling at them.

“Good morning,” they chorused.   They took their places and Grandpa said grace.

When he finished, he looked at Peyton and said, “I need the boys to help me on the farm today.   Will you be okay staying here with your Grandma?”

Peyton nodded his head.   “I’ll be just fine.”

“Good,” Grandpa said.

Corey helped Peyton with his breakfast, then, quickly finished his own.   Jasper and Bob arrived as they were clearing the dishes.   Grandpa said, “Right on time.   Let’s go, boys.”

He gave Grandma a quick hug and a kiss, before he headed out the door with the four boys.   Grandma washed and dried the dishes, putting them away as she went; then turned to Peyton.   “Let’s go sit by the pool.   We can enjoy the morning sun, before it gets too hot to be outside.”  

She pushed Peyton’s wheelchair out of the kitchen and down the hall past the family room to the door leading to the pool deck.   She opened it and pushed him through, positioning him next to one of the patio tables.   She went back inside, returning with a tray filled with a couple of empty glasses and a pitcher of iced tea.   She placed it on the patio table in full sunlight.

“I love iced tea, but I like it to sit for a while in the sun before I drink it,” Grandma said.  

Peyton smiled, “I like it, too.”

Grandma sat down and asked, “What would you like to talk about?”

“Can we talk more about your belief in God?” Peyton asked.   “If you don’t want to do that, we can talk about anything else you wish.”

Grandma looked into Peyton’s eyes.   “I don’t mind talking about God, but are you ready to hear what I might have to say about Him?”

Peyton said, “I don’t know.   I’m very confused right now.  I have a belief in God, but I have so many questions about religion.”

“Well, let’s start where we left off the other day,” Grandma said.

“I’ve thought about what you said.   I think I can believe we are all God’s children.   I mean everyone, including those men who raped me and tried to kill me,” Peyton said

“Well, since you’ve gotten that far, let’s go on.   What do you believe about Jesus Christ?” Grandma asked.

“I believe He was a great teacher and a prophet,” Peyton said.   “My parents professed to believe He saved us from our sins, but they said only the elect, or people called saints, would have their sins forgiven them.”

“That’s the typical attitude of most Christians.   They like to think they’re the gatekeepers of God’s love and mercy for His children.   Why would God put limits on His love for His children?   The answer is that He doesn’t.   He is always there for us.   There are no limits to His love, despite what people might tell you,” she said.

“Yes, you said that before,” Peyton said.   “But, what about Jesus’ sacrifice for us?”

“Contrary to what most Christian churches teach, I believe Jesus paid the price for all of our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane.   I don’t believe there was any selectivity there.  Jesus didn’t say, ‘I’ll pay for your sins, but not yours.’  I believe He paid for all of our sins, regardless of our belief in Him or not.   His sacrifice had to be as infinite as God’s love.   I also believe He took upon Himself the suffering of all mankind,” she said, pausing to see if Peyton understood her.

Peyton said, “I don’t understand what you mean when you say He took our suffering upon Himself.”

“I believe He can take away our pain and suffering, because He already paid the price for us.   I believe if we turn to God our pain and suffering will be taken away, because of what Jesus Christ did for us.  In other words, He can make us whole again."

“You’re beginning to sound like one of those evangelists on television,” Peyton said, smiling at her.

“Maybe so, but there is one important difference - I’m not trying to get you to send me money, or asking you to join the ranks of the believers.   What you believe about God and Jesus Christ is your own affair.   You asked me what I think about God, and I’ve told you.   It’s up to you to decide what you believe,” she said.

Peyton was immediately contrite.   “I’m sorry, Grandma.   I didn’t mean to offend you.”

“You didn’t offend me.   I just wanted to make it clear you’re the one in charge of what you believe.   Don’t let anyone tell you what to believe.   You need to decide for yourself what you believe.   Do you remember I said I believe every one of us is a child of God?”

“Yes, I do.   I’ve thought about that a lot,” Peyton said.

“Then, you also remember I said anyone can approach God in prayer.   I believe, as His children, we can approach Him with our questions, and He will answer them.   When I pray, I envision God as a loving Father who is sitting next to me, listening to me and answering my prayers,” she said.

“Do you really think God would answer my prayers?   I’ve done some pretty horrible things in my life.   Why would He want anything to do with me?   How can God love a gay man like me?   My parents’ church taught us homosexuals were sinners and had to be exterminated, according to their interpretation of the Bible.”

“God will listen to you because you are His child.   No matter what you have done, His love for you is unconditional.   Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, Peyton.   You are of infinite worth to your God.   Don’t ever think God doesn’t value you.   He may not be happy with the choices you’ve made, but He will always love you.   God’s love is a perfect love.   As parents, we love our children, but that love isn’t perfect like God’s love.   It’s close, but it sometimes isn’t enough for us to overcome the things our children do and say.   We become offended, and our love can be turned to hatred.   We are imperfect, being human; however, God is perfect and His love for us doesn’t change, or go away.”   She paused and searched his gaze.   “He loves every gay person just like He loves every one of His other children.   Being gay doesn’t disqualify you from being loved, as many ‘Christians’ would have you believe.”

“My parents don’t believe in God’s love the way you do, and neither do Rick’s parents.   They disowned him for being gay, and my parents don’t want anything to do with me, either.   I didn’t realize how much it hurt Rick when his parents rejected him, until mine rejected me, too,” Peyton said.  

His forlorn expression touched her heart.   It was clear he felt very much alone in the world.   “But you have each other, and you both have a new family who loves you,” Grandma said, reassuringly.

“I’m beginning to believe you.   I surprised myself this morning.   Instead of thinking of you as Mrs. Scarborough, I thought of you as Grandma,” Peyton said.

“Good.   That means you’re beginning to heal,” she said.

“I’m feeling much better than I was a few days ago,” he acknowledged.   “I’m feeling confident enough to ask questions.   I haven’t dared to ask questions of anyone for a long time, for fear of being beaten.  Do you think Rick and Glenn have really forgiven me for what I did to them?”

“I can’t answer for them, Peyton.   That is something that must be resolved between you and them.   From what you have seen of them since you arrived here, what is your assessment of the situation?” she asked, helping him to think things through.

“I think they have accepted me for who I am.   I also know I’m on probation with them.   They are willing to give me a second chance, but are being cautious around me,” he responded.

“And what about you?   Have you forgiven yourself for what you’ve done?” she asked.

He gave her a puzzled look.   “Why is that so important?”

“You have to learn to love yourself, Peyton.   If you don’t like who you are, how can you learn to like others,” she explained.   “You have to have love in your soul in order to share it.   I’m not saying you have to be perfect, but you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and like who you see there.   Even if Rick and Glenn forgive you, it won’t matter if you can’t forgive yourself.   You will continue to torment yourself with your sense of guilt.   Some people like to make themselves miserable by holding onto their guilt long after they’ve made restitution for what they’ve done wrong and those they have hurt have forgiven them.”

He thought about what she said for a few minutes.   “Is forgiving yourself part of your religious beliefs?”

“Yes, it is.   Jesus said we are to forgive those who offend us, no matter how many times they hurt us.   I think we need to forgive ourselves for our shortcomings, and work to make them strengths.   None of us are perfect, so that means we will always have something we can improve in ourselves.  It also means we need to be patient and kind to everyone, including ourselves.”

They spent the next few hours discussing, in depth, Grandma’s religious beliefs and Peyton’s struggle with his own religious views.  

She said, “There are times when I feel there is a great distance between God and myself, but then, when I turn back to Him, I run into Him because He was with me the entire time.”  She paused, and looked searchingly into Peyton’s eyes.  “He’s been with you the entire time, Peyton.  I have no doubt He wrapped His arms around you when you were suffering the most.”

Peyton eyes filled with tears.  “Maybe so.”

A comfortable silence fell between them as she poured them each a tall glass of iced tea.   She put a straw in Peyton’s ice tea and handed it to him.  

He smiled and said, “Thank you.”   He managed to hold the glass in both hands, while he sipped the ice tea through the straw.   When he finished, Grandma took the glass from him and placed it on the tray.

“That sure tasted good,” Grandma said.   She placed her glass next to Peyton’s.   They were joined on the pool deck by Bob and Jasper.   “Bob, please go into the kitchen and bring out enough glasses for everyone to have ice tea.”

Bob said, “Sure, Mom.”   He retraced his steps to the kitchen and returned with the glasses, followed by Corey, Dylan and Grandpa.

Grandpa said, “I hear there is fresh ice tea to be had.”

Grandma said, “Yes, there is.   Please sit down, and I’ll pour you a glass.”   She poured everyone a glass of ice tea and passed them around to the thirsty men.   She smiled.   “Did you get everything done out in the orchard?”

“Yes, thanks to the boys,” Grandpa said.   He looked over at Peyton.   “You need to hurry up and get on your feet.   We need you.”

Peyton smiled, and said, “I’m doing my best, Grandpa.”

Grandpa returned his smile.   “You better, because we’re counting on you.”

“It feels good to be needed in a positive way,” Peyton said.

Dylan grinned broadly at Peyton, and said, “We need you in a positive way.”

Corey put an arm around his husband’s shoulders, winking at Peyton.   “Yes, we need you very much.”

Peyton blushed.   It was one thing to say such things among themselves, but it was quite another to have them said in front of Grandpa and Grandma.

Bob said, “Now look what you’ve gone and done.   You’ve embarrassed Peyton.”

Jasper winked at Peyton, and asked, “He does look very cute when he blushes don’t you think?”

Peyton looked at Grandpa and Grandma to see their reaction.   He was surprised when Grandma said, “I think Peyton is pretty good looking.  If I were a few years younger, I might have been tempted to go after him myself.”   She reached over and took Grandpa’s hand in hers.   “However, I found the perfect mate for me.”

Grandpa leaned over and gave her a kiss.   “Yes, we’re soul mates.”

Grandma looked over at Peyton, with a smile.   “Don’t look so surprised, Peyton.   Just because we’re old enough to be your grandparents doesn’t mean we don’t have the same thoughts and feelings you young people have.”

Peyton said, “I’m just not used to being teased in front of my elders.”

“Well, you had better get used to it,” Bob said.   “We’re not about to let you think you’re any different than the rest of us.”

Peyton grinned and laughed.   “I’m glad I’m receiving equal treatment.”

Grandpa looked over at Grandma, and said, “I think Peyton is beginning to understand he belongs with us.”

Peyton nodded his head, and said, “I’m a slow learner, but I can be taught, eventually.”

Later that evening, Bob and Jasper wheeled Peyton to his room.   Bob said, “It’s time for bed, big boy.”   He grinned at Peyton.   “You’re in for one wild ride.”

Bob and Jasper lifted him into his bed and proceeded to help him disrobe, before doing the same.   They climbed into bed with him.  

Jasper said, “Our goal is to make sure we become your favorites.   We might be the last couple to sleep with you, but we are definitely the best!”

Peyton laughed.   “I can’t wait to see how you plan to convince me of that fact.”

He didn’t get a chance to say anything more, as Bob captured his lips and Jasper attended to his stiffening cock.

I awoke from a wonderful dream about having an all-night orgy with the sexiest men on the planet.   I was so hard, it hurt.   I felt Rick’s fingers running through my hair.  I lifted my head from his chest and looked into his eyes.   He smiled and kissed me.

“It’s about time you woke up.   You must have been having a pretty good dream,” Rick said, taking my morning wood in his hand.

“I was dreaming of having great sex with all of our friends,” I said.

“That was no dream,” Todd said.   I felt him spooning against me.   He kissed the back of my neck.

Zach said, “Last night was totally mind blowing!”

Greg said, “I have to agree with that assessment.”

Cory added, “I still can’t believe we really did it.”

Robbie said, “You’d better believe it.”

Adam chimed in, “It was like that time in Spain with all the guys.”

 I piped up, “Now you’re making us sound like a bunch of sex-crazed gay guys.”

Rick grinned.  “If the shoe fits, wear it!”

I playfully punched his shoulder, “I’m not sex-crazed.   I’m just addicted to sex with you, Babe.”

“The rest of us are just as addicted to having sex with our husbands as you are with Rick,” Zach said.   “But what happened last night certainly tops my list of favorite memories of being with you guys.”

Robbie said, “I can’t believe we all managed to sleep in the same bed together.   You guys aren’t exactly small.”

Adam said, “I can because this is a king-sized bed and we slept sideways so everybody fit.   Well, almost everybody.”   He grinned as he noticed how Greg, Zach and Rick’s feet hung out over the side of the bed.

Zach laughed, “Greg, Rick and I kind of got the short end of the stick.”

“But you each had someone to keep you warm,” Robbie said.

Greg said, “Is anyone up for our usual shower competition?”

Zach said, “You know I’ll win!”

Rick laughed.   “You might beat everyone else here, but I’ve never lost.   I’ve always been able to shoot farther than any other guy.”

Grinning broadly, Zach said, “Then, let’s have a rematch.”

We all got out of bed and headed to the en suite.   Zach said, “I’m glad we have a large shower; otherwise, we wouldn’t all fit in here.”

We had a great time in the shower.   Of course, my man won the contest!   Rick was beaming as we came out of the shower.  

Rick said, “Zach, you just have to admit you’ll never beat me!”

Zach laughed.   “One of these days, you won’t be able to even get it up.”

Rick grinned.   “I’ll be dead when that happens!”

Zach said, “I want another go at you before you guys leave for Atlanta.”

Rick said, “Okay, how about tonight after your graduation ceremony?”

“No, I don’t think so.   I plan to have a few drinks to celebrate getting out school,” Zach replied.   “Alcohol has always decreased my performance.”

Todd said, “I can testify to that.”   He skipped away from his husband, as Zach tried to grab him.   “Hey, I’m just saying you’re right.”

“You didn’t have to agree with me so quickly,” Zach complained.

Todd looked contrite and said, “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.”

Robbie laughed and said, “Todd’s crossing his fingers behind his back!”

Todd laughed.   “Okay, I’m not really sorry, but I still love you, just the same.”   He walked over to Zach and pulled him into his arms.   He kissed him deeply, causing the guys to wolf whistle!

Greg said, “I’m going to miss seeing you guys kiss like that.”

Zach and Todd looked into each other’s eyes, and Todd said, “Maybe we’ll have to make a special video for you, Greg.   That way, you can watch us kissing any time you want.”

Robbie said, “Hey, I want a copy if you decide to make a video of you guys making out.”

Cory said, “I think we should repeat what we did last night and record it this time.”

“Now, that would be worth some big money,” Adam said.

Rick looked at me and I said, “I would rather have us keep last night as a great memory, instead making a porno video out of it.   I will always remember having a great time with those I love.   Let’s leave things alone.”

Todd agreed with me.   “I think Glenn’s right.   We’re all very good friends and we’re closer than brothers.”

Zach laughed, and said, “We should be closer than brothers after some of the things we’ve done.”

Cory said, “Okay, we won’t record it, but I still want to do it again tonight.”

Robbie said, “I’m up for that.”

We all agreed another night of enjoying each other was what we all wanted.   Just thinking about it had me so amped up I could hardly wait for the day to pass, and it was just beginning.   We finished drying each other off, and the guys went to their separate rooms to get dressed for the day.

We met them downstairs at the breakfast table.   I volunteered to cook, as did Cory and Robbie.   I soon had pancakes on the griddle, while Cory and Robbie cooked the sausage and eggs.   Rick washed and cut up the fresh strawberries.   He put them on the table along with a can of whipped cream, the kind that sprays out of the can when you press the nozzle.   The guys set the table and we sat down to a big breakfast.  

After breakfast, Zach said, “I’ve got too much energy to sit around the house until tonight.   What do you guys want to do?”

Robbie said, “The question is, what do our parents want to do?   You know Mom probably has plans.”

Zach said, “You’re probably right about that.”

Zach’s cell phone rang at that moment.   “Hello, Mom.”

“Hello, Zach,” she said.   “Your father and I wanted to know if you guys wanted to do something with us today.”

“We were just talking about that,” Zach said.   “Would you be up for a bike ride around the lakes?”

“Let me ask the others,” she said.   He could hear her talking with his father and the Ingrams.  

He looked around the room and asked, “Are you guys up for a bike ride?”

I said, “Sure, as long as you’ve got a bike we can borrow.”

Todd said, “We have a couple of extra bikes in the garage.”

Zach’s mother came back on the line.   “We’re not up for that today, but we’ll meet you at Lake Calhoun for a picnic lunch.”

“We’ll meet you at Lake Calhoun for lunch, then,” he said.   “Is 12 noon good?”

“Sounds good to me.   You boys enjoy your bike ride, and we’ll see you at lunch.   We’ll stop and pick something up, so you guys won’t have to haul any food.”

“Thanks, Mom,” Zach said.

“You’re welcome,” she said.

Zach ended the call, and said, “Let’s go.   I need some exercise.”

We followed him outside to the garage and helped load up the bikes.   We had a great time riding around the Cedar Lake, Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet.   We met the adults for lunch, then rode our bikes around Lake of the Isles, before heading back to the parking lot.  

When we got back to the house, Zach laughed and said, “Back to the shower, boys!”

Robbie said, “I’m ready for a rematch.”

Rick said, “Robbie, you shouldn’t even try.”

Robbie punched Rick in the shoulder.   “That wasn’t nice!   I can shoot as far as any of the other guys.   I just haven’t beaten you.”

Zach said, “You’re right, you haven’t beaten me.”

“We tied last time, remember?” Robbie asked.

Zach rolled his eyes.   “Okay, so, we tied.   That doesn’t mean you beat me.   A tie doesn’t mean I lost to you.”

Robbie said, “But I count it as a win.”

“Neither one of us won, Robbie.   Rick shot further than we did,” Zach pointed out.

“Let’s see if we both can’t out do Rick,” Robbie said, laughing.

Zach grinned.   “Okay, let’s see of the Anderson boys can’t outdo the rest of these guys.”

Their husbands protested.   Todd said, “We’re Anderson boys, too.   All four of us are Anderson-Ingrams.”

Adam joined in with, “Yeah, we’re Anderson-Ingrams just like you two.”

Robbie said, “They’re right, Zach.”

“Okay, the Anderson-Ingram men need to show their stuff,” Zach said.  

Rick said, “I accept the challenge.   Please lead the way.”

Zach grinned, and said, “Follow me boys.”

We made our way upstairs and quickly disrobed.   Soon, there were eight horny guys in the shower.   The contest began as soon as the showers were turned on and the temperature of the water adjusted.   I went first, followed by Rick, Greg and Cory.   Robbie kept careful track of how far each shot of cum travelled from our dicks.   The last contestants were the Anderson-Ingram men.   Zach was last of all.   Watching him shoot his load was something to behold!   When he was finished, Robbie marked the farthest reach of his volleys of cum.

Robbie grinned.   “We’re tied again.”

Rick said, “I win once again.”

Robbie said, “Yes, but just barely.”

Rick said, “Close only counts in horse shoes.”

Robbie laughed.   “Yes, but you have to admit we’re so close you could lose next time.”

Rick said, “Okay, I’ll give you that.   However, we’ll see if you two actually can deliver the goods.”

I said, “You guys were pretty impressive.”

Zach grinned.   “Was I impressive enough to get a kiss from you?”

“Certainly,” I said, kissing him deeply.  

That started a major make out session in the shower!   We eventually cleaned up and got out of the shower.   We dried off and went to our separate rooms to get dressed for the evening.   The adults were taking us out for an early dinner before the graduation ceremony.  

After dinner, we made our way to the Mariucci Arena and found our seats, while the graduates made their way to their places.   It was totally awesome to see our friends receive their diplomas.   We took lots of photographs to mark the occasion.

Eventually, we made our way back to the house.   We were very much looking forward to a repeat performance of last night’s activities!   It was quite a graduation present for our friends – a night none of us will ever forget!

Prev To be continued . . .

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