The Man from Swift Current
© 2011 Russ Nielsen
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Chapter 21: Betrayal!

Keith and I spent the next couple of weeks at our grandparent's house.   Grandpa showed us everything on the farm and introduced us to just about everyone in the community.   Keith and I settled into a routine of getting up early to go running before the heat of the day set in followed by a work out in the swimming pool.   I was starting to tone up rather nicely from all the exercise.   My tan deepened from spending so much time in the pool.   It wasn't long before I was as tanned as Keith.   Keith insisted we swim in our Speedos.   I didn't argue because I liked seeing my cousin's fit body.   We used Grandpa's weight room to do some lifting.   Keith was a slave driver on the weight machines!   We goofed around a lot and sometimes compared how big our muscles were getting.   By the time the grandparents were up, we were cleaned up and ready for the day.   Grandma commented that we looked even more alike than when I arrived from Saskatchewan now that we are both working out and getting a lot of sun.

After breakfast, Grandpa liked to have me play for him.   Grandma and Keith would come and listen sometimes but mostly Grandpa would sit in his favorite armchair and close his eyes and listen.   Grandpa liked me to play classical music so I concentrated on the pieces Mom had taught me at home.   Turns out those were the very ones Grandpa loved to hear the most.   I'd never had such an appreciative audience before.   At home, Dad tolerated it and my siblings would go outside or stay in their rooms when I was practicing.   Of course, Mom was always in teacher mode and wasn't the same kind of audience as Grandpa was.   He didn't critique my playing style or try to correct my technique.   He just listened with obvious pleasure.  I loved playing for him and he loved listening to me.   I grew very close to Grandpa during those hours we spent together.

Time flew by and soon it was time for me to join Brett for his trip home to Austin, Texas.   Keith drove us down to Atlanta the day before I had to be at the airport.   As we entered Keith's apartment, Keith shouted a warning to Rick, "We're here!"

Rick shouted back, "I'm in the kitchen."

Keith and I dropped my suitcase by the door and walked back into the kitchen.   I did a double take as I saw that Rick was naked as the day he was born.   I guess I'd forgotten that Rick preferred to be naked around the apartment.   I guess I'll never tire of looking at Rick.   He's so "hot" and just seeing his package made my mouth drool!   Rick noticed that I was giving the once over from head to toe.

Rick came over and hugged me and said, "Welcome back Glenn.   I hope you are in better shape than you were the last time you were here."

I hugged him back and said, "Yes, I'm in a much better place now.   Thank you for asking."

Rick kissed me lightly on the lips and released me.   "Good, I was really worried about your mental and emotional state.   You told Keith about Ian didn't you?"

I looked at Keith who was scowling at me.   I could almost hear his thoughts being shouted at me across the room.  "Yes, Keith knows about Ian and has tried to help me move on."   I smiled at Keith as I moved away from Rick.  

Keith tapped my arm and whispered, "You promised!"

I just shook my head and smiled at Rick.   "I'm flying out tomorrow to Austin, Texas, with Brett.   Brett invited me to go home with him so I could check out the University of Texas at Austin.   His dad is a professor there."

"How long will be gone?" Rick asked looking a little worried.

"Two weeks.   One week in Austin and second week in El Paso," I said.

"Why are you going to El Paso?" Rick asked, concern still wrinkling his brow.

 "Ian and I had originally thought we would go to school there so we both applied to the University of Texas El Paso," I responded.  "I am almost certain I won't go there now but I thought I should at least go check out the school since I have already been accepted there.   Brett thinks I should go to school in Austin where his dad teaches."

"So you haven't considered staying here?" Rick asked trying to hide his anxiety about Glenn attending school elsewhere.

I glanced at Keith before answering, "Yes, I have.   I have already told Keith that I think I will go to Georgia Tech with you guys."

Rick's face lit up with a huge grin, "I'd hoped you would stay close by.   In fact, when Keith gets married you could move in here with me!"

Again, I looked over at Keith.   His expression was unreadable.   "I would really like that Rick.   But you really do have to wear clothes sometimes though!"

Rick laughed at me then and his smile grew even more if that were possible, "You mean that the gay guy doesn't want to see my perfect body in all its glory!"

I blushed a deep red and looked at my feet.   I started to stutter a reply when Rick pulled me into another embrace.   I was really having difficulty controlling my physical reaction to being in such close proximity to Rick.   Rick knew what he was doing to me and pulled my chin up and looked into my eyes.

"I will never hurt you, Glenn, or force you to do something you aren't willing to do.   If it makes you uncomfortable, I will put clothes on just for you.   I really want you to be my roommate and hope you will decide to stay here rather than go out west to school."   Rick kissed me as he put his hands on my behind and pulled me even closer to him, "Please say you'll stay."

Now I really felt bad.   Rick obviously enjoyed being nude but I knew that if we were going to be roommates that I couldn't seen him naked every day and keep my promise to Keith.   Keith was already mad at me.   I could see it in his face.   To make matters worse, Rick kissed me again this time a little more passionately before going into his bedroom to get dressed.

I looked Keith in the eye and said, "Keith, don't be angry with me!"

"Why shouldn't I be," he replied as he held his fists tight against his sides.

"Because I didn't set out to put the moves on your roommate," I said looking him in the eyes.

"I don't' believe you!" Keith shouted at me.

"What don't you believe, Keith," Rick asked returning to the kitchen wearing a tight fitting t-shirt and cargo shorts.

"Keith thinks I set out to seduce you and get you to be my boyfriend when we were here last time," I replied to Rick's question.

"Is that true, Keith?" Rick asked in a tone of voice that didn't bode well for Keith.

"Yes, it is!   I don't want my cousin forcing you to make a choice between being a marine and loving a guy!"

"Keith, you are not my keeper and it is for me to decide who I will love or not love.   I love you like a brother, Keith, but this time you stepped over the line.   Glenn hasn't done anything wrong and neither have I.   You shouldn't be angry about the fact that Glenn and I have become good friends.  Will we become lovers at some point in the future?   I don't know.   You both know that I prefer women and don't really have any inclinations towards having sex with a guy.   So I think you owe Glenn and I an apology."

Keith looked a little sheepish and didn't look either one of us in the eye.   After a moment, he looked up at us and said, "I'm sorry for being a jerk to you both.   I just don't want either one of you to get hurt."

Rick's expression hardened, "Keith, let me make sure you understand perfectly.   My love life is not your concern and never has been.   You are my best friend in the whole world and your family has treated as one of their own.   I am very grateful for all you and your family has done for me.   But I need you to remember not to cross the line, again, and try and dictate to me who I should have a relationship with and who I should not.    I have not offered an opinion on your relationship with Kerry or any of the other girlfriends you have dated over the years unless you have asked me to give you advice.   I ask you to give me the same courtesy."

Keith looked defeated and finally nodded his head in the affirmative.  "Okay, Rick, I'll try not to interfere with your love life, again."

"Are you jealous that Glenn might take your place in my affections?  If that is so, that will really piss me off." Rick asked suspiciously.

Keith looked stunned, "No, it's not that."

"Then what is really the problem?" Rick asked his voice very cold and almost menacing.

Keith looked at me and mumbled something.

"Speak up, Keith.   Glenn has a right to hear what you have to say as well."

"It's because Glenn is gay.   That is what bothers me.  I don't want him to turn you gay, too."

I just sat there in a state of shock.   My mind couldn't process the fact that my cousin had just admitted to being prejudiced against gays and me in particular.   Over the last few weeks, I thought we had become close friends.   Obviously, I was wrong about that.   Rather than respond, I turned around and left the kitchen and sat on the couch in the front room.   I put my head down in my hands.   I couldn't believe what I had just heard.   I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach.  

Keith and Rick continued their discussion in the kitchen.   It was getting pretty loud.   I got up and picked up my suitcase and left as quietly as I could.   Once I was outside.   I called Brett on my cell phone.

"Hi, Brett," I said.

"Hey, Glenn!   What's up?   Are you ready to go tomorrow?"

"Yes, I'm ready.   Can I ask a favor of you?"

"Sure.   What do you need?" Brett asked curiosity showing in his voice.

"Can you come and pick me up from Keith's apartment?   I thought it would be easier if I stayed at your place and left for the airport with you in the morning.   That way Keith won't have to get up early and drive me to the airport," I said.

"Sounds like a great idea.  I'll be right there," Brett said.

"I'll be standing outside the apartment building waiting.   Thanks Brett!"

About 10 minutes later, Brett pulled up and I threw my suitcase in the back and jumped in the front seat next to Brett.

"I'm glad you are going home with me," Brett said.   "My Dad has already lined up a couple of tours of the different departments at the university.   My Dad is almost more excited about your visit than I am."  Brett laughed as he continued, "I think you will really like Dad."

"I can't wait to meet him," I said.

My cell phone rang just then.   I flipped it open and saw it was Keith calling me.   I chose not to answer it and closed the phone.   It rang, again.   This time I shut my phone off rather than have to listen to it continue to ring.

We pulled up in front of Brett's apartment and I pulled out my suitcase and followed Brett upstairs to his apartment.   Brett didn't have any roommates so he directed me to the spare bedroom, "Go ahead and put your stuff in there."

Brett's phone rang at that moment.   He answered it.  "Yeah, Glenn is here with me.   Do you want to talk to him?"

Brett handed me the phone.  "Hello," I said.

Keith spoke, "Why did you leave?"

"Because I don't need to be where I'm not wanted.   I trusted you Keith.   I thought you were my friend.   I think it best that you leave me alone, Keith.   I don't need that kind of prejudice around me, especially not from family.   Maybe Dad was right.   Maybe it's best not to associate with those who don't know the meaning of what being part of a family means."

I hung up the phone and handed it back to Brett.   It rang, again.   Brett answered it.   He looked over at me and I just shook my head, "No, I won't talk to Keith."

Brett said, "Keith, I'm sorry but Glenn doesn't want to talk to you right now."   After Brett hung up the phone he turned to me and asked, "Do you want to explain what this is all about?"

"No, I don't want to talk about it right now.   Maybe later, when we are in Austin, okay?"

"Okay, but you have to promise me you will at least give me a clue as to what is going on between you and Keith," Brett said.

"I will promise to tell you what's going after I figure that out myself," I said.

"Okay, what do you want to eat?   I'm hungry," Brett said.

We went out to and got a couple of sandwiches at a local eatery.   We talked and got to know each other better before we went to bed.   We had an early flight and needed to make sure we didn't miss it.


Prev To be continued . . .