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




Chapter 83: Spring Break in Quantico Part 2

Chapter 83: Spring Break in Quantico Part 2

Michael and I helped get Greg out of the van, and into his wheelchair.   He drove himself into the house, and into the kitchen.   Greg said, “Thanks guys.  I really enjoyed the outing.”

“You’re welcome,” Michael said, smiling.

Rick came into the kitchen, and looked at Greg’s happy face.  “I guess you were able to spend some time with your boyfriend.”

Greg grinned.  “Yes, I did, thanks to these two.”   Greg pointed at me and Michael.   “I’m really worn out, though.”

Mrs. Hurst said, “I suggest that you return to your bed, and rest up.   I’ll bring your dinner to you.”

Greg nodded. “Okay, Mom.”   He looked up at us.  “Will you help me back into my bed?”

Michael said, “Sure.”   We followed Greg down the hall to his room.   Michael asked, with a grin, “Are you sure you don’t want assistance with a few other things?”

Greg laughed, and blushed.   “Maybe tomorrow, but not right now.”

Michael replied, “I didn’t want you suffer, or anything like that!”

Greg grinned up at Michael, as he lifted his legs onto the bed.  “Believe me, if I were the least bit uncomfortable, I would let you know.”

Rick and I laughed.   I said, “I’m sure Michael will be happy to help you out at any time!”

Greg laughed, then, in a serious tone of voice, said, “Michael is a wonderful friend.”

Michael helped Greg adjust his pillows, and pulled a light blanket up over Greg.   Greg smiled up at his friend.  “Can you move in with us, Michael?   I really like having you around.”

Michael smiled. “Thank you, Greg.   I would love to move with you, but I’m afraid that Cory might not like it.”

Greg nodded his head in agreement.  “You’re right about that.”

Mrs. Hurst joined us.  “I have your dinner ready.”

We moved the wheelchair to its place in the corner, as Mrs. Hurst placed Greg’s dinner tray on the bed.   We all looked to see what he was eating.

“Hey!   That looks pretty good,” Rick said.

Greg grinned at his mother.  “It is pretty good.”

Mrs. Hurst said, “There is plenty for everyone, if you wish to stay for dinner Michael.”

Michael replied, “I think I need to be going home.   Thank you for the invitation.   Good bye, Greg.   I will see you tomorrow.”

Greg said, “See you, Michael.”

Rick turned to me.  “Glenn, I want to take you to a great little restaurant I discovered near here.   We will have to hurry back, so we can help Sgt. Mason with the Boy Scouts.”

We said good-bye to the Hursts, and climbed into the Land Rover.   Rick drove us off base, and headed north.   I looked across at the heavy traffic on the other side of the freeway.   “You aren’t planning to come back that way are you?” I asked.

“No, I found a back road that will help us get around that mess,” Rick said.   Rick took the Dale Boulevard off ramp, and pulled into a strip mall next to the freeway.   “Here it is, El Charro.   The food is good, but inexpensive.”

We entered the restaurant, and were quickly seated.   The waiter took our order, then returned with our sodas.   Rick and I munched on chips and salsa, as we waited for our food.

Rick said, “How was your visit to Cory’s house?”

I said, “It went really well.   I’m afraid that Cory may be in worse shape, psychologically, than Greg is from what happened.   Greg didn’t know what hit him; but Cory saw it happen, and tried to defend Greg.   Do you know if they are getting any counseling?”

“I don’t know about Cory.   Greg has had a couple of sessions with a therapist.   Greg seems to come out of his depression, somewhat, after each session; but, returns to his former state a few days later.   He has been much better since you arrived,” Rick said, smiling at me.    “As a matter of fact, Greg isn’t the only one who is much better, now that you’re here.”

I laughed, and met my lover’s gaze across the table.  “I just can’t imagine who that might be!”  

Rick grinned.   “Neither can I.”

Turning serious, again, I said, “I think it has helped Greg to know that we’re a couple, Rick.   I know you worry about being discovered by the military; but I think more than anything else, it has been the one thing that has made Greg realize that being gay is okay.   He hasn’t said anything to me, but I’ve seen him watching us very closely.”

Rick looked into my eyes, and said, “I think you’re right, Glenn.   However, it doesn’t stop me from worrying about the huge risk we have of being discovered, since we’ve let our guard down at the Hurst’s.”

“And the Stetson’s, as well, because Greg has told Cory we’re a couple,” I said.

Rick winced, as if in great pain.  “I had forgotten I gave Greg permission to tell Cory.”

“Rick, I don’t think the Stetsons will tell anyone,” I said.   “Mrs. Stetson was pretty open about how she feels about their former church.”

“I guess it will be okay.   I’m more concerned that Greg will tell his sister and brother-in-law, Joey.   Joey already suspects that I’m gay, after what Angie told him,” Rick said, his brow creased with worry.

“It’s kind of weird that they haven’t been over since I got here,” I said.   “I would think that they would have come over to help out with Greg.”

Rick frowned, and said, “It’s not unusual, Glenn.   They don’t come over during the week at all, anymore.   I think they are still having a difficult time seeing Greg in his casts and all.   It reminds Kathy that her father was the perpetrator of such a horrible thing.   She is in denial that her father did anything wrong.”

“What about Joey?   Where is he, with respect to Greg’s sexuality?” I asked.

“I’m not sure.   I think he is okay with it, but then, again, you can never tell with straight people.   One moment they say they are okay with you being gay, as long as you don’t try to force your sexual preferences on them; and the next, they attack you, and accuse you of being a detriment to society,” Rick said, with an edge to his voice.

“I know what you mean.   It is really sad that people can’t stay out of our bedroom.   Why do they have to make it their business to tell us who we can love, and what kind of sex we can have?   It’s kind of interesting that when you try to tell them what they can do in their own bedrooms they get very upset.   For example, if you try to tell them they can’t use contraception of any kind, and that they have to use abstinence as their only form of birth control,” I said, with distain.

I thought for a moment, then continued, “But then, again, maybe they like having their lives structured by others – you know, like being told what to do with every moment of their day, how many children they can have, and what kind of sex they can have, etc., that way they can always avoid taking responsibility for their own actions.”

Rick interrupted me, “Wait a minute!   I used to think that homosexuals were evil, too, Glenn.   I was raised that way, obviously.”

“So what changed?” I asked, grinning at my lover boy.

Rick grinned back.  “I fell in love with you.  That’s what changed.”

“But you’re still attracted to women,” I observed.   “So does that make you bisexual?”

Rick thought a moment.  “Maybe.   I admit that I still want to be with a woman every once in a while, especially when you aren’t here.   I get so horny I can’t stand it.   Joey took me and a couple of the guys to a local bar last week.   There were several really ‘hot’ chicks trying to get my attention.   I resisted their offers of sex, while my friends ended up taking them to a local hotel.   I went back to the barracks, and jerked off, while I talked to you on the phone.”

I laughed.   “I know the phone sex with you is great; but, it’s not the same as having you fuck me in person!   I understand how you feel, because sometimes I can’t call you, when I’m so horny and need relief.   You don’t know how hard it was for me to resist Aaron’s advances.”

Rick sobered, and he looked me in the eyes.  “I know you had a hard time, Glenn.”

I returned his gaze.   I knew Rick had worried about me.   I said, honestly, “The only thing that kept me going was your love for me.   Every time I even thought about Aaron, I could hear your voice in my head telling me, ‘Look only, don’t touch,’ and I would try to think about you, instead.”

Rick eyes grew bright with unshed tears.  “Thank you for being faithful to me, Glenn.”

I reached across the table, and took his hand in mine.  “I love you too much to hurt you by stepping out on you.    My heart belongs to you, Rick Lernier.   Aaron doesn’t understand how important it is to be able to trust your life partner with your heart.   He views his sexual partners as his property; their only reason for being is to provide him with entertainment.   He has told me many times that I represent a challenge to him, because he is so used to getting everything he wants.”

Our food arrived, and we were silent for a few moments, as we tasted our food.   “This is pretty good, Rick.   Who told you about this place?” I asked.

“The Stetsons brought me here to celebrate, when the boys were awarded their Eagle Scout rank,” Rick replied.   “I have come here with Sgt. Mason, as well.”

“What are we doing with the scouts tonight?” I asked.

“I think a couple of the boys are working on the family life merit badge, and the rest are working on personal management,” Rick said.

“I have no idea what that means,” I said.   Rick explained what merit badges were, and what was required to earn the two badges the boys were working on.

“Can you see me helping those guys with personal management?” I asked, laughing at the thought.

Rick grinned.  “No, I can’t.   You would lead them astray!   I suggest you help them with the family life one.”

“That definitely sounds more like something I could assist them with.   Do they have merit badges for music, or reading?” I asked.

“Yes, they do.   I earned my music merit badge by being in the band during high school.   I played the clarinet.   I wasn’t able to be in the marching band, because I was on the football team,” Rick said.   “I even earned the reading merit badge.”

I laughed.  “Really?   I didn’t know you knew how to read!”

Rick grinned.  “Keep that up, and you will live to regret it!”

I grinned broadly, and winked at Rick.  “I like to live life dangerously!”

Rick laughed again.  “You’re walking a thin line, Mr. Nielsen.”

 “I didn’t know that reading was a requirement for being a Marine,” I said, mischievously.

“I will have you know that most Marines are very intelligent, and very well read,” Rick said.

I laughed, and exclaimed, “Rick, please!”

“Okay, some of us aren’t,” Rick admitted.   “But that is no different than what you see in society at large.   Most people are intelligent, and can read pretty well.”

“Rick, I’m teasing you!   Don’t get so defensive!”   I rubbed my foot against his, under the table.

Rick gave me that “look,” before he smiled.  “I knew you were teasing me, but I couldn’t let your statement go, without correcting you.”

We finished our meal, and paid the bill.   Rick and I climbed into the Land Rover, and Rick took us the back way to avoid the traffic that still clogged the freeway.   We arrived at building #3305, just as Sgt. Mason was getting ready to call the meeting to order.   Rick introduced me, “Sgt. Mason and Sgt. Slade, this is my friend, Glenn.   He is visiting from Minneapolis for spring break.”

Both of them acknowledged the introduction, and shook my hand.   Sgt. Mason called the scouts together, and introduced me.   “Boys, this is Rick’s friend, Glenn.”

The boys chorused a “hello,” then fell silent as Sgt. Mason outlined the activities for the evening.   He looked over at me, and asked, “Glenn, would you mind helping out with one of the groups?”

“Sure, Sgt. Mason.   I can be of most assistance with the family life merit badge,” I said.

Sgt. Mason said, “Okay, Rick will you help with the personal management group?”

“Sure,” Rick said.

I joined the family life group, where Sgt. Slade was leading the discussion.   Sgt. Slade asked, “Do all of you have your merit badge books?”

Mark, Kenny, John and Norman nodded their heads in the affirmative.   I had looked over the guys, as Sgt. Mason had been giving his instructions.   Mark was a skinny blond kid who looked to be 177 cm (5’10”) with a pert little nose, small mouth, and bright blue eyes that sparkled with mischief.   I watched him, as he made smart comments to his friends, as Sgt. Mason talked.   He continued to crack jokes, as Sgt. Slade tried to get the guys to settle down.  

Kenny was a quiet, reserved Asian looking kid.   He stood about 167 cm (5’6”), but had the look of a body builder.   I could see his biceps were very well developed, and his mesh jersey didn’t leave much doubt that he had a nice six pack.   John looked like he played linebacker on his high school football team.   He was huge!   I would guess that he was 188 cm (6’2”) and weighed at least 127 Kg. (280 lbs.).   Between his huge stature, and his blond hair and bright blue eyes, John looked like a Norse god!   Norman was a freckle-faced red-head.   He had brown eyes and a generous mouth.   In fact, his mouth seemed too big for his face.   He had a pointy nose, which added to his rather odd looking face.   When he walked past me to sit down next to John, I noticed that he had a very difficult gait.   He dragged one foot a little bit, as he moved it forward.

Norman noticed me looking at him, and grinned.  “I have a spinal cord injury that causes me to drag my foot when I walk.”

“Is it painful?” I asked, curiously.

“Sometimes, when I get tired it hurts, but most of the time it’s okay,” Norman replied.   “I get teased a lot at school, but John protects me from being bullied by anyone.   We’ve been best friends since kindergarten.”

John nodded his head.  “That’s right.   Our families have followed each other from base to base, since we were little.”

Sgt. Slade interrupted, “Guys, let’s get started.   You can chit-chat later.”   The boys got out their merit badge books, and they started going over the requirements.   Each of the boys completed their worksheets, and documented what projects they planned to work on to satisfy the requirements of the merit badge.  

We finished up before the other group, so Sgt. Slade looked at me, and asked, “Since we’re done early, how about telling us about yourself, Glenn.”

“I’m from Swift Current, Saskatchewan.   I grew up on a wheat farm not too far from the U.S. border.   I’m attending the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, majoring in music.   I play the violin and the piano,” I said.

Mark raised his hand, and asked, “Where is Saskatchewan?”

“It’s in western Canada, just north of Montana,” I said.

Mark nodded his head.  “I know where Montana is.   Why are you going to school in Minneapolis?”

“I’m going to school there, because my cousin, Ben, is on the university’s hockey team.   Ben is my roommate, as are several of his teammates,” I explained.

Norman asked, “Do you play hockey, too?”

“I know how to play, but I’m not very good at it.   I like watching my cousin’s team play, though,” I said, smiling.   “I played soccer, when I was younger.”

John grinned.  “I used to play soccer, when I was little; then, my Dad insisted that I needed to learn to play football.”

“Are you on the same team as Greg?” I asked.

John nodded, “Yes.   It’s too bad his dad went ballistic on him, when he found out Greg was gay.”

Mark said, “Greg got what was coming to him.   He’s a sinner.   My parents think Greg’s dad was right in doing what he did.”

“So, you think it’s okay to hurt people, just because you don’t agree with them,” Kenny said.

Mark nodded. “Yes, I do, because the Bible says so.”

Sgt. Slade said, “Boys, I think that we need to study the scout law.  Mark, please lead us in the scout law.”

John was the last to read, “Reverent – A scout is reverent toward God.   He is faithful in his religious duties.   He respects the beliefs of others.”

“What does it mean when it says a scout respects the beliefs of others?” Sgt. Slade asked.

“It means you should respect the rights of others to believe differently than you do, and that you should treat them with respect and dignity,” Kenny said.

“Is it okay to disagree with someone about your religious beliefs,” Sgt. Slade asked.

“Yes, it’s okay,” Mark said, loudly, almost belligerently.

“But is it okay to harass them, or harm them in any way?” Sgt. Slade asked, looking Mark directly in the eyes.

Mark stared right back at Sgt. Slade for a few minutes, then he finally looked down at the floor.  “No, it’s not okay.”

“So, does a boy scout bully people who are different than he is?” Sgt. Slade asked, looking at Norman.

“No, we learn to be courteous and kind to everyone, despite our differences,” Norman said.  

Sgt. Slade asked, “So how does the scout law apply Greg and Cory?”   He looked directly at Mark again, but Kenny answered.

“It means we treat them with respect and dignity, even though we don’t agree with them being gay,” Kenny said.

Mark said, “If they come back to this troop, I will find another scout troop.   My Dad doesn’t want me to associate with fags!   The boy scouts don’t allow fags to participate in their activities, according to the boy scouts’ policies outlined on their web site.”

“That is true, Mark, but I think you missed the point.   A scout is respectful of other people’s beliefs.   You stated that Greg got what he deserved indicating that you believe that it is okay to use violence against those you who don’t agree with you.   Or did I misinterpret what you meant to say?” Sgt. Slade asked, with a slight edge in his voice.

Mark looked around the group, and saw that everyone was waiting to hear his answer.  “I do think that Greg’s Dad did the right thing, and that he should have killed them as the sinners they are.”

“It sounds like you are the one who needs to be locked up with Mr. Hurst for breaking the laws of our state for assaulting someone with the intent to commit murder,” John said, his eyes flashing with anger.   “Greg is my friend, and I don’t care how much you hate homosexuals.   Your hatred does not give you, or anyone else, the right to murder someone.”

Mark responded heatedly, “I never said I would murder anyone!”

“No, but you said what Greg’s dad did was okay, and that he didn’t go far enough and left Greg and Cory alive,” Kenny said.

“That’s different,” Mark said.

“How is that different?” Sgt. Slade.

“The Bible says to kill all sinners, so we won’t be contaminated by their evil ways,” Mark said.

“So, your religious beliefs justify killing people, because they don’t believe the same things you do?” John said.   “Isn’t that in direct conflict with the boy scout law we just read?”

Mark didn’t respond, as he digested what John had said.   He looked around at his fellow boy scouts, and said, “I guess it means I can’t be a boy scout, because I think all sinners should be put to death.”

Sgt. Slade said, “I think we need to table this discussion, and talk it over with your parents, Mark.”

Sgt. Mason and his group of scouts joined us.  Sgt. Mason asked Kenny to lead the group in their closing ceremony.

After the boys had left, Sgt. Mason asked, “What was that all about with Mark?”

Sgt. Slade related what had been said.   He ended by saying, “I certainly hope that Mark’s view moderate over time.   That kind of intolerance of others beliefs can only lead to trouble.”

Sgt. Mason agreed, “Mark’s attitudes are merely a reflection of what is happening our in society at large.   Being respectful of others and treating them with dignity is out of vogue.   There is such a polarization of thought that all attempts at being moderate will only earn you the distain of the people around you.”

“I intend to speak with Mark’s parents tonight about what we discussed here,” Sgt. Slade said.

“Good luck!   Mark’s dad is worse than Greg’s dad, when it comes to gays,” Sgt. Mason said.   He turned to me and Rick, and said, “Thank you for helping out tonight.”   He looked at me, and said, “My apologies for Mark’s behavior.   We try to do our best to teach the boys the scout law, and help them live by it.”

I acknowledged his apology, “It’s not a problem, Sgt. Mason.   Thank you for letting us help out.”

Rick said, “We’ll see you next week.”

We bid them good night.   Rick drove us back to the Hurst’s home.  As we pulled up to their home, Rick said, “Joey is over.   I guess you will get to meet them, after all.”

We entered the house, and heard voices in the front room.   Rick entered first, and was greeted by Joey, “Hey, Rick!   I’m glad you got here, before we had to take off.”

I came in behind Rick.   Rick turned, and pulled me forward, “Joey, this is Glenn Nielsen.”

Joey stuck out his hand, and I took it.   “It’s nice to meet you, Glenn.”   Joey looked from me to Rick, and back to me, “So Angie was right.   You are gay.”

I held my breath, as I waited to see Rick’s reaction.   His face was a mask.   I couldn’t read it at all.   Joey looked at Rick, and realized he had gone too far.   “I’m sorry, Rick.   I know we have talked about this before.”

Rick looked at me, and said, “Yes, we have, Joey.”

Joey looked at his friend, and said, “I’m sorry to keep pressing you about it.   I guess I can understand that you don’t trust me not to go blabbing about it all over the base.”

I decided to step in, attempting to salvage the situation.  “Joey, I’m gay, and very proud of that fact; however, I don’t trust very many people, so I don’t go about trumpeting the news, ‘I’m gay!’ from the housetops.   Do you blame me?”

Joey looked at me briefly, then nodded.  “No, I don’t blame you for being cautious, especially after what has happened in our family.   You wouldn’t know when you would be attacked, or molested, given the history here.”

Kathy said, “I hate gays.”   Her statement silenced all conversation.

Joey looked shocked.   I looked her in the eyes, and asked, “You must be Greg’s sister, Kathy,” I said.    She nodded.   “May I ask why you hate gays?”

“Because having sex with another guy is wrong,” Kathy said.

“So, I guess you hate your brother, then,” I stated.

Kathy replied, “No, I….”

Greg interrupted, “You’re just like father!”

Mrs. Hurst said, “No, your sister is not just like your father.   She isn’t going to attack you, and try to kill you like he did.”

Kathy’s face reflected the conflicting emotions that were warring within her.   She said, “I hate gays, because my father is in jail now because of them.”   She looked accusingly at her brother.  “It’s your fault that Dad is in jail.   If you weren’t gay, he would still be here with us.   I hate you!”    She ran out of the room, and slammed the front door, as she left.

Joey still stood there, as if he were a statue.   He looked over at Greg.   “I’m sorry, Greg.   I have tried to reason with your sister, and she won’t listen to reason.”

Mrs. Hurst said, “Kathy is very close to her father, and it has been especially difficult for her to realize that he was capable of such violence against one of his own children.   She has idolized him, since she was a toddler.   I know she is in denial that her role model has fallen off of his pedestal.”

Joey agreed, “That is true.   Kathy and I have been arguing about Greg and Cory almost every day.   I have wanted to be here to help with Greg’s needs; but Kathy has refused to come, and wants nothing to do with Greg.   She is afraid that Greg will be a bad influence on the children.”

Mrs. Hurst asked, “Are you still going to that same church?”

“Kathy still goes there, but I have stopped going there.   The hatred and ill will toward other people is so strong there.   Her reverend came over last night to preach to me, since I stopped going to services.   After hearing his vitriol, again, I kicked him out of my house, and forbade him ever to darken the threshold of my home, again,” Joey said.   “Kathy was livid, and has threatened to divorce me; because I don’t agree with her views on gays.”

“I’m sorry we ever joined that church.   I remember arguing with Steve about it.   We were both raised in very strict Christian homes, so we were looking for a church that taught similar values, like those we had growing up.    When we attended our first service, Steve was so taken with Reverend Talbot that we never looked at any of the other churches in the area,” Mrs. Hurst said.

Joey ran his hand through his hair, and said, “I’m afraid that Kathy has lost all reason, since her Dad went to jail.   I have found her crying her eyes out about missing her dad.   When I try to comfort her, she tells me she doesn’t want anything to do with anyone who sympathizes, or tolerates gays; and she goes into our bedroom and locks the door.   I love Kathy, but I can’t continue dealing with her the way she is now.   She has changed so much, since we first got married that I don’t even recognize her as the woman I married.   She is so angry and bitter.   It seems like the real Kathy has been replaced by an imposter.   The woman I love no longer exists.”

Mrs. Hurst said, “I will try to talk some sense into her, Joey.   Maybe she will listen to me.”

Joey shook his head.  “I doubt it will do any good, because you haven’t kicked Greg out of your house for being gay.   She has said that it is too bad that you have joined the church of the devil by harboring a gay in your home.”

Mrs. Hurst face reflected the pain she felt at hearing how Kathy had turned away from her family.   “I’m sorry for what my daughter is putting you through, Joey.”

“It’s not your fault,” Joey said.   “I had better take the girls home.   It’s time for them to go to bed.”

Mrs. Hurst bundled Sarah, Joey’s five-month old baby girl, into her car seat.

Joey called to his toddler, “Rachel, come here, baby.   It’s time to go.”   The little girl walked over to her daddy.  “Tell Grandma ‘bye-bye.’  Mommy and your sister are waiting for us.”

Rachel waved her little hand, and said what almost sounded like, “Bye-bye, Nana.”

Joey picked Rachel up, and retrieved the car seat, with Sarah strapped in it, following Kathy out to their car.

Greg asked, “Mom, how can we help Kathy?”

“I’m afraid we won’t be able to help her.   The poison of Reverend Talbot’s words has worked themselves deep into her mind.   His sermons continue their work of destroying our family, like an unstoppable cancer,” Mrs. Hurst said, sadly.   Her eyes were bright with tears and her lower lip trembled, as she tried to contain the emotions she felt.

I looked at Greg.  “I thought we left you in your bed.”

Greg smiled, “I had Joey help me get into my chair, so I could visit with him and Kathy.”

“I’m glad to see you taking the initiative to make sure you get out of your room,” Rick said.

Mrs. Hurst smiled, “I got a message from the doctor’s office today.   They called while we were at the Stetsons.   I called them back, and the nurse said they want Greg to come into their office tomorrow.   The doctor looked at the latest set of x-rays, and it looks like Greg’s legs have healed enough that the casts can be taken off.”

Rick said, “That’s great!   I wish I could go with you, but I have to work.”

Greg grinned.  “Glenn and Michael can come with me.  By the time you get home from work, I will be home without casts.”

“That’s sounds wonderful,” Rick said.   “Are you ready to begin physical therapy?”

Greg nodded his head.  “Yes, I’m so tired of the casts.   You don’t know how bad it’s been the last few days.”

I asked, “Have you told Cory?”

“Yes, I called him as soon as Mom told me,” Greg answered.   “His doctor wants him to wait until next week, before his casts can be taken off.   It seems that my body healed faster than Cory’s.   The doctor said that because I was in such good shape my body healed much faster than he expected.”

Rick said, “It will take a lot of work to get back to where you were.”

“I know; but, I have got to do it, because I don’t want to get flabby.   Cory won’t want me around if I start to look like middle-aged man with a beer gut hanging over my belt,” Greg said.

Rick laughed.  “I’m sure that Cory will love you just the same, even if you put on a few pounds.”

“You’re right about that, but I want to stay in good shape for him,” Greg said.

We were still talking, when we heard the door open, and Joey entered the front room.   His face showed how upset he was.   Mrs. Hurst asked, “What’s wrong, Joey.”

“Kathy kicked me out of the house, and says she doesn’t ever want to see me again,” Joey said.   He sat down on the couch, and put his head in his hands.   Mrs. Hurst sat down next to him, and put her arm around his shoulders.

After a few moments, he sat up, and looked at Mrs. Hurst.  “We argued about Greg and Cory again, after we got home.   I told her that it didn’t matter if Greg is gay or not, he is still her brother, and that I would not tolerate her continued denigration of gay people.   She said she didn’t care about Greg; because the Greg she loved wasn’t gay, and that since I like gays so much that I could get out.   I told her in no uncertain terms that our marriage was over, and that I would fight for sole custody of our children; because she is unfit to raise children, given her hatred and intolerance toward other people.”

Mrs. Hurst said, “I’m so sorry, Joey, that it has come to this.   It seems that Steve has even poisoned my daughter against the rest of her family with his vile ways.   My only lament is that I turned a blind eye to what he was doing, and pretended that everything would turn out okay in the end.”

Greg’s voice cracked with emotion, as he said, “I’m sorry that you and Kathy have split up because of me.”

Joey looked over at Greg.  “It is not your fault that your sister has driven me away from her.   She is an adult, and is making her own decisions.   I will hire a lawyer in the morning, and get the paperwork started.   Virginia requires a one-year waiting period, before the divorce will be final.”

Rick said, “I’m sorry that things have turned out this way.   I wish things had turned out differently.”

“So do I, Rick.   At first, I was really upset that Greg and Cory were gay; but after seeing how happy they are together, I started to question why I should look down on them for loving each other.   When we talked about it that day, and I ended up getting so horny after seeing Greg fucking Cory, I decided that maybe I was gay, as well, or at least bisexual.”

Greg’s face registered his surprise.  “You saw us having sex that day?”

Rick laughed, “Yes, you and Cory weren’t exactly quiet that day; playing video games, and challenging each other to different contests.   So, when things got really quiet, we wondered what was going on; so, we went upstairs to check things out.   When we looked into the bedroom, we saw the two of you enjoying each other very much.”

Greg blushed.  “I didn’t know you had seen us.”

Rick said, “It’s okay, Greg.   You don’t have to be embarrassed.”

“It’s just that I thought we had been so careful,” Greg said.

Rick looked at me, then put his arm around me, and said, “You mean you were as about as discreet about your feelings for each other as we are.”   I was surprised by this, because I thought Rick didn’t want Joey to know that we’re a couple.   I turned, and looked him in the eyes, and he grinned.   He gave me a quick kiss to reassure me that he knew what he was doing.

Greg laughed.  “Okay, I guess weren’t exactly discreet.”

“In fact, it was so obvious that you were in love with Cory that it was kind of hard to miss,” Rick said.

I looked over to see Joey smiling.   “I thought you were gay, Rick, but I wasn’t sure.   I’m glad to finally see that I was right.   You had me wondering if I was just imagining things; because every time I confronted you, you bristled, and gave me the evil eye.”

Rick looked Joey in the eyes, and said, “I wasn’t sure I could trust you.”

 “You were wise not to trust me, Rick, because I still wasn’t sure of how I felt about gays.   After everything we have been through the last few months, I have totally changed my mind about gays.   Your secret is safe with me, Rick.   I warn you to never tell Kathy; because she won’t stop, until she has done everything she can to destroy you,” Joey said.

Greg asked, “Are you going to live here with us now, Joey?”

“I don’t know, Greg.   I hadn’t really given it much thought,” Joey replied.

Mrs. Hurst said, “We would be happy to have you move in with us.   Now that Greg is getting his casts off, Rick will be moving back to the barracks, so you can move into Rick’s room after Glenn goes back to school.”

“That sounds like a plan to me,” Joey said.   “Thank you for letting me stay here with you.”

Mrs. Hurst said, “Since you two aren’t using the air mattress, please bring it out here, so Joey can use it tonight.”

“Sure,” Rick said.   He stood up, and went to our bedroom to retrieve the air mattress, as she requested.

Joey looked across at me.  “Glenn, you are a very lucky man.   Rick is one of the best people I have ever known.”

I grinned.  “Yes, he is.  He is also the best lover.”

Rick re-entered the room with the air mattress.   Greg moved his wheelchair out of the room to allow Rick to position it in the center of the room.  

Mrs. Hurst said, “It’s getting late, boys.   I will see you in the morning.”

She left us, as we got Joey settled with clean sheets, blankets and a pillow.   We helped Greg back into his bed, and helped him with his toilet.   Finally, we were alone in our room.

Rick took me in his arms, and kissed me.  “I love you, babe.   I need you tonight.”

“And I need you, sweetheart,” I replied, as we helped undress each other.  We soon were enjoying each other, as only two lovers can!

The next morning, Rick and I began where we had left off the night before - it was like our desires for each other had become turbocharged!   Not that I’m complaining…..I enjoy every minute of our lovemaking!  

Later, Rick pulled me close, as we basked in the afterglow of some of the finest sex I had ever had from my man!   Rick looked into my eyes, and said, “You’re the love of my life, Babe.”

I smiled broadly, and said, “I think you just proved that fact to be true!”

Rick laughed, “I guess I did.   Do you have any doubts that you are well loved?”

“None, whatsoever, not even one!” I responded, and kissed him tenderly on the lips.   As I went to pull away, Rick placed his hand behind my head, and prevented me from breaking the kiss.   What started out as a gentle, tender kiss turned into a wildly passionate one!   When Rick finally released me, I gasped, “Wow!”

Rick laughed.  “Is that all you have to say?”

“No, but that is the best word I could think of to describe how I felt about that kiss!” I replied, as I held my lover’s gaze.

We rubbed noses for a moment, then Rick pulled back, and asked, “Do you think Joey is gay?”

“I don’t think so.   Why do you ask?” I asked, wondering what was on his mind.

“I think he might be, because he kept looking us over last night,” Rick said.

“I did notice that his gaze tended to linger on your crotch, when he thought no one was watching him,” I said.

“That’s what I mean.   I noticed it last night, as well,” Rick said.

“I think we’ll probably find out fairly soon; because I don’t think Joey can be around three gorgeous gay guys for very long, and not slip, if he really is gay,” I said.  “If he is gay, Rick, he is so far in the closet he will never find his way out!”

Rick kissed me again, and said, “I think we had better get up, and get ready for the day.   I have to go to work, and you guys have to get our invalid to the doctor; so he can get his casts off.”

Rick stood up, then took my hand to help me up.   I was a little unstable at first, and automatically wrapped my arms around Rick’s waist.   Rick nuzzled my hair, as I buried my face in his chest, taking in his manly scent.   I thought to myself, “It’s amazing how I seem to have a heightened sense of smell, after we have sex.   I love how Rick smells after he has made me his!”

Rick held me close for a moment, before releasing me.   He reached down, and grabbed our boxer shorts, handing me mine.   “Let’s get in the shower, Babe.”

I watched him, as he bent over to pull on his boxers.   The sight of his perfectly sculpted glutes had their usual effect on me.   Catching sight of my aroused state, Rick laughed.  “I know what you want, Mr. Nielsen, but you can’t have any, until you get in the shower with me.   Now, get your boxers on, so we can cross the hall, without the risk of embarrassing Mrs. Hurst.”

I grinned, and did as he asked, quickly slipping on my boxers.   Rick returned my grin, and took my hand.   He led me across the hall to the bathroom.   We took a nice, leisurely shower, then helped dry each other off.   We wrapped a towel around our waists, and I opened the door to find Joey, standing there with a big grin on his face.

“Well, good morning, guys!   I hope your shower was satisfactory,” Joey said, as he backed away from the bathroom door to let us out.

Rick laughed, and responded, “Yes, it was totally satisfying!”

Joey looked us over for a moment.  “You two are so ‘hot’ you sizzle!”

“Thank you,” I said.   “That is quite a compliment coming from a straight guy.”

“Seriously, you guys need to let Greg see you, before you get dressed,” Joey said.   “I’m sure he will appreciate the sight of two ripped guys in his room much more than I do.”

Rick grinned, and pointedly asked, “Are you sure about that?”

Joey gave Rick a puzzled look.  “What do you mean?”

Rick said, “Are you sure that Greg will appreciate seeing us more than you do?”

Joey looked like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle.   Rick, seeing his look of near panic, said, “Joey, it’s okay if you like guys.   We totally understand.   There nothing wrong with you.”

Joey looked as if he were going to deny the fact that he liked looking at us, then what he said next, took us totally by surprise.  “Yes, I’m gay.   I have had a secret boyfriend that I have been meeting once, or twice, a week at the gym.   That is why I have been so offended by Kathy’s hatred of gays.   I have tried to make our marriage work; but, things have gone downhill for us, ever since we had our first child.”

I was the first to recover from my astonishment at Joey’s revelation.   I asked, “Does anyone know about your boyfriend?”

“No.   Please don’t tell anyone, yet.   Kathy thinks I have been seeing another woman, and I would just as soon keep it that way, until after the divorce is final.   I’m afraid if she found out I was having sex with a guy that she would try to strip me of all my parental rights, because of her hatred for gays,” Joey said.

Rick said, “Your secret is safe with us.   We want you to know you can talk to us at anytime.”

Joey smiled, in relief.  “It’s actually nice to know I can talk about Tyler with you guys.   He is attending college at George Mason University in Fairfax.   He is still living at home with his parents in Woodbridge.   His birthday is today.   Now, that I’m not living with Kathy, anymore, I won’t have to lie to her; and make up excuses why I need to spend a couple of hours away from home.”

Changing the subject, Joey said, “I think you should let Greg get an eye full, before you get dressed.”

We laughed, and Rick moved down the hallway to open Greg’s door.   Greg was still asleep, so we tiptoed up to his bed.   I stood on one side of Greg’s bed, and Rick on the other.   Rick looked over at me, and said softly, “Lose the towel.”   We both dropped our towels, then Rick shook Greg’s shoulder.  “Wake up, sleepy head.”

Joey was standing in the doorway, looking at us.   “Damn, you guys are such studs!”

Greg’s eyes opened, and he asked groggily, “What?”   He yawned, then rubbed his eyes.   He started to sit up, when he finally noticed us.   “Fuck!   Why are you guys standing in my room naked?”

His expression was priceless!   “We’re giving you some fantasy material for later,” I responded.

Greg looked us over, then said, in amazement, “Glenn, I don’t how you can handle Rick fucking you.   He is so huge!”

Rick grinned, and said, “I’m glad you can appreciate the fact that I am very well endowed.”

“Rick knows how to satisfy me,” I said, grinning.

“I bet he does,” Greg answered, laughing.

I walked around to stand beside Rick.   Rick put his arm around my waist, and leaned down to kiss me.

Joey came into the room.  “You two are so sexy.   You should get a modeling job, and show off your bodies to the whole world.”

Greg looked in surprise at Joey, “Are you gay, Joey?”

Joey said, “Yes, I am, but please don’t share that information with your mother, or with Kathy.”

Greg nodded his understanding.  “I promise.   Now, I understand why you were so supportive of me and Cory.   Thank you for being there for us.”

“Don’t you agree that these two are the best looking guys you have ever seen?” Joey asked.

Greg nodded.  “You are right about that.”   He looked us over from head to toe, obviously enjoying it.  “Thank you for sharing this morning.”

Rick said, “You are very welcome.”   Rick took my hand.  “Glenn, we need to get dressed.”  He leaned down, and grabbed his towel.   He walked us around to the other side of Greg’s bed, so I could get mine.  He led us back to our room.

“That was so hot!” I exclaimed, enthusiastically.  

Rick grinned.  “I agree.  I’m glad we pushed Joey a little bit.   He will need Greg’s support during the next year.   Since he came out to us and Greg, it will make it easier for him to deal with the emotional stress of the divorce.”

“I would like to meet Tyler,” I said.

“Same here,” Rick said.

We quickly dressed, and I went into the kitchen to fix Rick his breakfast and a sack lunch.   He downed his coffee, and took his egg and sausage sandwich wrapped in a napkin with him, as he walked out the door.   I followed him out of the kitchen, and waved good-bye to him, as he drove off.

I turned to find Joey standing behind me.   “You really do love him, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do,” I replied.

“Do you think your relationship will be a lasting one?” Joey asked, looking me in the eyes.

“I hope so.   I know we both want to be together forever.   Has it been easy?   No, it hasn’t,” I said, as I walked into the front room, and sat down on the couch.

Joey had deflated the air mattress, and had folded up his bedding.   He had stashed it in a corner of the front room, behind one of the coffee tables.   He sat down next to me.

“Glenn, when I married Kathy, I thought we would be together forever.   I was madly in love with her, or so I thought.   We seemed right for each other.   The sex was great, and we loved being together.   Then things changed.   She became moody and distant.   We stopped having sex after the second baby was born,” Joey said.

“So, that’s when you found Tyler?” I asked.

“No, that happened a couple of months later.   I tried to convince Kathy to go to counseling, and she refused.   Then we started arguing all of the time.   I started hanging out at the gym as much as I could, to get away from the nasty situation we had at home.   That is where I first saw Tyler.   I caught myself checking him out, as he lifted weights; but I didn’t have the courage to approach him.   A few days later, I went to a gay bar for the first time.   I was pretty nervous and felt out of place, when I recognized Tyler as the guy I had been admiring at the gym,” Joey said.

“And one thing led to another after that,” I prompted him.

“Yes, you could say that.   We have been seeing each other for nearly four months, now,” Joey said.

“Does he know you’re married?” I asked.

“Yes, he does.   I called him last night to tell him about Kathy.   He has asked me to move in with him,” Joey said.

“Are you going to do that?” I asked.

“No, not until the divorce is final.   I think he will understand,” Joey said.

“I’m sure he will,” I said.

We heard Mrs. Hurst on the stairs.   We both stood up, and met her in the hallway.   “Good morning, boys,” she greeted us.   “We need to get Greg ready to go.   I will make us some toast, so we can be on our way as soon as Greg is ready.”

Joey and I walked down the hall, and opened Greg’s door.   Greg smiled.  “Thank you for waking me up this morning.”

I grinned at Greg.  “Not a problem.”

I grabbed Greg’s toiletries and gave Joey directions, as we helped get Greg ready.   Soon, we had him sitting in his chair.  He drove himself out of his room, and into the kitchen.   We wolfed down the toast and some juice, before heading out the door.   Michael pulled up, as we were loading Greg into the van.

“Good morning, Michael,” I said.

“Good morning, Glenn.   Where are you going?” he asked.

“We’re taking Greg to see his doctor this morning.   He is getting his casts off today,” I replied.

“Cool!” Michael replied.   “Can I come?”

“Sure,” I said.   Turning to Joey, I said, “Michael, this is Joey, Greg’s brother-in-law.”

Michael extended his hand and shook Joey’s.  “Nice to meet you, Joey.”

Joey grinned.  “A pleasure.”

We all climbed into the van, and Mrs. Hurst drove us to the doctor’s office.   We helped Greg back into his chair, then followed him into the office.   They took him back as soon as we arrived.   About thirty minutes later, Greg hobbled out of the examination room.   The doctor had given him a pair of crutches to help him keep from falling down.  

Greg grinned.  “I feel like a baby learning to walk.”

Mrs. Hurst smiled.  “You’re doing a great job, dear.”

The doctor spoke with Mrs. Hurst about physical therapy.   It turned out the physical therapist was directly across the hall from the doctor’s office.   We followed Greg to the therapist’s office.   The doctor’s office had already made an appointment for him, following his visit to their office; so they took him back to the therapist’s room.  

An hour later, Greg came out, and grinned.  “It feels so good to be able to move my legs again.”

The therapist handed Mrs. Hurst several sheets of paper that outlined the exercises she wanted Greg to do at home.   Mrs. Hurst said, “Thank you.”

The therapist smiled, and turned to Greg, “Don’t forget to follow my directions, young man.”

Greg smiled at her.  “I won’t forget.”

We piled back in the van, and Mrs. Hurst drove us home.   Michael sat next to Greg, who put his arm around Michael’s shoulders.   I looked at them, and smiled.

Michael smiled back, as he ran his hands up and down Greg’s inner thigh.   I could see Greg’s pants start to tent.   Greg reached down, and took Michael’s hand in his.   Greg smiled.   “Be patient, Michael.”

Michael nodded, and didn’t say a word.   When we arrived back home, Michael and Greg disappeared into Greg’s room.   Joey looked at me in surprise.  “Is Michael gay?”

I nodded my head.  “Yes, and he and Greg like each other.”

Joey grinned.  “Cool.   Maybe Michael would be interested in a threesome with me and Tyler tonight.”

“You will have to ask Michael,” I responded.

“I will do just that, as soon as they are done in Greg’s room,” Joey said.

Joey and I joined Mrs. Hurst in the kitchen, where she was putting a soup together in the crock pot for dinner tonight.    Mrs. Hurst turned to Joey, and asked, “Have you called your attorney?”

Joey replied, “No, I haven’t.”

“I suggest you do that.   Here is the name of the lawyer I’m using.   After you call him, you need to get to your bank and credit union.   You need to get your money transferred into an account that has only your name on it.   Knowing my daughter like I do, she will drain every penny from those accounts, and leave you with nothing.”

Joey’s face grew grim, as he processed the information Mrs. Hurst had just given him.  “You’re right.   I hadn’t thought about getting to the bank accounts.”

Mrs. Hurst handed Joey the phone, and he dialed the number she had given him.  After that, Joey bid us good-bye.   “I’ll be back after I get the bank accounts straightened out.”

After he left, I looked at Mrs. Hurst, and asked, “Why are you encouraging him to divorce your daughter?”

She sat down across the table from me and said, “I have watched their relationship deteriorate over the last year, or so.   It has been heartbreaking, Glenn, to see them hurt each other.   The children are the ones being hurt the most by their quarreling, and general nastiness that goes on in their home.”   She paused, then continued, “At first, I thought they could reconcile their differences; but with Steve’s rejection of Greg, and Kathy’s adoption of the same attitude toward gays, I don’t see any way forward for them, as a couple.”

“Have you spoken to Kathy about this?” I asked.

“Yes, I have.   Steve talked her about it, too.   She told both of us to mind our own business.   She said she knew what she was doing, and didn’t need our advice,” she replied.   “When Joey came back last night, I was actually relieved that it is finally coming to an end.   Maybe they can both find someone else who can make them happy.”

“What about the children?” I asked.

“I think they will be much better off living in a home where their parents love each other.   It will be hard for them, at first; but in the long run, it will be much better,” she said.

Michael and Greg came into the kitchen holding hands.   This surprised Mrs. Hurst.   She said, “Greg, does Cory know about this?”

Greg smiled and responded, “Yes, he does, and gave me permission to be with Michael.”

Mrs. Hurst shook her head, “I don’t understand kids these days.   When we were dating, we didn’t have sex with other people.”

Greg and Michael sat down at the table.   Greg said, “Cory and I asked Michael to join us in a three-way relationship.”

Mrs. Hurst’s eyes just about popped out of her head.  “What?”

“We have asked Michael to be our partner,” Greg said.

Mrs. Hurst sputtered for a moment, then said, “Greg, I want you to know I don’t approve of this.   One of you is going to get hurt.”

“Don’t worry, Mom.   We talked about this at length, and I think we have covered all the angles.   We know that there is a chance one of us will end up being hurt, but we want to try this.   None of us is doing this on a whim,” Greg said.

Michael spoke up, “Please, give us chance to show you that this will work.”

Mrs. Hurst looked at him, then looked back at her son.  “Okay, I am willing to go along with this crazy idea for a little while.   However, I have a couple of conditions you must agree to, first.”

Greg looked worried, but nodded his agreement, “Okay, Mom, what are they?”

Mrs. Hurst said, “No sleeping over during the week.   I don’t want to see Michael, or Cory, in your bed during the school week.   Until you are graduated from high school, I still get to set the rules.”

Greg nodded, “Okay, that one seems reasonable.   What are the others?”

“You can have Cory and Michael over on weekends, but there will be no drugs, or alcohol; and you won’t stay up all night partying.   Lastly, I want you to make sure the Stetsons are okay with Cory being part of this kind of relationship,” she finished.

“Okay, Mom, we agree to your terms,” Greg said.

Michael looked at Mrs. Hurst.  “Mrs. Hurst thank you for being so kind and understanding.   I promise I will do my best to help both Cory and Greg.”

Mrs. Hurst smiled.  “Call me Mom, Michael.   Since you are obviously in a relationship with my son, we can’t have you calling me Mrs. Hurst.”   She paused, and looked at Greg.  “I can’t believe I just agreed to let you have your way, Greg.   You had better not disappoint me.”

Greg grinned.   “You love me, Mom.”

“Yes, I do, and that is the only reason I’m agreeing to this arrangement of yours,” she said, her face reflecting her doubts about what she had just agreed to let Greg do.   She pushed her doubts aside, remembering just how fragile her son’s mental and emotional state was at the moment.   Maybe Michael would be just the right person to help Greg and Cory heal from their traumatic experience.

“Michael, I would like to get to know you better.   Can you tell me more about yourself?” Mrs. Hurst asked.

“I’m originally from Vietnam.   My parents and I moved to Atlanta about eight years ago.   I graduated from high school in Vietnam, and attended college in Atlanta.   I love teaching high school, but I am looking for a more permanent situation work wise.   My parents know that I am gay, but are hoping it’s just a phase I am going through.   They are good to me, and want me to move back home.   I talk to my Mom almost every day.   She worries about me, and wants to make sure I’m okay,” Michael said.

“Have you been in a relationship with anyone before Greg?” she asked.   “I know I am asking some very personal questions, Michael.   If you don’t want to share that kind of information with me, you don’t have to tell me anything, or you can tell me it’s not any of my business to know that about your personal life.”

Greg took Michael’s hand in his.   “Let me tell her, okay?”   Greg looked into Michael’s face, and waited for him to answer.

Michael leaned over, and kissed Greg, “Okay.”

Greg turned to his mother.  “Michael’s ex-boyfriend dumped him months ago.   He went to Europe, and really hasn’t communicated much with Michael.   Michael has been very careful not to get involved with just anyone, Mom.”

Mrs. Hurst asked, “Is that true, Michael?”

Michael nodded, “Yes, Mom, it is.   My ex-boyfriend didn’t treat me very well.   To be honest, I am really nervous about getting involved with a couple that already has a well-established relationship.”

“We’ve already talked about this, Michael.   Cory and I are secure enough in our love for each other that we feel that adding you to our relationship will only strengthen our feelings for each other, and for you,” Greg said.

“Your mother is right, Greg.   We need to be careful that I don’t get hurt later on, because you and Cory decide that you want a closed relationship, after all is said and done.   I don’t want to become so attached to you both, only to have you kick me to the curb, when you’re done experimenting with me,” Michael said.

Greg looked hurt.  “We never thought we would ever kick you to the curb, Michael.”

Michael said, “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, Greg.   It’s just that we need to have all of our cards out on the table, before we start.   I don’t want any nasty surprises later on, when it’s too late for me to protect myself from being hurt.”

“I think you are wise to talk things through, before going any further,” Mrs. Hurst said.

“Mom, I wanted you to know that I have given this a lot of thought, and I know the risk I’m taking by agreeing to become part of a threesome,” Michael said.   He turned to Greg.   “I love you, Greg, but I do have to make sure that this is what you want, and that Cory wants it just as much as you do.”

Mrs. Hurst nodded.  “Michael, thank you for looking out for the boys’ best interests.   It makes me feel much more comfortable that this will be a good thing for them, as well as for you.”

Michael smiled.  “I will do my best to make it work, if that is what we all agree is the best thing for us.”   Michael looked at Greg.  “Are you ready to go over to Cory’s house?”

Greg nodded his head in the affirmative, “Yes, I’m ready.”

The boys gave Mrs. Hurst a peck on the cheek, before they left.   I looked at Mrs. Hurst, after they left.  “Are you going to be okay?” I asked.

She gave a little smile.  “I will be okay.   I am just not used to my children’s ideas of what makes an acceptable relationship.   I guess I’m just too old fashioned to make the adjustments necessary to accept these things so readily, without giving them some thought.”

“You are not old fashioned, Mrs. Hurst.   I think you are quite ‘hip,’ if you know what I mean,” I said, with a smile.

Mrs. Hurst replied, “Thank you, Glenn.   How did your parents react when you told them you were gay?”

“I didn’t exactly tell them.   They kind of found out from my Uncle Dave and Aunt Mary.   I started dating Ian during my senior year, while I was staying with them,” I said.   “My brother, Randy, is gay.   When he and his husband, Shawn, told my parents they were a couple, my dad came unglued.   He kicked them out of his house, and disowned them.   It was a terrible time for us, as a family.”

“Did your Dad disown you, as well, when he found out you were gay?” she asked.

“No.   By the time he found out about me and Ian, he had already reconciled with Randy and Shawn,” I said.   “Mom and Dad are pretty cool about it, now.   They really like Rick, and have encouraged us to get married.”

“How can you get married, since Rick is still in the Marine Corps?” Mrs. Hurst asked.

“We will have to wait, until he gets out of the Marine Corps.   I’m not happy about having to wait; but I really love Rick.   So, I have to settle for what we can have together now, and hope that we will still want to get married to each other, when he gets out,” I said, sighing in resignation.

“I can tell you and Rick are very much in love with each other.   I think that your relationship will stand the test of time,” she said, smiling at me.   “Rick talks about you all the time.   He really misses you.   When he asked if you could stay with us, I couldn’t refuse him, because I could see how much it meant to him.”

“Thank you for letting me stay with you,” I said.

“You’re welcome.   We have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to ask you if you would play the piano for me.   Kathy learned to play, but Greg never took to it.   In fact, he resisted all my efforts to get him to learn how to play a musical instrument of any kind,” Mrs. Hurst laughed.   “Greg can be so stubborn at times.”

“I would be happy to play for you.   Rick won’t be home for a while, and it will be nice just to relax with some music,” I said.

We got up from the kitchen table, and walked into the front room.   I pulled out the piano bench, and took a seat at the Kimball piano.   I ran my fingers over the keys.   I looked over at Mrs. Hurst.  “It needs to be tuned.”

She said, “I know.  I just haven’t had time to concentrate on anything, except getting Greg back on his feet.   I’ll have to get someone in to tune it, soon.”

“What do you want to hear?” I asked.

She thought for a moment.  “Clair de Lune.”

“Okay,” I replied, and started playing it from memory.   After finishing it, I moved on to another of my Debussy favorites.   His music always makes me feel so wonderful!   I soon lost myself in the music, as I moved on to more of my favorite pieces.   In fact, I was so into the music, I didn’t even hear Rick come home.   I had just finished playing the Entr’acte from Schubert’s Rosemunde, when Rick placed his hand on my shoulder, making me jump from surprise.

I looked up, and saw Rick grinning from ear to ear.  “Don’t scare me like that!”

Rick laughed.  “You shouldn’t get so involved in the music that you forget everything else around you.”

I stood up, and pushed the piano bench back under the piano.   I turned to my lover boy.   I put my arms around his waist, and kissed him.   He brushed my hair out of my eyes, and ran his fingertips along my jaw line.  “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” I said, and kissed him again.   “I missed you.”

Rick smiled.  “I thought about you all day.   Let’s go out tonight.   I know of nice club, where we can get a good dinner.”

“I would love that,” I said.   I put my head on Rick’s shoulder, and held him tight.   I had forgotten that Mrs. Hurst was in the room, until I heard her stand up and tiptoe out of the front room.  My appreciation for her kindness to me grew a hundredfold at that moment, as she left me and Rick to have some private time together.

Rick led me down the hall to our bedroom, and we cuddled on our bed, while Rick told me about his day.   I listened attentively, and found I really enjoyed hearing about Rick’s day.   Not that he did anything super spectacular, but it helped me to understand how he spent his day at work.   I was amazed at how important it was to me to know what he was doing.   I thought about how much I admired this man, as he narrated the day’s events.

We were getting ready to go out on the town, when we heard a knock on our door.   I said, “Come in.”

The door opened, and Joey walked into our room.   He looked us over, and whistled.  “You guys sure do clean up well!”

We had dressed in matching dark blue golf shirts, khaki pants, and penny loafers.   We wore matching gold chains that we had picked out for each other, when we first met.   I looked at Rick, and grinned.   “Thank you, Joey.”

Rick smiled.  “We do look pretty good, even if I say so myself!”

Joey asked, “Do you guys want to join me and Tyler for dinner?   It’s Tyler’s birthday, today.”

I looked at Rick, and shrugged.  “It’s okay by me if you want to go with Joey and Tyler.”

Rick said, “Sure, but we will be heading out on our own after dinner, so we can spend some time together, before Glenn has to go back to school.”

Joey smiled.  “Thanks, guys.   I’ve told Tyler all about you two.   He is very excited to meet you.”

I looked at Rick, who didn’t react to the news that Joey hadn’t kept his promise not to tell anyone about us.   So, I let it go, and said, “We are ready to go if you are.”

Joey said, “I’m ready.   I planned to take Tyler to the Chart House on the Alexandria waterfront.   It that okay with you guys?”

“Sounds good,” Rick said.   “We’ll meet you there.”

“Here is the address, and this is my cell number.   I’ll swing by and pick up Tyler in Woodbridge.   Give me about a ten minute head start,” Joey said.

We waited the ten minutes, then jumped in the Land Rover, and headed north toward Alexandria.   As we crossed the Occoquan River, Rick pointed out the marina below us.   When we got off the freeway in Alexandria, Rick drove down King Street toward the waterfront, narrating the history of the different buildings we passed.   I was amazed that Rick knew so much about what had happened in Old Town Alexandria.

“When did you find out all of this information about Alexandria,” I asked.

“I went with Sgt. Mason’s Boy Scout troop on a historic tour of Old Town Alexandria a few weeks ago,” Rick said.   “I don’t remember everything the tour guide said, but I think I got the major points of interest covered.”

I smiled.  “You never cease to amaze me, Babe.”

“That’s because I’m just an amazing guy,” Rick laughed.

I laughed, rolling my eyes.  “Please……”

Rick grinned.  “Sorry, I couldn’t resist.   You’re the one who said it.”

Rick parked the Land Rover.  We walked past the Old Torpedo Factory, and found our way to the Chart House Restaurant.   We took a seat on one of the benches on the waterfront, and waited for Joey and Tyler.   Rick pointed up river.  “You can see Washington, DC, from here.   That bridge crosses from the Virginia side to the Maryland side of the River, but crosses through the District of Columbia in the middle of the bridge.”


Old Town Alexandria Chart House Restaurant

I looked where Rick was pointing, and saw the bridge he was talking about.   Beyond the bridge, I could see the lights of the city.  I said, “That’s cool.”

Rick looked around, and saw Joey approaching us holding hands with another guy.   Tyler was slight taller than Joey, and about the same build.   He had sandy blond hair.   As they got closer, I could see that he had blue eyes, a nice smile with a nose that had a little hook on the end.   He had bushy eyebrows that formed a solid line above his eyes.   

Joey introduced us, “Tyler, this is Rick and Glenn.”  

I reached out, and shook his hand.  “Nice to meet you.”

Rick did the same.  “Hi, Tyler.”

Joey said, “I called ahead to make reservations, so we should be good to go.”

We walked back around to the restaurant entrance.   The hostess showed us to our table.   Our waiter was a cute black guy named K’Shawn.   I couldn’t help noticing how nicely his uniform fit him.   He had his ears pierced, and wore a nice set of studs.   Rick saw me giving K’Shawn the once over, and elbowed me.   I turned to Rick in surprise.  “What did I do?”

Rick didn’t respond to my question, but addressed K’Shawn, “Would you bring us a carafe of water?”

“Yes, sir, I’ll do that for you.   May I bring you any other beverages?” K’Shawn asked, looking at the rest of us.   Both Tyler and Joey ordered a beer, and I ordered a soda.

Tyler asked, “Where are you from, Glenn?”

“I’m from Swift Current, Saskatchewan,” I replied.

“I know where that is.   My family took a trip across Canada, and we stopped in Swift Current.   It’s kind of flat there,” Tyler said.

“That it is,” I agreed.   “Where are you from?”

“I’m from Virginia.   I grew up in Alexandria, but my parents moved to Dumfries, when my Dad retired.   I’m going to school at George Mason University in Fairfax.   I’m still living at home to save money,” Tyler said.

Rick said, “Joey has told us that today is your birthday.”

“Yes, it is.   I’m 22 years old, today,” Tyler said.

“Happy birthday, Tyler,” I said.

“How old are you guys?” Tyler asked.

Rick said, “I’m 21.   I will be 22 in July.   Glenn is 20.”

Tyler asked, “How did you guys meet?”

Rick and I related how Keith introduced us.   I asked, “How did you and Joey meet?”

Tyler looked at Joey, and said, “I met Joey at a gay bar in DC.   He was the handsomest guy in the place.”

Joey said, “I recognized Tyler from the gym.   I was grateful to see a familiar face, even though I didn’t know who he was.  He came over, and asked if he could join me for a drink.   I agreed, and the rest is history, so to speak.   We have been getting together about once a week, since then.”

The waiter returned with our beverages, and took our food orders.   He left, and Tyler said, “Tonight is very special, because Joey and I are staying at the hotel up the street for the night.”

I looked at Joey, and smiled.  “That is so romantic, Joey.   Tyler, you’re so lucky!”

Joey blushed.  “It’s the least I could do for Tyler’s birthday.”

“It will be our first time together,” Tyler said.   I must have looked surprised; because Tyler continued, “Joey insisted that we only date, but not have sex, until the time was right.”

Joey said, “I didn’t feel right having sex with Tyler, when there seemed like there was a chance things would work out between me and Kathy.”

“I’ve been waiting for Joey to make up his mind about who he wanted to be married to – me or Kathy.   I want to be married, and I don’t want to have to take whatever is left after the real spouse is done.   I’ve been pretty blunt about it,” Tyler explained, looking over at Joey.

“Yes, you have, and I’ve made my decision, Tyler.   I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” Joey said, his eyes bright with unshed tears.   “You don’t know the hell Kathy has put me through the last few months.”

“Yes, I do, because you have told me what she has been saying, and how she has treated you,” Tyler said.   “I’m sorry that she has been so vicious and mean.”

Joey took Tyler’s hand in his.  “I love you, Tyler.”

“I love you, too, Joey,” Tyler said.

It was obvious to us that they meant what they said.   I looked over at Rick, and he smiled, “Maybe we should spend the night at that same hotel where you guys are staying.”

Tyler said, “That would be so cool.   I’m excited to finally have sex for the first time.”

Joey looked at Tyler, in astonishment.  “Did I hear you right, Babe?   You just said you’re a virgin, right?”

Tyler nodded, grinning.  “I’ve never had sex with anyone.   I decided a long time ago that I would save myself for the one that I love.   I love you, Joey, and I want you to be my husband.”

Joey looked at Tyler and smiled.  “Is that a marriage proposal?”

Tyler blushed, but held his ground.  “Yes, it is.   Will you marry me?”

“Yes, I will.   We’ll have to wait for my divorce from Kathy to be final; but, yes, I will marry you,” Joey said.   Joey’s face reflected the happiness he felt.

Tyler smiled.  “I knew you would say, yes.   I knew we would have to wait, but I wanted to know where we stood.   Now, that we are engaged to be married, I can believe that everything that is happening is for real, and not just a dream.”

Rick said, “Congratulations to you both.”

I said, “I’m happy you have found each other.”

“Thank you for being here to witness this important event in our lives,” Joey said.   “Knowing that we have good friends to support us makes a big difference.”

Our food arrived, and, for a few minutes, there was silence at our table.   Tyler asked, “Do you plan to get married?”

I looked at Rick, and he said, “Yes, I have promised to marry Glenn, when I get out of the Marine Corps.”

Tyler asked, “Have you decided where you will be married?”

“No, but I am pretty sure it will be somewhere in Canada, since that is where my family lives,” I responded.   “I would like to be married in St. Catharines, Ontario, because that is where my parents were married.”

We spent the rest of the evening discussing wedding plans.   After dinner, we left the restaurant, and went back to our car.   Joey and Tyler joined us, since they had walked down from their hotel.   We pulled into the hotel parking lot, and bid the two love birds, “good night,” then we went to the front desk to see if there were any rooms available.   Fortunately, there was a nice room with a queen bed.   We checked in, and took the elevator to our room.

As soon as the door was closed and locked, Rick took me in his arms.  “Lover boy, your presence is requested in that bed right over there.”

I responded, with a big grin, “I’m happy to fulfill your request, Mr. Lernier.”

Michael and Greg were still at Cory’s house.   They had been together all afternoon and evening, talking about their relationship.

Darla and Ray sat in the kitchen, drinking a cup of coffee after dinner.   Ray said, “I’m amazed at the maturity the boys are showing, regarding their relationship.”

Darla said, “So am I; but, what amazes me isn’t so much their maturity, but what they are considering.”

Ray looked at her in surprise.  “What do you mean?”

“Think about it, Ray.   They have been forced to grow up by what has happened to them, Ray.   Both Greg and Cory have had a lot of time to think about what happened, and to think about the consequences of continuing their relationship.   Cory has cried himself to sleep almost every night, since he was attacked.   He is an emotional wreck.   I have tried to comfort him, but most nights he has told me that he wants Greg.   Cory knows that we love him, but he is very much emotionally tied to Greg,” Darla said.

“Does Greg understand that?” Ray asked.

“I think so, but I don’t think Greg realizes just how fragile Cory is right now.  The fact that Greg wants to include Michael in their relationship troubles me.   Cory and I have had some very long talks about what it means to be in a committed relationship; and how we, sometimes, have to make sacrifices for the ones we love.   Cory asked me what I thought about Greg’s idea of being in a threesome, and I told him that I didn’t think it was a good idea for him, at this point in his life.   He needs to heal emotionally, before entering into a relationship that has the potential of completely destroying him, if things don’t work out.”

Ray asked, “I thought you liked Michael?”

“I do like Michael, and I think he is a positive role model for the boys; but I think moving their relationship beyond a platonic one is uncharted territory for all three of them.   I’ve overheard Michael telling them about his concerns.   Greg really likes Michael, and wants him to be part of a three-way relationship,” Darla said.

“I heard that, too.   My worry is that one of them will be shut out, just like when Cory was smaller, and he would join a group of kids at the playground, but wouldn’t be included all of their games,” Ray said.

“I do remember that, and how devastated Cory was.   I fear that will happen again, with this situation, and Cory may not be able to handle it,” Darla said.

“What can we do to help to keep that from happening?” Ray said.

Darla replied, “I think we have to wait and see what the boys decide.   They are all adults now, and we have to be very subtle about it, because they will tell us it is none of our business.”

Michael joined them in the kitchen.   His eyes were red, and he looked miserable.   Darla stood up, and took him in her arms.   “What is wrong?”

Michael shook his head, but didn’t say anything for a few minutes.   He looked at Darla, and said, “There nothing wrong, Darla.   It’s just that it has been a very emotional day for me, and I’m exhausted.”

Darla released him, and said, “You’re welcome to join us.”

“Thank you, but I need to be getting home.   I have to work tomorrow.   Greg wants to stay here tonight.   He has called his mother, who said he needed to check with you first,” Michael said.

Ray said, “It is okay with us.   I think that Greg and Cory have a few things they to work out among themselves.”

Michael eyes brightened with unshed tears, as he tried to keep control of his emotions.  “Yes, I think they need some time together to talk things over.   I will see you tomorrow.”

Darla looked at him with concern.  “Are you sure you are okay?”

Michael nodded, “Yes, I will be fine.”   Michael left the kitchen, and they heard him open and close the front door

Michael walked out to his car, got in and turned on the engine.   He arrived at his apartment a while later, but he didn’t remember driving there.   He got out, walked up to his apartment, and opened the door.   He entered, and went directly to his bedroom.   He fell on his bed, and buried his head in his pillow.   He started sobbing.  

After a while, he stopped crying and rolled over, staring up at the ceiling.   He wanted so much for things to work out between him and the boys, but he didn’t see how.    During their conversation earlier in the afternoon, Michael had realized how emotionally unstable Cory really was.   That realization brought with it the full force of what being in a three-way relationship with Greg and Cory would mean.  

The thought of being responsible for the emotional and mental welfare of two very traumatized teenagers nearly brought him to his knees.   The two of them didn’t see it, but he saw it very clearly.   Greg had reached out to Michael during his recovery time, and had fallen in love with Michael.  

However, one big problem needed to be solved:   Greg still loved Cory!   Greg’s answer was a three-way relationship.   That way he could still have both Cory and Michael.   It seemed simple to Greg; but as they had talked about the complexities of how such a relationship would work, they had come to recognize that such a relationship might not work.

Michael had arrived at that conclusion early in their discussions; but Greg refused to believe it, and had argued vehemently against Michael’s logic.   Even Cory had argued that Michael wasn’t looking at things correctly.  

Michael had looked Cory in the eyes, and said, “Cory, think about what you are saying!”

Michael held Cory’s gaze, until Cory slowly nodded his head that Michael was right.

Greg would not let it go, and they had spent the rest of the afternoon and evening; working through every possible scenario, to help Greg see the truth of what Michael and Cory had already acknowledged as reality.

Michael had left in frustration.   He continued to stare at the ceiling, as he thought about where his life was headed, and what he needed to do to get back on track.   He felt like an empty shell with nothing inside, except for a hollowness that echoed in his mind.   Why did he always find himself in this kind of impossible situation?    Why couldn’t Mr. Right walk into his life, and sweep him off of his feet?

Michael awoke with a start.   He rolled over, and looked at his alarm clock.   He stared at it, and realized with a shock that he was late for work!   He jumped up and raced to the bathroom.   He looked at himself in the mirror, and saw he was still fully dressed!   Then he remembered what had happened yesterday.   He decided he would have to call in, and ask for a sick day.   The thought of facing Greg this morning, and trying to work with him on his homework was enough to convince him that he needed a day off to get his own emotions sorted out.  

He turned around, and left the bathroom to grab his cell.   He placed the call to his boss.   She was sympathetic, and said that she would call Mrs. Hurst to let her know that Michael wouldn’t be coming today.

With that accomplished, Michael flopped down on his bed, and lay back with his hands behind his head.   Michael thought to himself, “I think I am ready to move to Atlanta.   The situation here just isn’t what I thought it would be.   I have had some time on my own away from my family, but I miss the nightlife in Atlanta.   Greg and Cory are at a point where they need to do some pretty heavy duty soul searching, and I really don’t need to be a part of that whole process.   I know who I am and what I want; and it isn’t a threesome with two deeply wounded teenagers, who still don’t know who they are.  I don’t need to be a father figure for them.   I need someone who will love me for who I am, and will be there for me as much as I will be for them.”

Greg had slept next to Cory on his hospital bed in the Stetsons’ front room.   He and Cory had spent most of the night talking.   Michael had been brutally honest with him, and had pointed out some things Greg hadn’t thought about, before proposing his idea.   He looked over at the sleeping form of his boyfriend.   The more they had talked last night, the more Greg had come to the realization that Cory needed him more than ever before.   He got that now.   He admitted that he hadn’t heard that message, despite the many conversations that had occurred between the two of them over that last few weeks.

Maybe he hadn’t wanted to hear it.   He had been so focused on his own needs and wants that he had closed his mind to Cory’s needs.   He felt terrible that he had been so selfish.   Yesterday’s events had made it pretty clear that he had ignored everyone else’s feelings, and had only considered his own interests.  

What had hurt the most was when Michael said, “I am not going to be your father figure.   You have a father, and it isn’t me.   I want a relationship where I am treated as an equal partner; one where I am loved for who I am, and not because I am someone to lean on all the time.   I need a romantic lover who knows how to pamper me, and make me feel special.   I don’t want to become a third wheel in a relationship that requires me to give and give, with little chance of it being an equal exchange.   You have both been through a lot, and I recognize that you need my friendship and support; but you don’t need me to be your lover, or your romantic interest.   The two of you must work out who you are and what you want out of life, before you can ask me to have any part of this romantic relationship.”

Michael’s words were still echoing in his mind, when he heard Cory stir.   He looked over at Cory, and saw his eyes open.   Cory smiled, “Good morning, Greg.”

Greg returned Cory’s smile.  “How are you doing this morning?”

“Better than last night,” Cory said.   There was still a haunted look in his eyes.   He was worried that he would lose Greg.   He was grateful that Michael had been so direct with Greg.   After Michael left, they had stayed up talking for another three hours.   At the moment, Cory wasn’t sure where they stood with each other.   He knew that Greg had fallen in love with Michael.   What confused Cory was the fact that Greg said he still loved him.   He looked at Greg, and tried to push all of his doubts and worries out of his mind.   “Maybe the doctors will let me get my casts off like they did for you.   I have my follow up appointment this morning,” Cory said.

Greg said, “I hope so.   I can’t wait.   It has been so long since we’ve been able to show our love for each other.”   Greg’s cell phone rang, and he answered it, “Hi Mom.”

“The school just called, and said that Michael won’t be coming today, so you have a day off from your studies,” Mrs. Hurst said.

“Cool!   May I go with Cory to his doctor’s appointment?” Greg asked.

“Yes.   Is Michael there with you?” Mrs. Hurst asked.

“No, he went home last night, after we talked,” Greg responded.

“What did you guys decide?” Mrs. Hurst asked.

“We haven’t come to a final decision, Mom,” Greg said.

“Okay.   Please be home by lunchtime,” Mrs. Hurst said.

“I will, Mom,” Greg said.

Cory said, “So, you don’t have school today.   My tutor is Mrs. Child, and she will be here this afternoon.   Lucky you!”

Greg nodded, but then he said, “I just I hope I haven’t ruined my friendship with Michael.   He was pretty upset when he left here last night.”   Greg looked over at Cory, and saw he was crying.   Greg wasn’t sure why Cory was crying; but he had a pretty good idea.  He didn’t want to admit that he was the cause of Cory’s sadness.   “Cory, what’s wrong?”

Cory looked at Greg, but didn’t say anything for a long time.   He held Greg’s gaze the entire time.   Greg finally looked away.   In a defensive tone of voice, he said, “I can’t help it, Cory.   I fell in love with Michael, and I care for him.”

Cory still didn’t respond.   Greg looked up, and met Cory’s gaze, “I’m sorry.”

“Greg, so am I.   I think you should go home, Greg.   Call your beloved Michael, and leave me alone.   I love you, but I can’t compete with Michael for your affections.   Maybe it’s time we go our separate ways,” Cory said.   His tears had stopped, leaving him feeling cold and empty; but determined not to be used as a welcome mat for Greg, or the new love of his life.   “Please go, Greg.”   With that statement, he leaned back against the pillows on his bed, and closed his eyes.

Greg couldn’t believe that Cory had dismissed him.   He thought he had been very clear about his love for Cory.   To say he was totally shocked by Cory’s reaction was an understatement.   He sat there in stony silence, trying to process what had just happened.   He said, “Cory, let me explain.”

Cory didn’t answer, or even open his eyes.   Greg read Cory’s body language, and knew that he had been shut out, and that it was no use trying to break through the wall of silence Cory had thrown up between them.   He got up, and pulled his clothes on.   He walked out the front door.   He called his mother to come and pick him up.

When Mrs. Hurst arrived, Greg was waiting on the front step for her.   He climbed into the van, but didn’t say anything.   Mrs. Hurst could see that Greg was upset, but didn’t press him for any details.   She knew Greg would seek her out, when he was ready to talk to her.   They rode home in silence.   When they reached their house, Greg jumped out of the van, and ran inside the house to his room.   He threw himself on his bed, and stared up at the ceiling, trying to comprehend everything that had occurred over the last 24 hours.

Mrs. Hurst followed him in, but didn’t attempt to stop him from going straight to his room.   She pulled out her cell phone, and dialed the Stetsons.

Darla answered, “Hello, Alice.”

“Good morning, Darla.   I just picked Greg up, and wanted to let you know he is here, so you wouldn’t worry,” she said.

“Thank you for letting me know you picked him up, because I was worried something had happened.   Cory won’t answer our questions.   The only thing he said was that he and Greg aren’t seeing each other anymore,” Darla said.

“I thought that was what had happened.   I’m sorry that Cory is suffering, because of Greg’s lack of good judgment,” Mrs. Hurst said.

“Don’t worry about it, Alice.   Ray and I are actually relieved that their threesome idea didn’t work out.   We were very concerned about it.   I know that Cory is hurting pretty badly right now; but, I think that the boys will survive this, and will become stronger because of it.   I don’t know if they will still be partners, or not, but I am sure that their friendship will come through it intact,” Darla said.

Mrs. Hurst said, “I agree with you.   I was worried about the threesome thing, too.   I will let you know what’s developing on this end.   I’ll chat with you soon.”

“Good bye,” Darla said.

Mrs. Hurst broke the connection, and walked into the front room.   She took a seat on the couch to think about her children, and what she could do to help them.   She had done some serious thinking about it, and wanted to come up with an action plan.  

While she was deep in thought, Joey walked in.   She saw how happy he was.   He was smiling, and had a spring in his step that she hadn’t seen in months.   The only thing she could think of that would make him that happy was the fact that he had found someone else.   He hadn’t returned home last night, so she had assumed he was with someone special.   She knew it wasn’t Kathy, because she had spoken to her daughter last night, at some length.   She processed this information, and made a note on our pad next to his name.   She knew her daughter wasn’t easy to live with, and admired Joey for hanging in there as long as he had.   She didn’t begrudge him his happiness, even if he had found it with someone other than her daughter.   Maybe now, Kathy could find someone who would stand up to her, and help her curb her tendencies towards cruelty and viciousness.

Joey looked into the front room, and saw his mother-in-law seated on the couch, with a pad of paper on her lap on which she was making notes.   He said, “Good morning.   I hope you didn’t stay up worrying about me.”

Mrs. Hurst said, “No, dear, I figured you were spending time with your friends, and would call me if you needed me.”

Joey nodded, “I had a wonderful time last night.   It has been so long since I felt as happy.   I took care of the bank accounts, as you suggested.   I left Kathy’s money in the accounts for Kathy’s needs; but transferred mine into my own accounts.”

Mrs. Hurst looked at Joey with concern, “Joey, you are being too nice.   Kathy will not treat you so kindly.   I am warning you – do not expect Kathy to be reasonable.   She will take everything you have, and then some.   Please protect yourself.   You have a future with someone else that you don’t want ruined, because of Kathy’s viciousness and nastiness.   Did you talk to my lawyer?”

“Yes, I did.   He has already filed the paperwork for me, and has advised me to seek full custody.   I told him I want to force Kathy to terminate all her parental rights, since I don’t believe she is fit to be their mother, given how she treats other people,” Joey said.

Mrs. Hurst said, “I think you are right to try to get full custody; however, I don’t think you will get it, given how the courts are here.   They aren’t very progressive about things.   But, I am very happy to see you fighting for your rights, as a parent, and that you are looking out for the best interests of the children.”

“I’m doing my best,” Joey said.   “I have to get ready for work.   I will talk to you more about what the lawyer said, when I get home.”

Mrs. Hurst smiled, “Okay.”   Kathy was being foolish to let such a hard working man escape her.   Joey worked hard, and made a good living for his family.   He had always treated Kathy with respect and dignity, even when she was behaving so poorly.   She couldn’t have asked for a better son-in-law.   Despite her best efforts to help Kathy see the error of her ways, Kathy had told her, in no uncertain terms, that her marriage to Joey was over.

Her thoughts were interrupted again.   This time it was Rick and Glenn.   They came in the front door laughing and teasing each other.   She could see how happy they were, and how very much in love they were.   Now, there is a relationship that would stand the test of time, as long as they both continued to cherish it and nurture it.   They saw her, and came into the front room.   She noticed that special glow that accompanies a couple who has recently been very intimate.   She smiled her welcome, and said, “Hello, boys.”

Rick grinned, as he slid his arm around my waist, and responded to her greeting, “Good morning, Mrs. Hurst.”

“I’m glad to see you two,” Mrs. Hurst said.   “You look so happy it warms my heart.”

“We are very happy,” I responded.   “Rick spoils me.   He is always looking for ways to make me happy.”   I looked up at my lover, and grinned.   I was rewarded with a quick kiss.

Mrs. Hurst laughed, “Okay, you two.   Off with you, before you start to embarrass this old lady!”

Rick laughed, his happiness and contentment very evident in his countenance.   “I’m sure that we would never do that, Mrs. Hurst.”

She laughed.  “You had better make sure it stays that way!   I don’t need an education in gay sex, thank you very much!”

I said, “I’ll try to control him, while I am here; but I can’t say what will happen after I leave for school.”

Rick smiled, and said, “Come with me, Mr. Nielsen.   I need your assistance if I am to make it to work on time.”

Rick led me down the hall to our room.   He closed the door, and pushed me up against it.   He captured my lips, and kissed me passionately.   He ground his crotch into mine, causing a very strong reaction down below.  He pulled my shirt up and over my head, then continued his assault on my body.   His hands wandered all over my bare skin lightly caressing it.   Everywhere he touched my skin it felt like it was on fire.   I put my arms around his neck, and pulled him closer to me.   We surfaced for air, and I whispered in his ear, “Please make me yours!”  

Rick pulled back, and grinned, wickedly.  “What if I decide I don’t have time to fuck you?”

I begged him, “Don’t tease me like that.   I need you to fuck me right now!”

Rick answered me by grabbing my shorts and pulling them to the ground.   I pulled off my shoes and socks, using my feet as he captured my lips, again.   Then he picked me up, and carried me to our bed.   He was out of his clothes in a flash.  “Your wish is my command, lover boy!”

I lay there looking at my lover, as he returned from getting his shower and started getting dressed.   I love watching him.   Rick has such a gorgeous body!   Rick saw me looking him over.   He walked over, and sat down next to me.   “Do you like what you see?”

I grinned, and caressed his abs.  “Yes, I do.   I’m going to miss you.   Can’t you stay home from work today?”

Rick smiled.  “Not if I am going to take you to the airport next Sunday.   Which do you want?”

I thought for a split second, then replied, “Okay, I guess you have got to work, then.”

Rick laughed.  “Thank you for giving me permission.   You can be such a tyrant, sometimes!”

I laughed, my fingers tracing a design on his chest.  “Only when it comes to having sex with me.”

“Which is all the time,” Rick laughed.   “I have never met anyone who wants to be fucked as often as you do.”

“That’s because you know how to make love to me.   I seem to have become addicted to you, Mr. Lernier,” I said, seriously.

Rick leaned over, and kissed me tenderly.   He said, “I love you.”

“I love you, too, sweetheart.   Make sure you hurry back.   I’ll be here waiting for you,” I said.

Rick finished getting his fatigues on, and left for work.   I was still basking in the aftermath of being totally satisfied by my lover, when I heard a knock on the door.   I reluctantly pulled the sheet over my naked body, and shouted, “Come in.”

Greg opened the door, and came into the room.   He looked at me, and asked, “Can I talk to you?”

I looked at him in surprise.   I could see he had been crying.   I said, “Sure, as long as you don’t mind seeing me naked.”

Greg laughed, and said, “You know I would love to see you naked again.   You and Rick sure have given me a lot of fantasy material!”

I grinned, widely.  “That was the whole idea.”

Greg smiled.  “Thanks for giving me that.   I need someone to talk to about me and Cory.”

I sat up letting the sheet fall into my lap, and grabbed Rick’s pillow.   I put it behind me, and leaned back.   Greg stared hungrily at my bare chest.   I saw his interest, and said, “You can go ahead and run your hands over my chest, but no lower.”

Greg looked up, and met my eyes.  “Will Rick allow it?”

“Rick probably wouldn’t; but I will, this once, and only my chest.   I can see you want to do it; so go ahead,” I responded.

Greg gingerly reached his hand over, and lightly ran it over my pecs and six-pack.   He pulled his hand back, and looked up at me again.   “You’re so hot, Glenn.   I can understand why Rick fell for you.”

“I didn’t look this way, when I met Rick.   I had worked out some with my cousin, Ben, during high school; but not to the extent I have since I’ve been rooming with Ben at the University of Minnesota.   Ben and his teammates have been pushing me to work out as much as they do; so, I have really put on some muscle since last fall,” I said.

“Does Rick approve of how you look?” Greg asked.

I grinned.  “What do you think?”

Greg laughed.  “From the sounds coming from this room this morning, I think he loves it.”

I nodded, and said, “Yes, he has complimented me several times, since I got here.”   I paused, and looked Greg in the eyes, “but that is not the reason you came in here.   What is it that you wanted to talk about?”

Greg said, “Cory broke up with me this morning.   He said he didn’t want to see me again, and that I should call Michael.”

“Well, did you tell Cory that you loved him?” I asked.

“Yes, but he doesn’t believe me.   He thinks I am in love with Michael,” Greg said, glumly.

“Are you in love with Michael?” I asked, earnestly.

“Yes….No….I don’t know, anymore,” Greg said, miserably.   “I thought I was in love with Michael; but I didn’t want to lose Cory, so I thought that maybe a threesome would work.   Cory told me in no uncertain terms that a threesome is totally out of the question.”

“Cory is a smart man.   I am glad he stood up to you, and is making you decide who you really want to spend the rest of your life with, as a lover and partner,” I said.

Greg looked shocked.   “I thought that gays liked participating in threesomes.”

“Well, you thought wrong.   Some guys do like having more than one partner, but my experience is that gay couples are very much like straight ones, in that they want and desire a monogamous relationship with the man of their dreams.   There are all kinds of relationships out there, but the best ones are ones based on mutual respect and love.   They are the ones where each partner is treated as an equal, with both of them working to make their relationship a lasting one.   Too many times, guys think that one has be the dominate male in the relationship, and that the other has be subservient to the other.   That is totally messed up.   It doesn’t work well for straight couples, and it doesn’t work for gay couples.   When couples don’t work together as equals, and treat each other with love and respect, one or the other suffers at the hands of the other partner; and, eventually, they start to drift apart.   In the worst case scenario, the one who suffers the most takes matters into their own hands, when they reach their breaking point, and violence is the outcome.”  

“Rick and I have a relationship where we trust each other, and neither of us is subservient to the other.   We are both working to make the other happy.   Rick doesn’t dominate me, because he loves me and respects me.   I don’t dominate him for the same reasons.   Our relationship works, because we have agreed to work together to help each other, and to love each other.   We promised each other we would always be there for each other.   We are very happy.   Does that mean we don’t have arguments and differences of opinion?   No, it means that we have learned to work things out, and to allow ourselves to disagree without putting our relationship on the line.”

Greg listened, and sat very still for some time, before he responded, “You have given me a lot to think about, Glenn.   Did you go into the relationship thinking that way, or did you and Rick work it out over time?”

“We have worked things out over time.   However, Rick didn’t push me into a relationship nor did he try to take advantage of me.   From the very beginning, our relationship with each other has been defined by our desire to make our partner happy.   Rick wanted to be with me, to protect me, and to help me become a better person.   I admit I wanted Rick for his fabulous good looks, but he also captivated me; because of his kindness and gentleness with me,” I replied.

“I want to have a relationship with Cory, like you have with Rick,” Greg said.   “You two are so much in love with each other that it seems like you both are walking on air, when you are around each other.   I want that kind of feeling.”

“Greg, can I ask you question?” I asked.

“Sure,” he responded.

“Why did you become Cory’s boyfriend?   I mean, what was it that caused the two of you to become lovers?” I asked.

“Cory and I have been friends for a long time.   When I first met Cory, the guys were picking on him and teasing him.   He looked so miserable and unhappy.   I decided, then, that I wanted to be his friend.   I told the kids to leave him alone.   They didn’t like me telling them what to do, so they started in on me,” he said, pausing for a moment to think.   “I wasn’t about to take their crap, so I started a fight, and beat the crap out of a couple of them.   Fortunately, it happened after school at park near our old house, so I didn’t get suspended from school.”

“From that moment on, Cory became my shadow.   Everywhere I went, Cory went, too,” Greg said, smiling at the memory.   “It turned out the scrawny kid was a genius.   He started helping me with my homework, so we spent almost every evening together studying.   Everyone at school knew that we were best friends, and they stopped picking on Cory.   That happened in 9th grade.”

“I was on the freshman football team, so Cory would wait for me to finish football practice, then we would go to my house, or his, to do our homework.   Things were pretty good, until the beginning of our senior year.   That is when I noticed that Cory liked looking at me, when I was getting dressed.   At first, I didn’t really think much of it, but after a couple weeks Cory asked if he could sleep over at my house, after our Friday game.   Of course, I said, ‘yes,’ and our parents were okay with it.   We have always slept in the same bed, when we have sleepovers, so I didn’t think anything would be different that time; except Cory asked if we could sleep naked.”

“I agreed, and we stripped off our clothes and got into bed.   At first, nothing happened; but during the night I became aroused, and Cory did too.   We started talking about sex, and one thing led to another, and that’s how we ended up being lovers.   After that first time, we had sex nearly every day.   Cory was a sex maniac.   We were both virgins before that, so neither one of us knew much about having sex with anyone – male or female.   All we knew is that we enjoyed touching each other, and having sex.”

I asked, “So, when did you decide you were boyfriends?”

Greg said, “Cory asked me to be his boyfriend, after our first time together.   I mean after the first time I fucked him.   He wanted me to be his forever boyfriend he said.”

Greg’s face crumpled, as his emotions overwhelmed him.   I reached out and took him in my arms, as his sadness and hurt found release.   “Why is everything so messed up, Glenn?   Why can’t things be simple?” Greg asked, as he leaned his head on my shoulder, and clung to me as if I were a life-preserver that has been thrown to a drowning man.   “I love Cory so much.   I know I ruined our relationship by trying to make Michael a part of it.   How can I fix it?”

I held Greg, until he had recovered some semblance of control, before I answered his question.   “Greg, I am not sure how you can fix your relationship with Cory.   I don’t know Cory like you do, and only you can decide how best to approach him.   However, I can make a couple of suggestions.   First, you need to apologize to Michael for dragging him into the middle of this situation.   He is your friend, and is willing to be there for you.   Michael is a fine man; but you need to figure out who you are, and then what it is you want.”

“What do you mean I need to figure out who I am?” Greg asked.

“You need to really do some soul searching, until you become comfortable with who you are.   I mean being gay, and all of the things that come with the territory.   Are you ready to face up to the challenges you will face, because of the prejudices and hatred that are part of our society?   If the answer is yes, then you need to decide if you are really ready to be part of a permanent relationship.   Next, is your partner ready and able to be as open about being gay as you are?   And most importantly, are you ready to be faithful to your partner?   Can you protect your loved one from being hurt by your words and actions?   Can you commit to putting Cory’s happiness before your own?   There are many more such questions, but those are a good start,” I said.

I could see Greg’s mind absorbing everything I had said.   Many different expressions had crossed his face, as he thought about an answer to each question I had posed to him.   I waited, until his eyes focused on me, before I continued.   “I hope what I have said has helped clarify your thinking,” I said.

Greg said, “Yes, it has.   Thank you, Glenn.   Will you come with me, when I try to talk to Cory?”

“I will come with you, but I won’t do the talking for you.   You will have to do that on your own,” I replied, looking him in the eyes to be sure he understood me.

“We will have to wait until this afternoon, because Cory has a doctor’s appointment this morning.   I hope he gets his casts off today,” Greg said.   “Do you want to play some videos games this morning?”

I looked at Greg, and smiled.  “Sure.   I warn you that I intend to beat you pretty badly.”

Greg laughed.  “We will see about that.”   Greg stood up.   “I will go set everything up.”

I got out of bed, and leaned over to grab my shorts.  “Great! I’ll grab a quick shower, and I’ll join you shortly.”

Greg grinned, as he watched me put my shorts on.   “I love seeing you naked, Glenn.   You and Rick are the best looking guys I know.”

I grinned.  “I’m glad to be of service.”

Greg laughed, and turned to leave the room.   I followed him out into the hallway, and made my way to the bathroom.

We spent the morning playing video games.   I have to admit Greg was pretty good, but not quite good enough….I beat him every time!   We had a good time, and Greg seemed to relax and enjoy himself.   Mrs. Hurst brought sandwiches in at lunchtime.   We paused only for a few minutes to wolf down the food, and returned to our game.   We kept playing, until Rick returned from work.

Rick walked in, and watched us play for a while.   I won the game, and handed the controller to Rick.  “It’s your turn.”

Rick grinned, and took the controller from my hand.  He sat down next to Greg.   He looked at him, and asked, “Are you ready?”

Greg nodded his head, and they started playing.   While they played video games, I wandered into the kitchen, where I found Mrs. Hurst preparing dinner.   I asked, “Can I help?”

She looked up from what she was doing, and answered, “Yes, there is.   If you will get the lettuce out of the fridge, you can put together a salad for dinner.”

I walked over to the fridge, and retrieved the lettuce.   She pointed to the tomatoes, carrots, celery and avocado she had already placed on the counter next to her.   “Here are the rest of the ingredients.”

I took them to the sink, and washed them off.   Next, I took the cutting board and knife she handed me, and I started chopping vegetables.   Mrs. Hurst said, “Thank you for talking to Greg about Cory.”

“You’re welcome.   I’m not sure if I accomplished anything, but we will see soon enough,” I said.   I wondered how she knew I had talked to her son about his breakup, but decided it wasn’t important.

Mrs. Hurst said, “Yes, we will see.   I have invited the Stetsons and Michael over for dinner tonight.   I thought it would be a good idea to get everyone together, so we can work things out.   I know my son, and I’m sure he won’t take the first step toward reconciliation with Cory, unless I push him a little.”

“When are they going to arrive?” I asked.

“They will be here in about 30 minutes, so don’t say anything to Greg.   I don’t want him to panic,” Mrs. Hurst said.

I nodded my head in agreement.  “I won’t say anything.”

I finished making the salad, then I set the table for her, while she finished the rest of the dinner preparations.   At the appointed time, we heard a knock on the door.   Mrs. Hurst went to answer it, and admitted the Stetsons followed by Michael who had pulled up behind them, as they were getting out of their car.

Darla embraced Mrs. Hurst.  “Alice, thank you for inviting us to dinner.”

“Thank you for bringing your family,” she responded.

Next, Mrs. Hurst hugged Cory.  “Thank you for coming, Cory.   I know how hard it is for you to be here.”

Cory’s eyes were bright with tears, but he kept control of his emotions.   “I want this resolved as much as you do.”

“I’m happy to see you had your casts removed,” Mrs. Hurst said.   “Now, things can begin to return to normal.”   She turned to Ray and hugged him, as well.  “Thank you for coming, Ray.”

He gave her a peck on the cheek.  “Thank you for having us.   Here is a bottle of wine to go with dinner, and some flowers for the table.”

She took them from him, and said, “Thank you for being so thoughtful.”

Ray smiled, “Think nothing of it.   I am hoping that after tonight that we can help the boys plan their wedding.”

Mrs. Hurst nodded her head in agreement, “I hope so, too.”

Next, she greeted Michael.   She swept him into her arms, and hugged him.   “Welcome, Michael.   I know how stressful the last few days have been for you.   Thank you for coming.”

Michael grinned, and said, “I wouldn’t miss your good cooking, Mrs. Hurst.   Thank you for inviting me for dinner.”

Rick and Greg finished their game, and joined us in the kitchen, as our guests were taking their seats at the table.   Rick greeted everyone, “Hello!   I’m glad to see you all.”

Everyone smiled at Rick, and acknowledged his greeting.   Next, Greg said, “Thank you for coming over.”   He looked directly into Cory’s eyes, as he said it.

Cory gazed into Greg’s eyes for a moment, then looked away.   I had a feeling that Greg was in for a difficult night.   I looked over at Rick, who shrugged his shoulders, and took a seat next to me.   Greg took his seat on the other side Rick.

Mrs. Hurst asked, “Ray, would you say grace for us?”

Ray nodded, and we all joined hands around the table, as Ray complied with Mrs. Hurst’s request.   Afterwards, we filled our plates.   Ray opened the wine he had brought, as a gift.   Mrs. Hurst passed me the apple juice, while Ray poured wine for everyone else.   Ray raised his glass and said, “I propose a toast to Cory and Greg for finally getting their casts off.”

We raised our glasses, and agreed heartily with his statement.   As we started to eat, I looked across the table at Cory and asked, “How did your first physical therapy session go?”

Cory frowned at the memory, as he said, “It was brutal.   That woman should be drawn and quartered.   It hurt so badly I thought I was going to die.   When I complained about it she said, ‘It’s supposed to hurt.’   I have never heard of such a thing before.”

“But you seem to be walking okay,” I said.

Cory smiled, “I was pretty shaky at first.   My legs didn’t want to cooperate.   I felt like Bambi in the Disney movie, trying to figure out how to walk again.   The physical therapist had to massage my legs to get the cramps out of them.   At least, she had that much compassion for me.”

Rick said, “I can relate to what you are going through.   I broke leg playing football, as a freshman in high school.   Luckily, it was during the last game of the season.   Joey was the backup quarter back, and finished out the game, in my place.   We competed throughout high school for the quarter back position.   Sometimes Joey was the quarter back; and, sometimes, I was the quarter back.   We had a healthy competition going between us. ”

“Speaking of Joey, where is he?” Ray asked.

Mrs. Hurst replied, “He called to say he would be late, and he asked if he could bring a friend.   I believe he said it was someone named Tyler.”

We were just finishing the main course, when Joey and Tyler arrived.   Joey greeted everyone, “Hello, everyone.   I’m sorry I’m late.   This is my friend, Tyler.”

Tyler waved to all of us.  “Nice to meet you all.”

The two made their way to the end of the table where Mrs. Hurst had saved two seats for them.  Tyler sat next to me, with Joey sitting next to Cory across the table from him.   Tyler leaned over to me, and asked, “How was last night?”

I grinned, and said, “It was fantastic!”

Grinning, Tyler nodded, “Same here.”

Joey smiled across at Tyler, and pointed to each of us in turn, introducing us individually ending up with Cory.   Tyler said, “Now, I can put names with faces.   Joey has told me a lot about you, especially Greg and Cory.   I’m glad to see that you guys are on the mend.”

Cory smiled.  “Thank you.   It does feel good to have the casts off of my legs.”

Greg asked, “How long have you known Joey?”

“I think it’s been 4, or 5 months now, since we first met,” Tyler said, looking across at Joey.

Joey said, “Tyler is attending George Mason University.”

“What are you studying?” asked Michael.

“I am just finishing up a degree in International Relations, with an emphasis in Latin American studies.   I am planning to get my master’s in Spain at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid,” Tyler answered.

“Why are you going to Madrid, and not somewhere in Latin America?” I asked.

“I plan to earn my doctorate from the Universidad de Santiago de Chile, after earning my master’s,” Tyler said.   “I want to have a broad background in how business is conducted in different countries.   We lived in Panama when I was in elementary school.  My parents moved here when I was in the sixth grade.  Then, I spent a summer in Mexico City between my junior and senior years of high school.   When my Dad retired from the military, my parents decided to stay here; so I could go to a good university.”

Cory asked, “How was it living in those countries?”

“It was very different living in Mexico, than it is here.   I can’t say I really experienced what it was like to live in Panama, because I was somewhat isolated, since we lived on base, and I went to the international school with other foreigners like me,” Tyler replied.

Rick said, “We spent some time in Mexico with some friends.   We had a great time there playing tourist.”

Tyler smiled.  “Yes, there is a lot to do in Mexico.”

We continued to chat, as we finished eating.   We moved into the front room after dinner.   Michael, Cory and Greg went into Greg’s room, and closed the door.   We all looked at each other, then Mrs. Hurst asked me to play for them.

Behind Greg’s closed door, Cory sat at Greg’s desk, and Michael sat next to him, while Greg sat on his bed.   After a moment of silence, Greg said, “I owe you both an apology.   First, Michael, I am very sorry I tried to bring you into a relationship with us, without thinking through all of the consequences of my actions.   Second, Cory, I am very sorry I have abused your trust in me.   I should have been more sensitive to your needs, instead of being so self-centered.   I love you, Cory, and I want to do whatever it takes to earn back your trust.   Can you give me a second chance?”

Cory didn’t answer Greg directly.  He looked over at Michael, and asked, “What do you think?”

Michael said, “I have already expressed my opinion, Cory.”   He turned to Greg, “Cory and I talked for a long time this afternoon.   I think you can probably guess what I had to say, Greg.”

Greg looked at the ground, as he said, “I don’t know for sure, but I think you told him that you were not interested in a threesome with us.”

“Yes, that is what I said, and I told him that you and he need to work out your differences without me in the middle.   When you two have fixed your relationship with each other, call me, and I will be more than happy to be your friend,” Michael said.   “I won’t be returning as your tutor, now that you are back on your feet.   I spoke with the school, and they agreed with me that you need to return to school to finish your studies.”

Greg looked up in surprise.   He hadn’t counted on having to return to regular classes so soon.   “Is Cory returning to school, as well?”

Cory said, “Yes, we both start back to school next Monday.”

Michael stood up and said, “This is good-bye for now, boys.”

He walked over and hugged Greg, then turned and hugged Cory.   He walked to the door, and opened it.   “Thank you for letting me be your tutor, Greg.”   There were tears in his eyes, as he entered the hallway and closed the door.   He stood in the hallway for a moment, and listened to Glenn’s piano music, as he regained control of his emotions.   He brushed his hand across his eyes to clear the tears away, and put a smile on his face.  He entered the front room, and took a seat next to Glenn on the piano bench.

Glenn looked at Michael, and could see he was upset.   He continued playing, as he leaned over and whispered, “You are totally awesome, Michael.   I hope you will visit us in Atlanta.”

Michael looked at Glenn with a smile, and leaned over and kissed Glenn on the cheek.  “Thank you for the invitation.”

Glenn finished playing, then stood up and pulled Michael to his feet.   He embraced Michael.   Rick joined them, wrapping his big arms around them both.   “Michael, you did the right thing, and we are proud of you for having the courage to let the boys know that they needed to fix their relationship, first,” Rick said.

They broke their embrace, and Michael smiled up at Rick.  “You are a very lucky man, Rick.   If you ever decide that Glenn isn’t for you, please call me, first.   I want to be the first guy to claim him.”

I laughed, and said, “Michael, you will be the first one to know if Rick ever dumps me!”

Rick grinned.  “I don’t think you will ever have to worry about that, Glenn.   You are mine, and that is all there is to it.”

Michael said his good-byes, and left the rest of us to wait, until Greg and Cory decided to join us.

Cory looked at the door Michael had just closed, then he looked at Greg.   “So, where do we go from here?” he asked.

Greg held his gaze, and replied, “That depends on you, Cory.   I want to start over, if you will have me.”

Cory thought about letting Greg stew for a while longer, but then decided that it wasn’t fair to either one of them.   “Okay, we can start over, but this time I do NOT want to hear anything about bringing some other person into our relationship, EVER!   Do I make myself clear, Greg Hurst?”

Greg nodded his head.   Cory continued, “I love you very much, Greg, but I can’t share you with anyone.   It hurts too much to think that someone else shares your affection.   I know it may sound selfish of me, but I can’t handle the uncertainty that comes with trying to figure out where I stand with you, when you have someone else you love.”

Greg said, “I have learned my lesson, Cory.   I thought for sure I had lost you, when you told me to leave this morning.   Today has been one of the most miserable days I have ever had.”

Cory stood up, and crossed the distance between them.   He took Greg in his arms.   “I love you, Greg.”

“I love you, too,” Greg responded.   Greg pulled Cory up on the bed beside him, and they held each other close.

It was late when Mrs. Hurst opened Greg’s bedroom door, and found Cory and Greg asleep in each other’s arms.   She beckoned to Ray and Darla to come and take a look.   She backed out of the doorway to let them see the boys.

Darla pulled the door closed, and said, “I am glad they worked out their differences.   Alicia, we will leave Cory here for the night.   I will come back for him in the morning.   Thank you for arranging everything, tonight.   I am happy things are starting to work out for them.”

Mrs. Hurst smiled.  “I am happy, as well, that things are improving.  I will talk to you tomorrow.”

She saw them out to their car, then returned to the front room, where we were talking with Joey and Tyler.

She looked at Joey and Tyler, and thought, “I wonder about those two.   They have the same look about them that the other two couples do….hmmm!   That might explain why Joey was so sensitive about Kathy’s anti-gay remarks.”

She didn’t say anything about it to Joey, but she said, “Tyler, you are welcome to stay the night, but I’m afraid I don’t have a spare bedroom to put you up.”

Joey said, “Tyler can sleep on the couch, or he can have my air mattress, and I’ll sleep on the couch.”  

He looked over at Tyler who said, “I’ll take the couch, if you don’t mind.”

“Sounds good to me,” Joey said.

Mrs. Hurst said, “Now that everyone has a place to sleep, I’m going to bed.   I’ll see you boys in the morning.”

The next few days were very enjoyable for me.   Joey and Rick went to work each day, while Cory and Greg seemed to be in their own orbit around each other.   I went with Tyler to his classes, and he showed me around George Mason’s campus.   On Sunday, Mrs. Hurst asked us if we would join them at worship services at her new church in Fredericksburg.   We arrived a few minutes after the service began.   We slipped into the rear of the sanctuary, and found that the Stetsons had saved us a place to sit.   The sermon was very well done.   Later, the members of the congregation greeted us warmly.   It seemed as if we had always been part of their extended family.   Pastor Wilson made sure we met everyone, then escorted both families to his office.

After we had found seats, he said, “I want to thank all of you for giving us a chance to show you that true Christians are a warm and loving people.   We accept everyone, and we love everyone.   Let me introduce you to my husband, David Wilson.

David smiled shyly, and nodded his head in acknowledgement of his introduction to all of us.   “I am very happy to meet you.”

Pastor Wilson said, “If you have any questions, you can call and talk to me, anytime.   I want to reiterate what I said earlier from the pulpit:   God loves each and every one of you, because you are his child.   He loves you no matter what you have said, or done, in the past, and He will still love you in the future.   He doesn’t force anyone to love Him.   He loves us so much that He is willing to let us choose for ourselves whether we will come to Him.   I invite you to join with us every Sunday to worship Him, and learn to love others as He loves us.”

Mrs. Hurst had tears in her eyes.   “I wish we had found you sooner.   Maybe Steve would have listened to you, and he wouldn’t be in jail today.”

Greg put his arm around his mother.  “It will work out for the best, Mom.”

She nodded her head.  “I will be coming here, and I will bring Greg and Cory, if they want to come.”

Cory nodded his head.  “I’m in.   Greg?”

Greg agreed, “Yes, I think I can come if Cory wants to be here.”

The Stetsons, Joey and Tyler all agreed that they were willing to attend worship services for a while, before making a final decision to become members of Pastor Wilson’s congregation.

David Wilson said, “You won’t be sorry you decided to worship with us.   My husband is a very kind and gentle man.   I should know, since we have been together for so long.”

We said our good-byes and caravanned back to the Stetsons’ home for Sunday lunch.   Rick and I left them, visiting at the Stetsons, and returned to the Hursts’ home.   I had packed all of my things, as had Rick.   We packed our gear into the Land Rover, and headed to the airport.  

As we drove, I enjoyed looking at my handsome guy.   I thought about the last week, and the wonderful times we had spent together, especially the night at the hotel.   I said, “Rick, thank you for making this the best spring break, ever.”

Rick grinned. “I’m glad you enjoyed it, because I know I did, especially the great sex!”   He glanced over at me, and said, “You had quite an impact on Greg.”

I corrected him, “No, WE had a huge impact on Greg.   Don’t discount your role in his recovery, Rick.   Greg and I talked a lot about relationships, and how they work; however, you showed him through your words and actions how much you love me, and demonstrated how boyfriends should care for each other.   I am very proud of you, and how you handled yourself.   I’m glad you are my boyfriend, Rick.”

Rick blushed.  “I was just being me, Glenn.   I wasn’t out to prove anything to anyone.   I love you, and I want you to be happy.”

“That’s my point, sweetheart,” I said, placing my hand on his leg.   “You don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary, because you are already the perfect man for me.”

Rick grinned.  “Of course, I am.   Just don’t forget me, when you get back to Minneapolis.”

“I won’t forget you, Babe,” I said.

We soon arrived at the parking terrace at the airport.   Rick parked the Land Rover, and jumped out to open my door for me.   Rick kissed me, then he grabbed my luggage, and we headed inside to check it through to Minneapolis.

I wrapped my arms around Rick’s waist, and kissed him.   “I’ll miss you, lover boy.”

Rick said, “I will miss you more.”   I could tell from the look in his eyes that he was already missing me.

“It will be only a couple of months, before you finish your tour of duty, and I will be out of school.   I keep trying to tell myself that I won’t miss you, but I know I will, sweetheart.   I will call you, when I arrive in Minneapolis,” I said.

Rick kissed me one more time, before I went through security.   He waited until I was through, and I turned and waved to him.   He blew me a kiss.  He turned and headed back to the parking garage.

He sat for a few minutes, before starting the Land Rover thinking about Glenn and the wonderful partner he was.   He thought about Michael’s comment about how lucky he was, and he had to agree.   He really did find his soul mate in Glenn.   He smiled to himself.  He started the engine, and began his drive south to his barracks.

Prev To be continued . . .

A Note from Russ:

Here is the music that inspired me to write this chapter:   Lifehouse – Everything -

I love playing these four pieces. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I do.

Debussy: Clair de Lune -

Debussy: Arabesque No. 1 -

Debussy: Reverie -

Debussy: La Fille aux cheveux de lin -

Schubert: Entr’acte from Rosamunde -