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




Chapter 86: Home at Last

The next morning, I woke up, and rolled over to find that Rick was missing.   Before I had a chance get out of bed to look for him, Rick entered the room, and said, “Good morning, sleepy head!”

I stretched, and yawned widely.   I looked at the alarm clock on the nightstand next to the bed, and said, “Good morning.   You’re up early.”

Rick grinned.  “Only because the call of nature forced me out of bed.   I haven’t been up long.”   He crawled back into bed next to me, and kissed me.

“Hold that thought.   I’ll be right back,” I said, standing up and heading in the direction of the bathroom.   I returned to find Rick waiting for me, with a wicked grin on his face.    Seeing Rick’s expression caused things to stir down below!

“Come here, lover boy,” Rick said, in a sultry voice that left no doubt about his intentions.

I laughed, and turned to lock the door, to make sure we were not interrupted.   I quickly joined him in bed.   Rick pulled me into his arms, and started kissing me all over my body.   It wasn’t long before Rick had me so turned on that I begged him to fuck me.   With as much urgency as I could put into my voice, I begged, “Please make me yours, Rick.”

Rick grinned, and gazed into my eyes.  “Are you sure that is what you want me to do?”

I looked at him, and said, impatiently, “Rick, I want you in me, now!”

Instead of acceding to my demands, Rick continued kissing me, and nibbling on my ears and neck.   He was driving me into an absolute frenzy of desire and passion.   I pulled him closer to me, and I pleaded with him.  “Don’t torture me this way.   I need you to fuck me.”

Rick captured my lips, pushing his tongue into my mouth.   I moaned with pleasure, as he satisfied my desire for him!  

 A while later we lay exhausted in each other’s arms.  Rick lay prone on top of me, as I caressed his back and broad shoulders.   I followed the contours of his muscles with my fingertips.   I marveled at this Greek god, who had just made love to me.   I felt Rick’s powerful member stiffen, and push against my back door.  Rick lifted his head from my shoulder, and looked me in the eyes.  “Are you ready for round two?”

I didn’t answer his question directly.   I brought my hands up to his face, and pulled him down to meet my lips.   He hungrily kissed me, and his hands roamed my body, causing every fiber of my being to ignite with unbridled passion for this beautiful man.

We must have fallen asleep because, I woke up to the sound of someone knocking on our door.   Rick was still asleep in my arms.   He tends to sleep like a dead man, when we have one of our fantastic lovemaking sessions!   I called out, “Who is it?”

“It’s Randy.   We just got into town, and wondered if you two wanted to go out for breakfast,” Randy said, through the door.

I rolled out from underneath Rick, and got up.   I covered Rick with the sheet, then found my boxer shorts and pulled them on, before opening the door.

Randy stood there with Shawn.   Randy looked past me, to see that Rick was still asleep.   “I’m sorry I woke you up,” Randy said.

I grinned at Randy.  “It’s okay.   We probably should be getting up anyway.”

Shawn took Randy by the hand.  “Randy, let’s go back upstairs, and leave them in peace.”

Randy nodded his head in agreement.  “Okay.   We’ll wait until you guys are up, before we do anything.”

I smiled my thanks at Shawn.  “Okay.   It may be another hour, or so, before Rick wakes up.”

I closed the door.   I stripped off my boxers, and rejoined my sweetheart in bed.   Rick stirred, but didn’t wake.   He murmured something in his sleep, and reached for me.   I laid my head on his chest, thinking I would wake him in a few minutes.   It turned out that it was about an hour later, when we both woke up!   Rick yawned, stretching luxuriously, and said, “Wow!  That was great!”

I smiled, as I watched Rick stretch his muscles.   He reminded me of a powerful tiger, with his muscles rippling under his skin as he moved.   Rick smiled, as he noticed me watching him stretch.   I said, “I have missed our morning make out sessions!   I’m glad you are back with me for good.”

Rick flexed his muscles, in a muscleman pose.   I reached over, and felt his biceps.   They felt like steel bands under my hands.   “You’re so beautiful, Rick.   Sometimes, I can’t believe you are my lover.”

Rick leaned over, and kissed me.  “Well, Mr. Nielsen, you had better start believing, because you can’t get rid of me, now.  I’m here to stay.”

“Randy and Shawn have invited us to go out for breakfast,” I said, looking into my lover’s eyes.   “Do you want to go?”

“That’s sounds like a great idea,” Rick responded.   We both laughed, when we heard his stomach rumble.   Rick grinned.  “I guess we need to feed the beast.   Let’s get our shower, then.”

We got showered and dressed, with only a minimal amount of making out in the shower.   We can’t be in the shower together without touching each other!   We made our way upstairs, and found Randy and Shawn in the front room with the rest of the adults.

Mom greeted us, “Good morning, boys!   You look very happy today.”

Rick grinned.  “That’s because we are.”

Randy guffawed, “I bet you are!   The evidence is all over Glenn’s neck!”

I blushed, furiously.   My mother turned to Randy, and said, “Randy, don’t tease your brother.   He and Rick are doing what is normal for a young couple in love.”

Randy laughed.  “Yes, they are, but it’s still fun to tease them.”

Dad smiled, and said, “I agree that it is fun to tease them, Randy, but not today.”

“Okay, I’ll stop teasing them, but only for today,” Randy said.   He winked at me, as he turned to Shawn.  “Are we ready to go?”

Shawn said, “Yes, I think we are.   Is everyone agreed that we’re going to Humpty’s?”

Uncle Dave smiled.  “Yes.   Should I call ahead to warn them we are coming?   I’m not sure they will have enough food to feed these four.”

Mom laughed. “No, I think they can handle the boys.”

Dad said, “I’ll drive, and we’ll take Mary and Dave with us.”

Shawn nodded.  “We’ll take Rick and Glenn with us.”   Shawn looked at the girls, and asked, “Nancy and Cynthia do you want to ride with us, or with the parents?”

Cynthia replied, sarcastically, “Do you even have to ask?”

“We want to ride with you, Shawn,” Nancy said, smiling at her brother-in-law.

We followed Randy and Shawn to their SUV.   I looked at the silver-grey Land Rover Discovery, and asked, “Randy, when did you guys get the new Land Rover?”

Randy answered, “We picked it up last month, at a used car lot.   Do you like it?”

Rick said, “Yes.   We have talked about trading in our Land Rover for a newer model.”

We walked around the vehicle, and listened to Shawn’s enthusiastic narration, as he rattled off its statistics.   Dad rolled down his window and said, “Boys!   Are you ready, or should we meet you there?”

Randy laughed, “Yes, we’re ready.   Come on, guys.   Let’s get going.”

We climbed in, followed by the girls, and Shawn started the car.   I said, “I had forgotten how impatient Dad gets.   He doesn’t like to wait.”

“You’re right, Glenn.   Dad hasn’t changed much over the years.   He has always been a little impatient,” Randy said.

Shawn said, “And he still has a quick temper.”

“Has your Dad always been that way?” Rick asked.

“Yes, Dad has always been quick to anger, but it dissipates just as quickly.   He never seems to hold a grudge,” I said.

“Except when he found out I was gay, and in a relationship with Shawn,” Randy said.

Nancy said, “Yes, we remember how bad that was.   We were the ones who suffered the most, during that time, Randy.   You and Shawn went off and got married, while Eric, Glenn and I had to deal with Dad.   He got angry a lot, during that time.   We didn’t dare say anything to upset him.   I hated it.   He was constantly ragging on me about everything!”

“It was so bad that Eric stayed with Gary, to get away from Dad’s bad temper,” I said, remembering how terrible it felt.   “Nancy and I didn’t have anywhere we could go to get away.”

Cynthia said, “But, you were lucky your Dad agreed to let you go to school with me and Ben.”

“Yes, we were very fortunate that Uncle Dave managed to convince Dad that it would be good for us to attend school here, instead of Kincaid Central,” Nancy said.

We arrived at Humpty’s, and parked the car.   As we entered the restaurant, Dad said, “We’ll be seated in a few minutes.   They’re getting our table ready.”

Once we were seated, Dad said, “Breakfast is on me this morning.   Please order what you like.”

Rick looked across the table, and said, “Thanks, Dad.   I’m starving!”

I grinned, and said, “Rick’s stomach has been rumbling quite a bit this morning.   It got so loud that we wondered if there wasn’t something alive in there!”

“I can confirm what Glenn says is true,” Nancy said, laughing.

Chagrinned, Rick said, “I can’t help it if my stomach has a mind of its own!”

Dad smiled at Rick.  “Don’t worry, Rick.   Order what you want.”

The waitress took our orders.   She returned with our beverages, and asked, “Mr. Nielsen, when is Ben’s wedding?”

Uncle Dave answered, “Sheila, it will be two weeks from today, in Toronto.”

“Thank you for telling me.   I wanted to make sure I send a card.   Who is the lucky girl?” Sheila asked, with interest.

“Her name is Janice Caldwell.   She is studying computer graphic design at the same university as Ben,” Aunt Mary said.

Sheila smiled.  “I’m sure they will be very happy.   I’ll be right back with your orders.”   Sheila left the table, and walked back towards the kitchen.

Cynthia asked, “Mom, do you remember when Ben was dating her?”

“Yes, I do.   She is a nice girl.   Her parents own the floral shop on Central Ave.,” Aunt Mary replied.

Uncle Dave smiled.  “Ben and I had quite a long talk about her one evening.   He thought she was the right one for him, at the time.”

Nancy said, “That’s not what she said.   I remember Sheila telling her friends at school that she liked Ben, because he had so many good looking friends.   She really wanted to date Ben’s teammate, Curtis.”

Aunt Mary nodded.  “Ben was pretty devastated when they broke up, and she started dating Curtis.”

“It was for the best,” Uncle Dave said.

We paused for a moment, as Sheila delivered our food.   She smiled and said, “If you need anything, let me know.”

Uncle Dave said, “Thank you, Sheila.”

When she had gone, I said, “I warned Ben about Sheila, but he wouldn’t listen to me.”

“Ben wasn’t listening to anyone, back then,” Aunt Mary said.   “I think that every teenager goes through that stage, where they think they know everything.”

Mom laughed. “Yes, they all do.   Fortunately, they grow up, and learn that their parents aren’t as dumb as they thought they were.”

Randy nodded his head.  “I definitely should have listened to you, Uncle Dave, when I was living with you.   I went through some pretty rough times, because I wouldn’t heed of your counsel.”

Uncle Dave smiled, “I’m glad you recognize that I was trying to help you.   At the time, you were sure I was trying to clip your wings, and keep you from enjoying your life.”

Randy laughed, in his embarrassment.   He looked around the table, and said, “Yes, I was pretty rebellious, and didn’t want to hear that what I was doing was destroying my self-esteem.”

“But you are fine now, Randy,” Shawn said.   “You’ve married the right guy to keep you in line.”

Randy smiled, and took Shawn’s hand in his.  “Yes, I did.   I married far above my station, when I married you.”

Shawn grinned, and said, “You’re all witnesses that Randy finally admitted that he moved up the social ladder, by marrying me.”

Nancy replied, “Shawn, do you have a little brother?”

“Yes, I do, and he is the same age as you are.   Why?” Shawn asked.

“Can you set me up on a date with him?” Nancy asked.

Shawn laughed.  “Yes, if you really want me to do that.   Mark lives in Vancouver, where he is going to college.”

When she heard that, Nancy’s face fell.  “He lives too far away.  Darn it!   Do you think Mark would transfer to the University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon?”

“No, he is pretty happy where he is right now,” Shawn said.

“You could always transfer to Weber State, and finish school with me,” Cynthia said.

Nancy shook her head.  “I like Saskatoon.   Eric and Laura have been great neighbors, and have kept me from being too lonely.”

“How do you like your house, Nancy?” I asked.

“It’s great!   Since we couldn’t find any duplex homes near campus, Grandpa told us to buy two homes near each other.   We were fortunate that we were able to buy homes across the street from each other.   Eric and Laura really like their place, as well.   They should be here, tomorrow.   I came down early, because I wanted to spend some time with Cynthia,” Nancy said.

“Your Grandpa Scarborough helped me get a place in Ogden, Utah, near the campus of Weber State University.   It’s an older home, but it’s just right for me.   I have three roommates, who help share the costs,” Cynthia said.

Mom looked at Dad, who said, “Okay, Eva, you were right.”

I asked, “What was Mom right about, Dad?”

Dad sighed, and replied, “Your mother still hasn’t let me forget that I was adamantly opposed to letting your Grandpa help you through college.   I was being stubborn and extremely foolish.   I can see now that I should have let him help our children sooner.”   Dad paused, and looked over at Randy.  “I’m sorry I refused to let you take Grandpa’s money for your schooling.”

Randy’s eyes glistened with unshed tears.   Randy said, “That’s okay, Dad.   It worked out for the best.   I ended up joining the RCMP.   If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have met Shawn.”   He leaned over, and gave Shawn a quick kiss.

“Yes, it has worked out for you, after all.   For the others, it has been a tremendous blessing.   Eric, Nancy, Glenn, Ben and Cynthia all have homes of their own, which would have been impossible for them, otherwise,” Dad said.

“Well, technically, the homes belong to MST, Inc., but we have the option to buy them, if we wish to make them our permanent residence,” I said.   “The great thing about it is that we don’t have to pay rent, while we are in school; and, when we move on, the homes will become rental properties.   Part of the rent will come to each of us, to supplement our income.   Grandpa wants us to invest in more properties; so that we will eventually have enough rental income to sustain us, allowing us to follow our dreams.”

Mom said, “But, you have to learn how to manage the properties you have purchased, already, before you can move forward.”

Rick said, “You’re correct, Mom.   We’re still learning.   However, our friends in Minneapolis have managed to convince Grandpa to invest in an apartment complex.   We think it will work out for the best.   It will be hard work, but I think it will pay huge dividends, in the long run.”

Dad shook his head in wonder.  “I am amazed that your Grandpa has so much faith in you young people.   He is a very shrewd businessman, and I’m sure he has done his homework.   He has told us that he thinks that all of you are capable of becoming independently wealthy, if that is your desire in life.”

Shawn said, “Grandpa has talked with Randy and I about investing in properties in Vancouver.   We agree with him about the need for us to find a way to ensure that we have a source of steady income, just in case we both lose our jobs.”

“He has talked with Gary and Miriam, too, about their backup plans for supporting their family, just in case we have a crop failure,” Mom said.   “He is definitely making all of us think about how we would survive a catastrophe, such as losing a job.”

Uncle Dave said, “I have to agree that Chris has set all of us to thinking about what we need to do to ensure our financial security.   He chatted with me and Mary about it, when he was here for the girls’ graduation.   Eva, your Dad has certainly been a motivating force to get us moving with the children’s financial plans.   Chris mentioned the family corporation he had set up to help manage the different lines of business.”

Aunt Mary chimed in, “Yes, Chris said that he intended for his grandchildren to take over running the company, as soon as they graduate from college.”

“That’s true,” Rick said.   “All of us are on the board of directors for now, while the adults run the company, until we are ready to step in to help run the business.”

Shawn spoke, letting his amazement show in his voice, “The best part about it is that Grandpa treats the in-laws the same as his grandchildren.   I was very surprised, when he insisted that I participate equally with Randy in our business ventures.   He has only met me once, or twice; but has shown he has a high degree of confidence in me.”

“Grandpa knows that we have chosen our partners wisely,” I said, with a grin at Rick.

Randy smiled at Shawn, and said, “I know I did.”

Uncle Dave said, “I know that Chris has given Ben and Janice the best wedding gift any of us could dream of, and that is having a secure place to live, while they finish their degrees at the university.   With the money they will save in rent, they should be able to buy the house of their dreams.”

“For their part, they will have to maintain the house, while they live there.   Grandpa pays the utilities for us, like he does for the rest of the grandchildren.   That assistance ends when we finish school,” I said.

“For those of us who have finished our education, he has asked us to prepare a business plan.   He sent us a template we could use; and asked us to think about what kind of things we enjoy doing, and to come up with a way to turn them into a profitable business venture.   Randy and I are still working on our business proposal,” Shawn said.   “He said we should do what we enjoy doing, as a business, because we will be spending a lot of time at it.”

Dad said, “That is true.   I enjoy farming, so that is why I decided to return home to run the farm.   Eva loved me enough to follow me, despite her misgivings about living so far away from her family.”

“Gary likes farming, as well,” Mom said.   “But, as my Dad has pointed out, farmers need to have other means of generating income, when the crops don’t do well, or the market drops, leaving us with no money for the basics of life.”

Aunt Mary said, “Dave and I have been putting away money for retirement, for some time, now.   I plan to work as long as I am able, because I love nursing.”

“We plan to sell our farm to Gary, so he can combine the acreage with his farm,” Dad said.  “Gary has already approached Grandpa about helping him with his ideas about improving both farms.   He plans to purchase some big farm machinery, and rent it out to neighboring farmers, to help pay for the expenses of maintaining it.   That way we will always have it available for our needs.”

Nancy said, “We have participated in the board of directors’ meetings via teleconference.   It has been pretty nifty to hear about all of the activities going on in the family.”

“Is there a size limit on how many people can be on the board of directors?” Cynthia asked.

Uncle Dave answered, “The size and composition of the board of directors of any corporation is based on the needs of the company.   Some corporations have a very small board of directors; others have very large boards.”  

We continued our conversation, as we finished our breakfast.   We drove back to Uncle Dave’s house.   We were sitting in the front room with Randy and Shawn, when Randy asked, “When do you plan to get married?”

I looked at Rick, who answered, “In three, or four years from now.   I have a little over three years left to serve in the Marines, before I can get out.”

“Do you think your relationship is strong enough to last that long?” Shawn pointedly asked Rick.

Rick squeezed my hand, and replied, “I think it is, Shawn.   If we have to get married to save our relationship, then our relationship isn’t strong enough to see us through marriage, either.   I know that we love each other very much.”

Randy asked, “Glenn, are you sure you can wait that long?   I know how you feel about marriage.”

“I’m willing to wait for Rick.   I love him enough to let him find his way, without me trying to hurry him along.   That doesn’t mean we haven’t had some energetic discussions about it,” I said.

“What if Rick decides he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you, and finds someone else?” Shawn asked.

I looked at Rick, whose steady gaze reassured me.  “I don’t think that will happen.”

Rick said, “We have already been tempted to have relationships with others during the last 12 months.   Our relationship has been made stronger each time we have managed to overcome those kinds of obstacles.”

Shawn looked at us, and said, “I believe you when you say you are committed to making it through the next few years, until you are out of the military, Rick; however, what then?   Will you be ready to make a long-term commitment to Glenn?   Will you be ready for marriage at that point in your life?”   He paused for moment, then said, “I think you know why I am asking these questions, Rick.   And as for you, Glenn, are you willing to put Rick’s interests above your own?   You don’t have to answer these questions for me; but you need to answer them for yourselves, then talk the answers over with each other.”

Rick and I didn’t know what to say to Shawn.   Randy came to our rescue.  “Shawn, I think you need to lighten up on these two.   They don’t need us to lecture them.”

Shawn smiled.  “No, but they do need to take some time to think about their future together.”

“We managed to figure things out, Shawn.   I’m sure they will, too,” Randy said.

“Yes, we did, because I asked some of the same questions of you, and helped you finally discover who you are,” Shawn said.

Randy nodded his head.  “Yes, you did; and I’m eternally grateful that I found you, and that we worked things out between us.”   He turned to me and Rick.  “Shawn is right about making sure you two are in synch with each other.   Nothing causes more friction in a relationship than false expectations.   It’s important to communicate clearly with each other about what you think your relationship is about, and what your goals are as a couple.”

Shawn laughed, and said, “Look who is lecturing them, now!”

Randy gave his husband a sheepish look.  “I’m sorry, guys.   I guess I got carried away, as well.”  

“That’s okay,” I said.   Changing the subject, I asked, “What are your plans for the next week?”

Shawn said, “We’re going down to the farm, tomorrow.   Mom and Dad wanted us to wait, until Eric and Laura arrived from Saskatoon.   They are supposed to get in tonight some time.”

“We will be staying with you guys in Ben’s room.   Eric and Laura will get the sofa sleeper in the family room,” Randy said, seeing my puzzled look.

We spent the day relaxing, and enjoying the company of our family.   We played board games, card games, and ate loads of good food.   It was after supper, when Eric and Laura arrived.   Rick and I went out to help them bring in their things.

Eric got out of the car, and walked around to open the door for Laura.   I walked over to greet them.   I stopped dead in my tracks, when I saw Laura.   I was totally surprised.  “You guys didn’t tell me you were expecting!”

Laura laughed.  “I’m sorry, Glenn.   We’ve been so busy with school, and getting the house ready for the baby that we haven’t spent much time communicating with anyone.” 

I went up to her, and hugged her.  “Congratulations!   I’m so happy for you and Eric.”   I stood back, and looked at her.  “You are positively glowing, Laura.”

Laura smiled.  “I feel wonderful.”

I turned to Eric, and gave him a hug.  “Congratulations, bro.!   When is the baby due?”

Eric smiled, and said, “We think she is due at the end of August.   At least that is what the doctors are telling us.”

Rick gave Laura a hug.  “Congratulations to you both!”

Randy and Shawn were right behind us.   As they greeted Eric and Laura, Mom came outside, and said, “Let the poor girl come inside and sit down.   You can all talk to her, then.”

Mom took Laura by the hand, and led her inside the house.   Eric grinned.  “Mom always knows best.   Can you guys help me grab our stuff?”

We followed Eric around to the trunk of the car, and each took a bag.   “How much stuff do you need?” I asked.

“A lot,” Eric said, laughing.   “I asked the same question of Laura, and ended up getting a kick on the shins for asking.”

We all laughed at that, and followed Eric inside.   The women were gathered around Laura in the front room.   I peeked inside, and observed, “I don’t think we will be able to get close to Laura for some time.”

Eric said, “That’s for sure.   What are you guys doing for the evening?   I know Laura is pretty tired, so she’ll want to go to bed early.”

Randy said, “Let’s go out to a sports bar for a drink, or two.”

Eric agreed, “That sounds great.   I haven’t been out with the guys in months.”

“Should we invite Dad and Uncle Dave?” Shawn asked.

“Sure,” Randy said.   “I’ll find out, if they’re interested in going.”   Randy disappeared into the kitchen, and soon returned.   “They said they would join us some other time.”

Rick looked at Eric, and asked, “Shouldn’t you let Laura know that you are going with us?”

Eric laughed.  “Yes, I should.   Thank you for reminding me, Rick.”  While Eric talked with Laura, we found our way outside.   Eric soon joined us.  “Let’s go!”

We took two vehicles, ours and Shawn and Randy’s, since Shawn and I were the designated drivers.   Shawn, like me, does not drink alcohol.   Shawn grinned, and said, “We will have the pleasure of keeping these guys from making total fools of themselves.”

I returned Shawn’s grin, and said, “I think we can handle them.” 

Randy said, “Let’s hit the Buffalo Brew Pub.   They have some pretty good beer.   We can play some billiards, too.”

Eric agreed, “Sounds good to me.”

We piled into our vehicles.   Rick followed Shawn, since he didn’t know where the Buffalo Brew Pub was located.  

Buffalo Brew Pub.jpg

We parked our cars, and went inside.   There were a number of guys at the bar, but otherwise the place wasn’t crowded.   As soon as we were seated, a nice looking, dark haired girl walked over, and said, “Hey, Eric!   How are you?”

 Eric replied, “Hello, Tracy.   I’m doing fine.   Let me introduce you to the guys.   These are my brothers, Randy and Glenn.   This is Randy’s husband, Shawn, and Glenn‘s life partner, Rick.   Guys, this is Tracy Middleton.”

Tracy smiled, and acknowledged the introductions, “Nice to meet you.”   She turned back to Eric.  “I heard you were going to school up north in Saskatoon.”

“I am.   We just finished with finals, so my wife and I came down to spend some time with our families,” Eric said.

Tracy looked disappointed, when she heard Eric say he brought his wife with him; but she quickly recovered, and smiled at Eric.  “I didn’t know you were married, Eric.   Congratulations!”

 “Thanks, Tracy.   How about you?   Are you married?” Eric asked.

“No, I’m free and single.   I haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up; so, I’m still hanging around Swift Current,” Tracy said.   She paused, then said, “Nice to meet all of you.   See you around.”

She left the table just as our beverages arrived.   I asked, “How do you know Tracy?”

Eric blushed, as he responded, “We had a little fling during our last year of high school.”

Randy laughed, and said, “It must have been more than a little fling from the looks of things.”

Eric looked around at the group, before he said, “You have to promise not to repeat this to Laura.”   We nodded our heads, and he continued, “Tracy and I were quite the couple.   I thought I was going to marry her at one point, but things didn’t work out.   Her dad hates my guts.   I told Tracy I couldn’t deal with her dad, when I broke up with her.   I didn’t want to have to watch my back every time I visited the in-laws.”

Randy looked at Eric.  “You two were more than just dating weren’t you?”

Eric nodded his head.  “Yes, if you must know.”

“I don’t need to know, but it helps us understand the nature of your relationship with the young lady,” Randy said.   “I’m sorry if I’m prying too much into your personal life, Eric.”

“It’s okay, Randy, as long as it doesn’t get back to Laura.   I don’t want to worry her about anything, like old girl friends,” Eric said.

Randy said, “I understand completely.   I’ve told Shawn about my old boyfriends, but I sure wouldn’t want any of them hanging around, let alone approaching me in a gay bar somewhere.”

“I wish I could meet Glenn’s ex-boyfriend,” Rick said.   Everyone looked at him in astonishment.   He continued with a ferocity that surprised even me, “I would knock his block off for hurting Glenn so much.”

I put my hand on his arm, and leaned over and kissed him.  “You don’t have to do that to Ian.   I don’t wish him any ill will.   I’m glad he dumped me; because, as a result, I found you.”

Rick smiled, “That is true, but that still doesn’t change the fact that he hurt you.”

“Yes, he did, but you have done a wonderful job of making things better,” I said, putting my arm around his waist, and scooting closer to him.

I saw Rick’s expression change, so I looked over to see what had caused it.   I saw a tall, thin guy approaching our table.   He had short dark brown hair, brown eyes and a lopsided grin.   He wore a black jeans, and a tight black muscle shirt.   I could see he worked out, but lacked the muscle mass that Rick had.   He stopped in front of our table, and asked, “Hi!   I’m Marty St. Jean.   May I join you?”

We looked at each other, then back at Marty.   Randy said, “Sure.”   He grabbed a chair from a neighboring empty table, and we moved, so he could join us.

Marty sat down, and said, “I’m sure you are wondering why a total stranger would want to join you.”  We nodded, and waited for him to continue.   “I noticed that you two are gay,” he said, indicating me and Rick, “and I wanted to know more about you guys.   I’m gay, too.   There aren’t many gay men in Swift Current.   I usually have to drive to Regina, or Saskatoon to meet new guys.”

Randy smiled.  “I thought you might be gay when I saw you.”

“What gave me away?” Marty said, with a smile.

“Nothing in particular stands out, but I had a feeling that you were, when you sat down with us,” Randy said.

Shawn said, “You will have to forgive my husband for not introducing us.   I’m Shawn, and this is my husband, Randy.”

Marty’s eyes grew as big as saucers.  “Are you two really married?”

“Yes, very much so,” Randy said, planting a quick kiss on Shawn’s lips.

Marty turned to me and Rick, and asked, “Are you two married, also?”

“No, we are not married yet,” I replied.

Rick smiled. “I’m the one holding things up in that area.”

Marty said, “Rick, you must be from the States, if I have placed your accent correctly.”

“Yes, I’m from North Carolina,” Rick said.

Marty said, “I’m 22 years old, and I have lived here all my life.”

“Why don’t you move to the big city, where you can find more gay guys?” Randy asked.

“I don’t know anyone outside of my family, so I haven’t ventured very far from here.   Saskatoon and Regina are about as far as I have travelled,” Marty said.

Shawn said, “We live in Regina, at the moment.   Why don’t you stay with us for a while?”

Marty’s face brightened.  “That would be totally awesome!”

Randy laughed.  “We can show you around town, and introduce you to some of our single friends.”

We continued chatting with Marty.   The guys enjoyed a few more beers, before we decided it was time to go.   We bid our new friend farewell, and returned to Uncle Dave’s house.   All the lights were out, so we tried to be as quiet as possible, as we got ourselves ready for bed.   Shawn and Randy took Ben’s old bed, and we slept on mine.

I love sleeping on a twin bed with Rick, because that means we get to sleep very close to each other.   We normally sleep in each other’s arms anyway; so, it’s not so much different than sleeping on our bed in Atlanta.   However, it does mean I have to be careful not to fall out of bed, when I roll over!   Fortunately, I have a full-sized bed in my room at the farm, so we’ll have a little more space.   We were up early, so we could get our morning run in, before everyone else woke up.   We made our way into the kitchen to find Aunt Mary and Mom were already there, getting breakfast started.   I walked over to Mom, and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“We are going out for a run.   We should be back in time for breakfast,” I said.

Rick gave Mom a hug and a kiss, as well.  “See you in a little while.”

We went outside, and stretched in the chilly morning air.   Rick smiled.  “It feels good to be able to get back into our regular routine of running in the mornings.”

“Yes, it feels good to have you home, so we can run together,” I said.   “Ready?”

“Yes, I’m ready,” Rick replied.

“Let’s run down by my old high school, then over past the recreation centre,” I said.

Rick nodded, and said, “Sounds good to me.”   We took off running at a steady pace.   Of course, Rick took one stride for every two of mine!   At first, we ran side by side, but soon, I fell behind Rick.   Rick looked over his should, grinning at me.  “Are you enjoying the view from back there?”

I returned his grin.  “Absolutely!   I can’t get enough of that bubble butt of yours!”

Rick laughed, and put both hands on his butt.  “This is the finest specimen on the planet.”

I quickened my pace, and drew alongside Rick.  “Of course, my favorite part of you anatomy is found between your legs!”

Rick leered at me.  “I thought you might say that!”   His expression sent a shiver of anticipation down my spine.   “I can’t wait to get you in the shower!”

We slowed down a bit, as we approached the recreation centre.   I said, “You know this used to be the armory, before it was converted into a recreation centre?”

“I didn’t know that,” Rick said, looking at the building.

 “I am glad it’s a recreation centre now.   Ben and I used to come here once in a while, when he wasn’t on the ice practicing with his hockey team,” I said.

We passed the recreation centre, and picked up our pace.   As we approached Uncle Dave’s house, we sprinted the last hundred meters, or so.   Rick, of course, beat me hands down!

We walked around outside for a bit, as we cooled down.   We went inside, and got in the shower.   Rick turned on the water, and adjusted the temperature.  He stepped in, pulling me under the cascading stream of warm water, and into his arm!

We dried each other off, stealing another passionate kiss before we walked across the hall to Ben’s room.   We opened the door to see Randy and Shawn still in bed.  

Randy was awake, and looked at us, as we entered the room.  “Well, well, well!   I can tell who had some good sex this morning!”

Rick laughed, and responded, “It was pretty fantastic!”

“It must have been, since you both have that afterglow,” Randy said, smiling.

I nodded my head, acknowledging the truth of Randy’s comment.  “Rick never fails me!”

I closed the bedroom door, and we dropped our towels, as we went in search of our clean clothes.   I heard a wolf whistle, and turned to see Shawn was awake.   “Wow!   You guys are a beautiful sight to see first thing in the morning!”

I laughed, and said, “So are you!”   I pointed to Shawn’s morning wood, tenting the sheet.

Randy was sporting a morning wood, as well.  “We can’t help but admire two of the finest male bodies we have ever seen, being modeled for us.”

Rick laughed, and said, “Glenn, I think we need to give them a good show.”   We lined up in front of them, and did some muscle poses, both front and back, which brought huge grins to their faces, and several rounds of applause.

Shawn said, “You guys are so ‘hot’ that I could go for both of you, if I weren’t married to Randy, already!”

Randy responded, “Same here, guys!   Thanks for the show!”

Shawn looked at Randy.  “I think we need to take a shower together.   I need you to help me out here.   Thanks to these two, I have blue balls, and it’s getting uncomfortable.”

Randy pulled back the sheet; and, sure enough, Shawn was in tough shape down there.   Randy got up, and pulled his husband to his feet.   Randy gave Shawn a kiss, before leading him out of the door.   Randy peeked out into the hallway to make sure the coast was clear, and they sprinted across the hall to the bathroom.   We soon heard them in the shower.

Rick listened for a moment, then asked, “We didn’t sound like that, did we?”

I laughed, and responded, “I think we must have; because I know I wasn’t exactly quiet, as you pleasured me in the shower.”

“No wonder Randy made his comment.   Those two must be having a great time in there,” Rick said, with a big grin on his face.

“They are enjoying their shower, as much as we did ours,” I said, reaching over, and putting my arms around Rick’s waist.

Rick wrapped his arms around me, his eyes sparkling with mischief.  “I’m sure they are, after the show we put on for them.”   He gave me a passionate kiss, and placed both of his hands on my butt, pulling me closer to him.   I felt myself reacting to his touch, when he suddenly released me.   Rick laughed at my expression.  “That will have to last you until later, Babe.”

I clung to his neck, and looked him in the eyes.  “You are a terrible tease, Mr. Lernier!”

Rick gave me one of his evil grins.  “I never claimed to be anything else!”

I released him, and turned to finish getting dressed.   As I bent over to put on my khaki cargo shorts, Rick snapped his towel, nailing me.   I yelped, “Damn!”

Rick laughed, and said, “You shouldn’t offer me such an easy target.”

Rubbing the spot where he hit me, I grinned, and said, “I believe this means war.”  

We were still at it, when Randy and Shawn came back from their show.  They soon joined in.   As things heated up, I yelled, “The family jewels are off limits guys!”

Randy said, “That’s no fun.”   He proceeded to snap his towel causing me to jump back, as it nearly did me in.

We kept it up, until we heard Aunt Mary call downstairs, “Boys!   Breakfast is ready!”

We finished dressing, and joined Mom and Aunt Mary in the kitchen, where the table was laden with enough food to feed an army.    We were soon joined by rest of the family.

Shortly after breakfast, we packed our things and headed south to the family farm, leaving Aunt Mary and Uncle Dave to finish up getting things ready for their trip down east.   Cynthia opted to join Nancy for the drive down.   We drove the 98 km. (61 miles) to Aneroid, traveling Saskatchewan (SK) Highway 4 south to SK 13 east to Aneroid.   As soon as we arrived, Mom called Gary and Miriam to let them know we were home.  

A few minutes later, we heard Jack shouting for us from the front room, “Uncle Rick and Uncle Glenn!   Where are you?”

I stepped out of our room, and shouted down the stairs, “We are up here, Jack!”

I heard Jack climbing the stairs, and soon saw his blond head pop up, followed by his startling blue eyes.   When he saw me, he grinned.  “Hello, Uncle Glenn.   Where is Uncle Rick?”

“He’s in here,” I replied, pointing back inside our bedroom.   I knelt down, and gave the little guy a hug.   “You have grown up a lot, since I saw you last.”

“Yes, I am a big boy now.   I’m six years old,” Jack replied, putting up five fingers and a thumb to show how old he was.   “I will be in the first grade next year!”

“That’s really great!   Where is Miriam?” I asked.  

“She’s downstairs with Grandma,” Jack replied.   Jack pushed past me, and into the room.   Spying Rick sprawled out on the bed, Jack immediately jumped up next to Rick and threw his arms around Rick’s neck, giving him a kiss on the cheek.   He said, “Hello, Uncle Rick.   Did you know that Uncle Glenn was really sad, while you were gone?”

“Yes, I did,” Rick answered, a little surprised at the question.

“You said you were going to marry Uncle Glenn, but you went away for a long time.   I thought you would stay with Uncle Glenn, like Mom and Dad are always together,” Jack said.   “Miriam says that boyfriends sometimes change their minds, and decide to be someone else’s boyfriend.   She says that boys can’t make up their minds; because they don’t know what they want, and that girls always know what they want.   Is it true that boys can’t make up their minds?  Did you find someone else?   Why did you leave Uncle Glenn alone for so long?” Jack asked, earnestly.

Rick looked at me, and I shrugged my shoulders, because I was just as surprised to hear Jack’s statements as he was.   Rick responded, “First, boys can make up their minds, and they do know what they want.   Second, no I didn’t find someone else.   Third, the reason I left Uncle Glenn alone for such a long time is that I had a commitment with the military I had to honor.   Do know what a promise is, Jack?”

“Yes, I do.   That’s when you say you will do something, and you have to do it; because you said you would,” Jack said, seriously, looking Rick in the eyes.

“Well, I made a promise to the military that I would go wherever they sent me,” Rick said.

“Why did they send you away for so long?” Jack asked.

“I promised them I would go for 12 months, and that is why Uncle Glenn went to stay with his cousin, Ben, while I was gone,” Rick explained, patiently.

Jack looked at me, and asked, “Did you like being with Ben?”

“Yes,” I responded.   “Ben is my best friend.”

“I thought Uncle Rick was your best friend,” Jack said, looking confused.

“Rick is my best friend, but he is also my boyfriend,” I said.

Jack looked puzzled for a moment, then his expression cleared.  “Okay, I guess you can have more than one best friend.   But are best friends always your boyfriends?”

Rick laughed, and answered the little guy’s question.  “No, Uncle Glenn can only have one boyfriend, and that’s me.”

I sat down on the edge of the bed, next to Jack.  “Uncle Rick is right, Jack, you can only have one boyfriend at a time.”

Jack asked, “Do you mean you have had other boyfriends, before Uncle Rick?”

“Yes, Jack, I have had only one other boyfriend besides Rick, but I don’t like to talk about him,” I said.   “Why are you asking all the questions about my boyfriends, Jack?”

“Because Dad said that Rick is the best boyfriend you have ever had, and that the last one was a bad one.   I wanted to know why Uncle Rick was a good boyfriend, and why the other one was a bad one.   When I asked my Dad about it, he said I had to ask you,” Jack said.

“What else did your Dad tell you?” I asked, wondering what had started this conversation between Gary and his son.

“Dad said you and Uncle Rick should get married, soon; because you need a husband so you can be happy,” Jack said.   He looked at Rick, and asked, “Are you going to marry Uncle Glenn?”

“Yes, Jack, I plan to marry your Uncle Glenn,” Rick responded, with a smile.   “And I promise I will make him very happy.”

Jack smiled, “I can’t wait to tell Dad that I was right.   I said you were coming back, and would marry Uncle Glenn.”

I laughed, and asked, “Did your dad say Uncle Rick wasn’t coming back?”

Jack nodded his head, and answered, “He said that many times.   He said that when boyfriends go away for a long time, they find someone new, who they like better, and don’t come back.   Dad said he thought Uncle Rick wouldn’t come back.”

“And you said that I would?” Rick asked, with a smile.

“Yes, I did.   I told my dad that you were my favorite uncle, and that you would come back to play ball with me,” Jack said.

“Thank you, Jack, for having faith in me,” Rick said.   He gave Jack a little hug, and kissed the top of his head.   “Let me guess – you want me to go play ball with you.”

Jack nodded his head, emphatically.  “Yes, you are the best uncle ever!”   He jumped off the bed, and turned to take Rick by the hand.   Jack looked at me, and said, “I want you to play ball with us, Uncle Glenn.   Can you be my other favorite uncle?”

“Sure, Jack,” I replied, smiling at the excited little boy, who was tugging at Rick’s hand to help him get out of bed.

He let go of Rick’s hand, and looked at me with his hands on his hips.   He said, impatiently, “Uncle Glenn, can you help Uncle Rick get up.   He’s too heavy for me to move.”

I laughed, and leaned over to kiss Rick on the lips.  “I think you will have to get up now, Babe.”

Rick took my hand, and I helped him up.   Jack grabbed each of us by the hand, pulling his out of our room.  We followed him down the stairs, and out the front door to the garage, where he stopped and looked up at me.  “Uncle Glenn, will you get the ball for us?”

“Certainly,” I replied, opening the garage.   I retrieved several different kinds of balls, and brought them outside.

Jack said, “Let’s play kickball.”

“We need more players, if we are going to play kickball,” Rick observed.

“I will go get Dad and Miriam to play,” Jack said.   We watched him run back inside.   A few minutes later he returned with Gary, Miriam and Dad.   “Look, I even got Grandpa to come out and play kickball!”

I laughed, ruffling his hair.  “Congratulations, Jack!   You did a great job of recruiting more players.”

Dad grinned, and said, “Jack can be very persuasive, especially when it comes to playing kickball.”

Gary agreed, “That is very true, Dad.”

Jack said, “Miriam, you can be one team captain, and I will be the other.   You choose first.”

Miriam picked me and her Dad to be on her team, while Jack chose Rick and his grandpa.   Dad got the bases out, then put down some white chalk to draw lines for our ball diamond.   Dad has kept chalk around, since he coached our soccer teams.  Before we got started, Nancy and Cynthia joined.   Miriam chose Nancy, leaving Cynthia for Jack’s team.   Dad quickly reviewed the rules of the game, after getting Jack’s approval.   We spent the next hour, or so, playing kickball.  

Mom came to the door, and yelled, “Lunch time!”  We stopped playing, and made our way inside.   Mom said, “Go wash up, before you sit down to the table.”

We made our way upstairs.   Rick and I changed out of our sweaty clothes, putting on a fresh t-shirt and cargo shorts.   We washed up, and made our way downstairs.   We spent the rest of the day visiting with family.   Uncle Ben and his family joined us for dinner, as did Aunt Kate.   When Rick and I retired for the evening, Rick took me in his arms and held me close.   He pulled back for a moment, and looked into my eyes and said, “I love you, Glenn, and I love your family.”

“It’s easy to love someone like you, Babe,” I said.   “They recognize what a beautiful person you are; and it also helps that you are charming, extremely good looking, and have such a magnetic personality that no one can resist loving you.”

Rick brushed my hair out of my eyes with his fingertips, before he leaned down and kissed me.   It started out as a very chaste kiss, but ended with Rick making passionate love to me!   It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!

We spent the next week enjoying some decompression time on the farm.   Every day we went out for our morning run.   I showed Rick all of my favorite places; and gave him a detailed history of our little town, and its occupants.   I even introduced him to Dmitri one evening, when we were visiting over in Hazenmore.   (I had a huge crush on Dmitri at one time!)  Time seemed to stand still for us, as we renewed our family ties.   Our love for each other deepened, as Rick came to understand me, and my background.   Rick seemed to be able to let go of some of the bitterness he held in his heart toward his family.   Mom and Dad had many conversations with us about Rick’s family.   Rick’s love for my parents increased a hundred-fold.   His confidence in himself seemed to mushroom overnight.  

The night before we were to leave for Toronto, I noted a look of deep contentment on my sweetheart’s face.   I said, “Rick, you look so happy and contented.   I don’t think I have ever seen you so relaxed.”

I climbed into bed, and wrapped my arms around him.   He said, “I haven’t felt this good, since before my parents rejected me.”

“What has made the difference?” I asked.

“I think it is because I have finally realized how much I needed to know that your family really loved me.   Yes, I know they accept me, because I’m your boyfriend, but I needed to know that they loved me for who I am.   When Mom and Dad told me that I was loved and wanted here, even if we decided to go our separate ways; it seemed like a dam had been broken, and all of my pent up desires to belong to a family who loved me, unconditionally, came flooding out,” Rick said.

“I’m glad that Mom and Dad knew exactly what you needed,” I said.

Rick eyes were bright with unshed tears.  “Yes, they knew about the heartache that I was carrying inside of me.   Dad took me in his arms and just held me, as did Mom.   Mom and Dad told me that I am their son, and that I need to remember that I belong to a family that loves me.   They told me that I need to become a whole person; so I can be a better husband, companion and friend.   They said I need to let go of the bitterness and hatred I feel toward my family, and spend my energies learning to live a full life.   Mom said I would become a stronger person by learning to forgive them, and moving on with my life.   The most important gift they gave me was their promise to be there for me, no matter what I did.”

“I wondered what they had said to you the other night that made such a difference.   You have been so much happier, since then,” I said.

“Well, they gave me their love, Babe.   I am doubly blessed, because I not only have the hottest stud, as my lover boy; but, I have the love and respect of his family,” Rick said.

I snuggled up to Rick’s warmth.   I turned my face toward his, and he gave me a tender kiss.   I whispered, “I love you.”

Rick nibbled on my ear, and whispered back, “I love you, too.”  I felt at peace in Rick’s arms.   We held each other close, and gazed into each other’s eyes, as we enjoyed the touch of bare skin to bare skin.

We started out early in the morning on our journey to Toronto, a distance of 2,888 km. (1,795 miles).  We caravanned with the rest of the family.   Uncle Ben, Uncle Dave, Aunt Kate and my parents and siblings.   We traveled east on the Trans-Canada Highway.    The parade of eight vehicles presented a challenge to those who wanted to speed past us on the two-lane stretches of the highway.   Rick sometimes chafed at having to maintain a slower speed than he wanted to travel.   That is not to say that Rick doesn’t obey the posted speed limit signs, but he does tend to have a heavy foot on the accelerator at times!   

It was our last day of our road trip, when Rick glanced at me, and asked, impatiently, “Can’t Dad move a little faster?”

I laughed at the look of frustration on Rick’s face.  “Rick, Dad always goes the speed limit – no slower and no faster.   He is a stickler for obeying the traffic laws with exactitude.   I hate driving with him, because he is always correcting my driving habits!”

“Thank God, you don’t drive like your Dad!” Rick declared, with much feeling.

I looked over my shoulder at Jack and Miriam who had chosen to ride with us, since the last stop.   “How are you two doing back there?”

Jack piped up, “We’re just fine, Uncle Glenn.”   He grinned, and turned to Miriam for confirmation. “Isn’t that so, Miriam?”

Miriam smiled, and nodded her head.  “We’re playing ‘Go Fish,’ and I’m winning.”

“But I will win the next game,” Jack said.   “We’re going to play backgammon, next, and I always win at that game.”

Miriam shook her head.  “That’s not true, Jack.   I win sometimes, too.”

“Okay, you win, once in a while,” Jack acknowledged, grudgingly.

While the children continued their game, I turned back to Rick.  “How are you doing, Rick?   Do you want me to drive after our next stop?”

Rick smiled.  “If you want to drive, that would be fine.   I’m okay driving all the way through.   You know that I like being behind the wheel.”

“Yes, I know you like to be in control of the car!   Okay, I’ll let you drive the rest of the way Toronto,” I said.

We made one more stop for to refuel our vehicles, before completing our journey to Toronto.   We pulled into the parking lot of our hotel.   We checked in, and found our room.   We dropped our bags, and collapsed on the bed.

Rick pulled me close, and I melted into his arms, as we relaxed after our long day on the road.   I felt a sense of well-being, and buried my face in Rick’s chest, breathing deeply.   His manly scent flooded my nostrils, increasing the feeling of warmth and safety, as I drifted off.   I was awakened by the phone ringing.   Rick stirred, as I moved to answer the phone.

“Hello,” I said.

“Hey, Glenn, are you guys interested in getting a bite to eat?” Randy asked.

“Sure,” I replied, looking at the clock.   We had been asleep for nearly an hour.

“Meet us down in the lobby in about 15 minutes, then,” Randy said.

“Okay,” I said.

Rick was fully awake, now, and asked, “What are their plans?”

“Randy and Shawn asked if we wanted to go out to eat with them,” I said, pulling up his muscle shirt, so I could run my hands over his abs.   Rick tightened his muscles under my touch.  

Rick grinned, and asked, “Are you sure you don’t want to have dinner in our room?”   He pushed my hand down to where I could feel him growing, as I continued to play with his nipples with the other one.

I returned his grin, and picked up the phone.  I dialed Randy and Shawn’s room.   Shawn answered, “Hello.”

“Shawn, Rick and I have changed our minds about going out.   We are going to order room service, instead,” I said.

I heard Shawn tell Randy what I said.   Randy came on the line.  “Okay, enjoy yourselves, Glenn.”

“Thanks, Randy,” I replied, and cut the connection.

I turned to find Rick had already stripped off his clothes.   Rick reached over and pulled my t-shirt over my head, then he undid my belt and yanked off my cargo shorts and boxers.   I was transfixed by the look in his eyes.   Rick leaned over, and started kissing my neck, as his hands roamed all over my body.   Rick pushed me down on the pillows, as he joined his body with mine.   I arched my back in pleasure and tried not to moan too loudly, as Rick picked up his pace, bringing me to the edge, then backed off.  

I opened my eyes, meeting his gaze, and whispered, “I need you to finish making me yours.   Don’t leave me this way.”

Rick grinned, and proceeded to bring me close to the edge again.   Rick paused, and I reached up and pulled him to me, kissing him passionately.   Moments later, we lay in each other’s arms, enjoying the touch of bare skin to bare skin.  

Prev To be continued . . .