No Advantage
Chapter XI

Rob and I finally got out of the shower just before one o'clock that afternoon; it took forever to get all that honey off, particularly out of our hair. It's a good thing Rob lives in an apartment complex; otherwise, we wouldn't have had enough hot water. Going back into the bedroom to get dressed, we surveyed the bed and decided it would be better just to buy new sheets and pillowcases rather than try to wash that mess. So we gathered up everything and tossed it in the dumpster in the parking lot before getting in my car to head to the outlet mall, then to see my parents.

Pulling out into the street headed for the freeway, I cheerfully told Rob, "Hey, this is our first time to go shopping together as a queer couple. I guess it is appropriate to be buying stuff for the bedroom."

"Clayton, I have to admit, and I'm not kidding, you really are a good cook; your Dad taught you well. That French style omelet was great, and the biscuits with honey were amazing. However, as much as I appreciated your unique style of food service this morning, I do have one favor to ask."

Uh oh. Rob's never gonna want me to cook breakfast and serve him in bed again. Damn, Clayton, you went too far. Trying to sound timidly demure I replied, "What's that, dear?"

Rob solemnly replied, "Don't ever go to work at Benihana. The thought of you preparing and serving Oriental food to the general public with large knives and a meat cleaver is absolutely terrifying."

"Okay, dear." Got off the hook again.

Rob and I chatted about nothing in particular as I worked my way toward the freeway; after getting on it and up to cruising speed I noticed the ring on my left hand. "Hey, Rob."


"What are we gonna do about this when we get to my place?" I asked, holding up my left hand and wiggling my ring finger.

"Well, we damned sure don't wanna leave it there. Got any ideas?"

"Well, I thought about putting it back on my right hand and telling Mom and Dad it was a coming out present from you, but that means you'd probably have to let my parents know you're gay and I don't know if that would be something you'd want to do."

"Well, Clayton, out is out as far as I'm concerned. You either are or you're not. Kinda like how you can't be just a little bit pregnant. However, from what you've said about your folks, and from what I've seen they're like when I've been around them, I doubt they'd ask if I was gay or not."

"Yeah, I doubt they'd ask that."

"So I guess the question is, should I volunteer to them the factoid that I'm as queer as a three dollar bill?"

After thinking on this one a moment I added, "Well, my attitude is get it over with. They're gonna find out sooner or later, so might as well be sooner."

"Okay, fine. How we gonna do it?"

"With my parents don't try to plan out anything specific. Just play it by ear. The goal is: out Rob to Ted and Kathy, but don't worry which page in the playbook to use for reference or who throws or runs, just make the goal."

"That's fine with me." After a few seconds Rob asked, "But what about the sex stuff?"

"Well, I guess that's part of the agreement I made yesterday, understanding, really, not an agreement. They don't ask about my sex life, I don't ask about theirs."

"Yeah, but does that include me? As nutty as your Dad is I can just see him coming over and asking me 'Rob, with you and Clayton, just who does who in bed?'"

I had to laugh a little at that one. "Naaaahhh. That's not Dad's style. He'd never ask such a question. Dad's got class. If he wanted to embarrass you he'd come over, put his hand on your shoulder and say 'you know, Rob, if I was a homosexual like you, I would probably enjoy sodomizing Clayton, were it not for the fact he's my son.'" As Rob started laughing I added, "To which my mother would then add 'Ted, I never knew that you had considered engaging in an incestuous relationship' just to keep Dad in his place."

Still chuckling Rob said, "God, Clayton, is your whole family nuts?"

"Yeah, I guess by most people's standards, except for Wilbur, he's not any stranger than your ordinary suburban dog, well, other than maybe when he buries Milk Bones in the potted plants in the living room. Oh, by the way, I didn't tell you. Dad said Wilbur slept on my bed last night. He missed me. Isn't that cool?"

"Yeah. Hey, when we move in together, whenever that is, is Wilbur gonna live with us?" In the times Rob had been over to the house he had clearly seen the affection Wilbur and I have for one another. He's not really "my" dog even though I got him for my birthday; he's really "our" dog, the whole family's.

"Hmm, I hadn't thought of that." The thought of not having Wilbur around wasn't pleasant but I knew Mom and Dad wouldn't want to see him go. "Listen, I don't wanna think about that right now; let's get back to the ring thing. Right hand okay with you and say it's a coming out present, kinda like, 'it's a gay thing?'"

"Yeah, that works for me."

"Okay," I said, extending my left hand over to Rob, "you pull it off and put it back on my right hand."

"Clayton," Rob said with some irritation in his voice, "you can do that."

"Hey, just 'cause I'm a guy don't mean I can't be sentimental too. Like, 'I'll never wash that cheek again 'cause that's where Elvis kissed me.'" In a mock, threatening tone of gangster voice I commanded, "So go ahead, buster, pull da ring offa da finga anda putta it backa on da udder han.'"

"You faggot," Rob mumbled as he switched the ring over, finishing just in time for me to take the exit to get to the outlet mall.

As I was negotiating my way around the mall parking lot attempting to find a place with a bedding department Rob said, "Oh, Clayton, there's something I want you to know."

"What's that?"

"About a ring for me. I'm not asking or telling you to buy me one, but if you do, I don't want you to get pissed if I don't wear it all the time. And before you say anything else or get your feelings hurt, I'll tell you why, okay?"

"Okay, why wouldn't you wear it all the time?"

"Because it could be dangerous with me working at the moving company, always lifting and carrying stuff, getting in and out of trucks and the like. I could very easily catch the thing on something and rip my finger off. I don't know if you ever noticed when you were down there last summer but most of the guys don't wear rings, wristwatches, bracelets or anything on their hands or wrists. In fact I encourage them not to. You never wore any of that stuff so I never said anything to you about it."

"I never thought about that." That's just like Rob, not only practical, but pays attention to details. "Well, is there something you'd rather have, like, maybe a necklace or something?"

"I guess there would be something that would brand me as taken so other guys will know to leave me alone: a tattoo on my butt that says 'Property of Clayton.' How 'bout that?"

"Nah. That would spoil the view. Besides, you'd have to run around with your pants off. Not that I'd object to that, but not in public, that would be crass. Don't worry, I'll come up with something original."

"Oh, god," moaned Rob, "now you're gonna come up with something original. What have I gotten myself into now?"

"You're the one who proposed, you started it. Hey, how 'bout that joint over there, looks like it'll probably have sheets and stuff."

"Lead on, McDuff, you're paying for this."

I parked the car and we headed into the store; I forget the name of it. That is another thing Rob and I have in common: we love hating to shop. When you know you just absolutely have to buy something you put it off as long as possible, then rush to the store at the last minute, go in, grab the first acceptable article you see and get out of the place as quickly as possible. None of this browsing around shit. Unless it's a cool place like a hardware store with lots of tools or one of those places in the mall with nifty gadgets and fun stuff. If the place sells sheets, by definition it's not a cool place, so this expedition wouldn't take more than six minutes, unless there's a line at the checkout.

It took about nine minutes because there was only one register open, the woman in front of us had a basketful of useless crap and she decided to consult with the obviously gay cashier regarding his opinion on her thoughts about interior decorating. Also, on the spur of the moment, I decided to get Rob two more pillows; he only had four and you can't make a proper sleeping nest in bed with any less than three pillows per person. Getting back to the car and throwing everything in the back seat I asked Rob, "Why are some queers so fucking nelly acting like that fag at the register?"

After slamming his door shut Rob said, "I don't know, I've never figured it out. I guess some of 'em figure since they're queer they have to act like the gay stereotype with the weird voice and effeminate mannerisms."

"I feel really icky around 'em," I stated as I started the car and pulled out of the parking lot.

"Yeah, me too, like their behavior gives me a bad name. It's not so bad if you're in a gay bar, but out in public it makes me feel embarrassed. And just as disgusting to me are the ones who go around being really butch, you know, overdoing shit to prove how masculine they are, particularly the ones wearing that leather shit. Really tough and masculine. Right. Go see where they live and they'll have frilly curtains in the kitchen, doilies under all the lamps and some idiotic, little toy wind-up dog named 'Foofie' for a pet. Or thinking a meaningful relationship is chaining your slave boyfriend from the ceiling and shoving your fist up his ass."

"That is gross!"

"Well, they really do that kinda crap. You wanna know the really weird thing about those butch leather guys, particularly the ones with the mustaches that go around their mouth down to their chin?"


"They don't know how to talk, I mean, they don't seem to be able to carry on a conversation. If you wanna weird one of 'em out, all you have to do is go up in a friendly manner, smile, say 'hi, how are you' and offer to shake hands. They just look at you. Scares the shit out of 'em. They seem completely incapable of ordinary human interaction. They don't shake hands, they don't smile, if they dance they don't touch. And then they have the nerve to look down on people like us, calling what we do 'vanilla sex.' Saying that it's not meaningful and it's boring."

"You're shittin' me."

"No, I'm not. What's really sick is listening to one of the slave boys telling you how wonderful it is to go to one of their parties. Get tied up, blindfolded and gagged. Have somebody express their whatever for you by dripping hot wax on you, shove a nightstick up your ass, tying a brick to your balls, put clamps on your nipples, spank your butt and beat your dick with a whip. And if you make any sound whatsoever, then you get punished for being a bad little slave boy."

"That is fucking disgusting. How can anybody enjoy that?"

"I dunno. But, hell, there are straight people who do the same sort of stuff. Like guys who enjoy getting tied up and having a girl in combat boots kick 'em in the balls. I've had guys try to explain to me all the psychological beauty and wonder of all that crap, probably trying to get me to be one of their playtoys, but I think it's a bunch of shit. If they enjoy it, fine. Have at it, but leave me the fuck alone. Talk about stereotypes. God. Go to a leather bar if you wanna see an assembly line operation. I'll take a guy with a limp wrist over one of those wackos any day of the week."

"Well," I continued in a philosophical manner, "as much as we hate to sometimes admit it, all stereotypes do have a basis in reality; otherwise, there wouldn't be such a stereotype to start with."

"Hey, not to interrupt, but are we going back to my place to get my car so I can follow you over to your parents?"

"Oh, uhhhhhhh, probably should do that so you can leave on your own; me taking you home might not look all that cool."

"Yeah, that's what I was thinking."

"Hang on a sec, let's think this out." I pulled over to the curb, put the car in park and left the engine running. "My parents are gonna see this ring, Dad's like a hawk, never misses nuthin.' He's not nosy or anything, he just is really attentive to details, particularly if something has changed or is out of the ordinary. And Mom's sharp too. One way or another they're gonna know you're gay and they'll put two and two together and know we've been foolin' around. Well, they won't know for sure unless we tell 'em, but they'll still know, if you know what I mean."

"Yeah, it's a parent thing."

"Right. So if the shit hits the fan, I can step in and say 'enough of this crap; we'll deal with it later; I'm gonna take Rob home before things get any uglier.' It's an escape plan. Whaddya think?"

Rob sat staring at his hands in his lap, thinking. He looked over at me and said resignedly, "Maybe you ought to just take that ring off and put it in your pocket."

"No!" I firmly declared. "I'll hold off on saying anything about us being married, but goddamnit, I'm not gonna deny that you are very special to me and that at a minimum you are my boyfriend. Let 'em think what they want. Yeah, sure, yesterday I told Dad I didn't have a boyfriend but only because he asked. At the time I sorta felt like I was lying but you and I had never reached that agreement out loud so if I had said I did have one, that would have been a lie too. Damn! Dad was right."

"Right about what?"

"Yesterday right after I told Dad I was gay, he was fumbling around trying to figure out what to say. He was trying to let me know he understood my being queer was not a product of my choice, that it was not something I could choose one way or another. Anyway, he said something about nobody in their right mind would choose to be gay because of all the crap you gotta put up with. Well, I guess this is the kinda crap he was talking about."

"I guess so. And it's probably gonna get a lot worse for you. At least I guess I've got mine pretty much over with."

"Rob, there ain't nuthin' that could happen to me that could come close to what you had to go through."

"Yeah, maybe, but that doesn't matter. But listen, Clayton, I know you won't, but just to be sure, don't say anything about what I used to do to anybody, okay. They wouldn't understand the way you do."

"Ohhhhh, you know I wouldn't do that."

"Yeah, I know, just wanted to make sure, that's all."

We both sat there in silence listening to the sound of the car engine running and the air conditioner blowing while we thought. Sure, I could avoid a possible scene with my parents by taking off the ring, but I was going to have to face it sooner or later. I was as worried about this as I had been worried about telling them I was gay, and look how that turned out. Again, I knew in my heart everythi ng would be all right, but my mind was telling me to worry about it. And then there was Rob last night, giving me the ring. He too had been worried about telling me that he loved me; his heart was telling him one thing but his mind another. Well, he finally decided to follow his heart and look what happened. And then something else Dad had told me came back to mind. I looked over at Rob breaking into his thoughts with, "There was something else Daddy told me yesterday."

"What was that?"

"Something Sigmund Freud said about homosexuality."

"What was that?"

"It's assuredly no advantage, but it's nothing of which to be ashamed."

Rob looked over at me clearly thinking that statement over, pursing his lips. He reached in his pocket, pulled out a cigarette and lit it. Blowing out the initial inhalation of smoke he looked at me and smiled slightly, a look of understanding on his face, nodding his head slightly. He pursed his lips again then relaxed them to say, "You're right, Clayton, keep the ring on. If you take it off now it would hurt me very much. Three minutes ago, it wouldn't have, but now it would."

I sat looking in silence at Rob. There was a lot I wanted to say, but only to be hearing myself say it. Rob knew what I was thinking so there was no need to say anything other than, "Well, let's go see my parents."

I pulled back into traffic. Rob and I didn't talk for several minutes, other than for me to ask to get a cigarette from him. I decided we had had enough serious time so I asked, "What was it we were talking about before we got off on this?"

"Fags. The way they act; oh, yeah, stereotypes and that kinda crap."

"That was it. You were about to say something."

"What was that?" Rob asked himself as he began retracing our earlier conversation in his head. "Oh, now I remember what I was going to tell you. I was sitting in a bar one night, sorta watching a hockey game, drinking a beer, minding my own business, just killing time rather than sitting at home alone, even though I wasn't talking to anybody. And it was a gay bar. I'm back in the corner, just watching people, and there's these three guys up front talking to one another. Two of them were shooting pool together. One of the guys playing pool was really cute, which is why I was watching them. But I saw pretty quick he was one of the nelly ones so I lost interest in him. And this was before I met you so don't get pissed off that I was thinking about cruising the guy, okay?"

"Okay, you're forgiven, go on."

"Anyway, I'm kinda bored, so I just started watching those three guys; the way the bar was arranged and everything it wasn't obvious I was watching them. And I began to think that maybe that little queen in training was acting the way he was as a form of advertising, kinda like, act like a queer so other queers will know I'm one so I can find a boyfriend, get laid tonight or whatever. And it wasn't just fag boy doing things, you could see the other two reacting to it, each in a different way. You could tell one of 'em really wanted to get in the kid's drawers, the one he was shooting pool with. He was playing right along with all that nelly crap. The other guy just standing at the bar was put off by the nelly shit; you could tell just from the way he was acting and the look on his face.

"Of course, being in a gay bar, it made no sense for the kid to be advertising he was gay; what the hell do you expect to find in one but a bunch of queers, which kinda blows the advertising theory. Then I thought, maybe it's some kind of mating ritual, like birds do or something to attract a mate. I have noticed that if you get one of those queens off by himself just to talk, and you just talk and act in a normal fashion, he knocks off all that shit and starts acting like a regular guy. Once he realizes I don't wanna get in his pants and just wanna talk, or that to get in my pants he's gonna have to act normal, the behavior is gone, until somebody new walks up and he goes right back into it. Really weird."

"Well," I added, thinking out loud, "maybe those guys are responding to a peer pressure, you know, when in Rome, do as the Romans do."

"Maybe so. But there's something else. When I was hustling I did a lot better picking guys up by just acting normally. If I did any kind of a nelly or butch act, it was harder to get a trick. Just like in porno films, you never see anybody acting like a nelly queen. Guys want someone normal. As far as I'm concerned it's a fucking act, but I'll be damned if I know why they do it, other than to advertise something or get laid without having to pay for it."

"Hell, Rob, look at the two of us. If that comment about you going to gay bars hadn't come up at work, I'd have never guessed you were queer. Maybe it is a form of advertising. Straight people have it easy; you can tell at a glance if somebody's male or female, well, at least most of the time you can. But unless a guy is doing something to tip you off, there's no way you can tell if he's gay or straight."

"Yeah. I've heard guys talk about gaydar but I don't really believe it. I think it's just wishful thinking on their part."

"Gaydar? What the fuck is that?"

"Really, Clayton, we're gonna have to get you a queer dictionary. Gaydar. Gay radar. Get it?"

"Ohhhhh. You mean like some sixth sense about whether somebody's queer or not?"

"That's it."

"Sounds like a busted clock to me."

"A what?" asked Rob, with the little laugh in his voice that in effect says, "Clayton, are you on dope?"

"A busted clock. It's a saying Dad uses to describe fucked up thinking or beliefs, like people who believe in horoscopes or fortunetellers. Even a busted clock is right twice a day."

It took two or three seconds for that analogy to sink in on Rob, but you could tell when he got it because he started laughing. "Yeah, that's it. Your dad is something else."

"He is that. It's a lot of fun just to screw around with him just to see what he'll do or say."

"Clayton, has the word 'deranged' ever been used to describe you?"

"Not lately. No, I'm serious, it's a lot of fun fuckin' with Dad, and he enjoys it. Keeps him on his toes."

"Do you do that all the time?"

"Sure. Well, not constantly. It's like going to the park and throwing a Frisbee with Wilbur. It's a way of just playing with him."

"Well, how do you do it? You got an example?"

"Mmmmmm," I was trying to think of a really good one. "You remember last summer when I grew the mustache and goatee?"

"Yeah. I hated it."

"So did I. And so did Dad. And I knew that. So that's why I grew it, just to see what he would do."

"So you were just trying to piss him off."

"No, not at all. When I do weird stuff with most people I do it just to piss 'em off, but not with Dad. You see, I knew growing that thing would piss Dad off, but Dad knew that the only reason I did it was to piss him off, so I really wasn't pissing him off and I knew that, if that makes any sense."

"Not really, but go on."

"I just wanted to see what he would do. It was a challenge to him to not be an ordinary father and say, 'Clayton, shave that ugly thing off,' which then would prompt the ordinary son to say, 'I'm a man now and I'll do what I want,' you know, that sorta crap that regular fathers and sons get into all the time. Anyway, I start growing the thing, and Dad don't say nuthin.' Not a word. He just lets me grow it. And I hated that hot, itchy thing. Now I know I'm gonna have to shave the thing off when I start back to school because of the dress code, and Dad knows that too. Now, the ordinary father might just have done nothing and let the school dress code handle the situation for him. So there was the challenge to Dad. He had to act before school started, but in his own way, not the ordinary father way. Got it?"

"Okay, I see where you're going. You're trying to see how inventive your father would be in handling people."

"Yeah, that's it. And Dad was great. He set me up, well, not really, I knew something was coming, but the way he did it, I didn't even see it happening."

"What did he do?"

"About three weeks or so before school started back, Dad suggests I have a pool party the Saturday before school started, a real pool party, food, keg of beer and everything. You remember me telling you about it. He volunteers to call everyone's parents, let 'em know there will the be the keg and will supervise to do whatever the parents want their kid to do, drink, not drink, whatever. And he does. And everybody shows up. Bring your friends; if they got a note from their parents so Dad can check 'em out, beer's on the house, wine coolers if you prefer. There's eighty, ninety, probably right around a hundred people there. Food, music, swimming. Dad's playing bartender to keep track of things, everybody's having a blast. Got the picture?"

"Yeah, go on."

"Okay. So school is gonna start in two days. And a lot of the guys there have grown, or have tried to grow, goatees over the summer to be really cool. So they're all stompin' and bitchin' around about how they're gonna have to shave 'em off the next day because of stupid school rules and that really sucks 'cause their girlfriends really like them and that sorta shit. And Dad is sitting there listening to all this, and then that's when he got not only me, but also every other guy with a goatee and the girls who thought those things were so cool."

"What did he do?"

"I go over to get a refill, and while Dad's pouring me a beer he says, loud enough for everyone around to hear, but not overdoing it, 'You know, Son, I do have to admit it's a real shame you have to shave your goatee off tomorrow. It's a really good-looking one and very fashionable. But, call me old-fashioned, I just can't understand why any man would want to make his mouth look like a woman's pussy.' And then he kinda looked off, like he was thinking, and then added under his breath but where everyone could still hear him, 'Unless the guy was gay, maybe, that would sorta make sense.'"

Rob looked at me with an open-mouthed grin, but in horror exclaimed while laughing, "That is terrible. That is absolutely fucking terrible. He really did that?"

"You're damned right he did. And it worked on everybody. Five minutes later, all that bitching had stopped. Guys without one were going up to guys with one and calling them 'pussy mouth' or asking if they were queer, or going up to girls whose boyfriends had one and asking, 'Are you a lesbian; you must be, sucking face with Larry.' It was rich. I could have made a fortune selling razors out by the pool that afternoon at twenty dollars a pop. Guys couldn't wait to get home and shave. Hell, girls were even telling their boyfriends they had to go home and shave before they'd go out with them that night."

"But how did that make you feel?" asked Rob, still laughing.

"I thought it was fucking hilarious."

"But the gay comment."

"Oh, that. Yeah, I thought 'if Dad only knew.' But then I realized even if my father had known I was gay he'd have still said it whether I was in or out of the closet."

After laughing and rehashing the story for a few minutes Rob said to me, "Clayton, I don't think we're going to have any problems with your parents, at least not your Dad."

"Why's that."

"Clayton. Look at this picture. Saturday you tell him 'Dad, I'm gay.' Sunday you tell him, 'Dad, meet the boyfriend.' Clayton, you're just screwing around with him some more, only this time it's real and not something you concocted."

After thinking about this I looked at Rob and admitted, "You're right. Boy, are we gonna have some fun this afternoon. Who says laughter isn't good medicine? It'll cure anything."

We continued the drive to my house. After pulling into the subdivision Rob remarked, "You know something, Clayton."


"Your parents really are something else. Living here in this rich-ass place. You undoubtedly have the best one of all but it's all hidden and secluded. All these other people seem to want to show off what they got. And you call where you live the Shack in the Swamp."

"That's just the way they are. Not to brag, but another odd thing about my folks is that they probably are about the only ones whose place is bought and paid for. Of course Mom and Dad worked their asses off building everything themselves, cutting deals on everything, living in a construction site for years and years, but they really enjoyed doing it."

"And look at you," continued Rob, "building a new break room at work last summer for the guys; ripping out walls, building new ones, doing all the electrical and plumbing, building the cabinets. And conning all the guys into helping you while off the clock so it wouldn't cost the owner anything except the cost of materials, most of which you picked up at a salvage yard."

I was getting embarrassed. "Well, Dad always said if you wanted something done, do it yourself. Hell, if he'd had the time to study up on it, I imagine Dad would have taken my appendix out rather than letting a doctor do it, but even then he still cut a deal."

"What was that?"

"Dad told the doctor that while they had me out on the table to go ahead and jerk my tonsils out to save the trouble and expense of having to maybe do it later."

Rob started laughing, "You're shittin' me."

"Nope. He really did. But my parents aren't cheap; they're just very frugal and quite practical, that's all. Well, here we are," I said, ending this topic of conversation as we pulled into the driveway. After parking the car I reached into the back seat to get the sheets, pillowcases and mattress cover we bought earlier.

"What are you going to do with those?" questioned Rob.

"Wash 'em for you, nobody will see."

"Oh, that's right," responded Rob, "I forgot you had a washer and dryer in your closet."

I put the pillows in the trunk of the car so they'd be out of sight (Rob's suggestion) and headed off for my room. I've got my own entrance directly into my wing of the Shack which makes it convenient since I don't wake up Wilbur or Mom and Dad when I came home late at night.

After putting the stuff in the washer I gave Rob a long kiss, rubbing up against him, getting a really good last feel before seeing my parents. Of course the expected happened. Feeling the growing bulge in my crotch Rob broke the kissing and said, "Uhhhh, Clayton, don't you think you and I had better come out of the closet together?"

Laughing, I answered, "Yeah, I guess so. Let me change clothes really quick."

"Okay, big boy, but I get to watch." After I had stripped and was pulling a pair of boxers off the shelf Rob sighed, "Oh, what the hell," dropped to his knees in front of me and started sucking my half erect cock. After getting me up he told me, "Okay, don't hold back just let go." So I did and in just a few minutes I was spurting my third load of the day into Rob. Standing back up he told me, "Wouldn't want you toget distracted while introducing your sexy new boyfriend to Mom and Dad."

Hugging Rob while I regained my breath, I then reached down and felt of his crotch and told him, "Looks like I'm not the only one who needs some help. On the floor, mister." Rob flopped down on the floor of the closet, unzipping his shorts. After pulling down his shorts and underwear, I slobbered a goodly amount of spit on my finger, gently pushed it up into him from below and began massaging his prostate while taking his dick into my mouth and went to work. Rob didn't take long either. I know what turns him on. Just mix together having his ass button tickled, listening to the noisy wet slurps on the head of his cock and letting him feel me flex my biceps for him. Result: Rob juice.

With me dressed and other things taken care of, we headed back outside to see if anyone was in the back yard. As I had expected Dad was messing around at the grill. As we walked over in his direction I saw it coming, Wilbur the Rocket, legs, tail, ears and tongue flying about, aimed directly at me. "Incoming!" I yelled as I hit the dirt, well, hit the grass actually. Wilbur was all over me in an instant. I rolled over on my back and between Wilbur's slurps to my face managed to mouth out, "Rob, you remember Wilbur, don't you?"

Rob kneeled down in the grass saying, "Yeah. Hi, Wilbur, remember me?" Seeing a new face to lick, Wilbur did. After jointly scratching, petting and greeting the canine portion of the family, Rob and I got back up and resumed walking over to Dad with Wilbur between us.

Just like he takes his hobby of building thing seriously, Dad is the same way about his hobby of cooking. The kitchen looks like something that belongs in a restaurant. Four ovens of different sizes, two sets of four burners, two huge refrigerators, two freezers, prep sinks, wash sinks, the whole nine yards. All the appliances are commercial units Dad got from restaurant bankruptcy sales and auctions. There's a door and service window on the patio wall of the kitchen, outside of which Dad built the outdoor grill area with a large grill, meat smoker, wash sink and prep tables. There's even a wood-burning oven (bread baked in a wood burning oven is fantastic).

If people at the golf club want to have an outdoor cookout they usually just do it in our back yard (and Dad charging a fee for it). It's actually rather convenient. They just use one of the footbridges over the creek to get to our place from the golf club. Plus, by having it here, it doesn't disrupt the other people who are at the club at the time. Having a cookout for several hundred people is not a problem, which is why my school is having the senior graduation party at the Swamp. The place is set up for appropriate food service, the patio is sufficiently large for a dance floor, being on such a large lot on the hill the loud music won't disturb the neighbors, the pool can accommodate plenty of people, people can make out in the Woods, and the list goes on and on.

As we walked up to him I asked, "Hey, Dad, what's for supper?"

Looking over at us Dad gave a cheery, "Hi, Rob, good to see you again," then continued to answer my question with, "Duck. One's too much for one person but not enough for two. So I figured with four people, three ducks would be about right. Ya'll wanna beer or glass of wine or anything?"

Rob and I both said that a beer sounded good so we all headed into the house. While we were walking to the door Dad thanked Rob for "saving my butthead son from possible further brain damage" and Rob accepted the thanks. Going into the kitchen we found Mom in the middle of making deviled eggs. As expected she began thanking Rob for his actions last night as Dad pulled three beers out of the fridge, opened them and handed one each to Rob and me, saving one for himself. Interrupting Mom's expression of gratitude to Rob, Dad told them both, "Rob, Clayton and I will let you suffer alone while Kathy continues. We'll be out back when she's done with you. My ducks are about browned and I need to get 'em into the smoker." Dad put his left hand on my right shoulder to walk with me back outside.

After closing the door Dad said, rather seriously, "Clayton, I have a question for you."

"What's that?"

Walking along beside me back toward the grill, Dad lowered his beer bottle and tapped my right hand. "You told me yesterday you didn't have a boyfriend."

True to form, old Eagle Eyes had spotted the ring right off the bat. And I knew Dad was really concerned about it; otherwise, he would not have brought it up so soon. Then it occurred to me why Dad was upset; he didn't care about me having a boyfriend, he thought I had lied to him. Ever since I can remember, one of the few stated rules my parents had with me was that I would never be punished or reprimanded for telling the truth. It didn't matter what I had done; if I confessed without hesitation, everything would be fine. But if I lied to them, or attempted to cover something up, there would be hell to pay (of course, this applies only to serious stuff; fibs for fun or taking evasive action to protect someone else's feelings don't count).

Realizing what Dad was thinking I quickly told him, "Daddy, I didn't lie to you yesterday. Rob and I have been sorta dating for a long time but we never used the word 'boyfriend' to describe one another. It was just a silent understanding we had, like the ones I have with you and Mom. It was some sort of protective measure, I guess. Rob never said anything to me so I wouldn't be under any pressure from him to come out before I was ready. With me now out of the closet, we came clean with one another last night and admitted that yes, we are boyfriends, very much so. Honest, Dad, yesterday when you asked me that, I felt a little guilty saying that I didn't have a boyfriend, but since Rob and I had never agreed to that out loud it didn't feel right for me to say that I did have one. I've thought for a long time Rob really cared about me but I wasn't a hundred percent sure until last night."

"Okay, Son," Dad said as a smile of relief crossed his face, "you had me worried there for a moment. Why don't you go back in the house and rescue Rob. But keep your damned hand stuck in your pocket so your mother won't see that ring."

Turning to go back into the kitchen my sense of relief knowing that Dad knew I hadn't lied to him was replaced with the "oh shit" feeling. So much for trying to ease into this situation. Dad knew for sure Rob was gay and that he and I were more than just friends. Just as I reached the door, Rob came out and I told him under my breath so Mom wouldn't hear, "Dad saw the ring."

"Oh, brother," muttered Rob as he and I walked over to the grill to rejoin Dad. After walking up Rob addressed my father, "Mr. Pelletier, I guess you want to talk to us?"

Looking up from the ducks sizzling away on the grill, Dad smiled and said, "Sure. First thing, Rob, don't get angry with Clayton for telling me anything without you present. It was pretty obvious to me you two were serious when I saw the ring; however, after talking with him I do have one question for you."

"What's that, sir?"

"Don't you think you should call me something other than 'Mr. Pelletier?' Men usually call their father-in-law at least by his first name. You don't have to call me 'Dad,' but I do think 'Ted' would be in order. Or you can call me 'Asshole' like Kathy does if you want."

Rob and I stared at one another. Dad knew. He actually knew. And we could tell he wasn't guessing or fishing for clues. After several moments of confusion I finally managed to ask him, "Dad, how did you know?"

"Let me get these birds in the smoker and I'll tell you. Go have a seat."

Rob and I walked over to a picnic table and sat down on opposite sides. Weird. We would have preferred to sit next to one another but, not being by ourselves, we observed the social custom of how men should sit at a table to keep up appearances.

Closing the lid on the meat smoker, Dad walked over to the table and sat down next to me. After firing up a cigarette and taking a sip off his beer he said to us, "Okay, my little Dr. Watsons, let the great Sherlock explain things to you. All right, I know that the two of you have been friends for about a year. Yesterday, Clayton, you said you had known for sure you were gay for about a year. Perhaps this year thing is just a coincidence. You also said you had remained in the closet so people at school would not cause you problems. Now Rob is not a friend from school and therefore need not be treated by you as the others in your circle of friends. Another mere coincidence perhaps? After the momentous revelation to your parents yesterday you would naturally wish to spend the evening in some type of celebration with someone who would understand. Again, Rob pops up. I'm not exactly sure why you went over to see him looking like a bum, other than to perhaps throw Kathy and me off the scent of what was going on, and I'll have to admit if that was so, it worked. Typically, people get cleaned up before seeing someone special. So despite these little coincidences regarding Rob, I had no compelling reason to suspect he was gay any more than to have the same vague suspicion that any of your male friends would also be gay, until he called last night."

"But sir," interrupted Rob, "I didn't say anything. As worried as I was, I was making a special effort not to say anything that would arouse suspicion."

"Oh, you didn't say anything, well, not really. It was something you did that you told me about."

"What was that?"

"While we were talking through Clayton's condition before he came to, you said that you were in the shower with him. At the time I thought nothing of it, had I been in your shoes I would have done the same thing. Thinking about it later last night, I realized that because Clayton and I love one another, it would be only natural for me to be in the shower with him under those circumstances. If you and he were just ordinary friends, you would have put him in the shower but you would not have gotten in there with him. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that there were any sexual overtones to what you did, none in the least. Rather, a mutual love for one another removed the social barrier that otherwise would have prevented the two of you from being in such close, familiar contact, just as it would have done for me had I been there."

Dad took another drink of beer and puffed on his cigarette while he let that last part sink in on Rob and me. Dad was right. There are some things drilled into the heads of all males that you only go so far. That's why Rob and I were sitting across the table from one another rather than both on the same side.

Still smiling Dad continued, "Now the ring. That was the clincher. Clayton came out of the closet yesterday and I know that when he starts something he doesn't stop, so if there was anything going on it will soon come to the surface. I know perfectly well Clayton doesn't give a rat's ass about jewelry, but here he is, wearing a rather nice and dignified piece on his finger. And it's brand new, not a scratch or a scuff mark one on it. And it's not something out of a Cracker Jack box. That ring had to have been bought well before last night or this morning, not on the spur of the moment. Seeing that you have nothing similar on your hand, Rob, tells me that you merely followed a time-honored tradition of being the one to break the ice. The fact Clayton is wearing it tells me he accepted your proposal. Am I right?"

Rob and I jointly nodded our heads saying, "Yes, sir," to confirm Dad knew what was going on. The only thing he couldn't know was that we had already committed to one another.

"So," said Dad, looking at Rob and me, "I want the two of you to know something. I know that it is not legally possible for two men to marry one another in the state of Texas. I think that is rather idiotic. I do know that gays do get married, in their own way. I guess you could call it a marriage based solely on love, rather than one based on the law. As far as I'm concerned, once two people agree to be married, they are; that thing before the preacher or a judge is just a formality." Rob and I looked at one another. Dad was right. When I told Rob "yes" last night, that's when we became married to one another.

"So," continued Dad, "it looks like I have two sons now. But whatever the deal is the two of you have made with one another, you have to know that I will give my blessing to your relationship and your marriage upon one condition and one condition only."

"What's that?" Rob and I both asked, not quite in unison.

Standing up, Dad looked at us and stated, "The two of you have to help me get even with Kathleen for what she did yesterday to Clayton and me. As far as I can tell, she doesn't realize the two of you really have the hots for one another and I do not want this opportunity to slip away."

Looking at Dad I broke into a grin that matched his. Here was our chance to pull the best one ever on Mom, even though I had no idea what to do, let alone how to do it, other than stay silent and bide the time until the scheme was developed. I looked over at Rob and my grin infected him in turn. He was being welcomed to join the family of lunatics and I could see he was accepting the challenge. Extending my right hand I told him, "Take it off so Mom won't see it."

Rob jerked the ring from my finger and stuck it in his pants pocket. Looking at my father he asked, "Mr., uhhh, Ted, how are we going to do it?"

"Don't know. I'll have to think on this one a while. And guys, don't feel guilty about keeping this marriage thing under wraps for a while. There's an old saying 'to conceal is one thing, to be silent, another.' So let's just be silent. Clayton, you know how to do that. Rob, just make sure for the time being you're not around Kathy unless Clayton or I are also there, we'll keep you off the hook until you get the process mastered. For now, I've got something else to figure out."

Hey Guys:

Thanks for letting me know you like the story. And, while you're at it, let some of the other authors on Nifty whose stories you enjoy hear from you as well, even if it's simply a "Hi. Liked your story very much. Thanks." little note. There are some really cool guys out there, and hearing from readers keeps guys writing.

As for other junk I've written, none of it can be classified as gay male erotica, so it doesn't really belong here on Nifty. But, if you're interested, you can find it at 2001 and also leave me a message there. Yeah, they don't let you post fun pictures and stuff on GeoCities, but the site was free.