The following is a story of gay fiction. If the subject offends you or you are too young, please exit now. The Author owns the story. See Chapter One for Copyright information. HUGs.

Note: The following chapter has been revised to delete some characters originally posted. My apologies. JET


Chapter Twenty-five

Saturday Morning, 7:00 A.M., Ron and Matt’s Master Suite

Matt’s eyelids fluttered as he slowly gained consciousness after a restful but abbreviated sleep in the arms of his lover. A satisfied smile appeared on his lips as he remembered the night before and the love he had experienced with the couple’s reunion. This binding was not only in all the physical ways but the joining of two spirits giving themselves in pleasure and communion. Matt wondered how this day could be any better than the previous evening that had begun with Ron and Tyler’s arrival from New York. It continued through the evening filled with friends and family, then culminated in the union of his heart with that of the love of his life. Knowing that the evening before with select friends and family was only a prelude to the huge party today celebrating Ron’s 30th birthday, Matt became fully awake. Realizing that guests in the house would soon be rising, and that other ‘outside’ guests would be arriving in as early as three hours, Matt knew why his body’s ‘alarm clock’ had woken him. Reluctantly, he carefully moved Ron’s arms from around his own fit body and slid away so as to not awaken his lover. As he stood, Matt still felt a bit of weakness in his left side from the attack, but no longer limped or favored that side. He knew that if he never got any better, his medical condition would only be a minor inconvenience.

Still in his nude state from sleeping, he selected boxer briefs from the bureau and a V-neck T shirt before going into the bathroom, carefully closing the door to the bedroom. He deposited the clothing near the huge glass enclosed shower, then stepped to his lavatory, opening the cabinet and removing the shaving gear and toothpaste. As he attended to his morning hygiene, he looked at himself in the mirror. His hair, though still a bit short, had grown back to the point that an unknowing eye would never suspect that the area had been shaved. He thought too, that he was happy to be past the point of the daily enquiries about his health. As much as he appreciated the good intentions, it had been a constant reminder of the attack and the weeks of effort to regain a normal life. Even now it was impossible not to be reminded. Metro had called only yesterday to report that Tom Stanley (aka Stanley Toms) had finally been returned to Las Vegas, and that the early prognosis was that he had permanently lost his sight. Matt’s emotions were tangled between those of pity for the loss of his sight, anger at the attack he himself had suffered and rage at Stanley’s attempted rape of the young boy. Matt made a mental note to find the boy during the afternoon when the Thornton Center’s entire population was invited for an afternoon of swimming, riding and other recreation as part of Ron’s birthday bash that would culminate in a huge barbeque at dusk.

Matt’s thoughts moved to the other guests that would join the celebration. Several more friends were arriving from New York, then there were the Captains of the PT I & II, a contingent from Atlanta and one from California. Other individuals were flying in from locations where there was little or no concentration of Turner business interest too. Telford from Anguilla had surprisingly accepted Matt’s invitation, as well as Ethan & Rick of Sojourn fame, as well as Sarah; Eric Lundborg and Dave Rush, with Sarah from New York. Matt picked up speed as he showered and began to dress. It was the first time he’d planned a large party without Ron’s guidance. He was nervous, even though he knew that the Parkers as well as Dorothy, who now worked only part-time, were doing the real work.

Opening the door to the bedroom, he marveled at the trim frame of his sleeping lover. At that moment, Matt knew he was the world’s luckiest guy. Ron was a great lover, handsome, a generous humanitarian, kind and thoughtful. Best of all, this wonderful man had chosen Matt as his mate. The fact that they were all wealthy beyond Matt’s wildest dream was barely a factor. Money simply became a tool to use in the pursuit of their goals, yet Ron never forgot that the same was not so for most people, nor did Ron look down on others because of their human condition. If ever there was a man who loved people, it was the man that now snored lightly before him.

In spite of their time together and Ron’s constant bolstering of Matt’s ego, he still couldn’t believe his luck. Matt looked up, closed his eyes, and with thoughts directed toward heaven, sent upward the words, ‘Thank You Lord.”

Matt turned toward the door from their suite and grasped the handle giving it a turn. Pulling the door inward, he stepped through the opening into the hallway and then pulled the door back toward him, silently latching it securely.

In the kitchen below there was a beehive of activity. Dorothy had taken aside the serving staff that had been brought in for the festivities including those who were now part of Tyler and Dan’s new staff. There were two bartenders, and four handsome young men from the PT I and II who had offered to work the party as waiters and who had arrived along with their Captains. Also from the PT I was a lifeguard whose job it was to keep an eye on the younger set in the pool. Even though the luncheon and evening barbeque were being catered, there was a full-time effort being expended on snacks and hors d‘oeuvres for the guests that would number well over 200.

Matt stepped into the organized mayhem that appeared before him. Seeing Matt’s arrival, Parker walked over to him and offered him coffee.

“I thought you’d sleep in, sir,” Parker commented.

“I couldn’t sleep,” Matt replied. “I was curious as to how the preparations were going.”

“We’ve got it under control,” assured their ‘main man.’ “Mary is ruling the kitchen and Dorothy is brow beating the serving staff.”

“What’s your job?” Matt asked with a grin at Parker’s description of the women’s role.

“I’m in charge of the household guests and of course ‘the family.’ Do you think it’s too early to set up the breakfast buffet?”

“Only a bit. If coffee and breakfast rolls are available that should be fine for now. Let’s plan on the buffet for around 8 o’clock and keep it open for an hour or so. We need to have it all cleared away by 10 though as some of the guest should start arriving then.”

“That gives us 20 minutes to get it ready,” Parker said, checking his watch. “It should be perfect. Most of it is ready to cook and some of it that will keep is already done.”

“ Except the toast, of course,” Matt said with a wink, referring to Ron’s insistence on toast hot out of the toaster.

“Of course,” Parker responded.

“Did you get a chance to chat with your nephew George last night?”

“Yes. As you know he stayed with us,” Parker responded. “The dinner kept us here fairly late, but he and I had an hour to get to know each other. He was really excited with the job offer and the men you had picked to head the various efforts. He’s going to call his mother before he comes over this morning and arrange for the shipping of his personal things. By the time they arrive he should have an apartment.”

“You might suggest that he check with Ron. We own several apartment complexes. I’m sure that Ron would ‘make him an offer he couldn’t refuse.”

“That would be very kind of Mr. Ron. I’ll be sure to mention it.”

“I suspect that it would be temporary anyway,” Matt surmised. “Once he gets familiar with the city, I’m sure he’ll want to buy a place of his own. Is his mother considering moving too?”

“No, at least not in the foreseeable future.” Parker replied. “Her family is all in England and her parents are still living, but quite elderly.”

“Then I’m sure that you and Mary will be going to England,” predicted Matt.

“Yes. We’re already talking about going next summer. I hope it’s alright, but we asked George to invite his mother here for Christmas.”

“Of course it’s okay,” Matt said smiling. “Ron, Tyler, Dan and I haven’t even thought about Christmas yet. We’ll need to do that soon though. We may decide to take the boys to Colorado, or maybe to Florida on the PT-I. If we do that, you could take off a week or two and have a proper visit.”

“Do what suits you best,” urged Parker. “We’ll make do.”

“I have no doubt of that,” Matt said. “Nevertheless, if you want off, just ask. I’ll tell you now; the answer is ‘yes.’ Both you and Mary go way out of your way to take care of us and we are appreciative. You’re part of our family.”

“That’s very kind of you to say, sir,” Parker said, almost embarrassed with the praise. “I’d better get to work or Mary will be after me.”

“Just remember what I said,” reminded Matt.

“Yes I will sir, and thank you.”

“You’re most welcome Parker.”

Matt left the kitchen, going into the breakfast room where, in anticipation of Matt’s direction, coffee, milk and juices as well as sweet rolls had been set up for the early risers. He moved to the buffet, filling a cup with fresh coffee and pouring in a little cream. Stepping outside, Matt took a seat at one of several tables that had been set up for the occasion. Looking out over the morning landscape, with the whole city before him, Matt began thinking. ‘Beyond the lights, glitter and tinsel, what secrets do you hold?’ he silently asked the city. ‘What struggles do you mask? What sufferings do you conceal?”

Matt’s reverie was interrupted by the door opening. Looking back, he saw Dan approaching, his coffee cup in hand.

“Hi Bro,” Dan said in greeting.

“Hi Dan. Up early too, I see.”

“Yep, I couldn’t sleep thinking of all the excitement ahead for the day. I had to get up and see what was happening.”

“Me too,” agreed Matt. “Ron was tired from the trip so I let him sleep.”

“Great minds think alike,” Dan declared. “Looks like Dorothy and the Parkers have everything under a tight rein though.”

“Yes. I shouldn’t have worried. They never let us down.”

Parker stepped out onto the balcony with a carafe of coffee and a small pitcher of cream.

“More coffee gentlemen?” Parker asked.

“Sure Parker, thanks,” Matt said, holding his cup as Parker poured.


“Please,” Matt replied.

Parker repeated the offer to Dan, just warming up his half-full cup. Before the man could make it back into the house, Ron appeared.

“Hi guys,” he said cheerfully. “The kitchen looks like Mary is ready for combat.”

“You know there will be plenty to eat,” Parker assured his boss and friend. “With all the young ones around, even preparing snacks is a daunting task.”

“For sure, my friend.”

“Breakfast is on the buffet in warmers,” Parker reported. “Except toast, of course. You may help yourselves whenever you wish.”

“Who’s awake?” Ron asked.

“Jerry and Ronnie are with Brandt and Rich in the game room. Oh, I see that Tyler, Alan and Bryan are pouring their coffee now,” Parker said looking through the window. “I’m sure that George will be along soon too, he was calling his Mum in England when we left home over an hour ago.”

“Let’s go serve ourselves,” Matt suggested. “We can eat out here. The weather is gorgeous.”

The two seated men rose from their chairs and followed Parker and Ron back into the house.

                        *                      *                      *

An hour later, everyone staying at the house had eaten and the kitchen staff had retrieved the leftovers and cleared the tables. The younger guys had all retreated to the game room, leaving Ron, Matt, Tyler, Dan, Alan, Bryan, Bryan’s parents, and George Bowles remaining.

“We’d really like to see your new house if there is time before the crowd arrives,” Bryan said to Tyler and Dan.

“We would too,” Richard Adams added for himself and Bryan’s mother.

“I’m full of curiosity as well,” George agreed.

“Take the four golf carts and go,” Ron urged Tyler and Dan. “Matt and I will stay here in case any other guests arrive. That way you can take your time.”

“Sounds good to me,” Tyler accepted. “I haven’t seen the progress made in the last week either.”

“I think you’ll be surprised,” responded Dan. “The owner’s wing is completely finished, furnished and decorated. The Main Building is completed and partially furnished. All that’s left are the decorator touches. The garage is finished, except for the apartment. Even the outside pool is done and full of water.”

“When do you plan on moving in?” Richard Adams asked.

“It will probably be this week sometime,” Tyler answered. “I don’t want to move in prematurely, since I know that we’ll have construction going on in the other buildings for the next month or so.”

“You’d better get going if you’re going to get back before the other guests arrive,” offered Ron.

“What other guests?” A voice from the doorway asked.

“Hi Eric,” Matt said to his Physical Therapist who was now the Activities Director at the Thornton Center.

“Tyler and Dan were about to take the group for a tour of their new house nearing completion nearby,” Ron reported. “There’s one empty golf cart seat remaining. Care to join them?”

“I’d love it,” accepted the handsome young man.

“Okay,” Tyler said. “Ann, I’d like you to ride with me, Richard with Dan, Alan and Bryan together, and in the last cart will be Eric and George. Let’s go.”

The group rose from their seats, and paired off according to Tyler’s directions. Eric and George were the last to exit.

Ron and Matt heard George apologize to Eric, saying, “Eric, I’m glad we’re together. I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to really get to know you last night. I was interviewing and getting to know the experts for the Turner Art’s Trust business, you know.”

“That’s alright George. You’ve got all day to make up for the slight,” Eric responded with a wink as they disappeared around the corner.

Ron and Matt looked at each other and grinned.

                                     *                      *                      *
Later that morning, the “Ratt’s Nest”

Memories of the past year flooded Ron’s mind as the guests for the party arrived. Besides those who had come earlier from New York, now there were Lonnie Austin and his partner Jack Smith, the older couple from the cruise Sam Bjornson, and his partner Tom Cordero, as well Bryan’s brother Dick and his intended Carol. From Palm Beach came Captain Henri Larson, his son Hans and Hans’ boyfriend Tony Mattusa who is the son of the owner of Mabel’s Moppers and friend of Ron and Matt. From Anguilla the elder Scott Telford had traveled to the party with his younger partner Zack who lives in Connecticut. From Atlanta, Gary Franklin, who managed the office of Aztec-Turner Security arrived with his partner, Ron’s ex-lover Jessie Fox. Also from Atlanta were Peter and Terri Zekendorf in addition to Peter’s parents, Emmett and Wanda. From Pensacola the Compass Cruise Line was represented by the owners Ethan West, Rick Stephens, their son Adam, along with Sarah Williams, its President. From Los Angeles came Eric Lundborg and Dave Rush the owners of a conglomerate of firms. With them on their private jet had arrived Sarah Thornton, the wealthy socialite and philanthropist who Matt, along with Alan and Bryan, had come to know so well and who had furnished the priceless painting that Matt held in surprise for Ron. Phil Thompson and Jeff Davis, the whiz kids who had succeeded Ted Thornton and Jack Smith in Las Vegas, flew in from Chicago where they now ran that office of Turner Consulting.

From Las Vegas, came many of their friends and business associates. Will and Janet Nuggent headed up the office contingent. Margaret Hunsaker, Ron’s faithful secretary and her husband Davis arrived with Jan Bounett and her spouse, Bill. Wes Harper who was so important to the Las Vegas Office of Aztec-Turner Security arrived with his wife. Robert Cantwell and Jeffery King simply came out of the Ratt’s Nest garage apartment that they shared. Others from the various parts of the organizations, including each of Ron’s companies’ presidents or managers, his flying staff and his construction company’s top management. Even lower echelon construction friends came if they had a special attachment to Ron or Matt such as the young Pete Siegler, who while only an assistant superintendent was a special friend along with his lover Jared Simpson.

A huge mob came from the Thornton Center. Besides the Director Leonard Johnson and his wife, his Secretary and the three original pairs of house parents arrived on two buses with the entire 50-boy population of the Center.

Others from town included, Randy Hazeltoff, Ron’s personal Doctor; Paul McInerny, the administrator of the University Medical Center and Davis Clark, Chief of Staff; Mrs. Brown the Director of Admissions at the Clark County School District and her husband, Frank; Detective Sunderson who was nearly recovered from the plane crash that had blinded Matt’s attacker, along with Perry Chestnut the Metro Vice-officer; Mabel Hendricks and her brood, Anna Rice, and Beverly Comstock from the Las Vegas Center for Homeless Youth; Charlotte Webb the caseworker for State Child Welfare, Ken Friday and his wife of Ken’s Tire Stores, and Sean Brooks, the Project Manager from Taliesin West.

Ron stood by Matt as they greeted their guests. Ron was overcome with joy at seeing so many friends that time or distance had separated from him and Matt. For each guest, special memories sprang forth, memories that he and Matt had shared while facing the challenges of life together. More than one tear was shed as friends greeted one another. Ron and Matt also met for the first time, the spouses of many of their friends who had shared their life-adventures.

When the last guest arrived and had been greeted, Ron turned to Matt with tear filled eyes.

“I love all these people Matt,” confessed Ron. “You’ve made me so happy bringing them here. It’s the greatest gift you could give me.”

“I know Babe. You’ve got a loving heart that brings people together to do good. I’m so proud of you and proud to be your life-partner. Happy Birthday.”

Matt kissed Ron’s lips and Ron responded with tasteful enthusiasm.

“ Come on Babe,” Matt continued. “We’ve got a lot of catching up to do with a lot of
nice people.”

5:00 PM, the party continues

The announcement was made throughout the large estate that dinner was about to be served. Within minutes the entire assemblage had gathered on the large pool/entertainment deck. Matt stood on the podium where the band from the previous night would appear again after dinner.

“Welcome friends,” Matt said in a loud voice. The remaining voices died down so that everyone could hear.

“I’d like to thank you all for accepting our invitation to Ron’s birthday bash. I keep kidding Ron about being over the hill, but he knows I’m just pulling his leg. I know how much your being here means to him, and to me. We love you all and hope you are having a good time. Dinner will be served shortly, but as usual Ron has something to say before we eat, so here’s Ron.”

Applause, catcalls and laughter followed the introduction as Ron climbed up on the small stage.

“It’s joke time,” Ron announced with a grin.

The response was as expected, a mixture of laughter and groans.

“A man and his wife were working in their garden one day and the man looks over at his wife and says, ‘Your butt is getting really big. I mean really big! I bet your butt is bigger than the barbecue’.”

“With that he proceeded to get a measuring tape and measure the grill then went over to where his wife was working and measured his wife’s bottom. ‘Yes, I was right, your butt is two inches wider then the barbecue!” The woman chose to ignore her husband.”

“Later that night in bed, the husband is feeling a little frisky. He makes some advances towards his wife who completely brushes him off. ‘What’s wrong?’ he asks. She answers, ‘Do you think I’m going to fire up this big-ass grill for one little weenie?”

Laughter rolled out from the crowd, especially from the several women who were in attendance.

“I’ve got another,” Ron said raising his hand, and waiting for the hubbub to die down.

“There once were identical twins,” Ron began. “...born in Greece and separated at birth…put up for adoption. One was sent off to Saudi Arabia, and he was named Amal. The other was sent off to Spain and he was named Juan. Many years later their relatives arranged for a reunion. It was a big event, and everyone showed up at the airport in Greece to meet the twins. The plane from Spain landed, and off came Juan to the delight of the crowd. Then they waited for the plane from Saudi Arabia. Soon it arrived but Amal wasn’t on it…. He’d missed the plane! ‘Well,’ said one relative to another who was showing obvious disappointment, “It’s really no big deal. After all, if you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal’.”

Groans and more laughter followed.

Tyler stepped up on the platform and raising his hands for quiet said, “Let us pray.”

The crowd became hushed.

“Lord,” he began, “We thank You for this gathering of family and friends to celebrate the birthday of Ron. We, his friends and family, believe that he was placed on this earth, as we were, to do Thy will. His love and caring for Your children has been an example for us all. We ask that You continue to bless his life as he has blessed ours with his presence and leadership. Now we thank You for the many blessings you have bestowed upon us and for the food that has been prepared for our use. May it nourish and strengthen our bodies to do thy will. Amen.”

Matt joined Tyler on the stage. “The buffet lines are over there,” he said pointing. “There are four serving tables and two heaped with desserts. There are also two tables with drinks, and servers will be around for beverage refills and to take your plates when you’ve finished. We hope you enjoy the meal. There is plenty of food, so feel free to have more than one helping. Let’s eat!”

The crowd of well-wishers moved to the buffet lines and in ten minutes were all seated enjoying the “western” meal of barbequed meats and fowl, three variety of beans, cole slaw, with macaroni and potato salads, country fries, as well as a variety of breads and garnishes. For dessert there were pies, cakes, ice creams and a selection of tarts and baked finger foods.

As the dinner wound down, Matt stood and tapped his glass with a spoon. The conversations that were in progress stopped as the guests turned to their host.

“I’m not going to make a speech, but I’d like to say to my partner and love of my life, from all of us, Happy Birthday, Ron.”

The crowd broke out in applause. The same cake that had appeared the previous night again was wheeled out, alight with 30 new candles. When it arrived at their table, Ron stood, took a large breath and blew out all the flames. Again applause rose from the guests. Matt then raised his hands for quiet.

“When you were all invited here,” he reminded the visitors, “you were asked not to send physical presents, but rather to contribute to the new trust fund we’ve created to support the arts. Contributions came in, large and small. They are all appreciated by me and I’m sure my man will add his thanks too, since they were given in his honor. I’m happy to report that the gifts added up to $3,674,523.17. Your generosity will be well placed in support of enriching the community that is not currently known for its patronage of the arts but soon will be, in part thanks to you all. Now to begin that effort, Ron’s family, through the great help and generosity of one special lady who is here but asked not to be recognized, has been able to acquire, in Ron’s name, a priceless piece of artwork by Rembrandt. Please bring it forward,” he said to Parker who directed two workers to carefully bring the picture and frame to the table where they held if for viewing. “This work will be on display in the living room after dinner.”

The slapping together of hands erupted from the guests and family members.

“As my last word before Ron again speaks, hopefully not to tell a joke,” Matt said followed by laugher and cheers,” I’d like to say that the salon has been prepared and a band is waiting for any who choose to dance or just listen to some fine musicians. And now here’s Ron.”

Matt sat down, leaving Ron the only one standing.

“I’d like to thank you all,” Ron said with a tear escaping one eye. “It’s unbelievable that you are here tonight. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your best wishes but more than that, for your friendship. Three years ago this never would have happened. I was buried in sorrow and regret for losses I had suffered in the previous years. Only by driving myself to work in pursuit of material success was I able to maintain my sanity. Many of you here now knew me then. You can attest to my miserable condition. This past year the sorrow has shrunken to insignificance and my gloomy outlook has disappeared. Instead, I’m the happiest man alive. You all helped in this. Some by sticking with me when I was down, but all by continually lifting me up. If I am now, as Tyler said in his prayer an example for God’s will, I will confess that it has been you who have brought me to that place. I thank you now publicly. I also thank you for your gifts toward the arts, but most of all I thank you for being my friend.”

The crowd rose to their feet in a tumultuous cheer, clapping their hands in appreciation and celebration. Those at Ron and Matt’s table stepped to his side to congratulate him once more. Those at surrounding tables took that as a sign that dinner was over and began to disperse to various parts of the house.

The two workers carried the painting to the living room where it was placed on an easel protected by brass stands from which velvet ropes were draped in swags. Several of the guests followed the artwork into the living room.

As soon as the crowd around him had thinned, Ron grabbed Matt’s arm and whispered, ‘Come with me,’ then gave a beckoning wave to Tyler and Dan nearby.

The three men followed as Ron looked for and found the table where Dave Rush and Eric Lundborg remained seated, chatting with the two Sarahs, one their friend from New York and one the CEO of Compass Cruise Lines. At their table too were Ethan and Rick, the owners of ‘Compass’ and also two surprise guests, Jake Marley and Tony Tegano, two wealthy entrepreneurs from Houston.

“May we join you?” Ron asked the group before him.

“Of course,” Dave Rush offered.

“I know that we all got acquainted or reacquainted in the reception line and afterward,” Ron said as they were seated, “but I wanted to be sure that you all knew, not only my partner Matt, but also my brother Tyler and his partner Dan as well.”

‘Hello’s’ and pleasant exchanges were made between the family members and the guests.

“I want you to know how pleased I am that you could all could make it here tonight,” Ron continued. “For those of you I know well such as Ethan and Rick and Sarah, I’d like to say how good it is to see you again. For those such as Jake and Tony, I’d like to say that I’ve heard only good things about your work and how impressed we all are. We’d like to show you around our facility for homeless gay youths when you have the opportunity. The boys from there are here tonight. For Eric and Dave, I stand in complete awe of your successes in your businesses and look forward to some further exchanges. Then there is your friend Sarah. My dear lady, I’m sure that you are responsible for my beautiful Rembrandt. Your fame as a collector and benefactor of the arts as well as a major supporter of social work in New York make you automatically my favorite.”

“Hey!” Matt said feigning indignity.

The table laughed at Matt’s antics.

Everyone at the table broke into conversations between individuals and within what seemed like only minutes, but lasting almost an hour, the people at the table had all made or cemented friendships.

Ron finally broke into the conversations, getting the attention of all seated there.

“Matt, Tyler, Dan and I have really enjoyed this time with you, but we do need to circulate and talk with our other guests. I hope you will forgive us, but we need get around a bit more before people start leaving. For me, I can only thank you again for coming, and I hope, if you can stay in Las Vegas for a day or two that you will come back tomorrow and the day after.”

Ron leaned over to Matt and whispered in his ear. Matt smiled and nodded.

“Matt and I would like to invite you all for a cruise on our yacht PT-II that is docked in Palm Beach. I look around this table and see wonderful people that we greatly admire and that we are coming to love. We all have so much in common. Our approaches are different, but we are all people of high values. We have another thing in common. We are all people of great wealth. Somehow I think that we can do more good together than apart. I’d like to explore the possibilities, at any rate. I hope you will accept our invitation.”

Nods and murmurs confirmed agreement with the plan.

“My office will be contacting you or your offices within a few days,” Ron concluded. “Please look at your calendars and we’ll try to find a mutually convenient time in the next few months for the cruise. Thanks again. Now if you’ll excuse us…..?”

The parties shook hands and exchanged parting words before Ron, Matt, Tyler and Dan left the table and split up into couples to continue mingling with other guests

1:30 A.M. The family room at the “Ratt’s Nest” (Ron and Matt’s home)

Ron, Matt, Tyler and Dan all sat slumped on the furniture after saying goodbye to the last guest. The boys from Thornton had departed at 9:00 and well as the house parents. Shortly afterward a trickle of guests began to leave with the majority leaving by midnight. By then the musicians were packing up to go and the remaining guests had migrated to the living room and family room where conversations and drinks continued with couples or individuals gradually departing until the last ones left near the 1:30 hour. The boys living in the house had vanished around 10:30 presumably to their rooms.

“Nice party Matt,” Tyler commented as he finished off his drink.

“An excellent party!” Ron agreed. “Too bad I’ll have to wait another year for the next one.”

“Hey, there are four of us here,” Dan reminded Ron. “I hope you’re going to do as much for our birthdays.”

“Oh we’ll probably think of something,” Ron said with a grin. “I’ll have to see if Sarah is out of paintings. By the way guys, I loved the painting. It will be the showpiece of our new art museum. Which reminds me. With the last name of Thornton, I wonder if she’s related to Ted in some way through her late husband?”

“Thanks for the compliments guys and you’re welcome lover,” Matt responded to the earlier kudos. “I really didn’t do much. Dorothy, and the Parkers did most of it. Dan helped too. I will also have to admit that without Sarah, we would never have acquired that masterpiece.”

“I’m sure you’re being modest as far as the party is concerned,” Tyler contradicted.

That would be a first!” chuckled Ron.

“Hush!” Matt retorted with a wink. “You’re gonna give away all my secrets.”

“Well guys, I don’t know about you, but I’m bushed,” Ron said with a yawn. “Let’s try again tomorrow.”

“Sounds good Babe,” Matt agreed.

“We’ll see you guys for breakfast around 8 or so,” offered Tyler as Ron and Matt stood to leave.

“K, goodnight, and thanks again for the party,” Ron said as he wrapped his arm around his lover’s shoulder and headed for the elevator.

“Come on lover,” Dan invited. “Maybe you’re not too tired for a little ‘whoopee’.”

“That’s why I work out Babe,” Tyler responded with a glimmer in his eye as he stood up, offering a hand to his partner before exclaiming, “Stamina!”

He took Dan’s hand and the last sound heard in the family room was the sound of the door closing as they passed through it on the way to the guesthouse.

                        *            *            *            *            *