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Dedication" This story is dedicated to my special friend, Ry, who provided the inspiration, and to Don Hanratty, the author of "Working It Out" (nifty/gay/college) who encouraged me to post it here.
Thanks to those of you who have written. HUGs. John Tucker, JETjt @aol.com
RON AND BRYAN
In case you have forgotten where we left off with chapter 14, here is a little smidgen: ----
Turning at the door, Matt looked into Ron's eyes, as he reached to grasp the hands of his wonderful companion.
"Before we go any further, I have to tell you something."
Ron looked back lovingly at his beautiful friend, and said with a reassuring expression on his face, "It's ,all right ....you can tell me anything."
"I'm sorry, ....but I think I've fallen in love!"
Ron was dumbfounded at the revelation! He was afraid to ask the obvious question. An answer in either direction would throw him into emotional turmoil! His mind raced! Ron had not yet committed his heart to this beautiful man who stood before him. If Matt said that he was in love with Ron, Ron was not sure that he could respond in kind! But if he quickly let his heart make that great internal commitment, and Matt had chosen another, his heart would be crushed. He stalled for a moment to think, and asked,....."Are you sure?"
"No, .... not positively.... I was hoping ... that we could find out together."
Ron's heart leapt with released joy. He embraced the gorgeous body that enveloped the wonderful and beautiful man inside. He tenderly kissed the sweet lips that had uttered the words which offered the answer to his every desire. After a long and wonderful moment, Ron stepped back, and waived to the waiting driver, with the signal to leave without him. He knew that he could not tear himself away from Matt on this night of all nights, no matter what the reason.
The young men entered the humble apartment, knowing that their bodies would soon be as one, stepping onto the shore of total completion that their hearts were quickly approaching. Ron took his lover into his arms and tenderly embraced him. It was with love that Ron remove his lover's clothing and carried him into the tiny bedroom. It was with love that Ron felt the heat of passion fill his throbbing tool. He quickly removed his own clothing and joined his partner. Their bodies locked together, lips and skin in total contact, with the excitement of a new kind of love. They surrendered their own bodies to each other, to the one task of making their partner's passions fulfilled. This passion would not diminish, merely rest for wonderful moments, as they spent their first night together as lovers.
* * * *
Bryan awoke to the sound of cold rain and a howling wind, which beat against their home.
He looked at his sleeping partner resting peacefully beside him, thinking, "How lucky I am to have this man love me, the beautiful person whose every being I worship. What could I have done to deserve such a reward. He took me in when I was helpless and alone. While caring for me, he restored my dignity and self esteem. He made me his without destroying my independence. He fills my every need and holds my hand through all my trials and doubts. Loving me, he accepts my failings and offers only encouragement and wisdom. My trust is only in him. How lucky I am! "
Finished with his prayer of inner thanksgiving, Bryan slid silently from the warm bed. Reacting to the cooler air of the room on his naked flesh, he moved quickly to their bathroom. Noiselessly closing the door to avoid disturbing his partner, he began his morning ritual to prepare himself for another happy day with his partner.
As he took care of the morning necessities, he thought of his friend. Ron was bringing Matt over to meet them, the young man whose existence he had revealed to his two friends less than a week before in Las Vegas. The guests were expected around 11:00 for lunch before Alan had to leave for work in the early afternoon, and Ron would begin his trip back to Las Vegas.
Bryan got up early to make sure that the house was in perfect order, something that was an ongoing struggle, with the Katzenjammer Kids around. Actually , the guys were not too bad. They were pretty good about keeping the main part of the house picked up, and the nightmare was only in their room, which was 'off limits' to anyone with a weak stomach or to guests. Even Alan and Bryan rarely ventured in. They had an aversion to having to stepping over used underwear!
Bryan went downstairs, and while making a fresh pot of coffee, checked the cupboard and refrigerator to make sure that they had all the items for the lunch, and that the kids had not devoured all the makings. He made a short list of some things that they needed, and added to the list, a box of twinkies. Bryan laughed when he added the item. He knew that Ron loved twinkies, and in spite of his refined palette, always had a few twinkies stashed away nearby, whether at home or at the office. Bryan would not be surprised to find a twinkie or two in Ron's briefcase!
His thoughts shifting to the more serious side, Bryan hoped, for Ron's sake, that Matt might be the one that might fill the void which Bryan knew that his friend carried inside in his heart. Ron's seemingly cheerful exterior belied a loneliness that only a true love could fill. This man had masked the emptiness far better than he had hidden his wealth from those who might seek his riches rather than wanting Ron, the man. Bryan loved the guy, but not in a way that would help his friend's deep longing.
An hour later, Alan appeared in the kitchen, looking refreshed.
"Morning 'scoot", he greeted his lover. "I missed your hot body beside me when I woke up."
"Yeah, I know you, ya horny devil; you just wanted a hand with the 'wood'."
"I guess you're right. It's one of those' hand to mouth' things," Alan quipped.
The men kissed and smiled at the person they most loved.
"I gotta go to the store and pick up a couple of things," Bryan reported. "Ya wanna go with?"
"Nah, go on ahead; I'll just fuss around here a bit. I want to make sure that I have everything prepared for a little minute together with Ron to discuss a few things about the charity work"
"Well, I'll scoot then." Bryan said, inadvertently reminding Alan again of the word of endearment that they shared.
A little over 40 minutes later Bryan returned with four plastic bags full of items from the store.
"What's with the twinkies?" Alan asked as helped Bryan put away the purchases.
"Just thought you might like a reminder of some 'young stuff'," Bryan kidded.
"I got all the young stuff I need right here," Alan replied giving Bryan a quick peck on the lips. "And those guys upstairs, remind me, daily, of the difference a few years maturity can offer. They definitely have a bad brains-to-testosterone ratio! ... Nope, I'm more than happy with you, lover."
* * * *
Ron and Matt had no thoughts about maturity, only the stamina that youthful bodies have in abundance. Their night had been spent in fervent lovemaking. Much of it was hot with fiery passion, but there were wonderful moments, when their ardor was spent, that they lay holding each other close, basking in the warmth of each other's bodies. In the early morning hours they finally slept, still in each other's arms.
At 9:30 Ron woke first. Glancing at the clock, he realized that they were going to have to get moving, if they were to arrive at Bryan and Alan's house on time. Reluctantly, he gently nudged his sleeping lover, smiling at the gorgeous young man who had filled his heart with happiness. He really wanted to stay right here, just to be together, and drink in the joy of Matt's gift of love. His head dictated that he couldn't bury himself in a cave with his new lover, but rather emerge into the sunlight to share his love for Matt with his friends, as they had given a piece of their love for each other to him. Ron thought about the closeness that he felt with the other couple. Now he felt, with Matt's inclusion, that the missing fourth wheel had been put on the wagon of their friendship. Ron was truly happy. He had not felt such happiness for years, since the time in college with his lost love.
He thought of that time, and the pain that he had suffered afterward. He felt an almost unconscious and unreasonable need to protect Matt from the world, to keep him away from the dangers that living exposed to it's cruelties threatened. He then thought of Alan, of how he had rescued Bryan, yet helped his young lover recover and face the world again. It was that exposure to the world that had allowed Ron and Bryan to become good friends. Ron could see that his wish to shield his new love from the world, was selfishness on his part and would only confine and restrict the full development of their love for each other. In spite of its risks, only freedom would prove the test of true love.
Matt stirred, and opened his eyes. Ron kissed the lips that smiled at him.
"Ewwwww, " Matt exclaimed, "what have you had in your mouth?" He laughed.
Ron joined in the laughter, and said with a big smile, "You should know, ... you put it there!"
The young men rolled out of bed and headed for the shower. It was obvious from their stiff woodies that it's flowing head would not be the only thing spouting hot fluid this morning.
* * * *
Ron had called the hotel and ordered the limo to Matt's location. Additionally, he requested that the driver bring his clothing and the other contents of his room with him. Ron also asked that he be checked out. The clerk conferred with the Manager, who knew that Ron was a valued customer, and the clerk returned to the phone and told Ron that the limo would arrive in around 45 minutes.
The big black car delivered its passengers to Bryan's 15 minutes later than their expected time. Ron hated to be late to anything, but justified their tardiness with a smile, knowing that, of all people, Bryan and Alan would understand. As they took the luggage and sent the driver off, the front door opened and Bryan and Alan emerged into the light drizzle of a leaking sky.
"Welcome to the Nut House!" Alan quipped, greeting the two visitors that they met half way up the front walk.
"Alan, Bryan," Ron said. "I'll like you to meet my love and partner, Matt! Matt, my very best friends, Alan and Bryan."
The hosts could tell from the smile on their guests' faces that their obvious joy was a confirmation of their truth of their introduction. Surprised, but delighted, they ignored Matt's offered handshake, and swept him away with generous hugs which they also delivered next to Ron.
"You don't have any idea, how delighted we are to meet you Matt. We're so happy for you both," Bryan said, expressing his feelings for both himself and for Alan.
"Please, come inside; we're getting wet," Alan offered, grabbing one of Ron's bags and starting for the door. Bryan took the other bag and led the couple, who were holding hands, into the house.
Putting the bags in the entry closet, the men ushered their guests into the living room where they were seated, with Ron and Matt choosing the sofa, so that they could be together.
"Tell me," Bryan asked, "When did all this happen?"
"Last night." Ron answered. "Matt has made me the happiest guy in the world!"
"Yeah, I noticed that you looked a bit tired when you arrived." kidded Bryan.
Matt blushed, but Ron just laughed.
"Matt, don't mind Bryan," Alan said apologetically. "He thinks everybody has his sense of humor."
Ron smiled and said, "knock, knock!"
Bryan looked in mock horror, "Matt you gotta do something about Ron's' jokes!--- well, O.K., 'whose there?' "
"Fornication like this we should wear black ties!"
Everyone laughed , and Bryan got into the act.
"Whose there?" Ron asked.
"Dewey have to listen to these jokes?"
Everyone loudly cackled at the response , but Ron was not going to give up easily without the last word.
"Whose there?" Bryan replied, looking like he was seeking help from heaven.
"Saul there is, there ain't no more!"
"Thank goodness, " Alex and Bryan said at the same time, laughing together with their friends.
"Well, lunch should be ready soon," Bryan said, still smiling. "I hope you like pickled pigs feet!"
"I hope it didn't hurt the boys much when you removed their feet from 'em," Ron quipped, not relenting easily.
"Whoa, Guys," Alan suggested." You better stop it before Matt gets the wrong idea about our sense of great and solemn decorum!"
"Yeah, sure," Matt joined in. "Don't worry about me. If Ron wants to act goofy in public. its fine with me, I'll just pretend that I don't know him."
"Hey," Ron said indignantly, "We aren't in public, this is home!"
"I'm glad you feel that way Ron. We want it to be that way for you," Alan offered.
"Great," Matt said, grinning at Ron; "When are we moving in?"
"Oh no!" Bryan exclaimed. "There's TWO of 'em! ... Saints preserve us!" he laughed, holding his hands together in mock prayer.
"Enough, enough," Alan said, putting an end to the shenanigans." Let's eat!"
Bryan called to the boys who were upstairs. When they arrived, he introduced Matt as Ron's love and partner to the cute duo. Eyebrows raised on their foreheads in surprise, while their smiles and twinkling eyes confirmed their admiration for Ron's taste. They hugged the new addition to their crazy group as a sign of their welcome and acceptance of the handsome man into their hearts.
Matt was completely 'taken' by the twinks, and remarked, "I haven't had this many hugs since my Aunt Matilda's funeral" he said, inventing a fictitious relative. Then breaking into a grin he finished with, "and that was not nearly as much fun!"
It seemed that everyone was enjoying this good time together. They moved to the kitchen where plates were filled in a buffet style lunch of beautifully displayed delicacies.
They gathered around the table, where Ron asked Alan and Bryan, "I know that you are not very religious, and I don't practice it much, but I wonder if you would mind if I asked a blessing for this meal?"
"Of course not," Alan replied.
They bowed their heads as Ron began,
"Dear Lord, We, your children are gathered as friends and family at this table. We recognize your many blessing in our lives. I particularly would like to thank you for the friendship and closeness that we feel toward each other. I believe that this love that we share together is a reflection of your glory, and is an example of how we should love and nurture your other children, especially those less fortunate. I am eternally grateful for the love that Matt has brought to my life. May it be as true, lasting, and deep as that shared between Alan and Bryan. I ask that the love between Rich and Brandt be filled with that same richness. Now, I ask that you fill our lives with your meaningful purpose to love our neighbors, and do good towards them. Bless this food that has been provided for the strength of our mission. In this I pray in your holy name. Amen.
"Wow," Bryan said. "Are you sure you didn't miss your calling?"
"I'm sure, ...but it doesn't hurt to express the thankfulness and love I feel in my heart for all of you and the good that we can do together. If you don't believe in God, you won't find me on your doorstep thumping my bible. You can just pretend that what I said is just an expression of how I feel in my heart. For me, I believe in God, and I believe that he loves us as his children, regardless of what narrow minded conservative preacher might spout! Woops, ... End of sermon , Ron 3:16, ha!"
"We believe in a higher power too," Alan offered. "It or he is just not as defined in our minds as you feel in yours."
"I'd be glad to share my beliefs and feelings with you at any time; if you want, but I won't ask, nor will I push my beliefs off on to you. I just know that the wonderful feelings of love I feel are greater than I could have invented myself."
"Thanks, Ron," Alan said.
The men finished eating, and cleared the table. As Matt helped Bryan in the kitchen, Alan suggested that he and Ron talk a bit about the charity work.
"That's a good idea, Alan. There are a couple of things I've had on my mind that I wanted to talk to you about."
"Let's start with your agenda first," Alan suggested as they settled into comfortable living room chairs. "What do you have in mind?"
"I was thinking that I want to set up the trust as a separate entity where it's permanent funding is not dependent on Turner Charitable Trust, although that is where the permanent funding will come from. I will still handle the investment end of the new trust, but separately from Turner. We may or may not have the same investments as the Turner Trust, but they will probably be similar. If there are any family disputes in the event of my death, the New York trust will be separate and uninvolved. It may take a while to fully fund the trust, but it shouldn't be long before it can generate it's own income for our programs and gifts here. "
"That is certainly agreeable to me. What kind of permanent funding do you have in mind?" Alan replied.
"I thought that another $80 million for our initial step. We may just transfer over individual investments rather than cash them in and transfer the money. I'll have my people work with I.R.S. so we won't raise any 'red flags'. My second thought was for the name of this trust. I thought we might call it The Bryan Charitable Trust! Without him, none of this would have happened!"
"The thought is staggering," Alan said in amazement. " I don't even know what to say!--- Hmmm, could I think that last one over?"
"Sure, but we need to decide soon so that we don't have to change too many things, later. Also, I want to start giving some of the money soon, even if we have to give it to other charitable organizations that need monetary help."
"All right, I won't delay. When are you returning to New York? "
"Probably on Thursday afternoon. I expect that I will spend nearly half of my time in New York for the next few months," Ron said, with a wink and a grin.
Alan smiled in return, then began to speak with Ron about his plans for the next week while he ended his commitment at his current job. He then offered ideas about what he would like to do when he could devote full time to the new charity organization. He also said that they would need some kind of office space soon, and asked if Ron had any recommendations.
"The offices should be nice if it is going to be related to Turner in any way. I think that we will probably need a warehouse too, if we are going to do things other than give money. I think that your program will dictate that. Of course, the warehouse does not have to be fancy, just secure and utilitarian. For the office, we could lease, or if we got the right deal, I might buy the building, and lease the space for the trust at a discounted rate. I think the trust will need about 10,000 square feet, with the possibility of having space for about 60 people, if we are going to do a lot of the field work ourselves."
"Wow, that's a lot of people. The costs of that many people will eat up a lot of the income."
"I would agree," Ron said nodding," but you are thinking too small. My goal is to ultimately have a permanent fund of $1 billion! I don't want to staff too quickly, but I think that's where we will be in 10 years! I think for now we need to think of not less than 5000 square feet, with the capability of expanding beyond that in three years. I do not want to lock us in to a long term lease that will be for a space too small, too soon. That is why a building purchase, if it is a good investment, may be the best idea. Anyway it will give us something to work on."
Bryan and Matt joined the men in the living room after having taken time to get better acquainted, in the tiny breakfast area for a while. Ron looked at his watch. It was nearing 2:30 in the afternoon. He knew that Alan would have to be leaving soon, and he mentioned that they should be going before long also. A sad look came across Matt's face. Ron looked at him and his heart melted. He didn't want to leave either, but he knew that his schedule in Las Vegas was going to be crammed if he was to get back to New York before the end of the coming week. He and Matt needed all the time they could find together to cement their relationship and to plan for the future. He also needed time with Alan, and time at Construction Leasing.
They began to get ready to leave, with Bryan offering to deliver Ron to the airport and Matt to his apartment. Ron accepted the offer with thanks. After Alan finished his preparations to go to work, and he and Bryan had taken a few minutes to say their good byes, and Alan had again hugged their visitors, the departing men got into their vehicles. They left their home to the privacy of its two youngest residents, who quickly developed a plan for the exchange of a little intimacy of their own.
As the van approached the airport, Ron's cellular phone rang. He quickly dug it out of his coat pocked and answered.
"Hello, Ron Turner speaking ," he said, then there was a pause before he spoke again. "I was about to get onto my plane. Is it urgent, that I might need to see you? Or can I call you back, once we're airborne?" Another longer pause ensued, then a smile crossed his face." Good, I'll call you back within the half hour. What is your number?" He wrote the number down and said good bye to the caller.
Bryan pulled to the air terminal curb. Ron kissed Matt, his new partner lovingly, then insisted that they go on, and not to see him off. He knew that they both needed to study for the next day's classes.
Bryan glanced at Ron, meeting his gaze, then moving his eyes to Matt, then back at Ron. He gave Ron a "high sign" and mouthed silently, "He's a keeper!"
Ron looked at Bryan and revealed that that phone call was from Richard Adams. He smiled reassuringly then thanked Bryan and said he would call him. He shook Bryan's hand from the back seat, rather than exchanging the hugs that he really wanted.
He did give Matt a warm hug and spoke quiet words into his ear. Matt got out of the van to climb into the vacant passenger seat as Ron exited the vehicle to go into the terminal building. Ron smiled and waved good bye as the van departed. A tear leaked out of his eye, reflecting the sorrow of his departure, as he picked up his bags, turned and entered the looming entrance leading to the RET aircraft.
* * * * * *
Again, thanks for reading my story. Please feel free to drop me an E-mail at JETjt@aol.com --- John Tucker