The author reserves all copyright privileges. This work my not be reproduced except for personal use, without the permission of the author, and may not be linked to any pay sites.
Dedication: This story is dedicated to my special friend Ry, who inspired its writing, and to Don Hanratty, who encouraged me to post it here.
Many thanks to Bill, who is doing such a fine job in editing this work. It makes reading it much more enjoyable.
I'd like to say thanks to those of you who have taken the time to write. It is very gratifying. It is great to find new friends who appreciate your efforts. I try to answer each E-mail promptly. If you want to join this mighty throng (LOL) or write again, you can find me cowering in front of the monitor at JETjt@aol.com.(Grin) John Tucker
RON AND BRYAN
Chapter Twenty Three
Ron and Tim sat in Matt's small apartment awaiting the arrival of Ron's lover. Ron had called him, and spoken to him briefly but because Matt was working, they could not talk long.
Ron had also talked to Bryan. Bryan thought that dealing with Tim's situation was a noble gesture on Ron's part but warned him about the difficulties. Most of the young men who "plyed their trade" in Central Park were HIV positive. It was a scary thought. Also, many of them had problems other than just their own needs for survival. Some had backgrounds that made returning to a "normal" life tenuous at best.
Ron was not to be dissuaded. He had made a commitment to Tim, and he meant to see it through. If Tim gave up and left, then so be it. If Ron failed, it would not be because he didn't give it his all.
However, it would be a blow to Ron if he failed with Tim. Ron was not used to failure.
Nevertheless, Bryan's warnings and advice made Ron think again about the enormity of the task. He held the future of this youth in his hands. If he was skillful and caring, it could be a success. He could easily mess it up, too, and lose the young man back to the chasm of almost certain sickness and possibly an early death.
He really felt terrible about not including Matt in his decision to help Tim. Ron was so accustomed to deciding on choices by himself that it just seemed natural at the time. Now, too late, Ron realized that he had failed Matt. His solitary decision could drive a wedge into their budding relationship. Ron mentally kicked himself for his thoughtlessness. He prayed that Matt would forgive his stupidity, and accept his apology.
He prayed even harder that Matt would agree with his decision. Ron didn't know what he would do if Matt disagreed. When Ron talked to him on the phone, Matt was astounded but wasn't negative. Ron's lover would now have had some time to think about the news. Ron was more just than a little apprehensive.
The door knob turned and Matt entered the apartment. Ron and Tim rose to meet him.
Moving to his lover, Ron kissed his sweet lips in welcome and then said, " Matt, I'd like you to meet Tim Harris. Tim, this is Matt Davidson, my partner and the love of my life."
"I'm happy to meet you, Mr. Davidson. Now I see why Ron didn't want to make love with me."
Both older men blushed as Matt answered, "I'm glad to meet you too, Tim. Seeing you, I'm sure he was tempted."
Warming up immediately to Matt, Tim said enthusiastically, "Man, you sure are lucky to have Ron for a partner. You should have seen what happened after we left the hotel!"
"What happened?" Matt questioned as he broke into his classic smile. "Tell me. Ron is always full of surprises."
"Well, we were in this big black stretch limo, and Ron took me to get my things from the little dump where I had been living. It is in a real crappy neighborhood and nearby to where the pimp Fat Charlie lives. We had gathered the few of my things worth saving and were carrying them out to the car when Fat Charlie and two of his goons stopped us."
"Ron was not afraid. He just put down the things he was holding on the hood of the limo. Fat Charlie asked Ron and me what the fuck we were doing. Ron told him that I was leaving with him and that Fat Charlie would never see me again."
" The bad guys started to move in on us."
"Ron raised his fists, then suddenly the curb-side door of the limo opened. This guy got out. You should have seen him. He had on a suit, but was as big as a boxcar. He made Fat Charlie look like a runt. About the time our driver opened his door to join in the fracas, another car screeched up behind the limo, and two more guys in suits jumped out and ran to help us."
"Fat Charlie and his goons were surprised, but didn't give up. They all pulled switchblades and looked like they intended to use 'em."
"Wow, could those guys in suits move fast! In seconds, those knives were taken away and Fat Charlie's group was in big trouble. One of Fat Charlie's goons managed to throw down his suited opponent, and the big guy rushed at Ron and Me. "
"I was scared shitless, but Ron just stood there ready. When the guy got close Ron threw a punch that landed squarely on the guys nose. Blood started squirting everywhere. As the guy grabbed his nose and charged past Ron who had jumped aside, Ron kicked him right in the balls and the guy doubled over in a heap grabbing his nuts. By then Fat Charlie and the other goon were on the ground and had their hands tied behind them with those little plastic straps like the cops sometimes use."
"No sooner had that all that happened when a cop car pulled up and two officers jumped out and put handcuffs on Charlie and his tough guys."
"Charlie yelled and claimed that we had attacked he and his buddies. One of our guys went back to the car behind the limo and handed the cops a video tape of the whole thing taken from a camera he had mounted on the dashboard. The guy who had gotten out of the limo produced another one from the big black car."
"The cops took the tapes as evidence and arrested Charlie and his goons."
"We had to go down to the precinct station and sign a complaint. The bad guys were charged with an assault with a deadly weapon and were hauled, yelling, into their cells. Ron then called some Judge just to make sure that they would not be released on bail."
"Your man is really a hero. At least to me."
"Geez," Matt said in amazement. "I guess you guys have had one exciting afternoon."
"Yeah, It was great. I am so thankful that Ron rescued me..... I hope you aren't mad at him for helping me escape from that terrible mess I was in."
"...... Well, I was a little angry .....because Ron didn't include me in all the..fun. .....But I guess I will forgive him..... this time."
He looked at Ron.
Ron got the message. He would not make that mistake again.
Ron tookMatt through the doors of the bedroom and held him again in his arms and whispered, "Thank you, Matt; I'm sorry."
"That is enough for me, Ron. Your apology is accepted. I really trust your judgement, but I was hurt that you didn't include me in the decision about Tim. I'll live with it though and you will never hear about it again from me."
"Thanks, babe. I'll try to make sure that I never repeat anything so thoughtless.... I want you to know that I trust you in our decision making too; but more than that, I want to assure you that nothing will come between us. I love you far too much to let that happen."
Matt smiled and said, "Me too."
Matt then asked,"What are we going to do about tonight? We're supposed to meet Jack and Lonnie in about an hour and a half. Also, where is Tim gonna sleep? He could have the sofa, I guess."
"No way are we gonna share your apartment with him tonight," Ron said with a mischievous leer. "I got him a smaller room at the Plaza on the same floor as Jack's room. Then he is going back to Las Vegas with Jack and me tomorrow. He can stay at my place until we figure out what we're going to do. You and I have a lot to discuss."
"As for tonight, well, Broadway is out for now anyway. Bryan called and asked us if we wanted to go somewhere with him and the boys-- like ice skating out on Long Island. If not, there is an amusement park nearby too. If that is gonna be a bit strenuous for Jack, we can just go to a movie. I really don't care just as long as I am with you."
"We need to call him as soon as we meet with Jack and Lonnie. If we decide to go out to Long Island, we might as well go out there for dinner. If we want, we can invite Bryan and the 'kids' to eat with us there, too."
Matt said," Ron, all of that sounds good to me. I didn't really want to get dressed up anyway. Speaking of that, does Tim have anything else to wear. He looks pretty shabby."
"I don't think so. Is there a clothes store nearby?"
"Yeah, there is one about 5 blocks away. We could walk over there and grab something quick so that Tim wouldn't be embarrassed about his appearance. I have some barber sissors and a razor. I could give Tim a quick trim too, if we hurry."
"You're just full of surprises," Ron remarked.
"Me? Matt said laughing, "That's like the pot calling the kettle black!"
"Yep, for sure," Ron agreed. " No need to walk though. Brucie, the big guy security guard in Tim's story and the limo driver are parked down the street. I'm not taking any chances with Fat Charlie."
* * * *
The Limo containing Ron, Matt, Jack, Tim and Lonnie pulled into Bryan's drive. The driver, Max, and Brucie, who was still riding shotgun, stepped out of the car and opened the passenger doors of the spacious rear area for the occupants. Ron had dispensed with the guards trailing in the other car. He reasoned that with the crowd of friends, and the two security guys escorting them around, they were safe enough even if Charlie got out of jail.
Bryan appeared at the door of his home and invited the guests in. The 'boys' were waiting in the living room where introductions were made. Brandt and Rich were particularly glad to meet Tim, the young guy who had helped so much with Brandt's release from incarceration. Earlier, the youngest couple had been told by Bryan a bit about Tim's background. They were careful to treat him just like one of their friends and not make him feel like a 'low life'. They dragged the new friend upstairs to their room where they could all play a few games on Rich's computer while the "old guys" finalized the plans for the evening.
It was nearly time for Alan to arrive home when the limo left Bryan's to return the four visitors to the City. They had found a cute Italian restaurant for their dinner and decided to go to a movie instead of the more physical options. Jack had been feeling a little tired after a long day of playing "tourist" with Lonnie, and Ron thought that a movie would be less taxing on his energy.
They had gone to see the second of the 'Harry Potter' movies, 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets', and had enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a far cry from Mozart's 'Marriage of Figaro' that Ron and Bryan had seen only a short few weeks ago, but enjoyable nonetheless. They all had remarked that the 'Captain' of the Quidditch team, 'Wood', was looking more than really cute in this second and even more enjoyable film. Ron felt like a kid again after their harrowing day.
Of special interest, Ron had noticed that Lonnie and Jack held hands during the movie. Nothing happened beyond that, but Ron was glad that Jack had found a new friend. He knew now who the next 'couple' would be that they would invite on their cruise at Thanksgiving. Bryan and Matt huddled with Ron during a moment when the movie was over and agreed on the plan. Bryan would ask Lonnie and Ron would ask Jack. Then they would see if it could be worked out.
* * * *
The limo dropped off Jack, Lonnie and Tim at the Plaza, with Brucie departing with them to act as 'floor security' until he was relieved during the night. The driver then took Ron and Matt to the apartment where he and the car would remain throughout the night to make sure that the lovers were 'not disturbed'.
They were not disturbed, but happily didn't get much sleep anyway.
* * * *
Ron, Matt, Bryan and Alan were in the kitchen the next morning
adding the final touches to their luncheon fare while waiting for Bryan's
parents and his brother who was bringing a date to arrive.
Jack and Lonnie had gone to take a walk. The three boys had left earlier for a quick trip to the nearby mall to try their skills at the video arcades. They were expected back around the time Richard and Ann , along with Dick and his date, were scheduled to arrive.
Ron spoke up as they were finishing the preparations.
"We really need to decide now if there are any others we want to invite along on our Thanksgiving cruise. It is going to happen in less than a week and we have no more time left. Of course, we don't have to invite anyone else, but it might be fun to bring at least a few more people along. With the four of us, the three boys and Jack and Lonnie there are 9 so far. We could take 5 more if we want. We could even take 4 beyond that if we wanted to sleep the boys in the salons instead of staterooms."
"Well, I have a suggestion for another couple." Alan said. "I have hesitated to suggest anyone because you don't know these guys yet."
"Who are they?" asked Ron. "I'm open to any ideas."
"They are a couple who are older guys that I work with. Their names are Sam Bjornson and Tom Cordero. Sam is around 51 or 2, and Tom is 49. I would be interested in hiring them for the Charitable Trust organization, and it would be nice if you could meet them."
"You know that the hiring decisions are yours alone, Alan. But,
I'd love to meet them anyway. As far as inviting them, as long as you
think that they would fit in with our goofy group, I think it's fine.
That makes 11 then. I may want to invite two guys that we just hired too. But I won't know until Tuesday. They are coming over for dinner at my house. I'll let you know. Well, unless we get some other ideas, that should be plenty. If you come up with somebody else, give me a call."
We'll probably use the company plane for the trip. I'm not sure yet. I'll have to tell you once we have all the logistics arranged. With two groups, one from New York and one from Las Vegas, it may make sense to travel separately. If we have a 11 people, we could make it with one flight. If we have any more we'll have to split up anyway. I'll ask Jan from my office to make the arrangements when we have confirmed our numbers.
"I think we'll plan a company cruise after New Years sometime too. We may do more than one. They won't all be with just gays though, so we'll have to be more formal, like wearing clothes. Ha! Anyway I have that boat, and it needs to be used more often."
About that time Jack and Lonnie walked in from their exercise and greeted the guys in the kitchen.
"Hi, Gents," Jack said.
Bryan just blurted out, "Hi, what are you guys doing starting next Friday till the Sunday after Thanksgiving?"
Ron laughed to himself, "Leave it up to Bryan to stick with the plan!"
"I haven't thought that far ahead yet," Jack replied.
"I don't know either. It's up to Alan," Lonnie replied.
"Why is it up to Alan?" Ron asked.
"Uh, well,... I kind of hired Lonnie as the second employee of the Charitable Trust," Alan responded. "I guess I didn't tell you."
"I guess not but you didn't need to. I thinks it's a wise choice. Congratulations, Lonnie."
"Thanks Ron. My last day at the restaurant is Thursday of this week. After that it is up to Alan."
"There's one yes, " said Alan. "Jack, can you get away?"
Jack looked at Ron. Ron nodded his head.
"Sure, what are we doing?"
Bryan piped up and said, "We're going sailing on Ron's yacht for an 11-day cruise."
"You can count me in." Jack said.
Lonnie looked at Jack and grinned, "Yeah, me too."
Changing the subject Ron said, "I'm glad you guys are here. We've been trying to think of a name for our Charitable Trust here in New York. You guys can help. We really need to decide right away."
"Alan and I talked about it," Bryan said. "Your suggestion for calling it Bryan Charitable Trust is out. I didn't do anything for it. I think we should call it 'Hope Unlimited, Limited'."
Bryan's attempt at humor went with barely more than a polite snicker.
Ron looked at Alan and quipped, "It's hard to believe he beat out a million other sperm."
Alan broke up laughing. "Gotcha!" he said rubbing salt into Bryan's wound.
"I think we should call it "Friendships' Trust", Matt suggested.
"Great idea," Ron said looking around at the heads nodding in agreement. "That's it."
"I'm glad we've finished the serious stuff," Ron added. "Did you hear that the Queen of England took the Archbishop of Canterbury on a tour of the Royal Stables?"
"No. What happened?" Lonnie asked innocently.
"Well as they were walking around,one of the Queen's stallions farted so loudly it couldn't be ignored. 'Oh dear,' said the Queen, 'I'm frighfully sorry about that.'... 'It's quite understandable, your Majesty,' said the Archbishop, then added after a minute, ...'As a matter of fact, I thought it was the horse'."
All work in the kitchen stopped as the room rocked with laughter.
"You should have saved that one for Dad," Bryan said. "He hates the British."
"I wouldn't be too sure of that," Ron reminded. "He's changed his mind about a lot of things lately."
"Yeah, for sure," Bryan agreed, as his smile widened.
The front door slammed as the kids arrived back from the Mall.
"Yikes!" exclaimed Bryan as he jumped at the loud impact. "I hope there's some glass left in that thing!"
The kitchen got crowded as the three newcomers moved into the small room.
"Are Gramma and Grandpa here yet?" Rich asked. "I wanna meet 'em!"
"Oh lord," said Bryan shaking his head. "Does Dad ever have a surprise coming!"
They all laughed.
It was going to be a great luncheon.
Richard and Ann arrived at Bryan's accompanied by Dick and Carol. Carol was Dick latest fling, but she was shaping up to be more than that. Not only was she very good looking, the 5'-6" sweetheart was also Magna Cum Laude graduating in Business and had also earned an M.B.A. from Columbia. Her dark hair and eyes complemented those of her boyfriend and the two lovers looked like they were a perfect match. She hoped so anyway.
Carol wished that this evening would go well. She had met Dick's parents before, and had found Ann Adams warm and caring. Richard, she found to be very business like and while very congenial, had a hard streak in him that showed. There was something different about Richard tonight, she noticed. He seemed happier and the toughness that he had displayed earlier seemed to have disappeared.
She guessed that it had to do with the brother she had yet to
meet, Bryan. Dick had given her the background of his brother and had told
her the whole story. He had related that he alone, of the three Adams in
the car had stood by Bryan, but was not allowed to mention his name at their
He relayed the story as told to him by his brother, as to how Bryan's friend, Ron, had bought the company where Richard was an executive. He had elevated Richard to the Presidency and had then forced Richard into counciling where his prejudices against gays were laid bare. Dick felt that there was more to the story, but Bryan had told him all that he knew. At any rate there had been a happy reunion only two days before on Friday, and all was presumably reconciled.
Carol was not prejudiced against gays, but felt that some of them dressed and acted peculiar. She hope that Bryan was not one of those, but she was prepared for the worst. Regardless, she knew that this introduction was important to her future with Dick as he was devoted to Bryan.
As the foursome approached the porch of the tidy home, Bryan and
Alan opened the door and
stepped out onto the porch to greet their family. No sooner were introductions made than three late teenage boys joined the group. Rich, Brandt and Tim were introduced, and all exchanged handshakes and hugs with the newcomers before leading the group inside to the living room. The boys gave special hugs to their "grandma" who loved the attention.
In the living room waited Ron, Matt, Jack, as well as Ben and Jerri from next door. A new round of introductions were made before Rich approached Richard.
"Uh, Grandpa, why don't you come with Brandt, Tim and me. We want to show you my cool computer setup. We have the funnest games."
They dragged the reluctant man out of the living room, surrounding him like a new found friend. Bryan laughed at the sight. He could hardly believe his eyes. His Dad was spending time with three gay teens. I wonder how long it would take him to discover that! What a kick in the shorts!
The gathering of family and friends was going well. There was constant conversation with everyone joining in. Ron and Bryan and set up an extra table to handle the crowd and everyone served themselves buffet style before gathering around their own table. Ann and Richard were seated at the dining room table with Bryan, Alan, Ron, Matt, Dick and Carol as well as Bryan's parents. At the other were placed Jack, Lonnie, Ben and Jerri and the three boys.
Ron asked Alan if he could return thanks. Alan agreed and asked for everyone to join Ron in prayer.
"Our heavenly father, We are gathered here together as family and friends. We thank you for the blessings that you have bestowed upon us. Chief among our blessing that we celebrate today is the reunion of a family too long separated. Bind the wounds that they have suffered and pour your bountiful spirit of forgiveness and love into their hearts. We thank you also for the closeness of couples that make up much of our group here today. Help each to provide for their partner's needs with the sharing and caring as is your will. We are grateful, too, for the friendships that are here in this place. May these friendships blossom forth not only to bind us together, but to be of comfort and service to those less fortunate. Last, we thank you for this meal that we share together. In your name we pray. Amen.
The meal began and the conversation was soon lively. Everyone shared with those at their table, their interests and wishes, filling in gaps of personality experiences that helped them know each other better. Richard had gotten quiet and had just listened to the conversation. Ron could feel that he was feeling a bit estranged from the conversation.
Ron spoke up, overpowering the din.
"I have a joke!"
The Adams were astounded by the cacophony of moans and groans that rose from the diners. But they joined in with the laughter that followed as they realized that every one was kidding Ron.
"The guy walks into the pub, sits down and says, "Give me two beers. Rough day at work." And the bartenders says, "Oh? What do you do?" The guy says, "I take care of the corgis--- you know, the dogs the royal family owns." The bartender says, "Tough job, huh?" The guy says, "Well, all that inbreeding has led to low intelligence and bad temperament.... And the dogs are not that smart either."
Richard's laughing was heard above all others. The dam of silence had been broken, and the meal was concluded with Richard joining into the conversations.
The boys disappeared upstairs, and the Adams including Bryan, Carol, Jack and Lonnie adjourned into the living room for coffee. Ron, Matt , Ben and Jerri joined a protesting Alan in making short work of the remnants of the lunch and the dishes. In only a few minutes they joined the others in the living room where they shared more lively conversation.
At two fifteen, Ron announced that he, Jack and Tim needed to leave. That was the signal for the break up of the gathering. Everyone prepared to part and go his/her separate ways.
Richard, Ann, Dick and Carol were the first to pull away after hugs, kisses and handshakes were exchanged. In the car Richard remarked what a fine time he had had. They all agreed, especially Carol who was in the back seat with Dick where they were holding hands.
Ron, Jack, Matt and Tim were next. The limo would take the Las Vegas bound group to the airport, then continue on with Matt to his apartment. They said goodbye to their friends and were no sooner seated than the large black car eased away from the curb as final waves were exchanged.
The remaining guests said their goodbyes to Bryan, Alan and the two remaining boys before the boys disappeared into the house.
Alan opened the door to his car, got in and closed it, rolling down the driver side window as the engine started up. Ryan leaned through the open window of the car and kissed his lover one last time before he left for work.
As the Camry drove away and finally disappeared, Bryan though again about how much he loved his partner, then turned and traveled up the walk toward the coffee cups that needed to be put in the dishwasher.
* * * * * *
Hope you enjoyed this chapter. There is more in store. John Tucker