The story below is a work of fiction. It may contain erotic or sexually explicit behavior between males. If you find this offensive or are too young, please leave now.

The author reserves copyright privileges. This work my not be reproduced, except for private use, without the permission of the author.

Dedication: This one’s for Alex.  We’ve only chatted twice, yet I know him better than he knows.  The real Alex became the inspiration for my character Alan. I hope this character began to approach the true love in the heart of this man. It’s a love for others less fortunate that he displays every day and culminates at the highest level in his love for Ryan, his life partner. Thanks Alex, you’ve taught me a lot about love.

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Chapter Thirteen

Matt awoke to the sound of the alarm clock blazing its irritating buzz.  He quickly but gently disentangled himself from Ron’s arm that was draped across his body. Scooting away from the figure that had spent the night spooned behind him, he sat up and started to reach over Ron to silence the racket, when Ron rolled onto his back, reaching out his arm toward the nightstand and the noise stopped. A small light that was integrated into the clock blinked on casting a soft light around the large room.

“Damn, I hate alarm clocks!” Matt said to his lover whose eyes had opened and were now visible in the dim light.

“Morning, Babe,” Ron said drawing the upright form of his partner to his reclining frame.

“Ewww,” Matt said feigning disgust. “My mouth tastes like the bottom of a birdcage. You better let me take care of it first.”

“Honey-guy, I’d love you if you smelled like a goat with diarrhea. Give me a quick kiss, then we’ve got to get up,” Ron said grinning. “You’ve got a big day ahead.”

“Yeah,” Matt said in agreement. “I just wish it hadn’t started at 3 AM!”

“You don’t really need to wake Eddie for half an hour. We could fool around a bit!” Ron said suggestively.

“I’ll give ya 15 minutes in the shower, Babe,” Matt said winking and with a leer, “But first I gotta get rid of this piss hardon.”

“Oh man!” Ron said with a pout, “Robbed of mornin’ wood again.” Then he grinned.

“Come on goofball,” Matt said rolling out of bed. “Give me a minute and you’ll feel some wood that isn’t fighting a full bladder.”

“Race ya to the pot!” Ron answered, jumping out of bed and rushing toward the bathroom.”

“You take the pot, I’ll take the urinal. I don’t want to piss on the ceiling,” Matt said laughing as he ran.

Thirty minutes later, still smiling, Matt stuck his shaving kit into the roll-around luggage that Parker had packed the night before.

“I’ll go start the coffee, and stick a couple of Danish pastries in the microwave while you wake up Eddie and get him into a shower Ron offered. “When you get him situated, I’ll meet ya in the breakfast room.”

“A plan,” Matt said in agreement. “We need to be out of here in 45 minutes. That’ll give Eddie plenty of time for a shower and to get something to eat.”

“See ya downstairs,” Ron said as he opened the door to the hallway.

“K, Babe.”

            *        *        *

Matt pulled into the airport parking lot at the Executive Terminal. Parking close to the building, in the nearly deserted parking lot, he put the gear lever of the Mercedes sports car in park and looked at the sleeping boy beside him as he pressed the control switch of the trunk. The rear hatch was raised by small electric motors giving access to the trunk, now empty of the top that folded and was stored there when in a “top down” mode. Opening the door he stepped out and extracted the two suitcases and a hang-up bag, setting them beside the car, then getting back in to close the hatch. He switched off the engine and shook the youngster beside him.”

“Eddie, bud, let’s go.”

“Hunh. Ahhh..” the cute blonde muttered, stirring out of his sleep. “Ok, I’m awake,” he said yawning, then slowly sitting up and rubbing his eyes.

“You can sleep on the plane,” Matt said as he climbed out of the car, closed his driver’s door and grabbed the bags. When Eddie had also climbed out, Matt pushed the key fob that locked the expensive car and set the alarm.

“Follow me,” Matt directed as he indicated that Eddie should pull his own bag. Parker had made an emergency shopping trip to Dillard’s the night before, once Matt had told him of the impending trip. The luggage came from the ample cache stored at the house, always ready for any last minute trip that any member of the household might take. Most of the new clothes that Parker bought for Eddie were in his bag, with a dark suit and clothes for the day in the hang-up. Parker had purchased casual sweats and tennies for the trip, knowing that the boy would probably sleep in whatever he was wearing. Matt could get him changed into something more suitable before they got to Champaign and the final drive to Eddies parents’ house.

Within minutes, the two passengers were belted into their leather chairs in the large executive jet. In spite of Eddie’s sleep deprived body, his eyes were wide as the crew made them welcome and saw that they were offered coffee or drinks, before retracting the boarding ladder and retreating to the cockpit. All the preflight safety procedures had been attended to before the pair arrived and entered the cabin, allowing the engine startup to begin immediately upon sealing of the aircraft door.

Once settled, Matt pointed out the features and amenities of the corporate jet that had begun its taxi to the runway end. The early hour meant no delay as the craft turned to line up with the runway’s center stripe, and without stopping the engines screamed as the pilot pushed the throttles to take-off position. The passengers and crew were thrust back into their seats as the sleek jet accelerated down the runway and leaped into the sky, turning east toward the lightening horizon. Twenty minutes later Eddie was fast asleep on the hide-a-bed sofa and Matt was tipped back in his chair teetering on the edge of sleep.

            *        *        *

At 9 AM the pile of bodies in the living room began to untangle into recognizable kids. Woodies were in abundance as the boys, one at a time, finally woke up, most with full bladders that demanded attention. All had worn underwear to sleep in when they took to the mats, pillows and blankets that had been spread out. Some were in briefs, some in boxers and others in boxer briefs. Ron was standing in for Matt who by this time would be in Illinois. Matt had not called to tell him how the reunion of Eddie and his parents went, so Ron kept his fingers crossed as he directed the waking boys to the showers and then to the breakfast room. Mary was in her element and had prepared huge warming pans of scrambled eggs, hash browns and sausages. Pancakes, toast and oatmeal filled out the food selections, with juice, coffee and milk available to drink. The boys attacked the meal like it was their last. Mary insisted that they eat their fill, even though later several complained of the discomfort caused by their own over-indulgence. Mary loved it, and was rewarded when more than one of the boys went into the kitchen to thank her and bestow a hug or a kiss.

Dorothy, Ron and Matt’s housekeeper was jubilant too, directing the boys around the house like a mother hen and seeing that they picked up the bedding and that it was properly put away before she would let them get on with their fun. Ron laughed as he observed the sparkle in her eyes at the presence of so many boys. Suddenly he wanted a son of his own to share with Matt. They were surrounded with boys, and had been, in one way or another, since they had first met. Yet, as much as they loved all the boys, there was not one who had truly stolen their hearts.  ‘It’s something to think about,’ he concluded thoughtfully. Then putting the idea away for a later time, he shook his head and came back to the present.

After breakfast, Ron found the boys in the family room milling around without direction, and announced that they could play in the game room, hike or jog around the property, play basketball or tennis on the courts behind the house, or after an hour could go swimming. Lunch was to be served at 12:30 on the pool deck and at two o’clock they were to all meet there with the house parents to make the trip to Thornton. He asked them to have their belongings with them at that time.

After they had left the room, Ron went into the kitchen. Jeffery found Ron there minutes later, enjoying a quiet cup of coffee.

“Hi Jeff,” Ron said in greeting. “Quite a circus, huh?”  

“Yeah,” Jeff answered as he poured himself a glass of O.J and sat down across from Ron.
“You guys are so busy with work and helping people, it’s hard to find time to corner ya.”

“Yeah, things have been hectic alright,” agreed Ron. “You’re right though, it seems there is so much going on that it’s hard to stop and smell the roses. How are you doing, Jeff?”

“I’m doing very well, Ron, and I love it here so much. The job is great and of course Robert is amazing. I miss the crew of the P-T II and Captain Larson, but I really like it here. I wanted to talk to both you and Matt, but he’s gone of course, and I’m just bursting to tell somebody.”

“Well I guess I’ll have to do for now, Jeff. Tell me; I’m anxious to hear,” said Ron giving his complete attention to the handsome young man.

“Robert and I are an item.” Jeff declared smiling.

“That’s no surprise to me or to Matt either,” Ron remarked with a questioning look. “Is that all of it?”

“Well, yes and no. I mean, we’re a couple. We’ve given ourselves to each other. … I guess I’m not making myself very clear,” Jeffery said apologetically.

“I think I understand.” Ron replied, wanting to relieve the young man’s nervousness. “You’re trying to tell me that you’ve committed yourselves to each other permanently. Am I right?”

A huge grin of relief appeared on Jeff’s face. “Yeah, that’s it. We’re in this for the long haul. I just love Rob, Ron. He’s everything I ever wanted. Night before last we ‘gave’ ourselves to each other. I wanted to tell you, but with all the boys around, there was no opportunity.”

“Congratulations Jeff. Robert is a fine young man.” Ron said as he stood and drew Jeff up into a hug. “You couldn’t do better than Rob. You know you have the blessings of both Matt and me.”

“Thanks Ron,” you don’t know how much we both appreciate it. We told Robert’s Mom yesterday. I’m sure she was hoping for some grandkids from her oldest, but she gave us both a hug and her full blessing.”

“Do you want me to give the good news to Matt, or would you rather?” Ron asked.  

“It’s ok if you do; we know that you share in everything,” Jeff replied. “I hope he’s as happy for us as you are.”

“I can promise that he will be. You’re part of our family and I know that he thinks the world of you both.”

Changing the subject Jeff asked, “How are the boys getting to the Thornton Center?”

“We bought three vans, one for each house. The house parents that are in residence are driving two of them up here after lunch to pick up their boys. Vans are not the most glamorous way to get around but they are practical.”

“Ok then,” Jeff responded. “I just wanted to make sure that you didn’t need me to drive.”

“Nah, we’ve got that covered, but thanks for asking. Oh, one last thing before you go to your work; how are the plans for college coming?”

“Good, I hope. I’m a bit scared, but Robert found a tutor to help me in English and math. I’ve been going three times a week in the evenings for over a month. It takes a lot of what I earn to pay her, but I’m learning a lot that I didn’t know. I plan to start at the Community College with a class in Freshman English in summer school. That way I can concentrate on one thing and if I need help, I’ll still have my tutor, Mrs. Williams, around to give me guidance.”

“I hope you know that Matt and I will pay for your tutoring,” Ron responded.

“I knew that you would offer. That’s why I didn’t tell you earlier about my tutoring,” Jeff said. “I thank you for the thought, but this is something I want to do for myself. You’ve already provided the scholarship money for my college, and that is way too much already.”

“Nothing is too much for our family, but we’ll respect your independence. Just know that we’re proud of you and love you both.”

“We both know that,” Jeff replied. “It’s nice to hear you say it though.”

“I know Matt feels the same. If you need help, we’re here for you, please know that.”

“I’ve known it since you gave me the job on the PT-I,” Jeff said with a tear in his eye. “I’ll never be able to adequately express my gratitude to you for rescuing me and giving me a new life.”

“All I ask,” Ron said sincerely, “is that someday down the road when there is an opportunity to help someone else, you won’t pass it by. It’s one of life’s really great rewards.”

“You can count on me.”

“I know.” Ron smiled.

“I’d better get to work. See ya later boss,” Jeff said as he turned and began walking toward the garage.

“Ok,” Ron responded as he watched the handsome lad open the door to the garage, “See ya…” and after the door clicked shut….”son.”

        *         *        *

Matt steered the rental car onto the street leading to Eddie’s parent’s home. Slowing the car he looked at his charge and asked, “Ready?”

“Ready as I’ll ever be I guess. I just can’t believe that Frankie’s dead. Now I have to face my Dad and Mom too. What a terrible day,” Eddie said with tears forming in his eyes.

“I’m here for you, Eddie. I won’t abandon you.”

“Thanks, Matt. It’s nice for you to say it,” the youngster replied as he regained his composure.  I guess I’ll just have to trust that you mean it.”

“Yes, I guess you will,” Matt replied. “It’s too bad we’ve not had a better chance to get acquainted, then you’d know.”

“Right there,” Eddie said pointing to a large Georgian Mansion, with a circular drive.

Matt turned into the drive and pulled the car to a stop in front of the large double-door entrance.

“Let’s test out the water, before we take your bag out of the car,” Matt suggested.

“What water?” Eddie asked.

“What I meant is, let’s see how you’re welcomed before we commit you to stay,” Ron replied.

“Oh,” Eddie said in understanding as he opened his door, “ Alright.”

The door of the huge house opened as they approached. In the doorway stood a butler who smiled a sad smile at the young man walking beside Matt.

“Hello, Master Edgar,” the man said.

“Hello Charles,” Eddie answered. “This is my friend Matt Davidson. He brought me.”

“Good to meet you sir,” Charles responded. “Mr. and Mrs. Burroughs are in the study. They’ll receive you there. If you’ll follow me?”

Matt and Eddie followed the older man to a pair of doors off the grand entryway.  As he opened the doors he announced, “Master Edgar and Mr. Matt Davidson.”  

The newcomers stepped through the door. Matt saw a man in his late 40’s and a woman slightly younger, rise from two sofas that were separated by a coffee table, and step toward Matt and the boy.

“Hello Edgar,” the well-dressed man said with the sign of his current grief still showing on his face.

“Hello, sir.” Eddie replied formally. “Hello Mother.”

“I’m Edgar Burroughs the third,” the man said, offering Matt his hand. “This is my wife, Janet, Mr. Davidson. Thank you for bringing Edgar for the funeral of his brother. Please have a seat.”

“Thank you sir,” Matt responded, “It was the least I could do.”

The men shook hands, then Matt and Eddie walked to the far sofa indicated by Mr. Burroughs and waited until their hosts began to sit opposite them, then took their seats.

“How have you been, s …Edgar” Eddie’s mother said, catching her husband’s scowl.

“I’ve been fine, thank you,” Eddie responded in the icy tone of his parents.

“I understand you’re from Las Vegas, Mr. Davidson,” Mr. Burroughs stated. Matt answered by nodding in the affirmative. Edgar III continued with a slight sneer on his face, “How did you come to be with Edgar, or would it be embarrassing to answer that in front of a lady?”

“Sir,” Matt said controlling his anger at the innuendo, “I’m the youth counselor at the Thornton Center for Youth in Las Vegas. I will tell you this only once! We are here at your invitation. We are here to honor Edgar’s brother, and that is all. I’m appalled at the attitude you display toward your son.”

“Don’t talk to me like that young man!” the older man snapped back, raising his voice. “Do you know who I am?”

“No,” Matt replied with carefully controlled calmness, “Who are you?’

“I’m a self made multi-millionaire and a respected member of this community; a man disgraced by two sons who are God’s worst creation: queers!”

“Sir,” Matt said hotly, his anger rising, “I find your demeanor to be insulting, and belittling. I won’t tolerate much more.”

“You’ll tolerate what I tell you to tolerate,” Eddie’s father said with increased volume, “I’ve got $40 million that says I can squash you like a bug!”

“And I’ve got $250 million and two fists that say you can’t!” Matt responded with a soft voice that belied the anger showing on his face. His fists were doubled, reinforcing his words.

“Now, listen here….”


The shock of his wife’s words showed clearly in the older man’s expression, but he didn’t say more.

“Now listen! And here me clearly! I love you Edgar, but you’re a pompous ass! You WILL keep your mouth shut or I’ll have you thrown out on your butt and you KNOW I can do it.”

A startled Mr. Burroughs looked at a wife he hardly recognized.  In shock and amazement he sat back on the sofa, dumbfounded.

“Mr. Davidson. I apologize for my husband.” Mrs. Burroughs said. “I appreciate your presence here and for bringing Edgar.  I’d like to say ‘for bringing Edgar home’, but I can’t. This home is not fit for him, not the other way around. I’m sorry, but I let this get out of hand. Not only did we lose Edgar through my husband’s homophobia and my inaction, but now his younger brother is gone forever. Tonight is the visitation. We’d like you both to be there for it. Tomorrow is the funeral at 10 A.M. followed by the burial.  I don’t know you from Adam, but you appear to be a nice man who cares for our son. I think it would be best if you took him back with you to Las Vegas. I’d be glad to pay for his support and education. If, and I stress ‘if’ my husband ever returns to his senses, we’ll consider other options. Right now, this is not the place for him, through no fault of his own.”

“Now wait…”

“EDGAR! One more word and I’ll take action that you’ll not like!”

Edgar III defeated, kept his mouth closed.

Janet Burroughs again turned back to Matt.

“Again I apologize, Mr. Davidson. I guess I should explain. My husband has a famous name, but the wealth you see around you came from my side of the family. It was my father who put Edgar in business. It was my management of our business affairs that made our business a bit more than solvent, and the meager profits we made from it into a fortune. I may have been the silent partner in our marriage, but I am the one who knows business. Every dime we have is in my name, at my Father’s insistence. Now I see how wise his demand was for staking us.”

Invisible daggers in her eyes dared her husband to refute her statement.

“Mrs. Burroughs,” Matt began, “Of course I’ll take Eddie with me. You can be sure that he’ll receive the best of care and a quality education. He’s a fine boy who will one day make you proud.”

“Tell me about your facility, Mr. Davidson,” Janet requested.

“Please call me Matt,” he requested.

“If you wish, Matt. You may call me Janet.”

Matt smiled and began speaking. “The Thornton Center for Youth is a privately funded campus devoted to providing a loving home atmosphere for gay boys who, for whatever reason, have no home or at least none where they are welcome. The boys are placed in one of three houses, with no more than six boys in each with a house-parent couple. They go to public school with other kids in the city, and have regular home-cooked meals and chores just like they might in a regular home. The physical plant is new with plenty of activities and sports, as well as scholastic help if they need it. There is also a scholarship program, by which the boys can go to college or vocational school if they desire to continue their education. The maximum age is 18 or high school graduation, whichever is later. We have a jobs program too, to help the youngsters become ready to be financially independent.”

“It sounds wonderful,” Janet remarked, smiling. “How is it funded?”

“It’s a private charitable fund that was set up in memory of a colleague who was brutally murdered. He was gay. His partner is a brilliant financial analyst and was also attacked.”

“What a horrible thing,” Janet responded. “It must take a lot of money to fund something like your Center. I never realized that you could gather enough gay support to make something like that a possibility.”

Matt smiled. “The heterosexual donors to the fund outnumber the gay ones by a healthy margin, although gay donors have been individually more generous. My partner, Ron Turner, has managed the fund and has been able to make it financially healthy and substantial.

“Ron Turner?” Edgar III asked. “I know of him! He’s very wealthy. You say he’s your partner?  Your business partner?

“Yes,” Matt responded, “but more importantly, my life partner.”

“Are you’re saying that you are a couple? That Ron Turner is gay?” Edgar asked in amazement.

“Yes, and so am I, of course.”

“Humph, I might have known!” Edgar said with obvious distaste. “A bunch of fags, banded together to spread their filth.”

Matt looked at Janet who had, herself reached the limit of her self-control at her husband’s blatant rudeness.  

“Janet,” Matt said to the fuming woman, “If your husband opens his mouth again in my presence, this queer is asking for permission to bodily throw him out.”

“Granted,” she quickly agreed. Then to her husband she cautioned, “And I have confidence he can do it too. And when you pick your sorry ass up off the ground, you can gather your clothes and get out permanently! One more word and I’ll forget I ever loved you!”

Edgar III finally got the message. He sat back in his seat and sulked. He might be homophobic, but he wasn’t stupid. He knew he’d reached the limit with this powerful woman who had stunned him. In all the years they’d been married she’d been his partner and tolerated the excesses of his opinions. He knew now that a new day had arrived and that his life would never be the same. He clamped his jaw shut and wisely listened.

“I’m sorry again, Matt,” Janet said with conviction.

“Your apology is accepted,” Matt replied. “Perhaps it would be better if Eddie and I left for our hotel. We’ll come to the visitation tonight, for your sake, and of course for the funeral tomorrow. Afterward, we’ll leave for Las Vegas.”

“Perhaps that would be best for now,” Janet said in agreement.

Reaching into his coat, Matt withdrew an envelope that he’d hoped when the trip began, wouldn’t be necessary. Handing it to Janet he said, “These are papers giving us temporary guardianship of Eddie, for your signature. They are necessary if he is to receive immediate care in the event that he’s sick or injured, and of course for all the other things that will make it easier, legally, to provide for him.  

Janet took the envelope. “Of course, Matt. I’ll bring the papers tonight to the visitation and return them to you then. Now, I’d like to have a private word with Eddie before you go if I might.”

Matt looked at Eddie who had witnessed the whole confrontation between Matt, his father and his mother in shock.

“I’ll talk to her,” the boy said pointing at his mother, “but not him!” he swung his finger to the father.

“Get out Edgar!” Janet demanded. Edgar rose from the sofa in defeat, heading for the double doors leading to the entry. “Matt?” she said as a plea.

Matt stood and looked again at Eddie.

“I’ll be right outside my friend,” Matt said smiling his assurance. Stepping outside he closed the door behind him.

Edgar III had disappeared, which didn’t disturb Matt in the least. He found a chair nearby and seated himself, keeping his eye on the door. Twenty minutes later Eddie emerged, followed by his mother.

“Ready?” Matt asked.

“Yes, let’s go. I have the information on the funeral and stuff. Goodbye Mother,” he answered without emotion.

Matt walked to the front doors and opened them for Eddie to pass.

“Goodbye, Janet. I’m sorry this could not have been under better circumstances,” Matt offered. “We’ll see you late this afternoon at the visitation.”

“Goodbye Matt,” Janet said with tears in her eyes. “Thank you for taking care of my boy.”

Matt smiled, then turned and opened the car door for his young charge. Then walking to the driver’s side, he got in, started the car and after putting the car in gear, drove out the circular drive.

            *        *        *

Ron stood at the front door of his palatial home and watched the two vans and Leonard’s Ford sedan disappear down the drive. ‘It all begins,’ he thought. ‘I wish Matt was here.’

An hour before Matt had called and told him of the reception they’d received at Eddie’s home. Ron was enraged, but stayed calm, trusting his mate to do what was right for his ward.

“Did Eddie tell you what his mother said when they were alone?” Ron had asked.

“He said that his mother asked for his forgiveness, and his patience while she tried to work things out with his father. She also told him about his brother and his death.”

“Poor kid,” Ron had responded, then asked where Eddie was then. Matt answered that Eddie was in the shower and would be coming out soon. Ron suggested that they talk later when they could again talk privately. Matt agreed and said he would call at the first opportunity. Exchanging goodbyes laced with words of love, the call was ended.

Ron thought back to a short time after the call from Matt. Parker had found Ron and announced the arrival of the house parents along with Leonard Johnson, the Director of the Thornton Center. Ron greeted the staffers and led them to the pool deck where the boys were waiting.  Leonard had made another short welcoming speech to the boys and announced the house assignments.

The younger boys were assigned to the Thornton House in pairs with Cody and Michael Thomas being the first roommate assignments announced. Jason and Darryl were next, followed by Jamal Lincoln with Eddie Burroughs.  In the Turner house, Russell Strickler and Derrick Bodine were roommates, with Art Best and Sterling Beck the next pair. Aaron Feinstein would have a room alone until other ‘sons’ were admitted. Leonard explained that the house assignments were principally by age as were the roommate assignments. He also announced that the middle group of boys, Michael, Jamal, Eddie and Aaron would be moving in two weeks to the Jack Smith House when it was finished. He then again introduced the house parents to the boys and asked that they congregate in two groups next to their new ‘parents’. After thanking Ron for his and Matt’s hospitality, Leonard directed the boys to follow their house parents to the vans for the trip to Thornton.

As Ron saw the gates at the front of the property close in the distance, he turned again to the house, thinking how empty it would feel now without the boys. He suddenly realized that in addition to the house being vacated of boys, his bed would also be devoid of Matt’s warm body tonight. Emptiness engulfed his heart as he longed for the man who had filled his life with happiness and fulfillment. ‘Tomorrow,’ he told himself. ‘Tomorrow Matt would be back with Eddie. And in the late afternoon it was off to pick up Tyler and Dan, then off they’d fly to Scottsdale.’

        *    *    *    *    *