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.

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Dedication: This chapter is dedicated to the author of a story that I truly admire and have missed the past few months. The story is Sojourn and is found on Nifty in the “Beginnings” section.  It is a very good story. If you haven’t read it, now would be a good time to check it out (well, after you read this chapter, duh!)  Ha.  I’m glad the story is back and look forward to the new adventures.

If you’d like to drop me a line (which I ALWAYS appreciate), my e-mail address is


Chapter Twenty-One

Wednesday evening, Ron and Matt’s home

Matt sat at the bar in the family room as Ron poured two glassfuls of soft drinks into tall crystal glasses. They looked toward the kitchen as they heard youthful voices coming from that direction. Jeffery and Robert entered the room laughing and poking at each other. Seeing Ron and Matt in the room, Robert quickly put a stop to their horseplay.

“Hi guys,” Ron and Matt said as one.

The two young men approached the bar and greeted their employer/hosts.

“I hear congratulations are in order,” Ron said to Robert.

“Yes, I am really happy for the opportunity,” Robert replied, “I’ll do my very best.”

“Am I missing something?” Matt asked.

“Sorry Babe,” Ron apologized. “With all the other excitement we’ve been having, I forgot to tell you. Charlie Parker has asked Robert to join the staff of Turner Consulting as a Junior Analyst.”

“That’s terrific!” Matt said, smiling proudly at the beaming young man. “It’s a well deserved promotion. I’m sure you’ll do well, Robert. Please accept my congratulations too.”

“Thanks Matt, I’m really overwhelmed. Ever since I got hired by Jan to work for Turner, my life has just gotten better and better.”

“Are you going to be able to work it out with school?” Ron asked.

“Sure!  Charlie has given me a lot of flexibility. He said he’d allow me to work around the classes I have to take during the day, as long as I get my work done. In summer-school and in the fall, I’ll have a good study partner too,” Robert said grinning and glancing at Jeffery.

“That’s great! Is it anyone we know?” Matt asked, already sure of the answer.

“You know it’s Jeffery,” Robert said with a blush beginning to appear. “He decided to change his major to business like me.”

“Won’t you be ahead of him?” Ron asked.

“Yeah, I’ll be a year ahead, but we’ve already decided to take as many electives together as we can, and I can help him with courses I’ve already taken.”

“I’m really glad of that too,” Jeffery interjected. “I can use all the help I can get.”

“How are your mother and the other kids doing Robert?” Matt asked.

 “She’s doing very well, since she got her new job. It pays a lot better than her old one. I don’t need to contribute much to the household anymore. I’m still giving her money for room and board, even though she says she doesn’t need it. I suspect that she’s saving it for me, but she would never admit it.  My younger brother Jake is doing well too. He’s a freshman in high school, and already has a girlfriend.

“Has Jan found anyone yet to take your old job?” Ron asked.

“Well, … uh … we… were hoping to talk to you about that,” Robert said haltingly.

Catching on immediately, Ron suggested, “Jeffery, I think you should put in your application for his job, if you’re interested.”

“You mean it would be ok?” he asked excitedly.

“Jeff,” Matt said winking at Ron. “You know that we want whatever is best for you.”

“Well, what about my garage apartment?” Jeff asked sadly, “I’d hate to give that up. I really love it up here.”

“Hmmm,” Ron said scratching his head. “I think you should ask Robert to move in with you.”

“WHAT?” He said overflowing with renewed excitement and shaking his head ‘yes’ at Robert.

“Well yeah,” Ron replied, repeating his offer with an explanation. “If you and Robert were both here, you could study together, and still at least keep the cars clean and filled with gas to ‘pay the rent’.  That way you wouldn’t have to rent an apartment.”


The boys whooped and hollered, alternating between dancing around in a circle and hugging, first each other, then Ron and Matt.

Ron and Matt just grinned at each other, enjoying the happy moment.

“Ron, Matt,” Jeffery said with tears in his eyes. “I’ve got to repeat in my own words what Robert said a few minutes ago. Ever since the first moment I met you Ron, my life has gotten better and better. You guys are our very best friends. We’ll never be able to thank you enough.”

“Having a clean car is high on my list of priorities,” Ron said with a straight face. Matt just about fell over laughing.

“You doofus,” Matt said poking Ron.

“Well, ok then,” Ron said. “I’ll try it the other way: guys, Matt and I love you. We want you to be happy. Seeing you now, happy and with each other, is all the thanks we ask.”

“That’s a lot better Babe,” Matt said with an air of forgiveness. He gave Ron a quick kiss on the lips.

The young men’s eyes opened wide, then a questioning look appeared on their faces.

“Oh, alright guys,” said Ron, pretending to be perturbed. “Go ahead and kiss each other.”

They grinned, threw their arms around each other and kissed with fervor.

“Oh, to be young again,” Ron mused. Then he grinned and with equal fervor returned Matt’s kiss.

Matt gasped at the sudden attack of ardor.

Pulling back, Ron said innocently, “Well, somebody had to show ‘em how to do it right.”
His grin and wink were interrupted by Parker who said in his most formal voice, “Mr. Pete has arrived Sir.”

Everyone rose to their feet heading for the glass entry elevator. They got in and went down one flight, reaching the front door before Pete could push the door chime button.

“Hi Pete. Come on in,” Ron offered.

“Hi Ron. Hi Matt. Hi guys,’ Pete greeted as he joined the group. “How’s the arm, Matt?”

“It’s a damn nuisance and itches like hell sometimes,” Matt replied. “I’m having to learn to do everything left handed. How’s the new apartment and truck?”

“I’m in 7th heaven. It’s really great thanks to you guys. I’ve got a few groceries now and a few little items that I needed, but actually it’s better right now than everything I had before. I had a few mementoes that I miss, but other than that I’m doing great. The truck is just too much. Terry spent some time with me today too, teaching me job superintendent things, you know stuff like filling out purchase orders, checking time cards, and all that. Tomorrow we’re gonna start on learning how to schedule work and blueprint reading.”

“Mr. Turner,” Parker announced as they crossed the living room hall. “I just opened the gate for Mr. Friday. They should be here shortly.”

“Would you show them in Parker? We’ll be in the family room.”

“Of course Sir,” Parker agreed amiably.

The five men continued on toward the family room.  

Five minutes later at the opening to the family room, Parker announced the new arrivals in a trumpeting voice,  “Ken and Donna Friday, and their guest Jared Simpson.”

The five men moved to meet the guests, exchanging handshakes and words of welcome.

“Please come in,” Matt said warmly. “Donna, it’s so good to meet you.  Would anyone like a drink?”  

“Please. Would a margarita be too much trouble?” Donna Friday asked.

“Not at all,” Matt assured her. “In fact, it sounds so good, I think I’ll have one for myself.”

“Make that three,” Ken echoed.

“I’ll have just a coke please, Jared requested.

“Me too,” Pete agreed.

Matt pulled a coke out of the bar refrigerator and started to fill a bar glass with ice.

“The can will be fine,” Jared said.

“Ditto,” was Pete’s request.

“Jeffery, I think a short tour is in order for the newcomers, and afterward you guys can relax for awhile in the game room,” Matt suggested.

“Sure Matt. Come on guys, you get the 10 minute tour. I’ll show ya where the bathroom is.”

Robert gave Jeff a little shoulder slug and said in a loud stage whisper, “Hey man, where’s your class?”

“Whadaya mean?” Jeff asked grinning. “Ron told me to always show the guests where the bathroom is. That way they don’t have to ask when nature calls. Saves a lot of embarrassment.”

Donna and Ken were taking it all in and laughing. Jared could see that the guys were gonna be fun to hang with.

Matt handed the red cans to the young men and said, “Here you go. Are you okay Jeff, Robert?”

“Yeah, we’re fine for now. We’ll get a refill when we get back from the tour.”
Matt pulled the ingredients for the margaritas from the refrigerator and began mixing the drinks.

“What’ll you have Ron?”

“I’ll have Glenlivet scotch on the rocks when you get a minute Babe.”

“Coming right up,” Matt said smiling.

When all the drinks were poured, Ron suggested that they retire to the living room deck where the lights of Las Vegas could be seen as the darkness closed in. The evening was cool, but the unusually warm early spring weather made perfect conditions for a before-dinner chat.

As they were seated, Ron asked, “How are you enjoying your visitor, Donna?”

“It’s good having a young guy around again,” she replied. “Even though it kinda opens an old wound, I think it was the best thing that could have happened.”

“I’m sure it will be the best for him,” Ron replied. “Just take it easy, and don’t expect too much.”

“I know he’s trying hard to be a good guest,” Ken said, “but honestly it’s hard to keep him from getting bored. He doesn’t know anyone, so he’s marooned with us older folks.”

“Pete, Robert and Jeff will take care of that detail for tonight,” Matt said smiling.

“You don’t know how grateful we are for the invitation,” Donna responded. “We really like Jared but it was a little bit awkward at first.”

“I can imagine,” Ron agreed. “Did you all get past it?”

“Yes, this afternoon we all sat down and talked,” Ken answered. “We talked about Paul and how they met, and how they struggled together in L.A. He was devastated when Paul was killed, and told us that he nearly took his own life. We all cried together and hugged a lot.”

“Hugs are good!” Ron declared. “We Americans are far too puritanical about ‘keeping our distance.’ Europeans are much more open and ‘touchy’. I for one think it’s healthy.”

“I agree,” Donna responded. “Women tend to be much more tactile than men. I guess men just have to maintain that ‘macho image’.”

“That’s not a problem around here,” Ron said laughing.

“Yes, I can see that,” Ken responded.

“I just love your home Ron,” Donna said changing the subject and looking around at the beautiful structure.

“Ken’s been here before,” Ron remarked, “Would you like to go for a short stroll with me? I’d be glad to show you around the place.”

“I’d love it Ron,” Donna accepted. “Would you excuse us gentlemen?”

“Of course,” Matt said getting up quickly to help her with her chair. Ken and Ron both rose from their seats, and Ron extended his arm. The two began their walk around the balcony deck, one of several that wrapped around the house.

“Would you like another drink?” Matt asked Ken as they were about to be seated again.

“Yes, thanks.” Ken answered. “This time I think I’ll try some of that scotch.”

The two men disappeared inside to the bar.

As they strolled out on the pool deck, Donna put her hand on Ron’s arm.

“Would you mind if we sat and talked just a minute?” she asked.

“Not a bit,” Ron replied. He indicated a nearby table and chairs where they could sit.

“I don’t quite know how to say this,” Donna began hesitantly, “But I’d like to thank you for saving my marriage. More importantly, I’d like to thank you for saving Ken.”

“I did very little,” Ron said modestly.

“I find that hard to believe,” Donna said. “The night that you met him, things were at their worst between us. I really thought that when he came back it was going to be for a talk about a divorce. Yes, it was that bad. It probably would have happened earlier in the evening, but your office manager was so insistent. He always takes care of his business, even when times are bad.”  

“I’m glad we were able to talk,” Ron responded. “I think he was so full of guilt that he couldn’t handle it. More than likely any comments or criticisms you might have had only added fuel to the fire of his remorse. I’m sure he even had trouble admitting that he was wrong.”

“Yes,” she agreed. “After Paul’s funeral I couldn’t forgive him, and he couldn’t forgive himself, but he wouldn’t admit it. He built a wall around himself that I couldn’t penetrate. When he came back that night we had a long talk and shed a lot of tears. Before we were done, the wall was gone. I know it was hard for him, as it was for me, but we began our road to recovery.”

“I’m so glad to hear it,” Ron said with sincerity.

“I saw a new man as he began to get interested in the Thornton Center. His old feelings of self-worth came back. Our relationship returned to that of our first months of marriage. When he told me he was going to L.A. to see Jared I was astounded. When he called and said he was bringing him back I was flabbergasted!  I know that he’s trying to make up for his rejection of Paul and I sure hope he’s doing the right thing.”

“Where it goes with Jared is really up to the two of you,” Ron observed. “Jared is not Paul, but the three of you all loved Paul, so there is a natural bond there. Just as Paul was approaching the age to leave the nest, so is Jared. I think he just needs someone to care about him, and help him try out his wings.”

“I know that Ken is more than willing, and now after our talk tonight, so am I.”

“That’s great Donna. I have the utmost respect for Ken, but I’ll keep an eye on the situation if you don’t mind, to make sure Ken doesn’t go overboard and smother him.”

“Thanks Ron. I feel much better.”

“You’re most welcome Donna. Shall we continue our stroll?”

            *        *        *

“That’s three in a row,” Robert said frowning. “I think you guys are ringers. We better find something else to play besides pool. Either that or we’re gonna have to change partners.”

“That ain’t never gonna happen,” Pete said laughing. “I’ve got Jared as a partner, period.”
“Pick your game, we’ll kick your ass at anything you want.”

“Let’s go get the old folks,” Jeff suggested. “We’ll play Trivial Pursuit. We get Ron and Matt. You guys get the Fridays.”

“Yeah, let’s do that!” Jared agreed with enthusiasm.

“Ok with me,” Robert responded.

“Me too,” Pete said with a sly grin.

The planned game was delayed by dinner and after-dinner drinks, then the game began. Two hours later the game ended in defeat for the Turner group. Pete and Jared slapped their hands in high fives, then turned to the Fridays and repeated the gesture.

“I demand a re-match the next time we get together,” Matt said smiling. “We almost had ‘em. They were just too slippery.”

“Yeah, Ken the crafty!” Ron agreed. “Jared, Pete and Donna were damned good too.”

“Just dumb luck,” Ken responded. “but we’ll take you up on your challenge.”

“Guess we’d better clean up a bit,” Ron commented. “I don’t want our household staff to think we’ve turned into slobs.”

“Uh … Ron?” Pete asked. “Could Jared and me be excused for a few minutes?”

“Oh sure!  Just like two young guys to try to slip out when there’s work to be done,” Ron said with a very big wink at Pete. “Of course Pete. Catch ya in a few.”

“Let’s go out on the balcony,” Pete said to Jared.

“Yeah, the view is fantastic up here,” Jared said in agreement.

The remaining six made short work of the clean up. After the place was again shining, Jeff turned to the older guests. “We’d like to spend a little time alone too,” Jeff said. “It was really nice to meet you Mrs. Friday, and good to see you again Mr. Friday. We’ll stick our heads out on the balcony and say goodbye to Pete and Jared.”

“It was nice to meet you too,” Donna said smiling. “Thanks for taking our boy under your wings for the evening.”

“I think it was more like they sat on us.” Robert said grinning. “Goodnight.”

“Night guys,” Ron and Matt said in unison.

“Goodbye,” Ken added.

After saying their farewells to Pete and Jared, Robert and Jeff exited through the kitchen toward Jeff’s apartment.

“What a nice couple of young men,” Donna said. “Where did you ever meet them?”

“Just a couple of ‘Ron’s Recruits’,” Matt said grinning.

“It’s really a long story,” Ron began, “so I’ll give you the short version. Robert was from a needy single parent family, who came to work for Turner, our company. He has worked out wonderfully and just got a nice promotion and a raise. I picked up Jeffery in Florida, after the car I was riding in ran into him. He worked as a crewmember on my yacht, and then he and Robert fell in love on the Thanksgiving cruise.  Matt & I brought him to Las Vegas to work for us so they could be together. He has worked for us taking care of our automobiles, but I think he will be taking Robert’s old job. By the way, they’re both pursuing higher education.

“What a wonderful story,” Donna said. “So romantic.”

“Yes, I agree. You know, until I met you guys,” Ken said in thought, “I didn’t even consider that there was such a thing as gay love. I just thought it was sex between two men or two women. It’s still not my cup of tea, personally, but I understand that it’s not really that different than opposite sex love.”

“Actually, it’s no different Ken,” Matt said. “Sure the sexual mechanics are different, but the love between two people is the same.”

“I know that now,” Ken said nodding. “I wish I had known it a year ago.”

A tear appeared in his eye. Everyone knew that he was thinking of his son Paul.

The door to the balcony deck opened and Pete with Jared reappeared.

“We have an announcement.” Pete declared. “I’ve asked Jared to be my roommate.”

The boys were heartily congratulated by the adults.

“I hope this doesn’t mean that we’re losing you,” Ken said to Jared.

“Nah,” Jared joked. “In order to get Pete to take me in, I had to promise him we’d be coming to your house every Sunday for dinner. We have to get at least one decent meal a week.”

Everyone laughed.

“You know that will make us happy,” Donna said.

“We’ll see,” Jared responded “We don’t want to become nuisances but I, for one, don’t want to break up my ‘new family’.”

“Thank you for that, Jared.” Ken replied. “You make us proud.”

Jared grinned through a mighty blush.

“Oh yes,” Ron said, changing the subject. “Pete I’d like to talk to you about the hickey on your neck.”

Everyone broke up laughing, even Pete whose face had turned scarlet.

            *        *        *

Thursday morning, Ron’s office

Mr. Peterson raced passed Margaret and charged into Ron’s office.

“Have you seen the R-J?” he asked waving the Las Vegas newspaper over his head.

“No not yet,” Ron replied. “What’s up?”

“Listen to this headline! STATE SENATOR ATTACKS GAY YOUTH HOME.”

“Let me see that,” Ron insisted.

Ron began to read the text, of the article:

State Senator Ben Young, in a speech to a rally of
supporters for his re-election, verbally attacked the
newly opened Thornton Center, a private institution
that houses homeless gay youth. The Center, through
a trust that is largely funded by multi-millionaire
Ron Turner, is under construction, but has opened  
the first of three of 10 homes designed to aid abused
and  homeless underage youths. The Center was called
by the Senator “a brothel of sin and depravity.” The
Senator demanded that the City revoke its non-profit
business license and building Certificate of Occupancy,
stating that the facility is operating illegally as a cover
for a sexually oriented den whose goal is to convert
heterosexual boys to “their persuasion.” ……

Ron grabbed the phone.

“Margaret, call Will, Jan and Charlie Parker. Oh yes, I want Wes from Aztec too. I’d like them all in my office immediately. Then call Matt and put the call through to me. Find out when Tyler will be arriving in town. If he’s on his way, have him come directly to the office. Then I’d like to set up a meeting this afternoon here, with my personal attorney, Terry Cannon, and the attorney that handled Tony’s case. His name is Steve Bartholomew. When you’ve got all that going, please join us in my office. Thanks.”
“Sure Ron,” Margaret started to say as the line disconnected.

“Mr. Peterson, I’d like you to stay for the meeting also,” Ron stated. “Let’s get some coffee and move to the conference table.”

No sooner had Ron taken his place at the head of the table, than the phone rang and the door opened and the invited staff began filing in. Ron pressed the speaker button on the conference room phone as he invited the new arrivals to seats with a wave of his hand.

“Ron Turner,” he said into the speakerphone mike.

“Hi Babe,” Matt said. “You called me?”

“Yes, Matt. Can you transfer this call to Leonard Johnson’s office speakerphone?  I’d like to talk with you both.”

“Sure Ron, no problem. Hang on.”

The last of the invited staff arrived and Margaret followed.

“Just listen folks, the reason for this meeting will soon become apparent. We’re waiting for Matt and Leonard Johnson to join us on the speaker-phone.”

The speakerphone crackled to life. “Ok Ron, Leonard and I are both here in his office. What’s happening?”

“Matt, Leonard, in my office are Will Nuggent, Jan Bounett, Margaret Hunsaker, Charlie Parker, Mr. Peterson and Wes Harper. Margaret just handed me a note that Tyler is on his way from the airport.”

“In the R-J newspaper this morning is an article about a slimy verbal attack on the Thornton Center by State Senator Ben Young. It is full of outright lies, and half-truths. I just want you to know that Senator Young is dead politically.  Will, I want you to hire the public relations firm of Barney/Trueblood. They have deep political roots as well as being very astute. Second, Wes, I want to know everything there is to know about that bastard! I wanna know when he takes a shit! Excuse me ladies. Matt, Leonard, I want no press releases or statements issued from Thornton. Any requests for interviews have to come through me. This is going to be a coordinated effort. I’m gonna attack that son-of-a-bitch on every front. Will, I want to meet with our lobbyist at the State Capital. I want to keep tabs on anything he tries politically.”

“Let me say this folks, that sorry sack of shit has crossed swords with the wrong queer! I don’t care what it costs, or what we have to do, I’m gonna have his ass. What he did in beating his son Benny, who’s now at Thornton, is unconscionable. Now he has thoroughly pissed me off and I want every avenue explored. Nobody leads an exemplary life. I intend to dig up all the dirt I can and shove it straight up his ass!  When we get through with him he won’t be able to get elected state nosepicker. Anybody who has any ideas about discrediting him, I’d like to know them right away.”

“Now, having said that,” Ron continued, “we will not do anything illegal. I don’t want to come out of this thing stinking to high heaven. Our success at Thornton is predicated on it being a healthful, legitimate operation. Nevertheless, I intend to spend whatever it costs, pull in all my political markers or do whatever is necessary to sink his damned boat. He will try to garner religious support from conservative churches that preach against gays. I intend to expose him for what he is, a bigot.”

“Now I’m gonna shut up for a moment. Let’s talk strategy. I want some input from each of you. It’s time to rock and roll.” Ron smiled wickedly.

        *    *    *    *    *