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

The author reserves copyright privileges. This work may not be reproduced, except for personal use without the permission of the author. Copyright 2004, John E. Tucker

Dedication: To Ryan and Alex. This couple has been the inspiration for all this writing. Their relationship is a keeper, one that all of us who search for love can envy.

If you’d like to comment or just say ‘hi’, my e-mail address is John Tucker


Chapter Thirty-two

Later the same night, aboard the Sojourn, headed for the Bahamas

After dinner, the early evening was spent by the four men visiting with their guests in the central atrium of the huge ship. A small trio of musicians sang and played for the enjoyment of the participants, and several couples wandered onto the dance floor.

The outpouring of good wishes from their guests was overwhelming, particularly to Ron.  There were so many people who time and distance had separated from him, that he felt justified in the celebration if for no other reason than to see them again. Yet there was another more important good reason. Tomorrow he and Matt, as well as Tyler and Dan would commit their lives publicly to their partners. It was, from a legal perspective, a pointless gesture, yet in each of the four men’s hearts, it was as binding as any wedding could be.

He and Matt circulated among the guests, getting to know a few they had not already met, but who would play a part in the future of all four of them, and renewing old acquaintances as well as enjoying the company of those they held most dear. Even though Matt and Dan had invited their parents, neither couple’s fathers could drop the prejudices that separated them from their sons. While at home Ron had intercepted the response from Matt’s parents, and after Matt saw the envelope, had asked him to open it. Ron read to himself the scathing diatribe from Matt’s father and simply said. “They can’t come. The rest you don’t need to read.”

Matt had smiled sadly and said, “I expected that. Please throw the letter away.”

Tonight was as different from that sadness as night and day. Tonight they were amongst their friends; friends who loved them and accepted them for the good men they were. It was in that sea of acceptance and love that they could see the world as it should be. As the night wore on, Ron and Matt danced a couple of slow dances, and twice even went a bit wild when Bryan and Alan asked each of them to dance fast numbers. Ron could see why Alan was so attracted to Bryan. That boy could dance! The erotic moves he displayed, Ron was sure, caused a twinge or two in every gay crotch in the room. He knew it did in his.

At 10 o’clock the musicians took a break and announced that the bachelor party would be starting soon in one of the large bars in the rear of the vessel, but that they would be back after a short break to play more for those not attending. Ron and Matt located Tyler and Dan and headed for the party room. They looked for Bryan and Alan, but realized that they hadn’t seen them for the last 20 minutes or so.

Matt and Dan, walking in front of their partners, pulling at the reluctant brothers until they reached the doorway to the club where the party was to be held. Bryan was at the door, and after greeting the guests of honor, led them to a table that was near a raised bandstand type of stage. The table next to theirs had a sign that said ‘reserved’. Waving to a waiter, Bryan instructed the cute young man in the required delivery of the special VIP treatment to be performed for the foursome.  The waiter took the order from their table and was back in minutes, but not before Bryan had disappeared into the crew’s area down a hallway, behind the stage.

After about 15 minutes, all the attendees had been seated and were in the process of being served their drinks. Bryan and Alan appeared and took their places at the table next to the four grooms.  Music had been playing and several couples of men took the opportunity to dance.

Bryan asked Dan to dance, and Alan asked Ron. Matt coaxed Tyler onto the floor where they tried to emulate Bryan’s loose writhing motions. It was a futile attempt with Tyler quickly going back to his much more conservative style.

The next 20 minutes saw the partners exchanged, until at last each man was dancing with his own mate. The lights slowly dimmed at the end of the number and then went off entirely for a few seconds until they again came on full force. No new music came forth, so every one assumed that the entertainment part of the party was about to begin. It proved to be an accurate assumption.

When everyone had returned to their seats, a young man dressed in a tux appeared with a microphone in his hand and took his position at the front of the stage. The room quieted as he began to speak.

“Good evening, gentlemen,” he began, “Welcome to Sojourn, and to the bachelor party for our honored guests. My name is Stan Short; I’m the Director of Fun and Games here on the ship. Would Ron Turner, Matt Davidson, Tyler Turner and Dan Barnes, please stand? We’d like to congratulate you before the embarrassment starts.”

The foursome slid out of their booth, and stood, waving to their friends amidst applause and a few friendly catcalls.

“Gentlemen,” he said addressing Ron’s group, “The owner of Compass Cruise Lines sends his greetings as does the Captain who, at the moment, is busy on the bridge, and sends his regrets that he can’t be here. You may be seated.”

As the four men resumed their places at the table, Stan again turned to the audience. “Tonight we’re going to have some contests to measure the skill and guts of our participants. In a moment I’m going to ask those of you who want to play to form a team, probably including those with whom you are seated, or perhaps those around you. The teams must be between four and six members. I’d also like you to choose a team captain, who will be responsible for coordinating the efforts of the team.  I’ll give you all about 10 minutes to do this. I recommend that you order another drink too as a little lubrication always helps, I’m told.”

His last comment was met with laughs from the audience of which more than half were gay. He disappeared for the short intermission, reappearing after the 10 minutes had elapsed.

He came back with a couple of assistants who carried small poster board signs, on which numbers were written.

“Would the team captains please come forward to get their team numbers? While you are coming here, I’ll give our special guests their card, team number one!”

Walking over to the table occupied by Ron, his brother and both of their partners, he laid the card down in front of Ron. Then reversing his steps, he began to hand out cards to the nearly 30 team captains who had come to the stage from their seats.

“Ok guys,” Ron said in a loud stage whisper to Bryan and Alan, “You guys planned this, so you get to be on our team. I’m the captain.”

“No way,” Bryan said grinning.

“Yes way,” Ron replied with an even bigger grin, “unless you are very good at swimming.”

“Well, if you put it that way!” Bryan said pretending to be hurt.

The M.C. began the contests. First there were ‘volunteers’ selected by the team captains for an upbeat version of musical chairs. Dan represented their team, but was eliminated half way through. Matt drew the ‘short straw for the hula-hoop contest, making it nearly to the end before being eliminated. Laughter and cheers accompanied all the games, including good-natured ribbing. The next contest was a race to see which captain could make it to the M.C. first holding a pair of pants from another team member. Tyler was sitting on one outside seat of the table and he tore his pants off quickly and threw them to Ron who dashed to the stage, winning the event. He was awarded a prize of cruise line trinkets, which he shared with the other team members.

Before Tyler could get his pants back on, the M.C. called for another race, this time with shirts. Tyler dropped his pants on the floor and pulled his Polo shirt quickly over his head, tossing it again to Ron. This time, however, Ron came in second. A dance contest was held next. Ron quickly appointed Bryan and Alan to represent their team. Bryan went crazy, throwing himself with careless abandon into the fray. 15 minutes later, he and Alan emerged victorious, much to the cheers of many of their friends from New York.

The final contest was a beauty parade with the hunkiest guys commanded to parade around in their undershorts. Ron looked at Tyler again, and said, “Sorry brother.”

Tyler who by this time had consumed three drinks since arriving at the party, asked, “Why me?”

“ ‘Cause you got the bod, baby,” Dan answered before Ron could reply. “Get out there and give that booty a shake.”

Tyler grinned and for the third time of the evening began to shuck his clothing, stepping out to join the forming line clad only in socks and a bikini brief, holding his team sign. His scant apparel left nothing to the imagination. A stripper song came over the room’s speakers and the line began to rotate around the edges of the stage. Tyler strolled provocatively, flexing his muscles, and shaking his fanny much to the delight, cheers and laughter of the crowd. The crew’s team of judges slowly began to eliminate the contestants until only Tyler and 5 other men, none of whom were candidates for being thrown out of bed, were left. The music stopped and the 6 men were lined up in front of the stage. The MC, Stan, announced that the audience would choose the winner with their applause.  Walking behind each of the contestants and placing his hand over each of their heads, he announced their team number. When he walked behind Tyler the crowd went wild, making it immediately apparent that he would be the winner. Once the MC had made his tour of all the men, he announced Tyler as the winner, giving him another group of ship’s prizes.

“And now,” Stan said,” I’d like to announce the winning team. My assistants have been keeping a tally of the teams’ standings. The envelope please.”  One of the other crewmembers made a show of handing an envelope to the MC.  I’m pleased to announce that the winners are….team one!  Would all of team one please come forward?”

The six men, who were hugging each other and congratulating each other, walked to the front of the stage.

“First is the blue ribbon. ….. Uh, ….. I guess we’re out of blue ribbons. Instead we’re awarding a blue jock strap!” He handed the jock, which had been dyed blue, to Ron amidst roaring laughter.

When the laughter had diminished, he awarded each man, with the appropriate hoopla, a certificate for a free massage at the ship’s spa, a blue polo shirt with “Sojourn” embroidered over the left breast, and a matching golf hat. The audience whistled and cheered for the winners.

“That is all for our contests tonight,” Stan announced as Ron’s party again took their seats, “but there is more party to come. It’s time to celebrate the intended grooms!

A fanfare of music poured out of the speakers, as two huge wedding cakes were brought into the room, each on a large wheeled table.  The tables were placed in the middle of the dance floor, as a roll of drums came over the speaker. When a loud clash of cymbals blasted from the PA system, the cakes erupted, each with two scantily clad bodies of young men with arms raised in salute as they emerged from the hollowed out confectioner’s masterpieces.

It didn’t take a genius to admire the masterpieces that were the four young men who Ron recognized immediately as two of the pursers from the PT II, and to his astonishment, Tim and Hans. Ron quickly saw that both their bodies had grown and developed with hard muscles in the few months since he had last seen them at Christmas. The speakers within the room began to play a ‘bump and grind’ tune as the four young men began their dancing and strutting. Yells and whistles could be heard over the volume of the music. As each music piece ended, an article of the already lightly clothed dancers would come off.

Once the initial “stripper” tune was over, the tempo of the music speeded up, reminding Ron of a gay strip club he had more than once visited before Matt came into his life. The dancers had moved outside the cake, and had at first danced on the tables supporting the cake. After losing their first piece of clothing, the dancers moved to the four corners of the dance floor, spread out for the audience to enjoy their act.

Again the music stopped, leaving the youths clad only in the tiniest of matching silver shorts. As the music started once more, they moved to the table where the four grooms sat. This dance was only for the guests of honor. Each of the dancers chose one of the men to concentrate on, making eye contact, and locking gazes as they made suggestive moves and gestures. Ron and Matt were glad that Tim and Hans were dancing for Tyler and Dan.  Except at sea, the youngest two of the performers would have been arrested because of their age. Ron had to admit, though, that what they lacked in years, they made up for in sensuality. Nevertheless, he knew the two too well, and looked at both of them almost as sons, not as sexual objects. He did enjoy the dancing, almost lewd moves of the two crewmembers from the PT II who were concentrating on he and Matt. He reached down to his crotch to adjust his fully erect penis, and noticed that Matt was likewise affected.

Then the dancers moved in and drew the objects of their attention to the dance floor. Placed there unnoticed, were four chairs that now were spotlighted. The dancers drew their ‘partner’ to one of the chairs that were spaced apart from each other and indicated that the recipient of their attention should sit. The four men obeyed the gesture and what followed was a public ‘lap dance’ that had Ron been totally sober would have been embarrassing. As it was each of the men accepted the inevitable and sat back, enjoying the experience in spite of the cheers, jeers, and whistles from the onlookers. Many in the audience of friends fully expected that at least one and maybe more of the men would succumb to embarrassment and decline the public display of sexuality. None did. Each decided to be a sport and enjoy the spectacle.

When the dance finally ended, each of the dancers leaned over and kissed their “dance” recipient on the cheek. All four men grinned at the youths, and thanked them before returning to their table amidst the cheers and applause of the onlookers.

The lights in the room dimmed and dance music again came over the speakers.

“Hey guys,” Ron said to the other three. “Let’s have one final dance, then get out of here. I know there are bottles of champagne chilling on the PT I and II just waiting for us. I’ve got to admit that this dancing has got me all horned up. Something in my trousers is gonna get me real messy if it don’t get some relief soon.”

“Sounds like a plan, Bro,” Tyler agreed, pulling Dan to the dance floor. “Now don’t go rubbin’ on me too much while we dance, Babes,” he said softy into Dan’s ear. “Unless, that is, you want to see a big wet spot appear on the front of my pants.”

Dan laughed. “Sure Baby,” he replied. “I want to save that stuff for later when we’re alone. I’m gonna suck on that big dick ‘til your eyeballs are in your throat.”

“Wooeee!” Tyler exclaimed. “I can hardly wait.”

                        *                      *                      *
Later, Aboard the PT I

An hour later Tyler and Dan lay on their beds in the Master’s suite of the PT I. Upon arrival by helicopter at the yacht, they were greeted by the Captain and several of the crew who attended to their luggage while the Captain gave them a brief tour. Both were anxious to go to their stateroom, but courtesy demanded that they acknowledge the efforts of the Captain and crew to serve them. At last they announced that they were tired and wished to retire for the evening.

On entering the large suite, they were overcome by the elegance of the rooms and the cascade of fresh flowers and lighted candles the crew had provide to enhance the atmosphere for loving.

“I hope I didn’t embarrass you tonight love,” Tyler said touching the handsome young man he’d come to cherish.

“It was all in fun Ty,” Dan responded returning Tyler’s touch. “I trust you implicitly. Actually, I enjoyed the whole scene. I don’t know when I’ve laughed so much.”

“I hope you know that I love only you,” Tyler said as he caressed Dan’s cheek.

“If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be here.”

“You’ll never have cause to be concerned about my love,” Tyler promised.

“You’re the only one for me too,” Dan assured his partner.

Hands explored handsome bodies, then lips and tongues touched. The night was far from over.

                                    *                      *                      *
The next morning aboard the PT II

Ron and Matt sat on their private deck outside the master stateroom as the Bahama Islands appeared on the horizon. Breakfast was finished and only a carafe of coffee, cups and “decorations” remained on the table.

“Today’s the day,” Matt said smiling. “I know that our celebration is just a gesture to you, but it truly means a lot to me.”

“Oh, it’s more than just a gesture to me, Poopie. I’d marry you for real in a second if it were legal and you wanted to. I’m not too worried about the “legal rights” issue, our attorneys have taken care of all that, some time ago. It’s a mess to do it the way we have to, but it’s done.”

“Oh?” said Matt in surprise. “I guess I was not aware of it.”

“Yes, when we did the papers making you independently wealthy, I also had the attorney prepare and execute papers giving you Power of Attorney in the event of my incapacitation or death. The other stuff is all taken care of in my Will. You and Tyler will get it all. I’ve discussed it with Tyler, who is my only legal ‘family’, and he will see that my instructions are carried out and executed. He’ll also see, with his own wealth if necessary, that any attempt to contest the Will by any of my back-door cousins is unsuccessful. They are already taken care of anyway, and risk losing what they are to receive if they contest the Will.”

“Why would they contest the Will then?” Matt asked.

“People are greedy,” Ron declared. “And relatives are the worst! For some reason they think they deserve a share of something they never helped create, or maintain. But that’s just the way our laws are designed. In the absence of a Will, I guess it’s the only rational approach.”

“Speaking of laws,” Matt said, “What do you think of the attempt by the Religious Right to define marriage in the Constitution?”

“Two things I try to avoid,” Ron replied. “Are conversations about religion and those about politics. It’s a good way to divide people who otherwise are compatible. Since you’ve asked I’ll tell you though.”

“Spiritually, I’m a believer, which I don’t mind displaying, but I don’t push my views on others, even if their beliefs are quite different from mine. I feel the same way about politics. It’s a dirty business, in my opinion, and even though I have political ‘acquaintances’, I try not to lobby for my viewpoint as I have no intention of wasting my life in the mud of politics. I’m naturally pretty conservative politically, believing that individuals are responsible for their own lives. On the other hand, I realize that there are segments of the population who need protection and care, because they are incapable of providing their own. I’m referring to children, and people who are mentally or physically disabled, and cannot, through no fault of their own, care for themselves. I have far less sympathy for people who are so irresponsible that they place themselves in the ranks of the incapable. I don’t believe either in “free rides” for those perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, but who choose not to work.”

“I also believe that good business is good for the economy. I believe in sharing the rewards from hard work and applied intelligence with those that practice it. At the same time, I believe in the creation of wealth, but with that goes social responsibility. That is why I spend a large percentage of my time with our Trusts.”

“I think, too, that there are some things that only government can do,” Ron continued,      “For example, even with as much wealth as you, I and Tyler have, we can only do so much to affect the economy. If we cashed in all our chips, it would only amount to about 50 cents each for everyone on the planet. That won’t make much of a difference, even in the poorest countries. Government however, is so huge that it can and should be involved. Government at its best though, is horribly inefficient. Big organizations tend to be that way, so it’s not a slam solely against government. Money is better spent at the local level, only because of efficiency, not because the local guys are any smarter. The local guys can see the effects of the spent money, thus spend it more efficiently.

“Now we get around to what we stand for, and what I believe we should stand for as Americans. I’m speaking about how we perceive ourselves and the basic ideals of our republic. I ‘m not referring to the problems faced by our founding Fathers. Our country, in those days, was faced with horrible social injustice. Women were second-class citizens, blacks were largely in slavery and considered property, and even white males could be subject to being sold into indentured servitude. Had the founding fathers decided to attack all those problems at once, the republic would have been torn asunder. I believe that most of those terrible injustices have been, or are at worst on the way to being cured.”

“So where does that leave us? I believe our republic has a responsibility to offer a level playing field to all our citizens. By that I mean that each one of us should be offered the opportunity to be all we can be, without prejudice providing shackles whereby one or more segments of our society are denied basic rights. Government tries to do that by legislation, taxation and to some degree the redistribution of wealth. The money that is collected is spent for any number of things that I don’t even want to get into. The system is far from perfect, but is better than any other in history.”

“Understanding that one of the conceptual foundations of our country is the ‘family’, we see many advantages offered to “families” that are not offered to single individuals. One of the reasons is that families were a necessary part of our early history, not only for procreation to carry the family name, but also for that early civilization’s survival. Families cared for children and the aged, and even for the neighbors. The family unit was the basic labor force when we were principally an agrarian society. The children and the parents all worked the farm. It was necessary for survival. That has all changed as our country has matured. Government and private insurance now takes the place of many of the things that used to be the responsibility of the family or community. The advantages that were offered to families historically when the survival of the family was critical for the survival of the society still remain, even though, for example, population growth is no longer advantageous to society. In addition, marriage, the foundation of the family, reflects these changes. The institution of marriage has become often dysfunctional in practice, even though the idea of two people sharing their lives together is sound. The ‘glue’ of necessity however, is no longer there.”

“I follow you so far,” Matt said, “but how does that apply to the constitutional amendment?”

“I’m almost there,” Ron answered laughing. “You shouldn’t have opened Pandora’s box.”

Matt laughed with his partner. “I guess you’re right about that!”

“One last point,” Ron continued. “Marriage as practiced in this country has two parts: a civil part and a religious part. The civil part is the part exercised and authorized by government. It “legalizes” and records the institution of marriage so that the then married couples can participate in the advantages offered by government and society for them. The second part is the religious aspect. That part is exercised by private religious organizations. They invoke the ‘blessings’ of God on the union of two people according to their beliefs. Government has authorized the combining of the legalization and blessing part in one final operation for those that wish to do it that way by granting ministers and priests the governmental right to perform legal marriages. The “blessing” part is strictly private and is not regulated by Government in any way. Now we come to the dilemma. Our constitution requires the separation of Church and State, yet the Churches on the far right wish to deny same-sex couples the ‘legal advantages’ of marriage by denying the right of government to offer “equality” to those same-sex couples.  As a secondary consequence, since government ‘authorizes’ ministers and priests to perform ‘weddings’, the right of those couples to be ‘blessed’ by their own churches whose beliefs differ from those churches on the far right would be denied.”

“Next comes the condition we now face. The courts, on the basis of equality of civil rights, are overturning laws that have been passed locally in the states denying same-sex couples the right to marry. The far religious right sees the handwriting on the wall. Their only option to press their religious convictions on the same-sex population, denying the rights and advantages of marriage to gays, is to obtain a constitutional amendment, one that the courts cannot ‘interpret’ constitutionally.”

“You asked for my opinion, so now after that long diatribe, you’ve got it. I think the idea of a constitutional amendment is a travesty on our society. I believe that it reverses an area of social progress that has been made over the last 200 years in our country. Before the Civil war blacks had no rights. They were considered chattel, which means ‘mobile property’. The Emancipation Proclamation changed all that and gave them the right to marry, amongst other things. Yet here is something like 20% of our citizens that are denied that same right. Why? Because it offends some people’s religious beliefs, a totally private matter, not any business of government. Too damned bad, I say!”

“I truly believe that it is the private right of religious denominations to deny the ‘blessing’ of gay marriages in their own private churches if they so choose,” Ron concluded. “Nevertheless, I believe that it is morally wrong to deny that civil right of government, and consequently the religious right of churches who believe differently to perform marriage ceremonies.”

“Yikes,” Matt said astounded. “I never knew you felt so strongly about this subject.”

“Whether you and I wish to be legally married is our choice, but I’ll be damned if I’ll stand by and let the religious bigots deny us the opportunity.”

“What do you plan to do?” Matt asked.

“I intend to spend $40 million to defeat the attempt. I may lose, but I’m not going to sit idly by and be told by the bigots what I can do and what I should believe.”

“Count me in for another $5 million,” Matt offered. “I like it when you get all excited.”

“We weren’t talkin’ ‘bout THAT!” Ron said with a grin.

                                    *                      *                      *