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

The author reserves copyright privileges as of July 2004. This work may not be post on any other website, nor reproduced, except for personal use, without the written permission of the author.

Dedication: To all my readers of the R&B / R&M series. This chapter is the last of Ron and Matt, but there will be a sequel to come in the late fall. Thanks for reading and your kind e-mails. HUGs

If you’d like to comment on how much you liked these stories, how much you didn’t, make suggestions, or just say ‘Hi” my e-mail address is

                                                RON AND MATT

                                                   Chapter Fifty

9:30 AM, Monday, Bank of America, Las Vegas

Dan sat in a comfortable chair waiting his turn to see the lady in charge of the safe deposit boxes. For some reason, there seemed to be a “run” on the boxes today as he was third in line to gain access. He could have just gone to see the Manager who personally handled all of their accounts, but he felt it was tacky to “pull rank” for every minor chore. In a thin briefcase he’d brought along were the Death Certificate of Emma Thorsruud, an original copy of the will, the box key, and other papers that their attorney said would be needed to access Emma’s safe deposit box. Dan was glad that his small staff of the Las Vegas office of Construction Leasing, Inc. was so competent, as his recent absences had not been convenient but necessary. He had taken one final day off after the Houston trips to tend to Emma’s affairs, such as accessing her safe deposit box, and taking Jerry to her home to remove those mementoes he wanted from his life with his dear Grandmother. He and Tyler had discussed it over the weekend and both felt it would be better to put those chores to rest before Jerry’s adoption on Friday. It was time for him to get on with his new life, without undue baggage from the past.

Dan sat thinking of the weekend past. Senator Young was finally in jail, and the judge had refused bail, after reviewing evidence of his new crimes that were committed after he had been released on bail previously. Plans for the adoptions of both Jerry by him and Tyler, and Ronnie by Ron and Matt, were finally complete. Many of their friends from around the country were joining them for the celebration, including Bryan and Alan and a whole New York contingent. A huge party was planned for their estate on Friday afternoon and evening, following the adoption. The following day, the “new” families would be leaving for San Diego for their condo, then onto the PT-I for a four day cruise up the California Coast.

The final drawings had been received from the Frank Lloyd Wright school for their new house on Friday, but they had been so busy with all the excitement going on that he and Tyler had not had a chance to look at them until Saturday. The expansion of the “family wing” was perfect. Tyler was meeting with Ron’s architectural firm this morning so that the construction drawings could begin. The firm was already working with the civil engineers to get county approval for the land development, a lengthy process. Ron had estimated that it would take about 6 weeks to get the drawings finished, and the land development approval plus another three weeks to get the permits and finish the bidding for the construction. It appeared that construction would start sometime in August, and with a little luck they could move into at least the family wing by Christmas.

They had all decided to go to Europe the last week of July for three weeks. By then the PT-II would be free after Parker and Mary’s wedding cruise, and the construction of his and Tyler’s house would not have started.

Both Ronnie and Jerry were becoming more than friends. The four adults had commented on the relationship between the two boys, but decided not to interfere and let nature take its course. The boys were now out of school, and were looking forward to the summer ahead. They both expressed an interest in golf, so Matt would sign them up for Junior Golf as their main summer activity, though it would take a bit of maneuvering to work their golfing schedule around the planned trips. Jerry would also be home-tutored on a plan that Ron had worked out with the school district so that he would not be held back in school due to his illness. Three teachers had nice “summer jobs” making that happen.

While waiting, Dan also thought about the three men and two boys that now filled his life. Ron and Matt were the perfect couple, strong, capable and caring, yet totally devoted to each other and now Ronnie. His thoughts turned to Ronnie, still carrying scars from his past, but quickly mending under the guidance of his soon to be parents.

Tyler was Dan’s dream of a partner. He was handsome, smart, considerate, yet filled with ambition. Best of all he loved Dan with great tenderness, mixed with a passion that made their lovemaking totally fulfilling. Dan knew how truly lucky he was and returned Tyler’s devotion and enthusiasm in full measure. Jerry was the new love of their life. Dan could see the pride in Tyler’s eyes whenever the subject of their new son arose. The boy filled a vacant spot in the older men’s relationship that neither had known even existed.

Dan looked up from his reverie when he heard his name spoken.

“Mr. Barnes,” Elizabeth Franks, the branch manager said, interrupting his thoughts.
“What may I do to help you this morning?”

“Please call me Dan, Elizabeth,” Dan replied as he stood. “I need to access a safe deposit box, and I was just waiting my turn.”

“You don’t have to do that, ..Dan,” she responded. “You know I’d be happy to personally take care of your business.”

“Thanks anyway,” Dan responded, “We’re not too good to wait in line, or even take out the garbage if it needs doing. We put on our pants one leg at a time, just like everybody else. Occasionally we do ask for exceptional service, and you’ve been wonderful about taking care of us at those times, but normally we want to be treated just like regular folks. I will say though, it’s very nice to be recognized and welcomed so warmly. Besides, I’m up next, and it’s been pleasant just having a few minutes to quietly collect my thoughts.”

“Please know that we’ll do everything in our power to take care of our best customers,” the manager said smiling. “Please feel free to call on me personally at any time.”

“Thanks for your kindness, Elizabeth. Oh, I see that the lady is ready for me,” Dan concluded, “It was nice seeing you again.”

“Thank you, Dan,” she responded as she stepped away returning to her desk.

Dan walked to the counter and opening his case took out the papers and safe deposit key needed. The lady serving him was polite and efficient, and within 10 minutes, he was standing in front of Emma and Frank Thorsruud’s safe deposit box. He inserted and turned the key that Emma had given him, and the bank officer inserted the one she carried, then swung open the door, removing a covered metal tray.

“If you’ll follow me sir, I’ll show you to a private booth where you may open the box.”

She carried the tray to a small booth with a chair, placed the tray on the counter, then stepped away, saying, “Please call me when you’ve finished, and I’ll come back to replace the box and lock up.”

“Thank you Ma’am,” Dan answered as he lifted the lid on the box.

Dan looked inside. There neatly arranged were several mementoes that had obviously had special meaning to Emma and Frank. Each was carefully tagged with the significance of the item. There were two manila envelopes in addition to the collection of trinkets. The first, which Dan opened, was labeled ‘Family’. Inside were photos of Emma, Frank, and a younger Jerry, as well as old photos of their families and ancestors going back into the 1800’s. There was a folded “family tree” document indicating both Emma’s and Frank’s branches, and going back several generations. There was also a yellowed narrative of perhaps 15 pages that had been written by Emma’s mother describing her family lineage, and another, much briefer narrative authored by Emma, tracing Frank’s family. Knowing Jerry’s love of his Grandmother, Dan appreciated the treasure that Jerry’s Grandmother had left for the boy.

Dan replaced the contents of the envelope back inside, and turned to the last envelope which was marked ‘investments’. Opening the clasp he dumped the contents on the Formica counter and unfolded the documents that were revealed. Apparently Frank had made a number of investments without Emma’s involvement. Dan looked at the old stock certificates and was amazed. There were a couple that he didn’t recognize, but he was pleasantly surprised to see several in the names of IBM, Microsoft, GE and Berkshire Hathaway. The dates went back into the 60’s and having an idea of the growth of those companies, Dan felt sure these were some valuable stocks.

He stepped out of the booth, flagged the lady at the counter, and asked to see Elizabeth again. In moments the manager joined him.

“Elizabeth,” he began. “The contents of this box contain some stock certificates that are fairly old, but of good companies. They are owned by the direct and only descendant of the bearer named. Would you copy the certificates and have your investment department establish their present value? I’d like a copy to take also. I’ll leave my cell number, and would appreciate a call when the value has been established. Also I’d like to change the box ownership to Jerry, the owner’s direct descendant who is a minor, and Tyler or me until he reaches maturity.”

“I’d be happy to see to it right away,” the manager responded. “If you’ll wait just a moment we’ll run the copies, then call you later when we’ve established the value. In the meantime we’ll also change the box ownership. We’ll require you to sign a signature card, and bring Tyler and Jerry in to sign theirs. During the interim we’ll provide access to you without any difficulty by my authorization. I’ll bring the papers too for signature when I return the certificate copies.”

“Thanks, Elizabeth, I’ll just wait here,” Dan offered.

Two hours later Dan, Jerry and Ronnie were at Emma’s house where Jerry was deciding what items to keep and which to discard. Fortunately for the trio, Emma had foreseen her own demise and had a list of her suggested “keepsakes” and their location. The ones that Jerry wanted immediately were taken to the Escalade that Dan was using for the occasion, and the remaining items were placed in a neat pile in the center of the living room for later pickup. Emma also had furniture that she wanted given away to designated charities and a list of items to be disposed of. Jerry reviewed the lists and had taken most of Emma’s suggestions to heart, but selected several additional items of personal sentimental value to keep in memory of his grandmother.

They had just completed their work and were ready to lock up the house, when Dan’s cellular phone began to ring.

“Mr. Barnes,” the caller said, “ I’m Josh Wickersham from the Bank of America Investment Department. I have tallied the stock certificates. I’m sorry it’s taken so long, but there have been stock splits and in the case of two of the certificates, mergers that have been a bit time consuming to track.”

“Have you established the present value?” Matt asked.

“Yes sir,” Wickersham answered, “It’s an approximation of course, since stocks change in value constantly, and there is a possibility that some of the conversions are not 100% accurate. By my calculations, the present value of the certificates is approximately $4,673,842.”

Dan was speechless. He knew the stock had value when he saw the company names but had no idea of the total.

“That’s wonderful,” Dan gasped, remembering that Emma had thought she was almost destitute.

“There’s more,” Wickersham reported. “There is approximately $418,342 in cash dividends waiting to be distributed or reinvested. “Would you like us to handle the collections?”

“Yes. Please,” Dan replied. “Please inform me when the collections are complete,”

“It should take about 10 days to two weeks,” the banker reported.

“Thank you Mr. Wickersham,” Dan replied. “We’ll be down in the meantime to decide on what to do with the money. Mrs. Franks has all the legal documents necessary to prove ownership but in the meantime if there are any problems, please call me.”

“Thank you for using Bank of America, sir.”

The phone in Dan’s hand went dead.

                                    *                      *                      *

11:30 AM, Ron’s office 

Tyler stepped through the doorway into Ron’s private office after being announced by Margaret.

“Hi bro,” Ron said smiling as he looked up from his desk.

Tyler joined Ron at his desk, placing an envelope on the flat surface before taking a seat opposite his brother.

“We received the signed agreement from Atlanta,” Tyler announced. “We’re placing the full purchase price in escrow with a final closing at the end of June.”

“Congratulations,” Ron said beaming. “Aztec-Turner Security is exploding. Our other divisions are doing well too. I just finished our morning meeting with our Executive Staff. Sorry you couldn’t make it, but you had the meeting with the Architects. By the way how did that go?”

“Six weeks and we should be ready to submit for permits, just like you said,” Tyler reported. “How was the staff meeting? Anything I should know?”

“Nothing too critical. They presented a ‘net worth analysis’ of our assets, and it was impressive. I had a copy sent to your office.”

“Care to give me a sneak preview?” Tyler requested.

“Sure. Assuming that the Atlanta deal goes through, your and Dan’s net worth is pushing $500 Million, mine and Matt’s is at $1.6 billion, and the combined assets of the Friendship Trust and the Turner Trust is at $1 billion, with the Thornton Trust topping out at $57 million.”

“Wow! That’s impressive!” Tyler said in shock.

“Yes, but what’s most impressive is what you’ve done with Aztec-Turner. It’s turned your fairly modest fortune into a sizeable one, and added substantially to Matt’s and mine too.”

“Any major problems?” Tyler asked.

“Not really any of critical nature,” Ron responded. “We have too much cash and need to make another acquisition, and also decide on some more beneficiaries of our charities, but neither of those are emergencies. Have you decided on your General Manager for Atlanta?”

“Yes and no,” Tyler answered. “It was really a toss-up between Wes and Gary. Both are capable. Wes would like the job, but his wife is opposed to moving, even though the job pays more. He told me that if I ‘assigned’ him the job he would go, but if I ‘offered’ him the job, he’d refuse. I guess he’s trying to save face at home. He’s waiting for my decision.”

“My tendency is to keep him here,” Ron remarked, “though the decision is yours. What about Gary?”

“Gary is a natural for the job. It’s his neck-of-the-woods, he knows the Zeckendorfs, which would make the transition easier and he’s certainly capable. There is only one drawback.”

“Oh?” Ron asked. “What’s that?”

“If he goes he wants to take Jessie Fox with him as his partner. I wasn’t sure how you’d feel about that.”

Ron paused in thought.

“I think Gary would make an excellent General Manager. As for Jessie, I’ve forgiven him for his past mistakes with me. A year ago, before I met Bryan, I had no forgiveness in me. When I learned about Brian’s forgiveness of his former partner who had nearly killed him, I learned what forgiveness really was all about. Jessie only hurt my feelings, and I believe he won’t make that mistake again. As long as Gary knows about Jessie’s past and still loves him, why should I interfere? I’m for offering the job to Gary, but as I said before, it’s your decision.”

“Thanks Ron, I agree. I know that Jessie’s been up-front with Gary. I’ll offer him the job.”

“Yikes,” Ron said smiling. “I guess that means Leonard is going to have to find another Recreation Director for the Thornton Center as well as a counselor.”

“It looks that way,” Tyler said returning the smile. “Did you hear about Emma’s stock portfolio that Dan discovered in her safe deposit box?”

“No,” Ron answered. “What about it?”

“It seems that our new son is worth about $4.6 million in stock and over $400 thousand in cash dividends,” Tyler responded.

“That’s great!” Ron said in surprise. “It’s too bad that Emma didn’t live to enjoy it.”

“Yes it is,” Tyler agreed, “But she was a simple lady and didn’t want much more than she had. It’s just too bad she had to worry about Jerry’s medical expenses needlessly. Nevertheless, if it hadn’t happened the way it did, we most likely wouldn’t have a new son,” Tyler observed.

“Yeah, It’s funny sometimes how things work out. I guess that it all ended for the best for her, meaning she got her true wishes for her grandson.”

“I feel sure that’s true,” Tyler agreed. “I know it’s resulted in Dan and I realizing our best dreams.”

                                    *                      *                      *

Thursday evening, McCarran Airport Executive Terminal

Ron and Matt watched from the terminal building as Alan, Bryan, Rich and Brandt were the first to step down the stairs from the G-V. Close behind were Bryan’s parents, Richard and Ann Adams. Jack Smith and his partner Lonnie Austin brought up the rear of the New York crowd that was arriving for the adoptions and celebrations afterward.

Later, the new G-V would arrive from Florida where Captain Larson, his son Hans and Ron’s ‘foster son’ Tim had been picked up before the big plane stopped in Atlanta to add the four Zeckendorfs to the entourage. They were expected to arrive and be greeted by Tyler, Dan and Gary. While the New York group would be staying at Ron and Matt’s estate, the Florida group would be staying at the nearby Marriott Casino Hotel.

Friday had been declared a holiday at the offices of Turner Holdings, and all employees, except those in vital positions would be given the day off. Those who had to work had been offered either “comp time” or double-time pay in compensation. An office party to celebrate the adoptions had been thrown earlier in the day to allow all the Las Vegas employees to participate in Ron, Matt, Tyler and Dan’s happiness. A few upper management people who were there would also attend the celebrations the following day.

Ron looked at the handsome and radiant Bryan as he walked across the tarmac hand-in- hand with the love of his life, Alan. Ron couldn’t help remembering the lunch date where he and the young man had met face-to-face for the first time. So much had happened since then. Their lives and adventures had been shared, though some of it remotely, with so much love, grief and success that it was hard to comprehend it all. Ron thought of all the people that had been a part of their lives in the past year and the happiness that had resulted. No one could be luckier than he, Ron concluded as Bryan and Alan stepped through the doors of the terminal to be welcomed by warm hugs from their hosts. The same warm hugs were exchanged with all the newcomers before the group traversed the large building to their waiting cars.

                                    *                      *                      *

Friday, 3 PM, Clark County Family Court.

The judge looked down from her dais at the four men and two boys that were the subject of this case.

“I’m very pleased to preside at this adoption,” she said with a smile. “I’ve reviewed the petition and adoption papers, which are in order. I am also aware of the petitioners’ good work and commitment to providing for the homeless and underprivileged in our community. The letters of recommendation I’ve received are from some of the most respected citizens and officials in our valley, and speak highly of the moral values the petitioners have consistently displayed.”

“It is however, unusual that gay couples petition for adoption. In this state marriages of gay couples are not legally recognized, and therefore the petition for adoption for each of the two boys must be by Ron or Tyler Turner. I have also reviewed the documents providing for legal protection and privileges executed by each of these men for their partners, and find that they give sufficient basis for adoption of either of the boys by their partners in the event of the demise of either of the petitioners. That said I’d like to meet the boys together in chambers at this time.”

The judge stood, and the bailiff called out, “All rise.”

Ron’s attorney had previously prepared the boys for this almost certain eventuality, so as they stood, the boys moved around the table where the bailiff met them and escorted them into the Judge’s chamber.

On arrival there, the boys found the judge sitting on a chair next to a sofa and coffee table, pouring herself a cup of coffee from a silver carafe.

“Come here boys,” she offered with the sweep of her hand. “Have a seat on the sofa so we can talk. Would you like a soda or some water?”

“No thank you Ma’am,” they both replied.

“That’s fine,” she said dismissing the bailiff with a wave of her hand as the boys were seated.

“Let’s see,” she began, “you’re Ronnie and your Jerry correct?” she said indicating each of the boys in turn.

“Yes Ma’am,” they both echoed.

“We’ll start with you first Ronnie,” she began.

“Okay,” he agreed.

“Do you want to be Ron’s son?”

“Yes Ma’am,” Ronnie answered. “I want to be Matt’s son too.”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible at this time,” she replied. “Perhaps someday. Do you think Ron and Matt both love you?”

“Yes, I’m sure they do,” Ronnie answered. “I love them too.”

“What makes you sure?” the judge asked.

“They have taken real good care of me, even when I’ve done bad things,” Ronnie said. “They don’t yell at me or hit me or do any bad things to me, not even when I deserve it. They buy me clothes, and all kinds of neat stuff and they spend time talking to me. Not as if I’m a baby either. We do fun things together and they let me have friends over. They make me do my homework and the things I’m supposed to do. Most of all I trust them like I’ve never trusted anybody before.”

“That’s a very good answer Ronnie,” the judge said. “Did they tell you what to say to me?”

“Oh no Ma’am. Their lawyer said that you might want to talk to us and told us what he thought you might ask. Ron only said to tell the truth, even if it wasn’t what we thought he would like us to say.”

“Good,” she said smiling. “Jerry?” the judge said, turning to Tyler’s boy. “Do you want Tyler to be your dad?”

Jerry thought for a minute. “Yes, but I’d rather have Dan as my dad,” he replied.

“Why is that Jerry?” she asked in surprise.

“Oh I love Tyler too, but when I was in the hospital with that leukemia stuff, Dan was with me every day. Tyler had to work and couldn’t be there much, so I got to know Dan a lot better. I know my gramma liked ‘em both the same,” Jerry continued, “so I guess one is as good as the other. I just know Dan better.”

“That’s reasonable,” the judge said smiling. “What happened to your Grandmother?”

“She died while I was in the hospital.” Jerry said with a bit of sadness. “Tyler and Dan were very nice. They flew her back here from Houston so she could be buried by my Grandpa like she wanted. They paid for everything, including my doctor bills. When I got sick, she was gonna sell her house so I could get well but they wouldn’t let her. Then they gave a bunch of money to the hospital to help other kids like me too. They really take good care of me and love me, I’m sure.”

“If I allow Tyler to adopt you,” she questioned, “Do you want to change your name to Turner?”

“Yes Ma’am. I never knew my real dad and I’d like to take my new Dad’s name.”

“Good. Now the next question is the hardest. Has Ron, Matt, Tyler or Dan ever done anything to either of you that they shouldn’t?” she asked both boys. “I know this is a hard question, but I need an honest answer.”

“Do you mean like sex and stuff?” Ronnie asked.

“Yes, or hitting you, abusing you or anything like that?”

“NO WAY!” Ronnie answered in a raised voice. “I know bad people, but that’s not any of those guys! They’ve never been bad to us in any way. Sure they make us pick up our rooms and take baths and that kind of thing, but that’s what Dad’s do, ain’t it?”

“Yes, that’s what Dads do,” the judge agreed smiling. “Well, we’ve had our talk. Now you can go join the men who are about to be your new dads.”

“Yippee!” they both shouted as they hugged each other, then the judge.

Her Honor was enjoying every minute of the display of affection and excitement.

“Ok now git,” she said shooing them toward the door to the courtroom. “We’ve got other people waiting who are not as lucky as you guys.”

The boys left the room as directed, and the judge put back on her robe and headed back for her pleasant task.

“All rise,” the bailiff ordered as she appeared in the doorway.

She took her seat, and the people in the courtroom again sat down.

“Normally I ask petitioners questions in an adoption, but the boys have done an eloquent job of expressing both your caring and commitment to them, so I’m dispensing with that part. I am granting the petition of Ron Turner to adopt Ronnie Turner as his son. I’m also granting the petition of Tyler Turner to adopt Jerry Smith as his son. Jerry has asked the court to change his family name to Turner, and that request is also granted. This case is closed. Congratulations.” She banged her gavel on its block, stood, smiled and exited the room before the bailiff could hardly speak.

The boys hugged each other, their new fathers and even the lawyer. Then turning to the friends who had come to witness the ceremony, they hugged each of them too.

                                    *                      *                      *

An hour later at Ron and Matt’s estate.

The party was in full swing as Matt’s Mercedes and Dan’s Beemer pulled into the garage. Those not attending the adoption itself had begun the celebration after a phone call to the house by Ron. On entering the house the new families were greeted with hugs and well wishes. Those attending the adoption were arriving, and the four older adults were busy with greetings and introductions while all the youngsters were playing in the pool.

Once all the guests had arrived, Ron asked for their attention as he stood in the large opening between the Living Room and the Family Room. The room quieted down.

Ron began to speak.

“Matt, Tyler, Dan and I all welcome you to the celebration in honor of the adoption of our new sons, Ronnie and Jerry. Everyone here is a special friend, whose friendship we appreciate and treasure. We’re delighted that you could join us. Dinner will be served at 6 PM and I’m sure the food will be good and the company we’re certain, will be the best. As you know, we don’t stand on formality here, and sometimes are a bit raucous. In the spirit of our new children, who fortunately are outside, I’ve got a good one for you.”

Groans and laugher filled the room.

“The pretty teacher was concerned about one of her eleven-year-old students. Taking him aside after class one day, He asked, ‘George, why has your schoolwork been so poor lately?’”

“‘I’m in love,’ the boy replied.

“Holding back an urge to smile, she asked, ‘With whom?’”

“’With you,’ he said.”

“’But George,’ she said gently, ‘don’t you see how silly that is? It’s true that I would like a husband of my own some day. But I don’t want a child.’”

“Oh, don’t worry,’ the boy said reassuringly, ‘I’ll use a condom.’”

The group roared with laughter.

When the room quieted down, Ron continued.

“There is a man here this afternoon, who is one of our new special friends. His name is Daniel Bargnesi. Daniel is the boys’ principal at their school, and was most helpful in a recent crisis. I hope you will all take time to meet him.”

Ron indicated the older man, who was a bit taken aback by the attention and applause.

“Daniel also knew that we were trying to adopt the boys, so he wanted to be sure that we knew what we were getting into. To prepare us for the strange thinking of the young, he sent us a collection of analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. I’d like to read a few:

“Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a thigh master.”

Laughter caused by the image rose from both rooms.

“His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.”

The laugher repeated.

“He spoke with wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.”

The laughter rose in volume.

“She had a deep throaty genuine laugh like that sound a dog makes just before he throws up.”

Ron continued on before the laughter completely died.

“He was as tall as a six foot three inch tree”

He rolled on.

“The revelation that his marriage had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge free ATM.”

And on through the laughter...

“The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t”

A few of the audience began to giggle continuously.

“McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.”

Ron picked up the pace in spite of the rising volume of laughter.

“Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.”

“The hailstones leaped up off the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in grease.”

“John and Mary never met. They were like two hummingbirds that have never met.”

“He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.”

You could barely hear Ron over the roars filling the house.

“Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.”

The audience was in tears.

“The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.”

“The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for awhile.”

“Oh Jason, take me!” she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on $1-a-beer night.”

“He was lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a really lame duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a landmine or something.”

“The Ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.”

“He was deeply in love when she spoke. He thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.”

The laughing in the room was uncontrolled.

“She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.”

“It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids with power tools.”

The laugher was continuous as Ron concluded.

“It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.”

Ron paused with a huge grin until the laughter finally subsided.

“I’d like to thank Daniel for his contribution to our merriment. Now please enjoy our hospitality. For those of you with weak stomachs, I’m pleased to announce that there will be no jokes told before or after the blessing at dinner.

A huge round of applause followed Ron as he stepped into the crowd to mingle with the guests.

                                    *                      *                      *

6:15 PM, dinner

Ron rose from his seat at the head of the table. All eyes looked his way.

“I want to thank you again for being our guests tonight. I hope you’re enjoying yourself. Now if you’ll join me, I’d like to ask God’s blessing on this celebration.”

“Heavenly Father, Tonight our hearts are filled with joy. To our family You have given the blessing of two new sons, Ronnie and Jerry. Our hearts go out in thanksgiving for this gift of love. I thank You too, for this gathering of friends who share our lives, friends who have stood with us through times of joy and through times of pain. They are our brothers and sisters in life. Quick to assist in times of trouble, they have helped carry the burden and have joined in our quest to do Thy will. I also ask Your blessing on those we love, our partners and our families. You have taught us that love is the greatest gift. It is in love that we ask Your blessing on this gathering and upon the food that has been prepared for our use in doing Thy will. In Your name we pray. Amen.”

Saturday morning 2 AM

Ron and Matt lay in bed in a quiet embrace.

“I was so proud of you tonight and of Tyler and Dan, and the boys too,” Matt said quietly. It was quite a celebration.”

“I was proud of you and proud to be with you too,” Ron echoed. “You have no idea how much you mean to me.”

“In that you’re wrong, Love. I’m sure I feel just as strongly about you.”

“Everyday with you has been a special gift from God,” Ron said declaring his thankfulness for his partner.

“I don’t know how to even answer that, my dearest man,” Matt admitted. “I think I’m blushing, but I know that I thank the Lord every night for bringing you into my life. You’re handsome, smart, caring and loving. You’re generosity is beyond anything that I’ve ever known. I can think of no one more blessed than I am. I have you.”

‘Yes you do,” Ron said as he pulled his partner and love of his life close, bare skin in full sensual contact. “For now and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…”

                                    *                      *                      *

At the same time, the Greyhound bus station, downtown Las Vegas.

A kindly man helped Douglas down the steps of the bus. Holding Doug’s crutches in one hand and offering his support with the other, he watched as the youth struggled with a desperate determination to traverse the obstacles made even more difficult by his club feet, deformed legs and lower back pain, all the result of birth defects. His Mother had recently died and after the cheapest funeral and pauper’s burial, Douglas had taken the few dollars he had remaining, and left Cincinnati to find new hope in Las Vegas. He had only enough money for one night’s lodging and a simple meal, so his quest was urgent. His pocket held a scrap of paper that meant his future, his only hope of a decent life. On the paper was written one name. The name was … Ron Turner.

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I hope you have enjoyed this story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. I would like to thank all of you readers for giving of your time while reading it. I’d like to thank too, all of you who have written and those who have been its inspiration, Ryan, Alex, Dan, Bill and so many, many more. I’d like to especially thank Bill H. my editor for his hard work expertise, and encouragement. Without him the story would have been a far poorer work.

I will be posting another story, called “Ciao” immediately. It is being written by a co-writer, my friend Cody and me, and is quite different (a good bit sexier, LOL) than the Ron and Bryan/ Ron and Matt stories. At the end of that story (probably in the fall) the third book of the Ron and Bryan/ Ron and Matt series will appear. It will be called ‘Empire.’ Ron, Matt, Tyler, Dan and the boys say goodbye for now and the author, John, sends HUGs and wishes for more love and laughter in your life.