.  The names and events in this story are all figments of my imagination, and I apologize for any similarity to your life or lovers. I assure you, it's not intentional

I claim copyright privileges for this story. It springs from a favorite fantasy of mine, and if you find it enjoyable, let me know with an email to

I want to thank all those who took the time to write. It's exhilarating to know my work is appreciated in places I will never have the time or resources to visit; Australia, New Zealand, Europe, as well as many North American cities and towns. The sheer volume of the email precludes individual answers to everyone any more, but rest assured, each one is read and valued highly.

The usual disclaimers apply. If you are under the legal age in your State or Country, please go read something else. If you are offended by homosexual liaisons between a boy and an adult, why are you reading stuff from an erotic gay site? Nifty has something for every palette - even (ugh) straight ones.

For all the rest of you, enjoy.

Eric - Chapter Five

I went downstairs and puttered around the kitchen for a while. We had put most of the leftovers, (which weren't many) away so there wasn't much to do except load the dishwasher. Eric got such a good feeling out of doing that, I decided to let it go until morning. He could do the breakfast dishes at the same time.

I went in and turned on the computer, but there wasn't much happening online. All my IM buddies had their own families to talk to, and none of them were into bragging about their presents yet. There weren't many I could tell what Santa had brought me anyway.

I made myself a highball at the bar, and went in to sit by the fire. The little train was still dutifully chugging around the track, and the fire had burned down to a comfortable glow, but the room felt unrelentingly empty without Eric's presence. I looked at my watch. It was only eight o'clock, but I had no desire to watch TV, and there was nothing else to do. I finished my drink, turned off the train and tree, and climbed the stairs. I looked in on Eric, watched him sleep a while, and then went to bed content that tomorrow would be another glorious day..

I woke up about three in the morning. I was not alone. Eric had awakened and come into my bed. I felt a sense of panic. He was clinging to me, and his erect little penis was poking me in the small of my back. He had his right arm over my chest, and his leg draped over my hip. I could feel he was naked, and I also sensed he was awake. His breathing was slow and regular, but he wasn't snoring. "Why are you sleeping here instead of your own bed," I asked quietly.

"It was lonely in there," he answered. "I woke up and the house was all quiet, and I got scared you had left."

The bright moon had climbed to it's winter zenith, and was on it's way to the southwestern horizon. The room was flooded with the soft light, and when I turned over and faced him I could see his features plainly.  "That's something you never have to worry about," I said, and put my arms around him.

He slid his hand down from my chest to my crotch, and wrapped it around my rapidly stiffening cock. "Boy! You've got a big one," he said massaging it gently. "I bet you squirt a lot too."

"Eric," I admonished him, "what are you doing?"

"I just want to give you my Christmas present."

"You already gave me more than I could possibly have hoped for yesterday," I told him softly. "You don't have to do anything but be yourself. Maybe someday when you are older, and you know what you really want, we can do this, but now is not the time."

He started to sob. "I knew it. I knew it," he cried. "You don't really want me. I'm such a dork." He began to weep uncontrollably.

My eyes started to burn with tears. I said, "Eric, it has nothing to do with wanting you. I can't tell you how much I want to do this too, but it isn't right. You are offering yourself as a commodity; as a 'present' that can be bought and sold - a roll in the hay or a quick blow job. You are worth so much more than that. You are a wonderful young man, who has made my life complete. Sex would only be a quick release that we would both regret in the light of day. Do you understand what I'm trying to say?" I kissed his forehead.

 He nodded, but continued to sob with self-flagellation.  

I felt like I had kicked him in the teeth. I had refused what, in his mind, was the only gift he had to give - his body.  I said, "You have already given me your love, as have I given you mine. Sex may become a part of that love, but not until we really know all about each other, and know it's the right thing to do. Has it occurred to you that you may not really be gay?"

He looked at me suddenly, and said thoughtfully, "No," and after a pause, "but I don't like girls, and I do like doing all those sex things to boys."

I noted that he had stopped crying. "I understand that, and it's possible that you are, but you are - what - fourteen?"

"I will be in April," he said.

"You're much to young to lay that kind of label on yourself," I said. "When you label yourself, you are more likely to try to live up to it. Give yourself some wiggle room. At least make some allowances for the alternate possibilities."

"OK," he said releasing my manhood. "Are you mad at me?"

"Of course not," I said. "Actually, I'm rather flattered that you would even think about having sex with a dirty old man like me." I smiled at him, and he gave me the beginning of one.

"You're not dirty." he said with a little snicker.

I kissed him on the tip of his nose, and said, "There are people who would argue that point with you."

He kissed my nose, and said, " I want to stay here with you tonight."

"Do you have a particular reason? I asked.

"Lots of them," he answered. "I like it when you hold me like this; I like being close to you; and" he added with a devilish grin, "you might change your mind."

"Anything is possible," I said, "but it's very unlikely. Besides, it's almost time for me to get up."

"But it's not even light out yet," he objected.

"It is in New York." I said, "and that's where greedy people are getting ready to go to work trying to get a bigger piece of the pie than anyone else. Christmas is over. The financial tigers will be out in force stalking their prey."

He looked at me with a puzzled look. "Why do you care what happens in New York?"

"Because that's where the tigers do their hunting. What happens in the Stock Exchanges there affects the whole world. That's where money and power change owners with lightning speed - fortunes are made and lost in the blink of an eye."

"You mean they could take what you have, and we'd be on the streets?

That can't happen Little One," I told him. "Not unless some of the strongest banks in the world went bankrupt at the same time. Most of my money is cash on deposit at twelve different banks. I have very little invested."

"So why do you have to get up?" This boy had hold of a single thread, and knew he hadn't gotten the answer he wanted.

"First of all, I'm slept out. Second, if I don't get my workout done early, I won't do it at all. I missed yesterday because I overslept, and two days in a row is the beginning of a bad habit. And thirdly, I want to watch what's happening in New York so I can save what I do have invested if it comes under attack - or I might see an opportunity to help a friend save his butt."

"Oh," he said. "It's really complicated, isn't it?"

He disentangled himself from me as I nodded. "Sometimes," I said, getting out of bed. I thought, The stock market isn't the only thing that's complicated.

I went into the bathroom, drained my bladder, washed my hands and face, and put on a pair of shorts with a built in jock along with a pair of cross trainers. As I passed through the bedroom again, he was lying there watching me. "Will I have big muscles like that when I get older?" he asked.

"That depends on how hard you work at it," I answered. "And the older you get, the harder it is to keep in shape."

I went down to the basement exercise room, and began with a brisk walk on the treadmill after some stretching exercises. I did some curls and a few moderate bench presses. I was working up a pretty good sweat doing weighted sit-ups on a machine when Eric walked in with my cup in his hand. I could see the steam coming from the open top carrying the unmistakable aroma of Columbian Coffee. I finished my reps, took the cup from him, and took a sip. He waited with an expectant expression on his face. He was so serious, I almost laughed, but frowned instead, and took another sip as if doing a critique for a gourmet magazine. "Very good," I said. "A little too much sugar, but very good."

His face relaxed and changed into one of elation. His smile appeared and chased all the shadows from every corner of the room. "I told you I could do it," he bubbled. "I told you I could make your coffee."

I put the cup down, and pulled him into a hug. "Yes, you did," I said, "and I may let you make it every morning if you want to get up this early."

"I'll have to think about that," he said.

I drank about half the cup, and finished up the workout with a half mile jog on the treadmill, and some "cool down" stretching. Then I took the cup, and went up to my bedroom, stopping for a refill on the way through the kitchen. I noticed Eric had loaded all the dishes from the dinner into the dishwasher, and cleaned up the kitchen while I worked out.

I showered, shaved, and got dressed in clean sweat pants and a t-shirt. Eric followed me like a puppy wearing his brilliant smile the entire time.

By six o'clock, I was sitting in front of the monitor reading and comparing stock prices. Eric had brought one of the chairs in from the conference room, and sat quietly next to me. I saw that my assets were all but unassailable for the time being, so I looked at the commodities markets. Gold prices caught my eye, and I watched them slide for an hour or so, and then bought a thousand ounces. Eric watched with interest the whole time. He blanched when he saw the amounts on the screen, but I explained that I would make a profit when I sold the gold, he nodded and silently sat next to me. He finally asked, "How do you know when to buy, and when to sell?"

"I buy when I think the price is lower than it should be, and I sell when I feel I will make a fair profit," I said. "Most of the traders who lose fortunes are greedy, and they take chances by buying when a stock or commodity is higher than it should be in the hope it will go even higher. Sometimes they are right, and they make a lot of money, but often they lose their shirts.

"I don't need the money," I continued, "so I don't have to speculate like that. I do this more as a hobby than as a way to increase my fortune. It gives me something to do, and I enjoy it."

"Do you always make a profit?" Eric asked.

"Not always," I answered, "but usually. I can afford to sit on a purchase until the market comes around, and so I get to write off any paper losses until the price goes up. The only time I lose is if a company I have a share of goes bankrupt when I'm not watching. That does happen, but not very often. I'm pretty careful.

"Look here," I said pointing at the monitor. "The price of gold has started to rebound. It's already two dollars higher than I paid. When it gets to ten dollars or more, I'll sell it. It may go much higher than that, but if I'm not greedy, I will make ten thousand dollars. Not bad for a day's work." I smiled at him.

"Why did the price go down this morning?" he asked.

"Somebody probably needed the cash, and was willing to sell at a loss to protect a larger investment," I told him. "There are people out there who will try to cause those kinds of emergencies so they can profit from someone else's misery. I don't do that, but I am willing to take advantage of it when it happens."

He nodded like a wise old trader. "You try to make the greedy guy lose, don't you?"

"What I do keeps him from getting the whole pie," I said. "I try to get as big a piece as I can without stretching my neck out too far. Every sale is recorded, so they can find out who snatched the missing piece, but I'm kind of proud that they respect me enough to limit their questionable tactics when they know I'm watching."

I sold the gold just after noon, and shut the machine down a little after one. Eric was starting to yawn, and I was ready for lunch. I realized he had n't had any breakfast, and said, "You must be hungry."

He looked at me with surprise, and said, "Yeah. I didn't have any breakfast, did I?"

"Let's go see what there is to eat," I said. "How about a roast beef sandwich?"

"From yesterday's dinner?" he asked.

"Sliced to order," I said.

"Yeah! And is there any of that soup left?"

"Enough for you," I said, "and I can do without. It's fattening."

"You're not fat," he exclaimed.

"And that's the way I'd like to keep it," I said with a smile.

I heated the soup and sliced the meat while he emptied the dishwasher and put the dishes away. I was pleased that he did it without being asked. He had taken over the dishwashing chores as if that was something he had always done, and he did it cheerfully.

 I ate a sandwich while Eric finished the soup, and had two sandwiches. I noticed that his color was better since he was eating regularly, and his mood swings were not as pronounced. I decided to put him on a vitamin regimen, and got out a bottle of multivitamins. "Here," I said giving him the bottle. "I want you to take one of these every morning when you get up. They will help you grow, and fill out. You can take one now."

He took the bottle, opened it, and swallowed one of the pills with a big swallow of milk. I noticed he was not thrilled with the size of the pills, but got it down without incident. I asked, "Would you rather take a chewable kind?"

"Yeah," he said. "I'm afraid these big pills will choke me."

"Well, try to get one down every day until we can get to the store." I said. "It will be a couple of days until the roads get cleared. I'll have Tom pick up some of the chewable kind as soon as he can get out."

"OK," he said, "but can I take it when you're around in case it gets caught in my throat?"

"That'll be fine," I said. "Just don't forget them. You've been without proper nutrition for a long time, and I want you to catch up as soon as you can."

We went and sat down in the family room. I said, "We need to talk about what we each expect from the other." He got an alarmed look on his face. "Not to worry," I said. "We both need to discuss our boundaries. I'll start so you know what I'm talking about.

"I have very few rules. One is that I will not tolerate drugs of any kind on this property other than what a doctor prescribes. That rule is non-negotiable. Another is that I will not be lied to. I will not lie to you, and I expect the same courtesy from you."

He clouded up and cried, "I haven't lied to you. I never lied to you."

"I'm sure you haven't," I said, "just as I'm sure you don't use drugs. I'm just giving you the contents of the same rule book I gave to Tom and Carl - and will give to anyone else who comes to stay here. Please don't think I'm accusing you of anything.

"I realize you probably don't like the same kind of music I like," I continued. "As far as I'm concerned, there has been very little music written in the last hundred years - and none in the last thirty. My definition of music is the harmonious joining of melody and tempo that produces a good feeling in me. Rock, Punk, Heavy Metal, and other loud, discordant kinds do not make me feel good. They make me angry. Rap, in all its forms, is completely devoid of decency, and is only marginally saved by an insistent rhythm, and that quickly becomes obnoxious."

"What do you like then?" he asked. "What else is there - besides country?" he added with a disparaging tone.

"A world of sweet melody, and mathematically correct tunes, themes, and motifs," I said. "I like music; pieces that were written down two or three hundred years ago, and have survived without change for all that time. Think of the music I like as eighteenth century rock and roll. Back then, there were no radios, Walkman tape players, or CDs. Almost everyone played an instrument so they could play music at home or join in with friends at parties. It's still possible to find three or four friends who play together for their own enjoyment or for others. It's called "Chamber Music," and it can be found almost everywhere if you look."

I went to the stereo, and punched up some Mozart. "This is what I like - among other things," I said as the lilting melody of "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" filled the room. "You probably think of it as 'elevator music,' but if you listen to it carefully you'll find there's a kind of peace in the interplay of the different instruments."

Eric listened attentively to the development of the themes, and didn't say anything until the end. I was astounded when he not only named the piece, but also the chamber orchestra that had performed it. "That was Mom's favorite," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, we don't have any differences when it comes to music. One kind I really hate is "country." That's what my father always had on - and he cranked it up 'til even the redneck neighbors complained."

"That's great," I said with an appreciative chuckle as the stereo slipped into the first strains of the "Jupiter" Symphony. "Now I need to tell you something about the estate. You've seen the house, so I don't have to go into that, but the grounds are immense, and until you get to know them, I want you to have someone with you all the time when you're outside.

"What do you mean by 'immense,'" he asked.

"I own four sections of land," I said. "That's four square miles of grounds - more than twenty five hundred acres. You could get lost. Heck, I could get lost. Tom knows every inch of it, but he's been here for ten years. The reason I'm concerned is that there are rocky outcrops that stick up all over the place, and you could fall off one of them and be seriously hurt. If you are alone and that happens, you would be in serious trouble."

 "Where is the lake?" he asked.

"You can see it from the patio," I said. "It looks like a snow-covered field right now, but it won't be long before it turns into water again. It really doesn't matter though. We'd have to dig a path through six feet of snow to get to it right now."

"When will it be water?" he asked.

"When's your birthday?"

"April 12th," he said. "Will it take that long?"

"Usually, no, but this is an unusual year." I chuckled and said, "We might need snowshoes until July."

"No way," he said with disbelief, then, "Really?"

I chuckled again, and said, "Probably not. It gets relatively warm in March and April. We'll probably be able to go fishing on your birthday if you want to."

"ALL RIGHT!" he said excitedly. "I want to! I never went fishing before, but some of my friends told me it's really neat."

"One more thing," I said. "I will expect you to study your schoolwork. I'll find a placement test on the Net, and we'll find out how far you've really gone in school. Then I'll get the right textbooks for you, and help you with them. I think you're very bright, and I also believe that if you put your mind to it, you can finish all the requirements for high school by the time you're eighteen - perhaps even sooner."

"You mean you'll be my teacher here at home? I won't have to go to school?"

He seemed excited at the prospect. I said, "Precisely so, but I don't want you to think I'm an easy taskmaster. You will have to work harder to get things right because I don't know everything. Some things we'll be learning together."

"When do I have to start?" he asked a little apprehensively.

"I'll start looking for the test in the morning," I said. "All the schools are out for the holidays, and it will take a little while to get the books after we find out which ones you need. You can take the test as soon as I get it, and the books will take a day or two get here. I'd say probably next week or the week after."

"OK," he said with a tone that clearly said this was not what he wanted to hear.

"What kind of grades did you get when you were gong to school?" I asked him.

"Mostly 'B's" he said, "especially in Math and Science, but I got a 'D' in Social Studies, and a 'C' in Spanish. PE wasn't my best time either. The coach gave me a 'Satisfactory,' but most of the other guys got 'Good' or 'Excellent.' I got picked on a lot in PE too. All the other guys were bigger than me."

"That should be 'bigger than I', " I corrected..

"No, they weren't that big," he giggled.

I chuckled with him over the double entendre, and went on. "What grade were you supposed to start last September?"


"Good," I said. "That's about right for your age. I'm going to call my lawyer tomorrow and see if he can help us get your records. You don't need them now, but you will in the future."

"You mean my school records?"

"Yes. Those and other things like your birth certificate, Social Security card, and things like that," I said.

"Good luck," he snorted. "My old man has all that stuff. Mom used to keep them in the family strongbox, but I haven't seen that since she died." His eyes filled up, but he quickly put the memories out of his mind and said with disgust, "He's probably still using me as 'his little tax deduction'."

I smiled at him and said, "That's the advantage of having a lawyer look into it. He'll probably want to ask you some questions that will give him an edge when he talks to your father. Even if that doesn't work, there are other ways to get the things you need.

"Now, what do you want to talk about. What are the things you expect. Do you have any problems with staying here?" I continued.

He thought a while, and said, "Everything is great, and I want to stay." He paused a bit and then continued, "What are you like when you get mad at me?"

I was a little shocked that he would ask something like that. Then I realized he had been physically as well as emotionally abused by his father. "I doubt I could get angry with you," I answered. "I would more likely be disappointed with your behavior. Either way, I promise I will never hit you or hurt you in any way - ever - for any reason."  I paused, and added a caveat. "Except, of course, in self defense, and I can't picture you angry enough with me to attack me." We both chuckled at that scenario.

"Can your lawyer get the money in my bank account?" he asked. "Mom helped me open a savings account a long time ago, and every time I made a deposit, she put something in it too. There was over a thousand dollars in it when I got kicked out."

"Aside from the fact that you no longer need it, I doubt your father would overlook a sum like that. I understand your concern; it's money your mother meant for you to have, but the reality of the situation is that he has probably already spent it. I will ask John to look into it, but I think that will turn out to be just one more pressure point to get him to concede the things we want."

"You mean he can get away with stealing my money?" he exclaimed.

"In a word, yes," I told him. "You are classified as a 'minor child' under the law, and your parents can do what they want with your money on the pretense that it's in your best interests. I don't think it's right, but it is the law."

 "THAT SUCKS!" he shouted.

"Yes, it does," I said. "The law doesn't take into consideration special circumstances. It's always 'One size fits all.' When you reach your next birthday, you will be a 'minor' - that's the legal term for a person who is no longer a child, but not yet an adult. Overnight you become more responsible for your decisions, and your behavior. If you were fourteen now, he could not have withdrawn the money without your signature - which, given his evident thirst, he probably would have forged anyway."

"Why doesn't the law protect a kid's money?"

"The lawmakers in the legislature believe they did when they made the law that says a minor may not even have an account if his parents don't know about it. That protects the minor from spending it on foolish things. They didn't stop to think a parent might rip off his own kid."

"That's stupid. Why would a kid even want to put his money in a bank then?" he asked.

"Well, it makes it inconvenient for his parents to steal it in the middle of the night," I  chuckled. "You have to understand that most parents are trustworthy. Your father is an exception to the rule.

"While we're on the subject of the law," I said, " there is something else that will affect you and your ability to stay here. There is no way the State will let you stay here if they find out I'm taking care of you. "

His face fell, and the tears began to form. "What do you mean? Why not?"

There was no way to sugar coat what I had to tell him. "Because I am a registered sex offender. I've been in prison for doing what you wanted me to do this morning," I said. "Plus, I'm homosexual, unmarried, and old. Any one of those things would give a social worker a heart attack, but all together it will spell disaster for both of us if the wrong person finds out you live here. I will go to prison for the rest of my life, and you will be sent to a foster home - or worse, a group home - until you're eighteen."

He started to sob, and I drew him onto my lap and into an embrace. "Don't worry about it now, Son. If we play our cards right, we might get away with it until you're eighteen, and then they can't touch us. Heck," I smiled at him, "I might die by then."

His head came up with a start, and his eyes bugged out. "Nooooo," he moaned. "Please don't leave me alone again."

"Hey, I'm not planning on it, but shit happens. I think I'll live an extra twenty years just because you came into my life. You have made living worthwhile. It's fun to get up in the morning again. Then too, Tom and Carl would take care of you if I wasn't around."

We sat with our arms and legs tangled in a tight embrace for a half hour or more. Finally I said, "You're going to have to let me up if you want to eat tonight."

He loosened his grip on me slightly, but laid a full, tongue-twisting lip lock on me. I savored the taste of his young lips and saliva, and we both got erections. There was an insistence in him that I found impossible to resist. After an extended time that seemed like hours, I felt him stiffen in my arms, and moan quietly. I pushed him away gently, and said, "You will never know how much I love you, Eric."

"I love you too, Dad," he said after a long pause. His eyes were still glazed, and I noticed a large wet spot on the front of his pants. He looked at it and blushed. "I don't know what happened, but I got a great feeling down there while we were kissing. Was that wrong?"

I realized he had achieved his first orgasm during the kiss just from the intensity of it. I smiled at him and said, "Of course not. Nothing that comes of love is wrong. Have you ever had that feeling before?"

"No," he said, "but I'd like to have it again." He gave me that wide grin. "What was it?" he asked.

"I think you had an orgasm," I said, "and it looks like you squirted in your pants."

He blushed a deep shade of crimson and said, "You mean I cummed? Really?"

"It sure looks like it, and that sounds like the feeling a guy gets when he cums, I told him. "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck."

He swelled with pride in his accomplishment, and said, "That's great! Now I really am a man!"

I chuckled at his exuberance and said, "You were a man long before this. Being able to cum only means you can now make babies. You'll have to be sure to wear a condom when you screw a girl."

"I don't want to screw a girl," he said with some disgust.

"Well, even if you wanted to, you're not going to get the chance today, so go upstairs and change your pants before that sticky stuff dries and you have to peel them off with a pair of pliers."

He jumped up, kissed me on the cheek, and ran for his room as I rose, adjusted myself surreptitiously, and headed for the kitchen. I got the makings for a stew out of the fridge, and started cutting up a large piece of beef chuck. Eric came running in bubbling with energy. "What can I do?" he begged.

"You can start cutting up those vegetables," I said, "carrots first, then the green peppers and celery." I chopped the onions, and put them into a large Dutch Oven with a splash of Olive Oil. As they sizzled, I watched Eric, and told him, "Not too small. They should be about bite size, or a little bigger. If you cut them too small, they will be done long before the meat, and they won't have any taste at all."

I salted and floured the meat, and put it into a hot skillet to brown. I added the vegetables to the Dutch Oven as Eric finished cutting each kind.  By the time they were all cut into chunks, the meat was nicely browned on all sides, and I added it to the big pot. I poured some Burgundy into the skillet to loosen the fond, and after stirring it, and letting it reduce a bit, I added it to the stew. I added some beef stock, salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, a few  mashed cloves of garlic, and let it come to a boil.  Then I put a lid on it, and put it in a slow oven to simmer. All told, it took less than a half hour to get it in the oven to cook.

It was a little after three o'clock, so I went into the computer room, and called my lawyer, John Bishop. I asked him if he could drop by for some confidential information, and a request for him to do some work for me. He was glad to hear from me since he had some news for me, and offered to come right then. I said, "I doubt you can get up here tonight. We have more than five feet of snow on the road up the hill." I was curious about what his news was, but had learned that rich men don't talk about business on the phone. I would have to wait until tomorrow.

"There is still about three feet on the valley floor, but the plows have been out since last night, and the roads are in pretty good shape, " he told me. "Why don't we plan on tomorrow about two?'

"That sounds doable," I said. "If necessary, I can get Tom to plow the road down the hill tomorrow morning. I doubt the county will get up here much before next week - if then."

"I'll see you at two then," he said, and hung up.

I walked back into the kitchen where Eric was just finishing cleaning the counters. He had washed the utensils and skillet we had used making the stew. I said, "Thank you, Eric. I think I'm going to have to give you an allowance for the work you do around the house."

"You don't have to do that," he said. "I'm just trying to make myself useful."

"Well, you certainly do that, and I don't know where you'd be able to spend it, but I think a young man should learn how to handle money. You can save it in a strongbox I'll get for you, and if there's something you want to buy for yourself, you can tell Tom when he goes to town, and he'll get it for you."

He looked at me with that brilliant smile and said, "I really don't need anything but you."

"I know, and I'll continue to supply everything you do need, but you never know when you'll want something I don't think of," I said. "By the way, I just spoke to the lawyer on the phone, and he will be stopping by tomorrow afternoon."

"Do you want me to hide in my room while he's here?" he asked.

The shock of his question brought me up short. He was willing to deprive himself of any other human contact to protect our relationship. I said, "Thank you for the thought, but that  won't be necessary. John is my lawyer, but more than that, he is an understanding friend.  Besides, part of the reason he's coming here is to meet you, although he doesn't know that yet."

"Why does he have to meet me?" he asked. "I thought we needed to keep me a secret."

"Yes, from the wrong people, but John has to know about you so he can get the things for you that we talked about before," I said. "Then too, he might have some ideas about how we can get around the law, and make it work for us instead of against us."

"How can he do that?"

"I don't know if he can, but I know he is living with a young man of seventeen, who has been with him for a couple of years now," I said. "He adopted the boy after his parents were killed in a car crash."

Eric brightened, and said excitedly, "You mean you're going to adopt me?" He launched himself at me, and I staggered back with the impact, barely able to keep my feet.

"Whoa there," I said. "Nothing is carved in stone yet. It's only an idea I've been thinking about. Our circumstances are vastly different that John and Billy's. For one thing, nobody knows John is gay. For another, Billy was almost fifteen when John filed the adoption papers."

"But it's possible?" he gushed. "I can really be your son?"

"We'll see," I said cautiously. "I can't make any promises, but we can ask John when he gets here tomorrow. Let's just wait to hear what he will have to say about it."

Eric loosed his grip from around my neck, and I lowered him to stand on the floor. He reattached himself to my waist, and said, "I love you, Dad."

"I love you too, Son."

We stood there for a few minutes enjoying the closeness of each other. Eric let me go, and ran to the dining room window when we heard the rumble of the snowplow. I followed him to the window, and we watched as Tom swung down from the cab and started for the door with a shovel. He made short work of shoveling a path to the front door, and knocked. Eric ran to open the door, and greeted him with a huge smile. "Hi Tom," he said. "Bob is going to adopt me!"

Tom looked at me with arched eyebrows, and answered, "That sounds like a good plan."

I smiled at him, and said, "Well, I'm going to try. John will be coming here tomorrow afternoon. Can you plow the road down to the main road in the morning?" I asked.

"No problem," he said. "That's what I stopped in to ask you. I didn't know how long you wanted to be snowed in." He smiled at me. "I've got all the estate roads cleared. All that's left to do is clear out a couple of aprons and paths."

"You've been busy," I said. I knew the extent of the job - six miles of roads, and numerous pathways and parking aprons for the various buildings. "Why don't you call it a day, and finish the paths tomorrow after you do the access road. It's getting dark anyway."

"Well, I want to finish your porch first," he said. "It won't take very long since I'm already here, and it will be one less thing to do tomorrow. What time is John coming?"

He said he'd be here at two," I said.

"That will give me plenty of time to do the road both ways." He waved his hand, and went to work on the front steps.

Eric said goodbye, and closed the door. We went into the game room where we racked up a game of eight-ball, and played until the stew was ready.  I skimmed the fat, and slathered a loaf of French bread with soft butter mixed with garlic paste, grated a little Parmesan cheese on it and put it under the broiler for a minute or two.

After we ate the savory stew, accompanied by the crispy garlic bread and  the leftover salad, we watched a movie on TV, and then went upstairs. Eric said, "I'd like to sleep with you. Can I?"

"Not tonight, Little One," I said. "We need to be able to tell John we aren't sleeping together, and I'm not sure how much longer I can resist your temptations." I chuckled, and added, "You are a very desirable young man."

"OK," he said resignedly. "Will you come in and kiss me good-night?"

"I wouldn't miss that opportunity on a bet," I told him.

We each did our nightly ablutions, and I went into his room, knocking on the door before entering. He was lying in bed on his back with evidence of his anticipation tenting the covers. I said good-night, and kissed him on the lips. He sucked my tongue into his mouth, and tickled the underside of it with his. I let him take charge briefly, but didn't allow the kiss to go too far. He was a little disappointed, but let me straighten up. "Good night, Son," I said. "Pleasant dreams. I love you."

He answered, "I love you too, Dad. Will you wake me in the morning so I can work out with you?"

"Of course, if you want me to."

He smiled,  turned on his side, and sighed contentedly. I think he was asleep before I closed the door.


Now we know what the problems are. Chapter Six will tell us what the lawyer has to say about them.

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