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Logan's Living - Chapter 5 by Wayne Telfer
When Logan woke the following morning he was laying on his side, so the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was Ben laying there simply looking at him with a gentle smile on his face.
"Well, that's certainly one of the nicer sights I've seen on waking," he whispered.
Ben chuckled. His answer was to give Logan an unrushed kiss. "Thank you for last night."
"You're welcome, Benny. But you make it sound like the end."
"Logan, I don't want you to feel obligated..."
He stopped him with a kiss of his own. "The only obligation, Benny, is going to be enjoying myself in your company. That was a lot of fun for me too. And I really hope you want to continue. It'll be great for once in my life to have two good looking guys to share my evenings with."
That brought out the little kid smile.
Logan looked over at the clock. "Wanna go see about some breakfast? If we get it right we can surprise mom with a morning meal she hasn't had to prepare."
"That'd be fun. But I don't really know how to cook, Logan. My mother would never let me in the kitchen."
"Well, hell, Benny, we can't allow that to continue. Every self respecting gay man HAS to know how to cook."
"Does this mean I'm going to have to learn to arrange flowers or be an interior designer too?" laughed Ben as he crawled out of his side of the bed.
"Hmm, well, now, I just don't know. Maybe we should research it online. I'm sure there's someplace out there that can give us a definitive list of careers that are acceptable for gay men."
They busted up laughing.
When they arrived in the kitchen it was to find mom pouring herself a cup of coffee.
"Ah, mom. We were going to surprise you and make breakfast."
"Well, my dear, I think I'd like that very much. All I've done so far is brew some coffee. I wasn't expecting the two of you to be up so early."
Ben blushed and Logan laughed.
"You are so BAD this morning, mom," he said as he gave her a morning hug and kiss.
"I know." She pulled Ben into a hug. "I'm sorry, Benny, I shouldn't have teased you. From what Logan tells me this is all sort of new to you. It's not fair for me to make fun."
Ben laughed and then, greatly daring, kissed her right proper...for a son. "You know, in a strange way, it's sort of fun to BE teased for a change."
"So, mother, what's your pleasure this morning?"
"I just went shopping the other day, so we're well stocked, dear."
"Ok then. Come on Benny, it's going to be bacon and eggs with a small plate of dollar pancakes on the side."
Ben got the pancake duty. Mixing was easy. But his handling of the spatula and flipping took some practice. It was fortunate Logan had opted for small cakes, because poor Ben would have been a disaster with a full sized one. But it was all fun. Lots of laughter and more of that belonging that he'd had so little of.
The boys had to share Logan's toothbrush since the officer hadn't thought to include one. Of course, it was probably the simple fact that determining which brush was his had been impossible.
They were surprised when Oscar arrived with Mr. Prentice at nine. Once the introductions were made, Oscar took the lead.
"I'm here this morning because I have some news that you deserved to hear in person, Benjamin. I had the pleasure of meeting your pediatrician yesterday. After I explained what had occurred, I asked if I could have a look at your medical record. I have to tell you, Benjamin, the man was beside himself with pleasure. He nearly threw the thing at me in his rush to be able to help you."
"Help me? What's that suppose to mean?"
"Benjamin, you have a condition called Hypothyroidism."
"Ok. My Latin's a little rusty, Dr. Stewart."
"Your small stature and late development is the result of a failure in your pituitary and thyroid links. The signals that govern growth and maturation of your body are not getting where they need to go."
He paused to allow that to sink in.
"You found this in my medical file?" Oscar nodded, seeing the light of understanding illuminate. "You mean they knew and didn't do anything?" And now began the anger. "You mean THEY left me to suffer when I didn't have to?!" He was suddenly beside himself and couldn't continue.
"How long ago was this diagnosis made, Oscar?" asked Mr. Prentice.
Oscar's eyes never left Benjamin as he answered. "Three years ago."
Ben jumped to his feet and now the anger was joined with the tears of hurt and betrayal. "Three years?! Three years they've known?! And they did nothing?!!" He ran to the spare bedroom and flung himself onto the bed and wept.
Everyone was silent for a few moments.
"Can you treat it, Oscar?" asked Margaret.
"Absolutely. It'll require a shot every day for the next year or so, but it is treatable and it won't take that long to see an improvement."
With that she got up, motioning Logan to remain as he too started to rise. "Let me handle this, sweetheart."
"Oscar, I'll need a copy of that diagnosis," said the lawyer.
"I thought you might," he answered as he handed over the paper. "Are you going to have any trouble getting a guardianship?"
"Not a bit. I've already spoken to the prosecutor's office and the judge. Your record has spoken for itself, and Margaret Justice's reputation is impeccable. The only question is which of you get's custody."
"Let's let Margaret do that. I'll be support her."
"You going to try and find a new home for Benjamin like you've done with all the other boys?"
"It's already in the works. I have two interested couples already, and I think I can promise a couple of more in a day or two. Here are the names of the one's I have so far." He handed over another paper. "I'll get you the others as soon as I have them so you can review them for suitability. Mark, I don't want to drag our feet on this one."
"I promise to put all my resources on this."
Margaret entered the bedroom and immediately pulled Ben up into her arms and allowed him to vent his hurt and anger on her shoulder.
"Why?! Why do they hate me so much?!"
"Benny...Benny," she said softly. "I can't begin to tell you why anyone would want to hurt a sweet child like you."
"I never hurt them! I always got good grades! I never once got into trouble!"
"We may never know what possessed them, sweetheart. Now, I want you to calm down so that you don't make yourself sick." She could feel him trying to get control of himself. "There IS some good news, Benny."
He pulled back and looked up at her, begging for something positive. "Good news?" he hiccupped.
"Uh huh. Oscar says that there's a simple treatment that you can have that will put everything back on track. It'll take a year or so to do the full routine, but he promised that it wouldn't take long for you to begin to see the results."
"He did? There is? He can fix me?"
"Yes, dear. He promised. And I get the strong impression that he's not the sort of man to go back on a promise."
That brought out more tears. But these were far less intense and definitely of relief and not anger. She hadn't realized anyone had come in until she saw a hand patting Ben's back.
"Benjamin," said Oscar softly.
Ben looked up into wise, compassionate eyes that smiled down on him. "You can really make me better?"
"I most certainly can. I even brought your first shot along with me. It was my thought that you'd like to begin as soon as possible."
That brought out a few more tears. "Where?"
Oscar understood the question easily. "Your arm will do nicely, Benjamin." Ben immediately pulled up the short sleeve of his t-shirt and presented it to him.
He was not normally one to watch shots being given, but Ben watched every step of this one. It was a very small syringe and even smaller needle. He didn't even wince at the little stab as it went in. He simply watched in wonder at the fluid within as the plunger forced this miracle into his body. When the plunger bottomed out, the needle was withdrawn and he finally asked the all important question. "How long?"
"Before you start to see some results?" Ben nodded. "It'll take two or three months, Benjamin. I'm sorry that I can't rush it a bit. I know how much you want this to happen."
He jumped up and hugged Oscar. "It's okay. It'll be enough for me to know it's going to happen. Thank you, Oscar, thank you so much."
Oscar returned the hug. "You're welcome, my boy."
They returned to the living room where Logan gave Ben a hug.
"Oh, yeah. Much better."
By the time Mark finished with his questions, it was time for Logan to leave. He looked out the window as he stood, and noticed only one vehicle, and it wasn't one that Oscar typically drove. "Would you like to ride home with me, Oscar? I seem to be headed that way," he laughed.
"Yes, as a matter of fact, that would be perfect. Mark won't have to drive across town when he's finished here." He shook Mark's hand and then went over and hugged Ben. "We'll get something set up so that you get your shots on a regular basis. In the mean time you keep your chin up."
"Thanks again, Oscar."
Logan had just barely gotten out of the drive when Oscar couldn't wait any longer. "So...how'd it go with Benjamin?"
"Why, whatever could you mean, Oscar?" he teased. All he got in response was a glare. "All right. Things have gone very well, Oscar. Yes, we've had sex, and I have to tell you, for a novice he has excellent instincts. I'll also let you know that he's a bit further along than we thought. He IS capable of orgasms, though he'd never managed it himself, and they do include clear liquid."
"Give me a few more specifics would you please? I'm not perving, Logan, really. But I need to update his medical file and this would be a big help."
"Ok...medical stuff...let's see...his penis is four and three-quarters inches long when fully erect." That got him another glare, to which he laughed. "All right, I'll stop teasing. I jacked him off before dinner. I had to give him a lesson in lubricants first, however. He'd abused himself a bit during his two weeks of boredom. But I WAS able to give him his first orgasm and I was really surprised that I got any kind of emission. Then last night he jacked me off. He wanted to watch it happen. After that, I gave him a blowjob. Can't tell you how much he ejaculated, but it was definitely more than the first time." He paused. "God, Oscar, I've never been a guy's first partner. It was awful humbling. He was so fucking happy when it was all over with; I've never seen anyone glow like that."
Oscar simply smiled for a moment. "I knew I was leaving Benjamin in capable hands. So, is that it? One time to get him started?"
"It's funny you should ask. He actually suggested that I didn't have to do anything more with him. But damn, Oscar, I really enjoyed it. He's very conscious of signals and he's really responsive when it's his turn. And we're essentially the same age. But we've agreed that we're in this for the fun...and the learning. We've agreed to love each other, but not BE in love."
"Logan, I'm impressed. You couldn't have handled it better if I'd given you a script. Well done, boy. Very well done." He paused. "Now, Logan, about the partnership. It's not really a done deal yet. You'll be receiving a package in a week or two. You, your mother, AND Ralph. It'll be up to the three of you to decide to accept or decline the offer, as you see fit. Don't worry about the wording. It will be coming from someone that does similar things for many others; others that have no connection at all with our little side business."
"Actually, he was rather excited about the opportunity to help you, Logan. It seems that you were already on his watch list." He held up a hand to stop Logan's questions. "I'm not going to tell you more, my boy. The surprise will need to be genuine for you, so I'm going to keep the whole story to myself."
"All right, Oscar. I don't know why I'm surprised. You've managed to accomplish so much for me already that seemed impossible a short time ago. Thank you seems like such an inadequate phrase, Oscar, but it's the only one available in our language."
"You're welcome, son." He patted Logan's leg. "So, are you and Reed working or playing today?"
"A bit of both, actually. We'll decide a little later if we're working at playing, or playing at working."
Oscar laughed. He loved the boys' sense of humor. Logan and his son were well matched in that regard.
"I've been thinking, though, that'd it help a lot if I could actually see where we'll be doing this double. I've got some ideas, but I can't know if they'll work without seeing the venue."
"Well, Reed's never been there either, so Phillip will have to take you both over. Will that be a problem?"
Logan thought a moment before answering. "I can't see how. Phillip walked in on Reed and me the other morning and it didn't bother either of us. Actually, it'd probably be a good idea to have his input. He knows how things will look as we perform." He paused a moment. "The more I think about it, the more I like it."
Besides, the prospect of having Phillip present gave him a couple of ideas. Of course, he'd run it by Reed first, but there were some definite possibilities.
It was nearly eleven when they arrived at the residence. Reed was sitting in the living room with Phillip.
"Hey, brat!" called Reed.
Logan paused at the arch and put his hands on his hips. "That one's going to cost you later, you has-been."
"Phillip, the boys have never seen the theater and Logan thinks it'd be a good idea if they could actually look over where they'll be performing. Can you spare the time?"
"My afternoon's free, dad." He then looked from one to the other of the boys. "That going to be a problem?"
"My thinking is that it'd be good to have your input," said Logan. "I've got some ideas, and I'm sure Reed does to, but you'll know better how they might come off." Reed nodded his agreement.
"Tell you what, then, I'll take the two of you to lunch and then we'll go out to the theater."
"Ooh, Logan, we better take advantage of that. I can't remember the last time my big bro took me out to eat."
"Now who's the brat," laughed Phillip.
Lunch was at Phillip's favorite Mexican restaurant. Every one of them ate too much. Where Phillip took them next surprised both boys. He pulled into a bus yard; one for a local tour company. He parked inside a garage that, he said, was specifically for the use of the staff and performers.
"We've built this yard specifically because the auditorium is underground. We needed some way to disguise the fact that a lot of people were going to the same location. The way it works is that the audience get's picked up at several different locations around the area in one of the buses. The bus is specially equipped with blacked out windows and the driver's compartment and windshield are closed off from the passengers after the final pickup."
He took the boys over to another garage. It was just big enough for one bus and nothing else. Other than the large access door for the bus, the only other thing in the room was a large freight elevator. They rode down and the boys were absolutely overwhelmed. The elevator descended quite some distance; definitely more than a single floor. But when it finally lowered to their destination, the large, ornate `lobby' took their breath away.
There were three large chandeliers down the length of it. The carpet was purest white and ornately sculpted. There was a long, full service bar at one end and an equally large buffet at the other.
"The bar is open for the entire performance. The buffet is open only after the show. The audience is expected to linger afterwards. The performers shower and dress and then come out here to mingle with the audience."
That got startled looks from both boys and it was obvious that this little tradition had them worried.
"Not to worry, guys. Everyone is reminded before they depart the bus, once they arrive here, and after the show that the performers are strictly off limits except for hand shakes. And if the reminders aren't enough, you will each be escorted everywhere by your own bouncer. Huge, hulking brutes that could intimidate a mastodon."
That got a laugh from the boys.
Phillip led them into the actual theater through one of two sets of double doors. It was a theater in the round. The stage at the center of the room was, according to Phillip, thirty feet in diameter. Around this were two circles of recliners, set up so that no one had an obstructed view.
He left them standing in the aisle and left. After a few minutes, the house lights went down and the stage lights came up. Phillip cycled the lights through several different combinations.
"We have a lighting specialist," they heard over the announcing system, "that has years of experience at this sort of thing. He can create nearly any sort of effect you'd like to have. Now look above the stage."
With that statement, large video screens came to life directly over the stage. There were eight of them and they were so large that every person in the theater would be able to easily view one.
Phillip walked down another aisle toward the stage. "Stay where you are," he called across to them. When he stood on the stage, he was also viewable on the video screens. It was a bust view of him; only head and chest.
"You'll notice that I'm speaking in a normal tone of voice and yet you can clearly hear me where you stand. The theater is surrounded by video cameras. We'll have two video technicians in the booth during your performances. They can operate each camera remotely."
Just then, something remarkable began to happen. Phillip began to rotate. The stage was moving!
"And this is the final piece of the puzzle you'll have to deal with. We'll rotate the stage slowly so that everyone can enjoy views from every angle. We don't actually begin the stage rotation until you've settled into a permanent location for your sex."
He smiled. "So, what do you think?"
"Fuck! It's incredible, bro," said Reed.
Logan could only smile as his mind began to spin with the possibilities this presented.
"Come on up here, guys. There're a couple of things to show you that I can't operate and be here at the same time for."
When they were all gathered on the stage Phillip pointed out the outlines of the king size bed that could be raised out of the floor from the control room.
Well the discussion began at that point of what they had in mind. Many different scenarios were discussed and after four hours of talk and planning, two performances were agreed upon. The boys would have to work out the details and write at least a brief description so that the control room would know what to expect.
As they were riding the elevator back to the garage level, Phillip was as pleased as he could be. This would be, without a doubt, the best pair of performances he'd ever had the pleasure to arrange. It'd also be the most expensive for the clients. They would certainly be shocked by the cost, but he planned to include a money back guarantee, which he knew he'd never have to give. These would be the most original performances he'd ever heard of...and certainly the longest as well.
"Phillip, Reed and I talked a bit while you were shutting things down," said Logan as they walked back to the smaller garage. "After everything you and your dad have done for us, we'd like to make these performances the very best so that everyone will remember them for years."
"Gods, Logan, what we've put together already is well beyond anything we've produced before. I don't know that there's anything else you could improve on."
"Thanks. But it'll be over the top if we could have a day of dry rehearsal with the lighting and video guys. You said they've got years of experience, so my thinking is they'll be able to do better work on the nights of the performances if they've already been able to work out the basics and make their own notes instead of having to strictly fly by the seat of their pants."
"Actually, the guys will be thrilled with the chance to actually plan their part for a change. They've always complained that they felt like they were always playing catch up. I'll arrange something soon. Now that we've worked out the basics, I don't want to delay any longer than we have to."
"That's fine, Phillip," said Logan, "Just don't rush it so much that we lose any of the potential here. You'll do yourself a favor with the organization if we take our time and give them something unforgettable."
"Think of it, brother mine. This could be a huge feather in your cap. Dad's told me that you're well thought of in the organization; but this could take you to a new level. You'd become more than just `a handler'."
In reality, Phillip had been thinking along similar lines on his own. He even had a remarkable idea for these performance. But he'd have to talk to Dad first. This would require his permission before he even broached the subject with the boys.
"So, what've you guys got planned for the rest of the day?"
"Actually, I've got to get home. I promised mom I'd be home for dinner. I didn't think this would take as long as it did." He saw the disappointment in Reed's face. "I know, Reed, I was really hoping for some private time with you too. But it's too late to be calling and begging out of a dinner that's probably close to being done. But I'll see if I can't get away with coming back and spending the night. But I've got to be careful with Benjamin."
"You two have a bit of fun last night?"
"Yeah." He was a bit worried, but Logan couldn't see anything that he could attribute to jealousy. "He needed someone to prove to him that he's not less than any other guy."
"Hey, why so worried?"
"Well, to be honest, Benjamin's worried that you'll be jealous of the time I've spent with him in bed. I tried to reassure him. He even told me this morning that he wasn't expecting me to do anything more with him."
"Ah, bullshit! We can't let that happen. He seemed like a great kid. Hey, tell you what, you call and get permission for me to come to dinner and I'll spend the night. We'll give Ben the rockingest night of his life...together."
It didn't take more than an instant to arrange. Of course, Logan ask mom not to tell Benny he was bringing Reed over. They were soon driving to Logan's, but this time in Reed's Vette.
"Jesus, Reed, this is one sweet ride. Is this real leather?"
"Oh yes. Dad is the one that had it made over. All I got to choose was colors. It was his idea to install the Corinthian leather. The wood accents are even real wood. And the stereo wasn't even a glimmer of an idea back in `69."
Logan laughed. "Not what you'd call a stock vintage Vette."
"That's for sure. I definitely won't win any awards at Vette shows. But I did get a lot of attention and compliments at the one show I did take it too. I just had to show it off once, after all the work dad had done to it."
"Does your dad do anything by half?"
"His current philosophy is `if it's worth doing at all, it's only worth doing if you take it over the top'." He laughed. "Dad says he can't take it with him, so he's going to enjoy every bit of it now. He's told us he sets aside a bit for Phillip and I and then just lets it all hang out."
Just then Reed stuck his hand out of the window, like he was stretching.
"Cramp?" asked Logan.
"Sort of; parents. There's a restraining order, so we can't acknowledge each others' presence, but I always seem to have a cramp in my arm whenever I see them. I don't ever want them to forget what my life is like now. Did you see what they were driving?"
"You mean that beat up Malibu?"
"That was it. They just barely have a pot to piss in. So I rub there noses in it every chance I get. They treated me like a piece of shit all my life, so I'm just returning the favor."
"Gods, Reed, you really hate them, don't you?"
"You have no idea. They used to tell me all the time that I was an accident. They resented every dime they had to spend on me, from food to clothes."
"Damn, Reed, I'm sorry you had that kind of family."
"Yeah, well, I've got the best family now. Dad's made a special point of doing everything he can to spoil me without actually spoiling me, if you can understand that."
"Yeah, I get that. Then fuck them, and I'm happy for you."
"Good family...good friends...everything I could ever ask for? I'm pretty happy for me too." He laughed, then immediately sobered. "Uh oh." He was looking in the rear view mirror. "Seems like they want to make an issue of it finally. Call Dad quick and tell him my parents are following us and we're headed for the mall parking lot."
Logan made the call and listened carefully, then shut his phone. "Oscar said when we get to the mall to park on the Sears side. We're supposed to get out and act like we don't know they're there. He said the security guys will already be in place."
They parked and had just gotten out when the Malibu raced up and screeched to a halt right behind them. The man got out and came at Reed without any preamble and attempted to hit his once son. Tried...because the minute the arm started in Reed's direction, the boy was all over the man. Logan was sure the man never knew what hit him. Hell, Logan had seen the whole thing and he couldn't believe how many hits the man took before he hit the ground.
Now Logan had always been taught that a gentleman never hit a woman. But he made a gleeful exception as Reed's mother came running around the front of the Malibu to come to her husband's defense, screaming obscenities at her son. She and Logan reached the back of the Vette at exactly the same moment and he delivered an upper cut directly to her chin, with a properly clinched fist this time, just as Brad had told him to. The punch lifted her clean off the ground and landed her on the hood of the Malibu, senseless.
From behind them came laughter and a familiar voice. "Damn, boys, what the hell did you need us for?" said Jackson.
Reed never looked up from the stunned man at his feet. "Witnesses. Besides, someone's got to do something with them."
"Oh, we have just the thing for the likes of these two. Here, we'll move the Malibu and you two can be about your business."
A man Logan had never seen came around them and climbed into the Malibu, while Jackson came over and unceremoniously pulled the woman off the hood and let her land heavily on the ground. "Shouldn't we wait for the police?"
"Come on, Logan," said Reed as he started to get back into the Vette. "There's not going to be any police. This incident never happened."
There was absolute silence except for the purring engine for the first five minutes of the trip home.
"All right, Logan, you've got to get over this," said Reed finally.
"Isn't this just a little brutal?"
"No, sir! They were warned after the last time they tried to get at me."
"So they're just going to disappear now?"
"Huh?" Reed was genuinely shocked. "Oh, fuck, Logan!" He pulled the Vette onto the side of the road and came to a halt. "Is that what you thought was happening?"
"It sure sounded like it, Reed."
"Damn! You think this all has the backing of some sort of crime syndicate, don't you? Didn't Dad sit down and explain the organization to you?"
Logan had to think back for a moment. "Uh, he started to once, I think. But he got all excited about my love for floral arrangements and who my mom was."
"Damn him! Ok, here's the quick version. But trust me, when you and Benjamin come over tomorrow, I'm stealing Ben and you and dad are going to have a talk." He took a deep breath. "This whole thing is financed and supported by an alliance of wealthy businessmen, none of whom has any connection to organized crime. The board of directors are all men who are ruthless in the business world and know how to provide the same kinds of protections that the mobs do. But this is not a crime syndicate. Just a bunch of guys that love teenage boys."
"As for my parents; no, you are not going to see them for a while. But that's going to be due to the fact that they are going to be in a private hospital recovering from their injuries. Several months, most likely. There's a special unit of the security we have that enforce warnings. Don't get me wrong, those two are going to be seriously hurt. But it will be a lesson they WILL live to profit from. They might even decide to become human beings."
That was certainly a relief. Then he remembered back to the attempted rape and how upset Jackson had been by the eventual death of the man he'd disciplined. That was certainly not the response of a man in an organization that simply eliminated trouble.
"I'm sorry, Reed. Too many gangster movies, I guess."
"Still friends?" Reed reached out his hand, but Logan ignored it and hugged him across the console between the bucket seats.
"No way! But brothers, yes."
"Trust me, Logan, dad is going to get an earful from me when I get a chance to call him. You should never have been allowed to get this involved without knowing the truth. Dad has harped at me repeatedly that we can not afford to take any shortcuts with the way we run this." He gently pushed Logan away. "Now, you okay? Because we can't go home to your mom with you looking like you did a few moments ago."
"No, no, I'm fine. Let's get going or we'll be late." Once the Vette was in motion again, he continued. "Where in the fuck did you learn to fight like that?"
"After the beating I got the day I ran away, I swore that I'd never find myself defenseless again. I've been learning from the security guys. Two years of martial arts, boxing, some Army hand to hand shit, and even some kick boxing. That's the first time I ever had to use it though." He paused and there was a slight smile on his face. "God damn! That felt sooo good!"
They made it home in plenty of time. Ben was standing at the front window as they pulled up and his mouth fell open at seeing the Vette. He raced away and was immediately coming out the front door as the boys got out of the Vette.
"Whoa, Reed! This yours?!"
"All mine, little man. Wanna ride?"
He simply stared for several moments without a word. "A vintage `69 Corvette, Stingray. Never thought I'd live to stand next to one of these beauties." He paused and then realized he'd been asked a question. "Huh? Oh, no, not right now. Mom said dinner is just about done and that you two had better make it in time." He then looked expectantly at Reed. "Could we do it after dinner? Please?"
"You bet. Any time for my friend Benjamin."
Reed could easily read the disbelief. He walked over and hugged Ben...hard. "Yes, sir, Benjamin...friend. Only a friend would worry that he was encroaching on a relationship between me and your brother, Logan."
Ben leaned back quickly and looked up at Reed.
"Benjamin, that was the sweetest thing I've ever heard, really. I was amazed that a guy, just fifteen and only now realizing what he can do, would worry about that sort of thing. So you just bet that you're a friend. And to prove it, I'm going to spend the night and prove it to you."
Ben's mouth fell open in shock, and yes, anticipation.
"So, you got her to let you call her mom," said Logan, "Good for you."
"Well, mom at home. In public it's Mom Justice."
They entered the house and Reed headed for the location of the wonderful aromas.
"Hi, mom," he called out as he entered.
Margaret looked sharply toward the unfamiliar voice and then smiled. "You, too, eh? Well, I guess it was bound to happen. Well, don't just stand there, son, come give mom a kiss. I always get a hug and kiss when my boys come home."
There were immediate tears of gratitude in his eyes as he walked over and hugged and kissed her. "Thank you...mom," he croaked.
She squeezed him all the harder. This poor boy had been too long without an adult female in his life. She was, quite frankly, humbled by the fact that he wanted her to assume that role. She was discovering within herself a vast reservoir of love; enough to share with three special boys. When she looked up, she saw Logan and Benny standing at the kitchen entrance, simply smiling their approval.
She eased up and let Reed step away. "All right, I've got just enough time for one last hug before I have to get back to the stove or we'll be eating burnt...whatever it is I'm making."
"D`ja miss me?" asked Logan as he gave her his hug and kiss.
"Now why should I have missed you? Your little brother was here to keep me company. We had a good time, didn't we Benjamin?"
"It was a ripping great time! Mom, Reed's a Benny person too."
Well, Ben had to take Reed aside to explain, while Logan finished the table setting that Ben had already begun. Dinner was full of laughter and family, all capped off with a peach pie mom had picked up at her favorite bakery.
The boys volunteered to clear the table, load the dishwasher and clean the kitchen. It was a joy for Margaret to sit in the living room and listen to the laughter and playfulness of the three boys. Once done, Reed took Ben off for the promised ride while Logan simply sat next to his mom on the love seat.
"So, did you two have fun?" asked Margaret.
"Yes we did. Been a while since I just hung out with friends. We spent a few hours hanging out with Phillip and having fun, then Reed and I went to the mall for a little bit. How did you and Benny do today?"
"He described it pretty well. We had a great time. He's so starved for attention, that boy. But he took everything in stride. He simply allowed himself to enjoy our company together. We went to his house and the officer on watch let us in so we could pack up his things. Then we went to lunch and did a bit of shopping in town."
"Maybe you could look at his computer sometime. I had him set it up in the spare room. But his parents have put all kinds of restrictions on it. The boy can barely type in his password without some parental control limiting him. He admits that he spends more time at the library doing research than he does on his computer. He says it's easier. That's not right."
"Well, that shouldn't be a problem. It's unlikely that he got anything of any importance on it, so I'll just reload the operating system from my disks. It'll wipe the hard drive completely clean. I'll load on the programs I have and then you can come in and we'll set up the few controls you like."
"You think I should? I'm not really his mother, after all."
"No, you're better than his mother. Look mom, Benny's never really had access to his computer and the internet. We don't know him well enough to know how he'll respond. Let's not set him up for immediate failure. He could get himself into trouble without even realizing it. No, let's set up the same controls you've put on my computer. It's never hampered me."
"All right, if you think so." She hugged him. "I did miss you today, dear."
"And I missed you, despite all my fun."
Ben was all ecstatic boy when he got back from his ride. "We figured out that I can even fit on the small seat in back. The one time my small size has been a benefit," he laughed.
"Mom, I've invited Benny to come home with me and Logan tomorrow. We'll play some video and some pool."
"Actually, that would be good for me. I need to spend a little time catching up on my computer work. I took today off, so I have a few things to look at. Just don't make it an all day affair. I'd like to spend some time with the two of you."
"We'll go over first thing in the morning and come back for lunch," said Logan. "Benny and I'll even make it. How's that sound?"
"That sounds fine, dear. But how about we modify it and have you home by two and then you both can make dinner?"
"What's on the menu?!"
"Steaks and corn on the cob. I thought you could teach Benny a bit about grilling. Since you want to do the cooking tomorrow, you can grill. I picked up some fresh morel mushrooms, too, I know how much you love them. Oh, and I got some of those huge shrimp we love. And before you ask, yes, there's plenty to invite Reed."
All three boys whooped for joy. Then she had to endure hugs and kisses all around. Oh, what a horrible life she was leading, she thought, with a laugh to herself. All this youthful enthusiasm was certainly energizing. As the boys left for Logan's room she found herself marveling at herself. She knew perfectly well what would be taking place in that room tonight...and she didn't care in the slightest.
During their day together, she'd gotten up the nerve to ask Benny how he'd felt about his night with Logan. Once he got over the shock of the question and she'd assured him that she wasn't in the least offended...well, the boy had done exactly what Logan had predicted... he effervesced. There was no other word that applied for the way his delight had blossomed. He'd been circumspect enough to keep details out, but he'd made it quite clear that he was thrilled with what he'd learned and who he'd learned it from.
So, if this is what it took to make their lives complete and happy, then where was the harm? They were being careful and not going faster than any of them could handle. She'd discerned that much from Benny's description. She somehow had a feeling that Oscar was keeping a discrete eye on the situation. That eased her mind as well.
She was just glad now that her computer room sat between hers and Logan's room. It was likely to be lively in there tonight. And with that thought, she chuckled inwardly all the way to her room and a long luxurious soak in her whirlpool tub. She wondered if any of them would still have the energy for a full day tomorrow. `Margaret Justice, your son is right,' she thought as she closed her bedroom door, `You are just SO BAD.' Of course, now that she was behind closed door, she laughed aloud.
"Hey, Logan, this is one nice room. It's definitely a gay boy's room, isn't it?"
Logan laughed. "Hey, floral arrangements are my passion." There were two large paintings of elaborate floral displays and several smaller pictures strategically placed around the room. "That one over the bed is pretty special, though. After that last charity fashion show she had me take my favorite pieces to the studio of an artist friend of hers. It took him two weeks to paint this just for me. Take a look at the signature."
Reed stepped up and read what he found aloud. "Commissioned for Logan by Mom, Rene` Francis Gebauer. Hell, Logan, even I've heard of him. Dad says he's one of the modern masters. I didn't know he lived here."
"Most people don't. He refuses to have his privacy violated. So he lives in relative anonymity here. He's a great guy though. He had me in stitches when I was at his studio setting that arrangement up. I swear, he took nearly a hundred photos of that arrangement before he had me take them away. He said they'd never have lasted long enough for him to do it justice."
Reed laughed. "He didn't say that..."
"Oh yes, he most certainly did. My stomach hurt, I laughed so hard."
"Well, you're one up on dad. He has an original Gebauer, but not a personal commission."
"So, Benny, mom says your computer is set up in the spare room."
"For all the good it does me. I can't sneeze in its direction without a parental restriction popping up. I can't even use it to do homework research."
"Yeah," said Logan sympathetically. "That's what mom said. Have you got anything saved on it that you want to keep?"
"Hell, Logan, I barely used it."
"Tell you what, then, after dinner tomorrow you and I will sit down and wipe it clean and load it with all my software. We'll have you a computer that you can actually use, in no time. I've even got some spare hardware floating around here that we can use to upgrade you a bit if it needs it."
"Hell, that'd be great, Logan. I used yours for a bit this afternoon and couldn't believe the things I could do. I only got one parental block the whole time."
"Yeah, mom's pretty cool about it. We'll be setting up the same blocks on your computer. That okay with you?"
"Sure, Logan. Hell, the only reason I got the one block is because I mistyped my request. If it hadn't been for that, I probably wouldn't have known there were ANY blocks." He paused a moment. "I don't know if my computer is very up to date."
"Okay, we'll take a quick look at it in the morning and see what you've got for hardware. We can stop at the computer store on the way home and pick up any bits and pieces we need to make sure you're part of the twenty-first century."
"Gods, Logan, that could run quite a bit of money."
"So? It's my money. If I want to spend a bit of it on a friend, then where's the harm? Ralph gave me a substantial hiring bonus, so I've got it to spare." He could see Ben's eyes tear up, so he walked over and simply hugged him. "Get use to his, little brother. This is how real families treat each other."
The silence lasted for a few moments before Reed broke it.
"Hey, Logan, you better stop or Benny's going to drop a load in his pants." He laughed at Benny's blush as they all looked down at his tenting pants.
"I can't help it. I get hard every time you guys are around."
"Hey, Benny, it's all right. I was just teasing," said Reed. "Hell, when I first figured out what that thing could do, I started wearing underwear that was three sizes too small, trying to hide my perpetual woody. Not that it really helped. My parents kept buying me pants that were too small." He then looked up at Logan. "May I?" He tilted his head toward Benny.
"Be my guest," smiled Logan as Benny simply looked from one to the other of them, not quite believing what was happening.