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Chapter 12

Mark and Ted hopped a cab home that night

"Why didn't we just walk?" Mark asked on the short taxi ride.

"I'm tired Mark" Ted lied. He'd rather not take any risks, even if his fear about the bashers returning was just paranoia.

Mark's mind reeled when Ted explained the situation with his newfound relatives.

"I don't even know them, my mom never talked about a cousin Bill" Mark explained.

"Well the social worker says you're related but you can ask them all about it yourself." Ted advised.

"I have to see them?" Mark wondered.

"It's up to you, but I'd suggest that meeting them isn't going to cost you anything. If it doesn't go well then you don't have to see them again but as I said, what's the risk?" Ted explained but Mark knew the man well enough to know that meant `you're meeting them whether you want to or not'.

"Ok, but you're going to stay with me right?" Mark negotiated.

"Of course, we'd meet right here" He noted meaning the apartment.


"Can I leave at 4 tomorrow Emm?" Jason asked as they worked together on the Friday night.

"Hot date eh? Let's see how busy it is but I'm sure we can get you out early so you can pretty yourself up for Teddy" Emmett replied.

"Mark's relatives are coming over in the afternoon; Ted might need some stress relief after that!" Jason suggested.

"Hmm I should offer to take Mark, he might need some support, unless you guys are taking him with you?" Emmett said.

"Don't know" Jason shrugged, "Aren't you out with what's his name tomorrow?"

"Larry, we broke up" Emmett lamented, "Apparently he found my sexual appetite too demanding" He adding rolling his eyes.

"That's what you get for dating a guy your own age, you need a young stud" Jason suggested.

"That hasn't worked for me either, I'm too old!" Emmett explained.

"Naa you're not old, guys like you, mid thirties, experienced, you're perfect" Jason complimented.

"Thanks Honey but I'm not some twinks wet dream any more" Emmett noted.

"Bah! Close up the store early and I'll pound your ass in the back room" Jason announced.

"Thanks honey" Emmett replied to the young man's effort to make him feel better.

"No seriously" Jason continued.

"What are two bottoms going to do together and besides you're dating Teddy" Emmett replied nervously wondering if he could withstand the advances of his studly employee.

"Ted and I are just dating, we're not committed, he's told me flat out that he might get back with Dustin, so I'm still a free agent and besides, where do you old guys get all these rules? Top or bottom, one guy at a time, we're not breeders so why are we following their rules? Believe me Emm I'm equipped to be a top." Jason completed his tirade by gesturing to his crotch.

"That would feel way too strange honey, besides Ted already gave me a lecture about not doing anything with my employees, let alone right here in the shop" Emmett rejected definitively.


Mark was very fidgety on Saturday before his relatives were to arrive. His normal habit of lazing in front of the TV had given way to short bouts of pacing and intermittent computer game playing. Ted could see the boy was agitated and pulled him onto his lap as he passed. Mark lay back and allowed Ted to wrap his arms around his front, hugging him from behind as they sat together on the lounge chair.

"It's going to be fine Mark, there's nothing to be worried about" The man comforted.

"I know" Mark replied softly.

Thankfully the man and his wife arrived. Ted greeted and let them into the apartment where Mark was waiting. He stood by the kitchen, half covered by the breakfast bar as though he needed to conceal himself.

"Come here Mark" Ted ordered softly.

"This is your cousin Bill and his wife Mary" Ted introduced the unremarkable couple.

Mark shook hands with the pair of adults around Ted's age. Ted offered refreshments as they all settled in the lounge.

"We're very sorry about your mother's passing Mark, but she's with the lord now" The woman began.

"I didn't know your mother very well Mark, I saw her a few times at family gatherings before you were born, she ... Strayed from the path Mark" Bill continued.

"We were out of the country when your mother died, I'm sorry we didn't get to you sooner" The woman commented as though the pair took turns talking.

"It was very nice of Mr. Taylor to take you in" Bill completed. Mark found it strange to hear Ted being referred to as Mr. As though he was a teacher.

As Mark didn't respond to them the woman took out a photo album and started showing Mark pictures of their home. Mary yammered on about the place and how much nicer it was compared to the city. Mark had always lived in a city so he really had no idea what the woman was taking about. There were pictures of their son Peter, at various ages. The last few pictures showed the rough and tumble teen on a dirt bike.

"Peter's very excited about meeting you" He heard the woman say.

"Would you like to visit our house and meet Peter Mark?" The man asked.

"Yeah, ok" Mark said softly

"Great we'll come get you next weekend" Bill announced.

Mark looked over at Ted who had remained an observer during the meeting.

"Mark and I will discuss it and I'll call you" Ted replied on the boy's behalf, asserting his authority.

"Mark can you show me your room" Mary said while standing. "The men can talk about things," She continued as she took him by the hand.

Once they had left sight of the lounge Bill spoke,

"I'm told you're a homo-sexual" Bill started as though he had to force himself to say the word in two parts.

"Yes I'm gay" Ted confirmed, not realizing that the social worker was going to give out all his personal information.

"And you have a homo-sexual partner" Bill carried on.

"We've been separated for a couple of months now, I'm not sure if we'll get back together or not" Ted replied taking a very factual tone.

"Yes, I understand that pairings amongst you people don't last very long" Bill commented.

"That's not really any of your concern" Ted countered not liking where Bill might be going with this.

"Only as it affects Mark" Bill replied

"Whom you see only at my discretion" Ted advised stamping his authority on the conversation.

"Of course" Bill conceded, "Has Mark had any religious education?" He asked.

"Not that I'm aware of, he goes to a public school" Ted reported as Mary and Mark returned.

Bill stood and gestured Mary towards the door. Shaking hands with both Mark and Ted he closed the meeting with "I do hope Mark can come visit us for a weekend soon."

Once they had left Mark turned to Ted and said, "Now that was weird"

"I won't argue with you there" Ted replied.


A couple of hours later they had another visitor. Jason arrived wearing his Toronto Maple leafs Jersey.

"Hi Jason" Mark greeted. "Are you guys going to the game?"

"First time the Leafs have made the cup finals in my life time! I'm just lucky enough to know someone who can get tickets." Jason reported. "Ted if you want to ask me to marry you, tonight's the night" He jested.

"Thanks" Ted replied as Mark gave him a disapproving look. "I wasn't going to tell him we were going to the game"

"That's ok" Mark advised somberly.

"You're not even into hockey that much" Ted justified. "Besides Emmett will be over to hang out with you later"

"I can just walk to the pet store," The boy suggested.

"No" Ted said sternly "I don't want you out by yourself at night"

"Jason's been teaching me some moves," Mark advised as he demonstrated his new self-defense skills.

"You're no where near ready to take on anybody buddy. That's just emergency moves so you can runaway. Ted's right, wait here for Emm" Jason confirmed Ted's direction.

Mark gave both his men a kiss before they left promising to wait for Emmett in the apartment.

On the elevator ride down Jason asked, "So have Marks' charges been dropped?"

"You know they have" Ted replied recalling a phone call from his lawyer a couple of days ago. He reported that all charges against Mark had been dropped. When he asked the lawyer why that had happened the reply was lack of evidence, which seemed strange to Ted as Mark had been `caught in the act'. Then he realized whom he was dating.

"Are you planning to fight all our battles for us?" Ted asked.

"Yep" Jason replied glibly.

"Ask me before you do things like that again, I was hoping Mark would learn something from the experience" Ted commented.

"He's a good kid, he just had momentary stupidity." Jason noted, "Besides the legal system is there to process cases not teach kids anything"

"Check with me next time" Ted repeated.

"Well there is a cost for all this" Jason advised as they left the building.

"Oh?" Ted asked.

"My uncle wants to meet Mark" Jason reported, "He likes... His fruits fresh"

"What kind of riddle is that batman?" Ted kidded

"I'm too old for him" Jason explained.

"So instead of community service he gets pederastic bondage?" Ted replied.

"Hardly, he just wants to meet him and you too" Jason explained.

After witnessing the leaf's victory in game one of the Stanley cup finals the pair went to the café in the village. Shortly after settling down they had unwanted visitors.

"Hello Ted" Dustin greeted.

"Dustin" Ted returned.

"This is my boyfriend Chad" Dustin motioned to a preppy young man next to him, perhaps a year or two older than Jason.

"Would you and Chad like to join us?" Ted asked assuming Dustin would decline. This was typical Dustin. Rather than work things out he'd try and make Ted jealous and attempt to create a situation where Ted would take him back but on Dustin's terms.

"Sure we would" Dustin advised as the interlopers sat down.

"I'm sorry Ted, what's your little boys name again?" Dustin asked gesturing to Jason.

Jason smiled, he relished the opportunity to take a jab at Dustin and the fool had given him the opening immediately.

"Little boy? You mean Mark?" Jason began. "Did he tell you they have kid?" He asked Chad.

"You have a kid?" Chad said with a `how's that possible look' at Dustin.

"No it's Ted's kid" Dustin blurted clearly taken off his game.

"He's adopted" Ted advised, noting that Dustin had referred to Mark as `it'

"Yeah Chad did this guy tell you he took off for two months didn't call or anything, left the poor little guy wondering where he his other daddy was?"

"That's enough" Ted admonished.

"Come on Chad" Dustin ordered as he stood.

"I'll stay and talk to Ted and Jason for a while thanks" Chad advised as Dustin stormed off.

"You two know each other" Ted realized.

"Yeah, we both live in the same dorm" Chad advised, "But I didn't know you were gay Jason".

"Well I'm out but I don't hang a sign on myself" Jason noted glibly.

"You're a topic of conversation you know, everyone thinks you're a hottie" Chad advised.

"Yeah but young guys lack the experience that I need" Jason reported as he squeezed Ted's hand on the table, both to reassure him and to signal to Chad where things stood.

"Thanks for the warning about Dustin" Chad advised as he stood to leave.

"See ya around" Jason fare welled.

"Another battle won by Jason" Ted said softly.

"This was just a skirmish" Jason, a student of military history, replied.

They returned to Ted's place after midnight. Emmett was gone and Mark was already in Bed. The men tried to quietly enter and make their way up to the bedroom. As they stripped down for the inevitable coupling Ted noted,

"Chad seemed nice" Thinking him an option for Jason.

"You like em eh? I could see if he'd go for a threesome," Jason answered as he positioned his naked body for entry.

"One guy at a time thanks" Ted noted with a chuckle as he mounted the teen.

"You old guys and your rules" Jason said before Ted entered. His bowels were quickly filled. He grunted at being stretched and then began moaning softly as he relaxed. "Life's not a porn flick Jason, it's about relationships" Ted noted as he ironically began to pump in and out of Jason's tight hole.

Chapter 13 coming soon.