Master and the Mate
By: Deep Diver
(Copyright 2006 - 2008 by the Author)
David L

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

Chapter 62
Epilogue – Treasure Map

Years had drifted by seamlessly, passing gently one after another. Today like so many other days, Ryan and Kyle showered and dressed, but today would not be just another ordinary day. After dressing, Kyle straightened his husband's tie and told him how sexy he looked. Ryan returned the favor, flicking the lint from the shoulder of his mate's suit jacket.

"Well, Dr. Darling, are we ready to face our guests?" Ryan asked.

"After you my handsome prince." Kyle replied.

* * *

Both men, husband and husband, even though not married 14 years, emerged from their bedroom ready to face the house full of Manny and Tricia's brood of three. The house looked like a cyclone had struck, but neither of the grandfathers were concerned. Having Manny over with his family was always special although tiring.

"OK, lets get into the cars everyone. The plan is to have breakfast at the Ihop and then on to St. Patrick's Cathedral." Ryan said.

"Let me just call the restaurant and make sure Dominic has everything under control?" Kyle suggested. "Dom, this is Kyle. Don't be late arriving at the Church – remember its Saturday, but it can still be difficult finding parking nearby."

"You don't worry about us. We be there in plenty of time." Dominic answered.

"OK, see you there." Kyle responded.

* * *

When Kyle and Ryan arrived at the Cathedral, their tickets indicated where they would be seated, so that all of Mark's guests would be gathered together. Dominic and his wife, Teresa, arrived on time. Bill and Tony looked as if they had just come from a shoot for CQ magazine, dressed in the latest fashion suits. Kevin, Mark's cousin from California had come in with his lover, Gerson. Kirk and his wife and daughters from the marina were sitting in the next pew. Pete and his wife and Joe, now divorced, came with his new girlfriend and two sons. Kyle's parents, Richard and Mary, were now showing their age and had multiple heath problems, but they were determined to participate. Susan, Kyle and Ryan's faithful secretary was also present. Of course the Church ladies, although now looking somewhat aged, were in attendance. Even Ryan's long and faithful editor – still as pedantic as ever – flew over from the UK to celebrate the occasion.

While waiting for the Mass to begin, Ryan began to reminisce. He recalled how hard it was to see Mark go off to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. But he had wanted to study Humanistic Psychology and Duquesne's program had gained world renown. Then the summer following graduation, Mark went off to Dunwoodie in the Bronx, to the diocesan seminary. Ryan had felt so proud. Then came Manny's marriage of convenience. It amazed Ryan that what had begun as such a difficult crisis had worked out so well and that Manny had become such a wonderful and caring dad.

Alex's absence was to be expected. Now that he was a professed monk in one of the strictest monastic orders in the Church with vows of silence and stability (that included not being allowed out of the monastery except for very serious reasons) no one expected him to attend. For that very reason, after Mark's first Mass at their home parish, he had planned a trip with his two Dads to Southern California, just east of Palm Springs to visit Alex, now Brother Sebastian, and celebrate Mark's third mass with his monastic community.

Kyle was all a-flutter as he nervously waited for the ordination to begin. He and Ryan were to dress Mark in his priestly garb and he couldn't help but be worried. He recalled the first time he'd met Mark that he had felt so jealous and here he was now, all edgy as he feared messing up the ceremony.

* * *

Finally the entrance hymn began as hundreds of priests filed into the huge church. The Archbishop himself was to ordain the five deacons that walked in ahead of the priests. Mark was the third in line and Ryan stepped into the aisle to snap a picture. Mark stopped and smiled, but Ryan could see that he was feeling deep emotions at the sight of his two Dads and the rest of the family.

The Mass proceeded according to routine until after the sermon when the new deacons each laid face down prostrate before the high altar in an act of self-oblation. Later the Bishop approached each candidate and placed his hands on their heads followed by all the other priest's present. Tears ran down Ryan's eyes as he watched Fr. Matt place his hands on Mark's head. Fr. Matt stared into Ryan's eyes as he did so and the emotions were so strong that Ryan could barely contain himself. He then overheard Manny speaking to his children.

"See, that's called the laying on of hands. It goes all the way back to the Acts of the Apostles who did the same when they chose their successors. It has continued in the Catholic Church in an unbroken line from then until today and now the bishop who had at least three former bishops ordain him has just ordained Father Mark."

* * *

Manny choked when he referred to Mark as 'Father Mark'. He recalled that first day coming into Ryan and Kyle's lives and how Mark made him feel like a real brother – even sharing his room and all his games with him. Manny's life had been sheer chaos up until he met Mark. But once their brotherhood began, Manny never again felt alone or lonely. Mark was always watching out for him like a protective guard dog and now his brother was also going to be his father and he felt such deep joy and knew their closeness would never be surpassed.

* * *

The very next day saw the same crowd gathered at the local parish Church where Mark had first been introduced into the doctrines of the Christian Faith. The same church wherein Ryan had taken the family to their first Mass. Now they were here to participate in Mark's very first Mass as the main celebrant. There were many other priest friends present as well. Even Fr. Matt was also dressed to concelebrate the mass.

Ryan recalled how during that first visit, Mark had asked so many questions, but the one that stuck so deeply in Ryan's mind was when he'd asked if he could offer a Mass for his deceased parents. Ryan fully expected that this, his first Mass, would be offered for the repose of their souls.

* * *

Kyle was again on edge. He had accompanied Ryan so often to Mass, that he had managed to see beyond the rites to the deeper meanings of the mysteries revealed in the proclaimed gospel. It amazed him that everytime he heard the gospel read at Mass it took on new and deeper meanings, which in turn led him to understand how in each celebration the Word became flesh again for the participants. He and Ryan would be carrying the Bread and Wine to the altar, the same one that Mark would soon be consecrating. When that moment came, everyone's eyes in the Church were fixed on the two as they approached Mark who was waiting, standing in front of the altar to receive their gifts. Before Mark took the basket of bread and the carafe of wine from his fathers, he blessed them and then placed one hand on each of their heads and thanked them for being his and Manny's fathers. The real highlight of the Mass however was when Mark stood before Kyle and holding the host which he had just consecrated said, "Dad, this is the Body of Christ."

Kyle responded with the traditional, 'Amen', thereby making his first communion from the newly consecrated hands of his son.



An editorial parting note:

It has been a long – and unnecessarily so – journey to reach this point: the end of DD's [as I call him] second story.

DD has, as you all know, managed to post many other stories since this one was finished [as far as he was concerned] and it has been an honour [note, UK spelling – NOT a mistake] to edit this story and a blessing that my friend has resisted the temptation to post it without my editorial interference.

MATM is, in my opinion, not DD's best story [IMHO that's Alex], but it is the one that solidified our friendship, a friendship that still endures deeply, and one that I hope will continue to do so for many years to come.


PS: my friend, DD, is likely to be well-pissed as I have submitted this final episode directly to the webmaster to prevent him messing with my valedictory message – I told you I would have the LAST word, heheh!

[Author's note: Thanks to the people of Nifty.Org for giving me the opportunity to post this and my first story, “Danny's Rehab Program.” Also much thanks to the readers who encouraged me by their emails. And to those readers who did not encourage me, please don't ask me for the URL of my other twenty or so stories, including book II of Master and the Mate: “Drs. Ryan and Kyle,” as well as the sequels: “Alex,” “Ben & Chito,” and “Legal Slavery.”

Special Thanks to D.L., sadly an editor, but in spite of that, a true friend.]