David's Initiation: Epilogue
Draginacht@aol.com (AKA Jeff)
Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction and any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental. The story contains graphic descriptions of sex between men. Anyone who is forbidden by law to read such material must stop now. This story is being posted to the Nifty Archive solely for the entertainment of its readers.
David slowly crawled out of bed and went to the bathroom. The time was just after 2:00 AM. A few moments later he crawled back into bed just as Tony slowly arose from his side of the bed and went to the bathroom. Back in bed, Tony spooned up behind the man he'd loved for so many years and they both drifted comfortably into a contented sleep.
The early morning light was creeping into the bedroom when Dave turned over and nuzzled under Tony's chin. Tony pulled his lover closer and nuzzled back. Both men were now awake.
"Happy fiftieth anniversary, Hon." Dave's lips softly caressed Tony's.
"I can't believe it's been fifty years," Tony replied softly. He wrapped his arm around Dave and rolled onto his back, pulling Dave on top. "It seems like only yesterday that I fell victim to your charms in this very room." He could feel Dave's member begin to grow along side his.
The conversation stopped while the two men caressed each other with kisses.
"Jarhead?" Dave asked.
"Yeah," Tony sighed.
"Grunt," Dave added.
"Nnnnng," Tony grunted. Both men laughed at the memory of their first intimate encounter. They spent the next thirty-five minutes demonstrating the intimacy of their love for each other.
"Not bad for a couple of seventy-somethings, huh?" Tony commented as soon as he could control his breathing.
"Seventy-six and seventy-three to be exact," Dave added as he kissed Tony's neck. "Use it or lose it, as they say."
"Hell, at this rate we'll still be gettin' it up when we're a hundred."
"Well, if we can't it won't be because we aren't trying," Dave chuckled.
Much has happened since that somber day in late July when Dave, Tony and PD walked hand-in-hand from the cemetery following Tiffany's burial. The Baker-Mancuso family went home to begin the rest of their life.
That very evening, after PD was in bed, Dave and Tony snuggled in front of the fireplace discussing their future, their feelings, their doubts, their concerns and their hopes. This would be a recurring discussion for months and years to come. Dave's primary objective was to do everything he could to help his son adapt to his new environment and make sure PD remembered his mother and her parents. Tony whole-heartedly concurred.
They also agreed that PD would benefit by having female roll models in his life and they immediately thought of several: Grandma Nancy Baker of course, Aunt Kate, Aunt Sophia, and Aunt Gloria. Not to mention Georgia, who would be a major influence, too. Dave also wanted PD to know the Texas contingent of his family and Tony again concurred.
The next day, Monday, Dave went to work in the morning and came home at lunchtime then Tony went to work. Georgia was there also and seemed to capture PD's attention. By Tuesday, both men went to work, leaving PD under Georgia's care. That arrangement worked so well that Dave and Tony decided there was no need to look for any daycare for PD. Dave increased Georgia's salary over her protestations.
Thursday at lunch, PD asked Tony about all of the pictures on the "Family Wall" and it gave him an idea. When Dave arrived home from work, Tony explained PD's curiosity and Dave sprang into action.
After dinner the three men sat in the middle of library floor with the photo albums Tiffany had saved. As they leafed through page after page, PD indicated which photos he liked most and Dave removed them for framing later. One was a picture of mother and son, arms around each other looking exceedingly happy. That one Dave would have framed for PD to keep in his room. Another photo was of a very happy PD, Tiffany and Grandma and Grandpa Foster. That one would go on the "Family Wall" along with some others, including baby pictures that all three of them liked.
"Wait a minute!" Tony exclaimed as he jumped to his feet. He went to a storage space in the corner of the library and pulled out an old shoebox containing pictures that Dave's mother had given them a few years ago. "Look at this, PD," Tony said as he placed a picture on the floor in front of his son. "That's your dad," he pointed to a 9-year-young boy with blond hair near the end of the second row. "And that's your mother." He pointed to an attractive 9-year-young girl sitting in the middle of front row. "They were in the third grade together."
PD looked at Dave and began to laugh. "You sure look funny, Daddy," he giggled – the same giggle as his father and grandmother. They found several more pictures containing Dave and Tiffany but they weren't together. Then Tony pulled put the photo of Dave and Tiffany that was taken just before the senior prom. They were all dressed up in tuxedo and gown and looked like a million dollars.
PD took the picture in his hands and studied it for a long while. Finally he looked at his father and asked, "Where was I?" PD's question caught Dave by surprise. Tony grinned at his partner, waiting to see how he'd handle the question.
"WellÉ" Dave hesitated, trying to buy some time. "This picture was taken quite a few years before you were born so you couldn't be in the picture." That seemed to satisfy PD for the moment but Dave and Tony both knew the day would come when PD's underlying question would have to be answered.
By Saturday all the pictures had been framed and PD helped his two fathers add them to the "Family Wall." Several times throughout the weekend, Dave or Tony would catch PD walking slowly down the hall and looking at all of the pictures. Sunday, after church, PD wanted to know who those other people were in the pictures. He'd already met all of Dave's family so Tony explained about his parents, grandparents, sister and brothers and their families.
Dave explained about his Texas friends and that reminded him that in September he'd be going to Dallas for another AANCF meeting. That evening Dave and Tony used the speakerphone in the library to call Alex and Steve and tell them about the new member of their family. Alex literally begged them all to spend the weekend of the AANCF meeting with them. It was the "Fandangle" weekend and she was sure PD would enjoy it.
PD's visit to the pediatrician turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Not surprised that PD was in excellent health but surprised that Gloria had located PD's previous pediatrician and had all of his records forwarded. Gloria had also helped Dave collect all the documents he'd need to enroll PD in school.
PD was a bundle of excitement as he and his father walked up the steps to St. Steven's Episcopal School. When they arrived at the office a staff member was waiting for them and gave then an abbreviated tour of the facility. While PD sat with a counselor to determine his grade placement, Dave met with the principal, Mr. Thornton, so they could discuss PD's enrollment and any related questions. Mr. Thornton acknowledged that he'd spoken with Sophia and she gave a glowing recommendation of Dave and PD. Dave was still a little nervous because above all, there was one specific issue he wanted to clear the air about.
"Mr. Thornton, there's something I need to make sure you are aware of because I need to know at the beginning if it's going to be a problem."
"And what would that be, Mr. Baker?" Thornton asked.
"I'm a single parent who is also gay. My partner and I were legally joined last month." Dave stopped there to await any reaction.
"Well, I don't see that as a problem, Mr. Baker. We have at least two other gay, single parents with children at St. Stevens. Furthermore, we have policies that prohibit discrimination or bullying of any kind. We want all of our students to feel safe here so that they can learn at their highest level."
At that moment PD was ushered into Mr. Thornton's office and he stood next to his father. Mr. Thornton smiled as he observed the striking similarity between father and son. Dave introduced PD to Thornton and PD stepped boldly forward, extended his arm and they shook hands. Thornton was obviously impressed. Dave took the opportunity to explain that Paul's cousins had given him the nickname of "PD" and that's probably how he would like to be known. Thornton said he'd make sure that was noted on PD's records to avoid any confusion.
Dave had one more thing he was committed to and that was ensuring that Grandpa Paul Foster was included in as many of PD's activities of which he was capable. Grandpa became a frequent houseguest for the day – he didn't want to spend the night. That allowed him to watch his grandson swim, play, and grow. PD was also allowed to spend time at his grandpa's apartment. The staff at the facility was very understanding of his situation and welcomed PD's visits. Dave and Tony even invited Grandpa to live with them, but he declined. Paul Foster was comfortably settled in his new "home," had many friends of his generation and didn't want to leave. Eventually, Paul Foster had to be transferred to the nursing home and passed away a short time later, almost five years after Tiffany.
Two weeks before Dave, Tony and PD were scheduled to go to Dallas, Steve Roehl called to tell them that he had arranged for one of the corporate jets fly them to Love Field where Alex would pick them up. Dave suspected that Alex must be very eager to meet PD and had convinced her husband to set up the trip.
The weekend in Dallas was a wonderful experience. Alex was struck almost speechless when she looked into Paul's hazel eyes. Tears began to run down her cheek as she wrapped her arms around the little tyke. Later, at the house, she took PD into the living room and showed him her own son. Was it her imagination or did she could see a surprising similarity between PD and Paul? Maybe it was the hazel eyes.
The Fandangle was entertaining, as always, but little PD was asleep in Uncle Tony's arms by the time it was over. Dave figured the time change played a factor.
Saturday morning, Steve made pancakes, which PD happily wolfed down almost as fast as Steve could place them on his plate. Later, when they arrived at the stable, PD was bursting with excitement to be so close to real horses. Then Steve led out a small quarter horse already saddled just for PD. During their ride, Dave mentioned to Tony that he hoped Steve and Alex weren't spoiling their son. Less than an hour after returning to the house, PD wanted to go riding again and it took a lot of talking but they were able to convince him that his horse was tired and needed to rest.
The corporate jet whisked them back home and Monday at school PD excited his friends with tales about his escapades in Texas.
The holidays that year proved to be quite interesting. Thanksgiving was spent at Papa and Mama Mancuso's. The big news was that Peter and Ashley were expecting and that meant they were the center of attention. Dave was happy for Peter and Ashley and at the same time relieved that their condition diverted attention from PD.
For the first time since Dave and Tony had been together, Christmas had a real exciting feel to it. The two fathers debated what to get their son and they coordinated with the rest of the family to make sure he didn't get too many presents. The gift-buying, decorating, and planning for Santa became such fun.
Christmas morning, PD was up early. He sneaked to the door of great room, peered at the Christmas tree and confirmed that Santa had in fact found him, something he was greatly concerned about. But rather than rushing to the presents, PD ran to his fathers' room and jumped in the middle of the bed yelling, "Get up! Get up! Santa's been here!" Dave and Tony were already awake. Their anticipation of PD's reaction was just as exciting for them. Later Christmas morning, they drove to Kate and John's for a large family dinner with Mark, Matt, JD, Susan, Kate, John, Nancy and Bob Baker, and John's parents, Peggy and Jack Close.
The traditional male ski outing at Vail was a terrific bonding experience for PD. He had four `cousins,' including Shannon, giving him expert instructions on how to ski. He was a natural but Dave absolutely forbid him from joining his cousins on the intermediate hill.
PD progressed so well at school that when the spring semester began a school counselor asked Dave if he would approve moving PD to the advanced level. Of course Dave wasn't going to object to that.
PD completed his first year of school at the end of May and Dave and Tony already had a list of activities to keep him occupied. Because Tony had such fond memories of his Boy Scout experiences he suggested they look into the Cub Scouts. That turned out to be a great success. It was the perfect bonding situation for PD and Tony. Everyone seemed to accept that `Uncle Tony' was PD's sponsor and he knew a lot about scouting. The `gay' issue never came up.
In late June, Kate, John, Sophia and Sean took off for Vail, leaving the boys with Dave and Tony. And that's when PD decided he wanted to move upstairs with the big boys. The boys' original bedroom had three beds in it and Mark, Matt, and Shannon claimed possession. So Dave fixed one of the other rooms with two beds for JD and PD. Despite the five-year age difference, JD had effectively adopted PD as his younger brother, something he'd always wanted, leaving his older brothers to do their own things. From thereafter, PD's room would be the one upstairs that he and JD shared.
Everything went smoothly for the first two days. Tuesday morning Tony was up earlier than usual. After emptying his bladder he pulled on his boxer briefs and a T-shirt and walked toward the kitchen to start the coffee. He was surprised to see Matt sitting at the table staring out the window. Matt wore only his athletic shorts, the baggy kind that looks like a skirt, that teens were so fond of wearing – no shirt, no shoes, no socks.
"Morning, Matt," Tony said as he crossed the room to the refrigerator. After removing the orange juice and setting seven juice glasses on the counter top he was well aware that Matt hadn't responded. He proceeded to fill the juice glasses, returned the juice container to the fridge and, with a glass in each hand he walked to the table and sat down.
"Have some juice; it'll help you wake up." Tony's surprise was tempered by remembering that Matt often arose early and wondered around the house. But he was just a little more than curious about Matt's current behavior.
"Thanks," Matt replied. At least he remembered to be polite. He picked up the glass, drained the juice in one continuous swallow, and returned the glass to the table. Tony was still young enough to remember his teen years and decided to give Matt some slack, not push the issue. Just as Tony arrived at that conclusion, Matt looked at him with his deep blue eyes and said, "Uncle Tony, how do you know if youÉ if you'erÉ gay?"
Tony felt a cold chill race up his spine and lodge in the base of his skull. While he was sure Matt hadn't seen his reaction, he knew he needed to be cool at that moment.
"OhÉ WellÉ" Tony stalled. How much should he say? What should he say? He'd been suspicious for some time that Matt, his buddy Matt, might be showing signs but he had dismissed them as pure speculation. Now, here they were, alone in the kitchen and Matt had asked a very pregnant question. Tony knew he had only one option – to answer the question directly and honestly.
"There's no easy answer, Matt," Tony paused momentarily. "Suppose you're walking down the corridor at school and you see a guy and a girl walking together holding hands. If you find yourself checking out the guy, especially his package, while ignoring the gal, that could be one sign." Matt spun his head to the left and stared out the window. Tony suspected Matt didn't want his uncle to see his face. Tony continued.
"Or after gym class, when you're in the showers with all the other guys you go out of your way to avoid checking out all the other equipment and really have to concentrate to keep from throwing wood."
Matt slowly turned his head back to the right to face his uncle. "When did you know you were gay?"
Now Tony was really on the spot. How was he supposed to answer that question? He thought for a moment and began with a chuckle in an attempt to lighten the moment.
"Ha-ha, I was a late bloomer. I was in denial for a number of years until I met your Uncle David." Tony smiled at the thought. "I absolutely fell in love with him the moment I met him and it forced me to accept who I was." Tony didn't want to leave the topic where it was so he added one more thought. "And I have never regretted it for one minute."
Tony's infectious smile caused Matt to smile back but then it faded and he turned to look out the window again. After a few moments of silence Matt spoke toward the window.
"Uncle TonyÉ" Tony was more or less expecting Matt to say something profound and he did. "I think I may be gay." It was a straightforward statement and Matt and Tony just it lay there for a few seconds until Matt, tears running down his cheeks, turned and faced his uncle. "What do I do?"
Tony arose from his chair and reached out for Matt's arm. "We start with a big hug," Tony replied as he pulled Matt to his feet and wrapped him in his arms. At first, Matt's arms hung limp at his sides but slowly he raised them and closed them around his uncle; it was a sincere embrace. Tony felt Matt shake a few times like he might be sobbing but he wasn't making any sounds.
`Damn, these kids are growing,' Tony thought. `Matt's taller than Dave, almost as tall as I am.' That's the way Dave found them when he walked into the kitchen.
Dave stopped to survey the scene and caught Tony's eye. Tony quietly raised his eyebrows and pressed his lips together as if to signal that something serious was taking place. Dave remained quiet.
Tony had another idea. "I'm gonna suggest you ask your Uncle David. I remember him saying he knew he was gay when he was about your age." With that statement Tony alerted Dave to the topic of the moment.
He began releasing Matt from the hug, and taking the hint, Matt did the same. Then Matt sighed and sat back down in his chair.
"Mornin' you two," Dave chuckled after a short pause. "Looks mighty friendly to me. Anything I should know?"
Matt spun around in his chair and looked up at his uncle. He wondered how much Dave had heard then quickly looked at Tony. Tony just raised his thick eyebrows at Matt and nodded toward Dave as if to say, `Lay it on him.'
"UhÉ" Matt hesitated. "I don't knowÉ"
"Okay," Dave replied; he decided to let the situation play out at Matt's pace. "Oh good, you poured juiceÉ and the coffee's ready." Dave crossed the room, picked up his juice and drank it in one continuous motion. Then he poured two cups of coffee, set one in front of Tony and bent over and shared a morning kiss with his lover. The display of affection was intended for Matt's benefit. Next walked around the table and sat down opposite Tony and close to Matt. He waited. It didn't take long for Matt to gather his courage.
"Uncle DavidÉ" Dave could see that Matt was debating his next move and he remembered Tony's comment about knowing he was gay at Matt's age. The expression on Dave's face conveyed his undivided attention. Matt's courage was growing.
"Uncle David, when did you know you were gay?" Dave looked at Tony and exchanged a look of understanding.
"So that's what this is all about," Dave responded. "Are you saying you're gay, Matt?"
Matt glanced at Tony then hung his head. "Yeah," he admitted sadly.
Dave arose from his chair and pulled Matt into a hug. This time Matt didn't hesitate like he did with Tony. He returned his uncle's hug with feeling.
"No offense, Uncle David but I don't want to be gay."
"I know, Matt."
"I justÉ well, I'd rather be normal, if you know what I mean."
"Yes, I know. It's not going to be easy."
"Almost every night I pray for God to make me straight but it never happens."
"I know, Matt, I was the same way." Dave rubbed Matt's back with care. "It's not your fault, you know."
"Oh?" Matt responded. "IÉ I guess I never thought of it like that. But you're right; it isn't my fault. I didn't choose to be like this."
"I know; I had to come to grips with that concept also."
As the hug continued, Matt became aware of two things. One was how much taller he was than his Uncle David. He liked that and liked the feel of holding the shorter man in his arms. And two, his log was beginning to stir in his shorts. He quickly released his uncle and sat back down. Matt would have been mortally embarrassed for his uncle discover that he was getting turned on.
"Where were we?" Dave asked as he sat down. He was unaware of the movement in Matt's shorts. "Oh yeah, your question. Uh, I was always more interested in boys than girls as I was growing up. I knew that I was different but I didn't really figure it out for sure until I was about thirteen, about the age you are now." Dave knew by the look on Matt's face that he'd struck a home run. Now he wondered if Matt would run the bases.
"How did you know?"
"Oh, let's see," Dave leaned back in the chair and looked up at the ceiling as though he was trying to recall his past. The action served to draw Matt into the story. "I think I realized I was gay, back then it was called queer, when my friends were all gaga over girls while I was more interested in my buddies. I prayed it was just a phase I was going through but the more time passed the more I had to accept the truth."
"Who did you tell first?" Matt was beginning to open up quite nicely.
"Ha-ha," Dave laughed as he remembered how Kate had guessed his secret. "My sister – your mother, Matt. I didn't actually tell her, she guessed my secret when I was fourteenÉ"
"And what did she say?" Matt interrupted with elevated interest in his voice as he leaned back in his chair and began to relax.
"Your mother and I were always best friends. She was great about it. We talked a lot and she helped me survive while I developed the confidence to stand on my own." Dave waited for some reaction. He watched Matt lean forward and place his elbows on the table. After all, it was Matt's mother Dave was talking about. Dave definitely had Matt's attention now and he continued telling his nephew just a few humorous things that happened to him while he was in high school. Before long, Matt was chuckling along with his uncles.
"What's all the laughter about?" Mark asked as he and Shannon walked into the kitchen. They also were dressed like Matt, bare feet, baggy athletic shorts and no shirts.
Matt smiled at Dave and Tony and then did something that surprised them. He looked at his brother and said, "I just told Uncle David and Uncle Tony that I think I'm gay." The three of them braced for the reaction.
"Thank God!" Mark exclaimed. "I'm glad you finally figured that out!"
"You mean you knew?" Matt asked as he arose from his chair in surprise. Mark approached his brother and embraced him.
"Hey, I'm your twin. Remember?" Mark released Matt and stood facing him. "Yeah, Shan and I wondered if you were ever gonna tell us."
"Shan, you knew too?"
Shannon elbowed Mark aside and gave Matt a hug. The young men didn't seem the least bit inhibited by the fact that they were practically naked. "I didn't really know but with two gay uncles to observe, I thought I saw some signs. Mark and I talked it over last year and decided you probably were. It doesn't matter, Matt," Shannon reassured his friend. At that moment they heard JD and PD walking noisily down the hall.
"Let's change the subject, men," Dave suggested. "We'll talk about this later."
And they did. Matt and his two uncles made time for private conversations about things only Matt needed to hear. Dave and Tony made it clear to Matt that they would always be available to discuss anything he wanted to know. Bolstered by his uncles' support, Matt decided to `come out' to his parents. Kate and John returned from Vail, collected their boys up and took them home. Nancy and Susan were already at the house when they arrived so the family was reunited. That evening, after Susan and JD had gone to bed, Matt, accompanied by his twin brother, sat down with their parents in the family room. Matt told his parents that he'd had a long talk with his Uncle David and Uncle Tony and was sure he was gay. A brief discussion ensued and they agreed to talk again soon because everyone was tired. But at the end of the discussion Kate and John assured Matt that they loved him, no matter what his sexual preference, and they hoped he would feel free to confide in them and his uncles any time he felt the need.
The Close children would grow up in a loving family environment. To no one's surprise, all of the boys were active in sports. Mark and Matt gave up soccer for football, basketball and track. In his sophomore year, Matt gave up basketball for martial arts. That's where he became friends with another young man he knew from the football team. Due to Matt's relationship with his uncles, his instincts were more highly developed than the average gay his age. He quickly guessed that he and Kyle shared a common interest in things sexual and they remained `close' friends for years to come.
Later that summer Sean rented an airplane, a Cessna-182, and took each of the boys for a spin around the flagpole. Matt clearly had no interest in flying; he didn't even want to take the controls. Mark was intrigued by it and did a respectable job of keeping the wings level. He even enjoyed making turns, climbing and descending. Shannon, however, was a natural. Perhaps he'd unknowingly absorbed some knowledge of and interest in flight while listening to his dad and friends tell war stories. The moment Shannon's hands touched the controls it was like the airplane became an extension of his body. Shannon even made a couple of successful landing – with his father's help, of course. Sean was secretly proud.
The summer when Matt and Mark were fourteen years old they began taking steps toward different lives. John and Sean took Mark and Shannon on an exciting trip to the Space Academy at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center at Huntsville, AL. Matt spent the summer with his uncles working part time at the Bandini Nursery – he'd developed a deep interest in flowering plants, how to feed and care for them.
Uncle David clued Matt in about the track team `initiation' ceremony and he later shared that information with his brother. The twins knew their father and Uncle Dave had been on the track team together and wondered about them - but out of respect never asked for details.
The summer when Matt was sixteen years old he spent several weeks living with his uncles and working at the Bandini nursery and at Philos. Kate and John were confident that David and Tony would look after him and make sure he stayed out of trouble. That's when Dan approached Dave and suggested it was time Matt received some straight talk about safe sex. Dan outlined what he had in mind and requested that Matt spend a day with him. Upon deep consideration, and Tony's concurrence, Dave finally agreed that Dan's plan was okay but Matt would have final right of refusal.
Matt had known Dan for years and knew that he was HIV Positive. He also knew that Uncle David and Dan had been friends for years, and if his uncle trusted Dan, he could also. Dan picked Matt up at 9:30 Friday morning, promising to have him back home no later than 5:00 that afternoon.
The two warmed up to each other rather quickly. Dan got to the point of their meeting almost immediately after walking through the door to his and Berk's home. They sat at the kitchen table and Dan explained that the only ground rules were that there were no ground rules. If Matt had a question, any question, he should ask. Nothing was off limits. They talked right through lunch, which Dan served on the patio, and Matt asked some pretty personal questions. Dan answered each one as honestly, bluntly and graphically as he could. With his years of experience working with HIV/AIDS infected young men at Philos, Dan had a lot of stories to tell and Matt listened intently to each one. Of course, Dan covered all the bases about STDs and he also addressed the gay lifestyle that Matt was so interested in.
Just after 2:30, Dan said he had a video he wanted Matt to see. Matt followed Dan into the living room where the entertainment center was. Matt sat in the big easy chair and got comfortable as Dan searched through his library of videos. Finding the one he wanted, he removed it from its cover inserted it into the VCR, turned the TV and VCR on and started the tape. Dan apologized for the quality of the picture. It was a little grainy but easily viewable. The picture began with two hot looking young men sitting next to each other in a bar. They were obviously eager to hook up and soon were holding hands. One of the men proposed they go to his place and get better acquainted but the other man said that he knew of a place where they'd see lots of action.
Matt asked if this was a gay porn flick and chuckled at the bump-and-grind background music; he thought it was pretty bad. Dan explained that it was what Matt thought it was and he laughingly apologized for the music. The next scene had the two young men walking up the steps to a very impressive mansion, obviously in Southern California judging by the palm trees. They rang the doorbell and another hot looking young man, wearing nothing but white thong briefs that left nothing to the imagination, opened the door and invited them inside. Dan was watching Matt, not the video. He could see that Matt's attention was riveted to the TV screen as he began to squirm in his chair. The significant bulge in Matt's shorts was a clear indication that he was already `into' the action.
The two `stars' of the video were escorted down a hallway and into a large room, which was filled with at least twenty-five other equally hot young men. That was the end of the dialogue. The bump-and-grind music grew louder as the men began to pair off. Next, articles of clothing began coming off and falling to the floor. It didn't take much longer for all the `actors' in the room to become engaged in one form of sexual activity or another.
It was an orgy. Matt was witnessing his first and probably his last orgy. Suddenly Dan pressed the PAUSE button. He half expected Matt to look at him but Matt's eyes remained glued to the TV screen.
"Recognize anybody?" Dan asked. The sound of Dan's voice seemed to break Matt's attention. He turned his head and saw Dan staring at him.
"UhÉ uhÉ" Matt stuttered. "WhatÉ did you say?"
"Do you recognize anybody in that room?" Dan repeated his question. He watched Matt turn and focus on the screen again. As he watched Matt's eyes he was satisfied that Matt was actually looking at the faces of the young men on the screen. Suddenly there was a moment of recognition on Matt's face. He turned and looked at Dan.
"That'sÉ that's youÉ isn't it. You're in thatÉ that place." Matt got out of his chair and pointed his finger at the man he thought he recognized as Dan. The impressively huge tent in front of Matt's baggy Docker shorts was clearly evident but Matt seemed oblivious to his condition. He was pointing to four men on the left center of the screen. Dan was lying on his back on a low coffee table. Another young man knelt over him on hands and knees in a sixty-nine position, their mouths full of each other's cocks. That wasn't the end of it. A third young man was on his knees facing the end of the table holding Dan's legs in the air as he shoved his cock deep into Dan's hole. A fourth young man stood behind Dan's sixty-nine companion and filled his ass with cock.
Dan let Matt stare at the scene for a few more moments before asking his next question.
"You want to take a guess at how many of the men in that room are still alive?"
Matt looked at Dan, back to the TV, then back to Dan. He figured Dan was about the same age as his parents. They were old but they weren't ancient. His grandparents were ancient. Therefore, he reasoned that the guys in the video were in that age group and formed his reply. He wanted his guess to be on the conservative side of realistic.
"Oh, I'd say, maybe, three-fourths?" Matt looked to Dan for confirmation. "Maybe half?"
Dan held his fist in front of his face and extended his index finger. It took Matt a few seconds to realize what Dan was trying to signify.
"One?!" Matt exclaimed. "Only one?" The disbelief in his voice was quite evident. He'd figured it out. "YouÉ you're the only one?" Then he looked back at the picture on the TV. Matt was quiet for a few more moments as the gravity of Dan's information set in. Dan could see that Matt was thinking about something. "AIDS?" Matt asked as he turned to look at Dan. Dan pressed his lips tightly together and nodded with sadness in his eyes. "My God," Matt gasped quietly. "ButÉ but they're all so young!"
"Yes, they were." Dan emphasized `were' and continued. "We all thought we were invincible, bulletproof. I think it's a curse of youth. Do you think you understand why I showed you this video?"
"Yes, I do. You want to scare the shit outta me, scare me into being safe when I have sex."
"Yes, and that's not all." Dan's voice grew stronger. "Before you let anyone inside any opening in your body or you place any part of your body inside anyone else, I want you to know WHO they are, WHO they've been with, and whether they have any STDs. And THEN, use protection. Got that?!"
"Yes sir," Matt replied. "But how come you're the only one?" Matt wanted to understand.
Dan walked to where Matt was standing and wrapped his arms around the taller youth. "I'm still here because I had a friend, a dear friend. And his name is David Baker." Tears began to run down Dan's cheeks. "Your uncle is the kindest, most caring person I know. And if you want to pattern your life after anyone, you can't go wrong by picking him." Then Dan stepped back and looked into Matt's eyes. "Remember the lesson of this video. And when the time is right and you and your friends are sittin' around shootin' the shit, you can tell them about it. Make sure they know about playing it safe."
"Oh, I will; I sure will," Matt promised.
"You want to see the rest of the video?" Dan asked.
Matt looked at the TV and then back at Dan. "No, thank you, I've seen enough."
Dan turned the TV off, rewound the video and returned it to its storage place. Then Matt wanted to know how his Uncle David had been such an important person in Dan's life so Dan told him. The events of that one afternoon probably had more of an impact on Matt's life than any other.
Dan dropped Matt off at Dave's front door and Matt gave his new confidant a hug before getting out of the car and going into the house. When Dave got home, Matt gave him a very long, tight hug and then told Dave and Tony what had happened. Matt was surprised when Dave told him that he'd never seen that video but based on things Dan had told him, he had every reason to believe its authenticity.
In their last two years of high school, Mark was the starting quarterback on the football team and Matt was his favorite receiver. Together they set a couple of state records and in their senior year their team won the state championship. There was a famous photograph of Matt in a midair layout position with the football on his fingertips as he caught the winning touchdown in the end zone. There were many college coaches salivating over the prospects of signing the two superb athletes to play for them.
Mark graduated in the top ten percent of his high school class and accepted a football scholarship to Southern Cal. He would go on to lead the Trojans to a national championship, place second in the Heisman Trophy race and be drafted to play quarterback by his father's former team.
Matt wasn't the same scholar as his brother, garnering B's and C's for his class-work. Further, Matt had no illusions about what life would be like as a gay college football player. He was ready to begin living his life as a gay man. Upon graduation, Matt went to work full time for the Bandini nursery and lived with his uncles. And at their urging Matt and Kyle enrolled at the local junior college. Kyle had always wanted to be a policeman and convinced Matt to join him. A couple of years later the two men had the required 54 credit hours of "C" or better and would reach the age of 21 before graduation from the Police Academy. The men's proud parents and Matt's uncles attended the graduation ceremony to show their support.
Shannon's future took a different path. After graduating from high school, he attended the Air Force Academy. Four years later he obtained his 2nd Lieutenant "brown bars" and went on to pilot training. Mark was able to join Sophia and Sean at Shannon's graduation but Matt couldn't make it. Shannon's Air Force career would take him into space, something he'd wanted to do ever since he attended the Space Academy years earlier.
JD was smart enough to know that he shouldn't try to compete in the long football shadows cast by his older brothers so he chose tennis as his sport. It was a game he could play year round and it was a better match for his independent streak. Even his father recognized that JD did not have what might be called a `team' attitude. JD was also smart enough to graduate as valedictorian of his high school class. He went to med school, became a highly acclaimed orthopedic surgeon and repaired a lot of injuries for NFL football players. John often wondered if his own injury, years earlier, was a factor in JD's choice of careers.
(To be continued.)