David's Initiation: The Partnership firstname.lastname@example.org (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 enjoyment of its readers.
Before you read any further I want to express my deep appreciation to "Dr. Mike" for his invaluable assistance in making sure that Chapter 14 is as professionally accurate as possible. The first part of this chapter addresses medical information that is quite valuable to all gay men like Dave and Tony, who are interested in maintaining good health.
Bright and early the following Wednesday morning, Dave and Tony dropped by the Stern Medical Clinic. Following Doc Gray's advice, they'd made appointments for what Doc Gray had called "Junior Executive" physicals with Doctor Stern. The first step in that process was to appear at the clinic first thing in the morning in a fasting state. While sitting in the waiting room they completed the insurance forms and answered questions about their personal medical and sexual histories. Tony lost the health coverage he had while working for Sam but Dave was able to add his partner to his healthcare plan at The Hastings Firm. However, the insurance company didn't pay for Jr. Exec physicals so Dave and Tony would have to pick up what wasn't covered.
They went to the restroom separately where they provided urine samples. Consistent with the Jr. Exec physical, a nurse checked blood pressure, drew blood, took chest X-rays, and perform a number of other tests. At the end of the tests the nurse handed each of them an envelope containing a hemacult kit, explained what was required and that they'd fine instructions inside the envelope. The men would have to collect a fecal smear sample at home and bring it with them next Wednesday when they would see the doctor.
Upon leaving the clinic, the two men rushed to a nearby Perkins for breakfast - they were famished. By the time they saw Dr. Stern next week, the test results would be in and Stern would be able to provide a conclusive analysis of their physical conditions.
The following Wednesday, at 10:15, found Dave and Tony back in Dr. Stern's waiting room. Having completed the required documents the previous week, they had nothing to do but wait.
Shortly a nurse came out, called for Mr. Baker and asked him to follow her - they were probably going alphabetically. On the way to the exam room, the nurse had Dave step onto a scale and recorded his weight. Then she ushered him into what was obviously an exam room. She took his temperature - 98.4ºF, and checked his pulse - 58 BPM.
"You must be a runner," she guessed with a smile.
"My partner and I run almost every other day and lift weights on the off days," Dave replied.
The nurse checked his blood pressure - 115/65 and, to Dave's surprise, entered everything in a laptop computer that was sitting on a nearby mobile cart. Then she handed Dave a gown with instructions to disrobe and put it on for the exam; Dr. Stern would be in to examine him momentarily.
After changing, Dave sat down on one of the chairs in the room and quickly had second thoughts. The chair was metal and the seat was cold on his butt because he wasn't able to close the gown in the back. He stood up and sat instead on the exam table, which was covered with paper. Dave hadn't been sitting more than three minutes when there was a knock on the door and in walked Dr. Stern carrying a clipboard.
Karl Stern was a decent looking man, mid to late 40's, dark brown hair graying at the temples, about Dave's height but not as athletic looking. It wasn't possible to speculate any further because the doctor wore a long white coat. He wasn't wearing a tie however, just a white shirt, open at the collar. He had a nice smile and extended his hand.
"Hello, David, I'm Doctor Stern. Dr. Gray told me to expect you. Your partner's with you I presume?"
"Yes, Tony's outside waiting his turn," Dave replied. He was immediately impressed that Stern had taken the trouble to learn something about him and Tony and to connect them with Doc Gray. Dave slid off the examining table and stood in his bare feet when the doctor entered the room. He shook the doctor's hand and waited with anticipation.
"Well then, if you'll sit back up on the table like you were we'll get started," Stern suggested. Dave returned to his place on the table and waited without comment. Stern began with a few perfunctory questions about Dave's assessment of his health and if he had any specific concerns. Dave replied that he felt fine and had no problems.
Dr. Stern began by pulling on some latex gloves. First came the penlight in Dave's eyes to check his pupils followed by the ubiquitous tongue depressor and the standard "Ahhh." Next Stern examined Dave's ears and then his nostrils. Stern pulled the gown down off Dave's shoulders, placed a cold stethoscope against his chest and asked him to breathe several times. Then Stern moved so that he could repeat the action on Dave's back. He whacked Dave's knees with that little, triangular, rubber thingy, making Dave's lower legs kick out. Then the same thing was done to his heels and elbows. The reactions were all normal.
Dave was impressed with Dr. Stern's efficiency, no chitchat, just business. Next Stern had Dave lie on his back. The Dr. then placed his hands on the right side of Dave's abdomen and pressed firmly. Dave was surprised at just how deep the doctor's fingers sank. Then Stern began examining Dave's entire body with a magnifying glass. Dave thought that was funny and he chuckled.
"If you're wondering what I'm doing with this magnifying glass, I'm examining you for any signs of skin cancer. You do spend a fair amount of time in the sun, don't you?" Stern continued his exam.
Dave suddenly felt a little embarrassed. "Yes, I do. We have a pool but I've just never thought about skin cancer before."
"You are a little on the young side to have to worry about it but while I've got you here I'm covering that base. And by the way, this is something you and Tony could do for each other."
'You'd better believe we will!' Dave thought with a silent snicker. He certainly never got a physical like this in the Army. Stern asked him to turn over and the exam continued.
Meanwhile, in the waiting room, Tony sat reading an old copy of "Men's Health" magazine. Even though it was old, there was a lot of interesting stuff that Tony hadn't read before. He looked up when two men entered the waiting room and walked to the receptionist window to sign in. The two men took seats directly opposite Tony and began carrying on a quiet, private conversation. Tony estimated them to be approximately 35 to 40 years old and in good shape. Because he hadn't paid much attention to them before they sat down, he wasn't able to guess how tall they might be, except as they sat in the chairs one was much taller than the other.
"How do you like Dr. Stern?"
"I'm sorry," Tony looked up from the magazine with a questioning look on his face.
"I asked how you like Dr. Stern," the shorter of the two men replied with a smile.
"Oh," Tony put the magazine down in the adjacent chair. "I haven't been in to see him yet. How about you?"
"We've been seeing him for over five years now and we think he's great." The taller of the men replied.
Tony felt confident in assuming the men were partners just by the way they moved and talked to each other. They reminded him a great deal of Dave and himself. Tony took a chance.
"Have you two been together long?"
The two men grinned at each other and then at Tony. They apparently didn't mind being discovered. And the way Tony asked the question gave the impression that he was either one of the 'family' or was gay friendly. "Almost ten years now," the short one replied. He was obviously happy about it.
"Mr. Mancuso?" Tony looked up to see the nurse standing in the doorway. He arose from his chair and began walking toward her.
"Good luck," the short man called out to him.
"Thanks, I hope I don't need luck," Tony replied and smiled at the two men. 'They look as happy as Dave and I feel,' he thought to himself.
"Now I'd like you to extend your arms, close your eyes, lift your left foot off the floor and touch your nose with your right index finger," Dr. Stern requested. Dave almost chuckled as such a ridiculous request. He was now standing on the floor in his bare feet. Never the less, he did as requested without difficulty. Stern asked him to repeat the exercise with his right foot off the floor and touching his nose with left index finger. "Okay, you can stop now," the doctor advised and he stepped to the laptop and entered more information.
Stern pulled the chair up and sat down in front of Dave. "Now I'd like you to pull this gown up and out of the way and I'll examine you down here," he said. Dave recognized this as the old 'hernia check' and lifted the gown up to just above his crotch. He felt two fingers press up into the left side of his groin.
"Turn your head to the right and cough " Dave did. Then the doctor's repeated the procedure on the right side of his groin. "Again " the doctor asked and Dave obliged. At least this was one procedure he was familiar with. He was about to lower the gown when he felt the doctor take hold of his penis. Without looking, Dave could feel the doctor lift it, turned it over left and right and squeeze the tip like he might be looking into his urethra.
Next he felt the doctor's latex covered hands slide behind his nuts and lift them like he was weighing them. Dave thought it weird having some stranger fondling his equipment and trying to prevent an erection he focused his mind on his latest house design. He could still feel his balls sliding around between the doctor's latex covered fingers.
"Dave, do you ever examine your testicles for cancer?" Dave's concentration was broken and he had to think for a second before replying.
"Uh, no Doc, I didn't know I was supposed to."
"Well, you're at an age where you ought to be looking for such things. Look down here for a minute and I'll show you what to do." Dave's attention was immediately drawn to his testicles. "It's quite easy to do, just hold your scrotum in your hand and roll each testicle around between your thumb and forefinger checking for any lumps." Dave watched with great, almost detached interest. "Each testicle should be smooth so if you find any bumps or lumps you need to come see me right away." It was all so clinical.
"A good time to do this exam is in the tub or shower when you have a lubricating medium like soap. In the warm water your scrotum will be more relaxed and you testicles move more freely. Or," Stern continued, "this is another exam you and Tony can do for each other." For the first time Dr. Stern looked up and smiled. Dave smiled sheepishly back at him feeling all the while slightly embarrassed.
"You can lower that gown now and turn around, bend over and place your elbows on the table, please."
Dave watched out of the corner of his eye as Dr. Stern picked up a tube of KY Jelly from the counter next to the sink. He knew perfectly well what KY was good for and he had no idea what Doc Stern was planning on doing. Of course when he bent over, the gown fell off his butt leaving him completely exposed in back.
"I'm going to examine your prostate now and you might need this," Stern said as he sat a box of facial tissue on the exam table next to Dave. Dave pulled one tissue from the box but didn't quite grasp what the doctor was getting at. He certainly knew what and where his prostate was and the pleasure it caused but no doctor had ever examined it before. Dave jumped a little and caught his breath when he felt the cold KY being applied to his anus.
"I know, it's a little cold but this will be over quickly," Stern advised as comfortingly as he could. "Normally, you wouldn't get this exam until you turn fifty but over the years I've found it wise to check when I'm examining gay men. This entire physical will let us establish a baseline for any future exams or medical problems."
Dave wasn't the least bit bothered when the doctor's finger slid into his rectum. Then - it - found - his - prostate. The sensation Dave experienced was definitely different from what he felt when Tony was inside him. Dave could have sworn that the doctor was trying to squeeze the hell out of his gland and he grunted a couple of times. Then he realized why Doc Stern had offered him the tissue. He quickly reached between his legs and caught the fluid that began to dribble profusely from the end of his penis. Dave wasn't aware that the doctor had removed his finger until he heard him talking.
"Okay, you can stand up now." Dave stood up and turned around to see Doctor Stern removing the gloves and tossing them into the trash can. "You can use more of those tissues to clean that KY off and just toss it into that can over there," meaning the same one where the latex gloves had gone. Dr. Stern washed his hands in the sink then turned and entered more information into the laptop.
"You can go ahead and get dressed now and when you're through, just open the door and someone will take you to my office. When I'm done examining Tony, we'll come in there and talk to you both about your exams. If you have any questions I'll be happy to answer them then." Stern smiled at Dave, offered his hand, which Dave shook and then the doctor exited the room closing the door behind him.
'WOW! That was some exam!' Dave thought. 'And he did it so fast! Man, I'll take Tony's prostate exam over that one ANY day.' Dave tossed the tissue with his seminal fluid on it into the can then grabbed more tissue, wiped his ass and threw that soiled tissue into the can. He dressed, opened the door and moments later a staff member came to the door and escorted him to Dr. Stern's office.
Tony's exam went exactly like Dave's. He was almost in the same dazed state as Dave when a staff member showed him into the doctor's office where he found Dave sitting.
"So how'd it go?" Dave asked with a smile.
"Man, what an exam! The Marines never hit me with anything like that," Tony exclaimed with a smile. "I suppose you got the prostate exam too."
"Yeah, and I've decided I like yours better," Dave chuckled. Tony smiled and joined with a chuckle of his own.
"Babe, I can hardly wait to do my duty and examine you for testicular cancer," Tony chuckled. Before Dave could respond, Dr. Stern entered the office wearing a big smile and carrying some computer printouts in his hand.
"Well gentlemen," Doctor Stern began. He dragged a chair over and sat down facing his two new patients creating a very intimate atmosphere. "I'm happy to tell you that you are two of the healthiest male specimens I think I've ever seen. You exercise, you don't smoke, and you're obviously eating well. Your lab work came back in great shape." He looked down like he was reading from the printouts. "You're free of any STDs, and that includes HIV, and your urinalysis was clean. I'm going to assume you're not doing any drugs. Heart rate, blood pressure, weight, prostate, everything seems in excellent condition." Stern looked at Tony, then Dave, like he wanted to make sure he had their attention. "Now I want to discuss a your sexual practices. Yours is a monogamous relationship, right?"
"Absolutely!" Dave replied without hesitation.
"Yes Sir," Tony said shyly and blushed a little. He had never considered the possibility that he'd ever be talking to a doctor about his gay sex life.
"Well, as long as you stay that way you'll be doing a lot to protect each other. Do you know much about hepatitis?" Stern looked first at Dave then Tony.
"Some," Dave replied. Tony shook his head.
"Well, I think it's something you should know about and I'll keep it simple. Hepatitis is a viral inflammation of the liver and can damage it irreparably. If that happens you're in really big trouble. There are five versions of the virus: A, B, C, D, and E. There are vaccines for Hep-A and Hep-B but not the others. You were both in the military; I suppose you were vaccinated?" Both men answered in the affirmative. "You might want to check the dates and consider revaccination because they're only good for five to seven years. There are several sources for hepatitis and the most common is exposure to fecal mater. So it's easy to understand why gay men are at risk. In your sexual history questionnaire you both indicated you'd practiced rimming only once." Stern was obviously asking a question.
The question caught Dave and Tony by surprise and they looked at each other, then back at Stern.
"That's correct," Dave admitted. "Yes, once me too," Tony added. Both men felt a little embarrassed to admit to such an intimate act.
"Well, it's up to you, but that's one practice I don't encourage. From your answers I'm going to surmise that rimming isn't an important aspect of your lovemaking, correct?" Dave and Tony nodded. "Good. I'll leave this discussion there but I'd encourage you to get on the Internet and do some research on the subject. But should you ever become involved with other men you should definitely exercise caution in that area."
"Yes, doctor, we will," Dave replied.
"Do you have any questions?"
Dave and Tony looked at each other then turned toward Dr. Stern. "No Sir," Tony replied. "Not at this time," Dave added.
Dr. Stern folded the computer printouts he had on his clipboard, stood up and handed one set to Dave and the other to Tony. "These are yours to keep, all the information is in our database. I hope you'll consider me your regular physician from here on and contact me when you need any medical attention." Stern reached into his shirt pocket and handed each man a business card. "Here's my card and it includes my E-mail address. If you think of any questions later about this exam or any other medical issue or want to set up an appointment, please call or E-mail."
"Thanks, Doc," Dave replied as he reached out and shook Stern's hand. Tony did the same. "You can count on us calling you if we need medical attention."
"What'd ya think?" Dave asked as they sat having lunch at Chili's.
"I like him," Tony responded with a great deal of certainty to his voice. "I felt like I could ask him anything and he'd tell me straight, no sugar coating."
"Yeah, I got the same feeling. I was really please with the exam too. And I like the way he's using technology in his practice - computerized and E-mail."
"Yeah, that was impressive!" Tony agreed. I'll be curious to see what Todd and Mike think."
"I their expecting us to come over Friday for dinner, we'll ask 'em then."
Todd and Mike agreed with Dave and Tony's assessment of Dr. Stern. They were all pleased to have found a physician who would treat them as couples.
Tuesday, April 15th, a day each year that Dave would rather not think about, was about to acquire a special meaning. Just past 2:00 PM, Dave's cell phone rang. He checked the caller ID and answered with great anticipation.
"Hi Adam, you have news for us?"
"You're an uncle again, Dave. It's a girl, 7 pounds, 8 ounces, named Donna Alexis King."
"Hey, that's great!" Dave exclaimed. "What time and how are the ladies doing?"
"Connie and Donna are just great but Alex is in a dither. She wants to do everything all at once. Oh, yeah, 10:35 AM. I've already uploaded some pictures to my web site so check it out when you get a chance. Find the link called BabyDonna and click on it."
"I'm so excited," Dave gushed. "I'll wait until I get home so Tony can see them with me. When will you be taking them home?"
"I think the doctor said something about tomorrow morning. When do you think you'll be able to get out here to see her?"
"I'll definitely be there in June but I'll look for an excuse to get there sooner if at all possible. Give my best to Connie and Alex, will you?"
"Yeah, Dave, talk to you later."
"Bye Adam." Dave ended the call and immediately called Tony to break the news. Both men were in a hurry to get home and check Adam's web site.
"Ohhh, just look how beautiful she is!" Dave cooed.
"I'll never understand how people can look at a newborn and call it beautiful," Tony expounded. "Look at her. She's just a bunch of wrinkles. Her mouth is all puckered up, her eyes are still shut, and all that hair needs a permanent."
"Oh c'mon!" Dave chided. All babies are beautiful. Have you ever held a newborn in your arms?" Dave slid his hand lovingly around behind Tony and pulled them together.
"Well, no, can't say as I have."
"It's really something. They just capture your heart. They're so little and helpless. I remember holding JD right after he was born and my knees got a little weak."
"Yeah, I can see you got it bad." Tony smiled at his partner, hugged him tighter and kissed his forehead. "So, when do we go see her?"
"I took a look at my office calendar this afternoon and I don's see how I can get away until June," Dave explained as Tony's hand began massaging his buttocks. "We're scheduled to fly to New York on Wednesday, June 11 for Peter and Ashley's wedding on Saturday, the 14th and before MMMMM." Tony pulled Dave into a tight embrace and smothered him with a kiss. "Then after the wedding we're flying to Dallas for the AANCF meeting. So, ha " Tony's lips again engaged his lover. A few moments later, "So that's gonna be when we get to see Baby Donna. Is there something you want, my Jarhead Stud?" Dave asked in his deepest, most sultry voice as he smiled up at his lover. Both of Tony's hands were on Dave's butt pulling them together tightly, pressing their raging erections against each other.
"If you're finished figuring out when we're going to see our new niece, I sure would appreciate receiving one of your prostrate exams."
The next night at the dinner table Dave raised a question. "Say Hon, whatta we gonna get Peter and Ashley as a wedding present?"
"They've told everyone not to get them anything."
"Surely there's something we can get them," Dave replied.
"Well, ya know they've been living together for a while so they already have furniture an' sheets an' pillow cases an' stuff like that. And Peter said Ashley inherited all of her grandmother's China and silver setting so that's not an option. They just want the family to be there and help them celebrate and that's all."
"Okay, but it's gonna feel strange not giving a wedding gift," Dave acknowledged.
The rest of April and May seemed to sail by. Tony's school and his new job kept him quite busy and Dave's workload at the office didn't seem to let up. Dave's birthday was on Thursday, June 5, and on Saturday, June 7, Dave and Tony drove to Dave's parent's house. Nancy had planned a small party for Dave's 26th birthday with Kate, John, Susan and the boys. The gathering also served as a family observance of Kate and John's eighth wedding anniversary. While everyone was in the back yard watching the boys play soccer, John managed to catch Dave alone for a few moments to ask a question that had been on his mind since January.
"David, I've been thinking about the offer you made when we were at Vail. If it's still open I'd like to take you up on that," John proposed.
"You mean using the condo as a getaway for you and Kate?"
"Precisely," John replied. "I think some time away from the boys would be good for her and we both could use some time alone if you know what I mean."
As John was talking, Dave was reviewing his calendar in his mind. "Tony and I'd love to take care of the kids, John. I was just thinking about our commitments for the next few weeks. When would you want to do it?"
"The sooner the better," John said. "I'm going to have to get busy on next season's football program pretty soon. How about late June or early July?"
Dave thought about that for a moment, then replied. "How's the third or fourth week of June? Tony and I'll be going to his brother's wedding and then on to Dallas for the AANCF meeting. We'll be free after that."
"Great! Let's aim for the third week and I'll get back to you on the exact dates. As for the kids, if you and Tony could take care of the boys, your mother has already claimed rights for Susan. Oh, this is supposed to be a surprise for Kate so I know you won't spill the beans." John smiled with a light chuckle.
"Got it. Just let me know the dates you want and I'll arrange for the condo. I'm glad you're doing this, John. I think it'll be good for both of you - the whole family, actually."
Later, while everyone was present, Dave logged onto Adam's web site and showed everyone the most recent pictures of Donna. Dave was using the new computer he and Kate had conspired to shame their parents into getting so that they could all communicate via the Internet. Bob and Nancy even took computer classes. And Tony kept in touch with his family through the Internet and occasionally joined in a family chat room.
After dinner and after Kate and family had gone home, Nancy disappeared for a few minutes while Bob lead the two young men into the family room. Moments after the men sat down Nancy entered carrying four old-looking shoeboxes.
"Whacha got, Mother?" Dave asked.
"The ancient history of David Baker," she replied with a grin. "Tony, I think it's time you learned some of the secrets of your partner's past," and for the first time, Tony heard Nancy giggle. He stared at her with a newfound love and smiled. That's where Dave got his giggle, the one that Tony loved so much to hear.
For the next three hours the four adults sat on the floor looking at family pictures and laughing at how funny people looked. Strange as it may seem, this was the first time Dave had seen a great many of the photographs. In fact, he never knew the boxes existed.
"Oh, Dave, look at you!" Tony exclaimed as he held a photo of a young Dave. He was dressed in long, khaki pants with a sharp crease down the front of both legs and a light blue short-sleeved shirt that matched the color of his eyes. The sunlight reflected off his light blond hair making it seem radiant. The picture was posed with Dave standing straight, his feet together, arms straight at his side, and a really big smile on his face. Tony thought he felt his heart turn to mush.
"Let me see that," Nancy requested. "I remember, that was taken when David was 6 years old. He was all dressed up for his first day of school in the first grade." Nancy held the photo and seemed to study it for an abnormally long time, like she was reliving a wonderful memory.
"Nancy, might you have any more like this?" Tony asked. "Remember that long wall where Dave has that collection of family photos?"
"Why yes, I remember that wall. It's such a nice way to display the family. And there might be another picture here " Her voice trailed off as she began shuffling through the pictures.
"Well, I've been thinking about taking a few of Dave's and my photos when we were kids and adding an arrangement to that wall."
"Oh, Tony, that would be wonderful. Wait, here's another! Here, take this one. And here's another when he was 12 wearing his soccer uniform. Oh, here's another one you must have " Once given a goal, Nancy almost couldn't be stopped. And before she was finished she'd selected about three dozen photos for the boys to take home with them.
Dave learned a lot about his family. He saw pictures of both sets of grandparents and some cousins he remembered but vaguely. Dave and Tony learned that both Nancy and Bob were 'late' babies, meaning that both of their parents were older when they were born. As a result, Bob's father died a few years before Dave was born but his mother lived long enough to have a photo taken of her holding a two year old David on her lap. She died shortly after that, at age 68.
Dave had never given much consideration to his family history, except when Tony had explained his. This was all very new and exciting to him. He was very interested to learn that when he was born his father was 33 and his mother was 31. Of course they would have made them two years younger when Kate was born. He learned that the Bakers had emigrated from Wales in 1791 where they had been bakers, hence the family name. Somewhere along the way some Danish genes were added to the family line but Bob wasn't sure of the details.
Nancy's family tree was nowhere near as well known as Bob's but she remembered hearing her grandmother talk of her ancestors coming from Ireland and Germany. Perhaps someday Dave would have time to get into a genealogy search and learn more.
Just after 11:30 they all gave up and went to bed. Dave and Tony had planned to spend the night. Sunday morning Dave and Tony joined Nancy, Bob, Kate, John, Susan, and the boys at church then they left for home. Mike and Todd were having another birthday party that evening. Before leaving for that party, Tony gave Dave his present, a tie from Brooks Brother's.
Wednesday afternoon The Partnership boarded a flight to New York's LaGuardia airport. They caught a taxi into the city and checked into the hotel where Peter had reserved a block of adjoining rooms for himself and all of the out-of-town members of the wedding party. Ashley had persuaded Peter that it was only appropriate for them to be apart the last few days before their wedding just to add some mystery to it all. At check-in the desk clerk handed Tony a note from Peter telling them to change into something casual and join him in the bar at 8:00 PM. That gave Tony and Dave plenty of time to relax and enjoy each other's company for a couple of hours.
The next few days were a whirlwind of excitement. Dave and Tony met Peter in the bar as instructed and were introduced to six other men. The Best Man was Doug English, Peter's roommate and fraternity pledge-brother from college. Another man was also one of Peter's pledge brothers and another two worked with Peter. Two others were friends who lived in Peter's apartment building, Peter's tennis partner and Cooper, the man who introduced Peter and Ashley. It didn't take Dave and Tony long to pick up signals that Cooper was gay. At almost the same time, Peter caught the three talking to each other and very casually stated that they shared something in common. And he made it sound like it was no big deal. The three men immediately became good friends and Cooper insisted that Tony and Dave meet his partner.
After a great steak dinner at fine restaurant, the Best Man took charge and announced that Peter's bachelor party was about to start. They all piled into a couple of cabs and he lead them to a strip club where they proceeded to get Peter drunk and paid the hottest striper to give Peter a lap dance. Everyone had a great time and managed to get Peter back to the hotel safe and sound and without engaging in any activity that might jeopardize his relationship with his future wife.
Thursday was a day of recovery. A very late breakfast was followed with some sight seeing. Peter took Tony and Dave to see his and Ashley's apartment and she was there. Tony and Dave noticed how Ashley kept looking at Peter with a knowing smile, one that asked, "Was it worth it?"
Later, back at the hotel, all the men were lounging in Peter's room when the phone rang. Peter answered and seemed to listen quietly for a few minutes.
"Now Honey, don't worry, I'll call the cruise line and get more information Yes Sweetheart, I'm sure there's some mistake. Now don't worry, I'll take care of it Yes dear, bye now, love ya." He hung up the phone and sat down on the end of the bed appearing to be deep in thought.
"Problem?" Tony asked.
"Maybe," Peter replied with a furrowed brow. "Ash said the cruise line called and said the ship we have honeymoon reservations on has been quarantined, some sickness onboard or something. I'd better call and see what they have to say." Peter reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out his PDA and searched for a phone number. Moments later, he was talking to someone at the cruise line reservations desk and confirmed that in fact the ship was in quarantine. So much for their honeymoon! The men sat around the room and couldn't help overhearing Peter's conversation. Thay sat quietly in disbelief at the upset plans. As Peter talked, Dave and Tony looked at each other. They must have had the same thought and nodded slightly with a smile. Peter hung up the phone appearing somewhat downcast.
"Peter, would you join Tony and me in our room for a minute?" Dave asked. Peter looked up, shrugged, then stood and began walking toward them. The three of them went into Tony and Dave's room and Tony shut the door.
"Did we hear correctly, your honeymoon plans are out the window?" Tony asked. Peter just nodded without comment.
"Let us make an offer," Dave said. Peter lifted his head and stared at his brother and his partner.
"What ah whatta ya have in mind?" Peter wasn't sure his brother could solve his problem.
"We have two condos, one in Ft. Lauderdale and one in Vail. You're welcome to either one - or both for that matter." Dave offered.
Peter just looked at Dave, then Tony, and back to Dave. He wasn't sure he was hearing what he was hearing.
"Call it our wedding present," Tony suggested.
"Guys, that's really nice but "
"No buts!" Dave interrupted. "They're just sitting there, nobody's using them and we can have either or both ready in less than 24 hours. How about it?"
"Gees, I dont know "
"You probably want to run this by Ashley, right?" Tony asked.
"That would be the wise thing to do," Peter replied with a sheepish grin. "You know, it's really hard to resist when ya get double teamed," he chuckled. "At least ya didnt do the 'good-cop-bad-cop' routine." They all laughed. "But where did you guys get two condos?" Peter asked in obvious disbelief.
"It's a long story," Dave began. "Let me explain later but for now let's get moving on your wedding."
"Well, I'd like the beach but I'm sure Ash will pick the mountains. Wanna make a bet, Nick?"
"Not on your life. If Ashley's as smart as I think she is she'll wanna get you alone in the solitude of the mountains instead of the parading up and down a beach."
"Then forget the beach. I won't even mention it. That way she won't know she had a choice unless one of you tells her," Peter grinned.
"Brotherly secret," Tony replied with a chuckle and they all bumped knuckles.
The men proceeded to get cleaned up for dinner. Peter left early to pick up Ashley and the party gathered at a casual Italian restaurant. It was excellent and Tony suspected it must be one of Peter's favorites. Cooper brought his partner, Bruce, and, without being exclusionary, the four gay men quickly developed a friendship. Before leaving the restaurant, Peter let Tony and Dave know that he'd guessed right, Ash was excited about going to Vail.
Friday the boys slept late but it was still early for most New Yorkers. They were impressed with the late night lifestyle everyone seemed to live. Dave called the property management company and notified them to get the condo ready for Saturday. Cooper called and asked Tony and Dave let him and Bruce show them around town. The two city guys knew all the shortcuts and managed to hit the high points of the city, including the top of the Empire State Building. Dave and Tony returned to the hotel early enough to enjoy some private time together, including a nap.
The entire wedding party gathered at the church for the rehearsal then took cabs to the rehearsal dinner at a private club where Ashley's father was a member. Of course, Peter's parents paid for the rehearsal dinner, which must have been quite a tidy sum.
Saturday, the wedding began on schedule at 2:00 PM and went off without a hitch, er, without a problem - Ashley and Peter got hitched. The newlyweds made an abbreviated appearance at the reception then rushed to the airport for a flight to Denver. Peter had been able to make the arrangement at the last minute.
Dave and Tony said their good-byes and rushed off to the airport to catch their flight to Dallas. But before leaving, they invited Cooper and Bruce to visit them the next time they could get away from the city.
Upon arriving at DFW, Dave and Tony immediately headed for their car and drove straight to the Roehl ranch. Alex offered them something to eat but they politely declined because the in-flight meal had been quite satisfying. They settled for a cup of coffee and some cookies as the four adults sat around the kitchen table getting caught up on things. After a long and exciting day, which was capped off by the long flight, Dave and Tony were more than ready for bed. They made their excuses and turned in for a good night's sleep.
Sunday morning the two men were seated around the kitchen table stuffing themselves with Steve's pancakes when Connie and Adam arrived with baby Donna. It was almost comical seeing who was the most adoring, Dave or Alex. Tony got close, took a look, smiled and even held Donna for a few minutes but it was Dave who monopolized her. He sat in the rocking chair and gave Donna her bottle. Then he changed her before Connie could say 'No'.
"Look at him," Connie exclaimed quietly to Tony as they stood in the doorway to the living room and watched Dave talk to Donna. "Aren't they both adorable! He's a natural. See how she looks at him when he talks to her," Connie said with a smile. "It's a shame you two can't have kids." Connie wished she'd not said that, even before the words got out of her mouth.
"Yeah, he is a natural," Tony quickly replied, not giving Connie time to dwell on her comment. "You should see him with his three nephews and niece. They practically idolize him, as does my own nephew. And ya know, we've talked about the possibility of doing the foster parent thing."
"Really!" Connie exclaimed with interest. "I think you two would be great at it. Call me if you need a reference," she added with a smile.
When Donna was put down for her nap, Dave almost seemed like he didn't know what to do with himself. Then she awoke and life was good again. Connie and Adam left after dinner and Dave reluctantly allowed Donna to leave with her parents. The day had passed too quickly and Dave felt tired. However, he seemed to recover when Tony walked up behind him at one point and whispered in his ear, "Do you suppose I could get you pregnant tonight?"
Monday, Dave and Tony attended the AANCF Board Meeting and then caught their flight back home. Sitting quietly on the airplane and watching Dave snooze, Tony marveled at the past few days and how smoothly they had gone. My how his life had changed since he met Dave! If anyone had told him he'd be living with and loving another man and traveling all over the united states first class Tony would have either have punched him out or laughed uncontrollably. Yet here he was. His future looked bright and happy. He lay his head back to think about the future and the next thing he knew Dave was poking him in the ribs and saying it was time to wake up, they'd landed.
"Hey Babe, we have an anniversary coming up soon, don't we?" Tony asked.
"Yes we do," Dave replied as he lifted his head and placed his lips squarely against his lover's. At the same time Dave let his thumbnail tweak Tony's left nipple. They had just consummated their relationship for the umpteenth time and were basking in the afterglow. "When do ya think we should celebrate it?"
"Well, we could celebrate the day we met," Tony offered.
"Uh-hum." Dave stuck his tongue out and licked Tony's right nipple. Although they had just finished making love Tony's nipples were still on alert.
"Or we could celebrate the day you puked in my bathroom," Dave added with a chuckle.
"You're never gonna let me forget that are you now stop that," Tony chuckled as he used his hand to lift Dave's head and bring their lips together. "Or the day we first made love, remember?"
"Boy, do I remember. So you're a Jarhead, huh?"
"Grunt." Tony grunted and they burst out laughing. They enjoyed the memory of that moment and often relived it with laughter.
"What would you think about celebrating on the 4th of July?" Dave proposed. "Remember, that's when you met the guys for the first time and I guess we kinda outed ourselves."
"Yeah, that was fun. I think I'd like that. And we wouldn't have to worry about finding time to celebrate because we'd probably always have time off. And we could have the guys over to help us celebrate too. I do like that, Babe." Tony kissed his partner and they snuggled closer as their ardor began to surge once more.
Dave E-mailed Mike, Todd and Dan and invited them over for the Fourth. As usual, Mike immediately accepted for him and Todd but Dan's reply would be late.
John caught Dave at work.
"Hey John, how 're your plans coming?"
"Hi David, Kate still doesn't suspect a thing. At least if she does she's not letting on. Tell me, how does June 26 through 30 work for you and the condo?" That's a Thursday through Monday.
Dave was looking at his calendar as John spoke. "That's great, John. Keeping the boys over the weekend will be better. If you're ready to lock in those dated I'll make the condo arrangements."
"Let's do it. How about we drop the boys off on our way to the airport?"
"That's fine, but if Tony and I pick them up Wednesday evening you and Kate can get an 'early' start." Dave chuckled at his suggestion.
"You're on! Then we'll pick them up Monday on the way home from the airport. You think you guys 'll still be alive by then?"
"We'll be just fine.
(To be continued.)