This story may occasionally include explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adult males.  If you are underage or it is illegal to view this for any reason, consider yourself warned.  If you find this material offensive, please leave.


This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entirely a coincidence. As the author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me.  This work is copyrighted © 2015 by Steven Wells.


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Jeffery Comes Home



"Mother could you come into my office for a few moments," I said. "I think we need the advice of someone who has lived in this town for several years."


"I'm on my way," my mother answered. When she was settled, I asked Devon to explain the situation to my mother.


She took a deep breath, "My husband and I have lived in this town for almost 25 years. I love most of the people here. This is normally a very hospitable and generous community. However, until you have more information about the person who is responsible for this, I would suggest no one in this town be trusted with this information."


"Why don't you tell us how you really feel, Mom," I said to her with a smile.


"This could turn out to be a situation similar to the one with Trevor's father," my mother pointed out. "The local officials were trying to sweep his problem under the rug. This will be the same unless you can officially point the finger at someone who is responsible!"


Chapter 11: We Have a Funeral to Plan


Philip, Trevor, Devin Wright, Johnathan and I were ready to enjoy one of Philip's terrific dinners. "Johnathan?" I asked as we were sitting. "Philip and I need to ask you a few questions about your father's funeral."


"Okay," Johnathan replied.


"We are still trying to locate your mother," I told Johnathan. "So, do you want to wait until we find her before we have the funeral?"


"No," Johnathan told us. "I liked my mother. I respected my mother. But, I didn't really love her. She could be difficult at times."


"How so?" I asked.


"My father said she was moody," Johnathan explained. "One minute she was happy and a pleasure to be around. She would joke with my father and me. We could be having the greatest time together when she would just change. Like someone flipped a light switch. Then, she was different. She would turn sad—sometimes even angry. She wouldn't talk. She wouldn't laugh. If it hadn't been for my father, I think would be totally lost and afraid of her."


I looked at Philip before I continued. "So, do you want us to help plan the funeral?"


"Yes," Johnathan told us. "And, I hope it can be here and not back in Chicago."


"Is there a reason to have it here and not in Chicago?" I asked.


"Yes," Johnathan continued. "Moving here was supposed to be an adventure for my father, my mother, and me. He was excited about living here. He was excited when he started working with the people at the hospital. He was excited that we were going to start a new life here. So, I want to stay here to continue our adventure. I think that would be what he would have wanted."


"Do you know friends or relatives of your father in Chicago?" I asked.


"He was great friends with Dr. Hamilton at Illinois Masonic where he worked," Johnathan said. "We didn't really deal with my father's family. They were a little nuts, as he put it. His friends were mostly work people."


"I can have my assistant contact Dr. Hamilton," Devin suggested. "I think people your father used to work with would be interested in knowing about his passing."


"What kind of funeral would your father have liked?" I asked.


"We went to church at the UCC church in Lincoln Park," Johnathan explained. "Trevor said you performed a wedding there. He hated stodgy. He loved the contemporary music they had at that church. He loved it when Christopher Johnson sang. His mother used to join him from time to time. They really cranked up the tempo of the service."


"I think we need to call Sam and Chris for assistance with the music!" Philip excitedly suggested. "It was Sam and Chris's wedding Jeffery performed at that church a few months ago."


"Cool!" Johnathan said.


We continued our conversation through dinner. After several hours of talk, Trevor and Johnathan decided they were going to bed. Prior to heading to our bedroom, Philip and I checked in on the boys. Johnathan was not in his room. We looked in Trevor's to find the two cuddled together. Trevor was holding Johnathan tightly to his chest.


When Philip and I were settled into bed, I decided to ask Philip a question. "Philip?"


"Yes," he answered.


"Do you think we need to have a talk with Trevor about him and Johnathan sleeping together?" I asked.


"I'll leave that decision up to you," Philip replied. "I suspect it is more to calm Johnathan that anything else. Rob would not, I am certain, be a happy camper if Trevor was heading into another love situation."


"He would probably, to put it graphically, cut Trevor's balls off!" I said with a smile. "Speaking of balls, I like yours..."




The church was packed the morning of the funeral. Christopher Williamson arranged for the UUC church's chorus from Chicago to join our own chorus for the funeral. If the practice session for the music was any indication, we were in for a great celebration of life. The Chicago chorus and our own chorus numbered at least 100 voices. Chris also brought a small orchestra along for the occasion. Sam's parents, Chris's mother, Chris's grandmother and grandfather were also back in town. And, about 40 of Johnathan's father's co-workers made the trip down for the funeral. Of course, there were also local people who knew Jason and Johnathan. The church had never looked so diverse!


The processional into the church was amazing. The musical instruments from the orchestra, the pipe organ, and the voices made the church shake.


It was my turn to address the congregation. "Welcome to this celebration of life for Jason Harmon. I am Jeffery Harris–LeBlanc, the youth outreach minister here. I am pleased to see so many people here to join Jason's son, Johnathan, in honoring his beloved father. When Johnathan described his father's love of our sister UCC church in Chicago's Lincoln Park, I never thought we would be so blessed with this combined effort to provide the music for this celebration..."


When it was time for the eulogy, I introduced Johnathan, "Philip, Trevor, and I were helping Johnathan with the arrangements for his father's celebration of life. He talked glowingly about his father's accomplishments, his love of life, and his love of people, especially his family. So, we convinced Johnathan that he should be the one to eulogize his beloved father. Johnathan..."


Johnathan took the podium. "I want to thank all of you for coming to the celebration of my father's life. I am grateful for so many of my father's co-workers from Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago for making the trip down here. I also want to thank Christopher Williamson for arranging for the incredible music this morning. My father would have loved every minute, every note, and every voice. And, of course, thank you to all of the amazing people in this town, especially my wonderful foster family, Jeffery, Philip, and Trevor Harris-LaBlanc."


Johnathan pause for a moment before he continued, "My father loved life. He inspired so many people to live life to the fullest. He was a true believer in putting yourself on the line for others. His true gift to this world was his ability to work with people who needed medical attention, especially kids. He was one of the most empathetic men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He listened intently to his friends, his co-workers, his family, and even people he didn't know. He was my rock. He will always be my rock."


"Some of the best memories I have of growing up in Chicago include my father and his zest for living..."


"...I am sorry that some of you in this town were not able to fully appreciate the gifts my father had to give. I am sorry that his time in this town was cut so short. But, he has no doubt left his mark on so many of you: his patients, his co-workers, his friends, and even perfect strangers. And, I have convinced Christopher Williamson and his musical friends to sing a song that perfectly expresses how I feel about my amazing dad!"


Chris began the solo part of Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" which grew to the crescendo with the full chorus and orchestra.

You Raise Me Up

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary
When troubles come and my heart burdened be
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

There is no life - no life without it's hunger
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly
But when you come and I am filled with wonder
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be
You raise me up to more than I can be


At the gravesite, I began to speak. Jonathan was by my side. "Jonathan would like to say a few words."


"Again, I appreciate everyone being here to celebrate my father's life. I am especially grateful for the Williamson family for suggesting this country cemetery. When I saw it, I knew my father would be happy here. The rolling hills, the huge trees, the quietness of the country. My father always wanted to live in the country, to be surrounded by nature. So, in a way, my father was granted his wish. He will spend eternity here among the beauty of nature and the quiet sounds of life."


I put my hand on Jonathan's shoulder before I began speaking. "As we hold Jason—Jonathan's father, your friend, your professional colleague, your medical professional—in our hearts and memories from this day forward, we commit ourselves to carrying Jason with us always. We honor his memory by the following promises: to treat our friends and family members the way Jason did... with a caring heart and honest interaction; to move through life with a quick wit, generous laugh, and brilliant smile; and the commitment to holding our hearts open to allow others into our lives with the intention of creating and honoring the family of God."


"To signify this promise to Jason, we will now each take up a handful of earth to place upon his grave. We begin with a portion of earth that comes from a very special place to Jason—the land his home he built when he and his family moved to Olney to be a part of an inclusive community—with the intention that by laying this earth closest to him, his spirit will be surrounded with all the love, happiness, and wonderment he felt here in this new adventure in his and his family's life."


"I ask all who wish to, to now come forward and take this soil in your hand and bless Jason's final resting place here."


I kept my hand on Johnathan's shoulder as the people took a small pinch of soil from the bowl Johnathan held and placed it in the still open grave.


"Having committed Jason's spirit to eternal rest and blessed Jason's new home with the joy and comfort he felt toward others, we now say to Jason: `Thank you for all you have given to us during your short, yet giving life. What good you have shown us, we will show to others. We release you now to the next part of your spiritual journey as you walk hand in hand with your Creator.'"


"At this time, Jonathan has asked Christopher Williamson and his mother, Gloria Washington, to sing a beautiful song for Jason, and I ask each of you to forever remember Jason as he was: always smiling."


Christopher and Gloria began an intensely energetic version of "Amazing Grace."


"To continue our celebration of Jason Harmon's life," I announced. "The Williamson family welcome you to join them at their beautiful home to break bread and share more of your recollections of Jason's life."




"This has been a busy day," I said as Philip, Trevor, Jonathan, Devon, and I entered our house after the day-long celebration of Jason Harmon's life. "And, I want to say, Jonathan, you are a remarkable young man. I know your father is exceedingly proud of everything you did and said today."


"So are we," Trevor said to Jonathan. "It took guts to do what you did today!"


"Thank you," Jonathan replied. "I couldn't have done any of this without all of you. And, thank you, Devin for being here. Jeffery and Philip mentioned you had other business here. Like what?"


Devon looked at me and then Philip and back to me. "I think I will let Jeffery and Philip answer that question."


"Okay," I said to the group. "Why don't we sit in the living room? Do you want a scotch, Devon?"


"I'd love one," Devon said with a smile. "I think the three of us might need a couple before the evening is over."


I retrieved sodas for Trevor and Jonathan while Philip poured the scotch.


"Johnathan," I began. "We have a situation we need to talk with you about. Devon has uncovered a harassment claim your father and his attorney filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. Did you know anything about this?"


"No," Johnathan said. "What was the attorney's name?"


"Jorge Gomez," Devon responded. "Why?"


"He was my dad's college roommate," Johnathan answered. "They were best friends until my mom went bonkers one night. She... she accused them of being lovers. I didn't understand what she was talking about at the time."


"Did your father ever mention when he started to get uneasy about working at the hospital?" Devon asked.


"Sort of," Johnathan said. "He had a performance review about six months into his stint at the hospital. The guy from the county was there. My dad thought it was weird that the head of the county government would be at his performance review."


"Who was this county government official?" Devon asked.


"He was at the Williamson's today for the luncheon after my father was buried," Johnathan acknowledged. "He came up to me and said how sorry he was to hear about my father's passing. He didn't seem terribly sincere. His name was Mr. Ritter, I think. He also said, if there was anything he could do to help me get back to my people in Chicago, I should let him know."


"Get back to your people in Chicago?" I asked in dismay. "He actually said that?"


"Yes," Johnathan said.


"Rob and I were standing beside Johnathan," Trevor said. "We heard him say it. Is he the bigot?"


"We shouldn't use the term `bigot,' Trevor," I admonished our son.


"Dad, I was going to say `bigoted asshole,' but I knew you wouldn't like it," Trevor said with a smile.


"Where have we gone wrong, Philip?" I said as I cuddled next to my husband.


"I believe I have heard those words come out of your mouth, Reverend," Philip added as he hugged me tightly to him.




The next Sunday after the church service, Philip, Devon, and I cornered Mr. Williamson. "Charlie, do you have a couple of minutes to discuss something with us?"


"Certainly, Jeffery," Charlie reliped.


"Why don't we go to my office?" I suggested.


After we were seated on the sofas in my office, Charlie asked, "What can I do for you, gentlemen?"


"First of all, we want to thank you and your lovely wife for hosting the gathering after Jason Harmon's funeral on Friday," I began. "I think the third floor of your home is probably the only venue in town where you can put 200 people for lunch and still have room to walk around."


"We were happy to do it, Jeffery," Charlie said.


"Now, I hope you don't mind asking a few somewhat sensitive questions?" I began.


"Go for it," Charlie said.


"You are friends with John Ritter, am I correct?" I asked.


"Were friends," Charlie corrected me. "We had an issue come between us and we haven't really been on speaking terms ever since."


"Would this have anything to do with your son-in-law Christopher?" I asked.


"As a matter of fact, yes," Charlie began. "He made a few comments to me after we hosted Christmas dinner last year. You were there. You have met Chris and his mother and grandparents. They are wonderful people. Elaine and I cherish every moment we spend with my son's in-laws."


"Would you say that Mr. Ritter is a fairly tolerant person?" I asked.


"No," Charlie answered emphatically. "He deals well with gay people for example. His son is also gay. He ends his tolerance with people of color... any color other than white. Have I made myself clear?"


"Yes," I said. "I also need to tell you something that we need to keep just between us at the moment. Jason Harmon and his attorney, Jorge Gomez, filed a harassment claim with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. Do you think Mr. Ritter might have been responsible for actions taken by the hospital to denigrate Jason Harmon's character at work?"


"Yes," Charlie sadly said. "John Ritter bragged to me about being instrumental in getting Mr. Harmon fired. He threatened to make my son's life `miserable' if I didn't do something to discourage Sam and Chris from getting married."


"And, your response was?" I asked.


"I told him to stay the fuck away from me and my family," Charlie added. "I almost threw him out of the house when I saw him at the lunch at our home. Elaine dissuaded me from making a scene. However, I did over hear Elaine tell Mr. Ritter, after most of the guests had left, if he ever set foot in our home again, she would personally cut his balls off!"


"I think I see where Sam gets some of his determination!" I said to Charlie and the group.


"You might be right about that, Jeffery," Charlie admitted. "If you need any further help from me, please let me know. John and I used to be best of friends. However, I would be very happy to see the bastard run out of town. He is a disgrace to the community."




Judge Linda Fitzgerald began the final session of the civil suit against the Richland County Board of Commissioners, the Richland Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, and County Commission President, John Ritter.


"This is a very, very sad day for me. I grew up in this county. I went to high school with Mr. Ritter. I thought I knew the people of this wonderful, peaceful, idyllic community. And, for the most part I do. And, I believe this community owes a deep debt of appreciation to people like Charles Williamson and his family as well as Reverend Jeffery Harris-LeBlanc and his family."


"The interested parties—the Richland County Board of Commissioners, the Richland Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, and County Commission President, John Ritter, and the family of Jason Harmon have agreed to end these proceedings with the following stipulations: John Ritter will step down as County Commission President. The Richland County Board of Commissioners will also submit their resignation by the end of business today. The Richland County Board of Commissioners and the Richland Memorial Hospital Board of Directors have agreed to pay damages of $25 million to the family of Jason Harmon."


"And, Mr. Ritter, I am going to give you some legal advice," Judge Fitzgerald continued. "Do NOT LEAVE TOWN even though many people here want you to. The Federal Prosecutor will be issuing federal charges against you with regard to your actions resulting in the wrongful termination of Mr. Jason Harmon from the Richland Memorial Hospital."


"And, to Johnathan Harmon, I want to deeply and sincerely apologize to you for the loss of your father. I know no amount of money will repair the deep hole you probably feel right now. But, please, please don't judge this community on the actions of a few very spiteful, bigoted individuals. I hope you will continue to make your home here. We need young people like you in this community—not because you are a person of color, but because you are a brave, empathetic, and responsible young man. I hope to see you at your high school graduation in a few years. This court is adjourned."




After court, Philip, Devon, Jorge (the attorney who was Jason Harmon's best friend), Trevor, Johnathan, and I settled in to have lunch at the coffee shop. We gave Mel our order and took seats at the table in the window.


"So, guys," I said to Jorge and Johnathan. "What have you two decided to do now that the trail is over?"


"Easy decision, Jeffery," Johnathan explained. "Jorge and I will be selling the house my father built. We convinced the Williamson family to sell us 10 acres of land to build the house in the country my father always wanted."


"So, you're not leaving town then," Devon asked.


"Nope," Jorge said to the group. "Johnathan and I are looking forward to this new adventure. I only wish Jason could be here with us. He was the love of my life, you know. If I had known Jason was going through such torment, I would have been here in a flash. But, Jason would want Johnathan and me to move forward. So, we will be doing just that, right?"


"Yup!" Johnathan said with a smile. "Tell Jeffery about your job."


"I start work next week for an organic farm in town," Jorge said with a smile. "I will be their legal counsel."


"Philip," I said to my husband. "Why do I think there is something you haven't been telling me?"


"I didn't want to bore you with the details," Philip said. "You had more important things to deal with, such as rescuing kids from the disparities of life."


"One other thing I hope you will help me with, Jeffery," Johnathan calmly said. "Jorge and I want to set up a scholarship in my father's name. Preferably for someone who wants to be a medical professional: a nurse, a doctor, a physician's assistant, a pharmacist. We want it to go to someone from the high school, and we want it to pay for all four years of college, including tuition, fees, room, and board, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign."


"You would need a considerable amount of money to accomplish your goal and make it sustainable, I would think," I said. "But, I will see what I can do to organize it. How much do you think you want to invest?"


"I think, between Johnathan and me, we could come up with at least $4 million," Jorge said. "If it is invested properly, the scholarship would probably be self-sustaining."


"I know the perfect people to help you invest the money for the scholarship and administer the fund," Devon added.


"Who would that be?" I asked.


"The Washington Family Foundation," Devon said with a smile. "Who knows, they may even add a little to the scholarship."


"Can you tell me, Devon," I said. "Why is it that Sam and Chris Williamson always seems to be appearing in our lives?"


"They are good people, Jeffery," Devon said. "Very good people!"



To be continued...


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Sam and Chris in the `College' section


John's Journey Forward in the `Beginnings' section


Life With Tom in the authoritarian section (Please note, this story is not for everyone because there are several scenes depicting Master/slave and BDSM relationships. So, if you are not interested in this activity, please, please do not read this story.)


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