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This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entire 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 copyright © 2016 by Steven Wells.
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John's Journey Forward
"I never had a dog when I was growing up," Noel replied. "My mother didn't believe they were proper house mates. So, we were without a dog."
"I see," I replied. "Do you have any idea the type of dog you are looking to find?"
"One who is intelligent, good with kids, loyal, and obedient," Noel replied. "We might want to consider something like... like... like a border collie."
"Our dog Spike was part border collie," I explained. "Great dogs. Have you been researching this particular subject?"
"Well, as a matter of fact, yes," Noel admitted. "I understand a breeder outside of Concord has a stellar reputation for providing quality pets. Her name is Jennifer Rhodes. I also understand she has a litter of puppies who will be ready for adoption in about three weeks."
I pointed my toast at Noel. "I somehow believe I am being taken advantage of here."
"I would never take advantage of you, John," Noel said with a huge smile across his face.
"How much are these puppies?" I asked.
"Not cheap," Noel replied. "The ones she has available are registered if we choose. So, we're talking $500."
"Can't we just go to a pound and adopt one?" I asked.
"You would rob me of a chance to have a well-rounded dog?" Noel asked.
"Oh Jeez...," I hissed. "I don't suppose you have made an appointment to see these puppies, have you?"
"You actually think I would take it upon myself to schedule an appointment to see these cute little puppies?" Noel asked in mock horror.
I didn't respond. I just looked at Noel with squinty eyes.
"Two Saturday's from today at 1 pm," Noel admitted.
Chapter 20: One Dog Later
"Do we have time to stop at the house to see what progress has been made?" I asked.
"Sure," Noel replied. "It's the least I can do considering you will be buying Eagan and me a puppy."
"The dog is for Eagan, Noel," I said as I kissed him. "Sometimes I think I am living with two three-year old boys."
"I'm just young at heart," Noel said as I kissed him again. "You are about to start something you won't be able to finish."
"Why?" I asked.
"Eyes," Noel replied as I stopped kissing him and noticed Eagan standing in the doorway of our bedroom. He was smiling.
"I'm ready to see the puppies now," Eagan said carefully.
"Okay, kiddo," I said as I scooped him up in my arms and carried him into the kitchen. "First, we need to eat breakfast. We will look at the house before we see the puppies."
"Okay," Eagan said. "What will the puppy's name be?"
"We will decide when we see them," Noel replied.
"Them?" I asked.
"She has two for us to pick from," Noel explained.
"Why do I think I am being played?" I asked my husband.
"I would never play you, sweetie," Noel replied. "I might play with you but not what you were inferring."
"And the Pope isn't Catholic," I replied as I took my first sip of coffee.
We ate quickly around the kitchen island. I scooped up Eagan, and we left to go puppy shopping.
After a quick stop at the house to look at the progress of the renovations, we followed Mr. Dreamy, the GPS guy, to our destination.
"Your destination is on the right," Mr. Dreamy finally informed us.
Noel pulled into the driveway of a stately older Colonial house with a barn-like structure behind it. I retrieved Eagan from his car seat. He was a bundle of energy.
"What if the doggies don't like me?" Eagan finally asked as we rang the doorbell.
"They will love you!" Noel said to Eagan.
"Welcome," a dark-haired teenager said as he opened the door. "You must be John, Noel, and Eagan. I'm Darryl. My mother will be with you shortly. She is on the phone with a prospective customer. I will get you settled in the viewing room."
"Thank you, Darryl," Noel replied.
"So, Eagan," Darryl said as he turned his attention to Eagan. "You must be excited about meeting the dogs."
"Yes," Eagan shyly replied.
"He has been talking about nothing else for the last two weeks," I said.
"Puppies can make almost any kid talkative," Darryl replied.
"I'm sorry I was on the phone when you arrived," a nice-looking brunette said as she rushed into the room. "I'm Jennifer Rhodes."
"I am Noel. I talked with you a couple of weeks ago," Noel began. "This is my husband John and our son Eagan."
"Welcome to our home," Jennifer said. "So Eagan, are you excited about getting a puppy?"
"Yes, Mam," Eagan replied.
Noel and I looked at one another. We had never heard Eagan say `Mam.'
"Good," Jennifer said to Eagan. "I'll bring the two puppies to meet you. Please have a seat and make yourselves comfortable."
"You look worried, Eagan," I said. "Is something wrong?"
"What if they don't like me?" Eagan asked.
"They will love you Eagan," I replied. "Everyone loves you."
"Then, why did my mom leave me?" Eagan asked.
Fortunately, Jennifer returned with two of the cutest puppies I have seen. They were both black with white on their noses and on the bottom of their bellies. When Jennifer put the puppies on the floor, they carefully sniffed their way to Eagan. Eagan sat on the floor and quickly was covered in puppies.
"I think they like me, Daddy," Eagan said with an enthusiastic tone in his voice.
John and I sat on the floor next to Eagan. The puppies sniffed before landing in our lap. One in Noel's lap. The other in mine.
"You guys are so cute!" Noel said.
I realized immediately Noel wanted both puppies. He wanted them as much as Eagan.
"What are their names?" I asked.
"Their official names on the papers are fairly long," Jennifer replied. "You can name the puppies anything you want. I will add the name you choose to their paperwork."
"Eagan, what would you like to name the puppies?" I asked.
"I don't know, daddy," Eagan replied. He seemed a little confused.
"How about Tucker and Toby?" Noel asked Eagan.
When Noel mentioned two names for the dogs, I knew I had been setup.
"Which is which?" Eagan asked.
"You choose, Eagan," Noel replied.
"That one is Tucker," Eagan said as he pointed at the puppy in my lap.
I held the dog up and looked him in the eye. "He even looks like a dog named Tucker."
"So you are Toby, then," Noel said to the dog in his lap.
Noel leaned close to me and whispered in my ear. "I thought you would be pissed about two dogs."
"Noel," I said. "You will pay for your actions later, but, right now, we have puppies to take home."
"You want them both just as much as Eagan and me," Noel said with a smile.
"Look at Eagan," I said as I watched him play with the puppies. "Seeing him this happy over two puppies is worth more than the money or their care."
"So, Jennifer," I began. "Other than giving you some money, what else do we need to do before we can take the dogs home?"
"Sign some papers," Jennifer replied. "I will give you a leash for the dogs as well as some starter puppy food. They are well trained, but they may have a few accidents until they are used to their new surroundings. You will also need a bowl for food and one for water. Some people like to have the dogs sleep in a dog bed, but I suspect they will not be using it. You will also want to find a vet close to your home in the next few weeks."
"I noticed one two blocks from where our house is located," I replied.
"I thought you lived in an apartment," Jennifer said.
"We do, but we are remodeling a house on Brattle Street," Noel replied. "If it ever gets put back together again, we will be moving from our apartment to the house."
"Brattle Street?" Jennifer asked. "You are renovating a house on Brattle in Cambridge?"
"Yes," I replied. "My parents used to own it, but they wanted to move to a condo. So, Noel and I bought the house."
"How exciting!" Jennifer added. "When I went to school in Cambridge, I loved to walk down Brattle and dream I could one day afford one. But, I run a puppy farm instead."
"You can visit us once we are in the house," I said.
"Daddy," Eagan said as he stood beside me. "There is another puppy, Daddy."
Eagan pointed across the room where a smaller puppy sat and watched the action.
"He is the brother of these two," Jennifer replied. "He's small and has some health issues."
"What kind of health issues?" I asked as Noel joined us.
"He has some breathing issues," Jennifer replied.
"If he's Tucker and Toby's brother we can't leave him," Noel added. "He will live to adulthood, right?"
"Yes, but he might not be able to keep up with the others," Jennifer explained.
I leaned down and patted my thigh. The little puppy walked slowly towards us. He sniffed me before he decided I wouldn't hurt him. He licked my hand, and then I picked him up. He licked my face.
"Jennifer, could we take him, too?" I asked as I stood with the third puppy. He continued to lick my face.
"Yes, but he might slow you down on walks," Jennifer cautioned us.
"May I have a word with you privately, Jennifer?" I asked.
"Of course," she replied as she and I moved into the kitchen.
"You should know, Jennifer, we understand physical ailments," I explained. "Noel and I met at an HIV support group. We adopted Eagan from an agency which specializes in placing kids with HIV."
Jennifer looked in Eagan's direction. "The dear, charming little boy is HIV positive?"
"Yes," I replied. "The three of us are on meds and the infection is under control."
"You are very, very brave," Jennifer replied. "The third brother is yours if you want him."
"We do," I replied.
We returned to where Noel, Eagan, Tucker, and Toby were playing. I carried puppy number three.
"So, Noel, Eagan, what do you want to name this little guy?" I asked.
"Eagan?" Noel asked.
"Tiger," Eagan said without hesitation as I handed Tiger to him.
"Tiger it is," I said as I watched Tiger lick Eagan's face.
We wrapped up our adoption of Tucker, Toby, and Tiger. The three dogs and Eagan were in the back seat. Tiger found a way to use Eagan's lap as his resting place.
"Just think, John," Noel said as he drove us towards Cambridge. "We each have a dog."
"Yup," I replied. "I'll bet you knew about Tiger all along."
"I didn't," Noel admitted. "But, I watched your face as Jennifer told us about Tiger. I immediately knew Tiger would be coming home with us."
"We might need a bigger car," I said as I surveyed the back seat with three puppies and a three-year-old.
"I understand BMW's X5 is a terrific SUV," Noel said.
"And, you know this how?" I asked.
"I heard Gavin talking with Chris about it," Noel replied.
"It's bound to be a terrifically high priced vehicle, too!" I added.
"A well-equipped version of the X5 is about $90 thousand," Noel explained.
"Like we can afford a $90 thousand SUV right now," I said. "We are renovating a house. We will need to furnish the house. We have a three-year-old son. We now have three dogs. We have a house in Provincetown we share with my brother. It needs work, too. I believe I have pretty much accounted for every available dollar of income we make."
"You need a vehicle, John," Noel said. "You take Eagan to work with you. You can't be taking the MBTA to work with him every morning."
"I don't think we need a $90 thousand vehicle," I replied. "Maybe a Ford or Chevy."
"I am surprised at you, John," Noel added. "You, of all people, realize we have a reputation to uphold. We must project the appropriate image."
"Put a sock in it Noel," I said as I threw a discarded Starbucks napkin at him.
We arrived home with our three dogs and assorted dog paraphernalia. Eagan seemed tired but didn't want to miss any dog action, so he elected to skip his normal nap. Shortly after we finished dinner, Noel and I found Eagan asleep on the sofa in the living room. Tiger snuggled next to Eagan. Tucker and Toby sat quietly on the other end of the sofa.
"I wonder where they will be sleeping," Noel asked.
"You mean the dogs?" I asked.
"Who else would I be referring to as they?" Noel continued. "Of course I meant the dogs. Where will they wind up sleeping? All with Eagan? Tiger with Eagan and Tucker and Toby with us? Or, should we turn the bedroom next to Eagan's bedroom in the house into a dog bedroom?"
"I don't believe dogs require a dog bedroom," I replied. "They generally like to be around their humans."
"I just realized our family has grown exponentially in the last few months," Noel said to me as he leaned in to kiss me. "Nice feeling, isn't it?"
"Yup," I replied. "It is a very nice feeling. When I first met you, I never dreamed we would be sitting in our living room and talking about our son and our three dogs. It's like the other life we had before Eagan never existed."
"And we never dreamed we would have jobs we love," Noel replied. "Some people get part of life's great experiences, but not all. We are lucky, John. Very lucky."
On Monday morning, I brought Eagan to work with me again. He thrived at the office. He made friends with almost everyone who worked at eSquare. If I had a pressing issue I needed to take care of, someone would always volunteer to make certain Eagan remained calm.
"John," Chris said as he took a seat beside my work area. I noticed he had a very big smile on his face. "I believe we need to talk about a few things you and I need to work on. So, could I take you and Eagan out to lunch to discuss some of my plans?"
"Ah, sure," I replied. "We have never taken Eagan to a public restaurant before, so I am not certain how it will go down."
"We will learn together," Chris said with a smile. "Gavin and I have an appointment to speak with the agency about adoption. So, lunch will be good practice."
"So you are taking a big step here," I said.
"Yea," Chris replied. "We are excited. I know it will be a big change in our lives, but we both believe we will enjoy the journey."
"Trust me," I said to Chris. "It is the best action we have taken. It has been and absolute joy being with Eagan. Your whole outlook changes. We even have three dogs now."
"You do move fast," Chris said. "Drop by my office around 12 and we will have lunch and talk."
"We will be there," I replied.
I continued working until a little before 12. I grabbed Eagan and headed to Chris's office. He stepped into the hallway as we approached.
"Are you ready for lunch, Eagan?" Chris asked.
"Yes," Eagan replied.
We walked to a casual dinner not far from the office. Once we were seated and had ordered food, Chris began explaining the reason for our meeting.
"As you know, eSquare is growing faster than I ever imagined," Chris said. "I have been involved in supporting the technical side of sales initiatives. I can no longer handle all those duties in addition to leading the company's growth prospects. And, when we adopt a kid, I will have even less time. So, I am looking for someone who could add a layer of sales oriented technology guidance. I am hoping I can convince you to be the person."
"Me?" I asked. "Why me? What about Sandy? What about George? Why me?"
"Because you would be terrific doing this," Chris said. "And, I have talked with Sandy and George. They both recommended I speak with you. You have the technical knowledge and you have the people skills to support the sales efforts. You would be perfect for the position. You would also have a company car. You will also make more money—a lot more money."
"How much more money?" I asked.
"Commission plus bonus," Chris replied. "Your base salary would be on the order of $100 thousand. You would probably see commission and bonus top the base in an average year."
"You are shitting me!" I exclaimed.
"You said a bad word, Daddy," Eagan said.
"Sorry Eagan. It just slipped out," I replied.
"No," Chris said.
"What kind of car?" I asked.
"I was thinking a BMW X5," Chris said with a smile.
"You've been plotting," I said to Chris.
"No," Chris replied. "I have been planning. You know I care about my employees here. Without people like you and your team, this would still be a one-man show."
"So, why the SUV?" I asked.
"Gavin had mentioned you were getting two dogs which turned out to be three," Chris explained. "So, I thought you would need an SUV. Besides, it might be good for the image you project if you were touring around in an X5."
"We have three dogs," I replied. "Noel's car is a little full with Eagan, Tucker, Toby, and Tiger in the back seat."
"So, you are okay with this?" Chris asked.
"I need to talk with Noel," I said. "But, I will consider it. However, we now have a kid at home. I don't want to be a workaholic dad."
"Your schedule is what you make of it," Chris replied. "I am still trying to recruit George to be a second technical sales support engineer."
"Does he get an X5, too?" I asked.
"Yes," Chris replied. "Eventually, I will have an X5. You need more room in the back seat, don't you Eagan?"
"Yes, Uncle Chris," Eagan replied. "I need a bigger bed, too. Tiger likes to have room when he sleeps."
"What are you telling Chris tomorrow?" Noel asked after our discussion about Chris's offer.
We were sitting in the living room after we had put Eagan to bed. Tucker and Toby were napping on the floor in front of us. Tiger was sleeping with Eagan.
"Tell me what I should do, Noel," I replied. "I love the work I am doing now. But, I know this is a terrific opportunity to move forward in my professional life not to mention it being financially lucrative."
"I can't tell you what you should do," Noel replied. "Only you can make this decision. I am with you whatever you decide. I will support your decision. You need to be happy with your work situation. Otherwise, it becomes WORK."
I leaned in to kiss Noel. The dogs stirred.
"I will tell Chris yes," I replied. "But, I want an assurance from Chris I can have my old position back if I hate this."
"Do we celebrate?" Noel asked.
"What do you mean?" I asked because Noel had his `look' in his eyes.
"We could move this party to the bedroom, get naked, and play with each other's body," Noel whispered.
"What do we do with them?" I asked pointing to Tucker and Toby.
"They can take care of themselves for a few minutes," Noel whispered back.
"Only a few minutes?" I asked.
"However long it takes, lover boy," Noel said as he planted a kiss on my lips.
"Does this mean I need to wear a suit every day?" I asked Chris after I accepted his offer.
"Yes," Chris replied. "You don't need to wear a tie with the suit. Just make certain you have one somewhere."
"I can see I will need to make a pit stop at Macy's," I replied.
"Go see this guy," Chris said as he slid a business card my way. "He is expecting you. Put two terrific suits on the company AmEx card. The rest will be on you. Most of the time you can plan on a blazer with some very nice slim fit slacks. Most of the clients you will be seeing are gay. Wow them with your body."
"It sounds like I am becoming a prostitute," I replied with a smile.
"No," Chris replied. "Just make certain they know you are a sexy looking SOB with a husband and kid."
"Got it," I replied.
"Now, do you have any influence over George?" Chris asked.
"Why?" I asked.
"I'll give you a signing bonus if you can convince him to join you on this new experience," Chris said with a smile.
"The only one who has any real influence on George is Jorge," I replied.
"Whatever it takes," Chris replied. "We need to go car shopping."
"Just hand me the keys," I replied. "Just make certain it will make me look like a sexy SOB with a husband and kid."
"Done," Chris replied as we shook hands. "I will get the paperwork started for your new position. I will make the announcement later today."
Two months later we were sitting in the living room of the house. The furniture had been delivered over the course of the last week.
"I can't believe this is ours," Noel said to me as we looked across the room. "This is fucking amazing."
"I can't wait for Mom and Dad to see it," I added. "They will freak out! This is not the house I grew up in."
"It had better not be after all the money we sank into this place," Noel replied. "I'm glad your parents will see it before anyone else. I hope they like it. I hope they don't freak because we changed the place they lived in for several years."
"We need to figure out how to use the kitchen before tonight," I replied. "I have never used a six-burner commercial cooktop before. I hope we don't burn everything."
"We will start early," Noel replied. "We can always order take out from the Italian place your parents liked if we fuck things up."
"Always have a backup plan," I added.
"Daddy," Eagan said as he joined us. "I miss where we lived before."
"Why?" Noel asked.
"This is too big," Eagan replied as he settled on Noel's lap. "I might get lost. What if I get lost and you can't find me?"
"We will always be able to find you, Eagan," Noel said. "Your Daddy John lived in this house when he was your age. He knows all the places you might be. We will always find you."
"Okay," Eagan said as he slid off Noel's lap and wiggled to the floor. "Tiger and me are going to explore."
"Okay," I said. "Don't be gone too long. Grandma and grandpa will be here tonight. We need to get you cleaned up and ready to greet them."
"Okay, Daddy," Eagan said as he and Tiger disappeared in a flash of feet.
Tucker and Toby appeared and sat at our feet in front of the sofa. "And, to what do we owe the pleasure of your appearance?" I asked them.
Their tails were not moving. They looked at us with big eyes.
"What have you done now?" Noel asked.
They both looked in the direction of the back entrance from the mud room. Noel and I stood up and followed Tucker and Toby. When we arrived in the mudroom, we discovered their misdeed. Two pillows on the bench, which was designed to aid putting on or taking off shoes, were on the floor. Stuffing littered the area around them.
I leaned down to speak with Tucker and Toby.
"So, thank you for telling us about your unfortunate mistake," I said quietly to the dogs. "We will clean this up. However, please be careful the next time you two decide to have a pillow fight. Now, go make yourselves scarce while we take care of this mess."
Tucker and Toby exited the mud room with their tails drooping.
"I guess you told them, huh, John," Noel said with a smile.
"What did you want me to do?" I asked. "Yell at them? It would have been counterproductive. Besides, we get to test the central vacuum system."
"I didn't like the pillows here anyway," Noel said. "Sometimes I think Devon overdid some of his decorating ideas."
Once Noel and I figured out how to turn on the central vacuum system, we were excited by the level of simplicity of the inner workings of the house.
"Let's hope the kitchen stove is as easy as the central vacuum system," I said to Noel.
"It has knobs and a lot of buttons," Noel replied. "A positive sign, I hope."
"The real issue will be the oven," I replied. "Not only are there two, each has a convection setting, a convection/steam setting, and a conventional oven setting."
"Of course, the range hood could be our undoing," Noel added. "Do you think maybe we should have gone after standard kitchen stove instead of the advanced model?"
"Time will tell," I replied as we stood in front of the Wolf cook top flanked on the right with twin ovens and warming drawer. "But, it should be fun learning how to use these things. The worst-case scenario is we burn down the house."
"As I sat here yesterday morning staring at the kitchen," Noel began. "I realized it will cost a small fortune to fill the wine cooler."
"Let everyone know we will take donations at the door," I added. "Now, we have a dinner to prepare."
Noel and I distributed duties and began making our first meal in the new kitchen.
I had the mushroom Risotto to prepare along with the roasted vegetables. Noel elected salad duty and the chocolate mousse for dessert. The salmon sat ready for the grill in the fridge.
"It is amazing we don't run into each other in this kitchen," I said as we neared the end of our project. "We could open a catering business out of here."
"I'm not changing careers," Noel replied. "You're not either until we have this house paid for."
"Good point," I agreed. "Hey Eagan! Where have you been hiding?"
"Tiger and I were talking about the house," Eagan replied. "He likes it here. I do too."
"I'm glad you both came to the same conclusion," I added. "Have you seen Tucker and Toby?"
"Yes," Eagan replied. "They are chasing each other in circles in my room."
"Would you please ask them to come down so they can get walked and fed before your grandma and grandpa arrive?" I asked.
"Sure," Eagan said as he and Tiger scurried off.
Eagan yelled from the bottom of the stairs, "Tucker, Toby come downstairs!"
I looked at Noel and smiled as we heard the clamor of dog feet on their rampage down the stairs.
Once we had walked and fed the dogs, we went upstairs. We gave Eagan a bath and helped him change his clothes for the evening.
"We will be out in a few minutes, Eagan. We need to get cleaned up now," Noel explained.
"Okay," Eagan said as he, Tiger, Tucker, and Toby sat in the middle of the floor.
"I'm surprised we haven't christened the shower yet," I said to Noel in my most sexy voice.
"Sounds like a project," Noel replied. "I like projects. How about tomorrow morning?"
"How about now?" I asked.
"Think you are man enough?" Noel asked.
I took his hand and put it on my crotch. "Comments?" I asked.
"No," Noel said. "You need to be naked and in the shower in 2 seconds or I will blow a load right here from spontaneous combustion."
We didn't waste time with preliminary work. I turned Noel around to face the shower wall. I put my already hard dick on his asshole. I paused while I nibbled on Noel's neck.
"From the way I feel now, John," Noel hissed. "If you don't' stick your big dick in me now, you may not have another chance until your parents leave tonight."
I shoved my big dick into Noel's tight ass.
"Oh! Shit! John!" Noel hissed again. "Yea!"
I began pumping away in Noel's ass. He began stroking his already rock hard dick with his hand. I kept pounding and Noel kept stroking until, in unison, our dicks exploded with cum. Mine in Noel's ass. His on the shower wall.
"I think we both needed this, John," Noel whispered as we both leaned against the show wall.
"More like it later tonight," I replied. "Maybe we can try the steam in the shower."
"You make me horny, John," Noel said as we both began to take a shower.
"As you do me, Noel," I said as I gave him a kiss.
We dressed. Me in jeans and a pullover sweater. Noel in jeans and a button-up shirt which he left untucked.
Eagan and the dogs were still sitting on the floor of Eagan's room.
"Ready to go downstairs, sport?" I asked.
"Yup," Eagan replied.
We just stepped off the stairs when the doorbell rang.
"Hello, mom, dad," I said as I opened the door. We exchanged hugs. Finally, my mother turned and looked at the living and dining area.
"Oh! My!" My mother exclaimed. "Oh! My! John! Noel! This is beautiful. It looks so big. So inviting."
"Thanks, mom," I said. "We still have some furniture to be delivered, but we are happy with the results of a three-month renovation."
"It doesn't look like the same house," my father finally said.
"We used the kitchen for the first time today," Noel added as we headed to the kitchen.
Again, my mother and father stopped in their tracks when they saw the finished kitchen. My mother walked into the kitchen and touched things. The counter top. The cook top. The ovens. The microwave. The dishwasher. The fridge.
"Amazing," was all my mother could say. "What did it feel like today working in such a beautiful space?"
"Outrageously wonderful," I replied. "At the apartment, we kept bumping into each other when we were cooking together. Today was like a dance scene out of a movie."
"We didn't even fight over what counter space we wanted to use," Noel added.
"This is the pantry and mudroom," I said as I stepped into the open hallway.
"What did you do with the laundry room?" my mother asked.
"It's upstairs," I replied. "We thought it made sense to have it upstairs near the bedrooms and bathrooms. We left the guest room almost untouched except the bathroom. It now has hardwood floors. Every room in the house has hardwood floors."
"You took out the carpet," my father said as he peeked into the room. "It makes it look bigger."
My mother peaked into the bathroom. "This is so clean looking," my mother exclaimed. "I always thought this was so tiny."
"We used part of the walk-in closet to expand the bathroom," Noel explained. "Hopefully guests won't need a huge walk-in closet. If they do, they are planning on staying way too long."
"Good point," my father said with a smile. "You mother's sister always threatened to move in with us."
We finished the tour and headed downstairs for drinks.
"What can I get you to drink?" I asked.
"Red wine?" my mother asked.
"Sure," I said. "Dad?"
"Do you have any beer?" he asked.
"Yes," I replied. "Sam Adams Octoberfest? Corona? Or Blue Moon?"
"Blue Moon," my father replied.
"Noel?" I asked.
"Vodka on the rocks," Noel replied.
"Eagan?" I asked.
"Vodka on the rocks," Eagan said.
"Like father like son," my father replied.
As I distributed the drinks, my mother became somewhat remote.
"Is something wrong, mom?" I asked.
"No," my mother replied. "I was just thinking how lucky your father and I have been. We've had a great life. We had each other. We had you and Anthony. Now we have our grandchild and soon another son, Timothy. We are so proud of you and Noel, John. You've excelled in your careers. You've stepped up to adopt Eagan. You're making a loving home here for him and hopefully others as well. Anthony said the other day he hoped to have what you and Noel have. A home. A family. I told him he would. He just needed to be patient."
"Not one of his strong suits," I replied.
"Yours neither," my mother replied.
"Touché!" I said.
"And, where are those three adorable puppies?" my mother asked.
"Good question, mom," I said. "When they aren't under our feet, they could be getting into trouble. Their first act of revenge on us after moving in here was to rip a pillow apart. Stuffing was everywhere."
Tiger scampered through the living room to sit with Eagan. He was covered in toilet paper.
"Come here, Tiger," I said to Tiger. His ears perked up and dashed in front of me.
I picked him up to remove the paper from his body. "Did Tucker or Toby have anything to do with this?"
Tucker and Toby must have heard their names. Tucker led the way and Toby followed with the end of the toilet paper roll stuck to his rear toe nails.
"I never had a suit before, daddy," Eagan said as Noel and I helped Eagan get dressed.
He had picked out his outfit on his own. Noel and I didn't have the heart to tell him he was overdressed.
"We will get you one for special occasions," I replied. "You will look really good in it, I am certain."
"Will I look like you when you go to work?" Eagan asked.
"Yes," I replied. "A little shorter, but you will look like your Daddy and me. Are you certain you want to wear a tie?"
"Yes," Eagan replied. "When we bought it yesterday, I wanted to wear it today."
"You're the boss Eagan," I said as I snapped the pretied tie onto his shirt.
Noel and I were more casually dressed. I had on black jeans and a white button up shirt unbuttoned to the second button. Noel wore my favorite pair of jeans with a red striped dress shirt. I couldn't help catch quick glimpses of his crotch.
The dogs followed us downstairs to await our guests. Tucker, Toby, and Tiger new something must be happening because Noel and I spent the morning cooking what we could and preparing the other dishes. We had set the table yesterday evening. We were ready for the onslaught of guests.
Anthony and Timothy were the first guests to arrive. Anthony didn't bother ringing the bell. He just walked in the door. Timothy followed. Both were laden with what appeared to be bottles of wine.
"Make yourself at home, Anthony," I said to inspire some brotherly love.
"Bro!" Anthony replied. "You really expect me to knock on the door like some guest. I am your brother, remember. Your house is my house."
"These bags contain the wine," Timothy added. "We set out to buy two reds and two whites. However, Mr. Gotta Be Prepared tripled the purchase."
"Thanks guys," I said as Noel and I took the bags and lugged them to the kitchen. "What we don't use, we can store in the almost empty wine cooler for your next visit."
Next came a round of hugs. Eagan, of course, wanted to be picked up to get his hugs from his Uncle Anthony and Uncle Timothy.
Tucker, Toby, and Tiger sat looking longingly at Anthony and Timothy with their tails sweeping the floor. They wanted attention. And, they wanted it now.
"So, how are my favorite border collies?" Anthony asked as he stooped to pet them on the head.
"What can we get you to drink?" Noel asked.
"Blue Moon," Anthony and Timothy said at the same time.
"The beer is in the fridge in the pantry," Noel explained as he led them to retrieve their drink of choice. "Help yourselves."
"I never thought I would see the day my dumb fuck brother would own a house with a pantry and a fridge for beer," Anthony said. "But, it is awesome. Still enjoying the house?"
"Yes," I replied. "Noel and I have been practicing our cooking skills."
"We should have just built a kitchen," Noel added. "We're here more than any other room in the house. I suspect when summer comes we will be on the back deck and pool most of the time."
Jorge, George, Manuel, and Kerry arrived in the same wave of people.
My mother and father arrived shortly after Noel's mother.
The doorbell rang one last time.
"Come in guys!" I said to Chris and Gavin. "Happy Thanksgiving!"
"Happy Thanksgiving to you, too," Chris said. "And many thanks for asking us to share the holiday with you."
"Holy shit!" Gavin said as he handed over a couple of bottles of wine. "This place is unbelievable."
"We can give you a tour once we have the others settled," Noel said. "I hope you don't mind chaos. Between John's family and mine we have more than our share of chaos."
"What can we get you to drink?" I asked.
"Vodka on the rocks for me," Chris replied.
"Same, thank you," Gavin added. "This room is huge!"
"If you remember from our wedding here, this used to be three separate rooms," John explained. "Living room, dining room, and kitchen. We moved the kitchen where a television room used to be. We lost a wood burning fireplace in the relocation. I hated carrying wood in from the outside as a kid, so I am not complaining."
"I must be paying you way too much, John," Chris said with a smile as he surveyed the kitchen. "Damn! Maybe Gavin and I wouldn't eat out so much if we had this to spend our time in."
"We have enjoyed working in here," I added. "We have learned how to cook more than boiling water for pasta."
"This will be our first time at hosting Thanksgiving Dinner," Noel explained. "We will see how it works out. This may be our first and last time we host Thanksgiving."
"It will work out," my mother said as she joined our conversation.
"You remember Chris and Gavin, mom," I said.
"Of course, we had a nice conversation during your wedding," my mother said.
"Yes, we did," Gavin replied.
"They have done a wonderful job renovating this house," my mother told Gavin and Chris. "I only wish my husband and I had the vision to do this earlier."
Buzzers started sounding, alerting us of impending need to check on things.
"I think we are needed in the kitchen, John," I said as I grabbed his hand and pulled him into the kitchen to start the last phase of making Thanksgiving dinner. After a few rushed moments, we had the food set on the server near the table.
Once our guests had found their seat, I stood and called for everyone's attention, "Thank you for joining us today. Noel and I are grateful to have all of you gathered to celebrate our first Thanksgiving in our house."
"Noel and I have talked about our journey to where we are now several times since we moved into this house. We truly have a lot to be thankful for... Noel and I meeting in a support group, taking our first step as a couple, getting married, adopting Eagan, and enjoying our family and friends around the table," I paused for a few moments to get my composure back.
"Our parents, our siblings, our siblings' partners, and some very fine friends have almost everything to do with us talking with all of you today in this house. Chris and Gavin had faith in Noel and me. They both took a chance with us when we needed help getting on with our lives... And, I cannot forget to mention Mel. She was my rock through some very, very tough times. Whenever I headed in the wrong direction, she kicked me in the butt and made me change directions..."
"I will never forget one of the most humbling experiences I have had in my lifetime. Eagan called me daddy. He is our blessing this Thanksgiving as are all of you at this table... Thank you all for being here with us today."
"Perfectly said, John," Noel added. "You wanted to say something Mom?"
"Thank you," Noel's mother said to Noel. She paused and then began. "I have a lot to be thankful for today, too. I have three wonderful sons. I have the most charming grandson on the planet. I have a wonderful daughter-in-law and son-in-law. But, I must say, I was not always this happy for all my children. I have said and done some very mean-spirited things in the past in the name of religion. The first person I want to thank for, and I hope this doesn't shock you, is Mrs. Sanchez for kicking my butt and turning me in a new direction. Mrs. Sanchez, you don't know how much you helped to put me back on track to be a very, very proud mother..."
"The other reason for my transition into a better person are the two people I hurt the most. Noel and John. You have made me a different person. I will never forget your unwavering love and admiration you shower on each other... Your passion and energy for living life helps all of us be happier and more positive people. Please don't ever change. The two of you are a gift not only for me, but the world around you."
Noel and I wiped away a few tears and stood beside Noel's mother and hugged her.
"Thank you, Mom," Noel whispered.
Noel turned to our guests, "Let's eat."
To be continued...
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This is my 20th posting of my third story on Nifty.org. Please also see:
Sam and Chris in the College section.
Jeffery Comes Home also in the Beginnings section.
Life With Tim 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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