This multipart story is primarily about romance and relationships between men. Any reference to actual persons, living or dead, is only to enhance the fictional nature of the story and does not suggest a particular sexual orientation. If you are offended by graphic descriptions of homosexual sex, what the hell are you doing here? Bye, bye.
Special acknowledgements to Drew and Brad for providing diligent proofing and editing of the story.
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Chapter 6, SUMMER AND FRIENDSHIPS
Eric forged ahead with two more sessions on Mike's 'sexual enlightenment program' as he mentally referred to it. In cleaning out his old room, Eric found a booklet concerning sex education that he had been given one summer at 'Y' camp several years ago. This was very helpful in their one-on-one meetings.
Eric kept using the proper clinical names of the male and female anatomy when discussing body parts and the function of each, as well as a heads up on the common slang words. He just hoped that Mike would be circumspect in his use of them. Eric was, however, adamant that Mike should never use the expletive for vagina.
Mike appeared fascinated with the father-son chats and overcame any inhibitions about asking questions. Eventually they shook hands in agreement that any topic was open for discussion. Eric judged that a session concerning the responsibilities of hetero sex could be put off until the fall...but no later. He cringed when he thought about statistics of young teens being sexually active and the results, often, of unwanted babies.
Eric became a safe anchor when his son would wake up in the early hours after a bad dream and come find his dad. This situation, along with sudden fits of anger and withdrawal, prompted Eric to seek out professional guidance at the Children's Hospital's Out-patient Psychiatry Clinic at UCSD. Weekly appointments were set up after an evaluation.
The general consensus was that his finding the mother's lifeless form that dreadful afternoon compounded Mike's loss of her. The staff psychologist was confident that Mike would not need counseling past the end of summer.
'Thank God I immediately included Mike on my health insurance policy at work,' Eric thought. '$300 a week is serious bread.' He had included Mike on the policy within days of returning to California.
Memorial Day weekend and the first two weeks of June flew by. Eric adapted a multi-tasking approach when it came to juggling the job, parenting a son and cultivating a growing fondness for Brian. As Eric predicted, Mike started meeting some guys and girls his age at the private, community pool. Eric was aware of most of the families in the complex and vaguely knew all the kids. Mike was impressed that everyone knew his dad.
Eric got a kick out of Mike's use of words like 'dude', 'groovy' and 'narly'. He was less excited when his son said 'fuck' under his breath at the breakfast table. Mike wanted to join his buddies at the pool rather than perform some Saturday morning tasks around the house. Eric was insistent that all the duties be completed first, and Mike verbalized his dissent.
"Mike, I heard what you said. The "F" word is a common expression among guys but I really don't want it used in this house or in the presence of girls and women. We need to agree on that." Eric understood that while Mike was rebelling on a minor point, he needed to nip in the bud his son's attitude and the use of certain cuss words.
"Umm, I didn't mean to say it. I just wanna get to the pool early. I heard that some new girls would be there. I mean, can't I do everything later?" Mike asked in a pleading pout. "Dad, I'm sorry about swearing," he concluded in a lower voice.
"Okay, I accept that. Now let's work out a plan that gets the job done and you off to the pool. It's about 8:30 a.m. and the pool doesn't open until ten. I figure that if I help you, we can get everything done in two hours. You think that's doable?"
"I guess," Mike answered unenthusiastically.
"So here's what I propose. Call one of your friends and tell him that you're going to be delayed because you gotta help your dad with something and that you'll meet everyone at 10:30 a.m."
"I suppose I can do that. I...yeah, I'll call George Cortwright. We're hitting it off okay as buddies."
"Oh? That's Bill Cortwright's son. The number's in the association phonebook," Eric said, relieved that this crisis had been diverted and solved. He was sure that this was just a sneak preview of things to come over the next four or five years.
Mike went over to the phone, looked up the number and dialed. "Hey, George. This is Mike. I wanted to let you know that I've got to help dad out with a few things at home. I should be able to see you at the pool around 10:30. Give me a call back at 344-6593. Bye."
"Not at home?"
"I left him a message. If ya want, I'm ready to start on the job," Mike said with a reluctant smile.
"Let's tackle the garage, then. But first, maybe we should both put on some shorts and a tee?" Eric asked with a laugh. The two guys had very comfortably fallen into a morning 'U-trou only' routine.
"Right, Dad. I'm also gonna brush my teeth. Meet you in five minutes." Mike 'high five'd' Eric and trotted down the hallway.
'The roller coaster emotions of my kid,' Eric thought as he shook his head. The crisis seemed to be resolved.
Eric was finishing rinsing the breakfast dishes when the phone rang. He reached over and answered it. "Oh, hi, George. Mike's in his room." Eric listened to George's brief message. "Yes, I'll let Mike know."
Moments later, Mike returned. "Your slave is ready," he said with a big smile.
"Well, slave, go into the garage and start hauling out the debris. I'll get dressed and be out in a sec. By the way, George called. He said that he had a few things to do at his house, too, and would probably get to the pool about the same time as you."
"Cool. I guess it all worked out."
"I am curious about one thing. When George called back, he asked for Mike Flynn. You wanna fill me in?" Eric looked at his son with a raised eyebrow and a questioning smile.
"Um, I decided that it was easier if I used your last name...well, I guess it's still my official name. It just saves a lot of questions that I don't want to get into. Are you okay with that?" Mike looked at Eric with hesitation.
"Okay that you want to be known as Eric Michael Flynn, Junior? I am absolutely proud, son. You've made your 'old man' very happy." Eric grabbed Mike and pulled him into a tight hug.
"I guess I should of checked with you first. It just seemed so natural. I've been practicing writing my signature at night in my room. I was going to tell you soon." Mike seemed relieved that Eric took the news so well.
"Consider it told. I hereby knight you Sir Mike Flynn," Eric said, squeezing Mike for emphasis. He released his son from the bear-cub hug. "Now let's get our asses in gear and get some work done."
"Yes, Sir...Dad," Mike replied. "Just don't call me Junior. Please?" He stood still and grinned.
"I'm happy with Mike. Mike Flynn, junior stud-in-the-making," Eric replied with a chuckle. "By the way, whaduya think about having a birthday party next month. You could invite your new friends and we could do a simple buffet."
"Ooh, and an ice cream cake?" Mike said with the excitement driving his voice into a high, squeaky register.
"Sounds good. And 13 candles, mister almost-a-teenager." Eric swatted Mike on his butt as he left the kitchen. "I'll meet you in a minute. Start thinking about who you'd like to invite. We'll have a family birthday celebration on another night. Your grandparents and maybe Brian." Eric decided that he'd mention 'family' and Brian in the same breath and let his son chew on it before discussing any relationship beyond the obvious friendship.
"Um, yeah, I'd like that," Mike said with a casual, laid back affirmation. The two went their separate ways. Eric smiled to himself when he observed Mike trying to be 'super-cool'.
Mike thought they had accomplished a lot by the time 10:15 a.m. rolled around. Right after he moved in they had stored in the garage most of Eric's boyhood items from the bedroom to make room for Mike's stuff. His dad had told him that it was time for the room to be cleared out. Now, the final step was to box up these memories and get them ready for the trash pickup.
The two items that Mike wanted to keep were a picture of his dad as a teen in his competitive Speedo swimsuit and a trophy that represented Eric's high school first place win in the 100-yard butterfly competition. Mike planned to start developing his swimming skills this summer. He wanted to be ready for the freshmen swim team in two years.
"You don't think it's too corny?" Mike asked his dad. During a recent shopping trip they stumbled across a movie poster store. He just had to have 'Spiderman' and 'X-men' posters for his new bedroom.
"Naw, they're both cool movies. And 'Spidy Three" is due out next summer. It gives your room some personality. Just promise me no Britney Spears posters," Eric said with a laugh.
"Give me some credit. I mean Britney is so yesterday. But if I find a poster of Ciara, I've got to have it. She is really...hot," Mike replied with confidence. He owned her CD and constantly played 'Goodies' in the morning when his dad wasn't boogieing to some oldies song. He was happy that the two could share each other's music.
"I'll be on the lookout for a poster. If you say she's 'hot', I trust your hormone-charged judgment." Eric patted Mike on the back and said, "The boys in the posters need some female company." They both laughed at the image.
'They're not the only boys that need some female company,' Mike thought. "If we're finished, I'm going to take a fast shower and trot down to the pool."
"Yeah, we're both a little gamy. Here's some money for lunch. That should cover it," Eric said as he handed over a five-dollar bill. "What time will you be home?"
"Thanks for the bucks," Mike said as he stuffed the money in his pocket. "I'll be home by three."
"Be sure and use some sun block. I'm going in to the restaurant around two. Mom and Dad are coming over to cook dinner. I've got a busy evening so don't expect me in until late. You'll be okay?" Eric was pleased with the progress Mike was making with the clinic sessions. The nightmares had become less frequent.
"Daaaad, I'll be fine," Mike whined in a joking fashion. "I really appreciate grandma coming over to cook once in a while. She really makes great food."
The grandparents would come over once or twice a week to cook and keep Mike company. Other evenings, Eric enlisted help from his restaurant staff who could use a little extra money on a day off to keep Mike company. He would leave out some food that they could nuke, meat to burn on the outside grill or spaghetti and a tomato sauce. Like the grandparents, the sitters would leave when Mike retired for the night.
"Buddy, I trust you. I just want to be sure that you're all right with me not being here at night. It's just something that is part of my job."
'No, I'm getting better. I feel safe and I can take care of myself. Don't worry, Dad. I won't go into any Internet porn sites," Mike said with a laugh. "Or nasty instant messages." Eric had insisted that Mike's computer be installed in the kitchen on the counter but said he'd consider moving the computer into the bedroom next year.
"No problem then. Maybe you, Brian and I can all go out to dinner and a movie tomorrow night. He's off work. You okay with that?"
"Yeah, Uncle Brian's cool. I guess you think he's cool, too?" Mike said, knowing that his dad had some sort of close friendship with Brian. 'Seemed that both dad and Brian took Sunday and Monday off on a regular basis,' he thought. 'I wonder exactly what's going on with them?'
"Cool? Yes, I guess I do." Mike felt Eric's intense, questioning stare even though he wasn't looking directly at him.
"Is he a special friend like Rev Dan's friend back in Richmond?" The minister at his church had almost become a second father to Mike. Rev Dan was always stressing love and acceptance...no matter what. 'That all ended when Mom's husband created that scene in the restaurant upon seeing Rev Dan and his friend at a table,' he remembered.
"Let's talk about that tomorrow. You need to get showered now if you're going to meet your friends and all those new gals," Eric said with a smile. "Git."
Mike gave Eric a 'high-five' and walked back to his bedroom. 'Whew,' he thought, sniffing his pits, 'I am a little ripe.' He turned on the shower water and peeled off his moist clothes. Following Eric's suggestion, Mike always laid out sweaty clothes on top of the hamper to dry before tossing them inside.
Looking at himself in the mirror, he was proud that some hair had started to appear in his underarms. At the pool he noticed that the other guys his age also had the beginnings of hair in their pits and legs. 'I suppose that they're growing hair elsewhere, like me," he concluded.
He jumped in the shower, got wet and started a fast hand wash with a bar of soap. When he got down to his crotch, Mike more or less started a tender caress and stroking to clean all the crevices of his equipment. Eric had suggested that Mike clean thoroughly around the head of his penis as part of his daily hygiene regimen.
"Mmmm," Mike groaned, humming with his eyes closed. He felt a strong, sexual tingling as he kept stroking his erect four inches. 'Man, does it feel great working my stiffie,' he thought. Since Eric had given him the rundown on wet dreams and masturbation, Mike decided that the best part of the deal was to be awake and enjoy the feeling when it happened. 'No more dirty sheets this way,' he decided as he worked his hand back and forth.
"Oh, oh...ah," Mike moaned as he arched his back and shot a few spurts of semen onto the tile wall. Slowly he came down from his sexual high and washed away the evidence. He continued to rinse before turning off the water. Quickly, he dried and dressed for the pool. As he left his room and the house, Mike had a solid smile of contentment plastered on his face.
Mike thought he'd call his best friend in Richmond tonight after the grandparents went home and share his newfound knowledge about sex. Mike also promised Eric that he would never tell anyone where he had gained these important facts. His dad had told him that some parents were really uptight about this subject and might not appreciate Eric's frank, straightforward approach. 'No reason to wave a red flag in front of a bull,' his dad said. Mike knew he would never betray Eric.
In less than the month that Mike had been with his father the two had established a tight relationship. 'Remarkable' was the way Eric described the bond. The one thing that Mike had some difficulty with was his dad being gay. And only because he was worried what the reaction would be if his new friends found out.
The by-product of this was Uncle Brian and his closeness with Eric. 'I just wonder if...well, Dad said we'd talk tomorrow,' he thought. Mike remembered his fondness for Rev Dan and his teachings of all people being God's children in Sunday school, no matter what. It was never said, but Mike now concluded that Rev Dan meant gays, too.
"Oh, shit," Eric mumbled as he started waking up with his arm wrapped over a warm body and his chest against a back that was slowly heaving in a sleeping breathing pattern. "Double shit."
The fact that his hard cock was parked next to a recently used hole and into the butt crack didn't diffuse Eric's concern: he had fallen asleep in Brian's arms and had not made it back home. 'Christ, I hope that Mike didn't have on of those dreams about his mother,' he thought.
"Hmm, babe," Brian said as he yawned and wiggled his butt into Eric's crotch. "Feels nice."
"Feels great but I gotta get out of here. What time is it?" Eric was not awake and speaking clearly.
"Oh, yeah. I thought there was something different about my bed," Brian chuckled. "It's just 1:30 a.m. You sure we can't cuddle a little?" He moved his butt back and wiggled some more. "I feel something growing back there."
"I'd love it but I need to return home, right now. I fucked up by falling asleep. It's still too early to leave him by himself all night." Eric tweaked Brian's hips and kissed his neck before moving away.
"Man, two hard dicks are going to waste. What is this world coming to? But I understand," Brian said as he rolled over on his back. He watched as Eric started collecting clothes that were still strewn around the bedroom.
"Buddy, speaking of cumming, that was pretty remarkable last night." Eric almost stumbled as he put one leg into his boxer briefs. "You up for dinner and a movie tonight?"
"Father, son and uncle? Yeah, I'd like that," Brian replied enthusiastically. "I'm getting pretty fond of the Flynn boys. The older one, especially." He got out of bed, boner at full mast, and walked over to Eric, who had managed to get into his khakis. "Let me help you button your shirt."
"Brian, you horny fuck, the next thing I know and the shirt will be off. I really must go." Eric proceeded to button his shirt and sat down to put on his socks and shoes. "You're just too tempting." He looked up at his bedmate and marveled at the masculine sight in front of him. Brian's deflating cock was less than 12 inches away from his face. 'Jeez,' he considered. 'It would be so easy to jump back in bed with this hunk if I didn't have my son to consider. Did I really say the "L" word last night?'
"Okay, I'll wait until the next time. Um, just for the record, I do too."
"You do too...what?" Eric asked as he stood up.
"When you said you loved me last night, I was too taken back to reply. But I do, Eric...do love you, very much." Brian stared into Eric's eyes with an intensity that Eric registered from his head to his toes.
"You're serious? This isn't something I'm dreaming. That the man who has become one of the two most important people in the world to me is saying he loves me?" Eric started to get a little misty-eyed as he grabbed this man in all of his naked glory.
"Yep. Very serious," Brian answered with a smile.
"I do love you, babe. And I want to figure out how we can be together for ever." Eric planted a big, wet kiss on Brian's mouth and just held it there as his tongue revved up for some serious probing.
"Mmmm," was all Brian could utter while Eric's tongue dove deep into his oral cavity. He responded in kind as both men became erect. Brian's swinging meat had an advantage over Eric's cock that was strangling underneath two layers of clothing.
"Babe, parenting calls," Eric said as he pulled back. "With your permission, I'm going to bring up to Mike the subject of his dad having a serious boyfriend during our father-son chat today. Are you okay with being outed?"
"You mean telling your son that we are serious about each other. I'm honored. And I think Mike has already figured out some things. He's pretty bright and you've been honest with him about everything else."
"This is good timing. I told him that we were going to have a conversation about our friendship today. I'm planning on talking with him over breakfast. He can tell me about all his new girlfriends and I'll tell him about my boyfriend...who I love very much."
"Ditto. Now you better leave before I attack you. Maybe we can talk later today about the two of us?"
"Yeah, maybe this afternoon you could come over. He'll probably be at the pool until 3:00 p.m."
"I'll pick up some deli sandwiches and stop by around one."
"That's a plan. If there are any snags I'll call. Love ya, but I gotta run." Eric said before he gave Brian a forceful peck on the lips. "I'll let myself out. Go back to bed." The two men grinned and clasped hands for a moment before Eric departed.
Ten minutes later, Eric stopped the Cherokee and parked it in front of the condo duplex. It was only 2:00 a.m. and he didn't want to make any noise with the garage door going up. 'This is really a little silly, sneaking around like this,' he thought. 'I hope that Mike is receptive to having Brian in our lives.' Eric was concerned that Mike would not accept a close relationship because that would mean sharing Eric's love with another person.
He quietly entered the house and quickly walked down the hallway to his bedroom. Eric hoped that Mike hadn't had a bad dream and sought him out. He quietly poked his head into Mike's room and saw his son sprawled on the bed, breathing deeply.
Eric walked into his room, closed the door and stripped away his clothes. He trotted to the bathroom and let out an overdue whiz before jumping into bed and resuming sleep.
After changing into a fresh pair of boxers, Eric splashed some cold water on his face and brushed his teeth. 'Now I'm ready to face the world...and Mike,' he decided. It was just after seven on a bright, sunny June morning.
He collected the Sunday papers from the front door step and adjourned to the kitchen. Eric got in his groove with coffee brewing and some morning classic Beatles tunes. On the table he spread out the paper and started pulling the sections apart. He would always read the national news section, business and arts in that order. Mike would jump into the sports section when he joined him.
'Another debacle in Iraq,' he thought, reading the headlines. 'What a fuck up.' He briefly scanned the rest of the front page when he heard a stirring in the hallway. Eric looked up to see a half-asleep Mike approaching.
"Hey, Dad. You musta got in late? I missed you." Mike padded over to the fridge, opened the door and reached for the juice.
"Yes, very late. You slept well? No problems or dreams?" Eric asked as he watched his son navigate the short trip to the table as he juggled the juice and two glasses. He noticed that Mike was developing a nice tan, a little more body tone and a larger bulge in the crotch. 'The girls must really look at my son as fresh meat,' Eric thought, as he chuckled to himself. 'Maybe he should start educating Mike about safe sex earlier?'
"Not very well. Grandma fixed a terrific dinner and we all watched TV for a while. When they left I called my buddy back in Richmond. We only talked for about 15 minutes and then I went to bed. Around one, I got up to get a drink. You weren't home yet." Mike looked at Eric to telegraph concern.
"Bad dreams, buddy?"
"No. They seem to be under control. But I was worried about you. That you had an accident or sumpin." Mike appeared a little more anxious.
"I'm really sorry. I got in very, very late," Eric answered. 'I did fuck up, he thought, while considering what to say next. "Ah, do you want to go to Denny's for breakfast? We've got plenty of time."
"I'd just as soon have some cereal and read the papers. Dad, when did you get home? I was worried."
"Uh, 2 a.m. Sorry I got in so late," Eric said softly as he grimaced. "Why don't you rustle up some chow? I think that we could both use some nourishment." Eric attempted a little light-hearted repartee: it went over like a fart in church.
Without replying, Mike proceeded to set out the bowls, cereal and milk.
"The last thing I want to do is worry you and not be here for you. Basically, I fell asleep at Brian's house. I just zonked out." 'Not the greatest way to start this talk,' he thought.
"Dad, come on. You just don't fall asleep in someone's house. I thought we agreed that we'd both always tell each other the truth." Mike looked at Eric with a pissed off expression of a young man deceived.
"Okay, truth time. Remember I mentioned that we needed to talk about my friendship with Brian today? I didn't plan on staying over at his house. It just happened. We were both in bed and drifted off to sleep. I'm really sorry, Son."
"So you're telling me that you two were sleeping together? What else were you doing?" Mike asked in an agitated, antagonistic manner.
"Mike, I want to discuss with you a complicated subject. But I'm going to ask you to listen very carefully and lose your attitude. I cherish that we've been reunited as father and son. But I'm going to ask you to hear me out about my friendship with Brian. Will you do that?" Eric returned his son's stare with firmness and love.
"Err, Dad, I...uh...I just wanna figure out where I stand," Mike said as he ratcheted down his defiance. "That's all. And I guess that I'm not sure that my friends would understand about you two." The anger in his voice was replaced by a tone of fright and insecurity.
"Okay, take a deep breath. Let's figure this out together." Eric reached across the table and held out his hand. Reluctantly, at first, Mike touched then grabbed the warm, adult hand. They held each other in a strong grip.
"Dad, I love you and don't want to lose you," Mike blurted out as tears welled up in his eyes.
"And I love you, too. It's just that I've discovered I that I love Brian...in a different way. You're my son and I thank God every day that we are together after eight, shitty years."
"Me, too." Mike slowly nodded his head.
"And I'm going to be there for you always. No one is going to take you away. To be part of your final growing up years: family, school, friends, and that right girl you'll find. But I've found someone that I want to share the adult part of my life with."
That's Uncle Brian?" Mike asked.
"Yes, Uncle Brian. Doctors don't know why gay people are wired differently. We just are. Everything points to genetics...we're born with an attraction to people the same sex. I met Brian at a time when I didn't think that I'd find a match. Then, almost at the same time that I discovered Brian, you suddenly came back into my life. You and I have something special. That's forever." Eric paused and saw Mike slowly smile.
"Special. Yeah, I like that." Mike still held Eric's hand tightly and squeezed it harder for emphasis.
"I'm pretty sure that I want to develop a life with Brian as a partner. You understand what I'm telling you?"
"I like him, Dad. I really do. Maybe we can take this slowly?" Mike sat still and looked deeply into Eric's eyes. "I mean...my minister at home was really cool about accepting everyone. After a while, I came to understand that Mom's dislike of gays was just a thing she picked up from her folks. And then that guy she was married to started barfing all his hate shit, whoops, um, stuff. He really opened my eyes to the mean crap he was saying."
"I have more respect for Rev Dan every time you mention him."
"Him and his friend," Mike replied. He felt he was getting a better handle on his dad's special relationship.
"I'm not going to rush anything that will create problems for you. I figure that we've got lots of time to get used to each other...privately."
"And I'm not going to worry about what my friends think. If they're real friends, it'll work out," Mike responded, positively.
"At this point, most people will think that Brian and I are just good friends who run terrific restaurants. However, I won't run away and hide from anyone who thinks less of me because I'm gay. You okay with that?" Eric studied his son and didn't feel any negative vibes.
"I guess that's something we'll face together?"
"Yep. That's the way I see it." Eric felt that Mike had arrived at some conclusions to this news. 'Buddy,' he thought, 'I hope what you're projecting is positive.'
"I'll just tell them to..."
"Tell them to fuck off," Eric interrupted with a laugh.
"Yeah. Go, Dad." Mike joined the laughter. The tension had definitely been broken.
"Your grandparents and his sister will be brought into the picture when the time is right. In the meantime, are you still on for dinner and a show with the two of us tonight?" Eric, still holding his son's hand, got up from the table. Mike stood at the same time and moved closer.
"Sure. I guess I should get to know Uncle Brian better," Mike said as he allowed Eric to envelop him in a tight hug.
"I'd really like that." 'A solid base hit,' Eric concluded, as the two shared each other's physical strength and closeness. 'Maybe Brian can bring in a home run?'
"Um, Dad. I don't mean to be a kid but I still need you to be nearby at night. It might be better if Uncle Brian stayed over here if...ya know...you guys are going to, ah, 'zonk out'."
"Son, I'll be nearby whenever you need me. And Brian, too." Eric stood and opened his arms. Mike smiled, and joined his dad. Eric's longer arms wrapped around his sons' shoulders for a tight, safe embrace.
TO BE CONTINUED