Protecting David-The Brothers
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He looked around the store and said, “I love this place. I love cooking too. I love being in the kitchen and planning this crap and watching stuff cook and sipping a glass of wine and smelling all the warm sweet smells of a kitchen.” He stared at me for a second and seemed to start to say something else, but then he stopped.
Finally he put his hands out and rubbed my arms. “How about you, Chris? How are you doing today?”
I didn’t really have to think about it. “I’m good. I feel better.”
Protecting David-The Brothers 15
Friday morning I woke up early. When we’re going to be travelling I’m always a little tense, not because I’m afraid of flying, but because I know that other people will be waiting for me and that makes me a little nuts.
I had slept pretty good though, and if I dreamed at all, I couldn’t recall it. I did wake up with a hardon and took that as a good sign. When I’m really deep down upset those don’t happen. So I figured I must be feeling at least a little bit better.
I could smell the coffee, but I took a shower first before heading to the kitchen. I didn’t want to be slowing anyone down. So when I did get to the kitchen I was freshly scrubbed and instead of wearing boxers I was wearing a pair of white boxer briefs.
Nick was sitting at the counter in his boxers drinking a cup of coffee. He looked at me, started to look away and at the same time say, “Morning.” But it came out “Mor…ning” then he looked quickly away and then back again. He stared straight at my boxer briefs for a split second and then laughed, shook his head, exhaled, and said, “Dude, you are wrecking me.”
I felt instantly guilty and just as instantly realized that maybe this was the reaction that I was looking for after all.
I guess the guilty part must have shown and I almost started to turn away, but Nick grabbed my hand and pulled me over to the stool next to his.
He said quickly, “Calm down. I was kidding you. I just meant you looked hot.”
I said, “Really, I didn’t….!”
“It’s okay, Chris. You didn’t do anything.” He poured me a cup of coffee. “I’m just a dirty old man. And you do look hot.”
“You’re not old.” I grinned. “And I dunno about the dirty part.”
He said, “I thought you wore boxers?”
“I wear both.”
He gestured towards my crotch with his coffee cup, smiled, and shook his head again. “Well, man, if I was you, I’d settle on those.”
He looked at me for a second, smiled and said, “Well, you’re looking pretty kickass so I guess you’re feeling better.”
I took a sip of my coffee and said, “Yesterday helped…a lot. It was nice doing something, you know, trying to accomplish something. It’s like sitting and thinking about stuff can be the worst thing.”
Nick seemed to be studying me. Then he said, “So what are you doing this weekend?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “Nothing. I mean I can’t think of anything.”
“Cause tomorrow or Sunday I need you to go shopping with me again. Man, I gotta get something for your dads. We specifically don’t do anything at the office. I mean, well, we collect some money and give it to charity, but we never exchange gifts, but I gotta get something for your dads.” He grinned. “And since you’ve already shown yourself to be a first class shopper – well, I could use your help.”
I said, “We could go Sunday! The twins will probably rope me into something tomorrow, but by Sunday they’ll be cooled down. Sunday would be great!” I realized, without actually thinking about it, that I had been upset about this being my last day with Nick, and the thought that I’d be seeing him again, for sure, on Sunday, just seemed to make my day.
He looked at me and his eyes seemed to get somehow softer. “Lemme make you some toast.”
I said, “Are you gonna have some?”
He grinned. “Absolutely.”
The morning was clear and surprisingly warm. What had seemed like a covering of snow that would take for ever to get rid of, was now about half gone, and there was water everywhere. We left my car in the garage and took Nick’s car to the airport. We got there about nine o’clock and Mike was already there with the plane.
As we were boarding the plane Mike came out of the cockpit and said good morning and he seemed to give Nick an odd little look, almost a questioning look. I guess he was wondering why Nick and I were together. I figured that Nick probably hadn’t told him anything other than that I was there. And then after I said hello to Mike and Jerrod and I was walking back in the plane Mike grabbed my shoulders for an instant and rubbed them. I didn’t really know what that meant. I mean, I didn’t know if that meant he had heard about Adam and he was sorry, or if it meant something else. I guess it probably didn’t mean anything at all.
Karen got us settled in and in no time at all we were rocketing down the runway and lifting off. When we got to altitude she gave us both breakfast and then Nick and I both opened our laptops.
The thing that I saw right away was an email from Michael and my stomach instantly tightened.
It was one of those things where I moved the cursor over the email while pretending that I was doing something else and then clicked. It said, “Chris, what the fuck happened? Your numb nuts bf won’t answer his phone! I don’t think it’s anything I did, is it?”
I glanced over at Nick, but he was typing like crazy and wasn’t paying any attention to me. I sent Michael an email and told him everything that happened and told him that I was certain that it wasn’t anything that he did. I told him that this was a problem that Nick was never really able to get past and that I didn’t want to be in a situation where I was trying to tell him how to live his life. I hated that he had to choose either his family or me. And just typing that got me wondering if this was something Adam had been wrestling with for awhile. I mean, what if all the time we were together he knew that this was gonna happen?
Finally, just as we were approaching Denver, Nick closed his laptop and put it away. When he looked up at me he got an odd look on his face and then, after a moment, said, “What’s the matter?”
He grinned and said, “You look like your dog just got run over.”
“Oh.” I sighed. “I just got an email from Michael. A friend of mine and Adam’s. Adam isn’t answering his phone and Michael wondered if it was anything he’d done. I told him what happened.” I started to bite my thumb nail.
Nick shook his head. “Don’t start taking blame for this, Chris.”
I nodded. “I know. I mean…well, it’s something that I know logically. It’s just gonna take a little while for it to sink in.”
He reached over and took my hand and squeezed it. “You didn’t do a damn thing!”
As we were taxiing to the hangar I saw Alex’s Bentley and a dark blue SUV pulling up to the building. It was about noon on a Friday and I figured my Dad was taking the rest of the afternoon off. Nick’s silver SUV was there too and it looked like someone had warmed it up for him because the windows were clean. They probably even kept it in the hangar all the time Nick was gone.
Inside the plane while we were putting on our coats Nick came up behind me and said quietly, “So how about if I pick you up at like eleven on Sunday?”
I glanced at him and smiled while I was zipping up my coat. “That’d be good. Maybe we could have lunch someplace too.” We were both talking very quietly.
He grinned broadly and almost whipered, “That’d be fantastic!” He put his left hand on my shoulder and squeezed it. He said, “I gotta go talk to your dad for a minute and give him a quick synopsis of the bank situation.”
I said goodbye to the crew and then followed Nick to where my dad was parked. The only part of their conversation that I heard was Nick telling my dad that he was running into the office for a couple of hours.
My dad and I both got into the car at the same time and he leaned over the center console and kissed me.
He grinned at me and said, “Merry Christmas, Chris.” He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “It sucks about Adam though.”
We pulled out, with him driving, and started winding through the airport on our way to the freeway.
After a couple of minutes my dad got a little grin on his face and said, “So how was Nick?”
Like an idiot I said, “Nick?”
He laughed and said, “You know, my Nick! Or is he your Nick now?”
“Dad! We didn’t do anything!”
He laughed again. “I know, Chris. I’m kinda kidding you.” Then he seemed to think for a second. “Lemme tell you about Nick.”
“Dad, we didn’t….”
My dad made a calming gesture with his right hand. “I know…I know, but still, humor me. First of all, Nick is really smart…I mean, really smart. We’re talking law degree from Columbia and an MBA from George Washington. And, as you can tell by looking at him, he’s tough, he’s tough physically, and he’s tough mentally.” He turned quickly and looked at me for just a second, like to check my reactions. “And I don’t want to lose him as an employee.”
“Dad! We didn’t do anything! He didn’t try anything, and I didn’t try anything!”
He reached over and took my hand and held it in his. “Frankly, you both look like you’re attracted to each other. I just wanted to explain…to kinda fill you in on Nick.” He squeezed my hand and said, “And to tell you that I’d be thrilled if you two decided to act on that. I honestly couldn’t think of anyone better for you than Nick. And you would probably be great for him. Plus I trust him.”
I slumped in the seat and stared in frustration up at the roof of the car. “Dad…you know how weird it is to have your dad telling you that it’s okay to hook up with someone?”
He laughed loudly. “Well, our family is just a tad weird.”
Finally I said, “You don’t think he’s too old?”
My dad shook his head. “He’s only twenty-five, so he’s seven years older. That may seem like a lot now but in ten years he’d be thirty-five and you’d be twenty-eight. That’s not bad at all.”
I sighed. “Okay…so the thing is that I have thought about it. But I keep wondering if he’s thinking the same thing or if he thinks of me just as a kid. Or worse, what if he’s just being nice to his boss’ son? Oh shit! That would be so sick if he was just being nice to me because I’m your kid!”
“Well, Chris, there’s always the chance of me being wrong, but I see the way he looks at you. Believe me I’ve never seen him get that look on his face for anyone else and I’ve seen him when some pretty attractive guys were ogling him. Anyway, it’s something to think about.” He accelerated the car until we had merged with other traffic onto the freeway. My dad drives a Bentley and it’s pretty interesting to see how other drivers react. Some look so totally pissed that they almost want to ram us and others just think it looks cool and others just ignore it. I drive a Honda, and nobody looks at me.
My dad said, “Besides, Nick is not the type to suck up to me. For one thing, he doesn’t need to, I mean, he’s really good. He could get a great job anywhere. But besides that, it’s just not in his DNA. He doesn’t suck up to anybody.”
He laughed. “Besides, I still remember what he did the first time he saw you.”
I didn’t know what he meant and stared at him. “What are you talking about, we never met before Thanksgiving?”
He glanced at me quickly. “You don’t remember him?”
“You were in my office cleaning out the waste baskets, or whatever, and you were walking out while he was walking in, you know, maybe eight months ago.”
I shook my head. “I dunno what you’re talking about.”
He laughed. “Chris, he looked at you and stopped paying attention to where he was going, he walked into the door jamb! Don’t you remember him bleeding?”
“Oh shit!” I remembered a guy with his hands covering his face and blood streaming through his fingers. “That was him? I couldn’t see his face! His hands were over his face.” I twisted in my seat to face him. “That was cause of me? What did I do?”
My dad just grinned and kind of looked down and shook his head, like his son was mentally challenged or something. “You were just being your own sweet self, Chris. Just your own sweet self.”
I mean, what the hell does that even mean?
I figured I better tell him that we were going shopping. “I’m going shopping with him on Sunday.”
“Well invite him home for dinner. Whether you and he date or not, he’s a great guy.” I feel like my dad is leading me. He does that sometimes. Sometimes, it’s like I’m not getting it and then he’ll just kinda lead me through something so that I understand it and that’s what it feels like now. So what the fuck am I missing?
“Oh, and your granddads will be in on Tuesday.”
My dads told me that when it was just them they didn’t really decorate anything for Christmas. They said my Aunt Becky would usually make sure they got a tree, but Christmas wasn’t that big of a deal. Which is strange because it’s a huge deal now. I guess they probably wanted to make up for what the twins and I never really got when we were little.
Anyway, now the road up the mountain is decorated with lights, the house is decorated with lights and the stock pond becomes a skating rink and is surrounded with lights. Plus, there’s freakin Christmas trees everywhere. There’s people that come in the Monday after Thanksgiving and do it all.
As we drove around the house to the garage the car got hit by two snowballs. My dad kind of flinched and then laughed. The twins. I told my dad, “Lemme out at the garage and I’ll double back and nail em.”
But when it comes to things physical I’m never as good as the twins and as soon as I sneaked around the corner of the house I got hit twice. The thing with snowballs is that you gotta protect your head and your balls and the twins just overwhelmed me.
While I was bent over protecting everything they charged me, pushed me into a snow bank, and shoved snow down my back. Then to make matters worse, while I was wiggling around trying to get the snow out from under the back of my shirt, Aiden stuffed a handful of snow down the front of my pants.
I twisted around and tried to pull away from them. “Will you fucking quit it! Lemme go!” But they just hung on and got me totally covered with snow.
Finally I sat up and said, “You fucking little shits! I’m probably gonna get fucking pneumonia!”
Andrew got in my face. “You deserve it! You didn’t tell us about Adam! You didn’t tell us he was like that!” They actually seemed mad.
That took me by surprise. “I…I didn’t know. He wasn’t like that!”
Aiden said, “He musta been like…”
I interrupted him. “No!” I sighed. “You don’t understand! It’s not that simple. His dad…his dad was a real ball buster. They just put too much pressure on him.”
Aiden said, “Well why couldn’t he have just told em to fuck off? That’s what he shoulda done.” They had both relaxed a bit and they were sitting back on their heels.
I tried to throw it back at them. “Could you have done that with your dad when he was beaten on you?”
That made them thoughtful and Andrew tipped his cowboy hat back and said, “If it was like now, with us growed, I’da fuckin killed ‘em. I wouldn’ta put up with that shit as a man.” Aiden was nodding in agreement. All I could think of was that they’re only fourteen years old and maybe having to kill their father shouldn’t have been a part of their lives.
I wanted to defuse this and I used the only thing I could think of. I looked them both in the eye, smiled and said, “I’m goin shopping with Nick on Sunday.” I was pretty sure that my dads wouldn’t have said anything about Nick.
Both boys leaned forward and Aiden yelled, “You’re lyin! Tell me you’re fuckin lyin!”
Andrew said, “We’re goin too!”
I sat up and tried to clean myself off. “You’re not goin! Get it outta your heads.” Then. “You hadda shove snow in my crotch? It’s fucking cold!”
Aiden said, “Don’t be such a baby! Why can’t we go?
Andrew got in my face. “C’mon, Chris! We like Nick.”
I told them something else that I was pretty sure they didn’t know. “I spent the last three days with, Nick.”
Aiden got a puzzled look on his face and said, “At school?”
I shook my head. “After that stuff with Adam I drove to Milwaukee and stayed with Nick.”
Aiden sat back on his heels, took his cowboy hat off and then put in on again, all the while staring at me. Then he said, “You’re doin him, aren’t ya?”
Andrew was behind the curve and said, “What? Who’s doin who?”
I shook my head. “You two sure have dirty minds. We didn’t do anything.” I stood up and cleaned off my pants as best I could and then wiggled around and tried to get the snow in my crotch down to my ankles. The twins were just standing up when I added, “Yet.”
They both looked up and said the same thing, “Huh?”
Andrew said, “Whadya mean, yet?”
I grinned at them. “You can’t talk about this! If you tell anyone, especially Nick, I – will – kill – you!”
Aiden said, “What?”
“I like him. And I think he likes me.”
Aiden said, “So you are gonna do him.”
I shook my head. “Stop thinking sex. I’m not thinking sex, I’m thinking romance.”
Andrew said, “Well sex comes with romance!” These guys know way too much for their age.
“Well sure, but I’m not lookin just to get laid. I mean I guess that could happen, but there’s gotta be more than that. The thing is that I think there is more than that. I just feel like we’re kinda moving to something more than that.” I looked at the ground for a moment and then back up at them. “He’s been really great. When I really needed him, he was great.”