Those Golden Eyes
When Joe awoke he was immediately aware that it was later than they usually woke up. It took him a few moments to figure out what was wrong. Dave was not cuddled up against him. Dave, in fact, was not even in the bed. Joe sat up and listened. Dave was in the bathroom. Maybe he was in the kitchen.
He scrambled out of bed and relieved himself and then scurried into the livingroom. The room was empty, so Joe went into the kitchen. It was obvious that Dave had been in there. The coffee was made and some had been removed from the pot. There was a loaf of multi-grain bread, the container of Better than Butter spread and a jar of Mesquite honey sitting on the counter in front of the toaster, along with a spreading knife that had a bit of honey on the blade.
Joe poured himself a cup of coffee and went back into the livingroom. He noticed that there were only four of the journals in the stack on the coffee table.
"Ah ha!" He said aloud, and headed out the French doors onto the patio. There was Dave, sitting lotus style in one of the big lounge chairs, wrapped in a big warm comforter. In his lap was one of the journals.
Dave was so immersed in reading that he didn't notice Joe stop in front of him. Joe stood there a moment and then cleared his throat.
"How long have you been up?" He asked.
Dave glanced up to see 'Little Joe' standing at about half mast. His eyes traveled on up Joe's torso. He grinned at him.
"Good morning, handsome. I've been up since about six. Watched the sunrise." He said and then leaned forward and planted a kiss right on top of 'Little Joe's' head. He then sat back and watched him stand straight up.
"Somebody's really happy to see you this morning, Dave." Joe smirked.
"Yeah? Like he doesn't stand at attention every time I get close to him?"
"He loves ya, Dave, almost as much as I love you."
"I love you, too, Joe. You want me to take care of him?" Dave asked, motioning at Joe's rigid cock with his chin.
"Later. It's chilly out here. I think I'll go get in a hot shower." Briskly rubbing his biceps.
"I'll share my blanket with you if you'll stay. Don't you want to know what I've have discovered in the journals?"
Dave stood up baring his nakedness, too. Joe took the comforter, laid it out on the chair and then sat down and pulled Dave into his lapped, wrapping it over both of them. He nuzzled Dave's neck, thoroughly enjoying Dave skin against his own. The early morning sun offered little warmth.
"Okay, so tell me what you've discovered." He muttered.
Dave laid his head back exposing more of his neck to Joe.
"Well, the rest of the first journal was mostly notes on how the war was going and a lot of introspective stuff, and a lot of speculation on how he could possibly get out of the marriage to Edith and still save his father. Oh, damn, that feels good, don't stop." He groaned with pleasure.
"The second journal is still during the war, mostly in the Pacific Theatre. Oh yeah that's the spot. One interesting thing is that Buddy went from France to Hawaii. He had advanced to full Colonel by then. His last letter was about maybe becoming a career soldier. Will had been promoted to Captain."
"I wish I had time to read them with you," Joe murmured as he rubbed his hands over Dave's hairy chest grazing his nipples, " but I've got to be on site today. They have started sheathing the building."
"Well," Dave stretched and turned over, "I think I might just book myself a sea voyage and just sit on the sundeck and read the rest of the journals today."
Joe looked at him, and smirked, as he cupped Dave's furry buttocks. Dave missed the smirk as he ground his cock against Joe's and nuzzled his right nipple.
"You be sure to send me post cards from every port. You know I'll miss you every second while you're gone, don't you?"
"You'd just let me go off like that without any protest?" Dave asked indignantly, sitting up. The comforter fell off of them.
"Well--, sure if that's what you want to do, Dave." Joe tried to pull Dave back down on his chest. "You were you serious about going, weren't you?" Joe asked in pretended innocence. He love getting Dave's ire up. He was just so damned cute when he was riled.
"Of course not. I was joking."
"Well, I was joking about the postcards, but I was serious about missing you if you were to go off somewhere without me." Joe's voice soothed, as he caressed Dave's sides. He pulled him forward.
"Joe, you know good and well I wouldn't go off without you." Dave lay back down and snuggled.
"I know that, Babe." Joe murmured in his ear as he licked his earlobe like a cat.
Suddenly it dawned on Dave that Joe was just yanking his chain. He looked up at Joe.
"Dammit, Joe, I can never win."
"Hey, you won me. What more do you want?"
Dave gave up.
"Nothing, my love. You're all I want or need." He ground his hips against Joe's to emphasize the point, and sat
back up. The chill was getting to his backside. "Let's go get in that hot shower you were talking about."
Joe had been gone for about three hours. Dave couldn't stand not sharing with Joe what he had learned from the journals in that time. He picked up the phone and called Joe's cell. It rang, but Joe didn't answer. Finally a recorded voice came on.
"The party you are trying to contact is either away from his phone or out of range. Please try your call later."
Dave disconnected and wondered where Joe could have gotten to. Then he thought that maybe he had dialed a wrong number. He redialed without checking the number he had previously called. It rang four times.
"This is Mr. Paolini's phone. He is up on top. I am Tom Duncan. Can I take a message?" A gravelly voice answered.
It threw Dave off having expected Joe's voice.
"Aaah --- yes, please have him call Mr. Way at his convenience."
"Sure thing, Dave. I'll tell him."
The phone clicked off as Dave stood there in shock. Here he was trying to play it straight for Joe's sake and the man knew who he was. That was something that they had never discussed. He set the phone down and wandered into the kitchen to make himself a fresh cup of coffee.
Joe meant so much in his life now. Dave thought about how much his life had changed in just the little time they'd been together. He was barely involved in the bookstore anymore. He given up his house without a second thought and move in with this man he really knew very little about once he really thought about it.
Dave had never been happier than he was now, although the thought of all that wealth that had been dropped in his lap really kind of filled him with anxiety. He knew subconsciously that he was going to have to make more big changes in his life very quickly because of all that money.
Mulling over the events that had occurred recently, he realized that if he was going to have any peace of mind he was going to have to get more security for Joe and himself. As long as they were inside the Tower in the Eyrie they were fairly safe. But here Joe was downtown all by himself and if anyone knew that they were partners he could be vulnerable to being taken for ransom.
And David, living on campus. As he thought about it he wondered how safe his mother and his sister and her family up north were. Anyone of them could be nabbed so easily.
Yes, changes were going to have to be made and quickly. Dave knew nothing about how to get what he needed security-wise. And then it dawned on him that Johnny might know what to do.
He poured himself a cup of the fresh brew and went back into the living room. Grabbing up the phone he took it and his coffee out on the patio. He speed-dialed Johnny's cell phone.
Dave skipped all the niceties.
"Johnny, this is Dave. I was wondering if you could come over and how soon. I need to discuss how to set up security for us."
"What do you mean, Dave?"
"Think about it Johnny, I've already been kidnapped and held for ransom, even though the idiot meant to take Joe. And he is downtown now, by himself. He could be as easy a target as I was."
"Damn, Dave, I hadn't thought about that. Listen, Paul and I are in the are in the vicinity and we are due a break. What do you say to fixing us a fresh cup of coffee and we'll come right up and discuss this."
"Thanks, Johnny. Do you need donuts, too?"
"That's not nice, Dave. You are profiling. Few of us cops really eat those things. They are deadly."
"I'm sorry. I never even thought about it. Anyway I really appreciate this."
It wasn't fifteen minutes before Johnny and Paul were announced. Dave had fresh cups of coffee waiting for them. After greeting them, Dave asked if they would like to sit out on the patio.
"Nah, this is serious stuff, let's sit at the kitchen table." Paul said.
Dave had gotten out a note pad and a pen. The three men got down to a serious discussion about personal security. As they talked Dave had an idea growing in his head.
"Paul, not to get off the subject, but I would like to asked you a personal question. How long until you are eligible for retirement?"
Paul considered a few moments.
"Seven years and a few months. Why?"
"How much will you get on retirement?"
"Not a lot, but enough to live on comfortably."
"Have you ever considered leaving the force?"
"No. What are you getting at, Dave?"
"If you had lots of money, I mean like- oh, five million dollars would you stay with the police?"
"Are you offering me a bribe to quit?"
"No, Paul, not at all. I would like to hire you as my head of security. It's obvious I am going to have a large security force. And as my employee you could accept the reward I would have liked to have given you when I was rescued from that kidnapper."
Johnny had sat quietly listening to the conversation. He grinned and raised his eyebrows at Paul as Paul turned and looked at him in. For several years Johnny had listen to him talk about the day he could retire and quit his job.
Paul was quiet as he turned his thoughts inward. For a couple of minutes Dave and Johnny sat and watched the wheels turning in his head. And then he looked up at Dave and grinned.
"When do I start, Boss?"
Dave smiled at him and turned to Johnny.
"Johnny, you've already been given your reward, but the same offer goes to you."
"Have you discussed this with Joe, Dave?"
"You know I haven't. We just started discussing this a few minutes ago."
"Okay, if Joe is agreeable, I will accept the offer. I've got several ideas I would like to implement immediately."
"Well, go ahead and tender you resignation. You know Joe will go for it."
"Talk to him first and then call me." Johnny insisted.
Johnny was driving as they headed back to the precinct. Paul had been quiet since they had left the Eyrie. Joe glanced over at him.
"Big decision isn't it?"
"Yeah, it is." Paul stared out the side window. He turned and looked at Johnny. "What did Dave mean when he said you already received your reward? Damn, Johnny, don't you know you could go to prison for accepting money like that?"
"Slow down, Man. Dave didn't give me any reward. He and Joe gave Tim ten million dollars. Tim, being my mate, opened a joint account for the two of us."
Paul didn't respond as he thought about how much ten million dollars was. It was beyond his comprehension. He wondered just how much Dave had inherited. Wow, no wonder Dave was running scared. He thought about someone nabbing Joe to get their hands on the money. With that thought Paul made an unconscious decision then and there. He would accept Dave's offer. If he could help prevent any harm coming to Joe or Dave, he would do it.
He glanced up at Johnny. Johnny caught the movement out of the side of his eye. He turned his head and looked at Paul who was staring out the windshield.
"I'm going to do it, Johnny. Joe's been one of my closest friends all of my life. If I can keep him from harm then it is my responsibility to do so."
"My thoughts exactly. Joe's always been a friend to me as well a being my brother."
They were both caught up in there own thoughts for a few blocks.
"Of course, the money does make it a much easier decision, doesn't it?" Paul pointed out.
"Hey, not having to worry about making a living will let us concentrate on what is important. Dave and Joe's security."
In the meantime, while Dave waited for Joe to return his call he called Clyde and told him what he was doing. Clyde immediately suggested that he hire an accounting firm separate from the one that presently handled the Way fortune to handle all business concerns not involving investments. He gave Dave a list of reliable firms. Dave listened, but didn't write down any names. When Clyde got through, Dave asked.
"And which one would you recommend over all the others, Clyde, and why?"
"They are all good reliable firms, Dave."
"I am sure they are, but I have a feeling that you prefer one over all the others."
"Alright, Dave, I use the Hansen Brothers. I went to school with Ralph, the older brother, and I would trust him with my life and my money."
"That's good enough for me. Would you set up an appointment for me? Of course I want you to be there to see that I don't miss anything. I'm really an amateur at this money thing, you know."
Dave paced the floor waiting for Joe to call. Just as he decided to call him again the phone rang. Dave rushed across the room and picked it up.
"Hello?" He said, praying that it would be Joe.
"Hey, Babe, sorry I forgot to take my phone with me. Everything okay?"
"How soon are you coming home, Joe?"
"I'm on my way to my car now. Are you all right?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine. I just miss you and want you home with me. I have so much to tell you."
"So tell me."
"When you get home is soon enough. It will wait."
Dave could hear him getting into his car and start it.
"Okay, Sweetheart I'll see you in about fifteen to twenty minutes."
Dave listen to the silence on the phone for several moments before setting it back in its holder. God! He was getting paranoid. He realized that nothing had changed except his concept of things. He paced back and forth in front of the elevator. Looking at his watch he realized it would probably be a good fifteen minutes before Joe got home. He picked up the journal he'd been reading when he'd decided to call Joe earlier. He kept glancing at his watch as he tried to concentrate on what he was reading. Finally, he laid the book down and walk out to the parapet. He leaned against the wall and watched the street below for Joe's car to appear.
As he watched, he rested his chin on his folded arms on top of the wall, he thought about the night that Joe had come into his life. He recalled how he had been so fascinated by Joe's arm and hand. At moment he first look into Joe's golden eyes, he had fallen in love with Joe. He chuckled to himself about how he had fought against it. Well, it hadn't been much of a struggle, especially after learning that Joe's eyes only turned colors when he gazed at him and him alone. Damn, that made him feel so special.
A flash of red and chrome below on the street caught his eye and brought him out of his revery. He hastily walked to the elevator and stepped in. He stopped the door from opening when it reached the ground floor. Tim was on the desk at this hour so Dave knew it would be a couple of minutes before Joe got to the elevator. He waited impatiently.
Joe stopped at the desk to chat a moment with his new brother-in-law. As Joe headed for the elevator Tim stopped him.
"Joe, I know it's suppose to be a surprise, but I don't want you to have heart failure on my shift. Dave's waiting inside the elevator for you. Act surprised."
Joe winked at him and turned his back to the elevator door as it opened,
"I'll talked to you later, Tim." He called to Tim as he stepped backwards into Dave's waiting arms. Joe let out a loud yelp as the door closed, dropped his briefcase and collapsed into Dave.
Dave struggled to keep Joe for sliding to the floor.
"Joe? Joe, are you okay?" Dave cried out. "I didn't mean to scare you, I just wanted to surprise you. Joe, are you all right?"
Joe did his best not to snicker, but his body shaking with suppressed laughter gave the joke away. Dave let go and let him fall to the floor.
"Tim told you, didn't he?"
Joe laughed out loud as he pulled Dave down on top of him."God I love you, Babe." He said as he cover Dave's face with kisses. At first Dave tried to resist, but he was so joyous to see the love of his life that he was quickly returning the kisses. The door opened into the Eyrie and they rolled out onto the floor.
Tim sat at the desk in the lobby watching the security television screen, laughing at the antics of two of his favorite people in the world. As they rolled out of the elevator the door slid closed shutting off his view. He grinned in anticipation of telling Johnny about it.
The terrazzo floor was cold against bare skin. Joe pulled Dave to his feet and led him into the bedroom where they continued their ravishment of each other.
The two men had showered, dressed and were lounging in the den. Dave had made a shaker full of Martinis. He poured two glasses and skewered three olive into one and handed it to Joe. He sat down and intertwined his feet with Joe's.
"Okay, now if you don't start telling me what you have been doing today and what you have learned in the journals I'm going to sit on you." Joe said, as he bit a huge green olive in two.
Dave grinned and Joe raised an eyebrow as he curled and uncurled his forefinger.
"Joe you know I can't stay hard enough for you to sit on me if you're tickling me."
"Tell me you horndog." Joe growled.
"Well, I hire myself a chief of security today."
"What are you talking about?"
"Joe, with this fortune in our possession we are vulnerable to all kinds of things. As soon as he can quit his job and take the training to be your personal bodyguard Johnny is coming to work for us, too. I can't stand the thought of someone nabbing you like those idiots did me. Next time we may not be so lucky."
Joe nodded in agreement.
"But why Johnny?"
"Why not Johnny? He has a black belt in karate. He is a weapons expert. He has seven years experience with the police force. Plus he worships the ground his big brother walks on. Who better to protect you?"
"Good point. You put some thought into this haven't you?"
"So aren't you going to ask me who I hired as Chief.
"Let me guess. Aaaah, Paul Hansen."
"They told you." Dave frowned.
"No. It was just a logical guess. I mean how many more law enforcement officers do you know?"
"So you approve of all this?"
"Of course, Dave. I think it's a very smart move on your part."
"So what did you learn about Will Way and his lovely wife today?"
"Well, I got impatient and moved forward to the time when Bill was born and then went back a few months."
"And--?" Joe prompted.
"Well, Will found out that Edith was pregnant. And he still all these years later had never touched her. So Will hired and investigator and found out that for all the years since they were married, she had clandestinely been seeing Buddy every chance she got. After the Korean war he was based in Virginia for several years. She had purchased a cottage on the outskirts of D.C. where they would meet. Buddy was married with three kids, yet he carried on this affair with Edith until she was about six months pregnant. When she couldn't hide it from him any more he broke off the relationship for fear that his wife would find out about it. Well, Edith's love child was too far advanced to have an abortion. She went completely off the deep end. When Bill was born Edith would have nothing to do with the child. She even claimed he was the spawn of the devil. Will took the baby to a wet nurse. And when he was weaned he found him a loving nanny to take care of him. The child had been born in wedlock so the doctors had put on the birth certificate that Will was the father without consulting him. So Will with the help of nannies raised Bill. He states that no child deserved not to be loved."
"Is that how he stated it?" Joe arched an eyebrow as he interrupted.
"Something like that, why?"
"I just wondered if there was another person in the world that used double negatives like you do."
"Oh." Dave ignored the jibe and continued. "You know that photo graph on Edith's desk of Buddy as a young man? I couldn't figure out who he reminded me of. It was Bill. Buddy was Bill biological father.
"And Edith ruined Buddy. She told his wife. His wife divorced him. His military career was done in. He died about three years later. Will speculated that it was suicide. Funny thing was that Will and Buddy remained friends until Buddy's death."
They sipped their martinis and thought about what the journals had revealed. Dave broke the revery.
"Joe, who is Tom Duncan? And why did he answer your cell phone?"
Joe studied Dave a moment wondering what was going on in his head.
"Tom? He's the site foreman. He was in the office. He probably answered my phone because it was ringing."
Dave sipped his drink.
"How long have you known him?"
"Oh, about all my life. His family lived down the street. We grew up together. Paul, Tom, and I were like the Three Musketeers. Why are you interest in Tom?"
"I'm not really interested in him. It's just that we haven't been together for very long and I don't know a whole lot about you."
"You know the essentials, Dave. You've met my family. You know I'll tell you anything you want to know. Time will fill it all in for you."
"Yeah, I suppose."
He reached over to the coffee table and picked up the shaker and offered to refill Joe's glass. Joe held up his glass to show that it was still nearly full and shook his head. Dave refilled his own, picked up the bowl of giant green olives and offered it to Joe, who took two and speared them onto his sterling cocktail pick. He dipped them into the Gin and lifted them to his lips and bit the first one in half. He studied Dave as he chewed.
"You know if it wasn't for the olives there would be no point in having a martini." He said.
Dave was swirling his empty pick in his drink; his eyes downcast. He smiled at Joe's comment and his consumption of olives. He looked up to stare in to Joe's, feeling like he could drowned in their liquid gold.
"In all the years I lived with Bill I only met his father twice. I never met his mother until Will's funeral. Bill hardly ever talked about his past, his youth, or growing-up. I thought for years that Edith was dead. Yesterday was the first time I ever sat foot in the Way Mansion. And I didn't even know it existed until Bill's death. I found out when his will was read."
"Sounds like you already know more about me."
"Strange isn't it?"
"Not really Dave. It seems to me Bill had a very difficult and cold life before he met you. He obviously thought that all of it was not important. And knowing what little I do about him I would tend to agree.. All that was important to him was you and the life the two of you made together."
"Yes, you are right. You know, maybe it was best for him that he never learned that Buddy was his biological father."
There was another passage of quiet. Joe and Dave were comfortable with each other. They felt no need to fill the silence with words. Dave was the first to break it with a question.
"So Tom knows about me? About Us?"
"Yes, Dave, Tom was the first person I told about the night I found you in the bar. All the important things in our lives we have always shared with each other. He was the first one I admitted to that I was gay. I was the first one he told when he got engaged. I was his best man at their wedding. I am the godfather of his two boys. The younger one is name after me."
Dave thought for a minute. He moved his legs off of the sofa and sat up.
"So why haven't I heard about Tom before? I mean I have been introduced to several of you other friends. We have a party coming up and he's not on the list of your friends. Is he someone I should be worrying about? Be jealous of?"
Joe set his drink down, scooted to Dave's end of the sofa and wrapped his arms around him.
"Tom is straight and has a wife and two kids. Dave, I promise you I will never give you any reason to be jealous. So there is no reason now. Come with me tomorrow, down to the site, and I'll introduce you to him and the rest of my crew."
Dave laid into Joe's a chest.
"Why are you feeling insecure, Babe?" Joe murmured into Dave's ear.
"I don't know. I was thinking about Bill and I. Our relationship. It was always steady, rock firm, dependable. But it was never passionate. You know? We loved each other. We had good sex. But there was never any really strong feelings. I don't think we ever even had a strong disagreement."
Dave listened to the beat of Joe's heart. He squeezed him hard and sat up where he could look at him.
"But with you, Joe, my feelings are so strong they almost scare me sometimes. The way I feel when we fuck, whether it's you in me or me in you, -- well, I can find no other word for it but passionate. I am transported to another plane. We are completely one for those few minutes. I look into your eyes and I just want to melt right into you. Be part of you.
"When you said that Tom was your best friend ---- I-I- I kind got a stab of pain in my chest. You are my best friend Joe. Besides being my lover and mate."
The two men stared into each other eyes. Finally, Joe reached up with both hands and grasped Dave's head, pulling his face to his. He kissed Dave's forehead, and then each of his closed eyes. He relaxed his hands and let them drop as Dave sat back up.
"Remember our discussion about friends, Dave? I have a feeling that as you let yourself open up to others and let them be close to you, you will find that one of them will become your best friend, your confidante. We, you and I, are each other's center, but we need our friends. Friends are like satellites, like the moon. The have a strong effect on us. Without friends we're like a comet hurling through space, not being strongly affected by anything. And not have any effect on anything.
"So don't worry about Tom or any other of my friends. They will never displace you, because you are the center of my being. You are the one that makes me whole."
Joe rubbed his hand up and down Dave's back.
"Have you thought about when you want to go back to the Way mansion?"
Dave shot him a quick look.
"Scared of Edith's ghost?"
"You really did see it, too, didn't you?" Dave asked.
"Yeah, I saw it."
"Do you think we might have just imagined it?"
"Well, that's a possibility. I guess we will have to go back to find out."
"If it is real, should we get an exorcist, you think?"
"Only if it does any harm. Have you thought about what you want to do with the mansion?"
"Well, we could sell it. I certainly don't want to live in it."
"What would you think of turning it into a museum? It could give people a look into the opulence of another time. And the gardens. From what little I saw from the car and out the windows, they are really awesome. It could be equal to the Huntington in Pasadena, California."
"Hey, that's a cool idea. And Edith could be an added attraction. The Haunted Way Mansion. Do you have to be at the building site tomorrow?"
"I have one meeting tomorrow morning, but the rest of the day I'm free."
"Great! I'll call Clyde tomorrow and see if he wants to join us. He can help in working out the details of turning it
into a museum."
End of Chapter 21
I hope you enjoyed it.
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