Warning! This is a tale about men loving men. If you find this disturbing - click off. If it's unlawful for you to read this - click off. If you under age - good luck if you can get away with it.

This is not a story for getting your rocks off. Just thought I'd let you know so you won't waste your time if that's what your looking for.

Otherwise, I hope you enjoy my writing.

I appreciate feedback and do my best to respond to it all. I may be contacted at:

J S.Collection@Verizon.Net

Those Golden Eyes

Chapter 24

by JWSmith

edited by TLC

Gary was a quiet, patient child. Being born with a spinal defect he'd learned early in his young life that complaining got him sympathy but little else. Seldom did he complain, sympathy didn't do much good. His patience had worn thin in the last few weeks. Either in constant pain from the operations, or filled with drugs that made him stupid and dull, he'd had about as much as he could stand. He'd had four operations on his spine in the last eight weeks. He wanted so badly to be able to turn over and lay flat on his back, having lain on his stomach or sides for so long.

A little over a week ago the surgeon had told him and his mother that they were finished with the surgeries. Now it was going to have to be physical therapy for even a longer time. Through stretching and exercising the various muscles in his back and abdomen they promised that he would stand as straight as his older brothers. Maybe even be able to eventually play some of the minor sports where there wasn't a lot of rough body contact like if football.

Despite what all the grownups told him, he had doubts as to the veracity of much of what they promised him. At least they weren't still telling him stupid things like maybe he could play football someday. He hadn't been on his feet in the last month and a half. His legs felt useless to him. But he was determined to see just how far he could push himself. He'd always like watching tennis. He'd sit in front of the TV watch tennis matches wishing he could have a lithe, mobile body like those guys in white, slapping the ball back and forth over the net.

Along with the physical therapy he got a visit from a psychologist once a week. At first he didn't like the man and his probing questions, but after about his third visit Gary found that despite all the questions Fred was an okay guy. Fred talked to him like he was an adult, not a little twelve year old kid. As Fred got him to open up and start talking, Gary had discovered that he was an avid tennis fan, too. And he played tennis every morning before coming into the hospital.

Fred had promised him that as soon as he was allowed to walk again he would take him to the tennis courts with him. Just having that little promise to look forward to made Gary more determined than ever to succeed in his rehabilitation.

This morning as he lay on his right side staring at the wall nest to his bed, he was restless to get started. He wanted more than anything to be able to walk to the bathroom and take care of his own needs again. For so long he'd not cared or even known how his body was relieved of it's excrements, but now that he was on the mend and off the anesthetics and strong pain killers he found it terribly embarrassing to have to be assisted. He'd only been eating solid food again for three days. It had been a mortifying experience having two nurses moving him and staying in attendance while he had a b.m. He could feel the building need to relieve himself. Not wanting to go the humiliating experience had again he held it in al long as he could.

He couldn't wait any longer. He had to do it now. He pushed the call button, and squeezed the muscled to contain the urge. No one answered. It was too early for his mother to be here. He pushed the button again and waited. Still no nurse came in. He whimpered as he pushed the button over and over.

Finally the door pushed open and Mrs. Clark, one of his favorite nurses came in.

"What's the problem, Sweety?"

"I've got to go to the bathroom really bad. I can't hold it any longer."

"Well, let's just take care of that problem. There's not another nurse right now to help me so you're going to have to help me. Now you hold the pan while I lift you and then I want you to slide it under your bottom. Okay?"

Gary nodded. Mrs. Clark carefully lifted him to her bosom.

"Okay, now lay the bedpan behind you and I'll sit you on it."

Gary followed her instructions and found himself sitting on the pan just in time. When he was finished and cleaned up he smiled at Mrs. Clark.

"That wasn't as bad as having two nurses. It's so embarrassing having that young nurse standing behind me watching."

"Well, Gary, next time she helps we'll have her stand on this side of the bed so she can't see. Would that make you feel better."

Gary nodded his head.

"I sure will be glad to be able to do that on my own again."

"Well, by next week you should be doing just that."

"Thank you, Mrs. Clark."

"You welcome, Sweety."

Gary was laying on his left side. He could stare out the window now. Even though he couldn't see anything except the sky that was better than just the wall. He wondered if the sky was ever blue in the city of Orange. He'd never really thought about it, but just assumed that California always had blue skies. But all he'd seen out his window was light-gray overcast. Fred said it was low coastal overcast. This time of year it didn't burn off for days near the coast. It was kinda depressing.

His mom came bursting into the room with a couple of packages. He raised his head and smiled at her.

"Look what I got for you."

She set a shopping bag on the bed. Gary read Robinson-May on the side of it. Mary pulled out three sets of pajamas. They'd been washed and folded.

"Gee I thought I was getting something new."

These are new. I just bought them last night. I washed them this morning. You can't be laying around in pajamas coated with formaldehyde. That's not healthy."

"Why do they put that stuff on clothes." He was not about to try to repeat the big word.

"They put it on cotton to keep things like mold and mildew from getting into the fabric. As soon as the doctor takes the stitches out this morning you can start wearing them."

"I start therapy this morning."

"I know, Honey, it will be so wonderful to see you up and walking again."

"Fred said that he will teach me how to play tennis if I stay here long enough. How long will that be, Mom?"

"We'll be here for about three more weeks if your progress is good. As soon as we get home we'll continue with the physical therapy and hopefully in four to six months you can be doing things like playing Tennis. Maybe when we come back out for your checkups you can get out on the court with Fred."

"So how long before I can walk on my own again."

"Just as soon as you build the strength back up in your legs."


With that information Gary was determined that he'd be walking in just a few days.


A couple of days later Mary had spent a good half hour in consultation with the specialists. They had all agreed that for Gary to get they kind of therapy that was needed he should be near a hospital that had a sports injury specialist and therapy department oriented to athletes. The only such facility near Lloyd and Mary's home was at the University Hospital.

Obviously, that was too far to commute back and forth. Mary got on the phone to discuss the problem with Lloyd.

"We're both so homesick. I personally miss sleeping in your arms. Most of all I miss waking up and seeing you laying next to me."

"Me, too, Mary. I don't think I've had a full night's sleep since you've been gone."

"I wouldn't give up being Gary's mother for anything, but I miss being your lover."

"I promise you, Babe, (at one time, years past, Mary had bristled at being called 'Babe', now the intimacy of the name uttered by her man thrilled here to her loins.) that as soon as you are back here you're going to get some loving like neither of us have had in a long time. In the mean time, let me explore what our options are and I'll talk to you tomorrow. I love you, Mary. Give our little one a big hug for me. Tell him how much I love him."

"I will Lloyd. You know I love you, too. Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Love."


It was Sunday morning. Yesterday had been most interesting, touring the Way Mansion. Lloyd still couldn't believe that his sons, or Dave and Joe had all seen a ghost. Or Clyde turning pale and fainting, and then swearing he had seen her, too. Mass hysteria? "Maybe." He thought. But he hadn't arrived on the scene in time to see for himself.

That luxurious bedroom had looked like something out of an old Jean Harlow movie. He still couldn't believe all the jewelry found in the safe in that bedroom. He admired Clyde's professionalism in the way he handled the arrangement for a armored security truck to take the contents of the safe to a bank vault. And then the paintings. The curator of the local fine arts museum had nearly had a heart attack seeing all those paintings.

Lloyd wondered if the security around the president was a tight as that building had been by the time the had left it last evening. He was sure it would be swarming with museum people coming in to crate all the paintings this morning, even though it was Sunday.

Lloyd knew little about them, but he did recognize some of the names like Van Gogh and Lautrec. And to think that all of it had all just fallen into Dave's lap. That was mind blowing. But it was admirable of him to decide to make a museum out of the Mansion that was open to the public so they could see the famous paintings. too, besides getting to see how the very wealthy once lived.

As Lloyd sat at the kitchen table nursing a fresh cup of coffee while the rest of the house slept, he thought of what he needed to do with his own life to aid the needs of his family.

Although his construction business back home was very successful, he wasn't happy with his partner. They had very different ideas about how things should be run. Maybe he should just sell his half the business to him. That way they could move down here and be near the hospital for Gary, and also be near his oldest son, David. He have to look into what it would take to start his own construction company here. Plus they'd have to find a place to live. That needed to be done in the next three weeks if Gary was going to come back home to continue his therapy.

He entered the elevator to go down to get a Sunday paper. Just as he started to push the button, he noticed the paper laying on the floor. Picking it up he went back to the kitchen table and pulled out the real estate section. As he studied what was available locally Joe walked in.

"G'morning. You're up early."

"Hey, Joe. I just don't sleep soundly without Mary in bed with me."

"When do they come back?"

"I talked to her last night. Three weeks it looks like."

Joe had poured himself a cup of coffee and walked over to the table.

"Are you looking for a house here?" He asked seeing the section that Lloyd was perusing.

"If Gary's going to come back it has to be down here near the university hospital. They're the only ones set up to do the kind of physical therapy that Gary going to need."

"Oh. So how long does he have to continue this therapy?"

"Well, intensively for about four months. And then a biweekly visit for the next year or so. He has to be monitored to make sure everything is growing at the same rate. So it looks like the sensible thing to do is for the whole family to move down here."

"Yeah." Joe agreed. He sipped his coffee and watched Lloyd studying the ads.

"I know of a place that has three bedrooms, a large living room, den, two and a half baths, formal dining room. It has access to a lap pool. Gary's going to be having to do a lot of swimming to strengthen his back, isn't he?"

Lloyd looked over the top of the paper at Joe and nodded.

"This place has a fantastic view, too. Interested in looking at it?"

"Hell yes! It sounds just like what the doctor ordered."

"Well, fill your cup and come on."


"You heard correctly." Joe said walking out of the kitchen with a sly grin on his face.

"I don't even have any shoes on."

"I don't either. Not needed."

"Well, to hell with the coffee." Lloyd muttered to himself as he trotted after Joe.

Joe walked right passed the elevator and opened the door at the end of the foyer. Lloyd wasn't believing this.

"Where are we going, Joe?"

"Follow me and you shall see." With a flourishing sweep of his arm as he held the door open for Lloyd.

He opened the door at the top of the stairs going down to the next floor. Lloyd was right on his heels.

When he opened the door into the 30th floor's foyer he stopped and turned to Lloyd.

"I kept this floor when the rest went up for sale. I didn't want just anyone living here."

Lloyd just stared at him. He was speechless. Joe turned and opened the door to the side that looked over downtown. Lloyd followed him into the expansive living room. He turned in place looking at the view and then the inside of the room.

"I can't afford this. My God, it's got to be worth over a million dollars."

"Check out the rest of the place. The Master bedroom has a walk in closet. You and Mary will love playing in the shower. Look at this." Joe said as he opened the clear glass door. "Four showerheads."

"Damn, Mary and I haven't showered together since before Max was born. Joe why are you tempting me with this? You know damned well I can't afford to buy a place like this. Hell, Man, I still have three boys to get through collage."

"Lloyd, Lloyd, calm down man. You don't have to afford this place, its yours."

"What the fuck do you mean its mine. Yeah, like the White House is mine, too." Lloyd didn't usually curse but he was upset and getting angry.

"Come on, let's go back up and discuss this."

Neither man said a word as they trudge back up to the kitchen. Lloyd stood in the door feeling - he didn't know just what- frustrated, angry at Joe for playing with him, intrigued by the thought of living in such luxury.

Joe took both of their mugs and refilled them with fresh hot coffee. He sat Lloyd's on the side of the table where he'd been sitting and took the chair on the opposite side.

"Come on. Sit down."

Lloyd sat down, feeling uncomfortable, looking everywhere but at Joe.

"You know, Lloyd, that Dave and I are now very wealthy. And you know we didn't do anything to earn it. That makes us both feel a little guilty. By giving some of it to others, it alleviates some of the guilt feelings. We were both raised the same as you to believe in an honest day's work for and honest day's pay. Well, sometimes you get a bonus, even an undeserved bonus. I think of the Way fortune as just that. A bonus that we didn't do anything to deserve.

"So now it's turn about time. The benefits of it are manifold. You guys get a place to live 'gratis'. Gary is near the hospital. There's a lap pool just outside for him to use. Max gets to finish highschool in a more gay friendly atmosphere. But best of all, Dave gets to have you all nearby.

"Now, I've decided that I'm not going to give you this totally free. I'll sell it to you at a price you can afford. How does that sound?"

"Better. Something I can live with. So how much are you asking?"

Joe grinned at him.

"It is yours for just one hundred dollars."

"Your playing with me again."

"No, I am completely serious. And on top of it all I've got another proposition for you."

Lloyd just raised his eyebrows and didn't ask what.

"I've checked out the work you've done for other people, the houses you've built. I am impressed by your integrity and honesty in you dealings. Its easy for a contractor to gouge, make a little more than the job is really worth. I don't think you've ever done that.

"So here is the proposition. I want to form a partnership with you. I'll be the architect and you the builder. We will set this town on its ear with the quality affordable houses we will build."

He paused looking at Lloyd to gage his response.

Lloyd was grinning.

"I swear, Joe you're my guardian angel. What other problems do I have that you can solve?"

"So you accept?"

"Yeah, I accept."

"Great! I can't wait to tell Dave."

" Tell Dave what?" Dave sauntered into the kitchen in pair of cut off sweat pants that hung low on his hips. Joe took a moment to silently praise his lovers body. Dave didn't miss the look.

"Lloyd's just agreed to become my business partner and he's going to be our neighbor." Joe said as he got up and got Dave a glass of OJ. Dave plopped down in a chair with his elbows on the table, his hands holding his head up.

"That's wonderful, Lloyd, you found a house all ready?"

"I sold him one of the units on the 30th."

"You sold it to him? You're making money off of my family?"

"Yup," Joe winked at Lloyd and beamed at Dave. "A whole hundred bucks. The man wouldn't accept it as a gift right out, so I sold it to him."

"Have you told Mary yet?" Dave asked.

"Are you kidding? I have hardly even told myself."


David was the next person to show up at the kitchen table that morning. He had gone back to his dorm for the night even though Max had begged him to spend the night in the tent, camping out with him.

"I can't, Max," he had told his younger brother, "I have to get my studying done to keep up my grades. I took the whole day off to be with you already."

Max had a look of disbelief and hurt.

"Now that you know I'm gay you just don't want to be alone with me."

"Max, that's not it at all. It doesn't matter to me that you are gay. You're my brother and I love you, Man. I've got to get at least four hours of study time in tonight."

"It really doesn't bother you that I'm gay?"

"I've slept in the same room with you nearly all your life, Max. I'd kind of wondered for a while now if you were. I was so happy that Dad stopped being such a bigot about it, because I knew you'd be in for a hard time from him if he hadn't changed his views. No, Max I'm not bothered by you being gay."

"Okay, go do your studying. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Stay cool, Bro." David said. He headed back inside leaving Max sitting by the pool.


When David heard the news about the condo his first thought was that it would be wonderful to have his family near by. And then he thought of Max being uprooted from all this high school friends. He didn't express that concern out loud. He waited to see how Max would take the news. Wandering outside, while his uncles and dad discussed things, he went around to the tent to wake up his younger brother.

He knelt down and lifted the tent flap and peered into the green gloom. Max had thrown open the bed roll in his sleep and lay naked with just one foot covered. He had a raging hard-on. He watched Max's throbbing cock dip and bob as he moaned and thrust his pelvis in his sleep. David stared at his younger brother for what felt like an eternity, but was actually less than a minute. He was embarrassed when he realized what he was doing. He shook himself, and lowered the flap. He called out Max's name and brushed his hand across his tented shorts.

"Wake up, Bro. You going to sleep all day?" He heard Max moving inside the tent.

"Is it safe to come in?"

"Yeah, David, come on in." He crawled inside and sat in a half lotus beside Max's bed. Max had one leg bent raising the bedroll away from his body. David smiled to himself.

"So did you enjoy sleeping out here all by yourself?"

Max looked at him to see if he was serious.

"Yeah, right."

"Well, maybe in the near future I can camp out up here with you whenever we want."

"You think Dad would let me come down here? I've got to get back to school. I've missed two days already and I don't think he'll be letting me miss any more."

"Max, have you thought at all what it would be like to live down here near Uncle Dave and Joe and me?"

"That would be way cool. But it isn't going to happen."

"Would you miss your friends back home?"

"Only a couple of them. David why are you asking me all this?"

"Gary is coming home soon. And he'll have to be down here to get the kind of care he needs."


"Well, maybe I should let Dad tell you the rest."

David moved to the tent opening and started out

Max grabbed his briefs and struggled into them.

"David, Wait. What are you saying. Tell the rest of what?" Max grabbed his shorts and t-shirt and crawled out after him. He slipped them on and ran to catch up with his older brother.

Jean came out of her bedroom dressed for the day. She was one of those ladies that never let a man see her before her hair was done and her makeup applied, even though she wore very little of it. She entered the kitchen to see all her men sitting around the table. Lloyd was the only one that had a shirt one and it was an undershirt at that.

"Good Morning." She said.

"Good Morning." They replied.

She could tell that something had happened, all three men looked like they were about to pop. Calmly pouring herself a glass of orange juice she stood at the end of the table and eyed them. They were all grinning like not one of them had a lick of sense.


They all eyed each other. Dave it seemed was the one silently chosen to speak.

"Mom, what would you think of moving down here?" He asked.

Mary considered for a moment.

"It has is nice points. It's a larger city. Three of my boys live here."

Joe smiled at Mary knowing that she had accepted him as one of her boys. Dave nudged him, grinning, as she winked at him.

"What's the point of the question?" She asked.

David slipped quietly into a chair at the table. Max slid in next to him. He looked at each of the grownups

"Jean, I talked to Mary last night. Gary is going to have to have special physical therapy for a long time when he comes home. The only place that kind of therapy is available is here at the university hospital. I've been considering moving down here to live. Joe has offered me a partnership in building new houses and I seem to have just bought a condo in this building." Lloyd said.

Jean didn't miss the conspiratorial glances that Dave and Joe were exchanging. She looked at her son-in-law, who was looking back at her with a hopeful look on his face.

"You're giving up a lot to move down here. A business that you've put years of your life into building. A life time of friends."

"I'll do anything for my kids. I just don't like separating you and your daughter." Lloyd replied. "I've done enough separating in this family.

Jean pulled out the chair in front of her and sat down.

"So you are worrying about me being left up there? You know, there's just no need for it. I've been thinking of moving down here myself. I love the opera and the symphony. And there are museums I haven't visited. Plus I'm just dying to get involved with PFLAG down here on campus. Kind of help smooth the way for my grandson. Who knows? I just may go back to school, too. So, you moving down here with Mary and my grand sons is just an added bonus for going ahead and moving down here myself."

Lloyd looked like a huge burden had been taken from him. Mary smiled at him and glanced at her two grandsons sitting at the end of the table next to their father. David wasn't looking real happy about the tentative move. She wondered what was going on in his head. She had figured he would be happy to have his father living near by. They had always been so close.

Max she could understand. He'd like the idea of moving near his two gay uncles and his brother David who he had always kind of hero worshiped, but he'd have to give up his friends back home. She looked back at David. He was intently studying the table top. She made a mental note to talk with him before heading back north.

Lloyd followed her glance.

"Are you two going to be okay with this?" Lloyd asked looking at his two sons.

Max was looking wide eyed with excitement as he bobbed his head in consent. David nodded his head, but didn't look up at his father.

"You don't look overjoyed, Son. Is there a problem with us moving down here?"

David quickly looked up and covered his thoughts.

"No, Dad, not at all I was just thinking about all that has to be done to make the move."

Jean knew that there was something more that was bother her eldest grandson. She was going to have to find out what it was.


Johnny walked into the new apartment that he and Tim had just moved into. Tim was sitting at the breakfast table studying. He still wore his old worn out comfy sweats. Joe stood in the door way studying this man who had forced him to face up to the truth about himself. The truth being that he was gay and very much heels over head in love with Tim.

Tim was concentrating on what he was studying and with earphones blasting a Mozart symphony in his ears he was unaware that the exposed nape of his neck was about to be attacked. Johnny silently walked across the kitchen in front of Tim, stepped behind his chair, leaned down and kissed him on the back of his neck.

"Waaa!" Tim yelled as his book flew across the table and landed on the floor. His head jerked up, the back of it hitting Johnny in the forehead. The jerk of his body as he pushed away from the table sent Johnny flying backwards to land on his butt with the chair on top of him..

Tim stood and whirled into a fighting stance, Mozart sounded tinny from the small ear speakers dangling over a chair where it had been flung. Johnny swore later that he could see little Tweety birds and stars circling his head. Tim relaxed when he when he saw his lover laying dazed on the floor. With the release of tension he started laughing. He up-righted the chair and reached out both hands to help him off the floor. Johnny took his hands and with a little jerk had Tim laying on top of him. He wrapped his hands around the large young man and proceeded to kiss him. There was nothing Tim loved more than kissing Johnny unless it was making love to him. And what Johnny was doing to him was turning into something way more than just kissing. But before it got too serious Johnny pushed Tim away.

"This floor is hard and cold, Babe. How does the bed sound to you?"

Tim grinned at him.

"It's nice and warm where I am."

"Come on, Tim, your squashing me on this cold hard floor."

"The only part of you that's getting squashed is your dick and from the feel of it, I'd say your loving it." He swivelled his hips on top of Johnny's.

"I'd love it a lot more if I was laying on the bed with you on top of me."

"Oh, alright, lets go to bed."

Tim made much to do of getting off of Johnny and standing up. Johnny jumped up and grabbed his lover from behind, wrapping his arms around his chest. Tim didn't resist as Johnny thought he would. Instead he relaxed and laid his head back on his shoulder.

"Gods, that feels so good. I love when you get physical with me, John."

Johnny turned his lips toward Tim's neck and proceeded to kiss and tongue it. In between licks he managed to ask.

"John? Where did you come up with that?"

"Everybody calls you Johnny. I just want my own private name for you. If you don't like it I'll have to find another one."

"Tim, anything you want to call me would be special. John is fine. So should I have a special name for you?"

"Only if you want."

"How about Timmy?"

"That's what my mom used to call me."

"Damn, Babe, I didn't mean to open that old wound."

"No, it's alright, it was used with love."

"I just can't figure how parents can turn on their own child and abandon them. Especially when it is someone as special as you."

"I just try not to think about. I gave up trying to understand it."

"Well, it was their loss not getting a chance to know you as you matured into adulthood and became a man."

"Thanks. That does make me feel better."

"I love you, Timmy. You are my man."

Tim turned in Johnny's arms, grabbing him just under his buttocks, lifted him and carried him into the bed room. He set him back on his feet and started unbuttoning his uniform shirt.

There was something about the way that Tim manhandled him that got Johnny's blood surging. He was so hard now he had a difficult time standing still. But he did stand still because he knew Tim got so turned on taking his uniform off of him.

"I'm going to miss undressing my cop. There's just some thing about a uniform."

"I could always save one to wear just for you to take off of me."

"Do that, John."

"Anything for you, Babe." He let the shirt fall from his arms down to the floor. As Tim went for his belt buckle Johnny grabbed the bottom of Tim's sweat shirt and heisted it up his torso forcing him to lift his arms so he could get it over his head.

Tim's hands went back to the buckle, but Johnny had other plans as he pushed Tim's sweats down to his ankles and kneeled.

Tim's hands found their way into Johnny's thick dark blonde hair and his head fell back as he let his lover do what he had discovered that he loved doing to him.


A while later both men lay cuddling in each others arms.

"We have a couple of hours in which we could look at houses. Want to go out looking?"

"We could do that. I've basically finished studying."

Johnny had sold the condo. He and Tim had moved temporarily into an apartment until they could find the house they wanted to buy. Tim had three more years of collage so it needed to be near the University. And living near the university placed Johnny nearer his upcoming new job working as security for his brother.

"You don't sound too enthusiastic, Babe. What's wrong?"

"Johnny, There's nothing around this area that either of us have found interesting. We have three real estate offices looking for us. They haven't come up with anything. I just wish some one living in the Tower would move out and we could move in there. I really love that building."

"Yeah, That unit under Dave and Joe would be grand. But I got a definite feeling that Joe didn't want to offer it to us. I guess he likes having the privacy it affords him by keeping those two units empty. Anyway, if we did get a chance to move in there, we'd have to give up the white picket fence." Johnny made a wry face at Tim who grinned back at him.

"Yeah that would be awful to have to do that. So did you go talk to your mom and dad about the wedding?"

"Paul and I had coffee with them this morning. I chickened out on talking to them."

"So would you mind if I did? I really think your mom would love to get involved with the planning."

"I know you're right, Babe, but I just feel weird talking to my mom with me marrying a man."

"I thought you wanted to do this."

"I do, Tim. There's nothing I want more than to be married to you for the rest of my life. It's just the talking to mom about it."

"I can understand that. Although, when we to told your parents about us neither on seemed surprised."

"Yeah, I think that they had me figured out a long time before I did."

"So I'll call her and go over to see her tomorrow."

"You've forgotten that we have dinner with them tonight?"

"Oh God! I did forget. I guess that with settling in here and keeping up with my studies it just slipped my mind. Thank goodness that you remembered."

Johnny grinned.

"Hey, she's my mom I wouldn't dare forget."

Paul stood under the spray of hot water in his shower. He had been having a lot of recurring thoughts about Sue Morrow since the day that he and Johnny had gone in to meet Dave that first time. He chuckled to himself about how Johnny had reacted to Dave embracing him and planting a big kiss on him thinking it was Joe he was doing it to. For a moment Johnny had really gotten into returning that kiss, but Dave had broken it off when he realized his mistake. That had been the beginning of the end for Johnny hiding from himself. A week of so later he had met Tim and that was it. Johnny hadn't a chance in hell of deluding himself any longer after that.

He grinned as he remembered Sue's reaction to seeing Dave attack a policeman that day. At first it was shock and then it was amusement that her boss had done it. Paul had taken an instant interest in Sue. He found her to be an independent woman who thought for herself. She sure had made some major changes in the book store when she was given the reins.

At first he had thought that she might be one of those women who didn't like men, but then he'd caught her looking at him with interest,. He'd found himself being shy around her. His tongue just quit working right when she was near, and he seemed to have two left feet.

Paul washed the days grime from his body, dried off, shaved and then dressed in an white Italian silk shirt and khaki slacks. He still couldn't get himself to wear those slinky loafers that were pushed at him along with the clothes. So he slipped in to his brown American brogues, tied the laces and put on a matching woven leather belt. Slipping on a lightweight jacket he checked himself out in the mirror, he couldn't see why he couldn't sweep Miss Morrow off her feet. He ran his fingers through his thick short brown hair and grinned at his image.

Driving over to the University area, He felt like a giddy teenager. Hell, he'd been dating women for years, married one, got divorced when she discovered she couldn't take the pressure of being a policeman's wife, never knowing if he would get shot or knifed while on duty. He couldn't blame her. That was one reason he hadn't gotten married again. He couldn't see putting another woman through the same stress.

But now he was resigning from the force to set up security for his old friend Joe and his lover Dave. Now he could afford to chance getting a woman to fall in love with him again. And he thought Sue might just be the lady.

He went into the bookstore and looked over the place trying to spot her to no avail. Well, maybe she was in her office, he'd wait and see if she came out. He wandered into the fiction section and soon was engrossed in checking out the murder mysteries.

He felt some one standing next to him, but didn't look up figuring it was another book browser. But a cool sexy feminine voice brought him to full alert.

"Hello, Paul, one of my kids said you were looking for me."

Paul immediately blushed.

"I didn't think I was that obvious."

"Oh, you probably weren't. Nan was here the day you came in with your partner to check out Dave. She, being a very observant young lady, probably noticed that I showed an interest in you."

Paul strangled and blushed again.

"I've got to stop that." Sue grinned. She found it very attractive that Paul embarrassed so easily. She didn't often find that in men.

"Stop what?"

"Making you blush."

Paul needless to say blushed again. This wasn't going like he thought it would. He had pictured coming in and sweeping Sue off her feet, asking her out to dinner and maybe be the one to make her blush. He was just thankful that his sidekick Johnny Paolini wasn't here to see him blushing like a young girl. He blushed again at that thought. He cleared his throat and looked Sue in the eyes. 'Damn, she has beautiful eyes,' he thought. 'A fellow could drown in them."

"May I buy you a cup of coffee?" He asked. "I'd like to get to know you."

"The feeling is mutual, Paul. But the coffee is free."

Sue lead him over to the coffee house section of the bookstore.

"Find us a seat and I'll bring us a couple of cups. How do you like yours?" She asked.


Sue raised an eyebrow and smiled as she left. Paul found a table isolated from all the rest and sat down. He rubbed his face with his palms, planted his elbows on the table, resting his face into his hands.

A few moments later Sue sat two cups of coffee on the table. Paul quickly stood up and held her chair as she sat down and then he sat down himself.

They looked into each others eyes as the both took a sip from their steaming cups.

"Mmm. You serve good coffee here."

"Thank you, but it was Dave's deceased partner that found the little company that supplies it to us. Yes, it is very good."

Paul took another sip.

"Hell of lot better than Starbucks."

"So I hear you're retiring from the police force."

"Yep, going to work for Dave and Joe."

"And Johnny?"

"He's coming with me."

"Funny I would never have pegged him for being gay. But then I thought Tim was straight too when I first met him. And Joe. And as I think about it Dave looks and acts as straight as any of them."

Paul was grinning at her.

"And me?" He asked.

Sue startled.

"Oh, please, don't tell me you are gay, too."

"No, Sue. I'm on your side."

"Oh, thank God. I would have been really disappointed if you were."

"I like you, too. And I'd like to get to know you. Is there any chance you could get away from here and let me take you out to dinner?"

"That would be nice. Let me tell Nan to close up. She usually does it all herself anyway."


At ten minutes of seven Dave's big black Lexus pulled into the driveway at the Paolini residence. Before all six of them could exit the car Tim's new dark green Ford 150 pulled in behind them. Eve, Angie, and Joe Sr. poured out of the house to greet them. There were introductions and warm welcoming hugs for everyone. Angie and Jean became immediate friends.

As soon as the greetings and introductions were over Dave noticed that Joe Sr. had his hands planted on Tim's shoulders deep in conversation with the young man. Johnny stood nervously to one side looking worried. At first Tim was looking very serious, his hands stuck in his pockets, studying the tips of his toes and then he looked up at his lover's father, grinned and hugged him. Joe Sr. grabbed his youngest son, who was still looking worried, into the hug. He kissed both young men on the cheek. Dave smiled knowing that Joe Sr. had given Tim the same talk that he had received when he first came to dinner with Joe.

Dave heard a shout from Joe and turned to see what it was about. A black Lincoln Town Car had just parked in front of the house. The passenger side door opened and an older version of Eve stepped out and Joe wrapped her in a hug. Dave immediately knew the woman had to be Joe's oldest sister Michele. Joe had spoken of her but had never gone into any detail about her. None of the rest of the family had spoken of her at all. He knew they lived here in the city and that was all. Now Dave knew at first glance what it was all about as the driver got out and walked around to her side and placed a protective arm around her. Not only was he about the biggest man Dave had ever seen, he was the blackest. As an after thought Dave added 'and maybe the most handsome male of the human species I have ever seen.'

As Joe Sr. strode over to them he called out.

"Everyone listen up."

Everyone in the yard turned and looked at him. Seeing that he had everyone's attention he stepped over to his eldest daughter's side. Dave could feel the tension in the whole Paolini family.

"Oh God, why another confrontation tonight." Angie moaned. She ran to her husband's side to try to pull him away before he said another hurtful thing to his eldest daughter and her husband. He'd never forgiven Miki for marrying him. Dave glanced at Joe who was standing in front of Michele. He looked like he might attack his father.


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