Those Golden Eyes
David had met both Tim and Johnny before they ever met each other. He had been certain that they were both straight as arrows. He chuckled to himself remembering a cartoon he'd seen on tv when he was a kid. It was about a little Indian boy whose arrows were all curved and every time he shot one from his bow it went in a big circle and came back like a boomerang to hit him in the butt.
"I wonder if my arrows are like that," he thought to himself.
A good buddy from high school had recently come out of the closet when he'd met another guy and they'd fallen in love. Both guys were big football Jocks here at the university. David would never have imagined them being gay.
He'd watched with trepidation his own dad this afternoon being buddy-buddy with Johnny and Tim. He was almost shocked when he saw his dad kiss Tim on the cheek. Not once, but twice. He'd felt a palpable relief when his mother had come out and occupied his dad's arms.
David been hyper-aware of all the gays in his life ever since back before he had started college when his dad had discovered that he wanted to go to the university here and had gone into a homophobic tirade against his uncle Dave.
He reran the feelings he'd had the morning he'd gone out to the tent to awaken Max. He realized that Max's nude body hadn't turned him on sexually. and that a hardon is like a yawn, it's contagious. And as he analyzed it he came to the conclusion that what he'd felt, the tenderness toward, the need to protect and coddle his little brother was all part of becoming a man and eventually the father of his own children.
Smiling to himself about his little insecurities, he stood and stretched. He walked back into the main yard. Joe was lounging on the grass by himself. He looked around for Dave and found him involved in an animated discussion with Miki and her father. David sat down next to Joe. Joe looked at him and smiled.
"Is it getting any easier for you, David?"
David studied Joe for a moment wondering if he was asking what he thought he was asking. He decided that he was, although he didn't know how Joe could know about his insecurities. Little did he know that his emotions were plain to read to anyone observant.
"Yeah, Joe, it is. I just came to the realization that no one here cares a damn about my sexual orientation or anyone else's. They just accept and love each other for what they are."
"And you're okay with whatever your sexual orientation is?"
"Yes, for a while there I was worried that since there are so many gay men around that I might be one, too. But as good looking as everyone of you are, not one of you push my buttons.
He paused for a moment.
And then there's your youngest sister."
"Yeah, if you don't mind my saying so, she is one hot babe."
Joe acted indignant. "That's my baby sister you're calling a babe."
"I meant no offense, Joe. It's a compliment."
"Well, you're right, David, Eve is one hot Babe."
"It's a shame she is three years older that me."
"Why is that?"
"Because I'd love to get to know her.
"Want to know a little secret? You cant tell anyone I told you this. My mom is four and a half years older than my dad."
"You're not making that up, are you?"
"Nope. That's the truth."
"Do you think Eve would want to go out with me?"
"You're a nice guy. I don't see why not. Ask her."
"What if she says 'No.'?"
"Well, you're a strong young man. I'm sure your ego could stand the blow. Besides she might say 'Yes'."
Joe excused himself and went into the house, leaving David sitting by himself. He was engrossed in a quandary of how to approach Eve, when suddenly, there she was beside him asking if he minded if she sat with him. He found himself tongue tied. He nodded and smiled. Eve sat down in a half lotus next to him. Her knee was touching David's, sending little electrical shocks through him. He got to the point that he had to move away from the contact or embarrass Eve and himself. He stretched and laid back, straightening out his legs. Eve found herself being impressed with the mound in his jeans but pretended like she hadn't noticed.
"This is a wonderful bunch of people, isn't it?" she asked
David raised up on his elbows and looked around.
"Yes, they are an impressive bunch, too."
"And they are all related to you and me in one way or another."
"Well, there's Tim." David said.
"Tim? Tim is my brother-in-law as much as Rency or Dave is."
David looked at Eve with an awed expression. "Do you really feel that way, Eve?"
"Of course I do. I love my brothers and in turn I love their choices of mates."
David didn't reply. He simply stared at Eve as though she might shimmer and disappear.
"Do you feel differently about Max?" she asked. She turned and looked down at him. He was smiling, but she thought he looked like he was in pain and trying no to show it.
"What's the matter with you. Are you not feeling well, David?"
"I feel fine. I like Joseph. He is perfect for Max. But... I...I believe I... I... just fell in love with an angel."
Eve turned and studied him. "You can't be serious. I'm too old for you."
"You're three years older than me. Your mom's older than that with you're your dad."
"Who told you that? Oh, I know. I'm going to get that oldest brother of mine."
"Forget Joe. Since the first time I met you I have dreamed about you."
David sat up and moved to face her.
"Eve, would you date me? Get to know me? Maybe you'll feel the same for me."
"Shouldn't I be standing if you're going to sweep me off my feet." Eve giggled.
David grinned. "Is that what I'm doing?"
Eve gave him a serious look as she studied him. Finally, she nodded. "Alright. I admit I feel a certain attraction to you too. Let's do it. Let's date."
"Do you mean it?"
She nodded again.
David leaned forward and kissed her. Eve found herself leaning into it, wanting more.
When David sat back they were both breathing rather raggedly. They gazed into each others eyes not saying anything. Eve finally broke the silence.
"You know you got the best of both sides."
"Both sides of what?"
"Well, you look kind of like Dave but a little more rugged. And you look kind of like your dad but a little more refined."
"Well, you look like your mom and for an older woman I think she is beautiful. She must have looked just like you when she was young."
"That was a round about compliment. But thank you, I too think my mom is beautiful." Eve stopped and looked around.
"I feel like big brother is watching," she whispered.
David swivel around and studied the scattered bunches of people. He didn't see anyone paying the least attention to them. And Joe wasn't in sight.
"I found this cool little hideaway behind the roses in your mother's cutting garden."
"Let's," Eve said, rising and taking David hand, she lead him to the back of the yard.
Joe was standing in the dark at the window upstairs in what had one time been his bedroom. He had his arm around Dave.
When he saw Eve rise and take David's hand he turned and grinned at Dave, who was quietly humming a show tune from Fiddler on the roof. Joe grinned at him.
"I made you a match you can't beat, Lover Man."
"And it looks like you've struck again, my sweet matchmaker." Dave chuckled.
"Well, at least the young man has stopped having doubts about himself.
Angie had seen David take eve's hand and head for the gazebo at the back of the yard. She turned away from the window over the kitchen sink with a knowing smile. Mary was leaning against the cabinet at the far end of the kitchen next to her mother, Jean. The food had all been put away, the kitchen was again spotless. Angie folded the damp dish towel and hung it on the drying rack.
"Looks like we may someday be more closely related as mothers-in-laws, Mary."
"What are you talking about?"
"I just saw your oldest leading my youngest toward the little gazebo at the back of the yard."
"David and Eve?"
Jason arranged with the president of the GPC to have control of the program for the next meeting. He told the group about the story and the words he found so offensive and then passed out pads and pens asking each person to give their view of how they felt about the words.
Every club on campus had a teacher as a sponsor. Chad Gothe was the GPC sponsor. He was a professor of Human Relations and he was openly gay. His lover Oliver Ritterman was a highschool Social Studies teacher and often attended the meetings when he had the time. Ritt as he liked to be called was in attendance that evening. Jason gave him a pad and pen along with everyone else.
Fifteen minutes later Jason had collected all of the opinions of the group. He told them he would compile the statistics and let them know next meeting just how they responded.
There were a hundred and nine responses. That night when he got home he sat down and started reading them and compiling them into five categories. They were: love, like, no opinion, dislike and hate.
After going though about thirty of them his eyelids were drooping. Pete had already gone to bed. Jason stood and stretched and headed to the bedroom. Pete had left a dim night light on for him. He quietly undress, and slipped under the covers next to his lover wishing that the damned cast was gone. He really missed snuggling. Not that he'd had but one or two times with Pete before the accident, when one of their roommates were away and they could share a narrow dorm bed for a night.
'Well, soon I'll have the rest of my life to snuggle with him.' he thought as he curled up close to the edge of the bed to give Pete room to turn on his side without clobbering him.
It took him three nights to get through all the responses. When he finished he had one that he didn't know how to classify. But it wasn't really a response to the question but more to having ask the question. Jason ended up putting it under no opinion.
He sat back and looked at the chart.
Love Like no opinion Dislike Hate
1 4 1 37 66
He noted that the five that either loved or liked the term
admitted to being bisexual. But what was interesting was that
there were fourteen others that said they were bi, but disliked
crossing the line with terms like that.
When Jason stood before the group at the next meeting, he looked around the room until his eyes made contact with Ritt. He smiled and nodded at him.
"Before I read of the statistics. I would like to read one response that set me back one my heels and made me think. I'm not going to tell you who wrote it but I'm sure you'll figure that out by yourselves. This is it:
"First off, an author has complete freedom to write what she or he wants to write, as long as he or she does not deliberately use the text to hurt or insult people. The reader has the privilege to agree or disagree with the author and, for example, he can refuse to continue reading on or to read any other text by the same author.
"I personally consider the terms silly. Still, should an author use it, I would accept it as an example of bad taste, nothing more. I am afraid I cannot feel very strongly about it. It's just too silly.
"However, I feel very strongly about the principle itself: the sovereignty of the author. It is a bad author who restrains her- or himself because of possible sensibilities of some of the readers. Political correct-ness has its place, but I would never look for it in a erotic story.
"Another point that worries me in the discussion leading to your question is the fact that by claiming yourselves to be insulted and denigrated you effectively cut off any possible discussion.
"It is the kind of immature behavior I recognize from my pupils. They can be quite insulting and crude themselves, but cannot accept criticisms from other people. Often they feel insulted because of their inability for putting remarks in the proper perspective. They lack a sense of irony. Metaphors are beyond their understanding. As their mentor I have to do quite a job to convince them that many of those things that upset them do not really matter.
"I hesitate to point out that by feeling insulted so easily and reacting so strongly about it, you are being a bit immature and juvenile.
"I ask of you to think about this before you respond."
Jason raised his head and looked around the room.
"I thought about this all week. And I've come to agree with it totally. My response was immature. I should have just logged off the story and gone on to something more to my liking. But I know you are all interested in the results so here they are."
He read off the findings, and then looked at Ritt again. Ritt raised a closed fist signifying that Jason had done good in his own final response. Jason smiled and sat down feeling rather at sixes and sevens with himself. He had accomplished what he set out to do, but found no satisfaction in having done it. He sighed and wished that the meeting was over.
Two days later in Tim and Johnny's kitchen Tim looked at Johnny in exasperation as he stirred a pot of spaghetti sauce that Angie had dropped off a little earlier.
"What would you know about my mother missing me?"
"That's what she said. And she said your dad is sorry for the way he acted, too."
"She called? How did she find out where I am? Oh, damn, I bet it was Paul's investigation. I remember him saying that Frankie was sorry for hitting me when I told him that I'm gay. Frankie must have told my parents."
Johnny stood there shaking his head until Tim ran down.
"Your mother didn't call. I called her."
" I can't believe you would do that. Why, Johnny? You know how I feel about it."
"Yeah, Hun, I know, but I also know you miss them and I was sure they miss you, too. You are their only child."
"Don't "hun" me. I am upset with you," Tim said as he turned his back on him. He lifted the lid of the big pot of water he was heating to cook the pasta in.
"I did it for you own good, Timmy. You've got to get past this bitterness."
"I spent the last five months of my Senior year with my dad ignoring my existence, John, and my mom acting like she was ashamed to even know me." Steam billowed up from the roiling water. He took the package of fettuccini an measured out two good servings, dropped them into the water, added salt and placed the lid back on the pot. He turned and shook the wooden fork he used to stir the pasta, in Johnny's direction. "Dammit, every time she'd look at me she'd burst into tears and shake her head. Dad just acted like I wasn't even there. How am I supposed to feel. Neither one of them came to my graduation and I was the Salutatorian. Only one person had a higher grade average than I did. They should have been proud of me. It wasn't like I was an effeminate queen. Hell, I was a football jock. Nobody but Frank Davenport and the two of them knew I was gay. They should of been proud of me."
Johnny stood there nodding his head, agreeing with him, keeping his distance from the spoon. He had a healthy respect for a cook wielding a wooden spoon having been raised in an Italian home.
"They should have been proud of you, and they probably were, Tim. But they just didn't know how to handle your homosexuality. It was against everything they'd ever been taught. They've been told all their lives that it was something one chooses to be. And that it is wrong and sinful."
"My God, Johnny, why would I choose to be gay. It would be so much easier to be like everyone else. Knowing how people feel about it, how could they believe for a moment that it was something I chose." Tim laid the spoon down and advanced on Johnny. "Couldn't they see the misery I was in?"
Johnny took his lover into his embrace, holding Tim's head against his shoulder.
"I think that they saw your misery and it confused them even more. You need to talk to them, Tim. They really do love you."
"I love them too. But they hurt me." Tim mumble into Johnny's shirt
"I don't think they meant to. They were just floundering, not knowing how to react. You need to forgive them, Timmy. For your own benefit as well as theirs." He caressed Tim's hair. "I invited them to our commitment ceremony."
Tim pushed away and stared at him in disbelief. Johnny held on to him, watching the flow of emotions that reflected on Tim's face. Finally Tim found his tongue.
"And they're...... coming?"
"They're coming a week before the ceremony. They want to get to know the man to whom their son is committing his life and love."
"Oh...my...God." Tim whispered, pushed away from Johnny and collapsed into the chair behind him.
Johnny worried as he stood next to the chair watching Tim who had his head back with his eyes closed. He knew that things were going to be alright between them when Tim asked, "Where are we going to put them up?"
Johnny smiled and knelt in front of him..
"I talked to Joe and Dave about that. And they decided that it was only appropriate that they stay in the condo across from Dave's mom on the 29th floor of the Tower. The construction will be finished in the foyer by then."
Tim shook his head. He still hadn't opened his eyes.
"What a family." He raised his head, opened his eyes and smiled at him. "I love you. And I love your whole family and Dave's, too."
Johnny didn't return the smile. His expression was serious.
"You know I would not have done this if I didn't care about you."
Tim's expression changed to match his. He massaged the back of Johnny's neck.
"I know. I just wish you loved me as much as I love you."
Tim knew that Johnny loved him every bit as much, but he also knew that Johnny still had trouble saying the "L" word.
"You know I do, Tim. I show you everyday in every way I can that I do."
"So tell me. I need to hear it. Tell me, Johnny."
"Timmy, I... Oh, hell! You know I love you." Tim's face lit up with delight. "I love you with all my heart and soul. I love you more than Life it's self. I couldn't live without you. I love you, Tim, I love you so very much."
"Look at what those words do to me."
Johnny looked at the swelling in Tim's pants and reached out and caressed it with his fingertips. He took hold of it and squeezed. Tim pulled him closer. Johnny lay his head on his chest.
"Saying those words does the same thing to me. I want you, Tim. I need to feel you inside me."
He reached up to touch his lips to Tim's. Tim pulled him into a hard opened mouth kiss. Johnny finally pulled back.
"Let's take this to the bedroom where I can take care of you properly."
He took Tim's hands and pulled him up, leading him toward the bedroom.
Tim suddenly stopped in the hall outside the bedroom door, pulling Johnny to a halt. Johnny looked back at him, questioning with his eyes.
"Did they really say they want to get to know you?"
"Yes, Timmy, they did."
"I guess they really are trying to accept me."
Johnny tugged on his hand and Tim was eager to follow.
Arlen Aldridge was in three of the same classes that Pete had. He'd taken no notice of Pete until he was suddenly famous for saving some man's life. Of course one couldn't help but notice him with the cast he had on his upper torso and arm. When Arlen walked into his first class of the day, he stopped to watch Pete struggle with his unwieldy book bag as he tried to extract a note book and text for his first class. When all of his books spilled out onto the floor, Arlen dropped his own books onto the desk next to Pete and knelt to help him pick them up.
Pete wasn't expecting the big handsome football jock's help and when he turned to see who was picking up his books for him he managed to hit him on the top of his head with his suspended cast arm, sending Arlen sprawling on his butt.
"Oh damn, I'm sorry."
Arlen grinned up at him, rubbing his head with one hand while hanging onto all the books he'd picked up with the other. "You are dangerous. That's the thanks I get for trying to help you?" he joked.
"I just seem to knock anybody that gets near me. Thanks for the help."
Arlen smiled while separating the two books Pete needed for this class and placing the rest of the books back in the bag. "No problem, Man." He started to pat Pete on the back but feeling the hard cast under his sweatshirt, he ended up tousling his hair instead. Pete blushed. He wasn't used to big jocks touching him or paying any attention to him. Arlen sat down in the seat next to Pete at the desk where he'd dropped his own books.
"It must be a hassle doing a lot of things for yourself with your arm up like that."
"It sure is, but I have plenty of help."
"Oh. So how do you shower with that thing?"
Pete blushed again. "I don't."
Arlen thought about that with a look of distaste.
"I have a nurse that comes in to wash me." Pete added seeing Arlen's expression.
"I take it you don't live in a dorm."
"No, I live up on ------ in a house."
"That's a nice neighborhood. It must cost a lot. How many roommates have you got?"
"Just one. But we got a special deal."
At that moment the professor walked in putting an end to the conversation. When the class ended Arlen took Pete's books and put them into his book bag for him. Pete blushed again. Arlen noticed and grinned.
"You're cute when you do that."
"Do what?" Pete asked, knowing he was referring to the blush.
"When you get embarrassed."
Pete's flushed skin darkened with more blood rushing to the surface. He looked everywhere except at Arlen.
"I'm sorry, Man. I really didn't mean to embarrass you more." Arlen said.
"That's alright. I blush easily."
They had moved with the crowd exiting the class room. When they were in the middle of the hall Arlen stopped.
"I don't even know your name. I'm Arlen Aldridge."
"Everyone know's who you are. I'm Pete Peterson."
"Hey, that's cool we're both alliterative. It's good to meet you, Pete."
"Alliterative? Are you sure you're a football jock?"
"Yeah. Jocks can have brains you know."
"I'm sorry. I should have profiled you."
"Hey, it's okay. Nearly everyone is surprised that I'm not just a good looking muscle head."
"I've got to go. I'll see you in Geometry later. It was nice meeting you. And thanks for helping me."
Arlen smiled in response and watched Pete walk away. He say a small guy with shiny black hair step away from the wall and fall into step with Pete. He couldn't help but notice that their arms touched constantly as they walked. He sighed and headed off to his next class.
"Do you know who that was you were talking to?" Jason asked as he fell in beside Pete. He glanced back and saw Arlen watching them walk away. He unconsciously moved closer to Pete.
"That was Arlen Aldridge, star quarterback."
"Why was he talking to you?"
Pete bristled. "What? I'm not good enough for him to talk to?"
"Come on Pete, you know what I'm saying. Those football jocks are in a league of their own. They don't usually condescend to talk to non-jocks."
"Sorry. He helped me pick up my books when I spilled them on the floor. He's a nice guy."
"And handsome, too."
"And smart. He knows what alliteration is."
"The repetition of a sound. Like Pete Peterson or Arlen Aldridge."
"Oh, I knew that. I just forgot." He didn't understand why, but he felt smaller at that moment.
In the days that followed Arlen sat next to Pete in every class and helped him with his books. They visited and got to know each other better. Pete still didn't say anything about his relationship with Jason, assuming that Arlen would shun him when he learned that he was gay and in a permanent relationship.
Arlen had already figured that out for himself. He'd observed Pete every chance he got. He'd seen how he met up with she little Black headed kid several times a day. And he'd noted how the kid took Pete's heavy book bag from him and carried it to his next class. It was almost an obsession with him. He began to feel like a stalker. He had long ago admitted to him self that he was gay. But he kept it to himself never acting on his desires and longings until he met Pete.
There something about the wholesome country boy that Arlen found so attractive. A naivete, an innocence that made him want to be close to him. As he got to know Pete the feelings just became stronger.
Arlen casually asked Pete one day who his little slave boy was. Pete stuttered and stammered, finally getting out that his name was Jason and he was his roommate.
"He's in love with you. Did you know that?"
The moment of truth had arrived. Pete stared Arlen in the eyes. "Yes, I know that. And the feeling is mutual."
Arlen stared back and then smiled. "Cool."
" So aren't you going to punch me in the face and call me a faggot?" Pete asked.
Arlen gaped at him a moment and then shook his head. "No. Why should I do something stupid like that? It's okay with me if you guys are lovers."
It was about a week later, at the end of their last class of the day together that Arlen engaged Pete in conversation as they sat at their desks waiting for the room to clear so Pete could exit without maiming somebody with his suspended arm.
"Have you ever kissed anyone bigger than you?" he asked.
Pete had gotten used to Arlen and didn't blush much anymore, but this time he did. "No. Jason is the only guy I've ever kissed."
"Aren't you curious what it would be like?"
"Yeah, I guess I am."
Arlen smiled and as the last person filed out they rose to follow. As they got to the door Arlen gave into his desire and stopped Pete, turned him around and embraced him in a kiss.
At first Pete resisted and then gave in and started kissing him back. It was a new experience. Pete found that there was something to be said for being the smaller one for once. He clung to Arlen with his good arm, and enjoyed the moment.
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"Ask not what your Country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your Country" President John F. Kennedy
Have you ever wondered what happened to all the people that believed that way?