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
Once again I'd like to publicly express my appreciation to Dave for his corrections of all my mistakes. If there are any now
it's because I added more after he did his magic. And also I thank him for forcing me to rewrite some points to make them
more clear. Thanks again, Dave, you definitely make me a better writer. JWS
Charley really hadn't thought he'd be able to take Jake home. He imagined what the reaction of that stodgy nurse that pushed the wheelchair out to the curb would have been if he'd had his Harley there waiting for Jake. He knew Jake would have loved it, snuggling up against his back and hugging him tight right in front of God and everyone.
Maybe it was a subconscious move on his part or maybe it was Pete's, but when Pete offered him the use of his car Charley took him up on it. So when Jake was released Charley had no worry about how to get him home.
Charley was giddy as a kid with a secret. He had a hard time waiting for the moment that Jake would see his office set up in the house. Jake just chalked up Charley's antsy giddiness to him getting out of the hospital.
When Gio arrived at the restaurant at seven, he was greeted with a big smile from Teddy, who was eagerly waiting. The smile went right to his heart and then dropped about twenty inches. He felt a stirring below and scolded himself about having the hots for his new employee.
Teddy hadn't seen Gio in civvies before. He had thought of Gio as being slightly rotund in his loose fitting whites. But dressed in regular clothes he could see that even though Gio had a bit of a belly, he was mostly muscular. Teddy bet himself that if he could get Gio to doing some crunches every day that round belly would disappear and soon match the rest of his body, then he'd really be hot. He hid his lascivious thoughts and greeted his new employer with a big smile.
Gio pointed out to Teddy a big stack of chef's uniforms on a shelf in the office and told him they were his. At the end of the day he was to put the soiled uniform into a hamper for the laundry service to take away. He also showed him a metal locker in which to store his street clothes.
Teddy looked around. "Where should I change?" he asked.
Gio grinned. "Right where you are. There's only us men here. There is the restroom around the corner if you're shy." He hoped that Teddy wasn't shy.
Teddy grinned back at him and watched as Gio stripped out of his button-up shirt. He admired the way the tee shirt fit his boss. Teddy liked the look of a layer of fat softening the hard muscles. Those pecs definitely were muscles.
Gio realized that Teddy wasn't moving and glanced up at him. The glance set Teddy into motion. He stripped out of his shirt and jeans and hung them in his locker. He knew that Gio was looking. Tucking the hem of his tee shirt into his boxers, he turned and picked up the work trousers and slipped his legs into them. He looked up at Gio, who was standing with his trousers in his hand. He was in a state of thrall staring at Teddy's firm, muscular body. Teddy grinned and ignored the stare as he surreptitiously checked out Gio while acting like he wasn't interested. He quickly buttoned up the baggy trousers to hide the effects of seeing the bulge in Gio's jockeys and that thick blonde hair covering his legs.
Teddy's grin brought Gio out of his entrancement and he quickly turned his back to slide his legs into his trousers. Teddy's breath caught in his throat as he admire the two large globes of Gio's butt. He quickly sat down to put on his work boots, and kept his head down as he laced them up. Finished, he said, "I've got to pee before we start," and headed out into the kitchen to the little private restroom.
Gio wondered if that was a straight man's reaction to being stared at while in a state of undress. But then, he argued, straight men usually got belligerent, and then again Teddy was his employee and couldn't afford to react that way. A little niggling thought made itself heard, maybe Teddy was turned on by seeing Gio in his underwear and was embarrassed by it. Gio wondered for the umpteenth time if Teddy might be gay, and if he was, would he be interested in him.
The day got started with the preparation of a couple of sauces, a large pan of Lasagna, and washing greens for salads. Gio
watched Teddy work. Teddy assumed that it was his performance being assessed. Teddy would glance at Gio with
lascivious thoughts, and Gio thought he was just being nervous about performance. Gio was impressed with Teddy's
abilities and knowledge. Teddy liked working with Gio, he was so easy going.
Arlen spent his day in classes his mind wondering off to daydream about an auburn haired man with creamy skin.
He was the university's main quarterback. He was assumed to be straight and until he met Pete and kissed him he had never given any thought to not being straight. He'd thought of the incident with Pete as an anomaly. It happened once and wouldn't happen again.
He still hadn't figured out why he'd gone to check out Teddy after Jason had described his new house mate,. He didn't want to think about it. And he didn't want to think about why he'd flirted with Teddy in front of Pete and Jason. It was making him nuts.
Teddy's image kept floating to the fore in his mind. Arlen kept telling himself he wasn't gay. He didn't want to be gay. And why he kept daydreaming about another man he couldn't understand and it was driving him crazy.
He got through the day. And when his bedtime came he thought he'd just go to sleep and forget about this madness. He hadn't reckoned with dreams. If he had he'd have stayed up all night swilling black coffee. He said goodnight to his roommate, went to sleep and dreamed. He dreamed about emerald eyes, and creamy white skin and Auburn hair and about lips, lips he was leaning into kiss when he woke up screaming. He was drenched in sweat and breathing like he just sprinted five miles, and crying out, "No, no, no."
He roommate jumped out of bed and grabbed him by his shoulders telling him to calm down, it was just a dream and telling him everything was okay. Arlen knew it wasn't okay, but he calmed down, and refused to talk about it when his roommate asked if he wanted to. He grabbed a towel and went to the showers. He stood under the steaming water until he felt as limp as a wilted flower stem, then crawled back into his damp bed to stare at the ceiling until it was time to get up.
He drank a lot of coffee and ate very little. He sat in each class and stared into oblivion until it was time to go to the next one. And then came his class with Pete. Arlen sat on the back row. Pete entered the room and went to the back of the room to sit next to him. He took one look at Arlen and shook his head.
"What's the matter with you?" Arlen asked belligerently.
Pete shook his head in answer, and then utter one word. A question. "Teddy?"
He wasn't expecting the response he got. ". Fuck off. Don't talk to me, faggot. Just leave me alone"
Pete turned red His anger boiled up and then cooled down as he looked around to see who might have been listening. He sighed with relief seeing everyone was involved with someone else. He moved to another seat and watched Arlen for the rest of the period.
Pete had had enough psych to figure out what was going on with his friend, but he could see no way to help him as long as
he was being hostile and denying the problem.
Arlen couldn't stand the thought of sitting through another class. It was 10:30, he'd never ditched classes before, but today he found himself standing in front of Gio Gio's Restaurant. He peeked through a front window. He saw a waiter setting up tables. He walked away cursing himself for being a faggot. But the vision of Teddy stayed in his mind.
Half a block down the street he turned and headed back to the restaurant. He stopped in the parking lot, took a deep breath and headed for the door in back. Opening the screen door he stepped through and looked around. He saw Gio at his desk studying some bills. Looking around he saw Ted at the stove stirring a big pot. He cleared his throat.
Teddy looked around. Seeing Arlen standing inside the door, he smiled, laid the spoon down and went over to him. Gio looked up when he heard Arlen cough and saw him standing inside the door. He stood and stepped around the desk, but stopped when he saw Teddy approaching Arlen like he knew him.
"Arlen, isn't it?" Teddy asked.
"Hi. What are you doing here?"
The question put Arlen on the defensive. He couldn't just admit he'd had to see Teddy again. Arlen looked down as the argument raged in his head, and then he looked up. "I didn't mean anything by what I said yesterday. I mean......well, you are really handsome. But I'm not gay, so don't make anything of it."
Teddy was caught completely off guard. "Okay." He waited for Arlen to say more, the body language and facial expressions weren't matching the words and he wondered what that was all about.
Arlen let his eyes flick over Teddy's face and started to say something more, but over Teddy's shoulder he saw that Gio had moved closer. He tightened his mouth. His eyes darted to the floor. "That's all." he growled. He pushed the screen door open and rushed out. Teddy stepped to the door and looked out. Arlen had stopped next to a car. He'd bent over gripping his middle like he had a bad stomach ache. Teddy glanced back at Gio. "I'll be right back. He walked up behind Arlen. "Are you all right?" he asked, laying a hand on his shoulder.
Without moving Arlen said, "Stay away from me, faggot."
Teddy was at first startled and then he remembered the look of raw lust on Arlen's face a minute before. He chuckled. "That's like the kettle calling the pot black, isn't it?"
Arlen straightened up and turned, yelling, "Fuck you," he drew back his fist and thrust it at Teddy's mouth, smashing the lips he wanted so badly to kiss. Then he ran.
Teddy fell backwards and hit his head on the hard pavement. He lay there a minute and then sat up. His head was spinning. Gio ran out and helped his to his feet. Blood dribbled down his chin from a cut lip. He spit out a gob of blood. Gio examined his mouth "You need to get some ice on that," he said, leading Teddy back inside. Gio made him sit down while he took a dish towel and wrapped some ice in it.
"He didn't hit me that hard. I fell more from surprise than the force of his fist," Teddy explained as he took the ice pack and held it against his mouth. "Damn, that hurts," he mumbled around it as he rubbed the back of his head.
"Where did you meet Arlen?" Gio asked. He was feeling very territorial.
"He was at Pete and Jason's last night when I got there."
"Is it true?"
"You didn't deny it when Arlen called you," Gio paused, "that name."
Anger filled Teddy. What had made him think that he could just start a new life with no repercussions from the old. He stood up and handed the towel and ice to Gio. "I'm sorry. I'll change and get out. I should have known this was just too good." He strode into the office and threw the locker door open. Grabbing his clothes he headed for the restroom to change.
Gio watched him walk into the office. He mentally kicked himself for being so forward. He stepped between Teddy and the restroom door and stopped him with a hand on his chest. Teddy looked down at it and back up at Gio. Gio frowned at him. "Teddy, I want you to stay. I was wrong to ask that. If I was going to be prejudiced it would be because you're straight."
"Straight or gay, what does it have to do with this job?"
"Nothing, Ted. I asked out of personal curiosity. I was to forward. I apologize."
Ted shook his head. The image of Gio being a homophobe one moment and then admitting making a move on his was too much. The physical movement of his head made him dizzy, he put a hand out to steady himself. Gio grabbed him around the waist. "Come sit back down. Arlen may not have hit you hard, but you have a big knot on the back of your head."
One of the waiters coming on duty walked through the door. Gio smiled at him. "Jimmy, do you have your car here?"
"Of course, Gio."
"Would you please drive Teddy home? He bumped his head and is feeling dizzy."
"No problem, Gio."
"Teddy, I want you to go lay down until this dizzy goes away. I will see you in the morning."
"I am okay, Gio, really."
"No, I cannot have you working around hot things right now. Tomorrow, if the dizziness has gone, you can come to work."
Teddy sighed. "Alright, Gio. I'll go." He knew the kitchen to be a dangerous place, and to be working around boiling pots and having a dizzy spell could be disastrous.
(Note to Reader: you may want to go back to the last 3rd of Chapter 28 and refresh your memory on the history between
Tim and his parents)
Tim was beside himself waiting for his parents to deplane. He still hadn't spoken to them, all communication had been with Johnny as intermediary . He wondered if there would be a scene. Well, even if he walked away again he'd sent them round trip tickets so they could just head back home.
It had been nearly two years since he'd graduated from high school. When his parents hadn't attended his graduation ceremony, he gone home, packed, and left, not even saying goodby. He left them no clue as to where he had gone, only a note saying that since they couldn't love and accept him he was gone.
Now he was going to be meeting them face to face. How would he react? How would they react? If it wasn't for his love for Johnny he thought he might just run and hide again.
There they were, they hadn't seen him yet. Tears came to his eyes. He furiously wiped them. Dammit they were not going to see him cry. The joy on their faces when they saw him, filled him with a long missed emotion. He loved his parents. He was happy to see them in spite of the way he'd left home.
His mother rushed into his arms hugging and kissing him. They were both crying. "Oh, Timmy, it's so good to hold you again. I love you, Son."
"I love you too, Mom. I've missed you so much."
He looked up at his dad and was surprised to see tears in his eyes too. "My turn, Mother. Let me have a go at my son." His dad grabbed him in a hard hug.
"Can you ever forgive a couple of old fools that were taken in by religious hogwash?" he whispered in Tim's ear.
"Yes, Dad. It's so good to see you again."
They claimed their luggage and Tim lead them out to his Camero.
"You finally got it," His dad said, admiring the sleek pickup. "How much did it cost you, Tim?"
"It was a gift, Dad."
"John gave it to you?"
"No, his brother-in-law, Dave Gates, did."
"I've heard that name somewhere before."
"I'm sure you have, Dad. His name has been in the news a lot recently."
"So what did you do to deserve such a gift?"
"You'll have to get Dave to tell you."
"So we will be meeting this Dave Gates?"
"Actually, Dad, he and his partner will be your hosts while you are here."
"Partner, as in Johnny is yours?"
Tim looked at his parents. His mother sitting in the middle of the bench seat, studying her hands. His dad was leaning forward to see around his wife. He looked Tim in the eyes. Tim tried to think of the last time that had happened. It seemed that his dad had been ashamed of him for a long time before he came out to them. He held his dad's look. "I hope that won't be a problem for you. You'll actually have your own condo to stay in."
"We won't be having any problem with it, Son," his dad said, as he took his wife's hand in his own and rubbed it soothingly. She glanced up at her husband then looked up at Tim, smiled and nodded her head.
Tim turned off the freeway and headed toward the Tower. As they passed the University campus he pointed it out to them.
"This is where I go to school."
"We don't even know what you are majoring in, Timmy." his mother said, staring out the window at all the impressive architecture.
"Law enforcement, Mom. I was going to be a policeman, but Dave has offered me a position with his security force when I graduate. I will probably take him up on it. I still have two years of school so I have plenty of time to make up my mind."
"Oh, look, what a beautiful building." she said, pointing at The Tower. "It's so light and airy. There are full grown trees on top of it. Oh, my."
Tim wondered for a moment if his mother had paid any attention to what he had just told them, and then recalled the first time he had seen the tower and his reaction to it. "That's where you will be staying. Three floors from the top."
"Oh, my." she said.
"You have some impressive friends, Son, I must say," his dad said.
"It was totally serendipitous, Dad. I had a job as a security guard on the desk in the Tower. Dave and Joe met and Dave moved into the penthouse with him. They call it the Eyrie. That's an eagle's nest. Joe Paolini, is Johnny's brother. He's the man who designed and built this building. And then the mother of Dave's deceased lover had him kidnapped. That was when I met Johnny. He was a police detective at the time."
Tim took a deep breath and let it out as he pulled his Camero under the portico. He grabbed the luggage and lead his parents to the door. The guard on duty recognized Tim and released the it for them to enter.
"Hi Mark, these are my parents, Tim and Edie McFaden. They will be staying in 29A for a couple of weeks."
"Hey Tim." Mark nodded to the McFadens. "It's nice to meet you folks. Dave told me to be expecting you. I believe he'll be there to meet you."
He helped Tim and his dad carry the luggage into the elevator. When the door closed Tim told his parents that Mark had taken over his old job when he quit.
"Why did you quit, son? It looks like an easy job. You have to work to support yourself, especially while going to college."
"Not any more, Dad. I had my choice of scholarships when I graduated. I only had to work for spending money and enough to pay for my books. I'm attending school full time and keeping a 4.1 grade average."
"Well, the money we put aside for your education is just sitting in the bank accruing interest. It's all yours, Tim."
"I don't need it, Dad. Why don't you and Mom use it? Take a vacation. Go to Hawaii or someplace."
Edie had been following along, ogling all the clean lines and rich appointments in the building, acting like she wasn't really paying any attention to the conversation. When they stepped into the condo she had gone to the floor to ceiling windows looking over downtown.
"Oh my, I've never been so high up," she said, then she turned and glared at her son. "Timothy Michael McFaden, your father and I scrimped and saved for years to get that money for your education. How dare you refuse to take it. We know we were wrong in our response when you told us you are a-a----."
"Gay, Mom. The word is gay."
"Edie, please. It's Tim's right to refuse it if he feels he must."
"Dad, you don't understand. I really do appreciate what you and Mom had to do to save that money for me, but I don't need it. I've got all the money I could ever want."
"You are right. I don't understand. Where would you get that kind of money?"
"I can't say that I deserved it, but it was a reward."
"Yes, along with the Camero."
"So this Dave person gave you a huge sum of money as a reward. For what?"
"For helping him out."
"For helping him out," his dad repeated.
"I take it you aren't going to explain."
"Ask Johnny or Dave. I find it embarrassing."
"I shall. I'm not sure I approve of you taking that kind of money."
"It's not up for your approval, Dad. I am twenty-one."
"You're still my son. I brought you up knowing that you work for what you get in life. Nothing is free. Sounds to me like this Dave has bought you. You bring more shame on us."
"I knew it. I knew you were still ashamed of me for being something I have no choice in. You condemn me not even knowing the facts. I don't understand why you even bothered to come if you're so ashamed of me. You know what? I'm out of here. You've got your return tickets so you can leave anytime you want."
Tim slammed the door and pushed the button for the elevator. It had been called back down apparently, it didn't open immediately. Impatient to be away from his parents Tim turned to the stairwell using his personal key to enter. Taking the stairs two at a time, he ended up in the outer foyer to the Eyrie. He stood looking back and forth between the two exit doors for several moments and chose the one to the outside. He walked over to a chaise longue by the pool and collapsed on it.
Once Arlen got around the front of the restaurant, he ducked into the alley and slumped against the wall. He slid down it until he was sitting with his legs drawn up against his chest.
'What in hell just happened? Did I ever freak out. I hit him. Why did I hit him? I didn't mean to. Oh God, why me? Why can't I get him out of my mind. When he touched my back it was like nothing I've ever felt. Why does his touch do that to me? I'm not a fag, I'm not a fag. I don't want to be a fag. I don't want to be a fag.'
'Damn, why did someone have to come along right now to see me sitting here in the alley like a bum. I must look like hell.'He looked up to see who had said his name. 'Oh hell, it's Dave Gates.' "Hi, Mr. Gates."
"Why are you sitting in the alley? Are you alright?"
"Yes sir, I'm okay," Arlen said, standing and dusting his butt off.
"You look like you just lost your best friend."
"Nah, I'm alright."
"Okay, just remember if you need someone to talk to I am willing to listen and help if I can."
"Thanks, Mr Gates. I appreciate it."
"I'm serious. I am here for you. And call me Dave."
"Thanks, sir, but my father would shoot me if he heard me call you by your first name."
"Your dad's in New York. He doesn't have to know. I won't tell him." Dave grinned.
"Well, take care," Dave said ,turning to leave. If Arlen didn't want to talk there was no point is pushing him. He got nearly to the door of the restaurant when Arlen caught up with him. "Dave, actually I do need to talk. If you have the time."
"Of course, I've got the time. Let's go in here. Gio's always got some good coffee."
"Anywhere except in there." The vehemence startled Dave, but he took it in stride, knowing that Arlen was needing to talk. "Would you like to stop for a cup of coffee at the bookstore?" he asked.
Arlen looked at the ground and kicked his toe against the concrete. "Ah, could we talk somewhere more private?"
"I've got just the place. How about my office in the bookstore. Nobody will disturb us and no one can overhear."
"And you have to stop thanking me."
Pete was sitting at the kitchen table when Teddy walked in to get some ice to put on his mouth which was now quite swollen. Pete looked up at him and his mouth fell open. "Oh God, don't tell me. It was Arlen wasn't it?"
"What kind of psycho nut is he any way? Yesterday he was flirting with me and today he punched me in the mouth."
"He's in denial. He's trying to come out of the closet."
"Well, tell him to stay in his damned closet if that's the way he's going to react to being gay. I didn't make a move of any kind on him." He got his ice and headed for his bedroom, and ran into Jason coming down the stairs.
"Good grief. Did Gio hit you with a pot?"
"Funny, Little Man. Arlen thought I was too pretty, I guess."
"Oh no, I had a feeling that he was disturbed when he left here night before last."
"That's understating it," Teddy growled heading back into his room.
He'd developed a headache. He'd moved the ice pack from his lips to the back of his head. He lay in his darkened room listening to the big blonde cop and his boyfriend carry on in the next room. He couldn't make out the words, but the sounds and tone of voices made it clear they were enjoying each other's company. He'd briefly met Charley a couple of days ago, and he wondered if his partner was as good looking as him. Jason had said something about him writing a best seller with a gay theme. He decided he would read it as soon as he had time.
He lay there wondering why Gio was interested in whether he was gay or not. Whether Gio was or not didn't matter much
at the moment. Teddy still found him hot, and he wasn't about to make any kind of move on his employer.
Dave introduce Arlen to Sue and asked that they not be disturb. He led Arlen into his office, which he rarely used anymore, and closed the door.
"Wouldn't it be better to leave the door open?" Arlen asked.
"Are you claustrophobic?"
"No sir, It's just that someone might.... uh... You know. They might think we're doing something."
"We are, Arlen, we're having coffee and talking. But if you'd be more comfortable, open the door. I don't mind. I just thought you wanted privacy."
Arlen blushed. "I'm sorry. I'm new to this. It's okay closed."
"It's up to you."
"No, it's okay."
Dave had two big high-backed leather wing chairs in his office. He motioned for Arlen to sit in one and he sat in the other. He sipped his coffee and acted like that's all they were doing. Arlen sipped his coffee and set it on the little side table next to his chair. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and rubbed his hands together. "You won't tell my dad about what we say here, will you?" he asked.
"Not unless you were to tell me to. You have my complete confidence."
"Thank you. The reason I asked to talk to you is that you are someone I admire. You're a normal acting guy. No one would know you're gay unless they were told." He looked up at Dave. Dave nodded. "I want to be like you, since I have no choice."
"No choice in what?" Dave asked.
Arlen took a moment before he looked up at him. There were tears in his eyes. "I don't want to be....gay. I can't help it, I am. I'm gay." Arlen covered his face and sobbed. "I wasn't given a choice."
"Arlen. Arlen look at me." Arlen looked up. "Do you think that anyone would choose to be gay?
Arlen scrubbed the tears off his face. He looked at Dave again. "I guess it would be kind of dumb wouldn't it."
"In this society it wouldn't be a smart choice."
Arlen stared at the floor. "I wonder how my dad will take the news. I've always been this jock, it's going to be a shock to him."
"Why? Are you going to turn into a twinkle toes?" Dave asked with a grin.
"Hell no. I'll still be me. I am still me, football jock, Arlen Aldridge."
"I believe that Carl will still love you, and be proud of you just as much as he always has. Your mother, too."
"God, I hope so. Right now I feel like such a big disappointment."
"They won't see you that way at all. Your parents love you, Arlen. You'll still be their son."
"I know you're right, Dave. I've got the best parents in the world."
"So are you feeling better?"
"Something is still bothering you?"
He nodded. "I met this fellow a couple of days ago. He's so handsome. I keep thinking about him. Makes me crazy. I had just punched him in the face when you saw me in the alley."
Dave stared openmouthed at Arlen. "Somehow I don't think your dad would be very proud of that."
"I'm not either."
"Who is the young man?"
"He's working for Gio in the kitchen."
"That's where I was going when I ran into you. Gio had asked me to come meet him. He wants to rent a room with Pete and Jason. Why don't you come with me. You do want to apologize to him, don't you?"
"You want more coffee?"
"Let's go then."
Gio was in the kitchen by himself when Dave stuck his head through the door and called out to him. He was all smiles as he walked over to Dave and gave him a big hug. Arlen watched feeling envious.
"I came to meet your new chef. I hear he's very handsome."
"And who told you that?" Gio asked with a big grin.
Dave stepped back so Gio could see Arlen who had his head down.
"You." Gio exclaimed.
Arlen looked up at him. "I came to apologize."
"I sent Teddy home to bed. He hit his head when he fell and was getting dizzy. Now my kitchen, I have to work by myself tonight."
"I'm sorry Gio. It's all my fault."
"Yes it is." Gio agreed.
"Gio, Arlen is having a difficult time dealing with some personal problems. Give him a little slack," Dave interjected.
"What kind of problems makes people hit someone in the face when they show concern?"
"I'm sorry, Gio. I didn't mean to hit him," Arlen said, stepping up next to Dave."
"You go tell him you're sorry," Gio said, stabbing a finger into Arlen's chest.
Arlen nodded and left, downcast.
Dave turned to Gio after watching Arlen leave. "You shouldn't be so hard on the kid. He's just discovering that he is gay and he has the hots for your new chef. What is his name, anyway?"
"Ted. Ted Edwards."
Dave saw the look on Gio's face. "This guy must be something. You've got the hots for him, too, don't you."
"Dave I've seen pictures of beautiful Irish lasses with their auburn hair. Teddy puts them to shame. But he's all man."
Dave grinned at the lust in Gio's eyes. "You were saying something about him renting from me? I don't have any rentals."
"He's staying at Pete and Jason's, your old house. I thought maybe he could rent a bedroom and share the house with the boys."
"How do they feel about it? It is their place after all."
"I guess you should ask them." Gio said.
"So he's a chef, you said?" Dave asked.
"Cordon Bleu, Paris."
Dave hadn't been back in the Eyrie a half hour before he heard the chime indicating the stairwell door had been opened and went looking to see who had come up at this hour of the morning.
Roger had been sitting in the living room reading. When the door into the foyer didn't open he assumed who ever had come up had gone into the pool area. He stepped through the door into the stair well and out the other and saw Tim flop into a chaise. As he started toward him to greet him he saw Dave step out through the kitchen door. He waved at Dave to get his attention and pointed at Tim. Dave saw Tim lying, with an arm thrown over his eyes, in a chaise by the pool, and waved Roger away. He sat down on the edge of the chaise placing a hand on Tim's chest. "Tim? Are you alright?" he asked.
"No, I'm not alright. My parents are downstairs," Tim answered without lifting his arm from his eyes to acknowledge Dave.
"Oh, I was going to be there when you arrived. I got busy and forgot all about it."
Tim spilled the whole conversation he'd just had with his parents.
"Would you mind if I talked to them?" Dave asked.
"It wouldn't do any good. Their bigotry is too ingrained. They'll never change. I don't know why I let them sucker me into this. Damn Johnny. Why couldn't he have left things alone?"
Dave patted Tim's arm which was still over his eyes.
"I'll be back."
Tim humphed in answer.
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