West Otter Lake
Copyright© 2013 – Nicholas Hall
West Otter Lake – Chapter Twenty-Two - "In the world of wolves, howl or get eaten."- (Michael Talbot –`To the Ends of the Earth')
Craig disconnected the call as I stepped out on the porch, joining them.
"Yeah, I'm nosey, I know! Are you certain, Craig, your mother's the one behind this bullshit?"
"Pretty certain; especially when I think of all the threats she made when I came back from California and then moved up here. I've received a number of phone calls and letters from her, all loaded with propaganda how gays can be "re-oriented," "re-educated," if only they would have proper guidance in a Christian surrounding and be isolated from the depravity around them; or, as she so adroitly put it, `it's the only way to save my soul!' I've heard her talk in the past about what happens on those `campuses' and I want no part of it."
"Don't you think you'd better let the cops know who you suspect?"
Loren, listening intently to our conversation, joined at that point. "I don't think that's necessary. I don't think they'll be bothering Craig again. After all, we really don't want to accuse someone falsely and bring down more problems on Craig, do we?"
"You seem fairly certain of that, don't you?"
Loren nodded confidently, a look of certainty on his face and steeliness in his eyes I'd not seen in him before.
Not wanting to give up, I pushed again! "Craig, the police will get some leads if they locate the van. Their forensic experts can come up with all kinds of evidence and then they'll be all over you like white on rice for withholding evidence."
"I'll bet they don't," he grunted knowingly and the two of them walked back into the house, Loren's hand and arm wrapped around the back and waist of his lover.
The mini-van was found, abandoned on a logging road in a remote part of the National Forest about forty miles from the Resort. It smelled of wasp spray, but no fingerprints, hair, or any evidence of human occupancy was discovered. A check of the VIN number indicated the vehicle was stolen three days before in the Chicago area and had stolen plates on it. As far as the local law was concerned, it appeared to be a mysterious dead-end, but the sheriff informed me "the case was still open and active." I think that's a polite way for a politician (our sheriff's elected) to say he doesn't have a fucking clue!
A week later, while checking on the anticipated incoming guests who'd made reservations, a black SUV pulled up in front of the office. Two men, one younger and the other older, emerged. The older gentleman opened the door for the younger one and followed him up the steps into the office. They carried themselves with that air about them which stated plainly; "if you fuck with a truck, you get run over!" A chill wandered up and down my spine as I rose to greet them.
"Is Lorenzo Palistrini home today?" inquired the younger.
"May I ask who is seeking him?"
"His cousin, Gio."
Giving Craig a shout on the two-way radio that Loren's cousin Gio was in the office and would like to see him, I watched as Gio and his companion wandered from the office into the Great Room and surveyed the interior of the Lodge open to their view, with respect and pleasure.
"Nice place," commented Gio.
Before I could reply, Loren bounded in through the office into the Great Room, excited and happy at seeing his cousin.
"Ciao, Gio; che piracere vedicti! (How nice to see you)
"Come stai?" responded Gio with a grin.
"Malto bene, grazie!"
Turning to Gio's companion, Loren nodded his head. "Ciao, Freddy," and extended his hand and accepted the man's hand in return. Overjoyed at the visit of his cousin, Loren blushed and apologized realizing he'd failed to introduce me to our visitors.
"Conner, this is my cousin Giovanni Marchetti and his driver, Alfredo," and turning to me, "Conner Johnson, the owner of the Resort."
Craig, standing to the side, stepped forward at Loren's invitation, extended his hand to Gio when he was introduced as "my boyfriend."
"Now, Gio, what brings you this far north; not just a little ride in the country, no?"
"I thought I'd like to meet the handsome young stud you blathered on about on the phone and bring you some good news about that little problem you thought you had," and the four of them left the office for a walk, on the pretext of looking over the cabins and campground. Gio, Loren, and Craig led while Freddy brought up the rear, about three steps behind Gio.
Well, twist my tittie, jiggle my balls, and shoot my wad, I suddenly felt as though I was in the movie "The Godfather." I decided not to eves drop on the conversation, just in case. I don't like cement shoes or dead horses in my bed. Having a stud in my bed such as my lover Leandro, plowing my ass on a regular basis is sufficient, thank you very much!
Leandro stepped into the office, curious about the black SUV in the drive. Before long, we were joined by Ollie, Luis, and the Twins, all of us sneaking furtive peeks toward the campground in expectation of the return of our visitors. We were rewarded when Craig and Loren came back in with Gio and Freddy. I offered an invitation to lunch with us, but Gio declined, begging the need to return home. Leandro and I agreed, Loren's cousin was just as handsome, if not more so, than Loren.
At lunch, while the rest of us were circumspect concerning Gio's visit, not so the Twins! They had a jillion questions for Loren.
"Loren," Terell exclaimed, "that Freddy fella had a big gun under his coat in a holster on his belt."
"Yeah," sputtered Treyvon, "I saw it when he opened the car door for Gio. Do you suppose he's a body guard or cop or something?"
Loren looked at the boys, smiled, and answered, "Probably something like that," and changed the subject. "Hey, guys, I promised Craig I'd help him this afternoon so we'd better finish up and get to work."
Cedric and Mae stopped in the office later in the afternoon. We weren't busy, but I always welcome a little relief. The Twins were in the campground with Leandro; Ollie and Luis were manning the bait shop and dock, and, since the bar wasn't busy, Craig and Loren were inventorying our alcohol supply. We were trying to use up what we had and not order too much ahead. The Resort would be closing the first of October and the only big event scheduled was the wedding.
Mae smiled, "Had visitors, did we?"
"Loren's cousin from somewhere down state or farther south, I think."
"Rockford," Mae said matter-of-factly, bringing me to full attention.
Nodding, "Yep, Gio Marchetti; part of a rather well-known family in the area; need I say more?"
There was no need for her to continue elucidating me with her knowledge of the family and by the looks on Cedric's face, he wasn't altogether unfamiliar with Gio's family either.
I heard our bedroom door open quietly around midnight. I barely can remember the nights when it was just me in my bed. Now days, it seems at least once a week, Leandro and I have company. There are times the intrusion puts a serious damper on our fucking, but that goes with having the large and close family that we do, so we welcome it. Tonight it was Ollie and Luis standing, bare to the bone, in the doorway.
"Come in boys," I urged.
The scuttled across the floor and crawled in with us; Ollie next to me on one side and Luis between Leandro and me on the other. Ollie snuggled his naked body up against mine while Luis did the same to his brother. Snaking my arm around Ollie and cradling his head on my shoulder, I asked softly, "What's the trouble, Brother?"
"Luis and I been talking and I think I need to talk to you about something."
"He's not pregnant, is he?"
"No, you silly goose," Ollie snorted swatting me on the abdomen just above my pubes.
"Not from a lack of trying," giggled Luis from the other side.
Ollie shushed him and continued: "I overheard Craig and Loren this afternoon talking about a phone call Loren made to his cousin after those guys tried to kidnap Craig and asked him to `pay a friendly visit' to Uncle Rob and Aunt Vicki. From what I heard, the `visit' must've scared the b-Jesus out of them `cause Loren told Craig `they won't be bothering you again if they know what's good for them.' I couldn't think of any reason he would've said that unless Uncle Rob and Aunt Vicki had something to do with those thugs showing up here. If they did, shouldn't we tell the police?"
Raising his head, looking at me expectantly, throwing a leg over mine, resting warmly up against me, Ollie waited for an answer. He was correct; legally, the police should be contacted if Craig had real proof, to do otherwise would be obstruction of justice. I considered that initially, but it just might boil down to a case of "he said-she said" and just confuse the investigation. The cops just might be able to make a case, yet on the other hand, Loren's method of solving the problem might be more effective and serve justice more appropriately. I was in just as much of a quandary as Ollie.
"If they were, Ollie, and if we could prove it, that's probably the right thing to do, but can we prove it? Even then, do you think it might stop what's happening?"
"Why would Uncle Rob and Aunt Vickie even want to hurt him and do something like that; because he's gay and has a boyfriend?"
"Some people, for whatever reason, religious mostly, think it's unnatural for people to love someone of the same sex and make every effort to change them or persecute them. In some cases, they even murder them."
"I don't know, Ollie, unless its ignorance or misunderstanding, I'm not certain."
"Grandma knew I was gay and she didn't try to change me and she knew Uncle Riedel was gay and didn't try to change him. Why?"
"I think, Ollie, because she loved him and you so much, she wanted only for you to be what you are and love whom you like. I think that's what all of us should do; accept people for what they are, no more, no less, and love them for it. I know that's what I want for you and Luis and for the Twins as well."
Ollie was quiet, thinking, but while he was thinking, he was drawing little circles around my belly button and it was having definite effects on me. I think it was something he probably did absent-mindedly while lying in bed with Luis.
"Conner, I think the Twins are gay too."
"What makes you think that?"
"Just the way they are; something tells me maybe they are."
"Does that bother you?
"Uncle Riedel used to hold me like this when I had a bad dream or had a problem I couldn't figure out or just got lonely. I'd snuggle up to him like this; it always felt so good to have him hold me and tell me everything was going to be alright. He never did anything to me although he'd spring a bone every now and then and me too."
He definitely was right on there; his `ginormous dick' was resting up against my thigh as he talked.
"Does it bother you, Conner?"
"No, Ollie, you're my brother and I love you."
Ollie lay there for a minute more, raised his head again and asked, "Conner, do you think Gio and that Freddy fella are gangsters or something?"
"What do you think?"
"I don't want to know!"
"Then let's keep this another one of our family secrets, shall we?"
Ollie was beyond responding, his head rested on my chest, breathing deeply, sound asleep. A slight snoring sound emanated from Luis signaling he was in slumber land also. The boys would sleep safe now in their brothers' arms, safe from all demons and bad guys, imagined or real.
Four o'clock in the morning, leaving my chest wet from his sleepy drool, Ollie muttered, "I gotta piss!" and crawled out of bed.
"Me too," echoed Luis and joined him heading down the hall to their room. I scooted myself closer to Leandro, draped a leg over his abdomen, resting my knee on his flaccid cock, put my head on his shoulder and fell back asleep, also safe from any imagined demons or villains.
Another week went by and the sheriff's department continued to report no progress, but Craig did receive an interesting letter from his brother Allen, who was a couple of years older than him. All it said was, "Keep up the fight; God loves all his children. Just like `Silent Night,' Brother; all is calm. Love, Allen."
We were kept busy preparing for Mae and Cedric's wedding along with running the Resort. Luckily, the fall fishermen and grouse hunters we had in the cabins weren't too demanding and easy to accommodate. Half of the cabins were rented and maybe a half dozen campsites so our work load was drastically reduced. Invitations were sent to all seven of Cedric's children and Mae's sister and husband, with urgent pleas to notify us if they were planning on attending and how many would be with them. Each cabin had three bedrooms and could accommodate more if they brought sleeping bags. For that weekend, Terell and Treyvon would move to Ollie's room and Craig and Loren to the twin's room next to us, leaving two rooms open in the Lodge. Adults could take them or they could become dorm rooms for young people.
Mae's sister, Louisa, and husband were the only ones she invited and were attending, so we set aside the cabin nearest Mae's cottage for them. Louisa was to be the maid of honor. The Twins, in addition to bearing the rings, would give their grandmother away. Craig and Loren would usher and Leandro and I'd handle the reception. I contracted with a lady in Otter Lake to prepare a small tiered wedding cake and sheet cakes for the wedding and contracted with a caterer in Parsonville to cater the reception. Loren had a friend who was a photographer and he agreed to take the pictures.
The Resort was empty the week before the wedding. Louisa and her husband arrived that Wednesday and for the rest of the week, Mae and Louisa were inseparable, each excited to see the other. They really had a joyous time, catching up on gossip, walking around the resort, and just plain enjoying each other's company. Thursday afternoon, I invited Lester, Louisa's husband, to the bar for a beer and quietly paid him the balance Mae owed him for the car she bought when she came up here. He insisted there was no need, but I was equally as insistent, and he accepted the money. As I explained to him, she was so good to all of us, this was the very least we could do for her.
Cedric planned a whole hog barbeque Friday evening after his family arrived. Where he found someone to cater that event up here, I'll never know, although Mae hinted it was "through his military connections," whatever that meant. The caterer put the one hundred twenty pound pig on the rotary spit before dawn and promised it'd be done by supper at five o'clock. As it cooked throughout the day, I swear I never smelled anything anymore delectable, unless it was when I nuzzling my nose around Leandro's turgid rod.
Cedric's family, all seven children, spouses and their children and spouses (for those married) began arriving shortly after noon on Friday. Terell and Treyvon, dressed in their West Otter Lake shirts and pants, became the official guides, escorting each group of arriving guests to their cabins or, in the case of two of them, campsites. Ollie, Luis, and I greeted each family group on arrival and Leandro, Craig, and Loren hustled around parking cars, handling luggage, and answering questions. Cedric had twenty-six grandchildren and four of the oldest were married. The families filled the cabins and the two rooms in the Lodge.
Christopher, the oldest, was to be the best man. His family of four, which included the two married ones, flew in from Denver where he was a doctor of internal medicine at a large clinic. Edward, a lawyer, traveled from Minneapolis with his three children, one married, in a motor home. Marcus, the third oldest, an emergency room trauma doctor, drove up from Detroit in a motor home with his four children, one married. Lenora (Wilson) Blackwell, PhD., her husband, and their three children drove up from Lincoln, Nebraska where she was employed at the University. Shawnte, a small business consultant and lobbyist, flew in from D.C. with his four children. Cedric's youngest son, Deshone, a CPA with three children, drove up from Des Moines.
The BBQ supper at five was a joyous affair! Not only was the pork mouth-wateringly delicious, but the ambiance, the atmosphere was beyond description! I should like to think it was the sunset and pleasant evening, the natural setting surrounding the resort, and the Resort itself which caused it, but that really wasn't the case! The Wilson Family busied themselves eating, greeting each other, catching up on gossip, hugging Mae, and laughing and laughing and laughing! The adults were so compatible, so accepting and loving of each other, it just didn't appear there was any problem or burden one had the others couldn't help but solve or carry.
Ollie and Luis drifted with a group of teens their own age and soon were drawn into the gaiety of the occasion. Terell and Treyvon sorted out the like-aged youngsters and soon, they became the leaders of the pack. Leandro and I and Craig and Loren had little to do but enjoy ourselves as well. It didn't take long for the pork and all of the side dishes to disappear down into the depths of hungry and appreciative stomachs. I feared the cleanup, but not to worry! As a family, the Wilsons pitched in and had the tables cleaned and hauled back into the Lodge; the garbage bagged and carted off to the dumpsters, before I had a chance to gather my wits about me. Quite a family, I must admit!
I overheard Terell and Treyvon regaling the group of boys and girls their age with tales of encountering bears. They weren't retelling it quite the way I remember it, but I guess they're allowed a little poetic license. I did notice they left out the part where Treyvon shit his pants, but if the stories were effective in helping our guests keep the area clean so we didn't attract critters, fine!
It was full dark when we were done with the meal and clean-up. I thought everyone, now that tummies were full and night here, would quietly retire, but I was mistaken! I heard the garden tractor start up and soon saw its headlights come to a halt by the wood pile, heard shouts and loud thumping of chunks of wood being loaded, and Luis shout "Everybody hold on!" Around the Lodge it came, loaded with wood and kids; Luis driving and Ollie standing on the hitch holding with his arms around Luis, as they headed toward the campsite where Edward's motor home was parked.
Leandro, Craig, Loren, and I finished up in the kitchen putting left-overs, what few there were, in the refrigerators, made some last minutes preparations in the Great Room and meeting room for the wedding and reception the next day, and meandered our way down to Edward's campsite where a large campfire was blazing and everyone was gathered around it or near his or Marcus's motorhome. They were doing "somores" and hot chocolate and a couple of Cedric's grandchildren had guitars out, leading those who wanted to, in song. The adults or older youngsters were helping the younger ones toast marsh-mellows and smoosch the hot sweets down on a piece of chocolate bar between two graham crackers.
Mae and Cedric were the center of attention. I don't know how many times I witnessed a youngster go up and kiss his or her grandfather, reintroduce themselves to Mae, and accept a hug from her and him. Ollie and Luis and the Twins were having a grand time, so tonight wasn't a night we'd insist on bedtime as usual. The night and the next day were going to most unusual and they may as well enjoy it. I figured Cedric, at some point, would put a halt to the festivities, but it wasn't him who did. When somores were done and the younger crowd began yawning, Christopher merely announced, "It's time!" and the youngsters bade everyone goodnight and began leaving, again with the older ones taking charge of the younger ones.
It was plain to see, as they left for bed, Ollie and Luis' room, along with Terell and Treyvon's, it was going to become giant slumber parties as kids hustled around with blankets and pillows and headed for the Lodge. It was good to see the boys enjoying themselves with their new friends. Craig, Loren, Leandro, and I added our farewells and headed for our rooms, leaving the adult Wilson's to visit among themselves.
We locked our bedroom doors that night! There was no way, with this many strangers and young people wandering about I was going to take any chance of someone popping in, finding me on my hands and knees playing "Mumbly-peg" with Leandro burying his "peg" in my "mumbly" or engaged in a game of "Ring around the Rosie," amidst giggles and slurping, or "Round and Round the Mulberry Bush" with my tongue lapping Leandro's "mulberry" while my nose tickled his bush on each pass; nope, not tonight folks!
To be continued
Thank you for reading "West Otter Lake – Chapter Twenty-Two - "In the world of wolves, howl or get eaten."- (Michael Talbot –`To the Ends of the Earth')
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