Jolan's Path - Chapter 104
The following story is fictional and is intended for an adult audience. It is not meant to suggest anything about the sexuality of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrities included in this story. This story is fiction, meaning not real. It's all for fun. If you are under age, it is illegal in your country, or you don't like stories about gay sex, please stop reading this now.
Justin's eyes opened, the man moving in bed.
His arm went out, feeling the emptiness surrounding him.
He slowly moved, sitting up, looking around the bedroom, finding himself alone in bed.
A soft light was creeping into the room from the wall of paned windows, darkness slowly giving way to dawn's light.
His eyes took in a darkness against the rising light, focusing on his Jolan standing out on the balcony.
Justin rose up, grabbing his robe off the chair beside the bed, slipping it on over his nude body.
He tied the robe, slipping his feet into a pair of slippers.
He walked over to the center glass door, opening it and slipping out onto the balcony.
He instantly felt the coldness, even on the stone balcony's floor, even though it was carpeted.
He was glad he'd put on the slippers.
He snuggled his robe around himself, walking over to his man, his arms going around Jolan's robed body.
"It's freezing out here, my love."
"The coldness of life warms with love." Jolan softly said, Justin's eyes looking out into the snowy whiteness.
"Merry Christmas, My Jo." he said, kissing Jolan's cheek, his man turning in his arms, Justin staring into his moist grey eyes.
"Merry Christmas, My Justin." Jolan said, his head sinking into Justin's chest, Justin's arms tightening around him.
"What's wrong, my love? It's Christmas morning."
"I'm scared, Jus."
Justin felt surprised by Jolan's sudden words, Justin tightening his hold on him.
"Scared of what, my love?"
Jolan's head raised, the man stepping back a bit, Justin seeing the tears still in his grey eyes.
"I have all of these feelings within me. These feelings of destiny and compliance. I feel as if everything I do is now preordained, everything set in stone. I feel that I've fallen back onto their path. Their path of destiny. I'm fighting it, Justin. I'm fighting their path and what they want of me."
Justin stared at Jolan, his arms pulling him against him.
"What's going on, Jo? What has you so emotional on
this Christmas day of love?"
Jolan's eyes met Justin's, Justin moving forward, kissing his lips tenderly.
Jolan felt Justin's love sinking into him, his lover's special touch trying to wash away his pain and worry.
They separated, Jolan staring into his blue eyes.
"Let's talk inside, Jo. It's freezing out here."
Jolan let go of Justin's body, walking over to the stone railing, looking out on the dawning whiteness of the Dragosan lands.
"He's here, Justin. I feel him here."
Justin stared at Jolan, seeing his lover's gaze searching the grounds.
"My father. My father's here, Justin."
Justin walked over to Jolan, his arms going around him again.
"You feel him? You think he's here hidden within
"I don't know, Jus. I just have a deep sense within my soul that he's very close."
Justin's arms tightened around him.
"Do you feel he's in danger? Is something out there?" Justin said, his eyes scanning around.
Jolan's arms went around his lover, looking into Justin's blue eyes.
"No, Jus. I don't feel danger. I feel the opposite."
"The opposite, Jo?"
"I feel only love, Justin. Total unending love."
Jolan looked at Justin for a moment, then turned walking towards the glass doorway.
Justin stared after him, sighing and following him inside.
Jolan stood by the fireplace, warming his hands in front of its dying embers.
He stared up at the antique clock seated on the mantle.
It read five minutes after seven.
"Our son will be up soon. So will the other kids, big and small." he softly said, Justin walking up to him, pulling him into his arms.
"I love you, Jolan. Please tell me what's bothering you."
Jolan's eyes met Justin's.
"I feel love, Justin. A deep entrenched love. I've felt it from the moment I walked into this home. I think it's my father's love."
Justin's hand went to Jolan's shoulder.
"And if it is, why does that scare you?"
Jolan's grey eyes met Justin's.
"Because I believe in my heart I'm not worthy of having that love."
Jolan sat down in the wing chair beside the fireplace, Justin staring at him.
Justin knelt down in front of Jolan's seated form, taking his hands in his.
"Oh, Jo. That's so not true." he said, Justin seeing the tears in Jolan's eyes.
"I know in my heart I've hurt him, Jus. Him and my mother. I sent them into a virtual prison somewhere. I've closed them off from their once lives of love. I'm not strong like him. I wasn't strong enough to save my family!" Jolan said, his body trembling, Justin feeling it in his hands.
"Jolan, my love. You are the strongest man I have
ever met. And you did save your family. On that night of pain you did a beautiful thing. You did a just and
courageous thing. You sent your parents out of harm's way. You gave them the
only chance at life they had. For without your courage they surely would have
died that night. And you saved Jennie in your own way also. You separated her
soul from her body, saving her from the pain of her soon to be tragic existence.
You now have Jennie back in your arms of love. You saved your family, Jolan. You saved them with your love."
Jolan began to cry, falling into Justin's arms.
"I miss them so much! It's Christmas and I don't have them with me!" he sobbed, Justin suddenly realizing the depth of Jolan's loss.
And what this day now revealed.
It was Christmas Day.
A day of love and family.
And half of Jolan's family was missing.
"Oh, Jo. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry I didn't realize
how this day and this visit would affect you. How great the emotional toll would
be on your heart of love entering this house."
Jolan cried, Justin pulling him up, taking the young man in his arms, holding him tightly.
"I wish they were here, Justin! I wish their love was really here!"
"It is, Jo. It's in your heart and your sister's heart. You both grew up with that love. It's something that can't just disappear. It's within your souls, etched in your hearts. I think this place has drawn that out of you, Jolan. Your sense of needing them manifested itself into your feeling his love throughout the home he grew up in. You feel him here because he's in your heart."
Jolan's head raised, looking into Justin's blue eyes of love.
"I'm sorry I got emotional, Jus. It's just. . .this place. . .what I feel here."
Justin nodded, guiding Jolan over to the bed, the two sitting down on its edge, Justin's arm going around Jolan.
"His memories are here, Jolan. He was a boy here, growing into a man, then walking into the world of your mother's love."
Jolan nodded, softly smiling at him.
"I like the way you worded that, Jus."
Justin smiled at him, kissing his cheek.
"He walked a path of love, like his son. It's only natural that you'd feel him here,
Jolan. And he is here in a sense."
Justin's hand went to Jolan's heart, smiling at him.
"He's right here, as I already said. He's in your heart and Jennie's. And one day soon, you and she will feel his real love. I have every confidence in that."
Jolan smiled a little more, Justin smiling at him.
"Your love melts the snows of pain and doubt covering my heart, Jus."
Justin leaned in, kissing Jolan's lips softly, Jolan feeling his deep love.
"The magic of your love and your beauty warms mine, my Jo."
Jolan's eyes met Justin's, seeing the depth of love and beauty in the face staring at him.
He also felt an underlying worry in his lover's own soul.
"I feel your love as well, Jus. And I also feel our Hay's."
Justin's eyes lowered a bit, Jolan's arms going around him.
"I know what you're worried about, my love. I lay
beside you last night and heard you voice it in your sleep."
Justin's eyes lowered again, Jolan raising his head, staring into his blue eyes.
"She's his mother, Jus. She loves him just as deeply as we do. I would never deny her the happiness of his giving love."
"But. . .what if. . .if she. . .?"
Jolan's lips met Justin's, Justin feeling his love.
They parted, Justin staring into Jolan's grey eyes.
"She's healed now, Justin. And with that comes a full lifetime of happiness. Happiness she'll find in Jessica--and yes--in our Hay. I will abide by whatever arrangement she wants for our son. Hayden deserves all of our love. And I shall make sure he has it."
Justin teared up, Jolan smiling at him.
"I love him so much, Jo. He's entered my heart so
Jolan nodded, kissing Justin again.
"I know, Jus. He calls you Poppa because he loves you like his real father. We're both his fathers now. And we always will be."
Justin nodded, a smile coming to his face.
"Alright, Jolan. I'll abide by what she wants as
well. I want our son to be happy."
Jolan smiled, looking at Justin.
"He'll be happy, Jus. And you know she sees what
Hay means to both of us. She knows we love him."
"I know, Jo. My love is very visible. For him and for you."
Jolan smiled, Justin smiling at his smiling.
"I'm sorry I turned this morning into a tear-fest,
wanted our first Christmas as newly engaged lovers to be special."
Justin smiled, pulling Jolan down onto the bed, his lover laying below him.
"Looking into your grey eyes makes any day special."
Jolan smiled, Justin lightly running a finger across his cheek.
"Are you alright now, Jolan?"
Jolan smiled looking up into his blue pools.
"Yes, Jus. Your love has washed away my sadness. I feel your complete love surrounding me, my fiancÚ."
Justin smiled, Jolan seeing a glimmer in his blue eyes.
"FiancÚ! I'm beginning to love that word. My fiancÚ, Jolan Dragos."
Jolan smiled, Justin's body moving on top of Jolan.
"Now for some Christmas luvin!" Justin said, Jolan laughing, Justin's hands going under his robe's center.
A light rap came to their bedroom door, Justin sighing.
"Go away! We're unwrapping gifts!" Justin yelled.
"Oh? I'm a gift am I?" Jolan said, Justin opening Jolan's robe.
"Oh, yes. Indeed you are!"
Jolan laughed, hearing the need and desire in his Justin.
"Later, my Jumpy. Tonight, a Christmas wolf shall claim you."
Justin smiled, sitting up, Jolan closing his robe, looking towards the bedroom door.
The door opened, a small missile of happiness rushing towards the two men.
Justin was on his knees in a flash, Hayden flying into his arms.
"Kismas, Poppa! It Kismas! Unky Chris says Santa's been here agains!" the boy said, wrapping his arms around Justin's neck.
Jolan smiled, seeing his son and lover wearing wide smiles.
Sandra and Jessica smiled at the doorway, Britney and her two sons standing there as well.
"They're chomping at the bit to get downstairs, Jo." Britney said, Jolan standing up, walking over to them.
"Merry Christmas, everyone." he said, the two boys hugging his legs, Jolan laughing and hugging then kissing Britney, Jessica and finally Sandra.
"Merry Christmas, Jolan." Sandra said, Jolan smiling at her.
"You look incredible this morning, Sandra." he said smiling, taking in the necklace around her neck.
"Yes, I feel like a kid again." she smiled, Jessica's arms going around her.
"My special kid." she said, kissing Sandra's cheek.
Jolan laughed, smiling at Jessica, his friend smiling back at him.
"And where is everyone else?"
"Out in the hallway or their rooms. We thought it a nice idea that we all go down to the tree together." Britney smiled, Chris' head poking into the room.
"Finally! You're up!"
Jolan laughed, looking at Britney.
"He's probably been up all night. Who says the little kids are the hyper ones?" he smiled, looking back at Chris, Chris smiling.
"Merry Christmas, Chris." Jolan said, smiling at him, extending his hand.
Chris walked into the room, his arms going around Jolan, pulling him against him, his lips meeting Jolan's in a deep kiss.
Everyone stood around them, totally shocked by Chris' forwardness.
Chris broke the kiss, smiling at Jolan.
"Merry Christmas, Jo! He's stunned! Got ya!" he grinned, then laughed.
Jolan smiled after his initial shock, looking at the man.
"Good one, Chris. But why the tongue?"
Chris looked surprised, everyone bursting into laughter.
Jolan laughed, Chris chuckling as well.
"Good comeback! There's hope for you yet!"
Jolan grinned, Justin's arm going around him, Hayden climbing into Jolan's arms.
"Merry Christmas, Daddy. Wuv you."
Jolan smiled, the boy kissing his lips.
"Merry Christmas, my son. Daddy loves you too."
Justin and Sandra smiled at each other, Jolan looking at the three little boys.
"Let Daddy and Poppa get dressed, Hay. And then it's time for presents!!"
The boys squealed, Sandra taking Hay from Jolan, everyone smiling and walking into the hallway.
After Jolan and Justin had dressed they met everyone in the hall, Christmas greetings exchanged, everyone walking as a group down the magnificent staircase leading down into the grand hall, the Dragosan family standing at the bottom steps.
Jolan smiled at his two uncles, Cory and his three cousins.
"Merry Christmas, everyone." Simus said with a wide smile, everyone greeting the six men.
Jolan was hugged by his three cousins, then his uncles and Cory, the young man smiling at all of them.
He glanced over to the doorway of the Room of Family, its double doors closed, smiling at everyone.
"Everything's ready in the Room of Family for our Christmas gathering." Jolan smiled, Calen smiling at him.
"And what have you been up to this morning, Jolan? I
found the room's doors locked."
Jolan smiled, looking around at everyone.
"One moment, everyone. I just want to check on everything." he smiled, his uncles nodding.
Jolan left them, walking across the hall, opening one of the doors into the closed room, walking in and shutting the door behind him.
"What's your Wolfy got cooked up now?" Chris said, Britney in his arms.
"Knowing Jolan, it's love, Chris." Kelly said, Leo's arms around her.
Joey smiled at his wife, Briahna smiling up at her father, his arms around her.
Everyone chatted and talked, greetings exchanged, kisses and hugs as well.
A few moments later Jolan walked back out into the hall, smiling at everyone.
He wore a red Santa's hat on his head, everyone smiling at him.
"Alright! All the kiddies front and center." he smiled, his son and his compadres running up to him.
Jolan smiled, going to his knees, the adults walking up and surrounding them.
"Nice hat, Jo. Looks familiar." Chris said, his arms folded, Jolan smiling up at him.
"Yes it does, doesn't it? Where's your top hat, Frosty?"
Chris blushed a little, Britney holding in a smile.
Jolan smiled, his eyes focusing on the five children in front of him.
"Merry Christmas, little ones, and Stevie and
They all grinned, saying Merry Christmas to Jolan.
"Today is Christmas Day, our little angels. It's a day of
laughter, happiness, and smiling children. Your happiness will shine in all our
hearts today. Your goodness this year shows behind those doors. Come on,
let's see how good Santa thinks you all are!"
The four boys' eyes widened a bit, Briahna smiling widely, Jolan's magical words making everyone around them smile.
Jolan smiled, standing up, his hands going towards the room's doors, both doors opening inward by themselves.
Everyone stood together, staring in awe at the beauty showing in the room before them.
The Christmas tree was fully lit, its beauty shining brightly.
To all of them it seemed larger, as if its beauty and girth had grown overnight.
Before the large tree gifts were stacked high, large gifts for the kids showing in the open.
"Toys, Poppa! Santa gots us wots of toys!!" Hayden screamed, his eyes taking in the visible toys in front of the tree. Everyone's faces widened with large smiles at hearing the boy's joy, Justin guiding his son and the other two small boys forward, Briahna's arm around Stevie.
Everyone followed the kids into the room, the kids heading straight for the tree.
Jolan smiled, seeing Justin helping Hayden climb onto a wooden rocking horse, its wooden beauty drawing the boy's wide gaze of happiness.
"Me be's cowboy! Yay!" the boy giggled, Jolan and Sandra smiling at their son.
The adults looked around, smiling at the increased festive beauty of the room's decorations.
Candles were lit everywhere, their soft glow the only light in the room, its bright warmth bringing a glow of beauty to the room.
Boughs of evergreen were hung everywhere, bunches of mistletoe hanging as well from the chandeliers.
A large fire flickered in the fireplace, its warmth immediately felt.
Soft music could be heard in the background, Christmas music adding to the festive room.
"Awesome, Jo! This looks so Christmassy." Britney said, Chris' arm around her.
Jolan smiled, moving his hand to the other side of the room, everyone's gaze following it.
There a table was set up, refreshments and breakfast fare all at the ready.
Bacon, sausages and pancakes all heated in warming trays.
"Wow! You did all this this morning, Jo?" Joey said, his eyes on the food.
"I thought we might as well nourish ourselves with a
wonderful Christmas breakfast, while we watch everyone open their gifts."
Everyone smiled, seeing that Jolan had thought of everything.
"First off, I need a kiss." Josh said, pulling Jolan under a bough of mistletoe hanging from the chandelier above them.
"Christmas tradition, Jo. Pucker up, baby!"
Jolan laughed, Josh kissing him tenderly.
Everyone smiled, Josh practically beaming when they separated, Chace's arm going around him.
"Dig in everyone. Once we're relaxed we can enjoy the gifts." Jolan said, Joey grinning at him, the man already heading for the table.
"Your man's famished, Lancy. He must have worked up an appetite this morning?" Jolan smiled, Lance grinning.
"He did just that, Jo. I gave him some Christmas cheer." he smiled, Jolan winking and kissing his cheek.
"Lucky Joe! Merry Christmas, Lancy."
"Merry Christmas, Jo." Lance said kissing his cheek, Jolan smiling and guiding him to the table.
Jolan smiled, watching his family and friends lost in the gifts surrounding them.
Couples and families sat together, unwrapped treasures laying around them and before them.
Hayden was seated on the floor in front of Jolan, Justin at his side, helping him unwrap another gift.
"Our boy's beyond spoiled, Jolan." Sandra said, seated beside Jolan, Jessica on her other side.
"Yes he is. But it's a good spoiled. And our son
shares his riches with his friends."
Britney smiled at Jolan's words; she and Chris seated across from them, her sons engrossed in their treasures as well, seated on the floor in front of them.
The three little boys and Stevie had walked back and forth between each other, showing off their new toys to their friends, the adults surrounding them smiling at their togetherness.
Jolan smiled at his own gifts stacked up beside the couch.
His friends and family had been giving and loving in all their selections.
He saw their love shining through all them.
And his Justin had been the most giving, his treasures laced with love and beauty.
Justin had given Jolan a new laptop, new writing supplies, as well as clothes and other items of love.
Josh and Chace had given him and Justin each a beautiful watch, their names engraved on the back.
Each watch held its own beauty, its face showing the wearer's personality.
"Chace's uncle is a jeweler, Jo. He handcrafted each watch to embody your unique careers." Josh said, Jolan smiling at Chace.
His watch's face was covered in literary images--pen and paper, scrolls and parchments.
Justin's was showing musical notes, stars and his initials in diamonds.
Both men had received thank yous and hugs.
Jolan and Justin had given both of their friends gold chains, their joined initials hanging from them.
"Hey! It spells out my name as well. J.C. !" Josh said, Chace laughing.
"So I'm J.C. as well. Awesome! Where are the musical groupies?"
Josh laughed, his lips meeting Chace's.
"You'll have this groupie all by himself."
Justin and Josh laughed, Jolan smiling as Chace returned Josh's tender kiss.
They also had given gifts of clothing and trinkets to both of their dearest friends, their love showing.
Jolan and Justin had received wonderful gifts from everyone else as well.
Clothing, books, music CDs, trinkets and touching gifts.
Jolan had opened his gift from Jennie, his sister seated on the armrest of the couch beside him, waiting for him to open it.
He smiled, opening the box, a beautiful grey cashmere sweater laying within.
"Oh, Jennie! It's beautiful. It matches my eyes."
Jennie leaned forward, kissing his cheek, Jolan smiling at her.
"Awesome color, my love. It does match your eyes, it's beautiful as well. You'll look stunning in it." Justin said, Jolan smiling at his lover's words.
"Jessica helped me find the color, it was her idea to match your eyes." Jennie smiled, Jessica smiling back at her.
"Plus we had a whole day of shopping together. It was a win-win situation." Jessica said, Jennie beaming at her.
"Thank you, Jennie. And Jessica. It's beautiful. I'll wear it
Jennie smiled, looking into her brother's eyes.
"That would be perfect, Jolan. I have another gift
for you, Jolan. It's not quite ready yet. I'll give it to you later today."
Jolan nodded, looking into his sister's blue eyes.
They stared at each other for a moment, Justin quietly watching the two, sensing they were talking in their minds.
Jolan smiled, his eyes returning to his son.
After more than an hour all the gifts had been opened, people taking their gifts and treasures upstairs.
The kids' gifts were left under the tree, knowing they'd be constantly playing with them throughout the day.
Britney took her boys upstairs, their baths awaiting them.
Hayden lay in Justin's lap on the floor, a cowboy doll in his arms.
"Me gets so much, Poppa! Me's so happy's Santa thinks me so good!"
Jolan smiled, his hand brushing his son's hair, Justin's body laying against Jolan's legs.
"We all received so much, Hayden. We all have a lot to be thankful for." Jolan smiled, the boy looking up into his grey eyes.
"Me's tankful, Daddy. Me gots your wuv and Poppas! And
Mommy and Mama's wuv!"
Justin's head turned, looking up into Jessica's smiling face.
"Mama?" Justin said, Jessica smiling at him.
"He started calling me that this morning. I was so
touched. He. . .he loves me so much!"
Justin looked up into Jessica's blue eyes, Jolan smiling at the two women seated beside him.
"Our Hay's love is giving, and special. We four feel
the center of it. The purest love, his love for his parents. For that is what we four
The other three smiled, Hayden snuggling into Justin's chest, Justin's arm going around him.
"Before you get too cozy there Hay, Poppa should
give you a bath. And you can wear your new clothes Gramma gave you."
The boy grinned, standing in Justin's lap, Justin hugging him to him, then standing up.
"Come on, Hay. Wawa time!"
Hay grinned, the two of Jolan's heart walking out of the room.
The three remaining smiled, watching the two leave.
"I feel Justin's worry, Jolan. His worry about what
my new condition may mean."
Jolan nodded at Sandra, his eyes going towards the doorway.
"He loves Hayden so much, Sandra. But we talked this
morning. We agreed that Hayden's love is ours, as well as yours. We'll all be
here for him. Regardless of what may happen. We'll abide by your choice for his
Sandra teared up, hearing the deep love in Jolan's voice for Justin and for his son.
And his love for her and Jessica.
"Our boy is lucky, Jo. He has four parents to love him." Jessica said, Jolan smiling at her.
"Yes he does. He'll be forever loved. Excuse me ladies, my men await. I need a little
The two women smiled, watching Jolan pick up a couple of Hayden's toys, then walk out of the room.
"He's so giving. So unbelievably giving." Sandra said, Jessica smiling and kissing her on the lips.
"I know. He gave me you."
Sandra smiled, looking towards the door.
"When should we tell them?" Jessica asked, Sandra looking into her blue eyes.
"This evening. Let's let them enjoy this day of happiness. There's time enough now for the future."
Jessica smiled, wrapping her arms around Sandra, the woman laying against her, Sandra's eyes going to the Christmas tree, her thoughts on last night's moment before that tree.
Gifts of love.
He's given me the greatest one.
Jolan smiled, his eyes taking in the vision before him.
Justin smiled at him, his man's body completely naked, standing under the raining warm water.
Hayden was in Justin's arms, the boy giggling at the wetness surrounding him.
"Hi, Daddy!" the boy said, climbing into Jolan's arms when the man stepped into the shower with them, his body going against Justin's.
"Hello, Hay! How's the wawa?"
"Warm, Daddy. Nice and warms." he said, Justin washing his back, the boy smiling.
The two men smiled at each other, taking in the vision of beauty before them.
"Turn around, Jo. I'll wash your back too."
Jolan smiled, turning around, Justin's hands going over his back with the sponge in his hand.
Hayden giggled, his wet body against his father's taut chest.
Justin took his time, washing both of his men, the two smiling and being kissed by him.
They spent twenty minutes under the warm water, their hearts and bodies cleansed.
Jolan carried Hayden to their room, both wrapped in towels, a robed Justin following.
Jolan lovingly dressed Hayden, the boy smiling at him.
"I happy's, Daddy. Mommy and you's no goes away!"
Jolan smiled, kissing his cheek, the boy giggling.
"Yes, Hay. We're here to love you always."
The boy smiled, Jolan setting him down on the floor off the bed, the boy going to his new toys which Jolan had carried into the room before entering the bathroom down the hall.
The boy became lost in joy and happiness in his toys, two arms wrapping around Jolan's toweled waist.
"Now for some luvin." Justin said, his lips going to Jolan's neck.
Jolan smiled, feeling Justin's fingers going to his towel, disappearing under the fold in the front.
"Jus, our boy's here."
"He knows I love you, and I touch you." he softly said, Jolan smiling at the love in Justin's voice.
"He knows, Jus. But he doesn't have to see it."
Justin pouted, Jolan's lips going to his.
"I love you, Jus. And I love you touching me. That
is heaven for me."
Justin smiled, hearing Jolan's deep love and desire for him.
"It's heaven for me too, Jolan. And I'd never do
that in front of him."
Jolan smiled, kissing Justin again, the man overcome by Jolan's love.
"We need to get dressed, my love. Take in the vision
of my beauty. For tonight it shall worship you."
Jolan released his towel, Justin's eyes taking every inch of him in.
Jolan smiled, opening Justin's robe, his naked form revealed as it fell to the floor.
"Wear something blue, my angel. It brings out your
Justin smiled, walking to the closet, Jolan's eyes going to the two round globes of flesh before him.
"Yes, I shall worship all of you."
Justin smiled back at his Jolan, seeing his staring eyes.
"I'll hold you to that, Wolfy."
Jolan smiled, picking up Jennie's grey cashmere sweater.
Jolan walked into the kitchen, smiling at Lynn, Lisa and Auntie Gee.
"Something smells unbelievable!" he said, Auntie Gee smiling at him.
"That's my seasoned bread stuffing! Best in the county!" Auntie Gee smiled, Jolan kissing her cheek, sneaking a piece of ham off the platter beside her, she lightly slapping his hand away.
"You'll spoil your dinner, Jo!" she admonished, he winking at her.
"Fat chance! I'm going to eat till I'm stuffed! The
aromas are making me drool!"
Everyone laughed, Lynn smiling at him, Jolan smiling back.
Calen had given his staff the holidays off, they leaving the family alone after last night's dinner.
Calen knew he had enough motherly cooks within the family to create a wonderful Christmas meal.
"The sweater looks fantastic, Jo. Jennie and Jessica have good taste." she said, Jolan smiling, turning around before her, modeling it.
"Yes they do. And your son can't keep his hands off
Lynn and Lisa both laughed, Auntie Gee smiling.
"That's called love, son. You're engaged now. His flirty love will be for you alone, forever." she said, Jolan smiling.
It was late afternoon now, the morning and afternoon seeing everyone wandering everywhere, enjoying the company surrounding them.
Families joined together, couples taking walks together or just snuggling in secret corners.
The day was a day of love, family love.
They knew they'd all gather together once again for Christmas dinner.
"Where's my boy?" Lynn said, Jolan smiling.
"He's in the Room of Family with Chris and Joey. They're playing a board game with the kids." he said, Lynn smiling.
"It's nice to see the kids having fun."
Jolan looked at her, the two bursting into laughter.
"That it is, Mom! That it is!"
Everyone laughed, Jolan walking over to the wine rack, selecting a bottle of white chardonnay.
"How about a glass of wine, ladies?" he said, smiling at them.
Lisa wiped her hands on a dishcloth, smiling at him.
"I thought you'd never ask! The food's simmering, our work is done! Time to kick back!"
Jolan laughed, handing each of them a glass, pulling out the cork from the bottle with a corkscrew.
He smiled, pouring and filling their glasses.
"So what have you been up to, Jolan? Calen walked in here a while ago and said you'd locked the dining room as well this morning." Lisa said, Jolan smiling at her.
Jolan had sealed off the Queen's Room as well, his imagery and style creating another surprise.
"Making Christmas memories, ladies. I hope you'll like my arrangements?"
Lynn leaned forward, kissing his cheek, Jolan softly blushing.
"Your love shows always, Jo. You've made this holiday unbelievable. I'm sure there's lots more to come."
Jolan smiled, his blush deepening.
Lynn chuckled, kissing his cheek again.
"Our ever giving, bashful, Jo. I'm sure the Queen is in the center of beauty, her portrait surrounded by love."
Jolan's face changed, a stunned look coming over it.
"Jo? Are you alright?" Lynn said, looking into his staring grey eyes.
"She's not there. Of course!"
Lynn and Lisa, as well as Auntie Gee exchanged looks, the young man's eyes focusing again.
"I'm sorry, something just came to me." he said, looking at the three.
The three exchanged glances, Jolan regaining his smile.
"Well, I'm going to go check on Jus, see if our son is beating him." Jolan said, smiling at all three, kissing Lynn's cheek.
"The meal smells divine, ladies. We're going to be
Auntie Gee laughed, Lisa smiling as well, Lynn quietly watching Jolan.
He smiled at her, quietly walking out of the room.
Jolan's back rested against the wall, his eyes staring across the hall.
He sighed, his mind focusing.
He'd just returned from the Queen's Room, having gone there for a reason.
To sit in silence and think.
Something had registered in his mind.
Something had clicked.
His grey eyes looked across the hallway, seeing the Room of Family's doors opened wide, the tree showing in all its beauty.
His mind focused, registering a deep thought.
He walked across the hall, entering the room.
He smiled, seeing Justin seated on the floor before the Christmas tree, his two friends seated as well, four boys seated around them.
He also noted his Uncle Calen by the fireplace.
The kids were all immersed in the game, Justin's head raising.
"Who's winning, Jus?"
Justin smiled, Hay's eyes beaming up at his father.
"Me and Sean is, Daddy! We's winning!"
Jolan smiled, his eyes going to his Uncle Calen, the man smiling at him.
He'd just finished putting a few logs on the fire, smiling at Jolan.
"The day hasn't warmed much, Jolan. The fires shall burn all day." he said, smiling.
Jolan nodded, his eyes going to the painting of his grandfather, now hanging on the opposite wall from the fireplace.
"That painting was very well done, Uncle. His likeness is
Calen smiled, folding his arms, leaning against the mantle.
"Yes, it truly is Father's image. The same painter painted his and Queen Alveena's likenesses. That portrait of her hanging in the Queen's Room was painted before the downfall of Moldavia by a gifted artist."
Jolan nodded, looking at the painting, staring at its center.
"Who was the painter?"
Calen smiled, looking into Jolan's grey eyes.
"A man named Degas Sumsare, Jolan. He was of
our kinship, one of Alveena's trusted cousins. He died shortly after your
painting was completed. He'd been wounded in the last battle. He lived long
enough after to see the painting finished. Father always gazed upon it with loving
Jolan nodded, the man's name registering somewhere else in his mind.
"An enduring legacy, Uncle. His gift was remarkable." Jolan said, staring at the painting.
"Yes, it truly was. Father always said that he could have been one of 'the' great artists. His life was ended too short."
Jolan nodded, looking around the room.
"Are there other paintings of his here?"
Calen's eyes took in Jolan's calm grey orbs.
"Only three. This painting, the Queen's portrait, and a smaller painting that hangs in the library. It's another portrait of Queen Alveena. It hangs in Degas' Room, the library down beside the pool."
"Grandfather honors his allies and friends with deep
humility in naming his rooms after them."
Calen nodded, smiling at his nephew.
"There's also a Belos' Room. It's the billiard
Jolan smiled, nodding.
"Well dinner should be ready shortly. I'm going to go check on the Queen's Room to make sure that I've everything ready." Jolan smiled, Calen nodding at him.
"Another vision of Christmas love awaiting us?" Calen said, smiling at his nephew.
Jolan smiled, walking past his lover and his friends, plus the kids.
Hayden waved at him, Jolan winking at him.
"Your man's one of a kind, Jus. This morning's surprises and now dinner looks like it's going to be another one." Chris said, Joey nodding his head in agreement.
"He's being Jolan, guys. His love surprises all of us." Calen said, everyone nodding in agreement.
The older man smiled, his eyes looking towards his father's portrait.
Jolan walked in silence, finding the door he sought.
He quietly opened it, slipping into the silent room, closing the door behind him.
He looked around the room, his eyes adjusting to the gloominess surrounding him.
His hand went to the wall, flicking a light switch, the room bathed now in brightness.
He looked around the room, sensing immediately the depth of history and value surrounding him.
To say it was a library would be to drench it in reality.
Every wall was covered in mahogany bookcases, their shelves filled with books.
Large leather chairs and couches were set around the room, a couple of large desks seen as well.
Jolan's eyes wandered around the room, taking in the history he was certain lined the shelves.
Books of history, family and truth.
His grandfather's library, filled with treasures of knowledge and academia he'd spend his long life amassing.
Jolan walked around the room, pulling books off shelves, examining them.
Some were very old volumes of reference and history.
His eyes were constantly moving, taking in everything, and seeking out one item in particular.
He stopped, spotting it easily.
It hung between two large bookcases, Jolan quietly walking up to it.
He stared at it for a few moments, staring at the woman's graceful beauty.
This portrait showed Queen Alveena as a woman of courageous beauty, her face a mask of determined strength.
She wore a uniform of battle, a queen's suit of armor.
"There you are. At the height of military regality, queen of our hearts." he said softly, his hands going forward.
Jolan pulled the portrait gently off the wall, setting it on a chair beside him.
His eyes moved back to the wall, a square of cleaner wall showing where the painting had hung.
On that wall was a symbol.
It was of a man riding a wolf, the man bearing his grandfather's face.
"The mark of truth. A heart of its own making." Jolan softly said, his hand going forward, pressing against the symbol.
The wall moved upon the contact, a small section of the wall opening.
Jolan smiled, seeing a metal box laying in that dark opening.
Could this be the answer to my prayers?
Oh God, please let my heart rest.
Jolan's hand went forward, pulling out the metal box, opening it.
He stared into it for a long moment, a soft sob coming out of him, the man sitting down on the nearest leather chair.
He let go of the box, its metal casing making a loud clanging sound as it hit the hardwood floor.
Jolan stared down at the box, staring into it.
The box was empty.
Justin smiled, Hay giggling in his arms.
"No be sads, Poppa! You wins next game!"
Justin laughed, tickling the small boy, Hayden's laughter echoing in the large hall.
Justin smiled around him, everyone having assembled in the grand hall for dinner, Jolan having asked everyone there for six o'clock.
Jolan had returned to the Room of Family, sitting quietly in an overstuffed chair, smiling at the group still playing games in front of the tree.
He'd sat there in silence, the Tome of Alveena in his hands, his eyes perusing it.
At five-thirty he'd disappeared again, Justin seeing a soft smile cross his face as he'd walked out of the room again.
Here now Justin awaited with his friends and family, seeing their happiness and joy.
"I bet he's designed something beautiful." Sid said, Isaiah smiling at the young man.
"Jolan is a man of surprising love, Sidney. His giving love enters our hearts." the young man said, Sidney smiling at him.
"I know that firsthand, Isaiah."
The young man nodded, his father having told his sons of Sidney's past.
Their conversation was ended by the sound of the doors of the Queen's Room opening.
Everyone's eyes were drawn to the room's entrance, a young man standing there, wearing a smile that radiated love.
"Good evening, everyone. Merry Christmas, my family." Jolan said, his rich loving voice echoing around the hall.
"Merry Christmas, Jolan." everyone replied, his smile widening.
"Welcome to an evening of sustenance and love." he smiled, walking into the Queen's Room, everyone moving forward.
They walked into the room, staring at the Christmas beauty and warming love they saw before them.
The large dining table stood against the far wall, laden with food, a buffet of richness and delicious beauty showing before them.
Jolan had carried all the food into the room himself, the women acceding to his request, his surprise hidden until this moment.
In the center of the room--in front of the fireplace where the table had stood before--were smaller round tables, each covered in lavish crystal and china.
Christmas centerpieces containing lit candles sat in the center of each white linen-covered table, Jolan smiling at everyone.
"We are a joined family of love. But we are also a combination of smaller families, and singular souls of love. I wanted to convey that loving reality. I've placed all of you into groups of loving friendship, family love and joining love. Those that are singular I have intermingled into the smaller circles of love so they can feel its giving warmth. Please everyone, find your tables of love."
Everyone took in the beauty of the room, their smiles heightening its warmth of love.
They began to move, finding their seats, the joining of smaller families of love and friendship showing.
Joey, Lance, Kelly, Briahna, Leo and Auntie Gee sat down at one table, their new family joined together.
Lynn, Paul, Randall, Lisa, Stevie, Jonathan and Jennie sat at another, Jolan and Justin's close family together.
Britney, Chris, her two boys, Lonnie and Ally were joined with Mathias.
Calen, Simus, Cory, Athos, Domo, Rachel and Daphne shared a table of happiness.
Bill and Sid, Shelly, Henry, Trace and Cindy were seated together, Isaiah the last to sit down with them, the young man beaming with happiness.
The final central table held Josh, Chace, Sandra, Jessica, Justin, Jolan and Hayden.
Jolan stood at his table, everyone else seated, their eyes going to his central smiling face.
"I'd like to say grace, if it's alright with
Everyone nodded, Joey piping up.
"Make it quick, Jo! We're starving!"
Jolan laughed, others joining in, Joey smiling widely.
Jolan smiled, lowering his head, everyone following.
"Dear Lord, we gather together today on this most
sacred of holidays, surrounded by your love and our family's loves. Both sink
into our hearts of joy and life. We want to thank you for what surrounds us. I
stand in the center of so much love. Your divine love, and those that surround
me. Each of us shares a heart of joined love. We are thankful this day for being
together, for the love shining in our hearts. We now join together in a meal of
your giving bounty, but a greater meal of love and friendship shall sustain us
long after. Thank you Lord, on this day of celebration of your son's love and
meaning of Christmas is love and togetherness. We all have that in our hearts.
"Amen," everyone said, tears showing in a few eyes.
Jolan smiled, raising his head, his grey eyes shining with love.
"Please everyone. Let's dine on the food lovingly
prepared by our mothers of giving love."
Everyone smiled, beginning to rise, Jolan grinning at Joey.
"Joey, you're last in line. Eagerness needs to give way to civility."
Joey's face blushed, Jolan smiling at him, walking up to the man and hugging him.
"Nah, this teddy bear needs to feast. Clear a path, one hungry bear coming through!" Jolan laughed, guiding his friend to the buffet table, everyone laughing, Joey's the loudest.
Everyone smiled widely, seeing Jolan's smiling face.
No one saw the sadness buried within his soul.
Only one person felt the hidden truth of Jolan's soul.
Their blue eyes watched him, a decision made in their own soul.
End of Chapter 104
And so the family joins for Christmas dinner.
Families joined within a larger family.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.
A day of family, of joined love and happiness.
I hope I described that feeling within these pages.
What was in the box, now found empty by Jolan?
And who had hidden it there?
And who took what lay there?
And how had Jolan known where to find it?
What prayers are Jolan seeking answers to?
And why does he seek his soul's rest?
Intriguing questions, hidden with Christmas cheer.
Underlying truths hidden for you to find and learn.
Sorry for my being devious again.
Answers are coming forthwith.
Read on, readers.