Don Hanratty
My Belovèd is mine, and I am his.
Song of Songs 2:16

Kevin and Cam stood staring at each other after Catherine had gone upstairs to bed.  Did she know that the two of them were lovers, or not?

That question was very much on their minds as they went out on the back deck and sat down, giving Sam a last chance to wander the back yard before they all went upstairs to bed themselves.  Cam and Kevin sat down on chairs in the shadows on the deck, watching Sam wandering about in the floodlit yard before she finally found a place she liked, squatted, and emptied her bladder.

Cam whistled for her to come back to the house when she was finished, and she obediently came running up the back steps.

"Good girl," Cam said, reaching down and petting the dog.  "Come on, bud," he told Kevin.  "Let's get to bed.  You look a little beat.  But I may not be quite done with you yet."

"You better not be," Kevin said, grinning.

Cam pulled his partner out of his chair, gave him his crutches, and with Sam at their heels, they walked into the kitchen.  Cam took the dog's water dish out of the cabinet, picked up their bags, and up they went to the second floor, Kevin sitting on his little stair transporter, and Sam right behind Cam.  They went into Cam's room, and there was Sam's new bed against one wall, as promised.  Cam dropped the bags to the floor and went to the dog bed, calling Sam over.  She walked right into it, turned around twice, and lay down with no further urging.

"She's better trained than you are," Kevin told Cam as he sat on the side of Cam's bed, watching.

"So you say.  You haven't seen all my tricks yet."  Cam took the water dish into the bathroom, filled it up, and brought it back to Sam's bed, putting it on the floor beside her.

Going over to their bags, Cam took Kevin's and his own toilet kits out of them, and went into their bathroom, Kevin right behind him.  After sharing the toilet to urinate, they filled their mouths with mouth wash, using the same bottle, rinsed, cleaned their teeth, rinsed with water, and they were good to go.  Kevin could feel himself starting to get aroused just thinking about what lay ahead for them in Cam's bed.

After locking all the doors, Cam took charge of stripping Kevin down at their bedside.  Starting with his partner's sneakers, he slowly removed his boy's socks, T-shirt, Levi's, and finally his boxers.  Kevin was half hard already, and Cam took his lover's penis in his hand and kissed the head of it before Kevin moved his frame up on to Cam's bed, and lay on his back.  He lay there watching as Cam took off his own clothes, admiring the spare, muscular, runner's body as it was gradually revealed to eyes that loved every inch of what they were seeing.  Cam was half erect himself by the time he sat naked on the side of the bed.  Opening the drawer of his bedside table, he reached to the very back to remove lube and a fresh rubber.  He put them on the table top, turned the light down to its lowest wattage, and carefully raising Kevin up with the latter's help, turned down the bedspread and top sheet.

Cam eased into bed without a word and lay prone, full out on top of his partner.  Kevin loved the feel of the boy's skin pressing down on his own, and spread his legs as their groins and torsos pressed together.  Cam's balls lay perfectly cushioned on Kevin's, their penises lying side by side, squeezed between their abs.  The two guys stared unblinkingly into one another's eyes, noses touching and gently rubbing.

"You own me," Kevin whispered, not moving.

Cam caressed Kevin's face softly, bathing him in his sweet breath, saying nothing, smoothing back his hair from his forehead.  He lowered his head to his partner's mouth, kissing him gently at first, eventually breaching his lips with his tongue and moving inside.  Tongue moved against tongue, each speaking its own language of love without words.

Breaking their long and passionate kiss, Cam plunged his tongue into Kevin's right ear, moving the tip of it around, the sound and sensation of it triggering a redirection of blood inside Kevin's body that helped make his cock even harder, if that were possible.  Moving ever so slowly, Cam began traveling down Kevin's frame, first licking and then sucking on the side of his partner's neck.  Kevin groaned, moaning again when Cam moved lower yet and fastened on to his nipples, first the left and then the right, sucking and nibbling until they reddened and stood at attention.  Kevin's legs bent at the knees in response, pressing Cam's sides, squeezing him.

Cam inched his way down that glowing body, first ministering to Kevin's navel and then, holding the boy's penis aside, licking his treasure trail until the hairs were plastered down in all directions on his flat stomach, glistening with saliva.

In one swift movement, Cam engulfed that penis that had given him so much satisfaction since the two of them had first become intimate.  Kevin groaned again at the sensations which he was feeling, reaching down to place his hands on either side of Cam's head as the latter worked his friend's cock.  Cam tasted the sweetness of the pre-cum that by then was flowing from the slit as he thrust up and down on the boy's dick, and then stopped in order to suck on just the head of it.  Kevin's eyes rolled up as he arched his back in the pleasure Cam's mouth was giving him.

But Cam wasn't finished yet.  He now diverted his efforts to licking and sucking Kevin's big balls, taking first one and then the other inside his mouth and holding it, squeezing it, tugging ever so gently to stretch the sack.

Finally, raising his partner's legs, his tongue explored the crack of the boy's muscular ass, laving between his cheeks and licking the perineum before rimming him thoroughly and then plunging into the hole itself, again and again.

"Oh, fuck, Cam," Kevin moaned, "don't stop!  It's so good!  Please..."

But Cam eventually did stop, quickly opening and rolling on the rubber, lubing it along with Kevin's rosebud.  Raising Kevin's legs again, he put a pillow under his butt and moved slowly, inexorably into that tight cocoon that seemed to be made just for his dick.  When he was all the way in, he stopped moving and lay down full out again on Kevin's body.

Kevin pulled Cam's face down to his own and kissed him vigorously, the tongues once again doing battle.

Home now where he wanted and needed to be, Cam began pumping slowly, slowly, with short strokes that caused Kevin to moan and breathe erratically.  Before pumping more strongly, Cam moved his hips in a circle, causing the head of his penis so snugly held inside Kevin to move in a circle as well, touching that wonderfully sensitive prostate in ways it had never been massaged before.  Kevin wanted to shout with the joy and stimulation of their coupling, but knew he couldn't because he would awaken Catherine.  He pulled the corner of Cam's pillow to himself and bit down on it, muffling his enthusiastic exclamations, watching Cam's face as his partner worked his magic.
  They were both dripping with sweat by now, and Cam's tongue moved over Kevin's chest, tasting the boy's salt and his passion.  Kevin clasped his lover around the waist with his good leg, and the dance of love began in earnest.

Cam slid his abs and stomach across Kevin's swollen penis again and again over the long minutes as he thrust into his partner's taut body.  The relationship between the two young men was affirmed, made stronger and more passionate each time Cam moved into his lover's body and Kevin received him.  They worked at keeping one other on the ragged edge of fulfillment, tightening the bow-strings of their sexual joy until they could no longer deny themselves.  Scrunching up his face and biting on the pillow, Kevin finally pumped out a stream of semen so copious that it was if he hadn't come in a week.  Alerted that Kevin had ejaculated when Cam felt the slick moisture between them and when his own dick had been squeezed hard by Kevin's sphincter, Cam bore down and soon completely filled the reservoir, and more, of the rubber moving inside his partner.

Before collapsing on top of his lover, Cam swiped his tongue hungrily over Kevin's abs and chest several times, tasting and enjoying that redolent, sticky mass of protein which had shot from the boy's body.

Gasping for breath and completely spent, the two of them zoned out for a good twenty minutes.

Cam awakened first when his now flaccid penis fell away from Kevin, and moving slowly, he peeled himself off his partner's body, backing away until he was on his knees.  Kevin's eyes opened slowly, just slits of satisfaction.

"Take me now, Jesus, 'cause I've seen the heavenly shore," Kevin quipped in a whisper.  "Oh, my Lord!!"

Smiling, Cam crawled back on top of his lover on his hands and knees, the rubber full of glistening splooge still encasing his penis, and lowered his head to kiss Kevin's lips.

"Loving you, Kevin," Cam told him softly.  "Loving you so much!  You're my heart and soul!" he said.  "You own me!" he added, echoing Kevin's earlier words.  He leaned down and kissed the boy again, then pulled back, studying that handsome face for a long moment.  Kevin looked up at him with big brown eyes, transfixed by the bond of love with one another they had just renewed.

"I'll get a towel and clean us up," Cam whispered eventually, although he was loathe to leave his soul mate for even a minute right then.

Kevin nodded his head contentedly, closing his eyes again as Cam moved slowly from bed to bathroom.  There was a sound of the toilet flushing and of running water, and then the sensation of a warm towel moving over the skin of Kevin's abs, stomach and genitals.  Kevin didn't even open his eyes, just soaking up the attention he was receiving.

When he was finished, Cam threw the towel to the floor and collapsed on his stomach next to his lover, one muscular arm across his partner's chest, instantly joining him in oblivion.

*  *  *

Ian Carson called his office on Monday morning to reschedule some appointments so that he, along with Mary, could have the morning free to talk with Carl and Dan Emrick.  Some decisions had to be made
if they were staying in San Francisco long term, including where they were going to go to school.

After they had all eaten breakfast in the kitchen, William and Mark Carson left for school after kissing their mother, and the remaining four of them sat at the kitchen table sipping coffee and orange juice, talking while Mrs. Vega cleaned up the kitchen.  Ian was unshaven, wearing his bathrobe, looking like something the cat had dragged in, but Mary was all cleaned up, makeup on, her hair done, and wearing a nice blouse and pair of slacks.

"You guys have been attending Seaside High, right?" Ian asked them, moving around to the other side of the table so he could see their faces.

"Yes, sir," Carl said.  "I guess you already know that I'm a senior, and Dan's a sophomore."

"How are your grades?" Mary asked.

"Good, but not terrific," Dan said.  "I'm seventh in my class right now."

"If that isn't terrific, Dan, I'd say it's close to it," Ian said.  "Carl, what about you?"

"I'm OK, I guess," Carl said.  "I'm tenth in my class, but that doesn't mean much.  My class is kind of dumb."

Ian and Mary laughed.

"You think he's kidding?" Dan said, grinning.  "He's not!"

Carl smiled and put his hand on the back of his brother's neck, and squeezed.  "Shut up," he said.

"Well, I guess the first thing we need to get a handle on is, are you going to stick with us here in San Francisco?" Ian said.  "Mary and I really want you to, and I can tell that William and Mark like you.  A lot.  So, I'm not trying to rush you into a decision on this, but..."

"We want to stay, don't we, Carl?" Dan said, surprising both his brother and the Carsons.

"I didn't know you'd made up your mind," Carl said to him.  "But I'm relieved.  I wasn't sure what you were thinking, and I was going to stick with you whatever you decided to do."

"I think this is where we need to be now," Dan said, repeating exactly what Cam had told him the day before.  "I don't want to go back to Seaside, at least not until all this mess with our dad is finished, and maybe not ever.  I wish I could get some of my personal stuff and clothes out of our house, though."

"You can," Ian said.  "I'll call Lauren Reed at Child Protection."

"Dad won't be around when we're there, will he?" Carl asked.

"No," Ian said.  "We'll get a court order forbidding that.  You'll have all the time you need to get your things with no interference."

Both boys smiled at that.

"That's really nice of you," Carl said.

"We want you to be happy here, and you should have your things," Mary said.  "I'll drive you down to Seaside whenever you need to go."

"Thank you," Dan said.

"Now, about school," Ian said.  "Classes will be over in about eight weeks.  I don't think there will be a problem in getting either of you enrolled for the remainder of this school year in any school you want to attend here in the city, given your grades.  I'll call the school district in Seaside, and see what I have to do to get your transcripts.  Any thoughts on where you might want to go?" he asked.

The boys looked at him blankly.

"Where do William and Mark go?" Carl asked.

"They go to a Catholic high school across town.  But this will be their last year there," Mary said.

"Oh," Carl said.  "Why is that?"

"We want them to receive a little broader education than they're getting," Mary said diplomatically.  "Do you two boys have a church affiliation?"

"Yes," Dan said.  "We're Catholics."

"That's fine," Ian said.  "If you want to go to a Catholic school, you may.  That's not a problem."

"Where are William and Mark going to go next year?" Dan asked.

"They've been accepted at St. Anselm's, an Episcopal day school here in the city," Ian said.

Carl and Dan looked at each other.

"Do you think we could go to St. Anselm's, too, for the rest of this year?" Carl asked.  "Then maybe Dan could continue next year."

Ian and Mary exchanged a glance and nodded their heads.

"I'll persuade the headmaster at St. Anselm's that you two would be a wonderful addition to the student body," Ian said.  "And you will be."

"Thank you," Carl said.  He smiled.  "I think Dan and I need to make signs to wear around our necks that say, 'Thank you.'  We owe you both so much."

"We want to do this," Mary said.  "You're part of our family now."

"Now, Carl, are you enrolled for college next year?" Ian asked.

"Yes, sir.  "I've been accepted at UCLA."

"Have you sent in a deposit for your tuition and dorm room and meals yet?"

"No.  Dad was going to do that, but I don't know whether he did or not," Carl said.

"I'll find out today whether or not he followed through," Ian said.  "If he didn't or he won't, I'll give you a check.  You should probably put it in the mail as soon as possible."

Carl looked stunned.

"I've been worried about what was going to happen with college," he said.  "But it doesn't seem right that you have to pick up the freight for me."

"I'm going to try to get a court order for support from your dad
for both of you," Ian said.  "If that doesn't happen, we've still got you covered.  By the time I'm done, I'm going to know more about your dad's finances than he does, believe me."

Carl didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  He smiled and pantomimed holding up a sign that said, "Thank you."  They all laughed.

"Now, just a couple more things," Ian said.  "We do have some household rules."  He smiled.  "I know you didn't think you'd be lucky enough to live somewhere that didn't have any rules."

"No, sir," Dan said, and Carl nodded.

"They're just common sense, really, but we want you to know what they are," Ian said.  "I don't want to come across as harsh, but these guidelines have worked well for the family so far, and we think they'll continue to work well now that our family has grown in size.

"First of all," Ian said, "we ask that you both be kind to everyone living here, just as we will require everyone here to be kind to you.  That doesn't mean that we'll always agree about everything, or that you can't say so when you don't agree about something, but everything has to be worked out peacefully and respectfully.  Above all, there's no hitting in this house by adults or children.  And no bad language in front of adults.  If you kids want to talk that way to each other, you can, I guess.  I sure did my share when I was a kid.  But don't do it in front of Mary and me.

"Secondly, if an adult, and that includes Yolanda as part of our family, asks you to do something or tells you not to do something, obey first and argue about it later.  We love you, and we care about you, but believe it or not, we have better judgment about things than you do.  So, nine times out of ten, we're going to be right, and if we're wrong the tenth time, we'll admit it to you and go on from there.  We all have some assigned tasks here in the condo, including the adults.  Mary makes out the schedule and posts it on the refrigerator, and we ask that you carry out your assignment, whatever it is, in a timely fashion.  By the way, William and Mark are going to be ecstatic to have some help with things around here, believe me.

"Third, all you boys have curfews.  Dan, you and Mark have a curfew of 10:00 on weeknights, and 11:00 on Friday and Saturday nights, unless we give you an exception.  Carl, you and William have a curfew of 10:30 on weeknights, and midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, once again unless we tell you that you can stay out later  You have to ask for an exception before you go out, not when it looks as if you're going to be late.

"Fourth, academics is a top priority in our family.  There is no free time for you boys until you've done whatever is required by your school to stay on top of your subjects.  Given your class standings, I don't anticipate any problem with this.

"And last but not least, we do not use illicit drugs in our home, or permit our children to have them or use them here or anywhere else.  You will not drink alcohol here at home unless it's a glass of wine at dinner under our supervision, and you will not drink at all when away from home.  We start from a position of trust on this matter.  If you are caught violating our rule, it doesn't mean that we're going to give up on you or put you out, any more than we would do so to William and Mark.  But there will be consequences, I can promise you that.  There's no discussion or argument on this subject.  None at all.

"Now, does either of you have any drugs here that you're not supposed to have?" Ian asked the boys.

Carl and Dan looked at each other.

"Yes, sir," Carl said.

"What is it?"


"Go and flush it down the toilet," Ian said.  "Right now.  And then come back."

"Yes, sir."  Carl got up and went to his bedroom.  He removed a small bag of marijuana and a pipe from his bag in the closet, and taking the bag into the bathroom, emptied it into the toilet.  Then he flushed it away, standing at attention and saluting smartly as the substance swirled around the bowl and was gone.  Taking the pipe with him, he went back to the kitchen and put it on the table in front of Ian without a word.

"Thank you, Carl.  Put this in the garbage," Ian said, handing the pipe back to him.  Carl put it into the garbage and came back and sat down.

"I want to amend what I said before about no discussion about drugs," Ian said.  "I want you to know why we're so firm on this issue.  Drugs of any kind are basically an anesthetic, a pain-killer for people who are hurting.  If you're hurting psychologically, they can relieve the pain for a while, but they require you to use more and more of a substance over time to get the same effect, and they never solve the underlying problem.   That's why it's particularly important for you not to use drugs, Carl.  They mask what's hurting inside you, in your mind, and right now you need to face some things honestly and with all your senses intact.  I hate illicit drugs on principle, but it's especially crucial for you not to be using right now.  The whole world around us is using illicit drugs today, but our family will not.  Do you understand what I'm telling you?"

"Yes, sir," Carl said.  "And thank you for taking the time to explain it to us rather than just telling us, 'No.'  We won't take advantage of your hospitality, and I promise you that we'll follow your rules."

"Very good.  Now, any questions or comments on anything we've talked about so far?" Ian asked.

"No, sir," Carl said.

"Not really," Dan said.  "Well, one question, but it doesn't have anything to do with the rules.  Cam and Kevin invited William and Mark and Carl and me to go up to San Rafael a week from Friday night to stay over at their house until Sunday.  They were going to check with their mom, but if she says it's all right, can we go?"

Ian and Mary looked at each other.

"I don't see why not," Mary said after a moment.  "As long as you go to church on Sunday morning and get home in good time on Sunday night.  I'll want to talk to Dr. MacKenzie about this whole thing first, of course."

"Doctor MacKenzie? Is she a physician?" Ian asked his wife.

"No.  She's a professor of English literature at St. Francis University."

"Very good," Ian said, nodding.  "Do you guys have a way up to San Rafael?"

"No, not right now," Dan said.

"Well, you're the oldest of you four boys, Carl.  Are you a good driver?" Ian asked.

"Yes, sir."

"I didn't really expect that you'd say 'No' to that question," Ian laughed.  "Well, if things go as planned between now and then, we'll trust you to drive the Navigator up there for the weekend."

"Oh, man, thank you so much!" Dan said happily.  "Er, I meant to say, 'Thank you, sir.'  I'm really gonna look forward to this!"

Carl smiled at his brother's enthusiasm, but he was pretty happy about it himself.

"Why don't we go shopping for some clothes for you guys this afternoon," Mary suggested, "just in case we don't get down to Seaside to get your things right away."

"Cool," Carl said.  "We'd really appreciate that."

"I guess I actually do have a question," Carl said.  "What do you want us to call you?"

"Well, why don't we start out with 'Ian' and 'Mary,'" Ian said.  "If we really form a new family the way I think we will, and you feel comfortable at some point doing so, you can call us 'Mom' and 'Dad.'  Fair enough?"

"Yes, sir," the boys said.

"If there are friends you want to talk to back in Seaside," Mary said, "feel free to use our phones.  By the way, do you boys need new cell phones?"

"Well..." Carl said, uncertain about that.

"You probably should have some," she said.  "Your father probably won't continue to pay the bills on the ones you have now.  We'll get new ones this afternoon while we're out.  But you'll call and cancel your old phones, though, won't you?"

"Yes, ma'am.  Thank you," Dan said.

"All right, then.  Thank you guys for your time, and welcome to this family," Ian said to the boys.  "Let's take things a day at a time, but I think we're going to do fine together."

"We're grateful for everything you're doing for us, believe me," Carl said.

"You're good boys, and we love you, and we're glad you're here," Mary said.

"Now," Ian said to his wife and Dan, "Carl and I need to talk a little more, if you'll excuse us for a few minutes.  We'll use the study."

"All right," Mary said as they all stood up.  She went first to Dan and then to Carl, drew each of them into her arms and kissed them on the cheek.

Ian and Carl walked through the condo to the study where they had talked the previous evening, followed by Alice.

They sat down in the same chairs as the night before, the dog making herself comfortable at Ian's feet.  Ian smiled at his new ward.

"I know things are moving awfully fast right now, Carl, but I want to get you set up with a therapist as soon as possible.  I'd like to get some idea of what you might be looking for in the person you'll be confiding in."

"Gee, I don't know..."

"Well, do you think you want to talk to a man or a woman?" Ian asked.  "You're going to have to be totally honest with this person, whoever it is, so it's important that you're able to bond with him or her."

Carl groaned and looked at the floor.  "This is going to be hard, isn't it?"

"Yes, at first.  But you strike me as being a pretty tough kid, to be honest.  I think you're going to do well, and I promise you that we won't keep you in therapy one second longer than is necessary."

"All right," Carl said in a subdued voice.  "I guess I'd rather talk to a woman, probably."

"That's fine.  Young or old?"

Carl thought for a minute.  "Young, I guess.  But not so young I'd want to date her."

Ian laughed heartily.

"I like your attitude," he said.  "I have somebody in mind who's terrific with young people. 
I've been in some seminars with her.  Dr. Greta Thompson.  I'll have to clear her name with Protective Services, of course, but that won't be a problem."

"All right," Carl said, not thrilled with this whole prospect of therapy.

"Good.   Now, are you still hurting physically?" Ian asked.

"A little.  But the welts are starting to get better already."

"Any rectal bleeding or pain?"

Carl blushed.  "No.  The suppositories and antibiotics are working, I guess."

"You'll let me know if anything changes, won't you?"


"Good.  Now, I'll tell you what.  Let me get cleaned up, and let's you and Dan and me take Alice here for a good long walk.  I need the exercise even if she doesn't.  And then I'm due at the office."

They stood up, and Ian hugged the boy.

"You're going to be back to your old self in no time," Ian told him.

"I'm ready for that!"

*  *  *

Cam awakened first that Monday morning, his limbs and Kevin's entangled, and smelling the faint residue of their lovemaking on the sheets of their bed.  He lay there looking at his still-sleeping partner, wishing that he had more time to spend in bed with Kevin rather than facing school.  I can't get enough of this boy, he thought to himself, feeling his fierce, unabated sexual hunger for him and hoping that it would never lessen.

Eventually, duty calling, he disentangled himself from his lover without awakening him, and went into the bathroom.  After relieving himself, he washed his hands and went back into the bedroom, pulling on his boxers and a T, and padded down the back staircase to the kitchen to fix Kevin's and his breakfast, Sam at his heels.  He let her out the back door.  Much to his surprise, Catherine was still in the kitchen, just rinsing off her own breakfast dishes and putting them in the dish washer.

"'Morning, Mom.  I'd thought you'd be gone by now."

"Good morning, hon.  I'm running a little late."

"Speaking of being late, Kev and I may be a little late getting home from school today," he told her.  "We have a soccer match right after classes.  Well, actually, I have a match, and Kevin watches from the bench."

"All right.  I'll wait supper for you.  Why don't I make a salad and something for dessert, and you and Kevin can grill some hamburgers whenever you get home?"

"Sounds good to me," Cam said.

"By the way, Kevin's appointment with his orthopedist is a week from tomorrow at 2 o'clock," Catherine told him.  "I'll need to give him a note to get him out of class."

"OK.  I'll remind him.  He's going to be happy to lose those casts."

"I'm sure he will.  You know, Cam, you've really done a wonderful job all these weeks taking care of Kevin.  I know it hasn't been easy.  It's been a real sign of friendship and maturity on your part, and I've been impressed.  I'm proud of you."

"I haven't done much..." he mumbled.

Catherine stepped over to him and gave him a hug, reaching up to kiss his cheek.

"Yes, you have.  Don't argue with your mother," she said, smiling.

"All right," he said, smiling back.  "Thanks."  He looked at her, and she was wearing her new necklace.  "You're wearing Kevin's gift.  That's going to make him happy."

She fingered it.  "It's beautiful.  People at school will think I'm getting classy in my old age."

"Young and classy, that's what you are, Ma," Cam said

Catherine laughed.  "See you tonight," she said.  She picked up her briefcase off the counter and headed for the back door.

"'Bye, Mom."

Cam turned and pulled a box of instant cinnamon oatmeal mix out of the cupboard and looked at the directions, sliding some bread into the toaster as he was reading.

Catherine let Sam in the back door when she left, and the dog came bounding over to Cam.

"So, Sam, I s'pose you're hungry, huh?  Why do you think you deserve food?" he said, measuring water into a pan and placing it on the stove at high flame.  The dog sat at Cam's feet, looking up expectantly, and then stood up and began to dance around him as he talked to her.  If dogs could smile, she'd have been smiling beguilingly.

"All right."  Cam went over to the cupboard and removed a bag of dry dog food and a bowl.  He measured out some food, and put the bowl with food in it down on the floor.  Then he filled a second bowl with water, and Sam honed in on her breakfast.  He watched her eat as the water on the stove heated to a boil.

Cam emptied two packets of the oatmeal mix into the pan of boiling water, and began stirring it.  When it was thick and steaming, he put it off to the side and poured orange juice for him and Kevin, and buttered the toast.  He put the oatmeal in bowls on a tray, adding the glasses of orange juice, the toast, two tablespoons to eat with, napkins, and a creamer and sugar.  Picking up the tray, he headed upstairs, leaving Sam behind to finish her breakfast.

Kevin was still dead to the world when Cam re-entered the bedroom.  He put the tray on his desk, and going over to the bed, enjoyed the sight of his boy for a minute before leaning down and kissing Kevin softly on the forehead.  Kevin's eyes drifted open, focused, and he got a big, lascivious smile on his face when he saw Cam hovering over him.

"Get those clothes off and get back in this bed right now," Kevin ordered.

"Can't, man," Cam said.  "I brought you breakfast to compensate, though."

"That's not the compensation I was looking for, but I guess I'll take what I can get," Kevin complained.  He pulled himself into a sitting position against the headboard, and Cam brought over the tray and put it on on his lap.  The Cam climbed back in bed to sit beside him.

"Oh, yum, oatmeal!  You sure know the way to a boy's heart," Kevin said sarcastically, putting sugar and milk on the concoction.

"Eat up, you ungrateful little fuck!" Cam said, taking his own bowl of the gray mess off the tray and doctoring it up to suit himself.  He took a piece of toast and bit down on it.  "From now on you're gonna eat healthy!  I don't want you to lose your edge in bed."

"I have to admit you performed pretty well last night," Kevin responded, looking at Cam out of the corner of his eye.

"Did you say pretty well?"  Cam chuckled, chewing away on his toast.  "The word 'outstanding' comes to mind.  The way you were huffing and puffing at the end of our little session, I'm sure you agree with me."

Kevin grinned.  "I wish I could dispute that, but I can't.  You do know how to use the tool God gave you."

"You're the tool God gave me.  And I'm pretty happy about it, too."

"Yep," Kevin said, turning his head and looking at his lover, perving on that beautiful body sitting there beside him.  "I just hope you have strength enough to get through the match this afternoon without embarrassing yourself."

"If I fuck up, I'm making a public confession to the whole team about how you drained me of all my reserve strength with your sexual antics.  Then I'm renting you out to the highest bidder on the team.  The fee will be anything over a buck-two-eighty.  I need money for college."

"Shut up!" Kevin said, smiling.  "You talk too much in the morning."

"I can't help it.  You inspire me."

"Yeah, right."

"If you can get your mind off sex for a minute," Cam said, "Mom reminded me this morning that you have an appointment a week from tomorrow afternoon with the doctor.  She'll give you a note to get out of class, and she'll pick you up and take you to his office."

Kevin sighed.  "Can you believe this nightmare's almost over?"

"You've done really well, Kev.  Not getting discouraged or anything through all this, I mean.  I really admire you."

Kevin got a serious look on his face.  "How many times do I have to tell you?  If I come out of this unscathed, it's because of you, bud."  He took Cam's hand and brought it to his mouth and kissed the back of it.  "How can I ever thank you for everything you've done for me, and without any resentment, ever?  You did it because you're such a loving person, man.  That's the only way to explain it."

"You'd have done the same for me," Cam protested.

"I'd like to think I would have."

They finished eating in silence, and Cam took the tray and put it on his desk when they were done.

"Get that fine ass of yours out of bed," Cam said.  "We gotta get you washed, and I gotta take a shower.   Time's flying."

Kevin groaned, and complied, standing up stark naked under Cam's appraising gaze, placing the crutches under his arms and heading for the bathroom with the ample equipment between his legs swinging in the breeze.  Kevin cleaned his teeth, and Cam gave him a sponge bath, washing him and drying him carefully, and then popped himself into the shower.  When he emerged, Kevin was in his own bedroom, struggling to find clean clothes and to get into them.

"I'll help you, Kev," Cam said, quickly pulling together an ensemble of cammie cargo shorts, boxers, a T-shirt with a University of Montana at Missoula emblem on the front of it, and sweat socks and sneakers.  He helped Kevin into his clothes, and then headed for his own room to dress.  Kevin went to the transporter chair and went downstairs.  When Cam was presentable, he grabbed his own and Kevin's books and put them into his backpack, put the backpack on Sam's bed, and carried everything down the back stairs.

Cam grabbed the water dish on the floor in the kitchen and emptied it into the sink, adding it to the backpack in the dog bed.  "I think we'll put Sam's bed in the pool house so she can have access to the yard all day," Cam told Kevin. 

"Good idea," Kevin said as he crutched his way toward the back door.  "Come on, Sam," he told the dog, who followed them obediently on to the back deck.

Cam set the dog bed down, entered the alarm code for the house, picked up the bed again and walked toward the pool house as Kevin headed for the garage.  He put the dog bed into the large pool house, leaving the door open, and filled the dog dish with fresh water.

"'Bye, Sam," he told the dog, who curled up in her bed and prepared to go to sleep.

 Cam strode to the garage, helped Kevin get seated in the Camaro, threw the crutches and their books into the back, and they were off at last.

When they arrived at school, Cam stopped at the front door and helped Kevin out of the car and gave him his crutches.

"I'll put your books in your locker if you wanna go right on to homeroom," Cam told him.

"Thanks, man."

Cam drove into the parking lot and found a space between two new, nice looking cars, hoping to minimize the chances of getting any dings on his precious Camaro.  He started walking toward the school with the backpack full of his and Kevin's books when Teri McKee fell into step with him.

"Hey, babe," Cam said, leaning over to kiss her cheek.  "Mom gave me your message, and I was gonna call you today if I didn't see you."

Teri was a foxy looking brunette, slim with a fine rack, who stood about 5'7".  She had a sweet face, good skin, and sparkling blue eyes.  She was captain of the cheerleading squad.  But the best thing about her was that she was a nice girl, a kind girl, with a great temperament.  Cam liked her a lot, and knew that if he weren't gay and in love with Kevin, he'd be in love with her.  She was a sweetheart.  A horny sweetheart, though.

"We need to get together to talk about the prom," Teri said, looking over at Cam, taking his arm.  She loved the boy, and couldn't understand why Cam had never responded to her advances.  She'd certainly been blatant enough about the fact she wanted to sleep with him.  She and the girls on the cheerleading squad had talked incessantly all year about the jocks, and they all agreed that from the size of his hands and feet, Cam was packing.

"Yeah, we need to talk," Cam said.  "I'm sorry I've been so tied up for a while.  Why don't you come over for supper this week?  If Mom isn't home to cook, I'll do the honors myself.  I'm pretty good in the kitchen."

"Uh, huh," Teri said, laughing, thinking more about the bedroom than the kitchen.
  If Mrs. MacKenzie weren't home, maybe they could do something more exciting than eating.  Kevin's being around the house surely wouldn't be a problem.  After all, he was a jock and had had a long sexual relationship with Heather until he got her pregnant, so he'd know what was up and would make himself scarce.
"Well, you know what they say," she told Cam.  "It's not the food, it's the company."

"Maybe Thursday for supper," Cam said.  "Let me check with Mom, and I'll call you tonight.  If that doesn't work, we'll go out to supper."

"Cool," Teri said.  "We gotta start thinking about reservations for dinner and for the hotel party after the dance, and reservations for the limo and stuff."

"Limo?" Cam said, grinning.  "What limo?  We're going on my bicycle."

"Dream on, buddy!  Senior prom only happens once, and this one is going to be memorable in every way!  Totally!  I can promise you that."

"All right," Cam said, looking at her, but inexplicably seeing Kevin in his mind's eye.

They walked in the front door of the school together.  The school security officers wanded them, and then the two of them went their separate ways.  Cam walked slowly through the throngs of kids toward his homeroom, wondering how the hell he was going to avoid going to bed with Teri McKee when prom rolled around.

*  *  *

Cam and Kevin arrived home from their soccer match a little after 7 p.m.  Rosa Mendez, the MacKenzies' maid, had fixed a plate of hamburger patties for the grill, made a lettuce, tomato and red pepper salad, and had even bought some shortcake and strawberries for dessert before she'd left for the evening.

"Hey, Mom," Cam and Kevin said simultaneously as they walked into the kitchen from the back door.  Kevin looked over the food on the counter.  "You and Rosa have been busy," he said.

"Mostly Rosa.  We have to feed you two," Catherine complained, smiling.  "I don't want to, because you'll just get bigger, but it's in the contract."

She was wearing the new necklace he'd bought her, Kevin noticed, even though she'd changed out of a suit into slacks and a blouse after teaching her classes for the day.

"Your necklace looks great!" Kevin said.

"Thank you.  I got a lot of compliments on it today at St. Francis," Catherine said.

"Who could resist charm and beauty?" Cam said.  "Not to speak of erudition."

"You used a big word," Kevin said accusingly.  "That's punishable.  I'm telling the guys on the soccer team you used a big word."

"Shut up," Cam told him.

"You must want something," Catherine said to Cam.

"You're too smart for me, Mom," Cam said.  "I need to ask you two things.  First, can Teri come over for dinner on Thursday?  We need to talk about prom.  She's on me about getting all the arrangements nailed down.  And second, can the Carson and Emrick boys come up to stay over with us the weekend after next?"

Catherine looked thoughtful.

"I don't see why Teri can't come over," she said.  "As far as the weekend thing goes, where would all you boys sleep?"

"I thought I'd get a couple of big air mattresses, and that we'd all sleep in the pool house on the floor," Cam said.  "We have a bathroom and shower and everything out there, so we wouldn't have to be traipsing in and out of the house all night," he added as incentive.

"All right," Catherine said.  "But I'll want to talk to Mrs. Carson about all this."

"She'll want to talk to you," Cam said.  "She's met Kevin, and that's enough to make her a little wary of our family."

Kevin just shook his head ruefully, and crutched out of the kitchen toward the transporter chair to go upstairs.

"If I don't hear from Mrs. Carson in a few days, I'll call her," Catherine said.  "Tentatively, though, your weekend is all right with me."

"Thanks, Mom," Cam said.

"Did your team win the match this afternoon, by the way?" Catherine asked him.

"Yeah, two-zip."

"Did you score?" she asked.

"Both goals," Cam said, grinning.

"He's our HERO, Ma!" Kevin yelled back from the hallway as he sat down on the stair transporter.

Cam fired up the gas grill on the deck before trekking up the back stairs to put his and Kevin's books in his room and change into sandals from sneakers.  Kevin was sitting on Cam's bed looking a little downcast.  Cam went over and sat down beside him, putting an arm around him.

"You're my hero, Kev," Cam teased his partner.

Kevin sat looking at the floor, not answering.

"What's the matter?" Cam asked.



"I'm jealous and a little scared," Kevin told him.  "You and I both know that the only present Teri McKee wants from you for graduation is your big dick between her legs.  Prom night will definitely be when she tries to collect on that.  I'm not thrilled about that idea."

Cam sighed.

"I know exactly what she has on her mind.  I'm concerned about it, too.  But I don't know what to do about this situation.  She and I have had plans to go to the prom together forever, and I just don't have it in me to cancel our date.  That wouldn't be cool at all.  This prom shit actually means something to girls!"

The two boys sat there on the bed looking at each other.

"I probably don't even have the right to bring all this up," Kevin said finally.  "After all, I not only fooled around with Heather, I got her pregnant. 
It's not like we've taken any vows to be faithful to each other or anything.  So it's not fair for me to try to keep you from having sex with Teri if you want to."

"I don't want to, but it's not unfair for you to tell me how you feel. 
I want to be faithful to you.  I hope you know that.  The situation with Heather came about long before you and I...well, before we ever made love to each other.  I love you, Kevin.  The last thing I want to do is to fuck up the relationship that means more to me than anything in this world."  Cam kissed Kevin gently on the side of his head.  "Tell me what I should do."

"I don't know what you should do," Kevin said.  "I don't think we're ready to come out, or else you could just tell her you're--we're-- gay.  I'm not sure what options you have at this point, to be honest."

"I s'pose I could tell her I don't want to have sex because the Church says we shouldn't," Cam said.

"She's not gonna buy that!" Kevin said.  "Everybody knows you're religious, but they also know you're no goody two-shoes, man.  We've both pulled our share of shit the Church doesn't approve of while we were growing up."

"I could tell her I've got the clap."

"That won't cut it.  Wearing a rubber would take care of that problem."

Cam groaned deep in his throat.  "I'm fucked!" he said softly but vehemently.

"Probably.  Literally.  But here's a thought:  you could 'just say no.'  The nation's conservatives would be proud."

Cam grinned.  "What!!  You think I should do the manly thing and say 'no?'  Or is it the manly thing to say 'yes?'  I'm confused."

"Me, too," Kevin said.  "Dude, let's not worry about it.  We love each other.  We know that.  And whatever happens, we're still gonna love each other after prom night is over.  So there!"

Kevin pushed Cam down on the bed and kissed him deeply.

The landline phone began to ring and then stopped.  Catherine answered it in the kitchen, and then she shouted up the back stairs.

"Cam, Kevin, it's for you boys.  It's Carl Emrick."

"OK, Mom," Cam yelled back, sitting up.  "We got it."

He took his extension off the table and handed it to Kevin, and went into Kevin's room to use that extension.

"Carl!" Kevin said, picking up.  "How's it hangin', dude?"

Carl laughed.  "Straight down right now, with no prospects for anything better.  How you doin'?"

"Good," Kevin said.  "There's a good chance I'm gonna get my casts off a week from tomorrow.  Man, am I ready!"

"Carl!" Cam's voice chimed in as he picked up.  "'Sup, man?"

"Feelin' lucky to be here with this family," Carl said.  "They're great people.  So thanks again for what you did."

"I'm happy for you and Dan," Cam said.

"Listen, I wanted to ask you guys something.  And if it's out of the question, just tell me.  Ian told me today that he'll give me a check for UCLA in case there's a problem with getting my dad to come up with the money.  That just blew me away!  I never expected anybody to be that generous to me, ever!  But I've been trying to think of ways I could economize on school expenses.  And I was wondering if you thought your dad would agree to let me live with you guys in Malibu when we go to school down there in the fall.  That would save a lot of money on dorm fees and a food contract and stuff.  I'd be willing to sleep on a cot or on the floor, even.  And I'd be willing to pay your dad some rent. Whatever I have, I'd give him.  Do you think that idea would fly?"

"I think that's a great idea, Carl!" Cam said enthusiastically.  "Kevin and I would love to have you for a housemate!  I'll call Dad and his partner and run it by them, but I think they'll approve."

"His partner?"

"Yeah, our dad's gay, and has lived with a great guy named John Kelley for quite a few years now," Cam said.  "I guess I thought you knew he's gay."

"No, I didn't," Carl said.

"Does it matter?" Kevin asked.

"Nope.  Not at all," Carl said.

"Cool," Cam said.  "I'll give Dad a call, then.  I think he'll say 'yes' when I explain the circumstances.  I can tell him what happened to you, can't I?"

"Yes," Carl said, a little subdued.

"Don't worry, man, we don't go around tellin' your story.  I think Dad and John need to know, though."

"That's cool," Carl said.

"Listen, while we're talking," Cam said, "our mom said our big weekend to have you and Dan and the Carsons up here is a go.  Mom said she wants to talk to Mrs. Carson about it, though."

"Excellent!" Carl said.  "This is going to be fun, and I know we're all looking forward to it.  I think Mary Carson planned to call your mom about it anyway.  Oh, yeah, and Ian is going to let me drive us up there in his Navigator, do you believe that?"

"Outstanding!" Kevin said.  "We're gonna plan some good shit for all of us to do.  We have a pool, so bring your suits.  Or not.  We're gonna have so much fun that by the time you head for home, your asses will be draggin'."

"Shoot, you two pussies won't wear us out!" Carl said, laughing.  "Seriously, though, Kev, good luck on getting your casts off."

"Thanks.  I can't wait."

"We'll get back to you in a day or so about living in Malibu with us, OK?" Cam said.

"Yep.  Thanks, guys.  Talk to you soon."

They cut the connection, and Cam came back into his room.

"Considering what he went through, Carl sounds really good, doesn't he?" Cam said to Kevin.

"Yeah.  Do you think Alex and John will let him live with us?"

"I do.  I'd really be surprised if they don't.  But I guess we'll see."

Buoyed by the prospect of a good weekend with the Emricks and the Carsons coming up, and with the possibility of Carl living with them in Malibu, Kevin and Cam went downstairs and cooked the hamburgers while Catherine set the table in the breakfast nook.

Kevin offered thanks before they sat down.

"Father, we thank you for watching over our family, and for the love we have for one another.  We know you watch over us all the time, and we're grateful.   We ask you to guide us in all the decisions we make so that we can always do your will.  We also ask for your protection for Carl and Dan Emrick and for William and Mark Carson.  Bless the food we are about to receive, and make us truly thankful for your many gifts to us, through Christ our Lord."


"Good one, Kev," Cam said.

They sat down and had a good meal together, talking and laughing about what they were all doing at school.

Kevin kept looking at his boyfriend's face while they ate.  The question of how Cam would deal with his "girlfriend's" plans to have sex with Cam on prom weekend kept popping into Kevin's mind.  It might be stupid, but despite his intention not to make a big deal out of it, Kevin knew his feelings would probably be hurt if Teri succeeded in seducing his boyfriend.

© Don Hanratty.  Thanks to Eric (Jetman) and Dan for proofing and editing Chapter 10.

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