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


Andy Helder drove over to Catherine's house in San Rafael on Friday afternoon after his last class at St. Francis.  He and Catherine put their carry-on luggage along with Dan Emrick's bag into the massive trunk of her aging Lincoln.  Then they drove to San Rafael High to pick up Dan Emrick after school.  He was waiting for them at the main entrance of the high school when they arrived.

Dan gave the leather back seat a quick look before sitting down to make sure that William and Berto hadn't left any stains there from their various carnal activities with the girls they'd been dating.  He was pleased to note there were no tell-tale signs.

"Hi, sweetheart," Catherine greeted Dan.

"Hey, Mom," he responded.  "Thanks for picking me up."  Catherine and Mary Carson had come to share the title of "mom" when it came to the Emrick boys.

"Dude!" Andy said, turning in the front passenger seat and bumping fists with the new arrival.

"Hey, man," Dan said.  "Does Carl know you're coming?"

"Does William have fleas?" Andy shot back, making Dan chuckle.

"I don't know how all you boys get along so well the way you talk about each other," Catherine observed.

"Well, we never tell anyone the truth to his face," Dan said.  "That helps keep things civil."

Catherine laughed out loud.  She looked over at Andy in the front passenger seat, and then at Dan in her rear-view mirror.  They were each wearing board shorts and sandals, along with form-fitting T's that showed off their musculature.

"You know, you boys look so handsome," Catherine told them.  "You've obviously been following your exercise regimen, and it really shows."

"Thanks, Dr. M.," Andy said at the same time Dan said, "Thanks, Mom."

Dan leaned forward, arms on the back of Andy's seat as Catherine headed for the freeway.  "That Berto has no mercy in the gym, y'know," Dan told Catherine.  "He's worse than William was before William started playing football and Berto took over our exercise program.  Even Andy doesn't escape when he's over at the house for a visit."  He hit Andy on the shoulder.  "'Course Andy's always been buff.  That's what Carl says, and he's right.  But still, the martial arts and weight training have really paid off for him."

Andy blushed.  "Well..."

"It is what it is, dude," Dan said, grinning and sitting back in his seat.  He always liked paying Andy compliments because he deserved them, but also because his pal frequently got so flustered.

Catherine smiled.  I do love these boys, she thought to herself.  They're not perfect, but they're pretty darn close.  Entering the freeway, she swung the wheel and headed for the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco International Airport.  The traffic was light until they crossed the bridge and hit the beginning of rush hour traffic heading south.

Andy and Dan started talking sports and Catherine's thoughts drifted into thinking about the purpose of her trip to L.A.  She was going to talk to Carl, Kevin and Cam about her new job at Stanford starting next fall and her move to the Carsons' condo in San Francisco to shorten her commute to school.  She was pretty sure that none of the boys in San Rafael had leaked her future plans to them.  She'd have had some feedback already if they had.  If the reaction of the San Rafael crew was any guide, everybody was going to be pleased about the new arrangements.  Or at least accepting of them.  The San Rafael house wouldn't be sold, and that seemed to please everyone.  Including Catherine.

The last few miles to the airport were slow going, but they still had plenty of time before their plane took off for LA.  They parked the car, shifting their luggage to a commuter bus, and made it to the terminal in time to have an early supper at a little restaurant in their terminal.

Andy pulled out money to pay for his meal when they were ready to leave, but Catherine wouldn't let him.

"When the family goes out, the adult picks up the tab," she told Andy as she paid the bill.

"I appreciate it, Dr. M.," Andy said, stuffing his money back into his pocket.  Being including as part of "the family" made him feel good.

Picking up up their carry-on bags, they went through security and then on down to their gate.

When the plane was ready, they boarded and found three seats together.  Andy took the window, Dan the middle, and Catherine took the aisle seat.  They buckled up and were airborne before long.

"Mom, do you know exactly when you're moving to San Francisco?" Dan asked Catherine after things on the plane settled down.

"I haven't even thought about it yet," Catherine said.  "I'm not even sure when orientation for new staff at Stanford is scheduled."

"Won't you be lonesome with nobody else in the apartment?" he asked.

"To be honest, I probably will, especially at first," Catherine admitted.  "But Yolanda may come into town with me, and possibly the year after next, William will live in the condo too when and if he starts his freshman year at Stanford.  I think that's what he's talking about doing."

"Will you come out to the house anymore?" Andy asked.

"Yes, I will.  You don't think I can go cold turkey when it comes to seeing you boys, do you?"

The guys smiled.

"Actually, this will be kind of cool," Dan said with a grin.  "We'll have one place to go in San Francisco and one in L.A., and then a country retreat in San Rafael where we can recover from urban life."

Andy nodded in agreement, and then slumped down in his seat against the window, looking as if he were going to take a nap.  He didn't go to sleep right away, though.  He looked sideways and down at Dan's crotch in his board shorts.  Andy knew from naked swimming with the guys in Dr. M.'s pool that Dan was hung every bit as well as his brother Carl was.  Nice package.  Because he was younger, Dan's body wasn't as muscular yet as Carl's, but he was well on the way.

Andy's thoughts turned to Carl.  No one could ask for a better boyfriend, he thought to himself.   Carl's physique is fucking perfect, as anyone who looks at him can see, and that's a real turn-on.  But that's just what you can see with your eyes.  It's his whole personality--his toughness, his sense of humor, his kind and loving nature, his ability to commit with his whole heart to his family and, yes, to me--that's what makes him great.  It's what makes me miss him like crazy when I'm not with him.  He owns me, and I've never been happier about anything in my life.

The young man let his thoughts drift to sex.  He and Carl loved each other totally, and they demonstrated that every time they went to bed. 
There were no limits.  Each of them was willing to do whatever the other wanted in bed as often as the other wanted it.  No surprise there.  That was the bottom line.  After a weekend with Carl, Andy never left for San Rafael without feeling totally, physically drained as well as having had his mental and emotional needs fully met.  After going home, Andy's long week of separation from the young man he loved so much would begin all over again.  Andy rarely masturbated anymore, denying himself in order to be fully primed for Carl when they hungrily stripped each other's clothes off and fell into bed in Malibu.

At that point Andy's crotch was feeling tight from an erection with nowhere to go.  He folded his big hands in his lap to disguise his condition.

Andy's papers requesting a transfer to UCLA were already filed with school admissions, and his grades were so good thus far that there was little doubt that he would be living full time in Malibu beginning the following fall.  Living there with Carl's hands all over his body every night and his own on Carl.  And holding each other contentedly after they were satisfied.

Andy drifted off to sleep with a smile on his face, fantasizing about lying between Carl's legs, licking his nipples and then moving down to kiss his abs, and then going down further to his package...

Meanwhile, Catherine turned her head and looked at Dan.  "You know, I wasn't kidding when I said you guys are all looking so good from your exercise program.  Especially you, Dan.  You're one handsome young man.  I think the boys in Malibu are going to notice how toned you are when they see you this time."

"Well..." Dan blushed, and looked Catherine in the eye.  "If that's true, I'm not alone.  You're looking really great yourself, Mom.  Your running has really paid off."

"Thank you, Dan," Catherine said, pleased.

"How are you, Mom?" Dan asked.  "Us guys just kind of roll along and never ask you and Ian and Mary how you're feeling about things.  You all take such good care of us.  So we should ask every now and then."  He paused and swallowed.  "We appreciate you."

Catherine leaned over and kissed Dan on the side of his head.  "I'm feeling really good about things, sweetheart.  Thanks for asking.   I'm feeling good about my new job, and I'm feeling good about our family staying together even though I'll be living in San Francisco some of the time, and I feel really good about all you boys.  I'm proud of you all.  I hope you know that.  You're all making good grades, and you all get along with each other, and you pay attention to Ian and Mary and me when we ask any of you to do something for us--at least I think you do--and there's no drinking or drugging going on."  She smiled.  "Not that we know of, anyway.  So the adults in your life all admire you and are thankful for every one of you.  We don't tell you that often enough either, I don't think."

Dan blushed with pleasure at the compliment.  "Thanks," he said.  "Are you happy about leaving St. Francis?" he asked.

"I have mixed emotions about it," Catherine admitted.  "I love the university, and I've enjoyed my time there a great deal.  But there are some changes coming up there that could make things difficult for me to stay."

"Like what?"

Catherine hesitated about being too frank about the challenges she would have been facing at St. Francis had she wanted to stay.  But Dan sounded interested and deserved an honest answer.

"I'm going to tell you the truth about my situation there," she said, "but I'd like to ask you to keep it between you and me."

"I can do that."

"I don't know whether you've noticed or not, but I'm pretty much of a free thinker about things."

Dan laughed.  "No kidding!  Everybody who knows you knows that!"

"I've been pretty outspoken on the campus, especially concerning what I see as the failings of the Roman Catholic church.  St. Francis is partially under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of San Francisco, and the current archbishop has demanded not once, but several times, that I be fired for taking positions which don't agree with the teaching of the Roman church."

"Can they do that?"

"Technically, no.  I'm a tenured professor, and I don't teach theology, a subject area in which the local bishop does have a lot to say about who's teaching and what's being taught.  But the powers that be can make things pretty miserable for any professor they want to get rid of.  I was feeling a little vulnerable because Father Reilly, the current president and a good friend, is being reassigned to another post by the Jesuits next year, and the search has already begun for a new president.  Whoever sits in the president's chair next year may be a little more compliant with what the archbishop wants."

"What good is tenure if it doesn't protect you?" Dan asked.

"Any school that doesn't have good academic or moral grounds for firing a professor can get in serious trouble with the national academic accrediting bodies.  That's where the protection comes in, although sometimes school administrators are willing to risk that to get rid of someone.  But all that aside, I'm really ready to move on."


"I've had a lot of national exposure because of my work in English literature, and I think I'm ready to move to a larger campus at this point in my career.  I guess a lot of the top ranked schools, including Stanford, liked my résumé when I did my job search.  I received positive offers, or at least a serious green light for further contacts and negotiations, from all  the schools I wrote to.  One of the major reasons I chose to move on to Stanford was because I'd still be near the family."

Dan looked at her.  "And don't think we don't appreciate that."  He paused.  "None of us wants to lose you, Mom.  We need you.  Us younger guys really need you to talk to about things.  We all love you and are thankful for everything you've done for us.  Especially for Carl and me, taking us into your home when the Carsons moved in."

Catherine teared up as she thought about the tough times Dan, and Carl especially, had lived through losing their mother and then, under tragic circumstances, their murderous wretch of a father.  And Carl having been physically abused by his dad

She and Dan sat side by side silently for a moment.  "I need all of you guys too, believe me," she responded to what Dan had said.
Then they began to talk about the Malibu branch of the family.  Cam and his steady recovery from being assaulted came in for a lot of discussion.

When they were talked out, Dan took a quick nap before the plane landed, his head finally coming to rest on Catherine's shoulder, the healthy smell of his hair making Catherine smile.  Their conversation had left Catherine feeling even more positive about the family and about the boys she was helping to raise and mentor.

*  *  *

Cam and Kevin had stayed home rather than going to LAX with Carl so they could spend a few minutes with Casey before putting him to bed, and then work on class assignments which would be due Monday.  They wanted to be free all weekend to spend as much time as they could with Catherine, Dan and Andy.   Jeff, too--he'd be on leave from Assurances.

According to the baby monitor in the den, there hadn't been a peep out of Casey since they'd bathed him and put him down in their bedroom for the night.

Cam finished up his cinematography homework in about thirty minutes, and closed his text and notebook.  He and Kevin were sitting in the den after Carl had gone.  Cam looked across the room at his partner on the big leather couch.  Kevin was still engrossed in his physics assignment, and Cam just sat there studying him.

Kevin's body and legs were perfect, his face, handsome.  No, Cam thought, his face is actually beautiful.  So masculine and beautiful.  His five o'clock shadow looks so fucking male and virile.  Cam loved that boy so much his chest hurt.  He loved the mixture of toughness and kindness and affection Kevin bestowed on everyone.  He's brave and loving, and he's good.  And then there was the out and out lust Cam felt for his partner.  Right now Cam longed to get Kevin into bed as soon as he possibly could, guests or no guests.

Kevin looked up and smiled at his partner across the room, noting Cam's swollen package between widespread legs.  Their eyes locked.

"You're boned, dude!" Kevin said.

"Tell me something I don't know," Cam said.  "You fucking do that to me when I look at you."

Kevin put down his books on the couch and went over to the chair where Cam was sitting.  He knelt between Cam's legs and put his face in his crotch and breathed deeply.  Pulling back after half a dozen breaths, Kevin looked at his watch.

"Do we have time?" he asked.

"We'll make time."

Cam raised his butt off the chair as Kevin grasped Cam's board shorts and boxers at his waist, and pulled them down and off his partner's legs.  Cam's erection slapped up against his T-shirt, which Cam then pulled off over his head.

"Your dick is so perfect you could be a cock model," Kevin opined as he took his boy's erect appendage into his hand, bending it down toward him.  After further inspection, Kevin dove down on it all the way, causing Cam to moan and sit up straighter in his chair and open his legs even wider.  Successfully suppressing his gag reflex as he slowly bobbed up and down, Kevin tasted his lover's sweet pre-cum almost immediately.  He continued to fellate Cam at a slow pace over the next five minutes, fondling his balls in one hand while gently stroking his dick with the other as he sucked.

At one point, Kevin stopped, pulled off, and using his thumb and forefinger, pushed down gently on Cam's cockhead, spreading open the slit.  He used his tongue as a wedge, entering the shallow crevice gently several times before returning to fellate Cam more vigorously, taking him all the way down to the root each time before coming back off and then repeating.

"Oh shit, Kevin!!!" Cam squeaked out as the full effect of an expert cocksucker continued to make itself known as the minutes passed.  His balls began to pull up into his groin as Cam repeatedly made noises that let Kevin know how much he was enjoying what he was doing.  Eventually, of course, Kevin took Cam beyond the point of no return.

"Ohhhhhh, fuck!!  Here it comes!!" Cam announced.  Despite his best efforts to make the tension last, he began to unload into Kevin's mouth.  He had no sooner begun to shoot than Kevin pulled back to take the cum in his mouth rather than down his throat.  He wanted to taste every drop, and there was a lot to work with. 
He swallowed rapidly each time his mouth filled.  Cam shot a good seven times before crumpling back in his chair with his eyes closed.  His head fell forward and rested on top of Kevin's head.

After holding Cam's dick in his mouth without moving for a minute, Kevin began to run his tongue down its length and then around and around the head of it, cleaning him up until Cam pushed him away because his cockhead had become too sensitive to be touched.  Kevin pulled off the dick he loved so much and stood up, bending down to invade his partner's mouth with his tongue, sharing the wealth of Cam's ejaculate in a big, juicy, long-lasting kiss.

"You are so fucking bold sometimes I can't believe it!" Cam laughed about the whole encounter when Kevin finally broke the kiss.

"Aren't ya glad?"

"Fuck yes!"

Cam picked up his shorts and his boxers and T-shirt off the floor, and with Cam naked as a jaybird, they went upstairs to shower.  After checking quickly on Casey, they entered the shower, holding each other tenderly under the streaming water.

"I love ya, Kevin," Cam said, holding him and resting his head on Kevin's shoulder as the hot water pelted their bodies.

"You don't know how much I love ya back," Kevin said, kissing Cam's neck.

Kevin was still half hard from what they'd done downstairs, and Cam gave his partner's dick a stroke.  "Now or later?" he asked, running a thumb over the head of Kevin's cock.

"Later," Kevin said, grinning in anticipation.  "In bed."

"You got it!" Cam promised.

Casey slumbered on as the two of them dressed and then hovered lovingly over his cradle for a minute, watching him sleep.  Eventually they went back downstairs to wait for Carl and their visitors.

*  *  *

Carl had taken the Highlander and parked farther out than usual because there was no room in short-term parking at LAX.  He caught a handy commuter bus and walked into the arrivals area to wait for the San Rafaelites.  His heart jumped when he saw Andy coming down an escalator with Dan and Catherine.

Carl swept Catherine into his arms first and held her for a long time and kissed her, noting how trim and healthy she looked.  Then he moved on to Dan and Andy, both of whom looked buff as hell.  Totally unembarrassed, he hugged them and kissed them on the cheek before letting them go.  Oblivious to the crowds of people who were oblivious to him, he went back to Andy and hugged and kissed the tall boy again, this time on the lips.

"Dayum!" Carl said after finally separating from Andy's embrace.  "You guys look great!  You too, Mom.  Cam and Kevin are going to be so excited to see you!  Jeff Miller, too, by the way.  Cam is picking him up tomorrow morning so he can stay the weekend with us."

Dan smiled broadly.  "Sounds like party time, dude!" he said.  He looked at Catherine.  "Within reason, of course," he added.  "I'm so ready!"

They didn't have to wait for luggage, so the new arrivals grabbed their carry-ons and headed for a bus out to the parking lot.  There was a bus waiting for them at the curb, and ten minutes later they were at the Highlander putting their luggage in the back.

Catherine took the passenger seat, and Dan and Andy the second row seat.

"How was your flight?" Carl asked.

"No problems," Dan said.  "Other than having to sit next to Andy."

"Humph!" Andy snorted.  "It was grim for me.  I don't think Dan showered after gym."  He put an around Dan's neck and squeezed it, then let him go.  Brothers.

Traffic was still heavy around LAX, so it was 45 minutes before Carl pulled into the driveway.  The floodlights came on, and Kevin and Cam burst out of the back door a minute later.  The two boys looked good, Catherine noted, especially pleased to see Cam moving vigorously and confidently, more like his old self.

"Mommy!" Cam said, joyfully sweeping Catherine into his arms and kissing her face.  "I've missed you so much!"

"You know I've missed you!" Catherine said, kissing her son back several times.

Kevin had hugged and kissed Dan and Andy, and now waited impatiently for Cam to turn Catherine loose.  When he finally did, Kevin hugged the woman who had always treated him like her son and stood by him when he had needed an adult in his corner.   He swung her around gently in a circle as he kissed her.  He teared up a little, saying only, "Mom!  Thanks for coming down."

Carl looked at Cam and Kevin, smirking but saying nothing.  He could see that their crewcuts were damp, and that could mean only one thing.  Those horndogs!  They'd had SEX, and then showered!  No wonder they didn't go to the airport.  Well, good for them, he thought to himself.  Why not?  He looked at Andy's body, knowing full well that they'd be doing the same thing before very long.

The guys grabbed the bags out of the Highlander, Cam carrying Catherine's bag and computer, and they carried everything into the house and upstairs.   Cam helped Catherine get settled, and then they went into his and Kevin's bedroom to see Casey before going back downstairs to the den to wait for everybody to get together.  Carl and Andy were the last to rejoin the group, having spent several extra minutes in Carl's bedroom hugging and kissing and loving each other up.

Cam and Kevin grinned ear to ear when the two boys finally reappeared in the den looking a little disheveled.

Catherine saw the big smiles from her sons, and asked, "What?"

"It's just nice to see Carl and Andy back together again," Kevin explained.

Cam chuckled, and Carl looked at him warningly.

Catherine knew there were some things she'd never know.  Not for the first time she thought someone should write a book or an article entitled "The Secret Life of Boys."  For the most part, adults lived in ignorance about what was going on their children's lives.  And all things considered, that usually wasn't such a bad thing.

She changed the subject and began questioning the three Malibu boys about school.  She was relieved to hear Cam talk enthusiastically about his Cinematography class.  He seemed to be on top of it.  And he seemed to be in an upbeat mood, and that made her feel good.  She waited to discuss how his therapy with Dr. Owens was going, wanting to do that privately at some point before she left to go back to San Rafael.

They all talked for an hour about what was going on in the family when Carl and Andy began yawning, and then excused themselves to go to bed.

"Sleep tight, boys!" Kevin said with a gleam in his eye as they left.

"Thanks so much," Carl told him.  "You too."

Now that little exchange Catherine understood, and she smiled to herself.

*  *  *

Ian Carson's secretary, Bev, buzzed him at 5 p.m., shortly before Ian was ready to make an early departure from the office.  It was Friday night, and he wanted to make it home in time for him and Mary to eat and get to William's football game.  It was a home game, and as usual, William was starting as quarterback for the varsity.

Bev told him that a Mr. David McCaskill, who said he was the father of one of William's female classmates at San Rafael High, wanted a word with him on the phone.  Ian didn't know the man and for some reason felt a little uneasy, but he took the call.

"Mr. McCaskill," he said in a calm voice, "Ian Carson speaking."

"Good afternoon, Mr. Carson.  I'll come right to the point.  You and I need to talk face to face.  It's come to my attention that my daughter Anita has been having sexual relations with your son William.  Needless to say, Anita's mother and I are very upset about this.  In fact, my wife is heartbroken about it."  The man didn't sound emotional about the matter, but Ian could sense he was.

"I'm stunned," Ian said.  "If it's true, I'm very upset about this as well."  He tried to swallow the lump in his throat, but as was his habit, wanted to face the problem head-on, and immediately.  "When will it be convenient for us to meet?"

"What about tomorrow morning at the Denny's near the high school.  Say 11 a.m.?"

That's fine.  Do you want our wives or the kids present?"

"Why don't you and I talk first.  We can meet subsequently with our wives and the children if we need to.  At some point down the road I will want to meet William and look him in the eye and tell him what I think of him."

"I'll see you at 11 a.m. at Denny's, Mr. McCaskill," Ian said.  He knew there was no excuse for William's conduct if what McCaskill said was true.  But he--Ian--might well want to look Anita McCaskill in the eye and avail himself of the same option.  Despite the temptation, he wouldn't do that, but still...

McCaskill hung up without another word, and Ian buzzed Bev and let her go home before gently placing the receiver back in its cradle.  Oh, William, what have you done! Ian thought to himself.  Then he sat at his desk with his elbows on his desk, head in his hands for the next few minutes, praying.  Please, Lord, don't let this girl be pregnant...  He moved from prayer into a reverie about McCaskill's call.

Ian finally roused himself from his dark thoughts and his fears, locked his desk, and made his way out of the law firm's offices.  Most of the younger associates were still looking busy at their desks.  He remembered well the killer workload he carried as a young attorney, and was glad those days were behind him.  On the other hand, a heavy workload might be preferable to what he and Mary might have to face when it came to dealing with William's sex life.

Climbing into his car, he exited the garage and made his way to the Golden Gate and back to San Rafael.  He was actually grateful that the traffic was moving slowly.  It gave him a little more time to think about how he and Mary could approach this new problem with William.  By the time he pulled into the driveway at home, he had decided to say nothing to either of them before the football game that evening.  He didn't want to put William off his game as quarterback, and knew the boy would probably have a date after the football game.  When didn't he have a date on a Friday night? Ian thought to himself a little bitterly.  After he and Mary went home from the game, he would fill her in about the telephone call he'd received from McCaskill.  She might well help him develop a plan to address the issue.  She'd always been a great partner when it came to raising and disciplining the kids.

After supper, as usual, the whole family except for absentees Catherine, Dan and Andy, went to the game.  It was to be played on San Rafael's home turf.  William never ate before a game, and left the house early, borrowing Mary's little Mercedes convertible to get to the school because Catherine had driven the Lincoln to the airport.  He'd use the car for his date after the game.  The quarters would be too tight in the Mercedes when it came to getting laid, William knew.  But there was a blanket in the trunk to spread on the ground, and
when it came time to get some after they ate supper, he planned to drive out to a little park that was usually deserted.  He'd had this girl several times before, and she liked to fuck as much as William did.  William smiled when he anticipated his after game activities.

William had noticed that his father didn't seem to be himself that evening at supper, but didn't think much about it.  He himself was mentally primed for the game, and as physically fit as he had ever been.  The opponents were a tough team, undefeated, but William and the coach had developed what they believed would be a winning strategy to whip their asses.

The locker room was quiet at first, as always, full of teen age jocks thinking about what lay ahead as they stripped off their street clothes and began to put on their protective gear and their uniforms.  Then came the process of getting psyched for the game.  As he always did, William walked around having a word with all the players, especially with the offensive linesmen who saved his ass from getting creamed on play after play, gradually getting everybody all worked up.  By the time they hit the field, the San Rafael team was READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!

Long story short, San Rafael pushed their opponents all over the field and handed them their first defeat, 28-17.  William had thrown the passes that resulted in San Rafael's four touchdowns, and the game ball was his.  Now the locker room was pure chaos, full of happy young jocks exuberantly stripping, showering and then snapping one another with wet towels before they got dressed.  Once again William made the rounds after he dressed, passing out compliments to the team members who had made especially good plays.  The San Rafael guys had been fucking animals out on the field, and William loved them for it.

The coach would never tell William this, but he thought the boy was the best team leader he had ever encountered in his years of coaching, bar none, and particularly for a junior.  Physical skills and people skills were a winning combination for this kid.

William, flanked by his date for the evening, Joanne French, received the congratulations of his whole family in the parking lot for playing a great game.  Once again, Ian seemed a little more reserved than usual, but the boy didn't dwell on it.

They parted company, and William and Joanne, a blonde and curvaceous cutie, climbed into the Mercedes and headed for the restaurant they had agreed upon for a late supper.  The meal was excellent, and as he always did, William carried on a lively conversation that made his date think she was the most important person in the world.  And for the moment, she was.

After supper, they were off to the park.   As William had hoped, the place was deserted, with nary another car in the parking lot.  He parked the car and they sat there making out for a few minutes before Joanne disengaged and opened her door.  She liked dick, and was ready for this particular dick, which she liked much more than the few others she had experienced.  William grinned as he got out of the car and went to the trunk, retrieving the thick blanket that lay there.

They walked arm in arm to a spot hidden in the trees, and the two of them spread the blanket and sat down.  Lying down, they began to make out again.  William and Joanne began to deep kiss each other, their mouths open with thrusting tongues.   William kissed her up and down her neck and moved down to her cleavage as things heated up, and they soon began removing each other's clothes.  After they were naked, William again had his face between the girl's beautiful breasts, using his fingers and his tongue on her until her nipples hardened.  Then he moved his head down between her legs, smelling her musk and stimulating her clitoris with his tongue.   Before they embarked on the final act, though, Joanne went down on William, expertly taking his hardness into her mouth, further stimulating him and tasting his pre-cum.

Eventually he rolled a condom on to his erection, knowing from experience to leave plenty of room in the reservoir for his seed.  He worked his way slowly into Joanne, lying flat on the girl for several moments as they kissed hungrily before beginning the final act of the dance of love.

Whenever one of them got close, they slowed their movements to preserve the moment.  Orgasm, when it finally came, started deep within the girl and swept William up in its intensity.  They came simultaneously, both of them gasping loudly, calling out into the darkness surrounding them as they achieved the ultimate oneness.

They lay unmoving for a good five minutes, William lying on top of Joanne, gently kissing his partner's face before rolling off of her and quickly, repeatedly, greedily filling his lungs with air.  William removed the jizz-filled condom, tying it off and putting it down on the grass away from the blanket.  Then the two of them held hands and looked at one another under a starry sky as they recovered from the most human of experiences.

"You're the best," William whispered to her.  And that pretty much reflected his feelings.  They'd made a real connection, and not just physically.

He didn't tell Joanne he loved her.  But it was pretty close to being true.  Right at that moment, anyway.

*  *  *

William was surprised to find his mother and father still up watching TV in the den when he arrived home shortly after one a.m.  He went into the room to say hello, thinking he might garner a few more compliments for the good game he'd played that night.

That didn't happen.

Ian gestured for William to sit down.  His mother looked as if she'd been crying.  William eyed his father, wondering what was up.

"I received a call from a Mr. David McCaskill at the office before I came home from work," Ian said.

William's handsome face went white.  This couldn't be good.  He knew Anita McCaskill well.  Better than well.  He tried to compose himself, and put what he hoped was an inquiring rather than guilty look on his face.

"Mr. McCaskill said that you and his daughter Anita have been having sexual intercourse.  Is that true?" Ian asked.

For a split second, William thought about lying.  It was foreign to his nature, though, and after swallowing, he looked at the floor and answered, "Yes."

The room went silent as Ian and Mary stared at their son.

"Thank you for telling the truth, William," Mary said.

"When did this start?" Ian asked.

"Right after school opened this year," William said, his stomach starting to churn.

"How many?" Ian asked.

"Whaddaya mean?"

"Don't play dumb," Ian said.  "How many girls have there been?"

William couldn't look at his parents.

"I don't know," he said.  "I'm not sure."  He looked up at his parents.  "A lot."

"You damn well better give me a number," Ian said, raising his voice for the first time.  He never did that, and it scared William.

"I honestly don't know exactly how many," William said, his voice breaking, betraying the tension he was now feeling.  "Maybe twenty."

Ian was stunned.  "How many times have you been with Alicia?" Ian demanded.

"Probably five times."

"O, Lord.  What grade is Alicia in?" Ian asked.

"She's a senior."

"Is she eighteen?"  Despite how disturbed he was about the situation, Ian was thinking like a lawyer.  And hating himself for it.


Ian looked at Mary, who had started to weep again.  And then there was silence.

"I think I'm going to excuse myself and go to bed," Mary finally said.  She stood up slowly.

William stood and went to her and put his arms around her.

"I'm sorry, Mom," he said, kissing her cheek.  "I never wanted to hurt you like this..."

Mary nodded wearily without giving vent to her disappointment to her son.  She walked out of the room after she and Ian had embraced and kissed each other.  They could hear her slowly mounting the steps to the second floor and go to her and Ian's bedroom.

Ian and William sat down again, eying each other warily across the room.

"A lot of fathers dread having their first sex talk with their sons," Ian finally said calmly.  "I never hated it, really.  I told you about the facts of life, what?  Four or five years ago?  It's something that's required of a good father.  I hope I've been a good father to you.  And I hope you've been remembering everything I told you about the mechanics of sex back then."

"You've been a great father," William said, hanging his head.  "And I've remembered everything you said about sex."

"I needed to be teaching you more than just the mechanics of sex, though," Ian admitted ruefully.  "I needed to talking to you about the matters of the heart and the understanding of responsibilities that need to go hand in hand with having sex with a woman.  I needed to do that, but I didn't."

William gazed at him without speaking.

"This is a difficult conversation for me to have with you at this point, William.  For several reasons.  First of all, because what you've been doing, from a physical standpoint, is as natural as breathing.  Don't think that I didn't experience the same drive to have sex when I was your age that you're experiencing right now.  We all do, although all of us don't try to deflower the entire local female population.  Secondly, it's difficult because I completely failed to teach you about respecting the boundaries that society and the church try to establish so that meeting our own needs hurts no one, or at least hurts as few people as possible.  I failed to make certain that I was instilling in you the values that should guide us all, especially in sexual matters.

"You're no doubt known the class stud," Ian continued.  "I'm sure your fellow jocks support you in what you've been doing and celebrate your conquests vicariously, at least those that they know about.  Peer approval, adulation even, is hard to turn your back on.  But think about these girls you've been having intercourse with.  Having given themselves to you, and perhaps even having pursued you until they got what they wanted, they've had an experience that may well have made an indelible mark on their personality and their psyche.  And maybe on their soul.  This experience with you may hamper them when it comes to falling in love with a man and moving into a sexual relationship that could be merely satisfactory and not sensational like you may provide.  Perhaps merely 'satisfactory' sex for them in a permanent, intimate relationship may be unsatisfactory, maybe even unattainable, for them for the rest of their lives--because you're no doubt so good at it.  I know that's a worse case scenario.

"You do think you're good at it, don't you?" Ian asked.

William turned red, staring again at the floor.  Despite the gravity of the moment, William couldn't help taking some satisfaction that his father thought he was good at what he did with women.

"I guess I'm good at it.  If I say I haven't had any complaints, will you be mad at me?" he asked. 

"No, that won't make me mad," Ian said.  "But I want you to think about these girls.  These twenty, or maybe more, young women are human beings, William.  No matter how good your technique is, they deserve more in a sexual relationship.  I don't want you to make life harder for them, and I'm not just talking about a potential pregnancy."

"I do think about these girls, Dad.  And while we're together, at least, I'm pretty close to loving them.  We always use protection.  I never treat them bad, and I don't look down on them, and I don't let anyone talk bad about them when I'm around.  Believe me about that."

"I do believe you, William, because I know you're basically a good person and a kind person.  You don't have to convince me about that.  I know that I have to own some share of your failure to exercise self-control when it comes to your sex life.  But it is a failure on your part not to have thought more about the effect on these girls of having good sex with them.  And it has to stop.  Do you understand me?  They deserve the opportunity to grow up first.  They're high school girls!  And you need to grow up some more, too."

"Yes, sir."

"I'm not engaging in an anti-sex diatribe here.  If you don't know it already, I'm telling you that sex is a gift from God.  It's a great gift and a powerful gift, and both you and these girls deserve better than just treating intercourse like an opportunity to exchange bodily fluids.  It's a gift that you've all been abusing."

"I know you're right, Dad."

Ian was silent.

No more sex with high school girls!  I will be questioning you frequently about whether you're having intercourse, and I know you won't lie to me."

"I won't lie to you," William promised.

He raised his head and looked over at his dad.  "They're not doing this, but if you were talking to Cam or Kevin about the fact that one of them was having a lot of sex with a lot of different boys, would we being having this conversation?"

"You're damn right," Ian said.  "Nobody's sex drive is his or hers to do just anything they want with it.  It's all about respecting yourself and respecting others no matter whether you're male or female, and whether your partner is male or female.  I'm not saying that sex should be limited to married people only, but I am saying that there should be some real feelings to go along with the sexual act."

"Just checking for consistency," William said.

"Count on that from me!"

The room fell silent until Ian sighed and looked over at his son.  "All right.  Do I need to punish you?"

"No.  Hurting Mom and having this conversation with you is punishment enough, believe me."

"We won't have to have this same conversation again then, will we?"

"No, sir."

"I want you to go over to St. Andrew's and make your confession sometime during this coming week.  'Reconciliation' is what some in the church are calling it now, and that's a pretty good name for it.  You have some fence mending to do.  I'll let you pick the priest."

William groaned.  "That'll be so humiliating," he wailed.

"I suppose it will be.  But it'll be healing, too."

"All right, I'll go."

"Good.  Let me know when you've done that."  Ian paused.  "I'm meeting Mr. McCaskill at Denny's at 11:00 tomorrow morning for coffee.  I hope that he'll accept our deepest apologies, and that we can part on good terms."

"Do you want me to go with you to face him?"

"No.  I think that would just
inflame the situation."

"All right."

"You can go on up to bed now."

William stood up slowly and looked at his father.  "Please forgive me, Dad.  And please don't hold what I've done against me.  I know I've been wrong."

Ian stood and held open his arms to his boy.  William went to him with a sad face, and they hugged each other and kissed each other on the cheek.

"I love you, William.  I'll always love you."

William shed some tears at that point, and then went upstairs.  Ian sat down again, looking around the den as if seeing it for the first time.  He was as sure as you can be when dealing with a seventeen year old boy that William would try to do the right thing from then on.  Getting up, he went over to the bar, took a shot glass out of the cabinet, and poured himself a shot of Irish whiskey, downing it in one gulp before going back and sitting down.

Ian put a hand over his eyes and sat in silence, thinking about the family sleeping upstairs that he loved so much.

*  *  *

The Malibu part of the family ran early that Saturday morning, at 5 a.m.  That was so that Cam could get back and shower before driving into Santa Monica to pick up Jeff at Assurances.  Catherine was taking the morning off from running, so Cam put Casey in bed with her before the boys hit the front deck to do their stretches.  Maria had this Saturday off.

The two border collies wandered around their humans on the deck with tails wagging.  Alice and Samantha were always enthusiastic about the morning run, on some occasions more so than their running companions.

Cam and Kevin kept their mouths shut, but couldn't help noticing that Carl and Andy were looking a little tired that morning after a busy night in bed.  No, a lot tired, actually.  Tired but happy, very happy with each other from the little looks the two young men exchanged when they thought no one was looking.  Good for them, Kevin thought to himself.  Those two guys were hot looking and they were horny, and they'd obviously taken care of each other in all the ways they were supposed to.

After completing their stretches, the thundering herd headed down toward the hardpack next to the water and took off at a good pace.  No one complained, embracing the effort and the cool morning air as they settled into their run.

When they reached Mile 3, Kevin pointed to his watch, and Cam peeled off alone to head back to the house while the rest of them ran another half mile before turning around.  The dogs started to go with Cam, but he shooed them back to the pack of runners as Carl called to them.

Cam ran by the "house of horrors" as he drew nearer to Alex's place, and knew that his visit with Dr. Owens to where he had been brutally tortured would be coming up shortly.  He looked up at the house, but felt no physical reaction to it this time.  Maybe the visit there wouldn't be as bad as he anticipated.  He wondered idly how Eric Clymer, Peter Murtha and Rory Lomer were enjoying their stint in jail as their trial date for what they had done to him crept nearer.  He'd heard that Lomer had been sexually assaulted and lived in solitary 23 hours a day.  Cam tried not to take satisfaction in that.

After knocking the sand off his running shoes, Cam dashed upstairs and stripped.  Then it was into the shower.  The water felt so good that Cam just stood there with the spray on his back and enjoyed it before starting to soap himself down.  As he washed he thought about how loving and ardent Kevin had been in bed the previous night before Cam had put his boy's big dick in his mouth and sucked and teased him until Kevin had had a protracted orgasm.  An orgasm to remember.  But with Kevin, weren't they all?

Cam finally popped out of the shower and threw on a pair of clean boxers, cargo shorts, T-shirt and sandals, and headed out.  He smiled as he fired up the Camaro and it burbled quietly in the driveway, announcing to the world at large the power under the hood.  He pulled away from the house slowly so as not to upset any neighbors.  Twenty minutes later, at 8 a.m. on the dot, he pulled into the parking lot at Assurances and saw Jeff come out the front door carrying an overnight bag.

Cam opened his car door and stood beside it watching Jeff come down the walk.  He'd never seen Jeff look better.  Good complexion, eyes bright, great musculature, confident walk.  If Jeff wasn't healed, he looked close to it.  And he looked sexy as hell.

Cam remembered how Jeff had looked just after he had emerged from under Alex's front deck--dirty, unshaven, with long, stringy hair, and sores covering his body, wearing that long, dirty coat that smelled of urine.  Lord, what a contrast!

Jeff dropped his bag and held out his hand as he reached Cam.  Cam took the proffered hand and pulled Jeff into an embrace, squeezing him tight and kissing his cheek before relaxing his arms to let him go.  Jeff pulled him back into the embrace and kissed him back.

"Lookin' good, bud!" Cam told him, bending down to pick up Jeff's bag and stowing it in the back seat.

"You, too," Jeff said.  He flashed his friend a big smile.  He walked around to the passenger side of the Camaro and got in.  "I've been looking forward to this furlough for so long," he said.  "You don't know."

"Hey, us too, dude.  I'm glad you called.  Catherine and Andy and Dan are here from San Rafael, and are anxious to see ya."

"Same here," Jeff said.  "Listen, can I buy ya breakfast before we head out to Malibu?"

"Well, you can.  But if I know Catherine, she'll be up and in the kitchen fixing a big breakfast for all the runners.  Whatever you wanna do, though."

"McDonald's will wait, then.  I never turn down a home cooked breakfast!"

"Good decision," Cam said.  He looked over Jeff and grinned.  "You've got your own personal flash mob waiting at home to see you!"

"Let's hit it!"

"Hitting it!"

Cam exited the parking lot at a good pace and twenty minutes later pulled into the driveway.  They went into the house, and the welcome Jeff received from everybody made his eyes water.  He knew that the affection he was receiving would add a giant boost to his recovery.

Cam watched Catherine greet Jeff, hug him, kiss his cheek, and talk to him face to face personally before letting him go.  For her, there were no boundaries to her love.  Once someone was in the family, no matter why or how that person got there, there were no limits to the love and care and nurture she was prepared to offer.  Everybody in the family knew that about her.  And was thankful.

While Jeff was still the center of the guys' attention, Cam went to his mother and hugged her and kissed her.

"What was that for?" Catherine asked quietly.

"No reason," Cam said to her.  But there is every reason in the world, he thought to himself.

*  *  *

William called St. Andrew's after classes the Saturday morning following his conversation with his dad, and asked to speak to Father Blackburn.

The receptionist explained that the rector was on vacation, and wouldn't be back for two weeks.  William knew that his father would be asking before long whether he had made his confession, and wouldn't like it if he was taking two weeks to receive absolution.  So William bit the bullet, gave his name, and asked for Father Mason.  He was put right through to their family friend.

"William!  How are you?  I was thinking about calling you guys and coming over to run with the family Monday morning," Mason said.

"We'd like that, Father."

"What time?"

"Five-thirty.  In the A.M., of course."

"I'll be there."  The priest cleared his throat.  "You called me, so what can I do for you?"

"Uh, I need to make an appointment to make my confession, Father."

"When's a good time for you?" Mason asked.

"Well, I have classes all day during the week and usually have football practice right after school until late.  Would you have have any time today?"

"You name the time, and I'll be here."

"How about 4:30?" William asked.

"Sounds good," Mason said.  "I'll leave the side door to the chapel unlocked.  Come on in and make your preparation, and I'll be sitting at the altar rail with my back to you.  Just kneel behind me at the altar rail, and use the card I'll leave there for the form for confession."

"Thanks, Father.  See you then.  And, of course, I'll see you tomorrow morning for church.  And at the house on Monday morning to run.  I hope you'll be able to keep up with the rest of us."

Jim Mason laughed.  "Haven't I always?"

"See you later, Father.  And thanks for seeing me on such short notice."

'Your welcome," the priest said, trying not to wonder what the urgency to go to confession was.

Putting down the phone, William decided to head for the house's little gym, still quiet and deserted on a Saturday morning.

"'Sup?" Berto asked as he came out of their bathroom after showering.

"Nada.  Just need somewhere quiet to think."

Berto nodded, pulling the towel from his waist, giving William a good look at the kid's big dick hanging soft between his muscular legs and at his bubble butt as the boy went over to his dresser to get some boxers.

Lord, my roomie is looking good in the cock department, William thought to himself. And his ass is fucking perfect!  No wonder he never has a problem with his harem at school.  Not as big a harem as mine, but in retrospect, that made him lucky, not deprived.

William walked down the hall toward the gym, taking with him a pen and sheet of paper torn from one of his school notebooks.  He sit down on one of the exercise benches, and said a quick prayer for help in making his list for confession.  Then he began making notes so he didn't forget anything.  If he was going to humiliate himself in front of God and his priest, he may as well make his list complete.

He was finished twenty minutes later.  He went back to his room and tucked his notes into his copy of The Book of Common Prayer.  As rarely as the boys pick up a prayer book, none of them will find it there.

A little after 4:00 that afternoon, William changed out of his shorts for a pair of dockers and a polo shirt, and headed for St. Andrew's.  As promised, the side door of the chapel was open, and some of the lights were on.  He saw Father Mason sitting with his back to the altar rail on the gospel side.  William went into a pew for a quick prayer before going to the altar rail.

When he went forward and knelt at the rail, he found a laminated card as the priest had promised.  He picked it up and began to read it out loud.

"Bless me Father, for I have sinned," William said.

"The Lord be in your heart and upon your lips that you may truly and humbly confess your sins:  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," the priest said, reaching over his shoulder to bless William with the sign of the cross.

"This is my first confession.  I confess to Almighty God, to Blessed Mary ever Virgin, to all the saints, and to you, Father, that I have sinned by own fault in thought, word and deed, in things done and left undone; especially. . .by cursing many times with friends, other than using God's name or the name of Jesus in vain, so I could seem cool; by sometimes disobeying instructions from my father and mother and other adults responsible for me; by sometimes disrespecting others to make a joke of them; by not studying as hard as I could and not paying attention in class..."  William paused and sighed.  " having sex with at least 20 girlfriends from school..."  He paused and sighed again.  " masturbating five times in the past month and many, many times before that.  For these and and all other sins which I cannot now remember, I am truly sorry.  I pray God to have mercy on me.   I firmly intend amendment of life, and I humbly beg forgiveness of God and his Church, and ask you, Father, for counsel, direction, and absolution."


"You've made a good first confession, and a complete confession, and the Lord will bless you for it," the priest said.  "I am aware that confessions which include sexual matters can seem humiliating to a young man your age.  But I don't want you to give into that sense of humiliation because you've confessed those sins to a priest, because our Creator knows full well the strength of the sexual urges He's given us.  I want you to know that Jesus was, and is, always the most forgiving when it comes to sins of the flesh.  You also need to be aware that our branch of the Catholic Church does not consider masturbation to be a sin unless it truly becomes an overpowering addiction and a too frequent substitute for sexual relations with someone, man or woman, to whom we are linked by marriage or the sure prospect of marriage.  Or unless it breaks a vow of celibacy we've made.  As a rule, though, casual sex does not put us in God's favor.  Do you understand what I am saying to you?"

"Yes, Father."

"God loves you for coming here, be sure of that.  For your penance, I want you to read Psalm 51, and say an Our Father and a Hail Mary before you leave the chapel.

The priest paused and shifted gears.

"Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has left power to His Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in Him, of His great mercy forgive you all your offenses, and by His authority committed to me, I absolve you from all your sins:  In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

"Amen," William said.

"The Lord has put away all your sins.  Go in peace, and pray for me, a sinner."

William got up from the altar rail and went back to a pew as Father Mason rose from his chair, reverenced the altar, and left the chapel to go to the sacristy.

William completed his penance and went out the door through which he had arrived.  He sat in his car for a few minutes, his forehead against the steering wheel.  He realized he felt a great sense of relief--of peace--in putting the sins he had recounted to the priest behind him.  He knew he might be back some day, but hoped it wouldn't be too soon.

*  *  *

As he removed his cassock, surplice and stole, Mason made a mental note to ask Catherine, Ian and Mary after he ran with the family on Monday morning to see if he could go over for supper that night.  He needed to talk to them about his growing understanding about his own sexual orientation.  He'd been putting it off, and it was time to man up and let them know who he really was, and was becoming.  They were family, after all.

© 2011 Don Hanratty