This story may occasionally include explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adult males. If you are underage or it is illegal to view this for any reason, consider yourself warned. If you find this material offensive, please leave.
This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entire a coincidence. As the author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me. This work is copyright © 2016 by Steven Wells.
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Sam and Chris
After Daniel and his friend Frank were out of earshot, I turned to Chris. "Something was bothering Daniel. He seemed so uneasy."
"His friend seemed older," Chris added. "A lot older. I think you need to put on your detective hat when you are with Daniel next."
"Why?" I asked.
"Marks on his back," Chris began. "Daniel's friend had a black leather motorcycle jacket. Extremely distressed jeans with a black handkerchief in his right rear pocket."
"Meaning?" I asked.
"Black handkerchief in the right rear pocket is synonymous with an S&M top," Chris replied.
"Oh!" I responded. "Do you think Daniel is into kink?"
"I don't know," Chris replied. "Detective hat. Monday afternoon."
"Got it," I replied. "I suddenly feel extremely lucky I found you, Chris. Daniel looked... He looked broken today."
"Detective Williamson," Chris began. "Your job, should you decide to take it, is to find the straw which broke the camel's back."
"Do you feel okay, Chris," I responded. "You seem a little flaky this morning."
"Watch it, Sam," Chris replied. "I'll withhold you know what!"
"Won't happen, Chris," I said. "You'd be the one going nuts."
Chapter 66: Now We Know
"Daddy," Donny said as I handed him his cereal. "When will Daniel visit us again?"
"Tonight," I replied. "We are coming here to work on our project again. Why?"
"He's fun," Donny replied. "Sometimes he looks sad, though."
"Like how?" I asked.
"Sometimes when you and Daddy do kissy face, he gets his sad look" Donny replied.
"Oh!" I replied. "Where did you learn the phrase `kissy face'?"
"From Simon," Donny replied.
"Oh! Of course," I said under my breath. "Silly me!"
When Chris arrived with the twins in their carriers, we stepped into action. Chris took one twin. I took the other. Bottle and burp time. Chris had already changed them.
"These two are growing like weeds," I said to Chris.
"They are getting big," Chris added. "I wonder what college they will want to attend?"
"College?" I said. "Chris, they are only five months old. How can you possibly think about an event over 18 years away?"
"We need to plan, Sam," Chris said. "It is very important they have every opportunity to attend the college of their choice."
"Don't we have some input on their college choices?" I asked.
"Of course, but the main concern is they are happy," Chris replied. "I think we should home school them until they are about 30 years old."
Mrs. Graham arrive exactly at 9 am.
"Good morning, Mrs. Graham," I replied. "Chris and I were just discussing where Mathew and Joshua will attend college."
"I believe you may be overthinking your concern at this point in your sons' lives," Mrs. Graham said with a smile. "From my experience as a mother of two boys, you can be certain of only one rule when considering your child's future—flexibility! They will change their minds hundreds of times over a myriad of decisions."
"I always knew what I wanted to do," Chris added. "I wanted to be a successful scientist. My problem was simple. I was horrible with science classes. My high school advisor finally sat me down and pounded some sense into my very pretty head."
"Such an interesting tale, Christopher," Mrs. Graham. "Now, you need to drop off Donny at school and attend your Monday classes. So, go. I will wrap up bottle and burp time with the boys."
"Thank you, Mrs. Graham," I replied as Chris and I slipped on our coats after getting Donny bundled up.
It was Monday. Classes on Monday always made me bored. There is something about Monday which makes all of the normally interesting topics to be extremely fatiguing. I saw Daniel in the classroom as I entered. I grabbed the empty seat beside him.
"So, Daniel," I said. "How was your weekend?"
"It was stimulating," Daniel replied. "So much so, I will probably repeat all of my activities of the previous weekend. Nothing like repetition to make the weekend fly by."
"Your friend was very handsome," I said.
"Yes," Daniel agreed. "He is very handsome. His major downfall at the moment is he smokes. He's not a chain smoker, but he still smokes."
"Is he more than a friend?" I asked.
"You might say he was more than just a friend," Daniel replied cautiously. "Nothing serious, but I do like being around him."
"What does he do professionally?" I asked.
"He's an attorney in Chicago," Daniel replied. "He went to law school after a four-year gig with the Marines. He did his undergrad and law school here at UIUC. He still has a house here in town. So, he's here most weekends."
"Is this serious?" I asked.
"I don't think so," Daniel replied. "Like I said, I'm not good at relationships. They seem to limit my ability to be focused. Besides, I have been told I am a narcissist."
"Is it true?" I asked. "You are a narcissist?"
"Every guy I have had a relationship with has eventually come to this very conclusion," Daniel said with a smile. "Maybe someday I will find someone and we can imitate you and Chris. You two are very lucky, I hope you know."
"Yup," I replied as the instructor started the class.
When class ended, Daniel and I walked to our house. We talked. "How long have you been seeing this guy?"
"About two months," Daniel replied. "Frank and I haven't really shared much about ourselves with the other. It's mostly been a sex-oriented relationship."
"How's the sex?" I asked.
"Pretty damn good," Daniel replied. "He is, shall we say, creative!"
"I like creative," I replied. "Why haven't you two talked about each other? You don't need to answer if you don't want to do so."
"I don't mind," Daniel replied. "The reason is pretty straightforward. He likes my body, and I like what he does to my body. He's pretty nice looking when he is naked. Muscles. Tattoos. Piercings. Big dick. Uncut. And, I guess I have a thing for blonds, too."
Chris greeted us as we walked through the front door. "I have a thing for hot, muscled, black men. Hello, sweetie. How was your day?"
"I think I should be asking how yours was judging from your conversation," Chris said as he kissed me.
"Daniel has a thing for hot, muscled, blonds," I replied. "So, I thought I should share my type with him."
"Just like mine is hot farm boys," Chris said with a smile. "Enough of this talk. Your father called a few minutes ago. He said he tried to reach you, but the calls kept going to voicemail."
"Do I need to call him back right now?" I asked.
"He said it wasn't urgent," Chris replied.
Donny ran down the stairs followed by our pack of dogs. "Daddy! I got picked."
"Picked for what, Donny?" I asked.
"I've been picked to be the first one in line when we go to lunch," Donny enthused.
"Congratulations, Donny," I said. "I am certain you were picked to be the first in the lunch line because... because..."
"Because I'm the shortest," Donny replied. "We go from short to tall. Next week it will be how many letters in your last name."
"How truly remarkable," I said as I tried to hold back a chuckle. The twins took this opportunity to request feeding.
"We're on, Daniel," I said as I grabbed Mathew. Daniel picked up Joshua. Both settled into a big smile and kicking feet.
"So, Joshua," Daniel said as he took Joshua's bottle from Chris. "How was your day?"
"He won't say a thing until he is done eating," I explained. "In some ways, Daniel, they are somewhat narcissistic. Hopefully after a few more months they will be ready to explore other people."
"We are home schooling them until they are 30 years old," Chris explained with a smile.
"I doubt very much they will let you make the decision for them," Daniel replied.
"They are both a little stubborn," I added.
"They take after you, Sam," Chris replied.
After we fed the twins, Daniel and I started working on our project. We wrapped up the loose ends by the time Chris had dinner ready.
"I hope you are hungry," Chris explained. "I got a little carried away. We have pan seared salmon, Portobello mushroom risotto, roasted root vegetables, spinach salad, and cream brulée. The important issue is I made dinner for six. I hope you are both hungry."
"Is Chris always like this?" Daniel asked. "Slaving away in the kitchen as you work on a class project?"
"No," I replied. "He does most of the cooking. I take up the slack in other areas."
"If you are involved with Frank, I don't suppose you would want to meet my brother, would you?" Chris asked as he put dinner on the plates.
"Not right now, but, after Frank gets tired of me and sets me free, I would consider it," Daniel explained.
"If you are still together in two weeks, you can invite Frank to have Thanksgiving dinner with us," I suggested. "You are coming, aren't you?"
"I don't want to crash your family gathering," Daniel said.
"You won't be crashing," I relied. "We have friends who are not family having dinner with us. As a matter of fact, a gay couple and their sons from my hometown will be here. We also invited Rupert who is a guy I met who is having coming out issues with his family. It will depend on how his talk with his parents go next weekend. Our down the street neighbors—another gay couple—will be here as well."
"I will come," Daniel replied. "I'm not certain about Frank. He may want to be with his parents in Southern Illinois. I will ask and let you know."
As we finished up dinner, I noticed Daniel become quiet. He seemed tense.
"Something wrong, Daniel?" I asked.
"No," Daniel replied. "Why do you ask?"
"You seemed to retreat into yourself," I explained. "Is there something you want to talk about, Daniel? We are pretty good listeners."
"It's nothing, really," Daniel replied.
"Bullshit!" Chris said as he sat next to me after putting the dishes into the dishwasher. "We don't judge. And, anything you say to us will remain between us."
"Remember I told you, Sam, I disappeared from my family with only my college trust fund and a beat-up car and little else," Daniel began. "I need to supplement my college fund or I will be a homeless dropout."
"And?" I asked.
"I sell my body to certain men," Daniel replied as he quickly looked away from Chris and me.
"At least you're not selling drugs," Chris replied.
"I now have fairly regular clients," Daniel continued. He still wasn't looking at us. "Frank wants me to give up my... my... my business. He also wants me to move into his house. I don't want to be kept."
"I only have one question, Daniel," I began. "How do you see your clients and Frank on a regular basis?"
"Frank and I see one another when I am not with a client," Daniel replied. "Most of my clients want to see me during the week in the evening. One sees me on Saturday afternoon. After my client on Saturday afternoon, I usually don't see any other clients afterward. So, Frank and I usually spend Saturday evening and Sunday all day together."
"How much do you make in this line of work?" Chris asked.
"I see seven men over the course of a week," Daniel replied. "I get $150 for two hours of work."
"You make a little over $1,000 in less than 14 hours each week?" I asked.
"Yes," Daniel replied.
"You certainly won't make $1,000 a week working at McDonald's," Chris replied. "Are you having protected sex with these men?"
"Yes," Daniel replied. He still wouldn't look us in the eyes.
"One last item," I said to Daniel. "You don't need to answer if you don't want to answer. The marks on your back. Sawyer and I noticed. What happened?"
"Easy," Daniel replied. "Frank is teaching me something I've wanted to experience for a long time. S&M. I'm the bottom. He's the top. I told you I like what he does to my body."
"So, it is not a client doing this, but it is Frank," I continued. "It's consensual?"
"Yea," Daniel replied. "I hope the news doesn't freak you out."
"Daniel," I added. "It does not freak us out as long as this is what the two of you want to explore, and it is not a client marking up your body."
"I don't know how to explain it, Sam," Daniel replied. "This is the one area we talk about. Sometimes Frank throws caution to the wind and makes love to me—or me to him. We are an equal opportunity sex partner."
"Sounds like you want this to become more than a fling," Chris added.
"I'll give it another month or two," Daniel said with a smile. "Usually by three months, men decide I'm a narcissist and drop me. This relationship is still undetermined."
"This is essentially a long-distance relationship," Chris continued. "How is his week-day absence affecting you and Frank?"
"The relationship is too new to make the long-distance factor an issue," Daniel replied. "Besides, he sent me a photo of him on the beach last summer. It helps keep in interested during the week."
Daniel grabbed his phone and found the photo. He handed his phone to Chris and me.
"Holy shit!" Chris exclaimed. "Frank is one very built dude!"
"I'll say," I added. "Daniel, I may be overstepping my bounds here, but would you consider giving up the business if you found an alternative source of revenue?"
"Sure," Daniel replied. "But, where am I to find a job which pays close to $1,000 a week?"
I retrieved my backpack and pulled out a business card. "Go see this guy. Dr. Marks is in the financial aid office. He can be very creative if necessary."
"Thanks, Sam," Daniel replied. "I will make an appointment with him. Financial aid usually doesn't work for me because my parents make too much money. I doubt I will qualify for any assistance, but it is worth a try."
Two days after Daniel's announcement, I met a very stressed Rupert. When it rains, it pours.
"Tell me what happened, Rupert," I said as Rupert sat opposite me in Starbucks. He had a black eye.
"I told my parents on Sunday morning I was gay," Rupert explained. "It didn't go well. My mother started wailing, and my father sat at the head of the table while his face turned bright red. Red as in angry red. He shot out of his chair and lunged at me. The chair I sat in took a tumble backwards. I hit my head on the floor. Then he punched me. I managed to break away from my father and dashed to my car. And, here I am—talking with you. I have no money. He cut off my cell phone and credit card. My checking account is closed. I am fucked, Sam."
I picked up my phone and found Dr. Marks' phone number.
"Dr. Marks! This is Sam Williamson," I said.
"Sam! What can I do for you?" Dr. Marks replied.
"I have a friend sitting with me in Starbucks at the lower level of the Student Union," I explained. "He has a financial problem I thought you might help him resolve, if possible."
"Is this Daniel," Dr. Marks asked. "I have an appointment with Daniel tomorrow afternoon."
"Another friend," I replied. "Similar situation as Daniel."
"I planned on seeking a caffeine high," Dr. Marks said. "Can I join you and your friend in about 15 minutes?"
"Sure," I replied.
"I'll see you shortly," Dr. Marks replied.
"Dr. Marks, a friend from the financial aid office, is on his way to meet us," I explained.
"What can he do?" Rupert asked.
"Make miracles happen," I replied.
We sat and talked about Rupert's school work. Dr. Marks arrived in a whirlwind.
"Good to see you again, Sam," Dr. Marks greeted us.
"Dr. Marks, this is my friend Rupert. Rupert, this is Dr. Marks," I explained. "He works in the financial aid office."
Dr. Marks immediately took charge of the conversation. "Tell me about you and your situation."
Rupert explained the altercation with his parents. Dr. Marks continued.
"First, you need to go to the Student Health center and have your injuries checked," Dr. Marks explained. "You obviously need a new phone. Do you have any cash on you?"
"I took $300 out of my account on Saturday," Rupert explained.
"Good," Dr. Marks replied. "Your tuition, room and board, and fees were paid for the semester, right?"
"Yes," Rupert agreed.
"Perfect," Dr. Marks continued as he pulled something out of his brief case. "Here is a prepaid Visa card. It has $1,000 loaded on it. You can use this anywhere Visa is accepted. It should give us some time to get you settled at a local bank and find the right financial aid package. Sam, here is another prepaid Visa. Use it to help Rupert with his phone. After you have the phone set up, give the card to Rupert. And, Rupert, I want to assure you we will find some financial assistance for you. We have significant experience providing young men and women financial help. Unfortunately, even in 2016, we have helped our share of people thrown away by their parents when they discover their child is gay. I will contact our attorney. He might want to file assault charges against your father. And, Rupert, I want you to know you have confided in an extremely sensitive and caring person. Sam and his husband Chris are the best allies you have here at UIUC."
Dr. Marks handed Rupert his business card. "Call my office and make an appointment next week. We can discuss alternative financing for you. And, Rupert, don't worry about any of this. We will keep you in school."
"Thank you," Rupert said. He seemed close to tears. "I will call. I am exceedingly grateful for your help."
"We do this more frequently than you can imagine," Dr. Marks said as he put his hand on Rupert's shoulder.
"What happened here?" Rupert asked.
"You've met a very nice guy who will find financial aid so you can stay in school," I replied.
"How can he do this?" Rupert asked.
"Rupert," I began. "Don't question this. He knows what he is doing."
"How do you know him?" Rupert asked.
"I just do," I replied. "Let's go to the student health center to have you checked out."
I waited. I call Chris a couple of times. Finally, Rupert came out of the exam rooms. "I can go, Sam. Thanks for waiting. The doctor said I seemed fine. No broken bones. He will want to see me in a week to check the healing of my eye."
"Now, let's get you a phone. Do you want an iPhone or an Android phone?" I asked
"Android," Rupert replied. "Can't I just us the one I have?"
"How old is it?" I asked.
"Three years," Rupert replied.
"No," I continued. "Let's go to the Verizon store down the street."
Rupert had a new phone after about an hour. I put it on the Foundation's American Express card and handed the prepaid Visa to Rupert.
"Have dinner with us Rupert," I replied. "I somehow believe you are not ready to be alone."
"Thanks, Sam," Rupert added. "But, I think I need to go back to my dorm and get some rest. I am a little exhausted after almost no sleep the past two nights."
"Call me if you need anything, Rupert," I responded. "And I mean anything! Anytime! Have a good sleep. And, don't forget, we have the gym gang tomorrow at 10 am. Be there!"
"Yes, Sir," Rupert said with a smile.
We took our seats at the pasta place for lunch after our Thursday workout.
"So, Rupert," Glen began. "How long have you been working out?"
"Last year during the last half of the year, I wanted a change," Rupert began. "I had always been the skinny white kid with blond hair. I started going to the Y every day after school. I liked what I saw, so I continued. I still have a long way to go before I'm where I want to be."
"I think you look pretty good," Harrison replied. "I know how you feel, though. I was the chubby white kid who kept being bullied. I started working out in my junior year. During the first part of my senior year, a kid started to bully me like he did the year before. I beat the shit out of him. Of course, I was suspended for a week, but it was worth it to see the look on the dude's face. No one bullied me for the rest of the year."
"I saw him naked in the locker room at school the beginning of our senior year," Tom explained. "I saw his smoking hot bod, and I knew I wanted him. I fell in love with the dude about one hour into our first date."
"What about you, Daniel?" Sawyer asked.
"I was on the cross-country team all through high school," Daniel began. "The coach made us all do strength training. And, boom! I was hooked on going to the gym."
"With a body like yours, Daniel," Sawyer continued. "I thought you would at the very least have a boyfriend."
"Relationships and I don't mix," Daniel replied. "Partly because of my part-time work schedule."
"Where do you work, Daniel?" Sawyer asked. I gave him a dirty look. "Sorry. I believe Sam is telling me I'm being too nosey. I know the look. `Shut the fuck up, Sawyer, before you stick your foot in your mouth' look."
"It's okay, Sawyer," Daniel replied. "I'm hoping to move beyond my current work. I get naked and the men who are my clients play with my body... Yea, I'm a prostitute."
"You certainly have the body for it, Daniel," Sawyer continued. "If I didn't have a cute, sexually perverted boyfriend, I'd hire you... Except, I am certain I can't afford to hire you."
"None of you seem to be shocked," Daniel responded to Sawyer's comments as he looked at the others in the group.
"We don't shock easily," Harrison replied. "These dudes got me off my vodka addiction. I was NOT a pretty picture when I drank—which was more often than not. We all have baggage except for Sam. He's perfect."
"I have an addiction, too," I replied.
"You? An addiction? What kind of addiction?" Harrison asked.
"I'm addicted to my husband's body," I explained. "Have you told Frank about you possibly changing professions, Daniel?"
"Yes," Daniel replied. "He broke the news, during the same phone call that he was changing jobs. He's moving back here. He took a job with UIUC."
"Who's Frank?" Rupert asked.
Daniel pulled out his phone and showed the guys the photo of Frank on the beach in a very, very skimpy swim suit.
"Holy shit!" Harrison replied. "He's your boyfriend! Look at those muscles... those tattoos... those piercings... long blonde hair... He has a fucking perfect body. You may be toast, Tom, if Daniel and Frank break up."
"We can share, Harrison," Tom replied as he looked at the photo. "We share everything."
"Please, Daniel, tell me you are not breaking up with this hunk of a man!" Glen added.
"We're still in the getting to know one another stage," Daniel replied. "I want to be in a relationship, but it never worked out for me. I hope this is different."
"How is he in bed?" Sawyer asked.
"He's as good in bed as he looks practically naked," Daniel said with a smile as he looked at the photo before he put his phone away. "He has a kinky side, too. He dabbles in S&M. You may have noticed the marks on my back. I never thought I would entertain the thought of being an S&M bottom. But, the truth is, I like it."
"Maybe you and Frank can teach us a thing or two," Tom said with a huge grin which bordered on lust.
"We'll see," Daniel replied with a smile. "I need to go to my next class. I'll see you dudes next Tuesday."
As we watched Daniel disappear through the doorway, Sawyer spoke up. "Daniel has guts to tell us about his profession. He does have the body for it, though!"
On Monday following Daniel's revelation, I hurried into the class I shared with Daniel. He was in his usual seat in the corner. He smiled as I took a seat beside him.
"You look happy," I said.
"I think Frank and I are an item," Daniel said. He was now beaming. "We talked all weekend. Well, we did have sex, too, but we finally talked... about us."
"Terrific, Daniel," I exclaimed. "What's the next step?"
"I am seeing my clients one last time," Daniel replied. "Then, I am a former prostitute. Frank wants me to move into his house to save me money. He will be here permanently in about a month. I am occupying his spare bedroom until we finalize how things work for us. I am still concerned. I'm a narcissist, remember. I hope I don't blow this one. I think I love him, Sam. No! I do love him. I've never felt this way about any man I've seen... ever."
"Go slowly," I said. "Take your time. Breathe deeply. Don't lose the look you have in your eyes right now."
"He made love to me on Sunday morning," Daniel replied. "Then, I made love to him. Three hours later, we curled up together and fell asleep again. Now I know how it feels to have a man in your bed for more than just sex. It was awesome. Is your offer still standing for me and Frank to join you and your family on Thanksgiving?"
"Yes," I replied. "We will have a great time. I asked Rupert, too."
"Do you need help feeding a twin?" Daniel asked after our class finished.
"We can always use help," I replied.
Thanksgiving morning rolled around at an ungodly hour of six am.
"We have a turkey to cook, Sam," Chris said in an unusually excited voice. This came from my husband who likes to sleep until 8 when we don't have classes.
"What have we done?" I asked. "Maybe we should just take everyone out to dinner at a restaurant."
"No way!" Chris exclaimed. "We have a bird downstairs with our name on it."
We let the boys sleep until we had some things under control. We had the turkey in the oven in record time—especially since neither one of us has ever cooked a turkey.
We heard the rumble of feet on the stairway. First Donny slid to a stop in front of us while the dogs took seats on the floor with their tails sweeping back and forth in sync with one another. Matilda and Rascal arrived shortly thereafter.
"Now, we are all assembled here to begin our Thanksgiving Day," Chris said as Matilda began rubbing against my leg and Rascal against Chris's leg.
We heard Mathew and Joshua summon us through the baby monitor.
"I will retrieve the twins while you start breakfast," I said to Chris.
"Teamwork, Sam," Chris said. "We need teamwork today!"
"You should have been a drama major, Chris," I said as I headed upstairs to retrieve the twins.
We fed the kids and took them upstairs to clean them up. The five of us gathered in our Thanksgiving garb. The dogs and cats assumed their positions—cats in the window, dogs playing in the mudroom.
"I hope the dogs don't decide to lay waste to the mudroom," I said. "Why are they in the mudroom?"
"I don't know," Chris replied. "Maybe we should make them stay where we can watch them. They tend to be sneaky whenever we are expecting company."
We continued preparing for dinner. The first to arrive were my parents, grandmother, uncle, and aunt.
"Happy Thanksgiving," I said as I opened the door.
The second wave was Chris's mother, grandmother, and grandfather. The third wave consisted of Jeffery, Philip, Trevor, Sam, and Tim. They brought the dogs Buckley and Barkly. After the dog sniffing scene, we were able to retreat into the living room with our other guests.
Donny, Sam, and Tim instantly bonded and headed upstairs to Donny's room. Simon accompanied them. One by one, the other dogs disappeared, hopefully in Donny's room.
Finally, Daniel, Frank, and Rupert arrived with wine bottles in hand.
We introduced everyone. We settled in the living room to talk.
"Where are you from, Daniel?" I heard my mother asked.
"Alexandria, Virginia," Daniel replied. "I picked this school over MIT because it was further away from Alexandria."
"Sam was accepted to MIT, also," my mother explained. "We were somewhat surprised he decided to go here."
"When I visited MIT with my parents, I thought the people I met were a little phony," Daniel explained. "Something about the Midwest calms my nerves."
"What about you, Frank?" my mother asked. "Where are you from?"
"Carbondale," Frank replied. "I went here for my undergrad and law degree. I work in Chicago until December 23. Then, I am taking a job with UIUC as counsel. I spend most of my weekends at my house here in Urbana since I met Daniel."
"So, you are boyfriends?" my mother asked.
"We are," Daniel replied as he smiled at Frank. Frank smiled back. "We have some ground to cover before we know how we will be together. Frank hasn't seen me in my unhappy moods."
"Maybe there is a reason for him not seeing you unhappy," my mother said with a smile.
"Daniel talks about Mathew and Joshua all the time," Frank added. "We haven't discussed kids in our relationship. It will be in later conversations."
"They do grow on you," my mother replied. "We were so happy when Sam and Chris adopted Donny. Now, with Mathew and Joshua in the picture, we have been ecstatic."
"Or course, they also have a traveling zoo," my father added. "Keeps everyone on their feet."
"And you, Rupert?" my mother continued her cross-examination.
"A small town near Peoria," Rupert answered. "It's my first year at UIUC. I'm still getting my feet wet."
In the corner of my eyes, I saw Trevor taking quick glimpses of Rupert. Rupert returned the glimpses. `Interesting pairing,' I thought to myself.
I tore myself away from my parents and the three others and moved beside Jeffery, Philip, and Trevor.
"So, Trevor," I said. "How are plans for college going?"
"I applied here, Harvard, Stanford, Brown, and the Berkley College of Music in Boston," Trevor replied. "I'm hoping it will be here."
"You seem very interested in Rupert," I said to Trevor.
"He is kinda hot," Trevor replied. "I'm probably too young for him."
"He's actually not much older than you, Trevor," I explained. "He skipped a year in high school and landed here."
"Really!" Trevor responded.
"I will introduce you guys later. Right now, I need to help Chris in the kitchen," I explained as I moved into the kitchen.
As Chris and I put the finishing touches on dinner, I noticed Rupert sat beside Trevor.
"I think we have a potential spark about to ignite," I said to Chris.
"I think it has already exploded," Chris replied as we both looked across the room to see Trevor and Rupert laughing with each other.
"Let's hope the burning fire doesn't hurt either one of them," I replied. "They are too nice to be hurt."
All of us took our seats at the table. Four boys were settled around the kids' table. Sixteen others were around our normal dining table.
"I want to make a toast before we begin this festive occasion," I said as I stood. "Chris and I want to welcome all of you to our first Thanksgiving in this house. We are honored to have you with us today. We have also asked Jeffery Harris-LeBlanc to give the blessing. Jeffery?"
I sat as Jeffery stood, "Before I begin the blessing, I want to say thank you to Sam and Chris for hosting this event in their beautiful and love-filled home. I cannot think of any two men who have given more of themselves to the world than Sam and Chris. They have taken leadership roles both in the local community, the state, the country, and now internationally. Most of their causes focus on the LGBTQ community while others are focused on helping anyone in need. And, we are grateful to be included in your celebration of Thanksgiving."
"Dear God," Jeffery continued. "We are gathered in this home to celebrate the events, people, and successes of the past year. We all have a lot to be grateful for. We are part of a loving circle of friends and family. We support one another. We work for the greater good of our community, country, and the world. We also pray in the next four years we can continue our work for those who cannot help themselves."
"We are grateful for our children, our parents, our family, and our friends. With all of these comes love, kindness, respect, and understanding. Don't let us focus on the hate, callousness, disrespect, and mind-blowing stubbornness. Love trumps hate."
"Amen!" our guests said in unison.
"Thank you, Jeffery," I said. "We can always count on you for a social comment about hate and what it does for our community and our country."
"Now, if you will, we are serving this meal from the kitchen island," Chris replied. "We are counting on you to do your part and not leaving leftovers for us to put away."
The noise level in the house went from quiet respectfulness to the dim roar of voices as guests retrieved their food.
Chris and I followed Jeffery and Philip, "Looks like Trevor and Rupert are connecting," I whispered to Jeffery and Philip.
"Yes," Jeffery whispered back. "I've never seen him so gaga. Ever!"
"If he does connect, Robby will have his balls in a vice," Philip added.
"They aren't going to the same school," Jeffery replied.
"It won't matter unless Trevor invites Rupert to visit us in Olney before Trevor graduates," Philip replied.
"Oh!" Jeffery added. "I could see this as a thorny issue. I hadn't thought of a pre-graduation visit. We will warn Trevor on the way home."
"Warn me about what?" Trevor asked as he walked past with his plate heaped full.
"One word," Jeffery said as me looked to make certain Rupert was not around. "Robby."
"Not a problem, Dad," Trevor replied. "We've already broken off our relationship because we know we will be attending separate schools and neither of us wants a long-distance relationship."
"How adult-like, Trevor," Philip added. "We are proud of you!"
"Thanks, Dad," Trevor said before leaving us to rejoin Rupert at the table. "I'm proud of me, too!"
"He's a little shit," Jeffery said with a smile. "But, we love the little shit."
"So," I said to the gym group after we were seated in the pasta place for lunch. "How was your Thanksgiving?"
"Exhausting," Sawyer replied. "We did two. One at my parents. One at Glen's parents. We will need to double our gym time to recover. How was your Thanksgiving, Rupert?"
"Very nice," Rupert replied as he turned red.
"He met someone," Chris replied. "A very nice young man. He and his fathers were visiting us over Thanksgiving."
"Keep us posted, Rupert," Sawyer replied. "We need to hear all of the dirt before it goes public. We can help you put a spin on it if necessary. Was this kid Trevor Harris-LeBlanc?"
"Yes," Rupert replied.
"Good kid," Glen replied. "Good upbringing. Very bright. Now, men, the four of us need to move onto other venues. See you Thursday at the same time."
"I need to run as well," Daniel added shortly after the others had left. "I have an appointment with my academic advisor."
"I have a few questions about Trevor if you have time right now," Rupert added.
"Sure," I replied. "We may not know the answers, but we will try. Shoot!"
"Trevor said he wanted to be a music major," Rupert began. "Did you have any influence over him?"
"Probably not," Chris replied. "He asked me hundreds of questions one evening we were with him. I gave him some advice and talked to my advisor about him. He did most of the convincing himself. He's also interested in his father's profession. Although, I don't believe he has broached this topic with his fathers."
"You mean a minister?" Rupert asked.
"Yes," Chris continued. "Don't get freaked out, Rupert. Trevor's dad Jeffery is a pretty hip guy. His first job as a minister was as an outreach person in the Castro district in San Francisco. He has some amazing stories to tell. Some break your heart. Others make you laugh. And, there are a lot in between we don't know about, I am certain."
"Besides, Rupert," I explained. "You will be hard pressed to find a kid more loyal and caring than Trevor. He seems to have morphed into this wonderful, bright, enthusiastic kid over the course of a short time. Jeffery and Philip have been a great influence on him. If he follows his father Jeffery's path, you will want to be right by his side, I am certain."
"I am so sullied by religion," Rupert added. "My parents' church was nothing like the one Trevor spoke about. And, it's in a smaller town than I am from."
"If you visit Trevor, Rupert," I said. "Go to church with him and his fathers. If you are lucky enough to hear Jeffery speak, you will hear some of his amazing stories. Or, go to the church's website. Jeffery's talks are available on podcasts from the website. Be prepared to be blown away... I have another idea, Rupert. Come with us to my hometown next week. Chris and his group are doing three benefit shows for food banks and shelters in the community. Trevor organized the whole event."
"Where would I stay?" Rupert asked.
"My parents' house," I replied. "You will be in the center of chaos, but you will be welcomed with open arms. And, don't say you don't want to be a burden. If my parents heard you say those words, you would be tied, loaded up the back of their SUV, and driven to their house."
"Somehow, I think they just might," Rupert replied. "Let me think about it."
"Just do it, Rupert," Sawyer suggested. "You will be amazed at the concert, and you will be amazed with Trevor and Trevor's dads."
"I will think about it," Rupert said again for emphasis.
"Think about it for as long as you need, Rupert," I said to him as I looked straight into his piercing blue eyes. "We will pick you up around 3 pm on Friday afternoon."
We walked into the Krannart Center before my talk as the spokesperson of the Green Peace Initiative. The talk was changed from a small auditorium in the student union to the massive theater where Chris and his friends performed.
"Nervous?" Chris asked.
"Nervous? Me nervous?" I said. "I will only be facing something like 2,000 people. What's to be nervous about?"
"How nervous are you, Sam?" Chris asked.
"Extremely," I replied as Chris adjusted my tie.
"You look like a man with confidence," Chris added. "Your new suit show off your assets extremely well."
"Do you think I look like a hooker?" I asked.
"No," Chris replied. "You look stunning."
"Thanks," I replied. "So, if I fall on my face, I will at least look stunning while doing it."
"It would be a grand entrance," Chris said as he delivered a kiss on my cheek.
"Mr. Williamson," Derik bellowed as he walked toward us. He wore a suit as well. It was a slightly dark shade of brown. He wore a blue pinstripe shirt with a brown, blue, and red skinny tie. "You're looking good, my man!"
"You, too, Derik," I replied. "How does the crowd look?"
"Packed," Derik replied. "More than we expected."
"Chris has read my talk," I explained to Derik. "If I stall because I am overly nervous, he can take over."
"It's show time, Sammie," Derik said as he made his way to the stage. I listened. "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Derik Chapman, President of the Gay and Straight Alliance on campus. We have the great fortune tonight to have Sam Williamson with us tonight. Sam is a junior here at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also serves as the International Spokesperson for Green Star Peace Initiative. Sam will explain the initiative and what it means to all of us sitting in this theater. What he will tell us tonight will chill your bones and tug at your heart. Now, I would like to present Sam Williamson."
The crowd applauded loudly as I stepped onto the stage and behind the podium where I put my notes. I picked up the remote for the PowerPoint presentation and left my notes on the podium as I began to move across the stage.
"Thank you for coming tonight," I said to the group. "It is especially gratifying to see such a large turnout tonight. The Green Star Peace Initiative, formed one year ago today, assists in the rescue of LGBTQ people in foreign countries whose government or religious beliefs spew anti-homosexual bigotry. Some important words here are anti-homosexual bigotry and rescue of LGBTQ people."
"But, we are not talking about same-sex marriage. We are not talking about living in the homes we love or can afford. We are not talking job protection."
"We ARE however talking about the right to live. We are talking about living without fear of a police unit or militia breaking down the door and rounding up people who are SUSPECTED to be homosexual or transgendered. We ARE talking about having the right not to fear punishment for the simple reason the person is gay. We ARE talking about keeping our LGBTQ communities in foreign countries ALIVE. Yes, we are talking about rescuing people who face death by an angry mob of peers, the police, or the military."
"Over past few weeks, I have had the unique pleasure of speaking with LGBTQ community members who valiantly prayed for someone to help. I talked with four who made it to this country through rescue operations. I want to share these conversations with you so you understand what people in the LGBTQ community in some places around the globe have endured."
I watched as the interviewees told their stories. Some escaping death by sheer will power and luck. The interviews were each only five minutes long, but they were powerful statements of will power, hope, and freedom.
"There was another man I want to tell you about," I continued. "Yusuf, an 18-year-old gay man from Syria, drew sharp criticism from his family, neighbors, friends, and total strangers. He was the same bright, studious, funny, caring young man he was before his sexuality became an issue. But, his life changed because he was a homosexual. His parents threw him out of the house. They couldn't live with the social stigma of having a gay son. He was arrested. The police turned him over to a religious organization who tried to fix him. Make him straight. Make him socially acceptable. A gay activist somehow managed to infiltrate the group. Miraculously, Yusuf escaped his captors and was led out of the country by sympathizers. He found his way to New York City."
"Yusuf threw himself into an educational program. He found safe housing. He flourished. He flourished in his new environment until he heard of six men his age were also incarcerated by the same organization who tried to change Yusuf."
"Yusuf felt guilty for escaping his tormentors and living is relative safety. He joined a group of Iraqi activists who reentered Iraq to save the six men Yusuf knew. They succeeded in getting Yusuf's friends out of the country. They flew to New York. But, one person wasn't on the plane with them. A group captured Yusuf at gun point. They stripped him naked. They restrained Yusuf in the public square and took turns torturing him. Six days. Six... long... days. Yusuf was in pain. He suffered for six... long... days. He couldn't go on. He died in the middle of the night from complications from his torture. He didn't suffer any more. He wasn't in pain any more. But, Yusuf's short life ended in a tragedy committed by people who tried to fix him."
"Every time I think about Yusuf, I become emotional. An 18-year-old young man was killed by people who didn't understand he was born gay."
I continued my talk, "My husband and I have three sons. One is five. The other two are six-month old twins. They are gift from heaven. But, we don't want our sons to grow up knowing people like their two dads aren't as lucky as we are because of where they live. We don't want our sons to see the level of depravity of people in this world. We want to see a planet where peace is king. Happiness is on every corner. Food on every table. Housing adequate enough to provide a safe place to live."
"Lofty goals? Yes. But, we can't give up. We don't want to let people in the LGBTQ community around the globe die just because of how they were born. I am employing everyone in this audience tonight to get the word out about the Green Star Peace Initiative. I am hoping we can give all of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters around the globe one very special gift. We want them to live in peace, experience the freedom to express themselves openly, and to love the people they want to love. You were handed a brochure on your way in. Look it over. You might help save a life. I will be in the lobby of the theater afterward to answer questions. I also want to thank the volunteers of the Gay and Straight Alliance on this campus. And, most of all, I want to thank all of you for joining us. We can make a difference. Thank you for your time."
The applause went up as did the house lights. I waived, turned and walked off the stage.
The day after my talk, Friday, started with a bang. A bang at the door. I opened the door to find a bevy of camera crews as well as several reporters.
"Mr. Williamson," the guy I recognized from CNN began. "Tell us more about Green Star Peace Initiative."
"I would love to chat with you," I began. "I believe we have a story to tell to the world, but, I'm sorry guys, I have a class in an hour and a five-year-old kid to take to school. Why don't you drop by the student union around 4 pm, and we can talk?"
"Did I hear someone at the door?" Chris asked as he came downstairs.
"Yes," I replied. "A horde of reporters and camera crews. I told them to meet me at 4 pm at the student union. How did they find out where we live, anyway?"
"They are called reporters because they find out things and report them," Chris said with a smile. "I suspect it would be best if I drove Donny to school and you to your first class."
"Maybe you're right," I replied. "Did I do the right thing by getting involved with the Green Star Peace Initiative?"
"Yes," Chris replied. "You were terrific talking to the crowd last night. You were amazing. You were confident. You told everyone the message you wanted them to hear. You played the very moving videos of the people you interviewed. You were outstanding! Maybe you should be a politician, Sam."
"We'll see," I replied. "Maybe you should be the politician in the family, Chris."
I spent my day dodging reporters. They seemed to follow me from class to class. `Who leaked my schedule?' I asked myself. Finally, I arrive at the student union in the lobby off the main entrance. After an hour of chaos, I retreated to our house.
"I am going nuts, Chris," I said as I walked through the doorway. He didn't get a chance to answer because five dogs and one five-year-old boy rumbled down the stairs. "Daddy! Daddy! You were on television."
"You saw me on television? What was I doing on Television?" I asked.
"You were talking about something to a big crowd of people," Donny replied. "Ms. McDonald showed the class."
"Did you know they were recording your talk last night?" Chris asked.
"Yes," I replied. "Why?"
"I believe Green Star sent a clip of your talk to news organizations around the country," Chris replied. "So, you're famous, Sam."
"Chris," I began, "if one more reporter taps me on the shoulder and asks me why a junior in college is the International Spokesperson for Green Star Peace Initiative, I will strangle him or her with my bare hands."
"What did you tell them?" Chris asked.
"I was the only one dumb enough to accept the job," I replied. "I'm doomed! Doomed!"
"It will get better, Sam," Chris assured me.
"How do you know it will get better?" I asked.
"Matilda told Donny," Chris replied with a smirk.
"Jeez! I need a drink, Chris," I said to my husband.
"What kind of drink?" Chris asked.
"Vodka on the rocks," I replied.
"Do you want me to hold the rocks?" Chris asked.
"No," I replied. "Just don't put too many in."
My phone rang as Chris and I shared stories with our drinks. It was Daniel. "Hello, Daniel," I said into the phone. "What's up?" I asked.
"I wanted to tell you how terrific you were last night," Daniel replied. "Frank was with me. He thought you were fantastic. I saw you. I didn't go to our class today because Frank stayed last night instead of driving home. So, I get to see him until Sunday afternoon."
"Terrific!" I replied. "Hold on Daniel."
I put the phone on mute. "Chris, this is Daniel. Frank stayed after my talk last night. Could we invite them for dinner tomorrow?"
"Of course," Chris replied.
"Daniel," I said as I turned off the mute. "Chris and I were wondering if you and Frank would like to join us for dinner tomorrow night."
"Sure," Daniel replied. "Frank is sitting next to me. The phone is on speaker. What time?"
"How's six," I said. "Cocktails at six. Dinner at seven."
"We'll be there," Daniel replied. "We have something to talk about."
"Great!" I replied as I shut off the call.
Chris smiled at me.
"What?" I asked.
"I'm hoping you are not trying to play matchmaker," Chris said as his smile got bigger.
"Of course not, Chris," I said. "Whatever made you think I was playing matchmaker?"
"By this time in our relationship, I know how your devious mind works, Sam," Chris replied.
"I almost forgot," I began. "I received a call from Ms. Rodriquez. She thought I did a terrific job."
"She's right," Chris replied. "You did do a terrific job."
"Thanks," I said. "She was interested to know how the audience reacted to my talk. I told her there were somewhere around 2,000 people. She became extremely excited. She said she wants to hire me for the summer to do other speaking tours. I said I needed to talk with you."
"Where will this speaking tour lead you?" Chris asked.
"London, Sidney, Berlin, Paris," I replied. "A lot of travel, huh?"
"Seems like a lot of travel to me," Chris said. "How would you work the travel plans?"
"I don't know," I replied. "I am not sitting in the economy section of a plane."
"Maybe we will need a jet after all," Chris said with a smile.
"I knew you would take this opportunity to renew your idea about buying a jet," I replied. "But, no. The answer is still no."
The doorbell rang. "I'll get it," I said to Chris as I opened the door. "Come in guys!"
"Thanks for asking us to join you," Frank said as he handed a bag to me. "It's wine, beer, and vodka. We couldn't decide on which one to buy. So, we bought them all."
"Sounds remarkably familiar," I said. "That's how we wound up with five dogs and two cats."
"Not to mention three kids," Daniel replied.
"Uncle Daniel!" Donny shouted on his way down the stairs. He was followed by five dogs and a cat.
"Hey, little dude," Daniel said as he dropped to his knee to talk with Donny.
"Are you and Uncle Frank married yet?" Donny asked.
"No," Daniel replied. "We haven't known each other long enough to get married yet."
"Oh!" Donny said. He seemed content with the answer. "Did you see Daddy on television?"
"We did," Daniel replied. "We also saw him deliver his talk in person on Thursday evening. He was terrific, wasn't he?"
"Yup," Donny replied. "Daddy Chris wants to buy a jet. Daddy Sam won't let him."
"Before we get onto other family secrets, what can I get the two of you to drink?" I asked.
"A beer?" Daniel replied.
"Same," Frank added.
I delivered the drinks while Chris was upstairs getting the twins ready to nap. Hopefully a long nap. As in all night nap. At least, I thought he was getting the twins ready to nap.
"Here are your beers," I said as we settled in the living room. "When do you start your new job here, Frank?"
"I gave my notice on Wednesday," Frank replied. "I didn't hear anything until yesterday. I am going to work on Monday, gather my stuff, get my severance check, and I am done. It seems I am moving here shortly after I pack everything in my meager apartment."
Chris sauntered down the stairs with the twins in their carriers.
"I thought they were ready for a nap," I exclaimed.
"They didn't want anything to do with sleeping," Chris replied. "So, I brought them downstairs so they could join in the fun."
When Mathew and Joshua saw Daniel, they began kicking and cooing.
"Daniel, Frank," I began. "Pick a twin. They want attention from you."
"I've never held a kid so small," Frank replied.
"Piece of cake, Frankie," Daniel said as he pulled Mathew out of his carrier. "Here. This is Mathew."
Daniel handed Mathew to Frank. He then retrieved Joshua and sat beside Frank.
"How do you tell them apart?" Frank asked.
"Joshua's dimples are more pronounced than Mathew's," I replied.
"Mathew likes you, Frank," Daniel said.
"How do you know?" Frank asked. "He hasn't said anything to me."
"He's smiling at you," Daniel replied.
"He is, isn't he?" Frank continued. "So, Mathew. What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Mathew gurgled and smiled broadly.
Frank looked at Daniel, "I think you would make a great father, Daniel. You seem right at home with Joshua."
"Someday," Daniel replied as he handed Joshua to Chris. He looked at Chris and me. "There is something I need to tell you."
"You don't have to tell us anything if you don't want to tell us," I responded.
"I need to tell you this," Daniel continued. "I was tested last week. For STDs. I'm clean, except, I am HIV positive. One fucking time I let someone fuck me without a condom. Actually, I didn't let him. He pretty much raped me."
"He raped you?" I asked. "Did you report it?"
"Yes, he raped me," Daniel replied. "I didn't report it because I could have gotten arrested for being a prostitute."
"This is not a death sentence, Daniel," Chris added. "You can live with the disease with meds. You probably will, at some point, live your life as though you don't have HIV as long as you stay on the meds."
"Everyone will hate me," Daniel continued. "I'm not a whole person anymore."
"Why would you think you are not a whole person just because you are HIV positive?" I asked.
"I can't have a real relationship," Daniel replied as he wiped away a tear streaming down his cheek.
"Daniel! What you just said is BS, and you know it," Frank jumped into the conversation. "This diagnosis does nothing to alter the way I feel about you. In my eyes, you are one very whole person. A person I happened to have fallen in love with."
"You've what?" Daniel asked.
"Fallen in love with you," Frank replied as he pulled Daniel towards him. "Don't give up, Daniel. I will be right beside you."
"You are not the only person in this house who is HIV positive," Chris said.
"One of you?" Daniel asked.
"No," Chris replied. "Donny. He was born to a drug addicted mother who was HIV positive. She passed it along to her son."
"The sweet little kid is HIV positive?" Daniel whispered. "Where is his mother?"
"Dead," Chris continued. "We found him sleeping in some bushes while he waited for his mother to come and get him. Unfortunately, she wound up dead with a needle in her arm in an alley. Simon found him. He has been Donny's constant companion ever since. Border Collies are extremely loyal."
"Speaking of loyal, Chris," I said as I rattled the ice in my glass. "I need another drink, please."
"How is Frank, Daniel?" Sawyer asked as he grabbed our food from the pasta place.
"He's awesome," Daniel replied.
"Sounds like this might become serious," Glen added.
"I think they are beyond `might become serious,'" I said.
"He told me he loved me," Daniel said with a huge smile on his face. "In front of Chris and Sam nonetheless."
"Wedding?" Harrison asked. "When will the wedding happen? Where? This could be the wedding of the century!"
"Ignore Harrison, Daniel," Tom added. "He's certifiably nuts."
"The vodka I used to consume pickled my brain," Harrison replied.
"Among other things," Tom said as he kissed Harrison on the cheek. "Since he gave up the vodka, I've been very fond of his very, very, very hard and big pickle."
"Are you calling my dick a pickle, Tom?" Harrison asked.
"It is usually hard and big," Tom replied. "What more could I want?"
"I should be off to class," I said to the group. "I need to do some reading before the class begins."
"I can walk with you, Sam," Daniel suggested.
"Sure," I agreed as we both tossed our trash in the trash receptacle.
To be continued...
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. I hope you liked the direction that `Sam and Chris' is taking. I've heard from many " and would like to hear from even more. I would enjoy hearing your comments about this story. You can write to me at MaWriterBoy@yahoo.com.
This is my 66th posting of my first story on Nifty.org.
I also have three other stories on Nifty
John's Journey Forward in the `Beginnings' section
Jeffery Comes Home in the `Beginnings' section
Life With Tim in the authoritarian section (Please note, this story is not for everyone because there are several scenes depicting Master/slave and BDSM relationships. So, if you are not interested in this activity, please, please do not read this story.)
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Trying to write a character to fit him.