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Note: Thanks to Tim and Rock for feedback on the draft chapters. I owe a special thanks to Robb for doing the final proofreading and catching all those silly little errors I missed.
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Derek's parents and I had always gotten along great...until Derek came out to them and told them I was his lover. Derek's father was upset at first, but he came around after only a couple of days and accepted us as a couple. Derek's mother had been a different story.
She steadfastly refused to believe that Derek was gay. She blamed me for corrupting him. It had been a rocky time. While I was hurt by her reaction, it didn't really bother me all that much because I had my own family for support. It was Derek who was really hurt. He loved his mother, and he'd told her repeatedly that he loved me and that we were partners, but she still couldn't accept it. He felt like he was being torn between his mother and me. I'd tried to be supportive, and had encouraged him to spend as much time as he could with his parents, but more often than not when he went to visit his parents, he ended up leaving earlier than planned because of his mother's constant picking and sniping.
I figured the lunch with Mrs. Jackson was going to be interesting. I just didn't know what was going to happen.
Derek made reservations at Cantana's and asked for as private a table as possible. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were shown to a table in a small alcove toward the back. Derek and I had been at that table before, and we knew that the sound of conversation stayed within the alcove.
We'd only been there a few minutes when his mother arrived. She was a striking figure with her elegant business suit and classic looks.
We stood to greet her.
She and Derek exchanged hugs and kisses, and then to my surprise, she hugged me as well.
She laughed at my reaction. "I don't imagine you expected that."
"No, ma'am, I didn't."
After Derek seated her, she turned to me and took my hand. That was unexpected also.
"Brett, I have acted very badly toward you, and I'm here to ask your forgiveness and welcome you into our family. I think I've had more trouble than anyone else in accepting that Derek's gay and that you two are in love. I know my stubbornness has placed a strain on Derek and on our relationship. I pray that strain hasn't spread over to affect Derek's relationship with you."
"No, ma'am, it hasn't," I lied. Her inability to accept us as a couple had been a constant strain on my lover. "Derek and I are solid." That was true.
"Mother, I couldn't be happier, but I'm curious what brought on the change."
"Lots of love, patience, and a little prodding from your father, grandfather, and sister. Your father insisted that the two of us go to a PFLAG meeting. I resisted at first, but then I relented and went along. That was just a month ago. I met some wonderful people who'd been through the same struggles I was feeling...the same denials. There was one couple in particular. They couldn't accept their gay son at first. After several years of estrangement, their son developed liver cancer. The estrangement was so severe that they didn't know he was dying until their son's partner called them. They told us they'd almost been too late to tell their son that they loved him. I saw myself in their story. I've been driving you away from me. I don't want to do that. Please forgive me."
Derek and his mother embraced. She stretched out her hand to me. I took it, and she drew me into the hug as well.
"Derek's grandfather kept telling me that I should be thankful to have two fine sons. I am thankful for you, Brett, and I'll try to act like a good mother-in-law from now on."
We sat and talked in the restaurant for another two hours before Derek's mom had to leave to get to the Charlotte airport for her flight back to Washington.
Derek and I both had a final on the last day of exams. We used the time to move some of our stuff into the house we'd be sharing in the fall with Russ, Radu, Jordan and Mitchell. Derek bought a queen-sized mattress, and we inaugurated our new bedroom with a lusty romp on the new mattress.
We started working with Art on his new renovation project the day after we got back home. This project was a spacious four-bedroom, brick ranch style house a couple of blocks away from the high school. The outside of the house was in good shape, but the detached wooden garage had been attacked by termites. Art's plan was to tear down the old garage and build a new one attached to the house at the same time we were working on the renovations to the inside of the house.
The job progressed nicely over the summer. One of the reasons was the addition of Radu to Art's crew. The four of us had a lot of fun doing the work. After two summers working with Art, both Derek and I had a good idea of how things needed to be done. Radu was a rookie at house renovation, but Art didn't seem to mind having to spend some extra time with him to show him what to do.
We also had a lot of fun after work. Radu was staying with Art, and they were becoming pretty tight as a couple. Derek and I had dinner with them at Art's house at least once a week. Our dinners normally concluded with the four of us naked, sweating and crowded together on Art's bed. Great fun!
Derek spent most nights at my house. We maybe spent two nights a week at his parents' house. His mother was trying very hard, but she still wasn't totally comfortable with Derek and me sleeping in the same bed, so it was just easier to spend most nights at my house.
The first week of July, Derek and I drove up to Adams to do some work on the house we'd be living in that fall. Scott came along with us to visit his friends Gary and Greg. We dropped him off at the Williams' before heading out to `our' house.
Jordan had moved into the house right after exams. He was staying up in Adams over the summer to work at a couple of the wrestling summer camps for high schoolers organized by his coach.
Russ had moved out of his apartment and into the house in the middle of June. He was working as a waiter-in-training at Cantana's Restaurant. His hiring had been smoothed over by Brandon Harris who had recommended him to Mr. Cantana.
Our new house needed some work...mostly cosmetic stuff like fixing some holes in the drywall and repainting the walls in all the rooms...stuff that Derek and I felt confident in handling. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Jordan and Russ had already done all the necessary drywall repairs and had finished painting a couple of the rooms.
Derek and I had only been there long enough to get our stuff out of his Jeep and to see that work Russ and Jordan had already done. The four of us were sitting in the kitchen area talking when Derek announced that he had to pee. For some reason he headed down the stairs to use the lower bathroom next to Jordan and Mitchell's room instead of going upstairs to use the hall bath or the one in our room. He came back up the stairs with a strange look on his face and headed upstairs.
It was only a moment or two before he was back down in the kitchen.
He grinned at Russ and Jordan. "Uh, guys, is there something you want to tell us?"
Derek had signed as he spoke. Russ got a big grin on his face, and Jordan actually blushed as he grinned.
I had no clue what was going on. It seemed that my lover and my two house mates had all gone off on some private joke.
I looked from face to face. "Okay, guys, what's going on?"
Derek laughed, "All of Russ's things are down in Jordan's room, and there's a big new king-sized bed in the room...but only that one bed."
It took a while for the shoe to drop.
When it finally did, I looked at Jordan. He smiled from ear to ear again and nodded while blushing even deeper than before.
"When did this happen?"
Russ reached across the table and took Jordan's hand. "Almost two weeks ago, not long after we both moved in. Let's just say that Jordan convinced me that my past profession wouldn't be any problem. He liked me for me. He was very persuasive."
"Have you guys...?"
"Don't worry. I've still got three more months of negative HIV tests before I'm in the clear. We're being very careful. I couldn't stand it if I gave HIV to this guy. He's got to be the sweetest man on the planet."
"Does Mitchell know about this?"
Jordan signed, "I emailed him. He said he'd be happy to have the single room upstairs. It would increase his chances of getting a girl to spend the night with him."
"This is great, guys. I think you two will be good for one another."
We had a great week working on the house. By the time we left, everything was shipshape and ready.
Gary Williams and Greg Hatcher came back to Indian Crossing with us to stay with Scott for a week. The guys had a great time together. Scott showed them all of his favorite haunts in the area, and they stayed up late into the night. Derek and I could hear them laughing and giggling in Scott's room down the hallway.
Another old friend was in town for a short time over the summer...Hector Delgado. Hector was home for ten days of leave before reporting for his next duty station...Afghanistan. The idea of being over in Afghanistan scared the crap out of me, but Hector seemed all gung ho about going.
He looked great. He had gained a good deal of muscle in the two years he'd been in the service. His arms, pecs, and abs were rock solid. His prick got rock solid often, too.
He was still a dedicated bottom. Hector spent three nights of his leave with Derek and me. He was almost insatiable. He said he wasn't going to be getting any sex over in Afghanistan, so he wanted to get as much as he could before he left. Derek and I tried to accommodate him. We went through almost two dozen condoms in those three nights!
One time, Hector was on his back and I was slowly pumping my condom-covered dick into his hole. Derek got in behind us and started eating my ass. When he got me nice and loose and lubricated with his spit, he slid his rod into my hole. What a trip! Hector was moaning beneath me every time I slid my dick in him, and every time I withdrew I impaled myself on Derek's dick. All three of us came within seconds of each other.
The summer in Indian Crossing wasn't just fun and games in the bedroom. Derek and I had a couple of run ins with Bull Cook. It was nothing very serious...just a little exchange of insults in parking lots.
It was clear that Bull was back to his overbearing ways. He'd flunked out of the University of Georgia after just one semester. He spent so much time partying that he failed all of his classes. When he came back home his granddad, Big Bull, set him up as a foreman at a big, swanky, controlled access housing development that Big Bull was involved with. Everyone wondered where Big Bull got the money for the ambitious project, and the most widely heard rumor was that some big money guys from Miami were putting up most of the money for the project.
The day before Derek and I were heading back up to Adams State for the preseason football practice, we went to the river. We took a picnic lunch down there and then made love on the sandbar which was a little bigger than it had been the previous summer when Derek and I first made love out there.
Afterward, we lay on the sand wrapped in each other's arms.
I was almost asleep when Derek said, "I love this place almost as much as I love you. I wish we could stay here forever and make love."
"We take this place in our hearts wherever we go. In a way, each time we make love, we'll be back on this sandbar where we started."
I don't know what the future holds for us. We were heading back to college with almost guaranteed first string positions on the football team. We had made good friends, and we would be sharing a house with four of them. I know we'll have some troubles. Everybody does. We'll probably have a few tense moments in our relationship, but I know we'll make it as a couple. After all, we're swamp rats, and swamp rats are stubborn. They survive and flourish even in the worst of conditions.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Some of the characters who play parts in this story were previously introduced in "When Love Comes" (last posted in the College section on Sept. 6, 2001), "Love of a Lifetime" (last posted in the College section on May 19, 2003), "Finding Family" (last posted in the College section on June 5, 2008), or "Construction Job" (last posted in the College section on July 24, 2008). While not necessary, readers may find it useful to read the earlier stories posted on this site. All of the Adams State/Carterville stories listed above as well as my other stories are also posted at www.crvboy.com.
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