Jermaine Clarkson sat on his bed contemplating over his dilemma. Christmas is in a week and he still didn't know what to get his best friend for a gift. He had done all of his shopping except for the most important one. He wanted it to be special enough to show his best friend Andre how he feels, but not too extravagant that Andre would feel unworthy of having. Jermaine never flaunted his wealth, but he wanted, no, he needed This Christmas to be perfect. Just thinking about his friendship with Andre put a smile on his face as he reminisced in the memory of how they first met.
*It looks like History will be a bore with old Mrs. Clinton teaching.* Jermaine thought to himself as he walked to lunch his freshman year. *Luckily there's some good eye candy in the class to keep me awake.* He grinned. There have been several hot boys in every class he had so far; but, there was one boy in particular that seems to be in all of them so far that he thought was the hottest. From what he could tell, the boy was a little shorter than him with a light tan complexion. He has golden blonde hair, bluish green eyes, and from what he could tell by the clothes he was wearing, a tone muscular body and a tight bubble butt that would be forever imprinted in his memory. He just knew he needed to meet and become friends with this boy soon.
No one but Jermaine's parents knew that he was gay. Knowing how society always shuns homosexuals, he kept that part of himself a secret. Not that he was ashamed by it or anything, he just believes that it's was no one's business unless he wanted it to be. He's not afraid of being bully because he can handle himself in a fight if necessary and protect those that couldn't protect themselves. His father saw to that by teaching him different styles of martial arts which boosted his confidence and self esteem while at the same time sculpting his body into superb physical condition. Add that with his milk chocolate complexion, cold black hair, and dark brown, almost black eyes, and wha-lah, what you have is a sexy confident teen with a big heart that most teenagers would love to have as a boyfriend.
That's not what Jermaine is looking for though. No, he wants someone who will look beyond his good looks and wealth to see the strong, intelligent, kind, and caring person he is. Every time he becomes friends with someone the friendship always turns into a conspiracy over his wealth that has him ending the friendship leaving him alone and lonely. But he rather be lonely, then to be used for his money. He really hopes the hot boy isn't that way and they can become true friends and maybe more someday in the near future.
Just as he rounded the corner into the hall leading to the cafeteria, he saw the boy he was just dreaming of being shoved into a wall by a couple of boys who looks like juniors. Anger ran through Jermaine's body like wildfire, so with deliberate steps he approached them. "Is there a problem here?"
All three boys turned to see him standing there with no fear at all. "It's nothing that's any of your business!" The bigger of the two bullies bellowed. "Just walk away before you'll be next on my list." He then turned back to the other boy confident that his command will be obeyed. "Now you listen to me you little..."
But Jermaine stepped in front of him next to the boy cutting him off. "I don't think I can do that. You see, I don't take kindly to bullies, especially when they're ganging up on someone who's smaller than they are! Why don't you both try your luck with me? But let me warn you, I'm well trained in several different martial arts and can whip your butts without breaking a sweat."
It only took a moment of thinking for the two bullies to back down. The smaller kid they can handle, but they wasn't too sure about someone who's nearly their size and built, especially when that someone is looking at them with the intensity that Jermaine was. They looked at the other boy with anger burning in their eyes that their attempt had been thwarted. "This isn't over!"
"It better be or else!" Jermaine forcefully warned them as they walked away. He then turned to see the boy staring at him in admiration. "Are you okay?"
"I am now." He confirmed as he relaxed. "Thanks for your help but you didn't have to do that. Pete and Lucas aren't dumb enough to lay a hand on me knowing they'll have to deal with my brother afterward. He's a junior like they are but bigger. Their always picking on me until my brother hears about the incident. Then they go running with their tails hanging between their legs."
"Well, now you have someone else who can have their asses running." Jermaine assured him. "Just let me know if they bother you again and I'll take care of them. I hate when people are bullied, and I'll do whatever is necessary to stop it from happening. By the way, my name is Jermaine Clarkson." He smiled as he held out his fist.
The boy smiled back as he bumped fist with him. "It's nice to meet you Jermaine. My name is Andre Reynolds." Suddenly a strange feeling came over him but he shook it off. "You look a little familiar, have we met somewhere before? I feel like I already know you."
Jermaine knew that feeling because he was feeling it himself but he held in his smile. "No we haven't but you've may have seen me in class because we've had the same one all morning. And if we're lucky, it will continue in the afternoon as well."
Andre was quick to pick up on that. He knew Jermaine was in all of his classes because he did see him there. He just wanted to know if Jermaine had noticed him as well, because like Jermaine, Andre thought Jermaine was hot. The answer he got had him jumping for joy on the inside but he kept his cool in check. He didn't want to ruin any chances at being friends with this boy. *And if I'm lucky, maybe more than friends some day.* He thought to himself.
The sound of Jermaine's voice suddenly brought him back to the here and now. "Where are you off to now?" Andre told him that he was heading to the cafeteria for lunch. "So am I. You want to eat together?"
Andre accepted and the two headed for the cafeteria getting to know each other better. After getting their lunch, they found an empty table and began eating. Not long after a twin boy and girl they never saw before came up to their table asking if they can join them. Jermaine gave his consent then introduced him and Andre to the pair. The boy gave their names as Jason and Jennifer but asked to be called Jase and Jen. Both boys agreed and went back to eating.
From that moment on the four became good friends although Jermaine and Andre grew closer to each other than the other two. However, they never revealed to one another of how they felt for the other. Jermaine's past experiences with friendship had him being very cautious of getting close to someone again. He didn't want to put his heart on the line to have it broken again by false intentions. Andre on the other hand was confused. Whenever Jennifer flirted with Jermaine he always flirted back, but he never took it further than that. That always has Andre wondering whether or not Jermaine was gay. Every time he thought he had a chance with him, something or someone would interfere with him finding that little stigma out.
Remembering that day brought a smile to Jermaine's face as an idea of a gift came to mind. He'll shop around until he finds the perfect one suited for Andre. Happy with his decision, Jermaine laid down and fell asleep contented with knowing that he'll accomplish his goal in making this the best Christmas for him and the most important person in his life.
Not far away, Andre was also sitting on his bed thinking of something special to get Jermaine for Christmas as well. He doesn't have nearly the amount of money as Jermaine does, but he's not poor either. He can afford to get Jermaine something nice; just not too expensive. Thinking about Jermaine had him too remembering back to when they first met. Suddenly an idea popped into his mind on what he can afford to get his best friend that will be the perfect gift. Unknown to both boys, the idea popped into their mind simultaneously. With his crisis now settled, he too nodded off and joined Jermaine in the land of dreams.
The next day before school the four friends met up in the parking lot. As usual, Jennifer flirted with Jermaine attempting Andre to roll his eyes. "Hi Jamy, I like your shirt. It makes you look very mysterious. Kind of like you have a hidden dark secret or something. It's very appealing."
"Oh you mean this old thing?" Jermaine blushed modestly. "It's nothing; just something I threw on this morning, but thanks for the complement. I'm glad you like it."
This time Andre did roll his eyes and it didn't go unnoticed. Jason caught the gesture and had his suspicions of what was behind it, but he wasn't completely sure. If his suspicious were correct then that would explain a lot of things he thought was his imagination. That would also mean that he'd have to talk to his sister before she gets hurt. The ringing of the school bell brought him out of his thoughts and they headed inside to start classes.
Throughout the day Jermaine and Andre kept sneaking glances at each other when they thought no one was watching. That plus the look in their eyes further confirmed Jason's suspicion about their relationship. Every time Jennifer flirted with Jermaine Jason could see anger in Andre's eyes. But when Jermaine flirted back, his expression turned to hopelessness.
Although they were aware of the going on around them, neither boy suspected that their secret may not be well hidden from others. Too engross with the object of their affection, they didn't noticed Jason starting to put two and two together. Jermaine wouldn't care what others thought about his sexuality because he knew he could defend himself, but it would be different for Andre if anyone knew he was gay. Andre didn't have the self confidence or fighting skills that Jermaine has and that made him more of an easy target for bullying.
When school let out they all met up again in the parking lot by Jermaine's car. Jennifer invited both boys to hang out at their house but she never took her eyes off of Jermaine. Fed up with the flirting back and forth between the two, Andre politely declined stating he had to get going because he had more Christmas shopping to do. Jamaine and Jennifer stared at his retrieving back in total bewilderment as Jason nodded to himself in absolution. Blowing off Andre's departure, Jennifer once again offered Jermaine the invitation.
"I'd love to Jen but I also have some more shopping that I need to get done as well." He declined with some sorrow in his eyes. "There's still one more gift I need to get. It'll probably take me all afternoon to find so I better get going. I'll see you guys later."
Jennifer pouted as she watched Jermaine walk away. Jason looked on in slight befuddlement as she then turned and stomped her way to their car. *I definitely have to put a stop to this before it gets out of hand and someone gets hurt.* He sighed and followed his sister.
Meanwhile, Andre was heading to his first store to browse around. Now that his selection crisis was over he was having difficulty deciding on the design and inscription. He could go several different ways with the design but none of the images appealed to him. However, putting his message in a limited space seems to be his biggest challenge. He needed it to be obvious to Jermaine; but not so with others. He was still mulling over that when he walked into the store and up to the counter to speak with the clerk.
At another location Jermaine was viewing the inventories on display. None of them was to his satisfaction so he spoke with the clerk. The clerk told him that they didn't have what he was looking for in stock. "Most likely you'll probably need to get that custom made because I seriously doubt you'll find an item like that anywhere off the shelf."
Jermaine asked if they did custom made items and the clerk told him no. After thanking him for his help, he left to continue with his search. For the next three hours He went from store to store with no success until he finally struck home. Although they didn't have the item in inventory, the clerk said that they did specialty orders for custom made items and handed Jermaine a form. After filling out the form and signing it, Jermaine gave the clerk his credit card for the deposit. After the billing was taken care of, He thanked the clerk as he received his card along with his receipt, and walked out of the store.
On his way out, he spotted Andre coming his way and quickly hid from him. He didn't want to be seen and ruining the surprise so he waited until the coast was clear before reappearing and getting out of dodge. On his way home, He kept wondering if Andre was shopping for the same thing that he was, or if it was something else entirely different. He couldn't come up with an answer so he decided to wait until Andre could tell him which he was sure he would do.
Back at the store, Andre was giving the clerk a description of what he was looking for. When he had finished, the clerk gave him a curious look wondering if there was a connection between this kid and the one he'd just waited on. Once again he explained the standard procedure and took Andre's information down along with a deposit then handing him back his card along with the receipt. Before Andre left the store, the clerk let him know when he can pick up his merchandise but made sure the time was different from Jermaine's guessing correctly that both boys wanted to keep it a surprise.
When Jermaine got home, he began the task of decorating starting with the outside of his house. Christmas use to be a joyous holiday for him, but that was back when his parents were still alive. Ever since they had been killed in a car accident it's just been another ordinary day for him. Jermaine wanted his holidays to be joyous once again and he wanted to share that joy with his best friend. He'd always spent his holidays with Andre but just couldn't get into the groove and enjoy them. This year he was determine to bring the joy back and share it with the most important person in his life. He wanted Andre to celebrate the holidays without feeling like he needed to hold back just for him.
Half way through he stop to make something to eat. When he had finished, he relaxed for a bit before finishing decorating the outside. Afterwards, he decorated the inside before moving on to the tree. He would wait until tomorrow to assemble the train set because he wanted Andre to come over to help him with that. He had gotten the set from his parents for Christmas the year he was born and each year since then they had added additional accessories. When Jermaine was old enough to help with the assembling, it became a tradition for him and his father to spend that special time decorating for the holidays. Now Jermaine wants to start a new tradition by sharing that time with Andre to make this year's holidays more special. Finish with the decorating for now; he headed up to bed to get some sleep.
The next day of school wasn't so pleasant for Jermaine. Once again he had to keep up the charade with Jennifer because he still didn't know how to stop the flirting routine without hurting her, but today was different. This time he saw the sadness in Andre's eyes whenever he flirted back leaving him feeling guilty about it. It wasn't until school was over when Jermaine had the opportunity to speak with Andre in private and ask him to come over to his house.
"Sure, but why?" Jermaine explain that he wanted to assemble his train set and he thought that Andre could help. "Are you sure you want me to help with that? I mean, that use to be your special time with your father to start the holidays off."
"That's why I want you to help me." He assured him with warmth. "I want to start enjoying the holidays again, but that can only happen by me getting back into the spirit of things. I've already decorated the house but saved that for last because I wanted to include you in on that. Besides, who else would I have other then my best friend to help me? There's nobody I rather have than you whom I'd want to restart that tradition with."
Andre looked at Jermaine totally confused at his wording. Did Jermaine mean what Andre was hoping he meant? Did Jermaine have the same feelings for Andre as Andre had for him? Those thoughts were running through Andre's mind like a whirlwind making him completely disoriented with the mixed signals. Seeing Jermaine cautiously waiting for an answer, he filed it away to analyze later.
"Okay, I'll come and help. Give me about an hour to take care of something first and I'll be right over. Will it just be the two of us, or are you inviting Jase and Jen as well?"
"It'll be just the two of us. I'm not ready to include anyone else in something like that. Like you said, it was a special time that I shared with my father and it will remain a special time that I spend with anyone in the future as well, but let's meet at six rather than in an hour. I need to see how things are going at the office."
Although he tried to hide it, Jermaine could sense the bitterness in Andre's voice when he mentioned Jennifer's name. He felt terrible for causing Andre pain and knew he had to assure him that the invitation was special and the only help he wanted was his. Andre's eyes lit up making Jermaine feel happy to see. It was then that they saw Jason and Jennifer coming so Andre agreed to the time and said goodbye as he headed for his car giving them a wave as he went.
"Where is he going?" Jason asked Jermaine as they approached.
"I'm not sure. He only said he needed to take care of something but didn't say what that was." He could see the annoyed look on Jennifer's face but chose to ignore it. "By the way, I also have to check on things at the office so I need to get going as well. I just stuck around to let you know that I won't be able to hang out with you guys today."
Jennifer frown but Jason nodded. "We understand. After all, you need to stay on top of things to make sure everything is running smoothly. Otherwise, you wouldn't be rolling in the doe!" He laughed.
Jermaine forced out a laugh himself. "Yeah, but it also means more bills to pay and salaries to ditch out!" He replied. "I better get going so I can get it all done quickly and head home to relax."
Jennifer started to say something but Jason grabbed her hand stopping her. "Alright man, we'll get together some other time. Give us a call later." He called as Jermaine walked away and he dragged his sister to their car with her complaining all the way. "Get in." He bluntly ordered her.
She glared at him but did what he said. "What the hell is your problem!?" She demanded after slamming the door shut. "I was just about to convince Jermaine to let me go with him."
Jason stared at her seriously. "That's why I stopped you." He stated bluntly. "Did you ever think that Jermaine isn't interested in you? You've been flirting with him ever since we met him, and he never once asked you out. I think it's time for you to give up your little plot in trying to seduce him."
"What makes you think I'm trying to seduce him?" Jennifer tried to convince her brother but he wasn't buying it. "We both know Jermaine is too interested in me. Why else would he flirt with me then if he wasn't?"
"Maybe he's just a natural flirt?" His eyebrow raise asked the unspoken question. `Are you that delusional? "Face it Jen, Jermaine isn't interested in you. If he was, then he would have asked you out a long time ago. Just back off and be his friend because I think sooner, rather than later, it will become obvious who he is really interested in, and I don't want to see you get hurt when that happens."
"Oh please!" She spat. "How can Jermaine be interested in someone else when he only flirts with me? A lot of girls had flirted with him but he never flirted back with any of them. He really doesn't hang out with anyone but you, me, and Andre so how can he not be interested in me?"
Jason just started the car and headed home as he told her to think about it and the answer will come to her. He tried warning her but she's not interested in hearing the truth so he decided to let her find it all out on her own. He's not going to out his friends to anyone and that includes his sister. Jennifer will just have to suffer with the heartbreak when it's all out in the open. Until then, he'll just wait and see what happens and hope for the bet for everyone involved.
After stopping for gas, Jermaine arrived at his office to find his desk cluttered with papers. He sat down and started to go through them when his secretary Mary Stevens walked in. "What are you doing here. Shouldn't you be out Christmas shopping or something?"
He looked up for a second before looking back to his work. "No, I finished that yesterday but don't worry, I'm only here to do a little work. The rest I'll just take with me to work on at home. Andre will be meeting me there to help me assemble the train set. That's the last thing I have to do to be ready for the holidays. I'm trying to get back into the spirit of things this year."
"Good." She enthused. "You've been sad for way too long now. It's about time you start enjoying life again, and I think Andre is just the person you need to help you with that. Don't you spend all of your holidays doing business either; the company will survive without you drowning yourself in work."
Jermaine looked up at her again and smiled. "I didn't plan on it. In fact, I already have some plans for Christmas and nothing is going to stand in the way of that." Then his expression turned serious. "I'll be available for emergencies if needed, and it better damn well be an emergency! I'm going to use all of the holidays to just chill and try to be a teenager again."
His smile returned which also put a smile on her face. She loves Jermaine like a son and was happy to see him snapping out of his depression. Going from childhood to adulthood in an instant had been rough on him but now it looks like he's reviving the teenager in him once again and she felt honored to witness it. She nodded in agreement and left him alone to finish his work. A couple of hours later he decided that he had done enough and packed the rest in his book bag to take with him. His Secretary had already gone home leaving him to lock up. After making sure everything was turned off, he set the alarm, locked up the building, and headed home.
He arrived to find Andre already there waiting for him. After greeting each other, Jermaine led him inside to the living room where they removed their gears and depositing them on the sofa. Jermaine then followed Andre with a smile as he walked around the house admiring the decoration. Jermaine had parafamalias all over, different kinds of nativity scenes including miniature trees with lights in several rooms, lights around the door, and missal toes hung at every door including the bathrooms. Andre was truly amazed. After the tour, they ended up back in the living room where Andre took in the view of that room as well.
"Wow man! You really did a good job with decorating the house. I especially love the tree. The outside is pretty spectacular as well." He gushed. The tree was nine feet tall with colorful lights, candy canes, ornaments including personal ones belonging to Jermaine and his parents, tinsels, and ending with a beautiful angel on top that once the lights are lit the angel shines with a pure white golden glow around it.
Jermaine thanked him with an appreciative smile. "It took me all afternoon and most of the night, but I did have fun doing it. Once the train is assembled, then it all would be perfect. Hopefully that will bring some light back into this place."
Andre caught the despair in his friend's voice and gave him a sympathetic smile. "Let's get started then, shall we?" He said cheerfully hoping to keep him from sinking back into depression.
Jermaine returned the smile and the two of them got to work. For the next hour and a half they carried on with conversation as only best friends could while occasionally sneaking affectionate glances when they thought the other wasn't looking. Around seven thirty they decided to take a break. Jermaine called for pizza and they sat at the kitchen table while eating and watching television while still sneaking glances. Ocasionally they would get caught and smile to hide their embarrassment only to receive a smile in return.
"What time is your family having Christmas dinner?" Jermaine suddenly asked out of nowhere. Andre looked at him curiously so he elaborated. "I'm asking because I want you to have dinner with me for Christmas. It won't be anything fancy. Just some mashed potatoes, candied yams with marshmallows, baked macaroni and cheese, and a ham. Oh, and let's not forget the cornbread and cranberry sauce. I'm going to stop by the bakery on Saturday to pick up a German tort with raspberry jam for dessert. So what do you say?"
"Are you going to do the cooking?" Jermaine said he was because he was giving the staff the day off. "Then of course I'll come. We can also exchange our gifts then as well. I kind of want to do that privately anyway. There's something about it that I need to explain, and it's not meant for others to hear."
That peeked Jermaine's interest but he didn't asked any questions. "I think that's a good idea. My gift needs some explaining too, and I rather do that away from prying eyes. It's no one business unless we decide to tell them."
Andre nodded in agreement and told Jermaine that they were having Christmas dinner around one o'clock. Jermaine never understood why they called it Christmas dinner when they always ate around midday and not dinner time. None the less he was glad that he was going to have Christmas dinner with Andre and they both have special gifts to give one another. Unknown to the other, both boys were hoping that their miracle will come true on Christmas day and they will get everything that they wished for. When they had finished eating and thrown away their trash, they went back to assembling the train. By nine o'clock it was completed and ready to be tested. Andre turned off the lights then Jermaine lit up the tree and started the train. What they were looking at was something spectacular.
Standing in a corner of the living room was a beautiful tree surrounded by Christmas presents under it and incorporated with small multiple villages. Constantly running around the whole display and even through some of the villages was the train set. The flashing lights from the tree and display made it truly a site of beauty. Moving over to sit on the couch, the boys just watched the display in motion and admired their handiwork. Subconsciously they reached for the other's hand and held on. Somehow they both knew that sharing this special time had brought them closer together and had made their bond even stronger than before.
They sat there for thirty minutes in comfortable silence when Andre's cell phone rang killing the moment. It was his mother calling him home to do his homework. Andre rolled his eyes and told her that he'll be there soon before hanging up and telling Jermaine that he had to go. Jermaine walked him to the door thanking him for his help. Andre told him that he was welcomed and that he had fun doing it. Neither boy wanted the night to end but said goodbye as they hugged knowing that they will see each other at school tomorrow. When Andre could no longer be seen, Jermaine locked up the house, and went upstairs to do his homework before going to bed and drifting into a peaceful dream.
When Andre got home he also did his homework before getting into bed and joining the one he loves in dreamland. Unknown to either boy, they were actually sharing the same dream further strengthening their bond in which they will need in times to come.
The rest of the week went quickly for the two friends/lovers. Soon it was Friday and school was letting out for the holidays putting everyone in a cheerful mood. As the four friends were walking to their cars talking about mundane things, Jennifer asked Jermaine if he was going to the school's Christmas dance that night trying to entice him into asking her on a date.
"Sorry Jen, I can't make it. I promised the company employees a Christmas party and I'm throwing it tonight. Everyone is looking forward to it and I won't disappoint them since they work so hard for the company. It's the only time I have available before Christmas since I'm volunteering to serve Christmas dinner at the homeless shelter tomorrow night."
Andre noticed as he was sure that Jennifer did as well regarding the decline of her invitation by Jermaine. He pacifically said `won't and not `can't which had Andre smiling on the inside. He knew that there was nothing stopping Jermaine from opening the building tomorrow during the day to have the party. Andre took it as a sign that Jermaine wasn't interested in dating Jennifer making him want to jump for joy. Jennifer on the other hand was getting more annoyed and frustrated with his rejections towards her passes.
"I'll see you guys later. I need to get going so I can set everything up for the party. If I don't see you before then, have a wonderful Christmas." He bumped fist with the boys and gave Jennifer a friendly hug along with a kiss on the cheek before walking away.
"I also need to get going too guys." Andre chorused. "Have a nice Christmas and I'll see you on the first day back at school if I don't see you before then."
Unlike Jermaine, Andre just gave them a wave as he walked off. Jason raised a questioning eyebrow at his sister who shook her head indicating that she didn't pick up on anything. Jason just started walking towards the car shaking his head in disbelief leaving Jennifer standing there boggled. She still couldn't comprehend that Jermaine was interested in someone else and not her. She huffed and followed her brother to the car.
Andre was almost home when his cell phone rang. He didn't like talking on the phone while driving so he pulled into a parking lot to answer it. It was Jermaine calling to invite him to the company Christmas party as his guess. "I love to. What time should I be there?"
Jermaine grinned to himself at the excitement in Andre's voice. "How about four thirty? You can help me welcome everyone as they arrive," Then another thought came to his mind. "Or you can come now and help me with the preparations if you want?"
"I'll be there in thirty minutes." Jermaine told him that he'll find him in the conference room on the second floor setting everything up. "I'll let security know who you are so they can let you in. I don't expect there will be any problems, but give me a call if there is."
Andre said that he will but he didn't think anyone will defy the boss's orders. Jermaine assured him that they wouldn't, he's just covering his basis just in case. "After all, you never know. There's always some type of asshole who believes that they're the one calling the shots when the actual head honcho is a kid."
Andre had nothing to dispute that so he didn't try. He just agreed to call if there were any problem and they ended the call. After putting the phone back in the console between the seats, he headed back onto the road and was soon at Clarkson Industry parking the car. He entered the building and gave the man at the security desk his name and asked to be permitted access. The guy just gave him a scowl and started to say something nasty when a voice came from his right. "Not one word Peterson."
Both guys turned to see a man close to middle age coming towards them. Peterson glared but the man paid him no attention as he reached them and extended his hand. "I'm guessing you're Andre Reynolds?" Andre said he was as he shook the offered hand. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Keith Dawson, head of security. I was informed by Mr. Clarkson of your arrival." He then looked at the man behind the desk. "Make sure that he's logged in the database to having full access as ordered by the boss. Is that understood?"
"Yes sir." Peterson acquiesced with some animosity and Mr. Dawson accepted it with a nod ignoring his demeanor. "Make that your priority at the moment. I'll check to be assured that the order was carried out when I get back to my office." He then turned gesturing for Andre to follow him as he headed for the elevators.
When they reached the second floor, they got off and walked to the conference room where they found Jermaine putting up decorations. A big smile formed on his face when he saw Andre and thanked Mr. Dawson for his assistance. "It was my pleasure boss. I'll make sure that he's logged in the database as you ordered."
Jermaine nodded. "Thank you. Make sure the whole department knows that if they disobey that order, they will be looking for another job. I won't tolerate any disrespect to my authority or insubordinate attitudes. I damn sure won't be having my friend treated like shit!"
Mr. Dawson assured Jermaine that he'll enforce that upon everyone so there's no misconception about the order. He will also farad out the possible trouble makers that may cause problems in the future and keep an eye on them. Andre gasped when he heard Jermaine called him Uncle Keith when he thanked him once again and they looked at him questioningly. "You just called him Uncle Keith. I didn't know he was your uncle."
"He's not really but I have known him all of my life." Jermaine corrected then clarified what he meant. "He was one of my father's best friends and I had always called him uncle. He had worked here for years and is one of the few employees that don't try to undermine my authority as the boss."
"And I never will." The head of security promised. "I'd always known that Little Jer would inherit the company because Jermaine told me a long time ago. I made a promise to his father that I would look after him if anything were to happen to his parents before Little Jer have the chance to grow into adulthood. Jermaine wanted his son to experience his childhood before he had to take on the responsibility of being an adult. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way; and he had to grow up way too fast."
This was something Andre didn't know about the boy of his fantasies so he listened closely. He fully intending on learning everything he can about the one who already owns his body, mind, and soul, even though he doesn't know it. Jermaine insisted on them getting back to work so everything would be ready for the party snapping Andre out of his trans. Mr. Dawson agreed and made his exit saying that he'll catch up with them later.
For the next two hours the two friends discussed the night's festivity as they worked hard at decorating the conference room. The enthusiasm in Jermaine's face and voice made Andre wanting the party to be perfect for everyone to have fun before going home to be with their loved ones for the holidays. Just as they had finished putting the last present under the tree, people started arriving. Both boys stood at the door with Jermaine introducing Andre as he welcomed his employees and told them to enjoy themselves. Many came with their family and spouses while others came alone, but soon the room was fully packed with party goers.
Throughout the night Andre stayed by Jermaine's side preventing anyone from getting too close and Jermaine wouldn't let Andre out of his sight protecting his territory. As they mingled, many attending the party complimented the boys on a job well done, especially when the dinner was served and everyone saw the spread that was offered to them. Jermaine went all out with not only turkey, but ham as well. They had the choice of stuffing, mashed potatoes, baked macaroni and cheese, kale, candied yams with marshmallows, two types of cranberry sauce and cornbread and/or biscuits as a side dish. Dessert was Apple, blueberry, cherry, lemon moraine, sweet potato, and pumpkin pie. By the time everyone was done with eating, they had stuffed themselves full.
When the party was winding down for the night, Jermaine stood and thanked them all for coming and having a good time. "I know that some of you feel a little uncomfortable working for someone my age, but let me just say that I hold no animosity against any of you for that. None the less, this company was left to me by my parents and I intend to make it better than it had ever been before. This is their legacy; and I'm committed to see it prosper. To show my gratitude for the work you have put in over the years, I have Christmas gifts under the tree for all of you to take home. Please pick them up on your way out and I hope you enjoy your holidays."
Everyone applauded as he sat back down and Andre squeezed his hand under the table for his generosity. The party went on for another hour then people started to leave thanking him for the fantastic celebration and grabbing their gift on their way out. Once everyone was gone, the two boys along with Keith, Mary, and the help of their family members started cleaning up and throwing away the trash so the room will be clean and spotless for the board meeting. Jermaine thanked them all for the help before pulling out the last four wrapped packages from under the tree and handing two gifts each to Keith and Mary and wishing them a merry Christmas. They wished him one back and said they'll see him on Monday as they gave him a loving hug in which he gladly reciprocated. They shook hands with Andre and also wished him a good night and merry Christmas before they and their family left as well.
Once they were alone, Jermaine pulled Andre into a hug and thanked him for being there with him. "I couldn't have gotten through this without you there with me."
Andre returned the hug and held onto him not wanting to let go. "You're welcome. I'll always be there for you." He murmured into his ear.
They held the embrace for a while relishing in the closeness of their relationship. Eventually they parted and gathered their things together. After making sure the building was locked down, the two walked to their vehicle together where Jermaine gave Andre another hug and watched him get into his car and drive away. He stood there for a minute thinking about his wishful miracle for Christmas and if it will come true or not before getting into his car.
When he arrived at home he went straight to bed. Tomorrow was going to be a busy day for him so he needed a good night's sleep because he had to be up early. As soon as he climbed into bed, he checked his cell phone and noticed a missed text. It was from Andre just letting him know that he arrived home safely and that he'll see him on Christmas. He sent a reply and placed the phone back on his nightstand before turning over and was soon asleep.
Once again both boys dreamed of lying naked cuddled together all alone on a white sanded beach with an elegant villa with a small vegetable and fruit garden. Surrounding the property was palm trees with pineapple and coconut and a few maples. Overhead was a beautiful blue sky with a bright yellow sun overlapped by red and orange with a majestic rainbow sparkling in the light. A pavilion with picnic tables and benches plus a stone barbecue grill was set back among the tree lines.
This was their private place of paradise, a special place where they can be alone and display their love and affection for each other without any interference of society standards. Andre lifted his head from Jermaine's chest and smiled down at him with love and devotion in his eyes. Jermaine returned the look and pulled him down joining their lips together in a passionate kiss. Their tongues did battle as their kiss intensified. Soon Andre was lying on his back with Jermaine on top cradling his head deepening the kiss and grinding their cocks together as their passion got hotter. The moans coming from their mouths was muffled by the tight lock they had on the other's lips trying to suck the air out of the other's lungs. Andre grinded back as he wrapped his arms and legs around Jermaine pulling them closer together in their dance. A few more grinds later their dance was coming to an end as they erupted with a golden white light spraying their essence out merging between them. Buzzzz... Buzzzz...
The sound of the alarm clock jolted Andre out of his dream. With a grunt of annoyance, he reached over and turned it off. Feeling some wetness that he wasn't expecting, he lifted the covers to see what it was and his eyes opened wide. His genitals were completely covered in a large amount of semen that was running down between his legs and onto the bed. That surprised him because it had been a while since he had a wet dream and he never had one in this large of a quantity before. *Damn, that must have been one hell of a wet dream to make me come like that!* He thought in astonishment. Reaching down to grab his shirt from off the floor, he wiped up then threw it into the hamper and jumped in the shower.
At his house, Jermaine was also jolted awake from his dream by his alarm. He quickly turned it off and right away noticed some wetness. He lifted the covers to have a look and was also astonished at what he saw. Having a wet dream wasn't what that surprised him; it was the large amount of semen covering his genetals that had his eyes as wide as saucers. *You got to be fuckin kidding me!* He silently exclaimed to himself. *How the hell can one fuckin dream make me come that much!* after cleaning himself up, he went to take a shower.
Once he was dressed, he went out for breakfast. Afterwards he did some grocery shopping before going back home to begin cooking the dishes he promised he would make for the shelter for Christmas. Just as he was getting started, there was a chime indicating that someone was at the gates. Checking the security monitors and seeing Andre's car and face, he allowed him access onto the property then headed for the door to let him in. He had just gotten there when the doorbell rang and he opened it to see Andre smiling at him.
"What are you doing here?" Jermaine asked with a smile. "I thought you had things to do today."
"I do but that's not until later. I'm still waiting on the call letting me know that it's ready to be picked up. I have nothing to do until then so I decided to stop in and see what you're up to. You don't mind do you?"
"No, I don't mind." He stepped aside as he gestured for him to come in. "I'm busy right now, but you're welcome to stay. I do have an errand to run later myself but I would love the company in the meantime."
As they headed for the kitchen, Andre asked Jermaine what he was doing. Jermaine said that he was making a few desserts for the shelter where he volunteered to serve Christmas dinner tonight. Andre's eyes sparkled as he smiled and asked if he could help. Jermaine's big heart is what attracted Andre to him the most. He's always helping out wherever he could and never holds anyone to any payback like others would do. Jermaine thanked him and said that he could use the help as he showed him what to do. Several hours later they had several varieties of desserts packed in containers ready to go.
They had just finished cleaning the kitchen when Jermaine's cell phone rang. It was the store letting him know that his merchandise was ready. He thanked them for the call and said that he'll be there soon and hung up putting his phone into his pocket. He started telling Andre that he had to go when they heard Andre's phone start ringing as well. By the sound of the conversation, Jermaine knew that Andre had also just received the call that he was waiting for. When he was off the phone, they started carrying the containers out to Jermaine's car. When the car was fully loaded, Jermaine gave Andre another hug thanking him again for his help. Andre held onto him for a bit relishing being in his arms with Jermaine letting him also enjoying the embrace. Several minutes later they let go and said their goodbyes and got into their cars. Jermaine led them out so he could open the gates but waited until Andre was through before closing it back up and waving as they went their separate ways.
Traffic was heavy but it didn't take him long in getting to the store. When the clerk showed him his items, he smiled. The design and quality was so fantastic that Jermaine knew it will be the perfect gift once he was done with it. "It's absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for the great work you did on it."
The clerk put it back in the box and the box into a bag before handing it to him. "It's my pleasure. I'm sure that your special friend will cherish it always." He winked making Jermaine blush at the innuendo.
He shook the clerk's hand thanking him again for their great work. The clerk smiled and wished him a merry Christmas as he walked out of the store. This time when he left he didn't see Andre anywhere but Andre saw him. He noticed Jermaine carrying a bag but couldn't tell which store the bag had come from and he decided to stay hidden so his surprise wouldn't be spoiled. The clerk saw him coming in but unlike Jermaine he was prepared with the items already displayed on the counter to examine.
When Andre saw the items and smiled it further supported the clerk's assumption on who the items were for. It made him feel overjoyed to give these two young men a merry Christmas with the quality of his work. What he didn't know was that there was more work to be done before both gifts would be completely perfect. Andre stood there admiring the items a little longer before looking at the clerk in total astonishment.
"It's absolutely perfect." He praised word for word as Jermaine did leaving no doubt in the clerk's mind now. "My friend will completely love it as soon as he sees it. Thanks a lot for the great work you did."
The clerk placed the items into a bag and handed the bag to Andre. "I'm sure they will. You have a merry Christmas now and show your friend how much you care."
Andre nodded that he will and turned to leave. The clerk watched him with a warm smile wishing that both boys will get what they want for Christmas and cherish their gift forever. *After all, true love like that doesn't come along very often.* He thought to himself as he attended to another customer.
Meanwhile, Jermaine arrived at the shelter where he was volunteering. When he came inside, the director saw him carrying some containers and went to greet him. "Hello Jermaine, how are you doing today?"
Jermaine put the containers on the table and shook the director's offered hand. "I'm fine sir, but I am in need of some assistance. I still have more containers out in my car that needs to be brought in. Is there anyone that can help me with bringing them inside?"
The director looked around spotting a couple of the homeless and called them over. "Do you guys mind helping Jermaine with bringing some containers in from his car?"
Both guys said they wouldn't and told Jermaine to lead the way. It took several trips before they had them all inside. By the time they were bringing in the last three containers one table was completely stacked full of desserts. Jermaine thanked the two guys for their help then went to help with serving the food. When everyone had been served, Jermaine and the other volunteers got a plate of their own and sat with the homeless to enjoy their dinner and socialize. He already knew some of them and was getting to know the others.
While he was talking to the director he looked towards the door to see someone coming in. His eyes popped opened when he recognized the person. He turned to the director as he watched as one of the volunteers walked over and welcomed him then escorted him to the front to make him a plate of food. "Can you tell me how long that kid had been here and why? I've seen him around school a few times before but never really gotten to know him."
The director looked to where Jermaine was pointing. "Oh that's Lee Markesan. All we really know is that he had a fight with his parents and they had disowned him and threw him out. He's only been here about a week but he's not very talkative so I don't know what the fight was about. But whatever it was, it must have been something big."
Jermaine accepted that explanation with a nod. He had his suspicions as to what the fight was about but didn't want to say anything in case his assumption was wrong. "I think I'll see if he wants any dessert once he finishes eating. That way I can introduce myself and get to know him without any adults around. Maybe he'll open up to somebody close to his own age."
The director thought that was a good idea but caution Jermaine not to pressure him which Jermaine politely assented to. A short time later just as he finished eating he saw Lee getting up to throw away his trash and got up to follow him. When he looked over at him he could see recognition on lee's face. "I see that you recognize who I am but let me introduce myself anyway. I'm Jermaine Clarkson, and you are?"
It took a minute for Lee to comprehend what he was being asked. "I'm Lee Markesan. I didn't expect to see anyone from school here and I can't say that I'm happy about it. Why are you here anyway? From what I heard, you live in a big house so I'm a little confused as to why you're here."
Jermaine gave Lee a friendly smile and gestured towards the dessert table. "Why don't we get some dessert and sit down first. Then I'll tell you why I'm here, and afterwards, you can tell me why you're here as well."
Lee wasn't sure that he wanted anyone to know, but he did need someone to talk to. He could see that Jermaine was trying to be friendly but could he be trustworthy? He can make that decision while listening to Jermaine's explanation so he agreed and they headed for the dessert table. They took a moment to decide what they wanted before Jermaine chose a slice of chocolate cheesecake with luscious strawberries and Lee chose a slice of lemon moraine pie. Once they were seated, Lee looked at Jermaine expectedly. "There's not much for me to tell you really. I do live in a big house but I volunteer to help out here every other weekend and on major holidays. I'm sure you heard about the death of my parents which left me all alone. Volunteering here makes me feel like I'm around family and helps me not feel alone through the holidays."
Lee nodded accepting the explanation. He did know about Jermaine's parents because he'd heard about it on the news and read it in the papers. "I'm sorry about your parents." Jermaine graciously thanked him for his sympathy. "As you may have guessed, my story is totally different than yours. It all happened about a week ago."
For the next fifteen minutes Lee told Jermaine about how he got caught by his parents engaging in a sixty nine with one of his friends, how his father went ballistic and called him all kinds of manes with his mother and friend just standing there listening, how his friend blamed him for it all even though that wasn't their first time doing it, how his father tried beating him until he realized that his son wasn't completely defenseless, and how the person whom he thought would always have his back just stood there portraying to be the victim as his father told him to leave and never come back.
"I don't know why they came home early when they were supposed to be out with their friends all day but they did. To top it all off, my friend had the nerve to call me the next day trying to apologize and wanting me to come over. Can you believe the fucker had the nerve to call me after everything that he watched happened and not owning up to his part in it?"
Jermaine shook his head in discuss. He didn't need to ask who Lee was talking about because he had seen him hanging with the boy in school. "Unfortunately I can because he was only thinking of himself. He didn't care what happens to you in the process as long as he got what he wanted. Sorry to be the one to tell you this but it looks like he might have been just using you to get off. A true friend wouldn't have just stood there watching it all happened then call you the next day for a hook up."
Lee nodded in complete agreement. "Unfortunately I realize that a little too late. Now I have no place to go while he's sleeps in a warm cozy bed every night and will be opening Christmas presents tomorrow morning and celebrating the holidays like nothing even happened."
"Oh, he'll definitely try to pretend that nothing happened, trust me. I dealt with his type before and learned something from that experience and so will you. Just make sure that you're absolutely positive that you want to end the friendship before you go in that direction. In the meantime, why don't you stay with me while you're getting back on your feet? I have plenty of room to spare so you'll have your privacy."
Lee looked completely stunned. He couldn't believe what Jermaine was offering him, but then again he couldn't believe that he'd actually told someone his story but somehow he knew that he could trust Jermaine and Jermaine would never break that trust. He didn't know why he felt comfortable with Jermaine but he did. He just hopes that he doesn't over stay his welcome.
*Maybe wishful miracles can come true after all.* He thought to himself. "I'll accept but only on one condition." Trying to keep the sarcasm out of his voice, Jermaine asked what that was. "I insist on doing the cooking. We're not in school and I don't have a job so it will be no problem for me to take on that duty in gratitude of your hospitality. Besides, I love to cook, and it'll make me feel like I'm pulling my own weight a little."
"That's not necessary, but I understand where you're coming from so I'll leave the cooking up to you, but I want you to know that I'm not looking for any kind of payment. I'm just trying to be a friend and help a schoolmate in need."
Lee smiled accepting the explanation with gratitude. He could use a good friend right now, and who knows? Jermaine just may be that friend. They finished the rest of their dessert in silence deep in their own thoughts. After throwing away their trash, Jermaine went to say goodbye to everyone while Lee gathered his meager belongings and they met back up at the front door to head to Jermaine's house.
On their way they got to know more about one another. Lee learned that Jermaine Is at the top of his class, a black belt in several different style of martial arts, likes many sports but don't participate in any at school, and inherited his own company in which he runs. The personal information Jermaine kept to himself until he was one hundred percent sure that Lee could be trusted with that part of his life.
Although Lee isn't as smart as Jermaine, Jermaine did learned that Lee's in the top five percent of his class, likes swimming, and has a blue belt in Karate. Like Jermaine Lee kept the personal information of his life to himself until he can be sure that Jermaine could be trusted with it. His trust had been broken before and he wasn't sure if he could withstand another betrayal. Suddenly he was snapped out of his thoughts when Jermaine pulled up in front of an iron gate that opened on its own.
Lee was baffled by that and queried Jermaine on it. "My parents had motion sensors installed under the pavement at the beginning of the driveway when they had the house built. The sensors send a signal to the security cameras that's connected to a server that verifies access. If a vehicle doesn't have authorization to access the property then the gates won't open. No one can get that access without me authorizing it. I just entered one of my friends into the system earlier today when he was here and turned it on. It also has a total lockdown protocol that can't be overridden by anyone who doesn't have the code."
"Wow, your parents went all out on security didn't they?" Lee teased with a smirk. "I bet this place is even more secured than the White House and Fort Knots."
Jermaine just smiled and winked as he continued up the driveway. Lee got another surprise when they reached the house and he saw the size of it. "I know it's big but my parents weren't keen on small buildings. They always liked things that were small enough to be cozy but big enough in case they may need the extra room sometime in the future. Come on, let's go inside."
Jermaine got out of the car with Lee following behind still speechless. He went straight to the suites that would be Lee's to use not bothering to stop and take off his coat. Once again Lee was shocked at the enormity of it. The suite was the size of a large apartment containing three bedrooms and two bathrooms, living room, and a small kitchen and dining area. The master bedroom has its own bathroom with the second one connecting the other two rooms. It was decorated with modern but somewhat expensive furniture that looked like it was made for the room. Lee was truly amazed by it all.
Suddenly he was brought out of his trans by Jermaine's voice. "I hate to do this to you seeing how you just got here but there's some errands I need to run. There's some last minute shopping I need to do for tomorrow so I'll need to get to the stores before they close."
Jermaine could see the sadness on Lee's face at the mentioned of Christmas being tomorrow but he quickly covered it up. "Go ahead, I'll be alright. I'll just stay here and watch some television. Maybe there's a good movie on."
Jermaine assured him that there would be some since the house had satellite television. He then explained that the kitchen was fully stocked with snacks and drinks and told him to help himself. He left him alone and headed out to do his shopping. His first stop was at the mall where he brought a few items that he thought will make great Christmas presents. Next he went to the bakery to pick up the cake that he had placed on order. His final stop was at the grocery store where he brought the necessary ingredients to make his dinner. He then returned home and put everything away before searching for Lee and finding him still in his suite.
"I'm back." Lee looked up at him and asked him what he needed to get with a teasing smile that caused a small blush to start forming on Jermaine's face. "I'm making Christmas dinner for me and my friend Andre and needed to get the ingredients I didn't have."
Lee offered to cook it for him but Jermaine politely declined. "Then at least let me make breakfast and lunch for you. Like I told you before, I love to cook and a wonderful breakfast will be a great way to start Christmas. It'll be my gift to you."
The pleading look that Lee gave Jermaine nearly brought him to tears. It was clearly obvious that he needed an excuse to celebrate the holidays and feel wanted by someone. Jermaine couldn't deny him that pleasure so he graciously accepted. The twinkle in Lee's eyes and the appreciative smile on his face showed Jermaine that he made the right decision. After telling Lee which room was his just in case he needed him, Jermaine told him goodnight saying that he had more presents to wrap. Lee told him to do the same and what time breakfast will be ready. He called back his affirmation and headed down into the basement to finish his gift for Andre.
At that same time Andre was also heading down to his little private room located in one corner of his basement. He too had to put the finishing touches to Jermaine's gift before wrapping it. After pulling the items from the box, he placed them on the table and just stared at them for nearly five minutes in deep contemplation. Once he had decided what he wanted to have done, he began the process which took less time to complete than it was to make his decision. He put them back into the box and wrapped it up then went up to bed.
On Christmas morning Jermaine woke to the smell of wonderful aromas assaulting his nostrils. He laid in bed for a while in peaceful tranquility of the fragrant before getting up to shower and dress. He then walked into the kitchen to see Lee hard at work making breakfast. They greeted each other good morning and Lee told him to have a seat at the table while he finishes cooking. He did what he was told and poured himself a cup of coffee as he anxiously waited for the delicious meal that was being prepared for his enjoyment. Not long after Lee was filling the table with platters of strawberry pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausages, and hash brown. Warm maple syrup was already out and beverages were of their own choosing.
Jermaine's mouth watered when he saw the assortment of delicacies as lee sat down with him. "Dig in!"
He didn't need to be told twice. Both boys filled their plates to overflowing and began feasting. With every bite they took, a muffled moan of delight came from their mouths as they savored every delicious morsel. Jermaine is a great cook but partaking in a meal as tasty as this one made him realized that Lee's skills surpassed his own. By the time they were full there was nothing left to consume. Since Lee did the cooking, Jermaine insisted on cleaning up and wouldn't take no for an answer. Afterwards, they retired to the living room to relax.
A little while later Jermaine got up and went over to the tree. Pulling some presents from under it, he went over and held them out to lee. Lee looked at him confused which prompted Jermaine to explain. "I wanted to make sure that you have a merry Christmas so I brought these last night when I was out shopping. It was one of my errands that I told you I had to run."
A tear ran down Lee's face at Jermaine's generosity. He thought he was going to be all alone for Christmas and now here he is celebrating it with a classmate he barely knew who had opened his house and heart to him and was now giving him gifts that he brought at the last minute just so he could have a merry Christmas. "Thank you Jermaine, I'm sorry that I don't have anything to give you."
"But you do." Jermaine retorted. "You've made a terrific breakfast for me and I'm sure that lunch will be the same. That's good enough of a present for me. I don't need anyone to spend money on me to be thankful for a gift. Besides, it's the thought that counts, and yours is worth more than any present that you could have brought me."
That and his smile was enough assurance to convince Lee of Jermaine's sincerity. He thanked him for the gifts and started opening them as Jermaine retook his seat to watch his reaction. He received a few shirts, jeans, and a gift certificate for shoes and apparels. The last was a digital watch complete with time, date, and stopwatch features. After putting on the watch, Lee went over and wrapped Jermaine in a bear hug thanking him again.
Wanting to share in the unwrapping of gifts, Lee urged Jermaine to open some of his in which he obliged. They all looked nice to Lee; especially the eel skin leather jacket, but there was one in particular that grabbed his full attention. It was a painting of a villa on a beach with a beautiful garden and surrounded by fruit trees. Jermaine realized it was the scenery of his dream from the night he got the idea of his gift to Andre and his eyes sparkled with delightful remembrance. After hanging it on his bedroom wall, he and Lee admired it a bit before going back into the living room to discard all of the wrapping paper from the floor.
Andre had just hung his gift of the same painting on his bedroom wall as well. He stared at it in disbelief that it was the scene from his dream. Remembering that dream also brought a sparkle to his eyes that his parents and brother had noticed but couldn't figure out the reason for it. They just left him alone and went on with their way still pondering over that. Another ten minutes went by before he drew himself away from the painting and helped his parents with preparations for the family dinner that was being held at his house this year.
An hour later people started arriving with his brother being the first accompanied by his girlfriend. As soon as the little ones saw him, they immediately pounced on him to play. He didn't mind though because he love all of his cousins especially Brad who is a year and a half younger than him. When Brad and his parents arrived, he immediately dragged Andre to his room to talk with him in private. "Dude, you won't believe this, but my friend and I got caught in a compromised situation."
"What do you mean?" Brad started telling him everything that happened with him and his friend. Andre and Brad was the only person who knew about the other's sexuality and who their fantasy boy was. They had come out to each other when Brad was thirteen and Andre fifteen when he spent a weekend at Andre's house. "How could you do that to him? You've always talked about wanting to be with him, and when you finally get him, you betray him in a way that may never be able to be fixed."
Brad crimped at the anger coming from his favorite cousin. "I know, and I regret doing it. I just got scared that my parents would find out and disowned me so I panicked. I wasn't ready for them to know yet. I tried apologizing but he won't talk to me."
Andre raised a sarcastic eyebrow. "Can you blame him? You've practically thrown him under the bus and said so long then want to ask him for a favor. If it had been me, I would have done more than just end the friendship."
Noticing where Andre was looking had Brad shamefully crossing his legs. "No I don't blame him either. Like I said, I wasn't ready for my parents to know but I told them a couple of days later and they are okay with it. They're afraid of the bigotry I will endure if somehow I'm ousted but they promised to support me. I just need to convince him of that and make everything right again. I'd realized how much I need and want him in my life."
Andre's expression turned from anger to sympathy by his cousin's pain. "Well, it just so happen that he's in my math class. Give me a chance to talk to him and see what I can do. Whatever his feelings are for you now is something only he can answer. You may have already ruined any chance of you guys being together anymore but I'll give it a shot."
All Brad could do was reluctantly nod his head in acceptance. Andre pulled him into a brotherly hug rubbing his back in comfort. When he was sure Brad had his emotions under control, he let him go then the two switched to talking about Andre's dream boy. Towards the end Andre pointed at the painting and explained why it was the most valued gift he had gotten this year so far. Soon they heard the call for dinner and headed for the kitchen
Jermaine and Lee spent the rest of the morning playing video games. Around eleven thirty Lee got up to start lunch so Jermaine said that he'll come with him because he needed to start preparations on the food. As they cooked, Jermaine asked Lee what he was going to do about his friend and their relationship. "I don't know as of yet because I still feel betrayed by him. Perhaps I'll know once I get over being hurt. But one thing is for sure though; he'll have to do a lot of begging before I'll trust him again. Even then I'm not exactly sure I can ever completely trust him."
"I can talk to him if you like. I happen to know him quite well." Lee gave him a questioning eyebrow raise but Jermaine didn't elaborate. "I'm only suggesting it before you two meet and say something that you'll regret later like I'm sure he's doing right now for not standing by your side when your parents threw you out."
"Maybe he is, and maybe he isn't. Just don't promise that you'll get us together because I'm not ready to talk to him yet. If he can't give me the time I need then there's no chance of us ever working anything out." A small smile then grew on his face. "I like him being in control, as do he, but he hurt me too deeply for me to just let my guard down again and submit to him."
Jermaine chortled at that last remark. "Then he and I have something in common because I like being in control as well. I don't get carried away with it, but yeah, I love to dominate and have my partner submit to me. It's an exotic rush that gets me going."
They finished with what they had to do and sat down to eat. "Then you see where I'm coming from. He got a rush from that control and I love giving it to him. That's why I have to be one hundred percent positive that he won't ever hurt me again before I can give him that control back."
Jermaine nodded as he swallowed his food. "You'll get no arguments from me. Trust is a fragile thing and breaking that trust can completely destroy any type of relationship. I hope that won't ever happen to me again because I don't think I'll be able to take it. I'm glad I had my parents to help me through it the last two times that happened."
"You're lucky you did because not much people do. I sure didn't and it nearly destroyed my confidence. I'm glad you came up to me at the shelter because I wouldn't have approached you. I would have continued eating alone and avoiding everyone."
"I'm glad I did too." Jermaine smiled genuinely. "I seen you around school before and always wanted to get to know you but never had the chance. Plus you looked so sad and lonely that I wanted to see what was wrong."
They continued talking as they finished eating. Afterwards, Lee cleared the table while Jermaine resumed working on his dinner. Sometimes Lee would give Jermaine suggestions on ingredients and/or spices in which he took under consideration but mainly Lee just observed. When it got to the time of Andre's arrival, Lee started setting the dining room table with the fine china he found in the cabinet located in the room. The china and silverware came from his mother's side of the family and the cabinet from his father's side and both were antique. Jermaine protested against it but Lee strongly insisted saying that it will give him something to do. That was something Jermaine couldn't disagree with so he acquiesced to his housemate's pleading. Lee had just finished when the doorbell rang so Jermaine asked him to get it as he removed the ham from the oven.
Lee went and opened the door with a smile welcoming Jermaine's guess. When he saw who it was, his smile started to falter but he forced it back in place not wanting to ruin Jermaine's special night. "Hello Andre, nice to see you again. I wasn't aware of you being the guess of honor but do come in." He stepped aside and motioned with his hand.
After a moment or two to recover from his own shock, Andre entered the house and turned back to Lee as he took off his jacket and hung it up. "What are you doing here?"
Lee closed the door and stared directly at Andre. "I'm sure you know by now what happened between me and my parents, but let me fill you in on the rest. Not that it's any of your business."
Andre was stunned at the bitterness that was coming from Lee but he let it go. Lee then explained how he had been staying in a shelter every night so he had a bed to sleep in, how Jermaine recognized him at the shelter where he volunteered to serve on Christmas Eve and they started talking, and how Jermaine invited him to stay at his house until he gets back on his feet. "Now you know it all. And to think, all of this happened because of a betrayal by someone who I thought cared about me."
"I'm sure he still does Lee. Don't throw it all away without trying to work it out first." Andre pleaded. "Yeah, it was a shitty thing for him to do but you guys were best friends and probably were starting to become even more than friends. Am I'm right?" Lee reluctantly nodded in confirmation. "Then try to save your relationship. Talk to him, yell at him, or even hit him, but don't give up on something you care about so easily without trying to repair it because you might regret it later in life.
He needs to see how much he had hurt you. You need to let him beg for your forgiveness even if you can't give it to him now or later. At least it will be closure for both of you and you can move on. I wish I had what you have as do a lot of people. If the two of you are meant to be together then your relationship is worth fighting for. If I ever do anything that will unintentionally hurt my mate, I hope that my mate will be able to forgive me and give me a chance to make it right."
Jermaine heard every word that Andre said and silently nodded in agreement before turning around and going back into the kitchen. Lee saw him nod but gave no indication of it as he thought about what Andre said. "I understand what you're saying Andre but I'm still too hurt. I want to talk to him but I don't think I can be completely alone with him any time soon."
"I can accept that. Just don't wait too long and put you both through unnecessary misery. If it's okay with Jermaine, then the two of you can join us for dinner. I'm sure he has more than enough to go around. I can go pick him up and bring him here. He was at my house for Christmas dinner and should still be there. That way you'll both have some support as you talk."
Lee thought that was a good idea so Andre went to talk to Jermaine. Jermaine agreed with the plan and told him to go. "It'll be another thirty minutes before its all ready anyway. You should be back by then. In the meantime, I'll have Lee put out two more plate settings."
Andre gave him a hug and said that he'll hurry. Jermaine told him teasingly that he better and smacked him on the ass as he turned to leave. That surprised Andre and he looked at Jermaine with a confusing grin. Jermaine gave him a smirk and wink then returned to his current task. On his way out, Andre relayed Jermaine's message to Lee about putting out two more plate settings.
As he drove to his house, he kept replaying that smack on his ass. Is Jermaine trying to give me hints about his sexuality? Does he have the same feelings as I do? Does Jermaine want our relationship to progress beyond friendship? That and many more questions were running through his mind when he arrived at his house. Putting those thoughts on hold for now, he went inside looking for his cousin and finding him in the living room with the adults. They all looked over at him when they heard him coming.
"Is something wrong honey?" His mother asked with concern. "We didn't expect you back this early. Did you and Jermaine have a fight or something?"
Andre shook his head in the negative. "No, I just came back to get someone." He then focused on his cousin. "Grab your jacket and let's go. I'm taking you to Jermaine's house. Someone's waiting there to talk to you and this may be your only chance to set things right."
Brad had a look of confusion until it dawned on him as to what his cousin was talking about. "You mean..."
Andre cut him off before he could finish the question. "Yes, so let's go. Jermaine just about have dinner ready and I told him I wouldn't be long. Plus we still need to exchange gifts." Then turning to Brad's parents he said. "Don't wait up. If everything goes as well as I hope, then I plan on staying at Jermaine's tonight. I'll drop him off at home tomorrow."
Everyone except for Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds looked completely loss as to what Andre was talking about. They nodded their affirmation so Brad said goodbye to them all and gave his parents a hug then went to get his jacket. When he came back his father called him over and handed him some money. He thanked him for it and followed his cousin out the door leaving everyone still confused as to what was going on. Andre's mother raised her eyebrow at her sister in law but got no response to her query.
Meanwhile, Andre and Brad were in deep discussion. "How mad is he? I know I'd fucked up but can he forgive me and let me make it up to him?"
"He's not mad, just hurt. After all, you did betray his trust by letting him take the blame for everything. He let you dominate him because he felt safe with you and now he doesn't feel that way anymore. Not manning up to your part had diminished his trust in you. Now you have to earn it back and prove that he can let you dominate him again. But let me warn you, you have a long and hard fight ahead of you before he gets to that point."
Brad let out a deep sighed of remorse. "I know. But even if it goes no further than being friends, I'll still be happy. That's what I miss the most out of it all. The sex just made our time together more pleasurable but it's something I can live without."
"Just don't fuck the relationship up this time and everything will turn out alright. Like I told lee, you two have something I want and I'm hoping to get soon. He and I are a lot alike. I may be strong and muscular but I want somebody who's stronger and more muscular than I am to dominate me." Seeing the shocked look on his cousin's face, Andre smiled. "I take it you didn't know that?"
"No, But it makes sense considering who you want as your boyfriend." Andre's nod confirmed it. "I hope your Christmas wish will come true. Like they say, miracles do happen. You just have to want it strong enough for it to."
"Exactly," Andre proclaimed. "Although I may be topping every once and a while, I'm what is known as a versatile bottom, and that's how I like it. I prefer to be dominated but I'll only give that power to someone I truly trust with it. I don't want to put myself in a situation that may get me hurt or killed."
He looked directly in Brad's eyes and Brad nodded indicating that he'd got the meaning of his cousin's confession. "I hope that you and Jermaine will let Lee and I come to you for some advice if we need it. Even though mom and dad are okay with me being gay, I don't think I can talk to them about it. They're not like me and won't really be able to understand like you guys will."
Andre assured his cousin that he'll be there for him whenever he needed him. Just then they arrived back at Jermaine's house with the gates automatically allowing them access. The closer they got to the house the more apprehensive Brad became. After turning off the car, Andre just waited until Brad had calmed his nerves before getting out and walking up to the door.
In the house, Jermaine was trying to calm Lee of his anxiety of seeing his friend for the first time after their breakup. "You don't have to do this if you don't want to. Just say the word and I'll call it all off."
"No, I need to get this over with sooner or later, so it might as well be now." The anxiety was still evident in Lee's voice. "I just don't want to be left alone with him. I know I'll have to be later tonight so you and Andre can have some time alone and that's okay. I just need to be comfortable with him again before I can do that."
"Don't worry about me and Andre." Jermaine stated forcefully. "Nothing will spoil my plans for tonight. Right now there are more pressing matters to deal with. We'll both be there to help out anyway we can for both of you. You and Andre are a lot alike as are Brad and I."Seeing the confusion on Lee's face, he elaborated. "You like submitting to Brad and being the bottom even though you haven't gone all the way yet. I believe Andre is the same way and you already know that I'm more of a dominant top so you'll both have someone that you can go to for advice or just to talk."
Just then the doorbell rang and Jermaine went to answer it once he was sure that Lee was composed enough to go through with the reconciliation. He came back with the two boys and the tension grew in the room as Brad and Lee stared at each other not knowing what to say or do. Andre looked at Jermaine for help so he immediately took charge. "Why don't you guys have a seat at the table while Lee and I bring out the food? We kept it warm for when you got back so everything is ready to be consumed."
Both boys nodded so Andre ushered his cousin into the dining room while Lee followed Jermaine to the kitchen. As they grabbed some of the dishes, Jermaine checked to make sure that Lee was okay. After getting a positive reply, they carried the food to the dining room. Jermaine took noticed that Andre had seated Brad and himself on one side of the table with his and Lee's setting on the other which suited him just fine because that was how he preferred it. Once everything had been laid out, Jermaine made sure to sit across from Andre so that Lee would be sitting across from Brad. He then said a little grace and they began filling their plates.
Since neither boy said a word, Jermaine started the discussion getting a smile from Andre from his take charge attitude. "Okay, I'm guessing that both of you are too scared to say anything or don't know what to say." Both boys gave him a nod of confirmation. "Well, first there needs to be an apology before anything can be rectified."
He was looking directly at Brad as he said that. Brad lowered his head in shame but forged on. "I'm sorry Lee." He mumbled. "I know you were depending on my protection and I should have done that when your father was beating you. I know it's no excuse but I was scared that my parents would find out and disown me like your parents did and I wasn't ready to deal with that yet." He then looked up into Lee's eyes with sincerity. "But since then, I had told my parents that I was gay and they're okay with it. I know that I have hurt you deeply and I'm willing to do whatever is necessary for me to earn that trust back. I just need you to let me know if it's worth fighting for, or will I be wasting my time. Only you can make that decision for the both of us."
"Do you know why I always submit to your domination Brad?" Brad shook his head no. "It's because I like having someone bigger and stronger than me showing me where my place is in bed. I may be fit and a little muscular but I'm attractive to guys who are stronger and more powerful than me that can take control of my body and force me to endure the torturous pleasure they're giving me without pushing me beyond my emotional and physical limits. When you held me in your arms I just felt so safe." Tears were now beginning to fall from his eyes. "I thought you were that person but now I'm not sure. You weren't there when I needed you the most so how can I be sure you will be there for me in the future?"
Brad also had tears running from his eyes. "I can promise you that I'll never leave your side again no matter what, but it'll be up to you on whether or not you can believe me and accept my promise. I told Andre this earlier and now I'm telling you. Even if we can't get as close as we were before, I hope that we can get back our friendship because that's what I miss the most of all."
Lee turned to Jermaine pleading for his advice. "The balls in your court now bud. He's already told you that he's leaving the decision up to you whether or not he should fight. Before you answer him, ask yourself this question, is it worth it? Can you put your trust in him again and believe he won't betray that trust?"
Lee thought about it before turning back to Brad. "I don't know but I'm willing to try. But let me tell you this right now Brad." He paused to make sure Brad knew he was being serious. "If you hurt me in any way then you won't get another chance. I like to be dominated, but I also want to be treated with love and respect. If you can't give me that, then there's no point in trying to reconcile this friendship."
Now there were no dry eyes in the room. Brad pledged his love and devotion to his best friend and lover then went over and pulled Lee up into a hug. They held onto one another augmenting their renewed friendship and love. The older boys watched with smiles on their faces and tears falling from their eyes at the display of affection. Five minutes later the two broke the embrace and returned to their seats. After drying their faces from all of the tears, they resumed eating.
Afterwards everyone pitched in to clear the table and relax a bit before having dessert. Lee and Brad started towards the living room when Jermaine excused him and Andre and led Andre towards his bedroom. After closing the door, Jermaine grabbed Andre pulling him into a hug and planting a passionate kiss on his lips. Andre was startled by the move but was soon reciprocating in the action. They played tonsil hockey for a few minutes before stopping to catch their breaths.
"Wow!" Andre exclaimed enthusiastically. "You don't know how long I've been waiting for you to kiss me like that!"
"It's definitely been way too long but it won't be much longer. Tonight I'm taking what belongs to me." Jermaine declared as he squeezed Andre's ass. "So make sure it's ready for me because we're in for an all nighter. I'm going to wear you out."
That sent shivers up Andre's spine. "It's all yours. Do whatever you want with it. I want; no I need you to make me yours. It's what I been wanting ever since we met."
"Believe me; you will be by the time the night is over." Jermaine assure him. "But first I have something to give you, so have a seat on the bed."
Andre did and watched as Jermaine took a wrapped box from his nightstand drawer then sat beside him. "I wanted for us to be alone when I gave you your gift because I need to explain something about it as well as me. I never told anyone this so I'm hoping you'll keep it to yourself."
He held out the gift and Andre took it then unwrapped and opened it. His breath got caught in his throat when he saw what it was. For inside the box was a beautiful gold ring with more jewels then he could imagine. As he admired its beauty, Jermaine used that time to explain the significant of the gift and therefore him as well.
Andre couldn't believe what he was seeing. The ring was triple banded with platinum, white, and solid gold intertwined and twenty four carrots. The main attraction though was the Emerald stone representing his birth month surrounded by every birthstone of the year. The gem looked large and has to be at least ten carats. Replacing the spot of his birthstone is a black diamond in similar size as the other stones but smaller than the Emerald. After admiring it for several more minutes, he took it out and asked Jermaine to put it on him. Jermaine slid it on his right ring finger revealing his own ring to Andre with the same design except his birth stone was an Amethyst. Once the ring was on; they looked deep into each other's eyes feeling their love grow stronger.
Andre leaned forward and gave Jermaine a sensual kiss that nearly had his head swooning. Several minutes later he broke it off and told him to wait there as he got up and left the room. It was a couple of minutes later when he came back with his gift and handed it to him. This time it was Jermaine's turn to be shocked at what he saw when he unwrapped his present. Andre had given him a pair of earrings. The design was exactly like the ring Jermaine had given him but their birthstone was one carat with the other stones even smaller and it too was twenty four carat solid gold. He looked at Andre and noticed for the first time that he was wearing the same pair of earrings except his own birthstone was the center peace. He gave them to Andre so he could put them on him before giving his love the same sensual kiss that he had received not too long ago. After Andre had explained the significant of his gift, they rejoined the two younger boys in the living room for dessert.
They saw Lee lying on the sofa with his head on Brad's lap watching a movie on TV with Brad gently stroking his fingers through his hair and smiled. "Are you guys ready for dessert?" Jermaine asked and both boys eagerly gave a positive answer. "Come on into the kitchen and I'll dish it up then. We'll eat it in there."