SUMMARY: At a time of national turmoil, the lives of four boys become connected as each struggles to accept his sexuality and to address the challenges he faces in life. To the extent the boys succeed in coming to grips with those challenges, it may be in ways that prove surprising or troubling. This story is also being published on my blog and you can find a longer synopsis there. While some events, locations and features in the story have been moved forward or back in time for dramatic and other purposes, it takes place during an era when prejudice against homosexuals is rampant and the gay revolution in America is still in its infancy. Italics are typically used within the story to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.

WARNING: Sex is not the primary focus of this story. If you're looking for erotic content, you'll do much better with other stories on Nifty. While sexual content is secondary and incidental, the story does include some scenes that depict sex and violence, sometimes graphically depending upon the characters and circumstances involved. For that reason, the story is intended for mature audiences only. If you do not wish to read such material or it is illegal for you to do so, please look elsewhere. The story remains the property of the author and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission. It is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author, but you may not use this work for commercial purposes. You may not use any of the characters, bars or other fictional locations described in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon this story in any way.

AUTHOR NOTES: This is my first effort at writing a story. As a general rule, I only plan to publish one chapter a week, usually on Thursdays. The latest chapter will always be posted on my blog before being published here. You may want to bookmark the location of my blog in the event you cannot find the story here at some point in the future and you wish to continue reading it: For a better introduction to Chapter 48, you may wish to review this posting on my blog. As always, comments and constructive criticism are welcome. Flames will be ignored. If you would like to let me know what you think, feel free to contact me at Thanks for reading the story. I hope you enjoy it.

THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER: Nervous about his failure to leak the damaging information he has about Andy to the press, Nolan has lunch with Harlen Lane in Chapter 47. Initially Harlen praises Nolan for everything he’s done at the DNC to help defeat the McPherson amendment. Then, while the two are having coffee and dessert, he asks whether Nolan ever met with Bill Brennon. After a game of cat and mouse, Nolan confesses what he has done. Unhappy, Harlan decides to bring Nolan back to the White House to work on matters other than the McPherson amendment. The two reach an understanding that Nolan will leave the White House for law school in January. Partly because Josh likes his job and partly because both of them like living in Washington, Nolan decides to apply only to law schools located in the Washington area. While that decision doesn’t sit well with his father, Nolan refuses to be intimidated into going to Harvard Law. Still interested in the fate of the McPherson amendment, which he now supports, Nolan is disgusted with the win at any price tactics being employed by the Executive branch. He decides to tell Andy everything he knows about the White House’s efforts to defeat the amendment. He also brings Josh along when he stops on Capitol Hill to visit Andy. The three of them have dinner together and Josh ends up telling Andy everything he knows about Tommy. Stunned by the story, Andy agrees to tell Tommy about Josh’s presence in Washington so Tommy can decide whether he wants to see Josh again.


Part IV - Virtues and Vices, Public and Private

Chapter 48

It wasn’t easy going back to the office that evening after dinner with Nolan and Josh, but I needed some time alone to think about the bombshell that had just been dropped on me. It was hard to believe what Josh had told me, but I knew it was true and to me it explained a lot: the decision to run away, the difficulty trusting anyone, the fear of commitment, and more. It explained everything really, but none of it provided a clue as to how I could help Tommy deal with those things.

Stymied, I pushed the whole thing to the back of my mind while I reviewed the documents Nolan had given to me and began developing a response, especially to that op-ed piece by former Secretary of State Kendall. I had never been impressed with the guy, but he still carried some weight in Washington; not as much as he liked to think but a lot more than he deserved, that was for sure. He wasn’t someone we could afford to ignore.

Fortunately, the op-ed piece the White House had drafted for him wasn’t very compelling and it didn’t take long to write up a powerful response. But even once I was finished with that, I was still clueless about how to approach what I had learned with Tommy.

Jan had called earlier in the day to let me know the management firm was fine with me moving into my new place over the Labor Day weekend. That was sooner than originally planned, but I was anxious to move and had already rented a truck.

I had been planning to talk to Tommy that evening about helping me move in so finally I called it a day and went looking for him. I found him at the Palermo, but decided to avoid mentioning my conversation with Josh. Instead, I focused my attention on the more immediate issue.

“I have a favor to ask,” I said, after ordering a drink and joining Tommy at the table where he was sitting.

“Sure,” he replied. “What?”

“They’re going to let me move into my new place a couple of days early,” I said; “on Friday actually. I have pretty much everything packed at the apartment, but I could sure use some help getting it from one place to the other. Do you think you could help me move in?”

“Sure,” he replied. “No problem.”

I remember congratulating myself for asking him. I would get the help I needed. Tommy would see what a nice place it was. And I could begin dropping some hints about him moving in with me.

“How much stuff do you have?” he asked. “Maybe Sean and Teddy could help if they’re not busy on Friday.”

“I don't have as much as I use to,” I responded. “I’ve been getting rid of a lot of stuff. But I would like to get all of it moved over to the condo by 3 p.m. because the mattress company is going to be delivering my new bed sometime after that.”

“Did we break the old one?” Tommy asked, grinning at me. “I know we’ve been giving it a serious workout lately.”

“Shush up,” I said, blushing. “That has nothing at all to do with it. It’s a great mattress. I just decided we needed something larger to accommodate that appendage of yours. It seems to be growing longer every day.”

Tommy just laughed when I said that.

“It would be great if Sean and Teddy could help,” I continued. “I’ll order some food for the four of us if they can make it. We could also go swimming in the pool once we’re done if they're interested in doing that. It would be a terrific way to cool off after the move.”

“Okay,” Tommy replied. “What time do you need us? And where do you want to pick us up?”

“Let’s say around eleven on Friday outside the Palermo,” I responded.

“Sounds good,” Tommy said. “And I sure hope that Speedo of mine wasn’t one of the things you got rid of.”

It will be a cold day in hell before I ever get rid of that swimsuit, Tommy, I said to myself; and Satan will have to pry it out of my dead hand with that pitchfork of his. No way, no how, forget about it!

“I still have it,” I replied, smiling; “assuming you can still fit into it, of course.”

“Are you telling me I’m getting fat, Andy?” he asked, pretending to be shocked.

“No,” I replied. “But, like I said, that thing of yours is getting longer and longer from all the sucking it’s been getting lately. I doubt it’ll fit into a swimsuit that small anymore.”

“You’re going to be sorry for saying that, Andy,” he responded, laughing. “I’m going to punish you severely after we move you in.”

“Oh, please do,” I countered. “I’ll make sure to put the whips and chains in a special box just for you.”

“Forget the whips and chains,” he said. “Just make sure you don’t misplace the condoms and lube. We’re going to need them sometime this weekend for sure.”

Even though it was something I had been waiting to hear for a long time, I found myself blushing. Still, I remember making a note to myself to unpack the box with all of the stuff I kept in the bathroom first.

When I got to the Palermo on Friday, Tommy, Teddy and Sean were standing outside waiting for me. They piled into the truck I had rented and I drove the four of us back to Takoma Park. I had already made several trips back and forth earlier that morning, but it seemed like I had barely made a dent in everything that needed to be moved.

“Miss Teddy won't be able to help very much with all the lifting,” Sean said, smirking, as we emerged from the truck. “She’s much too delicate for that kind of heavy lifting. But she can help with decorating your place, Andy. She's really good at things like that. Aren't you, babe?” he added, looking over at Teddy.

“Of course, sweetie,” Teddy replied. “That's why you and Tommy always do better at the Palermo on the nights the two of you let me pick out what you wear.”

Everyone laughed, but I was pretty certain it was probably true. Whatever he wore, Teddy always looked the sharpest of any of us. He had excellent taste in clothes and just about everything else, including his boyfriend.

“Holy shit,” Tommy exclaimed when I finally opened the door and he got a chance to survey the place.

“You said you didn't have very much stuff.”

“I don't,” I insisted, looking around. “Just that queen size bed and a few other pieces of furniture, a television, the computers, some clothes, my books, and some files related to the amendment. Well, maybe a lot of books and files,” I added. “But I already moved some of those over to the new place earlier this morning.”

“You have more stuff than me, Sean and Teddy combined,” Tommy countered.

“You could add most of the rest of the guys at the Palermo as well,” Sean added. “This is a lot of stuff, Andy.”

“Okay,” I sighed. “Sorry. I didn't think it was that much, but you can bail out on me if you want.”

“We could, I suppose,” Tommy responded. “Bail out on you, that is. But we won't because we like you for some reason none of us has ever been able to figure out. Ain't that right, guys?”

“Pretty much,” Teddy responded. “Except we know why you like him, Tommy, don't we, Sean?”

“Yeah,” Sean replied, reaching over and patting me on the butt, playfully.

“You like that tight little pussy of his, don't you, Tommy?” he added, smirking. “When are you going to share all the sordid details with Teddy and me about just how nice Miss Andy is treating you these days?”

“Knock it off, Sean,” Tommy responded, and I could hear an edge to his voice.

“Guys don’t have pussies and he isn’t a Miss either,” he said.

“Besides, my intentions toward Andy are purely honorable,” he added, trying to calm himself down.

“Not,” Sean and Teddy shouted out simultaneously.

It was interesting. It seemed like Tommy was going out of his way to avoid the kind of playful banter I was use to by then, especially anything that might call my masculinity into question. It was nice of him to be concerned, but I pulled him aside so the two of us could talk alone.

“I know what you’re trying to do, Tommy, and don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it,” I said. “But Sean was kidding. You know that. He wasn’t being malicious. Besides, the only opinion that counts is yours. If I’m masculine enough for you, I can live with whatever anyone else happens to think.”

“It isn’t an issue for me, Andy,” he replied. “You already know that. I just want to do whatever I can to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.”

“I’m getting there,” I responded. “And the way you’ve handled everything is the main reason for that. It makes a big difference.”

True to their word, the three of them stayed and helped me out with the move; and they were a big help as well, even Teddy, who surprised me the most. He lifted and carried as much as any of the rest of us and I couldn't help noticing he was beginning to develop some pretty nice muscles for a sixteen year old boy. They looked good on him, really good, and I remember thinking Sean was one lucky dude.

It took quite a few trips before we got all of my stuff moved over to the condo; and when I finally had enough time to show them around the place, all three of the boys were impressed.

“Wow,” Sean said, surveying it. “This place is incredible; incredibly incredible. You must be one rich motherfucker to be able to buy a place like this, Andy.”

“I got a really good deal on it,” I replied. “And be careful how you refer to my mother, Sean, or I’ll get her on your case the next time she comes down for a visit,” I added, grinning at him. “You won’t like that; believe me.”

He returned my smile and just shook his head.

“Sorry,” he said.

Eventually everything was moved in and pretty much set up the way I wanted. Sean had been right. Teddy had an artistic eye and was a big help in figuring out where things should go and how they could be made to complement one another. Even the delivery men from the mattress company arrived on time with the new bed.

“Jesus,” Tommy said, as they struggled to get it into the master bedroom. “You must be planning on doing a hell of a lot of partying if you need a bed that size. All four of us could sleep on that thing tonight and still have room left over.”

“Well, Teddy and Sean are welcome to stay here tonight if they want,” I replied looking over at them. “But I suspect they might like a little more privacy. They can sleep in the guest room if they want. That’s where we put the queen size bed I use to sleep on.”

“A queen size bed; how appropriate,” Sean said sardonically, looking over at Miss Teddy.

Teddy just smiled and blew him a kiss.

“This new one is king-size,” I continued. “And you're welcome to help me break it in this evening if you want to stay, Tommy.”

“That's really appropriate too,” Sean added. “A king-size bed for . . .”

“Don't say it,” Tommy interjected.

And then the two of them were off, hurling playful insults back and forth at each other while Teddy and I just stood there rolling our eyes, watching the two of them go at it.

“Enough with the insults,” I finally said. “Let's go for a swim downstairs in the pool.”

I retrieved Tommy’s suit from one of the boxes and tossed it to him.

“Oh, damn,” he muttered. “I forgot to tell Sean and Teddy about the pool. But they don’t have swimsuits anyways so it doesn’t really matter unless we can swim in the nude.”

“Why am I not surprised?” I responded. “I figured you would forget; and, as much as I would like to, we can’t swim in the nude. But it just so happens I bought each of them a swimsuit when we were at the beach,” I continued, tossing their new Speedos over to them.

And I made damn sure they were as skimpy as the one you’re wearing, Tommy, I said to myself.

“You guys are welcome to come over here for a swim whenever you want.”

The four of us stripped off our clothes right there and put on our swimming suits. Then we took the private elevator down to the lower lobby where the pool, the sauna, the weight and exercise rooms, and some of the rest of the amenities were located.

We had a fun time together in the pool that Labor Day weekend. The building was still largely vacant so we had the place to ourselves. All three of the boys looked totally hot in their Speedos although they seemed to spend most of their time trying to strip them off one another. Unable to do so, they finally ganged up on me and actually managed to get mine off.

They were giggling like crazy and tossing it back and forth. Embarrassed, I was pleading with them to give it back because there was no way I was ever going to be able to retrieve it from them the way they had spread themselves out in the pool. It was only when I told them I thought I heard someone coming they finally relented and gave it back to me.

After spending some time in the sauna and another quick dip in the pool, we ended up in the game room where the four of us shot some billiards. Later, the food I had ordered for dinner arrived and I let them have at it. I had made sure to order a lot because they were still growing and had incredible appetites; and also because I knew boys working the streets often went without food for long periods of time. But before the night was out, they had eaten their way through all of it and I was ordering a couple more pizzas.

Once we had cleaned up and I had given them a tour of the building, the four of us sat around my place listening to music and taking in the view of Washington at night. I was a little surprised they didn't want to go back to the Palermo on a Friday evening, but I guess they were tired from all the lifting they had done. Or maybe the whole thing was a welcome change; at least I hoped that it was.

Eventually Tommy brought out his stash and the four of us proceeded to get high. The next thing I recall was waking up Saturday morning, naked, in bed, and with Tommy beside me. I couldn’t recall taking my clothes off, how I got into bed, or very much else for that matter.

It wasn’t unusual. At some point whenever I smoked weed everything usually went dark and I would wake up hours later with no recollection of what had happened. Now here I was awake and it was morning.

Tommy was just resting there, his back a bit tanned from our time in the sun together, his butt visibly outlined beneath the sheets, taunting me. I could feel myself going hard just from looking at it.

He was still asleep so I just sat there quietly staring at him. As always, he looked incredibly cute, even angelic; just looking at him reminded me how much I loved him. Eventually he opened his eyes and seemed to stretch out in every direction at once.

“Good morning, Tommy,” I said, smiling at him. “Did you sleep okay?”

“I did,” he replied. “This place sure is quiet. Plus the air conditioning seems to work all the time, not just some of the time like at Ray’s.”

I remember being encouraged he liked the place.

Just about then Sean and Teddy made an appearance in our bedroom. Both of them were totally naked and not the least ashamed or self-conscious about it. I was still a little self-conscious walking around naked like that, but the two of them were totally comfortable with their bodies and they had every reason to be.

“Morning, guys,” Tommy said. “Did the two of you have a good time last night?”

“Sean was awesome, Tommy, totally awesome,” Teddy replied, holding up three fingers.

“He treated me just like a queen,” he added, causing Tommy and me to laugh.

Sean just stood there beaming. He even seemed a little embarrassed. I had never seen that from him before, but I liked it.

“I’m glad everyone had a good time last night,” I joked. “Now could someone tell me what the hell actually happened last night? I don’t remember very much. I don’t even recall going to bed for that matter.”

“You don’t remember what happened last night?” Tommy asked. “Are you sure?”

“No,” I said. “I can’t remember very much at all after we started smoking your weed.”

“Well now talk about a hell of a letdown,” Tommy continued, looking deflated. “Here I go and do what you’ve been begging me to do for months and you don’t even remember?”

“You, um, well, ah, you did, um . . . that?” I asked, stunned.

“Sure did, Andy,” Tommy replied, holding up three fingers like Teddy. “You were all over me, dude, pleading with me to do it; so I did, right there on the living room floor, at least the first time. Sean and Teddy even watched me do it. Didn’t you, guys?”

“We didn’t really have very much choice, did we?” Teddy responded, grinning. “It was just totally awesome, Andy. There you were down on your hands and knees taking it doggy-style, moaning like crazy, begging Tommy to go deeper and deeper. It was just such an incredible turn on, wasn’t it Sean?”

“It was unbelievable,” Sean piped up, smirking. “You even offered to suck me and Teddy off while Tommy did you. But we had other plans for the evening. I will say your moaning got pretty loud the second and third times. Teddy and I could hear the two of you going at it over in that other bedroom of yours. It was a little embarrassing.”

I remember just staring at Tommy momentarily, then at Teddy and Sean in turn. Finally I rolled on to my side and reached back with my hand to feel my butt to see whether any telltale evidence remained. At which point the three of them burst out laughing.

“You are so easily fooled, Andy,” Tommy said, smiling at me. “I told you guys he would believe it,” he added, looking over at Teddy and Sean.

“You’ll believe anything, Andy. But, no, I didn’t do it to you last night. I wanted to and I could have given how much weed you smoked. But I just stripped off your clothes and put you to bed. I figured you wouldn’t mind if I stayed here overnight.”

I remember being embarrassed at how easily fooled I was, but it was nice to see the smiles on their faces and how comfortable all three of them seemed around me.

“Teddy and Sean stayed in the other room,” Tommy continued. “They like this place. Unfortunately, Sean is probably going to lose still another friend for staying out all night. You weren’t supposed to do that, were you, Sean?”

“No,” he sighed. “I wasn’t. I guess I should take a shower and then go back to his place later today and face the music. Would that be okay, Andy; to take a shower, I mean?”

“Sure,” I replied. “There are lots of towels in that bathroom of yours.”

“Do you want to take a shower with me, Teddy?” Sean asked, smiling shyly at Teddy.

“Is the Pope Catholic, Sean?” Teddy responded, shaking his head and putting his hands on his hips.

And with that the two of them scurried off to get cleaned up.

“I feel really bad for Sean,” Tommy said. “That latest friend of his just doesn’t appreciate what a terrific kid he is. The guy is so controlling, just like all the rest of those dudes. But Sean wanted to stay even knowing what would happen today. I’m sure him and Teddy had a very nice time in your guest room, Andy. They don’t get a lot of quality time together in a nice place like this, at least not as much as they got last night. Thanks for letting them stay. I know they appreciate it.”

“Can you explain something to me?” I asked.

“Sure,” he replied. “What?”

“Why does everyone call him Miss Teddy?” I continued. “He’s never seemed very effeminate to me. In fact, he seems more normal than just about anyone I know at the Palermo, including you and me.”

Tommy just laughed at that.

“He is,” Tommy replied. “More normal than you and me, I mean; and unlike me or Sean, he really is sweet and innocent. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body either. And, no, you’re right. He isn’t effeminate although there are times when he pretends to be just to annoy the hell out of those dudes who are always trying to put effeminate boys down.”

“I mean, I’ve never met anyone quite like Teddy. He’s one of a kind. You’ve seen how sharp he looks in those clothes he wears, but I don’t think you’ve ever seen him dressed up like a girl. Man, when he puts that stuff on - panties, hot pants, teddies, of course, and those black fishnet nylons that a lot of the strippers wear - he looks hot, incredibly hot. He puts real girls to shame when he dresses up like that. Of course, Teddy looks hot no matter what way he dresses.”

All of this was new to me and I remember being surprised.

“You’re right,” I said. “I’ve never seen him dressed up like that. Do you think he’s a drag queen in the making or something?”

“No, not at all,” Tommy responded. “I mean, like I said, Teddy’s different. He just doesn’t think like the rest of us do; you know, masculine, feminine, gay, straight, top, bottom, whatever. Things like that just don’t compute with Teddy. With Teddy it’s all about fun and he likes dressing up like that sometimes just because he knows how much it turns the rest of us on.”

“You ought to talk to him some time about that masculinity issue you have,” he continued. “He would probably dress you up like a girl just so you could see what you would look like if you had been born one; and then once he had, he would explain all the reasons why Mother Nature had decided to make you a man instead. You would come away with a totally different take on the thing if you ever talked to Teddy about it.”

“I bet I would,” I responded, laughing. “I would look totally ridiculous dressed up like a girl and scare the hell out of everyone, including myself.”

“I doubt it,” Tommy said. “Teddy dressed me up once like that and I started out thinking the same thing as you. But I ended up looking prettier than Meghan for crying out loud. It’s amazing what Teddy can do when he sets his mind to something.”

It surprised me to hear that.

“I’m sure you looked great, but I’m surprised you let him do that to you. It just doesn’t seem like something you would ever do.”

“I think I’d do just about anything Teddy asked,” he replied. “I mean, Teddy’s not smart the same way you and Sean are smart exactly, book smart; and he’s not really street smart like me either. But he has a really unique take on people and life. He’s smarter than anyone I know that way and a lot nicer too. I’ve probably learned as much about life from Teddy as anyone and he’s four years younger than me.”

“I like Teddy too,” I said, smiling. “But I’d be afraid to ever be alone with him. I’m not sure I could keep my hands off him and that cute little butt of his. I get tempted every time I look at it.”

Tommy just laughed.

“It won’t bother me if you two decide to go at it,” he said. “You have my permission. But be careful what you wish for, Andy. You might be surprised whose legs end up in the air if you ever go to bed with Teddy.”

“You’re kidding,” I said, looking over at him. “I mean, it’s none of my business, but I just assumed he’s pretty much a total bottom.”

“Never take anything for granted with Teddy,” Tommy responded. “That’s the mistake people make with him. About the only thing you can take for granted is that you’ll have a hot time if you go to bed with Teddy. He’s like a volcano so be sure to bring along a fire extinguisher if you ever decide to sleep with him. You’ll need it.”

“Not to put too much pressure on you or anything, Andy,” he added, looking over at me and smirking. “I mean, I’m sure you’ll measure up just fine when we finally get around to doing it this weekend.”

“Maybe I will and maybe I won’t,” I responded, waggling my butt at Tommy. “I guess it depends on how nice you are to me.”

He just laughed.

“Oh, you can count on it, Andy,” he replied. “I’ll be nice, very nice.”

“But that still doesn’t explain the nickname,” I said.

“Well, that nickname of his is interesting,” Tommy replied. “He didn’t get it because he dresses up like a girl sometimes although some people think that’s why. And some people call him that because he lives with Miss Cherry a lot and they just assume he wants to be called Miss Teddy. But mostly we call him that because he asked us to.”

“I remember one night this older dude was getting on Teddy’s case about how pretty he was and how no boy should be pretty like that. So Teddy finally told the dude he wasn’t really a boy yet, that he was transitioning from a girl to a boy and that his real name was Miss Teddy.”

“It totally freaked that dude out and he bolted from the place like he had seen a ghost. Everyone else was laughing hysterically and we never saw him again after that at the Palermo. But Teddy was so proud of what he had done he told us to call him Miss Teddy after that.”

“To him I guess it’s just a way of letting everyone know that he likes who he is and doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks or says about him. Like I said, he isn’t embarrassed or ashamed of himself or anything he does in bed. He likes having fun and he’s got to be the most uninhibited person in the world I know; totally secure in who he is as a person.”

“Unlike some people I can think of,” Tommy added, looking over at me.

“It’s really a shame he and Sean don’t get to spend much quality time together even though they’re madly in love. But it’s the same old story, Andy. They don’t have money, jobs or prospects and can’t afford to be a real couple if they want to survive.”

“And yet in spite of all that, they hold on to that dream they have of being a couple no matter what else they have to do to survive. They’re amazing dudes.”

Seeing an opening, I decided to go for it.

“I’m sure you know I’ve been thinking of asking you to move in here with me, Tommy,” I said. “If you did, maybe Ray would let Sean and Teddy move into his place with him.”

“I dunno,” Tommy replied. “I never thought about that before. I mean, I’m not surprised you want me to move in with you. You’ve hinted about that at times and I’ve been thinking about it. But you haven’t really explained all of the rules to me; and even if I moved in here, Ray has always preferred having just one boy living with him, at least in the past.”

“But maybe he would change his mind for Sean and Teddy. Those two made a good impression on him when they stayed at his place after Teddy got beat up. I’ll have to ask him that.”

“Well, you know, even if Ray doesn’t want both of them living with him, there’s an extra bedroom here,” I added. “It’s really for you if you want to come live here. I know you’re used to having some space of your own and I don’t want you to feel like you have to sleep with me.”

“I want us to sleep together because that’s what both of us want, not because you don’t have a choice in the matter. But if you decided you didn’t need your own room, we could think about letting Teddy and Sean have it.”

I hadn’t really thought any of this through, but it seemed to me the four of us were already best friends and I wanted to help the two of them out if I could.

“What's the point of living here if we're not going to sleep together?” Tommy replied. “I don't need my own room. But what you just said surprises me. You would do that, Andy? You would let Teddy and Sean come live here with us if need be?”

“Sure,” I replied; “if they wanted to. I mean, the four of us are already like family. It might seem strange to some folks, but why not? The most important thing in life is being connected to people you care about. Why couldn’t they live here until they’re old enough to get real jobs and find a place of their own if they want to be a real couple?”

“Of course, you realize if I move in here I may never move out,” Tommy added, grinning at me; “at least until I can figure out just what it is I want to do with my life. That might take thirty or forty years. Do you think you could handle having a stay at home wife like me?”

He was being playful now and I liked it when he did that because I liked being playful with him.

“Um, well, it’s tempting, no doubt about it, but it would never work,” I replied.

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because I was planning on being the wife in this relationship,” I said, grinning at him. “But you don’t have to worry about that, Tommy. I would definitely be one of those career girls willing to support my man.”

“Jeez, if you can say something like that after everything you told me on the drive back from the beach, you must really be comfortable around me, Andy,” he replied.

“I am,” I responded. “The amazing thing is I'm totally comfortable around you; and, more importantly, I like being around you too. I just feel like we were made for each other, Tommy. That's why I want the two of us living together so much.”

“Well then we should talk about that some more,” he replied.

But before we could begin, I leaned over and kissed Tommy on his lips. It was one of those rare chaste kisses we occasionally shared.

I was about to take it further when I noticed Sean and Teddy standing in the doorway to our room just looking at the two of us.

“Oh, isn’t that sweet, Teddy,” I heard Sean say.

I looked over and saw he was smiling at us.

It was the first time I had ever seen Sean without that smirk I always thought made him look so cute. What surprised me was he looked even cuter without it.