This story depicts homosexual acts and it is intended for ADULT READERS ONLY. If you are not of legal age in your locality to be reading this material or should you not not approve of this type of material, please leave.
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"Derek," Masters said as he stirred his coffee and returned to his seat. "Let's drop the Mr. bit and start talking man to man. I would prefer that you and Larry address me as Henry rather than all of this Mr. This or Mr. That. Is that agreeable?"
"I have no problem with that, Henry," Derek answered, leaning forward slightly and glancing at me, a twinkle in his eyes.
"Good," Masters replied, looking first at Derek and than at me.
"Me neither," I answered, twisting nervously in my chair, still not sure of my role but taking my lead from Derek.
"Excellent," Masters replied, leaning back in his chair and beaming from ear to ear. "Since you apparently do not know much about your trust, I'll give you a short synopsis and then try to answer any questions you might have," He said as he took a sip of his coffee his eyes shifting between the two of us.
"Actually, your grandmother and your grandfather established the trusts; but, since he pre-deceased her, everyone more or less assumes it was your grandmother. When your grandfather passed on, a considerable block of preferred and common stock that he and your grandmother held in Worthington & Kingsley was transferred equally into the trusts between you and Charlene. You and she own the controlling interest in the company and that is a ironic as your father now works for you and your sister," Masters mused, grinning to himself before continuing. "It is odd how things work out. Prior to your parents marrying, your father worked as a manager and investment counselor for your grandfather. As a wedding gift, he gave your father an interest in the company and changed the name. The company has done quite well but your grandfather maintained the controlling interest and now you and Charlene control the company. Charlene's trust has reached maturity and it has been converted to her control. She has done quite well since, and yours has as well. Both of you are quite wealthy. Yours, however, is still under trustee control until you reach age twenty-five or you have 'graduated from an accredited college, university or institution of higher learning,' if I may quote your grandmother," Masters said as he got up for another cup of coffee.
"I'm confused, Henry," Derek said, as he shifted to a more comfortable position. "If the trust my grandmother left is controlled by bank trustees until I reach twenty-five or I've finished college, what does my being eighteen have to do with anything? Larry and I are discussing our going to college, and we both will or should be in our mid twenties when we graduate. I don't understand that stipulation."
I watched Masters as he listened to Derek while he was pouring his coffee, and I could see he was mentally wrestling with his obligations and just what he should say. The thought crossed my mind that maybe I should leave; but, when I looked at him inquisitively, Derek shook his head negatively. He must have been struggling with many of the same thoughts and questions that I was, but he surprised me when he stood up and walked to where Masters was pouring his coffee.
"I think I'll have a cup, Henry, if I may?" he said smoothly as he set his water glass on the tray.
"Of course, would you like a cup as well, Larry?" Masters asked glancing in my direction with a raised eyebrow.
"No thanks, Henry, I'm fine with water; but, "I've been wondering pretty much the same thing as Derek mentioned just now," I replied, looking quickly at him as I spoke. "I don't know much about trusts, but the need for a double age stipulation does seem unusual. It's like she didn't want Derek to have the money on one hand, but she did on the other, and I don't understand that. It seems she is saying she does not trust him, at least not completely," I said a little nervously, hoping I had not intruded.
When Derek turned and looked at me with a smile and his eyes sparkling, I knew I hadn't; and I felt better. When Masters turned with his coffee and looked at me grinning almost smirking, I was at first nonplused by his demeanor, but Derek cleared the air quickly when he saw the look on his face and he reverted to a more formal attitude.
"Mr. Masters," he started, looking into his cup and then at me, as he stirred his coffee. "I have a couple of questions for you, Sir. First, the trust my grandparents left is incontrovertibly mine; isn't it? Second, why did you ask if my father and I had had any trouble recently? I don't see what that would have to do with your summons to meet with you; and let's stop beating around the bush with all of this nonsense about my sister, Charlene. Charlene is in California at Stanford; she lives her own life. While, unfortunately, we are not as close as I would like, that has nothing to do with what we are here for," he said, turning toward Masters, as he spoke, his eyes flashing briefly. "I am eighteen as you well know, Mr. Masters and legally on my own. My father and I did have a rather severe disagreement over my being homosexual; and, as a result, I am living with Larry and his parents. Larry and I are lovers, Mr. Masters; but I don't believe my grandparents made any stipulations concerning my sexual preferences. And finally, Mr. Masters, if you have difficulty accepting or understanding that, I don't believe you should be involved with the trusteeship; and we will dissolve this meeting or any other until I can find suitable legal counsel to represent me." As Derek finished, he was standing directly in front of Masters' desk, towering over him.
I was completely flabbergasted by the directness of Derek's verbal onslaught but not as much as Henry Masters was. He seemed to be in a state of shock at having been so directly confronted by Derek while, at the same time, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of absolute pride and trust in Derek's being so forthright. I watched Masters intently as we waited for his response. When he responded, we could understand why he was a Senior Vice-President of The Heritage Bank.
"You are your grandmother's grandson, Derek; and I can see why she was so proud of you," he said softly almost reverently. "I had already made the correct assessment that you and Larry were gay and lovers when you entered my office. Body language tells one a lot if he knows what to look for," he said, smiling before continuing, "I have no problems with your being gay; I have a gay son myself. He is considerably older than you and Larry; but, unfortunately, we don't see them as often as we would like as he and his partner live in New York City. Calvin's mother and his brother and sisters are aware that he is gay, and it has made no difference in their relationship with him. In fact, I think in some ways it has strengthened the bond between all of them. I was tossing in my head the idea of asking you directly, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. I hesitated rather than run the risk of making a fool of myself and of alienating you and Larry. I sort of teased you both, hoping you might bring it up and clear the air, but you really caught me off guard with your directness, it was almost as if you were reading my mind."
"Your teasing and the looks didn't bother me, Henry," Derek said, taking a sip of his coffee as he glanced at me and then back at Masters. "I kind of figured you knew earlier when we were talking."
"Then, I probably should have said something, but now we know, so let's get on with it," he replied, looking at both of us.
"The trust is yours, but the bank will administer it until you meet the stipulated conditions. I knew there had been a disagreement between you and your father simply from the manner in which Rebecca told me that you had left and with whom you were living. I called Larry's home, and I do hope I didn't sound overly mysterious when I spoke with your mother, Larry. I knew, or rather I assumed what had happened and why from some of the little slips that Rebecca inadvertently made when I was talking with her. At that time, I didn't really know what the situation was until now, and I couldn't give out much information."
"It takes quite a bit to upset my mother, Henry," I replied grinning at him and Derek.
"Good," he answered quickly before going on. "Regardless of whether you finish your education or not, Derek, the bank's trusteeship ends when you either graduate as your grandmother hoped you would or you reach your twenty-fifth birthday. Is that understood?" he asked, glancing up at us and we nodded affirmatively.
"Good," he more or less mumbled as he continued. "Now then, you asked about what bearing your turning eighteen has to do with things, considerable. At your grandmother's death, a clause in the trust went into effect, and the profits and dividends that were realized from the trust's investments have been deposited into an account in your name. However, your father was named on the account as your legal guardian until you reached your eighteenth birthday. A guardianship clause is automatic in all trusts where the beneficiary is a minor; it is unavoidable. Mrs. Worthington's unexpected passing is one of the reasons for this clause for it is to protect the interests of the minor. It is a state law; and she was well aware of it when we were drawing up the trusts. From what she indicated to me though, I am sure that stipulation would have been a part of her wishes regardless of what the state requires. I'll get into that in a moment," he said. He leaned back and breathing in deeply, stood and proceeded to fill his coffee cup again, and nodded in our direction as if asking us if we wanted some. Derek and I got up and moved to where he was filing his cup.
While Derek and I filled our cups, he pressed a button on his inter-com telephone; and Catherine appeared almost instantly.
"Catherine, would you bring us another pot of coffee and some of those snacks in the executive kitchen?" he asked.
"Yes, Sir, Mr. Masters, but I'm not sure that any snacks are left; and the cooks have left for the day," she answered, again glancing in our direction but with her eyes lingering on Derek.
"Would you have any tea, Catherine?" Derek asked quietly. "If some is available, I would prefer it as I'm not much on coffee this late in the day."
"I think we have some, Mr. Kingsley. I'll check and bring it with the coffee," she answered softly.
"Do what you can then, please," Masters replied, as he sat back down.
We engaged in small talk and drank our coffee while Masters was shuffling various documents in the portfolio he had in front of him. Catherine returned with the coffee and a carafe of tea. Masters mumbled something that sounded like a "thank you," but we weren't really sure, so both of us acknowledged the service by smiling our thanks, and nodding as she left.
Derek and I removed our jackets before sitting back down; and, not seeing a coat/hat rack in the office, we draped them over the arm of one of the sofas. Masters was still leafing through what I assumed was the portfolio that contained the documents and papers of Derek's trust. When I looked at, Derek, he shrugged his shoulders before setting his cup on the desk leaf and asking.
"Henry, we understand the conditions you have outlined, but you were going to tell us more about the account that my father was named guardian of. If that is my account, when will I have control over it; and just how much is in it?"
"Huh, what, oh yes... I'm sorry, I was trying to get some figures together," he answered, hesitantly, as he still shuffled papers and made notations before looking up and answering Derek's questions.
"As you will remember, I stated that upon your grandmother's death a new account which we call a 'drawing account' was set up. It is the account into which dividends and profits from the trust have been deposited since your grandmother's death. She had anticipated that you would be in college before she died; and, that once there, you would need money for tuition, books, supplies and living expenses. Thus, this account was designed to take care of your expenses and needs until you meet the requirements of the trust. Of course, after you have graduated from an accredited college or reach the age of twenty-five, you will have access to all of the trust and the drawing account. She also determined that, since this account was continually renewed by the inflow of dividends and profits, up to thirty percent of the balance could be withdrawn each month. She felt that such an amount would adequately support you and not be overly exorbitant. What neither she nor the bank anticipated was the phenomenal growth of the trust; but, as she died before your eighteenth birthday, your father as guardian could withdraw the funds which were considerable. Your father has, since her death, received monthly, quarterly and annual reports; and he has been regularly withdrawing most of the available funds. Since there had been no stipulation made as to how the money could be used or even an accounting of its use, the bank, as trustee, exercised its authority and reduced the amount deposited each month. At first, your father disagreed with our position; but the only control he had was over the drawing account; and there was very little he could do. While your grandmother lived, she controlled the trust and we acted as the administrator. There was no way we or she could expect that she would die so suddenly. Thereafter, the bank was obligated to carry out the conditions of the trust one of which was the depositing of the stipulated funds into the drawing account. When our accountants saw the amounts that were being transferred, we acted in your interests and not your fathers. That's why I was surprised when you said that neither he nor your mother had discussed it with you." Masters said, leaning back in his chair and looking back and forth between us.
I didn't know what to say or even if I should; but I could see that Derek's father had purloined, legally or illegally, what I assumed was a lot of money. Masters had not mentioned any figures; but someone would have had to be completely blind, deaf and dumb not to figure out a lot of money was involved. I didn't know what effect it would have on Derek when all of the truth came out; but, from his body language and the way he stared blankly at Masters, I had a feeling it was not going to be good. I braced myself trying to control the emotions I was feeling in sympathy for him, but I underestimated his control.
"Henry, do you have any idea as to how much is involved?" Derek asked in a cold steely voice, his eyes focused on Masters.
"Well, lets see," he answered, clearing his throat and glancing at me quickly before continuing, "The figures that I have won't be current until the end of this month; but, from what I see, Mr. Kingsley has withdrawn something in excess of two million dollars since he was named your guardian under the terms of the trust," Masters said, quietly but clearly.
When I heard him, I involuntarily gasped, "two million dollars," and I heard Derek hiss sarcastically, "now I know where Daddy got the money for his yacht among other things. I never thought I'd be fucked by my own father," he said through clinched teeth, sitting rigid in his chair and gripping the arm rests tightly, his eyes a cold steely blue.
I felt anger building inside of me after listening to Masters; but, hearing the emotionless remarks Derek had made, I couldn't blame him for feeling he had been fucked. I would have felt the same way, but I'd probably have taken it a lot differently and blown my top. Derek, though, sat motionless except for the clinching of his fists and jaw, but I knew from looking at him that every magnificent muscle in his body was as taut as a bow string. We sat quietly for a few minutes; and then, when I shifted my gaze to Masters, I saw a look of compassion in his eyes and his lips trembling slightly. "He isn't all banker," I thought to myself before speaking.
"Is there anything Derek can do about this, Henry? Isn't it like embezzling someone's money?" I asked looking into his eyes and waiting for him to insert a bolt of wisdom that would undo the pain I knew Derek was feeling.
"I wish there were, Larry. After Mr. Kingsley called yester...," he started to say when Derek exploded.
"My father called you yesterday?" He snapped. "When were you going to tell me that?"
"I was just getting ready to do that, Derek; and I will if you give me a moment. I know this has been a shock, but for now all you can do is calm down and listen," Masters replied, calmly and firmly.
"Hey, D Boy, ease up a little," I said soothingly, moving my chair closer to his. "Lets get all of the cards on the table and go from there, okay? I don't think Henry asked you to come in just to tell you your old man had screwed you; right, Henry?"
"Absolutely right, Larry," Henry said looking at me appreciatively. "There is a lot more involved in what your grandmother left you than just money, Derek. There is real-estate here, in the Bahamas, in France and there are stocks and bonds. There was a fair and equitable distribution of their property between the two of you, but they did not want to break up their real-estate holdings which was probably a good idea as they have increased in value considerably. As Charlene was going off to college and was planning on extensive traveling, they endowed her trust with an amount equal to the real-estate values of that time. Charlene has done handsomely, so there is nothing to feel guilty about. The bank still handles most of her investments for her."
"Nothing was left to my mother?" Derek asked.
"Your great-grandmother had already established a trust for your mother, Derek. I hope I'm not out of line by telling you this; but eventually that trust will be divided between you and your sister. Your grandparents were wise in many ways. I hope you won't be too angry with me for telling you this, but your father was not very popular with the Worthington family. He was considered a social climber and only after your mother's money; so, with the exception of bringing him into the investment business as a minor partner, they disassociated themselves from him. Not that they were snobs, nothing like that. The Worthington and, I am happy to say, the Masters families made their money by working for it. There were family mergers to be sure back in those days; but, when someone from the outside married into the families, they were given a comfortable living but never access to the fortunes that had been built by the main branches of both families." Masters said just a little pompously as he leaned back in his chair, but I could see and hear the pride he had in his family.
"Angry, Henry? Hell, no! You've answered several questions I've had for a long time. Questions such as why only Mother, Charlene and I visited with our great-grandmother when she was living on her farm in Winchester and why my father was not at her funeral. Things like that, that I never really paid that much attention to since I was still too young to understand the difficulties some families have. Grandma Worthington would call for mother to come over for a visit, but Dad never went with us, and yet when we returned he would take mother aside and ask her all kinds of questions. Rebecca would always roll her eyes whenever this happened; and, even though she never said anything, I could tell she didn't care for my father. She did what he told her, but there was always at least a hint of reluctance and the way she hesitated and looked at mother before she did it. No, Henry, I can't be angry with you for telling me these things; I kind of knew them but didn't understand," Derek said, sighing deeply and taking my hand. When he looked at me, I saw the hurt deep in his eyes. He squeezed my hand tightly and in a lackluster voice asked, "Is that all Dad called about, the money?"
"Not entirely. He was more interested in having the trust re-evaluated to insure that the conditions were actually what Mrs. Worthington wanted and that they were being met by the bank. I assured him they were, and I suggested that he have his accountants go over the trust statements that the bank was sending him. He mumbled something almost intelligibly that that had been done, but he seemed to be more concerned about his guardianship being terminated on your eighteenth birthday. He thought that it should continue until your twenty-fifth birthday, and he asked what would happen to the trust if you should die before assuming complete control over the trust. At the time, I thought that was a strange thing for a father to be asking but, I'm sure he was just making a casual observation," he answered.
"What would happen, Henry?" I asked after seeing the state of numb disbelief that Derek had sunk into.
A profound, almost, deafening silence settled over the three of us for a few minutes until Henry broke it by sliding his chair away from his desk. Walking around to where we were sitting, he pulled the other empty chair closer to ours and with his elbows on his knees, he sat with his hands clasped between his legs. Looking at Derek first and then at me, he cleared his throat before answering, "There is no stipulation in the trust as to a beneficiary and, by law, the trust would revert to his closest living relative. Very likely his father."
"That will never happen, Henry," Derek said sharply, jerking himself out of the slouch he had slumped into. "What must I do to make sure that does not happen?"
"You said it yourself earlier, when you made it perfectly clear as to where you stood, remember? You retain an attorney and tell him what you want. The bank will work with whomever you retain and furnish any information they might need."
"Can't the bank do that for me, Henry?"
"We could, Derek, but since the bank is your trustee it would be wiser if you found an independent lawyer. If we were to assist you, it might be considered collusion; and we could possibly be accused of coercing you into taking an action that might be considered beneficial to the bank. At the moment, I am acting as an adviser and it is my advice that you do retain legal counsel. The bank is obligated under the terms of the trust to act as your financial adviser, but I highly recommend that you retain someone whom you can place confidence in to represent you in legal matters. "
"Mr. Masters, you have told Larry and me all about the trust, but you've not mentioned how much it is worth. Can you tell us that?" he asked.
"Damn, we have been talking about everything else but that, haven't we?" he answered slightly embarrassed. "If your father had been doing what he was supposed to do, and I do hate saying that, he should have told you that it is worth, conservatively, seventy-seven million dollars and the drawing account is just over two million dollars. Your signature will now be on the drawing account; but, since you were a minor, it was not illegal for your father as your guardian to control the account and make withdrawals. Nothing your father has done has been illegal, Derek. Morally wrong, yes; but not illegal. You should rescind his authorization to access the account and replace his signature with yours on the bank records. The bank will furnish you with the number of checks you feel you might need, but remember, Derek, we are not talking about pocket change. Furthermore, in keeping with the expressed wishes of your grandparents, we at the bank stand ready to help you as you learn how to handle such wealth wisely." Henry said with a tone of sincerity and, placing his hand on Derek's shoulder.
"Whew," Derek said as he stood up. "That is a lot to swallow in one sitting, Henry."
"That is true, but don't try to understand it all right now. Retain a competent attorney; and, once he is up to speed, he will help you understand the legal ramifications and what your options are. Right now, sign these two cards where your name is typed."
"When he signs those cards, Henry, does that remove his father's authorization?" I asked watching as Derek signed where Henry had indicated.
"Completely," Henry answered smiling and placing the cards into the portfolio. "Give the bank a few days to make the changes and have a supply of checks printed. In the meantime, if you need some cash, stop in tomorrow or whenever you have the time and, I'll see to an advance. Will you be using the Markes' address?"
"Yes, for some time to come, I hope," Derek answered, looking at me with soft aquiline blue eyes. "Is there anything else?" he asked taking my hand in his.
"Nooooooo, I think we have covered everything for now," Henry answered, smiling broadly. "There are a few minor items but those can wait until later."
The bank was closed for the day, and the alarm system was set. Henry led us to a side door that executives; used and, after entering his personal code, opened the door for us to exit. When we were outside, he placed his hand on Dereks shoulder and I saw his fingers gently squeeze as he said, "Remember, the bank is here to help you. I'll always be available if you should need me, but do me one favor, do not discuss with your family what we have talked about today. I don't fear your father, but the less he knows the better for you and us, Derek. I think you will learn more as you grow older, in fact, I am sure of it with Larry to help you."
"Thanks, Henry, I really appreciate what you have done already," Derek replied as Henry turned to re-enter the bank.
"That is part of the bank's obligation, looking after the interests of its patrons. Call as soon as you retain your attorney or have him call. You still have a few things that must be done, and I'll help in any way I can," Masters said as he closed the door behind him.
"I guess we do have a lot to do and talk about, Larry," Derek said as we walked the short distance to the lot where we had left the truck.
Due to the lateness of the hour, the lot was virtually empty, and we didn't have any trouble finding the truck. Derek stood aside with one arm resting on the trucks side railing as I unlocked the passenger door. When he started to open the door, I put one arm around him; and he turned looking at me, his eyes shining softly. I leaned against him; and, when he fell back against the sidewall of the truck, he put both arms around me with our lips meeting in a soft lingering kiss. I felt a stirring in his loins and mine; and, when we broke the kiss, he smiled and I said, "Do you think we could hold off on the talking until later?"
"I don't see why not; the parking lot is empty," he said softly, brushing his lips over mine.