Derek & I

Copyright © 2003

By Lee Mariner

The author's copyright, and all provisions of the original disclaimer remain in force.  All Rights are Reserved.

This story depicts homosexual acts between males and, it is intended for ADULT READERS ONLY.  If you are not of legal age in your locality or should you not approve of such material, please leave.

My friend, Dean has edited this work and his assistance is greatly appreciated. 

All of my stories are listed in: /nifty/prolific.html#leemariner

Any reader wishing to be notified of future episodes to this and/or any other stories, please contact me at:


Chapter #20

When Derek and I walked into the kitchen, Mom turned from the counter looking at us with a smile.  "My, oh my, tongues will be clacking when the ladies see me in the company of two such well dressed and handsome young men," she exclaimed.

We both had put on khaki Dockers slacks with open-throated off beige shirts and sports jackets.  My jacket was a rustic herringbone pattern, and Derek's was a classic rich brown scotch tweed.  Florshiem burgundy penny-loafers complemented and enhanced the casualness of our outfits.    Derek wore his clothing and carried himself with the grace of a high fashion male model that even men looked at with envy.  He had what so many men wanted, an air of confidence and personal pride in his appearance that exuded a charisma, captivating those around him; but, without a hint of overbearing arrogance in his demeanor.  His unruly soft light brown hair shone with a burnished bronze glow that accented the brilliant blue of his eyes and his tawny unblemished complexion. He  was stunningly handsome, and I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride combined with a feeling of intense love welling up inside of me. 

"There isn't another lady we would rather be with, Mom," I said as Derek kissed one cheek and I the other.

"Oh, posh, Lawrence," she replied, as she playfully patted my cheek.  Turning, she looked at Derek saying, "Did he flatter you that way when you first met, Derek?"

"Pretty close, Aunt Edith, but it was mutual," he answered smoothly, winking at me with a gleam in the depths of his eyes and smiling as he spoke.

"Where did Dad tell you that you would have lunch?" I asked as I handed her the shawl for her shoulders.

"At the Rainforest Restaurant on Biltmore Ave., Dear.   Why do you ask, is there somewhere else you would rather go?" She asked, glancing at me as she straightened the shawl around her shoulders.

"No real reason, Mom; but my truck is a little cramped for the three of us.  Were we supposed to call a taxi, or was he going to pick us up?"  I asked, shrugging my shoulders and giving Derek a puzzled look. 

"Your father should be here just about now, Lawrence," she answered, craning her neck and looking out the door window as she drew  on the white crochet mesh gloves that matched her shawl.  Her ensemble consisted of a plain dark blue linen dress with the hem just below her knees and black low heeled shoes complemented by the shawl and gloves that she had crocheted herself.   A small, black straw hat was perched at a saucy angle on her perfectly coifed dark brown hair; and we could see the two long pearl hat pins that held her hat in place peeking out from under the brim.

I heard my Dad turning the car on to the gravel drive and then the sound of the driver's door clicking solidly in to place as it closed.  Mother moved around the kitchen table and stood between Derek, who hadn't said a word, and me just as Dad came into the kitchen. Stopping just inside the door, he whistled and exclaimed, "Well, it looks like everyone is ready.  Are you boys hungry?" He asked as he stepped forward and kissed Mother on her cheek, muttering under his breath, "You are beautiful."

Mother smiled at Dad; and then, glancing at us, she placed her hand in his; and they turned toward the door as Derek and I answered together,  "Yes, Sir, we had a late meal last night at the Sonic, but even a foot-long  hot dog doesn't last too long," I continued, winking at Derek who blushed instantly and lowered his head.

"Have you ever eaten at the Rainforest, Derek?" Dad asked as we moved toward the kitchen door.

"No, sir, I haven't; but I'm sure it will be an improvement over the meal Larry and I had at the Sonic," he answered, looking at me with a twinkle in his eyes and grinning, his emotions under control.

"It was one of Paul's and our favorite places," Mother said softly as my Dad held the car door open for her.

A bolt of lightening flashed through my head when I heard her, and I felt like a fool.  It was my brother Paul's birthday; and, since his death, we always had lunch at the Rainforest before visiting the cemetery for a few minutes.

"Jeez, Mom, Dad, I'm sorry.  I forgot completely that it was Paul's birthday," I moaned, feeling ashamed and not knowing exactly what I should say when Derek spoke up.

"Some of that is probably my fault, Larry, what with all of the excitement and turmoil I've caused you and your parents."

"And that, Young Man, we will hear no more of," Dad said, looking sharply at Derek as he closed Mothers door before walking around to the driver's side,  "you are part of this family, now and for as long as you want to be."

"Yes, Sir," Derek replied a little sheepishly.

"Good, that ends it," Dad said, glancing back and forth between the two of us before continuing,  "You know that we visit the cemetery after lunch, Larry, but it's really not necessary that you and Derek go with us if you have other plans."

"There are a few things we need to do; and we were going to talk with you about them, Dad.  Derek needs some personal advice; and, if it's no trouble, we could talk over lunch provided it's all right with you and Mom."

"I see nothing wrong with that, Son.  Do you want to ride with us or use your truck?"

"We will follow you, Sir, and park the truck at the station.   We can ride with you and Mom from there to lunch and then to the cemetery.  On the way home, you can drop us off, and we can pick it up," I said; and Dad nodded his agreement as he started the car.


The Rainforest was not as crowded as it usually was, but it had been almost a year since we have eaten there.  There were several young  girls and boys with aprons around their waists who were sort of milling around waiting for someone to tell them what they should do next.  Most of them were probably high school or early college students just starting summer jobs.  I remember feeling almost the same way when I first started at Mr. Carlson's. 

We stood just inside the entrance at a small podium that had a hand-written sign, "Please wait to be seated," tacked to the front edge of the desk.  After a few minutes I started to get fidgety and was looking around for someone when I heard Derek say softly in my ear, "patience, Larry."

"I am being patient, D," I said turning my head and almost kissing him, he was so close.  "You would think they would be better organized than this," I continued, grinning as I pulled my head back a little.

"It takes time to teach new help, Son," Dad said without looking around.  "I have the same problem at the station."

Memories of when Paul had worked with Dad flashed though my head.  I whispered to Derek that Paul had told me about the "young knuckle-heads who acted like they wanted to work but had trouble finding their asses much less, even after being told and shown, remembering how to replenish a car's oil or clean the windshields."

"You might have to show me how to do that," Derek whispered in my ear.  "I've never done it."

"You haven't?" I said, turning and looking at him incredulously.

"I don't have a car, remember?  I learned how to drive one in driver's education at school, but they didn't teach us how to service them," he replied with a twinkle in his eye.

Overhearing our talking, Dad started to turn around and say something when he saw a nice looking young man wearing the Rainforest uniform coming toward us carrying menus.

"Good afternoon, my name is Curtis; and I'll be your server.   Welcome to the Riverforest; would you like a table or a booth for two?" he asked Mom and Dad; but Derek and I, standing behind them, could see his eyes directed right at us as he spoke.

"One of the large booths for four, Curtis, if you have it.  If not, a table will do fine," Dad said.

"I'm afraid it will have to be a table, Sir," Curtis answered unruffled by the assumption he had made.  "The younger crowd fill the large booths pretty fast, and I'm afraid the four of you would be cramped in a smaller one.  Follow me, please," he said turning away but letting the golden gaze of his hazel eyes show us where his thoughts were. 

We followed Curtis through a maze of tables with low hanging synthetic vines suspended between a myriad collection of just as synthetic trees and foliage.   Small blinking white and colored lights were hidden in among the foliage, and hidden electronic equipment issued the low rumble of recorded thunder interspersed with an occasional flash of lightening.  A number of elephants, giraffes, monkeys, hippopotami and a huge collection of artificial tropical birds were strategically located in and among the trees and bushes for effect. Fortunately the owners had enough sense when they designed the restaurant to include a few secluded areas where normal conversation could be had without competing with the sound effects, although the screams of children always seemed to assault the ear drums regardless of where the seating was, making a mockery of such efforts.

Derek and I assumed the vanguard position to assist Mom and Dad with moving between the vast array of chairs scattered up to and around the tables.  Of course, being just behind Curtis, we were able to admire the tight fitting dark green uniform pants that covered the cheeks of his muscled ass.  The light green shirt he was wearing had flowing sleeves but the matching green of his vest showed his lean slimly developed torso. He seemed to be about the same age and close to the same height as Derek and I and probably weighed just a little less, but he was not skinny.  The thickness of the trapezoid and deltoid muscles of his neck and shoulders along with the width of his back and the downward sweep of his rib cage ending with a small but not delicate waist revealed a solid well built, although not overly muscular young man.  It was obvious that he took care of himself.   His thick well groomed dark brown hair flowed down the nape of his neck, curling slightly at the top of his shirt collar.  There was just the hint of a swagger in his gait, and we grinned at each other, acting like we were doing our best to make a clear path following him in the direction of a table that sat in a small alcove with another empty table.

"I think you will enjoy this table,"  he said as he placed menus at each place setting and then held Mom's chair for her.  He stepped aside after she sat down, and he hesitated for a moment, letting his left hand deliberately brush downward across his pelvis to his side.  When he saw that Derek and I were looking at the bulge in his crotch, he teasingly hid it by draping a towel he was carrying over his left forearm, his hand holding his pad, the other poised with pencil. 

"Would you care for something to drink while you look over the menu?"  He asked, with a twinkle in his hazel eyes and a small smile playing at the corners of his mouth, the tip of his tongue just visible between his slightly parted lips.

"Ice tea all around, I think, don't you, Mother?"  Dad asked looking at us inquisitively.

"I'll bring a pitcher of un-sweetened tea with glasses," Curtis said, assuming we would want more than one glass.

"He seems like an awfully nice young man," Mother said as he walked away. 

"That is the way he and others that are serving tables earn most of their wages, Mother.  Restaurants have notoriously low paying jobs, but a good waiter or waitress earns quite a bit of their wages in tips by being efficient and courteous when serving guests."

"I'm sorry, " I said looking at Derek and my parents. "I don't think I could ever be in a service type job."

"It's a job that takes a lot of time and stamina, and I must say that I admire those who work in them," Dad said as he looked around the dining room, before continuing.   "Now then, Derek, what was it you wanted to talk about over lunch?"  Dad asked as he adjusted his chair to be more comfortable.

"I need your help in finding a good lawyer, Uncle Chris," He stated bluntly and then continued.  "Larry and I had a long talk with Mr. Masters at the bank yesterday.   He is the Senior Vice-President of Heritage Bank and Trust and also the trustee of the trusts that my Grandmother Worthington set up for my sister, Charlene, and me.  Since my eighteenth birthday has passed, there are certain instructions that Grandma Worthington included in the trusts concerning things she wanted to be sure were done when  Charlene and I reached eighteen," he said, breathing in deeply before he continued.   "Mr. Masters told us that he had mentioned it to my Dad since, by law, he was my legal guardian until I reached eighteen.  We were supposed to see him about making those changes.   I guess he kind of forgot about them; and, when Mr. Masters called the house, well, you know what happened; he then called your house."

"Humph, " Mother snorted, "No offense intended, Derek, but business men don't usually forget matters concerning banks and finance." She said softly, more content to sit and listen than interrupt.

Derek looked at me briefly and then at Mother.  "I don't think it was intentional, Aunt Edith; at least I would not like to think he would do something like that," he said quietly before shifting his gaze and looking at, Dad and continuing.   "Is there  someone that you could recommend, Uncle Chris?"

"Of course, Derek, my lawyer, Merrill Winters.  We've known each other all of our lives, and we served in the Army together.  For my money, you won't find a better man in all of the city," Dad said with a firm note of conviction in his tone.

I started to give my input to what Dad had said about his lawyer, but Curtis arrived with the ice tea and glasses.  Placing the glasses on the table, he started to pour when Dad said, "We can do that, Son.   We don't have a lot of time, so why don't you go ahead and take our orders."

"Yes, Sir," Curtis answered, deftly returning the pitcher to the table.


Lunch was very light for all four of us.  Derek and I had tuna fish sandwiches and  house salads with a light vinegar and oil dressing.  Mother ate only a salad with french dressing while Dad devoured, under Mom's disapproving eyes,  the old standby ham and swiss on jewish rye bread with all the usual trimmings, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and a side order of potato salad. 

When Curtis had placed Dad's order in front of him, Mother shook her head gently, exclaiming, " really, Christopher, do you have to eat such a heavy lunch when it is so warm outside?"

"Now, Edith," he answered, chiding her gently as he did, "I'm hungry."

"You'll get as big as a house if you keep that up, Dad," I said, trying to support Mother.

"Don't you start, Young Man; and, Derek, don't take sides," Dad said as he bit into his sandwich not waiting for Derek's answer but getting it anyway.

"I wouldn't dream of it, Uncle Chris, my mother didn't raise a fool," he said cheerfully, looking at Mother and me with a broad smile, giving me an impish glance, his eyes twinkling.

As we were finishing, Curtis returned to the table and as he was clearing off the dishes, he asked, "anyone for dessert?  We have a delicious Key Lime pie."

Dad looked around the table before replying, "It doesn't look like it, Curtis; just bring the check will you, please?"

Derek and I protested his paying the check, but he insisted. Curtis quickly returned with Dad's change, and I noticed Dad left a substantial tip for the service.  Thanking him profusely, Curtis drew Mother's chair back for her and stood aside so Dad could escort her out.  Derek and I started to pass him when, with a wink, he slipped a small card to each of us as he suggestively ran the tip of his tongue over his very supple lips and whispered, "use these if you would care to visit.  I'll be working later this evening."

As Mom and Dad moved in front of us, I glanced down at the card cupped in the palm of my hand, 

                                                              The Monarch Bar and Restaurant
                                                            A discriminating club for the discreet. 
                                                                   Curtis Dowling, Bartender.

"Damn, Larry," Derek said after reading the card.  "He's a brazen devil; isn't he?"

"Maybe, but he surely had the hots for you from where I was sitting," I said teasingly, staying a safe distance from Mom and Dad who were walking arm in arm ahead of us.

"Oh no, not me, you.  He couldn't take his eyes off of you," he replied just as good naturedly.

"Either way..." I started to say when Dad called out, "What are you two going on about?" he said, glancing back at us.  "Was there something wrong with your lunch?"

"It was all right, Uncle Chris," Derek answered, glancing at me smugly; and then I injected just as smugly, "I've had better."

We spent only a few minutes at the cemetery, and Derek and I stood to the side while Mom squatted and plucked a few weeds from the base of Paul's headstone.  After she and Dad placed the white roses he had bought in the bronze vase, we knelt; and, holding hands, Dad said a prayer.  I could feel Derek squeezing my hand, and I squeezed his in return.

"It's a really beautiful place you chose for Paul, Aunt Edith," Derek said softly as we stood and he looked over the grounds surrounding Paul's grave.

"Ours are right beside him, Derek," she said softly, indicating the grassy area to the left of Paul's granite marker, sighing deeply and dabbing at the corners of her eyes with her handkerchief. We stood quietly for a few more minutes, listening to the wind rustling the leaves of the surrounding trees.  In the distance a carillon was playing, and the music of the synchronized bells drifted over the cemetery on the soft breeze, surrounding us.   

We rode to the service station in silence.  As soon as we reached it, Dad called his lawyer and made an appointment for us for the following morning.  After talking with his station manager, he wrote Mr. Winters' address and telephone number on a slip of paper and handed it to Derek.  "You'll like Merrill, Son.  Just tell him what your problem is and what you need, and he'll get it straightened out for you.  I can vouch for that, Merrill has never let me down.   If I can help in any way though, you let me know," he said as he squeezed Derek's shoulder affectionately and then turned to me saying,  "Your Mother and I are going on to the house. Are you guys going to be home for dinner?"

"I'm not sure, Dad," I answered, looking at Derek. "We might but  there are a couple of things we want to check on first.  How about I give you a call yea or nay?"

"Sounds okay to me; just be careful." He said, waving as they went to the car.

"That's Dad," I said to Derek as we waved back.  "Always with the 'be careful' or 'take it easy'."

"At least he says it, Larry," He replied wistfully.

"Oh, shit, hon, I'm sorry," I said, aggravated with my big mouth.  "I shouldn't have said anything."

"No problem," He answered, breathing in deeply and then suddenly cheering up as he exhaled, saying.  "Were you serious about getting a bigger place?"

"Of course, if you want too," I said quickly.  "Do you have anything in particular in mind?"

"I was thinking maybe we could check over the real estate ads and see if there is anything we might like, nothing big but at least bigger than Paul's apartment. We definitely want a larger bathroom and maybe a patio, so we aren't cooped up inside all of the time.  What do you think?" he said excitedly.

"Let's find a newspaper and check it out," I answered just as enthusiastically.

The newspaper box in front of Dad's station was empty; but, when we started to get into the truck, I heard Morgan Padgett's familiar voice call out, "Hold up, Larry.  You can have your Dad's newspaper if you want it; he went off without it."

"Thanks, Morgan," I said, taking the proffered newspaper.   "How are you doing; are you graduating this year?"  I asked as I handed the newspaper to Derek before turning to look at Morgan.


Morgan Padgett was the same age as I was, but his build was more muscular and heavier, and he was maybe a half-a-head taller.  His dark blond hair was always unruly but it looked natural on him, giving him a sort of cherubic ''Jolly Green Giant'' appearance.   His granite gray eyes shone when he was talking with you, and you knew he was listening to every word being spoken from the way he watched your face as you were talking to him.  

He really wasn't a bad looking boy, but being dirt poor and living with alcoholic parents didn't help.  Regardless of his environment, his well worn clothes were always clean; and he was generally well groomed.  It was obvious he yearned for recognition, because he seemed to want to learn and help whenever he could.   He had started working at Dad's service station when he was fifteen years old, and he should have graduated the same year I did, but he missed so much time that he couldn't pass the final tests or the SOL tests even though the teachers tried helping him out with special sessions.  Often, when business was a little slow, he would be found studying in Dad's office.  Morgan was the youngest of three children, and what he had achieved was done pretty much on his own in spite of the lack of parental or sibling encouragement.  There was an older brother in prison for armed robbery and a sister who had dropped out of school and disappeared, supposedly having gone to the great western mecca, Hollywood.   We were pretty sure that the money he made working for Dad fed him and his parents, but he very seldom ever mentioned his parents or what went on in his home, and we didn't pry.   He was the type of kid that always seemed to be underfoot like a little puppy wanting attention,  but you couldn't help but like and feel sympathy for him at the same time.  I always thought that was one of the reason's my Dad kept him on, that and his being so much like my brother Paul.


"Yeah, finally," he said excitedly, his face wreathed in a broad smile and his eyes shining.   "Are you going to be there when they hand me my diploma?" He asked, almost jumping up and down; he was so excited that I hated telling him I couldn't make it since I would be attending Derek's graduation.

"I'm sorry, Morgan," I said, placing my hand on his thickly muscled shoulder and squeezing.  "I've already made other plans, and I can't make it,  but I want to see your diploma the next time I'm here, okay?"

"Sure, Larry," he answered feigning enthusiasm and not showing any disappointment.   I could tell, though, from the sudden painful look in his eyes that he was extremely disappointed; and I felt like biting my tongue.  "I'll be sure and bring it in so you and your Dad can see it. Maybe he'll let me hang it on the wall in the office. It would be safer there than at home," he said, shoving his hands into his pockets as he headed back toward the office.

"Sad isn't it?" Derek said softly as we watched Morgan move away with his hands stuffed in his pockets, his broad shoulders sagging a little.

"You mean, Morgan?" I said flatly, as I watched him walking away.

"Yeah," Derek answered.  "I don't know him, but he seemed so cheerful at first and then sad when you told him you had other plans and couldn't attend his graduation.  You meant you had plans for mine; didn't you?"

"Of course, I did," I said, still feeling deflated at having disappointed Morgan, and then told him the story about Morgan. 

"And you mean there won't be anyone to see him graduate?"  Derek asked, sad eyed.

"Probably not," I said wistfully, glancing in Morgan's direction and then back at Derek, as we got into the truck.

"Larry," Derek said softly, running his fingers over my thigh as he looked at me, his beautiful blue eyes filled with warmth and compassion.  "Maybe we could attend Morgan's graduation first and then mine...  We should be able to work it out, shouldn't we?"

"I guess we could," I replied, brightening up, as I turned the ignition on and started the engine, a feeling of intense warmth and love swelling up inside of me as I gazed into the soft depths of his eyes.  

Morgan came to the door of the office when we pulled up.  His face broke into a wide smile, and his eyes brightened when I looked across Derek and told him we would be at his graduation.