Copyright © 2003

By Lee Mariner

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

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

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Memories are or our yesterdays, today is to be lived today, and our tomorrows can only be aspired to in the hope that the will be filled with the best of our yesterdays.


Chapter #23

Good morning, Lover," Derek said throwing the sheet back as he sat up and stretching after swinging his legs over the side of the bed.

"When did you start being so cheerful in the morning?" I asked, grumbling about being awakened with such exuberance so early in the morning.

"What's the matter?" he said, twisting and falling back on one elbow.  "Was last night too much for you?"

"No, it wasn't;" I answered barely opening one eye to see his grinning face with his hair all messed up and his incredibly blue eyes looking down at me. "How can you look so gorgeous so early in the morning?" I asked, reaching for his arm and squeezing his hard bicep.

"Because, I have you to wake up with," he answered as he pulled one leg back up on the bed, and scooting closer, placed his hand on the other side of my chest, hovering over me.

I opened my eyes and saw the impish glint in his as he stared down at me.  My cock was half-hard from needing to take a piss, but the glint in his eyes told me that he was up to something, and I squirmed trying to sit up.

"Oh, no, you don't,"  he said, pushing me down with his other hand.

"Derek, please, I've got to piss," I exclaimed feebly.

"So do I," he said as he placed his arm over my head and leaned forward whispering, "I haven't had my morning kiss."

I slipped my arms around his neck as he lowered his lips to mine; and I closed my eyes as his tongue entered, searching for mine.   Our tongues twisted doing the dance of the sugar plum fairies, but the taste of our saliva was foul from not brushing the night before.

"Damn, Larry," he said as he straightened up, wrinkling his nose.  "Let's not do that again until after we brush our teeth. Good Lord, did my mouth taste as bad as yours did?"

"You're the one who wanted his morning kiss," I said, struggling to sit up.

"Yeah, I did;  but I forgot that we didn't brush last night before we went to bed,"  he said  as we sat up on the edge of the bed with our stiff cocks jutting out between our legs.

"Need I remind you," I said, brushing some of his crusty sperm from my chest. "I was the one that wanted to take a shower last night?"

"No, you don't need to remind me, but you don't need to rub it in either," he said a tad peevishly as he stood up and went toward the bathroom with me following.

"I wasn't trying to rub it in, Derek," I said as we stood at the commode together, the water churning into a golden froth.

"I know you weren't; I was just teasing you," he said as he milked the last drops from his still half-hard cock and moved to the sink to brush his teeth.

"Whew!," I exclaimed, reaching around him for my toothbrush and saying, "I thought we were close to having our first disagreement."

"Not over some dried sperm and an icky mouth," he said after he had rinsed his mouth.

"I didn't think we would, at least, not over something that silly," I mumbled as I brushed my teeth, looking out of the corner of my eye at where he was standing next to me, his flaccid cock stirring gently as he wiped his mouth. .

"That was silly, but I don't know how I would feel if I found you in bed with another man," he said; seriously as he slipped his arms around me when I straightened up from bending over the sink.

"And that, my Love, you will never have to worry about," I said putting my arms around his shoulders and drawing him close to feel our flaccid cocks pressed tightly between us. "There is no man that will ever take your place in my heart or our bed."

"I know that, Lover; but I like hearing you say it," he replied, brushing his lips over mine, kissing me, and squeezing me tightly to him.

The sweet taste of Colgate had replaced the sour taste in our mouths.  I felt the stirring of our cocks as we kissed; and I pulled my head back, breathing deeply and looking into the sparkling blue depths of his eyes. 

"Derek," I said softly. "If we keep this up, we'll never get to the lawyer's office."

He was breathing heavily; and, as he  lay his head on my shoulder,  I felt the beat of his heart matching mine.   We stood holding each other allowing the passion that had built between us to decrease with the slackening of our breathing and the return of our hearts to normal.  He inhaled deeply; and,  lifting his head, he said quietly, "I know, I know; but I can't wait until all of this is over with."

"Me, too," I replied as his arms dropped from around my waist and, I removed mine from around his shoulders.  "Do you want to shower first while I make some coffee?"

"I guess so; but I'll be glad when we don't have to shower separately anymore," he said, moving to the shower and turning the water on.

"It won't be long after we find an architect and get the plans drawn the way we want them,"  I said, closing the curtain after he had stepped in.

I wrapped a towel around my waist and shaved quickly while Derek was showering.   The coffee was almost ready; and, while I was taking our mugs from the cabinet, he walked in drying himself.  His muscles rippled and glowed as he briskly toweled off.  His cock was half-hard from showering; and, when he ran the towel into his crotch to dry off, his walnut size balls lifted upward raising his cock invitingly; and I felt the tingling in my groin as my cock started to harden.  I resisted the urge to watch and turned away to pour the coffee.

"Man, that felt good, Larry, even without you in there with me," he said as he moved alongside of me, inhaling and cinching his towel tightly around his waist, smelling of sandalwood soap and musk shampoo.

"We'll have to suffer for awhile longer until we get a larger shower," I said, sliding his mug in front of him and pressing against the counter to hide my hardon.

"Not very long, I hope.  Maybe we can see about finding an architect after we finish at Mr. Winters'," he said nonchalantly while putting milk and sugar in the half filled cup I had poured for him.

"Why don't we ask him?" I said, sipping the hot coffee while still pressing against the counter and trying to will my cock to soften without very much success as I inhaled the clean aroma drifting around him.

"I don't see why not,"  he answered, sipping the half coffee and half milk and sugar concoction he had fixed, before continuing. "He is a lawyer, and I'm sure he must work with some architects and builders.  If not, he may still be able to recommend one or two."

"That makes sense," I said, hesitating and turning in the opposite direction from him to try to hide my still hard cock as I went to the bathroom. "Are you going to dress while I shower?"

"I'll wait until you've finished so we can dress together; and, Lover Boy, you don't have to hide that beautiful hard cock of yours."

" could you see that I had a hardon?" I asked, turning around only to see him leaning against the counter with his towel lifted away from his hips like a Barnum and Bailey circus tent.

"Didn't you know that you blush a beautiful shade of pink when your cock is hard?" He asked, his eyes glinting at me over the rim of his mug.

"No, I didn't.  I've never had anyone as gorgeous as you who affects me the way you do," I answered, ripping my towel off before turning and going on into the bedroom.

I heard the delicious tinkle of his laughter as I went to the bathroom.


Derek was sitting at the small kitchen table waiting for me when I entered naked from the bedroom with my damp towel over one shoulder and carrying my mug of lukewarm coffee.

"And who is trying to be sexy, now?"  he asked, with a light lilting tone in his voice, as I was refilling my mug.

"Both of us are, I think," I answered, taking my towel from my shoulder and cinching it around my waist.

"If you have it, show it; but only to me," he said, laughing softly.

"Ditto," I replied, picking my mug up to join him at the table.

"What are you going to wea...," I started to ask as I was sitting down at the table when a loud knock at the door followed by, " Are you guys up?"

"That sounds like your father," Derek said casually.

"It is, and we are almost naked," I replied looking at the door and then back at him.  "I wonder what he wants?"

"Open the door, and let's find out.  I'm sure he has seen half naked men before?"

"He has seen me naked and I guess other soldiers when he was in the army," I said as I unsnapped the safety lock and opened the door before I realized my mother might be with him.

"Good morning," Dad said as he came through the door.  "Looks like you've just finished showering."

"We have," I said, breathing a sigh of relief when he entered alone.

"Good morning, Uncle Chris, would you care for some coffee?" Derek said cheerfully from behind the table where he was sitting with his magnificently muscled chest exposed.   "Larry made some; it's on the counter."

"No thanks, Derek," Dad said, sitting down across from Derek while I pulled another chair up to the table. I'm running a little late; but I wanted to let you and Larry know, before you left to see Merrill, that Mother and I had a long talk after we went to bed.   I didn't think she would object to having the apartment re-modeled, and she didn't."

"That's great, Dad, Uncle Chris," we said in unison.

Derek and I looked at each other; and, without thinking about Dad's siting there, I reached for Derek's hand and squeezed it before I realized what I was doing.  Jerking my hand back, I turned to look at Dad.

He was looking at us, and smiling with a twinkle in his eyes as he said, "Just like Paul, Larry, he was always doing things without thinking."

"I'm sorry, Dad; I...I just wasn't thinking." I stammered,  my face feeling hot with embarrassment.

"That's okay, Son," he said quietly.  "I think I know by now how you and Derek feel about each other. Just be a little discreet around your mother; she doesn't fully understand. However, from the way she talked last night about you and Derek, one would think she does."

"Thanks, Uncle Chris, we will," Derek replied softly, as he saw that I was still a little embarrassed.

"Now then, there is something else," Dad said, leaning back in his chair.  "Last night while we were talking, I let it slip out that you had offered to do a few things in the house. I'm sorry, Derek, but it slipped out when I was telling her what you boys wanted to do.  She was tickled pink that you made the offer, but she said the same thing I did.  We can't impose on you for that, Derek."

"It would be no imposition, Uncle Chris; and it would make me happy to do it," Derek said, glancing at me and then back at Dad.

We sat silently for a moment with Dad looking down at the table picking at his fingernails the way he always did when he was thinking. I knew that he was mulling things over in his mind before he answered Derek's offer.  I felt Derek's leg touch mine under the table, and I looked at him.  He was nodding his head in Dad's direction, signaling me to say something, when Dad spoke.

"Well then, Son," he said, lifting his head and looking at Derek and me. "Talk to your mother; and, if she approves, it's all right with me with one proviso.  You will let us re-imburse the cost of the work done on the house as business gets better.  Unfortunately, it hasn't been good lately."

"If that is the way you feel, Uncle Chris, that's the way it will be,"

"I don't think we will have any trouble talking Mom into it, Dad," I said, glancing at Derek so he could see how grateful I was.

"That's up to you two; but, I doubt you will have much trouble with her," Dad said as he stood up. 

I stood up to walk him to the door, but he said, "No need for that, you guys better get dressed or you're going to be late, almost as late as I am."

"Yes, Sir," I replied standing next to Derek.

"Tell Merrill that, I said hello when you see him," Dad said looking back at us with a smile as he opened the door.  "Larry, you had better tighten that towel before you're embarrassed more than you were earlier."

"Oh, shit," I said, grabbing for the towel and hearing Derek chuckling and Dad laughing as he closed the door behind him.


Merrill Winters' office building was on St. Paul Avenue two blocks off of Wedgefield Blvd. in a section of the city that had, at one time, consisted of magnificent upper class Victorian homes.

"My father looked at a some of these older homes once when he heard they were being sold and renovated. He was thinking about moving the firm's offices from downtown; but I overheard him telling mother about how expensive they were and that he wasn't sure the board, or whatever it's called, would go along with it," Derek said, looking around as I drove slowly looking for the address my Dad had written down for us.

"Keep  your eye out for number 1818,  Derek.  From the way the numbers are running it should be on your side," I said, lowering my head and looking out the windshield.

"There it is, Larry; it's the second house, the gray and black one." Derek exclaimed suddenly, pointing out the window.

I took my foot off of the truck's accelerator and coasted to a stop in front of the house he had indicated.  The house sat behind a low cast iron fence with a gate bearing the name, in bright brass letters, "Winters and Winters, Attorneys at Law." Behind the gate was a fire engine, red brick walkway that ended at steps leading up to a wide porch with huge round columns supporting the roof.  Over the entrance to the portico, again in bright brass, was the numeral 1818.  I found a parking space two blocks away on a side street; and, since we didn't see any signs indicating there were parking restrictions, I worked the truck into the space; and then, after locking it up, we walked the short distance back.

"It looks kind of sinister, doesn't it, Larry," Derek said as we stood at the gate looking up at the building. 

"If it weren't painted the color it is and didn't have all of that gingerbread woodwork, it wouldn't look that way,"  I replied, waving my arm toward the front of the house. " It sort of reminds me of the Alfred Hitchcock movie, 'Psycho,' where the house sits on the top of the hill overlooking the Bates Motel.  Now, that was a sinister looking house," I said.

Chuckling under his breath, Derek looked at me saying as he opened the gate, "I don't think Norman Bates is waiting inside with his butcher knife."

"I wouldn't think he would be," I answered, following him through the gate and ensuring it locked behind us.

The steps leading up to the porch had non-skid rubber treads and, surprisingly, didn't creak as we ascended them.  To the left on the wrap-around porch a small wrought iron tea table with matching chairs sat in the corner with a ceramic pot filled with artificial flowers centered on it.  The over wide, double entry doors appeared to be made of a dark walnut, and they had etched frosted panes from the top to midway down.  On either side of the doors there were double wide, ceiling to floor windows with shutters that were real instead of decorative.   The upper panes were clear glass while the lower ones were frosted, affording interior privacy from the prying eyes of passers-by.

"Well, shall we beard Norman in his lair?" Derek asked, reaching for the highly polished brass knob  and  looking at me with a grin, his eyes twinkling.

"Why not, we've come this far," I answered.

Derek swung the door inward; and, on our left, we saw an attractive, middle aged woman sitting behind an uncluttered highly polished wooden desk. There was a typewriter on her left which had been pulled out of where it was hidden in a recess in the desk when not in use. On the desk top, she had a telephone and, also on her left, what looked like an appointment book within easy reach just below a green marble pen holder.  There were two neat stacks of manila folders on her right that she was probably working from. She looked up smiling as we entered and said, "Good morning, Gentleman.  How may I help you?"

"Good morning," Derek answered as we walked toward her desk.  " I'm Derek Kingsley, and this is Lawrence Marks.  We have an appointment to see Mr. Merrill Winters."

"Oh, yes.  Mr. Winters told me he was expecting you. Give me a moment, and I'll tell him you are here," she said crisply as she reached for her telephone and pushed one of the buttons in the bottom row.

Derek and I looked around the richly appointed waiting area of what must have at one time been a parlor.  There were two heavy leather chairs sitting, one on each side of a fireplace which had a light coffee colored marble mantel and which was faced in ceramic tiles. It had been built into the outside wall of the house and the hearth seemed to be made of granite bricks; but, from the appearance of the andirons and the interior walls, it seemed as if the fireplace was there more for appearance than use.

The floor was covered with a thick dark blue carpet, and heavy matching brocade drapes hung at the windows. Against a wall facing the windows, a Victorian settee and two high back chairs of the same era sat, separated by a highly polished mahogany cocktail table.  All three pieces were upholstered in the flowery brocaded fabric that most of the furniture of the Victorian era had been.  Several lighted landscapes hung on the walls in strategically placed locations, but over the fireplace an almost life-sized portrait of a stern but handsome faced man had been hung. I walked a little closer while Derek was looking around; and, imbedded in the rich gold leaf frame, there was a small brass placard that read, " Martin Winters."   I had met Merrill Winters, and the gentleman in the portrait looking down at me was not he.

I didn't hear, Derek come up behind me; and, while I was mulling over the connection between the man I knew and the one in the portrait, he spoke, startling me. "He is a rather ominous looking man, isn't he?"

"A little, Derek, but he reminds me more of a school principal or a judge," I answered, turning my head to look at him and seeing Merrill Winters standing almost right behind us, grinning.

"He would have enjoyed hearing you say that, Larry; that's my father.  He always hated that portrait, and it was kept hidden in a back office until he passed away. He would have a fit if he knew that I'd moved it out here.  Why not, he founded the firm, so why shouldn't people know it? "  he said glancing up at the portrait.

"Hello, Mr. Winters, we were looking around while your secretary called you.  I haven't seen you for awhile, how have you been?" I asked, extending my hand.

"Great, just great," he answered glancing at Derek as we shook hands.  "Chris told me you would be here with a young man named Derek Kingsley.  I heard him call you 'Derek', so, I'll assume you are Derek Kingsley," he said, turning slightly and extending his hand to Derek.

"Yes, Sir," Derek answered as they shook hands; and, glancing up at the portrait, he said, "I hope I didn't offend you when I said your father looked a little ominous."

"Heavens, no," he answered, laughing lightly.  "Dad would probably have agreed with you, but he would have been delighted if he had heard Larry refer to him as a principal or a judge.  Dad was a great one for education and the law. Come on, lets go on into my office."

We followed Merrill noiselessly across the thick carpet through double mahogany doors into a large thoroughly masculine office. Another fireplace, similar to the one in the waiting room, was on the outside wall, with an excellent reproduction of Vincent Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" prominently displayed on the wall over it.  Directly beneath the painting was a low brass mantel clock with what appeared to be two mounted ram's horns, one on each side.  To the right as we entered, there was a wet bar built into the wall; and in a corner there were four high backed black leather chairs grouped around a round glass table top that was supported by a piece of gray driftwood.

On the opposite side of the room facing the wet bar and chair grouping, Merrill's desk sat in front of the half frosted windows that were draped in the same matching material that was used in the waiting room.  Unlike his secretary's desk, Merrill's was a rectangular glass table supported by four thick mahogany legs.  In the front there were two plush black leather easy chairs; and, across from them, there was his matching  executive style chair. Behind his chair there was a mahogany credenza on which sat his telephone and two wooden filing trays. The desk top was uncluttered except for a legal pad that lay to the right of a thick desk top calendar pad; and, centered within easy reach, there was a dark green jade pen holder and, to his left, there was a matching green shaded four bulb lamp.

I looked at Derek and rolled my eyes in appreciation.  He smiled and  said, "You do have a magnificent set of offices, Mr. Winters."

"Thanks," he answered from where he was hanging his coat on a lazy butler.  "It was Dad's, but I've made a few changes in the furnishings. The desk, cocktail table and the wet bar are my ideas; he preferred the heavier darker wooden furniture.   I don't have to tell you that the painting hanging over the fireplace is a reproduction of Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers', but it was his favorite, so I've left it there.  I kind of like it. Otherwise everything is pretty much as he left it.  Would you guys like a drink of something before we get started?"

"Ginger ale if you have it," Derek said and I asked for a Coke.

"Coming up," Merrill answered.  "Why don't you have a seat at the desk while I fix the drinks?"


"Now then," Merrill said, as he set the drinks in front of us in crystal coasters and moved to the other side to take his seat.  "If there is nothing else I can offer you, let's hear what Derek has on  his mind."

"Where to start." I thought to myself, glancing at Derek as he returned his glass to its coaster and adjusted his position before speaking.

"There is quite a bit we need to talk about, Mr. Winters," Derek said, leaning forward slightly. "Have you heard of  Worthington-Kingsley Investments?"

"Yes, I have.  Why?" Merrill said, his gaze unwavering as he looked at Derek.

"My father, Morrison Kingsley, is president of the firm."

"I've heard of him, but I don't know him personally," Merrill said glancing at me as he interrupted.  "We have mutual friends at the country club. Does he have anything to do with why you are here?"

"Quite a bit, I'm afraid," Derek replied, starting to go on when Merrill interrupted again.

"I'm sorry, Derek, give me just a minute," he said as he reached for his telephone and punched one of the buttons, listening for a brief moment before saying,  "Marge, would you come in please and bring your pad?"

Derek and I looked at each other quizzically until Merrill turned around from replacing his telephone receiver and said, "Marge is my personal secretary, and I think we should have her taking notes as we talk.  It's for my records, and you needn't worry as everything we talk about is strictly confidential even with Marge's being in the room."

"That's probably why my father always ran me out of the room when he and my mother started talking about the firm," Derek said.

"Perhaps that was the reason, Derek, but I rather think it may have been from not wanting to be disturbed as they were talking. Don't you?"  Merrill asked watching Derek's face intently.

Laughing lightly, Derek glanced at me before saying,  "You really don't know my fath...." He stopped abruptly as the door swung open.

"Sorry, Derek," Merrill said as he stood up, continuing, "Marge, come on in.  You know Derek and Larry, don't you?"

"Yes, I do." She answered simply.

"Good," Merrill said as he settled back in his chair.  "We are going to represent Derek, and he was interrupted as you came in.  Go on, Derek; you were about to say something about your father when Marge came in."

"I was saying that you don't know him," Derek replied, casting his eyes down and then glancing at me.  I could see the hurt from the memories of that night welling up from their depths.

My heart ached to take him in my arms and wipe the memories of that night away, but all I could do at that moment was listen and hope he knew how I felt.  I felt the "gay" defenses rising as we looked at each other, and then Merrill spoke.

"No, Derek, I don't know your father. Why don't you tell me about him and how he fits into your being here today?"

We looked at each other briefly before Derek nodded in Marge's direction, and said, "Will she take down everything that we say?"

"She will; but whatever we talk about does not go out of this room, Derek.   Every word is confidential, and you couldn't pry it out of Marge or me  even if you drove bamboo shoots under our fingernails,"  he replied, trying to assuage any fears or doubts Derek might have.

Merrill leaned back in his chair, tenting his fingers as he looked at Derek and me.  I had the strange feeling that he had already determined our relationship, but I didn't sense any hostility.  I could see only patience and compassion in his gray green eyes.

"It is a long story, Mr. Winters,"  Derek said, settling down in his chair.

 "And, we have the time to listen, Derek."

"Yes, Sir,"  Derek replied, looking at me before continuing.

I sat, quietly reliving that night, as Derek related the events that really sealed our commitment to each other. I, and I am sure Derek also, relived   the night that Derek's father had beaten him and kicked him down the stairs with total disregard for anyone but himself,  the frantic calls that woke my parents, the breakneck drive to his home to witness the bedlam and catch him in my arms as he fell down the narrow stairway from being kicked by his father, the screaming and crying of his mother, and the two black people cowering in a corner of the kitchen.  It is a night I will ever forget, but I  noticed during the telling of the events that Derek left out the filthy ranting and ravings of his father and his calling us faggots and  queers along with a few other juicy expletives. I looked at Merrill for a reaction, but all I saw was a faint flicker in his eyes.  I then turned back to look at, Derek as he was finishing his abbreviated accounting of that nights events.

"That is just about it, Mr. Winters, except that if it hadn't been for Larry and his parents, I don't know what might have happened to me," he said with a long sigh.

There was the faint hint of a smile on Merrill's face and a twinkle in his eyes as he leaned forward and, clasping his hands together, he placed  his elbows on his desk, saying quietly, " I take it that you are not living with your parents, but you are temporarily living with Larry,"  he said glancing at me with an amused look as he finished.  "And his parents."

"Yes, Sir, I am."

"And as a result of this abuse and assault by your father, you want me to bring charges against him for you.  Is that right?" Merrill asked.

"No, Sir.  There is more to it than that." Derek said forcefully.

"I know there is, Derek.  I'm just waiting for you to tell me all of it."

"It is a little difficult with your secretary in the room, Mr. Winters," I said, softly glancing over at Marge.

"It shouldn't be, Larry," Merrill said shifting his attention to me.  "I told you that Marge is my private secretary and that everything we hear from or do for a client is confidential.  Would it make both of you more comfortable if I told you that it was not difficult to reach a conclusion where the relationship between the two of you is concerned?  I surely hope I never have a witness on the stand that is as hesitant as Derek was telling a story so full of gaps and holes that it was obvious the story was far from what actually happened?   You, Derek, gave the end results of the disagreement with your father, but you didn't give the cause and reason.  I don't need to hear them; I can guess what they were, and how you live your life is no one's business except yours.  Now, what is the rest of it, Chris mentioned something about a trust fund."

"Yes, Sir, " Derek answered looking at me and then back at Merrill.  "My grandmother, Elizabeth Worthington, set up a trust fund for me with the Heritage Bank and Trust.  There is a Mr. Henry Masters who is a bank vice-president and one of the trustees.  When we saw him the other day, he explained the trust and that with my having  reached my eighteenth birthday the bank and I had full control over the administration of the trust.  While I was a minor, my father was an administrator, but now he isn't any longer."

"Have you spoken to your father about this?"

"No, Sir, I didn't know any of this until know,"  Derek answered, but grinning  instead of blushing.

"Okay, okay." Merrill said more to himself than us, as he leaned back in his chair, spinning around with the back facing us.

Derek and I took a swallow of the drinks that Merrill had gotten us; and we both shrugged, looking at Marge sitting with her pencil poised waiting for instructions from Merrill.  Suddenly , he spun around and starting speaking.

"I know Henry Masters at Heritage, and I'll call him tomorrow about a copy of the documents setting up your grandmother's trust.  I'll also tell him that you have retained my firm to represent you, and....should we include you in that representation, Larry?" he said,  hesitating and looking at me with a smile as he said it before he continued.  "As soon as we go over the trust and have verified your age,  I'll start proceedings to have your father's authority over the trust removed."

"Mr. Winters, Larry is to be included on any documents where it is legal for his name to be.  I understand my grandmother's trust cannot be converted; but, if it were legal, his name would be on it as well as mine."  Derek said, breathing passionately.

A sort of stunned silence fell around us at having heard Derek's emotional declaration. I had learned that he was passionate about certain things, but an emotional outburst about his feelings surprised me; and, from the look on Merrill's face, him as well; and it was a moment before he spoke again.

"I should say that is pretty clear cut,  Derek; and now that that is settled, Marge, there are several things we need to do," he said swinging around and facing her. "We need copies of their birth certificates and copies of the trust. I want a letter drafted to Mr. something Kingsley.  What is your father's first name again, Derek?"

"Morrison, why?  Are you writing him about what we are doing?" Derek answered looking around in a near panic.

"He has to be told, Derek," Merrill said as he swung back to look at him.  "You don't think something like this can be done unknown to third parties, do you?  He has to be told that his  conservator's rights have been terminated in accordance with your grandmother's wishes.   If there are any other stipulations in the trust that you haven't mentioned, I'll find them out when I get in touch with Masters and have a chance to read it entirely.  But as far as your father is concerned, you just can't ignore him, he has to be told of everything we are doing."

"If he has to be, he has to be.  The only problem, Mr. Winters, is that you don't know him like I do."  Derek replied.

Merrill looked at me for a second before asking, "Are you afraid he might do something to hurt you or Larry?"

"I really wouldn't put it past  him, Mr. Winters.  I never saw a man in such a rage as he was when he kicked Derek down the stairs," I said answering for Derek.

"You were there and saw it happen, Larry?  Derek didn't mention that, I thought he had only  called you to pick him up."

 "He was there, thank God," Derek said with a tone of resignation, looking at me with weary eyes.

I knew that the relating of those events was emotionally draining on Derek, and it was on me as well.  In the long run, though, it would give Merrill a better picture of why he was doing certain things for Derek that son's do not normally do against their fathers.

"With an affidavit from Larry, I can obtain a restraining order against your father, Derek," Merrill said, "it's up to you."

"No....let it alone. If he does something, then we might think about it.  Right now, I feel awfully tired.  Is there anything else you need?" Derek said, moving forward in his chair to get up.

"No, not right now, Derek.  Marge and I will get everything together; and, if you and Larry can come back around two in the afternoon this coming Friday, we should have everything finished and ready for you to sign."

"And the letter to his father," I asked.

"I'll send it out this afternoon, registered mail," Merrill answered gazing at both of us.  "If there are any repercussions, you call me  right away."


Merrill followed us out on the porch as we left the office.  I glanced up at the darkening sky, a thunderstorm was threatening. 

"It looks like we're going to get a good soaking, Larry.  Tell your parents I said hello, will you?" Merrill said before we started down the steps.

"I will, Mr. Winters; thanks for what you are doing for Derek."

"I'm only too glad to do it.  When Adam gets in next week from college with his friend, Wilson, I'll tell him to give you and Derek a call.  Maybe you could all get together."

"Adam...your son?"  I studdered as I realized the implication of what he had said before stumbling on.  "Adam who played senior football when I was a freshman, that Adam?"

"Yes," he answered grinning.  "He and Wilson are graduating from UCLA, and they are coming here for a few weeks before entering William and Mary Law school this fall."

"Adam and his friend are...?"  Derek tried asking before Merrill cut him off laughing.

"Good Lord, yes.  I knew about Adam when he was in junior high school.  It didn't make it difficult to recongnize the same in you and Larry.  And if Larry is like his brother, Paul, which I think he is; I would bet he has told Chris and Elizabeth just like Paul would have."

"They know, Sir," we both answered in unison.

"I didn't doubt it; see you on Friday. Derek, don't worry; everything will work out," Merrill said as he turned away and went back inside.


As we walked to the car, Derek took my hand, saying, "I guess we never know, do we?"

"Nope, I guess not; but he surely surprised me with Adam's being gay.  He was one of those guys no one would ever have suspected was.  He played all sports, was a hell of a swimmer and had more girls hanging on him than the law allowed one hunk to have," I exclaimed, unconcerned whether anyone saw us walking and holding hands.