Finding Love: A Journey
(Copyright 2007 by the author)
Disclaimer: This is a fictional story dealing with love and consensual sexual
activities between males. If you are not of legal age, reside in an area where
viewing such material is illegal, or are offended by homosexuality and/or
homosexual themes, leave this site now.
The characters in this story do not always practice safe sex. Remember this is fiction. You should always use a condom for the your protection and especially for the protection of the one you love. The author recommends only safe sex. Be wise and follow safe sex practices.
Several songs are quoted in this story. The copyrights to these are held by the artists or their publishers and not by the author. They are quoted as a tribute to the artist and the piece.
All persons in this story are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
All other disclaimers apply. The author retains all rights. No reproductions
are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...
Brad and I enjoyed not talking so that we could
listen to the conversation of our guests in the back seat of the
Mustang. I did rub my hand across Brad's, as it rested on the stick
shift, to let him know that I hadn't forgotten him. He is a sharp
guy and so he knew what I was doing and joined me in our silence.
It was actually a short drive to the theater at the mall, so we
hoped that Tim and Todd would establish some kind of relationship
before we arrived. Todd was speaking,
"Tim, do you do any sports at school?"
"You must like individual sports."
"Do you have a girlfriend?"
"Aren't you really asking me if I have a boyfriend?"
"Yeah, I guess I am."
"No, I don't have a boyfriend."
"Do you have a boyfriend," Tim asked.
Tim seemed taken aback by Todd's answer. There was a moment of silence, before Tim said,
"That's a strange answer. Just exactly what does it mean, or maybe it isn't any of my business.
"It's okay, Tim. Trent was my boyfriend for a long time until he met Bill Stevens. Do you know him? I think he goes to your school?"
"Yeah, I know of him. He's full of himself. Most of his friends are tennis players. He thinks all human beings fall at his feet in admiration and wonder."
(Laughter from the front seat.)
"Are you gay?" asked Todd in a whisper.
"So am I."
"Todd, I really like you. You're exactly the type of guy I hoped I would meet. You're smart, handsome, pleasant, and I think you are very sexy."
We couldn't see, but we assumed that Tim's face was red with the admission that he liked Todd.
"Thanks, Tim. The truth is that I think you are some hunk, but more than that, I like your gentle, pleasant personality. I think I could get used to you."
The silence was deadening, but there were telltale sounds of a long inspired kiss. The gasping for breath confirmed our suspicion. I squeezed Brad's hand, then looked quickly at him in time to see the wonderful smile that always lifted my heart and made me feel free.
There was a great deal of whispering now, and damn it, we couldn't hear what was being said. Then there were more muffled sounds of a couple exploring each other. It made me horny, as I know it did Brad. My hand moved to his crotch and stroked his hardness. He gasped quietly and we both chuckled. Then Tim's quiet voice cut the silence,
"My God, Todd, you're so hot!"
"You're no slouch either," Todd said as he tried to catch his breath.
"What are you guys laughing at?" asked Tim.
"We just joined your laughter; that is after you both assured each other that you were hot. You guys got quiet and then a lot of muffled sounds and then gasping for breath. Brad and I assumed what you thought of each other," I said with a snort.
"Really?" asked Tim.
"Really," answered Brad.
"You're making my face get red, you two," said Todd with a snicker.
"I thought there might be other physical changes that were more interesting," I gasped out between laughs.
"Jacob, you have a one track mind, your know that?" Todd said.
"I certainly do, and I don't plan to change, not with my hot boyfriend."
"Sweet!" said Brad.
"It's easy to see why Todd likes you two guys. As a matter of fact, so do I. You're just easy..."
"I may have a one track mind, but believe me, I'm not easy," I quickly interrupted Tim, hoping for a laugh.
(Snorts from all.
Laughing almost out of control, Tim tried to finish,
"You didn't let me finish. I...I..I..."
"Yes?" asked Brad.
Joining us in the fun, Todd, said,
"Yeah, Tim, tell us. I understand that you think I may be hot, but to think that Jacob and Brad are easy, well that's not very nice."
"Everyone shut up. I mean it. Otherwise, I'll have to get rough with all of you."
"Is that a promise?" Todd asked.
"You, I will take care of later, funny man."
Poor Tim was beside himself with laughter, but he continued,
"You two guys are just so easy to know, so comfortable to be with. And Todd, Wow! Now you can laugh at me some more. I..."
Silence again as Todd covered Tim's mouth with his own in a strong reasonably hot kiss.
"Hmmm," moaned Tim, "I need to try to talk some more..."
Another kiss, this one more passionate, longer and opened mouthed and the two disappeared down on the back seat.
"Shit!" exclaimed Brad, "I have to drive, so you have to wait Jake. Later, I promise."
(Muffled laughter from the back seat.)
"Oh, just shut up you two. You've made me so horny that I could hump a tree or a bush," I said.
"Great, Jake, so now I'm no better than a tree or bush," laughed Brad.
"Oh, but you are, sweetheart, because your body responds to me with pleasure. Hmmm, how I love you!"
"Thank God we're here," Brad said as he pulled into a parking space, shut off the engine, unfastened his seat belt, then mine, and pulled me into his arms, kissing me with such passion that I thought I would loose control of my bodily emissions. My hands moved over his body, stroking his penis which was erect and probably making a wet spot on his trousers.
"Talk about hot, Brad, you are unbelievable. I want more," I said as I rolled on top of my lover, my legs entwined with the stick shift, my shirt partially out of my trousers and my penis so hard I thought it would burst.
Our little bit of lovemaking was broken when we noticed Todd and Tim looking over the front seats, smiling and then kissing.
"Wow!" said Todd, "we could learn from them, Tim. They have some great moves."
"Yeah, can't wait to try them out."
As we untangled ourselves, laughing as we did so, Brad said,
"You'll have to sit near us in the theater if you want any more lessons."
"I don't think I could watch you two `hawties' and not lose it," said Tim with a giggle.
"And I don't want that," added Todd, chuckling.
"Too, bad," I said, "it would save you a lot of time and energy."
"Sweet!" was Brad's reply.
"Forget it," Tim added, "I won't mind the expenditure of time and energy if it makes Todd happy."
"Oh, Baby, let's go and get some good seats at the back of the theater so that I can continue to show you how much I care for you. Ready?" asked Todd.
"Ready," said Tim.
"Me, too," I agreed.
"And me," added Brad.
In a moment we were out of the Mustang adjusting our clothing, checking our crotches for telltale stains, checking our hair, and laughing as we walked toward the mall entrance.
Todd suddenly stopped, causing Tim to run into him. I looked ahead and saw Trent and another guy I presumed to be Bill Stevens.
Todd and Trent stared at each other while Bill checked out Tim. Bill leaned into Trent, said something, and laughed uproariously.
"Those bastards," snarled Todd.
"Assholes," added Tim.
"Forget them," I said.
"Yeah, let's continue to have fun" Brad said. "It's been a good night so far. If they just talk, who the fuck cares. But if they touch either one of you or Jacob, the cocksuckers will have to answer to me."
"Brad, watch your language. I mean, I think they are probably are fucking cocksuckers."
"Right on," Brad said.
We purchased our tickets and found our way to the back of the stadium seating in the far corner and the four of us took our seats. Thankfully, the assholes, weren't in the same theater.
We settled back in our seats, and started chatting about school, and interestingly, about church tomorrow. We finally agreed that we would pick up Tim and he would come to church with us. He didn't have to be at work until five-thirty that afternoon so I also invited him to Sunday dinner.
He agreed to join us. Sadie wouldn't care, especially if I asked her, so I took Brad's cell phone and called her. She was fine with it. I had wanted to invite him to spend the night, too, but I knew that would be stretching things a bit for Sadie. I handed Brad his phone as the lights dimmed and the previews began.
Immediately Brad's arm went around me, and my head was on his shoulder. He kissed my ear and whispered to me,
"Jake, I'm so hot for you, I don't know what to do."
"Take a deep breath and think about later tonight. Keep it a little cool here, because we know that what we want to do to show our love for each other can't really be done here. I want you as much as you want me, but let's just neck and pet, okay?"
"Okay," he said, as he pulled me to his chest, kissed me hard on the lips and rubbed my hard cock."
"Ooooo!" I cooed.
"I'll stop. Sorry." Brad said.
"You stop and you'll be sorry later. Understand?"
And with that, we continued our repartee.
Before Brad and I began to make out, I had glanced at Todd and Tim.
They both sat quietly in their own seats, holding hands chatting
amiably. I was just about to say something to Brad, when he kissed
me firmly on the mouth. I forgot all about Todd and Tim.
"Hmmm," I moaned.
"I love you, Jake," Brad whispered to me.
"Hmmm, ooooo," was all that I could say as I returned his kiss.
We soon forgot Todd and Tim, the movie, and were lost in each other.
"Look at them," said Todd.
"Yeah, they look so happy. They really are in love. I envy them." Tim squeezed Todd's hand.
"You need to know some things about me, Tim. I mean, you should know as much about me as possible before we get too involved." Todd shifted uneasily in his seat.
Tim turned and looked at him ignoring the movie. He examined Todd's face, seeing in it a strength that confirmed his earliest response to the handsome young man. He stroked Todd's arm, leaned to him and kissed him on the cheek and said,
"Todd, you have already proved that you are a good guy, that you care about your friends. How could you tell me anything about yourself that would change the way I feel about you?"
Neither spoke for a moment, but then slowly and deliberately, Todd began to speak,
"Tim, I care too much about you to not put all my cards on the table. You are a wonderful guy, one I could be happy to be with for the long haul. You seem to fulfill me, to make me a total person. You show your love easily and freely, never thinking of yourself, but always caring about the person you're with. I wouldn't do anything that might hurt you, Tim. I care too much about you." Todd sighed deeply, kissed Tim's hand, and continued,
"I have been Trent's boyfriend for almost two years. Things started going bad about a year ago. That's when he began hitting me..."
"That son-of-a-bitch!" Tim shouted.
There were a number of "Quiets" from the audience.
"I'm sorry, Todd, it just slipped out. Do you forgive me?"
"Come'ere," Todd said, pulling Tim into his arms and kissing him softly on the lips, "how could I not forgive you, Tim. He's an SOB."
"Todd, I think I am falling for you, really hard, too. I think I may even love you," Tim whispered, resting his head on Todd's shoulder.
Todd tightened his arm around Tim and pulled him closer.
"You need to know this, Tim. It's important. I still have some strong feelings for Trent. They are surely mixed feelings. I hate him with a passion, but I still think I may love him. I'm sorry, but I had to tell you."
"Does that mean that you aren't really interested in me. Am I wasting my time spending it with you? Is there anything I can do or say that will help you? Am I not worthy of your love, Todd? Maybe I should call my sister and go home. I don't want to be accused of taking you away from Trent. You have to deal with all of that," Tim rapidly said as he turned away so that Todd wouldn't see the tears in his eyes.
"No, no, it's okay. I understand, Todd. It won't be the first time I `ve been hurt, cast aside. It's okay. I'm going to leave now. I'll call my sister when I get into the lobby. Thanks for everything."
Todd grabbed Tim and pulled him back onto his lap, as he tried to pass him; he kissed Tim on the lips, and told him in a voice husky with emotion,
"If you so much as move one more muscle trying to leave me, I'll. I'll...God, Tim, can't you tell I'm falling in love with you. I just had to let you know all the truth. Just love me, please."
"I can do that, Todd, I can love you."
They fell together in a tight, emotional embrace, while both of them shed some tears.
Brad and I had been listening and watching Todd and Tim. It was
obvious that some important and emotional things were being said.
"I hope Todd doesn't screw this up, " Brad said.
"I know. He should forget that bastard Trent. If he loses Tim, then frankly, Brad, I'm through with him after tomorrow. He can go and kiss Trent's ass and then take it from Trent and Bill. He doesn't deserve anything more than that. I mean..."
"Look!" said Brad.
Glancing at Tim and Todd, I saw that they were in a serious embrace which excluded the rest of the world. I smiled and whispered to Brad,
"I guess things have been resolved. Now kiss me, please."
Brad kissed me and we settled down to watch the movie, enjoying Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Matt Damon in "The Departed".
Before we knew it, the movie had ended and we were on our way out of the theater. Tim and Todd seemed to have reached some agreement and they both beamed with happiness. When I looked at Brad, his smile told me that he saw and approved. We said nothing to them.
We had gotten about halfway to the exit when, as fate would have it, we ran into Trent and Bill again. To my surprise, Todd made no effort to avoid them, nor did Tim. Brad and I hung back letting those four solve their relationship problems. Trent spoke first,
"I see it didn't take you too long to find another guy. You always were a little slut."
"Yeah, but when he had a chance to put out for the two of us, he wouldn't do it. Guess I scared him," added Bill.
"I doubt it, Bill. He just didn't need an arrogant asshole," sneered Tim.
Bill moved quickly toward Tim, raising his arm to strike him, saying,
"'You are just a poor faggot from the wrong side of the tracks, so shut your fucking mouth before I knock the shit out of you."
As quickly as Bill had moved, Todd moved more quickly between Bill and Tim. and without warning, he punched Bill hard in the stomach. Bill bent over in pain, cursing Todd as he did. Trent grabbed Todd, causing Tim to react and to strike Trent in the face, knocking him to the floor. A crowd had gathered now, enjoying the fight.
Without direction from anyone, Todd and Tim had moved together, their backs against each other, facing out. Trent was getting up from the floor of the mall as Bill finally sat in a chair, his face red with anger and pain. It was Todd who spoke loudly,
"You guys want some more. Come and get it. Just listen, you two. If you ever so much as say a mean word to Tim, I'll fuckin' knock your head off. Understand?"
"And that goes for me, too. Don't you ever call Todd any names like you did a moment ago, `cause if you do, I'll do my best to beat the shit out of you. Any problem understanding that?"
I saw Mall Security running toward the group. I quickly said,
"We should be outa here `cause here comes the law. Let's just agree that this is settled and that there won't be any escalation of it."
The four combatants shook their heads in agreement. But no one admitted any wrongdoing, nor were there any apologies.
"Come on, Todd and Tim, we're out of here," Brad said.
As we hurried away, Trent gave Brad a strange look filled, I thought, with confusion and hatred. I was worried again that because of me, I had put Brad in a compromising situations. I said nothing to him because I knew that he would quickly give me huge amount of shit.
No one spoke until we were all safely in the Mustang. Brad spoke first,
"You guys are tigers. Those two found out quickly that they had better not play games with you guys. You were both great."
"Amen!" I added.
There was no speech from Tim and Todd as they were kissing wildly in the back seat. When they finally broke their embrace, Todd said, as he kissed Tim all over his face,
"Tim, I was wrong. I don't love Trent, not any more. No, I want you, Tim. I want to be your boyfriend. Will you have me? I don't deserve you, but please love me."
For an answer, Tim pushed Todd onto the back seat, and all we could hear were the groans and moans of passion. It had been quite a night!
We drove away from the mall and down Route One. Brad slowed the
Mustang and turned at the light, pulling into the parking lot of
"Anyone for some pizza?"
"Sounds great to me, " said Todd as his head popped up from behind the front seat."
"If we must stop, okay," said Tim with a muffled laugh.
"Don't you two talk about me being over sexed, " I told them as I opened the door of the car and got out. Brad followed me, and then a disheveled Tim and Todd. Of course, Brad and I broke into laughter, pointing at the two boys.
"What?" asked an annoyed Todd.
"As if you didn't know, lover," Tim added, "just look at us."
Todd looked at Tim and then sort of looked at himself and began to laugh, between guffaws, he said,
"Yeah, I see what you mean. But, let me tell you I don't care. I have never been so happy being in the state I am in now. And it's all thanks to Tim."
Brad grabbed me by the arm and escorted me into the restaurant. Tim and Todd followed us, after a moment's delay to straighten their clothes and hair.
Although the restaurant was busy, we got seated immediately. Our waitress, a burly lady by the name of Bertha, took our drink order. She returned shortly thereafter with a large pitcher of Pepsi-Cola. She stood looking at the four of us with a mixture of boredom and distrust.
"How about a large pepperoni pizza, a couple orders of breadsticks," I said.
"Good choices, Jacob," Brad offered.
"How about a large vegetarian pizza, too?" asked Tim.
"Fine with me," said Todd.
"Let's see, if I have this right," said Bertha, "one large pepperoni pizza, one large vegetarian pizza, and two orders of breadsticks."
"That's right, ma'am. Thank you," said Tim.
"Well, let me tell you, it's nice to have polite young men as customers. It's a pleasure," Bertha said as she strode away to place our order.
"It's because you are such a sweetheart, Tim," I said.
"You have no idea how much of a sweetie Tim is," added Todd, as he reached for Tim's hand, taking it under the table and into his lap. Tim just smiled and blushed.
"We've become quite a group of friends, haven't we? And in such a short time. Why do you think that is?" I asked.
"We have a lot in common. We're all high school students, we all take part in at least one sport, we're all gay, and I think we all have boyfriends. Right?" asked Brad.
"I have a boyfriend," said Tim.
"I have a boyfriend," agreed Todd.
"I have a boyfriend, too," added Brad,
Everyone was waiting for me to say I had a boyfriend. I waited to take advantage of the pause, then I said,
"I don't just have a boyfriend, I have a lover," I said.
Brad smiled broadly and his eyes sparkled as he looked at me, and said,
"You're right, Jake, my boyfriend is my lover."
He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek, just as Bertha brought us the breadsticks and marinara sauce. She raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. Tim and Todd were holding back their laughter, and even I was amused.
Todd caught the feeling we all had,
"See what you get for being too amorous, Brad?"
"Listen, all of you, and especially you, Jake. If I can kiss you, then it's worth it all," said Brad with that beautiful smile.
How could I resist it, so I leaned in and kissed my lover on the cheek.
"There, Brad, I return your expression of love with gratitude and thanks."
"Oooooo!" from the guys.
I took a breadstick and dunked it into the bright red marinara sauce. I ran it slowly across my lips, then opened them and took it into my mouth. I pushed it in part way, then pulled it out and bit off the end. The three other guys were looking at me with wide eyes and disbelief. I just smiled and asked,
"You wonderful devil!" laughed Brad. Before anything else could be said, Bertha arrived with the two pizzas.
She looked at Brad and me and finally asked,
"Are you two a couple?"
"Yes, we are!" came Brad's quick answer, making my eyes glisten with emotion.
"How about you two?" she asked Todd and Tim.
"We're workin' on it, Bertha," answered Tim, "wish us luck."
"I don't know too much about homosexuals and that stuff, but I do know this, you are all good looking guys, and you're polite and you obviously care about each other. That's important, guys. We all need to be loved and to love. Good luck to all of you."
Before any of us could respond, Bertha was on her way to serve other customers. She had left us with something to think about and to be grateful for. She understood what many others did not, that it doesn't necessarily matter if you love a man or woman, or girl or boy. What does matter is that you love and are loved in return. Bertha was a wise woman!
We dug into the pizza, Brad handling the pepperoni, and I took charge of the vegetarian. Bertha checked and returned with another large pitcher of Pepsi-Cola.
"How's the pizza?" asked Bertha.
"Hmmm, delicious," came the unanimous answer. Bertha smiled, nodded, and left.
"So Tim, you feel like telling us about your family?" I asked.
"No problem. My mom and dad were killed about five years ago when a drunk driver hit them head-on as they were returning from the grocery store. My mom was killed instantly, and my dad died the next day. My oldest sister Terry has taken care of all of us.
After a bite of pizza, he continued, "I'm the only one left at home. My two brothers attended Florida State and are now working: Teddy in Orlando and Tommy in Miami. My sister Tammy, who's just two years older than I am, is presently a sophomore at Florida State. She wants to be an elementary school teacher. After a long drag on the Pepsi; in a quiet, emotional voice, he added,
"It hasn't always been easy. After my folks were killed, I missed them so much. I must have cried myself to sleep for a year. As the youngest of the kids, I got a lot of attention from my brothers and sisters, and Terry was wonderful, trying to fill in for Mom and Dad. What happened is that more and more I became a loner, almost a hermit. I wrapped myself in my studies and cross country as a shield from the world."
"I'm so sorry, Hon," soothed Todd.
"It's okay. Everyone of us has something in our life that isn't the way we would like it to be, but that's what life is about. You have to adjust, to grow, to accept, to fight. If you have a friend, or someone who loves you, then you can make it through the rough spots more easily. The hell of it is if you're alone.
"That's sort of what it was like when I was dealing with my sexuality. I didn't have anyone to talk to about it. I wanted to ask Teddy or Tommy about it, but I was afraid of what they would think of me. Terry knew only after I had accepted that I was gay. Tammy is also okay with it. Ted and Tom accept me and love me, but they are not happy about my being gay.
"Want some more pizza, Tim? I asked.
"Let me get it for him, please," said Todd.
"Of course, Todd," I answered with a giggle.
"If Todd is serving, then I want some more, especially if he gets close to me," teased Tim.
"I could throw you on the restaurant floor and have my way with you, if you would like," said Todd with a gentle laugh.
"I would love that, Todd, " continued Tim.
Laughing, Brad added, "I would love to see that."
"I would like that, too," I said laughing.
"You two wouldn't like it as much as I would," Tim said with a giggle.
"This will have to do until later," said Todd as he pulled Tim to him and kissed him hard on the lips. There were a couple of gasps from restaurant patrons, but the applause drowned them out. They broke their embrace and Todd placed a large triangle of pizza on Tim's plate.
"Why don't you continue, Tim," I said.
"Okay, I guess I was really lucky that I had a sister like Terry. She gave up her life to be sure we were raised as a family. I feel very indebted to her, and I fear I will never be able to repay her for what she did. One way I have tried is to do well at school, to stay out of trouble, and to find a job to earn spending money, and to help as much around the house as I can.
"I started to run cross country in eighth grade. After the first two or three weeks, I was hooked. Running cross country gave me long periods of time to think, and being by myself on the course was better than being alone at home. Outside, running in the fresh air, in the sun, in the rain, watching the seasons change, inhaling the smells of the various times of the year, being my own competition until a meet, all these things gave my high school life some meaning.
"I avoided most of the girls, mainly because I didn't feel comfortable. What I mean, is, well, I didn't know how to behave around them. But with the guys it was another problem; in that case, I was afraid I would reveal something about myself that I really didn't want anyone to know, especially not anyone at school. As I grew older and filled out, I became aware that some guys were looking at me with interest. It scared the shit out of me, guys. I mean, I didn't know squat about being gay or anything to do with it. About a year ago I had my run in with Bill Stevens."
"Tim, you don't have to tell us about that. That's your business, and perhaps you want to tell Todd about it, but you don't have to share it with Brad and me," I told him.
Todd had stopped eating, and sat quietly, his eyes focused on Tim. Brad had taken a pause away from the pizza, too. I had decided I had eaten enough and had stopped a couple of minutes before. Tim finished his piece of pizza, looked at Todd, smiled and said,
"I want you all to hear about this. It isn't as if we are strangers, not now. I think of you as friends and I hope that you think of me as a friend. Anyway, school had ended and I was headed out to walk the short distance to the parking lot where I knew Terry would be waiting for me. Before I got far, Stevens, stopped me. He pushed me against the wall, and looked at me and laughed.
"I didn't know what to do, but before I could do anything he began to call me a queer, a faggot, a cocksucker. Then he told me he wanted me to suck him off and then he was going to fuck my ass hard and long. I was really scared, but before it could go any further, Mr. Constine, a math teacher, came along and asked what was going on. Stevens said he was just kidding around, and walked away, telling me as he left that he would see me later.
"Mr. Constine told me he thought Stevens was bullying me and asked me if that was true. I told him that maybe he was, but I pleaded with him not to do anything about it `cause I knew that would make matters worse. He agreed, but only if I promised to tell him immediately if Stevens ever harassed me again. He never did, but I have avoided him as much as possible. I just..."
"That bastard," interrupted Todd, "I'd like to cut his balls off. Why do you think he decided to abuse you, Tim?"
"I don't know and I don't care. Not now, Todd; I have you, so all this other stuff isn't important," Tim said with a sigh.
"Come on guys, help me with the rest of this pizza," came a plea from Brad.
I realized that it was also an attempt by Brad to move the conversation away from Tim's revelation about Bill Stevens. Even though I really didn't want any more pizza, I asked for another piece. Tim and Todd joined us, and we began to clean up the pizza. Bertha appeared on the scene again,
"Well, it must have been good, `cause you guys have cleaned it up. Can iI get you anything else?"
"No, I think this takes care of us. And, Bertha, please give me the check,"
"No way, Jake, you' ve paid for everything else tonight. Let this be my treat, please. Bertha, give the check to me," ordered Brad.
"I want to help with the bill, too," Todd said.
"And I want to help," added Tim.
"Look, boys," said Bertha, "the check goes to the first person who asked for it. That's you, sir."
She handed the bill to me.
"Now fellows you can straighten this out amongst yourselves. Just don't forget my tip," Bertha said as she moved away, swinging her board ass at the four of us.
Laughing, Brad finally said, "Guess that takes care of us, doesn't it. How much is the bill, Jake."
"Don't know. Can't remember. Why don't you guys each leave a few bucks for a tip."
"Agreed!" the three said.
I went to the counter and paid the bill. The the guys were outside waiting for me beside the Mustang.
"So what do we do now?" asked Todd, looking directly at Tim.
Tim fidgeted, moved over to Todd and leaned against him and the Mustang. Brad and I were standing a short distance away, smiling knowingly, but unable to come up with a solution to Todd and Tim's dilemma.
"You have to take me home, and then you guys have got to get home. It's getting late and I don't want Terry worrying about me," offered Tim.
Todd's arm went around Tim and he blurted out, "No! I don't want you to leave. I want to be with you, Tim."
"I don't have a solution, guys. I'd ask you to my house, Tim, but I don't think Sadie would approve. I don't know what to do. Brad, any ideas?"
"Are you sure Sadie would say no if, for example, we told her that Tim almost got fired because of us. We can tell her, and it's the truth, that we feel obligated to try to make things happier for him by his spending the night with us, the four of us sharing the suite, sleeping bags, like a sleep over."
"Maybe," I said.
"Please, don't get Sadie upset. Tim and I will have many other times together. It's just, it's just..."
"Todd, it will be okay. Love always finds a way. Brad, please take me home. It's getting late and Terry will wonder what is going on," said Tim as he hugged Todd.
Brad gave me one of his come on, save the day smiles, so I said,
"How about we give you two a half hour alone in the Mustang. We'll go back in the restaurant and have some coffee and talk. That will give you two some private time. Is that a good idea, or not?"
"That's terrific," Todd said. Tim gave us all that wonderful full-faced smile of his, adding,
"It's a good solution. You sure you two don't mind?"
"It's fine with us," said Brad, taking my hand and leading me toward the entrance of the restaurant."
"Hey!" yelled Todd, "the keys, man, the keys."
"Okay, okay!" Brad said as he tossed the keys to Todd. We went into the restaurant.
Bertha saw us coming back into the restaurant and came over to us
"Did you leave something here?" she asked.
"No, we just wanted some coffee, because our friends needed some privacy to have a talk about some important things," I said with a straight face.
Bertha screwed up her face indicating some doubt, but said nothing.
"So, two coffees; is that it?" she asked.
"Right." Brad answered. Bertha scurried away leaving us sitting in the booth. Brad looked at me, smiled and said,
"Have I told you lately that I love you, Jake?"
"Yes, sweetheart, you have, and I hope you heard me tell you the same."
Brad laughed lightly as he reached out and took my hand in his. His touch, as always, worked it wonderful magic, and all my defenses melted. He stroked the top of my hand with his thumb, then leaned down and kissed it. His smile grew into that naughty smile I had come to love so much. I wanted to kiss him right then and there, but I held back because I sensed he wanted to say something. He cleared his throat, and rather shyly said,
"I want to spend tonight with you in our bed, and...and, I don't want any company, Jake. So, please, don't get too much into trying to save Todd. I think he's going to be fine now that he's met Tim. I like Tim, I think he's a great guy and it's obvious that he's really into Todd. I think they are already in love, but just don't know it yet. So, my wonderful Jake, do I get my wish?"
"Here's your coffee, guys, and there's no check. This is on me. After that wonderful tip, I can afford to treat you two to coffee. If you want more, just holler." She moved quickly away before we could even thank her.
"Do I get my wish?" asked an impatient Brad. I actually wanted to laugh, but decided it wouldn't be the smart thing to do, so I said,
"I'm still concerned about Todd, but I want to grant your wish, because it's what I also want. Do you plan to mess up your bed tonight?"
"But she knows we sleep together."
"Why mess the bed up, then."
"Hmmm, well it gives her something to believe even if she knows something contrary to that."
"I guess so, Baby."
"Mess up the bed, then come to me. I'll be waiting for you. No shit like you pulled last night or I'll cut off your balls."
"Of course I wouldn't. I want you the way you are, all of you with no important parts missing."
"I'm getting hot, Jake."
"I hope so. Maybe we should talk about something else. What are you plans for college, Sweetheart."
Brad looked pained, as if he had been shot down by the enemy. He knew better, though, I was simply trying to make things as easy as possible for both of us as our passion increased. Brad knew not to try to dissuade me, especially when I had taken over the direction the conversation was to follow.
`Anyway,' thought Brad, `I should be able to tell Jake what my plans are after graduation.'
Then a horrible thought crossed his mind: `what if Jake was going somewhere else, what if we couldn't be together at college, what if...'
"Cat got you tongue, or did you fall asleep?" I asked with a quiet giggle.
"Can't a guy think a minute before he opens his mouth and sticks his foot in deeply. I just had some thoughts about my plans, and then I had a horrible image of us going in different directions after graduation, of our not being together, and well, it upset me. I want you with me, Jake, then and always."
It was now my turn to begin thinking about the future, not next week, or next month, but some time later when plans had been made, decisions were solid and there would be no turning back. Perhaps, I thought, we will want very different things from our college experience which might lead us to different colleges. Brad might win a football scholarship; I might win a swimming scholarship, but to different schools, then what.
It frightened me, and I reached for Brad's hand and held it tightly in mine, imagining that I had him in a grasp from which he could not escape, that guaranteed that we would be together forever. But I knew better. In my short years, I had experienced more of life than many who were old enough to be my parents. Life could be a cruel taskmaster. God's plans did not always match our own. Anything could happen, and in most lives, usually did.
"Jake...Jake...are you okay?" asked a worried Brad.
"Sorry, I was just thinking about the future and all the things that could go wrong. Life is so uncertain," I said with a sigh.
"Jake, baby, you can't worry about what you don't know. It's a waste of time, a lousy way to try to understand life. We have to live each day fully and hope that the future will hold happiness for us. True, there are a number of things that might go wrong, but isn't that the test of living, of growing stronger in a relationship?
"I want to be by your side through the good and the bad times. I know that when we come out to our families that it is going to be really bad, perhaps more for me than you, and I want you by my side, holding my hand, loving me. If I can have that, then I will somehow make it through that trying time. I don't know how your father will take the news, but I know that Sadie is your strong supporter and she also likes me. Look, Jake, can we talk about college and let the future take care of itself?"
I pulled Brad's hand to my lips and kissed it gently. He smiled that smile at me, melting my heart. My eyes glistened as I told him,
"We can talk about anything you want to talk about."
Brad laughed and hugged me quickly. It was my turn to smile.
"You know," he said, "I would really like to talk about you, Jake. I mean, at this precise moment in time, you are the most important thing in my life. But I will tell you right now, I want to go to the University of Florida at Gainesville. My brother Chris will still be there, and I want to have all the choices available there. I also hope to get a football scholarship, although I have some doubts about that, especially since I play quarterback. But even if I can't get a scholarship, I'll be going there. I'll find a way, and Jake, please come there with me."
"I want to be with you, Brad, wherever that is, but if I were to get a swimming scholarship at another college, I might have to take it. That would depend on my father when he learns that I'm gay. All help for college may disappear as well as a home, or anything else."
"The university has a first-rate swim team. They're ranked in the top ten nationally. I'll bet with your times, especially because they will improve, that you would be a prime candidate for a scholarship. You have good grades, too, I bet. And your SAT's will be first rate. You are a good candidate for any college. But please, Baby, pick the University of Florida at Gainesville."
I began laughing, making Brad a little angry I think, but it was only that his plea was so sweet.
"Brad, you are so sweet to want me with you. Of course I will apply with you, and maybe I will be lucky enough to get a scholarship as I am sure you will. I think I want to study prelaw, but I may change my mind. What about you?"
""Actually, Jake," he replied, "I'm not sure. I've thought about sports medicine, but I might change my mind. I like the idea of having a lawyer for my life partner.
We could go to Massachusetts and get married. Would you like that?"
I know that my face reddened as I thought of our marriage, our marriage night, our honeymoon. I smiled broadly as I said to Brad,
"I would love that, to be your husband, to know that we were legal and accepted, at least in one state."
Brad laughed and looked deeply into my eyes,
"Understand this, Jake, you will be my husband anywhere and everywhere we are together. You are my better half in all ways. My God, Jake, I am so madly in love with you. I would never have believed it if anyone had tried to tell me that I would fall so hard and so fast. But I did. Oh, Jake, how I love you."
"More coffee, boys?" asked Bertha. She looked at the two of us and smiled.
"You know something," she said, "I haven't seen two people as much in love as you two are for many years. It makes my heart glad."
"Thanks, Bertha, and yes, let's have a refill on the coffee," said Brad.
She poured us more coffee, smiled again at us, and left us to our designs.
"She doesn't know I am plying you with caffeine to keep your awake a long time tonight so that we can make love over and over and over," Brad said laughing rather loudly.
I just smiled, pursed my mouth as if to kiss, and told him,
"You don't have to ply me with anything, Lover. I won't disappoint you as I want to make love all night until the sun rises, and maybe even more after that. Are you up for that?"
Brad was really laughing now, tears running down his face. He was shaking his head from side to side, and finally he was able to force out his reply,
"Baby, I am already up, and I plan to be in that state for you as long as you want."
"Wow! You are a horny hunk, my quivering quarterback; you know I want you up for everything."
We both laughed, and noticed that Todd and Tim were standing near the booth, smiling and enjoying what he had just said. Todd leaned in and said quietly to both of us,
"Tim and I are having the same problem. He called his sister and told her he was staying with friends for the night. He promised to be home early to get ready for church. Now here's what we'd like to do."
Brad looked at me a questioning look on his face. I just stared ahead wondering what I had gotten myself into this time. I was worried about home, my father and Sadie. Brad grabbed my hand again and squeezed it tightly, trying in a silent way to give me courage. I think our looks must have brought Todd and Tim to earth again, as Tim quickly told us,
"Jacob, we're not asking you guys to invite us both to your house. We've made reservations at Holiday Inn for the night. We just would appreciate your picking us up early tomorrow morning so we can go to church with you and then have dinner together. What do you think?"
Brad looked at me and I looked at the two guys and then we all started laughing. I told Tim,
"I think you two are naughty but nice. Are you sure you want to do that? Maybe I could arrange something with Sadie; she's pretty understanding. I really don't want you two staying at a motel tonight. I just don't like the idea."
"We thought you would be relieved, Jacob," said a mystified Todd. He sat heavily on the corner of the booth seat. Tim just kept shaking his head.
Finally Brad brought everyone to the same place,
"Guys, you don't know Jake very well, but he's really concerned about everyone. I guess because he's had some rough times in his life already, he doesn't take no for an answer. If he said he can talk Sadie into having you guys stay the night, then okay. So let's give him a little time to call, okay?"
" `k," came the reply in unison.
I looked to Brad, who immediately got up and let me out of the booth, I remembered his saying to me `please don't get into saving Todd.' So who gives in first? If this ruins tonight for us, I think I'll make him sleep in his own room. I moved to the door of the restaurant, and finally said,
"I'll be back in a minute or two. Be patient!" and I was out the door, dialing Sadie as I left.
I listened as the phone at the house rang. I was just about to hang
up when Sadie picked up.
"The Neilson's, Sadie speaking."
"It's me, Sadie, did I wake you?" There was a grumpy sound and then, the slightly angry response,
"Of course. Are you all right? Is Brad okay? And Todd?"
I answered quickly so that Sadie wouldn't worry too much,
"We're all fine. Well there is a small problem, but it's nothing for you to worry about."
"Humph! What's this problem you have?" she asked.
I hesitated wondering what Sadie's reaction would be to my request. It was asking quite a bit. I took a deep breath and said,
"It's like this, Sadie. At dinner at Ranaldi's a busboy by the name of Tim was doing an excellent job. He kept calling everyone "sir", but Todd didn't like that so he asked him to call him Todd, which Tim did. Later Carlos, our waiter, came to take our order and called Todd by his name. Todd asked him not to do that. Carlos told Todd that Tim called him by his first name. Todd told him that was his decision and he didn't want Carlos to do it.
"Anyway, shortly thereafter, Tim came back to the table. He was very upset as Mrs. Ranaldi had fired him for being too familiar with the customers. We didn't know what to do. Todd asked Tim if he had told Carlos about calling him by his first name. Tim said he had."
"Go on!" came a stern order.
I took a another deep breath and continued,
"We talked with Mrs. Ranaldi, and when she knew the truth about Carlos, especially that he was trying to seduce Tim, she rehired Tim. Todd asked that since we had caused Tim so much trouble could she possibly let Tim leave and go to the movies with us. She said yes, and we went to the movies, and then to Pizza Hut. We talked and we would all like to spend the night together, as friends, in whatever arrangements you want to make. I know it's a lot to ask, Sadie, but it would mean so much to all of the guys, and to me."
Sadie cleared her throat, and I wondered if that was a good or bad sign, but I waited patiently for her to answer me. Finally she said,
"This isn't a hotel, Jacob. First it was Brad, then Todd, and now this Tim fellow. Don't you think that's a little too much?"
"I guess. But it's just that I want everyone to be as happy as I am right now in my life. All these guys are good people, Sadie. None of them are dangerous, or druggies, nothing like that. I guess the problem with all of us is that we are gay. I know you don't approve of that, but it's the way it is. None of us would have picked that as the way we wanted to go through life. I think..."
Sadie's voice ripped through me when she demanded,
"Who said I didn't approve. Have you ever heard me say anything against homosexuals?"
"Then don't put words into my mouth. I don't like that."
"I'm sorry," I said with real sincerity.
"Apologies accepted. Now listen carefully to me, Jacob. If I let Tim come here tonight, there are a few rules. First one, he and Todd do not spend the night in the same bed. Second, you can have Brad with you, but be reasonable. I'll even allow Tim and Todd a few hours together, but not all night. You four have to be up early to help me in the kitchen and out in the yard. Then breakfast, showers, and church. Do you understand?"
"Yes, ma'am, I understand."
"Come home, then. I want to meet Tim. I'll get two other guest rooms ready. Dear God, I don't know what your father would say."
"But he doesn't know, does he? I said.
"Don't get smart, Jacob Neilson. You're still my boy and I won't have that attitude."
I was really embarrassed since I hadn't meant to be rude or smart-assed.
"Sadie," I said, "I didn't mean to sound rude. I'm so sorry."
"Jacob, I love you like my own. Now get those guys over here so I can get my beauty sleep. Bye." And Sadie hung up.
I wondered what Tim and Todd would think about the sleeping arrangements. Then I smiled and thought, if they're smart they'll figure a way to spend the night together and be where they belong by morning. That would be their problem.
I had done all that I could. I clicked my phone closed and headed back into the restaurant.
To be continued...
"The measure of love is to love
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Thanks to my editor, Wayne, and to my readers, Peter and Rock. Their help has added immeasurably to the story. Best of all, they are my friends.
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