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.
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are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...
Sunday morning dawned bright and clear. Todd's snoring was enough to awaken the three of us. Brad began immediately to kiss my back and neck sending chills through my body. Tim was whispering in Todd's ear trying to get him to wake up. I turned, facing Brad, and kissed him, enjoying the warmth of his body against mine, his weapon at attention, standing guard as it were, with my weapon at attention, too.
"Jake, baby, I have to take a wicked piss," Brad said.
"Me, too. Let's slip out of bed, relieve ourselves, then spend some time in the Jacuzzi."
"Sweet!" said Brad. As we left for the bathroom, we realized that Tim was joining us. Three young men with morning erections stood around the toilet enjoying relief.
"Hope you don't mind that I joined you. Guess I should go back to bed with Todd," said Tim.
Tim seemed so awake and willing to be with us.
"You can stay with us and use the Jacuzzi," I told him.
"Sure, why not. Let Todd sleep," added Brad.
"But he'll miss out on all the fun. That doesn't seem fair."
"I don't intend to miss a damn thing. Let me take a leak and I'll join you in the Jacuzzi," said Todd as he came into the bathroom.
"Todd, I didn't want to wake you. You aren't angry with me, are you?"
"I will be if you don't let me take a piss. Outa the way."
In a few minutes the four new friends were enjoying the Jacuzzi. The conversation turned to the church service today and how to handle things tomorrow at school. Todd and Tim would have no problem since they would be at different schools. But Brad and I had some serious things to consider as it would be our first time at school together as boyfriends. We would have to discuss it later after we had thought about it more. I suggested showers so that we could get to breakfast on time, then dress, and be off to St. Augustine's.
Todd and Tim would take their shower together first while we enjoyed the Jacuzzi for a while longer.
Father James B. Durnford, looked at himself in the mirror in his apartment bathroom. He needed a shave badly, but that was the price you paid for black hair and a heavy beard. It had been a problem for years, actually since his junior year in high school. He had shaved regularly all those years and daily for the last ten years. He lifted his upper lip with his finger to examine his front teeth and gums. They looked pretty good.
He was a devoted dental freak, brushing after every meal, flossing like a madman, and using a good mouth wash which helped keep down bad bacteria. His great smile was the result of his fastidious care. He was naked in preparation for a shower. His body was in great shape, because he took care of it, exercising regularly and running every morning except Sunday. He glanced at his face again. He was reasonably handsome, a kind of chiseled look, with steel blue, piercing eyes, that on a moment's notice could show caring and understanding.
He had fought some serious demons in his life, not the least of which was his sexuality. He struggled with a fear that he might be homosexual until he met Amanda and then he thought he was a horny heterosexual. But their relationship hadn't lasted because she wanted a level of intimacy that he was not ready to have. He had even considered giving her an engagement ring, but that didn't materialize as things went sour before he could do that.
It was, he realized now, a good thing. His life choice of the ministry would have made a marriage, in the early years, very difficult. Amanda was used to nice things as the only child of a fairly wealthy couple. He knew he would not have been able to compete with the luxury with which she was familiar and which she expected. So God, in His mysterious way, cleared the way for him to become an Episcopalian priest. Marriage would have to wait.
He stepped into the hot water of the shower and soaped his body. He had to concentrate on other things except his body. He attempted to rehearse his sermon, trying to keep his mind from wandering to his genitals where there was an urgent need for intervention. Somehow, the shower always brought back the image of Daren, and when that happened, he got erect. It had been such a short dalliance, just five months, but it had been powerful and had made him realize that he was bisexual if not gay.
He had wanted Daren to come and live with him, but Daren didn't want to be living with a priest, not that he hadn't fallen in love with Jim, because he had. It was because Daren wanted a life filled with freedoms that they could not have enjoyed. It had been an emotional and agonizing goodbye. Father Jim hadn't slept for weeks, tortured by what might have been.
After that terrible day of goodbye in Orlando, when they held each other, both weeping, he had never again heard from Daren. He had convinced himself it was for the best. But deep in the recesses of his heart and soul he knew he could find Daren there, waiting patiently for his lover, but knowing that it would never be. Always when he got nostalgic like this, his heart sheared open again and it brought the same hot tears that were even now running down his cheeks.
He switched the water to cold, and instantly he was in the present, ready to face the day. He wondered, as he dressed, what unexpected things would come into his day. Ah, he thought, the reward of being a priest: helping others!
The showers were finished and we had dressed casually for breakfast; soon after, Sadie called us to eat. She had a massive meal for "her" boys. I smiled as I watched Sadie's conscientious attention to Tim. She had made a connection with him, not that she didn't love Brad to pieces, but it was different with Tim, almost as if she had found a kindred soul. It would be interesting to see how it played out.
Sadie didn't sit and eat with us, she fluttered around waiting on all of us. For a moment, I found myself just a little jealous as all this energy had been mine and now it was spread across the lives of three other young men. The jealousy was fleeting, though, because I knew that Sadie loved me first and foremost. All her concern for the others was nothing more than her mothering instinct.
Tim's head got many loving pats and his arm many strokes from the attentive Sadie. His grin-like smile lighted up his face and made Sadie smile, too. Brad and Todd were busy eating and I was not sure they noticed what I had.
Sadie chatted with Brad about last night. The sleeping arrangements did not come up. I was thankful for that, especially since the four of us had spent part of the night together, naked in the same bed. As difficult as it would be for some to believe, nothing sexual happened there, in the Jacuzzi, or in the shower. There was an unwanted erection here and there, an individual lustful reaction to close quarters.
"I'll be going to church with you boys this morning," Sadie informed us. "We'll take the SUV and I'll drive. Is that okay?"
"Sure," we all said in unison.
We hurried back to my suite to dress for church. It was suits or sport jackets, dress shirts, slacks, and neckties. I had plenty of that stuff from up north, so Todd and Tim had many choices. Not everything fit perfectly, but things looked good enough to get compliments from Sadie.
I wondered who would sit next to Sadie in the front seat, but she quickly took care of that, assigning Todd and Tim to the last row, and Brad and me to the second row. None of us made any complaints. I was puzzled about keeping the passenger seat empty, but I decided Sadie was trying to keep us together so that we would be happy.
The drive to St. Augustine's was uneventful. Brad and I held hands, and I'm sure Tim and Todd did also. Sadie had little to say, which I thought interesting. Then I remembered we were on our way to church, not to the mall. When we arrived at the church, I noticed how many cars were already parked in the lot. The church itself seemed like a throwback to New England as it was made of stone and seemed attached to the earth.
I sensed a little uneasiness in Brad. He seemed to have lost his relaxed, wise-ass attitude and was now serious and quiet. I surmised that he was concerned about going to a strange church where things would be unfamiliar to him. The sensitive side of my burly football player was showing again. I wanted to hug him, but I didn't.
Todd and Tim seemed a little more at ease, perhaps because they were more church-oriented than Brad. I assumed that Tim had probably been raised in a home where religion was an integral part of life. Todd also came from a church-going family, I think Roman Catholic. The Episcopal service would resemble what he knew.
Sadie was chatting amicably with ladies she had met and now knew, who were fellow church members. I asked Brad quietly if he was okay. He frowned at me and told me he was fine. He just had never been to an Episcopal Church service, so he was a little concerned. I told him not to worry and just follow what everyone else did. Sadie came to our little group and ushered us into the church and to a pew near the front. Brad went in first, followed by me, then Sadie, Todd and Tim on the aisle,
Shortly thereafter, the organist began playing the entrance hymn which the congregation sang. To my surprise, Brad began to sing with me. He had a beautiful baritone voice, and it was evident to all those around us who had the better voice. Brad was totally unaware of the impression he was making. I was thrilled that my boyfriend was so good. Sadie, too was smiling ear to ear. Tim and Todd gave us the high sign confirming that they, too, heard Brad singing.
The hymn continued as the procession proceeded to the front of the church. Father Durnford, the young assistant priest, was handling the service. I had met Father Jim, as he preferred to be called. He was a handsome man with black hair, a fair complexion and steely blue eyes. He had a nice physique, obviously the result of time and effort. He had a friendly smile, and his eyes were filled with caring and love. He was well liked by the parishioners, even though he had only been here for about six months. His primary job was working with youth and assisting the pastor in any way he could.
The pastor, Father Benjamin Crowley, had been at St. Augustine's for over twenty years. He was a wonderful priest we learned, ready to greet the changing times with understanding and support. His genial demeanor had made him the favorite with all the ladies in the parish. From them he got many charitable works, their reward being his thankfulness and appreciation. The vast majority of the parish was wealthy, so the church was beautifully kept and there were large sums of money to help the needy.
My daydreaming was interrupted when Brad squeezed my hand three times. I returned the favor. Sadie glanced at me and smiled. Father Jim was in the pulpit ready to give the sermon. I was amazed by what I had missed, as I had been thinking about so many things. I did a silent prayer, thanking God for Brad. I also prayed for my Dad and Sadie, and I asked Him to help Tim and Todd form a meaningful relationship. I then heard Father Jim's voice.
"This morning, I want to talk with you about friendship, about love. From Proverbs 17:17, I take the following as the basis of my sermon,
`A friend loves at all times'."
For the next ten minutes Father Jim talked to us about the necessity for a real friend to love no matter if the times are good or bad, if we are right or wrong, or if the world treats us unfairly. He also told us that the most important thing a lover must do is to be a friend, a best friend.
Brad kept squeezing my hand and looking at me with such intense emotion and love, that I couldn't control it and tears began to run down my face. Sadie noticed and took my other hand. I was surrounded by love and my heart was full. God was good.
When the service was over, we filed out of the church. Father Jim was standing outside shaking hands with the parishioners as they left. When we got to him, he gave Sadie a hug, and then shook hands with the four of us.
We followed Sadie until she stopped and we stood together in a little group. She told us then that we had to wait a few minutes for Father Jim as he was coming to the house for a swim and barbecue dinner. Brad and I looked at each other wondering what was going on, but without asking any questions. I had a couple of questions I wanted to ask Sadie, but I decided to wait until later. So that was the reason for keeping the front passenger seat empty. We chatted about everything and nothing as we waited. We guys had loosened our neckties.
Father Jim came around the corner of the church in shorts and a T-shirt carrying a gym bag. He was quite a specimen of male beauty. I wondered what Brad, Tim, and Todd were thinking. I was a little embarrassed for having such lurid thoughts about a priest. His smile was easy and comfortable. He moved like a man who knew why and where he was going.
"Thanks for waiting, Sadie. Hope I didn't keep you waiting too long. Hi, guys. I'll get to know all of you better once we get to the house and in the pool. Jacob, I know you better than your friends."
"Forgive me, Father, this is Bradley Mason, my special friend, and this is Tim Travis and his friend, Todd Collins."
"Nice meeting you guys," he replied.
We walked to the SUV and got into our assigned seats (I snickered a little when I thought that). Brad glared at me and I know my face got red. Then Brad smiled and I melted. Tim and Todd were chatting softly. I pushed as close as I could to Brad and rubbed his leg with my foot. His hand wandered to my thigh and he gently caressed it. My penis, having a mind of its own, began to harden. He had moved his hand onto my crotch and was squeezing my privates that now stood at attention. Then he smiled at me. I didn't let him get away with it, though, and leaned to him and kissed him quickly on the lips. He just about fainted. I knew I would get some of his shit when we got to the house.
I was sure that Brad worried that Father Jim had seen the kiss and would know we were gay and boyfriends. I suspected he already knew that as I had called Brad my special friend. Nonetheless, I know he was upset that I had kissed him and that he would make me pay in one way or another. I hoped it would be in bed.
Once in the garage, we got out of the SUV and went into the house. Sadie showed Father Jim to a guest room so that he could change into his swimsuit. We four guys went to my suite so that I could get a swimsuit for Tim. I handed him a bright yellow Speedo.
"You've got to be kidding, Jacob. I can't wear that. I mean everything will show."
"That's what I was hoping," said Todd.
"Me, too," said Brad.
I held up my bright red Speedo, smiled and told Tim,
"This is my suit, and this light blue one is for Brad, and the green one is for Todd."
"Oh, no you don't, wise-ass. There's no way I am wearing a little bathing suit like that. No way!" said Brad.
"I won't either," added Todd.
"Then Tim and I are not going swimming. We'll stay here and play a game or something," I said, making sure that I sounded definite and sure.
Brad came to me and took me into his arms. He kissed me and ran his hands up and down my back ending with my butt in his hands. My staunchness was fading as Brad said,
"Baby, you aren't going to make me wear this thing, are you?" I kissed him quickly, pulled away, went and stood near Tim.
"Who are you planning to sleep with now?" I asked.
"Baby, please. Okay, dammit. Okay, I'll wear the thing." I went back to his arms, kissed him firmly and then told him how much I loved him. I could feel his cock rising to fullness and knew I had to get away from him before we did the dirty on the floor in front of Todd and Tim.
"Todd. are you wearing the Speedo?" asked Tim.
"Jeez, I don't want to, but if I don't you'll make life miserable for me, right?"
"Okay, then, I'll wear the fuckin' thing."
"Love ya," said Tim.
We changed quickly and headed out to the pool where we found Father Jim seated at one of the round tables under an umbrella sipping on a soft drink. He had removed his shirt and his beautifully tanned body shown in the bright Florida sun. He smiled broadly at us, and asked,
"Where you been guys? I thought you got lost."
I noticed that the good priest was taking a careful look at each of us, stopping I thought on my crotch. He stood and there he was, magnificent in a white Speedo, showing his ample endowment.
"Last one in, gets his dinner last," he yelled as he ran and dived into the pool.
Todd was last, but all was forgotten as we swam about and played in the water. In a short time we were playing a game of water volleyball. Father Jim switched from one side to the other. Tim and Todd had made Brad and me look like amateurs, but Father kept pushing us to play harder, which we did.
As exhaustion set in, the game was tied, and the good father was ready for a break. Sadie showed up at about that moment to ask Tim, Brad and me to help her for a bit in the kitchen. That left Todd and Father Jim alone sitting next to each other with their feet dangling in the water. Suddenly it dawned on me. That's why Father Jim is here. Sadie had arranged this so that Todd could get some help. She was always true to her word.
Father Jim sat quietly looking out at the intracostal, sensing that Todd was a little uneasy being left alone with him. He decided it best to let the young man know that he was here to talk to him because Sadie was concerned about him.
"Todd, the reason you and I are out here alone is because Sadie is concerned about you and wanted me to chat with you about what happened to you yesterday. Do you want to talk about it?"
Todd shifted his weight and pulled one leg out of the water and sort of sat on the leg. He ran his fingers through his hair, looked at Father Jim, smiled, and said,
"So this is Sadie's doing. Bet you money that Jacob and Brad had something to do with it, too. Father..."
"Todd, it's okay to call me Jim."
"Jim, what happened to me yesterday hurt as much as anything I can remember. It's probably difficult for you to understand because you're not gay, but I really loved him and I should have been wise enough to see what was coming when he began to beat me."
"You know, Todd, that behavior is not normal, and your boyfriend obviously has a serious problem. He needs some psychological counseling. But let's concentrate on you for the moment. Why didn't you leave him when he began beating you?"
"Because I loved him."
Father Jim could see the tears beginning to form in Todd's eyes. It was evidence that this young man was still in love with his ex-boyfriend.
"Do you still love him?""Probably, at least in some ways."
"What about Tim?"
"Father, Tim is wonderful and I am falling helplessly in love with him. He's everything I've wanted or fantasized about in a partner. But. . ."
"But what, Todd?"
Todd had gotten up and moved over to a chair. Father Jim turned and looked at him, seeing all the young male charm that would be attractive to another gay boy. Todd was handsome and sexy. He waited patiently for Todd to answer.
"I still have strong feelings for Trent, that's all."
Todd turned his gaze out on the expanse of lawn and pool, avoiding looking at Father Jim.
"Does that mean you still are in love with him?"
"I don't know! I don't know! I don't want to still be in love with him. But it's been two years, Jim. I'm having a hard time throwing that all away. Can you understand that?"
Father Jim laughed inwardly as he thought of Daren again and what might have been."I can try to understand that, Todd. You made a big investment into a relationship and it's difficult to see it all disappear. I would assume you aren't thinking about suicide now that you have met Tim. Or are you?"
Todd jumped to his feet and walked quickly over to the priest. He looked angry, but he wasn't. He just wanted the man to know that he wasn't suicidal.
"I don't want to kill myself. I want to be with Tim, that is, if he'll have me."
Father Jim laughed.
"My goodness, Todd, all you have to do is see the way Tim looks at you to know that he'll have you. The guy is hopelessly infatuated with you."
"Really? I wonder `cause I told him about still having feelings for Trent. If he dumped me, I could understand."
The young priest thought carefully before he asked the next question,
"Would you care if he dumped you?""
Of course, I. . . I love him, Father. I love him."
Then came the tears. Father Jim got to his feet and took Todd into his arms for a gentle hug."Then are you sure you still love Trent? If you had to pick, and I think you have to do that, Todd, who would it be, Trent or Tim?"
There was no pause as the answer came immediately and strongly,
"Tim!" Todd almost shouted. Father Jim smiled.
"You know something, Todd, I don't think you are in love with Trent anymore. I think you love Tim, and I advise you to concentrate on making that work. I'm no fool, you know, so I am aware of the relationship between Jacob and Brad. Those two guys are madly in love. Frankly, Todd, I don't think you and Tim are far behind. Those three guys are golden, you know. Those are friends who love at all times. And one of the people they all care deeply about is you. Treasure that, Todd."
"But aren't you shocked or upset or something. We're all gay. Doesn't that make us great sinners in your eyes and the eyes of your church. Aren't we cursed into hell?"
If only he could tell this young man about his sexuality, about his lover, but he couldn't, but he did have an answer to help him with his struggle.
"No, Todd, I'm not shocked or upset. You are what God made you. What say we allow God to do the judging. If you are faithful to one person and are not, as it were, playing the field, then so what. It is important that you love someone, that you want to share your life with another human being, to grow old in that affection which most certainly will become stronger through the years. I accept you all as good young men who know the power of love."
Todd was thinking rapidly trying to understand all that the priest had just said. But he had a difficult question to ask, so he did,
"What about the sex, Father? Is that wrong?"
"I don't believe it is, as it is simply a demonstration of the love you have for each other. Promiscuity is another matter, but monogamous love is fine. Does that help, Todd?"
"Yeah, it helps a lot. But, Father Jim, I have a great deal to think about, don't I?"
"We all do, my young friend, we all do."
Tim, Brad and I came out of the house carrying various items for dinner just in time to see Father Jim give Todd a warm hug. Since I had told Tim of my suspicions, and Sadie verified them for us, we all knew that the priest was here to help Todd. The hug seemed to suggest that there had been some success.
"Need any help, you guys?" asked the young priest.
"No, we're fine. If you wish, though, you might like to start the gas grill. Sadie is trimming the steaks which she will bring out later. There are some nibbles here to take the pangs of hunger away. Brad made most of them. Tim and I did the salad."
Before I finished, Todd came across the deck of the pool, and stood in front of a surprised Tim. He looked directly into Tim's eyes and the two of them lost connection with the rest of us. Todd took Tim into his arms and kissed him soundly, then he said in the most gentle of voices,
"Tim, I love you. I don't love, or need, Trent anymore. I am not going to kill myself because I want to be with you. I am certain of all this. I pray that you will love me now that I am through all the silliness about Trent. If you think I am a bad risk, I will try to understand, but I want you to know that I will fight like hell to keep you and to love you. So there!"
Brad, Father Jim and I applauded. Tim just smiled that wonderful smile of his, kissed Todd gently on the lips and reminded him,
"I already told you that I would love you. Well, you should know that I do love you and I want to be with you and to have you love me. So now that this is all settled, how about we enjoy the afternoon. Remember, I have to work at Ranaldi's tonight at five-thirty."
Todd just burst into tears and fell into Tim's arms just as Sadie came onto the deck from the house. She was a little startled and quickly asked,
"Is there a problem?"
"No, Sadie, those are just tears of happiness. Why don't you two go into the house to the living room for a few minutes of privacy. We'll all understand," I explained.
Taking Todd's hand, Tim dragged him into the house."I don't know what you did or said, Father, but thank you. Todd seems to have things pretty well straightened out in his head," I said.
"Actually", the priest said, "Tim's love had already made everything right. Todd just hadn't processed it yet. I helped him to do that. I think he'll be fine now."
Sadie set down the steaks, went to Father Jim and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. He smiled happily.
"I knew I could count on you, Father. And I was right," she said.
Brad, hungry as usual, put his arm around me and pulled me to the table. He looked at Sadie and Father Jim, and said,
"How `bout we get this meal on the road as this camper is mighty hungry."
I laughed and kissed him on the cheek."A good idea," said Sadie as she laid the steaks on the hot grill top. The sizzle and then the aroma making all our mouths water.
When everything was ready, I ran into the house to get Tim and Todd. I found them on the living room sofa lying in each other's arms. They were oblivious to me and to the rest of the world.
"Hey, guys, you want to eat some barbecue with us, or do you want to make out all day?" I laughed as I poked Tim, who was on top.
"Go away, dufus," came Todd's muffled reply. I laughed some more.
"Okay, don't say I didn't warn you. And don't think we're gonna save anything for you two sex maniacs."
"You know, Jacob, you can be a royal pain in the ass, but I hear you. Come on Todd, more of this later, or maybe something better," said Tim.
"Too much information, " I said.
Then we three Speedo clad young men made our way back outside to the pool. Two of us seemed to fill out our suits more than the others. Brad noticed. Father Jim noticed. Sadie noticed. All remained silent.
We all sat around the large table now laden with steak, corn-on-the-cob, salad, baked potatoes, string beans, hot rolls, and some other fixin's. Father Jim asked us to all join hands; then he prayed,
"Father Almighty, Provider of all things, we thank You for the food we are about to eat from which we get sustenance. Your plan for us is magnificent. We ask Your blessing on this food, but more importantly on those of us who are about to eat it. Bless the young men here gathered for they have known love. Bless Sadie for her love shared with all of us, and Good Father, bless me and my hands and mind to Your work. Keep, we pray, our young men and women safe in the foreign lands where they work to protect all of us. Please bless Father Crowley, and grant us happiness and full lives. Your will be done. Amen."
For a long, silent moment, no one moved. Each of us was contemplating the grace Father Jim had just finished. In a soft emotional voice, we all said,
"Father Jim," I said, "that was a beautiful prayer. Thank you for saying it."
There was general agreement from everyone.
"You know, guys and Sadie, I think the time is here to eat. What do you think, Brad?" Father Jim said.
"Absolutely!" said Brad.
And the meal began.
To be continued...
"The measure of love is to love
Feedback always welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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