By John V. O. Yager
This story is a sequel to my earlier story, Partners (NIFTY, Gay, High School, Posted August 6, 2001, /nifty/gay/highschool/partners). In this story Bill and Sam prepare to go off to college. For those of you who have not read Partners, I would suggest you do so, before reading this story. Those of you who have read Partners, but feel a little rusty on your Bisa, might want to read it again.
The following story is a work of gay erotic fiction depicting sexual acts between young men of high school or college age. If such stories are not to your liking or if you are not of legal age to read such stores in your jurisdiction, please exit now.
This is a work of fiction and in no way draws on the lives or any specific person or persons. Any similarity to actual persons or events is entirely coincidental.
This work is copyrighted by the author and may not be reproduced in any form without the specific written permission of the author. It is assigned to the Nifty Archives under the terms of their submission agreement but it may not be copied or archived on any other site without the written permission of the author.
"Nubenyastart," Sam had said one morning in late June as he and Bill lay locked together in each other's arms.
"Yeabin, Sam, Nubenyastart," Bill had responded.
There are days which are memorable because of some great event, whether it be global, national or local. Other days are memorable only to those who are touched by them; birthdays, anniversaries, deaths. For Bill and Sam Nubenyastart was such a day. They had worked hard all summer as assistants and sports instructors at the country club to which both sets of their parent's belonged. They earned generous wages and even more generous tips from the appreciative parents of their students, all money which was added to generous allowances their parents were given them and most of it put back to augment their expenses at Yale the following autumn.
Together, as with all things, Bill and Sam had studied the syllabus for each course they would be taking and read the entire book list. All told they had probably come to a better understanding of the college curriculum than many of their soon-to-be instructors possessed. Over the summer they had also played evening baseball for a local amateur team, pushing themselves and their team mates to higher and higher levels of performance. The truth was that everything the boys did, they did well. As the summer moved on in its leisurely way and the date of their departure for college drew nearer, they knew they were ready. A new world beckoned and they were prepared for it.
The first week after their high school graduation in the spring, they had moved, with permission from both sets of parents, into the pool house behind Bill's parents' home. To call it a pool house was a bit of an understatement. It was really a guest house with its own kitchen and bath and a separate bedroom, in addition to the large living area looking out on the pool.
"Ebe mest ta ogors?" Sam asked one especially lovely night as they lay together in their large bed.
Bill smiled at his lover and whispered, "Yeaham, bergbonbo."
They had gone for a leisurely swim after the lights in the main house had all gone off and the boys felt certain that Bill's parents were asleep or engaged in their own lovemaking.
Their naked bodies had glided with athletic beauty through the tepid water and their swim had ended with several minutes of gentle touching and then not so gentle kissing as they lay on the hard brick margin of the pool. Now, dry but sill naked, they were back in their bed and it was really rather late. They had to be up at six-thirty, but at eighteen, with hormones raging, it was never too late for a little ebe ogors.
"Yeaham," Bill whispered again as Sam's engulfed his cock to the hilt, driving it deep into his willing throat.
Their private language, developed over their many years together, first as childhood playmates, then as best friends in school and then as lovers, was largely unintelligible to others. Their parents could distinguish a few words and had, at times, made a real effort to learn Bisa, as the boys called their private tongue. The boys had made a corresponding effort to explain it, at least its fundamentals to their parents. But, as is the case with most living languages, it was always changing, evolving, moving, and unless you were a party to that day-in, day-out process, there was little hope of keeping up with its constant jumps and starts. The unintelligible nature of Bisa was most obvious when the boys were making love. In those most private moments their muttering and moans often brought new words into being, or caused new layers of meaning to be added to old ones.
"Yeaham, yeaham," Bill moaned again as he began to jockey his own body around so he could share in the feast.
When Sam understood what Bill was trying to do, he withdrew his mouth from Bill's pulsing bosser and asked, "Eidu emin bosserdu?"
"Yeaben," Bill said as he succeeded in arranging both his body and Sam's to their mutual advantage and dove for Sam's bosser as Sam re-claimed Bill's own. In bosserdu, one of their favorite ways of making love, especially late at night when their bodies craved sleep, they never lasted long. In this case they managed to stop short of the brink the first two times, but on the third, all caution was abandoned and they both jolted with the strength of their climax.
Moments later they were sleeping soundly, locked in the security and love of each others' arms.
They woke to the raucous sound of their radio alarm clock and settled for a few sweet morning kisses, not having the leisure for more time consuming love making.
"Yeaham, bergbonbo, Bill," Sam whispered.
And Bill whispered back, "yeaham, bergbonbo, Sam." Anything more would have to wait `till evening.
The purchase of a car, their first, was the spark which put an entire
chain of events in motion. Bill and Sam had long ago decided that
they were a couple. If that wasn't obvious to everyone else, it was certainly
obvious to them. There were many issues which surrounded that realization
and many decisions resulting from it which had to be made.
Among the most pressing ones were whether or not to declare their Beneinbo to their families and the world at large, and if declared, now to make their status evident in every aspect of their lives.
The car was to belong to both of them. That was definite. They intended to pay cash for the not quite new, but well maintained vehicle and the cost was to be divided equally between them. Joint ownership was to be their rule of life, applied equally to every material possession they subsequently acquired. Bisa for this concept was beneinbol, which derived from their concept of shared life, loving relationship, monogamous union and mutual rights. There was a problem, however; how could such joint ownership be documented?
Their state had no laws governing same-sex unions, no statutes permitting it or governing it. There were no laws specifically intended to protect the rights of domestic partners. There was, however, a vast body of corporate law, and it occurred to Bill and Sam that they might find the solution to their dilemma in those statutes. But to do so required help, and that help might most logically come from Sam's father, who was after all an attorney. Bill's father was an attorney as well, but he had practiced for years. Bill's dad was the CEO of a large and very successful conglomerate. With both their fathers being trained in the law, it was natural that Bill and Sam intended to peruse a pre-law major at Yale.
The boys knew that to ask the specific questions they needed answered about joint ownership would open the door to other questions. Since they saw no other way to confront the problem, they decided it was time to make the nature of their relationship clear to those it most effected.
Bill and Sam therefore decided to take the entire issue in hand and announce their "couple status," their Beneinbo, to their assembled families. So on a lovely Saturday evening in July, a month and a half before the boys were due to leave for New Haven, they had a party for both sets of parents. It was really a picnic by the pool, in front of their summer abode, but they had conspired to make it as festive as possible.
Like everything they did, like their joint address at their high school graduation, the boys would addressed the issue together.
The boys had splurged on good steaks and gotten Bill's mother in on the planning so that an excellent bottle of wine just happened to arrive to be served with the dinner. After they had eaten the main meal, but before the cheese cake was served, they began their explanation of the reason for the party.
"Mom and Dad, Earnie and Pat," Bill began.
"Mom and Dad, Frank and Jill," Sam echoed.
"First we wanted to thank all four of you for being such loving parents all these years," Bill said.
"We've gotten a lot of praise and quite a few honors these last few months and we know we own it all to you," Sam added.
"Well, boys," Bill's dad, jumped in, "this is starting off like it must be a prepared speech and I don't want to interrupt, but I think we should say that while we may have provided the opportunities, you guys sure did all the work."
"Thank you, Frank, but we know your support was a big part of it," Sam continued.
"So now, here we are, ready to leave for college in a few weeks," said Bill.
"But there still seem to be a few loose ends which we need to wrap up," said Sam.
"I think going in together on a car was a great idea," Jill said, smiling at the boys. "After all, you are going to room together and it just makes a lot of sense."
"Well, actually, the car is one of the issues we need to discuss, Mom," Sam responded.
"No problem with it, is there?" Frank chimed in.
"Well, actually, Dad, we do have a concern about how to title it."
"Well, why don't you put it in my name or in Frank's. It might save you a bundle on insurance."
"That's not the issue, Earnie," Bill responded, "we want everything to be jointly titled and we don't know how we can do that."
"Well, if you insist," Earnie went on, `I guess we could create an LLC or a Limited Partnership and make you boys the sole owners. "You are both eighteen now so there'd be no problem with you holding the stock in such a company."
"We sort of thought something like that might work," Bill said.
"It is odd, though," Sam continued. "A married couple would just hold everything they owned as joint property, right."
"Yep," Earnie agreed, "this is a joint property state."
"Well, that's really want Bill and I want," Sam said, finally getting to the meat of the matter. "But since the state won't recognize us as a couple we sort of thought forming a corporation or partnership together would be the best idea."
"Definitely," both fathers agreed.
It was Pat and Jill who picked up on the real meaning of Sam's last comment.
"Honey," Pat said, "did I understand you right?"
"Yeah, Mom, I think you probably did."
"And you want that too, Bill," Jill asked her son.
"Definitely. We've known for a long time, but until now it didn't seem all that important to make a big deal out of it."
"Oh, Billy! Oh, Sam!" Jill cried and jumped up to hug both boys.
Pat was close behind. "I guess we've sort of known," she said, her voice catching a little. "you've always been so close and all."
As both mothers hugged and kissed the boys, the fathers looked on in confusion.
"What's the big deal?" Frank finally asked, "Earnie's right, an LLC would be the perfect way to go."
"Oh, Frank," Jill cried, "you idiot, don't you see, the boys want to get married!"
"Married?" both Frank and Earnie said at once.
Then Earnie added, "how can two guys get married?"
"Beneinbo, actually," both boys said at once.
"Beneinbo?" their fathers responded.
"Stick to English, Son," Frank said, you know you loose us with Bisa.
"Sorry, Dad," Bill said, "well, sort of like, `couple-hood,' or `committed relationship,' you know."
"Well, it sure sounds like marriage to me," Earnie chimed in.
"Yeah," Sam said, "but the state won't let us call it that, Dad."
The mothers were hugging each other now, crying into each other's shoulder. "Oh, Jill," Pat was sobbing, "they've just grown up too fast!"
"I know," Jill responded, "I don't know if I want to cry or laugh. Do you realize after all these years of being best friends now we'll be related?"
"Oh, Jill!" Pat sighed and they both started sobbing again.
Frank looked at Earnie and then Earnie looked at Frank. The both looked at their sons and then they both started to speak at once. "You..."
"Sorry, Frank, you go ahead,"
"Well," Frank said and then he stopped. This wasn't going to be easy. "Ah, well, you boys, ah, are you saying you want to, well, you know, are you wanting to have sex, you know, the two of you?"
"Oh, we are having sex, Dad," Bill said.
"You mean, well, living out here in the pool house, you guys started sort of, you know, messing around."
"Well, sure we do it out here now, Dad, but we've been doing it a long time."
"A long time?"
"Ah, how long are we taking about here, boys,"
"Gee, Dad, I really can't remember when we weren't."
Frank was silent. Then Earnie spoke. "Well, Sam, I guess we kind of knew you boys were close. I mean, you know, close friends."
"Yeah, Dad, beneinbo."
"Now, son, we talked about using Bisa around other people. If you guys want to speak to each other like that, okay, but it kind of puts other people off."
"Well, where were we? Did you say beneinbo? What exactly does that mean, Sam?"
"Lovers, Dad, it means Bill and I are lovers."
"So you say you can't remember when you two weren't having sex, is that right?"
"Yeah, Dad" Sam waited but when neither of their fathers seemed inclined to say more, he went on. "I guess we started having sex, you know, real sex, about six years ago. But Bill and I have hugged and held each other, touching, you know, stuff like that, since we were really little kids."
"Yeah," Earnie said. "I guess we knew that. Even as babies you were doing that. I guess we just didn't know it had gone so far."
"Yeah, Dad, it has. And we really love each other. We want to be Beneinbo, you know, a couple, officially together, married if that was a possibility. We want to make it, you know, official. And we want to do it with you and Mom and Frank and Jill and any of the rest of the family and our friends who you think we could invite. And we want to do it before we leave for college."
There was another prolonged silence, during which the women came over to join the two older men and the two younger ones.
"Well, I guess I just as well say that when we were your age, back in the `Make Love, Not War' days, most of us sort of experimented a little with that kind of stuff, so It's not like you're gona shock us or anything," Earnie said at last.
"Yeah," Frank agreed, looking a little ill at ease. The women nodded.
"But you realize there is a great big hunk of society which says what you are talking about is completely unacceptable." Frank went on. "You do know that don't you, boys?"
"Yeah, Dad, we know that."
"And you want to do it anyway?"
"We don't intend to invite a great big hunk of society, Earnie," Bill said, taking Sam's hand.
"But you want it to be some sort of ceremony, is that it?"
"Yeah," both boys said together.
"How do you know you won't just outgrow this whole thing in a year or two?" Frank asked.
"Dad, we've been lovers for over six years now. We know we aren't ever going to love anyone else, not like that, anyway."
"We know we're young, Frank, but we do know what we want, what we've always wanted. We just want to make it official. We don't want to hide it any longer. And we want at least the four of you to understand."
"I guess this means we aren't gona be grandparents, Frank," Earnie said, giving his buddy's shoulder a sympathetic squeeze.
"Oh, we wouldn't do anything like that, Dad," Sam said with complete sincerity.
"No," Bill added. "We'll definitely get through college and law school before we even think about kids."
The parents looked at one another with rather blank expressions and then Frank finally said, "Ah, can we have a few days to think about this, boys?"
"Sure," both boys said.
"But don't take too long, okay? If we are going to do this we need to get moving," Sam suggested.
"Yeah, sure," the two men agreed.
"Thanks, Dad, Earnie," Bill said, "thanks for not just getting crazy or something."
"Well," Earnie said as he drew both boys into an embrace,
"you both know we love you more than anything. We just want you to
be happy. But, like Frank said, we need a little time to get
used to the whole idea."
Less than a week went by before the boys' desires had been more or less accepted by all four parents. Earnie went to work forming a Limited Partnership with Bill and Sam as it's organizers, officers and sole owners. They were ready to purchased the car in the mane of the new company and at that point Earnie came back to the boys to find out what this new entity was to be called.
"Reathorp," the boys said together."
"Yeah?" Earnie had said, "were did you come up with that?"
"Think about it, Dad," Sam has said.
"In fact, Earnie," Bill went on, "we want to call the partnership that and we were also going to ask how complicated it would be for us to get our last names legally changed to Reathorp as well?"
"Oh, I get it! You've created an anagram of our two family names."
"Yeah, Dan, and since we didn't want to take one name of the other like a woman taking her husband's name, we thought it would, well, maybe please all four of you, you know, you and Mom and Frank and Jill."
"Well, I like it a lot better than all those crazy hyphenated names our flower children friends came up with."
"Yeah, and we didn't want our name to start with either "H" or "P."
"Equality, huh?" Earnie grinned.
"Yeah, and nubenmest."
"Yeah? Earnie said, a rather quizzical tone in his voice.
"You know, Dad, like new beginnings."
"Oh, got it." Earnie thought for a moment and then added, "you know, boys, Bisa is getting to sound more like German all the time."
"Not German, Earnie," Bill smiled, "at least not modern German. We kind of think it's reverting to something much older, some ancient Celtic language maybe, or even going back to our ancient Indo-European roots."
"Yeah?" Earnie said. "Well, for now, let me get your new
partnership registered, and `Reathorp' it will be. I don't think
we'll have to worry abut anyone else using that name."
Then the process of deciding what sort of ceremony they would have really began. Bill and Sam, never show to research every aspect of an issue, had been reading everything they could find on the nature and history of Beneinbo. They looked at ancient examples like the Aselphopoiia Rite and some of the more legal models used these days in Holland.
The legal issues came into play because they had decided to try to incorporate their name change into the service. But the historical examples also had great interest and appeal because it seemed important to them to try to demonstrate their union as a part of an old and revered tradition. In the end, the ceremony was very much their own invention, but drawing heavily on older models.
In the end the event was planned to take place in the living room of the Potter's house. Since the boys were already living in the pool house it simplified the logistics and it was agreed that if the weather was cooperative they would have a small reception around the pool following the ceremony. All four grandparents were coming and Bill's grandfather, a retired clergyman, agreed to give a closing blessing. The boys were not asking him to perform the ceremony. It would take the form of a dialog between Bill and Sam, just as their valedictory address had done a few weeks before. But a clerical blessing at the end of the ceremony seemed like a nice way to conclude.
"Don't worry about it," Grandpa Potter had said when the boys asked if he would be putting himself in some ecclesiastic risk by playing a role in the ceremony. "This new bishop keeps his mind open and his mouth shut, so I don't think it will ever be an issue. Besides, what could they do? I retired six years ago and it isn't as if they can yank my pension.
It was agreed that the Beneinbo would be at 2:00 PM on the third Saturday in August. The dress would be suites and ties for the men and the appropriate female equivalent for the women. Dinner jackets, it was thought would be too formal and out of place at an afternoon event. The reception would follow immediately after the ceremony and the boys and their families let it be known that they intended to change into cooler informal attire before abandoning the air conditioned comfort of the main house. Any of the guests who also chose to change would have the use of various bedrooms for doing so.
After the reception the boys planned to leave on a rather leisurely trip into New England, were they would spend several days in a cabin lent to the boy by old family friends. Then when the time came, they would drive south to New Heaven, were Freshman Orientation was due to start a week after Labor Day.
This plan had the added benefit of combining their Beneinbo itself with Nubenyastart. It would have seemed, they all agreed, anticlimactic to go back to work at the country club for another week after the ceremony.
Jill and Pat jumped in to plan the reception, which started out as a simple matter of cake and punch for no more then twenty people and quickly grew into a light buffet followed by cake and punch and champagne for closer to one hundred. First family members and then friends began to call as word spread, asking to be included, asking about the proper means of handling gifts, and the expected dress for the occasion.
The guest list grew still more as word of the event spread at the country club and many of the kids whom the boys had been giving private coaching wanted to come. That meant parents of those kids were coming, too, and the guest grew. Neither family had been very active in church over the years but Frank's father was to play a role and news spread among his former parishioners, many of whom were also old family friends. Some voiced their objections, which made others all the more anxious to be there.
Most surprising of all was a rather bemused call from Mr. Chappenhare, the principal at the high school from which the boys had just graduated.
"Oh, yes, Mrs. Potter," he had said, "why, is it true, what I hear, that those two splendid young men are celebrating their partnership before they go off to Yale? My yes, if so, I would like very much to be there. Representing the school, you know." And so the guest list grew with one more addition.
"It's worse than a wedding," Frank has said to Earnie one evening over drinks by the pool. "Two weeks away and already it's more time consuming than any company I run."
"Well, old buddy, it is a wedding for all intents and purposes."
"I guess so. By the way, have you lined up a judge to handle the name-change thing yet?"
"Yeah, Sam Bentley, would you believe!"
"Bentley, huh? Can he do it, legally I mean?"
"Sure, he's a setting judge and said he'd be pleased to be there. It will be part of the ceremony, you know."
"Yeah, Jill told me. I guess it does give a rather official air to the thing."
"It sure does. The state won't let the boys be married, legally, I mean, but it can't stop them from legally changing their names." He paused to take a sip of his drink and reflect on the entire thing again. "Bentley told me he has a daughter who came out a few years ago."
"Yep, she's living with her partner in Iowa. They both teach at one of the state universities there."
"Well, I guess he would be glad to officiate at the boys' ceremony then."
"Yeah, it tickled him to death. He said he thinks his daughter and her lover will be busting to do the same thing. Change their names to a shared one, I mean."
"Well, you've got to give it to those boys of ours, Earnie. With the name change and the LLC they're more or less making an end run around the laws of this state."
"And probably started something in the process, I'd bet."
A week before the Beneinbo the boys got word that their college housing request had been approved. They had permission to live off campus and the apartment they wanted, furnished and with a king size bed, was reserved for their arrival.
Two of their best friends from the high school baseball team, Tommy Johnson and Bob Call, were to be their best men and official witnesses. Tommy and Bob took the whole thing very seriously. One of their main concerns was the car. It was their idea that Bill and Sam should spend their first night as an official couple at a very nice bed and breakfast in a rather quaint town about forty miles from home. Their car would be driven there by the best men the day before the ceremony and locked safely away in a private garage. Then the evening following the Beneinbo, once they had made their escape from the reception, Tommy and Bob would drive Bill and Sam to the B and B.
Bill and Sam were quite touched by the trouble the guys were going to but did say it seemed to be a real imposition. It meant Tommy and Bob would have to drive back home and it could be quite late.
"Not a problem, guys," Tommy had grinned. "We reserved ourselves a room there, too. If you want we could meet for a late breakfast on Sunday morning before we head home and you head north."
"Yeah?" Bill had said.
"Wow," Sam had added. "Does that mean what I think it means, bro?"
Tommy looked at Bob and grinned. Bob grinned, too. "Well," Bob said, looking a little embarrassed about the whole thing, "we reserved a king room for you guys and another king room for ourselves."
"Okay!" Bill and Sam agreed.
And so the day arrived. Caterers and florists began arriving about nine that morning and by noon the circle drive of the Potter house was decorated with six large urns, each holding huge sprays of blue salvia and delphinium. Inside the house the theme was continued. The living room was cleared of most of its furniture and folding chairs sat up facing two additional sprays of blue flowers with a space about ten feet wide between them.
The living area of the pool house had also been transformed and Bill and Sam had to practically barricade their bedroom to maintain any privacy for themselves. A bar was erected by the pool and another in the pool house living room, along with a long table for the buffet and another one for the huge cake which their mothers had insisted on ordering.
"Okay, we'll go along with the cake," Bill has said, speaking for both of them, "but don't even think about putting a pair of those `groom and groom' figures on top."
"Well, actually, we thought about that," Jill grinned at her son.
"But they only had them in black tie and you boys are wearing blue blazers, right?" Pat had added.
Bill and Sam groaned at their mothers but kept their peace. In the end, a small bouquet of blue flowers crowned the cake. After the ceremony in the main house the wide ranks of sliding doors which fronted the pool house would be opened so the guests could move in and out freely.
"I just know someone's going to end up in the pool," Jill said for the third time as she and Pat made their final rounds.
"Well, just have a pile of extra towels handy," Frank had said, thinking that was the least of their worries. He had detailed a dozen security guards from his company headquarters and gotten permission from the city to close off the cul de sac on which they lived to all but invited guests and the neighbors, all of whom were invited to the big event. "I just hope we don't have a riot or a bunch of right-wing fundamentalists demonstrating out front."
And so as all that madness swirled around them, Bill and Sam locked themselves in their room and went about the business of getting themselves ready for the big event. They had slept late, waking in each other's arms.
"You nervous?" Bill had asked.
"A little, but not as much as I expected to be," Sam had confessed.
"Me too, just a little. I know as long as we stick together it
will all be fine."
"Yeah," Sam had agreed, giving Bill's sharp nose a little kiss. "You know what I want right now?"
"I can probably guess. Ebe mest ta ogors," Bill said as he slid down in the bed and gave Sam's bosser a gentle kiss. "Yeaham," Bill whispered as he opened his mouth to consume his lover, taking him deep into his throat.
"Yeaham, " Sam whispered in reply.
When Bill had licked and sucked a moment or two, leaving Sam wet and needy, he withdrew and rolled over on his stomach, spreading his legs so Sam could kneel between them.
Sam looked at him questioningly, "mus nooners assto analbo?" he asked.
"Yeaham, bergbonbo," Bill whispered in reply.
Sam had expected they'd wait until that night for assto analbo, but if Bill wanted it now, who was he to refuse? He rolled over to grab the tube of lubricant from the drawer of the bedside table and then quickly knelt between Bill's outstretched legs.
They rarely did it in this position. Usually they preferred to face each other with the one who chose to bottom on his back. But, again, today of all days, Sam would give Bill what he wanted. He quickly probed Bill's analbo with a finger, then with two, spreading the lubricant and working it in.
"Oners assto," Bill muttered, a note of impatience in his voice.
"Yeaham," Sam agreed and moved his pulsing bosser into position.
"Yeaham," Bill groaned as Sam sunk into him, gently, slowly, completely, filling him to the hilt. "mus nooners," he muttered as Sam's full weight came down on him, pressing their bodies together. "Assto analbo, bergbonbo. Assto messa bon."
And Sam did, driving his body into Bill's with all the force he could muster. Their hard, honed bodies, pounding with the energy and joy of their youth and love.
It was over too quickly, but that was probably for the good. They had a long day ahead of them and all their life together.
Sam's body convulsed, sending shock waves through him and Bill as he fired shot after blazing shot deep into his lover's bowel. Sam's climax triggered Bill's and his body heaved and shook with the violence of their passion as his seed spilled out to puddle on the rumpled sheet.
When it was past they lay together, still spent, too exhausted to move. "Yeaham, bergbonbo," they both sighed, their bodies recovering from the clash they had shared.
"Inbo dubbin glen," Sam had said at last, rolling off Bill's back and rising to stand beside the ruined bed.
"Yeah," Bill said lazily, knowing Sam was right.
The went together into the shower, standing in a gentle, loving embrace as the warm water spread over them, reviving them. They lathered each other like they had done since they were children, fondling, stroking, laughing together.
As the day progressed, everyone, first their parents, then the larger assembly of guests, recognized that in the midst of it all, Bill and Sam, Sam and Bill, were the calm center around which all else swirled. With gentleness and good humor they greeted everyone, thanked them for coming, accepted their good wishes.
Dressed in matching blue blazers and gray slacks with white shirts and gray and blue striped ties, they were strikingly handsome examples of all that is good and appealing about youthful, intelligent, athletic men. As they circulated through the growing crowd everyone nodded and smiled. Most women and not a few men embraced and kissed the boys. Not to have done so would have violated the spirit of the day.
Just before two, Frank and Earnie circulated through the assembly, asking that everyone find a chair. It had agreed that there would be no ushers and no assignment of seats to either family. The first row of chairs had been reserved for the boys' parents, grandparents and others taking part in the ceremony.
They had agreed that there would be no music during the ceremony itself, although a combo had been booked to play during the reception. Bill and Sam made sure their parents and grandparents were comfortable and then took up their positions between the two large floral arrangements. They began by thanking everyone for being there and then made a few rather moving remarks, expressing their gratitude to their families for their love and support. Once all those issues had been addressed, the boys turned to face each other.
"In berg ebe mest ta ogors mus manath sue, Sam," Bill said.
Sam repeated back, "In berg ebe mest ta ogors mus manath sue, Bill."
The boys' private language was well known, if not well understood, within the assembled circle of friends and family and their use of it in this context ellissited only a soft ripple of laughter.
"There has never been a time when we didn't know one another," Bill continued.
"And we can not imigine a time when we would not be togehter," Sam went on.
"Our lives have always been intertwined, to us it has been one shared life.
"We could not live, if not together."
"We would not want to live if not together.
"So today, before all of you, we declare our Beneinbo."
"And this afternoon, after all of you have celebrated with us, we will begin our Nubenyasta."
"We begin the rest of our life together and the first steps of that journey."
"As we discussed the ways we might celebrate our Beneinbo we looked at many models, and with the help and advice of my Grandfather, we settled on a very ancient form, the Adelphopoiia Rite."
"We have modified it somewhat and taken some liberties to make it our own."
"We put parts of it into Bisa, because that is the language we use together, and because, in some ways, it reflects the nature of the Greek and the Early Christian culture from which this rite comes."
"It is important for us that all of you are here and are a part of this very special event."
"But please excuse our use of Bisa for those parts which are ours alone."
"So now Bill's Granddad, The Reverend Charles G. Potter, will join us for the celebration of the Rite.
The older man came forward holding an old family Bible, which he opened as he took his place between Bill and Sam. The boys each placed their right hand on the open pages and then the older man began.
"Bill and Sam have expressed their desire to be united as a couple before God. They desire their union to be blessed as a union of brothers. By God's grace it will be so."
There was silence as Bill and Sam looked across the Bible into each other's eyes. Then the clergyman spoke again.
"Bill and Sam have asked God's blessing on their union that it may endure as long as God gives them life. By God's grace it will be so."
Again there was silence followed by these instructions, "If you would live together in love and harmony, if your union would be a blessing to both of you and to the world around you, if you would live honorably, tranquilly, peacefully and lovingly with one another and with all mankind, now make your vows to one another that all those here might be your witnesses."
"Mi Bill, ben to, Sam, in berg ebe mest ta ogors mus manath sue ma Beneinbo to," Bill said. His voice was strong and all in the room heard his words. But his voice not only conveyed strength but also love.
"Mi Sam, ben to, Bill, in berg ebe mest ta ogors mus manath sue ma Beneinbo to," Sam responded. His voice rang true and strong and filled with all the love he felt for Bill.
"Bato bendo mest ta?" Bill continued.
"Yeaham, Bill," Sam said, then continued, "Bato bendo mest ta?"
To which Bill said, "Yeaham, Sam." "Non be pata mum," he concluded.
And Sam also agreed, "Non be pata mum."
They turned slightly to Bill's Grandfather and nodded. The old
man said, "Amen."
Lying together some weeks later, Bill Reathorp turned and nuzzled Sam's neck with his warm, wet lips. "Non be pata mum, bergbonbo?" he whispered.
Sam Reathorp turned to look deep into Bill eyes and smiled. "Eternumen," he said.