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My dad sat back as he looked over at me. I was so vulnerable and wondering what reaction I was going to get. His look, blurred by my tears was hard to read. In a quick motion he leaned across and hugged me. I had never been held so tightly in my life, especially by my dad.
"I stand by what I said. I love you as my son. I may not agree with your lifestyle but it is your life and I respect that."
I cried harder, tears streaming down my face, sniffling hard so I didn't start slinging snot all over us. He released his grip and pulled away. "We're going to need to discuss some things between with you, your mother and I. For now, do you want to continue the game or would you like to call it a day?"
"Let's finish," I said drying my eyes, "I have a chance to finish nine in less than 50 shots."
We finished our game and I missed my mark scoring a 53 from a stubborn bunker that wanted me to stay longer than I wanted to. My dad managed to finish with a 49 after a horrible read on the ninth green giving him a double bogey. We packed the clubs away in his trunk and headed home.
"You know, I was actually dreading knowing that you would know either by me telling you or you finding out some other way. I wasn't expecting you to be first, I thought you would be last."
"Well, let this be a lesson then. Don't let the hard decisions be the last ones to make."
We got home and walked inside to see my mother in the kitchen cooking something that was really smelling good. She had a smile on her face and was singing some Journey, albeit horribly out of tune. She turned to look at us and immediately noticed some residual red puffiness around my eyes.
"What happened?" she asked.
"Just had a heart to heart with dad on the course," I replied and gave her a hug. "How was reminiscing?"
"It was nice. Lucas invited us up to his ranch if we find ourselves up in his neck of the woods."
I went to my room to change and my mother appeared in my doorway. "So I asked your dad what this heart to heart was and he said that I had to ask you."
"Well hell, if I was worried about him, what was said and how it turned out I would be a fool to think differently with you." My mother raised her eyebrows waiting for me to finish, "Mom, I'm gay."
She closed the distance and gave me a hug. "I know Boo. A mother always knows her son, I just wanted you to tell me when you were ready."
"Dad wanted to discuss some things with the three of us about me being gay but I don't know if he meant tonight or just some time in the future."
"We'll find out," she replied. She hugged me one more time and turned to leave the room. "By the way, Jason's parents suspected he is gay too and Lucas confirmed it when he heard you two outside their house before you left yesterday."
I smiled, turned beet red and fell face first on my bed. "Shit! Jason thought we were in the clear."
"Well, you were having a moment outside the guest room where he was putting his things away. He didn't want to interrupt but he didn't want to miss anything either."
Anne and Lucas returned home after brunch and saw Jason out doing chores as they walked inside. John was watching the game between the Dodgers and Padres in the living room.
"How was the brunch?" John asked.
"It was nice to catch up with Debbie," Lucas said.
"We told her what Lucas overheard last night between Jason and Steven," Anne said.
"Was that really necessary? You pretty much just forced him out of the closet to his mother." John looked disappointed.
"She already had a feeling he was gay, this was just a confirmation. She is supportive of him if he is gay," Anne replied.
The phone rang and Anne went to answer it. It was a short call and Anne returned a couple minutes later. "Debbie just called. Steven came out to his parents on his own today. See, we didn't force him out."
"Lucas, how do you suggest we go about this with Jason?" John asked, "You have the most experience between the three of us."
"Don't say anything to him. Don't force him. Don't say that Steven is gay. Let Jason work through it on his own. I'm sure Steven will talk to him and Jason will do what he feels is right for him. Just be the supportive loving parents that you've always been."
John muted the tv, "Then that is the plan."
Tuesday morning rolled around and Lucas was set to head home around 9AM. He said his goodbyes and hugs to John and Anne. He turned to Jason and gave him a big hug whispering in his ear, "I left a small box on your bed with a note. Don't be a stranger."
After Lucas left, John went into work late while Anne got paged to come in to work leaving Jason at home alone. He went to his bedroom and found the box and note on his bed. He read the note.
"Jason, I hope you don't hate me after you read this. After dinner I was putting my stuff away in the spare bedroom and overheard you and Steven outside. It only confirmed my thoughts after seeing the way you two look at each other. You two remind me of what I wanted when I was your age but I didn't find until I was older. You know my number and you can call anytime you need to talk. I am 99% sure your parents will be fine if you let them in on what is going on. If by some remote chance something doesn't work out on that end, you have a home with me. P.S. When you and Steven have gotten things sorted out and are committed to each other, open the box. Love, Lucas"
Jason slipped the note in his pocket and put the box on the top shelf in his closet. He grabbed the keys to his truck and drove over to Steven's house. He walked up to the front door and knocked on the screen. He got no answer after a couple knocks so he rang the doorbell. The dog started barking and a few seconds later Steven opened the door and let him in.
I closed the door and leaned in for a kiss that was eagerly returned. I felt little claws on my legs as my weenie dog wanted to be picked up. I broke the kiss and picked up Spike. I introduced the two of them and Spike took to him immediately trying to lick his face as he craned his neck. Jason pet him on the head and let him lick his hand.
"Did Lucas leave?"
"Yea about an hour ago. Mom and dad also went to work so I was home alone and wanted to come over and keep you company."
"Is keep me company code for make me breakfast?"
"No, we ate before Lucas left."
"Okay. I have to head down the hill today to take the radio codes test. I was going to come see you when I came home but since you're here would you like to go with me?"
"What time are you leaving here?"
"In about 90 minutes. My appointment is at 1:30PM."
"Can I use your phone to call my dad?"
Jason called his dad at work and got permission to go with me with the usual 'be safe & have fun' before hanging up. "So what are you going to do for the next 90 minutes?" Jason asked.
"Well, I was going to do some last minute studying and of course get dressed since I need to look presentable."
"How dressed up do you have to be?"
"Not in shorts and a T, so a polo with nice jeans will probably be what I wear."
"Should I go home and change?" Jason asked biting his bottom lip.
"Up to you," I placed my hands on his hips, "you look good no matter how much or little you are wearing."
We met for some good kissing and heavy petting. I led Jason to my room and we flopped down on my bed with me on top of him. Neither of us wanted to do more than just lay there, hold each other and share a kiss every now and then. We lost track of time just being with each other and I looked at my clock to see 11:30.
"Shit! I need to get dressed and we need to get going."
I threw on my clothes, brushed my teeth and we left the house almost running. Jason had the radio codes paper in his hand saying he would quiz me while driving. When I got on the freeway and traffic was light Jason started in on the quiz. The drive was nice and having him next to me holding my hand was pleasant right up until we hit traffic when we got into the city. I drove into the parking lot of the sheriff's department and went to the guard gate, showed my ID and was let into the back lot for personnel.
The facility was about 20 years old but with the proper upkeep it didn't feel like it was outdated. We walked, well, I walked and Jason followed to the volunteer services wing. This wing was a long narrow building with individual offices that faced out, there were no internal hallways. Volunteer services encompassed youth volunteers, senior volunteers and a couple offices for the heads of the reserves and search and rescue. I directed Jason to take a seat on a bench near the office I was going to and if anyone asked that he was waiting for me. Now since I had not checked him in as a visitor, I could get in trouble but I did know quite a few deputies and staff here inherited through my mothers working relationship with them over the years.
I knocked on the door of the youth volunteer deputy advisor, Dep. Fulton. He hollered at a reasonable tone that the door was open so I entered. We talked for a few minutes then he handed me a sheet of paper with shuffled number codes to write what that code means and vice versa showed the meaning but I needed to write down the code. There was no time limit but he hoped I would be finished in less than 30 minutes since he had a meeting at 2PM. I took my time and scanned through the list filling in the easy ones like 10-4 (copy, ok, understood) Code 3 (lights and sirens) Code 7 (meal break) and 999 (officer down/shot) just to name a few. There were a couple obscure ones that were not on the code list which I asked about. Deputy Fulton explained those were thrown in to see if the test taker knew more than what was on the study list. So there were some California Penal, Vehicle and Health & Safety codes in there but just a few common ones. The H&S codes I knew I got wrong but still guessed at. I managed to finish the test in 15 minutes. I gave the paper back and Deputy Fulton started grading it in front of me so that any that were missed he could discuss and correct right there.
"Okay Steven, you scored 60 of 60. You only missed a couple of the extras. The H&S and one of the vehicle codes. Still, you managed to outscore a lot of fellow volunteers who passed the test their first time." Deputy Fulton commended. "Would you like to sign up for your ride alongs now or do you want to wait until the next general meeting?"
"Now would be great sir," I replied enthusiastically.
I set up three ride alongs, one each Thursday from 5PM to 3AM. I scheduled them for metro patrol taking Dustin's advice to not go out of our hometown sub station if I didn't want to get the same rep as him up there. We shook hands and I left his office. Jason was sitting outside talking to a deputy when I came out.
Jason saw me and introduced me to the deputy talking to him, "Steven, this is Stan..."
"Stan Mendez, I haven't seen you in about four years." I finished the introduction. I looked at Jason, "Stan played with my mom and dad on the county softball league a few years back."
"Cool. I think he was trying to recruit me to volunteer like you."
"Did he succeed?" I inquired.
"No but I will consider it."
The three of us chatted for a few minutes then Stan mentioned he had a meeting with my advisor and excused himself. Jason and I walked back to my truck and started to leave. "How did you do?" Jason asked.
"Perfect score but missed some extra credit codes that were not on the study list."
"I only got a perfect score because I have a perfect boyfriend who made sure I knew the codes." I leaned over and kissed him while waiting at a stop light.
"Then let me buy us lunch, you pick the place." Jason offered.
"Well then we have to go eat the best burgers in California," I stated.
"In-N-Out here we come!" Jason yelled.
Thank you to my readers and to Jose and Ryan for proof reading my chapters. All comments are welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org