This story is a continuation of the story of Kevin Foley, Rick Mashburn, and their "sons," Tim Murphy and Kyle Goodson, that started in "Tim." It is about gay men and gay boys, and it contains descriptions of sex. The sex is never intergenerational. If you are offended by descriptions of gay sex, or if the law in your area forbids you to read them, please exit the story. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy it. I appreciate feedback, and you can send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We celebrated Justin's birthday on the Fourth of July with a pool party at the Goodsons' house. The boys had to work that day, but that wasn't a problem because the party didn't start until six. We debated going downtown for the fireworks display, but we decided that we could probably see them just as well from Kyle's back yard.
Jason and Justin were still dating, and Jason gave him two very nice shirts for his birthday. Philip and Ryan gave him a baseball cap that he put on immediately. Mont and Terry, Sam and Fred, and Kyle's brother, Clay, and Clay's roommate, Jeff, didn't have gifts, as instructed, since they really didn't know Justin. We had thought about inviting Tyrone and his wife, but the boys nixed that idea when they realized they'd have to wear bathing suits to swim if a lady was going to be there. Rick and I gave Justin $200 with strict instructions that he was to spend it on clothes or whatever else he wanted but that he was to buy something with it, not spend it as pocket money. He was pretty overwhelmed by that gesture, and he expressed his appreciation appropriately.
Justin's best gift came from his brothers, though. During the weekend after Justin started dating Jason, Tim and Kyle were fooling around with Tim's computer, which had remained at our house even after George had come home. They tried to interest Jus in learning some of the skills they had, but he didn't appear very interested.
Later, when Justin was out, Tim and Kyle talked to me about it.
"I can't believe he's never used a computer," Tim said. "How does he check his e-mail?"
"He doesn't get any e-mail, Babe," Kyle said. "You have to use a computer to even have an e-mail account."
"Oh, yeah. I didn't think of that," Tim said.
Kyle never put Tim down or teased him in a hurtful way, but every now and then he would do what he did just then: roll his eyes. I had actually thought Tim was joking when he asked how Justin checked his e-mail, and I thought it was pretty funny. When I saw what Kyle did and realized that Tim had been perfectly serious with the question, I could barely keep from laughing out loud.
"He's going to need to know stuff for school," Kyle said.
"I know. Maybe we should get him a computer for his birthday," Tim said. "What do you think about that, Kev?"
"I think that's too much money for y'all to spend," I said.
"Why," Kyle asked. "We have lots of money. You haven't spent any of yours, have you," he asked Tim.
"Not really. Just for lunch and movies and stuff like that," Tim said.
"I haven't either. We have lots of money," Kyle reiterated.
"Exactly how much do y'all make, anyway," I asked.
"Most weeks we make $600," Kyle said, "if we work the full sixty hours. We don't get that much, though, because we have to pay tax."
"Does Justin make that much, too," I asked. I knew Gene Goodson paid them well because of who they were, but I had no idea they made that much.
"Yes, sir," Kyle said.
"What does he do with it," I asked.
"He doesn't buy drugs, if that's what you're worried about," Tim said.
"Oh, no, sir," Kyle affirmed with great seriousness.
They were both quick to defend their brother, and I loved it.
"Well what does he do with it," I asked again.
The boys looked at one another, and I wondered if I had intruded into some fraternal pact of secrecy.
"He didn't say we couldn't tell," Tim said.
"Okay," Kyle said. "He's saving money to buy a car."
"How much does he have saved, do you know," I asked.
"He has about two thousand dollars," Kyle said.
"My God," I said. "That's a lot."
"I know he pays for Jason sometimes, but usually they just pay for themselves," Kyle said. "That's all he spends money on, though."
"So what do you think about buying him a computer for his birthday," Tim asked me again.
"I'm pretty sure my dad could get one cheap through the business. That's how he got mine. We only paid half price for it."
The rich get richer, I thought.
"Let's wait and see what Rick says," I replied.
"What I say about what?" Rick came into the room in time to hear my last remark.
"We want to buy Justin a computer for his birthday," Tim said.
"Have you got the money," Rick asked.
"Yes, sir," Kyle said.
"He's going to need one, don't you think," Rick asked me.
"Having a computer isn't the issue. I know he needs one. I'm just a little concerned about how much of their money it'll take to buy one," I said.
"If they're willing to, though, why not?"
"Good point," I said. "So I guess it's okay, guys."
"Cool," Kyle said. He wasted no time in getting his dad on the phone. From what we heard of the conversation, his father was more than willing to help out through the business.
"He'll order it tomorrow, and we'll have it by Tuesday," Kyle said.
"Did he say how much it would be," I asked.
"He said $460, but he thought he could get them to throw in Microsoft Office for that amount. He buys a lot of computers, and they always give him extra stuff."
"Shit, I might get him to order one for me, at that price," Rick said.
"Oh? And what would you do with it," I asked.
Rick's computer skills were as good as, or better than, mine, but he practically had to be hogtied to even check his e-mail. We had good friends out west who wrote to us regularly. He often stood over my shoulder to read their letters, but he rarely checked his own account. I checked it occasionally, and one time he had 23 messages.
"Use it to not check my e-mail," he said with a straight face, and I laughed.
Justin was very excited when he opened their gift at his party. He got tears in his eyes, and he kissed each of his brothers fondly on the cheek. The assembled friends applauded.
Kyle and Tim grilled steaks for everybody, and they served both potato salad and green salad that they had bought at a deli. We did the traditional birthday cake and ice cream thing, too. The cake had red, white, and blue icing in honor of the holiday. Justin wanted us to sing the national anthem, which I thought was rather touching, so we did.
"I've never even been to a birthday party before, much less had one of my own," Justin said matter-of-factly while we were eating. "Thanks, boys. This is really great."
Tim and Kyle grinned. It was obvious they loved Justin, and it was also obvious they were proud as hell of themselves for putting the party together. Rick and I had both majored in hospitality administration in college, and Kyle had "hospitality major" written all over him. Unlike us, though, who had had to find jobs, his family already owned a chain of properties that he and his brother would no doubt inherit one day.
I reflected on how much we take for granted when we come from the kind of middle class background that Rick, Kyle, Tim, and I had come from. Justin had fit in nicely into our family, but the years of deprivation, the years of abuse, surfaced from time to time, and that statement about never having gone to a birthday party was one of those times.
Justin and Jason went out after the party. I was sure they wanted to do a little private celebrating of Justin's birthday, and that was fine with us. Jason was a really nice kid, and I knew, or at least I thought I knew, Jus wouldn't get into any trouble with him. Jason was supposed to spend the night with us that night, and that would be the first time Jus had had a friend sleep over. He kept his room immaculate, much better than Tim and Kyle kept theirs, but he made sure it was even more spotless than it usually was in preparation for his guy spending the night.
Tim and Kyle told Justin they would set up his computer for him that night. Clay and Jeff, Kyle's brother and his friend, offered to help. Clay was in the market for a new computer, and he wanted to see what his dad could score. Setting the thing up took them all of about twenty minutes, and all four guys joined us in the den.
"So what did you think of the computer, Clay," I asked.
"It's a nice box," he said. "I'm going to ask my dad to order me one."
"Boys, y'all did a great job with the party tonight," Rick said. "Your brother was obviously very, very happy."
I seconded Rick's sentiments.
Both boys craved our approval. It wouldn't have surprised me if getting it actually aroused them sexually, but, of course, I would never have asked about that.
"Your brother? I thought I was your brother," Clay said.
"You are, but so is Justin," Kyle said.
"I haven't been a very good brother to you, have I," Clay said.
Kyle didn't say anything, and his silence spoke volumes.
"None of us have been very good to you, have we," Clay asked.
We didn't know Clay well at all, and it surprised the hell out of me that he would have said something like that in front of us. It was almost as though the rest of us weren't in the room, and it was just him and Kyle.
"Y'all have been all right to me," Kyle said after a long pause in the conversation.
"I haven't been. I haven't been honest with you," Clay said. "You've always worshiped me, haven't you?"
Kyle shrugged, but it was pretty obvious from that action that he had always worshipped Clay. Kyle lit a cigarette, the first I had seen him light in days.
"See. Even that. You smoke because I smoke, don't you?"
Kyle didn't answer. Tim, Rick, and I were on pins and needles wondering where all of that was going.
"Kyle, I came home this weekend because I wanted to tell you and Mom and Dad something. Jeff and I wanted to tell you something. I'm gay, Kyle. Just like you, and Jeff is my Tim."
"I know," Kyle said in barely a whisper.
"You knew I was gay," Clay asked.
"How did you know that?"
"Jason told me," Kyle said. "He said it by accident. Tim and I were in a coffee shop downtown a few weeks ago, and he came up to me because he thought I was you. He said y'all had dated some last summer."
"I'm sorry you had to find out that way, Kyle."
"It really pissed me off. Not that you were gay, but that you hadn't told me. I told you about me. I trusted you, but you hadn't trusted me. You knew Mom and Dad would be okay with it. They were with me, and you knew that."
"I know, and I'm sorry. Will you forgive me," Clay asked.
"What's to forgive," Kyle asked. "You didn't do anything to me."
"Clay wants you to forgive him for not trusting you, buddy," Rick said. "Am I right, Clay."
"Okay, I forgive him," Kyle said.
"Can't you do a little better than that," Rick asked.
"I don't know what I'm supposed to do, Rick. I thought he and I had a relationship, you know? I told him everything. I told him when I first decided that I was gay. I told him I had a crush on Tim the very night I first met him at a scout meeting. I sent him e-mail about the first time Tim and I made love as soon as I could after it happened. I thought he was straight, but I wanted to share everything about me with him. Even that. He had told me about the girls he had fucked, and I wanted to share what I did, too."
Clay colored a bit when Kyle said that.
"Don't you think he might have been afraid," Rick asked.
"Afraid of what? Afraid I would think less of him because he was gay?"
"Kyle, I wanted to tell you, Bubba. I wanted to tell you bad, man. But I was afraid," Clay said.
"Babe, I knew you were pissed off about Clay dating Jason and not telling you, but I didn't know you felt this strong about it," Tim said.
"I guess I didn't tell you because I really didn't know I cared that much until tonight," Kyle said. "I really love you, Clay. I did worship you. I still do worship you, man. I don't care if you're gay. How could I possibly care, or think less of you, if you're gay? In fact, that was something we could have shared, and we didn't. You wouldn't."
"I know," Clay said.
"You probably felt like shit because you were gay, but don't you think I felt that way, too? It wasn't until I met Tim and these guys that I felt like I was worth anything. I told you I was gay when I was twelve years old. Tim and I became boyfriends seven months ago. For four years I felt totally worthless. That was a quarter of my life until I met these guys."
Clay started crying, and Jeff put his arm around him, as a boyfriend should under those circumstances.
Tim was the next to start, and he wrapped his arms around my legs for strength and support. I looked at Rick with pleading eyes. Kyle was stoic and unmoved.
"Let it go, son. You know you want to," Rick said.
Kyle let forth a blast of tears. He scooted over to Rick and hugged his legs like Tim was hugging mine.
"Not me. Him. Hug your brother," Rick said.
Kyle scooted over to Clay, and the brothers hugged. Jeff turned Clay loose, and Clay and Kyle had a good, long, reconciling cry.
"Jesus Christ," Rick said when we finally got into bed. "We're getting too old for this shit."
"Did you know anything about that before tonight," I asked.
"Do you think I wouldn't have told you, if I did," he asked.
"Good point," I said.
"It's kind of easy for us to forget Kyle because he doesn't really seem all that needy, you know," he said.
"Compared to Justin, especially," I said.
"Well, and Tim, too, with George being gone and all, and Tim's mom a basket case. But Kyle's parents are really not there for him, either, very much. It just about tore me up tonight when he said that about feeling worthless for four years."
"I know. He's said as much before, but I guess I didn't hear it as clearly as I did tonight," I said.
"I still think he's a pretty well adjusted kid. Now that I know what he went through, sort of, I have more respect for him than I did before."
"What did you think of Clay and Jeff," I asked.
"Well, they're both very good looking, especially Clay."
"Kyle looks just like him," I said.
"But what did you think of them," I asked again.
"I thought Clay was a lot like you had been."
"That's what I thought you thought," I said. "I knew my parents wouldn't have had a problem with me being gay, but I was so scared to admit it to anyone but my brother."
"How did Craig react when you told him," Rick asked.
"He was, like, 'so?' Then he said, 'I'm straight.' I said 'so?' Then he bought us another round of beers."
"How did you tell your parents," he asked. That was the fourth or fifth time we had been over that, but I knew he liked hearing about it, so I continued.
"I didn't. When they were driving home from my college graduation, my dad announced that he knew I was gay, and if anybody in the car had a problem with that they would answer to him. The people in the car were Craig, my mom, and my grandmother. They didn't have a problem with it."
"I love that story," he said.
"No, you don't. You love me," I said.
"No argument there," he said.
"But I was scared and depressed about what I was for a long time," I said.
"But you got me now, right? And we're going to do this life thing together, right? Even if it kills us, right? Which it probably will in about seventy years."
"Absolutely," I said.
"Absolutely." He wrapped his arms around me more tightly, and we
went to sleep.
The next morning was a typical Sunday, but Jason had to leave right after breakfast, and Kyle and Tim had plans to play beach volleyball with some of their friends from school. By ten o'clock it was just Justin, Rick, and me in the house. We hung around the table.
"Can I talk to y'all about some things," Jus asked.
"Sure, buddy. What's on your mind," I asked.
"Well, first of all, I want to say thank you again for the birthday party. I know Kyle and Tim organized it, but I also know y'all paid for everything. I had a wonderful time, and I'm going to remember it the rest of my life," he said.
"It was our pleasure," I said. Rick dittoed my comment.
"I wanted to tell you that I really like Jason."
That wasn't surprising, but the way he said it made me think there was more he wanted to talk about in Jason's regard.
"I know you guys have kissed," I said.
"We've done more than that. That's what I want to talk about," he said.
"We'll try to answer any question you have, Jus," Rick said.
"I know. This is really personal, you know?"
"It's okay, Jus. Take your time, son," I said.
"All that stuff I did before," he said. "I don't want it to make Jason sick. We haven't been sucking or fucking yet, but he wants to. I told him I wasn't ready yet, and he's cool with that, but I really want to, too."
I was puzzled by what he was talking about, but I didn't want to be threatening by asking questions.
"When you were with those guys before, did they wear condoms," Rick asked gently.
"Most of the time," he said. "I got paid an extra twenty if they didn't have to wear one, though."
"Did you do that often," I asked.
"Not at all in the last six or eight months, and only now and then before that," he said.
"Do you want to get tested for HIV," Rick asked. "I think it would be a good idea, buddy."
"Yeah. Do you know how to do it," he asked.
"No, but I bet our doctor does," he said. "I'll call first thing in the morning."
"Thanks. If I have it, can I still stay here," he asked. His voice was weak, and I knew he was scared.
"This is your home, Justin. Where would you go," Rick asked.
Huge tears formed in Justin's eyes, but he fought them back. Then he broke into an enormous grin, and Rick and I grinned, too.
Justin let out a deep breath.
"Oh, man. That was hard," he said.
"Did you have anything else you wanted to talk about," I asked.
"Well, yeah. School."
Tim and Kyle had been bemoaning the fact that they had to go back to school on August 8th, and I had noticed Justin's anxiety when the S word came up.
"Do I have to go to school? I've never been to high school, and I'm kinda old to start."
I hadn't thought of that, but he was right. A seventeen-year-old freshman, especially one with the kind of experience Jus had under his belt, was a pretty scary thought. Even if he went through in four years, he'd be almost twenty-one when he graduated. I wasn't sure they would even let him do it.
"There's an adult school here," Rick said. "Some of the guys who work for me have talked about it."
"Do you know anything about it," he asked. "Like, could I go there? I know I need some education, but I just don't want to go with kids who are fourteen."
"That will be phone call number two tomorrow," Rick said.
"I'll take care of that one, Babe," I said. Then, "Anything else," I asked.
"Yeah, just one more thing. I'd like to buy a car," he said. "A pickup, really."
"Tim and Kyle told me about that," I said.
"I know. They said they did. They said you were surprised I have so much money saved," he said. He was obviously pretty proud of himself for saving that money.
"I think it's a good idea," Rick said. "What about you, Babe?"
"I do, too. And you'll need one if you go to adult school."
"Will y'all help me buy one," he asked.
"Of course," I said.
"He loves car shopping, Jus. He loves being a pain in the ass about it with the salesman, too," Rick said.
I just grinned, but Rick was right. I did love it, and I did tend to push a hard bargain.
"Will two thousand bucks be enough," he asked.
"You can probably get a used truck for that, but we can also co-sign a loan for you," Rick said.
"What does that mean," he asked.
"You put a down payment on a truck, and borrow the rest of the money. You have to pay so much on it every month," I explained.
"The co-sign part means that Kevin or I sign that we'll make the payments if you don't," Rick said.
"Oh, I'll make the payments," he said.
"Good. That way we won't have to kick your ass," Rick said.
Jus laughed and turned a little red.
"Have you looked at any trucks," I asked.
"Naw. Jay and I talked about doing that after I got off one day," he said.
"Where's Jay now," I asked. "I mean, I know he went home, but was there something going on?"
"He had to go to church with his parents and then out to eat with them. He'll probably come over later on, if that's all right."
"Sure, it's all right. You could probably do some looking this afternoon. Most lots are closed on Sunday, but you can go look around at what they have. The price will be posted," I said. "There's also the paper. There are a lot of car ads in the Sunday paper."
"I'll check those out, too," he said.