This story is a continuation of the story of Kevin Foley, Rick Mashburn, and their "sons," Tim Murphy, Kyle Goodson, and Justin Davis that started in "Tim" and continued in "Justin." It is about gay men and gay boys living and loving together as a family, 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.
Kyle, Part 1
Brian's first week with us went very well. He was a very smart boy, and he was really conscientious about his school work. Tim and Kyle had spent Sunday and Monday night at our house, but they went elsewhere Tuesday night after we had heard about Brian's first day at school. He had met Dave and was very impressed.
On Friday night, Tim and Kyle took Brian and Dave out on a double date. It was the first time Brian had had a date of any description, and he was so excited he couldn't sit still.
"What if he doesn't like me," Brian asked rhetorically.
"He likes you, Bri. Trust me on that one," Kyle said.
"He had lunch with us every day this week," Tim said. "He'd never had lunch with us before. And didn't you guys hang out some after school a couple of days?"
"Yeah. We shot some hoops and talked and stuff," Brian said.
"See, Bri, he's already your friend," Tim said.
"Did you guys get up to anything," Justin asked.
"What do you mean," Bri asked.
Justin ran his tongue all over his lips in a very exaggerated way, to indicate passionate kissing. We all laughed at him.
"Naw. I don't know if he does that," Brian said.
"Oh, he does it, don't worry," Kyle said.
"Is he gay," Justin asked.
"Yeah, he's gay," Bri said.
"Did y'all come out to each other," Rick asked.
"Un-huh. He said he figured I was because I lived here. He was cool about it, though."
"Most gay guys are cool about other guys being gay," Rick said. "They sort of understand, you know?"
Brian gave Rick a wonderful sarcastic look, as much as to say, "No shit, Sherlock." Rick grabbed him in a head lock and messed up his already-spiked hair.
"God, I can't stand this shit y'all put in your hair," Rick said, pulling away a hand covered with gel.
"It's the style," Kyle said. "Deal with it."
"I actually think it looks good," Rick said. "It's just such a mess when I give y'all nuggies."
"Then don't give us nuggies," Kyle said.
"I think it looks good, too," I said. "Do you think we could get away with wearing our hair like that?"
"What do you think, Kyle. Do you think your dad would mind if we wore our hair like that," Rick asked.
"Shit. He wouldn't mind if y'all showed up butt-naked," Kyle said.
"It's buck naked, not butt," Rick said.
"Buck, butt, whatever," Kyle said. "Y'all haven't figured it out yet? He thinks you two hung the moon."
Rick and I looked at one another and smiled. Gene had said more or less the same thing to us individually and together, in both our professional dealings with him and in our personal association.
"I wish Jeff had been able to come home this weekend," Kyle said. "This is two weekends in a row when we haven't seen him."
"Is Jeff your brother," Brian asked.
"Well, sort of. Jeff was my brother's boyfriend. My brother died a few weeks ago," Kyle said.
"I'm sorry to hear that, Kyle," Brian said.
"Thanks. We're all the family Jeff has now. He's like you, Bri. His parents kicked him and his brother out when they found out they were gay. He and Clay were in love, and then Clay died."
"What are you going to do if Dave wants to suck face tonight," Jus asked. Justin walked over to Kyle and put his arm around his shoulder.
"Thanks," Kyle whispered to Jus. Jus kissed him lightly on the cheek.
"Remember what we said, now, Bri," Rick said. "Don't do anything you don't want to do."
"But what if I want to," Brian asked.
"Then go for it, dude," Justin said. "Are you on the pill, or do you need for me to give you a few rubbers?"
"I'm on the pill," Brian shot back instantly.
We all laughed, and I think Justin was a little surprised at Brian's quick response.
"Well, pill or no pill, we've got to go," Kyle said.
"Yeah, we do, too. We're meeting up with a couple of guys," Jus said. That was the first time he had ever alluded to having friends outside our immediate circle.
"What are you guys doing," I asked.
"I don't know. We might shoot pool," Jus said.
"Or we might go skating, which is what I want to do," Jay said.
"Or we might go skating," Jus said.
"Would y'all like to come with us," Jay asked.
Rick and I looked at each other. I knew he would love to go skating, but I shook my head "no."
"Thanks, guys, but we're going to hang out here, I think," Rick said.
"Y'all have fun," I said, and the five of them left.
"God, almighty," I said. "What did we do to deserve them?"
"I know. I don't think we do deserve 'em. I think it was a case of luck," he said.
"I think you're right. Do you feel like giving Jerry a call to see if he wants to come over? We haven't seen him in a while," I said.
"Yeah. That's a good idea," Rick said.
I called Jerry's home number at the rectory, and Father Larson answered.
"St. Joseph rectory," the voice said.
"Yes," he said.
"This is Kevin Foley. May I speak with Father Jerry, please," I said.
There was an uncomfortable pause.
"Father Jerry isn't here. Is this an emergency," he asked.
"No. I'm a friend of his. I just wanted to see if he wanted to come over, if he wasn't doing anything. I'll catch up with him later. Sorry to disturb you," I said.
"Are you one of those two men with all those boys? George Murphy's friend," he asked.
"Yes, sir. I mean, yes, Father," I said.
"Kevin, Jerry's in the hospital. He was in a coma until yesterday. They broke both of his legs, and I've been very worried about him."
"What happened, Father," I asked. Rick had picked up on the urgency in my voice.
"Two men attacked him. I don't know any more details. The police were very vague about it all," he said.
"What hospital is he in," I asked. "Can he have visitors?"
"He's in the Panhandle Medical Center, and, yes, he can have visitors now. His brother flew down from Boston. He and I have taken turns staying with Jerry. He's such a good man," he said.
"I know. He's a good friend," I said.
"I know he is, Kevin. He's talked quite a bit about you and your roommate. Rick, is it?"
"Yes, Father, Rick. And we're not roommates, exactly, Father."
"I know. And I think Jerry would really like to see you boys, if you have time to drop by. He's in room 432. Jerry needs his friends right now," he said. "He needs his brothers. All of his brothers."
"Thanks, Father," I said.
"Thank you, Kevin, and thank Rick, too. Good night."
"Good night, Father," I said, and we both hung up.
"Is Jerry in the hospital," Rick asked, somewhat alarmed.
"Yeah. Evidently some thugs beat him up. They broke both of his legs and put him in a coma. He's out of the coma now, though. He's in Panhandle," I said.
"Can he have visitors," Rick asked.
"Yeah. I want to go see him, okay?"
"I'll drive," Rick said.
"Did he say what happened," Rick asked as we drove to the hospital.
"Just that two guys attacked him. His brother came down from Boston to be here with him. I wonder why his parents didn't come down," I said. I couldn't imagine my parents not coming to wherever I was in a coma.
"His parents live here, remember," Rick said.
"Hey, that's right. I forgot that. Maybe they're out of town or something," I said.
"What did he say when you said I'm not exactly your roommate?"
"He said, 'I know.'"
"So, you think he knows we're gay," Rick asked.
"That's what it seemed like to me, Babe. Do you care that he knows," I asked.
"Yes, I do care. I want everybody to know you're mine and I'm yours," he said.
"You're sweet," I said.
"So are you. That's why we love each other. We're sweet boys," he said. "We're cake boys."
"Is that why we're both sweet," I asked.
"Some cakes are sweeter than others, of course. Take your basic hoecake. They aren't sweet at all," he said.
"Pay more attention to the driving and less to the puns, please," I said.
He laughed. "You know what a hoecake is, right? Cornbread?"
"Yes, I know what a hoecake is." Pause. "You're incredible, you know that?"
"You ain't so bad yourself, for a cake boy," he said.
"We forgot to leave a note for the boys, to tell them where we're going," I said.
"We're not accountable to them," he said. "We can go out without telling them. Plus, it'll be hours before they come home."
"I know we're not accountable to them. They're old enough to take care of themselves. I know that. But still. It's Jerry, Babe. Don't you think they'll want to know?"
"Yeah, but we can tell them tomorrow. We didn't call anybody else, either," he said.
"Let's find out what's going on first," I said. "We can call them tomorrow."
We pulled into the hospital parking lot around 7:30, and it was pretty full. It took a few minutes to find a parking place, and, when we did, we were a pretty good distance from the entry. When we got inside, we told the lady at the desk that we were there to see Jerry Taylor.
"There's a Reverend Gerald Taylor in room 432," she said. "Is that who you mean?"
Suddenly, I remembered that was his room number. "Yes, ma'am," I said.
"You can take those elevators," she said, pointing to a bank of elevators that was across from her desk.
"Thanks," I said.
The door to Jerry's room was partially open, and there was just one small lamp lighting the place. The TV was on, and we could hear it at the door. I knocked.
"Come in," Jerry said.
When Rick and I walked in, Jerry's face lit up in a grin.
"Hi, Jerry," we said in unison.
"Well, look who's here. Hi, guys. Come in. Come in. Pat, these are the guys I was telling you about. The ones with the kids," Jerry said. "Kevin, Rick, this is my brother, Patrick Taylor."
Patrick stood up to shake our hands.
Patrick was about six feet tall, solidly built, and in his mid-twenties. He looked a lot like Jerry, and his dark hair and light eyes were as striking on him as they were on his brother. He had a preppy, Abercrombie & Fitch look that I found very appealing.
"Sit down, guys. How'd you find out I was in this place," Jerry asked.
We took seats.
"I'll be back in a few minutes," Pat said. "I'm going to step outside for a smoke."
"Okay, Pat," Jerry said.
"We called you tonight to see if you wanted to come over and hang out," I said. "I talked to Father Larson, and he told me you were in here. What the hell happened?"
"Do you want the 'for public consumption' version, or the real version," Jerry asked.
"What do you think, asshole," Rick asked.
"That's what I thought," he said. "Last Saturday night I presided at a commitment ceremony for two gay men. I met them right after I met you guys, at the gym, in fact. I haven't really socialized with them very much, but we go out for coffee after our workouts, usually."
"I thought you had stopped working out," Rick said. "What did you do? Switch to days?"
"Yeah. There are too many nighttime activities in the parish that I need to be at," he said. "Mid-day is a much better time for me. Anyway, one of the guys is Catholic. We got to talking about public commitment ceremonies and whether the Church will ever allow such things. I'm all in favor of full sacramental marriage for gay and lesbian couples, but I'd probably get excommunicated if I tried that. I told them, though, that I was willing to preside at a non-sacramental commitment ceremony."
"A priest presided at ours," I said. "An old family friend."
"I'm not surprised. Many priests are doing that these days. It was really a nice ceremony in a private dining room at a restaurant. All of their parents were there and about thirty of their friends. We had the ceremony, along with the mandatory tears from both mothers, and then we had drinks, followed by dinner. It was perfect. The two guys were as happy as any two people I've ever seen at a wedding. Much happier, in fact, than most straight couples."
We chuckled because that seemed like the thing to do.
"I noticed two guys, who didn't appear to be a couple, really hitting the booze hard, but I didn't think much of it. One of them was the younger brother of one of the grooms, and I took it the other one was his friend. I typically like to be the first one to leave a wedding because a lot of people won't party like they really want to if a priest is there. So, after dessert and the toasts and all, I said good night to the two guys and left.
"I had to stop in the men's room on my way out, and I saw the brother and his friend in the lobby. I didn't think anything of it. They followed me out to my car, though. The brother had not been one of the witnesses, but I also thought that maybe his job was to give me a tip. That's totally unnecessary, but it's a very common practice."
"Yikes, we didn't give Uncle Ray a tip," I said.
"No, but your dad did, Babe. I saw the check on his desk before it started, and it was a good one. Don't worry about that," Rick said.
"Good. Sorry, Jerry. Keep on," I said.
"That's okay. Anyway, they came up to me. The brother grabbed me by my lapels, and he spat in my face. 'Fucking fag lover,' he said. I almost shit my pants when he did that. 'That's my goddamn brother you just hooked up with that fucking queer.' The other guy brought out a baseball bat. 'You're going down, motherfucker,' he said, and he hit me in one of my knees. He did it again in the other knee, and you know what?"
"What," we both said anxiously.
"This motherfucker went down."
Rick and I both laughed hard at the way he said that.
"I hit my head hard on the asphalt of the parking lot. I got a concussion from that, and it put me in a light coma. I woke up day before yesterday."
"Father Larson said you woke up yesterday," I said.
"He's got that wrong. It was day before yesterday. My parents are in Europe, but Pat was here when I woke up," Larry said.
"How do you feel," I asked.
"When I first woke up, I had the headache of a lifetime. I'm actually feeling pretty good right now. I'll be on crutches for a couple of months, but I'm going home tomorrow," Larry said.
"So, you don't have broken legs, right," Rick asked.
"No. Shattered kneecaps. Did Tony tell you I had broken legs?"
"Tony? Father Larson?"
"Yeah," Larry said.
"Yeah, he said you have two broken legs and were in a coma," I said.
"I was in a light coma, that's true, but it's my knees, not my legs, that are busted," he said.
"What happened to the two guys," Rick asked.
"I have no idea. The police have been here a couple of times, and I've told them everything I remember. Walt and Roger, the couple who got married, are on their honeymoon, so they don't even know about it, as far as I know. A bus boy who was out having a smoke saw it happen, and he called 911. The ambulance came and took me away, apparently, and the people at the restaurant didn't even know it had happened. And that's the way I want it. I want Walt and Roger to remember their happiness, not that the priest got beaten up by Roger's brother and his friend."
"Are you going to press charges," I asked.
"Well, it's sort of out of my hands. What they did was a criminal offense, so the State's Attorney is in charge of that aspect of it. Nobody from that office has been around to talk to me. I guess they'll deal with it as a mugging or something. They didn't rob me, though."
Patrick came back into the room.
"Sorry I had to step out," he said.
"No problem, man. I'm a smoker, and he's an ex-smoker. We understand," I said.
Pat grinned. "That wasn't the reason. I knew you guys would want to hear what happened, and I just couldn't listen to that again."
"Best friends," I asked, thinking about my own brother.
"And then some," Pat said.
Just then there was an announcement that visiting hours were over. I glanced at my watch, and it was 8:45.
"Do we have to leave," I asked.
"I'm afraid so," Jerry said. "They even kicked his ass out last night at the end of visiting hours. Thanks for coming by, guys. I really appreciate it."
"What time are they discharging you tomorrow," I asked.
"I don't really know a time," Jerry said. "Before noon, though. I know that. My insurance won't pay for another day, unless it's a whole day, for medical reasons."
"We'll be here at nine," Rick said.
"You don't have to do that," Jerry said.
"Yes, we do. Have a good night, buddy," Rick said.
We both hugged Jerry, and I saw tears forming in his eyes, happy tears. We left, and Pat left with us.
"Thanks for coming tonight, guys," Pat said. "I saw those tears in his eyes, so I know how much he appreciated it that you guys came by."
"He's our friend, man," Rick said. "He's got a lot more friends, too. We'll call them tonight and let them know."
"Thanks, Rick. How'd he make so many friends so quickly? He's only been here a few weeks."
"Well, it's kind of a network through us, you know? It's all men and boys," Rick said.
"Gay men and boys," Pat asked.
Rick looked at me for approval, and I nodded very subtly.
"Yes, Pat. Gay men and boys. One man is straight, though, but his son is gay."
"Guys, I'm not going to bullshit you. I knew you were gay. I'm gay, too. Would you guys like to get a beer or something? I'm not really ready to go home right now," Pat said.
"Sure," I said. "You want to follow us?"
"Are you guys sure you want to come back here tomorrow morning," Pat asked.
"Absolutely," Rick said.
"Would you mind if I ride with you and you drop me off at home? I can pick up my car tomorrow, if you're willing to pick me up in the morning. I need to be with people tonight."
"That's a great idea," Rick said. "You can spend the night at our house, if you want to. Have we got an empty bed tonight, Babe?"
"Justin didn't say, but he usually spends the night at Jay's house on Friday night," I said. "There's always the sofa, though. It's real comfortable, Pat."
"The sofa sounds great to me. I just don't want to be alone in my parents' house. I've been alone too much lately," Pat said.
We piled into Rick's car and headed home.
"The more I think about what happened to Jerry, the more pissed off it makes me," Rick said.
"I know what you mean," I said. "I hope they catch those bastards and put 'em away. Florida has hate crime laws, and that was a hate crime if I've ever heard of one."
"I think you're right, Kevin," Pat said, "but proving that might be kind of hard. I mean it would be Jerry's word against theirs."
"But since they didn't rob him, and given the circumstances, don't you think they could make hate crime stick," I asked.
"Maybe," Pat said.
"Are you a lawyer," I asked.
"Actually, I am," Pat said. "A new one, but a real one, nevertheless."
"My older brother's a lawyer," I said.
"No. In New Orleans. His wife's a lawyer, too. Do you work for a firm," I asked.
"Yes. I'm the most junior associate. They're working my ass off, too. They didn't want to give me time off to come down here, but when I told them my brother is a priest, they said okay. That's kind of how it works in Boston. The Church has enormous prestige there. Or had."
"'Or had,'" I asked.
"This scandal shit has really struck a blow at the Catholic Church in Boston. Hell, in the whole country, for that matter," Pat said.
"We know about Jerry's little run-in with the law, Pat, and we're cool with that and with him," Rick said. "So don't worry about us, man. We know he came down here to get away from all of that."
"Rick, Jerry would never do anything with a kid, man," Pat said.
"Do you think we'd have him around our kids if we thought he would," Rick asked.
"Good point," Pat said. "Tell me about these kids. Whose are they? Yours?"
"Yeah, they're ours, but not our biological kids. The youngest one is fourteen, and Kevin and I are both twenty-six. Let me see. How do I explain the kids," Rick said.
"We have two foster sons, Pat," I said.
"Somehow I thought it was more than that," he said.
"Well, it really is. Our next door neighbor is divorced, and his son was our foster son while he was in the Indian Ocean on a Navy ship. His name is Tim Murphy. Tim has a boyfriend named Kyle Goodson. Tim and Kyle are our kids, too. Kevin and I are named in their parents' wills as their guardians, if their parents were to die."
"Our two foster sons are Justin Davis and Brian Mathews. Justin has a boyfriend named Jason. He's around the house a lot, so he' sort of a family member, too," I said.
"So how many is that," Pat asked.
"Five," I said. "Justin, Brian, Tim, Kyle, and Jason. Oh, and there's Jeff. Jeff was Clay Goodson's boyfriend until Clay died. Now Jeff is our son, too, pretty much. But he's in college, so he's only here on weekends."
"My God! That's six kids! Are they all gay," Pat asked.
"Oh, yeah," Rick said. "There are more, too. There are Philip and Ryan. They're a couple, and they're Tim and Kyle's best friends. They have parents, though, damn it. And Chad and Gage. Chad's uncle, Sam, has custody of him right now while things settle down at his parents' home. I don't know that much about Gage, except that he's Chad's boyfriend."
"Whoa! You guys are blowing my mind," Pat said.
We pulled into the garage at that moment, and we all went inside. Pat made some polite comment about how nice our house was, but we all knew our house was very ordinary. It was comfortable for a bunch of guys, but Home and Garden Television wasn't knocking our door down to film the place.
I got drinks for everyone. Rick wanted a diet soda, of course, but Pat and I both had scotch and water. Rick went into the kitchen right after I brought out the drinks, and in about fifteen minutes he came back in with a tray of goodies: two types of cheese, sausage, olives, chicken salad spread he had picked up at a deli, radishes, celery stalks, baby carrots, and slices of yellow squash. There were two different dips for the veggies, and two or three different types of crackers. Pat's eyes just about popped out of his head, and I beamed with pride at my guy. Those restaurant boys come in handy, I thought.
"Damn, Rick. It would have taken me half a day to make this," Pat said.
"Years of restaurant experience, my friend," Rick said with a smile.
Pat and Rick both dove into the food. We hadn't eaten anything yet that evening, and I was pretty hungry, too. After we had gotten a little glass plate full of food, Pat took us back to the conversation in the car.
"I want to talk some more about all those kids," Pat said.
"Like what," Rick asked.
"Does Jerry know all of them," he asked.
"He knows everybody but Brian. He's new. We just got him last Sunday afternoon. We went to Mass Sunday night. We wanted Jerry to meet our new son, but Father Larson said it. Now we know why," I said.
"Does Jerry usually say that Mass," Pat asked.
"Yeah, pretty much. The Saturday five o'clock Mass, too. We usually go on Saturday night, and then all of us go out to eat. We have a kind of hang-out place where we go. It's a sports bar and grill. A lot of times the kids have plans, so it's just the grown-ups," Rick said.
"Like you, Kevin, and Jerry," Pat asked.
"And a bunch of other friends, too," Rick said.
"Do you guys have a piece of paper and a pen I can borrow. I want to write down all these names and relationships," Pat said.
I got him paper and pen. Rick and I went through the list of the kids and their boys once again, and Pat drew an organizational chart like this one.
Then we started going through the list of friends. Pat kept drawing charts, like these.
"My God," Pat said when he had drawn his charts. "You people have a lot of friends."
"And we left off two important ones, too," Rick said. "They would be Gene and Rita Goodson. Kyle's parents.
"Let me add them," Pat said.
"Add yourself while you're at it, buddy," Rick said.
Pat grinned at both of us.
"How does this look," Pat asked, passing his charts to Rick and me.
"You got it all correct. Do you have, like, this compulsive disorder or something," Rick asked.
"Yeah, I actually think I do. I'll study these charts, and I'll know who goes with whom, when and if I meet them," Pat said.
"Are you ready for another drink," I asked Pat and Rick. Rick said he was fine, but Pat wanted another one, and so did I. I really liked that guy, and I could tell Rick liked him a lot, too.
Pat thanked me for his drink.
"I can't believe how many people you guys are in touch with," Pat said.
"Those are just the people we consider our best friends, or our immediate family. We have lots more friends than that," Rick said. "We belong to a running club, and we probably have fifty friends in that. We also belong to a Mardi Gras Krewe, so add another twenty-five there. That's how we met Monte and Terry. By the way, Fred, the guy with Sam, is Mont's brother. Sam is the boys' assistant scout master."
"Which boys are scouts," Pat asked.
"Kyle, Tim, and, soon, I hope, Brian. Brian is real close to Eagle, so we're going to get him back in their troop, so he can make it. Philip and Ryan are in the troop, too," Rick said.
"Any Eagles," Pat asked.
"Yeah. Sam, Tim, Kyle, and Philip," Rick said. "And soon Brian."
Pat was laughing and talking at the same time. "I don't believe this. I'm an Eagle, too. How many gay Eagles can there be in the world? We've got five, and almost six, right here," he said.
"I know. It's awesome, isn't it," Rick said.
"What about you guys? Are you scouts?"
"I am," Rick said. "I'm a Life Scout. He wasn't one of us," he said, meaning me. "Guys, I'm having a great time, but I want to run tomorrow morning, and I need to get to bed."
"How much do you run, Rick," Pat asked.
"I don't know. Tomorrow maybe 20 miles. It just depends," Rick said.
"Twenty miles? Holy shit," Pat said.
"I'm sort of compulsive about it," Rick said.
"He's a marathoner," I said. "He used to run tri. He finished the Ironman year before last."
"Oh, shit," Pat said. "Where am I? In the halls of Mount Olympus?"
Just then the front door burst open and the kids came in. They seemed pretty excited. We introduced them to Pat as Pat Taylor, a friend of ours. We didn't want to get into the stuff about Jerry because we didn't want to break their mood.
"So how was your first date, Brian," Rick asked.
"It was fun. I had a great time. Dave is really nice," Brian said.
"You knew that, though, didn't you," I asked.
"I knew I liked him, but I didn't know until tonight that I really liked him," Bri said.
"You should have seen it, Bubba," Kyle said to Rick. "It was like luv developing right there. They were so cute together." Kyle lit up a cigarette.
"Is it okay to smoke," Pat asked.
"Only for me," Kyle said.
"Don't listen to his bullshit, Pat. Of course it's okay to smoke," Rick said.
Pat lit up.
"Pat, you look really familiar to me. Do I know you," Tim asked.
"You know my brother, Tim," Pat said.
"Yep," Pat said.