This story is a continuation of the story of Kevin Foley, Rick Mashburn, and their "sons," Tim Murphy, Kyle Goodson, Justin Davis, and Brian Mathews that started in "Tim," continued in "Justin" and "Kyle," and now continues in "Kyle, Part 2." It is about gay men and gay boys living and loving together as a family, and it contains descriptions of sex, but 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 2
I had a great talk with Kevin and Rick when I got home after work on the Monday after Thanksgiving. I hadn't really been around the house as much as the other guys because of Jason, but that was going to change. They seemed real proud of me for doing so well in school, and them being proud of me made me happy.
I had a lot to be happy about right then. We had had a great Thanksgiving, and I thought I was falling in love with Brian. I had thought about him all that day, and I had stayed at least half hard. My pre-cum flooded out of me all day. Around ten that morning my underwear was so wet I went into the restroom at work and stuffed toilet paper in my briefs to keep them dry. I had to change the paper a couple of times as the day wore on, and I'm sure I looked like some kind of humongous stud with a big ole bulge in my jeans. A couple of times I started to just jerk off and give myself some relief, but it felt good being half aroused all day, too.
We talked about the plans for Christmas that night, and we all got excited. I pretty much knew Brian didn't have any money except for the allowance they gave him, and he needed that money to just live on. I had already decided I would help him out with his Christmas presents, and I figured Kyle would chip in, too, just like he would for Tim. After that discussion, though, I didn't think I'd have to give him as much.
We got to talking about going to New Orleans, and Kyle took the words right out of my mouth when he asked if we could go to a few gay places to see what they were all about. Kevin and Rick were always a lot of fun, but they definitely weren't party animals. They had gone out three or four times to clubs with their friends since I had been there, but they always went to straight places. There were only two or three gay clubs in town and on the beach, so there wasn't a lot to choose from, but when they went out they didn't go to those. Mostly what they liked to do was party with the family and our friends. They didn't do a thing to hide the fact that they were a gay couple, and you would have thought it would be more comfortable for them in a gay place.
Timmy said he wanted to go someplace to catch beads in New Orleans, and that brought up the idea of checking out places on the Internet that had pictures of guys showing their dicks to get beads. The four boys went upstairs to check it out on my computer. Kyle and Tim had given it to me for my birthday, but I hadn't spent much time fooling with it. I had to use a computer at work sometimes, and just about everything I did at school was on a computer. I just hadn't felt much like using the computer at home, too.
Kyle asked if we wanted to see some horny movies of guys having sex, so he got some he had gotten from his brother. We were all sitting on my bed in just our underwear. I was holding Brian, and he and I were both already hard before the first movie started.
I didn't really like the movie of the guys fucking. It brought back too many bad memories for me, but seeing their cum shoot out without anybody jerking their dicks was pretty hot. One movie showed a guy rimming another boy.
"Have you ever done that," Brian asked.
"Yeah," I said.
"Did you like it," he asked.
"Yeah. I like doing it, and I like having it done to me," I said. I didn't want him to think I was putting pressure on him, but I wouldn't mind having his tongue up my ass, if he was willing.
"We do that all the time," Tim said. "Sometimes I make my stud muffin come doing that to him. Don't I, Baby?" Tim was being real playful and cute. I didn't think of Tim as being a real hot guy, but Kyle had told me he was awesome in bed. Of course, to Kyle, Tim's shit didn't stink, so I had to keep what he said in perspective, so to speak.
Then the boy in the movie started fingering the other boy's hole. Then he stuck his longest finger inside him.
"Oh, that's the best," Kyle said. "I love to be on the receiving end of that."
"Does it feel good," Brian asked.
"It feels wonderful. He's rubbing that boy's sweet spot in there. That's what feels so damn good," Kyle said.
"I guess you guys must do that," Brian said.
"Yeah. All the time," Tim said.
"I noticed in most of these movies, the guys either play with their own nipples or the other guy plays with them," Brian said.
"Oh, yeah. That's good, too, Bri," Kyle said. "Ours are real sensitive since we got these rings in them. I know for a fact that Rick's are real sensitive, too, and Kevin sometimes makes him come just by playing with them."
"How do you know that?"
"They told us," Tim said. "They won't ever do any sex with us, Bri, but they're both real honest if you ask them questions. They told us one time that we have a right to know about sex and our bodies."
"They are so cool," Bri said.
"The best," me, Kyle, and Tim said all at the same time.
We didn't talk much after that. I slipped off my briefs, and Brian took his off, too. Tim and Kyle weren't far behind in doing that, either. They looked over at Brian. They had never seen him hard before, and I knew they were curious, which is only natural. Brian's dick was beautiful, and it stood up straight parallel to his body. It was a little smaller than the rest of ours but not much. Plus, I think the two of them had unusually large dicks. Brian's was probably about five and a half inches, hard.
Brian and I started making out, and Tim and Kyle did, too. Kyle was next to me on the bed, and I touched his dick. Brian wasn't jealous, but I guess he thought Tim might be. I knew better.
Brian was the big horn dog that night. He sucked my dick right there in front of Tim and Kyle. They didn't mind, though, and Tim went down on Kyle right after Brian went down on me. It was a pretty heavy suck-fest after that. We finally had enough, though. Tim and Kyle left, and Brian and I went to sleep.
The next morning I woke up with the worst pain in my ass I had ever had. It hurt me a lot, most of the time, but that morning was the worst. I woke Brian up and told him to get a shower for school. We didn't talk much. He was rushed, and I hurt so bad I couldn't talk much. When I had had bad pain in the morning before, it usually meant I needed to take a shit. That usually made it better.
After Brian left for school, I got up to shit. I didn't really feel like I had to go, but I strained to get it out of me. That must have been the wrong thing to do. The pain got even worse, and then a ton of blood came out of me. I used to bleed all the time, but that day it was a whole lot more than usual. Sitting on the toilet, I got to feeling real weak. Then I started sweating and trembling with chills at the same time. I had heard of people going into shock, and I wondered if that was happening to me. I grabbed a wad of toilet paper and cleaned myself up as best I could. Then, without dressing, I made it downstairs to the kitchen.
Kevin and Rick were in there in their underwear, as usual. They were a little surprised that I was naked. I told them I was bad sick, and they took over like two damn firemen or something. They had my ass to a hospital in about thirty minutes, and a lady doctor was putting her hand up my butt. That hurt so bad I screamed and almost fainted. Kevin was holding me and trying to keep me under control. When Rick came in, he looked like he was looking death in the face. He got right pretty quick, though, and he and Kevin did everything they could to make me feel better.
The lady said she wanted me to see another doctor, and she called him. He couldn't come right away. I reckon he had other patients. I made Kevin call Beth, him mom, and I told her what was going on.
"I'll be there this afternoon, baby," she said.
That made me feel much better. I knew she would take care of me. I knew Kevin and Rick would do everything they could for me, but I needed Beth.
The lady gave me two or three shots, and in a few minutes the pain started to go away. I thought I was cured. I wasn't, though. It just made me go to sleep, but at least I wasn't hurting any more. The man doctor came later in the day. He didn't really hurt me, but I could feel his hand up my butt. He was talking to Kevin and Rick when Beth came in. She came over to me and kissed me. I was so out of it I don't think I said much to her. I don't remember it, if I did.
The four of them were talking. Then Beth started raising her voice. I don't think she was mad, exactly, but she was pretty forceful. The man doctor seemed to give in to her. I went back to sleep then.
The next thing I knew they were giving me more shots in my back. Beth was right there, holding me. I started waking up, but the bottom half of my body seemed like it was gone.
"You have to have surgery, Justin, but it's going to make it all better. For the rest of your life. All the pain will be gone when it's over. Do you trust me?"
"Yes, ma'am, I trust you. Thank you for coming here," I said.
"I needed to be here, baby. I needed it for me, and, as it turns out, I needed it for you and for Kevin and Rick, too. You have a good doctor, and I'm going to be in there with you, okay? I can't really do anything but hold you, but I'll be there with you."
"Thanks. What's wrong with me," I asked.
"There is a lesion in your rectum. It's been there for a while, and there is scar tissue around it. He's going to repair the lesion, cut away the scar tissue, and you'll be good as new," she said.
"What's a lesion," I asked.
"It's a tear in the tissue. It happened a while back, and it has never healed properly. Every time you had a bowel movement, it opened it a little. You must have had bleeding for a long time. Am I right?"
"Yes, ma'am, just about every day for about a year," I said. "And it hurt, too."
"I'm sure. But it's not going to hurt after this, Jus. You're going to be fine," she said. "Why didn't you say something to Kevin or Rick about it, son?"
I sort of panicked right then. Tears came to my eyes, and they spilled over. "I was embarrassed."
She kissed me on the forehead.
"I can certainly understand that, baby," she said. "But after today, it's going to be fine."
The doc didn't have to cut me open, which was good. I don't know the details of what he did, but I know my ass was sore as hell when I woke up the next morning. I had spent the night in the hospital, but they got me out of there and home early the next morning. I couldn't walk too good because it hurt, but it wasn't the same kind of hurt as before. It wasn't deep inside me.
They wouldn't let me eat much, even though I was hungry, and they made me take some pills to soften up my shit. When I did shit for the first time, it was runny, but it didn't hurt at all. Beth cleaned me out with a disinfectant or something. That was totally embarrassing because I got hard. She just laughed and said it was a good sign because it meant that I was still all boy. All boy or not, I just wanted to die when that happened.
When Kyle came home Wednesday after school, he did something he had never done before. I was in bed. I had been napping off and on all day, but I was awake then. He came in and sat on the bed next to me.
"You scared the shit out of me," he said. "I'm so glad you're better."
"Thanks, Bubba. I don't have any pain, except where they stretched my ass to get their hands in me. Even that's better now, though," I said.
"I couldn't take having somebody else I love die on me," he said.
That sort of touched me. He put his hand under the cover and found my dick. I hadn't had a hard-on all day, until he did that, that is. His hand felt really good on me. He worked it back and forth, rubbing me to make me hard. He kept at it for a while, and then he made me come.
I thought I should at least offer to do it to him, but he wouldn't let me.
"That was just a little welcome home present," he said.
"Thanks, dude," I said. Kyle and I had gotten pretty close in the last few weeks, but I never expected that.
"Don't mention it. To anybody," he said, with one of those grins that turns your stomach to water. Then he left.
Brian, Tim, and Kyle treated me like I was a snowflake in a warm room, or something. They slept in my room on the floor Wednesday night, my first night home, and none of 'em wanted to go to school on Thursday. I was feeling much, much better by then, though, and they made them go.
I got up and took a shower and shaved Thursday morning for the first time in a few days. I'm not going to say I didn't jerk off in the shower because that would be a lie, and I thought about Brian when I did it. I thought about what Kyle had done, too.
I went to school Thursday afternoon earlier than I usually got there since I didn't go to work that day, and I finished almost all of my American history work. I went to work Friday morning, and I went to school again that afternoon and finished everything. Beth left while I was at work, but not before she cuddled me and kissed me and did all the mother stuff that I never did know about before that morning. I loved her so much.
I was worried to death about Justin. We got home around five o'clock from play practice, and the house was empty. That wasn't such a big surprise. They usually got home a little after five, but sometimes they had meetings that ran late, or they went to work out, and stuff like that. By seven o'clock, though, I was beginning to get worried.
I called Rick's cell number, and he answered right away.
"Where are you," I said, right after he said hello.
"He's fine, Kyle. He'll be home tomorrow," Rick said.
"Who's fine? Who'll be home tomorrow? Is something wrong with Kevin?"
"Oh, sorry, Bubba. I forgot you don't know. It's Justin. He's in the hospital, and he just came out of surgery. Beth's here."
"What?!! What happened to him? Was he in a wreck?"
"No." Then he told me about him bleeding from the butt and the surgery to fix it and Beth being there.
"Rick, you're not going to believe this. I told him last night he needed to see a doc about his butt. It hurts him a lot, man. It's from what those fucking bastards did to him."
"I know," Rick said. "We'll be home later tonight after he goes to sleep. Can you tell Brian and Tim, and make them know he's all right now?"
"Of course. I think I'll take them shopping," I said.
"Good idea. Listen, I need to go. We're about to go eat."
"Okay," I said.
"You know what, Kyle?"
"I love you. And Kevin loves you. And Beth loves you. And Justin loves you."
I almost started crying happy tears right then.
"I love you, too, but you still ain't getting my Bud Lite," I said.
He laughed hard, and we hung up.
I told Brian and Tim what had happened, and they started crying. There I was, sitting on that sofa hugging both of them, trying to comfort them. And what did I do? I got hard as a damn rock. I am so fucking queer, I thought.
"Let's go do some Christmas shopping," I said. "We don't have much time."
"Can't we go see him," Brian asked.
I thought for a few seconds. "No. They're trying to get him to go to sleep. We'll just fuck that up if we show up there. He'll be home tomorrow morning."
"How serious is it, Babe," Tim asked.
"He'll be home tomorrow morning. How serious can that be?"
They didn't say anything to that.
"Come on, guys. Let's all wash faces and go shopping, okay," I said.
They did what I said, and we went shopping.
They were all home when we got back around ten. Brian moved in on Beth like a locust, and she petted him and hugged him like she hadn't seen him in months, instead of two days.
Brian wanted to sleep with us that night. Once we were in bed, I thought about the last time we had slept with him and how he had wanted to do something. Tim must have been thinking about that, too, because we both put our hands on his chest at the same time, from opposite sides of the bed.
He moaned a little bit, so I knew he would be into a little masturbation therapy that night. He let Tim suck his nipples, and he let me stroke him off. It didn't take long. Of course, Tim and I were pretty hot by then, so he and Brian changed places in the bed so Tim could be next to me. We rubbed against one another until we shot off. It wasn't everything that we usually did when we made love, but it was the most we had ever done with somebody else in bed with us.
The next day I went up to Jus's room when I got home from school. I stroked him off like I had done Brian, just as a way of saying welcome home. He wanted to suck my cock, I think, but I wouldn't let him. That belonged to Tim.
We had a good time doing our Christmas shopping. Finding something that was fun to have and that cost only two bucks was challenging, but they did it. You could also make a stocking gift, as long as it cost less than two dollars. I decided to make a CD of pictures for everybody.
I ended up working pretty hard on that project, but Tim helped me with it. I had been taking a lot of digital pictures of everybody with the camera Doc had given me for my birthday, so I made a kind of family photo album. I tailor made them for everyone. On the ones for my mom and dad, I made sure there were lots of pictures of me and Jeff. I dug out some old pictures of Clay, and I had a folder of pictures of him that I scanned from the old ones. I put that on the CD for Jeff, too.
All the gay guys got several folders of pictures from the Internet that...well, that straight guys probably wouldn't be interested in, let's just say. I also copied several of the movies from the CD's I had gotten from Clay for them, too. I tried to match the XXX pictures and the movies with the guy. Tim helped a lot with that, only we had to stop working from time to time to take care of something that kept coming up (grin). One of the movies that I put on the CD for both Kevin and Rick was called "Sunday Morning." It had two unbelievably good looking young German guys around their age. They wake up in bed on what I guess is a Sunday morning, and they make slow love. And it really looked like they were making love, not just having sex. They both got real hard-ons just from touching each other, like Tim and I did. In some of those movies, one guy sucks the other one for ten minutes or more, and he never really gets hard. Not those two boys. No, sir. It reminded me of what I thought Kev and Rick must look like making love.
While we were at it, we went ahead and made up a generic CD with pictures of us and all of our friends. I put several folders of XXX pictures and movies on that one, too, but we didn't try to match the pictures with the guys. I figured we could give those to the guys the next time we saw them.
I must have had photos on the brain or something because what I decided to give Tim was a picture of me taken in a studio. I called to make an appointment at the studio, but I got an answering machine instead of a person. I left my cell number for a call-back. They called me back while Tim and I were running errands in my car. I had bought gas and had gone into the store to pay for it, and my phone was in the car. Tim answered it. That's how he found out what was up. We decided to go ahead and have our picture taken together. We would give each other a picture of the two of us as our Christmas present to each other.
When we went to pick out the one we wanted, the guy who waited on us was more flaming than Chad or Gage ever hoped to be. The pictures came out great. There were two pictures that we both loved, and we couldn't decide between them. We asked the price for both, and the guy said that two copies of the two of them would be $125. I decided to take a chance and tell him what our deal was about not paying more than $50 for a gift for our boyfriend. He got all excited when we told him we were a gay couple, and he cut the price for both to $75. He threw in a bunch of wallet-size ones for that, too. I decided we'd donated the $25 difference to the Stocking Fund in his name. It turned out he and the photographer had been partners for twenty years. Then I decided my parents, Doc, Kevin and Rick, Ed and Beth, and Craig and Cherie might like a picture of us, too. I negotiated more with the guy, and I could tell he really liked us. He ended up giving us a huge package of pictures for only $300.00. I couldn't remember if that was against the rules, but they'd just have to kick our asses if it was. We stopped at a frame place and bought frames for them, and we framed them ourselves.
He told us that his partner had fallen in love with our pictures. He asked if we would consider posing for some more. Right away my antenna went up.
"What kind of pictures," I asked.
"Oh, perfectly tasteful and legal ones," he said.
He showed us a scrapbook with some pictures of male couples the partner had taken, and all the guys were either dressed in pants or shorts, were wearing underwear or Speedos, or were posing in such a way that you couldn't see their equipment. I recognized two guys I knew. They weren't a couple, though. They were each with different guys. I had been reading up on photography since I had gotten my camera, and I knew enough to know that that guy was good.
"Let us think about it, okay," I said. "How much does it cost?"
"Oh, he pays you," the guy said.
"You're shitting me, right," I said.
"I shit you not," the guy said. "You'll be working as models. We pay models $75 an hour."
"How does he make money," I asked.
The guy took us over to a computer and opened a Web page. It was a really nice one of many of the photos they had in the book, plus a lot more.
"We sell them through this Web site," he said. "There are collectors of tasteful male art photography all over the world, and Jim has a knack for producing what his customers want. A couple of his photographs are in museums in Europe." He showed us the ones that were in museums, and they were really nice.
"Can we think about it," I asked.
"Sure. Here's our card. He'll probably want some of you by yourself, too," he said.
"Humph," I said. "Okay, thanks for everything, man," I said, and we left.
In the car Tim asked, "Would you like to do that?"
"I don't know. Would you?"
"Yeah. I'd like to do it a lot," he said.
"Let's talk to our dads about it. And to Kevin and Rick, too," I said. "If they think it's okay, I'll do it. But I bet they're going to say we have to wait until we're eighteen."
The weeks before Christmas were pretty hectic. Rick and I were invited to a bunch of Christmas parties, and it seemed that every major vendor we did business with wanted to take us out to dinner during the three weeks before Christmas. We accepted a few of those invitations at first, but we quickly decided that family time was being sacrificed for meals we didn't want to eat, with people we didn't especially care about.
We got a ton of gifts, too. Usually it was either a basket of fruit, a box of nice candy, or liquor. We had a pile of fruit in the fruit bowl in our kitchen that was so big it would go bad before even our voracious brood could eat it all. Then we started sending it to a homeless shelter on the beach. We kept the liquor, even though it would have taken Rick and me ten years to drink it all. We knew our friends would enjoy it, though, and somehow we didn't think the homeless shelter would find that an appropriate donation. It was all very good stuff, too. We tucked most of the candy into the freezer, knowing that the boys would eat it at some point in the months ahead.
We also got enough cheese to make the governor of Wisconsin giddy and enough nuts to keep several Seventh Day Adventist congregations happy for a long time. We gave away most of that, too.
We gave corporate gifts, too, of course. Ours that year was a combo basket of fruit, cheese, wine, and crackers. Those baskets cost seventy-five bucks each, and we resolved that the next year we'd make a donation to the Empty Stocking Fund to the tune of seventy-five dollars in the name of the person we gifted that year. He or she would get a card from us with that information printed on it. If they didn't like it, fuck 'em. I had a surrealistic vision of executives all over the country who couldn't work because their desks were piled to the ceiling with fresh fruit.
Justin and Brian were great. They spent a lot of time at home, which was sort of new for Jus. He and Jason had made themselves pretty scarce when they were dating, but the new boyfriends really didn't need to go anywhere but home. Justin got better by the hour after his surgery. He had often seemed moody and standoffish before, but he wasn't that way anymore. I didn't know if it was because of Brian or because he actually felt good for the first time since we had known him. That boy had endured enormous physical pain, but he had never complained. What an incredible kid!
The shirts came in to Rick's office a week before we were supposed to leave for New Orleans. He called me to tell me, and I immediately went down to see them. He and his secretary were sorting them on the big table in his conference room.
"Oh, Babe, these are great," I said.
"I know," he said.
"Whoever thought of this deserves a prize," Cheryl said.
He and I looked at each other, puzzled. I knew he couldn't remember, any more than I could.
"It was kind of a joint thing," Rick said.
"Figures," she said.
"We have to wrap twenty-two of these for Christmas," I said to Rick.
"Do we wrap them separately or together," he asked.
"Together. We'll all open them at one time Christmas morning," I said.
"I know just the paper we'll use," she said.
"You don't have to wrap our Christmas presents, Cheryl. That's not part of your job," Rick said.
"Who says? We'll do it at lunch."
She meant that she and Mary Ann, my secretary, would wrap them for us. They were both old enough to be our mothers. In fact, they both had kids in their early-to-mid twenties, like we were. They were both extremely competent, and we knew they both loved us like their sons.
"Oh, hell, no, you will not," Rick said. "If you choose to do that, you'll do it as part of your regular day. And you won't spend a dime of your own money on the wrapping paper."
"Okay. I need fifty bucks," she said. She pretend-punched Rick on the chin. He pulled out his wallet and gave her a hundred.
"There should be two sets there of mediums. They're for Rita and for Rick's mom," I said.
"There are four sets of mediums," Cheryl said. "Who are the others for?"
"Two of them were supposed to be for my mom and my sister-in-law, but we're not going to give them to them," I said. "At least not right now."
"Why not," Cheryl asked.
"Because the kids and George and the Goodsons are going to be there. We don't want them to see them before Christmas morning," I said.
"So we write 'Don't open till Christmas morning' on them. It's been done before," she said sarcastically.
Rick and I looked at each other and shrugged.
"Yeah, I guess we could do that," he said.
"So why are there thirty sets and you need twenty-six sets," she asked.
"It was for the price break," Rick said.
"God, you guys," she said and laughed.
After lunch Cheryl and Mary Ann showed us the wrapping paper they had selected. It had a lot of maroon and white on it, but it was still obviously Christmas paper. Cheryl wanted to give Rick his change, which was like $60, but he wouldn't take it. That afternoon Rick left with three sealed boxes in his car. One said "New Orleans." A much larger one said "Here," and the smallest one said "Sarasota."
"What are you going to do about Christmas and your folks," I asked Rick.
"Would you be willing to go with me," he asked.
"Yeah, I guess so," I said.
The first year we were together, I went to Sarasota with Rick at Christmas to meet his mom and step-dad. It hadn't gone well. His mother was delightful, and she was obviously as proud of Rick as I was. His step-father, though, was very cool toward him and me. He never said anything to me that was insulting or mean, but it was pretty obvious he didn't approve of me or of our relationship. The big mistake, we concluded later with his mom, was not telling him Rick was gay before we got there. His mother was so accepting of us that she evidently assumed her husband would be, too.
Rick's mom and dad married when they were sophomores in college, and Rick was born just a few months later. His dad was apparently one of those gay men who was afraid to face who he was or wanted to try living his life as a straight man. Well, it didn't work, and it didn't take them long to figure out it wouldn't work. They divorced shortly after Rick was born, and his mother didn't remarry for a long time. Instead, she, with lots of help from his father's parents, raised Rick as a single mother. By mutual agreement, his dad had had no part in his life growing up, except to be completely faithful with his child support payments. He and his boyfriend from high school moved to California, where they had lived together ever since. They had a very successful small business, and, by all accounts from both Rick's grandparents and his mother, who still remained his dad's very good friend, they were happy.
"I hate to put you through Arnold again," he said.
Rick had been grown and off at college by the time his mom had met Arnold. They married during Rick's senior year of college, and Arnold and Rick hardly knew each other. After that first visit, we had decided Rick would spend a few days in Sarasota during the holidays but that I would stay home. The previous year we had made our life commitment to one another, first in private with just us present, and then a few days later on Christmas Eve at my parents' house in New Orleans. My brother and my dad were our official witnesses, with my mom and Cherie looking on. A life-long friend of my dad, who happened to be a Catholic priest, officiated at the ceremony. Rick's mother had been terribly disappointed that she wasn't present for either occasion, and Rick said she was pretty disappointed that I hadn't gone home last year after Christmas with him.
"Well, a lot has changed in the three years since I was last there. We were still a new couple then, we weren't married, we didn't have a house full of kids, we weren't business executives. I'm sure it'll be fine," I said.
"I hope so," he said. We were in his office with the door closed. I put my hands on his shoulders and moved close to him. We weren't kissing, but we were in a position that I knew would have telegraphed "intimacy" to anybody who might have seen us.
"Look, Babe, we're both big boys now, with lots of big responsibilities. You love your mother, I love your mother, and I love you. I don't want you worrying about this. Arnold has had a lot of time to get used to the idea. If he hasn't changed his opinions, then so what? What is it to us," I said.
He smiled his beautiful smile.
"I knew you'd say that," he said, "but because I knew it doesn't make me any less happy or proud of you." We kissed.
"I think your mother should have a chance to meet her grandsons, too," I said.
"Oh, wow! She'll love that," he said. "And the boys will love her and my grandparents, too."
"If they don't have room for all of us, we can stay at a hotel. In fact, that might be a good idea, anyway, don't you think?"
"You're right. Do you think Tim and Kyle will want to go," he asked.
"Are you kidding? You think they would miss a chance to go on a trip with us?"
"Right. Dumb thought on my part," he said. "Actually, we're going to have Kyle the week after Christmas, anyway. Gene and Rita are going to New York. Gene mentioned that to me the other day, and I assumed he said the same thing to you, too."
"He told me they were thinking about it, but he never said that it was definite. Well, that's great. Now that George is dating, I don't feel quite as bad about hauling Tim off at that time of year," I said.
"True," he said.
"Well, it's all set. Your whole family will be there with you, Babe. We'll take Arnold on, if we have to. This is turning out to be a great Christmas."
We put up our Christmas tree the weekend of December 13th and 14th, and the way we did it took pretty much the whole weekend. We had always had a tree since we had been together, so we had some lights and ornaments. We put those on, and then Rick decided it looked bare. He took Brian out shopping for more. After we put the new ones on, Justin and Kyle thought it needed more, so all four boys went shopping for some. By the time we finished, the tree was so full of lights and ornaments you almost couldn't tell it was green. We finally put the last ones on late Sunday morning.
"Are we going to put up outside lights," Kyle asked.
"We don't have any," I said.
Rick was listening to us with a thoughtful look on his face.
"You want outside lights, don't you," Kyle asked him.
He grinned and nodded.
"Well, let's go get some," Kyle said.
They were both still in their underwear. They hurriedly dressed and took off. They came back an hour later with twenty strings of fifty lights each for the outside of our house. They recruited Tim, Jus, and Brian to help, and it took them a couple of hours to get the lights up. Where I would have gotten the tiny white lights like we had on the tree, they had gotten larger bulbs in every color. They did a good job putting them up, and it looked very festive.
It was actually pretty cold that weekend, and when they were finished, they sat in the den with rosy cheeks. Tim and Brian made a fire in the fireplace, and we settled in for a quiet afternoon.
"This is the first time I've ever had a Christmas tree," Jus said casually. "This is pretty much fun."
Now and then, at times like that, Justin's impoverished background intruded itself into our middle class world. He never said things like that to elicit sympathy. He merely stated facts. Kyle and Tim knew he had been poor, but they were a little taken aback at that announcement. They couldn't really conceive of a world where people were too poor to have a Christmas tree.
"Do y'all want some eggnog," Rick asked.
"Yeah, I do," I said. Eggnog was one of the reasons for having Christmas, in my opinion. I could drink it every day, I liked it so much. "Are you going to warm it up? Hint, hint."
"Yeah, I'll warm it up," he said. "Does everybody want some." Tim, Kyle, and Brian said they did.
"What is it," Justin asked.
"It's a drink," Rick said. "It's a traditional drink for Christmas. A lot of people make it themselves, but we have the kind from the store. Have some, Jus. You'll like it."
"Okay," he said.
Rick brought in mugs of eggnog for everybody. It was warm but not too hot to drink. He passed them around and sat down on the floor with the boys. I got down there with them, too. They all took a sip.
"Yummy," Kyle said.
"Do you like it, Jus," I asked.
"Yeah. It's pretty good. It reminds me of elf cum," he said.
Rick had a mouthful, and he laughed so hard he sprayed a little of it toward the fireplace. Kyle laughed hard, too, and some of his came out of his nose and dribbled down his face.
"Elf cum," Rick said, and started laughing all over again.
A new holiday tradition was born that afternoon for the Foley-Mashburn clan. From that day, until we left for New Orleans, we would gather for a warm mug of eggnog before bed every night. And among ourselves, we never called it anything but elf cum.
"By the way, guys, we're going to Sarasota to see my mom and grandparents," Rick announced.
"Oh, cool," Kyle said. The rest of them agreed.
"When are we going," Tim asked.
"We'll leave on the twenty-seventh," I said. "That's a Saturday. We'll come back when, Babe?"
"I don't know. Tuesday?"
"Yeah, Tuesday sounds good," I said. "We'll be staying in a hotel, but we'll spend most of our time with the family there."
"Man, y'all do this Christmas shit up big, don't you," Jus said.
"It's family time, man," Rick said. "You'll have a good time."
"Oh, I know I'll have a good time. I always do. It's just a lot for me, you know? First, North Carolina. Then Thanksgiving. Then New Orleans. Then Sarasota. You've got to remember just what you're dealing with here, Ricky." Justin pinched one of Rick's nipples, and everybody laughed.
"I think we know what we're dealing with in you, Jus," Rick said.
"One of the greatest kids in the world."
Justin didn't have a come-back for that one. He took it in, though, and grinned.
After we finished our drinks, Rick suggested we play cards right there on the floor. The guys were all for it. Rick got a couple of decks of cards.
"What are we going to play," Tim asked.
"Let's play strip poker," Kyle suggested. The rest of them, including Rick, were all in favor of that, and I didn't have any objections. Everybody was fully dressed, so at least no one was at a disadvantage in the "betting loot" department. We laid down some ground rules about what constituted a bet. There would be no raising or side bets. Everybody would ante up one piece of clothing before the cards were dealt, and that was it for that hand. We'd give the clothes back to their owner after the game, of course, but we wouldn't quit until one person had everybody else's clothes. Underwear had to be kept on until a player had nothing else to bet, and, if he lost, he had to stay there until the game was over.
"What if somebody gets an erection," Tim asked.
"How do we usually handle erections when it's just us, Tim," I asked.
"We don't handle 'em, damn it," Jus said.
We all laughed.
"That's right," Rick said, "and we won't if that happens tonight. We ignore 'em, right, guys?"
"We don't play with 'em, if that's what you mean, but I can't seem to ignore mine," Kyle said.
That made us laugh, too.
"Okay, guys, ante up. I'll deal," Rick said. "Five care draw, deuces wild."
We had to do a little explaining from time to time, especially for Brian's benefit, but he caught on pretty well. At one point we had to get out Hoyle when there was a disagreement about which hand beat what, but otherwise things went great.
Justin was the first to lose his shirt, so to speak.
"Okay. Here goes. Y'all get a good look," he said as he tossed his underwear into the bet.
"Did the doctor miss while you were in the hospital," Rick asked.
"Very funny. It's cold, man," he said. Justin's penis was definitely in a shy phase at that moment.
We played the hand, and he lost.
"I'm getting a smoke," he said.
"I want one, too," I said.
"Me, too," Kyle said.
He got one of the packs that were always lying around the den, a lighter, and a couple of ashtrays. He and Kyle were close enough to one another to share an ashtray.
"We ought to be smokin' cigars," Kyle said.
"Big brown dicks," Brian said.
Everybody laughed, as much because he had said it, as at the humor of what he said.
We played a few more hands, and then it was Tim's turn to toss in his briefs. Then, in a few more hands, it was my turn.
After another hand, the phone rang, and it was Monte. He said that Jerry had called him about going Christmas caroling, and he wanted to know if we were interested. There was a group from our church going, and we could join them, if we wanted to.
I presented the idea to the guys, and they said they were ready to put away the cards. We got dressed, drove to the church, and spent the next three hours or so caroling. It was corny as hell, especially compared to what we had been doing, but it was fun. We went to our favorite eatery after caroling, and then we said good night to our friends and went home. When we drove up to our house and saw the lights for the first time from the street, we were all impressed.
"Hot damn, it's Christmas," Jus said, and we all laughed.