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A Single Soul


Chapter 39


Time to Face the Music...

When left the party last week, Jim's mother was in the middle of a rant...


"I'll tell you why. I do not approve of your relationship with Matt," she said pointing a bony finger directly at Matt, "It is a sin, an affront to God, and not healthy for my grandsons. You are living in sin, and you will burn in hell for this" she said with all the self-righteousness of a hypocrite. There were audible gasps from the assembled family. Jim and Matt looked at each other in horror, realizing what she had just said in front of MJ and Jimmer.


MJ had quietly made his way to the front and stood between his two dads and then spoke to his grandmother in a very even confident tone, for a lad almost nine years old.

"Jimmer and I have a very healthy and happy life. Do you have any idea how many kids in our class don't have a dad at home? Well we have two great dads! Our friends are jealous because they are so cool, and wish they could have at least one dad," he said politely and with obvious pride.

Bonnie stood slack-jawed, digesting what her grandson had just said to her. She seemed ready to speak again, but MJ quickly continued.

"And actually grandma, Jesus never spoke of homosexuality. That is mostly mentioned in the Old Testament." Then staring directly at his Uncle Jr. he continued, "he did however speak of adultery often. Remember, he saved that woman from being stoned, an accused adulterer by telling her `to go and sin no more.'  Oh, and by the way, if you remember he saved her from being stoned by asking "he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Junior fumed and Bonnie was apoplectic.

"See!" She screamed while pointing at Matt and Jim, "this is exactly what I'm talking about. You are teaching this boy lies about Jesus!"

"No grandma," MJ continued sweetly, knowing he was getting to his grandmother, "that is what my religion teacher Father Mike taught us in class. So if you can't treat my dads with respect, I would prefer if you did not visit."

Bonnie was so angry she was shaking. Matt and Jim looked at each other with stunned silence, both wondering what their next move would be. Then they heard the sound of a pair of clapping hands. They turned and looked behind them and saw Tina grinning and applauding MJ's performance. Soon the rest of the family and guests joined her.

Bonnie's eyes darted around the room like a cornered animal. Her eyes settled back on Matt and Jim and said, "You'll both pay for this, you will burn in hell!" She said emphatically, then she pointed at Dave, "You're a priest, do you condone the blasphemy that my grandson has spouted?"

"MJ hasn't said anything wrong, at all. He made a very reasoned and accurate argument, especially for a boy about to turn nine years old. It is you however, an adult who is being unreasonable," Dave answered calmly.

"And don't forget Mrs. Flannery," as Jimmer moved in next to his brother and put his arm around him, Dave continued, "Jesus said to treat others as you would have them treat you. He said that was the greatest commandment." Jimmer added "that's what my dads have always told me and MJ."

Bonnie just stood there shaking with anger, her eyes darted around the room like a mad women while everyone stood and stared at her. Finally an angry Jr. and his wife began to guide her to the door as he looked back at his brother and shouted, "This is all your fault!"

Denise made her way over and hugged MJ, "you know, sport, that was really well said, and well-reasoned. You are a very intelligent young man."

"That was practice Mom. I'm going to be a lawyer just like Uncle Finn," he said with a cheeky grin.

Then she stood, and after kissing both Matt and Jim on the cheek she said quietly, "You guys are doing a great job. I told you they knew more than you thought," then she chuckled and moved away.

Matt and Jim were still reeling from the shock of what had happened, and the realization that their boys knew about them. They each grabbed onto one of the boys and then Jim said, "Boys, we need to go and speak in private," herding them to Frank's study. They guided the boys to the couch and asked them to sit. Not knowing where to start or what to say and with a knot in his stomach, Jim finally said, "All right guys, we need to talk."

"It's okay Dad, you don't have to nervous, we know," MJ said.

"And what exactly do you know?" Matt asked with a raised eyebrow.

"We know you're gay, and that you're like married, and we don't care," Jimmer said with a smirk that said `and you thought kids were clueless'.

"And we've known since you moved in. You guys were pretending to sleep in separate rooms. You know we're not little kids," MJ said with a smile.

Matt and Jim looked at each other. All they could do was laugh, and then they moved in and grabbed the boys in a group hug.

"We love you boys," Matt said with tears in his eyes.

"We love you too Dads," both boys said in unison.

Breaking the hug Jim said, "Okay men, let's go have a party," and he lead them out of the study to join the others.

When they walked out they noticed that guests were beginning to arrive, and Barry had brought Kelly down from his nap dressed in his birthday outfit. He handed the baby off to Jim, then said with a big smile, "Don't worry mate's, thanks to my new iPhone I have the show on video!"

The boys ran off to join their cousins. The family who had witnessed the drama were reaching out and congratulating Matt and Jim on how well the boys handled themselves.

Then Jim's sister Roseanne came up with tears in her eyes, "I'm sorry Jimmy," she said, "I think that Mom showing up is all my fault. I never blocked mom from my Facebook page, she must have seen my post about today's party."

"No Roseanne, it's not your fault. It is your mother and brother's fault for coming here, so just forget about it and have fun," Jim said as he hugged his sister.

The party was in full swing; the caterers did their usual awesome job. Kelly received tons of attention; he was constantly being held and passed from person to person.

Jim was at the bar making himself a drink when the colonel walked up to him. It was the first time that day they could speak alone. "Hey Jimmy," since he retired and had been working with the foundation, he had taken to calling him Jimmy. Matt and his dads were the only other people who occasionally used the diminutive of his name. He accepted the colonel's use of it, reasoning that he was replacing his lost brother with Jim. That made Jim feel special.

"Hey Colonel," Jim said and noticed the man frown.

"I work for you now, so no more Colonel," he said with a fake scowl.

"Begging your pardon sir," Jim said, "you don't work for me, you work with me. What's more, if I let you call me Jimmy then I should be able to call you Colonel, at least in public. Besides, it will be less confusing with Dave around."

"Good points," The colonel said smiling, "so it's Colonel and Gunner in public and Jimmy and Davy in private. Deal!" he said smiling and offering his hand.

"Deal," Jim beamed as he shook the man's hand. That exchange confirmed to Jim that their relationship had truly changed.

"Anyway, the scuttlebutt is that your new boss is quite the prick," the colonel said as they moved away from the bar and into the empty living room.

"I would say that is an accurate statement, Davy," Jim said with a smile.

"I feel really bad about that Jimmy. I got you to re-up to help me and then I bailed. Thing is, I just couldn't take the bullshit anymore. The baby G* was great to work for. It's the shit that came rolling down Disneyland East* that I couldn't take. As far as the major goes, I don't understand why that Hot-Shit has such a hard on for you."

"No worries Davy, he's just acting like a male dog, pissing on everybody marking his territory. He knows how much I respected you, and how much of a free hand you gave me, and how hard I worked for you. Now he's just trying to show me he's the boss," Jim said, and then continued with a sly smile.

"But what the fuck do I care? Now I do my job, and only my job, everything else I consider above my pay grade," Jim chuckled, "By the time he figures it out, he'll be in such deep shit, he'll be drowning," Jim said with a laugh.

Later that afternoon the cake had been cut, the caterers had cleaned up and left and the crowd was thinning. Matt was in the kitchen when Derrick walked in with Barry who was carrying a fussy Kelly. "Somebody has had too much excitement today," he said as he leaned over and kissed Kelly.

"True that Dad," Derrick said, "Barry and I are going to put him down for a nap," Derrick said with a twinkle in his eye that told Matt that Kelly wouldn't be the only one going down!

He grabbed Derrick and hugged him, and kissed his forehead, "Thanks kiddo, and thanks for all your help today," Matt said releasing him and watched as Derrick and Barry headed for the stairs.

Matt turned to leave the kitchen and saw Jewell standing there smiling. She must have been watching the scene. Walking over to Matt she took his hands in hers and said, "God bless you Matthew for giving that child a family," Matt just smiled his thanks, then she added, "May I speak with you in private?"

"Certainly," Matt replied and led her into Frank's study and closed the door. They sat together on the sofa facing each other. Jewell again took Matt's hands in hers, and then she closed her eyes and took a deep breath remaining silent for almost a minute. Matt felt a strange energy around him but remained silent.

Jewell opened her eyes, she had a serene look on her face and then she spoke, "I told you once before, that I was born with `the sight' and I hope you don't mind me sharing it with you."

"No of course not," Matt said wondering what was coming.

"Derrick's grandmother is very happy with the adoption," she noticed Matt's skeptical look, "she showed me you and Jim holding him as he cried standing at her coffin, and you pulling him away when he bent down to kiss her goodbye, holding on to her body sobbing. And she keeps showing me a handsome young man with red hair and smiling at him."

Now that got Matt's attention. They were completely alone in the viewing room, she could have guessed them holding him as he cried at the coffin, but knowing about Matt having to pull Derrick away from the body was beyond guessing.

Jewell could see Matt processing what she had told him and continued, "Yes Matt I really see these things, may I continue?"

Matt just nodded his head.

"I've seen the money, two very handsome men, one Marine and one Sailor but they are WW2 uniforms. They are very happy, and they are showing me money and you and Jim doing great things."

Now Matt was really paying attention. She may have accidently heard of the inheritance, but knowing that Frank and Benny were in the service was not possible. She went on.

"I also see a lot of happiness around your ex-wife. I'm not sure why but I keep seeing three hearts around her, but there is also some darkness nearby, so pray for her. There are also big changes for Finbar, happy changes; when they start you can reassure him that everything he wanted he will have.

Now, I usually would never say this, but you are too important to me. Jim's mother is evil. There was nothing but blackness surrounding her and her son who came with her. You must be very careful with both of them. Watch out for Jim, keep him away from her, and watch out for his new boss," she released Matt's hands and just smiled at him.

"Wow!" Was all Matt could say, and then with a slight smile he asked, "Just how much can you see?"

Jewell just laughed and then leaned in to hug him, "Don't worry, I can't see into your bedroom."

Then it was Matt's turn to laugh, "Well thank God for that!"

They were interrupted by a knock on the door, and then Jim entered, "There you guys are, Jewell, Fred is looking for you. Drew called; he said the baby is coming quickly!"

"Wonderful!" Jewell said as she jumped up, "I was praying for a quick labor." She gave Matt and Jim both a quick kiss and ran off to find her husband.

Jim walked over and gave Matt a big long hug, "What was that all about?"

Matt gave him a quick kiss and said, "You are just not going to believe it. It's all good but I'll tell when we go to bed," he said and gave Jim one more squeeze, "now let's go join the party."

Later in the evening, after all the guests left, and it was just the `family' Matt sent Derrick to find MJ & Jimmer and told him to bring them to Frank's den. He had already tactfully explained to Denise that he and Jim needed to speak with her concerning family business, and since Tina was potentially carrying Matt's baby he asked her to join them. He had talked with Jim, Finn, and Frank beforehand. They decided to give them an edited version of what was going on.

The boys came running in to find Matt, Jim, Denise, and Tina, sitting on a couch, "What's up Dads, Mom?" they asked in unison.

"Nothing, we just wanted to spend some time with you guys before you left, so have a seat," Jim said.

"You know," Matt started, "your dad and I are really going to miss you both an awful lot, and we love you very much, we also want you to have a good time your mom and Tina. So dad and I talked to your mom and Tina and decided to give you your birthday presents early this year. So we got you these to help you stay in touch us." When Matt finished, Jim handed all three boys a bag, Derrick raised an eyebrow and Jim added, "All three of our boys get the same things."

The boys opened their bags and screamed with delight, each pulled out a new Mac Book and a 3G iPhone.

"This is awesome, thanks so much!" Derrick said, and then the thanks were echoed by the boys as they studied the boxes.

"You are welcome," Matt said, "now go find Barry, he's going to get you all set up and teach you how to use the phones and laptop. Your dad and expect to get at least two or three text messages a day from you guys," Matt said with a smile.

The boys all jumped up and kissed each `parent' and said thank you again and were off in a flash to play with their new toys.

When Matt closed the door and took a seat, Denise raised an eyebrow and said with a grin, "I don't recall discussing these gifts with either of you."

"Sorry, Denise, I didn't even discuss it with Matt before I did it, but we just wanted to keep up a united front," Jim said.

"That's fine, and thank you for including us. So what's the big news? She asked.

"Well," Matt said, "I've quit my job for one thing." Denise looked concerned so he didn't leave her hanging very long before continuing.

He told her of the nearly ten million in liquid assets that Benny had left him, but for this meeting left out his legacy trust. He then went on to explain about the Frank & Benny Charitable Foundation and explaining that it was left to his father as trustee and that he would be working as chairmen. Matt didn't however mention the value of the assets, and Denise politely didn't ask.

Then he moved on to the Cliff note version of Rocco, Frank and Benny, promising to give them a copy of the journal when they were made. What he didn't share was they would be receiving the edited version. Declan had told them during their last dinner that there were actually two journals. He explained that he had worked for years with Frank and Benny recording their story for posterity. The story chronicled the three men's lives starting from October 29, 1929, otherwise known as `Black Tuesday' forward. They included everything, including quite a few steamy sex scenes.

So when Benny decided that he wanted Frank to have a copy, and not knowing Frank was gay, he asked Declan to write an edited version that explained their story without offending anyone. So after meeting Matt and especially Frank and Finn, he decided to give them both, and so that was the copy that Matt and Jim would pass on.

"Well this is some story, and I'm glad you are the distributing the money. I don't think Frank could have chosen a better man," Denise said.

"Why thank you," Matt said with a smile, "but there is just one more thing, and it is non-negotiable. Since I have been so blessed with this inheritance, and a new, well-paying job; our prior agreement is void. The money you were putting in that account I want you to use for the new baby's expenses. In fact, Jim and I have discussed this already. I will be sending that amount, each month for the baby and will set up trust fund for college. In addition, I am going to pay all the Tina's medical bills for the in vitro and up to the birth.

"Matt, I don't know what to say," Denise said with glassy eyes as she held Tina's hand.

"Then just thanks and give me a hug," he replied.

Well after hugs all around the two couples went to check on the boys and the rest of the family. Then it was time for bed. Matt and Jim were snuggled together tightly, Matt was lying with his head on Jim's chest, wrapped in lover's arms when Jim asked about the encounter with Jewell. So Matt went on to recount what she had told him word for word.

"Holy Fuck!" Jim exclaimed when he was through, "that is just too fucking freaky for words." Then he chuckled, "and I hope she wasn't lying about not being able to see into our bedroom!" Both guys were laughing at that when they heard the door open and saw two faces appear. They were expecting this so they were wearing boxers.

"Dads," Jimmer said, "Can we sleep with you guys tonight?"

"Sure sports, climb in," Matt said.

The boys ran in and jumped in the bed with their dad's, and after everyone got a kiss goodnight MJ and Jimmer snuggled together like every night, but tonight they had their dad's surrounding them as they drifted off to sleep.

To be continued...


Readers, this chapter turned out to be just a bit short, so check back in a few days; I will be posting another chapter that should hit on Saturday. And a Special Thanks to Jim, who makes this story readable. Also, the Friends and Family Guide is still available. If you would like one please just send me an email.




Authors note:

A baby G ─ is Marine slang for a Brigadier General

Disneyland East ─ is slang for Marine headquarters in Quantico, VA.

Hot-Shit ─ a sarcastic reference to an overly arrogant person