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A Single Soul
found Derrick in the kitchen making breakfast after the workout.
"Thanks for taking care of the boys," Jim said as he walked through.
"No problem, Dad, they were good boys," he said, smiling at Ryan who was shoveling pancakes in his mouth.
"Hey, your birthday is coming up next week, any gift ideas?" Jim asked, even though he and Matt had already bought his gift.
"No, and nothing big. You and Dad have done enough for me already," he said looking at the hulk that was one of his adopted fathers.
"We'll see about that jarhead," Jim said as he left the kitchen.
The rest of the day was lazy. They talked to MJ and Jimmer, also checking in with Denise and Tina, who was battling morning sickness. Jim had a call from his brother Brandon thanking him again for the workout. Matt laughed when Jim told him of the call. "I have a feeling Brandon is going to find reasons to visit more often," he said.
They were sitting on the patio outside the living room listening to Derrick practice on the piano. The boy was an incredible musician and it was a pleasure for Jim, a musician himself, to sit back and let his beautiful music wash over him. While listening to him play Chopin's Nocturne,
http://youtu.be/--ykTqoQnqI he couldn't help but to think back to the first day they met at the barbershop. The scared and vulnerable boy that he first met was now a confident and strong young Marine. What pleased both Jim and Matt the most was that they were able to help him. What he really wondered but wouldn't ask, was how he made it out of that neighborhood? A gay kid in a tough neighborhood, who not only exceled academically, but in music and sports as well. He truly was a credit to his grandmother and mother. However it must have been very hard for him growing up in a tough inner-city neighborhood.
"Where are you floating, big guy?" Matt asked, interrupting Jim's thoughts.
"Nowhere, just enjoying Derrick's playing. By the way is everything set up for his birthday surprise?" Jim asked.
"Yup, Dad will pick up the car on Friday morning and park it at Finn's. I was even able to get tags that say `Pianoman', and of course a Marine Corp plate for the front. I just hope he likes the color we picked," Matt said. They had bought him an Audi a4, in red. They thought the hatch back would be good for traveling with his instruments and keyboard.
"What twenty year old guy wouldn't love a red car that's fully loaded? He'll get a woody every time he thinks about it for the first month!" Jim said with a laugh. The music ended so that was a signal to stop talking about birthday gifts. Derrick came out to the patio through the sliders to where Jim was sitting on a chaise with his feet planted on the ground on either side. Derrick crossed the patio and sat right between Jim's legs and leaned into his chest. Jim wrapped his arms around the young man and kissed his neck.
Then he said, "You're going to make daddy Matt jealous."
"No worries Dad," he said looking over at Matt who was grinning, "There's plenty of this to go around," while moving his hands up and down his chest.
"Yeah, well not so much since you fell in love," Matt said teasing Derrick, who actually blushed.
The three men stayed in their places, talking about different things: Derrick's work, how much he missed the boys, and living in the new house. Then Derrick broached the subject of applying to the Curtis Institute.
"I'm not really interested in staying in the Marines now, Dads. Do you think you could help me get the student loans for tuition?" he asked.
"What are you talking about Derrick?" Matt asked incredulously. "You are our son. There is already a trust set up for you, just like the other boys. In fact you will be able to study your music and not have to worry about working. Papa has seen to that," Matt explained.
"You need to get with it baby boy, you're ours now. We are going to take care of you," Jim said as he hugged Derrick tightly. Just then Finn, Frank, Tim, and Keith walked onto the patio. They were joining George who had just arrived for dinner (leftovers) and to take the boats home. Jim was watching Keith's face as he looked at Derrick being held by him, snuggled into his chest. There was a barely disguised look of derision on his face. Jim thought there was bound to be a problem with this kid. When it happened it wouldn't be pretty.
"Hey guys, you're just in time. Dad and I were just going to run through the duet we're performing for Dad's friend's wedding," Derrick said pulling away from Jim.
"Now? Come on Buddy, we have three weeks," Jim whined.
"And you need four weeks of practice," Derrick said and ran into the living room to the sounds of laughter behind him. The performance was for one of Jim's friends at work who was being married in a few weeks. In fact Jim was also one of the groomsmen.
They were performing Pachelbel's Canon with Jim on classical guitar and Derrick on violin. http://youtu.be/GpI1vpA6lEk They were also performing the Ave Maria with Derrick singing and Jim accompanying on guitar. http://youtu.be/xKkN45JYcCc
After a few minutes of tuning, the duo performed both numbers almost flawlessly. When the house was designed, Matt worked with the architect to improve the room's acoustics for the boy's piano playing and for Derrick's and Jim's singing. This would be the music that would accompany the bride as she walked down the aisle. When they were finished the room erupted into applause.
"Derrick, you have an amazing voice," Finn said.
"That's what I've been telling him Dad. I keep telling him to apply to Curtis. He's a shoe in," Tim said beaming with pride.
"What I want to know is," George asked looking at Jim, "is how you play so beautifully with those big paws?"
"I just have magic hands Dad," Jim said with a big smile.
"Well, from where I sit, I've never heard such a beautiful singing in my life," Finn added, "and I think Timmy is right, you should apply to Curtis."
Derrick beamed at the praise, as Jim watched Keith. Again he had a look of disgust on his face. Now Jim was beginning to worry. He needed to have a little meeting with Matt, Barry, Frank, and his Dad. He just had a feeling that trouble was on the horizon with this boy.
Jim was off early Monday to meet with the colonel at The Potter's Wheel. Construction of the offices was well underway. They were beginning to nail down exactly what services they would offer and their method of outreach. Dave left things pretty well in order and with the colonel's knowledge and connections, Jim and Matt were not concerned.
They were just finishing up around 1130 when the colonel became serious. "Jimmy, a friend in the Baby G's office passed on a bit of news. It seems that Major Dick has gone over the Baby G's head, direct to Quantico, challenging his approval of your resignation."
"You've got to fucking kidding me Davy!" Jim exclaimed, "How stupid is this guy, and why does he fucking hate me so much? I barely worked for him. There's something to this that I'm just not seeing."
"I don't know. At first I thought it was about him trying to assert dominance over you since we worked so closely. But this is way over the top. All the Baby G will have to do now is write him one bad efficiency report. That will most definitely tie a can to the major's tail and likely get him transferred. After that he can forget about becoming a Lt. Colonel." Davy said, "I'm still putting out feelers."
When Jim got home, he was still fuming. He found Matt and Barry in the kitchen eating lunch. He joined them and gave them all the news from the colonel.
"I'm on it, mate," Barry said. "I'm going to search a little deeper and see what major dick is up too."
"Nothing at work, only his house," Jim cautioned.
"No worries, Daddy, I'm a trained Buddy Fucker. No one will ever know I was there." Jim and Matt got a big laugh out of his use of the not-so-nice-nick name for his old MOS while in the Army.
Around 1500 Jim decided to go for a run and burn off some steam. He was just tying his running shoes when his cell phone rang. Looking at the caller ID, he was surprised to see it was his brother Brandon.
"Hey Brandy, what's up bro?" Jim said as his mood lifted at the thought of his baby brother and the fun they just had yesterday.
"Yo! Jimmy, you got a minute?" Brandon asked sounding a bit frazzled.
"Always for you baby bro, what do you need?"
"I have to tell you what just happened. I'm kinda freaked out and I don't know what to do, or if I should do anything," Brandon said, he was breathing kind of heavy.
"Brandon, just calm down and tell me what happened."
"When we got back into town, Jen wanted to do some shopping and the kids wanted to go as well; I didn't so I had her drop me off. I figured Seamus (he was named after Jim, but they used the Gaelic to avoid confusion) would be home so I went around and found the kitchen door unlocked. I walked upstairs and was going to my room to change. As I passed Seamus' room, I heard moaning and the door wasn't completely shut so I peaked in. He was on his back wearing only his jock strap and his socks and sneakers, his legs in the air. He was holding a jockstrap on over his nose, making moaning and sniffing sounds. His best buddy, a boy named Jake that I've known since they were in pre-school, was eating his ass, and he wasn't just licking it. He had his face so far in; the cheeks of Seamus' ass were wrapped around his face. Seamus was egging him on, telling him to `eat my sweaty hole, you like my sweaty jock balls and ass.' And Jake pulled back and told Seamus to keep smelling and sucking on his sweat and pissed-stained jock strap!"
"Holy fuck Brandy, that sounds like a porn flick," Jim said as he grabbed his own hardening cock and gave it a rub.
"Tell me about it! I was frozen in place with my own cock rock hard in my pants. I knew I shouldn't be watching but it was so fucking hot it was too much. I just stood there and rubbed the front of my pants as my pre-cum wet my short's while my son and his best friend were having sex. Finally Seamus told him to hurry and suck him because the `rents' would be home soon. His buddy flipped around and they got into a sixty-nine position and then began to suck each other. After about five minutes, Seamus pulled off and said he was cumming. I was watching his buddy's throat as he swallowed Seamus' load and then he blew his load all over Seamus' face. And that was it for me. I shot in my shorts," Brandon said breathlessly.
"That's no big deal. I'm ready to cum now just listening to your story," Jim said and he wasn't kidding.
"No the problem was, when I shot, I moaned. Seamus looked up and saw through the crack in the door and freaked the fuck out. His buddy looked like he was going to have a stroke and started to plead with me not to tell his parents. I told them to just get a shower and get dressed, and then we would talk."
"So what did you tell them?" Jim asked.
"Nothing yet, I don't know what to say Jimmy. Where do I start...? I mean I just don't know where to start. It can't be `Thanks for show, that was a great load I shot," Brandon said half laughing and half panicking. Jim thought for a quick minute and spoke.
"Listen Brand, all you need to do is go in and tell the boys that everything thing is okay. You can even tell them about spying on me and Matty when we were their age if you want; that should put them at ease a bit. Then after they've had a few days to calm down, you can have a talk with Seamus and get it all squared away."
Brandon went to his son's room and knocked quietly. Seamus called out, "Come in!"
Brandon found his son and his buddy Jake sitting on his bed looking as if they feared their lives were about to end. Brandon looked at both of them and smiled, "Guys, calm down, everything is alright," he said still smiling. He went on to assure them that he was not judging them and that he was cool with what he saw.
"Look guys, I'm more worried about what you think of me, blowing a load in my pants watching you two," Brandon said, and that got a laugh from the boys and broke the tension. Then he went on to explain how he used to spy on his older brother Jim and Matt when they were jerking off together. That relaxed the boys and allowed them to have a nice conversation about what had happened, and how he understood how horny teenage guys played around.
"Look boys," Brandon said, "It's all cool, there is no need to label anything. Let's just let it go for now and we'll talk in a few days." The two boys looked incredibly relieved and Brandon left them alone and wandered down into the kitchen for a beer. He had no sooner popped the top when his wife and kids came through the door. The kids called out hello and ran off to their rooms with their booty while he and his wife discussed the trip to the mall and plans for dinner. About ten minutes later, they heard the front door close and Seamus came into the kitchen. He went straight for his dad and hugged him tight saying, "I love you Dad," quietly in his ear.
Brandon's wife raised an eyebrow at the unusual show of affection from her oldest son. "What's this all about," she asked her son.
"Nothing," Brandon said quickly. "I just told him since he missed the party because of soccer, I would take he and Jake down to Jimmy's with me in two weeks. Jim asked me to help with the IT stuff at the center, and the boys can have fun at the beach." Brandon put out his cover story quickly and convincingly as his son tried to hide his surprise. Now he just had to get out of the house and call Jim and fill him in on the rouse.
Of course when Brandon called, Jim said he was delighted to have them visit. He said it would be good for the boys to get to know Billy, Derrick, and Tim. He didn't mention Keith for obvious reasons. So they agreed that they would arrive on Friday the 24th.
Jim's cellphone rang just as he was getting into his car and heading home for lunch. He looked at the caller ID and saw it was Barry, "Hey handsome, you missing your Daddy? He asked teasing his lover.
"Yes, but there's no time for fucking around Gunner, I dug up some major shit if you read me. I need you home ASAP," Barry said seriously.
"Be there in twenty," Jim said before hanging up and heading home.
When he arrived he found Matt and Barry in the kitchen feeding the boy's lunch. "Whataya got handsome," Jim said as he came into the room.
"Plenty, let's start with the basics. He's married and has five kids. He and his wife are members of the evangelical super church in Jacksonville. Apparently he's a pretty active member, even an elder," Barry said.
"Well that explains the homophobia," Jim said dryly.
"It gets better, baby. Hold on to your seat, and I would suggest that the major give his heart to God, because his arse is going to belong to you," Matt said. "How about you and Baz go into the office for the rest of the story. You know, `little pictures' and all, he said nodding at Ryan who was hanging on his dad's every word, "I've already heard all the juicy parts."
"Baz?" Jim asked with a smirk.
"Yeah, my brother called here today looking for me. That's what the family calls me, that or Bazza, thanks to my Aussie mum," Barry said.
"Well then come on, Baz, let's go and hear all about our friend." Jim said grabbing his hand and leading him to the office.
Once in the office Jim grabbed Baz and kissed him deeply. Barry pulled away from the kiss, "Fuck man, if you're giving me this now, I can't wait till you hear what I've found out," he said, breathing heavily.
"That was just because I love you, and you are so damned sexy," Jim said with his sexy smile. "I'll think of a better reward when I see what you've got for me."
So Barry began to give Jim the rundown, "Well I was getting a little discouraged until I found an encrypted file that held all of his secrets. The biggest of all is his hidden favorites list and a Hotmail account under a fake name. Seems our buddy the major is a huge closet case. His favorites list was full of S/M and water sports sites. There are even emails from his master with instructions on how he is to behave while he is having sex with his wife. There is some kinky shit here, Gunner. This guy is totally fucked in the head."
Jim read through all the info that Baz had found. This guy was totally fucked up. Jim and Matt had done some playing he thought was kinky but this stuff was unbelievable.
"And I've saved the best for last," Barry said handing Jim another sheet of paper. "Seems like our buddy is going to an S/M party in Raleigh on Saturday the 18th, with his master. Maybe we can get in and take some snaps of him getting fucked in the sling," Barry said laughing.
"We could never get in there. First off, he knows what I look like. Second of all I wouldn't have all the leather gear and couldn't buy it in time. I just have the few things from last New Year's," Jim said and was quiet as he thought.
"You in leather, now that's something I'd like to see," Barry said.
"Well if you're a good boy and help me nail this fucker, Daddy will show you all his tricks," Jim said and grabbed Barry and began to kiss him and play with his ass, just as the door opened and Matt walked in.
"Oh sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you two while you're working," Matt said sternly, then breaking up with laughter at the looks on their faces. "You two are so damn easy," he said as he went over and joined the pair. After a few kisses Jim stopped them.
"Look boys, we have work to do. We can fuck tonight. Matty, call Dad and see if he and Finn can come for dinner, just them. And Baz, could you call Derrick and ask him to go keep Tim and the bad seed company tonight. We need to talk about this in private. I'll call my dad," Jim said going into command mode.
By the time dinner was over the men had reviewed all the information and formulated a plan. Frank and Finn were to go to the party. They had the leather gear, major dick didn't know them and the biggest reason they were happy to go was they thought it would be hot as hell to play with the leather boys.
"Don't worry, Jim," Finn said, "I have a new PI working for me. He's ex-army intelligence like Barry and knows all the tricks along with having the equipment. He can wire me up with a camera, probably in the hat Frank will wear, you know that leather cap," Finn said with a grin.
"How are you going to get in?" Jim asked.
"No worries about that," Barry said, "I'll hack into their membership list and added Frank's name so he'll be on the list. It's a snap; I go in through their wireless printer."
The week had been hectic. The main focus for everyone was getting ready for the party on the 18th, but there was also Derrick's birthday to plan. The party was going to at Frank's place. Matt thought that it would be fun for Derrick's buddies from work to have the day at the beach. It also gave them more room to house those who couldn't drive home. They had enlisted Drew's help with the guest list for the friends at work. They also invited the colonel and his wife. As with any party, the guys hired the same local caterers for Derrick's party, his favorite, NC barbeque.
As with almost every party they held at Frank's, everything turned out perfectly: weather, food, and the guests all enjoyed themselves. Then it was time for Derrick to open gifts. There weren't many since he had asked everyone invited to make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Fund in his name. However there were a few people who did both. When he had opened all the cards, Matt handed him a small box.
"This is from your dads," he said. Derrick opened the box and saw the car key and his eyes got huge, "Is this what I think it is?"
"Yeah, come on," said an excited Tim. "I'll show you where it is." And he grabbed Derrick's hand and led him down to the driveway to where Billy had parked the car while the gifts were being opened.
Derrick just stared at the car. It was a beauty. He went and gave both Jim and Matt a hug and said thank you before jumping in the car.
Not long after 2100, the last of the guests had left. Derrick and Tim were in the kitchen hunting for a snack, when Tim grabbed Derrick and gave him a quick kiss, just as Keith came into the room. He saw Tim kiss Derrick and grabbed him, pulling him away, while shouting "You filthy fucking faggot!"
He pushed his brother back into the kitchen cabinet with one hand around Tim's neck, causing his head to bang on the glass door, shattering it. Billy had also just arrived and saw what happened. He and Derrick both went after Keith, but Billy was faster. He grabbed Keith's arm and twisted it behind his back causing Keith to release Tim and said, "Do I need to teach you another lesson?"
Finn and Frank came rushing into the kitchen, drawn by the shouting and the breaking glass.
"Billy," Finn shouted, "let go of him," so Billy did and Keith just stormed out of the house.
"Would you like to explain why you are manhandling my son?" Finn asked angrily. Both the tone and the question pissed Frank off, since he already knew about Keith and his homophobia.
"No actually I wouldn't, Mr. O'Brien, I think you should ask your son. And by the way, have you noticed that your other son is bleeding," Billy pointed to Derrick who was cleaning the blood off of Tim's head. Finn rushed over to help but Tim told him not to come anywhere near him. Billy calling him Mr. O'Brien instead of Uncle Finn confused and angered him more. Finn looked at Frank, who said nothing, so he turned back to Billy and demanded to know what had happened. Billy explained what Keith had just done to Tim, and he also explained the reference to teaching another lesson. Finn listened to the story and couldn't believe his ears.
He looked again to Frank, "Finn, I'm sorry but that is the same story I dragged out of Billy the day Keith arrived, when I asked him how he really knew Keith."
Finn's face flushed with anger, "And you chose to keep that information to yourself?" he demanded, "Didn't you think Keith had a right to tell his side of the story?"
"Finn," Frank said calmly, "in all the time you've known Billy, which is a lot longer than you have known your grown son, have you ever known him to lie?" Finn blanched at the directness of the statement. "Billy told me everything was `cool' and asked me not to say anything. He knew how important Keith's coming here was to you and didn't want anything to spoil it."
Finn knew Frank was right, but he was still angry and hurt. He glared at Frank for a moment and then stormed out of the house. Next door at his house he went first to Tim's room and found him packing while Derrick was standing guard.
"What are you doing?" Finn asked.
"I'm leaving. Derrick called his dads and they said I could stay there until I figured out what I'm going to do," Tim answered without looking at his father.
"Timmy," Finn said as he crossed the room and attempted to hug his son. Tim shrugged away from his father and turned to him with a look Finn had yet to see.
"Don't even try, Dad. You have already shown us who is important. Apparently it's okay for Keith to physically assault me and call me a "filthy faggot", but it's my friend and yours who comes to my aid whom you're angry with?" Tim said with a hurt look on his face. "I warned you Dad, I told you something like this would happen and I'm shocked that you would allow it."
Finn was, for a second time in less than a half hour, shaken to his core. In that short time he had insulted a young man that he had grown to love, and argued with his lover. Then to make matters worse, his son who had sought him out, he allowed to feel abandoned.
"Just don't go anywhere until I come back," Finn said as he headed for Keith's room, where he found him packing as well.
"And what do you think you're doing?" Finn asked his son.
"I'm outta here. I'm not going to put up with Billy Leo's shit anymore," Keith spat.
"What exactly happened between the two of you, not tonight, but back at school?" Finn asked.
Keith went on to tell his father a completely different story. He claimed that Billy had made sexual advances toward him at a party, and when Keith rebuffed him he started a fight. Now this was completely different to what Billy had told him and the lawyer in him wanted to get the two together and get to the bottom of it. After all, he may have only known Keith as an adult for a few weeks, but he was still his son. Maybe the truth lay somewhere in the middle.
"Stop your packing. You're not going anywhere until we sort this out. There still is the matter of you slamming your brother's head into a glass door," Finn said sternly, "and that has nothing to do with Billy Leo."
Finn left the room and closed the door behind him. He leaned his head against the wall and sighed. He needed to get to the bottom of this, but he also needed to let all three boys calm down, as well as himself. He went back to Tim's room and found him still packing his clothes.
"Tim, please stop packing. We're going to all sit down and sort this out. We just need to be calm about this. Keith is your brother; I'm sure he didn't mean to hurt you. We have to figure out what the problem is with him and Billy first. Maybe that's why he acted that way." Finn added lamely.
"No way, Dad. Billy had nothing to do with Keith grabbing me and slamming my head into glass while calling me a filthy faggot. There is nothing to sort out. Keep your first born, I'll go where I'm loved," Tim shouted, his voice starting to break and he was on the verge of tears. Then he fumbled for his phone, and as his hands shook with anger and emotion, he scrolled through until he found what he was looking for. He shoved the phone into Finn's hands.
"By the way, you can keep that, and everything else you gave me. But just so you know I don't lie, look at the text he sent to me before he even arrived," Tim said, losing the battle to hold back the tears. Derrick remained silent, but just took Tim into his arms and held him as he cried.
Finn took the phone and read in horror what his son had written: 6/15/09 Hey little bro, talked to Dad, coming down to fag land...hope they haven't converted you yet...Reading the text made Finn stagger backwards, but he recovered quickly. He couldn't believe his son was such a homophobe. Worst of all he almost called Billy a liar, not to mention damaging his relationship with Frank. Then there was Tim, he had hurt the boy tremendously by not believing him in the first place.
"Timmy, unpack your suitcase you're not going anywhere. Just have Derrick take you home for the night until I get this straightened out," Finn said pleading with his youngest son.
Tears just spilled out of Tim's eyes once again as he hugged his dad, "Okay Dad, I'm sorry for shouting at you."
Finn just held him tighter, "Don't worry about it baby boy, I fucked this up not you."
Finn left the room and stood in the hall taking deep breaths trying to calm himself. How did he allow himself to be sucked in like this? It seems that while Tim was so much him, Keith seemed to be his mother's son. And with that thought, he knew exactly how to handle the situation. Keith, like his mother, only wanted one thing, money. So he went to his office and pulled out his check book and he wrote a check for the amount he had decided to give Keith for `working' the summer and headed for his bedroom. He knocked on the door and Keith called out to come in. Finn walked in, without saying a word and handed Keith the check.
"What's this?" the boy asked
"That's what I was going to pay you for working while you were here. I'm sure you won't want to stay in "fag land" for the rest of the summer," Finn said.
Keith looked like a wounded, cornered animal. Finn could see the wheels turning in his head as he tried to figure a way to talk himself out of this situation. First he had to get over being pissed at his fag little brother for saving the text and showing it to his dad. More important, he needed to make things right with his dad. He wasn't going to miss out on this gravy train; his mother could never provide what his father could.
To be continued...
Thanks for reading. I receive many emails complimenting me on how well edited and easy to read my story is, the credit goes to Jim for that, he works very hard to make this story readable. Now most people are lucky enough to have the help of one dedicated person, and now I have two. You can also now thank Steve; from the land of OZ.
I have posted a blog for the story at: http://petebruno.tumblr.com/
Check it out, this is where I will be posting pics of new characters and also a place for readers to comment or ask questions