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The Potter's Wheel
Chapter Twenty Four
All great changes are preceded by chaos
Relaxed in his comfortable first class seat on the way to California for the birth of the triplets, Matt was feeling pretty good considering the craziness that preceded his flight. There had been a few surprises with the pregnancy; the first was that during the in vitro they implanted only two eggs and it ended up a set of identical twins and a singleton. The next big surprise was when Denise called on Thursday to tell Matt that at Tina's appointment with her obstetrician he had decided to move up the delivery to Sunday- Valentine's Day. He originally had wanted to schedule it for Monday, but Tina begged him to do it on Sunday so that the babies would have a special birthday. He reluctantly agreed, joking that he should charge extra for missing golf.
Everything was fine with the babies but the doctor had decided that the boys were no longer growing and it was time to move it up. It had been explained that most triplet births came four to eight weeks early so they weren't surprised; luckily it was only four weeks. The announcement threw everyone and everything into a mad rush to get Matt's flight changed; he had decided to fly commercial. He had to quickly pack and, worst of all, cancel the special night he had planned with his two lovers.
The flight was scheduled to leave at 1630. Jim and Barry drove him to the airport and they left early worrying about the rush hour traffic. Saying goodbye to his lovers at the curb so they didn't need to park, the plan was for him to wait in the first class lounge, but while checking in he began talking to three young Marines. `Good God was I ever that young?' Matt thought and then discovered that they were on the same flight. They had just returned from seven months in Iraq and were traveling home to California for a thirty days leave. These three friends had been together since boot and managed to stay that way all through deployment. The boys tried to be upbeat, but Matt could see the fatigue in their eyes. He excused himself and made his way into the VIP lounge to find the airline concierge because he wanted to bring the guys in for a few beers before they took off—he was also checking to see if there were any seats open in first class.
Luck was on his side; there were four empty seats so he arranged to upgrade their tickets to let them enjoy flying in style and comfort. After what they had been through he thought they deserved it. He also made a mental note to speak to Jim and Barry about having the foundation start a program to upgrade servicemen and women when they were traveling. There would be a lot of logistics to work out, but it was a worthy cause.
He kept the surprise to himself until it was time to board. When he told the guys to follow him they gave him a dubious look. He assured them that everything was cool. When they were shown to their seats the looks on the brave faces was worth every penny Matt spent. As the guys settled into their seats he used his time to review the past few weeks.
Things at home had been, if nothing else, interesting. The days following the encounter with Junior saw a flurry of activity; he was intent on discovering who Tom was according to the emails that Barry and his crew intercepted, but he had totally bought Matt's story about why he was with Clinton. Bazza's guys were good and they were even able to intercept emails from the private investigator and change small bits of information to really confuse the jerk. At last report it appeared he still had no clue that Jim and Matt were involved and what was about to happen.
Barry's initial recovery had gone so well that they were able to start the radiation two weeks early and had just received his last treatment on February 3rd. While he did experience some fatigue and queasiness after each treatment, overall he tolerated it quite well and was getting around just fine. He had lost all of his body hair and most of the hair on his head in clumps; he ended up completely shaving his skull. It had since started to grow back but he was keeping his head smooth for the time being but letting the body hair come back.
Every morning Al would fix a tray for Barry with tea, juice and toast along with his meds and the boys would bring it in before school, visiting with him for a few minutes. On the morning of the 12th Matt and Jim happened to be in the room when the boys brought the tray and a naked Barry was just returning from his morning piss, his still half-hard cock didn't even phase the boys, however Jimmer did point and laugh, "Hey look MJ, Papa B has as many pubes as you!"
"Yeah, well that's twice as many as you have bro," MJ shot back causing his dads to laugh at the boys' banter.
Travis' re-evaluation went exactly as expected: he was placed on the TDRL, he had moved up to Delaware two weeks ago and was now spending a few weeks with Billy up in Philly. He decided he was going to school to major in counseling psychology; he picked Rutgers, New Brunswick, and was applying for the fall. He wanted to become a counselor and work with veterans with PTSD. Explaining to Frank and the guys that, while he was happy with and benefited greatly from the treatment he received from Doc Marks, he felt that it would really help to have someone who had been there and experienced the same feeling and emotions of the patient. His thought was that it would be easier for them to open up to him since he knew what they had gone through. "I want to help fix what was broken and help them live with the scars that may never heal," he said to his dad and brothers.
Originally Matt's first stop was to have been Pasadena; he was going to spend some time with Declan and Dave, a combination social and business visit. There was Bruno/Gallo Family Foundation business to attend to and he also wanted to check with Dave to see if Private Evans had ever contacted him. But all that would have to wait until after the birth, it was just a matter of flipping the schedule.
Before they landed Matt gave the Marines his card with his contact information; he even told them about The Potter's Wheel saying that if they ever needed anything or knew of someone who did, not to hesitate to call. The jarheads thanked profusely and with a "Semper Fi" they headed off to meet their families.
After collecting his bags he found a limo driver holding up a sign with "CAPTAIN LEO" in big letters. Bags went into the car and he was at Denise's house forty minutes later. She greeted him at the door with a big hug and a kiss, "Matty you look wonderful," she said giving him an extra hug, he wished he could say the same to her but she looked tired and troubled.
"Come on, let's go see the mommy to be," she said. Tina was ensconced in her bed looking large and uncomfortable.
"Well don't you look lovely," Matt said with a smile.
"Fuck you Captain, I'm fat, bloated, and miserable, and I've been in this fucking bed for the last four weeks," Tina said with half a smile, "I'll probably have to learn to walk again."
"Well you'll be on your way back to your fit self after tomorrow; and then the fun begins," Matt said egging her on.
"Yeah, well maybe you'll turn out to be a nice guy and hang around for a while," she taunted.
"I would love to, but I have four at home of my own, and even with all the help they are lot to handle," Matt said receiving an incredulous look from Tina.
`Yeah, like I believe that with all the help he has back there' she thought.
"By the way, did you find a nanny?" Matt asked.
Tina frowned and Denise answered, "Yes, and he starts the day the babies come home."
"He?" Matt asked with a chuckle.
"Yes, he," Denise said with a smile, "out of all the interviews it came down to two individuals; a nice young lady with experience who I thought was just a little too flighty and Oliver—an extremely qualified young man from New Zealand; he even has a nursing degree. He was lured to California to work in the same capacity for a family with a couple of young boys. After two months the husband found out he was gay and fired him." Denise gave Tina a warning glance and continued. "That was one more point in his favor and the other was, that even though my partner doesn't agree, I think men can do a wonderful job with babies—look how well you did with Jimmer and now Kelly."
"And it doesn't hurt that he is hot as hell," Tina said surprising Matt—it was almost as if she was afraid that Denise would have a fling with the guy.
"Well he must be really hot if you noticed," Matt said before jumping out of the way of a pillow Tina through at him.
"Fuck you Captain, you think I can't pick out hot men?" she asked.
"No, I just didn't think you cared," Matt said.
"All right children, that's enough for the evening; Tina needs her rest, she has an early day tomorrow," Denise said signaling it was time to end the evening. The babies were scheduled for delivery at 1000, but they needed to be at the hospital at 800.
Denise had saved Matt a plate from dinner, but before eating he called home. Jim told him the boys were wound up waiting to speak to both him and Denise. That took a half hour and then Matt got to speak to Barry and finally to Jim again.
"Matt, there is something we need to talk about," Denise said, putting the dinner plate in front of him causing his stomach to tighten when he noticed the serious expression on her face.
"And that would be?" he replied evenly.
"Well Tina has not really been herself lately," Denise said smiling awkwardly and sitting down with a drink. "In fact it's been a long rocky road of a pregnancy," dreading this conversation for over a week, but it was time to suck it up and get it over with. "She no longer wants the babies to have the last name of Leo, she wants the name to be hyphenated as Leo-Newell," Denise said and waited for the explosion; she was surprised when it didn't come. Matt really didn't care about the names of the babies, only that they adhere to the agreement to have his name as the father on the birth certificate. He looked at his ex-wife and knew she was not enjoying this.
"But I'm still on the birth certificate right?" Matt asked; he did not like the twitch of her jaw—it was a tell. "Look Denise, now is not the best time to deal with this, let her get through tomorrow without stress—then the next day I'll explain to her that we have a contract and my name will be on the birth certificate," Matt said calmly even though he was boiling inside. He had paid for all the extras that this pregnancy required—he even outfitted the nursery and set up an account to pay for the nanny—and it wasn't even his idea to have the babies. Now this ungrateful bitch was going to try change the terms of the deal? That was definitely not going to happen.
"Matt, I'm sorry," Denise said looking genuinely distressed, "I'm sure it's just her hormones and of course the fear of what she's facing," she was almost in tears; and crying was something that Denise never did.
"Okay look, I understand your position—but you have to understand mine as well. I have never lied to you or not followed through on a promise. And I'm sure you have been just as true to me—but I'm not going to give up my rights as a father," Matt said as calmly as he could, "I'll stick to my promise and not interfere with you guys raising the kids, but I want my parental rights." He got up and drew Denise up into his arms and hugged her, "but are you sure you are telling me everything?" Matt asked. "You seem really stressed,"
"I'm fine, I will be on leave for the next three weeks to help out; and I'm sure Tina will be back to normal as soon as she delivers," she said but Matt had his doubts which he kept to himself.
"Don't worry kiddo, we'll work it out." He said releasing her from the hug and immediately started to make contingency plans in his head.
On the way to the hospital in the morning Matt pretended that Denise never mentioned the name or birth certificate issue and tried to be as pleasant as he could be. Tina surprised everyone in admissions by walking in like she was going shopping instead of delivering triplets. When the admitting nurse asked for the father's name Matt answered her, "That would be me, Matthew Leo," he said. Tina whirled around in her chair and started to say something but Matt just stared her down. When she got nowhere with him she turned to Denise who remained silent. The next question was if the father wanted to be in for the delivery and Matt jumped in quickly, "No, her partner Denise will be joining her."
"Well at least you got that answer right," Tina said tersely—Matt and again Denise remained silent.
Everything started moving quickly then; Tina was wheeled into the delivery room and it seemed like it was no time before Denise came out in her mask and gown to announce the births. She was beaming, the babies were a good weight and all healthy; Rocco was first out weighing 4.5 pounds, Benjamin coming in at a whopping 5.2, and finally the single little girl Frances at 3.5 pounds. They were being taken to the Special Care Nursery where Matt would be able to see them.
Tina was in the delivery room for about another hour before she was all stitched up and ready to go back to her room. After Matt saw the babies through the glass he went to see Tina. He was just approaching the door when he ran into a very cute guy with reddish-brown hair cut short but stylish, with sparkling green eyes, a classic square jaw and a sexy 5 o'clock shadow, all capped by a dazzling white smile. `Fuck, she was right, the boy is hot as hell', Matt thought as he glanced down and at his thick neck and what looked like a very thick and muscular body—`I'll bet he's another rugby player' he thought. Matt guessed that this was Oliver.
"Hi, you must be Oliver," Matt said extending his hand.
The young man looked confused for a second as he was obviously checking the beefy Marine out, and then the penny dropped, "Yes, and you must be the proud new papa," he said shaking the Captain's hand. "Congratulations." His quiet voice didn't match his body and look though; it was low and reserved—almost shy. Maybe he just needed time to warm up, Matt thought.
"Listen Oliver, would you have a little time after visiting to grab a cup of coffee?" Matt asked.
"I reckon I just might, mate," he said with a smile causing Matt to worry he was getting the wrong impression.
The guys didn't visit long; the new mother was apparently still floating on pain meds and her mood was swinging wildly from happily giddy to weepy. Tina seemed very happy and relieved when Matt said they were going to head out and he would see them after dinner.
For the next forty-five minutes the two men talked. Matt told him about Jim and how they met when they were kids and how they were reunited. Oliver seemed quite taken with the story and when Matt told him about Barry his eyes became as large as saucers.
Oliver was very open about the most recent events of his life, but he also shared quite a bit about his family and early life. He was twenty-two years old. His parents had emigrated from Zimbabwe with his two older sisters, and he had been born in Auckland five years later.
Just as Matt suspected, he had played rugby all his life; and while his parents knew he was gay, they were really not pleased. He took the job as an au pair as a way to get into the US and hoped to eventually be able to legally gain citizenship. All the while they talked Matt was trying to size him up; to gauge his trustworthiness. He had always been good at reading people when he first met them, and his assessments were rarely off. Judging by how open he was with his story and his interest in Matt and his lovers, he felt he could trust him; in fact Matt thought the young nurse was a bit smitten with him. Of course that would work well with what he had planned, not that he would ever encourage such a thing, but in this case he thought he would use it to his advantage.
Matt was quite unsettled by what he found on this visit; specifically Tina's attempt to keep him off the birth certificate and the obvious distress that Denise was in over the situation. His plan was to recruit Oliver as a type of informant; he needed to be kept aware of what was going on in the house without the girls knowing. This was not only for the protection of the `trips', but for Denise as well—Matt, for the first time since he had met her, did not completely trust Tina.
"Oliver, I'm very happy the ladies hired you, and I'm sure you will do a wonderful job. I'm wondering though if you would be interested in helping me out," Matt said quietly; putting on a serious face while shamelessly using the young stud's attraction to him to reel the boy in.
"Sure mate, I'd be happy to help. What do ya have in mind?"
"Well I was hoping you could keep me informed about the babies' progress," Matt said cryptically.
The Kiwi's eyes narrowed a bit. He liked Matt a lot already and he was almost sure he knew what the older man wanted him to do. And he was willing to do it. He had taken the job because he of course needed it, but he really liked Denise. Tina on the other hand had not impressed him very much. He had been in their presence five times in all, including the interview; and each time she was just a bit too churlish for his tastes. On one occasion he even witnessed an argument about Matt's name being on the birth certificate. That did not sit well with him especially after he heard that they had a signed agreement to that effect. He was also put off that she would engage in such a personal discussion in front of a virtual stranger. He originally put it down to hormones and pregnancy; however other instances caused him to rethink that theory.
Since he didn't know Matt well enough he decided to keep that to himself but was very willing to help him out, "And how would you like me to do this?"
"If you can just find time to send me email updates on how the babies are doing that would be great," never asking him to really spy on Denise and Tina but he was sure the message was received, "and I'll make sure you're properly compensated for your assistance," Matt concluded.
"No need for that, I think the father should know what's going on," Oliver replied, signaling that he understood what Matt was asking for.
"By the way, what kind of phone do you have?" Matt asked.
"An old dinosaur flip phone I'm embarrassed to say."
"Let's go, we'll deal with that right now," Matt said standing. He asked Oliver to take him to the nearest mall where he purchased him a new iPhone 3g with a premium plan. "This is my gift to you, but there's no need to share that with anyone," Matt said to the smiling young man who was already pressing on the screen trying to figure out his new toy.
"Matt, the architect will be here at 1100," Jim said while he was shaving and Matt was in the shower. He had been home from California after a week; having stayed until Tina and the babies came home. She was not completely healed and needed lots of rest. Denise and Oliver did most of the caregiving, but she was breastfeeding the babies, and that was surprisingly successful. She would breast feed two at a time while Denise feed the third with a bottle of expressed milk. Tina was very intent on doing this since she had read that not only was it beneficial for the babies, but it supposedly would help her lose the post-partum weight quicker.
Matt also had a chance to become closer to Oliver; the more he got to know him the more he liked the young man and the more he trusted him. Since he had returned home Ollie had been sending Matt texts and daily emails keeping him abreast of what was going on at the house. All seemed well, but as he had explained to his husbands, he left with many reservations about the future and those reservations were the reason for the visit from the architect.
He was worried that the `trips' and possibly Denise might, at some point, be spending time at the house; that would mean they needed more bedrooms. When the house was built only three bedrooms were on the second floor leaving a large amount of unfinished area. This was a result of the original architect creating a dramatic roof line. So the guys decided to add two more bedroom suites for the future. Jim also wanted to install solar panels on the back of the house that faced South-Southeast—perfect for the most exposure. Jim wanted to use them to heat the pool helping to extend the swim season.
"I didn't know that you were a Greenie," Al quipped when he heard of the plan.
"I'm not," Jim replied, "just cheap! It would be nice to cut down the electric bill and we can afford the panels. Too bad more people can't, but the price will come down when the politicians figure out how to tax use of the sun."
His shaving was interrupted by his feeling two little arms grabbing his naked legs. "Dad, I want to shave too!" It was Ryan, every morning he managed to live up to his nickname Sparky.
"Okay Sparky," Jim said as he lifted the boy up and sat him the counter. He took some shaving cream off his face and painted the giggling boy's face.
"That feels funny Dad," he giggled.
"Well you wanted to shave," Jim said using the handle of toothbrush to mimic shaving.
"There you are half pint," Brett said entering the bathroom. "You need to get dressed or you will be late for school and Uncle Buck will be after you," he said grabbing Ryan off the counter. "Sorry guys..." he was saying but seemed to lose his train of thought when a naked Matt stepped next to him to give Ryan a kiss, he was staring at the guys' freshly shaved pubes and balls. It was something they had always wanted to do, but didn't know how they could explain it to the boys. They had the perfect excuse when Barry lost his; they were doing it to show solidarity.
"That's okay," Matt said breaking his stare, "we're used to company in the bathroom, MJ and Jimmer used to be with us every morning too."
"Yeah, sorry—later guys," Brett said as he made a hasty retreat from the bathroom. Jim pulled Matt to him and gave him a good deep kiss.
Then pulling back said, "I think young Ute was enjoying the scenery, maybe he's in need of an emergency pipe cleaning?" Jim teased.
"I sure wouldn't mind, but we'd have to talk to Bazza about it first," Matt said as he stroked Jim's hardening cock.
"Talk to Bazza about what?" Barry asked as he entered the bathroom.
"We'll tell you later," Matt said as he went to his knees in front of Jim, "just shut the door and lock it, we have work to do," and then he swallowed Jim down to his absent pubes.
While Al was off taking the boys to school, Brett made his way over to the stables to see what Tommy was up to; he needed a distraction or he'd be in his bedroom wanking away. The scene in the bathroom had left him randy as hell, the thought of being in the middle of those two; well actually three including Baz was 'bate fuel almost every night, he didn't need to be doing it first thing in the morning also.
He found Tommy cleaning stalls; he and Tommy were becoming pretty good buddies and the sexy Texan was yet another cast member in the Aussie's masturbatory fantasies.
"How's it hanging mate," Brett asked, using one of Tommy's Texas sayings.
"It ain't," he replied with a frown, "I need to git myself laid, but there ain't much pussy floating around the farm; and I'm tired of beating off," he said honestly.
Brett's cock twitched at that; and he decided to see were this conversation might lead—he wouldn't mind swallowing what was causing the stud's jeans to bulge. "Well there are other hot, wet places to put your cock," the horny stud baited.
"Just what are you suggesting Ute?" Tommy questioned with a raised eyebrow.
"Well it's not like you don't know I love to suck cock; and I'm always willing to help a guy out," Brett replied, hoping he wasn't pushing too far.
Tommy didn't answer right away but continued to lay clean straw down in Chesty's stall. He seemed to be considering the offer and Brett was worried that he may have pushed too far; that was until Tommy looked back and gave him a sexy smile.
"Man, I'd love a blowjob right now, I just don't want things to get weird between us," Tommy said rubbing the growing lump in his pants.
"It won't get weird for me," Brett said as he stepped closer to the stud and dropped to his knees. He rubbed his face on Tommy's denim crotch while he worked the belt loose and opened his pants. The Texan was going commando, and Ute ignored his hard, leaking, uncut cock and went right for the boy's sweaty balls. Licking and sucking them while inhaling the sweet smell of his sweat and eliciting a long satisfied moan from Tommy.
He finally put the randy horseman out of his misery and took the leaking erection into his mouth. The muscle stud grabbed Brett by the back of his head and started to slowly push and pull him, guiding him and controlling the pace. Brett was busy pulling his own dripping cock out of his pants while savoring the steady flow of pre-cum coming from the tangy uncut Texas tube in his mouth. It took less than five minutes of Brett's hot mouth before Tommy called out, "Here I come buddy, get ready for a big load," and began blasting his thick cream into the hot mouth.
When he finally became too sensitive, Tommy pulled out. But Brett pulled him back in and began licking and sucking on his balls while wildly jerking his own erection.
"Don't you dare waste that load boy," a voice called. He and Tommy had moved into the corner of the stall, they jumped at the sound of Al's voice. When they turned they were surprised to see Al standing at the entrance with his hard cock in his hand; and even more surprised when he said, "Come on Ute, shove that fucker in my ass!" As he began to lower his pants, he moved forward to suck Brett's cock in his mouth, loading it with spit; then he stood and leaned forward; bending over and presenting his ass to the young man.
Tommy watched as Brett slid into the hairy muscle stud and was surprised when he looked down to see his own cock standing rampant once again. He began to stroke himself while watching the thick Aussie pole slide in and out of the hairy hole. He was watching so intently that he didn't see Al stand, then he felt himself being pushed up against the wall an in an instant Al had bent over and was now sucking him.
This was the most exciting sex that Tommy ever had; and while he was enjoying the moment, he knew he was still a pussy man—but had to admit this was a decent substitute. All too soon Brett grunted and began to spill his load into Al, who in his excitement increased his suction causing Tommy to let go with a second load of juice in less than fifteen minutes.
As the three sweaty men began to get themselves together when Al said, "Just remember Tommy, until you are getting regular pussy—I'll be happy to keep those pretty boy balls drained."
"Boy balls?" Tommy said with a smile as he grasped them, "These are grade A prime man balls, mister and don't you forget," he said.
"Well they sure do deliver some tasty cream," Al said with a wink as he buckled his belt.
The last four weeks had flown by with meetings with builders, doctors' appointments and, of course, the boys and their adventures. And today was the big day—it was time to finalize the take-over of Stratton Engineering.
Barry was gaining more weight and stamina every day, especially with Brett helping with the rehab exercises to build up his strength. He was also spending a lot of time investigating courses for the summer semester; and determining what credits would transfer. He wanted to get back to school as soon as possible to complete his degree.
The three lovers had spent the night in Virginia Beach at the Westin Hotel in preparation for their introduction as the new owners of Stratton Engineering. All of the senior staff and administrative assistants, along with many of the engineers, had been invited to the hotel for a luncheon. They would be introduced as owners: Grant Belgrade as CEO, Clinton Conway as COO, and Tom Naylor as CFO.
The guys had driven down after lunch on Sunday; they had left the boys at home in the care of Al and Travis. Also there for the event of course were Frank and Finn, along with George; he was on his way to Florida and had decided to stop for a visit with Brandon and his family before continuing on. They invited Brett to join them thinking it would be a fun trip for him—especially crossing the Bridge Tunnel— but they also had another surprise planned.
Clinton and Declan joined the group for a wonderful dinner in the hotel, and then the guys retired to their room for a bit of a celebration. The party broke up around 2200. George, Frank, and Finn were staying nearby at Tom's townhouse, while Grant was headed to his new home, and Declan was staying at Clinton's place.
Following the morning that Brett had walked in on them in their bathroom, Matt and Jim mentioned their suspicions about Brett's infatuation with them to Barry and asked him how he felt about giving Brett a surprise, to fulfil his fantasy— a night of playing. He agreed but it had yet to happen because they never could find the opportunity. Tonight was to be the night. Jim had declared an emergency and he decided that Grant needed a night of good fucking and his lovers agreed so they planned to do it after the party and include Brett.
During the get together Jim pulled Grant aside and told him to hold back as the others left. Grant's eyes were wide with excitement at the invitation. What followed was two hours of intense sex—each man gave Grant what he wanted; a hard fuck while being spit roasted and then moving to the shower stall where he was covered in recycled beer. Brett was beside himself with excitement; so much so that he came three times. Getting fucked by his cousin had always been a fantasy.
While Jim and Matt crawled into bed, Barry had one more task to complete. Just before 2400 he fired up his laptop and connected with his guys who were in control of Junior's computer and, with a few clicks of the mouse; they transferred all of Junior's money into new untraceable accounts. He shut down the computer, climbed into bed and fell asleep snuggled between his two lovers.
It was now 700 and the guys were up and preparing for the day's events. Breakfast was scheduled for 900. Mr. Stratton would be attending along with Frank and Finn and afterwards he would also be meeting with Grant and Tom, giving them a chance to ask any questions they might have and the benefit of his years of accumulated knowledge.
Precisely at 900 Junior's secretary knocked on his door—he was out of his mind—he had been staring at his laptop for almost two hours—all of his off-shore accounts were empty. He had been making frantic phone calls for over an hour, each account executive told him the same thing; he had transferred the money just after midnight his time from his computer with his security code. With all of this going on, she was last person he wanted to deal with at the moment. On top of this disaster everyone had been invited to a luncheon at noon to meet the new owners, and he had been especially out of sorts lately because had been completely left out of the loop. He knew nothing about the new owners, and had not been included in any of the meetings relating to the planning of the luncheon and the introduction of the new owners; it just fed his paranoia.
"Mr. Flannery, you are wanted in Mr. Conway's office," she said and quickly exited. George slammed his laptop closed and stalked off to meet that half-breed prick that was now his boss. He knocked and was told to enter; walking through the door he observed Clinton seated at the conference table along with that lawyer Declan to his right.
"Have a seat George," Clinton said with a smile indicating the chair directly across from him. He sat, arms folded across his chest—clearly showing his disdain. Junior had no time for this bullshit; he had to find out what had happened to his money.
"As you know," Clinton began, "today the new owners will be introducing themselves and revealing the new organizational structure at the luncheon."
"Then I'm sure I will be finding out the details with the rest of the staff," George said, becoming more agitated. "And how would it affect me? Why am I here?"
"That's the thing George, the new owners have decided not to retain your services," Clinton said firmly.
The news hit George like a freight train—after all his years of dedication the little half breed was telling him he was no longer needed. "And what reason would they have for doing something like this?"
"Actually George your employment is at will, they are not required to give you a reason other than they have decided to go in a different direction," Declan offered.
"George, the company has prepared a very generous severance package and of course proper references," Clinton said pushing the open file towards him.
George jumped out of his seat, leaning forward and pounding his fist on the table, "That's it? You're pushing me out after all the years I've given this company?" he seethed.
"Well George, it's a new company with new owners who have made their choice; we have two security guards to accompany you while you pack any personal belongings in your office," Clinton informed him.
"Fuck you, you slanty-eyed little half-breed," George shouted at Clinton as he picked up the file and then turned heading for the door.
Junior stormed out of the office to the waiting security guards who were there to escort him to his office and then out of the building. "And he wonders why he is being let go," Declan said with a smirk.
"Do you think he would consider an exit interview?" Clinton asked causing Declan to laugh out loud.
The hotel had set up a function room and served a fantastic lunch for the more than twenty employees who were invited. After the lunch was over Mr. Stratton stood and addressed the assembled group. He started by introducing Matt, Jim, and Barry along with Frank and Finn as the new owners. Just as Matt began the speak the doors burst open to reveal a red faced and crazed Junior.
When he saw his brother and his two lovers standing at the head table he became totally enraged, "I should have known you three faggots had something to do with this" he shouted as he pointed at the three. "Three sodomites that have ruined my life!" Then staring at his brother. "And you, Jim, my own brother—how could you do something like this," he shouted causing gasps among the employees.
"George," Jim said addressing his brother, "speaking of ruining lives, would you like to discuss your sins?"
"Why you lousy piece of shit," Junior shouted as he pulled out a gun and aimed at Jim—Matt watched frozen in his spot—he heard the shot and saw Jim spin, he had been hit in the shoulder. Barry moved to help steady Jim when another shot was fired, Matt watched as Barry fell. He was about to move to help his lover—he heard a third shot and felt himself falling backwards, he landed on his back, his head smacking hard against the tile floor, and then things went black. When he came to he was staring into Clinton's face, things were a bit out of focus; then he felt blood a lot of it on his hands and soaking his shirt but felt no pain—it must have been coming from Clinton.
As Matt began to fully regain his senses he could now hear screaming and people rushing about; he wasn't sure how long he was out but he could hear Junior screaming obscenities as he was apparently being wrestled to the ground. He felt the blood coming from Clinton's his side; he moved him onto his back and saw the blood pouring out of his side, pulling off his jacket he pressed it to the bleeding man's side and applied as much pressure as he could. Clinton had apparently jumped in front of Matt and took the bullet meant for him.
The next thing he was aware of was the paramedics moving him aside and beginning to work on Clinton; and then his father helping him to his feet. Matt stood and watched the chaos of the scene; he could see Jim sitting up being treated; and Bazza on a gurney being attended to as well.
"Come on Matty, we'll follow the paramedics to the hospital," Frank said leading his shocked his son out of the room passing Mr. Stratton who was white as a sheet looking about the room trying to make sense of what was happening before his eyes.
To be continued...
Before you read this notice I would ask that you lock away all sharp objects; and promise not to send me nasty notes—Oh, and take a deep breath.
They say time flies when you're having fun; and it sure has!
May 7th will be the second anniversary of the first posting of A Single Soul. That is one of the reasons that Chapter 25 will not be posted until then. The second is that it will be the last chapter of The Potter's Wheel and will take just a bit more work; there are quite a few loose ends to tie up.
The first chapter of Book 3, Deer Crossing Farm will debut on May 14th.
As always, thanks for reading.
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