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One of my readers brought to my attention a very good point. Although I have been writing this for the past several weeks and getting very little response, most of you have been involved with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I already had about 20 additional pages (2 chapters) written before I posted the 'quitting' notice. However those pages needed to be fleshed out and molded into some kind of cohesive and understandable story line (to perhaps 3 or 4 more chapters). I (and my characters) didn't WANT to end the story, but I didn't want to continue writing just to please ME. I write to please my readers (some of them anyway).
I've been on a two-week vacation and my characters continued to invade my head reminding me of things I haven't written about them yet. Since that posting I have also received several requests to keep the story going.
So, it's likely that there will be a couple more chapters.
Your Nifty friend,
From chapter eleven
"Guess who I met on the way up to the door?"
"From the grin on your face I'd say it was Simple Simon," Drew said.
"Hi," Harry said, peeking his head around the doorframe because Trent hadn't moved out of the way.
"Hi," Drew said gleefully.
Jared yanked Trent into the house by his shirt sleeve to make room for Harry and his guest.
"I'd like you to meet my new boyfriend," Harry said, dragging his friend's arm closer to him."
"Uncle Cory?" the boys shouted.
Chapter twelve
They were not the last to arrive and other family members showed up, shortly thereafter, while the small group of immediate family was still getting over the initial shock of Cory showing up with Harry … as his boyfriend.
With about thirty people in the house, mostly adults, the dining room table was turned long ways so that it extended into the living room and at the end of that was added a cafeteria–style table. The dining room table would, for the day, seat five to a side rather than the normal four. The cafeteria table sat six to a side comfortably. At the end nearest the kitchen was added another long table to form a T shape (T for Thanksgiving, presumably) where Carrie put all the big bowls and platters of 'extra' food to give the guests more room on the dining tables. She sat on the side closest to the kitchen while her brother sat across from her so they could 'pass the whatever' refills that were asked for. There were, of course, card tables set up in the living room for the younger kids.
Carrie suggested everyone find a seat at the table.
Harry, of course, claimed the seat next to Cory. Drew sat next to him, followed by Trent and Jared.
As soon as they were seated, they realized they were able to see each others' reflections in the mirror on the wall across the table from them and smiled at each other like adolescent schoolgirls.
Typically, the women sat closer to Carrie's end of the table while the uncles sat at the far end of the table with Marty. The assorted 'older' cousins sat in between ….the boys next to Jared and the girls across from the boys.
One of the ' nice' aunts said, "Cory, Carrie tells me you've met someone."
"Well I, for one, am glad he met someone. Now maybe we can get a rest," Jared complained like he was joking with his classmates.
"Whaddya mean by that?" Carrie asked, totally unaware of the boys' recent homosexual activities.
Realizing he had just said something that might 'out' them, Jared said, "Uh, I mean, like he's on the phone 24/7 complaining that he's not getting any … um … any … "
" … any younger," Drew said, coming to his brother's rescue.
"Oh," Carrie said, apparently satisfied with the answer.
"I was hoping for just the opposite," Cory said, stealthily looking first at Jared's reflection and then at Drew's before looking at Harry's.
"The opposite what?" Carrie asked perplexed.
"Um, you know," Cory said, thinking That sounds to me like the boys might be helping Harry out a little, while trying to also think of an acceptable answer. "I was hoping … I'd … start getting younger, now that I'm dating a younger guy."
"Oh," Carrie said.
Jared and Drew looked at Cory's reflection, trying to figure out if Jared's slip of the tongue had somehow revealed to their uncle that they had been having sex with Harry.
"Trust me, it doesn't work that way," Marty said from his position at the far end of the table. "I married a younger woman and look how old I got!"
"I don't know what YOUR problem is, I'm still young," Carrie chided.
"So, you two have enough in common, even with the age difference, to think you can be compatible?" the 'nice' aunt asked.
"It's only five years," Harry said feeling a little uncomfortable being under scrutiny at a gathering of mostly strangers. "I know a lot of parents who have that kind of age difference. In fact, Mom's forty and Dad's forty–four. It only seems to be a problem when it involves young people. Once you're older, people don't seem to care."
"That's true," Carrie said. "I think there's a ten–year age difference between the Cranston's."
"There's fifteen years difference between Carrie and me," Cory said, "and we're still compatible."
"Yeah but you're brother and sister, you're expected to he compatible," another aunt said.
"But Harry and I are gay where Carrie isn't," Cory said. "You aren't, are you, Sis?"'
Much to Harry's delight … and Cory's as well … they were not the topic of discussion during the whole meal. Harry discovered everyone there except he and Cory were from Marty's side of the family, including several aunts and their kids and Marty's brother, Spin, his wife Candy and their eight children. The table conversation implied that Carrie's side of the family had been awarded the Christmas holiday a year earlier.
After a disapproving look from his mother, Drew removed his elbows from the tabletop. Then he remembered the etiquette training he had received many years earlier and smiled impishly. While he ate with one hand, he casually dropped his left hand into his lap. Then just as casually, he slid it the short distance it took, being packed so close together, to reach Trent's lap. Trent jumped but, because of a mouthful of food, he didn't make any noise so Drew's grope went undetected. Shortly thereafter, Trent mimicked Drew's moves and began groping Jared. Trent soon had his best friend's cock erect to its full 9 plus inches of tumescence. Drew, meanwhile, was working Trent up to his full 8 inch hardness.
All Drew had to do was whisper to Harry, "It's not polite to have both hands above the table when you're eating," for Harry to catch on to what was going on. He soon had Drew's 8 and a half inch erection in his left hand, too. To Drew's amazement, Harry proved to be amhidextrous, fondling Drew while eating with his right hand and fondling Cory while eating with his left hand. Not to be outdone, Drew tried using both hands, too. However, he was only successful in getting one grope of Harry's 6 inch hard–on before he felt his uncle's hand push his hand away. Looking in the mirror he saw Cory was smiling at him.
None too slowly the mounds of food disappeared, including, among other items, a 22–pound turkey, broccoli/rice stuffing, candied yams, cranberry/orange relish and the obligatory green bean casserole.
Pushing himself away from the table, Spin, Marty's brother, said, "Yet another great meal, Carrie."
"Thanks, Spin, any time we run out of just about everything, I consider that a compliment, Carrie said with a forced smile. Of course, we all know your wife is like a food vacuum, but I'm trying to be nice.
Looking disapprovingly at his wife who was still struggling with yet another 'side' of candied yams, Spin said, "Yes, I know what you mean."
"Mom, Dad, Uncle Cory, why don't you all go with the rest of the family to the den. We four guys will clean up and wash the dishes," Drew said.
"Well that's certainly different," Carrie said, somewhat shocked.
"We just want to give you something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving," Jared said.
"Yeah, so just sit back and relax. In fact, we'll bring out the punch and some after dinner drinks for all you guys in a few minutes."
Marty and Carrie looked at each other tying to assess the reason for their sons' atypical behavior.
"They wanna talk to Harry alone," Cory said.
"Well, I've got a few questions, myself," Marty said. Then, to everyone else at the table he said, "You can all go in the family room and fight over the remote. We'll be right in."
"More like fight over the most comfortable spot to take a nap," Candy said, snagging the last wheat biscuit, dripping with honey, from the plate.
As everyone got up from the table … Candy rather reluctantly … Cory said, "I figured you would, what with me showing up with Harry after being invited to come stag."
"That's not true," Carrie argued.
"Well, Harry told me you told HIM he could invite is little boyfriend if he wanted. You never made ME that offer."
"Cory …" Carrie whined as she began stacking the dirty dishes into tidy little piles to make it easier for when the boys returned to take them into the kitchen.
"Just kidding, Sis, Cory said as he began doing the same task on his side of the table."
"I hope so. I don't want you to think …"
Interrupting, Marty said, "So how did you guys meet? Did you go directly to the school to find Harry after we talked to you about him?"
"No. It was totally coincidental." Well it was! Cory admonished himself even as he was trying to justify his statement. After talking with Marty about some class fairy getting Trent involved in some homosexual activity in the school parking lot, I figured the only place a kid his age could go to meet other guys was the park restroom. I can't help it if the only guy I put the make on was the one that floated around, dressed all in black … a sure sign he was a high–schooler trying desperately not to conform.
"Like, what's coincidental about a 23–year–old working man meeting up with an 18–year–old high school student?"
Not wanting to get into the sordid details with his brother–in–law, Cory said, "There's this place where gay guys can go to meet other gay guys."
"Well, I'm pretty sure he's too young to get into THAT bar," Marty said.
"It's a place near the park," Cory said, surprised that his brother–in–law knew anything about there being a gay bar in town.
"Well I hope it wasn't the playground," Carrie said, "I've heard the police are keeping that under surveillance ever since the Amber Alert went out about that little girl going missing."
"It's only coincidental that this guy and the guy you were talking about were one and the same." Especially since you never mentioned his name during our conversation. You were more worried about getting Trent out of your sons' lives.
But you mentioned at the time," Marty accused, "that if we didn't want him in Jared's life we could send him over to your place."
"No, we were talking about Trent. Not Harry. I didn't even know about Harry's part in all this." But I'm not stupid. I knew there had to be a second classmate involved somehow." So now are you going to apologize for accusing me of being a pedophile pervert?"
"Sorry," Marty said, contritely. "It's just that all this … queer shit has me all confused."
"Marty!" Carrie scolded.
"No offense taken," Cory said.
In the kitchen, Jared was dispensing the orders. "Drew, you get the tray of glasses from the pantry. You know where they are. Trent, you get some ice out of the ice maker and put it in the ice bucket that's over there. I'll set out the liquor bottles and Harry, um, will you get about a dozen beers out of the fridge?"
As the flurry of activity subsided somewhat, Drew asked, "So how did you meet?"
"You know the men's room at the park?"
"Not from experience," Drew said, "only from what you've told us."
"I finally got up the nerve to go in one day. I got like, three feet from the door and Cory tapped me on the shoulder from behind. I just about shit! I thought the devil was after me or something. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up and my hands started tingling and everything."
"You didn't know him from before?"
"No. But after he calmed me down, he told me I didn't want to go in there."
"He said, it was a place where bad boys go and I didn't look like a bad boy to him."
"Dude, you dress all in black. You WALK like a girl but you dress like a bad ass."
"He said he could read it in my eyes … and then he put his index finger on my chest and said, 'and I can see it in your heart'."
"Awwwh," Drew sighed.
"Let's get these out to the adults so we can get back here and talk," Jared suggested.
"And NO, it wasn't the playground," Cory said sarcastically looking directly at his sister because of her unkind 'playground' remark. "We met 'coincidentally' and I took him to a juice bar so we could talk." Of course, you don't need to know that it was the breakfast bar in my kitchen.
"Well, that's appropriate," Marty said.
"Aren't the drinks at juice bars made from fruit?"
"Ha ha, fruit for the fruits," Cory said mockingly.
"Hey, just trying to keep it real," Marty said with a smile.
"Well, yeah, I guess it WAS kind of appropriate, now that you mention it," Cory said with an appreciative smile for Marty's willingness to lighten the mood.
When the boys walked in, Marty said, "Can you boys take all that to our guests and then get the three of us some coffee and Bristol?"
"We don't have Bristol," Carrie said. "We've got Bailey's."
"Whatever, so long as it's alcohol."
To expedite matters, Drew fixed the coffee while Trent, Jared and Harry dropped off the drinks to the guests in the family room. As usual, the aunts and uncles would decide which of the kids got beer and which got soft drinks. They each returned to the kitchen with stacks of dirty dishes.
"So if you didn't do it in the men's room where'd you go?" Drew asked, once he returned from delivering the coffee.
"We went back to his place and he fixed orange smoothies for us."
"You really went home with him?"
"Oh my god. I'd have been so scared," Drew said.
"Dude, you didn't know if he was gay–friendly or an axe murderer," Drew admonished.
"Yeah, like John Wayne Gacy or … " Jared said.
"Or a gay basher like those guys that killed Matthew Shepard," Trent warned.
"That's your uncle you're talking about!"
"But you didn't know that at the time!"
"Well, you know how your uncle is and I knew the minute I saw him … well, after I calmed down anyway … that he was someone I could be safe with."
"I'll bet that's what people said about the Marquis de Sade, too," Drew said.
"Why didn't you go somewhere public … like the mall or a juice bar?" Trent asked.
"You know how I said I knew I liked you guys because of your aroma? Well, I knew I could trust Cory."
"Because of his smell?" Jared asked, immediately recalling that he never thought his uncle had any special aroma about him … not like Trent and Drew.
"No, it's different than that, it's just … something. I don't know what it is."
"So did you … you know, do anything?"
"Of course!"
"Whaddya mean, of course?" Jared asked.
"I wasn't gonna let all that great education I got upstairs go to waste!"
"So how's he hung?"
"Drew! He's your uncle!"
"So whatl," Jared asked, "how's he hung?"
"Oh my god! You guys have started having sex together haven't you?" Trent accused. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"What with everything that's been going on about the senator, I couldn't find the right time," Jared said defensively.
"Dude, you shudda been on the phone talkin' to me about it while it was happenin'! That wudda been the right time!"
"He couldn't," Drew smirked, "he had his mouth full."
Sipping his coffee, laced with Bailey's, Marty asked, "Have you had sex with him yet?"
"I don't kiss and tell," Cory said smugly.
"I didn't ask if you've kissed him," Marty said with mock anger. "Have you had sex with him or not?"
"Why is it so important for you to know that?" Cory asked before realizing that Marty was worried about something.
"There's just some things I know about him that … well, if you haven't had sex with him yet, you should know."
"Like what?" Carrie asked.
"Oh, I think I know," Cory said. "He's already told me he's Harry the Fairy … the guy you thought was blackmailing Trent … and I guess, you guys. Anyway, he says you guys have patched all that up."
"Did he tell you he was a virgin?"
"Yeah," Cory said, letting Marty believe Harry was still a virgin when they met before thinking, He told me a classmate helped him change that status the day before we met so he was 'almost virgin'. I don't know if I should thank the guy or envy him. I'd kinda like to break in a virgin myself, just once … or maybe more than one virgin.
"We're not talking about us right now, Trent," Drew said as he began washing the dishes, "We're talking about Uncle Cory."
"So how's he hung?" Trent asked, equally curious about their uncle's endowments.
At the same time, all three boys thought almost the same thing. All those times we went camping with him, we never saw Cory in the communal shower. I'll bet even then, he knew he was gay but didn't want to be naked with us … or us to be naked with him. I know he showered with Dad a couple of times but never with us. Hummm.
"Adequate," Harry said. "Not as big as either one of you guys but then … it fits nicely in all the right places, so I have no complaints. Where's the towels? I'll dry."
"So does this mean we're not gonna have sex with you any more?" Drew asked.
"Not any MORE … but hopefully… not any LESS, either."
"Whaddya mean?" Jared asked, taking the dry dishes from Harry and putting them in the appropriate cupboards.
"Well, since Trent just outed you for having sex together, maybe you'd like to invite your uncle to play, um, musical nephews."
"He doen't know we're … um …" Drew said.
"Bisexual," Jared said.
"Straight with perks," Trent said. After seeing the look on his friends' faces at his remark, he defended, "Hey, if chicks can get away with calling what they do 'perks' we should be able to use the term whatever way we want."
There was a nod of agreement from each of them.
"Do you think he'd be willing?" Drew asked, intrigued by the idea.
"He's gay!" Trent, Harry and Jared said in the same sarcastic tone at the same time.
"But it's incest. Maybe he doesn't feel the same way about it as we do."
"He's got no problem with it. After I told him Trent popped my cherry, I kinda …"
"You told him I popped your cherry?" Trent shouted under his breath hoping the running water would help hide his outburst from the family in the next room.
"Kinda what?"Jared asked skeptically.
"So is he still a virgin?" Marty asked.
"Nope. It seems as though he's gotten that taken care of," Cory said with a smile. A smile because he was thinking, I don't' have to tell them it wasn't me who deflowered the child.
Having had time to think, Marty judiciously chose not to reveal to Cory, in front of Carrie, that he had caught Harry … and the others … involved in what he knew was referred to as 'water sports.' Only queers would use the term 'water sports' to refer to such activities. Back when I was a kid water sports meant swimming, diving, skiing … Nowadays I never know what terms I'm using in normal conversation that have some queer connotation. I guess I'll just have to give up talking in social situations.
"I kinda told him, um, you guys were involved, too."
"WHAT!" Jared and Drew shouted.
"Did you know at the time that he was their uncle?" Trent asked, hoping to diffuse a potentially volatile situation.
"No! And at the time, I didn't tell him your names. I just told him I got some guys at school in trouble. Then I told Cory all about our discussion the day Luke was here and how I helped you guys out and that you rewarded me by … um … well, you know. . I didn't know he was your uncle until we drove up to the house, today. We sat out front while he explained to me who he was. But then Trent drove up and …"
"They shocked the shit out of me," Trent said. "I mean, I know Harry from school and I know Cory from the family but seeing the two of them sitting in the car in front of your house … together … kinda freaked me out."
"So why was he so reluctant to show his face when you two came to the door?"
"I'm not sure he believed me when I told him we had patched things up. Or maybe, like everyone else, he might have thought you guys would think he was too old for me."
"But why did you have to tell him about us having sex together?"
"He asked me if I was a virgin."
"Before or after you had sex?" Jared asked.
"Before. So I had to tell him SOMEthing! And I wanted it to be the truth … even if it was kinda cryptic."
"So, really, he doesn't know for sure it was us, right?" Jared asked.
"I guess so. But he's not stupid. I'm sure he put it all together as soon as we parked in front of your house."
"So, was it just sex or did you two make love?" Drew asked, recalling the tongue kiss during the shower … after his golden shower.
"Both. The first time, it was just sex. I mean, he kept kissing me and all but I knew it was all about the sex. Oh, and the first time was just mutual blowjobs. After we sat and talked and snuggled with each other on the sofa for awhile, we did it again but then he was really tender and thoughtful and we 69'd. That's when he told me he wanted us to be lovers."
"And that's when you gave up your ass to him," Drew said knowingly.
"No," Harry said shyly, "It wasn't until after you guys fucked me a couple of days later that I agreed to let him fuck me. If fact, he never even brought it up. I had to ASK him if he wanted to fuck me."
"So, um," Drew asked, doing some investigative research, "did you fuck him, too?"
Meanwhile, the rest of the family was in the den. Spin and Candy's four sons and four daughters were watching TV with the volume tuned just a little too high … because they knew their mother was going to begin a lecture about something. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Mary, Elizabeth, Martha and Rachel … born in that order … all agreed their mother was going through some kind of mid–life hormonal–imbalance condition because she would just lash out about whatever was on her mind.
Earlier in their lives, she had been able to keep it to herself. Now, it was like she had no control over voicing her opinions. No topic was taboo … global warming, politics, religion, or why hot dogs come in packages of ten while hot dog buns come in packages of eight … and she could rant for just a few minutes or several hours.
"How long are we going to stay?" Candy asked. "You know how uncomfortable I am being in the same room with queers."
Spin and the eight kids all thought a similar thought about this being the first time she had ever voiced THIS dissatisfaction before.
"You're not in the same room with them, Candy," Spin said comfortingly.
"I was all during dinner. It just about turned my stomach."
Well, it sure didn't destroy your appetite. The way you were eating, I wasn't sure there was gonna be enough leftovers for the dog. … By the way, where's the dog? Instead, he said, "Just until we've had a chance to thank Marty and Carrie and then we'll leave."
"I thought it was your hippie generation that came up with all that 'free love' stuff, Aunt Candy," one of the other cousins remarked, hoping he could incite yet another full–blown tirade. The cousins … and even Candy's own children … loved raising her blood pressure by 'getting her started' on controversial subjects. These attitude swings were all so new to them that it was like a one–woman TV reality show.
Spin rolled his eyes. He always saw the humor in life. His own parents had named their sons Spin and Marty after the 1950's Disney TV characters that THEY had grown up with. Spin and Marty were lucky. Candy's parents … tie–died, drug–addled, adventure–loving hippies … named her after one of the many porn stars that burst onto the scene in the early 1970s … Kandy Kisses or Candy Cane or someone like that. Knowing her mother … her father died young … Spin thought maybe they had appeared in a movie or two with the porn star and named their daughter after her as an 'homage.' Nevertheless, Candy has yet to live it down.
"It might have been during my generation but I was never a hippie."
Even though we have early photos of you that prove otherwise, Spin thought. I think the name for that is selective recall.
"There were a lot of God,–fearing people who never associated with hippies. And even some of the hippies were good Christians. You can see in the photographs of the times that they wore the cross to acknowledge their faith."
Or they stole the jewelry from the families of their drugged–out friends. Spin thought.
Not one to be distracted once she was on a tirade, Candy continued, "All queers should be put in jail or some … institution … where they can't prey on others."
"I think they do, Mom," Matthew said, "they're called monasteries." Matthew held up his hand to receive high–fives from his three brothers … all four of whom had been church acolytes at one time or another.
"All I can say is there was a time when good Christian families disowned the black sheep of the family."
"That sure was the Christian attitude to take, wasn't it?" Matthew said supportively, knowing his mother NEVER caught on to his sarcasm. "Kick the queer out."
"Homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord!" Candy began to preach.
"Kick the druggie out. Kick the unwed mother out. That's what I say," he continued, mimicking his mother.
"That's absolutely correct! Such activity doesn't belong in good Christian families."
Mark, one of her other sons liked to disagree with her … play devil's advocate, if you will … mainly because he didn't like having religion crammed down his throat all the time. He said, "It's a good thing Mary's family didn't think that way."
"Mary who?" Candy harrumphed looking over at her daughter with the same name.
"Mary, the unwed mother of Jesus," Mark baited.
"She was married!"
"She got pregnant and the Bible states it was NOT by Joseph but he decided to marry her anyway."
"Of course not. He was the son of GOD! And Joseph married her to save her reputation as was the custom in those days."
"Don't tease your mother like that boys. You know she never had a father."
"I did, too. He died when I was young but I had a father. Don't you even THINK of accusing me of being a bastard child!"
Which is exactly what Jesus would have been if Joseph hadn't married her, Mark thought. Then he envisioned the tabloid headlines in his mind. Jesus the Bastard becomes Savior of the Christians. Talk about overcoming adversity!
"I didn't mean it that way, dear," Spin said, knowing that was exactly what he meant. He often supposed that her parents lived together but never married. Even so, he smiled at how parents name their children without thinking about the future harassment children with such names will have to endure. Even Spider–man, Peter Parker. Where does Peter park his peter? In 'er! And now, I guess this guy … Harry the Fairy, too. I rest my case.
"I'm just glad it's on HER side of the family," Candy said, referring to Carrie. "I just hope it's not hereditary. I'd hate to think she's passing homosexual genes on to her own two boys."
"Of course it's not hereditary. If it were hereditary, queers would fuck themselves into extinction!" Mark smirked.
"Of course it's hereditary. You don't think anyone, in all good conscience, would CHOOSE to suck another guy, do you?" Luke disagreed, deciding to join in since the show on TV was the 200,000th rerun and only on to entertain four–year–old Rachel … inexplicably the only one named for a person in the 'Old Testament' of the Bible.
"Don't talk that way. It's not nice."
"He's right, Matthew, said. "The mother passes the gene to their son … just like with hemophilia." He had heard no such thing but he just wanted to torment his mother.
John decided to get in on the fun so he said, "Statistically, one in ten people are homosexual so … um … there could be three or four of them in the house right now."
Luke said, "I heard it was one in six so it could be closer to five or six guys in the house right now that are queer."
Matthew said, "So … what with Cory and Harry being in the other room, that means there are four or five in here right now."
All the male cousins looked at each other in mock horror and then pointed to themsleves before shaking their heads 'no' as if to say 'not me'.
Candy looked around like their might be one lurking over her shoulder.
Just to be evil, Mary, the oldest daughter said, "Or lesbian."
"What are they doing out there anyway?" Candy groused. "What's taking them so long?"
"They're talking about you, Mom," Mark said. "They're trying to decide how to tell you they're all gay."
"Yeah, It just proves being gay is really a choice. After Aunt Carrie's brother told them he was gay, they all decided they wanted to be gay, too."
"Except uncle Marty, of course," Mark said, just to keep it 'real.'
"That's the only reason why Jared and Drew would hook up with Harry the Fairy, right?" Matthew said.
Elizabeth chimed in, hoping to keep the conversation sane, and said, "If God didn't like homosexuals, he certainly wouldn't have made so many of them."
"Yeah," Mary agreed. "We're all made in His image. So people can be whatever they wanna be."
"Okay, stop it kids," Spin said. "I'll go see what's taking them so long," Then with a mischievous grin and a wink at Mary, he said, "You guys stay here and protect your mom from the lesbians."
"It doesn't look like we're gonna get to have sex today, anyway, because there's so much family here." Drew said unhappily, as he handed the last dish to Harry to dry. "We can leave the silverware in the strainer. Mom will have to hand–polish it anyway."
Thanksgiving and Christmas were the only two days of the year when the sterling silver flatware was allowed to escape from the hand–carved felt–lined mahogany 'display' case in which it was imprisoned the other 363 days of the year. And the case was never open for 'display' purposes, either.
Just as the four boys returned from the kitchen, Spin pleaded "Will you please come in the family room. Maybe then, Candy will find something else to talk about."
"Is she having another 'spell'?" Marty asked.
"Homosexuals, this time."
"Probably because I'm here," Cory said.
"Don't be so egotistical," Marty chuckled, wrapping a protective arm around Harry's shoulders as he re–entered the room. "Maybe it's Harry she doesn't like."
"Even so, I think I'll go upstairs with the boys for a while," Cory said. "I get the distinct impression Aunt Candy doesn't want me … us… in the same room with her."
"Don't take it personal," Spin said. "She would be the same way if it were an Asian, a Black , a Jew, a Muslim or a Buddhist. Lately she doesn't like anyone who isn't a white priest or a white priest on his way to becoming a saint."
"Don't worry," Jared said, "We'll be down in time for the game … and we'll socialize with the cousins then. Okay?"
"Yeah," Marty said, knowing avoidance was a wiser choice than confrontation during the holidays.
Drew's eyes lighted up at the unexpected news.
"Jared, will you and Trent bring in more drinks? From what Spin says, I think we're gonna need 'em."
Cory, Harry and Drew went upstairs while Jared and Trent distributed the drinks, including egg nog for the kids … a few of which were spiked with rum for the older boys.
Luke was saying, "Shakespeare said in Act 1 Scene 3 of Hamlet, `To thine own self be true.' If I can't be true to myself, if I can't love myself, how can I expect God to love me? He made me in His own image…an image of love."
"When Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, God gave them one last chance to be good by giving them `willpower," Candy preached.
"What about Hitler and the Ayatollah and those guys? Weren't they made in God's image too?" another cousin asked devilishly.
"Yeah, they were, Mark argued, ignoring his mother's comment. "They exude evil, not love, but Joshua reported that God ordered the Jews to kill all the men, women, children and animals in many cities to defeat the Midianites. So if God kills entire nations, men made in His image have the divine right to kill, too."
"And the Marquis de Sade?" Trent threw in mischievously, not really knowing what everyone was talking about … and not really caring.
"That's a close call, but I'd have to say … made in God's image."
"NO WAY!" Matthew exclaimed.
"The Marquis performed most of his tortures on willing participants. Supplicants if you will. But some people, who read of his adventures, took it a step further and began inflicting torture on unsuspecting victims. They read his adventures as a `How To' manual and tried to improve upon it. In which case I'd have to believe that's where this idea of `man's willpower' might come in."
Trent thought, Personally, I think the different races developed from aliens brought here from different planets who maybe intermingled with the existing humanoid people already here … like the Cro-Magnons or the homo erectus guys or whoever they were. But not being family, he thought it was wiser not to voice his opinion and thereby, possibly give Aunt Candy a heart attack.
While Jared and Trent were enduring that conversation, Drew was saying, "Uncle Cory, um, I think … well, Harry seems to think … you know we've, uh …"

To be continued.

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