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CARPE DIEMFrom chapter five"No, dude, but everyone in school know you're the biggest.""Only the longest," Jared joked."And the fattest," Trent encouraged; liking the fact that Jared was getting over being angry."And the sweetest," Jared said proudly, "or so I've been told.""Shit, with what you got, you don't have to be told.""Whaddya mean?" Jared asked, looking away from the road long enough to see what kind of expression Trent showed. Does he know I taste my own spunk sometimes? Jared thought. I bet he tastes his, too."I'm just sayin', you're big enough to … you know … like … ""Like what?" Jared asked impatiently."You could suck yourself if you wanted … without even tryin', dude!""That's nasty, dude!" Jared groused, secretly imagining himself trying it later, after Drew went to sleep."Uh … Jared?""Yeah?"Chapter Six"Since we're confessing deep shit, here, uh … I saw … I mean, I told your dad I saw him. His dick … his hard–on, actually, Saturday morning. I mean, it was out of his boxers and all. It wasn't like you could miss it.""Yeah, I saw it, too," Jared said. Then thinking Trent would think it was weird of him to be checking out his dad, he said, "I mean, it was like a big flashing neon sign, wasn't it?""Ya got the 'big' part right. I can see where you get your big dick genes.""Well, dude, when you threw a boner right in Mom's hand, oh man, I just about died. I'm so sorry I played that flush prank.""No problem," Trent said dismissively."But when I saw your boner, I wondered how come Harry picked ME. You're not that much smaller than me and his uncle wouldn't have known one way or the other.""Dude! Fuck! I think we've been had! Harry just got YOU involved so he'd have something to blackmail both of us with … 'cuz he knew we were best friends and we wouldn't tell on each other.""That scheming little bastard!" Jared said. "We gotta get back at him.""We can't! Your dad said we had to leak it to our classmates … ""No way!" Jared interrupted. "I ain't admittin' to nothin'!""No, not what we did. Your dad said we gotta tell 'em Harry's gonna start a rumor about us but it's not true.""I'm not telling anybody anything!""By the way, do we have to pick up Drew after practice?""Yeah.""We better be headin' back. Practice is almost over.""Not a word of this to Drew!"Over the next week, Jared and Trent tried to get their lives back in order. They debated whether to listen to Marty and leak the news that some gossip was about to start but every time they resolved to do it, they reneged on the promise. They debated whether they should engage some friends to beat the shit out of The Fairy and discarded that idea, too. They both agreed that hurting Harry was excessive considering neither of them had been physically harmed by their introductions to the gay experience. Other options were likewise discussed and disregarded.After school one day, Trent was once again visiting his best friend's family … mostly because he missed his dad. Being in the house with a sulking mom caused him to miss his dad even more so he allowed Marty, since they had resolved the being queer issue, to be a 'second' father to him. They had been close for over ten years anyway."Doorbell!" Drew yelled, announcing the obvious as the chimes echoed throughout the house."I'll get it," Carrie said on her way back to the family room from the kitchen. "I'm halfway there, anyway."Moments after hearing the front door close, Marty, Jared, Drew and Trent heard, "Your mom SAID I might find you here.""Dad!" Trent shouted, springing up from the floor like a clown out of a jack–in–the–box. Rushing to the man in desert camouflage fatigues, he wrapped his arms around him shouting, "I love you!""So I hear. But I hope you don't say that to ALL the men in uniform," Luke chuckled good–naturedly. "You must have yanked some mighty long strings to pull this off, Son. I'm glad you did but that wasn't the right thing to do. " Trent backed away suddenly to look at his dad's expression, wondering how he knew he had sucked dick to get him back."I don't deserve to be back here any more than any one of those other GI's."With a sigh of relief after realizing his dad didn't know and that he was being paranoid, Trent said, "I know Dad, but I didn't see it that way. Hey, guys, this is my Dad.""Luke," Trent's dad said reminding everyone of his first name since it had been a long time since they had seen each other."Are you gonna be able to stay? Forever?""Well, Senator Peckerpacker thinks so, but in order to remain stateside, we're gonna have to move south.""Huh? Why?""I guess the deal the senator negotiated was for me to be a personal pharmacist for him and his staff. Apparently his office can't function without me.""Sit down," Carrie offered, waving to the den sofa."He doesn't even know you," Trent said, " … does he?""Not that I know of. I don't even know what state he represents.""Then how … ""I guess it was just the excuse he had to use to get me home.""Move? But we live here! All my friends are here. Your National Guard unit is here … when it's not … over there!""He's having my orders transferred.""But your regular job!""I guess HE'S gonna be my regular job now.""You okay with that?" Trent asked fearful that his dad might have some objection."Yeah. I guess so. Your mom and I moved a lot before you were born. So another move for us won't be a hardship. How are you gonna hold up?""Me? Uh … " Trent looked around the room, first at Marty, then Carrie, Drew and Jared. His eyes pleaded with his best friend for an answer."More consequences," Marty said, hoping Trent would realize he meant it to be supportive."Do I have to move right away? I mean … I've got six more months of school. And while you were in Iraq, I snagged an apprenticeship this summer at the community college computer lab … for money.""According to Senator Peckerpacker, you're part of the deal. I don't know why, but it's in writing, 'Wife and son to accompany,' the transfer orders read."Trent shot nervous eye daggers at Marty.Marty didn't flinch. Instead, he said, "Carpe Diem.""Fuck!" Trent shouted, knowing for sure he was going to have to confess to his dad."Hey," Luke said, amazed at Marty appellation, "that's like … my mantra!"Crumbling under the steel glare from Marty, Trent said, "Dad, I need to tell you something. Can we go somewhere and talk?""That sounds ominous," Luke said jokingly, unaware of how somber his son's announcement would be."From what I just heard … about the senator's demands … you might want to stay right here, Trent," Marty said. "Jared and I can … kinda … run interference."Luke scowled, unhappy with the cryptic discussion."But … Carrie and Drew … ""Carrie knows … some of it." Marty said, reassuring Trent but darting his eyes at Jared to imply Carrie didn't know about her son's involvement. "She'll be supportive. I promise.""Me, too," Drew promised, crossing his heart. "What's it all about?""Whether you get to stay will be up to Trent," Marty said to Drew."Hey, I'm eighteen!" Drew argued, like the past ten days would make him more of an adult."Son?" Luke asked anxiously."Dad … I did something … stupid and it got all out of control. I thought I was doing the right thing but as Mr. G. pointed out last week … uh … ""He didn't think it all the way through," Marty said. "But in his defense, he's only eighteen. I wouldn't expect Jared or Drew to do any better.""Would you object, Mrs. G.?" Trent asked."Not at all. I've got coffee on. How do you take yours?""Wet with as little sand as possible," Luke said.Once everyone translated Luke's Baghdad sarcasm into American humor, they all laughed.While Carrie was out of the room, Jared asked, "Dad? Does Mom know about my … role in all this?""Not that I know of.""Role in what?" Drew asked."Damn!" Jared groaned.Luke furrowed his brow wanting answers.Trent grimaced at having to discuss this in front of his best friend's mother. "I'm sorry I gotcha into this," Trent whined." 'sokay, pal. Besides, it's half my fault. I didn't have to go along with it. In fact, I've been thinking … ever since you told me about it … if I hadn't said I'd do it … you wouldn't have had to do it either.""Do what?" Luke asked anxiously."Here's your coffee, Luke," Carrie said. Then turning to Jared, she said, "Why don't you and Trent go get some pop out of the fridge?" Her eyes said, 'do as I say.' "And take Drew with you, too."Once they were gone, Marty said, "Okay, Luke, it's like this. Trent did something very, very … ""Stupid? Yeah he just said that," Luke offered."Unorthodox … to get you home alive," Marty said."And he did it," Carrie said, "because he loves you very, very much.""You guys are scaring me more than the insurgents," Luke said only half kidding."I don't know how liberal you are but I'm gonna beg you to make some allowances, today. I can assure you, there's nothing you can say or do that will ever be worse than what Trent's put himself through over the past three weeks. I know. I've tried to help him through it … and it ain't been easy.""Thanks for that, man. But what is it I'm thanking you for? I mean, I'm pretty liberal. I get this whole women's lib and interracial marriage stuff." Trent better not have gotten some black skank pregnant, he thought—scowling inwardly."That's encouraging," Carrie said. I just hope he's not lying."I want you to know that what he did, he swears it was only the one time," Marty said."Jesus, did he rob a bank or what?""He'll tell you but you've got to hear him all the way through before you pass judgment. I didn't … at first and it made for a really awkward time. The kind of awkward YOU don't want to go through … not with a son you so obviously love."Returning, Jared sat next to Trent on the couch for moral support."Dad, I know this guy who knows this guy … ""Use names, Trent," Marty encouraged."This guy at school, Harry, knows Senator Peckerpacker. He's his uncle or something. Anyway, when I mentioned I would do ANYthing to get you back from Iraq … well, Harry arranged it."Turning to Marty and Carrie, Luke said, "What's so bad about that? The way you guys were talking, I thought my boy had murdered somebody or something.""Just as bad if not worse," Trent confessed after eye–dagger encouragement from Marty. "But I did it for you … to get you back. I never thought I'd ever have to tell you about it … but now, the senator's … kinda … messed all that up.""Whaddya mean?""May I," Marty asked Trent."Oh god, yes," Trent said gratefully. "I can use all the help I can get.""Apparently the senator likes young boys. Teens, anyway.""Teens with big dicks," Jared added, hoping to ease into confessing his own involvement one remark at a time. He felt the shock would kill his mother."He's queer?" Luke asked."I guess," Trent said."Yeah," Jared said, sneaking a glance at Carrie, who seemed to him to be more engrossed, for some reason, in monitoring Trent's mental status than anything else.Marty said, "I think that's why the senator put the 'wife and son,' clause in your transfer orders.""Are you saying he's got the hots for my son?""He likes guys with big dicks, Dad, but if he can't get those guys, I guess he figures second best is better than nothing.""Don't put yourself down, Son. Men have no control over what they've got hangin'. Never be proud of it because pride is a sin, but never be ashamed of it, either, because that's what God chose to endow you with." I haven't seen my boy's gristle in years. I hope I didn't short change him."He's fine," Jared said. "I mean, what with gym class and all … uh … well … anyway, he's fine." Although … he was embarrassed that he had just admitted that he had noticed."But there's more to it," Marty said, staring holes in Trent."Harry wouldn't do it for free … talking to his uncle, I mean.""How much?" Luke asked. "Are we talking mortgaging the house or … ""He's been paid," Trent said quietly."His pound of flesh," Jared said sarcastically."Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice?" Luke asked Jared, surprised that he knew Shakespeare."Yeah.""Well, two pounds, actually," Trent said. "You see, the senator wanted … HIS pound of flesh, too.""I'm not following you," Luke said."Me, neither," Drew said thoroughly confused.Even Carrie became a little more curious at that point.Jared, looking from his mom over to Luke and then to Trent, decided to help his best friend out. He said, "The senator said he would intervene in your case if I'd let him … suck my dick … "Carries mouth dropped open.Luke looked at Marty for HIS reaction. Seeing none, he accused, "You knew about this?""AFTER the fact.""But it was the other way around with Harry," Trent said, almost in a whisper."Whaddya mean," Luke asked."He wanted ME to blow HIM." Trent gurgled shamefaced."Harry the Fairy wanted YOU to blow HIM? Drew shouted."You're not helping," Jared scowled at Drew."You did what?" Luke bellowed."I did it for you!" Trent whined."And I think the senator's trying to pull a fast one," Marty said, quickly trying to diffuse a potentially volatile situation.Luke dropped his forehead back, looking closed–eyed at the ceiling. He looked a lot like those guys who nod off to sleep in church, but he didn't say anything for a long time.While Luke was regrouping his emotions, Carrie was thinking, At least Jared was only GETTING a blowjob … not giving one, I hope.Drew was thinking, How come I'm always left out? Hell, I'd like to get MY dick sucked … even if it was by an OLD guy.Marty was thinking, Can I fight this military–trained guy off if he decides to beat the shit out of his son? Knowing Luke was packing a whole lot more brawn, he started looking around the room, evaluating the least valuable objects Carrie had decorating the room that he could use for weapons."Dad … "Without moving his head, Luke raised an outward–facing palm to stop his son. He needed to think things through before saying anything to him. He was going through the anger management phase of the desert training he had received before going to Iraq. He could hear the trainer in his head. Don't be angry with the people. They're suffering from lack of water, electricity, food, and shelter. They're not mad at YOU, they're mad at your government but you're the only one they can take it out on. For the most part, they'll be friendly so treat everyone with respect but, at the same time, be wary of everyone, too. Luke recognized the need to respect his son, at least until he could get all this straightened out.What Luke was 'thinking' was of no help to his son at all. His silence caused Trent's chin to quiver even as he forced back tears.Jared pulled a throw pillow out from behind him and put it in Trent's lap.Trent looked at Jared before Jared pressed his friend's head forward."You're gonna pass out, dude. You're as pale as milk."With that, Trent blacked out. The pillow in his lap kept his chin from cracking on his knees.Carrie jumped up and was back in thirty seconds with two, cold wet towels. "One on his forehead, one on the back of his neck," she ordered, handing them to Jared.Luke looked on like he was watching a movie."Never saw a guy faint before," Drew said, entertained."Lay him down on the sofa, put his feet up on the arm rest," Marty said."Loosen his belt," Luke said, recovering slowly from his own shock."Drew, go get some more wet towels and Jared, you get some crushed ice and a spoon."In the kitchen, Drew whispered viciously to his brother, "You got a blowjob and didn't tell me?""I couldn't. At least not until Trent's dad got home safely.""Has he blown you?" Drew whispered."Who?""Trent.""Hell no! He did it to get his dad back. ONCE! So help me god, Drew, if you even THINK that again, I'll fuckin' beat you around the head and neck till Hell bleeds!"On the way back to the family room, Drew thought, I wonder if Jared would suck someone to save MY life. Or Dad? Would Dad suck cock … for the right reason?As Trent came to, he looked around quizzically."You passed out and we laid you down," Carrie said in that mothering tone."Where's Dad?" Trent asked."I'm here, Son." Luke said soothingly."Dad, I'm sorry. I didn't realize what I was getting myself into." Looking at Jared he added " … both of us into.""Kinda like this whole Iraqi liberation thing, dontcha think?" Luke said, kneeling next to the sofa. "Look, Son, I don't like what you did but I like why you did it. The reason it took me so long to react … to respond was … I was trying to put things into perspective.""I thought you were mad at me.""Not mad. Not even … ""Disgusted?""No, not disgusted. Not even disappointed. You see … what you did … your half–assed attempt to liberate ME … is kinda like what we did in Korea, Viet Nam and again in Iraq. We, the United States, tend to do things for all the right reasons but we don't always use our best judgment, either. You were offered an opportunity and you took it.""Carpe Diem," Marty said."Yeah, I guess you're right, Marty," Luke said. "This is just as much my fault as it is yours. I taught you to seize the day … to grab for farts and snatch after static.""He means, 'make a grab for the brass ring', Trent explained."I guess what I FORGOT to tell you was, there're usually consequences involved.""Consequences!" Trent groaned. Looking at Marty, who had first brought it to his attention, he said, "That's all I've had since I started all this … one consequence after another. First there was Mr. G., then Jared and now you.""Not to mention me having to confess my involvement in front of Mom and Drew," Jared said."That was another consequence I had to suffer," Trent anguished. "I got my boys scalded right after all this happened!" He glanced down at his crotch to imply to his dad which 'boys' he was referring to.Rubbing Trent's hair like it was one of the things he missed the most while he was away, Luke said, "If it were me, I would have used the scalding water on my mouth.""Dad!" Trent whined."You know I'll never let you live this down, boy. Never." He ruffled his son's hair again, emitting a soft chuckle."Speaking of which, maybe I WILL move south with you. Mr. G. suggested Jared and I should tell our friends at school that Harry might start spreading rumors. So, gettin' outta Dodge is starting to look pretty good.""Hopefully I can stall the senator for six months or so, till school is out anyway but I think you'll eventually have to make the move.""Yeah, I know.""But about that idea of telling your classmates … ""Yeah?""I'm not so sure you should. By acknowledging something before someone presents it, it's almost like confessing to it. If it were me, I'd wait till somebody accused me of doing something and turn the tables on 'em." Luke said."Why wait till it's all over school?" Trent argued."How?" Jared asked."Well, if someone accuses you of being a cocksucker, say something like, 'E–mail me a copy of that picture.' Then they'll say, 'What picture?' You'll say, 'If you're calling me a cocksucker, you must have a picture to prove it, otherwise … ' And then they'll shut up.""Otherwise, what?" Jared asked."Your otherwise could be something like … uh … oh yeah, 'It takes one to know one, right?' They might get mad but they'll think about the fact that there isn't a picture … there isn't, is there?""No!" Trent said."Not that I know of," Jared said."I'm pretty sure I was the only one who saw you, Trent," Marty said. "I mean … it was over pretty quickly.""It didn't seem like it at the time but, you're right, it was only a couple of minutes at the most.""Since you've never been accused of anything like this before, most people aren't gonna believe the rumor anyway," Marty said. "The only ones that will are the guys who have a grudge against you, anyway.""Yeah, the guys who envy you or who are jealous of you or whatever," Drew encouraged. I envy you … that you've sucked a dick … but wouldn't bad mouth you about it, Drew thought, but I'm not jealous of you because it was Harry you had to suck. Yuck!"Yeah, I think you're right, Dad." Turning to Marty, Trent said, "Sorry, Mr. G. I'm gonna have to go with dad on this one.""Nothing to be sorry about. That's why we have 'think tanks.' The more ideas we have to choose from, the more likely the outcome will be favorable," Marty said."Maybe we should just turn the tables," Drew suggested."Whaddya mean?" his dad asked."Maybe we should blackmail Harry somehow."Luke advised, "Blackmail isn't the answer. It only encourages like behavior from others. We try to blackmail Harry or the senator and they just find a worse way to blackmail us. The operative word should be prevention … not retaliation or revenge.""How can we prevent him from being able to blackmail others when we can't even stop him from blackmailing us?""Is Harry blackmailing anyone?" Carrie asked."What?""What are his demands? I mean, you've already said, he 'got his pound of flesh.' Are there any other demands?""No, I guess not," Trent said."Not yet," Marty said, "but there might be.""Trent, you said you didn't get a chance to explain because Marty kept refusing to listen. Luke, you were doing the same thing … just a little … earlier.""I did the same thing to Trent when he tried to explain his actions to me," Jared confessed shamefully."So why don't we invite Harry over and let him … uh, I guess, defend his actions.""Here!" Jared asked indignantly."Here." Carrie said with finality."Or a neutral location of his choosing," Luke suggested.To be continued. Send comments, if you want, to email@example.com.