Warning! This is a tale about men loving men, involving incest. If you find this disturbing - click off. If it's unlawful for you to read this - click off. If you under age - good luck if you can get away with it.
This is not a story for getting your rocks off. Just thought I'd let you know so you won't waste your time if that's what your looking for.
Otherwise, I hope you enjoy my writing.
I appreciate feedback and do my best to respond to it all. I may be contacted at:
J S . Collection at Verizon . Net
A note to the fans of this story.
I've received many suggestions about how to continue Jace and Judd's story. I've considered them all, but the
characters in this tale have a life of their own and I am just the medium through which they tell it. Believe me I
was as surprised and kind of shocked to learn where this story is going, for as I drew up my original map for
going from A to B, I found out that there turned out to be a dozen ways to get there. I hope you enjoy the route
they took. Jack
PS Thank you, Terri, for your insightful editing.
And The Truth Shall Set You Free
a continuation of "Like a Promised Sunrise"
Jan 7, 02
Jace left this morning. Six weeks of flying around the country signing his new book. This is only the third time he has had to do this since we became a couple. Not often enough to get used to it. I am already lonesome for him.
I've spent the day thinking about the Deason family. Just some notes on my thoughts: I was 13 and small for my age when Jace left home. Grandpa was always saying, "He's going to be just like Jace. When he hits sixteen you'll think he's never going to stop growing." Well, he was right in more ways than that, because I turned out to be just like Jace in more ways than anyone expected. Not only was I just as tall as him I looked more like him than any of his brothers. To top it off, I turned out to be gay just like him.
That's another thing that is very curious. When Jace got caught playing with a hired hand in the barn, why did Grandpa lose it? He took a raw hide rope to him, swearing that he'd beat the queerness out of him. Yet when he caught Joe and Hank a couple of years earlier, doing he same thing, he reprimanded them for not being more discrete. Why the discrepancy in his behavior toward his sons?
And then there's the whole mystery about Dad's strained relationship with Grandpa. They barely abide each other's presence. And yet nobody seems the least bit curious about it, except me. When I asked my uncles about it they referred me to my Dad. And Dad's reply was for me not to worry about it and to stay out of grandpa's way.
I've studied the interaction of my grandparents, parents and uncles for years. There's definitely things that have happened in this family that no one is willing to talk about. I sometimes feel that my mother is blissfully ignorant of it all, and then other times that she simply putting on an act and just ignores all the of the animosity between the men. Another thing, she doesn't seem to question at all is the many hunting and fishing trips that Dad takes with Jim Brandis, who owns the ranch east of us. The two of them are the best of friends and yet, Mom and Mrs. Brandis don't socialize at all. Personally, Mom would make a good Stepford Wife; she sees to her husband and son's need without any complaint. She seldom shows that she is upset. Of course, she has been known to lose her patience and her temper, but those times are over with almost as fast as they come on.
When Dad's at home he is a completely different person than the one that is uptight and on edge when grandpa is around. He's relaxed, loving and gentle. But once he steps into the yard he becomes a hard, no nonsense man especially when grandpa is around. I've never heard Dad call Grandpa Dad, it's always Old Man.
Uncle Joe seems to always be just Joe. Always the same. Nothing bothers him. He's always got a ready joke and a kind word and a smile for everyone.
And then there is my Uncle Hank. I think something terrible happened to Hank when he was a kid. What ever it was, I feel that it is the crux of the whole situation. He is afraid of Grandpa, although he tries to act
like he's not. He is very close to Joe, and spends most of his time with him. I sometimes feel they are married to
each other, but I've never witnessed any PDA between them. But Hank is always near Joe no matter what they are
doing. Hank also looks at Dad like he is some kind of god. Joe and Hank live in the middle house which they had
built after Jace left home. I've never been in it.
That leaves the last brother. The youngest. Jace. Jace is different from his brothers. He doesn't have that hard
protective shell the other three seem to have. One could almost say that compared to them he is delicate. Yet
delicate is not a word that fits Jace at all. Jace has a vulnerability about him that is lacking in Dad and Joe. Hank
seems to have a similar vulnerability, but it's more like he has been very badly abused or something.
I've tried to talk to Jace about Grandpa and his relationship with his four sons. Jace's response was that that subject was closed. Taboo. That was the word he used.
All of these things keep floating around in my head. I know there is a story to be told about this family. And I think I shall soon write one. It obviously will be a fiction based on my conjectures since no one will out the truth to me.
I'm nearly twenty-eight now. I've followed in my beloved's footsteps. Since graduating from UCLA, I've had two successful sitcoms on TV. I've got a novel being published. The release date is in three
months. I guess I'll be doing the same thing Jace is doing right now. Out on tour, signing books.
With those accomplishments under my belt, my inheritance will allow me to just sit back and write what I want. This is exactly what I shall do at the end of my present contract with Fox.
Feb 23, 02
Jace returned last night from a book signing tour for his latest novel, 'The Rainbow's Reflection'. His last four novels have been best sellers. He says mine is better than his. Well, I guess sales will out the truth once it gets published. God it is so wonderful having him back, being able to touch him and be touched by him.
Feb 27, 02
Grandpa died last night. Dad called first thing this morning. Jace and I will be flying back for the funeral. Dad's
meeting us in El Paso. Midland-Odessa is a lot closer, but Dad insists on us flying to El Paso. I guess he wants
some time with us without the rest of the family.
I was never close with my grandfather. I tried to be, but he seemed to shy away from me. I remember once when I was about ten, he was trying to correct the way I flicked my wrist when throwing a rope. He was kneeling behind me with his hands on mine holding the rope. Both of us were intent on the lesson and didn't hear my dad walk up. He cleared his throat and Grandpa nearly jumped out of his skin. He stood up and tried to explain to Dad about what he was teaching me.
"You keep your hands off my son. You hear me, Old Man?" he said.
His voice scared me. It was so cold and emotionless. It must have scared Grandpa; too, because he just affirmed that he heard, turned on his heels and walked into the house. The next time I saw him his eyes had such a pained expression when he looked at me. I wanted to run to him and tell him everything was okay, but I knew it wasn't. I've never known why it wasn't, but the knowledge that it wasn't was there.
Feb 30, 02
The funeral was a weird experience. The service was at the grave side. Their was no preacher to preside over it. Several of the ranchers spoke telling of their memories of the man they knew and remembered. Dad stood at the foot of the grave with his hat clasped in both hands and looked up at the sky.
"God," he said, "on behalf of my father, I beseech you to forgive him his sins and trespasses. I believe he suffered enough on this earth to make up for the things he did. Let him have the peace and love everyman deserves at you side. Amen."
With a nod from Dad, my brothers and I, his four grandsons, lifted the casket with one of us on each end of the two ropes, while Dad and Joe pulled the two 4X4s away that it was resting on. We then gently let the ropes play out, lowering the casket to the bottom of the hole.
The excavated dirt had been piled on each side of the six foot deep hole. Dad then took a shovel of dirt and tossed it on the casket.
Each of my uncles did the same with their shovels. Dad and Jace dug into one pile while Joe and Hank did the
other. I had moved from the side of the grave, where I had stood next to Jace, to the foot of it to stand with Jim.
Then they each took their turns tossing shovelfuls until the hole was filled.
Grandma and Mom sat together at the head with my three brothers. The two oldest with their wives at their sides and the youngest with his fiancee. We all watched until the earth was piled high on top of the grave.
When the job was finished those four men, my three uncles and my father, looked at each other with a sigh of relief and then grinned at each other. And then Hank started bawling. He collapsed into Joe's arms. Dad and Jace strode over Grandpa's grave to get to him. The four men stood in a huddle hugging and consoling Hank. In that moment I realized a truth that had been around all my life. A nightmare that they had lived with most of their lives had ended somehow with Grandpa's death.
While I stood at the foot of Grandpa's grave watching Dad and his brothers hugging, I remembered the day when I was thirteen, that Grandpa had caught Jace with the hired hand and beat him. Dad was away that the day.
It was one of those hot white days. The air was so dry that there was hardly any blue in the sky. The wispy little clouds were almost indiscernible; white on near white. It was quiet. The birds that usually twittered in the leafy shade of the single tree in that barren back yard were still. A big old black bird sat on fence post, out past the corral, occasionally shattering the silence with a loud raucous squawk.
I was sitting in the old tire swing under the old elm tree that grew near the corner of my grandparents' house. All the grownups were out of sight. Grandpa had left in his pickup. I knew Jace was in his room with Grandma doctoring his back where the skin had been cut by the rawhide rope that Grandpa had used on him.
I could see Mom at her kitchen window doing something at the sink. She kept glancing down the road, I guess, she was watching for Dad or Grandpa to return. She saw me looking at her and smiled at me. My little brothers were playing with their toy trucks in the shade of the tree. They instinctively knew that something major had happened. They were behaving. My other two uncles had gone off somewhere by themselves right after Grandpa left. Hank had been acting kind of weird, like he was scared of his own shadow. Joe was being very solicitous to him.
Grandpa drove into the yard and parked near the barn. He sat therestaring straight ahead for a long time before getting out and trudging inside. After a bit I wandered over and peeked around the edge of the big double door. It was dark inside. Flies were buzzing around in lazy circles. I didn't see Grandpa at first, and then he swatted at the gnats. He was sitting on a bale of straw, resting his forearms on his knees. His head hung down in defeat. When he let out a big audible sigh I turned and meandered back to the swing and the cool shade of the tree. I knew Dad would be angry with me if I tried to talk to him.
A while later I saw a cloud of dust rising behind Dad's pickup as it flew towards us. He came to a crunching, skidding stop by the back door of grandma's house. He leapt out of the pickup before it completely stopped and sprinted up the steps and through the back door. I turned and looked at Mom watching from her kitchen window. She was intent on the door Dad had gone through.
Just moments later Dad came back out pushing the screen door out of his way so hard it slammed against the wall and bounced back hitting his shoulder. Grandma and Jace followed him out, but stop at the edge of the steps. I looked at Jace with is shirt off. He stood like he was in pain. I wished I could do something. I wished that he would just notice me for once. Grandma yelled out to him, "Tom, don't do anything you'll regret."
Dad strode to the barn, ignoring Grandma. I jumped out of the swing and ran over to stand behind Dad. He
stopped in the door. In the quiet heat, I heard him talking to Grandpa in a sad low voice.
"I should whip you within an inch of your life, with the same rope you used on Jace. But Jace begged me not to do it. Why'd you do it, Old Man? You know you've lost the only son that loved, don't you?"
"You'll never understand. So there's no reason for me to try explaining it to you."
"No, I don't understand. You must have some hellacious demon inside you that makes you do the things you've done to your own sons."
I kicked a stone with the toe of my boot. Dad turned and looked down at me.
"Judd, go inside and see if your mother needs any help."
I cocked my head to the side and looked up at him, trying to convey that I wanted to stay. One side of his mouth quirked in an almost smile. His eyes sparkled with love for me.
"Go on, son. You don't need to hear this."
When Dad looked at me like that, it always made me feel good, and to want to do what he told me. I turned and ran across the dusty yard. I stopped and looked back at Jace before going into our house. He saw me. I know he did, because he smiled and winked at me. I've always wondered what was said after I left.
Mar 3, 02 Mon
Dad and Jim took us back to El Paso to catch a flight back to L.A. Jace again rode in the front with Dad while Jim kept me company in the back. Both coming and going I tried to hear what Dad and Jace were discussing, but Jim kept up a constant discussion with me. I swear it was on purpose. Every once in a while I'd catch Jace looking at me. I couldn't decipher his expression. And I'd catch Dad looking at me in the mirror, too. They were definitely talking about me.
Standing at the gate ready to board, Dad and Uncle Jim hugged us each, one last time. As Dad hugged Jace I heard him murmur to him, "In two weeks then."
We waved goodbye and got on the plane. When we settled into our first class seats Jace reached over and squeezed my hand with a big sigh. I looked at him with a silent query and he just smiled at me, laid his head back and closed his eyes. I looked around; it appeared that we would be the only ones in this section.
"What's happening in two weeks?" I asked.
"You heard that, huh?"
I mentally called him a "Damned Yankee" answering my question with another question. I kept silent. He opened one eye and glanced at me. Seeing that I was still looking at him, waiting for an answer, he closed his eyes.
"Your dad and Jim are going hunting," he said.
"Yeah?" I urged.
"You want to join them?"
"You're joking. No one has ever been allowed to join them."
Without opening his eyes he raised his eyebrows.
"Times have changed. Mom's moving to Dallas. Your mom and Nan, Jim's wife are both seeking divorces. Tommy and Jimmy are building themselves houses over at the springs at Flat Top. And Bobby has been given permission to move into the big house when he gets married this next spring."
"I already knew that, but I hadn't heard about the divorces. You'd think that Mom would have told me."
Jace just shrugged.
I thought about all this for several minutes. The implications. My conjectures.
"So we're invited to join them?" I asked.
"In a sense. They are coming out here to stay with us."
"You just up and invited them?"
"No. Your dad just informed me that that was what's going to happen."
"Sounds like Dad."
Silence fell between us. We were in the air now so Jace laid his seat back and had his eyes closed. I stared out the window watching an occasional puff of cloud whisk by as the plane flew over the New Mexico landscape.
His right eyebrow rose.
"How long have Uncle Jim and Dad been lovers?"
"Who says they are?"
"Oh come off it!" I laid my seat back so we were eye to eye, even
though his were closed. "You know they are, as well as I do."
Both of his eyebrows shot up in surprise.
"I suppose since they were young boys."
"That's kind of what I have figured. Where are we going to put them up?"
"How would you feel about getting another bed and setting it up next to ours? There is plenty of room, just move things around a little."
"Don't you think they'd enjoy a bit a privacy?"
"It was Tom's suggestion."
This was making me very uneasy. Jace has always referred to his brother when talking to me as "Your Dad" and here suddenly it's Tom.
"What about our privacy?"
"We'll put a couple of partitions between the beds if that will make you more comfortable."
"They'd still be able to hear us." I said.
"We'll be able to hear them, too."
"Well, yeah...... Doesn't that make you uncomfortable?"
Jace opened both eyes and looked at me.
"So what do you want to do?" he asked.
I brought my seat back to an erect position and stared out the window. There was an undercurrent here. I was missing something. I turned and looked at Jace. He was watching me. I looked back out the window. I refused to let myself think the thoughts that kept trying to emerge. They sneaked in anyway.
I had never seen my dad naked. Even when he took his shirt off, he wore an undershirt, one of the kind some call a wife beater. Now, here I was wondering what he looked like naked. And then I thought about Jim. He and Dad were like salt and pepper. Where Dad was blonde, Jim had brown hair. I conjectured that he was as hairy as us, judging from his arms and the hair sticking out of his shirt collar.
I looked back a Jace. He was still watching me. I wondered if he could detect my thoughts. I know I blushed. He gave me a knowing smile. Did he know where my mind was? I lay my seat back and faced him again.
"Jace, I've never had sex with anyone but you." I murmured.
"And I have been true to you all these years."
I nodded, but didn't smile. This conversation had me totally weirded out. Not what had been said, but what had been left unsaid. The implications of what might happen. Jace was being close-mouthed. I had no idea how he felt about this. Maybe I was just building towers out of clouds. I undid my seatbelt and stood up. I looked down at him. He was still staring at me. His expression unreadable.
"Where're you going?" he asked.
He closed his eyes. I moved toward the toilet. Once inside I stared at my reflection as I relieved myself. I washed my hands and then splashed my face. I studied myself in the mirror as I blotted off the water. There was a scared rabbit look in my eyes. I wondered if Jace saw it. And if he did, why was he being so unresponsive? He's my lover he should be comforting me, instead of just watching me like he was expecting something more out of me.
I stepped out of the cubicle. Jace's eyes were closed. If he heard me he gave no indication. I hesitated and then went to the back row and sat down. The steward asked me if I'd like a drink. I hadn't touched alcohol since nearly killing myself with it. I shuddered and asked for a Coke. When he brought it he tried to strike up a conversation. He could tell I was distracted and finally left.
Crazy thoughts fluttered through my mind as I stared over the seat backs at the top of Jace's head. Over the years we had ogled good-looking guys together. But the thought of anyone touching me intimately other than Jace was verging on the abhorrent. And I couldn't quite imagine Jace wanting to get intimate with someone else. It just wasn't in his nature. So what was going on now?
When we landed at LAX Jace looked momentarily surprised that I was sitting by myself in the back row and then acted as though nothing was out of the ordinary. I decided to act the same.
Mar 7, 02 Fri
Everything is back to the norm, at least on the surface. The impending visit hasn't been mentioned. I've done my best not to think about it until now.
Jace is over at the USC library doing research for the background of his next novel. I've been sitting here thinking and staring at this screen for a couple of hours. I know what I will do! I will rearrange this whole place and set it up where Dad's and Joe will have as much privacy as can possibly be done with these movable partitions.
I did it. At the back of the storage cage by the lift there have been stored these many years sixteen partition walls like the ones dividing the bedroom area from the living area. Whoever designed them was a genius. They are six foot long by eight feet high. If I had to lift them, I'd never been able to do it by myself, even though they are quite light for their cumbersome size, but they have built in rollers and fold out stabilizers that make them easy for one man to handle.
I turned our bedroom side ways to what it was and tighten it into the corner with a solid wall separating it from another area the same size. Both have access to the one bath that way with out exposure to the other. Well, more or less. It's not like having doors and hallways, although the dividing wall has a T in front of the bathroom door, giving the effect of a hallway.
Mar 10, 02 Mon.
We got a call from Dad this evening. I answered the phone. Dad talked to me about inconsequentials for a couple of minutes and then asked to talk to Jace. Jace took the phone and wandered away from the desk where I had been writing. He stood at the window looking out over downtown while he talked. All of my apprehension came back as he would turn and glance back at me occasionally with a slight frown on his face, but when I caught his glance he smiled at me. I didn't know what they were talking about, or what Jace was covering up with his smile. I was beginning to get pissed.
When he ended the conversation he set the phone on the table in front of the window and headed for the bathroom. He glanced at me as he went through the door, with a look of concern which quickly turn into another smile when he saw I was looking at him. What did that smile mean? What was he and Dad cooking up that involved me?
When I was thirteen and Jace left for California I knew that I loved him, that I was in love with him. At 22 I was still in love with him and it was at that time I decided to take matters into my own hands. I applied for admission to UCLA and got it. And then I convinced Dad that he should talk Jace into letting me go out L.A. and stay with him for a while. I was sure I could convince Jace to love me. Of course. I didn't tell him my intentions.
In all my years of secretly loving Jace I had never thought about incest. And when I finally did, I saw no need to be concerned about it. I mean, Really!, incest is all about genetics and neither of us were going to get pregnant.
But that was with Jace. As I sat there waiting for him to come back into the living area , my mind was going wild imaging what they were planning on happening when Dad and Jim arrive. Being that I wasn't in on the plans I was imaging all kinds of crazy things mostly involving sex. And I wasn't ready to have sex with my dad. Jeez, he's my dad. Or with another uncle.
When Jace didn't come back, I got up and walked into the bedroom to find him in bed apparently asleep. I sat down beside him on the bed. He opened his eyes and looked at me.
"Are you feeling ill?" I asked.
"No, I feel fine. Just felt like a nap."
"So what did you and Dad talk about?"
"Oh, not much really."
"Well, I must have been much of the subject the way you kept looking back at me. What was said?"
"We were just discussing how successful your book is going to be."
"Oh." I said, and stood up.
I walked over to the chifferobe opened it, took out a fresh shirt and started changing into it.
"What are you doing?" Jace ask watching me.
"Putting on a fresh shirt."
"I can see that. Why?"
"I've had that one on all day. It's kind of smelly."
I walked over to the dresser as I tucked the tails in my jeans. I picked up my wallet and keys, stuffing them into my pockets.
"Where are you going?"
"Why?" he asked, sitting up.
I turned and faced him.
"You won't talk to me. Maybe some stranger in a bar will."
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Admit to the truth, you disarm your antagonist.