By Lee Mariner


The author's copyright, dated June 2003, and all provisions of the original disclaimer remain in force. All rights are reserved.

This story depicts homosexual acts and is intended for ADULT READERS only. If you are not of legal age in your locality, please leave.

My friend, Dean, has edited this work and his assistance is greatly appreciated.

All of my stories can be found in the Nifty Archives listing of Prolific Author's under  the pen name of Lee Mariner.

If any reader would wish to be notified of future episodes of this and/or any other story, please contact me at:

Chapter XX

A mouth watering aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls floated down from Mother's kitchen, and we heard her humming in her soft lilting voice one of her favorite church hymns, "The Old Rugged Cross."

"Good morning, boys," she said cheerfully.

"Morning, Mom," we both exclaimed. "Something surely smells good," Dalton said  glancing at me.

"Cinnamon rolls for my ladies' church circle this afternoon," she answered as she turned to face us holding a large platter of the iced pastries; "and" she continued, preempting whatever protest Dalton might have had, "behave yourselves, and there might, mind you, might be one or two for hungry boys who stay out late."

"I'm sorry if we woke you, Mom," I said, "we weren't really out that late, just a little after midnight."

"Thirty-two minutes after, Carlton, and you didn't wake me," she answered smoothly. "Do you and Dalton have plans for today?"

"Not really much other than having lunch with Dad and Mr. Miller. I want to take Dalt's car back to the dealer and have him check a couple of things I've noticed, and I was hoping to get that done after we leave Miller's."

"It's nothing serious is it, Carlton?  Maybe you Father could look at it for you; he is pretty handy with automobiles," Mother said, over her shoulder as she fixed our breakfast.

"I know, Mom, but the car is under warranty, and it would be better to take it back to them."

"Whatever you think is right, Carlton. You boys know more about those things than I do," she said, shoveling fried eggs and sausage on our plates.  "Dalton, get the milk for you and your brother while I get the toast."

"Yes, ma'am," Dalton answered, looking at me and raising his eyebrows questioningly.

He had sensed the same as I had that Mother wanted something; but she was hesitating about asking, probably not wanting to interrupt what Dalton and I were doing together.  I was right; and, when Dalton poured the milk, he leaned over and whispered, " Ask her what she wants, Carl."

"Why don't you ask her?" I whispered back, mischievously.

"Well...I...oh jiggs!" he exclaimed softly in a sudden panic, glancing between Mom and me; and then she took us both by surprise.

"If you will stop your whispering and allow me to finish pouring my coffee, I'll tell you what I would like for you to do for me if you have the chance."

"Yes, ma'am," we both answered in relief.

"I swan," Mother said as she placed her coffee on the table and sat down with us. "You two have gotten thick as thieves since you have been home, Carlton.  I never heard so much whispering and the likes. It does me good to see both of you getting on.  I only wish we could have had Dalton a little closer and then you both could have grown up together, close like brothers should be.  The war didn't give a body much say in those things," she said wistfully twirling the spoon in her cup.

"We are close, Mom; as close as brothers should be," I said, glancing nervously at Dalton and holding my breath for a moment before placing my hand over hers. "What did you want us to do for you?"

"Yeah, Mom," Dalton said with an embarrassed tone. "You're getting all mushy and forgetting what you were talking about."

Mother sat for a moment looking at the both of us for a minute, a soft warmth radiating from the depths of her gray eyes.  The soft warm aroma of cinnamon and vanilla filled the room; and for a brief moment, a flicker in time, silence fell over us.  I could feel that eternal bond that a son has with his mother more strongly than I ever had, but I could also see the unasked question of marriage and children in her eyes.  She smiled briefly and then looked at Dalton, "I have so little time alone with the two of you, and you are fussing at me for enjoying it."

"Awww, Mom," he answered, his eyes downcast, " I didn't mean anything by it but I know how mushy you get whenever you start talking about Carl and me. I don't like it when you get weepy eyed and start crying."

"That, Dalton,  is a  mother's lot in life," she answered, smiling and squeezing his hand.

"Listening to a sassy son is not part of it, Mom," I said. 

"Oh...I don't mind that none, he comes by it natural like.  The Evers men were known to be great talkers. That's what makes your father such a good salesman, and Mr. Miller knows it," she said, straightening up and finishing her coffee.  "Now then, if it's no real trouble, I would appreciate your taking the things that you sat outside the garage yesterday down to the church.  The ladies' circles are having a combined used items sale and I am sure those things will sell."

"That stuff needs cleaning, Mom," Dalton said.

"Your father and I cleaned it yesterday after he got home from work," she answered, a twinkle in her eyes and grinning slyly, "while we waited supper."

"Ouch, we walked right into that, didn't we? " I grimaced, playfully. "We'll take it to the church on our way to see Dad."

"We put it in boxes in the utility room along with your bicycle and sled, Carlton.  Mrs. Baker should be there, accepting the items."

"I know Mrs. Baker, Carl." Dalton offered.

"Then, let's finish breakfast, little brother."  I said, grinning and winking at him.

                                                             * * * * * * * * * *

The Richmond Baptist Church was on the other side of town; and, after a twenty-minute drive, we were unloading the things Mother had sent and carrying them inside.  Protesting we were short on time did not impress Mrs. Baker and she insisted on offering us a glass of ice tea and a few cookies. It was close to eleven-thirty before we left the church and Mrs. Baker.

When we drove into Miller's parking lot, we saw Dad standing on the loading dock talking with one of the employees.  The yard hadn't changed  much since I was a teen-ager and probably never would.  Mr. Adrian Miller was the third generation that had operated the business since it was first founded as a feed, grain and mercantile supplier.

"Carlton, Dalton," Dad called out as we got out of the car and we waved back at him.

Mr. Miller has been asking if you were going to make it," he said as he came down from the loading dock.

"We had to take the things you and Mom cleaned up over to the church first," I answered.

"She mentioned she was going to ask if you would," he said.  "Come on inside, and I'll see if Adrian is ready."

Adrian Miller was a large, impressive man. He was in his mid-sixties and had a shock of silver hair.  His oldest son, Glenn,  and I were the same age, and we had gone to school together, but that is where our association with each other ended.  Glenn Miller was a good looking, overbearing snob and not a very likable person.  He came walking down the corridor with his father; and, from what I could see, he was still the same -- good looking; and, if it rained, he would drown.  He had filled out considerably since we were kids, and his dirty blond hair was wavier than I remembered, but his dark jade green eyes were his most distinguishing feature.  He looked at me briefly as he and his dad walked toward us, and then I noticed his gaze shift to where Dalton was walking on Dad's left.  "Damn," I thought to myself, "the sucker likes boys."

"Good morning, Mr. Miller, Glenn," I said extending my hand.

"Carlton, damn it's good seeing you boy," Mr. Miller said, exuberantly as he took my hand.

"It's good seeing you, Mr. Miller," I answered gripping his hand with mine.

"Chris said you had grown since you were home last; he was right," Miller said his bright eyes shifting between Dad and me.  Then he spun around, "You remember by boy, Glenn?" He said reaching for Glenn's arm.

"We went to school together, Mr. Miller. How are you, Glenn?" I said politely, extending my hand.

"Your father says you're still in the navy," Glenn said aloofly and with just barely a handshake.

"It's what I always wanted to do, Glenn,  but I can see you haven't strayed far from home." I answered.  "Are you having lunch with us?"

"I'd like to, but I can't," he answered,  " I have a date with a friend. Maybe we can make it another time," he said, looking past me and smiling and winking at Dalton standing next to Dad.

"Maybe you boys can get together before Carlton leaves, Glenn," Adrian boomed out.

"Maybe we can, Dad,"  Glenn answered, "maybe we can," he said with his eyes still locked on Dalton.  "I hate rushing off, Dad,  but I'm going to be late as it is.  I'll be back around two this afternoon if that's okay."

"I guess it will have to be if you can't make it back any earlier." Adrian said uncomfortably, watching as Glenn left without waiting for an answer from his father.   Changing completely, he turned towards Dad.   "Lets get something to eat, Chris. I don't know about you but I bet your boys are just as hungry as I am, right, Carlton?" 

"Yes sir, a little." I answered, grinning and glancing at Dalton's flushed face and following the direction of his eyes watching Glenn leave.

We rode in style to lunch in Miller's Cadillac de Ville; and as I had expected,  lunch was  at Friendly's Restaurant.  It was almost like eating in a fish bowl with everyone looking at us.  Several of Dad's and Mr. Miller's friends in the business world stopped by; and, what with the usual introductions and handshaking, we ate a cold lunch.    Trying to explain almost twelve years of being in the navy in less than an hour is difficult enough without the interruptions.  I could see Dad beaming with pride as Mr. Miller plied both Dalton and me with questions about what we planned for the future and what I had done in the navy, and that made me feel good about the afternoon.

The lunch conversation continued on the way back to the yard, and  Mr. Miller asked Dalton what he was going to do when he graduated from high school and whether he might consider coming with him since he had missed out on one Evers boy. He was hoping the youngest would stay and follow in his father's footsteps. 

Dalton's answer  to that query caught me, as well as Dad and Mr. Miller, off  guard.

"I've been thinking about joining the marines when I finish school, Mr. Miller," he said with a tone of finality.

"Nothing wrong with that if you do, son," Miller said.  "The country can always use good men; and, from the looks of you, I'd say you will make a good one," he answered. Looking at Dad, he said, "It doesn't  look like either of your boys want to stay in Richmond, Chris."

"It seems that way, Adrian," Dad said, his face beaming.  "They were raised to use their God-given intelligence and make good decisions."

"It seems not enough are brought up that way today." Miller said, casually almost forlornly as he parked the car.

"Times are different, Adrian," Dad said looking at us. "You boys have other plans this afternoon?" he asked.

"We're taking Dalton's car back for a check-up; that's about all.  Is there something you want?" I asked, before following Dalton who had already gone to the car. .

"Nothing right off, Carl. Are you having dinner with your mother and me?" he asked, clapping me on the shoulder.

"Yes sir, we are, I promise," I answered looking past him to where Mr. Miller was standing and extending my hand, "It was good seeing you, Mr. Miller, thanks for lunch."

"Good to see you too, Carlton. You take care of yourself and drop in again the next time your home," he replied squeezing my hand tightly as we shook.  Then taking Daltons hand in his, he said, "Think about the marines, Dalton, but remember there is a place for you here if you change your mind."

"I don't think I will, sir, but thanks for the offer," Dalton answered sincerely.

"We'll see you later, Dad," I said, as we walked away.

                                                                * * * * * * * * * * *

The A1 lot was empty when Dalton drove onto it, but the office door was open.  Ed McPherson's head popped up in the window when he heard the car's horn, and he grinned, waving.

"Hey, guys," he said as he came out of the office. "What's up, nothing wrong with the car is there?"

"Carlton saw some oil stains under it, Mr. McPherson, and we thought you might check it out for us," Dalton answered as we got out of the car.

"That shouldn't be a problem; take it on around back, and let Jimmy check it over.  Your permanent plates came in yesterday, and he can put them on while you're back there. Nothing else wrong, is there?"

"He still has two weeks left on the warranty you gave him, Ed," I said. "If anything comes up, he'll let you know."

"That's what I want, Carlton. Ed McPherson stands behind what he sells.  Run it on around back, Dalton, while I get the plates for your brother."

"Go ahead, Dalt, I'll walk," I said, nodding at him.

It took a few minutes for Ed to find the plates hidden among the books and papers scattered over what must have been a very good desk, at one time.  He didn't seem to be embarrassed by the disorder though and, when he found the plates, handed them to me without apology.  I made a mental note to remind Dalton about the warranty and to see if he could schedule an appointment with Jimmy to bring the car in for a checkup before the warranty expired.

Following the drive around to the rear of the main office building, I saw Dalton's car inside one of three garage doors.  The hood was up; and he was leaning over the fender looking down at Jimmy, who was lying on a crawler under the car.   I heard Jimmy say, "It's just a couple of bolts that needed tightening on the oil pan, Dalton, nothing serious; but I'm glad Carlton saw the oil on the ground."

"Me too," he said answering Jimmy; and then he blurted out, "You and Carl going out tonight?"

I hesitated in mid-stride for a moment before smacking Dalton on his cute little ass with the license plates. He straightened up and bumping his head on the hood cursed, "Damn, Carl, that hurt."

"It was supposed to, nosey," I said grinning at his beet-red face.

"Awww...,  I only asked Jimmy if you and he were going out tonight, that's all," Dalton answered, rubbing the cheeks of his ass where I had smacked him. "You told me he was gonna call you for a date."

"Dalton," I growled, "what did I tell you about talking? Jesus, you might as well let the whole world know your business."

"I'm sorry, Carl, I didn't think talking to Jimmy would make any difference."

"The problem, little brother, is you forgot to think.  I'm not fussing just to be fussing at you.  It's easy to forget and  say something that someone else should not hear, and it can cause trouble.  Be careful, Dalt; this time I heard you; but it could just as easily have been someone else, like Ed McPherson."

"Ed's cool, Carl," Jimmy said as he rolled from under the car and stood up. "Your brother is right though;  you should be careful what you say around anyone and that includes friends," Jimmy said as he punched Dalt's shoulder playfully.

"But...but, I thought... aren't you...?" Dalton stammered, confused,  before Jimmy cut him off.

"What, Dalton, gay?  I might be; you might be; Carlton might be; but we don't know that; and you should never assume something you don't know, Dalton.  Just because your brother and I might go out together is no reason to think or believe or assume anything."

"Now you sound just like him," Dalton said petulantly, glancing at me standing next to Jimmy.

"Have you forgotten last night, Dalt?" I asked softly.

"Yeahhhhhhhhh," he answered, sighing, " I guess I have, haven't I?"

"Forget, last night, what are you two talking about?" Jimmy asked, looking at us with a perplexed look on his face.

"It's a long story, Jimmy, I'll tell you about it later. How about the car is it okay?  I heard you say something about loose bolts."

"There were a couple on the oil pan that had lost torque, but I re-did the sequence, and they should be all right.  When you park it later for the night, slide some newspaper or cardboard under the pan and check it in the morning for any drips," Jimmy said looking first at Dalton and then at me. "Are we going out tonight?" he asked grinning while he wiped his hands clean, his brilliant blue eyes twinkling.

"I guess, maybe we are if you can pick me up around eight-thirty," I answered,  winking.

"I'll see you then, Carl,  Dalton, keep a check on the oil pan like I said, and bring it back if you see any drips," Jimmy said winking and grinning as he went back inside the garage.


"Dalt, if you're going over to see Jeff, why don't you drop me off at home?  You don't need me tagging along, and there are some dirty things I need washed," I said as we pulled off the A1 car lot.

"Mom will do that for you if you ask her, Carl," he answered as he checked the traffic.

"She's got enough to do without doing my dirty laundry.  How about it, drop me at the house?"

"Okay, okay, but I won't be at Jeff's long," he protested, mildly.

"And, Squirt, while you are gone, I'll ask Mom about some linens and towels for next week. Drop me at the drive, and I'll walk up to the house." I said, answering his protest.

                                                                      * *  * * * * * * *

Mom was fussing in the kitchen when I walked in, and she looked up in surprise, asking, "where's your brother?"

"He had  some things he wanted to do, and he didn't need me tagging along.  I've got some dirty laundry I want to do before we spend next week at the lake," I answered casually.

"Before you do what?" she said, turning to look at me.

"Dalton and I are going to spend next week at the lake, Mom.  We have never really been on a vacation together, and I thought it would be great with just him and me hanging together for a few days before I leave."

"Well, this is really the first time you and he have been able to be together.  Dalton was always so much younger when you were home before, and I know he worships the ground you walk on," she said, wistfully before asking,   "have you mentioned it to your Father?"

"No, ma'am, not yet.  I was going to say something at lunch but I didn't get a chance," I answered. "I'll say something about it at dinner."

"He doesn't like Dalton being out late; but, since he will be with you, he won't mind.  Are you going to need anything while you're up at the lake?"

"Just some towels and bed linens for two beds; that's all.  Everything else is provided, including the dishes," I answered.

"There are plenty in the hall linen closet by the bathroom," she said, looking up from the counter where she was peeling potatoes. "Take what you need."

"Thanks, Mom," I said slipping up behind her and putting my arms around her waist giving her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Your the best mother a guy could have."

"Oh my heavens, Carlton, you sound just like your father. Go on with you now; I've got supper to fix," she exclaimed, acting embarrassed but not very convincingly.

"We can load the things we need in the morning, Mom;  right now, I've got some laundry I want to wash."

"I could have done that for you," she said turning half-way around. "All you needed to do is put what you want washed in the dirty laundry basket by the washing machine."

"I can do it just as well, Mom, you don't have to do everything for me." I said, grinning at her.

"Do what suits you," she said, not angrily but matter-of-factly, and returned to her work.

It didn't take very long to do the few things I had worn, but I really wanted to be alone for a little while and maybe take a short nap.  When I finished hanging the items I had washed on Mom's basement clothes line, I took my shirt off and washed my face and hands before stripping to my briefs and lying down.  Thinking about going out with Jimmy was exciting,  but it was Dalton that kept intruding on my thoughts until I felt drowsiness coming over me and I slipped off to sleep.