Tanner & Robert
This story is a fantasy of my own creation. The characters are not real; they were born of my imagination. If a consensual relationship between two of-age males bothers you, then do not read further. If you are under the legal age in your area, stop reading now. Any similarities between a character and a real person, living or dead, are purely coincidental. Any actions the reader takes as a result of reading this story are not the responsibility of the author.
You may not reproduce, post, or distribute this story in any way without the author's expressed written permission. You may print out one copy or save one copy of this story for your own viewing and entertainment. By reading further, you implicitly are agreeing to the above guidelines.
Many thanks go to Hal, Jason & Cody for volunteering their time and expertise to edit this story. Comments from readers are encouraged. I appreciate your constructive criticism and remarks.
This story is dedicated in loving memory to Steven Simmons of Sidney, Australia, who, without question (according to him), was T&R's biggest fan. Steven died on May 19, 2002, at age 21, from complications associated with childhood onset diabetes.
Cast of Characters
(Note: This list will expand as new characters enter the storyline)
Robert Chaise Worthington, III - 16-yr. old, one of the two central characters
Robert Chaise Worthington, II - father of Robert III and noted surgeon, professor and researcher
Dorothy Worthington - mother of Robert III, attorney and judge
Kirk - 16 yr-old next-door neighbor and Robert's best friend
Karl - butler, chef, and housekeeper to the Worthingtons
Tanner David Kingston - half-brother to Robert
"Carl, it's the doorbell. I'll get it. Wonder who would be knocking at our door this early in the morning?" I hollowed out.
I opened the door, gasped, then lost my breath. In fact, I almost landed on the floor from the shock at what, or who, was standing in the doorway. There I was, or there he was -- my clone, except a bit older looking or, at least, a bit more mature appearing. He held out his hand and said, "Hi, I'm your half-brother, Tanner!"
As I gazed upon the figure standing at the door my breath left me, my brain took a short vacation, and my little universe as I had known it collapsed. The next thing I knew this Robert person, who claimed to be my half-brother, was holding my head up off the floor where the rest of me had suddenly parked.
"Are you alright? You took a nasty hit on the head when you passed out," the stranger questioned with an air of genuine concern. And, with a friendly smirk on his face, continued, "Is this a common greeting for all who come visiting your doorstep?
" I responded groggily, "No, only for those who appear to be my twin or my clone! What did you say your name was?"
"Tanner, it's Tanner Kingston, and I'm sorry to have startled you so. I guess I haven't thought through the immediate consequences of my just showing up on your doorstep like this with no warning. And, you're Robert, correct?"
"Well, I obviously wasn't prepared for the consequences either," I joked. "And how do you know my name?"
"Long story. That's why I'm here. We'll have time for that soon," Tanner responded.
He helped me untangle myself from the floor and, with graceful ease, literally lifted me up so that we were standing almost face to face -- that is, if I had not been three inches shorter. For just one brief, but intense moment, his eyes and my eyes -- the windows to our souls -- locked on to each other and spoke a silent message that neither of us consciously were aware of. We would speak of that moment in the years to come as our epiphany.
With my spine tingling, I stepped back and broke the deafening silence. "Come on in! Sorry to have interrupted your entrance to our humble abode with my body blocking the doorway. And no, that's not how I usually greet guests, thank you very much."
Tanner chuckled and walked in.
I must admit that doubts about this stranger's claims to be my half-brother were at the forefront of my mind. However, the very fact that he and I were almost clones lent credence to what he was saying. We both had jet-black curly hair, chiseled faces and dark brown eyes with large black pupils. I've been told that I have snake eyes that could peer right through people, that my staring at them with my piercing eyes often made them feel very uncomfortable -- that I was seeing into their very soul. I found out later that he had often been told the same thing.
I broke the silence of my thoughts. "There has got to be an incredible story here. Let's head into the kitchen where I can fortify my nerves with a quick shot of caffeine. How about you? Coffee?" I asked.
"Thanks, with a little cream or milk and one teaspoon of sugar. I think I could use some caffeine in my veins also. Coming here this morning hasn't been easy for me either. This day has been in the planning for nearly six months," my twin responded. "However, I literally broke out in a cold sweat right before I pressed the doorbell button."
About that time Kirk entered the kitchen through the back foyer.
"Thanks for waking me up so early, numb nuts," I hollered as I entered the kitchen. "Got any of that black stuff you call coffee?"
Suddenly I realized that Robert was not alone. Stopping in my tracks, I blurted, "dude, I know we partied hard last night, but I didn't think my brain and my vision would be this effected. There are two of you!"
Robert started to speak, but I continued, "Will the real Robert Chaise Worthington the 'turd' , Opps! Make that 'the third' please stand up." (Robert responded by shooting me the bird.) "What's going on here, dude?"
"My bestest buddy, shake hands with my new brother -- make that my half-brother, Tanner. Tanner, this is my best friend, my partner-in-crime and the neighborhood asshole," Robert responded.
Robert's clone stood, smiled broadly, reached across the table and shook my hand. His grip was firm-- nothing wishy- washy here. I like a firm handshake! It says something about the person, I reminded myself.
"Nice to meet you, neighborhood asshole," Tanner quipped with a mischievous grin spreading across his face again.
"Oh, God! Not only do you two look alike, but you share the same sick sense of humor. I may have made the wrong decision coming over here this early in the morning," I immediately shot back. "I really can't take a dose of Robert One and Robert Two before a second cup of coffee. Pass the carafe here!"
We all shared a chuckle, and then Karl, the housekeeper entered, glanced over at the table where we were sitting and dropped the flowerpot he was carry. "Mein Gott! He exclaimed.
"Karl, meet my half-brother, Tanner. Tanner, this is Karl, without whom this household would be in eternal turmoil. He keeps the family functioning what with mom's, dad's, and my schedule so chaotic."
Karl regained his composure, which he rarely lost, shook Tanner's hand and responded, "Such a shock, but very nice to meet you. Has Robert offered you breakfast? I see you already have coffee."
"I've had breakfast, thank you. I woke up early and enjoyed a quiet meal by myself in the hotel's restaurant."
"Good morning, Kirk," Karl continued. "Your parent's off on another trip -- meals with us, per usual?" he questioned with just a light hint of levity in his voice.
"Yes, thank you, Karl," Kirk shot back with a grin. "I'll try to stomach your cooking for a few day, if I must."
His dignity now fully restored, Karl responded, "Very good, sir."
I must point out that one of Karl's basic tenets of life is that a major part of his job is to ensure that none of the family or my friends, for that matter, ever leave this house on an empty stomach. He considers it almost a crime if I walk out the door for school without partaking of all that he's prepared for breakfast. I must confess that he's spoiled the family with his gourmet cooking and the way he runs the household. My mom and dad are sure that life would end as we know it without Karl's presence.
The ringing of the phone interrupted the conversation. Karl answered it and passed the phone to me.
"It's your Father," he said.
"Hi, dad. No, we're just eating breakfast now. As usual, the neighborhood sleepy head had to be awakened. Yes, sir; Kirk's eyes are open, and he appears to be breathing -- even enhaling a little of Karl's breakfast."
Kirk glanced up, gave the finger for the second time this morning, and continued with his coffee. What have I have done to deserve such behavior from my bestest friend?
"What time will you and mom be home?" I asked. "Oh, nothing pressing, but I do have a surprise for you when you two get back. No, no, now that would spoil it, wouldn't it? Okay, see you then. Don't spend too much money on me -- right!! Love you too." I returned the phone to the cradle.
"Tanner, I think it's time to hear your story before my parents return, but we -- Kirk and I -- have some errands to run this morning -- my parent's form of the "honey-do" list!! You know what I mean? Ride with us and we'll listen, that is, if you don't mind Kirk hearing it with me."
"Brother Robert, I have no problem with Kirk's hearing it with you," Tanner responded.
"It'll take me a few minutes to get ready." Looking at Kirk I continued, "And, dog breath, go brush your teeth again -- this time rinse with clorox; maybe that'll help."
I exited the room as Kirk shot me the finger for the third time this morning. What's wrong with that boy?
He also was mumbling some obscenities that one doesn't normally repeat in polite company ending with, "Eat me big time!"
"In your wildest dreams, buddy. In your wildest dreams," I retorted.
-- end of Chapter 2--