This story details explicit gay sex between men, teens and boys. If you find this kind of thing distasteful, or if you are underage wherever you live, then stop reading this now, and delete this file. The story is completely fictional; the author does not condone or encourage any of the acts contained herein.
Thanksgiving has historically been a
big deal for me, not because I have any allegiance to the holiday, but it has
been a time for getting together with friends and family. This year it's a huge
deal because it's my first opportunity to introduce the world to Kevin and Kai,
whom almost no one has met. I've mentioned them to
The day before Thanksgiving, Ian and Alejandro arrive, and Kenny picks them up at the airport. It's been several months since we've seen them, so hectic have our lives been. As soon as they get to the house, they throw their bags in the entryway, and crash into my office, flopping one by one into my lap for hugs. They both look like modern-day hippies, their hair shaggy, their jeans faded. I just adore these boys, and hug them tight. After maybe 20 minutes, we make our way to the kitchen to find Jason and Kenny, who are working on dinner, but also on stuff for tomorrow dressing and turkey fixings. Kevin and Kai are sitting at the table, coloring, and look up as we come into the room. They are still so shy, but there's nowhere to run.
Ian kneels next to Kevin. "Hi. I'm Ian. Tim is my daddy, too. What's your name?"
Kevin hides his face, flushed but smiling. "Kevin," he says, softly. Ian strokes his back and smiles.
"That's a really nice picture. You're a very good artist."
Kevin flushed more deeply, and giggles. "Thank you," he mutters.
Alejandro has been less subtle with Kai. He simply walks over to him, picks him up, hugs him, and starts tickling him, which elicits peals of laughter. Then he turns him upside-down, dangling him by the legs, which earns him even more laughter. Finally, he turns him right-side-up, and tosses him into the air, catching him on the way down. Kai is shocked and scared the first time, but with the next toss, he is shrieking with glee.
"Wanna go for a walk?" Ian asks Kevin. He nods shyly. He winks at Alejandro, and they move into the entryway, putting on the boys' jackets before leaving the house. "Back in a while," he shouts, carrying Kevin while Alejandro continues to carry Kai. They're gone for almost an hour, returning with the boys out of breath.
"Ian and Alejandro took us to the park," Kevin screams, jumping into Ian's arms, laughing.
Kai is still sitting on Alejandro's shoulders, his legs wrapped around his neck, squirming and giggling furiously as Alejandro tickles him. "This little boy is...very...very...very...ticklish," he screams, and Kai is nearly beside himself with a fatal case of the giggles.
Finally, we get the boys calmed down and back to their coloring, and Alejandro and Ian join the sous-chefs under the expert guidance of Kenny. This is going to be a fairly non-traditional feast. Kenny has been marinating the turkey (which he tells me he's not especially fond of, and so has also bought a couple of ducks) in a mixture of soy-sauce, Shaoxing wine, and sesame oil for the past three days. He's going to stuff it with fried rice. In addition to the turkey, we'll have clay-pot eggplant, stir-fried snap peas with black mushrooms, tripe in ginger sauce, stuffed bitter melon (Jason's favorite), and some kind of taro concoction that Kenny can't even describe to me. It should be an interesting meal.
Long about 6pm, Kenny breaks off from the pack of chefs to pop his Lasagna into the oven. He's become more experimental of late. He likes Italian food (garlic, noodles) but, like most Asians, doesn't like cheese and is ambivalent about tomatoes. So, he's begun fusing his Italian dishes with Asian twists. His Lasagna is magnificent, but you probably wouldn't show your guests the recipe before serving it. They might not eat it. He has replaced the ricotta cheese with mashed tofu, the ground beef with a mixture of ground lamb and sausage, the Italian Basil with Vietnamese Basil, and half the tomatoes with Thai eggplant. It is the strangest concoction, and I just cannot resist it. Gary and Nathan are joining us tonight because, when Kenny described the dish to Nathan, Nathan was confounded; he couldn't imagine what it would taste like. It's all in the herbs, and I have no idea what he uses. I don't know if he could tell you. It's probably different every time.
the doorbell rings, and I answer the door. I haven't seen Gary and Nathan in
months, and we hug warmly.
them to the kitchen, and Nathan shrieks when he sees Ian. They run at each
other, hugging fondly. Next is Alejandro. And then Nathan notices the boys. To
his credit, he works very hard to contain himself. Like Ian, he kneels in front
of Kevin, and compliments him on his coloring. Kevin, once more, goes three
shades of red, giggling with pleasure as he thanks him. And then he turns to
Kai, and Kai instantly hides his face in his arms, giggling furiously. There's
something about Kai that makes it almost impossible not to reach out and tickle
him. He is just so...tickleable. And it inevitably
brings him out of his shyness. And it really doesn't take much. Nathan reaches
out and runs a finger down his ribs, and Kai is awash in giggles, and leaps into
Nathan's arms, almost knocking him over. Nathan is enchanted, and they begin to
whisper in Cantonese, giggling all the while, rolling around on the kitchen
floor. They bond in an instant, and are inseparable for the rest of the evening.
They are just adorable together, with Nathan regressing into a second childhood.
has had an interesting life. The youngest son of a high-ranking government
official in pre-communist
need a favor." They stare at me, a little surprised. "Nathan asked
Ian smiles, and comes to sit on my lap, hugging me. "It's okay, Tim. Seven of us might be a bit much," he says, with a giggle.
"Well, that's half the problem. The other half is Kev and Kai. If they get nervous in the middle of the night, they come and sleep with us. I don't really have any problem with that as long as it's just Kenny, Jason and me, but this is a little different. I'm wondering..." I pause for a long moment, looking at them apprehensively. "Umm...would it be alright if...they slept with you tonight?"
Ian looks over at Alejandro, who is grinning, then back to me. He smiles. "Sure. They're so cute. Do you think they'll be okay with us."
"You're kidding, right? They fell in love with you the minute they saw you. The trouble will be convincing them to sleep anywhere else for the rest of the weekend." We all laugh, and I lean forward, and kiss Ian, who is still on my lap. "Thanks, babe. Nathan will be ecstatic."
We return to the kitchen just as Kenny is pulling his Lasagna out of the oven. It smells amazing. He takes it to the dining room table to rest for a few minutes while he finishes making a salad and sautιing broccoli in garlic and olive oil. When the food is finally ready, and we have the juice and wine poured, we all adjourn to the dining room and start dishing up. Kevin and Kai aren't great with forks, yet, so we give them spoons (you just can't deal with lasagna with chop sticks) and begin to eat. Nathan is amazed, and screams as he always does when he's excited "This is amazing!"
Jason giggles. "There's no good reason for this to taste good at all, but it's incredible! Don't you think?" he asks Nathan.
"Oh, my god this is so good," Nathan screams.
Kenny is all smiles. If Jason is a purist, an expert in traditional Chinese cuisine, Kenny is the most eclectic chef I've ever met. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but when it works, it's incredible. This one is a masterpiece, and everyone raves, including Kevin, who just loves it. "Yummy," he keeps saying. He's right. It is yummy. Just amazingly yummy.
yummy, some four hours later, is the taste of Jason's cock. At 11:45, having
long since put Kevin and Kai to bed, the rest of us decide to turn in. Ian and
Alejandro head off to the guest bedroom where the little ones are sleeping
peacefully, clinging to each other. So cute. Alejandro and Ian crawl in on
either side of them, and everyone snuggles. Very nice. That leaves Gary, Nathan,
Kenny, Jason and me to make our way to my bedroom, where we strip and prepare
for bed. But before we make it into bed,
I've missed you," he says, and kisses me again. That's the prelude for our
I ask Kenny to prepare the Thanksgiving feast both because I want something really different for Thanksgiving (and am sure he'll give us that) but also because I want Jason to have the time to entertain us. He's been at Stanford now for the better part of a year, studying both the Violin and Piano with professionals, and he is achingly good. I feel guilty hoarding him to myself. And, Kev and Kai have never heard him play in a concert setting. They've listened to him practice, but have never heard a complete piece, a piece that he's perfected. Tonight he'll play both the piano and the violin. On the piano, before dinner, he'll play a series of the Shostakovich Preludes, some of my favorite piano music. Like much of Shostakovich, the music falls somewhere between melodic and dissonant. It's very complex, and very rapid, but suggests simplicity, like Grieg, but the chords are unusual. Like the quartets, the preludes are his private pieces, while the Symphonies were composed to placate Stalin and his ilk. I love all of it, but the preludes are so contemplative that I think I love those most of all. Jason will spend most of his time at the piano, though he tells me he has something new he'll play on the violin something he hopes I'll like.
And, sure enough, it's the Preludes he plays when the first of the guests arrive, Becky and Norma from across the street. They hand me a bottle of champagne and a bottle of chardonnay almost perfunctorily, and make their way to the living room so as not to miss a beat. It's hard to be objective when you live with, and love, a concert-level pianist. I've heard Mustonen do these, and Tatiana Nikolayeva, and even Keith Jarrett, I've heard them in concert and on recordings, but, somehow Jason's interpretations are so much more...revealing, so much more...enlightening. There are twenty-four Preludes, and by the time he's finished them all, the room is full of friends. Teddy and Ty have come, Greg and Han, Randy and Mark, Sanjay, Harry and Jan, and Vijay and Christophe. And, Jason's piano teacher, a Stanford Professor Emeritus, is also with us. I don't think anyone knows what to say. Finally, his piano teacher gets up from his chair, walks across the room, and hugs him with tears in his eyes. No words. Just a big hug.
is the next triumph. The turkey is moist and flavorful, in a very different way
from any turkey I've ever eaten. There's anise in there somewhere...and...and...fish
sauce? I lean over and ask Kenny, and he nods. It's encrusted in black pepper
and cayenne, and Kenny confides later that he was aiming for something in the
After dinner, Kenny serves coffee, tea, brandy, Cointreau, and Pernod. And then Jason picks up his violin. The boys have planned this out. As soon as everyone has a drink, he starts to tune up, basically announcing that he's going to begin to play, and after a few adjustments to the tuning, play he does. It's a piece I've never heard before, very lyrical, very languid, very contemplative. I made it successfully through the preludes, but I have no faith that I'm going to make it through this. I can't figure out who wrote this. It has the exuberance of a Mozart, the moodiness of a Beethoven, and the exoticism of a Janαček. It reminds me of a young Chopin, but is less melodic. I have no fucking idea who this is. It moves from sadness, to exuberance, to contemplation, and back to sadness. At some point, I get up from my chair and move behind the couches, and begin to pace, and after about five minutes, I'm in tears, trying to be as discreet as I can be. I'm not noticed, I think. The piece is 13 minutes long, and at the end, everyone stands to applaud, including Jason's piano teacher. Even little Kevin is moved, and runs up to hug his leg, which makes everyone laugh. Finally, everyone sits back down except me.
"What the hell was that, Jase? It's not something I've ever heard, at least not that I remember, and I would remember that."
He smiles, tearing up. "Well, I'm glad someone asked! I wrote it. I wrote it for you, Tim. I wrote it for your birthday," which is in a week. "I...umm...I love you, Tim."
I just flat out lose it as everyone in the room stands and claps. I just start to sob, and Jason has to come and rescue me. I am just utterly and completely lost. He hugs me and takes me to the kitchen, with Kevin in tow, who's a little bit nervous seeing me cry. There they both sit on my lap, hugging me, and I continue to cry for probably five minutes, running the piece over and over in my mind. Finally, I get control of myself, kiss Jason fondly, hug Kevin, and we go back to our guests. What a fucking Thanksgiving. It nearly kills me.
starts us all thinking about christmas. I've never
been big on christmas, quite frankly. I'm not christian, to begin with. Not that christmas is a christian holiday.
The traditions are pagan, which I'm fine with, but the holiday itself sort of
creeps me out. Having a specific day on which you're mandated to give gifts is a
little offensive, I think, and I always associate the day with the gaudy crθche
scene on the lawn of my neighbors when I was growing up. On the other hand, I do
associate the week of christmas with incredible
vacations, because that's what we did when I was a kid. We went to
And that's the question I ask the boys: "Where should we go? How do you want to be rewarded for this great performance?"
Both Kev and Kai have fallen in love. All they want is to see Ian and Alejandro. Their second choice is the zoo. They don't care which one. "But, please, can Ian and Alejandro come back?" Kevin pleads.
"Please?" Kai seconds. He just wants to be tickled some more while riding around on Alejandro's shoulders.
"I'd like to stay home," Kenny avers. "I've been working on a project, and was hoping to use the holiday to make some progress."
Finally, I look to Jason to bail us out of this, but he's looking...sheepish. "Actually," he says, with a long pause, "I'm with them. I'd sort of like to stay home, too. I have several pieces I'd like to learn for the piano, and...umm...it's cozy here in the winter. I guess I'd just like to stick by the fireplace and play music."
I look at them all, crestfallen, and they all look guilty. "Nowhere?" I scream, in mock indignation. "We're not going nowhere?"
Kai and Kevin look scared, but Kenny and Jason know they're being scammed, and start to tickle the boys as I swoop down on them, hugging them.
So, instead of a big
vacation, we'll enjoy ourselves in and around town. I'm able to get tickets to a
mostly Schubert evening at the San Francisco Symphony for Jason, Kenny and me,
and we'll precede that with dinner at the Slanted Door, a Vietnamese/European
fusion restaurant we like at the Ferry Building. That'll be fun. Gary and Nathan
agree to baby-sit the little ones on concert night. And we decide to go to
I don't know a lot about
oboes, but Jason's piano teacher connects me with the guy in the music
department who teaches oboe, a guy that Jason's been working with because, as he
said long ago, he "sort of" plays the oboe like he "sort of" played the
Shostakovich Quintet. We've been renting an oboe for the last five months as
Jason's been trying to improve his technique, but it has a pretty awful sound.
He has, nevertheless, become really good technically. The professor has been
following an oboe on eBay for $1500 that he says is a steal, and I buy it. When
it arrives, I drive it up to
All of this I wrap, and put under the tree, to torture the children for the three weeks before christmas.
And, we decide to have another party. We invite the same guests as for Thanksgiving because they're our (my) best friends, but we really concentrate on our single friends who might not have anywhere else to go. Becky and Norma confirm, as do Gary and Nathan, but Ty and Teddy will be visiting family, as will Mark and Randy, and Greg and Han. Harry and Jan are having their own celebration just for family. But Sanjay is coming, and so are Vijay and Christophe, and a bunch of single friends of both Kenny and Jason Natalie, Julian, Vince, Cliff, Cecile, James, and Randy. It should be fun. This time around, the head chef is Jason, and the fare is strictly Asian. I don't know what he's planning, but I do know it'll be spectacular. Christmas is on Thursday. On Tuesday, mid-afternoon, there's a knock on the office door.
"Come in," I shout.
It's Jason, and he looks a little...rough. He sits down in my chair. He's holding back tears, but not well. "Umm...Tim..." Long, long pause. "Umm...do you...umm...do you..." Long, long pause.
He's breaking my heart, but I have no idea what this is about. I turn my chair and pat my lap, and he comes slowly over and sits on my lap. "Do you...umm..."
I kiss him, hug him. "What is it, baby?"
"Do you...umm...love me?"
I give him a long look, and then squeeze him as hard as I can. "More than the world. More than anything on earth." Then I push him back, and stare into his eyes. "Why would you ask that?"
At that moment, the office door opens, and Kenny crosses the threshold, and he looks just as rough as he closes the door. He looks at me for several seconds, and then crosses to me and sits on the floor with his chin on my knee.
"What's the problem, guys?"
Kenny looks up at me. "We...umm...haven't seen...much of you...lately."
"I guess it's the holidays," Jason adds, "but we've...missed you." He drapes himself over my shoulder, like he does after he's been spanked, and I realize he hasn't been spanked...not in almost three weeks. Nor has Kenny. I've ignored them, so busy with parties, family arrangements, airline reservations for Ian and Alejandro, parent/teacher conferences for Kev and Kai. I've taken them for granted, and they're so forlorn. I hug both of them, in turn.
"I haven't spanked you in a while, have I?" They both shake their head. "I'm sorry, guys. You've been just so wonderful, just so sweet. I've been running out of reasons, but that's no reason. I've been really...really insensitive. I'm sorry." I squeeze them both. "So, who's first, and when?"
Jason and Kenny look at each other for a few seconds, and then Jason say, "I'd like to be first, please," looking at Kenny. Kenny nods. "Umm...could we do it now?"
"Where are Kevin and Kai?" I ask.
"They're in the living room playing," Kenny says. "I'll take care of them."
"Okay," I say, lifting Jason into my arms, kissing him.
I carry Jason to the bedroom, while Kenny moves to the living room and starts a DVD "Curious George," a little too loudly.
Once we're in the bedroom, I set Jason on the edge of the bed and begin to take off his clothes: shoes, sox, shirt, pants, underwear. Once he's naked, I kiss him and motion him onto his belly, facing the headboard. I retrieve the razor strop from the closet, but before I can begin, I have to...taste him, licking his back, his neck, his legs, his ass. He is just so beautiful. Finally, I move back and begin to apply stroke after stroke to his ass four, five, six, seven stroke after stroke. When we reach fourteen, Jason is sobbing, sobbing harder than I've ever heard him sob before. I return the razor strop to its hook, and lift him off the bed, into my arms, and onto my lap as I sit in the corner. He continues to sob for three-quarters of an hour, finally regaining control of his breathing and just draping himself over my shoulder.
"You okay," I ask, nuzzling his neck.
"Yes," he whines, but he's sniffling back tears. I hug him tightly, and the sniffling gets worse.
"What's wrong?" I whisper, and he starts to cry again.
"Please don't forget about me...about us. I...we...love you. We need you."
"I'm sorry, baby. I love you, too. You have no idea how much. I've been getting really nervous that...umm...when you start to travel as a musician...I'll miss you...so."
He starts to sob. "I know," he wails. "I don't know if I can do this."
I hug him. "Let's face that when we have to. Right now, I love you, and I'm sorry for being an asshole."
After another five or so minutes, he hugs me again. "Umm...Tim...could we...umm...make love."
I pull him back and look into his moist eyes, giving him a long and very erotic kiss, a kiss that has us both hard before long. And then we do make love, and it's magic. How could I love him any more? He's mine, one of the only six things I actually care about in this world. Take the cars; take the house; take the money; take anything you want, but leave me my boys, because I couldn't live without them.
The next day, it's Kenny's turn. Rather than waiting for him to come to me, I arrange with Jason to watch Kevin and Kai, and go fetch him just after lunch. He's in the living room, playing with the boys, and as I walk in, he looks up at me and smiles. I reach down, and lift him into my arms, which surprises everyone. I kiss him quickly, "I need to take your playmate away for a couple of hours, guys, but Jason'll play with you. Kevin looks at me curiously, and then at Jason, and then he giggles, going back to work on the puzzle he was putting together. I wonder what he knows, or what he thinks we're going to do. I have no doubt he'll work all this out eventually. Hopefully, by the time he does, he'll understand that he has to be discreet.
Leaving them to play, I carry Kenny into the bedroom, our lips sealed in a long and sensual kiss. Kenny is so delicious so soft, so expressive. I lay him out on the bed, and proceed to take off his clothes, still kissing him. By the time I get to the underwear, they are tented out prominently, his dick standing at full attention, and as I slide them down his legs, his dick pops out as if on a spring. I take it in my mouth, swirling my tongue around the glans, and he gasps. I begin to suck him in earnest, sliding up and down his shaft, and he begins to squirm. And, just as I sense that he's getting close, I stop. "Not yet, baby. I want you to cum, but not yet, and not like this." He looks a little frustrated, but smiles, and I seal my lips to his again for another long kiss. Finally, I move to the cupboard, and come back with the razor strop. Leaning forward, I kiss him again. "Do you know how much I love you?"
He nods, uncertainly.
"I adore you, Kenny. You've become so sensitive in the last few years, such a joy to be around. I couldn't love you more, and I'm so sorry that I've taken you for granted in the last few weeks. Please forgive me."
He smiles, leaning forward to kiss me.
breaking our kiss, I motion for him to turn over and begin to spank him harder
than I would spank Jason because that's what he likes. At seventeen strokes,
he's sobbing, and I put the razor strop away and carry him to the chair in the
corner, where he continues to cry for probably fifteen more minutes while we
cuddle. Kenny is built a lot like Jason, although he's taller. He has a very
compact build, with a lot of meat on his bones, and a really adorable ass very
round, very spankable. He's just so much fun to hug,
and loves being hugged; he thrives on it. I used to think that I was more
attracted to Jason than to Kenny, but that was mostly because Jason could allow
himself a level of vulnerability, of sensitivity, that Kenny wasn't able to
reach. But that changed in
After a while, he settles down, finally sitting up on my lap and kissing me. "Thank you," he says, looking into my eyes. "I love you."
I don't know why, but that simple statement causes me to tear up instantly. Lifting him in my arms, I take him back to the bed, where I lay him out while I start to strip. But, he stops me. "Umm...can I do that?"
I smile, and nod. He pulls me onto the bed, and starts to take off my clothes, very slowly, so that by the time I'm naked, I, too, am rock hard, just like him. He kisses me before arranging himself so he can suck my dick and I can suck his. The blow job goes on for maybe five or so minutes, and that's the most I can take because Kenny is very good at this. Finally, he pulls off me, turns, and kisses me again.
"Umm...Kenny, I think I'd like you to fuck me," I say, from the corner of my mouth, my lips still sealed to his. He moves back, looking me in the eye, smiling joyously. This isn't something he gets to do very often. I have to be "in the mood." I'm not sure how to describe that. First, I have to feel safe, safe enough to allow myself to lose control, to abandon everything it means to be me. It's sort of like an orgasm, but it's a lot more intense than that. It's obliterating, total surrender. To get to that, I have to be awash in love. I've only ever let two people fuck me my first boyfriend, and Kenny. My first boyfriend was a mistake. I let him before I realized what it would mean. I let him because I thought I should. I let Kenny fuck me because I couldn't not let him. At that moment, I was so in love with him, so in tune with him, there was no way I could do anything else. That's how I feel right now, and he knows it because that's how he feels, too.
He leans forward and kisses me, and then rolls me onto my back and spreads my legs, applying lotion to my ass and his cock. Then, with my legs now over his shoulders, he ever-so-slowly enters me while leaning forward and kissing me. Once inside, he starts the rhythm, fucking me slowly at first, and then more rapidly. As he does, I begin to disappear, becoming pure energy, a state of bliss, completely unconscious. I have no idea how long we do this, but when I come back to myself, I am covered in my own cum, and Kenny, now lying next to me on the bed, has the most peaceful expression on his face that I've ever seen. He is completely sated, yes, but also completely at peace. "Thank you, baby," he says, and then looks shocked at what's just come out of his mouth. I'm a little shocked, myself. I don't think anyone's called me "baby" in ten years, maybe longer.
I lean over and kiss him. "You're welcome, baby," I reply, and we both start to giggle furiously.
When we finally leave the bedroom, Kev looks concerned, and Jason is grinning. "We heard you scream, Daddy. You okay?"
I glance at Jason, who is having a terrible time restraining his laughter, and I smile at Kevin. "I'm fine, Kev," I say, ruffling his hair. "I was just surprised by something."
He hugs my leg and smiles. "We was worried." How cute can this kid possibly be?
Christmas is a blast. I've never enjoyed it more. (In fact, I've almost never enjoyed it at all, but it's so much fun watching everyone open their presents that I can almost not contain myself.) For Kevin, I put a picture of a bicycle in a tiny little box, and you can see his disappointment when Kenny passes the box to him. It's so much smaller than Kai's box. He opens it slowly, sadly, and is confused when he finds the picture inside. And then he gets it, and his eyes light up. He is absolutely elated, and is jumping up and down when Jason rolls the actual bicycle in from the garage. He can't wait to try it, and we have to pause to take him outside and let him try it out. Jason runs along side to balance him because he's never ridden a bike before. Amazingly, at some point in this inaugural ride, Jason lets him go, and he continues to ride, having figured out instantly how to balance himself. He doesn't turn very well, yet, but it's not going to take him long. We bring him back into the house, promising that he can ride later today, and we continue to open gifts.
next, and rips the paper off his bear with eyes the size of saucers. Never has
he seen a stuffed Panda this big. Hell, never have I seen a stuffed Panda this
big. And then I retrieve his second present from the garage, having gone
Kenny, I think, is surprised and a little intimidated at the weight of his package. I asked the guy who built the machine not to pack it in the Shuttle box, but in a plain box of some kind, so even when Kenny has ripped the paper off the box, he still doesn't know what's inside. And then he opens the box and lets out a whoop. "Wow! This is so cool. This is exactly the machine I wanted. How'd you know?"
"I'm not sure, Kenny," I whisper "Maybe it was the cum stains on the display model at Best Buy." I giggle, and he cuffs me playfully, and then kisses me.
And then it's Jason's turn. He's been staring at his package for days, trying to work out what might be inside. I've packed it in a box that's roughly 12"X18"X4", something Macy's would probably pack a shirt in. The rule is that the boys can look at the gift cards to figure out which packages are theirs, but they can't touch them. They can't weigh them. They can't shake them. I think he thought he'd gotten clothes, and was a little depressed, but when Kenny passes him the package, he realizes that it's way too heavy for a shirt. He unwraps it slowly, looking quizzically at me. When he finally gets into the box, what he finds is a leather instrument case which he flips open instantly. And there is the oboe. He's stunned. He wasn't expecting this, and looks at me glassy-eyed. It really is a stunning instrument. His oboe professor told me how to care for it, and I've polished it so that it gleams. He takes one of the reeds that's packed in the case and pops it in his mouth, sucking it while he assembles the instrument and, once assembled, he just stares at it, stroking it sensuously, much as he did his violin when we first got it. There is tactile pleasure in beautiful instruments, and Jason enjoys the feel of this one. Finally, he presses the reed into place, lifts the instrument to his lips, pauses, thinks for a second or two, and then begins to play the oboe part of Mozart's Quartet for Oboe and Strings.
I should probably admit here and now that the oboe is not one of my favorite instruments, so I don't know a lot about what's out there in the repertoire. I've heard this Quartet maybe once, and Jason seems to play it well, but I have little to compare it with. I don't even know whose recording of it I've heard, or maybe I heard it in concert. I'm not sure. I've always thought that the oboe sounds a little like a duck, like the bassoon, only more nasal. But Jason is in heaven. He has that beatific look that he gets when he's playing something he really loves, and he seems almost to caress the instrument, to take pleasure in its contours. When he finishes the piece, he sits for several seconds, his eyes closed, and I realize that he's listening to the other instruments in his head, to the strings that we can't hear, but he can. Finally, he opens his eyes, sets the oboe on the floor, propped against its case, reaches over, wraps his arms around my neck, and kisses me, a long, expressive kiss that gets even Kai's attention as preoccupied as he is with his kitten, now asleep in his lap. "I love you," he whispers in my ear. "Thank you so much. This is a really beautiful instrument. Did you hear the tone? How'd you know to pick this one?"
"You'll need to thank your oboe professor when you go back to school after the holidays. Your piano instructor introduced us. The oboe guy had been following this oboe on eBay, and was planning to buy it himself. When I told him that I was looking for a really good instrument for you, he relented and let me buy it instead. He says it's a superb, mid-century instrument, and helped me with what little refurbishing it needed. He's very fond of you, Jason, and says your musicianship is very surprising. This is, after all, your third-choice instrument, and yet you're as good a student as he's ever seen. His words, not mine. He was initially reluctant to take you on as a student, he said, because he didn't think you'd dedicate yourself, given your interest in the piano and the violin. And then he heard you play, and improve with each meeting. He's really, really impressed, and that's why you have a world-class oboe." Jason hugs me again, smiling to himself, and then absently picks up the oboe, caressing it. There truly is a tactile pleasure in beautiful instruments.
Finally, I'm surprised to say, it's my turn. Kenny passes me a little box that's wrapped in white paper with little hand-prints all over it red and green. "Who might this be from," I ask, looking from Kevin to Kai and back again. They both giggle furiously, Kai hiding his face behind Kevin. Kevin finally looks up and smiles. "It's from us," he says.
"Really?" I say, exaggerating my surprise, and Kevin giggles some more as I tickle him just a little.
This wrapping paper I want to save, and get Kenny to hand me the knife he used to cut the twine on Kai's kitten. Once the paper is preserved, I open the box and inside is a six-inch, bright-red clay heart with two hand-prints pressed into it, one slightly larger than the other. It is just fucking adorable, and I instantly know that this is something I'll treasure for the rest of my life. "Oh, my god," I scream, and both boys laugh, delighted at my delight. "Did you make this?"
They both nod.
"Did you make it at school?"
Kai looks confused, and Kevin shakes his head.
"Where'd you make it?"
"Vijay helped us," Kevin confides. "He...umm...baked it for us." He looks at Kenny for confirmation, and Kenny nods.
"What a wonderful present," I shriek, swooping down to kiss both boys, who are both three shades of red. "This is going in my office. I'm going to hang it on the wall so I can look at it every day and think of you."
If possible, I think these boys are happier now, at this moment, than they were when they opened their own gifts. Their grins are radiant ear to ear.
The last gift is a DVD. When I tear off the wrapping paper, what I find is a plastic jewel case with a disk inside, and the disk has a single word printed on it: "Audition."
"Who's this from?" I ask.
Kenny looks sheepish, but Jason doesn't. Jason dives right in. "This is a gift to the two of us...from Kenny."
"Umm...well...it's just a little experiment. It's not very...good," Kenny says softly.
Suddenly Jason is angry, whispering to Kenny in Cantonese at just about a mile a minute. Kenny continues to look sheepish. I pop the disk into the DVD player and turn on the TV, and there, within seconds, is Jason, or actually two Jason's. One is playing the piano part and the other the violin part of Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano, Opus 12, Number 1 in D-major. It is a little disorienting, I must confess, to cut between two Jason's, but the production value of this thing is extraordinary, and I have no idea how it was mixed to integrate the two instruments that could only have been played at different times. It's not like there are two musicians playing together, or are there?
"Is this you?" I ask Jason.
"On both instruments?"
He nods again.
"So, they were mixed after the fact?"
Again he nods.
"Umm...I gave him a wireless ear bud for when he played the violin part," Kenny says. "He could listen to the piano part while he was playing the violin part."
I turn abruptly to Kenny and stare at him for a long, long moment with that "focused" look in my eyes. He shrinks back, looking even more sheepish than before. "You made this?"
I continue to watch. This truly looks and sounds like we have two musicians, playing together, like something you'd see on PBS during a pledge drive (because, of course, PBS only plays music during pledge drives. If it's not a pledge drive, they bore you to death with the fucking McNeil/Lehrer New Hour.) "How did you do this, Kenny?"
"Umm...I did digital recordings of Jason performing on the piano, and then on the violin, and then I...umm...edited them together."
The sonata is nearly twenty minutes long, and once we've watched it, we watch it again, and then again. I swear to fucking god, if I didn't know better, I'd think Jason and Jason were identical twins, so carefully has this been edited. After our third viewing, I turn to Kenny, my eyes very, very narrow. "And you did this editing yourself?"
"Umm...yeah," he whines. He is very nervous.
"And, where did you learn how to edit like this?"
"I...sort of...just...umm...picked it up."
This kind of surprise just pisses me off, typically. It's not waste in the same way that Jason's pursuit of a comp sci degree was a waste a nearly world-class musician doing something he didn't really like. But, the fact that none of us knew that he could do this, that he was this goddamn good, that pisses me off. But, maybe he didn't know either, I tell myself. "Have you ever done anything like this before?"
"I've...sort of...been practicing."
"I want to see some of your `practicing' tomorrow," I tell him, trying to get less "focused," more casual. "In the mean time, this is just flat out fantastic stunning. I swear to god, if I didn't know, I'd swear that Jason had an identical twin. Very, very nice work, and a wonderful christmas gift for both of us. And," suddenly understand the title, written on the disk, "an unbelievably useful gift for Jason. It'll help him market himself better than any other musician is going to be able to do." I reach over and hug Kenny, kissing him. And, as we break the kiss, I scream "But I still like my heart from Kev and Kai best." And I swoop down and tickle the boys, kissing them everywhere, and they are all giggles, pure unabashed joy.
Vijay and Christophe are first to the party. I hug Christophe warmly, and then turn him around to face the living room. "Don't move," I tell him. Then I sexually assault Vijay, giving him a long, very sensual kiss while I feel him up to make sure he's getting it. "Thanks for helping the Munchkins with their art project," I whisper.
"My pleasure," he whispers back, and Christophe begins to turn around.
"Did I tell you you could turn around?" I demand.
Christophe giggles, and turns back to face the living room.
"I'm not done with your beloved, yet," I say, authoritatively, kissing Vijay again while rubbing his dick through his clothes.
Christophe laughs. "I gather the boys gave you their heart?"
"Mais, oui, monsieur. Et leur coeur a fondu mon coeur." (And, their heart melted mine.)
In the course of the next hour, the house fills with people friends of mine, friends of Kenny, friends of Jason, friends of friends. We must have twenty-five guests, maybe more, all sitting everywhere. Jason's dinner is fabulous, if a bit eclectic for him. He's mixed Chinese dishes (Ginger Crab, Squid and Black Mushrooms, Stir-fried Snap Peas), with Vietnamese (thanks to recipes from Nathan for Baked Pork and Eggs, Lemon Grass Fish, and Sour Catfish soup), Thai (Papaya Salad, Spicy Garlic Shrimp, and Stuffed Squid a favorite of mine) and Korean (a fiercely spicy Kimchi that nearly kills a neighbor of ours, a neighbor I'd warned to be careful of the cuisine. It is an amazing feast. And, after dinner, he serves up a Mango Pudding with chunks of mango in there. OMG!
then, with tea, he brings out his new oboe, and Kenny puts a disk in the CD
player, and I am just stunned. They've conspired. They've recorded the piano
part of the Poulenc Sonata for Oboe and Piano at some point during the
afternoon, and Jason plays the oboe part live, and it is glorious. As much as
I'm not especially fond of the oboe, this is really joyous, and Jason is off in
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