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.



Chapter 47

By: Tim Keppler

I just cannot process what I've just been told, even though I've parsed it several times while I stare blankly at Jason. Finally I look into his eyes, desperate for clarification; "Kenny who?"

"Kenny Hsia. Our Kenny. How many Kennys do we know?"

"Our Kenny?" I say, blankly.


"Our Kenny doesn't write song lyrics."

"Umm...actually, he does. Well, he probably doesn't think of them as `song lyrics'. Remember, the song originated as part of his Dark Angel series. It's sort of become a kind of theme song for the more recent games. He wrote it in the character of Mina, the sorcerer's daughter, and I gave it a melody, a melody he uses everywhere as a sort of theme and variations. He says that's the only way he can write poetic stuff like that – he has to visualize a character and write from their perspective. He can't just write, like you'd write a song or a poem. He has to have someone in mind, but when he does, the lyrics just sort of...tumble out of him. He's actually pretty amazing. We've got a couple of songs completed, and have sent them around – Nora Jones, Kelly Clarkson, Adele. I think we're close to closing a deal with Celine Dion for one of our songs. She wants to make some changes to the lyrics. And I originally wrote the song in a key that wasn't very good for her range, although, as far as I can tell her range is pretty limitless. If that deal works out, she wants to record it with the San Francisco Symphony, which has Tilson Thomas sort of excited."

"Kenny fucking Hsia?" I scream.

"Yeah?" says Kenny, popping his head in the door of my office, having just gotten home from work. "I don't know about the `fucking' part, but...umm...I'd like to."

"Oh, you are getting so punished," I say with a grin.

"What'd I do?" he asks, all innocence.

"I don't know what it is with you guys. Jason doesn't tell me about his song cycle, or the fact that he's making his conducting debut, and you don't tell me that you're writing song lyrics. That goddamned Cheryl Crowe song wasn't just Jason's. It was yours. Your goddamned lyrics."

Kenny looks a little embarrassed. "Well, yeah, I wrote the words, but they're just...words. The thing that's amazing about that song is the music. The music is so..."

"Horseshit!" I bellow. "That is just fucking horseshit! The music is nice. It's very nice, in fact, but the poem – the lyrics – are also wonderful. Why didn't you fucking tell me that that fucking song was your fucking work as well?"

"Oh, Christ!" Kenny says, looking at Jason in mock-consternation. "That's three `fuckings' in one sentence. I'm in deep shit now, aren't I?"

Jason giggles and nods. "I'd say."

"I'd say," I echo, giggling, "so fucking punished. You are getting so fucking punished. But...in the meantime," I say, crossing the room and planting a kiss on his lips, a long and sensuous kiss, "in the meantime...I...umm...I think I'd like to fuck you."

He thinks for a moment. "Umm...yeah...that could work. Could we take Jase along?"

"I'd say," I reply with a wink.

We don't have to pick up Kevin or Kai for another two hours, and I am nearly beside myself with...lust. I just can't believe that I've been hoodwinked like this. Achievements like this just...turn...me...on. By the time we get to the bedroom, we've all shed our clothes; we're all...naked. And I have the most...amazing...hardon. Once again, we're going to do a reverse sandwich – Kenny fucking Jason while I fuck him – because I really, really need to fuck Kenny. I'm so happy for him. I have to give him pleasure. I just can't help myself. And, once again, we're all kissing at once. I am euphoric. I just can't contain myself. I hug him so tight, and stroke him...vigorously, massaging his nipples. And then I start to lick him from behind, his neck, his back. Then I do something I don't think I've done to him before – I bite his earlobe. I bite it pretty...umm...hard. Not hard enough to draw blood, but hard enough to draw a scream, a scream that's a preamble to his ejaculation, which drives me to distraction, and drives Jason over the top. It's not all that often that Kenny gets to bury his dick in someone else. Not all that often. But it's buried now, and the three of us are clinging to each other for dear life. Jason is nearly beside himself. He's shooting in one of the most intense orgasms I've ever seen him have, and it just goes on and on. And then, finally...after what seems like hours...it's over. We snuggle and fall asleep, waking up just in time to drive out to pick up Kai and Kevin. I just fucking love these guys. What would I do without them?


Kevin has very small feet.

"And this is relevant why?" I hear you cry...

Kevin is small for his age. He'll probably have a growth spurt at some point, but right now he's probably four to six inches shorter than his peers, and probably thirty pounds lighter. Finding shoes for him hasn't really been a problem because what he wears are sneaks (sorry – tennis shoes, sneakers, trainers). You can find sneaks in every shape and size, but Kevin has decided that he'd like to do...umm...ballroom dancing. He's been seduced into this by Diane Mazur – "the girlfriend", as Jason likes to call her, a phrase that makes Kev flush absolutely crimson. Diane has been dancing for about six months and loves it, Shelley, her mother, avers. But she needs a partner, and there are very few boys in this program. So, she's been working on Kevin, and Kevin has taken the bait. We need to find him a pair of dancing shoes, patent leather dancing shoes, no less. I'm not even sure where to start.

The problem is that his feet are the size of a typical 3-year-old's. 3-year-olds don't do ballroom dancing, so finding dancing shoes in that size is nearly impossible. I've checked Payless Shoes, Shoemart, and even a couple of dance stores. I just don't think they make them that small. I've called all over town, and I've searched the internet. Nothing. It's finally his dance instructor who delivers the goods, and he does it by doing the obvious. He buys Kevin a pair of girl's shoes. They look fine, just like any of the boy's pairs I've seen. They just have different sizes than I'm used to – girl's sizes. But Kevin doesn't care. He doesn't know what size he is anyway. They are seriously expensive though, $110. We don't typically spend money on clothes. We spend it on food, on CDs and on books, but not on clothes. I wear jeans and t-shirts every day, and Kenny wears cheap slacks that he gets from Ross or Target. Only Jason spends money on clothes, because he has to. But even he is pretty thrifty. He had his three tuxes made by a tailor a friend recommended in the Sichuan province of China. He sent her a computer-generated image of himself produced by a body scanner in the fashion department at San Jose State, complete with exact measurements, and she sent him three tuxedos that were so perfectly proportioned that they didn't even need tailoring. The total cost was one-tenth of what he would have paid for them here. Everything else he gets from Marshalls. So, $110 for a pair of tiny little shoes seems ridiculous, utterly absurd, especially given that Kevin is going to grow out of them pretty fast. Still, if he wants to do ballroom dancing, he needs shoes other than his sneaks, and these are what's available. I bite the bullet and write the check. And, it's just in time, because their first recital is in a week.

We bought suits for both Kevin and Kai earlier this year, again from Marshalls, as well as frilly shirts, pink for Kai and lavender for Kevin. We wanted the same color, but couldn't find them in the right sizes, and I was not going to spend the $50 they want at Nordstrom's. So, they don't match, but when you dress them up for the symphony, with their little matching ties, they are just...fucking...adorable! They look so cute, like little gentlemen, except, of course, that Kevin is missing his three front teeth. So, when he smiles – and he has a really radiant smile – you just have to laugh. He looks so elegant, so handsome, and so, so goofy. It's just hysterical. It's this suit that we dress him in for his recital, along with these exorbitantly expensive-patent-leather shoes. Jesus-fucking-Christ he's cute, and every parent at the recital agrees. This poor boy is pinched and petted more than you can believe, maybe because he's small for his age. Maybe these parents think he's younger than he is, and are impressed that he's here to dance. I'm not sure. But the real kicker is how good he is.

The trick to ballroom dancing, as to any dancing, I guess, is the lines you make with your body – how you extend your arms, how you use your limbs to make shapes. (I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. I don't dance, and have never danced. I can wiggle my ass, and shake my arms, but there's absolutely no form to it. It's just the pure joy of movement.) Kevin is really graceful, and takes his time. He's obviously been coached in his movement, and some of it does look a little...staged. But most of it seems so natural. And, he just looks so elegant.

At the intermission, Jason, Kenny and I chat with the instructor. "Kev seems to love this," I say. "I dunno, he seems really...good. Is he? Or am I just a doting parent?"

The guy gives me this what-planet-are-you-from look. "You don't know a lot about dance, do you?"

"Not a damned thing. I know nothing."

"He's an absolute natural. I don't often get kids like him. He loves to move, memorizes moves instantly, and is just so graceful. His only liability, frankly, is that he's short, so his extensions, his movements aren't as impressive as they might be if he were taller. On the other hand, the compactness of his body helps him with agility. He's very quick. Honestly, he's the most talented kid here, and he's only been at this for a couple of months. He's certainly far better than his partner. Is he taking ballet?"

I look at him blankly.

"He should be. I'm serious. This could be more than a childhood hobby. He is a very talented boy."

At the end of the recital, Kevin runs over to us and hugs us. "You were so good, honey!" Jason exudes.

"You really were!" Kenny says. "I had no idea you'd be this good." Kevin is clearly very happy, both from the attention, and from sheer exuberance. I pick him up, and sling him over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and we leave the dance studio, Kevin with a serious case of the giggles. When we get to the car, he slides into the front seat between Kenny and me.

"Do you like to dance, baby?" I ask him.

"YEAH!" he says.

He's currently coming to dance class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We could increase that. "Would you like to dance more often? Would you like to dance every day?"

"Yeah," he says. "Would Diane get to come?"

"Does she need to?" I ask. "Do you like to dance because you get to do it with Diane, or do you like to dance because you like to dance?"

Kevin thinks about that for a couple of seconds. "No, I just like to dance."

I nod and ruffle his hair.

The next day I call his dance instructor and ask for a recommendation for a ballet school, and the place he recommends is, literally, a two-minute walk from our house, right on Park Avenue. Kevin could walk there himself, except that I'm not comfortable letting him cross the street by himself. It's just too busy. But, Jesus, one of us can whisk him there and bring him home in an instant. It's that close. Rather than calling to enroll him, I decide to walk over, and two minutes later I'm there. Thankfully, they're between classes, and I have an opportunity to chat with the instructor, a guy in his 40s who looks very fit. Judging from his accent, he wasn't born in the US, but I don't know where he is from, so eventually I ask. "I was born in Turkey," he says. I mention the name of Kevin's ballroom instructor, relate our conversation from last night, and enroll him in a class that begins at 4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He'll start tomorrow. The guy seems very nice. I sit through his next class, and am impressed with his command of the kids, some of whom are as young as four. He's firm, but kind. One little girl, who clearly has no aptitude for dance, breaks into tears in the middle of the class, and his reaction is very...measured. "It is fine, honey. Some people find this easier than others. If you cannot do it right away, that is okay. You will get it." Very compassionate and very reassuring. This looks like the kind of guy I want to entrust with our Kevin.

And Kevin loves him to death! "Did you meet my teacher, Daddy?" he asks after the first class.

"I did. Do you like him?"

"He's really cool!" he says.

"Why? How is he cool?"

Kevin thinks. "I'm not so good as some of the others, but he helps me. He shows me how to do stuff that the others already know how to do."

"Well, the others have been there longer, right?"

"That's what he said!" he screams. "That's what he said. The others have been there longer, so why would I know how to do what they know how to do?"

"He's right. You need to learn. That why you're there. If you already knew how to do it, why would he need to teach you?"

"Yeah! That's what he asked me. He's really nice. I really, really like him."

After two weeks, I drop by the studio just to chat, to get a sense of where we are. I don't really care whether Kevin is going to turn this into a career some day. Who gives a damn? I had a lot of hobbies when I was a kid that went absolutely nowhere, except to enrich my life, to give me experiences I hadn't had. Kevin seems very enthusiastic about his dancing, and I just want to check in. I just want to see how the instructor feels he's doing.

"He is a very energetic little boy," he says, a neutral statement that might mean anything – or nothing. "And, he has enormous potential, both because he seems to love the dance, and because he is so naturally graceful. He has poise, and he learns very quickly. After only six lessons he is nearly equal to the rest of the class, to others who have been coming for months. I do not know, yet, frankly. But...he just might be the next Baryshnikov."

Two weeks later, I get an e-mail from the ballet school. They're doing a recital in two weeks time...and Kevin has the lead male role. I'm stunned. How the hell did this boy get the lead male role in six weeks? And then I giggle to myself. How many boys are there in this little ballet school? It's Kevin, or it's no one. It should be cute. It'll be fun to watch him do his ballet thing. Kenny, Jason and I are all free that night. We'll come to show our support and bring Kai. It'll be cute.

Two weeks later, Jase, Kenny, Kai and I make our way to the school and join the other parents for a cup of coffee. After about fifteen minutes of idle chat, we get the signal that the program is about to begin. We take our seats, Kai sitting on Kenny's lap. We're still chatting. And then the music begins, and Kevin comes flying out from the wings. I swear to god I think he was flying – from the wings on wings. This is Swan Lake. I know absolutely nothing about dance, so I can't even speak intelligently about what I'm seeing. But, he's dancing on his toes, and he's spinning, and he seems really...lithe, really...graceful. The other dancers seem...a little...clunky to me, but I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. It's the dorky proud-parent syndrome. But then Kevin goes flying again, and it looks like he's on a rope, and I actually look for the rope, but there is no rope. "Jumpin' Jesus!" Kenny whispers. I'll say! If nothing else, Kevin is getting his exercise.

The recital is half an hour, and I think all three of us are just...mesmerized. At the end of the program, as we're preparing to leave, Kevin in tow, the teacher stops us. "How did you like the program?" he asks.

"I'm sorry," I respond. "I really don't know how to evaluate it. I think we all found it...amazing. Kevin seemed very...umm...light on his feet."

"Do you have a few minutes?" his teacher asks. "I would like to speak with you."

I look at Jason, who's holding both Kai and Kevin's hands. "Why don't you take them home? Kenny and I will stay and chat with the teacher. We'll be there shortly."

Jason nods and leads Kevin and Kai out the door. Kev is still jumping up and down, pirouetting. Once the studio is empty, his teacher motions us to chairs where we sit down. He pauses, and takes a deep breath. "Your son, Mr. umm..."


"Your son, Mr. Jensen, is...very gifted in dance. In fact, I would say that he is the most gifted child I have ever...worked with. Every move I teach him he learns instantly. Every move he executes flawlessly, with grace. Never have I seen a child this young do what you saw tonight."

"So, is he the next Baryshnikov?" I ask with a snort.

The man does not laugh. He does not smile. He looks straight into my eyes. "Quite possibly," he says. "He is extremely talented, and appears to very much enjoy himself here. That is a recipe for success."

I'm amazed by his earnestness. "What should we do?" I ask.

"I would like to change the time of his lessons, change and extend them. I would like him to come at 4:30 from now on so he can warm up with the 4:00 class. The group lesson is over at 5pm. I then would like to give him a private lesson from 5 – 6pm."

I nod. "Okay."

Kenny and I walk home in a daze, and when we get there, the kids have already eaten. Leave it to Jason. I get on the internet and do something I should have done before I enrolled him in this school. I research the teacher. Come to find out that he's a former principal dancer with the Helsinki ballet, well-known in the dance world, and the school is renown throughout the U.S.. Who'd have thunk it? In provincial little San Jose, we have a world-class school of ballet. Now I know why Kevin's ballroom dancing teacher recommended this place. All I have to do now is figure out what ballet is and how it differs from ballroom dance. I really don't know anything about any of this.


"YES!" Kenny hisses, walking into my office and plunking himself down in one of the leather chairs. He passes me a letter from one Robert L. Titus, Esq., my longtime attorney, and a check for $727,000. The amount of the check catches my eye, and then I read the letter. It's addressed to Kenny and Jason.


Hi Guys,


Enclosed is the advance from Celine's people for your song. As you know, I negotiated a lump sum for the advance, and a percentage of sales. This check represents the advance only. Sales will start to materialize following the album's release in March. Based on the numbers they showed me, you should receive around $200,000 per quarter for at least the first year, tapering off thereafter. Congratulations.




P.S. Tell Uncle Tim that I'm earning my keep.

I've had Bob on a small retainer for years, mostly because he just amazes me. He has no background in these kinds of entertainment negotiations, but has taken to them like a fish to water. He is one fierce negotiator, and a sweetheart at the same time. It's so nice to know that you have an advocate, someone on your side. When Andrew overdosed on drugs, the police tried to blame that on Kenny, Jason and especially on me based on our sexual orientation. Bob went after them with a vengeance. I have no idea exactly what he said or did, but suddenly the police got very friendly and the investigation became very civilized. I've seen him in these music negotiations. He is quite remarkable.

"College fund?" I ask.

Kenny nods. "These kids are going to be way overeducated," he giggles.

"That's fine. It's just a place to keep `extra' money. So, are you floating anything else?"

"Yeah. We've got two other songs out there making the rounds. Sarah McLachlan is looking at one, and Faith Hill, believe it or not."

"Nothing with Brittney? Nothing with Mariah?"

Kenny laughs. "No," he replies. You know what Kevin would say right now..."

"Yeah. `Yukkie...yukkie...yukkie...'" I scream.


"How's the series going? How's Dark Angel?"

"It's going really well. Jason has expanded on the initial theme that he wrote for the game, the theme he used for the Cheryl Crowe song. He's inverted it so that it sounds...different, but you subliminally know it's the same theme. It's really, really cool. Dinh has been integrating it into the software at strategic points. Jason says that it's sort of Wagnerian. What did he call it? A leitmotif. The theme was written originally for the character of Mina, the sorcerer's daughter. So anytime we bring her in, we sort of foreshadow her with a variation on her theme. It's actually pretty cool. Jason's working on music for several other characters. I don't think this foreshadowing has ever been done in any structured way in the game world before. This'll be a first. And Dinh is having a blast with it.

"And, how's Dinh?"

Kenny giggles. "He's fine," he says, non-committally.

Kenny has made an art-form of being evasive, and if you don't know him well, he's really, really good at it. But if you do know him well, what you listen for are those instances when he's just too...breezy. When he just seems to glide past a question with absolutely no inflection, it's then that you know there's a story to tell.

"How's Dinh?" I ask again, my eyes narrowing. He knows instantly that he's been caught.

"Well, umm...the story is sort of changing. He's finding life as part of a threesome to be sort of...challenging."


"Do you remember when we were in Hawaii, and I was sort of...miffed that you were married to Jason, but not to me? It's sort of like that. They've had some...growing pains in the relationship."

"What kind of growing pains?"

Kenny pauses and thinks, trying, I suppose, to figure out how to describe it. "There's sort of a politics built into any relationship, but especially a relationship involving more than two people. Who is jealous of whom? Dinh has had some of the same insecurities I had about your relation with Jason. I mean, you and he had been together eight months before I came onto the scene, but in Dinh's case, the problem is worse, because Gary and Nathan have been together forever. So, he's felt a little insecure about his relationship with Gary. For a while, he wasn't quite sure how he fit in. But, it's the other side of the equation that's been worse, I think. And this is something we never faced because you and Jason were very secure with each other. That's not necessarily true with Gary and Nathan, at least not yet, given the addition of Dinh to their family. So, when Dinh and Gary make love...umm...by themselves, for example, it...umm...tends to make Nathan a little...jealous. And, if Nathan and Dinh get too `chummy', go off shopping by themselves, go to the beach by themselves, it makes Gary a little...jealous. And, then, if Gary and Nathan get too...tight...too `exclusive', it makes Dinh jealous. It's an interesting dynamic."

"I guess. It sounds to me like it's time for a dinner party and some serious counseling with Gary. Maybe I'll do this on the pretense of showing Gary our little ballerina, our Kevin, in action." I giggle to myself. Yeah, this'll work.

Kenny has a class, and takes himself off to school, and I call Gary, inviting them for dinner the day after tomorrow. That's Jason's night to cook, which is good because food shouldn't be the issue. I don't want anything experimental. I want something sure-fire, and Jason is nothing if not sure-fire. I get a shopping list from him, and head off to Ranch 99, the local Asian supermarket, and pick up what he needs – bitter melon, sprouted soy beans, ground pork, wood ears, shitakes, halibut steaks, snap peas, tofu, and a raft of other stuff. This is going to be a simple meal, he says, nothing fancy – country cooking. Perfect. The food shouldn't be the star of the show this time.

And, I get Kevin primed. He's going to give a little performance. He's been practicing a routine to Beethoven's Pathétique (the Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor). I don't know anything at all about dance, but I do know that Kevin looks really cute dancing to this piece, and the piece itself is breathtaking. Jason says it's a chestnut, but I love it anyway, Jason be damned. Kevin is initially freaked that I've arranged this performance, but I assure him that it's just Uncle Gary and Uncle Nathan. It's a friendly audience. "I just want to show you off, sweetie." He giggles and agrees.


...and, when the time comes, Kevin executes the piece to perfection. It's a very short routine, all of maybe eight minutes. It's designed to give him a series of steps that he can learn and execute in a coherent way. It's a training piece. But, he does it so well. There are pirouettes, pliés, battements foudus, fouettés, and all kinds of other moves that I cannot recognize to save my life, but Kevin can. And when his teacher tells him to do one of those, he does it – on cue, like a trained seal. This routine is adorable. He leaps, spins, and spends most of the routine dancing on his toes. I have no idea how he does that, but he does. Gary and Nathan are very impressed. "Wow, sweetie, that was amazing," Nathan screams, hugging Kevin oh, so tight. Gary ruffles his hair, and then Jason, who's been playing the piano for this piece, takes him along to the kitchen for some pineapple before dinner.


I've already poured out some Scotch for Gary, and Nathan has a cup of tea. "How's Dinh?" I ask, breezily.


In many ways I'm conversationally like Kenny, or, probably more accurately, he's like me. I have an agenda for this conversation, and so what I do is extract every bit of inflection from that initial question. I want it to sound completely casual, a point of vague curiosity, and for those who don't know me well, that's just how it sounds. Gary, on the other hand, knows instantly that he's being probed. But we're good friends, and I have the sense that he wants to talk about this with someone...safe. He looks at Nathan and smiles. "It actually hasn't been clean sailing," he says. "It was naïve of me to expect that we could bring someone new into the relationship with no impact, but I guess I was hoping that our relationship could be like yours, and that we could bring Dinh into it with no...strife."


"What makes you think we had no `strife'?" I ask, again, too casually.


Gary is visibly surprised. "Did you have problems?"


"Umm...yeah...early on. Like you, Jason and I were married, and that made things initially awkward for Kenny. He was pretty jealous of Jason, both personally and professionally. He felt that I loved Jason more than I loved him. He felt...inferior. The `second wife' syndrome. And, because he wasn't especially good at exposing his feelings, I had no idea that's how he felt. I had no idea that I wasn't showing him love in a way that was meaningful to him. Jason, on the other hand, was perfectly comfortable with the relationship because I knew how to love him, but he was no better than I was at exposing his feelings to Kenny. Kenny felt unloved, and it took a week's worth of fairly-intense introspection on the part of all three of us to solve that problem. If we hadn't, I think Kenny would probably have left us, and if he had, I suspect it would have destroyed the relationship between Jason and me. Your situation is almost more serious than ours was. When Kenny joined us, Jason and I had only been together for eight months. You guys have been together for a lot longer. Dinh's got to feel like an interloper."


Gary is thoughtful. "What did you do?" he finally asks.


"You mean, beyond the usual?" I ask with a laugh.


Gary laughs. "Yeah. I'm sure it had something to do with that damned razor strop of yours. But, what else?"


"I got Jason and Kenny to make a list of the ten top reasons they loved each other, and then to disclose those reasons to each other in a creative way," I say with a laugh. "For you guys, though, it sounds like it's a little more complex. It sound like, maybe, you're a little threatened by Dinh's relationship with Nathan, and Nathan is a little threatened by your relationship with Dinh, and poor Dinh just feels a little...alone. Why'd you want him in the relationship in the first place?"


Both Nathan and Gary are silent for several minutes. Nathan is the first to speak. "I want him because I admire the relationship between Kenny and Jason. There's camaraderie there. I want that sense of connection, of brotherhood. I want someone to...umm...care for."


"And I want him," Gary says, "because Nathan wants him, and because he's very sweet."


"You don't sound especially committed to him, Gary."


"Initially, I wasn't. Now I am. I really love him."


"And, how does knowing that make you feel, Nathan, the fact that Gary really loves him?"


Nathan thinks for many seconds. "A little threatened, I guess."




Again there's a long pause. "This sounds really stupid. It makes me feel like Gary loves me less, like I'm not `everything' to him."


"Were you ever `everything' to him? If you have to be everything to him, why aren't you jealous of me?"


Long, long pause. "You're not having sex with him."


"I have. But, ultimately, what's sex got to do with it? Is Gary not making love to you often enough?"


"No, it's not that. It's that we're not...exclusive."


"And...?" Long, long pause. "Do you love Dinh?" I ask Nathan.


"Yes!" he says emphatically.


"Gary, do you love Dinh?"




"Do you love each other?"


Gary and Nathan turn and look into each other's eyes, and Gary reaches forward and kisses him. "Passionately!" Gary replies.


"So, where's the problem? The fact that you both love Dinh doesn't diminish your love for each other, does it? If anything, it should enhance it. I love Jason and I love Kenny. They're different people. I love them for different reasons. Kenny is my adventurous husband, and Jason is my calm and quiet husband. That's an oversimplification, by the way. I think Kenny and I both get satisfaction from taking care of Jason, and I think Jason likes to be taken care of. That's the relationship you said you wanted with Dinh, Nathan, and I know for a fact that's what Dinh is craving. You guys just have to consciously know what your roles are in this relationship, and you need to allow each other to play those roles. You need to allow each other to love Dinh for the reasons you love him without recrimination and without assuming that your relationship is somehow lessened because your partner also loves someone else. You need to nurture him. Are you spanking Dinh regularly, Gary?"


"Umm...no. I haven't actually spanked him for...weeks."


"Why not?"


"It...umm...seemed to make Nathan...jealous."


"Jeeze, guys, it sounds like both of you should be spanked."


Gary and Nathan look at each other, both shamefaced. And then Gary looks up at me and says something that truly shocks me. "Okay," he says. "Would you do it?"


"Do what?" I ask, to be clear, because I'm having trouble believing this request.


"Would you spank us?"


I look at him for a long, long moment, and then nod. "Okay," I say, "but not without Dinh. He gets spanked, too."


Gary and Nathan both nod. Gary did this for me once. After Andrew's overdose, I was a mess. I was convinced that his death was my fault. I'd been an idiot to believe that he could beat his drug habit without a lot of counseling. I was an idiot to believe that Jason, Kenny and I could cure him. I was just flat-out an idiot. I couldn't get past the...guilt. I called Gary and told him what I needed, and he beat me near to death...with a tawse. I hate the tawse as much as Jason hates the razor strop, and that's why I asked Gary to use it. And...it just felt...so...good. I felt so much relief. It wasn't so much atonement that I needed then; it was something else. I think I needed someone else to recognize my...guilt. Jason and Kenny were trying to be so comforting, and it just made me feel...worse. I needed someone to recognize, as I did, that I was complicit in his death, and the only way they could do that was to really...beat me. It was ultimately very satisfying. It brought me back to life.


I pull out my cell phone and dial the house number. Jason answers from the kitchen. "Could you send Dinh into the office, please?"


"Okay," Jason says.


In about thirty seconds, Dinh knocks on the door, opens it and comes in. "Jason said you wanted to see me?" I motion him over to Gary, who pulls him onto his lap.


"We've had some confessions here today, Dinh. Both Gary and Nathan have confessed to some jealousies...over you. They both say they love you, and both want you to stay with them. But, when you get close to Nathan, it makes Gary jealous, and when you get close to Gary, it makes Nathan jealous. Is that a fair summation, guys?"


Both Gary and Nathan nod, sorrowfully.


"A threesome will never work that way. A threesome is built on trust and love. In a threesome, the love Nathan has for you should actually make his relationship with Gary stronger, and the love Gary has for you should make his relationship with Nathan stronger. Strength in numbers. You're all different people. You should all be concentrating on your individuality and the things you love about each other rather than assuming that love for one is diminished by love for another. They're ashamed that they haven't been able to do this. How have you felt in your new relationship?"


This question puts Dinh completely on the spot, and it takes him many seconds to respond, but, to his credit, he does respond, and his answer seems candid. "I...umm...sort of feel...left out lately, like I don't...belong. I didn't know why until now. I love them both, and don't want to...umm...leave...but I don't want to...break them up, either."


Gary squeezes Dinh. "We don't want you to leave. We want you to stay. We both love you. We really do. We apparently lack confidence in our own love. We..." And then Gary starts to break up, which is something I've rarely seen him do, and Nathan is in the same condition.


I jump in. "We're going to have a group atonement. When is this going to happen, Gary? It can't be today."


"Tomorrow afternoon?"


"Fine. I'll come to your place. I'm going to spank all of you, all together. Between now and then you each have homework. Each of you needs to make a list of ten things you love about your two partners, the ten most important reasons that you love them. The list should be handwritten, not typed into Word. Each item should begin "I love you, Nathan or Dinh or Gary because you're..." Feel free to pretend you're in the fourth grade and get artsy. Extra credit for really nice paper. Points will be deducted for illegibility. Once you have your lists, memorize them – not word for word, but enough so you can remember what they are and talk about them. Be prepared to turn in the lists at the start of class. And, that will be at 3pm?"


"Right," Gary replies. "Thanks, Professor," he says with a tearful giggle as he get up out of his chair, holding Dinh in his arms. Nathan, too, is up, and moves to Gary. They hug, all three of them, Dinh in the middle. They're all three in tears. They hug for maybe three minutes, swaying slowly from side to side. Very sweet.


"And, by the way," I say as they prepare to leave, "no sex tonight. I want you a little...hungry." Gary nods.


At 3:10 the next day I arrive at Gary and Nathan's. Dinh answers the door when I knock and, to my surprise, he's naked and shaved. Nathan bounces out of the kitchen and calls to Gary, who comes from his office. "You guys ready?" I ask. "Have you done your homework?" They all nod.

We make our way to the communal bedroom, and they hand in their work. Gary's lists are nearly illegible with words crossed out and misspellings. It's written on notebook paper torn from one of those spiral-bound notebooks. Nathan's lists are carefully printed on plain white laser-printer paper, and Dinh's lists are written out in really beautiful handwriting on card stock with hearts and flowers and little animals hand-drawn in the margins. I motion to Gary to strip, which he does, waiting on the bed as I leaf through the homework. Finally, I look into their faces. "This is a replay of an exercise Kenny, Jason and I did years ago when we were having problems similar to the ones you're having now. I want Dinh in the middle of the bed, Nathan on his right, and Gary on his left. I want you all scrunched together and holding each other. Get your arms up over your neighbor's torso. Pull together. Tighter. That's it. The object of the exercise is to find out why each of you is important to the others, and therefore important to the relationship. We're going to move from right to left, starting with Nathan. Nathan will turn to face Dinh, and Dinh to face Nathan, and Nathan will extemporize on one of the reasons he loves Dinh, starting with "I love you Dinh because you're..." Then it'll be Dinh's turn to speak to Nathan, and then to speak to Gary. Finally it'll be Gary's turn to speak to Dinh. Then we'll start again with Nathan. We'll do this ten times, and then change the order of your bodies so Gary and Nathan can face each other and go through their list items. Clear?"

Everyone nods.

"Just two other stipulations: First, after each item, I'll have a question for you which you must answer truthfully, and if your answer is not to my liking, you'll get a stroke of my ever-trusty razor strop. Second, when we're done with all of the list items, I'll have additional strokes for you based on the quality of your homework, and I can pretty well guarantee, based on what I've seen so far, that Gary is going to walk away from this with one sore ass. So," I say, pulling my razor strop from my bag, "Nathan, you're up."

Nathan turns to face Dinh, who is already facing Nathan, and just as I wanted, their lips are nearly touching. Nathan stares into Dinh's eyes. "I love you Dinh because you're so studious. You're so diligent, and so smart. Kenny admires you for your perseverance and your hard work, and so do I. I love you for that." Dinh is close to tears, and Nathan is choking by the end.

"Kiss him, Nathan. Take your time. You can kiss for as long as you want." And they do kiss, a long, sensuous kiss. Finally they break. "Have you ever told Dinh this before?" I ask.

"No," he chokes.

"Wrong answer," I say, and lay into him with the first stroke of the razor strop, a very hefty stroke that draws a gasp.

"Dinh, your turn."

Still facing Nathan. "I love you Nathan because you're so natural. You're always yourself. You never try to hide who you are. I mean, you're pretty obviously gay, and you just don't seem to care who knows it. I so love that about you, how comfortable you are in your own skin. I wish I was more like that. It's something I want to emulate." Then he leans forward and kisses Dinh, another really good kiss.

"Have you ever told Nathan this before?" I ask.

"No," he says, earning himself a stroke.

"Dinh, your turn to talk to Gary."

"I love you Gary," he says, facing Gary, "because of your quiet introspection. You're very logical, and very calming, very thoughtful. When I come to you with a problem or question, you work through it with me methodically, giving me a model of how I should be. You seem to calm me just by your presence. I love that about you." And then they kiss, Dinh drawing another stroke afterwards.


"I love you Dinh because you're so kind, so considerate. You say I'm logical and methodical. You're very quietly emotive, and I don't think you realize that about yourself. I love you because I think you'd do nearly anything for me, and enjoy doing it because it was for me. I don't think you'd weigh your options, I think you'd just do it. So thoughtful. I love that about you and would like to be more like that. I guess it's loyalty. I'm not sure. I've been trying to put my finger on it."

"Jesus Christ, Gary," I say. "It's love." He nods, choking on tears, and kisses Dinh. Then he gets a stroke for the wrong answer.

On and on we go, working our way through their forty list items, and then, shifting Dinh to the left so that Gary and Nathan are facing each other, through their twenty more. By the end of it, a long three hours, they're all of them in tears, both because of the emotional release of hearing why they're important to each other, and because only rarely could any one of them claim to have said any of these things to each other before. Hence, their asses are very red, having repeatedly answered my questions incorrectly. And, a couple of those asses are about to get redder.

"Guys, your homework was intended to be a tribute to your loved ones. I therefore wanted it handwritten, neat, and if possible, creative. I wanted it to be something each of you could frame. Dinh, your lists are stunning, and I think will be something these guys will cherish forever. Nathan, yours are fine, nothing special, but they meet requirements, and the sentiments are certainly heartfelt. Gary, your lists are abysmal, and when we're done here, I think you owe it to your guys to rewrite them. They're really embarrassing. As such, Dinh, you're done. Nathan gets five additional strokes, and Gary, you're getting twelve. Very poor work." And with that, I apply the final strokes of this group spanking, leaving both Gary and Nathan in tears. All that's left is the closing lecture.

"You guys need to start talking to each other. I was shocked to discover how few of the things you love about each other you've ever communicated to each other. If you love someone, you need to tell him, and you need to not be threatened by the fact that the guys you love also love each other. The big revelation here is that you're all very different personalities, all worthy of being loved, but for different reasons. Gary is very introspective, very introverted. Nathan is very bubbly, very extroverted, and Dinh falls somewhere in the middle of that continuum. And you express love in very different ways. Gary does it with flowers and moral support, Nathan with food and giggles, and Dinh with quiet perseverance and loyalty. So, get on with it. Love each other."

Finally, I turn to Dinh. "Gary spanks Nathan regularly, I believe."

Nathan nods.

"Do you want him to spank you regularly, because I think he hasn't been doing that recently? How do you feel about being spanked?"

Dinh is flushed. Unlike Jason and Kenny, he's probably never talked much about this, and so is a bit...embarrassed. "I...umm...like...it. It...sort of...helps me...feel better. I'm not really sure...why. I'd...umm...like him to do it."

"Dereliction of duty, Brother Gary! If your ass wasn't so raw, that alone would earn you several more strokes. As the alpha in this relationship, it's your job to give these guys what they need."

"I know," he says tearfully, and then hugs Dinh. "I'm sorry!" Dinh hugs him back, and then Nathan gets into the act, hugging both of them.

"So, last night I said no sex. Did you follow orders?"

They all nod.

"Good. I'm going home now. It's Kenny's night to cook, which means it's going to be something eclectic, and really spicy. And, because this isn't a concert night, it means that Jason will play me something, a Beethoven sonata, maybe, that's bound to have me in tears. Given that you're all already naked, and a little...needy, I'd go at it if I were you. You can all have dinner later. I'll show myself out," I giggle.

Everyone laughs, but Gary still follows me to the door. "Thanks, babe. I think we needed the old `Dutch Uncle' to set us straight."

"Well, maybe not `straight' but `linear'. Just be good to each other Gare, and, if I can suggest... I'd have sex as a threesome for a while, for many months at least. I think that might alleviate some of the jealousy. I know it's a little more complicated in your case than in mine. You have two confirmed bottoms in there, so a sandwich isn't really practical. I have Kenny, who swings both ways, but you'll come up with something," I say with a wink.

He nods, and hugs me, and I leave, hoping for the best.


Two months later, Faith Hill has signed the contract, and Kenny and Jason have another letter from Bob Titus, and, more important, another advance check, this one for $950,000, which they promptly deposit into the "college fund". That's good news. But, the better news is that Kevin has another ballet recital. I asked him a month ago which kind of dance he liked better, ballroom or ballet, and he told me that ballet was a lot more fun. I was, quite frankly, shocked. "Why, Kev?"

"Because there's more jumping and...umm...because I really like my teacher."

"You like him better than Mr. Rutherford?" his ballroom teacher.



"Mr. Balaban is more...umm...patient. He's just really, really nice."

Hmmmmm... The day after that conversation, I walk to the ballet studio to chat with Mr. Balaban. I haven't talked with him in several weeks, not since Kevin's last recital. "How's he doing?" I ask.

"This boy is phenomenal. He is a very, very gifted dancer. He is performing at the level of a teenager, a teenager who has studied for years."

"He adores you, you know."

He smiles. "Yes, he is also very sweet. We have become good friends."

"Umm...I've been thinking of pulling him out of his ballroom classes because he tells me he likes ballet so much better. If I do that, could...umm...you take him on Tuesdays and Thursdays?"

Balaban's eyes light up. "YES!" he says. "That would be perfect. I have a girl that I have been working with on Tuesdays and Thursdays, much as I have been working with Kevin on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She is also very talented and, I believe, only a year older than he is. Such a plan would give him a dancing partner. We could begin to choreograph some duets. This would be ideal."

"Good. That's what I'm going to do, then. So, he'll be here tomorrow. I don't know Mr. Rutherford, his ballroom teacher, very well, but you may not get any more recommendations from him for ballet instruction based on this," I say with a snort.

"Do not worry," he says, "I know Mike Rutherford very well. I will make it up to him."

I laugh, and shake his hand. This is ideal. If Kevin had said he liked ballroom as much as he liked ballet, we'd have stuck with the status quo, but his ballroom classes are in Campbell, 20 minutes away. So one of us has to sit there for the whole lesson. Ballet is a two minute walk from our house. Perfect.

And a month later, when we see the recital, the wisdom of my decision is confirmed. He is just fucking spectacular. Jason, who has seen a lot more dance than I have, is amazed, but even I'm amazed. Kevin is graceful, and poised, and having so much fun. Mr. Balaban sits with us during the performance because he knows I have no idea what I'm seeing. "Notice the lines," he whispers, "and he is on point for that entire movement. And he is ebullient." And then Kevin leaps across the stage from the side, even more energetically than last time.

"Oh, fuck, the boy can fly!" I say, completely oblivious to where I am. I earn several dirty looks from other parents, and a chuckle from Mr. Balaban.

"Yes," he says. "He does have a flair for the dramatic."

Published first at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nemo-stories/