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 55

By: Tim Keppler

Nathan having left us, we're back in the same boat we were in before. Jason is in San Francisco nearly every day, and Kenny and Dinh are at the University. I work in downtown San Jose. We need someone to take care of the boys. I'm simply not comfortable with the day care arrangements we've had up to now. Kai now is in kindergarten, and Kevin is in second grade. We need someone to make their lunches, and to pick them up from school long about 1:30pm, and then to watch them until we get home at around 7pm. We need a nanny. And where do we look for such a person? You guessed it: Craigslist.

I begin my search soon after Nathan leaves us. I'm not desperate. We can juggle schedules for a while if we have to. But this can't go on forever. Between us, Kenny and I manage to interview probably a dozen people, but no one is outstanding. We don't find anyone we'd trust with our children. Either they're too flighty, or too controlling, or too...creepy. One woman takes one look at us and flees. "Three fathers?" she says, very huffily. That's it. It's non-traditional. She wants no part of us, and, quite frankly, we want no part of her. It's good to find these things out before they do major damage to your children. Better sooner than later.

The agreement is that we have to have consensus. We have to be unanimous. And, by unanimous, I don't mean just Kenny, Jason and me. I mean Kenny, Jason, Kevin, Kai and me. We're willing to take our time because we want someone we trust and someone the boys like. But, after a month we still haven't found anyone. Then I change directions because I realize that I've been an idiot. I've only been interviewing women because I had this stupid, stupid notion that only women are nurturing. But here we are, a household of men. What the fuck was I thinking? So, I start to interview men as well, and the third guy is amazing. He's smart. He's personable. He feels very secure, like he'd kill someone for messing with our boys. He seems very...compassionate, very caring. And he likes to play...marbles. He's blond, and about 5'9", probably 22. Very cute. He makes it through Kenny and Jason and me, and then he makes it past the boys, who both seem to really like him. Finally, he's back to me for the final hiring interview. He's set off my gaydar, so when I meet him again, I just ask outright. "You know about us. It's pretty clear what we are. Kev and Kai are Kenny's nephews, and my adoptive sons. Kenny, Jason, Dinh and I consider ourselves to be married. In the case of Jason and me, the state of California would agree – for now. We need someone who will respect our relationships and reinforce them with our sons. We need someone who will love Kai and Kevin, and nurture their normalcy. Are you...umm...gay?"

He smiles. "Yes," he says. "That's why I've stuck through these endless interviews. This would be sort of an ideal job for me. I have three younger brothers. One is five, one is ten, and one is twelve. I don't see them much, but I really like kids. I will protect yours and keep them safe, and hopefully the three of us can have some fun."

I smile. "So, how do you want to be compensated?"

He looks confused.

"I mean, there are a number of different ways we could work this out. We can pay you a straight salary, either in cash or by check, or we could combine a salary with room and board. If we do a room and board arrangement, you're probably going to have to assume that you'll be working more hours because, based the boys' reaction to you so far, they're going to pester you constantly to play with them. You haven't really been pestered until you've been pestered by Kevin. He's relentless."

"I hadn't really thought about the possibility of room and board," he replies, thoughtfully. "It would be incredibly convenient. I've been living with an aunt in Redwood City, but I take classes at night at San Jose State. You're pretty close aren't you?"

"Seven minutes, door to door. Kenny and Dinh both teach there. They're there every day. Where do your folks live? Are they local?"

"They're in Santa Clara."

I'm a little confused. "And, yet you live with an aunt in Redwood City, probably 20 minutes further away from school?"

"Yeah, my parents and I aren't close."

"I see."

"If we did the room and board arrangement, how much would that reduce my actual salary?"

"To be fair, I don't think it should reduce it at all because, as I say, you're going to be basically on call to Kevin and Kai, and they will...call. I was thinking of $25 an hour for seven hours a day. Does that seem reasonable to start out? If we find you're putting in more hours than that on average, we can renegotiate."

"That plus room and board?" he says, incredulous.

I nod.

"Yes, please. And, living here, I'll also save big time on gas for my car. That's a great deal."

"So, to be clear, you'll be here at the house between 12pm and 7pm. You'll be responsible for feeding the boys lunch and for taking them to and from school, and for getting them bathed before dinner. In the afternoon, after school, they'll want you to play with them, and we'll want you to provide them with a role model, someone to reinforce a positive view of who we are, which means you'll need to be out to them. I'm actually delighted that you're gay. They need to see as many different images of gay people as possible. We want them to think of being gay as utterly natural, which it is. Alright so far?"

He nods, smiling. "Absolutely."

"Are you out to your family, by the way?"

He nods. "I'm out to everyone."

"Perfect! As to use of the house, feel free to treat it as your home. You can have friends over, and even overnight guests. Please stay out of our bedroom and my office unless there's some compelling reason to be there, such as chasing a wet and naked Kai though the house after he's hopped out of the bath tub. He does nearly every evening, tracking water everywhere. Be warned. And, you'll find that Kai likes to nap under my desk, so when he suddenly disappears, that's the first place to look."

He nods, laughing.


He looks confused.

"Do you do drugs? Any drugs?"

He shakes his head.

"That's the deal breaker. If I ever find drugs in the house, they'll be yours or your friends' because we don't do them. If I find them, you're out. I'm pretty pathological about this. We've seen our share of drug problems. They destroyed the life of someone we all loved very much. We'll give you the larger of the two spare bedrooms, which means you'll share a bathroom with the boys. That should be motivation to exert a bit of authority. Keeping the bathroom neat with the boys around will requires some discipline and creativity, and that's good. You shouldn't just be their friend, though that's an important part of the job. But, keep in mind that you're working for me, not for them. Kai is not allowed to cross the street by himself, for example. If he does, he gets a swat, and I'll expect you to swat him. I expect you to be as much a disciplinarian as a buddy. The objective is to keep them safe as well as to help us raise them. Okay?"

"Yes," he replies enthusiastically.

"One more issue. You already know that, as a foursome, we're non-traditional in our family structure. The four of us live together, sleep together, and quite often make love together. We're openly affectionate inside and outside the house. Is that a problem for you?"

"No," he says, shaking his head, a little confused.

"Is nudity a problem for you?"

Now he looks very confused.

"I'm not asking you to get naked, but sometimes Kenny, Dinh or Jason might be naked in the house. Is that a problem?"

He thinks for a moment, and then shakes his head.

"Good. Finally, you need to know that Dinh, Kenny and Jason are...submissive...to me. Sometimes they get...spanked. Sometimes you'll hear that...through the bedroom door. Is that a problem?"

This question throws him a bit, but I notice the crotch of his jeans has expanded a bit. "No," he finally says.

"Excellent. The last issue is related to...pajamas."

Now he looks utterly lost.

"The boys hate them. They shuck off pajamas faster than anyone I've ever seen. Every evening we dress them in pajamas at bedtime, and they're always naked when they wake up in the morning. And probably five mornings a week they wake up in our bed, having wandered in at some point in the middle of the night. If you're rooming with us, it's more than likely that they'll wind up in your bed occasionally, so don't be freaked. It's happened to any number of house guests. Don't be surprised. So, when do you want to move in?"

"Umm...would tomorrow be too soon?"

"No, tomorrow's fine. I'll get you a key. I need to be honest with you, for the first couple of months we're going to be watching you pretty closely. I usually work downtown, but I'm planning to work mostly from home for a while so I can see how you interact with the boys, and when I'm not here, Kenny, Jason or Dinh will be. Think of it as a probationary period. We are, after all, entrusting you with our most valuable treasures, our children. We want to be sure we can trust you with them. I think we can, but I have to be sure."

He nods, solemnly. "I understand."

We've been in the living room all this time, sitting on the couch. At this point we stand, and I shake his hand, and then pull him into a hug. "Thanks," I say. "I'm looking forward to working with you, and I know the boys are excited about having a new...friend. You said you're taking classes at San Jose State. Do you have a major?"

"His major's music," Jason says, suddenly appearing in the doorway. "Kenny checked him out. He's a violinist, and from what we hear, a pretty good one, at least his teachers think so. He's got some Shostakovich in his repertory."

Peter – that's his name, Peter – looks shocked, and is even more shocked when Jason hands him his violin. "Play us some Shostakovich," Jason says.

Peter takes the violin, plucks the strings to ensure it's in tune, and begins to play a couple of pieces from Shostakovich's From Jewish Folk Poetry. From the first few notes I'm teary-eyed. These pieces are almost incidental music, but achingly beautiful, and Peter's rendering is credible. His pacing is a bit...odd, but his performance strikes me as...good. When he's finished the third piece, the Kolybal'naya or Lullaby, Jason, who's been sitting on the couch with his eyes closed, gets up and takes back the violin. "That was very nice. Your teachers are right. You are very good. But, supposing you'd sped it up a bit. Then it might have sounded like this." He plays the last piece again, and it is stellar. It is crisp, and the phrasing is perfect. It is liquid and just so...Jewish.

Peter is aghast. "You...umm...play the violin...really well."

I giggle, and Peter glances at me. Then he looks back at Jason. "Should I...umm...know you?"


"Probably not," Jason replies. "I don't tour or anything. I'm not really a soloist."


Peter nods. "What's your last name?" he asks.


"Leong," Jason says, matter-of-factly.

You can see the wheels turning, and then the gears click into place. "Jason Leong? You play for the San Francisco Symphony." This is not a question, but a revelation. "You're the...principal violinist for the San Francisco Symphony. Jesus Christ, I am so happy to meet you," he says, reaching for Jason's hand and nearly knocking the violin out of his grasp.

"Careful," Jason giggles. "This violin cost my humble employer $7 million. I don't think we want it lying in pieces on the floor."

Peter recoils like he's been bitten by a snake. "Jesus, I'm so sorry."

Jason smiles. "Want to play us something else?"


"What's the most complex piece of music you know?"

Peter thinks. "Paganini's Sonata in C major, the `Duo merveille'."


"Play that," Jason says, passing him back the violin, which he accepts almost reverently.


I just flat out have to get out of this room or I will scare this boy away. As soon as he begins to play the sonata, I make my way into the kitchen where I remain for the next hour as Jason moves through Peter's reparatory. To me, he seems to be pretty good, although I think he has pretty persistent pacing problems. Jason thinks he's quite good, and that a bit of work is all he'll need to become "elegant". And...Jason agrees to teach him. "Jesus Fucking Christ," I say. "We're paying him $25 an hour. He should be paying us!"


"Naaahhhh," Jason replies. "There aren't enough good violinists in this world. If I can help make one, that's worth it."




Peter moves in the following day. I failed to tell him that the room is fully furnished, so he's been looking for a used bed – on Craigslist of course. By the time he arrives, he's located one he's interested in. He just needs to measure the room to see what will fit. He walks in and turns on the light, and there before him is a queen-sized bed, night stands, a desk, a computer, and an over-stuffed chair. I just assumed he'd assume it was furnished. I mean I did bill it as the larger of the two guest bedrooms. How do you have a guest bedroom without any furniture? He comes and knocks on the office door, looking amazed.


"Is all the furniture included, and the computer?"


I'm confused. "You mean in your room?"




"Of course."


He's stunned. "Oh, my god," he finally says. "Isn't this too much? A furnished room, board, $25 per hour, and music lessons from a world-class musician..."


"Please take good care of our boys," I reply. "Please help us raise them in an environment that's nurturing and reinforces our values. If you do that, you're worth everything we give you."


He nods, and just as he does, Kai runs in and launches himself at Peter. Peter catches him in mid-air and flips him over, dangling him by the ankles. Kai is all giggles. Peter swings him over his shoulder and carries him out of the office. "Let's go get an apple," he says. I think this guy is going to work out really well.


In truth, Peter impresses us all in the course of the first two weeks. He's charming and really good with the boys. He has a knack for winning their devotion without giving an inch. When it's lunchtime, they eat. When it's bath time, they cooperate, and on the one occasion that Kai is found playing in the street – a cul-de-sac albeit – he gets his swat, and comes to me in tears. "What's wrong, sweetie?"

"Peter swatted me," he chokes.

"Why'd he do that?" I ask.

"I was...umm...in the street," he cries.

"Was that a good thing to do?"

"Noooo," he whines.

"What would I have done if I'd found you in the street?"

He pauses. "Swatted me harder."

"Probably. You know you're not supposed to be in the street, baby. You had that swat coming," I say, giving him a hug just as Peter gets to the door. "I think you owe Peter an apology."

Kai looks at his feet, and then walks over to Peter and says, "I'm sorry." Peter lifts him up, and twirls him around, and then stops dead, holding him aloft. "No playing in the street, Kai. Understand?" Kai nods and Peter twirls him again, eliciting a peal of laughter. And then they're gone, and I'm back to work. I think this will be an ideal match.

And then one day, for the first time I realize later, I find Peter in the hallway near the bathroom in just a t-shirt. He's always worn dress shirts, I suddenly realize. Long sleeves. When I see his wrists, I realize why. On each wrist he has two vertical slashes that run right along the veins. They've long since healed, but the scars are red and swollen – evident. I've never seen these before because the long-sleeve shirts have concealed them. He knows the minute he sees my face, the minute he realizes where I'm looking, that I've seen the scars, and, to his credit, he doesn't try to cover them. He simply greets me...and waits.

I gesture to his wrists. "What are those about?" I ask. These are the only things I've seen that concern me in the three weeks he's been with us.

"Let's go to the living room," he says, leading the way and plunking down on the sofa when we get there. I sit down next to him, turning slightly so I can look into his face. "You remember I said that my parents live in Santa Clara. You were surprised. You were surprised that I was commuting from Redwood City, from my aunt's house, when I could have been living in Santa Clara, a much shorter commute."

I nod.

"This is sort of why," he says, turning his hands over, palms upward, so the scars are clearly visible. "I realized I was gay pretty early, when I was about nine. Well, at least I realized I was different when I was nine. I didn't admit it to myself until I was maybe twelve, and I `came out' when I was fifteen. I came out to my parents. It was a rainy night in December. Like a lot of kids, I imagine, I'd screwed up the courage to go pick up a magazine – Freshmen. I stole it from a book store because I wasn't sure they'd sell it to me. I actually left the money for it on the cashier's counter, but it was still basically stealing. I took it home, and I poured through it, and for weeks I looked at the pictures and started to feel...better about myself. My parents are pretty religious. I knew they'd have a problem with my sexuality, but I'd started to make plans for how I'd tell them. Those plans never happened, because my Mom found that copy of Freshmen under my mattress on that afternoon in December, the stupidest place I could ever have hidden it. She found it, she showed it to my Dad and my sister, and then they confronted me with it. They had the minister from their church with them. Back then, I would have said the minister from our church, but not anymore. He was there to bolster their confidence, I think, and he'd brought a guy from the youth ministry. It was sort of an intervention. They all wanted me to go to one of those christian therapy camps where they try to make you straight. I knew that was never going to work, and so I refused to go. They didn't force me. Instead, they let the word leak out that I was gay, or as they said `homosexual'. Who spread the word? I'm not really sure. My sister? The youth minister? Who knows? But one week later, I had no friends and was getting beaten up and spat on regularly. This was my answer," he says, holding up his wrists. "This was my solution. I did it at the house of the only friend I had left, a girl I'd known since kindergarten, a girl I'm still friends with, really good friends with. Luckily, I wasn't very good at it. I missed the major veins and ended up slicing right down along side of them. I did it with a single-edged razor blade, one of those blades you use to chip paint off a window you've just painted. The pain and shock was so severe that I passed out before I could do a better job. Her Mom found me in their garage. She rushed me to the hospital – herself. She didn't call an ambulance. She just bundled me into her car and drove me there herself as I bled all over her upholstery."

"Neither my parents nor my sister or brothers ever came to see me in the hospital. In fact, I haven't seen them since. My friend's Mom came, and talked to me about what I'd done and why I'd done it. I told her. She didn't seem to care that I was gay. She hugged me. And then my Aunt came, and I told her, too. She didn't care either. She took me home with her when I was discharged, after I'd confessed to a psychologist about why I'd done what I'd done. I just couldn't live with it at the time, couldn't live with myself. I thought I was the worst kind of slime, and I was so ashamed. It just felt so bad to be outed to everyone I knew, to have my life exposed with no control over what was said or who was told. It just felt really bad to be me. I wanted to die. But, with the help of the psychologist, and my Aunt, I started to feel better about myself. I changed schools, and maybe six months later, came out on my own terms. It felt really good, really liberating. Do you want me to leave?" he asks.

I give him a long and pensive look. "No. I think you've been punished enough, punished for nothing you did wrong. You're okay now? You're...stable?"

He nods.

"Good. I have to tell you that these kinds of stories just infuriate me. Kenny had similar issues with his parents, although he didn't try to kill himself as a result. When May, his sister, realized she was dying, her only wish was that her parents never get their hands on Kevin or Kai, and that's been a priority for Kenny as well. He doesn't want their minds polluted by the kind of bigotry their grandparents espouse. Me, I'm a lot more vindictive than Kenny. His motives for preventing contact between the boys and their grandparents are constructive. Mine are not. I'm their adoptive father, and I have a lot of money to spend to prevent those people from ever seeing these boys. I'm willing to forgive bigots who ultimately come to their senses, but these people will never change their minds. Them I cannot forgive. I realize that I said that you should treat our house as your home, and I meant it. But please don't, in a moment of madness, ever allow your parents to come here. That I will not tolerate."

He nods.


After two and a half months, Peter has become basically a member of the family, and I was right – he's with the boys a lot more than the seven hours a day we contracted for. They pester him constantly to play with them, and mostly he succumbs. I'm not inclined to renegotiate his contract, because we sort of already have. Jason is spending at least an hour a day with him, refining his violin technique and improving his performance on the piano. These lessons alone from someone of Jason's caliber are worth every dime of his salary and more. The good news is that Jason is really pleased with Peter's progress. "He's really coming along," he says to me one day. "He has the raw talent to become really good, probably concert quality. He can hear the music, and he's very creative in his interpretations. It's his technique that needs work. That's comparatively easy." Jason is getting a lot of gratification out of working with him, and ultimately that's all I really care about. And it's good for Jason's career. Fine musicians have always had a role in training others. It's a necessary component of their resumιs, and Tilson Thomas is delighted to discover that Jason has a serious student. He's not delighted that that student has come from San Jose State, but when he hears him play after a couple months' work, he is as convinced as Jason is that there's a lot of raw talent there.

So, after two and a half months, a confluence of events occurs. Jason needs to be in Toronto for a concert. He'll be gone for three days – the same three days of an important international gaming convention in Dallas at which both Kenny and Dinh are scheduled to speak. And two of those three days have me in New York at a conference on gay youth and coming-out issues. Three months ago, the question would have been who's not going? Who's staying home with the boys? Or, is Mrs. Leong available to baby sit, although three days with these boys would surely be exhausting for a woman pushing 80. Today, however, we're all very comfortable with Peter, so I ask him if he's willing to baby sit for those three days.

"Of course," he says. "Isn't that what you're paying me for?"

"Yes," I respond. "I just want to make sure that you were comfortable with that responsibility."

"I am," he says, nodding.

I know I'll seem a little...anal about this, but years ago, when I used to manage programmers at IBM, if you had to be away, and your boss had to be away at the same time, you needed to leave a letter of intent authorizing whomever you left in charge to take actions on your behalf. I call Bob Titus, my attorney, and ask if I should provide Peter with something similar. "Absolutely," he says. "Without it, he may be prevented from carrying out your wishes, for caring for the boys. Be clear and specific about what you authorize him to do, and equally clear about anything he's not authorized to do. Sign it, and have Kenny and Jason witness the signature." Bob, too, is a little bit anal, but that's one of the reasons I like him – all the i's are dotted, and the t's are crossed. He rarely leaves anything to chance.

And then the day comes, the departure date for Kenny, Jason, Dinh and me. We all hug the boys, and I get down into Kevin's face. "Take care of your little brother," I tell him. "He's your responsibility, Kev. And mind Peter. If he tells you to do something, do it. Okay?"

He nods, and hugs me again. And then we're gone, dispersed to the four corners of the globe...well, not quite, but it feels like it. This is our inaugural flight. I've rarely left the boys on their own without someone I really trust supervising them. And, I guess I trust Peter. I do. But not like I trust Kenny or Jason, not like I trust Mrs. Leong. Even Kathy, Robbie's mother, I'd known for years and years. I've known Peter for three months. Still, I do have confidence in him, and we have to do this sometime, and it's only three days, and...and...

Each evening I call and talk to both Kai and Kevin, and I realize from the conversations that both Kenny and Jason are doing the same thing. We're all checking in. We're all nervous. I'm not sure whether it was Kai's molestation that has us on edge, but that event is etched in the margins of my mind. I have no fear that Peter would ever do anything like that, but that event has made me a little paranoid. I like to connect with them every day to gauge their mood.

And, at the end of those three days, when the taxi drops me at the house and I roll my suitcase into the entryway, I am greeted by Peter who is carrying Kai on his shoulders. He is...a mess. He has a black eye and several other bruises on his face. And, I think he's limping a little.

"What the fuck happened to you?" I ask, incredulous.

"I...umm...got into a fight."

"With who...umm...whom?"

"Kai and I were hanging out in the Rose Garden. He was throwing bread crumbs to the birds in the fountain, and I was reading, and when I looked up, suddenly I didn't see him. So I started to scan the area, and then to run around, and I finally spotted him over by the rangers' station. He was with some guy, and was eating a Snickers bar. I ran over to them, and was pretty aggressive, I guess. I asked the guy what the fuck he was doing with Kai, and he didn't really have a good answer...actually he didn't have any answer. I called 911 on my cell phone, and that's when he punched me, twice, or maybe three times, and then he took off, ran like hell. The police came, really fast actually, and they took a description, but the guy was long gone.

I'm stunned, but happy that Peter was so responsible. I mean, there are any number of ways I could respond to this. I could rant and rave about how irresponsible it was for Peter ever to let Kai out of his sight, but truthfully, the Rose Garden is pretty tranquil. I would certainly have felt comfortable sitting on a bench reading while Kai was off feeding birds. The fact that he responded quickly, the minute he realized he didn't know where Kai was, says a lot. And his response was...measured, I think. Both of them are safe, though Peter is the worse for wear. My inclination, frankly, is to scream at Kai, to lecture him about going off with strangers, but I realize that he's probably entirely forgotten this incident by now. You have to punish young kids at the moment of misbehavior. If you wait, they won't have any idea what you're talking about. "I hope you gave Kai a good talking to," I say.

"Actually, I did more than that. If playing in the street in a cul-de-sac with no traffic is worthy of a swat, taking candy from strangers is too. I swatted him, and then we talked, we talked for maybe 10 minutes, and we've had several follow-up talks since then. I don't think he'll do this again. Will you?" he asks, looking up at the boy riding on his shoulders.

"No," Kai says, softly. "I'm sorry, Peter."

Peter lifts Kai off his shoulders and tosses him to me. Kai attaches himself to my neck and we hug. "Don't ever do that again, Kai. Don't ever go off with someone you don't know. Never!"

"I won't," he whispers.

Two hours later, Dr. Cohen arrives at my door to examine Peter. Minor contusions, he says, and he prescribes some ointment to reduce the swelling, especially of the black eye. Nothing broken. He'll recover. All good news.

Goddamned kids. Should be on a leash. But, as much as I'm tempted to be overprotective, I think back to the wisdom of my mother who always wanted to know where I was, but was not inclined to restrict me much. Kids do what kids do. You rein them in where you can, but try not to impede their freedom too much. I give Kai a look, and he looks at me, contrite, and then starts to giggle. That's about the best I can hope for.

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