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A Single Soul­­­­

Chapter 14


And The Other Shoe Drops




They were packed and headed home by 2000 hours and, although his arm was in a sling, Matt could still drive. When they arrived at their homes in Jacksonville, Jim helped Matt unload his car and get himself squared away.

After carrying in the suitcases, Jim met Matt in the kitchen and asked him, "What do you think is up with Denise?"

"I'm not sure; but, it must be something big to interrupt her cruise like that," Matt replied.

"Well, I'm sure it will all work out," Jim said and kissed Matt goodnight.

"Thanks for your help, buddy. I'll see you in the morning when I take the boys to school," Matt said as he gave Jim a one-armed hug, and kissed his Godson, who was squeezed between them.

"OK, if you need anything, let me know," Jim said, and headed across the street with Matty and Kelly in tow.

After letting the dogs out for their last run of the day, Matt checked in on Jimmy, and then headed for his own bedroom. He did his usual routine of brushing his teeth and pissing, then he climbed wearily into bed. As tired as he was, and even though he had taken another pain pill, he still couldn't settle his racing thoughts. Denise's message baffled him; what could have possibly happened? Whatever it was, there was one thing certain; it had nothing to do with him.

As he lay in bed, running every possibility through his head, he heard the door open slowly. Jimmy stood uncertainly in the doorway. He stepped inside the room and started to say, "Dad..."

"Okay, Sport, you can sleep with me for tonight; but, your mom is coming home tomorrow, so this is the last time. I'm sure she won't want you in bed with the two of us," Matt said.

"OK, Dad, just one more night," the boy said as he climbed into bed on Matt's good side and snuggled up to his father. The two were immediately comfortable and asleep in minutes.

When the alarm went off at 0600, Matt was still on his back and Jimmy was still nestled into his side, his little morning wood pressing into Matt's hip. As usual, his own cock was hard as a rock and stretching up over his belly. He shook his son gently and quietly said "Come on, Sport, time to get up now." Matty stirred, stretched and yawned.

"Morning, Dad," he said, and added frantically, "I gotta pee." He jumped out of bed and raced for the bathroom.

Matt remained in bed for a minute or so, to give his son time to finish his business and for his own erection to subside somewhat. Still half-hard, he walked into the bathroom and found his son standing at the commode, trying to piss through his morning wood.

"What's the matter, Sport?" Matt asked, standing beside his son and aiming his own cock at the toilet. "You just have to wait until it goes down a little," he declared as a strong stream shot from the head of his cock into the toilet.

"Yeah, well, sometimes I just sit and ...," Jimmy giggled in embarrassment.

"Good plan," replied his father knowingly; "and sometimes I just jump in the shower and do it; ...but don't tell your Mom that," Matt said with a conspiratorial wink.

"No problem, Dad. You're my best friend; and even I know you sure don't rat on your best friend."

"That's right, Sport," said Matt, holding out his fist for a bump from Jimmy.

Jimmy joined his father in the shower and helped his dad scrub and dry areas that he couldn't reach because of the sling. Dressed and ready to face the day, they headed over to Jim's to pick up Matty for the drive to school. They found Becky feeding a very happy Kelly in the kitchen.

When the baby saw Matt, he grinned and began his usual seat bouncing routine. Matt bent forward and kissed his Godson on the top of his head.

"Good morning, Captain. How's the shoulder this morning?" asked Becky.

"Much better, thanks. You're looking especially cheery today."

"Yeah, my husband called last night, and he gets to come home in six weeks," she replied, beaming.

Just then the door opened and Jim entered the kitchen, dripping in sweat from his run. He stood next to Matt, bent down and kissed his son, and bumped Matt's hip with his.

"Morning, Buddy. How's the shoulder?" Jim asked innocently, but with a drop-dead sexy grin. He knew full well what he was doing by standing next to Matt, smelling sweaty from his run. I bet a thousand bucks Matt's already got a hard on, or almost hard, anyways, thought Jim.

Meanwhile, after trying to discreetly inhale Jim's scent, Matt sighed in relief when Becky left the room to hustle Matty along.

"You know; you can be a real jerk-off sometimes," he said to Jim with a smile.

"Yes, and you love it," Jim said, taking a chance and giving his love a quick peck on the cheek.

"Listen, I'll pick the boys up after school and drop Jimmy off to see his Mom. After dinner, just send him over to spend the night with Matty. I figure you and Denise could use the alone time," Jim said with wiggling eyebrows.

"Yeah, I suppose so," Matt replied, as he looked at Jim, longingly.

After dropping the boys off at school, he ran an errand and headed home to do a few hours of writing before it was time for him to pick Denise up at the airport.

Denise spotted Matt as she was exiting the plane, and gave him a gentle hug and kiss. Matt noted that the kiss was barely a brush on his cheek.

"Well, Captain America, how's the shoulder?" she said, teasing him.

"It's fine; just a little tender," answered Matt.

On the trip home, he told Denise the entire story about the party and ended with the latest news about Jim's mother-in-law being held without bail. When they arrived, Denise hugged the puppies, who scrambled for her attention with their kisses.

"You were right, Matt; these two are adorable," Denise said affectionately.

"Okay, kiddo, it's killing me. What's up?" Matt asked.

"Alright Matt; let's sit and I'll explain everything; but, first, I could use a drink."

"I don't like the sound of that," said Matt suspiciously.

He handed Denise a scotch and water and placed a soda in front of himself, as they sat across from each other at the kitchen table.

"Matt, I've been promoted to Commander," she announced, beaming with pride.

"That's great, Denise," Matt smiled back and rose from his chair to kiss her on the cheek; "but, I got a feeling, there's more to it than that," he said, reseating himself.

"Yes, there is; and this is the hard part. My Command will be in San Diego and will require at least two cruises a year," Denise said. She registered the very confused and concerned look that crossed Matt's face when she told him this.

Denise paused for a moment or two, sighed deeply, and said, "Before we go any further, Matt, there is something very serious that we have to discuss ... I guess there's really only one way to say this ... I want a divorce," Denise said simply, looking directly into Matt's eyes.

Matt was speechless. All the planning he and Jim had made about the best way to break the news to Denise about their relationship suddenly seemed to fly out the window!

His mind raced as he tried to absorb it all.

Then he panicked. But, what about his son?

Denise saw the emotions that crossed his face. She realized immediately what was going through his mind.

"Don't worry, Matt," she went on gently, "I'm not going to try to take Jimmy away from you," she said with a very genuine smile.

"But, I don't understand all this; I mean, I've tried...," he stuttered lamely.

"Matt," Denise interrupted. She took another deep breath and continued. "You're a good man and you deserve the truth ... Matt, I'm a lesbian ... I always have been, as a matter of fact. But, because I wanted a career as a Navy officer, I knew I had to keep that a secret ... so I used you as a cover ... I'm sorry I deceived you like that," she said with downcast eyes, then went on hurriedly.

"But, now, with my rank advancement and all the benefits that will go with it ...Well, things are not as scary as they used to be ... and ... well, quite frankly, Matt, I've found someone who's become very special to me," she said in a rush. "So ... I'm..." her voice trailed off and she looked beseechingly at Matt, unable to go on.

Matt couldn't help it. He burst into gales of laughter. He laughed so hard he could barely breathe. Tears streamed down his face as he bent forward over the kitchen table and lightly banged his forehead on the kitchen table. It was all too much.

For weeks, Jim and he had agonized over how to break the news to Denise that they were madly in love with each other. Now, in one or two simple declarations, Denise had completely reversed the situation. Relief overtook him and laughter became his only outlet as he the irony of the situation hit him.

"You know, Matthew," Denise regarded him stonily, "out of all the reactions I thought you might have, this is certainly not the not one I expected. I really don't appreciate you laughing at me. This is truly difficult for me, and I wanted to spare you as much pain as possible," she said huffily. "I honestly thought you would have been a bit more supportive," she said, now more than a bit perturbed.

"No, no, no, Denise. Oh, no, I'm so sorry. It's not at all what you think, really," he said with a wide grin on his face. Denise was still clearly not amused.

Matt stood, wiped at the tears on his cheeks and said, "Look, let me get a drink, and I'll explain."

He poured a scotch for himself, refreshed Denise's, and sat down again, trying to stifle his almost uncontrollable chuckles. Denise listened, impatiently at first, and then with increased understanding and relief

For two hours, and after several drinks between them, Matt told Denise the entire story, beginning with the first meeting between Jim and him when they were only eight years old, their subsequent split, and then to Jim's surprise move across the street from out of nowhere. He ended his tale with the drama of the past weekend. Denise listened without interrupting and smiled at Matt when he finished.

"You know, your explanation the day I first met him ... well ... somehow it just didn't add up for me. But, in all our years together, I know you never had lied to me; so, I just accepted your explanation and, truth be told, I was so preoccupied with cruise prep I didn't really give it much more thought," Denise said. Then, the reality of it all sank into Denise's consciousness, and her laughter added to Matt's.

They sat there and giggled at each other over the entire situation; finally ending it all when she said with mock seriousness and a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, "Do you think we could sell this story to Hollywood?"

"Not until after the three of us retire, we can't! He answered with a grin.

How long before you have to report for your new assignment?" Matt asked.

"I have two weeks. Look, how do you think we should we handle this, the divorce I mean?" She asked.

"Whatever you want is fine with me," Matt replied. How `bout we just split the savings down the middle, and I'll buy your half of the house; I mean, I really like this place, and it's convenient for my work and dad is only twenty minutes down the road," Matt said.

"And, of course, your stud muffin just happens to live across the street," Denise said sarcastically and broke into a laugh.

"Yeah, there is that," Matt agreed and grinned with her.

"Of course, I'll pay you child support," Denise said.

"No; no need for that. I make more than enough and, besides, thanks to my stepmother, Peggy, Jimmy is very well set up. College is even already taken care of; all I ask is that you keep in regular contact and take him at least a couple of weeks out of the year. Look, I know that sometimes you think he loves me more than you, but that's really not true; he does need his Mom. He truly missed you while you were gone."

Tears welled in her eyes as she stood, went around the table and hugged Matt. "You know, Matt, you really are a good guy."

"I was wondering; would you mind if I took Jimmy down to Disney World for a long weekend, before I go?" she asked.

"Oh, he'd love that! But ... umh ... would you consider taking Matty along? Those two have become joined at the hip, Denise. There's times when Jim and I both feel a little left out around them.

"Oh, sure, that'll work. He'd have someone besides me to go on rides with, thank gosh, and probably put me in the running for `Mother of the Year'." Denise said, smiling.

"Listen, Jim is picking the boys up from school, and then he was going to take Jimmy after dinner for the night, so we could be alone. Whaddaya think about having a little fun with him when he gets here?" Matt asked.

"Uh, Jim is terminally gorgeous; but I thought I just explained my preferences to you," Denise said, smiling.

"That's not what I mean. Listen..." and Matt laid out his plan.

It wasn't long before the door burst open. Jimmy came running in and ran to his mother and hugged her. "Mom, I'm so glad you're home; I really missed you," Jimmy said.

"I missed you too, Sport," Denise said tenderly. She was obviously touched. She looked over her son's head and saw Jim and Matty standing there. "Hi, Gunner, it's good to see you again. And you too, Matty," Denise said sincerely.

"Jimmy, Matty, why don't you go across the street and tell Becky I said to put Kelly in his stroller. Then you guys bring Kelly over here, so Becky can go on home," Matt said, looking at Jim, who nodded affirmative, but looked more than a little confused by the switch in plans.

"Aye, aye, Captain," both boys said and went out the door, leaving the three adults alone. Once the door was closed, Matt walked over to Jim, put his good arm around Jim's waist and pulled him in, kissing him deeply. Matt kept his eyes open and had to struggle not to laugh during the kiss as Jim's eyes get wider than he thought humanly possible. As Matt broke the kiss, he and Denise laughed uproariously at the deep shade of scarlet that Jim's face had turned.

Jim began to stammer, "Wha ... wha ... but, but" ... and looked fearfully at Denise.

"It's okay, big boy; she knows everything; and there's a lot more to tell you," Matt said.

"Yes, Jim, everything is fine. I know all about you and Matt and I approve, she added.

"Uuuhh ... would you two like to clue me in on all this?" Jim asked.

Matt and Denise were half way through the story when the boys arrived, pushing Kelly in the stroller. Denise went over and picked up the baby. "Gunner; he is beautiful," she said while she held the baby to her chest and rocked him.

"Thanks, he is going to make one handsome Marine," Jim said with a crooked, cocky grin.

"Maybe he just might wanna go to Canoe U and make something useful of himself," Denise said, upping the ante in the ongoing inter-service sparring contest.

Matt walked towards Denise and said, "Okay, you two, there'll be plenty of time for you two to lobby over the years." When Kelly spied Matt, he bounced in Denise's arms and reached for his Godfather. Denise handed the baby over to Matt, who kissed him, "Hey, little buddy, how's my favorite devil pup?"

"Matthew Leo," Denise said, also looking at Jim. "Don't you two call this beautiful baby that, or you'll both have to answer to me," she said, admonishing the men and taking Kelly back into her arms.

"Yes, ma'am," the two men replied in unison, as Denise smiled with satisfaction and took the baby back into her arms.

The boys decided to take all the dogs out for a walk, which gave Matt and Denise a chance to finish bringing Jim up to speed.

"Man," Jim said when they finished and the three headed into the kitchen for fresh drinks. "I just cannot believe how this has all worked out. I've been worried sick about how all this would play out without you getting hurt," he said to Denise.

"Funny, isn't it? I was worried about the same thing," Denise said as she walked up to Jim and hugged him. "You just make damned sure you take good care of Matt and my son ... or you'll have me to answer to, dog-face," she said with a laugh.

"Don't worry, ma'am, a Marine is always up to the task," Jim said with a shit-eating grin on his face and a hungry look at Matt.

Matt called his father and invited him for dinner. They had decided to stay in and order pizza with a big salad. Frank volunteered to pick everything up from Matt's favorite pizza place on his way through Snead's Ferry, and Denise told Jim about her plans to take Jimmy and Matty to Disney World for a long weekend before she left, if it was okay with Jim. Jim agreed to the plan, of course.

"What the hell; they're both good students and taking off two days won't hurt `em any. Thanks, Denise" Jim said.

They agreed not to tell the boys about the trip until Friday morning, just before they left. That would make it more of a surprise for them and, too, anticipation of the trip wouldn't affect their schoolwork. More importantly, the three of them decided it would be best to wait a few days before telling Jimmy about the divorce. They needed some time to figure out the best way to explain things to him.

Denise's first week home seemed to fly by, and she and Matt decided to spend the first Saturday at Frank's house with everybody invited, including Finn and Father Dave.

Denise was suitably impressed by both Frank's and Finn's houses, and thoroughly enjoyed a boat ride. After lunch, Jim took Matty, Kelly and the dogs for a walk on the beach, leaving Matt and Denise time alone with Jimmy to explain about the divorce and Denise's upcoming move to the West Coast. They asked Frank and Father Dave to sit in on the meeting.

Matt and Denise took their time explaining everything to Jimmy about what was going to happen, making sure he understood that the divorce making sure that he understood the divorce had absolutely nothing to do with him and that they both still loved him very much. Throughout the discussion, Jimmy said nothing. He just looked very sad. When it was all over, Jimmy asked to be excused and went to his room. Father Dave advised everyone to let him be alone for a while, to sort things out for himself.

Not long after that, Jim and the boys returned and Matty ran to Jimmy's room to be with his buddy. The adults gathered on the deck, enjoying a few beers and generally chatting. When they began to discuss dinner plans, they realized that the boys hadn't appeared; so, Jim and Matt went to look for them.

When they opened the door to the boys' room, they found them asleep on Jimmy's bed, with Matty laying on his back, his arms around Jimmy, and Jimmy's head on his chest. As the two men backed quietly out of the room, Jim saw the tears in Matt's eyes.

Jim held Matt closely and assured him, "It's okay Matt; he'll be fine. He has his buddy to help him feel better, just like I do," Jim said, rubbing Matt's back.

When they returned to the group, Denise and Frank saw Matt's wet eyes and asked what was wrong. Jim explained the scene they had come upon and Frank said, "Just let it be, guys; Jimmy will be just fine."

Thirty minutes later, the two boys showed up, laughing and looking very happy. Jimmy went straight to his mother, hugged her and said, "I love you mom, and I'm going to miss you; but I'll be all right."

"Thank you, Sport; I'm so glad you're going to be alright. And, don't worry, you'll see me as often as I can, and we can talk on Skype once a week," Denise said with tears beginning to trickle down her cheeks.

With the hardest part taken care of, Matt and Denise met privately with Finn to explain what they had decided and to have him handle the formalities.

"You know, folks, if everyone was like you, divorce attorneys would go out of business," Finn teased.

"Well, this is just the business end. We'll always be bonded as family, because of our son; but now we can move our lives along without being unfaithful," Matt said.

The following Friday morning, normally a regular school day for the boys, Matt went in to wake Jimmy, as usual. He sat on the side of bed and gently shook his son. "Mornin', Dad," Jimmy yawned.

Morning, guy. "Guess what? No school today," said his Dad mysteriously. "Get dressed and then let's go get Matty."

Thoroughly confused, but delighted at the prospect of no school and not about to question his Dad, Jimmy dressed and ate a quick bowl of cereal. Matt said to him, "Okay, Sport, let's go," he and Denise rose from the breakfast table and headed for the door to go to Jim's, where they found everybody in the kitchen. Becky was feeding the baby and Jim was drinking coffee. Matty looked as confused as Jimmy.

"Well, guys," said Denise, "you won't be going to school today; the three of us are going to Disney World for the weekend. Is that okay?" she grinned.

The boys screamed with delight and hugged, jumping up and down in their excitement.

Matt looked over at Jim, who was smiling hugely... with a look on his face best described as `hungry anticipation'.

The three adults had packed suitcases and loaded the car the night before so, after hugs all around, Matt drove the crew to the airport to begin their adventure. When they were saying good-bye at the airport Jimmy hugged his Dad tightly and whispered in his Father's ear, "I wish you were going, too, Dad."

"Well, Sport, I know, said Matt in a low voice. But, this is a special time for you and your mom, because she won't be able to see you for almost a year; so, you have a good time with her and make sure she knows how much you love her. Okay?"

"Sure, Dad, see ya Monday night," said Jimmy, and kissed his Father good-bye.

Matt left the airport and headed directly to the grocery store for steaks, and then to a liquor store for a good Cabernet and a bottle of Champagne. For his last stop, he went to the drug store for a bottle of lube ... he had big plans for the weekend, he grinned to himself as he recalled the hungry smile on Jim's face just before they left the house earlier.

Around 1400 hours, he went back over to Jim's to inform Becky that she could have Saturday off, because he and Jim had decided to take Kelly to his Dad's at the beach. Matt then dressed Kelly, bundled him up with all his baby gear, and headed back over to his own house to prepare for the romantic evening with Jim.

Kelly was about halfway through his breakfast cereal when Jim walked in the back door, carrying a duffle bag for the weekend.

"Well, two of my favorite men," Jim said, and kissed the top of the baby's head. When Kelly saw Jim, he began his usual bouncing and reached out for his Dad. "In a minute, buddy; right now I need to kiss my other favorite man." He enveloped Matt in his big arms and gave him a long, deep kiss.

"Hey, handsome," said Matt, almost out of breath from the intensity of their embrace. "I hope you're ready; cuz I've got some big plans for you tonight!" Matt said slyly and re-arranging the bulge in his pants.

"You have no idea how ready I am," Jim said, doing the same.

Matt finished feeding Kelly while Jim went in for a shower, which sort of disappointed Matt, because he loved it when Jim had a musk working. Oh, well, he thought, I'll take that man any way I can get him!

Returning from his shower, Jim poured them each a glass of wine.

"Hey," said Matt, "before things get completely outta hand, I forgot extra diapers. You mind running over to your house and getting some before we start dinner?"

Jim kissed Matt quickly on his way out the door and said, "Anything for you, Captain; I'm your slave for the next three days."

"Oorah, dog-face," grinned Matt, "and I've got plenty lined up for ya."

As Jim strode across the street, he noticed two black men standing in his driveway, next to a fully packed minivan. They looked like they were probably father and son, the older one wearing a Vietnam Vet hat.

Jim walked up and said, "Hi, can I help you?"

"Are you the realtor?" The younger asked. Jim saw he was holding a paper that appeared to be some sort of real estate listing with a picture of Jim's house on it.

"No, sir, this is my house; I live here," Jim said, a little warily.

"Shit, Dad, something's not right!" the younger man exclaimed.

To be continued...

Author's Note: Thanks to all of you who have written to tell how much you're enjoying the story, I hope you stay tuned. Also, to say a special thank you to my editor, Don, who makes this story readable. For all the readers enjoying the stories here at Nifty, remember that Nifty needs your donations to help them to provide these wonderful stories. How about sending them $5 Bucks, just think of it as buying a hot magazine!