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A Single Soul


Chapter 17


Suicide Is Painless


Author's Note to Reader: You might enjoy this video. I thought it fit this chapter.



Jim stared at the young man standing in the open doorway; he saw a handsome, almost beautiful, young man. His face was wide, his neck long and strong his Adam's apple protruded and moved as he talked. The boy's skin shined with the beauty that only the young possesses.

Jim estimated him to be about five-foot-six, with the tightly-honed body of a Marine and, of course, the high and tight haircut that always shouts out "Marine!" Shorter than both Jim and Matt, Travis had the look of a well-muscled gymnast.

There's pain in those eyes, thought Jim, but promise, too.

Jim recovered himself and opened the door wide.

"Travis! Welcome! I'm Jim Flannery. And when you're in our house, just call me `Jim'," he further insisted, as he shook the young man's hand and led him into the house.

"You need t' meet the rest of the gang," Jim continued, guiding Travis into the kitchen, where Matt was preparing dinner and Kelly was jabbering away in his "Sit & Play."

"Travis, this is my buddy, Captain Matthew Leo, and the little one is my son, Kelly."

Matt swung around the island to shake Travis's hand.

"Thank you for having me, Captain," the boy said.

"You're quite welcome, Travis; and around here, it's just `Matt'. I'm in the reserves; so, unless you see me in uniform, I'm just `Matt' to you,"

Matt looked at the young man standing before him, immediately drawn to the gentle, handsome smile; he felt an immediate bond with Travis.

"How about a drink; beer, wine, soda?" Matt asked almost distractedly, finding it difficult to stop himself from staring at Travis, a poet once described a "barefoot boy, with cheek of tan" and Travis with the sad blue eyes surely could fit the bill.

"Just water would be fine, Sir," Travis replied.

Matt had just handed Travis his water when the sound of two laughing boys interrupted them. The three men turned and saw Matty and Jimmy chasing each other through the family room, naked and laughing, with the three dogs chasing them. Jim saw the startled look on Travis's face and said, "Sorry `bout that. This is an all-male household, and the boys love swimming commando," Jim said.

"That's okay; we used to do that in the Scouts ... whenever we could get away with it, anyway," Travis said.

"Hey, you two hoodlums! Go throw on some shorts! We have company! " Matt hollered after the boys.

The boys soon came back wearing board shorts and were introduced to Travis. It was clear they were impressed with the young Marine, especially when Travis agreed to join them for video games before dinner.

Matt and Jim had agreed earlier to let matters with Travis flow naturally, and ask no questions; they figured the Marine would open up on his own. When the three game-players were called for dinner, Jim noted that a bit of the sadness seemed to have left Travis' eyes.

After dinner, the boys were sent off to take the three dogs for another walk, while the three older men sat out on the patio and talked. Travis asked to hold Kelly; and he sat and rocked the little guy like a pro.

"Looks like you're pretty comfortable with babies," Matt said.

"Yeah, my older brother has two children, and I used to baby-sit for him and his wife when I was in high school," Travis replied, the sadness returning to his eyes.

The men talked about Travis' MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) and what it meant to each of them to be a Marine. But, Travis soon drifted into silence.

"Travis, is everything okay?" Jim asked.

"Yes, Sir, thank you both for inviting me for dinner; but, I think I should get moving," he said while handing the baby to Matt.

"There's no need to rush off; we're enjoying having you visit," Jim said, trying to draw the boy out. "You can come and hang out with us anytime you want to; I know the boys would love that."

"I would like that, too; but I guess I need to tell you a few things about myself ..." His voice trailed off uncertainly.

"Travis, you really don't," Matt offered.

"Yeah, I think I do; and I think I'd feel a lot better if I did.

See, I was always my father's favorite of all the kids. I was an Eagle Scout, played baseball, and I was a champion gymnast. `Course, he was really proud of me when I joined the Corps ... until my last trip home that is. I had gone for a run with my younger brother and I left my laptop on, which I normally would never do. My father, for some reason, opened my browser and looked at my history." At that point, tears welled in his eyes and began to slide down his cheeks.

"Travis, you really don't need to ..." Matt started. He could barely watch the young Marine in such obvious pain.

"Yes, Sir, I do. See, I'm gay, and that's what my father found, gay porn. When I got home, he met me at the door. He slapped my face and told me to get my things and leave, and never return. He said he wasn't gonna have a faggot son dragging his family into the gutter." The boy shook as he told the story, as the tears increased.

Jim stood for a moment, solemnly. Then, he sat next to Travis and took the boy into his arms, holding him tightly as the young Marine cried with a broken heart.

"Travis, it's okay, Buddy. You're safe here," Jim said.

"But, now I've lost my family. Dad won't even allow my younger brothers to get in touch with me, and my older brother told me I was dead to him. I was so confused. Still am, I guess."

Travis took a deep breath and continued, "I've always known I liked boys, instead of girls; I knew when I was only ten years old. But, I also knew enough then to keep my mouth shut about it. While my friends were dating girls, I spent all my time in the gym, working on my routines."

"I didn't look gay or act gay. I haven't even had sex with another guy, yet," he added, blushing furiously. "I was just one of the guys, my father's favorite. Now, I don't have a family; and I'm afraid the Corps might even kick me out," Travis sobbed.

Jim simply held him and let him cry. Matt sat quietly through the entire conversation; he thought it best not to interfere, Jim seemed to have matters well in hand. When the tears finally stopped, they all sat for a few moments, not saying anything.

Then, Jim looked straight into the boy's sad eyes and said, "Look, Travis, maybe you lost that family; but, you can be part of ours now, a family that will love you under all conditions. Like we said, this is your home, too, if you choose; and we want you to always think of it like that. And I wouldn't worry about the Corps, if I were you," he added. "They can't kick a guy out based only on suspicion."

"Yeah, but they think I tried to commit suicide. That's why they've got me seeing the doc. But, I really didn't! It was nothing but an accident, really! Some of the guys were giving me shit because they caught me crying in my rack; so, I took something to try to calm my nerves. Well, you're supposed to only take one; but, I took more than that and had a bad reaction. They had to pump my stomach."

"How much longer before you have to report back to work?" Jim asked, giving Matt a meaningful look.

"The doc released me today. Startin' tomorrow, I'm on leave until Monday morning," he said.

"And what are your plans, at this point?" Matt asked.

"Not much. Can't go home, and I sure can't afford to go anywhere else but the base. My car payments eat up most of my money. My Dad had been making them for me, until ... well, you know," the young man said with a sad smile.

"Okay," said Matt. "You go back to the base tonight and pack some clothes. Then report here tomorrow at 0900. You're staying with us until Friday; and then we're all going down to the beach to my Dad's place. We're having a big party for a young Marine who's just returned from a two-year deployment," Matt said, looking over at Jim and exchanging smiles.

Travis objected, "Sir, I can't impose on you like that!"

"Listen, Jarhead! Clean the shit out of your ears, `cause this is the last time I'm gonna tell you this! It's not `sir'; it's Matt and Jim, unless you see one of us on base and in uniform, of course. Got it?" Jim said in his best command voice.

"Yes, Si ... I mean, thanks, Jim, and you too, Matt," Travis said, with hope edging into his voice.

At that moment, the two boys burst through the front door and immediately began peppering Travis with questions. When they learned Travis was into sports and was a gymnast, they focused on those two areas. A sparkle began to glint in Travis' eyes as he tried to keep up with the barrage of questions.

In the midst of all that, the doorbell rang, and Matt opened the door to find a smiling Andrew and Nadine, holding a gift box. He introduced Travis to the young couple and told him that he would be seeing them again, at the party on Saturday.

Andrew handed Matt the box. "Just something small to say thanks to you guys for the weekend; it was off the charts!" Andrew said.

"Well, this certainly isn't necessary; but, thank you, anyway," Matt exclaimed, as he opened the gift to find two bottles of quality wine.

Thirty minutes later, the couple prepared to leave. As they walked out the door, Matt reminded Andrew about the early call for fishing on Saturday and told him that Travis would be joining them.

"Cool!" said Andrew, as he bumped fists with Travis. "Then I won't be the only young guy on the trip," he said with a smile and a smirk.

"You better watch yourself, Jarhead. Just remember, your next post could be here, and under my command!" Jim said with mock sternness.

That evening, after the boys were asleep, Jim sneaked into Matt's bedroom and crawled into bed with him. After a long, passionate kiss, they discussed Travis.

"I have a feeling that we've just adopted another son, or at least a little brother," Matt said.

"Yeah," agreed Jim. "He almost broke my heart with that story about his family. I can't believe a father would throw away a great kid like that over something like being gay," he mused.

"Well, we're just going to have to rescue him, I guess," Matt responded.

"But, first, I want that big cock of yours up my ass, dog-face ... and I wanna feel it!" Matt said.

"You got it! I can't hardly turn down the man I love, now, can I?" Jim declared as he kissed his way down Matt's neck to his already-erect nipples. He didn't stop there. He continued down Matt's stomach and enveloped the rock-hard cock he found straining there.

After a few satisfying deep-throats, he moved to Matt's balls and then under them. He quickly had the man's legs in the air and drove his tongue into Matt's ass.

"Oh, fuck, Jimmy! Fuck me, quick! I need to feel you in me," Matt said, panting, and trying not to be loud enough to wake the boys.

Jim moved into position, grabbed the lube from the nightstand and greased them both. He entered his lover slowly, giving Matt time to acclimate.

"Go for it, Gunner! I'm ready! Pound my ass hard with your big dick and fill me with your hot cum," Matt said quietly and intensely.

"I'm almost there, Baby," Jim moaned as he stroked Matt's cock. "I'm almost there! Cum with me, Baby!"


"Keep hitting my nut! ... I'm there! Me, too!" Matt tried to keep from shouting. His cum went everywhere. And that was all it took. Jim moaned deeply again, and both men came at the same time.

Lying on Matt, Jim kissed him ... and, right on cue, they heard Kelly fussing through the monitor.

"I'll go, Buddy. You should probably clean up," Jim said. Instead, Matt rolled over, hugged Jim's pillow tightly, and quickly fell asleep.

Falling into a deep sleep, images of people and places that made no sense to him flashed through his mind; and a voice seemed to call to him from far away, repeating the same phrase over and over, "You have no idea of your destiny ... You have no idea of your destiny."


Jim's return to the bed woke Matt, the dream fresh in his mind. Still half asleep, he stared blankly at Jim.

"What's the matter, Buddy?" Jim asked, as he wrapped his arms around Matt and moved closer.


"Nothing, just having a weird dream," Matt answered sleepily; and with the memory of his strange dream still running though his mind, he fell back to sleep in the arms of the man he loved.

Next morning, Matt was working in his office when Travis showed up, right on time, at exactly 0900 hours. He introduced Travis to Becky, and showed him where to stow his gear in the guest room.

"Travis, why don't you go hang out by the pool for awhile? I need to finish up in my office," Matt said to him.

"How `bout, instead, I take Kelly for a walk, so Becky can take a break?" Travis asked.

"Ohhhh ... I think I'm in love," Becky interjected with wide eyes.

"Yes, you are, and he'll be home in a few weeks," Matt said with a smirk. "In the meantime, hands off my new little brother." Travis's face lit up like a Christmas tree at those words. Eyes sparkling, he beamed as he left with Kelly in the stroller.

Matt called his Dad, firming up their plans for the afternoon meeting to look at the property. He explained to Frank about Travis and that the young Marine would be coming with them for the weekend.

"Hey, Matt, why not let the boy stay at my place for the rest of this week? He can hit the beach and do some fishing," Frank suggested, "really relax and enjoy himself."

"Thanks Dad; that's great! This kid sorely needs some special attention about now."


Meanwhile, on the Base, Jim met with his CO and gave him a run-down on the Travis situation.

When he finished, Jim said to his CO, "Sir, Captain Leo and I were wondering if you and your lovely wife were free this coming Saturday. We're having a party for the Conway family at the Captain's Dad's house down in North Topsail Beach. Travis will be there; and we thought the Doc might want to see how he's doing."

"Thanks for the invitation, Gunner. I don't recall any plans, but I'll check with her, to be sure. I know we'd both love to attend your party," the colonel said.

"Thank you, Sir. I think it would mean a lot to Travis," Jim told him.

As planned, everyone met at the sale property at 1600 hours, and Matt introduced Travis to his Dad, who took to the young man immediately. The two boys and the dogs were off in a flash to explore the property, while the adults took a long look around.

Matt and Jim loved the seclusion and the frontage on the river; it was five acres of privacy, and just what they wanted. "Dad, this place is perfect," Matt told his father, "but it looks to be a bit out of our price range," Matt said with regret.

"How `bout you, Jim?" Frank asked him as Jim stood there surveying the property with wide, admiring eyes.

"I love it, Dad! But, I think Matt's right; out of our price range," Jim said.

"What would you offer?" Finn asked.

"I'm not sure, Finn; but, the realtor says the asking price is 250K. And that's way too much for us," Matt declared.

"He says that because I know he won't let me buy it, myself," Jim said, and received a sharp look from Matt for his statement.

"What if I told you the owner would take 50K and would hold the mortgage at 2.5 percent?" Finn said.

"I'd say he was probably smoking dope. Jim declared. "But, if it was true, I bet I could talk Matt into it with no problem. Right, Buddy?" Jim asked, bumping Matt's shoulder.

"Yeah, but I quit believing in Santa Claus a long time ago," Matt answered quietly, looking around for the boys.

"Then, it's sold! Gentlemen, meet the owner," said Finn as he pointed at Frank.

"Dad? What have you done now?!" Matt said as he looked suspiciously at his Dad.

"When your grandmother passed away back in '06, your uncle and I sold her home in Haddonfield at the top of the market and made a killing on it. We split it, and my share has been sitting in the bank. So, now, I'm helping you out ... I hope you two aren't mad— at me or anything," Frank said hesitantly.

"Are you kidding, Dad!?! Shocked and really grateful, but not mad," Jim said ... "but how did you know we'd even like the place?"

"I know my boys," Frank said with a grin, as he grabbed the two men in a big hug and kissed their cheeks. Matt and Jim looked at each other and smiled.

Travis, who had been standing quietly off to one side and observing the scene, watched longingly as Frank hugged and kissed the two men. It made his heart ache, and a familiar wave of sadness washed over him. He knew it was probably wrong, but he envied Matt's relationship with both Jim and Frank.

Lost in his reverie, he felt an arm reach around his shoulder; it was Frank.

"Travis, I hope you're ready for some fun. You'll be hangin' out with me for a couple of days, and I sure don't wanna see you moping all around the place," Frank said to the boy.

"No, Sir, I'm looking forward to it," Travis said, regret still plain in his eyes.

Everyone and the dogs piled into the cars, and the group made its way back over the high bridge to the island and Frank's house. It was still a very hot September day, so Frank shouted as soon as he heard all the car doors close, "Who's ready for a swim?!"

The gate to the pool area had barely closed behind them before the two boys had stripped and jumped into the water, screaming with delight, the dogs barking and racing madly around the pool. Frank and Finn stripped while Jim and Matt settled Kelly down inside the house.

Travis hesitated, watching all those males simply dropping their clothing, without a bit of concern. A naked Frank walked up to him and said, "Better get used to it, son. Around here, we tend to let it all hang out when it's just us guys."

Still unsure about everything, Travis began to strip. He was more than a little panicky. Although he had spent years undressing with boys in locker rooms at school and in the Corps, this was completely different. All these men knew he was gay.

He admired Frank and Finn's muscled bodies and thought they were hot. But, he could barely control himself when Jim and Matt walked out, naked like all the others. They almost took his breath away.

Jim noticed the hesitation in Travis, and he knew immediately what the problem was. He walked up to Travis and said quietly, "I'll tell you the same thing we told the boys. Don't worry about popping a boner; it happens to all of us, and we just ignore it."

Travis blushed fiercely and continued removing his clothes, "Thanks Jim; you kinda read my mind, I think."

Jim bumped his shoulder and whispered with a knowing wink, "It's okay, kiddo. You and I are more alike than you think."

Travis's heart swelled, right along with his cock, as he threw his shirt on the lounge chair and jumped into the pool. Things are looking up! He said to himself as he swam over to the boys, grabbed Matty, and flipped the delighted youngster over his shoulder.

Yep, I think I'm gonna like it here.


To be continued...


Authors Note: I'm certain that I have a cross-section of ages following Matt and Jim's story. At the beginning of this chapter, I added the link to "Suicide is Painless," even though it's not certain whether or not Travis did, indeed, try to commit suicide ... What do you think?


However, I have another video I hope you'll watch, especially you younger readers: Rod Stewart in 1975, singing "The Killing of Georgie." This song is a profound and moving story of a friend of Stewart's who was killed in a gay-bashing incident. For us Baby Boomers, and the generation just before us, the song resonates. Although Travis took a different path in trying to deal with his sexuality, like Georgie, he was thrown away by parents who thought only of themselves, and not their son.


For those of that era, click and remember; and for the young and the restless, click and discover.


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. 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!

And a special thanks to all those who responded to my call for help, it was overwhelming!