STANDARD WARNING: This is a work of fiction. Any coincidence to individuals, living or dead, is pure coincidence. Do not read this story if you are offended by man-to-man romance or sex. Do not read if you are underage according to the laws in the country, state/province, county, city/town/village or township where you live. There is sex between males. You have been warned!

Paternal Instincts

By archer

Chapter 5

Bill followed Matt back to Park Forest to discuss the proposal Bill had just made to Matt over dinner. As they drove in their separate cars, stray thoughts ran through his head. Bill knows I’m gay, why does he want me to become a foster father? Doesn’t he have enough foster parents? I thought that St Luke’s was supposed to try to reunite the kids with their natural parents. Matt noticed that Bill brought a manila envelope from his car.

Matt gave Bill the tour of the town home. He was suitably impressed.

“It still smells new,” Bill observed.

“Would you like something to drink? Matt asked.

“A Coke if you have it. Diet would be best.” Matt brought him a Diet Pepsi and a beer for himself. They seated themselves in the living room.

“What are you going to do with all these bedrooms? Bill asked.

“I got it for resale. It’s like automatic transmission in a car. Manual’s better for gas, but not many people can drive them. Automatic is better for resale.”

Bill looked as if he had something on his mind. Finally, he blurted, “How could you tell if a child is gay?”

“How could I tell? Gaydar.”


“Gay radar. You just know. It’s like a sense. I’m not sure how to explain it.”

“Do all gay people have it?”

“No, not all. I have a friend in Joliet who doesn’t. But I know some straight people who do.”

“Well, what characteristics would you look for if you didn’t have gaydar?”

Matt threw his head back and laughed. “Bill,” he gasped. Bill looked somewhat hurt, or angry, Matt wasn't sure. In any event, he was not amused. “We’re dealing with generalities and stereotypes here. If I said that a boy who played with dolls was gay, or if he had an unusual interest in show tunes he might be gay. Those are stereotypes.”

“What else?” Bill asked, taking the answer seriously.

Matt sighed. “ I guess a lack of interest in sports. A gay boy might have more girls as friends than boys, especially before adolescence. What’s this about? Why do you want to know?”

“Just curious.”

“You’ve never been curious about it before. You’re very open-minded, but you’ve never shown an interest.”

“Matt, I’m telling you this in confidence. One of the kids told me he was gay. And I’m trying to discover if he really is, or just looking for attention.”

Matt was a bit taken aback. “Oh. That’s different.”

“How so?”

“No kid wants to be different, especially in that sense. No kid wants to be gay. How old is he?”

“Almost thirteen.”

Matt pondered a moment. “It could be a phase, or he could be experimenting. Or it could be related to being in an all-male environment. We discovered some sex play at camp. You said yourself it had more to do with power and domination than sex.”

“I did say that,” Bill agreed.

“Have there been, shall we say, incidents?”

“Not that I know of.”

Matt looked at his hands. When he next spoke, his voice was lower and serious. “I think that any kid who tells you that he’s gay is having doubts. Serious doubts. How does he get along?”

“Ok, I guess. He’s sort of a loner. Has one or two friends and sticks to them. I don’t think he’s told anyone else. You can imagine what would happen if he did.” The boys could be merciless to each other, Matt recalled. They could tease and harass someone to the point of tears, and beyond. It could be any issue. From speech problems to skin color, ethnic background, up to and including each other’s mamas.

“Poor kid,” Matt sympathized.

“I’d like you to meet him.”


“I’d like you to think about being his foster father.”

I should have seen it coming a mile away, Matt thought. All the questions about my sexuality and being a father.

“More Diet Pepsi?” Matt asked, simultaneously standing up and changing the subject.

“Why are you changing the subject?” Bill asked when Matt returned to the living room.

“I don’t know about this, Bill.”

“What’s there to know? I think it’s a great idea. He’s an orphan. Nobody is ever going to adopt him, if any of this gets out. At the very least, he’s going to be harassed at St. Luke’s. And there's the possibility of suicide. I read in a journal that some social workers and pyschologists estimate that up to a third of all suicide attempts are made by youth who have sexual identity issues. You would make a good father. You’d be a good role model for him. That’s why you are perfect. He’s a great kid. Intelligent, bright, and a talented actor.”

“When would I meet him?”

“At the next cattle call.” Three times a year, St. Luke’s held mixers for the boys and prospective adoptive parents. It was a new program begun by the administrator, Father O’Donnell. They were based around some kind of organized activity, like bingo or board games. Earlier in the year, there had been an Uno tournament.

“Last time you were making fun of the cattle calls.”

“I’ve changed my mind. They work. This time we’re having a folk dance. Jane Farwell is going to be there. She’s really dynamic.”

Matt was beginning to get interested, but he didn’t want to show Bill that he was.

Bill continued, “It’s not like you’re getting married. I just want you to meet him. If you two get along, then maybe we can arrange visits. If not, then no great loss.”

“I’m still not sure about this.”

Bill handed him the thick manila envelope. “There’s a ticket inside. And all the paperwork you need to fill out in order to get your foster license.”

Matt cautiously took the envelope. “I’ll think about it.”

Bill left a few minutes later. As Matt shut the front door, he thought, That fucking weasel. He had this planned all along.

Bill’s question echoed through Matt’s head for days: Have you ever thought about becoming a father? He had, indeed, thought about it. But he dismissed it with the next thought.
There had been a boy named Eric in Matt’s cabin for three summers at Camp Homewood. He was like a father figure to all the campers. Matt had joked that camp counseling was the same as being a parent, without the sex. Eric was different. They sought out each other’s company all the time. Matt thought about adopting him, but knew that it was quite impossible.

Still, the longing was there. A deep parental longing. To pass something on to the next generation, and to know that you were affecting the future. Could it be that men could have the same instincts as women? He felt the need to nurture, but did he feel this way because he was gay? Matt was confused. He needed to talk to someone besides Bill.

He decided that Father Grimes might be able to help him sort things out. He attended church the following Sunday. He sat in a pew right behind a father and son. The father was a few years older than Matt, the boy was eight or nine. All through the Mass they touched each other with affection. The father’s big, veiny hands rested on the boy’s back while the boy gazed lovingly at the father. At the Kiss of Peace, they actually kissed each other! It confused Matt a bit, but deepened the longing.

Matt decided he would go to the function at St. Luke’s after all. Maybe they wouldn't like each other, and that would be the end of that. Or maybe, just maybe, they would like each other and something would come of it. Matt decided he would cross that bridge when he came to it.

Tim continued to show up about once a week on average. He always came at night. Some weeks he would show up twice a week, and sometimes two weeks would go by without an appearance. Thus far, he hadn't spent the night again. Once the sex was over, Tim left. He also never tried to kiss Matt again. It was about sex, pure and simple. Tim never sucked Matt, nor did he offer to. Tim never called before he appeared, either. Matt wondered if he showed up on the nights he worked late and stood outside knocking on the door and disturbing Leah.

One Sunday afternoon, Tim appeared. Matt was surprised to see him in daylight hours. He looked good. He had an early start on a dark tan from doing construction work outdoors. His hair was cut shorter than Matt had seen it, and it suited him. And he sported a new earring in his left ear.

“I hope I’m not interrupting.”

In fact, he was. Matt had a load of laundry going, and he had planned on doing other household chores that afternoon. He hadn’t even taken a shower yet.

Matt struggled not to let the irritation show in his voice. “Tim, before you leave today, I’m going to give you my phone number, and I want you to call before you come over.”


“Because I might have other things to do.”

“You don’t want me here? You want me to leave?”

“No, it’s just that I have things to do today. And I’m a bit tired of you showing up any time you feel like it.”

Tim’s dimples appeared. “Sir, yes, sir!” Then he saluted.

“I’m serious! Don’t be a smartass, young man.” As if on cue, the dryer buzzed in the basement. Another load was done. This load was the one he had to get out right away, or the clothes would wrinkle.

“I have to get the dryer.” He started down the stairs.

“Why? Is it running away?”

“You are acting like a twelve-year-old today.”

Matt opened the dryer and started to pull the warm clothes out. Suddenly, Tim wrapped his powerful arms around his waist.

“Tim! Let me go! I’ve got work to do.”

“Oh! Can’t Matty come out to play?”

“Stop! I haven’t even taken a shower yet!”

“Well, we can fix that!” With his arms still wrapped around his waist and his hands clasped over his belly, he guided Matt forcefully, but without pain, through the family room to the basement bathroom. It contained the shower stall where they had their first sexual encounter. Tim played the role perfectly, dominating Matt, without hurting him in any way. Matt knew they were playacting, so he went along with it. Besides, it was extremely erotic to have Tim in control.

Tim unbuttoned the top button of Matt’s jeans, and pulled them down. He almost ripped the polo-type shirt Matt was wearing off his torso. Then, he hastily ripped his own clothes off. Once inside the stall, they started the water and adjusted the temperature. Tim began soaping down Matt’s body. The slippery feel of Tim’s fingertips was incredible. Matt returned the favor. He loved Tim’s muscular body. The masculine biceps, the calloused hands, the big feet. His thighs were thick and corded like a tree trunk.

Tim found the bottle of shampoo, and gently began washing Matt’s hair. By this time, their little play was over. Matt couldn’t remember the last time someone had washed his hair. Tim did it gently, almost lovingly.

“Rinse off,” Tim ordered. Matt followed directions.

With his eyes still shut tight against any shampoo, Matt felt Tim’s hands position his hips, and turn his body. Matt rinsed off his face and opened his eyes just in time to see Tim sink to his knees. With his hands still on Matt’s hips, Tim took his cock in his mouth.

“A-A-A-A-H!” Matt let his back fall against the shower stall. The sensation was incredible. Tim had done this before.

In a short time, Matt was ready to come. Just at the point of orgasm, Tim removed his lips and Matt’s seed washed down the drain.

By this time, the water was getting cold, so they rinsed the remains of soap and shampoo off and turned off the water. Before Matt could step out of the shower, Tim pulled Matt’s wet body to his. He planted his lips firmly on Matt’s. Shortly, a probing tongue found it’s way into Matt’s mouth. Matt could still feel Tim’s full hardon pressing against his thigh. With a burst of passion, Tim released his load on Matt’s thigh. Matt thought he was going to see stars.

The mood was broken. Tim’s dimples appeared. “Guess we’d better turn the water back on and wash that off.”

Fully dressed again, Tim sat in the living room while Matt prepared him a mug of coffee. He looked so handsome with his damp hair combed neatly in place.

“Here you go. Now, I really have to get some work done today.” Matt hated to be a jerk, but he was a bit tired of this manchild dropping in whenever the mood struck him. Tim looked hurt. Matt sat in the chair.

“Look, I’m sorry,” Matt said. “How are things going with you?”

“I’m living with my parents again. It’s just temporary.”

“Where were you living before?”

“With Rosie.” That breakup must have been ugly, Matt thought. “I hope to move out into my own apartment by the summer.”

Matt took a risk. “How is she?”

“Rosie? She’s OK. We’re still friends.” He stared into his coffee, and swirled the liquid in the mug. “In a way, I’m glad.”

“About what?”

“That I didn’t get married. I love someone else.” Tim looked up from his coffee mug into Matt’s eyes. Good God, he’s in love with me!

“Who?” Matt asked, although he knew the answer. He just wanted Tim to say it out loud.


“You can’t be in love with me. We have great sex, sure. But, you don’t know what you want out of life. You aren’t even sure of your sexuality. And, I am not ready to settle down again.”

Tim’s voice was quiet. It reflected the pain of rejection with just a hint of defiance. “But I know my feelings. And I love you.”

“You are a great guy. Intelligent, fun to be with, caring, and very good looking. And I still want to be friends with you. But I made it very clear from the beginning that we were going to be friends. OK, friends that have sex. But that’s it. End of story. Finito. I want to be single for a while. And, no offense, but you have some serious issues to work out before I would even consider a relationship with you.”

“Like what?”

“Like if you are gay, or straight, or bisexual, for starters.”

“What does it matter?”

“It matters to me, because I got out of a relationship where the other guy didn’t know who he was or what he wanted, and it nearly fucked us both up. It matters to me, because I don't feel like struggling through self-acceptance issues with you, if you are gay.”

“I know what I want. I want you. And I’ll wait for you.”

Matt responded unkindly, “It’ll be a long wait.”

The day of the folk dance at St. Luke’s dawned cloudy and cool, for early May. Matt had the day off, a rare occurrence. He usually had Thursdays and Sundays off, but his assistant manager needed Thursday off, so some schedule-juggling was called for.

Matt created a mental list of things to do around the house. And he still had to finish the paperwork for the foster license. He finally admitted to himself that he was interested in becoming a foster father and actually looking foreword to the “cattle call” that evening. And perhaps some old campers or counselors from Camp Homewood would be there.

The weather did not clear up as the day progressed, but it didn’t matter. Matt busied himself with work around his house. He did laundry, vacuumed, and ironed. He hung a few pictures that he had neglected hanging, and cleaned the upstairs bathroom. By the time he finished, it was time for Phil Donahue.

Matt made a meal for himself, ate it with the TV on, and put the dishes in the dishwasher. The closer the clock crept to seven, the more nervous he got.

A dense fog was swirling around his Saturn as he drove to St. Luke’s. Matt loved the fog; it made him feel like he was safe in a cocoon. But, of course, he was not safe. So he reduced his speed and turned down the radio. Nick liked talking to himself and the car was the best place to do it.

What does Tim really want? I certainly don’t want to settle down now, especially after Andy. Andy left me too hurt and bitter and I’m not ready to trust a man again. Especially one that was engaged to a woman. Why did he break up with his fiancee, anyway? How do I feel about Tim? What am I getting out of the relationship?

Matt had arrived at St. Luke’s. Matt had only been on the St. Luke’s campus once before, and that was years ago for his initial interview for Camp Homewood. He parked the car, and followed the lights to the gym, where the event was being held.


Hey! You! Yes, YOU the reader! You got this far, now how about telling me what you think? I know, I read a lot of stories on Nifty without responding to authors, either. But now that I'm writing one, I need some feedback! Is it too predictable? Do you like the characters? Too romantic or too realistic? Since this is an .html document, it's as easy as clicking this link: mailto: Look foreward to hearing from you!