Learning to love

Part 6

Confession and an understanding of truth 

[This story was fabricated and created by me, the author.
Any similarity to any real life situation,event, or person(s) is purely of coincidence.
Please do not distribute this story in any way, shape, part, or form without my expressed consent.]

Tommy and I walked hand in hand along the dirt road until we made it to the main drive.  We dropped each others hand and continued to walk towards the house.  I was more nervous than I was letting on.  I was going to confess my homosexuality to one, maybe two adults that I really didn't know well.  I looked over at Tommy as we walked into the front yard of the house.  He had a smile on his face as if he had, not a care in the world.  He's beautiful I thought to myself.  The sun was almost touching the horizon and casting muted colors of light on him.  He looked at me watching him, and his smile expanded until I could see his pearly white teeth.  I gave him a nervous smile in return.

"It will be just fine Brent.  Relax." He told me.

"I'm trying too, but this is a little scary for me.  Connie is the only adult that knows I'm gay, and even her knowing scares me sometimes.  I've known and loved her all my life.  I barely know your parents and I'm about to tell them the biggest secret of my life."  We reached the bottom of the steps leading up to the porch and paused.

"You've got me now," Tommy said.  "I know my parents and the way they feel about my being gay.  They will probably be more concerned about the fact I have a boyfriend now, and that my boyfriend and I have only known each other for a DAY!"  He laughed and guided me up the steps and stopped once again before opening the front door.  "You ready Babe?  I promise you it will be ok."  The look of certainty in his eyes and the dimpled smile I was beginning to love so much, instilled a shot of confidence in me and I nodded as he opened the front door and we walked in.

I could hear the sound of the television coming from the family room, as Tommy and I entered.  Mike was sitting in his recliner watching David and Scott fidgeting in front of him.  Both boys looked over at Tommy and I when they heard us approach.  Mike looked in our direction as well.

"Hey guys." Mike said to us, then turned back to David and Scott.  "Go wash up and get ready for dinner, and Scott, that means with soap, not just running your hands under the water.  Now scoot."  Both boys turned and passed us on their way to do as Mike had told them and when David passed Tommy, he shot a smirk at both of us.  I steeled myself for what Mike might say next and we walked over to stand next to him.

"I think you two need to wash up for dinner.  We'll have a talk afterwards."  He then looked me in the eyes and said, "Don't look so nervous Brent.  I'm not mad, but we all need to discuss a few things and set a few ground rules.  Nothing too restrictive, but...well, like I said, we'll talk later.  Now you two go wash up."  I looked at Tommy and he gave me a smile.

"Come on Brent.  I'll show you where." Tommy turned to head towards the back of the house and I turned with him to follow.  Mike stopped me before I took my first step to follow Tommy.  He stood up from his recliner and came up to me.  I lowered my head, looking towards my feet.  I was still feeling nervous and didn't think I could look him in the face just now.  I felt his hand as he placed his finders under my chin, and lifted my head up to look him in the face.  When I saw his face, he wore a small smile.

"You really do look like your dad, but he doesn't have those soul mirroring eyes of yours."  Mike was looking deep into my eyes, then a kind of wistful expression seemed to pass over his face, and he seemed to check himself and continue, "Listen son.  You have nothing to be afraid of here.  How about you give us a hug and then get ready for dinner."  He took his hand from under my chin and I felt his arms embrace me and pull me into a friendly hug.  I returned his embrace and the tension seemed to flow out of me as we both tightened the embrace, then let go of each other.  He smiled at me and I returned it, somewhat sheepishly.  "Now scoot!"  He gave me a slight shove in Tommy's direction and I heard him chuckle a bit as I followed Tommy out of the family room.

Tommy led me back to the washroom and we used the basin to wash our hands.  Tommy looked over at me as we both used an end of a towel to dry our hands.  "See Brent?  I told you it was going to be ok."  Then in a more serious tone, "I'm so happy Brent.  You make me feel so warm inside and you are just so...beautiful."  He shook his head, "I just don't know how I got so lucky."  I dropped my end of the towel and looked at him with a smile forming on my lips.

"You haven't gotten lucky YET!  All we've done so far is kiss.  The lucky part will come a little later..I HOPE!"  I gave him a lustful leer and he started laughing.  We then heard his mom call out, DINNER!  Tommy hung the towel on a hook and we left the washroom.  I followed behind him and soon we entered into a large room with a table that looked like it could comfortably seat an army.

Mike was sitting at the far end of the massive table.  Along the right of the table, from him, were seated David, Scott, Tina and Robin.  The seat immediately along the left side from him was empty at the moment, followed by Angie seated in a high chair and two more empty seats.  Brandon was seated at the end of the table, opposite his fathers end, and I found this kind of funny.  I always thought of the ends of a table reserved for the heads of the household, and here sat his majesty Brandon, surveyor of his kingdom.  I chuckled to myself and followed Tommy.  Tommy walked over to the two empty chairs on the end of the left side.

"Here Brent, you can sit in the last seat and I'll sit here next to you."  Before I was able to pull out the chair and take a seat, Jamesson came walking in the room and he looked like he'd been crying.  He looked over at Tommy and I, then walked up to Tommy and stood right in front of him.  He looked up into Tommy's face and then yelled, "I HATE YOU!"  He gave Tommy a kick in the shin, which made Tommy cry out and lean over to grab his leg.  Jamesson then turned and looked at me.  His face scrunched up, then he burst into tears and went running from the room.

"What the heck?!" Tommy called out from his squatting position, as he was busy rubbing the shin that had just been kicked.  Carolyn came walking into the dining room, looking around and then spotted Tommy bent over rubbing his leg.

"What was all that yelling about?" She said, as she scanned the people sitting around the table, then looked at me and finally focused on Tommy.  Tommy looked up and noticed her looking at him.

"How am I supposed to know?!  Jamesson just came walking in here, yelled he hated me, kicked me in the shin, then starting bawling like a baby and ran back out!" Tommy said.  I looked towards Mike sitting at the far end of the table, he had his eyes locked on David, who was looking at him with a little fear on his face.  Mike turned from him and looked at his wife.

"Um...I think I know what's up."  He then looked over at Tommy.  "Oh come on now son, get up off the floor and you and Brent take your seats.  He couldn't have hurt you as bad as all that.  I'll go talk to Jamesson and bring him back so we can start dinner before any more surprises occur."  He pushed himself away from the table and stood up.

Tommy straightened himself from his crouch and said to his father, "What do you mean he couldn't have hurt me that bad?  I bet I'm going have a huge bruise where that brat just kicked me!"

"I think you'll live.  Now you and Brent sit down and I'll be right back."  He left the room in the same direction Jamesson had run out.  Before I took my seat, I asked Tommy if he was ok and he grumbled a little bit, but said yeah, that it still hurt a bit.  We pulled our chairs out and took our seats at the table.  His mom had left right after his father had, and now returned to the dining room and she sat down in the chair to the left of Mike's.  She started talking to Angie, who at this point was starting to get a little fussy from having been confined in her high chair for so long, without anything to occupy her time, like eating.  Everyone at the table looked around at each other a few times as we waited for Mike to return.  About fifteen minutes passed before Mike came walking back in the room, holding Jamesson's hand.  Jamesson had his head bowed as his father led him in.  Mike looked down at Jamesson as they came to a stop and barely shook the hand that was holding Jamesson's.  All eyes at the table were now focused on the both of them standing in the doorway.  Jamesson removed his hand from his fathers and looked up and saw everyone watching him.  He looked over in my direction and when he made eye contact, he lowered his head and came walking towards me.

He walked up to me and stopped.  I was looking at him wondering what was about to happen.  Jamesson fidgeted a little then looked up at me.  Our eyes met and he said, "Sorry Brent.  I didn't mean to kick TJ."  He lowered his head again, then took a deep breath and looked up.  He shifted his eyes from one of mine to the other then looked over next to me where Tommy was seated, then back.  A little hurt look came over his face and then he said, "But you're sposed to be my boyfriend, not his."  He dropped his head again and looked at the floor.  He had had such a serious look in his eyes and had looked really hurt when he said that.  I looked up from him and turned and looked at the others sitting around the table.  Carolyn looked at me when our eyes met, with a questioning glance.  I felt heat in my face and knew that I must be glowing red.

"Jamesson..." I heard Mike say and I looked over at him.  He was looking at Jamesson standing beside me.  Jamesson turned and looked up at his dad, who moved his chin up and jerked his head towards the left.  Jamesson turned back around and then walked behind my chair and then stood on my right, facing Tommy.  He stood there a moment, then looked up at Tommy, who was looking down at him.  Tommy had a strange look on his face.  A mix of astonishment and also one of brotherly compassion as he looked into his brothers eyes.

"Sorry TJ.  I'm sorry I kicked you...I...I still love you a lot."  Tommy turned in his chair and took a hold of Jamesson and gave him a hug.

"I love you too Jamie and my shin doesn't hurt very much anymore."  Tommy looked up at the rest of the people in the room, then back at Jamesson.  "Why don't you go ahead and sit down before the food gets cold.  You and I will have a talk tonight before we go to bed and I'm not mad at you any more. Ok?"  Jamesson nodded his head at his brother, turned and walked back around behind me, and over to the chair that was across the table from me and took his seat.  I looked at Mike and saw that he had been looking at me.  He smiled at me and slightly shook his head as if in wonder, then he walked back to the head of the table and sat down.

Mike took a look at all the people seated around the table, then at me.  "Brent, would you please say grace before we begin?"  His request caught me by surprise for a moment, then I reached out my right hand for Tommy's left.  Everyone else, reached and took the hand of the person next to them and then I saw that everyone was ready.

"Please bow your head for grace."  I took a deep breath then said, "Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen."  I heard Amen repeated around the table and felt Tommy give my hand a light squeeze before he released it.

"Thank you Brent.  Now lets eat!" Mike said and smiled at me.

What followed Grace was organized chaos.  The entire center of the table was loaded with more food than I thought an army could eat.  There was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, green beans, brussel sprouts (yuk!), sliced beets, a dish of sliced tomatoes and sliced onions.  There were three pitchers filled with drinks, milk, tea and Kool Aide.  Mike started us off by picking up a basket of dinner rolls, taking one, and then passing it to his left to start it's round of the table.  Soon conversation started up as more food was passed round.  While I was serving myself from the bowl of mashed potatoes, I looked over and saw Tommy dishing himself out a serving of the brussel sprouts.  He looked up at me watching him and then at his plate with the offending vegetable, and then back at me.  He started laughing.

"Ok, so that answers one of your questions, I guess?  You sure you don't want me to serve you some of this?"  He turned and dipped the spoon in the bowl of sprouts and made like to heap some onto my plate.  I hurriedly set the bowl of mashed potatoes I was holding down, and fended off his attempt to deposit the mini cabbage looking balls of crap from my plate.

"You better not!" I said, "Or you'll get a face full of potatoes!"  Tommy laughed and returned the spoon to the bowl and set the bowl down in the center of the table, so whoever else might want some could reach it.  "I don't know HOW you can eat those things!"  I said and gave a little shiver.

"This coming from the boy who wont even drink fresh MILK!"  Tommy laughed and said.

"What was that?" I heard and looked up at Carolyn to see her looking at me with the question on her face.  Tommy turned to look at his mom and answered.

"Can you believe that Brent wont drink fresh milk?  He has to have it from a supermarket I guess and it has to be in a carton, or he asks for verification from the server and then only after taking a very, very small sampling taste to verify it's tastelessness, will he then drink it."  Tommy turned back and looked at me with a large grin on his face.

"Is that true?"  I looked back over at his mom and nodded my head to her.

"It's true.  I don't know how anyone can drink that stuff fresh. Ugh!  It tastes like sh...um...well it just doesn't tastes like milk!"  I looked around the table and everyone was staring at me like I had just grown another head on my shoulders.  I looked back to Carolyn and she was smiling and shaking her head.

"Well, now that's a new one I've never heard before." She said.  "I guess having grow up and always drinking fresh milk, I always thought everyone hated the taste of processed milk.  The kids always complain about the milk they have to drink in school because it's processed."  David, Scott, Tina, Robin, and even Brandon, were nodding their heads emphatically.  When I looked at Jamesson, he was just staring at me with a kind of dreamy look on his face that made me blush.  Everyone went back to eating the food that was on their plates and talking amongst themselves.  Ever so often I would look up at Jamesson and even though I noticed the food he had served himself had steadily vanished, he seemed to always be looking at me when I looked across at him, with that same captivated expression.  I hope Tommy and him have a good talk tonight like Tommy said they would.  I might be spending a lot of time over here, and to have Jamesson mooning over me every time I'm here, could be a bit awkward.

The meal finally wound down.  David and Scott both asked permission to leave the table, and after Mike gave his consent, they picked up their plates and a couple of the now empty serving bowls, and carried them towards the kitchen.  Brandon was next, taking his plate and another empty dish with him as he left.  Tina and Robin followed, then Tommy asked his permission.  When Tommy stood up, I did as well and he grabbed my plate, set it on top of his, and then reached and placed one empty bowl in another, picked them up and headed out of the dining room towards the kitchen.  I looked at the now empty table, with the exception of Mike, Carolyn, Jamesson and Angie's dishes, everything else had been efficiently removed.  I looked at Mike, who smiled at me, and I asked, "May I take yours and Mrs. Weber's dishes to the kitchen for you?"  Carolyn looked up at me and then at Mike as he said, "Thank you Brent, and yes you may, son.  Just give them a rinse in the sink, and put them in the dishwasher."  Jamesson jumped up from his seat and asked his dad if he may be excused.  Mike smiled at him, then looked at me with the smile still on his lips, then gave Jamesson permission to be excused.  I went and collected Mike's and Carolyn's dishes.  When I started to leave and had walked behind Jamesson, who was still standing by his seat, he picked up his dishes and followed me out.

In the kitchen, Brandon and Tommy were scrapping the leftovers into the kitchen garbage bin, then rinsing and stacking the dishes in the dishwasher.  Tommy saw me walk in and gave me a smile, then took the dishes from me and rinsed and stacked them with the others.  Jamesson stepped around me and walked over to the sink and rinsed his plate and placed it in the dishwasher.  He took a sponge from the back of the sink, wet it, then took a small red plastic bow, placed a couple drops of dish soap in it, filled it with water from the tap, turned and when he saw me watching him, offered me a smile, and then took the bowl and sponge with him as he headed back towards the dining room.

"I wondered how everything was going to get washed after that huge meal," I said to Tommy.  "Does this go on every night?" I asked.  He looked over at me with a smile still on his face.

"Yep, every night.  The players change, but it's pretty much the same routine."  He looked around the kitchen and seeing no more dishes that required rinsing, he took a box of dishwasher liquid from against the back splash on the counter, filled a little cup in the door of the dishwasher, closed the cup and the door, twisted a knob near the top of the dishwasher door, and the sound of water swishing around started from the machine.  Brandon had already started wiping down the counter tops with a sponge when Jamesson reentered the kitchen carrying his bowl of now dirty, soapy water and the sponge.  Brandon took both from him and emptied the bowl in the sink, rinsed it out with clean water, along with the sponge, then placed both back behind the sink, all prepared for the next use.  When Brandon finished and turned around, he looked at Jamesson, who had gone back to staring at me.  Brandon reached and took a hold of Jamesson's hand, then led the protesting boy away with him, leaving just Tommy and I standing there.

I looked at Tommy and gave him a smile.  "You do know that Jamesson has somehow developed a crush on me, right?"

Tommy smiled and nodded his head.  "I didn't at first, but when he said what he did about you being his boyfriend, well, I then realized what the kick in the shin and the yell was all about.  I'll talk to him tonight before he goes to bed.  I'll make sure he knows that he can still be your friend, but I'll also make sure he understands that there is a world of difference between, boyfriend and friend!"

"Whew, thanks Cutey!"  I said to him in earnest.  "I'm not sure I could deal with him every time I come over, following me around like a faithful puppy, waiting for me to scratch behind his ears."  I chuckled and Tommy laughed.  "He is cute though." I said and gave Tommy a wink.

"Hey, now!  He's got to wait in line, at the faaaar end!  I'm the only puppy allowed to follow you around in THIS house."  Tommy leered at me.

"Aw, come here you cute thing and let me scratch you behind the ears!"  I teasingly said to him.

"I'd rather you scratch me some place else!"  He rejoined, but then he blushed at what he had said.  I laughed as the color rose in his cheeks.  I waited until I saw the blush leave and then asked him how old his siblings were, because I had been wondering all day.  "Lets see.  Angie is two, I already told you that. Um...Robin is 6, Tina is 8, Jamesson is 10, David is 12, Brandon is 13 and I'm 14.  Actually, Brandon is only 11 months younger than me.

"And me only 9 months older than him!  I better do a little bit of rethinking about him."  I said. 

"What do you mean you need to rethink about him?"  Tommy asked in a weird tone of voice.  I looked him in the eyes, wondering where this tone had come from.

"Because I was thinking he was maybe 11 or 12 years old, not our age.  I think we're pretty good at picking up the signs when someone looks down on us or treats us like we're younger than we are.  I just need to readjust my thinking and make sure I don't do that with Brandon.  Otherwise, he and I are not going to get along and I'd rather have peace between him and I, for your benefit and mine, than to have to deal with animosity every time we see each other.  Don't you think?"  I had kept my eyes on Tommy the whole time I explained what I meant, and saw a loosening of tension that I hadn't even noticed was there, until I saw it leave him.  Then I realized what it was caused by.  "Tommy, he's not in line cutey.  Please don't feel like you need to compete with everyone that I come in contact with.  You won, and I won.  Our reward is each other.  You have me completely."

He looked at me and a little red crept into his cheeks, then he sighed and said, "I still just can't believe you chose me Brent.  Every time I realize you're here with me, it's like a surprise I keep receiving, over and over.  I'm just amazed by you and so happy that you're mine."  I closed the few steps that separated us and took him in my arms.

"No Tommy.  I'm amazed by you.  You make me feel so alive and happy.  I like what it does to me."  I leaned in and our lips met.  He embraced me and I him.  I loved the feel of his arms around me and the taste of his mouth.

"Uh hmm!"  Mike was standing at the door into the kitchen looking at us as he startled Tommy and I with the clearing of his throat.  "The bathroom is upstairs if you two needed to brush your teeth after dinner.  I don't think each others tongues are as effective as a toothbrush, hmm?"  I was having a hard time getting back out of the sink, with half a leg out of the kitchen window, seeings how I had tried to jump through it when he had cleared his throat. Tommy finally had to give me a little bit of assistance in maneuvering both my feet back to the kitchen floor, then to support me a bit, because my jelly legs weren't working well in helping me to stand.  Tommy and Mike were laughing so hard, I was surprised Tommy was able to function enough to lend me help.

When Mike was finally able to take a breath he said, "That's it! From now on, I'm carrying my video camera the whole time you're over here Brent, because there is some really good shit that happens around you and I'm not going to miss it again!"  He started laughing again and wiping his eyes.

Tommy was laughing as he asked me, "Are you ok man?!  You're as white as a sheet!  Can you stand up?"

My face was as hot as a super nova, as the strength returned to my limbs and I stood up on my own without needing Tommy's support.  "I thin...yeah I think I'm ok now, but I tell you what.  If anything else happens to me today like this, someones going to have to give me CPR or just bury me out back, preferably well away from the chicken coup!"  Mike exploded with a huge laugh and if he hadn't had a firm grip on the door casing, I'm sure we would have had to pick him up off the floor.

"My God Brent! How does your dad live day to day with you around?  I think I would have already laughed myself into the grave just watching and listening to your reactions to things.  He has to be a much stronger man than me! Whew!" Mike laughed as he pulled himself together.

"Well, actually, he's never been around enough to even care what happens to me."  That statement sobered every one up in the kitchen, and I regretted saying it the moment the last word left my mouth.

Mike got a serious look on his face and said to me.  "I think things are going to be a lot different for you both here in Beulah, Brent.  I know your father very well and there is no way he can change the past, but I know he's very good at changing the present and the future.  I think you both are going to find each other full of unsuspected surprises."  He looked at Tommy and then back at me.  "Carolyn and would like to talk with you and Tommy.  Would you both please go into the dining room."  Mike stepped away from the door and made room so Tommy and I could precede him, then he followed behind us.  Carolyn was still sitting in the seat she had occupied at dinner, and Angie was in her arms, sucking on a bottle and trying to make a valiant effort to stay awake, but her eyelids appeared to be winning the battle.  Carolyn smiled at us as we walked in, then Mike moved around Tommy and I, took the seat at the head of the table, and asked us to sit in the seats to his right.  Tommy took the one next to his dad, and I sat in the one next to Tommy.  My nervousness was evident, because I was having problems deciding where to put my hands, on the table or keep them in my lap.  Tommy noticed, and reached for and took my left hand in is right and held it on top of the table between us.

"Ok, now that we're all here, and Tommy has helped pull Brent back in from the kitchen window, there are a few questions that Tommy's mom and I have for you two and then we need to have a nice long discussion."  Mike began and gave me a huge smile for the blush coloring my cheeks from the mention of the window scene.  Carolyn had a quizzical look on her face at the mention of it, but let it pass as Mike continued.  "Now, there's not much that we don't already know about Tommy, but Brent, son, we really don't know you very well yet.  From the little I do know though, I can honestly say that you have caught me right here," he placed his open hand over his heart, "and there's just a little more I'd like to know tonight.  First thing I would like to know is, are you gay?"

Wow, I thought.  Nothing like jumping right into the shark tank.  I decided I was going to be completely honest about everything I would be asked and I answered him, "Yes sir.  I'm gay."  He nodded his head at me and I felt Tommy squeeze my hand.

"Ok, lets not regress here, I asked you to please call me Mike, and I don't want any backsliding."  He smiled as he said this, and I smiled back.  "Now that we've settled that you're gay, I would like to know what the meaning of the kiss that David told me about when he almost tore the door off the hinges to tell me what happened while you and Tommy were out for your walk."

"Wait dad!  It's not fair to Brent that he has to answer all your questions and I just have to sit here and listen.  We're in this together!"  Tommy gave my hand another squeeze, which I returned in thanks to his speaking up for me."  His dad looked at him.

"Your turn will come in just a few minutes Tommy.  I'm not trying to put Brent on the spot and I'm definitely not going to hurt him, so if you'll be patient, there are a few things only Brent can answer for me and you'll get your chance to do the same."  He looked back at me and said, "Brent?"

"Well, Tommy and I went for the walk so we could have some private time together, so we could talk and tell each other some things about ourselves and get to know each other better.  When David and Scott saw us kissing, we had just finished talking and..." I looked over towards Carolyn, who was watching me as I answered Mike and then I looked back to Mike "...the reason we were kissing was I had just asked Tommy if he would be my boyfriend and he said yes."  Mike's eyes opened wide at this, then quickly returned to normal.

"Ok, I see."  Mike turned and looked at his wife, who also seemed to be a bit surprised by my answer, then looked back at me.  "That wasn't exactly what I thought your reply would be, actually, it's more of a shock and I think I'm not doing a very good job of hiding my reaction."  Suddenly I saw a red flush infuse Mikes face and a little embarrassed look replaced the more serene one that had been there just moments ago.  I decided to go a little further and let everyone in the room know a little bit more about my feelings, so I turned to Tommy.

"Before we continue, I would like to say something to Tommy and I would like both Mike and..and, "  Carolyn spoke up and said,"My name is Carolyn and I hate being called ma'am and Mrs. Weber by people I'm fond of as much as Mike hates, Sir and Mr. Weber.  Please call me Carolyn."  She smiled and nodded her head at me.  I cleared my throat before I picked back up what I was going to say.  "Well I'd like you both to also hear what I have to say to Tommy."  I turned back to Tommy, who was now looking me right in the eyes.

"Tommy.  I want you to know that I wont lie to you.  I wont tell you something false because I'm afraid that what I say might hurt your feelings or to save from having my own hurt.  Whatever truth you ask from me, you will receive.  So...please think about the things you want to ask me and then only ask me if you are prepared for the answer.  You've already experienced a little bit of this from this morning when you questioned the kiss I gave you in the boys restroom.  I delayed the answer until I felt we were safe enough for me to reveal it only to you.  Your questions and my reply are only for you.  I wont share them with anyone else."  I looked into his eyes.  "But you also need to make sure you don't NOT ask me the truth about something that is really bothering you.  If you do that, then what you will have started doing, is to plant a seed of doubt into our relationship, and all it will do is grow out of control, and eventually it will strangle all that we will have built by that point and any future we have had together.  Please don't do that."   I then looked at Mike and Carolyn. 

"Mike, Carolyn.  Things that Tommy tells me in confidence, I will not share with you.  If you ask me about something that Tommy has told me in confidence, I will tell you that you will need to talk to him.  So please don't ask me further about a subject concerning Tommy, if this way the reply you received from me the first time you asked.  You wont get the answer from me.  I can promise you this though.  I will not knowingly let Tommy do anything that will cause him to harm himself in a life threatening manner and if I can not prevent that kind of action, then you will know about it, so you can take whatever steps you need to prevent it."  I looked down at the table top and collected myself for the next part of what I needed to say.  It was hard for me to say this, but I wanted to be honest with Tommy from the start.  I looked back up and then turned to Tommy.  I squeezed his hand in mine.

"Tommy.  I like you a whole lot.  Right now sitting here with your hand in mine, I feel warm and safe and secure inside.  I look at you and I see everything I could hope for as far as physical attraction goes, and I also feel that as we get to know each other better, we will make a more emotional connection as well."  Here comes the hard part, I steeled myself for it.  "I can't say I love you Tommy.  I...I don't think I really know what love is or how it feels."  I felt my throat begin to constrict.  "There is only one person in my life right now that I know what love feels like for me and that is Connie.  I know what her love for me is too.  But that's the love I have for someone who has been with me my entire life.  The one person who has been there when I hurt my knee, who placed a cooling towel on my forehead, and sat up all night caring for my fever or cold.  The...the one who came to watch me play basketball or swim, and whose voice I heard over all the others as she yelled and screamed encouragement for me to win, or who hugged me and bought me an ice cream when I lost."  Tears were now freely falling from my eyes and my vision was blurred by them.  I rubbed my eyes with my hand and looked down at he table and got the last part out through the lump in my throat.  It came out in a strangled whisper,  "That's the only love I know right now."  I looked back up to Tommy, "But...but Tommy, I...I want to know what love is, if...if you'll let me learn to...to love you."  I could barely breath through the emotions choking off my voice.  I felt Tommy stand up next to me and he pulled me to my feet.  Tears were falling from his eyes as he held my face between his hands.

"Brent, I will let you learn to love me if you let me learn to love you too.  I want that more than anything.  I know a lot about what love is for my family and from them, but I don't know a lot about the kind of love I want from you or for you.  But together we will learn what we want from each other."  Tommy bent down and gave me a kiss and then rubbed the tears from my face with a thumb from each of his hands, as he held my cheeks cupped in them.  I felt another hand touch my right shoulder, and felt Tommy let go of my face.  I looked to my right and Carolyn was standing there with her hand gently rubbing my should.  I looked up into her face, and she had tears streaking her cheeks.

"Brent, I know I'm just a silly old woman, but I'm also the mother of seven wonderful children.  If any one of them love me as much as I know you love Connie, then it would only be a small amount of how much I love them.  I don't know Connie, I know from just hearing you now that she holds the same amount of love for you that I hold for my own children."  She rubbed a tear from her right cheek using the hand not currently on my shoulder.  "If you don't mind.  There's nothing in the world I want more right this moment, than to give you a hug and a kiss.  Will you please let me do that?  I really need to or my heart will break."

I turned to face Carolyn.  I held out my arms to her and she rushed into them and wrapped her own around me as I embraced her.  She held me tight to her and I could actually feel the love radiating out of her body and into mine.  It was a very emotional moment for me to feel that kind of warmth and bonding, and I began to cry again as I lowered my head to rest on her shoulder and felt her move a hand from my back, to the back of my head and pull me closer into this bond.  I finally got control of my emotions and raised my head from her shoulder and looked down at her face.  A smile formed on her lips and she reached up with both her hands and took my head in them and lowered it until I felt her lips come into contact with my forehead.  She raised my head back up until once again our eyes met and she said thank you.  We moved apart from each other.

"Wait a minute!"  I heard Mike say into the silence.  I turned around and looked in his direction.  "You get over here and give me a hug too, or I'll go right now and hang myself from that iron rooster on the roof of the barn and Tommy will have to find a new place!  Get over here right now Brent!"  He held his arms wide apart and I saw that his face was also wet.  I gave him a smile and walked over and he grabbed me and wrapped his arms around me and I wrapped mine around this man.  After we hugged he pushed me back and held me by the shoulders.  "Boy, things are going to be changing and they are going to be changing fast.  You listen to me Brent.  I know Billy.  I know Billy very well.  There had always been one obstacle in his way for his entire life and that one obstacle is now gone.  You give him just a little more time and I promise you, you will know more about love than you ever imagined.  But, if after a little more time and you don't start to see these changes I'm promising you, then you just come right back over here, and if Tommy can't show you what love is, I sure the hell can!"

"Mike!" Carolyn gasp out.  "Do you know what that sounded like?!"  I turned and looked at her and she had a very shocked look on her face and it was glowing like the red from a bonfire.  I looked back at Mike and his face had also turned a bright cherry red.

"Well, um, I didn't mean it like THAT!  Hell fire woman, he knows what I meant.  I didn't mean to suggest...well...I didn't say I would show him THAT kind of love! Hell Fire!"  All of a sudden I heard Tommy start laughing his head off and then I started to laugh at the look of horror and embarrassment in Mikes face.  Soon we were all laughing, releasing the tension of the last half hour or so we had spent in this room.  "Ok, ok! Enough of this.  I only have one more thing to say and this is very important.  Quiet down everyone!"  Mike interrupted the laughing session.  We all got ourselves under control.

Mike then told me to go and stand next to Tommy and I walked over to him and took Tommy's hand in mine and turned to face his dad.  "Ok boys.  I can still remember when I was your age and I know eventually your relationship will include sex."  My face turned hot and I saw that Tommy's was in full flame also.  "Don't either of you try to deny it either.  But here's what you both will have to promise us.  There are six children who live in this house who are not in love with Brent, well, ok maybe five, but Jamesson don't count in this.  You two will keep that in mind at all times and at no time are you to put yourselves in a position to where any one or all of them will be exposed to you acting on your sexual needs.  Kissing is fine, as long as you aren't trying to bore a hole through the insides of each others mouths.  I don't want to hear about your sex lives, see it or smell it."  He raised his eyes knowingly at us as he said this last part.  Tommy and I looked at each other and frowned.  Smell? Ok, well he thinks we know something that we obviously don't.  He didn't miss the look Tommy and I shared, so he thought he'd try and make it a little clearer and said, "If I want to smell the fresh clean smell of an ocean breeze , I'll go visit the ocean."  I still didn't get it and turned and looked at Tommy.  He was blushing again, and when he recognized that I still didn't understand his father, he leaned over and cupped my ear in his hands and whispered, "The smell of cum. You know, it smells kind of like salt water."  I jerked my head away from Tommy real quick and looked over towards Carolyn, who had a smile on her face, and you could have fried eggs and a whole slab of bacon on mine.  "Aha!  I see the light of understanding on both your faces!" Mike chuckled.  "Above all be safe and don't do anything stupid.  This is a farm and there are many hidden places where you can express your love in that way without exposing us all to it.  If you have problems find them, just ask me and I'll show the places Carolyn and I used to use when we were dating."

"Mike!" Carolyn yelled out.

"What?" He said to her, with a feigned look of innocence.  "I didn't plan on showing them the ones we STILL use!  What are you blushing for?"  Mike said with a huge grin on his face.  Tommy and I both looked at his mom and from the color of her face, she looked like she was about ready to spontaneously combust.  "Well, that's all I have to say for now.  Honey, is there anything you would like to ask or say to the boys before we let them leave?"  He asked his wife.

"I think you've said quite enough for one night.  The only thing I want to repeat is for you boys to be safe and discreet.  You both know what this could mean for you if the wrong people found out at your school and I'd hate for you to have to deal with the stress that would cause.  Now, both of you run along, and Brent, welcome to our family.  You are welcomed, and more than welcome for as long as you'd like."

"Thank you both." I said.  "It's not nearly enough to say, but it's the best I can come up with at the moment."  Carolyn nodded her head and smiled, then turned and went over to the corner of the room, where I now saw a play pen for the first time.  She reached in and picked up Angie, then carried the sleeping little girl out with her, as she left the dining room.  Mike came and gave Tommy and me one last hug and he followed Carolyn out of the room.  I looked at my watch and it was already 7:50pm.  I looked up at Tommy and he had that cute look on his face.  "You know you really are hot looking Tommy.  Dude, just looking at your face and now that I have that visual reference of your hot naked body in my mind from earlier in your room, I don't know how I'm going to be able to stand not getting my hands on you and soon.  You know...I've never done anything with anyone.  I don't know what I'm doing, but I know what I want to do and try.  So you'll have to tell me if I do anything wrong."

"Me?  I'm as new at this as you are.  You've had more experience than me!  When you kissed me in the restroom this morning, that was the first time I ever kissed someone other than my family!  Plus, you said you groped that guy in California, Russell?  I've never felt another cock other than my own!"  Tommy said and smiled at me.

"Then you and I have a lot of hands on studying to do together, and the sooner we get to it, the happier I'll be."  I leered at him and smiled.  Tommy giggled and came over to me.

"Lets practice a little more of the kissing chapter right now.  I don't think I picked up the hang of it yet, and I need more work on the use of my tongue."  He reached for me and before his lips could touch mine.

"Wait!" I put my hand on his chest to hold him back.  He gave me a querying look.  "I think I remember someone eating brussel sprouts during dinner.  I know it wasn't ME, and I'm positive it was YOU!  Now that I remember that, and had obviously forgotten it while we were in the kitchen.  How about I follow you up to your room, and I will wait patiently as you go brush any remaining speck of those offending orbs from your mouth.  You taste too good to me, to have it spoiled by introduction of that flavor on my tongue as you try to swallow me whole!"  Tommy growled and smiled at me.

"You TEASE!  Come on!"  He said and grabbed my hand as dragged me out of the dining room, through the kitchen, past the family room and up the stairs to his room.

When we entered Tommy's room, laughing, Brandon was once again lying on his bed reading a comic.  He looked up as we came bursting in the door.  A scowl crossed his face and then a huge resigned sigh escaped his compressed lips.  Tommy stopped and looked at him with a scowl of his own replacing the laughing smile that had just been there.  I decided now was as good a time as any to have a chat with Brandon, alone.  I leaned over and whispered in Tommy's ear, "Go brush and I want to have a private chat with Brandon."  He looked at me with confusion on his face, but then nodded his head and left the room, closing the door behind.  Brandon had kept his eyes on me the whole time and watched as I took a seat in the chair by the computer desk.

"Brandon, can you and I have a talk for a few minutes?"  He sat up in his bed and placed the comic by his side.

"What do you want to talk about?" He still had a belligerent tone about his voice.

"You act like you don't even like me, more like you hate me and we don't even know each other."

"You're right, I don't know you."  He paused and thought for a few seconds.  "But, I don't hate you.  How can I hate someone I don't even know?"

"Ok, but the whole time I've been here today, any time you see me or talk to me, that's the way it comes across.  I know that this is your room, but it is also Tommy's.  I'm not coming in here to invade your space, I come in here because this is where Tommy comes.  It's his personal space too.  I know it must be hard sharing a room with someone when you'd like to have one of your own." Well at least he's sitting there listening to me and the scowl has disappeared.  "Look.  We're all three of us the same age.  I know how you must feel."

"Wait.  What do you mean we're all the same age?" He asked.

"Well, for one more week, I'm 13 just like you."  His eyebrows shot up in his head when I said this.

"You're what?!  I thought you were 15 or 16!" Surprise, surprise, I thought at this statement.

"Nope.  Besides, I'm a freshman in high school.  I'd be awfully dumb if I were 15 or 16 and just now a freshman, don't you think?" Brandon got up and moved to the end of his bed and then sat back down.  He was intently looking at me, as if he were looking me over to ascertain the truthfulness of what I had told him.

"I...I can't believe we're the same age.  You're really built aren't you?  I wish I was as built as you."  He looked down at himself then back up at me.  "I look like a skinny runt!"  I gave him a small smile.  I didn't want to laugh, that would put him off for good.

"I don't think you look like a skinny runt.  The only reason I'm 'built' is because I've surfed, swam and played volleyball almost every summer since I was 10 years old.  I also played basketball and swam in school.  I used to workout in the gym a couple times a week to keep in shape also.  If you really want to know what 'built' is, you should see this guy that Tommy and I go to school with named Frank.  I look like a runt compared to him."  Brandon was smiling now and I could feel the tension between us begin to thaw.  "But look Brandon, the reason I wanted to talk is because I don't want us to be enemies.  I'd really like to be friends.  We're going to be seeing a lot of each other because Tommy and I are...we're..."

"Boyfriends.  You can say it.  It's weird and all, but it's not a bad thing."  Again he got a thoughtful look on his face as he looked at me.  He lowered his head and after what seemed forever, he looked back up at me.  "I'd like to be friends too.  I'm sorry the way I've been acting today.  It's just that I always have to watch over what I have because with so many brothers, they always want to get into my things.  It's probably crazy, but what is mine, I want to stay mine.  I'm not very good at sharing."  He stood up from the bed and walked the short distance to me.  I stood up and stuck out my hand to shake on it, and instead he wrapped his arms around me in a hug and that was the moment the door opened and Tommy walked in.

"What's all this?!" Tommy demanded in a harsh voice.  I had tried to disengage from the hug after Tommy's demand, but Brandon held tight.

"What does it look like!  Brent wants ME now, not you!" Brandon said to Tommy in a voice to match his.  Tommy walked over and jerked Brandon away from me, then drew back his arm and punched Brandon in the face.  Before I could react to what was happening, the brawl was on.  Brandon punched Tommy in the chest then they grabbed each other in arm locks around their chests and wound up on the floor with Tommy on top of Brandon.  They were yelling and screaming at each other as they rolled around in the limited space between the two beds and desk.  I finally came to my senses and reached into the midst of them to break it up.  I grabbed Tommy and physically pulled him to his feet, causing him to lose his grip on Brandon.

"What the hell are you doing?!"  I yelled at the top of my lungs, startling him and he jerked around to look at my face.  "Brandon lied!  We were hugging because we had just agreed to be more friendly and he would stop acting like a jerk!  But then this shit happens!"  By now, Brandon had gotten himself up off the floor.  I looked over at him and he could tell from my expression that I was pissed at him too.  I saw him look behind me, then a bit of color drained from his face and I turned to look where he had.  We had an audience surrounding the door and standing just inside the room, were Mike and Carolyn, and they were not happy.  I let go of Tommy and he turned to look at the door as well.

"Brent.  Hank is downstairs right now with Scott.  I think now would be a good time for you to say your good byes and let Hank drive you home.  You're welcome to come back any time, but right now Tommy, Brandon and I are going to have a discussion.  It was a pleasure having you over today and tell your father I said hello when you get home.  Goodnight son."  He walked over and Tommy moved out of his way.  He gave me a hug and then Carolyn stepped over and hugged me as well.  When she released me, I turned to Mike.

"But...but Mike, it was kind of my fault too.  Don't you want to here my part of it?"

Mike reached out and put his hand on my shoulder.  "I can do some guessing and I'll get the full story out of these two.  This kind of thing has been brewing with them for a long time and tonight it ends.  Now tell Tommy goodnight, then come downstairs and bring your things with you.  Hank will be waiting for you."  He looked over at Brandon, "You come with me." he said.  Brandon ducked his head an followed his father.  Carolyn collected everyone else lurking in the room and hall outside, then closed the door to the room, leaving just Tommy and I there.  I turned and collected my history book off of the desk and put it in my book bag that was lying open on Tommy's bed.  Tommy was just standing there watching me as I packed up my things and secured the book bag.  When I was done, I picked the bag up and put it over my shoulder and turned to face him.  When he looked at me, his eyes teared up.

"You're mad at me aren't you Brent?  I'm...I'm sorry.  I ruined everything!"  My boyfriend didn't look away from me after saying this, he kept a steady gaze locked on my eyes.

"I'm mad Tommy, but I'm mad at everything that happened.  I'm more upset that I have to go home and leave you.  I don't want to be apart from you...ever.  Brandon said what he did, just to piss you off, and you fell for it and now see what happened?  I'm being sent home and your in trouble with your parents."  A couple of tears rolled down from Tommy's eyes.  "Come here, I need a hug and kiss before I leave."  Tommy flew into my outstretched arms and we hugged tight.  "I'm going to miss you tonight.  God Tommy, I need you with me so much!"  I said.

"I'm sorry Brent.  I wish I could rewind and walk through the door again."  He took his head off of my shoulder and looked at me.  We brought our lips together and when I felt his tongue at the entry to my mouth, I opened my lips and took it in.  There was a minty taste, but there was also the distinct taste of him mixed in.  He withdrew his tongue and mine followed his back into his mouth.  I could taste more of him now and I wanted to just stay there all night, savoring him.  Mike yelled from downstairs and Tommy and I broke the kiss.

"I'll see you tomorrow.  Wait for me outside like we had planned this morning.  I better go before you're dad comes up here.  He's already mad enough, we don't want to make him madder."  I gave Tommy another quick kiss and we separated.

"I'll be out front of the school waiting for you.  I'm going to miss you tonight too.  I'm so sorry Brent!  Brandon knows how to push all my buttons and I always fall for it." he said.  I nodded and ran my hand along his cheek.  Tommy went and opened the door and him and I walked downstairs.  Waiting by the front door were Hank, Scott and Mike.  Jamesson was also waiting and when he saw me, ran over and threw his arms around my waist.  I rubbed the top of his head and smiled down at him.

"Well goodnight little man.  You sleep well and it was nice meeting you today.  I'll see you soon, ok?"  He smiled up at me.

"Night Brent.  You promise you're coming back right?"  He asked.

"I promise." I said.  He let go of me and went running off towards the family room.  I turned to Mike and told him goodnight and then turned to Tommy and told him I'd see him in the morning.  Hank said his goodnights along with Scott and we left the house and walked out into the night to the SUV.  When I looked back at the door, Tommy was standing there with a forlorn look on his face and I waved back to him.  He waved in return and when I opened the side door and got into the SUV and closed the door, I looked back to Tommy and with a final wave he stepped back and closed his front door.  Hank and Scott climbed in and Hank started the SUV and drove away from the house and onto the road heading back towards Beulah.

"Well, I see I arrived just in time before the trip to the emergency room."  Hank said and chuckled from the drivers seat.

"That's not funny anymore Hank.  I really don't want to talk about it.  I appreciate you taking me home.  I know it's after your work day, so I want you to know I really do appreciate it."  Hank looked back at me in the rear view mirror.

"Sorry Brent.  I don't mean to make fun of you and you don't need to thank me for taking you home.  You're my charge and if it weren't my job, I'd do it anyway, just because it's you.  We should be to the farm in about 30 minutes."  Scott started telling his dad about his first day of school and they both became involved in their own discussion, as we continued the trip to the farm.  I just sat in the back and thought about everything that had happened today and the whirlwind way I'd ended up with a boyfriend.  Tommy fit perfectly for me.  Maybe he wasn't the kind of guy that really stuck out in a crowd and made you take notice, but once you did notice him, he was hard to forget.  I don't plan on forgetting one single thing about him.  As we drove farther away from Tommy's house, I felt like an elastic cord were being stretched thinner and thinner between he and I.  By the time we arrived at the farm and I told Scott and Hank goodnight.  The cord felt stretched so taunt, that if I had lifted both feet off the ground it would snatch me back and away to him.  Hank said he'd see me in the morning at 8am, then he and Scott drove away.  I opened the front door to my house and walked in. 

Connie came from the hall leading into the kitchen and met me at the front door.  She gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  I told her I had a lot to tell her, but that I had homework I needed to finish before I went to bed and she said she'd be up before I went to sleep and we'd talk.  My dad then came out of the hall leading from the living room to the front door.  He smiled at me and walked over.

"Hello Brent.  You left so fast this morning, I didn't even get to tell you good bye and to have a good day at school.  I also didn't get to give you a hug.  Do you mind if I get that hug now?"  He smiled as he opened his arms to me.  I was a bit surprised at this turn of events, but I opened my arms to him and we shared a hug.  I felt his lips press the top of my head and I wondered when I got older, if I would be as tall as him, at 6'2".  We released the hug and then he said, "I love you, son."  His eyes had a gleam in them and hearing him say those words to me filled me with warmth.  "Well, I heard you tell Connie you had homework, so I better let you get to it.  I just wanted to see you before you went to your rooms.  Goodnight son, and I'll see you in the morning.  Sleep well."

"I love you too dad, and...thanks for coming to say goodnight."  He smiled at me and turned and walked back down the hall towards the living room.  Connie winked at me and told me to scoot.  I smiled back at her and took the two flight of stairs up to my rooms.  I dropped my book bag in my study, before I sat down at my desk.  The bond between Tommy and I was stretched very thin at this point, but I could definitely feel it still there.  It was real and it wasn't going to snap with distance.  I sat there and thought about us a little more, before I opened my book bag, took our my history book, and began to read for my homework assignment.  It had been a very event filled day.


Thanks to all the people who have written with encouragement and positive feedback for this story.  I hope you enjoyed this segment of Learning to Love.  If you would like to send me an email, you can send it to jmedinacorona@gmail.com. Stay tuned for more to come!