This story may occasionally include explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adult males. If you are underage or it is illegal to view this for any reason, consider yourself warned. If you find this material offensive, please leave.
This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entire a coincidence. As the author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me. This work is copyright © 2016 by Steven Wells.
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John's Journey Forward
"Good!" Ms. Cardoza said. "Now let's sign the paperwork. And, don't get too nervous. This is probably more paperwork than when you officially bought your house."
Two hours later, Noel, Eagan, and I were on our way to the car. We somehow managed to get Eagan's car seat installed.
As Noel pulled out of the parking lot, I turned around so I could talk to Eagan.
"Eagan," I began. "We'd like to take you to meet my mom and dad before we go to our home. Are you okay with this?"
"Will your mom and dad be my grandma and grandpa?" Eagan asked.
"Yup," I replied. "They will be your grandma and grandpa. Tomorrow, we will take you to meet your other grandma and your aunts and uncles."
"I will have two grandmas?" Eagan asked with a little surprise in his voice.
"Yes, you have two grandmas," I explained. "And, you have five uncles and one aunt."
"And I have two daddies," Eagan said proudly.
"Yes, Eagan," I continued. And, yes, I had to hold back some tears. "You have two very PROUD daddies."
Noel pulled in front of my parents' condo. The valet took the car and we went upstairs. I didn't need to knock on the door. Mom and dad stood outside their front door. I carried Eagan down the hallway from the elevator.
"Mom, Dad," I said as I let Eagan stand in front of my parents. "I'd like you to meet Eagan. Our son. Eagan, this is your grandmother and grandfather Sanchez."
My mother struggled, but made it down to Eagan's level. "I am so, so happy to meet you Eagan."
"I'm happy to meet you, too, Grandma," Eagan said as he put his arms around my mother's neck. "I've never had a grandma or grandpa before."
My father picked Eagan up and carried him into the living room.
Chapter 19: Settling in
I carried Eagan up to our third-floor apartment. He was awake but fading.
"So, Eagan," Noel said as he opened the door. "Welcome home!"
Eagan's eyes got big. "We live here?"
"Yes," I replied as I let him stand between Noel and me. "We live here. Let's go see your room."
Eagan followed Noel and me into his room.
"This is your room," Noel explained. "What do you think, Eagan?"
"It's big," Eagan replied. "Who else stays in this room?"
"No one, Eagan," I said. "Why?"
"You mean this is only for me?" Eagan asked as he gripped my pant leg.
Noel and I both kneeled in front of Eagan. Noel explained, "Yes, Eagan. This is only for you. You have a closet, a bed, a desk, and a bureau."
I noticed Eagan's mood change. "Eagan," I began. "Your Daddy Noel and I will be right next door."
"You're not going to leave me like my mother did, are you?" Eagan asked. He looked terrified.
Noel pulled Eagan closer to him and me. We gave him a hug. "No, Eagan," Noel began. "We aren't leaving you. We are your Daddies. We will take care of you. You are our son. We love you."
"You love me?" Eagan whispered. "No one has ever told me they love me."
"We do, Eagan," I replied. "We will always love you. Why don't we go see our room, Eagan? We are right next door."
Noel picked Eagan up and carried him into our bedroom. "This is where we sleep Eagan. We're right next door to you."
"What if I get scared?" Eagan asked.
"Let us know," I replied.
"Okay," Eagan replied. His eyes were droopy. "
"Why don't we get you ready for bed?" I asked.
Eagan wiggled his way to the floor and ran into his bedroom. He picked up the duffle bag containing his belongings and pulled out a plastic bag with medications, tooth brush, and a few other items.
"Mrs. Turner told me to give this to you," Eagan replied. "She said it was important, and you will know what to do with it."
"Thank you, Eagan," Noel said as he took the bag. "Let's get you ready to go to bed, okay?"
"Yes," Eagan said as his eyes began to droop even further.
I pulled out Eagan's PJs from his duffle bag. The bag contained startlingly few clothes: two pair of underwear, two pair of sox, two shirts, two pair of pants. The books and photos filled most of the bag.
"Do you need help getting ready for bed?" I asked Eagan.
"No," Eagan replied. He pulled his toothbrush and toothpaste out of the plastic bag Mrs. Turner had prepared. I escorted him into his bathroom. He couldn't reach the sink.
"I'll help you tonight, okay?" I asked Eagan.
"Yes, please," Eagan replied. I lifted him so he could reach the sink. He expertly brushed his teeth.
Once we were finished with bathroom duties, I carried Eagan to his bed. Noel had turned down the bed.
Noel sat on the bed with two books from Eagan's bag. "Do you want us to read you a story before you go to sleep?"
"Yes, please," Eagan replied as I tucked him in.
"Which one do you want to hear?" Noel asked as he held up two books.
"The one about the bears," Eagan replied.
Noel began reading about the family of bears. We both noticed Eagan drifted off to sleep before Noel finished the first chapter.
We quietly left Eagan's bedroom. We also left his door open.
Noel and I began our process of getting undressed.
"John," Noel began. "Do we need to wear something to bed in case Eagan decides to join us?"
"Bottoms," I replied. "I will be happy with bottoms. However, I draw the line at shirts. I want to feel your naked chest next to mine."
"We need to put a lock on our door just in case a certain little one decides to join us during an act of passion," Noel said as he planted a kiss on my lips.
We settled into bed and fell asleep almost immediately. Noel's back was turned to me as we spooned together in sleep.
We were suddenly awakened by a terrified Eagan. "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Someone chased me. Then I woke up and didn't know where I was. Then, I remembered you said you were across the hall."
"You're safe Eagan," I said as I helped him into our bed.
I woke up on Saturday morning earlier than usual. Noel was on his side with his head propped up by his left arm. He was smiling. Eagan rested peacefully partly on my chest and partly on my arm.
"Nice feeling, isn't it?" Noel asked quietly.
"Yea," I replied. "What do we do now? Wake him up? Or let him sleep?"
"Probably wake him up," Noel replied. "We meet the contractor in two hours. Unlike other Saturday mornings, we have a little one to get ready. We might need every second."
"Okay, little dude," I whispered to Eagan.
"You didn't leave me!" Eagan said as his eyes flicked open. He sounded surprised.
"No, we didn't leave you," I replied. "We're not going to leave you."
"Do you want something to eat, Eagan?" Noel asked.
"Yes, please," Eagan replied.
Noel and I crawled out of bed. Eagan was holding onto my neck.
"What do you want to eat, Eagan?" Noel asked. "Cereal? Milk? Toast?"
"Cereal," Eagan said. "Cheerios?"
"Sure," Noel replied. "Cheerios is Daddy John's favorite."
After breakfast, we dressed and then strapped Eagan into his car seat.
We arrived at the house to meet the contractor precisely at 10 am. He had arrived just moments before us and was unlocking the house. Noel and I unstrapped Eagan from his car seat, and Noel carried him to the front porch where Constantine, the contractor, stood.
"Good morning, guys," Constantine greeted us. "Who is this little guy?"
"This is Eagan, our son," I replied. "Eagan, this is the person renovating our house, Constantine."
"Son?" Constantine said. "I didn't know you had a son!"
"He just joined our lives yesterday," Noel replied. "Didn't you Eagan?"
"Yes," Eagan said quietly. I could tell by the look on his face he had no idea who this strange man was.
"Congratulations, Eagan," Constantine said to Eagan. "You are a lucky boy. You found two very fine daddies."
"They love me," Eagan replied with a smile forming across his face.
"I'm certain they do love you, Eagan," Constantine replied. "Dillon will be joining us in a few minutes. He has ideas about minor changes. He was here yesterday and looked at the space again."
"Changes make me a little worried," I said. I tried to smile.
"I promise you will like his suggestions," Constantine said to Noel and me. Then, he turned his attention to Eagan. "While we wait for Dillon, would you like to see where you will be living in a few months?"
"Okay," Eagan replied. He didn't seem terribly interested.
Constantine unlocked the door and we stepped into the house.
"Holy... cow," Noel exclaimed as he surveyed the downstairs.
All the walls separating the living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room had been removed. The room looked gigantic. The only rooms left protected with walls were the downstairs guest suite and the half bath off the entry.
"This is an amazingly big space," I added. "This isn't the house I grew up in!"
"Did we make the wrong decision to open everything up?" Noel asked.
"No," Constantine replied as our architect, Dillon Howard, stepped through the front door. "Perfect timing, Dillon."
"Good morning," Dillon greeted us. "I see we have an extra pair of eyes this morning."
"Dillon," I said. "This is Eagan... Our son."
"Son!" Dillon exclaimed. "Congratulations! Has this been in the works for some time?"
"No," Noel explained. "Eagan needed a home. We are giving him a home. A week ago, we had no inkling we would be parents."
"I was just going to show them the upstairs before we talk about your plans," Constantine explained. "Eagan has a room to pick out."
"Yea, Eagan," Noel said. "Do you want to go upstairs and pick out a room for you when we move into the house?"
"Yes," Eagan said. He smiled for the first time since we arrived at the house.
Eagan wanted to be held again. So, I picked him up, and we headed upstairs.
"This is our room, Eagan," Noel explained. "So, you get to pick any of the three other rooms here for yourself."
Eagan wiggled down to the floor and began to explore. He walked into the first room. "What's behind the door?" Eagan asked.
"It's a closet," I replied as I opened the door to the walk-in closet.
"It's big," Eagan said as he moved to look out the window which overlooks the back yard. "What is the blue thing outside?"
"It's the pool," I explained. "We can swim in it when it is summer weather."
"I can't swim," Eagan replied.
"We'll teach you, Eagan," Noel added. "This door leads into the bathroom shared by the next bedroom."
The bathroom, which was shared by the adjacent bedroom, is fairly large. It has a vanity with two sinks. It also has a bathtub, a separate shower, and the toilet.
We went into the other bedroom which shares the bathroom. It is the mirror image of the first one Eagan inspected. It, too, looked out over the back yard.
Eagan led us into the third bedroom on our inspection tour. He walked into the last room and wasn't impressed.
"Can I have the first room we looked at?" Eagan asked.
"If you want the first one, you can have the first one," Noel replied.
"I like it because it is the room nearest yours, daddy," Eagan replied.
"What's your favorite color, Eagan?" Constantine asked.
"Blue, red, yellow, and green," Eagan replied.
"I believe we have a budding interior decorator in our midst," Constantine said. "Shall we go downstairs and hear what Dillon has come up with?"
"Sure," I said as I picked up Eagan again as we headed downstairs.
"Let me show you the concepts I have developed," Dillon explained as he pulled out his tablet. "We will stick with our original ideas. But, I have some very practical and exciting ideas to review. First is the kitchen. Before I show you what I am proposing, we will be under our original estimate if we agree on a few minor changes."
"I like `under,'" Noel said.
Dillon shoved his tablet in front of us on a box which served as a makeshift table. "This is where the kitchen is—in the space in which we are now standing. I propose moving the kitchen over there." He pointed to the space formerly occupied by the family room.
"Why?" I asked.
"The family room is bigger," Dillon began his explanation. "I could give you a similar kitchen as the one we originally picked. It would be the same size, but, with more wall space, we can give you more upper cabinets and not spoil the openness of the kitchen. We could also add a pantry and a small mud room. Also, this whole space will be the living room and dining area. It would be a twenty-foot wide by forty-foot long open space. And we can have a wall of windows opening onto the deck."
"I'm in," Noel replied. "Provided it won't cost any more than our original plan."
"It will cost less," Dillon explained. "It fits better with the cabinet layout. It will have fewer lower cabinets and more upper cabinets."
"I'm in, too," I replied. "Eagan?"
"Sure," Eagan replied. He didn't know what he was agreeing to, but he agreed.
"Move in date?" I asked. "When will the house be ready to move into?"
"Three months from today," Constantine replied. "I'm scheduling my best guys to work on the house. This will be a very special house once we are finished with it."
"It is already special," I added. "Eagan is here."
We sat in our apartment living room after we met the contractor at the house. I became a little uncertain if the house could ever be put back together again. Noel and I had gathered some photos of our family. We were to meet them about 2 pm at Manuel and Kerry's house.
"You met your grandma and grandpa Sanchez yesterday," I began. "This is a photo of my brother Anthony and his partner Timothy."
Eagan looked at the photo and then me. Photo. Me. Photo. Me. "You look alike, daddy."
"We're twins," I explained. "Twins often look very similar."
"Are Anthony and Timothy my uncles?" Eagan asked.
"Yes, they are your uncles," I replied. "Your daddy Noel has brothers, too. So, you have five uncles and one aunt."
"Wow!" Eagan replied. "Five uncles! How many is five?"
"Uncles Anthony and Timothy, Uncles Jorge and George, Uncle Manuel," I explained. "You have one Aunt. Her name is Kerry."
"This is my younger brother Jorge," Noel explained as he pulled up a photo on his phone. "His partner is George. George works with daddy John."
"Are Uncle Jorge and Uncle George married?" Eagan asked.
"Not yet," Noel explained. "But they will get married soon."
Noel flipped to another photo on his phone, "This is my older brother Manuel and his wife Kerry."
"She's pretty," Eagan replied.
"Yes, she is," Noel continued. "And this is my mother. She's your Grandma Ramirez."
"Do you think they will like me?" Eagan asked.
"Of course they will like you," I replied. "As a matter of fact, they will love you just like we do."
"Okay," Eagan replied.
"All of your aunts, uncles, and grandparents will be at Uncle Miguel and Aunt Kerry's house. We are going to meet them for an early supper," I explained.
"Tomorrow we are taking you shopping for some new clothes," Noel added.
"Why?" Eagan asked.
"You will need more than two sets of clothing, Eagan," I said. "We will also unpack your bag and put things wherever you want them. I noticed some photos in your bag. Are they of your mother?"
"Yes," Eagan replied. "There are some books I like to read, too. My mother gave them to me before she left."
"What else did your mother give you?" Noel asked.
"I'll show you," Eagan said as he jumped off the sofa and ran to his room. When he returned, he carried a shoe box. Once Eagan settled between Noel and me, he lifted the top off the box. "She gave me these. I don't know what they are because I can't read them."
Eagan handed me a piece of paper folded in half and then in thirds. I quietly read it. Noel followed my lead and was reading the note Eagan had given him.
I looked at Noel. Noel looked at me.
"What does it say, daddy?" Eagan asked me.
"It is a note from your mother," I said. "Do you want me to read it to you now or do you want to wait until after we meet your new aunts and uncles and grandparents?"
"After," Eagan replied. "I don't want to be late."
"Terrific," I replied as Noel and I refolded the notes and handed them back to Eagan. "Why don't you put these in the box?"
"Okay, Daddy!" Eagan said as he took the re-folded notes and put them in the box.
When we arrived at Manuel and Kerry's house, Manuel and Kerry greeted us.
"So, little brother," Manuel said to Noel as he pulled Noel into a hug, "how does it feel to be a dad?"
"Awesome," Noel replied. "Absolutely awesome."
Eagan held on tightly to me as I carried him to Manuel and Kerry.
"Eagan," Noel began. "This is your Uncle Manuel and your Aunt Kerry. This is Eagan."
"It is terrific to meet you, Eagan," Manuel said as Eagan tightened his grip around my neck.
"You're my Uncle, right?" Eagan asked.
"Yes," Manuel replied. "I am your Uncle.
"Do you like your new home?" Kerry asked.
"Yes," Eagan replied. "My room is next to my daddies' room. And we went to the new place we will be living in when it is finished. I picked out my room there, too."
"Good!" Kerry replied. "Why don't we go inside and wait for the others. How is the house coming?"
"Rubble," Noel replied. "Lots and lots of rubble."
"We had panic attacks after we left this morning," I added. "The contractor has managed to take out all of the walls surrounding the living room, dining room, kitchen, and television room. It is one big, open space."
"Isn't an open concept what you wanted?" Manuel asked as we settled on the sofa in the living room.
"Yes," I said. "We may have gone too far."
"The space is absolutely huge when you see it opened up," Noel said. "We have photos. We can show them to you when everyone is here."
"How big is this house?" Kerry asked.
"It is about 2,000 square feet on the lower level and another 1,800 square feet on the second level," I replied. "The basement is finished. We aren't doing anything to the basement at this point."
"What the hell will you do with a 3,800-square foot house?" Manuel asked.
"Live in it," Noel said with a smile.
"Who's going to clean it?" Kerry asked.
"We will decide division of responsibilities after we move in," Noel replied.
"It should be low maintenance," I explained. "Hardwood floors are easier than carpet. The heating system has an electronic air filtration system. We are installing a central vacuum system."
The doorbell rang.
The stream of new faces for Eagan to meet seemed endless. He finally settled on the living room floor with his uncles Jorge and George. They were animatedly playing a game with Eagan.
Anthony took a seat beside me, "He's a cute kid! So, how does it feel to be a dad?"
"Awesome," I replied as I watched Eagan interact with Jorge and George. "Eagan had a bad dream last night, and we took him to bed with us. When we woke up this morning, he was asleep half on my arm and half on my chest. We were given a gift which we will cherish our whole lives."
"How are the health issues?" Anthony asked.
"We will know more when we meet with an Infectious Disease doctor in two weeks," I explained. "From what we understand, Eagan is stable with the HIV infection if we keep him on a very tight medication schedule. There is a slight risk he might develop a resistance to the medications. He started meds even before he was born. If he does develop a resistance, there are other protocols we can follow."
"You sound like a medical doctor," Anthony teased.
"When you are living with HIV, you cultivate the vocabulary to match the disease," I explained. "There are several kids in the same program as Eagan who need homes. Maybe you and Timothy would like to consider adopting."
"We need to get married first," Anthony replied. "What will you do with Eagan when you two are a work?"
"Chris cornered me before I met Noel to pick up Eagan," I explained. "He suggested I bring Eagan to work with me. He might even set up day care options for the employees."
"Very progressive," Anthony replied. "You and Noel are fortunate. You found each other. You both landed jobs you enjoy. You're renovating a house. And, you found Eagan. What more could you want?"
"Not a lot," I replied. "Noel and I are fortunate. Most of all we have each other. And, now, we have Eagan. So, yea, life is pretty good right now."
"I'm glad Mom was able to meet Eagan," Anthony replied as he shed a tear. "She met her first grandchild. It means a lot to her."
"Do you mind if an old fart joins your conversation?" My father asked as he stood in front of Anthony and me.
"You're always welcome to join our conversation, Dad," I replied. "We were just talking about life. We agreed Noel and I are very lucky. We found each other. We found Eagan. Perfect don't you think, dad?"
"Yes," my father replied. "How's the house?"
"Ah!" I began. "The house. We visited the contractor this morning. Except for the guest suite downstairs, the place is open. Totally open. It looks huge! We hope we made the right decision to open up the space."
"I am certain it will be a wonderful home for you and Noel," my father replied. "And, every moment I am with your son, I see you and your brother in him. I know he isn't related by blood, but I see you both when you were his age."
I looked up and saw Eagan racing towards us. He immediately crawled onto my lap. "Uncle Jorge and Uncle George said they were tired. They needed to rest."
"Hold the pose, men," Kerrigan said as she pointed her Nikon at us and took three pictures. "The Sanchez men."
Eagan settled onto my lap after he looked at the photo. "Are you getting tired, Eagan?"
"A little," Eagan replied.
"Do you want to take a nap?" I asked.
"No," Eagan replied. "I might miss something."
Noel joined us. He sat on the coffee table in front of me and Eagan.
"I want to show you something, John," Noel said as he held up a piece of paper. I could tell the simple drawing was of my mother and Noel's mother who were both smiling.
"Who did this?" I asked.
"Eagan," Noel replied with a smile on his face. "Didn't you, Eagan?"
"Yup," Eagan replied. "I like to draw. I mostly draw animals, but I liked my grandmothers' smiles. So, I drew them."
"Very good, Eagan," I said as I still looked at the drawing. "How can he do this? He's only three!"
"He takes after his dads," Noel replied. "He's brilliant!"
"And he looks as though he is tired," I said.
"He is slowing down," Noel replied. "No more late nights for us, hubby!"
Noel drove Eagan and me to eSquare on Monday morning. I decided to take Chris up on his offer to bring Eagan to work with me. I had a gym bag full of things I hoped would keep him occupied for the next several hours.
Chris walked out of his office as I stepped off the elevator carrying the bag and Eagan.
"How's fatherhood?" Chris asked.
"I am still not totally sure all of this is happening, but I am getting used to it slowly," I replied. "It feels right. Eagan, this is Chris. He owns the business. Chris, this is Eagan."
"Do you like your new home, Eagan?" Chris asked.
"Yes," Eagan said. I thought he would be quiet and reserved. But, no! "I have two daddies, Uncle Anthony, Uncle Timothy, Uncle Jorge, and..., and...,"
"Uncle George and Uncle Manuel," I said.
"And I have an Aunt Kerry, Grandma Sanchez, Grandma Ramirez, and Grandpa Sanchez. My daddies took me to meet them all at Uncle Manuel and Aunt Kerry's house. I had fun."
"I'll bet you did, Eagan," Chris replied with a huge smile on his face. "I hope you are ready to meet some more people who work with your daddy."
"Sure," Eagan said.
"Let me get him settled before everyone arrives," I said. "I hope this works for a few days. We didn't have a lot of time to plan for someone to watch Eagan while we are at work."
"We'll make it work, John," Chris replied.
The morning flew by while Eagan entertained himself when he didn't have a visitor to entertain him.
Noel and I had made Eagan and me lunch. We sat in a conference room and ate.
"So, Eagan," I began. "Have you enjoyed your morning?"
"Yup," Eagan said after he finished chewing on a piece of apple. "Everyone here is nice to me. I liked seeing Uncle George again this morning."
"They'd better be nice to you, Eagan," Chris said as he popped into the conference room. He took a seat beside me. "I spoke with Gavin this morning. We will be filling out some paperwork for the adoption service. Your husband appears to be very persuasive."
"He can be," I replied with a smile.
"You will also receive a phone call around 1:30 from your husband," Chris explained. "He will have news for you."
"What news?" I asked.
"I am sworn to secrecy," Chris replied. "All I can say it is good news. And don't get any bright ideas about quitting your job so you can be a stay-at-home dad."
"Not a chance," I replied.
"I will hold you to your agreement," Chris said as he stood and left the conference room.
"Okay, Eagan," I said. "Are you ready to go back to work?"
"Yes, Daddy," Eagan said as I dumped our trash.
Once we were back in my work area, I gave Eagan a tablet to keep him occupied.
"Eagan," I said. "Do you want to draw pictures?"
"Yes, Daddy," he replied.
"You can try drawing on this," I explained. "You need to use this pen. You draw like you normally would if you had a piece of paper and a pencil. You can change colors, too, by touching the pen to the color chart across the top. Do you want to try it?"
"Yes," Eagan confidently took the tablet and began drawing. After a few swipes of the stylus, he proclaimed his eagerness to continue. "This is neat, Daddy."
"You can erase the last line by touching the arrow here," I explained. Eagan tried it a few times.
"This is fun, Daddy!" Eagan said enthusiastically.
"Why don't you sit in the chair beside my workstation?" I suggested.
Eagan hopped onto the chair and began drawing.
I engaged in work. While I made project plans for my team, I thought about Noel's news. Precisely at 1:30 I received a call from Noel.
"Hello, babe," I said as I answered the call.
"How's Eagan doing at work?" Noel asked.
"He's been a delight so far," I replied. "Practically everyone who works here has stopped by to meet him. He's in a chair by my desk drawing things on my tablet. He's slowing down. I expect nap time soon. How is your day moving along?"
"Funny you should ask about my day," Noel replied. "Gavin asked me to go to lunch with him. We went to The Oak Bar and Kitchen in the Copley Fairmont. We had a great lunch. I had a Cobb salad. Gavin had a goat cheese and spinach salad..."
"Noel," I interrupted. "Cut with the description of the menu. What is your point?"
"Oh! Yea!" Noel replied. "I'll cut to the real news and the reason Gavin invited me to lunch. It seems, John, during the last quarter I had the highest work booked, which is ad agency talk for sold, of any other account exec at Haney Dawson."
"Congratulations, Noel!" I said to him. "I am very proud of you. You must be stoked."
"Yes," Noel replied. "It feels like something I've never felt before. Plus, there are significant financial incentives for me to continue an upward move. I broke my forecast goals, so I get an additional bonus. It means significant money."
"How significant?" I asked.
"This quarter's bonus is $20 thousand plus regular commission," Noel explained.
"Wow!" I replied. "You said `plus regular commission.' How much is regular commission?"
"About $29 thousand," Noel replied. He paused for my reaction.
"Holy sh... Cow!" I replied as I remembered Eagan sitting next to me. "What are you planning to do with this new-found cash?"
"I have no idea," Noel replied. "I have never in my life had such a huge amount of money in my possession. We need to talk tonight. We can pick up dinner after I pick you and Eagan up."
"I'm still in shock!" I replied. "But, sure! Eagan and I will plan a celebration."
"I need to run, John," Noel replied. "I wanted to share my news with you! Say hello to Eagan for me."
"Will do!" I replied as we ended the call.
I looked up to see Chris standing in front of my workstation. "As I said before, don't plan on quitting your job here to be a stay-at-home dad! If you even try, I will chain you to your chair."
"I have no plans to quit, Chris," I replied. "We have a house under renovation. And, we have a college education to pay for starting in about 15 years."
"Good," Chris said as he tussled Eagan's hair. "Keep up the good work, Eagan!"
"You look dazed, John," George said as he leaned on my workstation. "Something wrong?"
"No," I said as I looked up at George. "Noel just called. He's the top performing account exec at Haney Dawson this quarter."
"Wow!" George exclaimed. "I don't know much about the ad business, but I am assuming this is a major event!"
"Yea," I said. I was still in a daze. "It is major. Mind-blowing major."
"So, do I see a celebration in the coming days?" George asked.
"Yes," I replied. "I will need to plan something. I will need to invite people. I will need... a place to lie down."
"I gather from your response there is a boat load of money involved with this honor," George said with a smile.
"Yea," I replied. "I am becoming a kept woman... I mean man... I don't know what I mean at this point."
"It seems your sidekick here is tired," George said as he nodded to Eagan. He was asleep in the chair.
Saturday morning, we woke up early. Two eyes were fixed on us.
"I think we have a visitor," I whispered to Noel.
Noel leaned over me, "Do you want to join us, Eagan?"
Two seconds later, Eagan plopped himself between Noel and me.
"Why are we still in bed?" Eagan asked.
"It's Saturday," I explained. "We don't go to work today. So, we decided to hang out with you."
"Okay," Eagan replied. "Do we go see the house today?"
"Yes," Noel replied. "Are you excited about the house?"
"Yes," Eagan replied. "Can we get a doggie when we move to the house?"
Noel and I looked at one another.
"A doggie, huh?" I asked.
"Yes," Eagan replied. "Remember the first day we were together? You told me you would consider getting a doggie once we are in the new house."
"Oh!" I replied. "I did, didn't I?"
"When do we go doggie shopping?" Noel asked.
"We have two-and-a-half months to go before we are in the house," I replied. "We have plenty of time to go doggie shopping."
"What if all the doggies are gone when we go shopping for them?" Eagan asked. He looked worried.
"There will always be doggies," I explained. Eagan wasn't buying my premise. "We can't have a doggie here."
"Why not?" Eagan asked.
"Yea, John," Noel said. "Why not?"
"The landlord doesn't allow doggies to live here," I explained.
"He will if we pay an extra security deposit," Noel added. He was smiling at me.
"Yes," I reluctantly agreed. "So, it seems we will make time to go doggie shopping sometime soon."
"Yea!!!!" Noel and Eagan yelled in unison.
"Since you and Eagan won the doggie battle, why don't the two of you get breakfast ready while I take a shower?" I asked.
"Deal," Noel replied. "Okay, Eagan! Let's go down and get breakfast ready for Daddy John since he has so kindly decided we will go doggie shopping soon."
They headed to the kitchen while I went to the shower. I looked into the mirror and thought, `Why can't I keep my mouth shut?'
I took my shower, dressed, and headed to the kitchen. Noel stood shirtless at the stove watching the eggs and bacon. Eagan was on top of the kitchen island watching. I slowly approached Noel from the back. When I put my arms around him, he almost jumped into the frying pan.
"Shit, John," Noel hissed. "You scared the... cow out of me!"
"You need to watch your language young man," I scolded Noel. "We have a young mind here. We don't want to teach him bad habits!"
"I'll show you bad habits if you creep up on me again," Noel said as the turned around and kissed me. "We are ready to eat provided, of course, you don't require anything other than scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast."
"Perfect," I replied. "OJ?"
"Sure," Noel replied. "Eagan, do you want orange juice?"
"Yes, please," Eagan replied as I put the orange juice on the island top.
"Where do you want to sit, Eagan?" I asked.
"Here," Eagan replied.
"On top of the island?" I asked.
"Yes," Eagan replied. "I can see everything from here."
"Okay," I added as I set his orange juice in front of him.
Noel delivered the plates of food to the island.
"So, here we are," Noel began. "One big happy family! What more could one want?"
"A doggie," Eagan added.
I turned to Noel, "You planted his response, didn't you?"
"What? Me?" Noel continued. "Surely you jest!"
"Why are you so eager to get a dog?" I asked.
"I never had a dog when I was growing up," Noel replied. "My mother didn't believe they were proper house mates. So, we were without a dog."
"I see," I replied. "Do you have any idea the type of dog you are looking to find?"
"One who is intelligent, good with kids, loyal, and obedient," Noel replied. "We might want to consider something like... like... like a border collie."
"Our dog Spike was part border collie," I explained. "Great dogs. Have you been researching this particular subject?"
"Well, as a matter of fact, yes," Noel admitted. "I understand a breeder outside of Concord has a stellar reputation for providing quality pets. Her name is Jennifer Rhodes. I also understand she has a litter of puppies who will be ready for adoption in about three weeks."
I pointed my toast at Noel. "I somehow believe I am being taken advantage of here."
"I would never take advantage of you, John," Noel said with a huge smile across his face.
"How much are these puppies?" I asked.
"Not cheap," Noel replied. "The ones she has available are registered if we choose. So, we're talking $500."
"Can't we just go to a pound and adopt one?" I asked.
"You would rob me of a chance to have a well-rounded dog?" Noel asked.
"Oh Jeez...," I hissed. "I don't suppose you have made an appointment to see these puppies have you?"
"You actually think I would take it upon myself to schedule an appointment to see these cute little puppies?" Noel asked in mock horror.
I didn't respond. I just looked at Noel with squinty eyes.
"Two Saturday's from today at 1 pm," Noel admitted.
To be continued...
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This is my 19th posting of my third story on Nifty.org. Please also see:
Sam and Chris in the College section.
Jeffery Comes Home also in the Beginnings section.
Life With Tim in the Authoritarian section (Please note, this story is not for everyone because there are several scenes depicting Master/slave and BDSM relationships. So, if you are not interested in this activity, please, please do not read this story.)
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