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. Everyone lives in my head. 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 © 2018 by Steven Wells.
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"Any questions?" I asked.
"Not a question so much as a comment," Landon began. "You must be one hell of a fuck to command one thousand dollars for two hours."
"You'll never know, Landon," Jackson said with smile.
They smiled at one another.
"Have you run into any of your clients after you quit seeing them?" Jackson asked.
"Only one," I replied. "He's now the manager of one of the best hotel's in Boston. He's been pleasant and helpful."
"Did your ex-boyfriend know who your clients were?" Jackson asked.
"No," I replied. "At least I don't think so. Why?"
"Blackmail," Jackson added. "Were the clients you saw in the closet?"
"Yes," I replied. "They paid me lots of money because I was discreet. Oh, shit! He couldn't, could he?"
"We need to find out how much he knows," Landon added. "Cory, we need to bring someone in to dig for dirt."
"Do it," Cory replied.
"I could stay like this forever," I said to Cory as we sat on the living room sofa. I lay on my back with my head on Cory's lap as we each read a book.
"It is nice, isn't it?" Cory replied. "To be perfectly honest, I never thought I'd find someone like you to spend my life with... I'm sorry. Maybe I assumed too much."
"Not a problem, sweetie," I said. "I like the sound of `spend my life with.'"
"Do you want to do something about spending the rest of your life with me?" Cory asked.
"Like what?" I asked. "Hot sex or marriage?"
"Both," Cory added.
I looked up at Cory, "I need to make sure the sex will continue to be hot before I commit to marriage. Besides, we still haven't figured out finances. I don't even pay money toward the condo."
"I didn't ask you to," Cory continued. "The condo is paid for. I've already paid for this year's condo fees, taxes, and insurance."
"Then, it'll just be hot sex," I said. "It's amazing what I might agree to in the height of you making passionate love to me."
"If we were married, we wouldn't worry about who paid for what," Cory began. "We would have just one pile of money. What's mine would become yours."
"Will your family be happy about you and me joining our financial resources?" I asked.
"I don't care if they'll be happy," Cory said as he traced my lips with his thumb. "I'd be happy."
I grabbed his thumb with my mouth and started sucking on his thumb.
"We will sign a pre-nup, right?" I asked as I released his thumb.
"Why?" Cory asked.
"In case I'm marrying you for your money," I said.
"So, you're saying you agree to marry me, right?" Cory asked.
"Only if you're saying we'll have hot sex in the next few minutes," I responded.
"You have a one-track mind," Cory added. "I don't mind, but it seems you only want me for my body and not my money."
"If it were a choice between one or the other, I'd take your body," I replied. "You have a very addictive body. Speaking of bodies, have Jackson and Landon found any dirt on my ex?"
"Only what we already knew," Cory replied. "They'll keep digging."
"I'm hoping my ex spontaneously bursts into flames," I said as I sat up and snuggled next to Cory. "What would your family say if they knew I was a prostitute?"
"I hired you," Cory exclaimed. "I could see, however, this might be problematic if it were to become public. By the way, I like your hair longer."
"Thanks," I replied. "I had it cut short for Haywire and left it short. You like it, huh?"
"Yes," Cory replied. "You had it longer when I first met you. I could run my hands through your hair."
"Cory?" I began.
"Can I ask you a question?"
"What if I took a part, and I had to be naked on stage?" I asked. "Would you be embarrassed?"
"No," Cory said. "Why?"
"One of the plays we have scheduled for this season has a character who's naked in two scenes," I said cautiously. "I've been thinking about auditioning for it myself."
I heard silence. I waited.
"I would not stand in your way regarding your work," Cory replied with a soft hush in his voice. I wasn't convinced. More silence. "You'd probably endear yourself with my family. We tend to be theater goers, and we all like in-your-face works."
"I might suggest Fletcher tryout for it," I explained. "I'd like to take the part, but it's a lead character. The optics might not be good. I am the executive director after all."
"It would be good publicity for the play," Cory began. "A Tony winner as a lead character. How often does talent with awards on their résumé perform in small Boston theaters?"
"It's a new piece, too," I continued. "It's by a new playwright."
"Even more reason to take the part," Cory added. "Who makes casting decisions?"
"The director and the playwright," I replied.
"You'd try out?" Cory asked.
"Of course," I continued. "I can't say to the director in good conscience I want to play the lead role."
"Would you like to practice your tryout part?" Cory asked.
"Are you trying to get me naked?" I asked.
"Yes," Cory said as he put his hand over my growing dick.
"You have a security detail?" Noel asked as he and I sat at Starbucks after work.
"Yes," I explained. "I didn't know I had a security detail either until I saw my ex across the street as I walked to work. I panicked. I called Cory and five minutes later Jackson stood in my office doorway looking big."
"Where is he now?" Noel asked.
"Sitting two tables to the left," I said. "Black t-shirt, black jeans, black boots, and a Red Sox baseball cap."
"He's fucking hot!" Noel exclaimed.
"He's also married," I said. "His husband follows Cory. Landon's hot, too."
Jackson stood beside our table.
"He's here," Jackson said in a calm and deliberate voice. We watched as Tide retrieved his drink and headed out the door. "Blond, shaggy-haired guy on his way out the door with coffee in his hand. Brown leather jacket. Find out where he's going."
I sat and stared at Jackson. "Who the fuck were you talking to, Jackson?"
"Garrett Kirk," Jackson replied. "He's another part of the security team. We added him after our discussion with Cory and Landon. He's the dirt digger."
"How serious can your ex's presence in town really be?" Noel asked. "He wouldn't hurt you, would he?"
I looked at the lid of my coffee cup I played with on the table. Finally, I looked at Noel, "Probably, if he had a chance. Our attorney has petitioned the court for a restraining order. So, until we have the restraining order in hand, I'd say he would attack me if he could. We have another issue we're working on. If he were to have information about who my former clients were, he might be working on blackmailing them or me. I'm certain he knows my boyfriend has money."
"Oh shit!" Noel sighed. "Things could get a little uncomfortable."
"This all blows up when my life seemed to finally be heading in the right direction," I said as I contemplated the ominousness of the situation. "Cory and I have had serious conversations about points we need to settle so we could get married. It's funny, Noel. I never thought I could love someone as much as I do Cory. I thought something had broken me so I couldn't love. I told Cory the night we decided I would move in with him he's my healer."
"My cousin Connor is all grown up now," Noel said to me. "I'm happy for you Connor. Please don't let this asshole stop you from loving Cory. You both deserve some happiness."
"As your security detail," Jackson began. "I need to remain neutral when dealing with you and Cory. I'm still neutral when I say this, but you should know something, Connor. Cory hasn't been so focused and happy since Landon and I have known him. I never said that if anyone should ask."
"Thanks, Jackson," I said.
Jackson's attention suddenly picked up, and he adjusted he ear piece.
"Garrett followed detergent to his potential living quarters," Jackson whispered. "Garrett plans to stay nearby to observe."
"See, Connor," Noel began. "Jackson, Landon, and now Garrett have your ex monitored. Let them handle the ex, and you and Cory handle your relationship. Got it, Connor?"
"I've got it, Noel," Connor replied. "Thanks for your shoulder. I needed something to lean on."
"Anytime, Cuz," Noel said as he stood. "I need to be on my way. Do you need a lift?"
"The car is outside," Jackson replied.
"Car?" I exclaimed. "What fucking car?"
We noticed others turn their attention to our table.
"The one which will take you from one location to another location until we have the situation resolved," Jackson said. I knew he wouldn't take any shit from his tone of voice and his stance: perfect posture, arms folded across his chest, legs shoulder width apart, eyes in direct contact with mine.
"Then, we should be going Jackson," I said as I turned to Noel and hugged him tight. "Thanks, cuz. From now on if I need a good slap in the face, I'll come directly to you."
"I'm at your service, Connor," Noel added. He paused before resuming. "Why don't you and Cory join us on Sunday afternoon for a family gathering? We'll start around one in the afternoon. We'll have a houseful, but I think you will enjoy it. Maybe we can get your mind off detergent breath."
"I'll talk to Cory and let you know," I replied. "Thanks again."
We left the coffee shop together. Noel climbed into his BMW, and Jackson led me to the black Suburban SUV.
"Think it's big enough, Jackson," I said of the SUV as I climbed in. Jackson slipped into the back seat opposite me. We had a driver, too!
"Noel, hi, it's Connor," I said over the phone. Cory and I had talked about Noel's invitation at dinner the night before.
"Hey, cuz!" Noel exclaimed. "Please tell me you're coming Sunday. Eagan turned cyclone last night when he heard you and Cory might join us on Sunday."
"We'd love to join you, Noel," I said. "But I need to warn you, we'll arrive in the Suburban you saw yesterday afternoon along with two security people. The security people, Jackson and Landon, said they'd be invisible. If you don't want them butting in, we'll need to beg off this time."
"Please bring them on one condition," Noel responded. "Tell them they will come inside the house. You can introduce them as friends of yours or something. Even if they need to remain invisible, we'd like them inside instead of outside. Draws less attention, don't you think?"
"Probably," I replied. "Did I tell you Cory and I now have two dogs?"
"Congratulations!" Noel exclaimed. "Why two?"
"We were only getting one until we saw his brother," I explained. "Like you two, we couldn't leave him behind."
"Good for you," Noel added. "Bring them along. The more the merrier."
"We don't know how they will react to other people," I said. "Maybe another time."
"Bring them," Noel added. "You'll find out how they react to people."
"Okay," I replied. "We'll see you at one on Sunday."
"Looking forward to it," Noel said before we ended the call.
I smiled as I put my phone on my desk. I looked up and saw Tracy standing in my door.
"You wanted to see me, Connor?" Tracy asked.
"Yea," I said. "Why don't we sit over here on the sofa?"
Tracy and I settled on opposite sofas facing one another.
"How did the situation with the volunteers turn out?" I asked.
"I managed to calm them by suggesting we sit and talk about the problem between them," Tracy explained. "A light bulb hit each of them at the same time, and we had a non-issue."
"Congratulations, Tracy," I began. "What was your major in college?"
"Psychology," Tracy explained. "I need a master's to actually work in the field, so I went to work here at the Center as an administrative assistant."
"So, you like working with people?" I asked.
"I love working with people, especially the creative ones we have here at the Center," Tracy explained.
"You should consider moving to our human resources department," I suggested.
"We have a human resources department?"
"We will if you accept the position of human resources director," I said with a smile. "The title also comes with a substantial raise."
"How substantial?" Tracy asked.
"A typical HR manager, according to my business consultant, Cory Wainwright, starts at sixty thousand," I replied.
"You're shitting me?" Tracy exclaimed. "Twice what I make now? You're really shitting me, aren't you?"
"Nope," I replied. "The Center is growing. The staff needs to grow. We need a human resources director. Cory offered to loan you his human resources assistant director for a month to help you get started. If you like the work, we'll pay your tuition to get a higher degree. I'm offering you the job, Tracy. Just remember, salaries of the professional staff are confidential. I'll give you a couple of days to think about the offer."
"I don't need to think about this Connor," Tracy replied. "If you believe I can do it, I'd sure like to accept your offer."
"Congratulations!" I said as I held out my hand. Instead, she grabbed me and pulled me into a hug. "I'll announce your promotion this afternoon after lunch."
"I assume I'll continue with the work I've been doing for a while?" Tracy asked.
"For a short while, but yes," I replied as I heard a knock on my office door.
"Cory!" I said. "I'd like you to meet our new Human Resources Director.
"Congratulations, Tracy," Cory said offering an outstretched hand.
"Thank you, Mr. Wainwright," Tracy replied as she shook Cory's hand.
"It's Cory," Cory suggested. "Now, if you will excuse me, Tracy, I'm taking my boyfriend to lunch."
"Have a good lunch," Tracy said. "And, Connor, thank you for the opportunity."
"You're welcome, Tracy," I said as we headed toward the door. "We'll be back in an hour or so."
Jackson and Landon joined us as we stepped outside - one on either side, Cory and me in the middle. I chuckled to myself as Jackson and Landon opened our door and helped us in all the while keeping watch on the street beside us. Jackson and Landon jumped into the front and we were off.
"Tracy seemed happy with your offer," Cory said to me as we sped away to the restaurant.
"Yea," I replied. "I think she was overwhelmed. She won't panic until it sinks in."
"I wanted to talk to you during lunch about some family affairs," Cory said. "Don't panic. It's all good."
"Okay," I replied. "I won't panic. I'll await the news. I called Noel about his gathering on Sunday. I told them we'd be there along with Jackson and Landon. Noel wanted us to bring the dogs."
We arrived at the restaurant. Jackson and Landon guided our exit from the Suburban with precision.
We stepped through the door of the restaurant. Jackson and Landon stepped aside as the Maître d' greeted us. He led us to Cory's favorite table.
"What's up, Cory?" I asked after we were seated. I spotted Jackson and Landon move to a remote, but accessible, area of the restaurant.
"It's family stuff," Cory said. "I've been summoned to the Sagaponack estate my parents keep on Long Island. I'm hoping you can join me."
Cory paused. I paused.
"Sell me on it," I replied. I smiled.
"Donald and Elizabeth Wainwright have requested the presence of their children at the estate," Cory began. "We would arrive Friday afternoon and depart on Monday morning. During our stay at the estate, you're invited to use any or all of the facilities available on the property."
"Cut the shit, Cory," I said with a smile. "You're not selling me a weekend vacation. Your selling me on a weekend with my boyfriend's family. How much together time are we talking?"
"Cocktails and dinner Friday evening, breakfast Saturday morning, cocktails and dinner Saturday evening, breakfast on Sunday, church to show how close the family has remained, cocktails and dinner Sunday evening, and finally breakfast on Monday morning before we depart on an early afternoon flight... Oh! By the way, we Wainwrights, while at the estate, dress for dinner."
"Are we talking suit and tie or tux?" I asked.
"Suit and tie or blazer and tie will be acceptable," Cory added with a smile. "The only time the Wainwrights dress formally has become Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday dinners."
"Not Easter?" I asked.
"No, Donald and Elizabeth move to Palm Beach from January until the end of April. They actively participate in the social scene in Palm Beach."
"What will we do for lunches?" I asked.
"We'll get as fucking far away as we can," Cory replied. "I know it sound dreadfully stuffy, but once my parents have a couple of glasses of wine, their inhibitions go out the window."
"Do the Wainwrights have drunken brawls before, during, or after dinner?" I asked.
"Not since my father stopped drinking during his Saturday golf outings," Cory explained.
"Who will be at this family weekend besides Donald and Elizabeth?" I asked.
"My older sister, Connie, her husband, Dwaine, and my twin brother, Garth, and his husband, Leo," Cory said.
"I didn't know you had a twin brother," I enthused.
"We're identical twins," Cory explained. "We used to look exactly alike until Garth put on an extra twenty-five pounds. His husband's trim and fit physique makes up for Garth's fat body. He's also part Vietnamese and Chinese. He has this perfectly always tanned color, except it's his natural skin color."
"What about Connie and Dwaine? Do they have children?" I asked
"No kids," Cory continued. "Connie would never have a child for fear she would need to give up drinking and diet after the child was born. She's also not equipped to be a mother. If she breaks a nail, there is hell to pay...! Dwaine is also a looker. I've always suspected he's gay. But, he, Leo, and you will find solace in one another."
"You haven't done much of a sales job here, Cory," I added.
"I'm painting a really bleak picture here, I know," Cory said with a smile. "They are not as bad as they sound. The only time you want to be out of sight is when we begin talking about the family businesses... They also want to meet you, my dear man."
"I know this means a lot for you to have me with you for the weekend, but you need to promise me you will not... buy... me... a tux!" I said slowly and with emphasis.
"Deal," Cory replied.
"I'll clear my busy schedule from next Friday through Monday," I responded.
We pulled into the drive way of Noel and John's house. We arrived in the Suburban just as Anthony and Timothy drove up. They watched the entire dance with confusion written all over their faces. Jackson and Landon exited. Jackson and Landon opened our doors. Jackson and Landon followed us to the front door and stepped aside, watching the landscape of the front lawn.
"Noel told us you now have security after a possible incident," Anthony began. "But, this is fucking better security than the Governor!"
"We're sorry for the intrusion," Cory began as we walked into the entry hall, "but, the behavior of Cory's ex bothered us. I insisted we have security."
Then, the noise level in the entry hall increased radically with the appearance of Eagan and his faithful furry friends.
Eagan stopped in his tracks just as he noticed Jackson and Landon standing just inside the door.
"Who are they?" Eagan asked as he pointed in our security team's direction.
I kneeled beside Eagan, "Eagan. These guys are helping your Uncle Cory and me. They need to be involved in everything we do. Right, Jackson, Landon?"
"Right," Jackson replied. The hunk of a man squatted in front of Eagan. "What's your name?"
"Eagan," he said. "I'm four. The dogs are Tucker, Tobi, and Tiger. They're puppies. Do you want to see my room?"
"I should stay down here with your uncle," Jackson replied. "Maybe later."
"Okay," Eagan said to Jackson.
Eagan and the dogs made a quick exit.
"So, cuz," Noel said as he greeted us, "it's good to have you both here to join the family in merry making."
Noel looked at Jackson, "You clean up pretty well, Jackson."
"Thank you," Jackson said with a smile.
"John, I should introduce you to our friends," I said as John joined us in the hallway. "Landon on the right, Jackson on the left. Guys this is our co-host, John."
"It's nice to meet you guys," John said to Jackson and Landon. "Make yourselves as comfortable as you can."
"Thank you, sir," Landon said. "We'll just try to blend in so as not to be too obtrusive."
Cory and I began to mingle with the other guests. Wherever we went, Landon and Jackson were not far behind.
We were able to talk briefly with most of the other guests. Then, Noel's mother, my mother's sister, pulled us down to the sofa where she sat.
"You both look so rested and happy," Aunt Rena said. "Life together must be good for you."
"Thank you, Aunt Rena," I said. "We do enjoy being together. We adopted two puppies. Work is good for both of us. Cory also invited me to meet his family on Long Island next weekend."
"Let me know when I need to buy a new dress," Aunt Rena said to Cory and me. She paused. "I talked to your mother last week, Connor. I'm sorry she's still being such an ass. God knows I've tried to slap some sense into that woman. I only wish John's mother, Gloria, were still alive. Now, she had the power of words and visual images. If it weren't for her, I'd probably be just as cruel and crotchety as your mother."
"I don't believe there is hope for my mother and me to come to a resolution about how and with whom I live my life," I explained. "Cory has made me happy and confident for the first time in my life. I'm never going back. And I don't believe she will ever budge from her position. It's her life. She can believe what she wants."
"I just wanted you to know I tried," Aunt Rena explained. "Maybe someday I can pull a rabbit out of the hat, and she'll see what she's really missing... I read about you serving on the arts council. We all are so proud of you, Connor."
"Thank you, Aunt Rena," I said.
"Now, I need to talk to Jorge. Otherwise, he'll think I'm ignoring him," Aunt Rena said as she moved off the sofa. "And remember I need time to find a dress!"
"She's a dear woman," Cory said after Aunt Rena left. "Rena is short for what?"
"Lorena," I explained. "And, yes, she is a dear, sweet woman."
"Holy shit!" I exclaimed as we drove into the grounds of Cory's family estate. "This place it huge! The gardens. The lawn. The shrubs. All perfectly manicured. The house is big enough for a family of twenty."
"The inside is just a gaudy," Cory said. "I've never really enjoyed being here. It's way too formal. It isn't a house, really. It's a museum."
We pulled into the circular driveway and stopped in front of the house. Two guys appeared from somewhere. One began to remove our luggage from the trunk. The other guy took the keys to Cory's rental car to move it into the garage. I just stood and looked dumbfounded.
"Shall we go inside?" Cory asked.
"We can't just stand here," I replied.
We stepped inside the house, and I felt as though we had been transported onto a movie set of Downton Abby.
"I'll take you luggage to your room, Sir," the guy who retrieved our luggage from the car said. "Your parents are in the drawing room."
"Thank you, Mr. Bean," Cory said to the man. He put his hand on the small of my back and guided us toward the drawing room.
"What is a drawing room, by the way?" I asked in a whisper.
"Its where my parents greet their guests," Cory explained. "This drawing room serves as a small entertainment area if the crowd is small."
"I see," I said as we entered what I assumed to be the drawing room.
"Welcome home, Cory," a well-dressed woman I assumed to be Cory's mother said. Cory's assumed father stood beside her. He had a blazer and slacks with a blue button down topped off by a red tie.
"Connor, I'd like you to meet my mother and father, Donald and Elizabeth Wainwright," Cory said as he presented me to his parents. "Mom, Dad, this is Connor Rodriguez."
"Welcome, Connor," Mrs. Wainwright said. "Cory has told us so much about you. I understand you're an actor."
"Yes," I began. "I'm director of a local theater in Boston now. I don't do seven shows a night, and I have a social life now."
"I've always admired people in the theater," Mrs. Wainwright explained. "So much energy goes into a production, and to do it over and over with the same energy as the first show must be difficult."
"When I did Haywire, I loved the play so much. It was easy to be energetic. The show itself brought out the energy in the entire cast," I said.
"Garth and Leo arrived about twenty minutes ago," Mr. Wainwright explained. "They are in their room freshening up. Connie and Dwaine, however, are a different story. They will probably pull in just about time to sit for dinner. She certainly didn't get my gene for promptness."
"We should change," Cory suggested. "We'll be down shortly."
"We'll just have a drink while we wait," Mrs. Wainwright said as we left the drawing room.
"They seemed very nice," I said as we climbed the stairs to the second floor.
"You haven't seen Mother in action yet," Cory added. "It's is a production like no other on Broadway."
We climbed the curved stair case to the second floor, and Cory opened a huge wooden door. We walked in to a hug room with a sofa, love seat and two comfortable looking chairs.
"In case you are wondering, Connor, this is our private sitting room," Cory explained. "The bedroom and bathroom are through those doors."
Cory pointed to the wall across the room from us.
"Was this your bedroom while you were growing up?" I asked.
"From the time I turned ten," Cory said as he looked around. "Can you imagine being a kid in this mausoleum?"
"Suffocating comes to mind," I said before I delivered a kiss to Cory's lips. "I don't suppose we have time to play with our bodies before dinner?"
"Unfortunately, no," Cory said as he returned the kiss. "After dinner, yes. Before dinner, no. We should change and not leave mother and father waiting. I could be written out of the will."
"We can't have that now, can we?" I asked.
"No," Cory said as he led me to the bedroom area.
We freshened up and changed into our blazers. Cory wore a red and blue stripped tie. I sported a yellow, black, orange, blue, and red tie. It was very abstract.
"You look nice, Connor," Cory said as he kissed me.
"You mean I clean up nicely?" I said with a smile.
"Relax, Connor," Cory added.
"I look nervous, huh?" I asked.
"You look perfect," Cory said as he put his hand on my back and led us out of the room.
We heard voices from the drawing room as we approached. The voices were definitely not of the elder Wainwrights.
All eyes turned toward us. Or, at least, I felt it.
"Cory!" the look alike of Cory said to his brother. "You look terrific as usual. And this must be Connor. Welcome to the family, Connor."
"Thank you," I said to Garth. I noticed Leo looking intently in my direction.
"It's a pleasure to have a Tony winner in our presence," Leo finally said. "Welcome."
"Thank you, Leo," I replied.
Cory had slipped in front of a buffet table. He returned with a vodka on the rocks.
"You'll need this," Cory whispered to me.
"Thank you for thinking of me," I whispered back.
Cory put his hand on my back and guided me nearer to the elder Wainwrights. Garth and Leo followed.
"So, mother," Garth began. "How have you been after your bout with the nasty cold you had?"
"I'm fine, dear," Mrs. Wainwright replied "I didn't have time to even think about being under the weather, so it couldn't have been as bad as you might think. So, Connor, do you have plans to do additional work in another production in Boston?"
"I've thought about trying out for one of the parts for a new play we're producing this season," I replied. "I haven't decided yet. I don't want to look like I muscled my way into a part because I'm the director of the theater."
"Will we be seeing your boxers again?" Leo asked.
"No," I replied. "I've retired the boxers."
"Pity," Leo added. "They looked so good on you."
"Thank you," I replied. "Sometimes I wonder if anyone heard the song."
"So, did you grow up in Boston?" Garth asked.
"Cambridge," I replied. "I lived there with my mother and brother until I left for college. I needed to get away."
"At least you could visit home whenever you wanted," Mr. Wainwright said.
"I didn't visit home while I was in college," I explained. "The only person I really missed was my little brother."
"Even your mother and father?" Mrs. Wainwright asked.
"I never knew my father," I continued. "My mother cut communication with me after she discovered I was gay."
"Then, why did you move back to Boston?" Leo asked.
"I needed distance between me and another person," I said. "I also wanted to be near my cousins."
"And, Eagan," Cory added. "He's the son of Noel and John. Noel and Connor are cousins and about the same age."
"Eagan calls Cory Uncle Cory," I said as I smiled at Cory. "He'll be a good father when the time comes."
"Father?" Garth asked in surprise. "You want kids?"
"Yes," Cory replied. "We're practicing with two dogs. Why are you surprised?"
"It doesn't seem to fit your lifestyle," Garth added. He still seemed surprised.
"We've become homebodies in a way," Cory explained as he put his hand on my back. "Especially since I met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with."
"That's so cute, Cory," Connie added.
"Garth," Mrs. Wainwright began. "Haven't you and Leo thought about kids?"
"No," Garth said without hesitation. At the same time, Leo said, "Yes."
"I see a storm brewing," Mr. Wainwright said with a smile. "If I've learned only one rule in our thirty-five years of marriage, it's not to make rash decisions.
"Why don't you want kids, Garth?" Mrs. Wainwright asked.
"He's a spoiled brat himself," Leo suggested.
"You're just now learning he's spoiled?" Mrs. Wainwright asked. "I should have had a talk with you, Leo, before you were married."
"You might have prepared me for the worst, Elizabeth," Leo added.
"If you'd like, we can break out the home movies," Mrs. Wainwright joked.
"It won't be necessary, Mother," Cory added as a rustle of activity emanated from the entry hallway.
"I believe our wayward child has arrived," Mr. Wainwright said as we heard footsteps approach.
"It's good of you to join us, Connie," Mrs. Wainwright said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice. "We thought maybe you and Dwaine were shopping at Kids R Us."
"My manicure took longer than expected," Connie responded. "Then, Dwaine took a wrong turn. We wound up in some child infested development. It was horrible. Hello, Garth. Leo. Cory. And you! You must be Connor!"
"Connor Rodriguez," I said. "It's nice to finally meet you, Connie."
"You were right, Cory," Connie said. "He's cute...! Don't mind me, Connor. My mouth sometimes doesn't know when to stop. Dwaine will be right in. He had to take a pee break before joining us."
"Dwaine, come and meet Connor," Connie said to her husband as he joined the group. She took me by the arm and led me closer to Dwaine. "Connor Rodriguez, this is my husband Dwaine Carlisle."
"Welcome to our family gathering, Connor," Dwaine said as we shook hands. "We went to see you twice in Haywire. I wanted to crash backstage, but Connie wouldn't let me. And congratulations on the Tony."
"Thank you, Dwaine," I replied. "I'm glad you liked the show. It was fun working with everyone in the cast and crew."
Connie already lost interest in the conversation and moved to talk with Garth and Cory.
"You're the executive director of a theater company in Boston now, I understand," Dwaine added.
"Yes," I replied. "I'm learning about the theater business from another angle. You look familiar."
"Maybe we've run into one another," Dwaine suggested. "I've lived in Manhattan all my life."
"It will come to me in a dream sequence tonight," I replied. "What do you do in the city professionally?"
"I have a seat on the New York Stock exchange," Dwaine explained. "Connie and I also do a lot of charity work. We both make the society pages at times. Frankly, I'd rather chuck it all and write."
"You're a writer?" I asked.
"No," Dwaine added. "I was a finance geek in college because my father wanted me to take his seat when he retired. I hate it. I've always secretly wanted to write. Did you always want to be in theater?"
"I caught the bug in high school," I explained. "I went to college in the city, and I majored in theater and dramatic arts. The rest is just a stroke of luck."
"What's a stroke of luck?" Leo asked.
"My acting career," I explained. "I was in the right place. So, what is it you do professionally, Leo?"
"Architecture," Leo replied. "The firm where I work specializes in urban architecture. My group works on rehabs of architecturally significant structures. Much to Garth's dismay, I put a lot into my work."
"Where did you guys meet?" I asked.
"In the village," Leo began. "We were both at a piano bar with friends. We started talking. We seemed to click. Garth asked me to go to dinner with him the following weekend. We had another wonderful time. We started spending a great deal of time together, and it happened. What about you guys?"
"We met in Central Park the first time about eight years ago," I said. "I was in college. I was sitting on my favorite park bench in a partial meditative state. Cory whizzed by shirtless on his rollerblades. I watched him go by, and the next thing I knew he sat beside me on the park bench. We saw one another occasionally for eight years. Then, when I returned to Boston for my job, Cory moved into Boston to handle the business. This has been the best five months of my life."
"Then I must be doing something right," Cory said as he slipped beside me and put his arm around my waist.
We continued our small talk discussion until someone announced the beginning of dinner.
Cory put his hand on my back and maneuvered us into the dining room.
"You'll be sitting next to mother," Cory explained. "You're the guest of honor tonight."
"I'm just along for the ride, remember?" I whispered into Cory's ear.
"She won't bite," Cory whispered back.
The server person—I had no idea if he was a butler, waiter, or some other title—served the first course while another poured wine.
The conversation with Cory's mother began. "You mentioned a younger brother. Where is he now?"
"He's in his junior year at Bowden College in Maine," I explained. "My cousin Noel arranged a gathering for family. He invited my brother whom I hadn't seen in eight years. I couldn't believe it was him."
Connie decided to change the subject, "What kind of dog did you get?"
"Border Collies," I explained. "Dudley and Humphry. Our friend Fletcher agreed to dog sit while we're away."
"He'll have his hands full," Cory added. "They remind us of Batman and Robin."
"As in the Dudley and Humphry characters in Haywire?" Connie asked.
"Yes," I explained. "Dudley epitomizes the energy wrapped up in the stage Dudley. And then there's Humphry. The moment we saw Humphry, I knew the name fit him perfectly."
"Do you miss doing the show?" Mrs. Wainwright asked.
"Yes," I replied. "I not only preformed as Humphry, I was Humphry in real life. I went about my daily routine more like I was Humphry Irizarry than I was Connor Rodriguez. So, yes, I do miss doing the show. But I have a great group of people I'm working with at the Center. It's exciting to watch some of the talent develop."
"Tell them about Fletcher," Cory suggested.
"Fletcher became my project for the season," I explained. "He's dreamed of becoming an actor since his days at a theater oriented high school in Boston. He wasn't in a financial position to go further. I managed to find a scholarship program which will help him not only with tuition and fees, but also a small stipend for housing. He's also a paid Intern at the Center."
"Conner has also managed to secure some very lucrative corporate sponsorships, too," Cory added. "Some contribute to capital expenses. Others fund the Center's creative activities as well as the scholarship program Connor established. Connor has made some significant contributions in the short six months he's been at the Center. And the Boston Arts Council recently asked him to serve on the advisory board for the Mayor's Office."
"You should do an album of your songs from Haywire," Leo suggested.
"The producers of the show will release the live cast album sometime in the spring," I added. "Some people approached me about doing a solo album, but I think of myself as an actor. Not a singer."
"You never told me about a solo album!" Cory exclaimed.
"Because I'm not doing a solo album," I replied. "It's not me. Besides, recording an album would take too much time away from the Center. We're doing a new play by a new, Boston-based writer. We'll have our work cut out for us. The staging alone will take up most of my time for several weeks."
"You might get the lead, too," Cory added.
"I still don't believe it would look right with the director of the Center taking a leading role," I explained. "The Center is supposed to be a place where new talent develops."
The conversation continued. Nothing more than one abstract string of words working together to form a discussion. I started to get droopy eyed around eleven.
"It's been a long day, Connor," Cory finally said. "Want to get some rest?"
Cory's comments gave me new energy. Snuggling with Cory has become my most recent obsession.
"Sounds like a plan," I added.
We slipped into our private suite, and Cory began to pull off my clothes shortly after the door shut. Then his. Then we were naked standing just inside the door.
"God you're beautiful!" Cory said to me before he pulled me close to him and his kissed me.
"You're... my... sex... God," I added.
We pulled apart after several minutes. "Will you marry me, Connor?"
"If we sign a prenup," I replied.
"Not happening," Cory responded. "I don't want anything to be yours and mine. I want everything in our lives to be ours."
"Then I'd be marrying you for your money," I countered.
"You'd better be marrying me for my body," Cory added. "Please. I want you and me to be an us so badly, Connor."
"You want me to marry you for your body?" I asked. "What happens when you're old and wrinkly?"
"You'll be old and wrinkly, too," Cory explained. "We'd be two old and wrinkly people hanging out with our grandkids."
"Believe it or not, I like the idea of us growing old together," I said as I pulled back further from Cory and looked into his eyes. "Yes, I'll marry you."
"Really?" Cory asked in surprise.
"Yes, really," I said as I pulled him closer. Skin to skin. "You can't back out now, big guy!"
"Wow!" Cory said to the air. "We're getting married! Wait! Come with me."
Cory took my hand and pulled me to the bedroom. We stood in the middle of the room. "Give me a second, okay?"
"Two seconds max," I said as he scurried to his duffle bag and pulled out a small box.
Cory knelt on one knee in front of me.
"You're doing this while we're both naked?" I asked.
"We'll always remember it," Cory said before he looked up and me and took my hand. "Connor Rodriguez. Will you marry me?"
"Yes, Cory Wainwright," I replied.
Cory fumbled with the box and finally grasp the ring inside. He slid it on my ring finger.
I looked at the ring Cory had just put on my finger.
"It's beautiful," I replied as I looked at the ring shining on my finger. I pulled Cory up and guided us to the foot of the bed. I sat on the bed, and Cory sat beside me.
"I had them made," Cory explained. "The wedding band slips on and locks each part together."
"Do you have yours with us?" I asked.
"Yes," Cory replied.
"Get it," I ordered.
"Yes, Sir," Cory responded with a smile as he jumped up and retrieved the ring. He handed it to me.
I took the ring. Cory held out his hand. I slid the ring on his finger.
"Yes, Cory Wainwright III, I accept your proposal of marriage," I said as I leaned in and kissed him. "You're mine."
"You're mine," Cory added and pulled me closer to him.
If you would like to be on the announcement list for Together Forever, please send an e-mail by clicking here.
I would enjoy hearing your comments about this story. You can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also see:
John's Journey Forward found in the Beginnings section
Sam and Chris in the College section.
We're in This Together found in the Relationships section.
Jeffery Comes Home in the Beginnings section.
Taking a Stand in the College 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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