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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"Shirt off, Connor," Tide demanded again.
I pulled the shirt tails out of my slacks and unbuttoned the front. I slipped the shirt off my shoulders and let it fall to the floor.
"Very nice, Connor," Tide said as he cautiously glanced back and forth from me to Jackson and back to me. Over and over. "Shoes, sox, and pants, Connor. Take them off! Now!"
I untied my shoes but didn't let my gaze off Tide. I stood once my shoes and sox were off and unbuckled my belt. I saw out of the corner of my eye Jackson began to slowly move out of the doorway and into the room away from the window. Tide fixed his gaze solely on me. I returned his gaze. I unbuttoned the top button of my slacks and gently lowered the zipper. I pushed my slacks down over my ass. The slacks dropped to the floor, and I stepped out of them. I stood in my black Calvin Klein low rise briefs looking squarely at Tide.
"You look as good as ever, Connor," Tide said as he moved toward me.
"Don't move any closer to him, Tide!" Jackson warned.
Tide glared at Jackson. "I don't like you telling me what to do, big guy. Do you understand me?"
"Yes," Jackson replied. "I understand."
I saw a red dot on Tide's forehead. Tide's body dropped to the floor.
"Run Connor! Now!" Jackson screamed at me as he jumped on top of Tide's body.
I stood in the exact spot as I watched the red dot on Tide's forehead form. I couldn't move until I heard multiple explosions in the distance. The noise from the storage room beside my office rattled my brain.
"Are you alright, Connor?" Jackson asked as he moved off Tide's bleeding body and stood.
Jackson stepped in front of me and threw my jeans to me, "Let's get the fuck out of here in case the idiot has another bomb somewhere in the building."
Jackson put his arm around my shoulder and began to guide me out of the building. I just followed.
I must have looked like I had suffered physical wounds from the episode with Tide. I recovered from my blank look as soon as Cory put his arms around my shoulders. I jumped when we heard a loud bang as a car in front of the Center slammed into a stopped police van.
"I don't know what happened," I somehow managed to say. "I saw a red dot on Tide's forehead. Jackson jumped on top of Tide and screamed, `Run!' I couldn't move. Tide had ordered me to strip. Shirt. Slacks. Just me and my black low-rise Calvin Klein's. Is this a vision so I'll make the decision to get naked on stage?"
Cory pulled me tighter to him, "I get to see you naked all the time. And I never fail to revel in the sight!"
"Thanks," I remembered the jeans clutched in my hands. "Perhaps I should put these on."
"Especially since the TV cameras just pulled up," Cory nodded to the caravan of TV crews parking on the middle of the street.
"Shit!" I quickly began to slip my pants on. Jackson handed me what was left of my shirt.
"You'll look better without the shirt, Connor," Cory took the shirt out of my hands and tossed it into an adjacent trash can.
"Oh God!" I saw a familiar figure walking toward me with a camera crew following quickly behind him. "Elliot! What are you doing here?"
"I was a few blocks away working on another story. I heard you were involved in this incident and decided I should see if I could help. Are you okay?"
"A little shaken. Cory, this is a friend of mine from New York, Elliot Shepard. Elliot, this is my husband, Cory Wainwright."
"Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Wainwright."
"Likewise, Mr. Shepard."
"Was the man who attempted to harm you your ex-boyfriend I met some years ago, Connor?" Elliot concentrated on me. I could feel his eyes drifting up and down my naked upper body.
"Yes." I moved closer to Cory. He put his hand on my naked back and I felt one-hundred percent safer. "He's been stalking me for some time now. Finally, it's over. I saw a red dot on his forehead, and he collapsed. This nightmare is finally over!"
Landon returned to our group after speaking with officials involved in the incident. He whispered something into Jackson's ear. Jackson turned to Elliot. "May we please speak with our clients privately, Mr. Shepard?"
"Of course," Elliot turned to the camera crew. "We will speak with law enforcement officers and return when you're finished."
"Thank you," Jackson moved to circle around Cory and me.
Landon looked seriously disturbed. "I just spoke with the FBI agent on the scene. Multiple explosions erupted shortly after a SWAT officer took down Tide. They suspect Tide's detonation device controlled the many backpacks. His button triggered a series of cell phone calls. Those calls controlled the detonators in the other backpacks. He blew up the condo where he and his cohorts were renting. All of them are dead. The building is barely standing."
"Wait! You're telling me my idiot ex-boyfriend blew up the backpacks he didn't intend to blow up?"
"Yes," a smile formed on Jackson's face. "And, Connor, don't ask if I feel bad about his demise. He could have killed both of us."
"The officers want a statement from Connor," Landon paused then looked at me and Jackson, "as soon as possible."
Jackson, Landon, and Cory led me through the rest of the day in a daze. I spoke with the police officers first before a horde of journalists surrounded us. Jackson cut off the questions when he noticed I looked like I was ready to bolt.
"When can we go home?" I slid against Cory. I felt safer when his arms wrapped around me and pulled me close to him. Cory's touch on my naked upper body made me realize I didn't have a shirt on. "Shit! I talked to the police and reporters without a shirt."
"You look good without a shirt, Connor." I looked up at the voice and saw Elliot Shepard standing next to us. His camera crew stood behind him ready to work.
"Could I have a few minutes of your time, Connor? Just a few questions, I promise."
"Five minutes, sure. No more, and I need Cory beside me."
Elliot turned and began his introduction of the ruckus with Tide. Finally, he turned to me.
"Connor. How do you feel now this is behind you?"
"Well, Elliot. I think I should say I feel relieved this is over, but it will probably never be behind me. I feel like I need to go home and sleep until next month. I don't remember anything except Tide pointing a gun at me, Jackson slipping into the room, and a red dot on Tide's head. Then nothing until I realized I stood on the sidewalk with Cory's arms around me. I still can't hear from the noise, and my brain is well fried from the afternoon's activities. Otherwise, I'm just fine."
"At least you haven't lost your sense of humor, Connor. Do you have any idea what the shooter's motive could be?"
"Yea. He's a vindictive asshole. Oops! Sorry! As I said, I'm still at little on edge."
"I understand. I hope you don't mind, but could I ask you a question - not about the incident today?"
"Maybe." I smiled at Elliot. He smiled back.
"We've heard you've been approached to star in the film version of Haywire. Any truth to the statement?"
I smiled again. "You never give up, do you Elliot? And, yes, I've been approached for the role of Humphry in the film version of Haywire. I haven't decided whether or not to accept the role because I don't want to do something which will interfere with plans my husband and I have made. Plus, I have some unfinished business here at the Center."
"Thank you for your time, Connor. I hope we can arrange an interview when you're up to talking about the center and your career."
"I'll look forward to it, Elliot."
The interview ended, the cameras stopped filming, and I took a deep breath.
"You're amazing, Connor. You barely escaped a hostage situation, and you're standing on the sidewalk talking to a reporter and a film crew. You sounded like the stupendous performer you really are."
"Thank you, Elliot. And, trust me. It's all an act. I'll have my nervous breakdown in private."
Cory and I bid Elliot good bye and Cory and Jackson led me to the awaiting car to whisk us away from the excitement.
"Tell me, Connor." Cory began after we settled into the back seat of the Suburban. "How do you know Elliot?"
"He's a friend from New York. We've known one another since we were both in college. Elliot was a year ahead of me."
"So, he's just a friend?"
"Cory Wainwright! Are you jealous?"
"Of course not." Cory didn't seem convincing enough. "Just curious. You seemed to know one another quite well."
"Okay! So, he was a boyfriend for a few months. He's a nice guy, but we weren't meant for one another. He's more the Fire Island type."
We pulled in front of the condo building to find a gaggle of reporters swarming around the entrance.
"Do you want to go in through the back?" Jackson turned around in his front passenger seat to address Cory and me. "The Suburban won't fit through the doorways of the garage, so we'd need to go through the loading dock area."
"Just get us into the lobby as quickly as you can, Jackson. I've managed to fight my way through flocks of reporters before without someone like you at my side. I won't break."
Landon and Jackson slipped out of the Suburban and stood together beside the back door. Landon opened the door and Jackson pulled Cory and me out onto the sidewalk. I was cocooned between the three men. Landon in the front. Jackson on my right. Cory on my left. Landon didn't stop pushing through the crowd of reporters until the four of us plunged through the condo entrance. The door person closed the door behind us. Suddenly, silence engulfed me.
I somehow managed to follow my protectors into the elevator and eventually into the condo. When we walked through the condo entryway, I began to shake. My legs seemed to give out and I sank to the floor. The sobs came out of nowhere.
"Connor! Connor!" Cory said, as he slumped to the floor beside me and pulled me close to him. "Connor. You're safe now. We're home. You're safe."
Three days after the Tide incident in my office at the Center, I ventured outside the condo for the first time. I visited my shrink for some much-needed help. He helped me understand I'd have a long road ahead of me before I wouldn't randomly breakdown at the slightest trigger. My triggers seemed to be sudden noises and flashes of light, especially red light. I panicked a few times as we stopped at a red light in traffic as well as when I heard a car door slam.
I realized Cory did an excellent job of keeping me distracted so I wouldn't panic so much. House renovations consumed much of our awake time.
Three weeks post Tide, I stepped into my newly renovated office for the first time.
"Wow!" I looked around the office taking in the changes. "This is amazing!"
"It turned out better than planned." Cory took my hand and led me to the new sofas in the sitting area.
Cory put his arm around my shoulders after we settled into one of the sofa's which faced my new desk area and the conference area beside it. I looked Cory in the eyes. "How much did you spend on this renovation?"
"It came in under budget."
"Maybe I should rephrase the question, Cory. How much money did you personally spend on the renovation of my office here at the Center?"
"I haven't added up the costs yet."
"Cory. Tell me how much you personally spent on this office. You never do anything without knowing the cost."
"Less than one hundred."
"One hundred what, Cory?"
"And not a dime of it came from the Center's funds, correct?"
"Right. Not a dime. Not a dollar. Not anything. You didn't have a budget for a new office, so I donated one."
I could tell he thought I would get angry. "Thank you, Cory. It's terrific. I love it. It's very comfortable looking, and it's very well organized. Who helped you plan this?"
"Tina, your human resources manager, and Fletcher. And why aren't you screaming at me like you usually do when I spend money on something for you?"
"Cory. We just approved the design for a one-hundred-thousand-dollar kitchen and three, thirty-thousand-dollar bathrooms in the house. And you're right. I would usually scream at you for even thinking about spending money without talking with me. But I realize now—after the Tide event—the money isn't important. You and I are sitting here talking about the renovation of my office and the future renovation of the house we bought. I could have been dead. We could both be hit by the number 10 bus. So, I won't fight the money anymore. Our happiness is much more important than money."
I heard a knock on the wooden frame of the doorway of my office.
"I hope I'm not interrupting." Fletcher stood in the door way.
"Of course not, Fletcher. Come in and sit for a few minutes. Tell me everything that happened at the Center while I was away."
"We had a lot of extra help here while you were gone. Everyone offered to help however they could. Noel wrote the copy for the upcoming subscription series marketing piece. He had a couple of his designers at his company put together a few different pieces. One is a flyer. One is a brochure. One is a print ad. They also produced a television spot and a radio spot. All on the house, of course."
"See, Cory. They don't really need me here. I can just turn everything over to Fletcher and his team of volunteers."
"No way, Connor! This is not my thing. I did it, but I'd rather be on stage, and Cody said he wanted me to play the part of Zacharia in his play."
"Congratulations, Fletcher! So, you're willing to do the scene naked?"
"Yup. At first, I didn't like the thought of being naked on stage. Then, I looked around the locker room after my workout last week and decided I looked damn good in comparison to the competition. So, yea, I'm in."
Noel and I sat at Starbuck four weeks after the altercation at the Center.
"So, cuz," Noel said as he popped the top off his steaming coffee. "How are you holding up?"
"Much better now that Tide has disappeared from the picture," I took my first sip of coffee before I noticed the huge smile on Noel's face. "Why the big smile?"
"I'm just happy," Noel looked me in the eyes and continued. "We're considering an addition to the family."
"Yea," Noel paused his explanation. "We're meeting them this weekend."
"Yes, Connor, them. Two boys. Twins. They're one year old. Their mother and father were both HIV positive. They've been hospitalized several times since they were born, so they haven't had a terrific life."
"Why were they in the hospital?"
"They both have asthma. John and I want to give them something they haven't had all their lives... a family to help them through rough times. Enough about John and me. Tell me about your plans for the house."
"Cory and I met with the architect yesterday, the interior consultant, and the kitchen designer a week ago," I pulled out my tablet to explain the renovations. "This is the kitchen as it is now."
"Oh my! I see you and Cory have a lot of work ahead of you."
"This is the dining room." I slid the next photo for Noel to see. "It's next to the kitchen. The living area stretches all the way to the entry way. Imagine this whole space as one, big, open L-shaped room."
I opened the rendering of the living area after renovations.
"What do you think, Noel?"
"Phenomenal! Absolutely phenomenal! I can't wait for our first family gathering at your house."
"Before we plan a gathering, we need to agree on the renovations. As you know, Cory and I live on opposite ends of the financial spectrum. Cory loves to spend money. I used to get weak-kneed even when I bought a pair of slacks or a shirt! But I've agreed to let Cory deal with the money for the house renovation. The less I know about how much it will all cost, the better off I'll be."
"You wouldn't worry about which end of the financial spectrum you sit if you'd take the movie role, Connor!"
"I'm considering it." I turned off the tablet and shoved it into my bag. "They've decided to film it in Boston. Cory believes I need something to take my mind off the Tide fiasco."
"My cousin the movie star!"
"I haven't signed the contract yet, Noel," I paused before I explained one additional detail. "I have one little issue I need to resolve."
"What would your one little issue be, Connor?"
"The play intimated Humphry and his friend Perkins had a sexual encounter. The directors want to add an active-looking sex scene." I watched as Noel's right eyebrow went up.
"I'd get to show my naked ass on the big screen."
"Oh!" Noel sat for a moment before he continued. "Who would play Perkins?"
"Derrick Alonso," I watched Noels left eyebrow raise.
"How far would this sex scene go in terms of realism?"
"Perkins rests on top of Humphry after a sweaty frolic. Perkins has obviously just shot his load. Finally, Perkins rolls us so I'm on top. Fortuitously, the sheets role with us to expose my ass..."
"Stop!" Noel's voice boomed across the coffee shop. "Let me process this... You and Derrick Alonso wind up naked skin to naked skin with your ass sticking out for the entire world to see... You'll get a Grammy for this, Connor! As the star of this movie, what kind of money did they offer you?"
"I'm kind of trying to wrap my mind around the finances of this deal, Noel. They've offered five, but my agent wants to push for ten because I won the Tony for the same role."
"Five or ten what?" Noel tightened his grip on his napkin.
"I can't believe we're talking about this. Five- or ten-million dollars up front plus residuals."
Noel sat with his eyes fixed on mine. Then he smiled. "I have two questions. First, are you sure the house you and Cory bought will be big enough? Second, how do you think your mother will react when she sees your ass on the big screen in a movie theater near her?"
"First, Noel, the house will be big enough. Second, I hope she says I have a nice ass."
"If you're lucky, Connor, your mother will be looking at your money instead of your ass!" Noel's smile grew.
"Thanks for your support, Noel," I threw my napkin at him.
"Hello, guys!" I heard a familiar voice say.
I looked at the man standing next to us. "Bobby!"
I stood up and grabbed him into a hug. "It's good to see you, Bobby!"
Noel did the same. I could tell by his expression he'd also noticed Bobby's new-found gym-toned body. "You're looking really good, Bobby! Have you been working out?"
"Yea," Bobby's smile grew bigger. "My brothers badgered me to join a gym. Now, the three of us workout three mornings a week at six a.m. no less!"
"And John told me you were promoted!"
Bobby took a seat next to Noel. "Yea. Chris asked me to become the communications director for the company. I have three people working with me. We mostly do customer proposals and write copy for the website. I also write press releases and other odd writing jobs."
"Congratulations, Bobby! How have your brothers adjusted?" I saw a sparkle in Bobby's eyes I hadn't noticed before.
"They're doing great," Bobby beamed with pride. "After a couple of months of serious tutoring and testing, they've been placed in AP classes. They finally have teachers who don't think of them as two black lugs waiting to go to work in the mines. They've worked on losing their West Virginia accent. Jason, the oldest, found a boyfriend, too."
"So, we only need to find boyfriends for you and your younger brother!" Noel turned toward Bobby with his snarky smile. "I'll give John instructions to assist at all costs."
"John, Noel, and lots of friends and family will join Cory and me on Sunday afternoon around 1 p.m. for brunch. Would you and your brothers like to join us, Bobby? Your brother can bring his boyfriend, too."
"We'd love to join you," Bobby replied. "What can we bring?"
"Nothing. Cory hired a caterer. I wanted to do it ourselves, but he wasn't sure he and I could manage. We've never practiced cooking for a gathering."
Precisely at 1 p.m. on Sunday, the crowd began to descend on our quiet, happy home high in the sky.
Family stormed in two by two. Noel and John, Jorge and George, Manuel solo, my mother and her sister—Noel's mother—Garth and Leo, Mrs. Wainwright III. Intermixed with family were Bobby and his brothers, Fletcher, and Tracy. Also included were some of Cory's work associates—Ansell (Cory's executive assistant), Rapunzel (her actual real name) who handles the technology for the firm, and Raz (a miracle worker when it comes to getting information about potential competitors).
"It's amazing how many people we can fit in this space and still not be cramped," I looked around at the crowd who'd assembled for the gathering.
"Just think about how terrific it will be once we get the house finished," Cory added as he too took in the scene before us. "Someone seems to be very interested in Bobby."
"I thought Fletcher's tongue would never fit back into his mouth once he saw Bobby walk through the door," I said as we watched Fletcher and Bobby in animated conversation while they occupied a quiet corner of the room.
The doorbell rang, and Cory and I sauntered to the door and opened it.
"Dwaine!" Cory exclaimed as we discovered Cory's brother-in-law standing just outside the doorway.
"This is a friend of mine," Dwaine put his hand on his friend's shoulder. "Garrett Wilson."
I froze. The guy who dumped me in my senior year in high school because his father didn't approve of Garrett being gay, nor did his father approve of Garrett involved with a Puerto Rican. Cory greeted Garrett as though nothing seemed inappropriate... Of course, they weren't for him.
Garrett and I starred at one another until I was able to speak. "Please come in, Dwaine, Garrett," I said as I stared daggers at Garrett. "You can ask for the beverage of choice from the person behind the bar in the den."
I turned and walked in the opposite direction. Cory followed.
"Connor," Cory grabbed my hand. "What's wrong?"
I turned and put my arms around Cory's waist. "Remember I told you about the guy in high school who dumped me as a boyfriend because he chose his father's money and control? The guy's father couldn't abide his son being gay!"
"Yes," Cory stopped just as the words escaped his lips. "Oh shit! Garrett Wilson is the guy?"
"Yes, Cory. Garrett is the guy who dumped me. He chose money over happiness."
"Do you want me to ask Dwaine and Garrett to leave, Connor?"
"No, Cory. Dwaine is our guest. He brought a friend... However, Dwaine needs to know Garrett isn't boyfriend material before this gets out of hand."
"Wait until my mother finds out Dwaine brought a guy as his guest to our gathering, Connor."
Cory and I turned away from the door and moved toward a clump of guests. I took his hand and leaned in to whisper in his ear. "God help us!"
Cory looked at me and smiled. Then, I felt a hand on my shoulder. Noel's hand.
"Why in the fuck is Garrett Wilson here?" I prayed our other guests didn't hear Noels comment.
I pulled Noel closer to me for before I whispered into his ear, "He's with Dwaine."
"What the fuck is he doing with Dwaine?" at least this exclamation seemed quieter.
"Too early to tell," I whispered. "I'll keep you posted on any late breaking news!"
"How's the adoption working out?" I asked.
"Next week we're taking Eagan to meet them," Noel explained. "We've hinted at finding him a younger brother. We didn't tell him it would be two younger brothers.
Everyone continued to circulate. Dwaine, however, did not approach Mrs. Wainwright III.
After the caterers served our meals, Cory stood in the center of the room and asked for everyone's attention. I stood beside Cory. He finally began when the room quieted.
"Thank you everyone for coming to our gathering of friends and family!" Cory began as he put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer. "This gathering didn't start out as an announcement party, but during the course of last week we received some awesome news. Connor signed a contract on Friday to star in the movie of Haywire."
The applause and cheering evolved into a roar.
"Thank you," I said to everyone. "I agonized over this decision, as some of you know, for several weeks. I wanted to be in this movie as the character of Humphrey, but I didn't want to be away from Cory and our home for long periods of time. I didn't want this movie to get in the way of Cory and me starting a family. Finally, the studio gave in. The entire movie will be filmed here in Boston. Even the sound stage work. So, I couldn't say `no.'"
Applause again built to a crescendo.
"I missed something here, Connor," my cousin Jorge exclaimed above the mummers of the gathering. "Please explain `starting a family.'"
I let Cory take over. "We filed the necessary paper work to become adoptive parents several weeks ago. We've been approved as of last week... And we're visiting with a four-year old boy on Wednesday. We're counting on bringing him home with us on Wednesday evening."
I was nervous as shit as we approached the adoption agency's office. Cory's hands were shaking. `Maybe this is too much too soon,' I thought to myself as Cory opened the door to the agency.
"Good afternoon. I'm Cory Wainwright and this is Connor Rodriguez. We're here to see Mr. Aquila."
"Mr. Aquila is expecting you. I'll let him know you're here. Please take a seat, and he'll be right out."
"Maybe we should have hyphenated our names," I reached for Cory's hand.
"Rodriguez-Wainwright would be a mouthful, don't you think, Connor?"
"I could have just become a Wainwright," I leaned closer to Cory.
"Your agent wouldn't like you becoming Connor Wainwright. It doesn't have the ring or name recognition as Connor Rodriguez. Maybe we should, as a couple, hyphenate our names. Our son's name will be hyphenated."
"Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Wainwright! I'm Quinton Aquila. Are you both ready to meet Jeromy?"
"We're both a mix of nerves and excitement, Mr. Aquila." Cory and I stood to greet Mr. Aquila.
"I suspect you both will relax once you meet Jeromy. He's a delightful, energetic, and warm boy." Mr. Aquila turned to lead us into the inner portion of the office. "Jeromy has been playing in the playroom awaiting your arrival."
As we followed Mr. Aquila into the playroom, I caught my first glimpse of Jeromy. His thoughtful face turned into a huge grin with a brilliant white toothed smile and giant blue eyes.
The agency had only shown us a couple of photos of Jeromy before we met him. We knew he came from an African-American father and a Vietnamese-American mother.
The four-year old boy standing in front of us had piercing blue eyes framed in long, soft eyelashes. His darker brown skin highlighted his eyes. His long coal black hair curled in front over his eyes and over his ears. And he had a breathtaking megawatt smile.
"Jeromy, I'd like you to meet Cory and Connor." Mr. Aquila dropped to his knees and pointed to Cory first and then me. "Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet Jeromy."
I, too, dropped to my knees and began talking to Jeromy. "We're so happy to finally meet you today, Jeromy. You looked like you were having fun playing with the Legos. Do you like playing with Legos?"
"Yup," Jeromy shyly looked at a Lego in his hand and then back to me. "I like building houses. Do you live in a house?"
"Not yet," Jeromy inched his way closer as he pondered his next move. Cory joined me on the floor "We live in an apartment on the 38th floor right now, but we're fixing up a house we bought. It should be ready for us to move into in a couple of months."
"We also have two dogs for you to play with." Jeromy turned his attention to Cory.
"Big doggies or little doggies?" Jeromy move toward Cory as the conversation moved to the dogs.
"They're little dogs now, but they're only puppies. They'll get bigger." Cory's said eyes met Jeromy's which made Jeromy's smile grow in intensity.
"What are their names?"
"Dudley and Humphry," Cory explained, as we both watched Jeromy move closer to both of us.
Jeromy laughed when he heard the name of the dogs. "Funny names for doggies."
"Not really," I pulled my phone and found a photo of the two dogs. "Humphry was the name of the character I played on Broadway, and Dudley was the name of a character in the same play."
"It's a row of theaters in New York where men and women go on stage and play characters. Broadway shows are like the movies except those shows are performed with characters on a stage and not on film. Sometimes the characters sing and dance."
"Do you sing and dance?" Jeromy asked with big eyes.
"Yes," I found a seat on a kid-high chair and Jeromy landed in my lap.
"Can you sing me a song?" His big eyes pleaded. It didn't take much to convince me.
"Sure. Do you like to dance, Jeromy?"
He shook his head yes, and I scooped him up in my arms. I started singing "Can't Stop the Feeling" from the DreamWorks movie Trolls. I held him tight and danced around the playroom as I sang. His megawatt smile turned even brighter as he and I danced around the room.
"More!" Jeromy exclaimed when I finished the song. "Sing some more!"
I put Jeromy on the floor and sat back on the kid's chair. "We'll do more later. Okay, Jeromy?"
"Promise?" He added, and the expression in Jeromy's face made me want to wrap him up and take him home. I saw Cory wipe a tear from his eyes.
"Are you a movie star?" Jeromy asked me as he found his way onto Cory's lap.
"Not yet, Jeromy."
"Are you a movie star?" Jeromy turned around to face Cory.
"No, Jeromy. I run a business. Connor is the star in this family. Unless you want to become a movie star."
"Hehehe!" Jeromy laughed. Then he turned serious. "Will you be my daddies?"
Cory hugged Jeromy. "Yes, Jeromy. We'll be your daddies."
"You won't leave me?" I suddenly wanted to pull Cory and Jeromy in for a tight hug with our son between us.
"We promise we won't leave you, Jeromy. We'll take care of you. We'll keep you safe. We'll make you happy. And, most of all, we'll love you forever!" Cory's voice almost cracked.
We walked into our apartment for the first time with Jeromy after spending the day with him. Dudley and Humphry met us at the door. We had warned Jeromy about Humphry and Dudley's preference for licking people they just met.
"Jeromy, this is Humphry and Dudley. Guys, this is our son, Jeromy."
Humphry and Dudley sat facing Jeromy. Jeromy paused before he reached out to pet Humphry. Dudley swiped a tongue across Jeromy's face. And then it was two dogs and a four-year old boy frolicking on the entryway floor.
Jeromy looked up at Cory. "I like them d..." He paused.
"Do you want to call us Daddy, Jeromy?" Cory asked.
Jeromy nodded his head yes.
"It's okay, Jeromy." I said to him. His smile beamed.
"I like them, Daddy!" Jeromy added as Cory picked him up from the floor and pile of dogs.
"They like you, too, Jeromy," I added. "Would you like to see your room?"
Jeromy nodded yes.
We started down the hallway to the bedrooms with the dogs following behind us.
"This is your room, Jeromy," Cory said, as he let Jeromy slide to the floor.
"Wow!" Jeromy looked around the room. He touched the bed. He touched the dresser. He turned to look at both Cory and me. "I've never had a room before."
"You do now, Jeromy," I added. I watched Dudley and Humphry jump onto the bed and settle at the foot. I turned to Cory. "I think we lost our bedmates."
"Their protective instinct kicked in the moment we walked into the apartment with Jeromy. They're guarding their charge."
"I suppose they'll ask for a raise or at least extra dog treats!" I looked at Cory with a smirk.
"Don't smirk, Connor. They might!"
"He's looking tired, don't you think?" I whispered to Cory. I looked at my phone. "It's nap time. Ten am and three pm for thirty minutes each."
"Did you ever think you'd be planning your daily routine based on your kid's nap time?" Cory asked, as he took my hand and moved beside the frolicking. "How about a nap, Jeromy?"
"But I'm having fun with the doggies." Jeromy looked as though he could be in pout mode in seconds.
"Even if the doggies sleep at the foot of your bed? They're tired, too." The dogs hopped on the foot of Jeromy's bed and positioned themselves for their nap. The words were barely out of Cory's mouth. "See?"
"I'll take a nap with them since they're tired," Jeromy added. His eyes had begun to droop. He managed to retrieve a long-sleeved T-shirt from his bag. "Mrs. Higgins doesn't let me nap in a shirt like this because it will wrinkle." As an afterthought, he dug through his bag again and pulled out a pair of sweatpants and held them up.
"Let's put you here so we can help you get ready for your nap." I moved Jeromy from the floor to the edge of the bed. Cory and I helped Jeromy get ready for his nap.
"Daddy?" Jeromy said once he'd been tucked in. "Can you sing me a song?"
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Links to all stories:
found in the Beginnings section
found in the Beginnings Section (Sequel to John's Journey Forward)
in the College section.
found in the Relationships section. (Sequel to Sam and Chris)
in the Beginnings section.
in the College section.
Other Stories by the Author
Please note, the following stories are not for everyone because there are several scenes depicting Master/slave and BDSM relationships. So, if you are not interested in this type of literature, please, please do not read this story.
in the Authoritarian section
in the Authoritarian section.
Long lasting idea.