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  2. quokka

    Alo Chapter 24

    Happy Easter everyone
  3. And back to the mighty raptor once again so early in the morning. Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet today and dispose of old Med's properly. Later, we can hang out in North Dakota. They will be serving Garlic and Amaretto.
  4. Today
  5. Tonyr

    Alo Chapter 24

    Thanks. Wishing the same to everyone.
  6. tor200534

    GMA XVIII

    Excellent chapter bill.
  7. As seen at a local Nursery: Hooray, it's Spring I'm so excited, I peed my plants.
  8. chris191070

    GMA XVIII

    Awesome chapter. Glad that Brad was introduced to a fellow marine, perhaps he’ll have a mentor whilst he’s healing. I’m sure CJ isn’t done trying to help Brad. Nice to have a relaxing chapter without any real drama. I’m sure the drama will return in the next chapter.
  9. royboi1951

    Chapter 21

    Well, I'll be in Scotland next month doing a tour called "Scottish Highlands and the Islands. Starts and ends in Glasgow but goes right up to the Orkney Isles. Fourteen days of kilts, haggis and sporans...lol.
  10. On the last Monday in August, Owen began working full-time at the Nature Conservancy headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia. Two days later, CJ started his senior year at Georgetown University. On Friday of that same week, the two of them, César, Brett, Ritchie, and Rod flew to Orlando. It was a men’s weekend. “Dude, it’s been like a year.” CJ’s embrace overflowed with warmth when he greeted Michael. He, his boyfriend Blaine, and Chipper had ridden up from Miami and met the group from Washington at the hotel. “Blaine!” CJ repeated the hug. “What are you still doing hanging with these losers?” “STOP!” Brett used his best Marine Corps command voice. “Hey, Chipper, nice to see you again, dude. How about you introduce us to your friends. I can see by my son’s greetings those cocktails on the plane are still with him. He forgot we don’t know everyone in town like he does.” “Fuck you, Papa. I’m sober, and I don’t know everyone. Anyway, Michael Quintana, Blaine Emerson, these are my dads: César Abelló and Brett Davenport. The other two are my cousin, Rod and my brother, Ritchie.” Handshakes, fist bumps, and “What ups” floated around the noisy, crowded lobby. Michael’s smile shone brightest when he stood in front of the fathers. “It’s so good to meet after hearing so much about you. From CJ and Owen when we were at Virginia Tech last year, but also from Chipper since we were freshmen.” “It’s good to meet you too, Michael.” César clasped the college student’s shoulder. “You’re from Tampa, right?” “Yes, sir. My dads live there. I wish they could have been here to meet you too. When Chipper first mentioned his friend who had two fathers, I lost it. I knew I wasn’t the only one, but it was so cool to hear about and then meet someone who was like me.” Chipper and his friends balked at attending any Gator parties when César invited them to hang out with him and Brett. The three were staying elsewhere and planned to patronize Hurricanes-centric bars. CJ had mentioned stopping at Parliament House for a drink or two. Chipper claimed that since Harley had visited the gay entertainment complex before, he had to check it out too. They all agreed to meet for brunch the next day. Being a minor, Ritchie was not allowed to go barhopping when CJ and Owen chose to stick with the UM students; he and Rod accompanied César and Brett as they made the rounds of University of Florida collegiate and alumni parties. By the time they returned to the hotel, César was threatening to kill his youngest son. The following morning he complained about the teen’s behavior. “The twerp started chanting ‘It’s great, to be, a Miami Hurricane’ as we walked out of one party. I thought my frat brothers were about to blackball me.” “Sorry, Mr. A. CJ put me up to it.” “Asshole! Don’t be blaming me. Not like I put a spell on you or something. I don’t practice Santeria.” CJ’s quip drew confused looks from his relatives. “Huh?” Ritchie voiced what everyone else seemed to be thinking. Eyes rolling, Owen came to the rescue. “It’s a song. An old one from what Chipper said. They played it last night after we’d had a couple of cocktails. We were at a karaoke bar. Someone picked the song, and then Chipper, CJ, Michael, and Blaine decided to follow along. I had to listen to the bloody thing five times in a row. Right before we left, your brother and his buddy led the bar in singing it along one final time. At the top of their lungs.” The corners of Ritchie’s mouth ticked upwards. “How fucked up were you, CJ?” “Wasn’t. We were all in a good mood, and it’s a catchy tune. I don’t need to be drunk to have a good time, bro.” “Prolly not, but based on the stories I keep hearing it seems to help.” On Saturday, the University of Miami Hurricanes renewed their football rivalry with the University of Florida Gators. César was a generous donor to his alma mater and secured six good seats in the middle of the school’s section. He had planned the trip with a couple of old classmates who also flew to the Central Florida city. Loyal school chums, they vociferously renounced the friendship when he and Brett showed up at the stadium wearing de rigueur blue and orange—UF’s school colors—while their companions sported UM’s green and orange. It took a lot of beer for them to forgive him, but they were all friends again by the end of the fourth quarter. While in California at the beginning of the year, CJ had called Alex Minsky, and the Marine Corps’ veteran stopped by a book signing to have a cup of coffee with him and meet Owen. He had been unable to attend the wedding. It was Alex CJ thought might help Brad. When the corporal who lost a leg in Afghanistan heard what CJ proposed, he immediately agreed. “Yo, Legless!” Brad was home alone, his parents at work. “What the fuck, CJ? Don’t you knock?” Sprawled on the couch in front of the TV with an empty glass and a box of wine on the side table, Brad adjusted the blanket covering his lower body. A pair of blue ranger panties—the Marines called their olive version, silkies—rested atop the back of the sofa. The screen showed a large-breasted woman on her knees staring at the camera, while a hairless, muscled man thrust his pelvis against her. A moment later, Brad tossed the remote control on the coffee table after turning the set off. “Spanking the monkey again? Is that all you do with your time?” CJ tried hard not to laugh, but a few chuckles escaped from him and the man who had followed him inside the house. CJ leaned over to inspect the wine container. “Fuck you! Just because you get regular pussy at home—” “Oh, you’re so deeead. Ozzie’s gonna kill you when he hears what you just said about him. And wait until I mention this shit.” CJ pointed at the container in front of Brad. “No judging about drinking this early in the day. But Bandit Red Blend from a box? What did it set you back? A buck fifty?” “None of your fucking business. We can’t all drink hundred dollar bottles like you. Is this what you came over for? To give me grief?” “Actually…” CJ allowed the momentary silence to linger. Brad was not back to getting drunk every time he drank, but CJ was concerned. Time to see if calling in the Marines worked. “Anyway, not sure he wants to shake your hand considering what you were doing, but meet a friend of mine. Brad Kennedy, Alex Minsky.” CJ took a step sideways, and Brad was able to see the visitor for the first time. His gaze lingered on the metal blade visible below the right knee. Minsky ignored CJ’s comment and offered Brad his hand. “Marine, corporal, Afghanistan, IED. You?” “Ranger, sergeant, black ops somewhere over there. IED too.” Brad shook his head and smiled. “Grab a chair. So, you part of whatever it is CJ’s planned for me?” “What do you mean? I saw CJ and Owen last time they were in LA, and I promised to come visit sometime. I’ve only been to DC a couple of times since the trip when I met this one and his fathers… What? Almost six years ago?” “Five and a half.” CJ threw a couple of loose, decorative sofa cushions onto the floor, and took the opposite end of the couch from Brad. “I don’t have anything nefarious planned, Red. Honest.” “Yeah well, forgive me if I don’t believe you and your fancy-ass words. You forget we’ve been through this shit before. Back in high school. You’ve never been too subtle about what you say or do. Hell, if we weren’t friends, I would’ve punched you out after some of your comments.” “Fuck you, Brad. I… am… always… going to tell you the truth. Whether you want to hear it or not. Always! You want someone to sugarcoat shit for you? Call Willy Wonka.” “Damn! I guess you guys are good friends.” Alex chuckled and glanced at the wheelchair parked next to the couch. “I did promise them to come for a visit, Brad. But when CJ called and told me about his brother having a difficult time after losing his legs, I figured it was as good a time for a trip as any. When are you getting new ones?” “Sometime next month. The doctor said I’ve healed enough.” Brad had visibly relaxed after the initial shock. He reached for the discarded shorts and wiggled around while slipping them on under the blanket. “I know CJ means well, but sometimes he forgets not all of us lead the charmed life he does. It’s hard to deal with his shit when I don’t have a leg to stand on.” The two visitors busted up. “Cute, Brad. Very cute. But inaccurate. You lost your legs, and nothing’s going to bring those back. If you keep looking at the past, at the way things used to be, you’ll get nothing but regrets. Looking ahead gives you opportunities.” Minsky sighed and stared at his fellow veteran. “Look, I think I can relate to what you’re going through. It’s nice outside. Why don’t you throw on some clothes, and I’ll push you around the neighborhood so we can talk. I’ll share my story after we send CJ home. We’ll call him when we’re ready, and he can buy us lunch.” His questioning look was met with nodding from CJ. “Since I came back stateside, I’ve realized everything in our life is a reflection of the choices we make. If you want positive results, you have to make positive choices. I didn’t always make them. It took a lot of pain before I decided to make the adjustments needed for me to remain alive. Not to become one of the twenty-twos.” Minsky’s reference was to the number of service members who suicided every day in the United States. When CJ drove Minsky to the airport on Sunday, he was grinning. Brad and Alex had spent a lot of time together over the weekend. Kennedy agreed to stay in touch with the Marine turned underwear model and to make a better effort at dealing with the demons he battled every day. CJ was hopeful once his buddy got his artificial legs and his mobility improved, so would his outlook. However, he was not done meddling; Brad would simply have to deal with it. CJ was vice-president of the Georgetown University Student Association and an active member of Georgetown University Pride, the school’s GLBT group. He still held a position within the athletic department too. Combined with responsibilities as a director for the family foundation, the Human Rights Campaign DC Steering Committee, and Heroes Haven, he often had to juggle commitments. He thrived on the busy professional and social schedule he and Owen kept. “What are you reading that you keep chuckling so much?” Owen sat on the couch; his laptop and several paper files rested on the coffee table. It was not unusual for them to spend time after dinner with CJ studying, and Owen reading over work documents. “Someone sent me a link to a cyber comic. Get this, the hero’s gay and from Texas. He goes by the name of Longhorn. Claims it’s because he’s a University of Texas graduate. But the artist gave him such a humongous bulge, I’m pretty sure the name has nothing to do with his school’s sports teams.” “Great, I’m working my ass off, and you’re reading comic books. Don’t you have school stuff to do?” “All caught up! This is always one of the busiest months for us event-wise. I’ve been trying not to let things pile up. Anyway, it’s more than a comic book, Oz. It’s a cultural statement. All the big-name heroes are straight because of how things were when they were created. Times have changed. Look at all the gay and lesbian characters on TV shows based on DC or Marvel characters. It’s a step in the right direction. Something that’ll help our end goal of acceptance.” “Fine! Queer illustrated literature. What about the shindig Saturday? Are you ready?” Owen referred to the Harvest Ball. The annual party hosted by a group of students was held in the ballroom at GU’s Copley Hall. “Yeah. Unless something gets screwed up, we’re all set.” Thanks to their friend Carson, CJ became a part of the group of students who underwrote the annual party and agreed to chair the committee during his senior year. “Although I’m sure we’ll all be getting asks for admission ’til the last minute.” Well known on campus due to his varied involvement, friends and acquaintances hounded CJ for party admissions. Each of the underwriters received a limited allocation since fire regulations restricted the number of attendees. His went mostly to members of the GLBT community and to athletes he befriended through his involvement with the basketball program. “You think we’ll have any problems this time around?” The previous year, a drunk guest tried to hit on a lesbian. When a few people offered to help, she waved them away, toyed with the drunkard, and then swept his feet out from under him with a well-placed kick. CJ was certain the maintenance staff did not enjoy cleaning blood off the wood floor where he crashed and split his lip. “We better not! Carson and I talked to his fellow rowers and my basketball players. They’ll keep an eye out. If anyone looks too drunk, they’ve promised to handle it. I’m hoping I don’t have to get my hands dirty if something does happen.” “Great! My bloody husband is now running a mafia family, and his goons are going to patrol the premises.” Owen’s teasing had CJ grinning. “Next thing you know you’re gonna be putting contracts out on people who cross you. And the Squad dared to call me Don Corleone.” “Asshole!” A week after the party on campus, CJ and Owen were back on a dance floor. Ritchie and Lucy—she resplendent in a jade dress, he wearing a matching bowtie and cummerbund—wildly gyrated next to them. The Human Rights Campaign National Dinner was a family tradition, and this year Rod and Taisha Abelló were also in attendance. CJ tapped his cousin on the shoulder and motioned for him and his wife to follow him and Owen; he was thirsty and wanted a drink. “Dude, has my brother left the dance floor since the dancing started?” Owen glanced back at the still moving youngsters and shook his head. “I think they have more energy because they haven’t been drinking. Us old people need more frequent breaks.” Taisha slipped her arm through Owen’s. “I’m not sure that makes sense at all, Ozzie. And who are you calling old?” “Not you, oh fair maiden. You’re like a newborn grape ripening in the sun. Not yet full-bodied, but—” “I think I’m going to retch.” Rod’s gagging sounds elicited chuckles from his companions. “You’re full of crap, and you may be drunk, Ozzie. That was so over the top, I’m wondering if—” “Okay, guys, keep it clean.” CJ adjusted his bowtie and tilted his head toward the bar. “Jeff Bezos’s standing over there. Ozzie and I have to say hello. Come on, I’ll introduce you. I think you’ll like him.” “This is like the richest guy in the world we’re about to meet, right?” Taisha smoothed the front of her dress and patted the hair on the sides of her head. “Yeah… One of them at least. But he’s like one of the nicest guys ever.” Owen’s reassuring tone appeared to calm down Taisha’s jitters. “He is. Funny thing is, two years ago at this thing he received the National Equality Award, and we didn’t meet him. Then a year ago, he came up to me during a book signing, introduced himself, and next thing I know Ozzie and I are at a dinner party at his house. Far from perfect, the man’s still a rock star. He’s become a mentor over the past year and made us some good money with stock tips. Come on, let’s go say hello. JEFF!” “That was fun.” Owen hung both overcoats on the rack by the door and slipped off his tuxedo jacket. “That it was. I still can’t believe how nervous Gina was when we introduced her to Jeff Bezos. What was that all about?” CJ mirrored his husband’s actions, taking off his tie, vest, and jacket and dropping them on an armchair on his way to the kitchen. “I have no idea. I’m sure she’s met her share of famous people working at HRC. Get me some water?” Owen sat on the couch, took off his shoes, and propped his feet on the coffee table. “Jeff was real cool about it. While you and Gina were on the dance floor, he asked me about her. When I told him she was from Alaska and a communications major, he seemed excited. He asked my opinion of her, and he wants to take her to lunch. I think he was in recruiting mode. I know she wants to return to Alaska, but she might settle for a job in Washington State. That’s close.” “Ha! Are you fair dinkum? Is my husband—the family’s godfather—hooking up another one of our friends?” “Asshole!”
  11. Parisian ambiance reflects in Sean's OUTFI(t)
  12. jryski

    Xaviel

    Always!
  13. ObicanDecko

    Chapter 8

    Will, Will... Don't throw away the job offer so easily, you can always go back to teaching later! Oskar seems very sweet, but it seems he's hiding something, maybe some family tragedy from the past? Thanks for another awesome chapter!
  14. RELIF Roger enjoys living in France PARIS
  15. @Comicality Another video of Ruel, just to show my appreciation of all your hard work.
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