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  1. Chapter 19 – No, Not Yet, and Still We Move On JOHNNY I remember the feeling of joy when the judge granted Jason parental rights to Cade. I remember meeting Lindsay’s mother and feeling we had a new member of our extended family. I remember walking out of the courthouse. I remember hearing the word “faggot,” followed by three quick pops. I remember a searing pain race through my chest. I remember looking into Jason’s eyes. I think I remember people holding on to me and pressing into the pain I was feeling. I remember some of the wild ride to the hospital and looking around. Margaret was there. Strange, my dad was there with my grandmother. I was confused. I tried to get up and hug them, but I felt my grandmother’s soft hands gently pushing me back down on the stretcher as she softly said, “No, not yet.” I remember feeling safe with Papa and Nana there with me. But they were gone as I remember them taking me into a room full of people hovering over me; some were talking as though they were very excited. Others seemed to be very concerned. I then saw Papa and Nana standing off to the side and smiling warm smiles. I tried to get up to go to them again, and the next thing I knew Papa was holding me down while he softly said, “Not yet, Johnny.” It was strange. In a way, time seemed to stand still. Yet, in another way, time seemed to race by. The next thing I remember was being in a different room. Some of the same people were hovering over me. Papa and Nana were standing off to the side again and just smiling down at me. I so wanted to be with them, but for some reason, they didn’t want me to be with them. I remember Nana saying they were there to help me. Why did I need their help? A couple of times, I would sit up so I could see them, but their hands would gently lay me back down. They would always tell me, “No, not yet.” I noticed that each time I sat up, the people hovering over me became very excited. When I would lie back down, they would calm down and get back to whatever it was they were doing. I felt like I was in that room for quite some time. I then noticed that several of the people who were hovering over me began to leave. I wanted to sit up again, but this time I couldn’t. I remember being moved to a bed and being rolled out of the big room. I felt a lot of tubes coming out of my body and was surrounded by machines. One machine seemed to be pushing air in and out of me. That searing pain in my chest seemed to be replaced by an unusual tightness. The pain was duller, and I seemed to be surrounded by darkness when I felt a gentle kiss on my lips. Jason! He was with me! I heard him whisper to me, “I love you, Johnny. Please pull through for us. We need you.” When he said the word “we,” I suddenly remembered Cade. I had to go see him! I squeezed Jason’s hand and forced myself off the bed. Strangely, I was hovering above the bed and looking down. I saw my body and a scared Jason. A nurse came running in, followed by one of the men that was hovering over me in the other room. Another nurse took Jason out. I noticed a beautiful, warm white light in the distance and was drawn to it. Maybe that’s where I can find Cade! I floated to the light and found myself drawn down a warm and wonderful path. Cade wasn’t there, but Papa and Nana were. This time they took my hands and stopped me. Nana looked into my eyes with the familiar warmth I remembered so well from my childhood. “Johnny, you must understand that it’s not time for you to be here yet. You have a family that needs you desperately. There are so many things yet for you to accomplish.” Papa then looked into my eyes, “I am so proud of the man you have become. It’s time for you to go back and be the man that Jason, Cade, and all the others need you to be. It won’t be easy, but your Nana and I will be there to help you recover from your wounds. You might see us, but you must not try to be with us. Can you do that?” “Yes, Papa. I love and need them, too.” They began taking me back to the room, and the three of us were hovering above. The man was holding something on either side of my chest and shouted, “Clear!” Suddenly I was back in the bed. The tightness in my chest was still there, but I now felt Papa and Nana with me. I could feel their hands on me as a gentle warmth began to surround me. It was going to be alright. JASON I was sitting on the floor, praying and praying for Johnny to come back. I couldn’t stop crying. I don’t think I’ve ever been more scared as I was at that moment. After a few minutes, Dr. Marco came out of the ICU and reached out a hand to help me to my feet. “Jason, I have some good news. We were able to revive Johnny, and he is doing better than he was before the incident. I honestly can’t tell you why, but his vitals are stronger, and the color seems to be coming back to his face.” I couldn’t stop crying, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” I hugged the doctor, and I don’t think he was totally comfortable with that. I looked at him. “Can I see him? I just need to see for myself.” “I guess you can stick your head in, but just for a minute. The nurses are still working on him.” I walked with Dr. Marco back into the ICU, and the curtains were still parted to Johnny’s cubicle. I couldn’t believe what I saw. All the tubes and machines were still there, but Johnny didn’t look as helpless as he did the last time I saw him. The color seemed to be returning to his face, and I swear he even looked peaceful. “I love you, Johnny,” I spoke softly for some reason. I could swear I saw a slight smile appear on his face. I knew things would be alright. I sighed and let Dr. Marco take me out of the ICU. I made my way down to the waiting room to see JJ and Zach. When I walked in, JJ looked up, and his eyes widened. “Oh my God, is everything okay?” “It is now, but we had quite a scare. I went in to see Johnny. I told him I loved him, and he squeezed my hand. Then all Hell broke loose. He died. JJ, he flat-lined! They took me out in the hall, and I just fell to the floor and cried and prayed. I prayed harder than I ever have in my life. A few minutes later, Dr. Marco came out and told me Johnny had come back and was doing better. They let me look in at him so I could see for myself. When I saw him the second time, it was like I was looking at a different person. He didn’t look so helpless. He looked peaceful. And the best part... I told him I loved him, and I’m sure he smiled. He’s completely out of it, and he smiled!” I started crying again as the boys both took me in their arms. I pulled away and wiped my eyes. There was a restroom in the waiting room, so I went in and washed my face with some cold water. I went back out in the room and told the boys I needed to see Cade and tell him his Papa is going to be okay. “Why don’t you go down to the lobby and tell everyone that the guys are out of surgery and that I’ll be down shortly to fill them in and thank them for being here.” They each gave me a light kiss and told me they loved me. Thank God for those boys! But now it was time to go see my boy... my son. I made my way up to Cade’s room. Margaret was talking to him and telling him stories about his mother. Cade was listening intently and smiling. I lightly knocked on the door. Cade looked up and smiled, “Daddy! Gramma is telling me stories about my mom!” “That’s wonderful, little man! How are you feeling?” “My arm hurts a little, and I wish I didn’t have to have it hanging on that thing. My leg is sore, too.” “Well, that’s because they had to take some bone out of your leg and put it in your arm so it would heal faster.” “Oh, okay. I’m a mess, huh?” “No, son. You are just perfect!” I walked over to him and kissed him on the forehead. “Did you see Papa?” “Yes, I did. He was hurt pretty bad, but it looks like he’s going to be okay. The doctors are going to keep him asleep for a while so he can heal faster.” “Can I see him?” “Not yet. He’s in a place called the Intensive Care Unit, and they only let one grown up at a time see him... and then it’s only for a few minutes at a time.” “Intensive? Is that like the intensive triple threat class I was in?” I had to chuckle but was impressed that he was trying to make a connection. “Well, what made your class different from a regular class?” “We had to work extra hard and do things that the other kids weren’t doing.” “Well, Intensive Care is a lot like that. The doctors and nurses are working extra hard on Papa, and they have to do things other patients may not need.” Cade just looked up at me, and I could see the wheels turning. “I might have to ask the doctor for some intensive care so I can get my arm out of this cast faster.” I laughed as I heard a loud snore from the other bed in the room. I hadn’t even realized my boy was sharing a room. I looked down at Cade with a fake look of fear. “Is there a monster in the room with you?” “No, Daddy! Don’t be silly. That man is Larry. They just brought him in here after his operation. He snores a lot.” “Well, I’ll see if we can’t get you a private room with a television and your own remote control. Would you like that?” “I guess. How long do I have to be here?” “Dr. Hamilton said they were going to let you go when you can walk on your leg. So, it might be a week or so.” “That’s going to be boring. Can you bring me my iPad so I can listen to some music?” “Will do, kiddo. Why don’t you get some rest? I need to take Mar... Gramma and check her into a hotel so she can be close by.” “Oh, you don’t have to do that, Jason. We were staying at the Days Inn and...” I went over to Margaret and took her hand. “You have a new family now, and no one in this family stays at the Days Inn! There’s a Sheraton a few blocks from here. I have to get a room for Johnny’s mother, so I think a two-bedroom suite would work out perfectly.” “But...” Cade interrupted her. “You might as well just say okay. Daddy doesn’t take no for an answer when he decides to do something!” I looked down at Cade. “I’m not that bad!” Cade just looked up at me and grinned. “Am I?” Cade laughed and said, “Why do you think I’m such an agreeable son? I say yes, and you give me everything I ever needed and a whole lot more!” I just smiled and shook my head. “Well, will you be okay if we run out and do a few things? We’ll be back later tonight to see you and tuck you in.” “I’ll be okay. I don’t think I’m going to be going anywhere for a while.” Margaret and I kissed Cade goodbye, and we made our way down to the hospital lobby. I explained to her that there would be a lot of people there from the theatre and suggested she just stick close to JJ and Zach. We walked in and I was shocked. There must have been forty or fifty people there. I saw Board members, students, actors, parents... so many people. I was overcome with emotion and began to tear up again. People started moving to me to offer their support, and JJ stepped in. “Folks, let’s give Jason some space so he can talk to all of us.” I gathered my emotions and began to speak to our friends. “Johnny and I want to thank you all so much for your love and support. This has been one of the happiest and most horrible days of my life, and knowing that there are so many of you showing how much you care is just... mind-boggling. The happiest part of the day is that Cade is now my legally adopted son.” There was a smattering of applause from the crowd. “Speaking of Cade, he is in good spirits and will be here a while. His arm is in a cast, and he is doing remarkably well, considering all that he’s been through. Johnny was critically wounded and had a successful surgery. He is in the ICU, and the doctors have decided to keep him heavily sedated to help him with the healing process. I just saw him, and after some touch-and-go moments, he seems to have stabilized and appears to be doing as well as can be expected. Please keep them both in your prayers... especially Johnny. The next twenty-four hours are crucial, and I know he can feel your love and care.” I moved into the crowd and noticed a tearful Connor wrapped in his mother’s arms, so I knelt down to him. “Hey Connor, Cade’s been asking about you. Would you and your Mom like to go up to see him?” “Can we, Mom?” I told her I had seen families on the floor, so it was visiting hours. I was sure Cade would be thrilled to spend some time with Connor. I gave her the room number, and they headed toward the elevators. I just realized my car was still parked downtown. I looked around for JJ and motioned for him to come over. “Hey, while I talk to people, could you and Zach go pick up my car and bring it to the hospital?” “Sure, we could do that. By the way, Bob left about thirty minutes ago to pick up Johnny’s mother.” I gave him my keys and walked around the lobby, speaking to as many people as I could. The amount of love I was feeling was absolutely helping my spirits. In about twenty minutes, Zach was pulling up to the front doors in my car, so I went and got Margaret. As soon as I stepped out of the hospital, I noticed a lot of press standing outside. I made a bee-line to the car and ignored them. I don’t think they knew who I was. That’s a good thing about being relatively new to the city, I guess. The first stop we made was at the Sheraton. I got a suite for Margaret and Johnny’s mother. We then made our way to the Barton Creek Mall. I took Margaret into Macy’s and to the women’s section. Fortunately, one of our theatre volunteers was working, and I was able to leave Margaret in her hands. I told her to help her find clothes for a week... everything... including undergarments. I left my Macy’s card with Michelle and headed to the Apple Store. I picked up a new cover for his iPad that allowed it to stand up so Cade could watch some movies and play some games. When I returned to Macy’s, Margaret was nearly finished. Michelle told me Margaret resisted a bit at first. “I told her it was best to do what Mr. Richardson wanted because, in the long run, that’s exactly what he gets.” I can’t believe I have this reputation! A tearful Margaret came up to me and hugged me. “Thank you, Jason. You know you didn’t have to do this! I have a suitcase in Franklin’s truck.” “I’m sure the police have taken the truck for evidence. Who knows when you would get your belongings back?” “I didn’t even think of that. You’re probably right. But thank you so much, I’m just more than a little overwhelmed!” Just then, my phone rang. It was JJ. “Hi JJ. Everything okay?” “Yeah, Bob just got back with Johnny’s mother. I found Beverly, and she took her up to ICU to see Johnny. She also filled her in on his condition and all the events of the day. We also went to see Cade. He’s doing well. I asked Beverly if we could get him a private room and she said they were already working on it, and there may be one available in a few hours.” “Excellent. I got a suite in the Sheraton for Johnny’s mother and Margaret. If she would like to go to the hotel, she can go at any time.” “Great, I’ll let her know, but I think she wants to see you. When will you be here?” I told JJ we were leaving the mall, and I just wanted to zip into the loft and get some fresh clothes and pick up a couple of things for Cade. We’d be there right after. Of course, it was getting more and more difficult to drive around the later it got in the afternoon. We finally made it to the loft, and I suggested Margaret bring in a couple of bags so she could change into something more comfortable. She was quite impressed with the loft, and I showed her into the guest room/office where she could change. I went upstairs, and when I saw the bed… the bed Johnny and I share, a terrible loneliness overcame me. There were no tears; I don’t think I had any left. I changed into a pair of khakis and a red polo shirt and made my way downstairs. Margaret soon appeared from the guest room in a lovely pantsuit. “You have such a lovely home, Jason. I’m so happy that Cade has such a wonderful place to grow up.” “Thank you, Margaret. We love it here.” “And thank you again for the clothes. I don’t know why you are being so kind to me after all that Frank has done to your family and all...” I walked over to her and held her in my arms. “Frank did some horrible things… you didn’t. On top of that, he left you without a family. Well, we’re your family now. Cade already adores you and loves hearing stories about his mother. And I will never be able to thank you enough for all you’ve done today by just being there and helping me through this day. Now we need to get back to the hospital and see our boys.” I went into Cade’s room and grabbed his iPad, and we headed to the parking garage. We made our way through downtown and back to the hospital in about fifteen minutes. I dropped Margaret off at the front door and went to park. There were a couple of news trucks outside, but things seemed to have calmed down a bit. When I got into the lobby, I called JJ. He and Zach were having a cup of coffee in the cafeteria with Johnny’s mother. Margaret and I walked down the hall and into the cafeteria. “Jason!” “Hello Mom, how was your flight?” “Oh my, talk about luxurious! Thank you so much!” “Did you get to see Johnny?” “Yes. He’s still asleep, but the nurses were quite happy that he has been improving hourly. I talked to Dr. Marco, and he said he would probably be able to ease him out of the heavy sedation sometime tomorrow if he keeps improving at this rate. I also saw Cade. That boy has grown quite a bit since I saw him last.” I decided to run up to the ICU and check on Johnny and then on Cade. I told everyone I wouldn’t be long and asked them to stay put. When I went into the ICU, I checked in at the nurse’s desk, and they took me in to see Johnny. He still had all the machines, but he was still looking rested and peaceful. I bent down and gave him a light kiss on the lips and heard a soft moan. “Hi beautiful man. I hope you can hear me. You’re doing great and getting better every minute. Cade is doing great and is charming all the nurses so I’m sure they’ll be waiting on him hand and foot.” I gently took his hand, and he immediately returned a light squeeze. No alarms sounded this time. “I love you, Johnny… more than I ever thought possible.” He squeezed my hand again. “I’m going to see our son now. He loves you too and can’t wait to see you.” I kissed Johnny again, and this time I was positive I saw a slight smile form on his lips. I took the elevator up to Cade’s room, and he was trying to eat with his left hand. It was a little harder than he had expected but was doing a good job. “Daddy! They don’t make very good food here, but I had to eat `cause I was so hungry!” “Do you need any help, little man?” “No, I got it, I just have to eat a little slower with my left hand, but I’ll get used to it.” “How are you feeling?” “My arm and leg are pretty sore, but Dr. M. said that was normal.” “I brought you a little present.” I opened the bag from the Apple store and showed him the new case for his iPad. I attached it to the tablet and propped it up on his bed table. “Wow! That’s perfect!” “You can watch movies and access your iTunes so you shouldn’t be so bored. I put some money into your iTunes account so you can get what you want. We also set up a Netflix account for you, but don’t try to get any R-rated movies... those are blocked. So are the PG-13 movies, but if you see one you want to watch, we can talk about it.” “Thank you, Daddy! Did you know Connor came to see me? He cried a little bit when he saw me. Do I look that scary?” “No, son. It’s just a shock to see you in a hospital bed with your arm in a cast.” “Good, I don’t want him to be scared of me!” I bent down and kissed my boy on the forehead. “Do you need anything? I’m going to take your Nana and Gramma out to dinner with JJ and Zach, but we’ll be back before the end of visiting hours.” “Can you bring me a piece of cheesecake? I need to eat something good!” “I’ll check with the nurse on the way out. They may not want you to have anything sweet quite yet.” “Okay. I’ll see you in a little bit then. I love you, Daddy! And thanks for bringing my iPad!” I went downstairs to gather the troops. I decided to take everyone to dinner at the Sheraton and get the ladies checked in. On the way down, I stopped by the nurse’s station and asked if I could bring Cade a dessert and they said there were no restrictions on his diet. The head nurse also told me that a private room had opened about an hour earlier, and they were prepping it for him. He would probably be in there by the time we returned from dinner. We had a nice, quiet dinner. Margaret and Caroline seemed to hit it off well. We got them settled into their suite. JJ, Zach, and I headed back to the hospital for one last visit. Cade was ecstatic to have a private room and even more ecstatic as he devoured his cheesecake. As we were getting ready to leave for the evening, I told Cade that he could call me anytime during the night if he got scared or needed anything. I stopped in and gave Johnny another kiss goodnight and was pleased to see him resting well. When we got down to the parking garage, JJ told Zach that he was going to stay with me for the night, that he didn’t want me to be alone. Zach thought that was a great idea and headed home in JJ’s car. JJ rode with me to the loft. I went upstairs and headed into the shower. As the hot water poured over me, the roller coaster events of the day finally caught up with me. I just stood in the shower and sobbed. I can’t believe how close I came to losing Johnny. On top of that, seeing Cade in such pain ripped my heart out. After a few minutes of crying, I heard the glass door open, and JJ stepped in. He wrapped his arms around me and held me. He then turned me around. “Jason, it’s going to be okay now. You’ve been so amazing and strong all day for everyone. Just let it out.” The floodgates opened, and I wept uncontrollably in JJ’s arms. He then reached for the shampoo and began washing my hair. He then poured some liquid soap over my back and began a nice, deep, cleansing massage. JJ then turned me around and washed my chest and arms, working his way down to my legs. “You know, Jason... I love these times we have together. But if you’re uncomfortable...” “No, JJ. You’re a part of this family.” I wrapped my arms around him and gently kissed him. Once we were both clean, we just held each other closely and let the hot water cascade over us and wash the day away. I grabbed towels as we dried each other off. I picked JJ up in my arms and carried him to the bed. “I’m glad you’re here tonight, JJ.” “Me too, Jason.” We crawled under the covers, wrapped our arms around each other. JJ ran his fingers through my hair as we just looked into each other’s eyes. We were just about to fall asleep when my phone rang. I panicked a bit until I saw it was Zach. “Hi Zach, what’s up?” “Are you guys finished?” I just laughed and thanked him for letting JJ spend the night with me. “You get me tomorrow... or both of us.” “We’ll see, okay?” “Sure. I called to let you know that I’ll be by in the morning with some clothes for JJ. We can ride over to the hospital together then.” I thanked Zach for being with me today and hung up the phone. I spooned myself around JJ and kissed the back of his neck. “Thank you, JJ. You’re amazing.” He pushed himself into me and sighed. We were both asleep in minutes. I woke up about 6:30 in the morning and found my hard cock buried inside a sleeping JJ. He was gently bucking his hips in a slow and steady rhythm. When I looked down at him, he seemed to be sound asleep. Holy crap! We were sleep-fucking! I gently shook my cute blond boy and woke him. He looked up at me with sleepy eyes. “Dude, did you rape me in my sleep?” “No, JJ. I woke up and found you humping my cock!” We both had a laugh, and I started to pull out of him. “Oh no, don’t even think about not finishing what you... or I... started!” I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Your wish is my command!” I continued fucking JJ from behind when his phone rang. I didn’t stop fucking him, and when he saw it was Zach, he answered breathlessly. “Good morning... ungh... lover... ungh! Yeah, he’s fucking me... ungh... ungh... Ohhhhhhhhhh! No.... ungh.... he just hit my spot real good. You like listening to your boyfriend... ungh... getting fucked? Ungh... Yeah... stroke for me Zach... ungh...” This was hot in a weird way. I’m giving JJ a morning fuck and he’s having phone sex with Zach at the same time! I must admit though, listening to his dirty talk was turning me on way more than I had expected. “Yeah, Zach... ungh... ungh... I feel his cock getting larger... he’s close... are you gonna... ungh... ungh... ungh... come with me, baby? Ungh... Ungh... Oh fuck... I’m gonna blow a load... Ungh... Ungh... Fuuuuuuuuuuck! Bam! As JJ’s ass contracted with his morning orgasm, my cock released torrents of cum deep into his hot little dancer ass. From the sounds of things, Zach came with us. Pretty kinky. Pretty hot! “Okay, baby. I love you, too.” JJ hung up his phone and leaned in to kiss me... “That was kind of fun, Jason!” “In an oddly, weirdly, hot way it was!” “Zach said he was going to shower and be right over. We should probably shower and get dressed before he gets here, or we may never do what we need to do this morning.” JJ slid himself off my cock and went into the bathroom. He went into the toilet closet as I climbed out of bed and started the shower. I quickly cleaned up and was finishing up as I heard JJ shout, “I’m flushing!” I turned off the water before he scalded me. He came out and made his way into the shower as I was drying. In a few minutes, I was down in the kitchen, making up some coffee and toasting up some bagels. The doorbell rang, and I let Zach in as a naked and still hard JJ was walking down the stairs. Zach looked up and licked his lips, “Now that’s a welcome I could get used to!” JJ ran down the rest of the stairs and grabbed his clothes from his boyfriend... after kissing him, of course. “Boys, coffee and bagels in the kitchen!” JJ got dressed in the living room while Zach came in a poured himself and JJ coffees. I pulled the bagels out of the toaster and slathered them with cream cheese. We all sat at the breakfast bar. Zach was the first to speak, “I have to tell you... that was a pretty hot way to start the day!” I think I actually started to blush! “I just get to add that to the growing list of things I’ve never done before until you two came along!” “Well, tonight you’re coming home with us. I think some quality time in the sauna might just be what the doctor ordered.” “Well, let me run up and pack a bag in case I decide to take you up on that offer. I can’t promise anything, though, until I know more about what’s happening with Johnny.” As soon as we finished our quick breakfast, I ran upstairs and did just that. Once my bag was packed, I headed back downstairs as JJ and Zach were cleaning the dishes. I grabbed the keys, and the boys headed on to the hospital as I stopped by Sheraton to pick up Caroline and Margaret. I had called them when I was leaving the parking garage, so they were both waiting out on the sidewalk in front of the main entrance. “Good morning, Mom. Margaret. How was your night?” Caroline answered, “I was having some trouble sleeping. I guess all the excitement of the day just made it hard for me to relax.” Margaret smiled and said, “Same goes for me. It was a rather overwhelming day for all of us. So, I went out into the living room and found Caroline on the sofa watching infomercials. I tell you, they are better than a Xanax! We were both conked out within an hour and finally made our way back to our beds.” We arrived at the hospital and found our way into the lobby. Beverly was there talking to JJ and Zach. “Good morning folks, I was just waiting for you to arrive so I could fill all of you in on the condition of Cade and Johnny.” At least she was smiling, so I didn’t panic. “Cade slept well through the night, except he was a little grumpy whenever the nurses had to come in and take his vitals. As far as Johnny goes, they’ve taken him off the ventilator, and he is breathing quite well on his own.” I looked at her with concern. “Isn’t it a little too soon for that?” “No, not really. We try not to have a patient on a ventilator for more than a day. If the patient is on the machine too long, they sometimes become dependent on it. Plus, there is always a risk of pneumonia, and that’s a road we definitely don’t want to go down.” “Now that Johnny’s breathing is stable, Dr. Marco is going to reduce the sedation levels, and he’ll soon be a little more aware. By late afternoon we are hoping to have him up and sitting in a chair... again, another way we hope to avoid complications like pneumonia. He’s a very lucky man. According to the police, the bullet that hit him was a larger caliber and went right through his chest and lung. Had it stopped in the lung, there would have been a greater risk of infection. At this point, there is no indication of infection, but we’re going to keep him on a pretty steady dose of antibiotics just to be safe. The fact that he is in such good physical shape has also been a factor in his rapid recovery. I do have to share with you that all the medical staff is pretty much in shock at the pace of his recovery. Honestly, we’ve never seen anything like it, and there seems to be no explanation.” I looked at Beverly with a smile. “That’s wonderful news, Beverly! Thank you so much! Oh... and speaking of the police, have you heard anything new from them?” “As a matter of fact, they are going to come by after visiting hours to speak with you and Margaret. They wanted me to tell you that as the case is very cut and dry, they won’t be taking too much of your time. They are going to take a statement from each of you and be done with it.” I immediately began to think about having an attorney present. Then it hit me again that my attorney was in a funeral home somewhere in town. Tears came to my eyes again as JJ looked at me and asked what was wrong. “I was just thinking about Sam again. I need to call his office and see what kind of arrangements are being made.” “I can’t believe he’s gone. He’s been such a huge part of our lives.” Beverly and her cheerful voice snapped us out of our thoughts. “Well, I think Johnny can see two people this morning. Why don’t I take Mrs. Breeze and Jason up to ICU, and the rest of you can go in and see Cade? He should be finishing up his breakfast by now, and I’m sure he will be thrilled to have you all there with him.” We all rode up in the elevator together. Caroline and I got off on the surgery floor, and the others rode up to Cade’s room. When I got to the ICU entrance, Caroline asked me to go first. I walked in and found his curtains parted. I stood at the door and couldn’t believe what I saw! Johnny’s eyes were open. He looked up at me, smiled, and whispered, “Hi baby.” Tears came to my eyes again as I smiled and walked over to the bed. “Hey, mister, don’t you ever scare me like that again!” “I’m sorry. I love you.” I leaned down and ran my fingers along his face as I looked deep into the dark pools of his eyes. I bent down and kissed him, and he placed his right hand on the back of my head and held me there. This time Johnny broke the most wonderful kiss I had ever experienced. “The doc said he was going to move me to a regular room this afternoon.” “Isn’t all this happening too fast?” “No, they want me up and walking as soon as possible. I’ll be in a chair this afternoon.” “This is amazing. Yesterday I thought I had lost you.” “I heard. They told me I went away for a while, but I came back. I couldn’t leave you and Cade behind.” Johnny took a big sigh and closed his eyes. “I love you, Johnny. I’m going to go up and see Cade so your mom can come in and see you, okay?” “I love you, Jason.” I leaned down and kissed my beautiful man and ran my fingers down his face. “I’ll see you later, baby.” I went out in the hall, and Caroline began to make her way in to see Johnny. I couldn’t hide the huge smile on my face as I walked out, and all she said was, “Thank God!” I took the elevator up to Cade’s room, and he was playing host to our crazy, wonderful family. JJ, Zach, and Margaret were standing around the bed, and Connor was sitting on the edge of the bed, holding Cade’s hand. People were smiling and laughing and Cade kept asking them to hold it down. He didn’t want them to get kicked out. About twenty minutes into our visit with Cade, Beverly came in and asked to see Margaret and me. The police were downstairs and would like to get statements from us so they could wrap up the case. She took us downstairs to a conference room situated between the main lobby and the emergency area. The officers asked to see me first. I went into the conference room, and two officers were sitting at the table. After formal introductions, they expressed relief that Johnny and Cade were rapidly improving and asked that I tell them what I remember of the incident. They asked very few questions while I was talking. When I finished telling them what I remembered, they asked if I was planning to pursue a civil suit on the Manning family. I explained that the family had nothing to do with this, that Frank was a closed-minded bigot who took the law into his own hands. On the other hand, his widow had been wonderful, and as far as I was concerned, she was now a part of our family. They thanked me and told me I could send Margaret in. I decided to head to the cafeteria for some coffee. While heading in that direction, I noticed quite a commotion behind me. A young boy was being rushed into the elevator by a team of doctors and nurses. I was stunned when I caught a glimpse of his face. It was Daniel Hayes! He was one of our high school counselors over the summer. I ran down to the ER lobby to find his parents so I could see what happened. I didn’t see them but did see three police officers talking to a woman in a business suit. Two of the officers then left, and the woman was left with the third. I walked over to them and introduced myself as the managing artistic director of the Rosemont Theatre and asked about Daniel. The officer asked if I was a member of the family. When I told him I wasn’t, but he had worked for me over the summer as a counselor, the officer asked me if I could step aside with the woman. She introduced herself as Mary Warner with Child Protective Services and asked if I had any dealings with Daniel’s father over the course of the summer. I didn’t recall anyone other than his mother dropping him off or picking him up and didn’t recall if he had even mentioned his father. Ms. Warner asked if I was aware of Daniel’s sexuality and if it seemed to be a problem with the other children in the camp. I explained to her and the officer that there are hundreds of children of all ages who make their way through the camps over the summer. While some of the older children may have already discovered their sexuality and might be comfortable with it, many more of them are confused and might even experiment. As far as Daniel was concerned, I had always felt he might be gay, but he had no problem with the other children and was one of the more popular counselors in the program. Then it hit me, “Dear God, was he beaten because of his sexuality?” The officer spoke next. “Unfortunately, we can’t give out too many of the details, but it’s almost certain that Daniel will be placed in the state Foster Care Program.” “What about his mother?” “I’m afraid she is no longer in the picture... and is father is being booked as we speak.” “Oh, dear God. Is Daniel going to be alright?” Mary looked up from her folder. “He seems to have been spared any life-threatening injuries, but he is unconscious at the moment, and they have to repair a couple of broken bones.” “Well, my son and partner are both here for at least a week. Would it be alright if I visit Daniel so he won’t feel so alone?” Ms. Warner looked up at me, “Thank you for the offer, sir. At this point, all visitors must be cleared through my office and me.” She gave me her card and suggested I call her later in the afternoon. I thanked her and the officer for filling me in on what they could and told them they would be hearing from me. I made my way back towards the conference room just as Margaret was walking out. It was obvious she had been crying. I put my arm around her as we walked down the hall. “Oh Jason, that was so difficult. I had to convince them that I didn’t know Frank was going to do something so horrible. It was almost as if they wanted to blame me. I finally convinced them I had no control over that man, that he actually had a lot of control over me.” She looked up at me and tilted her head. “You look like you’ve just seen a ghost. Is something wrong with Cade or Johnny? “Oh no, I just saw one of my high school camp counselors being rushed up to surgery. He looked pretty bad. I went out to the ER to see if there was anything I could do, but the officer and the CPS worker were fairly vague. It appears that the boy’s father beat him pretty badly over his sexuality, and something terrible may have happened to his mother.” “Dear God, why are men to pig-headed and closed-minded?” “I don’t know Margaret, and the world would be a much better place if people would accept others for who they are, that’s for sure.” We headed back upstairs to Cade’s room and found Cade being the perfect host. Someone had gone down to the cafeteria and brought up ice cream for everyone. “Hi Daddy and Gramma! Do you want some ice cream?” “I think that would be awesome!” “Okay, you’ll have to go down and get some then, I don’t think Zach brought some up for you guys.” Everyone got a good laugh out of it when Beverly came in. “Folks, I’m afraid morning visiting hours are just about up. We need you to wrap things up so Cade can get some rest.” “Rest? I’m not tired!” “You will be when we finish walking you up and down the hall a few times!” “Oh no! I don’t think I’m ready for that yet.” “Well, Mr. Terrence will be here in about ten minutes and will determine that.” We all began to leave the room when I pulled Beverly aside. “Can we speak?” “Is something wrong, Jason?” “Well, not with my family, but when I was downstairs, I saw a young man being wheeled into the elevator. He appeared to have been beaten rather badly. His name is Daniel Hayes. He worked for me during the summer as a camp counselor, and it appears they are about to throw him into the Foster Care Program. Could you talk to Ms. Warner and see if JJ, Zach, and I can be put on the visitors' list for him? He has no one, and I’m sure he’s in for a pretty rough time.” “Well, seeing as I’m the nurse advocate for her as well, that shouldn’t be a problem. Are you interested in more than visits?” “What do you mean?” “I have already spoken with Mary about Daniel’s case, and I guess I’m asking if you would be interested in caring for the boy after he is released. I’ve seen your family, Jason. It appears that it would be an ideal situation.” “Oh Beverly, I don’t think I could take on much more than the healing of Johnny and Cade... and I couldn’t do it without Johnny being there as well.” “Well, don’t close that door yet. Just remember, once a child... especially a teenager... is placed in that system, it’s very difficult… almost impossible… to get them out.” “I’ll think about it. For now, I just want him to have some visitors, and the three of us know him from the summer.” “I’ll see what I can do, Jason. Just keep your mind... and your heart open, okay?” “I promise.” I went back in and kissed Cade goodbye and told him his Papa was awake and talking and should be in a regular room soon. When I went out into the hallway, JJ was waiting for me as the others were heading for the elevator. “Did I hear you mention Daniel Hayes to Beverly? What’s going on?” “Oh, JJ. It’s terrible. When I was downstairs with the police, I saw him being rushed onto the surgery elevator. He was beaten pretty badly.” “Shit! I was afraid of this. I told him to be careful.” “What do you mean?” “A few weeks ago, he came up to me after classes and wanted to talk. He told me he was gay and he didn’t know how to tell his parents. I told him he didn’t need to do that just yet if he felt that either, or both of them might take it badly. He said his mother already knew, but his dad might be another story.” “JJ, the social worker from CPS is downstairs. Would you be willing to talk to her? You might have more insight on this than I did.” “Sure. Is he going to be okay?” “I don’t know. They wouldn’t tell me much since I wasn’t a family member, but it looks like his dad might have done this to him. As far as his mother goes, all they said is that she was out of the picture.” “That doesn’t sound good at all, Jason. His mother adored him.” “Well, I asked Beverly if she could see about getting us on his visitors' list so he won’t feel so alone when he wakes up.” “We should try to get Cade in there too. He loved hanging with Daniel.” We all met in the lobby and decided to have a quick lunch in the cafeteria since JJ and I were going to stick around and talk with Beverly. I took JJ into the ER lobby and found Ms. Warner on sitting in the corner on the phone. When she saw us, she ended her conversation and motioned for us to come over. “Ms. Warner, this is JJ Combs. He worked rather closely with Daniel this summer and may be able to give you a little more information than I was able to.” “Mr. Richardson. Thank you so much. Beverly filled me in on your ordeal over the last twenty-four hours. I had no idea you were the family involved in the courthouse shooting yesterday! I do hope everything is going to be alright.” “Thank you, Ms. Warner. Everyone is doing much better, and I’m hoping to have everyone home and on the road to recovery in a week or so. I’ll leave you and JJ alone for a bit.” “Thanks, Mr. Richardson. If there’s anything I can do...” “Right now, let’s see if we can get Daniel some help.” I left JJ with Ms. Warner and went to join the others in the cafeteria. God, that food is horrible! Fortunately, there was a mediocre salad bar, so we all decided it would be best to take our chances with that. After a few minutes, JJ walked in shaking his head. Zach asked what was wrong and JJ filled him in with basically the same information I had received earlier in the day. Tears came to Zach’s eyes. “Gosh, I trained that kid! He had such a promising future. Now, who knows what might happen?” “Beverly is working with CPS to try and make sure we will be able to visit him while we’re here. He apparently has no one anymore, so some friendly faces might do him some good.” JJ leaned in to me a quietly said, “Apparently, that’s not all she’s working on. She told Ms. Warner that she was going to try and convince you to take Daniel in after he’s released.” “I don’t know JJ. I’m going to have my hands full with Johnny and Cade when they get home. And we just don’t have room for another person.” “Well, don’t say no just yet. Let’s wait and see how everything plays out, okay?” My phone buzzed with a text from Beverly. “Johnny out of ICU. Room 514. Private Room.” “Wow! They’ve moved Johnny into a private room. I need to go see him!” I hurried to the elevator, and it seemed like it was taking forever! The door finally opened, and I was soon on my way up to the fifth floor. When the doors opened again, I nearly ran down to the hall to Johnny’s room. I got there and had to catch my breath as I walked in. “Hi baby, took you long enough!” Johnny had his full, toothy, dimpled, goofy smile right back where it belonged. I couldn’t believe it! I thought I had lost him a little over 24 hours ago, and now he was sitting up in his bed. He was holding some kind of plastic contraption with a ball in a tube. I walked over to the bed with tears in my eyes (yes, again) and leaned down and gave him a kiss so full of love and passion I was afraid I was going to give him a raging hard-on. Just as I was about to break the kiss, there was a light knock on the door. Dr. Marco cleared his throat as he walked into the room. “Excuse me, boys. I just wanted to check in on Johnny before I headed back to my office. I’m glad you’re here Jason, I wanted to fill you in on what’s going on, too.” “I guess my only question is, how can he be doing so well so quickly?” “Jason, I have to admit I’m a bit surprised at how rapidly our patient seems to be recovering, but I will tell you a lot of it has to do that he is in extremely good shape and quite healthy. That makes a huge difference. As you see, we still have the IV hooked up. I want to make sure there is a good supply of fluids and antibiotics going through his body for the next day or two. We also have a morphine pump, which is controlled by Johnny. When he feels pain, he can give himself a dose. There are a limited number of doses per day, and the pump is set so he can have no more than two milligrams every ten minutes.” “I’m trying not to use the pump, Dr. Marco. I don’t like feeling the drugs go through my body... plus, I don’t want to depend on it if I don’t need to.” “Understandable... and I’m glad you feel that way. Now I see the nurses have given you a spirometer. That’s a machine to help you with your breathing. It tells us how much air you are able to take in. Just follow the nurse’s instructions, and you’ll be fine.” “The nurse put a couple of lines on the tube. She said when I can do five breaths in a row above the yellow line, I can go down the hall and see Cade. Once I get to the blue line, I can talk to you about going home.” “And that’s why we call it an incentive spirometer. How are you doing with the contraption?” “I’m almost to the yellow line... and I intend to have dinner with my son today.” “Excellent. And I’m not going to be surprised at all if that happens. Just make sure you call the nurse before you go walking so she can set you up for a walk.” “Now Jason, if you’ll excuse us. I would like to examine Johnny one more time before I leave for the morning.” “He can stay, I don’t mind.” “Jason?” “Sure, I’ll stay.” I was sitting in the chair on the opposite side of the bed from the doctor as he lifted Johnny’s gown to examine his chest. There were four stitches where the bullet exited his chest. “It’s looking good.” Yes, Johnny’s body was looking magnificent if you asked me. I never stop marveling at the physique of the man I love. “I don’t see any signs of bleeding or infection. Let’s look at your back.” He lowered the gown and helped Johnny sit up. He took a close look at the entrance wound, which seemed to have just two stitches. He then listened to Johnny breathe with his stethoscope. When he finished listening, he helped Johnny lie back down and looked at the bag attached to the drainage tube. “Well, it looks like we might be able to remove the tube tomorrow. You are healing at a remarkable pace, Johnny. I’d like to take credit for that, but something tells me something much greater than medical science is at work here.” “Yeah, Dr. Marcos, I think you might be right there.” I looked at Johnny with a puzzled look. “I’ll explain later, hon.” Johnny just smiled at me again. Dr. Marco made a few notes and told us he would be stopping by later in the day to have another look. When he left the room, Johnny looked at me with a grin. “Now, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?” I got up from the chair and sat on the edge of the bed and looked Johnny in the eyes. “I love you, Johnny Breeze.” I bent down and kissed my lover with all my heart and soul. After a couple of minutes, there was another light knock on the door. We broke the kiss, and I sat down in the chair as Johnny called out, “Come in!” What a surprise we had when Judge Alvarez walked into the room. I stood up and extended my hand. “Judge Alvarez! What a nice surprise!” “Please, we’re not in court, you can call me Mimi.” “Okay... ummm.... Mimi.” That just didn’t feel right, but I guess I could get used to it. “So how are you doing, Johnny? I was shocked when I heard what had happened, and I should say I’m even more surprised to see how well you are doing. I hear Cade was injured as well?” “Yes, he was hit in his forearm and is doing quite well. He should be getting out of traction later today.” “Such a shame about Sam. He was a great man and thought the world of you boys.” “Thank you, Judge... I mean Mimi.” Tears came to my eyes again as I thought about the loss of our friend. Johnny looked up at me with a confused look, and I whispered to him that I would explain later. “Gentlemen, while I wanted to make sure you were doing well, there is another reason I’ve come to see you. Beverly told me you were in here together, so I wanted to make sure I could talk to the two of you alone.” Johnny looked concerned as he asked our guest, “What’s happening, is something wrong with the adoption?” “Oh no! Nothing like that, Johnny. As you know, a young man named Daniel Hayes was brought in yesterday after being severely beaten by his father.” “What? What happened? Is he okay?” I took Johnny’s hand. “I’m sorry, babe. I haven’t had a chance to tell you about it yet.” I looked over at Mimi. “Is he going to be okay?” “He’s going to need a lot of time to heal. He suffered several broken ribs, a concussion, and a broken jaw. He’s been moved to the children’s hospital and will most likely be there for quite a while. Not only does his body need to heal, but he will also have a lot of emotional healing as well since he lost his mother in the ordeal. Even though he’s sixteen, they moved him to a facility that would better serve all of his needs.” Johnny looked at the judge. “Wha... What happened to Daniel’s mother?” Mimi continued. “Apparently, Mr. Hayes was furious that she knew about Daniel’s sexuality and never told him. He beat her and then shot her. Daniel threw him to the floor and, fortunately for Daniel, the gun went flying across the room. Unfortunately for Daniel, his father still beat him rather badly and then literally threw him out the front door. The neighbors next door had heard the yelling and the gunshot and had already called 911. Daniel was unconscious by the time help arrived.” The tears were flowing from my eyes at this point. “He will be fine. He will heal. But he’s going to need some help.” This is what I was dreading. I knew what she was going to suggest and had wanted to talk to Johnny first. “Now... before I go on, I should tell you that I have been talking with Beverly, Margaret Manning, Mary Warner of CPS, and those two lovely young men... JJ and Zach. They all are aware of what has happened with Daniel and are all willing to help. Now I understand that you now consider Margaret a member of your family?” “Yes,” I answered. “She has been a godsend throughout this entire ordeal. And Cade adores his new grandmother.” “That’s wonderful to hear. Now you may be aware that as part of my preparation for your adoption hearing, my clerks did an extensive background check on you, Johnny, and on the Mannings. Did you know that Margaret is a retired nurse?” I looked at Johnny. “You know, back in college, I think I remember Lindsay saying something about that. But it’s one of those things you never really hold on to. I totally forgot about that.” “Well, as I said earlier, Daniel will be in the hospital for three to four weeks. He’s understandably quite depressed and quite honestly, terrified of what might lie ahead for him.” Johnny now had tears flowing from his eyes. “Dear God, that poor kid. Daniel is such a wonderful boy. He was probably the top counselor during the summer program. He had such a great future.” “He can still have that future. But we’re going to need both of you to agree.” Johnny squeezed my hand. “We’ll do anything needed to help Daniel.” I looked at Johnny. “Johnny, be careful what you say. Mimi is a very persuasive person.” I looked at Mimi and said, “I know what you are about to ask... Beverly brought it up to me earlier, and I told her I would have to discuss it with Johnny first.” “What are you talking about, Jason?” “I have a feeling that Mimi is about to ask us to become foster parents.” I looked at Mimi again. “Mimi, I would love to help out Daniel, but I’m going to have Johnny and Cade, both healing from gunshot wounds. Margaret will most likely be staying with us as well. Not only will we not have any room for another person in the loft, but I also don’t know if I would have it in me to care for a third person. I don’t know... I just don’t see how it can be done still give Daniel all the attention he needs.” “Before you give me a definitive no for an answer, I ask that you hear me out.” Wow! Mimi IS a persuasive person! “Now I have to give credit for this idea to your friends downstairs. Margaret has insisted that she assist you in the care of Johnny, Cade, AND Daniel. The boys have suggested that you all trade houses for a while until a better solution for space could be found. Of course, you won’t have to swap homes for a few weeks so Cade and Johnny will be able to get back to health before Daniel would arrive.” I could see the wheels turning in Johnny’s brain. “Jason, you know I love our loft. But once Cade moved in with us, it started to feel a little crowded.” I had to agree with him on that point. “I think it might be time for us to look for a house in a nice neighborhood... even if it were going to be just the three of us.” Again, I had to agree... so I just nodded. “I hear Cade is recovering quite well... and so am I... so there won’t be a lot of care involved with us once we get home.” Yes, I had to agree again. I looked at Mimi. “But isn’t the process of getting approved for the foster program quite long and extensive?” “Normally it is, Jason. However, as I said earlier... you, Johnny, and Margaret have already been extensively investigated by my staff. I gave that information to Mary and she immediately sent it to her office for approval. I’ve already spoken with her superiors and everything should be taken care of in the next 24 to 48 hours.” “I’m really not trying to be negative here, Mimi... but should Johnny and I decide not to become foster parents, what will happen to Daniel?” Mimi took a deep breath. “That’s the hard part. Daniel will most likely be forced to take residence in a state children’s home until he is eighteen. We can’t guarantee that it would be here in Austin. He will be put in the home that can best accommodate his immediate needs.” Johnny just shook his head. “An orphanage?” “Technically, no. Although his father will most likely be in prison for a very long time, he still has a father. On the other hand, the home is very much like an orphanage, only it would be for teenagers, and sadly, there are very few people interested in fostering teens... especially gay teens.” Johnny looked at me and smiled. “We need to talk about this, Jason. We can’t say yes OR no to Mimi until we talk about it together and then with Cade, and then again with Margaret, JJ, and Zach.” “I know, Jason. There is just so much to think about and discuss before we make a decision that will have such an impact on all our lives.” Mimi stood up from her chair and walked over to Johnny. “Thank you, Johnny. That’s all I ask of you today... discuss it and see if there is anything you can do.” She gave me her card. “Jason, you can call me anytime if you have any questions. If I’m in court, I’m sure my staff will be able to help you. We’re a part of the family court system and sadly, this is the type of thing we deal with regularly.” She shook my hand, then Johnny’s. “Thank you, boys. You just might be able to save a wonderful boy’s life.” Margaret got up and let herself out of the room. I looked at Johnny with a worried look on my face. “Jason, you know what the right thing to do is, don’t you?” I just nodded my head. “And you know that neither of us would be able to live with ourselves if we allow the state to put Daniel in a home where his safety would be in jeopardy every day because of his sexuality.” I was still nodding my head. “And you know between our extended family and us, Daniel would most likely grow up to be a happy, secure and definitely loved young man.” Tears began falling from my eyes as I continued nodding. “You won’t have to worry about taking care of Cade or me once we get home. We’ll both be just fine before you know it.” I looked at Johnny and remembered something he had said earlier. “You had mentioned to Dr. Marco that there was another reason you were healing so quickly?” “Yeah, but you have to hear me out, okay?” “Sure, baby.” “Well, after I was shot, my Papa and Nana were with me... it was like they were there watching over me. I kept trying to go over to them, and they would just lay me back down and tell me it wasn’t time yet. “I remember you coming into the room and telling me that Cade was alright and that you both loved me. I knew I wanted to see my son so I got up from the bed and the next thing I knew I was floating over the bed looking down at you. I saw a bright light and thought that was the way to Cade so I went toward the light and the next thing I knew, Papa and Nana took my hands and led me back to the bed. They told me that they would be with me and help me heal so I could be with you and Cade. And the funny thing is, I feel them with me right now.” “That’s amazing, Johnny. I’m sure they are with you... actually, I’m sure they’ve been with you all along.” “Yeah, I think so too.” Johnny smiled at me, and I started to relax. “I hate everything that happened to our family after we walked out of the courthouse, Jason. But, on the other hand, if this hadn’t happened, we probably wouldn’t be able to be there for Daniel. There are no coincidences in life. Everything happens for a reason.” “We’re going to do this, aren’t we?” Before he could answer, he took the spirometer and started his breathing exercises. One, two, three, four, five, six... he made it to the yellow line and set the machine down in his lap. He pressed the nurse’s call button, and in a few minutes, a nurse came into the room. “Everything okay, Mr. Breeze?” “Yes, watch.” He repeated the breathing into the contraption and said, “I need to see my son now.” The nurse looked at me and asked if I would be able to support him as he walked down the hall. I told her I would be thrilled to help him. She then said she would get another gown for him to wear and cover the open slit on the back of the gown he was wearing and that she would be then unhook some of the tubes. He would have to roll his IV with him and she would give him a belt that would hold his drainage bag. She left the room, and in no time, had Johnny ready to walk the short distance to Cade’s room. She told Johnny to use the rails along the hallway to help support himself and soon, we were on our way. I knocked on the door to Cade’s room and stuck my head in. JJ, Zach, and Margaret were there watching videos on Cades iPad. “Daddy! Where have you been?” “Well, little man, I have a surprise for you!” Just then, Johnny slowly made his way into the room with his big, signature grin on his face. Everyone in the room gasped in surprise at what they were seeing. “Papa! You found me!” “Hi, little one. How are you feeling?” “Okay, I’ll be better when Dr. H takes my arm out of this traction and changes my cast this afternoon. Then I’ll be able to start walking, too!” We could walk together!” “We’ll have to do that soon!” I helped Johnny over to the bed, and he leaned down and kissed Cade on the forehead. “I was so worried about you, Cade. I’m so happy to see you!” “I was worried about you too, Papa! I was so scared!” “I know little man, but there’s nothing to be afraid of now!” Johnny sat in the chair by Cade’s bed. I could tell the short trip down the hall wore him out a little, but seeing my two boys together again made my heart soar! We visited for about 10 minutes, and Johnny told us we should get back to his room. He told Cade he would see him later in the day. JJ asked if he and Zach could walk back with us, and Johnny thought that would be great. The four of us slowly made our way back to Johnny’s room. I helped him get situated again and back into the bed. “Wow, that was exhausting! But it was so good seeing our boy!” I called the nurse so she could hook up the IV back to the morphine pump. I had a feeling Johnny might be needing a dose sooner than later. Once Johnny was all situated, we decided to talk about Daniel's situation. Johnny understood my apprehension. I explained that I really did want to help the boy, but I also wanted to make sure Johnny and Cade got well, too. JJ brought up the idea of us moving into a house. I told him I loved the idea, but I didn’t see how we would have the time to find a house we could afford and move in time for Daniel to move in with us. JJ smiled at me. “Jason, you know I love you more than life itself. You, Johnny, Cade, and Zach are my family. Zach and I found the perfect house for you guys. It’s three doors down from us.” I looked up at JJ and spoke, “JJ, as much as I love you guys, you live in a neighborhood that’s WAY beyond our means.” “I know that! But I think you and I should take a look at it in the next day or two. If you like it, I’ll buy it, and you can pay me the same rent you are paying for the loft.” Johnny and I looked at each other. Johnny spoke first. “JJ. We can’t take advantage of you or your sick financial situation!” “Guys, Zach and I have already decided that we would probably buy the place and rent it out. Having you live there would not only give us the perfect tenants, but it would also have the most important people in our lives closer to us.” “JJ, I love the idea too, but I think it’s time for us actually to buy our own place. I don’t want to keep renting... I don’t know. There’s so much to think about. I feel like my brain’s going to explode.” Johnny looked over at Zach. “Will you guys take my lover home and do whatever it takes to relax him? I know he likes the sauna and I know how much he loves your… um, assets.” JJ smiled with an evil smirk and said, “Johnny, I couldn’t let Jason stay alone last night!” I was actually blushing. Johnny looked at me and smiled. “Jason, I love you dearly, but I’m probably not going to be having sex for a while. Please spend as much time as you can with the other two guys in our family. It will help you relax and think with a clearer mind.” I bent over and gave Johnny a long and passionate kiss. “I love you, Johnny.” As soon as I moved away from Johnny, JJ bent over and did the same thing, followed by Zach. Johnny looked up at me. “It’s all going to work out. And you do realize we don’t have to worry about money. JJ left us each with a wonderful nest egg, and we can pretty much afford to buy any house in this town.” He was right. I had completely forgotten about the trust funds JJ set up for Johnny and me... and then again for Cade. They were just sitting in the bank and building up interest. We had yet to touch them and had been living off our income all along. Suddenly a huge relief came over me. “Okay baby, I’m fine. I’m going to go with the boys and let your mother come in and spoil you rotten. Margaret’s spoiling Cade, so it’s only fair. I’ll come back with some pajamas and a bathrobe so you won’t have to show that sexy ass to all the nurses anymore.” As if on cue, Caroline came into the room carrying a stack of magazines and newspapers. “I raided the gift shop downstairs so Johnny would have something to read.” “Mama! I was wondering where you were this morning. The guys were just leaving so we can have some visiting time.” We stopped by Cade’s room for a quick goodbye and left him with Margaret. I was so happy with how quickly they were bonding. It’s going to be good for the boy to have a little mothering in his life! We made our way to the car. I asked JJ and Zach if they minded going up the highway to the children’s hospital. They both just smiled and readily agreed. I asked Zach to drive as my mind was going in circles and I didn’t think I should be navigating the horrible traffic on the interstate in my condition. We arrived at the Dell Children’s Hospital about fifteen minutes later. We walked in and up to the reception desk. I asked where I could find Daniel, and she asked to see my ID. I was on the visitors' list and found myself on the way to Daniel’s room. I walked in to his room and was shocked at the site. This handsome young man was covered with bruises, and his left eye was swollen shut. “Daniel?” I spoke softly in case he was asleep. But he slowly turned his head. “Mr. Jason? What are you doing here?” It sounded like his jaw was wired shut as well. “I heard you were hurt pretty badly, and I had to come by and see if my number one counselor was okay.” “I’ve been better.” I walked over to the chair next to his bed and sat. “I was so sorry to hear what had happened. No one should ever have to go through what you did. I just wanted to let you know that if there is anything Johnny and I can do, just let me know.” “There’s nothing anyone can do.” Daniel started to cry. “I should have died instead of my mom. None of this would have happened if I wasn’t gay!” Daniel started sobbing. I knew he was in a lot of physical pain and wanted to hold and comfort him. Instead, I took my hand and gently touched his face. I wiped some tears away. “Daniel, some horrible things happened, and I’m not going to tell you that everything is going to be alright because I know right now it sure doesn’t feel like it. But you have to know that there are people here who care deeply for you and want nothing but the best things for you.” “How can you say that, Mr. Jason? I’m all alone now. There’s no one left to care about me! Why didn’t… I just wanna die so I could be with Mom!” “Daniel, please don’t talk like that. I promise you. Your mom is with you right now. She’s going to protect you and guide you for the rest of your life. She is so proud of you and all the wonderful things you have done... and GOING to do! And you know, there are all those kids you worked with this summer who love you like you were their brother. You know my son Cade adores you!” “Cade... he’s a sweet kid. I heard he was hurt yesterday. Is he okay?” “Yes, he’s going to be just fine. His arm is in a cast right now.” “Will you tell him I said hi?” “Of course I will. How about when he gets out of the hospital, I bring him over to see you?” “That would be nice, Mr. Jason.” “I tell you what... since we’re not at the theatre and you are not working for me right now, how about you just call me Jason?” “Okay. But I still don’t understand why you are here?” “Daniel, I’m one of those people... along with Johnny and Cade... and JJ and Zach... who care very much for you and want you to get well and be happy soon.” Tears started flowing again for Daniel. “Cade is such a lucky kid to have two awesome dads and uncles like JJ and Zach. I wish I could find a family like that. If my mom is really with me like you say, maybe she can help me find one?” “I think she just might be doing that very thing, Daniel.” “I sure hope so. I can’t let them put me in a group home!” “Daniel, I want you to know that there are a lot of people working very hard to make a lot of things happen, so you’ll never have to be put in a place like that.” “Promise?” “I promise, Daniel!” I leaned down and kissed him on the forehead, just like I do with Cade. I saw the first smile from Daniel that I had seen since I walked in the room. “You get well real soon, kiddo!” “Thank you, Jason, will you come back to see me?” “Of course I will, Daniel... as often as I can.” “I love you, Jason... I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.” “It’s perfectly alright, Daniel. We love you, too.” I kissed him again and left, knowing that my decision had been made for me. All I could hear in my head was Daniel telling me he loved me as tears flowed freely from my eyes. When I got to the lobby, JJ and Zach ran up to me. “Are you okay? How’s Daniel?” “Daniel has a lot of healing to do... both physically and emotionally. I’m fine... but there’s so much to do. We need to go buy a house and get ready for a new foster son.” JJ told me he had called his mom and got the name of a real estate agent. And that she would meet us at the house at 3:00. “That gives me and Zach four hours to take you home and relax the hell out of you... as requested by your man!” With that, we got into the SUV and headed to JJ and Zach’s for some afternoon delight!
  2. Chapter 18 – Love, Light, and Trauma “Daddy, it hurts!!” Blood was pouring out of Cade’s arm. I yanked off my tie and tied off his arm well above the wound. Margaret knelt beside me. “I’ll watch the boy. Johnny needs you more!” She held Cade in her arms and began to comfort him, telling her grandson that she was there, that he was going to be alright. I could hear sirens approaching as I went over to Johnny. A police officer had removed Johnny’s jacket and was using it as a compress on his back. Another officer was applying pressure to the front of his chest with his shirt. I knelt down on the other side of Johnny and looked into his eyes. “Hang in there, baby, help is on the way. We’re gonna get you fixed up.” “Cade?” “He’ll be fine. He got hit in the arm, nothing too serious.” “I love you, Jason” “Shhh. Don’t try to talk.” The next thing I knew, paramedics were asking me to stand back so they could work on Johnny. I looked over at Cade, and Margaret was also asked to move. I held this stranger of a woman in my arms as I kept looking at the two people I loved more in the world being worked on by the paramedics. I looked over towards Sam. He was lying on the ground with his head in a growing puddle of blood. His eyes were open and a police officer was looking for a pulse. My heart sank as a team of paramedics lifted him onto a gurney, covered him completely and loaded him into an ambulance. It left without sirens. One of Johnny’s paramedics told me they were going to take him to the trauma unit at University Medical Center. One of Cade’s paramedics came up to me and asked if I was the boy’s father. I nodded my head, and he asked if I would like to ride with them to Dell Children’s Hospital. I explained that I would prefer if they also take him to University Med Center as the other victim was also the boy’s father and I needed to be with both. He got on his radio and talked with someone and said they would be able to do that, but we might want to reconsider things later since Dell was much better equipped to handle children’s trauma. I didn’t even have to think about it. “Let’s take them both to University and see what we need to do after they get stabilized.” As they were putting Johnny in the ambulance, Margaret began to climb in. “I’m his mother-in-law. I’m not leaving him alone!” I was happy to have her with me. I climbed into the ambulance with Cade and held his good hand while the paramedics started an IV. They were taking his blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and talking to him about how brave he was being. I wish someone would look at me and tell me I was being brave, but I was terrified. I wasn’t crying but tears were flowing from my eyes. Cade looked up at me. “Don’t cry, Daddy. It’s just my arm. They can fix that.” “I love you, little man.” I kissed his hand. “How’s Papa? Is he going to be okay?” “Yes, he’s in another ambulance. He was hurt pretty bad, but you and I both know how strong he is. He’s going to make it. He’s going to make it.” I closed my eyes and silently prayed, “Dear God, please let Johnny make it. Please give Johnny the strength to make it!” Thankfully, the hospital was just a short distance from the courthouse. Both ambulances pulled up at the same time. Cade and Johnny were wheeled in one behind the other. Cade’s paramedics took him into a cubicle down the hall. Johnny’s paramedics were shouting at the doctor’s waiting to meet them. The lead paramedic called out Johnny’s stats, “Heart rate 120, respiratory 40, blood pressure 90 over 60. We’re giving him oxygen and dressed the patient for a sucking chest wound. Drainage needed STAT.” Johnny was rushed into a room, and the door closed behind them. The room was marked `Trauma 1.’ I was just staring at the closed door. I think I was in shock. Margaret had her arm around me, trying to comfort me. I was brought out of my daze when I heard Cade cry out. “Owwww! It hurts!” I looked down the hall and started walking towards my son. A nurse came up to me and asked if I was the boy’s father. “Yes, I need to be with him.” As she led me into Cade’s cubicle, she asked if the patient in Trauma 1 was related to Cade. “Yes, he’s also Cade’s father.” She looked at me and smiled. “You go and be with your son. I’ll find out what I can about the other patient...” “Johnny.” “…Johnny, and get back to you with any information. And this woman is?” “Cade’s grandmother. Can she come in, too?” “I’m afraid only one family member is allowed at a time. We have a private waiting area that we’ll set up for you and your family.” I walked into Cade’s cubicle, and he appeared to have calmed down. The attending doctor looked up at me. “Are you Cade’s father?” “Yes, sir. How is he?” “We gave him a mild sedative. I’m waiting for the x-rays to come back, but my initial examination shows that the bullet penetrated his right forearm and went through the ulna, one of the long bones in the forearm. He’s a very lucky boy. Whoever applied the tourniquet did the right thing and prevented a great loss of blood.” “Thanks, Daddy,” a groggy Cade looked up at me. “You saved my life!” I took his left hand and kissed it. “You’re gonna be an okay little man. I love you!” The nurse entered the room and handed me a hospital scrub shirt. “Here, you might want to get out of those stained clothes.” I stood up and took off my blood-soaked jacket and shirt. She held out a bio-bag for me to place them in, and I put on the fresh shirt. I immediately felt better. “Sir, why don’t you come with me and I’ll fill you in on what we know. Dr. McCoy will come and talk to you about Cade when he gets the x-rays back.” She led me into the private waiting area where Margaret was. She had already changed into a scrubs outfit. “How’s Cade?” “He’s going to be fine. They might have to do some surgery to repair his arm, but the doctor is waiting for the x-rays to make a decision. They have him sedated a bit and he seems to be handling things well.” “Okay, folks. I’m nurse McCoy. I’m going to be your advocate for the next couple of days.” “I’m Jason Richardson, and this is Margaret Manning. Wait. Nurse McCoy? Dr. McCoy?” “Yes, he’s my husband. Now, before we continue, I have to know that you are the immediate family of the patients.” “I’m Cade’s father, and Margaret is his grandmother.” “Excellent. Now, before I can give you a report on Mr. Breeze, I need to know that you are his IMMEDIATE family.” She emphasized the word `immediate’ and gave us both a knowing look. Margaret spoke, “I’m Johnny’s mother-in-law. Jason is his brother.” “Excellent, that’s all I need to know.” She winked at me. “We’ll just leave it at that.” I looked at the nurse. “What can you tell me about Johnny’s condition?” “He’s very lucky that there were trained policemen at the scene. They most definitely saved his life. The bullet entered his back and went through his right lung and exited through his chest. The doctors have begun draining the excess fluid from the wound and have bypassed any testing. He’s on his way to surgery now.” “Is he going to...? Is he...” I couldn’t finish saying it. “Jason, he’s in critical condition. And to be honest, it’s touch and go right now. He’s also a very lucky man. The area’s top thoracic surgeon happened to be on duty and met Johnny in the trauma room. He couldn’t be in better hands.” Suddenly the television in the waiting room went to a special report, and a local news station had a crew in front of the courthouse. “There has been a violent and fatal shooting spree in front of the Travis County courthouse this morning. We’re going to take you live to Jessica Bond, who is at the scene.” “Thank you, John. About thirty minutes ago, a man fired three shots at a group leaving the courthouse. One man, a local attorney, died at the scene, and two other victims, one adult and one child were rushed to University Medical Center. According to witnesses, the injuries to the adult appeared to be quite serious while the child appeared to have been injured in the arm. Police on patrol at the courthouse fired two shots at the gunman and he was also pronounced dead at the scene. According to a police spokesman, the group leaving the courthouse had just finished an adoption hearing involving the juvenile. Names of the victims have not been released pending family members being contacted. Jessica Bond, Eyewitness News.” “Thank you, Jessica. We will have more on this developing story during our mid-day news at noon. We’ll now return you to our regular programming.” Margaret wept openly for the first time. “I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry! I can’t believe my husband did all this to your family!” I took Margaret’s hand. “You had nothing to do with this, Margaret. I’m so grateful you’ve been here with my family and me.” “I know. I know. But Frank tried to kill Johnny and Cade. And he DID kill your attorney!” Then it hit me. Sam! He was dead. I wondered if the police knew who to contact? I knew he was divorced and had two children. But that was the extent of my knowledge. Ironically, he knew nearly every aspect of our lives, yet we knew so little about his. Nurse Franklin put her hand on my shoulder. “I’m so sorry about your friend.” She turned to Margaret. “And I’m also sorry about your husband, Mrs. Manning.” “Don’t be sorry about that son-of-a-bitch! He got what he deserved!” Just then, the phone on the wall rang, and the nurse picked it up. “Yes, Doctor, I’ll send him in right away.” She told me Dr. McCoy had Cade’s x-rays and asked if we wanted to see him before they took him up to surgery. Margaret and I both took deep breaths to compose ourselves and walked down the hallway to Cade’s cubicle. My beautiful son was all wired up to monitors, and an IV was running into his good arm. He was even groggier than before. “Daddy! They’re going to fix my arm now.” “That’s good, little man. Now you do what the doctor says, and we’ll be waiting for you when you wake up.” “Daddy?” “Yes, son?” “Can you call Connor and tell him I’m not dead?” “Of course I will, Cade. Don’t you worry about a thing.” He then fell asleep. Dr. McCoy looked up at me. “He’s had quite a morning. He went into a bit of a panic about his Papa, so we increased the dosage of his sedative a bit. He knows what we know. That his Papa is in surgery right now.” “Oh, God.” I sighed and rested my forehead in my hands. “Don’t worry too much, Mr. Richardson. Mr. Breeze is in the best of hands. Should something like this ever happen to me or someone in my family, Dr. Marco is exactly the person I would want taking care of them. Now, Cade will be in surgery and recovery for a couple of hours. I’m not sure how long Mr. Breeze will be. Would you like something to calm your nerves a bit while you wait?” “No, I need to be awake and alert.” “Very well. I’ll have Nurse Franklin take you to the cafeteria so you can get a cup of coffee and a bite to eat. You do need your strength.” “Mrs. Manning, how about you? Would you like anything?” “No, I’ll be fine. I need to be here for my boys.” That made me smile… my first smile in what seemed like a long, long time. An orderly came in and began to wheel Cade out of the room. Margaret and I followed them to the elevator. Before the doors opened, I kiss Cade on the forehead. “I love you, little man.” The doors opened and Cade was on his way to surgery. The nurse took Margaret and me to the cafeteria. While we were walking down the hall, my phone vibrated in my pocket. I pulled it out and saw that it was JJ. “Hi JJ.” “Good God! I just saw the news on television, and they didn’t say much, but it sure sounded like you guys. Where are you?” “I’m in the hospital cafeteria. Cade and Johnny are in surgery. I’m with Cade’s grandmother, who has been an angel through all of this. Where are you?” “Zach and I are in the hospital lobby and can’t find out anything. There are a lot of people here trying to find out what’s going on.” “If you can get away without anyone noticing, please join us in the hospital cafeteria. We’ll fill you in on what we know.” I hung up the phone and told Margaret that JJ and Zach would be joining us. She looked at me with a puzzled look. “JJ and Zach are as much a part of our family as anyone can be. They are Cade’s uncles.” Nurse Franklin looked at me with a raised eyebrow and Margaret spoke up. “They are my sons. Like Jason said, they are a part of the family.” The nurse just smiled to herself as she picked up her tablet and began typing. “I just need their last names, and they will be on the immediate family list. We want Cade and Johnny to have all the support they need.” I gave her their last names and she looked up and smiled as she finished typing. “Quite an interesting family you have.” She chuckled. “Believe it or not, it’s not even close to some of the most interesting if you know what I mean!” JJ and Zach walked into the cafeteria just as we were sitting down with a cup of coffee. “Jason!” The boys ran over to us, and the three of us just each other in a group hug. It was so good to have them with me. I already felt stronger. I broke the hug and introduced them to Margaret. “JJ, Zach, this is Margaret Manning, Cade’s grandmother.” JJ looked at her suspiciously, “Oh.” “No, it’s not like you think at all. Sit down and let me explain everything that’s happened.” I told the boys about the court session. I let them know about Franklin’s testimony and how wonderful Sam was. I explained how Margaret wanted nothing to do with her husband and then told him all I could remember about what happened outside the courthouse. By the time I had finished JJ was sobbing into Zach’s shoulder. Zach held his lover close and said, “Get it out of your system now. There are two people up in surgery right now who are going to need you to be strong. They’re going to need all of us to be strong.” Nurse Franklin excused herself and said she was going up to the surgery floor to see what she could find out for us. Zach looked over at me and asked if anyone had called Johnny’s mother. “Dear God, I completely forgot!” I excused myself and went out into the hallway. I dialed the number. She picked up after two rings. “Hello?” “Hi Mom, it’s Jason.” “Jason! How did the adoption go?” “It went great. But something terrible has happened.” “Oh no, what’s going on?” “As we were walking out of the courthouse, Cade’s maternal grandfather had a gun and shot Johnny and Cade.” “Dear God! Why would he... Are they...” “They’re both in surgery right now. Cade was hit in the arm and should be fine. Johnny was shot in the chest, and he’s in pretty bad shape.” “Oh my God, I... I... I’ll get the next flight out to Austin.” “I’ll take care of your flight arrangements and have someone pick you up at the airport here in Austin.” “Oh Jason! He’s going to be okay, isn’t he? He has to be okay!” “Johnny’s stronger than most people. He’s going to pull through this. He has to. Let me make a few calls, and I’ll get right back to you with your flight details.” “Okay, I’ll start packing now and wait for your call.” I walked back into the cafeteria and noticed Margaret and the boys talking. She looked up when she saw me. “How are you doing, Jason?” “That was hard. I need to find a flight.” I started looking up flights on my smartphone and was getting frustrated. Nothing was available until tomorrow. JJ got out his phone and started looking, too. In about a minute, he handed me his phone. “She needs to be here as soon as possible. I’ll charter a jet and get her here by dinner.” Margaret looked at him with a puzzled look. “Don’t worry, Margaret. I have more money than I know what to do with, so this is one of those things I’m happy to do.” “Oh my! I had no idea!” Zach looked at her. “Most people don’t. JJ’s guardian was quite wealthy and passed away several months ago. He left everything to JJ.” “Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss JJ.” “Thank you, but it’s all good.” He dialed the number for the charter company and made all the necessary arrangements. He gave them a credit card number, and within minutes, the flight was set. I called Johnny’s mother and told her to go to the charter hangar at the Phoenix airport and that JJ had arranged for a private jet to bring her to Austin. She would be landing here at 4:15. Amazing! JJ suggested we call the theatre and see if someone could pick up Johnny’s mother. He wanted to be here for Cade and Johnny when they woke up from surgery. I didn’t know if I was ready to make that call. Then JJ remembered Bob was in the emergency room. I dialed his cell number and handed my phone to JJ. “Hi Bob. No, this is JJ. Johnny and Cade are in surgery, so we’re all just waiting. Look, we need a favor. Can you ask someone to pick up Johnny’s mother at the airport charter terminal? She’ll be arriving at 4:15. Great, thanks! Yes, I’ll tell him.” “Bob is going to pick her up. He also wanted me to tell you that there are several people in the hospital lobby, praying and waiting.” I looked up at the television and noticed CNN was now talking about the shooting. “Oh God, now it’s on CNN. This is going to turn into a circus! I feel like I should go out and talk to our friends and let them know what’s happening, but I don’t want to deal with the press!” JJ stood up and said, “Why don’t I go out to the lobby and let people know what we know and tell them how thankful you are that they are all there?” “Thank you, JJ. You’re a saint.” “Well, I don’t know about that... but I do what I can!” Zach spoke up, “True dat... I mean, the saint part and all!” “Hey!” That got a little laugh from the group just as Nurse Franklin came into the cafeteria. We all just looked up at her and waited. “Good news. Dr. McCoy is about finished with Cade. He had to place a couple of pins in the bone and ended up doing a small bone graft. They used some bone from his femur... the thigh bone. That’s going to add a little to his recovery time but the doctor is very pleased with the way things are going. As far as Johnny’s surgery is going, Dr. Marco has cleaned the lung of the bone fragments from his rib and he’s now closing the wounds in the lung. It’s a slow process but everything is going better than expected. He’ll be at least another hour in surgery. The police are also here and wanted to talk with the two of you. I told them they would have to wait until the surgeries are completed and you’ve had a chance to be with the patients.” “Thank you, Ms. Franklin.” “Call me Beverly, please.” “Thank you, Beverly. I don’t think I’m quite ready to talk to the police.” “Now, so that you know. Johnny’s not in the clear by any means. He could be in ICU for several days. A lot of times, the doctors decide to use extreme sedation to facilitate healing in the early stages of recovery. Dr. Marco will make that decision once the surgery has been completed, and Johnny comes out of the anesthesia. The next 48 hours are very critical. Once we pass that stage, we will know more about Johnny’s prognosis.” I just nodded as I took all this in. I was just thankful that Cade and Johnny were both alive and in good hands. Beverly continued, “Why don’t we freshen up our coffees and head up to the surgery waiting room? Cade will be in recovery soon, and I’m sure you’ll want to be there as soon as possible.” We freshened up our coffees and followed Beverly to the elevator. Once we got to the surgery floor. She led us to another private waiting room, where we sat and waited. About thirty minutes later, Beverly came in and told us Cade had been moved into his room. She suggested that I go in first. She led me down to the elevator, and we went up two floors. We made it to Cade’s room. He was sound asleep and my heart broke. He had an IV in his left arm and his right arm was in a cast that was being held up in traction. Dr. McCoy was waiting for us. “Hello Doctor, how is my boy?” “He did great. Beverly tells me you already know what we did. He’s going to be immobile for a few days while his leg heals. Once he can walk on his own, I’ll release him. I expect him to be here for about a week to ten days. He’s going to be sleeping quite a bit right now. As he was coming out of his anesthesia, he started to panic about his father so we sedated him a bit. The thing he needs most is rest. We’ll leave you alone with him for a bit, but he probably won’t hear you or know you’re here.” Dr. Marco led Beverly out of the room, and I sat down next to Cade’s bed and held on to his left hand. “Hey there, little man. I don’t know if you can hear me, but I sure am proud of you! You did great and you’ll be up and about in a few days.” I felt a light squeeze on my hand and felt a sudden rush of relief. “Uncle JJ and Zach are here. Do you want them to come in?” I felt another squeeze, so I went out into the hallway and found Beverly standing outside the door. I asked her to bring up Margaret and the boys. Within minutes they entered the room. JJ gasped when he saw Cade, Zach whispered something to him, and he soon got it together. Zach walked up to Cade and kissed him on the forehead. “Hey there, little stud! You need to get better soon so we can get you back in the dance studio!” A very faint smile came across his face and that did it. Tears started welling up in my eyes as he squeezed my hand again. JJ was next. “Hey, Cadester! I just talked to Connor and told him you were going to be just fine. His mom is going to bring him here when you can have some more visitors. That means you have to get better real soon, right?” Another smile. Another squeeze. More tears. A nurse came into the room and said we needed to let him rest and limit ourselves to one visitor. She then walked over to me and told me that they were nearly finished with Johnny, and I might want to wait so I could go in and see him. I leaned down to Cade and whispered to him. “I’m going to go and see Papa now. You be good, and do what the doctors tell you, okay?” I kissed him on the forehead and got ready to go back to the waiting room. Margaret offered to stay with Cade so the boys and I could be there to hear about Johnny. About an hour later, Dr. Marco came into the waiting room. “Well, we had a couple of close calls, but I feel quite good about Johnny’s surgery. I’ve decided to sedate him to help him heal. That should last two or three days. We have him in ICU right now. He can only have one visitor and that can only be for a few minutes. I’m sure you would like to see him.” “Yes, doctor. I would like that very much. Is he going to make it?” “Well, I wish I had a more definitive answer for you, but we just don’t know. Right now, I would have to say his chances are 50/50. The next 24 to 48 hours are critical. We are monitoring his vitals very closely. He’s stable at the moment and that’s the best we can hope for right now. Are you ready?” I took a deep breath. “Yes, please take me to see him.” As we approached the door to the ICU, Dr. Marco stopped. “I want to prepare you. There are a lot of machines, tubes and wires attached to him. He’s not going to look good. I just want you to be aware that he’s going to look a lot worse than he actually is.” I just nodded as he led me into the ICU. The ICU is a strange place indeed. There is a constant hum of beeps and purrs coming from monitors, and nurses are quietly bustling about in a choreographed movement of urgency. Dr. Marco parted a curtain and nodded to me. “Just a few minutes. That’s all we can allow for now.” I walked through the curtains and was shocked at what I saw. Johnny looked so small and helpless as he lay in the bed. He was so pale. A machine was breathing for him, and several monitors were beeping and humming. I walked over to the bed and kissed him lightly on the lips. “I love you Johnny. Please pull through for us. We need you.” I took his hand, and just as he squeezed it, a horrible sound came from one of the monitors. It was a blaring, steady beep. A nurse came running in and called out, “Doctor, we have a flat line!” She looked at me. “Sir, you’ll have to leave now.” Dr. Marco came in, and another nurse took me by the arm and led me out of the ICU. Once I was in the hall, I slid down to the floor and wept. “Please don’t leave us, Johnny! Please come back!”
  3. Chapter 17 – The End of Summer I have never been so excited about a show featuring children. It was the final number of the final presentation of the final week of summer camps. The piece was being presented by JJ and Zach’s advanced triple threat class. It was a hand-picked group of the four most talented boys and four most talented girls from the entire summer. JJ had picked Cade to be a part of it. Funny, I have no idea if it was due to talent level or nepotism... or a little of both. You see, I was not allowed to see a single minute of their classes. I was sitting in the booth with Johnny as he ran the lights. The entire program, to this point, had been enjoyable. I was quite proud of the work our teachers and counselors had done with the kids. JJ took the stage to introduce the final number. “Ladies and Gentlemen. Ten years ago, I was one of the eight lucky kids selected to participate in the Advanced Triple Threat camp. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be teaching this amazing group of kids. For the grand finale of this afternoon’s show, I present Lily, Heather, Sara, Tiffany, Joshua, Conner, Cade, and Danny. From the musical Fosse, here is ‘Bye Bye Blackbird!’” The audience roared and applauded as the stage went dark, and a single spotlight lit up on Cade’s adorable face. Now I had heard him sing around the house and thought he had a lot of potential but I was blown away when I heard him begin singing in the same style as Ben Vereen. He appeared to make eye contact with the audience and totally captivated all of us. JJ and Zach had prepared the kids in an exact recreation of the number as it was performed on Broadway. The only difference was that these were kids performing... with the artistry and professionalism of Broadway adults. The voices were perfect. The dancing was flawless and very “Fosse.” At first, I was concerned that Cade had been given the lead because of his connection to Zach and JJ, but as he performed, I was amazed at how truly gifted our boy was. I looked over at a beaming Johnny and smiled as I realized I wasn’t the only one with eyes brimming with tears. When the number ended, the crowd leaped to their feet and cheered the talented group of kids. After their group bow, JJ and Zach walked out on stage and gave each of them a bouquet of flowers. The kids walked offstage and Johnny brought up the house lights. I walked over and stood behind him and wrapped my arms around him. “Jesus, Johnny! I had no idea our boy was THAT good!” “I was surprised too! Do you know how hard it was to keep quiet and not let you in on the surprise? Cade kept telling me not to tell `other Dad’ about the number... he wanted to surprise you.” Johnny stood up from the lighting console and wrapped his arms around me. We kissed lightly. Kyle stood up from the sound board and as he was leaving the booth laughing, he just said, “Get a room!” I kissed Johnny again. “I think we need to head down to the dressing room and lavish some praise on our very talented son.” We left the booth and began walking down the side aisle of the theatre when a beaming woman stopped me. “Mr. Richardson! I was hoping to see you again.” She looked familiar but with all the excitement of the moment, I just couldn’t place her. “I’m Beth Davies. Conner is my son.” “Oh! Congratulations, Mrs. Davies. Conner was great!” “We met at the Khabele School. I’m the admissions director.” “Oh yes!” NOW it all clicked! “I left you a voice mail as I was leaving the office this afternoon, but I’m sure you’ve been more than a little busy to hear it yet.” “Exactly, I haven’t had a chance to check my phone all afternoon.” “Well, we had a last-minute cancellation at the school, and since Conner and Cade have become so close over the last few weeks, I got permission to cheat a little and move Cade up to the top of the waitlist. Cade has done wonders for Conner and I would like to help that friendship out if I can.” Beth reached out and shook Johnny’s hand. “You must be Mr. Breeze. I’ve heard so much about you from Conner. As much as he enjoys performing, Conner couldn’t stop talking about your tech camp. I think he might prefer continuing in that direction eventually.” Johnny beamed and replied, “Conner’s a great kid. He was like a sponge. He couldn’t learn fast enough! I might have an assistant in a few years!” “So before I leave, I just wanted to let you know to call me first thing Monday morning, and we’ll get Cade enrolled and ready to start in a few weeks!” She headed out to the lobby to wait for her son as Johnny and I headed backstage. When we got backstage, JJ and Zach were hugging the kids and congratulating them. Conner and Cade must still be in the dressing room as we didn’t see them with the other kids. The kids began to surround Johnny and thank him for his help. I told him to enjoy the adulation and that I would go back to check on Cade. I walked into the dressing room and stopped in my tracks when I heard Cade sniffling and talking to Conner. “I’m going to miss you so much, Conner. I know I’m just a kid, but now I know how my dads feel. I love you.” “I love you too, Cade. I’ve never been happy until I met you. You’ve made me the happiest boy in the world.” The conversation stopped, and I heard a muffled sigh from one of the boys. I knew they were kissing. I didn’t want to embarrass them completely, so I made a little noise and called out, “Cade, are you boys about ready?” I walked around the corner, and Cade jumped into my arms. “Did you like the show, Dad?” “Like it? I thought you were amazing, kiddo! I never heard you sing like that at home!” “I didn’t know I could do it like that until they taught me how to do it!” I looked over to an embarrassed Conner who was looking down at the floor. “Conner, you did a great job too. I’m so proud of all you guys.” Conner looked down at the floor and quietly said, “Thanks, Mr. Richardson. Are we in trouble?” “Why would you be in trouble, Conner? Did you do something wrong?” Conner looked up at Cade and blushed. Cade walked over to him and took his hand. “It’s okay, Conner. My Dad’s pretty cool about stuff.” I had the boys sit down on a bench and pulled up a chair and sat down across from them. “Boys, no one is in trouble here. But I want you to remember, even though you might have special feelings for each other... feelings that just might be love... always remember there are many kinds of love. I think you both might be a little young to know the kind of love that grownups have, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love someone so much that it makes your heart hurt when you need to go your separate ways. “But no matter how you feel about each other, you need to be careful about how you show your feelings, especially in a public place where someone who might not understand could see you. I know that kids are growing up faster these days, and for us parents, that worries us sometimes. We want our kids to enjoy being kids. We don’t want them to grow up faster than they should.” Conner kept looking down at the floor as Cade climbed onto my lap. “Dad, I’m always gonna be your little boy, but I love Conner... and loves me back, too. We’re just sad that we’re going to different schools in a couple of weeks. I was just kissing him goodbye.” I looked over at Conner. He was wiping tears from his eyes but still wasn’t looking up at us. “Conner, come here.” I held out my free arm, and he slowly made his way over to Cade and me. I wrapped my arm around him. “Boys, what if I told you that you would be going to the same school after all?” Conner looked up at me with a confused, hopeful look in his moist eyes. Cade looked at me, too. “What are you talking about, Dad?” “I just spoke with Conner’s mother, and I’m going to register you at Khabele School on Monday. There was an opening for you today!” Cade hugged me tightly. “Wow, Dad! That’s awesome!” Conner finally lifted his head and flashed a big smile. The three of us hugged as Johnny walked into the dressing room. “There you are!” “Papa! I get to go to school with Conner!” “I heard! Are you excited?” “Hell, yeah!” I cleared my throat. “Language, Cade!” “Sorry, Dad... Heck yeah!” Johnny looked over to Conner, who was still leaning into me. “How about you, Conner? You happy about the news?” “Heck yeah, Mr. Johnny.” “Well, you should probably head on out to the lobby, your mom is waiting for you.” “Thank you, Mr. Johnny!” Conner leaned up to my ear and whispered, “Thank you, Mr. Richardson. You really are pretty cool!” Conner left the dressing room, and Johnny held his arms out to Cade. “Little dude, you were awesome on that stage!” “Thanks, Papa! It was so much fun!” “So, what was going on with you and Conner?” “Nothing really. Dad just talked to us about love and being boyfriends and that we were too young to really know anything. That’s all.” I looked up at Johnny and smiled. Johnny looked back up at me while he said, “You need to listen to your Dad. He’s a very smart man, you know.” “I know. But we’re just boyfriends. It’s not like we’re going to do any of that sex stuff. That’s just too gross!” Johnny and I couldn’t help but laugh. I got up, grabbed Cade’s things, and the three of us made our way out of the dressing room. “I want to stop by the office and check my messages and email before we head out. While I’m in there, Cade gets to decide where we are having dinner!” I sat down at my desk and noticed a lot of emails that I could take care of on Monday. Suddenly one caught my eye, and I opened it immediately. From: Sam Jones, Esq. To: Jason Richardson Subject: Adoption Hearing Dear Jason, I just wanted to let you know that after I called in a couple of favors, Judge Marian Alvarez with the Travis County Family Court has agreed to fit your case into her docket on Thursday. You will be part of the morning session and are required to be at her courtroom by 8:30 A.M. with Cade. Johnny should plan to attend, as well. She knows of your current living situation, and we are quite fortunate that she is one of the more progressive judges in the county. Give me a call as soon as you read this so I can confirm you with Judge Alvarez. Regards, Sam My eyes began filling with tears as I read the email three more times. I couldn’t believe it! I will be Cade’s LEGAL “other dad” in less than a week. I powered down my computer and wiped the tears from my eyes before making my way out to the lobby. JJ and Zach were standing with Johnny and Cade, who ran over to me and leaped into my arms. I’m going to miss that when he grows up and gets too big for that type of affection. “Dad! Is it okay if Zach and JJ have dinner with us?” “I think that would be just perfect!” “Good thing!” Cade giggled, “I already invited them!” “So, where are we eating?” “North!” Cade loves that restaurant. We headed to The Domain for some wonderful Italian food. Cade rode in the convertible with JJ. Zach rode with us while Johnny drove the SUV. Johnny looked over at me and said, “Are you going to tell what has you so emotional?” Damn, that man can read me like a book! I just looked over at him and smiled. “Cade.” “Yeah, he was pretty damned amazing this afternoon, wasn’t he? I was so proud of our boy!” That did it! As soon as Johnny said “our” boy, I lost it, and the tears flowed freely. “Babe, what’s going on?” “Nothing hon, I’ll be okay.” I looked back at Zach and smiled at him. “Thanks for being so good to Cade. I think he really discovered a lot about himself doing the camps this summer.” “Yeah, he learned a lot... especially with Conner. They’re so cute together! They reminded me of JJ and me when we were in the camps.” “About that... I walked in on them kissing after the show.” Johnny and Zach both shouted out, “No way!” “Well, I really don’t think it was very sexual. I think it was more of a comforting thing. The boys thought they weren’t going to be seeing much of each other once school started.” Johnny groaned, “Oh man, I’m not ready to have the sex talk with Cade yet!” “I don’t think you have to worry about it just yet. I talked to them a little bit about discretion, and when I touched on sex, Cade thought that was gross.” We all had a good laugh and were soon pulling in to the Domain parking garage. We made our way to the restaurant and had a wonderful Italian feast. Once again, our server fell in love with Cade and lavished him with attention, which he totally loved. As we were finishing dinner, I cleared my throat. “Guys, I got a very special email today from Sam.” Everyone stopped what they were doing and gave me their undivided attention. “Thursday morning, we need to be at family court to finalize my adoption of Cade.” Tears started flowing from my eyes again as everyone held up their glasses and toasted. “To Cade! To Jason!” Cade got out of his seat and hopped up in my lap, putting his arms around me. “Dad, that’s the best news ever! I love you!” He kissed me on the cheek and held me tightly as I looked over at Johnny, who also had eyes brimming with tears. The next several days were uneventful. I was able to get Cade registered into school. Johnny was working with the set designer on the light plot for Footloose while I made final arrangements for the auditions. On Wednesday, I got a phone call from Sam. “Jason, is Johnny around? I want to talk to both of you about the court date tomorrow. There’s been an interesting development.” “What’s going on Sam? Is there a problem?” “Can you get Johnny on the line in a conference call? I really need to speak with you both.” I buzzed Johnny’s office and put him through to the call. “Okay, Sam, we’re both here. What’s going on?” I was trying my best not to sound too worried, but my gut told me this wasn’t going to be good news. “Well, there’s been a bit of a kink in the hearing tomorrow morning. It appears that Cade’s maternal grandparents have petitioned the court for full custody, and they have been added to the docket tomorrow morning.” “His grandparents??” Johnny was yelling. “That’s pure bullshit! They didn’t want anything to do with him while his mother was alive. And now they want custody??” “Johnny, I don’t think we have anything to worry about... for two reasons. The first and most important reason is that you are the boy’s biological father, and the Supreme Court has already ruled that Grandparent’s rights are to be determined by the child’s biological or legal parents. The other reason is that Cade will be asked to speak with Judge Alvarez privately in her chambers. She will ask him about his relationship with the grandparents, his mother, and the two of you.” Knowing her the way I do, I’m positive things will all work out in the end, and you both will have full and legal custody of Cade. I just wanted to give you a head’s up on this so you wouldn’t be blindsided tomorrow morning.” I was stunned. “What do you suggest we tell Cade?” “I think it would be best to tell him the truth. We don’t know why they have decided to seek custody of Cade, and we most likely won’t know until they get their chance to speak. Now, if I recall, there was a letter from the boy’s mother that explained the family situation with her parents?” Johnny answered, “Yes, I have it in the safe at home.” “Can you please fax me a copy of that letter as soon as possible? I will probably need that information for my cross-examination.” “Of course, I’ll run to the house and get it right now. You’ll have it within the hour.” “Thanks, Johnny. Jason, don’t worry about a thing, this is just a little wrinkle in the formalities. It will all work out perfectly for your entire family.” Johnny was back at the theatre in no time with the letter. We faxed it over to Sam and left early to pick up Cade from JJ and Zach’s. Sam called my cell as we were leaving the theatre to let us know he got the fax. “It’s exactly what we need to put this ridiculous motion away. I was wondering if I could meet with the three of you to go over what is going to happen tomorrow.” “We’re heading over to JJ and Zach’s to pick him up right now. Would you like us to meet you somewhere?” “How about I meet you over there. I’m sure JJ wouldn’t mind. I’ll give him a call on my way over and explain what’s happening.” We pulled into JJ’s, and as soon as we parked, JJ came running out the door. “Hey guys, Sam called and said he would be here in about ten minutes. What’s going on?” Johnny gave him a quick hug and said, “He just wants to go over the adoption hearing with us. I’m sure everything is going to be just fine.” I couldn’t believe how calm he was. I was a bundle of nerves and filled with insecurity. Minutes after we got into the house, Sam arrived. We all went upstairs to the guest suite while JJ and Zach started working on dinner. Cade sat between Johnny and me on the sofa, and Sam took a seat opposite us. “Gentlemen, thank you for seeing me.” He looked over to Cade. “Tomorrow’s a big day, son. Are you excited?” “Very much, sir.” “Well, there are a couple of things I want to go over with you, so you’ll know what’s going on when you get to the courthouse. The first thing is that your grandparents have decided to be there.” “My grandparents?” He looked over to Johnny, then to me. “Your moms are coming?” “No, Cade. Your mother’s parents have decided to ask Judge Alvarez to have you live with them. Cade started to cry. “Nooo! I don’t want to live with them! I don’t even know them! They don’t like me!” I gathered Cade into my arms and whispered to him. “It’s okay baby boy. Don’t cry. Listen to Sam first.” He eventually stopped crying, but the tears were still flowing. “Cade, I want you to know that I will do everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen. Fortunately, your mother wrote your father a very long letter explaining everything to him, and I will show that letter to Judge Alvarez. Besides, you already live with your birth father. That’s not going to change.” “But why are they doing this? They never wanted me before!” “I can’t say, Cade. But we’ll find out in the morning... and I’m prepared to make sure they can’t take you away. I need you to trust me, okay?” Cade sniffled and nodded. “Now, I want to warn you. They might say some things that aren’t true. They might even say some things that are hurtful to your Dad and even to your Mother... and if they do, I need you to be a strong boy and not react in any way at all. I need you to pretend that you don’t hear those things. Can you do that?” “Yes, sir. I’m an actor now. I’ll just act, okay?” “That’s a good idea. Now, I suspect the judge will take care of your grandparent’s request first. Then she’ll move on to your adoption. Part of that will take place in the judge’s chambers.” “Chambers? Like in her bedroom?” Sam smiled warmly at Cade and explained that chambers were just a fancy word for her office. “Now you’ll be in there alone with her. She’s a very nice lady, and she’ll ask you a few questions about your father and then how you feel about Jason. Do you understand?” Cade nodded. “Once she talks to you, she’ll send you back out to us and think about everything she’s heard and then she’ll come out and tell you what she decided. And I’m willing to bet you she’s going to let Jason adopt you so you’ll have two real dads.” “I hate my grandparents!” Johnny took Cade into his arms. “Little man, you can’t hate them if you don’t know them.” “I guess. But I hate what they did to Mama when she got sick. They made her cry for two days.” Sam cocked his head and asked, “What did they do to your Mama when she got sick?” “Mama wrote them a letter about how sick she was, and a few days later, she was crying when I came home from school. I asked her what happened, and she told me that her mom and dad sent the letter back to her. It hurt her feelings real bad!” Sam nodded. “That good to know Cade. Do you mind if I share that information with the judge if I need to?” “No, the judge should know what they did to my Mama.” “Do you know what happened to that letter?” “I have it in my Mama box.” “Do you think you could let me borrow it for the hearing tomorrow?” “Sure, but it’s still sealed up. Mama made me promise not to read it until I was in high school.” “Thanks for your help, Cade.” Sam looked at me. “I think things are going to go just as planned once we deal with our surprise guests. If you’ll just bring that other letter with you to court, and please don’t open it. Hopefully, that will be something we won’t need to do and then we can keep Lindsay’s wishes intact.” We thanked Sam for taking the time to explain things to us. We left the suite and headed downstairs. JJ invited Sam to have dinner with us, but he declined and went home. We had a nice, quiet dinner of Chicken and Beef fajitas. Finally, around 8:00, Cade was about to fall asleep in his chair, so we gathered him up and headed back home. I carried a sleeping Cade in my arms and headed up to the loft. He never woke up as we took off his clothes and got him into his bed. Johnny and I headed up to our bedroom. I was exhausted and extremely stressed. Johnny picked up on that. He took me into his arms and kissed me gently. “Why don’t you take your clothes off and lie down on the bed. I think you might need a nice, relaxing massage. I did just that. I sighed deeply as I felt my lover’s semi-soft cock resting on my lower back as he sat down on my ass. He got some oil and warmed it as he rubbed his hands together. I would breathe deeply as his hands took long, deep strokes from the base of my spine and up to my tight shoulders. As he found tightness, he would lean into the area with his weight. As he worked up and down, his cock would rub up and down my lower back and soon was hard as a rock. After just fifteen minutes, he had miraculously released all the tension in my back and began sliding down to the foot of the bed. The next thing I knew, I felt his hands on the cheeks of my ass as he gently massaged them. It’s amazing how quickly I went from tense to horny! As he worked the muscles of my ass, I found myself gently humping the mattress. The next thing I knew, my ass was covered with Johnny’s long, flowing hair and I found his tongue working its magic. I let out a muffled groan into the pillow. I lifted my head and looked back at my lover. “You better massage my insides with that big cock, mister!” Johnny took a towel and rubbed the remnants of oil from my back and then flipped me over. He grabbed my throbbing cock and smiled at me just before he swallowed it whole. I put my hands on his head and ran my fingers through his hair as he massaged the head of my cock with his throat muscles. After about five minutes, I felt that familiar feeling deep in my groin. I pulled Johnny’s head up. “Not yet baby, I want to cum with you deep inside me! Make love to me Johnny!” He pulled my legs up to my chest and, once again, placed his tongue on my quivering ass. His fingers were still slick with the massage oil and he worked one, then two... then three fingers deep inside me. “Now, Johnny! I need you now!” He looked deep into my eyes as he worked his chiseled body up against mine. I sighed deeply as I felt the head of his giant manhood at the entrance to my ass. I moaned as he began to ease into me. Those moans were soon muffled as he lowered himself and kissed me with the same passion we’ve shared since the first time we made love. I was glad Cade is a sound sleeper as I let out a loud, guttural moan as Johnny’s cock massaged my prostate. My cock was flowing with pre-cum as Johnny’s rhythm picked up speed and depth. My hard, dripping cock was rubbing against the chiseled ridges of his abs, and without warning, it exploded in a massive orgasm. “Oh, God, Johnny! Fuck me hard! Don’t stop! Don’t stop! I was covered with my own scalding cum as it dripped off his chest and abs. Johnny then grabbed my legs and threw his head back as he began to moan and fill me with his hot seed. He never stopped moving in and out of my throbbing hole as he leaned back down and kissed me deeply. “I love you, Jason... with my entire heart and soul.” Johnny gently eased out of me with a pop, and I immediately missed the fullness of him inside me. He took my hand and led me to the shower and turned on the water. I reached for the liquid soap and he moved my hand away. “No baby, I’m taking care of you tonight. He took the soap and gently washed my body. As I was rinsing off under the flow of the shower, I couldn’t help but admire his amazing body as he washed himself. He rinsed and took me in his arms. We kissed deeply. “I love you, Johnny. I don’t know what I did to deserve you but I sure hope I keep doing it!” “Keep being the wonderful, caring man you are. That’s all.” He kissed me again as he turned off the water and reached for the towels. He dried me from head to toe and then did himself. We made our way back into the bed. Johnny wrapped his body around mine and held me as we both fell asleep. How I got any sleep at all is a miracle. I would wake up in a panic, and Johnny would be right there, calming me down, soothing me with his voice, and caressing my chest until I would fall back asleep. The next thing I knew it was 6:30 and the alarm was ringing on Johnny’s phone. I got up, threw on my bathrobe, and headed downstairs to Cade’s room. I opened the door and marveled at the beautiful boy sound asleep in the bed. I walked over and sat on the bed and gently rubbed his head. “Wake up little man. You need to hop in the shower, and I’ll start breakfast.” “Daddy?” “I’m here, Cade. Let’s go. Do you want me to start your shower water for you?” “It’s okay. I can do it.” Cade sleepily climbed out of bed and made his way to his bathroom... morning wood and all. A seven-year-old boy with five inches blows my mind! I went into the kitchen, started the coffee, and got things together for spinach and sausage omelets. I started browning the sausage, and Johnny walked in. “Something smells wonderful!” “Good morning, baby. I’m sorry I kept waking you up last night.” “Hey, I completely understand. You have a lot on your mind, and Sam’s news didn’t help much!” He leaned in to kiss me, and I sent him off to shower while I finished breakfast. Before long, Cade walked into the kitchen. I poured him a glass of milk and started his omelet. By the time I got his omelet ready, Johnny had walked in and poured himself a cup of coffee. Johnny’s omelet was ready and I refilled my coffee as my omelet was cooking. It was a quiet breakfast. Maybe because it was so early, or maybe because we each had a lot of thoughts going through our minds. Cade was the first to speak up. “I really don’t want to live with those people, Papa. I really don’t.” “Don’t worry, son. Sam promised us that wouldn’t happen, and I will do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t.” I looked over at Cade and said, “Just remember, no matter what they say or do... we can’t react. We have to act like we don’t hear it or that it bothers us... even if they tell lies.” “It’s just not fair! I don’t even know those people, and their mean asses want me to live with them!” Understanding Cade’s frustration, I didn’t mention his language this time. “We don’t know why either, but we’re all going to know more soon. Now, why don’t you go get your new suit on while your Papa and I clean the dishes and get ready? I’ll help you with your tie when we come back down.” “Thanks, Daddy, I love you.” Cade got up from the breakfast bar, rinsed his dishes, and put them in the dishwasher. Johnny looked over at me and smiled. “I just love seeing the two of you together. You are an amazing father, and Cade adores you!” “I love our boy as if he were my own. If those ‘mean asses’ do anything to ruin our family, there will be hell to pay!” We got up, put the rest of the dishes into the dishwasher, and headed up to get into our suits. On Monday, we had gone to Nordstrom for some suit shopping. Johnny picked out a stunning blue Dolce & Gabbana ensemble and I fell in love with a dark brown Versace suit. Cade picked out a gray Armani Junior suit. We went downstairs and Cade was there waiting with his tie in hand. I fixed him up and marveled at how grown up he seemed. I must admit we were one fine looking family! We went down to the garage and took the Flex downtown to the courthouse. After walking through the metal detectors, we walked into the large lobby and found Sam waiting for us. “Gentlemen, you look fantastic.” He extended his hand to Cade and shook it. “Are you ready for your big day?” “Yes, sir. I’m ready. And here’s that letter from my Mama box. I’m not going to let anyone bother me today!” “Thank you, Cade! Shall we head up to the courtroom then?” We took the elevator up to the fourth floor and walked up to the double door of Judge Alvarez’s courtroom. Sam told us that we would be sitting at the table to the left. As soon as we walked in, I noticed the older couple sitting at the table at the right... apparently, the Mannings. The man looked at us and scowled while the woman looked and smiled as she dabbed her eyes. Cade looked over at them and immediately faced straight ahead as he walked down the aisle between Johnny and me, holding each of our hands. We all sat down at our table, and Sam opened his briefcase and pulled out a folder filled with papers. In just a few minutes, the bailiff asked us to rise for the Honorable Miriam Alvarez. We stood and a charming diminutive, red-haired woman entered the room. She told us to have a seat. She spoke, “We are here this morning for the adoption petition of Jonathan Cade Manning-Breeze by Jason Daniel Richardson. We also have a custody motion by Franklin and Margaret Manning, the maternal grandparents of the child. I will hear the motion first. Mr. Matthews?” She looked over at the Manning’s attorney. “Your Honor, I represent Franklin and Margaret Manning. My clients have filed for full custody of the juvenile Jonathan Cade Manning-Breeze as they feel that it is in the boy’s best interest to be raised by his grandparents rather than a non-traditional same-sex couple. I would like to call Franklin Manning to the stand.” “Mr. Manning, please step forward and have a seat.” The judge pointed to the chair in the witness box. Manning went to the box, and the bailiff told him to place his right hand on the Bible. “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” “I do.” Matthews took his place at the podium in the center of the floor. “Please state your full name, sir.” “Franklin Anderson Manning.” “Thank you, Mr. Manning. May I call you Frank?” “Yes, sir.” “Frank, what is your relationship to the young man sitting at the table over there?” He pointed to Cade. “I’m his grandfather. He is the son of my late daughter.” “How involved were you in the boy’s life in his early years?” “Unfortunately, when my daughter became pregnant, she left our home, and we had no contact with her after that.” “And why was that Mr. Manning?” “My daughter was always rather independent-minded. When she told us she was pregnant, she also told us she was going to do this on her own and left. We never heard from her again.” Cade looked at me and whispered, “That’s a big lie, Daddy!” “Shhh. Be an actor, okay?” I looked over at Sam, and he had a small smile on his face. Mr. Matthews continued. “Were you able to stay in touch with your daughter?” “No, sir. We never heard from her again. It wasn’t until her pastor contacted us to inform us of her passing that we knew anything.” My contempt for this lying son-of-a-bitch grew with every lie he spewed. But at the same time, I began to relax. I knew Sam was going to eat his sorry ass alive. “Mr. Manning, why are you seeking custody of Cade?” “The boy should have a mother AND a father. He should be attending church on a regular basis. We want him to go to a good school and grow up like any normal boy should. Margaret and I can give all that. And, well, he IS our flesh and blood.” “Thank you, Mr. Manning. That’s all I have for now Your Honor.” “Very good, Mr. Matthews. Mr. Jones, do you have any questions for Mr. Manning?” “Yes, Your Honor.” Sam walked up to the podium. He pulled some papers out of his folder and walked up to the witness stand. “Mr. Manning, do you recognize the handwriting on this page?” Manning looked at the paper and began reading it. “There’s no need to read it now. I’ll be reading it to the court. Do you recognize the handwriting?” “No, sir. I don’t.” “Mr. Manning, might I remind you that you are under oath?” Manning stared at Sam. “Now, I will ask you once again, do you recognize the handwriting on this page?” Manning looked down to the floor. “It’s my daughter’s handwriting.” “Thank you, Mr. Manning. Your Honor, I would like to submit a letter written by the late Lindsay Manning to Cade’s biological father, Johnny Breeze.” He went to his folder and distributed copies of the letter to Judge Alvarez and Mr. Matthews. “Now, Mr. Manning, you stated that Lindsay left your home, determined to, as you say, ‘do this’ on her own. Is that correct?” “Yes.” “Are you sure about that, sir?” “Yes.” “Very well, sir. I want to read from the second paragraph of Lindsay’s letter to Mr. Breeze.” Sam read from the letter. “First of all, and probably the most devastating, was my parents. It was bad enough when they found out I had become pregnant, but when I showed my mother a picture I had of you on my phone, the proverbial shit hit the fan. I never knew they had this horrible streak of racism. I also didn’t know that they would actually throw me out of the house and cut me off completely. The saddest part of that situation is that they never got to know their amazing grandson.” “Mr. Manning, would you like to comment on your daughter’s words?” “I don’t know what she’s talking about there.” “Okay, Mr. Manning. Let’s move one to another part of her letter, shall we?” He read another part of the letter. “When I was diagnosed with my cancer, I wrote a letter to my parents to tell them the news and let them know that I was going to try to find you. About ten days later, that letter came back to me. It was opened, taped shut, and marked ‘Return to Sender.’ Thank God, Cade will never know that set of grandparents!” “Mr. Manning, I will ask you again. Would you like to comment on your daughter’s words?” “I don’t remember anything about a letter.” “Are you sure about that, sir?” “I told you! I don’t remember!” Sam went back to his folder and pulled out the envelope Cade had given him. “Your Honor, I would like to submit a letter addressed to Frank and Margaret Manning that has been opened, taped shut, and marked `Return to Sender.’“ He turned back to the witness stand. “Mr. Manning. Does this letter trigger your memory? Did you read this letter and send it back to Lindsay?” “Objection, Your Honor. Leading the witness!” “I’ll rephrase Your Honor. Mr. Manning. Was your deceased daughter’s written statement about this letter true?” Manning just sat there and stared at the envelope. Judge Alvarez spoke. “Mr. Manning, please answer the question. And I should warn you. You are dangerously close to being charged with perjury.” Suddenly, all the air seemed to have been taken out of Franklin Manning. Cade just kept looking straight ahead. He was doing a great job, and I couldn’t be prouder of our little actor. Sam continued, “Mr. Manning, I will ask you once again. Did you read this letter and return it to your daughter?” Manning looked down at the floor and murmured, “Yes.” “I’m sorry, Mr. Manning, I didn’t quite hear your answer.” Manning looked at Sam and shouted, “Yes! Yes, I read that letter and sent it back!” There was a gasp from the Manning’s table as Margaret shouted out, “You knew? You knew she was sick and didn’t tell me?” Judge Alvarez pounded her gavel. “Order, please. We can’t have any outbursts in my court.” Sam walked up to the witness stand. “Very well, Mr. Manning. I’ll ask you myself. When you learned of your daughter’s illness, did you choose to keep that information from your wife?” Manning just stared angrily at Sam. Judge Alvarez once again told him to answer the question. “Yes, I did.” “Sir, I’m going to give you one last opportunity to explain your actions to the court.” Manning looked over to his unhappy attorney, who gave him a nod. “When Lindsay told us she was pregnant, she was happy about it. She told us she was going to keep it. She showed my wife a picture of the father (he pointed to Johnny) and I was shocked to see he was... not one of us. I was furious and threw her out of the house. When we found out she had passed away and that that fag Indian was raising our grandson...” Sam interrupted. “Objection, your honor!” “Objection sustained. Mr. Manning. Bigotry and racism are not allowed in this court. You may continue and watch your language, or you will be held in contempt.” “When we found out that our grandson was being raised by.... him... I had to do something. When we found out that his.... boyfriend... was going to try to adopt him, I had to put a stop to it. I won’t have my own flesh and blood raised by a couple of fa... homosexuals.” “Thank you for being honest, Mr. Manning. That is all.” Sam came back to the table and winked at me. Judge Alvarez spoke next. “Mr. Manning, you may take your seat with your wife.” Manning took a seat, and his wife slid her chair away from him. “I will now rule on the motion of custody filed by Franklin and Margaret Manning. It is this court’s opinion that uprooting the child from his life with his biological father and into a home filled with racial prejudice and intolerance would be detrimental to the child’s well-being. The motion is denied. In regards to the Grandparental rights, the Supreme Court has ruled that those rights are to be determined by the juvenile’s legal parents or guardians. Mr. Matthews, you may leave this courtroom with your clients.” Cade looked at a smiling Johnny. “Papa, what did all those big words mean?” “You’re staying with us, little man. You don’t have to go anywhere!” Family hugs were exchanged and Judge Alvarez waited for the Manning’s and their attorney to leave. Once the doors closed, she continued. “Now gentlemen, I say we move on to something much more enjoyable. My staff has thoroughly vetted all parties involved, and I have already spoken at length with Mr. Jones about this case. From what I’ve seen already this morning, it is evident that what we have here is a loving, caring family. Mr. Richardson, will you please rise?” I stood and faced the judge. “Mr. Richardson, is it your intention to legally adopt Jonathan Cade Manning-Breeze and raise him as your own son alongside his biological father, Johnny Breeze?” “Yes, Your Honor. I love and cherish Cade more than life itself.” “Fine. Thank you, Mr. Richardson. You may take your seat. Cade, will you come with me into my chambers so we can talk alone for a few minutes?” Cade stood up and said, “Yes, Ma’am... I mean Your Honor.” Cade gave all of us, including Sam, a big hug and went with the bailiff and the court recorder into her chambers. The bailiff stood outside the door, and the wait began. ******** Cade entered the judge’s chambers and saw her sitting at her desk. The reporter was set up off into the corner. “Cade, why don’t you have a seat here.” She pointed to the chair in front of her desk. He took a seat. “You look very nice, Cade. I hope the first part of the hearing wasn’t too uncomfortable for you.” “No. I knew that man was lying and Sam knew the truth.” “Good boy. So, I want to talk to you a little bit about how you feel about your Dad and his partner, Jason. Do you like living with them?” Cade let a huge smile fill his face. “I love living with my dads. Papa is teaching me how to be a chef, and Dad takes me to classes at his theatre, where I’m learning to be a singer and a dancer.” “That sounds very exciting, Cade. Tell me, how do you feel about Jason?” “He’s my Dad. I love him just as much as Papa. He takes care of me. He holds me in his arms when I’m sad. When I’m sick, he takes care of me. If I do something wrong, he talks to me about it and makes sure I understand. Plus, he helps me make my hair look good!” “That’s nice to hear. It sounds like Jason loves you very much.” “Yes, Ma’am... I mean Your Honor.” “It’s okay, Cade. We’re in private here. You can call me whatever you like. I must say when I see a family with so much love, it makes my job quite a bit easier. All I have to ask you is one more question. Would you like Jason to adopt you and become your legal parent?” “Oh yes! I would like that more than anything in the world!” “Very good then. I think we’re done here. You and Mrs. Rodriguez can go back out into the courtroom.” Mrs. Rodriguez gathered her equipment and spoke. “Might I say something? Off the record, Mrs. Alvarez?” “Of course.” “I just wanted to tell Cade how absolutely wonderful he was in the summer showcase. My daughter was in one of the beginner classes, and I got to see you perform, young man. You have a wonderful future ahead of you!” “Thank you, Ma’am.” Cade was blushing as Judge Alvarez spoke. “Well, I’ll have to be sure to catch you in a show sometime! Now you go have a seat with your father and Jason. I need to finish up a few things here, and I’ll be right out.” ******** Johnny and I sat silently, just staring at the door to the judge’s chambers when it opened, and a smiling Cade walked out. He ran over to us and gave each of us a hug. “She was so nice! She said she would be out in a minute.” Sure enough, in just minutes, the bailiff announced the entrance of the judge. We all stood as she took her place. “Gentlemen, please be seated. First, I would like to thank you for enduring the unpleasantries that took place earlier. However, now that the motion is dealt with, I can honestly say that seeing such a wonderful family stand before me makes my job quite rewarding. “After reviewing the request and speaking with the child in question, it is my honor to award full and legal parental rights of Jonathan Cade Manning-Breeze to Jason Daniel Richardson, such rights to be shared with the biological father, Johnny Breeze. Will there be a name change for the juvenile?” Sam stood, “Yes, Your Honor. At the request of the parents, we would like the child’s name to now be Cade Manning Breeze-Richardson. First name Cade, middle name Manning, surname Breeze hyphen Richardson.” “Very good, gentlemen. Our work is done here. The bailiff has some paperwork for you to sign. And Cade, I promise to come to see you in a show sometime in the future!” Tears were flowing from my eyes as Cade crawled up in my lap and wrapped his arms around me. “Hi new Dad! I love you!” “I love you, too. You are a dear, sweet boy! I’m so proud of you!” The bailiff had us sign all the paperwork and register Cade’s new name. He reminded us to make sure his school was aware of the name change and told us to contact the Social Security Administration so he could be issued a new card. Sam said he would go over all the paperwork and have it ready for us in a few days. He shook our hands, and we made our way out of the courtroom. When we walked into the hallway, I was surprised to see a weeping Margaret Manning waiting for us. “Boys, may I have a word with you?” Sam looked at us then up and down the hall. “Where is your husband, Mrs. Manning?” “My soon-to-be EX-husband is waiting for me down in the truck.” Cade moved behind Johnny and wrapped his arms around his waist. I looked at Mrs. Manning, and for some unexplained reason, my heart broke. “What do you need, Mrs. Manning?” “I wanted to apologize to the two of you... and especially to my beautiful grandson for Frank’s behavior. I was helpless when he threw my Lindsay out of the house. I had no idea she had tried to contact us and that he knew of her illness. I will be filing for divorce as soon as we return home, and I was wondering if there was any way in the world I might be able to do whatever it takes to make up for lost time.” She looked over at Cade. “This beautiful boy is all I have left. I want to get to know him... and his two fathers. You are a beautiful family and I would do nothing to jeopardize that.” Sam looked at Johnny, then at me. “Guys, this is something you should work out on your own. Ma’am, my advice is that we take this slowly if Cade and his parents agree to let you into their lives.” Johnny took Cade and sat on the bench next to Margaret. “Mrs. Manning, Lindsay was a wonderful woman, my best friend in college. She never spoke poorly of you. She adored you. I must say she didn’t have the kindest words for her father. But this is as much about Lindsay as it is about Cade, Jason, me, or even you. I am more than happy to let you be a part of our lives because I know that’s what Lindsay would have wanted. However, it would have to begin after Mr. Manning is no longer a part of the overall picture. Jason?” “I think a child can never have too many grandparents. I agree with Johnny.” I sat down on the other side of Margaret and took her hand and looked at Cade. “Cade? What do you think?” He walked over to Margaret and looked intently at her. “You even look like my Mama. She was always sad that you never got to meet me. But I don’t want anything to do with that mean man who was with you.” “Thank you, Cade! Thank you all!” She wrapped her arms around Cade and wept. “I love you, Cade. You’re a wonderful young man and you’ve made me so happy!” We all got up and made our way to the elevator. On our way down, Margaret spoke, “Boys, I want you to know that I think you make a beautiful family. I have no problem at all with two men who truly love each other raising a son who loves them both. I only hope that someday I will be able to attend a wedding.” “That would be lovely, Mrs. Manning. I promise you that will happen as soon as we can do it.” We got to the front door of the courthouse, and the police officer on duty opened it for us. We stepped out into the warm Texas air as a family. The next 10 seconds were a blur, and yet they are forever etched in my memory. “Faggots!” Pop! Pop! Pop! “Frank! Noooooo!” Pop! “Nooooooo!” Margaret and I were the only ones left standing. Among a chorus of screams and panic, I could only wail, “Johnny! Cade! Sam!”
  4. Guys! Relax! I'm not going to write sex scenes with Nate! If his relationship with Gleason even gets to that point, you'll know it happened, but not what happened!
  5. Chapter 16 – A New Family Cade’s first week with us was exciting for all as we began to fall into a temporary routine. I call it temporary because JJ was still crashing at the loft. While Johnny and I went off to work, JJ and Cade spent the day together. JJ was in heaven as he and our son bonded. JJ said he finally had the little brother he always wanted. Cade was thrilled to spend time with JJ and “help” get the house ready for Zach. Of course, most of the help consisted of swimming and horsing around. I was happy that JJ called Johnny to let him know that Cade wanted to go skinny dipping. I was even happier when Johnny came to me to talk about it before a decision was made. Johnny felt strongly that since the pool was isolated from the neighbors, there should be no problem. More importantly, he didn’t want Cade to grow up with the embarrassment or shame society tries to put on the human body. I was more concerned that he not swim unsupervised than what he wore in the pool. Of course, that brought up the question of whether JJ or Zach should wear suits when swimming with Cade. We talked some more and decided the most important thing was that Cade was comfortable and that we trusted JJ and Zach. Johnny called JJ back and told him our thoughts, and all was good. Tuesday night Johnny and I got home from the theatre and were greeted with kisses from Cade. JJ was out on the balcony on the phone, and Cade explained, “Uncle JJ’s on the phone with Uncle Zach, so I made dinner!” He took us by the hands and led us into the kitchen. I had to smile when I saw a stack of ham and cheese sandwiches. “Papa, that’s all I know how to make. I hope you and Dad can help me with the other stuff.” So, Johnny and I began Cade’s first cooking lesson. Johnny and Cade decided to grill the sandwiches, and he showed him how to use a spatula to turn the sandwiches. Cade said he learned how to use a stove when he was taking care of his mother and he knew how to be safe, as long as he had a step so he could reach things safely. I began putting together a salad, and Johnny showed Cade how to use a knife to cut vegetables by holding on to the cucumber with his fingers curled under and using his other hand to work the knife. I was impressed that he did such a good job, especially for a kid. While we were having dinner, JJ started to talk about the changes he was making to the house. We’d not yet heard anything so it was exciting to hear. He had all the carpeting ripped out of the house and had hardwood floors installed in every room except the bathrooms. They get tiled floors. Simon’s study was being transformed into a media room. The largest guest room (which was JJ’s old room) will be a dance studio. Of the four upstairs bedrooms, the master suite will be for Zach and JJ, one will be for Cade and the other two will be converted to a deluxe guest suite with a sitting room, bedroom, and bath. He suggested that the theatre’s guest artists could stay there if we wanted. I thought it was a good idea, but I would have to check with the Board as well as the guest artists and see what they thought. Cade was especially excited about the dance studio. He told us that JJ had offered to give him some private lessons whenever he was able. The next morning, I asked Shirley to come into my office so I could pick her brain from her knowledge of local progressive schools. She was thrilled to help me find a school for Cade and had two former clients she thought would be good for him. One was the Khabele School which was known for its progressive and international curriculum but always had quite a long waiting list. The other was the Austin School for the Performing and Visual Arts. The students at ASPVA spend half of their day in their fine arts classes and the other half working on their academics through a program of online and computer-based classes while being supervised by academic specialists. Cade would have to audition for that school, and although I had yet to see him dance, we could probably have him ready for an audition after a couple of camp sessions. By the end of the week, we had Cade’s audition set up and had him on the waiting list for the Khabele School. Johnny and I took Friday off and took Cade shopping for a new wardrobe and some extra goodies. We took him to The Domain and spent some more time at Gap Kids while picking up some great looking clothes at Macy’s and Dillard’s. We also got him an iPad and went down to the Microsoft store and got him a laptop. Johnny didn’t want to invest in a MacBook until he was a little older. As our day ended, I asked Johnny to follow me into the Baily, Banks, and Biddle store. He gave me a confused look, and I lifted the chain with his father’s wedding band off my neck. “Johnny, when I committed to being a Dad to your beautiful son, I also committed to you... and us.” I took the ring off the chain and placed it on my right hand. When the day comes that you and I can be married, I will happily move the ring to my left hand. In the meantime, I would like nothing more than to have you pick out a ring so I can properly ask you to become my partner for life.” Cade looked up at me and said, “Dad, are you and Papa gonna get married?” Johnny looked at his son with tears in his eyes. “Someday we will Cade... as soon as the law allows us to. And then, only if you think it’s something you would like.” “Well, duh! You’re my dads! You should be married to each other!” “One more thing Johnny... if it’s okay with you and our beautiful boy, I would like to adopt him legally.” “Damn you, Jason! Could you have picked a more public place to make my life perfect?” Johnny was fighting back the tears as we walked into the jewelry store. Johnny tried on different rings, and the fourth one he tried on caught Cade’s eye. It was a two-tone band with rings of gold on the outside and a band of white gold on the inside. “I like that one, Papa.” “Well, baby boy, so do I, and you just helped me pick out the most beautiful ring in the world!” Cade had to go to the restroom, so Johnny offered to take him while I finished up with the jeweler. I paid a little extra so they would size the ring while we had lunch. I met the rest of my wonderful family outside, and we decided to have lunch at North, an Italian restaurant just down the street from the jewelry store. Lunch was spectacular, and the wait staff did all they could to spoil Cade. He loved the attention, of course, and won them all over with his adorable dimples and wit. Just as we were finishing up lunch, I got a text from JJ. The house was done, and he wanted us to stop by and have a look on our way home. We stopped by the jewelry store, and I picked up the bag they had waiting for me, and we piled into the car with all the bags from our shopping expedition. We were soon on our way, and fifteen minutes later, we were pulling into the driveway to JJ’s home. We immediately found the first change... a gate. There was a box outside and I pressed the call button and JJ answered, “Hi guys!” There was a buzz and the gate opened for us. JJ was standing out front and said, “Sorry about the gate. Mom insisted we get some security here. She’s afraid that I might be a target now. I don’t know about that, but I do feel safer with the security system.” He then handed me an electric switch for my car and another for Johnny’s truck. “Now you won’t have to buzz to get in.” We walked in, and I was stunned at the changes. What was once a very “Ethan Allen” traditional home was now ultra-sleek and modern. The floors were a dark, high-gloss hardwood, and the one-time boring white walls in the living room were now a rich pumpkin color. The furnishings were white leather with chrome trim with beautiful glass tables. In the center of the living room was a plush white area rug that looked like it came from some kind of animal with very long hair. Simon’s study was now an awesome media room. The short wall at the end of the room had a floor-to-ceiling screen, and there was a ceiling-mounted projector. There were five black leather recliners all connected in a semicircle with cup holders in the armrests and rolling small tables that could be used for refreshments. The room was outfitted with state-of-the-art HD television, blue ray player, Xbox, and Wii. At the back of the room, the boys even had a popcorn machine. I could see how this will easily become the most popular room in the house! The kitchen was amazing. It was ultra-modern with stainless steel, restaurant-grade appliances. The floors had the same dark hardwood that the living room had, and the tiled walls had a retro 1960’s look. The unique part was that every cabinet door was a different color. JJ said that the colors in the kitchen were all the different colors in the house. He told us that when the decorator described it to him, he told her it sounded like a box of crayons would have thrown up in the kitchen. When he saw it for the first time yesterday, he fell in love with it instantly. I must say I agree with him. It was something I would have never thought of doing... or even wanted done. But now that I see it, it was stunning. The room JJ was proudest of (and Cade was the most excited about) used to be his bedroom and bath. Cade grabbed Johnny’s and my hands and quickly led us back to the other side of the living room. We walked into a small, but professional-quality dance studio. There were two portable barres... one adult-sized, one child. The floor was covered in a seamless deep gray Marley surface. Since all the rooms on the first floor had at least 12’ ceilings, it was perfect for dance workouts. JJ had removed the large walk-in closet to give more room for the studio and had completely redone the bathroom, so it was now a changing room with a shower. Where there was once a large, square bathtub, there was now a sauna that would easily sit three or four people. We went back out to the foyer to the new open chrome and Lucite staircase. Upstairs there used to be a long hallway that ran the length of the house with all the bedrooms on the left side. Although JJ had said he didn’t want any construction done, the decorator convinced him to remove the top five feet of the nine-foot walls, so the hallway was now open to the living room below. It was a great touch! JJ took us to the far end of the hallway first. We walked into a beautiful sitting room with two comfortable sofas, a television, and a wet bar where the closet used to be. There was a door next to the wet bar that led to a beautiful forest-green and white trim bedroom. The two rooms shared a bathroom, which was pretty much left alone. Only the sink and bath fixtures were replaced with sparkling new ones. JJ said this was the new guest suite that he had offered to the theatre for the occasional visiting guest star. I must admit that this was just as nice as the suite we had at the W hotel last week. The next room was the master suite. It had also been stripped of everything that once was there. It had the same hardwood floors that now ran throughout the house, and the walls were a delicious burgundy wine color with white trim. The bathroom was done in black tile, chrome, and glass. It was gorgeous. I noticed there were multiple shower heads on the ceiling and the walls of the shower. “Nice shower, JJ!” “Yeah, that’s really the only thing that Simon had that I left.” He then looked down at Cade. “I saved the best room for last, Cade! Are you ready?” “Yeah! You wouldn’t let me look at it when I was here before, and I’ve been dying to see it!” We stood outside the door. JJ asked Johnny and me to wait a minute with him as Cade opened the door and walked in. All we heard was Cade gasp, and another voice in a British accent saying, “Welcome to your room Master Cade.” “Dumbledore?” JJ nodded to us, and we all walked in. I was stunned. The room looked like a Hollywood set! The floors and walls looked like stone. The window treatments looked like the windows of the Gryffindor Dormitory. The bed was surrounded by a wood frame with red velvet curtains. There was what looked like a bunk bed above the main double bed but it ran along the wall. There were wooden stairs that went up to the bunk, and each step was a drawer. The wall in the bunk was lined with books, and the bed was filled with red, blue, and purple pillows of every shape and size. On the wall were two broomsticks like the ones used in the Quidditch games and a small shelf that held a duplicate wand like the one Harry Potter uses. In the corner of the room by the bathroom door was a perch with a stuffed toy owl. Even the bathroom was made to look like it belonged in an old English castle. “Dumbledore” looked down at Cade and said, “I hope this room meets your satisfaction, Master Cade.” “It’s amazing, Dumbledore... Wait a minute! Who are you really?” The mask was removed, and Zach appeared. “Uncle Zach! You came home early!” “Hey, Cadester! I had to be here for the big reveal!” Hugs were exchanged all around, and JJ said, “We had such a good time putting this room together. I’m glad you like it, Cade!” Johnny was mesmerized. “Hell, guys... I want to stay here!” “I don’t think so, Mr. Breeze!” We all went downstairs and out to the patio. JJ brought out some fresh-squeezed lemonade, and we all sat around talking. Cade asked if he could swim. I mentioned he didn’t have a suit. “Dad, it’s just us guys here. We don’t have to wear suits!” “Well, don’t you think we should head home soon so Uncle JJ and Uncle Zach can have some time alone?” JJ spoke up with, “Don’t worry, Jason, Zach and I had plenty of alone time this morning. We were going to suggest you leave Cade here so you and Johnny could have some much-needed alone time yourselves.” Johnny looked at me with a wicked smile. Without even looking away, he said, “Would you like to stay here tonight, Cade?” “We would love to have him stay here for the night, Jason. Zach and I would love to both get to know our new nephew a little better.” I looked at Johnny and said, “Before we go, I need to grab something out of the car.” I ran out to the car and pulled out a small, gift-wrapped box from the jewelry store. When I got back, I called Cade over to me. “Cade, today I made a decision about something I want to do. But I can’t do it unless you say you would like me to do it.” Cade walked up to me and put his arms around my waist. “Dad, why are you nervous?” I took a deep breath and said, “Cade, I know you call me Dad, but the thing is legally, I’m just a friend. I want to make it so I’m just as much your Dad as your Papa is. Would you like that?” “How can you make that happen, Dad?” “Well, I could go to a judge and tell him or her that I want to be your real dad, too. If the judge thinks it’s a good idea, then I’ll sign some papers, and I’ll officially adopt you and make you my real son. But I won’t ask the judge if you don’t want me to be your real dad.” “Duh! You’re way more than a friend! I want the judge to make you my real dad, too. Can we do it tomorrow?” Johnny and I both had huge smiles on our faces. “Oh, and can we ask the judge to make JJ and Zach my real uncles?” “Well, it will probably take a while for the judge to fit me into their schedule, so we’ll have to wait a bit. Also, Uncle JJ and Uncle Zach are already your real uncles because they decided they wanted you to call them that. We don’t need a judge to make that happen!” “Awesome!” Cade gave his uncles hugs and kisses, and I pulled the box out of my pocket. “Cade, I love you and your Papa more than life itself. I got you a little present.” He opened the package and pulled out a gold chain with a white gold dog tag that was surrounded by a border of yellow gold. At the top was engraved today’s date, followed by “Cade Manning-Richardson-Breeze.” The next lines read, “Love forever from Papa and Dad.” There was a blank space at the bottom. “Cade, the bottom space will have the date the judge says I can adopt you.” Cade came back to me and climbed up, so his arms were around my neck, and his legs wrapped around my waist. “Dad, when my mom told me I would be living with my Papa after she was gone, I already knew a lot about him and was pretty sure it was going to be good. But when I found out I was going to have two dads, I thought that was pretty cool. But I never thought I would love both you and Papa so much. It’s like I’ve known you my whole life. I love you Dad. You and Papa make me the happiest boy in the whole world!” There wasn’t a dry eye on the patio as I put the chain around my son’s neck. Johnny came over to Cade and me and wrapped his muscular arms around us. Between his sniffs, he said, “I’m the luckiest man in the world to have such a beautiful son and amazing lover!” And then, just like a typical seven-year-old, Cade said, “Can I go swimming now?” We let Cade down, and he immediately stripped off his clothes and ran towards the pool. JJ stopped him. “Hey, Cadester! What are you supposed to do with your clothes?” “Oh, sorry, Uncle JJ.” He ran back and picked up his clothes and folded them neatly and put them on a bench alongside the house. Then he ran and jumped into the pool with a shriek. Zach looked up at Johnny. “Jesus, Johnny! Your kid already has a bigger dick than most twelve and thirteen-year-olds. He’s definitely his daddy’s boy!” Johnny just chuckled and said, “Yeah, I’m not looking forward to puberty. It was rough enough for me!” We all had a good laugh, and I looked back into Johnny’s eyes. “Johnny, today I told you I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. Of course, that includes your... OUR beautiful son. I love you with all my heart, soul, and life Johnny Breeze.” I took the new ring out of my pocket and slipped it on his right hand. We both had moist eyes (again) while JJ and Zach were watching us like a couple of hopeless romantics. I walked over to them, kissed Zach… then JJ. “I’m going to take my man home and have him make love to me. Give us a call in the morning, and we’ll come pick up Cade.” “How about we call you, and we’ll bring him over?” Johnny came over and kissed the guys. “I think I need to take my man home now.” He walked over to the edge of the pool, and Cade swam over to him. We’ll see you tomorrow Cade. I love you so much!” Johnny kissed his wet forehead. I joined Johnny and kissed Cade goodbye. “I love you, Dads. I promise I’ll be good for Uncle JJ and Uncle Zach!” One thing I’m learning about Austin traffic is that the Friday rush hour starts about two hours earlier than the rest of the week. Johnny guided me back to the loft using side streets, and although we cut our drive time in half, it still took us thirty minutes to make a ten-minute drive. I just needed to get home! I was so horny for Johnny’s love! We walked into the loft, and as soon as the door closed, Johnny took me into his arms, and we shared a kiss filled with the perfect mixture of love, passion, and animal lust. When we finally broke apart, Johnny ran his fingers down the side of my face and said, “Why don’t you pour us a couple of glasses of wine and a put together a plate of fruit.” “Really?” “Really. Trust me, baby.” Johnny ran upstairs while I, with my raging hard cock, went into the kitchen. I poured the wine, sliced up an apple, got some grapes, and sliced up some cheddar cheese. When I finished preparing the “refreshments,” I carried everything upstairs. Johnny called me from the bathroom. He was lying back in the large bathtub with the Jacuzzi jets going full force. His hard cock was pointing straight, up and at least three inches of it was sticking out of the water. “Hi handsome. Care to join me?” I walked over to the tub and set the glasses and plate on the ledge. I quickly undressed and eased myself into the warm, lavender-scented water facing Johnny. I leaned in to my lover and whispered, “We’re all alone. No guests, no celebrities, no children. Just us.” Johnny lovingly took my head in his hands and touched his lips to mine with a tenderness that set me on fire. Johnny’s tongue gently broke through my lips, and I opened my mouth to welcome him inside. Our tongues did a slow, sensuous dance as Johnny began running his hands up and down my back. I put my hands on Johnny’s lower back and gently pushed him into me, so our bodies were separated only by our raging hard cocks. Our kisses became more passionate and intense. The moans began from deep within and escaped into each other’s mouths. Johnny reached over to the plate and picked up a piece of apple. He pulled away from my lips and ran the apple over them. He put the tip of the apple in my mouth and the other tip in his. He bit down and broke in to two pieces. We chewed and kissed some more as he took hold of a wine glass. He tipped the glass into my mouth and then took a sip for himself. After another round of sensuous kissing, Johnny put his hands under my arms and stood me up in front of him. He began rubbing his hands up and down my legs and planted kisses on my abs. My eight inches were rubbing along Johnny’s face, leaving trails of precum along his cheek. I reached down and scooped it up with my thumb and fed it to Johnny. He took my thumb into his mouth and sucked on it like it was a miniature cock. I pulled my thumb out of his sensuous mouth and aimed my cock for his lips. In one smooth motion, my cock was sliding down Johnny’s throat, and his nose pressed against my trimmed pubes. My legs began to tremble from the rush of feelings coming from my cock. Normally Johnny would pull off so I wouldn’t cum so quickly. This time he grabbed on to my ass and pushed me even deeper into his massaging throat. “Baby, I’m not gonna last long!” That’s when he took a finger and stuck it into my ass. Johnny’s magic throat milked my cock to the edge, and beyond Soon, I was dumping a copious load of into the love of my life. “Ohhhhhh God!! Ohhhhhh!! Fuuuuuuck!!” I was wailing like an animal and my legs were about to give out when Johnny finally released me from his mouth. I got down on my knees and kissed my lover deeply. I could taste the remnants of my cum, which surprised me since most of it went straight down his throat while he deep-throated my eight inches. After a few minutes of passionate kissing, Johnny pulled himself to the back of the tub and sat on the ledge. I don’t think I will ever stop being amazed by his magnificent cock. Although I had never measured it, I’m sure it was at least six inches around. Not that I’ve had a lot of experience with huge cocks, but the few I’ve seen tend to stick straight out when hard. Johnny was so primed and horny his eleven inches were pointing to the ceiling, his foreskin pulled back, revealing the purple mushroom head. I moved forward and gazed into Johnny’s lust-filled eyes. I reached down and began massaging his massive balls. “Ooooooooooh baby, that feels sooooooo good!” I grabbed his huge rod with my other hand and gave it a couple of long, firm strokes. His nectar began flowing from the head. I bent down and swirled my tongue around his sensitive head, causing him to moan and pant. I then took a deep breath and began easing him down my throat. God, I love taking that cock all the way in. I moaned and swallowed, creating a vibrating massage along the length of Johnny’s substantial manhood. Johnny was bracing himself on the edge of the tub with both arms and had his head thrown back. I began long-stroking his delicious cock with my mouth and throat. Every time the head would pass over my tongue, I would get a fresh dose of his sweet precum. I began massaging his plum-sized balls with more vigor as I increased the pace with my mouth. Every time his cock traveled down my throat, Johnny would moan with and “Oooooh” or a “Yeahhhhh.” When I reached up with my free hand and began tweaking his erect nipple, and that sent my lover over the edge. “Here it comes, baby! Gonna... Cummmmmmmmmm! Ohhhhhh! Fuck, Yeahhhhh!” I pulled his cock out of my throat so I could taste each delicious stream of his hot load. I was ready for the massive amounts of cum and was swallowing every bit of it without losing a drop. I pulled myself up and began kissing Johnny, sharing what was left of his deposit. He slowly slid back down into the tub, taking me with him. Once we were back in the water, I slid to the side and rested my head on his chest as he wrapped his arms around me. “I wanted to get the sex out of the way so we could begin making love. We were both so horny, and we needed a quick nut so we could relax and take our time.” Johnny sat me up so I was facing him again. He took the plate of fruit and cheese and slid it down the ledge, so it was between us. He handed me one of the wine glasses and took the other for himself. We silently fed each other and sipped from the wine, interspersed with tender kisses. After about twenty minutes, we stood up, dried off, and made our way to the bedroom. Our cocks had never quite deflated since those mind-blowing blowjobs and soon, we were kissing, caressing, and rolling around on the bed in a wild abandon. “Johnny, take me... make me yours tonight,” I said breathlessly, as I needed his cock deep inside me more and more. “Eat my ass, Jay!” Johnny shifted up on all fours with his amazing ass settling into my face. He grabbed my legs and pulled them up, lifting my own ass in the air. Nothing gets me going more than an extremely hot rimming 69! The two of us were licking, probing, slurping, and moaning for all it’s worth. Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer. “Fuck me Johnny! I need you inside me now!” I don’t know where he got it, or when he got it, but my ever-ready Boy Scout had the lube right where he needed it and was soon working a generous amount into my ass with one, then two, then three fingers. Johnny grabbed a couple of pillows and placed them under my ass as he lowered me. I wrapped my legs around his slender waist while he leaned forward to kiss me. “I’m not going to fuck you, Jason. I’m going to give my all to you. I’m going to make love to you.” While he kissed me again, he reached down to guide his rod to my twitching hole. I was so relaxed and filled with so much desire. Johnny was able to slide the bulging head of his cock inside me with little resistance. I lovingly gazed into his eyes as he filled me with his massive tool. I was panting and moaning as he passed by and pressed against my prostate. Precum was flowing out of my cock and all over my abs. I scooped some up with my fingers and fed it to Johnny. He then did the same and fed some to me. While I was sucking Johnny’s fingers dry, he hit bottom. I felt the smooth, silky hairs of his small bush tickling my spread ass. He started thrusting slowly—first, just a couple inches at a time. Soon Johnny began to increase the length of his strokes and before long, he was long-dicking me but keeping a slow and steady pace. He never went fast. He kept his movement slow, deep, and sensual. It was one of the most thrilling feelings I’d ever experienced. I could almost feel every vein and ridge of his cock as it made its way deep inside me then slowly pull away, so just the head was inside me. “Oh baby! I love the way you feel inside me.” “I love you, Jason. You are my life.” He lubed up his hand and grabbed hold of my cock and began stroking it in the same slow rhythm he was sliding in and out of my very satisfied ass. “Ohhhhh! Ohhhhhh! Baby!” Johnny shifted slightly and began applying more pressure to my spot, and soon, I felt the familiar tingle as my balls drew up. “I’m close, baby! Soooo close!” And then it happened... the most intense orgasm of my life. My face, chest, and abs were covered in more cum than I can ever remember shooting. As I was coming down from my orgasm, Johnny threw his head back and wailed, “I love you Jason! Ohhhhh! Ohhhhh! Ohhhhh!” His cock fired at least ten volleys of scalding cum deep inside me. Johnny gently laid me down on the bed and pulled out. He lowered his head to my abs and began licking up my load, cleaning with the tenderness he had shown me all evening. He led me into the shower, and we lovingly cleaned each other, dried each other, and then got dressed. Johnny was going to cook dinner and I told him that it was my turn to take control of things. We were going out to dinner. I called ahead for seats and headed to the Hyde Park neighborhood of the city. Shirley Cobb had told me about her favorite Italian bistro called Asti. She was spot on with her recommendation! It reminded me of the small family-owned restaurants in Italy with its warm and inviting atmosphere. We started our dinner with a beautiful Antipasti. Johnny had the pan-seared Salmon and I had the seafood risotto. Dinner was delicious and served at a nice and leisurely pace. We arrived back home about two hours later and decided to chill with each other on the sofa with the television. That’s about all I remember as I fell asleep with my head on Johnny’s lap and his fingers running gently through my hair. Not long after, Johnny nudged me awake, and we went upstairs and fell asleep in each other’s arms. About 10:30 Saturday morning, my cell phone rang. “Hello?” “Hi Dad! It’s your son... Cade... remember me?” “Good morning, kiddo! You ready to come home?” “Yeah, we just left the house. Uncle JJ said to get some clothes on and start the coffee.” “Okay, baby boy. We’ll see you in a bit. I love you!” “I love you, too Dad! Give Papa a good morning kiss for me, okay?” Johnny was awake by the time I ended the call with Cade. “Good morning, sunshine!” I kissed my lover good morning and then added a quick, short kiss. “That was from Cade. They are on the way over so we need to get going.” We got up, quickly made the bed and got dressed. The coffee was brewing, and I had some bagels in the toaster when the door opened. “Papa! Dad!” Cade ran into the kitchen and jumped into Johnny’s arms. “Good morning Cade. Did you miss us?” “Well, not really. But that doesn’t mean I’m not happy to be home!” We all enjoyed some coffee while Cade had some orange juice. Toasted bagels with cream cheese seemed to be a hit as well. While we were sitting around the table and talking a lot about nothing, Cade piped up, “Papa, Dad? Can we go to church tomorrow? I used to go all the time, and I kinda miss it.” Johnny and I looked at each other, then at JJ and Zach, and then back to Cade. “Well, kiddo... your Dad and I have talked about that and think we would like to try out a few of the churches in town... but only on one condition.” Cade looked at us with a quizzical look. “What condition, Papa?” Johnny took both of our hands. “That we go as a family.” “Papa, if we’re going to go as a family, that means Uncle JJ and Uncle Zach can go with us then, right?” “Well, I think that’s a wonderful idea, son!” Johnny smiled and looked at the two surprised boys. JJ was the first to speak up. “Guys, you know my history with church. I don’t know if I want to get back into that scene.” I looked at JJ and smiled. “JJ, Zach, I’ve already done some research on the subject, and I think tomorrow we’ll go to the most obvious church on the list. Austin has an MCC church.” “MCC?” “Yeah, Metropolitan Community Church. The one in Austin has been around for decades and is one of the largest in the world. It started as a church for gays and lesbians who had been forced out of the churches they grew up in. The one here in Austin likes to think of themselves as a progressive church rather than a ‘gay’ church. I think we all might enjoy it.” “Okay, I’ll give it a try. But I’m not making any promises!” Zach spoke up with, “Then I’m in, too.” We spent the rest of the day doing a lot of nothing remarkable. We all did watch Cade model his new clothes. Tyra Banks would have named him America’s Next Top Model with the struts and poses he would hit as he showed us his new looks. He was quite the ham. During his dancewear segment, he also showed us some of the “Fosse” moves he learned from JJ yesterday. JJ was beaming and told us that Cade was advanced for his age, and he couldn’t wait to work with him over the summer. The boys left in the middle of the afternoon and said they were going to go to Hippie Hollow, the area’s nude beach. Cade wanted to go with them, but Johnny and his rapidly developing parental skills convinced him that he was needed to help cook dinner. On yesterday’s shopping expedition, Johnny stopped into Williams Sonoma and picked up a knife set sized for a child’s hands. He took Cade into the kitchen, and all I heard was, “Cooooool!” I decided to sit at the breakfast bar and watch the cooking lesson. The two most important men in my life stood in front of the refrigerator and began to plan the menu. “I know how to make a salad, Papa!” “Excellent! We’ll start with a garden salad, and we’ll make a nice Dijon Vinaigrette to go with it! We have some beautiful boneless chicken breasts. We can stuff them, or we can grill them, or we could...” “Stuff them! What’ll we stuff them with?” “Well, let’s see... we have some prosciutto, which is a kind of Italian bacon, and some white cheddar cheese. That would be good, don’t you think?” “Heck yeah Papa, everything’s better with bacon, right?” “Now, we have to pick a vegetable. What kind of vegetables do you like, Cade?” “Mom used to call me a weird kid, `cause I like just about any vegetable... except asparagus. Yuk!” “Brussel sprouts?” “Yeah, that’s one of my favorites!” “Awesome! We’ll sauté them with butter and add a little of the prosciutto and some onion. And to finish up the dinner, we’ll roast some red potatoes.” “What about dessert? Do we have any chocolate?” Johnny looked in the pantry and found a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. “Will these do?” “Perfect! I’ll make chocolate mousse. Mom taught me how to make that since it was my favorite dessert, and she didn’t like whipping up the egg whites.” Johnny looked over at me and smiled. I looked at Cade and smiled. “Are you sure you’re just seven?” “I’m seven-and-a-half now!” “Well, you’re a pretty remarkable seven-and-a-half-year-old boy!” “Yeah, I know. But it’s okay, Dad. I’m learning how to live with it.” I’m beginning to think that Cade isn’t even aware of how hysterical his comments can be. It seems he just says what’s on his mind. Johnny worked on the chicken dish after he showed Cade how to prepare the Brussel sprouts. He very carefully sliced off the bottom of the stem and peeled the outer layers of leaves and then would slice them in half. When he finished with that, he took a couple of prosciutto slices and cut them into small pieces. As the chicken and potatoes were cooking in the oven, Johnny started up the sauté pan for the sprouts. Cade reached into the fridge and pulled out a carton of eggs. I was impressed with how easily he could separate that yolks and whites. Johnny set up a double boiler to melt the chocolate while Cade added some sugar to the egg whites and began whisking them. Cade wanted to do some of the cooking but Johnny decided he shouldn’t since he didn’t have a step to help him stand a little higher. It didn’t take long for the egg whites to be nice and firm. Johnny told Cade that the chocolate was ready. “Do you want me just to pour the chocolate into the egg whites?” “Not yet, Papa. We need to whip the cream next.” In another bowl, Cade poured in a cup of whipping cream. Johnny added a little cream of tartar and vanilla extract, as per Cade’s instructions. Cade easily whisked the mixture into a fluffy whipped cream while Johnny went back to work on the Brussel sprouts. “Can I have the chocolate now, Papa?” Johnny put the bowl of melted chocolate on the counter. “Be careful, kiddo. The bowl is pretty hot.” Cade took a towel in his left hand and held the bowl with the melted chocolate while he took a wooden spoon in his right hand and began to stir the egg whites into the chocolate, one spoonful at a time. “Very good Cade! Do you know what happens if you put all the egg whites in the hot chocolate at once?” “Yeah, you get scrambled egg mousse, which isn’t very good!” “Excellent! You’re already a pretty good chef!” That brought a huge smile to Cade’s face as he continued combining the egg whites into the chocolate without missing a beat. I grabbed my phone a snapped a picture of our little chef. Cade then moved to the whipped cream and began folding it into the egg and chocolate mixture. Soon, everything was ready, and Cade began spooning the mousse into margarita glasses. Once it was all dished out, he placed them into the fridge. Within minutes Johnny pulled the chicken out of the oven. He moved the pan of potatoes to the top shelf and turned on the broiler to finish them off. I had set the table while my men were preparing our feast. Soon everything was transferred to platters and serving bowls. Johnny poured us glasses of Merlot and poured a glass of milk for Cade. Johnny fixed plates for all of us when Cade said, “You know, we should say grace before we eat.” Johnny looked at me, and I smiled back at him and nodded. He then looked at Cade and said, “Would you do the honors, son?” Cade took each of our hands while Johnny and completed the circle. I was overcome with emotion as I suddenly got a sense of family. “Dear God, thank you for all the food we are about to eat. And thank you for bringing me two dads and two uncles. That was more than I ever dreamed of! Please take care of Mom, and we’ll see you tomorrow at church. Amen.” I woke up Sunday morning to the aroma of fresh coffee. My morning wood was nestled in Johnny’s muscled ass. I was torn! Do I grab Johnny’s tool and start some fun, or do I slide out of bed and get some coffee? Then it hit me. I didn’t set the timer on the coffee pot. Just as I was beginning to make sense of things, my beautiful mini-Johnny slid onto our bed and wriggled his way between his two dads. Cade leaned into me and kissed me on the cheek. “Good morning, Dad. I made you some coffee ‘cause I know you need it in the morning!” I threw my arms around him and planted a big wet kiss on his cheek. “You’re the best son I ever had! I think I’ll keep you!” Cade was giggling as Johnny started to stir. “Fee Fie Fo Fum! I smell coffee and my son!” He turned around and started to tickle Cade, who started screaming in fits of laughter. “Papa! Stop! I’m gonna pee my pants!” Johnny stopped and gave Cade a hug and a kiss. “Did you make coffee for us?” “Uh-huh. I wanted to surprise you!” I smacked Cade on the bottom. “Okay, kiddo. Head on downstairs and we’ll get down there right away. Cade hopped off the bed and headed to the door. Just before he left the room, he turned around and put his hands on his hips. “And no sex stuff! We can’t be late for church.” Cade headed back downstairs, and I looked at Johnny. We couldn’t help but laugh out loud. “Johnny, did our son just become our mother?” We kissed and headed to the bathroom to relieve ourselves. We then threw on our bathrobes and headed downstairs and into the kitchen. Cade had pulled out the package of bagels and was slipping them into the toaster. Johnny poured the coffee and brought me my cup. “It’s a little on the strong side, but I think a little extra cream might take care of it.” It was a little strong, but I didn’t have the heart to tell Cade as he was beaming with pride that he not only fixed us breakfast, but he also kept us from some morning love. About 10:15, JJ and Zach knocked on the door. I was putting some mousse in Cade’s hair. He has learned how to blow dry it but he wanted “cool hair” for church. I love that he comes to me to fix his hair. The five of us looked like the perfect extended family. Johnny, Cade, and I were all wearing khakis and dress shirts. JJ and Zach were in very nice jeans and polo shirts. We all piled into the SUV and headed south to the MCC Church. I was a little surprised to drive into a beautifully wooded setting and a large tent-like building. We walked in and were greeted and hugged by some extremely friendly people. They asked Cade if he wanted to go to Sunday school and then join us right after the sermon. “No, thank you. I think I want to sit with my dads and uncles today.” Johnny was fairly quiet the entire morning. I asked him if he was okay. “I’m fine... I’m just a little nervous. I’ve not been in a church in such a long time. I just don’t know what to do. It’s not a belief thing. We went to a Baptist church when I was a kid on the reservation, but I didn’t like their message. Mom never made me go back.” “I’m so sorry Johnny. I never even thought about your past experiences with church.” Cade was sitting between us. He looked up at Johnny. “Don’t you believe in God, Papa?” “Of course I do. I just haven’t thought about Him in such a long time.” “It’s okay Papa. God already knows how you feel, and He’s cool with it. He also knows that you brought me to live with you and Dad and He’s REAL cool with that.” I thought back to the letter Cade’s mother wrote to Johnny and remembered that he had been attending a progressive church. No wonder this amazing boy was so comfortable. Johnny pulled Cade up onto his lap. “You are an amazing boy Cade. You just took away all my fears and doubts. I love you!” Cade laid his head on Johnny’s chest and just said, “That’s what I’m here for Papa.” He looked at me a smiled, and I kissed him on the forehead. It was about ten minutes before the beginning of the service, and the room began filling up. We were made to feel completely welcome by a constant flow of people. Three pastors came up to us and introduced themselves. The pianist came up to JJ and hugged him. It turned out that he had played the piano for a show at JJ’s high school several years ago. JJ leaned over to me. “This is so different. Everyone is hugging and seems to be happy to be here. This never happened at my father’s church.” Soon one of the pastors stood in front of the crowd and made several announcements, including the announcements of anniversaries. There were three couples mentioned. One had been together for eight years, and the other two had been together 22 and 37 years! Everyone received applause from the congregation. The service was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. The theme of God’s unconditional love was carried throughout, and the message that He made each and every one of us just the way we are was both beautiful and moving. The thing that moved me the most, however, was that we could take Communion as a family. Cade and I both took Communion and Johnny asked for a blessing. Standing next to us was JJ and Zach. JJ was moved to tears several times during the service, but this part of the service touched him the deepest. When we returned to our seats, Cade slid over to JJ and climbed up on his lap. “Don’t be sad, Uncle JJ.” “I’m not sad baby boy. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier!” Cade gave JJ another hug then moved back to his place between Johnny and me. When he sat, he just shook his head and said, “Grownups can be so weird!” I should say I loved the music. They used music that ranged from traditional hymns to Gospel hymns, to contemporary music. The pianist was magnificent and the choir was amazing. I could be very comfortable with this church. After the service, we all headed downtown to Bess, a delightful restaurant owned by Sandra Bullock. While we were eating, it hit me that Bess was Sandra’s late mother. Her mother was a terrific voice teacher in Virginia, and I had the privilege of playing for some of her students back in college. Brunch was wonderful, and we all decided that we would have to make this one of our regular places. JJ invited us all back to his house for an afternoon swim. I mentioned that we could stop by the loft and pick up our suits. Cade wasted no time to remind me that it was just us guys, and we didn’t need suits. He was right of course, and if we wanted him to be comfortable with his and other’s bodies, not participating would have made us hypocrites. I looked at Johnny and he seemed to be enjoying the apprehension that apparently was showing in my face. He smiled and took my hand. “Sound like a great idea JJ.” He squeezed my hand, and of course, that just made everything alright. We arrived at JJ’s and made our way to the patio. Cade was out of his clothes in a flash and neatly placed them on a bench before he dove into the pool. Johnny, JJ, Zach, and I took a little longer but we also neatly folded our clothes and placed them next to Cade’s and made our way into the pool. We spent the first twenty minutes tossing Cade into the air and letting him splash down. He also enjoyed swimming underwater and trying to move between our legs so he could knock us over. After about thirty minutes of horsing around in the pool, JJ suggested we move to the hot tub. We all made our way to the hot tub area that was attached to the pool. JJ turned on the jets, and it felt great. After about five minutes, Cade was starting to get sleepy and asked if he could go inside and take a nap in his room. After drying off, he bounced his naked little body into the house. The four of us sat in the tub, enjoying the jets and the heat. Johnny put his arms up on the edge of the tub, and I leaned into him. He kissed me on the top of my head. “Thank you for being so wonderful and patient with me this morning. I was a little nervous when we got to church, but I have to say I really enjoyed it.” “Do you think you’ll want to go back?” “Yeah. Not just because it’s important to Cade, but I really had a nice experience.” I tilted my head up and kissed Johnny. “I love you, Johnny. You are an amazing lover and father, just in case you were wondering.” Johnny kissed with more passion this time. All it took was a moan from me for JJ to speak up. “Why don’t I check on the boy and see if he’s sleeping.” Apparently, JJ and Zach were playing around a bit, too. When JJ stood up, his cock was fully erect and pointing to the sky. JJ dried off quickly and ran into the house. In less than a minute, he was stepping back into the tub. “Out like a light. And from what I’ve seen, when Cade falls asleep, nothing wakes him up.” He leaned in and kissed me deeply for a few seconds. “Nothing.” JJ moved over to Johnny and kissed him as well. “Absolutely nothing.” JJ went over to Zach and sat in his lap and kissed him with a passionate abandon. I took the cue and sat on my lover’s lap and thrilled at the growth of his mighty cock as we kissed. We were soon both moaning and grinding our hard cocks against each other when JJ “ordered” the two of us to join Zack sitting up on the edge of the hot tub. “I need a lot of cock right now.” He moved to me and swallowed my entire shaft in one gulp. I leaned back and threw my head to the air as I moaned from the incredible feeling. I glanced over and saw Zach and Johnny kissing. JJ released himself from my cock and went to Johnny’s. He didn’t take the whole thing in one gulp but managed in two. Damn, that boy is talented! As Johnny leaned back, Zach and I joined lips in front of him. JJ repeated the cocksucking routine several times and soon had the three of us dripping and throbbing. JJ returned to me only this time he pushed me back onto the deck and pushed my legs back to my chest. He plunged his head into my ass and began rimming me like a starved madman. My head was thrashing back and forth as JJ drove me wild with desire. I soon heard the familiar sounds of Johnny’s moans and looked over at my lover. Zach had his face buried in his tanned ass. Johnny and I grabbed hands between us and were soon joined in a moan-filled kiss. JJ and Zach were driving us crazy with their talented tongues. JJ was now working his up and down my cock, then rolling it around my balls, up and down my sensitive perineum and then back into my quivering ass. “Fuck me JJ. C’mon and give me that cock of yours!” Together, JJ and Zach spit-slicked their cocks and began pushing into our wet and ready holes. The boys were soon pounding our asses in identical motions. I reached down to stroke my cock, and JJ slapped my hand away. “No you don’t! You get to save that. You two are gonna fuck us next!” I never expected JJ to be such a take-charge type, but it was turning me on. Without missing a stroke, JJ and Zach leaned into each other and shared a kiss while they both began to pick up their pace and began to pound our asses. Gasps, grunts, and moans filled the air. I could only imagine what the neighbors might be thinking! Johnny looked over at me and smiled. “God, I love you Jay!” We both grabbed our legs and pushed them back further so they were over our heads. The new angle must have been good for the boys fucking us as they both groaned. After about ten long and deep strokes, Zach groaned, “Oooooh Fuuuuuck! I’m gonna nut!” “Me too, baby!” They both pulled out of our asses and fired eight or nine shots of hot cum across our chests and abs. They then leaned down and kissed us. Zach moved over to me and began to clean his lover’s cum off my torso with his tongue as JJ did the same to Johnny. While the boys were feasting on each other’s cum, Johnny and I were kissing each other. Zach pulled me up off the deck as JJ did the same to Johnny. The four of us were entwined in a hot four-way kiss. JJ then “ordered” us into the pool to cool off. Johnny started to protest and pointed to his throbbing cock. JJ kissed him and said, “Don’t worry, baby. We’re gonna take care of that in time!” We all dove into the pool, holding hands and surfaced together. We were treading the water when I mentioned that the neighbors probably enjoyed the show. JJ replied, “Oh, Mr. Adamson is old and can’t hear shit. But if his grandson Davey were visiting, he would have heard us and practically jumped over the fence to join us!” After several minutes in the pool, JJ told us to follow him. We dried off and followed JJ into the house. We walked into the dance studio and into the bath, where JJ had the sauna installed. “I turned it on when I checked on Cade. I figure we have another half-hour before our boy starts to wake up.” JJ sat me down on the top wooden bench and opened my towel. Zack did the same with Johnny. They both went down on us and began working our cocks back to their full hardness. That took no time at all. JJ reached down to the floor and picked up a bottle of Gun Oil. He began to slather it on my cock. The warm lube felt great on my cock. JJ lubed up his fingers and worked some into his ass as he passed the bottle over to Zach, who did the same with Johnny. As Zach lubed up Johnny’s cock, it apparently hit him what he was about to do. “Jesus, Johnny! I’ll never stop being amazed by the size of this monster!” Zach took a deep breath and positioned himself above the purple head. Johnny pulled his foreskin back. Zach began to exhale as he slowly lowered himself on the giant cock. Zach took the “down one inch/up 1/2 inch” approach. Each small plunge garnered an “Ohhhh” that was louder and more intense than the previous one. When Zach finally hit bottom, he let out an “Ohhhhh. Fuck. Yessss!” and he began kissing Johnny with a wild abandon as he slowly began an up and down rhythm. I looked up at JJ. “Um, excuse me, buddy. I got one helluva hard cock that’s dying for some hot JJ ass!!” JJ smiled and positioned himself above my cock as he leaned in to kiss me. “Fuck me, Jason!” With that, JJ plunged himself down the full length of my eight inches. As he began a slow bounce on my cock, JJ said, “You know guys, Zach and I love you both almost as much as we love each other. That we can share our love like this only makes it better!” The four of us slowed down our fucking enough to engage in a loving four-way kiss. Zach broke the kiss with “JJ, I love you with all my heart and soul, but damn Johnny! You have the most amazing cock I’ve ever felt!” “You like this big dick, Zach?” “Fuck yes! And if you don’t start pounding me with it soon, someone might just get hurt!” Johnny held Zach in his muscular arms and stood up, still impaling the boy with his eleven inches. Johnny laid Zack down on the bench and grabbed Zach by the ankles, holding them straight up in the air. “Here you go, Zach. You’ve talked the talk, and now you’re gonna get just what you asked for!” The heat from the sauna made Johnny’s hard body glisten from the sweat. He added even more definition as he flexed nearly every muscle in his amazing body, transforming into a powerful fuck machine. Zach was soon moaning like a dog in heat and was getting louder and louder as he was lost in the fuck of his life. JJ leaned into me and whispered. “You know you have a pretty magnificent cock too. Don’t do a thing. Just sit there, and I’m gonna give YOU the fuck of your life!” Now in all my years working in theatre, I’ve fucked more dancers than I can remember. All of them were great, but I’ve never felt what JJ was giving me! JJ took my face in his hands and began kissing me deeply. I then realized what made the boy such a wonderful dancer. His ability to isolate and control every muscle made him a standout... especially when it came to taking care of a cock in his ass. JJ was hardly moving at all, yet the muscles of his ass were contracting up and down the length of my shaft like a hundred little fingers. “Fuck, JJ! That’s the most amazing feeling! It’s like... OHHHHH FUUUUCCCCKKKK!” Just then, he clamped down every muscle around my cock and held it like a vice. He then started moving up and down, and I thought he was going to yank my cock right out of my body with the incredible strength he had! I was soon adding my constant moans to Zach’s just as Johnny announced he was about to blow his load. “Cover me with your load Johnny! I want to see that monster shoot!” Johnny pulled out of Zach with a plop and, in less than ten strokes, was soon spraying his load all over the boy. Zack was covered with Johnny’s nut. He had cum in his hair, on his face and neck, and all over his chest and abs. Zack scooped some of Johnny’s cum up with his right hand and began stroking his throbbing cock. He scooped some up with his left hand and began working it into JJ’s cock. Johnny knelt down and rimmed Zach’s sweating ass until the boy screamed with an incredibly intense orgasm that sprayed all over the four of us. That pretty much was all it took for JJ to begin to spew his load all over me, which caused him to milk my load deep inside his hot dancer’s ass. We all caught our breath and surveyed the scene. Damn! We were all one hot and sweaty mess. Zach kissed me, JJ kissed Johnny, and then we all kissed our lovers. Zach shouted, “To the pool!” The cool, air-conditioned air hit our sweaty and cum-covered bodies and it felt great as we ran through the dance studio, through the living room, and out to the patio. We dove into the pool with a loud splash. We were swimming and horsing around in the water, and the cum was soon washed off our skin. I looked over to JJ and said, “I bet your pool boy is just gonna love cleaning out the filters with all that cum passing through!” “Ha! Alex doesn’t mind... since a good portion of it is his!” JJ proceeded to tell us that Alex was the pool boy for Simon. He was pretty sure that Simon had tried on many occasions to get the hot Latino boy into his bed, but according to Alex, that never happened. However, JJ and Alex have been having fun in the pool for years and it just became more fun since Zach has moved in. We finally got out of the water, dried off, and got dressed. JJ went into the kitchen and brought out a pitcher of fresh-squeezed lemonade while I went upstairs to the wonderful world of Harry Potter to wake up my little wizard. I tapped on the door and then entered the room. Cade was still sound asleep so I sat on the edge of the bed and kissed him on the forehead and brushed some hair out of his face. He started to stir and slowly opened his eyes. “Hey there little one, did you have a nice nap?” “Daddy. What time is it?” Hearing Cade call me Daddy brought some tears to my eyes. That was another of so many firsts, and I don’t know if I will ever get used to them. “It’s 3:30 in the afternoon. You need to get up and get dressed.” I looked around the spectacularly decorated room and then down at Cade. “Would you like us to fix up your room at the loft, so it looks a little more like this?” “No, Daddy! I love my room at home. This is really cool, but it doesn’t feel like MY room. It feels like a place where I go to visit... and I like it that way! My room at home is perfect!” I reached down and pulled Cade up into a hug. “I love you Dad. I can’t wait until the judge says you can be my real dad, too!” I carried Cade in my arms downstairs and out to the patio. He got dressed and joined us for a glass of lemonade. We talked about the beginning of camp tomorrow, and Cade was excited to be taking dance class again. JJ bragged on how well he was doing on his audition piece for school but Cade announced we wouldn’t get to see it until it was ready. He looked over at JJ and smiled. About thirty minutes later, we decided to head home. Five minutes into the ride home, Cade announced he was hungry. Johnny looked at me and asked if we should go out or fix something at home. Frankly, we were both more than a little tired after the afternoon fun and games so we decided to go out. Johnny looked back at Cade and asked him where he wanted to eat. He said he wanted some spaghetti, so Johnny suggested we go to Mandola’s Italian Restaurant in the Triangle. After circling the area a few times, we were able to park rather close to the restaurant and headed in. We all had spaghetti with the meat sauce. Johnny and Cade added meatballs, and I added Italian Sausage. It was quite good and seemed to hit the spot. As we were finishing up dinner, Cade noticed the case of gelato across the dining room. So yes, we all enjoyed a scoop of gelato before we headed home. We sat around and enjoyed some television and got Cade into bed by 9:30. Johnny and I enjoyed a glass of wine and a cigarette as we sat out on the balcony and talked. “Johnny, I want to talk to you about Cade.” “What’s up, Love? Is everything alright?” “Johnny, he called me `Daddy’ today, and I nearly lost it. I completely fell in love with the boy.” “He is amazing, isn’t he? I mean, six months ago, if anyone would have told me that I would find the love of my life AND discover that I had a beautiful son, I would have asked them if they planned to share the drugs they were on. But it’s the most beautiful reality I could have ever imagined for myself.” “Johnny ...” “Let me finish, okay?” “Okay.” “I’ve had a lot on my mind the last few weeks, and I know I’ve seemed a little withdrawn and quiet. I know you’ve been a little worried about what was going on in my head. And I’m sorry... SO sorry... that I haven’t communicated with you like I should have.” “Johnny, you’re scaring me right now.” “What? No! Don’t be scared, baby! You are my life and my love. You have filled places in my heart that I never knew existed. And then Cade comes into our life. I admit that I was shocked and spinning in circles when that happened. But the first time I held my son in my arms, my heart grew even larger and he filled all the new space. “When I see how you are with Cade, it amazes me at how great a father you are. You inspire me to be a better father every day. You make me want to be a better lover every day. Yes, I was a little overwhelmed at everything that has happened with us over the past month. I’m sorry that when things get like that, I tend to withdraw and try to sort things out on my own. But today we sat in church as a family. And it hit me that I don’t get to face those things alone anymore. I don’t get to shut you out anymore. I love you Jason.” “I love you too, Johnny. Every day I wake up and love you more than I did when I fell asleep with you the night before. Today, we sat in church as a family, and I plan to call Sam in the morning and make our family official. The first step is to adopt Cade. The second step is, well...” I got down on my knee in front of Johnny. “The second step is to ask you to marry me. There are a lot of states in this country where we can do it. I want you to be my husband. I want to be yours.” “Oh my God, Jason! Yes! I will marry you! Yes!” Johnny pulled me up into his arms and drew me into a tear-filled kiss. He led me upstairs, and we made love for hours. We talked, laughed, and cried together until the wee hours of the morning. True, we didn’t get much sleep, but it didn’t matter to me. I have a beautiful son and will soon have a beautiful husband. I fell asleep with Johnny spooning me with his cock buried deep inside me. We were one.
  6. Chapter 12 – The Start of Spring Semester It was nice to get back into the routine of classes, even though Matty was back in the mountains. There was a little bit of nonsense after the family’s second appearance on GMA, but it was nothing like before. Over Christmas break, Matty told Conner to move his ass into the house. It didn’t really change things all that much since he was there pretty much every night anyway. The rest of the family loved him, too. But Conner was completely in awe of Nate and treated him like the little brother he had always wanted. Matty was getting ready to audition for the big musical. ASU was going to do The Who’s Tommy toward the end of the semester. Matty said he really wanted to be cast in the title role, but he knew that his being a Freshman would most likely mean he would be cast in the ensemble. Matty. Holy crap—just when you think you couldn’t love that amazing boy more than you do, he turns around a literally saves your brother’s life. Everyone was shocked that it was Matty, and not one of us Hamiltons, who ended up being the donor match. Well, everyone except Dad and Nate. Dad said that we all thought God had brought Matty to our family so that he and I could find each other’s love. He also says God really does work in mysterious ways. I like Matty’s take on it the best—it’s just God doing that God stuff He does so well! When Nate’s hair started coming back darker, we were all a little surprised about that, as well. Nate would just smile and say he was getting Matty’s hair. I know that sounds crazy as fuck, but I’ll be damned if Nate’s hair doesn’t look just like Matty’s did when he was fourteen. I ended up missing a few weeks’ worth of classes during Nate’s illness, but the professors were really cool about the whole thing. The only bump in the road was that I had missed too much of the basics in my sign-language class. We decided that I would audit the rest of the Fall semester and take it again this semester. The cool part of that was Conner deciding to TA another semester since I would be in the class again. Conner’s fucking awesome! NATE Wow. I never thought I would ever be happy to be going back to school! It was like the final chapter of this whole cancer bullshit. Everything was back to normal again. Well, almost everything—I now have this head of hair that looks just like Matty’s—and I don’t know what the fuck to do with it! Mom said she would take me to a stylist to help me with that—so maybe in the next week or two I can start looking decent again. I was sitting in the cafeteria with Simon before the bell rang, and that reminded me of the last time I was here. It was with Simon. We were talking about his adventures with girls and how he was sorry he had hurt me and all. We had planned a sleepover that weekend, but I ended up getting the flu. And that, of course, was the start of everything. He and I did have a couple of good talks while I was in the hospital. I will always love my best friend. But something like cancer makes you think a lot about life and the choices you make. After a nice, long talk, Simon and I agreed that we were awesome as friends and that we should probably look elsewhere for a boyfriend—or maybe a girlfriend in his case—right?!?! A third person was sitting at the table with us, who was new in school. Gleason Rogers—or G, as he preferred—was a boy I met in the hospital. He was also fourteen. He was from this tiny town called Mazeppa. It was just him and his mom, and she decided to move to Charlotte as soon as she could find a job. She wanted G to be closer to the doctors so he would have the best chance at beating his cancer. He had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. His cancer had started to spread, and his treatment was also pretty intense. G and I spent a lot of time in the chemo room. We would talk about all sorts of shit, and he would always be the first person to see my vlog episodes before I posted them. G was blown away when he met Eddie and Matty. He had remembered them from the promposal video thing, and they were the biggest celebrities he had ever met. One evening, after the parents had left, he came into my room and asked if we could talk. I smiled and told him how nice it was going to be talking with him without all that poisonous shit being pumped into our bodies. Of course, we still had IV’s hooked up to our arms—pumping God only knew what was going in. I couldn’t help notice how much better G looked standing up and smiling. Just like me, he didn’t have any hair, and one of the first things I noticed was how his head was the perfect shape. The next thing I noticed was the tone of his skin. It was almost the color of one of those caramel macchiato drinks from the lobby Starbucks. G also had these amazing brown almond-shaped eyes that were like these deep pools you just wanted to dive into. Okay, maybe it’s just me that wants to dive. I’m so bad! But, I also noticed that there was something in his eyes. It looked like he had been crying. Awww man, I knew he was going through a tough time—hell, we both were. I offered to go walking with him, and he asked if we could stay in the room—he wanted private time with me. I just smiled at him, took his hand in mine, and told him that I was there for him. “I know you are, Nate. You’re the first real friend I’ve ever had. I was just thinking about my life back in Mazeppa, and much I hated it. It sucked so bad, Nate. Mom and I were talking about moving to Charlotte when I got out of the hospital, but she can’t find a job that’ll pay the bills—and because of me, the bills are real bad now.” “I guess it can get pretty scary, huh?” “Shit. You don’t know the half of it.” “Not unless you decide to share it, dufus!” That brought G’s cute smile to his face. Damn, when he smiles, it makes my stomach do flip-flops. “You don’t want to know about my shit life, Nate. We have enough crap on our plates to worry about, don’t we?” “Are you still worried about the cancer thing?” “Well, yeah. Aren’t you?” “Nope. Not any more. I’m beating this shit. I’m gonna walk out of this hospital cancer-free.” “How do you know that?” “Because that’s what I decided. I’m not allowing my brain even to consider any other options.” “Yeah, I watch your vlog. I see where you’re coming from. It’s just there’s just so much other shit in my life, it’s hard to think positive like you.” “G, you’re fighting cancer. You’re beating it, too. There’s nothing that even comes close to that.” “There is, Nate. I promise you, there is. I mean, you and I are so different. You have every reason to beat this. You have such an incredible life to go back to. Me? I’m a nobody. I’m nothing. I don’t have anything.” Wow! I sat up in my bed and threw my legs over the side, so I was sitting up and facing the boy who had tears streaming down his face. I put my hand on his cheek and wiped a tear away with my thumb. “Gleason—” “G. I like to be called G.” “I’m gonna call you Gleason. First, I think it’s an awesome name. Second, I kinda like that I’d be the only one who calls you that.” “You’re so weird, Nate. But that’s what makes you cool, I guess. Okay—call me fucking Gleason.” “Cool. Now then—fucking Gleason—” Yes! A smile and a giggle! “Smartass.” “Cute ass.” “Huh? What?” “You got a cute ass. Don’t be getting’ a big head over it!” “You’ve been looking at my ass?” “Yeah. And how nice the shape of your head is—and how your skin reminds me of a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato—and how amazing your eyes—” “Wait! I’m kinda confused here.” “What are you confused about? I just told you I think you’re a pretty awesome looking dude. And that’s just on the outside. Gleason—your heart, your sense of humor—all of it makes you—well—fucking awesome. I’m sorry. I’ve probably said too much.” “Nate. I’m not awesome. I’m just a small-town hick who’s been bullied since he was nine years old. I’ve been called every name you can think of—usually before they would start beating the crap out of me. Nate—you are the awesome one. You have that smile that makes people feel safe and warm. Did you know your eyes actually twinkle when you smile? It’s like you’re an alien or something. And—well—you have a pretty awesome ass, too.” “So we’re both gay—and like shit about each other.” “Well, I’m still not too sure—well, not for sure—I mean—oh Hell. When I was nine, the bullies would call me sissy and faggot on top of the racial shit. I would never tell Mom about the racial stuff cuz I didn’t want her to feel bad. But I didn’t know what they meant by faggot, so I didn’t know if I was one. “Mom told me what they meant, and asked if I thought I might like boys instead of girls. I told her I didn’t understand what she was talking about. She asked me again, right before I got sick. But that’s cause I got beat up bad enough to have to go to the doctor. I still didn’t quite get the idea of boys liking boys. But then I got sick, and we kinda forgot about the whole thing. “So—are you?” “Am I a faggot?” “No—you don’t get to use that word anymore. Are you gay?” Gleason took a deep breath, and more tears began falling down his face. “I don’t know—I think so. That’s what I told Mom tonight. We both cried about it, too. I’m just a disappointment to her. I’m sick as shit—and I’m a fa—I mean gay. Probably.” Gleason started to sob, and I took him into my arms. Damn! This boy is hiding some serious muscles under his hospital gown! Anyway—I whispered into his ear that he was so fucking awesome, it made me hurt. And then—I told him I was gay. “You are?” “Yeah—probably. What made you tell your mom you were gay?” “You.” “Me? What do you mean, Gleason?” “I can’t tell you.” “Of course you can. There’s nothing in the world you can tell me that would make me like you any less than I already do.” “You like me? You really like me?” “Of course I do. I think you’re the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen.” “I—I—I don’t know what to say.” I pulled out of my hug and once again cupped Gleason’s face in my hands. I pulled my face close to his and whispered, “May I?” Gleason looked at me with those big, beautiful eyes of his and slowly nodded. I leaned in and touched my lips to his. Aw, man! He made the cutest little whimper sound! I pulled away and looked into Gleason’s eyes. “How was that?” “That was—oh, wow! Can you do that again?” “Maybe you should try it this time.” Oh, Gleason didn’t try! He did it like a pro! He put his hands on the back of my head and pushed my mouth to his. He still made those cute-as-fuck whimpering noises. Those noises turned into moans when I ran my tongue across his lips, causing him to open his lips. His tongue met mine, and they played together a little bit. But then, out of nowhere, he pulled away. “I—I—I’m sorry, Nate. I have to go.” And then he was gone. Gleason ran out the door—well, as fast as he could dragging an IV pole with him. Well, shit! I probably just scared away the most beautiful boy I’ve ever kissed—or seen! I’m such a dipshit sometimes! So here I am—sitting in the cafeteria with the boy who used to be my boyfriend and the boy I really, really, really hope will be my boyfriend. I just hope they don’t end up being boyfriends with each other. That would totally suck rotten eggs! EDDIE I got home from class and ordered a pizza for dinner. Donald had a biology lab. Conner had to work. I was looking forward to a quiet evening by myself when my phone pinged with a text. It was Nate. NATEDOESNTSUCK: u busy? EHAMPK: sup kiddo? NATEDOESNTSUCK: can i come over? need big bro time. EHAMPK: always got time 4 u. come on over. ordered pizza. u want some? NAEDOESNTSUC: yup. b right there. In just two minutes, there was know on my door, and Nate walked in. Damn! It’s so weird seeing him with this dark, wavy hair. “Hey, kiddo! What’s got you freaked out?” “I’m not freaked out. I never said I was freaked out. What are you talking about?” “Dude—it’s written all over your face.” “Okay, okay. I can’t hide shit from you, can I?” “Nope. Not possible. I know you too well. I’ve known you your entire life, ya know.” “Yeah, but don’t get a big head. There’s shit you don’t know.” “Oh yeah? Spill it.” “Gleason.” “Yeah. I remember him—that pretty boy from the hospital. Dad gave his mom a job at the church so they could stay here. What about him?” “I kissed him. When we were still in the hospital, I kissed him. And then he kissed me.” “And?” “He freaked out. Ran out of the room. But he’s never mentioned it since. But he still hangs around me—and Simon.” “And you’re afraid Simon’s gonna kiss him next?” “Well—kinda? Today at lunch is was sitting between my best friend, who used to be my boyfriend, and my new friend, who I totally want to be my boyfriend. And then I panicked when I started thinking about the two of them together.” “Have you talked with Gleason about the kisses?” “No—I figured he would bring it up when he was ready.” “And it’s been what? Almost two months?” “Yeah.” “You boys are such idiots.” “Hey, you were too—when you were my age.” “Nope. Never as stupid as you two!” “Right. You have sleepovers almost every night with your best friend. You fall in love with him when you’re like twelve. You don’t say anything to him until you’re both sixteen. Both of you were stupid. You could have been having sex for at least three years before you finally got to it! That’s stupid if you ask me!” “I didn’t ask you, did I?” “Whatever.” There was another knock on the door. Pizza! I took the pizza into the living room and set it on the coffee table. Nate went into the fridge and got a couple of sodas and joined me on the floor. While we were eating, we continued our conversation. “Tell me something, Nate. Are your feelings about Gleason the same that you had—or have—about Simon?” “It’s totally different. Now that Simon and I aren’t doing shit, I look back at it and realize that while he’s my best friend, the sexual stuff was just this cool thing—this cool thing we did with each other and got off with it. But with Gleason—wow—it’s so different. I just see him, and my whole body fills up with this weird feeling that I’ve never had before. When we had that kiss in the hospital, it felt like I was gonna explode. I know he felt the same way because he was reacting the same way I was.” “So you’re sure you’re gay then?” “That’s just a word, Eddie. You know that. For me, it could have just as easily been a girl—well, I think so, anyway. I’m into Gleason because he’s this amazing, awesome boy—it’s not because he’s a boy. Does that make any sense?” “It makes perfect sense, Nate.” I put down my pizza and pulled my brother in for a hug. “You know, every time I turn around, you just end up getting more and more awesome. You’re making me look like a total slacker.” “Shut up. Everything I do that people think is good—I do it because Matty and you inspire the shit out of me. You guys have played a huge part in me being who I am. So just shut up—slacker!” “So, what do you now?” “I think he’s nervous about it all. He was bullied quite a bit before, and it feels like he’s afraid to act on his feelings—which I know are there—but I think he’s afraid of being bullied again. So, I’m gonna ask Mom and Dad if I can have him over for a sleepover Friday night. We can talk about shit without anyone overhearing or getting in the way.” “And do you think Simon is going to be a problem?” “No. I’m gonna talk with him tomorrow before first period. If he wants to stay friends with me, he’ll stay away from anything more than being friends with Gleason.” “Who the fuck are you? And what the Hell did you do with my twerpy little brother?” I love it when Nate looks at me and gives me that new confident smile he’s been developing! MAGGIE As one goes through that roller coaster ride called life, you occasionally run across a thought or two of what life would look like if you were to suddenly lose your spouse—the one person you had chosen to spend your life with. As daunting as those thoughts can be, there are no words to describe the utter shock and horror that overwhelms you when you learn you could actually lose a child. Nathan—a boy so full of love and light was suddenly in the hospital fighting for his life. He was battling both the flu and pneumonia. I can’t begin to describe the terror I felt when this Dr. Wellington came to us and told us she was an oncologist. When we learned that Nathan indeed had leukemia, I had to ask the age-old question, “How can God bring such pain and suffering to such a wonderful boy?” Why does God allow this to happen? Of course, it shouldn’t be any surprise at all to learn that the answer to that question came from Nathan himself. Once we told him what was going on, and what he was going to be dealing with. He got his iPad from the table and began a Google search. He said he wanted to see and hear from other kids, and what it was like to go through this type of leukemia. He found a couple of post-treatment messages and one or two real-time vlogs, but he wasn’t satisfied. He said he felt like the real-time vlogs were staged—and none of them were done by a fourteen-year-old boy. I will never forget the determination in his eyes when he told me that he was going to do a real-time vlog of his treatment and how he was feeling throughout. When I told him there might be days he feels terrible and not want to be on camera, he said, “Don’t you get it, Mom? Those are the days that would be the most important. I know there have to be a ton of kids just like me who are kinda scared about what’s going to happen. I’m more scared of that than how I’m going to feel. If I can help just one kid know what’s in store and maybe—just maybe—be a little less scared, then everything I have to deal with will all be worth it.” I remember tearing up and telling Nathan that a mother could not be any more proud—or in awe—of her son than I was at that very moment. “There’s nothing to be proud of, Mom. I know that with you, Dad, Eddie, Matty, and Haley—you guys are all going to be there for me. I know that no matter how bad things might feel, you guys have my back. You guys are going to be there to help me through all that. I have the best family there is, and a lot more kids going through this probably don’t have a family that even comes close to you. So maybe—in some kind of weird way—you get to be a family for those kids, too?” I think the thing that surprised me the most was how rapidly the number of views grew. Part of that was due to the young man we met who was starring in Dear Evan Hansen. Andrew Barth Feldman shared the link to Nathan’s vlog and urged his own huge following to support our remarkable boy. The thing that inspired me the most—that touched my heart in ways unimaginable—were the comments from other young patients, their friends, and their families. The thing we all got out of those comments was that no one in our situation was alone—there are thousands of people out there going through the same ordeal—be it patient, relative, or friend. Nathan did catch something while he was in the hospital. He has no idea that his father and I both noticed it. But the truth is, Nathan Hamilton caught the love bug while he was being treated. There was another young boy in Nathan’s ward—Gleason Rogers—who was being treated for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. We could see the boys become close. After all, they were both sharing the ordeals of intensive chemotherapy. There was one day in particular. It was close to the day Nate was to have his bone marrow transplant. He has this look of contentment and happiness in his eyes that none of us had ever seen before. The morning of the transplant, Gleason came into the room all suited up for sanitation purposes, and despite Clay and I being in the room, he hugged Nathan and whispered something into my boy’s ear. I’ll never know for sure what he said, but I could hear Nathan’s reply—“Don’t worry about this, Gleason. It’s all going to be perfect. Then we can be together forever.” Gleason sobbed a bit and replied, “Not if Mom can’t find a job or a place to stay.” It was at that moment, nurses came in and told us that they were ready for Nathan. Gleason walked out of the room pushing his IV along with him. Clay walked over to Nathan and said, “Don’t worry about a thing, son. I’m going to offer a job to Mrs. Rogers and I’m sure we can find a suitable home for her. I’m going to start on that while they are working on you.” Nathan looked Clay in the eyes and said, “Thank you, Dad. That will make them so happy. That makes me even happier. Gleason is the most...” And then our boy was asleep. Clay and I discussed whether or not we thought Nathan might be gay. Clay’s response was nothing short of perfect. “Does it matter? We should only be concerned that every one of our children is living a life where they can be true to themselves and respecting those who they find themselves close to.” “But don’t you want grandchildren?” “Of course I do! But if you want to know my feelings on the matter—I’m willing to bet that we are going to see a grandchild from Eddie and Matty before we do from Haley! With the attitudes changing on gay adoption in this state, I think it’s only a matter of time. Those boys are meant to have a child—or two—or more.” MATTY Yes! I got a part in Tommy! I get to be Cousin Kevin. I get a couple of solos and get to torment Joe Hudson, the guy they picked to be Tommy. Alex got cast, too! She’s going to be Sally Simpson, the fan who eventually becomes Tommy’s girlfriend. Man, it’s going to be a wild and busy Spring semester!
  7. Yikes! No one took a measurement here! If a hard penis was pressed against me, i know I'd be able to figure out its size rather easily. I put that into the story as more evidence that Cade is Johnny's son.
  8. Chapter 15 – Jonathan Cade Manning-Breeze There wasn’t a sound in the car. We were stuck in the notorious Austin Friday afternoon traffic. I looked over at Johnny. He was holding his phone in front of him and staring at it. I looked in the rear-view mirror at JJ and Zach. They had this do-we-say-something-first look on their faces. The silence was broken by Johnny’s phone. It was a text message. “Oh... oh wow... he’s beautiful.” I could barely hear Johnny’s words. I looked over at him again. This time he had a smile on his face and silent tears falling from his eyes. “Look.” He handed the phone over to me. My heart must have skipped a beat. The boy in the picture was definitely Johnny’s son. He had the same bone structure in his face, the same full lips, the same dimples. His skin was a beautiful almond color, and his eyes were an intensely beautiful green. I had to smile when I noticed he also had his long straight hair pulled back into a ponytail. The only difference was it was a dark blond color instead of Johnny’s ebony. My trance was broken by the car behind us honking. I hadn’t noticed the light change. I hate drivers who do that! I handed the phone back to Johnny. “He looks just like you, babe.” “Yeah, I see that, too.” His phone chimed again. In his quiet half-voice, he read it aloud. “Did you like my pic, Dad?” Johnny sucked in a deep breath. “Dad... he called me Dad.” “Babe... you should probably answer him. I’m sure he’s as nervous as you are.” Johnny quietly spoke as he typed into his phone. “You look amazing. I can’t wait to meet you tomorrow.” Soon there was another chime. “Me too! BTW, my name is Jonathan Cade Manning-Breeze. You can call me Cade though.” Johnny pulled the picture back up on the screen. “Cade... his name is Cade.” As I reached our building and pulled into the parking garage, there was yet another chime. “Gotta go. Nana says dinner is ready. TTYL” “Holy shit!” From the back seat, JJ replied, “You can say that again!” We made our way into the loft. “Want some wine?” Johnny nodded yes. JJ and Zach went into the guest room and came back out with their bags. “What’s going on guys?” “Zach and I decided you guys didn’t need us around right now. We figured we’d check into a hotel until Zach had to fly back to Florida.” “You don’t need to leave. In fact, if Johnny will let me, we’ll both fly out to Phoenix on the first flight and won’t be back until Sunday. Johnny?” “Yeah, I’d like that.” “Then it’s settled. Put your bags back.” “Then we’ll just go have some dinner and take in a movie so you can be alone and figure out some shit.” The boys were out the door in minutes. Johnny looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry, babe. I’m not handling this well, am I?” “Johnny, your entire world has been turned upside down in the last 15 minutes. I’d say you’re handling things quite well. Let’s head out to the balcony. God knows we could both use a cigarette!” Johnny took the glasses, and I zipped back into the kitchen and grabbed the wine bottle. We sat down, lit up, took a couple of sips of wine, then Johnny started talking. “One time. That’s it... one time with one girl. “Lindsay Manning. I remember it was a cast party after one of the spring semester shows. We had a lot of those back in college. Lindsay was this beautiful girl… so beautiful she looked like she belonged in a sorority house instead of the theatre department. I remember we all were getting high and more than a little tipsy. “We ended up playing a game of Truth or Dare. There was a guy that I had messed around with a bit. He wanted to be in a serious relationship, and I just didn’t want that kind of distraction in school. He never got over it so he would get nasty whenever it was his turn. He would have me kiss Lindsay. Or have her kiss me. I remember taking “truth” once and he asked if I’d ever had sex with a woman. When I told him the truth... that I hadn’t... I figured I would take a dare the next time before things got really embarrassing. “The next dare was that I take Lindsay into the bedroom and fuck her. I remember her being all for it, and I was just ready to get out of the same room with him. When we got into the bedroom, I locked the door. Lindsay took my hands and told me that as much as she wanted to do it, she knew I wasn’t interested in her. She said she would just tell everyone that we did it. I remember thinking that I had to do it, or I would always know that that ass won. “So, we stripped down. I played around with her boobs a little, and she gave me the worst blowjob of my life. Luckily, I was stoned, and that always made me horny. And to a stoned college sophomore, there’s no such thing as a bad blowjob. “So, I fucked her. I’m pretty sure I was thinking about a guy the whole time. All I really remember about it was that it was awfully wet. After I came, she left. “In the fall, she didn’t come back to school. No one knew why. I guess we do now. I just can’t believe she never tried to find me. Or tell me. But she still gave the kid my last name.” “And your first name.” “Well, I’m just Johnny, not Jonathan, but she probably didn’t know. But still, it just doesn’t make sense.” “Johnny, don’t worry about trying to make sense of it right now. I’m sure you’ll get all the answers and then some tomorrow. But we need to book a flight and hotel... and a car.” “Yeah, we should stay in a hotel. Mom’s probably a little crowded now with a little boy and all his belongings.” I was able to book some first-class seats on Frontier Airlines for 8:30 that night. We got a two-bedroom suite at the Embassy in Phoenix and got three business class seats for the return trip on Sunday. “Jason?” “Yeah, babe?” “You haven’t said too much. What are you thinking about all this?” I took Johnny in my arms. “I’ve always wanted to raise a kid someday. To be honest, the idea of raising one with you has crossed my mind more than once. So, it’s happening a bit sooner than I thought. You know something? I think you are gonna be an awesome dad!” I could see the tension fly off Johnny’s shoulders. He sighed and smiled for the first time in the last hour. “Thank God! I was so worried that you would be pissed, or want to leave me, or... Hell, I don’t even know!” “Leave you? Because you find out you have a kid? Leave you? I can’t think of any reason why I would leave you. I’m sure that someday, somehow, you might just piss me off, but I could never leave the man who has made me so complete.” “How can I love you more and more each day? And just when I think it’s not even possible to love you any more than I do? Now, let’s pack and go to Phoenix and pick up our son!” “OUR son? Why don’t we wait and see how things go with Cade before we go that far, okay? He probably should have a say in what my status will be.” We cleaned up, packed rather quickly, and I left a note for the boys letting them know our flight information and got a laugh out of Johnny when I called then Uncle JJ and Uncle Zach. Hell, after all that we’d been through together the last couple of weeks, the boys were definitely going to be a part of Cade’s life. Johnny called his mother while we were driving to the airport. He got some more information, and things started to make a little more sense. Apparently, when Lindsay found out she was pregnant and chose to keep the baby, her family cut her off when they found out the child didn’t have a Caucasian father. If she ever decided to give up her son, they would welcome her back. A little over a year ago, she was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. She knew that the way things were at the time, Cade would have been put in foster care upon her death. Rather than allow that, Lindsay began searching for Johnny. When they found his mother, they decided to stop there. Lindsay died a week later, and Cade was put in the foster program immediately. His caseworker made sure that he was on his way to Phoenix as soon as she was able to get Cade in her car and make the short trip. Johnny’s mother also said that Cade was taking things remarkably well. Lindsay spent a lot of time preparing him for her death. He was with her when she died. Cade told Johnny’s mother how he took care of his mother in her final days. She couldn’t believe how mature beyond his years he was. Johnny’s mother also said it was quite strange having him in the house in that he was just like Johnny when he was the same age... wise beyond his years, ferociously honest, and quite the precocious child. Lindsay had also told Cade everything she knew about Johnny. She never said anything bad about him, and when Cade would ask why his Daddy wasn’t around, she would tell him that Johnny was working in another state. By the time he had begun asking to see his father, Lindsay had fallen ill and Cade’s focus shifted to making his mother happy. Johnny was concerned how Cade was handling his mother’s death. There have been some occasional bouts of sadness, but Cade told his grandmother that he doesn’t miss her because she is with him all the time. He says he just misses doing things with her. He also told her that his mom tells him that when his father comes to get him, she would be happy and would go and be with her brother, who was waiting for her in Heaven. We were scheduled to land at 10:53. Johnny’s mother said she would leave Cade with her sister, and she would meet us at the airport. Johnny tried to tell her it wasn’t necessary, but she insisted. When Johnny ended the call, he was smiling. “I can’t wait for you to meet my mother, Jason. She is going to love you so much!” The flight was uneventful. I had a couple of drinks to steel my nerves. I wasn’t expecting to meet Johnny’s family so soon, let alone meet his son! We held hands most of the flight. The flight attendant seemed to enjoy us and gave us some extra care. At first, we would let go of each other’s hands whenever she would approach. She finally leaned down to us and said, “You don’t have to stop holding hands when I come around. I’ve never seen two people so in love with each other, and you two have made my entire week! So, are you guys off for a getaway weekend?” Johnny smiled at her and said, “No, we’re actually going to Phoenix to pick up our son.” There he goes with that “our son” thing again, although I must admit I’m liking the sound of it each time he says it. She just looked at the two of us and said, “Awesome!” The plane landed, and we made our way through the gates to the baggage claim. As we were riding down the escalator, Johnny spotted his mother and waved. “There she is!” He then spotted a beautiful young boy standing next to her. “Cade is here.” That’s all I heard him say as he began to run down the moving stairs, weaving in and out of the other passengers. I stayed in my place and watched the scene below me. Johnny got to the bottom of the escalator and ran to his son with his arms outstretched. As he got down on his knees, Cade ran up to him and greeted him with a hug. Johnny’s arms were wrapped around the boy, and I could hear his sobs echoing through the cavernous space. When I reached them, Mrs. Breeze was smiling and crying softly. I felt like an intrusion on the family moment until she looked at me. “Jason, I’m so happy you came.” She embraced me, kissed me on the cheek, and said into my ear, “Thank you for making my son happier than I’ve ever seen him. You are a dear, special man to me.” Johnny and Cade looked up at us, and the boy asked Johnny, “Is this my other dad?” Johnny grabbed my hand and pulled me down to them. “Cade, this is Jason. He’s a very important man in my life, and now yours. If you want him to be your other dad, then I’ll let you and him figure it out.” Cade then moved over to me and wrapped his arms around my neck. “Hi Dad, I’m Cade. I’m glad you came too!” That was all it took for me to join in the sob fest. Apparently, I too now have a son! I left Johnny with Cade and his mother while I went to the Hertz desk to pick up our car. I was glad I used some of my airline points for the upgrade to VIP service. The car was ready and waiting just inside the parking garage instead of having to board a shuttle bus to their lot. I signed the paperwork, grabbed the keys, and walked back to the group... my family! Wow! It was still a little overwhelming. “Okay, gang. We’re all set. We didn’t check our bags so we can head on out.” Cade looked up at Johnny. “Dad?” He then looked at me and seemed a bit confused. “Other Dad? Can I stay with you tonight?” As Johnny and I looked at each other, Mrs. Breeze spoke up, “Cade, why don’t you come home with me tonight. It’s late, and your Dad needs to get some rest.” Johnny knelt back down to his son, “Cade, I would love nothing more than to take you with me and spend the whole night getting to know you, but I think your Nana’s right.” “Awwww, I guess... if I have to.” I knelt down and joined them. “Cade, how about this... why don’t your Dad and I pick you up first thing in the morning and take you to your favorite place to have breakfast... just us guys!” Cade looked up at Johnny’s mother. “Is that okay, Nana?” “Of course it is. I think that’s a splendid idea!” Johnny kissed Cade on the forehead and said, “You get a good night’s sleep son, we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow!” “I’m glad you’re here, Dad. I love you!” I kissed him on the forehead and said, “You’re an awesome kid, Cade. I can’t wait to spend the day with you tomorrow!” I stood up, and Johnny’s mother handed me an envelope. “Please give this to Johnny when you get to the hotel. It’s a letter written by Cade’s mother. And just so you know, I think you are going to be a fantastic father!” “Thank you, Mrs. Breeze, that means a lot to me!” “Please, Jason. Call me Caroline... or if you want, call me Mom.” “I like that... Mom!” Hugs were exchanged all around, and we were soon on our way to the hotel. Johnny had this dimpled grin on his face that he couldn’t get rid of. On the other hand, I was just a little nervous about the letter sitting inside my jacket pocket. In less than thirty minutes, we were in our room and holding each other. “Johnny, I think you have an amazing son. He’s beautiful, smart, adorable, and a huge part of our life from here on out.” “I love you, Jason… more than anything in the world. But tonight, I also fell completely head over heels in love with a seven-year-old. You ready for all this?” “Oh yeah. I wasn’t too sure at first, but when he looked up at me with those green eyes and called me Dad, he got me, too!” “Damn babe, you’re right... there is something about airports, isn’t there?” “Johnny, before we left the airport, your Mom handed me this letter and asked me to give it to you when we got to the hotel. I’m thinking this is the reason she wanted us to be alone tonight.” Johnny looked at me with a concerned look and took the letter. “Would you like me to go into the bedroom so you can be alone with this?” “No-no-no... We should share this together.” We sat on the sofa and Johnny opened the letter. Dear Johnny, If you are reading this letter, then you probably already know that I’m no longer around to answer a lot of the questions you probably have. You also know that I had a wonderful boy and that you are his father. I’m sure the first question you had was, “Why didn’t she tell me?” So many things came into play which resulted in that decision. First of all, and probably the most devastating, was my parents. It was bad enough when they found out I had become pregnant, but when I showed my mother a picture I had of you on my phone, the proverbial shit hit the fan. I never knew they had this horrible streak of racism. I also didn’t know that my own parents would actually throw me out of the house and cut me off completely. The saddest part of that situation is that they never got to know their amazing grandson. So, I ended up on my own, and if you remember, I was a very stubborn and determined girl. I got a job and some help from the state to get me through my pregnancy and Cade’s birth. The first time I saw him, I was so happy that he looked so much like you! When I faced the decision to tell you about your son, all I could think about was your dedication, hard work, and desire to be the first in your family to get a college degree. I was also very aware of your incredible sense of right and wrong... your sense of duty. I was afraid that if I told you back then, you would never see your dreams come true. I could never live with myself if that happened. So, right or wrong, I decided to tell you once you had established yourself in a career. I secretly stayed in touch with Dr. Worthington. I told him about my situation and that I would not be returning to school in the fall. I would talk to him once a month and swore him to secrecy. He told me about all the wonderful things you were doing, and I knew I had made the right decision. The last thing I knew was that you had moved to Austin after graduation. After that, I lost track of you. I guess you know I named Cade after you and added your last name to his on the birth certificate (which I included in this envelope). I never kept you a secret from him and NEVER spoke poorly of you. When Cade would ask me where you were, I always told him you were in Texas and that he would meet you soon. When I became ill, Cade grew up so fast... maybe too fast. He focused on taking care of me, as only a seven-year-old boy could. I think the thing that makes me the saddest is that I’m not there to introduce you to your son. I sometimes wish I had made different decisions, but there is one decision I will never regret... and that is choosing to have that baby. That baby who grew up to be an amazing miniature version of my best friend from college. When I was diagnosed with my cancer, I wrote a letter to my parents to tell them the news and let them know that I was going to try to find you. About ten days later, that letter came back to me. It had been opened, taped shut, and marked “Return to Sender.” Thank God, Cade will never know that set of grandparents! Although I had every intention to let you know about your son, my health got in the way. Johnny, in so many ways, I made the wrong decision to not “burden” you with a child. Yet, in my heart, I feel that allowing you to see your dreams come to fruition will be better for Cade. Speaking of Cade... let me tell you about your son. (This is the part of the letter I’m most excited to write!) Jonathan Cade Manning-Breeze was born on January 11, 2007. From the very beginning, he was a wonderful baby. He rarely cried. He always smiled and seemed to enjoy almost everything around him. When he was five, I took him to see a local production of “The Nutcracker.” For the two weeks that followed, I would find Cade dancing his own version of the ballet in the living room. When I asked him if he would like to take dance lessons, his eyes filled with tears, and he told me that would make him the happiest boy in the world. I couldn’t afford to send him to the dance company that put on “The Nutcracker,” but there was a wonderful woman at my church who had a small studio, and she was willing to let Cade into her beginning class in exchange for me helping with some of the office work. That was two years ago and Cade turned out to be a natural. He’s already a year ahead of the others his age. He has developed a passion for dance and lives for class. If there is any way that you can help him continue, he will continue to be the happiest boy in the world. Just like his father, Cade is a gentle soul. He never has an ill or angry thought about other people. He goes out of his way to do the right thing. He loves to read and has just finished the fourth Harry Potter book. His favorite television show is “Glee,” and several months ago, he told me he wished he had a boyfriend like Blaine. They say a mother always knows if her child is gay. I was beginning to think he might be, and that comment makes me feel that he most likely is. I guess it might just be genetic. Johnny, I will never forgive myself for the way I handled letting you know about your son. I hope and pray that someday you will be able to forgive me. I don’t know what your life is like right now. If you are in a relationship, I hope and pray that he will be able to accept Cade into his life as well. As you will soon learn, Cade is a very perceptive and mature boy. We’ve been going to a very progressive church, and it has several gay couples, many with children who Cade had as friends. During one of our many talks about you, he asked if you were my boyfriend. At first, I tried to avoid going into too many details, and before long, he asked if you had a different girlfriend. I told him you didn’t. Next, he asked if you had a boyfriend. I told him I wasn’t sure about now, but you didn’t have one the last time I saw you. It didn’t take long for Cade to figure out that you are gay. I’ve never lied to him and have always explained things to him the best I could. If you’ve already met Cade, I’m sure you were filled with the love that pours from his heart. Please accept that love from Cade. It’s the most beautiful thing in the world. It’s the only thing that gets me through these last days of my life. Love, Lindsay Wow! We both had tears in our eyes. “Johnny, she sounds like a wonderful mother, doesn’t she?” “Yeah, we have a lot to live up to... but I’m up to the challenge if you are. I mean, we have a son to raise... possibly a gay son at that.” “We’re good people, Johnny. I think we can be good for the boy.” We went to bed and lay in each other’s arms and talked about what we could do for Cade. “We can definitely get him in all the dance camps over the summer. And it would be a great way for him to meet kids his age.” “We’ll need to find a school for him... one that will help him grow with his talent and be nurturing and accepting should he actually turn out to be gay.” “We can work on that over the summer. We can also look into Ballet Austin and get him into some of their classes.” “Will the loft be big enough?” “I was thinking we could turn the guest room into his room and re-do the office, so it has a sofa bed... or some kind of pull-down bed for when we have a guest.” “Jason, what if he wants to go to church? Do you want to consider that?” “Funny, I’ve been thinking about that lately. I have so much in my life that I’m so thankful for. I’ve always believed in God but avoided church because I didn’t want to have to sit and listen to people talking about my road to Hell because of who I am. I had begun doing some research and found out that many churches in Austin are quite progressive and a few that cater to the gay community. I’ve been thinking we might want to visit some of them.” “Church was never a big part of my life, but I think it might be nice to try it out, especially now that we have a real family.” A real family... it was a huge change in our lives. Cade was apparently given a life filled with love by Lindsay. Johnny and I needed to do everything in our power to give Cade all that and then some. I held Johnny in my arms, and we soon fell asleep. It was a restless night for both of us. I kept dreaming of Cade, Cade and Johnny, Johnny and me, the three of us together. Before long, it was 7:00 and the wake-up call rang through. Johnny and I hopped in the shower and cleaned each other. We were both rather quiet and deep in thought. As we were finishing, I took Johnny in my arms. “Baby, this is going to be a wonderful day. We’re going to spend our first day together as a family... the first day with our beautiful son.” “Our son... you said our son.” He leaned in and kissed me. “I love you, Jason. You could have run away when all this came up, and you stayed with me. You could have done so many things, but you chose to let Cade into your life. You are an amazing man.” “Johnny, you made my life so complete in such a short time. Now we have Cade to make things even more complete. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.” We finished up at the hotel, and Johnny drove us to his childhood home. It was in a tidy neighborhood lined with small block and stucco homes. We walked up to the door and before Johnny could put the key in it opened and there he was... our son! Cade jumped up into Johnny’s arms. “Mornin’ Dad! He kissed Johnny on the cheek and then leaned over to me and gave me a kiss. “Mornin’ Other Dad!” Cade giggled, apparently enjoying his own sense of humor. Caroline came to the door and asked us in. Johnny picked his son up and carried him into the house. “Johnny!” Another woman, Caroline’s sister Lily, ran up to him and gave him a hug and kiss, nearly crushing Cade between them. “Hello? A small child is being smashed here!” I couldn’t stop smiling. Cade had great comic timing and had everyone in the room laughing. Johnny kissed his son and asked, “So where are you taking us for breakfast kiddo? I’m hungry!” “IHOP! I want pancakes. But Dad, you have to take me `cause I don’t have a car or any money.” Cade looked up at me with his dimpled grin and sparkling green eyes. “Johnny, we have a smart boy here. He has it all figured out!” Cade looked at Caroline. “Nana, are you and Aunt Lily coming with us?” Caroline gave him a kiss on the forehead. “Not this time Cade. Today is for you to get to know your Dad and Jason.” “Caroline, we would love to take you and Lily out to dinner this evening. We’ll pick you up at 5:00 if that’s okay.” “That sounds lovely, Jason. We’ll be ready when you get here!” We were soon on our way to IHOP and pulled in, finding a table right away. Cade got his pancakes with strawberry syrup. I had a western omelet, and Johnny ordered Ham and eggs. We talked a lot about what Cade wanted to do in Austin. Nearly every other comment involved dancing. He was thrilled to learn that he would be taking dance classes at the theatre camps all summer and when I told him we would enroll him in the Austin Ballet classes, I thought he might break into tears. He told us that more than anything, he wanted to dance the role of the Prince in The Nutcracker when he was big enough. I promised him we would do everything we could to make that dream come true. As we were finishing breakfast, Cade looked up at Johnny and asked, “Are you and other Dad boyfriends?” “First of all, we need to come up with a name for Jason besides ‘other Dad.’ Second of all, yes. Jason and I love each other very much. So now you have two dads.” “Cool. I had one mom, and now I have two dads. That’s a pretty good deal!” He then looked at me, then back to Johnny, then back to me. “Okay, I think I’ll call you Dad.” He then looked at Johnny and said, “Can I call you Papa?” “Of course you can. I would like that very much, especially since that’s what I called my dad.” Cade then looked back at me. “But I’m still gonna call you `other Dad’ sometimes, ‘cause I like the way you smile when I say it!” We finished breakfast around 10:00. I asked Cade what he wanted to do next. I was shocked when he said he wanted to get a haircut. “It’s like I’m starting a whole new life today. I think I want a new haircut to go with it.” Johnny drove us out to the mall, and we found a Toni and Guy hair salon. It’s a little pricey, but nothing was too good for our son. While we were waiting for Cade, I got on my phone and did some searches for things to do in the afternoon. I found a theatre company called Childplay, and they happened to be having a matinee performance of Seussical the Musical at 2:00. I went ahead and ordered the tickets. About 45 minutes later, Cade and his stylist came out. Cade looked adorable with his new cut. It was still a bit on the long side, and he was gelled and spiked in a great style. The stylist told us that Cade had decided to donate the cut hair to a local charity that made wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. I was so proud of our son! Cade was excited to hear about the show we were going to see. While we were at the mall, we went into Gap Kids and found him some new clothes to go along with his new look. I had to chuckle to myself, watching him pick out clothes. He was very particular about the fit and how things went together. I’m beginning to think that he very well might be gay. We also got him some underwear and socks and hit up the Foot Locker for a new pair of tennis shoes. I asked him if he needed any dance clothes for his classes this summer. He said he had plenty of clothes that still fit, but his shoes were getting tight. We found a Capezio store between the mall and the theatre and picked up a couple of pairs of ballet shoes as well as a pair of jazz shoes. Cade had never worn jazz shoes before and fell in love with them. We also grabbed some dance shorts, some tights, and a few t-shirts. We got to the theatre and took our seats with Cade sitting between the two of us. The show was delightful, and Cade was enthralled. He split his time leaning against Johnny, then me, then back to Johnny. At intermission, Cade told us that he had never seen a musical before. He looked at me and asked if he could do ballet and musicals at the same time. I was now completely in love with our son! After the show, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Cade put on one of his new outfits and looked beautiful. He was wearing his new khakis and a green Gap polo shirt that made his eyes explode with color. Johnny finished getting ready and sat down on the sofa with Cade. “Cade, I have to ask you a very important question. You are the only one who can make this decision. I want you to know that finding you has been one of the happiest things that I’ve ever known in my life. Jason and I love you very much and would like more than anything for you to come and live with us in Texas. But you need to be the one to decide if you want to come to Texas with us or stay here with your new Nana and Aunt Lily.” “Well duh, Dad! I’m probably the luckiest boy in the whole world because I have two pretty cool Dads. So yeah, I want to live with you.” I had tears in my eyes as I watched the scene on the sofa. It was time to pick up the women and head to dinner. On the way to Caroline’s, I asked Cade where he wanted to have dinner. “Can we go to Olive Garden?” “Olive Garden it is!” I gave Cade $100 and told him to keep it in his pocket with instructions to tell the server to give him the bill at the end of dinner, and he would pay the bill. Cade looked at the crisp bill with wide eyes. “We’re rich, aren’t we?” “Cade, your Dad and I do pretty well back in Texas. But we didn’t become rich until today when you said you wanted to come home and live with us.” “Gosh Dad, that sounded kinda corny... but I still like it!” We picked up Caroline and Lily and headed to Olive Garden. The wait wasn’t terribly long, and we were seated at a round table which was perfect for everyone to see each other throughout the meal. When the server came to take our order, a very serious Cade announced, “Everyone get what you want. Dinner’s my treat tonight!” Everyone got a good laugh, and Cade smiled with his father’s dimples appearing in full form. Orders were taken, and the server went off to do his thing. “I’m really serious. I’m taking all of you out to dinner so I can thank you for letting me be a part of your family. Nana, Aunt Lily, Papa, Dad... I love all of you very much.” Caroline and Lily smiled and dabbed tears from their eyes. Johnny and I looked at each other with a new expression for us... parental pride. We each leaned in towards Cade and kissed him on the cheek. “Guys! We’re in public here! Geez!” “Cade, you are just like your father when he was your age. You really are your father’s son!” We all laughed at stories about Johnny growing up, and Cade entertained us with his wit and charm. At the end of the meal, the server brought the folder with the bill and started to hand it to me. Cade looked up at him and said, “Excuse me! I’ll take that!” The server looked down at me, and I nodded. “You heard the young man!” He put the check down by Cade and told him he would take it back whenever he was ready. Since none of us had any alcohol with the meal, I glanced down and saw the bill was $78.47. Cade put the c-note into the black folder. I leaned down and told him when the server came back just to tell him, ‘thank you and to keep the change.’ When the server returned, Cade did just as I told him, and he thanked Cade and wished us a wonderful evening. We got back to the house, and we began loading the car with Cade’s things. I was surprised to see that there were three suitcases and two boxes. That was all... his entire life’s belongings in just a few containers. Without a doubt, we would be doing some shopping over the next few days. Before we left, Cade made sure to give Caroline and Lily big hugs. He thanked them and made them promise they would come and visit our family in Texas. We got back to the hotel. We decided to leave Cade’s things in the car since he had fresh clothes in the room. We stopped at the small shop in the lobby and picked up a toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste. We got up to the room, and a very happy boy sat with Johnny and me on the sofa. We checked the available movies and decided to watch the latest Ice Age film. Again, Cade would split his time between leaning against Johnny and me. About two-thirds of the way through the movie, Cade was leaning against me. I was running my fingers through his hair and looked down to see him fast asleep with a content smile on his face. I scooped him up in my arms and carried him to his room, followed by Johnny. We gently removed his shoes, socks, pants, and shirt and tucked him into the bed in his underwear and t-shirt. We each gave him a kiss and made our way into our room. Johnny took me into his arms and began taking off my clothes. “You, my love, are going to be an awesome Daddy. Cade adores you almost as much as I do.” He threw my shirt down to the floor and began undoing my pants. “It’s been two days since I’ve had this in my mouth, and I’m not waiting another minute!” He pulled my pants and boxers down in one swift movement and swallowed my awakening cock while he massaged my swollen balls. I moaned and threw my head back. “Ohhhhhh, fuck Johnny! That’s so nice!” My cock was at full mast within seconds, and I reached down and put my hands on the sides of my lover’s head. I began a long and slow thrust in and out of the mouth surrounding my cock as Johnny worked his tongue around the head each time it passed by. My legs started to tremble, and Johnny pulled off and stood up. He began pulling off his clothes, and in a breathless voice, said, “I sure hope you packed the lube baby. I need you inside me sooooooo badly.” I went into the bathroom and found the bottle in my dop kit and returned to the bedroom, and found my stunning man naked on the bed stroking his glorious cock. “Horny much, Mr. Breeze?” “You have no idea, Mr. Richardson!” I climbed onto the bed and wrapped my lover in my arms and kissed him deeply, tasting the remnants of my precum on his tongue. Before long, we were rolling around the king-sized bed with our legs intertwined and our cocks rubbing against each other. Johnny then positioned himself on all fours, offering his beautiful, firm ass to me. That was an offer I will never be able to resist and aggressively buried my face deep between the muscled orbs I loved so much. Johnny would flex and release the muscles in his ass which forced my tongue in and out of his amazing hole. I reached down and slowly stroked his huge cock while I tongue-fucked him with abandon. “Fuck me now, baby! Give me that cock now!” I knelt behind Johnny and rested my dripping cock between his cheeks. As I ran my pole up and down his crack, Johnny arched his back and leaned into me with a moan of passion. I reached for the bottle of lube and covered my cock. I put some extra on the head and used it to lube up Johnny’s twitching rosebud. I grabbed my eight inches and lined it up and began to push in. Once the head was in, I waited a bit. Soon, Johnny was pushing back and taking the entire length in one motion. “Fuck, you feel so hot around my cock!” I put my hands on his hips and began thrusting in and out of his silky chute. As I was pumping in and out of my lover, he lifted himself up on his knees and leaned back to kiss me. I reached down and grabbed his cock and began stroking him, matching the rhythm of my strokes. Johnny continued massaging my cock with the muscles of his ass while he kissed me deeply. It didn’t take long for me to feel the tightness in my groin. “I’m gonna cum baby!” As soon as I said it, Johnny pulled himself off my cock and swallowed it. I was soon filling him with shot after shot of my load as I threw my head back and let out a moan. After I fired my last volley into Johnny’s mouth, he began licking up and down my still-hard cock, cleaning it and getting every last drop of my creamy load. I then pushed him down on the bed and pulled the skin off the head of his cock. It was coated with copious amounts of precum, and I licked it up as if it were an ice cream cone. I reached down to massage his balls, which were already drawn up tight. I didn’t take him all the way in this time as I wanted to taste every drop of sweet juice that escaped from his cock. I looked into his eyes, and he returned the look with eyes filled with lust. “I love you, Jason! You’re the love of my life! AHHHHHHHH! CUMMMMMMING!!!” I nearly drowned in the load that filled my mouth. Johnny was bucking his hips up and down as he fired shot after shot of his thick cum into me. Excess cum was sliding down my face, and Johnny pulled me down and began licking it off my chin and lips. We held each other and kissed a few more minutes before pulling the covers up and falling asleep, ending the most amazing day in the lives of Johnny Breeze and Me. I had ordered a wake-up call for 7:00. At about 6:45, I was awakened with a hard cock pressing against me. In my foggy haze, I was confused. This one was about five inches. I was trying to figure out who had a five-inch cock and then I looked down at the arm wrapped around me and realized it belonged to Cade. That woke me up in a flash. I laid there, trying to decide what to do. I was still naked. I’m pretty sure Johnny was too. I decided it was probably best not to say anything. I turned over and found myself looking into the eyes of my beautiful lover and Cade. Cade crawled into bed with us about two hours ago. Apparently, he didn’t have his Harry Potter doll with him and needed to hold onto someone. “Good morning Dad. Did you and Papa know you were naked?” I gave Johnny a helpless look, and he saved the day with, “When two grown-ups love each other like your dad and I do, they sometimes sleep naked so they can be even closer to each other.” “Oh, okay. Grown-ups are just weird, I guess.” I kissed Cade on the forehead and told him to hop in the shower and pick out an outfit to wear for the flight home. “Don’t forget to brush your teeth. When you’re done drying your hair, I’ll let you use some of my gel, and we’ll get you all fixed up.” Cade hopped up and ran into his bedroom. I kissed my lover good morning. “Well, that was interesting. You handled it quite well.” “I’ve been awake for a while, so I had time to think about an answer in case it came up.” “Speaking of up... your son seems to be taking after his dad. He was pressing at least five inches of morning wood against me when I woke up.” “I know. I saw it when I woke up. Cade’s going to be enormous when he comes out of puberty. I wasn’t that big when I was seven.” “Jesus, that’s frightening!” We both laughed, shared another kiss, and made our way into the shower. As we were getting dressed, Cade knocked on the door to our bedroom. He had dried his hair and was visibly upset. “My hair looks horrible! I can’t go outside like this!” I took him into our bathroom. I sat down on the toilet with him in front of me. “I guess it was a lot easier just to comb it back and put it in a ponytail, huh?” “Yeah, I guess you’re gonna have to teach me how to make it look good.” “We’ll do that when we get home, okay? For now, I’ll just see if I can work some dad magic here.” I grabbed my hairdryer and a round brush and began shaping his hair to smooth it out. I added a little gel and began pulling it into spikes and soon had him looking adorable again. He looked into the mirror and smiled. “Thanks, Dad! You saved my life!” He gave me an appreciative kiss. He turned to leave and went into the bedroom, where Johnny was packing our bag. “Dad fixed my hair and saved my life so we can get ready to go now!” We put Cade’s new clothing into our bag and were soon headed downstairs to the lobby. While I checked out, Johnny and Cade took our things to the car and drove it to the front door. We decided to zip into the McDonald’s drive-through and grabbed some Egg McMuffins. Johnny and I had some coffee, and Cade had orange juice. We made it to the airport with plenty of time to get all the baggage and boxes checked, get through security, and made it to the gate with time to spare. Cade couldn’t keep his eyes off the planes passing by the window. “Cade, have you ever been on a plane before?” “No! I don’t know if I’m excited or scared.” “Well, there’s nothing to be afraid of. I used to travel all over the world before I met your dad. I think you might have a good time!” The gate agent came up to us and asked if we would like early seating since we had a small child. We took her up on the offer and were soon strapped into our seats. Cade had told the flight attendant that he had never been on a plane before, and they were all paying extra attention to him. He loved the attention almost as much as the plastic wings they gave him to pin on his shirt. As we were taking off, Cade has his arms wrapped tightly around Johnny’s, and his eyes went wide as he felt the rush when the plane left the runway. Once we were in the air, he relaxed considerably. Case was enjoying the Disney Channel on the inflight satellite television. Once again, he alternated between leaning against Johnny and me. He was an affectionate boy and seemed to crave physical contact with the people he loved. A couple of hours later, we touched down in Austin and were soon making our way to the baggage claim. We were surprised by JJ and Zach, who were standing just outside the secure area with a large sign that said “Welcome Home Cade!” JJ was holding a half dozen helium-filled red balloons. Cade had a huge smile on his face. JJ and Zach gave Johnny and me a hug and a kiss then JJ knelt down to Cade. “Hi Cade, I’m your Uncle JJ, and this is your Uncle Zach. We wanted to be the first to welcome you to your new home.” Zach was taking pictures of the whole thing with his phone. He looked at Johnny and said, “This is family history here. You need pics!” Johnny was smiling from ear-to-ear. “What are you guys doing here? You didn’t have to pick us up!” “My flight to Florida leaves in about an hour, so we came a little early so we could meet you and say hi to Cade!” I loved that JJ and Zach decided they were going to be Cade’s uncles. We were the perfect picture of an extended family, and the thought filled me with love for each and every one of them. JJ went to see Zach off and told us he would meet us down at the baggage claim. He arrived as we were loading up a cart with all the bags and boxes. We all went out to the sidewalk, and Johnny stayed with Cade while JJ and I went to get our cars. JJ got back first in his Fiat. It was a gorgeous day and he had the top down. We loaded everything into the Flex. JJ walked up to Cade and said, “Have you ever been in a convertible before? You want to ride with me?” Cade looked up at Johnny. “Can I Papa? Can I?” “Sure. If you fasten your seatbelt and do whatever JJ tells you.” “Awesome!” He fist-bumped JJ and climbed into the front seat. Within thirty minutes, we were pulling into the parking garage and were riding up the elevator. I looked at JJ and said, “What a nice surprise to have you and Zach meet us!” “I hope you don’t mind, but there are a few more surprises to come.” JJ smiled a devilish grin as the doors of the elevator opened on the fifth floor. When we opened the door, there was a huge banner greeting us that also said, “Welcome Home Cade!” “Awesome!” JJ took Cade’s hand and led him to his bedroom. “Guys, I hope you don’t mind, but Zach and I kinda fixed up Cade’s room for him.” Cade ran into the room ahead of us. We knew everything was good when we heard another “Awesome!” The boys had put a TV on the wall in front of the bed and put in a small desk. There was a large Harry Potter movie poster on one wall and a One Direction poster on the opposite wall. “So, Cadester, do you like Harry Potter?” “Yeah, I’m reading the books right now!” “And we weren’t sure about the music you liked, so if you don’t like One Direction, we’ll find you a poster that works for you.” “I love One Direction! Especially Harry!” JJ looked at me, and I just smiled and nodded. “Cool, I’m glad you like it then!” I asked JJ about the television. “Oh, don’t worry about that. It was an extra one from Simon’s stuff. We’re putting a media room in the house and didn’t need all the extra televisions. We’re also putting a room in the house for Cade for those nights you might need us to take him in for a sleepover.” JJ and Zach did a great job on Cade’s room. All five of us began unpacking his things and putting them away. Cade bonded instantly with JJ. He loved it when JJ called him Cadester but he didn’t want Johnny or me to call him that. He was especially happy to learn that JJ would be one of his dance teachers over the summer. By the time we had finished moving Cade into his room, it was time for dinner. We had a wonderful dinner at Kerbey Lane and made our way home. JJ was telling stories about his time at the camps when he was a kid, and Cade was getting more and more excited. Cade started yawning around 9:00. Johnny asked him to take a shower and brush his teeth and when he was ready for bed, we would come in and tuck him in. About twenty minutes later, Cade called out that he was in bed. Johnny and I walked in. Cade was in bed, holding his Harry Potter doll that was apparently made by his mother. He got a kiss from each of us and he told us that he loved us. “Don’t worry dads. I won’t bother you in the morning since I have my Harry Potter with me.” He yelled out, “Goodnight Uncle JJ, I love you too!” JJ had to stay at the loft a couple more days until the decorators finished his house. He insisted on sleeping on the sofa and refused to join us. “What if we wake up the kid, and he walks in on us. We definitely don’t need to traumatize the boy on his first night in his new home.” We sat in the living room and talked for another hour as I was overcome with a sense of joy as I thought about my new family.
  9. Chapter 14 – Goodbye and… Hello?!? My second official day at the Rosemont was going to be hectic and full. The first call I received was from Carl informing me that both homes had been completely debugged and that they were now scouring the computers for anything related to the cameras. That was a relief. We were having a lot of fun at the W Hotel, but I wanted to get back home. The first thing on my “to-do” list was to begin work on the new season that was going to begin in the fall. I pulled out the file to see what Simon had already done. The first show on the schedule was Footloose, which was followed by The Wizard of Oz for the holiday show. The first show of the New Year was going to be Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins with Forever Plaid and La Cage Aux Folles wrapping up the season. As the first season of our professional status, the Board decided to bring in “stars” for two of the shows. Negotiations had already begun with Kenny Baker to star in Footloose. Kenny was an up and coming Broadway star who instead found him starring in several Marvel films as a popular super-hero. I didn’t care too much for the films, but Kenny was certainly nice to look at! My cock started to fill, thinking about the hot actor, and I just shook my head and smiled. Of course, my mind went right to the possibilities since the past week had been filled with some of the wildest sex I’ve ever had in my life! I pulled Kenny’s file and began looking through the photos and correspondence. Damn, he is fine! I also noticed that he was going to be in Austin in a few days to finish work on a Robert Rodriguez film, and he had made plans to arrive a day early so he could visit with us here at the theatre. The other star that had already been signed was Nick Lee, a popular boy-bander who has started a very successful acting career. He was going to be starring in Assassins. I decided to contact the theatre’s PR firm and find out how the publicity was going and get the timetable for the new season announcement. Brandon, the guy working on our account, said everything was ready to go as soon as he got confirmation that Kenny was on board. I told him I should have an answer for him in a few days. Brandon was happy to hear that and offered to send proofs over by messenger so that I could sign off on everything. He also gave his sympathy for the theatre’s loss and said he was also looking forward to meeting and working with me. I went back to Kenny’s file and found his cell phone number and placed a call. It went to voice mail, so I let him know about Simon and that I would be his contact point for the theatre and was looking forward to hearing from him. After hanging up the phone Margaret rang through to tell me that Bob called to say he would be there at 2:00 to work on the memorial service and that there was a message from JJ to give him a call whenever I had a chance. Johnny then walked into the office, holding two cups of Starbucks. “Good morning, baby. I see you’re already diving in!” He leaned down and kissed me. “Mmmmmmm. Now, this is how I would like to start every day here at the office! Starbucks and my wonderful man!” Another kiss. “Did you see JJ and Zach before you left the hotel?” “Yeah, they were going to go over to JJ’s and decide what to do with the place. JJ said he wanted to sell everything inside, strip everything down to the bare walls and floors and have it redecorated so it would be their home with little or no reminder of Simon.” “I bet Zach was thrilled to hear that.” “You have no idea! I thought Zach was going to burst when he heard JJ’s plans.” “So Johnny, what’s on your plate today?” “I’m going to do my end of season inventory and clean up all the instruments. Eric will be in this afternoon when he finishes his day job to help out.” “Does he get paid for his work?” “No, he signed on as a volunteer so he could learn lighting.” “How’s he doing?” “He’s great! I know I can count on him to run a show for me whenever I need it, and he had some great ideas when I was putting up Pippin. “Great, when he gets in, send him to me. You’re about to get a paid assistant Mr. Breeze. We’ll make him the first person to benefit from JJ’s generous endowment.” “Don’t forget, JJ wants his new fortune to be kept on the down-low... Just like Simon had done. He doesn’t want his wealth to get in the way of the friendships he’s built up around here.” “Of course. As far as everyone is concerned, it’s the Simon Bradley Endowment. JJ has nothing to do with it.” My phone rang, and it was Margaret telling me that Kenny was holding for me. “I gotta take this call, baby. Time to convince a movie star that he wants to be our first guest artist!” “Who? Who is it?” “I’ll tell you after the details are worked out.” “Oh, I see how it is!” “Silly man! Come see me when you’re ready for lunch!” “Hello? This is Jason Richardson.” “Hi Mr. Richardson, this is Kenny Baker returning your call.” “Kenny, thank you for getting back to me. And please, call me Jason.” Kenny went on to explain that he has been working on a new Robert Rodriguez film and that he had been called back to Austin do reshoot a couple of location scenes. He was to begin filming tomorrow morning and was already in town. As luck would have it, he was also staying at the W. I explained that my partner and I were staying there one more night while some work was being done on our loft. We agreed to meet at the bar in the lobby for a drink and talk about future plans. About thirty minutes later, Margaret buzzed me and said JJ and Zach were here to see me. I asked her to send them back, and within seconds, the two boys were bounding into my office. “What’s up guys? I was just about to call you!” “We just got back from the house. I hired an estate auction house to come in this afternoon and take everything out. There will be nothing left of Simon in the house by the time they finish.” Zach continued talking. “I then called my mom to get the name of the person who decorated our house when we lived here. I contacted them, and she is meeting us there in the morning.” “Zach and I want the house to be sleek and modern on the inside with the classic look that blends in with the neighborhood on the outside. It’s gonna be so cool!” The boys came by to tell me they couldn’t have dinner with us because they were going to be busy at the house. I told them not to worry… that I had a dinner meeting anyway. JJ then changed the subject to the summer camps. When he had last checked the High School Triple Threat camp, the theatre’s most popular camp for the older kids still didn’t have an acting instructor. JJ was the dance instructor, and David Herrera, one of the theatre’s music directors, was going to handle the music portion of the camp. I asked Zach to come by later this afternoon and we could talk about things. The boys left, and I was quite glad that JJ had brought up the summer camps. I pulled out the file and found the list of teachers, counselors, and aides. Most of them had confirmed, and several had not yet given a final answer. I decided to call all of them and let them know that we were going on with the camps as planned and wanted to make sure everyone was still on board. Fortunately, all the people who had confirmed were still on board, and all but two of the others declined their offers. That meant I needed to find someone to teach Broadway dance classes to the seven to twelve-year-old kids and the acting coach for the high school triple threat classes. JJ and Zach would be perfect for both! I only had one more position to fill and that was the camp coordinator. I needed someone to work with the parents, collect tuition, and coordinate the staff. I’ll have to ask Johnny if he has any ideas when we have lunch. The rest of the morning was rather quiet. Just before I was to have lunch with my amazing man, Carl called and said he was done with the loft. He just wanted to know if we wanted to keep the so-called artwork that Simon had put in. I told him he could take it and trash it. I didn’t want to look at it again. Johnny came in right after the subs I had ordered arrived. I buzzed Margaret and told her that Johnny and I were having lunch and that I would return any calls when we finished. Before Johnny returned to work, I told him we were going to be leaving today at 4:00, so we could go back to the hotel, change, and check out before our cocktail meeting with our movie star. “Who is it? Won’t you tell me?” “Sure, baby. I just wanted to make sure we were going to meet before I told you. Are you a fan of the Marvel films? “I’ve seen a few of them. They’re a lot of fun and bring back a lot of memories, actually.” “Well, if all goes well this evening, Kenny Baker will be our guest-star for our production of Footloose.” “Mmmmmm, he’s pretty!” “Hands off, Mr. Breeze. This boy’s straight as an arrow from what I’ve seen on the web.” Eric arrived at the theatre about twenty minutes into the afternoon and Johnny sent him in to see me. When he walked into the office, he looked rather nervous. I assured him everything was good and he had nothing to worry about. We talked about his experience working at the theatre, and he sang the praises of Johnny for teaching him and, even more importantly, allowing him to grow and flourish. Eric was thrilled when I suggested that his intern days were over and that he would join the paid staff effective immediately. He was even more thrilled when I told him he was the very first to benefit from the Simon Bradley Endowment. We shook hands and I sent him back to the theatre to help Johnny out. Bob arrived shortly after my meeting with Eric, and we began work on the memorial service. We both agreed that it was rather surreal working on a memorial service for a man neither of us had much respect for after the weekend’s discoveries. Bob made an excellent point in that there were hundreds of people whose lives were positively touched by Simon and that we needed to make the memorial service for them more than anyone else. The youth program director had sent an email saying that the children would like to perform “What I Did for Love” for the service. She had already contacted all the parents, and the majority were a “go” for the special performance. Bob suggested that I be the master of ceremonies for the service since I knew Simon the least, and that would allow me to remain more neutral in my comments. Bob also felt that JJ, if he felt like he could, might like to sing something as well. On the other hand, he would understand completely should JJ decide he would rather not. I sent JJ a quick text and asked him what he thought. Instead of texting back, JJ called. Margaret put the call through, and I put him on speaker. “Hi, JJ. I have you on speaker here. Bob and I are working on the memorial service and, although it’s completely your choice, Bob thought it would be lovely if you could sing something.” “Well, I’ve actually been talking to Zach about it. Despite all the horrible things we’ve found out, the fact is that he gave me a life I would have never been able to have. The more we talked about it, the more I realized that because of what happened, I could sing and be a lot less emotional through it all. So yeah, I’ll sing.” “Do you have a song in mind?” “Definitely. I would like to sing a solo version of “For Good” since it has so much more meaning for me now than ever before.” I wrapped up the call. “Okay, kiddo. Let me know if you have a change of heart, okay?” “Will do, Jason. Talk to you later.” We decided that instead of one long eulogy, there would three short ones representing three different areas of the theatre. Bob would represent the Board of Directors, Calvin would represent the actors, and Margaret agreed to represent the volunteers. We contacted the company that shot the archival videos of all our shows, and they agreed to put together a montage of the different shows Simon directed over the years. We decided to make the service completely non-religious since Simon was not a religious man at all. I wrote up an announcement and press release and sent it out. By the time we finished, it was nearly 4:00, and Johnny knocked on the door. I invited him in, telling him that Bob and I were just finishing. I explained to Bob that Johnny and I were meeting Kenny over drinks and possibly dinner to finalize the agreement to have him star in Footloose. I told him that I had no idea how far the negotiations had gone with Simon and that Kenny’s file gave no clue. Bob told me to do whatever I needed to do to make the deal happen. We headed back to the hotel, and I soon learned the one thing about Austin I would grow to hate... the traffic. What would have normally been a fifteen-minute drive ended up taking forty minutes, and we had to rush just to shower and change. We would have to check out in the morning. I was the first to be ready, and I was waiting in the living room for Johnny to finish. When he walked out of the bedroom, he took my breath away. He decided not to pull his hair back and it was hanging free over his shoulders and down. It turned out he didn’t have an extra tie and the one he had broken. I told him I loved the look and hoped he would do it more often. He commented on my newly-developed hair fetish and gave me a quick kiss as we made our way to the elevator. As we left the elevator and headed to the lobby bar, we found Kenny standing at the entrance. I was surprised that he was only about 5’5” but damn, it was the sexiest 5’5” I’ve ever seen! He was wearing skin-tight Levis, brown cowboy boots, and a brown leather vest with no shirt. His pecs were powerful, and his arms were very muscular. He was definitely looking like a perfect, studly “Ren.” Apparently, the boy was already auditioning. Johnny and I both stopped and gasped as we took in the sight of a very sexy Kenny Baker. Johnny leaned in and whispered to me, “Don’t forget, he’s been dating a Pussycat Doll. The boy is straight.” “I know! I know!... dammit!” We walked up to Kenny, and I extended my hand as I approached. “Kenny! Jason Richardson. So nice to meet you!” “Whoa... you’re Jason?” He shook his head quickly. “Not at all what I was expecting! I mean, Simon was kinda old and all. Things are definitely looking up!” I introduced Johnny and Kenny seemed to fall under his spell. “It’s so nice to meet you, Mr. Baker.” Johnny shook his hand, and Kenny replied, “The pleasure is mine...and please, call me Kenny. That Mister stuff was fine with Simon, but c’mon guys... we’re all close to the same age here!” We made our way into the lounge and took a table by the windows. Our waitress was fun and very flirty. We ordered our drinks and enjoyed some small talk before we got down to the reason for our meeting. “So Kenny, with Simon’s unexpected death, I’ve been left with the task to make sure we can work out a deal so you can be a part of our production.” “Yeah, I was sorry to hear about the accident and all, but at the same time, I have to admit that I’m relieved that I don’t have to deal with him any longer.” “I’m sorry, were there problems with Simon?” Kenny looked down at the table and took a breath. “I guess you could say that. You see, I want this gig more than you know. I need to get back on stage and in front of a live audience. This is the perfect opportunity for me. Unfortunately, I let Simon know that, and he immediately decided to take advantage of that information.” “You mean?” “Yeah, he wouldn’t even begin negotiating a deal until I let him blow me. The plan was to make the deal happen on this trip, and I was completely ready to let him do what he wanted so I could get on stage.” “Well, I can assure you we don’t expect anything like that. If you want to be a part of the show, I’ll do whatever I can to make that happen.” Johnny smiled at Kenny and said, “You know, according to everything I read about you online, you’re totally straight and dating a Pussycat Doll.” “Well, yeah. What you read is correct, except we aren’t dating anymore.” I asked our waitress to check and see how long the wait was in the dining room. She came back and said that without a reservation, the wait was over an hour. Kenny suggested we go up to his suite, order room service, and figure out the details so he could get them to his manager. Johnny and I agreed, and we were soon riding up the elevator to Kenny’s suite. He opened the door, and we followed him into a space that was even larger and more opulent than ours. We took a seat on the sofa and Kenny tossed us a room service menu. “Order what you like guys, this is on me... well, on the studio actually!” I ended up with the poached salmon, Johnny had shrimp scampi, and Kenny ordered stuffed pork tenderloin. Kenny opened a nice bottle of wine, and by the time dinner was delivered and devoured, we were all relaxed and enjoying each other’s company. Johnny and I sat on one sofa while Kenny sat opposite us. Kenny agreed to work for the union minimum if we provided him with a hotel room and a meal stipend. That was easy enough! After the negotiations were complete, Kenny leaned forward and looked intently at me, then Johnny, then back at me. Damn, this man was hot as fuck! “Guys, I don’t really know how to say this. And now that we’ve agreed to all the details, I just need to say something. When I arrived in Austin last night, I was completely ready to give up my cherry ass to that old man. Like I said, I was going to do whatever it took to get this gig. But now here I am, relieved that I don’t have to give it up, but at the same time, looking at two of the most attractive... and nicest men I’ve ever seen.” Johnny looked at me, and I just smiled. He leaned in and gave me a light kiss and then turned to Kenny. He took Kenny’s lead and began working the Johnny Breeze magic. “Kenny, I would have to agree with you there. Of course, I feel like my lover is incredibly attractive, but I have to say you are certainly a sight for sore eyes.” Johnny leaned forward and took another sip of wine. He set the glass down on the table and leaned back on the sofa, running his hands over his pecs and hardening nipples. Kenny was now getting a full view of the growing mound in Johnny’s crotch. I decided to sit back and watch the fireworks. Kenny couldn’t take his eyes of Johnny’s thickening tool. He was in a trance and quietly said, “Johnny, will you kiss Jason again?” “Happily.” Johnny leaned into me and took my face in his hands and began kissing me with such passion and intensity I couldn’t help but moan in pleasure. Kenny was staring and licking his lips while rubbing the growing erection sliding down the leg of his jeans. Breathlessly, he said, “Fuck guys, an hour ago, I was glad I didn’t have to give it up. Now I’m looking at two fucking hot men, and all I want to do is get naked with the two of you and see what happens.” He then looked at me. “That is if it won’t jeopardize our negotiations.” “Mr. Richardson, if we, ummm, get naked with Mr. Baker, will that jeopardize his working for the Rosemont?” “What’s with the ‘Mr. Richardson’ stuff? After all, we’re all pretty much the same age.” I looked over to Kenny, who returned a toothy grin. Yes, he seemed to be enjoying the direction things appeared to be heading. While keeping my eyes on the sexy movie star, I continued, “Would there be an issue with our negotiations if we got naked with this incredibly sexy man? No, I don’t think so… Not at all!” Kenny stood up and removed his vest. His body was fucking amazing. He had already removed his boots when we got up to the room earlier. Kenny undid his belt and opened the button of his jeans. He then turned around and told us to follow him. As we followed him into the bedroom, he dropped his jeans and briefs and was completely naked when he got to the door. “I want to watch you two undress each other.” Kenny pulled the covers off the bed and climbed on. He had a nice, thicker-than-average, 7 or 8 inches, but on his small frame, it looked like 9. He was slowly stroking his cock while he watched Johnny and me undress. Every now and then, we would hear a “wow” or “fucking hot” from the bed. Johnny lowered his pants, revealing his eleven inches. Kenny gasped and then laughed. “Thank god I don’t actually have to take all that!” We just smiled at each other and climbed onto the bed with Kenny. I leaned down to his ear and whispered, “Are you sure you want this?” “Yeah, more than I ever thought possible.” Johnny then whispered, “If we start doing something you’re not comfortable with, just say so, and we’ll stop.” At the same time, Johnny and I locked our mouths on each of Kenny’s nipples and began to suck, lick and chew. Kenny grabbed each of our heads and pushed us into his pecs. “Fuuuuuuck! That’ amazing! I never knew...” I interrupted him as it bit his hard nipple. “Ohhhhhhhh My Goddddd!” Kenny’s head was thrashing about on the pillows. Johnny and I eased our mouths downward towards Kenny’s rippled abs. We both outlined his cuts with our tongues and kissed each other each time we met. We both found a pool of sweet precum and licked it up. We then moved down to the sensitive are where Kenny’s inner thighs met his balls. We both licked and sucked, causing more gasps and moans as Kenny spread his legs for more access. Kenny’s balls were already drawn up tight to his body, but we managed to each get one in our mouths and sucked and pulled. Kenny started to buck his hips and moan. Johnny and I kissed our way back up his body. “Holy shit, guys! I’ve never felt anything like this before!” He tried to catch his breath. “Look, I’ve never done anything like this before, but I think I definitely need to try some shit out.” He turned to Johnny and kissed him. At first, he seemed a little apprehensive, but it didn’t take long for Johnny to work his tongue into Kenny’s mouth and work the magic I knew so well. Kenny then turned to me and kissed me without holding back at all. “Fuck, even kissing a guy is totally different. It’s so fucking powerful!” Johnny worked his way down to Kenny’s cock and began licking it up and down like a lollipop. I leaned into Kenny and asked, “Have you ever had your ass eaten?” “Really? Are you kidding? That’s a thing?” I had Kenny get on all fours. Johnny slid underneath him and went back to gently working his cock. I moved down and pulled Kenny’s muscled globes apart and began licking his crack from top to bottom. I then focused the tip of my tongue on his virgin hole, flicking it back and forth and wetting down the wisps of hair nestled deep inside his cleft. Kenny was screaming out at this point, and I had hardly begun! I suddenly felt Kenny shift a bit, and the screaming stopped. I glanced down and noticed the boy tasting his first cock. I moved back to the task at hand only this time I began to work my tongue inside Kenny’s extremely tight pucker. He was moaning again. Only this time those moans were vibrating around Johnny’s massive cock. I shifted, so my cock was also in Kenny’s reach and began fingering his hole to prepare him for my cock. He only said he didn’t want to be fucked by Johnny. He didn’t mention me! Kenny shifted around and moved Johnny and me, so we were lying side by side. He began moving back and forth between our cocks as I took Johnny in my arms and kissed him deeply. Kenny was getting quite good at cocksucking. When he realized we were both getting close, he stopped. He pushed Johnny’s legs up and down to his chest and looked at Johnny’s hairless rosebud. The look on his face was a mixture of lust and nervousness. He slowly lowered his head, and tentatively touched Johnny’s hole with his tongue. He made a “not bad” face and then dove in like a pro. I told the boys I would be right back and hurried into the bathroom. I grabbed the small, complimentary bottle of hand lotion and brought it back to the bed. I went back to work on Kenny’s ass with my mouth and then began to loosen him up with one, then two fingers. I dug in deep and began to massage his prostate, which brought more moans that were muffled by Johnny’s ass. “You better be planning to fuck me, Jason! I need to feel your cock doing what those fingers are doing.” I poured a generous amount of lotion on my cock and worked some into his hole. I moved Kenny so he was lying on his side and lifted his leg up. “Johnny, get Kenny’s cock ready, so he can fuck you while I fuck him!” Johnny smiled broadly. “I love how you think, babe!” I slowly broke through Kenny’s outer ring with the head of my cock, and he groaned and tightened up. “Just push out like you’re taking a crap, Kenny. That will help you relax.” As I began working my cock into Kenny, Johnny was coating his with lotion. That helped to distract Kenny just enough for me to slip all the way in. I held myself still as Kenny got used to the intrusion. Johnny then slid next to Kenny and lifted his leg. “Fuck me, Kenny! Fill me up with that beautiful cock!” Kenny follows instructions quite well, and he eased his cock into Johnny. Johnny was now adding to the moans in the room. “Oh yeah! Oh fuck! You have a great cock, Kenny! Give it to me!” I don’t think Kenny was quite prepared for the double sensation of fucking while getting fucked. As he began to pump in and out of Johnny, he was creating the same motion in his own ass. It didn’t take long for Kenny to get the hang of it, and he was soon pounding Johnny while I was pounding him. Damn, he was tight! All three of us were panting and sweating when Kenny announced he was going to cum. “Cum inside me, Kenny! I want that hot load! Kenny let out a scream as he filled my lover with his scalding seed. In seconds, I followed and filled him with my hot load. Kenny was kissing Johnny, then me, then back to Johnny. “Johnny, give me that insane cock of yours!” Kenny pulled out of Johnny, and my lover turned around and pointed his cock at Kenny. Kenny opened his mouth wide and took in several inches of Johnny’s and stroked the rest of it. “Oh fuck, Kenny, I’m gonna cum! Gonna... cum!” Kenny kept his mouth on Johnny’s cock and tried to swallow as much as he could. Quite a bit spilled out of his mouth. I leaned over Kenny and began licking my lover’s juice from Kenny’s lips and chin. Soon my softening cock slipped out of Kenny. The three of us lay together, arms wrapped around each other, and sharing light kisses. “Guys, that was fucking amazing. You did things with me I never thought were even possible.” “You enjoyed it, then?” Johnny asked. “Fuck yeah! I mean, I totally love women and having sex with them. But this was amazing. I mean, I know I’m not gay, don’t even know if I’m bi... but I sure hope we can have some more fun when I return in the fall!” “I’m thinking that’s a definite possibility if Johnny and I both agree to it.” “I’ll agree, don’t worry! You fuck like an animal!” A bit later, Johnny and I dressed and made our way back to our suite. When we walked in, we could hear JJ and Zach fucking up a storm in their room. Johnny and I went into our room, took a quick shower, and went right to sleep. The next two days were rather hectic as preparations for the memorial service geared up. We quickly ran into a bump in the road when the reservations for seats were gone within two hours. When the director of one of Austin’s large venues called for a reservation and couldn’t get in, he asked to speak with me. It was the managing director of the Long Center. He let me know that the program for Friday evening was the Austin Symphony and we could easily move the service to their building and seat four times the number of people. I put a quick call in to Bob, who agreed that it was an excellent idea and a generous offer. Margaret was great. She divided up the reservation list and sent it out to her team of volunteers. By the end of the day, everyone had been contacted and told about the venue change. In the middle of all that, I received an email from Kenny’s manager who agreed to our terms, and I had the contract drawn up. Publicity could begin on the Rosemont’s first professional season. Friday afternoon arrived a lot faster than I was expecting. When Johnny and I arrived at the Long Center, I was most impressed with the work their crew had done. There was a podium off to the side with a beautiful arrangement of Texas wildflowers in front of it. Another identical podium sat on the opposite side of the stage. A 16-foot-tall portrait of Simon was hanging at the back of the stage. The large theatre began filling up at 1:30, and by the time we were ready to start, I was told that the lobbies were also filled with people who were going to watch the service on the monitors stationed outside the doors. I welcomed everyone and thanked the Long Center for generously opening their doors to us. I introduced myself and shared my more pleasant memories of Simon and acknowledged that everyone in the building had their own unique memories. The first group to perform was the children’s chorus from the youth program. They sang a charming and beautiful rendition of “What I Did for Love” and were rewarded with thunderous applause. Bob spoke for about ten minutes about Simon’s career at the Rosemont. He did a beautiful job, evoking memories from many of the people in the audience. He then introduced Margaret. God love that woman! She started her eulogy with, “Simon Bradley drove me crazy most of the time!” She got a good and hearty laugh from the crowd and then went on to tell how he had hand-picked her to start the Rosemont Volunteer Guild. She asked everyone who had ever served on the guild to stand and I was shocked that about a fourth of the audience was standing and taking in the grateful applause they received. Margaret did a wonderful job with her eulogy and then introduced Calvin, the actor who most recently starred as the Leading Player in Pippin. Calvin also started his eulogy with “Simon Bradley drove me crazy most of the time. He was moody, dramatic, demanding, but most of all, dedicated.” He went on to explain how Simon had brought a standard of excellence to the theatre and that all the actors and crew happily did everything they could to live up to those standards. Near the end of his presentation, he asked everyone who had ever performed or worked backstage in a Simon Bradley show to stand. I was shocked to see about a third of the audience stand and take in the generous applause. Calvin wrapped up with, “Almost five years ago, Simon became the legal guardian to a very special actor. Through his guidance and generosity, Simon was able to give this amazing talent a chance to shine. Ladies and Gentlemen, my friend and colleague, Mr. JJ Cobb.” JJ sang “For Good” even more beautifully than he did the night of the cast party. He had the entire audience wrapped around every word, and by the end of the number, there was hardly a dry eye in the house. When he finished his performance, a giant video screen lowered in front of him. Everyone was treated to an eleven-minute video montage of all the shows Simon had directed during his time at the Rosemont. Every time someone recognized a production there was a smattering of applause. The last show in the montage was Rent. The image on the screen was the opening of the second act where the entire cast is lined up along the front of the stage singing “Seasons of Love.” As soon as the familiar music began, the screen was raised, revealing the entire cast from the production. They performed beautifully. The final chorus was repeated several times as the entire audience joined in and sang. I must admit the entire service was quite moving and a proper send-off for a man who was quite an influence on the Austin theatre community. Johnny, JJ, Zach, and I were finally driving back to the loft when Johnny’s phone rang. “Hi Mom! What? Yeah, I knew her. Yeah, we did... once. What??!!??. She did what??? Where is he? My God! No, no... I’ll fly home tomorrow. I love you too, Mom. Bye.” Johnny ended the call and was staring straight ahead. I was more than a little concerned. “Johnny, are you okay? What just happened?” “I... I... I have a son. I have a seven-year-old son.”
  10. Chapter 13 – Discovery and Moving On I didn’t even know where Johnny was, but he was soon bounding off the stage and up the aisle. “What’s up, baby? What’s wrong?” “Follow me... you aren’t going to believe this!” I grabbed Johnny’s arm and rushed him into the office and sat him down in front of the screen. “What is this, Jason? I mean... why is our shower on Simon’s laptop? What the Hell is this?” “I don’t know Johnny. Is there a camera in our bathroom? Shit!” There were two small squares with the numbers “1” and “3” in them. Johnny moved the cursor over the number one square and clicked. “Oh my God! It’s our bed! Johnny! That fucking bastard was watching us!” He looked up at me with a dumbfounded look. “How could he? How did he get cameras in the loft? Wait. It’s the fucking art he put up. They must have cameras hidden in them!” Sure enough, when Johnny clicked on the square with the number three on it, the wall above the sofa came into view. Of course, it was focused on the sofa until we moved it to make room for the television. “That fucking bastard! No wonder he did everything he could to get us together! He wanted to watch us fuck! Fucking Pervert!” “Holy shit, Johnny! Do you think he shared this shit with other people? We could be all over the fucking internet and not even know it!” “Let me check something.” Johnny moved the cursor to the top of the screen, and a menu bar dropped down. He clicked on `file’ and `save as’, and there were no files listed. “It’s not definitive, but it doesn’t look like he was saving files. But we need to get a professional here to make sure.” “Johnny, please take that off the screen. I can’t look at that anymore.” He closed the program, and the screen went to the desktop. Johnny pointed to an icon of a camera with “JR-JB” under it. Right next to that icon was another one labeled “JJ.” “Oh shit, Johnny. Do you think he was spying on JJ, too?” Johnny clicked the icon, and sure enough, the screen showed JJ’s bed. The other cameras were on the pool and the patio. “Evil. Pure evil!” Johnny was livid. “If he weren’t dead, I would kill him with my bare hands.” “Johnny, see if he saved any of JJ’s videos.” Johnny repeated the file save action, and sure enough, a rather lengthy list of files appeared. Most of them were called `Damien’ followed by a date. There were several other names as well. “It’s like he was collecting evidence. Shit! A lot of these were of JJ when he was under eighteen. That’s child pornography! Dear God, I hope he didn’t sell these!” I just stood there, unable to speak. Tears formed in my eyes. Johnny closed the program and searched the desktop. “I don’t see any other icons.” “Johnny, what are we going to do? We should tell JJ. It will destroy him, you know.” “Do we handle this ourselves, or do we let Bob know since he was doing this on theatre property?” “I think we need to let Bob know. Sam, too. Between the two of them, we can get some direction on what to do next to protect JJ and ourselves.” “Should I get JJ now?” “Let’s wait until I get Bob and Sam over here and see what they say. I want this to be handled the right way. If this got out, it could destroy the three of us and the theatre.” I pulled out my cell phone and placed a call to Bob, explaining that there was a serious situation at the theatre that needed immediate attention. I called Sam and told him essentially the same thing but added that JJ might very well be in danger. Sam arrived first, and Bob followed shortly. Johnny and I took the two men into the office and shut the door. I started talking. “I came in this afternoon to get started on some work while everyone was here for strike. When I powered up Simon’s laptop, I was shocked by what I found.” Johnny clicked on the icon to the loft and showed the different cameras. The look on Bob and Sam’s faces was beyond shock. Bob was the first to speak. “What is this? Where is this?” Johnny looked up. “It’s our loft. Simon had installed spy cameras so he could watch Jason and me shower and... well, it’s the bed... you know what he was watching.” Sam just stood there with his mouth hanging open and shaking his head. Johnny continued speaking. “After a look at the video and document file lists, it doesn’t appear that Simon recorded anything from our loft, but a professional will need to look to make sure.” Bob agreed. I then looked at Sam. “It gets worse. He also installed cameras in JJ’s bedroom and around the pool area at his house. We also found a lengthy list of saved video files, including several that were saved before JJ turned eighteen. That’s why we brought you in, Sam. We might be dealing with child pornography.” Johnny added, “We know there are files on the computer, but it would take a professional to see if they were shared anywhere.” Sam took in a deep breath and said, “We should probably check his computer at home and see if we can find anything there.” I asked Sam and Bob if they knew of anyone who could do a thorough and confidential investigation of the situation. Sam replied that he had a friend that used to work in the Cyber Crimes division of the Attorney General’s office and had recently started his own private company. I asked Sam what we should do about JJ. “Well, part of me says we should wait until we know for sure what has been done with these videos. Another part of me says we should bring him in and tell him right now. Bob?” “This is still such a shock to me. As President of the Theatre Board, I must say we need to do what is best for the theatre. If we go to the police, this will hit the press in no time, and the damage to the theatre’s reputation would be disastrous. At the same time, the people who are victims of Simon’s horrific behavior are people I have become close to and care deeply about and we need to do what is best for their... your well-being. Sam, how soon do you think we can get your friend to look at this? And gentlemen, I will authorize the theatre to pay for all expenses.” Sam pulled out his cell phone and began scrolling through his contact list. He stepped out of the office to make his call. Johnny looked up at Sam. “Jason and I have become quite close to JJ over the last few days. He is happier right now than he has been in years. A big part of that is due to the return of Zach. I think it would be best to include Zach on our conversation with JJ rather than have JJ tell him after the fact. This way, everyone will be on the same page. After all that JJ has been through, he deserves to be told what has been happening.” I had to agree with Johnny, of course. “Why don’t I go and get the boys. I think Johnny should be the one to tell JJ. He has a calming effect on him. Can you handle that?” “Sure. I’ll do my best.” I opened the office door just as Sam was about to come back in. “I just spoke with my friend Carl Hamilton. He said he would be right in. He said he would be able to answer most of our questions by the end of the day and that he and his crew should be able to de-bug the two homes by the end of the day tomorrow.” Thank God for Sam! I went out to the theatre and found JJ and Zach sorting and boxing up props. “Hey, Jason!” “Hi boys, I need you to come with me for a minute.” I found the tech director and told him I needed to take the boys with me for a bit. I took JJ and Zach into the office with Johnny. Sam and Bob weren’t there, which I was happy to see. JJ asked what was going on, and Johnny asked them to have a seat. He slid the desk chair over in front of them and took a hand from each of them. I sat on the sofa and put my arm around JJ. “Okay guys, this is not gonna be easy. Zach, we wanted to tell you what was going on since you are such an important part of us now.” “Thanks... I think.” Johnny took a deep breath. “When we got to the theatre, Jason came into the office and began looking over files and papers so he could learn as much about the theatre as possible. When he turned on Simon’s laptop, he discovered that he had placed hidden cameras in your bedroom and out by the pool. He apparently was watching you and anyone you may have had sex with for the last four years. We also found that he placed cameras in the loft and had been watching Jason and me.” JJ was surprisingly calm about the news. Zach, on the other hand, was not. “That bastard! He always creeped me out the way he would perv on JJ and me. And now this... it’s a good thing he’s already dead, or I would do it now!” “Zach. It’s okay. I knew about the cameras. Well, not about the cameras in the loft, but I knew Simon was watching me. I’ve already told you all that I was terrified that I would lose everything if I didn’t keep Simon happy. I discovered the cameras one morning when he left his computer on at the house. It started when I was seeing Damien during high school. I figured if I let him watch us, he wouldn’t want sex from me as much. And in some kind of weird way, it kinda turned me on knowing that we were being watched.” He turned to Zach. “Baby, I’m so sorry you had to find out this way. We haven’t had that talk about our past yet, but I had planned to tell you. Please don’t hate me! I love you and can’t lose you again!” He started to cry. “JJ. I’m not leaving you. Look, we spent five years apart. We were horny teenagers. We both had sex. Probably a lot of sex. Some of it was good. Some of it not so good. But do you remember what Jason and Johnny were saying about the difference between sex and making love? JJ, last night we made love to each other for the first time. It was beautiful. YOU are beautiful. After making love with you, nothing else matters.” I took JJ’s hand and spoke. “JJ. When we discovered what happened, we called Sam to handle any legal issues... especially since Simon apparently recorded some of the activity when you were underage. We also called Bob in since we discovered this on a computer owned by the theatre. Sam has a friend who has a private business that handles cyber-crimes, and he should be here shortly.” “Oh God, this is so embarrassing.” Johnny leaned in and said, “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We only showed Sam and Bob the camera views. They haven’t seen any of the saved files. Our concern is whether Simon shared those files or streams with anyone else. That’s why they suggested bringing in a professional.” “I want to bring Sam and Bob in so together we can all decide on a course of action. Is that okay?” “Yeah. But do we have to tell them I knew about the cameras? I mean, as far as they know, they are just here to get rid of the cams and the evidence, right?” “JJ, let Johnny and I do most of the talking. I promise we won’t let out any information that doesn’t need to be let out.” I went out to the hallway and found Bob, Sam, and a third man I was assuming to be Carl, were sitting in the conference room. “Gentlemen, we’ve told JJ and Zach what we know. Would you like to come in, or shall we join you here?” Bob asked that we come in to the conference room, so I went back to the office and got the guys to come back with me. We all sat on one side of the conference table. I was on the right with Johnny on my left, followed by JJ and Zach. Sam, Bob and Carl sat on the opposite side of the table. Bob was the first to speak, “Gentlemen, first let me say that I am still shocked and horrified at what Jason discovered this afternoon. I have spoken in-depth with Sam about the legal ramifications and with Carl about the logistics and cleanup of this mess. The three of us all have something to say about what we feel is the best way to handle this. “Of course, the final decision lies with the three of you. I firmly believe that we would best serve the interest of the theatre and the three of you if we keep this entire investigation internal. Since the person who committed these heinous acts is no longer alive, I’m afraid that if we involve the police, the press will go crazy with the story and reputations will be questioned at best, and destroyed at worst. I would also like to add that every bit of information discovered and shared here will remain confidential. Personally, I will not utter a word of this situation to anyone, not my wife, not the rest of the Board, not even my priest. My primary concern is the well-being of you three men, and the well-being of the theatre company follows that. Do you have any questions?” We all replied with a soft no, and then Carl spoke. Carl was a slender, middle-aged man with large glasses that kept sliding down his nose. All I could think of was that this is what the boys in Revenge of the Nerds must look like today. He had a legal pad in front of him on the table and had obviously been taking a lot of notes while the four of us were talking in the office. “Hello, boys. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Carl Hamilton. I spent seventeen years with the Attorney General’s office working in the Cyber Crimes division. I now run my own private company and our primary purpose is to investigate and eliminate situations just like this. Sadly, what Jason discovered today is not all that uncommon. There are so-called “spy stores” all over the internet and in almost every city in the country. The clear majority of people using these spycams are amateurs. They are either trying to catch an unfaithful spouse or hoping to observe sexual situations to satisfy a voyeuristic need. “From what I’ve been able to tell, Mr. Bradley fits into the second category. I’m quite confident we will be able to find and eliminate this entire situation with discretion and confidentiality. Of course, that decision or any other resolution depends on what course of action you three decide to take. Now, before you make that decision, I think you might want to hear what Sam has to say.” Sam then stood up and spoke. “I have been Mr. Bradley’s attorney for nearly twenty years and now represent Mr. Cobb. Of course, my primary concern is the best interest of my client, but rest assured that I am also concerned for Mr. Richardson and Mr. Breeze as well. “Strictly from a legal point of view, Simon’s death has put a unique twist on the situation. Normally, the victims would have the right to file a claim against the estate. It would make no sense for JJ to sue himself, of course. However, Jason and Johnny have every legal right to file a claim in the courts. That would, of course, put this situation on the public record, which the three of us agree could be detrimental to all involved. “Now, I understand that the three of you are close friends, and the idea of suing each other for damages is probably the last thing you want to do. However, the dynamics of even the closest friendships can and will change over time and I will discuss with JJ a fair and equitable settlement for all parties involved while he and I are handling the particulars of the estate tomorrow. “Now, there is also the criminal extent of this case. Simon evidently made recordings of sexual activities involving a minor youth. Carl’s investigation will help us determine whether those videos were shared or distributed, which would make for a very serious and messy child pornography case. Of course, the perpetrator is now deceased, so there would be no charges filed. However, I feel we will all rest easier in the long run once we know for certain that JJ’s activities are not out there on the internet.” Bob then took the floor. “So, there you have our perspective on the situation. I would like to add a couple of things. The first is something I have already told Jason and Johnny. The theatre will pay for all expenses related to this case. Secondly, Sam has obtained a suite at the W Hotel for the four of you for the next few days. This will allow Carl’s team to remove the cameras from your homes and sweep them for any other bugging devices. Are there any questions or comments?” JJ was the first to speak. There goes the ‘let us do the talking’ instructions from Johnny! “I would just like to say that this is a situation between Simon and the three of us. It seems that the only way the theatre is involved is that Simon used the theatre’s computer to watch this stuff. As far as the expenses of this operation, I insist that Simon’s money, or mine actually, be used to pay the expenses. I will not budge on that. Besides, you can’t have a financial transaction on the theatre’s books and still guarantee our privacy.” Sam smiled at JJ and added, “Thank you, son. I think all of us appreciate your offer, and if there are no objections, we will cover all expenses with the estate of Simon Bradley.” There were no objections and Sam added some notes to his legal pad. Johnny spoke next. “I have no intention of filing a lawsuit against the theatre or Simon’s estate. I would just like to be on the record for that. While it’s still hard for me to wrap my mind around what Simon has done, every good thing that has happened in my life over the last several years is due to Simon.” He looked over towards me a smiled. “I agree with Johnny. I have no intention of suing the theatre or the estate, either. And although we have over the last 24 hours discovered the dark side of Simon Bradley, I will do whatever I can in my position with the theatre to make sure that this remains a private matter. “We will go on with the memorial service on Friday as if nothing happened here. While my personal opinion of the man has changed drastically, I am still aware that he has done an awful lot of good for the Rosemont and the theatre community in Austin. I will do my best to focus on that aspect of Simon this week. I just want this situation to be taken care of as discreetly and as quickly as possible.” So, it appeared that the wheels were in motion to close the final chapter of our lives with Simon Bradley. I gave Carl a key and the passcode to the loft. Johnny said he would run home and pack a bag for us and grab Zach’s and JJ’s. I asked him to grab my laptop, as well. While we had our meeting, the cast had finished the strike and the tech director was wrapping things up with the stage manager. I apologized to them for keeping JJ away. I told them that Simon’s attorney had arrived and we had to take care of some matters involving the estate and the theatre. It wasn’t a total lie, but it took care of the situation in their eyes. Within an hour, the four of us were riding the elevator up to our suite in the W Hotel. Wow! The suite was nearly as large as the loft with an elegant living room. There was a bedroom on either side of the living room with king-sized beds and all the luxurious amenities the W was famous for. We had all taken showers and were in the fluffy terrycloth “W” bathrobes and finally relaxing in the living room with a nice glass of wine. Johnny kissed me and looked over at Zach. “Zach, are you sure you’re ready to be a part of our little family? As you can see, it’s a non-stop adventure!” “I know I wasn’t really a part of all the talk this afternoon, but I was watching and listening closely. Johnny, when you called us a family, I don’t think you even realize the truth in that statement. What I saw in that conference room were three guys who had each other’s back, who truly cared as much about each other as they did themselves and who calmly took a horrible situation and came up with a solution. You guys really are a family. If I’m considered to be a part of that family, I can’t think of anything that would make me happier.” Zach leaned over to JJ and kissed him. “I love you, beautiful boy.” He walked over to me and kissed me. “I love you, Jason.” He walked over to Johnny and kissed him. “I love you, Johnny.” He stood up, and his eight inches popped out of the front of his bathrobe. “Oops!” Johnny looked over at me and raised an eyebrow. I smiled at him and nodded. He then reached up and untied Zach’s bathrobe. “We love you too, Zach. Maybe we should give you a proper welcome to the family.” I watched my lover lean forward and take Zach’s hard cock into his mouth, causing the boy’s legs to tremble and a moan emerge from deep within. As I was watching, JJ came over to me and kissed me. “I love you, Jason.” The beautiful boy then opened my bathrobe and sucked on the head of my cock. Moans were soon filling the luxury suite, and I pulled JJ up to his feet so I could remove his bathrobe. I kissed him passionately and led him over to Johnny. He pulled Johnny off his lover’s cock and pulled him up to feet and removed the last bathrobe. He then kissed Johnny after telling him that he loved him, too. Zach gasped when he saw my lover’s giant cock. He reached down and put my cock in one hand, and Johnny’s in the other. He looked up at JJ and said, “Jesus baby, you actually had both of these in you at the same time?” “Yeah, can you believe that shit?” I leaned into my lover and kissed him deeply as we both found hot wet mouths covering our cocks. JJ and Zach would alternate between our cocks and kissing each other. After a few minutes, we pulled the boys up on their feet, and we led them into our bedroom. Johnny and I pulled back the bedding while JJ and Zach kissed and gently stroked each other. We joined them and enjoyed a hot four-way kiss. As we made our way onto the bed, I reached into the nightstand and pulled out the lube I had placed there when we unpacked. We ended up in a loud, slurping daisy chain with me swallowing Zach’s impressive cock, Zach working on Johnny’s, Johnny on JJ, and JJ back on mine. While I was sucking on Zach’s cock, I grabbed the lube and slicked up a finger which found its way into his tanned, buff ass. There’s nothing like hearing a moan so deep that it vibrates in the cock you have in your mouth. Before long, the others found the lube, and we all had slick fingers massaging our prostates and we were all moaning around the cocks in our throats. Zach was the one who broke up our circle of cocksucking. He laid JJ on his back and kissed him deeply as they shared the remnants of Johnny’s precum. I heard Zach tell JJ that he was going to ride his cock as he poured lube on it and worked some into his ass. I then took the lube and slicked up my lover’s ass. We were both on our knees with me behind Johnny. As Zach lowered himself on JJ, I eased my cock into my lover. Zach then returned to sucking Johnny’s cock that was now in front of him. Zach seemed to be completely mesmerized by Johnny’s eleven inches. I couldn’t blame him though... so was I! While giving my lover a nice, slow fuck, I leaned into Johnny and whispered into his ear, “Zach seems to love your cock, baby. Push him back and give it to him while I fuck you!” Johnny got a wicked smile on his face and pulled his cock from Zach’s mouth. He gently pushed him back against his lover’s chest. JJ smiled knowingly and said, “You want Johnny’s cock, Zach? You want that big cock in you with me?” “Oooooh fuck! Yessssssssss!” Johnny grabbed the lube and covered his cock while I continued my slow thrusts in and out of his hot ass. He pulled his foreskin back and placed the large head on top of JJ’s cock. “You want this cock, Zach? Are you ready for it?” “Give it to me, Johnny. Fuck me!” Johnny pushed the head of his cock into Zach’s ass, causing him to groan in a combination of pain and passion. From behind, I continued fucking Johnny, and each of my thrusts caused him to move deeper and deeper into Zach. JJ was matching Johnny’s thrusts and soon, Zach was screaming in ecstasy as he was filled with two hard cocks. JJ yelled out, “Oh my God, Johnny! Your cock feels so fucking hot besides mine! Johnny was meeting my thrusts as he double-fucked Zach. Zach was kissing his lover as JJ was also thrusting into Zach. I was running my hands up and down my lover’s sweat-glistened torso and pinching his nipples on each pass as I increased the power of my thrusting cock deep inside him. JJ was the first to cum. He screamed out in the throes of passion as he covered Johnny’s cock with his scalding hot juice, causing Johnny to moan out loud at the feeling. He was the next to release his load deep into Zach. The giant throbbing cock inside him caused Zach to cum all over his chest and face while giving JJ a nice facial at the same time. While Zach was cumming, I was filling my lover’s hot ass with my milky load. The moans and shouts were soon followed by the popping sounds of cock leaving asses and the slurping sounds of post-sex kissing. We all made our way into the giant walk-in shower and cleaned each other up. Our bed was a mess, so Zach suggested we all sleep together in the other bed. We all fell asleep rather quickly, and the next thing I knew it was 9:00 Monday morning. We all cleaned up and got dressed for the day. I drove JJ to his house so he could pick up his car and went into the theatre with Johnny. Johnny began working on the light plot for the summer camps, and I had a delightful interview with Shirley Cobb. By the end of the afternoon, I decided to make her the new finance director of the Rosemont Theatre. Bob came in later in the afternoon, and we began the difficult task of putting together a memorial service for a man that was an inspiration and symbol of dedication to so many... and a man neither of us had any respect for. As the day was winding up, I got a phone call from Sam, JJ’s attorney. He asked if he could meet with me, Johnny, Zach, and Shirley later in the evening. Zach had been spending the day with friends from his old high school, but I was able to reach him after a couple of calls and texts. At 7:00 we all gathered in the conference room of the theatre. This time JJ and Sam were on one side of the table with the rest of us facing them on the other side. JJ had a huge grin on his face as Sam began speaking. “Thank you all for coming to this meeting. JJ and I spent most of the day going over the assets that Mr. Bradley left to him, and at the end of the day, it turns out my original estimates were quite conservative. JJ can share the actual number with you at another time should he choose. As you may or may not know, JJ considers each person at this table a part of his family. He insisted that we re-organize his assets in the following manner.” He pulled a sheet of paper from his briefcase and began reading. “JJ owns a home in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Austin. This was Mr. Bradley’s home while his parents were still living. JJ has transferred ownership of this home to his mother, Shirley Cobb. Shirley, the current tenant’s lease is set to expire at the end of the month, at which time you may move in, or lease it to another tenant. JJ has also set up a five-million-dollar endowment in Shirley’s name, which should generate approximately $250,000 annually.” “JJ! You can’t do that! That’s too much!” “No Mama, trust me, I can definitely afford it! And I don’t need two houses in the same city.” Tears came to her eyes as she thanked her beautiful son. Sam continued reading. “Zachary Franklin, JJ has created a five-million-dollar endowment in your name as well and has added your name to the deed of the house on Exposition Boulevard as well as all current assets and holdings. Congratulations, Zach. You are now a very wealthy man.” Zach was in shock. “Why? Why would you do that?” “Because you are my love and my life. And should anything ever happen to me, I want you to be taken care of.” “JJ has also created a five-million-dollar endowment to the Rosemont Theatre to generate income to be used towards salaries for actors and technicians.” I looked at JJ, “That is too generous, JJ. You don’t have to do that.” “Jason, despite what we have learned about Simon, the theatre was his life. Despite everything, there was a lot of good in Simon. If it weren’t for Simon, I would have none of you in my life. I’ve named the endowment the Simon Lawrence Bradley Endowment in the hopes that in time, the good memory of Simon is what will remain.” I looked at JJ and thanked him. I was amazed by how this beautiful young man had transformed before my eyes. He could forgive Simon despite all the negatives we had learned about over the weekend. I decided that if JJ of all people could forgive Simon, then I would do everything in my power to do the same thing. Sam wasn’t finished. “Jason Richardson and Johnny Breeze, JJ has created a 2.5-million-dollar endowment for each of you.” Johnny then spoke. “JJ, you just gave away twenty million dollars! Are you crazy?” “Yeah, I’m crazy about every person in this room. Simon left me more money than I know what to do with. And trust me, the way everything is being managed, it will only grow into obscene amounts!” Sam had some paperwork for each of us to sign and then gave Shirley and Zach Black American Express cards. JJ told them that there would be no bills and no limits. The meeting ended, and four stunned people stood up to leave. JJ went to Zach and said, “There’s one more thing, baby. Close your eyes and come with me.” He led Zach out to the theatre parking lot, and we followed behind. “Close your eyes! No cheating!” I couldn’t believe what I saw when I walked out the door. It was a brand new, black Dodge Charger with a big red bow sitting on the hood. “Okay, Zach... open your eyes now!” “No way! No fucking way! A Charger??” “Zach, my mother is standing right beside you. Trust me. She’ll wash your mouth out with soap if you don’t clean up that potty mouth!” Shirley just stood there and said, “Holy Shit! My shy little boy’s turned out to be quite a remarkable young man!” We all laughed and enjoyed a group hug before we all left the theatre and headed to a celebratory dinner downtown.
  11. That's really interesting. My thought was that he had too much to drink and just drove off the bridge. I never considered Simon suicidal. Interesting twist, though. That particular bridge is one of the old-fashioned bridges you find in a lot of cities--the kind that have little or no arc and low concrete rails that wouldn't be able to stop a car from going over if the car's speed was too high or the angle just right.
  12. Chapter 12 – Surprises and Revelations The three of us were in my SUV heading home when JJ said he should probably check his texts and voicemail. I asked him if he was sure he was ready for that since there might be some messages that would be hard to hear. “Yeah, there might be something important that needs to be handled. As JJ listened to the first message, he took on a look of intensity that I hadn’t yet seen. When he finished the voicemail, he said, “That was the police. The found my name and number in Simon’s wallet as his emergency contact. They want me to identify his body and claim his personal effects. I- I- don’t know if I can do that, Jason.” “Why don’t you call Sam Jones and see if there’s something he can do? JJ did just that and was pleased to learn that Sam had already taken care of that. Sam had also had Simon’s body delivered to the funeral home, and they would cremate his remains on Monday morning. JJ was relieved that was taken care of. There were several messages from Sam and various cast members which contained nothing new so those were deleted. As JJ was listening to the next voicemail, his eyes got wide, and a huge smile came over his face. He hung up the phone. “That was Zach. He had seen several things on Facebook about Simon and convinced his parents to get him a ticket to Austin so he could be with me. He left Gainesville at 11:30 this morning and should be landing in the next 30 minutes! Oh, my God! Zach is coming! I haven’t seen him in years! Oh, my God!” I checked my watch as we were driving through downtown on the way home. “Did he give you a flight number?” JJ checked his texts and found it. Southwest 197, arriving at 4:49.” “Johnny, can you check to make sure the flight is on time?” Johnny found the number for Southwest and placed a call. He found out that the flight was landing as scheduled, and I immediately headed south to the highway that would take us to the airport. “JJ, send a text to Zach and tell him we are on the way and to meet us at the arrival pick up zone and to look for a Blue Ford Flex.” JJ quickly sent the text. “Now, tell us about Zach, and why are you so excited?” “I met Zach when we were just kids in the youth program. He gave me my first kiss, my first blowjob, my first fuck... and looking back, he was my first real boyfriend. When I think about it, my only real boyfriend. About a year before I moved in with Simon, his dad got transferred to Florida, and I haven’t seen him since. But we’ve stayed in touch. He’s also a musical theatre major at Florida State.” “He sounds like someone you still care a lot about.” Johnny smiled at the beaming JJ. “You know Johnny, your grandmother was right. No matter how bad things seem to be, something wonderful is just around the corner! First my Mom, and now Zach! I never thought I would say this, but if it weren’t for Simon and the rotten things he did, none of this would be happening. And because of Simon’s death, life is sure looking pretty sweet right now!” I looked at JJ through the rear-view mirror. “Sounds like you still have some pretty strong feelings for Zach.” “Through it all, I never stopped loving him, even though we were halfway across the country from each other.” Suddenly his mood changed. “Of course, he may have a boyfriend now, and there’s nothing I can do about that, is there?” Johnny looked back at JJ. “Kiddo, there you go again! You need to learn to stop creating situations in your mind. You don’t know if he has a boyfriend. So, let that be a bridge you cross when you see him, okay?” “Jason, does Johnny have an answer for every-fucking-thing?” “JJ, so far, Mr. Breeze is batting a thousand! I would suggest you listen and learn!” We all laughed, and in a few minutes, we were pulling into the airport. As soon as we turned in, JJ’s phone buzzed with a text from Zach. ZACHDAMAN16: “waiting on the sidewalk! i ❤️ U!” JJ showed the text to us, and the two of us smiled at each other. “You know Johnny, there is something magical about this airport!” I drove down the arrival level, and up ahead stood a strikingly handsome young man. He was about 5’10” with a nice deep tan, dark straight hair all gelled and spiked, and was wearing plaid chino shorts and a tight yellow polo shirt. JJ noticed him about the same time and rolled down his window. He was nearly hanging out the window and yelling, “Zach! Zach!” I had barely stopped the car when JJ bounded out the door and ran to his friend. They hugged tightly and then kissed like long, lost lovers. I hit the switch to open the back of the SUV, and Johnny got out. He grabbed Zach’s bags and told the boys to get in the car before they got arrested for public sex. JJ blushed a bit and led Zach to the back seat. As soon as we got everyone settled, I pulled away and began the drive to the loft. JJ was ecstatic. “I’m so happy to see you, but you didn’t have to come, you know.” “JJ, when I found out what happened to Simon, I had no idea what you must be going through. I called my parents and told them the news and that you needed me. My folks love you, and they bought me a ticket to be here with you. And they send their love, by the way.” “I can’t believe it! You’re really here... right in front of me!” “I know, right? But you seem awfully happy what with everything that’s been happening.” “You have no idea!” On the way home, JJ filled Zach in on the cast party and how he and Simon had been fighting. He told him about the letter from his mother and how she is coming to see him at the theatre tonight. He told Zach about the trust fund and the house and ended with, “And as of Monday, my attorney says I will be one of the wealthiest men in Austin!” “Holy shit, JJ! And here all I wanted to tell you is that I loved you just as much as the day I left Texas. But now you probably think I’m just saying it because you’re rich, and I want you to be my sugar daddy!” “Dude, you’re a year older than me. No way I’m gonna be your any kind of daddy!” “Then I guess you’ll just have to settle for the fact that I’ve loved you all these years and have been waiting all this time to tell you to your face.” “Oh Zach...” “And you know what? You’re still the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen!” The boys leaned into each other and kissed passionately. Johnny and I looked at each other and smiled. “I tell you, Johnny. There’s something about that damned airport! Umm, JJ? Are you going to introduce us?” “Oh shit! I’m so sorry guys! I was a little caught up in the moment, I guess! Zach, this is Jason Richardson and Johnny Breeze. Johnny is an amazing lighting designer, and Jason is the new Artistic Director at the theatre.” Johnny corrected JJ, “Make that the new Managing Artistic Director!” Zach answered, “Nice to meet you guys! JJ’s never mentioned you before, but you seem like great guys... and thanks for picking me up!” “Johnny and I have just recently become close to JJ, and with everything that’s happened in the last 24 hours, JJ’s not had the chance to much more than deal with everything.” “Zach, Johnny and Jason literally saved my life last night. When Simon left the party, they let me stay at their place. They also helped me deal with everything with the attorney, the letter, my mom... everything. I love these guys. You will, too.” Just then, JJ’s phone rang. “Mom! Where are you? Great! We had to make a quick trip to the airport. You’ll never guess who just flew in! Zach! I know! Isn’t it great? I’m so happy, Mama! The two most important people in my life are back! I know I sound happy. Well, if Simon hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have you and Zach back, would I? Okay. I’ll see you after the show. You should be there at about 7:00. The show starts at 7:30. I’ll make sure you have a seat. Hopefully, you can sit with Zach, too! Okay. Bye Mama. I love you too!” We were soon pulling into the parking garage. I reminded JJ and Johnny that they had to be at the theatre in forty-five minutes, so they would need to shower and get there as soon as possible. I would drive Zach with me since we had a little more time. We walked into the apartment, and I sent Johnny up to the shower. “Aren’t you coming?” “No, you know as well as I that you’ll be very late if we shower together!” I looked at our guests. “I suggest the same thing for you, JJ. Solo showers for everyone!” Zach gave JJ a quick kiss. “He’s right, you know. Hurry up now. We’ve waited five years… a few more hours won’t kill us!” JJ made his way into the guest room yelling, “Fine! Now I’m going to be throwing wood through the entire show. In front of my mother, for God’s sake!” From upstairs, Johnny yelled, “Yeah! What he said! In front of his mother, for God’s sake!” Zach and I laughed and sat down at the breakfast bar. “Zach, thank you for coming. I don’t think you know how excited JJ is to have you here.” “I had to come. I knew JJ wasn’t happy with Simon, but he was terrified of being out on the street again, so he dealt with it. As soon as I heard Simon had died, I knew I had to come here. I didn’t know what was going to happen to JJ. Of course, I had no idea it was going to be this. He’s really rich, isn’t he?” “Yes, quite rich. But I can tell you from everything I’ve seen happen today, JJ is rich far beyond any trust fund, or house, or money. Now that he has you and his mother back in his life, he’s finally getting all that he deserves.” “I really do love him, Jason. I’ve tried to date. I’ve tried to have a boyfriend, even. But all I could think about was my beautiful boy back in Texas.” “Why didn’t you come back to visit?” “Because if Simon was in the picture, nothing could ever happen. I knew that. I knew JJ was sleeping with him, too. It killed me to know that he was having sex with that old man. But I also knew that JJ never really loved him. I knew JJ always loved me. And I’m never going to let him go again.” “It’s the airport, I tell you!” “The airport?” I laughed. “Yes, I met Johnny when he came to pick me up at the airport just a week ago. I fell in love with him the instant I looked in his eyes.” “Well, God bless the Austin airport then!” Our men appeared in the living room almost at the same time. They came over to Zach and me, and we each got a kiss. “Okay kiddo, let’s get to the theatre. We should make it just in time!” Johnny grabbed his keys, and they headed out the door. I showed Zach his way around the guest room and bath and gave him a towel. I went upstairs and took a quick shower myself. I dressed in my grey Valentino suit, white shirt, and red tie. I had to make a good first impression with the theatre patrons tonight. Zach and I walked into the theatre at 6:45. I sent a text to Johnny to tell him we had arrived, and he was soon in the lobby. “Hi babe. The show is a sell-out again, but Simon had two tickets reserved. He always sat in the house opening and closing nights. I hope you don’t mind, but I set them aside for Zach and JJ’s mom. You can sit in the booth with me if you like.” “Perfect! How is the cast doing?” “Really well. When they saw how happy JJ was, they all have seemed to rise to the occasion. I think we’re in for an amazing show tonight.” Just then, Bob walked into the theatre lobby and saw Jason. “Jason! Good to see you! Are you ready for your speech tonight?” “Yes sir, I’m a little nervous, but I’m good to go.” He then noticed Zach. “Dear God... Zachary? Zachary Franklin? Is that really you?” “Uh, yes sir. It’s really me, but I’m just Zach now.” “Oh, you probably are wondering who the heck I am. My daughter Hillary was in several youth classes with you back in the day.” “Oh! Okay!” I got the impression that Zach had no idea who Hillary was. Just then, a woman walked into the theatre and practically ran to Zach. “Zach! Zach!” She gave him a huge hug. “Mrs. Cobb! It’s so nice to see you again! JJ is so excited you are here, too!” “Thank you for coming, Zach. JJ really needs a friend like you now.” “Mrs. Cobb, have you met Jason?” I reached out and shook Mrs. Cobb’s hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Cobb. I’m Jason Richardson, the new Managing Artistic Director of the theatre. Let me just say you have a remarkable son, and Johnny and I are honored to have him as a friend.” “Oh, please call me Shirley. JJ told me how the two of you helped him out. Thank you for being there for him this morning. I’m sure he was able to handle things much better because you were there. I’m very grateful to you for that.” “Well, we did what anyone would do for someone they care about.” I led Zach and Shirley to the box office window so they could get their tickets. Soon enough, everyone had taken their seats, and Bob walked out onto the stage. “Ladies and Gentlemen, most of you are aware of the tragic event that took place late last night. Several weeks ago, the Rosemont Theatre Company hired a new Artistic Director, and the late Simon Bradley was promoted to the position of Managing Director. This morning, the Board of Directors held an emergency meeting and named Jason Richardson, our new Managing Artistic Director. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Jason Richardson.” ZACH It’s great seeing JJ’s mom again. I was kinda blown away that she ran up and hugged me like I was her own son. After we took our seats, she said something that made sense of it. She told me that the last time she saw JJ happy was when he and I were spending all that time together. She told me how crushed he was when my family made the move to Florida. She took my hand and looked me in the eyes. “Zach, JJ loved you with all his heart. I could see that. I could also see you return that love. Now both of us are back in JJ’s life after a long absence. But I want you to know that the most important thing is JJ’s happiness. If he finds that with you, I want you to know that I will not stand in the way. I’ve always felt as though you were a second son to me. If you and JJ can bring back what you once had and grow from there, nothing would make me happier.” I had been fighting tears from the moment JJ hugged me at the airport. I wanted to be strong for him. This time I couldn’t stop them. Mrs. Cobb pulled a tissue out of her purse and wiped away my tears. “Don’t worry, honey. I brought a supply of these with me. I think we both might be needing them.” Just then the lights in the theatre went down, and Jason was introduced, and he took the microphone: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I wanted to say a few words about Simon Bradley before we begin our show. I met him several months ago and got to know him while I was being interviewed for the position of Artistic Director of this wonderful theatre. “If there’s one thing I noticed immediately about Simon, it was his love for the Rosemont Theatre Company. His passion and dedication inspired the countless people who have walked through the doors and onto this very stage. This afternoon I walked onto this stage and found the cast and crew of Pippin standing in a circle and holding hands. They were taking turns describing Simon with just one word. It was a moving experience I will not soon forget. “However, one thing I learned was that every person you will see on this stage, every person working behind the scenes, and I’m sure many, many of you... each has a unique memory of Simon Bradley. Tonight, we dedicate the final performance of Pippin to everyone’s uniquely different memory of Simon Bradley. Thank you.” Jason walked off the stage and went straight up to the booth as the orchestra began playing. Now over the last few years, I’d seen some of JJ’s YouTube videos of his performances and loved watching him grow as a performer. But watching him in person was truly an amazing experience as he led the cast in an astonishing performance of Pippin. Mrs. Cobb and I worked our way through her tissue supply. I am in total awe of this beautiful man and his ability to open his soul to an audience to the point that we all were completely on Pippin’s journey with him. I couldn’t believe this was the same shy boy I kissed for the first time almost eleven years ago. That beautiful boy is a stunning man now, and watching him on stage tonight caused me to completely fall in love with him once again. After the show, Jason met us outside the stage door with Johnny at his side. He asked Mrs. Cobb if she would like her reunion with JJ to happen in a more private place. She thought about it for a bit and decided that it would be best so Johnny took her back to Jason’s office. Jason told us that he wanted to speak with the cast and thank them for the show tonight, and then he would bring JJ out. JJ Wow! What an amazing show. The entire cast met in the green room before the curtain went up, and blew me away by dedicating the show to Simon and my mom! Personally, I also dedicated the show to Zach... my amazing Zach. The only boy I’ve truly loved with every breath I’ve ever taken. I still couldn’t believe he was here tonight! Sitting with my Mom! We received a five-minute standing ovation, and there were tears of joy, tears of relief, and tears of sadness all over the theatre. During my bow, I looked down in the third row and saw Mom and Zach. She was smiling and applauding, and Zach was jumping up and down. I blew them both a kiss and saw Zach mouth the words “I love you!” as I gathered the rest of the cast for the first of many group bows. Jason came back to the green room after the show and told us that instead of staying tonight to strike the set and clean out the dressing rooms, we would all get together and do it tomorrow afternoon. I thought that was a great idea. It had been a long day for all of us, and I wanted to see Mom and then make love to Zach all night long! After his talk with the cast, Jason pulled me aside and said Mom was waiting in his office so our reunion could be more private. We walked out the stage door, and there was quite a crowd applauding and congratulating me on my performance. I didn’t want to be rude, but dammit, I wanted to see my Mom! Zach was at the back of the crowd and took me in his arms. He whispered to me, “Just so you know, I completely fell in love with you again watching you perform tonight. You can do what you want with that information!” I whispered back to him, “Baby, you haven’t even begun to see me perform. I’m gonna go see Mama right now. You better drink some coffee mister, `cause I’m going to keep you up all night!” I took his beautiful face in my hands and kissed him. Jason took me back to his office. He told me to go in and take all the time I needed since he and Johnny were going to be closing the theatre tonight. I knocked on the door and opened it slowly. I stepped into the office, and there she was! We just stood and stared at each other for what seemed like forever. “Oh Mama! You look beautiful!” I walked over to her with my arms out and took her into a hug that had been a long time coming. There weren’t a lot of words as we just held on to each other. We were both crying softly and whispering each other’s names. Sometimes she would call me Joshua, sometimes JJ. Sometimes I would call her Mom, sometimes Mama. After a while, I pulled her away and had my hands on her shoulders. “I’m so sorry you had to go through the last four years thinking I was angry with you. I never stopped loving you and thinking about you. I just thought you didn’t want anything to do with me because of the gay thing!” “Of course, I was sad when you told your father you were gay. But I was sad because I knew you would have to deal with so many things on your own that most kids don’t have to handle at all.” “You know Mama, I know it’s wrong to be happy about someone dying, but I can’t help it. If Simon hadn’t died last night, we wouldn’t be here like this. Simon died, and I got you back. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t be happier.” “You also have Zach back in your life.” “Yeah, Zach too! Now, do you see why in some perverse way, I’m glad Simon died?” “I think God will forgive you for that. I hope so, anyway! He needs to forgive me for the very same thought!” I took Mom over to the sofa and sat down with her. I took her hands in mine and looked at her. “Mama, there’s one more thing I haven’t told you.” “Oh JJ, please tell me you’re okay, and nothing’s wrong!” “No Mama, I’m just fine. But there is something I didn’t want to tell you on the phone. I needed to tell you this in person.” “Okay, this sounds rather serious.” Mom was apparently starting to worry, so I just told her, “Mama, Simon was a very wealthy man… like millions wealthy. This morning his attorney... now my attorney... told me that before I turned 18, Simon used his Power of Attorney and added my name to the deed to the house and all of his assets.” “What? Joshua, what are you trying to tell me?” “I’m telling you that I am apparently worth over fifty million dollars.” “Oh, dear God, Joshua! This is a joke, right?” “No, Mama. This is some serious shit!” “Joshua Joseph Cobb! You might be a millionaire and a wonderful man, but I am still your mother and won’t hesitate to wash your mouth out with soap!” “I’m sorry Mama, but really? Wash my mouth out with soap?” I started to giggle, and she soon joined in. “Joshua?” “Mama, no one calls me that anymore. I’m just JJ now.” “Okay, JJ. You have grown into a wonderful man. Regardless of whatever happened with Simon, and I don’t think I want to know, but the result is that you have become a wonderful, confident, handsome, charming... and a very rich man! I will forever be grateful to Simon for making sure you ended up this way.” She kissed me on the cheek and then wiped off her lipstick mark with her thumb. “Now... a wonderful young man is waiting out there for you. I told him how I was always aware of how much you two loved each other when you were younger. I know he’s only here for a short time. But I want you to know that the most important thing to me is your happiness. Now go out there to him and spend time with him. And I want you to know that if you and Zach can rekindle your feelings and it makes you happy, then nothing could make me happier.” “Mama, you’ve become this amazing, beautiful, strong, independent woman. I can’t wait to get to know this new you! And just so you know. I have loved Zach with my entire heart and soul since I was nine years old. All those feelings are still there.” “That’s perfect then. You go home and get reacquainted with that wonderful boy. How about we all meet for Sunday brunch tomorrow?” “That would be wonderful! Where would you like to meet?” “How about we meet at the Driskill Hotel? This is a special occasion that deserves the best in town.” “If you don’t mind, I would like to invite Jason and Johnny. They are the two people who got me through everything and helped me find you. You will love them both, I just know it!” “That sounds lovely, then!” “And Mama? Brunch is on me. I can certainly afford it now!” We laughed and hugged and walked out of Jason’s office with our arms around each other’s waist. Jason, Johnny, and Zach were waiting in the darkened lobby for us. Johnny smiled and said, “Well, I see that went well! We’re all so happy for both of you!” All five of us ended up in a group hug. Mom then took Zach and me in her arms. “Boys, I just want you now that I love both of you dearly, and I’m so happy that you have each other again!” She then looked at Zach. “Take care of him, Zachary… just like you always have.” JASON Shirley told us we were all meeting for brunch tomorrow at the Driskill Hotel. She would call and make reservations and text the time to JJ. We decided to leave Johnny’s truck at the theatre so all of us could ride back to the loft together. JJ and Zach sat in the back seat, holding hands while staring at each other and smiling. There would be an occasional kiss, but most of the time, they just stared at each other and soaked in their rekindled love. I decided to take a longer way home as I didn’t think I wanted to drive over the bridge that was the scene of the accident. It was nearly midnight when we finally walked into the loft. I put my arms around JJ and told him how wonderful he was tonight. I gave him a light kiss on the lips. Then I turned to Zach. “This is a very special young man. Now, you take him into that room and show him all the love he’s been missing and needing for a long, long time.” Johnny came out of the kitchen with a couple of glasses filled with red wine. “And boys, make all the noise you want. You won’t be bothering us because we’ll probably be making even more noise when this man gets me into bed!” JJ’s face was plastered with a mischievous grin, and he nearly dragged Zach into the guest room and shut the door. Johnny and I looked at each other and smiled and made our way out to the balcony to enjoy our wine and a much-needed cigarette. I eased back in my chair and just let out a huge sigh. “Wow! What a day, huh?” “I’ll say! For a lot of people, Jason.” “Thank you for being so wonderful with JJ. It’s not going to be easy for him, but he at least he’s not going to be alone anymore.” “Speaking of JJ, should we talk about last night? I mean, are you okay with everything?” “Funny, when I woke up this morning and before everything kind of blew up, I was thinking about that very thing. I was lying in bed with two gorgeous men on either side of me. I was happy that I didn’t have any regrets, and as I thought about it, the reason for that was that you and I both invited JJ into our bed. We made a choice together. And then I thought about the feeling of my hard cock sliding next to yours inside JJ. Damn baby! That was fucking amazing! And that was a sensation neither of us would have ever experienced without a third person.” “Jason, that was probably the most incredible feeling I’ve ever experienced too! That boy has one amazing ass!” “I’m not saying that I would like to make a habit of it because there is nothing more wonderful than making love with you. Even though we had some amazing sex last night, that’s all it was... sex. But when I make love with you, that feeling far surpasses even the most wonderful sex.” “I completely agree. So, I guess we’re both okay with sharing a hot boy every now and then if we both want it and agree to it?” “Sounds good to me. But you know what sounds even better, Mr. Breeze?” I stood in front of him on our balcony and slowly began removing my clothes. “I want you to bend me over this railing and make love to me.” “I’m so glad you chose the loft on the top floor!” Johnny stood up and began to slowly reveal the magnificent body that still turns me on as much as it did the very first time I saw it. I stepped to my lover, undid his ponytail, pressed my body up to his, and kissed him deeply as our hardening cocks fought for space as they climbed up our ridged abs. “Shit! I gotta get the lube! Don’t go anywhere, Mr. Breeze!” JJ I almost tripped over my own feet as I dragged Zach into the guest room. “Damn JJ! Horny much?” He took me in his arms and said, “Slow down, baby. We have all night. I don’t want this to be a quick suck and fuck like we would do on our sleepovers. No, tonight... JJ... the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen is going to see what it’s like to make love.” “Zach, I don’t think I know how to make love.” “I’ve never really done it before, either. But baby... tonight will be like the first time for both of us... and it can’t be anything but making love.” Zach put his finger under my chin and lifted my face up to his. He touched his soft, supple lips to mine and then said, “JJ Cobb, I’ve waited five years to be able to look you in the eyes and tell you that I never stopped loving you.” Zach then literally swept me off my feet. He picked me up in his arms and lay me down on the bed. He gently pulled my polo shirt over my head. “God, you’re gorgeous!” After tossing my shirt to the floor he took my hand, kissed each of my fingertips, and worked his way down my palm and wrist. He planted tender kisses down my forearm and then down my triceps. He nuzzled his nose in my armpit and inhaled deeply. He then licked my pit, sending shivers up and down my spine. Zach’s kisses moved up my shoulder and then along the side of my neck, causing small little whimpers to escape my lips. The whimpers turned to moans as his tongue ran along the outside of my ear and then quickly popped inside. He then sensuously kissed my eyes. I never thought that could be sexy but the sensation caused me to gasp and before I could close my mouth, Zach’s tongue found its way inside. We kissed with a passion like I’ve never experienced. “I love you, JJ.” I will never get tired of hearing that. Zach kissed his way back down my neck and made his way to my left nipple. He swirled his tongue and gently sucked on it until it was hard. He then gently bit down on it, causing my back to arch and lift off the bed. Zach’s loving kisses made their way down to my navel. He twirled his tongue around, causing more moans and shivers. He then stood on his knees and pulled his polo shirt up and over his head. “Wow! Zach! Florida’s been very good to you!” I was breathless! He was stunning! Muscular, smooth, and tanned with large brown nipples centered perfectly on his bulging pecs. His taught abs showed the outlines of his six-pack as he bent over to pick me up so I was standing on my knees facing him. We stared into each other’s eyes, and it happened. I felt what Jason and Johnny have talked about. I caressed his cheek and asked, “Zach. Did you feel that? Just now?” “Yeah. It felt like you reached inside me and grabbed my heart.” “I know, I felt the same thing.” We kissed again, but this time it was deep and filled with love. I was running my hands up and down and slipped them under the waistband of his jeans to caress his smooth, rock-hard ass. I moved a finger deep inside his crack and teased his smooth hole. It was his turn to moan as we continued our kissing. I pulled my hands out of his pants and slowly began to unbuckle his belt and undo the button. Zach was mirroring my every move. We both lowered zippers and discovered that we were each freeballing AND had completely shaved cocks. “You shaved!” “You too!” “Awesome!” Zach pushed me back down on the bed and pulled my pants off, freeing my leaking six and his thick, throbbing eight inches. “JJ, you grew quite nicely!” I grabbed his thick cock as he lowered himself on top of me. “You too, mister!” We were quite a contrast. There was me with my fair skin and blond hair and a lean, tight dancer’s body. And then there’s Zach with his dark hair, all over tan and buff gym-body. We ground our bald cocks into each other while our flowing precum covered our abs. We kissed and moaned as we rolled all over the bed. I stopped the rolling with me sitting on top of Zach. I looked down at him, smiled, and sighed, “I can’t believe I have you back.” I leaned down, and this time I kissed his eyes. I worked my way to his earlobe and sucked and tugged on it with my teeth. I then kissed and nibbled down his neck causing Zack to clinch the sheets and writhe with passion. I kissed my way down to his large nipples and suckled on them like a hungry baby. His body was thrashing around beneath me so I immediately went to the other one and repeated. As I reached Zach’s abs, I licked up the mixture of our precum, savoring the taste of our combined juices. I slid down further and grabbed his impressive cock. I swirled my tongue around his mushroom head and engulfed the entire length in one motion. All that vocal training that taught me to open my throat has some awesome side benefits! With Zach’s cock down my throat, I turned my body around and presented my smooth ass to my lover. I lifted my head off his cock and said, “Get me ready, baby!” I went back down on his cock, slathering it with my spit. He was deep inside my throat when I felt his wonderful tongue on my hole. That caused me to moan and vibrate on his cock, and in no time, he had worked his tongue inside me. Zach was fucking me with his tongue, pulling off and spitting onto my hole to make it slicker. I wanted nothing more than to feel Zach slide into me. I pulled away from his tongue and repositioned myself over his spit-slicked cock. As soon as I felt the head at my entrance, I looked down at my smiling lover and told him, “I’ve waited a long time for this, baby!” Although I was still a little tender from the massive intrusion the night before, I didn’t care. I need this more than anything! I lowered myself onto Zack’s cock and threw my head back as he filled me. I worked the muscles in my ass to milk and massage Zach’s cock. I rocked back and forth, so it would slam into my love nut deep inside me. Within minutes we were both yelling and moaning in the throes of passion. We were both glistening with sweat as Zach was thrusting up into me. The room was filled with the sounds and smells of sex as Zach began to yell out, “I’m so close, baby! Oooooh, FUUUUUUUCK! Ohhhhhh! Ohhhhhh! Ohhhhhh! I’m gonna nut!” I could feel Zach’s amazing cock swell and pulse against the walls of my ass as he filled me with his hot, white cum. As soon as Zach’s cock began to soften, it slipped out of my ass. “JJ, that was fucking ridiculous!” “We’re not done, baby. You ready for more?” Before he could reply, I threw his legs up and over his head and plunged my face into his muscle-boy ass. Just tasting Zach’s ass got my cock dripping. “Whoa! JJ! Fuck me with that tongue, baby! Ooooooh! Ohhhhhh!” I reached over and grabbed the bottle of lube and slathered it onto my cock. Then I applied more to Zach’s ass.... first one finger, then two. With his ass sticking up in the air, I stood over him and pointed my cock straight down and eased inside. I was so fucking hot, and I knew I would last about as long as a fifteen-year-old virgin. I was plunging in and out of Zach’s tight ass. “Take my cock, Zach! That’s right baby. Your little JJ is fucking your tight hole! Ohhhhhh Fuck! I’m gonna cum inside you baby! Take my load baby!” Poor Zach had a look of shock on his face and just hissed “Yesssssssss!” as I filled his ass with gallons of cum. As soon as we both caught our breath, I collapsed on top of Zach. He looked up at me and said, “Who are you? My shy little JJ never wanted to top me, remember?” “I topped you before!” “Twice. Maybe three times. But you always wanted me to top you!” “You seemed to enjoy it, though!” “Fuckin’-A. I enjoyed the Hell out of it! You know, you are the only person I ever let top me. I’ve never wanted anyone but you inside me.” “Oh. I’m sorry, How I wish I could say that to you. But I can tell you this; you are the first person to truly make love to me. I will never forget this night as long as I live.” “I love you, JJ.” “I love you more, Zach.” We decided we needed a drink, so we went out into the kitchen for a glass of water. As we walked out naked into the living room, Zach pointed out to the balcony. Johnny had Jason bending over the balcony rail with his head thrown back and hair blowing in the night wind. By the look on his face, it was obvious he was filling Jason with his load of cum. “Damn JJ! You have some fucking hot friends!” “You have no idea, Zach! You have no idea!” JASON It was about 10:30 Sunday morning when I felt movement in our bed. I opened my eyes to find a naked and glowing JJ climbing in beside me. I looked up at him and said, “Ummm, good morning? What’s up, JJ?” “Don’t worry, I figured why put on clothes when you’ve already seen me naked... and then some.” Johnny woke up. It was earlier than he wanted it to be. “Everything okay, JJ?” “Couldn’t be better, guys. I just wanted to have a morning do-over. Yesterday we woke up, and the shit hit the fan. I just wanted to wake up with you guys with things on a happy note... and tell you that reservations are for 12:15 at the Driskill.” JJ leaned down and kissed me before he hopped over and kissed Johnny. “I also wanted to thank you for helping me make yesterday end up being the most wonderful day of my life!” Johnny took JJ in his arms and started to tickle him. “Noooooo! Not fair! There needs to be a no tickle rule in this house!” I couldn’t resist, so I joined Johnny as we tortured JJ. “Stop! Stop! I’m gonna pee all over you guys if you don’t stop!” “Johnny, are you into water sports?” “We’ve done some kinky shit with this boy already, why not add to the list.” “Nooooooo! Please stop! Pleeeeeease??!!?” We finally stopped, and JJ lay between us. He was on his stomach and then propped his head in his hands. “Actually, there is something I want to talk to you about.” “What’s up, kiddo?” “Guys, I just want to make sure everything is okay about last night. I mean, I kinda came up here hoping to join you and was thrilled when you guys asked me into your bed. But I want to make sure you guys are okay. You have been so good to me, and the last thing I want to do is cause any trouble.” Johnny and I both turned on our sides to face JJ. I ran my fingers through his blond curls. “You are a remarkable young man, JJ. Johnny and talked about it last night and we’re both good. We look at Friday night as some of the most amazing sex either of us has ever had. But it was sex... hot, amazing, incredible sex with a very hot boy joining us in our bed. It may or may not happen again. If it does, it would be because both Johnny and I choose to invite you back into our bed. But you have nothing to worry about. Johnny and I are great.” I kissed JJ on the cheek, and Johnny continued. “And now you have a wonderful man back in your life. I have never seen you as happy as you were when you saw Zach. He loves you, JJ. And I can see you love him just as much, if not more. So, if the three of us end up in bed together again, there’s another person whose feelings should be considered.” “Guys, last night, two things happened. We looked into each other’s eyes and touched each other’s souls. The other thing that happened was for the first time in my life, I learned what making love truly was. I love him. And I want him here, in Austin, with me. But he’s leaving next weekend and I’ll lose him again. Why does this shit seem to always happen to me?” We suddenly heard a soft voice from the bedroom door. “You’re not losing me, JJ. I may be leaving Sunday, but if you’ll have me, I’ll only be gone long enough to get my stuff and come back to you... to come back home.” JJ looked at his lover, and tears of happiness began falling down his face. I looked up and saw the stunning Zach wearing nothing but a smile. “Okay, who passed the clothing ban rule around here?” The four of us laughed, and Johnny added, “You might as well climb in, too Zach! It seems you’re part of the family now!” Zach climbed into the bed between Johnny and JJ and crawled under the covers. He kissed JJ and said, “I was scared to death when I woke up, and you were gone. Then I heard you yelling for the guys to stop. So, I came up the stairs to make sure you were okay.” “So, you heard what I said to Jason and Johnny?” “Yeah, I heard it all. And I want nothing more than to come back as soon as I can and start sharing my life with you. And Friday night sure sounded like a hot time. I wish I could have seen that!” JJ looked down, “I’m sorry you heard that, Zach. It was just something that happened. I didn’t know you were coming back. It really....” Zach put his finger on JJ’s lips. “Why are you apologizing? At first, I was a little jealous, but then when I heard Jason and Johnny talk to you about it, I knew I had nothing to worry about.” Johnny placed a kiss on Zach’s cheek. “You’re a good man, Zach. I’m so glad you are back in JJ’s life. But I want both of you to know something I learned when I was a young boy. Never carry regret with you. Always honor your past because that’s what makes you who you are today. I was so lucky to have a very wise grandmother. I have a feeling Zach understands a bit more than JJ. JJ, you get to let go of the bad feelings about your life. All of those things that you experienced have led up to Zach and your mom coming back into your life.” I added, “Johnny’s right JJ. When the three of us sat on the sofa and talked after the party, you kept saying how afraid you were of being alone. You’re never going to be alone, JJ. Think about it... the night Simon died, you came into our lives... and that was such a blessing for us. And then, less than 24 hours later, we’re at the airport picking up the love of your life, and then your mother comes back. Do you get it?” “Yeah. God’s kinda got my back. I get that. Just be patient with me. It’s going to take some work to undo that fear I’ve been living with. But Zach, you gotta finish school, don’t you? How can you move back here?” “I’m supposed to start first summer session next week. The good news is that I’ve been taking classes every summer. I only have a few to go before I get my degree. And the classes I have left aren’t part of my major. They’re general studies classes. I can take them anywhere and transfer the credits back to FSU, so I can get my degree there. I can even take them online if I want.” “Awesome, I’ve got this awfully big house now that I would love to share with you.” I looked at my watch and noticed it was a little past 11:00. “Guys, we are going to need to leave here in an hour to meet JJ’s mom for brunch. Time for showers, boys! Johnny, is there a dress code for the Driskill?” “Not really, but everyone usually wears dress pants and a dress shirt.” “Khakis okay?” “Perfect.” We all climbed out of bed and headed into our respective bathrooms. From the downstairs bathroom, we heard some pretty loud moaning in between our rather loud moans. I’m glad everyone was getting their morning sex with the man he loved. By 11:45, everyone had taken care of their shower, their sex, and damn... we looked awfully good as we walked out the door. We walked into the grand old hotel in downtown Austin and found Shirley waiting in the lobby. She stood up to greet us in a very pretty, sleeveless floral print dress. It was clear where JJ got his good looks. “Oh my! I’m the luckiest girl in Texas this morning! I dare anyone to claim they shared brunch with four more handsome men!” Zach was the first to reach her, and he kissed her cheek. “You’re looking awfully fine yourself, Mrs. Combs.” JJ walked up to his mom and hugged her. “You look awesome, Mama!” We walked to the dining room and sat down at a round table near the center of the dining room. We all started with some coffee. Shirley and I ordered Mimosas, and Johnny had a Bloody Mary. Since JJ couldn’t legally drink, Zach decided to stick with the coffee even though he was 21. We all placed our orders and settled in for a nice brunch. I decided to start off the conversation. “Shirley, JJ says you were at a conference this weekend. I hope it wasn’t a problem getting away.” “Oh no, I had already made my presentation, and I was just sitting in on different sessions.” “Mom, I just realized I don’t even know what you do now.” “Well, I guess not. I was just a housewife when you were at home. I’m now a financial advisor for non-profits. I help them with grant applications and help them set up their day-to-day financial operations. I learned a lot when I helped your father with his church. I learned a lot more when I took several classes at the Community College.” I was suddenly very interested. “Shirley, do you work for a particular organization?” “No, I’ve been trying to, but until something comes up, I’m just freelancing.” “Well, we need to talk as soon as possible. One of the first things I need to do this week is hiring someone to handle the financial operations of the theatre. Would something like that interest you?” “Oh my! Seriously? That would be perfect! And I could spend a little more time around my son!” We continued with our meal, and Shirley agreed to meet me at the theatre at 1:00 on Monday. I made a note in my phone to let Bob know what was happening. After dinner, we all hugged and parted ways. We headed to the theatre to begin striking the set. Johnny, JJ, and Zach all brought a change of clothes so they could work more comfortably. I went into my office and decided that it would be perfect for the soon-to-be-hired financial director. I then went into Simon’s office and began removing his personal things. I began stacking them up on the sofa and then sat down at the desk. I opened the file cabinet in the credenza and started looking at some of the files that seemed like they would give me insight into the operations of the theatre. Fortunately, Simon meticulously kept records and I felt I would be up to snuff in a week... two weeks max. Simon’s laptop was open and off to the side. I ran my finger across the finger pad and the screen came to life. What I saw shocked me beyond anything I had ever seen before! It was the shower in my bathroom! What the fuck? How could this be? I got up and made a beeline into the theatre. My blood was boiling with anger. “Johnny!! Johnny!! I need you... NOW!!”
  13. Ummmm, actually--there are four books.
  14. Chapter 11 – Changes I woke up about 10:30 Saturday morning surrounded by two beautiful, yet contrasting men. On my left was my lover, with his brown skin, jet-black hair, and chiseled features. On my right was the angelic blond JJ. I thought back on the amazing sex the three of us shared the night before and noticed my morning wood bouncing around. Although I had never planned to share our bed with JJ, it turned out to be one incredible night! I began to think about how I was feeling. As I was falling asleep, I was hoping there would be no regrets. I surprised myself by thinking that what Johnny and I have together is quite simply the epitome of love. When he and I make love, it is so far above and beyond simple sex. What we did last night was to invite a sweet and beautiful young man to join us. And that was the key to the whole thing... WE invited him to join US. Would it happen again? It’s hard to say. All I can say is that fucking JJ and the incredible feeling of Johnny’s cock alongside mine was something neither of us would have ever experienced without a third person. I quietly slid out of bed, trying not to disturb Johnny or JJ. I went into the bathroom to relieve myself then headed downstairs to start a pot of coffee. Once the coffee was brewing, I went over to the sofa and grabbed my cell phone. There was a text from Bob Hammond, the president of the Board of Directors telling me to check my voicemail and then call him immediately. I had to listen to Bob’s voicemail three times before I could comprehend what he was saying. “Jason, this Bob Hammond from the Rosemont Board.” His voice started to get shaky as he continued. “I’m afraid there’s been a terrible accident. Very early this morning, it seems Simon lost control of his car and drove off the Congress Street Bridge and wasn’t able to get out of his car in time. He was pronounced dead at the scene.” He paused for a few seconds and then continued. “I know you aren’t scheduled to begin work until Monday, but I need you to call me as soon as possible so that we can figure a course of action. I’m so sorry to have to bring you such terrible news. I’ll talk to you soon.” My hands were shaking as I returned Bob’s call. “Bob Hammond speaking.” “Bob. This is Jason. I-I-I’m just stunned.” “We all are, Jason. It’s just...” He took a deep breath. “It’s just tragic. Simon’s been a part of our theatre family for over twenty years.” “Well, what can I do?” “Well, first and foremost, the board is meeting in an emergency session at 1:00 and we would like you to be there.” “Of course, I’ll be there and know that I am ready to do whatever is necessary to make sure the theatre and everyone involved with the theatre will get through this.” “That’s what I was hoping to hear, Jason. Thank you.” “Is there anything else I can do before the meeting?” “Well, actually, there might be. As you may know, Simon was JJ’s guardian, and the boy still lives in the house. Simon’s lawyer has been trying to find JJ and can’t seem to locate him. If you hear anything...” “JJ is here. Simon left the cast party and forgot to take JJ with him. Oh… my God. JJ could have easily been in the car with Simon!” “Is JJ awake yet?” “No, he’s still asleep.” “Well, I’m sure there are some pretty difficult messages and texts waiting for him on his phone. I guess what I’m getting at is I think it would be better for JJ to hear the news from someone he’s close to rather than lawyers and police officers. Do you think you would be up to the task? Or should I send someone over?” “No Bob, Johnny and I both care deeply for JJ. I’m sure one or both of us could let him know.” “That’s good to hear, Jason. I’ll let you go and get on with this difficult situation. Thank you so much for handling this. JJ’s a special boy, and everyone at the theatre loves him dearly. Please be gentle with him and call me if you need any help.” “Bob, one more thing... do you have the attorney’s phone number? I think it might be best if we use my phone and keep JJ away from whatever messages might be on there.” “That’s an excellent idea. I can get the number to you shortly. I’ll text it to you.” “Thank you, Bob. I know this is going to be a difficult time for all of us, and I’ll do everything possible to make the transition go as smoothly as possible for everyone involved with the theatre.” “You’re a good man Jason. We are all so grateful that you are here.” “Thanks, Bob. Call me if you need anything else.” After we ended the call, I just sat on the sofa and tried to soak in everything that had happened. My initial reaction was grief over the loss of the man who brought me to Austin. In a short time, I was overcome with the awareness of the great responsibility that was just handed to me. It would be up to me to lead the Rosemont Theatre family through a very difficult period. I took a deep breath and quietly made my way upstairs to the bedroom. When I looked down at the bed, I couldn’t take my eyes off JJ. He was sleeping with a peaceful innocence. My heart was breaking for him knowing that I was about to shatter his world. I quietly walked over to Johnny and nudged him awake. As soon as he opened his eyes, I put my finger over my lips to make sure he didn’t say anything. I motioned for him to come with me. Johnny went into the bathroom to pee, and I got our bathrobes. We made our way into the kitchen he poured us each a cup of coffee. He looked at me and saw the expression on my face. “What happened baby? You don’t look so good.” “Oh, Johnny, it’s terrible!” The tears began to fall down my face as I told him what Bob had told me. As soon as Johnny heard that his friend and mentor was gone, he too began to cry. “I think we need to be the ones to tell JJ. I’m sure his phone is full of horrible messages, and after all he told us, I don’t think it would be good for him to hear the news that way.” “I completely agree. I’m sure there are more than a few messages on my phone as well, and I know I don’t want to hear them right now.” Just then, my phone buzzed with the text message from Bob. I now had the number for the attorney that needed to speak to JJ immediately. I decided to call him before we woke JJ. I called Sam Jones and told him that we were just about to tell JJ the terrible news. While he couldn’t give me many details due to the confidentiality of the situation, he did tell me that Simon’s instructions upon his death required that he read the will to JJ as soon as possible. Since there is no other family, JJ was required to hear the will before any arrangements were to be made. I told Sam that we would tell JJ as soon as we ended the call and have him at the house within the hour. Johnny just sat at the table, staring into space with tears silently falling from his eyes. “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want, baby. I can tell JJ myself if you’re not up to it.” “No, JJ trusts both of us now. We should both be there for him. He’s going to need us more than ever.” “Thank you, baby.” I took yet another deep breath, and we made our way upstairs to the bedroom. Johnny and I sat on the edge of the bed beside JJ. I just looked down at him with my heart breaking in anticipation of what was about to happen. I reached down and began stroking his hair. I leaned down and kissed his forehead. JJ opened his eyes and smiled at the two of us. “Good morning, guys!” His smile soon vanished when he saw the tears in our eyes. “What’s going on? I knew it! I fucked up last night!” I put my hand on JJ’s chest to reassure him. “No. No. No. You’ve done nothing wrong.” I took yet another deep breath. “JJ, I’m afraid I have some terrible news. There was an accident last night. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but it was Simon. He didn’t make it.” “Oh. Wow. When did this happen?” Johnny took his hand and said, “It happened last night. After the party.” “Whoa. I was supposed to be with him. I-I could have died, too.” I was surprised that JJ’s first reaction was rather calm and very collected. “It’s my fault. I wished this on him.” Johnny reassured him that it wasn’t his fault. “No. You don’t understand. We had a pretty intense argument on the way over here from the theatre. He called me ungrateful, which is how he ends every argument. I just sat in the seat wishing that Simon would just die. I wished this on him... and it happened. I’m all alone again.” I lifted JJ up into my arms, and he quietly lay his head on my chest. Johnny reached up and lightly caressed his face. “You’re not alone, JJ. You have Jason and me now. We’re here for you. I’m going to go get your clothes so you can get dressed.” Johnny went down to the guest room and gathered JJ’s clothes. When he returned, I was telling JJ that we needed to get him to the house to meet with Sam. JJ slipped out of bed and despite everything that was happening, I was still in awe of his beauty. The three of us dressed and were soon heading out the door to Simon’s house. We pulled into the driveway in less than fifteen minutes and saw that Sam was already there. “Will you guys please come in with me? I don’t know if I want to be alone when I hear that I’m being thrown out.” Johnny turned around and took JJ’s hand. “Hey, kiddo, the only person who knows what’s going to happen is the lawyer.” “I guess. Let’s get this over with.” The three of us walked into the house, and Sam was sitting in the living room. He stood and greeted us. “Gentlemen, thank you for coming.” He shook JJ’s hand and asked that he join him in the study. “Mr. Jones, I need Jason and Johnny with me, if that’s okay.” “Well, I guess since there are no others involved in this, I don’t see why that would be a problem.” We all walked into Simon’s study. Sam took a seat at the desk, and the three of us sat on the leather sofa with JJ between Johnny and me. Sam began speaking. “First, my deepest condolences on your loss, JJ.” “Thank you, sir.” “You should know that Simon requested this meeting immediately upon his death, and that’s why I called you here so soon.” “I should let you know that I am now your attorney, JJ. You have every right to change that if you choose to do so. This is part of the arrangements that Simon made to make this transition go as smoothly as possible.” “Why do I need an attorney? I didn’t do anything.” “That will be clear in just a few minutes.” Sam opened an envelope and pulled some papers out. “This is Simon’s Last Will and Testament. I can read it to you with all the legal language or I can just tell you what the particulars are.” JJ chose the second option. “Fine. Before I get into the will, I need to tell you that Simon had set up a secret trust fund for you. You were to receive it when you turned 25, or upon your graduation from college, or upon his death, whichever took place first. That trust fund is now available to you and is worth 1.5 million dollars.” “What the... Simon left me all that money? I... I didn’t even know he had that much.” “Well, that’s not part of the will. Simon just wanted to make sure you were taken care of as you began your life outside of college.” JJ looked up at me, and the first tears began to appear. “Jason, he cared. He really did care.” He took each of our hands in his and took a deep breath. “Okay, Mr. Jones, let’s get this over with.” “JJ, I must tell you that Simon considered you his family. And since there are no other living relatives, you are legally his sole heir. So... Simon, being your legal guardian while you were under eighteen, also had Power of Attorney. He added your name to the deed of the house so this is now legally your home, free and clear. You will be responsible for the annual property taxes and I will assist you with that when it comes up.” “You mean I don’t have to leave?” “Oh, far from it, young man. This and much much more, is yours. As you may know, Simon’s parents were quite wealthy. They made millions during the oil boom of the 1960s. When they passed away, Simon became the sole beneficiary of their estate. Simon was very wise and brought in some of the best financial advisors and myself in to manage his affairs and I’m very happy to say that the assets have more than tripled. Son, your name is also on these assets.” JJ squeezed our hands and took a deep breath. “Just what are you saying, Mr. Jones?” “Well, when we consolidate all of Mr. Bradley’s investments and accounts, his assets... now your assets… total approximately 53.7 million dollars.” “Oh my God, I had no idea he had that kind of money. How did this happen? What does this all mean, really?” “JJ, this means you are one of the wealthiest men in Austin. Now, as this is the weekend, I won’t be able to give you full access to the funds until Monday.” Johnny and I looked at each other in disbelief as JJ just stared ahead while holding onto our hands for dear life. He wasn’t crying, but tears were flowing freely from his eyes. “JJ, Simon apparently cared for you deeply. I found this in his safe.” Sam handed JJ a letter. Written on the outside was, “To my darling son...” When JJ saw it, he gasped. “This isn’t from Simon. It’s my mother’s handwriting.” He looked down at the letter in his hands and they began shaking. He looked over to Johnny and said, “I can’t do it. Will you?” Johnny nodded and opened the envelope and began reading: My dearest Joshua, My heart is shattered into a million pieces right now. It’s not because you told us you are gay. I’ve suspected that you were for a long time. Personally, I don’t believe it’s anything you should be afraid or ashamed of. God made you this way, and He doesn’t make mistakes. Your father’s behavior is wrong. We had a huge argument after you left, and he wouldn’t budge his closed and arrogant mind. He will be going to work this afternoon and when he returns this evening, I will be gone. I’m going to be staying with my friend Debbie McDaniel for a few days while I arrange for a place to live. You can call me there. Her phone number is 512-555-5413. I have just spoken with Simon Bradley. He has agreed to take you in and make sure you have a good life. He is an angel for doing this, and I am forever grateful to him. Please be a good boy for Simon. Give him the respect and obedience you would give me. Please know that I love you, my dear son. Please contact me when you read this, and if you decide to, we can arrange for you to join me when I get settled into my own place. I will ask Simon to give you this letter in a couple of weeks so you can settle into your new life. I know you must hate your father for what he did. I know you must also hate me for not having the courage to stand up to him. That’s all over and done with. I understand if you don’t want to see me after all this, but please know that you will always be my only son. You are a part of my soul. You are the greatest love of my life. None of that will ever change. I love you, Mom JJ’s face turned red and angry. “That son-of-a-bitch! Simon kept this from me all these years? He- he- he kept me away from my own mother so he could have me to himself! That bastard only thought of himself and what HE wanted.” I took JJ in my arms as he finally began to sob for the first time. I looked over to Sam, who was sitting at the desk with a look of shock on his face. “Mr. Jones, is there anything else that needs to be discussed today?” “No, I think we are quite finished. I’ll get all the necessary arrangements to implement Simon’s will first thing Monday morning.” “Thank you for your time. Johnny, will you show Mr. Jones out?” Sam stood up and pulled a piece of paper from his pocket. “This is a list with the safe combination, access codes to different buildings, computer passwords, and the like. I’ll just leave it on the desk. I’ll be in touch Monday. And again, I’m sorry for your loss, young man.” JJ ignored him as he sobbed into my chest. Johnny got up to escort the lawyer to the door while JJ stayed in my arms. He looked up at me with a sense of great sadness in his eyes. “Thank you, Jason. I don’t think I could have handled this if you guys weren’t here. It seems like this is just some bizarre, weird dream and you guys have been here for me and you hardly even know me.” He leaned up and kissed me. “Thank you.” Johnny returned to the study. “Babe, it’s a little past noon already, and you need to get to the theatre for the meeting soon. I’ll stay here with JJ while you are there if that’s okay.” JJ and I stood up. He had stopped crying and my shirt was soaking wet from his tears. JJ noticed my shirt and laughed. “Dear God, I soaked you to the bone! Let me get you a shirt from Simon’s closet.” “I’ll go with you, JJ.” We went upstairs to the massive master suite. JJ stopped just inside the door and just stared at the bed. “Are you okay, kiddo.” “Yeah, I really am. I was just thinking that I won’t ever have to use sex to get... or keep... what I need. I don’t have to be a victim of that man anymore.” He turned to and continued. “You know, over the last few weeks, I began to realize that Simon had this dark side that no one ever was aware of. It was just little things that were making me see that this so-called perfect life I had been living was full of greed and deceit. We started arguing. I became more defiant and he would always call me ungrateful. But that’s all done now. I refuse to be a `victim’ any longer. I’m going to be strong and take charge of my life once and for all. No more tears.” I took JJ in my arms and held him close to me. “You know, there’s nothing wrong with tears. There’s nothing wrong with letting your emotions show if they are honest and don’t hurt anyone. But you know, the JJ I’ve come to know over the last few days is a beautiful, talented, sweet man. You have a wonderful life ahead of you that can come a bit easier now that Simon left you everything. Can I make a suggestion?” “Please do.” “While I’m at the theatre meeting with the Board of Directors, why don’t you let Johnny help you with some phone calls. Try to find your mom and let her know that Simon never gave you the letter she wrote. I’m sure she would love to hear from you about as much as you would love to hear her voice again.” “Do you think Johnny would help me?” “I’m sure he would, but you need to ask him, of course.” JJ proceeded to find a shirt that would fit me, and as I changed, I could see he was deep in thought. “Thank you, Jason. You are a wonderful man and I don’t think I’d be getting through all this without you guys. I love you both dearly... and it’s not about the sex last night. You both listened to me spout off about my life and didn’t judge me. You’ve let me into your lives. Simon was the only other person to do that.” “Well, you won me over when you sang last night. Like I said, you let me in to you your soul while I played for you. It’s a good soul, JJ. I’m glad you are now in my life... and proud to have you as a friend.” “Damn you, Jason! You’re going to make me cry again!” He laughed, and we both turned to go back downstairs. When we got downstairs, Johnny was on his phone being wise and comforting someone. He’s amazingly good with people, that’s for sure. He saw us coming down the stairs and wrapped up his call. That was Carrie. She was pretty freaked out and said the whole cast and crew were texting, Tweeting, and Facebooking trying to make sense out of everything. Right now, they’re trying to figure out if there’s going to be a show tonight. I told her the Board was meeting at 1:00 and I’m sure decisions will be made.” “I’m thinking a lot of decisions are going to be made. As soon as I can, I’ll text you and let you know what the plans for the show are, but a lot of that will depend on JJ.” JJ took another deep breath, and I could see the wheels turning in his head. “Jason, I told you I would no longer be a victim. If I don’t do this show tonight, then I’m letting Simon have power over me even with him being dead. If I do the show, then it’s because I choose to do it, no one else can make that decision.” “JJ, if that’s your decision, then I will pass that on to the board. Now, I need to get to the theatre. If you need anything, call me.” I left the house and began driving to what I assumed was going to be a very difficult meeting. JOHNNY I was still trying to process the events of the day. Simon was a good man to me. He was my mentor and friend. The only awkward time was when he asked me out on a date. We got past that rather quickly and only became closer. Now I see how he manipulated JJ, and I’m wondering if he was genuine with me at all. JJ walked into the study and came back out into the living room reading the letter from his mother. This time there were no tears. He just had a look of determination and resolve on his face. “Johnny? Will you help me find my mother?” “Yeah, I think that would be a good thing to start with.” JJ went into his room and came out holding his laptop. We set up on the dining room table, and JJ asked where we should start. I turned the computer towards me and decided to start with whitepages.com. “What’s her name?” “Shirley Cobb.” I typed her name in the box and put Austin as her city. Three entries came. Two of them also listed a husband. JJ said neither of them was his father so we ruled them out. That left one Shirley Cobb on Shoal Creek Blvd. “Shit! I left my phone at your place.” JJ got up and grabbed the cordless phone from the kitchen. “Here goes nothing!” JJ dialed the number and waited. “I don’t think she’s there.” Suddenly his eyes got big. “It’s her! It’s her voicemail.” JJ was smiling for the first time today, then he spoke. “Mama? It’s me, JJ. I just wanted to let you know that I’m okay. A lot has happened. Simon was killed in an auto accident last night, and I just found the letter you wrote to me four years ago. So much has happened, Mama. I want to see you. Call me back? The number here at the house is 512-555-2934. My cell is 512-555-2202. I love you, Mama. I miss you!” JJ hung up the phone and had a grin from ear-to-ear. “Wow! That was so easy! Thanks, Johnny!” Then came a look of concern. “Wait a minute. What if she’s still living with Dad? If he hears the message first, he might erase it and never tell her. Do you think we can try to dig a little deeper so I can actually talk with her?” I suddenly thought of the letter. “Didn’t your mom leave a friend’s phone number in the letter?” “Yeah, let’s try that. I just hope it’s still good.” JJ started to dial the number and then stopped. “What do I say to her? I don’t know who she is.” “Would you like me to make this call for you?” “Please?” I took the phone and dialed the number. It was answered after just two rings. “Hello, is this Debbie McDaniel?” “May I ask who’s calling?” “My name is Johnny Breeze, and I’m a friend of JJ Cobb, Shirley’s son.” “Oh dear God, did something happen to JJ?” “Oh no, not at all. He’s just fine. Apparently, Shirley wrote a letter to JJ four years ago, and he has just now seen it. We’re trying to locate her so he can talk with her.” “Oh my God! That’s wonderful news! Shirley will be so excited!” “Well, we found her home phone number and JJ left her a message, but he was afraid his father might find it and erase it.” “Oh, that couldn’t happen. He was sent to another church in Amarillo after Shirley left him. But Shirley won’t hear that message until tomorrow night. She’s in Houston attending a conference this weekend.” “I see. Would you happen to know if she has a cell number? I’m sure JJ would like to contact her directly as soon as possible.” “Well, I don’t feel right about giving out that number to someone neither of us knows, but if you give me a number where she can reach JJ, I’ll text it to her. She won’t answer the phone in the middle of the conference, but I’ll bet she looks at a text when it comes through.” I gave her the landline number and hung up. I told JJ what Debbie was going to do and JJ was ecstatic. “Oh my God, Johnny! Thank you so much!” He leaned over to me and kissed me on the cheek. “Who would have thought that with all the horrible stuff that’s happened over the last few years... and last night... something so wonderful could come out of it?” “JJ, my grandmother taught me to believe that there are spirits that guide us through life. When something challenging happens in our lives, we get to open our hearts and minds to the wonderful things that our spirit guides will bring to us.” Just then, the phone rang and JJ grabbed it. “Hello? Mama? Yes, it’s really me. I just read it today. He had it in his safe. No, I didn’t break into his safe! Well, Simon died last night and the lawyer gave me the letter this morning. You’re coming home now? Awesome! Well, I’m doing a show tonight... that is if the theatre decides not to cancel it. I can’t wait to see you too, Mama! I love you, Mama!” JJ hung up the phone and looked at me. “She’s leaving the conference now. She said with the traffic she should be here by 4:30 or 5:00! I can’t believe she’s coming here!” He hugged me and kissed me again, this time on the lips. “Whoa! Slow down, tiger!” “Oh, I’m sorry! I’m just so excited!” “Why don’t we go back to my place, pick up your phone and see if we can scrape together lunch out of the party leftovers?” JASON I got to the theatre ten minutes before the meeting was to start. They were all gathered in the conference room. When I walked in, I noticed that most of the women, and a couple of the men, had been crying. Bob stood up and welcomed me. “Welcome, Jason. I’m sorry we have to get together like this, but I’m sure you understand the urgency of the unfortunate circumstances.” “I understand completely. And let me assure you I will do everything in my power to make sure the Rosemont will get through this difficult time with ease and still honor everyone’s memory of Simon.” I discovered that the board had been meeting for an hour already and made several decisions. The first was that I would be given a new title of Managing Artistic Director along with a salary boost of 40%. It was also decided that the theatre would host a memorial service on Friday. The Board also decided to continue with the final performance of Pippin and they contacted the stage manager to gather the cast at 3:00 to make sure they were on board for the performance. I told the Board of JJ’s decision to go on tonight should the decision be made to do the show. Should the show go on, they would like me to make a brief curtain speech to honor the memory of Simon. I agreed to everything and realized that my speech tonight would be to honor other peoples’ memories of Simon, not allowing the information I’ve received to influence my words. The next hour was spent with the Board and me going over my new contract and job requirements. I was more than a little overwhelmed with my new responsibilities and asked the Board to consider hiring a business manager to handle the bookkeeping and the financial operations of the theatre, with me making necessary decisions for the day-to-day operations and me bringing any major decisions directly to them. They voted unanimously to allow me to hire this person as soon as possible. By the time we finished, it was 2:30 and I was starved! I ran to the deli next door to the theatre and grabbed a tuna salad sub and took it back to the theatre. I was sitting in my new, barely furnished office and was finishing my sandwich while working on my speech for the evening. Not long after, Johnny and a very happy JJ walked in. Johnny kissed me. “Mmmmmm. Tuna!” “Guys, get a room!” I looked up at JJ. “You seem to be doing well, kiddo!” “Yeah, Johnny helped me find my mom, and she’s going to be back by five. She’s coming to the show tonight, even though she’s seen it already. Actually, she’s seen every show I’ve done in the last four years. Now that I think about it, my mom has been stalking me! How weird is that?” Johnny suggested that he and JJ join the rest of the cast so I could finish my work before the meeting. I got another kiss from my lover and watched the two handsome men walk out together. Not long after the guys left, Bob came in and asked if I was ready to talk with the cast. “Let’s do it!” When we walked into the theatre, the cast and crew were standing hand-in-hand and in a circle. Each one was describing Simon as their turn came. Many were in tears. I was worried about what JJ might say when his turn came but I soon learned that my concerns were unfounded. When it came time for JJ to speak, he said, “It’s rather hard for me to describe Simon with just one word, but if I must, I would have to say... generous.” Bob and I walked up on to the stage and joined the circle. I stood between JJ and Johnny. Bob stood on the other side of JJ and spoke first. “If I were to describe Simon Bradley with one word, I would have to say `dedicated.’ No one was more dedicated to the success of this theatre company than Simon. As most of you know, Simon’s dedication came with a firm belief in the idea that `the show must go on.’ However, that is a decision that needs to come from you... the cast and crew. We would like to honor Simon’s dedication by going on with the final performance tonight.” JJ looked up to Bob. “We’ve already decided that we want to do the show. We all have our own reasons that led to our personal decisions, but can I just share mine?” Bob smiled at JJ and said, “By all means, please.” “My mother, who I haven’t seen in over four years, is coming to the show this evening. I need to do this for her as much as anything else.” The stage manager spoke up, “Well, there you go people. We now have two reasons to give the performance of our lives tonight. Call is at 6:00. If it’s okay with Bob and Jason, let’s break this up so people can get ready?” “Sounds good to me. Jason? Do you have anything to add?” “I want you all to know that you have my deepest sympathy and full support for this evening’s show. Everyone has their own unique memories of Simon, and tonight, we will honor those memories. Now everyone go on and try to enjoy the rest of your afternoon.” The cast started to head out, and Johnny pulled me off to the side. “I had JJ pack a bag. I don’t think he should be in that house by himself quite yet. I hope you don’t mind that I invited him to stay for a few days.” “Of course not Love, I was going to suggest we do something. That sounds like a perfect idea.” I called out to JJ, and he came over. “I agree with Johnny that you should stay with us for a few days. A lot is going on with you right now and if you don’t want to be alone, we’ll be happy to be here for you.” JJ hugged me. “I love you guys. Thank you for all you’ve done.” And so, we headed home to get ready for one of the biggest nights in JJ’s young life.
  15. Chapter 10 – Magic to Do: A Cast Party for the Ages JASON I woke up Monday morning, cradled in the arms of Johnny and his morning wood resting between the cheeks of my ass. I looked at my hand and the ring Johnny gave me last night. It brought a smile to my face as I closed my eyes and thought about the most incredible weekend of my life. Just 48 hours ago, I was getting on a plane in Richmond, Virginia. I had made a huge career change and was moving to Texas, not knowing what was in store. Out of the blue, this man... this remarkable man comes into my life and instantly changes everything. I no longer laugh at those “love at first sight” stories. I’ve done things in bed I’ve never dreamed possible. And then he gives me this ring… The ring his father wore… His most valuable possession and he gave it to me. As I lay awake in Johnny’s arms, I moved the ring around my finger as tears of happiness fell onto my pillow. JOHNNY I woke up to the sound of Jason letting out a deep sight as he lay in my arms. My morning wood was nestled in my new favorite place... between the perfectly rounded orbs of my boyfriend’s ass. I was resting on two pillows since Jason insisted on sleeping on the pillow I brought over from the apartment. I could see over his disheveled morning hair and see him playing with the gold ring I gave him last night. It was still hard to believe that everything I had been dreaming of for the past two months came true, and he was lying in my arms. As I watched Jason fingering my dad’s ring, I could sense the presence of my grandmother in the room. I could hear her say, “You’ve always been such a special boy, Johnny. Your spirits have wonderful things planned for you. Just let it happen, and you will be loved as much as any person could possibly love another.” Tears of joy fell out of my eyes. I’ve never felt such happiness and love in my entire life. JJ I woke up in bed with my back to Simon. I’ve been sleeping with him for more than four years now. He saved my life when my dad threw me out of the house. He gave me a life I had only dreamt of. He gave me the attention I never had. I gave him all the sex he wanted. But seeing Johnny and Jason at brunch made me realize how much I really want to be in love. I’ve never been able to look into anyone’s eyes like they do. I’ve never felt so empty and sad as I do this morning. Simon says he loves me. Not as often as he used to, but he does say it. Damien said he loved me when we were together at Spring Break, but that was when I was fucking him... so that doesn’t count. The only person to ever tell me he loved me and truly meant it was Zack. He still tells me when we talk or text. And when he says it, I feel it and know that I truly love him back. Tears fell from my eyes as I realized how fucked up I’ve made my life. If only Zach were lying next to me... SIMON I woke up in bed with JJ lying next to me. It’s been more than four years since I took him in. I’m glad that I could make a difference in the boy’s life. He is such a beautiful boy and has given me more joy than I could have ever dreamed. I do care deeply for him. He’s the closest thing I have to a family. I tell him I love him. He tells me the same. But I know they are empty words. I sense that JJ is afraid that if he doesn’t please me, he will lose the life he has come to love. A single tear falls from my eye when I realize that I have allowed him to think that so I would have the beautiful boy at my side. People think I’m this wonderful, nice man for taking in JJ. But I know that I’m far from that. When I look in the mirror, I shudder at the man I’ve become... a deceitfully bitter man, only looking out for myself. I’m surrounded by more wonderful people than I deserve... and I’ve never been so alone. ****** Four men waking up. Four men with tears in their eyes, although for different reasons. Four men rising to begin a new week in their lives... a week that not one of them has any idea will be a week that would never be forgotten... a week that would forever change their lives. JASON I wiped my eyes and rolled over to face Johnny. When I saw Johnny’s tears, I was concerned. “You okay, baby?” “More than okay, my love.” I reached up and wiped a tear from Johnny’s high cheekbone. “Jason, I’m so grateful to have you in my life now. I know having all this happen so quickly was probably scary as Hell. But you trusted. You allowed me into your life... and your heart... yes, you truly followed your heart.” “You know, the thing that surprises me most about this whole remarkable thing is that not once was I scared. I trusted because nothing in my life has ever felt this right. And already, I know that my life would be hollow and incomplete without you in it... without you by my side. And I’m not scared in the slightest bit.” “Jason, you found a place in my heart I never knew I had until you filled it.” We kissed passionately and deeply. I broke the kiss and looked into my lover’s eyes. “Johnny, if we start, we’ll never get the stuff done we need to get done. I’m sorry!” “Don’t be sorry, Jason. Sharing our thoughts and that kiss was just as much making love as anything we’ve done sexually.” “God, I love you, Mr. Breeze!” We kissed again and then almost simultaneously said, “I gotta pee!” We walked into the bathroom, pointed our hard cocks into the toilet, and began to relieve ourselves. I finished first and walked across the room to start the shower. As soon as I got the water just right, I stepped in and began wetting down my hair. I closed my eyes and leaned my head back and soon felt the magnificent warmth of Johnny’s mouth engulf my still semi-hard cock. While the head on my shoulders tried to find the words to tell Johnny we didn’t have time, the head working its way down Johnny’s throat won the battle, and the only sound coming from me was a low, guttural moan of pleasure. “Ooooooh baby. Soooo. Niiiiice. Ooooooooh!” I reached down to Johnny’s head to steady myself and found that my lover had untied his hair. Yes, it’s an official fetish! As I ran my fingers through the long, black tresses, I found myself getting more and more turned on. I began to rock my hips back and forth, beginning a slow, sensuous rhythm while I made love to Johnny’s talented throat. Johnny began long-stroking the entire length of his cock, pulling his foreskin back and massaging the sensitive head with each pass. With his other hand, he found my tight hole and began massaging it. We were both soon in sensory overload, and Johnny began moaning, creating deep vibrations around my cock. My moaning became more intense when Johnny’s middle finger broke through the barrier of my sphincter and was soon applying pressure to my magic spot. “Fuck baby! Here is comes! Take my load, baby! OOOOOOOH!” I began firing pulse after pulse of morning cum down Johnny’s throat, which was just enough to send him over the edge. I felt four volleys of scalding cum land on my thigh as Johnny let an animalistic moan surround my pulsing meat. Johnny released my cock and began kissing his way up my abs and heaving chest. He kissed his way up the side of my neck and reached my ear. “I saw you standing in the shower with the water flowing down your beautiful cock. I couldn’t resist. I’m weak. I couldn’t think. I’m a victim of your stunning beauty. I’m sorry! I blame you!” I started to giggle and turned my head to kiss my lover. “I’m pretty sure I would have done the exact same thing had you been the first one in the shower!” I reached for the shower gel and began rubbing the refreshing liquid all over the bronzed skin of my lover, working some into every muscled nook and cranny of his body. I then handed the bottle to Johnny, who did the same to me. Soon, we were clean and drying each other, planting small kisses whenever and wherever we could. Before long, we were in the truck and exiting the parking garage onto Riverside Drive. Johnny and I were on our way to the different car dealerships on the south side of the city. I liked the ability to haul things around that Johnny’s truck afforded, but didn’t feel like I was a “truck person.” I decided I wanted an SUV, and within just a couple of hours, I had found, tested, and decided on a brand-new Ford Flex. It didn’t have the best gas mileage, but with the FlexFuel option, I would be able to save some money there. While I was working with the sales manager on the paperwork and financing, the crew at the dealership was able to get the car ready, and by the time all the paperwork was completed, the car was ready to go. By noon, we were driving back to the loft to drop off Johnny’s truck so I could begin driving and learning my way around the city. After lunch at the Whole Foods Grocery and their amazing food court, I found my way to the theatre with only a little help from Johnny. When we arrived, we went to the reception desk and asked for Simon. Margaret, the matronly volunteer, jumped up and came around the desk and hugged me. “I’m so happy to see you again, Jason! This whole building is just buzzin’ with excitement for you to start! Simon is out to lunch, but he left an envelope for you. I hear you’re going to be hosting the cast party at your new place. That’s so sweet of you, honey!” “Wow! Everyone here is just so friendly! It’s going to take some getting used to, I guess!” “Jason, we’re not this friendly to everyone! Only the ones we like... Isn’t that right, Johnny?” Margaret gave Johnny a knowing wink and a nod, which caused him to blush. “Margaret!” “Oh, come now, Johnny. You know good and well that nothing gets by me around here. She leaned in to the two of us and whispered loudly, “Just between us, I’m so happy to hear that the two of you are getting along so well! It’s a breath of fresh air that I’m happy to see! And Jason, it’s a good thing Johnny found you. If he hadn’t, I might just have snatched this handsome boy up for myself!” The three of us laughed and exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes before I commented that we needed to get back to the loft since we were expecting the piano tuner and the delivery of the new television. I found my way back home without any problems and slid into the parking space. About ten minutes later, the buzzer rang, and it was the piano tuner. My pride and joy was the eight-foot Steinway grand, and I was thrilled to get it out of storage and back into my life... my new life! It stood in front of the living room window and balcony so that I would have a wonderful view of the lake whenever I played. About fifteen minutes into the piano tuner’s work, the buzzer sounded again, and it was the crew from Best Buy. I told them they would have to keep the noise to a minimum while the piano tuner worked, but he would finish within the hour. That was no problem for the installers. They looked at the sculpture above the fireplace and quietly tapped on the walls where they were planning to hide the wiring for the sound system. Whenever they needed to talk, they went into the kitchen and discussed their course of action. They decided it would be best to grab some lunch and then return after the piano tuner had finished. I felt bad about setting up the installation without remembering the piano tuner appointment, so I gave each of the workers twenty bucks and insisted that I pay for lunch since I had messed up. Johnny and I went into the office and sat down at the desk. I opened the envelope from Simon and was more than a little surprised to see that it was for $1000.00. “Johnny? A thousand bucks? Really?” Johnny didn’t seem to be as surprised. “Yeah. When a show is a huge success, the theatre thanks the cast and crew with a larger party than usual. Those parties are normally catered, and there’s a lot of alcohol. Looks like we get to throw an awesome party!” We decided to budget the beverages first and decided on a variety of wines. Johnny suggested one of the local vodka distilleries, Deep Eddy Vodka, and their very popular Sweet Tea drink. Although it was primarily vodka, it had the look and taste of sweet iced tea. After figuring the cost of the beverages, I went online and started to look up caterers. I was a little overwhelmed at the number of catering companies that were available and had started to look up menus when Johnny stopped him. “Baby, you know I could do the food myself. I’ve been trained in just that sort of thing, and I would love to do that while we have this week together.” “You really want to do that much work, Johnny?” “First, you will help me. Second, I love doing that kind of thing and don’t get to cook enough. Third, if we don’t find something to do besides fucking and sucking, one or both of our cocks might suffer permanent damage!” “Good point, although nursing that amazing cock of yours back to health would most definitely be my pleasure!” We both giggled, and I leaned in to kiss my amazing lover. At that moment, there was a knock on the office door as the piano tuner cleared his throat. “I’m sorry to interrupt, gentlemen.” Johnny and I regained our composure and were blushing a bit. “The piano is tuned, and I must say it was pure joy working on such a fine instrument!” I gave the tuner my credit card, and he swiped it through a reader he had attached to his cell phone. A few minutes after the piano tuner left, the guys from Best Buy returned and set up their ladders. They raised the sculpture to the top half of the wall above the fireplace and began setting the mount for the television. After raising the sculpture, they revealed an electrical outlet in the perfect place for a wall-mounted flat screen. I poured a couple of glasses with wine and went out onto the balcony with Johnny so we could plan a menu for the party and not be disturbed by the guys from Best Buy. Johnny decided he would make a Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad, Firecracker Shrimp Sticks, Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and we would order up an assortment of veggie, fruit, and cheese trays. I decided I was going to make some of my specialties as well. I would add my mom’s Mini Meatloaves, Sausage and Cheese Bites, Parmesan Cheese Chips, and Baked Sweet Potato Chips. Once we had settled on our menu for the party, we went back inside to check on the workers. They were finishing up, and I must admit, the place looked great! The surround sound speakers were installed with all the wires hidden amongst the exposed ductwork at the top of the room or behind walls. They even gave us a quick lesson on how to work everything and then were soon on their way. Johnny had decided to whip up some chicken fajitas for dinner, and I went back out on the balcony with my laptop and went through my email. There was one from my Mom back in Virginia asking if I had gotten settled in okay. Damn, I do need to call her. So, I reached for my cell phone and dialed. We had a wonderful conversation. I told her all about my new loft and the new car I picked up today. Then I took a deep breath. “Mom, there’s something else. Now, before you say anything, I want you to listen to me.” “This sounds serious, Jason.” “Well, it is... but only in the most wonderful way. I remember the many times you had told me the story of when you met Dad, and that the minute you looked into his eyes, you knew that he was the one. Honestly, I used to think that was kind of a silly idea and only happened in the movies. Until Saturday. It happened to me, Mom. I looked into his eyes, and I knew. Every cell in my body was overcome with the feeling of finally being complete.” “Jason. You said ‘his’ eyes didn’t you.” “Oh, Mom. I’m sorry. I didn’t even think about what I was saying. But yes, his name is Johnny. And he is the most amazing human being I’ve ever met. I just didn’t plan on coming out to you this way.” “Son, don’t worry about that. A mother knows these things. I’ve known you were gay since you were a little boy. I’ve long become used to the idea and want you to know that there is absolutely nothing you can do that would change my love for you. And I’m so happy that you have had the same experience I did with your father. He must be a very special man, Jason. And I can’t wait to meet him.” “I wish Dad was still here so he could meet him, too.” “Well, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if your father was hanging around and making sure all of this would happen for you.” “It’s funny you say that. Johnny says his grandmother did the same thing.” “Jason, I can’t wait to meet him. I’ve not heard you sound this happy and content since... well, since ever! Maybe I can plan a trip to Austin in a month or so, once you are settled in to your new job and all.” “I would love to have you come visit... but only if you promise to stay at least a couple of weeks!” “Well, we’ll talk about that when plans are made, honey. I love you, and I can’t wait to hear more about Johnny! Thanks for calling Jason!” Just as I ended the call, Johnny walked out onto the balcony with a tray filled with tortillas, chicken, grilled peppers and onions, grated cheese, sour cream, and salsa. He set the tray on the small table between our two chairs and went back into the kitchen to get the bottle of wine. We soon relaxed and began to enjoy our dinner. “Johnny, I guess I should tell you I just told my mother all about you... without even thinking that I hadn’t yet officially come out to her.” “Everything okay, Jay?” “Yeah, she says she always knew about me. Says it’s a mother thing... and she can’t wait to meet the man who has made me happier than she has ever heard me sound. I love you, Johnny Breeze... almost as much as I love these fajitas!” I giggled and leaned in to kiss him. And that’s how dinner continued. We’d eat. We’d laugh. We’d kiss. Over the next few days, life began to settle into a routine at the loft. We did a lot of shopping for Friday’s party, spent time in the kitchen prepping the food, and made love at least two times a day. Thursday afternoon, I went to visit my neighbors beside and below my loft. I wanted to introduce myself and let them know we were having a party, and I invited them to stop by as well. I figured if we include the neighbors in the fun, then they would be less likely to complain about any noise. The woman who lived below me, Katie Hampton, was great. She is single and works at Facebook. She spends a lot of her time telecommuting and would love to hang out with some fun people who don’t work for the social network. I didn’t get to visit with the next-door neighbors until that evening, while Johnny was working at the theatre. Emily and Debbie were obviously a couple and seemed thrilled to have some “family” living next door. Emily was on the staff at the Attorney General’s office, and Emily skated with the Texas Rollergirls, the local roller derby team. Emily had to skate Friday night, but they promised to stop by after they got home. So, the neighbors all seemed pretty cool and ready to party with our group. Friday morning, Johnny and I shared a beautiful morning in a sixty-nine before heading into the shower to clean up for our hectic day. We decided to have breakfast out since we would be spending most of the day in the kitchen. We went to a local place called Annies, which was just across the bridge on Congress Avenue. Johnny had a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal with fresh apples and honey while I went for the breakfast sandwich. It was grilled sourdough bread with a fried egg, Applewood bacon, and cheddar cheese. We each had a couple cups of coffee and with full tummies, headed back to the loft to get ready for the evening. Kyle’s girlfriend Carrie came by around 11:00 to help with the cooking and run any errands we needed. Johnny sent her to the grocery store to pick up the party trays he had ordered with the fruits, veggies, and cheeses. Katie came up from downstairs and asked if she could help. After telling her we were fine, she saw the piles of food and all that was going on in the kitchen and insisted. It turned out to be a blessing. As we finished a dish, she took it downstairs and placed it in her oven to hold it and keep it warm until we needed it. I think the thing I was most looking forward to was Johnny’s Firecracker Shrimp Sticks. He said he saw them prepared on the Food Network. He was taking jumbo prawns and running a wooden skewer through them so they would straighten out. Each one ended covering about six inches of the skewer. He then took a wonton wrapper, dipped it in a solution of water and egg, and rolled it around the shrimp. They were then rolled in a mixture of panko bread crumbs and coconut. He deep-fried them for about two minutes, and they looked delicious! They looked like Roman Candles, only a lot tastier! Katie made the spicy orange sauce they were to be dipped in. I couldn’t wait! A little before 6:00, Johnny left with instructions for the tenderloins. We were to put them in the oven later so they would be done just before he got home. I made up several gallons of the sweet tea vodka punch. Katie, Carrie, and I had more than a few samples and were feeling great by the time Johnny got home. He brought the assistant lighting tech, Eric, over to man the door and let people in so we wouldn’t have to deal with buzzing people up all night. Just as Johnny was slicing up the tenderloins, people began arriving. Everyone seemed to love the loft and were blown away by the spread. Just as I thought, the shrimp were amazing and the first thing to disappear. About 45 minutes later, everyone had arrived, and the party was in full swing. Johnny was a wonderful host, and I was proud to be by his side. Simon was holding court on the sofa and sharing stories with several of the younger actors. He was particularly fond of the sweet tea punch... perhaps too fond! JJ came in with Simon but seemed to be alone most of the evening. He would hang around in the kitchen with Johnny or sit on the steps and observe. A couple of the dancers would slip out on the balcony and smoke, occasionally sharing a joint. Things were no different than any other cast party I ever attended! I couldn’t help but feel something was wrong with JJ, so I went over and sat with him on the stairs. “Are you having a good time, JJ?” “Yeah, I’m just a little out of sorts, I guess. I kind of hate to see the show close... I just get a little emotional, I guess.” “Well, that’s completely understandable. I get the same way with some shows.” I put my arm around the attractive boy, and he leaned into my shoulder and started to cry quietly. “JJ, it’s okay. There are going to be many more shows for you. You do know I’m in awe of your talent, don’t you?” “Thanks. But that’s not it. I’m just having a hard time with life stuff right now. And when I saw you and Johnny at brunch, when I saw how completely in love you guys are, it just made me realize how I’ve fucked up so much of my life and don’t know how I’ll ever be able to have something like that.” “JJ, you are a beautiful young man, one of the most beautiful young men I’ve ever seen actually. I’m sure you’ll find the right person... but it only happens when you’re not looking for it. All I know is this: no one will ever love you more than you love yourself. So, stop being so hard on yourself or about your life. Find all those wonderful things about yourself and own them.” With his head still resting on my chest, JJ looked up at me, “I’m so glad you’re here. In just a few short days, you’ve inspired me to become a better person. I will do it. It’s just kind of scary.” He took a deep sigh. “Thank you, Jason. I’m sorry I’m acting like an idiot.” “You’re not acting like an idiot. In fact, I’m glad we had this little talk. It’s nice getting to know you better. You’re a very special man. So... I have an idea. How about we go down to the piano, and you sing something. I want to play for you!” “Really? You would do that?” “It’s a regular party activity where I come from, and I can’t think of anyone better to get the ball rolling.” I took JJ’s hand and led him to the piano. “What would you like to sing?” “Well, I’m sure you’re probably sick of it, but I would love to sing a song that I’ll never get to perform.” “I’m guessing it’s from Wicked.” I smiled at the angelic boy leaning on the piano. “Yeah, could we do `Defying Gravity?’“ I started playing the familiar introduction, and everyone immediately focused their attention on the piano. When JJ started singing the opening verse, the words had a new and specific meaning for the boy: “Something has changed within me Something is not the same I’m through with playing by the rules Of someone else’s game Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep It’s time to trust my instincts Close my eyes: and leap! It’s time to try Defying gravity I think I’ll try Defying Gravity and you can’t pull me down!” JJ continued singing with his flawless voice. There is a rare thing that happens with a pianist. It happens when a singer opens his soul and lets you in. It’s truly magical, and the performance becomes something not long forgotten. JJ’s performance was one of those remarkable moments, and what no one else in the room knew was that I immediately became attached to the troubled boy. Johnny was standing close by and watching me play. It was the first time he had heard me play the piano. I don’t know if it was because of JJ’s performance, my playing, or both. I looked up at my beautiful man as tears were flowing freely from his eyes. When JJ and I finished, there were cheers from the crowd. I stood up and took JJ in my arms. “Thank you, JJ. That was probably the most magnificent performance of that song I’ve ever heard!” JJ looked up into my eyes. “Oh my God, that was the most thrilling experience I’ve ever had singing! What just happened?” Johnny walked up to the two of us and took both of us in his arms. “What just happened was magic. The two of you connected in a way I’ve never seen, and you guys ended up touching our hearts. That was just beautiful!” For the next hour, I ended up playing for several of the cast members. JJ came up to sing a couple more times. Johnny told me later that night that Simon watched JJ sing with a scowl on his face. He acted as though the words of “Defying Gravity” were directed to him. He barely acknowledged JJ’s performance and just kept drinking. Towards the end of the party, JJ and Calvin asked if they could sing the duet “For Good,” also from Wicked. JJ chose to sing Glinda’s part and started the song: “I’ve heard it said That people come into our lives for a reason; Bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow; If we let them, and we help them in return. Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true, But I know I’m who I am today Because I knew you... Like a comet pulled from orbit As it passes a sun. Like a stream that meets a boulder Halfway through the wood. Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” Again, playing for JJ was pure magic. I looked up at him several times, and it appeared he was singing the words directly to Simon. Calvin also sang his heart out on the Elphaba part of the duet, and together, they created more magic. It was the perfect way to end the party. As the crowd dispersed into the early morning hours of an Austin Friday night, I went into the kitchen to help Johnny with the cleanup. God, I love this man! Along with the help of Carrie, Katie, and the lesbians next door, Johnny was putting the last of the food away. The evidence of the party had nearly all been put away, and the dishwasher was running. “Wow! How did you get all this done so soon?” Johnny walked up to me and gave me a light kiss. “While you were playing the piano, the girls were cleaning up. I couldn’t believe it, either!” Just then, JJ walked into the kitchen. “That bastard left without me!” He slumped against the door, about to burst into tears again. I walked over to him and took him in my arms. “It’s okay. We have a guest room, and you are more than welcome to stay here tonight. We’ll take you home in the morning.” “I don’t want to be in the way...” Johnny walked up to us. “Don’t be silly, JJ. There’s a reason it’s called a guest room. We’d love to have you be our first guest!” He hugged JJ and planted a little kiss on his forehead. The girls finally left, and the three of us sat on the sofa. Even though JJ was only 20, we decided to let him have a glass of wine to unwind with us. He told us the story of how he ended up with Simon as his guardian. He told us about Zack, the first love of his life and Damien, his secret high school boyfriend. And then he told us something rather shocking. “When I moved in with Simon, he showered me with gifts: a laptop, cell phone, even a car. He even got me into the performing arts high school. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. At the same time, I was terrified that I could lose it all as quickly as I got it. So, I gave Simon the only thing I had. Sex. I’ve been sleeping with Simon for over four years now. I’m still afraid that if I stop letting him fuck me, I’ll be out on the street.” He looked up at me, his eyes brimming with tears. “So, you see what I mean when I told you I had fucked up my life? I’m nothing much more than a whore. I sang those songs tonight with more meaning than I ever had before. And I purposefully sang some of them to Simon. I know it pissed him off and that’s why the bastard left without me. Hell, I’ll probably be thrown out tomorrow.” Johnny took the boy in his arms. “If there’s one thing I learned from my grandmother, it’s that worrying about what might happen tomorrow can only ruin today. JJ, you made this evening magical for so many of us. Let’s stay in that place.” “You guys are amazing, you know. I’m so glad I’m getting to know you. In just one night, you both have given me a glimmer of hope that things will be okay.” “Of course they will, JJ. Of course, they will.” I took JJ into the guest room and showed him where everything was. I got him a fresh toothbrush and some towels. I hugged him and kissed him on the top of his head. “Goodnight JJ. And thank you for letting me play for you. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this evening.” He just smiled and said goodnight. When I got upstairs, I found a magnificent, naked, Native American man lying on the bed, stroking a column of hard flesh. “Well, what do we have here?” “Dessert!” I quickly shed my clothes and freed my throbbing eight inches from the confines of my boxer briefs. I joined the love of my life on the bed and began to kiss him passionately. “We have to be quiet though. This bedroom is open to the living room downstairs, and we do have a guest.” “MmHmm... that’s going to be part of the fun... making love to you and keeping quiet!” Johnny rolled me over to my back and began kissing my ears and my neck. I started moaning and Johnny then placed his mouth over mine. “Shhhhh! We can’t disturb our guest!” He began kissing his way down my chest. As he took my nipple into his mouth, I noticed the naked silhouette of a beautiful young man standing in our doorway, stroking away on his hard cock. I moaned again, knowing that it would bring Johnny back up to me. “Keep kissing me,” I whispered to him. “We’re being watched. It’s kinda hot if you ask me.” Johnny whispered back, “Should we? I mean, are you okay with that?” “I love you. I know you love me. I don’t mind sharing our love with someone who probably needs a little, as long as we do it together. So, sure. Bring it on, baby.” Without looking up, Johnny kept working his way down my body and said out loud, “Don’t just stand there, JJ. Get in here with us and give Jason something to do with his mouth!” JJ just let out a quiet “Oh my God!” and made his way over to the bed. He crawled in next to me as I took him in my arms and drew him in for a kiss while Johnny worked his way down to my abs. JJ was quite a damned good kisser, and my mouth welcomed his dancing tongue. As Johnny began working his tongue up and down my hard shaft, I had JJ sit on my chest so I could take his cock into my mouth. I looked up at him and marveled at his natural beauty. His face was framed with long flowing blond curls and he had shaved every bit of hair on his dancer’s body... which I found to be a complete turn-on. I took his bald cock into my mouth and tasted the sweet precum that was flowing from his hard six inches. JJ threw his head back and moaned as his cock made its way down my throat. Johnny left my cock and slid up to JJ. He reached around and began playing with his nipples as the two of them kissed passionately. “Holy shit, Johnny, is that your cock against my back?” I looked up at our guest and winked. “Surprise!” JJ decided to take charge. He pushed Johnny down to the bed and back on to my dripping cock. He pushed his cock back into my mouth, and he pulled Johnny’s slick foreskin back and began to work his mouth on the giant cock. As all three of us were experiencing the double pleasure of giving and receiving at the same time, the room soon filled with a chorus of moans and groans. As JJ’s flow of precum increased even more, I knew he was getting close and I wasn’t ready for this to end. I removed his cock from my mouth and worked my way to his shaved ass. JJ then pulled Johnny’s cock from his mouth and began rimming his smooth, muscled ass. It wasn’t long before I felt Johnny’s tongue work its way into my hole, bringing moans and shivers to my sweating body. After about ten minutes of mass rimming, JJ was the first to break away. “God! Somebody, PLEASE fuck me! Johnny! Let me feel that cock in my tight ass!” Johnny looked up at me and I nodded. Honestly, I couldn’t wait to see my lover’s giant cock slide into the beautiful boy. Johnny lay on his back, stroking his massive cock. “You should probably sit on it. Take what you can, JJ.” I knew Johnny might have some trouble staying hard trying to enter JJ, so I moved down and started rimming my lover’s ass, tasting JJ’s saliva all around the tight rosebud. Johnny reached over to the side of the bed and got the bottle of lube he had placed there earlier. He handed it to JJ and let the boy apply generous amounts to his eleven inches. JJ then worked some into his ass and positioned himself over the towering column of thick cock. JJ took a deep breath and began to lower himself on my lover. While I was rimming Johnny, I looked up and marveled at the sight of his glistening cock sliding into JJ. “Fuck, Yeeeeeessss!!! That feels so fucking good, Johnny!” “Slow down, kiddo! I don’t want to hurt you!” “You won’t hurt me. My favorite dildo is about the same size!” Just as he was saying this, he finished lowering himself, and his shaved ass was resting on the silky black hairs surrounding the base of Johnny’s cock. JJ started slowly moving his stretched ass up and down Johnny’s pole. I was amazed at how easy it was for him to take the entire thing. I started sucking on Johnny’s balls as JJ began to turn around and was soon facing me. I now had two sets of balls to suck on as well as JJ’s dripping cock. As I started to take JJ’s cock into my mouth, he pulled my head up to his face and kissed me. “No, I want you, too!” “What do you mean, JJ?” “I’ve always dreamed of being double-fucked, and now I want it more than ever!” “JJ, together, we might really hurt you!” “Shut up! I’m the power bottom of all power bottoms, and I intend to have as many fantasies come true tonight!” He grabbed the lube while he kissed me and began to cover my cock with Gun Oil. “Just go slow at first, Jason,” said JJ as he lowered himself, so his back rested on Johnny’s muscular chest. I looked down and saw that JJ still had about eight of Johnny’s eleven inches buried inside his smooth ass. I placed my cockhead on top of Johnny’s hot meat and slowly began to apply pressure. I was amazed at how easily my head entered JJ’s tight hole. As I pushed the head in, both JJ and Johnny moaned in pleasure. JJ hissed a satisfied “Yesssssssss!” while Johnny said, “That feels amazing baby!” Using short strokes, I worked my way into JJ, joining my lover inside the silky-smooth confines of JJ’s apparently experienced ass. I started a slow thrusting motion and leaned down to the two men below me. I kissed JJ and then moved to Johnny. “You like that JJ? You like having two big cocks buried in you?” He turned to me and smiled as his eyes rolled back into his head in the throes of pleasure. I went to kiss JJ again as he turned to kiss Johnny. The three of us were in a multiple kiss with tongues and spit flying everywhere. As my thrusts settled into a rhythm, Johnny began thrusting opposite mine. JJ had two cocks pistoning in and out of his ass, and he was soon screaming in ecstasy. It wasn’t long before his cock began exploding and spraying all over me, his chest and Johnny’s face. The feeling of rubbing against Johnny’s cock was a sensation I couldn’t believe... or handle much longer. Soon, Johnny began the animalistic roar he has when he is cumming and that set me off. The two of us were firing volleys of scalding hot cum into JJ’s ass. After a while, I slowly pulled out and an exhausted Johnny stayed inside. We all collapsed on each other and began to slowly catch our breath. “You guys are amazing. Just sayin’....” I looked down at JJ. “You’re not so bad yourself, actor-boy!” Johnny added, “We should probably head into the shower and clean up.” That’s what we did. The three of us went into the shower, cleaning each other, kissing each other, caressing each other. We were totally oblivious to the world around us. We were also completely unaware that just below my loft, on the Congress Avenue Bridge, rescue workers were pulling a mangled black Lexus out of the water... a mangled black Lexus with the lifeless body of Simon Bradley still strapped in the seat belt. “Defying Gravity” and “For Good” are from the Broadway musical WICKED, music & lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
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