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Mac Rountree

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About Mac Rountree

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  • Age in Years
    67
  • Favorite Genres
    Comedy
    Drama
    Historical
    Romance
  • Location
    Hillsborough, NC
  • Interests
    Historic garden landscaping, singing, reading, theater, fishing

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  1. Soundtech, I am glad you wrote. There are a lot of high emotions around issues these days and I couldn't decide whether to include that one or not. I took the dive. Thank you for your input. I appreciate you being a reader and hope you stick with the story. BTW, no more of the BLM storyline in the book. Many thanks, Mac
  2. Anton, My brain moves between writer and editor and somehow I wonder the same things as you, but the lives of the characters are so intertwined that I hope, as a writer, that I can help keep these story lines clear. The family is reunited....... Many questions that time will help figure out. Big Mark is a piece of work, to put it nicely. I actually ran into the Big Mark prototype at the polling place this week when he blocked me in with his big dually truck. I nicely named his bad behavior and then he couldn't apologize enough. He knew what he was doing and I chose to take the high road which left him a mess of southern manners. I think there are 18-20 chapters. I started posting before I actually finished writing. Crazy of me, but there you are. It says a lot about my belief that the end of the story will fall into place. Actually, the last chapter is written and I am filling in all of the necessary details. Thank you for reading the book. Mac
  3. Blue and Tommy are a couple though Tommy also has a girlfriend. He is trying to decide what and who he wants.
  4. Tony, THANK YOU. No matter how many times I read the manuscript........ Yep, welcome back Sleezeball. Luckily, he doesn't get much play in this book...more of a cameo appearance. Mac
  5. I grew up with Miracle Whip (Yuck) and then tried Hellman's and now am a Duke's Mayonnaise fan. It is hard to find outside of the south. Jube is soft and squishy. LOL. Easily bruised and battered in matters of the heart.
  6. I miss Mother Poole even after all of these years. He was a rare gem in my life. Mac
  7. “I see my son is selling the truck he was using. There is a problem, though. That is my truck and not his.” Joe was standing at the front door of the Yellow House looking at Mark Harden, Sr. He had been surprised when there was a knock at the door given the stay-at-home order issued by the Governor. “Actually, Mr. Harden, it is my truck. Your son has signed the title over to me.” “He had no right to do that. That is my truck.” Joe did not move or say anything. “I am going to talk with him and get this straight. He can’t sell what is mine.” Joe closed the door and watched as Mr. Harden walked across the meadow to the Mill House. Joe observed him knocking on the door, and on receiving no response, he looked in the windows and saw an empty space. Joe likened it to watching a slow-motion video of a volcano exploding. The man huffed and puffed his way back across the field and was knocking on Joe’s door again. “Where is he? Where is my son?” “He no longer lives here. You should contact his attorney.” “Don’t give me that horse-shit answer. That is his home. That is where he lives. Where is my son? I will have the deputy here to arrest you today for theft of my truck.” “Mr. Harden, since you have threatened me with a lawsuit, then I can only say that you should also speak with my attorney. You kicked your son out of his home. I now own the truck. End of story.” Joe closed the door, and a smile spread across his face. Later that morning, Joe watched as a wrecker approach the property. He walked out when the driver positioned the wrecker to haul the truck onto its bed. Joe smiled as he approached the driver and asked if he could help. The driver, Sam, said that Mr. Harden said one of his trucks had broken down and asked them to come to get it for him. “This is my truck.” “Mr. Harden said it was his truck.” “Hold on, let me go get the title to the truck.” Mark and Joe had anticipated something like this happening, so they had affected a title transfer, and the title was now in Joe’s name. Sam looked at the title and shook his head. “I don’t know why Mr. Harden would send me to get a truck that was not his. He must have made a mistake. Sorry to bother you.” Joe stood in the yard watching Sam pull away. He knew this problem had not ended. Joe got in the truck and pulled it into the driveway. He had left it beside the street with a for sale sign in the window. He was hoping to have already sold the truck so he could have put the money in a bank account that Mark had set up. Mark and Joe were both signatories in case something needed to be taken care of in the United States. At first, he had been reluctant to try to sell the truck as a favor to Mark and Dan. Mark had taken the truck to a Ford Dealership in Durham to see if they would sell it for him, but they said they had a lot full of trucks that needed selling and they would do him a favor by trying to sell it, but not to expect much in the way of results. Mark was glum when he returned from the dealership. He thought about donating the truck to the public radio station, but he knew he could use the money to maintain some financial independence in Algiers and France. Mark was just learning about financial independence as he had always depended on his family for financial underpinning until he was recently fired. Mark then understood the importance of his ability to stand alone financially. Dan had grown up in a very different world where he was used to sharing and taking care of his family. Dan had already put Mark’s name on his bank accounts. Mark didn’t understand that level of generosity, and when he asked Dan, he was told that it was the right thing to do. Dan said that whatever he owned; Mark now co-owned. That statement brought tears to Mark’s eyes. It reminded him of what Linda had told him early in their marriage. Mark swallowed when he saw the bank balances. He had never had that much money in a checking account. Except for Linda, no one had ever trusted him so completely. “What is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine. We are married, Mark. You are all I want in life. The money doesn’t matter, really, as long as I have you and the children. Perhaps we have different frameworks of thinking about money. I have enough money so that I never have to work again, but what is the point of life unless it is helping other people. The hospitals pay me because it is about equity and equality. Those administrators need to understand that it costs money to provide healthcare. I make far less than the American doctors, but I don’t care. All of the money I earn at the hospitals is donated to Médecins sans Frontieres. People in third world countries are receiving medical care because of my gift. I am helping people receive care even though I am not able to be there in person. The organization has added your name to their list of contributors. You are making a difference in people’s lives around the world. Remember, we are one. What I am contributing comes from both of us. Mark was choked up and didn’t know how to respond. He had never experienced such generosity of spirit before. Never. He worked at a University where the Duke family generosity took the small Trinity College and made it a world-class institution for instruction and medicine. On a much smaller scale, he and Dan showed the same type of benevolence as exemplified by his employer. He would talk with Dan about what he should do with his paycheck now that he was working again. Mark grew up in a household where that type of benevolence was not practiced. He decided he needed to add Dan to his American bank accounts. Why was he worried about the few dollars from the sale of the truck? He thought of it as a justice issue. His father had refused to buy him a work truck, so Mark bought one and put a magnetized sign with the company name on the side. He was prepared to inherit the company one day and thought that it was worth it to not fight about a truck in the long run. He now decided that the truck's proceeds would be contributed to the Hillsborough Meals on Wheels. When he mailed the check, it would be from both him and Dan. He had a certain level of satisfaction in knowing that his parents would find out about the contribution and would seethe that the contribution would be listed from Dr. Daniel Lillie-Oranaise and Mr. Mark Harden, Jr. He was trying to be a better person. He grinned, thinking about that small level of payback to his parents for their bad behaviors. Joe decided to call Evan Glynfell and let him know about the encounter with Mr. Harden. Mr. Glynfell was still Mark’s attorney of record. Evan thanked Joe for the call and said he was calling Ralph Peterson, who had represented the Hardens when they sued Mark for custody of the children. Evan decided a shot across the bow might be effective in having Mr. Harden back off. Joe also scanned and emailed a copy of the title to Evan, showing that he was now the owner of the truck. There was no need to worry Mark with this interaction. Joe enjoyed telling Thomas about his encounter with Mark, Sr. as he had derived some pleasure in cutting the man off at the knees. Normally, Thomas would have responded using some Bible verses about generosity and suggested that Joe’s attitude needed an adjustment. Instead, Thomas stood at the counter and said the bastard was getting his just desserts. He smiled and then said he would pray about his own transgressions during Evening Prayer, but it felt good in the meantime. “Joe, perhaps you should drive the truck around town. Buy one of those magnetized signs with your name and company on it. Make sure you drive by Harden Construction every day.” “What happened to the priest I married?” “He got sucked into the world of Zoom and disappeared. He has lost all patience. If I have to sit through one more meeting where we discuss scheduling changes and budget revisions, I will scream. Even the patients I am following at the clinic in Chapel Hill get a telephone call from me. There is no face to face time with folks who feel isolated under the best of circumstances. Now they don’t even get that face time. Hopefully, they will have a patient portal available for my use in the next couple of weeks. Either that or I drive into Chapel Hill each day and sit in a cubicle while I talk with them over the internet. At least I will be able to look at my patients when I am meeting with them. I hate Covid19. I hate Zoom. I hate living through another fucking plague. You know, we lived through one, and I never thought we would have to do this again in our lifetime. Yet here we are.” “We are survivors, my darling husband. We will figure out how to make your ministry more meaningful during this time. Remember, during the AIDS years, it took us some time before we found our niche.” “Yes, it was Bugboy’s doing. I wonder what he would be thinking right now. He was so brave and fierce. He challenged us to be our best selves and step up. I also remember the huge fight with the church.” Thomas was smiling. “We will figure this out and then we will take on the church again with a capital “C” church. Let’s hold them accountable. There is no vestry or bishop who have control over our lives anymore. This time we can raise all of the hell we want to get things moving.” “Speaking of that, there is a Black Lives Matter march in Hillsborough next week. I think I should wash my clericals and get ready. We are marching with them.” “Gosh, we haven’t marched since last fall at the Gay Pride Parade in Durham. Belinda would love it if she were here.” Thomas smiled and looked at Joe. There was a glint in his eyes that had been missing. Joe was onto it and encouraged. “Can we enlarge pictures of our family and walk with those images? We can get someone to take pictures of us marching and protesting in front of Orange County Courthouse. We will send them to Sean, Mark, and Dan.” “Brilliant idea. I am feeling better. I am adrift, and you extended a needed life raft. You have to be my life raft, Joe.” Joe walked up behind Thomas and held him. Thomas turned in his arms, and they started kissing. They looked at each other and smiled. Thomas grabbed Joe’s hand and pulled him upstairs. Joe was chuckling because he hadn’t seen this coming. Their sex life had slowed with the years, but suddenly both seemed eager. Afterward, as they lay cuddled on the bed, the love between them was as strong as ever. “Well, that was an unexpected afternoon delight. We should do that more often.” “I am making a date with you for next week after the march. I will be worked up and need someone to share my enthusiasm.” “It’s a date. In the meantime, I need a date with some food. Those peanut butter crackers I had this morning have long departed my system. I am going to grab a bottle of wine while you finish cooking.” When they went to bed that night, their intimacy continued. Joe felt that he had applied a balm to Thomas’ soul for the day. He wasn’t sure how long it would last, but he hoped it would hold for a week when they had another date. It was only two days later that Thomas was in a dither. “I know I paid the cable bill; why don’t we have internet?” “I heard it was out in our part of the county. They are projecting it will come back on late this afternoon.” Joe heard something hit the wall. He was hesitant to put his head in the line of fire by looking into the room. He then heard Thomas left out an expletive. “Why don’t we go out for lunch, Thomas?” “We might as well since I don’t have internet and can’t see my clients. This world is caca.” Joe started putting on his hiking boots and suggested that Thomas do the same. They walked up St. Mary’s Road heading out of town. There was no sidewalk, so they were constantly on the watch for vehicles as they walked along the ditch bank. They wound their way to Vinnie’s restaurant, where they ordered meatball subs and fries. Laramie was their waiter, and they enjoyed his androgynous looks. He always acted like he wanted to ask them some questions but couldn’t let himself do it. As they ate the last of their fries, Thomas started relaxing. Laramie brought them the check, and Thomas leaned over and quietly told Laramie that he ever needed someone to talk with them that he was available. Laramie smiled and said he did have a few questions. Thomas pulled out a card and gave it to Laramie, who quickly pocketed it. Laramie didn’t want anyone to see the card and to think he was into old men. Joe suggested they go to the grocery store in the shopping center to pick up a few things they could carry with them. Joe was trying to keep Thomas occupied. They saw several of their neighbors and waved but didn’t engage in conversation. They were wearing masks but didn’t want to take chances. The walk home was more treacherous as they were weighted down with grocery bags. At one point, Joe almost fell into a ditch when a car passed too closely. Thomas was laughing at their folly, which ignited a laugh deep inside of Joe. They were on a pilgrimage of discovering what to do with their lives, and Joe knew using humor would help them survive. They were home, at least that counted for something, or so Joe thought.
  8. Sidney and the City of Brotherly Love Chapter 3 “Daddy, can I have my bedroom where Uncle Sean used to sleep?” Sidney could only smile at the request. He and Clay had been touring the rectory at St. Anselm’s when he asked if he could call Sean. Sean, of course, said he would be there shortly. They had been staying with Sean on this visit to Philadelphia. The visit had started because of an unexpected telephone call. “Father Hofler, this is Samantha Smith at St. Anselm’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, PA. We are in the search process for a new rector, and your name was given to me by a former rector here.” “Yes, Ms. Smith. How may I help you?” “Well, we have been in a long interim period. It has gone on much longer than anticipated, but we all know that in God’s time, the right candidate would come along. In fact, we suspended the search for a year, and now we are back looking at viable candidates. It has been suggested that you might be a good candidate.” “Can you tell me why you suspended your search for a year?” “Well, our last rector was here for thirty years. It is difficult after such a long relationship to just jump into a new one. Our Bishop told us to take our time. When we interviewed people, the candidates fell into two camps. The first group of candidates was not interested in an inner-city church. The second group of candidates we thought were viable somehow were rejected by at least one committee member. We had agreed that the perfect candidate would need unanimous approval.” “I see.” “None of them received unanimous approval.” “Did you consider that your bar might have been set too high?” “Some of us said that, but our consultant was clear that we needed to be in accordance. So, one of our committee members contacted Father Thomas Raverly and asked if he would consider coming back as an interim while we continued our search. He said absolutely not.” She chuckled when she said that. “He did say that he knew someone young and full of energy. He said the person reminded him of himself when he was young. He gave me your telephone number.” “Gosh, I am flattered. Father Thomas said nothing to me.” “I just spoke with him last night and I am calling you today.” “You are aware that I am fairly new in my parish. I was ordained last year. I don’t have a lot of experience and am not actually looking. Gosh, this has caught me by surprise.” “Would you mind sending me your resume?” “I haven’t updated it since I started here. Give me an email address, and you will have it be the end of the day.” “That is great. We also need to schedule a visit for you to come to visit.” “I understood the process was that you would send a team here to visit, hear me preach, and observe me in the parish.” “With the recommendation we received, we are revising our protocol.” “Okay. I am still in shock. You will have my paperwork later today.” They both hung up the telephone, and Sidney sat in his office in a state of shock. He then picked up and his telephone and made a call to Hillsborough. “What the hell are you doing?” This question was met with a chuckle. “Thomas, what are you doing?” “Sending you to a parish where you can make a huge impact on people in need.” “I am too new to be searching for a parish. I have been at my parish for less than a year. You are my mentor, you know that. The Bishop will be furious. I don’t know what to do. Why me?” “Because you are young and smart. You have a lot to offer. You need to move out of that little town where you live. Once you and Clay are settled into the rectory, you can invite us to come to visit.” “Perhaps, I will ask you to preach!” “Nope, that is unfair to you because then they will want me to return because I will bring familiarity. They need someone new to lead them. No returning to the past. Joe and I will sit in the back and cheer you on.” “You could have warned me. I felt like a bumbling idiot.” “I very much doubt that. I wasn’t sure if they would call, and I didn’t want to raise your anxiety level. Calm down and send them your resume. You and Clay can stay with Sean while you are in Philadelphia. Take a couple of days to enjoy the city. Joe can give you the name of the café where he used to go on Saturday mornings for breakfast. It is still there and is in the center of the gay neighborhood.” “I have Clay to care for. I don’t need a boyfriend. Jesus and Clay are all I can deal with.” Thomas laughed. “Yep, Jesus can be a hunk, but you need a live man. It is too easy to love someone who is dead, idealized, and perfect. You need a man with human frailties who can love you back. Also, someone to provide some balance in your life so that you don’t devote all of your energies to the church and Clay. You need someone who will love you.” “Okay, enough of this talking about a man and me. I will send off the resume though I have my doubts.” “Good. Doubting is always good. Remember, I am named Doubting Thomas.” They both laughed and hung up the telephone. Sidney then called his Bishop. He didn’t want the Bishop to be caught unaware. The call brought him back to reality when the Bishop graciously pointed out all of the reasons why Sidney should not follow-up with the church. Sidney understood each one and nodded his head as the Bishop talked. “There is one more reason why I don’t want you to do this. I see great things for you in this diocese, and I am greedy.” The Bishop sighed. “Of course, you should pursue this. Just keep your eyes open and think clearly. Think strategically for your sake and Clay’s. You don’t want to get a reputation for jumping church to church. Let me know how the trip goes. By the way, this is confidential. I am not putting any notes in your record here in my office that we even had this telephone conversation. Call me when you get back.” Sidney pulled up his resume on the computer and updated it. Should he list Clay as his son? Foster son. Damn, he would need to call Millie Tilly if he decided to take Clay with him. Traveling out of state with a foster child required court permission. He couldn’t not take him. Sidney finished the edits. He typed a short cover letter that was attached to the email and hit send. He caught his breath afterward. Had that really happened? That night at dinner he was distracted. Clay noticed the distraction and spent time trying to get his dad’s attention. It was only after he had bathed Clay and put him to bed that Sidney sat on the sofa and started thinking about St. Anselm’s. He pulled up their website on his laptop. Gosh, it was a beautiful and imposing church. There were pictures of the Church Close with the ancient gravestones and benches. There were two new sections in the Close. One was an AIDS Memorial Garden and Columbarium. There was a dedication plaque to Steven “Bugboy” Bridges, a parish member and who had funded the fountain and plantings in the garden. There was also a section dedicated to those who died of gun violence in Philadelphia. Sidney had tears in his eyes. He continued to look at the website, which indicated it was a vibrant inner-city church that had ministries to help the poor and needy. When Sidney looked at the weekly calendar, he was amazed at the variety of offerings available to church members and the community. He was impressed. There were exterior pictures of the rectory. Also, there was a plat of the city block indicating where each building was located. Accepting this call would be a huge step up from his suburban parish in Mooresville, NC. He and Clay could move out of the apartment into a large home. He decided he wouldn’t just believe what was on the website but would ask questions and seek proof while he was there. The telephone call came the next day from Samantha Smith. Yes, they were interested. Her call was to schedule a visit, and Sidney was prepared as he looked at his calendar. Sidney had decided not to disclose the visit to anyone in his current parish. He waited until two days before the trip and told the Senior Warden his brother had an emergency, and he was needed in Philadelphia immediately. It was a white lie, and he decided he would ask forgiveness later. Sidney called a supply clergyman and confirmed he would be available that Sunday. The Senior Warden was solicitous and wished him well on his journey. Sidney and Clay flew out of Raleigh Durham International Airport with a direct flight to Philadelphia. Sidney had checked Clay’s car seat to use in Sean’s car. Such was one of the challenges of traveling in today’s world. Sean was waiting for them at the airport on that Friday afternoon. “Uncle Sean, Uncle Sean.” Clay was running through people to get to Sean. Sean picked him up and twirled him around. Clay grabbed Sean’s face and kissed him on the lips. “I missed you, Uncle Sean. Daddy and I love you.” “And I love you too.” At that point, Sidney wrapped both Sean and Clay in his arms. Sean leaned in and kissed Sidney. They both grinned, and then Sidney returned the kiss. “Let me grab our stuff. I brought the car seat and minimum clothes. It is easy when you are clergy. Black slacks and clerical shirts. I did bring a couple of polo shirts.” After both men struggled to install the car seat, they got Clay situated and made their way through the city traffic until they arrived at Sean’s house. Sidney gawked at the impressive structure. “Remember, this was left to me by my grandparents. They were quite generous. I ramble around in it. Some months I think I keep the electric and oil companies in business because of the bills. Somehow, it would feel disrespectful for me to sell it. As long as I stay in Philadelphia, I will live here.” Sean had prepared a light seafood dinner. Clay was quickly tired from walking up and down the steps of the house. Like the rectory, it was three stories with a full basement. Most of the rooms were filled with antiques. The den was like an English Gentleman’s library. There was even a pipe stand and humidor on the side table. Sean had tried to recreate Thomas’ library in the rectory. It was Thomas and Joe’s favorite room. Clay could barely keep his eyes open during dinner, and as soon as he finished, Sidney bathed him and put him to bed. Sidney and Sean sat on the Chesterfield Sofa with their tumblers of scotch. They chuckled that they were so much alike. “If I were gay, you would be my perfect partner. Well, except for the fact that I am almost old enough to be your father.” “You would be the perfect mate. Are you sure you aren’t just a little bit gay?” “Hmmm, I don’t think so.” “But you aren’t married.” There was silence. Sidney knew that he had bought up a touchy subject and didn’t know how to retreat. “I couldn’t do that to anyone. I am surprised that I am even still alive. Sometimes I think I make myself stay alive because it would kill Daddy Joe if I died. He is the kindest, soft-hearted man in the entire world. He devoted himself to me after I came into their lives. I mean, he loves Thomas immensely, but he loves me more than life itself. I am not bragging, as I know it to be true. Papa is the stronger of the two. When I die, it will hurt Papa tremendously but he will survive. I am not so sure about Daddy.” “Well, we will need to keep you alive then.” Sidney took Sean’s hand. “If something would happen to you, I, too, would die inside. I waited my entire life for a brother, and I have finally found him. It is totally unfair, but I need for you to stay alive for as long as you possibly can.” Sean jumped up from the sofa. He had tears in his eyes. “We have gotten too maudlin. I am going to the gent’s, and then we are going to talk about something more uplifting.” When Sean came out of the toilet that was tucked under the stairway, Sidney was waiting for his turn. Sean turned and kissed Sidney again before retreating to the library. “You know, I fell in love with you as soon as we met.” “It was mutual, you handsome devil. Now go and let me piss in peace.” They both chuckled at the alliteration. When Sidney returned, he noticed that Sean was lying back snoring. Sidney shook his shoulder and told him it was time for bed. Sean said he wasn’t used to drinking, and it didn’t take a lot to make him woozy and snoozy. Sidney reached out his hands and pulled Sean to an upright position. They walked hand in hand up the stairs. When they reached his bedroom, Sean asked if Sidney would sleep in his bed. Sidney was unsure about the motivation for the request, but smiled and said sure. Sidney thought about his pajamas being in his suitcase in the other room and decided he would get them if Sean put on a pair. Instead, Sean stripped completely. Sidney swallowed hard and did the same. They appraised each other, and the mood was broken when Sean laughed and said it was good he wasn’t gay. They both laughed. “Where did you get all of that hair? No disrespect, but you are a slim fellow who isn’t too tall, and you look sort of wimpy. Yet under those clothes, you are a hairy beast. I would never have guessed. And, I don’t mean to embarrass either of us, but you are packing.” Sidney let out a howl of laughter. “Well, you sure know the lingo. You aren’t too bad looking yourself. You can be the beauty and I will be the beast.” They each tried to settle, but each kept shifting in the bed. Finally, Sean spoke. “Do you mind holding me? I am feeling very insecure tonight for some reason. It must be the liquor. Sometimes I get very afraid in this big house all by myself. I need a brother who will love me and take care of me.” Sidney could hear the tears in Sean’s voice. He pulled his brother in tight and kissed the back of his neck. “Go to sleep. Know that I will always take care of you.” Sometime during the night, Sidney was aware of someone crawling into the bed with them. He opened his eyes and saw Clay at the foot of the bed. He pulled the covers back and Clay grinned and crawled until he was settled between Sean and Sidney. When they awoke the next morning, both Sean and Sidney were facing each other with Clay between them. Their eyes opened at the same time. Sean grinned and said, “Race you to the toilet. I have got to pee really bad.” Sidney grinned and pulled the covers back, then he jumped out of bed and raced to the bathroom, his hard-on leading the way.” “Damn brother, you could hurt somebody with that thing.” Sidney laughed while trying to focus on peeing. They heard Clay call out that he needed to pee also. They turned and saw him running across the bedroom floor, and then he was peeing everywhere. Sean grabbed him and stood him on the front edge of the toilet. “Point it down in the bowl, little fellow. Good. That’s it. Pee until it is all finished.” Sidney had grabbed a towel and was on his hands and knees, cleaning up Clay’s urine from the hardwood floor. Sean grabbed Clay and set him on Sidney’s back. “Ride the pony, ride the pony.” Clay hadn’t finished peeing, and all of a sudden, let loose with a torrent that went into Sidney’s hair. Sean was bent double with laughter. “I think we all need a shower.” The three of them got into the shower and washed each other. Clay reminded them that he had not gotten a good morning kiss. Sidney picked him up and held him between him and Sean while he kissed him. Sean had his arms around Clay and Sidney, pulling them tight. Sean then leaned in and kissed Sidney. “Good morning, handsome.” When they separated, Sidney noticed that Sean had a hard-on. Sean was trying to hide it and blushed when Sidney said, “Look who’s packing now.” Sidney laughed and said he was hungry. They dressed, and Sean drove them to the corner café where Daddy Joe always ate his Saturday breakfasts. They were each dressed in their polo shirts, and the hair poured out of the neck of Sidney’s shirt. Clay sat between them as they chose what they wanted to eat. Sidney noticed that there were only men at the café and then had the realization it was a gay restaurant. He looked around and received many inviting looks. “Daddy, daddy, I want pancakes. With blueberries and whipped cream.” “Uncle Sean, what are you eating?” “I haven’t decided. What do you want me to eat?” “You and daddy eat the same thing.” Both men blushed as Clay had announced that to the world. “Order for me, Uncle Sean.” Sidney laughed as he said that. Sean did just that. He ordered a lumberman’s breakfast with an extra side of bacon. He ordered two coffees and two grapefruit juices. When the food arrived, Sean and Sidney ate off the same plate and grabbed bites of Clay’s pancakes. Clay loved bacon hence the extra side. They spent the majority of the morning at the café, people watching, nibbling at food, and reading the newspapers. Sean went inside to a paper rack and brought Sidney a copy of the Philadelphia Gay News, the local gay newspaper. When he handed the paper to Sidney, he leaned in and kissed him. “That is to let all of these men who are prowling around you know that you are not available today. You will be very busy for the next two days and don’t have time for their antics.” Sidney let out a loud laugh. Clay didn’t know why his daddy was laughing but joined in. When Clay said he had to use the toilet, Sidney took him inside while Sean surveyed the men sitting around the patio area. He was judging which ones were worthy of dating his brother. The men thought Sean was cruising while his lover was inside with their child. Sean chuckled when he understood the dynamic. When Sidney and Clay returned, Sean said to give him a minute, and then they would be ready to leave. Sidney looked around and saw a group of handsome men. Sure, there were handsome men in the Raleigh area, but it was so nice to sit out here on a Saturday morning and socialize like it was the most normal thing in the world. He was beginning to like this town.
  9. I love the Preacher Kid books. Great recommendation.
  10. You are right about the pressure being exerted on the two boys. They are still boys in many ways. I can vividly remember than when each of my brother's married my mother started immediately on pushing them to start a family. After having seven children, my parents finally slowed down even though my father wanted a dozen. LOL. Mac
  11. Mac Rountree

    Protocols

    You are absolutely right. He slowly gets past his need for money crunching. He is a product of his generation who lives through the depression, WWII and then rationing in England. Thank you for reading the book. Mac
  12. Jeffrey, Welcome back to their world. I love these characters and could not let them go. Thanks for being a reader. Mac
  13. Many thanks for reading the book. Mark, Dan, Robert and Belinda are a special family and now they have nan. I am so pleased that you have taken them into your heart. Mac
  14. Tony, Thanks for reading the book! Mac
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