Brandon and I had been sleeping when I heard someone enter our bedroom. I immediately sat up, not knowing what to expect, and quickly discovered who it was.
"Dad, I'm sorry about waking you up, but there was a problem tonight and I wanted to talk to you about it before I went to bed," Elliot informed me.
"Why? What happened?" I nearly shouted, waking Brandon up in the process.
"When Ian and I were ready to come home, we walked out to the car and discovered that someone had trashed it. They cracked the windshield, broke the window on the driver's door, and keyed a message in the paint that read, 'Death to all fags!' I called the cops to report it and they came out to investigate, but I'm still shook up about what happened."
"I asked him to wait in my room."
"Get him and we'll all go down to the family room to discuss this so we don't wake up anyone else."
Brandon heard what had been said and went with us when we headed downstairs. As soon as we reached the foyer, I grabbed my coat and a flashlight, turned on the outside light, and walked out to inspect his car. Brandon opted to wait inside, but I wanted to see the damage for myself before we talked about this some more. It was just as Elliot had described it and was obviously a hate crime. When I came inside again, I went to the family room to talk this over with Elliot and Ian.
"I'd say it was done by someone who either knew you or who saw you two together earlier. Were you being affectionate in public?"
"Not really. We just held hands when we walked to the club. That's all."
"Well, that could have been enough to set the person off. I'm glad you called the police and reported it, but you'll have to call the insurance company too, if you haven't done so already. On Monday, I also want you to get in touch with the body shop and ask if they can squeeze your car in before you have to return to campus. Just take plenty of pictures of the damage before you take it there, in case the insurance company needs them."
"The cops took pictures too."
"That's good, but can you think of anyone who might have done this? Anyone who has it out for you?" Brandon followed. Elliot glanced at Ian before he answered.
"Not anyone we saw tonight. Everyone was pretty cool."
"How about anyone you saw earlier, when you went out while we were at work?" I followed.
"Not that I can think of. I don't remember seeing anyone I'd had trouble with before."
"Then we'll talk about this some more tomorrow and you can make up a list of people who might have had it out for either of you. I'm sure the police might find such a list useful too," I suggested. "You'll also find a roll of plastic and some duct tape in the utility closet that you can use to temporarily cover over the broken window, so the weather doesn't damage the interior of your car as well."
"Ok, Ian and I will do both of those things after we get up."
"Are you calmed down enough so you'll be able to enjoy a little time with Ian before you go to sleep?" The question caused both boys to blush slightly.
"Yeah, I think talking to both of you helped me settle down enough. At least now I know what I have to do next."
"Then we'll leave you two alone so you can have some fun," Brandon added, which caused the boys to blush again.
"I don't know if having gay parents is a good or bad thing" Ian joked. "I know my parents would never have said anything like that."
"It's good, because they understand what we're going through after what happened earlier," Elliot offered, which made Brandon and me feel proud. Then, we all went upstairs to our bedrooms.
Once we were alone, Brandon asked a question. "Seeing what happened earlier seemed to bother him so much, do you really think he'll be able to do anything now?"
"I imagine they'll figure something out, seeing it's been so long since they've been together. They were really looking forward to having some time alone, and since they weren't in the car when it happened, I'm sure a few kisses and a little petting will make them forget about everything else for the time being."
"Yeah, I guess you're right. How about you? Are you feeling frisky?"
"For you, always."
Having said that, we engaged in a little mutual enjoyment before turning in again as well. No matter how long we've been together, Brandon can still turn me on like no one else. I love him deeply and hope someday the law will change so we can actually get married. Even though we took part in a commitment ceremony a few years ago, it's not the same. When we're finally able to get married we'll hyphenate our surnames like the boys did when we adopted them, so we'll all be O'Hara-Curries.
The next morning while we were enjoying a late breakfast together, I decided to see if any of the boys had plans for later. "Have you guys thought about what you're going to do today?"
"We'll probably just go outside and play in the snow," Joshie answered. "We might even build another snowman." Benny was nodding his head in agreement.
"Nah, nothing here, unless I go outside to help these two," Noah added.
"Ian and I wanted to go out for a bit, but that will be kind of awkward now, unless we can borrow Dad Brandon's car for awhile."
"Why? What's wrong with your car?" Noah wanted to know.
"There was a little accident last night," Elliot offered with a sheepish expression on his face.
"Did you run into another car or did they run into you?" Noah followed.
"It wasn't that kind of accident, but I guess we probably should explain," I offered. "You'll most likely notice it for yourself when you go outside, so I'll just say that someone vandalized your brother's car when he and Ian went out last night."
"They did! What did they do and why would anyone mess with his car?" Noah pressed.
"I think you'll understand once you see it," was all I replied.
As soon as we finished eating, the younger boys hurried to get dressed so they could go outside to see what happened to the car for themselves. I decided to go out with them, in case they had any questions. I wasn't sure what Benny might think or if he understood these things, so I wanted to be there in case he had any questions.
While the boys were putting on their coats, hats, and gloves, I did the same and walked outside with them. They quickly raced over to inspect the BMW and Noah merely shook his head after seeing the damage, while Benny looked at me strangely.
"What are fags?"
"It's a word people use for guys like Dad B and me. It means we prefer being with other boys, rather than girls."
"So am I'm a fag too, because I like to be with Joshie?"
"Not really, unless you decide that you like him enough to go steady or get married. It doesn't mean you like boys as friends, but as boyfriends."
"Oh, you mean like kiss them and do other stuff."
"Yes, that's what I mean."
"So they did it just cuz Elliot likes Ian as a boyfriend?"
"It seems the person who did this obviously doesn't approve of boys liking other boys in that way."
"Why? They didn't do nothin' to him, did they?"
"No, and they don't even know who did this, because the coward did it when no one else was around."
"So he didn't try to hurt Elliot and Ian too?"
"No, but I doubt he would have been successful even if he'd tried. Elliot knows how to defend himself."
"You mean he knows how to fight?"
"Yes. His father had him take martial arts lessons when he was younger so he'd be able to handle those types of situations by himself."
"Yeah, like karate," Joshie jumped in. "You know, like what Jackie Chan did in the movie we watched."
"Oh, that stuff," Benny mumbled, but it seemed to be enough to answer his question.
"Will Elliot be able to get his car fixed before he has to go back to college?" Noah followed. "I don't think he'll want to drive it back looking like this."
"No, he won't and we hope he'll be able to get it fixed quickly. He's going to call the body shop tomorrow to see if they can squeeze him in. The place will be taking time off for the holidays, but I hope they'll have at least one opening so they can help him out before he has to leave."
"So Elliot's got to pay for this?" Joshie wanted to know next.
"He'll call the insurance company tomorrow and report what happened. He has good insurance so they should cover most, if not all of the costs."
That seemed to answer their questions, so I headed inside to see what the others were doing. As I walked in the door, I saw Brandon hand Elliot the key to his car so he and Ian could go somewhere.
"Thanks, Dad. I really appreciate this."
"Yeah, Mr. O'Hara, thanks a lot. It would have sucked if we couldn't do anything today," Ian added.
"Just drive carefully. There should be enough activity in the parking lot so nothing will happen like last night."
"Have fun you two, and just take care of yourselves. Property can be repaired or replaced, but we don't want anything to happen to either of you."
"Aw, thanks, Dad."
"Yeah, that's really nice," Ian agreed.
Now that the boys were all out of the house, Brandon and I got busy doing our chores. We wanted the house to look good for the holidays and I wanted to make certain we all had something to wear during the week. I think everyone was getting excited that Grandpa Josh would be coming home on Tuesday as well. He'd been gone for quite some time and would be leaving again after Christmas, so we wanted to make the most of the time we'd be together.
We didn't see the younger group again until lunchtime, when they came inside to complain that they were starving. We hurriedly fixed them something to eat, and while they were chowing down we asked what they'd been up to.
"We had another snowball fight," Joshie answered. "It was me and Benny against Noah."
"And who won?" Brandon followed.
"Me and Joshie," Benny chimed in. "Noah quit, so we won!"
"And we rolled more snow to build another snowman, but we'll need your help to put it together," Noah added. "The different parts are too heavy for us to pick up and we'd have trouble lifting the last one as high as it would have to go."
"Ok, we can help you with that after we finish eating," Brandon said and I agreed.
As soon as they were done, the boys dragged us outside to help them put the new snowman together. We had just added the arms and facial features when Elliot pulled into the driveway. After he and Ian got out of the car, they came over to inspect the snowmen with us.
"Are they husband and wife?" Ian asked.
"No, they're fags," Benny blurted out, which caused Elliot and Ian's mouths to drop open.
"Benny, people mostly use the word fag as an insult," I explained. "It would be better to say the snowmen are gay. That would mean the same thing."
I then turned toward Ian. "Benny is new to all of this and didn't mean anything by what he said. It's just that I'd explained what the word scratched into Elliot's car meant and he merely used it to explain that the two snowmen were both boys and liked each other a lot."
Suddenly, Ian and Elliot began to giggle. "I'm glad he seems to accept that boys can like other boys, seeing he made them like us."
"He'd better, since there are so many gay couples living here," Elliot chipped in.
"Would you mind if I stayed here again tonight?" Ian asked Brandon and me next. "I'm leaving with my parents tomorrow to spend Christmas with my grandparents, so I'd like to have a little more time with Elliot before we leave, if I could."
"Sure, that would be fine," Brandon agreed for both of us. "In fact, we can even drop you off at your house in the morning as we're going to work, because I suspect your parents will want to get an early start. Just call and let them know what you're doing."
"Yes, they'll want to leave as early as possible and it will help out a lot if you give me a ride home, because we really don't want to drive around in Elliot's car until it's fixed."
"Yeah, the cops could give me a ticket for driving with a busted windshield," Elliot added.
"It's also the reason one of us will follow you when you take your car to the body shop," I responded. "That way if you get stopped we can verify what we're doing, but you'll also need a ride home after dropping the car off."
"Thanks, Dad, and that will help a lot too."
"Can we go to the movies today?" Noah followed, with Joshie and Benny quickly nodding in agreement. Somehow I think they'd planned this together.
"Is there something special you want to see?"
"Yeah, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb just started playing and I wouldn't mind going to see it."
"Actually, that sounds like fun," Ian agreed, as the other boys added their support as well.
"Ok, just let me check with Dion and Trey to see if they want to go with us," I suggested before we all went inside.
"Thanks for asking," Trey replied, "but I think we'll stay here with Wyatt. He's a bit young to enjoy that movie and it's not really something Dion and I want to see."
"Ok, that's fine if you don't mind Joshie going with us."
"No, that's not a problem," Dion confirmed. "Otherwise he'd be miserable about missing out."
Now that I had their approval, I went to fill the others in. "They don't want to go, so it will be a little crowded squeezing all of you into the SUV. I hope you don't mind."
"Um, not if you let us borrow Dad Brandon's car again," Elliot suggested. "That way we can wander around the mall for a while afterward and you guys can go home."
"Sure, I don't have a problem with that," Brandon replied.
"Can I hang out with you guys after the movie then?" Noah asked. Elliot glanced at Ian before he answered.
"I guess, if it's alright with our Dads. We weren't planning on making out or doing anything special. We were just going to do a little last minute shopping."
"Can I, Dads?"
"Sure, just behave yourself," Brandon agreed as he handed his car key over to Elliot again.
"Ok, we'll meet you at the ticket office, since I doubt we'll be able to find parking spaces near each other today," I added as we all got ready to leave.
After we purchased our tickets, I told Elliot that he and Ian didn't have to sit with us, if they wanted a little privacy, but they said it wouldn't be necessary. They were just going to watch the movie and thought it would be nice to do it with the family. I was surprised and impressed by his response, so we went into the theater and found a row we could claim as our own.
The movie proved to be very funny and we laughed a lot. Not only did the boys enjoy it, but Brandon and I did too. It was a fun family outing and a great way to spend the afternoon.
Almost as soon as the lights came on, Elliot turned to us and spoke. "Thanks, that was fun. I really like Robin Williams and he was at his best in this. We're going to take off now, so we'll see you at home."
"Ok, just be careful and don't lose Noah," I teased before Brandon and I headed out with the younger pair.
When we got home, Joshie and Benny started telling Dion and Trey about the movie. Joshie's dads tried to appear interested, although I doubted the boys noticed their lack of enthusiasm, since they weren't doing anything out of the ordinary. When the boys finished their review, they went into the family room to play video games again, while the rest of us did our thing.
Elliot, Ian, and Noah showed up in time to have dinner with the family, something I was grateful for. As we were eating, I reminded Elliot about calling the insurance company and the body shop after we left for work and took Ian home in the morning. He agreed, since he wanted to get his car fixed before he had to leave again, and Brandon brought up a very important point.
"You'll need to call the insurance company first and ask if they'd have a problem with you getting the car repaired right away. Make sure they don't want to have one of their adjustors inspect it first, or they may not want to pay for it. Make sure you also tell them that you reported the incident to the police and have taken pictures of the damage."
"Ok, I will."
"If you need anything while your dads are at work, Dion and I can help out. We'll be at home, since school is closed for the holidays."
"Oh, that's right, and thanks."
"It's very nice of you to offer," I added.
"Hey, after all you've done for us and our boys, we're just trying to return the favor."
As soon as we finished eating, Elliot and Ian went up to Elliot's room to spend a little quality time with each other. The rest of us went to the family room to see what Christmas movies and specials were on. It was our good fortune to discover that the musical 'Scrooge' was playing, and since Benny had never watched it, we all sat down to enjoy this delightful film. Seeing the rest of us had seen it before, Joshie began to sing along with many of the songs that he remembered, which included 'I Hate People', 'Father Christmas', 'December the 25th', 'Thank You Very Much', and 'I Like Life'.
I think his ability to do this amazed Benny, so he tried to join in as well, even though he didn't know all the words. He'd merely listen as Joshie sang and then he'd join in when the lyrics repeated. It was very cute to watch.
When the movie ended, I told Joshie and Benny that it was time to head upstairs for their shower. "Can we shower with Elliot and Noah again?" Benny wanted to know.
"No, Elliot has company tonight and wants to spend time alone with his boyfriend."
"So they can kiss and do naughty stuff," Joshie added with a giggle.
"Noah, will you shower with us then?" Benny teased, and Noah glanced over at Brandon and me before he answered.
"It's up to you," I offered, to let him know it was ok with us.
"Yeah, I guess I can do that for you."
Benny immediately shouted, "Yay!", and grabbed Noah's arm as he dragged him toward the stairs.
"Hey, I can walk on my own," Noah joked, which caused Benny to release his arm. Then, Noah followed the two younger boys up the stairs.
"Does Benny really like showering with Noah and Elliot that much?" Ian asked as we watched them disappear.
"I think he mostly likes seeing the older boys naked," I replied, which caused Ian to give me a look that said, 'Ok, I understand now.'
After their shower, Brandon and I went up to ask the boys a question. "We forgot to find out earlier if you three were going to sleep together, or if just the younger pair was going to do that?"
Joshie and Benny quickly glanced at Noah to see what he had to say. "I guess you can sleep with me, if you want, cuz my bed is big enough for all of us."
"Good, then we'll do that," Benny replied. Brandon and I kissed the boys and wished them sweet dreams before they headed toward Noah's room, since we didn't think they wanted us to tuck them in tonight.
We peeked in to check on them later, when we went up to our room, and the younger pair were cuddled up on either side of Noah. I'd expected to find Joshie and Benny cuddling with each other, but apparently they liked doing it with Noah more. They looked cute and were sleeping soundly, so we merely shut the door again before going to our bedroom.
The next morning I walked down to Elliot's room to verify that Ian was up and getting ready to leave. The bedroom door was locked, so I knocked lightly. When no one answered, I knocked a little louder and a groggy Elliot walked over to see who was there.
"I just wanted to make sure Ian didn't cause us to be late." I glanced over Elliot's shoulder and noticed Ian was still in bed, although his eyes appeared to be open. I must have awakened both of them when I knocked and merely assumed Ian was just as naked as Elliot, who'd obviously forgotten he wasn't wearing anything when he answered the door.
"I'll be down in a minute," Ian assured me, so I looked back at Elliot.
"Ok, and you should get up now too so you can make your phone calls. You might also want to put something on before coming downstairs." Elliot glanced down before looking up at me again, grinning.
"Guess I forgot about that."
"Obviously, but you'll need to call the insurance company as soon as possible and then call the body shop once you've heard what the insurance company has to say."
"Ok, I'll do that, and thanks."
"Brandon's fixing breakfast, if you two want to eat first. Clothing optional," I teased.
"We'll be down, but you've seen all you're going to see for now," Elliot teased.
After we finished eating, we dropped Ian off at his house and told him to have a good time with his grandparents. "I'll try and you'll probably see me again when I get back on Friday. You don't mind if I stay with you again next weekend, do you?"
"No, you're always welcome at our house," Brandon confirmed.
We then continued on to work and both of us remained busy until lunchtime. I decided to call Elliot before I met up with Brandon, just to see how he'd made out.
"The insurance company had me email them the pictures I took, but they were also going to check with the police and get their report. They called back later and said I was covered and could get the car repaired, so I called the body shop. The manager said he couldn't help me until after the New Year, so I made an appointment for Tuesday, Jan 6th. Classes don't start again until the following Monday and he said that should give him plenty of time to do everything. We can drop it off Monday night before they close, because I figured you wouldn't have time to do it on Tuesday morning. He said it should be ready for me to pick up by Friday, Saturday morning at the latest."
"Good thinking about dropping it off on Monday so we don't have to do it before going to work. I'm glad this is working out for you."
"Do you think you can talk Dad Brandon into letting me use his car until mine's fixed?"
"I'll mention it to him and we'll let you know when we get home tonight."
"Ok, and thanks."
I filled Brandon in while we were eating and he said he wouldn't mind letting Elliot use his car, except then we'd have to drive the SUV to work. I said that would be fine, because it would only be for a couple of weeks. I knew doing this should also make Elliot happy, because he wouldn't feel as if he was stuck at home or had to constantly bug Trey and Dion for rides. I'm sure Elliot will probably be taking the boys places with him until Ian gets back, although there won't be a great deal of free time for that to happen. With Christmas Eve and Christmas in between, and Grandpa Josh being home, there will be a lot going on and not much time for anything else.
Now that everything was settled, we went back to finish up at our offices. After today, we'd only be working tomorrow and a half day on Wednesday and then we'd have the rest of the week off. We were taking both of our staffs out for a holiday luncheon at noon on Wednesday so we could show them our gratitude for their hard work and to give them their Christmas bonuses. After that we'd have a four and a half day weekend to spend with the family.
When we got home later, I spotted a couple of fairly large boxes sitting in the foyer. "What are those?" I asked Dion and Trey.
"UPS dropped them off earlier," Dion answered. "They're addressed to Dad and obviously from him too, but I don't know what's inside."
"He probably did some shopping after Nick got home from work and then shipped everything here."
"Yeah, you're probably right," Trey agreed, "so we'll put them in his bedroom to make sure the boys don't start messing with them."
"Good idea," Brandon agreed.
Brandon and I then carried one box into Dad's bedroom while Dion and Trey brought the other one in. We stacked them in the corner, out of the way, and then went about our business.
Elliot, if you happen to be reading this, please contact me!