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Malibu - 1. New Year's Eve

“Ouch!” CJ’s hands shot downwards to cover his crotch, as his daughter giggled and hit him with the plush emu again. “You can’t smack me like that, Liebe. At least not there. It could do serious damage. You might end up an only child if you hurt my gonads.” He shot his snickering companions a hateful look.

The actual words may not have registered with the eight-month-old girl, but the stern tone apparently did. She scrunched her face and pouted. CJ quickly lifted the bottom of the oversized, Air Force sweatshirt and patted his abs. “It’s okay, kiddo. No need to get upset. Come on. Crawl in. I’m all warm and fuzzy.” Owen’s nodding made CJ wiggle his tongue at his husband.

CJ and Owen had learned their daughter enjoyed resting on her father’s bare chest while running her tiny, clumsy fingers through the forest of hair. It always calmed her during tantrums. The sweatshirt, a Christmas present from CJ’s brother, was large enough the infant fit inside comfortably. He stretched the neckline so her head could poke through, his fast reaction probably preventing a bout of tears.

“You know that’s borderline kinky, right?” Ritch had barely gotten the words out when Owen slapped the back of his head.

“I don’t know what they’re teaching you at that bloody Academy of yours, but that was rude. Even for this family.” Owen shook his head and stood. “It’s too early for this crap. The mimosas are all gone, and I need a drink. I’m going downstairs and getting a couple of the bottles we brought back.”

“Lush!” Sprawled on the other side of the sectional, Ethan wiggled his eyebrows. “If it’s the pink one, I’ll join you.”

The decorative pillow Chipper rifled Ethan’s way flew true and smacked him square in the face. “Pink one? You’re such an ignoramus.” Chipper caught the cushion his victim tossed back at him midair. Having grown up with his mother working for an Argentinian wine company, the budding musician was nearly as much an oenophile as Owen.

“Weren’t you listening yesterday? He told us about it before Harley got us stoned, so you can’t blame the pot.” Their fellow Squad member had arrived at CJ’s parents place with his girlfriend, Kim, and enough joints for everyone interested in partaking. “It’s a rosé, dingbat. A Verdelho Tinto.”

Owen and CJ had brought home a new Liston Winery offering not yet available to the public. The Verdelho Tinto grapes employed—produced in very limited quantities so far—were related to the white ones yielding the varietal CJ had fallen in love with during his first visit to Australia. Alternatively, the pink wine could be created by adding Shiraz skins to regular Verdelho grapes during initial fermentation to get the proper shade and flavor profile. The Listons were experimenting with both methods. CJ and Owen had carried home a split case of the initial bottlings.

Unlike other wineries ready to immediately capitalize on new trends, Owen’s family boasted of their methodical approach. Claiming to favor quality over quantity, the marketplace rewarded them with superior ratings and higher prices for their wines. Unfortunately, the process limited the amount of product available for sale. Benefits of ownership being what they were, Everhope’s cellar most likely contained the largest collection of Liston wines outside Australia.

“Whatever.” Ethan waved a hand dismissively. “If it’s anything like the other stuff the family produces, I’m sure I’ll like it.”

CJ, Owen, and Liebe had spent Christmas in New South Wales and returned to Washington on Monday. Tuesday, they had the annual meeting of the family’s charitable foundation board of directors and spent most of Wednesday with The Squad. As the group’s members had grown older, and their lives became increasingly complicated, the chance for all of them to gather as a unit had diminished. Gone were the carefree high school and college days when nearly any night was good for hanging. Although Ethan Feldman was returning to New York after lunch to greet the coming year with his boyfriend, Chipper Pereira would occupy one of the guest rooms through week’s end.

Ritch Peterson, CJ’s brother, had already claimed the room being vacated by Ethan. He planned to spend the remainder of his vacation at Everhope. “How come he has to go down to the wine cellar, bro? Why didn’t you put them in the little cooler thingy?” Ritch pointed towards the unit underneath the kitchen island’s end.

During the remodeling of Everhope, walls enclosing servants’ quarters and a storage room were removed. The ensuing space, with a door opening to the side courtyard, became a family room flowing into the kitchen. The house’s open floorplan was limited; CJ had insisted on retaining the formal living and dining areas towards the front of the house as separate rooms.

“Because anyone can access the fridges up here, but the cellar needs either my hand or Ozzie’s to be opened.” CJ smirked, staring at his brother. “We knew who’d be here today.”

“Asshole!”

“Language! If that’s Liebe’s next word, I’m kicking your behind.”

Sitting on the sectional’s arm, Chipper jumped and hustled towards the kitchen when Owen returned carrying a bottle in each hand. “I’ll help uncork them.”

Owen’s rich laughter silenced the conversation between CJ and Ritch; everyone turned to look at him. “You guys notice how helpful he is when there’s wine involved? The poor, unselfish soul just wants to make himself useful.” The Aussie could be dangerous when in a sarcastic mood. His teasing earned him two middle fingers from Chipper. Owen laughed again. “Admit it, mate. You just wanna taste it first.”

“So sue me. Mamma raised no fool.” Chipper took the knife Owen offered and meticulously cut the foil around the bottle’s neck. “Dude, I’ve tried a couple of other Australian Verdelhos, and none of them were as good as your stuff.”

“Too simplistic? Too much of a raw mineral taste?”

“Yeah! How come?” Chipper closed the blade and inserted the tip of the corkscrew into the bottle’s top.

Ours are barrel aged, giving them a fuller body. Kind of tangy. It’s the preferred style in the McLaren Vale and the Hunter Valley. Ours are a bit more fruit forward than the ones you’ve tasted.”

“How do you know all this shit? You’re a fucking lawyer!”

“Language!” Owen wagged a finger at his friend. “Mate, you remember I grew up in a winery? I did plenty of manual labor in the vineyards and fermenting rooms when I was a kid. I know about the how.

Chipper took the goblet Owen slid in his direction and poured a small amount of the rose-colored elixir in it. The wine slowly slid to the bottom when he stopped twirling the glass. He raised it to the light and stared as the oily fluid settled before bringing it up to his nose. Eyes closed, he inhaled deeply. “Smells like pears… With a little caramel.” When he brought it to his lips, he took a small sip. “Fuck!”

“Language!” CJ and Owen spoke at the same time. “Not in front of Liebe.”

“Ooops, sorry. Oh, man, that’s delicious. Which one is this?”

“The Tinto grapes. I liked it better, and voted for the family to plant more vines. Those grapes are extremely rare. Most other wineries are using the regular Verdelho fruit and adding the Shiraz skins.”

“I haven’t looked at the schedule, but I hope we stop in Australia next summer. I’ll have to convince Adam to visit your place if we do.” Chipper would be the opening act for Adam Levine and Maroon 5 during their 2021 summer concert tour.

“Let me know in advance if you can fit a day trip to the Hunter Valley. I’ll talk to Spencer, and he’ll make sure you guys are treated right. And if you have the time, you could stay longer. You already know my parents, my brother, and my new sister-in-law.” Chipper had met Spencer at CJ and Owen’s wedding, and Tilda the previous December, during their year-end visit to the United States.

Owen placed five Schott Zwiesel Forte Tritan glasses—one of the few luxury items he and CJ had on their wedding registry—on the island and split the remaining contents of the bottle amongst them. He picked two of them up and motioned towards the others. “Wanna carry those over? Careful you don’t break them.”

“Aren’t these the ones made with titanium? I can probably drop them and they wouldn’t shatter.”

“Yeah, but I may have CJ snap your legs in half if you do.” Owen followed Chipper. When he reached his brother-in-law, he held the glass away from Ritch. “You drinking?”

“Hell, yeah. You know what it’s like to have dinner every night jonesing for a glass of wine? That’s one of the things I miss about living with the dads.” Ritch was allowed half a glass of wine with dinner as soon as he moved from Miami; when he turned sixteen, the amount had been increased. However, being underage, drinking as a member of the Academy was prohibited. “Thank god Bender’s father let us have beer and wine when we were there.” William Bender was his roommate at school, and Ritch had spent Thanksgiving with his family.

CJ nudged his brother. “Bet you’ve made up for it since you got home.”

“I may have had a cocktail or two since landing in Washington.” Ritch smirked. “And I may have nursed a hangover or two since then too. Why do you think I’m spending New Year’s Eve at your lame party?”

“Excuse me?” CJ’s cocked eyebrow reached halfway up his forehead. “Lame? You don’t have to be here, you know? We’ll be lamely happy without you.”

“Damn, Ozzie. This is awesome.” Ethan watched as CJ dipped the tip of Liebe’s pacifier in the wine and offered it to his daughter. “Oy vey! You’re gonna turn your kid into a wino!”

“Naaah.” Owen dismissed the concern with a hand wave. “Mum told us they always did the same with my sister, my brother, and me. We tried it with Liebe on the return flight, and she went right to sleep. She woke up halfway over the Pacific when she needed her diaper changed.”

“Let me tell you guys something. It was my turn, and I swear changing a shitty diaper inside an airplane toilet’s not for the faint hearted. The small space concentrated the aroma.” CJ cuddled his daughter a little closer. “I don’t think we’re gonna do it that often, Ethan. But we’d love for her to be up at midnight tonight, so this might help her take a nap now and another one later on.”

“So, Ritchie—” Chipper was unable to finish his sentence.

“Told you it’s Ritch now. Why can’t anyone get it right?”

“Yeah, good luck with that one, bro. Your new friends may use Ritch, but those of us who’ve called you Ritchie for years… CJ pointed at his daughter when Ritch made to smack him. “If you get her crying, there’ll be no more wine to go with your whines.”

The young cadet shook his head. “You guys are a pain.”

“Yeah, but you still love us. So I was gonna ask you how come you decided to greet the New Year at this lame party.” Chipper looked silly trying to air quote lame without spilling his goblet’s contents.

Ritch took a small drink from his own glass. Having Owen around while growing up he had learned wine etiquette. One of the rules was not to guzzle it. “I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Eve. That’s when Mom and Dad went missing in the Bahamas.” His countenance saddened as it often did when talking about his parents. “I think of them every year at this time.” Another sip of wine, and his expression gradually lightened; the frown became less pronounced.

“And to be honest, I’ve been a little homesick. Since CJ, Owen, and Liebe were in Australia last week, I haven’t spent a lot of time with them. Might as well do so tonight. Why are you gonna be here instead of out partying?”

“Because I’ve missed our friends as much as you have.” Interrupting their conversations to savor the wine seemed to be contagious; Chipper did as Ritch had and sipped from his glass. “I mean, this past year’s been nuts. L.A., Miami, D.C., New York… It felt like I was doing a circuit and as soon as it ended, the next round began.” Chipper had spent a large amount of time during the year in Los Angeles as a contestant on The Voice. “In a few days, I’m back on the West Coast. I’ll be working on my first album. Then there’ll be rehearsals for the tour, and at the end of spring, we’ll be on the road. I don’t know when I’ll have time to hang around here again.”

“Oz, I think we did the right thing having the party tonight.” CJ winked at his husband. “Ozzie didn’t think anyone would want to just sit, drink, and talk on New Year’s Eve.”

Ethan looked at his watch and shook his head. “I can’t believe I’m catching a train in a couple of hours. To tell you the truth, staying here and having a quiet evening sounds pretty good. PRIME’s gonna be a zoo tonight. Bunch of drunks hitting on me and Sean, and anyone else within reach.” Ethan’s boyfriend, Sean Brody, worked at the Chelsea club as a manager and head bartender. “So, CJ, what made you decide to have people over?”

“Dude, if y’all think your year’s been hectic, think about ours. We had a kid, I graduated and started work, and we’ve done a fair amount of traveling, including Australia this month. By having a get together at home, people can stop in for a cocktail or glass of wine on their way to wherever, and we don’t have to deal with all the amateur drinkers out on the roads.”

“Plus, last year’s celebration would be tough to top.” Owen had at last joined the others, taking a seat next to CJ. “I mean, New Year’s Eve on Times Square was nuts. And you can’t beat that we were on CNN’s live broadcast with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen when my brother proposed to Tilda.”

“Hey, Chipper.” CJ recalled the brunch at Bradley Cooper’s on New Year’s Day and realized they had someone to help do something similar. “On the first this year, we ended with Lady Gaga at the piano serenading us. You gonna do the same tomorrow morning?”

“Sure. Did you have it tuned?” Chipper had complained during his last visit about the instrument sounding like crap.

Although neither CJ nor Owen played, they had purchased an early 20th Century upright for the second floor’s front room. With a nod to the beautiful instrument, they had furnished the space with it as the center of attraction. They hoped Liebe or a future kid would like to learn. “Done while we were away. Aba said the guy played it a little after he was done, and it sounded great.”

The ensuing silence dragged until broken by a musical chime. CJ glanced at his phone and tapped a couple of keys to open the front door. “It’s the ’rents and the grandparents.”

“¡Campeón! ¿Donde está mi niña?” CJ’s grandfather had modified his usual greeting following his great granddaughter’s birth. He still called CJ champ, but now asked where his girl was right after. Liebe was the only Abelló female born in several generations.

Sebastián Abelló pushed through the kitchen’s swinging door followed by his wife, Rosario. CJ’s fathers, César Abelló and Brett Davenport, trailed close behind.

“I’m starving. You have any food in this house?” Brett elbowed his husband and pointed at the empty wine bottle atop the island’s dark, polished concrete surface. “Not even noon, and they already started.”

César picked it up and read the label. “Ozzie, is this the new stuff you guys brought back?”

The grandparents hugged all the young men in the room and took a seat next to CJ when the others stood. “Is she asleep?” Rosario ran a hand over her great granddaughter’s fine, blonde hair.

“Getting there.” CJ extricated Liebe from under his shirt and allowed his grandmother to cradle the baby in her arms. “We want her to take a couple of naps today so she’ll be awake at midnight.”

“Why? That’s mean.” Rosario did not sound impressed by her grandson’s plans. “There’s no need for her to be awake so late. She won’t even know what’s going on.”

“Think of the possibilities, Abuela. This is her first New Year’s Eve. We’ll take lots of pictures. It’ll be cool for her to see them when she’s old enough to know what was going on.”

In the kitchen, Owen pointed at the unopened bottle and raised an eyebrow at Brett and César. “You guys want some?”

César took the unopened one and compared the label to the discarded one’s. “They’re different?”

“Yeah. Similar wines, different method. I can get one more of what we’re drinking if you want. We’re just doing a tasting.”

“Nah, we’ll try this one.” Brett’s choice was confirmed by a nod from César. “But I really am hungry.”

Owen opened one side of the refrigerator and pointed at a foil covered glass pan. “CJ made his french toast casserole for breakfast. There’s some left, but we finished the corned beef hash.”

“I can munch on this.” Brett retrieved the container and opened the tableware drawer. “A couple of bites will do for now. You guys ordering lunch in?”

“Actually, since I did breakfast, Ozzie’s making us lunch.” CJ had left Liebe with his grandparents and come to greet his fathers. He kissed Brett’s cheek while the man chewed on the pecan-stuffed bread concoction. Based on a Paula Deen recipe, it was something CJ made on special occasions.

“What you making?” Garbled words and bits of food flew out from Brett’s mouth.

César shook his head and rolled his eyes. “Swallow first, then talk, Jarhead.”

“Isn’t that the same thing you told me last night?” Brett slid the pan away and ducked to avoid any errant head slaps.

“TMI!” CJ raised a hand in an attempt to derail further sexual comments. “Since breakfast was heavy, and the food tonight will be too, we’re keeping it light for lunch.” Instead of serving their guests a proper meal, they had ordered a large assortment of finger foods from Abuela’s, the Cuban restaurant in Georgetown CJ and Sebastián partly owned. “Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil on sourdough with a balsamic vinaigrette.”

“Is it the stuff from San Francisco?” Brett’s mouth was full again, and his question was difficult to understand. Owen had a blank expression. After swallowing, Brett repeated it. “Bread from San Fran?”

Owen nodded. During their honeymoon, he had fallen in love with one particular bakery’s offerings. Since then, the couple placed regular orders and kept them frozen. “Yeah. I set it out to defrost when we woke up. If someone wants some meat—”

“César always likes meat.” Brett took one more step further away from the others.

“Right.” Owen’s exaggerated frown made CJ grin. “If anyone wants it, we have prosciutto and serrano too. Plus, chips and a veggie tray I picked up at Whole Foods.”

“Ozzie’s opening another bottle. Do you guys want some wine?” Ritch had repositioned himself and sat on the floor, scratching his dog’s belly. Wingnut had moved to Everhope when Ritch left for college and appeared content with his new surroundings.

“Not for me.” Rosario’s whisper suggested Liebe had finally dozed off.

“Me neither. I might have a beer or two with lunch.” Sebastián looked at his watch. “But if we don’t leave soon, we might miss it.”

“Where are you guys going?” CJ had not been clued in on the outing’s details.

“No idea. Your other grandmother has the details. Supposedly this is something Ana and her friends do every year.”

Ana Gonzales had been Brett and César’s housekeeper since before CJ moved to Washington. These days, she supervised a crew that serviced the fathers’ house, their neighbors’ place, the family business offices, Everhope, and CJ’s cousin, Rod’s home.

Olga at last made her way downstairs. “We’re going to a steak house.” Her comment elicited a bark from Wingnut. The dog spent all day with her and Liebe and had become very attached to them.

“You look gorgeous, Aba.” Ritch rose and walked over to hug his grandmother.

“Thanks, Ritchie. Anyway, Ana and her friends like to treat themselves on the last day of the year. I have a feeling they can’t afford fancy restaurants all the time. This is a splurge for them.”

Sebastián appeared lost in thought. “How many of us will be there, Olga?” He was one of the few people who called Olga Santos by her name instead of Aba—the moniker CJ slapped on her as an infant when he could not pronounce abuela.

“She said it was less than a dozen.”

“Perfect! Don’t say anything, but I’ll take care of the bill today. If this is something they can’t afford all the time, let them save their money so they can do it again sometime soon.”

“It runs in the family!” Ethan’s comment attracted everyone’s attention. “What? Your grandfather’s as much a mensch as you, CJ. Always trying to do what’s right. He’ll probably use CJ’s trick. Excuse himself to go to the restroom and hand his credit card to the server before the bill’s delivered.”

“CJ’s trick? I taught him that.” César sounded proud of himself.

“And I taught it to you, so it’s my trick.” Sebastián chuckled. “My Yiddish’s not very good, Ethan, but I think I like being called a mensch better than a schmuck. And on that note, we’re out of here. Let’s go ladies.”

“Give me the name of the place you’re going to, Aba.” Ritch pulled his phone out of his back pocket. “I’ll call you guys an Uber.”

“I’m taking Liebe upstairs and putting her in the crib.” CJ picked up the girl from Rosario and headed towards the elevator. “Hopefully she’ll nap for an hour or so. Somebody turn on the TV, I wanna watch football when I come back.”

 

“Do you guys mind if we talk a little family business with our kids?” César addressed the question to Ethan and Chipper. “I’m actually glad the two of you are here for this conversation.”

“Alexa, mute the TV.”

CJ had returned and found everyone waiting for him. Owen shrugged looking confused. “What up, dads?”

Brett reached for the wine bottle on the coffee table and tilted it in Chipper’s direction. “Nice shoes, dude.” The retired Marine’s crooked smile should have been a warning a zinger was coming. “Do they make them for men?”

Chipper’s middle finger sprung up automatically. “Har, har, har. Fuck you, Cap.” Lifting a leg, he moved his foot around to show off his sky blue sneaker. “I’ll have you know these are a Nike limited edition. Got them as a Christmas present from my dad.”

“They limited because nobody wants to wear them?”

“I swear, Jarhead. You’re more of a child than these guys have ever been.” César winked at Chipper. “I think they’re cool, buddy. Aren’t those the ones released with the light blue uniforms the Miami HEAT wore last season?”

“You got it, Mr. A.” Chipper relaxed and leaned back.

CJ smiled through the entire conversation. He loved the fact Brett could be a hardass but had a quirky personality too. “So, what was it the two of you wanted to talk about?”

“Let me give Ethan and Chipper a little background first.” Taking a sip, Brett leaned against César again. “My family had a lot of real estate investments in California, which I inherited. Great rental properties with good returns. A few years ago, when CJ came to live with us, we realized we wouldn’t be leaving D.C. any time in the foreseeable future and decided to get rid of it all.”

“One of the last things we sold was the house Brett grew up in.” César focused his attention on Ethan. “We financed it for the buyer ourselves, and the mortgage payments have rolled in without fail. Until this month.”

“Expensive house? Big loan?” By now, everyone was used to Ethan’s lawyerly, probing questions.

Brett glanced at César who shrugged and nodded. “It’s nice, but it’s not like a mansion or anything. Only three bedrooms plus a guest suite above the pool house. We sold it for a few million. The mortgage’s significant and so are the monthly payments.”

Ethan’s soft whistle seemed to reflect everyone’s surprise. CJ had had no idea what the selling price had been. “And the buyer missed a payment for the first time this month? Do you know why?”

“We didn’t until we talked to our west coast attorney yesterday. Miles said—”

Chipper interrupted. “Miles Abramonov? The guy who works for Ethan’s law firm?”

“Yeah.” César smiled. “Ethan recommended him when we needed legal work for the Heroes Haven documentary. We liked him, so I called him about this thing.”

“He’s a great guy.” Chipper suddenly appeared interested in the conversation. “He saved my ass a couple of months ago.”

César seemed to be chuckling a lot. “Your name came up when we mentioned who had bought the house. Miles brought up a client having a run-in with the owner, and we guessed it was you. He was surprised we figured out who he was talking about and knew you. He said to say hello.”

“Wait! Wait, wait.” Chipper half-raised himself from his seat. He looked surprised and confused. “This is getting freaky. My name came up when you mentioned the buyer’s? Where’s this house?”

It was Brett’s turn to grin. “I grew up in a beach house in Malibu.”

“You’re shitting me!” Chipper’s jaw dropped. “You sold your house to Greg Nalbo?”

“Yep, so this is all your fault.” Brett’s stern expression faded when César elbowed him.

“Don’t pay attention to him, Chipper. My husband’s being ornery.” César gave the retired Marine a stare that silenced whatever else Brett planned to say.

Everyone in the room was aware of Chipper’s run in with Greg Nalbo. The music impresario had tried to coerce the budding musician into signing with his company after a party at the Malibu house. Chipper had been invited by friends he had met at Coachela. Wanting to rinse off pool chlorine, he wound up naked in a bathroom with the two of them. While his friends availed themselves of drugs provided by Nalbo, Chipper abstained.

Much to his surprise days later, Nalbo texted him pictures of the three naked, young men with one of them holding a straw over lines of white powder. The music mogul threatened to make them public unless Chipper signed with him.

Instead, Chipper called Ethan, who called Miles, who called the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They fast-tracked an operation against Nalbo, but errors in the procedures negated their efforts. Fortunately, it seemed to scare the man sufficiently to leave Chipper alone.

“Anyway, although it’s not your fault, the FBI investigation you instigated led to several lawsuits. Miles mentioned his firm was representing a couple of artists going after the man. We think he’s trying to hoard cash for his legal defense.”

“Hell, I bet he’s thinking of moving to Brazil. We don’t have an extradition deal with them, right?” Brett had been imagining all sort of scenarios César repeatedly dismissed as irrelevant.

César ignored him again. “Miles had someone call the guy on our behalf, and he said he would not be making the January 2021 payment either.”

“What are you gonna do, Mr. A?” Ethan leaned forward, elbows on knees he seemed fascinated by the situation. “Foreclosure?”

“We’re not sure, and that’s why we wanted to talk about it with the boys.” The boys were all adult men, but César had previously said they would forever be his and Brett’s kids. “There’s a couple of ways this could go, and we want your input. How’d you guys feel about owning a beach house in SoCal?”

 

“I need a shower.” Brett walked towards the bathroom, shedding clothes along the way. “It’s nice the kids allow smoking inside their wine cellar, but my clothes reek.” At one point in the evening, half a dozen men clustered in the basement space drinking wine and smoking cigars.

“Too many of us. I don’t think they envisioned or planned for more than three or four people down there at a time. They don’t even have enough chairs.” César followed his husband, picking up discarded clothing. “Next time get undressed in here and dump the smelly stuff in the hamper, Jarhead. Whenever you scatter them around the bedroom, it stinks in there the next morning.”

Brett shrugged while brushing his teeth. Unable to talk with a mouth full of foaming toothpaste, he spit into his sink. “Sorry…”

“I did have a revelation while we were in the cellar. We need a bigger wine storage unit.”

“When the hell did we become wine drinkers? It used to be now and then. Now it’s almost daily.”

“I’m blaming Ozzie.” Undressed now too, César stared at his face in the mirror. “I think I’ll shave the beard off before we fly to L.A.”

“Great idea! We can get a little color since we won’t have to bundle up.” Starting in early December, the weather in Washington had been colder than in recent years. “Oh, and about the wine? Funny how since he moved to D.C. our interest in and knowledge of vino has grown.”

“I’m not complaining.” César turned on the shower and stuck a hand under the water until he found the temperature acceptable. “Come on, Jarhead. Let’s clean up so we can get sweaty.”

“Are you planning to molest me?” Brett reached for his husband’s cock and gave it a couple of tugs.

“Baby, I’m gonna fuck you senseless once we get in bed.”

Copyright © 2020 Carlos Hazday; All Rights Reserved.
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Thank you for reading.

My thanks to @Mann Ramblings for editing and to @mollyhousemouse, @Reader1810, and @WolfM for beta reading. The story's better because of them. Any errors remain the responsibility of the author.

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Welcome to the discussion thread for CJ’s series. All things CJ are fair game, I simply ask you be respectful of others. I will actively participate in the discussion. Ask questions, speculate about what’s coming, or bitch about what happened. We’re now open for business!    

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Welcome back, I really enjoyed this first chapter, it seems that we are in for some interesting times ahead

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