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    Mac Rountree
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

And A Child is Born - 5. Cameron Farms

 

“Senator, thank you so much for hosting this party. This is rather unbelievable.”

“Todd, this is the least we could do for you. Evelyn and I are so thankful for your kindness to us. Hopefully, Arden is looking down on us and thanking us for doing the right thing.”

The Senator reached out and shook Todd’s hand. Mrs. Fairfax hugged him and then reached out for Erick.

Todd thought it incredible that one of the wedding parties was at the Northern Neck farm of Senator and Mrs. Fairfax. People were starting to arrive, and Evelyn Fairfax had insisted there be a reception line so they could meet their guests. Mrs. Fairfax had worked with Marjorie and Rachel on the guest list, but Evelyn had insisted this was an opportunity for the boys to meet people who could help shape their professional lives. There were many influential people from Washington in attendance. The Vice President had responded that he and his wife would be attending as well as two Supreme Court justices. There were enough federal and state legislators and officials present that they could have held a legislative session. The Senator’s contacts from his military years had also been added to the guest list. He was insistent that Todd, Erick, Tayloe, and Eron know these people. He had high hopes for their political aspirations. If not as legislators, then as movers and shakers in the background. Evelyn had insisted that Yonatan and Matan be in the receiving line also. She wanted to know more about them and the memorial funds donated in the name of their son. The Senator was interested in how he could include these two men in his power circle in Virginia and D.C. They certainly had the money, if not the connections. He would help them build the connections.

Erick and Eron were overwhelmed with the apparent wealth of many of those in attendance. Discreet wealth, but wealth none the less. They had been raised adjacent to a high-class society that was mainly Christian, and they were used to feeling like the outsiders, but that was nothing compared to the evening of the party. Todd and Tayloe graciously accepted the congratulations from many of the people. They knew many of the people or knew of them. Their history of running with the big dogs helped them that evening.

Yonatan and Matan were unknown to all of the guests except the wedding party. People politely shook their hands and said it was nice to meet them. Somehow over the course of the evening, word trickled among people who they were and about their wealth. Slowly, the two were pulled into circles of people who wanted to know more about them and how they could get to know each other better. Black and Green were within ten feet of them the entire evening. The guests instinctively knew that Black and Green were their bodyguards and now better understood why they needed such protection, even at a private party. Matan was hit on by both men and women who found him irresistible and beautiful. He looked stunning in his Armani tuxedo. Matan calmly removed the unwanted hands that found their way to his arm or around his waist. He did it without offending anyone. Matan would then reach out for Yonatan’s hand. Each time that happened, Green would move in, and his mere presence would cause people to stand back. Green wondered if he was a little overbearing, but he could sense that Matan was having difficulty dealing with the adulation and people not understanding his need for personal space. Green preferred to err on the side of caution than to have Matan have a meltdown at the party; worse would be for Yonatan to have a pseudo-seizure. Black was in charge of Yonatan and kept a sharp eye on his boss.

Matan stood under the stars and told Yonatan that it was a magical night. They were at an old estate, surrounded by people who were beautifully dressed in evening wear, listening to music from a jazz combo, and their best friends were getting married. Yonatan said he would never have imagined them being included at such an event. They both said they were glad they would never have to give such a party. They laughed and then wondered if they had spoken too soon. They were both slightly drunk from drinking champagne, and they leaned in for a kiss. Their kiss was interrupted by Senator and Evelyn Fairfax.

They were thanked for being present at the party. The Senator said it was probably overwhelming for them because they were so young. The Senator then asked if they could come up to the farm for lunch the following week. Matan said they would love to, but they were leaving for Brussels the day after the commitment ceremony. That led to more discussion, and Mrs. Fairfax told them of her favorite places in Paris and The Hague. Matan allowed that they had not had a chance to visit The Hague. Mrs. Fairfax promised to give them a guided tour when she and the Senator were over for a meeting of the European Court late in the summer. They would be attending as observers from the U.S. Government. Matan insisted they visit with them in Brussels and stay in the apartment.

Later in the evening, everyone heard a gong sounding and moved to the pavilion set up on the cliff overlooking the river. The Senator asked for everyone’s attention. He announced that Todd and Erick were two very special men to him. He recounted how Todd was the best friend of their son, Arden, and that Todd had made their life whole after their son had died.

“I haven’t asked their parents, so I apologize ahead of time, but Evelyn and I like to consider Todd and Erick our sons. We are so proud of what incredible young men you are. Erick is a professor at William and Mary, and Todd is a medical student. I know Todd will be a brilliant doctor and researcher when he graduates. I cannot forget Tayloe and Eron, either. I have known Tayloe his entire life, and he is a fine attorney, as is his partner, Eron. I am not the most progressive man in the world, as Evelyn tells me all of the time, but I thank everyone for being here tonight and joining me in wishing these four young men happy, successful lives. I ask that you assist them in life in whatever they need. You honor Evelyn and me when you do that. They are our future. So, let’s raise our glasses and offer our salute of good wishes to them. Three cheers.”

Erick could not wipe the grin from his face. He couldn’t have imagined anything like this happening in his life. The festivities seemed like one of those parties at the summer cottages in Newport he had heard about when growing up. Places where the rich gathered and socialized. Abe and Rachel would have been standing in the back of the crowd if it had not been for Robert and Marjorie. Robert made sure they were down front and introduced Marjorie, Abe, and Rachel to everyone and thanked them for being present and hoped they would all be at Bruton Parish the next afternoon for the commitment ceremony.

The dance floor refilled with people, and everyone thought it was a magical night on the Potomac River. Yonatan was the first to express fatigue. Black and Green quickly gathered Matan and the grooms and led them to the Senator and Mrs. Fairfax, where they said their goodnights. They were then loaded into two black Yukon’s so Pink and Yellow could drive them to Williamsburg.

The morning of the wedding day was clear and bright. Robert had secured rooms at the Williamsburg Inn for the Emmanuelsons, and he and Marjorie. They were seated in the dining room for breakfast when their sons walked in. They looked a little bedraggled. The party from the night before had continued when they arrived back at the apartment. Their neighbors had decorated the front porch of the apartment for the wedding. Todd had been concerned whether his elderly neighbors would accept his and Erick’s commitment ceremony, but Todd and Erick found overwhelming support from them. They had all been invited to the commitment ceremony and the reception afterward. Two weeks prior, they had held a neighborhood cook-out for the young men. They were devastated when Todd told them he would be in Atlanta for a year, but Erick had promised that he would stay in the apartment and that Todd would be back, and they would live there while Todd attended medical school in Norfolk.

They all ate a hearty breakfast, knowing they wouldn’t eat again until that night at the reception, which was a sit-down dinner. It was pricey, but Marjorie and Rachel had agreed upon a menu that would not break the bank. They were having a dinner party on the grounds of the college. Yonatan and Matan had agreed to underwrite the cost of the bar, and Martine and Geneviève had organized the gay student group to decorate. A disc jockey had been hired to play for the dance.

The four men were nervous and watched from the living room window as their elderly neighbors started leaving for the ceremony. Dr. Antonucci had arranged for the college to send one of their activity buses for the residents. He knew there was limited parking in the colonial district, and it would be even more of a premium on a May weekend. Nash and Jan had encouraged the other history majors to wear the docent costumes and greet the guests who were coming for the ceremony. The Yukon pulled in front of the apartment, and Yellow waved at the four men standing at the window. He pointed at his watch to indicate it was time to leave. Todd burst into tears, and Erick grabbed him.

“I love you. What is with the tears?”

“I can’t believe we are doing this for a second time. Last week was too surreal in Washington, with all of those Rabbis and Priests. Today seems like it is real. We are here where we live with people we know. I am nervous as hell. I love you so much and don’t want to disappoint you.”

The four men did a group hug, put on their jackets, and filed out of the apartment. Pink opened the passenger door and greeted them. She pinned a boutonniere on each of the men and handed each a glass of champagne.

“Gentlemen, it is time. You are all so handsome today. Well, you are handsome all of the time, but today you are especially handsome.”

They rode the short distance to the historic district, and Yellow deftly drove around the street barriers to pull in front of the church. They quaffed what was left of their champagne and got out of the vehicle. A large crowd of tourists had gathered to see who was getting married. They then heard the Colonial Pipe and Drum Corps break into a welcoming song. Erick was the first one out of the vehicle and heard the cheering crowd. He helped Todd out, and they kissed. There were many cheers, and they chose to ignore the boos. Eron and Tayloe followed. The Major of the Pipe and Drum Corps had the drummers beat a louder, longer tattoo while they walked through the gate to the churchyard. They were met in the vestibule by their parents. Both Marjorie and Rachel had been shopping and were wearing coordinated gowns. Eron and Erick were amazed that their normally plain but attractive looking mother was glamorous. She was wearing jewelry that she had either stolen from Schwartchilds or that Marjorie had loaned for the afternoon. Her hair and makeup were professionally done. Their fathers looked smart in their tuxedos. The group had already decided how to process down the aisle. Four parents – four sons. Preceding them were two girls and two boys who were children of members of the gay student group. Martine, Geneviève, Yonatan, and Matan were holding up the posts of the Chuppah.

The prior service was primarily Jewish, with some Christian aspects. Today’s service was Christian, woven with some Jewish parts. Rabbi Schulman was gracious and helpful in planning the service. After a telephone call from Rabbi Akiva, his demeanor had changed, and he was obliging when he was told about his role in the service. The Rabbi kept thinking about catching flies with honey. He wanted Erick and Eron Emmanuelson’s children to become members of his synagogue. He also wanted Yonatan and Matan to raise their children there. Rabbi Akiva had promised as much when they talked.

Todd and Erick were wrapped in a Tallit, as were Eron and Tayloe when the seven blessings were said. All four men wore the Kippahs they had been given at the dinner in Lynnhaven a few weeks prior. They left the church, followed by the congregation, and were led in procession by the Pipe and Drum Corp as they headed to the William and Mary campus. The four men rode in an open carriage with everyone walking behind them. People parted and made way for the congregation as they headed down Duke of Gloucester Street. A sense of joy and happiness filled the air.

Pavilions were set up on the lawn of the campus. People were directed to tables according to the seating plan posted at the entrance to the tents. The dinner was a more casual event than the one in Washington, D.C., where they were in the ballroom of Hay-Adams Hotel. Black and Green stood back and watched the party. They would be seen talking into phones, and suddenly men and women dressed in tuxedos would discretely move among the crowd where there was a potential problem. Black and Green were to protect Yonatan and Matan and the four grooms and their families. When Black told Yonatan how much that level of protection would cost for the event, he saw his boss gulp a couple of times and then nod his head. Black was thankful he had a boss who understood the importance of security in such public places. Yonatan had experienced their work first hand and knew that he and Matan were alive because of Black and Green. The security staff were there to also keep the tourists away from the party. Several times they would ask people for their invitations and would politely turn them away when it was obvious they were not there for the wedding. Shorts, tank tops, and sneakers were a dead give-away that people were not there for the wedding. The partying went on late into the night. When the four men finally arrived at the apartment, they saw their cars decorated for their honeymoon. They chuckled, thinking about how excited their neighbors were for them.

The Sunday morning breakfast was bittersweet. Yonatan and Matan joined the family at the Inn. A variety of foods were brought to the table, and plates were passed around so that people could sample. Todd became emotional and could barely talk, so he leaned into Erick and held his hand. Tayloe naturally took the lead and spoke on behalf of Eron and himself. Eron smirked when Tayloe said he was speaking for both of them. Everyone caught on and was laughing at Tayloe’s antics.

“Oh my gosh, is this what my life is going to be like with you?”

“Yes, I thought you knew that.”

“Well, counselor, we will have to have a conference about this division of tasks.”

Everyone laughed and knew that Eron would get his way. Tayloe liked to put up a strong front, but they both knew that Eron held the power in their relationship. Todd wanted Erick to take the lead. Erick would be the mainstay while he ventured south for a year. He could not believe that he was actually doing this. Erick agreed to Todd taking the medical preparatory program in Atlanta, and they laughingly thought about buying stock in United Airways as they were planning many trips over the next twelve months.

Yonatan and Matan were looking well pleased with the success of the commitment ceremonies. They had a small, behind the scene, role in making sure that everything went according to plan. Whenever a problem arose, a discreet call was made to Yonatan, and the problem disappeared. More and more, he was being called the fixer. He did it naturally with no apparent effort.

Yonatan stood and offered toasts to the grooms. He already knew the answer but wanted the guys to say where they were spending their honeymoon.

The four men looked at each other, and finally, Todd said they were going to Nags Head. Their friends, Pate and Timmy, had offered them an oceanfront home for two weeks. They said they would be fools not to accept the offer.

“That’s what I thought. Enjoy the beach. It is beautiful. So, today is also special because Matan and I leave for Europe. We won’t see you again until late August.”

“Yeah, you will also be bringing a child home with you, right?” Tayloe grinned as he brought up that subject.

“Well, not quite.” Yonatan looked at Matan, and slowly they both smiled and nodded at each other. “Matan and I have kept a secret from you. We will be bringing two children home with us. We had identified two surrogates; one as a primary and one as a back-up. Well, it turns out they are both pregnant and will give birth this summer. We know the sex of our children, but that will be a surprise for you when we return.”

There was silence at the table, and then it exploded with shouts of joy. More champagne was ordered, and everyone was quite tipsy by the time they left the restaurant. The four guys were going to the beach, Yonatan and Matan were heading to Brussels, Abe and Rachel were returning to Rhode Island, and Robert and Marjorie were driving to their summer vacation house in Deltaville.

Copyright © 2020 Mac Rountree; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Palpable joy!  However, I can't help but think that another shoe might drop and there will be some drama...

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