Sidney was dumbfounded.In a matter of less than two weeks he had gone from being a shy priest in a suburban parish in North Carolina to having accepted a position in an historic church in Philadelphia.While he was still processing this information, two happy people were playing with their breakfast food at the corner café.Sean was ecstatic and his enthusiasm was infectious to Clay.The little boy was giggling and playing games with Sean.Sean was enjoying the games as much as his nephew.The café was not busy this weekday morning and many of the customers were getting “to go” food and drinks as they headed to work.
“I can’t believe I said yes without thinking about it.It just felt right.”
“It is right.You should see how much you are smiling right now.Gone is the reserved academic priest I met at the Christmas party.You weren’t dour, but you were very prim and proper.You would have easily passed as a New England spinster dressed in black.”
“I do not look girlish.”
“Especially when you are au naturel.You are a stud muffin.”
“How do you even know that language?”
“I was raised by two gay men who were very social.Joe and Thomas enjoyed going to a bar where customers sang theater songs.Thomas enjoyed singing and Joe sat back reveling in Papa’s talents.Papa just slays me sometimes because he is always so proper, and then these things come out of his mouth, and I am on the floor laughing.Daddy Joe is just a steady-on kind of guy.Papa could have been a flaming queen except he was a priest who lived with a carpenter and their son.”
“I never thought of Thomas as being flamboyant.”
“He hides it very well but put on ‘Gypsy’ and watch out.”
They both sat back and laughed.It was a joyous morning.
“Okay, what is the timeline?What needs to be done?When are you moving?What is the plan, Valentine?”
Sidney looked at his brother and just laughed.
“Well, first things first.I have to tell the Bishop.Then I notify the Senior Warden, and then I will arrange for my household chattel to be moved.Oh my God, I don’t have nearly enough furniture to fill that monstrosity of a house.I will look like a poor Victorian Vicar living in an empty manse.”
“Fear not.I have more than enough furniture for you to use.Actually, there is a warehouse with furniture that you can go through and pick out what you want.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Well, Thelma liked to “dabble” in antiques and kept putting things in the warehouse where I have my studio.She always promised Jimmy that she would open a shop and sell it.She also claimed it was a good investment.She never opened a shop and whether it has increased in value or not, I don’t know.I do know that it has been in there for a few years, and I have been too lazy to do anything with it.Why don’t we go over now and you can look?Perhaps you will find something you like.”
After getting Clay situated in his car seat, they drove to a neighboring warehouse district.
“Who owns this warehouse?”
“I do.I own six blocks of warehouses that are rented out to the Port Authority.While Thelma was collecting antiques, Jimmy was collecting real estate.I have an agent who collects the rent each month, handles repairs, and provides me an income that is more than adequate.All of the money I inherited is invested, and I have never touched any of it.I don’t need it.”
Sean pulled out a set of keys and unlocked an outer door.After passing through a vestibule, they encountered another set of doors.Sean disengaged the alarm system, opened three locks, and they walked into a gigantic warehouse space.At one end of the space were rows of furniture.Sidney was amazed at the quality of the furniture.The upholstered pieces were covered in dust cloths.Walnut, oak, cherry, and mahogany cabinetry were lined up.There were marble-topped tables as well as sideboards and dining tables and chairs.There were several tall post beds.The furniture was in pristine condition.
“Sean, there is enough furniture here to furnish the rectory and then some.”
“Well, let’s furnish the rectory, and then I will sell whatever you and I don’t want.The money will go into an education fund for Clay.”
Sidney swallowed hard and tried not to tear up.He grabbed Sean and pulled him into his chest.
“How did I deserve such a wonderful brother?”
Sean backed away, trying not to cry.
“Let me show you my studio.”
They took a freight elevator to the top floor of the warehouse, which was flooded with light.Paintings, both large and small, were on easels throughout the space.There was an extensive library of art reference books.There were several pieces of statuary.In one corner were a kitchen, living area, and bed.Sean flipped a switch and the space was filled with music.
“Sometimes, when I am working, and the inspiration is flowing, I forget how late it is, so I spend the night.I keep clothes here as well as basic provisions.I love having this massive poster bed sitting in the middle of such a large space.I always imagined I would find a lover, and we would spend hours in bed, then I would get up and paint, we would eat some food, then make love in that bed until I was inspired to paint some more.”Sean broke into laughter.
“That sounds wonderful to do the things that matter the most to you.”
Clay wandered around and then curled up on a sofa and fell asleep.Sidney stood looking at him and then felt Sean’s arms around him.Sidney’s head fell back on Sean’s shoulder.
“This place is like heaven.”
“It is heaven, but it is also hell when creativity eludes me.With you and Clay here, it is heaven again.”
Sidney turned around to witness Sean removing his clothes.
“Come, get in bed with me and we will nap while Clay is asleep.”
Sidney removed his clothes and let Sean take his hand to lead him to the bed.
Sean pulled back a Flemish brocade coverlet and then climbed onto the Irish linen sheets.Sidney followed and then slid across the luxurious bedclothes.Sean pulled Sidney to him, so their faces were inches apart.
“You know I love you.”
“Yes, brother, I love you too.”
Sean hands swept down Sidney’s back and cupped his ass cheeks.
Sidney’s eyes opened wide.He didn’t know what to say.
“Let me hold you.Examine you.Touch you.I need to feel another body next to mine.It has been too long since I have had the pleasure of physical touch.”
Sidney could only nod his head.Surely, Sean was not proposing to make love, but then again, Sidney wasn’t sure.
Sean moved Sidney so that he was lying on his back.Sean then felt Sidney’s breastplate and rubbed his fingers through the fur.He traced the trail down to Sidney’s raging cock.Sean chuckled when his fingers were covered in pre-cum.He held them up for Sidney to lick clean.Sean then spent time rubbing and caressing Sidney’s legs.Without saying a word, he had Sidney turn onto his stomach.Again, Sean started at Sidney’s shoulders and worked his way down.He spent a long time rubbing the hair covered orbs of Sidney’s ass.Then on to the legs where he massaged them.
Sean shifted them again and he was spooning Sidney.Sidney knew when Sean fell asleep because of the change in his breathing pattern.They awoke when they heard Clay asking for them to put him on the big bed.Sidney stretched over the side of the bed, grabbed Clay, lifted him and then set him on Sean.Clay was giggling.Clay had also shed his clothes, and all three were enjoying their time lying together.
When his hands stopped roving and touching, Sean leaned over and kissed Sidney again.
“I hope I have not embarrassed you too much.I am very much a sensualist. You gave me more pleasure today than any woman ever could.You let me explore you and expected nothing in return.You gave me the gift of exploring what God has so brilliantly put together.I am now inspired to start a new series of paintings.I am afraid, dear brother, that you may end up as my model for a series.They will be scandalous, which is something new for me, and you will be famous.Sidney could feel the vibrations coming from Sean.
“Do you want to stay here and paint while I fix our dinner?You did say there are provisions here, right?”
“Would you do that?See, you get it.You get me.You understand that when the divine is present, you must act.”
Sean jumped out of bed, led by his erection, and walked over to an easel and started drawing.He directed Sidney into certain positions.Some sketches were solo, and in others, Sidney was holding Clay.Sean had Sidney kneel on the edge of the mattress, reach up and grab the canopy rails, and thrust his pelvis forward.It was very erotic and powerfully charged.Sean came over and wrapped a linen sheet partly around Sidney’s waist and draped it down a leg.Clay was hanging onto Sidney’s other leg.Sean’s eyes glazed with fire as he captured the image.
He had Sidney lie on the coverlet.
“Imagine I am running my hands across your beautiful ass.Raise up a little so I can see a hint of your penis.”Sidney complied.“Perfect.Don’t move.”
The rush of adrenaline finally slowed and Sean said they were done for the day.He refused to show Sidney any of the drawings.
“Let’s go to the house.You have to pack so I can take you to the airport first thing in the morning.”
It was as if there was an on/off switch with Sean.He was back to being the helpful brother and the artist was gone.Sidney decided he had a lot to learn about his brother.
The next morning was filled with copious tears as Sidney and Clay were preparing to leave for the airport.Sean parked the car and would not leave until his brother and nephew had passed through security and walked down a concourse.He then called Sidney on the cell phone and told him that he felt more alive than he had in years.Sidney promised to call when they landed in Raleigh.
The meeting with Sidney’s Bishop was anticlimactic as the Bishop in Pennsylvania had already called to talk about the irregular offering of a position in his diocese.The Bishop wished Sidney well in his new parish and asked that they formalize the process by Sidney writing a letter of resignation from his current parish.Sidney found it hard to let go of the people in Mooresville who had been so wonderful to him.They had taken a chance to hire him because he was a new priest.They quickly understood they had a gem that would need to be polished but still a valuable gem.They were sorry to see him leave so soon.The Bishop met with the parish leadership and lamented with them about Sidney’s short tenure but promised he would find them a replacement priest very soon.Graduations had just occurred, new clergy had been ordained, and the Bishop thought there were a couple of viable candidates in that lot.Of course, it would take a lot of oversight for the next few months as the transitional deacons worked toward ordination into the priesthood.He was determined to make that happen.
Next, Sidney had to call Joe and Thomas.Sean had already called and told them of the productive visit with Sidney and Clay.It had been a long time since Joe heard his son get so excited over something.
“Dad, Sidney is also modeling for me.He is the perfect model.I am working on a new series that I think will take the art world by storm.Sidney is beautiful and powerful in a way that I had not imagined.If I were a gay man, I would want him every day.And he speaks Russian!”Sean ended the call in a fit of laughter.
“I think our son has gone off the rails.I have not heard him this giddy in years.I swear he is in love with Sidney but doesn’t know it.”
“Our son is straight as an arrow.He is an artist, and artists often fall in love with their models until the paintings are done.Then they have no use for them.At least I hope after he finishes the paintings, he still wants Sidney in his life.”
Sidney and Clay went to the Yellow House for dinner.Sidney told them about all of the furniture in the warehouse and didn’t know what to do with his belongings from Ikea.
“We can put them in storage with Mark’s furniture.If you ever want stuff, you know where it is.One day, Clay will go to college and might want to use it.”
“One more box checked off the list.Thank you.I will have folks move it into your storage facility.”
“When do you start?”
“The first of August.I am taking the month of July off.I will finish at St. Paul’s the last Sunday in June.Clay and I will drive to Philadelphia with our belongings.I think I can get everything into a trailer to pull behind my car.I will hire people to move the furniture into the rectory and put everything in place.Some of the pieces are quite large.I will also need to find a day school for Clay.Hopefully, there is something in the neighborhood.”
“Let me take care of that.I know exactly who to call.”Thomas knew everyone in that part of Philadelphia.
“Another box checked.”Sidney laughed.
They spent the rest of the evening talking about the wonders of St. Anselm’s and how Sidney was following in Thomas’ footsteps.It was getting late when Sidney picked up a sleeping Clay and put him in his car seat.He kissed both men on their cheeks and said he would be in touch soon.
When he got home, he had a text message from Sean.“I need you to model the month of July.I have lots of ideas that I need to try with a real model.What do you think about shaving your chest?”
Sidney laughed and wondered what kind of pervert his brother was.