It was hard to imagine being more exhausted than I was right now.The preparation for yesterday’s meeting, hosting everyone, then the drama of having the attack force advancing on Goodwell, would have been tiring enough.But after the helicopters arrived, everyone had hurried to the Great Room to see what was going on.That meant we had to explain what had happened, what was currently happening, and what was probably going to happen.After that, we had to have lengthy conversations about it.No sooner had that been completed than we’d had interviews with the FBI as they worked to identify who exactly was attacking us.And now it was morning, and we were destined to have yet another meeting.
I walked into the library, stifling a yawn as I did.I was surprised to see Alex looking chipper, and pretty much like his normal self.That was quite the contrast from the disintegrating puddle of a person he’d been yesterday.My mother looked pensive, which was probably not good, while everyone else seemed to be fighting a combination of shock and relief.“Good morning,” I lied. “I would like to take this opportunity to wish Will a happy birthday.He’s seventeen now.”
“Thanks,” he said.It seemed like he’d been older than that for years now, so having him actually turn seventeen was almost a letdown.“I get to share my birthday with Riley.”
“That’s very nice,” Mother said, then got serious.“What’s our status?What is going on?”
“They estimate that we were attacked by a force of five men,” Jake said.“It’s important to note that that’s an estimate.I would have guessed six.”
“How many did they kill or capture?” JP asked.
“Three,” Jake responded.“That means that there are probably at least two other men out there, and these are trained fighters, so they are very dangerous.”Everyone looked around nervously, as if they would come bursting through the windows, machine gunning us all, at any minute.
“We have adequate security at the moment, but it is probably not wise for us to remain here until they either catch the other men, or flush them out of the area,” I said.“I’ve made arrangements for us to leave in about an hour.”
“I’ll need to pack,” Mother said.
“In a minute,” I told her.“We will need to establish what happened, and what is happening, then we can devise a plan to deal with it.All of that can’t happen today.”
“Well, then we shall have to converse again at some future point,” the Duke said.
“Do they know who the attackers were?” Brad asked.
“The men who were captured appear to be Latinos,” Jake said, which didn’t surprise any of us, especially after we’d heard them speaking Spanish last night.“Their country of origin is still unknown.The FBI suspects they are mercenaries hired by a cartel, and that means they probably had some guerilla warfare training in Central America.”
“I think before we leave, it is very important that we express our gratitude to Jake Pike and the men he hired,” I said.“His deduction that there was a risk to us, and the quick steps he took to set up our security team, undoubtedly saved our lives.”
“Really?” Mother asked.
“Really,” I said firmly.“I was in the control room, and I watched the relentless advance of this group.They took out our sophisticated electronic devices, and tried to cut off our men from the house.And when one of the men was wounded, his cohort shot him so he wouldn’t be able to talk.That is how ruthless they are.”That got stunned looks from the room.
“Then I am indeed most appreciative of your intuitive abilities, and your quick work,” the Duke said.He got up and shook Jake’s hand, setting a precedent for the rest of us to follow.Everyone got up in turn and shook Jake’s hand, except for Will and Brad, who gave him man hugs.
“I want to suggest that you consider improving security here,” Jake said. “I would have told you that even before this incident.”
“We haven’t needed it,” I said, “but it is probably a good idea.”
“Think about this,” Jake said, a note of caution in his voice.“The attack last night failed miserably, but only because we were ready for them.If the guys I brought in hadn’t done what they did, they may very well have murdered everyone in this house. With my guys here, it was impossible for them to advance fast enough to achieve their goals before the alarm was given and outside help came.”
“And as we noted, we are grateful for your help,” the Duke said, evidently thinking Jake was merely crowing about his achievement.
“What I’m saying is that they were expecting Goodwell to have the kind of security it had before, and if that had been the case, they would have breezed right past it,” he reiterated.“But what I’m also saying is that they clearly had no idea we were onto their game.”
“That could be a very dangerous assumption,” Mother said.Jake certainly had her attention.
“That assault was a very costly failure for them, one I’d think was almost a disaster,” he said.“They wouldn’t have done that just as a gesture.”
“I would think they’d assign little value to the lives of the men they lost,” Alex noted.
“You would be wrong about that,” Jake said. “Those kinds of trained soldiers are very valuable, and a relatively limited commodity.But it’s worse than that, because when whoever paid them next goes to hire people like that, they’ll find their credibility in question.And think of what they’ve done. They’ve launched an attack on one of America’s oldest historic homes and America’s oldest families.You don’t think the FBI will be all over this?”
“That makes sense,” Brad agreed, even as he thought about it.
“It’s an embarrassment for them and their drug task force,” Jake said.“People will be asking:How did they let cartels operate a commando group in the US?”
“So you are suggesting that because they lost three men, failed to achieve their objectives, successfully diminished their ability to recruit trained mercenaries, and invited the wrath of American law enforcement, they have incurred a devastating defeat?” JP asked for clarity.
“That is what I’m saying,” Jake confirmed.
“And you are hypothesizing that they must not have known we were somewhat aware and alert about their enmity, otherwise they would not have risked such a calamity?”
“I am,” he said.
“I would then point out that if you are right, they will now credit us with being much more informed,” Mother said.“Surprise will not necessarily be on our side in the future.”
“That is probably the case,” I agreed.“In any event, if we are to get you all safely off to your destinations, I must give you time to go pack.”
“We will have to plan for a follow up meeting,” JP reminded me.
“We’ll work on that,” Brad promised, taking that burden off of me.
“So we are to pack up and go home?” Alex asked, just for clarity.
“That is my suggestion,” I said with a smile.“But you are always welcome here.”
“Thank you for that, Wade.I am planning to stay in the US for a bit, but I probably will stay elsewhere, at least for this trip.”
“It is most unwise for you to stay here after the carnage we have witnessed.Remember, Alex, that some of those men are still in the environs, and that you are most likely one of their key targets,” the Duke objected.“You are welcome to come back, but you should focus on your safety, and return to England with us.”
“I hardly think the entire state is dangerous, and I would not let some miscreants scare me away, in any event,” Alex said firmly, showing some real courage, both in staying in the area, and in standing up to the Duke.
“And what are you risking your life for?” the Duke asked imperiously.
“I am going to go see my mother,” he announced.“I’ll fly back after that.”
“If you want me to go with you, I will,” Mary Ellen said, which was pretty sweet of her, since I could tell she was ready to go back to England immediately.
“It would be wonderful to have your company, but I would feel so much better if you were back in England with Ricky,” he said to her lovingly.
“Alex, perhaps you would like to stay with me in the capital?” Mother asked.“My home is quite secure, and I would be able to help you track down your mother.”Mary Ellen and I looked at each other and cringed when she mentioned the security at her compound.It was a jail for those on the inside, and a fortress facing those on the outside.
“That sounds like an excellent plan,” Alex said smoothly.“Thank you for your hospitality.”
“It is most certainly my pleasure,” Mother said.“I must go pack.”That served to empty the room of her, Alex, the Duke, Nana, and Mary Ellen.
I walked over and closed the door behind them, then turned back to talk to JP, Jake, Matt, Tiffany, Stef, and Will.“I think my mother is plotting to have Lord Preston killed.”
“What makes you think that?” Brad asked.
“I heard her on the phone yesterday, telling someone to ‘take him out’,” I said.“She gave me some ridiculous explanation as to what she was talking about, but based on her reaction in our meeting last night, I’m pretty sure she was talking about him.”
“As long as he is alive, Alex and Ricky will be endangered,” JP said.
“Why?” Matt asked.“I thought Lord Preston was the one who was holding his wife back?”
“If Lord and Lady Preston find out that Alex’s mother is still alive, and that their existing children are bastards, one solution would be to ensure that their marriage is legal and to have another child,” JP noted.
“You think they don’t know she’s alive?” I asked, even as I pondered that.
“I cannot believe that they do,” JP said.“Why would they go through all of this effort, knowing there’s a loose end out there that could derail everything?”
“So you’re suggesting that if Lord Preston dies, Lady Preston will find that she has two of his children, but they are bastards, and there really isn’t much she can do about it?” I asked.
“Possibly,” JP said.
“I wonder if there’s a way around that?” Matt asked.We looked at him, confused.“I wonder if there’s a way they could still make sure their marriage was legal?”
“I believe there is some requirement for the parties to believe they are in a legal marriage,” Jake said.“It may be possible to claim ignorance and avoid having it declared illegal.”
“I wonder if Lord Preston would be more useful alive than dead in that case?” Stef asked.
“We’ll have to think about that,” Brad noted.“In any event, if your mother has given the order to have him ‘taken out’, I’m not sure there’s anything we should or could do to save him.”
“In the meantime, we’ve taken extra security measures to help us leave this place,” I said.“Jake’s men will escort our groups to the airport.”
“Is it possible that someone could ambush our plane?” Will asked, thinking of other ways they could get to us.“I mean, if they’re looking for us, it’s a pretty big target.”
“Security at and around the airport has been increased,” Brad explained.“We’ll be fine.”Darius gave Will a smarmy look, as if he’d been a pussy for asking about the plane’s security in the first place, and Will glared back at him, so that served to send the rest of them off to get ready to leave as well.
Within half an hour, I heard the all too familiar noise of a helicopter; only in this case, it was only the jet copter I’d hired to fly our British-bound passengers to New York.The craft arrived and took Nana, Mary Ellen, and the Duke off to catch the next Concorde.Almost as soon as the helicopter left, the big Suburban limousine pulled up to take JP, Stef, Brad, Will, Jake, and Darius to the airport.There was another vehicle there as well, only this one contained a driver and Ramon, who would ride along with the big Suburban to ensure it wasn’t ambushed.That, in turn, was followed by another car to take Alex and my mother back to the capital and a similar escort car with Joe along for security. Once they got back to DC, Alex could presumably work on finding his mother, and my mother could work on saving her tattered reputation. I somehow found time to meet with the staff and calm them down before the Suburban returned from the airport, only to compel it to turn around and take us to the airport.I was truly relieved when I was able to drag my tired ass out to the vehicle and head back to Boston with Matt, Tiffany, Riley, and Maddy.
“Dude, I think that next time we have a family event, we should just have it in Boston,” Matt said.“Goodwell is like a curse.”
I laughed at that.“This meeting may end up having a happy ending,” I said.
“I’d prefer not to end up in a war zone again,” Tiffany said icily.
“So would I,” I agreed.“Let’s put that behind us and focus on celebrating Riley’s birthday.”I’d said that last line cheerfully and enthusiastically, even as I begged my body for enough energy reserves to get through it without falling asleep.
September 14, 2003
We were all nervous as we boarded Stef’s plane, wondering if there was a bomb on board, or if a surface to air missile would come soaring after us as we took off.We said very little, just buckled ourselves in and waited with bated breath as the plane took off.It wasn’t until we reached 10,000 feet that the tension began to ease, and when it did, it was replaced by exhaustion.
“I’m thinking that we should take a nap, and then we can talk about this when we get back,” I suggested.
“You can have my bedroom,” Stef said.“JP rarely sleeps much anyway, and I am doing just fine.”
“Thanks, Stef,” I said.“I’m going to pass that offer on to Will, though.It is his birthday.”
“I’ll let you have the big bedroom as long as you share it with Jake,” Will said, smirking at me.
“As far as I’m concerned, he’s got a deal,” Jake said.
“We’ll see you in a while,” I said, shaking my head at my son and his attempts to get me laid.I led Jake back to Stef’s palatial bedroom, and he immediately began stripping off his clothes.I was wondering if he was going to get completely naked, so I went more slowly, letting him set the pace.When he kept his boxers on, so did I.
“Thanks for sharing,” Jake said.“This is pretty nice.”
“It is,” I said. He got in on one side and I got in on the other, making me chuckle to myself, thinking we were going to bed just like an old married couple.“You were magnificent this weekend.”
“I wasn’t the only one,” he said.He leaned in and kissed me gently, then curled up against my side and laid his head on my chest.I usually liked to be in that position after I had sex with someone, because that’s when I felt the most vulnerable, so I decided to project that onto him and assume he was relying on me to give him some much-needed security after all we’d dealt with last night.I was wondering if he wanted me to fuck him, then I heard his soft snores, and that was a little deflating, to think he must not have even thought about sex while I was here, laboring in my mind about it.My ruminations ended shortly after that when I fell asleep too.
I was woken up when a hand poked at my shoulder.I looked up to find Will smiling down at us.“Doesn’t smell like sex in here.”
“It doesn’t,” I confirmed.My voice, resonating through my chest and into Jake’s head, woke him up.
“We’re landing in about half an hour.Thought you’d want some time to wake up,” he said.
“Thanks,” I said, and then he left us alone.
“You make a nice pillow,” Jake said, even as he kissed my nipple.
“I was so tired, not even having your sexy body almost on top of me could keep me awake,” I told him.
“I should probably head up to the City,” he said.“I haven’t been home in forever.”
I couldn’t hide my disappointment.“I was hoping you could stay in Palo Alto, at least for tonight.”
“Well, it’s Will’s birthday, and he’d like it if you were around,” I said, playfully dodging his real question.“We probably need to spend some time talking about all of this shit, and planning our next moves.”
“And?” he asked suggestively.
“I liked sleeping with you,” I said honestly.
“I liked sleeping with you too,” he said.Ironically enough, that seemed to be our cue to get up and put our clothes back on.
“I’m sorry I bailed on you,” he said.
“What are you talking about?”
“On 9-11,” he said.“I should have stuck around.”
“Why didn’t you?” I asked.
“I threw some serious shit at you the night before,” he said.“I wanted to give you some space to think about it.”
I smiled at him and kissed him again, even as my feelings for him swelled.“I was wondering if that’s what you were doing.I told Stef that if you did that, it was a really nice and thoughtful thing to do.”
“I also had another errand to take care of, and I got that done while I was in DC,” he said.He handed me a piece of paper, and based on the letterhead, it was from a medical clinic.It delineated all the tests they’d given him, tests for STDs.
“You went and got tested?” I asked stupidly, as that should have been evident from the paper he handed me.
“I got your point, why this would freak you out, and you were right,” he said.“I don’t’ want you to feel pressured or anything.It was just a precaution.”
“You were plotting to sleep with me,” I accused.
“I’ve been doing that since I met Will that first time,” he said.“That’s no secret.”
“I didn’t realize I was that tough to fuck,” I joked, getting a laugh from him, and then he got serious.
“You’re more than just a fuck.”That got him a nice kiss.“And by the way, the tests were negative.”
“That’s really good news,” I said, and felt my hormones starting to rise.“I talked to Jack about your condition.”He frowned at me, because that was pretty personal information.“He’s a doctor.He won’t talk to anyone about it.”
“So did he tell you I was full of shit?” he asked defensively.
“No, but he does want you to come see him when you can,” I said.
“So he can run tests and determine if I’m really immune to HIV?” he asked, getting really bitchy.
“No,” I said firmly.“He wants to set you up with a neurologist, to see if they can help you out with your other problem.He says they’ve made a lot of advances in that field over the past few years.”
“Really?” he asked.I could see the hope in his eyes, something I, or probably any man, could understand.
“Really,” I said.“Personally, I’m not sure it’s such a good thing.”
“Because I like that you’re a bottom.If you become a top again, that’s going to make things a little tougher,” I told him playfully, even though it probably wouldn’t be an issue.
“I thought you were versatile,” he said.“If this works, we’ll find out if that’s true.”
“I haven’t even fucked you yet, so don’t you think that’s a little premature?” I asked.
“That will happen as soon as we get home,” he said, winking at me, and then he went out into the main cabin.I followed him, but he’d gotten me so horny, it was all I could do to make myself interact normally with everyone.We said little in the car on the way home, and once we got to Escorial, I snuck in through the back entry and led him in a roundabout route to my room, one that avoided everyone.
“Made it,” I said, even as I locked the door behind us.
“You’ve obviously done this before,” Jake said.
“Snuck men into your room,” he said.
“None as exciting as you,” I said.I kissed him again, and this time, neither one of us broke it off.We connected with our mouths so beautifully, it was surreal.Then almost instinctively we separated and took off our clothes in a slow, deliberate way, while totally focusing our eyes on each other.I got to take in his amazing chest, his washboard abs, his dick that wasn’t hard but was plumping, and his sexy legs.I pulled down my pants, then my underwear, and stood in front of him nervously, as if on display, even as my cock stuck straight out in front of me.
“Holy shit,” he said, as he stared at my big cock, making me chuckle.“Dude, this is like a dream come true.”
“We’ll see if you think that when I’m fucking you,” I said in a sultry way.He walked up to me and dropped to his knees, all but inhaling me with his mouth, and that was pretty awesome, because most guys couldn’t suck a dick as big as mine without letting me feel some teeth.Not Jake.He had this down.
I pulled him up and led him to the bed, and guided us into a 69 position with me on my back, and him on top.I felt his mouth return to my cock and moaned, and then I dove into that perfect, muscular ass of his.I licked and probed him first with my tongue, then with a finger, and then I added some lube and pushed two fingers in.It’s as if that was his signal to move things forward.He took the lube from me and slathered some on my cock, then rotated himself so he was kneeling over me.In an incredibly slow and sexy way, he lowered himself down onto me. I felt my dick pressing against his hole, felt the resistance, and then with a slight ‘pop’, it was through.His ass absorbed me, and it was amazing.I thought about all the guys I’d been with, all the guys I’d topped, but none of them was like Jake.None of them could handle me so well, well enough to fully enjoy me, while still having a muscular enough ass to truly make it not just feel good, but to make it fun.He had some endurance, and I was worried that I’d get off long before him, but he expertly worked to help us make it last.Finally, in what was one of my more amazing orgasms, we came together, and after we were done panting, he pulled me to his chest and gently stroked my hair.I felt safe, I felt loved, and I felt satisfied in a way that I hadn’t felt since Robbie had died.
September 14, 2003
I heard my alarm clock go off, and smacked it a little too hard, so annoyed was I that I had to get up.My violent effort didn’t work, since I’d missed the button to turn it off and it kept blaring at me.Since it was 5:30, I hit the snooze button instead, luxuriating in lounging in bed and doing nothing for nine minutes until it went off again.I got up and took a shower, letting the water wake me up and revitalize me.Since it was my birthday, and after all the shit we’d dealt with in Virginia, I figured this would probably be a big-deal dinner, so I spent some time working on my hair, and I dressed nicely for a typical Sunday dinner at Escorial. I opted for the classic look, with gray slacks with a blue blazer, and decided to skip the tie since I’d done my hair in a more relaxed way.I smiled at my reflection in the mirror, at how that casual touch made me look so much better.When we’d gone to those events in New York, I’d had my hair gelled firmly into shape in a more slicked back look; but today I’d put in just enough product to keep it from going completely out of control, and it was so much more ‘me’.
I walked up to the dining room and there were a lot of places set up.Since it was a big crowd, I figured there would be names indicating where people were sitting, and that was indeed the case.I walked around the table, and there were about four names I didn’t recognize, which was just a little confusing.I shrugged, and since I was early, I went out onto the courtyard.There was a staff member waiting to make me a drink, and there were several hot guys there, and that sparked my memory and explained those strange names.I’d forgotten that this was the time of year when we usually housed hockey players who were in town early for practices.They were all dressed nicely, wearing what they’d call their “rink gear”, clothes they’d wear when they were playing a game.“Hey!” Gathan said, and came over to give me a big hug.“Happy birthday!”
“Thanks,” I said.“It’s good to see you! You brought friends with you.”Chris Kilpatrick, this guy who everyone called Klip, had walked up right behind Gathan.
“I don’t know if you’d call us friends,” Klip joked as he pointed at Gathan.He shook my hand, but I frowned at him and stared at our hands, making him roll his eyes and give me a hug. “Happy birthday!”
“I want you for my present,” I joked, even though I’d jump on this guy any day: he was a total god.I’d always thought he could easily model and I was right.On our trip to New York, JJ had shown me the latest Abercrombie and Fitch ad.There was this new young model in there, a guy named Trevor Donovan, who could be a dead ringer for Klip.
“It’s probably time you learn you can’t always get what you want,” he said, cracking me up.“This is my little brother, Dillon.”
I changed my focus to this guy who was with him, and just about shit a brick: this dude was amazingly hot.He looked like Klip, with the same basic facial features, and the same blue eyes, only his blond hair had a slightly redder tinge to it.I cringed internally when I thought it was close to the same shade as Buzz Dalby’s had been. I glanced at his left eye and noticed the black ring around it, the mark of someone who had probably gotten into a fight and had a shiner as a result.Dillon had a lithe, fit body as opposed to Klip, who was a lot bigger now that he was older.I searched my memory banks for visions of Klip as a freshman, and Dillon was pretty much like that.I grinned internally when I thought having both of them there in front of me gave me a prime idea of what Dillon would look like in a few years.Dillon was a few inches shorter than me, so probably about six feet tall.He was wearing a suit that was kind of tacky, and didn’t fit him very well. Not only that, it was some weird shade of brown that was pretty awful.I’d been staring at him, saying nothing as I’d totally checked him out, and that had made him nervous and embarrassed me.“Nice to meet you,” I said awkwardly, and shook his hand.It was weird, because when our hands connected, I could almost feel energy flowing between us.
“Nice to meet you too,” he said shyly, looking down.Then he looked up, and our eyes met even as we were shaking hands, and the connection between us got really intense.He looked away, and I opted to bring in some humor to try and hide my embarrassment over how lame I was acting with this guy.
“Dude, you do not look little,” I said to Dillon with a smile, making him chuckle.
“I’m not,” he said, raising his eyebrow to flirt with me.His voice was so deep and melodic it was almost intoxicating.I love deep voices, and when this guy spoke, he just about turned me into a lusting pool of Jell-O. His blue eyes sparkled as he talked to me, but his most attractive feature was his mouth.It almost looked like he’d gotten a few collagen injections because his lips were a bit puffy, but that was because they looked like they were almost at a 45 degree angle to his face, and that gave the impression that they were big. They were almost pointy where they intercepted his face, and when they were relaxed, they opened slightly, exposing a glimpse of his two front teeth.His teeth were straight, but there was a slightly larger than normal gap between them.I thought that made him seem genuine, so even though he had these beautiful features, that slight imperfection in his teeth announced that this was not a surgically generated face.
“Come say hi to the rest of the guys,” Gathan said, being a good host, but cock blocking me.I wanted to stay and talk to this guy, but Gathan had killed the mood.I wandered around with Gathan and greeted the other guys; most of whom I’d met, and took some time to chat with the two freshmen that were new to me.They were so funny, the way they were all nervous and freaking out, but that’s how the players had been every year the first time they’d been to Escorial. I got that.I knew this was a big house and that this could be intimidating to them. I put on my most charming façade and did what I could to help them relax, but even as I’d talked to everyone else, I’d found my eyes constantly going back to Dillon, and most of the time I looked at him, he was looking at me.