I was pulled out of my deep slumber by loud banging on my door.“Will!” I heard my father call.
“What?” I asked, without even making an effort to hide my annoyance.
“We’re looking for Colin,” he said, but much more nicely, since he knew he’d pissed me off by banging on my door.“We can’t find him.”
Colin was sitting up in the bed next to me, spazzing out.“Relax,” I said to him quietly, then spoke louder to address my father.“He said he was going to go jogging, so he’s either doing that, or taking a shower.”
“Thanks,” he said.“Well if you see him, tell him to come up and eat breakfast.”
“Fine,” I said.Colin made to jump up and rush to his room, but I stopped him.
“You have your duties to perform first,” I said, making him chuckle.I did the same thing I’d done last night, slowly rocking on his cock, only I didn’t keep him on edge that much since we were in a hurry.
“I hope I have completed my mission, sir,” he said, as he hopped out of bed.
“For now,” I said, then smiled.
“Dude, what do I wear?” he asked.
“That towel,” I said.“If someone asks you what you were doing, just tell them you were trying to find some hairspray.”
“I don’t use hairspray,” he said.
“Well make something up,” I said, rolling my eyes at his literate interpretation of my ready-made excuse.“Check the hall first, then run across to your room.”
He looked both ways, then dashed across the hall and into his room.I laughed at him, then took a shower and got ready for the day.When I was done, I looked at his jeans, and saw that his waist was two inches bigger than mine, while his inseam was two inches shorter.I found a pair of jeans that were pretty loose on me and took them over to his room.I knocked on the door and went in when he told me to.“Good morning,” he said to me formally, as if we hadn’t already seen each other.I couldn’t figure out his deal until I looked beyond him and saw his father in the room.There was no reason for me to be freaked out about being in the room with both of them, but it still kind of did.
“Good morning, Will,” he said in his stiff manner.
“Morning,” I said to both of them, then addressed Colin.“Since your other jeans got wet, I brought you these.They might fit, but you’ll probably have to cuff the legs.”
“Thanks, man,” he said genuinely.
“How did your jeans get wet?” Mike asked in an accusatory way.
“I fell in that fountain out in the courtyard,” Colin said, acting embarrassed.
“Were you that drunk?” Mike asked, and now sounded annoyed.
“I wasn’t drunk at all,” Colin said in a very annoyed tone.“Christ!”
“Colin was actually my designated driver,” I said, trying to smooth things over.“He was totally sober, but a little clumsy.”Mike actually smiled a little bit at that.
“I’ve only got this pair of jeans left,” Colin said, gesturing to the pair he was wearing, “so it will be good to have a backup in case I fall into some quicksand or something.”
“Cool.I’ll see you guys in the dining room,” I said, and left them alone.I followed the smell of food to that room to find Beverly, Jake, Grand, Stef, and my father there.We all said the obligatory good mornings.
“How was the party last night?” Stef asked.
“It was kind of lame,” I said.“I ended up coming back pretty early.Colin was sober, so I got him to drive me.” I could sense his mother staring at me intently, but I focused on Stef.
“Is Colin up?” she asked.I bit back my smart-ass answer about how Colin was always up.
“Yeah,” I said to her in between bites.“He was in his room talking to his father.”
“Good,” she said.“Then we can work out our plans for the weekend.”That was evidently important to her, to know what was on her calendar.That made sense; she didn’t strike me as being very spontaneous.
“I got a call from your brother this morning,” Grand said.
“Which one?” I asked, and started to get a little panicked, worrying that something had happened to Darius.
“JJ,” he said.I raised my eyebrow to show him I was surprised at that.JJ never called Grand.
“What did he want?”
“You mean you don’t think he called me just to chat?” Grand teased.
“JJ would not call you just to chat,” I said with conviction, because if he did that, he would be so fucked up we’d have to fly out and check him into a hospital.
“You are correct,” Grand said playfully.“He wanted my advice on what kind of car to buy.”
“He can’t even drive,” my father said.
“How young is he?” Beverly asked, wondering where this person who must be sixteen years old or less was living.
“He’s almost 18,” I said, “but he never got his license.He would rather be driven than get his own car.”
“Oh,” she said, and blinked a bit at that.Wait until she actually met JJ, I thought: then she’d really be surprised.
“So why’s he buying a car?” I asked.
“He went up to stay with John Carullo and found that John had an inadequate vehicle, so he was going to replace it for him,” Grand said.
“Carullo was driving a piece of crap,” I said, summing up his sentence.
“He was,” Grand agreed.
“What did he get him?” Dad asked.
“An Acura MDX.John wanted something that he could use to haul items around, and he wanted something that was good in the snow, and that seemed like a very good option,” Grand said.I was really glad that JJ was doing that for Carullo, not only because he was a nice guy who deserved a decent ride, but because it showed that JJ was trying to mend that relationship.I really thought that Carullo had been a good friend to him, so hopefully they’d be able to solidify that part of their relationship. “Being mindful of the present you got me, we got it in red, to remind him of Stanford.”
“Good job,” I said.
“It seems that as much as he’s done for our family, including you, I think that is a nice thing to do,” Stef said to my father with a suggestive look that Beverly fortunately missed.
“He’s been a very intimate member of our family for a long time,” I said to Beverly in a reverent way as if to explain Stef’s comment, which would have been more effective if Stef weren’t about to break out giggling.Dad just rolled his eyes at me.
Colin and Mike came walking into the room, and that basically stopped our conversation about Carullo and his car.They both sat down after greeting us, and then Colin started to eat.He had an appetite that rivalled mine.“Colin has expressed a desire to go surfing,” Mike said.It was hard to tell if that idea annoyed him, or if he was always gruff like that.
“I can do that,” I said, so stoked to hit the waves.“Weather should be nice today.Sunny and in the seventies.”
“I was able to rouse Christopher enough to ascertain that he would prefer to stay here,” Mike said.Chris probably had a massive hangover from the party; he was knocking back drinks pretty fast before I left.“I am not sure if he’ll be up to anything until this afternoon, at least.”
“At least,” Colin chimed, and got a dirty look from his mother for his comment.
“We can go over to the coast and stay for the day, or we can spend the night and come back tomorrow morning,” Dad said.He was as anxious as I was to get to Santa Cruz.
“Maybe Colin can take his father to the house in my car, and the rest of us can go in the limo,” I suggested.I thought that would give Colin some time to spend with his father, and maybe then they’d leave us alone and we’d be able to spend the night there.
“It’s a Ferrari,” Colin said to his dad with an adorable grin.I had to watch myself to make sure I didn’t gaze at him like a star-struck teenager.
Mike actually smiled back at him.“That’s tempting, especially if you let me drive for a stint.”
“Done,” Colin said, trying to make sure a trip to the beach was a done deal.
“I think we will stay here,” Grand said, including Stef in his statement. “Since that is the case, perhaps Colin and Mike would prefer to drive my car?”
“No offense, but the Ferrari is the bomb,” Colin said.
“My Ferrari is better,” Grand said with a smile.In the end, it was decided that Colin and his father would drive the Enzo, my father and Beverly would go in his car, and I would drive Jake over in my car.Once that was done, I decided to let my father round everyone up and give them directions.
“You ready?” I asked Jake.He looked surprised, since he probably figured he’d get sucked into the departure delays that came from herding people, but got his act together quickly enough.
“I’ll meet you in the garage in five minutes,” he said, gave my dad a nice kiss, and hurried off to get his stuff together.
“I’m going to hit the store on my way, just to get some snacks,” I told my father. That was one reason I was leaving early; the other was to avoid the traffic as much as possible.
“Thanks,” he said.I hurried back to my room and threw a few things in my backpack, then went out and stuffed it into the trunk of the Ferrari.I’d just backed it out of the garage when Jake came strolling out.Damn, he was one handsome man.He put his bag in the trunk too, then hopped in.I was shooting down the driveway before he even had his seatbelt on.
“Someone is excited to hit the waves,” he said.
“I am, and we have to swing by the store first,” I said.“There’s nothing perishable at the house.”
“Where are we going to put these supplies you’re going to buy?” he asked, which was a very good question.
“We’ll cram what we can in the trunk, and you get to hold the rest,” I said with an evil grin.We got to Interstate 280 and I headed south, gunning the Ferrari’s engine as I did.
“Don’t kill us,” he said.“You drive just like your father.”
I laughed.“We both learned to drive out here.Fast and furious.”
“So what’s the deal with Colin?” he asked.
“What do you mean, what’s the deal?” I challenged, because I was worried that we were giving off fuck vibes.
“I’m trying to figure out if you fucked him yet,” he mused.
“What would make you think we were that intimate?” I challenged.
“The way you looked at him at breakfast when he smiled at you,” he said.
“Fuck,” I said, frustrated.“Do you think anyone else noticed?”
“I’m betting that JP and Stef figured it out, and it’s almost certain your father did, but I’m guessing Mike and Beverly didn’t pick up on it.Hard to say though, because Colin was giving some pretty strong signals too, but I don’t know him as well as I know you.”
“I got him to fuck me,” I said.
“Dude, props to you!” he said, sounding like one of my friends.“You work fast!”
“I don’t know…I was just drawn to him from the moment he got here,” I said, thinking about that.“Then again, I usually do move fast.”
He laughed at that.“So how was it?”
“Not great at first,” I said, and decided that Jake may be able to give me some advice on Colin’s issue.“He’s got a problem with premature ejaculation. It’s really a bummer, not just because it makes sex kind of shitty, at least at first, but because it really bothers him.”
“Ah yes,” he said knowingly.“I dealt with that a long time ago, when my dick still worked.”
“How did you handle it?” I asked.
“I think the worst part of it was what my mind did to me.My brain was convinced I was going to shoot quickly, so my body just did what it was told to do by my brain,” he said.
“OK, I get that he probably has hang-ups over this, but there has to be a way to treat it,” I said.“What did you do?”
He nodded, getting where I was coming from, that I wanted a practical method to help Colin.I didn’t want the psychology, which was the shit he liked, because he’d probably ramble on about that for an hour and I wasn’t qualified to coach Colin through it anyway.“There are basically three methods you can use to train yourself to last longer.”
“Three,” I repeated, trying to etch that into my brain, and to show him I was paying attention.
“The first is kind of a potpourri of tricks, and I’m not sure they work, or at least they didn’t work for me.You can jack off before you fuck, you can wear two condoms to reduce the sensation, and you can try deep breathing.”
“Deep breathing?” I asked, wondering what the fuck was with that.
“It supposedly shuts down the reflex that makes you ejaculate,” he said.I’d have to try that.There were times that I would have liked to have lasted longer too.
“Interesting,” I said.
“The other two are kind of the same thing: the squeeze and the stop-go techniques.It’s basically edging, where you train yourself to last longer.Think of it like building up your biceps.The more you lift weights, the stronger it gets.So the theory goes that the more he keeps himself on edge without shooting the more he exercises the muscle or whatever it is that makes him ejaculate.It gets stronger, he lasts longer.”
“Sounds simple enough,” I said.“Did it work for you?”
“Took a while, and I had other fucked up mind issues, but it helped.I liked the stop-go method better,” he said.“That’s where you’re fucking someone, and when you feel yourself getting close, you freeze until the orgasm subsides.When you’re back in control, you go at it again.”
“That’s pretty much what we did last night,” I said, pretty impressed that we’d intuitively figured that out.“What’s the squeeze technique?”
“That’s where when he gets close, he squeezes the head of his dick until the feeling subsides.He should squeeze for about half a minute, then do nothing for half a minute, then start again,” he explained.
“So you think stop-go works better?” I asked, trying to figure out which one to try.
“Yeah, because I liked to fuck people,” he said, cracking me up.“I think it’s easier to use if you’re inside someone.I think the squeeze method works better if a guy’s jacking off, or someone is doing it for him, or someone is sucking his dick.”
“I can see that,” I said, digesting all that he told me. “Thanks.”
“No problem.I think it’s really cool that you’re jumping in to help the guy.”
“Well, it’s in my own best interest if I want a decent fuck,” I said, cracking him up, then I got more serious.“I just met him, but I really like him.There’s something about him that, I don’t know, when we’re together, we just click.”
“I understand,” he said. “Doesn’t bother you that he’s a first cousin, and that his brother almost looks like you?”
“Not at all,” I said. “Besides, he’s only a half first-cousin, and besides that, first cousins are fuckable, you just can’t marry them.”
“Yeah, and the military life isn’t real easy for a gay couple,” he said with dread.
“Maybe you can give him some insights on that,” I said.“We talked about it, but I don’t think I dealt with that conversation real well.”I gave him a brief recap of our discussion.
“If I get a chance, I’ll do that,” he said.
“You came back early so you didn’t totally piss off my dad?” I asked, totally changing the subject.
“Yeah, that’s why,” he answered sarcastically, even though it was partially true.“I never really had relationships when I was younger, I only had encounters.Those were usually in dive places, like bathrooms, and that’s one of the problems I had with premature ejaculation.In those situations, you need to get off quick, because it’s high risk.”
“So you end up training yourself to blow fast,” I mused.
“Exactly.I only had one real relationship, and that ended really really badly,” he said.“Then I started things with Sean, and you know how that went.”
“So what are you saying?” I asked, trying to figure out where this was going.
“Being in a relationship is a scary thing for me.If I find myself falling for someone, all of my internal shields are maxed out, and I subconsciously do what I can to keep things from getting serious,” he said.He actually wiped a tear out of his eye.“The first man I fell in love with, I ended up having to shoot him.I don’t want to ever do that again.”
“I am so sorry,” I said, and grabbed his hand.That didn’t last long, because we were on Highway 17 heading over the mountains, and the Ferrari required a little bit more of my attention.
“So with your father, when I start to get comfortable and get really into him, my mind tells me to run away, so I don’t hurt him, and I don’t get hurt myself,” he said.
“Dude, the only way you’re going to hurt him is if you push him away like that,” I said.“He really does not handle rejection well.”
“Neither do I,” he said.
“The other thing is when you make a commitment to him, you need to keep it,” I said firmly.
“I do that,” he objected.
“That’s the biggest reason he was upset when you bailed on Wednesday,” I said.I could tell from his reaction that he already knew that and that he was just being defensive.“I personally think it’s part of his control deal.He has all these loose cannon people in his life, so he figures out things that are important to him, then gets those people lined up to help him out.If they blow him off like you did, then his whole control strategy explodes in his face.He really doesn’t like that.”
“Wow,” he said.“I never thought of it that way.”I focused on the road while we both thought about our conversation.When we got close to Santa Cruz, I decided to give him some shit.
“So did you tell him that you love him yet?” I asked, giving him shit.
“Not yet,” he said, totally blowing my mind.I figured he’d deny it.“I’m not going to tell him that until I’m sure that he loves me.”
“If I had to place a bet, I’d say that he already does,” I told him.My father was giving off pretty strong signs that he was pretty emotionally committed to Jake.The way he acted with Jake, the way he was around Jake, was a lot more reminiscent of how he was with Robbie than how he was with Marc.I was surprised when he shook his head.
“I’ll know when he does,” he said, with total conviction.
“How will you know?” I challenged, wondering what magic signal he thought he could read.
“I’ll know it when he fists me,” he said.He said it so abruptly, it was funny, so we both started laughing.I thought about that while I was trying to find a parking place at the store.I parked and we paused our conversation while we walked into the store.
“Why do you think that?” I asked him curiously, as I grabbed a cart and started looking at bananas.
“Because then I’ll know he’s really over Robbie, and he’s really into me,” he said.“And because of his relationship with Robbie, he wouldn’t be able to fist me unless he was willing to see me as his partner.”We were walking down the aisle shopping, and when he said that, we got some odd looks from a few of the other patrons, which made me start to giggle, then laugh.“What?”
“Did you see the way that lady looked at you when you talked about fisting?” I asked, gesturing toward the prim and proper woman who was looking away from us.
He started laughing with me.“She’ll probably go home, look it up on the internet, and puke.”
“Do you realize that if Beverly was listening to our conversation, she would think we were totally fucked up,” I joked, cracking him up.
“Seriously though, that was pretty insightful,” I said, responding to his comments before our comic interlude.I was impressed at how he’d worked that all out.“I never thought about it like that, but I can totally see what you’re saying.”
“Thanks,” he said like it was no big deal.
“So is that why you bailed on him, because you were mad because he doesn’t love you enough to shove his hand up your ass?” I challenged. Another lady looked at us strangely, and it took all my restraint not to start laughing hysterically.It’s a good thing I hadn’t smoked a J before I came in here.
“There’s more to it than that,” he snapped.
“Is there?” I asked.“You figured out how you’ll know if he loves you.How’s he supposed to know if you love him?” He didn’t say anything.“You want him to take the rejection risk.”
We moved the conversation to lighter topics, mostly joking about the people in the store, since we’d both given each other some pretty intense things to think about.
October 11, 2003
Los Gatos, CA
“What a lovely lake,” Beverly commented as we crawled down the highway.
“It is pretty,” I said, “but technically it’s a reservoir: Lexington Reservoir.”She’d been pretty uptight on the ride so far, so I was trying to be as friendly as I could to make the whole situation bearable for both of us.
“Sitting in this traffic reminds me of what I didn’t like about living in San Diego,” she said.
I laughed.“Everyone probably thought Will was being rude to just dash out of the house, but he probably beat the Saturday beach traffic.It’s been this way for as long as I can remember, with people heading from the valley over to the coast.”
“Colin and Mike aren’t going to enjoy the Enzo as much in this,” she said.I glanced in the rearview mirror and it looked like they were having a relatively animated conversation.
“It usually smooths out a bit after the summit,” I said, although that was a more hopeful than factual statement.
“I’m sorry about my tirade last night,” she said.“I have put up with that woman for 22 years now, and I am done with her.”
“I totally understand, and quite frankly, I appreciated your candor,” I said.“I just had to put up with her as my wicked stepmother, I can’t imagine what life must have been like as her daughter in law.”
“I’ll tell you what it was like,” she said, and then it was like a spigot opened.“Being constantly manipulated, having to try and figure when something bad happened whether she was behind it, having her try and ruin my marriage, having her try to turn my kids against me!That was what it was like!”
“See, and I just had to deal with her trying to ruin my relationship with my partner, destroy my business, and mess with my family.When I really lost it was when she had someone stalking my son,” I said, with a fire that was as big as hers.
“You and your partner seem fine now.I’m glad you survived that,” she said sympathetically.
“Jake and I aren’t technically partners,” I said.
“Technically?” she asked playfully.
“We haven’t been together all that long, but I think that’s where we’re going.I was referring to Robbie, who was my partner until I lost him during the 9-11 attacks,” I said sadly.
“I forgot about that.Mike told me.I am so sorry…”She had put her foot in her mouth and was about to go on a long tirade to try and excuse herself, but I didn’t want to deal with that.
“It’s over.Don’t worry about it,” I said dismissively.
“Let me guess, Will was the son being stalked,” she said bitterly. I nodded.“Because he looks so much like you, and like his grandfather.”
“Why doesn’t that bother Alexandra when she deals with Chris?” I asked.
She chuckled a bit.“I have to say I was a little surprised at the family resemblance between the three of you.My guess, because no one knows what’s going on in Alexandra’s twisted mind, is that since Christopher is one of her grandchildren, it’s OK that he looks like his grandfather.Since you two aren’t, it’s not okay.”
“That is one fucked up woman,” I said, accidentally dropping an F-bomb. Fortunately, Beverly just laughed.
“That is an understatement,” she said.“I think that in a way, she saw Chris as her successor.”
“He was going to take over her evil empire?” I joked.
“I think that was her plan,” Beverly said.“Chris is more like me than Mike.Mike is a good naval officer, but he’s not good at the politics behind the scene.I’m the one who takes care of that.”
“It’s amazing he lacks those instincts based on who his mother is,” I noted.
“I think that’s why he is the way he is,” she said.“It’s almost like he is trying to be as different from her as possible.You should know that this conflict between you and Alexandra has really been wrenching for him.His first instinct when he found out about you was to try to meet you and welcome you to the family.”
“That would have been a lot nicer than the reception I got,” I said ruefully.
“I did want to thank you for your help with Mike’s promotion to Captain,” she said.I glanced at her peripherally, stunned that she knew I’d pulled strings to help that happen, but it was her way of showing me her bonafides as a good Naval politician.
“I was glad to do it.I was raised to believe that family was the ultimate social unit, and that our job is to help each other out.Mike has always struck me as a stand-up guy, even when we were in the thick of battle, so that was a no-brainer.”
“That’s how I was raised as well, and that’s the ethic that Mike had grilled into him,” she said.“I don’t want you to think that Chris is like Alexandra.I’m very proud of him, and he has a strong moral compass.”
“Unless there are women around,” I joked.
“There is that,” she agreed fatalistically.“He has the ability to be aggressive and cutthroat, but he wouldn’t be malicious without a purpose.That’s really what makes him so different than his grandmother.”
“I think Alexandra always has a purpose,” I disagreed.
“You’re right,” she said, reconsidering her words.“Chris doesn’t have her innate desire to harm people.If he had to do it, he would, but he wouldn’t enjoy it.”
“I wonder if he’s that different than the rest of us in that regard,” I mused.“Colin seems like the exact opposite of Chris.”
“That’s a pretty astute observation on your part.It made growing up a little tough for Colin, because Colin’s instincts were to protect his brother, but when Chris was violating tenets that Colin believed in, he had a tough time doing that.”
“I can see that,” I said, more to show that I was listening.
“Colin is like his father.He’s solid, honorable, and loyal.He worships the ground Mike walks on.He craves Mike’s approval, yet Mike rarely gives him the praise he wants.He’s much harder on Colin than Chris.”
“Why do you think that is?” I asked.
“Colin is going into his world.Colin will have the built-in advantage of having an influential father in the navy, but anything he does, good or bad, will reflect back on Mike,” she said without feeling, as if she were reciting facts.
“That must put you in a tough situation,” I said.
She shrugged.“I really can’t do much about it.Neither one of them seems to want me in the middle of their relationship.I try to support Colin from the sidelines as best I can. He and I have never been close, which is odd because we share a lot of the same interests, like surfing.”
“Raising sons isn’t easy,” I said, and thought that in my situation, that was a major understatement.
“Especially when one of them is gay,” she said.I actually took my eyes off the road briefly to look at her in surprise.
“You’re saying Colin is gay?” I asked. I had pretty much figured that he had hooked up with Will, but I didn’t know she knew that.
“What kind of gay man are you, that you can’t figure that out?” she asked me, making me laugh.“What’s that thing you have?Gaydar?”
“Mine’s never been very good,” I said.Will, on the other hand, seemed to be like Stef, with a finely tuned ability to detect if men were interested in him.
“Maybe since you’re with Jake, it’s not that important,” she said, acting like a matchmaker.
“Does Colin know that you know?” I asked.
“I tried to raise the issue with him once but he shut me down hard.As I said, we’re not real close, so I’m not sure he’s comfortable talking to me about it,” she said.
“How did you figure out he was gay?”
“I came home and found him in his room with a friend.I saw them, but they didn’t see me,” she said.I could visualize the scene all too well.That was very thoughtful of her to say nothing, especially since it seemed pretty out of character.
“Navy life is going to be tough for him,” I said ruefully.
“I know that, and he knows that, but it’s what he wants to do,” she said.
“Does Mike know Colin is gay?” I asked her, as I stopped at the gates to our beach house to give them time to open.
“I don’t know, but even if he does, he’s not going to raise it as an issue,” she said.“Don’t ask, don’t tell.”