“This has been a wonderful weekend,” Beverly said, as she took a drink of her cocktail.
“I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed yourself,” I said.“I was pretty nervous at first, but I’m really glad that you and your sons are now part of our life.”
“Speaking of sons, Will and Colin got back about an hour ago,” Mike said.“I think they are in the process of getting ready.”
“Did Chris have fun last night?” I asked, wondering what he did.
“Evidently he did,” Mike grimaced.
“He was hung over again this morning,” Beverly augmented.She seemed much less worried about that than Mike.“He told me he was excited about being here next semester.”
“That’s good,” I said.I couldn’t think of how the results of this weekend could have possibly been better, which of course made me nervous and uptight, waiting for the next shoe to drop.
JP came strolling out into the courtyard.“I wanted you to know that your aunt was just passed through the gates.”
“Terrific,” Beverly said sarcastically, getting a dirty look from Mike.
“Let’s go greet them,” Mike said, and stood up to follow JP to the foyer.JP and I stood in the background while Mike and Beverly advanced down the steps to intercept the car that pulled up.It was a non-descript Ford, the kind that one gets from Hertz.
A man who appeared to be of Indian descent exited the driver’s side.He looked to be in his early thirties, was wearing khakis with a light ivory tunic that was reminiscent of those Gandhi had worn, and was very handsome.He opened the passenger door and out jumped a woman who must be my Aunt Catherine.She was short, about 5 foot 3 inches tall, and probably weighed about 180 pounds, so she was clearly overweight.She reminded me of Kathy Bates in “About Schmidt” with long gray hair that was a bit mussed.She wore a loose-fitting sari that was a color that almost matched the man’s tunic.
She immediately bounded forward.“Mike!How great to see you! It has been much too long!”
“Good to see you too, Kat,” he said, giving her a warm hug.
“Beverly,” Kat said guardedly, as they kissed each other on the cheek in a very reserved manner.
“Kat,” Beverly responded, with a distinct lack of warmth.
I opted to step forward, and as soon as she saw me, she gasped.“My God!” she exclaimed.
“Brad Schluter,” I said, and held out my hand to shake, but instead she grabbed it with both of hers.
“It’s as if I’m looking at my brother,” she said, and a tear fell from her right eye.
“I’m told I inherited his good looks,” I said in a pleasant way, trying to make this less awkward.
“You did,” she said.“It’s as if he were cloned.I’m Catherine, but you call me Kat.”
“I will do that,” I said, smiling at her.
“This is Yogi Magi,” she said, introducing me to the man who was with her.I’d noticed that he’d already given Mike and Beverly perfunctory greetings while I was talking to Kat.
“It’s nice to meet you,” I said, and shook his hand.
“The pleasure is most certainly mine,” he said, with a marked Indian accent.
“This is my father, Dr. JP Crampton,” I said, bringing JP into the fold.
“Welcome to our home,” he said.“We’ve set up rooms for you and hope you will be our guests tonight.” I thought that was funny, since he certainly hadn’t extended an open invitation.
“How very thoughtful,” Kat said.
“Let me show you around and let you get settled in,” JP said in his courteous but gentle way.
“Excellent,” she said, then held my hand and spoke to me. “Come with me.”
“My pleasure,” I said.I sensed that she didn’t want a tour, she wanted to spend time with me.“I can take them to their rooms,” I said to JP.
He told me which rooms they’d been allocated, then addressed everyone. “We will see you at dinner.”
I led her off, with Magi following behind us, almost as if he were a servant, which I found terribly awkward, but I went with it.“I wish my parents were still alive.Meeting you would have brightened their world.”
“I don’t know anything about them, not even where they lived,” I mused, almost to myself.
“Our family is from New Castle, New Hampshire, which is probably why so many have been sailors,” she said. “It’s basically a suburb of Portsmouth.”
“I’ve never been to that part of New Hampshire, so I know nothing about it,” I said, although if I were being honest, I’d admit that I couldn’t even remember going to any part of New Hampshire.
“It’s a lovely peninsula that juts into Portsmouth harbor and out into the Atlantic.Our home is right on the coast,” she said wistfully.“When we’d have a storm, which was often in the winter, the winds were so strong it was hard to keep the house warm.At least until we finally installed dual-pane windows.”
“I imagine,” I said. “It’s strange to have this side of my heritage that I know almost nothing about.”
“I am truly sorry you were excluded,” she said.
I shrugged.“I was adopted by this family, and I’m one of them now.It probably would have only confused me.”We got to Magi’s room, so I paused to show him in and familiarize him with how things worked, then we moved on and I showed Kat her room.
“You say that, but that’s not true,” she said.“I can read your aura.I can see the blackness there, showing the scars of your past.”
“It hasn’t been easy,” I said uncomfortably, since I didn’t like people I knew diving into my soul, much less people I’d just met.
“Alexandra has that effect on people,” she said, almost spat out, in anger.“That woman leaves nothing but darkness in people’s lives.”
“On that we can agree,” I said.
“My late husband Paul called her the Destroyer, and if it weren’t for her children and grandchildren, we’d have had nothing to do with her,” she said.
“I’ve been impressed with Mike and his family,” I said, to see if she’d share her opinion about him.
She smiled, as if to acknowledge that I was digging.“Your assessment of them is a good one, although Beverly can be a challenge at times.”
I smiled back.“I’ll let you get settled in.Dinner is at 7, but you may want to join us on the terrace before then and meet everyone.”
“I’ll see you then,” she said, without specifying when ‘then’ was.I left her alone and wandered back to my room, feeling that same dazed and confused feeling I usually felt when confronted with my Carmichael connection.
I found Jake in our room, finishing up a phone conversation.I smiled and nodded at him as I went into the bathroom, giving myself an opportunity to freshen up while also giving him some privacy for his chat.I’d just finished washing my face and hands, and putting my hair back in order, when Jake came in.“Did you have a nice conversation?” he asked me.
“It was strange, just like they always are when I think about this side of my family I barely know,” I said.I could sense that he was uptight about something.“What’s wrong?”
“I need to go out of town tomorrow,” he said.He seemed annoyed by it, which was unusual, because he normally got pretty ginned up when he was heading out on a case, but those reflections didn’t help me hide my grimace, which got a typically annoyed counter-reaction from him.
“Where do you have to go?” I asked calmly.
“Back to Vegas,” he said.His tone was one that was defiant, as if he were taunting me to start an argument.
“How long will you be gone?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said, in a really bitchy way, which I let totally slide past me.
“I was thinking of going to New York for a few days,” I said, even though I hadn’t planned to do that at all.“I was just thinking it would be nice to be back when you got here.”
Now it was his turn to grimace.“What are you going to do in New York?”
“I thought I would check up on JJ, spend some time at Triton, and enjoy the town a little bit,” I said.That last phrase was a blatant dig, one I couldn’t resist, since it implied that I might sleep with someone else.I was determined that he not think that this deal with us was a one-way street, and that if he wanted the space to fuck around, I was going to do that too.In reality, I wasn’t all that anxious to have sex with anyone but him, but my pride wouldn’t allow me to settle down and be the only one of us who was monogamous.
“Enjoy the town,” he said in a pissy way.
“Yeah, there’s a lot to do in New York, and I know a lot of people there,” I said casually.
“A lot of guys,” he said.
“You’re not going to hook up with other people while you’re gone?” I challenged, my voice getting louder.
“It’s different for me,” he said.“I only do that if I have to, for work.”
That was so ridiculous I started laughing.“Then you either need a new job, or you need to get a grip on me being with other people too.”
“That’s not fair…” he began to argue.
“It’s totally fair, and you know it,” I yelled, setting him back on his heels a bit.“I could make up excuses about it being for work too, but would that make you feel any better?”He said nothing, so I pushed him out of the way and stormed past him.
“Wait,” he said, stopping me in my tracks.It wasn’t so much the word, but the pleading tone of his voice that did it.“What do you want?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, if you could choose how we are, together, our relationship, how would it be?” he asked.
I walked over to him and held his hands in mine.“If I were able to choose, we’d be together, you and me, and neither one of us would fuck around with anyone else.”
“I didn’t think I’d ever be at that point with someone, where I wanted to and was willing to make that kind of commitment, but I am now.That’s what I want too,” he said.
“Really?” I asked, stunned.
He nodded.“That’s what I want, but I don’t know how to make it happen.I love you, and I trust you, but I don’t know if I could let myself be that vulnerable, since I’d have to give up my practice.”
“I can see that,” I said sympathetically, as I got his point.He’d witnessed my break-up with Marc, and even though that had ended relatively well, he would have seen how Marc reacted to being tossed to the curb.“It sucks for us, because it’s not the same as it is for heterosexual couples.If we weren’t gay, we could get married, and that would pretty much spell things out.”
“So marry me,” he said.I blinked in surprise at that, while he just stared back at me.
“I don’t think that’s an option,” I said, even as my mind reeled at that suggestion.
“It’s been legal in the Netherlands for a few years now, and just this year it was legalized in Belgium,” he said, telling me things I knew.“But it’s also legal in Canada.”
“Gay marriage is legal in Canada?” I asked.
“Toronto made it legal in June, and British Columbia followed in July,” he said.I wasn’t quite sure how I missed that momentous news flash, but I had.
“We’re not Dutch, Belgian, or Canadian,” I said, reminding him of the jurisdictional boundaries.
“So,” he said.“We can go to Canada and get married.It won’t be legal here, but it will still be a marriage.I don’t know about you, but that would be pretty meaningful to me.”
“It would be meaningful to me too,” I agreed.“And even though it isn’t legally valid, we should still get a pre-nuptial agreement worked out.”
“You’re worried I’m a gold digger?” he demanded, getting outraged pretty quickly.
“No,” I said calmly, and put my hand on his shoulder.“Think about marriage.It’s two pieces.There’s the love and commitment part, and I’m completely ready to do that with you.Then there’s the property aspect.If we do a pre-nup, that gives you security, just in case things don’t work out.That way you haven’t given up your practice only to find yourself alone and unemployed with no income.”
He nodded and looked down, then looked back up and smiled at me.“So are you asking me to marry you?”
“When the time is right,” I said, and smirked at him.I gave him a quick kiss.“I’ll meet you down there.”Before he could stop me, I was out the door.In order to really do this right, I needed to propose to him in front of my entire family, and tonight was the perfect opportunity.I went straight to the kitchen to talk to the staff and see if they could make my proposal extra special.I swore them all to secrecy, hoping to surprise not just Jake, but everyone else as well.
October 12, 2003
Palo Alto, CA
Colin and I headed back to our rooms using my standard tactic when trying to avoid having conversations with family members: I told one of the cooks we were home and asked them to call my father and Grand and let them know, then hurried around the back way before the staff could alert them and they could react.“I feel like we just made some major escape,” Colin said, as we slinked into my room and shut and locked the door.
“Sometimes it seems that way,” I said, and gave him a nice kiss.
He broke off our kiss and looked at me nervously.“I want you to do something for me.”
“Sure,” I answered automatically.
“I want you to fuck me,” he said earnestly.
“Cool,” I said, grinning at him.I didn’t see why he thought that was such a big chore, but I’d gladly oblige him.
“Um, when I tried it before, uh, it kind of hurt too much,” he stammered, exposing his reason for being nervous.
“So you’re telling me that you may puss out on me, and leave me with a hard dick and blue balls?” I asked.
“Dude, I’d never leave you with a hard dick and blue balls.I’d definitely take care of those,” he said.
“You can do this,” I said to him seriously.
“I’ll try,” he said nervously.
“Do or do not, there is no try,” I said, doing a stupid Yoda from Star Wars imitation.He laughed at me, then we both got serious again.“Promise me you’ll go through with it.”
He looked at me oddly, then scrunched up his face in irritation.He knew as well as I did that if he made that commitment, he’d do it; there was no way he could back down and be a coward, at least in his own mind.“I’ll do it.”
“Bitchin’,” I said with a smile.It really wasn’t a huge chore to top a hot guy like him, but it did take a lot of effort.As I loosened him up and got him ready, then when I slowly pushed into him, my mind kept flashing back to the first time I’d topped Jeff, and how he’d coached me through it.Thinking of him made me smile and gave me the extra drive and stamina to actually work my massive dick into Colin.
“God that hurts,” he said, panting.
“Dude, just relax.I’m going to stay still for a bit and let you get used to me,” I cooed into his ear.
“Alright,” he said skeptically.It was hard to do that, to stay really still, without either cumming or losing my erection, so to keep myself hard, I started to make some small movements.It seemed like with each microthrust, he got a little more relaxed and into it.“Better,” he said, breathing regularly now.
“Better?” I asked with a smile.“No, this is better.”I started pistoning in and out of him, going slowly so he could feel my dick slide in and out of his ass, while I watched his reaction carefully to adapt my speed.I took his hand and put it on his dick, and he took the hint and started stroking himself to full hardness.Once he was there, I really started to fuck him.
“Holy shit!” he exclaimed pretty loudly.It was one of the cutest things about him, in that when he got really excited, his voice got much louder.“Fuck yeah!”Then he was with me, stroking himself off frantically as I fucked him.I actually had the presence of mind to note that his stamina was much longer when he was getting fucked.The stimulation of his tight virgin ass, combined with a very long time of working with it, had pretty much brought me to the edge.
“Gonna cum!” I growled, and then my whole body quaked as I shot my load up his ass.It was one massive orgasm, the kind that almost made me feel as if I were alone and he was just a receptacle.I finally came down from my euphoric haze to find him staring up at me, crazed.“Your turn.”
I gently thrust my dick against his prostate while I stroked his cock, for once hoping that he’d come quickly.My dick was staring to tingle, almost a ticklish sensation, when he finally got there.“Fuck!” he shouted, and shot his load all over his chest and abdomen.I nursed him along, then gently pulled out and collapsed on the bed beside him.“That was incredible!”
“I liked it too,” I said, smiling at him.
“I am so glad I did that with you,” he said earnestly.“You made it so awesome.It hurt, but not too bad, but damn, was it worth it.”
“Thanks,” I said shyly, even though my sexual ego had just taken a huge positive bump.“It was my pleasure.”That was kind of a lie, because breaking in a guy like him was fun but a lot of work, but even if it wasn’t the most pleasurable sexual act, it was totally rewarding.
“You just opened up a whole new world for me,” he said wistfully.I was kind of worried about that, because I wasn’t sure, if he embraced being a bottom, he’d also embraced the need to use condoms.
“Do I need to have the safe sex talk with you, or do you have that down?” I asked, partly teasing.
“Yes Mom, I got it,” he said in an annoyed tone, accusing me of being parental.
That prompted me to look at my clock.“Dude, Aunt Kat is probably here by now!”
“We’ll see her at dinner,” he said languorously until he turned and looked at the clock too.“Fuck.”
“We’ll do that again later,” I teased.I grabbed a towel and wiped us off, then we got up and took a shower together.He wrapped his towel around his waist, not bothering to get dressed, and started to head over to his room.I was impressed that he was being that bold about it, about leaving my room wearing almost nothing.
Just before he opened the door he paused and looked back at me.“I need to spend some time with Chris and my parents.”
“That’s fine,” I said.“I’ll see you at dinner.”As soon as the door closed, I started working furiously to get ready for our dinner.I opted for a classic Sunday night dinner outfit:gray slacks and a blue blazer.Normally my hair had a wind-blown look, but to match my outfit, I gave it some extra gel to wrangle it firmly into place and make it look more formal.I studied myself in the mirror, knowing that I’d be under close inspection not only from my mystery great aunt but from the fashionistas in my family, and decided that I was ready.
I walked up to the kitchen first, like I usually did, and saw my father talking to Carlos, the guy who was like our butler, in a frantic way.I walked over to them and got a dirty look from my father.“I’ll be done in a minute,” he said to dismiss me.
“OK,” I said, raising my eyebrow at him, then walked over to the table and snagged some carrots from the vegetable trays.I watched him using my peripheral vision, as he finished up his conversation and strolled toward me.
“Sorry, I was just finishing up some things,” he said, as he joined me and snagged a piece of celery.“You look nice tonight.”
“Thanks,” I said.“What are you planning?”
“It’s a surprise,” he said.“I’ll see you at dinner.”He turned and walked out of the room, leaving my curiosity unsatisfied.
I glanced over at Carlos, who sensed that I was about to grill him and he all but fled the kitchen, leaving me and Carmen, the cook, alone.“So what’s he up to?” I asked her in Spanish.
“I am told I must not say,” she objected.
“You can tell me,” I said, cajoling her.“I promise you won’t get in trouble.”
She looked around nervously, then whispered in a frantic way. “He is going to ask Mr. Jake to marry him at dinner.”
“Really?” I asked, pretty surprised by that.She nodded.“Cool,” I said.
“Mr. Jake is a nice man,” she said.
“He is, and he is good for my father,” I agreed.I gave her a quick hug, then went out to find my father.I was walking through the entry hall when I ran into Jake instead.
“Have you seen your father?” he asked.
“Just did,” I answered.“He was in the kitchen.”
“He’s up to something,” Jake said.I didn’t respond.“You know what it is?”
“He wouldn’t tell me,” I answered honestly.
“But you still know,” he said in an accusing way.
“Well yeah, because the staff likes me better,” I joked, getting a chuckle from him.
“Your dad always treats the staff really well,” he countered.
“Yeah, but I spend more time with them,” I said.
“Usually in the kitchen.”
I shrugged.“I’m a growing boy.”I was hoping to use that as my exit line but he moved closer to me, as if to physically stop me with his presence.
“So tell me what he’s up to,” he demanded.
“Why would I do that, and ruin his surprise?” I asked.
“Because then I’ll owe you a favor,” he said.
“That could get expensive,” I said in a slutty way.
“A favor that doesn’t involve incest,” he said.
“For it to be incest, you’d have to be married to my father,” I said, to see how much he knew about things.
“He almost proposed to me this afternoon, then stopped,” Jake said, and let his guard down.My father was clearly planning to make this a big production, so it was a special event, but by keeping Jake in the dark, he’d filled him with doubts and exacerbated his insecurities.
“Then now you know what he’s running around planning,” I said with a smile, one that he fully returned.I was just about to finally escape from him when he put his hand on my shoulder.
“I have an idea, and I need your help,” he said.
“Dude, now you’re up to two favors,” I said.“What’s your plan?”
October 12, 2003
Palo Alto, CA
I stood on the terrace, chatting with Stefan, and enjoying a gin and tonic.“What are you so excited about?” he asked me.
“Nothing,” I said, annoyed that he could read me so well.Will chose that moment to walk up and join us, conveniently saving me from trying to convince Stef that I wasn’t excited.
“You look very good tonight,” Stef told Will, even as he touched the sleeve of his blazer.“I am wondering if this is a result of your excellent wardrobe, your naturally good looks, or the glow you seem to have.”
“Probably the glow,” Will said.“I topped Colin this afternoon.Got his cherry.”
“And did he enjoy it?” Stef asked, even as I internally cringed at the complications a relationship between Will and Colin would dump on our family.
“Duh,” Will said, which was funny enough to make me laugh.“My goal is to be as good at sex as you are.”
“According to some, you have already achieved that goal,” Stef said with a hint of bitterness.It still irked him that Buzz Dalby had found Will to be more fun in bed than him.
“But I don’t have your experience, or your ability to read people,” Will said.
“I’m not sure about experience,” I said, giving Will a bad time.“You’ve got to be closing in on his numbers.”
“I’m trying,” Will said, to taunt me.
“Experience is a good thing,” Stef said, intervening on Will’s behalf.“Practice makes perfect.”
“I’ll fill you in on all the details later,” Will said to Stef, as if to exclude me.JP came up and that seemed to inject respectability into our conversation.
“Good evening,” JP said languidly.
“It is a very good evening,” I said.The door opened and I saw Colin step out onto the patio, looking stunningly handsome in a light gray suit.
“I’ll be back,” Will said, and went over to greet him, getting a giggle from Stef.
“We are clearly not as alluring as that handsome young man,” JP observed.
“Will is probably just going to make sure the poor boy isn’t sore,” Stef said.JP looked at him curiously.“Will topped him this afternoon.Evidently it was Colin’s first successful experience with being penetrated.”It was hilarious to see JP get annoyed at Stef’s discussion of his grandson’s sex life.
“Well I’m sure that was an eye-opening experience for both of them,” JP said.I was trying not to laugh my ass off, when Kat and Magi came out.
“There you are!” she said loudly and hurried over to see us.
“I trust you are comfortable?” JP asked, ever the good host.
“Everything is wonderful,” she said to him.“Thank you for your hospitality.”
“It was our pleasure,” he said.“Please allow me to introduce you to my partner, Stefan Schluter.”
“What a pleasure,” she said, and grasped Stef’s hands firmly.“I have always wanted to meet you.”
“Then it appears today is your lucky day,” Stef said, smiling to make it a joke.
“Magi, you must read their auras,” she said to her sidekick.“He’s better at it than I am,” she commented in an aside to me.
“That might be interesting,” Stef said, encouraging them, although I wasn’t too sure that was such a good idea.
Magi stared at me, while everyone else looked at him, including me.It almost seemed as if his eyes were rolling back into his head, and he held his hands out as if to touch an orb about two feet away from me.It was very strange, both because I was the center of attention, and because he was emanating an energy that almost made me feel as if I were tingling.Will chose that moment to come join us with Colin in tow.Magi opened his eyes and lowered his hands.“Well?” I asked to prompt him, since he seemed nervous.
“I see three strong colors in your aura,” he said.“Black is there, and that is sad, because it signifies past problems, unreleased anger, or grief.It is not as strong as the other two colors.”
“Terrific,” I grumbled, understanding why Beverly found this so annoying.
“The second color is light blue, which is an indicator of intuition and honesty,” he said.“The final color is a bright yellow, which usually means the individual has a fear of losing control.”
“I can see that,” Kat said, as if to validate her own abilities, but her words were drowned out by laughter coming from Will and Stefan, and a chuckle from JP.
“How very accurate,” Stef finally said, after he got his laughter under control.I just gave him a dirty look.
Magi focused his attention on Stef next.“You have many colors, including a little black, but the most dominant are lavender, orange, and silver.”
“What does that mean?” Stef asked.
“Lavender is the color of dreamers, of those with imagination, while orange is usually related to the reproductive organs, and signifies extensive abilities in that area.Silver is the color of abundance, which could be material or spiritual,” he said.
“Well that seemed to be spot on,” I said, while Stef nodded.He was obviously pleased by this reading, which was irritating since mine had been so crappy.
Magi then turned to JP and went into his mini-trance again.“I see in you the colors of the sun,” he said, before he even opened his eyes.“You have strong orange-yellow colors, which indicate high intelligence and suggest you are a perfectionist.Then there is the gold, lots of gold, which is very unusual.”
“What does that mean?” Kat asked.
“Someone with lots of gold in their aura is quite powerful, psychically speaking, and has innate wisdom, inner peace, and intuition,” he answered.
“That is very impressive, JP,” Stef said.“It is a shame he did not find more orange in there.”
“I am quite happy with my wisdom and inner peace,” JP said with a smile.
“I haven’t introduced you to my son yet,” I said to Kat.“This is Will.”He’d been in the background, so she hadn’t really seen him yet.
She rushed forward and held his hands, much as she’d held mine.“I feel as if I am looking at two versions of my brother.You look like him when he was in college.”
“Thank you,” Will said politely, if awkwardly.
“Wait, do not move,” Magi said.“You,” he said to Will.“Stand here.”He guided Will so he was standing in between JP and Stef.”
“What?” Will asked, not a little annoyed at being maneuvered around like a chess piece.
“I have never seen this before,” Magi said, as he held out his hands in his aura pose.
“What?” I asked, sounding a lot like Will.
“Putting him between these two, he is like a fusion of their auras,” Magi said.“This is fascinating.It is like he is an exact blending of the two of them.”
“No bright yellow for me,” Will said, winking at me, getting a frown in return, and a laugh from everyone else.