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    Mikiesboy
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Changes, Again - 1. The Party

Prologue

 

In his head, he went over the operation he’d planned, hoping there would be nothing unexpected. Often there was, as X-rays didn’t always pick up everything. The most miniscule of things could hide from even the deepest of probes. Dr. Garrett Humphrey stood in front of the sink thinking about those possibilities. He scrubbed his fingernails during his prep for emergency surgery.

The woman deserved his full attention. The husband they weren’t sure was going to make it, and the boy, well, who knew about the boy. Humphrey wanted to give the mother the best shot he could, mostly for the boy’s sake.

After the required five-minute scrub procedure, he stepped off the water control pedal and moved in the classic reverse entry into the operating theatre. Inside, the scrub nurse handed him a sterile towel, he dried his hands and gave it back to her. She then picked up the gown. He held out his arms in front of him, and the nurse pushed the gown up to his shoulders—in one move—stepping toward him as she did. Halting, she looked around him as the theatre door opened.

Garrett turned slightly to see an un-gowned nurse enter the sterile field. “What the hell, Mel?”

Melissa Gingrich just shook her head. “I’m sorry, Garrett. Mrs. Resnick didn’t make it.”

The door closed with a quiet hiss. Garrett stared at the scrub nurse and then his waiting team. He pulled the gown off, followed by his mask. “Goddamn it. Fucking, goddamn it!”

Shoving the used gown into the arms of his scrub nurse, he spun on his heel. Pulling the theatre door open, he went through it—it closed deliberately with the same quiet release of air. He made his way to his office, where he began to read the stack of reports which sat on his desk. He made notes and signed them. The stack of completed files grew on the other corner of the desk.

Releasing a deep sigh, he laid down the ballpoint. He had to let go of this frustration.

The next morning, he was going to perform a similar surgery on the boy.

Maxon Resnick’s surgery, was a success, though the boy would have a hard road ahead. He was in pain, wouldn’t walk for some time, if at all, and he had lost both of his parents. The father had succumbed during the night.

Garrett Humphrey knew the boy couldn’t stay in the hospital forever. Though he wasn’t, he felt responsible for the boy being alone in the world. He wanted to help, so he called a friend of his, a social worker, Robert Walker.

 

~~

 

 

Chapter 1 The Party

 

Sonoma Valley, CA.; that was emblazoned on the brochure I was reading. It said it was a wheelchair friendly place, and lots of wine tasting was available. We’d decided to go to celebrate my thirty-fifth birthday there. It was my hope it would also be a romantic getaway for the two of us. Don was nearly excited as I was.

While it was my birthday, I wanted to make sure that Don wouldn't have issues getting around and we could be as carefree as possible. So, I began to do my research. Even though he had custom-made titanium crutches and could walk for short periods, we'd bring his wheelchair with us. A regular flight would be fine. I was thinking, maybe, we'd go first class for this trip though.

I sat in the living room, thinking and making notes about things I wanted to check into when I realized the time. Harry and Gareth, and Robert and Rena were coming for dinner. Most things were prepared. We would grill steaks, the baked potatoes were baking, the salad was chilling in the fridge, and so was the booze. The weather was quite unstable—dark clouds, wind, and rain—so I thought it best to eat indoors.

Don was working out in the converted barn, part of which was now his office. He was finishing an article on sledge hockey for his employer Sporting Men Magazine. I decided to walk over to see how he was doing, and to bring in our pair of horses, Badger and Clyde.

We both enjoy riding these days as well as running. Riding really gives Don a sense of freedom.

The horses were ready to come in for their evening meal and to get out of the on and off rain. I groomed them quickly, checked their hooves and settled them in their boxes with food and water. The barn was secure, so after a final head rub each, I left them to find my husband.

Don was on the phone when I walked in, so I sat on the small sofa that was in a grouping of chairs. This was not too close to his desk, but I could hear a little of his side of the conversation.

"Jesus, that's rough … Oh, I don't know about that … Yes, it's shit timing, but worse for … We can discuss this later on … Yes, you're right … Okay, see you later. Bye for now."

He replaced the handset and turned to me. "Hey, baby. Everything okay?"

I got up and walked over to him. "Yeah. Brought in B and C. They are bedded down for the night. I'll pop out to check them before bed though. Are you all right?"

I bent to kiss him. His lips were warm and the hint of tongue made my stomach flip. "Mmmm, Don, don't."

He grinned and pulled me onto his lap. "Don't, hmmm?"

Laughing, I threw my arms around him. My mouth still on his, I said, "Mmm, mike mmmever stop …." All these years together and I still could not get enough of him. It seemed he felt the same way.

Don broke the kiss but held me close. "I love you, Lous."

"Love you too, baby."

"How is my dinner doing?"

"Your dinner is coming along. Everything is ready, steaks are marinating, taters are in the oven, and salad is in the fridge, as is the cheesecake. Table needs setting, that's all." I smiled at him and wallowed in his amber eyes.

"Excellent. I love it when a plan comes together!" He held me tight in his strong arms. "The beer and wine are cold too, right?"

I buried my face in his neck, breathing in him and his Hugo Boss. "Oh, yes."

Don ran his hand down my back and grabbed a handful of my butt. He squeezed. "Do we have time for a quickie?"

"I wish, but no babe. Maybe we can later."

"Later, we will, and it won't be quick, trust me."

"Oh, I do baby. I do." I licked my lips.

He grinned. "Well, I should shower then and dress."

I clambered off his knee. "Can I push you back?"

"Sure! Home, Lous!"

 

Rena and Robert arrived first. Never ones to arrive empty handed, they brought a glorious bunch of tulips—in purple, soft violet and white—and nice ready-chilled wine. We settled in the living room with a glass of the sweet white.

I was feeling good and just wanted to drink enough to feel happy and mellow. We had sipped our way through our first glasses, when Robert spoke up.

"Um, hope you don't mind but I really need a word with Don. I'd like to before we get too happy and before dinner. I can smell those potatoes, Louis."

I looked at Don who replied with a tight-lipped smile. Okay, so you're saying nothing. Rena wasn't giving up anything either.

"Sure, you two go over to the office and I'll set the table and stuff, but when Harry and Gareth arrive, I'll send them to fetch you."

"Don't mind them, Louis. I'll help you." Rena got up and put her arm through mine. I smiled at her. We picked up empty wine glasses and followed Robert and Don.

Don rolled forward toward the kitchen. The door there was closest to his office. "We'll likely be back before then. Don't worry, babe. We'll have a good time tonight."

Not wanting to ruin the mood, I bent and kissed him. "You two go. It's fine, Donny."

Robert patted my shoulder and then grabbed the handles on Don's chair. "Don's right. We won't be long."

After the door closed, I turned to Rena. "Do you know what's going on?"

"I don't. Frankly, Robert's been quiet this afternoon. I asked if everything was okay, and he said it was. Just that he needed to get something important at work resolved, sooner rather than later."

I pulled a deep violet and white checked tablecloth out of the bottom drawer in the kitchen island, and put it on the table. Atop that, I put Rena and Robert's flowers; it felt like spring.

As we laid out the tableware, Rena asked, "How is the birthday trip plan going?"

"Pretty good. I was thinking Sonoma County in California, it's supposed to be wheelchair friendly. Lots of things to do, including tasting lots of wine, and lots of sunshine."

"That sounds lovely, but you know Don will go wherever you want to go."

"I know, but I wanted us both to relax, and being wheelchair friendly just took away one worry."

"Well, if you want to go to Sonoma County, you do that." Rena smoothed a corner of the tablecloth. "The table is beautiful."

I checked the potatoes, which were nearly done. I'd just turned down the oven when the doorbell rang. I smiled at Rena and walked to the front door.

Gareth and Harry stood there together, grinning like schoolboys. Harry was in his early fifties now, but still as gorgeous and sexy as he always had been. Gareth was my age, cute in a young Jeffrey Dean Morgan sort of way; always with a warm smile. Each of them carried a bottle of wine.

"Come on in. It's good to see you guys."

Gareth hugged me first. "You look great, Louis! Where is that sexy man of yours?"

"Out in the office with Robert. They'll be back shortly."

Harry was next. He released me after a warm hug and said, "You want me to go and get them?"

"No … you two come in. I'll go out there," Rena said, as she joined us, greeting Harry and Gareth with a hug. "I'll run out there now." She returned to the kitchen and went out the back door.

Harry took Gareth's bottle and handed both to me, the cabernet sauvignon was a magnum. "As usual, we couldn't choose between red or white, so we brought both!"

"Thank you. I'll put them in the kitchen. Do you want a drink?" I said over my shoulder as I walked.

"Harry, sit down, I'll help Louis." After giving his husband a peck and a pat, Gareth joined me. He picked up the corkscrew and started to open the red. "This is Harry's favourite."

I poured a glass of white for Rena, one for myself, and for Gareth. "It's a generous gift, thanks. Will you pour one for Robert and Don as well please?"

"Sure." Gareth did as asked. "How are you Louis? Seems like forever since we've seen you two."

"We're good, thanks. You both look like you are as well."

Gareth picked up the glass of white I'd passed him. "We are. Harry and I are just back from New York. He was there for a publisher's conference. I was able to get time off to go with him."

"Hey! I'm lonely out here!" Harry called from the living room. "And worse, I'm thirsty."

Gareth and I laughed. "You take your man his wine, and I'll pop the hors d'oeuvres in the oven to heat up."

"Thanks." Gareth picked up his husband's wine and glanced out the window. "It appears yours is on his way in too. See you in the living room."

I glanced out. "Finally. Then we can get this party started!" I put the tray of small pastries in the oven to heat.

Though I was curious as to what was going on, I just wanted to enjoy our get-together, so I shoved my questions to the back of my mind. It could be nothing, but frankly it felt like a huge secret.

The backdoor opened and the three of them came into the kitchen. I handed Rena and Robert glasses of wine, and they continued on through to the living room.

Don smiled. "I'll go out in a bit and start the barbeque. Something smells good. Do you need my help in here?"

"There's a glass of wine there for you. I'll bring it. Can you carry these plates and napkins?"

"Sure, Lous." He put them on his knees, and rolled out to the living room.

I followed with our drinks. Don had put the napkins and plates on the coffee table. "Here's your wine, Don. Harry brought that excellent cabernet you like."

Don sipped. "Mmmm, yeah this is nice. Thanks, Harry. Thanks for coming everyone! Now, if you don't mind I have a quick speech to make."

We all groaned; Donny's speeches were rarely short.

He eyed each of us. "No groaning. I can smell food, so that means I have to hurry. Now, as you know it is my beautiful husband's birthday in a few weeks. As we'll be away, I thought we could wish him an early Happy Birthday today."

I wasn't prepared for this and nearly slid off my perch on the arm of our sofa. Five faces turned to me, each of them smiling. Then a chorus of Happy Birthday rang out.

Once they’d finished, we were all laughing, and I appealed for quiet. "You guys … wow, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Now, I better get those canapes out or they will be burnt!"

Practically running into the kitchen to escape, I leaned on the counter to breathe. Relief coursed through me. They'd just been planning this little celebration of my birthday. Worrying over nothing again, Louis.

After lifting the tray of hors d'oeuvres out of the oven, I plated them, and carried them back to the party.

It turned out to be a wonderful night. We ate well, drank too much, and laughed a lot. We convinced Gareth and Harry to stay in our spare room, since neither of them should be driving. Rena and Robert still lived in the little house behind ours, which we remained happy about, so they supported each other as they walked back.

Once I returned from checking the horses, the four of us took the elevator upstairs. The lift could hold a wheelchair or two, but it was close up and personal with four of us! Donny was his usual bad self, he was laughing with Gareth.

"Don't worry about noise. Lous and I will be making enough of our own."

I sighed and said, "You are awful."

We were all laughing, and Gareth said, "Thanks, because Harry snores terribly."

Harry protested that remark!

The elevator doors opened and the three of us halfway fell out. I showed Harry and Gareth to the spare room. I'd popped up earlier to make the bed and put towels in the bathroom.

"You two should be okay in here." I watched as Harry collapsed on the bed.

"You stay, I can handle you both!"

I turned to Gareth and we both started to laugh. "Harry, I don’t think you could handle yourself right now. Get some rest, and make yourselves at home. There are new toothbrushes in the bathroom. See you in the morning."

Gareth was slapping Harry's roaming hands away. "Thanks. Good night, Louis. Had a great time. Please let me cook breakfast?"

"Oh, thanks, yes, we'd love it. Good night." I pulled the door shut, and walked down the hall to our room.

I closed our door, and walked toward our bed. Donny was already in it.

"Come on, Lous. I've been waiting all day for this." He was grinning broadly.

I couldn't help but chuckle. "Is that so?"

"Yep, it's so.”

I climbed into bed after stripping and snuggled down beside my husband. I loved being next to him, skin-to-skin. I ran my hands over his muscular chest and belly. He pulled me on top and kissed me. I could feel him getting hard and he pushed himself against me. I couldn't contain my groans.

After much foreplay, he whispered, "Love you. Get the lube, baby."

With my lips still on his, I groped in the bedside table drawer. I handed him my prize. He used the lubricant on himself and me.

He gazed up and smiled. "I'm all yours, Louis."

 

_____

Don pulled me into his body, kissed my neck, and then whispered in my ear, "It's morning, baby."

"Mmmm, what time is it?"

"Time to feed Badger and Clyde." He kissed my shoulder. "I can go and do it."

I sucked in a breath, squeezed his hand and sat up. "I'll do it, Don."

"Okay." He ran his hand down my back. "I think I heard Gareth in the kitchen. I wonder what he'll make."

Leaning back against him, he embraced me across the chest and kissed my cheek. I turned my head and captured his soft, sexy lips.

"Don, you know he is down there baking a pecan coffee cake or something."

"Mmmm, worth hauling my ass out of bed then."

I grinned at him. "Too right it is. Maybe we can invite them over more often."

"We could, I enjoy their company."

"Yeah, me too. Okay, I'm having a quick shower, will you come in?"

Don sat up and reached for his trapeze. "I'll be in, you just get on with it. I'll be in soon."

I got up and kissed him quickly, left him, and went to shower.

 

I’d brought both horses out into the small fenced barnyard. Badger nuzzled me hunting for his carrot pieces. I rubbed his broad black and white head and fed him. Clyde pulled his attention from the hay I'd dropped for them, walked over and pushed me gently in the back.

"Yes, okay, I have carrots for you as well."

As I fed them, I looked over the pasture. The grasses were fresh and green, and up the hill were several trees where the horses could get to stand in the shade. There was plenty of water down here for them also.

"All right, you two. Take it easy out here. We'll likely go out this afternoon, if you're both up for that! Right now, it's coffee time."

After more head rubs and final pats, I left the horses to their breakfast.

 

I hung up my jacket, washed my hands and went into the kitchen. Our guests were up, the air smelled of cinnamon, fresh sweet bread, and coffee.

"Horses okay?" Don asked. He poured me a cup of coffee.

I sat down at the table next to him; across from me were Gareth and Harry.

"Yeah, they're fine. The pasture is so green after the rain yesterday." I sipped my coffee. "This is so good, and it smells divine in here!"

Gareth smiled. "The coffee cake should be ready now." He got to his feet to check the cooling cake which sat over on the countertop.

I glanced at Harry. "I'm surprised you're not fat."

Harry laughed. "He's a great cook, and he keeps me very busy."

Don laughed. "I bet he does."

"Don!" My reserved nature had slipped out and we all laughed.

"Don't worry, I do keep him busy." Gareth sliced the cake and carried it over. "I bought him a push mower!"

We each served ourselves one of the generous slices of the pecan coffee cake, and spread on dollops of sweet butter. We chatted and drank some more coffee. It was a wonderful breakfast.

Afterward, once we had said goodbye to Harry and Gareth, we sat down in the living room. Don had just poured a third cup of coffee when there was a knock at the back door.

I glanced at Don. "Your mom?"

"Maybe."

"I'll go." I got up, walked to the door and pulled it open. It was Robert.

"Sorry to barge in Louis, on a Sunday." Robert carried one of those tan-coloured file folders.

"It's fine." I closed the door behind him. "Would you like coffee? Donny just made fresh. Go through, he's in the living room."

"Thanks."

I smiled at him, but I didn’t feel happy. "I'll bring you a cup."

 

Robert and Don were sort of huddled together when I brought in Robert's coffee. They were immediately quiet and sat up straight when I moved into the room. I was starting to feel like the help.

"Hey, you two, what the hell is going on?" I shot daggers at Don. "And do not say nothing to me Don. Because I ignored it last night, but I'm done."

They glanced at each other before Don said, "Sit down, Louis."

I resumed my place beside him, after handing Robert his coffee. The tan folder sat on the coffee table.

"Louis, we have a nice house here."

What was he saying? "Yes, Don. I know, and?"

"Lots of space."

"Yes. What is going on?" I know my voice went up an octave.

Don turned to Robert, for help at that moment.

"Louis, I called Don the other day on a professional matter, in my capacity as a social worker. It's a little unorthodox, but I discussed it with my superiors because you two are … well, perfect in this case."

I was becoming frustrated quickly. "In what case? Will you just tell me?"

Robert held up his hands. "There's a boy, Max, and he's lost both his parents in a terrible accident. He's also suddenly in a wheelchair because of the same accident. I need a foster home for him."

I didn't speak for a minute, as this wall of information slammed into me. Suddenly, I didn't want to hear anymore. They both looked at me, and they were the enemy, here to take away my life. The life I loved, my freedom, these two wanted to fill it with a helpless, miserable kid I didn't know. I was frustrated, pissed off, and desperately wanted to throw something.

Don reached for my hand. "Louis, it's a lot to ask."

I swiveled towards him. "So, you've decided that we're doing this?"

He squeezed and spoke softly. "Lous, I've decided nothing, other than to talk with you. However, I do think we should go and meet him."

Robert stood. "You two need time. I'm at home, so call if you have questions, but please let me know. I'm sorry to upset you, Louis." He turned to Don. "Louis needs to sign the application too if I'm going to get it pushed through in time."

And with that, he left.

I knew I was being selfish, about so many things. Don was talking, and he pulled me against his warm body. I was grateful for it, needing him.

"Lous, I just know what this kid will go through. Not about his parents so much, but being in the chair, maybe forever. Here he'd have us, we know a lot about that, and a house that he can navigate easily."

He kissed my forehead. "We know a bit about kids, now with having James and Millie around."

"Is this kid, Max, gay? Will he even accept us? That's all I need, a homophobic, angry kid. How old is he?"

"He's fifteen."

I was quiet for a moment, and then closed my eyes. "So, I guess my birthday trip is off."

"Maybe. I'll make it up to you."

"You need me to sign what?"

"The foster parent application." He opened the folder and handed me a pen.

I signed the spots that were indicated, and closed the file.

"Thanks, baby. And I meant what I said: I will make it up to you."

Slipping my arms around him, I held onto Don tightly. My anger drained away as I thought about this poor young man whose life had been ripped away from him. How could I not at least meet him?

"Don, you don't need to." I raised my head so I could see those wonderful amber eyes. "Let's meet him."

"Thank you, Lous. I love you, baby."

"Mmm. I love you too."

 

_______

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment and leave your thoughts.

 

Thank you to @AC Benus my dear friend, and wonderful editor for his unflagging support and insight.

As well, to my two beta-readers, @mollyhousemouse and @BHopper2 who read and reread for me - thank you.

 

This story wouldn't have been started without @droughtquake. At the end of Changes, he offered his thoughts about what may become of Don and Louis. It was a good idea, it made me think, and here we are. Thank you my friend.

Copyright © 2019 Mikiesboy; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

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52 minutes ago, BHopper2 said:

You already know how I feel, but I have to say it again, my Brother. You have another hit on your hands.

Congrats on the great start!

Thanks very much, A.  You're help with this story is much appreciated...

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This story wouldn't have been started without @droughtquake. At the end of Changes, he offered his thoughts about what may become of Don and Louis. It was a good idea, it made me think, and here we are. Thank you my friend.

I love throwing out ideas about how stories might proceed after the author has completed them. Every once in a while, my suggestions provoke the author into writing a sequel! I get to be creative and tease them at the same time. Much better than subjecting anyone to my crude attempts at writing!  ;–)

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I have to echo @FanLit. Your descriptive turns of phrase painted a lovely canvas that made me feel like I was there with Louis & Don and their friends. The beauty of the dinner contrasted with the frustration of the surgeon who lost his patient before he even started to work on her.  ;–)

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