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    Sasha Distan
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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.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Direct Confusion - 21. Chapter 21

My mother is full of excitement when I arrive home after practice and after dinner with Erin and his family. None of us mention what happened at school, or the letters we received, and none of that seems worth dwelling on when Erin smiles at me the way he does. Mrs Parker invites me to join them for Thanksgiving dinner next week, and I jump at the chance when Jameson assures me Erin will be cooking. My boyfriend makes damn good food for regular weekends; I can’t wait to see what he does with a meal as opulent and complicated as Thanksgiving.

I dump my stuff in my room and wander to the main house to find my mother practically vibrating with anticipation. My father is sipping brandy and grinning from ear to ear.

“What’s up?”

“Your brother called.” Mom hugs me hard. “He’s definitely going to be home for Thanksgiving!”

“Really?” I blink in disbelief. Depressingly we have all become rather accustomed to the army habits of cancelling leave at the last minute, and sometimes it’s better not to be excited. “You’re kidding?”

“No. He’ll be here Thursday morning. He’s staying for four whole days before he has to fly back.”

“He rang back and left you a message on your answering machine.” Dad mentions. “You’d best go take a listen.”

All other announcements forgotten, I run back to my room and the little blinking red light on the answer machine that no one ever actually uses. I settle on my sofa and press the play back button.

“Hey there little brother, remember me?” Greg has teased me for not knowing who he is since I was four and ran up to some other teenage boy outside kindergarten, thinking it was him. “Bet mom has squealed in your ear all high pitched by now, so I guess I’ll see you soon. Little bird tells me you got a boyfriend. Well done you, I’ll bet he’s cute and skinny with stupid hair, right? And why am I the last to know anyway?” He sighs on the recording. “You never write me back, chivalry really is dead I suppose.” There is a click on the line. “Ok, I’ve got like five seconds before this thing cuts out. Be good little brother. Remember that I love yo-.” The end of his sentence is obliterated by the termination of the call.

I play the message back again twice, and wonder how shocked Greg is going to be when he actually meets Erin. The idea of introducing my boyfriend to my older brother sends a shiver of trepidation down my spine.

Greg never really had to deal with the fact I was gay, because it wasn’t something I discovered about myself until he was already twenty-four. He’d left home at twenty-two to start basic training, and had been in and out of my life for years. While I was growing up, Greg was a kind of stop-over brother. He’d be here for six weeks, then vanished for two months only to drop in unexpectedly for twelve hours before taking off again. We’d never really had a whole conversation about my sexuality, and I started to worry that his reaction was going to be a lot like Jim’s was fast becoming. The practicalities of his little brother being gay mightn’t be something he was willing to put up with. The idea of Greg reacting badly to Erin was not something I wanted. And he was going to meet him when Erin came to pick me up for Thanksgiving dinner.

I trekked back across the garden to the main house.

“Mom?” I clicked my tongue against my teeth nervously. “About Thanksgiving...”

My mother shoots me a glance like I just walked in and tracked mud all over the carpet. She knows me well enough to realise when I come in from my room with that sort of furtive expression, I am about to say something she isn’t going to like.

“Yes?”

“Erin’s parents invited me to have dinner with them. And I said I would.”

“Your brother is coming!”

“And Erin is cooking for me mom. It’s important to him.”

“And having you home is important to us. Greg had been away eight months.”

“One more day won’t worry him then.” I shrug. I might miss my brother, but it’s only in a very abstract manner. I have barely any idea what it’s like to actually have him live here.

“We will talk about this later.”

“Uh-huh.” I give my mother a very cursory hug. I haven’t been a grumpy teenager in a while, so I think can probably get away with this as a response for now. “Night mom.”

*

Every day that Thanksgiving comes closer my parents get more and more excited. My intention to take Erin to the cinema on Tuesday night gets halted by my mother’s insane efforts to clean the house from top to bottom.

“He’s been living in the desert. He is not going to notice if all the grout in the bathroom has been freshly scrubbed.” I mutter, kneeling in the bathtub with scrubbing brush in hand.

“Hey, don’t fuss.” Erin is wiping down the mirror in my mother’s time honoured technique requiring a vast handful of old newspaper. “It could be worse.”

I roll my eyes at my boyfriend and he sticks out his tongue in response in the mirror.

“We are supposed to be in the back of a quiet movie theatre, not paying attention to the film, and I am supposed to have my hands in your clothes. How could it be worse?”

“We could be cleaning the bathroom.”

“We are.”

“Oh.” Erin dumps his cleaning equipment in the sink and turns to me, thumbs in his front pockets, grinning cockily. “While you’re down there…”

“Lewd.” I prod the permanent bulge Erin’s wonderfully proportioned cock makes in his jeans. “I am not blowing you in my parents’ bathroom.”

“Damn and I so thought you’d go for it.”

“Perv.” I drop my scrub brush and rub at the tile. “OK, I’m calling this done. You reckon we can sneak off for more than ten minutes without my mom noticing?”

We both smell of chemicals badly enough to want to take a shower, and of course, once we’re in the shower, playing with warm water and soap suds becomes far too much fun. The sight of Erin soaping up makes me harder faster than even I thought possible, and he gets his wish after all, though in the privacy of my bathroom. Turns out that not drowning while sucking off your boyfriend in the shower is not as easy as it looks, and we end up damp and dripping on my bed. Erin winds his fingers into the sheets and groans low as I work on him, and it brings me great pleasure to invade his body with my fingers just before he comes. My name in his voice is somehow musical.

Afterwards we laze around naked, and Erin draws distracted patterns in the water and sweat that beads on my smooth skin.

“So you spend the entire summer without a shirt on?” He asks softly. “You’re so damn tanned.”

“I got a job at the country house. It’s a hotel and golf club outside of town.” I shrugged. “I worked in the kitchen mostly, but we all used to spend our lunch breaks on the back lawn. I used to cut the grass there too, and it was just way too hot for that.”

“I might have to get you to be my sous chef for Thanksgiving.” Erin places a feather light kiss on my sternum. “If you can cook.”

“I wash up well.” I smile. “You know my mom is throwing a fit over that, ‘cause Greg’s gonna be home.”

“Luke…you should stay here with your brother. You don’t have to come over.”

“No.” I roll onto my side to look at him better, and flash-fast my brain reminds me how unbelievably lucky I am to have fallen for such a wonderful, beautiful and kind person. “I want to come and share Thanksgiving with you. I love you, Erie.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yeah.” I turn and flip Erin onto his back. “I’m certain.” I lay against him, using his shoulder as a pillow. “I wonder how long we can stay here before my parents realise you haven’t gone home yet?”

*

On Wednesday afternoon I watch Derrick, Erin, and the football team win against a team from two counties over with double digits. My boyfriend stays long enough to get changed and give me three hotter than hell kisses before dashing off in a hurry. Derrick and I are weaving our way to the cars when Jameson catches us up, now changed back into his street clothes.

“Has he gone already?” He asks the question as though he already knows the answer. “Oh Goddammit! ERIN!”

“Whoa there, calm down Jame. One of us can give you a lift back.”

“You are still coming tomorrow right?” Jameson shoots me a stern look. “He is getting himself so wound up about this damn dinner. We could probably feed your brother’s battalion with all the food in our house. You’d better be there.”

“Jame!” I hold out my palms in supplication. “I’ll be there. Quit panicking.”

“Erin’ll be round to pick you up at like two OK? We eat around three.”

“Sure. You want a lift home or not?”

“I’ll take you.” Derrick smiles, “I’m on your side of town anyway.”

I hug my friends goodbye, and wonder if Erin’s reported level of food-related stress is about normal, or if I should be worried about him.

That night I set up my bedside lamp and my cell phone and take a picture of myself to send to my boyfriend. Naked, but only in the shot from hip bones upwards, holding out a note card on which is written ‘I love you and you’re an awesome cook’ in black marker. It’s a good image. And hour later I get a text with a love heart and a row of kisses longer than the screen, and figure my message has had its effect.

*

Greg arrives at some point very early on Thursday morning, and by the time I’m up and about, he’s gone to sleep off as much jetlag as possible. The only sign that he’s in the house is the pair of tall and dusty army boots sitting in the hallway, and the khaki flat topped cap hanging on the bannister. G.MCBRIDE is written inside the headband in thick black letters. I put it on quickly, and I am surprised that it fits pretty perfectly. I’ve grown since the last time Greg was home, and I have the feeling if I stood next to him now, I’d no longer be looking up at my older brother.

There is a long time until I need to leave for Erin’s, and mom is in the kitchen. I don’t dare go in to help. Like many people, my mom basically doesn’t cook, but loves to make an effort for special occasions. The logistics of creating a big formal dinner are hellish for an experienced cook, let alone someone like my mother. Absence seems like the most sensible thing I can do to help, so I grab my trainers and slip out of the side gate by my room.

My brother is home. It’s the only thought going around and around in my skull as I set my feet to the pavement and fall into rhythm. My brother is home. He has, yet again, made it all the way back from the middle of nowhere alive and well. It’s such a depressing thought, but every time he comes back, I wonder if it’ll be the last time. War is indiscriminate in who it kills, and one day a black car and an officer in olive green dress uniform might show up on our doorstep to destroy our lives. But for now, Greg is home, and it’s nice to see my mother so happy.

“Both my sons are together under one roof.” She smiles at me when I return from my extended run and post-run shower. “It’s been much too long.”

“Well hey there little brother.” Greg smiles at me from across the kitchen table. I grin back, and run my hand over my newly shaven scalp. I did it fresh in the shower. “Dude, the skinhead look? Very badass.”

“Better than your crew cut anyway.” I walk around the table the knuckle Greg’s army issue standard haircut. “You have a good flight back?”

“Yeah, it was fine. So c’mon Luke, tell me all about this boyfriend of yours. Is he a skinny little scene boy or what?”

I laugh.

“Actually, he’s a footballer, first string running back.”

“Oh, wow, OK.” Greg looks a little taken aback by this. “Good for you Luke.”

“Tell me about life on the base. What have you been doing for the last eight months?”

We fill the next couple of hours with random chatter while mom clatters around the kitchen, sometimes covering her fierce epithets with the crash of pans. Our mother does not like to think we know she can swear. As it nears two pm, I excuse myself to get changed, and emerge from my room in the outfit I had already picked out.

No speedos this time, but I wear the fitted jeans that Cherrie made me buy, a pale blue Oxford cotton button-down, the smartest of my leather belts, and a thin cable knit sweater in bottle green. I have wine for Erin and Jameson’s parents, and all I have to do is wait for my boyfriend to come and get me.

“Looking good little brother.”

“Thanks.”

“So can I steal my car back while you’re out?”

My answer is interrupted by my mother bursting forth from the kitchen with flour in her hair and sweet potato smears on her apron. I have no idea what she’s making.

“You are not going out.”

“Mom!” I grit my teeth. “Erin will be here in like five minutes.”

“Your brother is home for four days, Luke. You can see Erin every other day.” My mother’s tone is firm. “I never agreed that you could go.”

“Mom, it’s OK.” Greg smiles. “Don’t worry, I’m home for four days, there’s always tomorrow.” He grins at me. “We’ll go out to the field and spend the day kicking a ball around, eh? I’ll bet Luke can teach me a few things about soccer now.”

“You bet.” It feels suddenly amazing to have Greg supporting my decision to go and be with my boyfriend.

At that moment, the doorbell rings. Dad goes to answer it.

“I’d better go.”

“Hey,” Greg stands and opens out an arm to me. “You got time for a hug for your big bro?”

I remember what Jameson said, weeks ago, about how much it meant to him to see Erin every day, hug him and be with him, and even though I haven’t given my brother more than a cursory one armed hug or punch on the shoulder in years, I wrap both arms around his chest and hold on tight. I was right, and we are near enough the same height now.

“Happy Thanksgiving Greg.”

“Have a good time Luke, be good little brother.”

Erin is waiting on my front step, looking nervous and handsome, and as I turn to him, my excitement to see him again makes me forget pretty much everything else.

Remember to come and join us in the discussion forum for questions, answers, and all sorts of silly supposition.
Copyright © 2014 Sasha Distan; 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.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Really touching chapter with such a loving brother. I love when writers acknowledge the stress of holiday cooking on all cooks. Luke's mom is a trip. Erin's such a darling. I'm getting nervous though. Such sweetness is usually balanced with sour or bitter! ;)

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On 07/10/2014 11:09 AM, Cole Matthews said:
Really touching chapter with such a loving brother. I love when writers acknowledge the stress of holiday cooking on all cooks. Luke's mom is a trip. Erin's such a darling. I'm getting nervous though. Such sweetness is usually balanced with sour or bitter! ;)
*can't speak or will ruin the plot*

woof!

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I was thing the same as Cole, everything has been so smooth lately, that something is bound to go wrong soon. I´m glad it wasn´t Greg, though.

Nice chapter :boy:

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On 07/11/2014 05:47 AM, Suvitar said:
I was thing the same as Cole, everything has been so smooth lately, that something is bound to go wrong soon. I´m glad it wasn´t Greg, though.

Nice chapter :boy:

*sticks fingers in ears, then in mouth*

 

i'mnotsayinanifink*

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So Erin is prepping Thanksgiving dinner but so is Mom... Luke chooses boyfriend... Mom isn't happy because big brother is coming home... the balancing act is never easy.

Greg seems a cool brother so I was surprised Luke didn't bring Erin in to meet him. I suppose you have a reason.

Like the others, I fear it is not far off that you will cast a pall over these happy folk. Not even going to attempt to imagine what that will be, you're just too tricksy, but do have a care for our soft hearts.

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On 07/11/2014 11:23 PM, dughlas said:
So Erin is prepping Thanksgiving dinner but so is Mom... Luke chooses boyfriend... Mom isn't happy because big brother is coming home... the balancing act is never easy.

Greg seems a cool brother so I was surprised Luke didn't bring Erin in to meet him. I suppose you have a reason.

Like the others, I fear it is not far off that you will cast a pall over these happy folk. Not even going to attempt to imagine what that will be, you're just too tricksy, but do have a care for our soft hearts.

soft hearts indeed. I feel guilty again all over for what's about to happen. y'all are too intuitive.
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can't wait to see how dinner goes, poor erie is probably so strung out. Why didn't he introduce his boyfriend to his brother? wasn't he supposed to be all proud of Erie and excited/unsure to see his brother's reaction? I love these two and Jameson makes it really funny...they all work well together :)

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Greg sounds like a great big brother. :) Hopefully he'll like Erie and vice-versa.

 

And I know everyone's not going to agree with me, but I'm siding with Luke's mom. Greg is only home for four days. He hasn't been home in eight months. Luke sees Erin every day and Erin can cook for him the next day or something. I think if Luke isn't going to stay home, then he should do something to please both of them: spend half the time at Erin's and then half the time at home (with Erin there). Maybe eat the main dinner at Erin's but then they would both go to Luke's for dessert and hang out afterwards. But he shouldn't leave for the entire day.

 

I am looking forward to reading about the big day anyway. :)

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On 07/13/2014 03:42 PM, Cannd said:
can't wait to see how dinner goes, poor erie is probably so strung out. Why didn't he introduce his boyfriend to his brother? wasn't he supposed to be all proud of Erie and excited/unsure to see his brother's reaction? I love these two and Jameson makes it really funny...they all work well together :)
I think Luke is just a bit too distracted atm. he'll want to introduce Erin when they have time to chat and get to know each other better.
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On 07/13/2014 04:47 PM, Lisa said:
Greg sounds like a great big brother. :) Hopefully he'll like Erie and vice-versa.

 

And I know everyone's not going to agree with me, but I'm siding with Luke's mom. Greg is only home for four days. He hasn't been home in eight months. Luke sees Erin every day and Erin can cook for him the next day or something. I think if Luke isn't going to stay home, then he should do something to please both of them: spend half the time at Erin's and then half the time at home (with Erin there). Maybe eat the main dinner at Erin's but then they would both go to Luke's for dessert and hang out afterwards. But he shouldn't leave for the entire day.

 

I am looking forward to reading about the big day anyway. :)

agreed. Luke can see Erie everyday. He should compromise. But you know how teenagers can be.
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