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    sojourn
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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. 

Change of Heart - 39. Chapter 39

On the drive to Dallas, Raymond and Daniel’s conversation bounced around from personal likes and dislikes to family and eventually, to childhood memories. Both were pleasantly surprised to find similar tastes in food, movies, and music, neither watched much TV.

When the topic of their past relationship came up, Raymond tried to accept the blame for Daniel’s adolescent pain. Daniel challenged that notion, “I think that time was a period of growth for both of us. Sometimes, it would come to me, I mean, what I wanted. Those times, I would go out and find some willing partner and fuck his brains out. I’m satisfied that we’re where we are right now because of what we went through and because of who we each are right now. I’m not holding onto some image of the college student I wanted so bad back then. I love the man you are right now. And given the changes I have gone through, I hardly think you could confuse me with the horny teenager I used to be. So, try to let it go. You were more mature and accepted reality better than I did. Yes, there was some heartache because we weren’t together. But now we are and we both need to work at keeping it that way.”

Raymond considered Daniel’s accepting outlook for a bit. Finally, he spoke, “I love you Daniel. The thought of you suffering for any reason is painful to me. The fact that I was ignorant of your having suffered is not much consolation.” A heavy sigh, then, “Still, I suppose my spending time in jail for having molested a teenager would have presented a different future for us. We would still have been separated for years, except I would have been in jail.

“Now, here we are, together, an engaged couple, soon to be parents, heading into the big city to celebrate a holiday dedicated to nostalgia and commitments toward being better in the future. Somehow that seems perfectly appropriate.” Even as he spoke his countenance brightened until he was wearing a warm smile. They then shared a kiss that was meant to seal the past and open themselves up to a future together.

A mellow silence settled in for a couple of minutes. Finally, Raymond wanted to talk about the upcoming election. They agreed that Daniel would not align himself with any political party. Raymond was certain they could argue that a Sheriff should not be elected based on political affiliation, rather on his ability and desire to enforce the law for all people.That, coupled with the promise of transparency with body cameras should give them enough to attract voters without attacking Jones personally. If Jones decided to run as a politically affiliated candidate they could suggest he only wanted to represent a portion of the populace.

How to deal with sexual orientation was the question foremost on Daniel’s mind. Daniel out and out refused to lie anymore about being gay. If evidence was presented, he intended to come out. They began to banter about possible responses to personally invasive questions. It was decided that if pressed, Daniel could argue, “Look, I’m not going to respond to questions about my sex life, that’s just none of your business. The questions the voters really want to be answered are about ridding our communities of drugs and criminals. I only discuss sex with those with whom I want to have sex, and as attractive as you may be to some folks, you are not someone with whom I will be crawling in between the sheets.” Raymond especially liked the challenge in Daniel’s proposed response. He added that before answering Daniel should ask the name of the reporter and then make it personal and employing that age-old hack of responding to a question with a question, such as, “Mary, when did “you” last have sex”? Or “Bill, with whom did “you” last have sex”? “Well, Jim when did you last masturbate”? Or, “Mary, I’m surprised you would ask such a question. So, tell us Mary, when did you last climax or ovulate”? Daniel admitted it would be fun to ask dirty questions of complete strangers in public and with a straight face. Raymond decided it was alright to enjoy it, just as long as it didn’t become a habit or a fetish. Even the guards chuckled at that.

Daniel summed up their campaign strategy by saying, “I guess I can talk about anything except sex, religion, and politics. I can’t say I’m gay and can’t openly admit to my ambivalence about organized religion and certainly can’t say I’m not a fan of either of our two major political parties.

Raymond didn’t disagree with anything Daniel said. He simply reminded his fiance’ that any time he wanted it, a job in security management with more pay and better benefits was waiting. That job also had the perk of getting to sleep with a fellow owner. Daniel chuckled and promised to consider the offer if Sheriffin’ didn’t pan out.

As a parting shot, Raymond reminded Daniel that after the wedding he would, in fact, be part owner and therefore had a vested interest in ensuring the family’s security division was properly managed.

Raymond said, “I know you’ll have to be careful about what you say. Whether you align yourself with a political party or not, you’re entering the world of politics. The drama that was and is being played out here at the local level is indicative of the corruption and greed that has for some time controlled and guided our national government. The fact that we have elected an angry, ignorant, bloated buffoon will come back to haunt the people. Just like it did with the second coming of Bush. On the bright side, the Adams’ family coffers are likely to benefit significantly from having a fellow one percenter as POTUS. In reality, that’s something we neither encouraged, supported nor desired individually, collectively, even as a financial enterprise.”

Daniel queried, “Isn’t it unfair to disparage a man who will surely lower the taxes for you and your family? Lowering taxes is like putting a lot of money in your pocket. Shouldn’t you be supporting the man? I mean, you’ve probably met him and had business dealings with him. Isn’t this like biting the hand that feeds you”?

Raymond saw the devilish grin spread across Daniel’s face. But he accepted the obvious challenge anyway. “Hard to disparage the man? Not at all. First off, this is “OUR” family now. You're already an integral part of the Adams family, soon to be so legally. And equally important is the fact that no one “feeds” the Adams family. There has never been a time when the family fortune was in the hands of an outsider. Certainly not an egomaniac like Trump. The Adams men never married for wealth or political advantage.” Daniel noted a momentary faraway look in Raymond’s eye. A blink and a head shake and then Raymond continued, “I just realized something, I’ve always felt that I was a part of the Adams family but more like a distant relative. That declaration made me realize, most emphatically, I. Am. An. Adams!”

He chuckled softly, then added, “As to meeting the man, yes, I have. He acts like it should be a thrill to simply shake his hand. I wanted to check for grease and count my fingers. His personal greed and self-aggrandizement are his only motivators. For him, the end always justifies the means. He possesses not even a shred of personal integrity. To him, giving his word is of no more consequence than tying his shoelaces. It doesn’t mean anything, it’s just something you do regardless if it resembles the truth or not. He is bound by no allegiances; religious, political or personal.

“After doing our due diligence, we avoided dealing with him except as a fellow real estate developer. That means we sometimes were at events that brought us handshaking close. As to wealth, Trump is not a billionaire. He believes that greater wealth gives him an advantage and so he lies. His accumulated assets owe more to his underhanded business dealings like refusing to pay his contractors or cheating his partners or conning the public more than any touted “business acumen”. In the “Old West” he would have been labeled a “bushwhacking double-crosser”. Even today, that seems like an apt moniker.”

Daniel grinned seeing that his teasing had gotten his friend fired up. He let up on the teasing and observed, “I think he got elected because he simply represented the most drastic change. The people who elected him were desperate. It’s like that Jerry Clower comedy routine where a coon hunter climbs a tree in the dark to throw down a raccoon. What he found instead, was a very large, very angry and very vicious Bobcat. As the hunter is being mauled, he calls down to his fellow hunters, “Just shoot up in here amongst us! One of us has got to have some relief!” People just want some relief. Relief from a government that has not been serving the public needs for a long, long time. Just like with the second coming of Bush, people don’t realize what they’re asking for. There will be “shock and awe” when Trump takes office, and not in a way even his supporters expect.”

After a pregnant pause and serious contemplation, Daniel said, “This kind of talk is tiring, especially without alcoholic lubrication. Let’s agree not to bring up politics anymore this weekend. It’s too damned depressing. When I come to Dallas for fun, I like to forget about the hometown and the job. I like to focus on having a good time. Hopefully, a good time with a little bit of hot sex thrown in.”

Raymond tightened his grip on Daniel’s hand. With a warm smile, he said, “Well, I hope there’ll be some good times and LOTS of hot sex, even if we never leave the apartment.”

Daniel had to admit he was more impressed with Raymond’s penthouse than he really had anticipated. As soon as they stepped out of the vehicle in the gated underground garage, Raymond was personally greeted by a disembodied voice. The two elevators were accessed by either a keypad or voice and face recognition software. One of them opened as Raymond approached. Raymond instructed, “Just a stop at the first floor, please Mary Lou.”

They stopped by the concierge desk so that Daniel’s future access to the building would be welcomed. Daniel noticed the two men, he could see, inside the office had the tale-tale bulges in their uniform blazers. He noticed but didn’t question Raymond’s guards taking a separate elevator. The one Raymond chose had no obvious control panel. Again, the elevator opened as they approached. The inside walls were mirrored, while the doors were smoked glass. As soon as the doors closed a soft female voice with an obvious southern accent said, “Good evening Mr. Cargill, Mr. Lovan. Will y’all be dining in or going out tonight”? A large screen suddenly appeared in the smoked glass and Daniel stepped back in surprise. It displayed a number of restaurant logos with options for reservations or ordering in. “Your pantry has been restocked as per your instructions. Mr. Lovan’s mother was consulted to ensure his favorite snacks are available. She had to be dissuaded from sending prepared foods from her freezer.”

That garnered a “Humph” from Daniel. “Bet that took some serious “dissuading.”

Raymond snickered, then said, “We’ll be going out tonight, Mary Lou.”

A brief silence then the voice continued, “There are currently no alerts above level four pending. Lloyd Jackson has asked for some face time to discuss the finalization of the construction project in Dubai. Francis McIntyre wants to increase the bid on that building in Manhattan and Jeremy, your new personal assistant, has already developed a habit of ending his emails and texts apparently addressed to you with, “Thank you Mr. Adams”, which seems inappropriate considering you are Mr. Cargill. Not to mention the fact that there is no clarification nor suggestion within the body of the texts or emails that suggest the justification for his sudden gratitude. Should I inquire as to his reasoning”?

“No, I understand Jeremy’s address and his gratitude. He is simply thanking me for selecting him to be my assistant. The “thank yous” will disappear eventually. Mary Lou, were you unaware that I have legally changed my name?

“Yes sir, I was, I received that information from a number of sources. Your input has validated your name change. I will make appropriate changes, Mr. Raymond Cargill Adams.”

“Great. Mary Lou, let Francis know that she may raise our final bid no more than point five percent of our current offer. Acknowledge Lloyd’s request.”

Raymond grinned at the look of dismay on Daniel’s face. “Mary Lou is a dedicated Artificial Intelligence developed by one of our software subsidiaries. She has access to my voice and email accounts and gives each communication an “alert level” that I have preset. She’s housed in the sub-basement of this building and is undergoing beta testing. The other residents simply know she controls the elevator and offers them limited services. As to the name, I suspect it is a humorously filthy acronym but I have been assured it’s because the lead engineer is a fan of fifties rock and roll.

“Some of our financial investment and systems monitoring services are also located in this building. But, their computer systems are separate and distinct, including all IT personnel. If you haven’t guessed by now, we own this building. But, this does not house our main Dallas office complex. That’s in an older part of town.”

Raymond explained that the top floor housed three apartments. The other “large” apartment was currently unoccupied. It sometimes housed business associates or foreign dignitaries. Raymond suggested that “Mom and Dad” might use it as a getaway or entertain their friends for a few days. It also had four bedrooms. There was a third, smaller, apartment which was occupied anytime Ilya determined an increased security threat existed.

The elevator opened onto a spacious foyer that offered a choice of three large hand-carved doors. Daniel was impressed with the live, lush, potted, “greenery” that was liberally positioned around the foyer. Inside Raymond’s apartment, the floor to ceiling windows, in the living room as well as the four bedrooms, were, at first, almost unnerving. The view of the darkening Dallas skyline was magnificent. Daniel mumbled, “If the other apartment is anything like this and Mom visits, she’ll never want to leave.”

Raymond smiled. “If Mom wants to, she and Dad can live in the other apartment. It’s decorated to be comfortable and in good taste. She can redecorate it any way she wants.” Pulling his lover into a quick but thorough kiss Raymond added, “I don’t mind them living next door but I draw the line at sharing living quarters with anyone else but you for more than a day or two. If we want to have sex on the kitchen counter, I don’t want anyone kibitzing our technique or complaining about contaminating the food prep area. Kitchen sex is why god made disinfectants.”

Daniel pushed his lover away. “Boy, you can get me hotter than a three peckered billy goat with just a look. But, you can kill my hard on just as fast by mentioning my mother and sex in the same discussion. Worse yet, hinting she could catch us in the act. It’s almost as much a turn off as imagining them having sex or worse yet my Dad sucking cock. Although, come to think of it, accidentally catching him and Uncle Frank going at it would actually be pretty hot. Just do us both a favor, don’t mention the empty, available apartment with an incredible view, just waiting to be decorated. At least not yet.”

Raymond agreed and followed that up with a kiss that reignited their passion. Before it got too out of hand and they wound up on the entryway floor, Raymond broke the embrace to give Daniel a tour of their spacious penthouse. Raymond pointed to a door in the kitchen and said, “That door leads to the roof. Only the penthouse apartments have unrestricted access. We have an outdoor kitchen, a sodded lawn, a couple of cabanas, and an Olympic size swimming pool but that’s currently closed for the winter. It’s also accessible through both our elevator and the service elevator as well. We sometimes host picnics for our employees and their families, we try to make sure everyone gets up there at least once a year. I enjoy those times a lot more than the stuffy cocktail parties we have for the senior staff and business associates.”

The apartment furnishings were much like Daniel had expected. Anyone could see right away that Raymond felt a deep connection with the cowboy culture. The paintings and bronze sculptures represented the old west. An antique wagon wheel was hung behind the wet bar in the den, just below a massive longhorn skull. That skull sported horns that spanned ten feet. Raymond let Daniel know that all western memorabilia including the wagon wheel, the longhorn skull, as well as the antique firearms came from the Adams family ranch. After taking it all in, Daniel decided Raymond’s taste was somewhat eclectic with an obvious focus on his cowboy heritage. It was all very appealing and comfortable and it made Daniel feel right at home. Daniel chuckled, then asked, “Raymond, was your penthouse decorated by Aunt Mellie”?

Raymond laughed, “No, it was decorated by Linda Yates, whom you have met. I had her first look over Uncle Joe and Aunt Mellie’s place as well as the old home place that is now Jeff and Paul’s place. I just knew I would feel more comfortable in familiar surroundings. I never cared enough about furniture or art to develop a personal style. I knew I didn’t like modern or any type of delicate furniture and there’re so many schools of art that I don’t like. I like Van Gogh but I like Remington and Russell more. I know I don’t care a whit for most primitive or rustic art. No offense to Grandma Moses. They just remind me of kindergarten finger painting. My taste in art probably leans more toward dogs playing poker than Picasso or random, brightly colored blobs and streaks or geometric shapes. To me, those should be used only when you desperately need to cover a hole in the wall. Even then, I think the hole might look better. Some critics would probably suggest the hole was an artist’s attempt at expressing his frustration at his own inability to gestate.” Daniel roared with laughter while nodding his agreement.

The last room on the tour was Raymond’s bedroom. Almost as soon as Daniel’s bag hit the floor, Raymond knelt and stripped Daniel’s jeans and underwear to his knees. Planting his face into his lover’s crotch and inhaling deeply, Raymond sighed, “I’d like for you to stop using scented soap and deodorants. I shop at a men’s store that will create something to enhance your scent. Your natural scent reminds me of woods and a cinnamony like spiciness. I can’t wait for you to try some custom made fragrances.”

“Is that why you smell so good? So sexy? I can get a hardon just standing downwind from you.”

Raymond didn’t answer, instead, looking up to meet those amazing creamy brown eyes. He continued, “Maybe, but, if it enhances your natural maleness, I’m not so sure you should bother. I don’t want other men to realize how good you smell. It would make it a challenge to keep you to myself and I would resent sharing even the faintest whiff of your potent pheromones.”

Without waiting for a response, Raymond began sucking the big man’s big cock. The only response from his Lawman was a pleasurable sigh and a firm grip on either side of his lover’s head as precious flesh was greedily consumed.

As he approached his climax Daniel pushed Raymond away from his cock. “Let’s get nekkid on that big bed and do each other.” The two stripped in record time and were soon kissing as they fell onto the king-sized bed. The mutual stimulation was oral, digital and driving both men nuts. Raymond's cum was just seconds behind Daniel’s. Each man made sure no trace of forensic evidence was left behind.

Shortly after, they managed to properly realign themselves on the bed while still breathing heavily. With a small struggle, Raymond managed to pull the goose down comforter over their nakedness. He scanned Daniel’s face trying to embed the image into his most permanent memory cells. Finally satisfied, he suggested, “I think we could both use some sleep right about now.” He never noticed his lover was scanning his face just as intently.

If they had slipped into sleep the night would have ended in bliss. Instead, they began to discuss their experiences in the gay clubs of Dallas. After comparing notes they realized that they had indeed visited the same clubs on occasion but at different times. Raymond wistfully said, “I just wish we had bumped into each other soon after you came home. By now, we could have already been together a couple of years.”

Daniel’s fingertips again blazed trails through Raymond’s curly chest hair. “I’m not sure that we would’ve gotten together if we had met under different circumstances. If we weren’t forced to meet professionally, after the shooting, I would have continued to avoid you. We could’ve run into each other years ago and still not be together.

“I never forgot you. I admit that I checked out your this building on one of my first visits to Dallas, once my hitch was up. I found this address through an improper, if not illegal, check of DMV records. I didn’t dare ask Mom or Dad how you were doing. They figured I got over you years ago. Even with all that snooping, I’m not convinced that our initial meeting would have been all hearts and flowers. I mean, look at the attitude you had when we finally did meet. As much as I love you, you DID NOT make a good first impression. If anything you left me more determined than ever to have nothing to do with Raymond Cargill.”

The pregnant silence was finally punctuated by Raymond heaving a heavy sigh. “My anxiety got the better of me and I really fucked that up. I will forever be grateful to you for giving me another second chance. I’ll do my best to never need to ask you for another opportunity to start over.”

Still mindlessly stroking Raymond’s chest hair, Daniel, in a half whisper, began, “Raymond, I want you to know that giving you a second chance is also giving me a second chance. I can see that what we had when I was a kid would never have worked. We’ve both grown a lot since then. This, what we have now, is just as important and just as wonderful as I had hoped our future would be when I was still a boy. I think all this time was spent getting us ready to spend a lifetime together. You can say I gave you a second chance but it’s more like “WE” each gave “US” a second chance. Just like you, I intend to be forever grateful and aware of how close we came to just letting it all slip away. I never want to give you up and I promise to work hard to make sure neither of us has to ask for another chance to start over. Right now, this is the culmination of every adolescent fantasy I ever had about us. Raymond Cargill Adams, I love you more than life itself. I always have and I always will.”

A gentle kiss was shared, then a warm silence descended. Daniel silently noted that they seem to communicate a lot through kisses. He liked that notion. Nothing more was said.

Daniel awoke as the morning sun streaked across the bedroom. He lay there only a moment before Raymond’s phone started to ring. Raymond answered the phone as he got out of bed and headed to the bathroom. Daniel chuckled as he heard the conversation continue even as the obvious sounds of a heavy stream echoed from the bowl, through the open door. It wasn’t long before a similarly urgent need made itself known to Daniel. Before Raymond finished either his conversation or his piss, Daniel’s stream was also splashing into the bowl. As Raymond shook the last drops from his cock he winked at Daniel. “Aunt Mellie says hello and to be careful and to be sure and take a taxi if we go out tonight.”

Daniel”s stream stopped immediately as his face flushed at the realization that he and Raymond had pissed as sweet Aunt Mellie listened on the phone. There was no way she could have helped but hear. And two heavy streams made a very distinct splashing sound. His embarrassment tripled as he thought about Aunt Mellie discussing wedding plans with his mother and casually letting it be known that Daniel, like Raymond, had a “healthy stream”. Suddenly Daniel prayed Aunt Mellie was hard of hearing.

It was pointless to try and finish peeing. He couldn’t make a stream, much less get a hardon now, even if he stuck his finger up his ass and yelled, “SNAKE!”

After squeezing the last drops from his cock, he again covered the glans with his foreskin, sighed in frustration and flushed the commode. He mentally replayed the whole humiliating scenario. In a flash of insight, it became all too clear.

Raymond with his back turned was pulling on his boxer briefs. Daniel’s tackle caught him completely off guard. With but an “Umph!” from Raymond, Daniel’s momentum carried both men onto the center of the bed. Daniel yelled out, “You miserable, evil prick!” Pinned face down, Raymond was trapped with his drawers restricting his lower legs. Daniel proceeded to land a half dozen bare handed smacks on his upturned ass. Raymond could but wail between fits of laughter, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry. Okay, I admit it. I wasn’t talking to Aunt Mellie.”

Daniel ceased his attack on Raymond’s now cherry red ass cheeks. He wasn’t yet ready to relinquish his dominance over his antagonist, so, he straddled Raymond, sitting on the ass he had just recently reddened.

Raymond grunted at the sudden weight on his backside. “That was just a gullibility test and you passed with flying colors.” That statement was punctuated by a muffled but massive chuckle. While Daniel couldn’t comfortably resume the spanking, he explored his punishment options and quickly tried tickling. It was a “howling” success. Raymond wound up laughing uncontrollably, twisting, turning and finally begging his Lawman for relief.

Daniel relented, satisfied that he had achieved an appropriate level of “payback”. He would definitely remember his lover was very ticklish. He also understood that it was not a weakness to be exploited. But it would be a significant weapon in his “get even for being teased” arsenal.

Later, over breakfast at a nearby coffee shop, Raymond explained that the phone call was from a men's store. They were just confirming an early morning appointment. They were going to outfit Daniel with attire intended to enhance his appeal to the voters. After all, no one wanted to vote for a slovenly Sheriff. When Daniel objected, Raymond reminded him that he was partnered and soon to be married to a very wealthy man. He argued that Daniel’s dignity was not being challenged and certainly not being sacrificed. Raymond simply asked how Daniel would treat Raymond if he were the wealthy partner or husband. He insisted that they were rich enough to do almost anything or absolutely nothing for the rest of their lives. As a matter of fact, they could do nothing for an untold number of lifetimes and still have money left over. With only a few moments introspection Daniel acquiesced. He could find no fault in Raymond’s logic. That was when Raymond presented him with a black credit card which already bore Daniel’s name. It had a limit but Raymond assured him it could be used to purchase a private jet with no more than a call to verify that he was indeed in possession of and was knowingly using his card. Raymond insisted that, just for practice, Daniel would use the card to cover all expenses they would incur during their holiday weekend, including the men’s store shopping spree.

Back at the penthouse, Raymond showed Daniel a very large wall safe hidden behind a panel inside the walk-in closet. “I’m not usually one to state the obvious but you have a walk-in safe in your walk-in closet.”

Raymond chuckled, “Sounds pretty strange when you say it like that. Still, I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” There was a camera used for a retina scan as well as voice recognition software. The software was set up to measure and compare the pulse in the fingertip and within the eye. With a minimum of persuasion and just the smallest of shoves, Daniel’s voice and then retina were recorded. Daniel offered, “I wouldn’t be shocked if “Q” or “M” were suddenly beamed into your bedroom.” After seeing a harsh glance from Raymond, Daniel reconsidered his just uttered statement for how he might have offended Raymond. “Ok, ok, OUR bedroom.” Raymond’s enthusiastic grin let Daniel know that he had made his lover happy with a simple altered sentiment.

Raymond’s grin faded only a little as he spoke, “We’re major investors in several high tech start-ups. We sometimes act as beta testers. Mary Lou is still in the testing phase. The engineers also are testing the system but with them, the system is not totally isolated. Each member’s AI interacts with the other member’s AI. They learn from each other. Mary Lou is stand-alone software with a multitude of hardware interfaces. My team and I agree it's better to ere on the side of caution when it comes to AI autonomy.”

Once the safe was opened, Daniel could see stacks of cash, jewelry, and, what was obviously, three passports, along with a couple of handguns, two Mac 10 type 9mm automatic pistols with multiple canister type magazines and three bulletproof vests. There were also two four-drawer file cabinets. By way of explanation, Raymond offered, “Before we sold the international portion of our pipeline business, we dealt with a couple of Russian oligarchs. Those guys make the Italian and Jewish mafias look like choir boys. You’re not the only one in this room that’s had to fight for his life. Like I said, ‘It’s better to have it.’”

Raymond selected ten $100 bills from the only loose stack of currency. Dividing the bills he insisted Daniel take five. It seemed to Daniel as if Raymond were encouraging him to have a cookie instead of a hefty sum of cash. As if to reinforce the idea this was a casual or even common occurrence, Raymond added, “Anytime you’re in town, you can stop by and help yourself.” Closing the safe, he pointed to the combination dial. “It also has mechanical access. The combination is your birthday, date, then the month followed by the last two individual digits of the year. It goes right, left, right then left again. The mechanical combination only works if the backup batteries have died and they’re designed to last six months at a minimum. It’s actually safer than most bank vaults.” Silently, Daniel wondered how long his birthday had been the combination to Raymond’s safe?

Later that morning, thanks to more of Raymond’s insistence and Mark Sanford’s assistance, Daniel soon owned more clothes than he ever had. He had more suits, shoes, belts, three identical khaki colored Stetsons and certainly more neckties than he felt any man should own at any given time, maybe even in a lifetime. The suits were by designers, some of whom he had never heard of. This was definitely not Walmart, not even the Men’s Wearhouse.

He wanted to draw the line at a tuxedo fitting but Raymond reminded him of their upcoming wedding and even threatened to call “Mom”. Daniel relented. He admitted he was rather fond of the comfortable jeans with, what looked like, a permanently starched, freshly ironed crease.

The fact that he had enjoyed this particular shopping experience caused Daniel a few moments of introspection. Mark Sanford was just so damn friendly and his staff was so accommodating. Daniel was convinced the man sincerely enjoyed outfitting him, beyond the hellacious amount of money they were spending. Finally, he decided that what really made it nice was that any time spent with Raymond was a pleasure. That would be the case whether they were mucking stalls together or experiencing, firsthand, the view from the Eiffel Tower. The man was a joy to be around. Plus he was sex on a stick. A big stick. Daniel chuckled for no apparent reason. Raymond eyed him suspiciously but made no comment.

Settling the bill, Daniel was shocked to see the total was more than he had ever spent at any one time, outside of buying his used truck and ‘that’ he had financed. Shaking Mark’s hand in real gratitude, Daniel slipped the man a $100 bill as a tip. Earlier, when he had suggested Daniel should tip Mark and how much, Raymond explained that he tried to always tip in cash. That could increase the value of the tip by twenty percent or more if the recipient decided not to declare it on their income tax. Credit card tips pretty much removed that option.

They took whatever did not require tailoring with them. Daniel scheduled a final fitting for the following Saturday. As he suggested the date, Daniel winked at a smiling Raymond. Both men knew that that appointment meant another weekend in Dallas, away from prying eyes and wagging tongues.

The rest of the day was spent in leisure at the penthouse. Daniel was impressed with the indoor pool and the workout facilities. Raymond was impressed with the blowjob he got as he kept a lookout through the window in the door of the sauna.

The choice as to where to have a late Saturday night dinner was left to Daniel. One of several choices was a highly touted steakhouse. Having heard of their reputation for great steaks. Daniel decided on going with beef a traditional Texas entree. He was not disappointed.

Neither man owned “club” clothes. Both wore jeans and boots with a button down shirt and a leather sports coat. Raymond explained that when he went clubbing, he never wore anything that marked him as a professional or anything denoting wealth. He almost never got drunk but he always went alone and always took a taxi. He wasn’t out to impress anybody long term. He went seeking sex, not a relationship. Tonight would be the first time in a very long time in which he went to drink, dance and to simply enjoy another man’s company. Tonight, he was out to have a good time with the man he loved. The security team would be the designated drivers.

It came as a pleasant surprise to both men when each discovered his partner was actually a pretty good dancer. Raymond had his college experiences as well as clubbing as the source of his “moves”. Daniel explained that time spent on the dance floor with strange but willing women meant fewer questions regarding his sexual prowess or orientation. He confided to Raymond that being closeted required a lot of dedicated energy.

It should be noted that both men had opportunities for a variety of dance partners and blatantly offered sexual favors.

They were pleasantly surprised to run into Mark Sanford and his husband Diego Cardozo. Raymond quickly asked the pair to join them. He bought a round of drinks. They soon learned Diego was an architect. When asked, Daniel said simply that he was in “law enforcement”. Both men respected his obvious hesitancy to elaborate. Mark talked about meeting Jeff and Paul and that he, Diego and their six-year-old daughter, Marissa, looked forward to visiting Jeff’s ranch in the upcoming year. This sparked a discussion about Raymond’s niece and his own impending fatherhood. When asked their plans for New Year’s Eve, Diego laughed and told them this was their first night out alone in a couple of months.Their New Year’s Eve was to be spent with Marissa watching the ball drop and celebrating with sparkling grape juice. Mark smirked as Raymond and Daniel chuckled, then he offered, “Just wait, your times coming. You two will be lucky to get out of the house together, without the baby, even once before the first year has passed. It’s not about trusting babysitters. It’s about worry, fear, and guilt. You two will see what I mean.” Diego smiled and nodded in agreement with his husband.

Soon, Diego made their apologies but stated that while their daughter was overnighting with her cousin it was prime time for her daddies to get some rare uninterrupted one on one time. Mark scolded his husband, all the while smiling, standing, then offering his hand to Raymond and Daniel. The two couples expressed an interest in getting to know each other in the near future. Numbers were exchanged with promises to call. Daniel was pleased that Mark had not made mention of having heard their morning piss call.

Not long after their company departed, Daniel decided he needed to “make a piss call”. He wondered if the memory of this mornings interrupted piss had inspired his bladder to suddenly feel full. Raymond said he would fetch their last round unless Daniel was willing to let him “lend a hand”. Both men laughed. Raymond went for drinks and Daniel went to take a leak.

Daniel was just past the initial “Aahhh” stage of a much-needed piss when a man stepped up to the trough a couple of feet to Daniel’s right. Daniel noted the man was black and subconsciously decided he was not a threat. This threat/competition assessment took no longer than the visual “once over” Daniel gave the man. He was somewhat shorter at under six feet. While the man was well built, Daniel had a good twenty-pound weight advantage and a distinct reach advantage. He absently noted the man was well hung and cut. Every man glances at another man and his equipment. A percentage of men do much more than simply glance.

Daniel jumped when the man said, “Evening Sheriff Lovan. I’m sure surprised to see you here with Mr. Cargill. I never had a clue about you. Guess my gaydar needs recalibrating. Of course, I haven’t really seen Mr. Cargill around enough to get any kind of vibe from him.”

For the second time in a single day, Daniel’s urine flow involuntarily came to a screeching halt. The staccato images of his being outed, accompanied by the hue and cry of the local born-again citizenry, not to mention the condemnation of his coworkers, all flashed through his mind. The man must have sensed Daniel’s discomfort. He rushed to add, “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not gonna tell anyone I saw you here. I just hope you’ll give me the same consideration.” Somewhere, in the back of his mind, Daniel wondered if the man always talked so fast?

Daniel took a moment to more clearly see the man. He had short cropped hair with a flat top that was actually flat. His lips were full, not unlike Raymond’s. His upper lip held a more pronounced “Cupid’s bow” than did Raymond’s, thus his upper lip was more lush. Mentally, Daniel wondered how he knew the upper lip was said to sometimes be shaped like Cupid’s bow? The man had a prominent, yet not wide nose. That, along with his caramel complexion indicated some mixed heritage. He looked vaguely familiar.

He introduced himself. “I’m Nathaniel Greene. I’m with the city police department back home. My dad has a small ranch just outside town and I used to spend summers working with him. Last year he had an accident with a tractor and I moved here to help out and kind of look after him. I was with the Las Vegas PD and got a job working for the city when I moved here. I damn sure knew I wasn’t about to work for your predecessor, that racist, homophobic, rat bastard. I had a run in with him a couple of summers back where he advised my white friends that they should be more choosy about the company they kept. It’s a cryin’ shame such a big cock and such physical perfection could be wasted on such an evil bastard as our recently departed Sheriff. I admit I jerk off to his videos that were recently circulated. Although, I try not to think about him as a person, just his cock, and body. I wonder if it would piss him off or maybe even turn him on to know that he is now being sexually objectified by lots of gay men”?

Nathaniel shook his head as if to clear away an errant thought and continued, “Anyway, I’m not out either. As you well know, that would not be readily accepted in our chosen profession, especially in hicksville, where we live. Not to change the subject, but, I just put in my application to work for you at the Sheriff’s Department. A couple of my buddies have also applied. We all agreed you would be a better boss than our Chief and certainly a better choice for the county than the last Sheriff, may he rot in hell, as my Jewish grandmother used to say.

“Anyway, I didn’t follow you in here. But, I figured since we both heeded the call, it would be rude not to at least say hello. We can definitely keep our meeting on the DL. I just want you to know that I never have and never will let my personal life interfere with executing my professional duties or let it impact my professional conduct. Even if you shitcan my application tomorrow, no one will ever learn anything about your private life from me. Besides, at least one of my buddies on the city force that also applied is better qualified than me and he’s married to a woman.” Then with a wink, he added, “But, he also likes to pitch and catch for our team.”

Giving his cock a few flops and squeezing out the last drops, Nathaniel tucked himself away and offered, “Sheriff, you might want to finish pissing or else put that monster away before you attract some unwanted attention. I get the impression Mr. Cargill is not the sharing kind.” He walked away with Daniel’s eyes following him closely. At the door, he turned and added, “I hope to hear from you about my application. In any case, y’all have a Happy New Year.”

The slight buzz Daniel had felt before he came to piss was completely eroded by this sudden, one-sided, somewhat disjointed conversation. It had been a cold dose of reality. He quickly tucked himself back into his jeans and hurried to find Raymond.

His partner was sitting at their table with fresh drinks. When their eyes met, Raymond’s smile morphed into a look of serious concern. “Daniel, what’s wrong? Are you sick or something”?

Daniel swallowed hard. “No, I’m okay. Can we leave now”? Looking around furtively, he added, “I just wanna get the hell outta here.”

Raymond grabbed their jackets and together they left the club. Once in the car, Daniel muttered, “I think I was just outed.”

One of the Guards overheard and asked, “Mr. Adams do we need to take so preemptive action here. You know we can be quite persuasive if it’s needed.”

Daniel answered instead, “NO! Just get us home. We can deal with all this later. Besides, the guy insisted he was not interested in outing me or himself.” Daniel remembered that all the security people were either gay or gay-friendly. This guard’s almost too eager offer indicated he had dealt with being outed himself or someone close to him had to deal with it. Daniel quickly added, “But thanks. It’s always good to know we have backup.” The guard nodded and added, “Anytime.” Then resumed his professionally detached persona.

With some coaxing on Raymond’s part, along with a couple of leading questions, and a lot of reassurances, Daniel revisited the encounter and eventually accepted the idea that Nathaniel Greene was, most likely, just as he presented himself… a fellow gay law enforcement officer who would like to be considered for a job as one of Daniel’s deputies. There was no reason to panic or to be fearful of blackmail. Raymond recommended that Daniel consider Officer Greene’s application just as he would any of the others he had received.

Daniel was thoughtful for some time, then he said, “Raymond, I think I would like to learn more about the private security business. I almost shit myself when I was confronted by a gay man that “knew” I was closeted. I would like to prepare for a life after coming out. For a moment, it was like my life had literally just exploded. All the lies I ever told about being straight were laid bare. You were the only thing that kept me from losing it completely. I wonder how I would have reacted if this had happened six months ago?

“I know that family life with a closeted mate was not something you envisioned for yourself. Now, I have to wonder now how long you can put up with this charade, my charade? I’m also not sure how long I’m willing to hide the fact that I love you. Before we got together this time, I had actually considered not coming out until after I retired. Now, I have you and soon we’ll be married and not long after we will be responsible for a little one. It just doesn’t make sense to be closeted anymore.”

Raymond gently shook the hand he was holding. “Daniel, listen to me, I’m in a situation that has allowed me to be out practically from the time I knew I was gay. There were consequences, but I had help from people who love me. Sure, there have been instances where people reacted poorly, sometimes even violently. But, most couldn’t afford to be too judgemental because of my physical size or they wanted to avoid incarceration or they needed our business. My profession and my livelihood are not dependant on my being closeted.

I worry enough about you risking your life just being a cop. If your coming out means that your cohorts might be even just a little bit slower in responding to your call for backup, then definitely. Do. Not. Come. Out. I love you too much to let you risk your safety by exposing an aspect of, of who you are that shouldn’t even be of any concern to coworkers in the first place.

“If you want to give up your chosen profession and any chance to be Sheriff, then come out tomorrow. We can move to Dallas or New York or wherever you want. You can start overseeing our security services. Ilya would be happy to train you. He keeps talking about retiring. He can certainly afford to. Oh hell, you can go back to school or take parenting classes and be a stay at home Dad. I’ll love you just the same, no matter what you choose to do. I just don’t want to even imagine a future without you.”

Daniel was awed by Raymond’s words. Before he could respond, Raymond continued, “Something to consider also is that having people suspect you might be gay is not the same as their knowing it as a confirmed fact. I have seen the reaction I sometimes get with people who know I’m gay and I’ve seen them react more positively toward someone who they only suspect might be gay. There is a world of difference. It’s almost as if they can live with the doubts but not the certainty. If you come out, there will be certainty and certainly not be a snowball’s chance in hell of ever becoming Sheriff.”

They rode in silence for a few moments. Finally, Daniel offered softly, “I want to be Sheriff. But, I don’t want to run the risk of losing you. I would like, if you can support the idea, I would like to run for Sheriff and if elected, come out a couple of months after I’m sworn in. They can’t kick me out of office just for being gay, even in Texas. If it gets too bad, I can always resign. The question is, can you stay with me through all that”?

“Daniel, I hope that eventually, we can get to the point where questions of supporting each other become moot. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to reassure each other. I know that we really haven’t been together very long. It seems a dream that I’ve trapped you into agreeing to marry me.” This last was accompanied by a squeezing of Daniel’s hand and a sly smile.

Raymond continued, “Lawman, if your hellaciously loud snoring and your gawdawful stinky farting in your sleep have not driven me from your bed.” This was followed by muffled snickers from the front seat. “I hardly think a little thing like being closeted for a few more months will be our undoing. Being closeted, to me, is just a matter of keeping some personal information to yourself. Like what kind of underwear one wears. No one needs to know if its boxers or briefs or even if it’s a thong.” That statement sparked a vision that Daniel cursed himself for developing. It was like Homer Simpson and donuts…. Raymond in a thong…. Daniel forced himself to erase the fantasy, “DOH!” and listen as Raymond continued. “No one needs to know anyone else’s orientation unless they want to have sex with that individual. I’ve never in my life followed up an introduction by saying, “Oh, by the way, I’m gay.

“So yes, I can handle your being in the closet. You may change your mind about the timing of your coming out and that won’t bother me in the least. Whether it’s months or years, as long as you live with me and our child in the same house, everything else, we can deal with.”

Oddly enough the rest of the ride to the penthouse centered around how much time Daniel felt he could take for a honeymoon. Raymond was of a mind that a honeymoon was unnecessary. After all, they could fuck anytime Daniel cared to cross the street to Raymond’s office or as soon as he walked through the door at the ranch. A third option was Daniel’s office but that would have to absolutely be after hours… wouldn’t it?

Once they bade the guards goodnight and Mary Lou had her say, they settled in the den in front of the gas fireplace. Daniel sipped his whisky. “Do you realize that in less than six weeks we will be an old married couple”?

“Buddy, not only that but by this time next year, we'll be an old married couple with children. We’ll soon be like Mark and Diego eager for any opportunity to fuck in the kitchen or living room without curious eyes.”

“Well, we may have some time after the baby arrives before we have to start locking our bedroom door.”

“Speaking of doors, does your place in Hawaii really have room enough for both families and all the guests at our wedding”?

“Well, if we keep it to both immediate families and your adopted Aunt and Uncle, then yes. If needed, we can bus the overflow from one of the local hotels. Come to think of it, we should make up a guest list and give it to Mom and Aunt Mellie. I’m sure they’ve already invited half the town. You may not have to worry about coming out, after all. It may be a moot point. Do you have any Marine or college friends or others you trust that you might want to invite? I want to invite some of the folks I have worked with over the years. Of course, we’ll invite Jeremy. I don’t think he’s gotten over being yelled at not to open that door.” That sparked a shared chuckle as well as lust-inciting memories.

Shaking his head to dispel yet another fantasy, Daniel stated, “Well, Mom won’t invite anyone who doesn’t already know I’m gay and has kept the secret. Aunt Mellie will, I trust, use similar discretion. I may be surprised by a couple of names on their lists, but I won’t worry about anyone they might invite spilling the beans.”

“You know Daniel, there could be some not so negative aspects of gay men having been closeted. If gays had been readily accepted your Dad and his buddy Frank, they might never have gotten married to women. Then, where would you be? You can bet Malcolm Forbes’ kids and grandkids are glad he was closeted for at least a few years.”

“That may be. I worry that some folks want it to be not only unacceptable but to be totally obliterated. Like those folks who tried to deny same-sex relationships in ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Like the Catholic church loping off cocks and balls on statues as though they never existed. In reality, loping off statue penis' is probably the least of their offenses.

“I sometimes look at vintage pictures of men on Youtube and see them arm in arm, holding hands, sharing a look or even kissing and I automatically look at those pics with a mindset that says things were different then. Those men were just expressing their close friendship, there was nothing sexual or any showing real love for one another. Then I realize that photography isn’t really that old and an embrace or holding hands means affection. A kiss is still a kiss. I know that my mindset came from folks who had an almost unconscious agenda. They have been convinced that “queers” undermine their religion and their society. I think an anti-gay bias permeates our modern culture and is so ingrained and insidious that we just accept it when someone says being gay is not natural. Those folks wanted to and still, want to deny even the slightest bit of evidence that gay men even exist and have existed throughout history. They try to make every gay man today feel isolated and “queer”. Like letters exchanged between men in Victorian times that sound just like love letters, our parents might have written to each other. I have to remind myself that letters professing undying love are just that, love letters. Those, are the folks that accept that Abraham Lincoln slept in the same bed with the same man for four years. But, insist it was common practice and never the least bit sexual. Letters Lincoln sent to that “friend” often ended with “forever yours”. Lincoln contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. I'm convinced it was because of his sexual orientation, just as many suicides are today. Another man he shared a “narrow bed” with for eight months stated that Lincoln “...had the most perfect thighs.” The folks that deny all this refuse to accept that homosexual attraction may have had a place in “their Lincoln’s” life. My contention is, so what? If he loved men and had sex with men, how would that diminish him or change history? Yet those folks think it would be a sacrilege to “smear” the great man’s reputation. As I recall, the man who most vociferously denied any “gay” behavior on Lincoln's part was later selected to head the Lincoln Library. Again, how would sucking cock make someone less of a man? Ancient history doesn’t show that it adversely impacted Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar. Julius was known then as “the queen who became a king.. The man most credited with winning battles in the American revolution was openly gay. ironically enough the Navy named a nuclear submarine after him.”

“Wow! You’ve really done some research into gay history. I’m pretty sure neither of us will be historical figures. But, you never can tell. I do understand about the mindset which really translates into almost subliminal prejudice and bigotry. Even the most liberal straight’s knee-jerk reaction is to deny any man in history might have liked to take it up the ass. Gays may occasionally write and often teach history, but conservative straight people are most often the ruling majority and those folks seldom want to admit anyone ever had sex, let alone gay sex.”

Raymond continued, “But, the two of us will have something none of those men in history seldom had… a marriage license.”

“Yeah, if Lincoln could have married Steed, he probably wouldn’t have ended up with such a harridan for a wife.”

Silence settled around them. Daniel patted Raymond’s thigh and released a sigh. “Thanks for being here for me. It means a lot to me that you are willing to accept the baggage that I carry. Nathaniel may not have been the only man to see me in that club tonight and know who I am. I know, with your help and understanding I can deal with that possibility. I may not be out to our town and county but, that doesn’t mean we will hide out with Mary Lou when we come to Dallas.”

That night ended without a heated round of sex. It was the first time the two shared a bed through the night and just slept. Before they slept, Raymond remembered to have Mary Lou close the bedroom drapes.

Daniel started the night out in Raymond’s arms but awoke holding his lover. As sleep quickly evaporated he realized that it didn’t matter who held whom, it was the closeness that mattered. A closeness that he needed, yet couldn’t really explain, even to himself. It was just important to be “close” to Raymond and now, he could be very close to Raymond most all the time.

Even as this thought brought a smile to his face, his bladder exerted dominance. Daniel chuckled softly as he remembered an anatomy joke whose punchline was, “You don’t have to have a brain or a heart to be in charge. You can be a real asshole.” Daniel admitted there were times his bodily functions could override his brain and his heart. His sexual attraction to Raymond would have to wait, at least for a couple of minutes.

When he finished pissing he found his lover still slumbering. Even mostly covered with the duvet, Raymond was a sexy man. Daniel climbed back into bed and pulled his lover close. “Raymond, hon, wake up, you’re snoring again.” Raymond groggily opened his eyes. “Huh? Wha…? Did I snore? Did I wake you”?

“No, not really. But, I’m horny and I didn’t want to fuck you in your sleep. I was raised to be considerate of others.”

Raymond smiled as the fog of sleep was dispelled. He snuggled closer and tugged at Daniel’s closest nipple. “You know, you just gave me license to fuck you the next time I wake up before you. We both know you are much more considerate than I could ever be.”

“No, I didn’t give you any license expect the promise of a marriage license. I seriously doubt that, without the use of drugs, either of us could be penetrated while still asleep. But, if you play your cards right we can fuck each other before breakfast.” Raymond, later decided he had been dealt a winning hand. Each man had managed to plant his seed deep inside his lover, before breakfast.

Sunday holidays are oftentimes confusing. Celebrating on a day that usually is a day of rest and preparation for the coming week just seems weird but in a good way. The day passed in conversations with family and friends. Raymond received a number of last-minute invitations, many of which had been officially proffered months before. He politely refused each. His plans were to revolve around his lover. They had reservations for a late dinner at an exclusive club where they could dine, mingle and dance with gay and straight couples without pretense. They could be themselves, a loving couple.

It was after dinner and before the ball dropped that they found themselves being rushed to the door by their security team. On the way to the penthouse, they were informed there had been an attack and that Dave had received a flesh wound.

Soon, they were assured the situation was under control. There was no threat to either Jeff, Paul nor anyone else in the family. The perpetrator, a scorned woman, had been shot and subdued. Raymond relayed the details to Daniel. He then texted his concern for Dave to his partner Sam. He called Ilya and asked that a “well done” be passed to all security team members for their speedy and professional reactions to protect the family from a probable attack.

The ball dropped as Raymond and Daniel lay sprawled naked as they sipped champagne and viewed fireworks through windowed walls stained with cum and sweaty body outlines. Daniel insisted he could make out Raymond’s cock print. He further mused that cock prints might be significant evidence in a forensic investigation. Raymond shut him up by stuffing his mouth, first with his tongue then with the cock in question. 2018 was welcomed by at least one happy and very sated couple.

Copyright © 2017 sojourn; 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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Chapter Comments

9 minutes ago, Daddydavek said:

Good to get another chapter and I have to say, the ball drop left an imprint on more than the glass.  

LOL!

I am pleased to say that some of the fiction I share is sometimes based on personal experiences. That's all I'll say about that.

As always thanks for commenting.

Jim

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Hey....I'm not trying to be critical here, this is strictly my opinion and you can take it or leave it....I enjoy this story, as you know, but there were times in this chapter where it felt like a soapbox and I decided to skip those parts. I enjoy the story, not the soapbox. Otherwise, good job. Looking forward to more.. 

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Lovely chapter, so glad to get a new one from you.  Daniel and Raymond are so self aware.   Can't wait for the election and the wedding.  Keep up the good work.

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23 minutes ago, JayT said:

Hey....I'm not trying to be critical here, this is strictly my opinion and you can take it or leave it....I enjoy this story, as you know, but there were times in this chapter where it felt like a soapbox and I decided to skip those parts. I enjoy the story, not the soapbox. Otherwise, good job. Looking forward to more.. 

 

I actually liked those parts a lot; but then probably because I fully agree with them.  Have actually met the man and find I was 100 percent in agreement, and the handshake was very sweaty, had to wipe my hand right afterward.  That was a couple of years ago but doubt it has changed.

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17 minutes ago, centexhairysub said:

Lovely chapter, so glad to get a new one from you.  Daniel and Raymond are so self aware.   Can't wait for the election and the wedding.  Keep up the good work.

To be honest, it feels good to get back in touch with the guys. Reality sucks.

If you read more comments and responses, you'll see how important your opinion of "so self aware" really is to me. 

Thanks for reading and thanks for your many comments.

Jim

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Glad to see another chapter.

While Jeff started out the main character and I still love his and Paul's love story, we benefit from his connection to the other characters, as he has been our introduction to them.  Some could be in standalone stories of their own.  

Raymond and Daniel are now my favorite couple in this story, it's a win/win whomever gets highlighted, as you are weaving such an engrossing tale.

 

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In a politically polarized environment such as exists today, I'm not surprised that two people starting a personal relationship discuss in depth their political thoughts and feelings.  Whether I agree with them is not important, it's whether they find common ground and common beliefs that are important to their characters and development.  So I recommend anyone who is less than sympathetic to the beliefs of the characters to skim those parts as some have noted.  However, if you take the time to read them, you might begin to understand where they are coming from and that they are entitled to their opinions as they have thought about it and aren't just spouting one party line or the other.  

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1 minute ago, Daddydavek said:

In a politically polarized environment such as exists today, I'm not surprised that two people starting a personal relationship discuss in depth their political thoughts and feelings.  Whether I agree with them is not important, it's whether they find common ground and common beliefs that are important to their characters and development.  So I recommend anyone who is less than sympathetic to the beliefs of the characters to skim those parts as some have noted.  However, if you take the time to read them, you might begin to understand where they are coming from and that they are entitled to their opinions as they have thought about it and aren't just spouting one party line or the other.  

Thanks so much. I really appreciate your input. Your comments sometimes challenge me but they always gets my undivided attention.

Thanks again,

Jim

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14 hours ago, Wesley8890 said:

Omg I missed these guys! Oh and you! Liked to scare me to death during the bathroom scene!

I rather enjoyed writting that. My favorite part was when Daniel caught on and tackled Raymond.

Thanks so much for posting your comments. It's good to be posting again.

Jim

24 hours later and I realize I missed your point entirely. Sorry about that. I was thinking about the phone call in the bathroom. I know, I messed up. As to Nathaniel, I see him eventually becoming a deputy that provides Daniel with solid support. I also have an inkling as to Nathaniel's love life. But, that I won't share, just yet.

Sorry for the confusion I must have caused you. I'm sure you asked yourself what I was talking about. Still, I did enjoy Daniel's payback.

Jim

Edited by sojourn
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1 hour ago, sojourn said:

 "As soon as "Uncle Raymond" was mentioned in chapter two or three, I knew he would somehow become very important to the story. i didn't intitialy see him as Jeff's brother. That just goes to show how things sometimes go in unexpected directions."

Your comment is a reminder that the stories an author starts tend to take lives of their own, the characters use the author as the vessel to tell their story and it may go in a direction never initially intended, :read:.

I hope you enjoy the ride they are taking you on.

 

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I’ve missed this story and these characters.  Daniel seems to be handling his newfound wealth status much better than Paul has been.  I do hope Nathaniel is exactly as he says he is and his credentials hold up. He sounds like he would be a good fit for the sheriffs dept. can’t wait for the wedding in Hawaii. Thanks for the new chapter. 

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I enjoy this story...so very much!!! You give credence to their feelings that make them come to life in today's reality, you make them sexy, sensual, and sensible!! I for one enjoy them having an opinion and being able to have and exciting life!! Your story in just that...YOURS...originated by you, told by you in your own unique way...and we LOVE it!! One of my favorite families on the site...thank you for sharing!!! :2thumbs::heart:

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This is blank because I failed to "quote" fromt the appropriate "comment". My comment without the "quote" looked like I was talking to no one. So, I qouted properly and did a cut and past.

sorry.

Jim

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10 hours ago, Onim said:

I enjoy this story...so very much!!! You give credence to their feelings that make them come to life in today's reality, you make them sexy, sensual, and sensible!! I for one enjoy them having an opinion and being able to have and exciting life!! Your story in just that...YOURS...originated by you, told by you in your own unique way...and we LOVE it!! One of my favorite families on the site...thank you for sharing!!! :2thumbs::heart:

Thank you for such an encouraging comment. I am blown away. I think I will be posting more reliably now. I think I had to realize it is my story and that I had to write what i felt the characters wanted to say. I certainly don['t expect to put polarizing issues into every chapter. But, I think these folks have voiced their opinions on some weighty matters.

Thanks again for posting your comments.

Jim

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16 hours ago, glennish said:

I’ve missed this story and these characters.  Daniel seems to be handling his newfound wealth status much better than Paul has been.  I do hope Nathaniel is exactly as he says he is and his credentials hold up. He sounds like he would be a good fit for the sheriffs dept. can’t wait for the wedding in Hawaii. Thanks for the new chapter. 

Thank you. I picture Daniel as being much more mature than either Jeff or Paul. I think that helps to make him a good match for Raymond. That is not to say either Jeff or Paul are less than adult in their behaviors, But, Daniel has military and law enforcement experience. I feel that both afford one the opportunity to develop patience and maturity... to smooth out the edges... to calm one down. They dont change everyone that way but my military experience had a very profound impact on me.

I  think Nataniel will be, as you say, "a good fit". I have an even better fit for him with one of the characters with whom everyone is already familiar.

Thanks again for posting your comments.

Jim

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I have just finished reading all 39 chapters and it was very pleasant reading I will look forward to reading the rest when posted

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Just rereading the story, after this week's happenings, the conversation Raymond and Daniel had couldn't be more relevant! Great work! 

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On 1/6/2021 at 4:19 AM, damejintymcginty said:

Just rereading the story, after this week's happenings, the conversation Raymond and Daniel had couldn't be more relevant! Great work! 

I believe serious crimes were committed yesterday. Not all perpetrators were uninvited visitors to our Capital Building. Some of those criminals were elected to represent the people and yet sought to cast aside the results of a legitimate election in favor of establishing a dictatorship. For a senator or congressman to say they were challenging the election results as a “formal protest” and not an act of sedition of treason is just more convenient political bullshit. Can you say “plausible deniability”?
I believe everyone who entered that building yesterday should be charged with felony trespass at the least and should be criminally connected with the deaths that resulted from that trespass.

Being fooled is not the same as being innocent. An individual is responsible for their beliefs and their actions taken in support of those beliefs. Just as we insist terrorists be held accountable  so must these perpetrators face justice.

if serious consequences are not enforced against the perpetrators and instigators alike (politicians and media sources) what hope has democracy here in America? Are we like some 3rd world country where internal strifes are resolved by riots and bloodshed, instead of peaceful discourse?

Jim

 

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I quite agree, Jim. There must be consequences. To try and hold on to power at any cost,  by putting out a false narrative that incites this behaviour  proves that he and those who enable him are not fit for public office. 

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Verry Nice chapter good job. It’s a great story love the way you describe people who are rich but don’t look down on people with less than they have.

I hope??

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