Harlan pulled up in front of Gary's little house in Crescent City. Looking over, he met the eyes of his father. "Well, we're back."
Gary smiled and nodded. He looked so odd to Harlan. His hair was just beginning to return - at least in the spots it still grew on his balding head. So his head was a bit like a patchy peach - fuzzy, but only in spots.
But he was alive. His dad was alive, and he would keep getting better. And it was finally sinking in that Gary's attitude toward Harlan had made a titanic shift. He no longer held any prejudice toward gays, and Gary daily proved to Harlan that he was deeply sorry for how he had treated Harlan when he was younger.
"Thanks for driving." Gary patted Harlan's shoulder. "Thanks for everything, son." His eyes communicated the depth of his gratitude. "I don't think I'll ever be able to repay you. You saved my life." He swallowed and nodded. "You saved my life, even though I didn't deserve it."
Harlan shook his head. "You've punished yourself enough, Dad." His green eyes stared into Gary's. "Let's just move on."
Gary looked at him a moment longer, then he nodded. "All right. I appreciate that, son." He took a breath. "I don't know your plans, but I'd be real happy if you could find a way to stick around a while." He shook his head. "Not to take care of me - you've done enough on that front for a lifetime already. But," he frowned and looked as if he might get emotional, "it has been really nice having my son back."
Harlan slowly nodded. "Well, I was gonna ask you about the shop." He smiled slightly at Gary. "The name of the place is 'Flemming and Son'."
Gary stared at him, and his face twitched. Harlan recognized that expression - he did exactly the same thing when he tried to stop himself from crying. Gary held himself together and bit his lip. "You'd want to help with the shop?"
"I do. Though I need my own space. So I figure I can rent a cabin at the campground for the rest of the summer, and drive into town for work. You okay with that?"
The older Flemming breathed, and he nodded. "I think that'd be great, son." He sighed. "I know being here probably cost you your job. So it's the least I can do. And it'll be really good to have you here."
"Being here didn't cost me anything that I wasn't willing to pay, Dad." Harlan opened his door. "Come on. Let's get you settled. Then I'm gonna go see about a long-term cabin rental at the campground."
Harlan helped his dad into the house - the same one he grew up in. As he stepped inside, Harlan looked around.
"Whoa." His eyes widened and he turned in place to take in the whole room.
Every wall had multiple pictures of Harlan - from his childhood all the way up to the last year they had spoken. It had the feeling of a reverent space - a shrine to a father's love.
And as he stood there, Harlan's face twitched.
July 26 (Thursday, 7:04 a.m.)
Orson sat at the picnic table. Joseph was right beside him and desperately clung to his coffee mug as he tried to wake up. He'd recently worked some varying shifts, and it had thrown his sleep pattern off. As a result, the policeman only had only gotten a few hours of sleep last night. Orson looked over at his sleepy, cuddly officer as the blonde man leaned against him.
"Why don't you go back to bed for an hour?"
Joseph blinked as Orson spoke to him. He yawned, sat up and took another slug of coffee. "I'll be fine." He shook his head to get rid of the cobwebs. "I don't want to throw off my schedule. I want to be good by Saturday for the ceremony."
"You're a stubborn man, you know that?" Orson smiled and kissed the side of Joseph's face.
Joseph shrugged and leaned back against Orson. The blonde man sighed, satisfied and happy even if he was tired. Orson shook his head with a laugh and put his arm around Joseph's broad shoulders.
Greg eyed the two while manning the frying pan. "You guys are cute." He grinned when Orson glanced at him. "I'm glad you found your way to each other."
Orson smiled, then looked down at Joseph's face. The man's eyes struggled to stay open, and as Orson watched, they slowly slid closed. Orson looked back up at Greg and grinned. "Yeah. Me too." Orson felt Joseph relax into him as he fell to sleep. "This one just went out." Orson made a face. "I do not miss those bouncing shifts."
Greg snorted. "Yeah, same here." He flipped a pancake. "Breakfast will be ready soon."
Orson nodded. "Thanks." He watched Greg as he worked for a bit, then took a breath. "Can I ask your opinion?"
"Sure." Greg put another pancake on a plate and picked it up along with a small pot of syrup he had warmed. He walked around the kitchen to the picnic table and put the food in front of Orson.
"Thanks, Greg." Orson picked up the syrup and drizzled it over the pancakes with one hand while the other arm still held his sleeping policeman against him. "I was talking to Elias about school. College, you know. And … Elias doesn't seem excited at all about it." He put down the syrup and picked up the fork. "He actually wants to use that money set aside for his school to build a ceramic studio. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it."
Greg stood a moment, then he sat across from Orson. The three of them were the only ones at the table currently, so it was a rare chance to talk alone. "I really like Elias, Orson. You know that." Orson nodded, and Greg continued, "Well, honestly, I don't think he'd do well in college. Not anytime soon. He's smart, but he's a few years behind in maturity. He's such a generous kid. I'm worried that he'd be taken advantage of."
Orson stared down at the pancakes. "Yeah." He nodded and bit his lip. "I do think you're right, and to add to that I also got an email from that art collector. The one we met in Chicago?"
"Oh yeah?" Greg looked at him, his eyes curious.
Orson cut his pancakes with his fork. "Yeah. He wants to commission a piece." Orson took a breath and let it out. "He will send a $10,000 deposit on Elias' next piece. He wants a sculpture of a serpent, twisted into an infinity symbol." Orson looked up at Greg's eyes. "Then when it's done, and if it meets with his approval he'll pay an additional $40,000."
Greg goggled. "What?!"
Orson made a face and nodded. "It's hard to say no to a ceramic studio for Elias when his pottery is flying off of shelves in town, and when he's getting offers like that." Orson eyed Greg. "You know, he's selling five to six mugs a day now? I'm starting to see them show up on eBay, marked up 200%."
Orson took a bite of his food and Greg mulled over this information. "So, do you think Elias can make this his career? Because he can do the eBay thing himself if that's what he wanted. He's only going to improve. His work is only going to get better. And if this art collector continues to buy his stuff, then … wow. He's going to have more money in the bank than all of us!"
Orson swallowed his food. "Yeah. How many people can say they're able to make a living at their passion?"
The two of them were quiet for a bit while Orson ate a little awkwardly with his one free hand. Finally, he pushed back his plate.
Greg picked it up and walked over to the kitchen sink. "I think, if Elias wants to do pottery and sculpture and put off college for a bit, then maybe that'd be for the best."
Orson nodded. "After talking about it, I think so too." He licked his lips, cleaning off a tiny bit of syrup stuck there. "That brings me to my next question. I know you were looking, but did you and Clay decide to buy the place next door?"
"We're seriously considering it." Greg began to wash the plate.
"Well, if you do, I'd like you to consider letting me buy that outbuilding on the property. I'd give you $25,000 for it. And Elias could set up his studio there." The little building near the house was set up to be a small workshop. And it looked suitable to convert to a studio to Orson's eye.
Greg's hands stopped moving. "Really?" He blinked. "Well, that'd go a long way toward purchasing the place." He had a look of concentration on his face. "Let me talk to Clay. I'll let you know as soon as I can."
Orson smiled and nodded. "Thanks." He looked down at Joseph. The man was drooling a little, and Orson shook his head. "Okay, I'm going to take this one back to bed. I'll be back."
Greg smiled as Orson woke Joseph. The groggy officer had lost his will to fight sleep, and he walked with Orson, one arm around the black-haired man's shoulders.
Orson took him inside, and he helped Joseph undress down to his briefs. "Okay, crawl in." Joseph did as he was told and got in under the blanket and sheet.
"Lay with me. For a little bit." Joseph blinked up at Orson. "Please?"
Orson sighed. He wanted to prepare for his part in the ceremony on Saturday. But Joseph looked so sleepy, handsome, and inviting. "I'll lay with you until you go to sleep. How about that?"
Joseph smiled and nodded. Orson sat on the edge of the bed. He removed his prosthetic, shoe, and got out of his cargo shorts. Then he took off his t-shirt and slipped under the sheet beside the warm body of Joseph.
"Roll on your side," he whispered, and Joseph turned. Orson put his arm around Joseph and spooned him. The blonde man made a sleepy, sound. Then his breathing smoothed, and piece by piece Orson felt him relax. Soon, Joseph slept.
Orson lay and gently rubbed his face against the back of Joseph's neck. He smelled the skin there, and he couldn't help but smile. He chuckled a little at himself.
'Okay, maybe I can lay here a little while.'
Orson didn't even feel it happen, but after only a few minutes he joined Joseph in sleep. And the two men dreamed, wrapped in each others' arms.
July 27 (Friday, 8:46 p.m.)
Jeremy was comfortable, his legs entwined with Mason's, as they sat on the bed facing one another. Each of them had a long, braided cord in their lap and they had steadily worked for a half hour a night on it for the last week. They had each picked the three colors that came to mind when they thought of the other, and they were braiding them into a long, strong, colorful cord.
For Mason, Jeremy used green, brown, and gray. They were all the colors of the outdoors - the colors of grass, and earth, and then stone. He worked at making the braid as tight and strong as possible. He wanted it to last.
Mason used blue, red, and yellow. "Blue for your eyes. Red for your awesome hair. And the yellow is the gold of your soul - because I don't know anybody more generous than you." That had been Mason's response when Jeremy asked what the colors signified.
This was Mason's show. He wanted to do something called a handfasting. The finished cords would be bound together, and then the combined cords would be used to bind their hands and signify the binding of their spirits as well. Mason wanted to do it along with Greg and Clay's wedding. The cords they made would be a part of the ceremony. It wasn't legally binding, but it was worth more to Mason for them to have a binding of the spirit, something which would be witnessed by all their friends and understood as a bond between them.
Greg and Clay already had their marriage license, and a few days ago they had asked Orson if he would become ordained and marry them. The man was happy to do so, and he went online to discover he could become ordained immediately. He walked out of his cabin a few minutes later to say, "Okay. I'm ordained. I'm ready to do this thing." Orson also said he would be happy to do the Handfasting as well, and that it would be done right along with Greg and Clay's wedding. A double wedding of sorts, though with only one legally binding.
Mason sighed and lay back to lean against the headboard. "I'm done." He smiled and picked up the long, slim cord. He looked at the tightly braided rope, then picked up the end of the one Jeremy still worked at braiding. He held them together in his hand, side by side. "I think they'll look good together."
Jeremy smiled. "I'm almost done. And yeah, I think you're right."
Mason smiled fondly at Jeremy. "I'm excited to do this. I know you might think it's silly, but …"
"No, I don't think it's silly, Mason," Jeremy said quickly. "I think it's a way for us to show people we're committed to each other. And those are the people most important to us." The redhead reached over and took his hand. "I think that is the farthest thing from 'silly' that I could imagine." He swallowed and looked into Mason's green eyes. "I think it's beautiful."
Mason grinned, leaned forward and kissed Jeremy. They enjoyed the moment, then they sat together with their foreheads touching. "Dad was excited when I told him, you know," Mason said quietly.
Jeremy closed his eyes and shook his head slightly. "I never would have imagined that Clay would ever be on board with … with us. That he would be okay with me being a part of your life like this."
"He has come a long way. I think we've got Greg and Orson to thank for that." Mason ran his hand through Jeremy's red hair, and his eyes moved around as he looked at Jeremy. He did this often, and Jeremy wondered what it was Mason saw when he looked at him.
"Yeah." Jeremy closed his eyes as Mason continued to stroke his head and hair. Jeremy's hands stopped moving, and they lay in his lap, the threads of his braiding forgotten in his fingertips.
Mason quietly shifted and moved as close as he could. Then Jeremy felt both of his hands as they lightly touched and caressed his skin. Waves of chill bumps rose and fell as Mason's fingers passed over the skin of Jeremy's face, and his head and throat.
"I love touching you," Mason whispered.
Jeremy smiled, his eyes still closed. "I'm glad. Because it's nice."
This continued for a few minutes. Then Mason gently pushed Jeremy down onto his back. He stripped the redhead, and then spent the next half-hour touching, loving, and connecting with Jeremy in the way only emotionally committed lovers can.
July 28 (Saturday, 6:10 a.m.)
"Four hours." Clay blew out a breath. "I get married in four hours." He stood in front of the mirror in the shower room. He had just gotten out of the shower, and he had a pair of shorts and a t-shirt on the bench in the room.
A nice pair of tan slacks and a peach shirt hung on hangers above the bench. The steam from the shower helped to relax the few wrinkles in the fabric, and Clay looked at the clothing, approval on his face. "Okay, good."
He glanced again at the mirror. Clay leaned forward and his eyes flicked over his reflection. 'Mostly gray hair, a few wrinkles around the eyes, a face that has seen over forty years now.' He took a slow breath. 'But … here I am. Getting married today.'
Clay smiled. "I'm marrying my best friend today." He took another breath. As he began to dress in his shorts and t-shirt, his mind whirled with what he had planned both for the wedding and for the surprise he had concocted with Orson.
Clay grabbed the hangers with his nice clothes. He looked at himself one more time in the mirror, and his grin was impressive. "It's gonna be a great day."
July 28 (Saturday, 7:32 a.m.)
Jeremy blew out a nervous breath. Orson was really accommodating and let both Mason and Jeremy use his bathroom to prepare themselves for the ceremony. It was now Jeremy's turn. Mason had already been in and out, and was in their cabin getting his clothes ready.
They hadn't closed the campground to others at all. Greg and Clay both wanted it to remain open. "Let the chaos and the happiness of the place be a part of it." Greg had grinned when he said it. They didn't want a stuffy or sterile affair - they wanted it to mirror their lives. And Jeremy found that agreeable in a sublime and deep way.
'Life is chaotic. And lately, with these guys, it has been really happy too.' Jeremy let a smile play on his lips and he raised the trimmer to make a final pass on his thick, handsome beard.
He was stripped at the waist in front of Orson's bathroom mirror. He spent a few minutes on carefully grooming himself. He wanted to look and be as perfect as he could, though he knew that he was far from perfect.
Jeremy rubbed his face and knocked loose the short, red hairs. He rinsed in the sink, then applied a fragrant, citrus-based oil to his beard. Mason loved the smell of it, and that meant lots of cuddling when Jeremy wore it.
He looked into his own blue eyes. "Okay. Okay," he whispered and nodded to himself. He struggled hard to make a choice - one that would have lasting repercussions on his own life, and that of Mason's. Jeremy searched himself for the strength he needed to truly and honestly make that decision, and to see it through.
And in the light of the morning sun, as it streamed through the small, high bathroom window, he found it.
July 28 (Saturday, 8:47 a.m.)
Greg returned from his walk around the loop. Everyone in the campground buzzed with the information he had just given them. He had told all the folks who were up and about that there would be a wedding held at ten and any who wished to see it may do so. He had no idea there would be such excitement from people who were essentially strangers.
After having given multiple people permission to record the ceremony, he finally included that in the information he doled out on his walk. "Yes, feel free to record the event. No problem."
The campground was almost at capacity. There were only one tent site and cabin left open for rent. Gary's son, Harlan, had returned and rented the second to last cabin yesterday evening. On his walk this morning, Greg had told him of the upcoming ceremony and Greg thought he had seen a smile flicker on Harlan's face before it vanished.
Greg entered the Airstream. His clothes hung neatly on a hanger, and he began to get changed. He did it slowly, carefully. He didn't want to tear off a button or rip anything. 'My luck, it'd happen now!' He snorted as he thought.
He and Clay both had tan slacks and nice, peach, short sleeve button-up shirts. Dark brown, glossy boots and a brown belt completed their attire. They'd both wear the peach shirts open a bit. They wanted it to look and be relaxed.
The boys had agreed to wear the same outfit so that they'd all match. Greg smiled to himself as he thought about what was about to happen. The plan was for Clay and Greg to be married by Orson while the boys stood by as their best men. Then they would trade spots.
Though there was a minor change in the program. Jeremy and Mason had no idea what was coming.
At that thought, Greg gave a secret little smirk. "Gonna be a good day."
July 28 (Saturday, 9:24 a.m.)
Mason turned to look at the back of his pants. He had forgotten and sat down, and now he frowned at a wrinkle on his leg. "Damn it." He rubbed at it with the palm of his hand. Then he sighed with relief as it mostly disappeared.
Mason picked up the cord he had made for Jeremy. The blue, yellow and red of the interwoven parts were so vibrant and he smiled as he looked at it. It was beautiful. And in it, Mason poured all of his feelings and love for Jeremy.
He slid the cord through his fingers. Then he checked his phone for the eighth time in fifteen minutes. He groaned. They still had thirty minutes before they were to meet up in the little open area next to the kitchen and the firepit. Mason was in his cabin, and the idea was they would all stay sequestered until time.
Jeremy and Clay both waited with Orson in his cabin while Greg was in the Airstream. Tradition demanded the grooms would not see one another until they went out to marry. And Jeremy thought it would be fun to adhere to the same tradition. At the moment, Mason hated it. He needed to share how he felt and he needed the calming influence Jeremy had on him.
Mason didn't know what exactly it was about Jeremy that had such a profound effect on his mental state. But Mason felt as if he needed to be attentive, engaged, and focused when the redhead was around. It was almost as if he were afraid he would miss something important.
He resisted the urge to check his phone yet one more time. "Relax. Relax, Mason."
Mason tapped his foot, profoundly unable to take his own advice.
He surrendered and looked again at his phone.
July 28 (Saturday, 9:55 a.m.)
"It's showtime, gents." Orson smiled at Clay and Jeremy. The two men grinned at Orson as he opened the door. Orson walked, the guys right on his heels.
Orson was dressed in charcoal slacks, black shoes, a belt, and a white button-up shirt. He looked the part of an officiant, and that was exactly what he wanted. He also worked very hard at normalizing his gait. Unless someone knew him, they would be hard-pressed to know that most of his right leg was a prosthetic.
Orson's eyes widened when he rounded the corner of the kitchen. There was a huge crowd of people. It looked as if almost every person in the campground was seated in a large circle around the site. People affably moved aside as they walked through. From the expressions on both Jeremy and Clay's faces, they were just as surprised as Orson.
For so many people, it was pretty quiet. They could hear the birds, the sound of the river to the south, and the wind as it blew through the tops of the tall trees nearby.
The others came as well, and they walked with awestruck smiles at the massed campers. Orson saw the Raven Kids and Joseph too. They were together in a spot almost directly in front of where he would look when performing the ceremony. Elias waved. Joseph sat on the grass, one arm around Elias, and he smiled as Orson's eyes met his.
Orson took up his position. Clay and Greg stood a little to his left, while Jeremy and Mason were to the right. Both of the younger guys held a colorful cord in their hands, while Clay and Greg only had their right hands closed around a small, precious treasure.
The black-haired man took a deep and satisfied breath. "To those of you gathered here, thank you for coming. These men wanted to share their moment with you, with anyone who wished to witness and be a part of this new chapter in their lives."
Orson then turned his smile on Greg. "Greg. You may now recite your vow to Clay."
Greg shifted so he stood before Clay. His hazel eyes were expressive and honest. "Clay. You were my partner in work. And after twenty years of that, you know me better than anyone." Greg grinned. "Yet here you are, still marrying me." That elicited a few chuckles from the crowd, and Clay smiled at Greg. Greg took a breath and continued, "When I realized that we could be more, it suddenly clicked into place. And I knew. I knew, at that moment, I don't need anybody else. I don't want anybody else." Greg's eyes softened and he reached to put a gentle hand on the side of Clay's face. "You're all I need. Forever."
Clay made a valiant attempt to avoid tears, and he almost pulled it off. Only a couple squeezed out to roll down his cheeks. He wet his lips and nodded.
Orson reached over and patted Clay's shoulder. "Clay, if you're ready, you may now recite your vow to Greg."
Clay cleared his throat. "I don't love easily. I just don't. It takes time, and effort, and trust. You allowed me all of those things. You let me turn our professional life connection into a wonderful personal one. But, more. It's deeper and stronger than anything I've ever had." Clay glanced at Mason as if he were unsure what the teenager would think. But Mason only gave his dad an encouraging smile. Clay turned back to Greg. "I know that there will never be another love in my life like this one. I'm yours, Greg. And there's no undoing it."
Greg wiped his face and he gave a short, happy laugh. He smiled and nodded at Clay.
Orson looked over the crowd. He saw tears, phones, and smiles from all gathered. He then looked back to the grooms. "Greg, you may now present Clay's ring to him. Repeat after me when you do."
Greg took Clay's left hand, and in Greg's right, he revealed the gold and turquoise ring he had purchased. It was beautiful, and it glittered in the sunlight. He positioned the ring, ready to slide it onto Clay's hand.
"With this symbol of my love, I, Gregory Hanson take you, Clay Jameson as my husband."
Greg stared into Clay's eyes as he repeated the words, and he slid the ring onto Clay's finger.
"Clay, you may now present Greg's ring to him. Please, repeat after me."
Clay smiled as he repeated the words, and he slipped the ring onto Greg's finger. Orson almost lost track of where he was as he looked at them. 'My god, these guys are mad for each other.' They stared at one another. Clay streamed quiet tears. And wordlessly, Greg reached up and wiped Clay's face with his thumb.
"By the power vested in me by the state of California, I now pronounce you married." Orson grinned. "You may kiss."
There was a thunderous roar as the two men closed and kissed one another. Clapping, yelling, and crying were all common among those gathered.
The kiss drew on for a bit, then the two pulled apart with a smile.
Orson almost didn't hear it over the din, but Greg whispered, "Husband." And Clay reverently repeated it back to him.
Orson smiled and held up his hands. "The second ceremony is one called a handfasting. It's a physical reminder of a spiritual bond between two people." He looked at Jeremy and Mason. "Gentlemen, come forward."
Mason and Jeremy did so. They both looked a little nervous to Orson's eye, but excited and happy too.
"Wait," Jeremy said. He blew out a nervous breath, and he dug into the pocket of his slacks. He pulled out a small, plain silver flask. The redhead turned to Mason. "Before I do this, before I would let myself do this … I had to decide." He looked down at the flask. "Mason, I'm going to make you a promise." He brought his blue eyes to look at Mason's green ones. "You need someone better than who I was. You deserve better than that." Jeremy nodded. "And I will be." He handed the flask over to Mason. "I promise you, I will be."
Mason took the small flask. It was full. The teenager looked into Jeremy's eyes. As he did, he unscrewed the cap. From where he stood, Orson caught the faint scent of whiskey. Mason turned up the flask, and it dumped into the grass where it disappeared instantly into the ground. Then the two young men grinned at one another, and they faced Orson again.
Orson nodded and smiled at both the display, and at what he knew was coming. "I know you said you were both fine with my officiating your ceremony. But, I hope you don't object to a minor change of plans." Orson saw the pair frown in confusion.
Orson moved, and Clay stepped into his place. The big man turned a brilliant smile on the two young men.
"I hope you don't mind, but there's no way I can stand by, and let someone else do my job for me." Clay's eyes glistened and he looked at both of the guys.
Jeremy's hand went up covered his mouth, and he immediately started to cry. Orson had known this would be a powerful moment for the redhead, and he watched as it unfolded. Mason put an arm around Jeremy and he helped to hold him up. The teenager cried too, and nodded at Clay.
Clay reached and took their braided cords from Jeremy and Mason.
As Clay spoke, he gently twisted the two cords together, until they were one thicker, colorful rope. "This is a symbol. It was made by the same hands it will bind. It's a promise, one made by Jeremy, and one made by Mason."
Clay motioned, then Jeremy and Mason raised their clasped hands up to chest height. Mason held Jeremy's right hand in his left. They both streamed tears. Orson had to wipe his own face too. He was impressed with Clay. The big man was obviously emotional, but he didn't cry. He seemed focused and determined to get through the ceremony for Mason.
'Go, Clay, go.' Orson grinned as he thought.
"As I bind your hands, so shall your lives be intertwined." Clay's voice took on a near chant-like quality as the memorized words flowed from him. The loops of the cords went over their wrists, then under, and finally, they crossed to tie into a loose knot. "Let no one break this bond." His eyes moved from Jeremy to Mason. "Let no one doubt this bond." At this Clay's voice cracked. He cleared his throat and reached. Gently gripping them, he raised their clasped, bound hands up. "Let all see and rejoice in this bond."
That was the final part of the ceremony. The two young men, instead of the kiss they had planned, both threw their unbound arms around Clay.
All three men closed their eyes and let one another feel the love they carried in their hearts.
Orson felt himself be carried along by the wave of emotion. And along with the crowd, he cheered for the men.
Orson cheered for love.
THE END (for now?)
This story is for many people.
It's for the young man, newly diagnosed with HIV, who thinks he will never find love. It's for that trans boy whose parents refuse to call him by his name. It's for that little girl, who has to hide from mom's new husband. It's for anybody who has simply wanted to hold their dearest and most incredible desire close out in the bright light of the sun but couldn't because of fear.
I felt this needed to be told. So thank you. Thanks for sticking with me, and thanks for your comments and your encouragement. I am a terribly flawed vehicle for the telling, but I hope you found something here. Because, ultimately, I wrote this story for all of us.
If you enjoyed this story, please follow the link to the main story page and rate the story itself.