Purev rolled over and looked across the room at David. He could see David’s face in the dim light of the digital clock sitting on the lamp table next to David’s bed. “David, are you still awake?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m still awake,” David responded. David knew that Purev was upset about something. He’d been acting really weird all day.
“David, I met a guy at school who wants to be my boyfriend,” Purev said.
“You mean Idree? Caroline mentioned him to me today.” David asked.
“Yes. He’s Mongolian like me. His name is Iderbayar but he goes by his nickname, Idree,” Purev said. “Idree is 16 and is on the wrestling team at school.”
“How did you meet him?” David asked.
“Caroline introduced us. She thought that I would like to know other Mongolian kids at Edison,” Purev said.
“But how did he find out you were gay?” David asked.
“Caroline told him about me before we met,” Purev said. “He held my hand during lunch and later walked me to class.”
David could hear the happiness in Purev’s voice. “Why are you telling me this?”
“Because I told you we could be boyfriends but I think it would be better if we weren’t boyfriends, especially since I’ve met Idree. I really like him David,” Purev said.
David felt like he’d been slugged in the stomach. He knew that Purev wanted a physical relationship and it looked like he would get his wish with this new guy Purev was talking about. Dad had warned him about not getting his hopes up that Purev would be willing to wait to have sex. He didn’t know what to say to Purev so he stayed silent.
“David, are you mad at me?” Purev asked. Maybe it hadn’t been such a good idea to share a room with David. Rick and Glenn had suggested he have his own room; but at the time he had still hoped to persuade David to sleep with him. Now, he had found someone who wanted to be his boyfriend and he wasn’t sure how things were going to work out between him and David.
“No, I’m just sad. It hurts me to know you’ve found someone else,” David said.
“I’m sorry, David. It’s just that I want a real relationship with another guy. I mean one that includes having sex,” Purev said. “I respect you for wanting to save yourself for that special someone; but that is not what I want.”
David heard Purev’s words and decided that things were actually working out for the best. He wasn’t happy about it; but his Dad had been right about Purev. He sighed and said, “It’s okay, Purev. Let’s go to sleep.” He rolled over and faced the wall.
Purev knew everything wasn’t okay between him and David from the tone of David’s voice. He wished things were different but he wanted to be with Idree. Just thinking about Idree made him horny. David just didn’t understand! He wondered how he and Idree could keep David’s dads from knowing what he was doing. He had told them he would abide by their rules if he lived with them; but he wanted to be with Idree in the worst way. Purev stared at the ceiling as he thought about Idree. It was a good thing that all of Idree’s friends at school knew he was gay. When Idree had introduced him to them, they had accepted him as Idree’s boyfriend. It was so different from the reaction of his classmates at Lake Braddock.
However, it was still a problem that Idree’s parents didn’t know he was gay. So that eliminated being with Idree at his house. Idree had made it pretty clear that they couldn’t show affection for each other when Purev visited Idree’s house. That meant they would have to have sex elsewhere. They could have come here if only he hadn’t promised to keep the Lernier family rules! Life just wasn’t fair! An idea popped into Purev’s head at that moment. He could stay with Mr. Eccles on weekends. Then he would invite Idree to Mr. Eccles home. David wouldn’t know about what he was doing nor would his dads. It was a perfect solution! He rolled over and closed his eyes, satisfied that he’d found a solution to his problem. He couldn’t wait to put his plan into action!
The next morning, I woke up to the sun shining in my face. Since our room faces the river, we often left the curtains open so we can see the water. The sun felt good to me. The air in the room was a little chilly, giving me goose bumps. Our blankets had slipped off of us during the night. I reached to pull them up and Rick stirred but didn’t wake up. I knew that today was going to be a rough one for Rick given how upset he was last night. I thought about what I could do to cheer him up. An idea sprang into my mind. Rick loved eating at the Bilbo Baggins Restaurant. They had good food and best of all they had some good beer! Not that I ever drank their beer; but Rick seemed to really enjoy it! Maybe having a few beers would be just the thing to help Rick. Maybe I could arrange for the rest of the guys to meet us there. Afterward, we could check into a hotel and spend the night alone. That would certainly appeal to Rick! What Rick needed right now was some tender, loving care!
Rick woke up and looked into my eyes and said, “Good morning, Glenn.”
“Good morning, sweetheart. Did you sleep okay?” I asked. I searched his eyes for any trace of the great sadness I saw there last night.
Rick looked away from me as he stretched and answered, “Yes, I slept fairly well; thanks to you. Listening to the steady rhythm of your heartbeat helped me fall asleep.” He leaned over and kissed me. He ran his hands over my chest and then down my abs, his fingers tracing the outline of the muscles.
I grinned up at him and said, “You keep that up and we won’t be getting out of bed for a while.”
Rick kissed me and said, “Let’s take a nature break before we go any further.” We quickly took care of our needs and returned to the warmth of our bed. Rick looked deeply into my eyes said, “I want you to fuck me.”
Hearing his request let me know that he was in need of reassurance. The sadness caused by the news of his father’s death may have left his face; but he still needed to know that he was loved and wanted. I searched his eyes and found that there was a haunted look in them; one that hadn’t been there for many years. I knew that look, and knew that what Rick wanted from me was my reassurance that I would always be there for him; that I loved him without reservation. Acknowledging his need, I took his head in my hands and kissed him deeply while his hands roamed my body. I nibbled on his ears and moved down his jawline to his neck. I whispered in his ear, “Let me show you how much I love you. Are you ready?” Rick answered me by kissing me even more passionately than before.
Rick’s body totally relaxed under me, our bodies still intertwined. Rick’s face reflected his state of complete and utter bliss. He held my gaze and it seemed that our souls had become completely intertwined, along with our physical bodies. He put his hands behind my head and brought my lips to his as he tenderly kissed me. He rubbed noses with me and said, in a voice full of happiness, “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” I replied. I wiped the sweat off of his face and pushed his damp, curly hair out of his eyes. I lightly ran my fingers along his cheek. “I like the feel of your whiskers in the morning. It really makes me horny.”
Rick cupped my cheek with his hand, running his thumb over my skin. “I like how smooth your face is. There’s a little peach fuzz, but no whiskers.” His hands moved to my bare chest. “Just like your chest. I’ve always been amazed that your skin is so smooth.”
I smiled, “I’ve never had much body hair and I shave off what little I have because I know you like it that way.”
“You have to admit that your skin feels so much more sensual when it’s soft and smooth everywhere,” Rick said, grinning as he caressed my bare skin.
I nodded my head in agreement. “I do like it. It’s so sensitive to your touch. It’s like every nerve ending in my body is on fire when you caress my bare skin.” Rick’s hands glided over the skin of my back as he kissed me, his tongue battling mine; feeding the flames of our passion for each other!
We must have fallen into a semi-comatose state after satisfying our need for each other; because the next thing I remember was hearing Kyle knocking on our door. “Dad and Daddy, are you guys okay in there?”
Rick called out, “Yes, we’re okay.”
Kyle asked, “May I come in?”
Rick pulled a sheet up to cover us before answering. “Yes, you may.”
Kyle opened the door and walked into our room. Seeing that we were still in each other’s arms, he grinned and said, “I’m glad you two had a good time this morning.”
“At least we’re in our room AND we had our door closed,” Rick retorted. “You can’t say anything about it.”
Kyle laughed, “No, I can’t tell you to get a room THIS time. I could still hear you though!”
I looked at Rick and said, “I think he’s making that up.”
Kyle sat down on the edge of our bed and replied, “No, Daddy. I’m not making it up. I swear I could hear you guys.”
Rick laughed, “That’s because you were listening at the door. I can just imagine you there with your ear against the door!”
Kyle blushed but grinned, “Okay, so I was standing at the door. I was going to knock but decided to leave you two alone for a while.”
I smiled at Kyle and said, “Thank you for letting us have some uninterrupted time together this morning.”
Kyle’s expression turned solemn. “It’s reassuring to know that my Dads love each other very much. I want to have the same kind of loving relationship with my future spouse as you have. I don’t want to have sex just to have sex. I want it to be special; to have more meaning than just simply giving each other pleasure. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, especially since Purev has come to live with us. He has really questioned the need for our family rule about not having sex until we’re older. I used to feel like Purev and wanted to have sex with a girl because all of my friends were doing it. I didn’t want to be the only guy on the football team who was still a virgin.”
“So why has that changed,” Rick asked.
“I’ve watched you and Daddy. I see how much love you have for each other; the little looks that pass between you, the way you touch each other, the little notes Daddy leaves for you around the house, Daddy’s text messages to you at work, the way you flirt with each other.”
“We don’t flirt with each other,” I said.
“Yes, you do. You are the worst, Daddy. You flirt constantly,” Kyle said, laughing at my expression of innocence.
Before I could respond to Kyle, Rick put a finger to my lips. “Kyle’s right. You have always been the biggest flirt I know.” I tried to utter a protest but Rick continued, “It’s okay because you mainly flirt with me and I’m your husband.”
Kyle noted, “Dad likes it when you flirt with him.”
Rick laughed and said, “Yes, I do like it. It keeps our relationship fresh and vibrant.”
I took Rick’s hand in mine and raised it to my lips. I looked into his eyes and said, “I love you.”
He squeezed my hand and looked at Kyle. “What brought you to our door in the first place?”
Kyle responded, “Uncle Zach and Uncle Todd stopped in to tell us they were going to volunteer at the Sunrise Assisted Living Center. They wanted to know if we wanted to go with them.”
I looked at Rick to see his reaction. Rick asked Kyle, “Do you want to go?”
Kyle said, “Sure. I think it would be a good thing for us to do.”
“Okay,” Rick said. “Tell the other children to get themselves ready and we will join Uncle Zach and Uncle Todd.”
Kyle got up from the bed and walked across the room to the door; but then he turned back and said, “I’m glad to know you two love each other very much.” He left the room and closed the door behind him.
I looked at Rick and asked, “What do you make of that last statement?”
Rick smiled, “I think he meant to tell us that it helps him feel secure because we show our love for each other in so many ways.”
I said, “Not least of which is having great sex!”
Rick laughed, “I think that is really what he was commenting on more than anything else. I’ve told Kyle that when he finds that special someone that he will find having sex is the most joyous thing in the world as we have, since it brings us so close together. I explained that the intimacy between us reinforces our love for each other. It seems our discussion really sank in, given the conversation we just had with the young man.”
I raised my hand to caress his cheek. “And most of all, it helps take away the sadness and pain of the loss you are feeling.”
Rick’s eyes were bright with unshed tears. He started to speak; but I put a finger to his lips. “I know what you are feeling and I said I would help take away the pain. I’m here to do just that, Mr. Lernier. I want you to let me share the burden that is on your shoulders right now. You’ve lost any opportunity to be reconciled with your father. While he was alive, there was always a chance that he would change his mind and you could have been reunited with him. It’s okay to grieve for what you’ve lost. I don’t like seeing you hurting like this; but I also know that in order for you to heal from the wounds in your soul, you need to be able to let the hurt, the pain and the sense of loss run its course.” A single tear escaped and ran down Rick’s face. I tenderly wiped it way with my thumb. “You have a wonderful family, Rick. Every one of us loves you very much. Never forget that!” I put my hands on either side of his face and kissed him gently on the lips.
I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him closer to me. He buried his face in my chest and watered my skin with his tears as I held him. Rick clung to me as if I were a life preserver. As the storm subsided, I put my hand under his chin and raised it until he met my eyes. “You are my world, Rick. I love you.”
He nodded his head and said, “I love you, too. Thank you for letting me get that out of my system. You were right. I needed to let my feelings have an outlet.”
“I’m glad you let out some of the pain. I’m here for you, Rick. I know this won’t be the only time you’re going to need to give your feelings a way to express themselves. Just tell me, “I need you,” and I will know that you need some cuddle time away from everyone.”
Rick nodded his head. “I’m afraid I might need a lot of that over the next few days.”
“I’m counting on it, Babe,” I said, with a smile.
Rick laughed, “You’re just horny!”
I gave him a lecherous look and said in a deep husky voice, “If you weren’t so sexy, I wouldn’t be so horny.”
Rick grinned and protested, “So it’s MY fault that you’re horny!”
“You have to admit that if you were short, fat and ugly, I wouldn’t be as turned on by you,” I replied.
“I thought you said you loved me no matter what I looked like,” Rick said, only half joking. There was a smile on his face; but it didn’t reach his eyes.
Noting the change in the tone of his voice, I replied, “I do love you unconditionally, Rick. I have to admit that your stunning good looks are what attracted me to you at first. However, over time, my physical attraction to you has been augmented to include your intellect, your sense of humor, and your love and respect for all people. And most of all, I’m attracted to the deep love you have for me. I know that you always have my best interests at heart and will do your best to make me happy. What makes you special to me is the fact I can trust you. The relationship of trust we share is important because I’ve given you my heart, Babe.”
My words seemed to have their desired effect because Rick’s expression cleared. This time his smile reached his eyes. Whoever said that the eyes were a window to the soul knew what they were talking about. It’s especially true of my Rick.
Rick said, “I think we need to get up, or we’ll have Kyle wondering what we’ve been doing all this time.”
“He won’t be wondering, Rick. He already knows what we do when we’re in our bedroom,” I said. “He practically said as much just a few minutes ago.”
Rick said, “That’s true.” He rolled out of bed and pulled me out with him. We showered and dressed for the day. We made our way downstairs to find that all of the children were gathered around the kitchen table eating waffles.
“Thank you for getting your own breakfast this morning,” I said, as I looked at them around the table.
Kyle said, “You’re welcome. I pulled out the frozen waffles and put the toaster out. Everyone served themselves.”
I popped a couple of frozen waffles into the toaster and turned back to the table. I looked at David and I knew something was wrong. I caught his gaze and he quickly looked away. I looked at Rick and asked, “Do you want waffles?”
Rick nodded his head and replied, “Yes, please.”
Kyle said, “I made your coffee already.”
Rick walked over and retrieved his cup of coffee. “Thanks, Kyle.”
Kyle laughed and answered, “I thought I’d better do it since Daddy still hasn’t figured out how to work the machine.”
I protested, “I can’t help it that you gave Dad a new coffee machine that’s so complicated to use. I knew how to operate the old one!”
“But this one is easy to use,” Kyle countered.
Rick held up his hand, forestalling Kyle’s next comment. “It’s okay, Kyle. Your Daddy doesn’t drink coffee and doesn’t need to know how to use the machine as long as you’re around to do it for me.”
Kyle replied, “What if I’m not here?”
“Then I can make my own,” Rick responded. Then he grinned and gave me a sly look. “It might be fun for me to give Daddy some special instruction on the use the coffee machine one of these mornings when we’re alone. Maybe we can talk Todd into watching the twins for us. What do you think, Glenn?”
His look made me blush. Rather than reply to his question, I walked over and gave him a kiss. I handed him his plate of waffles. “Here’s your breakfast, Babe.”
Rick sat down at the table and I put more waffles in the toaster. The toaster beeped and I retrieved my waffles. I took a chair next to Rick. I looked at Purev and David. I noticed that David had taken a seat on the opposite side of the table from Purev. It wasn’t normal for them not to be sitting together. Given David’s troubled expression, I surmised they had had an argument.
Purev asked, “May I stay with Mr. Eccles tonight?”
Rick said, “Sure. You will need to call and confirm that it’s okay with Mr. Eccles first and we’ll have to arrange to have someone get you to Edison in the morning.”
Purev replied, “I’ll call him in a few minutes. I wanted to check to make sure it was okay first, before calling him. Scott said he would pick me up from Mr. Eccles’ house if I needed a ride to school.” Purev stood up from the table and put his dishes in the sink. He walked out of the kitchen. We heard him talking to Mr. Eccles on his cell phone. Then we heard him call Scott and ask if he could get a ride to school in the morning. He returned, smiling. “They both said it’s okay. I’ll get my stuff.” He left us and I heard his feet on the stairs.
“I’ll drive him over to Mr. Eccles and then I’ll meet you at the Sunrise Assisted Living Center,” I said.
Rick nodded his agreement. “Okay.”
We finished our breakfast and cleaned the kitchen. As soon as the last of the dishes were washed and put away, Rick took the children across to Zach and Todd’s place while I went to the garage with Purev.
As soon as we were in the car, I asked, “What’s going on between you and David?”
Purev didn’t respond right away. I glanced over at him as I backed out of the garage and turned the car around to leave our driveway. I stopped by the guard’s shack and rolled down the car window. One of our new guards stepped out of the shack and approached the car. I admired his tall, lanky frame. His name was Cole Moran. He had long, blond hair that he pulled back in a ponytail. He had a hawk-like nose, a generous smile and a dimple in his chin. His brilliant blue eyes met mine as he smiled.
Cole asked, “Yes, Mr. Lernier?”
“I am planning a surprise party for Rick tonight. I would like you and Chaz to join us,” I said.
Cole’s smile broadened. “I would love to come, and I’m sure Chaz will feel the same way.”
“I will call you a little later with the details,” I said.
“Thanks for the invitation,” Cole said.
He walked back to the guard shack and opened the gate for me to leave. I rolled up the window and I asked, “Purev, what is going on between you and David?”
Purev said, “I told David I have a new boyfriend at school.”
“David wasn’t very happy about that I’m sure,” I said.
“He wouldn’t speak to me this morning,” Purev said.
“Is that why you wanted to go to Mr. Eccles today?” I asked.
“Yes and no,” Purev replied. He wasn’t sure what to say. He didn’t want to lie to David’s Daddy. “I wanted to invite Idree, that’s my new boyfriend’s name, over and I didn’t think it would be good for him to come to your house.”
“I agree that inviting Idree over to the house wouldn’t have been a good idea,” I said. “However, I think there’s more to this than you’re telling me.”
Purev looked out of the window; trying to decide how much more to say. He finally said, “I want to have a real boyfriend.”
“You mean like someone you have sex with and sleep with every night,” I said.
Purev nodded. “Yes, I want to have sex with my boyfriend. I don’t want to wait until I’m 18.”
“I thought that might become an issue,” I said. “Do you remember what our house rules are?”
“Yes, I do, and that is why I chose to invite Idree to Mr. Eccles’ house and not to yours. I know I agreed to keep your rules; but I want to be with Idree.”
I could hear the defiance in his voice; but at the same time I also heard his desire to have me understand him. “I know what you’re going through, Purev. I was pretty horny as a teenager, too. I was a senior in high school when I started having sex with a guy. His name was Ian. Ian used me and treated me very poorly. My Uncle Dave tried to warn me that Ian wasn’t the right guy for me; but I wouldn’t listen. I wanted to be fucked in the worst way and Ian was willing to meet my desire.”
“Then you can understand why I want to have sex with Idree,” Purev said.
“Yes, I understand,” I said. “However, I think you should wait until you know more about Idree. How long have you known Idree?”
Purev said, “About a week.”
“Do you think that’s long enough to know how Idree will treat you if you become lovers?” I asked. Purev didn’t answer me. I glanced over at him and saw his mutinous expression. I looked ahead and saw a Giant Food Store on the right. I pulled into the parking lot and stopped the car. Once I had the car in park, I turned to Purev. “Purev, please look at me.”
Purev turned to look me in the eyes. His body language communicated his defiance; and a closed expression was on his handsome face. “Are you going to lecture me?”
“No, I’m not going to lecture you. You already know the answers to the questions I’m going to ask. I want you to think about what you’re doing; and if you still want to proceed with your plans, at least I will know that you’ve thought things out. Will you listen to me?”
“Why should I?” Purev asked with a belligerent tone to his voice.
“Because I care about you, that’s why. Let’s make a deal. I’ll listen to you if you’ll listen to me,” I said.
Purev looked at me with narrowed eyes. “What’s the catch?”
“There is no catch. It’s called being courteous and respectful,” I said.
“Okay, I’ll listen; but I want to talk first,” Purev said.
I nodded my head and replied, “Go ahead. I’d like to hear your thoughts.”
“I want to have the experience of having a real boyfriend. I want to learn what it’s like to have sex with a guy. I think I’m gay, but I’ve never been with a guy; so I really don’t know. Idree seems to be the perfect guy for me. He’s Mongolian like me, and he’s gay like me. We’re almost the same age, too,” Purev said.
“Okay,” I said. “I understand wanting to have a “real” boyfriend and the urge to have sex with him.”
“Your family rules are so restrictive. I feel like I can’t be myself,” Purev said.
“Which rules don’t you like?” I asked.
“The one that says I can’t have sex until I’m 18. That’s the worst,” Purev said.
“Are there others?” I asked.
“The rules about bedtime and limits on when I have to be home,” Purev said. “Why do I have to be home by 10 PM on school nights? Why do I have to be in my bedroom by 11 PM each night and in bed by midnight?”
When Purev didn’t continue, I asked, “Is there more?”
“No,” Purev said.
“Okay. Is it my turn now?” I asked.
Purev nodded and said, “I guess.” He sounded less than enthusiastic.
I said, “Let’s start out by talking about how our family rules were adopted. We held a family council and everyone got to offer their proposals for rules. Then we discussed each one and listened to the pros and cons before we voted on which ones we would have. Now that you are living with us, you have the option to request that we have another family meeting to discuss changes to our family’s rules. You could put forward your proposed changes and solicit feedback from the rest of the family. Rick and I have always made it clear to our children that rules are intended to be flexible and to meet our needs. When a rule doesn’t meet our needs, it’s time for it to be amended or done away with altogether. Do you want to have a family meeting to talk about the rules you have mentioned?”
Purev looked at me with a surprised look on his face. “You would seriously consider the changes I want to make?”
“Sure. You are just as much a part of our family now as the rest of our children,” I said.
“Are you just saying that? Don’t you see me as a troublemaker?” Purev asked.
“I don’t see you as a troublemaker. I see you as someone who needs a safe and loving environment at home. You are going through a very rough time in your young life. We want you to reach your full potential as a human being. Part of reaching that full potential is discovering who you are,” I said.
“Does that include letting me have sex with Idree?” Purev asked.
“Yes, it does; if that is what it takes for you to discover that having sex with just anyone isn’t the road that leads to happiness,” I said.
“How do you know that I won’t be happy having sex with every guy who will fuck me?” Purev asked.
I responded, “Let me answer you with a question. Do you see yourself as having so little value that you would let just anyone fuck you?” Purev avoided my gaze and mumbled something I couldn’t hear. “What was that?”
Purev said, “I don’t know.”
“Purev, you are a very special person and have so much to offer the man of your dreams. You are kind and gentle. You have a great sense of humor and you are fun to be around. I would hope that you would look for someone who will treat you with love and respect; someone who will treat you like royalty because you deserve the best.”
Purev looked at me and said, “How do you know that I’m someone special.”
“Because you are a son of God,” I replied.
“What if I don’t believe in God?” Purev asked.
“That doesn’t change the fact that you are a unique individual with the potential to become whatever you wish to be in this world. You are only limited by your own imagination. You need to believe in yourself,” I said.
Purev said, “Does your belief in God help you have confidence in yourself?”
“I think it does,” I said. “I can’t say that it is true for everyone. I think that each person has to decide for themselves whether or not they believe in God.”
“My parents’ are Buddhists,” Purev said. “My Dad thinks that being gay is a form of punishment for having committed sins in a past life.”
“Do you think that is true in your case?” I asked.
“No, I don’t. I don’t believe in reincarnation or any of that stuff,” Purev said with deep disdain.
“I agree with you on that point,” I said. “Will you wait to have sex with Idree until you’ve had time to get to know him better?”
Purev looked at me and slowly nodded his head. “I’ll try but I won’t promise not to have sex with him if the opportunity arises.”
I smiled and said, “Okay, I’ll accept that. In the meantime, you can present your ideas to the family; and we can have a discussion about them.”
Purev smiled and said, “Thank you for listening to me. I wish my father was more like you. He never listened to me. He was always too busy to talk to me.”
“I don’t want to take your father’s place; but I want to be your friend and a mentor if you will let me,” I said.
Purev said, “I would like that.”
I turned the key in the ignition and put the car in gear. “We had better get you to Mr. Eccles house before he begins to wonder if you changed your mind about staying the weekend with him.”
Purev said, “I like Mr. Eccles. He has been so nice to me.”
“Yes, he has been very good to you,” I said.
We chatted about Mr. Eccles for the few minutes it took for us to arrive at his home. As Purev got out of the car, I said, “Please be careful, Purev.”
He laughed and said, “I’m always careful.”
I retorted, “Yeah, right!”
He grinned and closed the car door. I watched as he entered the house and closed the door. I pulled out my cell phone and dialed Scott’s number. “Hey, Scott,” I said. “I’m planning a surprise party for Rick at Bilbo Baggins in Old Town. Can you and Alonzo make it tonight at 7 PM?”
Scott replied, “Hang on just a minute.” I heard him talking to Alonzo in the background. He came back on the line and said, “You can count us in. We’ll see you there.”
“Cool!” I cut the connection and dialed Jamie’s cell phone.
“Jamie, I’m planning a surprise party for Rick,” I said.
Jamie cut me off before I could say anything more, “Count us in. Where and when.”
I gave him the particulars. I had just hung up with Jamie when my cell rang. It was Scott.
“I want to invite Christopher and Diego to join us. Is that alright with you?”
“Sure. The more the merrier! I want Rick to have a great time tonight,” I said.
“Good,” Scott said. “Catch you later.”
I scrolled through my contact list, trying to decide who else to invite when I came to Garth’s name. I thought about it for a moment, then pushed the call button. Garth answered and I said, “Hello, Garth.”
“Glenn. I didn’t expect a call from you given the news I sprung on Rick this week,” Garth said. “I know he wasn’t happy about the prospect of losing his job.”
“Rick’s going to be okay. I’m calling to invite you to a surprise party for Rick. Are you and Phil available this evening?”
Garth said, “We can be. Where and when?”
I gave him the particulars and said, “I hope you’ll come.”
Garth said, “Phil and I will be there. Thanks for the invitation.”
Next I called the restaurant to make reservations for our party. I got their answering machine stating they wouldn’t be open until 11:30 AM. I hung up and put my cell phone in my pocket. I put my seat belt back on and started the car. I was just backing out of the driveway when Purev came running out of the door and waved for me to stop. I rolled down my window and asked, “What’s up?”
Purev leaned down to look at me. “Mr. Eccles won’t let me invite Idree over unless you say it’s okay.”
I put the car in park and turned it off. I pulled the keys out of the ignition and got out of the car. I looked at Purev and asked, “What do you want me to tell him, Purev?”
Purev dropped his gaze and looked at his feet. I was about to speak, again, when he looked back up at me. “Tell him that it’s okay for Idree to come for the evening.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yes, I’m sure. If things work out between us, Idree can stay overnight next weekend,” Purev said.
“Okay,” I said. I walked with Purev to the door, where Mr. Eccles was waiting for us. I stepped inside and greeted Mr. Eccles. “How are you?”
“I’m fine,” he responded. “I wanted to make sure Purev had your permission to have a sleep over with his friend.”
“It’s fine with me. I trust Purev and his friend will remember to be on their best behavior while they are here,” I said. I glanced over at Purev and almost laughed at the look of utter astonishment on his face. “If the boys give you any problems, please give me a call and I will come and pick them up.” I gave Purev a meaningful look and then turned back to Mr. Eccles. “I’ll be back for Purev tomorrow evening around 5 PM.”
Mr. Eccles nodded his head. “Thank you for clarifying the situation for us. I want to make sure Purev is well cared for while he is here with me.”
I was completely taken by surprise when Purev gave me a hug. Purev said, “Thank you.”
I returned his hug and said, “Be good!” I left Purev standing with Mr. Eccles. I returned to my car and got in. Purev waved as I left the driveway. I wasn’t sure about giving Purev permission to have Idree stay overnight; but then, again, how were we going to help him improve his decision-making abilities if we didn’t provide him the opportunity to exercise his own judgment. Wasn’t that part of being a parent? Learning to trust your teenagers to do the right thing?
I drove to the assisted living center thinking about Purev and what we could do to help him. My cell phone rang just as I pulled into the parking lot of Sunrise Assisted Living Center and parked the car next to our mini-van. I pulled out my cell and saw that it was Kyle. I answered the call, “Yes?”
“Hey, where are you Daddy?”
“I’m in the parking lot,” I replied as I walked through the doors to find Kyle standing there with the phone to his ear. I smiled at him and said, “I’m right here in front of you.”
Kyle grinned as he put his phone away and walked over to me. “We were getting worried that something had happened to you. What took you so long?”
“I had a little chat with Purev,” I responded.
Kyle gave me a serious look and said, “David told me about what happened last night.”
“Do you know Idree?” I asked.
“Yes, I do. He’s a really nice guy. I think he’s a better match for Purev than David,” Kyle said. “I told David that this morning.”
“What does David think about that?” I asked.
“He’s okay now. He was pretty upset this morning, until I sat down and told him to chill out,” Kyle responded.
“Thank you for talking to him, Kyle,” I said. “Where is everyone?”
“They are in the community room,” Kyle said. “Follow me and I’ll show you where they are.”
He led me to the community room where several of the residents were sitting on couches or at the tables talking. Kyle said, “I played the piano for them. Dad, Uncle Zach and Uncle Todd sang for them and David and Ashley played their violins. When you didn’t show up, Dad asked me to call you.”
One of the residents, Mrs. Bartucivik, waved me over to the table where she was seated with Ashley. I walked over and said, “Hello, Wilma. How are you doing?”
“I’m fine, Glenn. Thank you for asking. Your family is so wonderful. I love to see the children. Ashley is helping me work on my crossword puzzle.”
Kyle and I sat down. Ashley said, “I like doing puzzles with you, Mrs. Bartucivik.” She looked over at me and said, “Mrs. Bartucivik is going to teach me how to crochet.”
Mrs. Bartucivik smiled. “I hope you don’t mind me teaching her how to crochet.” She produced her current project from a bag on the floor. “I’m making a baby blanket for my granddaughter. She will have her baby next month. These are the matching booties and hat.”
“They are beautiful. What materials do we need to pick up for Ashley?” I asked.
“Nothing, my dear. I have plenty of extra yarn and needles. If you will stop by my apartment, I will give Ashley what she needs,” she responded.
Rick joined us. He ruffled my hair as he sat down next to me. “What took so long, Babe?”
“Purev and I had a nice little chat,” I said.
Rick raised his eyebrows and said, “How did that go?”
“I’ll tell you about it later,” I said. “Where are the twins?”
“Alan is reading stories to the boys,” Rick answered, pointing to where they were seated across the room. “JJ brought his collection of Thomas the Tank Engine stories and asked him to read them to him. David seems to be in better spirits.”
Kyle said, “I talked to him about Purev and I think he’s going to be okay.”
Mrs. Bartucivik asked, “What’s wrong with David?”
Kyle said, “Purev has a new boyfriend and told David about it last night.”
“Oh, my,” she said. “David is such a lovely young man. Purev seemed like a nice boy when he came to visit last time. That’s too bad.”
“Purev is a good kid,” I said. “He’s just trying to figure out who he is right now and so is David.”
She nodded her head. “I understand. The teen years can be very difficult ones. My sister committed suicide when she broke up with her boyfriend. She was a junior and I was senior in high school. My parents never really recovered from the blow.”
Ashley said, “My friend, Moriah, is in the hospital because she tried to commit suicide. Her mother told me she won’t be coming home for a while.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that,” Mrs. Bartucivik said. “I hope Moriah will be alright.”
“I’m sure she will be alright,” Ashley said. “Her mother said things were going to be okay.”
Zach, Todd and David walked over to our table and Zach said, “I’m ready for lunch.”
Mrs. Bartucivik said, “You should go to Jerry’s Subs and Pizza. I love their pizza.”
Todd said, “We like their pizza as well. What do you guys think?”
Kyle said, “I don’t want pizza. I always get an upset stomach after I eat their pizza.”
Rick said, “You can order a sub sandwich. You don’t have to eat pizza.”
Kyle said, “Okay. I like their chicken wings. May I get an order just for me?”
“Sure,” I responded. “We need to stop by Mrs. Bartucivik’s before we leave.”
Mrs. Bartucivik said, “Ashley, help me up and we will go get your things.”
They disappeared down the hallway toward Mrs. Bartucivik’s apartment.
I turned to David and asked, “Are you okay, David?”
David nodded his head, “Yes, Daddy, I’m fine.”
“Do we need to move Purev into his own room?” Rick asked.
“No, I’m not mad at him anymore. Kyle helped me understand why Purev wants to be with Idree. But I think that Purev might want to have his own room so Idree can sleep over.”
I raised my eyebrows at that statement but decided to let it go. “We will leave things as they are for now.”
Ashley returned from Mrs. Bartucivik’s with a bag full of yarn, crochet hooks and a small how-to-crochet book. I asked, “Are we ready to go?”
“I think we are,” Rick said.
We gathered up our boys and bid farewell to our friends. We caravanned to the nearest Jerry’s Subs and Pizza. On the drive over, I called the restaurant and made reservations for our night out. When we arrived at Jerry’s, I got out of the car and opened the back door to unbuckle the twins.
I held their hands as we walked across the parking lot to the restaurant. Once inside, I released their hands and they took off running to the get their favorite table next to the windows. Rick came up behind me and slipped his arm around my waist. “I see that the twins are saving our table for us,” Rick said, nodding towards them.
“Yes, they have already taken up their stations next to the windows,” I replied. “Do you want our usual?”
“Yes, a large Kitchen Sink pizza, a large cheese pizza, and buffalo wings,” Rick said. He gave me a quick kiss on the lips before he went to join the twins.
Ashley asked, “May we get ham and pineapple this time. I hate cheese pizza. We get a cheese pizza every time we come here.”
“Don’t you like the Kitchen Sink pizza?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
She wrinkled her nose at me and scowled. “Daddy, you know I don’t like all those different vegetables they put on your pizza, especially the olives and peppers; not to mention those horrible mushrooms!”
“You know that the twins won’t eat anything but cheese pizza,” I said, pointedly.
Zach and Todd joined us as their boys pushed past us to join the twins. Ashley turned to them and appealed to them for help. “Uncle Zach and Uncle Todd tell Daddy to order a ham and pineapple pizza this time.”
Zach laughed and said, “Okay, I’ll tell him that.”
Ashley hugged him and declared, “You’re the best uncle!”
Zach looked over at Todd and said, “You’ll just have to work harder at being the best uncle, since I’ve already earned the title.”
Todd laughed and said, “I hate to burst your bubble; but Ashley declared me the best uncle ever, just yesterday.”
Zach gave Ashley a horrified look. “Is this true?”
Ashley giggled and said, “Yes, Uncle Todd helped me with my homework yesterday.” She stopped and gave Zach another hug. “But you are the best uncle ever today.”
Zach smiled and said, “Okay, I’ll order the ham and pineapple pizza for you and the older boys to share if your Daddy will order the cheese pizza for the little guys.”
“Deal,” I said.
Smiling happily, Ashley left us to order our pizzas. Todd asked, “Are you getting a Kitchen Sink?”
“Yes, I am,” I said. I put up my hands and cut Todd off before he could say anything more. “Yes, I know – no anchovies. I’ll make sure they don’t put any of those nasty little fish on the pizza.”
Todd smiled and said, “Thanks, Glenn. I really hate anchovies.”
Zach said, “I’ll order a pepperoni pizza as well.”
“Sounds like a plan,” I said. We ordered then we joined the rest of the gang at our usual tables.
After lunch, we went home and relaxed. The boys played with their trains and the teenagers watched movies and chatted with their friends on-line. As dinner time approached, Rick asked, “What are our dinner plans?”
“We are going out for dinner. Jeff will be here with Caroline and Marie in about 30 minutes to babysit the twins,” I said. What I didn’t tell him was that we were staying overnight at a hotel in Old Town and that Jeff would be staying overnight at our place. I had already packed an overnight bag for the two of us and managed to put it in the car without being noticed.
Rick looked at me in surprise. “Can’t Kyle babysit the twins?”
“Yes, he can; but I thought he might like to have some company,” I said.
Rick gave me a sly look. “What are you up to Glenn?”
I gave him my most innocent look and replied, “Absolutely nothing!” I laughed at his look of disbelief. “Just relax,” I said, wrapping my arms around his waist and kissing him on the lips.
When we finished kissing, Rick put his hands on either side of my face. “I know you too well, Glenn. I know you’re up to something.”
I took his hands in mine and brought them to my lips. “Let me worry about what I’m up to and things will be just fine,” I responded. I dropped his hands and put my arms around his neck, pulling him to me. I kissed him very passionately and felt him responding to me. I released his lips and said, huskily, “I promise you will have a great time tonight.”
Rick looked into my eyes and grinned, “That sounds wonderful.”
Jeff arrived on time with his girls in tow. When Kyle saw Caroline, he said, “I didn’t know you were coming over tonight.”
“I didn’t either until just a little while ago,” she responded.
Kyle said, “We’re watching movies. Do want to join us?”
“Sure,” Caroline responded. Caroline and Marie followed Kyle out of the kitchen.
While Rick was upstairs getting ready to go out for the evening, I told the children our plans to stay overnight; and that Jeff would be babysitting them.
JJ said, “May we stay up and watch Thomas the Tank Engine?”
I looked over at Jeff and said, “Sure. You and Josh can watch it on the television in our room. Would you like that?”
JJ jumped up and down with excitement. “Yes. We like your TV.”
“But you have to go to bed when Uncle Jeff tells you it’s time,” I said.
JJ looked over at Jeff and said, “Okay, we’ll listen to Uncle Jeff.”
Jeff laughed and said, “I’ll watch Thomas the Tank Engine with you JJ. I like trains, too, you know.”
JJ looked up at Jeff and said, “Do you really?”
“Yes, I do,” Jeff responded with a smile.
Rick entered the family room and the twins ran over to him. He scooped them up into his arms and they gave him a kiss on the cheek. JJ said, “I love you, Dad.”
Josh, not to be outdone by his twin, said, “Me, too.”
Rick said, “I love you, too.” He put them down and Rick asked, “Are we ready to go?”
I looked my husband over. He wore tight fitting jeans that hugged him nicely in all the right places, accessorized with a wide leather belt and a huge oval belt buckle. He wore a blue plaid long-sleeved shirt and his favorite cowboy boots. I grinned at him and said, “You look great, Babe.”
“So do you,” Rick responded as he put his arm around my waist. I wore the exact same outfit except I wore biker boots. I don’t like cowboy boots because they pinch my toes. I prefer the square toes of my black biker boots.
We grabbed our coats out of the closet and headed out the door. I took a circuitous route to get there to allow Zach and Todd time to arrive before us. We parked the car and walked to the restaurant. The maître d’ led us to our table where the rest of our friends were waiting for us. The guys said in chorus, “Surprise!”
We took our seats between Scott and Zach. Scott put his arm around Rick’s shoulders and said with a grin, “Now that you’re here, we can start the party in earnest. We have your husband to thank for getting us here to enjoy some beer and pizza. He said you needed some cheering up, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than some good cold beer and excellent pizza.”
Rick took my hand in his and said, “Thank you.” He leaned over and gave me a quick kiss on the lips.
Scott said, “Let me introduce you to Christopher and Diego. These are our friends, Rick and Glenn.”
I looked across the table at the two young guys and said, “Nice to meet you. Scott has told us a lot about you.”
Christopher laughed, “I hope it was all good.”
Rick answered, “It was. I’m glad to finally meet you. I was beginning to think Scott was trying to keep us from meeting you.”
Scott smiled, “No, it’s just that we’ve been really busy.”
I looked at Diego and said, “I hope Scott is paying you well.”
“He does,” Diego said. “I can’t believe that all of you guys are gay. Christopher said Scott had many gay friends; but I didn’t think you were so many.”
Jamie said, “We have more gay friends at school. You should join us for happy hour near campus. We are studying at George Mason.”
“I go to George Mason as well,” Christopher said. “But I’m at the Arlington Law Campus.”
The conversation around the table flowed easily, with plenty of beer on hand. The pizza was good and the company even better. By the time Rick had sampled a variety of different beers, he was starting to feel a little bit of a buzz. He turned to me and said, “You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me, Glenn. This is just what I needed.”
I put my hand on the inside of his thigh and caressed it. “The best part is yet to come,” I said with a seductive smile.
Rick put his hand over mine and said, “Hold that thought.”
I leaned over and whispered in Rick’s ear, “I’ve reserved a suite for us at the Embassy Suites. Jeff will stay with the children until we return tomorrow and Zach said he’ll make sure the older children get to school on time.”
Rick smiled and said, “I’m truly blessed.”
We finished our meal and called for the check. I said, “Thank you for driving the children to school tomorrow, Zach.”
Zach smiled and said, “Not a problem. Have a great time and we’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
Rick and I retrieved our car and then drove the short distance to the hotel. We checked in and went up to our suite. As soon as the door was closed, I pinned Rick to the door. Rick looked at me in surprise. I grinned and said, “This will be a night you will never forget! I promise!” His look of surprise quickly turned to one of pure lust; as I began implementing my plan to seduce my husband!
Purev sat at the kitchen table with Idree. They were playing Risk while they talked about school, their classmates and life in general. Idree looked across the table at Purev and asked, “Do you still want to have sex with me?”
“I do; but I’m not sure I’m ready for us to go there right now,” Purev said.
Idree nodded his head. “I know that I’m not ready. I keep thinking about my parents, and what they would do if they found out.”
“Would they disown you like my Dad did to me?” Purev asked.
“Maybe. I don’t know,” Idree said. He made his move and conquered all of North America.
Mr. Eccles came into the kitchen and sat down at the table across from the two boys. “How do you boys like playing Risk?”
Idree answered, “It’s kind of slow. It’s nothing like playing video games.”
“It’s okay,” Purev responded. “It’s allowed us to talk more than if we were playing video games.”
Idree looked at Purev and said, “We don’t need to play games to talk you know.”
Purev nodded. “We can stop playing this game if you don’t want to play it anymore.”
Idree sighed in relief. “It’s very boring.” He looked up at Purev and then remembered that Mr. Eccles was in the room. “I’m sorry, Mr. Eccles.”
“That’s alright, Idree. I have never played video games so I can’t compare them to the board games I used to play with Jerry,” Mr. Eccles said. The chimes of the doorbell sounded in the hallway. “That is probably your parents, Idree.”
Idree stood up and said, “Thank you for letting me come over.”
Mr. Eccles replied, “You are most welcome, Idree.”
Purev stood up as well and walked over to Idree. Idree embraced him and kissed him on the lips. “I’ll see you at school tomorrow.”
“Okay,” Purev said. Purev walked Idree to the door. He opened it to let him out. Idree’s dad was standing on the doorstep. “Mr. Aslabaatar, thank you for allowing Idree to visit.”
Mr. Aslabaatar smiled and said to Purev, “I’m glad Idree has made friends with another Mongolian boy. I believe I know your father. We met many years ago when we were working together on a project for the government in Mongolia. I didn’t know that he had come to the United States. Maybe we can get together to renew our friendship.”
“I’ll tell my Mom that you are living here and that Idree is my friend,” Purev said.
“Very good,” Mr. Aslabaatar said. “Idree, we must be going. You have to get up early in the morning.”
Idree said, “See you tomorrow.”
“See you,” Purev responded and then closed the door as Idree followed his father to their car. Purev walked down the hallway to the kitchen. He sat down next to Mr. Eccles. He put his head in his hands.
Mr. Eccles asked, “What’s wrong, Purev?”
“Idree’s dad knows my dad,” Purev said. “Mr. Aslabaatar wants to renew his friendship with my dad. If that happens, he’ll find out I’m gay and I’m certain Idree won’t be allowed to see me anymore.”
Mr. Eccles thought for a moment and then asked, “Is it likely that the two of them will get together?”
“No, but it could easily happen now that Mr. Aslabaatar knows my dad lives in the area,” Purev said.
“I wouldn’t worry about it now, Purev. You need to get to bed. Morning comes early and you need your rest.”
Purev nodded his head. “Good night, Mr. Eccles.”
“Good night, Purev,” Mr. Eccles responded. He watched the slender young man leave the kitchen. He was a little concerned that Purev would end up getting hurt. He knew how fragile Purev’s mental and emotional state was at the moment. He made a mental note to discuss the situation with Rick and Glenn. They needed to know what was going on; and be ready to step in if they were needed. He well remembered how he felt as a teenager and how low his self-esteem had been at that point in his life. He didn’t want to see Purev suffer any more than he already had.
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