The Executive Committee meeting ended and Nick Maggiano asked Drew to stay behind in the large conference room. As the first week of October was coming to a close, the key VP's were pleased at the progress of the training and had all expressed confidence that Barcelona would be ready for a soft' opening in two weeks. Each division head would conduct mini-meetings with their department heads later that day and the need to know' information would trickle down to the worker bees' in staff meetings on Saturday morning.
"Thanks for hanging back," Nick said as the last vice president left the room. He eased back into his seat and closed the briefing book.
"No problem. Am I in trouble for something?" Drew asked with a curious expression. I don't think I've screwed up with anything' he thought as he sat down.
"Not at all," Nick replied. "Your performance has been primo. I've got a good gut feeling that we're ready and just wanted to find out if you see any difficulties in your area?"
"Except for the pre-opening jitters, none that I can identify." Drew smiled and felt relieved. "The housekeepers are a little slow on doing their rooms but we're only asking them to accomplish cleaning ten rooms a shift once we open until they become familiar with the routine. Food and beverage is getting ready to run the guinea pig' test dining training the end of next week in all the restaurants. Christ, I think half of Las Vegas is coming to the various dinners."
"The price is right -- like zero -- and Barcelona is the hottest ticket in town. Your team has put together a tight group of servers, chefs and bartenders. Even though it's costly, the over-staffing will pay off in spades. Let's face it, the outlets are going to get slammed' when we open...no matter how well the staff has been trained."
"Room Service will be the ball breaker. But we're on it. The unknown quantity right now is the Front Desk and Guest Services. They started training a little later but should be up to speed' in another week. Since this is my area of expertise, I suspect I'll jump in -- without usurping the resident manager's authority -- and be extra hands and eyes where needed. So, I'm cool. Reservations are keeping pace with our projections and the challenge will be not to take more business than we can handle."
"How's everything on the personal front?" Nick asked as he rocked back in his chair. "I understand you guys passed the foster parent tests and are now certified?"
"We're through that hurdle and waiting for a judge's hearing to sign off on Cray being assigned to us. My lawyer said that this should happen next Tuesday afternoon. We're just waiting for the exact time."
"So where is the young man staying? And I assume that Bob and you've got your stories straight on the timeline of when you met Cray?"
"As we speak, Cray is being interviewed by a case worker from Child Services. We have petitioned the county to allow us temporary custody of him until the judge finalizes everything next week. The interview is just a formality and our lawyer is with them at the county offices to walk things through. Tonight, Cray is moving in with us." Drew took a breath and sighed. "Bob and I have a plan of action...and Cray is plugged into a school routine. We just all have to be very specific that Cray's homeless status' was unknown until very recently."
"Keep me posted, Drew. Whatever I can do...it'll be done. I mean that. Between Cray's needs and getting this operation going, you've got your plate full."
"I plan on being successful on both fronts. Make that we...Bob has the same commitment. Tonight we'll hear the pitter-pat of size 11 feet in our home. But if you have someone you can call to help grease the proceedings with the judge, it would be appreciated." Drew stood up and waited for Nick to rise.
"Consider it a done deal. I've got a few favors I can call in." Nick shook Drew's hand, nodded and added, "Good luck, Dad."
"You got everything moved out and over here?" Bob asked as he passed the container of kung pow chicken. That night's welcome dinner consisted of Chinese take-out that he had picked up on his way home from work.
"Spike -- I think you met him once -- helped me box up my stuff and bring it over when I got back from the hearing. I'll unpack everything and organize my room after dinner." Cray scooped some more fried rice on his plate and added, "Guess Mario's place is nothing more than a nice memory. It was kind of a safe port in an odd way," he added with a sigh. "I'll miss not seeing Spike. He's become the big brother I never had." Cray had taken the night off from work to handle the interview and move in. He now had his own set of keys and the alarm code to his new home.
"Hardly just a memory," Drew said with a smile. "After we get settled, we'll have to have Mario and Spike over for dinner. And I'm sure that they'll want to have you over there once in a while. Mr. Ed was pretty insistent that you don't lose touch." He observed that Cray seemed a little on edge. Bob was right to suggest we have a little friendly talk tonight with Cray,' he thought.
"Sounds like the hearing went alright?" Bob asked.
"Mr. Mitchell is really a cool lawyer. He had everything pulled together. I didn't realize one guy like me could generate so much paperwork. Jeez, my file must be an inch thick." Cray took a drink of bottled water. "Well, maybe a half-inch," he said with a chuckle.
"Hey, what's a half-inch among friends?" Drew laughed and shrugged. Probably not in good taste for a new dad to make jokes with a double entendre,' he thought before he noticed Cray's face lighten up and a big grin was turned on.
"That's something that none of us at this table are going to have to worry about," Cray said with a laugh.
"Ha. There's not much that gets by you and I'd better plan on thinking first before I speak." Drew turned to Bob and added, "I suspect he takes after your family genes."
"Just pulling your chain, Dad."
"Oooookay. I think it's time to change subjects." Drew winked to let Cray know they were having fun. "Seriously, Mitch is a good guy and a terrific lawyer and it was important to have all the necessary documents ready. Fostering homeless minors is a big deal...and that we're two guys, makes it even more of a big deal." He raised his beer bottle and continued, "By the way, even though it's first names for all of us, I feel proud to be called Dad'. Here's to a successful week ahead."
"I'll second that." Bob raised his bottle and nodded for Cray to do the same. The three guys clinked' their bottles and took a token sip.
"You got beer and I'm stuck with water?" Cray asked with a snicker.
"One step at a time, whipper snapper." Drew grinned and continued, "Back on topic. There'll be a loose set of rules we need to agree to pretty soon. As far as alcohol is concerned, neither of us mind if you have a small glass of wine or beer with dinner...when it's just the three of us." He nodded and took another sip. "Does that sound okay to you?"
"Cool. But I was just pulling your leg and I really don't like beer that much." Cray grinned and played with his food for a moment. "Those rules you mentioned; is there anything that I'm not going to like?"
"Naw, I wouldn't think so," Bob answered. He looked to Drew and raised his eyebrows.
"Just common sense stuff. That's all." Drew considered what he wanted to say for a moment. "First, we're proud that we can help you move into the next period of your life -- phasing into young adulthood. Second, you've avoided the pitfalls of drug temptation and that is exemplary. Third, from what you've told me, education is a big deal for you. Having you enrolled in one of the best high schools in Nevada will help prep you for college."
"Yeah, Green Valley is neat. Some of us are starting a study group to get ready for the SATs."
"There ya go...it's one less worry for us. And if you ever want to have the group over here, that's no problem," Drew replied.
"So what we have on our hands is a bright, good-looking guy who likes school and isn't into drugs. Not too shabby. Drew and I also need to know where you are when you're not home. We'll do the same thing with our schedules. Maybe we can all post something on the fridge. Plus, we all carry a cell phone. Don't ever be reluctant to call us...on anything."
"I won't. The cell phone is the coolest thing and it's a blast the way my friends use them. I was a little taken back at first when guys would ask for my phone and then enter their contact numbers. I found out real fast that everyone swaps phones and exchanges numbers that way. Tim told me it also gives everyone a chance to check out the other guy's phone and see how many numbers are in the directory. I'm getting a lot of numbers."
"I guess nobody writes down names and phone numbers any more, eh? Ain't the 21st century grand. But, please -- don't do text messages. I can't figure them out."
"What's wrong? Too old to work the thumbs fast on the pad?" Cray replied with a snicker.
"Don't worry...at 26, everything works just fine." Bob grinned and paused for a moment. "To get serious, we need to talk about something else." He looked at Drew. "A big road to cross at some point is to figure out how you explain that you have two dads."
"I've been thinking about that," Cray said. "Um, maybe once things get settled and the hotel is open, we could have a cookout for my friends so I can introduce you two. I might just say that my mother couldn't live in Vegas and being with you was the solution for me to stay?"
"That could work." Bob nodded at both Cray and Drew. "Feed out the truth a little at a time. And if someone ever asks what our relationship is, be as upfront as you want."
"Just don't feel pressured to come out at school if you don't want to. Bob and I will support whatever you decide. And since we all actually met at work, it's 99% truth to say we offered a home for you."
"Guys, I appreciate your advice but I'm not sure how I'm going to handle coming out. I've been in school for over a month and have made some neat friends. I do know I'll go slow." Cray looked at each man and raised his eyebrows. "Just so you know, I'd never be embarrassed to let people know you guys are a couple."
"It's not like it's a big secret, but go as slow as you feel you need to." Bob put his hand on Cray's wrist and said, "Just remember one thing: if you come out and some of your friends give you grief about it, they weren't worthy to be your friend in the first place." He watched Cray silently nod and smile wistfully.
"Let's talk about the three of us. The biggest thing is that we all respect each other. This isn't that big of a place -- although that could change some day -- and we're in close quarters," Bob said. "I think that it's important to maintain private space. If your bedroom door is closed, neither of us will come in without knocking first and getting your permission to enter."
"Same applies with our room. I think that'll avoid any embarrassments...all the way around. And feel free to invite your friends over. Just give one of us a heads up' so we're not surprised." Drew took the container of beef with broccoli and put a small portion onto his plate. "I know from speaking with Mr. Ed that keeping your room picked up is not going to be a problem, and respecting the other parts of our home are just an extension of that philosophy. What do you think about what we've covered?"
"Nothing that I can't live with," Cray answered. "After the crap I was used to back in Provo, this is a breeze. I couldn't be prouder about having you two as my foster parents. School seems to be going well and I've found someone who's become pretty special to me."
"This is Michael Turner...Bud's son...the guy we met at the gym?" Bob asked.
"The very same. We've, um, got something going but it's just between the two of us. Neither of us is ready to come out to our friends. At least, not yet."
"Then, by all means, let's plan on having Michael over to dinner some night. We both approve of your choice of a friend -- although I don't know when we're going to find time for a while to sit down and relax with him." Drew looked again at Bob and raised his eyebrows a little. "I suppose it's fair to assume that you guys are physically intimate?"
"That really should be a rhetorical question," Bob added quickly. "It's funny that we live in a society of double standards on several levels. You're at an age where your body functions as a mature man but society represses these desires. You understand that we will be supportive of a close friendship and aren't judgmental about what you do in private?"
"Thanks, Bob -- Dad number two." Cray smiled and took a deep breath. "I don't mind answering that question. You two are about as cool as they come and I wouldn't try to B.S. you. Since I'm about to officially become your foster son, I don't want to keep anything from either of you." Cray looked at each for a moment and took another sip of water.
"This isn't about prying," Bob replied. "We're not that much apart in age and I can still remember the uncertainties I had about life in general. I wish I had had the opportunity to bounce questions about serious stuff off an older guy who understands things. Unfortunately, most teens are too embarrassed to talk this out with their parents. And if the teen is gay, well...it's usually a brick wall -- real or imagined."
"I don't see any brick walls here and feel I can trust both of you. We've explored things but haven't...gone all the way. And it's been drilled into my head by Spike that I should always approach sex in the safest manner possible. I don't intend on risking my health or anyone else's...trust me."
"Spike seems to be quite a guy," Bob said. "I'd say you've had great advice and can only add that I hope you will feel just as comfortable talking with either of us about that or anything else."
"The only cautionary advice is to keep our philosophy of parenting a teen between the three of us. There are a few fundy whackos out there that would love to use this common-sense approach to sex against us."
"Thanks, Bob. Drew. I understand and my lips are sealed," Cray replied while he winked. "And when I've got a question about something that I can't work out, I'll come running." Cray reached out and offered a hand to each man. He smiled when Bob and Drew took his hands, and they all held them together for a moment.
Michael and Cray spent the early part of Sunday afternoon at the gym. They had fallen into a routine of working out and practicing their martial arts forms on Sunday and one other day of the week. Michael's dad -- Bud Turner -- had arranged for a co-worker to give him a ride to work that day so that Michael could have the truck.
"You wanna come over to my place for a while? Dad's going to be tied up with training on the casino floor all day and into the evening," Michael asked as he pulled out of the 24 Hour Fitness parking lot where they headed on Wigwam Parkway to Pecos Road. "Have a Coke, or sumpin'?"
"Yeah, sure. I don't have to be home until later." Cray picked up on the unspoken implications of getting together but decided not to comment. Let it play out,' he decided.
"If you don't mind me asking, but what exactly happened on where you live. Have you moved?"
"No problem. I was going to tell you but we got wrapped up in the workout." Cray paused and decided to be semi-clean with his friend. "My mother is permanently in Utah and I'm now staying with Bob and Drew. Those are the guys you met at the gym. They work with your dad at Barcelona."
"I remember them and thought they were cool. So, these guys share a house together?" Michael asked with a puzzled expression.
"Actually, it's a condo they share and they'll be responsible for me -- like parents -- until I turn 18." Cray leaned back in the seat, turned to Michael and added, "And just in case you're wondering, they are a committed couple. I've got two dads."
"Holy shit, you mean..."
"Yep. Like us. Gives parental guidance a new meaning," Cray said with a laugh.
"And your mother is gone?"
"Michael, you've got to do all the cross your heart' shit cuz this has to be between you and me only...'kay?"
"Definitely." Michael turned and squeezed Cray's thigh. "So what gives?"
"Let's just say that my mother gave up any parental custody and is no longer in the picture. Bob and Drew are going to be my foster parents if everything goes well before the judge next week. That's why you can't breath a word of this until everything's official. Just for the record, my real dad gave up on their marriage and boogied several years ago. I have no idea where he is. Now you understand why this has to be kept quiet."
"Wow, this is serious and my lips are sealed. But it sounds like you've got a sweet deal, now. I suppose they know you're gay?" Michael turned off the main avenue and onto a quiet residential street.
"That's why we're all together. I had a problem and they stepped up to the plate. The cool thing is that Bob's like only 10 years older than me -- I think Drew's three or four years older than Bob -- and I can really talk to them. Um, I hope you don't mind that I told them about us becoming more than just good friends?" Cray decided to go for broke and laid all the cards out. "That we're boy friends."
"Th...that's okay, I guess," Michael said in a lower voice. "It's just that they all work together at the casino and I haven't told dad about...my interest in guys. I really didn't figure things out until a year ago. But with him always working and no mom, I just pushed it back to deal with at a later time. Maybe that time's now."
"You don't have to worry about Bob and Drew outing' you to anyone. I'll make sure." Cray took Michael's free hand and held it tightly. "Please don't be pissed that I said anything. Ya gotta know I trust them with my life." He brought Michael's hand up to his lips and kissed it.
"I'm not pissed," Michael replied as he gently touched Cray's face. "It just took me by surprise...that's all." He pulled his hand away as he slowed down for a turn into a driveway. "Here we are. Oh, I did mention to Dad that I had met Bob and Drew at the gym. You didn't tell me that Drew is a big vice president with the resort. He runs the hotel?"
"Didn't seem important at the time. Bob is a manager in another area -- Marketing." Cray observed a nice, fairly plain small home with a carport as their destination. The landscape was the typical desert look: crushed stones, rocks and cactus. Getting to know a little more about Michael,' he thought as the truck stopped. Michael had said his mother died when he was a boy, but that was about it. He looked at Michael and unlatched his door.
"Here's the web," Michael said as he turned off the engine.
"But I'm no fly, Mr. Spider." Cray laughed, lightly punched Michael's arm and got out of the truck. He trotted around and stood by the opened driver's door as Michael slid off the seat. "Fancy meeting you here." He reached down and cupped Michael's buns with his hands. "Ummm, yum."
"Hold off, you pervert, 'til we get inside." Michael chuckled as he locked the truck door and grabbed his gym bag from the back. "Come on." He walked with Cray to the front door, inserted a key and opened it. "Let me get the light," he said as he reached around the doorway and flipped on a switch. "There we are."
Cray followed Michael into the small, neat home that was 100% masculine in appearance. Everything was either in black, different shades of taupe/beige or wood. Mr. Turner must like a Southwestern look,' Cray thought as he looked around. There were a few pieces of art on the wall that suggested Native American origin and an Indian throw blanket lying across the back of one of the leather easy chairs. On a long, narrow ledge, several Kachina dolls and a variety of pottery added to the theme. He really has done a neat job in creating an authentic look,' Cray judged.
"Home, sweet home. Welcome." Michael walked up and tenderly kissed Cray on the lips. It was more of a brief brush of skin than anything else. "Maybe I should close the blinds," he said with a chuckle. He went over to the picture window and adjusted the vertical blinds. "It's only about 4:00. Are you hungry?"
"How about just a Coke? Maybe we could stop by In and Out Burgers on Eastern when you take me home later on. I've been there a couple of times and it'd be on the way." Cray was hungry...but not for food. He was eager to munch down on Michael.
"You got it." Michael led them through the living room and dining area to the kitchen. "Why don't you grab a couple Cokes from the fridge while I toss my wet workout clothes in the laundry room?"
"Will do. By the way, I think your dad has a terrific eye for design. I'm not that much into Indian stuff, but what he's done is impressive." Cray opened the refrigerator and fished out two cans of Diet Coke. He handed one to Michael when he returned.
"My mom was one-quarter Hopi and it was her collection originally. Dad just added to it. Thanks for noticing...it's a way I keep in touch with her spirit." Michael popped open the can and took a sip. "I've got a dream catcher' hanging above my bed. Let me show you my room and you can see it."
"Absolutely." He followed Michael down the short hallway to a small bedroom. The walls were painted a dark blue and posters of spaceships from several movies hung on one wall. Smaller framed pictures of NASA spacecraft surrounded Michael's desk and computer. He looked up at the ceiling and was taken aback by a well-drawn scene of a galaxy. It was complete with clusters of stars and planets. Hanging from the wall behind the bed was an Indian dream catcher web with feathers and beads. "Wow, this is incredible. Really neat."
"I've had a passion for space since I was a kid. I plan on studying computer sciences in college and working for NASA. It's been a lifelong dream." Michael sat down and took off his shoes and socks. "You wanna get more comfortable? I usually run around barefoot when I'm home."
"You're the host and when in Rome, et cetera." Cray sat on the bed and unlaced his Nikes. After his socks were removed he wiggled his toes and said, "I do this at home, too. Even with a little less clothing."
"Make yourself at home and I will, too." Michael walked over to a boom box and turned it on. "If ya don't mind, I'll play a couple CDs I have of Star Wars soundtracks." After closing the blinds, he turned to Cray, slowly removed his tee shirt and tossed it in the corner. "Why don't you lose yours?"
"Pushy fucker, aren't you?" Cray said with a laugh as he stood up. He pulled off his tee and threw it in the same corner. He walked up to Michael and playfully squeezed his friend's nipples.
"Oh, nice. Didn't know you're a breast man."
"Good to play around with -- and suck on." Cray leaned down, licked and softly bit each hard nubbin. He then kissed his way back to Michael's face.
"That tickles...nice," Michael said with a shiver.
"What I really like is hidden in those shorts of yours. Although, from the bulge, it's not doing a very good job of hiding." Cray moved his hand over and rubbed Michael's swollen crotch. "Found it," he said as his lips arrived at Michael's lips. "Let's try that kissing thing again."
"I agree. That first kiss was more like kissing a brother...and you're much more than kinfolk." Michael put his hand behind Cray's head and held it firmly as he pressed his open lips closer. His tongue eased out of his mouth and sought out Cray's close, friendly orifice. "Mmmm," he softly moaned as his tongue touched Cray. Each rotated their tongues around the other's before deeper areas of the mouth were explored. All the time, their lips pressed tighter together.
Cray fumbled a little in his main endeavor as Michael's kisses became more intense. He finally was able to unzip Michael's fly and easily reach the prize. They had both gone commando after dressing at the gym. "Oh, babe," he said after pulling back a little. He fished out Michael's rock-hard erection and rubbed his thumb on the moistened tip. "Let's get out of the shorts," he whispered in Michael's ear.
"I'm one step behind." Michael found Cray's zipper and quickly pulled it down. "This takes two hands," he said as he unbuttoned the shorts and pushed them down.
"You take care of yours and I'll get out of mine." Cray was excited to be nude with Michael. It was too tempting in the shower room,' he thought as he stepped out of his shorts. He smiled as he watched Michael do the same thing. Together, they added their shorts to the clothing pile and moved onto the bed. Nice,' he thought as he scanned the nude male before him.
"Another first for this bed. Except for jerking, this room has never seen any other action." He lay on his back and pulled Cray onto him. "Hi," he said as he looked intently into Cray's eyes. "I've been thinking about this all week."
"Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. Not only am I incredibly horny, but it's you that makes me feel that way, Michael. It's great when we're together." Cray leaned in and started kissing again; rekindling the sexual exploration they had started by the pool a couple of weeks earlier. While the two guys played tongue tag, Cray methodically ground his hard dick into Michael's erection.
"Let's move around," Michael said, almost with a mumble, "and do the numbers'."
"Right." Cray licked his way down Michael's chest -- stopping off to lap at each nipple, again -- and followed the smooth skin down to his friend's navel and a dusting of dark hair that trailed down to Michael's ample patch of pubic hair. Cray rotated around so his crotch was within close striking distance of Michael's face. "See anything you like?" he said with a chuckle.
"Just this one-eyed monster that seems to be leaking." Michael leaned closer and licked the pre-cum from Cray's piss-slit and glans. "Mmmm...fixed it. I think it likes company," he said as he tentatively slid the tip into his mouth.
"Fuckin' A." Cray said as he duplicated the moves. He loved the additional girth that Michael presented and wondered what he needed to do, in addition to a couple of fingers, if they ever got to the final step in lovemaking. Cray smiled a little as he realized Michael was humming along to the background music as each took more cock in their mouths. I guess he's enjoying this as much as I am,' Cray thought as he sped up his sucking action. Gotta watch it that I don't cum too soon.'
He was rapidly moving into that special zone when he kept hearing the words, "Boys, boys". Suddenly, Michael stopped his plunging movements and pulled away.
"Michael. You and your friend stop this...now," came a loud voice.
"Oh, jeez. Dad," Michael replied with a gasp.
Oh, crap,' Cray thought as he awkwardly moved around and sat up. There, looking with more puzzlement than anger was Mr. Turner. Christ. Here I am, naked as a bird, with a hardon, caught sucking off this guy's son.' He nervously moved his legs into a crossed position and hoped it hid junior.'
"Um, Dad, I don't...don't know what...to say," Michael said with a tremble. "I guess I've screwed up and you're really mad at me."
"Michael, let's say I'm more surprised than anything else. This is your friend, Cray?" Mr. Turner looked at Cray with a frown and his fists firmly planted on his hips.
"Mr. Turner, please don't blame Michael, Sir. I should be blamed just as much or more." Cray was curious about this reception. He'd heard from Spike about guys who had been discovered like this and had gotten severely beaten before being tossed out of their house. Cray instinctively put his arm in front of his face as Mr. Turner approached the bed. "Don't hit me...I'll go." It flashed through Cray's mind that this guy might call the police and screw things up with the adoption process. "I'm sorry."
"First, Cray, I'm not going to hit you because I don't work on that principle. I think what you need to do is retrieve your clothes and wait out in the living room. I want to talk with my son and then he can take you home. Okay?"
"Yes, Sir." Cray turned to the edge of the bed and paused for a moment. I guess I'm beyond embarrassment,' he thought as he stood up and unconsciously displayed a wilting, but still impressive, appendage. He walked around Mr. Turner, rolled his eyes to Michael and picked up his clothes and shoes. "I'll be out in the living room." He knew Michael was petrified but didn't know what he could do to help. The poor guy is just frozen, staring at his dad, like someone shoved a broom up his ass,' he thought.
"Good. And don't worry about Michael. We just need a few minutes to talk. We'll see you out there," Mr. Turner said as he pointed towards the living room.
Cray nodded and scurried out of the room. It doesn't sound like Michael's going to get hit or anything,' he thought as he unceremoniously dropped everything on the floor by the couch. I must play this cool because of court. But this is Michael's dad and his house so I'll take my cues from them.' He rapidly dressed and was tying the last shoe when Michael and his dad walked into the living room. He automatically stood and looked at the father and son. Michael had also dressed. Cray's stomach tightened as he imagined what Mr. Turner had seen.
"Sit down and try to relax," Mr. Turner said. "And I think if we're going to know each other a little better, you should call me Bud. Speaking of which, I really need a beer. Would you excuse me for a second?" He didn't wait for a reply and walked away.
"Okay, Michael, what the fuck is happening? If my old man had walked in on me doing that, he would have tried to kick the shit out of me. Are you okay?"
"Now that the shock has worn off...yeah. Dad will talk with us when he returns but I think we're going to be fine." Michael sat down next to Cray but kept his hands to himself.
"How so?" Cray asked in a low voice. "I mean your dad walked in on his only son 69'ing' some stranger. Don't get me wrong; what you just said relieves me a little, but I'm still freaked."
"Well, un-freak, doofus. It'll turn out..."
"Alright, fellas. I brought some Cokes for you two." Bud set down the cans on the coffee table and eased into an overstuffed chair. "Michael, have you told Cray anything we discussed?"
No, Dad. I thought it best to wait for you." Michael opened a can and nodded for Cray to do the same.
"Probably just as well." Bud raised his bottle, nodded to each young man and took a long pull. "Ah, just what I needed. You have to understand that Michael and I have never spoken about his sexuality. I always assumed that he was headed down a hetero path and gave him pointers when he hit puberty. You know, the birds and bees thing. So, to find my almost adult son in the arms of another guy doing...well, it was quite a shock."
Cray decided that the best strategy was to keep quiet and sip his Coke. Mr. Turner -- Bud -- is quite mellow considering what just happened,' he thought. Jeez, I can still taste Michael's dick in my mouth.' He looked directly at Bud and listened.
"I've spoken with Michael and he says that he's definitely gay and has felt so for some time. I assume, Cray, that you also feel the same way?"
"Yes, sir. This is something I discovered about myself this summer and don't think it's a matter of choice. I hope Michael doesn't mind me saying that I care about him a great deal." Cray decided it was best to get this on the table since he had an opening.
"I told Dad essentially the same thing," Michael said to Cray. He took Cray's hand and squeezed it for a moment.
"Michael and I will have a lengthy conversation tonight. It's going to take me a little time to completely process this." Bud paused, took another sip and continued, "It looks like Michael and I have something else in common that I hadn't planned on." Bud looked at both young men, one at a time and shrugged.
"Sir?" Cray wrinkled his brow and frowned. What the hell is he saying?'
"I just told Michael that I've known I was gay for quite a long time. Even when his mother was alive, I knew that my...sexual interests were really focused on men. However, I never strayed while we were married." Bud paused for a moment and looked at Michael. "I guess it's a case of father and son tip-toeing around in our respective closets. In fact, I've been seriously dating someone over the past six months and was frightened to tell Michael about this because I thought he'd reject me. Funny, the way life turns."
"That's an understatement," Michael replied. "Dad, maybe we can all double-date sometime." He stared at Bud and turned on a sheepish grin.
"My son, the social organizer," Bud replied with a laugh. "We've just come out to each other and he wants to party together."
"Well...maybe I can meet your friend for openers. Although we should probably set up some sort of closed bedroom door policy." Michael rolled his eyes.
"Son, I appreciate your sense of humor to lighten things up. But I don't think either of us is ready to discuss sleepover arrangements with friends. Let's take it one step at a time. Okay?"
"Gottcha." Michael turned to Cray and asked, "Are you okay with this? Cuz I still want you as my boyfriend."
"I guess I'm relieved as much as I'm surprised. Mr. Turner -- Bud, is this cool with you?"
"Yeah...cool's a good word. It's just going to take a little time for all of us to adjust to what we've just found out about each other."
"I'd really like to have us all sit down sometime. I know you're very busy getting the casino open but when you can squeeze in some time, let's do it. And I definitely want Michael as my boyfriend." Cray smiled and decided that this was not the time to give his boyfriend a kiss. We all have things to think about.'
"Um, if you'll excuse us, Dad, I'll take Cray home. I'll be right back."
"Son, give me a little time to get cleaned up and rest. We'll figure out what we do next, over dinner." Bud stood up and walked over to Cray as he was getting up. "As Michael suggested, I guess we've got to work out a few privacy details around the house." He grabbed Cray's hand and shook it. "I'm sure we'll get to know each other, better."