Castle Roland

Shifting Sands

by Jack Scribe, of Honored Memory


Chapter 3

Posted: N/A

Lake Las Vegas - an ambitious development that included several golf clubs, resorts and residences - was only 17 miles east from the Strip but it could have easily been in another country. The lifestyle there was akin to old world gentility when compared to the over-the-top gaudiness of its flashy neighbor. However, creatively themed appearances were a shared characteristic. In the case of LLV - as locals generally referred to the community - it was a Mediterranean-slash-Tuscan-slash-village destination, rivaling only Disney in 'fake real' ambiance. LLV included a fake lake, a fake bridge that paid homage to Florence's Ponte Vecchio, fake village shops and fake villas. However, the three championship golf courses that blanketed the sandy underpinnings were real, as well as the hundreds of upscale residences. When Celine Dion performed at Caesars Palace for several years, she established a home at LLV and commuted nightly by helicopter. Bette Midler was now doing the same thing while she headlined at Caesar's Coliseum. It's that kind of neighborhood.

On balance, not considering the summer desert inferno, Jack Gamble was happy he had moved from San Diego to Las Vegas a year earlier. While Jack missed the laid back lifestyle with all those perpetual surfer dudes, the lower living expenses and no state income tax more than made up for the absence of bleached blond hair, tan bodies and bulging boardshorts. He found a well-maintained mobile home - the leasing agent was very careful not to refer to his new home as a trailer - a little further east, in Boulder City. The community offered a small town ambiance and an abundance of outdoor recreation: the nearby, much-larger Lake Mead was ideal for boating and fishing.

At work, Jack faced challenges that taxed his management training. The upscale Reflection Bay Resort was not immune from the business turndown, and he was continually helping re-forecast revenues and schedule labor to address the fewer 'heads in beds'. As a result of Jack's diligence, high performance reviews 'saved his ass' when the hotel consolidated manager positions. He was now Assistant GM, supervising both the Rooms and Food & Beverage departments. The increased responsibilities meant a few more hours per day at work, but it didn't seriously interfere with his personal life - a life that had perked up recently in the boyfriend department.

Phil Perez, a 35-year-old English teacher at Coronado High in Henderson - hardly a boy - was the recent addition to Jack's downtime. The two men had met at the gym on a mid-week evening a few months earlier. Jack was doing reps with hand weights when he noticed the trim guy, around 5'8" who appeared to be a few years younger, on a bench across the room doing chest presses. The light brown skin and dark hair suggested either Hispanic or Italian heritage, Jack considered, as he moved a little closer for a better view. 'Whoa...this dude must work out a lot,' he decided, 'to get a six-pack like that.' While the man was looking up at the ceiling to concentrate on the presses, Jack continued to check out the stranger's build: defined but not monster biceps, wisps of pit hair, taut nipples pushing out from the sweat-moistened Lycra material of the sleeveless shirt, muscled legs and a formidable bulge in his crotch. He didn't pull his eyes away from staring at the 'package' in time - the guy suddenly turned his head, returned Jack's stare and switched on a sly smile for a brief moment.

'Nothing ventured, blah-blah-blah,' Jack thought as he walked over to the bench next to the guy and nodded. Jack's six-foot frame straddled the bench and he lay down to do the same press exercises. At one point, he snuck a peek and saw his neighbor now doing a set of flat flies. The next 15 minutes were like that - both men going through their workout routine while they played visual cat and mouse. It was a jock version of the time-tested 'let's check out each other without acknowledging it' game played in bars, restaurants, parties and, as in this case, the gym.

At the end of his bench workout, Jack sat up and looked at himself in the mirror while keeping his target under view out of the corner of his eye. Jack's full head of light brown hair and boyish fair features projected a youthfully mature image. And he thought his build was pretty decent for someone who, at 40, was solidly into middle age. 'I'm certainly not as defined as 'Mr. Tasty',' he conceded, standing up, 'but holding my own...for an old fart.' He racked his weights and decided to go over to the cool-down area and stretch before heading home. He purposely glanced at the guy and raised his hand as a subtle 'so long, dude' wave before walking across the gym to the mat.

The upper back-leg grab had Jack naturally looking down at the mat and he didn't realize he had company until a deep, low voice said, "Mind if I join you for some stretches?"

Jack released his legs, turned and saw 'Mr. Tasty' squatting on the mat three feet away. "There's plenty of room. Be my guest." He smiled, sat up and put one leg over the other at an angle so he could face the man. "By the way, my name is Jack," he said as he extended his hand for a shake. 'Who's hitting on who,' he wondered as he grinned, 'or is it whom?'

"I'm Phil."

The two warm, sweaty hands met for a shake and that was that. They had opened the door. Broke the ice. Turned on the faucet. Whatever clichd colloquialism was appropriate - they had connected. Jack knew that this was an opportunity not to be wasted; he had lost count of the times that he'd been too shy to respond to a stranger's eye contact or suggestive innuendo.

While stretching, they asked and bantered about a series of worn but necessary questions that two strangers ask when getting acquainted. Professions, general vicinity of their neighborhoods, marital status and favorite sports. Each shared the basics with safe, somewhat predictable answers. Both acknowledged former marriages without any specifics and Phil added that he'd had a 'partner' at one time. This set the stage for Jack to be a little more gay-specific.

"I've only been in town for over a year and haven't been to many bars," he said as they entered the locker room. "I tried Goodtime once, but the crowd was a little young for me. And the Eagle is just too..."

"Leathery?" Phil asked with a knowing smile.

"That, and all the piercings, too. I'm a pretty traditional guy." Jack decided not to add 'horny' to his specs.

"Vanilla, like ice cream?"

"Something like that...although you can leave off the 'ice'." Jack winked, took off his shirt and stopped by his locker. "Listen, after we get cleaned up, you wanna get some food...or is it too late for you?" He looked at the wall clock and saw that it was just after 7:30 p.m. He hadn't made such an aggressive move in quite a while and hoped that this wouldn't be a 'strike out'.

"It's not too late and I could eat something...just not too much," Phil replied. "There's a great sushi place not far from where I live. Probably ten minutes from here. Does Japanese ring your chimes?"

"Sounds good. I haven't had sushi for a while...probably not since I was in the army." Jack knew that Phil was most definitely ringing his chimes...not to mention the chance to eat a good California roll or yellowtail sashimi with such a studly companion.

"Then I consider it a patriotic duty to re-introduce you to some good food."

"Let's get cleaned up and do it." As Jack unlaced his shoes, he noticed that Phil's locker was only a few feet away from his.

Both men played the locker room 'modesty game' by turning their backs to each other while they undressed and wrapped a towel around their waists; S.O.P. at the gym for most guys. A fast shower, with darting looks to see what was beneath the 'wrappings', and dressing back into their street clothes took less than 10 minutes. In that time, Jack judged that Phil's uncut cock was very much a 'grower'. And he knew that Phil had glanced over to check out his circumcised goods when he'd taken a few extra moments to dry himself.

Jack followed Phil to the Osaka Japanese Restaurant on South Eastern. After sharing three orders of sushi and drinking one round of beer, Phil quietly asked if Jack would like to come home and 'visit' for a while. Jack, without any reluctance, agreed and they continued phase two of exploring their new friendship at Phil's house.

By midnight, Jack was in his own bed, feeling content but a little sore. He looked forward to seeing Phil that coming weekend and they'd laughed when they remembered it was April Fool's Day. 'But it certainly wasn't any cucumber from Safeway that found its way up my ass,' Jack thought as he drifted off to his first good night's sleep in quite a while.

MBWA - management by wandering around - had been drummed into Jack's head by a boss several years earlier and that aspect of supervising people was now second nature. His final tour that Tuesday evening was a stroll through the not-to-busy dining room, before exiting the building via the kitchen loading dock to the employee parking lot. The hotel was gearing up for a big weekend golf tournament and he wanted to confirm that restaurant and chef staffing would be increased for the forecasted volume of guests.

He got into his used but sturdy Dodge Dakota truck, and began his short commute home while he mulled over a conversation he'd had with Phil the previous evening. For the first time, Jack was forthcoming about the real reasons he had lost contact with his son Cray. By the time he finished explaining his ex-wife's threats if he hadn't left town eight years earlier, Jack was in tears. It was Phil who did the math, determining that Cray was now an 18-year-old adult. Phil suggested that Jack should figure out a way to contact him, pointing out that Edith could now do nothing.

"I should have thought of that," he said to himself, while he rinsed his dinner dishes. "And little Cray probably isn't so little anymore." Traversing his mind was a haunting question that had re-surfaced: could he have done something at the time to thwart Edith's threats and not desert his son? 'If I had fought her,' he decided, 'I would have ended up in the slammer and flagged as a sexual predator?'

In a box that contained personal papers and photographs, he found an old address book. Jack smiled when he saw several pictures of Cray held together by a rubber band. 'I need to look at these again,' he decided, 'after the call.' He went to the "E" section and checked the Edith listing - Edith Scarpino. 'She's gotta be still married to that asshole, Gene,' he thought as he punched the numbers into his cell, 'cuz he was her meal ticket. Wonder how Cray got along with the stepdad?' The wait while the phone rang - one...two...three - seemed like an eternity. The fourth ring was interrupted by the call being answered.

_"Hello?" _ The voice was whiskey-gruff but unmistakably that of Edith.

"Edith, good evening. This is Jack...Gamble." He decided to err on the side of civility. 'Like that bitch deserves it.'

"What the hell do you want?"

"To talk...that's all," Jack replied softly but firmly. He didn't want to give Edith a reason to disconnect.

"There's nothing to say. I should..."

"It's about Cray."

"Cray...he doesn't live here. Sumpin happen to him?"

"He's not with you?" Jack asked. "Where is he?"

_ " He's outta my life...forever. The kid was...a disappointment...and he's...I don't know where he went. He's grow'd up and...well, that's all I know." _

"How can I reach him?" Jack picked up a combination of nervousness and anger in her voice.

"Dunno. But it's fer sure that little shit isn't in this town," _ she replied with a snarled sourness. "Now, don't bother me again...ever. Ya hear? We have nothing to talk about. Period."_

Jack was stunned as Edith disconnected the call. Not so much that she'd hung up on him, but at the news that Cray wasn't in Provo. 'Did he join the military?' he wondered as he returned to the kitchen, 'or run away?' Rather than have a beer, he decided it was time for a stiff Jim Beam and Coke while he considered this news.

The last time he'd seen Cray was when his son was ten. An active, intelligent, healthy loving boy. The two adored each other and leaving their home, however dysfunctional, was the hardest decision in Jack's life. For the first few years, he frequently played the 'what if' of his departure. His conclusion was that Edith would have been successful in pressing child abuse matter what Cray said. What had begun as a simple admission that Jack had occasionally 'wanked' with a buddy in the military, proved fodder for Edith's evil imagination when she successfully plotted to remove him from the family picture.

As much as he loved Cray, the idea of a jail sentence and the stigma of being a child molester outweighed his desire to stay and fight. 'Maybe it was a cowardly way out,' he thought, 'but I don't know how else I could have handled it.' He knew that the courts would figuratively beat him to a bloody pulp. And once in prison, the beatings would be literal - and everything else that went with residing in the 'Graybar Hotel'. The idea of being some bully's bitch, or worse, repulsed him.

Leaving Provo was difficult and he vividly recalled pulling off the Interstate on more than one occasion for an uncontrollable cry. The memories of Cray were deeply etched in his mind and the young boy's image popped up frequently - first, on an hourly basis - as Jack set about to repair his life. For the next year, he would frequently wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat after a recurring, disturbing dream concerning the confrontation with Edith. He imagined little Cray hovering in a corner, watching this jackal of a woman harangue and threaten him.

Gradually, over the next few years, Jack put this trauma behind him. After a while, he would fleetingly imagine how his son was growing up. Without any friends or relatives to use as a contact, he could only hope that Cray was coping and doing well. On important holidays - those days when being alone really rubbed him the wrong way - he'd longingly study the family photographs for hours. Finally, a few years ago, Jack decided it was best not to think about his mistakes and permanently stowed away the pictures. For the most part, he had been able to disconnect himself from his painful past.

And now, this. Phil had unwittingly unleashed his buried shame. The ramifications of his actions - cowardly, perhaps, upon reflection - had been violently stirred with the phone call. The scab had been torn off. 'Edith is still a piece of crap,' he thought as he picked up the bundle of photographs, 'and I hope Cray survived her...wherever he is.' Jack took off the rubber band and slowly shuffled through each dog-eared picture. Pictures that chronicled Cray's growth during his first decade on earth. Happy times. Sad times. Compromised times.

The Tuesday Massacre . That's what the surviving managers had called the job eliminations announced earlier that day. Drew's role in the downsizing was an odd combination of being Nicks' facilitator and consoler to the departed. As 'axed' executives cleared out, Drew buried himself at his desk to pack up belongings and files for the move to the smaller office next door. It also allowed him to be alone and less visible. There wasn't much more to say to unemployed former colleagues in the emotionally charged atmosphere. Most were aware that finding comparable positions in the crummy job market would be, at best, difficult.

By eight p.m., Drew had organized his new space - actually, his original office when Barcelona first opened - and was ready to go home. Before leaving, he stood in the outer offices and looked at the quiet surroundings. Tomorrow, less than half of the desks and offices would be occupied.

Home was a safe anchor. Drew found Bob in the den, working on some marketing projects he'd 'inherited'. They spoke for a few minutes and briefed each other on specific aspects of the job shuffling and consolidation. Drew changed into a polo shirt and cargo shorts and padded out to the kitchen for a snack. Lunch with Bob and Bud had been his last opportunity to eat anything, and the idea of munching on food while he watched the upcoming ten o'clock news on Fox5 seemed to be a 'killing two birds with one stone' plan.

Drew raided the fridge of cheeses and sausages and was cutting the food into bite size portions when he heard the garage door open. 'Cray's home,' he thought, 'I hope he's coping okay.' He went on about his task as the garage door closed.

"Hey, bud. Have a good day with Tim?" Drew asked as Cray walked into the kitchen.

" was okay," Cray replied. He bumped fists with Drew and continued to the refrigerator. "Actually, it was good." He grabbed a bottle of water and closed the fridge door. "I needed to get out and chill."

"You want anything to eat?" Drew asked as he reached into the cabinet for the box of Wheat Thins. He was tempted to ask how Cray was handling the breakup with Michael but decided against it. 'No reason to come off as a meddling parent, unnecessarily,' Drew reasoned.

"No thanks. Tim and I pigged out on pizza after a movie...I'm full." Cray twisted off the bottle cap and added, "You got a few minutes to talk?"

"How about us going out by the pool? It's a nice evening."

"You sure I'm not taking you away from anything?"

"Bob's on the computer and there's absolutely nothing on the news that'll be too earthshaking," Drew replied. "Come on." He picked up the glass of chardonnay he'd just poured, balanced his plate of food while sliding open the door and invited Cray to walk out first.

The moon was full, a light breeze stirred the air and the cloudless sky accentuated the sparkling galaxy. The only other illumination came from the path fixtures and the underwater floodlights in the pool. Drew placed his food and drink on the nearest table and sat down. Cray pulled out a chair and joined him.

"I still remember the night a couple of years ago when I first met everyone here," Cray said. "Lou, Uncle Al, Nick and...Rod."

"That was a great evening and everyone liked you from the git go." Drew reflected for a moment about when this pool and patio was part of Nick and Rod's residence - before the assassin's bombing and Rod's death. The resultant gift of the destroyed house but undamaged outdoor area by a distraught Nick had allowed Drew and Bob to build their dream home. 'But Nick has never been able to revisit this place,' he thought as he sipped his wine, 'and probably never will'.

"Meeting everyone was like a dream. You and Bob became the most important people in my life and the others were terrific in helping me out of that jam." Cray reached over, took Drew's hand and held it for a few moments. "And with Michael, I thought I had everything figured out. Pretty dumb, huh?"

Drew twisted his hand so he could hold on to Cray equally- physically and verbally. "The first real love is usually that - a first love. Nothing dumb about it. Your mind and your body signal those awesome moments when love happens and you just try to figure it out. My first love wasn't 'til you've got me beat on timing. When it fell apart, I felt pretty bummed for a while."

"So, it's an age thing?"

"Didn't say that," Drew replied. "But I can't think of any of my high school classmates who are still with their sweethearts...if you'll excuse such an ancient term."

"Michael and I liked 'other half' to describe each other...but 'sweethearts' sums it up pretty well. He was always there for me...and I could depend on know."

"I do know." Drew put a piece of cheese on a cracker and bit into it. 'Depending on someone is the key,' he thought, 'and I certainly have that with Bob.' He took another sip of wine and added, "Everyone handles a loss like you've experienced differently. I'm not going to add that 'we'll be there for you' because that's a given. You know that both Bob and I will help with whatever you need...right?" He wanted to add that a breakup as Cray finished high school was good timing if this had to happen, but decided not to add this unwanted nugget of wisdom.

"Like you've done ever since we met. From the time I lost my wallet and you found it with that fake I.D." Cray laughed and shook his head. "And I must confess that, aside from having a boyfriend to be with and share things...well, I know I'll miss the...'personal stuff' we did together."

"Without going into details - either of us - I know what you mean." Drew smiled and squeezed Cray's hand. It suddenly occurred to him that they were still in a death lock grip. 'If it doesn't bother him, it certainly doesn't faze me.'

"You guys, and Michael's dad, were always very cool about...having two horny sons."

"Falls under the category of, 'been there; done that'. Although I must admit that you two explored an array of experiences that I didn't have until much later. It helped that neither Bob or I were that much older than you, so we could relate..."

"To horniness?" Cray chuckled again.

"The very same - hormones on overdrive. As a matter of fact, there is something we should discuss."

"Dad to son stuff?"

"Maybe at this point, it's more like older brother to younger brother. Or, friend to friend." Drew broke off the handgrip and turned his chair around so he was facing Cray. "Are you familiar with the terms 'rebound sex' or a 'mercy fuck'?"

"No...not exactly," Cray replied with his eyebrows furrowed. "But I think I'm going to find out."

"Please don't think of this as a lecture, Cray. I'm amazed that you're handling this situation so maturely. Guys my age - and older - don't react so well when they're dumped...if you'll excuse the term. I see it every day at the hotel."

"Being 'dumped' sums it up pretty well...although the 'eff' word might be more appropriate." Cray lightly patted Drew's arm and said, "Just pulling your chain."

"Okay, 'chain pulled' and duly noted," Drew replied with a chuckle. "Point is this: you're a very good looking young guy...hell, 'hot' is a more accurate description...and prime grade material for another guy, single or otherwise."

"I thought you were going to say 'meat' rather than 'material'."

"Only because I clean up my act in front of my son." Drew shrugged and continued. "You were 16 when we all first met and very mature - physically and otherwise. You're now an adult at 18 and I'm proud, if you don't mind me bragging, that you are a stud by any measurement. Looks, intellect, personality. You're 'best of show'."

"I'm being compared to a dog, like that dog show movie?" Cray asked with an exaggerated frown, before smiling.

"Okay, point taken." Drew smiled as he remembered the DVD they'd seen together recently. "Stud might be too flippant of a term. How about this: you're one of the top guys that I can think of - regardless of age - in all categories. Of course, Bob and I are prejudiced."

"Now, I'm turning red in the face."

"Just don't let my comments get you off guard. Let me play a scenario that I've seen often in my business and you be the judge of what I pass on." Drew leaned towards Cray and put his arms on his legs. "Being a stud - and by the way, I put Bob in that category - you can pretty much have anyone you explore your desires with. And as an adult, that's part of the program...the way men are wired. You understand?"

"Wired? Yeah, I get your drift...I think," Cray replied. "But checking out other guys isn't on the top of my hit parade."

"For right now. But that's what I meant by those expressions, rebound..."

"I heard ya the first time." Cray shrugged and added, "I don't mean to a dog...but I really understand what you're saying."

"Cray," Drew replied softly, "Just bare with me for a few more moments...being in dad-mode. I promise I'll cut to the chase. Okay?"

"Depends on who we're chasing." Cray sniffed loudly and barked, "Woof, woof."

"Got it, Rover. Anyway, it's very natural to take care of your urges with guys who are available and willing," Drew said as he nervously cleared his voice. "I'm not here to judge what you do...just being realistic that it'll happen. When you decide to get...intimate with another guy, you gotta remember that you're no longer with Michael."

"I really don't think that's going to happen for a while," Cray said with a mixture of sadness and remoteness in his voice.

"But it might...when you least expect it." Drew leaned back in his chair and continued, "It's pretty natural to react to someone paying attention to you, so I won't be judgmental. As long as you're with an adult, what's fair is fair, and you should play it any way that seems right. The only thing, Cray, is to consider that you need to be safe when it comes to sex. You and Michael, I assume, have been only with each other. Mutually exclusive. Right?"

"Well, yeah. So..."

"So, I assume that you two haven't been using any protection." Drew paused for a moment and watched Cray slowly nod. "For the record, it's the same deal with Bob and I. But you're now in a position where you'll be with different some point when things settle down. We only ask that when the time comes for you to someone else, use a condom. Without getting into specifics, you haven't had to be concerned about being sexually active with someone other than Michael. Right?"

"Bull's-eye." Cray shifted in his chair but didn't lose eye contact with Drew.

"So, that's the bottom line. When you feel like getting frisky, please play safe." Drew looked deeply into Cray's eyes and turned on a wistful smile. 'That's my best shot,' he thought, 'and I think he got it.'

"Jeez, I'll have to find some extra hours at work just to afford those pesky condoms," Cray replied. He stood and grabbed Drew's hand to pull him up. "Daaaad, I know what you're up to...and it worked. If I ever do the nasty, or have the nasty done, I'll wear galoshes." Cray pulled Drew into a hug and added with a snicker, "In the meantime, don't you think it's time for me to have a computer in my bedroom? At 18, and no boyfriend, I understand that there are some interesting websites that can help me in this matter."

"Ha," Drew said with a flourish of laughs, "I think this is where we draw the line...TMI. However, I understand do your problem."

"And I gotta deal with that problem. Will ya help me out, huh...pretty please?" Cray smiled, cocked his head and added, "I think that hunk, Travis Stork, from The Doctors would approve."

"And Doctor Phil, for sure. Consider it a done deal by this weekend. I'll call the cable people tomorrow, and we can shop for a computer at Best Buy later this week."

When they moved into the new house, Drew and Bob had insisted that Cray use one of the two computers in the den. Neither new foster parent wanted Cray to be exposed to the wide array of XXX websites or instant messaging available - no matter what restrictive software they installed. Fortunately, between an active school life and a steady boyfriend, the lack of a private Internet access for their teen son hadn't been a problem.

"Thanks for listening. This thing with Michael is going to take a while to get over. Honestly, it frosts my balls that he snuck around with this other guy. I mean, we're talking less than two months that they knew each other and...and God knows when they did the dirty."

"Kiddo, half the marriages in this country don't last and the reasons people stray from a relationship are lengthy and complex." Drew shrugged and added, "Don't beat yourself up over it. You'll probably meet someone cool at college."

"I know. It's just that..." Cray stopped and shook his head.

"The rest of this week at school, graduation exercises and the party will be stressful because you'll be seeing Michael every day," Drew said in a more serious tone. "But try to enjoy this milestone. Come this fall, you'll be back at the grindstone as a lowly freshman."

"That's what I gotta keep in mind...for sure." Cray stifled a yawn and added, "I love you guys and you've never steered me wrong. Whaduya say...I'm ready to bag it for the night."

"I'm going to finish the food and this wine. Scoot, young man, and I'll see you in the morning." Drew watched as Cray jogged back to the house and disappeared inside. 'All in all,' he thought while chewing on a final chunk of cheese, 'that was a good talk...although I was little awkward.' Drew took the final bites and drank the last of the wine. 'It's time to think of Cray as a close friend and get beyond the 'son' stage.'

As he stood, he noticed the den go dark, indicating that Bob had finished his work. 'Time for a little fun,' he thought as he returned to the house and dropped off the dishes on the way to the bedroom.

"I saw Cray and you out by the pool," Bob said when he saw Drew. "But I figured that you'd call if it was anything too heavy." He was standing by the bed in his usual night attire - boxers.

"Just helping out with those lingering doubts about why the breakup happened and what his options are for the next step in...."

"The romance department?" Bob asked.

"Very tactful, Mr. Harrington." Drew took off his shirt and moved closer to Bob. "Let me brush the cheese taste out of my mouth and we can talk."

"Talk? I want more than talk." Bob swatted Drew on the rear and added, "And lose those're much sexier with fewer clothes on."

"Then you'll like this." Drew dropped his shorts and revealed no underwear. "I think it'll be one of those clothing optional evenings. Whaduya think?"

"I think you should brush your teeth, plus whatever else you need to do, and get in bed...really fast."

"Man, did I ever marry a pushy guy," Drew replied as he kicked aside the shorts and walked to the bathroom.

"Was that pussy or pushy?" Bob said with a snicker.

"If you don't know the difference, it's a little late in the day to explain the details, my boy." Drew grinned to himself in the mirror and squeezed a dab of toothpaste on his brush. 'Whatever problems we'll face, Bob and I will never fall apart,' he decided.

"I know the difference, but your explanation might be interesting." Bob licked his upper lip and added, "I'm waiting."

Drew turned off the bathroom light and walked over to the bed. He pulled down the covers on his side and noticed that Bob was now 'commando'. He eased in and turned off the lamp. At this point in their relationship, they didn't need a light to guide their amorous actions. "Love ya, babe," Drew said before he kissed Bob on his neck. "I should tell you that I made a parental decision without us talking about it first."

"Our son is I'm sure that nothing will shock me," Bob replied.

"It was kinda cute, in a way. And I also discovered tonight that I consider Cray more of a close, best friend." Drew reached down and found Bob's crotch.

"Best friends? I like that."

"And he's going through the same transition period."

"Splitting up with Michael triggered something?" Bob asked.

"Triggered something that was bound to set itself free...eventually." While he gently stroked his partner's cock and fingered the other sensitive areas, he explained the earlier conversation about Cray's needs, and not having a mate to 'take care of things'. "When he asked about having a computer in his room so he could check out adult websites on the Internet, I said it was okay. I didn't think you'd mind if I approved his request."

"As long as he steers away from paying for one of those premium sites. There's plenty of free stuff to check you well know." Bob moved his hand down to Drew's erection and slowly moved his fingers up and down.

"But only as a point of reference." He and Bob occasionally checked out some blogs that featured video highlights of some well-known porn stars...and several amateur 'straight' guys who seemed to know what to do with their equipment. On several occasions, they made it a point to duplicate what they'd seen.

"Point of reference? Sure, babe...if you say so."

"Never got any complaints," Drew replied. "Seriously, I wanted to make sure you knew what I'd talked over with Cray. I'll handle the cable details and maybe we can all go shopping for a 'puter at Best Buy this weekend."

"And a 'puter can be his graduation present...since he won't be traveling to San Francisco," Bob replied. He moved down a little and licked Drew's nearest nipple. "You're a terrific friend...and a good daddy."

"Who's your daddy?" Drew asked with a snicker.

"Obviously, this guy lying next to me with the humongous massive manhood."

"Massive manhood? Whoa, what have you been smoking? Not that I don't accept your flattery, sir."

"Maybe I exaggerated just a little." Bob tossed back the covers and scooted further down Drew's body. "Hell, I exaggerated a whole helluva lot...but what's a few inches of fantasy between friends?" He licked Drew's navel and then let his tongue follow the well-traveled treasure trail. He buried his nose in Drew's pubic patch and inhaled deeply.

"Remind me to never bitch about our life together." Drew smiled as he guided Bob's head to the tip of his erection.

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