Castle Roland

A Special Place

by Sequoyah


Chapter 17

Posted: N/A

A Special Place--Part 17--Matt

Jens, Luke and I disentangled ourselves and all three sat on Luke's bed. Luke and I laughed as Jens kept shifting around, trying to sit "Indian style", as we were, until he was finally able to get himself in some sort of position. I knew that we were in for some serious talk but, in spite of the hug and laughter, I wasn't sure what to expect.

"Matt, I want to say again just how very sorry I am for my reaction to Luke's announcement that he was gay. Luke, if you had told me under different circumstances, I can't promise that my reaction wouldn't have been the same. Maybe I would have reacted less violently. I like to think I would, but I don't know.

"Dad, that's all behind us now."

"Yea, Jens, that's behind us."

"Well, it may be behind us, but as I said, I will never forget what I did. Matt, I will try to forgive myself for slugging you, but I haven't yet. Anyway, I want to say some things so if you'll just let me speak my piece, then we can talk further if we need to."

"Ok, Dad."

"Luke, Matt, you both know that I have never questioned the teachings of the church. I can remember the day when the question of sexuality would never have been brought up, but things such as the TV broadcast of Gay Pride parades and the constant debate about gay rights has moved it from the closet...." Luke and I both started laughing. "Well, I didn't intend to make that pun, but anyway, as the question came to the forefront, Fr. Muller mentioned it frequently in his homilies. I had been taught--I'm not sure when or where or by whom, that being gay was a lifestyle chosen by some pretty sick and perverted people. Fr. Muller had made it abundantly clear more than once that such perverts were doomed to hell. I have tried very hard to teach you, Luke, and Mary Kathryn, right from wrong, the rules of the church and how to win heaven--I guess that's how I would put it. So you see, Matt, with my understanding of homosexuality and my determination that Luke and Mary Kathryn be raised right, the only explanation I could imagine for Luke's claiming he loved you was that you had seduced him into a perverted lifestyle. You had doomed him to hell in spite of all Gabrielle and I had done over the years. Later, of course, I learned differently."

"When I came home yesterday there was a note lying on the dining room table. I supposed it was from Gabrielle but, when I started reading it, I realized it was your suicide note to Matt, Luke. I guess Gabrielle had left it where she knew I would pick it up and read it. If Luke was in love with you, Matt, and was afraid to tell you, it meant he knew he was different--gay--and had not been seduced by you since you obviously didn't know he was in love with you. And it was clear that he didn't know you were in love with him. So I had blamed you and hit you for something that I thought was true, but could not have been. Not only had I made a terrible mistake in assuming something, but made it worse by acting on it. I guess even if it had been true, the way I reacted was wrong but that was no longer a consideration."

"This morning, during the Today Show, Millie kept telling me how proud I should be of all of you and especially of you, Luke, and Mary Kathryn. When it was over, I was in tears and really didn't know why. When she gave me the day off, she told me to go to my church and give thanks for my two kids. I went, but I was more concerned with trying to come to some understanding of what was going on. It was almost as if Millie knew everything...."

"Jens, I guess we need to come clean with you. She did. Yesterday she was at school and saw me and demanded to know how I had gotten beat up. We asked her to lay off you for awhile."

"I'm glad she did," Jens smiled--again--"otherwise I don't know I could have taken it. That woman is a titan! Anyway, I called Immaculate Conception and went over to talk to Fr. O'Brian. He said some things which really got me to thinking--and I had a nightmare the night before which I later realized placed me squarely in Luke's shoes. Luke, remember asking your mom how she would feel if someone had hit me because I loved her?" Luke nodded. "Well, I dreamed that her father had slugged me because she told him she loved me. I didn't understand that at first, but it became painfully clear later. In any case, Fr. O'Brian told me first off that the church's teaching was that parents of gay children should offer them love and support, not disown them as I had done you, Luke and, in a very real sense, you too, Matt. He also told me that the church had said--at least the American bishops--that being gay was not something someone chose, but something someone was. That knocked my prejudice into a cocked hat. He said that since you were still a virgin, Luke, you were ok, but I was in danger of falling into a state of sin if I hadn't already."

"I was in tears--as much a surprise to me as I suspect to you--when I realized what I had done. I was completely flabbergasted when Fr. O'Brian gave me absolution. He also told me, Luke, that you are an adult and responsible for your own life as I am for mine. I guess that made me realize for the first time, really, that you are no longer my little boy. As I drove home I was struggling with a question and found no answer. 'If being gay is something a person just is and being gay means that sexual love is to be found in the arms of another man--and I'll admit that the whole idea kinda repulses me still--then how can the church say that it dooms you to hell?' Oh, the church can go with the 'no sex outside marriage' rule, but then she denies the possibility of marriage. In my world, things have to balance...."

"As Margaret said earlier, 'debits on one side, credits on the other'," I mused aloud.

"Exactly. And something didn't add up right. Priests are supposed to remain celibate, but that's an offering to God they freely choose to make. If there is no choosing being gay, then why aren't gay men free to choose being celibate or not. Doesn't make sense otherwise. Now, I want you to understand that I still can't see two men loving each other sexually, that doesn't make sense to me. It's not normal in my brain, but if the bishops are right, then it is normal except forbidden. I was thoroughly confused by the time I got home, but mostly I was terrified that I had lost a son--two sons--I loved deeply--even though neither of you have heard that from me, at least not very many times--and alienated myself from the family. But mostly, Luke, I was afraid I had lost you forever. Not only had I disowned you, but I had also hit the man you loved. I loved him too and I kept thinking how I would have felt had I been in your place and Matt been Gabrielle."

"I came up here to your room, feeling it, the house, I, was empty and as I walked around, the place became emptier and emptier. Finally I saw that old school jacket and remembered how I got it for you and I guess it was like the blankets you and Matt carried around until you thought you were too big and even then you both had a piece--that was all that was left--of the blanket you slept with until, I guess, after you started school." Jens smiled--I think he's discovered something new in his life!--and continued, "That was another time I got sent to the couch, when I tried to take that ratty piece of blanket from you because it was unmanly. So I took the jacket off the hanger and collapsed on the bed crying. I cried until I was so exhausted that I just kinda passed out. I guess what I'd say right now is that I really wished things weren't the way they are. I don't understand and don't pretend to understand two men loving each other as I love Gabrielle. I can't approve of you two having sex because... well, I guess because the church doesn't approve and I have tried, always, to be faithful to the teachings of the church. I'll admit that I am having some problem with two teachings which seem to contradict themselves."

"Mom said essentially the same thing, Dad. The Greywolfs said they wished we had a choice and would fall in love with two beautiful women and have loads of grandchildren, but they know that we had no choice. We are gay. We have always been gay and whether we admitted it to ourselves or not"--Luke looked at me and smiled--"we knew that we were, at least, in love with a man."

"Another thing I have been thinking about," Dad said, "is the fact that the church teaches the purpose of sex is to have children. You both know that David and Elizabeth, Greywolf and Yong Jin, Gabrielle and I all wanted a house full of kids, but it was not to be. And even when we knew there were to be no more children, we didn't stop making love--having sex."


"Well, Luke, I assume you knew you were not born of a virgin!" Jens laughed. "So there are other reasons for having sex--making love--expressing your love for the one you love reaches its highest peak through sex. So--again--you can see where I have a problem. To tell you the truth, the books just won't balance and that is a very painful situation for this old bookkeeper."

"But that's just it, Jens, making love I mean. Luke and I have vowed we would find a thousand ways of expressing our love and devotion to each other, but sex is definitely on the agenda."

"Then Fr. O'Brian was right, you are still virgins."

"Yes, we are. Greywolf asked--not told... well, actually, it wasn't even asking. He said he would like for us to wait to have sex until we were eighteen. Out of respect for him and Yong Jin and the love and support they have given us, we made the decision to do that, but it has not been easy!" Luke said.

I pulled out my medallion and showed it to Jens. "Jens, Luke gave me this and has one himself as a reminder that we are to take things slow and easy. They have proven very useful at times."

"Dad, I guess we need to get downstairs before someone thinks something is wrong. Margaret told us to come get her if you slept more than two hours so she could make sure you didn't need help of some kind."

"Before we go, I want to say a couple of things and I mean them from the bottom of my heart. I have told you where I stand right now as nearly as I understand it. Sorting things out is my problem, not yours. But regardless of anything else, I want both of you to know two things. First, in spite of my behavior earlier which seemed to the contrary, I love both of you very much. Matt, I am confident that I love you as much as I would were you my son. Luke, I am proud of you and I love you deeply. Please remember that in spite of how things may sometimes appear. The second thing, and it's strange to even hear myself say it, is Luke, if you are to love a man, you love the best and Matt, you are in love with the finest the world has to offer."

Luke and I said together, "We know that Jens!"

"Well, let's go downstairs; I guess there's a lot to discuss."

"To tell the truth, Jens, there is not a whole lot that hasn't been discussed so most of what we need to do is catch you up with what has gone on," I said. "But we need to go on down since the others are involved and, no doubt, are concerned."

Luke uncrossed his legs as I did mine and we stood up. We both had to laugh as Jens struggled to get out of his "Indian style" sitting position and then nearly fell when he tried to stand. His legs had gone to sleep! Luke saved him as he started falling to the floor.

When we got downstairs, there was the smell of something wonderful cooking. One thing about it, when Gabrielle is happy, sad, glad or mad, she heads for the kitchen. It's almost enough to want to keep her in a mood--at least a good one. No one, but no one, wants Gabrielle pissed off. It's hard to do, but when she is, somewhere else is the place to be. Mom, Margaret and Gabrielle were all in the kitchen, Michael and Mary Kathryn were setting the table and David and Dad were sitting in the den, talking quietly.

"The dead has arisen!" Luke shouted as we came into the room. Gabrielle came from the kitchen, an anxious look on her face. She looked at Luke, then Jens, then me. Seeing that all was well, she ran to Jens, threw her arms around him and gave him a pretty hot kiss. I had been around the pair for almost eighteen years and that was the first time I had ever seen either Jens or Gabrielle give the other more than a peck on the cheek. Luke started laughing hysterically and pointing at Jens back. Gabrielle had been stirring some kind of sauce and still had the spoon in her hand when she embraced Jens. The sauce ran off the spoon and down Jens' back. When Gabrielle noticed what was happening she did the "cat licking its paw" bit as if to say, "Who? Me? I did nothing." Like daughter like mother!

"Well, Jens, don't just stand there, change that shirt--maybe your pants as well. We're ready to eat and anything you and the boys have to say can wait." Jens saluted and went to their room to change.

"How're things?" David asked.

"Better. Actually, pretty damn good," Luke said.

"Yea, better than I had dared hope," I added.

When Jens had changed, he came back and the family--all the family--sat down to dinner. It was obvious that Gabrielle had really been upset because there was food enough for an army and it all looked delicious. When it came time for grace, Jens who, as our family, usually used a short "standard" mealtime grace, tonight put his heart into it. He offered thanks for the family, for the Gang of Four in particular, he offered thanks for David's and Margaret's love for each other and prayed for grace and understanding for himself and all of us. Then he, once again, offered thanks for the restoration of the family to wholeness. The "Amen" which followed was a roof raiser--we were all very happy to have the family whole again. The food not only looked delicious, its taste far exceeded its looks!

When we had eaten, Jens said, "Kids, if you'll clear the table, we'll gather in the den." The task was completed quickly. When we got to the den, Jens was pouring wine--a sure sign of celebration. Of course, the Gang of Four had a glass with the grownups. "Here's to four of the greatest kids in the world," Jens said. "May we all continue to love each other even in the face of confusion and the struggle to understand." When we had all drunk the toast, Jens said, "I understand that I have been in the dark for a long time. Someone, please start at the beginning."

"Dad, you have read my letter to Matt so you know what that was all about. But you don't know why I am still here." Luke then told Jens how I had spent every night at his bedside, how I had told Mom and Dad about us since I had to be gone every night. "The upshot of my getting out of the hospital was a family meeting, but it had to be held without you and Mom, so we arranged for your weekend get-away. I hope it was a good time because I think we all felt a little guilty about sending you away."

Jens smiled--and his face was still together even though he had smiled more in the past few hours than I had seen him smile all my life--and said, "Well, Guys, I told you begetting children in not the only reason for making love!" The whole family cracked up. This was a new Jens indeed!

I took up the story and reported what had been discussed at the family meeting. "Jens, Gabrielle, you know Greywolf. When we had finished, Luke and I wrote down a list of what had been discussed. Seems kinda like a long time ago, but we both kept a copy."

When I mentioned the prom, Yong Jin said, "Gabrielle and I both noticed Paula when she was conducting the chorus. We have talked with Mary Kathryn and I think we have the problem solved but, Luke, it's a secret."

When I got to the item concerning school for next year David asked, "Have you two done anything about that?"

"Given the excitement at home and school, it has just kinda got pushed into the background. It's something we really need to think and talk about yesterday--I think we need to look at that carefully tomorrow. Matt and I will see what Ms. Norman has to offer," Luke mused.

"Our summer plans haven't changed--at least as far as summer programs go. I'll go to Sewanee and Luke to Sarasota. We both need to do the summer programs."

"But I can tell you right now, I will do the program, but it's not a trial separation. It's just a separation. To be very honest, I am not going to be separated from Matt unless I have to and where I go to college next year is going to be with or near Matt. That's that!"

"Same here. I don't want to toss my life and future down the drain, but both of those include Luke. There has to be some way we can be together and still do what we need to do. Even if it means putting off school for a year, I'm willing to do that."

"I don't think that is an option," David said. "Even if you go to the community college in Lexington next year, you can move ahead with your education. The first year is mostly required courses anyway."

"For most," Margaret commented, "but remember, these two have almost a year done if they pass their AP exams. The community college route would really be a waste of time, even if they took a full load. We all need to see what can be done. Have you guys thought about the dual enrollment option?"

"Been kinda busy lately. Luke and I need some time to discuss that--soon."

"Luke, you said we needed to talk about your coming home," Jens said.

"Dad, it has nothing to do with being welcome at home or not, but I now have a studio set up at David's. I have already made arrangements so Mom will pick up Matt if I didn't show up at her office before 5:00. That's so if I am really involved in my work I'll not have to be interrupted. What do you think about my staying at David's if I have breakfast after the Gang of Four run and dinner with the family unless I am really involved in what I am doing? Of course there is not a phone in the studio. There is a jack there, but I really like the idea of being away from everything when the creative juices are flowing."

"So long as you are not staying away because of me and David is willing, I guess that's a good idea. How are we going to know if you will be here for dinner?"

"We always have dinner at the same time," Luke smiled, "It's the old bookkeeper and Teutonic genes, I guess. So if I'm not here fifteen minutes before, go ahead without me."


"Jens, I told Luke he would always have a home at my place. Now that he's settled in, I think what he says makes sense. I know you will miss him. I know that I would like very much to know the studio is being used and I'm sure he'll be home most nights for dinner. I mean, after all, Gabrielle is still cooking, right?" David laughed.

"So long as you are sure you're not staying away because of me," Jens said, with actual tears in his eyes. Luke walked over to him and embraced him. The Larsens are becoming as mushy as Greywolfs!

"I'm sure, Dad. I just know that I have to have a great deal of uninterrupted work time, I need time with Matt, and I need to be with you, Mom and Mary Kathryn. The best way to do that is for me to be near the studio. I have to have my AP portfolio completed and submitted by May 12 and that's only five weeks away."

"So where does that leave us?" Greywolf asked, always for neat and orderly conduct of business.

"House rules? I guess Luke and I won't be together very much the next few weeks--not enough anyway--but when we are here, what are the house rules?"

"Yong Jin, Greywolf, what's the house rules at your place? Maybe they can be the same," Gabrielle said.

Yong Jin laughed, "It might work, but if the changes in Jens don't take, maybe not. Our rule is no more displays of affection than the boys have seen between me and Greywolf. The boys--I find it hard not to call them boys, but when I see what they have done and accomplished and the kind of decisions they have made, they are men, Gabrielle, Jens--the boys have set their own rule for when they are in Matt's room: the door stays open. But Greywolf and I have also made it clear that was their decision and we respect their privacy."

"Sounds reasonable to me," Jens said. "I am having a hard time understanding how men can love each other the way Gabrielle and I love each other, but then that's my problem, not Luke's and Matt's."

"Mr. Larsen, Sir, do the same rules apply to me and Mary Kathryn, Sir?"

"My good God, Michael, I wouldn't have expected as much formality if you were asking for Mary Kathryn's hand in marriage," Jens laughed a genuine Jens' laugh. "But what's with this 'me and Mary Kathryn' bit?"

I could see Michael's mouth forming his well-known 'Holy shit!' as he blushed, stammered and coughed a couple of times. The whole family cracked up, especially in light of the fact that old cool Michael seldom--almost never--got himself in a bind from which he could not talk his way out, but it looked as if this was one of those times. But he would not admit total defeat. "Well, Jens, you can toss in asking for Mary Kathryn's hand and save me coming back in a few years!" Michael responded. "But right now, Mary Kathryn and I are in love too and have the same rule as Matt and Luke at the Greywolfs'. Except, of course, when she sleeps with all three of us guys." Michael will not be outdone.

Jens looked taken aback for a split second, then laughed another hearty laugh. "Well, you'll just have to make an extra trip, young man. And since it looks as if you and Mary Kathryn will be responsible for producing all the grand kids, you might think you need to get an early start, but I can wait for grand kids and you better wait as well if you ever expect to be able to father kids by my little girl. But, yes, I see no reason why you and Mary Kathryn should not have the same rules as Luke and Matt," Jens said.

Mary Kathryn grabbed Michael and laid one of her hot specials on his lips.

Jens cleared his throat three or four times before Mary Kathryn let Michael breathe then said, "I believe, Mary Kathryn, your mom and I were to be the models for your showing affection in this house and I don't think you have ever seen anything like that from us!"

"I would have, had you been properly trained as a young man AND I almost saw it not long ago had Mom been trained to take kissing seriously enough to make it top priority instead of mixing kissing and cooking AND it was Michael who wanted the rule, I didn't agree to it, AND I think you and Mom need a good role model and I intend to provide it--with Sir Michaels' help AND...."

"Mary Kathryn, you have made your case, I believe," Jens chuckled and I thought "Someone has kidnapped Jens and replaced him with a look-alike" and it was wonderful. Could a person really change that much? Talk about miracles!

"Since I am the newest member of the family, I suspect it might be hard for all of you to realize how happy I am we are a family whole again. As new as I am, I don't think I would have been able to take it if it had remained fragmented," Margaret said, "and I know that all of you would have had your very hearts torn out. Matt's and Luke's relationship will, no doubt, continue to raise questions, not just for you and Gabrielle, Jens, but in different ways for all of us, but we are whole and, I know, willing to see that living relationships change, but the basis for them all is deep, deep love."

"Margaret, that brings up something else since we are all here," Greywolf said. "We need to get this wedding planned. Have you and David given any thought to that?"

"I don't think Dad has," Michael laughed. "To use an old Lakota expression, I think 'his brain is in his crotch'." Isn't that the right expression, O Wounded One?"

In my best movie Indian voice, I said, "White Boy speak'um truth."

Greywolf, who didn't permit a lot of movie Indian anything, in an even better movie Indian voice said, "Heap lot'um that going round."

"Actually, I have given it more thought than I have had time for. I know that there are a lot more people I want to invite than I first thought about. And if they will do me the honor, I would like for Matt and Luke to give me away. This is going to be an old-fashioned ceremony that way. And, Mary Kathryn, I would like for you to be my maid of honor."

"Margaret, I'd be honored to join Luke--in just about any way!--in giving you away. But I thought I'd be providing the music."

"Is that possible? At the falls?"

"Sure, of course it will not be St. Mary's organ, but my keyboard can be programed to sound great. We can borrow a generator to run it. Doesn't take much."

"Matt, that would be fabulous!"

"Yong Jin and I are taking care of the reception which will be held at the falls as well. Anything special?" Gabrielle asked.

"Anything you two do will be special."

"Well, I guess all I have any say about is my best man and that is my best man, Michael," David laughed.

"Matt, music is completely in your hands," Margaret said. "I guess that takes care of everything. Gee, that was easy."

"I suppose there will not be any big rehearsal, but if Fr. Tom can manage to forget it's Holy Saturday, I'll see if he can do a rehearsal around noon on Saturday. Jens and I will take care of a rehearsal luncheon," Greywolf offered.

"Sounds great. Thanks fellows," David said.

"This may not be the time to bring it up, but since we are talking wedding plans, Matt and I cannot be married, but when we are ready, we are going to have a commitment ceremony. Just wanted everyone to know. Fr. Tom is not willing to jeopardize his ministry by having a same-sex wedding, but he did say he would celebrate a Eucharist after the ceremony," Luke said.

"Which brings up another subject needed to clear the air. Luke, Fr. O'Brian said he suspected you would no longer be going to Mass at Immaculate Conception. Was he right?" Jens asked.

Why did I feel like this was a loaded question? Could it be because Jens was absolutely adamant about there being only one catholic and therefore, true, church. It was the one subject never to be discussed among the families. I held my breath. I looked at Luke who was obviously bracing for another outburst.

"Dad, Fr. O'Brian said I was an adult and had to be responsible for my own decisions. I have been a loyal son of the church since birth. The first time I ever stepped outside the bounds was when I attempted suicide. I did that for love of Matt, a love that is stronger now than then. I know he loves me in turn. I wish with all my heart that the church in which I grew up would at least acknowledge that love for what it is, love. Instead, it tells me that my expressions of love for Matt are sinful and will damn me to hell. It tells me that the man I love is sinful because he loves me. Last Sunday I sat among friends who knew I was gay, listened as my love played for a congregation which appreciated and loved him. I know that Fr. Tom may be unwilling to officiate at our union because he sees his ministry extending beyond what he might like to do, yet I know he will never stand in the pulpit and condemn me, Matt or our love. Right now I can receive the Blessed Sacrament at Immaculate Conception--I think, I'm not sure where the line the church draws between homosexual feelings and action lies--but I do know that soon the only way I could would be to live a lie. That is a price I am not willing to pay, especially since that lie would be denying my love and my very life. So, in a word, 'Yes,' Fr. O'Brian was right. Beginning last Sunday I made St. Mary's my church home."

"Luke, that saddens me as you well know. At the same time, you know that for the first time in my life I am struggling with questions about the church. But a simple yes would have been enough," Jens chuckled and you could hear everyone in the room give a sigh of relief.

"Well, folks, it's been an eventful time," David said. "I think we should call it a day."

"It has been a good day," Greywolf said. "One which has seen much pain and much more healing. It has been a good day."

"Margaret, I suspect if you are going to put David back on the Slow and Easy Menu, you'll be using David's guest room tonight," Luke said with that evil grin of his.

"Actually I had planned to drive back to my place."

"If you keep your door open, you can stay over," Michael joked.

"I promise," Margaret laughed.

"Luke, we're not going to get any school work done tonight. If I promise to keep the door open, will you spend the night with me?" I asked, positive I knew the answer.

"Slow and Easy Menu, promise?"

"What's with this Slow and Easy Menu bit?" Jens asked. All three of the unwed couples blushed. Luke and Mary Kathryn, being so fair, practically lit up the room. In spite of her blush, Margaret saved the "youngsters" further embarrassment by carefully explaining that she had made up a "menu" of acceptable means of showing affection for those who were postponing sex.

"You know, I wonder if any couple, of whatever persuasion, ever had the kind of loving care the Gang of Four has," Jens mused. "Thanks, Margaret for caring. Especially for caring enough to make all the trouble and pain of the past two days possible, for without you and Matt, Luke would not have been here. In a very real sense, the trials and pain will, in some form or other, be with us all for a long time I suspect, but that's because my son is alive and that makes it all worth it. Thanks."

"It's good to have the family back again," Mary Kathryn said, "and now I'm going to turn the porch light out, take Michael Andrews outside and show him what pain is!" She grabbed Michael's hand and flipped off the outside light. I knew what kind of pain Michael was in for and I'm sure he felt it was a small price to pay for what Mary Kathryn was about to do to him!

"Night all," David and Margaret said and followed the two young lovers out the door.

"Goodnight, Mom," Luke said as he hugged and kissed Gabrielle. When he started toward Jens, Jens walked over, took his son in a bear hug and said, "Goodnight, Luke, I love you very much. He then embraced me and said, "I love you too, Matt Greywolf."

Goodnights said, Luke and I left. As we walked past Michael and Mary Kathryn they were so into Slow and Easy they didn't notice. As we got into the Jeep, Luke chuckled, "I bet we can hear Michael groaning all the way to your place when she gets finished with him."

"Guess it runs in the family," I replied.

When we reached our place, Luke and I said goodnight to Mom and Dad and went to my room.

A Special Place--Part 17--Luke

As soon as we were in Matt's room, he pushed the door almost closed, and I took him in my arms. The events of the day had just about done me in. Suddenly, for no reason I could figure out, I started sobbing out of control. Matt picked me up like a baby, kissed me ever so gently on the forehead and took me to his bed. He lay beside me and held me tightly to himself. I kept sobbing out of control and started shaking. As he held me, he kept angel kissing my face and started singing softly, "More than the greatest love the world has known...." Slowly my sobbing stopped and I clung to him as he continued to sing. I finally looked into his face and saw the depth of his love for me in his pained eyes.

"Sarang Hanun Pomul, how can I ever repay you for loving me the way you do? How can I repay you for loving me when I keep falling apart?"

"Yonghon Tongmu, you repay me a thousand times over just by loving me. Falling apart? I don't think you would be normal if you didn't come unglued after the last two days. Luke, Babe, loving you means standing by you, holding you when the going gets rough. I'm afraid we will both have to hold the other many times because we will have rough times. But being committed to each other means in good times and bad times--for better or worse, Babe."

As I gazed into Matt's eyes, I was spellbound by the love I saw there and almost wept at the pain also there. He kissed my lips, much harder than he should. I said, "Matt, Beloved, you shouldn't do that. Your lips...."

"Luke, Soulmate, my pain from a cut lip is physical. Your pain is deeper. I will heal soon...."

"With your love, Matt, so will I.

He kissed my forehead and said, "That's where healing kisses belong," and kissed me again. He began to undress me and when I started to help, he said, "No, I want to do it myself. When I was undressed, he started angel kissing my nipples, running his tongue over them and nipping one, then the other. I was was getting very hot and very hard. Matt raised up on his knees and undressed himself. When he was undressed, he lay on top of me, his hardness pressing against mine. I reached up and took the bands from his wonderful hair and, as it cascaded about my face, I gazed into those magnificent black almond eyes.

"Luke, I want to make love to you with my body. I am tired of hurting and waiting, waiting and hurting and not worshiping your body with mine."

Matt looked into my eyes as I said, "Matt, you know there is nothing I would refuse you. If that is truly what you want, then..." While I was still speaking, almost as if by magic, his medallion fell on my chest. I raised up enough to see it lying there, a shiny silver symbol of our love, not just for ourselves, but for others as well. I looked at Matt's medallion for what seemed like a very long time and when I looked up I looked into the eyes of my love. "Matt, is that what you really want? If that is what you really want, then I will."

"Yonghon Tongmu, that is what I really want. Yes, that is what I really want. I really and truly do...." Then he reached out took our medallions from my chest, held them together in his hand as tears started running down his cheeks--those beautiful, dark Lakota cheeks. "I want my Luke. Why does it have to be so difficult, Luke?" his tears flowed freely. "Why does it have to be so difficult?" We held each other tightly, my lips pressed against his face as he cried. He cried, I knew, because of the pain we had endured, because we loved so deeply, he cried because... because. When he stopped weeping, I kissed his tears away.

He was clinging to me, clutching my body to his, frantically. He pulled my lips to his in a passionate, lustful kiss. His tongue invaded my mouth--I couldn't have stopped it had I wanted to do so. Suddenly my mouth, my world, was filled with the taste of Matt. His kiss continued, passionate, lustful, hard, almost brutal. Along with the intoxicating taste of Sarang Hanun Pomul there was also the taste of blood. When he broke the kiss, I said, "Dark One, your lip is bleeding again."

He said, "I don't care. I want you and if your lips and mouth are all I can have, I willing pay in blood if necessary." Once again he kissed me with an abandon I had not known before and I knew it cost him pain and would continue to demand payment until he had time to heal. Once again his tears started flowing and I held him tightly as he had done me so many times it seemed. As he wept into my shoulder, his tears wetting my chest, I stroked his hair and sang his mom's Korean lullaby softly, rocking him in my arms.

Gradually I felt Matt's body relax as he snuggled in my arms. He had endured much pain for me; he had been the strong one and tonight he felt free to let out his pain, his frustration. Now, thankfully, he was relaxed in my arms. I thought he had drifted off to sleep he was so relaxed, until he asked again, "Why does it have to be so hard Luke?"

"Because we love each other so very, very much, yet we are unwilling to forget those who love us and whom we love. Because we care so very much and love so very much those who love us. Matt, we love so deeply it hurts, not just each other, but those who love us, care for us and honor our love. It's difficult because we refuse to be animals when our whole being is screaming to--not make love, but fuck! But...."


I reached up and pulled Matt to myself, covering my face with his hair, drawing strength from the fragrance that was his alone, a fragrance which might have started in a bottle, but which his body made his very own. Matt rolled off of me, his hair still covering us, pulled me to himself and kissed me so softly I knew there was only love and not pain in it.

As Matt continued to angel kiss me, I felt his manhood harden between us as I am sure he felt mine. I raised up, looked again into the black depths of his almond eyes and smiled as my hand found his wonderful, beautiful hardness. As I grasped my love's manhood, I felt his powerful hand grip mine. We continued gazing into the other's eyes as we gave each other the pleasure that only lovers can give. Suddenly, together, we were among the stars of the night. As we collapsed in each other's arms, I gave Matt a tender, loving, ever-so-gentle kiss which he returned. And, to prevent the morning after we had experienced before, Matt handed me tissues which were to become a permanent fixture on the nightstand. After a goodnight kiss, we held each other as we drifted into the land of dreams where there is only love and no pain or problems.

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