Castle Roland

Protecting David

by TA-Terry


Chapter 11

Posted: 2 Nov 15

Protecting David

by TA (Terry)

David was a little pissed at me. First of all, because I was picking him up at the airport and second, because I was going back to work tomorrow, all of this instead of resting. Well, pissed might be too strong of a word, he rarely gets more than a little annoyed with me. We hadn't talked about the German stock in my brokerage account, because… well, I guess because I was afraid to bring it up, especially on the phone when I wouldn't be able to see his face. It's stupid, but I felt like he'd think that I shouldn't have looked into my own account… that was like his job.

Anyway, when he came out of the airport lugging his stuff he was dressed in an old pair of blue jeans - you know the tight kind that really shows off your butt, and a blue dress shirt. Geez, he looked fantastic, his black hair going in all directions. I popped the trunk and started to get out of the car to help him, but he waved me back in and just threw his stuff in the trunk, then jumped into the car. He was half kneeling on the seat when he grabbed my face and kissed me hard and deep. After a bit, I heard someone blowing a horn behind us and looked in the rearview mirror to see some guy mouthing 'faggot'. I was just fixing to walk back there, rip his heart out and shove it down his throat when David intervened.

"No! Leave him the fuck alone and drive!" He has holding my right arm. "Please, Mark! He's not important."

"I won't fucking touch him, David!" I opened the car door and got out. The guy in the Lincoln took off in a flash, squealing his tires as he went. I got back in the car and turned to David. "See?"

David was shaking his head and looking at his lap. "Please, just drive." He said quietly.

I pulled onto the freeway and ten minutes later we were pulling up to our house. David hadn't spoken since the airport and I hadn't either. David took his stuff into our bedroom and dropped it off, then he walked into the kitchen and I followed him. He was leaning against the counter with Joe standing on his hind legs licking David's face and getting petted for his effort. It made me wish that I was Joe.

"All this anger is about that damn German stock, isn't it?"

Well that took me totally off guard. "How did…"

"I was afraid you'd get bored and start looking around." He gently pushed Joe down. "I'm sorry, Mark. I should have told you how well it was doing, but then things got so hectic." He looked up at me and smiled. "But ya know, it's not like I lost you a quarter of a million."

I walked, almost totally hobble free, over to David and took him in my arms. "I was just surprised is all." I held his head to my chest. "I don't give a fuck about the money, I only give a fuck about you and about us." I bent down and kissed him. "And as far as the anger is concerned, well that was because the guy at the airport was an asshole." I smiled at him. "But I say that without anger."

Then I moved my head back from him a bit. "Okay, so tell me the story of the German stock."

David's arms were wrapped around me with his face against my chest as we leaned against the counter. "Not much to tell really. Remember my friend Helmut?"

"Your friend from school? The guy that was married to the American girl?"

"Yeah, that guy, she died, but well, yeah that guy." David looked up at me and then pulled my head down for another kiss. "God, how I miss being near you, being able to touch you." He leaned his head against my chest again. "You smell so fucking good." Then he looked up at me. "Helmut is a financial consultant… the best. Anyway, he mentioned that company to me a couple of years ago and says how great the company is, but the stock price just keeps falling; so maybe we should keep an eye on it. It turns out the company that owned most of it was in trouble financially and starting to dump assets. Zander was one of them. Course when you're selling stuff because you need the money you never get what you should, and because the market was so shitty anyway we were able to get it really cheap." He looked up at me. "End of story."

I took David's hand. "Come on, let's get the kinks outta you." I pulled David by the hand to the bedroom.

"That means we're gonna fuck, right?"

"Well, I thought we'd shower first." I was unbuttoning his shirt. "But yeah, I really, really, need to fuck you." I gently put my right hand on one side of his neck and ran my tongue up the other side.

"Oh, that feels soooo fucking good."

We both stripped and climbed into the shower.

"Your bruising is almost all gone."

"No, look at my leg, gravity pulls the bruising down." I turned so that David could see my right leg, which was now totally bruised looking.

"That is so fucking weird! I had no idea bruises did that." The bruise had moved from my side and upper hip down into my leg and foot.

"Yeah, but it doesn't really hurt any more. Maybe just a little stiffness."

David wrapped his hand around my cock. "I may have found the source of the stiffness."

After sex, David and I lay naked on our bed. I was on top of him, lying between his legs, supporting my weight on my knees and elbows, I was holding his face in both of my hands and gently stroking his hair with by thumbs.

Our faces were only a fraction of an inch apart. I kissed him deeply, then whispered, "You were wonderful - you still know how much I love you, don't you?"

David nodded and his emerald green eyes caught the light from the bedside table and flashed. "Yeah, I do."

David and Frank were standing outside my office looking in.

Frank turned to David. "I suppose we'd better invite your boyfriend to go to lunch with us... hey, Marky, whadya say?"

"This mean you're buyin', Frank?"

"You've got a fucking expense account, you buy."

"Oh jeez! Okay, I'll buy, but no bitching when I turn it in."

David was leaning against the door. "As long as I don't have to buy, I don't care which one of you guys buys."

I looked at Frank. "What are you in the mood for?"

Frank glanced at David. "Good news."

David smiled. "Feed me first."

On the way down in the elevator I was able to palm David's ass, even though he shot me a dirty look, and by the time we'd reached the parking garage level I could tell he had a hardon.

When we finally got situated in the restaurant and had placed our order, Frank turned to David and said. "Okay, lay it on me."

Then Frank held up his hand. "Wait, David, before you start. I wanted to tell you that I don't know what you guys said to Chris and Jason when they stayed with you, but they think you guys walk on water. Thanks, guys. I appreciate it."

David turned to Frank. "We really didn't say much of anything, Frank. It may just be that seeing a couple of guys living happily together is what they needed to see right now."

"Well, whatever it was, it had a profound effect. That day, the day they took you to the airport, they came home and talked to me about their relationship and how they hoped it would be like yours." Frank looked more genuinely touched than I had ever seen him. "I can't tell you how huge a step that is for Chris to make, to come to me and actually talk about it." Then businessman Frank returned. "Okay, David, lay it on me."

David settled in. "Well, first of all, the altitude gizmo is, according to my guys, a very substantial improvement over anything out there and I would advise you to buy it. Setting up production in someplace other than where it is now is gonna cost you a bundle, however, if you buy the existing facilities in the way that I suggest, it will end up costing you nothing. Not to mention the fact that all the guys that know how to make all this work are already in place there.

"However, for me the most interesting thing was this company's capacity and understanding of exotic metals. Things like titanium, tantalum, niobium, beryllium, etc. The son, the guy who died, was like a kid with a toy. He loved machines, especially new machines. Remember he was running this company for mom and dad and didn't really seem to give a shit if anything made economic sense. Mom and dad, who by the way are really delightful people, are really only concerned that they have enough money to continue to live as they do and support the dozen or so charities that have become important to them."

"What I'm suggesting is that you buy the whole company and then spin off the altitude gizmo into a separate entity, but hang on to the metal business. In my opinion it's a gold mine. The family is gonna want, one way or another, five hundred million for the whole thing. But, Frank, the metal business by itself is worth a billion and a half. Bottom line is if your board doesn't want it, I can sell it in any twenty four hour period. But, Frank, the people buying it will then be your competitors." David paused to take a breath.

Frank jumped in. "Okay, suppose they say go ahead, buy the whole thing, what kinda cash are we talking about now… today."

"Well that depends, Frank. The family wants all their money at once. I tried to talk them outta that, but they won't budge. So if you want to do this, you need five hundred million; you can borrow it or I can arrange investors.

"Frank, if it was me, I'd commit to the whole thing. Borrow a fast five hundred million, spin off the altitude thing so that you totally own it, then let me arrange for a public offering on the metal business. I can sell off fifty percent of that for seven hundred and fifty million. And bingo, you're a hero."

Frank turned to me. "You ever leave this little fucker, I'm marrying him myself." Then, "Where the fucks the food?"

David told me that he met Helmut Drueger when Helmut was an exchange student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Helmut wasn't a regular member of their study group, but was attracted to David because David was, and is so open to different people and ideas. In any event, they became friends and when Helmut returned to Frankfurt, David stayed in touch with him as he did with all the other people he ran into. In Helmut's case, that turned out to be profitable for both Helmut and David. Helmut eventually became a financial consultant and someone who generally had their fingers on the pulse of the business community. So when David started his company, Helmut was one of the first people he thought of as a partner, but a variety of conflicting interests made that impossible, except in the most informal way.

While Helmut was still a student here he married an American girl and after five years of trying they had a baby boy, Alex, then tragically his wife was killed in one of the many accidents on the autobahn. This left Helmut a single father of a two year old. He told David that he hired a nurse and that generally he was handling it.

And then out of the blue more or less, David gets an email from Helmut saying that he's coming to the USA for an extended visit and is in hopes of meeting with David.

Two weeks later I wake up and hear David talking on the phone in our bedroom.

"Okay, Helmut…. You're sure that I can't pick you up?... You could stay here, we have lots of room…. A house? Helmut is everything okay?... Okay, Helmut. I'll see you then." David hung up the phone and turned to me.

"He bought a house. Here. Something's wrong."

Over the next two weeks David went into an orgy of communicating. He was hunting for information and a determined David is something else. The emails and telephone calls were nonstop. Every friend and every acquaintance was questioned about Helmut. Internet searches of hospital databases were done by the best people in the business. Everyone David knew who knew anyone in Germany was questioned.

This was an extremely difficult time for David. Helmut was one of his closest friends and as the information began pouring in he became more and more depressed; then finally on a Thursday afternoon Helmut arrived. David called me at work and told me he was going to be spending the evening with Helmut and that he'd be home as soon as he could.

About ten o'clock that evening I heard David come in and saw the light go on in the kitchen. He was sitting at the kitchen table.

"He's dying." David spoke softly. "I can't believe it."

I knelt down next to David and wrapped my arms around him. "What's the matter?"

"Pancreatic cancer… incurable."

David looked up at me. "Let's go into the living room, we've got to talk. But…I don't know… let's talk."

I helped David to his feet, we walked into the living room and sat on the sofa. David was talking and almost crying. I felt totally helpless, so I just held his hand.

"He's known that he was going to die for a while. That's why he came here to me, or rather to us." David brushed the tears out of his eyes. "I can't remember, did I ever tell you that Helmut has no relatives, other than Alex of course.

"Why to you, babe? Why did he come to you?"

"He wants us to take Alex." He looked at me with an almost dazed look on his face. "He has no relatives and neither did Karen, at least not that he knew of. And he knows that if he doesn't arrange for Alex to go somewhere the courts will just assign him a quardian."

"Holy shit!"

David turned to face me on the sofa and took my hand. He looked worried. "Mark, I told him yes. I told him that we'd take Alex. Please don't get mad, but that little boy has been through so much. His mother's already dead and now his dad's dying."

I guess I was as stunned as David. I brushed my hair back with my hand and then looked at David. "Hun, I don't even know if we can legally do that." I ran my hands through my hair again. "I just don't know."

David laid his head on the back of the sofa and covered his eyes with his hands. "You don't want to do this, do you? Oh fuck, I should have asked you first."

I pulled David next to me. "David, that's not true! It's just that I don't know the whole legal thing." I laid my head next to David's "The thing that… well, that I've always regretted about being gay is that I couldn't have kids. Hell, I've even stopped thinking about it - just accepted it as fact. But God, what a shitty way to get a kid."

David turned his head toward me and spoke softly. "Mark, I need to hear you say this. Would you really and truly be in favor of this? We can't change our minds, and this is gonna make a huge difference in our lives."

I picked up David's hand and kissed it. "Yeah, it will make a huge difference, but even considering that, I would be in favor of adopting Alex if we can. We'll have to check."

"Well, Helmut has thought about that too. Frankly, nothing is totally clear, but he hired a Washington law firm and one here in Milwaukee to make this happen. They've told him that we can probably do it. And for the money he's paying them, they're probably right. In any event, they've already been paid to fight this forever if anyone tries to stop it. Helmut doesn't feel that there's a reasonable second choice. I mean, he can pay a virtual stranger to raise Alex, but he feels that we would be more like real parents. Not that it matters, but he's set up a pretty substantial trust fund for Alex."

"David, how would we raise Alex, I mean the logistics of it?"

David had pretty much gotten control of his emotions. "Oh God! For one thing, remodel the house. I'd move my office here and probably work on more of a part time basis. With our company it doesn't really matter. I can work from anywhere."

"What about the nurse that came with them. What's her name? Renatta?

"She's going back. I already asked. I figure we could hire some sort of housekeeper."

"David, let's go to bed." I pulled him off the sofa gently and held him in my arms. "No more decisions or thinking tonight, you need sleep."

"David?" We were walking toward the bedroom. "If I was Helmut, I would have come to you too. You'll be a great dad."

"We'll both be great dads. This is the two of us; Alex is gonna have two dads. Helmut was very specific about that."

The following day David called me at work and asked if there was any way that I could come home early. He said that Helmut was coming over with his attorney and there were things we might need to go over.

When I came home there were several strange cars in our driveway.

I walked in the front door and there was a blond haired, blue eyed, little boy about three feet tall standing there dressed in blue corduroy shorts and a white polo type shirt and sandals.

He smiled and pointed his finger up at me. "Whoooooo are youuuuuu?" If I didn't know that there might be a German accent I wouldn't have detected it.

I put my briefcase down and hunkered down so that I was on his level. I smiled at him. "My name's Mark. Who are you?" I wasn't sure if I should shake hands with a three year old.

He smiled widely. "My name's Alex." He emphasized his name, then as an afterthought he held up three fingers. "I'm three."

I smiled at him again and decided to ask him about shaking hands. "Wanna shake hands?" I held out my hand.

"Yesssss!" He smiled and tried to shake my hand normally, but his hand was too small and he seemed confused by that, so he grabbed my thumb and shook that. Then in a way that only kids can do, he became suddenly intimate and leaned with all of his weight on my knee and asked. "Are you gonna be my daddy?"

"Would you like that?"

He was using my knee as a post, kinda climbing up it and lifting his legs off the floor. "Maaaybeee." I could hear David talking to someone in the den. The door was closed.

I stood up. "Alex, would you come with me while I change clothes?"

"Where we goin?"

"Just down the hall, so I can hang up my suit, then we can play."

"Oh kaaaay!"

Alex and I walked to David and my bedroom and I changed into jeans and a sweatshirt while Alex talked a mile a minute. Why did I wear a suit? Why did I put on jeans? Why was Joe just sitting there? It never stopped, even as we walked into the rec room.

"Alex, do you want to watch television."

"Is Barney on?"

"Uhhh, I don't know. Let's look, okay?"

"Okay." Alex climbed on the sofa with me and laid his head against my side. I felt that this was one tired and probably confused little boy. I put my arm around him and flipped on the tv.

"That's not Barney!"

"Okay, we'll try another channel until we find Barney. You wanna close your eyes for awhile till we find Barney?" Alex was already half asleep.

How did I feel about this little boy? He was a totally adorable little kid, but my oh my, how he would change our lives. How many doubts did I have? They were beyond counting. One thing though outweighed all others; if we didn't take Helmut's son he would end up in the care of a total stranger. Thrown, in effect, to the wolves. No doubt they would be well dressed wolves with the best of intentions, but they would be wolves none the less. David and I had already made the decision that we wouldn't let that happen.

Death can come suddenly and so quickly that the person dying doesn't even realize that it's happening or it can come slowly and when it does you can sometimes feel it in the person dying, you can feel it spreading.

When I shook hands with Helmut, I was certain that this man didn't have months or even weeks to live. In fact, I felt that he had at best days and maybe only hours before the end.

"Helmut, it's very nice to meet you at last. David has spoken of you often."

"Did David tell you what a pain in the ass I was when we were at university together?"

"Helmut, you were never a pain in the ass." David placed his hand on Helmut's arm.

"Ah, David, you're being kind because I am now ill, but I really was a pain in the ass." He turned to me. "Even at school David was special. He had a way with people. He was like a magnet. We all came to David."

Helmut looked down at his hands for a moment. "Mark, that man that just left is Mr. Hollingcraft of Hollingcraft and Kendell, he witnessed my signature. David's spoke to you about Alex of course?"

"Yes, Helmut, he has. I won't even try to tell you how sad we are… but we will do our best for Alex."

"Mark… the thing… that would make me… the most happy…is if you think of Alex as your own. Not that he should forget me, but he must have living parents."

Helmut looked pleadingly at David. "David, I must go now. Would you call Renatta and my driver?" He turned to me. "The pain comes, but Renatta has pills."

I took Helmut's arm. "Helmut we could drive you, or you could stay here."

"No, no Mark, I have a house, it's not far and Renatta will take care of me. My car is just outside."

David had left the room for a moment and returned with Renatta and Helmut's driver in tow. Renatta handed Helmut a pill and a glass of water, his hand shook violently as he drank and she moved to steady it. As they were walking out the front door, the driver helping Helmut and Renatta carrying Alex, Helmut stopped and turned to me.

"I was not always this way, Mark," he seemed to mentally shrug, "but we end how we end." He turned back to his driver. "I'm ready now."

The call from Renatta came late that night. She had gone to give Helmut his final pain pill before going to sleep and he was lying in bed with a book in his lap… dead. She called us not knowing what to do, whether to call the police or hospital or what. David called Hollingcraft, who arranged for an understanding doctor to issue a death certificate and the body was taken to a local funeral parlor.

Fortunately, Alex slept through all of it and we moved him while he slept to our guest room, now his room, and it was where he awoke the next morning. Joe slept at his feet, under orders from David, and Renatta was in the other guest room.

When I got to work the next day I went right to Frank's office and told him the whole story.

His response, "Holly fuck!" And then, "How can I help you, son?" I couldn't say anything, that was the first time Frank had ever called me son.

"Frank, David is going have to work mostly out of the house, so we need an architect that can design us a remodel and get it built in record time. Oh, and a housekeeper, we need a housekeeper too."

I looked at Frank for a moment. "Frank, can we do this? Is this possible or are we just crazy?"

Frank walked slowly over to an arm chair and sat down. "I assume that you're talking about the adoption, not the remodel." He smiled at me. "Sit down, Marky." I sat opposite Frank. He rested his chin on his chest and then slowly raised his head. "In and ideal world I believe that a kid should be raised by a mother and a father." I started to speak, but he stopped me with a raised hand. "This is a very unusual situation, normally there are relatives of some kind somewhere, but here there isn't. Under these circumstances I think Helmut made the right decision. You can do this, Marky. Rather, you and David can do this. And probably better than anyone else." Frank sat forward and looked directly at me. "I trust you guys to do this." He smiled. "The kid is lucky to have you."

As I've already noted Frank is a lot like David, only older and more experienced. Give Frank a problem and a phone and he becomes a force of nature. Two hours later he had an architect and a draftsman out at the house preparing rough plans for the remodel; the contractor had already been hired and equipment was headed our way. The housekeeper was turning out to be more of a problem and Frank put Marcy on the problem

When we woke up the next morning, David and I were no longer holding each other. Instead there was a little blond boy and a taupe colored dog lying between us.

David looked at me over Alex and Joe, there was a bit of panic on his face.

"Mark, do you have underwear on?"

"Huh? Whadya mean?"

David pointed at Alex who was still asleep. "We can't be naked with Alex."

I wasn't really awake, but still. "Why not?"

"You're not supposed to let kids see you naked!"

"David, I saw my dad naked every day of my life when I was a kid."

David got out of bed and slipped on the shorts that he had dropped the night before. "Aren't you going to put on shorts?"

I smiled. "David, if seeing cock made guys gay, everybody on the planet would be queer."

David seemed to think about that for a moment. "But we're his dads." We were whispering.

"Well, I don't think we should have sex in front of him, but I'm not gonna start wearing pajamas or stop showing my lover affection, and I don't think he'll even notice." I turned to face David and sat crosslegged on the bed. "I don't think we should do anything in front of Alex that we wouldn't do in front of anyone. After all, Helmut knew we were gay. Babe, I think the thing we need to do is relax with Alex, he's a really bright kid and I think he'll be able to deal with anything he sees. I mean, it's not like we do weird stuff. One thing we should probably do is get an electronic latch for the bedroom door, something we can release from the nightstand."

David seemed to be thinking. "Not right away, Mark" He looked down at Alex and touched his hair. "I think right now he needs to be able to come in here and sleep with us. God knows what pain he's in or how frightened he is."

David left with Joe. Joe needed to go out and David wanted to start breakfast. I laid my head back down on the pillow and looked over at Alex. His bright blue eyes were wide open and he smiled at me. "Where did Joe go?"

"Good morning, Alex. Joe had to go out and pee."

Alex sat up and leaned toward me. "I have to pee too."

I rolled over on my stomach and looked at him. "Well, I'll tell you what. Why don't we go pee and then we can take a shower before breakfast. Wanna do that?"

Alex looked surprised. "A big boy shower? Not a bath?"

"Would you rather take a bath? You can if you want to."

"No! I want to take a shower!" Then as an afterthought. "I don't know how to take a shower."

"It's really easy. I'll show you how."

I sat up. "Let's go, Alex. We'll pee, then shower."

I walked naked with Alex into the bathroom. He really didn't seem to pay any attention to it at all. In the bathroom I helped him off with his pajamas and put him in front of the toilet so he could pee.

"Why don't you wear pajamas?" Alex was pointing at me.

"When you get big you don't need them Alex. You don't get as cold as you do when you're little."

"I don't wanna wear'em either, then. I'm big."

I looked skeptically at him. "Well, we'll see. But right now it's shower time."

I started the shower and adjusted the temperature very carefully. "Okay, buddy, hop in."

Alex gave me a very uncertain look. "You go first." He pointed at the shower.

I laughed, took his hand, and we walked into the shower together. I could see right away why they don't usually give kids showers, the downward spray kinda overwhelms them. Alex seemed to get a big kick out of it though as long as I protected him from the direct spray. Finally the way to do this dawned on me and I put Alex in the corner, took my shower quickly and then took the detachable shower head, which is on a hose and brought it down to Alex's level. Now he loved it. I scrubbed him down and then we played with the water, mostly Alex turning the hose on me.

When we were finally done, I called David and while he had a bit of a shocked look on his face he recovered quickly.

"You guys showered?"

"Yep. Get that big towel, David, and I'll give you a wet little boy."

Alex giggled. "I'm a wet big boy!"

David wrapped Alex in a huge white towel and dried him thoroughly while I was doing the same to myself. I wrapped the towel around my waist and started to shave. Alex was watching my every move and asking about twelve questions a minute.

In between Alex's questions, David mouthed the question to me. "Has he asked about his dad yet?" I shook my head no.

Once we were all cleaned up, we went into the kitchen and ate breakfast. Renatta was there and helped with Alex. He just seemed to accept everything as a given.

After breakfast, David and I took Alex into the living room. David picked Alex up and put him on his lap facing him and I sat next to him. David ran his hand through Alex's hair.

"Alex, you know that your dad was really, really sick?" Alex just nodded yes.

"Sweetheart, I'm sorry, but your dad died last night."

"Oh." He looked at us both. "My daddy is in heaven with baby Jesus?"

"Yes, Alex, he is."

Alex pointed at both of us using two hands. "Are you my daddy's now?"

I took Alex's hand. "We sure are, buddy. And Joe is your dog." Joe, upon hearing his name walked over and sniffed Alex. Alex petted his head.

Alex turned to David. "Can I watch TV?"

"You sure can, son." Alex and Joe sat on the floor in front of the television set watching Barney.

Back in the kitchen, David laid his head on my chest. "Do you suppose he really knows?"

I wrapped my arms around him. "I'm sure that he does, David. He knew his dad was going to die. He may not truly grasp all of it, but I'm sure he knows that his dad is gone forever. Though I'm not sure he's able to understand what forever is."

"Helmut wanted his ashes spread over the campus in Madison. Do you suppose that's legal? He said that was the happiest time of his life and where he met Karen. By the way, Alex is a citizen you know. He's got dual citizenship."

I was still holding David. "Fuckem, we won't ask; we'll just do it. When is the service for Helmut?"

"Tonight. Very brief but tasteful. Alex should have something to mark this. I sent out a bunch of emails this morning, so maybe there'll be a few people there."

About a hundred people showed up, much to my amazement. There were several very important people there, heads of major companies, and many foreign companies sent the heads of their US offices.

Alex handled it all pretty well, although I'm pretty sure that he really didn't get the point of it all. But he shook a lot of grownup hands of people he'd never met, and while this wasn't the sort of activity a three year old can take for very long, Alex seemed to understand on some level that it was important that he do this.

When it was over about nine o'clock, he was leaning against me like he was exhausted and I picked him up and carried him, his arms around my neck and his head on my shoulder. At home, David and I undressed him and put him in his pajamas and tucked him in with Joe lying next to him. We both kissed him goodnight.

Back in our own bedroom, David and I undressed for bed. "It was good of Frank to show up for the service."

"Yeah, I'm going to send him an email thanking him."

I slid into bed and held the sheet up for David. He got in next to me. "You know that we're gonna have a boy and a dog in here with us tomorrow morning."

David laughed. "I know." He pulled my arm around him and covered it with his own. "You know what Alex's been through would be tough for an adult. I just wish I knew what he's thinking."

When Alex comes up to me and says, "Dad, why…?" Something inside my head says, "Yes! That's how it's supposed to be."

However, Alex is fully capable of starting a conversation that way about a hundred times a minute.

"Daddy, why do you do that?" I'm doing pushups.

"Cause daddy needs to stay in shape."

"Why do you need to stay in shape?"

"Cause…" Alex has given me an idea. Anyone who does a lot of pushups on a regular basis knows how boring they become, like any exercise you just get used to doing however many you do and that's it. Then I remembered a guy I was in the Army with, who'd told me that when he was at home he'd have his son climb on his shoulders and did his pushups that way.

"Alex. Wanna do me a favor? Wanna help daddy?"

"Okaaaayyy!" Alex had his hands in the pockets of his brown corduroy pants.

I dropped all the way to the floor. "See that towel, Alex? Get that and bring it over here."

Alex brought it. "Now what?"

"I want you to spread that out on my back, then I want you to climb on my back, but I don't want you to get wet from the sweat."

"It's okay if I get wet."

"No, Alex, your other daddy would be mad at me if I let you get all sweaty." I grinned at him.

Alex laughed. "Yeah, he would be mad if I got wet."

Alex spread the towel out on my back. "Okay, buddy, now climb on. Lay down on my back and hold onto my neck, okay?"

"Okay." Alex climbed very carefully onto my back, giggling all the time.

"Now hold onto my neck, okay?"

I did the first pushup and Alex was thrilled. Three year old boys make all kinds of noises when they're thrilled, and screaming is one of them. It wasn't long before I saw a pair of brown loafers and tan slacks in front of me.

"What are you guys doing?"

"Alex and I are doing pushups. Aren't we, Alex?"

"Yes! See, daddy, I'm not getting wet."

"I see. You're a good little boy, but hang on tight."

I did a hundred more pushups and got a fantastic workout, but I'm sure as far as Alex was concerned it could have gone on forever.

The remodel on the house had begun. We were adding a partial second story that actually was gonna add to the looks of the place a lot and we would also gain a large bedroom, a room that could be used for a sitting room, and a bathroom. The whole idea being that it would be a relatively attractive space for like a live in couple.

David's office space was being done as a twenty by forty foot addition off the side of the house and would provide him essentially with everything he had at his regular office.

The thing that we were having a problem with was finding a housekeeper, live in or otherwise. Our primary consideration of course was Alex, so whoever we got had to be good with kids. Our secondary consideration was our own privacy, David's and mine. I mean as it was it really didn't matter if we walked around in our underwear or, for that matter, totally naked; although we rarely did that even before Alex.

David in his usual thorough fashion set out to learn everything there was to know about raising kids, especially little boys. I didn't do that, for one thing, since David was doing it we would at least have the information in the family, and for another thing, I kept thinking back to my own childhood and how I would have liked it to have been.

I guess I wanted structure because structure is security, but I also wanted warmth. I didn't get that from my dad and I was determined to see that Alex did. That meant to me that I needed to draw Alex to me in the sense that we did things together, we talked to each other, we laughed together. Alex responded to this and in a month or so we had a much happier little boy on our hands, a little boy who bursts into our bedroom in the mornings, a little boy who laughs a lot.

During this time of learning to be parents, one of the many things that suffered was our sex life. It's pretty hard to get comfortable about fucking when you know that your little boy can come bursting into the room at any moment. The fact of the matter is that we were both so fucking horny we were about to go crazy. We needed a babysitter and we found one in one of the young women now working in David's office.

David showed up at my office at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. He had just waved to Frank as I saw him coming down the hall to my office.

"Hun, what are you doing here? Who's with Alex?"

"Joan, the young gal from my office, is watching him tonight. When she was over the other day helping me with a report, she got to playing with Alex and they just seemed to click." David sat on the corner of my desk. "Don't look at me like that, anyone that works in my office has been checked out by the best in the business. We have to, the information we have floating around there is too sensitive not to."

"David are…" Then I realized, considering David, how stupid the question I was about to ask was. "Sorry, babe, you know how paranoid I am when it comes to Alex."

David stood up, walked over, picked up my suit coat and tossed it to me. "I'm taking you to dinner. And don't give me a hard time, I'm on very good terms with your boss."

When we stepped into the elevator, David immediately pulled me down into a kiss, a very long, very deep kiss. "God, I need you."

"David unless you're planning a real quickie I don't think the elevator ride is long enough." The elevator stopped and took on passengers.

When we finally reached the parking garage, David motioned me to get in his car. "I'll drive, I know where this restaurant is."

I turned in my seat and put my hand on the back of his neck. "What did you do, David?"

He smiled and then sighed. "Don't be mad, Mark! But we need a place where we can get away, and we can both use this for entertaining." We turned into a highrise condo on the lakefront.

I looked at David. "You didn't buy the whole building did you?"

"Are you really mad?"

"You bought the whole building?"

David pulled me to him for a kiss. "No, smartass."

It was a beautiful one bedroom condo about ten floors up with a great view of the lake. David had it furnished by a designer and it was really nice. Very put together and yet very comfortable too, not some super chic kinda place where nobody is ever comfortable.

Obviously David had already been here preparing dinner; the table was set and candles were lit everywhere.

David looked at me. "Don't start feeling guilty! We'll be home before midnight."

I wrapped my arms around David and kissed him. "Geez, I do feel guilty. But I'm gonna do it anyway."

"You're not mad at me, then?"

I kissed him gently just below the ear. "Baby, I could never be mad at you. It's a great idea." I laid my face against his hair and smelled him. David always smelled so good, clean and very… well, David. It was a joy to touch him, to run my fingers over his face, to taste him, to know that he was mine.

It was like a slow dance in the middle of the living room, kissing each other and slowing turning about each other as we undressed each other. Finally I pulled David into the bedroom and we lay on the bed.

Much later after we'd showered, we ate the dinner David had made earlier and then washed the dishes. We were leaning against the counter, then turned and looked at each other.

I said. "David, I miss Alex."

"I do too. This place was a mistake."

"No, David, I didn't…" He silenced me with his hand to my mouth.

David laid his head on my chest. "This isn't where we belong. We're just gonna have to learn to fuck after Alex goes to sleep. We need to be in our house with our son."

I leaned down and kissed him. "Let's go home."

Thirty minutes later we stepped silently into Alex's room. Joe lifted his head and started to wag his tail. We both walked over and kissed a sleeping Alex, and after pulling his blanket back up to his chin we walked together back to our room.

I slid naked into bed and held the sheet up for David, who slid in next to me as I wrapped my arms around him.

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