by TA (Terry)
Frank lowered himself onto the sofa. He was dressed impeccably - dressed like a man so used to wearing only the best clothing that he simply no longer even considers it. His suit was a dark blue, just a fraction of a shade lighter than navy, his shirt a brilliant white with plain round gold cufflinks, his tie a complicated and expensive blend of dark blues and greens. He's a man totally at ease with himself and his surroundings.
"So whatdya want me to tell this guy, Frank?" I felt… well, ill at ease would be putting it mildly. The guy we were about to meet with was a major advisor to Senator Storington, but actually much more than that, he was someone that everybody listened to. According to David, who would know, Montgomery Block was the great-grandson of a man smart enough to marry the only granddaughter of one of the wealthiest men in the country. After a couple of decades of adding to the family fortunes, he began devoting his time to public service; but always behind the scenes, always the advisor, the confidant. His office was decorated with an old American made desk and credenza in dark mahogany, however, a lot of the other things in the room were oriental. Everything in the room reeked of old money and the things a lifetime of holding power can bring.
"Let Shetland take the point Marky." Frank said, nodding in General Shetland's direction. "He knows where he needs to go with this guy, we're just backup. If Shetland wants you to jump in, he'll let you know; always remember, Marky, there's power in silence. People get themselves into all kinds of shit just cause they can't shut up."
Frank pulled out one of his cigars and shoved it in his mouth. He took it out of his mouth and smiled. "Bet David and Alex are having a ball looking around the city. Nice they could come with ya." The feel of David's hair as I held his head and kissed him goodbye at the hotel flashes into my brain and I quickly force it out, but the remembered warmth of his skin rests like a phantom on the palm of my hand.
The door at the other end of the room opened and a tall, gray haired, balding man was talking in the doorway with a much younger man, who was holding a huge stack of papers and nodding his head vigorously. At the end of the discussion, Montgomery Block walked towards us with a large hand extended to Frank, who was struggling to free himself from the sofa. He walked slightly hunched over and with a vaguely disoriented look on his face, like a man who had just remembered something unrelated to what he was doing.
"Frank, you old scallywag!" He shook Frank's hand and turned quickly to General Shetland. "Jimmy, always good to see you." Block put his hands on his hips and looked at the two men. "God, when was the last time I saw you two together? Sometime in the seventies I suppose."
Frank lightly touched Block's arm and directed him to me. "Monty, I want you to meet Mark Chauvet, he's been heading our efforts in this deep penetration work that we've been doing."
Block turned to me and fixed me with brilliant blue eyes set in a seventy something year old face. "Mr. Chauvet, I've heard some very good things about you and not just from these two. It's nice to finally meet you." His handshake was firm.
Even though I had known that Shetland had probably mentioned my name to Block, I was still a bit surprised that Block even bothered to remember it. "Mr. Block, it's an honor to meet you."
Monty began guiding us to the pair of facing sofas that we'd been sitting on earlier. "Frank, that cigar isn't gonna do you much good unless you light it." He waved his hand around the room. "It's okay in here, fellas, light 'em up. I had to have a special ventilation system installed just so that I could have a cigar occasionally. They made me pay for it myself too," he laughed.
When we were settled, Monty turned to me. "Mark, as Jimmy may have told you, I advise Senator Storington on defense issues." He paused and lifted a stack of papers onto his lap. "Just as importantly, although the Senator might not think so," he smiled, "I also advise the party leadership on a more or less unofficial basis on the same subject." He bent forward, opened a humidor and picked out a cigar, then carefully clipped the end and lit it with an old fashioned Zippo lighter with a Marine Corp emblem on it. "The work that you fellas have been doing in the area of precision deep penetration bombing has been groundbreaking. And now we have to make sure that we get the dollars allocated to make this happen the way that it needs to."
"Mark, what Jimmy and I need you to do is educate. It's not that senators and congressmen are ignorant of the subject, but they need details and the bigger picture. The nature of warfare is changing; it's a phrase we've all heard, but we need you and the general to make that concept come alive in a way that will insure proper funding."
"I'm giving a cocktail party this evening, Mark. I'd like you to come. You too, Frank, it'll give you and Jimmy a chance to relax and meet some folks." The phone on Monty's desk started to ring and he got up to answer it. "I'll send a car for you fellas around seven. And Mark, bring David." I must have gotten a weird look on my face because Monty added, smiling. "You'd be surprised how sophisticated we've become inside the beltway."
David and I had a two bedroom suite, which consisted of two bedrooms separated by a sitting room with television, bar, and the usual high end hotel furniture. After dropping Frank at his room, I let myself in and walked to our bedroom. David was lying fully dressed on the right side of the bed and Alex was sleeping in the middle, also fully dressed. Apparently, their tour of Washington had worn them both out. I took my suit and shirt off and lay down in my boxer shorts next to Alex.
After a little while I heard a whispered. "Dad, dad." I turned my head and looked into Alex's blue eyes.
"We got tired, Dad."
"So I see. Did you sleep?"
"Yep, I did, Dad. But I'm not tired anymore. Is it okay if I go watch television?"
I leaned over and kissed Alex's forehead. "Sure, kiddo. Just keep the volume down so we don't wake David."
"You want me to be quiet as a mouse, Dad?"
"That'd be great, son." Alex crawled off the end of the bed and walked into the sitting room; moments later I heard the sound of the television, loud at first and then much lower.
David was sleeping, wearing his tan Dockers and a shirt with a small brown check. I slid over and very gently wrapped my right arm around his chest and fell instantly to sleep.
The next thing I was aware of was two people talking quietly. I opened one eye and saw David sitting up in bed, leaning back against the headboard. Alex was straddling his lap and speaking very seriously while staring intently into David's eyes.
"Dad, I was wondering if you were sure that Mrs. Meurer would remember to give Joe water. Cause I don't think anyone told her to do that." Alex was shaking his head slowly as he spoke.
"Sweetheart, I'm sure that Mrs. Meurer knows that she has to give Joe water. I've seen her give him water before." He reached up and touched Alex's hair. "She knows how much you love Joe. She won't let anything happen to him."
Alex had his hands in his lap and was twisting one finger. "He looked really sad when we left to go to the airport. I think he's scared to sleep alone sometimes."
David was replying with equal seriousness. "Well, Alex, I'm sure that Joe misses you and there's probably times when he wakes up and wonders when you're coming home, but sweetheart, we'll be going home tomorrow, so Joe won't be lonely for very long."
Alex looked a little uncertain about the whole arrangement. "Okay, Dad. I guess that'll be okay."
I slid my hand over and tickled Alex's foot. He shrieked, leapt off of David and threw himself at me. "You've been playin possum, Dad." I was lying on my side facing David and Alex was now sitting on my upper right arm, riding it like a pony.
I was trying to make sure that Alex didn't hurt himself as I said to David. "Block wants you to come tonight. Would ya like totally hate that?"
David had an odd look on his face. "Mmmmm, not totally. We would need to get a abybay ittersay orfay you know who."
I hadn't thought of that. "How in the hell do we find one of those here?"
David spoke so casually that I almost had to laugh. "Oh, I bet the hotel could help us out." Then I realized that the baby sitters would also function as security guys.
I rolled over on my back, taking Alex with me. "Alex, you're gonna have a baby sitter named Thor." It makes me angry that I can't protect my family from any and all unseen threats. I almost wished that someone, some tangible person, would try to break in so I could have the pleasure of strangling them with my bare hands.
Alex started to say something, but David looked at him and said. "Alex, do you have to go to the bathroom?"
Alex looked suddenly torn between staying in the conversation and the call of nature. "Go on, Alex." David said, and Alex went running to the john.
I looked at David. "How do you always know when he needs to go to the john?" I'm convinced that David can read minds.
David rolled his eyes and laid his head on my chest. "Actually their names are Billy and Michael and I'm not taking any chances." David's worries about our security, especially Alex's, are always close to the surface.
"You really think that there's any danger?"
" No, but Alex is better known than any little boy should be, so why take any chances."
"Whatdya mean better known? Who the hell knows him?"
David was lightly rubbing my stomach. "Lots of people. Helmut was really well known… well, more in Europe than here, but still, remember how many people showed up for his memorial service? And that was on like just a twenty-four hours notice. Then there's the whole idea that we adopted him. Two gay guys. People talk."
"Oh come on, David. I can't believe anybody cares. I mean, sure, somebody may think when they first hear it that maybe it's a little unusual, but do you really think people dwell on something like that?" Even though I couldn't see his face, I knew David was giving me a 'are you kidding' look.
"Then you can also toss his trust fund into the mix."
"David, we're the only ones that know about that. Well, us and a few lawyers and bankers." Alex went running by, screaming that he was going to go watch television.
David was playing with my chest hair. "Sweetheart, you know that if more than a couple of people know anything, it becomes like public knowledge. You can be sure that all the Europeans that knew Helmut either know of the trust fund or assume that there is one."
I sat up, straddled David's lap and put my hands on his shoulders. "Baby, I just don't want you to become so afraid of something happening to Alex, or to me, that it makes you crazy."
David looked into my eyes, his own emerald green eyes shocking me once again with their intensity. "Mark, I promise you that I won't let that happen. It's just that..."
I stopped him by kissing him. "It's okay. I really do understand and I also trust your judgement." I smiled at him. "After all, you fell in love with me. You are still in love with me, aren't you?" I asked him softly.
"Nah, I'm just keeping you around for the sex." He smiled and then laid his head back against the headboard. His eyes were closed, but I could see tears forming in the corners.
"Oh, baby, don't." I leaned forward and held his head to mine. "I love you too, and I trust you, babe. Do whatever you need to do. You're right, we do need to make sure Alex is safe. The alternative is too horrible to think about." I rubbed the tears out of his eyes with my thumbs.
David seemed to shake himself. "It's okay. I'm fine… just got a little emotional." He smiled and reached forward and ran his hands over my chest. "What should I wear tonight?" He grimaced. "Yeah, like I've got a choice. The only suit I brought is that charcoal gray one. That'll be okay?"
"You bet, hun. You look great in everything."
Alex came running into the room and threw himself on the bed. "Can I have a parrot? They're really pretty and they talk. Just like people they talk! I just seen 'em on the television."
I pinned Alex to the bed and tickled him until he screamed for relief. "Why do we need a parrot? We've got you and you NEVER stop talking!"
Alex was trying to catch his breath and squirming to get away. He gestured with his hands. "No, Dad! This is a bird! A real bird with feathers and stuff. Can we get one?"
I lifted Alex up and kissed him on the forehead. "Alex, this is a question for your other dad." I sat him down on David's lap and grinned. "David, Alex has a question."
David gave me a look. "Gee thanks, Mark!"
"You're so fucking handsome! You make me feel like some big clod." David had on his charcoal gray suit with a white shirt and gold tie. We were in the bathroom standing in front of the mirror. I pulled him gently to me and kissed him, needing desperately to be in him, to be a part of him. He kissed me back and wrapped his arms around my neck.
"You just wanna get into my pants later."
I held his shoulders. "Well… that's true actually, but I really do mean it. You look great!"
David kissed me again. "Thanks, sweetheart, but you look great too. It's just that you're so used to seeing yourself in a suit that you don't really see how you look." He ran a brush through his hair. "We'd better say goodbye to Alex."
We walked into the sitting room. Billy was sitting in a chair behind the door to the suite and Michael was sitting with Alex watching television. They represented about five hundred pounds of highly trained bodyguards. I walked over, picked up Alex and kissed him.
"Michael, " I looked at my watch, "about another hour or so of television and then bed. Okay?" Then looking at Alex in my arms. "You listen to Michael and Billy, Alex. Okay?"
Alex yawned and said. "Yeah, Dad." He laid his head on my shoulder. "You're not gonna be real late, are you?"
David held the back of Alex's neck and kissed him lightly. "We won't be gone all that long, Alex. But don't try and stay awake for us to come home. Go to bed when Michael tells you to."
The car that Monty sent for us was pulling into his Georgetown estate, the wheels of the car bumping slightly as it passed over a small hump in the driveway between the two brick columns that marked the entrance. There were local policemen stationed at the columns, but they waved us through and as we pulled up to the brightly lit main door one of several severely dressed men walked quickly to the car and opened the back door.
Frank was the first one out of the car and was struggling to get his hands on something solid to pull himself up. The man who had opened the door was trying to help him.
"They're making cars so fucking low these days." Frank turned to look at me once he was on his feet on the sidewalk. "Course being old and overweight could also have something to do with it." Frank was fine once he was on his feet and on terra firma.
"Mr. Connelly, if you and your party would just come this way." The guy who opened the door touched Frank lightly on the right arm and gestured towards the stairway.
I turned back and watched as David stepped from the car, marveling again at his natural grace. He had a little smile on his face. The fact was, David, unlike me, loved this sort of thing. He was in his element with a drink in his hand schmoozing total strangers. His black hair was shining with reflected light from the porch and his eyes flashing dark green one moment and almost black the next.
As we were walking up the stairs, the dark green door of the house opened and Monty came out with an arm raised in salutation. "You fellows made it! Frank, Jimmy is in there talking to some of my esteemed colleagues." He touched Frank's shoulder. "Why don't you give him a little back up and I'll introduce these handsome young guys to some of the more important sharks that populate these waters."
I turned and gently pulled David forward. "Mr. Block, I'd like you to meet my partner, David Kerry." Both men smiled and shook hands.
Monty got between us, and holding us each by an arm led us down a darkly paneled hallway past young men holding trays of drinks and canapés. "Guys, I want you to have a good time tonight. You're not on duty, Mark, this is just a get to know you affair, so you just need to circulate and let folks meet you. It'll be a big help when you need something if they remember that they met you socially. And David, if my assistant is correct, you're the senior partner in Kerry, Blair, Froedtert and Kent?"
David glanced up at Monty, looking perhaps a bit surprised. "Ah… well yes, Mr. Block. I am."
"Please, David, none of that Mr. Block stuff; Monty will do just fine. And I think you'll find that the thing these folks like to discuss even more than government is money."
We were in a very large room with floor to ceiling bookshelves on one end, the other end dominated by the fireplace. David and I had become separated and I could see him in the corner by the windows talking animatedly to a group of gray templed, perfectly groomed men, who could only be politicians or media people.
"Looks like David's talking to our biggest roadblock." Frank said, motioning towards David with his drink. David was speaking with a senator who had been, at least partially, opposed to spending money on new weaponry.
I was in a group that contained Frank, General Shetland, Senator Storington's Chief of Staff and an elderly woman with delicate features who was wearing a triple string of pearls and a huge emerald cut diamond ring.
Frank directed my attention to the lady. "Mark, this is Emma Block, Monty's wife." Then to Mrs. Block. "Emma, this is Mark Chauvet. He works on special projects for us."
Emma held out her hand to me in a rather old fashioned way. I took it in mine and then covered it lightly with my other hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Ma'am."
Her voice was lilting in a way that ladies voices rarely are anymore. "Frank! How cryptic! Mr. Chauvet, that rather makes you sound like a cross between James Bond and the Scarlet Pimpernel. Surely Frank isn't having you do anything quite so dramatic?" Her eyes were smiling, but they moved across my face as if she was remembering something, something from long ago. "You were in the military, Mr. Chauvet?" Her voice was as fragile as crystal. I was about to tell her to call me Mark, but something told me that it just wasn't appropriate.
"Yes, Mrs. Block. I was an Army Ranger." Something in her manner made me smile. Not that she was funny, more that there was a vaguely familiar quality in the way that she spoke and looked, something comforting. Her hand fluttered for a moment and then settled on my arm.
She turned to the others, her hand still lightly touching my arm. "I suppose I'd better mingle, Monty always wants me to make the rounds." She looked at General Shetland and Frank. "I hope you boys take good care of Mr. Chauvet." She looked up at my face. "We have to watch out for our boys who served." She started to walk away, but turned back for a second and said to me. "You'll have to come back and see us again, Mr. Chauvet."
Two hours later, Frank, David, and I were climbing into the limo that had brought us.
"I'm still fucking hungry!" Frank leaned forward in the seat and turned to David and me. "You guys hungry?"
David's head was lying back against the seat. He seemed tired, or maybe just tired of all the talking. He rubbed his eyes with his balled up hands and turned to Frank. "I am, Frank." He rolled his head around to face me. "Wanna stop in the hotel coffee shop? I've got a taste for a burger and fries."
I could feel the warmth of David's body next to mine and more than anything on earth I just wanted to roll sideways and bury my face in his neck. "Sounds good to me. Just so long as I don't have to listen to another politician."
"How the fuck do they stand it?" I was staring at the roof of the car. "The endless talking," I closed my eyes, "talk, talk, talk."
Then I remembered, sat up and looked across David at Frank. "Frank, what is it with Emma Block? She seemed to have a strange, I mean a 'nice' strange quality about her."
Frank glanced quickly to make sure that the window between us and the driver was closed, then stifled a yawn. "Old money, as in they made it trading beaver pelts. I first met her in the early seventies. God, more than thirty years ago. She was a beauty. Still is… just not young anymore. Their eldest boy died in Vietnam. Monty dealt with it by working harder than anybody else in Washington and Emma dealt with it by going into seclusion. Nice to see her again." Frank turned his head and watching the traffic, said softly, "Nice to see her socializing again."
The car rolled under the portico of the hotel, we piled out and made our way to the coffee shop. Frank grabbed a menu on the way in and was scanning it as we were being seated.
"I'm having the steak sandwich, what about you guys?"
"I can't eat that much, not at this time of night. I'll take a burger minus the fries." I looked to David.
"Ditto the burger." The lady who seated us was mumbling about not being the waitress, but she seemed to have taken everything down and left with an exasperated look on her face.
We were in a circular booth with David in the middle. I pushed my foot towards his until I made contact. "So, was anything accomplished tonight, Frank?"
Frank looked at me and smiled. "Who the fuck knows! The peoples' representatives are going to do what they need to do to get reelected." He put his unlit cigar in an ashtray. "Marky, this is the quicksand of our business. There are no certainties… well, maybe humans love of war. But even with that, there's not much you can count on. But Shetland is the best and so is Monty. My money and yours literally is on them."
I lean forward as I'm listening to Frank and put my right hand on the seat in back of David and press my thumb up against his butt. He settled back against it. I know it's crazy! When we first met we had sex constantly, then over time we settled down to twice a day. Then when we both got so intense about our jobs and Alex came along, it ended up being maybe once a day, or even every other day. Then with traveling and all, sometimes every other week. Now, ever since the holidays, or maybe even before that, I think about him all the time. When I'm in a room with him I have to touch him, and all day long I'll be remembering the feel of him, the smell of his skin, the warmth of his breath on my face.
"Well, I had a pretty good evening." David said. "One of those guys was an investor of ours and he introduced me to a couple of potentials." Frank was looking at David and shaking his head.
David laughed. "What, Frank? Yeah, like you weren't there to make money too!"
Frank put his arm around David's shoulder. "Kid, I'm not being critical. I just wish to fuck I could adopt you."
Alex was asleep when we got back to the hotel room. We went into his room and watched him sleep for a while and then walked hand in hand back to our own room. David said. "Five will get you ten that he's sleeping with us by morning."
I smiled at him and pulled him to me. "No bet." David felt so warm. "The upside of that is what I'm planning isn't going to take till morning." I started to slowly undo his tie.
David reached down and started rubbing my cock through my pants. "So basically we're talking about a quickie here?"
I tossed David's tie over the back of a chair and started on his shirt buttons. Spreading his collar, I bent and kissed the side of his neck. He gasped softly. "Nope, just not an all night sex romp." I buried my nose in the hair behind his ear. "God, I love the way you smell!" I pulled his shirt out of his pants and ran my hands up his bare back.
David had pulled my cock out of my open fly and was slowly stroking it. I opened my pants and stepped out of them without David ever letting go of my cock. He was looking up into my eyes. "If we were home we wouldn't have to worry so much about him waking up, but he's kind of unsettled here, kind of stirred up." He squeezed my cock. "Every time I look at this thing I wonder how in the hell I'm gonna get it in me."
I said. "Well babe, the door is locked, so there's no chance of Alex walking in on us." David had kicked off his shoes and was stripping off his pants.
I stripped off the rest of my clothing and sat down on the edge of the bed. David sat down next to me and pulled off his socks and then slipped off his underwear, his cock was pointing straight up. I ran my fingers up his back and then pulled him to me, kissing the back of his neck as he bent to take my cock in his warm mouth. Then he's mine…
The day has ended, the results of our orgasms have been wiped up, and he's lying in my arms, my face pressed to the back of his head and my arms around his chest.
"Oh, the door!" David said and got out of bed and opened our bedroom door. If Alex needed to be with us during the night we didn't want him to run into a locked door.
David got back into bed and pressed his back against my chest. A minute later he turned his head slightly toward me and spoke almost in a whisper. "Mark, you don't regret having to… well… to change our lives to accommodate Alex, do you?"
I pulled David over onto his back and spoke with my mouth right next to his face. "God no! No… absolutely not, David!" I held the side of his face in my right hand. "It's a weird thing… well kinda… I mean I know that Helmut and Karen were Alex's mom and dad and I would never try to take that away from him." I ran my hand down David's body and then pulled him tighter to me. "But… well, like when I've been away on a business trip for a week or two… when I come back I notice that Alex is beginning to sound like you. I mean he's picking up the same speech patterns, and sometimes I even notice him saying things that I say. Well, it's like he's really becoming ours, almost like we made him, you and I. I know we didn't make him, but we are kind of remaking him. It's like he's becoming a bit of both of us." I laid my head next to David's. "God no! I wouldn't change a thing. He's ours!"