I wake up in the morning and hear Mark talking to someone. I slowly open my eyes and can tell that Mark is not next to me and that it is morning. I must have fallen asleep talking. I stretch a little and move up in the bed to a more upright position. I rub my eyes and look up to see who is in my room. I really have got to start locking my door. I can see Mark sitting on the end of the bed talking to my dad. Mark only has a sheet wrapped around his waist; it makes me blush.
"About time you woke up kiddo." I hear my dad say. I just kinda grunt I'm not really with it this morning. I pull the blankets around me and move to sit behind Mark and pull him into me. I really don't care that my dad is there. I just want to be close to Mark. "What's up dad?" I ask now that I'm feeling more awake.
"Not much Alex, I just came in to get Mark. He needs to head home with his uncle." At first all I can think about is myself. I don't want Mark to go home. Then I see that my dad looks like a mess.
"Everything all right Dad? You look rough!"
"Well, a heavy night of drinking will do that to someone. Keep that in mind before you go off drinking."
"Anything you want to talk about?" I ask him while Mark is making his way to the bathroom giving my Dad and me some alone time.
"Yesterday took a harder toll on me then I thought it would. Don't get me wrong I am glad you all know about Charles and I. It may seem strange considering the way my family and I get along, but I am sad that things turned out this way. I should have been used to them acting that way. Yesterday was the last straw. They can insult me all they want, but you guys don't deserve that. I am sorry that they treated you like that."
"Why did you wait so long to tell us you are gay? Do you have any idea how much that would have helped me? For a long time I have been afraid to tell anyone that I was gay because I thought they would hate me. You could have made that all go away." I'm not mad, but I am confused, and disappointed maybe even a little hurt, but I would not dare tell him that.
"I know Alex, and I am sorry for that. I have been keeping this a secret for a long time. I just did not want to let it go. So are you really okay with me and Charles being together, and Ella and Rex moving in?"
"Yeah I think it's kewl. Umm dad, is the reason you adopted kids like us because of the way you were treated?"
"Figured that out did ya?" He leans over and ruffles my hair. "Yes that is why I asked for all high risk kids. I wanted to provide them a home I never had. When I figured out I could not adopt every one, I founded The Pandora Foundation. I called it Pandora because after all the problems and miseries were gone - hope was still left. I wanted to provide hope to anyone I could. Now you should get up, you have little brothers that want some attention. Go easy on James, he still is extremely on edge. Just be nice to him and try to get him to feel at home. Oh, one more thing, I want everyone to try and stay off this floor while the workers do their thing." With that he leaves.
I head to the bathroom and take a much needed morning piss. Mark is still in the shower so I jump in with him. He is almost done but decides to stay in and help me. We must have taken t0o long because his uncle came and told us that by now we should be the cleanest people on earth. I figure the 30 minutes was making good time after all we are not going to see each other for a few days. I need to stock pile on Mark love. We reluctantly get out. Once we're dressed we head down to join the rest of the family. At first I'm confused to see Ella, Rex and Charles. It only lasts a second. It's going to take me some time to get used to having them here.
I go over and join them all at the breakfast table. It looks like James is starting to come out of his shell just a little. At least this morning he is not glued to Derrek like he was his first day here. "Hi everyone," I say as I pull Mark down into the seat next to me. I was expecting there to be some uneasiness but there was none. We all seemed to mesh perfectly. After breakfast Mark heads home for the night, but he will be back tomorrow for the party.
Charles and I are sitting in my room and I look over at him, "Are we doing the right thing?" I ask.
He looks over at me and reaches for my hand, "What do you mean?"
"I mean all of this - us - well, me coming out for us, the moving Ella and Rex in here. Are we doing the right thing? Or are we being selfish, and by we I mean me."
"Well, I wanted to tell the kids a few years ago, but you wanted to wait. I think you could have done it in a better way. Screaming at your father in the middle of dinner was not the best thing. As for Ella and Rex, well the kids do need a woman around, and Rex loves it here. He idolizes Alex and John." He gets up from his overstuffed chair and kneels in front of me taking both my hands in his. "We have always been more of a family than not; I think this is a move in the direction we are meant to go. Whatever happens, we will get through it together." He smiles up at me. He knows me so well. I have no doubts for myself but for my family. I hate to admit it but if they needed me to, I would walk away from Charles in a heartbeat, and he knows it too. Yet still he sticks by me.
"I was talking to Alex this morning. I think he's upset that I waited so long to tell him. He is trying to hide it but I can tell. He told me that he was struggling with being gay for a few years now. He thinks that I could have made it easier on him if I came out earlier. Did I mess up by living this lie for so long. What else have I made harder on them because of my own stubbornness? I have made Alex's life miserable with the guards around him, I know he hates to have attention on him and yet I did it any way." Charles pulls me up and hugs me close, leads me to the bed, sits next to me, and waits for me to continue. "I'm sorry for dumping this all on you. I love the kids so much I would do anything to protect them and to make them happy. I know I go too far some times, but I can't help it. To think, I could have saved Alex a little heartache by sacrificing my pride. Well that bothers me a lot. Now I'm afraid that me pushing this merge of families on them will hurt them. Everything seemed fine this morning, but is it really?"
"Hon, we have been together in some form on and off again for the last 20 years. I know you better than you know yourself by this point. I love your kids as much as I love Rex. We are doing the right thing and I have no doubts about that. Everything looked fine this morning, because it was fine. As for Alex, well yes, that is your fault. I told you to come out to them years ago, and you wanted to put it off. Then when you started suspecting Alex was gay, I told you again to at least tell him, again you put it off. When we were at the hospital, and we saw them in bed together I told you he was probably gay and you wondered the same thing, again you put it off. Then he came out to you in the hospital, or rather you forced it out of him, again I told you to tell him, but you put it off. So yes, this one is all your fault Isaac. Your own stubbornness and fear caused him problems that you could have been helping him with. Now don't make the same mistakes with Jacob." I look up at him with wide eyes. "Oh don't give me that look, you see the signs as much as I do. He is going to end up gay and you know it. So this time don't mess it up."
"Thanks babe, sometimes I need a good kick in the ass. I should have listened to you. You have never given me bad advise. Now I need your help deciding something else. Should I tell Derrek, James, Shawn, and Rex about the company secret?" I ask as he seems to think about it for a little bit.
"Derrek probably already figures something is not right. No one can live here and not suspect something. I mean hell the board is at your beck and call. Rex will figure it out soon enough. So yes, I think you should tell them. With James I would wait a few years he is a little young to keep that kinda secret. Shawn is the same age as the twins and they are doing fine keeping the secret. Better than you in fact. So tell them all but wait with James 'til next year. Also, I would show them all the vault; they need to know where to go if anything happens to you. Everything is in there. I know you would rather not have them see all the stuff in there, but it is time at least with the older ones, John, Alex, and Angela."
"Your right, I'll wait 'til the new year then I'll let them know about the will and everything. I'll tell Derrek tonight and Rex and Shawn tomorrow." I lean over and kiss him. After that things get a little bit out of hand and the conversation is effectively over for the next few hours.
"Dylan, I think we should tell at least Alex and Mark. We have a good idea that they're gay and a couple." I say as I walk over to him.
I can see Dylan rolling his eyes; we have been through this talk a lot. "And what if your wrong, Cody? We have known Alex since we were 6. I don't what to risk the friendship. They may accept us being gay, but I think if we're wrong and tell them we think they are, well they might get pissed. Please drop it." Dylan says as he flops back on the bed.
Getting slightly angry I stand my ground, "No, I want to tell them, It would be nice to go out with another gay couple like straight teens do. I'm sick of hiding. You're just scared of your Mom and Dad. My parents already know about us and could care less. I want to come out." At that he sits up fixing me with a glare that could melt iron.
"The only reason your parents know about us is because you forgot to lock the door and your mom walked in on us one morning sleeping in each others arms." He smiles slightly letting me know he does not hold it against me.
"I am sorry about that. But I still want to talk to them. Please? For me." I give him my best sad face and I curl up to his side slowly kissing his neck.
"Fine you win. But if this come back to bite us in the ass it's your fault. Call Alex."
It was around 4 in the afternoon I was sitting in my room reading when I heard CLAIR say, "Alex you have a call on line 1. ID matches Cody Watson's cell phone."
"Thanks CLAIR, route it to my cell please." After a few moments, I felt my cell vibrate.
"Hey Cody what's up?" I ask in a happy tone.
"Me and Dylan want to know if you and Mark would like to hang out with us tonight?" Cody responds.
"Dylan and I" I correct him.
"What?" He asks me.
"You said me and Dylan it should be Dylan and I, besides Mark is at home with his mom. I don't think she will let him go out, but call and ask him anyway. I'm all for a night out, whatcha got in mind?"
"You know I hate it when you correct me like that. Not all of us spend our lives in books. Anyway, I was just thinking we could chill at my place; the rents are goin' out for their anniversary.."
"Sounds good to me. I'll be over in like....45 minutes." We hang up and I get dressed. I go to find Anthony. Knocking on his door, I'm told to come in.
"Hey Anthony, I want to go Cody's for little while; can you talk my dad into letting me stay there alone?"
"I take it you still need a ride there, right?" He is reading Soldier of Fortune, a military centered magazine. He doesn't even bother to stop reading. "I'll tell you what, I'll fix it with your dad if you can find a ride. Cause if I go I'm sticking with you."
"Sounds good to me. Thanks Anthony." I can tell he is getting tired of his assignment to me. Next stop to find John or Derrek. If that fails then I'll get Mrs. Mayfield to take me. I can't wait 'til I get my restricted license. "CLAIR locate John and Derrek."
"John is in his room; Derrek is in James' room." I realize I need to ask dad first. "CLAIR, page my dad."
"Yes Alex." My dad says.
"Hi dad, I was wondering if I could go to Cody's tonight for little bit."
"Have you asked Anthony if he thinks it's safe?"
"Yeah, he said if I could find a ride he would not have to go." I know it's not exactly what my dad asked me but at least this way I did not lie to him."
"OK, ask your brothers if they can take you if not I will." Wow, was not expecting that.
"Thanks Dad!" I head to James's room first since it is closest. The door is open so I knock on the glass wall and walk in.
"Hey Derrek would you be willing to give me a lift to Cody's tonight?" I ask.
"Sure, I was going to go to Matt's tonight, so I can drop you off on my way."
"Sweet, thanks Bro." We head out to his car and he drops me off at Cody's. I tell him to have a good time; his grins at me and pulls away.
I walk up to the door and Cody answers it; I notice that he looks a bit nervous. I go in and take a seat on the sofa. Dylan says that Mark should be here soon. Figures, as long as I'm not involved his mom will let him do anything without any problem.
Cody goes and gets me a Dr. Pepper, he knows it's my favorite soda. We all sit around his living room and wait for Mark. I'm not waiting long before Mark shows up. He has a smile on his face as soon as he sees me. I want to take him in my arms, but I know that would be a bad idea to do in front of Cody and Dylan.
Cody welcomes Mark in and we all start talking. Somewhere in all the talking Cody must have ordered pizza cause a delivery man knocks on the door. He ordered 4 large meat lovers pizzas. We start eating and it takes on a strange quiet.
"So what's up guys? You don't invite us over much anymore. Usually we hang out at my place." I say with a wondering tone. I'm sure they're up to some thing.
"That's only cause you have a kick-ass house," Cody's says a little too fast.
"We just wanted a quiet night with the 4 of us." Dylan tries to cover. Now I know something is up.
"OK, spill it guys, I know something's up. You two are nervous as hell." I say as I see them look at each other with worried looks. I look over to Mark; he's giving me a questioning look.
"Go ahead, it was your idea to have this conversation, so it's all you man." Dylan says to Cody.
With his head turned down Cody speaking softly, "Dylan and I are gay. I wanted to tell you cause I think you two are gay too and that your dating." He's turning bright red at this point. I almost want to have some fun them. But I don't want to make Cody suffer any longer. I look over to Mark, he knows what I want, and he nods his head to say it's OK.
"Yeah, we know. Do you have any more Dr. Pepper?" I say making it sound like what he just told me was common knowledge. I see Cody just nod his head. I get up and refill my glass. When I come back, I sit close to Mark and take his hand in mine, take a sip of my drink then kiss Mark. It's not a fast kiss, but rather a deep passionate kiss. I pull away when I realize that if we keep going they're going to get more of show than they bargained for. "So, what did you guys want to do tonight?" I ask in a casual tone pretending that nothing happened. I look up to see two sets of very wide eyes and open mouths. "What? Can't a guy kiss his boyfriend?"
"Dude, this is so cool!" Cody shouts. "I knew you guys were dating when I saw you in the hospital holding hands. But, you said you knew that we are gay. I don't get that."
"Well you guys are a little too close for straight guys. I watched you at a few of my parties and put it together. Mark and I were going to try and get you to come out to us."
"I hope no one else figures it out, my parents would kill me if they knew. Cody's parents already know and seem OK with it. Do your parents know?" Dylan asks Mark and me.
"My mom has no clue she would go nuts if she knew but my brother knows and he's cool with it." Marks tells them.
"My whole family knows." I tell them.
"John and Angela know your gay and dating Mark?" Dylan asks.
"Yup, so do the twins."
"And everyone is OK with it."
"Better then OK. John has been there the whole time. Angela is just pissed that she missed out on shopping time with me. She hates the fact that I don't like shopping and have no fashion sense at all." I say as Cody starts laughing.
"Sounds like Ang alright. Are you guys out to anyone else?"
"A few people, Mark's little brother and his uncle know. My house staff knows and so does Matt."
"That's cool, why Matt though?" Cody asks
"Well he figured it out." I feel kinda bad lying to them, but I can't out Matt. "You guys should come out to Matt; he would be fine with it. And you know you can tell my family. We are definitely gay friendly."
"I think we will." Dylan says. The rest of the night passes fast we watch a movie on Showtime, eat some pop corn, and talk some more. Around 10 o'clock Derrek comes to get me. Mark said his mom is coming soon, too. Derrek comes in and Cody and Dylan come out to him. Then we leave after I remind them of the party.
"What do ya think about Cody and Dylan?" I ask Derrek, I don't think he would have a problem with it but you never know.
"I think its cool we should all go out some day. I would like to know if there are any other gay people in our school."
"Yeah a triple date sounds cool. So how was it at Matt's?" I ask while raising my eye brows in a suggestive manor.
"It went well, Matt came out to his mom." Wow, was not expecting that.
"What? Are you serious? Did she take it OK?"
"Yes and yes. I think his mom kinda already knew."
"Wow, that's big. So I take it she approves of you guys dating then."
"Yup she just said no sex in the house. Matt nearly died of embarrassment at that. I whispered to him that that's what my room is for. He turned red and blushed so hard I though he was choking." He starts laughing. When we get home the rest of the family is in the theater watching Underworld Rise of the Lycans©. Tomorrow is the party; tonight is for family.