Castle Roland

A Special Place

by Sequoyah


Chapter 41

Published: 8 Apr 14

A Special Place--Part Forty-one--Luke

Matt and I took the things from the Jeep into the house and cleaned up and put everything away. It took longer than it might otherwise have done, because we were constantly stopping for some passionate kissing. I was pleased to learn that our new ways of making love had taken nothing from the old. Damn, I loved kissing my man!

We had just finished getting things put away when Yong Jin and Greywolf arrived. They came into the house laughing and holding hands. "No more school until September," Greywolf shouted as he tossed a load of books and papers on his desk in the library. When he and Yong Jin walked into the kitchen, he said, "And I bet you thought only students were thankful when school was out!" He laughed and grabbed Yong Jin and the two did a dance across the kitchen. They were acting like a couple of teenagers--even to engaging in some pretty passionate kissing themselves.

When they had calmed down a bit, Yong Jin asked, "How did the skip day go?"

"Perfect, absolutely perfect," Matt said.

"Yea, and the Fellowship has a new couple," I added. "Jacob and Paula finally got over holding each other at arm's length. I mean they really got over it."

"Well, if they decide to stick together, next year will be pretty tough," Greywolf observed.

"It surely will," Yong Jin commented. "But both seem like strong people. If they want to make it work, they can."

"I'm just glad we don't have to," Matt said, pulling me to himself and kissing me. "Being separated would be no fun."

"You just don't know," Greywolf said. "Yong Jin and I have had experience and it's the pits."

"That's not the only news," I said.

"Well, grab a Coke and tell us all about it," Yong Jin said as she got four cold Cokes.

We sat talking about the day and all that had happened. "The house is now officially ours. Millie saw to that. Of course we have to pay her back. She had Mr. Fox, one of her lawyers, incorporate us as the Oberlin Five, Inc."

Greywolf laughed, "Leave it to Millie. Well, paying her back will be no problem. All the money Yong Jin and I and Gabrielle and Jens set aside for your college is now available for other things since your hard work has paid off in scholarships."

"Plus the money I got from sales at the exhibition," I added. "Even Larry found out he wasn't as bad off as he thought. His parents had established a college fund when he was born and his mom kept it up after his father left until he was eighteen when it was paid out. Also, he has a job this summer."

"Hate to be this way, but did you get any work done on the speeches?" Yong Jin asked.

"We did. I guess we'll have to finish them tonight," Matt said as he looked at me with a frown.

Just as he spoke, the phone rang and Yong Jin picked it up. After she had greeted Mom, she said, "Yes, he's here. One minute... It's your mom, Luke."

"Mom, what's up?' I asked into the phone.

"I haven't been able to leave work yet--I planned to be home early, but it looks like I'm stuck for another half hour so I wanted to make sure I got you before you made plans for tonight. Your dad and I want you and Matt to have dinner with us. Michael and Mary Kathryn are having dinner with the Andrews.

"I hope Michael is up to it. I'm not sure he is after today. I think he overdid the swimming."

"I hope not. Anyway, this is pretty important to your dad--well, to me too. He would like to sit down and have a talk with you after dinner. And, by the way, plan to spend the night at home."

"By myself?" I could feel the hair on the back of my neck rising. I was well on the way to being very angry when Mom said, "I certainly hope not! Have you and Matt had a fight?"

"Of course not!"

"Then I suspect you'll be spending the night at home with him in your bed. I would if I were you," Mom laughed. "You've got to learn not to be so touchy, Luke."

"Mom, I think I have reason to be touchy."

"Maybe not after tonight. See you around 7:00?"


I told Matt what Mom had said and he suggested we work on the speeches before going to my place since we obviously weren't going to have as much time as we thought. "But I'm sure there will be more to do and they have to be ready tomorrow for Ms. Jones to approve."

Yong Jin called us at 6:30 to remind us of the time. We had gotten so absorbed in the speeches that the time slipped up on us. We had made great progress, but now only had time for a quick shower and getting dressed before it was time to go. Just before we showered, Matt set the computer to copy the speeches onto a disk so we could continue to work on them at my place later.

Just before we were ready to leave, Greywolf said, "Sons, be patient and hear Jens out, regardless of what he has to say. I'm sure this is serious business for him and will not be easy, so be patient. Remember, he loves you both."

"We will, Dad," Matt said and we hugged both Matt's parents and turned to leave.

As we reached the front door, Greywolf called to Matt, "Matt, don't plan on using the Jeep Thursday. I'm taking it in to be checked."

"Ok, Dad, but remember that's the birthday bash at Uncle Michael's. I'll need it then."

"I'll see what I can do about getting the work it needs done before too late," he replied. "But I'm not sure. You're going to need to be sure it's ready for the trip to Sewanee."

When we reached my place, both Mom and Dad were in the kitchen. "Dinner will be ready shortly," Jens announced. "Maybe you want to catch the latest news."

There wasn't much of interest in the news and I was only half paying attention, Matt saw to that, when suddenly I heard, "More happening in the McBride case in Concord today. In a civil action suit against McBride, Judge Snow ruled that McBride's assets would be confiscated and placed in a trust fund to continue therapy for those he had abused. A local therapist told this reporter that the three young men who had testified to years of abuse from McBride will probably be in therapy for some years. However, I also learned that the three had completed their high school education while living in a halfway house and will be graduating with their high school class at Independence High School."

"That's surely an interesting development," Matt said. "I wonder how Independence students will take that?"

"More for the speeches, Matt," I responded.

I was surprised when we got to the dining room. The table was set for a celebration. What was going on here? There was a wine glass at every place and Dad had wine sitting in front of his place. When we had gathered around the table, Dad said grace. I was shocked when he, as Greywolf had done, passed up the standard grace to offer thanks for his sons Matthew and Luke and for their love for each other. Shocked? I was thunderstruck! When he had finished the grace, he poured wine for all of us and offered a toast, "To the Family, blessed beyond measure and to our two sons who have found love--unexpected and, at first, unacceptable. May it grow and deepen in the years to come."

The dinner was, of course, perfect. "Gabrielle, I hope you have taught your son to cook. I don't think I can last months without at least a hint of your wonderworks from the kitchen."

"Never let him fool you, Matt. Luke is an excellent cook, but then I seem to recall Greywolf and Yong Jin haven't neglected that part of your education either!"

As the meal progressed, we talked about our day at the falls, about having the house and about all the plans for the next week and the summer. "Mary Kathryn has already told me about the picnic Sunday. I think that is a wonderful idea! I thought you'd want to go off and party on your own," Mom said.

"That's Saturday night," Luke said. "Mr. Greywolf and his entourage are going back to the club in Lexington."

We finished the meal and Matt and I started to clear the table as usual when Dad said, "Leave the wine glasses." After the table was clear, Dad asked, "Boys--I guess you're no longer boys, huh? But I still think of you as boys. I want to talk with you and wonder if you'd like to talk in the den or sit here around the table?"

"Jens, I vote for the table," Matt replied and I nodded.

When we were settled again, Dad filled our glasses, sat down and became very silent. He sat for what seemed like a very long time looking at his wine glass, twirling it between his fingers. Actually I'm sure it was only a minute or two. But I was getting very nervous and, when Matt took my hand under the table, I knew he was too. He finally looked up and said, "I really don't know how to begin. I have something I want to say and I'm afraid I'll bungle the job and I sure don't want to. Be patient with me."

"First, I want you to know I love all of you kids. Matt, I don't think I love you or Michael any less than I do Luke and Mary Kathryn. That's kinda hard for me to say, not because it's untrue, but it's hard for me to say 'I love you,' to Luke and Mary Kathryn, my own flesh and blood. Telling the children they were loved just wasn't done in my family and it's been very hard for me to say it even as seldom as I do. But it's true. I love all of you very much."

"The second thing..."--Jens the accountant was getting the books in order just as Greywolf the scientist has to have everything in order--"I want you to know is that I have struggled very hard to accept your relationship. It has called into question beliefs I thought absolute and unchangeable. It shook all I have believed to the very foundations. I'll admit I still don't understand two men loving each other as you two love. But then love is not to be understood, just accepted--and I do accept it."

"Then a major problem--to my mind--is that you are still children, very young, and have made a decision..."

"Dad, there was no decision," I said. I could feel myself bracing for something. I wasn't sure what.

Matt squeezed my hand, looked at me and mouthed, "Patience".

Dad ignored my remark and continued, "...a decision to accept who and what you are and to act on it: to accept that you were in love with a man and let him know it--and everyone else for that matter. Gradually I have come to realize that you are no longer children, but I'm still not yet ready to call you adults. Well, I guess I am, it's just that being adults carries responsibilities that I didn't want you to have to have. But then, you aren't children and I don't really want to keep treating you as children."

"Matt, Luke, I told Gabrielle to ask you to stay here tonight. I wasn't sure I could do that without saying the wrong thing. I have noticed that since you two have acknowledged your love for each other--I mean other than as brothers--you have spent little time here." Dad laughed, "I've even thought about renting out Luke's room. But seriously, I have noticed that your displays of affection are much less free here than elsewhere and I suspect your love-making has also been restrained."

"Dad, Matt and I knew you had problems with our relationship. I won't say that we haven't made love here--within the bounds we set for ourselves--but you're right. It has been restrained because we knew how you felt and we just didn't feel comfortable here. Also, I--we--had respect for you, if not your position. And we weren't going to cheapen our love by being sneaky."

"Well said, Son," Dad said. "I know that you had placed boundaries on your love-making until you were eighteen and, since I got drafted to help prepare your love nest at the falls, I think I am safe in saying you observed those bounds, but only as long as you said you would."

"Luke's no longer a virgin, if that's what you mean, Jens," Matt said and then turned bright red. Dad had a good belly laugh.

"That's what I mean," he said. "I have some real problems with premarital sex--although, to be frank, I wasn't innocent when Gabrielle and I were married."

"Jens, be honest. Our wedding night was our first night as husband and wife, not our first night." Damn if Dad didn't blush.

"Anyway, as I was thinking about that, I realized that you would never be married to each other. At least, not as marriage is understood and recognized legally. I know you plan a commitment ceremony, but that's beside the point. What I'm trying to say is that I recognize your commitment to each other and expect you to make love any way you care to in this house. And I hope, if not now, soon you will feel comfortable doing so."

Both Matt and I gave a great sigh. "Dad, I was afraid... I mean... I was afraid... I don't know what I was afraid of but, Dad, you don't know how happy that makes me. Not because I can make love to Matt here. If not here, I would somewhere, but because of your acceptance of us." I got up and hugged and kissed my dad. Matt did the same. Both Matt and I had tears in our eyes--I guess remembering Dad's reaction only weeks ago--and damned if Dad didn't have a tear or two in his eyes.

"Jens, I know how hard it has been for you to reach this point, but I want you to know that I will honor it the only way I know how, by loving your son with all my heart and soul," Matt said.

Jens poured the rest of the wine into the glasses and as he did said, "Matt, I could ask nothing more and expect nothing less." He raised his glass and said, "Here's to the finest sons a man could ever ask for, and to their love--for each other and for the family. May both grow ever deeper and stronger!"

We drank the toast and I said, "I know you'll not believe this, but Matt and I have speeches to work on. I think we'll say goodnight and go up."

We hugged Jens and Gabrielle and both of us said, teary eyed, "Thanks, Jens." Matt added, "And we promise to make you proud of us and of our love," then we went to my room.

As soon as we got upstairs, we discussed the fact that we planned to mention Danny, Buddy and Jake, the three who had beaten and raped Gregory, in our speech. "Luke, that worries me," Matt said. "I am really concerned about that."

"So am I, Matt. Maybe we should just leave it out."

"We could. Maybe we should."

"Matt, why don't we let them decide? I mean it's a part of what the speeches are about. Maybe they would want us to say what we planned to say."

"What do we do? We won't have time to make major changes in the morning."

"Let's give them a call."

It took a while to find the phone number of the halfway house, but we finally decided it was too important not to make every effort and, in desperation, called Judge Snow at home. We apologized for calling her so late and at home, but when we told her what we had in mind, she thought it was a good idea. "Especially since you are leaving the decision in their hands." She gave us the number and, when we called, we managed to get all three on the halfway house speaker phone and went over what we had planned. When we finished, Danny said, "It's going to be rough--for you and for us--but I think you should go ahead." The other two agreed.

Then we worked on the speeches, again getting completely immersed in them, until I had to rush to the toilet for a piss. When I got back, Matt had fallen asleep in front of the computer, his head on the keyboard. When I looked at the clock I saw that it was 3:30 in the morning and we had to be at school at 9:00 for rehearsal. The speeches could still use some polishing, but I saved them and shut down the computer, got undressed and picked up my man and took him to bed. He was so out of it that I got him undressed and under the cover before he gave any hint of waking up. When he did, he smiled, reached up and kissed me and was immediately asleep again! So much for making mad passionate love in my house tonight! Of course, by the time I had spooned into the back of my love, I was also asleep. I guess there are, as Michael pointed out, limits--limits of all kinds.

Saturday morning is usually sleep-in time at my house, but this morning the clock went off at 7:30. I hate alarm clocks! One day I hope I will be in a position to not have one in the house! Matt reached across me and slammed the snooze button for another nine minutes of sleep. I guess sometimes even teenage priorities get changed.

The clock went off a second time and Matt and I dragged ourselves out of bed. We went to the bathroom and took care of morning necessities. We barely had time for a quick shower with no playing around. I shaved while Matt got dressed. While I got dressed, he printed out copies of the speeches and we went downstairs.

Dad was in the kitchen alone, fixing breakfast. "I hope you two had a good night," he smiled.

"I guess it was good. Actually, Dad, we worked on the speeches until 3:30 and, while I was taking a piss, Matt fell asleep at the computer. He barely woke up when I got him undressed and in bed. Just long enough for a quick kiss. I was asleep two minutes later."

"I guess you're adults after all," Dad mused. "You're learning there are responsibilities which keep you from doing what you want to do. You may as well know, that doesn't change."

"Yea, like getting up to feed two boys when you'd rather be in bed--sleeping or otherwise," Matt laughed. Dad joined in his laughter.

After breakfast we rushed to school, getting there in the nick of time. When we walked in, a very excited Ms. Jones met Matt. "Matt, we had a Rogers organ delivered late yesterday to be used for graduation. When we had rehearsal, the assistant conductor and the director handled the ensemble and chorus--we are NOT using recorded music this year--and they did fine so the two groups are in good shape, but with Paula and Eugene back and the addition of the organ, do you think you could work to improve the selection of music?

"I hope I can," Matt replied. What did you have in mind?"

"Get together with Eugene and Paula and see what you three can come up with. I'll leave it up to you three."

"Pomp and Circumstance" have to be included?"

"I meant it when I said I'd leave the music up to you three. How are the speeches?"

"I have a hard copy of them," I said. "We want to do some more work, but I think you can see where we are headed. Any changes will not be a big surprise."

"I trust you two so I'll read what you have and you can do what you want to improve that. To tell you the truth, the hard part of graduation is well in hand. It's getting the marching in and out and getting up and down that seems to be too complicated for graduating seniors!"

Ms. Norman had the seniors marching in and out and standing and sitting, trying to make everything look smooth. It didn't. She was getting pretty put out and finally said, "Take fifteen." I hadn't been too involved since I just marched right up on stage and didn't have to do the up and down bit--which looked silly to me, but then it was graduation tradition.

When Ms. Norman called for the break, I walked over to Ms. Jones who had read the speeches. "I think the speeches are great, but I wonder about one thing. You mention the three students who beat and raped Gregory...."

"Matt and I called them and ran over the speeches with all three because we would not have included what we did without their knowing and approving it."

"I would have thought as much, but I wanted to be sure. And their response?"

"They thanked us. All three thanked us. In fact, all three wept and said they couldn't understand how we could say what we did about the outcome."

Actually, as we said, Matt and I had been very hesitant about mentioning that horrible event, but when we talked with the three, they urged us to do so. Even though Ms. Jones approved the speeches, I knew they needed more work and Matt had agreed when we talked about them on the way to school.

During the lull, Derrick Armstrong, football hero and student body president, came over. "How's Michael doing?" he asked.

"He's coming along fine," Matt said. "He actually swam some yesterday."

"Do you think he might come to school before we finish? I need to talk to him. I know he had to give up being a marshall, but I hoped he would be here."

"Give him a call. I think he can make it," I said.

Derrick left to call Michael and I joined Matt, Paula and Eugene. Matt was sitting at the organ, running his fingers over it as if it was my naked body! "Babe, have I been replaced?" I asked in a whiney voice.

Matt smiled and said, "Not likely, but I tell you, I'm amazed at what this baby can do. I have always heard electronic organs put down and I'd probably choose the Flentrop over this but, man, what I wouldn't give to have this baby. It can do just about anything. Three manuals. I would just love to have it. But right now I guess you have been replaced for a spell since we've got to get the music done."

Later Matt told me he, Eugene and Paula had told Ms. Jones they would announce the beginning of the ceremony with "Fanfare for the Common Man" and then use Clarke's "Trumpet Tune" instead of the usual "Pomp and Circumstance" which Eugene said the ensemble was having trouble with since they only started work on it yesterday when he was at the falls. The rest of the music they selected--including the recessional--was also from the concert.

Sure enough, as soon as Ms. Norman got everyone back in place and processional started, a couple mothers went rushing up to Ms. Jones. One was the mother of a daughter who was graduating only by the grace of God and a few points from her teachers. Ms. Norman called a halt just as she shouted, "I don't care how it's done. It can be an eight track tape so far as I am concerned, but my daughter is going to march to the graduation march!"

Ms. Jones of the icy voice drew herself up to her full height and asked, "And just what is the graduation march?"

"Don't play dumb with me, Lady!" the mother was shouting now, "You know..." and in her best "my daughter is being mistreated voice" tried to do a bah, bah, bah version of "Pomp and Circumstance".

"Oh," Ms. Jones said, "you mean "Pomp and Circumstance". I guess if you insist she march to that you need to find a high school that's using it. Most will. We're not!" and turned and walked away as she said, "Get on with it, Norman".

Then there was a problem because Eugene, Paula and senior members of the chorus and ensemble had trouble getting back to their places after they had done their parts of the program. Finally Ms. Norman, who was in charge, decided the only easy way was to let them sit together and made a change in the strict alphabetical order in which the diplomas were given out. The same loud-mouthed mother and her tag-along raised cain again because their children got pushed further back in the line. Finally Ms Jones had had it with all the fuss and said, "We'll seat the honors students in the front, the chorus and ensemble members who are not honors students--if there be any--directly behind them. We'll do honors in alphabetical order, then members of the chorus and ensemble in alphabetical order and then the remaining students in alphabetical order. Seems to me the honors students and the ensemble and chorus have done enough for Independence to have that bit of preference shown to them. Anyway, that's the way it's going to be!" The two busybodies started to say something when Ms. Jones announced, "The rest of the rehearsal is closed to all except participants. Ladies you are excused."

"Millicent Willingham will hear about this," Ms. Loud Mouth shouted as she walked out the door. Her poor daughter was embarrassed to tears. Sometimes parents are more concerned about their own image than their children it appeared.

While Ms. Norman was rearranging students, Derrick came back and spoke with Ms. Jones. I heard her say, "As soon as he's here, we'll discuss it."

We marched in and out a couple more times, Derrick and I marching straight to the stage rather than sitting in the audience. Eugene and other seniors in the ensemble didn't have to march and Paula and senior members of the chorus peeled off when they reached the risers for their group.

As we were marching out the last time, Michael came in. Ms. Jones motioned for me, Matt and Derrick. When we reached them, Derrick said, "You all know it is traditional for the president of the student body to introduce the valedictorian--in this case co-valedictorians. However, I spoke with Ms. Jones and I would like for Michael to do that. Michael has done more for this school in a couple or three months than I have done as student body president all year. Frankly, I haven't done shi... anything. I would like to introduce Michael and let him introduce you two."

"Derrick, what will your classmates think of that?" Michael asked.

"The ones I have talked to think it's a good idea."

"You know the program can't be changed," Ms. Jones said.

"Doesn't bother me," Derrick replied. "But with all the changes made today, I guess the only thing correct is the list of graduates anyway! But, if you like, I'll call Dad. His best friend runs a print shop and I bet we could get new ones. I'll call as soon as you give me the corrected program."

"What do you three think of Derrick's suggestion?" Ms. Jones asked.

"I think it's a grand gesture, Derrick," Matt said.

"So do I."

"Derrick, if that's what you truly want to do, I am honored, but it's your decision. You have earned the honor," Michael said.

"That's just it, Michael, I haven't and now it's too late. But I have learned a lesson about the difference between being a leader and having a title. You're on tomorrow, Man!" He started to slap Michael on the back, but stayed his hand just in time.

"Thanks," Michael smiled, "if you hadn't stopped that hand, I don't think I'd have been able to do anything tomorrow! Now I guess I better get home and get busy trying to find something decent I can say about these two brothers of mine."

After Michael left, I noticed Derrick looked puzzled. Finally he asked, "Are you two and Michael brothers?"

"Not by blood, but otherwise, one hundred percent," Matt said.

Ms. Jones wanted to know if there was anything she needed to do for us. "Just be sure there are two mikes for the speeches because we're doing a dialogue," I said.

"Glad you reminded me of that. I'll see that it's done. Paula left as soon as she could with that redheaded junior--Jacob--saying 'Time's a'wasting' as she walked out, but if you, Matt and Eugene, can stay a bit, we'll get the program corrected and, Derrick, you can see what you can do."

"I'll wait outside with Larry," I said and started toward the door, then remembered, "Oh, by the way, Ms. Jones, the Fellowship is having a graduation celebration tomorrow afternoon. We like you to be there if you aren't going to another one."

"Thanks. I appreciate that, but I suspect that's a time for you young adults."

"Not at all. We're having a family picnic at the falls. Parents and friends invited."

"Then I'd be honored. See you at graduation."

As Ms. Jones went about getting the program corrected, I walked to the parking lot. Larry was sitting in Eugene's car, listening to a tape. I joined him and, as we listened, we started talking about yesterday and how much fun it had been. Then we both got the giggles when Larry brought up the loud-mouthed mother. "I'd like to be a fly on the wall when she decides to dress down Ms. Jones to Millie," Larry laughed. Matt still hadn't joined us and the parking lot was empty except for Eugene's car, Matt's Jeep and one other car I didn't know.

Matt finally walked out of the building with Eugene and two other seniors. I soon recognized them as Randy and Sandy. When the four of them reached us, we all spoke and Randy said, "We're just telling Eugene how much we appreciate what he did to keep us in school and to allow us to graduate".

"Well, to tell the truth, we were telling him just how much we appreciated the punishment," Sandy laughed. "Randy and I have been best friends for years, but that was it. I guess both of us were afraid what might happen to our friendship if we told the truth, but after that kiss in the cafeteria, we decided we liked it and, well, we finally admitted we were in love with each other and had been for ages."

"Sure was easier than the way Matt and I got together," I said and pulled Matt to me for a kiss.

"I admire your guts--all four of you," Randy said. "I'm afraid we can't be as open as you four. I know I would be put out of the house if my dad found out...."

"And that would be the least of my troubles," Sandy added. "I know my old man would beat the shit out of me. He does that just for kicks now, especially when he's drunk--which is most of the time. Give him a reason and I don't think he'd know when to stop."

"Also, we both are football players and I'll bet our scholarships would evaporate if the college found out. I'm sure we would be hounded off the team at best. But at least Sandy and I are going to the same college and we are roommates, so we can be together and what we do behind closed doors--well..." he grinned. "But, again, thanks Eugene, you made two men very happy. And I still can't get over how fast you can put a football player's ass in the dirt. But we've got to run. Laters."

"Laters," the four of us said.

"Luke, we better run too. We still have work to do on speeches. See you guys tomorrow," Matt said.

Matt and I spent the afternoon working on the speeches at his place. We reached the point where we were just fussing over them without making any improvements and I finally said, "Matt, let's call it quits for now and have Yong Jin take a look at them later".

It was a beautiful spring day so Matt and I decided we'd go for a walk along the river. Of course the falls are a special place, but the river above and below the falls is also beautiful. We walked to the river bridge, climbed down the bank and walked up the river toward the falls. We had our arms about each other's waist and stopped from time to time for a gentle kiss. We weren't, it seemed, in the mood for heavy making out. That was strange until Matt said, "I guess without saying it or even being conscious of it, we're storing up memories, Luke. I feel kinda sad knowing that all we have known and loved is, well, no longer going to be a part of our everyday life. Soon all of this will be very far away from us and I don't think we can ever, really, come back to it."

"I know what you mean, Babe. It frightens me at times. I thought that this summer was just like other summers--we'd go away to camp or whatever and come back to what we have always known. But even if we were coming back here, we wouldn't be coming back to what we've always known. I mean there'd be no school, no Fellowship--at least for us. All that we're leaving behind. Of course, we'd also be coming back to each other as we've never done before... But we won't be coming back, not back to this place, to the family... not really. And you know what frightens me--still--is that we could have reached this point in our lives, separated and never have been together."

"But we didn't and we are, Yonghon Tongmu." Matt took me in his arms and kissed me softly, gently, then lowered me to the mossy bank of the river where we lay in each other's arms. Matt was unusually tender as he slowly undressed me. Soon he, too, was lying beside me in all his wonderful, naked, dark beauty. Our love-making was as gentle and soft as the light breeze in the willows above us. Matt started kissing my body, stopping to look up into my eyes and smile the smile which made my world light up. God I loved this man who could be a wild Korean Lakota, but who could also be a gentle warrior making love to me under the canopy of the willows with the soothing sound of the river near by. Even when he took me into his mouth, his love-making was gentle, tender, soft--unrushed and unhurried. When I had given him my gift, he looked into my eyes and said, "We're creating memories, Yonghon Tongmu, memories to last forever".

In the tenderness of our love, we lay in each others arms, looking into each other's souls until I started making love to my Dark Angel's hard, perfect body. When he filled my mouth with the pure taste of Matt, I drank it, filling my being with the nectar of my love. In the gentle warmth of our love we lay together, whispering things to each other which only appear foolish to those who are not in love.

As with all good things, our time together had to come to an end so we dressed and walked, holding hands, stopping for a kiss, laughing and enjoying being alive, back to Matt's place. We walked into the kitchen just as Greywolf came in, his hair wet from the shower. "I hope you two were enjoying yourselves while I slaved away in the garden," he laughed.

"I don't know about your slaving away," Matt joined in the laughter, "but we certainly were enjoying ourselves. Well, kinda. Well, we did enjoy ourselves, but I guess yesterday started us thinking about how our life here is drawing to a close."

"Yea," I added. "We were just thinking about graduation as the end of another school year until yesterday, but both of us keep thinking that it's not. It's the end of being here in surroundings we know and love, among people we know and love and who love us. All that is about to change. It's kinda a happy-sad time."

"Yes, it is. For us too," Yong Jin said. "Too soon the house will feel incomplete because you and Matt won't be around. I keep thinking about when I weaned Matt. It was time for him to move on, but nursing him was a pleasure for both of us. He cried the most, but it was a kind of sad time for me as well--and it hurt. But he could hardly have gone to school hanging on my breast."

"Mom!" Matt exclaimed.

"It's true, Matt," Greywolf said. "I guess the unfortunate thing is that most people, figuratively, go through life hanging onto a breast. This place and the people you know and love have given you all we can at this time. That doesn't mean the place will no longer be special or that the people will stop loving you, but both will take on a new meaning for you. You can't stop growing, even when you have growing pains--as you will, always."

"I know it's really none of my business and you can tell me that if you wish," Yong Jin said, "but how did your time with Jens go? Gabrielle told me he was very anxious to talk with the two of you, but had been pretty tight-lipped about it."

Matt and I told Yong Jin and Greywolf about our talk with Jens and how he had said he considered our love special and welcomed it.

"I recall how frightened we all were about Jens finding out about you two. I knew he was a good man at heart, but I also knew how hard it was going to be for him to question what he had been taught all his life," Greywolf said. "But I guess I also knew how very much he loved his son and all the rest of the Gang of Four. I am very thankful that he has come to see that love is love and that your love is as deep and precious as it is."

"Needless to say, I am more than happy with my dad," I said. "He not only has my love, but also more respect than I can tell."

"Hate to change the subject, but what about the speeches?" Yong Jin asked.

"We'd like for you to hear them and see what you think," Matt said. "And, by the way, I plan to spend the night with Luke. We kinda didn't get to see how comfortable we would be at his place last night."

Yong Jin raised an eyebrow as only she can and I laughed. "We worked on the speeches until I had to go to the toilet at 3:30 and when I got back, Matt was asleep on the keyboard! He hardly woke up when I undressed him, just enough for a goodnight kiss."

After we did a run through of the speeches, Yong Jin said, "I think you've done enough. Put them aside and get to Luke's. And don't play around all night because Matt has to play tomorrow morning. He only has one more time to play before he leaves for the summer."

Matt and I drove to my place knowing we would sleep as late as possible and wouldn't want to have to walk back to his place for the Jeep.

After dinner, we took a shower, playing around but keeping everything within bounds. I mean there were much more exciting things to come! After we got our hair dry--I kept threatening to cut mine since getting it dry was a chore, but Matt reminded me that it was one I seldom had to do since he did it and I better not cut a single hair--Matt put on some soft slow music and we danced. Man, how I loved holding his hard body in my arms, his head resting in the crook of my neck and dancing. His hair was free and completely covered his back, even his great butt. As we danced, I reached behind him and took his cheeks in my hands, pulling his hips to mine. Soon I realized that he, as I, was very hard. He nibbled at my ear and then whispered, "Luke Hans Yonghon Tongmu Larsen I love you. I love you. I love you!"

I raised his head from my neck, looked into his black almond eyes, smiled and said, "Matthew Sarang Hanun Pomul Greywolf, I love you too. Dark Angel, I couldn't love you more if I were twins!" I slipped my hands into his hair and pressed my lips against his again and again. Our open-mouth kisses became more passionate as our tongues started a familiar duel. We were both very hot and very hard when I reached down, swept my Sarang Hanun Pomul into my arms and carried him to my bed.

I stood over him, drinking in his dark beauty. His hair was a black, black pillow for his smooth beauty. He extended his arms and I fell into them. As I lay atop his body, he grasped two handsful of my hair and pulled my lips to his in a kiss which knew no bounds. We continued kissing each other as he rolled atop my body, his hair--God how I loved his hair--forming that special private world I had grown to love more and more, a world filled with the fragrance of Matt. His hands were all over my body, his mouth and tongue making me hotter and hotter. When he started licking and sucking my nipples, I started groaning. Finally I said, "Dark Angel, I want you. I want to feel you inside me. I want to feel you deep inside me." As I spoke, I managed to twist to one side and pull open the drawer of the night stand where I had placed the lube I had forgotten on our birthday.

Matt reached in the drawer and took the lube and soon was working it into me with a finger, then two. He continued relaxing me until I finally said, "Babe, I want you now!" After applying more lube to me, he covered Chili Pepper and started gently entering me. "Dark Angel, I am ready. Please!" Matt still moved very slowly, very gently until his Lakota arrow was buried deeply inside me. As he pulled back and then slid in again, he hit a spot I didn't know I had. It felt as though an electric charge of pleasure shot through my whole being. Matt raised my legs to his shoulders as he knelt over me. Again and again his plunging arrow hit my target and I clinched my teeth to keep from shouting as I urged Matt on, "Yes, yes, yes, Love! Faster Matt, faster. Deeper, deeper." His balls had been slapping against me, but now they were drawing into firing position. Suddenly he reached out, grabbed my hair and pushed himself as deep as possible into me. I felt him explode inside as he pulled my lips to his in a crushing kiss while still exploding. I could hold back no longer and felt hot man's seed shoot across my body. As I did, my Dark Angel collapsed on me.

Both of us exhausted by our love-making, Matt held me tight, Chili Pepper still inside. Exhausted by our climax, yes, but not enough to prevent passionate kissing. Finally, Chili Pepper grew soft and slid from inside me and we lay side by side, gazing into each other's eyes, both smiling, but saying nothing for a long time. Then Matt said, "Luke, I want to make love to you like that until the day we die. You are my life, my reason for living, Yonghon Tongmu."

"And you mine, Sarang Hanun Pomul. You, my beloved Dark Angel, are the very reason I am living." As we had done at the river, we lay, saying little, just basking in the presence of our love.

After we had recovered, Matt became my wild Korean Lakota again and was smothering me with kisses. In spite of the fact that only a short time ago he had brought me to a roaring climax, Little Luke made his presence felt and Matt said, "Luke, make love to me. Make the stars sing and the planets dance."

Foreplay is wonderful and exciting and great! But there comes a time when it is not enough. "Luke, I want you NOW!" Matt said. "I am ready for you NOW!" And he was. I hope I never have to choose between being inside Matt and having him inside me. Both are out-of-this-world experiences and I want to have both as long as I live. As I approached my climax, I took Chili Pepper in my hand and brought Matt along with me. As I felt my hot seed pulse into my love, he covered my hand with his.

Again, we were both exhausted and I collapsed on Matt's body, placing my head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat. We were silent for a long time and then Matt started laughing. He started laughing! "Bright Angel, do you remember when we glued ourselves together?"

Recalling that morning, I got the giggles and the two of us, fresh from some damn hot sex, were laughing like two ten-year-olds. I finally gained some control and said, "I guess this means we are no longer uncomfortable making love at Jens' place".

"I think it means we have also learned the Michael and Mary Kathryn trick of playing when making love."

"Maybe not when, but surely after," I answered.

"Well, if we don't want to be siamese twins, I guess we'd better clean up," Matt said. We took a shower, went through the hair-drying routine--I was amazed to find Matt really needed to wash his hair. I mean, I knew it was long, but to get--well, you know. I had grabbed clean sheets out of the linen closet as we left the bathroom, and we changed the bed. As we were making it up, Matt laughed and asked, "Do you think Gabrielle would believe the sheets are the result of a wet dream?"

"If she does, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell her."

We crawled into bed together; the fresh sheets felt delightful against my bare skin and the fragrance of my Matt filled me. "God, I love you so much I ache," I said as I kissed my Dark Angel tenderly.

"And I love you so much I feel great my Bright Angel."

We cuddled together, looking lovingly into each other's eyes and drifted off to sleep, dreaming of a long, wonderful, as-yet-unknown life together.

Mary Kathryn knocked on the door and called to us, "If the two of you can drag your asses out of bed long enough, breakfast is in fifteen minutes and you know you're not leaving here alive without breakfast. Mom will see to that!"

We both hopped out of bed and dashed for the bathroom. Mary Kathryn was standing outside the door and said, as we rushed by, "I see part of you is awake if not all of you," pointing to our erect cocks as she laughed and started downstairs.

We took a quick shower, taking care to keep our hair dry and, in what had become a routine, I shaved while Matt dressed for church. As soon as I was dressed, we went downstairs where breakfast was waiting. As we sat down Matt looked at Jens and said, "Thanks, Jens."

Dad smiled and responded, "From the smiles on your faces, I deduce that you found sleeping here comfortable."

"Both before and after we fell asleep," Matt blushed.

"I'm pleased," was all Dad said.

Matt and I went to St. Mary's and I stood behind him for the choir warm-up, occasionally singing along softly. Matt tells me that, contrary to my belief, I have a nice singing voice, but I don't believe it.

At announcement time, Fr. Tom called the four St. Mary's seniors to the chancel steps and gave us each a small box. "These are graduation gifts from St. Mary's to four outstanding seniors," he said. "I hope you will wear them proudly knowing they represent our appreciation and love." Inside each box was a beautifully wrought small silver cross and chain.

As I turned to leave, he said, "Hold on Matt". Facing the congregation, he added, "As all of you know, Matt became organist at St. Mary's when he was about ten. We had a couple years, I guess, of organ sans pedals--first because Matt couldn't really reach them. Then, when he could, we were still sans pedals because Matt had to be one of the most awkward eleven- or twelve-year-olds I have ever known. But he grew and he changed and even Millie admits he's better with his feet than she ever was--a high compliment because 1) Millie hates to admit anyone is better at anything than she, and 2) because she was--and I suspect we will soon learn, still is--good."

"When Matt started playing, Greywolf and Yong Jin were determined that he wasn't going to be spoiled by money and the vestry of St. Mary's was determined that we wouldn't engage in underpaid child labor. Unknown to Matt, a plan was hatched. Matt, had you been more attentive to the budget of St. Mary's, you might have questioned why we had an organ fund. Kinda strange for a parish which has more organ than most think is needed. Well, the arrangement was that you would be paid what you got as an allowance--and Greywolf was pretty cheap on that count, wasn't he?"

Matt laughed and nodded.

"The fact of the matter was, the money to pay an organist, less an amount equal to your allowance, was placed in the organ fund. That has remained true for eight years--accruing interest at a very favorable rate due to the market I might add. Greywolf increased your allowance as you grew older--not enough to please you, I'm sure--and the stipend for the organist was also increased each year. The organ fund was to be yours when you left for college. But, of course, you don't need money for college since you and your three classmates earned--and I want to emphasize earned--amazing scholarships. After talking with your parents, the vestry--wisely, I believe--decided to spend the organ fund for an organ. Frankly, I was amazed at how much was in the fund and we decided to go all the way. You are now the proud owner of a Rogers 950 with all the trimmings." Fr. Tom then handed Matt another small box.

Matt opened the box and took out a small brass plate and a note. He unfolded the note, looked up with tears in his eyes and read, "To be attached to the side of the organ now sitting in the auditorium of Independence High School." He then read the engraving on the brass, "To Matthew Sarang Hanun Pomul Greywolf, Organist of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Concord, 1987-1995." Matt couldn't contain himself. As the congregation stood and applauded, Matt grabbed Fr. Tom in a great hug, rushed down the center aisle to hug his mom and dad, then grabbed me in a hug. I thought he was going to kiss me right in the middle of St. Mary's, but I guess he suddenly realized that would probably cause Fr. Tom problems. Instead, as he hugged me, he whispered, "Now I have two organs I love!" Damn, I turned beet red!

"Matt, moving an organ and getting it properly set up is not an easy or inexpensive task. Accordingly, there is money in the fund to move and install the organ in your home after today's graduation. Further, it will be transported and installed in what I believe is a house belonging to The Oberlin Five, Inc. when you leave at the end of the summer. It is something you have earned by your devotion to this congregation, your hard work and your sense of responsibility. Enjoy it with our blessings."

When church was over, the coffee hour was actually a grand reception for the four of us and everyone wanted to talk to all of us. It was a delightful madhouse, but it did mean that we had little time before graduation. However, the food at the reception made lunch unnecessary, so we weren't too rushed. That is, we weren't rushed, but Matt was hopping around like a kid waiting to open presents Christmas morning. Finally he could stand it no longer and said, "Luke, would you like to go with me to school?"

"Matt, it's only 12:30! Graduation isn't until 2:00. We were told to be there by 1:30. What's your rush?" I asked as if I didn't know.

"I want to go see my baby," he laughed.

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