Castle Roland

The Oberlin Five

by Sequoyah


Chapter 18

Published: 8 Apr 14

ASP--The Oberlin Five--Chapter Eighteen--Matt

When we landed in Ohio, Paula and Kent came racing across the tarmac. They had driven Eugene's car and Matt's jeep to the airport and, after hugs all around, we all piled in the cars and were soon home. Kent and Paula had dinner ready and as soon as we had taken our things to our rooms, we sat down to eat.

Paula was full of questions about Thanksgiving in Concord. When we asked about Thanksgiving in Oberlin, Paula said, "We can talk about that later. Tell us about the game and everything." We all got excited again, telling about the parade and ball game. Keith and Marc told of their experience in the sweat lodge and what had happened to them during the sweat.

We had been at the table an hour when Marc said, "I hate to be this way, but we have to be on our way". Paula and Kent took Sandra, Marc and Keith to the airport while the rest of us got unpacked, got things put away and started preparing for classes Monday.

When Paula and Kent got back, they told us about their Thanksgiving and how much the van Hooks had enjoyed being with the Glazes. "They had some grand stories about living on the farm here in Ohio when they were young. It was like having grandparents around, and that was good," Kent said.

After a short while Eugene said, "Well, as good as it was, it's over now and it's back to the grind. I've got work to do for tomorrow." It seemed he wasn't the only one.

Just as I started upstairs, the phone rang and I answered it. It was Fr. Manville. "Matt, I wanted to talk with you sometime this week if you can find time. I didn't want you to think you were being tossed aside after pulling St. Anne's ox out of the ditch, so to speak."

"I don't feel that way at all, Father. I know that I will be away again for Christmas, which is a kinda busy season for church organists, same with Easter. Additionally, I have a very full plate--as I told you when I agreed to take the job until your organist was up to playing again. Paula said she did a passable job and was easy to work with. I'm glad of that, since I think Paula has made as much difference, maybe more than I, at St. Anne's."

"You both have made a big difference, Matt, and I wish we could have you full-time, all the time, but..."

"But you need someone all the time. Someone who will be around long after I am gone. I am pleased I could help out when I was needed, and am glad I am free now that I am not needed. Feel free to call on me when I am needed and am free but, again, I am glad your old organist is back." We chatted a while longer and I promised I would drop by St. Anne's sometime soon.

When I went upstairs, I got out my calendar and was thunderstruck when I looked at it. My recital was only two weeks away. I should have known that, but I guess I didn't want to face it. "Luke, Babe, you are going to see very little of me for the next two weeks," I said, turning in my desk chair to look at him. "I have a recital and, while I have worked on everything I will be playing, there have to be a lot of practice hours between now and then, starting right now!"

Having said that, I went downstairs and laid out an all-American, twentieth-century composers program. There were pieces I would have liked to include on the program, but when you look at an hour-long recital, there is only so much you can include. Since the recital was in mid-December, I included some Christmas music but I didn't have anything for Chanukah, maybe the following year. I had all I could handle already without searching out and learning a new piece from scratch.

Professor Larkin and I had gone over a long list of pieces I had worked on and she checked those, from which I was free to choose my program--so what I chose was final. I wasn't going to second-guess myself and, since she had already approved the list from which I was choosing, the program was now set. I marked the pieces from one to three, with ones needing little work and threes needing a great deal. I also had to polish up a composition I was working on. Professor Moler had suggested I do something with my involvement with Red Hawk and Wounded Hawk. Actually, I had sketched a four-movement piece called "Sweat Lodge" before he mentioned the idea. The four movements were the four endurances, and I had the first movement in pretty good shape. I had used a spirit-beseeching chant as the base for it. I would play it as a "work in progress", since I knew that movement would be the only one close to being ready to play, and even it would need more work. One thing for sure, it would be what I presented for my final examination in composition.

At 11:30, all my housemates came downstairs and we had a snack and complained about all the work we had to do before our Christmas break. It was only two weeks before finals. "I finish with finals December 14," Kent said. "How about the rest of you?"

Everyone would be finished by the 14th, "but of course I have the recital Sunday the 17th," I said. "When do we leave for home?"

"I assumed after the recital," Larry said. "Marc has offered to come for us."

"I won't be going with you," Kent said. "Paula and I talked about it and immediately came face-to-face with a problem we just don't want to wrestle with right now, and that's Christmas and Chanukah. Unless something happens, I will spend the first part of the break here, having Christmas with my family, and then fly down to spend the rest of the holidays with Paula and her mom."

"By the way, Matt, your recital is on the first day of Chanukah. Thought you might like to know that and include a Chanukah piece in the recital," Paula said.

"Thanks. Thought I might do something with that as I am doing some Christmas things but, after looking at the recital and the time I have to get ready for it, that will have to wait until next year. But if you two are finding your religions a problem, I guess your relationship is getting serious."

"I think so," Kent said, "actually serious enough that our parents seem to think it is very serious. They were the ones who--subtly, they thought--brought up the Chanukah-Christmas conflict. My first impulse was just to say there was no conflict, but as soon as I had a minute to think about it, I realized that I would never ask Paula to give up her religion and that I was unwilling to give up mine. It's a problem that I'm sure we will be working on at least until we find some solution or realize it is not a problem because we are never going to be a committed couple."

"Seems Jacob has solved any problem he might have had with Susan. He has not officially converted yet but, as he says, Judaism is for him," Larry said. "Well I'm off to bed. Only two weeks to go!"

Everyone, except Luke and I, went off to bed. "Luke, I need to practice a bit longer," I said.

"I figured you would, so I brought a book down to get some studying done." Luke sat at the library table reading and taking notes while I worked on pieces for my recital. I did use the headphones since I was sure the others, and especially Paula next door, would not welcome my playing when they were trying to get some sleep.

ASP--The Oberlin Five--Chapter Eighteen--Eugene

Monday, Lar and I had our weekly appointment with our counselor. We had been seeing her for some time now and were making great progress. Strange that Larry was the one having problems with the sexual side of our relationship when I had been the abused one and could have expected to have problems all the way around with relationships. Anyway, the counseling was going very well. Especially wonderful was the fact that Lar had overcome his hang-ups about our love-making, which was now absolutely out of this world and I loved it!

Lar was also doing well in school, which was not a surprise to me but was to him. He is very bright and creative, but came to Oberlin with a pretty low opinion of himself. For some time after school started, when he made a decent grade he considered it a fluke. Then when it was obviously the rule rather than the exception, he decided Oberlin and Case Western Reserve had low standards. When he said that at dinner one evening, he immediately had five people on his case. "Larry Watley, I am working my ass off and I am neither dumb nor ill-prepared," Luke said.

"Neither am I, and I am having to work very hard to keep my grades up. Don't know about Case Western Reserve," Paula said, "but I can tell you Oberlin's standards are not low!"

"Don't try giving me any shit about low standards at CWRU," Kent said emphatically. "I was a top student in high school and I took the hard courses but, I can tell you, keeping up and keeping grades up is tough--and you know that, Larry. I am working my balls off, which is ok because I don't need them right now," Kent laughed and gave Paula a dirty leer. "Anyway, you are making good grades for the same reasons the rest of us are. Let's face it, we are all intelligent, creative, have a good high school background and are good students. That's why my grades, all our grades, including yours, are good."

After that session at dinner, Larry gradually accepted the fact that his grades were the result of his work, study and intelligence. With his acceptance of that, he became a much happier person and much more sure of himself, which pleased me no end.

After our discussion of the need to become involved in campus life, all five of us Oberlings looked at clubs and organizations, but finally did nothing. We were just too busy to get involved in organizations which had as their primary goal a good time, or which spent endless hours discussing things about which we could not have cared less. Might seem selfish or antisocial, but playtime was reserved for being with our housemates and our partners, and most good discussions, interestingly, took place in classes. Of course three of us were involved with the combo and so was Lar to a certain extent, since he kept the sound equipment in excellent shape, but that didn't require much time.

I was surprised one evening when we were relaxing in our room, cuddling, when Lar said, "Gene, I was asked some time ago if I was gay and, when I said I was, the guy asking me wanted to know if I had a partner--I thought he might be hitting on me," Lar smiled one of his special smiles, which made his eyes light up with a devilish glint. "When I said yes, he asked why we didn't belong to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance. I told him I'd think about it, but have never mentioned it or thought about it until today as we were coming back from Concord. What do you think?"

"I guess I'd have to know more about its purpose before I could answer. College policy says we can't be discriminated against, and that's certainly been true. Students either don't care that we are gay or, if they do, keep their mouths shut. I guess if I were on the prowl, such an organization would furnish prowling ground, but I'm not. Social life? I don't need to be at an all-gay and lesbian party. I am a firm believer in 'I can work with anybody, but I'll pick my drinking buddies,' speaking figuratively, of course, and my buddies are right here in this house. So, why would I want to join the organization?" I asked.

"I guess I was thinking about after college more than now, you know, having a network of friends, learning as much as we can about how a gay couple can live together in peace. Would you at least check it out with me?" Larry asked, not in a pleading tone, just asked.

"Sure, if you want to. I'll at least do that. Maybe we need to talk with Matt and Luke as well."

"Why not?"

At dinner Wednesday, I brought up the Gay and Lesbian Alliance and it provoked a lively discussion. I was surprised when it was Matt, not Luke, who had almost the same thoughts about it as I had.

"Look, the guys in my PE class know I'm gay," Luke said. "They have seen me kiss Matt and pretty much said, 'Go, Luke, go,' but I think knowing other gay men and couples would be helpful. I sure could benefit from getting to know lesbians since I haven't known any or at least have not known that I knew a lesbian."

"I hadn't thought about that aspect of the organization," Larry said. "I guess that would be reason enough to at least look into it."

"I can see some reason for the organization," Kent said, "but if it's just for socializing, I can't see any advantage. I mean, you are welcome at any campus social events as a couple, aren't you?"

"Seems that way to me too," Matt said, "but I guess we could check it out."

"The next meeting is tomorrow night at 7:30," I said.

The four of us attended the meeting. To say there were not men and women there on the prowl would be untrue, but they were few in number. Most of the meeting really had nothing to do with being gay or straight. Almost all of it was devoted to discussing a Christmas party. When Matt asked if it would be open to anyone, the social chair said it was for gays and lesbians only. Matt asked why the group discriminated against straight people, since all social events on campus were open to gays and lesbians. The answer he got was that gays and lesbians needed social events where they could be themselves.

Larry asked why they couldn't be themselves at a mixed event. That provoked a lively discussion. As we were going home, Matt said, "There are definitely places where you don't want to walk around announcing you are gay, but Oberlin is certainly not one of them."

The discussion of the organization wasn't over and resurfaced from time to time.

ASP--The Oberlin Five--Chapter Eighteen--Matt

Thursday night four of us attended a meeting of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance on campus. I saw no need for the organization, same as Larry, but Eugene and Luke were all for going. I had no real objection to going, just that I saw no real reason for doing so. I got very impatient with a seemingly endless discussion of a Christmas party. It was not that I was against a party. I love parties, but I couldn't understand why this was only for lesbians and gays. Every event at Oberlin which is open to students is open to all students--gays, straights, lesbians and undecideds--so why shouldn't the GLA party be open to straights? Seemed some animals were more equal than others!

I guess we might have gotten more involved had we gone to meetings earlier in the semester, but we were all really busy with approaching finals and me with my recital. Luke was working on two more bronze pieces, and had a couple paintings to finish for his studio art class. Both Paula and Eugene had to prepare for and conduct a piece before groups, and Larry was busy editing the tape he had done of the house and grounds for his project. Kent had finished his design for the house down the beach, but the owner had come up with a number of last-minute changes. Kent thought working them out would improve his project, so he was burning the midnight oil working on that.

Everyone was so intense, and under such pressure, that tempers started getting very short. Lack of sleep contributed to the short tempers and to pretty bad expressions of them. Interestingly enough, temper flare-ups were worse between partners. Thursday night Kent asked Paula to do some laundry for him when she started some of her own. "I need to get this drawing done and I also need a few things washed."

Paula exploded. "Kent Glaze, you may think because I am a woman you can expect me to do the house work while you do those macho male things, but that's not the case. I have studying to do the same as you. You want to save someone time, YOU do the laundry and save me time."

"Just leave my things on the floor and I'll do them when I finish. I just thought it wouldn't take you two minutes extra to put my things in, and we did decide to do laundry together. But don't put yourself out."

Paula was still fuming, but she did throw in the few pieces Kent wanted washed. And I do mean she threw them in!

Four of us were in the library when the fuss started and we all hightailed it to our rooms. Later, Eugene and Larry had words about something, and Luke and I snapped at each other at breakfast Friday morning over something that was unimportant. When we did, Paula said, "I feel like I have started a round of tempers flaring around here and I'd like to stop it. To be honest, I really said some things to Kent which cut deep. I didn't mean them, but I was so wound up, once it started I couldn't stop. Kent didn't let things get too far out of hand, although he certainly made his feelings known. Larry, you and Eugene have had words and I hope patched things up and, Luke, you and Matt were ready to go at it just now. Look, we are all under a lot of pressure, but we don't want to cause hurt. I think we need to agree to help calm each other down and declare Saturday night party night--no studying, and couples get away from school work--and each other. Well, I mean couples get away from other couples. Otherwise we are going to do our living together harm."

"Sounds good and needed to me," Eugene said.

"Anyone for a movie Saturday night? Understand there's a good one showing at Waterside," Luke laughed, and ducked in time to miss being hit by a potholder Paula tossed at him. We all had a good laugh which I think, along with having the problem pointed out, made a real difference.

Saturday night Eugene and Larry went into Cleveland to a gay jazz club. Kent had been invited to a party on campus at CWRU, and he and Paula decided to go. Luke and I debated what to do and finally we went to the Art Institute for a new exhibition there. Afterward we had a really nice, leisurely dinner and then went to Severance Hall for a concert by the Cleveland Symphony. We were back home by 11:00, long before our housemates showed up.

"Babe, we're home alone," Luke said as he unlocked the front door. "I think I'm going to take advantage of that and of you," he said, giving me a melodramatic leer.

As soon as we were inside and had our coats off, Luke pulled me to himself and placed his lips against mine, giving me a passionate, hot kiss. His tongue invaded my mouth and started working the wonders only Luke's tongue can. The taste of my Luke filled my mouth and seemed to go through my body, making me hot and horny. Since he had put a leg between mine as we pressed into each other, it was obvious we were both hard, rock hard.

"Think I'll jump your bod right here," Luke said, breaking our kiss.

"Think I'd like it a lot better in our room after a massage," I replied. "I'll make it worth your while."

"An offer I'll never turn down," Luke responded. Arm-in-arm, we walked to our room where Luke got the massage oil and the flask and, after giving me a quick kiss, went downstairs.

While he was gone, I put candles about the room and lit them, put a romantic CD on the player to play softly, and got undressed and put on a robe. When Luke returned, I took off his clothes and dressed him in a black kimono embroidered with dragons. Luke's blond, blond hair and beautiful face stood out even more against its blackness and the smooth silk did not hide his hard, trim, well-defined body.

We had been so pushed for time lately that our love-making had either gone by the wayside or was dangerously close to becoming quickies. I suspect we both realized that we had time--no school work Saturday evening, Paula had decreed--and intended to take full advantage of it. Rather than getting in bed immediately, I walked over to the couch we had bought for the room, sat down and pulled Luke onto my lap. We started with slow, easy kisses, but with plenty of tongue action. Before long, Luke was lying on the couch with my body covering his. His hands were in my hair, taking the bands from it, letting it go free. It cascaded around Luke's face and, as it did, he smiled and said, "Our own private world, Sarang Hanun Pomul, and it's filled with that wonderful fragrance of my lover".

I ran my hands through Luke's hair as I pulled his lips to mine for a long, hot kiss. When I broke it, I said, "Our own private world, Yonghon Tongmu". Luke had finally decided he had more hair than he needed and had his cut--it was still long, forming a soft halo around his face--and I liked it, although I had thought I wouldn't.

"Ready for a massage, Silver Wolf?" Luke asked, looking deep into my eyes.

"Ready, Fire Thunderbird," I said, standing up.

Luke stood up, picked me up and took me to the bed. I had already turned the bed down and covered it with beach towels. Luke stood me on my feet and slipped the robe off my shoulders, allowing it to drop to the floor. He then picked me up again and rolled me onto the bed so I was lying on my stomach. He slipped off his kimono, dropping it on the floor beside my robe, took the flask from the night stand, straddled my body and poured a stream of warm oil on my back and began massaging my shoulders. "Matt, Babe, you are really tense. Your shoulder muscles are all knotted up." I hadn't realized how very tense I was until I could feel myself relaxing under Luke's magical fingers. He moved down my body, relaxing knotted muscles until he reached my feet. When he did, he kissed the bottoms of my feet which tickled like mad. Laughing, he kissed them again. Then he had me turn over.

Luke massaging my shoulders and stomach was relaxing and, more than him massaging my back, his fingers on my front were very erotic. He massaged my nipples, thighs and feet, then moved back down my body, finally grasping my rock-hard cock. He stroked it a couple times, then took it in his hot mouth. I was very hot and very near climaxing when he took Chili Pepper in his wonderful mouth and worked on it with his tongue. I wanted his love-making to last a long time, but Chili Pepper was in a hurry and it wasn't long before I exploded in Luke's mouth as fireworks exploded in my head. I thought I'd never stop cumming, but I finally collapsed, exhausted by a star-spinning climax.

Luke looked up, smiled, moved up beside me and pressed his lips against mine, bringing our mingled tastes to my mouth. We lay wrapped in each other's arms, looking into each other's eyes. I smiled and traced lines across Luke's face with a finger.

After I had recovered from my climax, I said, "Your turn, Bright Angel," took the flask of still-warm oil and poured a stream down Luke's back. His shoulders and back showed the work he put into his PE class. Running makes for nice legs, but weight training makes for a nice back, shoulders, stomach and ass. As I massaged Luke's back and shoulders, he started purring. "You keep that up and I may not finish this massage before I massage something else," I laughed, whereupon Luke really started purring. I was hard again and, when I had Luke turn over, so was he. In the middle of massaging his front, I leaned forward and started licking his nipples. When they were hard, I took first one then the other into my mouth and flicked them with my tongue. I knew Luke was getting harder and hotter and I certainly was! Luke reached up, locked his hands behind my neck, pulled my lips to his and sucked my tongue into his mouth. Still using his tongue in his own amazing way, Luke locked his legs around me. I broke Luke's lip lock, smiled and asked, "Are you asking for what I think you are?". Luke smiled and nodded his head vigorously. Luke unlocked his legs so I could get the lube from the nightstand and use it. As I prepared Luke for what he wanted, he started purring again and smiling while he mouthed, "I love you".

When we were ready, I entered Luke slowly as his purring got louder and was interspersed with tiger growls. Once inside him, I leaned forward and worked on his nipples. Luke continued his tiger noises until I got tickled. Luke gave a loud growl, locked his legs around me and pulled me deep inside.

Having climaxed a short time before, and with the easy, slow and playful love-making we were having, it was much longer than usual before Luke said, "Matt, I'm ready for you, tiger, give it to me!". As he spoke, be arched his back, giving me deeper access to his body.

I leaned forward, grabbed Luke's legs and gave him and Chili Pepper a real workout. As I did, I took Little Luke in hand as well. "Now, Matt, now!" Luke shouted as he started cumming. The fragrance of his man's seed was all it took to push me over the edge. After a blinding climax, I relaxed on Luke's body as he ran his hands through my hair.

We lay in each other's arms, saying nothing, just exchanging a butterfly kiss from time to time. Finally Luke said, "Matt, you and I have to remember that love-making needs time and playfulness, something we seem to have forgotten."

"Yea, Luke, Babe, but it's like riding a bicycle. Once you learn how, you don't forget--and tonight proves it."

"Yea. It proves something else as well. Love-making can make you hungry," Luke laughed. "Second thing in a teenager's mind... Shower?"

After Luke and I had a wonderful time in the shower, we dried each other, put on our robes and went downstairs. When we reached the kitchen, he asked, "Coffee or hot chocolate?".

"Hot chocolate. Want something with it?"

"Sure, how about some more of you?"

"Think cheesecake will have to do right now."

When the hot chocolate was ready, we put our mugs and a slice of cheesecake for each of us on a tray and went to the family room. After some discussion, the household had decided to have gas logs put in the family room. That way we could have a fire quickly and we actually used them a lot. You could always tell when things were getting tense for one of us, because he or she would be found in the family room sitting on the floor, music playing softly and the fire burning. That was a sure "Do Not Disturb" sign. I set the tray down while Luke turned on the logs and put a great CD on the player.

I sat down and Luke came and sat between my legs as we ate our cheesecake and drank our chocolate. Neither of us said anything as we sat watching the flames from the logs. When we had finished eating, Luke got up and took our mugs and plates to the kitchen. When he came back, he reached out for my hand and pulled me to my feet just as a song, which had become special for us, started. Luke always sang it when the combo played, but he had learned it and first sang it as a surprise for me. Now he looked into my eyes as we danced slowly and sang:

My love must be a kind of blind love I can't see anyone but you

Are the stars out tonight? I don't know if it's cloudy or bright I only have eyes for you, dear

The moon may be high But I can't see a thing in the sky 'Cause I only have eyes for you

I don't know if we're in a garden Or on a crowded avenue

You are here, so am I Maybe millions of people go by But they all disappear from view And I only have eyes for you

The moon may be high But I can't see a thing in the sky 'Cause I only have eyes for you

You are here, so am I Maybe millions of people go by But they all disappear from view

I don't know if we're in a garden Or on a crowded avenue

You are here, so am I Maybe millions of people go by But they all disappear from view And I only have eyes for you

He sang to me as we danced, my head on his shoulder and his strong arms around me.

The song and our dance ended, and Luke held me very close and give me a super-special Luke butterfly kiss. Neither of us heard Larry and Eugene come into the room until Larry asked, "May we join you or do you want to be alone?".

"Come on, join us," Luke said. When I looked up, Larry and Eugene were just inside the door. They, too, were wearing robes and had mugs of chocolate and plates with cheesecake. "Seems the cheesecake is the dessert of choice tonight. You two have a good time?"

"We had a great evening," Larry said. "Good music and a really relaxed club. Gene sat in on a couple numbers. Don't know how long the combo is going to be able to keep him," he said. "He's really getting into this jazz thing."

"Do think that's where my performing will be in the future. I am just beginning, but I am enjoying learning and playing. Yep, I think it'll be jazz for me," Eugene said.

"When did you two get back?" I asked. "We didn't hear you come in."

"Almost an hour and a half ago. I suspect you were busy doing what we did later," Eugene laughed. "You two do have that 'Ain't love grand' glow."

"Look who's talking," Larry said as he kissed Eugene.

We sat in front of the fire, Eugene and Luke between Larry's and my legs, and talked about the future. Eugene was serious about going into jazz. "I can still play in the combo. I won't really have to make any serious changes in my program and I find it really comes easy. I'd like to find a group to play with this summer if I get good enough. And it looks as if I will be alone this summer."

"Oh, something you haven't been telling, Larry?" Luke asked.

"Nothing to tell. You remember that application Professor Haynes gave me? The one to join a film crew going to India and Nepal?" Luke and I nodded. "Well, I was positive there would be no way an undertaking like that would want a rising college sophomore tagging along. They are undertaking a very serious film project and, while they are well-financed, the crew has to be small for mobility. A green nineteen-year-old on that kind of project? No way! I guess I was mistaken. Mr. Greentree called yesterday and told me how excited he was that I had been accepted. I told Eugene but I still haven't heard, so there's really nothing to tell."

"He can say that, but Mr. Greentree told him the head of the film crew had called him and they talked for ages about Larry. The head of the crew, a Mr. Hampton, said the crew were all impressed with Larry's application and the tape he submitted. In fact, Mr. Greentree said Mr. Hampton wanted to call Larry as soon as they looked over his submissions, but cooler heads convinced him to follow their stated procedure to avoid legal problems. Larry should receive his contract any day now."

"They talked to Mr. Greentree about Larry's personality. They just wanted to make sure he was the kind of guy who wouldn't be complaining, bellyaching and being a snot. The crew will be together for eight weeks and the whole project will be pretty trying, and they didn't need someone who couldn't take the stress."

"Congratulations Larry," Luke and I said. "Seems you have the place if you want it. Have you two talked about being separated?" I asked. "If you haven't you need to, and I think Luke and I may have some insights after almost ruining everything last summer."

"We have talked about it," Larry said. "I guess we need to realize we are going to be separated if we stick to what we have planned for our future. This overseas opportunity will open a lot of doors if it is real and a lot of those doors will require travel. But we'll see when something is definite."

Larry had just finished speaking when Kent and Paula came in. It was 1:30 in the morning, but we were all very much alive and awake. Luke offered to fix hot chocolate and cheesecake for them and Paula said, "Getting into a robe seems a really great idea, I'll change and be right back."

"Same here," Kent said and bounced upstairs.

When Paula and Kent came back, Luke had a tray with cheesecake and chocolate for them and had refilled our hot chocolate mugs. "Good evening?" he asked as he sat the tray down.

"Great evening," Kent said. "The combo was really good and we danced until we were tired and ready to come home. Of course Paula had an especially good time, since an old boyfriend showed up," Kent smiled.

"Boyfriend, my foot," Paula said emphatically. "You remember me telling you about a guy who attempted to have sex with me last summer, Nathan Shapiro? I was surprised when he showed up at the party. Seems he is a student at Case Western Reserve. I was really surprised to see him--not pleasantly I might add. He was a complete asshole last summer, but he was a perfect gentleman tonight. I even enjoyed talking with him, briefly, but mostly I danced."

"She sure did, guys, it was great."

"Hate to be this way, but I've got to hit the hay," Paula said. "I have a choir to direct in the morning, and with an organist I don't know very well and who, to put it mildly, is not Matt Greywolf."

"Must confess I am glad I don't have the organist's job to think about, given what I do have to worry about the next few weeks," I said, "but think I am ready for bed anyway."

Kent turned off the fire, Luke took the dishes to the kitchen and we all said goodnight. As Luke and I walked upstairs, he said, "Sarang Hanun Pomul, it has been a perfect evening. Thank you," as he kissed me softly.

"A wonderful, perfect evening, Yonghon Tongmu," I replied, "thank you, my bright angel," and returned my lover's kiss.

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