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Protecting David
--- Chapter 8 ---
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Protecting David 8

Alex was bent forward in frustration, his little hands balled up. “Daaaaaad! I don’t waaaant to goooooo!”

David knelt down and put his hands on Alex’s shoulders. “Sweetheart, it’s only for the morning. I’ll pick you up at noon.”

“Nooo dad! Pleeeeease!

It was pretty much at this point that I walked into the kitchen and Alex, hopeful of an ally, turned to me.

Alex came running over. “Daaaaaad! Don’t make me go!

I scooped Alex up on the run and sat down on a kitchen chair with him on my lap facing me. “What’s all the yelling about? Why are you arguing with David?”

“I don’t want to go to day care! I wanna stay here!”

“Do you remember why we want you to go?”

“I don’t wanna go!”

“Alex, you’re not being fair. You know that we want you to go so that you can be with some kids your own age.”

“But Daddy! I don’t wanna do it!” David was leaning against the counter with a faint smile on his face.

“Well Alex, you don’t have a choice. This is something that you have to do. It’s not something that you get to decide about. Lots of times I’d rather stay home with you and David but that isn’t something that I get to do. Is it? Is it?” He shook his head reluctantly. “You know that David and I would rather be with you more than about anything, don’t you? But sometimes we have to do what’s right rather than what we want to do.” I kissed Alex’s forehead. “Now I want you to be a good troop and go to day care and be a big boy.”

“What’s a troop?” Alex was twisting the buttons on my shirt.

“Uhhh, a troop is like a soldier, a good little soldier.” I glanced for a micro second at David. “I know you don’t want to go to day care and I don’t want to go to work but we’re both gonna do what we’re suppose to do. Aren’t we?”

Alex nodded his head.

“And I want you to be a good boy too. Do you understand that?

He nodded again.

“Okay sweetheart. I’ll drive you there on my way to work.” Somehow the thought that we’d be going together seemed to pick up Alex’s spirits.

“On your way to work?”

“Yep, we’ll both be going to work.”

David looked at me and smiled. “I have a Chinese investor that could use that same talk.”

Alex and I got our coats and got ready to leave, Alex moving with a certain reluctance, maybe in the hope that the fates would intercede. I walked over to David, bent my head and kissed him. “You’ll be able to get him at noon?” This question was totally unnecessary considering that it was David I was speaking to but when your own kids are involved you like assurances.

“Yes Dad!” He said with exaggeration on dad. “Mark you’re having your teeth cleaned today aren’t you?”

I nodded. “Yep. Why?”

“Well, can you make me an appointment too. My dentist is retiring and I don’t particularly like the new guy. And we should take Alex in too, to get him kinda used to it.”

Alex’s head swiveled around at the sound of his name. “What’s a dent, dent ist?”

I kissed him on the neck and tickled him. “It’s like a doctor but for your teeth, you little dickens.” I looked at David. “I’ll take care of it babe. You want morning or afternoon?” Alex was wiggling in my arms.

“Morning is better.” He kissed Alex. “Because, you know who, will be in day care.” Then “Bye Alex. Be a good boy and I’ll see you at noon, then we’ll come home and have lunch.” David had his hand on the side of Alex’s face.

I looked at Alex. “Okay buddy we gotta go.”

“No wait! I gotta kiss Joe!”

At the sound of his name Joe was standing on his hind legs pawing the air. I leaned over so that Alex could kiss Joe on the nose. “Okay, no more kissing, we gotta go!”

Alex said. “You didn’t kiss David!” Somehow Alex knew that when he was referring to David or me he should use our names but otherwise he would call us both daddy. I pulled David to me with my hand behind his head and buried my tongue in his mouth. “Love you.”

David held my free hand. “Me too you.”

--------------------------

My dentist, recommended by Frank, was Mike Baxter. His office was in an office building only a couple of blocks from ours so I could easily duck out of work and hour early and walk over to it. I’m sure that Frank wouldn’t have recommended him just because he’s gay, with Frank that doesn’t count for much, you’ve gotta be good too. Although I suspect the fact that Mike had been a Marine would have counted for a lot with Frank. Frank and I usually eat lunch at the same restaurant and the first time that we went there Frank dragged me over to Mike’s table and while Mike still had a mouthful of food said.

”Hey doc, gimme your business card.”

Mike looked up from his food and began to cough and almost spit up whatever he had in his mouth.

Frank turned to me. “Sit down Mark, we might as well eat with Mikey.”

By this time Mike had managed to swallow, clean his mouth with a napkin and extend his hand to me. He partially stood and said. “Please do.” Indicating the empty chairs.

“Frank we’re imposing on the…………”

“Oh forget it Marky, Mike’s an ex marine, he’s ready for anything.” Frank handed me Mike’s business card and said. “He’s also a pretty good fucking dentist.” He then sat down and started waving for a waiter.

Mike and I hit it off immediately the military background formed a good base and we just clicked but only as casual friends. Mike was a guy that I went to for my teeth and a guy that I waved to in restaurants. There really wasn’t time for more than that. I was busy with a new job and Mike’s practice kept him very busy.

Mike also had the distinction of probably being the best looking guy I’ve ever seen. This guy is movie star good looking. Now don’t misunderstand me, I don’t feel the attraction for Mike that I feel for David. David is also a great looking guy but even more than that when I see David or even think about him, it’s like, whummp, there’s this whole electro-chemical thing happening with little explosions going off in my brain and while I can appreciate the fact that Mike is great looking, it just isn’t the same thing.

Strangely enough the most attractive thing about Mike is the fact that he seems totally unaware of the way he looks, maybe even a bit embarrassed by his looks. Anyway, Mike’s dental technician had finished cleaning my teeth and Mike had come in to make sure everything was okay.

Finally he set his instruments down and turned to Darlene. “Thanks Darlene, everything looks fine, would you check on Mrs. Hopkins?” He watched Darlene leave and then turned to me. “So I’m finally gonna get a chance to meet David?”

“Yeah Miller is retiring and he doesn’t like the new guy. Oh and Alex too. Did you know that we adopted a little boy?

“Really? You guys did that?”

“Yeah, it’s a long story, and anyway he’s just three and frankly we didn’t have a clue as to when he should start seeing a dentist but we figured we better get him used to it.”

“Well yeah you’re right.” Mike sat back on his stool. “Wow, I didn’t know that. How did you do that? I mean it’s none of my business but that’s really something.”

Something occurred to me. “Mike would you like to come to dinner, out to the house. I mean we really don’t know many other gay guys, we pretty much stay home and take care of Alex. And I’ve mentioned you a number of times to David, it’d be nice to have you over” Then as an afterthought. “You could bring a friend and we don’t bite and we promise not to poison you.” I smiled.

“I could bring a friend?”

I nodded. “Sure.”

“Because I think that I may finally have found the right guy but neither one of us are much into bars or stuff like that. Actually I’d love to come and I’d bring Ted.”

I looked for a second into Mike’s hazel eyes and then smiled. “Well doctor, just how serious is this?”

Mike laughed, blushed and ducked his head all at the same time. Finally he looked back up at me. “The L word has been mentioned, ………….well……..actually it’s been mentioned a lot.”

“You fucker!” I caught myself and looked around to see if I could have been heard. Then more quietly. “You are! You’re fucking in love! It’s written all over your face.”

Mike sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “Well, don’t beat me to death with this but yeah, I am.” Then more quietly. “Totally.” He looked at me questioningly. “It isn’t like, really obvious, is it? Cause Darlene asked me the same thing yesterday. I mean, it’s not like I’m wearing a sign, is it?”

I smiled. “No buddy. Not to anyone who doesn’t know you. Darlene sees you everyday so she’d pickup on it. Does she know you’re gay?”

“Oh yeah, she does. As close as we work she couldn’t not know but she’s fine with it.”

“So tell me about Ted. What’s he do? What’s he like?”

Like I said Mike is an exMarine and still has the body they helped him put together. He’s like 6’2” with a powerful upper body and ramrod straight posture. His hair is brown, worn short and his eyes are hazel. I mean he may be a dentist in a white smock but underneath that he’s still a marine and to see him there, his arms folded and his head tilted back as he talks about Ted and to watch that subtle change in his expression, it’s just strange is all, strange and familiar.

“He manages this building and others. He works for an insurance company and they own a bunch of stuff downtown here.” He starts smiling and looks at me and I’m smiling. He laughs. “Okay I fucking love him. Just the thought of him……….” He waves his hand in dismissal. “Ya had to get me started, didn’t ya?” He sits forward and takes the little bib off of me.

I swivel in the dental chair and sit sideways facing Mike, my elbows on my knees. I look directly at him. “Mike, let me check with David and I’ll call you about dinner. We’ll make it just a relaxed evening. Okay?”

He smiled. “No teasing?”

“I promise and you’ll really like David.” I smiled. “He’s much nicer than me.”


---------------------

As I was coming into the house from the garage a boy and a dog came skidding to a halt in front of me.

“Daaaaad!

I picked Alex up, kissed him and carried him toward the kitchen. “Were you a good boy at day care today?”

Alex nodded vigorously. “I was! But some kids weren’t, some were bad.”

“They were? But not you?”

“No! I was good! But you know what they did? They didn’t share and Mrs. Harper got mad.”

“They didn’t? But I bet you shared, didn’t you?”

“I did. I was good.”

We were walking towards David who was standing in the kitchen trying to get dinner finished. I kissed Alex again and set him down.

“Sweetheart why don’t you and Joe go and watch TV?”

Boy and dog went running into the rec room.

I took David’s face in my hands and kissed him deeply then I pulled his head to my chest. “So did day care really go that smoothly?”

David laughed against my chest. “Well more or less. At least no warrants have been issued.” I kissed the top of David head and slid my hands down and into the back of his cargo shorts.

“Mark! Alex!”

“He’s watching TV with Joe and besides we’d hear him coming.”

David looked up at me. “I wonder how many parents have said the same thing two seconds before their kids walked in on them having sex?”

I bent down and kissed him again. “It’s just that I think about you all day. I can be sitting at my desk talking to one of the reps and I’ve got a hardon cause you’re on my mind.” I kissed his temple. “The smell of you. The way you taste.” I pushed David back against the counter. Then softly. “The way it feels when I’m inside you.” I could feel his hard dick against my thigh.

David wrapped his arms around me and laid his head on my chest. “That’s where I’d like you to be right now.” He looked up at me. “And it’s where I promise you’ll be later but right now we’ve got a hungry little boy to feed.”

“I know hun. Just keeping the pump primed.” I sat down at the kitchen table and pulled David down onto my lap. “I invited Mike to dinner, that okay?”

“Mike? Oh duhh, your dentist. Yeah sure, that’s fine. He’s gay right?”

“Yep and he’s got a boyfriend now. They’re in love.” I put my hand over David’s hardon. “Like us.” I wrapped my arms around David and rocked him gently while he laid his head back against my shoulder. “David, are you able to do this? I mean your business and Alex and well everything?”

“What are you guys doooing?”

David instantly reached down and picked Alex up. “We’re trying to see how many people can sit on Mark. Now if we could only figure out a way to get Joe up here.”

“Joe? Joe can’t sit on people. Daddy that’s crazy!”

“Hey,” I said, “I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we eat dinner cause this little boy looks like he’s about to starve.”

----------------

“David you never did answer me about whether or not you’re able to handle this. I don’t think that I could.”

Alex was lying on the floor watching television with Joe. I was sitting on the sofa and David kinda half lying against me.

“Well, it really isn’t as hard as it sounds so yeah I can do it.” David sat up and crossed his legs on the sofa. “It’s just that it’s confining and that’s not really a problem now but in time it may be. But you can’t imagine what it’s like spending a day with, you know who. You never really got a chance to know him but he reminds me so much of his d-a-d. Course he’ll loose some of that. I guess that can’t be helped.”

“Has Marcy come up with any good candidates for a housekeeper?”

“No. Nothing yet. I’m going to put out some feelers myself.” With David I knew that this could mean anything.

I stretched out on the sofa and pulled David down next to me and wrapped my left arm around his chest. “When’s a good day for Mike to come to dinner?”

“Any Saturday. Is this Saturday too soon?”

“Hmmm, don’t know. I’ll call him tomorrow.” I kissed David behind the ear. “God you smell good!”

David giggled. “I probably smell like a goat.”

“No baby you smell great.” I snuggled closer.

David leaned forward a bit and called to Alex. “Alex, comere little guy.”

Alex kept watching television but got up and backed over to us. “Yeah dad?”

“Alex,” David turned Alex around to get his attention. “if you go get into your pajamas I’ll make you some ice cream.” Alex looked torn between his desire to keep watching television and his desire for ice cream and he also seemed to sense a plot to get him to go to bed.

“My pj’s? Daddy, I don’t wanna go.” He pointed at the tv as if to indicate his reason.

David and I sat up at the same time. I grabbed Alex from behind and kissed his head. “You stay here and watch your show. I’ll go get your pajamas, okay?

Alex’s eyes never left the tv. “Okay, but no bed.”

“No bed. At least not right now but a little later.”

Alex seemed to realize that it was a loosing battle. “Okay but later daddy.”

I took off to get Alex’s pajamas just as David was returning with ice cream for everyone.

--------------------------------

As we were tucking a flannel pajama clad Alex into bed David said. “Mark, I forgot, go into our bedroom and look at the lights above the door. They put em in today.”

I kissed Alex’s hand and then his forehead. “Night sweetheart, sleep tight.”

“Night daddy. Will you drive me when you go to work tomorrow?” His voice was becoming thick with sleep.

“Sure will partner, we’ll go to work together.” I touched his silvery blond little boy hair with my finger tips. “Nite bud.”

“Nite Dad.”

I left David to say his goodnights and walked to our room. Once inside I looked up over the door and saw a row of six fairly small lights. In a few minutes the first one lit up and then two seconds later the second. They were surprisingly bright. The rest followed in steady order until David walked into our room.

David looked at me. “Cool isn’t it? My guys did it today.”

I stepped behind David and wrapped my arms around him. “Splain it to me.”

“Well there are three presence sensors around Alex’s bed. If he gets up and just goes to his bathroom he just trigger those sensors and lights the sixth light above our door. Now since we never totally close the door and have to take into consideration Joe wandering about during the night our fifth light only comes on when the door is opened more than eighteen inches. We conducted a lot of experiments and Alex always opens the door at least that far when he leaves his room whereas Joe only kinda slides out the already open door, a foot at the most. Once out the door Alex is about six inches higher than Joe and the sensors can be calibrated to account for this, to a degree at least. There were only two tricky things; the tendency of the door to keep moving when it’s been opened and the inability to always differentiate between Alex and Joe in the hallway.” David looked up at me. “We found a compound to keep the door from swinging past the point it’s been pushed to. It makes it a little stiffer but not enough to interfere with Alex or Joe trying to leave the room. And lights four through one show Alex’s progress to our room.”

I wrapped my arms more tightly around David and kissed the base of his neck. “My boyfriend is a genius.”

David tilted his head back and away and squirmed. “Oh!” Then. “Your boyfriend isn’t a genius he just has them working for him. He’s also a horny little fucker who’s in need of cock.” He giggled and pressed back against me.

I moved my right hand slowly up David’s body until it held his face. I gently tilted it back and kissed him, lightly at first and then deeply, while delicately holding his neck, just barely touching it. Then in a light whisper. “Love you.” Our lips were only a fraction of an inch apart, breathing the same air. David turned his face into my chest.

“God I soooo need you!”

I pushed David carefully back onto our bed. “Tell me. Tell me you need me.”

I was on my hands and knees over his body. David grabbed my head in his hands, pulled himself up and kissed me. “You fucking know that I need you!” I slowly stretched out and lowered my body to his, being careful not to allow all of my weight on him but still supporting myself with my elbows and knees.

“I wanna to hear you say it David. Tell me what you need.” I let more of my weight press on him. His green eyes were flashing one minute and cloudy the next.

“I need you to fuck me! Oh fuck Mark!” His body was trying to move under me, pressing upward, his hands pulling on my upper arms.

I put my right arm across David’s chest and arms holding him in place and then reached down and opened my pants and freed my hardon and then in a sudden move reached down with both hands and pulled David’s cargo shorts down and pushed his knees up.

David laughed. “Oh you fucker!”

I lubed him with spit and entered him slowly, my eyes never leaving his. I laughed with him and then kissed him. “Just taking what’s mine. It is mine, isn’t it?”

“You fucking know it is!” David was holding his head up, the muscles in his neck tight and then he let it fall back. “Oh yeah! Like that!”

While I slid slowly into him I brushed the hair off of his forehead with my right hand. “Feel good babe?” For a second there I almost came and then defocused quickly. “So fucking hot.” David grimaced slightly as I touched bottom. I put my hands on his ankles and ran them slowly down his body spreading them at his chest and then using them to cradle his head. I was fucking with long slow deep strokes and watching his face for any signs of pain or need.

David reached up and pulled my head down for a kiss, his tongue going deeply into my mouth. I held it there as long as I could and then let it slide back out. Every time that I had contact with David I tried to keep a bit of him with me, saliva, cum, it didn’t fucking matter, I’d take every molecule of him I could get.

I kissed his eyes and then laid my face next to his while I slowly fucked, our breath in each others ear, coming harder. I turned my head slightly and shoved my tongue in his ear and he made the David sound so loud it startled me. So, of course, I held his head and kept my tongue in his ear while his hips bucked.

“Oh fuck!” He was twisting his head away and then toward me.

I sat up on my heels and put my hands under David’s knees pushing them back a bit until I was sure that I was making direct contact with his prostate. He was totally vocal now and was trying to grab his cock but I leaned forward and held his legs with one arm and grabbed his hand with mine. “No babe, not yet.”

“Oh fuck Mark!” He was trying to grab his cock again and again I stopped him. “Mark! I gotta fucking cum!”

I looked down at him and our eyes locked. “I’m gonna cum babe. I’m gonna shoot inside you.” I allowed myself to focus and almost immediately began to cum. I saw his expression change and I knew that he was feeling me shoot inside of him and then I just wrapped my hand around his cock, he yelled and then shot, his hips thrust up and back arched.

-------------------

Mostly cleaned up we were lying in bed with just the lamp on the nightstand lit. I was lying on my left side with David’s head resting on my upper arm, my right hand lightly rubbing his chest. I smelled his hair and nuzzled him. I wanted to lick him but I thought he might think it was weird. Well, I suppose it is weird, a little anyway. These moments, these quiet, personal, intimate moments with him, are like jewels to me. They warm me, they nourish me in a way that I can’t explain and bathe away the hurts of life. David is a balm, a warm rich emollient that soothes me. His words, the way his mouth looks while he speaks, the delicate warmth of his breath on my face are as a magical force, holding the storms of the world away. I could stay this way forever.

“So hopefully, Frank will meet with his board this week and we can get a decision on how they wanna do this thing. I mean you can’t leave these people hang too long, they’re not stupid.” David looked at me oddly. “You okay?”

I smiled. “Yeah hun, just listening. Go ahead, finish your thought.”

“Well it’s just that they gotta understand that this deal doesn’t exist in a vacuum. I can think of at least three European companies that would do this deal in an instant without all this dickin around. Well I’m sure Frank knows that. But anybody can pickup a fucking phone and call that family.”

He turned his head slightly and smiled up at me. “Okay, rant over.”

I leaned forward a bit and spoke softly. “I wanna kiss you.”

He smiled and said quietly in a strange little voice “I already let ya fuck me.”

“Not the same.” I lowered my face and gathered David in my arms and then kissed him gently and then more deeply. He wrapped his arms around my neck and kissed me back. Later, I laid my face next to his. “God you taste good.”

David turned off the bedside lamp and turned so that I was spooning him, my right arm around his chest. He was holding my arm tightly and I could feel his heart beating, a slight tremble ran through his body. “Hold me tight.”

--------------------------------

“Marky, they’re driving me outta my fucking mind!” Frank had come into my office and plopped down in the chair facing my desk. “The Germans are mad at the Swiss and the Swiss aren’t speaking to the Germans. It’s fucking nuts!” He rubbed his forehead with the tips of his fingers. “I’m too fucking old for this.”

He smiled at me. “Ironically, the Germans think the Swiss are uppity. A word not often used in international discourse.” He put his feet on my desk. “Actually they didn’t use the word uppity. That’s my loose translation. Strangely enough it’s getting to the point where the only ones I understand are the French. God I wish I had some fucking scotch!”

I smiled at him. “No booze in the office. Your rule.”

“I must have been fucking nuts!” Then. “How’s David?”

“Impatient.”

“I don’t fucking blame him. He puts together a deal like the gods couldn’t do and we’re dicking around with it.”

“Tell him. Frank, David has ways around things that I don’t pretend to understand. If you’ve got a problem, tell him. I promise you he’ll help. His contacts are wide spread and deep.” Then casually. “They may even extend into our home office.”

Frank sat up. “Marky! What do you fucking know?”

“Unfortunately not enough to help you. But Frank, talk to David and don’t rule anything, and I do mean anything, out.” Then. “If you can take the time I’ll buy you lunch and join you in a scotch.”

“I can’t Marky. They’re gonna be calling………….. Oh fuck em. Let em talk to each other. Let’s go.” Then on the way to the elevator. “How did lunch with General whatshisname go yesterday?”

“Great! Big surprise! They want things that go bang!”

Frank smiled smugly and shook his head slowly. “We’re in the right business Marky. The right business.”

-----------------

Frank had just taken his first solid sip of scotch. “Marky, you’ve got your fucking cell phone. Call David. Talk to him.”

“Fraaaaank!”

“C’mon Marky, maybe he’s got an idea. They’re drivin me nuts.”

“Okay Frank but why do I get the feeling that you already know what he knows?”

I dialed home and David answered. “David, hi hun. I’m sitting here with Frank and he’s goin crazy trying to get all the Europeans together on this deal. You got any ideas?”

I listened for several minutes. “Holy fuck! Okay babe, okay, I’ll tell him. You need to talk to him? Okay babe, see ya tonight.”

“He says that if you want to buy our American division from the Europeans he thinks that he can arrange it.”

Frank had one hand resting on his ample gut and he slowly raised the other hand and turning his head slightly said. “Waiter!”

-----------------------

I went to answer the door by myself but ended up doing it with a boy and dog. Alex, clad in his yellow flannel pajamas, stood behind me and looked out from around my legs. Joe sat behind Alex, watching.

I reached out and grabbed Mike by the arm. “Mike it’s really great having you here, come on in.”

Right next to Mike and a half pace behind was Ted. He was about six feet tall with lighter brown hair than Mike and what looked like brown eyes. He was a pleasant looking guy but not in the same league of dropdead gorgeousness that Mike was in but then almost no one was.

“You must be Ted. I’m glad that you could come.” He shook my offered hand, his own was warm and dry.

Just inside the foyer Mike stopped and hunkered down. “Hi. You must be Alex.”

Alex had his hands tightly around both of my legs and was leaning out smiling at Mike.
He just nodded in response to Mike’s question and I reached down and touched the top of his head. “Alex, say hello to Mike and Ted.” Alex moved his head back behind my legs and leaned his head against them.

I looked down and back at Alex. “Alex aren’t you going to say hello?”

Alex stuck his head back out and said. “Hello!” Then he took off running for the kitchen with Joe gallumping behind him.

“Come on in guys. Looks like Alex is feeling a little shy.”

I got the guys headed into the rec room and we were met halfway there by David carrying Alex who had his head lying on David’s shoulder.

I introduced Mike and Ted to David who shook hands with them both. I took Alex from David and said to him. “Sweetheart would you like to watch television in the living room for a while or do you want to stay with us?” I turned so that Alex was facing Mike.

“Mike is your dentist. Do you remember that we talked about that?” Mike walked over to us and very gently rubbed his finger over Alex’s hand. “Remember how we talked about a dentist being a doctor for your teeth?” Alex nodded and smiled.

Mike bent down and smiled at Alex. “Alex would it be okay if I held you for a little while?” Alex looked at me and I nodded yes. He held out his arms and Mike carefully lifted him to his chest. “You sure are a big boy.” Ted and David were standing well back.

Alex held out three fingers. “I’m three!”

“Wow! That’s pretty old.” Mike turned his head and gave Ted a look that twisted my heart.

After about twenty seconds Alex seemed to suddenly realize that he was being held by someone he didn’t know and asked. “Can I watch tv now?”

“You sure can buddy.” Mike lowered Alex gently to the floor. “Thanks for letting me hold you.”

Alex looked up at him. “That’s okay. Come on Joe.” The two of them took off for the living room.

Mike looked at me and just said. “Geez!” It was there just for an instant and I didn’t know if Ted and David had seen it but for a second Mike looked about as vulnerable as a guy can. Apparently Ted sensed it because a second later he was next to Mike, his arm around his waist.

David intervened and ushered us all into the rec room while taking drink orders. He put Mike next to me but close enough to Ted that they could touch and positioned himself next to Ted with whom he kept up a constant conversation for the rest of the evening.

After a couple of drinks Mike and I traded military stories, gay stories and business stories. A hour later David brought Alex in to say good night before going to bed and after they had left Mike gave me a look and then told me how bad he and Ted wanted kids.

I looked at him and nodded. “I know how you feel.”

Mike smiled at me. “What is it? Fucking hormones?”

I said. “You’d think we’d be immune.”

David stood up. “Guys, let’s eat dinner.” Everyone got up and started following David. “I set it up in the kitchen.” He glanced back and smiled. “It’s friendlier.”

David had made pot roast, mashed potato’s, vegetables and salad, all served family style with an Australian Shiraz and designed to put people at ease.

David said. “I think that it’s really smart of you guys selling your separate condo’s and buying a place that’ll belong to both of you. Where are you buying?”

I said. “Geez David, you made a lot of food.” I passed Mike the mashed potato’s.

David smiled at Ted. “A marine and a ranger and he thinks I should cook light.”

Ted put his hand on the back of Mike’s neck. “What he eats would kill a normal person but he does like two hundred pushups every day.”

Mike smiled with a mouthful of food. “You could join me if you wanted to.”

“Michael I exercise the way God intended, with Nautilus machines followed by steam rooms.”

“Well I agree with Mike, pushup, situps, chinups, they’re all you need. Nobody has researched this like the military. Besides, now when I do pushups Alex gets a free ride and it’s kinda cool having him do that with me. I mean I think that him just riding along now will maybe mean he’ll wanna do it when he gets older.”

Mike stopped eating. “You mean you let him ride on your shoulders?”

I nodded. “Yep, he loves it.”

“There was a guy in the marines used to do that with his kid.” A quiet look came over his face, like he was remembering. “He used to go on and on about it. I guess now I see why.”

Ted reached over and touched Mike’s shoulder. “You’ll be doing the same thing Mike. We’ll make it happen.”

David said to both Mike and Ted. “If you guys do want to do that, I mean once you’ve lived together, well the lawyer that helped us with Alex, is like the best.”

I looked at both Mike and Ted. “Yeah this guy is expensive but he seems to know how to make it all work.

Mike glanced at Ted and then looked at us. “I don’t mean for it to sound like kids are the only thing I care about. I mean Ted is the most important thing in my life, it’s just that kids would be a great addition. Ted reached out and held Mike’s hand.

“Well guys I can tell you that Alex has made a huge difference, as we knew he would. And, well, it’s all been for the best. I mean we were pretty nervous about having sex for the first few weeks but we got that ironed out and then you go through a period where you think that if you take your eyes off him for a second he’s gonna pull the refrigerator over onto himself.” I laughed. But when he gets in bed with us at six in the morning and pries my eyes open and asks if I’m in there, some fucking how that makes it all worthwhile.”

------------------


It was two o’clock in the morning and David, I, and Frank were sitting in David’s office addition around a small conference table. David and I were in bathrobes Frank was impeccably dressed in a charcoal gray suit with a deep burgundy tie. David was typing on a keyboard and seemed to be getting answers on four separate monitors that were actually acting like one large one with many different windows.

David was talking as he typed. “The European insurance companies, who by the way are the principal owners of your company, are dumping US assets like they were radioactive. The stock price of your company has dropped sixty percent in the last two years and to say that the board is in panic mode is really an understatement.” David turned to face Frank. “I think if we offer them the right price they’re just nuts enough at this given moment, to accept it.”

“The thing that I need to know is if you’re truly committed to doing this and I do me no matter what the fuck comes up. And secondly I need a business plan, done in under two thousand words and I need it by the end of business tomorrow or rather today.”

Frank took a sip of his scotch and then looked back at David. “Whadya need in it?”

“Who gonna run it, their experience, their bio’s……no fuck the bio’s nobody reads em, but have em if I need em, the divisions, where they’ll be located and how much they will each contribute to sales and profits, what makes it unique and why you’ll succeed. The usual prospectus crap but brief they’re not really gonna read it but they want to say they have it. The American subsidiary is far and away the most profitable or at least could be but the Europeans are looking at this through their own lens and seeing what they think they should.

“Frank, to use a military term, you have to take the point on this. It’s your name as CEO that is gonna make this fly or not.” David turned and looked at a screen. “The markets are down again.” David sat forward in his chair with his arm flat on the table. “Frank, “there is a tide in the affairs of men”.”

Frank took a sip of his drink. “Which, taken at the flood leads on to fortune”. Frank turned to me. “You’re being very quiet Marky. Talk to me.”

“Frank our business is solid and every contact that I have tells me we ain’t seen nothing yet. By the way the general almost wet himself when I told him about the new altitude indicator.”

Frank turned back to David. “David, why would your people buy this when the markets are going into the crapper?”

“Frank our company makes money in several different ways, none of which involve advertising. By that I mean that our strength is the fact that we are small, small and exclusive. First we act as consultants, like we’ve done for you. Secondly and this is new but growing like wildfire, we act as investment advisors and handle peoples money. People have stopped trusting their own judgement. And thirdly we put together deals like this. Normally the big guys would never let us in their playground but we’ve got spectacular contacts with some of the wealthiest families in the world and they didn’t get that way by buying in last. The key to that is that these families are made up of actually human beings and that’s where our relationships exist. Frank there are a lot of little old ladies out there that have assets exceeding a billion dollars and a bunch of them like to have someone actually sit down with them and explain things. One of the reasons we get the fees from companies that we get, and Frank, it will be a large one, is that we’ve made money for these folks in the past and they trust us. So our reputation is on the line too.”

Frank stood up and stretched. He looked at me, and then his watch. “Marky, it’s two thirty now, I’ll see you in the office in, what, thirty minutes?”

I hopped up. “On my way Frank.” David was walking Frank to the door.

“Frank, I’m gonna make some coffee, send me the rough drafts as you make them and if I think they need it I’ll edit them and fax em back. David was still holding the front door open. Frank stood on our front stoop lighting a cigar. Turning to David he smiled and said. “Well lad, this ought to be fucking interesting.”

--------------------

By ten o’clock that morning David had faxed the results of our work to all of his offices. Frank’s phone had finally stopped ringing and a strange silence had descended on our offices. Even though to the best of my knowledge nobody had told anyone what was going on, somehow it just seemed to be in the air.

I was sitting at my desk starring through my open office door down the hall to Frank’s closed door when my phone rang. I thought for a second there that my heart would stop.

I picked it up. “Mark here.”

“Hi hun.” It was David.

“David, you scared the crap outta me! It’s like a morgue here.”

David laughed. “It’s cause they’re all in meetings. We’ve given them a lot to think about.”

“David how can you take this so fucking calmly? I’m nervous as a cat.”

“Mark, listen to me. This is only money. It can’t really touch us, not if we don’t let it. Nothing that happens with this deal is gonna change by one millionth of millimeter how much Alex and I love you.”

“I know babe.” I took a deep breath and forced myself to relax as I use to in combat, relaxed but alert. Then softly. “That’s the first time you ever said that you and Alex loved me, kinda matter of factly. I mean I figured he does, well maybe it’s too soon to say love but I think he likes me a lot. Don’t you? I mean even though I know when he’s hurtin he goes to you but he and I do have fun together.” I sighed. “Fuck I’m thinking too much!”

I could hear David smiling. “Sweetheart……….you’re an idiot. You’re all he talks about! Really! All day long it’s “Mark did this with me, when will Mark be home, Mark this, Mark that” This time David sighed. “Good thing I love you and that I’m not insecure, well not about this anyway. The fact is Mark that Alex looks to each of us for different things, which, when ya think about it is only natural. But sweetheart you’re the Army Ranger guy, the business guy who actually dresses in a suit and works in a biiiiig building downtown. I’m like, just around. You’re like, what, eight feet tall and I’m just this short, incredibly cute guy, that tells him to wash his hands after he takes a dump.”

Somehow, more than I would ever have expected, that got to me. “David I love you. I mean I know that you know that and I know that you know that Alex loves you too but I mean something more, deeper, if that’s possible.” I had to stop for a few moments. “God, you’re everything to me. How the fuck did I live before I had you?”

David just said. “Mark.”

I got a grip on myself. “David it’s your birthday in a few weeks. Is there anything special that you want? God, do ya realize that we’ve only been in that house for a year? What a fucking year! Oh damn, right after your birthday is Halloween. Alex’ll go nuts. We gotta think about that.

“Mark this buyout thing is gonna be okay. You gotta believe me when I say this. They’ll take the deal. I wouldn’t have made the offer if there was any doubt in my mind.”

“I hope to fuck you’re right David.”

“Mark, ask yourself this question. What is Frank doing? Is he pacing the hall looking in every office? Is he pestering you?”

“You mean he knows something?”

“Mark, he’s my client, I can’t talk about him but ask yourself those questions.” David laughed. “By the way they work in almost all circumstances involving Frank. Oh also, I got a call from Ted this morning, thanking us for last night. Although I guess Alex was the star of the evening but he said it was great for them to get out to someplace other than a restaurant. He also said that he never saw Mike be so much himself with other people.”

“Mark, I’ll have to call you back, bells and whistle’s going off here. Love you.”

“Bye sweetheart.” But he was gone.

I leaned back in my chair and rubbed my eyes with hands. I could smell a cigar and when I looked up Frank was leaning against the door jamb smoking one.

“Frank, you know that’s against company policy. Yours by the way.” I smiled.

He sat down in the chair facing me and tossed me a cigar.

“Frank you know I don’t smoke.”

“I know Marky. Just put the fucking thing in your mouth and pretend.”

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