I’m always surprised at how much I miss my dads. Their
physical presence, literally the warmth of their arms around
me ended an ache that I had gotten so used to that I was no
longer consciously aware of it.
I mean it’s not like I’m not busy enough what
with school and Larry and getting used to the whole idea of
setting up our own house. Actually when I let myself think
about it, it can be a little terrifying. But there’s
also this whole parental approval thing happening in my head,
like what if they think that I’m a total fuckup and that
I learned nothing from my time with them. I guess that………not
often………but every once in a while this image
pops into my head of them looking at each other and slowly
shaking their heads like they can’t believe that they
could have raised a kid that could fuckup so badly.
That’s never happened, just the
opposite actually but I really want them to be proud of me
to respect me and, of
course to love me, so when I went to answer that doorbell the
little knot that was in my stomach was not totally unfamiliar
David, Mark and Jack Donovan are three
really dynamic men. When they’re together like they were when I answered
the door it’s kinda like seeing some sort of smoldering
volcanic mass erupting in my direction.
All three of them were laughing and talking
and all of three them were carrying boxes of what appeared
to be beer wine and
food. I’m always a bit staggered by the difference, at
least in my mind, between me and grown up men. I mean I do
consider myself pretty grownup, at least when I’m alone
or with Larry but then when I’m with my dads or with
Larry’s dad I like drop into little boy mode in the back
of my mind. Maybe that never goes away; maybe when you’re
fifty and talk to your dad you still drop into little boy mode.
David’s eyes were the first things that I latched on
to. They draw you into his face and sometimes they’re
so intense that it’s difficult to get beyond them but
this time I looked at his hair, which, for a change, was actually
combed instead of flying all over. His hair is very black and
his skin fairly light and it makes for a dramatic contrast.
Out of all three men the one, at least for me, that was capable
of being the most intimidating was David, which considering
that he was the shortest and even a lot shorter than me, is
weird. And the funny thing is that David almost never comes
on strong, he’s really a low key guy but I always have
this awareness of a powerful intellect humming like an electric
motor behind those eyes.
Just as this onslaught was peaking I
felt Larry’s hand
on my back and I relaxed. David shoved a case of something
into my hands, ruffled my hair and said,
“There’s some very good gin in there and later
I’ll teach you how to make a decent Martini.”
Meanwhile Larry’s dad had transferred his case of wine
to his other arm and was pulling Larry into him for a hug.
The look on Larry’s face was priceless, a combination
of bliss and confusion. Probably exactly like mine as Mark
set his case of beer onto the floor while he pulled me into
a hug. Damn he’s strong!
Mark spoke quietly into my ear. “You okay, Kiddo? This
isn’t gonna be too much is it?”
“We’re good, Dad. Bob and Becky have been helping
and it’s all under control. I mean I’m buying most
of it already cooked so it’s not like it’s a big
Larry looked like he thought that he
was gonna get away until Mark’s other arm grabbed him
and pulled him into a three-way hug.
Larry managed to gasp out, “Hi
Mark looked at him strangely and smiled. “Would
you feel really awkward calling me Mark? Mr. Chauvet feels
Larry grinned and said, “I think
I can do that.”
Ten minutes later Mark, Jack and Larry were on the floor of
the living room playing with the twins while David sat in a
chair with his feet up on an ottoman. Bob and Becky were standing
in the doorway from the kitchen watching the romping on the
living room floor.
David looked like he was half here and half somewhere else.
There was a smile on his face but also that disconnected look
that I had come to know meant that he was working on some other
problem too. I walked over and kneeled down next to his chair
and rested my arms on the arm of the chair.
“What’s up, Dad? You look like you’re
only half here.”
He gave me a half smile and then reached out and ran his knuckles
down my chin.
He sighed. “Mark and I called Emma
Block to wish her a happy Thanksgiving. She sounded bad.”
“I know, she didn’t sound
good when I talked to her either but then you guys talk to
her a lot more than I
David gave me a warm kinda tired smile. “She’s
crazy about you. Last time I was going to Washington she had
me bring pictures of you when you were little.”
I laughed. “I was a really cute
David sighed heavily. “She told me that she’s
leaving us her house in Washington.”
It hit me like a punch in the stomach. “Why is she talking
like that?” I could feel tears beginning. “That
so fucking sucks! I’m calling her back and getting her
to drop that shit!”
David hand gripped my arm. “Don’t! What do you
think I’ve been doing? Monty was her life, her old friends
are mostly gone……………I understand
where she’s coming from.”
“She can’t die!” I
realized as soon as I said it that I was acting like a ten
David’s voice was forceful. “Alex, she doesn’t
want you to know! And I wouldn’t have told you if I thought
you’d call her about it so don’t. It would just
embarrass her and wouldn’t change anything. I just wanted
you to be prepared and now I wish I had kept my mouth shut.”
I wiped my eyes and pulled myself together.
I felt like she was already dead. I felt a deep sense of loss.
She was almost like a grandmother to me, the only one that
I had or at least that everyone was talking to.
David’s mother was dead and Mark didn’t want to
socialize with his parents and didn’t want me to either.
He wouldn’t even let me be alone with his dad and always
stood there with his hand on my shoulder whenever his dad was
I looked at David and said, “I won’t say anything.” I
rubbed my forehead with my hand. “I guess that nothing
I could say would bring Monty back.”
David smiled at me reassuringly and then
asked very quietly, “Whadya
think of Bob?”
This is not the kind of question that David ever asks without
a reason. I lean forward over the arm of the chair so that
I know this is a private conversation.
I say quietly, “He’s a good guy. I mean just knowing
him for a day I feel like I’ve known him forever and
Becky’s just as nice.”
David said quietly, “He’s
“Yeah he said.”
Then in a shift of gears David reached
out and held my hand. “So
how are you gonna do on your grades?”
I laughed. “I told Larry this morning you were gonna
ask that. Should be all A’s”
“And how are you doing on the money
I gave you to invest?”
I smiled cause I was really fucking proud
of this. “Eleven
percent! I talked to Jamie and Emi and they both said the market
was going nowhere so I picked up some solid stuff and wrote
covered calls. Wasn’t a whole lot of fun but it sure
David nodded and smiled. “Very
good. What would you have done if the market had dropped
like a rock?”
“Well the money from the calls and dividends would have
cushioned things and I took Jamie’s advice and didn’t
buy anything that I wouldn’t be happy living with for
David smiled and said, “Very good.
Now take it to the next level.”
“That’s one of the things
you gotta figure out.”
I groaned. “A test? Dad my whole
life is a test!”
David squeezed my hand. “What? You’re
young and strong. Besides it never stops.”
I saw David eyes brighten and then felt
warm hands digging into my shoulders. Mark said, “What
are you guys whispering about?”
I leaned back against him while he massaged
my shoulders. “My
grades, which will be good by the way, and just other stuff………Emma
I really didn’t want to go through the whole thing about
Emma again because I knew that this was kinda throwing me more
than I would have thought it would. And besides this was supposed
to be a happy day and this pity party not withstanding we had
guests who didn’t even know Emma and couldn’t be
expected to feel the same way that we did.
I decided to mingle for a while before we started setting
the table and wandered over to Bob scooping up a twin as I
went. Larry grabbed the other one and followed me over to Bob.
I held the little boy carefully and asked
Bob, “So how
do you tell em apart?”
He laughed and said, “Actually I’m not sure. I
think it’s just a case of……….well almost
instinct. I just know that you’re holding Ian and Larry’s
holding Sean. But it wouldn’t surprise me if I was wrong.
Becky is better at it than I am, she never makes a mistake.
I’m thinking of numbering em with a magic marker.”
Becky came over carrying a cracker with
a cheese spread on it and said to her husband, “Open.”
Bob opened his mouth and his wife popped
the cracker in and smiled. “Just like and old coal
burning furnace, just gotta keep tossing stuff in.”
I smiled and Becky and Bob. “So
does Jack spoil the twins?”
Becky said, “He’s not too bad. They’re
a little young to understand spoiling.”
I kissed the top of Ian’s head. “Well I’m
gonna spoil em. How old do they have to be to ride bikes?”
Bob smiled and said, “You’ll
be outta school by then, well almost.”
I laughed. “Well, we’ll think
of something. I wish they were old enough to drive, we could
buy em cars.”
Larry smiled at Becky and said, “Don’t worry,
I won’t let him go nuts.”
I looked at Larry. Damn he was handsome! And the gentleness
with which he was handling Sean reminded me of the way that
he was in bed. I pushed it out of my mind. The last thing that
I needed was help in getting hardons.
Becky was doing a beautiful job of setting
up the dining room table using table clothes, napkins and
silverware that I hadn’t
even realized that we had. We had bought two high chairs for
the kids because we were hoping that this wasn’t going
to be their only visit and we scrounged around and came up
with seven adult chairs for the table. Fortunately the table
was round and we didn’t have to make any decisions about
who would sit at the head of it because there was no head.
I was helping Becky lay out the napkins
and silverware and noticed David and Bob sitting on the sofa
in the living room
and talking, the twins were with them and climbing all over
both of them. I was glad to see David and Bob talking. I wanted
them to be friends for reasons that I really didn’t understand
it just seemed important to me.
I looked into the kitchen and saw Mark,
Jack and Larry all leaning against the counter and talking
happily. Three alpha
males but if that was true what was David? Frankly, ignoring
all relationship issues and if any potential struggle between
them was to last for more than a day my money would be on David.
Not that that would ever happen but what was the point of a
take-charge guy if he wasn’t always right and if Larry
was an Alpha male what the fuck did that make me?
“Becky, that looks really great!
Do you guys have formal dinners a lot? I mean is Bob like
always bringing clients home?”
She laughed. “He specializes in international law and
he’s just starting so mostly we never see his clients.” She
smiled. “And that’s a good thing. He works hard
and when he’s home I want him home and thinking about
me and the kids not some client some place.” She sighed. “I
suppose that at some point in the future it will be unavoidable
but for now it’s quiet.”
“Mmmm. David and Mark never entertained
at home either. It was always private and peaceful. A lot
of times they would
entertain in other cities, especially Washington.”
“Did you get to travel with them
or did they stick you at home by yourself?”
“It depended on school. But I got
to go with them quite a bit. And there were lots of places
were either David or Mark
would make a point of making sure that I saw them. You know,
the major cities or things that they thought were important.”
“So tell me, Alex, how is it living
with my brother, is he driving you crazy yet?”
I ducked my head I guess because I was
a little embarrassed by the question. “No, actually he’s been pretty
good to live with.” I laughed. “Even apart from
the whole relationship thing Larry is really good to study
with, he really has focus when it comes to stuff like that.
And even just the day to day living things like keeping the
place clean, he’s been really great.”
“She smiled. “Well, it’s good to know that
I laughed. “Well, it’s more than that. He’s…………well
She smiled and said, “Yeah………he
Suddenly Bob appeared next to me and
draped his arm over my shoulder. “She trying to get
all the juicy details of your sex life.”
I ducked my head and laughed. “No!
I mean we were just talking about traveling and stuff.”
The dining room was separated from the
living room and was painted in two shades of taupe and frankly
I really didn’t
see why they went to as much trouble as they did in decorating
the place. Now, however, with the table set with fine china
and silverware and the candles lit on the sideboard and subtle
lighting coming from recessed fixtures in the ceiling everything
seemed to gleam that was supposed to gleam and yet people were
cast in a very kind warm light.
The dinner delivered by the restaurant consisted of a 28 pound
turkey with bread and sausage stuffing, mashed regular and
sweet potatoes, gravy and both pumpkin and pecan pies and of
course we supplied the other vegetables.
Becky and I got everything on platters and into bowls. David
was recruited to do the turkey carving with Mark kibitzing.
We got Jack to open a couple of bottles of wine while Bob and
Larry got the twins into their chairs.
The twins were hyper, confused and messy but they seemed to
be enjoying themselves. They had the undivided attention of
seven adults and made the most of it.
Bob and Becky worked like a well rehearsed drill team, encouraging
bites and catching dropped food while keeping up a steady flow
of praise. The twins starred up at the ceiling and pointed
at the lights while gripping small chunks of turkey in tiny
The table more or less divided itself into three groups the
grownup men, which were Jack, Mark and David, the non-grownup
men Larry and I and the busy, Bob and Becky and the kids.
The first group talked about war, manufacturing,
the dollar versus the euro and lines of credit. The second
and I talked about how good the meal was and how happy we were
that everyone was here. Mostly my mind wandered to Larry’s
dick during that conversation. The third group didn’t
have time to talk or for that matter probably even think, they
were two busy feeding the twins.
Finally the guys headed back to the hotel, Bob and Becky got
the twins settled in bed and Larry and I snuck off to our bedroom
and locked the door.
It had been a wonderful Thanksgiving
with good food and the best company that anyone could hope
for and now, thank God,
it was over. When the door closed behind us Larry’s hands
started to massage my shoulders as I let my head fall forward.
I muttered. “This foreplay?”
Larry kissed the back of my neck. “Maybe. I thought
I’d see how you reacted to the massage.” I groaned
because of the great work his hands were doing on my shoulders.
He laughed. “Groaning is a good sign.” I
was exhausted, more from the stress of trying to make sure
worked out okay than from physical exertion.
Larry stopped massaging and pulled me back against his chest
wrapping his arms around me his chin resting on my shoulder.
He said, “You worked your butt
I laughed. “I saved a little butt
“In case I got hungry later?”
I laughed again. “Something like that.” Larry
making love to me was becoming a familiar thing still exciting
but also something that had a comforting quality to it. I guess
the comforting part was the foreplay the kissing and touching.
His arms had become a safe place for me they were home.