My Father, My Son
(Revised)
by: Tom Borden

2000-2008 by the author

 

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

 

Soon, Tony and Clayton, as well as Jeff and Paul, announced that it was late, and they would be going on to bed. Caleb looked at his watch and, seeing that it was after 11:00 p.m., stood up and said it was also past his bedtime.

Caleb took Steve's hand and said, "Here, Steve, this is my phone number. I would love to have you come and see my new condo sometime. I know you'll be busy looking for a job, but when you need a break, give me a call. You can come over and we'll have some beer and pizza. I'm a master cook when it comes to heating up frozen pizza!"

"I'll do that, Caleb," said Steve, this time not hesitating to take Caleb in his arms for a big hug.

 

Chapter 55 

 

When Steve returned to his room after meeting and talking with Caleb, he felt an exhilaration almost unknown to him when he lived in New England. 'Caleb!' he thought. 'Oh. my God, that beautiful man! He's invited me to his apartment.'

Steve stripped off his clothes and stood before the full length mirror on the closet door. 'He's interested in me,' he thought to himself. 'I'm so much older than he is. How could he be interested in this old body. Well, I'm not so old. Fifty-two isn't old. My body looks as good as it did twenty years ago . . . almost. Caleb's just a baby. Well, not a baby. He's thirty-eight, or something like that.' Then smiling at himself in the mirror, he said aloud, "But he wants to see me again. How could life be any sweeter than this!"

Dropping onto the bed, he could still see himself in the mirror just beyond his feet. Spreading his legs wider, he could see himself at an angle he had never seen before. He could see his balls lying limply on the bed and his erect penis standing up like a pole. Lifting his legs up and pressing his thighs against his chest, he could see his asshole. He had never seen his own asshole before, either. Smiling, he thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if a guy could fuck his own ass? He remembered a high school friend of his in New England who used to entertain his friends by sucking his own penis. Steve had tried it himself, but could never get his lips any closer to his penis than about a foot and a half away.

Steve was feeling overwhelmingly horny. He wished that he could be with someone on his first night back. He knew that Michael must be sleeping alone. He could go into Michael's room and try to sleep with him. But then he thought what a stupid thing to do. If there would be any way to ruin his welcome on his first day there, it would be to do something like that.

The fantasies of lying in bed with Caleb whirled through Steve's mind as he closed his eyes and stroked his hard penis. But it just didn't seem to be enough. He had gotten to such a fever pitch of sexual excitement that he decided to do something different. He turned around in bed and tried to stand on his shoulders while he stretched his legs up onto the headboard and wall at the head of his bed. He was virtually standing upside-down with his penis pointing directly down at his face. As he stroked, he wanted to shoot his sperm down into his own mouth when he came. As he felt the first signs of his orgasm building, he opened his mouth wide. Suddenly the surges began, and stream after stream of cum poured down upon Steve's chin, up his nose, and in his eyes. About half of it went into his mouth and on his neck and chest, and the other half ended up all over his face. As it was happening, Steve was fantasizing that it was Caleb standing over him shooting his sperm onto him.

The orgasm was as powerful as he could ever remember. Then as he slumped down onto the bed and stretched out on his back, he scooped up as much of his own sperm as he could and sucked it off of his fingers. As he lay there exhausted, he heard a loud cry coming through the wall from the next room. It was Enrique's and Noah's room. Steve smiled as he wondered which one of the boy's orgasms was being so loudly announced.

Michael was awakened that night with the ringing of his phone. He knew it must be Robert and didn't answer it. As the recorder kicked in, he heard Robert saying, "I know you're there, Michael. Please answer. I'm in Goliad now at the Holiday Inn. I've got a big cock here for you, a really hot piece of meat. I'm aching to fuck you with it. Would you like me to come to your ranch? You can fuck me, too. I need you inside of me, my dearest Michael. I want you so badly. Please pick up the phone. I'll keep calling until you do. I love you. Talk to you later."

Michael took the phone off the hook and left it off for the rest of the night. In the morning, he called Jake into his office.

"Jake, something's got to be done," said Michael, shaking his head. "This little bastard is bugging the hell out of me. He's over in Goliad at the Holiday Inn right now and says he might come to the ranch. His name is Robert Jackson. I wish you would keep an eye out for any strangers who wander onto the ranch."

"Any fuckin' stranger what comes onto this property, I'll notice. Do you want me to take care of the fucker?"

"How do you mean, Jake?"

"Ya know, my little plan to scare the livin' shit out of him so he won't come back."

"I don't know what you have in mind, Jake, and I'm not going to ask. But go ahead and do what you plan to do . . . anything to get him out of my hair. But remember, Jake, I don't want him physically hurt. That isn't the way to handle these things. It could only get us into more trouble."

"Jist leave it to me, Michael. Nobody's gonna fuck with my little Michael!"

"I'm not so little, Jake," said Michael with a laugh.

"Well, when I first came here, you was a little tyke, and remember I always took care of ya. I still think of you as that little fucker, and I'm still gonna take care of ya!"

"Oh, Jake, what would I ever do without you? I mean that."

Early the next morning, Jake took the jeep and drove into Goliad. Stopping at the Holiday Inn, he went in and talked with woman behind the desk.

"Ma'am, I'm lookin' fer a Robert Jackson who's registered here. Could you tell me what room he's in."

"I'm sorry, sir," said the clerk bruskly. "It's our policy not to identify the whereabouts of our guests to others. It's a security matter, you know."

"Aw, shit," said Jake under his breath. Just then the phone rang and, when the clerk turned her back to answer it, Jake saw the motel register at one end of the counter. While the clerk talked, Jake took a quick look at it and luckily found Robert's Jackson's name listed for Room 119 on the first floor. Going outside, he saw that there was a car parked at that door and assumed that Robert was still in the room. Jake sat in his car several parking spaces away and was determined to wait until Robert emerged from the room. After about twenty minutes, the door to Room 119 opened and Robert stepped out. Jake looked very hard at him in order to see exactly what he looked like.

Robert was average height, slim with fine features and blond. He looked to be in his mid-twenties. Jake thought to himself that if he had been Michael, he might have taken that good looking young man to bed with him without much thought. After making sure that he had Roberts face firmly in his mind, he drove back to the ranch.

Several days later, Jake was walking across the yard and noticed Robert walking up the steps of the back verandah. Jake hollered, "Hey, young fella, are you lookin' fer someone?"

Robert turned and said, "Yes. I'm here to see Michael Walker."

Jake walked up to Robert and said, "Yer Robert Jackson, ain't ya?"

"That's right," said Robert, as he looked at Jake suspiciously.

"Well, young man, let's set down here and let me tell ya," said Jake as they both sat on the edge of the verandah. "Michael has told me kind of confidentially like about you, Robert. And he's really wanting to see you. He's really hot for you."

Robert opened his eyes wide and said, "He is?"

"Yeah. He couldn't wait fer ya to come around. There's only one problem. He doesn't want the others in the house to know that he's fuckin' around with you and wants to meet you in a private place."

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah. It needs to be at night so no one will see. He wants to meet you tonight out in a wooded area some distance from the ranch. You can understand how he wants to be careful, can't ya?"

"Oh, yeah," answered Robert, nodding his head vigorously."

"Okay, then. I don't want to say this too loud because we don't want nobody else to know where he wants to meet ya."

Robert leaned in close to Jake and said, "Yeah? Where should I meet him?"

Jake said, "You know out here on the main highway, ya go east about a mile and a half until ya git to a little road where there's a sign that points to the right and it says 'Coleman Ranch, 13 miles.'"

"Yeah?"

Go down that road maybe half a mile until ya see a little sign on the right that says "No dumping allowed." Go ahead and park right there off the road. Then you'll see a little path that leads into the woods. Walk down that path until you come to a little clearing. You'll recognize it because it has a great big old fuckin' tree trunk layin' on its side there. That's where Michael wants to meet ya. It's real private and you two can have the time of yer lives there. Okay?"

"Yeah, okay!" said Robert eagerly.

"Now he wants to meet ya there tonight at nine o'clock sharp. Don't be early and don't be late. Michael's very particular about that. Okay? I'll meet ya there in the clearing just to make sure Michael gets there and the two of ya meet."

As Robert walked back to his car and drove away, Jake went inside to find Jeff and Paul. When Jake entered their room, Jake said, "Okay you fuckers, are you ready to help with my plan as I explained it to you? I didn't realize it was going to be so soon. But it's gonna be tonight at nine o'clock. I have one other guy that'll be there with us to help. I've explained it to him."

"Which guy is it, Jake?" asked Paul.

"Well, he's the new guy we just hired a couple of weeks ago."

"Oh, he that hot looking guy . . . Tim something . . . who's been staying with you in your room until you can find another room for him," said Paul.

"Well . . . yeah . . . that's the one."

Jeff said, "Okay, Jake, I think we know our parts. We'd better get there probably no later than 8:00 so we can get everything prepared and get dressed and all that."

At 9:00 p.m. sharp, in the light of a bright orange sunset, Robert came walking into the clearing where he expected to meet Michael. Jake was sitting on the log, and said, "Good boy! Yer here right on time. Now I gotta tell ya something. Michael doesn't want you to have any clothes on. He wants ya to be stark fuckin' neked. He's been imagining what you look like neked since he only saw yer cock in that restroom. He don't like preliminaries. He wants ya to be ready for action as soon as he seess ya. Go on, git outta them clothes and lay 'em over there by the log."

Robert hesitated and looked a bit puzzled, but then began taking off all of his clothes and laying them on the ground next to the log. Jake looked at Robert's slim white body with the enormous penis, still soft, sticking out in front of him. As he looked, he could feel his own penis begin to harden and push against his pants.

"Now just stand here and look that way. Michael should be appearing very soon."

Just then, the leaves and grass in front of Robert began to move strangely, and the ground seemed to be opening up. As the leaves fell away, the lid of a coffin appeared slightly below ground level. As Robert stared at it in disbelief, the lid began to open slowly. Robert took a quick step backward, but Jake grabbed his arm and held him tightly. As the lid finally fell open, Robert gasped in horror. There in the coffin was a grotesque and ghastly looking corpse. It was naked and covered with blood and gore. The lips looked as though they had been eaten away by rats. Blood oozed from the eyes that were open and staring directly at Robert.

Robert tried to break loose, but Jake held on. He said, "Oh, didn't we tell you, Robert? I'm gittin' so fergitful lately. Michael died a horrible death a couple days ago. That's why he never answered your calls."

A pitiful whining sound issued from Robert's lips, as the corpse slowly rose to a half sitting position with its arms stretched out toward Robert. It had a horrible smile on its face and was grunting and gurgling unintelligibly.

Jake stood aside as two figures clad all in black with black hoods emerged from behind nearby trees. They each clutched tightly onto Roberts arms and moved him slowly toward the coffin as the corpse continued to stretch its arms outward.

Jake said, "It was Michael's wish that you join him for all eternity, Robert. He wants you now. He wants you in his arms forever and ever."

Robert began to scream with fear. His knees buckled and he struggled to free his arms, but the two black figures steadfastly moved him closer and closer to the grave. Robert was screaming and sobbing and shouting, "No! No! Please! No!"

The corpse was growling and hissing, and blood was running out of its mouth. It continued to reach farther and farther toward Robert. Robert had now been dragged to edge of the grave. Terrified, Robert screamed as he was pushed into the grave. The corpse wrapped it's withered arms tightly around Robert, continuing to moan and gurgle and regurgitate blood all over Robert's head and face. Robert fought to break loose from the grip of Michael's corpse. The corpse finally loosened its grip, and Robert scrambled out of the coffin and ran naked down the path to his car. He had no clothes and his car keys were still in his pants pocket. He jumped into the car and locked all the doors and huddled on the floor. Soon, the door was unlocked and there stood Jake holding the car keys and Robert's wallet.

Jake said calmly, "Did you forget these?

Robert sat up and grabbed the keys and his wallet and sped off. He turned the car around and soon found himself on the main road. Driving at close to one hundred miles an hour, he passed a parked State Trooper's car that immediately took chase. Forcing Robert off of the road, the trooper approached Robert. Finding the young man naked and covered with blood, he arrested him for speeding and reckless driving and delivered him to the local State Police headquarters in Goliad. At close examination, the trooper could see that what looked like blood was some sort of red goo.

Robert was immediately put into a cell and given an orange jump suit to wear.

Back at the grizzly scene in the woods, Jake reached down and helped Jeff climb out of the makeshift coffin. "Well, boys," he said, "I think it worked. We scared the fuckin' shit out of him just like we wanted to."

Jeff said, "I know, but what mess I am. Every time I'd squirt the red stuff out it would seep in under my mask and get into my mouth. I suppose you noticed my hard-on. I had never seen that guy before. But when I saw that cute naked body of his standing at the edge of the grave, the old penis just stiffened up. It was kind of nice when I had my arms around him. But one bad thing was when he fell onto me, his knee bumped my balls, and I was really in agony for a few minutes." Jeff stood there, naked and covered with plastic blood. "I need a shower or something."

Jake looked at Paul and Tim and said, "I been watchin' you two. While ya were holdin' on to the guy's arms with one hand, ya each had yer other hand down squeezin' his little ass cheeks. Don't you guys ever stop bein' horny?"

Paul said, "Not very often. Do you ever stop being horny, Jake?"

"Nope. If I ever stopped bein' horny, I'd be dead! I shoulda fucked that sweet little ass of his before we got started, but we jist didn't have time."

Paul and Tim took off their black robes. Paul looked over at the pile of Robert's clothes and said, "I wonder what Robert's going to do without any clothes."

Jeff put on one of the robes so that he wouldn't get the car seats soiled, and they all headed back to the ranch. Shortly after returning, a phone call came from the troopers' office in Goliad. They asked for Jake.

The man at the other end said, "Jake, we got a real strange case here. We picked up a young man for speeding and reckless driving a couple of hours ago, and he looks like he's in shock. We have him in a cell. He just sits there saying two words over and over. He keeps saying 'Jake, Michael' over and over. It's just 'Jake, Michael.' He won't say nothin' more. The only Jake and Michael I know are you and Michael over at the Walker Ranch. Do you know anything about this?"

It was now after 11:00 p.m., and Jake said, "Yeah, I know all about it. Jist keep the fucker there. I'll drive over there right now."

When he arrived he asked the desk sergeant if could see Captain Wilcox who was the head man. When he walked into Wilcox's office, Jake said, "About the man you got locked up, jist let him go."

"Let him go?" said Wilcox. "This kid's been arrested for speeding and reckless driving. And there's something fishy about him being naked and covered with all the red goop."

"I said, jist let him go. It's all jist a big misunderstanding."

"Jake, is this guy someone you been playing around with again?"

"No. Jist do me a favor and let him go, Wilcox. I got his clothes right here."

"I can't let him go, Jake. He broke the law. Besides, him being naked and all . . . ."

Jake leaned in close and said, "You know, Wilcox, what me and you did last summer would make a pretty fuckin' good story."

"What do you mean," said Wilcox.

"You know. That time in the back seat of yer squad car. We had such a great fuckin' time, maybe peoples need hear about that."

"You wouldn't do that."

"Well," said Jake with a smile. "It all depends."

"What do you want, Jake?" said Wilcox with irritation in his voice.

"Jist let the man go, and we'll fergit anything ever happened."

As Wilcox picked up the phone and ordered Robert released, Jake threw Robert's clothes on his desk and left.

That evening, Michael received a phone call from Maggie.

"Michael, darling! It's Maggie! I wanted to tell you that our house is now all finished, and Rhapsody and I are going to throw a big housewarming party. We're moving in on Saturday . . . with all new furniture, you know. And we thought we would have our party on the following Saturday. You must come. We'll be sending out formal invitations in a day or two. Rhapsody designed them. They're a bit much . . . you know Rhapsody and her tacky taste, but they'll do. We'll be inviting Jeff and Paul, as well as all the other gang from the ranch and those in Austin. Then, of course . . . and I hope you won't mind, Michael . . . many of our personal friends here in San Antonio will be there."

Michael said, "You mean all your drag queen friends."

"That's right. They're all such dears, and they do liven up a party, you'll have to admit. We have a large patio and pool, and it will be strictly informal. Be sure to bring your swimming suit, ducky. Of course, we may all decide to go skinny-dipping, and then you won't need it, will you? Enclosed in our invitations will be directions on how to get there. Since it is a fairly long drive for most of our guests, we will be providing sleeping arrangements for any who wish to stay over."

Michael said, "Maggie, it sounds like it's going to be a great party. I'll look forward to getting the invitation, and I will be there."

"Ta-ta, Michael. Kissy-kissy! Talk to you later!"

When Michael hung up, he thought to himself that Maggie, in all her new-found happiness, seemed more swishy gay than ever. He did not find it appealing. He thought it strange that Maggie never inquired about anyone down on the ranch or as to how things were going. That was fine, though. It had all been too much to explain, anyway.

Michael, for some reason, felt particularly lonely that evening. Everyone else seemed to be occupied with themselves or each other, and he was tired of working on the books, which he had been doing all day and well into the evening. He went into the kitchen and fetched a mug of coffee and went out on the front veranda. Jeff and Paul were staying at the house, but he had not seen much of them since they arrived. He missed having Jeff to talk with. Having him staying in a room just down the hall, it was even worse. After Maggie had described her cruise to Australia, Michael thought how nice it would be for just he and Jeff to take a vacation together to Australia. It was a far off land that he knew very little about. But what he had read about it enticed him. They wouldn't be able to do it that summer because it would be during Australia's coldest months. But maybe they could do it sometime in the fall or winter. But Jeff would be in school then, and it probably wouldn't be possible. And then, of course, there was Paul. Paul could come along, but it just wouldn't be the same as it would with just Jeff. Michael put the thought out of his mind, finished his coffee and went on in to bed.

Jeff had also been conscious of the fact that he had not seen that much of his father. There was the night he spent with him in San Antonio when they were with Francisco. But that was all. After Jeff and Paul returned from their little performance in the woods with Robert, they lay in bed close to each other.

Jeff said, "You know, Paul. I've been thinking. We haven't seen an awful lot of my dad since we've been down here. When we do see him, he seems kind of sad and doesn't really smile as much as he used to."

"He shouldn't be sad," said Paul. "He's got Karl's return to look forward to."

"I know, but he's had this Robert Jackson thing on his back, and also he's worried about what's going to happen to Jared. I really need to spend a little more time with him. I think his problem is that he's got a lot of issues to deal with and hasn't really got anyone to talk with about it."

Paul said, "Jeff, he needs you. He needs you to be there for him a lot more than you have been since we came down here after school let out. Why don't the two of you just take off for a couple of days and just go somewhere and do something fun together."

Jeff said, "Maybe we could do that. Where would you like to go?"

"Not me, Jeff," said Paul. "I'm talking about just you and your dad. You remember when you were up in San Antonio a while back to see Francisco? Well, you were hoping to go and take a tour of the Alamo, but you never did. Why don't you and your dad go up to San Antonio for two or three days. San Antonio's a beautiful historic city. You can not only see the Alamo, you can visit some of the missions, the Governor's Palace, the old Cathedral. And there's a terrific farmers market there. And I know your dad likes to look at beautiful houses. You could tour some of the mansions in the King William District. Just play tourist for a few days and enjoy yourselves. You can have drinks and dinner at one of the outdoor restaurants down on the River Walk. It would be a great change for both of you, Jeff."

"Yeah, that sounds like a good idea," said Jeff. "And we wouldn't be too far from home, either." Rolling over on top of Paul, Jeff looked down into Paul's eyes and said, "Are you sure you wouldn't want to come with us?"

"Jeff, please. I'll be fine. It's Michael we're concerned about. It will be something for him. And it'll be something for you, too, Jeff. You and your dad need to be together more often.

Jeff said, "But I went off and left you in Austin while I spent time with dad at his house in the Cottonwoods. And then, of course, I was up there in San Antonio with Dad and Francisco. Paul, you and I are important, too."

"Of course we're important. But Jeff, I understood completely about the relationship between you and your dad when you and I took up with each other. I agreed to that, and I was happy with that. Don't forget that Michael means a great deal to me, too. I love him like my own father. Now let's not have anymore silly talk." Shaking his finger in Jeff's face, he said, "I'm older than you, and you need to do what I say. Understand? Talk to Michael tomorrow and tell him you're taking him to San Antonio for a little vacation."

"Yes, master!" said Jeff as he kissed Paul lightly on the lips. "Is there anything else you wish, master?"

"Yes," said Paul. "I want you to stay right where you are and kiss me some more!"

Wrapped in each other's arms, Jeff and Paul kissed each other passionately, but were both soon sound asleep. It had been a busy and wearing night with Jake and his little drama.

The next morning, Jake came in to have breakfast with Michael, Jeff, and Paul. He wanted to tell Michael how things went the night before when they scared off Robert Jackson. Michael's reaction was grateful, but he was concerned about the extreme measures they took to scare him off. He thought it was a little over the top.

Michael said, "Besides the fact he could have gotten hurt when you pushed him in, people have been known to actually die from fright. He's a young man, but plenty of young men have been known to have heart attacks under stress. I imagine he won't be bothering me again, but I do hope he's okay. You guys have to realize there's a limit to these things. It could have turned out tragically."

"Shit, I didn't know young men could have heart attacks," said Jake. "If I'd known that, maybe I wouldn't have been so fuckin' hard on him."

Michael said, "I wish you guys would have talked to me first. There might have been a better way. Anyway, I'm glad it's over, and I need to thank you for all you did. I didn't mean to sound ungrateful."

As they continued eating, Jeff turned to Jake and asked, "Last night's the first time I met that new guy, Tim, who helped us. He's a pretty quiet guy. He doesn't say much. What's he like?"

"Well, he's a pretty good worker. But it's true, he ain't much of a talker. He wandered in here from El Paso last week askin' fer a job. I told him he could have two weeks of paid work, and then we'd see if we want him permanent."

Paul said, "He's bunking in with you, isn't he, Jake."

"Yeah," replied Jake.

"Well, tell us what he's like, Jake," said Jeff.

"I jist told ya what he's like."

"No, I mean what's he's like living with you?"

"Well, it ain't what ya think. We ain't done nothin', if that's what yer gitten at. He jerks off every night, though. I seen him do it when he thought I was asleep."

Paul said, "I watched him the other day out by the barn when he was helping you cut poles into fence posts. He'd taken his shirt off, and he has one of those to-die-for physiques."

"That's right," said Jake. "I seen him when he gits in the shower, and he's got one of them to-die-for little asses, too."

Michael finally said, "Well, Jake, you just keep us informed about Tim. Just let us know if any kind of action occurs in that room of yours. We're always interested.

After Jake left, Paul went back to his room. Michael smiled and put his hand on Jeff's cheek and said, "It nice just sitting here with you, Jeff. We don't seem to get a chance to talk much these days."

Jeff said, "I know, dad. I've been thinking about that. I really wish we could spend more time together."

"I understand, Jeff. You need to be with Paul. He's a wonderful guy, and I hope you know how lucky you are to have him. Keeping that relationship solid is the important thing."

"Dad, my relationship with Paul is solid. And it's not going to be damaged if you and I spend more time together. I have a wonderful idea. Actually, it was Paul's idea. Next weekend, why don't you and I take two or three days and go up to San Antonio and just be alone together. We can see the Alamo that we didn't get to last time. And we can just take in all the tourist spots up there together. Maybe we can spend a couple of nights at the Menger Hotel, eat down on the River Walk and be together and talk about things."

"Would you like to do that, Jeff? Would Paul be okay with that?"

"I really would, Dad. And, yes, Paul is more than okay with that. He's the one who suggested it."

Michael squeezed Jeff's hand and looked into his eyes and said, "I think that's a great idea. We'll have a lot of time to talk and do things together. It's a wonderful idea."

Michael went back to his office and called to make reservations at the Menger Hotel for Friday and Saturday nights. Then he got out an old San Antonio AAA Tour Book and marked all the historical spots he thought they could go and see when they were there. Tony came in to deliver some mail, and Michael looked up at him and smiled.

"Tony," said Michael. "It's a really beautiful day today, isn't it? For lunch today, I'd like you set a table out on the front verandah for Jeff, Paul, and me. And you and Clayton can join us, okay?"

When Tony went back to the kitchen, the kitchen phone rang. It was Caleb.

"Tony, how are you today?" asked Caleb.

"I'm doing great. How about yourself?"

"I'm doing fine, too. Could I speak to Steve if he's around?"

Tony found Steve in his room and told him that Caleb was on the phone.

"Hello, Caleb!"

"Steve! I'm glad you were in. You know, I was wondering if you would like to come on over some evening to see my new condo. We can have a few drinks and I'll do my best to fix us some dinner."

"I'd love to, Caleb. Any night's fine with me. But as you know, I don't have a car."

"That's no problem, I can easily pick you up."

"Caleb, one of the first things I have to do is to go and buy myself a car."

"I'll tell you what," said Caleb. "Let me pick you up around noon on Thursday, and I'll take you over to our Honda dealership here in Goliad. Harry Whitlock, who owns the place, is an old high school buddy of mine, and he's also one of my clients. Because of our friendship, he'll give you the best deal you'll find anywhere. We'll see what he has to offer you, and then we'll go on back to my place in time for Children's Hour."

"What's Children's Hour?"

"Oh, that's what my father always called the late afternoon cocktail hour. The hour always began at 5:00 p.m. sharp, never a minute sooner or a minute later. How does that sound to you?"

"That sounds perfect, Caleb. I'll be waiting out in the yard here at 12:00 noon sharp on Thursday!"

In New York, Karl was just opening a can of soup for his supper when his landlady buzzed him that he had a phone call. It was Toby Vaughn, his friend who worked for the Oldenburg company. "Karl, this is Toby. Did that fellow Francisco ever come to see you?"

"Yes, he did. We had a good talk and he told me that Michael would like to have me back at the ranch and that he was worried because he hadn't heard from me. I wrote a long letter. I'm really feeling good about everything, Toby. I can't wait to get back there."

"Well, what I'm calling about is this guy Francisco. When he first came into my office, he about knocked my socks off. Where in the world did he come from?"

"He's from Argentina," said Karl. "He and Michael kind of got into it with each other about the time I was causing so much trouble. You remember. I told you all about that."

Toby said, "I saw in the paper that he's doing his show over at the Club Turquesa. I thought I might just go on over there tonight and take in one of his shows. He's a hot number, Karl. I was wondering if you'd like to come with me. It'll be on me."

"No thanks, Toby. I'm staying in tonight. But maybe I'll walk over and see that new Star Wars movie if I feel like it."

"Okay, Karl. I'll give you a call tomorrow to tell about his show."

Toby arrived at the Turquesa early and was able to get a good table fairly close to the bandstand, but slightly off to the side. When the show began, and when Francisco appeared, Toby could hardly contain himself. Francisco wore long black pants with a gleaming white short sleeve shirt with a collar, unbuttoned almost to the navel. He was a strikingly handsome figure with his golden hued skin set off sensuously by his white shirt. Francisco recognized Toby right away, and acknowledged him with a nod and a smile.

When the first show was over, Francisco stepped down into the audience and shook hands with a number of admirers. When he came to Toby's table, Toby said, "Francisco, I loved your show. I see you remembered me. Please sit down with me if you have a minute."

Francisco sat down and motioned for the waiter to bring him a drink and a refill for Toby. "it was very nice of you to come to my show, Mr. Vaughn. You looked as though you were enjoying it."

"I was enjoying it, and please call me Toby. Have you seen much of New York?"

"No, none at all," said Francisco. "Other than visiting Karl, we have been very busy rehearsing, and not much else."

"Well, then, Francisco," said Toby, "let me be the first to officially welcome you to our fair city. You have one more show to go tonight, don't you?"

"Yes, we don't quit until about 11:30."

"Well, Francisco, as one of your first New York friends, I would love to have you come up to my place for a nightcap after you're through tonight. I live on the upper east side in a Fifth Avenue apartment that overlooks Central Park and New York's skyline. It's a beautiful view, especially at night. I hope you'll do me the honor of being my guest after the show."

"It will be kind of late when we finish tonight, but we haven't scheduled any rehearsals for tomorrow, so making it a little later tonight won't matter. Yes, I'd love to have a nightcap with you."

Toby sat in the bar just outside the show room during the second performance. When Francisco appeared, they walked out to the sidewalk where the valet had delivered Toby's car. When they arrived at the apartment, Francisco was overwhelmed at the size and beauty of it. It took up an entire floor at the top of the building and had its own elevator. Looking out of the large front windows, Francisco thought the view was spectacular.

Toby fixed each of them a drink and sat down next to Francisco on a large white sofa facing a large plate glass window. Toby got right to the point.

"Francisco, I might as well tell you right off that I know about the relationship you had with Michael Walker down there in Texas. And I know all about Karl's connection with Michael. I say this because, since I know these things about you, I want you to be clear where I'm coming from. And you are surely aware of why I asked you up for a drink tonight."

Francisco said, "I think I'm clear where you're coming from, and yes, I am now aware of why you asked me up here."

Toby reached over and took hold of Francisco's hand and said, "Are you troubled by this, Francisco? Does being here now with me, under the circumstances, bother you?"

Francisco said, "No it doesn't bother me. I'm glad you asked me up here. You're very nice and you're very attractive. I thought so the first time I met you. You were very blunt with me, and may I be blunt with you?"

"Of course," said Toby.

"Well, Toby, I would very much like to go to bed with you if you'll lead the way."

Toby laughed, "Aha! I see you Argentinians are no more subtle than we Americans are. I like that!"

Toby led Francisco down a long hall and entered a very luxuriously furnished bedroom containing one king-sized bed, above which was an elaborate canopy with mirrored ceiling.

"Please take your shirt off, Francisco, and I will hang it up for you," said Toby.

As Francisco handed Toby his shirt, and as he stood there naked to the waist, a woman in a nightgown and a small boy wearing only his briefs suddenly appeared at the door. Toby turned around and said, "Oh, how nice. Francisco, I'd like you to meet my wife, Roselind and this is my fifteen-year-old son Chip. I'm sorry, Francisco, I forgot to tell you about my family."

As Francisco stared open-mouthed and speechless at the woman and the boy, Toby said, "Come on in, Roselind and Chip. And close the door tightly behind you, will you, Chip? That's a good boy!"

Late Thursday morning, Steve got dressed for his meeting with Caleb. He had spent almost an hour trying on various things since he wanted to look his best for Caleb. He hurried into the kitchen to find Tony.

"Oh, Tony, would you do me a big favor. I'm going for dinner over at Caleb's apartment and I want to bring something. Do you have some bottle of good wine stashed away somewhere?"

Tony led Steve into the Pantry where he kept the wine. The selection was good enough for everyday drinking, but there was nothing really special. Steve finally pointed to a bottle and said, "I think maybe a bottle of Port will do. Could I take that one right there?"

Tony said, "Of Course. How about letting me gift-wrap it. It'll just take me a minute."

"That would be great, Tony. I'm just going to wait out here on the back verandah. Caleb should be along any minute."

At the stroke of noon, Caleb drove up just as Tony handed Steve the gift-wrapped bottle. "Thanks so much, Tony. I promise I'll make this up to you!"

Sending Steve off with a slap on the butt, Tony said, "Promises! All I get is promises!"

"Behave Tony! See you later," said Steve as he ran to Caleb's car.

When Steve got in, Caleb patted him on the thigh and said, "Gee, it's good to see you again, Steve. Hey, I like that shirt!"

Steve thought, 'Wow, I tried on enough of them. I guess I selected the right one!'

Caleb drove directly over to Harry Whitlock's Honda dealership in Goliad. When they arrived, Caleb said, "Come on in, Steve. We'll see what Harry can offer us."

Steve got out of the car and said, "Why don't you go ahead. I'd like to take a look at some of these demos for a few minutes."

Caleb went directly to Harry's office. "Harry, I think I've got a customer for you. Look out the window. That's him looking at some of your display models."

Harry looked and, with a smile, nodded approvingly. "Where did you pick him up, Caleb?"

"I didn't 'pick him up,' Harry. He's a friend of mine. He's staying over at the Walker Place."

Harry said, "Oh, I get it! Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. You're doing pretty good for yourself now that you dumped the old lady and are out on your own!"

"Cut the wise cracks, Harry. He's here to buy a new car. And it would be very important to me that you give him a really good deal. It will not only make him happy, Harry, it will make me very happy, too. I'm just calling in a few chits, Harry. Remember that case I won for you with the IRS. And as I recall, I haven't sent you a bill for that yet. Maybe I . . . ."

"Okay, Caleb. I know I owe you one. He'll get a better deal than I'd give my own dear sweet grandmother."

"Ah, that-a-boy, Harry," said Caleb, patting Harry on the cheek. Let's go on out and see what we can find for him."

Caleb and Steve spent the rest of the afternoon looking at and test driving various models. Steve finally selected a new silver colored 2002 model Accord. After arranging the payment schedule, Harry said, "Now, give us a day to get the car serviced and up to speed, and you can pick it up tomorrow afternoon."

As they all walked back to Caleb's car, Harry said, "Steve, Caleb tells me you're staying over at the Walker place. They're nice people over there. They don't come any better. I can tell you're not from around these parts. You're a Yankee aren't you?"

Steve said, "I'm originally from northern New England, but this is my home now."

As Caleb walked over to a service stand to get a cloth to wipe off his windshield, Harry stood close to Steve and said, "Listen, Steve, if you ever have some free time and don't have anything to do, give me a call. Maybe we could get together for a drink or something. Any friend of Caleb's is a friend of mine, if you know what I mean."

Steve said, "Thanks, Harry. I'll keep that in mind."

When Caleb returned to the car, Harry said, "Where are you two off to now?"

Caleb said, "Well, Harry, we're going back to my condo. Steve hasn't seen it yet. Then I think we'll have a few drinks and I'll fix us some dinner."

Harry laughed and said, "Don't expect too much in the dinner department, Steve. Caleb's idea of a gourmet dinner is to heat up a frozen pizza! Anyway, have a good time, you two!"

Back in the car, Steve said, "Harry seems like a nice guy, and he's really good looking, too."

Caleb said, "Harry's an old high school friend. He and I and Michael used to get together from time to time. Maybe sometime when you're over at my place, I'll invite Harry to join us for one of my gourmet pizzas."

After arriving at Caleb's apartment, Steve was given the tour of the place, they each made their own drinks from Caleb's amply stocked bar. As they sat down on the sofa, Caleb pointed to the clock. "See that old clock. Michael gave that to me as a housewarming present. It belonged in his family for several generations. I used to love to hear it chime when I would go over there as a boy."

Steve said, "Oh, I almost forgot. This isn't a housewarming present, but I thought we might have a little of this after dinner." He handed the fancily wrapped bottle of Port over to Caleb.

"Oh, thank you, Steve. It was nice of you to bring it. I like a good Port after dinner."

Caleb turned to face Steve. Taking Steve's hand, he said, "Steve, you seem nervous. You seem on edge. Is something bothering you? I suppose you're a little stunned over having forked out so much money this afternoon."

Steve laughed and said, "No, it isn't that, Caleb. I don't know. I've been faced with some major decisions lately. I've had to decide between a couple of major choices in my life. And I went ahead and made that decision. I ended the marriage I had with a perfectly fine woman. I left behind everything I had ever known when I left New England and came down here. I want to know that this was the best choice I could have made. I don't want to suddenly find that I made yet another bad mistake."

Caleb said, "What in the world would make you think you made a mistake?"

"Oh, Caleb, I could easily screw all this up. Just to be sitting here with you is the way I wanted it to be. Then I start thinking that maybe you'll start looking at me as an outsider and as someone who doesn't belong here. I think I'm nervous because I don't want that to happen. You wouldn't believe the time I spent this morning trying on everything I owned to try and find just the right combination of pants and shirt you would like."

Caleb slid up next to Steve and threw his arms around him in a very tight hug. "And I do like what you wore very much. I already told you that."

Steve continued, "And then there's our age difference. Look at all the gray in my hair. You've not said anything about that. How do I know what you're thinking?"

Caleb pulled away suddenly and said, "For Heaven's sakes, Steve, stop that! The only thing that worries me about you is this sudden paranoia of yours. The difference in our ages never enters my mind. I think of you and I as being the same age. Honestly, I do! Now relax! Okay?"

"I'm sorry, Caleb. I'm fine. I hope you can understand some of my fears, but I'm sure I'll get them under control as time goes on. Would you mind if I fixed myself another drink?"

"Not at all!" said Caleb as the two of them walked together into the kitchen with their arms around each other's waist.
 

To be continued...

 

Posted: 09/26/08