I have been in a fog since getting the call at my job in Chicago. I flew into Nashville and rented a car to drive the 45 or so miles to my childhood home in Clarkesville. I went directly to the funeral home and finalized the arrangements. I had already spoken with his attorney that held his will and knew what his wishes were for his service and interment. The visitation was scheduled to start at seven this evening, I rushed home to clean up and change. I was surprised that George, his Basset Hound was not there, I wondered who would have him.

I took my bags to my old room, undressed and took a shower letting the heat soothe away some of the stress I felt. In less than an hour I was back at the Funeral home and ready to receive the folks coming to pay their last respect to my Dad.

I felt rushes of warmth at seeing friends and classmates from long ago as well as our neighbors on his street. I had just finished talking with one of Dad's fellow Professors when I excused myself to get a drink and go to the restroom. When I finished and came out of the restroom, the first person I saw was Ben Barton, my childhood best friend, and near constant companion.

Seeing Benny, was like a punch in the gut, just seeing him there brought me to tears. Ben is the only person, other than my Mom and Pop, that I truly loved. Ben opened his arms and hugged me and I shuddered into sobs as he held me tightly.

"I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad, Johnny, he was such a good man."

I stood back and dabbed at my eyes with a fistful of tissues. I looked over to my longtime friend; and all the feelings I have had for him since we were little kids, rushed in on me. I always thought him to be the best looking man in town, but now years later he's even more handsome than before.

He reached for me again and gave me a most welcome hug. Benjamin Barton was/is my best friend. From the time we met in fourth grade until we graduated from High school, we were almost inseparable. Ben's folks bought the house next door to us when we were 7 years old. We were best buds from the day we met, it was in our Sophomore year that I knew I liked boys better than girls. I knew what that meant too. I just couldn't ever let anyone here know. Benny never knew my secret, or how much I cared for him.

But it was Ben that I thought about at night, alone in my bed. It was always Ben that made my cock get hard just thinking about him, and Ben never knew how desperately I have loved him all of these years.ago.

Ben stayed by my side for more than two hours as Dad's friends, students and co-workers paid their respects. Just having him there buoyed my spirit, he took over making sure I had all I needed and followed me home after the visitation. I walked into the house, draped my suit coat on the back of the sofa, sat down in Pop's chair and cried for my Dad. Ben sat a box of tissues on the arm of the chair, patted me on one shoulder and went back to the kitchen and let me grieve. It took a while but the sobs wracking my body subsided and the tears finally stopped. I rose from Dad's chair and went into his room, I opened his closet and buried my face in his clothes hanging there. I could smell him. I took his bulky, gray and very old cardigan sweater off the peg on the door and put it on, wrapping myself in his scent. I was just about to start crying again when I heard Ben behind me. I turned and he smiled when he saw me in Dad's sweater.

"You need to keep that Johnny boy. Just seeing it makes me remember him. It even looks good on you."

"I can still smell him in this sweater Benny."

"There will always be those moments when someone or something reminds you of him. Not a week goes by that I don't think about my dad."

Ben pulled me into a hug again. I was so glad he was here, he was the perfect person for me to be with during this sad and hurtful time. I don't remember it happening, but Ben undressed me down to my shorts and tee shirt and tucked me into bed. It was daylight when I woke, and my cheek was resting on Ben's chest, I could see his nipple just inches from my lips I dozed back into a restless sleep, tossing and turning, fretful. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee got me out of bed and I followed the aroma to the kitchen. Ben, in 'tightie whities' and a tee shirt, broke into a big smile when I came in.

"Hey dude, you look like you feel a little better. I can whip us up a couple of yummy omelets with all the food in the fridge. You hungry Johnny Boy?

"I'm very hungry Benny, I don't remember eating yesterday. Oh I forgot!...Where's George Ben? I thought he would be here."

"I forgot to tell you, he's over at my Mom's, she took him over there before the funeral home came to take your dad's body. She didn't want George to see them take him away and to be running around the house looking for your Dad. You may have a hard time getting him to come home the way she dotes on him."

"That's good, but bring him back when she's had enough of him." I said.

"Ahhh...now to your breakfast. Prepare to be amazed by the sumptuous feast I will prepare for you, sir. Take a seat and enjoy your coffee."

Ben managed to concoct two perfect, spicy omelets with cheese, tomatoes, poblano peppers, green and red sweet peppers and sour cream. When we finished I told him that I was amazed that he had whipped up that great breakfast.

"Johnny, I've got a million of them, recipes that is...A few years ago I discovered that I really like cooking a great meal. I've already got ideas for tonight's dinner."

"Benny let's have your Mom come to dinner, I hate to think of her eating alone."

"Sure thing Johnny Boy, she'll really like that. I eat with her most nights, I usually cook and she comes across the back yard to my place. It will do her good too, your Dad's sudden death really shook her up. I suppose she's realizing her own mortality. being with her is the greatest gift we can give her, that's all she really wants."

"Ben, even though it took this tragedy to bring us together again. I want you to know, being with you again is the most natural, greatest feeling I've had in many years. You are good for me and good to me Ben Barton, thank you."

"Best buds forever, Johnny boy, best buds forever."

I helped Ben straighten up the kitchen and then we went off to shower and dress. Dad's service is scheduled for one PM and there will be viewing and visitation prior to the service. Soon we were off to the funeral home for the service. I insisted that Mrs. Barton and Ben ride with me in the family car. They were all I had left. After the graveside service Ben whispered to me.

His friends, neighbors, and colleagues are gone, now I stand here alone, staring down at the fresh earth that's been heaped upon my Father's grave. I didn't see the grave at all, I see my dad and I playing catch in the backyard when I was around six or seven. I see him building my tree house, with my help of course. When he wasn't working he took me everywhere with him. To the hardware store, lumber yard, even to the campus where he teaches to pick up something he had forgotten.

He always introduced me to everyone we met. I grew up with a natural confidence and very few inhibitions, which, I'm sure, is why he took care to see that I met people and that I was at ease meeting strangers as well as friends. It was all part of his teaching me to become a successful, well- rounded individual. Dad always made sure I was with him when he was doing projects, teaching me how to repair things, letting me drive nails and saw lumber. When I was ten he let me start using his good tools and by age fourteen I was proficient with his power tools.

I suppose he was always teaching me, I loved listening to him. I remember listening to his deep baritone voice that's always given me so much comfort, even just a few weeks ago when we were on the phone I remember thinking how his voice always enthralled me. I loved listening to him talk. I remember falling asleep with him reading to me, hearing him and Mom talk in the next room while I tried to think of everything that would keep me from going to sleep.

He was a wonderful Dad, my greatest regret is not coming back to visit more often after the auto accident that took my Mom. My Dad was only 58 when his heart gave out, one of his neighbors found him slumped in his chair, the TV still on, and George, his Basset Hound curled at his feet. Now at 31, I have no family left. I truly felt lost as I walked into our home after the graveside service. Nearly five hundred guests had signed the register at his funeral. Most all of them were his former students.

I was momentarily startled, lost in my thoughts about Dad, I had forgotten that Bennie was with me.

"You stay with your Dad a little while Johnny, I'll run Mom home and come back for you in just a few minutes."

I nodded my assent without looking at him. I was fortunate that there were no unresolved issues between my Dad and I, he knew I'm gay and he had made his peace with it. All he ever wanted, he said, was for me to be happy and lead a productive and useful life. Since the sudden passing of my Mom, we have been much closer, talking at least every week, and he visited me in Chicago several times.

Suddenly I was bone tired. I needed to lie down, I thought Ben would have returned by now. I turned to walk to the entrance and there was Ben, standing behind me, waiting for me to finish my goodbye to my Dad. He came to me and put an arm around my shoulder.

"Let's get you home Johnny Boy, you need to rest."

We found food in containers with notes on both the front and back porches. I was home, this is what neighbors and friends do here, they bring food and their condolences along with the occasional story or something they remembered about Dad. He was a very well-liked and respected man.

Benny opened the door and told me to leave the containers of food, he would get them after he got me into bed and resting. I was so completely zonked, I stood in my room and let Benny undress me. When I was down to my shorts and tee shirt he pulled back the bed covers and tucked me in. I think my eyes were closed before my head hit the pillow but I did feel Ben kiss my forehead.

"Thank you for being here Benny. You are just what I needed to get through this, still my best bud after all these years. You're a good man and an even better friend; I love you, Ben,"

Ben backed away and eased the door closed, leaving in ajar so he could hear if I called for him. For the next hour or so Ben collected all the food, started a list of who had brought what dish, put food into sealed containers in the fridge and washed a labeled the neighbors dishes. I learned later that he called his Mom and told her he was going to stay here with me. He didn't want me to wake up alone here in Dad's home.

Sometime after dark I woke, the hallway light sending a beam of light across my bed. I felt Bennie sleeping beside me in his shorts and tee-shirt on top of the covers. I rolled closer to him and lay my head on his shoulder and my arm across his chest, I hugged him once and drifted back into sleep.

The next time I woke Ben's arm was around me as my head lay on his chest and my arm held him tight to me. He was under the covers now; I glanced at the clock and saw that it was morning now. I lay there wide awake comforted by Ben's touch, soon my mind wandered to thoughts of how much I have loved and wanted him, emotionally and sexually since we were in High School.

I felt Ben stir as he began waking up.

'Hey there Johnny boy, did you get some rest?"

I just nodded my head yes.

"I guess we were both tired, I just lay here to be with you when you woke, but I dropped off too. Are you hungry, we've got a ton of food in the kitchen, I'm going to set out something for us, come to the kitchen when you're ready."

I watched him get out of bed and his round little butt filled out his tighty whities nicely. When he bent to slip on his pants I groaned out loud at the sight of his beautiful butt as the fabric stretched taut across defining each rounded cheek. He looked back at me surprised and I stretched and yawned to cover up the groan of my wanting him as well as my growing boner.

I stumbled into the kitchen in my boxers and tee-shirt, hair a mess, still half asleep. Bennie smiled and walked over to me and hugged me to him again, chuckling under his breath.

"You look like the little kid I was so crazy about long, long ago. Still cute after all these years."

I hugged him back and thanked him again but I had to back away quickly as I felt my cock twitch and swell. I sat down and ate a bit and felt much better. Bennie ate with me and busied himself with the clean up and put the food away as I watched him.

"Dad used to tell me that you came to visit with him a lot after you moved back here. He really enjoyed you being with him. Will you have supper with me again tonight Ben?"

"That's because we both had the same favorite subject to talk about, You. Johnny, he always told me about your phone calls and letters; between your Dad and I, you took up 80% of our conversations. And yeah, I'll enjoy staying for supper, just let me call Mom and tell her I'm staying here with you for a while." he said.

As he closed up his phone he said "Mom said to give you a big hug from her and for you to come over to her house for dinner tomorrow night."

I poured us big glasses of sweet Iced tea from the gallon jug left on the porch, and put out some lemon slices for the tea, We each pulled out a bar stool and sat there drinking our tea, each turned to face the other and we began telling each other about our lives.

I never married, I had my first Man to Man sexual experience as a Sophomore in College and never considered a relationship with a woman. I completed the requirements and received an Industrial Engineering degree and my first job was in Chicago. I've been there since.

I have had two failed relationships with men, the longest lasting six-plus years. Both were built on great sex but as the familiarity with each other grew the relationships waned.

I wanted to get up my nerve to tell Ben my story, that I was a gay man and that I had always loved him, but so far I couldn't summon up the courage. My greatest fear was that he would leave and never speak to me again.

Ben told me that after four years of marriage their son was stillborn and that began the end of their marriage. His wife withdrew into a shell of loss and mourning and never came back to being the person he loved and married. About a year after his divorce, his Dad passed away and he moved back here to be near his Mom and help her out. Ben has a Masters Degree in Biology, he was doing research work in North Carolina when he and his wife divorced. Before moving he had made contact with the local State College and was hired as a teaching assistant for one year, after getting his State certification he became an Associate Professor. He bought a house on the street behind his Mom, the corners of their back yards met. He put a gate there so that they could walk back and forth to each others homes. He said he was happier that he had been in years. The stress of the corporate world was left behind and the joy of working with eager young minds stimulated him.

I wondered silently about his sex life. I was sure he wouldn't get involved with a student, he's too ethical for that, maybe another teacher... uh...lady professor. I would have to ask about that later. Now isn't the time.

We decided to eat some cold Fried chicken and potato salad for our dinner and afterward I looked under the sink and found Dad's stash of Bourbon for our drinks after dinner. In retrospect, the drinking wasn't a very good idea because I started crying again for my Dad. Ben sat beside me and put an arm around me and rocked me gently.

"I know Johnny, I know how it hurts, go on and cry for him. It helps I know. I'm here with you and I'm not going anywhere John, You are my main priority, we'll get you through this, Ben's here for you, like always."

I don't remember drifting off but when I woke it was almost midnight, we were sitting on the sofa and my head was on Ben's shoulder and his head tilted against mine. When I stirred, Ben woke and we stood and stretched. I told him that he was welcome to spend the night. There's lots of beds here or we can sleep in my room like we used too. He laughed and said "yeah just like old times" and followed me to my room. As kids, a double bed was fairly large, as grown men we were very close together in my bed. We said good night and I thanked him for staying with me, then we turned with our backsides together and drifted off to sleep.

Sometime later, it was still dark out, I woke spooned against Ben's back and my arm across his chest. He felt so good I hugged him to me and snuggled up closer and dozed off again. The next time I woke Ben was pushing his butt back against me and my cock was hard as stone. I realized that Ben was making a small rocking motion against my hard cock. I tried to be still and see what would happen, but I involuntarily stretched and pushed harder against his butt. He moved away so that we were no longer touching, I decided that he was just moving around in his sleep. T he next time I woke Ben was spooned up to me his arm across my chest, his mouth and lips at my neck. I reveled in the feel of him against me. Intimate moments like this are what I miss the most by not having someone to share my life with. I sighed and nestled against his body, feeling more content at that moment that I had in many years.

A bit later I felt Ben move and get out of bed. The bathroom light shone under the door and I lay there staring at the ceiling thinking of how wonderful it would be to wake with him in my bed for the rest of our days.

Ben returned to my room and began getting dressed, he saw that I was awake.

"How do you feel Johnny, you gonna be okay?"

"Sure, and thanks Benny, for staying with me. I needed you here last night. Please feel free to come over anytime. I'll be here at least a week, maybe longer. I'd like to spend more time with you. There are still things I want to talk about with you. Come for supper if you like, there's so much food here I'll wind up throwing most of it out."

"Whoa, Johnny, Mom asked you to come to her house for dinner tonight, remember."

"Gosh, I had completely forgotten. Sure it'll be like old times eating at her table. You're teaching today I suppose."

"Yes, one lecture and two lab sessions today, I should be home by six. See you at Mom's a little after six. Okay?"

"Yeah it sounds great. I love your Mom's cooking."

I got out of the bed and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I laughed out loud.

"What's so funny Johnny boy?"

"Look at me, what did you do to me last night Ben, I'm a mess."

Ben blushed and looked away. I felt like a heel. I shouldn't have said that. The only way out of this embarrassment was to make it a joke so I rubbed my butt and said.

"Well at least you didn't take advantage of my innocence, I don't feel violated or ravaged, darn it"

That did the trick as Ben broke into laughter.

"Darn it?" Hmmm has Chicago turned you into a kinky sex guy Johnny Boy?"

"Just for you Bennie, just for you," I said.

He gave me a curious look, then a strange smile and he turned to leave.

"See you tonight John. It sure is good to have you here even for just a week. I've missed you. I may have to try to talk you into leaving the big city and coming home."

I walked over to him, hair sticking out everywhere, the fly of my shorts gaping open my chest bare with my nipples hard little points, I hugged him, and told him I had missed him too. I didn't hold my hips back like in a 'guy hug', shamelessly I molded my body to him as we hugged, I felt his lips kiss my neck as he pulled away. Automatically my hand went to the spot he had kissed. He had that odd smile again, almost like he was hiding something from me. It puzzled me to no end.

"Gotta run Bud...see you later."

I'm sure he felt my cock thicken as I pressed my body against him, he had a surprised and quirky smile as he said good bye. I thought it would be so wonderful if Bennie felt the same way about me as I did him. Oh no, I can't let myself think such thoughts. Ben is straight. Remember that. STRAIGHT!

I took my shower and rummaged up a breakfast and got dressed. First up was a call to Dad's attorney to ask if he had a list of things I needed to do, which he did. Dad had already put me on all of his bank accounts and his attorney has drafted 'Notice of Death' letters to his insurance companies, the University, and banks plus other interested parties.

I got his mail from the box at the street and looked through it for any outstanding accounts and found none which I was certain would be the case. Returning to his mail I opened his bank statement which I had set aside earlier feeling like I was prying, but I realized that it was my business now.

Dad had been a teacher since graduating from college. It never occurred to me that he could have managed to save much money but I was stunned at the balance in his savings accounts. I learned that he had a stock club account that invested in a list of stocks that he had chosen and he had done extremely well with his total assets at the bank near $500,000.00. I traced back to the beginning of his stock accounts and realized that he put all the insurance money from the accident that killed my Mom into this account. I was going through more mail when I realized that his money, his car, his home were all mine now.

I changed clothes and took Dad's keychain full of his keys and went to the bank to see if he had a safe deposit box. The banker there welcomed me, gave me his condolences and asked if I had received copies of the death certificate as yet. I told him no but that the attorney was mailing them out today. I did mention that I had been made joint owner on all his accounts and he opened the safe deposit room and asked for my key. I held up the ring of keys, he smiled and zeroed in on the box key immediately. He placed the box, which was much larger than I would have guessed, on the table and left asking me to press the buzzer when I was finished.

I teared up when the first thing I opened was a small, blue velvet bag, containing my Mom's rings and assorted jewelry. There was a bulging wallet type folder that was full of stock papers. A Christmas box revealed family pictures which set off the water works again. A picture of Mom and Dad on their wedding day, pictures of her very pregnant with me, baby pictures, a small box with my scout badges, pictures of me playing basketball in High School, one picture of Benny and me at about 11 or twelve on the sidewalk in front of our houses, with our roller skates on. I tucked that one into my inside jacket pocket, then I decided to take the box of pictures home and go through them there. I would have some duplicated, mostly ones of Mom and Dad to put out at home and keep the originals safe in here. Finally at the bottom of the box I saw a large manilla envelope, I reached in and brought out am envelope; I stared open mouthed at my name written there.

When removed. I saw that the contents were all paper clipped together with a list being the top sheet. This list was of all his assets, insurance and deposits, everything I needed to know to wind up his earthly affairs. I sat this aside with the pictures to take back to the house. I started putting things back in and realized there was a cigar box that I hadn't opened. I tried to lift it but it was too heavy so I opened it inside the box. Again my mouth dropped open. The box was full of Dad's collection of gold coins, I had forgotten about his coin collecting. For a time, he was avid about finding old gold coins and here lay the fruits of his searches. I knew I didn't have the time to list them all before the bank closed so I shut the box and pressed the buzzer. I told the banker I would be back in the morning to do an inventory of the contents, and that it would take me a few hours because of a large number of coins inside. I began to get nervous, with the price of gold these days these coins would mount up to be a very large sum.

Back at home I started to turn on the TV but after seeing the old pictures, especially those of Mom and Dad, I went Instead to the old console HI-FI Phonograph and rummaged through the records there. I selected some of my Mom's favorites that I remember hearing her play when I was growing up, I turned the volume up and went to clean up for dinner at Mrs. Barton's. I was dancing the whole time I was getting ready for dinner. I remembered my Mom and Dad were constantly dancing in our living room. Their heyday was in the '70's and 80's, the Disco era when most everyone went dancing. The full orchestra arrangements still sound so good. Better yet, the music my Mom and Dad danced to made me feel good. In my mind, I could see them in the dining room, dancing on the hardwood floor, with the table and chairs pushed back to the wall. They would dance for hours. Like the old saying that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I still like to dance at the gay clubs.

Just before I left to go to Mrs. Barton's I remembered Mom's rose garden in the backyard, I looked out and although it was only late April there were brilliant yellow Tea Roses in bloom. With shears in hand, I ran out and cut a nice bouquet for Mrs. Barton. I wore dress slacks and a white button-down poplin shirt. Neat and clean. Mrs. Barton would probably pinch my cheek when she saw me, then a big hug for the roses. I went out our back door over to the Barton's back door and knocked and went on in.

"Oh my little Johnny" she cooed as she hugged me close, "You'll always have us sweetheart, we'll be your family now Johnny, Benny and I love you."

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I hugged her. Just then Ben came through the back door and joined in for our hug. As we separated I felt his lips kiss my neck again, a shiver ran down my spine as my hand shot up to touch the spot his lips had kissed. I was looking at him as I did it and he just smiled and nodded yes to me. I was confused as to what he meant by it.

George, Dad's Basset Hound, was dancing around my feet, whining and trying his best to get all of my attention. I sat down on the floor and George climbed all over me before settling in my lap. He let out a long sigh.

"Thank you Mrs. Barton, you too Bennie."

I still had the roses in one hand and I handed them to her as she was telling me to call her Mama like her Bennie did.

"These are from Mom's rose garden out back, I thought you'd enjoy them."

"Thank you sweetie, I always loved your Mama's garden. Bennie, get me a vase out of that top cabinet please. Now you boys get out of my kitchen for a while, I'll call you when it's time to eat."

Ben and I went out and sat on the front porch, He lit a cigarette and asked if I wanted one.

"No, I shook that habit in college," I replied.

"I had quit too, but started again during the divorce. Why don't you come back here to live Johnny and help me quit this filthy habit."

I looked at him, he had that same odd smile that he had as he left my room this morning.

"I have to admit that I've thought about it Ben. But there are things we need to talk about later. I just don't fit in around here anymore. Want to come back and spent the night with me again, it's Friday, we can get drunk and talk all night."

"I guess so Johnny boy, there are things I need to tell you too."

I felt my heart rate speed up. Oh no, what will happen if we get in the same bed again but drunk this time! That may not be such a good idea. I knew I had to change the subject so I asked him about how he got into teaching.

"I felt I had to come back home for Mom after Dad passed away. He did absolutely everything for her, kept the bank accounts, paid the bills, shopped the food market for her. I was afraid she would be overwhelmed and get into an emotional depression. So I jumped at the teaching assistant position. I knew I could live on it here, by the time I was certified and landed the teaching slot I was getting into the whole 'college life' it's so different for the faculty, sheltered from the outside world, perceived as intellectual, some even believe they are the elite after they have the golden fleece, 'Tenure.' The only people I know here now are older folks like our parents and some of the students, hardly anyone my age."

"Benny, you have to get out and look, there has to be lots of single ladies in your age bracket who think Professor Barton is hot stuff. You just have to get out and find them."

"Yeah..., that's one of the things we need to talk about Johnny."

His Mom came to the door to say that dinner is ready. We jumped up and hurried into the dining room.

'Mama' Barton had fried chicken, whipped potatoes, green beans, biscuits and white gravy and sweet iced tea. She was all smiles as she watched her boys eat like dock workers. Her fried chicken hasn't changed in nearly thirty years. It tastes just like it did when Ben and I would grab a leg and run out into the yard with a baseball in one hand and a chicken leg in the other.

She told me about her talks with my Dad, how they would stand out in the yard and talk for hours, mostly about Ben and me. I remember him telling me, during my weekly phone calls to him, about her leaving him plates of food on the back porch, usually each time she made fried chicken.

I asked Ben to follow me to the car rental drop off and drive me home tomorrow. I've decided to use Dad's car for the rest of the time I am here. After dinner Ben and I cleared the table, cleaned off the dishes and loaded up her dishwasher, all while his Mom complained that we should let her do that, it was woman's work. Bennie looked at me and rolled his eyes then bumped his hip against mine playfully knocking me off balance, I bumped him back and we did this for a couple of minutes until his Mom started laugh hysterically.

"You boys have gotten bigger but you haven't grown up...still acting like kids. It does my heart good to see you boys together again. You two are supposed to be together, you know that don't you."

I was shocked, I looked at Ben and he was too. There was that look again, that odd smile like he knew a secret. He stared at me a good while. Then turned to his Mom.

"Yes ma'am, I believe we do know that now."

Ben turned back to me as he started the dishwasher, "you ready to talk Johnny Boy?"

I just nodded, as he held me in his stare. With a wink he turned back to his Mom and hugged and kissed her.

"We're going to go back to Johnny's house and get drunk Mama, I'm gonna try and talk him into coming back home. He needs to be here, I just gotta convince him somehow."

I hugged her and thanked her for that wonderful dinner and we started for the door. She called out before we got to the door and rushed up with some chicken wrapped in wax paper for a 'snack' later. Back at my Dad's I looked under the sink and found an unopened bottle of Canadian Club that I had given him last Christmas.

"Benny, how do you like your Canadian Club?"

"Two fingers over ice with water with a twist of lemon peel, please."

We even liked the same drinks...I make two in tall glasses and we sat out on the front porch.

"Okay John, what is it that you have to talk about, tell me about your life."

"I've thought and thought how I could tell you about this and there just isn't an easy way. So at the risk of losing you as a friend I just gonna say it. Ben. I'm gay. I have been since our Sophomore year at Central. I never had been with anyone until my first year at college, on a Thursday night in the first week of November, my study buddy had me naked on his bed with my cock buried balls deep in his throat. It opened a new world of possibilities for me. When I told my Dad I was gay it took him a couple of days but he came around. All he wanted is for me to be happy and a productive contributor to our society he told me.

"Benny, I'm hoping and praying that this will not make a difference in our friendship, lots of straight guys have a gay friend. If that is not the case you need to tell me now."

Ben sighed and sat there silent, looking at his shoes. Finally I spoke.

"Talk to me Benny, please, I so hope that you understand. I need you to understand."

Drawing in a big breath Ben turned to face me.

"Oh Johnny Boy...there's no way around it. This changes everything...I'll try to still be your friend, but it will be hard to do because what I want is for you and I to be life partners and lovers. I've known I'm gay since a few months after the divorce. I have hoped that you were gay too, even suspected it for a while when I began talking with your Dad regularly but gave the idea up as just wishful thinking on my part. If you'll have me we have a wonderful life. I've always loved you, John.

One night at closing time at the bar I frequented the guy who had been chatting me up asked me to come over to his place saying he'd keep the drinks flowing. I was drunk enough to think 'free booze is good' and went to his place.

He made advances and I did nothing to protest his actions and I got my first blow job. Before leaving his bed, I did reciprocate and had my first taste of semen. I knew I liked man to man sex. I knew that night that I really liked it."

The initial shock of hearing Ben say the words 'I'm gay' was fading and I began to realize that my dreams could finally come true. Ben and I together as two men in love.

"BEN! stop....first to answer your question, YES we can be life partners and lovers. Being with you would make my life complete, it is what I have dreamed of for years."

Ben stood and reached for my hand..."come with me John."

I followed as he led me into the living room, backed me up against the stairwell wall and gave me the kiss that changed our lives forever. Our first kiss was beyond description, the emotions of our long held, seemingly impossible dreams now realized. Now we held our bodies tightly together, neither os us ready nor willing to let go of the thing they most wanted.

When we finally broke apart from that first kiss, Ben held me close and said quietly in my ear.

"Nothing between graduating High School and now counts. You and me... us...we start now Johnny Boy"

It wasn't long until I was on overload, my brain unable to process the feelings and emotions fast enough. It's evident that Ben has spent as much time wanting 'us' as I have. That kiss told volumes about how Ben feels toward me. I don't remember how we got to the bed, the kissing short circuits my brain, he is all I can handle while his tongue thrusts and sucks at my mouth. I feel a tingle deep inside my testicles even while the rest of my body is buzzing with the realization of Ben and I together, finally.

Naked together at last, on the bed, our straining bodies touched from our lips to our toes. I love the thick mat of chestnut brown hair on Ben's chest and stomach, his treasure trail thinned as it reached Ben's trimmed pubic hair.

I broke the kiss and raised up on my knees beside Ben. Looking at his naked body stirred something in me and I knew I was going to blow my load right here, looking down at the most sexual, sensual and exciting man I have ever known. I reached out and lay my hand on his rippled abdomen. Without ever touching myself I felt an unbidden orgasm take control of my body, my mind has been consumed by the incredible emotions of us fulfilling our long-held dream of our first time together. The first volley all cleared the headboard and splattered on the wall. In the end, there was an incredible amount of my semen on Ben's arm and the side of his body.

"Wow! Johnny Boy...that was the most sensual thing I have ever seen! You blew without me even even touching you. I'm ashamed to say it but the same thing happened to me at the funeral home when we first saw each other. I was too embarrassed to let anyone know."

"Bennie I can hardly believe this has happened. I've wanted to be with you for so very long, it was never out of my mind. I love you Ben."

I got a warm washcloth to clean Ben up and while I was cleaning up my cum from his body I knew.

I decided right then looking down at my Ben that I'm leaving Chicago and coming home. Ben needs to be near his Mom, my Dad's house...my house...our house...is next door to her. All sorts of ideas and plans came to mind but remembering the task at hand I pushed them aside and stretched my body out atop Ben. Arms stretched out, hands clasped, fingers interlaced, I rubbed and moved about trying to get more of my skin touching him.

He was a little surprised when I turned him and began kissing a trail down his spine. Hands and tongue led my way down his body until my chin bumped against the rise of his hard little butt. Pulling up a bit, I brought both hands to his cheeks and spread his butt like a melon. I blew a wisp of air across his cheeks to watch as they pimpled in Gooseflesh. Before he realized what I was about to do I stabbed my tongue into his wrinkled anus. The gasp of surprise and yell that came from him made me know he wanted me to keep doing this, but finally he gave in saying he was going to cum if I didn't stop.

Ben surprised me when he flipped over onto his back and told me that he wanted me to fuck him. Somehow I had never thought of me fucking him, it was always him in me that I thought about. I found a jar of Vaseline in the bath and grabbed a condom in my shaving kit. After getting him lubed to the point of moaning and groaning, begging for me to get my cock inside him now! I gave the condom one last coating of lubricant I knee walked between his legs and up to his opening. His hand held my cock poised at his anus as I leaned forward and kissed him deeply. Sometime during the kiss he had wrapped his legs around my hips and locked his ankles. When I raised from the kiss he pulled hard with his legs and my cock went deep inside Bennie.

"Oh, my sweet Jesus...Johnny Boy...love me, Johnny, make love to me. I love your hard cock filling my butt, oh fuck...it's you...I just love you...do it, Johnny...fuck me hard John, I can take it, I need it to be you. I've always wanted it to be you. Harder babe...fuck your Bennie...hard...fuck me hard...oh my god, you're better than I ever dreamed Johnny ...make love to me babe, I know you love me, John, I can see it in your face and eyes. Oh damn...it's starting Johnny...you're cock is gonna make me cum, kiss me, baby, kiss me, let's um together. JOHNNY...NOW....mmmm! "

Gliding in and out of Ben's ass was pure heaven, chills and goosebumps flashed across my body.

I had settled into long rapid strokes, in and out of his butt. I swear I could feel little electric shocks to the head of my cock. Looking to his face I saw Ben's eyes roll back and he was gone, lost in the pleasure place. There's only one way to get to that place, it takes a big, hard, throbbing cock churning in your guts, making you feel that tingle, making your eyes roll back. There, nothing exists but the cock churning in your butt and how you can get more of it deeper inside you. that zone, a man's sexual pleasure knows no bounds. No matter how big the cock or how good the fuck, it is never enough. We always want more, bigger, harder, deeper. Insatiable!

I shifted my position so that now I brushed against his prostate on every stroke. Ben yelped at first then settled into a deep grunt 'unngghh' every time I rubbed against it. Soon he was all over the bed, an E ride for sure. He bucked against my deep thrust, holding and grinding hard against me. He moved faster and faster, taking over the rhythm as he began to fuck my cock deep inside him. As if on cue, Ben's eyes flew open...

"I'm gonna cum baby, your big cock is making me cum John...Oh jeez...yeah, now John cum with me now!"

...it only took two thumping heartbeats and I was filling the condom inside him. Ben was still spraying his semen all over his abs and chest, his face, the pillow, everywhere I looked there were pearls of his cum, sparkling in the light as it sits atop his thick mat of brown body hair. My own release nearly paralyzed me, never has my body been so completely drained, no sex had ever felt like what I had just experienced.

'Ben held his arms up, his signal for me to come into his embrace. He held me tightly and sobs wracked his body. I pulled back to look at him and he pulled me back down.

"I'm okay John, just tears of joy."

Lying half atop him I told Ben that I wanted to come home.

"I love you and will not be separated from you ever again. I want to come home to you, we'll live here and take care of Mom and each other. Dad's inheritance was staggering, I never had a clue. It will be enough to get me moved here, make some improvements and live until I can find something that I really want to do. Plus plenty will be left over for lots and lots of rainy days. "

"Thank you, John, I may be the happiest man in this town, I'm certain that I am the most well fucked. You are spectacular at making love."

"Yeah, I'm finally making love with the one I love. The difference between what we did and sex is like night and day. You're pretty spectacular yourself Benny, I had to hold on for dear life when you started bucking and fucking my cock."

Ben locked eyes with me as we stared into each others soul. We were on our sides facing each other, arms and legs entwined Hard cocks pressed between our bellies. Slowly a grin started spreading on Ben's handsome face and in minutes we were hysterically rolling around and laughing. It was a release of the fears and tension brought about by needing to of tell the most important person in our life that "I'm Gay".

The rest of that Saturday was spent loving and laughing like I had never done before. Ben filled me with joy, pure and simple. I couldn't keep my hands off of him, I was always touching, caressing him. Once as we lay recovering from a mind blowing orgasm I thought that Dad would be happy knowing that Ben and I are together, at last, and here in this house.

Finally around 3 pm I remembered the rental car and we scurried about taking quick showers and burst out the door at a run like we did at 10 years old. On our way back Ben took me to his house to get some of his things. He gave me a tour and said he thought he would keep it and lease it out.

"All Gay Guys own rental property don't they. Besides, with the University and Ft. Campbell, It will be leased in a heartbeat once I get it ready for the market and do a few updates in the baths and kitchen"

Back at Dad's I called Mrs. Barton and asked her to come over for dinner. When she arrived she had George with her.

"I thought I'd see how he reacts to the place now that your Dad isn't here." She said.

We all watched as George dropped his nose to the floor and started sniffing his way to Dad's bedroom, tail wagging at a frantic pace. We followed and found him lying in his dog bed beside Dad's bed. He stayed in Dad's room until dinner was on the table. At dinner, I had purposely avoided sitting in Dad's chair, Mama Barton sat at the other end of the table with Ben and I facing each other. During the entire meal, George lay beside my Dad's chair. Ben's legs and feet were constantly touching me under the table. I felt like I was in a dream, but I knew it was real, I could touch him, smell him, taste him but most important of all, he fills my heart to overflowing. Ben Barton and John Hadley, together at last.

Ben nudged my foot as he turned to his Mom.

"I did it Mama...he's coming home to live with us. I convinced him that this is where he needs to be."

She reached out and clasped her hands with both of us.

"I can't say I'm surprised. I'm so happy for my boys. I've always known that one day you two would be together. Benny, you rent out that house and move in here next door to your old Mama."

"Yes ma'am, we've already talked about that, but it will have to wait until after we've done some remodeling and updating the kitchen and baths. We may even add on, like a great room adjoining the kitchen, we'll look and magazines and books before we decide. I've even thought of adding a walkway of paving stones for us to walk on back and forth between these houses. We need a garage too, Maybe even fence in both backyards together so George can wander around and easily beg at either back door. Ben will be almost as close as he was in his bedroom at your house, Mama Barton."

Later Ben and George walked Mama Barton home and Ben came back alone, they took George's bed from Dad's room with them.

"George just went right into the house with her. She will never say it but I think she's glad to have him there."

"It's okay by me Bennie but she always has the option to bring him back home anytime. She doesn't have to keep him with her. I know how much Dad doted on that Dog and I'm sure she's done the same. Now Ben, clear the table to the sink and I'll get theses dishes washed and in the drying rack so we can go play."

Ben came to the sink with all three plates and silverware, sat them down, jerked my lounge pants to the floor, grabbed my butt cheeks and thrust his tongue into my anus. I felt light headed and giddy as Ben chowed down on my eager butt. I leaned over the sink as far as I could, spread my legs wide and grabbed my cheeks and pulled them wide apart. My legs quickly turned to jelly as Ben continued his assault on my ass; the sink was now holding me up.

I actually felt relieved when he pulled his mouth away, his face up my ass was such an intense sensory overload that stopping it let me ease back from the brink of orgasm. About three deep breaths later I felt Ben's cock pushing at my entrance, I reached back and spread my cheeks again while Ben squirted lubricant into my butt. After the workout he gave my ass with his tongue his entry was no problem he went in halfway on the first stroke with only a long 'aaaahhhh' from me. In less than a minute I was in the pleasure zone. Ben is a natural born lover, he used his wide, fat cock on me like no other man I've ever known. I was moaning and gasping for more as he rode my hungry ass to glory. When we reached our fantastic orgasm, our body movements slowed to the pace of cold syrup, I started to slide toward the floor, completely used up, too weak to stand. Ben and I lay in a heap on the kitchen floor and slowly our breathing and heart rates returned to somewhat normal.

I raised my head and looked around.

"What happened? I was washing dishes and now we're piled up on the floor and my ass is vibrating!" I managed to keep a straight face as I asked him.

I heard Ben start giggling,

"Sorry Johnny Boy, I sort of ambushed you. In my fantasies about you over these years that one was near the top. Just seeing you there cleaning the dishes sparked a memory of the times I have dreamed of taking you like that. I hope you don't mind it, cause there's long list of ways I want to do it with you...Say...you kinda got off on me eating your butt, didn't you."

"Well Yeah! The love of my life sneaks up and takes me sexually. Tries to eat me alive...fucks me into a stupor...That's a huge turn on Benny. You did notice how hard I fought you didn't you. Try as you might, you can't rape a willing man Benny. I'll be willing just as long as you want too Ben. Being with you feels so good. Hmmm...I'm feeling better Mr. Barton; weren't we going to go play in the bedroom?"

"But babe, I need a little more time to recuperate...recharge this limp weapon here."

He was holding his cock by the foreskin, showing me that it was lifeless for a while longer.

"Not to worry Ben. All you have to do this time is just lay there and take whatever I decide to do to you. It doesn't matter what I do...you know it's gonna feel good... come with me, Ben."

We walked to the bedroom, kissing as we went, both bare-assed naked and both of us were lost in the newness, the joys of sexual intercourse with his long desired partner. The absolute connection that felt so familiar yet so completely awesome

Once into the room, I pushed Ben face down onto the bed and again I covered his body with mine, our fingers laced together, holding hands as I moved and wiggled around trying to get more of my skin touching Ben's. His humping, wiggling butt distracted me, making me rise up on my hands and knees. I sat back, my lower legs under me just admiring Ben's physical beauty. Broad shoulders, nicely pumped chest , his torso tapering to a sinfully ridiculous 28 inch waist, and the quintessential bubble butt. All covered with his luxurious chestnut brown hair on his chest, arms, legs, torso and even on that perfect butt.

Ben turned his head to one side. "Why did you stop Johnny Boy, you teasing me? Getting me all sexed up then just quit and sit up. You're a cruel man John."

"Oh Ben, I'm just admiring your rocking body, and all that hair. Jeez, a hairy man turns me on! It's like edging...you know getting ever so close to blowing a nut but scaling back, falling back just so we can see how close we can get again. Do this for a couple of hours and when you finally shoot, all the people on this side of town are gonna hear you roaring as you blast your cum all over the place."

I think I saw a video or maybe it was on the internet about edging. Those guys seemed to enjoy it.

"You just gonna sit there and look? Touch me, rub my butt...do something...you have me all worked up and just sit there. Damn it John...take me, FUCK ME...I need you in me. get that fat cock up my butt pronto Mister. Do it hard Johnny...fuck me hard."

I guess we will always wonder who fucked who this time. Ben went feral on me. He became a madman and he thrashed and jerked trying his best to get more of my cock up his butt. We rolled over and now Ben was sitting on my hips, well maybe it was more like his butt was dancing on my hips, all I could do was lie there with my hips thrust upward as his ass fucked my cock. I saw his eyes roll back and knew he was in the zone...I felt the tingle in my testicles and grabbed Ben's cock and started jacking him. It was only moments until Ben roared like an animal and his cum covered me, it was in my hair, on my face, chest, and torso. Finally, Ben collapsed atop me and I put my arms around him hugging him tightly to me.

"Oh god Benny, I love you so. Sex with you is so very different. Nothing has ever been so intense. It's so good to be with you, it's good to be home"

"I know Johnny, seems like my life just began when your Dad passed away. Now that we've become 'us' there is joy in everything we do. Loving you was easy, it started when we were seven years old. I never knew that being loved by you could be so awesome."

The remodel of Ben's house almost a month, the remodel at Dad's house took more than three months because we added on a great room to the kitchen Ben and I have a new family room/kitchen/dining area complete with fireplace and a 60" Flat Panel TV, Island bar with stools, a table with 6 chairs. Plus a room full of den furniture and books and toys. We have New appliances, dishwasher, Stove, fridge, microwave, counter tops, sink and wood floors. While the work we had done was extensive, the character of the place remained the same. I could still feel my Mom and Dad there and was comforted by the familiarity of my childhood home. We redid the baths in the master as well as the hall. A new garage with duplex apartments upstairs and parking for four autos. In a college town, rental units are at a premium and really boost to the property value.

While all the improvements were nice and very appreciated, the greatest joy in my life is being with Ben. He's my rock, life would be so empty now without Ben loving me. Oh... and there is more news' I've started two businesses since the house was finished. The first is a long time love and passion for designing and assembling stained and leaded glass panels. I use one of the garage apartments as my studio. The other is a consulting business. With my Industrial Engineering background, I am a natural for helping plan out a new business venture. From initial cost studies to final planning, I offer a service unique to this small town.

Mama Barton and George come for dinner most every night, on sundays she likes to cook so she won't forget how she says. We encourage her to cook fried chicken every chance we get. She says her cooking is better for us that what we serve up. I'm sure she's feeding George off the table instead of dog food. That's why he hardly ever leaves her side. They both seem happy together so I keep quite about the food.

Ben is only one year away from Tenure which will give him a big boost in salary. I've tried to convince him that my money is his money but he is reluctant to spend it and he gets frustrated with me always buying him gifts. At the upcoming Semester Break, we're flying Mama Barton to California to visit with her cousin for a week, Ben and I will fly with her and have a week in San Francisco to ourselves and then fly home with her.

Our life is nothing spectacular, just two guys working our jobs, making his Mom happy by including her in our lives, She's always ready for a trip to the market, to have her hair done or to go to lunch with her friends. She's become obsessed with playing bridge lately, but try as I might she will not tell us how much she has won.

I've found that there is wonderful satisfaction in knowing that you are with your soul mate. The one person that knows you best, desires your love and company and completely satisfies your every need most especially emotionally and sexually.

It's been quite a year since my Dad passed away. The reunion with Ben, the new life we now have together. The everyday happiness and pure joy I feel living my life with Ben. overwhelms me at times. Just when I thought that nothing on earth could make our lives better, Ben came in carrying a huge box with a big bow. He sat it on the floor as I eyed the box them him. He began to chuckle after watching me switch my gaze from the box then back to him.

"Open it goofy! It won't jump out and bite you."

There were a series of boxes each progressively smaller inside the first box, each had a note encouraging me to keep opening the boxes. Finally I held a very small box in my hand and opened it to see two simple gold bands. I was stunned and my emotions choked in my throat keeping me from speaking but tears rolled down my cheeks, I nodded, mouthing the word 'YES' as I gave them box to Ben and held out my left hand. The hand and my body were visibly trembling as Ben slipped the ring on my finger. Ben's eyes were locked with mine the entire time..

"John Hadley, I pledge my life and my undying love to you forever. For twenty-two years, you have been the most important person in my life. My soul mate, my best friend and for the rest of my life, my lover, my companion, and partner. With every fiber of my being, I love you John and never want to part from you again."

Tears streamed down my cheeks as he professed his love. I wiped away my tears of joy and took up Ben's ring as held out his hand.

"You love has been the most constant thing in my life Ben. Living and loving with you has opened my eyes to the joys of our everyday world that had previously slipped on by. You've given me more joy in the past year that I can ever remember. I too pledge my life and my undying love to you for ever and ever. I love you more than I can possibly say, Ben."

Ben rose and pulled me up into his arms. I clutched him to me never wanting to be anywhere but in his arms. I felt his lips kissing my neck again and again my hand touched the spot.

"Your little kisses at my neck are the most loving, sensual expression of your love for me. I treasure each and every one of them. Back last year when I first came here, they puzzled me a little, you would get this odd little smile that I didn't understand each time you kissed my neck. I know now that you were telling me you loved me, trying to give me a clue that we could happen, be together if I was willing."

Suddenly Ben jumped up from his stool.

"OH!!! I almost forgot...come with me Johnny."

As he reached for the doorknob he told me to close my eyes and not open them until he said I could. When he finally told me to open my eyes there before me sitting at attention, and looking as if she would burst out with wiggles everywhere, was a gorgeous fawn and white, Boxer Puppy. I opened my arms and laughed as she leaped into my arms giving me a bath in her special kisses.

"I saw her in the window and just couldn't resist." Ben said.

She will be good company for George too, and he'll get some exercise chasing after her. She's yours to name Johnny boy.

Just then Ben took off ar a run across our back yards with the puppy bounding behind him. It seemed that she bounced on springs as bounded along after Ben. Mama Barton's back door opened and George rushed out, nose to the ground as usual.

"Look Georgie, a new playmate for you!" she said to the dog.

"Boys come and have some tea!" we sat on her back porch sipping sweet tea and watching the dogs get to know each other. Suddenly the Puppy streaked away and George went right after at his usual slow trot."

Mama Barton came back out with the tea pitcher and topped off our glasses.

Suddenly she gasped "Oh My!"

She picked up our left hands and looked at the rings. At first I thought she would cry, her eyes teared up but she fought it off.

"I've always known, you know. I knew when you were little and fell asleep holding each other, even when you were in High School you slept like that on the weekends.I knew that one day you two would find each other. Love is love, no matter who we are. We can't help who we fall in love with, it is all part of His plan. There is a reason for you two to be together."

She turned and turned to look at Ben.

"So when were you going to tell your mother this great news?"

I spoke up in Ben's defense.

"Mama Barton it just happened a few minutes ago. Ben gave me the ring and then the puppy. You knew almost when I did. I owe you thanks beyond measure Mama, this boy of yours sure did turn out to be a good man and a real keeper too."

Looking like she had just remembered something she had forgotten she said she had forgotten something and rushed back into her house. She stuck her head back out to us.

"Dinner at seven here tonight, don't be late."

I laughed and Ben just shook his head.

We were talking and not paying attention to the dogs when out of the corner of my eye I saw something flying toward me, a quick glance confirmed that the puppy was airborne and she landed in my lap and onto my stomach. George trotted up behind her wagging his tail. Just as quickly as she had landed in my lap she was gone again running with George and jumping over him back and forth as they played.

As I sat there watching the dogs play I suddenly shouted out..."ChaCha"

The puppy stopped in mid run and looked at me. I turned to Ben...

'Did you see that! She stopped when I yelled 'ChaCha', how do you like that for her name Benny, we can call her ChaCha, she's always dancing around."

"I like it Johnny Boy and it suits her too. ChaCha it is."

I tried again..."ChaCha, here girl...come."

She was at my side in seconds. I looked over to Ben who was smiling at us,

"I can't decide who's happier about this new venture, you or ChaCha." Ben said.

"That's an easy one Babe, it has to be George that is happiest. His tail hasn't stopped since she came outside."

"She will be a good running companion too, John. That way I won't have to worry about you when you're out running, she won't let anyone close if she thinks they are a threat."

"She's wonderful Ben, and such a beauty too. You need to run with us, Professor Barton, we'll make a really hot threesome, don't ya think. What more could I ask for. My Man and my dog by my side, jogging with me!"

Ben surprised me by going out with us for a run. He hasn't done that in months, despite my constant urging. With Chacha on a long lead, I let Ben get a step ahead of me so I could watch that world-class bubble butt of his in action. In less than a minute, my cock was hard as stone, straining to break free of the confining jock strap. After about four miles, Ben stripped off his tank top and balled it up into one fist. I had to run ahead so I couldn't see his perfect body glistening with sweat over his neatly trimmed chest hair and that tantalizing treasure trail that led into the waistband of his bright red shorts.

When we slowed to walk for a few yards, Chacha got impatient, she liked the running. When I kicked back up to our jogging speed Ben laughed at me.

"It's been less than one hour since you got that pup Johnny and she''s already training you to do her bidding. Wish you'd obey me that well."

"I always obey you in the bedroom, Ben. You are my Lord and Master when we are there."

When we stopped for a break I got out the collapsible water bowl that Ben got with the package of 'necessities' that came home with Chacha. She finished off the bowl of water and was tugging on the leash to get back to running.

Ben laughed. "Ha! you're going to have to do some serious running now. Chacha won't let you slack off like you're used to doing. She turn Mom's fried chicken into a six pack in a few months running your socks off Johnny Boy."

When we returned from our run, Mama barton called and told us she was preparing dinner tonight.

she produced another masterpiece her Pot Roast with onions, carrots, potatoes and scratch Biscuits which were without equal. Just as we finished she cam in from her kitchen with a plate of Petit fours and a bottle of chilled white wine..

"Boys, don't fuss, but with your big news today with the rings, I just felt a little celebration was in order. I sure wish your Dad had lived to see this Johnny. We talked about you boys doing this a lot over the years. I think we both knew that the only way both of you would ever be happy was to be together"

After our dessert and wine John and I went back to our place. Chacha roused quickly from her nap and was ready to run again. Chacha was dancing about as George raised up and stretched and trotted off to Mama Barton's for bedtime. I called Chacha inside and she went directly to the sofa in the great room and stretched out over all three cushions, claiming her territory.

Ben had his house rented and the pieces he wanted to bring to our place were fitted in making the house ours. I'm getting quite a few orders for Leaded Glass panels for entrance doors in upscale developments. The mailings to the local builders were paying off. I even had a couple of design jobs for revamping an assembly line for a new product and a startup retail outlet. Mama Barton seemed to be thriving with her boys right next door and George was in dog heaven with his new girlfriend Chacha.

Next week will mark a year since the night Ben and I became a couple, we're going away for a couple of days to celebrate and have some Ben and John time. If this first year is any indication of our future, we will be two very contented men. Sometimes one's heart's desire can actually happen. We are living proof; here in a small town in Tennessee, we found our very own Happily Ever After.

The End


Bill Hudley

[email protected]


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