The train out of Boston to New York was mostly empty at this late
hour. Most of the train cars had only three or four passengers. In one of
these cars, was a small boy sitting next to his dozing mother. The other
passenger was a young man in his early twenties who seemed distraught.
While he made not a sound tears could be seen pouring down his face wetting
his blood stained shirt. The little boy looked at the crying man with pity
and sadness. When the man felt a small hand on his leg it was as if he was
wakened from a daze. He saw the boy standing next to him looking at him
with gray eyes. The man at first cringed from the boy's stare at first
seeing them as accusatory.
'Don't be sad.' The boy said.
The dark haired man looked down at the boy's arm that was half
covered by a birthmark that the man thought looked a lot like the shape of
California. The man shuttered when the boy reached over and touched the
man's wet face. That touch shook the man to his core. He was forgivable.
He had boarded the train to begin the journey of his own death. Now he had
hope, hope that the he could begin again and leave his bloody past. He was
so filled with joy by the chance of a new future that he did not hear the
mother's scream, nor did he notice the child being pulled away. It was
only when a security officer entered the room and drew his firearm that the
man was shaken out of his elation. It was only then that he remembered he
was covered in the blood of his last victim. The officer ordered him to
stand up with his arms raised. The man agreed but as he rose, the lights
went out flooding the train car into darkness. When the lights returned,
the man was gone.
Twenty years later:
The law firm of Madison, Catalani, and Hill was one of the largest
firms on the west coast they were also one of the oldest in both age and
tradition. It's history began in Europe. After WWII the firm moved to the
United States, first on the East Coast but later to the West. In all the
firm had over 400 years of history and during that whole time it had
remained an exclusive men's only club. While the firm hired female lawyers
and legal aids none of them had a place at central office. This gave the
San Jose firm conflicting reputations. Liberals viewed the firm was a
dinosaur while conservatives suspected the firm was just a secret gay sex
club. Neither knew that both were right.
It was recruitment week at the firm. All regular business slowed
down while the partners and associates interviewed recent law school
graduates. All of them were busy except for Logan Worth. He was stuck in
a depression. His partner was gone and no one had replaced him. For the
second time in his life Logan thought of ending things. He had taken his
experience on the train as a divine vision. He had come out to California
where he was discovered by the firm. The firm had become his family and
Michael the most important person in his life. Michael had helped him
recover from his past but in the end Michael's past had caught up with him.
While his friends Thomas and Landon had tried to cheer him up so for it had
been to no avail.
He had already skipped two of his interviews when Landon came into his
'So how is the slouching dead.' Matt shouted as he stuck his head into
'Very funny.' Logan mumbled.
'Come on Logan, you have to get out of this rut your in, everyone is
worried about you.'
'And asking questions I bet.'
'Yes. We don't want you to go out like Michael did. You have to fight it
Logan. You have to care.'
'I have nothing left.' Logan wept
Matt's face became frustrated. He was at the end of his rope with Logan.
He had only one card left to play. 'What about the boy.'
'Oh don't give me that. When you first came here he was all you would talk
about. You would drive everybody crazy with your tale of how a little boy
saved you from yourself. How the mark on his arm guided you here, to
Michael. Would you throw all that away? Would you betray the boy's trust
That last comment hit home. Logan had built a mythology around the event
that had changed his life. The boy was no longer a boy but an angel.
Logan loved the boy as a saint. It was not a surprise to the firm when
Logan chose to specialize in child protection and advocacy law. He had
taken great pleasure in giving prosecutors the evidence they needed to bust
child abusers while helping the children rebuild their lives. Matt's
comment burned him to the core. In the recent months he hadn't been taking
new cases and was barely working on the one's he had. The thought of
failure raised Logan hackles and Landon could feel Logan 's temper rising.
'I see that some part of you still lives.'
'So will you join us for this interview.'
Logan gave Landon a dark glare before getting up and putting on his coat.
While the candidates he was interviewing today were specialists in patent
law and copyright, a field outside his, Logan's Master degree in psychology
was used by the firm to help in the evaluation. Of the six, two were
nearly guaranteed entry. The other four would be judged on how well Logan
felt they would fit into the Firm's culture.
The six men were all dressed in business suits with have of them wearing
red power ties that screamed 'fresh meat' to Logan and the other lawyers.
The three not wearing red were the two candidates guaranteed jobs who wore
black ties that made them look like FBI agents and a third man who wore a
light blue tie that drew attention to his gray eyes. That attracted Logan
attention quickly. From the event in his past, Logan always took noticed
to men with gray eyes. It was the first thing he had noticed about
Michael, his gray eyes. Now Michael was gone and here was another man with
As part of the interviewing process, the interviewers and the candidates
sat around a circular table with the interviewers dispersed between the
applicants. Logan found that by doing this he could help the group relax
but also keep them off guard since they never knew from what direction the
questions would come from.
Logan couldn't help but ask the gray eyed man the first question. He
really wanted to find out if he was someone he wanted to get to know.
Landon of course took notice of this and gave a soft chuckle.
'So Mr. Morgan Have you lived your whole life in Texas.' Logan asked.
'Well almost, when I was five my family moved from Boston to Dallas. I
still went to my mother alma mate at Boston College but I decided to go to
UT Austin for law school since they had built a better reputation on patent
law during the tech boom.'
'I think I get the idea.' Logan replied with a Bostonian 'r' added to the
end of idea.
'I gosh, I had to relearn how to talk when I entered the first grade. No
kid can survive in Texas with a New England accent. By the time I came
back from Boston College my accent was all messed up with a nasal voice mix
in with all those y'all's.
'I bet.' Logan laughed. He liked what he had heard so far. Most young
lawyers were either too filled with their own sense of importance and
idealism that they could never make self-effacing jokes about themselves.
'So what do you hope to achieve here at the firm?'
'Well with its proximity to silicon valley and your firms reputation I feel
that this place has the greatest opportunity for me.'
'Then why the sudden rush into the big leagues.'
'Well.. Uhm... I don't want to color your opinion of me but my wife died
last year and I have three children, triplets, to be exact. The other
firms would require alt of traveling. Here I'm within two hour drives from
nearly all your clients. While I know I'll be working long hours, at least
I wouldn't be away from the kids for weeks at a time.'
Damm! Logan thought. He had been married and has kids. If hired, he would
most likely be considered hands off.
'So have your started dating yet.' Logan slipped in after he had asked all
his other questions of James.'
Matt gave a cough before James replied; 'Well no. I just haven't found the
time. The children are still very young.'
And you would feel guilty not spending what free time you have with them,
When all the other applicants had been questioned they were all were given
to the care of a pair of sophomore associates who would show them around
town, all but the two men in black.
'Well I bet you two are becoming pretty comfortable here.' Matt commented
'We would just like to thank the firm for taking us in.' Jason Vox thanked.
'Well all of us here are on second chances. Just be sure not to waste it.'
'I bet the two of you will enjoy the sand and sun we have here.'
'Oh yes.' Thomas piped in.
'Just be sure you follow the rules.' Logan reinforced.
'In regards to that, do we have any choice in who our counterparts will
be?' Jason asked.
'Why? Someone has already attracted your eye!' Matt laughed.
'He sure has!' Thomas laughed.
'Who is it?' Logan requested already fearing he already knew.
'Well, I always wanted a family but never believed that I would ever have
one being what I am.'
'I've come to know Mr. Morgan over the past few days and I would really
like him to be my counterpart.'
'He has kids you know.'
'YES, that is one of the reasons I want him to be my other half.'
'We do not know if we are hiring him yet and you are sill young to this new
life style. You need someone who can afford the risks better then he can.'
'I understand but might I add that I think it would be a mistake not to
hire him. He's a good natured person who really knows what he's talking
about in his field.'
'Yes he is very qualified and your good view of him can only help his
acceptance. It is not that we think he's not capable but his own safety
that's in question.'
'Very well, your two have more integration classes to take tonight so you
better enjoy what free time you have left.'
Later that day:
Matt left Logan to sulk back in his office before heading for a conference
room to join the final selection committee.
'So did were you able to get Logan to attend a meeting?' senior partner
Kevin Patterson asked.
'Yes but I don't know if it helped. There was a candidate there that
attracted his eye but I think that Logan feels he's out of his reach.'
'Because he has kids.'
'Yep. He even had gray eyes and you know how Logan had a weak spot for gray
'Don't we all. So what is your opinion should we hire him or not.'
'Well he has the best credentials of the four normal candidates and one of
the two specials also has a crush on him.'
'Oh boy that puts us into a corner.'
'Let me just say that Jason is a special, special. Us getting him is
viewed as a major gamble. Did he ask for James to be his counterpart?'
'Its too early for him to have one.'
'That's what I told him.'
'But we can't just ignore his request. He might choose to leave the firm.'
'So the firm needs him more then he needs us.'
'Unfortunately yes. We might be able to dissuade him from his course over
time but for now we need to give him hope that he will get what he wants in
'What about Logan?'
'Taking on James might also get Logan out of his rut, not him would not
improve his situation.'
'So you will be using James as bait for both of them. That's dangerous for
'Including myself your saying.'
'Do I need to say it.'
'No you don't but nothing risk, nothing gained.'
Three months later:
It was James's first day at work. After being accepted and passing the
state bar exam he moved his family from Austin to San Jose. While real
estate prices had fallen after the tech bubble burst, James was still
shaken by sticker shock when he went apartment hunting. He counted himself
lucky when his apartment agent found a 1,200 sq ft apartment for only $950
a month in a good part of town. What he did not know at the time was who
his neighbors would be.
He arrived on the 14th floor and entered the office that would be his home
away from home for the next few years until he made full associate. The
office was to be shared with another freshman who turned out to be Jason
Vox. Jason was already at his desk working on his computer when James came
'And I thought I was coming in early.' James laughed when he saw that the
sun and not risen yet.'
'Don't mind me, I've only got here a few minutes ago.' Jason said try to
make James feel better.
'So this will be our prison cell until the firm decides we're component.'
'Yep. I hope you don't mind but I took the liberty to taking with the
interior decorator. Their bring in chairs for clients, a work table and a
sofa for us to crash on.'
James did not understand why but the word 'us' seemed to be said with a
sense of familiarity that he found a little unnerving but he shook it off.
'So have you been able to settle in yet?' Jason asked.
'Yeah, I had to get over the initial sticker shock when looking for
apartments but my agent was able to find a good one at a reasonable price.'
'Oh really, where?'
'Oh the Phalanx'
'I know where that is.'
'Yeah, Thomas and I also got a place there.'
'I remember Thomas, so he's also here.'
'Yeah but you better watch out he can be a pretty bad practical joker.'
'That's what I remember of him. So you and Thomas are a ...'
'A couple.' Jason filled in the blank. 'No we just have been roommates fro
a long time and since neither of us have found that special someone yet
we're stuck with each other.'
'How does that work out all I remember from college was how hectic things
would get. It always seemed that when one of us were sleeping or studying
the other wanted to have a party.'
'It works out pretty well with us. We tend not to get on each other's
nerves. So which apartment are you in?'
'Nope. Don't tell me you're in 11A or C.
'Now that's funny.'
'It also means we can form a car pool living so close to each other.'
'Now that's something I'm going to have to get use to. In Texas there are
very few car pool lanes.'
'I bet. Your state has a bad reputation for pollution.'
'Well you have to understand that Texans are very possessive about their
cars. In New England you can see people living in half million dollar
homes driving 10 year old cars in Texas any car over the age of three is
almost viewed as over the hill.'
'Living in both places must have given you a unique perspective on American
'It definitely gives one a different sense of humor.'
'So are you a New England Democrat or a Texan Republican.'
'How about none of the above. My theory is that Republicans want to do
nothing and do so in the most efficient way possible while democrats want
government to do everything and do it in the least productive manner.'
'So what is your idea of a perfect government?' Jason laughed
'Divided government. That way both parties failing balance each other
'So like the 1990's.'
'Yeah but without the scandals and egos.'
'Don't all politicians have to be a little narcissistic.'
'Yeah, I guess every country has it's cross to bear.'
The two of them continued to chat as they put away files and set up their
computers. The more they talked to one another the more certain Jason was
that he wanted James as his counterpart and was glad when James invited
Thomas and him over for dinner that night. Jason wanted to see James's
children. Before they were finished for the day Mr. Patterson came by to
inform them who their mentors would be. Jason was matched with
Mr. Patterson himself while James was but in with Mr. Worth.
'Mr. Worth?' James asked, not fully remembering the name.'
'Yes Mr. Logan Worth, he was at one of your interviews, you'll see him
again tomorrow when he takes you out for lunch.'
After Mr. Patterson left Jason piped in; 'That's strange, Mr. Worth works
in Child Protection cases, why would they put you with him?'
'I don't know I guess because he works with children they think he can help
me out with trying to balance a career with being a father.'
'I guess that's it?' Jason replied but in his heart he didn't believe it.
Early that Evening:
'I'll kill Logan if his think of poaching on my territory!' Jason mumbled
'Jason can you listen to yourself, you need to calm down!' Thomas
insisted. 'Besides we don't do that anymore. We're reformed or at least I
'I'm not saying I'm going to kill him Thomas but I want everything to go
perfectly. I did not think that someone else would get in the way.'
'Jason, you will probably hate me for saying this but James is not yours.
You can't own him. You can offer yourself to him and he might give himself
in return but you can't just claim another person just because you have
feelings for him. That's not being fair to James.
'I'm just so lonely.'
'You knew that would be a problem when we came here but we chose to do it
anyway. Do you remember why?'
'We can't live off people's fear forever and not feel guilt. We have to
learn how to live normal lives and that means you have to get in control of
'All right, I'll try.'
Thomas knew that Jason was giving himself a giant loophole by saying he
would only try but it was the best he could get out of him at the moment.
'So are we ready for dinner?'
James kept the two busy while they were over for dinner. As soon as the
two enter they found babies put in their arms. In this case they were a
pair of blond, identical twins. The third infant who had brown hair was
being held by a red head neither Jason or Thomas recognized.
'I let me introduce everybody.' James said a little flustered. 'Jason you
are holding Nathan. Thomas you have Landon. The third child is
Christopher and the man holding him is my brother in law Will. Will, this
is Jason Vox and Thomas Gilmer lawyers from work'
'Hi' Will waved.
Thomas looked at Will with great interest, 'James never told us about you.'
'Well I think James is still getting use to me being around.'
'My big sister Mary was his wife. Before she died she made him agree to
take this lost puppy in.'
'You being the puppy?'
'Yea, isn't he a great guy. If my sister didn't get to him first I
would've gone after him.'
'Why not now?'
'That would be too weird. He's family now. It would almost be like
incest. That and he's straight.'
Thomas deciding to up the level of conversation added; 'Well I always liked
'You do!?' Will said enthusiastically. 'James you need to work on you
communication skills, you didn't tell me our neighbors were bent.'
'Sorry, I didn't know either.' James said while giving Jason a hard look.'
'Hey don't look at me, all I said was that Thomas and I are not a couple
and that I'm still looking for my special someone.'
'Yep your going to be a good lawyer alright, you seemed to have mastered
the art of ambiguity.'
'Is there anything we can do to help?' Jason said in an attempt to change
'You wish to 'redirect'' Thomas jibed.
Jason gave Thomas the same stare James had given him before James spoke up.
'Well the kids need to be fed and dinner finished.'
'Well you better take Chris then.' Will said as he handed him to James
before heading to the kitchen.
Thomas wanted to follow his prey but instead sat himself down James handed
him a jar of baby food. 'Why do I get the impression you invited us not to
dinner but to be nurse maids.' Thomas moaned.
While Jason fed Nat what was labeled bananas he began to notice the
different personalities of the children. Nat would laugh after finishing
each bite while Nick would close his mouth each time Thomas brought his
spoon close only to laugh when Thomas pulled it away leaving Thomas
frustrated. Chris who sat on James's lap had a sober expression on his
face and would stare at his father's eyes between bite.'
'Is Chris your favorite.' Jason asked.
'I would like to say that I favor all three of them but Chris still seems
to gravitate more to me then the others.'
'He seems to be staring into your soul.'
'That's how I feel about it.' James replied while staring back at Jason
before breaking the moment by turning his attention to Thomas and Nick.
'You better give him to me or else you'll be at it all night, this little
stinker lives to drive people crazy it seems.'
Thomas relieved of his duty made a few mumbled excuses to go see if Will
needed any help.
'I think your brother in law is going to find his hands full if they're not
already.' Jason chuckled.
'Oh I think that William can handle himself. It might do him some good
'Oh?' Jason questioned.
'When Will says he is a lost puppy he really means it. He has had a hard
life and the loss of his sister did not help. He refers to her as his big
sister but their really paternal twins.'
'Yeah, their a weird family, giving birth to twins is a common occurrence
among the women in the family.'
'Is it genetic?'
'I don't know. But back to the point I was going to make, Mary always had
the stronger personality of the two. Will was sort of a tag along. Oh he
would go on dates but they were all one night stands. Mary would tell me
that Will was afraid that a relationship outside what they had would cause
him to loose his sister. That's why most of the early dates Mary would go
on involved three people. She had to make sure that whom ever she married
would be able to handle Will being a major part of their lives.
'They were a two for one special?' Jason joked
'Yeah but without the discount.' James replied.
'So I take it that both Mary and Will were in love with you.'
'I guess you could say it that way. I first met Will after getting into a
car accident, he was a nurse at the hospital, I know bad stereotype, but I
was the perfect fantasy boyfriend for him. I had ended up in a body cast
for six weeks so I had no way of escaping his clumsy attempts at flirting.
It was his sister who happened to be in medical school rotation that came
to my rescue. Will had been hanging around my room for the past 45 minutes
when his sister came looking for him telling him he was needed in the room
next door. She asked me how long Will had been there and I tried to avoid
answering, not wanting him to get in trouble, but she caught on real quick.
She told me not to worry that she wouldn't get her brother in trouble which
is when I realized they had the same last name and that if I was kind to
her brother she might honor me with a date when I got out of the hospital.
She was cute so I agreed. I don't know what I was getting into. Using the
excuse that she needed Will to push my wheelchair and saying I was too weak
to do it myself, all of our dates were as a threesome. This it not to say
it was bad but it was definitely different. While she said 'We' were going
out on a date it was more like she was chaperoning a date between me and
Will and after a time I came to love them both. As I was dropping the two
off after a trip to the movies I decided I would give Will the good night
kiss for once. I was hoping to shock Mary but what I got instead was a
marriage proposal. The only time I ever said no to Mary was on our wedding
night. She wanted me to consummate the marriage once with her and once
separately with Will. When I told her no she became angry and threatened
me with divorce but Will came in and told his sister that it was wrong for
her to ask me to do such a thing. Shocked by Will's statement she agreed.
We lived a happy life as a family with the three of us and when the
triplets came I thought our lives were reaching completion. It was then
that Mary told me the terrible news. Mary had been born with a genetic
degenerative disease. There was a treatment for it but it left one sterile
and only added 12 more years of life on average. For Mary it wasn't worth
it. Mary confessed that she had never told her brother of her condition
and that until she met me she had dated guys not out of love but in the
search of a replacement for herself. As a result she had dated mostly gay
guys in denial that she selected herself. I was the first that Will
selected and that made all the difference. She would die and I would
replace her as Will's older brother. We are to raise the children
together. It has been difficult for both of us. I'm not sure how I'm to
relate to Will knowing how he feels about me and Will doesn't know how he
'Do you love him?' Jason whispered.
'As a brother but I know he wants more from me...'
'And a part of you wants to give it to him.' Jason finished
James just nodded his head while holding back oncoming tears.
Jason wanted to go up to James and hug him but he was stuck with a smiling
infant in his lap.
'Dinner's ready!' Will's voice came from the kitchen.
The moment broken, James got up and started putting the kids into a
Dinner went by fairly quickly. Thomas spent time between swallows
whispering into Will's ear and every now and then the two would break out
in uncontrollable laughter. James would smile in seeing Will happy. Jason
did not participate in the conversation but instead would stare at James
whenever he was sure he was not looking. After dinner James started
washing the dishes while Thomas helped Will putting the children to bed.
James was busy scrubbing a pot while chatting with Jason when he felt and
hand on his waist. James's breath caught in his throat. It was a light
grip but possessive and burning. He turned his head slowly and saw Jason's
face by his left ear.
'Jason what are you doing?' James whispered.
'I'm sorry James but I needed to touch you. I should of asked first.'
Jason removed his hand and James turned around. 'What going on Jason? For
the past few hours the look in your eyes...'
'James I like you... I know its too soon but I think I love you. I just
wanted to know how it would feel to touch you.'
'It felt so right.'
'I know you have feeling for Will. All I ask is that you don't push me
away. That if all we can be is friends then let me be your friend.'
'Jason, I would like to be your friend but I don't know if that will be
enough for you.'
'It will be.'
'Because you offer me what I always wanted, friendship and family. There
is also something special about you that seems to attract people like me.'
'I don't know but Will and you both have it.'
That ended the conversation James went back to the dishes while Jason
hovered nearby with a almost pained expression on his face. When the
dishes were done James picked up a towel and wiped away the suds covering
his lower arms. It was then that Jason noticed the mark on James's arms, a
mark that looked like it was in the shape of the state of California.
'What's that on your arm?' Jason asked.
'Oh this, its nothing. Just a birthmark.'
'It looks like you have a brown tattoo of the state.'
'Yeah, when I was young the other kids thought it was a tattoo. IT gave me
a bad boy reputation I could never get rid of.'
'I bet you really were an angle.'
'I was the eternal nice guy.'
'Hey Jason we better get going.' Came Thomas's voice from the living room.
Jason's face took on a peeved look but replied in a cheerful voice; 'I'll
be right there.' Before turning his attention back on James. 'Well thanks
for dinner. See you tomorrow friend.'
Thomas and Jason walked back to their apartment in silence with Thomas
showing a giant grin on his face while Jason had a serious expression. As
soon as they entered the apartment Thomas went to the kitchen, took out two
wine glasses and a bottle from the frig.
'I don't know who is more smitten. Me with this silly grin on my face or
you with your serious expression.' Thomas laughed before handing Jason the
now filled wine glass.
'I don't understand it Tom, I've only been with him a few times but I love
'They're definitely a unique pair, I feel the same way about Will. He's so
adorable... I wonder?'
'Well Will is a twin and you know what they say about twins.'
'How they can read their twin's thoughts.'
'Yeah, maybe, just maybe its true.'
'So you're saying Will is a T.'
'What about James?'
'Well maybe he's one also. That would explain why both he and Mary liked
'I guess. But if its true it will make things harder for us.'
'As I said he's just adorable. Well you better drink up, you'll need to be
sated if your going to work with him all day.
'Cheers.' Jason said before drinking leaving his lips blood red.
James and Will were both getting ready for bed. They shared the same
bedroom but slept in separate beds.'
'I... I miss Mary.'
'I know. I do to.'
'I love you.'
'I love you to.'
The room remained silent until both of them were in bed.
'James, can I...'
'Yes' James said before moving to one side of his bed to allow Will to slip
in. They had done this once before, the night that Mary had died and they
had slept together whenever one of them felt lonely. It had never
progressed beyond hugging and light kissing but to each of them it was a
way of recognizing the connection between them. James wrapped his arms
around Will and kissed him on his shoulder.
James could never understand why he had always felt at peace when he had
been with Mary or Will. It was as if a stuck up pipe had been freed and
all the pressure released. While he had always given the impression to
people he was happy he had always felt alone. Being with Mary and Will had
felt like... well it felt like he was with his own kind for the first time
in his life. Now he was feeling the same about Jason.
'Will, why did you fall in love with me.'
Will had always avoided answering this question and he wasn't going to
start truly answering it now. 'Because I love you. What other reason is
'I don't know, I just always felt that you me and Mary belonged together,
that somehow we were connected.'
'We are, by love.' Will said before kissing James on the cheek. One day
he would have to tell James what made him special when he was ready. He
was hopeful in that it appeared that both their neighbors were like them.
Will had been attracted to James when he first saw him because he knew they
were alike. That James, while totally unaware of his gift could form
connections with men like himself that few could. Thomas was a hunk with a
great sense of humor and while Will was able to form the same emotional
link that he had with James it was different. There was a darkness that
surrounded Thomas that Will could not identify. And while it excited him
it also made him nervous. He was use to the gentle light that he felt
coming from James and the near overwhelming strength he felt from Thomas
was as seducing as it was scary.