"No way," Jimmy protested. "If he's like a father to you, this doesn't make sense. There's got to be a mistake, or at least, a misunderstanding."
'Well, that's Roland in the picture, unless he has a clone."
"Maybe there's a rational explanation. Please don't condemn someone you love before you have all the facts. Look how I was so quick to condemn Louie until I realized that our love was brotherly and strong, but it was different from the true feeling of passionate love he has for you, and that I now have for Sammy."
"I appreciate what you're saying, Jimmy, but this picture speaks for itself. Now I know why he wasn't waiting for me in front of my office building. I'm going to call him. Mark whipped out his phone and punched in a number."
"Hello, sir," Roland said.
"Where have you been?" Mark asked curtly.
"I had some errands to run. Do you need me Mr. Mark? I'm just on my way to your office."
"I took a cab, and I'm at my campaign headquarters. Come there."
"Is something wrong sir? You sound disturbed."
Mark didn't answer. He just hung up.
Jimmy was really feeling bad for Mark. He wanted to get out of there before Roland arrived. "It's getting late," he said. "I better get to work."
Mark just nodded his head. The moment Jimmy left, he locked himself in his office and started to cry. He had no idea how long he sat crying, when there was a knock on his door.
"Come in," he muttered. Roland entered, took one look at Mark, and became terribly alarmed.
"Good Lord, Mr. Mark, what's wrong?"
"This is what's wrong."
Mark thrust the incriminating picture in Roland's face. He wasn't sure what kind of reaction he would get, but he sure didn't expect to get the one he was presented with. Roland broke out in a big grin.
"How in the world did you get this picture, Mr. Mark? It was supposed to be a surprise for you."
"A surprise? What the hell are you talking about? What were you doing at the post office retrieving that envelope?"
"Well, the surprise is spoiled now, so I might as well tell you. Yesterday I got a call from your brother, Terry. You know how fond I am of him. I was the first to forgive his playful antics."
Playful? Mark thought with disdain.
"Anyway, he called me yesterday, and said that he was back in town, and wanted to surprise you. He told me that he had placed a box, containing gifts for you, in a locker at the bus terminal, and that he had mailed the key to a PO Box at Post Office 62. He asked me to meet him at a coffee shop near your office after I dropped you off. Oh, Mr. Mark, Terry looks so wonderful."
"I'm sure he does," Mark said sarcastically. "What did he tell you when you met him?"
"He said that he didn't want to spoil the surprise, and didn't want to risk being seen by anybody who knew him. He gave me the key to the PO Box, and asked me to retrieve the envelope with the locker key in it. Then he asked me to go to the bus station, remove the box with your gifts, and meet him back at the coffee shop. Of course, I agreed. It was just another of his pranks."
"What did he say when you gave him the box with my 'gifts'?"
"I never delivered the box. It's in the trunk of your car. You called me before I got to the coffee shop, and I headed right over here. Did I do something I shouldn't have done, sir? Terry and I just wanted to surprise you."
Mark jumped up and embraced Roland. "No, Roland, you did nothing wrong. Why don't you deliver the box? Don't tell Terry I know anything, and we won't spoil his surprise. You can pick me up here at 5:30, please."
Roland smiled and ran out of the office. As soon as he was gone, Mark's campaign manager, Jerry Browne, came in. He wanted to review the remaining itinerary prior to the election, and to discuss several of the speeches Mark would be making."
"Could we hold that until tomorrow?" Mark asked. "I've got some personal problems going on, and I don't think I can concentrate on anything right now.
"OK," his manager said, "but remember time is growing short."
Mark sat down in his chair, and closed his eyes. He was much relieved now to know that Roland had not betrayed him. He certainly wasn't surprised that Terry was the blackmailer. He chided himself for not thinking that his brother might be a suspect, but he believed that Terry was at the other end of the planet.
Bad pennies do pop up, he thought. He started to doze off, and his memories flashed back to a happier time when he and Terry were young boys.
They had separate bedrooms in the large estate. The boys shared a bathroom which connected at each end to the two bedrooms. For young boys and brothers, they were pretty shy with each other, and rarely saw each other naked. All that was to change shortly after their fourteenth birthday. Their parents had gone for a short vacation to Honolulu, and they were left in the care of Roland and the cook. The cook went home at night, but Roland slept over the entire time. He was assigned a bedroom across the hall from Terry's room.
One evening, about an hour before bedtime, Roland got a call from his wife. One of his grandsons had been badly hurt in an automobile accident, and his survival was uncertain. Roland admonished the boys to behave themselves, and advised them that they were mature enough to be left alone until the cook came in the next morning. Begging them to stay out of trouble, "Especially you, Terry," he ran to the hospital. His grandson was not as badly injured as originally suspected, and eventually he made a full recovery.
Days before the incident, Terry had been rummaging in his dad's dresser drawers, hoping to find some spare money he might have carelessly left lying around. He was rewarded, but it wasn't what he expected. It was a drawer full of XXX rated VCR tapes and DVDs. They were all heterosexual, and apparently, the elder Amblyns watched them at night to enhance their sex life. Terry was only fourteen, but he knew what the tapes contained. He vowed to view them at the first opportunity. The opportunity arose when Roland left the twins alone in the house.
As soon as he was gone, Terry grabbed Mark's hand. "Come with me," he said and bounded off. Mark followed him into their parent's bedroom.
"We shouldn't be here," ultra-conservative Mark proclaimed.
"Bull," was Terry's response. He ran to the drawer with the porn videos, checked out the covers, and chose one. He closed the dresser drawer, told Mark to follow him, and they went into Terry's room.
The boys had reached a stage in their sexual development where they had been masturbating for almost a year. They never did it together, but only in the privacy of their bedroom, with the doors to the hallway and the bathroom securely locked.
Terry turned on the TV and the DVD player. He slipped a DVD into the player, got it started, and jumped into his bed. "Come on. Join me. Don't be shy," he advised Mark.
Terry had gotten into bed with his shoes on, but Mark carefully removed his shoes, and jumped in next to his brother. "Are we going to watch a movie?" the very naïve Mark asked.
"No dufus. We're going to watch a porno."
Mark wasn't very street wise yet, but he knew what porn was. He and Terry went to a very exclusive boys' prep school. They slept in a semi-private room, and only went home on weekends, school breaks and summer vacation. They were midway into summer vacation this very night. Both boys were aware that there was lots of boy-banging going on in school, but it usually concerned upper classmen. They themselves were still virgins. Terry even heard a rumor that the head master was sometimes involved in the prolific hanky-panky.
As the tape progressed, it got hotter and hotter. So did the boys. Twenty minutes into the film, they were both naked and stroking their cocks.
"Oh God," Mark yelled, "I'm cumming.
"Yeah?" Terry laughed. "Let me finish you off then. I'm not nearly there yet." He pushed his brother's hand away, wrapped his palm around Mark's cock, and took up the stroking. Mark gave out one loud wail, and spurted generously, several times all over his stomach and Terry's hand.
When Mark could speak again, he said. "Terry that was fantastic. It never feels so good when I do it myself. Let me show you." He enveloped Terry's prick in his hand and started stroking. When Terry came, he didn't as much wail, as groan.
"You were right, Mark. This was way better."
Then Terry did something that shocked Mark, but he didn't object. He leaned over and began to kiss his brother. He forced Mark's lips open, and their tongues met. The two boys started to purr.
Terry pulled away. He fondled Mark's cock, and started to speak. "You and me," he said, "we're born from the same seeds. I figured out a long time ago, that I was gay, and I figured that the odds are that you're gay too. If I'm right, just think of all the fun we can have, at home and at school. Besides you and me, we can have sex with the whole student body, and the headmaster, if the rumors are true."
Mark was overwhelmed and remained silent.
"Aren't you going to say something?" Terry finally asked.
"I can't remember for how long it's been, but I have had an uncontrollable urge to suck your cock," Mark said, and broke out laughing.
"So what's stopping you?"
That night, they sucked each other's cocks, and the next night, they fucked each other. They remained lovers until their parents died, and Terry took off to spend his inheritance.
Mark was awakened from his reverie when Terry burst into his office. They wanted desperately to embrace each other, but refrained from doing so.
"You bastard," Mark said. "How could you do this to me? I lost a few years of my life."
"If I'm a bastard, you are too." Terry pointed out.
"Where the fuck did you think I could raise $2,000,000, and over a weekend?"
"I knew you couldn't. That's why I made the ransom so high."
"I wish that I knew it was you from the get-go. I wouldn't have nearly killed Roland, and accused my best friends. I surely would have known that it was one of your practical jokes."
"That's why I didn't want you to know it was me. I wanted you to get scared. It was my way of coming home to you, as perverted as it may seem. I love you Mark. Lovers may come and go, but brotherly love trumps all that."
"That's what my boyfriend said to someone he loves like a brother. You've hurt me a lot over the years, but I can't help loving you."
"The feeling is mutual."
"What did you mean about coming home?'
Terry ran to Mark and enveloped him in his arms. "I meant just that. I've had my fill of globe-trotting, and being irresponsible. I met an American in Rome, Mark. I love him so much. He was just like me, but now we both want to settle down. Help us Mark. Colin will be arriving in a day or two from L.A. He just went to tell his parents what's up with us, and then he's driving to Phoenix. Can we stay with you until we get jobs?"
"As long as you get jobs, you can stay forever. It's your house too, if not legally, then emotionally. But if you guys become free loaders, I'll kick you out for your own sakes."
"Don't worry. Colin and I know just what we want to do, but that can wait." Terry went over to the office door, and locked it. "Do we have time for a welcome home party?"
"OK, but be very quiet, and oral only. I have no lube in the office, and I don't have condoms either. Lord knows who you've been with."
"I've only been with Colin for almost a year. We're clean Bro, but I can wait for you to fuck me, until we get home tonight. Do you think your boyfriend would mind a threesome?"
"I know he wouldn't, but his brother and his boyfriend drop in often, so don't be surprised if it's a fivesome, and when Colin arrives, it could be a downright orgy."
"That sounds like fun, and more like something I would do, than you."
They were naked in no time, and fell into a sixty-nine position on the floor. Terry came long before Mark, who had indulged in a small orgy the evening before.
When they were finished and getting dressed, Mark made an announcement. "I'm resigning from the senate race," he said.
"You can't. You shouldn't," Terry protested.
"I've given this a lot of thought. I'm tired of being afraid that someone will find out that I have a gay brother, or that I'm gay myself, or that Louie isn't my administrative assistant, but my lover, or that he was once a hooker. It's too much of a burden to bear. I'm going to help you and Colin get settled, and all of you guys are going to help me get through this trauma and all the negative publicity it will generate. Besides, when I come out, I'll be doing a service to so many other gay Arizonans who are still in the closet, and still shuddering with fear."
"You're an eloquent speaker, Bro. I won't stop you from wanting to be honest. It goes without saying that I have your back."
One year later, Mark was a private citizen again. The six young men had bonded into a strong family unit. They went to gay bars together without fear of discovery. At first the paparazzi followed them everywhere, but in time they stopped being newsworthy, and the press withdrew.
Sammy and Jimmy continued to live in their own residence, but Terry and Colin lived with Mark and Louie. Roland wasn't surprised. In his heart, he knew all along his little charges were gay, and he was so happy for their reunion, he almost considered retiring at last.
Jimmy completed his high school requirements on line, and was enrolled in an on line college program, majoring in finance. He hoped one day to join Mark's growing firm.
Louie was content in his role as office manager and administrative assistant, but he absorbed knowledge so fast, he was capable enough to sit behind an investment manager's desk (if he ever wanted to).
Terry became Mark's Public Relations Officer. He brought the firm into the present day, by establishing a web site, and touting the virtues of the firm on social media. He also advertised in the gay press, and the firm was growing so fast, Mark was constantly recruiting new investment managers.
Colin had earned a degree in Civil Engineering before he began wandering the globe, and he was working for The City of Phoenix in Urban Planning. It was a great job in a rapidly growing metropolis.
As for Mark, he was happy to be a private citizen, but he now had one more secret. He was secretly harboring a dream of running for public office as an openly gay candidate. If the opposition party rejected him, he felt he had enough money to run as an independent.
He didn't have high hopes to win in Arizona, but everything in life was so uncertain, even he might be able to effect an upset. He figured the best way to get started would be in local Phoenix politics. Nothing concerning the future is etched in stone. To paraphrase Voltaire: Anything is possible in this best of all possible worlds.