David needed to talk to someone and that someone would have usually been Robert but since it involved Nathan he felt he needed a more neutral point of view. This led him to Glenn and Kyle's house. Glenn and Kyle, a gay couple that had been with each other since high school, had been best friends of Robert and in turn had become close to Josh. Josh's ex wife had even acted as a surrogate mother for them; giving them a happy 11-year-old girl they named Ashley. While Glenn and Kyle did not have the same experience on how to dump one boyfriend for another, David knew the two men knew how to build relationships that last. Another reason for going to their house for dinner was that David wanted to avoid Philip at all costs for if there was one thing that would cause him to lose his temper it was another stag poaching on what he felt was his territory. When he arrived at their house, David saw the yard littered with dolls, play sets and chalk drawings. Ashley, while spoiled by her fathers still had a sweet nature that let her get away with almost anything. When David reached the front door and rang the bell, he heard the sound of laughter and screaming that had been coming from the room die off. "David!" Glenn, now 48 years old, grinned as he welcomed David inside. Inside the house there were splashes of water everywhere... on the walls, carpets, and furniture. Hiding behind the sofa, holding an oversize squirt gun, Ashley took aim at her other father, Kyle as he hid in the kitchen. For all their manicures, culture lessons, and classical music, Ashley had turned out to be a tomboy. Her hair was always neatly styled but she never wore the pretty dresses Glenn would buy for her. She preferred the blue jeans and t-shirts that Kyle would get her. "Ashley seems to be having fun," David laughed. "Yeah... Kyle and I are just afraid she will grow up to be a lesbian." "Would that be so bad?" "Not for her, but we have our reputations to think about. What would people say about two gay fathers who raised a girl not to like men." "Well then hope she becomes a lip stick lesbian then." "Let hope that puberty never hits. Tara has already given her the talk but Glenn and I are not sure how we will handle her during pms." "Too bad she remarried... she could have moved in with ya'll." "She's happy though... Frank takes good care of her." Just at that moment a blast of water hit David in the face as Ashley stormed toward him. "David!" She yelled "Hey Ashley," David said as he lifted her up. "I'm going to try out for the junior high swim team. I was wondering if you could help me with my strokes." "You are... that's great. I would be happy to help you out," David smiled as he put her back on the ground. "Great... I'll get my swimsuit on then," She said as she ran off to her bedroom. "I don't have a swim suit on me," David was about to say. Glenn gave David a friendly squeeze on the shoulder. "Don't worry we have a pair of baggy swim trunks you can wear." "But..." David tried to protest. He had made the offer not suspecting that he would have to fulfill it now. "Don't worry, she'll tire out soon," Kyle said sympathetically. He led them to the bedroom. "Then you can tell us why you came to see us." Kyle was right, after about ten laps Ashley began to tire and her strokes began to become sloppy. David gave her a few pointers on keeping her legs closer together had had her practice on the side of the pool. This all ended when Kyle came out and told Ashley that the Simpsons were about to come on. David, now out of the pool, joined Kyle and Glenn on the patio furniture. There was a glass of lemonade waiting for him. "Am I a little old for lemonade?" David said before taking a sip "Not this lemonade!" Glenn laughed as David took a swig before spitting it out. "What did you do... let it sit out in the sun all day?" David exhaled. "No... we bought it that way... Kyle found it at the store a few days ago. It's hard lemonade... has about as much alcohol as a beer." "Really," David grinned as he took another swig, this time successfully swallowing it. "Man... I bet you have to keep these away from Ashley." "We keep them in a locked frig. She knows better to try to go into there," Kyle explained. "We are just giving you this so you can always tell your dad that all we gave you was lemonade," Glenn clarified. "Alright, but I don't think my dad would mind." "I'm taking about the man who really runs things over at your place," Glenn laughed. "Uncle Josh?" "Bingo... if he was not such a good lawyer I'd say he would make a very good housewife." "I'll tell him you said that," David chuckled. "You better not... your father can whip our near senior asses." "You two have let yourselves go," David agreed as he looked at the small potbellies both men had developed over the years. "Hey... we're not fat... just mature... slower metabolisms and all." "Well I know how to speed those back up and you can't do that sipping adulterated lemonade," David chided the two men. "True but neither of us see any reasons to buff back up. We are happily resigned to the fact that we will spend the rest of our lives with each other," Glenn spoke up. "We no longer have anyone to impress," Kyle agreed. "What you telling me you don't miss the feel of rock hard abs and pecs," David blurted out before he thought about what he said. "Not at all..." Glenn snickered. "We just didn't know that you did." Knowing that he just out-ed himself, David tried to hide under a different issue. "What about the risk for heart diseases and stroke. You do want the last years of your lives to be as good as possible." "Yes... but don't change the subject. Tell us when you became such a connoisseur of the male form," Glenn insisted. "It's just that I'm an athlete... I know what men are suppose to look like." "And that would be hot stud muffins you want to bend over and fuck," Glenn snickered. "Or have them fuck you," Kyle added. "Shut up!" David shouted, not wanting to be confronted by the truth. "David... calm down there is no reason to get angry." "Well I am angry... I'm mad that I'm just like my father. I'm mad that I got myself into a bad relationship, I'm mad that other guys are hitting on the one guy I want more then anything. I'm just plain mad." "Then tell us... from the beginning." "First my dad is such a jerk. He tries to be cool and all, but acts like a jackass with all his Zen philosophy shit." "Your dad has an ego... but so do you. You come from a proud family," Kyle explained. "Well I don't like that part of him in me. It makes me hate him." "Well you need to learn for it not to effect you as much," Glenn spoke up. "Easier said then done," David pouted. "Yep... but I know you will get over it," Glenn smiled "Yeah... when I am hundreds of miles away from here in college," David sighed. "So is your father's ego the only thing you hate about him?" Glenn asked. "No... I hate the fact that history is repeating itself. My dad never got uncle Josh and it looks like I will never get the guy I care for as well." "Who is this person you care for?" Kyle asked carefully. "Nate... I'm in love with Nate." "I see... but let me guess, he just sees you as a brother," Kyle concluded. "I have never told him how I felt, but that is what I sense from him," David agreed. "Is it wrong to love a guy you grew up with." "No... but it changes things. Soon you will be away to college. Making free adult choices. Soon Nathan will be doing the same thing. As long as the two of you live like a family I would not push for anything sexual with Nathan. Not because it would be some form of incest but it would be too disruptive to the family," Glenn said. "But what if Nate falls in love with some guy or girl before I can tell him I love him? What if he falls in love with someone the first year I am away at school?" David worried. "It is possible but you have to risk it. Right now the two of you live too close to be able to think freely. Some distance would help let each of you decide what you both really want." "I don't know if I can wait until Nate is in college. I want to tell him how I feel right now. I need to know if he can feel the same for me." Glenn looked and his lover with concern on his face before speaking. "Give us three weeks. We will come up with something by then." "Alright," David agreed. "I trust you." "Good... then we will trust you to wait on declaring your undying love for Nate until we can get things set up," Glenn said as he excused himself. "Ok... I will." "Now tell us about the bad relationship you are mad about." "It's Thomas... a guy I met when I was volunteering at the hospital over the summer. He was such a flirt and I was feeling horny so we did it a few times." "But a few times became something more for one of you." "Yes... he is already out to his parents and wanted me to be his official boyfriend. He bought me a matching friendship ring... telling me that he wanted me to wear it until we got married. He would leave tons of emails and messages on my cell phone. I hoped that when school started he would be too busy to bug me but then I found out his parents paid his way into the school just so we could "be" together." "So he is a little clingy," Kyle said with no emotion in his voice. "A little... he is a leech!" David said shocked by Kyle's statement. "Point made," Kyle agreed. "The you need to be firm and tell him you are not interested in him anymore." "But he might out me?" "And that worries you?" "Yes... I've seen how Greg has been treated." "And how much support did you give him yourself?" "Not a lot," David admitted, ashamed. "I just didn't..." "You just didn't want to be called a fag yourself," Kyle finished for him. "Yes." "Whether you can admit it or not but you are already out. Thomas for sure knows, his parents know, and anyone they told now knows. The big secret you were trying to keep from everyone is traveling down the grape vine. I would bet the nurses you worked with know what was going on with the two of you. That means word will reach your dad as he works in the drug business. I'm sure that Thomas has more gay friends then you and knowing teenagers tendency to gossip they mostly likely know as well. Face it David you are out of the closet. Time to stop hiding." "Fuck... Fuck ... FUCK!" David cursed as reality came crashing down on him. "Sorry to be hard on you David but you need to know what you are facing so you can be ready for it. At least you have a family that you know will be supportive." "Thanks... But if I can ask... how did you handle coming out in high school?" "We didn't... both Glenn and I were so scared of getting caught that neither of us was going to let things slip. That was a different time though. Now you have gay clubs in schools, you can get married in some places, and there are the ever present but stereotyped gay characters on television." "But you were in high school in the 70's... when everything started." "True but living in a farming community in Kansas, we didn't get much of the sexual revolution." "Do you feel you missed out?" "Sometimes... but I would not exchange it for all that I experienced with Glenn. Having him always with me as a teenager and into adulthood was the best thing I could have hoped for. We are the lucky ones who find and keep our soul mates." "Do you think Nate is my soul mate?" "I don't know... you are so much like Robert and he is so much like his father it is not hard to see the two of you as the "what could have happened..." if Robert and Josh had grown up together." "Yeah... but you see how they turned out..." David said bitterly "It is only that way because both of them want it. In reality there is nothing but a sense of responsibility to their bed partners keeping the two of them apart. Robert knows that. Dan does as well. Andrew knows it and uses it as an excuse act out and to push Josh away. The choice, though, has always resided in Josh. If he chooses to stay with Andrew due to his moral commitment to marriage, Robert would continue loving Josh from a distance. If Josh follows his heart and goes to the man he can love with his whole heart he would make the painful decision and break the family up." "What do you mean?" "Well do you think that Andrew is going to stay around? Do you think that Andrew is going to let Greg stay with Josh? What do you think Dan is going to do? He accepts Robert's relationship with Josh better then Andrew does but do you think he will want to remain alone for the rest of his life?" "I see... this is screwed up." "They don't call it "gay drama" for nothing hon," Kyle smiled. "Thanks... but never call me "hon" again... that is just too gay for me." "Ok dude!" Kyle laughed. "Please... old folk should never try and act cool... it's too embarrassing." "Hey... first you say I am too gay now I am too old. Is there anything you like about me?" "I like your advice. I think ya'll have a cute family. Even with Ashley, it is more sane then mine. You and Greg never seem to change and that is comforting to know." "Thanks... now I think you better get home before Josh starts hunting for you." "It is a good thing he is so cute in his parenting or else I would think of him as a nag," David laughed. "He means well." "Yeah... well take care uncle Kyle. See you and Glenn soon," David said as he left though the side gate. "Will do," Kyle waved goodbye. ************************************************************** Dinner was like an event out of the twilight zone. First, only Josh, Greg, Nathan, and Philip made it to the table on time. Mike, David's father was gone on a business trip. Patrick, David's father's boyfriend, was working a night shift at the hospital. Robert, who worked in public relations, was taking clients out to dinner. David was late coming back from Glenn and Kyle's house and Andrew should have been home a long time ago. "I love the soup Mr. Harper," Philip said after his first taste. "Thanks... it is one of my leftover recipes." "Leftovers?" Philip asked questioning. "Well Monday we had sausages. Tuesday was meatball and pasta night so today I just took what was left over and made a soup out of it," Josh was happy to explain. "Well it tastes good." "Well when you don't know how many people will be at the table on any given night, you tend to over cook." "It's only my parents, sister, and me, our meals tend to be very small." Philip explained. "So... I hear that the three of you are going out this weekend," Josh changed topic. "Yep... it will be like a group date." "With people from the school." "No... they come from other schools," Philip answered evasively. "Such as..." "Come on dad..." Greg whined, fearing Josh's questions would ruin his chance for a good time. "Lawrence..." Philip finally admitted. "So I guess that these "kids" don't go to a high school but the university." "Yes..." Philip replied guilty. "Ok... that is fine. As long as all of them are under the age of 21 I don't have a problem with it." "Well some of them are..." Philip admitted. "Well then just invite the younger ones." "Why 21... it's just a number," Greg protested. Because your dad doesn't want someone who can buy us drinks," Philip moaned. "Bingo... the two of you are 17 so I think you can handle hanging around some college kids but I don't want either of you to come home drunk. So Philip if you want any chance at dating my son you better make sure he comes home safe and sober," Josh said with dead seriousness. "Yes sir," Philip smiled. The old man knew. Philip didn't know how he had shown his hand but Mr. Harper knew he had a crush on Nathan. Nathan for his part seemed clueless as ever. He guessed that since Nathan's dad raised both boys as his sons that Nate assumed that his father was talking about Greg. Once again Philip was glad that Nate was so innocent. "Good, I hope the three of you have a good time. Have you deiced on the sleeping arrangements for tonight?" "Well I was thinking that Philip could share my bed since it is a double," Greg said nervously. "Think again," Josh smiled. "The three of you can all sleep in sleeping bags in the den. You can all watch movies as long as you want but don't come to me asking for a sick note if you all are too sleepy tomorrow." "Ok... dad," Nathan smiled just as everyone heard the front door open. In came Andrew... looking like a mess... his cloths half off and smelling of sex and liquor. Josh moved quickly to intercept but Andrew would have none of it. "Greg, pack your bags... we are moving." "What dad?" Greg asked confused. "We are moving out of this dump. Pack your bags and get into the car ." "But..." Greg tried to meekly protest but was cut off. "No buts! I'm your father and I am telling you to pack your bags!" Greg looked up at Josh with panic in his eyes. "Philip... Nate... can you go help Greg pack," Josh finally said with his eyes looking down on the ground. "Yes..." both boys excused themselves, dragging a shocked Greg with them. "What is this all about?" Josh said calmly once the boys were upstairs. "We are moving out of here. I don't feel this is a good environment for my son. You of course are invited to join us... just not Robert." "You mean to tell me you came barging in here, scaring everyone including your son just to hurt Robert." "Do you expect me to live in the same house?" "We have not slept together." "No... but you have done everything else. You have continued to love him." "Is that a crime?" "It is when you are supposed to love me more!" "What do you want from me Andrew? Yes I love Robert but I love you as well." "You don't love me a fraction of what you feel for Robert. The only way I can get your love is by doing this." "How!" Josh said confused. "By making you chose. Come with me. Lets start over just you, our two boys, and me with none of these want-a-be husbands around. "They are my friends." "Well they are not mine. Should I not have a chance to live with my friends? I do have some and they too all live in our new house. Isn't it my turn!" "Andrew we need to talk this over... we need therapy. Can we just let things calm down before we do something drastic?" "No... I want you to make a choice. I thought you had made it when you married me but it seems I was mistaken. Who do you want to spend your life with... me or Robert!" "I can't make that decision with you yelling at me. We both need to calm down." "I'll give you a week but I'm taking Greg with me tonight." "Please don't," Josh begged. "Sorry hon... but you left me no choice, but just for the record I have never stopped loving you," Andrew said as he left. Josh remained in the living room stunned. Part of him wanted to run after Andrew to continue begging him to stay but another part of him was mad. There was no way in hell he was going to grovel in front of Andrew. There was also the issue of the "friends" living in Andrews new house. Josh was certain that these friends were Andrew's not so subtle way at getting back at Josh for Robert. His only concern was Greg. Andrew didn't look like he was in any condition to take care of him. That was the bit of emotional blackmail Andrew was using to try and convince Josh to come with him. He feared that Greg would see him not joining them as abandonment. Josh only hoped that this phase Andrew was going through would end before anything bad happened. "Dad!" Greg's voice broke through Josh's thoughts "Come on Greg we have to go now," Andrews voice came out harshly "Dad!" Greg called out again. "We are leaving now!" Josh heard Andrew shout but was soon followed by the sound of running feet on the wood floors. Josh looked up and caught Greg in his arms. The boy's face was red . "Please come with us," Greg begged. "I can't... I'm sorry." "But I don't want to go..." "I know... I don't want you to go either," Josh said as he felt his eyes well up. "Can I call you when I get to the new place?" "Yes you can call me anytime. You packed your cell phone?" "Yes..." "Good... feel free to use it anytime you want." "I will..." "Greg!" Andrew's voice boomed from the front door. "You better go now," Josh said as he wiped the tears off Greg's face. "Ok." "Just so you know Greg... none of this is your fault and regardless of what happens between me and you father, you will always be my son." "I know dad... can I come back home tomorrow?" "GREG!" Andrews voice shouted again. "No... but I will come over to the new place... how about that." By the look on Greg's face it was not what he was hoping for but it was all Josh could offer him. "I'll bring Nate along as well." "Ok... dad..." "GREG... get your ass over here now!" "I love you," Greg finally said before running to the front door. "I love you too," Josh whispered as the door closed. Nathan and Philip soon came back to the table to finish their now cold soup. None of them said a word as Josh remained silent as if in another world. Half way through the rest of dinner Josh said goodnight and left for bed. It was when Philip was sure that Josh was upstairs and while they were doing the dishes that he finally spoke. "This is messed up... why didn't your father stop that loony from kidnapping Greg." "Because my father has no paternal rights over Greg... he has been his father in every sense of the word but he has no legal rights." "What about Greg's mother?"1 "Aunt Jessica... she gave uncle Andrew full rights when Greg asked her that he live with us full time." "Dang... she gave that freak custody." "Uncle Andrew was not always like this. He is a good man... he just is angry at my dad." "Why?" "My dad loves another person... uncle Robert." "So your dad has been sleeping around on him?" "No... but he has let uncle Robert live with us and no one is blind to the fact that both of them are crazy about each other." "Then why did Josh not dump uncle Andrew for Robert?" "Because of what happened here tonight. My dad knew if he ever went back to Robert it would tear our family apart." "But your dad didn't go back to Robert... did he?" Philip asked. "No... but I think my dad was about to. Uncle Andrew just blew the time bomb a little early." "I'm sorry Nate." "Don't worry about me," Nathan said as he washed his bowl in the sink. "But I do." "Why?" Nathan asked as he felt two arms wrap around his waist. "Cause I care about you," Philip whispered as he kissed the back of Nathan's neck. "Philip..." Nathan sighed. "Do you want me to stop?" "I don't know why you are doing this?" Nathan whispered as he felt a warm hand slip under his shirt and rub his stomach. "Because I think you feel very vulnerable and lonely right now." "Those are reason's why we should not be doing this." "Only if you don't trust me," Philip replied as he began to remove his hand. "I barley know you," Nathan said but used his own hand to stop Philip from removing his. "Then we will take things very slow," Philip said before kissing Nathan on the cheek. "Ok..." Nathan agreed.