Tony wasn’t jealous…not exactly. He wasn’t happy about Ted being there. He said very little on the way to the restaurant, which never happened.
“Say it.” I said quietly.
Tony suddenly looked over as if I’d caught him in a thought and now was aware his mind had wandered off. “What?”
I chuckled as I shook my head. “Your mind has been elsewhere since you saw Ted.”
Tony bowed a nod. “Sorry.”
“Tony.” I said as he kept his eyes on the road. “Tell me what you’re feeling.”
Tony shook his head. “It’s stupid.”
“No, it’s not.” I said touching his hand. “You’re feeling something. What is it? I’ll tell you what I felt. We have always told each other what we think and feel.”
Tony nodded knowing he couldn’t just stew, I wouldn’t let him. “Okay.” Then he looked at me and then he got angry. “How dare Ted try to come back into your life like that!? After all these years? He waltzes in a hotel, sees you and touches you!? Who the hell does he think he is? Does he think you’ve been pining away for him? Did it not occur to him that you would have moved on?”
I smiled nodding. “That’s Ted.” I said simply. “But I was so proud of you.”
Tony looked surprised. “Of me? Why?”
I grinned. “You were so…primal. Possessive! I loved it!”
Tony grinned. “You liked that, did you?” He chuckled. “No one’s going to even think of taking you away from me!” He gave a primitive thump on his chest. “Mine.” Then he took my hand and kissed it. “You’re mine.”
We’d stopped for a red light, so I brought him close and kissed him. “Yeah, I’m yours. Just as you are mine.”
“I love you, baby.” Tony said kissing me again.
“I know.” Then I saw out of the corner of my eye the light had changed. “The light’s green.”
Tony looked back at the road. “Oh.” We headed on the restaurant.
After a good evening, Tony and I returned to the condo where we heard someone shouting inside. The condo was pretty sound proof so it was loud. I stopped just before opening the door and listened, it was a voice I thought I knew, but I knew it wasn’t David or Sasha. Tony opened the door quickly.
“Just calm down, Gary!” David said pushing Alik farther behind him as he backed up further. Gary, David’s older brother was enraged as he was shouting at David.
“Did he touch you?” Gary shouted. “Someone turned you into a fag! It was Mitch, wasn’t it? That’s why you’re so close!”
“He didn’t make me a fag!” David shouted back. “I should never have let you up here. I knew I shouldn’t.”
“Gary!” I shouted in shock, fear that it would escalate to blows if no one stopped them.
“Stop this at once!” Tony growled beginning to approach David and Gary.
Gary turned seeing me and then he got even more angry. “Did you touch my brother?” He yelled at me. “Did you make him gay?”
I held my hand up to stop Tony who was ready to fight. “I’ve touched all my cousins, but it you’re asking did I ever touch his dick or do anything else, I didn’t.”
“How dare you accuse my husband of doing what you did to him!?” Tony shouted to which Gary’s face showed guilt hearing the truth. “Did you make Mitch gay?”
Then I saw Gary’s face change to one of immense anguish. “Didn’t I?” Gary was thinking he did make me gay.
Walking over, I pointed to Alik. “Can we talk about this without shouting? Or do you want to scare a six year old?”
Gary looked confused a second, looked at Alik and saw the boy’s face. Alik looked very upset. “I’m sorry.” Gary said almost reaching out to touch Alik who backed even farther behind David. “I’m so sorry.”
I walked over and took Alik’s shoulder pulling me to me rubbing his head as he clung to me and I hugged him and then in Russian I told Alik. “It’s okay. This is my cousin Gary, David’s older brother and he’s just mad and upset. It’ll be fine. He says he’s sorry.”
Alik looked up at me and then at Gary. “Why’s he mad at Uncle David?”
I smiled. “He’s not really mad at David. He’s just mad. Don’t worry about it.” I pushed Alik gently toward Tony. “Tony, can you take Alik and make him a peanut butter sandwich or give him cookies or something.” I said calmly.
Tony was still glaring at Gary, but took Alik’s hand. “By what right do you have to barge in our home and attack someone verbally?” He walked with Alik.
Gary turned and couldn’t look at Tony not answering.
“We’ll talk about it.” I said simply to Tony and Gary. “But for now, look after Alik, please.”
Tony led Alik into the kitchen and dining area and still glared at Gary all the way.
I sighed and looked at my cousins. Again, the McKenzies shared a lot physically. Gary was a couple of years older than me, but he had the black hair and features passed on by our fathers who also looked a lot alike. I looked at Gary. “Is that what you think? You think you made me gay?”
Gary looked at me as I saw him nod and then shake his head. “I don’t know. Maybe.”
I motioned toward the sofa. “Can we sit, please? Talk about like adults?”
David and Gary sat as I did where we could talk.
“No one made me gay.” I began. “I just am.” Then I frowned. “I’m sure you’ve heard many things about those of us who are gay, and they all pretty much agree, no one can be recruited or changed to be gay.”
Now Gary leaned forward as tears came to his eyes. “How does anyone know that?”
I smiled. “They don’t. Not really. I just know no one can make me straight as much as they tried to.” I laughed. “It never occurred to me to touch David, Michael or Chuck or Carl…”
David nodded. “I don’t consider myself gay exactly. I’m open to…being with someone that wants to be with me and I want to be with. That’s Sasha.”
I shrugged. “The truth is…I don’t really see homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual…I just see sex. And love.” I smiled again. “I don’t think anyone is just straight or gay. Not really. I’ve read many stories about men…in prisons and other organizations, clubs where they engage in sexual activity with other men, but don’t identify themselves as gay. But they learn to like it, even desire another man. Be it for protection in prison or even just as a fraternity of brotherhood or just love. Sex has an element that binds us as humans. It helps us become closer and unites us. It’s what we as humans do. Our whole society is based on love and sex. Now, you were good at ten, eleven and twelve, but not so good you could change what I am.” I chuckled. “We were just kids.”
Gary shook his head. “I just don’t understand…Michael is married, to a woman.” He looked at David. “He and you are made of the same things. How can he be straight and you gay?”
David smiled. “Are you sure about Michael being so straight?” He shrugged. “It may be because of what Mitch just said. It’s just sex. It is fun! I saw someone that I liked. I got to know him and found I loved him. Not because of what he is, but who he is. I love Sasha.”
I cocked my head at Gary. “Is that what you’ve been worried about all the years? That you made me gay?”
Gary frowned. “I don’t know. Maybe.” He sat back sighing. “I remember hearing what happened to you when you were sixteen.” His eyebrows coming together. “Those treatments…to make you not gay. I thought maybe I caused that.”
“They were very unpleasant, but they didn’t work.” I nodded. “Is that’s why you treated me like shit after that one time when you ejaculated?”
David’s eyes widened. “He what?” He said softly, but looked at his brother. “You two had sex?”
Now Gary was looking very guilty.
I shook my head at David. “I was ten, he was twelve. It was more of a hand job.”
David smiled. “At twelve, that’s pretty early.” But he said it almost impressed.
“And it scared Gary.” I proposed to Gary. “There are many schools of thought about what makes a man gay. Some are looking for the gay gene, others think it’s a choice, but I don’t think there is a gay gene. It’s just human. I did research and I believe its chemical.”
“Chemical?” Gary asked. “A chemical made you gay?” He asked wanting to understand.
“When a baby forms in the womb, it’s given chemicals, enzymes and hormones that make the baby form and the brain. Some are born without some parts developing quite….right. Not that I believe it’s wrong for a man to love a man, or woman to love a woman, but I’ve read where even in the animal kingdom where they researched and found rams that go after rams instead of ewes. So, they did autopsies. Found that the part of their brains that masculinize or feminize didn’t get what they needed to make them go after ewes. There’s part of the brain that doesn’t grow like they’re supposed to.” I shrugged. “I can show you where to look. However, that’s too simple. Human sexuality is more complex, but I believe there is more to that theory than a gay gene.”
Gary wiped his face to rid the tears that had spilled. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, Mitch.”
I smiled at my cousin. “Gary. You didn’t hurt me.” I said getting up and going to sit beside him. “Well…you did when you started treating me like I was plagued. But not because we went to the barn and did…what we did.”
Gary chuckled. “I thought I was the plague. I didn’t want to make it worse, so I kept you away.” He shook his head. “I was scared to think I might be gay and would make you gay.” He shook his head. “Our family didn’t really talk about sex, love or anything like that.”
I nodded. “I know. That’s why when I brought Tony there that first time, it was so intense. I knew how they’d react.” I smiled at Gary. “The thing was….and this was why it hurt me. I really liked you, Gary. I liked that you and I were getting along so well, unlike the other cousins. But David, Michael and you were more like brothers than cousins. That includes Chuck, Carl, Sueann, Mary and Rhonda, we are like siblings, but when we went to the barn and played…” I grinned. “You allowed me to…play with that part of you.” I grinned. “And you know what I mean. That was exciting! We were letting each other touch parts we knew was forbidden. That was exciting!” I watched as Gary blushed. “And you liked it, too, because I saw it and felt it. It felt good!”
Gary smiled, but he was blushing even more. “But we shouldn’t have.”
“Why not?” I asked smiling. “You let me touch that private part of you…and I hope there weren’t many more…that you didn’t let others touch. Did you?”
Gary shook his head. “No, you were it.” Then he chuckled. “Well, Chuck and I jerked off together once, but no….you were it.”
“How old were you with Chuck?” I asked.
“Sixteen or fifteen.” Gary said. “Just once. We were again sleeping in the same bed and well as usual….Chuck had an erection and was…doing it to himself and I offered to help him, then he helped me.” He shrugged. “But he’s not gay.”
I nodded. “Who cares?” I smiled. “We were kids…teenagers in your case. Our bodies were developing and we tried to understand these sensations and feelings. Who better than a friend…or cousin who is a friend?”
That’s when the door opened again and Sasha came in with a sigh. “What a night!” Sasha said then froze seeing us on the sofa. “We have a guest?”
I rose. “Sasha.” I smiled. “This is David’s older brother, Gary.” I said as Gary and David stood.
David chuckled as he elbow jabbed his brother who grinned back. “Gary was just being a protective big brother. Just making sure I wasn’t being…used.”
Gary jabbed David back, but walked over to Sasha. “I was angry. I sort of yelled at David. I might have scared Alik….that’s your son’s name?”
Sasha nodded, but he didn’t get upset. “Yes. Alik. Is Alik okay?”
I put a hand on Sasha’s arm. “He’s fine. Tony and he are having something in the kitchen. Gary will be staying the night.” I grinned at Gary. “Right? I mean, you live a good ways away. You drove all the way down here and we have room.”
Gary smiled. “I did. I can be a little hot headed. I didn’t really plan a lot.” Then he looked again at Sasha. “I didn’t mean to frighten Alik believe me. I was just mad.”
Sasha again nodded. “Okay.” Then Sasha smiled. “It’s good that you care about David enough to want to protect him. I care about him, too. I love him.” He held his hand out to Gary. “Is it resolved now?”
Gary looked at me and David. “Is it?”
“I think so.” I nodded and then went to Gary. “So, are we friends again?”
Gary chuckled bringing me into a hug. Remember? I like hugs. “Yeah, it’s resolved. We’re friends again. We are always family.” He brought David into the hug. “I better apologize to Tony and Alik again. I am so sorry.” He said to Sasha. “I’d never hurt David or Alik.”
“You’re a McKenzie. Sometimes you can’t help yourself.” David chuckled.
This went well. I looked as Gary spoke to Tony explaining what happened and how he was sorry. This was a male household! Three male McKenzies, two male Ledebevs and one male Delveccio. To me, that was perfect. Would the world survive? Probably.