While Dad was out rummaging through his bag for our gift I noticed that Mike's dad, Dan, had a knowing grin on his face. This was a bit confusing, because I knew that Mike's parents had not gone to France with my parents. Dad came back in with a small shopping bag, like the ones you sometimes get your duty-free goods in on the plane. "Your mum and I were having such a good time in Paris we didn't have time to send you a postcard, so we got you the next best thing," and he handed each of us a little package out of the bag. When we unwrapped them it was to find he had got each of us a box of condoms. When I looked up, a little confused, Dan burst out laughing and asked if we liked our French letters. Only then did the penny drop and both Mike and I laughed too. Dad put his hand back into the bag and pulled out two more smallish packages and handed one to each of us again. "Mike, I know normally parents would only bring gifts back for their own kids, but you are like our own son and we couldn't leave you out," Dad said. Mike was a little choked up as he tried to say his thank you for the gift and what Dad had just told him. I put my arm around him and pulled him tightly against me. Looking at my parents I mouthed "Thank you" to them as my eyes began to well up too.
Opening my package I found that my parents had bought me a classical CD of music by the French composer DeBussy. I asked if they minded if I put it on, and they said it was okay. Soon we were listening to some enchanting music. Mike opened his package to find a set of medallion style key rings, each depicting one of the famous sites in Paris, like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe.
"We weren't too sure what to get you. Knowing you would soon be driving we thought that maybe a key ring might come in handy," Mum told him.
"As a set, maybe it could be the start of a collection," I suggested tongue in cheek.
"Yeah, that's an idea. Then people could have an idea of what to get me for gifts," Mike said. I was a bit shocked, because he was being serious.
"The thing is to get the keys to go with them," I said. "You know – car, house, yacht," which caused the others to laugh with us.
Then Dad lifted another gift wrapped package out of the bag and handed it over to Michelle. "And of course we couldn't forget our taxi driver and his manager."
"Thank you, but you needn't have got us anything. We were happy to be of service and have the opportunity to get to know you both a little better," Michelle said.
"Well, come on, Mum. Open it. We want to see what you got," Mike begged.
Michelle began to open the package and a card fell out. Dan bent down and picked it up. He read the card and then handed it to his wife as he stood up and crossed the room to bend down and give Mum a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you, that is so thoughtful of you both," he said as he turned and held out his hand to shake Dad's. By this time Michelle had opened the package to find it was a small bottle of champagne and two cut crystal champagne flutes. Then she read the card and glowed.
Mike's patience ran out and he leaned over and slipped the card out of his mum's fingers and read it. "That is so kind of you. Thank you," Mike said as he looked up at my parents.
Dan turned to me and said, "It is Michelle's and my wedding anniversary next month, and your parents have given us this to celebrate it with. They also offered to take care of Mike should we wish to go away or just have a weekend at home on our own."
"Actually it's their twentieth anniversary, and we are having a bit of a party, I think," Mike said.
"But they can still go away for most of the month, can't they?" I asked.
"Most of the month? Whatever do you mean?" Michelle asked.
"I think he is thinking more of how much time Mike would spend with him then," Dan said with that knowing grin again. I realised then that my folks had discussed with Dan and Michelle the giving of the condoms. I blushed, because I knew that Dan was right and also that he knew we would be likely to be in need of the condoms. If he knew that we were already riding bareback he might have been a bit more concerned and not so free with the innuendos.
"We haven't sent out the invitations yet, but all of you are invited and will get a formal invitation when I get round to doing it. It's just going to be a little gathering of our close friends and family, nothing really special, but we would love it if you could come," Michelle told my parents.
"Does all include Steve?" Mike asked.
"What? You think we would leave our son out of it? Of course it includes, Steve," Dan said, sounding rather shocked that Mike even asked.
"Son? Did you just call Steve your son?" Mike asked again.
"Yes, I did. You two boys are the only ones I know who have four parents to tell you what to do," Dan said and chuckled.
"But that could mean that I'm dating my brother!" Mike said which caused a fresh round of laughter and me to blush once more that day.
"And now it's time for you to leave your brother with his other parents and come home with your other parents," Michelle said, standing up and signalling that she was ready to go.
I grabbed hold of Mike and pulled him into a hug, and we kissed briefly without thinking. Then we realised that it might have been the first kiss we had in front of our parents, but they were kind and did not make any silly comments to embarrass us.
Mum and Dad told me a bit about their time in Paris but not a lot, saying that it was a special time just between them and they wanted to keep it that way. I understood and told them that I thought it was good to keep such happy memories for themselves. I lugged their cases upstairs and they followed behind to unpack. They took showers while I got the evening meal ready as my part of their weekend away. Dad came downstairs while I was still cooking and thanked me that they had returned to a clean and tidy house. I told him that I had had Carrie and some of the other girls over for a visit and we had managed to destroy a packet of biscuits, to which dad replied that he was glad we had and that I shouldn't feel I had to hide it from either of my parents. After we had eaten Mum said that she was really tired. Even though it had been a short flight, she felt maybe she had some jet lag, and she took herself off to bed. I decided that this was an excellent opportunity and that I would be advised to use it. "Dad, can I ask you about something that's troubling me?" I started.
"You can ask me anything son. I'll try to answer, but I have to admit that I don't know all of life's answers. As far as gay is concerned I'm really ignorant, but I'll do my best," Dad told me.
"Okay, this is going to be difficult for me, but I need to talk to somebody about it and I trust you," I continued. Dad sat silent, looking at me across the coffee table. I was also silent for a bit as I tried to formulate what I wanted to say. "You are going to have to be patient and let me tell you the whole story first, then you can tell me what you think, okay?" I asked.
"Okay. I will stay silent unless I think I need some clarification," Dad assured me.
"Right, well here goes then. One of Carrie's friends has a ten-year-old brother that a couple of the girls have done things with. When that girl was here today she brought her brother with her and there was the suggestion that we do something together. The brother said that his sister and the other girls had to obey the rules and get naked first, but the sister balked at that. Anyway, I stepped in at that point and asked for clarification of the rules. It turns out that the boy has an agreement with the sister that if she wants to play with his privates, she has to get naked first and then strip him, then they can play. He gets to touch her and all too. I put a stop to it and said that no one was going to get naked and do anything like that in this house and that I thought the older girls were not being fair to the boy because he still needs to be allowed the innocence of his youth. The boy was a bit put out. He showed us that he was keen to do something by jutting his hips forward and displaying the tent in his jeans. Firstly, Dad, nothing happened here, and they left shortly after I said that I couldn't betray the trust my parents had shown by leaving me home alone with Mike and that I didn't want to be a paedophile either. But Dad, a part of me really wanted to see that boy naked and hard. That's what's worrying me. Do you think I might actually be a paedophile?" I had told the whole story without a single interruption from Dad.
"Wow, that is quite some story. I'm not sure that I can just sit back now and not do something about what's happening to that boy. I will have to think about that. Now let me tell you something first, then we will talk about your question. I am just bursting with pride over the stand you took with your friends, especially when you could just have so easily gone the opposite way; especially considering you had that temptation to see him naked and aroused. Now I am going to need some time to consider this before I can give you an answer, but I will say this: the fact that you are worried about the chance that you might have tendencies towards younger boys tells me that it's more likely that you don't have a paedophile mind-set. More than likely it's just curiosity. But I do need some time to think about it. Did you discuss it with Mike?" Dad asked
"Yeah. We both felt the same way, and both of us are a bit worried about it," I answered.
"Good, I am glad you were able to talk about it together. That's a sign of a healthy relationship, which makes me a bit surer that you're not a paedophile," Dad said. "I know it's not the answer you were hoping to get, but it is all I can give you right now. Give me some time to think about it and we can talk again."
"Thanks, Dad. I don't know if you want to mention it to Mum, but I wouldn't object if you do. I don't want to put you in a position of keeping things from her for my sake," I told Dad.
"That's very mature of you, Steve, and I appreciate it. I think I want to consider this by myself for a bit first, so please don't you say anything to Mum either yet," Dad said.
"I get embarrassed enough on lesser things with Mum; I don't think I have the courage to raise this with her," I assured Dad.
"Yes, well that might be a good thing too. Sometimes the female gender tends to go over the top before they think things through," Dad said in a conspirational whisper with a little grin on his face.
I smiled at that, and Dad took his leave, heading for bed as he too was rather tired and had to go to work in the morning. I put my new CD on and sat back to listen to the music, a multitude of thoughts whizzing through my head. I still hadn't worked anything out when I got a call from Mike. We talked for a bit and I told him about my conversation with Dad and his response. Mike told me that he had called because he had had the same conversation with his dad and had got the same sort of answer.
"Maybe we should suggest our dads get together to talk about it," Mike proposed.
"Yeah. They say two heads are better than one," I agreed. "Does your mum know about this?"
"No. Dad said he would rather not have her know at this stage; she might go off the deep end," Mike said.
"Yep, that is kind of the same thing Dad said about my mum too, only he termed it the female gender." I chuckled. "So what do you think about the chance that Dad might feel he has to do something about Jay being molested by his sister and friends?"
"I've been worrying about Jay since we saw him. I agree with you that he should be left alone to enjoy his youth and that his sister and the others shouldn't do that stuff with him anymore. It might be a good thing, but it might also cost us some friendships, because there will be no doubts as to how the information got out," Mike said.
"I haven't told my dad their names yet, but if he asks I'll tell him. I can't refuse when I think that what they are doing is wrong," I said.
"We agree once again. I too haven't given names, and I feel the same way," Mike said. Then he chuckled. "You know, when we get older we won't need to talk to each other anymore. We'll be able to sit there with our own thoughts and know that they are the same thoughts as our lover's."
"That is so true. How about this? If our parents want to take some action about Jay we ask them to give us a chance to talk to Judith first. We tell her that what she and her friends are doing has to stop or we will be left with no choice but to tell our parents what's going on," I suggested.
"We can try that, but I'm not sure my dad will agree," Mike cautioned.
"Yeah, I think we might have a double struggle there," I admitted.
"Right. Let me know when you have suggested to your dad that he talk to my dad. I'll let you know the same, and then we can leave it up to them," Mike said
"Sure thing. I'll catch you later. I'm heading off to my lonely, empty bed all by myself now," I said.
"That makes two of us. Goodnight, my love," Mike said.
"Goodnight, love. Sleep well and build your strength for when you next have me," I told him and smacked my lips to blow him a kiss over the phone.
As I got to the top of the stairs I met up with Dad on the landing as he emerged from the bathroom. "Dad, please come and talk to me in my room for just a moment," I whispered. Dad followed me in and asked what it was all about. I told him about Mike having the same conversation with his father with much the same result and the suggestion that they might like to talk to each other about it.
"Thank you, Steve. That's a good idea. If Dan wants to as well we might be able to come to some conclusions together. Get Mike to talk to Dan and let me know what he says."
"Mike already plans to do that, so now I'm just waiting for the news that he has had a chance to have a chat. You will hear as soon as I can tell you, once I know," I assured Dad.
"Thank you, son. I'm glad you chose Mike. You two are good for each other and to each other. You make all four of your parents proud, and that's not gay pride either," Dad said, and he put his arms around me and gave me a hug with a couple of pats on the back.
"And thank you too, Dad. It's so nice to have a parent I can talk to about anything and know I will not be treated as a little child. You and Mom are the best. I love you guys very much," I said.
"Careful, you will have me crying if you carry on like that. Your mum and I love you and Mike very much too," Dad said, letting go of me and turning towards the door.
"Goodnight, Dad. Sleep well."
"Goodnight, son. You sleep well too."
"What, in this empty bed?" I asked in mock horror.
"Yes!" Dad said with a smile, pulling my door closed behind him.
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