Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Man From Swift Current Chapter Ninety Seven - Jeb

Chapter Ninety Seven - Jeb

It was the third week since the semester had started and Maury sat at the bar in Swinging Richards and nursed a rum and coke.   It was Friday night and he was hoping to find someone to take home with him but at the same time he loved watching the dancers.   They provided him with ample jerk off material for later just in case he didn’t succeed in finding a willing sex partner.

He wasn’t worried about finding a partner.   He prided himself on keeping himself physically fit.   He considered himself attractive at 5’9” (175 cm.) with blue eyes, dark brown hair, and a goatee.   He wore wire-rimmed glasses that made his eyes seem ten times their normal size.   He was thin and wiry.   He usually went for the big, muscle type guys.

His thoughts wandered to his new transfer student, Glenn Nielsen, and his partner, Rick.   The thought entered his mind that maybe he could convince the two to participate in a sex fantasy he had always wanted to bring into reality.   Just imagining the big Marine naked had him hard.

“Maury, how are you doing?” a voice said in his ear.

He started at the sound then focused on the speaker.   He recognized one of his previous one night flings.   Maury smiled and said, “It’s good to see you, Terry.”

Terry grinned and asked, “Are you up for another night of great sex?”

Maury nodded his head.   He and Terry had hooked up a few weeks ago.   He had enjoyed himself immensely but Terry had left him the next morning and he hadn’t even exchanged cell numbers with him.   He figured that would be the last he would ever see of the guy.  

Terry was a big guy standing at 6’4” (193 cm.).   He had played football in college and had become a physical trainer after graduation.   He had the body of muscle builder and loved to show it off.   He wore a bright white muscle shirt that showed off his dark brown skin.   His tight jeans left very little to the imagination as to how well-endowed he was.   Terry kept his head shaved so the cobra tattoo that wound around his neck and up onto the top of his head was clearly visible.  Maury considered Terry to be the perfect male specimen.

Maury finished his drink and turned to Terry with a grin.  “I’m ready when you are.”

Terry stood up and put his arm around Maury’s waist.  “I’m glad you showed up here tonight.   I’ve decided I like older men, specifically, I like you.”

Maury laughed.  “I’m glad you like older men because I like younger men!   Your car or mine?”

“I'll follow you.   I plan on staying the weekend with you and I don’t want my car towed,” Terry said.

As Maury drove home with Terry following him, he thought about Terry’s statement that he was going to spend the weekend.   The thought had him extremely horny.   A whole weekend of great sex sounded so wonderful to him.   He pulled into the driveway of his home and parked the car.   He climbed out and greeted Terry as he got out of his car.

Terry smiled.  “Let’s take this party inside.”

Maury led the way to the front door and unlocked it.   He opened the door and walked inside.   He turned as Terry closed and locked the door behind him.   Terry said, “Don’t turn on the light.”   He pulled Maury into his arms and kissed him.

Terry released Maury and started undressing him.   He said, “Let’s get a shower together.   I want you completely clean before we go any further.   Have you been tested lately?”

Maury replied, “Yes.   I got the results back last week.   I’m clean.  You?”

Terry said, “I got tested last week just like you did and I’m clean as well.   Are you willing to forego condoms tonight or do you still want us to use them?”

Maury hesitated for a moment.   He knew he shouldn’t trust Terry’s claim that he was clean and insist on using a condom but the thought of bareback sex with Terry was so tantalizing!   He finally answered, “Bareback is fine.”

Terry kissed him and said, “Then let’s get our evening started.”

Maury and Terry showered and then went into Maury’s bedroom.   Terry looked into Maury’s eyes and said, “I intend to fuck your brains out.”

Maury grinned and responded, “That is exactly what I had in mind.”

*** ***

Rick woke up early Monday morning and quietly slipped out of bed.   He looked down at his partner’s face and wondered how he had ever managed without Glenn.   He padded across the room to their en suite and relieved himself.   He returned to their bedroom and climbed back into bed.  

As he looked up at the ceiling, his thoughts returned to the recent wedding.   He was very grateful for Grandpa Scarborough.   Greg and Cory deserved to be happy and Grandpa had made that possible.    He reflected on everything Glenn’s family had done for him.   First, Keith and Roger had rescued him from Angie’s brothers.    Then, Keith’s parents paid for his first year of college including room and board.   And most importantly, Keith had introduced him to Glenn!   He thought about how he had offered himself to Glenn and how cute Glenn looked that day.   

The memory of their first weeks as a couple made him very horny.   He rolled over to see Glenn was looking at him.   He said, “Good morning.”  

I said, “Good morning, Babe.”   I reached over to caress Rick’s six pack abs before moving lower.   “I wonder what you have on your mind this morning.”

 Rick grinned, “What I always have on my mind when I’m with you!”

I got up and said, “I will be right back.”   I made a quick trip to relieve the pressure on my bladder.   Rick’s dick was still very hard and very erect!   I grinned, “I see you are still ready for action!”

Rick didn’t respond but pulled me down onto the bed next to him and proceeded to have his way with me!

*** ***

We must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember is my cell phone ringing.   I untangled myself from Rick and reached for the phone.   I answered it, “Hello.”

“It’s Michael.   I’m sorry if I woke you up,” Michael said.

“That’s okay.   We should be getting up anyway,” I responded.   “What’s up?”

“Can we come over?” Michael asked.

“Sure.   You and Cordell are always welcome,” I said.   I felt Rick stir and looked over at him.

“Well, it’s not just us.   Can we bring Jeb with us?” Michael asked.

“Yes, Jeb can join us.   I thought he didn’t like gays so what’s up with that?” I asked.

“He went home over the weekend and got into an argument with his dad.   He’s pretty upset.   Cordell called me last night to let me know Jeb was in pretty bad shape.   I came over here and we managed to calm him down last night but he’s still pretty mad at his parents.   We thought maybe you and Rick could help him sort out what’s going on inside his head,” Michael said.

“I can’t promise we'll be able to help him but we are certainly good listeners.   Have you guys eaten breakfast?” I asked.

“No,” Michael said.

“Why don’t you join us for breakfast?” I asked.

“Let me ask the guys,” Michael said.   I heard him speaking to Cordell and Jeb.   He got back on the phone.   “We'll over in about 20 minutes.   Is that okay?”

“Sounds good,” I replied.   “See you in a few minutes.”

I ended the call and turned to look at Rick.   Rick pulled me closer to him and kissed me.  “What’s going on?”

“Jeb had an argument with his dad and is really upset.   Michael seems to think we can help Jeb sort things out,” I said.

“Since when did we become therapists for the religiously conflicted?” Rick asked with a smile.

“Ever since you decided we needed to help anyone who is in need,” I responded, gazing steadily into Rick’s eyes.

“When was that?” Rick asked, smiling even wider.

“The day you took me in your arms and just held me,” I said, looking deeply into his eyes.   “I needed you very much that day and you were there for me.”

“Yes, I was; however, that doesn’t mean we need to be there for everyone who thinks they need a counseling session,” Rick said.

“Yes, it does because we want our friends to be as happy as we are,” I responded.

“I agree with that but I have one question:   How does Jeb fit into that category?” Rick asked.

“He’s a friend of Cordell’s and that makes him our friend, too,” I said.

“So we now collect friends of friends,” Rick asked jokingly.

“Yes, we do,” I said and kissed him lightly on the lips.   “We don’t have to help the entire world, Rick, but we do have an obligation to help our friends.   I have a feeling Jeb will become a good friend,” I said.

“I hope you’re right.   I’m not so sure given his background,” Rick said.

“Rick, please give him a chance,” I pleaded.   “I know he sounded pretty self-righteous and arrogant when the guys met him but maybe now we can reach him.”

“Okay, I agree we need to listen to him but don’t get your hopes up about changing Jeb’s belief that gays are evil.  Remember what my family tried to do to us?” Rick said.

 “Thank you for at least listening to him.   Believe me, I remember what your family did to us,” I said.

“We had better hurry if we want to get showered before they get here,” Rick said.

Rick got up and pulled me to my feet.   We had a quick shower and had just finished getting dressed when we heard a knock on the door.   We walked into the foyer and opened the door.

Michael entered holding Cordell’s hand.   Jeb stood outside in the hallway.   I saw him look at me then he looked down at the floor.   I said, “Don’t just stand there.   Come inside so we can shut the door.   You must be Jeb.”

Jeb looked at me and said, “Yes, I’m Jeb McComb.   Thank you for letting me come over.”

Jeb was the same height and build as Cordell but had curly dark brown hair and puppy dog brown eyes.   He had a crooked nose that looked like it had been broken several times.   Jeb wore loose fitting gym shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt showing off his huge arms.  He saw me looking him over and he smiled.   It was kind of a lop-sided grin that brightened his face.   “Cordell warned me you would give me the once over.”

“Well, I’m gay and I love looking at good looking men!” I said, smiling at Jeb.

“Thank you for the compliment,” Jeb replied.   “I’ve never considered myself good looking.”

We walked into the kitchen where Michael and Cordell were talking to Rick.   “Okay, guys, I’m putting you to work.”

Rick groaned and gave the guys his “I’m so picked on” look.  “See what a slave driver he is?   Cordell, never let Michael get the upper hand if you know what’s good for you!”

I put my arms around Rick’s waist and looked into his eyes.  “You love me and you know it!”

Rick kissed me and replied, “Yes, I love you and that’s why your every wish is my command.”

I laughed.  “Okay, Mr. Wise Guy, just for that you get to make the pancakes.”   I released him and Rick obediently got out the pancake griddle and plugged it in to begin heating up.   “Cordell, you get to make the scrambled eggs and Michael you’ve got the sausage.”

Jeb waited to see what I would assign him.   When an assignment wasn’t forthcoming, he asked, “What about me?”

I grinned.  “You’ve got the hash brown potatoes.   They’re in the freezer.”

Rick looked over at me and asked, “So, what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to supervise the whole operation,” I said, laughing as Rick grabbed me and pulled me into a bear hug.

“I think you get to help me with the pancakes,” Rick said, nibbling on my ear.

“I’d like to help you with something else much tastier than pancakes,” I said, grinding my groin against his.

Rick laughed.   “Glenn, you’re going to embarrass our guests by talking that way.”

I gave him my “who me” look and said, “Not I, Mr. Lernier.   Surely, you don’t think that such an innocent child as I am would ever say anything that would embarrass the virgin ears of those present?”

Rick grinned.  “First, you aren’t an innocent child, and second, you need to behave.”

“Do I have to, Daddy?” I asked, putting on my best pout.

Rick released me and ruffled my hair.   “Yes, my son, you have to behave.”

Jeb laughed.  “You guys are a crack up!”

Rick grinned.   “Yes, Glenn, is a crack up but I love him for it.”   Rick handed me the pancake mix and a bowl.

I poured some pancake mix into the bowl and added some water and stirred it until it was the right consistency for making the pancakes and handed it back to Rick.   We chatted about school as we cooked breakfast.   When the food was ready, we sat down together at the table.

Rick looked across the table at Jeb and asked, “Will you say grace?”

Jeb looked surprised but responded, “Sure.”   After he finished, he said, “Do you always say grace?”

“Yes, we do, Jeb,” Rick said.

“My Dad said gays are ungodly and don’t acknowledge there is a God,” Jeb said.

“Well, Jeb, your Dad is wrong.   I’m sure there are many gays who don’t believe in God just like there are many straight people who don’t believe in God.   However, most of the men I know who are gay were raised in good homes and were taught there is a God or a higher power we answer to for our actions,” Rick said.

Jeb thought for a moment as he continued eating.  Swallowing a bite of pancake, he asked, “Then why do the ministers of so many churches say such things?”

“I don’t know for sure but I can guess it is out of fear,” Rick said.  

“Fear of what?” Jeb asked.

“Fear that gays will take over the world or maybe it’s fear that they, themselves, are gay and don’t want to be found out,” Rick said.   “I don’t really know.   Given what most Christian churches teach about loving your neighbor, their words and actions seem inconsistent with the most basic doctrines they push at people every Sunday.”

Jeb looked around the table and then said, “I had a big argument with my Dad last night about gays and what he preaches at his church.”

“Tell him what else happened,” Cordell said encouragingly.

“Dad slapped me and threatened to disown me if I ever talked to him about gays, again,” Jeb said.

“What did you say that got him so upset?” I asked.

“I told him he was wrong to advocate for violence against God’s children even if they were gay,” Jeb said.   “He said gays were children of the devil and we should eradicate them from the earth before God struck us down for allowing such vile sinners to continue living among us.   I quoted scripture to him about how Jesus was called to save the sinners, not the whole, and we should reach out in kindness and in love to help gays.   That made him even angrier and he lost his temper.”   Jeb stopped and seemed to be struggling within himself.

“Go on and tell them the rest,” Cordell said.

“My mother accused me of being disrespectful and disobedient.   I told her that nowhere in the Holy Bible does Jesus say to hate your enemies or to kill them.   He said to love them that hate you and love one another.   There aren’t caveats and exceptions listed with those two scriptures.    I also told them that being obedient to them did not include breaking God’s commandments such as they were saying.   Being guilty of murder is the worst sin you can commit and I told them that they were both murderers in their hearts and needed to repent before the wrath of God fell upon them and took them from this earth,” he paused to gain control of his emotions before he continued.  “Both she and my Dad asked me to leave and not return to their home,” Jeb said.   Jeb’s eyes were bright with unshed tears.  

Cordell said, “Jeb showed up last night with everything he owns in the back of his pickup truck.   I called Michael to come over and help us get everything unloaded.   Michael suggested we call you guys this morning.   He said you guys would know what Jeb should do.”

Rick and I looked at each other then back at the three guys who were waiting expectantly for our words of wisdom.   Rick spoke first, “Thank you for paying us such a high compliment.   I wish I could say we have all the answers but we don’t.   Here is what I would suggest – leave them alone to let them cool off a bit.   Maybe try contacting them around Thanksgiving or Christmas to see if things have changed.   Hopefully, they will come to their senses by then.   Next, do you have enough money to continue going to school?”

“Yes, I'm on a full ride scholarship that includes books and I have a couple of grants that help me pay for room and board,” Jeb said.

“I would suggest getting a part-time job and save the money for incidental expenses.   Do you own the truck you are driving?” I asked.

“Yes, I paid for it myself.   I worked and saved the money for it and paid cash,” Jeb said.

“So I take it you have your own bank account and your parents are not on the account with you?” Rick asked.

“Yes, I have a bank account but my parents are both on it,” Jeb said.

“I would close the account and open one in just your name so they can’t take your money,” Rick said.   “You need to be as self-sufficient as possible just in case they decide to take additional measures against you other than disowning you.”

Jeb nodded his head in understanding.   “I just can’t believe they wouldn’t listen to me and then they went so far as to disown me.”

“Sometimes parents do things they normally wouldn’t do when it comes to their children.   They invest so much time and effort to raise them that they freak out when things turn out differently than they expected,” I said.  

“How do you know that?” Jeb asked in surprise.

“My Uncle Dave spent a lot of time talking to me about why my Dad disowned my brother Randy for being gay,” I said.   “I couldn’t understand why Dad turned against my brother, Randy, when he had always told us he loved us unconditionally but then showed us he lied to us the entire time.   Uncle Dave explained that parents have such high expectations of their children they sometimes can’t handle the fact their little darlings don’t measure up and they go over the edge and disown them.   Other parents treat their children as property and they expect total abject obedience from their offspring and can’t handle it when their children refuse to follow their dictates.”

Rick said, “It’s kind of like they feel they bought you because they have paid for your food, clothing, and everything else since you were born.”

“But don’t you owe them some respect for doing that?” Michael asked,

“Yes, but does that mean you have to lick their boots and kiss their ring?” Rick asked with more than a little acid in his voice.   “I say “NO” because they don’t own me and I’m not their slave.   Not only that, respect goes both ways.   My parents don’t respect me and my views and have tried to enforce their religious views by the use of violence.”

“But that goes against everything Jesus taught,” Jeb said.   “He said the Law of Moses was fulfilled by Him and that old things were done away.   He gave us a higher law to live.   The old law was an eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth.   There were many offenses that require a punishment of death.   Jesus replaced that with a law that said we should love one another and bear one another’s burdens.   He taught us to guard our thoughts and not to commit sin in our hearts,” Jeb said.   “I argued with Dad about it and used scriptures from the Bible and he still doesn't see he is committing the greater sin.”

I said, “Jeb, haven’t you gotten angry sometimes when someone pointed out you were doing something wrong?”

“Yes, but Dad always said that getting angry when corrected was a sign of pride and I needed to be more humble,” Jeb replied.   He thought for a moment and then said, “Maybe that is why my parents got angry with me.   When I pointed out that they were in error, their pride wouldn’t let them admit that they were wrong.”

“Maybe,” Rick said.   “In any case, give them some time to think things over and maybe they will change their minds.”

Cordell said, “My Mom says we should always reach out to those we love and show them we still love them no matter what has happened or what has been said.   She says life is too short to hold grudges.”

Rick said, “I agree with your mother but I haven’t been able to forgive my parents for trying to murder me and Glenn.   I don’t want anything to do with them and I have no intentions of trying to reach out to them.”

Jeb looked at Rick in shock.  “What do mean tried to murder you?”

Rick said, “Let me tell you what my parents did along with the rest of my family.”   Rick and I related the events that had occurred since we had become a couple.

When we were finished, Jeb asked incredulously, “How can good God-fearing people twist the teachings of the Lord so much to justify their actions?   How can they prefer to have their son murdered rather than love him and try to influence him to do good?”

“I don’t know,” Rick replied with bitterness in his voice.   “Maybe it has to do with the pride thing we were talking about earlier.   They can’t handle the fact that I’m gay and don’t want people to think they failed as parents because I don’t agree with their religious views.”

“But didn’t they teach you that everyone is a child of God?” Jeb asked.

“Yes, they did but only the chosen ones continue to be the children of God,” Rick said.   “They taught me everyone else belongs to the devil because they haven’t been saved.”

“That doesn’t square with what the Bible teaches,” Jeb said.   “We all belong to Christ even if we don’t accept him fully He still loves us.   He taught us to love everyone and to treat each other accordingly.”

“I wish everyone felt the way you do, Jeb,” I said.   “If they did, we wouldn’t have so many problems in the world today.”  I paused and looked around the table, seeing everyone was done eating, then continued, “Hey, guys, enough of this heavy duty conversation.   Let’s clean up the kitchen and then I want to do some go kart racing today.   What do you think about that?”

Rick grinned.   “I’m up for that.”

I said, “Okay, I will call downstairs to see if Keith and Kerry want to join us.”

“One of us will have to take care of Egan so they can race,” Rick noted.

“I’m willing to do that for them,” I said.   I made the call and turned to Rick.  “Keith is really excited about going with us.   Kerry wants to stay home and rest.”

We cleaned up the dishes and were just getting ready to head out when we heard a knock on the door.   I opened it to find Keith standing there.   “Are you guys ready?”  Keith asked.

“Yes, we’re ready.   Let’s go guys,” Rick said.

We made our way to Andretti’s and spent most of the day playing games and racing.   Afterwards we met Kerry at our favorite pizza place – The Mellow Mushroom for dinner.

Jeb sat next to Kerry and looked down at Egan sleeping in his baby carrier.   “How old is your baby?”

“Egan is almost two months old,” Kerry said with a smile.

“He is really cute,” Jeb said.

“Thank you,” Kerry said.   “We think he’s pretty special.”

“Kerry, how do you handle being around so many gay guys?   Doesn’t it bother you?” Jeb asked.

“Jeb, it doesn’t bother me because I don’t see them as gays.   I see them as the fine young men they are.   Just because they are in love with another man doesn’t change them into monsters or devils.   They are human beings just like you and I.   If people would stop trying to label them as gays and started viewing them as the handsome young men they are, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now,” Kerry said.   “Our society likes to put labels on you and then expects you to act in certain ways.   Labels are used by people who are afraid to face the truth.   It makes it easy for us to ignore the fact we're all human beings.   It is important to remember that human beings are multi-faceted creatures and don’t fit neatly into any specific category.   Labels are very dangerous because they cause us to deceive ourselves into thinking we know someone.   As a result, we see only what we want to see and miss who people really are.”

“That is kind of how I used to see gays,” Jeb said.   “I saw them as evil until I met Rick and Glenn’s friends here a few weeks ago.”

Keith asked, “So what changed your mind about gays?”

Jeb looked at Keith and replied, “Greg and Cory’s story hit me hard.   I had no idea that good Christian people were violating God’s laws in the name of their religion.   I spent a long time studying and looking for answers after I heard what happened to them.   That is why I argued with my Mom and Dad.   Everything I studied showed that hatred and violence are not God’s way.   They are tools of the devil to take us away from God.”

Keith nodded his head.   “I agree with you Jeb.   We need to help others see the error of their ways and encourage them to change but we have to do it with love and kindness – not hatred and persecution.”

Jeb looked at me and then he looked back at Keith.  “You two look so much alike you could be twins!”

I laughed.  “We used to tease Kerry because she couldn’t tell us apart sometimes.”

“They were so mean to me!” Kerry said and explained how we used to put on sunglasses and then try to get her to guess who was who.

Jeb said, “It’s easy to know who is who because Glenn has blue eyes and talks like a Canadian.”

 Keith said, “That is why we wore sunglasses so she couldn’t see the color of our eyes and we wouldn’t speak because she would know right away who was who.”

“I have never had any trouble picking out which cousin was Glenn,” Rick said.

Jeb looked at Rick in surprise and asked, “How do you know?”

Rick laughed and put his arm around my shoulders and said, “Glenn is a better kisser than Keith.”

Keith protested, “No he is not!”

Kerry interrupted, “Keith, Glenn is a better kisser.   I figured that out after about the third time you guys tried to trick me.”

“What?” Keith asked incredulously.

“Glenn knows how to french kiss better than you do,” Kerry repeated.   Seeing Keith’s wounded expression, Kerry quickly added, “But you're the one I love.”   She leaned over and kissed him on the lips.

Mollified, Keith smiled and said, “There for a moment you had me worried.”

Kerry laughed.  “Don’t be worried, Keith.   Glenn is very much in love with Rick and I'm very much in love with you.”

Our pizza arrived and we enjoyed the rest of the evening with our friends.   As we left the restaurant, Jeb said, “Thank you for talking with me today.   It really helped to hear what you had to say.”

I said, “You are always welcome to come by and chat any time.”

Rick echoed my sentiments, “We would love to have you join us when we go back to Andretti’s.”

“I’d really like that,” Jeb said.

“Oh, Jeb, one more thing,” I said.

Jeb looked at me and asked, “What?”

“Don’t forget to show your parents you love them despite how they have treated you.   We talked a lot about how they should be if they are true believers.   That same thing applies to you, too.   You need to be patient with them and treat them with kindness and respect.” I said.

Jeb grinned, “I won’t forget.   I’d like to study the Bible with you guys.   You and Rick seem to have a pretty good sense of what’s wrong and what’s right.   I would really like to hear your thoughts about what the Bible teaches.”

I looked at Rick, expecting him to decline but was totally surprised when he said, “Okay, Jeb.   I’m willing to have Bible discussions with you as long as you don’t try to shove your religion down my throat.”

I was so stunned by his answer I just stood there with my mouth open.   Rick looked at me and asked, “What?”

“You just agreed to have Bible discussions with Jeb,” I said in total disbelief.

“So, I didn’t say I was joining his church nor did I say I wouldn’t try to convince him that his beliefs are totally wrong,” Rick said.

“Rick, are you sure this is what you want to do?” I asked still very doubtful Rick was in his right mind.

“Trust me, Glenn, I have no intentions of roaming the streets preaching the gospel or starting my own religious radio show to preach to the ungodly.   Jeb’s religious views intrigue me and I want to hear what he has to say,” Rick said.

I turned to Jeb and said, “Alright, I guess we're having a Bible study session.”

Jeb had been watching us and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to cause trouble between you two.”

“It’s just that religious people have caused us so much harm I'm very hesitant to invite someone into our inner circle of friends with those kinds of thoughts.   We have enough to deal with without adding contentious religious discussions to the mix,” I said.

Jeb looked down and the floor and asked, “You don’t trust me, do you?”

I responded, “I trust you to remain true to your religious beliefs, Jeb.   Do I trust you with the sanctity of my home and to honor and respect the relationship Rick and I have as life partners?   Most certainly not!   We have been hurt too badly by Rick’s family to trust you or anyone else who professes to be a “Christian” and seeks to impose their beliefs on others.   I like you, Jeb, and I think you mean well but am I ready to just let you waltz into my home and start spewing out religious pronouncements of damnation and hellfire?  No, I am not.”

 Jeb looked like I had just popped his balloon.   “I’m sorry I asked.”  

He started to turn away from me but Rick put his hand on his shoulder and said, “Jeb, Glenn and I will talk it over and let you know about the Bible discussions.   It’s my fault Glenn is upset.   I should have talked to him first before agreeing to have religious discussions with you.   I respect you for having the courage to ask me if I wanted to study the Bible with you.”

I looked at Jeb and said, “You're welcome in our home anytime, Jeb.   I don’t want you to go away thinking we don’t like you.   It’s just that religion is a very sensitive subject for me.   Can we agree we won’t discuss religion until Rick and I have talked about it?”

Jeb smiled, “Sure.   I will talk to you guys later.”

Cordell, who had listened to the entire conversation, said, “Thank you for being willing to talk to Jeb.”

Rick replied, “He is your friend and that means he’s our friend, too.”

Jeb grinned.  “Cordell is a very good friend.”

Cordell said, “I guess we’ll keep you.”  

Cordell grabbed Jeb in a headlock and rubbed his head until Jeb said, “Okay, Cordell, you win.”

The guys jumped in their car and we went to ours.   After we got into the Land Rover, Rick leaned over and kissed me.   “I love you, Glenn.”

“I love you, too,” I replied.

“Will you forgive me for agreeing to have Bible study with Jeb without asking you first?” Rick asked, looking over at me.

“Yes, because you recognized it upset me and you told Jeb we would talk about it,” I said.   “I want to know why you are willing to do Bible study with Jeb?   Telling me that his religious ideas intrigue you doesn’t get me there.   I need more information to understand why you want to do this, especially given what we have been through.”

Rick thought for a moment before responding, “I want to know how Jeb went from hating gays and despising us to defending us to his parents and accusing them of being murders in their own hearts.   I'm curious how that thought process worked for him.   I want to know if what helped him understand we are children of God just like any other human being on the planet can help others to come to the same realization and stop the violence and hatred towards gays.”

“Now, that I understand,” I said.   “I’m okay with holding a Bible study in our home as long as that is the stated purpose and that everyone clearly understands why we are doing this.   I do not want to have any preaching to me or trying to convince me that I need to leave you and marry a woman.   I already have been getting that from Dad I don’t need anyone else pressuring me to do what they think is right.   They are not me and I don’t believe the same things they do nor do I ever want to be like them.”

Rick said, “I’m glad we had this little conversation and that you are in agreement with me that we can do this together.”   He leaned over and kissed me, again.  “Let’s go home.   I want you naked in my bed as soon as possible!”

I grinned at him.  “Your wish is my command.”   I put my hand on his leg and rubbed his inner thigh.

A couple of blocks down the road Rick put his hand over mine.  “I won’t make it home if you keep that up, Glenn.”

I laughed and said, “I just wanted to see if I could still get you excited.”

Rick gave me a quick glance and replied, “There’s no doubt about that!”   He moved my hand so I could feel how hard he was.   “Does that answer your question?”

I squeezed him hard and said, “Take me home so I can take good care of you!”

*** ***

Author’s Note:

A great place to go in Atlanta: