I can't believe all of this. Mom used to gripe if I suggested getting a kid's meal at Mickey D's instead of something off the dollar menu. Mamee is planning to hire the woman from the hospital to cater a party to celebrate my homecoming she calls it. She's planning on spending over a hundred dollars per person. I heard Grandmomma Annie Mae talking about having to send out invitations to half the county. I can't imagine that kind of money for one dinner, or that many people. I don't think I'm ready for all of this.
When we sat down to lunch today there were more forks on the table than I've ever seen before. Huey told us his mom wanted us all to practice eating for the party. I almost told them I knew how to eat, but I'm glad I didn't. She meant fancy eating, not normal eating. She would name some kind of food and we had to hold up the piece of silverware to eat it with. I didn't get very many right, but neither did Jessie. Mamee sat watching us, but she didn't say anything. I figured Huey was better at it since he lived here his whole life, but then I finally noticed that his grandmother was giving him hints with her eyes from across the table.
Mamee told Jessie and me after lunch that she was taking us shopping today. She says we need clothes. When she walked off, Jessie told me that he didn't think I needed any clothes. I could just stay in the room with him all the time and neither of us would ever need clothes again. He giggled at me when I blushed, but I got him to turn red too when I said it would only be fair if he weren't in clothes either.
I really want to do things with him again. You know, that kind of things, but cute Dr. Marc told us to behave ourselves until our damaged parts were better. I wish he'd told us how long that would be. I'm getting really horny. Sleeping next to Jessie isn't helping any either. I think he's having the same trouble I am, too. I feel him get stiff cuddled up behind me, and it feels good, but all of a sudden, he turns over the other way. Maybe he just doesn't want to be with me that way anymore. I'm not all me the way I used to be.
Well, it's time to go shopping now. It's kind of cool to have clothes that were replicated, but I guess I do need more than one outfit. My ex-mom used to get my clothes at the Goodwill thrift store, but I think Mamee will go to a real store. Look out Wal-Mart; here we come.
"Huey, are you coming with us or would you rather shop alone?" Mamee asked the teen as she and the boys were walking through the side yard toward the garage.
"I have all the clothes I need," he laughed. "What would I do with more?"
"Well, your mother mentioned that you don't have anything suitable for the party," the old woman responded. Under her breath, she muttered, "So much for the stereotypical gay boy liking to shop all the time."
"Oh, did you want me to serve at the party?" Huey asked her.
"Good heavens, no," Mamee answered quickly. "Boy, what is it going to take to get through to you? You are not hired help around here. I agreed to let you work the gardens because you seemed to like it so much. I didn't think you were asking because you thought you had to do it. If you feel this way, I will just hire another gardener."
"Please don't do that," Huey begged her. "I really did ask because I like it. Don't tell Momma or anyone else, but I want to be a landscaper."
"So you're going to major in landscape architecture in college?" she asked interestedly.
"Well, I didn't think I would go to college," the teen confessed. "I thought I would just start up my own business right after high school."
"Young man, you get in that house and get ready to go to town with me right this minute," Mamee ordered sternly. "I mean it," she added when he hesitated.
Jessie and Dixon had to hurry to catch up to her as she made her way to the garage. When they got there, Melvin was backing a long black limousine out of the building. The man must have seen the look on Mamee's face because he started talking quickly.
"Now, Mrs. Amee, I know you don't like the big car, but it just ain't fitting for you to go riding around in that old car all the time," he began. "And besides, I thought these here young'uns would get a kick out of riding around in style."
"Well, since you mentioned the boys, I'll forgive you this time, but I can't take the big car today anyway," she told him. "I want to give Huey a chance to drive some. It'll do him good to have some idea how to handle that little thing."
"What in the world did you go and buy that ugly thing for, anyway, Mrs. Amee?" Melvin questioned.
"Well, if everyone here will keep it a secret…." she said looking from Melvin to Dixon and then to Jessie. When they all nodded, she continued. "It's going to be Huey's birthday present from me. He seemed to like it so when Tyrone dropped it off."
"Mrs. Amee, he don't know what to do with a stick," Melvin announced. When Jesse and Dixon giggled and blushed, he corrected himself. "He ain't drove a standard transmission before."
"Well, he gets to learn today with us," Mamee said flatly.
"My dad told my brother Jason that he had to teach himself to drive a standard," Jessie said quietly. "He said that was the way he had learned, and that it was the best way to do it."
"Your father was a very intelligent man, wouldn't you agree, Melvin?" Mamee asked.
"Yes'm, that's the same thing my daddy told me, but he made sure I was in that car by myself," Melvin pointed out.
"I was in the car with Jason," Jessie mumbled. "He didn't know it at first, but I had snuck in because I wanted to be anywhere he was. I was just a little kid back then."
"Perhaps you were, but there is still nothing wrong with wanting to be with your brother," Mamee told him. "I called my friend Judge Leggett and told him to find your brother and do anything he could to help them. He has instructions to do whatever is necessary to get your brother here as soon as possible." She looked up as Huey walked out to join them. "In the meantime, we are going to accompany Huey as he learns to drive this….What did you call it, Huey?"
"It's the sweet little love bug!" Huey exclaimed when he saw the Volkswagen. "Wait a minute; did you just say I'm driving it?"
"She sure did, son," Melvin told him with a smile. He grew serious as he added. "She's going to be riding in there with you, so you best take care now, you hear?"
"No problem, Poppa," Huey bragged as he opened the door of the little green car. "Hey, what's that extra pedal for?"
"Mamee, are you sure you want us in the car the first time he drives it?" Dixon asked softly, but not so low that Huey couldn't hear it.
"I was kidding, smartass," Huey retorted.
"None of that, young man," Mamee scolded him. "We do not refer to Dixon as that dreadful word you used."
"Yeah, it's much cuter than it is smart anyway," Jessie whispered in Dixon's ear.
"See there, you've upset him," Mamee continued, not hearing Jesse's comment. "He's all red in the face."
"I'm not mad at Huey, Mamee," Dixon mumbled as Jessie giggled. "Jessie said something to me, that's all."
"Ooh… it must have been something good," Huey observed with a mischievous grin.
"My word, I had managed to completely forget that boys your age think with the other head first all the time," Mamee gasped, and then laughed as all three boys ducked their heads. "You boys are too easy to target. I'm going to have a good time today."
If she regretted those words by the time they got to the end of the driveway, she didn't say anything. Just in that distance, Huey had exposed them to jumps and jerks that would delight any chiropractor who might have been watching. Mamee, in fact, did not say one word until they reached the gate at the end of the two-mile drive and Huey apologized.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Amee," the teen said quietly. "I'll run back and get Poppa to drive if you want."
"I most certainly do not want you to do that," she answered. "Huey, I will not ask you again to stop calling me Mrs. Amee," she added sternly. "You call me Mamee just like the other boys."
"Are you sure?" Huey asked her.
"Well of course I'm sure," she told him. "Why should you call me something different than my other boys?"
"I meant about the driving," the exasperated teen sighed.
"I know perfectly well what you meant, and you know just as well what I did," she responded. "Now, please restart the car, and take me to Lopez' Nursery."
"I thought we were buying clothes," Dixon piped up from the back seat.
"We will get to that," Mamee told them all. "First, we will show little Mr. Independence how much money he will need to just start up a business."
"I know it will take some money," Huey began.
"Today we'll learn how much you will need," the old woman told him. When he looked at her in confusion, she continued. "I intend to give you the money with which you will start the business…. On one condition," she added when he started to get excited. "You must get a bachelor's degree in either business management or landscape architecture. You will not be just another yard man mowing old ladies lawns."
"Yes, ma'am, Mrs…" he started, and then corrected himself. "I mean Mamee. Thank you," he added as he leaned over and gave her a quick hug. "Buckle up boys, here we go!"
"Trust us, we're already buckled," Jessie and Dixon told him.
"Mamee, may I respond to their teasing?" Huey asked politely.
"Well, just this once," she agreed.
"Bite me," the teen snapped at the two boys in the back seat.
"No thanks, you're too old," Dixon retorted.
"I've already got the only boy I want to be with," Jessie whispered into Dixon's ear as he snuggled as close as the seatbelts would allow. Dixon's smile could have blinded them all if they had looked directly at it.
Sonny Peltier sighed heavily as he pulled up in front of his home. The last few days had not been easy on him. He and his family had really been through the ringer since his son, Philip, had been outed to the world when he and his boyfriend were arrested on morals charges. It had been three days now and that was still the most detailed answer he could get about their alleged specific crimes. The police and the district attorney's office would only say that the boys were being held for morals charges.
The town, it seemed, had already learned of the case, though, even if the information was somewhat distorted. When Sonny had gone to work the next day, his secretary had met him at the door in tears.
"Sonny, I just wanted to tell you how brave I think it is that you are coming into work today. When I think of the future that boy had in front of him, well it just turns my stomach."
"Yes, Louise, the Pickhinke boy is a tragedy, but I'm sure the mother will get what she deserves," he had responded.
"Who?" Louise asked in confusion. "Oh, you mean that poor boy they mutilated."
"Wait a minute, who did you mean?" Sonny said quickly, his own confusion showing.
"Why, I remember just a couple of years ago when he was in high school, you brought Little Phil in here for father son day," the woman blubbered. "I'd never have dreamed that good looking son of yours would turn out like this."
"Well, I don't suppose any parent wants their child to be gay when there is still so much hatred out there, but we can't change that anymore than we can that red head of his," Sonny told her calmly.
"I never thought I would hear you defending child abuse," Louise said coldly.
"What?!?" Sonny gasped.
"What your son and that perverted friend of his did to those boys is against the laws of man and God, and one of them the younger brother." She gasped in obvious shock and horror as she added, "Do you think they murdered the parents just to get their hands on those children?"
"Louise, I would have thought that after all the years we've worked together we would have known one another better than this," Sonny told her sadly. "I'm surprised at you believing local gossip about my family without any basis in fact."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Peltier, I really am," she murmured.
"I must ask you not to discuss this matter further," Sonny continued. "Hold all my calls except the most important today. I will have a hard enough time concentrating as it is."
"Yes, sir," the woman agreed as he shut his office door. A short while later, when he couldn't get her to answer the intercom, he walked to the door and overheard her talking to someone else. "…so sad, isn't it? They never want to believe that it's their child, do they? …I know, they say that Jeffrey Dahmer's parents didn't believe he was guilty either. Makes you wonder what the home life really is like."
"Louise, would you ask Mr. Barrington's secretary to let her boss know that I will be working from home the rest of the day?" Sonny blurted as he stormed out of the office.
"She just called to tell you that he suggested that anyway," she replied. As he walked out, Sonny heard back on the phone, saying, "I was just thinking the same thing, Barbara. Too little too late…."
The next two days had not gone any better, but today was definitely the worst. Sonny had shown up for a court appointment for the company, only to find that a corporate attorney from the home office was handling the case. When he asked why, Sonny had been told that he was no longer needed in the local office. Corporate headquarters would handle the legal matters now. His only satisfaction came from the knowledge that Louise had been fired as well.
It didn't matter to him. Now he could devote more time to the boys' defense, as well as their suit against the school. Sonny had no doubt that the college would have suspended Philip and Jason from the team temporarily because of the charges. After all, that was stated in the college handbook. What the school had done however was completely remove them not only from the team, but from all of their classes as well. There had been no hearing before any student government or faculty board where they could explain the charges against them. They were simply removed from the rolls, and barred from the campus.
"Sonny, thank goodness you're home," his wife Libby said as he walked in the door. "The phone finally stopped ringing," she said with a smile. "It quit right about the time I unplugged the last one in the house."
"You unplugged all the phones in the house?" he asked her.
"I couldn't stand to hear another word," she said bitterly. "I thought these people were our friends. We've known them for years."
"I told you not to let it bother you, they will all change their tunes when the boys are cleared," Sonny told her.
"Where did you go this morning after you found out that you were fired?" Philip asked his father as he walked into the kitchen. "You had Mom worried sick, you know," he pointed out.
"How did you? Never mind, it doesn't matter how you found out," Sonny sighed once more. "It's true; you are looking at an unemployed attorney."
"You are not unemployed," Jason said as he joined them. "You are my defense attorney," he added with a smile. "In light of this turn of events, I would like to double what I'm paying you, but since I can't pay you anything, I don't guess that helps much does it?"
"It helps a lot, actually," Sonny told the young man. "It's the thought that counts, son. Besides, I'll just bill you with interest once you're a rich doctor in private practice with my son."
"Gee, thanks," Jason grinned despite the sarcasm of his words.
"Jason, you listen to me," Libby told him. "You are part of this family now. You don't ever owe us anything."
"Thank you, ma'am." He blushed sheepishly at the glare she directed his way and corrected himself. "I mean Mom."
"Jason, if your slip of the tongue is because you don't want us to take the place of your parents…." Sonny began, but Jason cut him off.
"Not at all," he said quickly. "I just need to get used to having parents again, I guess." He sighed as he sat down at the table. "It's funny, you know. I wasn't prepared to become Jessie's parent when our folks died, but I grew to really like it. Now I've lost him and regained parents of my own."
"You haven't lost Jessie," Libby said as she hugged her newest son. "Think of him as misplaced. We'll find him one way or another."
"Yeah, Squirt's just lost right now, like the shirt I had in my closet last month," Philip agreed.
"Your shirt isn't lost," Jason told him. "I took it home with me after we went out that night. It smelled like you did that night. It's under my bed in my apartment."
"I don't want to hear any more details," Sonny said, chuckling as he left the room.
"I think it's romantic," Libby said as she followed her husband. "When is the last time you smelled my clothes."
"You want me to smell your clothes?" Jason and Phillip heard from the other room followed by a quick scream of surprise from Libby.
"You are incorrigible, Madison Peltier," Libby scolded.
"You're right, I'm very encourageable," Sonny answered with a laugh. There was another scream of surprise from Libby just before Sonny walked back into the kitchen carrying her in his arms. "You kids are on your own for dinner tonight. We'll be occupied."
"EEEEWWWW!!! Tell me that did not just happen," Philip moaned after he heard his parents' bedroom door shut behind their giggles.
"No, it didn't just happen," Jason told him. "It's happening now, though."
"Oh, you were wrong for going there," Philip complained.
"I didn't go there, they are," Jason retorted.
"Stop it," Philip ordered.
"Where are Mom and Dad?" Priscilla asked as she walked into the kitchen.
"That's it," Philip stated firmly. "We are going out for dinner. Come on, Prissy."
"You know I don't like that name," Priscilla whined.
"Well, stop acting that way, and we'll quit calling you that," Philip returned.
"Now, Philip, I think we should cut her some slack," Jason intervened. "Look what she did for the boys."
"I didn't know I was going to get them hurt," the girl suddenly burst into tears. "I just knew they were like you guys. They needed each other."
"Priscilla, sweetie, this is not your fault," Philip told her as he dropped to his knees and embraced her. "You didn't get them hurt. It was that bitch that calls herself Dixon's mother."
"Philip, language," his mother said from the door. "Just because she is one, that doesn't mean we use that sort of language around your sister."
"Sorry Mom," Philip apologized not very convincingly.
"I thought Gina was my friend," Priscilla began again. "I had told her about you guys, and she seemed ok with it. I didn't think she would blab about Dixon and Jessie."
"Now we know," her father said from the doorway. "It's alright, Priscilla. As your brother said, this isn't your fault. Gina may not be at fault either. She probably mentioned it to her parents. Her mother is Dixon's teacher, after all." Sonny looked over at Jason and saw that the boy was deep in thought about something. "If you're thinking of doing something to Dixon's teacher…."
"What?" Jason asked. "Oh, no sir, I wasn't thinking about that at all. I just… well… I mean…. Oh, never mind."
"Go ahead and say it, son," Libby encouraged.
"Well, it's kind of personal and none of my business, but you two came back out here awfully fast…." His voice trailed away in thought once more.
"Oh, is that all?" Sonny laughed. "We weren't doing anything in there but listening to Philip complain about our behavior. He's such an easy target. That's how we knew he might be gay, you know. A straight teenage boy would be embarrassed but not quite so disgusted by a little romance in the house."
"DAD!" Philip blurted as his face shone red.
"We knew you had found a partner when you got rid of that stash of sex toys under your bed," his mom added.
"WHAT? MOM!" Philip bellowed in surprise, as his face got even redder.
"You never told me you had sex toys," Jason teased his lover.
"What are sex toys?" Priscilla asked.
"Your mother will tell you when you're older," Sonny said quickly.
"I will?" Libby gasped.
"You brought it up," Sonny reasoned. Now it was Libby's face that turned scarlet.
Well, I thought it was about time we caught back up with Jason and Philip. I wouldn't want you to think they were forgotten. They have troubles of their own to work out right now, but it looks like they have some help to do it. Will Sonny be able to pull their butts out of this mess, or will he need help though? Time and future chapters will tell.
As for Jessie and Dixon, it seems there are still some issues there as well. Settling into the life of luxury isn't as easy as most people think it is apparently. I think they will get all the help they need with that from their new family though. It will certainly help Jessie if he can be reunited with Jason though. We'll have to see how it turns out for them all in the next couple of chapters, which are in the works as we speak.
Thanks for reading my tale,