AUTHOR'S NOTES:

At very long last, kids, this book comes to a close. It's been a fun ride.

But the fun doesn't end here. I will begin posting a new one shortly and I'm going back to working on LGNH, if anyone remembers that one. It's been WAY too long. Too many irons in the fire.

James' story is nearly done. An original about Tony and Dane is also nearly done. And if anyone would be interested in Milan and his fellow hunky waiters as they encounter a pair of thirsty zombies, that short is finished and available now on Amazon ~dot~ com. Search for Spunk Craving Zombies, or for me, John T. Liz has also included a link on her blog.

I can say enough about my brilliant twin little sister with whom I share a brain. She's been with me every step of the way and I could never have done this without her. Liz, the biggest hug ever.

And keep an eye out for a new Errors chapter soon!

Much love as always to my girls, Maureen, Rebecca, Kate and Miss Pauline.

The FF witch hunt may or may not be over. I will continue to post here and move to AO3 as and when I have to. When/if I am forced to complete the relocation you can find me at - archiveofourown ~dot~ org. Then just do a search for Jtrue.

Anyone who has not read the incredible Equal & Opposite, or is not now reading the brilliance that is Errors & Omissions, or Enticements & Obstructions, all by OhJasperMyJasper, should go do so right now. Here is how you find them since the FF witch hunt removed Liz from this site - ohjaspermyjasper ~dot~ blogspot ~dot~ com.

WARNING:

This story is intended for an adult audience! There is crude speech, hate speech and adult sexual subject matter of a homosexual nature. If you are under 18 stop reading now!

AU/AH/OC

All character names from Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer. The similarities end there.


Chapter 56: Last Weekend

They poured out of the theatre along with all the other patrons, laughing again at the particularly funny parts.

"I loved when Stark Sands wore a suit except for the pants and those hip high, red leather, high heeled boots!" Seth expressed as they looked for their car and driver.

"Don't you have those boots?" Edward teased.

"If I did, you wouldn't wonder, you would know, 'cause I'd have put one up your ass!" Seth jabbed him with a finger.

"We should celebrate," Nasir declared. "I am free, I have asylum, and you two are homeowners together!"

"Not quite yet we're not. The sale's not final until after the closing," Edward was cautious as he slipped an arm around Jasper's trim waist.

"It will be," Seth absently nodded to no one as he watched people cross the street between the gridlocked cars.

"We should celebrate anyway," Nasir decided.

"Perhaps a glass of champagne someplace?" Garrett suggested.

"I don't know, guys. Jasper has to get up early for work," Edward pointed out.

"I thought you didn't work weekends?" Seth questioned.

"I usually don't, but things are getting busier with the holidays coming up and all the specials," Jasper explained.

"And he took time today to deal with the house stuff," Edward added. "It's already late, Jas. We should get back to the hotel."

"I'm good for one drink," Jasper said. There was a moment of silent communication between the two partners. The other four men saw exactly when Edward gave in, and Jasper's head tilted in response. "I know where we can go. Follow me, guys," he took Edward's hand and set off.

"Is it far, Jas? Garrett doesn't have a coat," Emmett pointed out.

"It's just across Eighth. We can almost see it from here," Jasper pointed as they made their way down 45th to the intersection. "You gonna be okay, Garrett?"

"I can make it that far," Garrett assured.

"Oh, here's our driver," Jasper pulled Edward along as he stepped off the curb. "Hey," he waved his free hand as Chaiyo opened his door to let them in right where he was stuck in the traffic. "We're not getting in. We're gonna have a drink or two at Celtic," Jasper pointed again.

"I'll loop around and wait for you outside," Chaiyo stated.

"Thank you," Jasper gave a nod. "C'mon, guys," he gestured with this head and continued with Edward to cross the street through the gridlocked vehicles.

At the intersection they had to wait for the traffic. Emmett watched Garrett shiver and stick his hands into his jeans pockets as Seth clutched to Garrett's arm. He didn't hesitate as he shrugged off his leather jacket and put it around Garrett's shoulders.

"Emmett, I can't let you do that," Garrett protested.

"I'll be fine," Emmett assured. "Anyway, look. Give me your hand," he took Garrett's wrist and moved Garrett's fingers over his already prominently displayed nipples through the tight Gaultier shirt.

"Oh, I see. You're a stud," Garrett stated.

"That shirt is not going to make it home," Nasir promised. "I am going to shred it and devour you."

"It's gonna be a fun limo ride home!" Emmett enthused. "I only want Nasi to come inside me though, okay, the rest of you hot tops?"

"We're taking a cab," Edward nodded as the light changed and they started across the intersection.

"I know, Habibi!" Nasir's face lit up with his brilliant idea. "I could take you on all fours, and if Garrett takes Sethy on his back, he could lay under you and you could suck each other while we fuck you!"

"Wow, you guys are closer than I thought!" Jasper laughed.

"Yeah, we're definitely taking a cab," Edward decided.

"Not to mention, yuk!" Seth made a face as they stepped up on the far curb.

"Yeah, that joke just totally backfired on me," Emmett admitted.

Playwright Celtic Pub was only the fourth business down from the intersection, in what were all clearly converted and historic row houses. Within, it had all the old world charm and deeply polished dark woods any Irish pub could hope to have. The main floor was busy and boisterous. A very long bar went the length of one side and bar height tables and chairs sat along the exposed brick on the other side. Large, flat screen TVs displaying every type of sporting event known to man, hung from the walls and ceiling every few feet. Just within the front door was a beautiful wood staircase that led up. Jasper knew right where he was going and, still clasping Edward's hand, headed up.

The second floor was clearly the dining room as it was all proper tables and chairs that had been set with white linens during the dinner hour. There was only a small bar on this floor, back near the kitchen. Jasper led them across the front area and to the next set of stairs and continued up.

The third floor had the most magnificent bar. Though not as long as the first floor bar, this one was ornately carved with corinthian pilasters, built in televisions and stained glass. There were more pub style tables at each end of the space and comfortable, raised, red velvet banquettes. This was by far the most attractive space of the floors they had so far seen. Jasper once again, did not pause or even slow down, and headed up the next set of stairs.

"Hey, if we're heading into orbit, can we take the elevator?" Seth called.

"There is no elevator," Jasper called back.

"It's only a four story building, Sweetie," Emmett pointed out. "We can't be going any further."

They arrived on the fourth floor to find a bar not quite as large, nor quite as ornate as the one just below, and discovered that it took up nearly all of the indoor space. At the far end, two enormous wood framed glass doors comprised most of the wall, and stood open onto what was now an open air space. The walls remained, but the roof of that section was gone. Large arches had been cut in the brick walls and attractive wrought iron rails had been inserted for safety. Flat screen televisions were mounted to the sides of a large stone fireplace which at this time of year had a roaring fire.

"How cool is this?!" Seth enthused as they walked outside.

"This place is a gem, Jas," Emmett rubbed Jasper's shoulder.

"Let me show you the second reason I love it up here," Jasper led them back inside. They returned to the front of the bar, near the top of the stairs, where Jasper pulled out barstools for them around the curve of the bar at the end. Everyone still wearing a jacket shrugged it off. Garrett hung Emmett's coat over the back of his chair.

"Name your poison, mates," a friendly barman with shaved head and a distinct Irish accent greeted them.

"We came in for some champagne, but I know you have a good selection of great beers here," Jasper took the lead.

"Perhaps we should just do that," Garrett was flexible.

"What's on tap?" Emmett asked.

"Bass, Blue Moon, Brooklyn Lager, Bud, Galway Hooker, Guinness, Heineken, Hoegaarden, Miller Lite, New Castle, Sam Adams Octoberfest, Smithwick's, Stella Artois, and Yuengling," the bartender listed as he rested both hands on his gleamingly polished bar.

"Anything German?" Emmett was disappointed.

"We don't do anything German here, mate," the bartender answered.

"Yeah, especially you!" Seth poked him in the ribs. "I'll have a Heineken, Barkeep."

"You're half Irish, Em. Get a Hooker," Jasper recommended.

"Ha!" Seth laughed.

"I do not think so," Nasir shook his head.

"Two of the Sam Adams Octoberfest, please," Emmett ordered.

"I'm gonna have a Smithwick's and my guy will have a Hoegaarden," Jasper ordered for Edward. He put his hand on top of Edward's on the bar. "Trust me."

"You know I do," Edward affirmed.

"And, Garrett, you like Stella, right? I'm going to recommend you get a Hooker too," Jasper stated.

"Man knows his beer," the bartender complimented.

"In that case, bring me a Hooker, my good man," Garrett agreed.

"Comin' right up," the bartender smacked the bar and headed for the taps.

"Who should I scalp first, you or your hooker?" Seth wondered aloud. Garrett just smiled and slipped his arm around his husband's shoulders to pull him close.

The bartender extracted huge mugs from the freezer and pulled their beers. He served the first four at once and then the last two. "Open a tab for ya?"

"Please," Jasper handed over his credit card.

"Jas, let me do that," Edward pulled out his wallet.

"No, Edward, please," Jasper grasped Edward's hand.

"Okay," Edward immediately capitulated.

"I'm Callum. If you men need anything, just shout," Callum bid.

"Callum, is there a match on, by any chance?" Jasper asked.

"Might be," Callum reached for the remote and turned on the big flatscreen up in the corner behind them. "And there ya go," he set the remote on the bar as a European football match came on the screen.

"Is that Arsenal?" Jasper asked. "It is!"

"Yay!" Seth clapped.

"Now you guys see why this is my favorite corner in this place?" Jasper asked.

"Is that Viktor?" Emmett pointed. "I wonder if Greg and the guys are there somewhere."

"I'm sure they are," Jasper stated.

"Who are they playing?" Seth asked.

"Liverpool looks like," Jasper informed.

"Is this live?" Seth's eyes lit up.

"Can't be," Jasper shook his head. "It's four AM Greenwich Mean."

"Stop acting like you're so smart," Seth gave a dismissive wave. "I want to go to London again, Honey," he didn't miss a beat. "Edward, you've never been. We all have to go. I want another signed ball, especially now that Viktor is Captain."

"I hear you enjoyed the locker room too," Jasper gave his lopsided grin.

"Well, obviously," Seth rolled his eyes. "Though, I don't know why they call it a locker room actually. There aren't any lockers, just, like, cubby things."

"I've been," Jasper nodded. "I know what you mean."

"I'd love to go to London with you," Edward held his partner's hand as he smiled into his eyes. "I've never had the urge to travel, but I'd go anywhere with you. Anywhere you want. All over the world."

"House first?" Jasper smiled.

"Yeah, let's get our house together first," Edward agreed. "Our home," he corrected.

"I can't tell you how much I love the sound of that," Jasper agreed. "Though technically we already have a home in Covington," he pointed out and everyone saw Edward beam.

"I know. You guys could take one of those around the world cruises," Seth suggested. "One of those really nice ones that take like three months or something and then we could fly in to meet you in places. Places like, I don't know, Istanbul or something."

"Just what I want to go see, the riots in Istanbul," Edward quipped. "Jas, don't let's miss the square where the government troops killed all those peaceful protesters."

"Right, absolutely. And I'm sure NBC wouldn't mind me taking a quarter off. No, that won't be a problem at all," Jasper shook his head.

"You're just being difficult," Seth flipped his hair.

"Am I difficult?" Jasper asked his partner.

"So difficult," Edward raised Jasper's hand to his lips and kissed it.

The tone of the announcer and the roar of the crowd made them all turn toward the television to see that a goal had been scored.

"Yay!" Seth raised his arms and bounced on his barstool.

"You're rooting for the other team," Jasper pointed out.

"What? I am?" Seth didn't get it. "No, our guys wear red," he pointed.

"Our guys are in yellow," Jasper corrected.

"We've been to Emirates Stadium. I know our guys wear red," Seth put his hands on his hips.

"Their uniforms were red," Nasir agreed.

"This isn't Emirates Stadium," Jasper informed. "This is Anfield Stadium. It's not nearly as big."

"And how do you know that?" Seth challenged.

"Because I've been there," Jasper answered. "And I can see that the Reds are at home, in their red, and our team is wearing their yellow Away Kit."

"Oh," Seth ran out of steam.

"Fooled me too, Sweetie," Emmett rubbed Seth's back.

"It's probably one of those Liverpool Away weekends where they have a match with Liverpool and Everton," Jasper surmised.

"Hey! Did you guys just see that?" Seth pointed. Everyone refocused on the screen to see an Arsenal player down.

"What happened?" Emmett asked.

"One of the guys in the red just came up behind one of our guys and stomped his foot onto his ankle for no reason," Seth revealed.

"It's not as rough as rugby, but sometimes the players get injured skirmishing over the ball," Jasper stated.

"No," Seth shook his head. "The ball was nowhere near them."

"It wasn't?" Jasper furrowed his brow and watched the screen. "Those are cleats too."

It was difficult to see the down player as men in yellow crowded around him. They only parted for the medical staff. The referee had stopped play and held up a red card.

"Ah, good," Jasper nodded.

"What does that mean?" Seth asked.

"The player that did that is being ejected from the match," Jasper informed. "He may even get a suspension. I hope he does. That was way not cool."

"Is that Viktor?" Emmett watched the screen carefully. Between the players legs, the cameras were able to get a view of the med techs tending to the injured player.

"Number Nine," Jasper noticed. "It is Viktor!"

"Why would that other guy do that?" Edward wondered aloud.

"Is that his name?" Seth read the screen. "Miroslav Akalski? Is he Bulgarian too?"

"I don't know him," Jasper shook his head. "Never heard of him. That name does sound like it could be Bulgarian. I wonder if Viktor knows him."

"Well, good riddance to the asshole," Seth gave a firm nod as the cameras watched Miroslav leave the pitch and head into the tunnel to the lockers.

They watched as Viktor was helped to his feet, but clearly could not put any weight on his injured ankle. He refused the stretcher or the help of the medics, and was carried off by Lukasz Fabianski and Kieran Gibbs under his arms. His Captain's armband was transferred to Tomas, and while the able Czech took command on the pitch, Arsène Wenger sent in Jack Wilshere to take Viktor's place in the midfield. This completed, the referee resumed play.

"No more Bulgarian on Bulgarian violence, please," Seth expressed.

"I can't really say I know about the Reds for sure, but I do know there are no more Bulgarians on our team," Jasper stated. "So I don't think we need to worry about that. I wonder what made that guy do that. That kind of thing doesn't happen in football, typically. I wonder how Viktor is doing," he and Seth pulled out their phones simultaneously.

"There should be news on the club website, right?" Seth asked.

"There would have to be," Jasper agreed. "I'll call Greg tomorrow too."

"Please let us know," Garrett requested.

"Absolutely," Jasper agreed.

"Where do you look?" Seth asked as he navigated through the website.

"Go to First Team and then Team News," Jasper directed. "I'm already there. All it says is ankle injury and the last match he played in, which was earlier today. I'll get more from Greg when I talk to him," he set his phone down.

"Please do," Seth nodded and put his phone away.

"What does everyone have planned for the weekend?" Garrett asked.

"Our place for ribeyes tomorrow night," Emmett spoke up. "My grill comes in the morning," he gave his dimpled grin.

"Oh, that sounds nice," Jasper agreed. "What should we bring?"

"Your appetites," Emmett answered. "Come over like around five or six. You can help me cook, Eddie."

"What can I do?" Jasper asked.

"Don't let the guy at the grill run out of beer. Ever," Emmett stressed the point.

"I can do that," Jasper laughed. "Say, Garrett, how's your hooker?"

"Quite good, actually. Most refreshing," Garrett regarded his mug. "I must get a hooker more often."

"And I thought I was too young to be a widow," Seth gave a sigh.

"How's the witbier, Eddie?" Emmett asked.

"Oh, it's really good. Jas was right," Edward smiled at his partner.

"I'm always right when it comes to you," Jasper smiled back and just as quickly realized what he had said. "I mean, I am now."

"Yeah, you are now," Edward ran his hand up Jasper's back and his fingers up into the hair at the nape of Jasper's neck. "I really want to kiss you right now."

"I certainly wouldn't object to that," Jasper answered with a sexy smile.

"I mean the kind of kiss that would be really inappropriate in here," Edward clarified. "Like a 'get us kicked out' kiss."

"Guys, it's been a very pleasant evening. Callum!" Jasper called. "You guys want another round before I cash out?"

"Might we all be ready to call it a night?" Garrett asked. "I know I haven't caught up on my own sleep yet."

"Another round?" Callum asked as he sauntered to their end of the bar.

"We're gonna call it a night, actually," Jasper answered.

"Okay," Callum headed back to his register. Everyone finished their beers and Emmett was the first to sit his empty mug on the bar with a very satisfied sigh.

"Thanks for the drink, Jas," Emmett expressed.

"Please. Thank you for the dinner and show!" Jasper countered.

"I can't wait to have you guys over to our house," Edward slid off his barstool. "Assuming that it is our house," he knocked on the bar.

"I can't wait to see it in person!" Seth enthused.

"You fellas enjoy the rest of your night," Callum returned with Jasper's card and receipt.

"Same to you, Callum," Jasper signed and wrote in a generous tip.

"I'm sure we'll see you again. Thanks for hooking us up with the game," Emmett gave Callum a wave.

"Sure thing," Callum waved back.

"Back out the way we came, guys," Jasper led Edward by the hand to the stairs and down, just as he had when they came up.

Their limousine was parked at the curb right outside the door and their driver jumped out when he saw them emerge from the bar.

"Helmsley Park Lane, Chaiyo, then home," Nasir instructed.

"Yes, Sirs," Chaiyo acknowledged as his passengers boarded. Jasper sat between Edward's legs again. Emmett sat next to them and pulled Nasir onto the seat between his legs. This left Seth and Garrett alone on the forward seat and Seth took full advantage of it as he draped himself over the seat and his husband. Emmett and Edward both wrapped their arms around their guys and held them tightly. Chaiyo returned to the wheel and pulled out into traffic.

As the hour approached midnight, it was a fairly easy drive up 8th Avenue to Columbus Circle. The second turn off from the giant roundabout was 59th Street and Chaiyo steered them smoothly onto Central Park South. Two and a half blocks further, they pulled to a stop in front of the hotel, where everyone piled out.

"Congratulations again and sorry for keeping you guys out so late," Emmett led the round of hugs.

"Thanks, Em. See you tomorrow night," Edward promised as the powerful arms embraced him.

"Goodnight," Seth took his turn. "Be good. And be good at it!"

"Better than you!" Jasper called over his shoulder.

"As if!" Seth countered.

Garrett could see that his husband was about to give chase and argument. "Take me to bed, Sweetness."

"I'd like nothing more, Honey," Seth was instantly deflected. He took Garrett's hand and led him back into the car. Emmett and Nasir followed them in and they pulled away along the park. Half a block further they ran out of park and continued to Park Avenue where Chaiyo turned left and drove up to their building at 78th. Chaiyo jumped out to get the rear door, but Emmett didn't wait for him.

"We've monopolized you long enough, Chaiyo. Thanks for everything," Emmett expressed.

"You guys are fun. It's my pleasure," Chaiyo smiled.

"No," Garrett objected when Nasir offered his hand to the young Thai. "Will you at least let me tip our driver?" he grabbed Nasir's arms, turned him toward Emmett, and gave him a friendly shove. "Chaiyo, thank you," Garrett at last offered his hand and pressed two hundred dollar bills into their chauffeur's hand.

"Thank you, Sir," Chaiyo was grateful.

"Evening, Sirs," the night doorman held the door to the building for them.

"Thank you, Clarence," Nasir acknowledged as they walked in. The elevator was waiting and in just moments, they took off their shoes as Emmett opened their front door.

"Nightcap, boys?" Garrett asked.

"Oh, perhaps a honey bourbon?" Nasir suggested.

"You read my mind," Garrett patted his best friend on the back.

"I'll get it. You want one too, Sweetie?" Emmett asked.

"I'll help you," Seth shed his jacket and laid it on a chair as they passed through the dining room.

"Why did you call it the Clearwater Endowment?" Nasir took advantage of being alone with his best friend for a moment. He shed his overcoat and hung it in the coat closet.

"What else would I call it? It seemed like a good idea at the time," Garrett stated.

"It is like you were trying to get us caught," Nasir put his arm around Garrett's shoulders and steered him toward the living room.

"Well, in hindsight...," Garrett agreed. "Though, any other way I would never have learned about how some of their elderly kill themselves. That's just an appalling custom. I wonder why Seth never mentioned it."

"It is probably not something that is openly spoken of," Nasir switched on a lamp. "Just like young men playing amongst themselves before they are married in my country. Everyone knows this, but no one ever speaks of it."

"Your old country," Garrett gently reminded.

"Allah, yes," Nasir shook his head as he and Garrett took seats on the custom sofas. "When will I stop doing that?"

"Cocktails for the gentlemen," Emmett offered as he and Seth returned with a tinkling tumbler in each hand.

"No, Emmy, cocks for us, tails for them," Seth corrected.

"Just what the doctor ordered," Garrett accepted his glass from Seth with a warm smile. "And the bourbon is nice too."

"Yeah," Seth agreed. While Emmett sat close beside his husband, Seth sat down on the floor between Garrett's legs. He wrapped his left arm around Garrett's left leg and leaned his head on Garrett's left thigh.

"You know, I might rather you sit up here beside me," Garrett ran his fingers through Seth's lustrous hair.

"I feel like I need to do this right now," Seth did not move his head from Garrett's thigh.

"I don't know why I didn't think of that," Emmett moved off the sofa and sat down between Nasir's legs. He paused to take a gulp of his bourbon and set the glass aside. He was able to lean into Nasir's lap and ran his hands up to the small of Nasir's back. Emmett laid his head down on Nasir's leg and gave a contented sigh. Like Garrett, Nasir immediately ran his fingers through his husband's hair.

"Get your face in that lap, Emmy," Seth directed. "I think when you laid your head in my lap at home, you were closer to my junk than you are to his."

"That's 'cause I don't care where your junk is," Emmett explained. "If I get too close to this cock right now, we won't make it down to our bedroom."

"You don't wanna suck your husband's dick in front of us?" Seth teased.

"No. We're modest," Emmett stated.

"Ha!" Seth laughed. "Please, Mary. I know every face and sound your husband makes when he comes."

"If anyone other than you two ever said that, those would be fighting words!" Emmett observed.

"I know, right? Same here," Seth agreed. "You know, if we were going to be up longer, I'd say we should build a fire."

Emmett lifted his head and regarded the fireplace. "Well, both bedrooms have a fireplace. It's a cool night. There's certainly a chill in the house. Want me to build us a couple of fires?"

"Where are we gonna get the wood?" Seth asked.

"Didn't I show you the wood closet?" Emmett stood up.

"There's such a thing as a wood closet?" Seth looked up at Emmett.

"C'mon," Emmett bid. "I'll get the wood, you get the newspaper."

"Alright, you tops," Seth directed as he rose to follow Emmett, "to the bedrooms and get naked. Hey, where am I gonna get newspaper?"

"We have that too," Emmett headed for the stairs.

"Is there a newspaper closet?" Seth asked as he followed down.

"What a very nice end to our evening, in bed with our husbands by the fire," Nasir expressed as he and Garrett rose as well. Garrett said nothing, but touched his glass to Nasir's before they drained them and took all the glasses to the kitchen.

There were several old newspapers in the utility room that had been kept for exactly this purpose. Seth made crumpled up wads while Emmett piled wood in both fireplaces. Once the wood was in place, Seth stuffed his paper under the grates. Emmett made sure both flues were open before he and Seth took a long match to ignite their fires.

Nasir and Garrett came downstairs while their men built and started the fires. In the hallway, Nasir turned to Garrett with a mischievous grin on his face.

"Would you like to tease them?" Nasir spoke in a low, conspiratorial tone. "Sethy said to get to the bedrooms and get naked, but he did not say which one."

"Ah," Garrett nodded and chuckled. He started to unbutton his shirt as he walked into the master bedroom. Nasir did the same as he headed for the Thompson Clearwater suite.

Emmett registered the movement in his peripheral vision as a man who he assumed was his husband walked into the bedroom and went into Nasir's closet. Satisfied that the fire was sufficiently started and building, Emmett went to his own closet to shed his clothes.

"This is gonna be nice, Babe," Emmett told the half closed closet door opposite him as he pulled his Gaultier shirt off over his head. "I'm glad Seth thought of it."

Behind Emmett, as the bigger man pulled off his jeans and folded them up, a naked man walked out of the other closet and headed for the bed. Once naked himself, Emmett turned out the light and walked out into the bedroom. Where, in the light of the bedside lamps, he immediately noticed an anomaly.

Garrett had made himself comfortable in the middle of the king bed. He laid on his back with his hands behind his head and legs crossed at the ankle. Garrett wore only a grin.

"Garrett," Emmett observed. "Well, fancy that," he climbed onto the bed.

"Emmett," Garrett acknowledged. His smile faded as Emmett moved to straddle him. And especially when Emmett sat his bare, muscular ass down on Garrett's limp cock and balls, and let his own generous equipment lay on Garrett's abdomen.

"What," Emmett leaned on Garrett's chest with his big hands full on Garrett's pecs, "are you doing here?"

"Um, wrong room?" Garrett looked up at the bigger, stronger man on top of him with a half smile.

Down the hall, Seth shed his clothing in the long, narrow walk in closet and wondered what was keeping his husband. Once naked, he walked out into the bedroom and found something he did not expect. An equally naked Nasir sat on the end of the big bed with his legs spread wide and leaned back on his elbows with a goofy grin on his face.

"Why, hello there, Nasir," Seth approached. "I am not easily surprised, but I must say, I didn't see this coming. To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Am I not where I am meant to be?" Nasir tried to feign innocent ignorance. "You said to get naked in the bedroom, but you did not say which."

"You know, I took you for a pretty smart guy," Seth nodded. "You're an executive. I didn't think I would have to spell that out," he stepped forward until Nasir's left knee was in his crotch. Seth's more than ample sex against his leg wiped the smirk off of Nasir's face. He had seen Seth's big dick more times than he could count, but he had never come into contact with it until now.

"As long as you're here...," Seth dropped to his knees between Nasir's legs. "Oh, Emmy's right, you do have sexy, furry thighs," he ran his hands up Nasir's thighs. Panic began to paint Nasir's face as Seth's hands, and particularly his thumbs, got too close to his soft cock and balls for comfort.

"And what a nice Arab cock," Seth continued. "Emmy's always going on about how much he loves your rich Arab cum. I think I'll suck a load out of your balls and try it for myself. Can I just stick my tongue in your foreskin first? Gar loves that," he opened his mouth as he lowered his head.

It was a game of chicken. And Nasir lost.

"Wah!" Nasir lifted his right leg over Seth as he rolled and leapt from the bed. He said nothing else as he fled the room. And found Garrett coming down the hall from the other direction. "I am not going to do that ever again," Nasir promised his best friend.

"Neither am I," Garrett agreed as they passed. He walked into his bedroom and shut the door behind him.

"Honey, thank goodness you're here!" Seth sat on his feet on the floor at the foot of the bed. "I almost sucked the wrong dick!"

"Oh, well, here you are," Garrett walked right up to Seth and stood over him with his crotch in Seth's face. Seth opened his mouth willingly as Garrett put a hand on the back of his head and fed his soft meat into his mouth.

"Hoh," Garrett let his head fall back as Seth's tongue entered his cowl and he began to grow in Seth's mouth.

Nasir closed the door behind him as he entered the master suite and found his husband waiting for him on their bed. The lamps were off and only the flickering glow of the fireplace filled the room.

"You two think you're clever, do ya?" Emmett laid on his side propped on one elbow.

"Not anymore," Nasir shook his head.

"Did Seth scare you?" Emmett welcomed his husband into his arms as Nasir climbed onto the bed and him.

"He said he wanted to put his tongue into my foreskin," Nasir relayed.

Emmett laughed. "You know he would never really do that, right?"

"He is a very good actor," Nasir stated.

"Next time he tries to pull something like that, call his bluff," Emmett advised. "No one ever does. As much as he teases Justin and Roberto and Roger, if any of them ever actually just dropped trou and said, 'hell yeah, I'd love a blow job. Here ya go. Have at it,' he wouldn't do it. He wouldn't do that to Garrett."

"I shouldn't have run?" Nasir asked as he rested his head on his husband's massive chest.

"No," Emmett confirmed.

"I should have let him do it?" Nasir followed up.

"You should have stuck your dick right in his face," Emmett advised. "He wouldn't do it, is the point. But, say," he let his fingers lightly travel down his husband's back, onto his butt, and back up, "if you would like a tongue in your foreskin, I'm very sure we can arrange that."

"Mmm," Nasir smiled. Emmett felt his husband's cock twitch against his thigh at this thought. He took hold of Nasir's ribs and moved his husband off of him. Nasir did not resist as he was rolled over onto his back. He complied as Emmett nudged his chin back. Nasir closed his eyes and gave a contented sigh as Emmett trailed wet kisses down his throat. Emmett continued down the center of his husband's hairy chest and down his furry abdomen.

"Ugh," Nasir was almost fully hard when Emmett took him in his mouth.


Emmett put on a tee shirt and sleep pants when he went up to the kitchen the following morning. Nasir put on a sweatshirt with his sleep pants and clicked on the heat to take the chill out of the house. Emmett made coffee and fixed two mugs the way he and Nasir liked it. He served his husband and fixed two more mugs. These he carried downstairs. Emmett used his hip to open the door to the other bedroom and walked in.

The embers of their fire, like Emmett and Nasir's, were long cold and dark. There was a single oblong lump in the big bed and Emmett could see that Seth was lying fully on top of his husband. They were covered by the blankets to Garrett's neck and all that was visible of Seth was a great tangle of hair.

"Morning, guys," Emmett spoke softly.

"Morning," Garrett greeted. He was awake, but held the man that slept on him and had no desire to move.

"I'll just put these over here," Emmett set the mugs on the bedside table on Garrett's side.

"Thank you," Garrett expressed.

"You like Seth laying on you better than me?" Emmett gave a grin.

"Infinitely," Garrett answered.

"That's fair," Emmett nodded.

"He's so hard right now and so am I," Garrett shared.

"I know how much he loves it when he lays on you," Emmett smiled. "He says it makes him feel safe."

"He will always be safe and loved in my arms," Garrett rubbed the dark back of his sleeping husband.

"I'm making Nasi an omelette for breakfast," Emmett informed. "Come up if you guys want one. I have fresh mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes and a great turkey sausage."

"Sounds good. We'll be up shortly," Garrett advised.

"Okay. I'll start cooking," Emmett smiled and walked out.

"Sweetness," Garrett rubbed Seth's sweet, little, bare butt. "Sweetness, would we like to get up? Emmett is making breakfast."

"Mmm?" Seth managed to moan.

Nasir's omelette was ready and Emmett served him in the breakfast room by the time Seth and Garrett appeared. They had also put on sweatshirts and while Garrett wore his jeans, Seth had on sweat pants from the boy's department. Garrett absolutely loved when Seth wore them as the movement of his King within them could not be more obvious. Seth sat at the table with Nasir though he didn't appear to see or be aware of anyone or anything. He just sat with a vacant expression and a great jumble of hair on his head.

"Good morning, Emira," Nasir greeted as Garrett set Seth's coffee before him. "Garrett."

"Morning. Morning again, Emmett," Garrett walked into the kitchen.

"Garrett, the works?" Emmett gestured to the waiting pan on the six burner range.

"Yes, please," Garrett opened the refrigerator to obtain the orange juice.

"I'll make yours first 'cause I see Seth needs a few more minutes to wake up," Emmett began to crack eggs.

"Thank you. I do think my husband needs a minute," Garrett poured two glasses of juice and carried them to the table.

"Morning," Seth mumbled as Garrett set his juice down next to his as yet untouched coffee.

"Have some juice, Sweetness," Garrett rubbed his husband's back.

"Can I just have some coffee?" Seth asked.

"Sure. Let me get you some coffee," Garrett moved the mug a couple of inches closer to Seth.

"Thank you, Honey," Seth sounded as sleepy as he was. He picked up the mug and brought it to his lips.

"Shall I make some toast?" Garrett offered and headed back toward the kitchen.

"Emmett has that dill rye bread that is so good," Nasir held up a toasted half eaten piece.

"That does sound good. Sweetness?" Garrett asked as Emmett handed him the loaf. "Thank you, Emmett."

"Hmm?" Seth asked his coffee.

"He wants some," Emmett advised.

"I know he does," Garrett filled the four slice toaster.

"And check out what I got for his omelette," Emmett stepped over to the fridge and pulled out a package of smoked salmon.

"Oh, that was very thoughtful, Emmett," Garrett patted the bigger man's arm. "He's going to love that."

Emmett had two frying pans going and while Garrett buttered their toast, Emmett finished their omelettes.

"Here we go, guys," Emmett plated them and carried their breakfast to the table.

"That looks just delicious, Emmett, thank you," Garrett expressed as he sat down beside his husband and put two of the four slices of rye toast on Seth's plate.

"Babe, you sure you don't want any sausage?" Emmett asked. "We've got plenty. It's all turkey," he reminded as he returned to the kitchen to prepare his own breakfast.

"No," Nasir wiped his mouth. "My Arabic omelette was perfect. Shukran."

"Aafwaan," Emmett told his husband that he was welcome in Arabic and gave him a dimpled smile.

"What language are you speaking?" Seth asked, his lids still droopy.

"Swahili," Emmett was flip.

"Oh," Seth shook his head at his stupid question.

"Boy, your powers are turned right down to zero when you're half awake," Emmett observed.

"I'll wake up," Seth took a gulp of his coffee. "Then you better watch out," he took a bite of his omelette. "Hey, is this salmon? This is really good. Thank you, Emmy."

"You're welcome," Emmett smiled. "And see, I said that in English so you would understand."

"I'm going to finish this delicious omelette, and then I'm going to throw the plate at you," Seth threatened.

Emmett carried his coffee with his plate and joined the others in the breakfast room. Nasir slid his foot over as Emmett sat down beside him. Emmett smiled at his husband as he put his foot on top of Nasir's.

"What a nice breakfast. Thank you so much, Emmett," Garrett expressed.

"My pleasure," Emmett chewed.

"What have we planned for today?" Garrett asked.

"I need to find a good fishmonger for some scallops 'n stuff," Emmett stated.

"There has to be one around here," Seth reasoned.

"Duane and Rodney will know," Nasir assured.

"Of course, I'm expecting several deliveries this morning. I'll have to wait for that before I can do anything," Emmett thought out loud.

"I have nothing planned this morning if you need to run out," Garrett offered.

"I will go to the hardware store and get keys made," Nasir announced.

"Oh, shit. I was at Home Depot yesterday. I coulda done that," Emmett chastised himself.

"I will get four made. I want Edward and Jasper to have one, and both of you," Nasir rubbed his best friend's arm.

"You guys have fun. I have to catch up on work," Seth tried to run his fingers through his hair. "Though my first task needs to be fighting a brush through this mess. Maybe I should just cut it all off."

"Okay, first of all, why would you do that, when you've always told me how much it means to you to have long hair to be true to your Native culture," Emmett began. "And second of all, if you had short hair, at your height, people would think you were twelve."

"First of all, there is no second of all, it's secondly," Seth corrected. "And I can't believe I have to tell you how to speak your language."

"He has no intention of cutting off his hair," Garrett put his hand on top of Seth's on the table and entwined their fingers. "It's just to get me to tell him how perfect and beautiful he already is."

"Oh, you think you got me figured out?" Seth asked.

"I'm your husband. Of course I have you figured out," Garrett leaned closer to Seth and gave him a loving kiss on his lips. "And you are perfect and beautiful, bed head and all. I will tell you so anytime you wish to hear it."

"Aw, you love me," Seth laid his head on Garrett's shoulder.

"Completely," Garrett kissed Seth's forehead.

"I will clean up," Nasir rose and took his plate.

"I'll help you, Nasir," Garrett took his and Seth's plates.

"Emmy, come help me build another fire," Seth bid.

"Too cold in your bedroom?" Emmett stood and walked his dishes into the kitchen.

"I want to work in there and I want it to be cozy," Seth picked up his mug and waited.

"Then let's go build a fire," Emmett followed Seth through the house, to the stairs and down.

Seth wadded up newspaper again and stuffed it under the grate while Emmett carried in the logs. Then Emmett got the fire started as Seth and Garrett headed into the ensuite to take a shower together.

The fire was going strong and the bedroom was toasty warm when Seth and Garrett emerged. Seth unpacked his laptop and set himself up on the end of the bed while Garrett dressed himself for the day.

"Oh, my," Garrett could not help but admire the view as Seth stretched out naked, on his stomach across the foot of the bed. Seth crossed his ankles and bent his knees to lift his feet into the air as he logged onto the Seattle Gay News server. Garrett had on snug jeans and socks, and pulled on a button down shirt as he approached the bed. They both smiled as Garrett admiringly caressed a dark butt cheek.

"Mmm," Seth loved his husband's touch. "I have to focus, Honey."

"Don't let me distract you," Garrett instructed as he cupped a firm, round, little glute in his hand.

"You say that, but before long your tongue will be up my ass," Seth stated.

"Oh, you think you got me figured out?" Garrett used Seth's earlier line back at him.

In answer, Seth rose up on his knees, took hold of the sides of Garrett's still open shirt, and pulled him down onto the bed. Seth pushed Garrett down onto his back and sat astride him.

"Oh, now this is much better," Garrett ran his hands up Seth's bare thighs as his King flopped most arousingly onto his bare abdomen. "Don't mind me," he smiled up at his husband as he curled the fingers of one hand around the ample meat that lay on him.

"I have you completely figured out, Mr. sexy banker man," Seth leaned down over Garrett. He kissed each of his husband's nipples before giving him a soft and loving kiss on his lips. "But now I have to work. And you need to be ready for deliveries so Emmy and Nasir can take a shower too."

"My King is laying right on me and you imagine I can turn my mind to deliveries?" Garrett asked.

"The King will have plenty for you to do later," Seth climbed off of Garrett and the bed. He took Garrett's wrist and pulled him up, "but right now you have to shoo."

"A kiss first," Garrett stood over Seth.

"Okay," Seth knew what his husband wanted. He climbed back into position on his stomach on the bed. "One each and no tongue."

"If you insist," Garrett bent down and gave each glute a reverent kiss just above where cheek met leg. "Now roll over."

"No," Seth denied. "Woo!" he cried when Garrett grabbed his hips and flipped him over. Garrett gave each Native stone in their smooth, dark sac a warm, wet kiss, and then planted a final identical kiss on the sleeping python's throat.

"There," Garrett straightened up and set about buttoning his shirt as he walked out of the room. Seth had to take a moment to compose himself. His husband knew just how to push his buttons.

Garrett put on the television in the breakfast room while he stood watch over the house phone. This gave Emmett and Nasir the opportunity to take a shower together. Garrett wanted them to have every moment together that they could. At the end of this weekend, he would be taking his husband home. Emmett wouldn't.

Emmett and Nasir appeared after their shower, both dressed warmly for venturing out. Nasir wore a collared shirt under his sweater while Emmett didn't.

"We're gonna run out to the hardware store real quick. You mind waiting by the phone some more?" Emmett asked as he and Nasir joined Garrett.

"Not at all," Garrett readily agreed. "Seth's working. I have nothing I need to do until later on."

"Thanks, Garrett," Emmett smiled.

"We should not be long," Nasir rubbed Garrett's shoulder before he followed Emmett toward the front door.

"Have fun," Garrett called after them. He used the remote to change the channel from CNN to the Al Jazeera English broadcast channel. No one would have more in depth coverage of the civil war in Syria. Once Garrett had all he could stomach of that, he switched to Bloomberg. C-Suite and Money Moves were particular saturday morning favorites.

And then the inevitable phone call came.

"Hello?" Garrett answered.

"Mr. McCarty?" the unmistakable Russian accent enquired.

"This is Garrett Thompson," Garrett informed.

"Oh, Mr. Thompson. Is Home Depot delivery here," Vlad informed.

"Yes, we've been expecting it. Please send them right up," Garrett instructed.

"Yes, Sir. They come right up," Vlad answered and hung up.

In preparation, Garrett walked through to the entry hall and opened the front door to wait for them. It was another few minutes, but the elevator doors didn't part. Garrett heard a knocking and momentarily had no idea from where it came. Then he remembered the door in the kitchen. He had seen Emmett step out of it to take out the trash. There must be a freight elevator and of course there was. Garrett walked back through and opened the door.

"Good morning," Garrett greeted two men in dark blue jumpsuits with a giant box behind them.

"Delivery for McCarty," the one with the clipboard announced.

"Yes," Garrett stepped back. "Please bring it right in."

"We'll bring it all up off the truck and then we'll bring it in," the leader handed Garrett the clipboard with the order.

"How much more is there?" Garrett wondered aloud as he perused the manifest. The men didn't answer as they made their way around the box and back to the elevator.

The grill and furniture were unpacked in the service hall, then brought through the kitchen, breakfast room, butler's pantry and outside through the French doors in the dining room. Garrett had them leave the grill near the outdoor dining table, but the furniture had to be carried around to the far end as that was the only open outdoor space large enough for it. Garrett signed and tipped them well, as they had taken great care not to nick, scuff or mar anything on the way through. He stood for a moment admiring the great bronze fire pit with its high, domed spark screen that stood on three short, stout legs. Three loveseats with comfortable looking cushions sat around it. Finally, in just shirtsleeves, the cold drove Garrett back inside.

And he found Seth in the kitchen pouring himself a pepsi.

"Hey, what's goin' on?" Seth asked.

"Sweetness, there were delivery men here only moments ago. They might have seen you," Garrett cautioned. Few were the people Garrett didn't mind viewing his husband's nakedness.

"The grill arrived?" Seth chose not to acknowledge his shamelessness.

"Among other things," Garrett ran his hands over his husband's dark, bare shoulders.

"What things?" Seth furrowed his brow. Emmett hadn't told him about anything else. Of course, he had been fairly distracted at the time.

"Come and see," Garrett led Seth all the way through the living room to look through the panes of the end French doors.

"Oh, sweet! Hey, does the building allow that?" Seth mused.

"It's here in any event," Garrett pointed out.

"That'll be fun later," Seth looked forward. He gave a shiver and hugged himself. "Okay, it's chilly up here. I'm gonna go back to work."

"It's warm in my mouth," Garrett smiled as he took Seth in his arms.

"My whole body won't fit in your mouth!" Seth exclaimed.

"Just the best part," Garrett agreed.

"Kay, the King is agreeable, but hold that thought till a bit later. I still have work to do," Seth stretched up to give his husband a kiss on his lips. Garrett let his hands slip down to hold Seth's delectable little butt as he did so. He then rubbed a hand over where his jeans had grown significantly tighter as he watched Seth carry his pepsi back to the stairs and down.

Only a moment later the front door opened and Emmett and Nasir entered.

"Hey, Garrett. Here's keys for you and Seth," Emmett walked into the living room to hand them over. And then realized why Garrett was in the living room. "Is it here?"

"Right outside," Garrett gestured.

"Come look, Babe," Emmett opened the French doors and walked out onto the broad terrace.

"Oh!" Nasir was impressed. "We can be warm around the fire, like we do at Edward's house!" he drew the obvious parallel. There was however, the glaring difference between a fire pit dug into the ground and lined with stone in a backyard, and a huge bronze pot on top of a building. "Are we allowed to do this?" Nasir wondered aloud.

"We have five fireplaces inside. Now we have one outside. What's the difference?" Emmett gave a shrug.

"With that screen in place, it should be reasonably safe," Garrett concluded.

"Oh, and what about my grill?" Emmett asked.

"I had them leave it just outside the dining room," Garrett gestured. Emmett set off and Nasir and Garrett followed.

"There it is. Perfect," Emmett lifted the lid and found the tarp cover still in the package inside. "Now all we need is the gas. My mouth is watering already," he licked his chops. "Okay, I'm gonna bring up wood and newspaper, and get the fire ready for tonight. We don't need to worry about being home now. Vlad can accept the tank."

"I will help you with the wood," Nasir stated.

"I got it, Babe," Emmett leaned close to his husband to give him a soft kiss on his lips. "We're gonna run out of firewood soon, though. Where do we get more?"

"I do not know. It was here," Nasir spread his hands.

"Someone must deliver," Emmett was certain.

"I'm sure Vlad will know," Garrett stated. "I would like to run out to the liquor store. I'll ask."

"I will go with you," Nasir decided.

"Good. You can show me where it is!" Garrett opened the nearest set of doors into the dining room and led the way inside.

Nasir and Garrett headed out together this time while Emmett made two trips for armloads of wood, to have everything ready for their evening. Seth was still naked and stretched out on his stomach across the foot of the bed with his laptop. He kept the bedroom door closed and was perfectly comfortable as the room was toasty warm.

Emmett didn't bother to knock. He opened the door and strode into the second master. "Hey, Sweetie."

"Close the door, you'll let the heat out," Seth kept his eyes on his work.

"I know you're working, but I need to find a good fishmonger. I was just gonna check in with Rodney to see if he knows of one," Emmett informed. "That kid Lenny might be there. You said you wanted to meet him."

"I did say that," Seth nodded. "Okay. I'm at a point where I can take a break. Just let me throw something on," he rose from the bed and padded to the closet. Seth pulled on the very low rise, black jeans and charcoal gray, high neck sweatshirt that he had worn yesterday, as he had very little wardrobe with him.

Both men grabbed their coats, though they didn't bother to put them on as they were only going down as far as the 12th floor. It took a good long moment for the door to be answered after Emmett knocked on it.

"Hey, Emmett, Seth," Rodney's face lit up upon seeing them. He wore hospital scrub pants and no more. "C'mon in," Rodney bid and stepped back to allow them to do so. "You guys on your way out, or back in?"

"Hey, Rodney," Emmett shook his hand. "We stopped by to pick your brain a little bit."

"Sure thing," Rodney was agreeable.

"So, Rodney," Seth began as he walked deeper into the apartment. "You have company?" he asked, though he well knew the answer. The sneakers, jacket and backpack at the kitchen table did not escape his notice. Nor the fact that Duane and Rodney kept their place much warmer to make nudity comfortable.

"Lenny's in the playroom," Rodney answered. "We were just watching a movie."

"First door down there on the left, Sweetie," Emmett gestured.

"Remind me to ask you how you know that," Seth headed off.

The room with the padded flooring and wrap around sectional was easy to find. As was the young man who sat on the floor within, his back against the sofa. Seth was relieved that the movie that had been paused on the wall mounted flatscreen, was not porn. Equally relieving was that while Lenny's tee shirt and socks were discarded on the floor, his very skinny jeans were still on him. He sat with his hair down over his face and his head turned away, waiting quietly.

An inexperienced eye might think that the young man who sat holding his knees to his chest was cold, but Seth could tell that was not reason. Lenny felt small, insignificant and unworthy. And it broke Seth's heart.

"Hi," Seth was deliberately cheerful. He toed off his shoes and walked into the room. "Are you Lenny?"

The young man turned to look at the man he had never met, albeit through his long bangs. "Yeah," he finally answered. Lenny didn't mind Duane and Rodney introducing their friends to him. He couldn't suck on them all the time. They needed time to recharge and another cock in the meantime suited him just fine. It was easier when Duane and Rodney were both home as he could switch off when one got too close and didn't want to come yet. Today, he only had Rodney. After an hour of slow, gentle, torturous head, during which Rodney pulled his shirt off of him, the man lost it in his mouth. So Rodney put on a movie for them to watch together and they were about halfway through it when the knock came at the door. What Lenny didn't want was conversation. If this little Native American looking man would just take off his pants and lay back, that would be perfect.

"Hi, Lenny," Seth sat down on the sofa next to where Lenny sat on the floor. "I'm Seth. Nice to meet you," he offered his hand.

"Hi," Lenny took Seth's hand and gave a weak shake.

"Were you watching a movie?" Seth gestured to the paused scene on the flatscreen.

"Yeah," Lenny gave another one word answer.

"What's it about?" Seth asked.

"Can I just suck your dick?" Lenny kept his gaze hidden behind his bangs.

"Can we talk a bit first?" Seth countered. The real answer, of course, was not ever, but Seth knew he had a better chance of getting the kid to engage if he didn't yet know that.

"I guess," Lenny answered.

"What movie were you watching?" Seth began again.

"Redwoods," Lenny answered.

"What's it about?" Seth knew the movie well.

"This guy. His partner and their son go on a trip and his partner didn't even say goodbye to him, just bitched about stuff, and then left," Lenny relayed the parts that most spoke to him.

"That sounds sad," Seth observed.

"It is," Lenny agreed.

"I think that would make me feel unloved," Seth shared.

"And like you can't ever do anything right," Lenny added in a quiet voice.

"Sounds like you know something about that," Seth put a hand on Lenny's bare, slender shoulder.

"I guess," Lenny looked away again.

"It makes you feel better to come over here and visit Duane and Rodney," Seth observed.

"Why are you asking me so many questions?" Lenny complained.

"I just want to get to know you better," Seth smiled, though Lenny couldn't see it.

"Why?" Lenny couldn't imagine it.

"Don't you think you're worth knowing? I think you are," Seth assured.

"Nobody else wants to," Lenny kept his head down.

"Even Duane and Rodney?" Seth pointed out.

"Except them maybe," Lenny conceded.

"You have really nice hair," Seth ran a hand down the back of Lenny's head.

"Thanks," Lenny turned his head away.

"Why won't you look at me?" Seth asked.

"For what?" Lenny countered.

"I would like to see your face," Seth answered. "May I?"

Lenny reluctantly turned his head toward Seth. He raised it just a little, but only the tip of his nose and his mouth were exposed below his long bangs. Seth ever so gently put a hand under Lenny's chin to lift his face and brushed his bangs aside with the fingers of his other hand. What was revealed was a boyishly handsome, youthful face with lost, scared eyes. Lenny looked into Seth's kind, dark eyes and even though the Soul Reader gave him a warm smile, he couldn't hold it and dropped his gaze.

"Has anyone told you what a cute kid you are?" Seth ran the back of his fingers down Lenny's cheek.

"Duane and Rodney said that," Lenny turned away. It was clear he didn't believe one word of it himself.

"It's good for you to have the attention of mature men," Seth slowly nodded to himself. "It would be even better if you had someone all your own, someone closer to your own age. A boyfriend."

"Huh," Lenny scoffed. "Who would want to date me?"

"Lenny, you're cute," Seth complimented. "I might go so far as to say hot even, from what I can see of you, if one is attracted to youthful guys. You certainly seem intelligent to me. There have to be thousands, hell, in this city, probably more like tens of thousands of guys who would kill to be your boyfriend. You deserve someone who will treat you like a prince."

"Huh," Lenny looked away.

"I wish you could see the young man I see," Seth rubbed Lenny's shoulder. "What you have to offer is extremely desirable. You shouldn't give it away. A man should have to earn it. Have you thought about going to college?"

"My dad wants me to go," Lenny informed.

"Does he? I think he's right about that," Seth stated. "What do you want to do?"

"Maybe next year," Lenny evaded.

"Yes," Seth nodded to himself. "Next year would be better."

"My grades will never be good enough," Lenny gave a sigh. "Then he'll yell."

"Does your dad yell at you a lot?" Seth asked softly.

"Sometimes. When he talks to me at all," Lenny answered. "If he's around."

"Is he gone a lot?" Seth followed up.

"He works a lot of hours," Lenny answered. "It's just him and me. Sometimes he comes home just long enough to shower and change. He sleeps at work a lot. Sometimes I do stuff just to piss him off. If I can get him to yell at me, then at least I know he can see me."

Seth had found the root of it. He had gotten the younger man to open up. And if he thought his heart had been broken before, it broke anew.

"Where's your mom, Lenny?" Seth asked softly.

"She died," Lenny's answer was barely audible.

"You must miss her very much," Seth continued to rub Lenny's shoulder.

Lenny only nodded in response as he was unable to speak, lest his voice give away the tears that fell silently down his face.

"You need love in your life, Lenny," Seth leaned forward to hug the younger man. "I'm very sorry about your mom and your dad," he just held Lenny's head and shoulders to him. "I imagine losing your mom was pretty hard on your dad too."

Lenny took a deep, ragged breath and wiped the tears from his face. "Can I please just suck your dick now?" he asked and very much hoped this kind Native American man was finished talking. It was the only thing that allowed him to forget. "Please?"

"Lenny, you're such a sweet kid," Seth expressed. "I'm going to do everything I can for you," he rubbed the shoulder and head that he held, "but that doesn't include putting my cock in your mouth."

"What do you mean?" Lenny pulled back slightly. Some men wanted to fuck him, and he was not at all interested in that.

"Did you suck Rodney off this morning?" Seth asked his own question.

"Yeah," Lenny admitted. "That's why he put the movie on. He lets me hold his balls while we watch."

"I'm going to leave you in Rodney's care," Seth took the young man's face in his hands. He brushed the long hair aside again and looked into his soulful eyes. Seth knew the young man could see the kindness in his own face and eyes. "I'm going to do everything I can for you, Lenny. I'm going to go now and I very much do hope I see you again soon," he kissed the young man on his forehead and held Lenny's head to his chest for another moment. Then he rose and walked out of the room, pausing only to step back into his shoes.

Emmett knew what his best friend had been doing and had kept Rodney engaged in conversation to give him all the time he needed. Both men stood with their arms folded across their chest. Emmett had obtained the information they came for and now he and Rodney gabbed about everything and nothing.

"Rodney," Seth began as he approached.

"That was quick," Rodney smirked.

"I didn't go in there for that," Seth gave a dismissive wave. "Listen, you have a sad, lonely, neglected and fragile kid in there."

"He is, yeah," Rodney nodded.

"It's good actually that he has you guys. You can do him a world of good if you handle it right," Seth stated. "When will Duane be home?"

"D won't be home till late, like nine or ten," Rodney informed.

"Okay," Seth gave a nod. "I would like to speak to both of you at that time, if that's okay with you. Maybe the three of us can go grab a drink someplace."

"I'm sure D will be up for that," Rodney agreed.

"Okay, it's a date. I know you have Emmy's number. Call when you are both available," Seth instructed.

"Will do," Rodney confirmed.

"Now go finish your movie and cuddle him while you do," Seth dictated and opened the front door.

"I can do that," Rodney nodded. "And let me know what you think," he bid Emmett. "Dorian's is the best in the city."

"Will do. Thanks, Rodney," Emmett gave a last wave as he and Seth headed for the elevator. "So?" he asked once Rodney had shut his front door behind them.

"Everything you said about that kid is true and then some," Seth shook his head. "He's a sad, lonely, lost kid. And his sense of self worth is down the toilet."

"What's this about meeting them for a drink?" Emmett asked as they boarded the elevator.

"They are kinda taking advantage of Lenny, but they're actually good for him, and are in a position to be really good for him," Seth explained.

"But going out for a drink, just you and them?" Emmett posed. "I don't think Garrett is going to like that."

"He'll be okay," Seth nodded.

As it was a beautiful and sunny, crisp fall day, they decided to walk the ten blocks into adjoining Yorkville. Dorian's Seafood Market was on the east side of York Avenue only a few doors up from 83rd Street. And there they discovered that their neighbor had been right. Every type of seafood was fresh and perfect. Only lobsters still being hauled off the boats in New England could be any fresher.

"Seth, look at all the oysters!" Emmett walked down the case where they were packed in ice.

"Hi, boys. Looking for some oysters today?" a friendly middle aged woman with her streaked hair pulled back greeted them. She wore a white blouse and a dark green bib apron.

"We weren't when we came in, but now I don't know," Emmett answered.

"What brought you in?" she asked.

"Are you Dorian?" Seth surmised.

"I am," Dorian smiled.

"We need four or five nice, sushi grade Ahi steaks to start, Dorian," Emmett began.

"We do? I thought we were looking for scallops," Seth stated.

"I thought it would be nice to surprise the guys," Emmett shared. "We can sear it on the grill."

"Oooh-kay," Seth slowly nodded. "I'm gonna need soy, sesame oil, green onions, ginger, garlic, a lime...," he thought out loud as he prepared the dish in his head.

"I have some beautiful yellowfin, fresh in this morning," Dorian walked them down to it.

"Oh, that looks perfect, doesn't it, Sweetie?" Emmett put a hand on Seth's back.

"Delicious is what it looks," Seth agreed.

"Five of those," Emmett tapped the glass case.

"A special occasion?" Dorian slid open the door on her side.

"We just wanted to surprise our husbands," Emmett admitted.

"I could only wish my husband surprised me with such good food," Dorian expressed. "But, I own this place, so I suppose that's my job."

"The wonderful, fresh meals you must have every night," Seth imagined.

"Just about," Dorian began to wrap the tuna. "Would you like to try a sample of the lobster bisque?"

"Oh, yes I would!" Seth readily agreed.

Dorian walked to a large stainless steel soup urn behind the register and ladled a tiny amount into a dixie cup. "Here you are," she handed this to Seth with a small plastic spoon. "Would you like to try?"

"No, that's okay. Show me the scallops," Emmett bid.

"Oh, my God," Seth tried the bisque. "Sold!"

"Scallops are right down here. We have three sizes, small, medium and then the big jumbos here," Dorian went to them.

"Oh, yeah, the jumbos. What do you think, Sweetie?" Emmett asked. "How many a person?"

"No more than three, tops, if they're that size," Seth decided.

"Eighteen of those then, Dorian, please," Emmett ordered.

"Alrighty," Dorian set about plucking them from their bed of ice. "And bisque for six?"

"Yes, please," Seth agreed.

Dorian took a few minutes to package up the scallops and three large containers of soup. "And what do we think about the oysters?" she turned back to them with a smile.

"Yuk is what I think about oysters," Seth didn't hold back.

"We don't care for them, but our guys love 'em," Emmett revealed. "We're from Seattle, so they know good oysters and can have them anytime."

"Have they had east coast oysters? I only carry east coast," Dorian informed, "but they're very good."

"As long as they're slimy and gross, I'm sure they'll love them," Seth quipped.

"Do they like briny?" Dorian enquired.

"I don't even know what that means," Emmett admitted.

"Do you know the names of their favorites?" Dorian tried a different route.

"I know they like Naked Roys and Baywater Sweet," Emmett recalled.

"I have something they'll really like then," Dorian crossed to the long oyster counter. "These are BeauSoleil from New Brunswick. They're deep and meaty, and on the sweet side."

"Let's do two dozen of those," Emmett decided. "Jasper and Eddie don't eat them, do they?"

"I have never seen or heard of that," Seth stated.

"Yeah, two dozen should do it," Emmett repeated.

"You have an oyster knife? You boys know how to shuck them?" Dorian asked.

"Oh," Emmett realized. "Shit."

"Ha! I think we might be fucked. You have a hammer, Emmy?" Seth jested.

"A hammer!" Dorian laughed.

"Do you sell oyster knives and could you give us a few pointers?" Emmett asked.

"I do and I will," Dorian confirmed. "Come back around here, one or both of you," she bid. "You'll also need one of these gloves. Many an injury have come from an oyster knife and you'll soon see why. I'll show you and then I want you to try," Dorian pulled on a left hand glove. "Let's grab a BeauSoleil," she took one from the case. "Now look at the oyster," Dorian held it up as she began her lesson. "One side of the shell is more round and one more flat. This is the cup. You want the cup down. Flatter side up. Here is the hinge. That's where we're going in. Grasp the oyster like this."

"Oh, I see why you want the glove," Emmett understood.

"Exactly. This knife is very sharp," Dorian cautioned. "Now just slip in the tip."

"Slip in the tip, Emmy," Seth couldn't resist.

"Just the tip?" Emmett responded with a grin.

"Pay attention, you jokers," Dorian instructed. "Now, you're just going to twist back and forth, slipping a little further in. Don't do it," she warned with a pointed finger at snickering Seth. "You want to do this gently. The knife is stronger than the shell, if you force it, the shell cracks and chips, and you end up with a crunchy oyster, and nobody likes that. Now, see how the knife just stands on it's own? Now we're ready. Give it a turn," Dorian did so and with an audible 'pop,' the top shell broke from the bottom.

"Oh, wow," Emmett raised his eyebrows.

"Now, the oyster is attached to both shells," Dorian continued. "So put the knife in toward the right, up along the shell and we're just going to scrape along the shell to the left," she held the oyster together as she did this, and then lifted the top shell away. "There, that's what we want. No cuts or punctures to the flesh of the oyster. Then we slip the knife underneath, and again it's just a scrape, to detach it from the cup. And there you are. Who wants to eat him?" Dorian offered.

"Not me. No ma'am," Seth gave a firm shake of his head.

"No, thank you," Emmett gave a polite smile.

"Okay," Dorian wasted no time in slurping the oyster down, and pulled another BeauSoleil from the case. "Which one of you would like to try?"

"Not me," Seth shook his head. "You go ahead, Emmy," he patted the bigger man's back.

"You don't love Garrett enough to shuck him an oyster?" Emmett challenged.

"I love him enough to take him to Elliott's when we get home and order him all the oysters he can eat," Seth stated.

"I'll get you a man sized glove," Dorian went to a lower cabinet to extract a pair. "Here you go. Now give it a try."

"Okay," Emmett pulled on the left glove. "Let me see," he resisted another 'just the tip' pun as he stuck the tip of the knife into the hinge. It took him a good long moment to work it in enough to get the leverage needed to pop the hinge without damaging the shell.

"Good. Hold him together," Dorian coached. "Now in to the right, being careful to scrape along the top shell so as not to damage the oyster. Then to the left. Perfect!" she lifted the lid away. "Look at your perfect little oyster. Now you just have the easy part, underneath to detach him. There! Ready to eat."

"I'm not going to eat it. Sorry to waste your oysters," Emmett offered.

"No waste at all," Dorian picked it up and slurped this one down as well.

"Okay, so add gloves and a knife to our order," Emmett instructed as he and Seth walked back out from behind the counter.

"I might have one other thing that could possibly interest you," Dorian was a skilled saleswoman. "Is it that the oyster is raw that gives you pause?"

"No offense to you or your lovely oysters, I'm sure my husband will very much enjoy them," Seth answered, "but I'd rather eat a bowl of snot."

"Okay," Dorian laughed. "It's the texture. Are you opposed to them cooked? Have you had oysters Rockefeller?"

"They're not awful cooked," Seth conceded.

"Yeah, I've had oysters Rockefeller," Emmett admitted. "They're good that way."

"Then I think you'll like these," Dorian stepped just a few feet down. "These are WiAnno oysters from Cape Cod."

"They're huge," Seth observed.

"And perfect for the grill," Dorian stated. "From the ice to the grill, cup side down. When they open, they're done, and they're meaty and delicious just the way they are. They don't need a thing."

"I don't know, Emmy," Seth pretended to be wary. "She slurps," he cocked a thumb.

"What the hell, give us a dozen of those. Can't hurt to try," Emmett agreed.

"Anything else for you boys today?" Dorian asked as she gathered the final component of their large order.

"How much for the shucking lesson?" Emmett smiled.

"That was free for keeping me laughing," Dorian headed for the register.

"Sorry we were so badly behaved," Seth offered.

"Not at all. How far are you going?" Dorian asked.

"Our place is just here on the Upper East Side," Emmett gestured. "We walked, though with all this fresh seafood, I think we'll take a cab back."

"I'll pack everything in shaved ice. When you get home, you can throw the ice in the freezer to save for when you serve the oysters," Dorian stated.

"Oh, thank you so much," Emmett expressed. "Our neighbors said this was the best place in the city and I can see why."

"Word of mouth is my best advertisement," Dorian smiled as she packed and rang them up.

"Should I go hail a cab?" Seth asked as Emmett pulled out his wallet.

"Yeah, good idea," Emmett handed over his debit card.

Ten minutes later they were home with their bisque, scallops, Ahi and two types of oysters.

"Oh, my goodness," Garrett noticed the big box that Emmett carried. "How many scallops did you get?" he sat at the breakfast room table with Nasir where they both enjoyed a beer.

"We got all of them," Seth lied. "Scallops for breakfast too!"

"Somehow I doubt that," Garrett chuckled.

"It's a surprise. You two stay there. No peeking!" Seth commanded.

"I have a surprise for you too. Look in the freezer," Garrett instructed.

"Oh? I saw a bottle of Cointreau in the butler's pantry. Is it a bottle of Citron?" Seth correctly surmised before he opened the door to the freezer and saw it. "Ha! Yummy cosmos later."

"And there are two bottles of Cristal in the back of the refrigerator, just in case," Garrett gave a nod.

"He would not let me buy them," Nasir spoke up.

"Certainly not," Garrett stated.

"The drinks last night weren't celebration enough?" Emmett posed. He knew perfectly well why Garrett bought them.

"A champagne toast is still in order," Garrett concluded.

"It's the perfect home for them and the perfect way to celebrate," Seth nodded.

"The Great and Powerful Oz has Spoken," Emmett intoned.

"I was going to open a beer for you, but now I think I'll just shove it up your ass," Seth opened the beer drawer.

"Actually, hold that thought," Emmett was unfazed. "I need to run down the block to Butterfield for a couple of things. All that stuff you said you needed, including teriyaki grilling sauce? We don't have any of that."

"Then let's go," Seth pushed the refrigerated drawer closed.

"Hey, did the gas arrive?" Emmett remembered.

"Already attached to the grill and ready to go," Garrett gestured.

"You two, no peeking in the fridge," Seth commanded with a pointed finger.

"All we need right now is in a drawer," Nasir held up his beer.

"Okay. We'll be right back," Seth advised and turned to follow Emmett.

"Actually, I need to run out myself," Garrett rose from the table. "Graham agreed to meet me for tea."

"Oh, right. Look at the time," Seth pulled his cell out of his pocket. "I have to pick up my new coat. Emmy, can I text you all the things I need?"

"Of course you can," Emmett agreed.

"I will come with you, Habibi," Nasir rose to follow.

"I'd love that, Babe," Emmett gave his husband a warm, loving smile and took his hand.

Seth and Garrett took separate taxis while Emmett and Nasir walked the one block to the market. Garrett was the last to return as he and his counterpart had much to discuss.

Seth made a marinade for the tuna steaks and put them in it, in a big container right in front of them without either Nasir or Garrett noticing, so deep in conversation were they. Seth then made himself a cosmopolitan with the Absolut Citron, Cointreau, cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime. He also made his husband a perfectly dry martini with the Chopin potato vodka that Garrett had obtained for that purpose, and placed in it three giant olives on a skewer. Emmett poured his husband a tumbler of the special 25 year old cask strength Laphroaig on the rocks and opened a Spaten Oktoberfest for himself.

"Here's to our family," Emmett stood at the side of the table and held out his beer bottle.

"Absolutely," Garrett quickly agreed.

"Damn right," Seth touched his glass carefully to the other's.

"You are my family," Nasir looked at all three of them.

"I love all of you," Seth expressed.

"Me too, Sweetie, me too," Emmett could not agree more. Nasir and Garrett rose as they just had to hug everyone with the sentiment of the moment.

"Should we get the potatoes on?" Seth brought them back to the task at hand.

"Oh, yeah. I'll go light my grill!" Emmett headed for the dining room. Seth headed into the kitchen. He washed and dried the Idaho bakers, coated them in olive oil and a good grinding of salt, and wrapped them in foil. Emmett stood by to take them and walked them out to the grill.

"And now I think I'll put the soup to warm up," Seth emptied the containers of lobster bisque into a large pot and put it on the range.

And then the house phone rang.

"Ah, they are here," Nasir rose to answer it. "They are here, Vlad?"

"On their way up, Mr. al Qasimi," Vlad confirmed.

"Vlad, I should have told you earlier," Nasir informed, "you need never announce them again. Let them come and go as if it was us."

"Yes, Sir. I will do that," Vlad obeyed.

"Thank you," Nasir bid and hung up. He and Garrett headed for the front door.

Seth had gone to the front door as soon as he heard the phone ring. They all knew who it was. He opened the door and waited. In a moment the elevator doors parted and Edward and Jasper stepped out, hand in hand. They both wore leather jackets and broad smiles.

"Hi, Seth," Jasper greeted.

In answer, Seth just looked up at them and narrowed his eyes.

"Is a little conversation too much to ask, before you examine our souls?" Edward quipped as he and Jasper shed their jackets.

"Oh, just get in here," Seth shut the door.

Edward was once again in clothing that accentuated his physique with snug jeans and a form fitting crew neck sweater. Jasper was dressed similarly in identical jeans and a cardigan that zipped up to his very chin, and clung to his form most alluringly.

"Edward, Jasper," Nasir and Garrett joined them.

"Boys," Garrett hugged Edward first while Nasir reached for Jasper. "How was your day?"

"Long. Jas had to get up early for work so I did the same," Edward said.

"Why in the world would you do that?" Seth asked as he took their coats from them. It would have never occurred to him to get up early just because Garrett had to work, and especially if the work had to be done at Garrett's office.

"Hey, guys," Emmett joined them. Like Edward, he wore nothing beneath his pullover sweater, though his stretched across his massive chest and he wore his sleeves pulled up to bare his forearms.

"Why did you get up so early?" Nasir followed up n Seth's question.

"Wait, what?" Emmett was confused.

"Seth can't believe I got up at the same time as Jasper," Edward elaborated, "even though I didn't have to go to work. But I managed to buy almost everything we'll need for the kitchen on-line so that when Jas got back, we could both take a nap instead of dozing off on you guys tonight."

"A nap!" Seth was faux incredulous as he shut the coat closet door.

Jasper reached for Edward's hand. His smile spoke louder than words..

"There may have been activities other than sleeping," Edward conceded. "I mean, we really couldn't celebrate properly when we got back to the hotel last night."

"Good for you guys!" Emmett grabbed Edward in a bear hug that lifted him right off his feet.

"And speaking of celebrating, I'll open the champagne," Garrett said.

"C'mere, Jas!" Emmett had the same hug for Jasper that he had for Edward. Jasper laughed as he too was lifted off his feet.

"C'mon in the kitchen," Emmett urged and led the way. He paused in the butler's pantry to grab flutes and passed them out.

"Oh, shit, Garrett. Roederer Cristal?" Jasper noted as they all finally joined him in the kitchen.

"My husband don't play," Seth advised with a wag of a finger. "I'm so excited!" he added with a bounce. "I can't wait to see your house!"

"If only you were staying a few more days. Guess you'll just have to fly out to New York again soon," Edward chuckled.

"Boys," Garrett raised his flute, "here is to your new house. May it take you no time at all to make it a warm and loving home."

"Here, here," Nasir seconded the sentiment as they all touched their crystal flutes together.

"I know it will be," Jasper smiled into Edward's eyes for a moment before he took a sip of his champagne.

"There is a second bottle in the fridge for the two of you to open after you close," Garrett informed.

"Oh, wow. Thank you, Garrett," Jasper expressed.

"If you two need someone to help you decorate, just fly me out," Seth offered.

"Will we need to send a private jet?" Edward asked.

"I don't mind flying commercial," Seth gave a shrug. "But I don't fly coach. I don't drink cheap beer, wine or champagne. And I don't eat at cheap restaurants."

"Anything else?" Edward noted Seth's list of demands.

"Nope. I'm easy," Seth gave another shrug and drank more of his champagne.

"I must take you out to celebrate this week after you get your house," Nasir put his hand on Jasper's back.

"It'll have to be thursday night," Emmett pointed out. "You're flying home on friday, right?"

"I wanted to talk to you about that," Nasir drained his flute. "I have to be in on Monday and Tuesday the following week, but then we are all off for the holiday."

"Oh, so I can have you home from Tuesday through that Sunday night!" Emmett's face lit up. "Hell, yeah! I like the sound of that!"

"What are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?" Seth enquired of Edward and Jasper.

"Well, assuming we close, we're gonna be up to our armpits in house stuff," Jasper answered. "And it's a pretty busy time at work. I haven't had a Thanksgiving off in ever. You might have heard of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade."

"Oh, yeah," Seth nodded. "I do think I've heard someone make mention of that a time or two."

"What will you be doing, Eddie?" Emmett asked.

"Cooking our first Thanksgiving dinner in our new kitchen and waiting on my man to get home," Edward smiled at Jasper.

"Speaking of cooking...," Seth reminded.

"Oh, yeah. Eddie, I could use your help," Emmett turned toward the kitchen as he considered.

"Sure," Edward was only too ready to play in the kitchen.

"This next phase is a surprise, so I'm gonna get everyone a fresh beer," Emmett headed into the kitchen. "And then Seth will entertain everyone elsewhere," he pulled open the beer drawer and began to pop the caps off of bottles. Edward passed out a Sam Adams Imperial White to Garrett, a Spaten Oktoberfest to Nasir, a Killian's Irish Red to Jasper and took a Blue Moon for himself.

"Hey, we're one short, Em," Edward pointed to the Heineken.

"Oh, no," Emmett went to the refrigerator and obtained a can of beer, which he personally delivered to where Seth sat at the breakfast room table.

"Em, what the fuck?" Edward asked as he noted the can of Natural Light he had just given Seth.

Everyone stood and watched silently as Seth stared at Emmett. Finally, Seth reached for it, popped the top and took a sip. The room held its collective breath while Seth fought valiantly to not make a face. It was a fight he lost.

"Ug. Jesus," Seth shook his head and stuck out his tongue. "I was gonna drink this just to spite you, but, blech!"

"Oh, you didn't want a can of piss?" Emmett returned to the kitchen and extracted a Heineken from the drawer. He removed the cap and walked back to Seth with it. "Try this."

Seth immediately grabbed it and chugged to remove the taste of barely carbonated, watery cat urine out of his mouth. "Oh," he gave a satisfied sigh. "Beer!"

"Yeah," Emmett agreed and took a swig of his Spaten.

"Okay, yuk-yuk, har de har," Seth rose from the table. "I will never again refer to your beer as anything less than the masterful German craftsmanship it so clearly is. Happy?"

"Thrilled," Emmett smiled.

"Honey, Nasir, Jasper, I have to show you guys something in the bedroom," Seth announced. "Follow me."

"I've seen it," Garrett quipped.

"I have too," Nasir added with a grin.

"I might be a little scared," Jasper followed.

"Is everyone a comedian?!" Seth complained from the dining room.

"Okay, so, Eddie," Emmett opened the refrigerator and began to pull packages out, "do you know how to shuck an oyster?"

"No idea," Edward confirmed Emmett's suspicion.

"Okay, I'll shuck 'em then. I had a lesson today," Emmett pulled his glove and oyster knife out of a nearby drawer.

"There are lessons for that?" Edward took a swig of his beer.

"I know, right?" Emmett chuckled as he pulled the container of shaved ice out of the freezer.

"What can I do while you're doing that?" Edward asked.

"Do you mind running the grill for a bit? These are Ahi steaks. Take 'em out and sear 'em," Emmett directed.

"Oh! Just seared, like barely, right?" Edward enthused. "Not rare inside, but raw, like a minute on each side?"

"Slightly longer, but not two minutes, like a minute and a half tops," Emmett agreed.

"Em, do you know how much Jas loves this?" Edward couldn't wait for his partner to see and try it. "He's gonna love you as much as me!"

"I went down that road by mistake once, so I know that's possible," Emmett laughed.

"Yeah, it's totally not," Edward grinned, so blissfully happy with Jasper that even this allusion to a darker time in their past couldn't intrude. Accepting Emmett's comment for the joke it was, Edward watched his friend handle the food and was impressed when Emmett expertly broke the first oyster's hinge with an audible pop. "Hey, you're good at that."

"We'll see how many get chopped up in the process," Emmett was dubious. "There," he lifted the top shell away and dug under to free the oyster from the cup. "Okay, one. Only twenty three to go."

"Should I put these on yet?" Edward asked.

"You might hold up a coupla minutes," Emmett advised. "Hey, grab a couple of platters up there and spread the ice on them. I shoulda done that first."

"Sure thing," Edward went to the cabinet Emmett pointed out and took down two large serving platters. He made mounds of ice on them while Emmett plodded away. "Hey, aren't professional shuckers supposed to be able to do that in like three or four seconds?"

"I design industrial kitchens," Emmett reminded.

"Right," Edward nodded. And waited.

"Okay, I only got ten or so left. Go throw the Ahi on the grill," Emmett popped another hinge.

"You got it," Edward took a fresh plate and the container with the Ahi still in the marinade, and headed through to the dining room and outside.

Edward, it seemed, had hardly been gone for a minute. Emmett finished all the oysters and took the two platters to the breakfast room table. It was just the six of them and they were all family. The table seated six. They could eat in here. Emmett turned around, and Edward appeared with platter of seared Ahi steaks in hand.

"I turned the potatoes while I was out there," Edward informed.

"Oh, good thinking," Emmett nodded. "I'll cut up a lemon."

"Give me a sharp knife and I'll slice this up," Edward followed him into the kitchen.

"Grab a Wüsthof," Emmett gestured toward the block in the corner with all the knives.

"Oh, yeah," Edward selected one and began to slice the Ahi into thin strips.

"I picked up some spring greens," Emmett retrieved them from the fridge. "We can lay them out on this. And here's a lemon," he presented one already cut in half. Emmett took the rest of the lemon wedges and placed them around the oyster platters on the table. "You about done? I'll call the guys."

"Go," Edward nodded.

"Guys," Emmett went looking for them. They had come back up and were in the living room, and therefore easy to find. "Gentlemen, the first course is served," Emmett announced grandly.

"Did someone set the table in the formal dining room?" Seth asked as he rose and headed for Emmett first.

"Why bother with that?" Emmett posed. "We can eat in the breakfast room."

"What are we, peasants?!" Seth complained. Emmett waited for his husband and took his hand. Together they followed Seth, Garrett and Jasper through the entry hall, dining room and butler's pantry.

"Oh, Nasir, look!" Garrett was thrilled.

"Oh!" Nasir was equally delighted.

"What are these little beauties?" Garrett enquired.

"And seared Ahi," Edward brought his attractively plated platter to add to the table.

"Oh, Edward!" Jasper's face lit up.

"I knew you'd like this, Jas," Edward slipped his arm around Jasper's waist.

"These are BeauSoleil from New Brunswick, for those of you who like them," Emmett answered Garrett's question.

"I've heard of these, but never tried them until now. Fairly petite, but don't they look lovely," Garrett appraised. "Does everyone like lemon?" he picked up a couple of wedges and proceeded to squeeze them over the oysters of the nearest platter.

"He's talking to you, Nasir," Seth nudged him.

"He knows what I like," Nasir assured. Garrett picked up two BeauSoleil and handed one to Nasir. Nasir took it, touched it to Garrett's as if they were making a toast, and they both slurped them down.

"Mmm, hmm," Garrett nodded as he chewed and considered.

"Yes," Nasir agreed.

The whole room waited for them to make pronouncement.

"You know, on the whole, quite good," Garrett stated.

"Eastern oysters do not have that almost fruity, cucumber finish that ours do in the West," Nasir added.

"Not terribly briny. A bit on the sweet side," Garrett continued. "If only we had a good, chilled sauvignon blanc, but they're just as good with beer," he picked up his bottle and touched the neck to the neck of Nasir's as they each slurped another.

"Oh my God," Jasper let his eyes roll back as he savored the Ahi. "This is beyond delicious. Who did this?"

"I just slapped them on the grill for a minute and thirty seconds on each side," Edward admitted.

"Did you know they were going to serve this?" Jasper looked his partner in the eyes.

"No," Edward smiled and shook his head.

"Seth did the marinade," Emmett gestured.

"A ginger, green onion, soy, sesame thing I came up with myself," Seth gave a shrug and took a bite himself. "This, I like."

"But who did the oysters?" Nasir asked. "They taste freshly shucked."

"They are," Garrett held up a finger. "We can tell."

"Emmy learned how today," Seth told on him.

"Yeah, I did," Emmett gave a sly smile.

"Habibi!" Nasir threw his arms around his big husband. "It is the most wonderful thing you do for us!"

"You think this was for you?" Seth quipped. "We are gonna get fucked!"

"Eddie, you should have one," Emmett smirked.

"I don't need one," Edward enjoyed the Ahi with Jasper.

"They don't either, but boy is it nice when they do," Seth stated.

"Is there really a difference?" Edward challenged.

"There's only one way to find out," Seth took another bite of Ahi.

"I can't imagine it being any better," Jasper absently let his thought fall out of his mouth. He looked and Edward and saw him fighting with himself. "You don't have to."

"What the hell," Edward took a deep breath. "First time for everything, right?"

"Eddie, if you don't want one raw, I have some others for the grill too," Emmett came to the rescue.

"And I think I'll wait for one of those," Edward nodded.

"Next course," Seth announced. "Wait till you try this bisque!" he ladled into bowls and Emmett shuttled them to the table. They sat down for this course.

"Wow. Look at the chunks of lobster in this. It's almost a stew!" Jasper assessed.

"This might be the best lobster bisque I have ever had," Nasir added. "This is all from the place Rodney sent you?"

"Sure is," Emmett confirmed. "And we'll be going back for sure."

"I don't know if I'm going to be able to finish my steak," Garrett patted his stomach.

"We got a few more minutes before we have to slap 'em on the grill," Emmett leaned back in his chair.

"Let's get these dishes washed," Seth rose.

"Yeah, good idea," Emmett agreed.

"You should let us do the dishes," Jasper protested.

"Sit your butt down," Emmett put a hand on Jasper's shoulder as he came around to gather platters and bowls. He and Seth cleaned up the table, kitchen and every dish used so far.

"Is it time?" Seth finally asked.

"Yeah, Sweetie, get your scallops ready. I'm gonna put the ribeyes on the grill," Emmett pulled a large package of butcher paper from the fridge and unwrapped it. "Just gonna salt and pepper these," Emmett proceeded to do so. "Oh, Jas, how do you like yours? I don't think we've ever grilled before!"

"Medium," Jasper answered.

"Yeah," Emmett nodded with a smile. "Hey, Babe, your pocket."

"My pocket?" Nasir looked to his husband with puzzlement, but just as quickly realized. "Oh! Edward, Jasper," he reached into his pocket and produced the other two keys that they had made earlier, "these are for you."

"Oh, thank you, Nasir," Jasper took them. "We'll get you a set for our house as soon as we actually own it."

"I was looking forward to you two staying here with me, but you finding the perfect house makes up for my disappointment!" Nasir observed.

"Staying with you would have been a vast improvement over the hotel," Edward expressed, "though I can't wait to make a home with my partner," he smiled into Jasper's eyes.

"We totally know what you mean," Emmett smiled. "Okay, these are going on," he headed through to the dining room and outside. Seth eventually followed with his container of scallops in their marinade, and a fresh beer for each of them. The night was crisp and cold, but the heat coming off the grill made it bearable.

"This is gonna be so nice out here when you get your outdoor kitchen built," Seth commented.

"It will, right? In the warm months it'll be fun," Emmett agreed.

"What will you do with this grill when you get one built in?" Seth asked.

"Eddie and Jas can have it. I'm sure they'll want one in their backyard," Emmett planned ahead.

"I'm so glad they found a house together. Just look how happy they are," Seth stood close to Emmett.

"I know. They are," Emmett put his arm around Seth's shoulders.

"It took a long time for them to get here, but I'm so happy for them," Seth expressed.

"Me too, Sweetie. Me too," Emmett agreed. "They deserve it."

"There have been times of fun and laughter over the years, but I have to say, I have seen Edward smile more on this trip, and what little we saw them that week they were both home, than all the years I've know him," Seth assessed. "The same kinda goes for you. It was a stressful few days there."

"You can sure as fuck say that again. Jesus," Emmett shook his head and took a swig of his beer.

"What does Nasir like to say?" Seth looked up at his best friend.

"Peace be upon him," Emmett chuckled.

"We all found exactly the right guy, didn't we," Seth concluded.

"We sure did, Sweetie. We sure did," Emmett agreed.

At that moment, the near set of French doors opened and Jasper leaned out. "I had one function as I recall, and that was to not let the grillmaster run out of beer. Ever. So, grillmaster, do you need a fresh beer?"

"I'm actually good at the moment," Emmett held up his bottle. "Thanks, Jas."

"Okay," Jasper nodded.

"Hey! What am I, chopped liver?" Seth complained.

"Your skin is fairly dark, so, yeah, I'd say chopped liver," Jasper teased. "I'm so sorry. What I meant to say was: Seth, my dear, sweet, Native American brother, would you like a fresh beer?"

"No, I'm good too," Seth casually took a swig.

"C'mon out and join us," Emmett bid.

"Fuck that. It's cold out there," Jasper promptly shut the doors and made them laugh.

Emmett flipped the steaks. "Yeah, these look fucking delicious. Let's get the scallops on now."

"Hey, what about the other oysters?" Seth asked.

"Oh, shit, yeah, get 'em," Emmett bid as he continued to place the scallops on the grill.

Seth was back in a flash with the larger oysters. "She said cup side down, right?"

"Yeah," Emmett looked at each one carefully and found a place for them on the grill. "I wonder how long they take?"

"We probably should have asked that," Seth nodded.

As luck would have it, they took as much time as they had left. It was about seven minutes, and like magic, almost all at once, they opened.

"Huh. Look at that," Emmett gestured.

"She said they would just open up," Seth recalled.

Emmett stepped to the door, opened it and leaned inside. "Guys, food's ready. Grab a plate and c'mon out!"

Emmett and Seth's husbands brought plates out for them as well and Emmett served everyone steak, scallops, oysters and a well baked potato.

"Wow, you guys," Edward took a bite of his ribeye once they were all seated at the breakfast room table. "Another fantastic meal. Three in as many nights. Could I persuade you guys to move out here as well?"

"I spend, unfortunately, the majority of my time here," Nasir began, "but I do not consider that I live here. That is why I kept my Washington license. My husband lives in Seattle. That is where I live."

"I wish my job was more portable," Emmett expressed. "I'd love to be able to fly back and forth with you," he rubbed his foot on Nasir's.

"Oh, hey, did you talk to Greg?" Seth asked.

"I did!" Jasper nodded and took a swig of his beer. "I forgot to tell you guys. Greg said Viktor's ankle is swollen up like a balloon. He's on crutches, but nothing's broken. He'll be out for probably a month."

"What made that other player do that?" Emmett asked.

"Miroslav Akalski," Jasper began, "is new to the Reds this season. He's a very recent transfer from Levski Sofia. That sound familiar to anyone?"

"No," Seth admitted. "Should it?"

"Sofia, as in the capital of Bulgaria?" Garrett asked.

"Exactly. The same club where Arsenal got Viktor," Jasper informed.

"Then they do know each other," Nasir concluded.

"Pretty well, I'd say. Miroslav is Viktor's ex," Jasper revealed.

"Must not have been an amiable parting," Garrett concluded.

"It's more than that. That was a long time ago," Seth divined. "I bet he wants Viktor back and thinks he has a chance now 'cause he's a hot shot Barclay's League player in the UK, just like Viktor is, but I'm sure Viktor won't give him the time of day."

"You have it exactly," Jasper confirmed. "Viktor is totally devoted to Greg. He wouldn't leave his husband or child for anyone."

"Did he get suspended?" Edward asked.

"Five games," Jasper answered.

"Good. The fuck," Seth gave a firm nod.

"I can't imagine his club is any too happy with him right now," Jasper surmised. "They didn't pay Levski all that money so he could come to Liverpool to deliberately injure other players and be banned from playing."

"They should send him back," Seth declared. "And, you know, I might have met an oyster I actually like."

"I know," Emmett agreed. "Cooked they're not gross."

"I can eat these, Jas. Better watch out!" Edward gave his partner his trademark Cullen grin.

"Oh, I'm ready!" Jasper was more than up for it.

"You've had raw and grilled, Babe. Am I gonna get it deep tonight?" Emmett ran a hand over his husband's thigh.

"So deep. Deep and raw," Nasir promised.

"That's what I'm talkin' about," Emmett gave his dimples.

"Do you two think you can find your way to the right rooms this time?" Seth lectured.

"Oh, there's a story behind that," Jasper rightly concluded.

"They thought they would be smart last night. Seth told them to get naked and get in the bedrooms, but since Seth didn't say which, they ended up in the wrong rooms," Emmett relayed.

"Naked?" Jasper asked.

"Oh, let me just guess what happened then," Edward shook his head.

"Suffice it to say, I don't think they'll make that mistake again," Seth stated.

"Are you sure you wouldn't like to take a ride, Sethy?" Nasir teased.

"I'm gonna take a ride alright, but you will not enter into it," Seth replied, "or me."

"I'll handle that," Garrett stated.

"Yes, please," Seth smiled at his husband.

Garrett and Jasper cleaned up after dinner. Seth and Edward helped them while Emmett lit the outside fire. He quickly put the spark screen in place before the fire was too high to do so. Nasir brought up blankets from the hall closet on the lower level.

"Hey, guys," Emmett leaned around the corner from the butler's pantry. "Wanna join us outside? Grab your beers."

"Outside? What's outside?" Jasper asked.

"Is it lit? Yay! This is gonna be so nice," Seth bounced out of the room.

"Is what lit?" Edward asked.

"Come outside, boys. You won't need your coats," Garrett put his hands on Edward and Jasper's backs as they walked.

They walked through the dining room and entry hall, and into the living room. The fire was clearly visible through the French doors.

"Holy crap!" Jasper saw what it was. "Is that legal?"

"I didn't stop to ask," Emmett admitted as he led the way outside. Each couple gravitated to one of the three loveseats.

"I put a blanket," Nasir pointed out as he unfolded the one he intended to use with Emmett.

"Em, this is so great," Edward enthused as he covered himself and Jasper with their own blanket.

Seth gave an audible sigh as he reclined against his husband and pulled the third blanket over them both. "This is the life. Northeast? Cold winters? What's that? You're a genius, Emmy."

"Am I?" Emmett smiled.

"My big, beautiful American zawji is sexy and smart," Nasir pulled him close.

"Mmm," Emmett snuggled into Nasir and let his hand stray into his husband's crotch. Under their blanket, Garrett's hand did the same with Seth.

"We are so fortunate to have you guys in our lives," Edward relayed his feelings. "Everywhere you go, you make such a warm and loving home."

"We love all you guys," Emmett expressed.

"As do we," Garrett added.

"Us too," Edward smiled. Jasper snuggled into Edward's side under their blanket and Edward wrapped his arms around him. Jasper slid his hand up inside Edward's sweater. He wanted to be able to run his fingers through the hair on his partner's chest. Edward's chest was at once arousing and comforting. In truth, Jasper wanted to do far more than that, but anything more would have to wait until they were ensconced in the privacy of their hotel room.

Each couple relaxed in the heat of the fire and the closeness of the person with whom they shared their life.

Until Emmett's cell rang.

"Oh, hey, it's Duane. Hey, Duane," Emmett answered.

"Heya, Emmett," Duane's enthusiastic voice came through loud and clear. "Roddy said y'all was by. Said yer buddy Seth wanted to have a drink?"

"He does, yeah. I'll put him on," Emmett rose to hand the phone to Seth.

"Hi, Duane," Seth greeted.

"Hey, Seth. What's shakin?" Duane asked.

"Can you meet me for a super quick drink someplace right now?" Seth enquired.

"What?" Garrett did not at all like the sound of that. "Do you mean us?"

"It's okay, Honey," Seth soothed.

"I suppose we could," Duane answered. "Lenny's here. Prolly gonna spend the night."

"Good," Seth was glad of it.

"You wanna just come down?" Duane invited.

"It's Lenny that I want to talk about, so I don't want him to be able to hear us," Seth informed. "Are you okay with leaving him by himself for twenty minutes or so?"

"Yeah, we trust him. Ambroeus is open till eleven and only a block over. Meet you in the lobby?" Duane proposed.

"I'll be right down," Seth confirmed and ended the call.

"Right down where?" Garrett asked.

"I'm gonna run out for a real quick drink with them," Seth rose and handed Emmett back his phone. "He says they know a place called Ambrosius or something a block away."

"Saint Ambroeus," Emmett corrected. "We know it. We've been there with them. Cute little place."

"Seth, I am not at all okay with this," Garrett spoke up.

"It'll be okay, Honey. I don't need them long. I'll be back in half an hour, tops," Seth assured.

"That is very much not okay," Garrett was firm.

"Of course I would rather you come too, but I don't want your hot Thompson-ness to distract them," Seth reasoned. "I know what you're worried about, but Rodney is a big guy. He's nearly as big as Emmy. No one will bother us. The Upper East Side is a safe area, isn't it?"

"Well," Jasper was reluctant to be drawn in.

"I'm with Garrett, Sweetie. I wouldn't let you go out wandering around at night either," Emmett stated.

"I won't be wandering around and I won't be alone," Seth pointed out.

"I don't know these men well enough to entrust them with the safety of the most precious thing in my life," Garrett countered. "I'm serious about this. If I can't go with you, take Emmett. Someone has to go with you."

"Can we not all go?" Nasir suggested. "We can just have a drink at another table while Sethy talks with them. Can we not?"

"Sure we can," Edward shifted the blanket and rose.

"Yeah, why not?" Jasper stood and zipped up his cardigan that had somehow come open under the blanket.

"Okay. C'mon troops," Seth led the way inside. Emmett gathered up the blankets and came last. They all gathered their coats and headed down to the lobby.

"Hey, fellas," Duane greeted them with a smile. "The gang's all here. Edward. Jasper," he shook their hands. ""I've been working on those documents we discussed. Should have everything done by Monday," he was intentionally vague so as not to violate his clients' confidentiality.

"We appreciate your help, especially on short notice," Jasper was sincere. Even if he wasn't thrilled about the financial arrangements being made to secure their mortgage, he understood the need for them and Duane's willingness to drop his other projects to help Edward and him meet their tight deadline.

"Happy to do it, but let's not spend our off hours on business talk. "Let's go," Duane led the way. He and Rodney waited in leather jackets. While Rodney wore a casual shirt and jeans, Duane was still in his suit pants, dress shirt and loosened tie. The suit jacket had been traded for something warmer.

It was a quick walk down 78th and across Madison Avenue. In less than five minutes they ducked into the fairly quiet little Italian bakery and restaurant. There was no one at the host stand at this hour and they just proceeded to the bar. Everyone ordered a drink and Edward handed over his credit card.

"You guys grab a table. We'll sit up here at the bar," Emmett orchestrated as their drinks were served.

"C'mon over here," Duane led the way to a table for two tucked in the front window of the restaurant. He pulled a third chair from an adjacent table and sat beside Rodney, across the small table from Seth. "So, what's up with Lenny?"

"Yeah, he seemed sad," Rodney added. "I mean, more sad than usual, after you left."

"Did you guys finish your movie?" Seth asked.

"Yeah, and another one after that," Rodney answered.

"What'd ya watch?" Duane was curious.

"Redwoods and then Broken Hearts Club," Rodney answered.

"Those are cute. I like those," Duane nodded.

"The important point is, did you cuddle him?" Seth asked.

"I did, yeah. He was ready to snuggle right up too," Rodney relayed. "Laid his head right here," he patted the front of his shoulder. "We kinda missed the end of Broken Hearts Club though."

"I bet I know why," Duane smiled.

"I got hard again and he wanted to hold it in his mouth while we watched the rest of the movie," Rodney explained. "I don't think either of us saw any more."

"Was he naked at any point?" Seth asked.

"No. He doesn't like to get naked for some reason," Rodney answered. "He never gets naked unless D makes him."

"He will tonight," Duane stated firmly.

"It's nice to have a dominant top in the house," Rodney let his hand stray to Duane's thigh and gave it an appreciative squeeze.

"I have a thought about that as well," Seth raised a finger, ignoring Rodney's comment. "What I don't like about him remaining clothed when you guys are naked and getting serviced, is that it reinforces his subservient role. But I also don't think you should force him to do anything. Make it a bargain. You'll get naked if he does. You guys sleep naked I'm sure."

"Course," Duane nodded.

"Does he sleep naked with you?" Seth followed up.

"He doesn't like to. He tried to wear his jeans the two times he spent the night," Rodney informed. "Until D made him take them off."

"Then you guys wear jeans too," Seth instructed. "I know that's awful, but do it anyway. He wants you naked, he'll have to get naked. Or go out and buy three matching pairs of something. Sleep pants or boxers or something. See how he feels about that. He might feel better about that. Do that for a while and work your way back up to sleeping naked together."

"We can do that," Rodney nodded.

"I'm sure you guys have noticed that he has a significant self esteem issue," Seth continued.

"He sure does. Such a cute kid too. I mean, if he'll let you get a look at his face," Duane shook his head. "It'd like ta break your heart sometimes."

"Has he told you about his relationship with his father?" Seth continued.

"Yeah," Rodney nodded. "He's not around much, but maybe that's a good thing."

"In a way, you guys are surrogate fathers," Seth put his hands on the table.

"I don't think he sucks his daddy's dick!" Duane laughed.

"No, I'm not saying that," Seth waved a hand. "What I mean is, you're older men and gaining your attention, and approval, gives him validation. I think you two are the best thing that could have happened to him, but I also think that you could do so much more."

"Like what?" Duane asked.

"Yeah, I'd like to help him if we can," Rodney agreed.

"There are a couple of things," Seth explained. "Does he give good head?"

"Fuck, does he!" Duane endorsed.

"Then you need to tell him that," Seth instructed. "Your body language probably already conveys that, but your words are important too."

"The mouthful of cum he gets is probably a good indication," Duane pointed out.

"Yes, that too, but it's all of it," Seth coached. "The sounds you make, everything that let's him know he's doing a good job. But don't stop there. I notice when Emmett and I came down, he just sat on the floor in your playroom."

"Yeah," Duane nodded. "He'll wait patiently for us to come back."

"My concern with that, is that he might think that is all he's good for," Seth educated. "Engage him in more of your lives. Take him with you places. Grocery shopping, picking up the laundry, whatever. Give him things to do and praise him when he does a good job. He needs positive reinforcement and it should be for more things than just his cock sucking skills."

"You say that 'cause you ain't had his lips wrapped around you," Duane made light.

"Duane, I'm being serious," Seth chastised.

"Sorry, I shouldn't be joshin.' I care about the kid. Go on," Duane bid.

Seth was satisfied that Duane was sincere and continued. "The second thing I think you should do for him, is to do for him what he does for you. If he wants to suck you off, let him, but suck him off too."

"D tried to do that," Rodney spoke up.

"Said he didn't want me to," Duane added. "It's no easy task just getting him to take his pants off at all."

"What he wants and what's best for him, might not be the same thing," Seth stated. "And I think you should do more than just blow him, I think you should make love to him. Preferably both of you. I mean, all three of you at once. I don't mean fuck him like you fuck Rodney, at least, not right away. You'd have to work up to that. Part of feeling worthy is feeling desirable. The best way to do that is let him feel your desire for him, through your touch, with your hands, bodies, tongues and mouths."

"Hell, we wouldn't mind that," Duane stated.

"Not at all," Rodney agreed.

"His little ass is as cute as a button. I'd lick it if he'd let me near it," Duane asserted.

"You might have to start real slow. Start with kissing. Take him to bed with you. Keeping him all night is the best possible thing as long as he isn't forced," Seth evaluated. "Everything I'm telling you has to be with his consent, and that consent can't have been given just because he thinks you'll send him away if he doesn't do what you want. My prescription for you for when you get home is this: all three of you take a shower together. Everybody wash everybody's everything. Everyone is equal. Dry your hair. Watch some TV if you want, but don't let him kneel and give you head while you do it. Cuddle him. Then take him to bed. All three of you play like equals. If he'll protest when you go down on him, make sure his mouth is full first. I would keep it all oral, at least with him, for right now. Or if you wanna fuck Rodney, maybe they can sixtynine while you do it."

"Hoo, I'll forget my own fucking name!" Rodney laughed.

"Actually, the more I think about it, the better that plan sounds," Seth nodded to himself. "It would let him see what that's all about up close and personal, but wouldn't involve him any more than he wanted to be involved. Keep it oral for now, but when you guys do fuck, keep him marginally involved. Let him suck Rodney, or sixty nine. Do that a few times and see. Let him ask, but I guarantee the day will come when he'll ask you to fuck him. And on that day, go as slow and be as gentle as you absolutely know how to be."

"Seth, you're the best, man," Duane complimented.

"The end goal here is to give him enough of a sense of self worth that he can eventually meet someone more his own age," Seth reminded. "His father wants him to go to college next year and I think you two should encourage that too. By then he should be ready."

"I really like this, D. I feel like we can actually help him," Rodney took his husband's hand.

"I do too, Roddy. And it took Seth here to give us a roadmap on how to do that. How can we thank you, Seth?" Duane asked.

"There's one more thing," Seth held up a hand. "And this one's pretty important. It's lucky for everyone concerned that he found a couple who are open to playing with others. But here's the problem. Both of you offered to let him suck me off. I also noticed that he wasn't at all surprised to see me, a man he had never met, and clearly fully expected me to feed him my dick. I can't help but conclude that you've sent others in before me."

"Leon came by last weekend," Rodney admitted. "Lenny sucked him dry."

"I'm sure it's not your intention to make him feel like a commodity, just something to be used," Seth baited.

"No, not at all," Rodney was genuine.

"Then keep him to yourselves," Seth prescribed. "No sharing him, except with each other. I get that you two have times when you have others come over to play. If you can keep that to a minimum right now, that would be great, but if you can't, then make it when he's not there. Give him something to go and do if he can't come up with something on his own."

"He doesn't come with us to laser tag," Duane thought out loud. "Laser tag is never just laser tag. We could get our fill of that there and just keep the apartment for him and us for right now."

"Yeah, let's do that," Rodney agreed.

"There," Seth nodded. "Now you have a roadmap, as you put it."

"Seth, man, I'm so glad Nasir and Emmett came into our lives and brought you along with 'em," Duane expressed.

"I couldn't agree more, D," Rodney expressed.

"Just take good care of all three of you. Nasir has my numbers. The doctor is always in. Call me anytime if you need any advice. Anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm pretty good," Seth drained his glass and stood up.

At this signal, all five men at the bar who could see, but were not close enough to hear, slid off their stools. Duane and Rodney rose as well.

"Who do we owe for the drinks?" Duane asked.

"On us," Edward spoke up with his hand on the small of Jasper's back. "Least we could do after all you did for our friend."

"That weren't nothin.' And he more than made up for it with that meeting yesterday," Duane assured. "An account like this and there's no way I don't make partner."

"You guys comin' back or you heading home?" Emmett asked as they all stepped out onto Madison.

"I think we'll grab a cab and call it a night," Jasper decided. "Thank you for such a wonderful dinner and evening yet again, guys."

"Pleasure is all ours, Sugar," Emmett gave him a hug first and moved to Edward to do the same.

The group waited until Edward and Jasper were safely seated in the back of a taxi and on their way, before they crossed Madison and headed the one block home.


That Sunday was a quiet, lazy day. Emmett cleaned the grill and covered it with the specially formed tarp. He had no idea when next he might use it. The same went for the fire pit. The four men didn't leave the apartment even once that day. They built a fire in the living room fireplace that afternoon and kept it going well into the evening. It was an early night as they had to get up shortly after three in the morning to catch their early flight.

Emmett didn't want his husband to have to get up so terribly early just to see him, and them, off, but Nasir insisted. He wanted to go to the airport to see his family off properly as it meant that many more minutes with the love of his life by his side. It certainly wasn't as if he would be able to go contentedly back to sleep after Emmett left their bed for the airport. The sense of loss on this morning was even more profound than usual as he wasn't just watching his husband fly off, but the rest of his immediate family as well. Nasir didn't let Emmett see it at the airport, but he couldn't stop the tears as he rode back toward Manhattan alone. The only silver lining was that Edward and Jasper were both still in Manhattan and he knew he could call on them anytime he needed.


There were others for whom the night had been far less pleasant. And the morning looked even more bleak.

Krister woke on the living room floor right where James had left him, surprised that he was still alive. He was on the cold polished marble between the living and dining rooms. James had been in an unbelievable state when he came home. They were meant to attend a performance at McCaw Hall. James had stormed out, barking about losing millions and suing someone for all they were worth. His orders had been quite clear. Stay. Be ready to go.

And Krister was. He wore the black tie and white dinner jacket just as James had instructed. And he waited. But James had been hours. And was fuming when he returned. The look on his face made Krister's blood run cold. He knew that look. And he knew he was in for it. The tiniest misstep would do it.

With shaking hands he removed his tie and dinner jacket, and warmed one of the many meals Monica had made and packaged for them on one of her twice weekly visits. They were meant to dine out tonight, but not now. Krister set the table very carefully. James was most particular about how close to the corner they each sat. The dining room table was perfectly square with two comfortable, high backed chairs on each of the four sides. James liked for them to each sit on a side of a specific corner. They weren't exactly across or beside each other that way. They were still close, but it was easier to talk.

Not that Krister spoke at the table. Not anymore. Not for a long time, unless it was to respond to a direct question. He had no opinions and no thoughts on any subject. Krister had once, but they had been long beaten out of him. The first time he walked into this apartment, the first time he sat to this dining room table, he had been a happy, enthusiastic, talkative once he overcame his natural shyness and in spite of the language barrier, and naturally inquisitive college freshman, eager to learn. But Krister didn't remember that anymore. All he knew was that he did not recognize the man with the dead eyes that looked back at him in the mirror. He wouldn't let himself look any lower than his face. It was just too horrible.

In the end, it was the wine that tripped him up, though he never even knew it. Krister had opened the bottle as instructed. He had poured very carefully while standing by James' side. He well knew better than to pour wine while seated! Krister took his seat beside James and they both began to eat. It wasn't until a few minutes later that James turned the bottle and saw that while it was the right type of wine from the right vintner, it was an 08 when James had asked for the 09.

James did not often backhand him. He didn't like to touch Krister's face for fear of leaving a mark others could see. But he did then, as he stood up, and hard enough to send Krister, and his chair, right over backwards. The wine had only been the trigger. James railed off and on for hours about the huge project that Krister ruined. The fortune Krister just cost his business. He held Krister down and beat him. Krister's screams did nothing to curb his fury. James dragged Krister to the bedroom, held him against the wall with his forearm pressed into his throat, and punched his already severely injured ribs relentlessly. Sometimes it was more gratifying to choke Krister while he beat him. Other times it was better to hear the screams. On this night, James enjoyed both.

Krister begged, pleaded, cried and screamed for him to stop. He told James that he was very sorry, that he didn't understand, that he would never do it again, whatever it was. James' response had been to drag him back out to the living room and take off his belt.

It only ended when, at the height of his pique, James straddled Krister's prone body on the floor and wrapped his hands around Krister's neck. James pressed his thumbs into Krister's throat and choked him as hard as he could. And he didn't let go. Krister wasn't able to breathe or make even a sound. The smaller man grappled with James' hands and arms as hard as he could, but he could not free himself. James sneered into Krister's face. He very much enjoyed the pain on the younger man's face and especially the panic in his eyes. James needed Krister to understand that his life was not only worthless, but James' to end as he pleased.

Krister woke on the living room floor right where James had left him. He was on the cold polished marble between the living and dining rooms and was surprised that he was still alive. James had choked him into unconsciousness and left him. Evidently all night as the room was full of light. It took considerable effort just to swallow, his throat hurt so badly, but that was nothing compared to how his ribs felt this morning.

It was completely out of the ordinary for Krister to have been left on the floor all night. James never just went to bed and left him. Something was different this morning. Always before James had wanted him to come to their bed, even if he had to help him into it. But not last night. Krister had been left where he lay without a thought or care.

Krister knew James was up when he heard the footsteps of those familiar Bass shoes. James had showered and dressed, and still left him here on the floor. Krister knew he should get up. But then do what? What would piss James off the least? And the agony was unbelieveable. Everything hurt more than it ever had before. How many times had James beaten his already battered body with the buckle of his belt? James was masterful in his ability to wield it. Krister's screams were music to his ears.

And then the footsteps drew near. They came straight toward him. Krister cringed. And that hurt. And he whimpered. Then the cold voice as James knelt and leaned down over him, hissed in his ear.

"You will get up and be ready when I need you. You will act like nothing is wrong, or you will be in real trouble. Do you understand me?" James spoke quietly, but with venom directly into Krister's left ear. And when Krister did not immediately respond, he grabbed a fistful of Krister's hair and pulled, hard. "DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!" James shouted, again directly into Krister's ear.

"Y-y-yes, J-James," Krister stuttered through his fear and pain. James said nothing, but let go of him, rose, and walked away. Krister let out a sigh of relief. He knew now that this beating was over. But this one had been worse than all the others that went before it. It had never gone on all, or most of the night before. James had never strangled him nearly to death before. And the way James had spoken! Krister knew if he did not do as he was told, the next beating would be the worst yet.

Krister slowly forced his muscles to move. He moaned as he ever so carefully rolled over onto his back. Did his back hurt worse than his front? Nothing hurt more than his ribs. Krister had to fight for a moment to catch his breath, his ribs hurt so bad.

James strode out of his home office from where he had retrieved his briefcase, and headed for his front door. And saw red when Krister was yet and still laying on the floor. Had he not just instructed him to get up?! James seethed as he headed for the man who laid directly in his path.

"I said GET UP!" James voice rose to a crescendo and as it did, he landed a vicious and savage stomp directly into Krister's already severely injured ribs.

"AHHH!" Krister screamed with the blinding pain. Had James heard or felt the crunch? Had he enjoyed it? Did he even care?

James made a fist and walked past the partner and lover he left writhing in excruciating agony on floor. If this unbearably tedious and stupid kid didn't get out of his sight, and right now, he would beat him to death and enjoy every second of it. As it was, he had to get to his office. Perhaps there was some way to salvage the lofts after all. He was well insured and he would file suit against the contractor today. James went out through his front door and closed it behind him.

Krister could not hold his body still and yet each individual movement was an explosion of pain. He couldn't stand even the touch of his own hands as he tried to hold his ribs. He couldn't catch his breath. And then he was choking. He tried to cough and when he did his throat cleared momentarily. Long enough for him to cry out from the pain that caused. And just as quickly he was choking again. Instinctively he knew that if he could manage to roll onto his side, it would be better. Summoning his strength and holding his ribs, with a terrible cry, he managed to slowly roll onto his other side.

Krister panted from the exertion. And it was better. He was able to breathe. In fact, he panted as he tried to catch his breath. Krister closed his eyes and tried not to cry again. Though James wasn't even here to see it, he didn't want to give his partner, lover, tormentor and abuser, the satisfaction. That was when he noticed his mouth was wet. Was he drooling? Krister opened his eyes.

And saw the blood. That was why he was choking! It had been his own blood! Krister knew he was seriously injured. He knew he needed help. But how could he get it? And did he want it? There were days when he wished that James would just kill him, but he didn't want to die. And Krister knew if he remained here like this, he well might. He had to try to get help from somewhere.

With a cry of pain, Krister lifted himself partially on his arms. He crawled toward the front door. It was very slow going and he trailed and smeared blood all the way, but eventually he made it to the door. Then came the really hard part. Getting to his feet. He might have gone for a phone, but his cell was programmed to be able to call only one number and that was James' cell. He would get no help there. The house phone could only call down to the lobby without a code Krister did not have. He had no way of knowing that a landline could not be restricted from calling 911. The younger man from Sweden didn't even know what 911 was.

When he had lifted himself enough to grasp the door handle, the last part of pulling himself to his feet was a little easier. Krister leaned on the door when he finally did and tried to catch his breath. He choked, sputtered and coughed blood as he did so. Krister gave no thought to the white tux shirt, now ruined by his own blood. After a long moment, he opened the door and staggered out, not bothering to close it behind him. Krister found that he needed the wall for support as he made his way to the elevators. This was easier than crawling and faster going, though he could not catch his breath and seemed to cough and spit up blood all the more.

The elevator arrived and he took great care to make sure he didn't fall into it. Krister knew that if he did, there would be no getting back up again. He touched the button for the lobby entirely by habit. The car descended quickly and as the doors opened in the lobby, Krister was gripped by fear. What if the guards tried to stop him? Perhaps he could reason with them. If he was lucky, they would let him go. He had to find someone who could help.

Krister straightened himself up as best he could. He knew he must look a fright, but he wanted to appear as together as possible. Holding his broken ribs, Krister started out of the elevator into the spacious and gleaming granite lobby. And made it three steps. Krister cried out in pain as he collapsed. He tried to hold himself up with one hand as blood poured out of his mouth. He couldn't breathe at all.

"Holy shit!" one of the two ever present guards in the lobby exclaimed.

They were the last words Krister heard.

~finis~


Watch for Culture Karma coming soon.

Payback's a bitch.