Toby awoke to find Chris watching him.
"Mmm, morning," Toby said, yawning.
"Morning, baby, you sleep good?"
"Yes. Do we have to get out of bed today?"
Chris chuckled. "Not unless you have to be somewhere."
"Okay, then, I guess we can stay right here," Chris said, kissing Toby softly.
Toby snuggled up to Chris. "This is so nice."
"I know, we don't usually have time for this," Chris said, stroking Toby's arm.
They lay in bed, leisurely arousing one another, until Toby got to his knees, leaning over Chris to take hold of his now-hard cock, licking lightly at the head.
"Toby, that's -- uh -- feels great, but you don't have to -- "
"Shh," Toby said, raising his head. "I want to. Practice makes perfect, right?"
Chris chuckled. "I guess so."
Toby lowered his head to again lick at the head of Chris's leaking cock, before starting to slowly move his mouth up and down on it.
Chris gasped and clutched at the sheets. "Jesus, Toby, that's so good," he said, breathing heavily.
Toby kept moving his mouth up and down, stopping to suck gently, all the while rolling Chris's heavy balls in his hand. Chris whimpered, making Toby grin around the hard length in his mouth, thrilled that he'd forced that reaction from his lover.
Chris's hands found Toby's head, and he threaded his fingers through Toby's hair as he commented, "You're learning fast, baby," his voice rough with desire. "Lay on your side for me," Chris directed.
Toby did, grinning when he saw Chris turn his body to face the foot of the bed, realizing his intent. Chris moved until his mouth was level with Toby's cock. Toby groaned as Chris took him deep in his throat. Toby managed to recapture Chris's cock with his own mouth, and they pleasured each other slowly and thoroughly.
Afterwards, they lay there, waiting for their breathing to slow down. Chris turned back to lie face to face with Toby. Toby held Chris's right hand in both his own, tracing it lightly with his finger.
"Your hands are great, Chris," Toby murmured.
"My hands? They're all rough and callused."
"They're great, Toby repeated, turning the hand in question over. "Your fingers are so long and... graceful." He turned Chris's hand back over, stroking the palm. "You're so strong, and still, you can be so tender when you touch me," he said, pressing a kiss in the center of his lover's palm.
Chris stared at Toby for several seconds, a look of awe on his face, before saying, " Toby... thank you. That was... it was..." He squeezed Toby's hand and gave him a passionate kiss, letting his actions speak for him.
They drifted back off to sleep, waking much later in the day. They reluctantly got up around 2, ordering Chinese and eating it on the couch. They stayed there, watching movies, talking, and cuddling, until Chris said he had to go. They both dressed, and Toby walked down with Chris.
"This is a beautiful bike," Toby said of Chris's black '98 Harley Electraglide.
"Thanks. You wanna try it?"
"Me? I've never been on a motorcycle."
"You're kidding. We'll have to fix that. Next weekend, maybe?"
Toby grinned. "I'd like that. Seeing you anyway. I'm kind of nervous about the bike."
"I'll keep you safe, Toby," Chris said earnestly.
"I know you will," Toby said, then sighed. "I hate when we have to say goodbye."
"I know. But we can call each other during the week, and we'll see each other... Friday afternoon? I could come and pick you up."
"Okay, that sounds great."
"Well, I'll talk you soon, then," Chris said, wanting to kiss Toby, but not sure how Toby would feel about a public kiss.
"Okay," Toby said, wishing Chris would kiss him, but understanding Chris might not be comfortable with that.
Toby watched as Chris put his helmet on, then started the bike and drove away. Toby was missing him before he got back to his apartment.
When Chris got home, he called Margaret.
"Hey, Ma, how you doin'?"
"I'm fine, honey. You sound happy."
"I am. Ma, listen, I met somebody, a really great guy, a few weeks ago, and it's getting sorta serious."
"Well, that's wonderful, Chris. Tell me about him."
"His name is Tobias Beecher, and he's a lawyer. And... I just love being with him, Ma."
"I'm glad, Chris. I hope we get to meet him soon."
"I'll talk to Toby about it. I just know you're gonna like him."
"Well, you just let me know, honey."
"I will. Are you really okay, Ma? You feelin' okay?"
"Yes, I'm fine, Chris. You're as bad as Vern. I'm taking my medicine, and I'm doing good."
"Okay, Ma. I just worry about you."
"Don't you worry about me. And let me know when we get to meet Toby."
The next week was a busy one for both Chris and Toby. Toby still had a lot to do to finish up the changes Mrs. Clark had demanded. Chris was busy at work, then he came home and worked on the house, removing trim in the kitchen, in anticipation of repainting.
On Wednesday afternoon, Grace came by after Chris got home.
"Hi, Gracie, come in. Everything all right?" Chris asked, giving her a hug.
"Yeah, Jaz went with one of the mechanics to get parts, and I thought I'd run by and check on you."
"And find out about Toby."
"Well, if it comes up."
Chris laughed. "I love you, Gracie. Let's go to the kitchen. You want a beer?"
"Sure," she said, looking in the bathroom as they went by. "Chris, the bathroom looks great. What are you doing next?"
"The kitchen. It's gonna be a bitch when it comes to the floor. I'll have to move everything out."
"Well, you know we'll help. And I'm sure Augustus will, too."
"Oh, I know. That'll be the last thing I do, though. I'm repainting the walls first."
"They are pretty bad. We could come over this weekend and help."
"Ah, no... Toby's coming for the weekend."
"Oh. Okay. This is getting pretty serious, huh?"
Chris couldn't help grinning. "Yeah, it is, Grace. I can't wait for you to meet him. He's so... I've never met anyone like him. He's so sexy, and he doesn't even realize it. And when I'm with him, it's... it's perfect."
"Wow, you do have it bad. I'm glad it's working out so well. Does... well, does Toby feel the same way you do?"
"I think so. He said something the other night... yeah, I do."
"Chris, don't take this the wrong way. I just want you to be sure. I remember before... Jason Cramer..."
"I know, Gracie, but Toby, he's not like that."
"Good. You really scared me when you two broke up. I couldn't stand seeing you that way again."
"Don't worry, Gracie."
"So, when do we get to meet him?"
"Let me talk to him this weekend. He mentioned wanting to meet you."
"Yeah. I was telling him how great you are."
"Did you warn him about... everyone?"
"I'll try and prepare him before it happens."
"Okay. I should get going, Jaz'll be back soon."
Chris walked her out, giving her a hug at the gate.
"I'll call you, Chris. And hey, you're pretty great, too, you know?"
On Friday afternoon, as soon as Chris got home from work, he checked his newly installed answering machine, finding that Toby had called. It would be around 6 before he could leave the office, he had some work he had to finish.
Chris showered, then left early for Toby's, deciding he'd go by the law office and surprise him.
Toby was surprised when his secretary told him Chris Keller was there to see him, but was smiling hugely as Sarah ushered Chris in.
"Chris, come in. You didn't get my message, did you?"
"Yeah, I did, but I couldn't wait to see you," Chris said, smiling himself, coming around the desk. "You've got a nice office."
"So, how much longer you gotta be here?"
"Not long, I'm just finishing up. In fact, you can wait right here."
"Okay. Let me give you some incentive to finish fast."
Chris pushed Toby back against the desk, then kissed him passionately. Neither man heard the door open.
"Tobias, what is the meaning of this?" Harrison Beecher thundered.
Chris moved back as Toby sprang up, moaning, "Oh, shit."
"Dad, I - -"
"Toby, what -- who is this man?"
Toby, still stunned by what happened, missed the look that crossed Chris's face. "Dad, if you'll let me explain -- "
"You could have... prepared me for this!"
"And you could have knocked before you came in here!"
"Why don't you say goodbye to your... friend... and we'll discuss this."
"That's okay, I know the way out," Chris said tonelessly, moving quickly to the door.
"Chris, wait!" Toby said, and started after him, only to be stopped by Harrison.
"Toby, we have to talk."
"Later, Dad, I have to talk to Chris now."
Toby got downstairs just in time to see Chris speed away on his bike. "Dammit," Toby muttered. Unwilling to go back in and face his father, he went to his car and drove home. He changed clothes and went back out, driving straight to Chris's house.
Moose erupted into a fit of barking as soon as Toby drove up. Toby got out of the car, took a deep breath, and went up to the gate.
"Hey, boy, how are you? You gonna let me in so I can talk to Chris?"
Toby held his hand down and Moose licked it, then nudged it so Toby would pet him. Toby did, scratching behind the dog's ears, then eased the gate open. Moose followed him up to the porch. Toby knocked but got no response.
He knocked again, then yelled, "Chris, I know you're in there. Let me in so we can talk." Still getting no response, Toby yelled, "Chris, I can be just as stubborn as you. I'll sit right here until you let me in."
After a few minutes, the door opened a crack.
"What do you want?"
"Can we talk, Chris?"
"I heard all I need to. Go home, Toby," Chris said, pushing the door closed.
Toby caught it before it closed. "Dammit, Chris, let me in!"
"Let go of the door, Toby," Chris growled. "I don't want to hurt you."
"You won't hurt me, Chris. Now, let me in."
"Fine, whatever," Chris said, letting go of the door and walking back to pick up his drink and sit down in an armchair.
"Why didn't you wait for me?" Toby asked, kneeling in front of Chris.
"It was pretty obvious what was going on. I figured it would be easier if I just left."
"What does that mean, Chris?"
"Your dad didn't know about us."
"No," Toby said. "But, wait, Chris, it wasn't like that."
"You hadn't told your folks you were seeing me. That's what it sounded like to me."
"You're right, I haven't."
"Waiting for the right girl to come along? So it would be easier to dump me when you're done slumming with me? They'd never have to know."
"Slumming? What? No, Chris, stop right there. You think I'm ashamed of you? How can you believe that?"
Chris shrugged. "It's not the first time. I know how it is."
"Chris," Toby sighed. "I'll admit, I was a coward, not telling my parents. But that had nothing to do with you. As far as they know, I'm straight. I was... waiting for the right time. They're very... old fashioned."
"So're my folks, Toby, but they know about you."
"But, didn't they..."
"Already know I'm a fag? Yeah. That makes a difference?"
"No, I just meant... How did they react when you told them?"
"My dad never knew. I don't know if he would've accepted it or not. My mom cried, but she got over it. My stepfather told me he wouldn't have a faggot living under his roof."
"That's when you came back to live here."
"Yeah. My mom divorced him not long after that. Look, Toby, I see your point. It's hard to tell your folks something like this."
"Yeah, but you're right, I should've told them. My brother already knows."
"Yeah. I told him right after I met you. He was great about it." Toby took Chris's hands in his. "Chris, I'm sorry. I was wrong. But it was never because I was ashamed of you."
"I wanna believe that, Toby."
"What can I do to prove it to you?"
"You don't have to prove anything to me, Toby. Come on, let's go to the bedroom," Chris said, getting up.
Toby shook his head. "Uh-uh. I let you distract me before. This time I want to know why you're so disbelieving when it comes to this relationship."
"No, tell me."
"Dammit, Toby... the last guy I had a relationship with..." Chris laughed bitterly. "I thought he wanted the same thing I did, but he... it turns out he was just looking for someone to fuck until he found the right, respectable woman to marry."
"He was rich."
"Yeah. He told me that while I was a good fuck," Chris sneered, "I didn't really mean anything to him."
"Chris, I'm sorry. He's an asshole. And he's crazy to have let you go. But I'm not him. You mean everything to me, Chris. I love you." Toby sat down heavily on the coffee table. "Oh, shit, Chris, I love you."
Chris stood there staring at Toby in shock. "Toby - -" he started to say, sitting back down.
"No, you don't have to say it back. Not yet. I know we haven't been together that long..."
"No, we haven't. But I want to believe this is real, Toby, so bad."
"So we're back to how do I prove that I want you?"
"Oh, I know you want me," Chris said, running his hands over Toby's thighs.
"Chris, be serious."
"Okay. Toby, I was a mess after Jason. I started sleeping around. I just didn't give a shit. Until you. I knew right away you were something special. I just can't seem to get my head around the fact that this could work."
"Well, get used to it, because I'm not giving you up."
"No. And my parents will have to learn to live with it."
"What about your parents? Did you talk to your dad?"
"No, I came straight here."
"Shouldn't you go talk to your folks?"
"I'll call and tell them I'll be there tomorrow. I want to be here with you now. Is that okay?"
Chris left Toby alone while he made his call, going to the kitchen to load the dishwasher.
Harrison Beecher was very upset. "Toby, how could you run off like that? How long has this been going on?"
"Dad, slow down. I came to find Chris. I'm not going to argue with you on the phone. I'll be there tomorrow and we'll discuss this."
Harrison wasn't at all happy with Toby's answer, but Toby heard his mother in the background, trying to calm his father. His father came back on the line, his voice more normal. "All right, son, we'll see you tomorrow."
Toby sighed and went to find Chris.
"How'd it go?" Chris asked.
"He's still angry. Mom was trying to calm him down."
"And how are you?"
"I'm... I don't know, Chris," Toby said honestly. "I spent my whole life trying to be what my parents wanted. I feel like I've disappointed them. But, worse, I hurt you. I never meant to do that."
"I know, Toby. Let's not talk about that now."
"Chris, I really hate that we have to cut the weekend short. I was looking forward to spending it with you."
"I know, but we can make the most of tonight. "
"Yeah, I guess so."
"Listen, I haven't eaten, you wanna go out?"
"Wanna take the bike? We could go for a ride before."
"I'll be right back," Chris said, heading for the bedroom. He came back holding a black helmet that matched his. He tossed it to Toby. "Here, I got you a helmet. Ready?"
Toby smiled. "I'm ready."
Chris rode out of town, into the country. They rode for a long time, Chris savoring the feel of Toby's arms around his waist. He grinned when he heard Toby laughing behind him.
Toby was having the time of his life, arms around Chris, feeling the rush of air against them, watching the scenery.
Chris took them to a diner in town, Marie's. It looked like an old diner from the 50s.
As soon as Toby got off the bike, he said, "Chris, that was great! I can't believe I've never done it before!"
Chris smiled at Toby's enthusiasm. "Next time I'll let you drive."
"Oh, I don't know if I'm ready for that. Besides, I liked sitting there, holding on to you."
Chris grinned. "Yeah, but if you drive, then I could hold on to you," Chris said in his sexiest tone.
Toby stared at him, mouth open, before saying, "Come on, we'd better go in."
They went in the diner, which was much like an old-fashioned diner on the inside also. Chris claimed they made the best hamburgers in town. As soon as they walked in, he was greeted by a man sitting in a corner booth.
"O'Reily, hey," Chris said, walking over to his table. "Tobias Beecher, this is Ryan O'Reily. Don't believe anything he says."
O'Reily laughed. "It's this guy you need to watch," he said, shaking Toby's hand. "Keller's pretty slick."
"Come on, Toby, let's sit down. See you later, O'Reily."
Chris led them to a table in the back. In minutes a waitress walked over, a slim blond in an extremely short red uniform.
"Hi, Chris," the blond said in a breathy voice. "We don't see you around much anymore. Who's your friend?" She asked, sparing Toby a brief glance.
"Hi, Kitty. This is Tobias Beecher. Toby, this is Kitty Morgan."
"Hello," Toby said politely, although Kitty's gaze had barely left Chris.
"What can I get you two?"
"Two hamburger specials, all the way. Coke okay to drink, Toby?"
"All right, coming up," Kitty said, heading back to the kitchen.
After she was gone, Toby said, "Let me guess, you dated Kitty, right?"
Chris grinned and looked down. "Yeah, I did," he admitted.
"She still seems a bit taken with you."
"Kitty's okay, she just wasn't right for me."
Kitty brought their drinks back, attention firmly focussed on Chris, apparently oblivious to the fact that he only had eyes for Toby. Ryan O'Reily picked that moment to stop at their table.
"Kitty, baby, how are you?"
"Fine, Ryan," Kitty said in an annoyed tone.
"So, when are you going out with me?"
"You might as well. You're out of your league here. I think Keller's taken. Beecher, nice to meet you. See you later, K-boy," O' Reily said, going up to pay his bill.
Kitty gave Toby a glare and went back behind the counter. Chris shook his head.
"So," Toby said, "what's up with this O'Reily guy?"
"We grew up together. He's been in and out of trouble for years, dealing drugs, running scams. He's never done an honest day's work."
A few minutes later, Kitty arrived with their food. Chris waited until Toby took a bite of his burger, looking at him expectantly.
"This is so good," Toby said, wiping ketchup off his chin.
"Told you. Same as when I was a kid."
They dug into their food. Kitty came back later to see if they wanted dessert.
"Toby?" Chris asked.
"No, I'm stuffed. You go ahead, though."
"Nah, I don't think so. Thanks, Kitty, we just need the bill."
"You sure you don't want something sweet, Chris? It's on me," She said, obviously flirting.
Unbeknownst to Kitty, whose attention was firmly centered on Chris, an older woman had walked up and was watching the scene with interest.
Chris, catching Toby's glance behind him, turned.
"Hi, Mrs. Reimondo."
"Kitty, why don't you take these dishes away and get the bill?" The woman said firmly.
Kitty picked up the dishes and quickly walked to the back.
"Chris, how have you been?" The woman asked, smiling at Chris.
"I'm fine, Mrs. Reimondo. And you?"
"This is Tobias Beecher. Toby, this is Marie Reimondo. She owns the place."
"Nice to meet you."
"You, too. Chris has been coming here as long as I can remember. It's good to have him back. I hope we'll be seeing more of both of you."
"I think you will," Toby said.
"Good. And I'm sorry about Kitty."
"No problem," Chris said. "Still picking up strays, I see."
"Well, honestly, she has a mind like a sieve and flirts way too much. But, she needed a job."
Chris and Toby laughed.
"Well," Marie said, "it's good to see you both, but I'd better get back to the kitchen."
Kitty came back with the bill, not saying a word as she dropped it on the table.
"I don't think Kitty likes me," Toby said.
"She'll get over it."
"Mrs. Reimondo is very nice."
"Yeah, she is. After my dad died, she looked out for me and Grace, always bringing over food. She's never let me repay her. There were some times, after my dad died, if it hadn't been for her and my friend Augustus's mom, I don't know what we would've done."
"You didn't have any family around here?"
"Nah, my dad was an only child, and my mom's not from here."
"I'm glad you had someone who was there for you," Toby said, reaching for Chris's hand.
"Are you ready to go?"
"Yeah, I'm ready."
When they got back to Chris's house, Toby played with Moose while Chris watered flowers.
Once they went inside, Chris asked "Wanna take a bath?"
"In the big tub?" Toby asked with a smile.
"In the big tub," Chris agreed. "Why don't you start it filling while I grab some beer?"
As soon as Chris entered the bathroom, he asked "Where are the bubbles?"
Toby looked at him strangely.
"You never had a bubble bath, Toby?"
Toby shook his head. "Well, when I was a kid. Usually, I just take a shower."
"Toby, baby, you gotta learn to treat yourself." Chris went to the tub and grabbed some bubble bath. He poured it under the faucet, then stirred the water until the tub filled with bubbles and the room was filled with the scents of juniper and sage.
Chris went back to Toby. "Tobe? We gotta get naked now."
Toby smiled and started undressing. "Sorry, you blew my mind with the bubbles."
"Why? Cause that's such a faggot thing to do?"
Toby's grin faded.
"I'm kidding, baby. But who gives a fuck? Come on in, you'll love it."
They settled into the warm, scented water. Toby sighed. "Mmm, this is nice."
"Yeah," Chris agreed.
He prodded Toby with his foot. "Toby, why did you get that look when I said faggot before? You having some trouble dealing with all this?"
"I've never liked those kind of terms, Chris. But honestly, I don't know what I am. I was married. I was attracted to women. Although truthfully, since we got together, I haven't noticed anyone else, man or woman."
Chris smirked. "Me, either, baby. But seriously, you know there's no need to label yourself. I've fucked men and women, so I guess technically, I'm bisexual. I just let people label me however they want. They're gonna do it anyway, you know? Fuck 'em."
"That's a great attitude, Chris. But I'm not like you, you're... fearless."
"Fearless? Me? I wish."
"Well, brave. Comfortable with who you are. I haven't been, not for a long time. But one thing I promise you, is that I'm not ashamed of you, Chris. That's never going to change. I'm just so... humbled that you want me."
"Aww, baby, come here."
Toby crawled over to Chris, who kissed him passionately, until they were both breathless.
"You know," Toby said, "I haven't had a wealth of experience, but you are the best kisser ever."
Chris laughed. "You're not bad yourself, Toby. Here, sit," Chris said, spreading his legs so Toby could slide between them.
Toby relaxed against Chris. "Mmm, this is really nice."
"Yeah, I know," Chris said, stroking Toby's arms. "I can't believe how gorgeous you are."
"You are," Chris said firmly. "You ever gonna tell me why you think you aren't?"
"Not today. One big confession a day is plenty. Let's just... be for right now, okay?"
"Okay, sure," Chris said.
They stayed in the tub until the water got cold, then Chris touched Toby's shoulder. "Ready to get out, baby?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
Chris got out and grabbed a towel, drying Toby slowly. "You know I'd like to just lick all the water off you," Chris whispered against Toby's ear. "Groom you like a cat."
Toby laughed. "That's very apt. You're so cat-like, all sleek and pantherish."
"'Sleek and pantherish'? I like that," Chris teased, giving extra attention to drying Toby's ass.
"Chris? I think it's dry."
"Yeah? I just wanted to make sure. Is this?" Chris asked as his hand snaked around to grasp Toby's cock.
"Yeah, but not for long, I'd guess."
"You're really perceptive, baby. I like that."
"My turn now," Toby said, taking a towel from the rack.
They were both hard by the time Chris was dried to Toby's satisfaction. They went to the bedroom, stopping every few feet to kiss or touch each other. They spilled onto the bed and made slow, easy love, taking their time, touching each other all over. In the end, they turned to face each other, rubbing their weeping cocks together until they came, whispering each other's names. They held each other afterwards, not even willing to separate to clean up. They fell asleep that way, and it was in the early hours of morning that Chris gently peeled himself away from Toby and went to the bathroom, returning with a warm cloth he used to clean them both. Toby grunted, but didn't wake, and Chris slid back into bed and snuggled back up to his sleeping lover.
Chris awoke before Toby late in the morning. He slipped on jeans and went to fix breakfast for them. He was at the stove, scrambling eggs, when Toby appeared at the door in his boxers, still sleep-rumpled and yawning.
"Morning, baby, " Chris said, greeting Toby with a kiss. "You hungry?"
"Yes. That smells good."
"Bacon and eggs. You wanna make the toast?"
"I should be able to handle that," Toby said with a grin.
They had a pleasant breakfast, then Chris went to watch Toby as he got dressed.
"You know you can take a shower if you want," Chris told him.
"No, thanks, I want to be able to smell you on me for a little while longer."
"Jesus, Toby, how do you do that?"
"Get me hot, just by saying something."
Toby laughed. "The same way you make me dizzy when you kiss me."
Chris chuckled. "I don't want to sound like a needy bitch, but when can I see you again?"
"Well, if you're a needy bitch, so am I. I don't know if I'll be back this way during the week."
Chris, trying to sound cheerful, said, "Well, there's always next weekend."
"I'll tell you what. I'll do my best to get back here during the week. If I can't, I'll just come here and spend the night."
"You don't have to do that, Toby. I'll miss you, but I don't want you to make the drive for nothing."
Toby huffed. "Nothing? Chris, I don't consider a night with you 'nothing'."
"I meant -- "
"I know what you meant. We'll see how it goes."
"Okay. Good luck with your folks. And, Tobe?"
"Sorry I was such an asshole yesterday. I shoulda waited for you."
"It's okay. I was an asshole too, for not telling my parents. I'm going to fix that today."
"Let me know how it goes?"
"It's about time!" Harrison Beecher exclaimed as Toby walked into his parents' living room.
Harrison and Victoria were sitting side by side on the couch, and Harrison's mother Cordelia was seated in one of the two chairs across from them.
"Hello, Mother," Toby said, giving her a hug.
"Hello, dear. Harrison," Victoria said, "let's wait and listen to what Toby has to say."
As Toby greeted his grandmother and took a seat in the chair beside her, Harrison said, "Yes, let's do that. What do you have to say for yourself?"
"Dad, I'm sorry about what happened. I shouldn't have let it happen in the office - -"
"Or anywhere else. Toby, what were you thinking? A man... you never..."
"-- but," Toby continued calmly, "You should have knocked before just barging in. And while I apologize for my behavior, I'm not sorry about Chris. Only that I should have told you sooner."
"Told us sooner? Toby, how long have you been seeing this man?" Victoria asked. "It's just that we're a little surprised. You were married."
"I've been seeing Chris for a few weeks. I know I could have prepared you better for this. It's not anything I expected, but I'm happy. Chris is really great."
"But Toby," his father asked, "what will people think?"
Cordelia, who had been silent up until then, said, "Harrison, do you know how you sound?"
"Mother, all I mean is, I'm sure it will be a shock to everyone."
"I expect better from you, Harrison. You weren't raised this way. Toby is your son. And your own great uncle William was a homosexual. The family didn't try to ostracize him."
"He was just eccentric, Mother."
"Harrison, he was gay. He and Phillip lived together for over 30 years." She turned to Toby. "Toby, whoever you choose, I only want you to be happy. And I would like very much to meet your young man. Tell me about him."
"His name is Chris Keller. He works for the state, doing road construction. He's gorgeous and he's... he makes me feel like I'm so special."
"You are special, Toby. When can we meet him?"
"I'll see what we can work out. I haven't met his family yet, either."
"Toby," Harrison began, "Of course, all we want is for you to be happy. If this man makes you happy, then we'll try and get used to the idea."
"Yes," Victoria chimed in. "We love you, Toby."
"I know you do."
After Toby left, Grace called to tell Chris they were grilling at their mom's house.
"Want us to pick you up on our way over?" Grace asked.
"No, I'll take my bike. Do I need to bring anything?"
"Just your appetite. Jaz already went and got the steaks, I'm making the salad and Mom's doing baked potatoes."
"Okay, I'll see you in a little while, Grace."
Chris showered and dressed and set out. Jaz was seeing to the grill when Chris arrived.
He shook Chris's hand. "Hey man, how's it going? Wait, you don't have to answer. You look great."
"Thanks, Jaz, I am. Where is everybody?"
"Inside. Ma and Gracie are in the kitchen, and Vern's in the living room."
"I'll go say hello."
"Chris, be warned. You're the topic of conversation in there."
Chris laughed. "I don't doubt it."
Chris went to the kitchen, where he received hugs from his mother and sister, then he called a greeting to Vern, who was watching CNN.
"What can I do?" Chris asked.
"Tell us when you're bringing Toby over to meet us," Grace said without hesitation.
Chris ignored her. "Ma?"
"Well, we do want to meet him, whenever you're ready. For now, go see if Jaz is ready for the steaks. I have some hamburgers and a few hot dogs, too. Hank said he and Carrie might bring Jewel over."
Jaz told Chris the grill was ready, and Chris went back for the meat.
"Remember, honey, rare for Vern, well done for me," Margaret told him.
"I know, Ma."
The steaks didn't take long, and soon they were ready to eat. They decided to eat at the picnic table, since it was such a nice day. Vern was the only one opposed to the idea, and kept complaining until Margaret finally said, "Vern, why don't you go eat inside?"
Still grumbling, Vern picked up his plate and went inside.
"What's wrong with him?" Chris asked.
"Well, you know he's supporting Wilson Lowen for mayor. Lowen's not doing so well in the polls."
"God, I hope not," Grace said. "The man's a racist."
"Well, Vern's upset because Leo Glynn's doing better and better."
"Glynn's a good man, I think," Grace said. "He was police chief for a long time, and he did lower the crime rate. And there's never been any question about his character, unlike Lowen."
"I think he's the better man," Jaz said.
"Well, I don't pay attention to politics," Chris said, "but no way would I ever vote for Lowen."
Vern came to the door then and yelled, "Hank's here!"
"Tell him to come on out," Margaret answered.
Hank came out to the picnic table.
"Where are Carrie and Jewel?" Margaret asked.
"Oh, they're at home. I figured I'd just pick up a plate and take it back."
Margaret, disappointed, excused herself to go get Hank buns for the hamburgers and hot dogs.
"You know, Hank, you could've brought the baby over," Grace said. "You know how much Mom loves her."
"Come on, Grace, don't give me a hard time."
"I will give you a hard time. I know for a fact they only see her when you want them to babysit. Mom and Vern aren't able to see after her, Hank. You need to find a babysitter, and bring Jewel over for a visit."
"Babysitters are expensive, Grace."
"That's too bad. You're both -- "
"Come on, Grace, don't argue around your mom," Jaz said as Margaret came back out.
Grace gave Hank one last glare as she started to pick up their plates and take them inside. Chris helped her.
"You really got a way with people, Grace."
"He just makes me so damned mad, Chris," Grace said in a low voice. "Vern told me himself that the only time they see Hank or Andy is when they want something."
"He told me the same thing. But it's up to him and Ma to say no."
"Maybe so, but I'm going to have my say. Next time I see Andy, I'm going to tell him, too."
"Okay, I give up," Chris said, laughing.
After Hank left, Chris and Grace cleaned up while Jaz went to trim the shrubs in front of the house. They sent Margaret to the living room to relax, joining her when they were done. Chris headed home late in the afternoon, and called Toby as soon as he got there.
"Hey, Toby, how did it go?"
"It was... interesting. Dad was still sort of mad at first. And Mom was trying to keep the peace, as always. And my grandmother, she was great. She wants to meet you. Well, they all do."
"That's great, because my folks want to meet you, too. Really bad."
"So, how do we do this? When?"
"Well, anytime would probably work with my folks. Why don't you see when's good for your family, and we'll go from there."
"Okay, and listen, I will probably be in town sometime during the week."
"That's great. Toby. I'll look forward to it. Let me know when. And Toby, you know you don't have to go to a motel, you could stay here."
"Thanks, Chris. I'd like that."
"Good. I'll probably be at work when you get here, but there's a key under the flowerpot beside the back door."
"Okay, you sure, Chris?"
"Of course I'm sure. You'll be here when I get home... I can't wait to see you, Toby."
"Me, too. I'll call and let you know when I'll be there."
"Well, I guess I should let you go."
"Yeah, I'm sure you have stuff to do."
"Yeah, you too."
"So, bye, Toby."
After several seconds, they both hung up and sat there, grinning, anticipating the next time they would see each other.
Title: Road Work 6: Revelations
Website: Maddie's Fanfiction
Feedback: Yes, please!
Warnings: This story contains a m/m sexual relationship.
Disclaimer: They don't belong to me. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made.
Summary: A couple of secrets are revealed.
First Published: December 25, 2006
Notes: Beta by mrs_sweetpeach. For all my Oz people for Christmas. I had a Christmas story in mind, but it never came about, and this has been written for a while, but never finished and beta'd, so... Merry Christmas! Love you guys.
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