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  1. #51
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    Re: Watching Brad

    (Thanks again, guys. Here's the next installment. Enjoy. I should have Part 9 ready for posting tomorrow. I'm posting as fast as I write them. This one is just flowing right along. There's hardly any editing or rewriting.)

    * * * * *

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part VIII

    I snapped awake just before eight. My cell phone was ringing. I found it and answered it.

    "Hello," I said.

    "Hi, Daddy," a small voice said to me.

    "Hi, Sweetheart," I said, trying to sound awake and cheerful.

    "You forgot to phone me yesterday."

    "I'm sorry, Sweetheart," I apologized. "I was busy unpacking and I forgot."

    "That's okay, Daddy," she said.

    "Have you decided yet?"

    "Yes," she said. "I like the Sunset pink and I like the paper with the unicorns and faeries."

    "Then that's what you'll have," I said. "I'll buy it today."

    "Mommy says I can't have the unicorns, though. She wants me to have the ballerinas."

    Her Mother's voice could be heard in the background. "No unicorns!"

    I clenched my jaws and took a quick, deep, calming breath as Lindsay said, "See?"

    "You'll get your unicorns and faeries, Sweetheart," I told her. "I love you, Lindsay." I made several kissing sounds into the phone.

    "I love you, too, Daddy," she said.

    "You have a good day and I'll see you this weekend, okay?"

    "Okay, Daddy."

    "Can I talk to your Mother for a minute?"

    "Okay. Bye, Daddy. I love you."

    "Love you, too."

    I heard a ‘clunk' from the phone being set on the desk and then Lindsay's voice rang out, "Mom! Daddy wants to talk to you!"

    There was silence, and then I heard footsteps and the phone was picked up. "Yes?" came her voice.

    "Is Lindsay out of the room?" The anger in my voice wasn't disguised.

    "Yes. She's watching television now."

    "You listen to me, you fuckin' bitch!" I said. "You keep Lindsay out of this! You may hate my guts, but I'll be damned if I let you drag her into every little dispute you have with me, you hear!?"

    "I'm not."

    "Like hell you're not!" I shouted. "This is my house and Lindsay will have her own bedroom here! You have no right to tell her what she can or cannot have here!"

    "I won't have her growing up believing in faeries and unicorns!"

    "Why not!? Thanks to you, she already believes in ogres and trolls and witches, and they're all rolled up into one big, fat package!"

    She just laughed at me.

    "You fuckin' bitch! I'm warning you! Keep Lindsay out of this or, so help me, you'll wish you had!"

    "Don't you threaten me, Ted de Villiers."

    My voice dropped to a warning. "That's not a threat, Connie. That's a promise. Now, stop punishing Lindsay just because you can't punish me!"

    She hung up on me. I almost called her back, but thought better of it. Instead, I dialed a number I knew well. I also knew that no-one would answer it at this time of the morning, but the answering machine would be good enough for what I wanted to say.

    After the introductory message had played and the beep sounded, I began to speak. "Hi, Al. It's Ted de Villiers. Look. I need you to get this moving as fast as you can. I need to get Lindsay out of that house before Connie screws up her mind forever. If you need more money, tell me and you'll get it. Just get me into that court as fast as you can. Call me. Thanks. Bye."

    I fell back on the bed. Oh, how I hated that Bitch! Not because of her, but because of the way she used Lindsay to get at me. No-one has the right to use a child like that, especially not my daughter.

    I needed to talk to Brad and his mother. I needed their help. Fast! I climbed out of bed and padded to the bathroom. Shit, shower and shave. The works. Then I was heading out the door and walking across the lawn. John's car was gone. I rang the doorbell and, moments later, the door opened and Bernice greeted me.

    "Mr. de Villiers, how nice to see you again. Come in, please." I entered and she closed the door. "Bradley is still in bed. I'll wake him."

    "No," I said, "don't wake him up. I. . ." But she was gone, as if she hadn't even heard me.

    I heard a knock on a door, then, "Bradley. Mr. de Villiers is here to see you, dear."

    She soon reappeared. "Would you like some coffee?"

    I think I started to drool. "That would be wonderful, thank you."

    "Please, come to the kitchen."

    I followed her. I sat where I had the day before and she set a mug of coffee in front of me and another for Brad, who was probably still trying to drag his ass out of bed.

    "Are you getting settled in, Mr. de Villiers?" she asked as she set a creamer of milk on the table in front of me.

    "Please, call me Ted," I said. "And yes, I am. Slowly. Brad's been a big help. I think I'd still be looking for clean socks if it wasn't for him." I poured in the milk, spooned in the sugar, gave it a stir, and took a nice, long sip. Bernice heard my ‘Ahhhh'.

    Bernice tittered. "My, it sounds like you're enjoying that."

    "I am, thank you," I said. "I found my coffee maker, but I can't find my coffee. I have to go shopping this morning."

    Brad appeared in the kitchen, bare-footed and wrapped in a white and powder blue striped terrycloth robe. He still had pillow hair. He walked directly to his mother and kissed her on the lips. "Hi, Mom."

    "Good morning, dear," she said with a smile. "Sit down and I'll get your breakfast. Would you like some, Ted?"

    "I'm fine, thank you, Bernice."

    "He's been living on Timbits and pizza and cheeseburgers for two days, Mom." Brad seemed to have forgot entirely about last night's little ‘kissing' episode. Either that, or he was just playing up to me for his Mother's sake. I couldn't be sure.

    Bernice looked at me. "Are scrambled eggs okay?"

    "Please. Don't go to any trouble," I said.

    "No trouble," she replied. "I'm making them for Bradley, anyway."

    I looked at Brad. He just grinned and shrugged one shoulder.

    "Scrambled is fine."

    "So, Ted," Brad said. "Need my help again today?"

    "Not for awhile. I've got to go shopping first. I need to get some food in that place, and I want to pick up the paint and paper for Lindsay's room. She phoned me awhile ago, which is why I'm here, actually. I was wondering when you might be able to do it. I need it done as soon as possible so I can get Lindsay away from her mother."

    "The Bitch again?"

    "Bradley Nelson Hayes!" Bernice's screaming voice startled even me. "You go to your room this instant!"

    "It's okay, Bernice," I said quickly. "It's the only name Brad knows for her. She really is one. She's trying to tell my daughter what colour paint and what wallpaper she can have in her own bedroom in my house. She's using Lindsay to get at me."

    "Oh, dear," she said sympathetically. "The Carters? Just down the street? You remember them, Bradley. They were the same way, but they both used the children. They ended up in foster homes."

    "That won't happen with Lindsay," I assured her.

    "How big is her bedroom?" Bernice asked.

    I looked around the kitchen. "About this size, I suppose. Maybe a bit longer."

    "How many walls are to be papered?"

    "All of them. She wants sort of a wainscoting with a dado rail."

    "What's that?" Brad asked.

    "Oh, at trim. A chair rail."

    Brad nodded understanding."

    "It will be about a metre high all the way around."

    "Bradley can handle that," Bernice said. "I'll supervise, of course, and cut the strips and prepare it, but I can't get down on the floor anymore. You'd never get me back up."

    "I can do it, Mom," Brad said. "So, how long do you think it would take?"

    Bernice glanced around the room. "Oh, just a few hours, I should think. Maybe a bit longer if I have to match the pattern. But, the walls should be painted, first."

    "If we get the paint this morning, I could start as soon as we get home," Brad suggested. "We should be able to finish it all before the weekend, shouldn't we, Mom?"

    "Oh, easily, dear."

    "Okay," I said. "Just tell me what I need to buy."

    "We have all the papering tools here," Bernice said. "We have the paint materials as well, but you might need to buy some new rollers. I don't know if there are any refills here."

    "There's two packages in the garage," Brad said.

    Bernice smiled at me. "Shopping is done."

    "What paper did she decide on?" Brad asked.

    "Unicorns and faeries. Her Mother wanted ballerinas."

    "Did you say unicorns?" Bernice asked.

    "Yes."

    "Bradley, dear, watch this for me." Brad went to the stove, taking the wooden fork from his Mom. "I'll be right back." She disappeared out the door and down the hall.

    "I'll go shopping with you," Brad said. "If you don't mind me hanging around."

    "No," I said. "I just thought you might be bored. I've got a pile of groceries to buy."

    He turned his head to look at me. "I'd be more bored sitting around here." He returned to his cooking duties. "Besides, I can help you carry the groceries."

    Soon, Bernice returned, carrying a box the size of a two-sliced toaster in her hands. She set it on the table in front of me. "This is for your daughter." I looked at the picture on the box, then at Bernice. "Go ahead," she said. "Open it."

    I carefully opened the box, lifted the tissue paper away, and looked inside. "Oh, Bernice," I gasped. "I can't accept this."

    She placed her hand on my shoulder. "Of course you can. My sister gave that to me twelve years ago for my birthday. It sat on the shelf for two days until she went home. It's been in that box in the closet since then."

    I reached in with a delicate touch and lifted it out. "This is so beautiful," I whispered. "Lindsay would love it." I tenderly set the unicorn on the table so I could look at it without fear of dropping it. It was ceramic and the unicorn was painted in a high-gloss, snow-white paint - even the mane and tail. The head was turned slightly, looking to the side at me. The hooves were jet black, standing in emerald blades of grass. The eyes were black as well and the spiral horn was a glossy, metallic gold.

    "I want your daughter to have it," Bernice said with finality.

    I stood up and kissed her cheek. "Okay, but only if you give it to her yourself this weekend."

    Her hand rose to her bosom. "Oh, may I?" she asked, clearly honoured that I had invited her to do so.

    "I want her to know it's from you."

    "Oh, my," she said, her face all smiles. "May I wrap it for her?"

    "She'd like that, too. She likes getting gifts." I gave her another kiss on the cheek.

    "Mom, I think this is done," Brad said.

    She patted her chest once, smoothed her apron, and moved to take over from Brad, who joined me at the table again. With a feather touch, I replaced the unicorn into the box and placed the tissue around it. My daughter was going to be a very happy, little girl.

    * * * * *

    Breakfast was delicious and I was working on my second mug of coffee. "Good eats, Mom," Brad said as he stood and gave his Mother a kiss. To me, he said, "I'll grab a quick shower and be ready in a few minutes."

    "Take your time," I said. "I'm enjoying this coffee too much to hurry." Brad smiled and left the kitchen.

    "I hope you don't mind Brad hanging around my place all the time," I said to Bernice.

    "Not at all, Ted," she was quick to proclaim. "I don't mind at all. It's nice to see Bradley finally have a friend again. It's very difficult for him. If he's not at school or here at home, I'll know where he is and I won't have to worry about him."

    This surprised the hell out of me. "You mean he doesn't have many friends?"

    "None that he likes to spend time with," she said. "Bradley is much to shy and reserved and self- conscious to make friends. I don't think he likes the people who want to be his friend." She paused. "You look surprised."

    "A bit," I admitted. "I don't see Brad as shy and self-conscious."

    "That's because he likes you. Oh, yes," she nodded, "I can see now how you would think like that when he wears those tight clothes. I don't care for them. I think they're rude. But. . ." She paused again and craned her neck as if looking for Brad listening at the doorway even though we could hear the shower running. She leaned forward and spoke softly. "When Bradley was thirteen years old, I bought him loose pants and a some of those boxer shorts to try to hide. . . um. . . ‘it'. The new clothes looked much more decent, but the first day he wore them, he hurt himself badly just riding his bicycle. The poor boy. I can still hear his screams and see his tears. I took him to the doctor to make sure there was no permanent damage. I learned my lesson, though. I threw those pants and the shorts into the trash. I may not like it, but whatever I might think, I would rather see him dressing like he does than to see my baby in pain again."

    Well, there was that question answered.

    "No, Ted," she continued. "I don't mind Bradley spending time with you at all. I just hope he isn't a bothersome pest."

    "Not at all."

    "Bradley has always got along with gentlemen of your age better than with people his own age. I think it's because John and I were already in our forties when Bradley came to us. I think he just feels more comfortable with older people. Not that you're old, of course."

    I sat up straight. "Excuse me, he ‘came' to you?" I asked.

    Her head bent down and she smiled knowingly. She nodded, then reached across and placed her hand over mine. "You're a very intelligent man, Mr. de Villiers. Either that, or you're very good at listening."

    "Both," I said. "Please, Bernice, tell me. I'd like to know. I swear I won't say anything to Brad or anyone else."

    She took her hand away and nodded to me again. She looked to make sure her son wasn't listening. "I don't think Bradley wants to know this. He's never asked us about it. He was a foster child at first, and we adopted him. His parents were drug addicts, and Bradley was a heroin baby." She stopped talking, looking down at the mug in front of her and running a fingertip around the rim. "Mr. Hayes and I couldn't have children of our own, so we decided to become foster parents. There was a such need for drug babies - those poor, innocent dears - so those were the only ones we would accept. Bradley was our fifth foster child. He came to us when he was four days old. He didn't even have a name yet. He was just a number. I started calling him Bradley because he looked like a Bradley to me. John thought he looked like a Nelson."

    She paused and refilled our coffee mugs, even though they didn't really need it. When she was seated again, she continued. "We were just supposed to keep him until he recovered and the drugs were out of his system, and then he would go up for adoption. Bradley was special. I was prepared for all the sleepless nights and the crying and rushing him off to the hospital, like we had to do with the others, but Bradley hardly ever cried. He never fussed. He would coo when I held him and he would look at me with those beautiful green eyes. And he would smile at me. The doctors told us that it was probably because he had so many drugs in his system - that it was like he was on medication. I didn't care. I fell in love with him. After he recovered, he was the same little boy he was before. He still cooed and smiled, and he began to laugh when I tickled his little belly. I simply fell so much in love with him that I couldn't give him away."

    She paused to dab at her eyes with the hem of her apron. "John tried to talk me out of it. He said we were too old and it wouldn't be fair to Bradley. He said we would be ready to retire when Bradley was ready to start college or university. He said Bradley deserved better than that. He deserved younger parents who could grow up with him. I let him go."

    She took a deep breath. Her tears were gone now as she remembered. "The day they came to take him away, the lady from Children's Aid took him out of my arms and he started to cry and scream and kick and throw his tiny, little arms around. She tried to calm him, but she couldn't. John just walked over to her and took Bradley out of her arm and he stopped crying and he gave Bradley to me. All he said to the lady was, ‘We want to adopt him. Tell us what we have to do.'"

    She looked up at me then, her face sad with remembrance, but full of love and compassion as well. "Bradley is our son, Ted. If he wants to know the truth, I will tell him if he asks me, but I will never tell him if he doesn't. I beg you not to say anything to him."

    I smiled encouragingly at her. "He talks about you all the time, Bernice, and he loves you and John very much. I don't think he wants any other Mom except you. Not even if he knew who his real parents were. And don't worry. This conversation never took place."

    "That's what I thought you would say. Thank you."

    And one more question was answered.

    * * * * *

    "I think we need another cart," Brad said. "We've still got three aisles to go and we haven't even hit the dairy cases yet."

    I looked down at the cart, almost over flowing with boxes and cans and plastic containers. There was so much stuff I needed. "Watch this cart, would you? I'll get another one."

    "I'll get it," Brad said, and he was gone before I could object. He was the man in white today. White sneakers, white socks, white shorts, and white T-shirt. His shorts were snug, but not tight like his T-shirt. Still, they showed as much as ever, which is probably why Brad never tucked in his T-shirts in public. The only bit of colour was the beavers playing hockey decal on the front of his shirt.

    Now that I was more aware of his personality, I began to see it coming through. He rarely talked to people and he avoided their gaze. He spoke quietly to me, as if to avoid drawing attention to himself, and he dressed as comfortably as he could and did his best to hide himself. I did notice that he wore tight T-shirts more than loose shirts, though, and the ones I'd seen had witty remarks on them. I began to wonder if he did that so people would look at his chest instead of his crotch.

    Bernice had amazed me, really, the way she was so up-front (pun intended) when she talked about Brad's ‘up front'. But I could see her point. No decent parent would ever want to see their child in pain. I know how frantic I got when Lindsay fell during a dance class and scraped her knee. When she had her tonsils taken out, I cried two tears for each one she shed. I could only imagine how Bernice must have felt with Brad.

    I don't know why I thought of that kiss last night at that moment. It wasn't really a kiss, actually. Just a pressing of lips together. Was I surprised that he did it? No. Was I surprised that I let him? No. Was I surprised that I enjoyed it? Yes. Was I surprised that I wanted to kiss him for real? Hell, yes! And that had me concerned.

    I was still thinking about it when he returned with an empty cart.

    To Be Continued

  2. #52
    The 'Eyes' have it
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucusvirginia
    I would love to see someone other than Ted come about that would treat Brad like the person he is and I would defiantly like to see that someone take Brad's huge cock in their mouth or up their ass without hurting them.
    Are you volunteering?

  3. #53
    HUGS! ;-)
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Man! You got me Misty Eyed with that one!
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  4. #54

    Re: Watching Brad

    Wish Brad was close to me.

  5. #55
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil,

    Another astounding chapter. I'm happy to hear the next chapter is almost finished. I look forward to each day you post another.

    Thank you!

    Craiger

  6. #56
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by gekko513
    I think you'd have good chances succeeding in a writing career, unless of course you already have.
    I don't have a career in writing, but thank you for the thumbs up. And thanks for registering just to honour me with your compliments.

    The next chapter will be posted in the morning. Fortunately, this story doesn't require much editing or rewriting. All I do is proofread it. So far, I've been averaging about a chapter a day even while I'm still finishing up the Stargate Sequel story. (I think I'm finally on the last chapter in that one!)

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Awesome story, man.

    You just know how to write.

    Keep at it.

    A Fan

  8. #58
    On the Prowl Trent0n1's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Thanks Neil...I'm still loving this story, and looking forward to the next chapter. Cheers!

    Trent

  9. #59
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucusvirginia
    My assumption was that this story was frictional or was my assumption incorrect.
    As I mentioned before, the story and characters are fiction, including Brad. The only things which are real are what's in Brad's pants. They are real, and belong to a friend I've known for over 20 years.

    I don't know what's going to happen in this story. It's writing itself. All I know is that I have no intention of bringing in another character who can handle Brad easily, either with their mouth or their ass. That's not in Brad's character, and it would make him a lot less real in my mind, and in the minds of the readers. I wouldn't do that to them, nor to myself.

    As much as I'd like to see Brad happy and satisfied, I have to remind myself that happiness means different things to different people. I don't know if having someone who could deep throat him or take him up their ass would make Brad happy. Somehow, I don't think it would.

    So, that being said, on we go with Part 9. . .

  10. #60
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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part IX

    "You take the beer," Brad told me. "I'll get the rest."

    I looked at the trunk, bursting full of plastic bags and boxes and cans of paint and rolls of paper, and I remembered that the back seat was just as full. "You're not going to carry all that yourself."

    "Oh, yes I am," he said sternly. "I saw how much you were panting just loading it into the car. I handle the humidity better than you. Now, do as you're told, Theodore Something-Or-Other de Villiers."

    "Don't you ever call me that again, Bradley Nelson Hayes, or I'll shove this case of beer right up your ass!" I warned him. Then, quieter, I said, "Besides. It's ‘Something-Or-Other Theodore'."

    Brad began pulling bags out of the trunk. "What's the ‘Something-Or-Other'?"

    "That you will never know."

    "Might as well tell me," he said. "I'll just peek at your license."

    I patted my wallet in my back pocket. "In case you haven't noticed, I always keep my wallet close to my heart. Unless you're a pickpocket, you're never going to see it."

    "How quickly you forget," he said with a wicked grin. "Whose shorts were used to wipe the cum off my face last night?"

    I smiled in remembrance as I looked down. "Oh, yeah." I looked at him again and said, "Francis."

    Brad's head jerked back slightly and he blinked. "What's wrong with that? I like that name."

    "I don't," I said. "Hate it. Almost as much as I hate Theodore."

    "As in ‘Cleaver'?"

    "That's the one. If this was the sixties, you'd be calling me ‘Beaver'."

    "Let's just stick with Ted and Brad."

    I nodded my agreement.

    He grabbed a large bundle of grocery bags in each hand and stood up, grunting with the effort. His lips pressed tight and his muscles bulged. His forehead wrinkled and his nostrils flares as he sucked air into them. I hurried to open the front door. I set the beer on the counter and Brad dropped the bags to the floor as gently as he could. I hoped there weren't any eggs or glass bottles in them. He stayed bent over for a moment, panting for breath.

    "Either you carry smaller loads, or I help you carry them." I put my hand on his back. His T-shirt was already moist with sweat. "Are you okay?"

    He stood up, looking at his hands and flexing his fingers. I could see where the plastic handles had cut into them. His laugh was an embarrassed one. "That's what I get for trying to show off." He sucked in a deep breath, made a small ‘O' with his mouth, and blew it out, his cheeks inflating as he did so. He took another deep breath. "Okay," he said, "you start putting this stuff away and I'll get the rest." He grabbed the waistband of his T-shirt and pulled it over his head. He looked around for a place to put it, then dropped it on the floor at the end of the counter.

    When he was gone, I picked it up and laid it over the oven door handle and began the task of finding a place for all this food.

    * * * * *

    Brad had changed. He wore sandals and no socks. He brought a clean T-shirt with him when he came back, but he didn't have it on. He had different shorts, too. Still cut-off jeans, but these were older and more worn and tattered. There was a thread-bare hole under the pocket on his right butt cheek and a few more spots which threatened to become holes any day now.

    The pile of paint materials sat on the floor where all the grocery bags had been just awhile earlier.

    "Got a pen and paper?" Brad asked.

    "Uh, yeah," I said. "Sure." I went to my bedroom and grabbed a pen and pad out of my briefcase and took them to Brad. "Here you go."

    "I only need one piece," he said as he pulled a sheet off the pad and handed the pad back to me. I set it on the counter.

    Brad put the paper on the counter, wrote ‘I.O.U.' at the top, made a short, single, vertical line, and signed his name at the bottom.

    "What's that for?" I asked.

    "The beer I drink," he said.

    I reached for the paper, but he yanked it away. "Come on, Brad. Don't be so foolish."

    "We've got a deal."

    I laughed. "You're kidding me, right? I'm not going to charge you for the beer you drink."

    "I'm not joking, Ted," he said seriously. "We made a deal yesterday. Today I start to work and today I start to pay."

    "Who's going to know whether or not you pay for the beer?"

    "I will," he said.

    The grin disappeared from my face. "Gee-sus, Murphy. You're really serious, aren't you?"

    "I made a deal and I gave you my word. I intend to keep both of them."

    Where in hell did this kid come from? He had honour and integrity and respect on top of a killer personality. You don't see that these days in kids his age. Listen to me? Calling him a kid! This was no kid. This was a man, and it was a man that I had the sudden urge to kiss.

    So I did.

    I think I scared Brad at first. Hell, it scared me. He pulled away from me at first, and then settled into it. It was a real kiss this time. Closed eyes, parted lips, and searching tongue. At least my tongue was searching. Brad's didn't. But he parted his lips and started to kiss back. The tip of my tongue ran across his teeth and I found the chip and brought me back to my senses. My eyes snapped open and I jerked away from him.

    Poor Brad. He stood there, staring at me with a stunned expression on his face. Neither of us spoke for a long time as we stared at each other. Finally, I found my voice. "I. . . um. . ." I wanted to say something. I should have said something. But there was nothing there. My brain was empty. Brad stood there, still staring at me. He hadn't even blinked. I could see his chest heaving and I could see questions all over his face. How could I answer questions for him when I couldn't even answer them for myself. "Shit!" I said, grabbed my bottle of beer, and marched outside to suck back a beer and a smoke.

    It was awhile before Brad slid the door open. "Can I come out?" he said weakly.

    "Sure," I said back to him. He stepped out, closed the door, and walked across the grass, carrying his bottle of beer. He sat beside me, but not close enough to touch.

    Again, there was silence. I knew Brad was waiting for me to say something, but what should I say? What could I say? Warren would tell me to say what I needed to say, but I didn't know what that was. Come on, Ted! Say something! Anything! Don't leave the poor kid hanging!

    Aw, shit! There I go again, calling him a kid. He's a man, dammit, and I just kissed him! I just kissed a man and I liked it and I don't know why!

    "I'm sorry, Brad," I said at last. "I don't know why I did that."

    I could see him turning his head so he could look at me, but I couldn't look at him. His voice was soft and gentle, like waves washing on shore. "I'm not disappointed that you did." He fell silent again and, after a minute or two, I turned my head to look at him, too. "I would be disappointed if you didn't want to do it again."

    I stared into his eyes, and then I looked away and took a swig of beer.

    "Look, Ted," he said. "Something's happening to me, and I don't understand it. But I'm starting to." He paused for a long moment. "I like what's happening to me."

    I looked back at him. "Believe me, Brad. I think the same thing is happening to me, too, and I think I like it, too. But it's scaring the hell out of me. This is going way too fast for me. I can't keep up with it."

    "You think we need to slow things down. Let ourselves catch up."

    "Yes," I said. There was hurt in Brad's eyes. I hastened to ease it. "I need to make Lindsay my priority, Brad. I'm not dismissing what we're feeling, but I need to concentrate on her. I need to do what I have to so I can get her back."

    "And you're afraid that The Bitch will use this against you."

    I looked quickly at the ground, worry and concern blasting its way into my gut. "Oh, shit. I never even thought of that."

    "I'll stay away, Ted," Brad said. "I'll do my work, but I'll stay away otherwise."

    I looked back at him. "I don't want you to do that, Brad."

    "You really mean that?"

    "Yes, I do. I mean, I think we should slow down on this whacking off and kissing thing, but I don't want to stop building this friendship. It's important to me."

    "It's important to me, too. You have my word. I won't do anything to hurt your chances of getting Lindsay back." Brad raised his bottle of beer in toast. I raised my own and clinked his. I drained my bottle, which was almost empty anyway.

    "Time for a refill," I said, and started to stand up.

    "I'll get it," Brad said. "Stay here and relax. Be right back."

    I lit up another cigarette as I waited. It took a few minutes for Brad to come back again, and, when he did, he had changed shorts again and had pulled on his T-shirt. His shorts were like the shorts he'd worn to Toronto, except they were black. He opened the beer and handed it to me.

    "You didn't have to change," I said.

    "I gave you my word, Ted." And then he smiled. "And don't bother sitting out here at night looking at my bedroom window. You won't see anything."

    "You don't have to go that far."

    "I can't slow things down. I have to stop them if I want to keep my word."

    I just stared at him and I wanted to cry. I could feel a lump forming in my throat and my stomach was doing flip-flops. I wanted so much to kiss him again for that, but I sucked on my beer bottle instead.

    * * * * *

    Brad was in Lindsay's bedroom giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white paint when my cell phone rang.

    "Hello."

    * Hi, Teddy. *

    "Warren!" I said. "Good to hear from you, buddy. What's it been, twenty-six? Twenty-seven hours?"

    * Hey, when you're in love. . . *

    "So, what's up?"

    * Bill's here with me. He's listening. *

    "Hey, Bill."

    * Hi, Ted. *

    * Look, Teddy, what have you got planned for next weekend? *

    "Nothing that I know of, Warren. Why?"

    * Bill and I are getting married. *

    "Well, it's about time, you old farts! Finally caved, eh, Bill?"

    * Yeah. Can you come? *

    "When and where?"

    * Two weeks, Teddy. Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. You'll be getting your invitation in the mail. I sent it to your old place. I hope Canada Post forwards it soon enough. *

    "I'll watch for it, and the new owners said they'd hold anything that goes there for me."

    * So, can you come? *

    "Try to keep me away, pal."

    * You're not bringing The Bitch, are you? *

    "What? And spoil my dinner? She won't be there, pal."

    * Great. But you can bring someone. I've already got you marked down as ‘two'. Got a new lady friend yet? *

    "No. I'm not even looking. Not sure if I'll ever look again."

    * Well, bring someone. What about that guy you brought to Ryerson yesterday? He sounded like a nice guy. I'd like to meet him. *

    "I'm sure you would, Warren. But he just helped me move. He's just a friend."

    * Ask him and get back to me. *

    "Hang on then. He's here now, painting Lindsay's bedroom. Hang on."

    I began walking toward the bedroom. "Hey, Warren, I get Lindsay this weekend. What say we come up and you can give her the presents yourself?"

    * You mean it? Really? *

    "Of course I mean it."

    * Thanks, Teddy. I love you, man. *

    "Give him a kiss for me, Bill. Okay, I'm with Brad. Hang on."

    I dropped the phone away from my face as Brad stopped rolling paint on the ceiling. He turned his head to look at me. "Hey, Brad," I said. "My friend, Warren, is getting married in two weeks. He wants to know if you'd like to go with me."

    "I thought he was gay," Brad said.

    "He is. He's marrying his boyfriend, Bill."

    "A real wedding? With a church and a minister and everything?" Brad asked.

    "Yes."

    * He sounds awfully cute, Teddy! Bring him! *

    Brad looked at the phone in my hand. He'd heard him.

    I raised the phone to my ear. "Bill? Stick something in his mouth, will ya?" Warren giggled. I took the phone away and looked at Brad.

    "Do you really want me to go?"

    "I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want you there."

    He looked down for a moment, deep in thought. "I've never been to a gay wedding before." He looked up again. "I think I'd like to go. And I'd like to meet your friend."

    * Yipee! *

    I spoke into the phone. "Stuff it, will you, Warren? We'll be there."

    * Bring him for dinner next Sunday, too, Teddy. Bill will be here, won't you Sweetie? *

    "You sure?"

    * One more place at the table. You know your friends are always welcome, Teddy. *

    To Brad, I said, "You're invited for dinner this Sunday with Lindsay and me, too. Wanna go?"

    "Sure."

    "Set the place, Warren. He'll be there."

    * Great! Look, Teddy, I've got a doctor's appointment in an hour. I'd better get going. *

    "You take care of yourself, Warren. And Bill? Make sure he does everything the doctor tells him to do."

    * I will, Ted. And thanks. *

    * Love ya, Teddy. Bye. *

    "Love you, too, pal. Later, eh?"

    We hung up.

    Brad was still standing there holding the long-handled paint roller. He'd turned his entire body to face me. "Are you sure you want me to go?"

    "Why not?" I asked. "It's just a wedding."

    "No, I meant this weekend. The dinner thing. Wouldn't you rather go alone with Lindsay?"

    "Believe me. Warren is already making plans to include you. If you don't show up, he'll disown me."

    "But you said you wanted to slow things down."

    "It's dinner in Warren's parents' place and a wedding in a church. You can't get much slower than that," I joked.

    * * * * *

    Brad stopped long enough for a few slices of pizza and a beer, and then he was back at the painting. I worked at my computer for a few hours, stopped to take a leak, and took a peek inside Lindsay's room. Brad had taken off his T-shirt. He looked cute splattered with tiny white and pink polka dots. When he saw me standing there, he must have seen an odd, discouraged look on my face. He stopped rolling, set down the paint roller, and grabbed up his shirt.

    "Sorry," he said. "Even with the air conditioning, it was getting too hot."

    "Leave it off, Brad. I don't mind," I said. "That's not the problem." I looked at the walls. "That isn't the colour I picked out for Lindsay. It looks horrible."

    Brad looked at the wall.

    "That's the primer," he said sheepishly.

    I looked at the colour again, hoping I didn't look as stupid as I felt. "Right! Primer. I knew that."

    I could see Brad grinning and I wasn't even looking at him. "No you didn't." I could hear the grin in his voice.

    I looked at him for real. Yup. He was grinning. "You're right," I said. "I didn't." Thank goodness I remembered the wallpaper before I asked him why he wasn't priming it all the way to the bottom of the walls. "Look. It's after nine. Maybe you should stop for the night."

    "I want to get this priming done so I can start painting tomorrow. I'll only be another hour or so."

    It was over two hours later when Brad finally appeared in the livingroom. He was carrying a towel. He looked exhausted and sore. He laid the towel out on the sofa and gingerly sat down, heaving a heavy sigh as he did so. "I'm beat," he said. "Everything's packed up and clean."

    "Want a beer?"

    "I'd love one," he said, "and then I'm going home to bed." He started to rise.

    "Stay there. I'll get it." I stood up and went to the kitchen, grabbed two beers, marked a single line on Brad's IOU sheet, and headed back to the livingroom. Brad's head was lying against the back of the sofa. His mouth was open and soft snores were coming from his nostrils. I set down the beers, put my hand on his shoulder and gave it a gentle shake as I called his name. He didn't respond.

    I stood up, went to my bedroom, grabbed a pillow from my bed and a clean, light blanket out the linen closet, and went back out. I dropped the things on the sofa, knelt down, and pulled Brad's shoes and socks off. I looked at him as I knelt there between his legs and my eyes were drawn to his crotch. The mound was right there. Right in front of me. It was so close. I could see it and I could smell it. And I suddenly realized I was almost touching it. My hand was hovering over it, ready to settle down on it, and I jerked it away. When had my hand moved? Who moved it? I gulped and shook my head to clear it. It must have been me!

    I rose to my feet. I had come so close to betraying Brad's trust. He looked so at peace sitting there. So beautiful. Not handsome. Brad was beautiful. I couldn't betray him like that, and I hated myself for almost doing it.

    Again, I shook my head, gathered my wits, and placed my hands on his shoulders. I guided him to his side on the sofa. He didn't stir. He didn't wake up. I lifted his legs and curled them up on the sofa and grabbed the pillow, lifted his head, and slid the pillow under it. Brad stirred then. Just nuzzling into the softness of the pillow. His mouth was closed now and he sucked a big breath through his nose. I watched his chest expand as he sucked it in, and then I watched it contract as he let it out again. And then I watched him breathe for a minute or two. So young. So innocent. So. . .

    I picked up the blanket, fluffed it open, and carefully laid it over him. I pulled it up to his neck, and then I found my hand on his hair, brushing it flat with slow caresses. I stopped my hand and slowly took it away. And then I bent down and gave him a soft, whispery kiss on the forehead. I wasn't betraying him by doing that. At least, that's what I told myself.

    I grabbed the beers, locked the doors and turned out the lights, and went to the kitchen. I put the unopened bottles back in the refrigerator, scratched off the line I'd made on his IOU sheet, and then I went to bed.

    To Be Continued

  11. #61
    HUGS! ;-)
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    Awww ... I'm LOVIN' this!
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  12. #62
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucusvirginia
    If I offended you I am truly sorry.
    No offense was taken. Your suggestion was a good one, but it didn't fit in this story. Believe me, I want to see Brad as happy as you do. I'm not good at writing porn. If I was, Brad would be the happiest guy on the planet, and there would be a lot of very happy and satisfied people lying exhausted on the floor. That stuff's easy to write. I just don't do it very well.

  13. #63
    JUB Addict Craiger's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil,

    This is such an marvelous story. I like that it is writing itself, as you say, and it certainly is making an impression. Over 5000 readers can't be wrong.

    Craiger

  14. #64

    Re: Watching Brad

    Thank you, I have enjoyed every chapter!!!!

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    On the Prowl Trent0n1's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I'm hooked....and loving every word. Thanks Neil.

    Trent

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil, I have reserved comment until now only because I wanted to see where this story was going. I am totally impressed,and as eager as the rest of the guys here to read the next installment. You seem to have captured what real love develops between two men. I like the twist that both guys are straight.


    The Three Musketeers... Bashful, Chrisglass, and Ronboy!

  17. #67
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Thanks again, guys. I appreciate it. I wasn't going to post until tomorrow when I update the next chapter, but a comment in ronboy's post struck a chord with me. I have already completed parts 10 and 11. They are proofed and ready to go. I tell you this now because I don't want anyone to think that ronboy's post influenced the story. In fact, no-one's post has ever influenced the stories I write.

    You'll read Part 10 tomorrow morning, but you'll have to wait until Monday for Part 11. (When you read part 11, you'll see what I mean.)

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by gekko513
    So far the fear just makes it more exciting, but if this story and your future stories, assuming you keep writing (I really hope you do), keep ending in tragedy and disaster, I'll soon become a nervous wreck while reading your work.
    I don't like tragedy and disaster any more than anyone else, but 'Best Buddies' needed that ending. Otherwise, I include it in my other stories because it's life. Life isn't all happy smiles and apple pie with ice cream, unfortunately, but it's life. It makes the stories more real for me. So, don't worry. I doubt if you'll read another ending like 'Best Buddies' from me.

    A few of my other stories are in the Jub Archives.

    Nicely Packed, Bag Boy
    http://www.justusboys.com/forum/arch...p/t-89102.html

    (If you're into Stargate, I've written one with Daniel & Jonas.)
    Stargate SG-1 - Last Mission
    http://www.justusboys.com/forum/arch...p/t-79094.html

    The sequel, Stargate SG-1 - Aftermath, is on Page 1 of this forum. The final few chapters will be posted soon on this one.

    And now, on to Part 10 of Watching Brad.

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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part X

    The front door was unlocked when I came home from work Thursday afternoon. I'd given Brad a key and he was waiting inside for me. "Follow me," he said, a wide grin on his face. I followed him down the hall and he stopped suddenly, holding out his hand. "Take my hand and close your eyes," he said as he placed his left hand over my eyes.

    I took his hand and he held it tightly as he guided me carefully the rest of the way down the hall. He turned me to the left, led me through the doorway, and put me into position where he wanted me. He released my hand and removed his hand from my eyes. I opened them.

    I was agog. I had to be agog to use a word like that. My jaw dropped down and my eyes sprang open. All I could do was to spin around in a slow circle and look at everything and say "Oh, my God!" over and over again. I'm sure Bernice had a hand in this. The room was completely done and arranged and dressed. The unicorn and faerie paper looked incredible, and Brad had attached and painted the dado rail white. Molding encircled the ceiling and the space between the two was done. . . I'm not sure how. From the Sunset pink at the bottom, it faded somehow to almost white near the top. All of Lindsay's favourite pictures were hanging in the most perfect places, and Brad had even hooked up her computer on her homework desk. Everything was there and ready for her to move in, and it was amazing.

    I just turned around and around, and I could feel the tears filling my eyes. Professional painters couldn't have done the job Brad did for me. I finally turned and found him standing there, his face full of smiles and his eyes full of sparkles. He looked like a boy who had just brought home a report card full of A's. Fuck this, I thought, and I reached my arms around him and pulled him into a long, strong hug. "Thank you, Brad," I whispered in his ear. "Thank you." I might have felt Brad's body pressing against mine. I might have felt the muscles in his back. I might have felt his crotch pushing against my own. I might have felt his heat. I might have felt all those things, but I didn't even notice. I felt only the happiness.

    When I finally pulled away, I kept my hands on his arms as I looked around again. "Mom helped me arrange the furniture and she unpacked Lindsay's clothes for her. The fade effect was her idea. Just took a little glaze. So, I did okay?" he said. He was grinning again.

    "Oh, Brad, you did better than okay! Lindsay is going to love this room. I love this room!" I wiped tears from my eyes. "Gee-sus, Murphy, it's beautiful!" I looked at Brad. His eyes were watery, too. "Wanna do my room next?"

    He shrugged. "Sure. I like painting."

    I gave him another hug of appreciation. "I'm taking you out to dinner," I said.

    "I'll have to phone Mom."

    "Bring her along. I owe her big time, too. And your Dad. Tell her I won't take ‘no' for an answer. Better yet, I'll tell her myself. Come on."

    Brad had no choice but to follow me out of my house and to his front door.

    * * * * *

    John insisted on paying for half the dinner, but I talked him down to a quarter of it. His wife and his son were my treat. He finally agreed, even though he had measured all the dado and molding for Brad. "It was the neighbourly thing to do," he said.

    Both Brad and Bernice were waiting for me Friday night when I arrived with Lindsay. Bernice was carrying her gift-wrapped unicorn. Lindsay went ballistic when she saw her room, ricocheting around, looking at everything, and ‘ooing' and ‘ahing' all over the place. She jumped on her bed and then jumped into my arms and gave me the biggest kiss she could. "Thank you, Daddy!" she said. "It's the bestest bedroom in the whole world!" She kissed me again. I didn't mind at all.

    "I'm glad, Sweetheart, but you have to thank Brad and Mrs. Hayes," I told her. "They did it all."

    Brad squatted down to get his hug and kiss and Bernice bent down and picked her up to get her own. "I've got something for you, Lindsay," she said. "Brad?"

    Brad picked up the package and set it on Lindsay's desk. Lindsay scrambled down and rushed to open her gift. "Careful, Sweetheart. You might break it." She was very careful after that and, with my help, was soon looking at the unicorn. Her fingers ran gently over it, tracing the shape and form. She caressed the head and the golden horn and she turned it around and did it all over again. Bernice dabbed at her eyes with a tissue she had pulled from somewhere. She got a bigger hug and kiss than I did.

    * * * * *

    Lindsay spent most of the night in her bedroom, coming out occasionally for a snack or to use the bathroom or to just give me another ‘thank you' kiss. I sat with Brad in the living room, discussing the painting he was going to do. From the sounds of it, the whole interior was going to get a facelift. Somewhere in between all that, he would do the front yard landscaping.

    He fell in love with Lindsay immediately, and Lindsay took to him as well. By the time Brad went home, they were already good friends.

    Brad left us alone on Saturday. Lindsay and I went shopping for other things she wanted for her new room, including a shelf for her unicorn. "Get a strong one, Daddy," she said. "Unicorns can't fly."

    Sunday afternoon, Brad came over, ready for our trip to Mississauga. Lindsay was ecstatic to be going to see her Uncle Warren and Uncle Bill. She didn't know her birthday presents were in the trunk, waiting for her. Brad would carry them in for us when we got there. He insisted on sitting in the back seat. Lindsay rode up front with me.

    Warren was suitably impressed with Brad, of course, putting one hand on Brad's shoulder and giving him the once-over with his eyes. They stopped right where I expected them to stop. "And where did you find this cutie?" he asked. Brad blushed. "Boys ‘R Us?" Brad blushed even more.

    "Warren," I said with a grin, "you're engaged!"

    "But not married yet," Warren winked. His grin was wider than mine. "I've still got a few days left."

    "Put him down, Uncle Warren," Lindsay said. (Hey. What can I say? She picked it up from me.) "I'm here, too, you know."

    "Uncle Warren can't pick you up today, Sweetheart," I said to her. I picked her up from behind and held her out so Warren could give her a hug and kiss, then I passed her to Bill, who took her in his arms and held her.

    "Is Uncle Warren sick?" she asked Bill.

    "Yes," he replied, "but he's going to get better."

    Warren sucked in a ragged breath. I could see him fighting his emotions. To take his mind of them, he whispered to me, "Did you bring them?" I nodded to the box on the floor beside Brad. Warren whispered to Brad, but I heard him. "Would you be a sweetie and take them in there (he pointed to an open doorway) and set them out on the coffee table?" Then he pinched Brad's cheek and said, "You are just too damned cute!"

    Bill could only roll his eyes and Brad could only hurry to get away.

    "Incorrigible," I said. Bill nodded.

    "Where did you find that cutie?" Warren whispered loudly when Brad had left the room. "Et quel panier! It would cost a fortune to send that package by UPS!"

    "He's my new neighbour."

    "That's life for you," Warren sighed. "You get Brad and I get Abner Kravitz."

    "But you get Tom Cruise when you move in with me."

    Warren shuddered. "I'd rather have Abner Kravitz."

    * * * * *

    Once Brad got used to Warren, he fit in well. Warren, for his part, realized very quickly that Brad's white shorts were a touchy subject with him and stopped all the flirting. I have to hand it to Warren. He may be overboard at times, but he knows when enough is enough. Dinner was wonderful, and Mrs. Craig had set a wonderful table and cooked a delicious meal. Lindsay was wearing the new pant-suit outfit Warren had given her for her birthday, and was wearing her new bracelet as well. The new computer games he had given her were set on the table where she could see them. Warren had cried as he watched her open them. I suspect he felt it might be his last time seeing it. No-one said anything, though.

    We talked about the wedding, of course, and got the times and everything set up and arranged. When we were ready to leave, he gave Lindsay a huge hug and kiss and, in typical ‘Warren' fashion, kissed both Brad and I on the cheek. But Brad got a pat on the bum. I didn't.

    Lindsay sat in the back seat on the way home and was sound asleep before we hit the Four- Twenty-Seven. Brad sat up front.

    "You just keep giving me good days, Ted," he said casually. "I really liked Warren, you know. I was a bit nervous at first, and he came at me like a bulldozer, but then he just became a really nice guy. I like Bill, too. I'm looking forward to their wedding next weekend."

    "Warren knew you were nervous and shy," I explained. "That's why he stopped. He goes a bit queenie when he sees a guy like you. You're just his type."

    "Bill doesn't look anything like me. He's a lot older, for one thing."

    "When a guy is Warren's type, Warren isn't usually the guy's type."

    Brad chuckled. Then he became serious.

    "I hope he makes it through the surgery."

    "So do I, Brad," I said. "So do I."

    * * * * *

    "Want a beer?" I asked.

    "Okay."

    "Grab a couple, then. I'll just get Lindsay in bed." As Brad unlocked the front door, carrying Lindsay's games with him, I unbuckled Lindsay and lifted her from the back seat.

    She roused enough to say, "Are we home, Daddy?"

    "Yes, we are, Sweetheart. Do you need to go to the bathroom?" She nodded. I carried her into the bathroom and, as she sat on the toilet, I took off her new top and pulled her new slacks off her legs, along with her shoes and socks. When she was done, I cleaned her up, pulled up her panties, grabbed her new clothes in one hand, and carried her to her bed. "What colour, Sweetheart?"

    "White," she said sleepily. "Like my unicorn."

    I grabbed a crisp, white nightgown out of her dresser and pulled it over her head. Soon I was tucking her under her blankets as I sat on her bedside. I smoothed her hair with my fingers, brushing her bangs out of her eyes. "Goodnight, Sweetheart," I said. "I love you." I kissed her forehead.

    "Nite, Daddy," she said, but I think she was already asleep.

    Brad was sitting on the wall, beer opened and waiting. I sat down beside him and took the beer from him. I pulled the cigarettes and lighter from my pocket.

    "We're the luckiest people in the world," Brad said.

    "Who?" I asked. "You and me?"

    "No. Me and Lindsay."

    "Why?"

    "We both have the best fathers in the world."

    "Well, your father and I are lucky, too. We have the best kids in the world. It's just too bad Lindsay has the worst mother."

    "Don't worry, Ted," Brad said. "By tomorrow night, my Mom will have Lindsay calling her Grandma. Mark my words."

    I believed him.

    He looked at me. Stared at me, really. And then he suddenly grabbed his bottle of beer from the wall and slid away from me.

    "Hey, what's this?" I asked. "Have I got BO or something?"

    He smiled at me and shook his head. "No," he said. "You smell nice. I almost went back on my word, that's all."

    I think I understood. I almost made him go back on it myself.

    "Do I need to rent a tux or anything?" he said after he'd taken a healthy swig of his beer.

    "Got a suit?"

    "Black and grey."

    "I'll be wearing dark blue. Either will be fine.

    "What about the gift."

    "They're asking for donations to the Heart Association instead. I'll handle that."

    "I'd really like put in my share, Ted."

    "Okay," I said with a small nod. "I'll pay it and I'll deduct a bit out of your wages. How's that sound?"

    "Sounds like a plan."

    * * * * *

    Mrs. Grange, Lindsay's babysitter, grabbed me by the arm and dragged me outside when I got home from work Monday night. She was a short, rather roundish woman with a bump on the side of her chin and a chest the size of Manitoba. Her face reminded me of Elvira Gulch when she was on her way to pick up Toto. All that was missing was the big nose. Oh, how I hated that woman! Her voice was hushed, but still loud. "Mr. de Villiers. If you don't keep that young man out of this house while I'm taking care of Lindsay, I'm afraid I'll have to resign my post."

    "Why?"

    "He's a disgusting, wicked, evil young man. He should not be parading around and putting himself on display like that."

    I didn't like the woman, but she took good care of Lindsay. It didn't matter. I flipped. "He can't help what he has in his pants any more than you can help what you've got in your bra," I said. Oh, did I tell you I didn't like the woman? "No, I take that back. You can help it. If you'd lay off the Twinkies and ice cream, you wouldn't be carrying around a couple of Goodyear blimps in your blouse! Brad is far-too-much the gentleman to say that, Mrs. Grange, but I'm not. Now get your big, fat ass in your car and haul it off my property! You'll have your severance pay in the mail by the end of the week!"

    And I walked into the house and closed the door on her.

    Brad and Lindsay were sitting on the sofa playing Nintendo. I walked over to them and sat beside Lindsay. "Can you pause that, Brad?" He did. I lifted Lindsay onto my lap, took the paddle from her hand, and held it out to Brad. He took it from me.

    "Lindsay, Sweetheart?" I said quietly. "I need to take you back to stay with your Mother for awhile."

    Her eyes filled quickly with tears. Her lip quivered. "Why, Daddy?" she asked, her voice on the edge of crying.

    "Mrs. Grange is gone," I explained. "I fired her. I need you to stay with your Mother until I can find another sitter for you."

    Lindsay collapsed against my chest, tears flowing and body jerking in sad sobs. "No, Daddy. Please." I hugged her and rubbed her back and kissed her hair.

    "I'm sorry, Sweetheart." I hated it when Lindsay cried. Kids are supposed to laugh, not cry.

    "I'll watch her until you find someone else, Ted," Brad said.

    "I can't ask you to do that, Brad." Lindsay sat up, listening intently. Her crying had stopped.

    "Why not? We spent most of the day together anyway. Mrs. Grinch was too busy watching her soaps to look after her anyway. The only time she paid Lindsay any attention was during commercials."

    "It's ‘Grange'," I said.

    "Could have fooled me," Brad said. "Besides, it's just until you find someone else, right?"

    "And Grandma's right next door, Daddy," Lindsay said excitedly. I looked at Brad. He had an ‘I told you so' look on his face. "I like Brad. He smells good. Not like Mrs. Grange. She smells like your Ben Gay and baby powder, and I'm not a baby anymore."

    "Call my Mom," Brad told me. "She'll tell you I've been babysitting since I was fourteen."

    "I don't doubt your abilities, Brad. Lindsay can be a handful at times."

    "Name one kid who isn't."

    He had me there. "Please, Daddy? Please let me stay with Brad? I don't want to go home. I want to stay here with you. I'll be good. I promise."

    "I know you will, Sweetheart."

    "Then I can stay?"

    I looked at Brad. He didn't change his expression. He just sat there and looked back at me. I smiled at Lindsay. "Okay, Sweetheart. But only until I can find someone else, okay?"

    "Okay, Daddy," she said, and she hugged me.

    "So, kiddo, where did you get the Nintendo?"

    "It's mine," Brad said. "I hardly play it anymore anyway. You don't mind, do you?"

    "No," I said. "Why would I mind? Okay, Sweetheart, you and Brad get back to Mario and I'll make supper for you. What would you like?"

    "Hamburger Helper and rice," she said. "The beef one so I can put soy sauce on it."

    "Coming right up, Sweetheart," I said. "Just as soon as I change. Brad? Will you be joining us?"

    "Uh. . ."

    "Stay, Brad," Lindsay said. "Daddy's makes good Hamburger Helper." She leaned in closer to him and whispered. "He makes soggy rice, though. It's better if you put soy sauce on it."

    Brad laughed. "Sounds delicious," he said. "Need some help?"

    "Nah," I said. "I can change my clothes all by myself, thanks."

    I was halfway down the hall before I realized he was talking about the Hamburger Helper.

    * * * * *

    I needn't have worried. Brad was as good at taking care of Lindsay as he was with everything else he did. Bernice came over each day and made them lunch. Thursday night was ‘interview night', and Lindsay sat in my lap as I talked to the four women and two men who had applied for the job. I could tell by the way Lindsay kicked at my legs with her feet and squirmed in my lap whether or not she liked them. Three women and one of the men were mentally scratched off the list immediately. One woman barely made it through "Good evening, Mr. de Villiers" before Lindsay was expressing her displeasure.

    It came down to the three, and, between Lindsay and me, we finally settled on a young lady who insisted we call her Terry. She was pleasant, competent, and she liked unicorns and faeries. That nailed it for Lindsay. I called her back for a second interview Friday night. Brad was with us this time and I explained that he was hired help and would be working around the house on a regular basis. She didn't have a problem with that, especially since Lindsay was sitting in Brad's lap this time.

    She was hired and would start the next week I had custody. Brad went with us when I took Lindsay to her Mother's place Friday evening, more for company than anything else. He waited in the car as I took Lindsay up to her apartment. I was ready for a confrontation, but I needn't have worried. The Bitch was out for the night and the babysitter was waiting for us.

    I squatted down, gave Lindsay a big hug and lots of kisses, and said, "Now you be good, Sweetheart. I'll see you next Friday."

    "I love you, Daddy."

    "I love you too, Sweetheart. Be a good girl for me?"

    "I will, Daddy." She hugged and kissed me again, and then she went inside.

    * * * * *

    Brad enjoyed the wedding, and he even shed a tear or two, right along with me. He looked amazing in his grey suit, and I felt rather proud when I got all the envious stares from everyone. If Brad noticed, he didn't mention it.

    Warren and Bill looked so handsome and happy together, and the ceremony was rather emotional. I was happy for them, too. Warren was always the wild one. Bill was his stabilizer. Together, they made a wonderful couple, and I was delighted that they finally had the right to legalize their love for each other and become a real family.

    The reception took place in the ballroom of an hotel in Mississauga. I'd made a reservation as soon as I had discovered which one. I knew I wouldn't be driving home afterwards. At first, I reserved two single rooms for myself and Brad but, at his insistence and, with his common sense, I changed it to one room with two beds.

    The music was nice and the disc jockey was accommodating and energetic and he kept the party rocking. Brad had money of his own and insisted on sharing the cost of the drinks. Most of the party-goers were men, and most of them were gay. Brad felt comfortable with that, although he got more than his share of compliments, pecks on the cheek, and casual gropes. He didn't say anything about it. He didn't make a fuss. But I could see that it made him uncomfortable.

    It became serious when someone I didn't even know got a little rambunctious. He was obviously drunk. He'd been groping Brad openly and I could see Brad trying to push him away while I tried to convince him to back off. The guy yanked opened Brad's zipper and shoved his hand inside the suit pants. Brad pulled his hips back, but couldn't escape. I could see from the painful look on his face that the guy had latched onto him and wasn't about to let go until he got a good feel of the goods. I grabbed the guy's arm and tried to pull him away, but his arm jerked and twisted instead. Brad's eyes suddenly opened wide and his jaw dropped. His face contorted in agony and I could see him doubling over. A horrifying sound came out of his throat. I let go of the arm, got behind the guy, wrapped my arms around him from the back, and yanked him away. It surprised me that I actually lifted him off his feet. With a grunt of anger, I twisted my body and threw the man into the crowd. He hit the floor, stumbled, and would have fallen flat on his face if he hadn't run into one of the other guests.

    Bill showed up immediately, bless him, and grabbed the guy by the neck. With the help of one other guest, the man was escorted out of the ballroom and, probably, out of the hotel entirely. When I looked back, Brad was on his knees on the floor, bent over so his forehead was touching the floor. His hands were in his groin and I could see his body shaking. I knew he was crying. A young man was on the floor beside him, tenderly rubbing his back and whispering things into Brad's ear. I dropped to me knees on the other side and the young man leaned back, letting me take over for him, but he remained where he was.

    "Brad? Are you okay?"

    "Oh, God, Ted," he cried. "It hurts!" He spoke to the floor.

    I soothed him for awhile, consoling him, comforting him, asking if he wanted to go to the hospital. Finally, when he had stopped crying and lifted himself up, I asked, "Can you stand?" He nodded. I grabbed his arm with my left hand and wrapped my other arm around his waist. The young man beside him grabbed his other arm and, between the two of us, we got Brad to his feet. His zipper was still open. I reached down and pulled it back up for him.

    "Over here," someone said. It was Warren, and he was making a path through the crowd so we could walk Brad to some soft, cushioned chairs against the wall. We settled Brad into one of them. Warren sat on one side. I sat on the other. The youth remained standing. Brad leaned his head back against the wall, his eyes closed and his hands resting protectively over his crotch.

    "I'm sorry," the youth said. "That was my date. I guess he had too much to drink." He was almost in tears. He looked at me. "Really, I'm sorry. If there's anything I can do. . ."

    I smiled my thanks to him. "What's your name?"

    "Randy."

    "If you wouldn't mind, could you get our beers for us?" I pointed to our table where our drinks sat, along with our suit jackets which we'd hung over the chairs. Randy grabbed everything and brought it all back with him.

    I took the beers from him and Randy set our jackets over the arm of the chair to my left. Bill arrived then.

    "He won't be back," he said.

    Randy looked at him. "Can I at least stay until I make sure he's okay?" He pointed to Brad.

    "Why?" Bill asked. "You didn't do anything except help Brad, here."

    "I came with Tony. I didn't think you'd want me here, either."

    "Do you want to go?" Warren asked. Randy shook his head ‘no'. "Then you're welcome to stay."

    "You can join us for the rest of the evening." I grabbed our jackets and moved them to the arm of my chair.

    Randy pulled the chair away from the wall and sat facing us. "Is he okay?"

    Brad sat up and opened his eyes. I put my hand on his back. He looked a lot better. He took a deep breath and let it out through a small ‘O' in his mouth, then sucked in another through his nose and let it out slowly. He looked at Randy. "I'm okay," he said and smiled. "Thanks for helping me." He held out his hand in greeting. "I'm Brad."

    The youth took his hand and shook it. "Randy. I'm really sorry he hurt you like that."

    "Booze does that to some people. It's not your fault."

    Randy smiled and nodded once. "At least let me buy you another beer."

    "Okay," Brad said. "Thanks."

    Randy disappeared toward the bar and returned with two bottles of Blue in his hands. He handed one to Brad and the other to me. "Didn't you get something for yourself?" I asked.

    "I didn't have enough money," he replied. "Tony was paying for me."

    I pulled my wallet out of my pocket, pulled out a tenner, and handed it to him. It took some persuasion, but Randy finally accepted the money and went to get himself a drink. When he came back, he handed me the change.

    * * * * *

    "Don't you guys dance?" Randy asked us. We were sitting at the table together now.

    "I don't know. Can you dance, Brad?" I joked.

    "Not very well," he replied. "Besides, which one of us is supposed to lead?"

    Randy looked confused. "Aren't you guys. . . you know. . . a couple?" he asked.

    "No," I answered. "We're neighbours. Brad just came to keep me company."

    "I'm sorry," Randy said. "I thought I saw. . ."

    "Saw ‘what'?" I asked.

    "Well, I saw more than just a little neighbourly concern when Brad was hurt."

    "Like what?"

    Randy looked from my face to Brad's. "Sorry," he said. "I just misread the two of you. That's all."

    I looked at Brad and he looked at me. What was Randy seeing that we weren't seeing? I avoided the question by asking Brad if he wanted to dance.

    He shrugged. "Sure. First time for everything, eh?"

    We made it to the dance floor and started our gyrations and jerks, probably looking every bit the idiots we felt we were. But I was having fun and I didn't care. That song ended and another began. We danced to that one, too. Brad was grinning broadly now, as was I, and then we started to laugh. We were in hysterics when The Chicken Dance followed and I had tears rolling down my face by the time we got through it. I can't remember when I'd had so much fun.

    And then Unchained Melody began, and the Righteous Brothers themselves were singing it. My favourite version. Brad looked around as couples fell into each other's arms and began to sway to the tune. I was having fun. I didn't want it to stop. But, more than anything, I didn't want to miss this dance. Brad looked at me. I loved this song, and I loved dancing to it. And now, I wanted to dance to it with Brad.

    I held out my hands to him. He hesitated a moment, looked around again, then stepped forward into my arms. I wrapped them around his back and he put his hands on my waist. He kept his distance, though. Our bodies didn't touch, but I could feel the heat from his. We began to move. We began to dance. I looked into Brad's eyes and he looked into mine. Our gaze locked and he didn't look away. I could feel the breath from his nostrils stroking my chin. I tried to imagine what he was seeing in my brown eyes and I tried to figure out what I was seeing in his green eyes.

    He swallowed hard and he blinked, and then his hands slid around my back and his body moved into mine. He turned his head and rested it against my shoulder. I could feel his breath on my neck and his scent wafted up to my nostrils. There was nothing sexual about the dance. Erotic, yes, but not sexual. I could feel Brad's crotch pressing against me, but he didn't get excited and neither did I. It was just a few short minutes of sharing.

    Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea,
    to the open arms of the sea.
    Lonely rivers sigh, wait for me, wait for me.
    I'll be coming home, wait for me.

    Oh, my love, my darling,
    I've hungered for your touch a long lonely time.
    And time goes by so slowly and time can do so much,
    Are you still mine?

    Oh, I need your love.
    I need your love.
    God speed your love, to me.

    Brad pulled his head back and looked at me. There was something else in his eyes and I could see him fighting against it. Finally, he spoke. "I've never broken a promise in my life, Ted, but you made me make a promise I can't keep. I'm sorry."

    He leaned up slowly and his lips met mine. His kiss was just as intense and passionate as mine was, and I didn't want it to stop.

    It didn't - for a long, long time.

    To Be Continued

  20. #70
    HUGS! ;-)
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Whoof!! Just when I'm fairly sure your story has reached a plateau, it goes up one higher/better!!
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  21. #71
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I don't want it to end! Literally can't look away--love it love it love it! Okay... i'll take a deep breath now. Thank you SO much for sharing it with us!

  22. #72
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Okay, I'm jumping on the "wow" bandwagon. Great story and thank you for sharing it with us!

  23. #73

    Re: Watching Brad

    I can not stop, I don't want to stop. YOU CAN NOT STOP , please go on. This is much better than anything on TV anyway.

  24. #74
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    This story just keeps getting better. When
    you think you know where it is going , it goes
    in another direction.
    You are a really good writer a very pleasurable
    read. Thak you so much.
    shea

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    Re: Watching Brad

    GREAT Story, I'm hanging on every chapter and waiting for the next. I hope this never ends.
    I also wish I could find a Brad type of guy, and not for the up front package but for his genuien nature. Thanks for a GR8 story.

  26. #76
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    Very nice indeed.

  27. #77
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    Neil, this is a fantastic story.
    Just as I think I have your intentions worked out, you throw in another twist.
    I don't know how you mean this to finish but I do hope everyone comes out happy
    Peace & Love
    Harry

  28. #78
    The 'Eyes' have it
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Thanks again, guys. Hold onto your hats. Here comes the next Part.)

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XI

    I felt a hand on my shoulder. "Come on, Casanova, the song's over and you're gathering a fan club." It was Warren. I pulled myself away from Brad. "If you rented a room, I suggest you hie thee to it toute de suite."

    I smiled, but it disappeared quickly enough. Over Warren's shoulder, I could see Wayne standing there. I hated his guts. He was friends with The Bitch and was probably here to spy for her. He had an evil, wicked sneer on his face and he held up a digital camera and waved it at me. Shit! Fuck! And Dammit All!

    I disengaged myself totally from Brad and looked at Warren. "I need to talk to you and Bill," I said. Warren looked amused.

    "Sure, Teddy," Warren said, still grinning. "We can tell you everything you need to know."

    "Warren! Now!"

    The grin disappeared from Warren's face. "Shit! What's wrong, Ted."

    "Wayne! Behind you!"

    Warren looked around and saw Wayne with his camera. "Fuck!" He scanned the crowd and quickly found Bill. Bill caught Warren's gaze. Seeing a tiny twitch of Warren's head, Bill immediately excused himself from his friends, and approached quickly. Warren grabbed my arm. "Come," he said urgently. "Brad, come."

    Warren released my arm and I followed. Brad walked close behind. I detoured slightly to tell Randy to wait here. We'd be right back. He nodded.

    Warren led us out a door and into a hallway. It was quiet there. Bill joined us a moment later. "What's up?" he asked Warren.

    "Wayne. And he had a camera."

    "Bill," I said desperately, "you know he's going to take this back to The Bitch. Can she use it against me?"

    "What do you mean?"

    "Can she use it to keep Lindsay away from me?"

    "Oh, God, Ted." That was Brad, and he just got louder and louder. "Oh, God. Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!!" He turned away and slammed his fist against the wall. "Oh, God!! Oh, God!! Oh, God!!" He continued screaming and slamming the wall.

    I put my hand on his shoulder from behind and grabbed his arm. "It's okay, Brad. It's not your fault."

    Brad jerked away from me and spun around to face me. His eyes were on fire and his tears were trying to extinguish the flamed "It's all my fault! Oh, God, Ted! Oh, God! I'm sorry! I am so sorry!" And then he turned and sprinted down the hall.

    "I'll get him," Bill said, and set out running after him.

    Warren took my hands in his comforting grasp. "Bill knows what to do, Ted." That's what I loved about Warren. He knew when I had to stop being ‘Teddy' to him. "Everything's going to be okay."

    I nodded to him and tried to smile. "I hope so."

    "I always had my suspicions about you, Ted. I always felt you might be gay, but you were afraid to open the closet door. You love Brad, don't you."

    I just looked at my best friend. I couldn't say anything.

    "I already know you do, Ted," he said calmly. "I could see it that day you brought him to Ryerson. I could see the way your face lit up when you talked about him. I know you do, Ted, and you know it, too. You just need to hear yourself say it."

    I continued staring at Warren. He always knew what words needed to be said. I stood there in silence, just thinking and being scared. I swallowed hard and I found my voice. "I think I really love him, Warren."

    Warren stayed silent as he stared into my eyes. He knew those weren't the words I needed to hear myself say. . . and I knew it, too. I took a deep breath. "I love him, Warren."

    Warren's lips curled into a caring smile. He moved his hand to my cheek. "And Brad loves you, too. He just doesn't know it yet."

    "Is that possible, Warren?" I asked. "Is it possible for a straight man to fall in love with another man?"

    "There's no gay or straight where love is concerned, Ted. It doesn't look at gender. It looks at the person. It just happens. And when it does, it's up to the individual to decide if it's right or wrong. Does this feel wrong to you?"

    "I don't know," I replied honestly. "All I know is that I want it to be right."

    Warren nodded. "Then it will be. If you figure it out before I go into surgery, please tell me. I don't want to die not knowing."

    "You're not going to die, Warren."

    "A flip of the coin, my friend," he said. "A flip of the coin."

    "I love you so much, Warren."

    "And I've always loved you, Ted." He pulled me into a big hug and he held me for a long time.

    We separated finally. Brad and Bill were still nowhere in sight. "Maybe I should go look for him," I said.

    Warren grabbed my arms, holding me in place. "No. Stay here with me," he said. "Bill knows what to do. He'll bring him back. Trust him."

    "I do."

    We waited for five more minutes before Bill finally returned. He was walking beside Brad, his arm thrown casually over Brad's shoulders. Brad hung his head, afraid to meet my gaze, I suppose. They stopped when they reached us.

    "He's good," Bill said as he removed his arm from Brad's back.

    Brad still wouldn't look at me. I reached out and took his hand in mine, squeezing it. He looked there first, and then up to my face. Warren and Bill waited patiently. Someone opened the door, saw us there, and went back inside, but I didn't look away from Brad's green eyes.

    "I'm sorry, Ted," he apologized quietly. "Do you hate me?"

    I smiled reassuringly at him and shook my head. "No, Brad, I don't hate you. I could never hate you. Not when I love you so much." Bill and Warren politely stepped aside and turned away, allowing us our moment.

    Brad looked at me. "You really love me?"

    "Yes, Brad," I said. "I love you. I just realized it."

    Brad started crying. He fell into me and I pulled him into me and let him cry as I rubbed the back of his hair and held him. He didn't cry very long, but I enjoyed every second of it. I enjoyed comforting him like that. It made me feel good. Needed. Eventually, he stopped crying and leaned back to look at me, but he didn't let go of me. "I think I might love you, too," he said.

    I smiled and kissed him again. "Just let me know when you're sure."

    He smiled back and everything felt better to me. But I knew I had a tough row to hoe ahead of me. I turned to my friends, but I kept one arm around Brad and he kept his arm around my waist.

    "Bill? Warren?" I said. They turned to face us. "Thanks."

    They nodded to us.

    "Now, Bill," I said, "can The Bitch use this against us? Can she use this to keep Lindsay away from me?"

    Bill shook his head. "Not legally, no, but she might be able to use it to sway the judge's mind if you get some head-up-the-ass conservative. To try and prove that she could provide a better environment for Lindsay."

    "But I'm a damned good father!" I shouted. "I don't put anything before my daughter! Not like that fuckin' Bitch, running around all night slapping it up with every guy with a fat wallet!"

    "Then use that, Ted," Bill said. "Use that against her. Prove to the judge that you can provide a better home for Lindsay."

    I just stared at Bill. My mind raced, trying to figure out what he was talking about and getting it all muddled up with my concerns about Brad.

    "Look," Bill said calmly. "Forget about you and Brad. Put that right out of your mind. It's not an issue. It's discrimination. It's illegal to use it against you, and if she does use it and she wins, you have grounds for appeal. Even if Brad moved in with you - hell, even if you got married - it's not relevant anymore. It's the law. Do you have any proof of The Bitch running around like you said?"

    I shook my head. "No, but I can get it."

    "How?"

    "Babysitters. Lindsay's had a lot of different ones. I'll find them. I'll hire a detective and find them. And The Bitch is out getting pumped by a new guy every week. I'll find the proof of that, too. Just tell me what I need."

    Bill just smiled at me. "You just said it yourself. That's all you need."

    I jerked my head back in surprise. "That's it? It's that easy?"

    "I didn't say it was going to be easy, but it's a damned good start." He stared at my surprise, then he chuckled. "Look, Ted, I know you're a good father. Warren knows it, and I bet Brad knows it, too." He looked at Brad. "I'm guessing you get along with Lindsay okay?"

    "Sure," Brad said. "I've been taking care of her all week. She likes me. We get along great."

    "There you go, then," Bill exclaimed. "The judge will be talking to Lindsay alone, and he or she will undoubtedly ask Lindsay how she feels about you and Brad." He paused a moment. "Lindsay is your best weapon, Ted. Just make sure you have all that other stuff to back it up."

    I nodded. "What about Brad and me?" I asked. "You know, the age difference. Wouldn't it make me look like a pervert or cradle-chaser or something?"

    "That's even more irrelevant than Brad being a man," Bill said.

    It suddenly hit me then. I had already resigned myself to this relationship. I was in love with Brad and that was that. End of story. I didn't know if I was gay or straight, but I knew I loved him. But, time for thinking about that later. I put it out of my mind. Lindsay needed me now.

    Bill continued. "The cards are stacked in your favour, Ted. And Judy's been stacking them for you. If you need any money to help gather evidence. . ."

    I wouldn't let him finish that though. "Thanks, Bill, but I have to do this on my own."

    He nodded. "I can give you a list of good investigators, at least." Then turned to Brad. "And you. Don't ever think you're a threat in this. You're not. If anything, you're the best asset Ted has in his own defense, and that's because Lindsay likes you. And, on a more personal note, don't allow fear to prevent you from finding yourself."

    Brad smiled. "I won't."

    Warren clapped his hands. "Okay. What do you say we get back to the party, then?"

    "Go ahead," I told him. "We'll be in soon. I want to talk to Brad."

    Warren was about to say something but thought better of it. Instead, he said to Bill, "Come on, Babe. J'ai faim." He took Bill's hand and led him back into the ballroom.

    "You're always hungry," Bill replied.

    I turned to face Brad and took his hands in mine. We just looked at each other for awhile. "I'm scared to death, you know that?"

    Brad laughed nervously. "I'm terrified. Can't you feel me shaking? And my pits are soaked. I must stink."

    I laughed with him. "I wasn't going to mention it."

    We laughed for a bit, and Brad turned more serious again. "Are you gay, Ted?"

    "I don't know, Brad, but if that's what it means to fall in love with you, then I guess I am." I thought it best not to ask what Brad was thinking about himself. He was still trying to figure it out.

    His eyes flicked back and forth between mine. "I think I want to break my word again."

    I smiled at him. "I think I want you to."

    Brad's arms came around my neck and he moved closer. His lips found mine and we spent the next few minutes tasting each other. I could feel him beginning to swell against me, and I responded in the same way. That's when he pulled away from me. He smiled shyly. "I can't hide it in these clothes. I think we'd better go back so slowing things down again."

    "I agree," I said.

    "Will you come to the bathroom with me? I want to at least wash my pits and dry my shirt out a bit."

    "Sure." We started walking side-by-side down the hall, and then I felt him slipping his hand into mine. I began walking a little taller.

    * * * * *

    "I wasn't sure you guys were coming back," Randy said when we arrived back at our table. "I was getting a little worried. Is everything okay?"

    I smiled at him. "Everything's wonderful," I said. I pulled a twenty out of my wallet and handed it to Randy. "Would you be a sweetie and fill us up again? Get whatever you want for yourself."

    "I'll get your drinks, but I really should get going after."

    I looked at my watch. "It's still early yet."

    "I know," Randy said, "but I need to start looking for a way to get home."

    "Where's home?" Brad asked.

    "Hamilton," Randy replied.

    "Whoa," I said. "Too far for me to drive tonight."

    "Don't worry. I'll manage. I always do."

    "And if you don't," Brad said, "where will you sleep?"

    "I've slept on park benches before."

    Brad grabbed my forearm. "Ted."

    I looked at him and, somehow, I knew what he was thinking. I looked back at Randy. "We have a room here. Two beds. You can have one bed and we'll take the other. I'll drive you home in the morning."

    Randy sat back in his chair. "I don't do sex with people I don't really know. Especially if it's just to have someplace to sleep."

    I chuckled lightly. "And we don't do sex just to give someone a place to sleep." I held up my hand. "This is the only sex I've had in three and a half years since my wife cut me off."

    Randy looked incredulous. He glanced over at Brad. "Since I was twelve," Brad said.

    The young man looked back and forth between me to Brad. One side of his mouth curled up into a confused smirk. "Aw, come on. You're both joking, right?"

    "No joke," I said sincerely.

    "Would you admit to seven years of diddling and no sex?" Brad said.

    Randy took a deep breath. "You guys really on the up-and-up?"

    "Yes, we are," I said and held out the bill. "Now, come on. Stay for one more drink, think about it, and if you decide not to stay, I'll see that you get home tonight somehow."

    He thought for a long moment, nodded, and took the money from my hand.

    "You don't mind sleeping in the same bed with me?" Brad asked after Randy had disappeared into the crowd.

    "Why? Do you?"

    "No. I think I'd like to sleep with you." He thought about what he had said and he blurted out, "I mean. . . um. . ."

    "I know what you mean, Brad," I laughed. "Tonight, it's just the snoring kind. I'm not ready for the grunting and groaning kind yet."

    Brad laughed, chipped tooth and all.

    * * * * *

    It was after two before we said our goodbyes and best wishes to Bill and Warren. They kissed us both and wished us their own best wishes and Bill promised to send out the names of the investigators as soon as he could. I promised Warren we would be back before his surgery, and then we were on our way to the room with Randy in tow. He'd decided to stay

    Randy hit the bathroom first, taking a leak and washing up. He came out and started to undress as Brad took his turn. He already had his shirt off and told me he was going to rinse it out in the sink before he took a quick shower. I sat up in bed, waiting my turn. I looked over at Randy when I heard his shoes hitting the floor. He was facing away from me, pulling down his pants. I looked away again.

    He was a good kid. I liked him. He was taller than I am and just as thin, but a lot more muscular. He had jet black hair and blue, deep-set eyes. His face was handsome and powerful. He had a strong nose and full lips, but the dark shadow on his cheeks and chin and over his lips belied his youthfulness. It was that kind of shadow that was always there, no matter how closely he shaved.

    I could hear him getting into bed and under the covers. "Ted?" he said, and I turned to look at him. He was facing away from me, but had turned his head to look at me. "Thanks for everything."

    "No problem," I said. "Goodnight."

    "Goodnight," he replied, then turned away, pulled the blankets up around himself, and fell silent.

    Brad opened the bathroom door awhile later, all showered and clean. He held a towel and his wet shirt in front of himself as he peeked around the corner. His suit pants and tie were in his other hand. He saw Randy in bed, then came on into the room. I climbed out of bed as he laid his shirt over the back of a chair. He wore only his underwear. As I passed, he handed me the towel. It was wet and I realized he'd only brought it out to cover himself.

    "What side of the bed to you want?" he whispered. I pointed to the outside and he nodded.

    When I came out, Brad was already in bed lying on his side and facing away from the middle. Randy was already snoring softly. I put my folded clothes on the chair, turned off the bedside lamp, and climbed into bed on my side. "Goodnight, Brad," I whispered.

    "Nite, Ted," he replied.

    * * * * *

    Brad was facing me when I woke up. He was close and his left arm was wrapped around my own. I could feel his breath on my shoulder. I looked at him and saw Randy sitting on the side of his bed. He was already dressed.

    "Good morning," I said softly.

    "Hi," he said. "I didn't wake you up, did I?" Brad stirred beside me.

    "No," I said. "How long have you been awake?"

    "Oh, an hour or so."

    "Good morning," Brad said. "Oh, God. Morning breath. And I forgot to bring a toothbrush."

    "I've got these," Randy said as he rose from his bed. He held out a small packet. It was those breath-freshener strips you put on your tongue.

    "Thanks," Brad said. He pulled one out and put it on his tongue, then took out another and held it out to me. I opened my mouth, stuck out my tongue, and he plopped it on and handed the packet back to Randy. "Um. . ." he said. "Would you mind waiting in the bathroom for a minute until I get dressed?"

    "Sure," Randy said and did as he'd been asked, closing the door behind him.

    Brad looked at me with panic in his face. "What in hell am I going to do with this!" he whispered urgently. He hadn't been close enough for me to feel it, but I knew exactly what he was talking about.

    "Will it go down by itself?"

    "Yes, but not for an hour or so."

    "How long would it take to jerk it?"

    "Huh! The way I shoot? I can't hide that, either. Ted, what am I going to do?"

    I thought quickly. "Okay, just get dressed and hold your jacket in front of you."

    "That will look stupid!"

    "Not if I do it, too. We don't have any other choices except to leave Randy in there twiddling his thumbs for an hour." He paused. "Look. You just have to get from here to the elevator. I'll give you the car keys and stop at the lobby. You and Randy go on down to the parking garage. Remember where we parked?"

    Brad nodded. "E-12."

    "Right," I added. "I'll pay up and check out and meet you at the car. We'll stop for breakfast somewhere. You should be soft by then, right?"

    "Probably."

    "Then that's the plan. Now, come on. We can't leave Randy in there forever."

    "Okay."

    "Just another minute, Randy!" I shouted.

    Randy's voice was muffled. "Oh, good. I thought you guys were going to skip out on me."

    I watched with fascination as Brad dressed and hid himself as best he could. It was a marvel to behold. He didn't seem shy about it anymore. At least with me. He was quite comfortable, actually. His cock stood straight up out of his underwear, held in place against his belly. He pulled on his socks first, then his suit pants and shirt. He tucked in his shirt, sucked in his gut, and zipped up as far as he could. He left the button undone. With his jacket in front of him, he looked quite presentable.

    "Can't see him," I told him. "Do you want to use the bathroom first?"

    You go," he said. "I can't go until this thing goes down." He sat in the chair, his jacket held in front of him.

    "Okay, Randy!" He opened the door. "Just a quick leak and we're on our way." Fortunately, it didn't take me as long to lose my morning hardon. A minute later and I was ready to go. I grabbed my jacket, held it in front of me, and made a quick, final check of the room. Then we were off.

    * * * * *

    We hadn't driven very far when Brad pointed out the Golden Arches. "Can we stop there?" he asked. The wink he gave me told me that he was ready to have his morning pee. I pulled in and Brad was on his way before I got my door open.

    I was just about to close the door when I noticed Randy hadn't moved. I bent down and looked into the back seat. "Well, come on," I said with a smile. "Breakfast."

    "You're a nice guy, Ted, but I don't have enough money at home to pay you back."

    "And I'll be damned if I'm going to let you sit out here drooling while we're stuffing our faces. Now, get your ass out of my car and take it inside."

    And then he smiled at me and opened the door.

    * * * * *

    "I hope he does okay," Brad said as I drove back toward Toronto on the QEW. "I liked him. I wish he lived closer. I think we could become good friends."

    "What was he whispering when he was helping you after that guy squished your nuts?"

    "He was saying how sorry I was and asking if I wanted to go the hospital. Stuff like that." He paused for a moment. "He was crying, Ted."

    "I hadn't noticed. I was too worried about you."

    "I think that's why we could be friends. If he was hurt and crying like that, I'd be crying, too."

    "What if it was me?"

    He looked at me. The scenery zipped by and Lake Ontario sparkled outside his window. And then he said, "You don't want to know, and I hope neither of us ever have to find out."

    * * * * *

    I was sitting on the wall having my first smoke of the day. I had my bottle of beer in my hand. Brad's was waiting for him. The sun was shining way too brightly and burned down on me. Off to my left, I heard "Ding-a-ling-a-ling." I looked, and there was Brad, heading toward me. He had on only his faded cut-offs.

    "What in hell's all that ‘ding-a-ling' stuff?" I said, grinning.

    "Cowbells."

    I laughed hard. He picked up the unopened beer, stepped over the wall, and sat beside me. "Is this for me?" he asked as he twisted off the cap.

    "No," I said. "Claude Rains."

    "Who?"

    "Google him," I said. "Hey, what's with the shorts? I thought you were going to slow things down."

    "Yeah, well," he answered, "I figured if we could sleep together and all I got out of it was a hardon, I'd be safe wearing these. I'll change if you want."

    I could see he was serious about the offer. I was just as serious with my response. "I don't want."

    He smiled. "Oh, Mom says you're invited for dinner tonight. Roast beef. She won't take ‘no' for an answer."

    "And I haven't had roast beef in years," I said. "I accept."

    We talked and joked and had a lot of fun just being together. I told Brad he had the day off until I could pick up the paint. No problem for him. He said he'd work on the landscaping program and do some phoning around for materials and stuff.

    Dinner was delicious. Brad had changed shorts and had pulled on a T-shirt, and then we just sat around talking with his parent for hours. It was a good evening. We said our goodbyes on his front step.

    "You just keep giving me better and better days," he said.

    "Do you think your parents suspect what's going on with us?"

    "Mom already knows," he said. "I tell her everything."

    I waited. "And?"

    "She's happy that it's you."

    "Really?" I said, surprised. "What about you the way she feels about you?"

    "She's happy that I'm happy."

    "What about your Father?"

    "Dad just wants what's best for me. And, if you're what's best for me, he'll be okay with it."

    I just shook my head slowly. I looked at him and I inhaled him and I knew that he was best for me. He looked like he wanted to kiss me. I wanted to kiss him, too. I beat him to it.

    "Goodnight, Brad," I said.

    "Goodnight, Ted."

    I walked home and looked back as I opened my door. Brad was still there watching me. I waved and he waved back at me, but he didn't move until I went inside and closed the door.

    To Be Continued

  29. #79
    The 'Eyes' have it
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Thanks for the edit, Autolycus. I proofed the damned thing, too. Unfortunately, my spell checker can't tell that 'been' is the wrong word. As long as it's spelt correctly, it says 'okey-dokey' and lets it pass.

    I might post another chapter later today. (If I do, I'll give you a hint. Keep the Kleenex handy. I didn't, and my keyboard's all soggy.) I'm already half-way through writing Chapter 14, so I'm staying ahead of you guys.

    By the way, for my own edification, my browser shows only 5 pages with each topic link, then it just adds 'Last Page' after it. When this thread is 5 pages full, would it be better to continue the story in a new thread?

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Thanks, this just gets better & better

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil,

    I am dumbstruck! I can't think of any words worthy enough to express my admiration for you and your writing. This has been one of the most enjoyable short stories I have ever read. It is life personified. Thank you!

    Craiger

  32. #82

    Re: Watching Brad

    It would be more convenient to continue it on this thread.

    So when is the next chapter going to be posted? Tomorrow? Let me know so I can plan my day around it (:

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by aneal_lingus
    So when is the next chapter going to be posted? Tomorrow? Let me know so I can plan my day around it (:
    Once more, thanks, guys.

    I'll be posting the next part (Part XII) in about 4 hours. I'll post Part XIII in the morning.

  34. #84

    Re: Watching Brad

    how many are there?

  35. #85
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by aneal_lingus
    how many are there?
    I don't know. I haven't written them yet. I'm posting them as I write them.

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Oh my... Thanks for this great story, I half expected a mindless sex story, but this is awesome!! The last chapter made my eyes drip. After what you just said about having the kleenex handy, I'm a little nervous!! Great story, no, let me rephrase that, AWESOME story. Thank you for writing it! Keep it going!!!

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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XII

    I felt like an idiot. I really did. I can handle computers okay, and I can do lots with them, but I couldn't figure out how to play that damned Nintendo. Brad was killing himself laughing as he watched me play. I love his laugh. It's a good laugh, and it made me feel good inside, too. But, the harder I tried, the worse I did. And the harder Brad laughed.

    Finally, he couldn't take it anymore. "Stop! Stop!" he yelled, and, when I wouldn't stop, he went to the machine and turned it off. He looked at me, holding his stomach and doubling over with laughter. Tears rolled down his face.

    I waited for him to stop laughing at me, but every time he did, he'd look at me and start laughing all over again. I finally grabbed my beer, slipped outside, and took my place on the wall as I lit up a cigarette. I could still hear him inside. I was halfway through the cigarette before the door slid open and he came out to join me. Even then, he would look at me and snicker.

    "You're a mean, nasty little bastard, you know that?" I said.

    "I'm sorry. I've never met someone with ten thumbs before," he said, and then he started chuckling again. He pressed his lips tight and furrowed his brow in concentration as he sucked air through his nose, trying to gain control of himself. Still, a few snorts escaped.

    I had finished my cigarette and lit another before Brad could look at me without a silly grin cracking his face.

    "I've got a Super Nintendo at home," Brad said.

    "What's that?"

    "Easier," he said.

    "Aw, come on, Brad. I'm not that bad."

    "Oh, yes you are, Ted," he said and snorted through his nose again. He recovered himself quickly, though. "I don't think my stomach can survive another assault like that. I'll bring the system over when we're finished here and set it up."

    "I'm old. Sue me."

    "You must be old," Brad said matter-of-factly. "Know what you forgot to do today?"

    "I didn't forget," I said sarcastically. "I was just too anxious to get home to play Nintendo with you."

    He checked his watch. "We can still make the paint store."

    I went silent for a bit, looking down at my beer bottle, using a fingernail to peel away a corner of the label. "Actually, Brad, That's what I need to talk with you about. I don't think I can afford to do all that housework right now. If I need to hire an investigator. . ."

    I felt a hand on mine and Brad wrapped his fingers around it and held it. I looked into his sparkling green eyes. "Don't cut Lindsay short on my account, Ted," he said. "The only reason I want to do all this for you is so I can spend more time with you. I don't need the money."

    "You don't need to be working for me to spend time here," I said. "I like having you here. I like coming home from work and finding you waiting here for me."

    My cell phone started to ring. "Excuse me," I said, pulling my hand free and retrieving my phone from my pocket. I popped it open. "Hello," I said into it.

    * Mr. de Villiers? *

    "Yes."

    * I'm Jacob McConnell. I'm a friend of Bill's? *

    "Yes."

    * I'm a retired private investigator. Bill called me tonight and said you needed some help. *

    "Yes, I do, actually," I said. I tilted the phone and glanced at Brad. He moved in closer so he could hear. "I'm trying to get some information on my ex-wife so I can get custody of my daughter."

    "Yes," Jacob said. "Well, as I said, I'm retired, but Bill has asked me to do this as a personal favour to him. I'd like to meet with you to discuss it. If you think my services might be useful to you, I'd like to offer them freely. All I ask is that you pay my expenses."

    "I'm willing to pay the going rate," I offered.

    "I'm retired, remember?" His voice sounded old, but capable and cheerful. "I don't need the money. Investigation is more of a hobby these days, and my license is still valid."

    "But you're retired, Mr. McConnell," I said. "You should be enjoying your time with your family now."

    "I'm also a widower, Mr. de Villiers. I have no family to spend time with."

    Brad looked at me, wondering what I would say. "Okay, Mr. McConnell. When could we meet?"

    "Any time."

    I thought quickly. "Okay, do you know Wally's on Simcoe Street?"

    "Yes. I've eaten there."

    "How about tomorrow at six?"

    "Fine."

    "I'll make a reservation for us," I told him. "Tomorrow night then?"

    "I'll be there."

    "Thank you, Sir."

    He hung up. I closed my phone and Brad sat back. "Good ol' Bill," I said. "He's fast."

    "He sounds old, Ted."

    "It's not age," I reminded him. "It's ability. And his price is right."I tucked the phone back into my pocket. "Besides, Bill wouldn't send me someone he didn't trust to do the job."

    I lit another cigarette. When I looked up again, Brad was rubbing his stomach. "What's wrong?"

    "Your Nintendo playing," he replied with a grin. "That's what's wrong. My stomach still hurts from all the laughing." He finished his beer. "It's still early. Want me to set up the other system? I have a car racing game. You only need to push two buttons. One for the gas and one for the brakes."

    I smiled at him. "Two buttons I can handle."

    "Be right back," he said, then stood and hopped over the wall.

    * * * * *

    I sat back on the sofa watching Brad work. He'd already disconnected the other system and was hooking up the older one he'd brought over.

    "I hope it still works," he said. "I haven't played it in a long time." He busied himself, plugging in cords and paddles and such.

    "I still want my bedroom done," I said. "Feel up to doing at least that much?"

    He looked over his shoulder at me as he plugged things into the back of the TV. "Sure."

    "I'll get the paint tomorrow after I meet with Jacob." I looked at Brad then, really for the first time. I'd never paid much attention to his back side. I never looked at guys' back sides. Brad was dressed in his cut-offs, of course, and no shirt. I'd seen him like that dozens of times, but this time was different. He was standing on one leg, his other extended for balance, and he was leaning over the back of the TV. I could see the muscles in his back working and it was intriguing. I could see his leg muscles working, too. I was used to looking at a woman's legs. This was the first time I'd ever really looked at a man's legs before. I could see the power in them. The strength. It was so different, but so interesting and somehow exciting as well. Brad had good legs.

    He had a pretty nice butt, too. I'd seen it often enough, of course, but this was the first time I'd really paid any attention to it. It certainly wasn't flat, but it wasn't big, either, and I could see the muscles working there as well. I hadn't ever thought of ass muscles working before. There wasn't much of an indent between the cheeks, but I could see where the cheeks of his ass divided themselves. I could also see the indented lines made by the legs of his underwear.

    I wasn't used to looking at a man's butt. I was used to the smoother, more gentle curves of a woman's butt. Brad's ass was round. It didn't slope down from his back. It just started at the top and ended at the bottom. Like I said, it was interesting and it was exciting. I could feel my cock growing as I looked at it.

    I blinked myself into awareness and stood up to get another beer for each of us, making sure I marked a line on Brad's IOU chart. When I returned, Brad was sitting on the sofa, paddles in hand. He handed me one. Music was coming from the TV speakers and the words ‘Top Gear' flashed onto the screen.

    I caught onto the game quickly enough, probably because there were only two buttons I had to concentrate on. He beat me easily the first few tracks, but soon he had a tough time trying to stay ahead of me. I didn't let on that I was imagining chasing his ass around the track.

    * * * * *

    I didn't know that was Jacob McConnell until the waitress guided him to my table. He was a small man, almost frail-looking. He was almost bald - just a line of short, neatly-trimmed hair. He reminded me of a miniature version of Star Trek's Captain Picard. Just older. He was nicely dressed, though. Neat, clean. I rose to greet him.

    "Ted de Villiers," I said.

    "Jacob McConnell." He took my hand and we shook them.

    I indicated he should take his seat and he did. "Would you like something to drink?"

    He eyed my beer and said, "I don't drink." To the waitress, he said, "Coffee, please." He turned to me and looked me squarely in the eyes. "You're Ted de Villiers. Full name, Francis Theodore. Your birthday is August 13th. You were born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Your grandparents came over from Johannesburg in 1922 and settle in Halifax. They moved to Dartmouth in 1927. You moved to Ontario with your parents when you were seven years old. You lived in St. Catherines until you were sixteen. Your parents still live in Crystal Beach. You're a computer programmer and you work for. . ."

    I held up my hand, silencing him. "You're hired," I said.

    The waitress arrived with Jacob's coffee and we placed our dinner orders. After she left, Jacob said, "I may be old, Mr. de Villiers, but I can do this job better than anyone else. I'm doing it because I want to, not because I must. You will get no-less satisfaction from the results because of that. I will get you the information you need, and I guarantee it on paper or I don't charge. I ask only that you pay my expenses."

    I smiled at him. "I'm ready to write you a bonus cheque right now."

    And then he smiled. "I don't need the money, Sir. I have enough to keep me happy. Save it for your daughter. She's the one who needs it now."

    As we ate our dinner, Jacob made notes in a small pad. "I'll talk to Lindsay about the babysitters her Mother hires," I said.

    He didn't look up from his pad as he wrote. "Don't worry. I'll find them."

    "But I've hired a few as well."

    "I'll find them, too. Their information could be useful in verifying your abilities as a parent."

    "I can get the names easier."

    He stopped writing and looked at me. "You're my boss now. I do the work. You pay me. It's my job." He went back to writing again. "I don't have one of those new-fangled cameras," he said. "I'm too old to learn how to use it. I still use film, if that's okay."

    "That's fine," I said. "Whatever it takes."

    We finished our meal. Jacob would start immediately and give me daily reports. We left the restaurant as good friends.

    I bought the paint I wanted and stopped at Tim Horton's on the way, picking up a box of Timbits and a half-dozen apple fritters and coffee before heading home. I entered the house. I could hear game music coming from the TV in the livingroom.

    "Brad!" I shouted. I sounded like Ricky Ricardo. "I'm home!" I headed for the livingroom and was surprised not to see Brad sitting on the sofa. His T-shirt was there, though. The game was still running on the TV screen. And then I saw the puddle of vomit on the carpet in front of the sofa. "Brad!!?" No answer. I dropped the coffee and doughnuts. "Brad!!!" Still no answer. Panic set in. "Brad!!!" I screamed.

    Bathroom, I thought. I ran down the hall and looked in. "Oh, God!" Brad was lying on the floor, curled into a ball around the toilet. He lay in another pool of vomit. Beads of perspiration covered his forehead and I could see him gasping for breath. He was holding his stomach. His body was shaking and he was crying. I dropped to my knees behind him and put my left hand on his arm, squeezing it gently. "Brad," I said soothingly, "I'm here, Brad."

    He tried to look at me, but couldn't. "Ted, help me!" His voice was weak and full of more pain than anyone should have to endure. And then he puked again. His body heaved and he retched. I soothed him as much as I could while trying to keep my own dinner in my stomach.

    I'd seen this before. With Lindsay. When he stopped puking, I said, "I'm going to move your arm, Brad. Don't fight me." I reached out and moved it aside. With my left hand still on his arm, I reached out with my right hand and placed my fingers gently against his lower abdomen. "I'm sorry, Brad," I said. "I have to do this." I pressed my fingers into him.

    Brad screamed in agony. My ears rang from the sound echoing of the tiled walls and floor. His entire body tensed up. I was right. "You'll be okay, Brad," I assured him. "I'm right here. You'll be okay. I promise. Can you hear me?" Brad nodded. I could hear the vomit squishing beneath his cheek and I fought down my dinner again.

    I pulled the phone out of my pocket and called 911. "I need an ambulance," I said when the operator responded. I gave her my address and the details and was told the ambulance was on its way. I hung up, then dialed Brad's home. John answered. I tried to keep my voice calm. "John? It's Ted. Brad's sick. Get over here." I heard the phone slam down and I flipped my phone closed and dropped it into my pocket.

    I kissed Brad's cheek and grabbed his hand. He squeezed it tight and held on. "Help's coming, Baby," I said. "Hang in there. I won't leave you."

    "Oh, God, Ted! It hurts!"

    "I know, Baby. I know. You'll be okay. I promise."

    "Don't leave me, Ted," he begged.

    "I'm not going anywhere." I kissed him again.

    A moment later, I heard a panicked voice shouting, "Bradley!??"

    "Here, John!" I shouted. "In the bathroom!"

    Footsteps hastened down the hall, and then John was on the floor beside me. Bernice stood in the doorway, her hand covering her mouth trying to stifle her gasp.

    "It's his appendix," I said. "I don't think it's ruptured yet. Ambulance is on its way. I should have seen this coming." Actually, when I thought about it later, I had seen it. Brad passed it off as ‘laughing pains', but I hadn't paid attention to where it was that he had been rubbing his stomach. I cursed myself for it.

    "I'll wait for it," Bernice said, and headed for the front door.

    I pulled my hand free from Brad's, stood up, grabbed a wash cloth, soaked it with cold water, then knelt down beside him again. I dabbed at his forehead.

    "Ted?" It was John who spoke.

    I looked at him. The question was clear in his eyes. "He'll be okay, John. We got to him in time. He'll need surgery, though."

    John nodded, then looked back down at his son, his hand resting on Brad's thigh and stroking it gently. I could hear the ambulance siren approaching, and then a clatter in my house. I stood up, grasped John by the shoulders, and pulled him away out of the bathroom. "Come on, John. They need room to work."

    John came away with me into the hall. I could feel him quivering beneath my hands. My assessment had been correct. Brad was soon hooked up to an IV and placed gently on a gurney. They wheeled him out of the house and into the ambulance. We helped Bernice into the back.

    "I'll be right behind you," John said. Bernice waved sadly. The doors closed and the ambulance sped away.

    "Would you like me to drive you to the hospital?" I asked John.

    "You're going, too, aren't you?"

    "No, but I'll drive you if you wish."

    "Ted," John said quietly as he placed his hands on my arms. "I'm old, but I'm not blind. Bradley needs you to be there and you know it. I know it, too. And I know that you need to be there with him just as much."

    I was stunned. "John. . . I. . ."

    He stopped me with a raised palm. "Just promise me you'll never hurt my boy, because, if you do, I swear I'll kill you."

    "I could never hurt Brad."

    And then he smiled reassuringly. "I know you couldn't." I smiled back nervously. "He loves you, too, you know," John added. "He's just too damned stupid to admit it to himself. Now, let's lock up and get over there."

    * * * * *

    "Mom?" Brad's voice was weak, strained.

    "I'm here, Bradley," Bernice was holding his hand and brushing his hair with her fingers. "I'm here."

    "Where am I?" he asked. "What happened to me?"

    "You're in the hospital, dear," she replied. "It was your appendix. The doctors had to remove it."

    "Dad?"

    "I'm here, Son," John said. "Ted's here, too." I had called into work and told them I'd be a bit late. Family emergency. I could still make it by noon if I only stayed for a few minutes. I just wanted to be there when Brad woke up.

    Brad's eyes searched for us and found us. When he found my face, he said, "I'm sorry, Ted. I tried to get to the bathroom."

    I smiled. "Don't worry about it. Been there, done that," I said. "I've got a nine-year-old daughter, remember?"

    "That's how Ted knew what was wrong," Bernice said. "Lindsay had her appendix out when she was six."

    "Am I going to be okay?"

    "You're going to be fine, dear," Bernice assured him. She kissed his cheek. "It's just going to be a week or two before you're back on your feet."

    Brad's eyes found mine. "Will you come visit me?"

    I searched for the answer in both Bernice and John.

    "Ted is welcome to visit you whenever he wants to, Son," John replied as Brad's eyes turned to him. "We'll talk about this when you're feeling better."

    Brad looked back at me and smiled. His blinks were slow and full of effort, as if he was having a tough time lifting his eyelids up again. Then he turned to his Mother. "I think I'm falling asleep again. Will you be here when I wake up?"

    "I'll be right here, Bradley," Bernice promised.

    "I love you, Mom." Brad's eyelids were sagging dangerously now.

    "I love you, too, Bradley."

    "I. . . um. . ." But Brad didn't say anything more. He was asleep.

    The nurse, who had been in the room with us, said, "He'll probably sleep another few hours if you'd like to take a bit of a break."

    "Come on, dear," John said. "Bradley will be here when you come back. I think you need a coffee. You, too, Ted. The three of us should talk."

    I nodded. Bernice kissed Brad's forehead and released his hand. She stepped aside so John could kiss him, too. "I love you, Son," he whispered. He stepped back and waited, as if he expected me to kiss him as well. I wasn't quite ready for that.

    Instead, I smiled. "Let's go find some coffee. My treat."

    "Not this time, Ted," John said.

    I nodded.

    * * * * *

    The coffee tasted exactly as cafeteria coffee should - filtered through yesterday's dishrag. The muffins helped to disguise the flavour, though.

    "Bernice already told me she talked to you about Bradley being adopted," John said. "That doesn't make him any less our son, and we don't love him any less. We'd do anything for that boy. And I think you would, too."

    Bernice took over. "We don't understand why Bradley feels this way, but we've suspected it for a long time. He's had a very difficult time these past few years, trying to make friends. We've never pushed him in any direction. We feel he has to find his own way. We don't want to take him where he doesn't want to go."

    "The point is, Ted," John said, "he seems to have found his way to you all by himself."

    "I'm not gay," I said. "At least, I don't think I am. I've never even been with a man before."

    "Not even with Bradley?" Bernice asked.

    "No." I sucked in a deep, calming breath. "We've kissed and hugged, but that's all."

    "We thought you might have," Bernice said. "I mean, he's slept at your home, and you spent that night in Toronto."

    "To be honest," I said, "I'm not at all sure either of us would even know what to do. It's a new experience for both of us. I don't understand these feelings myself. All I know is I can't stop them."

    "We don't want you to, Ted," John assured me. "Since you moved in next door, Bradley has been happier than we've ever seen him. We're happy that he might be finally finding himself."

    "We will never judge either of you, Ted, nor will we ever condemn you. We love Bradley more than anything else. We want only what's best for him. We want only to see him happy."

    I nodded. "That's exactly what he told me you would say. I didn't believe him."

    "Bradley doesn't lie, Ted," John added. "And neither do we." I was still stunned, and John could see it. "Bradley is the second-most important person in my life." He turned to Bernice and winked. "I want Bradley to be happy, and you make him happy. I must accept that. Just promise me you'll never hurt him."

    I fought back the tears. "I swear, John. I'll never hurt Brad. I told you that already."

    He smiled again and patted my cheek. "I knew you wouldn't," he said. "I just needed to hear you say it again. So Bernice could hear it, too." He took his hands away.

    I nodded again. I think I do that a lot. "And this ‘age' thing doesn't bother you?"

    "It doesn't bother Bradley," John said. "Why should it bother us?"

    I shrugged. I don't do that as much as nodding.

    Bernice reached a hand across the table and set it on top of the back of mine. "Just promise me that you'll take care of Bradley for us."

    "You have my word."

    * * * * *

    I stopped by the next day after work to see Brad. I brought him some fresh apple fritters. Bernice was still there - ever vigilant. Brad's face broke into a huge smile. "Hi, Ted."

    "My, you're looking more chipper today."

    "Still hurts like he. . ." He glanced quickly at his Mother and rethought his terminology. ". . . heck, but I'm feeling better."

    "Great. Look, I don't know if you're allowed to eat these, but I brought them for you anyway, just in case." I held the bag out to him.

    "Apple fritters," Bernice said. She grabbed the bag from my hand before Brad could get his hands on it and set it out of his reach. "We'll ask your doctor, first."

    Brad looked at me and rolled his eyes. "Mothers!" Then he turned serious and held out his hand to me. I looked at Bernice and she nodded once. I took his hand and squeezed it tightly. "I wish you had been there with me last night, Ted. I was so scared. It happened so fast."

    "I wish I had been there for you."

    Brad squeezed my hand. "Mom told me they talked to you about us. You know what she said to me?"

    I shook my head ‘no'.

    "She said, if we get married, at least she'd get a granddaughter out of the deal."

    I laughed, and so did Bernice. Brad laughed, too, but not too much. He was too busy wincing in pain.

    * * * * *

    When I got home that night, I began planning Brad's ‘Welcome Back and Welcome Home' party. Before I fell asleep, I lay in bed for hours, wondering what it would be like to spend the rest of my life with Brad.

    I'm sure I was smiling when I finally fell asleep.

    To Be Continued

  38. #88
    Bye Dreu, Bye Heath shea's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    What a beautiful story or I should say what a good

    storyteller you are. It just keeps getting better all

    the time. Can't wait for another chapter.

    Thank you so much man.
    shea

  39. #89
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    Re: Watching Brad

    It's been one heck of a long day (I got started at 6), and this was an absolutely wonderful thing to come home to--and I got two episodes to boot! Thank you SO much for sharing it with us. I love an awesome love story!

  40. #90
    HUGS! ;-)
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I read the previous chapter just minutes after you posted it, then had to run, without a chance to post a comment. It colored my day in wonderful hues, and now I find another chapter!

    Neil ... Buddy ... Pal ... (if I may call you that, my Friend) ... Seriously, you need to find a good literary agent! Not a publisher, but an Agent! And though I may work for the third largest commercial printer on this planet, I have no clear idea on how to go about doing that. But ... do it you Must!

    I have no idea what it is you do for a living, but I DO know you are a "born" writer! And the fact that you Love writing is apparent in every sentence and paragraph! I wish I had a small fraction of your passion, and talent!

    Seriously think about the Agent "thing"! Yes???

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  41. #91
    Sex God mexamor's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I don't know what to say. this story is so beautiful. Personally I enjoy all of the intimacy, the relationships, the back story to this. I come here every day just to read a new chapter. It makes me feel sweet love. You write beautiful prose and show a depth of character that makes us care so much about the people in your story. How will Brad and Ted help Randy, will Ted get custody of his daughter. How will the operation come out? So much. I don't worry about the sex, I'm sure you'll put it in but it will be just as gentle and pure as the love that Brad and Ted feel for each other, no crudness here. What a sensitive story. My heart aches with their aches and my blood rushes with their excitment. Thank you so much for this. My own intimacy is better because of this story.

  42. #92
    On the Prowl newkidondagayblock's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I love these kinds of stories where there is less graphic sex and more of Love. Its like watching a Horror movie (sorry for the analogy), its not what you see that scares you, its what you DONT see that's creepy.

    Here too its the love that is exciting and not the actual act of lovemaking.

  43. #93
    On the Prowl Trent0n1's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Oh bugger! My eyes are leaking......again!

  44. #94
    The 'Eyes' have it
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    Re: Watching Brad

    A bit about me before the next chapter.

    I'm 54 and I'm disabled. I don't get around much. Not really easy for me to do. If I walk more than a block, I have to find somewhere to sit down. So, I'm stuck at home most of the time.

    I'm only doing this because I don't have much else to do. I don't think I'd ever want to be paid for it. I think I'd rather not be paid and be told how much you guys enjoy what I'm doing for you. I mean, why paint a picture and not have the joy of seeing people look at it?

    I love all you guys. If what I can do makes your day better, then you make my day better, too, and it's all worth it to me.

    Maybe I'll take the day off and post the next chapter tomorrow.

    Nah. No fun that way. Here it comes. Enjoy.

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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XIII

    The paint supplies sat in a corner in my bedroom, waiting for Brad. I stopped by on Thursday after work to visit him and he looked much stronger. The doctors expected him to be released on Sunday although he'd be confined to bed for a few days longer before he'd be allowed to get up and move around.

    I met Jacob on Thursday evening. He already had a partial list of babysitters' names. He even knew which of us had hired them. He'd begin interviews with them soon. He also told me that The Bitch had been out Wednesday night and gone to a bar with a man named Henderson. She hadn't returned home until 2:27 AM. She was out with him again tonight.

    "I'll pick them up again at the bar when I finish here," he said.

    "I get Lindsay this Friday evening," I told him. "You get a week off."

    "Are you sure you don't want to watch her? If she's dating different men all the time, you may want to know about them. I'd hate to see you lose your child because I didn't do my job properly."

    Jacob smiled. It was an honest, sincere smile. "Mr. de Villiers," he said, "I wake up and watch television. I eat lunch and I watch television. I eat supper and I watch television. And then I go to bed. My brain needs this."

    "Why did you retire, then?"

    He looked down at the table. "I got depressed when my wife died. I couldn't concentrate, so I quit." His eyes found mine again. "This has given me the kick in the pants I need. I'm feeling like I'm doing something again. I was going to let my license expire this September, but I'm renewing it. I've already got Ma Bell putting my ad back in the Yellow Pages." He winked at me and smiled. "And it's all because of The Bitch."

    I smiled back. "Well, what do you know? She finally did something useful."

    * * * * *

    The Bitch wasn't home when I picked up Lindsay on Friday night. I didn't care where she was. I knew Jacob would tell me anyway. We stopped by to see Brad, whose face lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw the apple fritter Lindsay bought for him.

    "I used my own money out of my piggy bank, too."

    I had to lift her up so Brad could give her a kiss.

    When I set her down again, she asked, "Brad? Does your tooth hurt? The broke one?"

    "No," he said.

    "How did you break it?"

    "Promise you won't laugh?"

    Lindsay nodded.

    "I broke it last year in our bathroom at home. I dropped my toothbrush and bent down to pick it up and I bumped into our toilet."

    Lindsay laughed.

    "Hey! You promised you wouldn't laugh!" And then Brad giggled right along with her when Lindsay covered her mouth with her hands.

    Bernice just looked at me and smiled. She was always there during visiting hours.

    Brad held up the Tim Horton's bag. "Can I save this for dessert?"

    Lindsay nodded energetically. "Daddy bought some so you could eat them later when you're hungry."

    "You're going to make him fat," Bernice said.

    Brad looked at me. I spoke before he could. "Yeah, I know," I said. "Mothers!"

    * * * * *

    "Daddy?"

    "Yes, Sweetheart?"

    "When can I come to live with you?"

    I pulled her blanket around her and tucked her in. "I'm trying, Sweetheart. We have to go see a judge soon and he'll tell us where you can live."

    "Why can't I live where I want to?"

    A lump formed in my throat. How in hell do you answer a question like that? I kissed her forehead as I though something up. "Sometimes, Sweetheart, when parents have troubles like your Mother and me, a judge has to decide where the children live. It's just the way things are."

    "Can I tell him I want to live with you?"

    "Yes, you can. He will probably ask you a lot of questions about living here and living with your Mom. I want you to tell him the truth, okay? It's very important."

    She pulled her arms out from beneath the blankets and sat up in bed. She wrapped her arms around my chest and hugged me. I hugged her back. "I love you, Daddy," she said into my shirt.

    "I love you, too, Sweetheart." I held onto her as if I were terrified that, if I let her go, I'd never be able to hug her again. I clenched my eyes shut.

    "Daddy, you're hurting me."

    I released her. "I'm sorry, Sweetheart. Are you okay?"

    She smiled at me. "I'm okay, Daddy. I wish I could hug you just as strong."

    I smiled back at her. "You hug me better than anyone else, Sweetheart." I kissed her on the lips. "Okay, come on now. Bedtime." I guided her back into bed and tucked her in.

    "Will you read me the story about the unicorns and the flower garden?"

    "You're old enough to read that yourself, Lindsay."

    "I like it more when you read it to me."

    I couldn't resist that smile. I found the book and sat on her bedside and opened the book to the first page. I began to read. "The flower garden was the most beautiful flower garden in the whole, wide world, and the unicorns were the most beautiful unicorns. There was a white one and a black one, and there was on of the shiniest silver and another of the shiniest gold. And there was a pink one with orange stripes and purple polka dots."

    Lindsay burst into laughter. "There is not, Daddy. You made that up!"

    I loved listening to Lindsay laugh. She gave me warm fuzzies all over. Brad did, too, come to think of it. His were bigger.

    * * * * *

    Lindsay spent most of Saturday afternoon decorating Brad's apple fritters. Bernice gave us her cake decorating kit and gave us a recipe for the icing. I'd taken Lindsay to the store and she picked out all the things she wanted to put on them.

    There were six fritters in all. One topped with Smarties and Gummie Worms and another with chocolate chips and raisons. The third was covered entirely in icing and had maraschino cherries in a smiley face design. The next was stuck with pieces of black and red licorice, and the last simply had "I (heart) Bra" written in icing on the top. The ‘d' was on the side. I couldn't wait to see Brad's face when he saw that.

    John let us into the house on Sunday morning and helped Lindsay and I decorate. I think he was taken by Lindsay's excitement and it weakened him. Before long, he was routing through the Christmas and holiday decorations for different things to put up. I expected him to bring up the Christmas tree.

    We waited inside as John went to the hospital to pick up his son. He was supposed to go straight to bed, but John and Bernice walked him into the living room where Lindsay and I were waiting. I thought Brad was going to cry. They walked him to the sofa and gingerly sat him down on it.

    Lindsay presented him with the box containing the fritters. There was a card taped to the top. "I made the card myself on my computer," she said excitedly. Brad opened it. A picture of a teddy bear was on the front with the name ‘Brad' printed on its belly. Inside were the words, "Don't be sick long. Love, Lindsay". He gave her a big kiss on the cheek.

    Brad held the bottom of the box as Lindsay lifted the lid. Brad looked inside and started to laugh. "Ow! Ow! Ow!" he said, but he laughed anyway. When I tilted the "I (heart) Bra" fritter so he could see the side, he started laughing all over again, followed by a few more Ow's.

    He didn't laugh as hard when he opened my package of paint roller refills, but I got a kiss on the cheek anyway.

    The party didn't last too long, though. Bernice kept Lindsay busy in the kitchen as I helped John take Brad to his bedroom. Between the two of us, we got Brad stripped to his underwear and into bed. When he was settle in under the sheets, Brad looked at his Father. "Dad?" he said.

    "I'll leave you two alone," he said, his hand on my upper arm. "Take your time." He closed the door when he went out.

    Brad patted the side of his bed and I sat down. He reached out for my hand and I let him take it. I brushed at his hair with my other hand as I looked down into his face. "You scared the living shit out of me, Brad."

    "I'm sorry," he said.

    "I know. But I also know that something like that doesn't come on in a day. How long has it been going on?"

    "A few weeks now. I thought it would go away by itself."

    "You're very lucky, you know. You could have been in deep shit if it had ruptured.

    "I know," he said. "The doctor told Mom and me that I could have died if it had."

    "Well, at least it will never happen again," I said with a smirk. "You only get one appendix. It doesn't grow back."

    He smiled at me. "Will you come visit me next week?"

    "Every chance I get." I rubbed his hair again. Then we just sat there staring at each other for a few minutes.

    "Ted?" he said quietly. "I. . . um. . ." I waited. "Will you kiss me?"

    "What's the going rate for kisses these days?"

    Brad laughed. "Ow! Ow! Ow! Don't do that."

    I leaned down and found his lips with mine. It wasn't a passionate kiss. We did no exploring. I was just a tender kiss - long and tender. When I pulled away, Brad said, "You can do that any time you want."

    "I'd better get going before your parents send out a posse."

    "Okay. See you tomorrow?"

    "Count on it."

    "Bye, Ted."

    I handed Brad the remote for his TV and left him with a final ‘goodbye'.

    As I walked down the hall to join the others in the kitchen, I suddenly realized that I hadn't even noticed what colour underwear Brad was wearing. I was too busy looking at him.

    * * * * *

    Terry showed up bright and early Monday morning. I quickly filled her in on the latest news, made sure she knew where the important numbers were, told her Lindsay could have anything in the kitchen to eat, and that ‘Grandma' next door would be happy to help out if she wasn't sure what to do. Terry assured me that she and Lindsay would be fine. As a final message, I told her that Lindsay would probably want to go next door to see Brad, the boy Terry had met the week earlier.

    "Daddy," Lindsay said impatiently, "Terry is smart! She knows what to do. Now go to work ‘cuz I want to show her my unicorn!"

    What else could I do? I went to work.

    I needn't have worried. Terry and Lindsay got along famously. Terry even got a farewell hug from my daughter. "She's the bestest babysitter ever," she told me later.

    I grabbed a quick shower, changed, and cooked dinner for Lindsay and I. Of course, Brad got another visit. I sat on the edge of the bed talking to Brad as Lindsay played with yet another video game system Brad had hooked up to his television.

    She stopped playing, turned to face us, and asked, "Daddy? What are fags?"

    Whoa! Whang! Boom! Right in the kisser! Breathe, Ted. Breathe! I could see Brad tensing up suddenly beside me.

    I got off the bed and knelt before my daughter. I gulped, hoping my voice would sound like me when I spoke. "Where did you hear that, Sweetheart?"

    "Mommy said you and Brad are fags," she said. "Uncle Wayne showed her a picture of you dancing with Brad."

    "No, Sweetheart, I'm not one of those. It's a bad name to call someone."

    "Why does Mommy call you that then?"

    "Your Mom is mad at me. She doesn't like me anymore. She likes to call me names, but she shouldn't be saying them to you."

    "She told me Uncle Warren and Uncle Bill are fags, too, and I can't go see them anymore."

    "That's not going to happen, Sweetheart. You can see them again."

    She turned thoughtful, tapping her lower lip with her fingertip like The Bitch always does. "Uncle Warren loves Uncle Bill, doesn't he?"

    "Yes, he does."

    "Do you love Brad?"

    I looked at Brad. I could see him waiting for my answer to her. I looked back at Lindsay and said, "Yes, Sweetheart, I love Brad."

    She smiled. "That's okay, Daddy, ‘cuz I love him, too." She turned thoughtful again and asked, "Do you love Brad more than you love me?"

    "No, Lindsay. I'll never love anyone as much as I love you."

    Lindsay grinned, looked at Brad, and stuck out her tongue at him. Brad stuck out his tongue at Lindsay. The Battle of the Tongues finally came to an end when Commander Ted threatened to throw his shoe through the television set.

    * * * * *

    The Bitch was waiting for me when I took Lindsay home on Friday night. She met me at the door, stuffing faux-diamond studs into her earlobes. "Where in hell have you been!?" she shouted. "I've had the babysitter here for an hour! I don't like paying her when there's no baby for her to sit with!"

    "I'm not a baby, Mommy."

    I just held Lindsay closer to my legs, holding my hands protectively in front of her. "It's my fault, dear," I said calmly. "I took her to visit her friend."

    "Speaking of friends, did you enjoy yourself at the wedding?" Her malicious smirk didn't go unnoticed.

    I smiled and said, "Yes, dear, I had a wonderful time." I brought my right hand to my chest where Lindsay couldn't see it and made a fist. "I saw Wayne there," I said and I extended my middle finger. "Tell him I said ‘hello'."

    I squatted down and Lindsay turned to face me. Her arms came around my neck and she hugged me close. I held her as closely as I could as I kissed her cheek. I looked into her brown eyes and said, "Now, you be a good girl." I kissed her nose. "I'll see you next week, okay?" I kissed her forehead.

    "Okay, Daddy. I love you."

    "I love you, too, Sweetheart." I puckered my lips and waited for my ‘goodbye' kiss. It was the sweetest kiss I'd ever tasted.

    I stood up and The Bitch placed her hand on Lindsay's back, pushing her into the apartment. She said to someone in the apartment. "Have her in bed by nine, and stay out of the fridge. I don't know what time I'll be home. You'd better still be here." She grabbed her purse and closed and locked the door.

    I walked with her down the hall toward the elevators. She checked her watch. "Damn! I'm late!" She checked the buttons on her blouse. "I don't know what game you're playing, Ted, but it's not going to work."

    "I'm not playing any games."

    "You won't get her. I'll see to that."

    I stopped her and spun her around to face me. "And I'll never stop fighting for her. You have my word on that."

    "Are you threatening me?"

    "No, dear, I'm not," I said with surprising calm. "But this is a threat. If you don't stop filling Lindsay's head with horror stories and lies and nasty names about me, you'll wish you'd never opened your mouth. So, buckle up, Sweetheart, ‘cuz you're in for one hell of a bumpy ride! I will never stop fighting for my daughter!"

    I left her standing there and I walked to the elevators. I pushed the button and the doors opened immediately. I entered and turned around to face the front. The Bitch was running on very high heels toward me. I smiled at her and pushed ‘Door Close' button. The last thing she saw as they closed was my smiling face and middle finger sticking up.

    * * * * *

    I was surprised to see Brad sitting out on the wall when I got home. I grabbed a couple of beers out of the fridge and went out to join him. He was wearing a white bathrobe that fell to just below his knees.

    "Dad helped me come out here. I told him I wanted to wait for you to come home." I handed him a beer. "Can't," he said. "Antibiotics.

    "Oh, sorry," I said as set the bottle down again. I lit up a cigarette. I grinned at Brad wickedly and winked at him. "I got to give The Bitch the finger and closed the elevator doors in her face. I feel like celebrating." I took a good, healthy swig. "She's burying herself, Brad, and she doesn't even know it. Jacob's racking up all sorts of shit on her."

    "Does she even love Lindsay, Ted?"

    "Not as much as money," I said. "That's the sad part. We were really happy together. We were a family. But she got hung up on those celebrity shows on television and she wanted it all."

    "Lindsay deserves better than that."

    "You don't know the half of it, Brad. It tears me apart to leave her in that apartment every other Friday. The way her Mother treats her. . ."

    "Don't take her back there then."

    "That's kidnapping. I'd go to jail."

    "But she's your daughter. You can't kidnap your own daughter."

    "Yes, you can. It's the law."

    "I didn't know that." I didn't hear Brad's under-the-breath oath. "Do you have a court date yet?"

    "November 15, but my lawyer is trying hart to push it ahead. He knows the judge. He hopes she'll have an opening and she can squeeze us in."

    I could see Brad nodding. He fell silent, sitting there and looking at the grass for a minute. "Don't you like looking at me anymore?"

    I didn't see that question coming. I stopped with the bottle half-way to my mouth and looked at him. "What are you talking about? I look at you all the time."

    "Not the same way."

    I had no idea what he was talking about. "I'm sorry, Brad. I'm lost. Give me a map."

    Brad was quiet for awhile. Thinking, I imagine. He was looking at the grass again. "You used to look at my shorts. You hardly ever look there anymore."

    I hadn't even realized how long I'd been doing that until recently, but Brad must have. I mean, his crotch was just as much a part of being him as his chipped tooth was. I don't look at that, either. Well, not deliberately. They're both just part of being Brad.

    "Is it important that I look at you like that?"

    Brad turned to me. "Isn't that why you fell in love with me?"

    "No," I said. "I fell in love with you."

    He shrugged a shoulder. "What's the dif. . ."

    "Bradley!?"

    Brad looked over his left shoulder. I looked over mine. John was standing at the back door. "Yeah, Dad?"

    "Would you like me to bring out your antibiotics?"

    Brad looked at me, questioning silently. I shrugged. "What for?" I asked him quietly.

    "In case I stay at your place tonight," he said with a shy smirk.

    "Oh," I answered stupidly. I shrugged again.

    Brad turned back to his father. "Okay, Dad, thanks. I don't have my keys!"

    "I'll bring them for you!" He disappeared inside and closed the door.

    I took another nerve-steadying swig as Brad turned back to face me again.

    "Okay, you said you fell in love with me, but you don't look at me anymore."

    I set the bottle on the wall and took Brad by the hand. He squeezed it tightly. I could see the confusion in his eyes. "Brad, do you honestly believe that I fell in love with what you have between your legs?"

    Brad nodded his head. "That's what love is, isn't it?"

    I tried to smile at him. I don't think I did a very good job at it. "Oh, Brad. No, Sweetie. It isn't." I fought for words and they came. "Not for me, at least. Love means different things to different people. For The Bitch, it's money. For others, it might be that torpedo you have. For me. . . well. . . I'm fascinated by what you have, but that isn't what made me fall in love with you. I fell in love with this." I placed my palm on his chest. Right over his heart. "I fell in love with what's in here. Do you understand?"

    Brad shook his head. I sat back and pulled my hand away. "Okay, try this. You said you think you might be falling in love with me, too." Brad nodded. "Why?"

    He looked down at the grass again. I could almost hear the gears and spindles working in his brain. He took a breath and let it out. "I feel good when I'm with you. You make me feel happy. I get a nice feeling inside me." He looked at me. "You make me feel like I never want to be away from you." He was quiet for a moment. "It's just the way you make me feel?"

    I smiled a real smile this time. "And that's exactly the way you make me feel."

    Brad didn't look at the grass. He looked at me. "Then I really think I'm falling in love with you." Brad leaned forward slowly, his lips coming closer and closer to mine. His head tilted slightly to one side. Mine tilted to the other. His lips touched mine and they pressed together, and then they started to move. My eyes closed and the world disappeared. There was only me and Brad.

    There were no tongues this time. Only lips. We just wanted to kiss. And we did. My hand came up behind his head, my fingers tangling themselves in the long hair at the back. I clutched at it, afraid that he would go away if I let go. Brad's right arm came around my back and pulled me close. I think he was afraid I'd go away, too.

    I've enjoyed a lot of kisses in my time, but this was, by far, the very best. It wasn't going anywhere except into our hearts, and it filled my heart to brimming. I don't know how long we kissed. I think it was a long time. I didn't want it to stop, but everything has to in its time, and our kiss was just like everything else. It finally came to a stop.

    Our lips parted, but our faces stayed close to each other and we stared into each other's eyes. I know Brad found what he wanted to see in mine, and I finally saw what I wanted to see in his. I could feel the excited breath from his nostrils blowing across my lips and chin and I opened my mouth so I could breathe it in.

    I barely heard myself as I spoke. I hoped Brad could hear it. "I love you, Brad."

    He looked at me, his eyes desperate, anxious, and happy all at the same time. "I. . ." he whispered. "I think. . ."

    I smiled and placed my hand on his cheek and Brad closed his eyes. "It's okay," I said softly. "You don't have to. . ."

    His eyes opened, stopping me before I could finish the sentence. His own hand came up to my cheek as well. "Yes, I do," he whispered. "I have to say it." I waited for him. This was a big step. No rushing it. His eyes went far away. He swallowed and his eyes came back. "I. . . I love you, too, Ted."

    We both came together for a kiss this time. We both started it. We both enjoyed it, and we both finished it.

    When it was finished, and when we were sitting back up again, we saw the jacket and the antibiotics and the house keys and a clean set of underwear sitting in a small pile on the wall beside Brad.

    To Be Continued

  46. #96
    HUGS! ;-)
    Kyanimal's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Damn it, Neil! You're making it difficult to post a reply! I'm pretty good at typing, but I prefer to be able to watch the screen while I'm doing it! And now the letters are all Watery, and Blurry!!

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  47. #97
    Porn Star pkacrotjs's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I'm such a sucker for romance..... Thank You Neil!

  48. #98
    JUB Addict Craiger's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil,

    Sharing is a two way street. You have shared with us your exceptional writings and it is only fair that we in turn share our appreciation with you. Love is the main force of life and you have so brilliantly displayed it.

    I wish you the best with you health concerns. Please take care of yourself.

    Craiger

  49. #99
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Thank you for taking the time to write this incredible story . I hope your health improves.

    I agree with what you suggested, about creating a new thread because of the "Last Page" button.

  50. #100
    Newbie bidou's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    what a nice story

    thanks

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