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Thread: Watching Brad

  1. #301

    Re: Watching Brad

    Love this story.

  2. #302
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil, This story just keeps getting better! Thanks again for giving me a reason to wake up early!

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Ho, hum. Another day, another box of kleenex!

  4. #304
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Need I say the "A" word, Neil? I think so! AWESOME, Man! Deeper, Stronger, Warmer, and it just keeps getting "Better"!

    Add Sheep's kleenex to mine, and Everyone else's, and we have a very real fire hazzard going here! Even as damp as they are!!

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

  5. #305
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Ummm. . . You've got to believe me, guys. I have no stock in any tissue company anywhere. And I'm really not trying to deliberately create these situations. They happen all by themselves.

  6. #306
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx
    Ummm. . . You've got to believe me, guys. I have no stock in any tissue company anywhere. And I'm really not trying to deliberately create these situations. They happen all by themselves.
    Neil, no problemo. It's all good. To me a good cry indicates I am still human.

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    Re: Watching Brad

    once again,u write the best story!!! i agree with sheep that we are all human and we need to cry!!

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Great, Neil
    A fast moving & tender chapter, Kleenex at the ready !!!
    Looking forward to the continuation with bated breath
    Thanks
    Harry

  9. #309

    Re: Watching Brad

    I don't know how to respond to this chapter except that it is definitely brilliant beyond anything that I have read. Neil, you really know how to spin a yarn if you know what I mean.
    Thanks
    Ken

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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XXXX

    Sudden fear stabbed through me. Brad knew the boys didn't talk, but I'd totally forgot to tell Lindsay. Panic rose up inside me and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest.

    It was Lindsay who brought the silence to a halt. "Do you like peanut butter cookies and Root Beer?" she asked the boys.

    I looked down at them. They nodded their heads in unison.

    "Come on," Lindsay said with an encouraging smile. "We can watch cartoons while we eat."

    I started the boys forward, taking a breath again at last. As I passed Brad, he said, "I'll get the drinks." To the others, he asked, "Hi, I'm Brad. Coffee for everyone?"

    The ladies responded with a "Yes, please," but David said, "Could I have some Root Beer? I haven't had that in years."

    The rest was a mumble behind me. I released my hold on the boys and they went with Lindsay to the table. "These are chocolate chip," she said, pointing, "and these are peanut butter. I helped Grandma make them."

    The boys picked up a peanut butter cookie each and began munching as they followed Lindsay's lead and knelt down in front of the coffee table and watched TV. Lindsay took one of each.

    "Please," I said to the adults, "have a seat." Trish and David sat on the loveseat.

    Nancy leaned over the coffee table, looking at Lindsay. "May I?" she asked politely.

    "Yup," Lindsay said, then quickly corrected herself. "I mean, ‘yes'."

    Nancy picked up a chocolate chip cookie. "Did you say you helped make these?" Lindsay nodded proudly. Nancy took a bite and began to chew. "Mmmm!" she said, then she grabbed two more cookies and a napkin before sitting in the chair at the end of the coffee table.

    "Well," David said as he leaned forward, "I could never resist a good ‘mmm'." He grabbed a napkin and piled several of each flavour on it before settling back in the loveseat, sharing his cache of goodies with his wife. I sat on one end of the sofa, nearest to David.

    Brad arrived with four steaming mugs of coffee and four glasses of Root Beer on a tray. He set it down and began distributing them. He grabbed a cookie before sitting down on the other end of the sofa. The kids were on the floor between us.

    Justin, who was kneeling closest to my feet, picked up another cookie and began eating. Almost as an afterthought, he picked up another, twisted around, and held it out to me. I took it. "Thank you, Justin," I said. He smiled at me again.

    "Jeremy," Brad said. "Could you hand me another chocolate chip?"

    Jeremy grabbed one and held it out. "Thank you," Brad said as he took it.

    Now, I hope you have realized by now that Justin is the leader of the two. He's the initiator - the dominant one of the two. Jeremy is the follower, probably the younger of the two, the one who depended more on his brother. This is important to know because of what Jeremy did next.

    He picked up a napkin, piled some cookies on it as David had done, then stood up and turned to Brad, holding the napkin out in his tiny hands. Brad took them, of course, and then Jeremy climbed up on the sofa, settled in beside Brad, and took a cookie from the pile.

    "Oh, my." That was from Trish. I looked at her. Both she and David were watching Jeremy. I glanced at Nancy. She was looking at Jeremy as well, and she was nodding her head slightly, more to herself than to anyone in particular.

    Justin followed Jeremy's lead, filling a napkin with cookies, standing up, and setting them in my lap. He climbed up beside me and took the napkin into his own lap. Not to be left out, Lindsay climbed into my lap and settled into my arm. I kissed her hair.

    "I don't believe this," David said. "Whatever you're using, Ted, I want some of it."

    I shrugged off the statement with a smile. Justin looked up at me and smiled back.

    "I don't remember seeing that van in the driveway when I was here before," Nancy said.

    "I just bought it," I said.

    "Just in case?" she asked with a wise smile.

    I nodded. "We're doing some renovations here, too," I told her. I didn't think it would hurt to butter her up a bit. "We're installing a new bathroom and bedroom up here as soon as we get clearance from the city." I indicated the wall behind the loveseat. "It used to be a study."

    I could see the questions in Nancy's eyes. I shrugged them off. "We need another bathroom anyway. One isn't really enough for the three of us."

    Lindsay suddenly scrambled off my lap. She looked at Justin. "Come on," she said. "I want to show you the new toys we bought. She turned to Jeremy. "Come on. You, too." She headed for the basement door. Justin moved the cookies from his lap into mine, jumped down, and followed her. Jeremy was close on his heels.

    "Well," I said with a grin. "Looks like we're all heading for the basement." I stood up and grabbed up my coffee. Brad set the kids' drinks on the tray of cookies and added his own coffee mug before picking it up.

    "Here," Trish said. "I'll take that." She added her own mug to the tray and took it out of Brad's hands.

    Brad grabbed his mug as he pointed to the glasses in turn. "Lindsay. Jeremy. Justin." Trish nodded, then everyone followed me into the basement.

    By the time we got there, most of the toy box was emptied onto the floor and the kids were digging through all the toys there. Lindsay was doing all the talking, of course. The boys still hadn't made a sound.

    Brad set his coffee on the small table and went to join the kids. There were two sofas there. Neither matched anything. Nancy, David, and Trish took seats on the floral sofa set against the stairway so they would look straight ahead to the children. I joined the kids as well.

    Brad dropped to the floor ‘Indian style', his knees bent and his ankles crossed. I dropped to my knees instead. I couldn't do that ‘Indian style' thing anymore. Justin had discovered the Lego blocks and was building something square. Jeremy had discovered one of the Gameboy systems and one of the game cartridges. Lindsay was still digging through the pile of toys.

    Jeremy was still standing, looking at the Gameboy and the cartridge, not exactly sure what he should do with it.

    "Do you need some help, Jeremy?" I asked.

    Jeremy looked up at me, then toward Brad. He moved toward him and held out the system and the game card. Brad took them and Jeremy spun around and settled into the seat made by Brad's folded legs. Brad looked up at me. His smile was enormous and his raised eyebrows displayed his happiness. He explained to Jeremy how to plug in the card and turn the system on, then which buttons did what on the screen. As Jeremy took over, Brad looked up at me again. His eyes twinkled with excitement. "I think I have a new best friend," he said proudly. Jeremy settled back against Brad's chest and played his game.

    I crawled on my knees to place myself between Lindsay and Justin. Lindsay crawled into my lap as I knelt there. I wrapped my arms around her and kissed her hair. "Are you okay, Sweetheart?" I asked.

    Lindsay nodded as she watched Justin putting blocks together. "Why don't they talk, Daddy?"

    "I don't know, Sweetheart," I said. "Maybe they'll talk later when they have something to say."

    "I hope so," she said, "because I don't think I can talk enough for both of them and me, too."

    I hugged her again as I smiled to myself.

    "Are they going to live with us now?" she asked.

    "I don't know, Sweetheart," I told her. "That's not my decision. How would you feel now if they did."

    Her finger moved to her lip, tapping it. After a long thinking session, she said, "I think I'd like it. They liked my cookies." Pointing at Justin, she asked, "Which one is that?"

    "That's Justin, Sweetheart."

    "Justin?" she said. He looked up at her. "Would you like to be my brother?"

    Justin glanced quickly at Jeremy, who looked up from his game, then back to Lindsay. They nodded in unison.

    "Thank you, Sweetheart," I whispered. "I love you so much." I bent my head to kiss her cheek this time, then looked toward the trio of adults. Nancy was standing, making a ‘telephone' gesture and pointing upstairs. I nodded.

    Lindsay crawled out of my lap and started helping Justin build his house. At least, that's what it looked like it was going to be. He let her help. "There's windows and doors here, too," she said, digging through the box of bricks.

    I knelt there, watching them play together, then I glanced over at Jeremy and Brad. Jeremy was smiling broadly, intent on his game, but comfortably settled against Brad's chest. Brad now had his arms around Jeremy as he watched him play. Whether or not Brad knew I was watching them, I don't know, but he looked up at me, met my gaze, smiled, and nodded once.

    It was unanimous.

    * * * * *

    I was still kneeling on the floor, watching the kids playing, including Brad, when I felt a hand on my shoulder. David bent down and whispered in my ear, "Nancy wants to see you upstairs." I struggled to my feet, helped by a boost from David.

    "Thanks," I said with an embarrassed smile. "Football, you know." I shook my legs to get them working again as I looked at Brad, indicating with a glance for him to wait here. I found Nancy sitting at the kitchen table, her cell phone in front of her. I sat down.

    "I've just got off the phone with my supervisor," she began. "First of all, we would both like to thank you and to apologize for pushing everything at you so fast. We don't usually work this way, but I'd like to explain. My first thought when I met you that first night was of Justin and Jeremy, especially when I discovered that you and Brad were partners. You were just what we were looking for. As soon as I talked to my supervisor after that initial visit, you were made my priority. I visited personally with your references and phoned those who I couldn't visit. None of them had anything bad to say about you or Brad. Your father even told me that Brad was going to become Canada's greatest British gardener, whatever that means." She smiled and I sent my Dad a silent ‘thank you'. "All of them praised you on how you care for your daughter. The way you took charge following the abuse. I even read the transcripts from the court case with your ex-wife, including your session with the judge in her chambers."

    She paused, gathering her thoughts, I guess, before continuing. "Over the past year and a half, Justin and Jeremy have been placed in nine different foster homes. The first time, we separated them and we realized we had made a terrible mistake. It was a disaster. They were unbearable until we brought them together again. Fortunately, one of the families agreed to take them both, but only until we could find another home for them. This went on and on, but the people quickly became frustrated with their lack of communication and the fear they could sense the boys had of them. Trish and David were our last hope, and things were going well until David told us they'd have to give the boys up because of his work. We were scrambling to find them another home, and, with great hopes, a permanent one. We needed a gay couple. They had nowhere else to go, and we didn't like where we might have had to send them. And then you came along.

    "I'm like David, Ted. I don't know what magic you're weaving, but it's working. I have never seen those boys as completely comfortable as they are with you and Brad. Perhaps they recognize your relationship and they're familiar with it. They understand it. Jeremy was always the shy one - the one who depends on Justin to look after him. The fact that he's downstairs right now sitting in Brad's lap is something of a miracle in itself. Even David couldn't get that close to him, and David got closer than anyone else."

    I would have started crying again if I wasn't so caught up in what Nancy was saying.

    "A lot of my co-workers are sitting at home right now with their fingers crossed, waiting for a phone call from me. My supervisor has just now given me permission to ask you if you would like to take Justin and Jeremy for your six-month trial period."

    I couldn't speak. All I could do was to nod my head.

    Nancy smiled then, relief flooding her entire body. "Wonderful," she said. "Would next week be too early for you?"

    I sat back, my jaw dropping and my eyes popping open. "Um. . . No! I mean, no! We're not ready. We don't have anywhere for them to sleep. We need to finish their bedroom and the bathroom first and we haven't even started them."

    "There's the bedroom in the basement," she offered. "I saw it just off the stairs."

    My head shook back and forth. There was a powder room down there, sure, but still, the boys would be at the other end of the house from me and a whole floor away. That was out of the question. "No," I said. "I wouldn't leave them down there by themselves to sleep. I couldn't. Not even if they slept in our room and we slept down there. It's too far away."

    "How long would it take you to get the rooms ready?"

    "I don't know. A month. Maybe two. I don't know."

    "Isn't there anywhere you could put them?" The happy look she had moments ago was gone. "We're desperate, Mr. de Villiers. You're the only chance these boys have right now. Their only other option is. . ."

    "Please," I said, my mind racing for a solution. "Don't say it. I won't put them in the new bedroom with all the construction. That just leaves the living room and our bedroom, and none of them are very appropriate."

    "Daddy?" I looked toward the kitchen doorway. Lindsay was standing there.

    "Not now, Sweetheart," I said. "I'll be with you in a minute, okay?"

    "I need to talk to you, Daddy," she said.

    "Please, Sweetheart," I pleaded, "I'm talking with Nancy about something important."

    "I know," she said. "I heard you. That's why I have to talk to you, too."

    I looked at Nancy. She nodded. "Okay," I said and held out my arms. She came to them and I set her in my lap.

    "They can sleep in my room with me," she told me.

    "Really?" I asked. She surprised even me.

    "If you move my bed closer to the window, there would be room for another bed, wouldn't there?"

    "Yes," I said. "I suppose so."

    "And it's not for all the time. It's just for a little while until you get their room ready, right?"

    "I hope so."

    "Then it's okay," she said. "They can sleep in my room. That's what big sisters do."

    I glanced quickly at Nancy. Her nod gave me her approval. Any old port in the storm. My eyes filled with tears and I hugged Lindsay close to me. "I love you, Sweetheart," I said through my tears. I clenched my eyes tight to shut them away.

    "I love you, too, Daddy."

    I heard Nancy politely leave the kitchen, giving us our time.

    When I felt like I had held Lindsay long enough, I let her go. She leaned back and looked at me. "Are you sure it's okay?" I asked.

    "I heard what the lady said, Daddy. They need us. They don't have anywhere else to go."

    I hugged her once more just because I wanted to. "You're the best daughter anyone could ask for." I held her as I stood up and we went to find Nancy. She was in the livingroom, talking once again on her telephone - probably to her supervisor. When she was finished her call, I smiled at her. "When would you like them to move in?"

    Nancy's smile joined my own. I set Lindsay down and took her hand. "Let's go tell them, okay?"

    "Okay, Daddy," she said, and a third smile brightened the room.

    Downstairs, I released Lindsay's hand and sat on the floor beside Brad and Jeremy. "Can you pause that thing?" Lindsay sat down beside me.

    Brad pushed a button and took the system out of Jeremy's small hands. "You can play again in a minute, okay?" Jeremy nodded.

    "Justin," I said, "could you come over here, please?" He dropped the Lego blocks he was holding and came to sit between my legs as Brad turned Jeremy around to face me.

    I looked from one happy face to the other, and both of them looked almost exactly the same. "Would you like to come live here with us?"

    They didn't look at each other this time, but somehow their minds were linked together. They nodded in unison. Three times each. And then they smiled at me. Jeremy stood up and hugged me from the left. Justin hugged me from the right. My arms hugged each of them.

    They leaned away from me at the same moment and looked at me.

    "Are you our new Daddy?" Justin asked.

    I lost it.

    To Be Continued

  11. #311
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    Re: Watching Brad

    That 2nd last line--I lost it too. Pass the kleenex Neil.

  12. #312
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Kleenex? Kleenex??! I can't seem to see the box!!
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil, that's just fantastic. I kewep making mistakes on the keyss !!!!
    Another box opf Kleenex please
    Thanks
    Harry

  14. #314

    Re: Watching Brad

    I was hesitant about the direction of the story for the last few chapters, I was focusing on the improbabilities etc etc... (not being the eternal optimist... lol)... but, I am typing with tears streaming down my face... and I'm not a cryer...

    Great Chapter. Great story...

    I've been hooked... I will continue to look forward to your chapters each day.

    Wonderful job.

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil, if I haven't said yet, I'm saying it now.....YOU ROCK!


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

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheep
    That 2nd last line--I lost it too. Pass the kleenex Neil.
    I seem to be losing it a lot lately Neil. Thank you again for this wonderful warm loving story. God bless you.
    shea

  17. #317

    Re: Watching Brad

    I haven't read a story this good in a very long time. On this site there are some very good ones too. This story runs a through a gambit of emotions and I love it. You really ought to consider doing this for a profession because you seem to enjoy doing it. The words just seem to just flow from your brain ever so easily. Thanks again for this beautifully written story Neil.

  18. #318
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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XXXXI

    Through my bawling, I heard Jeremy say, "Thank you," and I bawled even harder. Except for the first time Lindsay said ‘Daddy', and except for the first time Brad told me he loved me, I'd never heard sweeter sounds in my life. I pulled the boys to me and crushed them in my arms as I cried my happiness into them.

    There were more arms around me than I'd ever felt before. Two from Justin, two from Jeremy, one from Brad (whose other arm was wrapped around both Justin and Jeremy's backs), and one from Lindsay, who was also hugging Justin. She couldn't reach Jeremy.

    I have no idea how long I sat there hugging everyone, but, the next thing I knew, I was smothering everyone with kisses, starting with the boys, then Lindsay, and ending with Brad. He was crying just as hard as I was.

    It was a long time before we calmed ourselves enough that I could extract myself from the group and rejoin the trio of adults. Brad and Lindsay stayed with the boys. Jeremy had climbed once again into Brad's lap. And then I heard them laughing. Four voices where there had been only two before.

    David and Trish stood as I approached. Nancy hadn't yet sat down. Trish was still wiping her eyes and cheeks. "I never thought I'd hear their voices," she said. "It was worth the wait."

    "You knew from the moment you saw them, didn't you?" Nancy said.

    I nodded my head. "From the moment I realized Justin could see me through that mirror. I'll buy a new bed for them tomorrow, and two car seats. I can pick them up anytime after that."

    "There isn't much to pack for them," David said. "Would Tuesday be too early? Say, seven o'clock?"

    I glanced at Nancy. She nodded. "We'll be there," I promised.

    * * * * *

    The telephone was ringing, and I counted each one. Mom answered.

    "Hello?" she said.

    "Hi, Mom," I replied.

    "Hi, Ted."

    "Could you get Dad on the extension?"

    She covered the mouthpiece with her hand, but I could still hear her muffled voice directing Dad to the extension in the kitchen. "He's coming," Mom said.

    A few moments later, I heard a click and then Dad said, "I'm here, Son."

    I could hardly contain my excitement. "Mom? Dad? Congratulations. You're new grandparents. Almost, at least."

    "Oh, my," Mom said.

    "So you did it," Dad said. "A boy or a girl?"

    "You have a grandson, Dad," I said proudly. "His name's Justin. And Mom? You have a grandson named Jeremy."

    Mom burst into tears as I had expected she would. She wouldn't be able to speak for awhile. Even Dad was choked up when he spoke. "I'm assuming they're brothers?"

    "Twins, Dad," I said. "Identical twins, and they're beautiful."

    Mom cried even harder, and Dad fell silent for a long minute. "Thank you, Son. When can we meet them?"

    "They move in Tuesday night. How about next weekend?"

    "Saturday or Sunday is good for us," he said.

    "Why not come Friday night?" I asked. "You can have the whole weekend to get to know them."

    Mom managed to speak. "Won't that be too much for you, Ted?"

    "It's something we're going to have to get used to, Mom," I said. "You and Dad can sleep in the guestroom downstairs. If it's too cold, Brad and I'll sleep there and you can have our room."

    "Don't want to put you out of your own bed, Son. We could stay in a hotel."

    "You're not putting us out, Dad," I assured him. "You're always welcome, and you know that."

    "We couldn't get there until eight or nine," Dad said, "and we'll need good directions."

    "No problem," I said. "Lindsay will probably still be awake, but the boys are only four years old. I imagine they'll be asleep before you get here."

    "Then we can start getting to know them first thing in the morning," Mom said. She was sounding happy again. "I want to bring something for them. What do they need?"

    "Everything, I think. Their foster parents said they don't have much to pack."

    "Clothes," Mom said. "Do you know their size?"

    "No, but as soon as I find out on Tuesday, I'll call you and let you know."

    "We'll have to bring toys for them, too, Lilian," Dad said. "Little boys don't like getting clothes as gifts."

    "They both seem to like playing with cars and those action figures," I told them. "You know, like Superman or Spider Man."

    "We'll find something," Dad said. "I'm ready for those directions, Son."

    "It's pretty easy to find us," I told him. I gave him the most direct route from the Four-Oh-One.

    "Four turns off the exit," he said. "Easy enough. We've got your number in case we get lost."

    "Okay," I said. "See you Friday night, then, and I'll call again on Tuesday with the sizes."

    "Looking forward to it, Son," Dad said.

    "Thanks, Dad. I love you both."

    Together, they said, "We love you, too, Ted. And congratulations."

    "It's not a done deal yet," I reminded them. "Lindsay wants to talk to you. Here she is."

    I handed the phone to my daughter. "Both Grandma and Grandpa are there."

    "Hi, Grandma and Grandpa," Lindsay said excitedly.

    I went to join Brad and his parents in the kitchen. He'd gone to invite them over.

    "Okay, Ted, give," Brad said when I was seated. "How in hell do you tell them apart?"

    I just smiled and winked at him.

    "Aw, come on," he begged. "Even Trish and David don't know. What's your secret?"

    I tapped my index finger against my upper lip, pointing at the bottom of that ridge between my right nostril and the lip. "Justin has a little scar right here," I said.

    Brad sat back in his chair. "I never even noticed."

    "I did. The first day I went to play with them in that room. Jeremy took quite the shining to you."

    Brad's lips turned from surprise to a gigantic grin. "Wasn't that something?" he said. "Made me feel pretty good, too. I really think this is going to work."

    "I know it is," I said emphatically.

    "If it gets too much," Bernice said, "Lindsay can stay with us. I mean, at least until you get their bedroom finished."

    "We'll try it here, first, but I'll keep you in mind. Oh, Brad. Can you watch Lindsay tomorrow night or should I ask Terry if she can stay later?"

    "I can watch her."

    "Thanks," I said, then turned my attention to Bernice again. "I have to buy a bed. Do you recommend two twins, a three-quarter, or a double?"

    "Go with the double. It's big enough for the two of them and it's cheaper and easier to buy sheets. I'm sure I have a box full of doubles in the basement you can have. Don't we, John?"

    "I haven't thrown anything out," he replied. "If you haven't, then they're in there someplace. I'll look when we get home." To me, he asked, "How's things going with the reno?"

    "Nothing yet," I said. "I'll call the architect tomorrow. He said it could take a week or so."

    Lindsay came into the kitchen then and I left to phone Warren and Bill before taking everyone out for a celebration dinner. Warren was ecstatic that he had two new nephews and wanted to know when he could come meet them. I told him to get in line. He promised to give us a few weeks to settle in. After that, he would take no responsibility for his actions.

    Over dinner, Brad and his father discussed the renovations while Bernice filled me in on the care of four-year-old boys. I think I should have taken notes.

    * * * * *

    Brad and I did nothing except kiss and hug each other that night. Sorry. I suppose I could have made something up, like a three-hour celebratory fuck session or something to keep you interested after all this fluff and stuff, but I'm not very good at making things up. So, the truth wins out. We hugged and we kissed. That's it.

    But we did a lot of it!

    I drove the van to work Monday morning - my first morning as Programming Manager. I liked that. I had an office with my name on the door and everything. I still did programming, but I could choose to do what I wanted to do now instead of what I was told to do. Now, I could tell everyone else what to do. I liked that, too. And my raise was a lot more than I could have hoped for. My financial worries began to fade. I liked that most of all.

    I checked on the architect and was told I'd have the new plans in my hands by Thursday. Then I could apply for the permits. I tracked down the nearest Ontario Early Years Centre and phoned them to check on enrollment. No problem. Free preschool. Can't beat that price. But it was only one day per week for a few hours and Terry would have to go. Preschool was out of the question financially for four half-days per week. I could hire another babysitter more inexpensively.

    "Have you heard of ‘Leapster'?" Terry asked when I called her.

    "No," I replied.

    "It's a computer educational system for kids of all ages. Buy a couple of those and the games and I'll work with the boys right at home."

    "Okay, where do I get them?"

    "Toys "R" Us," she said. "That's your best bet."

    "I'll get them today," I told her. Then, "Terry, are you okay with this? Taking care of Lindsay and the twins? The boys don't relate very well to females."

    "I'm okay with it, especially with the raise," she said. I could imagine her smile. "Let's just try it for awhile and see. Kids like me."

    "I'll stay home Wednesday and Thursday," I assured her. "We can both get to know them together and we can see how they feel about you."

    "I'm looking forward to it."

    "We're picking them up tomorrow night," I said. "Would you like to go with us?"

    "Could I? I mean, you don't mind?"

    "Not at all. They'll get to know you a bit before they start spending their days with you. Look, Terry, I really appreciate this. I know it's a lot, but I'd rather have them at home than in a day care somewhere."

    "It's going to be fine, Mr. Dee," she said. "Stop worrying."

    "Tell that to my brain."

    * * * * *

    I left work an hour early that day. It was nice just being able to go. If I wasn't there, I was on call anyway, so no big deal. They had my cell number. I hit Toys "R" Us first, bought two Leapsters, and every preschool and kindergarten game cartridge I could find.

    Next up was Sleep Country Canada. Why buy a mattress anywhere else, eh? I found a nice double bed that was comfortable even for me. I hoped Bernice would be able to find those sheets, or it would mean another shopping trip. I could have put the bed in the van, but delivery and set-up was free, and they could deliver it the next day as long as someone was at home to confirm the delivery and to be there during the set-up. Terry would be there all day.

    Finally, it was to Zellers for the car safety seats. They cost me almost as much as the bed. But, the law is the law and I had to buy them, so I bought the best I could find. These ones should last until the boys didn't need them anymore, and that was at least four years down the road.

    It was after seven before I got home. Lindsay was watching television. Brad had kept supper warm for me. While I ate, he installed the car seats into the double seats behind the driver's seat. He joined me shortly thereafter, sitting beside me and holding my left hand when I wasn't using it to eat.

    "Do you realize that, by this time tomorrow, our family will be almost twice the size?"

    My fork full of mashed potatoes stopped halfway between my plate and my open mouth. I froze like that for a long time. "Gee-sus, Murphy," I said. "It's scary when you put it like that."

    "Sorry," Brad said. But he was grinning at me. "I've got some good news for you, though."

    I popped the potatoes into my mouth and looked at him, waiting.

    "Dad's talked two of his friends to come over at night to help with the renos," he said. "One of them can even work during the day if you want."

    "How much?"

    "Nothing. They're doing it as a favour to Dad. The one who can work during the day is a retired contractor. He did a lot of bathroom work. He can do all the tiling and grouting and installations. The only thing he can't do is the plumbing, but you've got your Father to do that. The other guy is a carpenter and he can do the air venting for the furnace."

    "That would cut weeks off the deadline," I said. "Not to mention the money I'd save."

    "Dad figures, if we can start next week, we could have the whole thing done and the boys could be sleeping there by early December. He said the bathroom should be the first priority, though."

    I agreed.

    I stared at Brad for a long time. Neither of us said anything. He just looked into my eyes and I looked into his. I don't know how many times I told him that I loved him in that silence, but I know he never stopped saying it to me.

    "It's really happening, isn't it?" I asked. "This isn't all a dream."

    "It's real, Ted," he said softly.

    I stared into his eyes again. "Brad? Are you happy here?"

    "I thought I was, Ted," he said, "but I'm a whole lot happier now." He kissed me. "You've given me more than I could ever have wished for. You've given me a home. You've given me yourself. And now you're giving me an entire family. What else would I want?"

    "But I haven't had much time for you lately, and there's going to be even less starting tomorrow."

    He kissed me again, longer this time. When he finished, he looked deeper into my eyes. "Being with you is enough for me."

    I set down the fork and moved my hand under the table. It came to rest on his denim-covered leg and I slid it up into his crotch. My fingers melded themselves around the mound there and I squeezed gently. "You can do whatever you want with this tonight," I told him. "Your choice."

    "As long as you do what I want you to do with yours."

    I could tell by his wink what he wanted me to do.

    * * * * *

    I had truly grown to love feeling Brad inside me by this time. There was very little pain anymore, and I could accept him easily and willingly. I no longer let him fuck me because I felt I should. I let him do it because I wanted him to do it. I enjoyed it.

    I preferred being on my back so I could watch his face. I loved the way he looked when he felt good. As beautiful as Brad was to begin with, he was even more beautiful when he was feeling good. His lower lip had a way of rolling down when his mouth was open and his nostrils would flare on their own. His eyebrows had a thing going on, too. They would arch up slightly on the out strokes and curl down on the in strokes.

    I loved putting my hands on his chest while he was fucking me. I would place my palms over his pectorals and Brad would lean against them as he pushed himself into me. Sometimes, with my bent elbows on the bed, I would support Brad entirely. He loved that part, and I could feel every breath, every heartbeat, every vibration which came out of his throat in his excited grunts and groans and moans. Brad made love with his entire body.

    Most of all, though, there was that cock. He didn't fear hurting me anymore. He knew he couldn't. But, for all his size and power and strength, Brad was a gentle, conscientious, caring lover. Except for that one night, following that episode with Mike, Brad's love-making was always slow, yet uniquely intense. There was as much consideration for my own pleasure as there was for his own. He did nothing without a reason or a purpose. If it didn't bring pleasure to both of us, he didn't do it.

    He knew when to tilt his pelvis, when to twist his hips, when to arch his back. He knew how deep to go and what to do there, and how shallow he could go and still make me moan. When he made love to me like that, it was all about me. The fact that he got an orgasm out of it was merely a bonus to him. I was his priority. If it didn't make me feel good, it simply didn't happen.

    Brad's orgasms usually incited mine as well, but that night, I fought against it, squeezing my cock and preventing it from happening. I wanted Brad to enjoy the full benefit of his request to me.

    I watched his orgasm happen on his face and I felt the entire thing deep inside me. He even climaxed with my pleasure in mind as much as his own. It's no wonder my love for him grew deeper every single day.

    It was still the same when I made love to Brad. Everything he did was for me. Every look, every sound, every touch, was for me alone. He had mastered a technique which I have yet to master. He could do things with his ass muscles which drove me insane with bliss. Even if I paused and lay against him, Brad could continue the pleasure simply with his muscles. One day, I would put him to the test and see if he could bring me to orgasm without me doing a thing. I was certain he could. But this would not be the day.

    That night, it was for him and me, and we both took it to the limit.

    * * * * *

    I was a basket case on Tuesday. My mind was on the boys and that's as far as it would go. By eleven o'clock, JW came into my office, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, "Go home, Ted."

    I didn't want to go, but, by noon, I was sitting at home with my daughter having a nice, hot bowl of chicken noodle soup and a sandwich. I walked her to school after lunch and told her I would be there to meet her after school as well to walk her home. Mags walked with us as Tyler tagged along. I invited her in for coffee on the way back.

    Terry was busy in the livingroom doing something or other. I think she may have been watching soap operas. But my attention was all on Mags as we sat at the small kitchen table and sipped our coffee.

    "I'm scared, Mags," I said honestly. "I'm scared to death."

    "I'm sure you must be, Ted, but you'll be fine."

    "I don't know anything about looking after boys. Do I take care of them the way I took care of Lindsay when she was their age?"

    "No, you can't. Boys and girls are as different as dogs and cats. You can't treat them the same."

    I looked at her. Her face was full of sincere advice and I felt it best that I listen very closely. "Then how can I learn how I should treat them?"

    "Every child is different, Ted," she said. "Even the twins. Their bodies may be the same, but you'll find differences in personalities that you can't even imagine. You're going to have to learn how to treat them not as twins, but as two separate boys. Their looks are the only similarities they're going to share. Don't make the mistake of thinking they are identical in every way. You'll lose and they'll win. I know. My brothers are twins."

    I dropped my head and let this new information absorb into my mind.

    "You're a damned good father, Ted," Mags added. "And you're going to learn how to be a damned good one for those boys, too. You just have to trust me on that."

    "I do, Mags," I said. "You have no idea how much I do."

    "They need you, Ted. Their life has been crap and they need the stability you can give them. They'll forget everything that's happened to them soon enough. You'll screw up. You'll make mistakes. But that's the way you learn. And that's they way life is."

    * * * * *

    Terry woke me up from my nap, telling me the bed was being delivered and to say that Bernice had brought over a box of bed sheets. I hadn't intended to fall asleep. After Mags had left, I went around making sure everything was ready for the boys. I hadn't done any grocery shopping yet. I thought I would wait and take them later so I could get the things they liked to eat. I'd been lying on my bed after making sure everything was ready, just thinking and staring up at the ceiling. I wasn't even aware that I had fallen asleep until Terry called me through the open bedroom door.

    I stood in the doorway of Lindsay's room, watching the two men assemble the bedframe, when Terry came up beside me. "Mr. Dee," she said. "I found these big cup hooks and this nylon cord in the junk drawer. What if we screw the hooks into the walls and string this cord between them? Then we could hang a blanket or something to give them their own separate spaces."

    I looked up and imagined it and I nodded. "Good idea," I said. "I have just the thing. Did you see any pins in that drawer?"

    Terry held out her other hand. She already had them. It would be done.

    I met Lindsay and Tyler later and walked home with them and Mags. Lindsay came in with me, but Tyler and Mags continued on to their house. Lindsay and I sat talking until Brad came home, and then the three of us talked. Terry, of course, stayed later so she could go with us, and offered to cook dinner for us.

    By the time dinner was ready, the three of us were ready for the new, larger family. Lindsay was ready to share me with the twins, although I'm sure she still didn't know how I was going to do it. Frankly, neither did I.

    Nancy's car was parked in front of David and Trish's house as expected. She had told us she would be there with the temporary custody papers and all the other legalities I would need. Lindsay came with Brad and me. Terry stayed behind in the van. We walked up to the door and stood there for a few seconds. I looked at Brad, then at Lindsay.

    "This is it, guys," I said. "As soon as I push this doorbell, our lives are going to change. Are you ready?"

    I got a nod, a kiss, and an ‘I love you' from each of them.

    I stood up straight, took a deep breath - which I held - and then I pushed the doorbell.

    To Be Continued

  19. #319
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Awesome, Neil. Pass the kleenex please.

  20. #320
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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XXXXII

    David opened the door almost immediately and invited us out of the dark, chilly night. We'd barely stepped inside and got the door closed before stampeding footsteps came toward us and the twins appeared around the corner. One pair of eyes found mine and the other pair found Brad. We both got squatted down just in time for the little steam rollers to plough into us. Justin's arms came around my neck and, from the grip he had on me, he had no intention of letting me go anytime soon. I stood up with him in my arms and Brad did the same with Jeremy.

    Nancy and Trish were there by this time, standing a polite distance away from us. Trish was holding a small suitcase and I suddenly realized that the boys' entire lives were packed into that tiny, little package.

    "I still wish I had some of your magic dust, Ted," David said. "It's been totally different these past few days. They're talking now, and they've been counting the minutes until you got here. I almost wish they didn't have to go now."

    Justin's arms tightened around my neck. "Sorry, David," I said with a smile. "I don't think you could pry these arms off me."

    David smiled back. "We know they're in good hands," he said, almost sadly. "That makes it easier somehow."

    Trish approached and held out a folded piece of paper. "I've written down the things they like to eat and the things they don't. Neither of them have any allergies that we know of. Food or otherwise. Oh, and they've already had their bath and they don't wet the bed." She held out the suitcase to me.

    "I'll carry it, Daddy," Lindsay said.

    "Thank you, Sweetheart."

    "We've had all their medical files transferred to your doctor," Nancy said. "He should have them soon." She held out a manilla envelope. "Here's all your documentation."

    "Thank you," I said as Trish began pulling their coats, hats, and mitts out of the hall closet.

    "Their jackets are packed in the suitcase," she said. "They're getting small for them, though. I think you'll have to buy new ones soon. I'm afraid they don't have many things of their own." There was going to be a whole lot of stuff I was going to have to buy. Of that I was certain.

    "You have to let go now, Justin," I said. "It's time to get dressed."

    "Are we going home now?"

    "Yes, we are," I told him.

    The big smile he gave me melted my heart, and then he leaned forward and gave me a kiss on the lips. He released his neck lock and I set him down and began getting him ready for the ride home. Brad followed suit with Jeremy. I was so proud of Brad. Already, he was making my job half as difficult. I don't know why Jeremy went to him so easily, but I certainly didn't mind.

    As soon as they were dressed, Justin locked his arms around me again and I stood up with him in my arms. Brad joined me a short time later, carrying Jeremy. Neither of them, it appeared, were going to let us go anywhere without them.

    Trish came forward, giving both boys a tearful kiss on the cheek. "Goodbye," she said.

    "Bye," the twins said in turn. Justin added, "Thank you for looking after us."

    "It was our pleasure, Jeremy," David said.

    I winked. "This one is Justin."

    David blushed slightly. "You'd think I'd be able to tell by now." He shook Justin's hand. "Goodbye, pal," he said. He shook Jeremy's hand as well and said, "See you later, alligator."

    "Bye."

    Nancy had her coat on. "I'll walk out with you." To Trish and David, she said. "Thank you both so much. We'll be in touch."

    "You be good boys now, you hear?" Trish said.

    "We will," Justin replied. Then he turned to me. "Can we go home now?"

    "You sure can," I told him. He turned back to David and Trish and gave them one small wave and another "Bye."

    And then we were gone.

    Outside, Nancy told us that she would be visiting regularly to check on the progress, sometimes unannounced. I had no problem with that.

    "Call me if you have any problems or questions," she told me. She got into her car and drove away.

    I opened the sliding van door and took the suitcase from Lindsay, setting it on the front seat before helping Lindsay get in. She went back to join Terry in the third row of seats as I climbed in myself.

    "Terry, this is Justin. Justin? This is Terry. She'll be looking after you when I'm at work."

    "Hi, Terry," he said shyly.

    "Hello, Justin," she said. "It's very nice to meet you."

    I sat Justin in the safety seat nearest the window and buckled him in before taking Jeremy out of Brad's arms.

    "And this is Jeremy."

    "Hi, Jeremy," Terry said, smiling. Jeremy responded with a smile of his own.

    I buckled Jeremy into his seat as Brad got into the front passenger seat.

    I climbed out, slid the door closed, and circled the van to my door. David and Trish were standing in the doorway of their home. I opened the door to turn on the interior light so they could see the boys waving goodbye to them. They waved back, and then David gave me a ‘thumbs up' sign. I returned it, got in, and drove away.

    "Anyone for Tim Horton's?" I asked and was met by a resounding and unanimous "Yes!" So, off we went for our new family's first outing.

    As I thought might happen, Justin had no intention of letting me go anywhere without him. I carried him inside Tim's, holding Lindsay's hand with my free hand. Brad followed with Jeremy, and Terry went ahead of us to hold the door open. Brad and Jeremy found a table big enough for us all as the rest of us went to the counter to place our orders. I pulled off Justin's mitts and hat. Two coffees, of course, and a tea for Terry. When Lindsay said she wanted chocolate milk, Justin agreed. Three chocolate milks were added to the order, plus a large box of Timbits and a dozen assorted.

    I paid and Terry said, "Go sit. I'll bring this."

    I joined Brad and Jeremy. Lindsay sat near the window. I sat beside her and Justin knelt on the chair to the other side of me. I opened his coat, but left it on. Brad did the same for Jeremy.

    Terry arrived with the tray of goodies and set it on the table. I handed out the coffees and the tea, then gave one glass of milk to Lindsay. It was filled almost to the top. "Brad," I said, "do you like this stuff?"

    "Yeah."

    I handed him one of the glasses. "Drink some of this." He took a few gulps and checked the level. "A bit more," I said. He took another swig before handing it to Jeremy. He did the same with the other glass and gave it to Justin. A little trick I'd learned when Lindsay was younger. "I can't stand the stuff," I said, wrinkling my nose at it.

    I had already opened the Timbits and was opening the box of doughnuts. Terry pulled a pile of napkins from the holder on the table and distributed them around the table. I let Lindsay have first choice of doughnuts. She took the one with the candy sprinkles. Jeremy took a chocolate covered one, but Justin wanted the coconut-sprinkled Timbits.

    Our first meal as a family - such as it was.

    Sometime during our munching out, I asked, "Justin? Why didn't you talk to anyone?"

    He wiped coconut sprinkles from his lips with the sleeve of his coat. I handed him a napkin. "That's what this is for." He took the napkin and wiped his mouth again.

    "The bad man said he would hurt me and Jeremy if we said anything about what he did."

    "That was a long time ago."

    "We were afraid he would come back."

    "Then why did you talk to me."

    Justin's answer was simple. He looked into my eyes and said, "We know you won't let him hurt us."

    It took a lot of sips of my coffee to wash down the lump that formed in my throat.

    * * * * *

    As soon as we got the boys out of their winter gear, I took them to the bathroom, which they both had to use.

    "Do you sit down when you pee or do you stand up?"

    "We stand up," Justin said proudly. They peed side-by-side. I must say, I was impressed with their aim. They didn't hit the floor once. I had to hold them up one at a time so they could wash their hands in the sink. I'd have to remember to buy stepping stools for them.

    I showed them where my bedroom was, and, finally, to Lindsay's bedroom, where they would be sleeping for the next little while. They didn't care much for the pink walls, but, after the initial "pee-eww", they didn't say much about it. I think they would have been happy sleeping in the bathtub if they had to.

    I sat on their bed and they climbed up beside me. I explained to them that, if my bedroom door was closed, they had to knock and wait for me to let them in. They could come in if the door was open, but if it was closed, they had to knock and wait. They seemed to understand, but Brad and I would have to be very careful for the first little while.

    That's when I opened their suitcase to unpack their stuff. I almost cried for them. Except for the clothes they had on, there were only three other pairs of jeans and two pairs of shorts, two sets of underwear, four pairs of socks, three T-shirts, their blue and red striped pull-over shirts, two button-down shirts, two pairs of sneakers, and two pairs of pyjamas. There was a box of eight crayons (only five were left), three colouring books, a few toy cars, one tiny, plastic airplane that looked like it came from a Kinder Surprise, one rubber ball, and two small, brown Teddy bears.

    "We sleep with those," Justin said. Jeremy rarely spoke. Justin was definitely the dominant twin. I took out the bears and held them up. They each reached for their own.

    I pulled out their pyjamas. "Okay, boys," I said. "Let's get these on and then we'll go out and join the others for awhile before you go to bed, okay?"

    They dutifully started taking off their clothes as I unpacked their things and put them into one of the empty drawers which Lindsay had offered to let them use. I checked labels in everything, making note of the sizes. I wrote them down on the inside cover of one of the colouring books with a red crayon. When they were dressed in their pyjamas, they ran ahead of me back to the kitchen. The table was extended now, with a leaf added. Two chairs now stood on either side with one more chair at each end. That was how it would be from now on.

    I allowed the kids two more Timbits each for a late-night snack. (Late for them, at least.) Lindsay declined and went to take her bath instead. Brad got it ready for her. The boys got along well with Terry. That surprised me, considering what I had heard about their reactions to females. Maybe it was her age, or perhaps it was that they now were in a situation they could identify with. Or maybe Terry just had a way with kids. I don't know. Whatever it was, they minded her and didn't shy away from her. That was good. I hadn't been too keen on the idea of having to try to find a male babysitter.

    All too soon, though, it was time for them to be in bed. Brad followed me as I chased them down the hall to their room. They climbed up into the bed themselves, grabbed their Teddy bears, and crawled under the blankets.

    I sat on the side of the bed. Brad stood beside me.

    "Is this our new home now?" Justin asked.

    "I hope so," I told him.

    "I do, too," he said.

    Then Jeremy spoke. "Can we call you ‘Daddy'?"

    "Would you like to call me ‘Daddy?"

    "Yes," Jeremy replied.

    Brad's hand came to rest on my shoulder.

    "We want a Daddy," Justin added.

    Brad's hand squeezed my shoulder.

    I smiled at the boys. "Then you can call me Daddy. Now, it's time for you to go to sleep." I bent down and kissed each forehead.

    "Nitey-nite, Daddy," they said.

    "Goodnight. I'll see you in the morning, okay?"

    They nodded and smiled at me, then curled up together as I stood up.

    Brad and I went back to the livingroom to wait for Lindsay to finish her bath. I'd brought the colouring book with me so I could transfer the clothing sizes to paper. I put my arm around Brad's big shoulders and he settled into me, then I phoned Mom and told her the clothing sizes.

    "What do they need?" she asked.

    "Everything, Mom," I told her. "Except for their coats, everything they own would fit in your carry-on suitcase."

    "Oh, my. The poor dears."

    "I'm taking them shopping in the morning."

    "You said they had coats?" Mom asked. "How are they for winter?"

    "They look new, but I think they came from Bi-Way or something. They're pretty cheap."

    "Boots?"

    "St. Vincent de Paul." I said.

    The anger in Mom's voice surprised me. "How can anyone expect those boys to be warm!?" she shouted. "Let me kit them out for winter, Ted. I'll buy everything at Zellers and bring the receipts to you in case you have to exchange them. What size are their coats and boots?"

    "Just a sec," I told her. To Brad, I said, "Could you check the size of their coats and boots?"

    Brad headed for the hallway closet.

    "They're adorable, Mom. You're going to love them. They want to call me Daddy already."

    "That's so sweet," Mom said. "Do they know we're coming to see them on Friday?"

    "Not yet. I'll tell them tomorrow and show them your pictures."

    Brad returned with the sizes and I relayed them to Mom.

    "Do you know when their birthday is?"

    "Mom," I said, "they're not even mine yet!"

    "Humour me, Teddy," she said. "If I come up there and find out I should have brought birthday presents. . ."

    She didn't have to finish her sentence. "Okay, hold on. I have to look it up." Fortunately, the manila envelope Nancy had given me was sitting on the coffee table. I opened it and glanced through the papers. I found their birth certificates.

    "Okay, here it is," I said. "Oh, well that's cool." Brad glanced over at the certificates. "July first."

    "Canada Day?" Mom asked. "Imagine having fireworks on your birthday."

    "Well, the six month trial period is up in May," I told her. "I won't know until then. So, don't bake their cake just yet. I might have to give them back."

    Mom snickered. "Don't think like that, Ted," she said. "Let me have some fun. In one day, you've tripled the number of grandchildren. We'll see you Friday night."

    "Okay, Mom. Love you."

    "We love you, too, Ted. Say ‘hi' to Brad for us."

    To Brad, I said, "Mom says ‘hi'."

    "Hello!" Brad called out.

    "Bye, Mom."

    "Goodbye, Ted."

    She hung up. Brad and I settled back and into each other once more.

    "It's the strangest feeling, Ted," Brad said quietly. "I'm scared to death, but I'm not. Know what I mean?"

    "You'd better believe it!" I told him emphatically. "But I know I'm doing the right thing."

    "I knew you would."

    We sat there in silence after that until Lindsay joined us, dressed for bed. She climbed into my lap and settled herself against my chest. "How are you doing, Sweetheart?" I asked her.

    "I think I'm going to like having two brothers," she said. "I just hope they don't snore like you and Brad."

    She bounced as I chuckled out loud.

    "We don't snore, Lindsay," Brad said. "We just let you know when we're still asleep."

    "Can't you find a quieter way to do it?"

    My chuckle became a laugh.

    "Do you want to talk for awhile, Sweetheart?" I asked when I could.

    "No," she answered. "I'm tired. I think I should go to bed."

    "Okay," I said as I stood up. "If you need to talk to me, just let me know, okay?"

    "I will. Nite, Brad."

    "Goodnight, Lindsay."

    I held her down so she could give Brad his goodnight kiss, then I carried her to her room and tucked her in. The boys were already sound asleep.

    My hand caressed Lindsay's hair and I kissed her forehead. "I am so proud of you, Sweetheart."

    "Why, Daddy?"

    "For letting the boys sleep in your room," I told her. "For being so nice to them and helping me take care of them."

    "They're my brothers," Lindsay replied. "That's what big sisters are supposed to do, isn't it?."

    "Come here," I said, motioning her into a sitting position. I took her into my arms and hugged her. "I love you so much, Sweetheart. And now I love you even more."

    "I love you, too, Daddy."

    I held her for a long time, my face buried in her hair. I finally released her and tucked her in again. "Goodnight, Sweetheart," I said and kissed her forehead again.

    "Nite, Daddy."

    * * * * *

    It was after three in the morning. I stood in the doorway of Lindsay's bedroom, leaning against the door frame, my arms crossed over my chest, my legs crossed at the ankles. I heard movement behind me, then Brad was standing beside me. His arm came around my back and his head rested against my shoulder. We were both naked.

    "Sorry if I woke you up," I said softly.

    "No," he whispered back. "I just know when you're not in bed with me. I hope you never have to go anywhere without me. I don't think I can sleep without you beside me anymore."

    I heard Brad, but I was too busy looking at the kids to respond. Still, I knew I felt the same way. My bed would be so empty without him. I wouldn't be able to sleep, either.

    There was enough light from the street to cast a soft glow over the boys, even with the blanket hiding the window. "Aren't they beautiful?" I asked. "I still can't believe this is happening to me."

    We stood there together, just looking at them. Justin stirred and smacked his lips a few times, then settled into place once again and continued sleeping. I could have stood there all night, just watching them, but I felt a kiss on my shoulder.

    "Come on, Ted," Brad said. "You need to get some sleep, too. They're going to need you awake in the morning."

    I turned my head toward him. Our lips found each other and we kissed, and then our bodies came together. We went back to bed soon after that, but not before I stood in the doorway for a few more minutes looking at my new children.

    I fell asleep thinking of the day that I could say, "This is my daughter, Lindsay. And these are my sons, Justin and Jeremy."

    I prayed that day would come next May, and I could hardly wait.

    To Be Continued

  21. #321

    Re: Watching Brad

    Great Story, Love it.

  22. #322
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    Neil. dear guy,
    I just don't know how you do it !!!
    Absolutely fantastic ...... yet another box of Kleenex
    Thank you
    Harry

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Brad says to Ted, "I hope you never have to go anywhere without me. I don't think I can sleep without you beside me anymore."
    Well Brad, I do have to go on a business trip but you can stay with Uncle Sheep. He has a nice Mustang convertible. You will like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheep
    Well Brad, I do have to go on a business trip but you can stay with Uncle Sheep. He has a nice Mustang convertible. You will like it.
    Ummmm. Sorry to break the news to you, buddy, but. . . Brad's not real.

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    neil, how u come up with these story??? u must have a very creative mind!!!
    Dorothy: Look, fluffhead. Why should I deny being in denial? I never said I was in denial, YOU are the one who said I was in denial, and don't you deny it.

  26. #326

    Re: Watching Brad

    That was very touching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx
    Ummmm. Sorry to break the news to you, buddy, but. . . Brad's not real.
    I'm shattered.

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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XXXXIII

    Fortunately, there were no tiny eyes peering at me or tiny hands poking at me or little boy voices saying "Daddy, we're hungry" when my alarm went off at six-thirty. The house was still silent. I crawled out of bed, grabbed my robe, and headed for the bathroom. Brad was right behind me. He locked the door behind us. I took a piss while Brad cranked up the shower. His morning hardon wouldn't let him piss yet.

    "I wish I could take are of that for you," I told him.

    Brad could still smile about it. "I'll survive," he said. "It's not just you and me anymore. I'll adapt."

    I'm not sure why I felt so guilty. I felt bad about that. First there was just the two of us. Then Lindsay came to stay. And now I'd taken on this adoption thing. Sure, both Brad and Lindsay had gone along with it, but I think they had done it for me. And now Brad was being neglected. I couldn't take care of him when he needed me to.

    I joined him in the shower. "Brad?" I said. "Are you going to be okay with this?"

    "Sure," he said. "Why shouldn't I?"

    "Well, for one thing, I can barely move around in here without you poking me somewhere and we can't do anything about it."

    Brad stopped washing his armpits and pulled me into a soggy hug. His hardon trapped itself between us. He pushed me back when he'd held me long enough and looked deeply into my eyes. "Parents have had to deal with this for centuries, Ted. We'll find our times together. We'll adapt. And no-one has ever died from a neglected hardon that I know of."

    "But it's not fair to you."

    "Is it any more fair to you?"

    I thought about that for a moment. "No, I guess not."

    "Like it or not, Ted, you're stuck with me. I ain't goin' nowhere, as they say. When I fell in love with you, I fell in love with your family, too, no matter how big it is."

    He hugged me again. "I love you, Ted," he said softly in my ear. "It will be okay for us. We'll manage."

    I hugged him tighter. "I love you so bloody much," I told him just as softly.

    * * * * *

    Brad was preparing breakfast. I was sitting on the side of Lindsay's bed. "Time to wake up, Sweetheart," I said quietly as I put my hand on her shoulder.

    Her eyes opened and found mine. "Hi, Daddy," she said.

    "Good morning, Sweetheart." I gave her a ‘good morning' kiss. "You go to the bathroom and I'll wake up the boys and take them in when you're finished, okay?"

    "Okay, Daddy."

    I lifted her out of bed, kissed her once again, and sent her on her way. Fortunately, Lindsay isn't a bathroom hog like her mother and, only a minute or two later, I heard the toilet flush and the faucet running.

    I moved to the boys' bed and placed my hand on Jeremy's shoulder. "Jeremy," I called. "Time to wake up."

    Jeremy rolled over to look at me and he smiled. Justin woke up as well. Both climbed to their knees and crawled into my waiting arms. Their corn silk hair glistened in the morning light and their blue eyes sparkled like sapphires. They both kissed a cheek, then I picked them up and took them to the bathroom. I held them up again so they could wash their hands, and then I sent them off in front of me toward the kitchen.

    Their eyes lit up at the array of cereals waiting for them. Justin selected Corn Pops. Jeremy wanted Fruit Loops. Lindsay was already halfway through her bowl of Rice Krispies. They climbed onto their knees on the chairs opposite Lindsay as I prepared their cereal. Brad was almost finished cooking our breakfast.

    We all sat together that morning, having our first real meal together - the boys on one side of the table, Lindsay on the other beside Brad, and I sat at the end. Everybody appeared to be so comfortable, as if we had been doing this for years. I feared it might be the calm before the storm.

    Lindsay finished eating first and ran off to get dressed for school. The boys finished next and I sent them in to watch cartoons as Brad and I finished eating and cleaning up the dishes. Lindsay's insistence on buying a dishwasher was prophetic at best. It was going to be a God-send now. Load it up. Turn a dial. Voila! Dishes done!

    I sent Brad off to get dressed for classes with a pat on his terrycloth-covered bum, but not before I made him give me a nice, warm hug and a nicer, warmer kiss. I finished cleaning up the kitchen before joining Brad in our bedroom so I could get dressed for the day.

    "That was fun," he said. "It's going to be interesting cooking for everyone now."

    "We can take turns," I told him.

    "You're too busy being the father. I can handle it."

    "I'm not too busy to do my share."

    Brad turned toward me, dressed only in his socks, underwear, and T-shirt. He put his hands on my arms. "Please, Ted," he said. "Let me do this. I don't mind cooking." He pulled me into a hug. "You feel so good," he said softly.

    My hands move down his back to the solid cheeks of his ass. My fingers dug into him and I pulled his crotch into mine. Brad leaned back so he could look into my face. "That feels so good, too," he said. "But this is neither the time nor the place."

    "It will be tonight," I told him. "Somehow, it will be tonight." We kissed then.

    * * * * *

    It was cold that morning, and there was a light dusting of snow on the ground. Kind of scary for early November, but certainly not unheard of. There were more flurries in the forecast, too. But, it was nice and warm in the van. The twins were buckled into their safety seats behind me as I drove to Zellers. With the clothing size list and a fist full of credit cards, I was ready to buy these boys some clothes.

    I managed to convince them that I couldn't carry them everywhere and that they would have to start using their own feet. However, just for this day, they wanted me to carry them. So, I did. At least until I found an empty shopping cart nearby. I set them in and they sat down, their faces full of happy smiles, ready for their ride.

    Inside the store, I went directly to the boys' department. Socks first. I let them pick out their favourite colours, which was light blue, dark blue, and any shade of blue in between. "I thought you liked red," I said.

    They shook their heads ‘no'. "Trish bought red to tell us apart," Justin said.

    I sighed and grabbed up a dozen pairs of socks in varying shades of blue. I bypassed the packages of white underwear and went straight for the blue. There was no way we were going to be able to keep their clothes separate short of sewing their names into each one, and I wasn't about to be bothered doing that. As long as it was clean, they could share it and wear it.

    Fortunately, there was a stock of thermal underwear as well. I equated the sizes and picked up four sets. They would at least be warm. I picked up four more pairs of pyjamas while I was at it. T-shirts and shirts were next, and finally the jeans. I found a pair their size, but they looked long. I lifted Justin out of the cart and held the jeans up to his waist. Yup, too long. Jeremy wanted out as well, so out he came.

    I found a shorter pair and held them up to Jeremy. Just right. I started digging through the piles until I found five more pairs, then turned to put them in the cart.

    The boys were gone.

    My heart exploded in my chest. Panic almost knocked me back into the shelves. I looked quickly in both directions. No boys were in sight. "Jeremy?" I called. "Justin?" I dropped the jeans to the floor and took off running toward the nearby aisle intersection. "Justin! Jeremy!" I shouted.

    "I think they went that way," a woman pointed to my left.

    "Thanks," I said as I took off again. I called their names again, scanning the aisles as I passed. An older man and woman appeared two aisles in front of me. The man pointed ahead of him.

    "Justin!" I called. I reached the intersection beside the man and woman and looked up the aisle. A stock boy was walking toward me, one little boy was attached to each of his hands. "Oh, God," I said as I ran to them and snatched them up in my arms.

    "They were looking for the toys," the stock boy explained.

    "Thank you," I told him and he returned to his duties.

    I knelt down on one knee, setting the boys on the floor, and kissed each one on the cheek. "Why didn't you answer me when I called?" I couldn't hide the panic and fear that still clouded my voice.

    "We thought you would be mad," Justin explained.

    "I'm not angry," I said. "But you scared me half to death. I didn't know where you were."

    "We're sorry, Daddy," Jeremy offered.

    I hugged and kissed them again. "You can't go away like that anymore, okay?" They nodded. "If I'm busy, I want you to hold onto my pants so I know you're there beside me. Can you do that?" Another trick I had learned from Lindsay. Both boys nodded. "Promise me you'll do that."

    "I promise," Justin said.

    "I do, too," Jeremy added.

    I gave them one more big, reassuring hug. "I love you guys," I said, more to make them feel better about their mistake, but I suddenly realized that I already did love them. That's when they hugged me back and kissed my cheeks.

    I stood up and held each one tightly in my hands. My heart was returning to normal again, but I was still shaking. We walked back toward the abandoned cart. The first woman who had directed me was standing there, holding the discarded jeans in her arm. She held them out to me.

    "No-one touched your cart," she said as I took the jeans from her. Two hands immediately grabbed my pant legs, one on each leg.

    "Thank you," I said.

    She bent over slightly, putting her hands on her knees and looking at the twins.. "You shouldn't scare your father like that." She looked at their hands as their tiny fingers grasped at my jeans. She smiled. "That's the way. You both hold onto him so he can't get away from you." She stood up then and looked at me. "Adorable," she said.

    "Thank you again," I said. She continued with her business and we continued with ours. I put the jeans in the cart, pushed everything to the end, and set the boys back into place. "We'll go to the toys soon, okay?"

    "Okay, Daddy," Justin said.

    Bathrobes were next. Nothing felt better than getting out of a bathtub and into a nice, thick, warm, terrycloth robe - especially in winter. The ones I picked out were big, but the boys would grow into them soon enough, I was sure.

    I knew all about boys and snow, and how wet they could get. I was one of them once, and I remembered it well. I found a bin full of mittens and picked out eight heavy, warm pairs in case they had to double them up on colder days or just dry out a pair over the hot air vent. I picked out four toques and two scarves as well. My boys were going to be warm and dry.

    I found two pillows for them. I'd given them two from our bed, even though the boys used the same pillow. I couldn't fault them. Brad and I had used the same pillow every night - except one. I let them pick out their own comforter and they settled on a green one with all sorts of jungle animals on it.

    Then we hit the toy department. I took the boys out of the cart and stood back. I told them that the other toys at the house belonged to everyone, but they could pick out two toys each just for themselves. Justin was looking at the cars and trucks, but Jeremy was checking out the action figures.

    With their selected toys, we hit the checkout counter. Lots of HBC bonus points on that trip, I'll tell you. They would come in handy for Christmas shopping.

    I took them to Burger King for lunch. We made a bathroom break first, though. The three of us crowded ourselves into a cubicle and I let them pee first, then they stood behind me while I went as well. I washed my hands first, then held each of them up to wash theirs. They liked the hand dryer and my arms almost fell off holding them up as they kept hitting the ‘on' button.

    True to their word, they stood beside me as I placed our orders and held onto my jeans, and they still held onto me as I carried the tray full of food to a table. I took off their coats and mitts so they could eat, but they each wanted to keep wearing their new toques. Justin dove into his lunch with gusto, but Jeremy picked at his, pulling small pieces of burger apart with his fingers.

    "Is something wrong with your burger, Jeremy?" I asked.

    He shook his head ‘no', avoiding my gaze.

    "What's wrong?"

    When Jeremy didn't respond, Justin answered for him. "He thinks they will take us away again."

    "Why would they do that?" I asked.

    Jeremy looked up at me then. The sadness in his face almost made me cry. "They always do."

    Oh, God. What do I say to that? I couldn't tell him that wasn't going to happen. I didn't even know myself. All I could do was assure them.

    "I'll do everything I can to make sure they don't take you away this time."

    "Promise?" Jeremy asked.

    "I promise, Jeremy," I said. "I'll do everything I can to keep you with me." But I knew that, until the papers were signed and sealed, Jeremy would never be convinced.

    * * * * *

    I felt like a king walking into my work with a twin on either of me. The receptionist, Sally, went all ga-ga over them, as did everyone else. JW showed even up in my office as the boys sat in my chair and looked at everything.

    "Sally called me and I came looking," he said, smiling. "You'd better hold onto them, Ted, or she'll take them away from you."

    Not a good thing to say in front of a four-year-old boy whose worst fear was just that. Jeremy started crying and scrambled up in the chair, reaching for me. I grabbed him up in my arms and his tiny fingers locked onto my coat.

    "Sorry, Ted," JW said when he realized what he'd said. "I wasn't even thinking."

    I nodded at him as I continued trying to ease Jeremy's troubled mind. "No-one's going to take you away," I told him softly. "Remember my promise?" Jeremy continued crying into my coat, holding on for dear life.

    "I'll go, Ted," JW said. "Bring them to my office before you go. I have something for them."

    I nodded again and he left. I picked up Justin in my other arm and sat in my chair as they settled onto my lap. It took awhile to calm Jeremy down, but he eventually realized that Sally wasn't going to come take him away from me and eventually became himself again.

    I took them to the bathroom again before heading to JW's office. He motioned them to his desk. Jeremy was hesitant, but followed his brother. I stayed close behind them both.

    JW leaned close to them and whispered, "Can you keep a secret?" They nodded their heads. "I like chocolate," he added. "Do you?" Again they nodded their heads. JW put his finger to his lips and said, "Shhh," then opened the middle drawer of his desk. It was half-full of chocolate bars. All sorts of them. Enough to keep the boys bouncing off the walls for a month.

    "You can have as many as you like," JW whispered.

    "You can have two each," I told them.

    Four hands started pawing through the drawer looking for their favourite candy bars. Maybe they couldn't read the names, but they certainly recognized the packages. Jeremy preferred the ones with nuts. Justin preferred the ones with cookie waffers.

    When they had made their selections, I held out my hands to take them. "I'll hold onto them for you," I said. "You can have one when we get home and another before you go to bed."

    "What kind does Lindsay like?" JW asked.

    "Got any Reece's in there?"

    JW searched and came up with two packages of peanut butter cups. I grabbed a Mars bar for Brad and a Coffee Crisp for myself before JW closed the drawer.

    The boys were asleep in their car seats before I got home. They didn't even wake up when I unbuckled them and carried them inside. Terry met me at the door and let me in. As I held them, she pulled off their boots, mittens, and toques, and undid their coats. I took off Justin's coat as Terry took off Jeremy's and laid Justin on the loveseat with his back against the back of the small sofa. His eyes opened slightly. "Jeremy?" he said sleepily.

    I picked up Jeremy and laid him in front of his brother. Justin's arm automatically came around him. A moment later, he was asleep again. Terry and I spent the next little while taking labels off all the clothes. As Terry replaced the blanket on the boys' bed with their new comforter, I grabbed up the underwear, socks, shirts, pyjamas, and pants, took them downstairs, and tossed the first load into the washer.

    Terry had a mug of coffee ready for me when I got back upstairs. She sat with me at the kitchen table as I sipped it.

    "Do you know you haven't stopped smiling since you came home?" she said.

    I hadn't been aware.

    * * * * *

    After dinner and Wheel of Fortune, I had my first bath with the boys. Actually, they had the bath. I had a fully-clothed shower whilst sitting on the side of the tub. It all came at me at once. The twins were screaming with laughter at me and dowsed me a few more times.

    I stood up. Water dripped down my face, down my shirt and pants. A splash hit me from behind. I turned around.

    "Okay, boys," I said, "that's enough." Another splash hit my face. My voice became louder. "I said that's enough!" When the third splash hit me, I shouted, "Stop it! Now!"

    The boys froze. I grabbed a towel off the rack and shoved my face into it, as much to calm myself down and to think as to dry myself. Some start. I'd lost them in the store, I hadn't convinced Jeremy someone wasn't going to take him away again, and now I'd lost my temper over a little bit of water. I took a deep breath through the towel, wiped my face one more time, laid the towel over the side of the tub, and sat down on it.

    I looked from face to face, took another deep breath, and said quietly, "Okay. A new rule at bath time. You can play, but you have to try to keep the water in the tub and off me. Okay?"

    The boys looked at me, their eyes wide. No yelling. No hitting. No spanking. No threats. No anything except talking. That surprised them, and, frankly, it surprised me as well. Boys were certainly a lot different than girls. This was going to be a learning experience for all of us. But the learning had to begin with me, and I knew exactly where to start.

    I smiled at the boys and repeated, "Okay?"

    They nodded and said, "Okay, Daddy."

    "Good," I said. I opened the door and yelled, "Brad!" He appeared a few seconds later. "Watch them. I have to make a phone call." Before I left, I turned to the boys. "That rule applies to Brad as well, okay?"

    They nodded again. "Good. I'll be right back." I dug my cell phone out of my pocket as I went to our bedroom and closed the door behind me. I found the name quickly on my phone list and punched it in and waited for it to be answered on the other end.

    "Jacob McConnell speaking."

    "Hi, Jacob. It's Ted de Villiers. I need your help again. Do you have time?"

    "I'll make time, Ted," he said. "What do you need?"

    "I'm trying to adopt a set of twins, Jacob. They've had a rough life and I need to know everything I can about them. Their father was gay and was murdered by his lover about a year and a half ago. The boys have been with CAS since then. I need to know what the father and his lover were like, what kind of relationship they had, any abuse, stuff like that. Can you do it?"

    "Names?"

    "I only have the boys' names. Justin and Jeremy M_____."

    "That's all I need. I'll handle it personally, Ted," he said.

    "You have someone else working for you?"

    Jacob chuckled. "I have three someone elses working for me. How soon do you need it?"

    "As soon as possible," I told him.

    "You'll have it sooner than that."

    "Thanks, Jacob."

    "I'll call you."

    I returned to the bathroom. The boys were playing quietly and Brad was miraculously dry. Until I knew I could leave them alone in the bathtub and be safe, they wouldn't be in there by themselves.

    Brad stood up and I kissed him. "Thanks," I said.

    "I'll get a mop," he said with a smirk and left the room.

    I sat on the tub again. "Thank you for being such good boys while I was gone," I said. "Now, let's get your hair washed."

    Brad arrived with the mop and dutifully sopped up the water on the tile floor as I washed and rinsed their hair with fresh water poured over them from a handy dandy plastic milk pitcher. When Brad was done and gone again, I lifted Jeremy out of the tub, wrapped him in a towel and patted him dry, then scrubbed the water from his hair. I got him into his pyjamas and sent him out to sit with Brad and Lindsay.

    I did the same with Justin. "Daddy?" he said as I patted him dry.

    "Yes, Justin?"

    "Is Brad your boyfriend?"

    "Yes, he is."

    "Does he hurt you?"

    "No, Justin, he doesn't."

    His lip began to quiver and tears flowed into his eyes and I suddenly realized what was going on in his mind. He didn't believe me and he was convinced life would repeat itself. I grabbed him in my arms. "Oh, Justin. No, Baby. Brad won't hurt me like that. Never."

    "I don't want you to go away," he said into my shoulder.

    "I'm not going anywhere, Justin," I told him. "I can promise you that."

    * * * * *

    Our bedroom door was closed and, except for the sounds of our kisses, the house was silent. Justin had settled down quickly after our little chat. By the time I carried him into the livingroom, Jeremy was curled up on Brad's lap, his head lying on Brad's chest as they watched television. Justin soon duplicated his brother's position with me, but I had the added benefit of Lindsay joining him. After all, I had two legs and Justin was using only one of them.

    We hadn't sat there like that for long. Within ten minutes, Justin was asleep against my chest and Brad had another sleeping boy in his arms. At eight o'clock, I sent Lindsay in for her bath. "You can come back and sit with us until your bedtime," I told her. We followed her down the hall and into the bedroom. As Lindsay retrieved her nightgown, Brad and I put the boys to bed and tucked them in.

    After a kiss on the forehead from each of us, we stood back and watched them sleep. My left arm was around Brad's waist, his right arm around my back. "Now I know why I found you standing in the doorway at three o'clock in the morning," he said. "I'm starting to understand how you've felt for the past ten years with Lindsay." I hugged him closer.

    And now, I hugged him closer still. We were naked this time. Brad was on his side, leaning over me as our lips made innocent love with each other. His cock lay against my hip, pressing into it and burning into my skin. My own cock lay trapped between Brad's elbow and my stomach, his hand resting on my chest.

    He leaned back a bit and looked into my eyes. "Now," he said, "isn't this better than chipping ice out of the hot tub?"

    His eyes sparkled like emeralds in the light of the bedside lamp. "Brad?"

    "Ye-e-e-e-e-s?" he said with that delightful, chipped-tooth grin of his.

    "Shut the hell up and kiss me."

    That delightful, chipped-tooth grin found my lips once more. They didn't stay there for long, though. Moments later, they travelled over my chin and down my neck and onto my chest as he rose to his knees beside me. My cock twitched in anticipation of what was about to happen as Brad's teasing tongue drew nearer and nearer. He ignored it completely and went to work on my balls instead.

    This wasn't just my party, though. It was Brad's party, too, and a tug on his back brought him around to me. His knees straddled my head, his balls hanging low above me. My hands came around his hips, planting themselves on the upper portions of his rounded ass cheeks. With little effort, I raised my head and Brad's nuts became my playthings. My tongue and lips matched Brad's, motion for motion, lick for lick, nip for nip. And then Brad would switch and match my actions.

    My lips travelled up the side of his sack, kissing and nipping and tonguing my way to his groin. I buried my face there, my chin pushing against the underside of his cock, his balls hanging against my cheek. I kissed him there for a long time and I could feel him pushing down against me while my own hips pushed upward. What I was feeling was exactly what Brad would be feeling. From the swelling of his cock against me, I knew he was feeling good.

    I moved around to the back of his ball sack and trailed my tongue down to his balls, then to the other side and up again. Slowly, my tongue found its way to his ‘tween', that area of skin between his balls and his asshole. Brad's moans of sudden pleasure vibrated against me, sending shivers of excitement into me. I pulled on his hips, drawing his ass downward until my head was resting on the bed and Brad was sitting on my face. My tongue found his asshole and the rimming began.

    Brad had pulled my legs up toward my chest, locking them behind his arms. His own tongue dug into my ass as mine was doing to his. Our groans of pleasure joined each other as I matched each push of Brad's tongue, each swirl, each lick, each flick. He flapped his tongue like a butterfly wing and sent bolts of electricity into me. My cock swelled, as did his, and I knew my orgasm wasn't far away.

    I dug into him then, both with my fingers on his ass and my tongue in his button. My moans became louder and more urgent, and then I felt the tell-tale pulsations of Brad's cock, and mine quickly joined his rhythm. We came at the same time, as we usually did. Our cum combined and blended together between us. Our groans were muffled by the cheeks of the other's ass. Our panting breath blew jets of warm air against us.

    Our no-hands climaxes were just as exciting and satisfying as any other. We clutched at each other and pressed against each other. We came and we came, spattering each other with our seed, and, when we were done, Brad collapsed on me. He lay on me for a long time before he turned around again and lay beside me. He grabbed me in his arms and rolled me onto him, kissing me with all the passion he could muster.

    Nothing had changed. Brad still kissed me as energetically as he ever did. He still held me as tightly. His fingers still caressed me as tenderly. His body was as welcoming to mine as ever. And his chipped-tooth smile told me that he was as happy as he ever had been. Nothing at all had changed. Our love would survive.

    To Be Continued

  29. #329
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Toques (pronounced with an 'oo' sound like 'toots' or 'boots') are knitted hats.

    (Scroll to the bottom for pix.)
    http://www.tenpackbmx.com/products/c...ear_index.html

    http://www.rockydirect.com/productList/1000499/1000074

    Sometimes, they have pompoms attached to the top, especially for kids. They're very warm and can be pulled down to cover the ears. They're very popular up here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tristan_Durst
    I heard them called Tubogens as a kid, and had a few as well. But in Florida, you don't have to use them a lot.

    Excellent Story Neil, and I am getting a geography lesson as well on Canada.
    A toboggan is a thing you sit on to slide down a snow covered hill. You need a toque when you do this to prevent frostbite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tristan_Durst
    On a side note, would you believe that in my 31 years of life, I have never seen Snow before? Born and raised here in Sunny (or should I say wet) Florida.
    We could arrange to swap houses for the month of February if you want!

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    Here's some pictures of toboggans:

    http://www.ntsled.com/

    Every self-respecting Canuck had one of these when they were a kid.

    In the longer toboggans, like the one with the little boy, you could pile a whole lot of kids on them. The person in front would sit with his legs around the chains you can see and would lock his feet into the curve part. He could steer the toboggan by tilting the curve in the direction he wanted to go.

    The other kids would sit behind in a row, holding onto the person in front and locking their feet under the legs of the person in front them.

    Them was the good old days.

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by Tristan_Durst
    Give me my two weeks of winter, around New Year's day, where we dip to a freezing 45 degrees F. What tempature scale do you use up there anyways?
    It's been known to hit 45ºF in January but I wouldn't hold my breath. That would be about 5 or 6ºC.
    We converted to Celcius about 30 years ago. I should have bought futures in thermometers, thermostats and the like.
    0ºC = 32ºF
    100ºC = 212ºF
    Of course the U.S. officially adopted metric around 1872 but decided gay marriage was a better target to rally the *right*.
    Now we resume our regularly scheduled programming.

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by Tristan_Durst
    No, Thank you!!!

    I can just see the Florida boy freezing his ass off in a Canadian Winter. Give me my two weeks of winter, around New Year's day, where we dip to a freezing 45 degrees F, and I am fine all year long.


    EDIT: What tempature scale do you use up there anyways?
    We use celcius up here. Zero C is your 32ºF. Minus 20ºC is your Zero.

    We don't freeze our asses off up here. It's usually the ears and noses and fingers and toes that are first to go, but not our asses.

    Mind you, on the really nippy days, you can snap off a chunk of frozen moustache if you're not careful.

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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XXXXIV

    The second morning, Thursday, was easier than the first. We knew what to do, more or less, and, somehow, we got five people into one bathroom and ready for the day without incident. The boys seemed to understand the situation and adapted admirably. Both they and Lindsay were content with the blanket separating their beds. The boys still didn't like the pink, though, and wanted us to paint their portion. After breakfast, I took them into the study to show them where their new bedroom was going to be and told them it could be any colour they wanted. They didn't complain about the pink after that.

    Nancy phoned just after Lindsay went to school, asking if she could drop by, just to see how the twins were fitting in. She was in our home an hour later, with her supervisor. We showed them the bedroom with the blanket wall, which met with their approval, and then spent ten minutes sitting with the boys on their bed talking with them alone as Terry and I waited in the livingroom. I'd got the toys I'd bought them the day before and had them waiting when they came out. Minutes later, with empty boxes and packages all over, the twins were on the floor playing. Terry and I cleaned up the mess as Nancy and Mr. Sparks sipped their coffee.

    I took them into the kitchen to talk privately, leaving Terry to watch the boys. I wasn't going to say anything about the incidents in the store, at my work, and during bath time, but honesty won out. I thought it best to tell about the bad as well as the good.

    "They're so afraid I'm going to be mad at them or that someone is going to take them away."

    "I wish I could tell you more about them, Ted," Nancy said sympathetically, "but we don't know very much ourselves. I've told you everything we know - everything we can."

    "I'm finding out," I told her. At her questioning eyebrow, I continued. "A friend of mine is a private investigator. He's digging up everything he can on the boys, their father and mother, and the man who killed their father."

    "We can't stop you, Mr. de Villiers," Mr. Sparks said. "And I don't think we would if we could. We have neither the time nor the resources to do so ourselves, but I know the importance of understanding where these boys came from. I must admit, this visit has surprised me more than I expected. Nancy told me about the changes in the boys, but I never expected this. They're like two entirely different children."

    A burst of happy laughter came from the livingroom. "Like that," Mr. Sparks continued as he glanced toward the doorway into the livingroom. "None of us has heard that before. It's a nice sound."

    "We rarely get gay couples, Ted," Nancy took over. "Most go through private agencies. I suppose they think they have a better chance of adopting. We don't get many children of gay parents, either, and few go through the trauma the twins have been through. Most of them go through those agencies as well. But this was a police matter and we had our duty to perform."

    "My lawyer has a colleague who deals with adoptions," I said. "He recommended I go through Children's Aid."

    "We're glad he did," Mr. Sparks added. "Could I see the rest of the house?"

    "Of course," I said. Nancy joined Terry and the twins as I took Mr. Sparks on his tour. We began in the basement. The toys impressed him, especially that most of them were packed away in the toy box. Only the Gameboys and the half-built house and the box of Legos were out.

    He chuckled. "I expected to see toys all over the floor."

    "It's their job to put them away when they're finished playing with them," I said. I showed him the guest room and powder room with the single sink and toilet, then the laundry room. I unlocked the storage room and the furnace and utility room so he could see. "I'm going to buy a freezer next," I said. "We just have to make room in the storage room for it first."

    Mr. Sparks nodded.

    Upstairs, we stopped for a moment in the livingroom. "We're taking out this wall to open up the staircase," I said. "Then we can eliminate that door into the downstairs."

    "Are you allowed to do that?"

    "It's a living area downstairs," I explained. "Yes, we can do it. If it was just a basement, we'd have to keep it closed up."

    "You've done your homework."

    "I have friends who watch Mike Holmes," I smiled.

    "Who's that?"

    "A contractor on HGTV."

    "Oh," he said. "I don't watch much television."

    We went into the study next. The twins joined us and latched their tiny fingers on my slacks. Mr. Sparks noticed. "It's a rule," I told him as I put my hands on the twins' shoulders. "That way, I know where they are."

    "I'll have to try that with my son," he said with a grin. "I never know where he is."

    "Anyway," I explained as my hand drew out the design, "this door will be the entrance to the new bathroom. It will be small, but functional. The toilet and sink will go here along this wall and the tub and hand shower unit will go at the end. Easier to rinse hair than with a milk pitcher. There will be a walk-in closet off the bedroom behind the tub. A door into the bedroom will go somewhere here. Those closets at the other end will come out and the main door to the bedroom will go out to the right near the top of the stairs. It's a utility closet at the moment."

    I felt a tug on my pant leg and looked down. Justin was looking up at me. "Yes, Justin?" I said. His finger motioned me down and I squatted so he could whisper into my ear. I nodded, wrapped my arms around both boys, and picked them up. "Excuse us," I said to Mr. Sparks with a smirk. "Toidy break. Make yourself at home. I'll be right back."

    As I headed out the door, I said, "You know, you're going to have to start doing this by yourselves. What are you going to do when I'm not here?"

    "Do it ourselves," Justin said.

    Then Jeremy whispered in my ear, "I need help wiping my bum."

    "Oh," I said, and I smiled. I took them into the bathroom and closed the door. "Who's first?" Jeremy stuck up his hand. I helped him pull down his pants, set him on the toilet, then said, "Call me when you're done, okay?"

    "Okay, Daddy." I loved that sound.

    Mr. Sparks was coming down the hall as I stepped outside to wait. "They need a bit of help with this part."

    He leaned in to whisper in my ear. "Believe it or not, you miss it when they don't need your help anymore."

    "I know," I said. "I have a ten-year-old daughter."

    He nodded, then indicated my bedroom. "May I?"

    "Of course."

    He put his hands on the door frame and leaned in for a look around, but, out of propriety, didn't enter. To me, he asked, "Do you have any pictures of Brad?"

    I looked down the hall and shouted. "Terry! Could you show Mr. Sparks our photo album, please?"

    "You bet, Mr. Dee," she shouted back.

    "I'm done, Daddy!" Jeremy's voice came from beyond the door.

    "Terry will show you," I said to Mr. Sparks. "Help yourself to the coffee."

    With a nod, he was gone. I went inside, helped Jeremy, then set Justin on the toilet for his turn. "Call me," I said, and stepped back outside again. Minutes later, the twins were cleaned and washed and back playing with their toys.

    "Can I get my Gameboy, Daddy?" Jeremy asked.

    "Sure," I said.

    "I'll take him," Terry said. Jeremy's hand slipped into Terry's. I still didn't understand their ease with her after what I'd heard, but I was happy to see it. Terry had a way with kids.

    "Justin, could you come here, please?" He came to me and I picked him up and set him on my lap. "You're not afraid of Terry, are you?"

    He shook his head ‘no'. "We know you are our Daddy. Terry looks after us when you are away. That's okay."

    "I thought you were afraid of women, like Trish.."

    "Trish tried to be our Mommy," he said honestly. "Terry is our friend. Not a Mommy."

    "Thank you," I said, and I set him on the floor again.

    He walked over to Mr. Sparks, who was sitting with Nancy on the loveseat. "Hey," he said. Mr. Sparks looked up. "We want to live here with Daddy. Can we?"

    "I certainly hope so . . . um. . ."

    "Justin," I said.

    Mr. Sparks glanced at Nancy. She held up her hands in defense. "Don't look at me," she said. "I still can't tell them apart."

    He glanced back at me. I just smiled and shrugged. His attention returned to Justin. "Well, Justin, I certainly hope you can."

    "Thank you," Justin said, then went back to his toys and began bulldozing the carpet.

    Mr. Sparks closed the album and set it on the coffee table. "Thank you," he said.

    "I hope you get to meet Brad, Ron," Nancy said as Terry and Jeremy returned. "He's a real sweetheart, and not very hard on the eyes." She said with a wink.

    Ron's head snapped around to her. "Why, Nancy," he said. "You surprise me."

    "What?" she said with a laugh. "Married women are supposed to go suddenly blind? I don't think so, Ron!"

    "Touché!" Terry added.

    Nancy turned to me. "You're just lucky you got to him first or my Jerry would be signed up with every online singles' dating service by now looking for a new wife. Can you say ‘hot'?"

    And there was much rejoicing. (Alright! I stole that from Monty Python. Sue me.)

    "Well, Nancy," Mr. Sparks said as he rose to his feet, "I think we should leave now, and don't forget to pack your fantasies." I rose to my feet as well, taking his extended hand. "It was good meeting you, Mr. de Villiers. I'd like to come back sometime to meet Brad if I may?"

    "Any time," I said. "He's at Ryerson during the week, but he's here nights and weekends. You're always welcome."

    I showed them to the door after they'd pulled on their coats. "Stay warm," I said, and then they were gone.

    "Your architect phoned while you were in the bathroom, Mr. Dee," Terry said when I returned to the livingroom. "Your plans are ready."

    "Excellent," I said. "Care to try your hand at a little one-on-two whilst I go get them?"

    "Sure," she said, smiling brightly. "We'll be fine. Won't we, boys?"

    "Yup," they answered in unison.

    Twenty minutes later, I was talking to the architect. He'd even made 3D computer images of the finished rooms for me based on the info I had given him.

    "Looks good," I said.

    "Your plumber should be able to tie right into your service," the young man explained. "The laundry room just below the bathroom already has its own line. Good planning."

    "Lucky planning, more like it. I like the open staircase," I said. "Looks really good."

    "The column is there purely for esthetics," he said. "It's not supporting. You can eliminate it if you wish, but I think it acts as a ‘warning beacon' of sorts for the steps.."

    "Good idea. I like it."

    I wrote out his cheque and, with plans and photos in hand, I left. I detoured to my work on my way to City Hall just to check up on things, solved two minor problems, then I was on my way again. I stopped by Zellers to pick up another toy box for upstairs and two stepping stools for the bathroom. The building permits would be ready for pick-up on Monday or Tuesday and the renovations could begin.

    I got back home just in time to put Justin and Jeremy down for a nap, then sat back with Terry as we enjoyed another mug of hot coffee.

    "We got along fine, Mr. Dee," she said. "I don't think it's going to be a problem at all."

    "That's good to hear."

    "They don't fight with each other," she said. "I expected them to at least argue, but they don't."

    "That might change," I said. "Up to now, they've had to rely on each other too much to argue."

    "I hope not," she said. "By the way, could you tell me how you tell them apart?"

    I explained the tiny scar. "You'll notice other differences, too, once you start looking. When Justin isn't doing something with his hands, he makes fists. Jeremy doesn't. Jeremy twitches the right side of his mouth when he's thinking. Things like that. Sometimes they imitate each other, but the scar is a dead give-away."

    "Very observant. Did you have lunch?"

    "No," I said. "I can make something."

    "So can I," Terry said. "How about a ham sandwich with mozzarella?"

    I nodded. "How about two? Would you mind?"

    "Not at all," she said. And off she went to make them.

    I pulled out the computer drawings and looked at them. It was all coming together.

    * * * * *

    I survived the second bath with the boys and came out of it with only a few minor splashes. We'd changed the time, though. Now, bath time was before Wheel of Fortune, not after it - the bonus of that being the boys now had a time limit. If they wanted to watch Pat and Vanna do their stuff, they had to be out of the tub and in their PJs before seven o'clock.

    I was left more-or-less on my own that night. Shortly after Brad had cleaned up the kitchen after dinner, he'd hit the computer in our bedroom. Some sort of CAD drawing he had to do. I'd dropped in on him to see a few times, but it was all just a bunch of lines and notations to me.

    I did quite well on my own, actually. At eight, I put the twins to bed and got Lindsay's bath ready for her. I took a fresh coffee in for Brad and set it on the desk, leaning over his back and wrapping my arms around his chest, my hands cupping his pecs. "How's it going?" I asked.

    "I'm getting there," he answered. "It's not easy, though."

    It still looked like a bunch of lines and notations to me. "Can I get you anything else?"

    Brad turned his head to look up at me. "A kiss would be nice."

    I couldn't resist. I twisted my head down and around so I could find his lips. I gave him a quick, little kiss, then stood up, my hands dragging up his chest to his shoulders. I gave them an encouraging pat and said, "I'm sure you'll figure it out." I left him to his work.

    Lindsay joined me on the sofa following her bath and curled up in my lap. I had been sitting there with my feet propped up on the coffee table. "How are you doing, Sweetheart?"

    "I'm okay, Daddy," she said sleepily.

    "Any problems with the twins?"

    "No. We have a lot of fun together. I like having two brothers."

    "That's good."

    "I feel sorry for them," she said. She sat up and turned to face me. "Is that wrong?"

    "Why do you feel sorry for them?"

    "Well, I was thinking about when I lived with Mommy and I couldn't see you for a whole week. I tried to think what it would be like if you weren't my Daddy anymore and it made me sad. Justin and Jeremy must have been really sad not to have a Daddy for a whole year."

    "They were, Sweetheart," I said, "but they're happy now."

    "So am I," she said. "Why haven't Grandma and Grandpa been over to see them yet?"

    "They wanted to let the boys get used to living here first," I explained. "They'll be over on Saturday for supper when Grandma and Grandpa de Villiers are here."

    "I bet Grandma Hayes brings a cake."

    "I bet she does, too," I smiled.

    "I hope they like J and J as much as we do, Daddy," she said. I liked that. ‘J and J'.

    "I know they will, Sweetheart."

    "Maybe I should make name tags for them," she suggested. "That way Grandma and Grandpa will know which one is which."

    I chuckled lightly. "I think that's a good idea, Sweetheart," I told her.

    "Will you help me spell their names?"

    "You bet I will."

    She puckered up her lips, waiting for her kiss. I gave it to her with pleasure. She curled up on my chest again to watch television with me. She was wearing her warmer flannelette nightgowns now, but I grabbed the blanket off the back of the sofa and wrapped it around her anyway.

    * * * * *

    I felt lips pressing against mine and I felt like I was dreaming. I recognized those lips and there was no mistaking the kiss. It was Brad. I opened my eyes and looked up into his handsome face. "Brad?" I said.

    "Shhh," he whispered. "You'll wake up Lindsay."

    I glanced around quickly. Lindsay was sound asleep on my chest. "What time is it?"

    "After two," he said. "I just finished. Come on. Time to go to bed." He carefully lifted the blanket away from Lindsay and folded it up quickly as I rose to my feet, still holding my daughter. "I'll get the lights," Brad said.

    I carried Lindsay down the hall to her room, flipped on the light, and put her gently into bed under her blankets. She stirred, but didn't wake up. I kissed her forehead, checked on the twins, and went back down the hall to the bathroom. Brad was already in there, taking his bedtime leak. I joined him.

    Minutes later, I was asleep again, this time in my own bed with my best friend in the world sleeping on my chest instead of my daughter.

    * * * * *

    Friday was my first day without the boys. Still, I phoned home three times in the morning, once twice noon, and once more in the afternoon to check on them. Terry assured me they were fine, but it didn't stop me worrying.

    I didn't stop worrying until I stepped through my front door at home and two little boys and one little girl jumped into my arms for their hugs and kisses. The hugs and kisses were worth all the worrying I had done.

    "Look what Terry helped me make!" Lindsay was shouting. She held up two small, rectangular name badges on white cardboard. She'd drawn a fancy blue frame around each in permanent marker ink and had printed one name on each. She'd even decorated them with tiny stickers of cars and puppy dogs and kittens. Terry had attached a small safety pin on the back of each with a few dollops of hot glue.

    "Ex-cell-ent!" I said proudly.

    "Terry wrote their names on a paper so I could copy them."

    "These will come in very handy," I said and gave Lindsay a hug for her efforts.

    The boys were anxious to show me what they'd learnt on the Leapsters that day. As I watched, Terry came up beside me, all bundled up to go home. "Potatoes and veggies are ready, Mr. Dee," she said. "And the chicken's ready to go in the oven."

    "Thanks," I said. "Come on. I'll write out your cheque." I took her to the kitchen, filled out her pay cheque, and handed it to her.

    She glanced at it and was about to tuck in into her pocket when she looked again. She held it out to me. "This is wrong, Mr. Dee," she said. "This isn't what we agreed upon."

    I smiled at her. "I decided to change our agreement unilaterally." I stood up to face her. "You do more around here than you should, Terry," I said. "You deserve every penny of it."

    Terry gave me a big hug and stretched up on her toes to kiss my cheek. "Thanks, Mr. Dee."

    "My pleasure. Thank you." I followed her to the door.

    She was just about to open it when it opened and Brad stepped inside. Brad got a hug and a kiss on the cheek as well. "See you Monday," she said, and literally skipped out the door.

    "What was that all about?" Brad said with a surprised grin.

    "I gave her another raise. Welcome home," I said and he fell into my arms to get his welcome home kiss. When I finally released him, I told him, "Get your coat off and go see what the kids did today. I'll get supper on the go."

    As I was turning on the oven for the chicken, a happy little voice yelled out, "Brad! Look what I can do now!"

    * * * * *

    The twins were bathed and dressed in their PJs and bathrobes. We were all sitting around watching Jeopardy when Mom phoned. "We're on the Four-Oh-One, Teddy," she said, "just off the Four-Twenty-Seven. Traffic has been good. Your Dad says we should be there before eight- thirty. Can you keep the twins awake until then? I don't think I can wait until tomorrow."

    I haven't heard such excitement in Mom's voice in years, and my heart melted at it. "I'll keep them awake, Mom. See you soon. Tell Dad to drive carefully."

    "We will, dear," she said. "Bye."

    I hung up. "Well, boys," I said to the twins, "do you want to go to bed or do you want to stay awake to meet your Grandma and Grandpa de Villiers?"

    Jeremy, who was sitting as usual in Brad's lap, began bouncing with undisguised excitement and shouted, "Can we?"

    "Sure," I told him. "Just this once."

    Lindsay jumped up off the sofa. "I'm going to have my bath now, Daddy, so I can be ready."

    "Okay, Sweetheart." And off she went to get her night clothes ready. I picked Justin off my lap and set him beside Brad. "I'll be right back. I have to get Lindsay's bath ready."

    "Okay, Daddy."

    God, but it felt good to hear that word. The tub was still filling as Lindsay arrived.

    "Daddy? Will you wash my hair tonight?"

    "Sure I will, Sweetheart," I said. "I didn't think you wanted me to do that anymore."

    "I don't," she said, "but I miss it sometimes."

    "You just tell me when," I said and pulled her in for a nice, big, Daddy hug and kiss.

    As she undressed, I turned off the faucets and checked the water temperature one more time. The smell of lavender bath oils wafted up to me. No wonder Lindsay liked bathing in it. It smelled so nice.

    I sat on the tub as I lathered, rinsed, and repeated. When I'd poured the last pitcher of water over her head, I pressed may palms down her hair to squeeze out the water, then I grasped her cheeks and pulled her head forward so I could kiss it. The scent reached my nostrils. I smiled at her and said, "You smell just like apricots. I could eat you right up."

    "Aw, Daddy," she said, suddenly shy.

    "You hurry now, okay? Grandma and Grandpa will be here soon. Call me if you need me."

    "I will, Daddy."

    "I love you, Sweetheart," I said as I kissed her hair again.

    "I love you, too, Daddy."

    * * * * *

    The doorbell rang. "I'll get it!" Lindsay yelled as she jumped off the sofa. I picked up Justin as Brad picked up Jeremy. Their hand-made name tags were pinned to their bathrobes.

    "Well, boys," I said, "this is it. Ready to meet your Grandma and Grandpa?"

    Justin shook his head ‘yes' and I kissed his cheek. I kissed Jeremy's as well. Brad got a kiss on the lips. "Here we go," I said. I took a deep breath and headed for the front door.

    To Be Continued

  36. #336
    On the Prowl Trent0n1's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    What a fantastic story Neal....I'm really loving it! Such a skill in story telling you have, and I'm so grateful that you're sharing this one with us all!

    Beanie I understand....sometime here in Oz the temp gets cold enough to wear them....and then you have the kids who wear them all year round! I just don't understand that.

    Hey Sheep....you want to swap houses and come on down to Australia? February in Oz can be a touch warm... For me....I'd love to visit Canada one day.

    Trent

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent0n1
    Hey Sheep....you want to swap houses and come on down to Australia? February in Oz can be a touch warm... For me....I'd love to visit Canada one day.
    Trent
    I wanted to circumnavigate Oz on motorcycle with a friend from QLD in '01 but the logistics didn't work. Shipping the bike over and back was hella expensive and the other option was to buy a new one there and sell it after the trip. Also a non-starter. Since then I crashed my bike and a long flight like that is too hard on me.
    I can't handle really hot temperatures either!

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    Hi Neil,
    Thanks for two more wonderful chapters.
    It's the most scary thing when kids vanish in a mall, my heart was in my mouth ....... & the relief when Ted found them!!!!! oh wow.
    Thanks for the piece about the toboggans, it was fascinating.
    Sheep, I hope you weren't too damaged in the bike smash. I ride a Yam FJ1200.
    Peace & Love
    Harry

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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XXXXV

    Mom and Dad were already inside and the door was closed. Several large Zellers bags sat on the floor, as did a suitcase. Mom was bent down, kissing and hugging Lindsay. Dad was kissing her other cheek. The boys had one finger hooked between their teeth, watching intently.

    "Grandma," Lindsay said as she pointed. "Look."

    Mom stood up and turned around to face us. "Oh, my," she said, her eyes moving from one small face to the other. She took the few steps forward to stand in front of me. Dad came forward as well, and Lindsay moved to stand between myself and Brad.

    "Mom? Dad? This is Justin," and, indicating his brother, I said, "and this is Jeremy. Boys? This is your Grandma and Grandpa."

    Mom reached out and put a hand on each boy's arm. "Hello," she said.

    "Hi," the twins replied in tandem.

    She looked at me. "Can I hold him?" She held up her hands to Justin.

    "They might be a little bit. . ." I didn't get to finish. Justin released his grasp around my neck and reached for Mom.

    She took him into her arms as Dad reached for Jeremy. He went to my father as easily as Justin had gone to Mom. "Oh, Jan, look at them," Mom said softly. "They're beautiful. And their eyes! The prettiest blue I've ever seen." She gave Justin a kiss on his cheek, his finger hooked once more in his mouth.

    "We didn't have a Grandma before," he said softly around his finger.

    "Well, you have one now, my darlings," Mom said as she hugged him and kissed him again. Then she gave me a one-armed hug and a kiss as well before doing the same to Jeremy and Brad.

    Lindsay led Mom into the livingroom.

    Dad followed her lead, giving both Brad and me a hug. To me, he said, "Thank you, Son." To Brad, he said, "Get the bags, would you?" He followed Mom into the livingroom.

    I smiled at Brad and shrugged before I grabbed up the suitcase and two plastic bags. Brad grabbed the rest. I set the suitcase near the stairway and took the bags into the livingroom, setting them on the floor near the coffee table. Brad set his bags down and disappeared into the kitchen. The kids were on the sofa and Mom and Dad were removing their coats and hats. Dad held them out to me and I took them to the entryway closet.

    By the time I returned, Mom and Dad were seated on either end of the kids with Lindsay sitting in the middle. "I made the name tags myself," Lindsay explained proudly. "Terry helped me spell their names."

    "And a wonderful job you did, dear," Mom said. "Now, I know which one is which. Can you tell them apart?"

    "Sure," Lindsay said. "This one is Justin and this one is Jeremy."

    "How do you know?" my Dad asked.

    "Their name tags," Lindsay said with finality. "D'uh."

    Three adults burst into laughter. Three children joined in.

    Despite the laughter, though, I could see the boys' eyelids beginning to droop. "I'm going to have to get them into bed soon," I said. "Sorry, Mom."

    "I understand," she said, "but I have something I want to give them first. Hand me the bag that's poking out in squares." I grabbed the bag which looked like it was poking. "That's the one," Mom said. I gave it to her and she opened it. "Let's see. Blue was for Jeremy." She pulled a package wrapped in blue paper. "Which one is Jeremy?" she asked as she checked name tags. She needn't have bothered. Jeremy was already reaching for it. Mom smiled and said, "Here you go, Sweetie." Then, "Green is for Justin, and. . . pink is for Lindsay."

    Following the first round, she pulled two more packages each from the bag and handed them to the three excited children. All three looked at me with eager intent. "You can open them," I said as Brad appeared behind the sofa and watched from above. Hands ripped and paper flew. Lindsay began slowly at first, but quickly gave up and started ripping as well.

    Justin got a dump truck which actually dumped, Jeremy got a full assortment of Star Wars action figures, and Lindsay got a two packages of unicorn and faerie decorations stickers for sticking on greeting cards and such. I knew she wouldn't though. They'd probably be stuck all over her room.

    In the next round, Justin got a working back hoe and Jeremy got an assortment of Super Hero action figures. I knew, first thing in the morning, Batman would be doing battle with Darth Vader as a back hoe dug up my carpet and hauled it away to the kitchen. Lindsay got two unicorn charms for her bracelet - one standing, just like her garden unicorn, and the other rearing up on its hind legs.

    The toys were set on the coffee table.

    In the final round of gifts, each child got a new Teddy Bear. Lindsay and Justin pulled theirs out immediately, but Jeremy sat there, looking at it. His tiny fingers reached out to stroke it gently, and then he lifted it out of the box as if he were lifting delicate glass and he cuddled it. Mom was wiping tears from her cheeks, a very content smile on her face.

    I was about to speak to remind them of their manners when Jeremy came to his knees, the box falling to the floor. He turned to Mom, who was sitting closest to him, and, with one arm clutching his new Teddy, he wrapped the other around her to give her a big hug and a "Thank you, Grandma." Justin and Lindsay stood up to do the same.

    Brad returned to the kitchen as I rose to my feet. "Okay, boys," I said. "Time for bed." After a goodnight hug and kiss from their new grandparents, and, with Teddies in one arm, I walked them to their room, their tiny hands in mine. I sat on the bed as I removed their bathrobes, leaving the name tags attached. I pulled them into my arms for a big, warm hug and a kiss on their cheeks. "I love you guys," I told them, and they hugged me back as best they could.

    I lifted them into bed and tucked them in, their new Teddies clutched tightly to them. "So, how did you like your new Grandma and Grandpa?"

    "Can they live here with us?" Justin asked.

    "No, they live somewhere else, but they'll be here tomorrow, and we can go visit them later where they live."

    "Okay, Daddy," Jeremy said softly.

    I gave them another kiss on the forehead. "Now, you go to sleep, okay?"

    "Nitey-nite, Daddy," they said.

    * * * * *

    The livingroom was cleaned up. Lindsay was checking out her stickers, undoubtedly imagining all the places she was going to stick them, and Mom and Dad sat beside her on the sofa. Brad entered with a tray.

    "I've never made loose tea before," he said. "I hope it's okay."

    Mom took the cup offered to her and took a hesitant sip. She smiled up at Brad. "It's delicious," she said with a polite cringe. "Tomorrow, I'll show you how to make it less crunchy."

    Mom took Lindsay to bed when it was finally time for her to go and we sat around afterward just talking. Brad sat beside me on the loveseat. He unconsciously held my hand until he saw Dad looking at us and he self-consciously pulled his hand away.

    "This is your home, Son," Dad said to Brad. "I don't make the rules here."

    Brad looked at me. I just took his hand and held it.

    Mom opened the other bags, pulling out new coats, jackets, boots, and snow suits for the boys. There was another assortment of mittens and toques and scarves. They were top quality and would keep the boys warm this winter. To help keep things even in the family, she'd brought along two new outfits and a new winter coat for Lindsay as well.

    By ten-thirty, Mom was ready for bed herself. "Well," she said, "it's been a long, exciting day, and it's time to give these old bones a rest."

    Brad cleaned up as I took Mom and Dad to the guestroom. I turned on a table lamp in the den. "I'll leave these lights on," I told them. In the bedroom, I showed them the small bathroom and where they could find extra blankets and comforters if they needed them. "Will you be okay down here?"

    "We'll be fine, Ted," Mom said, giving me my own hug and kiss.

    Dad did the same. "I'm proud of you, Son," he said. "It takes guts to take on a family like this. If you need any help. . ."

    "I can manage, Dad," I said. "Thanks anyway."

    * * * * *

    I thought I was the prude in this pair, but Brad was the one who made me chuckle when I swung around so he and I could engage in a little sixty-nine before going to sleep.

    "Are you kidding?" he whispered loudly. "Your parents are just downstairs."

    "And we're way up here," I said.

    "Do you really think we should?"

    "Look. If you don't want to, I understand. But we're in our home. They don't make the rules here. We do. Now, you don't have to do anything if you don't want to, but I want to."

    Without waiting for a response from him, I sank my mouth over his cock and sucked it into me. He gasped and his cock swelled. Moments later, his lips found my own cock and I was drawn inside him.

    We were in no hurry, but it happened quickly. All too soon Brad was pumping his seed into me. Before he finished, I began pumping my seed into him. Our orgasms were tender, intense, and sweet all at the same time, and just as enjoyable as every other climax we had shared. As I turned around again, Brad pulled the blankets over us and we hugged and kissed for a long time before we fell asleep.

    * * * * *

    "Brad!" I whispered loudly. "Shit!"

    Brad was sitting up in bed in a flash as I scrambled out of bed. "What is it!?"

    "The time!"

    He glanced at the bedside clock radio. "Damn!" He, too, scrambled to get out of bed.

    Twenty past nine! I hadn't slept that long in ages. I pulled on some underwear, grabbed my bathrobe, and pulled it on as I headed for the door. Brad was right behind me, pulling his on as well after he pulled on his underwear. The kids' bedroom was empty.

    Down the hall to the kitchen. There was Dad, sitting at the end of the table, enjoying his morning cuppa. Lindsay sat in her usual spot and the boys sat opposite her. All were happily munching on a bowl of cereal. Mom was working at the counter.

    "Good morning, sleepy heads," Mom said as she looked around at us and smiled.

    "You should have called me," I said as I gave her a peck on the cheek.

    "When was the last time you got to sleep in?" she asked.

    "I can't remember," I said.

    "That's why I didn't call you. We managed well enough."

    I went to Lindsay for her good morning kiss, then around to the boys for their kisses. Dad held up his hand. "I've had plenty already this morning, Son." I haven't seen Dad smile like that in a long, long time.

    "You boys sit down and eat," Mom said as she brought two steaming mugs of coffee to the table.

    I looked at the twins and gave them an accusing glance. "Very funny," I said. "Now, put on your own bathrobes."

    "You mean. . . ?" Mom said, swishing her finger back and forth between the two boys.

    "Yup," I said as I picked him up and stood him on the chair. "This one's Jeremy, not Justin." I picked up Justin as well. "Now, switch."

    They did, snickering to themselves the whole time.

    Mom gave her best hands-on-hips scolding glance. "Just you wait until I figure out which is which," she said. "You won't be able to fool me for long."

    The boys giggled again. And so did Dad.

    As I had told Terry, I didn't even have to look for the little scar anymore. There were so many subtle clues which screamed out their real names. I always wondered how a mother knew which child was which, but now I knew. Simple observation.

    Brad had taken his place beside Lindsay and I took my place at the opposite end to Dad. Mom presented us with a full English breakfast. Or, as near to full English as she could make it with Canadian food. There was no black pudding, of course, and we had hash browns instead of baked beans. I secretly hoped Mom wouldn't make her Bubble and Squeak sometime over the weekend. I couldn't stand that stuff and I didn't want anyone acquiring a taste for it around here. Funny, that. I liked black pudding. Go figure.

    Brad and I showered separately that morning. What we did in our bedroom with the door closed was our business. What we did in the bathroom with my parents around was a different matter. The kitchen had been cleaned up after breakfast and Mom had done all the dishes by hand. She refused to use the dish washer.

    I took Dad on a tour, with Brad following, as Mom helped the kids try on their new clothes. We stood in the livingroom and I pointed to the outer staircase wall. "This is all going to be opened up and a railing installed. There will be a column here at the end."

    "Oh, that will be nice, Ted," Mom said. "Those stairs are rather frightening."

    "What about the downstairs?" Dad asked. "Off the den? Are you going to open that up, too?"

    "I haven't really thought about that. I didn't know if I could."

    "Dad said only the inside wall was supporting," Brad offered.

    "It would make a world of difference, Son."

    "I suppose I could get another permit."

    "No permit needed," Dad said. "You're not making any structural changes. Check into it with your carpenter. If it's not supporting, knock her down."

    It was an appealing idea. I would certainly think about that one. We went into the study then, and I moved into the room and faced the door. "This will be the bathroom. The toilet and sink will be along the outside wall there and the tub will be about where I'm standing. I was hoping you'd come back to plumb it up for me."

    "I'd like that, Son," Dad said.

    "There will be a door here leading into the boys' bedroom.

    Dad nodded, turned, and looked. "Taking the closets out, then?"

    "Yes," I said. "There will be room behind the tub here for a small walk-in closet."

    Dad nodded again. "The laundry room should be right under here if I remember correctly," he said. "I saw it last night. Let's go have a look."

    I led the way. Dad looked behind the washer, then up to the ceiling. "Would you boys pull this washer out a bit?" Brad and I began moving it. "Careful now, don't pull too hard. You're all connected. There, that's enough." He squeezed in behind the washer and began looking at the pipes and into the holes. "Got a torch?"

    "A what?" Brad asked.

    "Flashlight," I said.

    "Oh. I'll get it."

    "We might just get lucky here, Son," Dad said.

    Brad soon returned with the flashlight and I handed it to Dad. He peeked and he poked and he pulled, then he shook his head. "Can't see. Help me up."

    I helped him to his feet.

    "I'd like to cut a small hole in your drywall."

    "Sure," I said. "What do you need?"

    "My toolkit." He pulled his keys out of his pocket and tossed them to Brad. "In the boot. . ."

    "Trunk," I said.

    ". . . The small red one without the lock."

    Brad headed up the stairs again.

    "I can get things for you, Dad," I said. "Brad's not a slave."

    "No, he isn't, Son. I'm just doing my part to keep him in good shape for you." Dad smiled and winked at me.

    I was stunned. My father had actually said that?

    It's obvious he saw the expression on my face. "It's okay, Son," he said sincerely. "I've been a fool. Brad is a wonderful young man. He's not out for what I thought he was out for, and you're not out for what I thought you were out for, either."

    I knew what Dad was talking about without asking. Money and meat.

    "I was wrong before, Ted. There's real love between you two. I can see that now. I think Brad would still be with you if you lived in a cardboard box in an alley somewhere."

    I hugged him. Hard. "Thank you, Dad."

    I could feel Dad nodding his head. "I love you, Son."

    "I love you, too, Dad," I told him. "I should tell you more often."

    "So should I, Son. So should I."

    * * * * *

    We were sitting in the livingroom again. Brad and I were sipping our coffee and Mom and Dad were having their ‘Elevenses'. "You're going to save a fortune in plumbing," Mom said.

    "It's a good thing your boyfriend suggested you move the bedroom and bathroom around, Ted," Dad added. "Good going, Brad."

    Brad blushed. "Total luck," he said shyly. "I was thinking about doors."

    After Brad had returned with the toolkit, Dad had taken out a drywall knife and cut out a square of drywall big enough to stick his head in. Whoever had built the house had had the foresight to bring the sewer line all the way to the other end out the house. Perhaps they had intended to install their own bathroom at one time and never got around to it. Dad could tie right into it. Otherwise, it would have meant possibly digging up the floor so he could connect to the powder room. And the hot and cold water feeds were already there as well. We had been lucky indeed.

    That's when I remembered that the architect had told me a few days earlier that the sewer line was there. I'd forgot. I chose not to let that little brain fart become known to anyone else.

    Right after lunch, we bundled all the kids up, piled everyone into the van, and headed off to Zellers. Mom didn't like the way the snow suits fit on the boys and wanted to get a larger size for them. Lindsay held my left hand. Justin held my right hand. Jeremy, of course, held Brad's hand. I liked the way Brad had been brought into all this. Jeremy still came to me when Brad wasn't around, but, as long as Brad was there, Jeremy went to him first. Personally, I think Brad walked a little taller and puffed out his chest a little more when Jeremy was walking by his side. Besides, Justin and Jeremy got to ride in their own carts when we all went shopping together.

    Mom took us on a little detour in Zellers and bought us a new teapot and a new strainer. If Brad expected a return visit from her, he was going to have to learn how to make tea properly.

    "One spoon per cup and one for the pot," she said. "Stir it to ‘elevate' the tea and let it steep for about three or four minutes."

    "What does it mean to ‘elevate' the tea?" Brad asked.

    "I don't know," Mom said. "Just do it. It's not tea until you elevate it. Stir it once more before you pour it. And use this strainer. Chuck the other one in the dust bin."

    Brad looked at me. "Garbage," I said.

    Brad just shook his head. "Gee-sus, Murphy! I never knew I'd need a translator for English."

    Dad laughed. Really hard!

    Of course, no trip to Zellers with kids in tow could end without a stop at the toy department. Especially with Mom leading the way. "Mom, you're going to spoil them."

    "You hush now," she replied. "It's a grandmother's job to spoil her grandchildren. You and Brad go over there to those books and grab up anything you can find for preschoolers. Tonight, you start reading to them. Every day, you hear? Do you still read to Lindsay?"

    "She reads her own stories."

    "And you can read them to her. Better yet, wait here. As soon as we have the toys they want, we'll all go over there together and they can pick the books out themselves."

    "But Mom. . ."

    "Forget it, Son," Dad said. "I haven't won an argument in almost forty years."

    * * * * *

    John and Bernice came over shortly after we got home. Brad had gone over to collect them and to help carry over everything that Bernice had planned to bring for dinner that evening. The kids were playing with their new toys, of course, and John and Bernice barely had time to get their coats and boots off before Lindsay was dragging them into the livingroom to meet the twins.

    "J and J?" she said. "This is Grandma and Grandpa Hayes. She makes the cookies. Did you bring a cake for dessert, Grandma?"

    "Yes, I did," Bernice replied. "And ice cream as well." She turned her attention to the boys. "Hello," she said.

    "Are you really our Grandma, too?" Justin asked.

    "Yes, I suppose I am."

    The twins looked at each other, their faces full of smiles. "Now we each have one!" Jeremy said.

    * * * * *

    Mom and Bernice busied themselves in the kitchen, preparing dinner together. The kids were still playing on the floor and laughing up a storm. Dad and John were sitting on the settee together talking about the renovations. Brad and I sat on the sofa just holding hands and feeling more proud than we had ever felt.

    Dinner was doubly delicious, having been prepared by two of the best cooks in the world. Brad and I cleaned up and put the dishes in the dishwasher as Mom and Bernice gave the twins their bath. I didn't think the boys would have allowed it, but their whole attitude toward women had changed drastically. They had what they needed, what they wanted - a home and a family.

    Jacob phoned that evening. He had all the information I wanted. That man worked fast, I'll tell you. I invited him over for the next afternoon at three. Mom and Dad would be leaving around one or two to head back to Crystal Beach. He promised he would be here.

    I didn't do very much parenting that night. Mom and Bernice handled it all for me. They put the boys to bed, and Lindsay, too. All I had to do was to go in and kiss them goodnight.

    Bernice tried a cup of loose leaf tea, made by Brad under Mom's watchful eye, but John would have none of it. Coffee for him.

    Mom handled breakfast again in the morning and let me and Brad sleep in to almost eight o'clock. John and Bernice came over again at ten and, within a few hours, John and Dad had make up a partial supply list for me. Enough to get things moving, at least. Of course, the two new Grandmas spent most of the time doting over their newest grandchildren. Now that they had their step stools in the bathroom, they could use the toilet and wash their hands themselves - except when it was a ‘sit-down' job, and they even let their new Grandmas do that for them, too.

    Brad spent a lot of the morning playing the piano for us, which surprised Mom to no end.

    "Oh!" she screamed suddenly and jumped up. Scared the hell out of me and everyone else.

    "Mom!?" I said, jumping to my feet as well.

    "I almost forgot!" she said as she headed for the basement stairs. "Stay here, dear," she said to me. "I'll be right back."

    I wished she hadn't come back. In her hands were several DVDs. "We had your home movies transferred," she said with a smile.

    Brad looked at her with the most evil smirk on his face. "Including ‘Thwack Thwack'?"

    Mom held up a DVD. "Right here."

    Brad burst out laughing.

    "Where's my hammer?" I asked.

    * * * * *

    Mom and Dad were on their way home. John and Bernice were downstairs with Brad and the kids. I sat at the kitchen table with Jacob.

    "It isn't pretty, Ted."

    "I need to know, Jacob."

    He nodded. "Their mother's name is Cindy. Their father was Brent. If you want last names, I'll give them to you, but I've left them out of my report."

    "No last names."

    "I didn't think you'd want to know. Brent and Cindy were never married. As far as I can find out, Brent had always been gay and had several partners throughout his teens. For his prom, he invited Cindy to go with him. For whatever reason, he decided to have sex with her that night. The only time he was ever with a woman. Maybe to prove something to himself. She became pregnant and found out it was twins. She wanted to have an abortion, but both Cindy's parents and Brent talked her into going through with the birth and Brent would take the twins. He kept his word. Cindy and her parents wouldn't have anything to do with them after that.

    "Brent met George before the twins were born and they moved in together shortly after. Now, George is bad news right from the start. He has a record as long as your arm. Abuse, assault, attempted murder, drugs, alcohol, impaired driving, burglary. . . you name it, he probably did it. He never touched the boys, but he used them to get at their father. Brent suffered three broken bones over the first two years of the twins' lives, plus a broken nose and cracked rib. He never laid charges, probably because George threatened to hurt the boys if he did, and he probably didn't leave George for the same reason. George would come after the kids.

    "No-one knows why George killed their father. There were no arguments heard by the neighbours or anyone else. I think Brent had decided enough was enough and wanted out. George isn't talking. He's in Kingston Pen now for a long time. Anyway, the father was dead for at least two days before the police were called, and that's only because the neighbours heard the boys crying constantly. They were discovered in their playpen in two-day-old diapers. Their father lay on his back with a kitchen butcher knife sticking in his chest. He was close enough to the playpen for the boys to touch his face for two whole days."

    I couldn't speak. The horror burned in me and my love for the twins shot into orbit. I could only imagine what must have gone on in their minds. But at least I understood now. I knew what they had gone through. What I still don't understand, though, is how those two beautiful boys came out of all that without nightmares and emotional problems and needing long-term counselling.

    Jacob closed the folder and pushed it toward me. I pushed it back. "Destroy it," I said. "Get rid of everything, Jacob, and never mention it to anyone."

    He merely nodded, put the folder into his briefcase, and stood up.

    "Thanks, Jacob. Just send me the bill."

    He put a hand on my shoulder and squeezed it. Without another word, he found his coat and was gone. I sat there at the table, staring at nothing for a long time.

    Then I stood up, went downstairs, and hugged my kids.

    To Be Continued

  40. #340

    Re: Watching Brad

    I don't have the last couple of chapter read yet, but I love this story.

  41. #341
    HUGS! ;-)
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil ...

    Haven't had "The Sniffles", like THIS, for a Long Time!!

    THANK YOU!! (Would someone Please pass the Kleenex??)

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

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    Ky, at this rate we're going to run out of Kleenex !
    Thanks Neil for another touching chapter.
    I love your sense of humour ...... the English language bits are great !
    Peace & Love
    Harry

  43. #343
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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XXXXVI

    Demolition began soon after ten in the morning of Saturday, November 12. It had been a hectic week. The permits were picked up and stuck prominently on the front window and the list of supplies and building materials had been ordered and would be delivered early next week.

    John and Bernice had been incredible to us. They had taken to Justin and Jeremy as they had with Lindsay, and the boys had taken to them as well. They had both been over Friday night with Bernice watching the kids while Brad and John helped me move things around in the garage in preparation for the delivery. The bathtub, toilet and sink had been moved to the side of the garage for easy access and we moved Lindsay's fountain and unicorn, brought in for the winter, into the far corner where they would be safe.. Brad and I did the lifting. John supervised.

    So, there we were. Ready to tear things apart. Bernice was downstairs with the kids. John's friends had arrived as well. Introductions were made and we got right to work.

    We took up the wall-to-wall carpeting first. It was still in excellent condition and I'd just have to hire some carpet installers to put it back in when the rooms were done. It should fit again and there should be enough left over from the bathroom area cut-out to put in the walk-in closet. The underlay was good, too, so it all went out to the garage until needed.

    We ripped up the tack strips next, removed the two closet doors and the framing around them. Brad let me have the first swing of the sledge hammer. Already it was feeling warm. I hadn't done manual labour like this in years. Even Brad was working up a sweat and had pulled off his shirt. By the time we got to the sledge, he had changed into his cut-offs. It had been a long time since I'd seen him in them, and he looked good.

    Okay, where was I? Right. Sledge hammer. It wasn't much of a swing. All I managed to do was to pop a hole through the drywall. Brad showed off by punching a bigger hole above mine with his fist. I gave him a kiss, handed him the sledge, and said, "Have at it."

    Pete, the carpenter, stood back when Brad wound up for his swing. John and Anthony, the bathroom fitter and tiler, were at the other end of the room measuring and drawing lines on the floor with a blue chalk line.

    "Ted?" John called me. I went over to them. "Tony says you're definitely going to need new plywood for this bathroom floor."

    "It's in good shape," Anthony said, "but it's too thin for floor tiles. You'll be cracking grout and tiles all over the place if you don't replace it with three-quarter ply."

    I nodded. I didn't really understand, but I nodded anyway as if I did. "What do I need and how much?"

    Anthony said, "That depends if you want to replace the bedroom ply as well."

    I took a look around. I had a good idea of the price of a sheet of plywood. Quick calculations told me this could be really expensive. "Is it really necessary?"

    "No," Anthony replied.

    "Then let's just stick to the bathroom."

    Anthony told me how many sheets to buy and the proper screws for attaching it. I phoned in the order to Home Hardware and added it to what would be delivered next Monday or Tuesday afternoon.

    Brad worked like a horse, pulling things down and smashing them up. I let him go and spent most of my time cleaning up and carrying stuff to the disposal bin which had been dropped off on our front lawn earlier that morning. The kids wanted to help but, with all the nails and jagged pieces of wood, I kept them well out of the way.

    By the time we went to bed that night, I was cursing our decision to drain the hot tub. I could have used it now. Still, it was fun sharing a nice hot bath with Brad. Too bad I was too tired and sore to do anything with him except sit there and hurt all over.

    * * * * *

    As it turned out, the building supplies were delivered on Tuesday afternoon. They had phoned my cell that morning and I met them at home to show them where to put everything. The boys were with me, all bundled up against the cold in their new snow suits, and watched in fascination as the small crane unloaded the sheets of ply and drywall and cement board and the stacks of two-by-fours and all the other materials we would need. Unfortunately, they couldn't unload it any further than the driveway. We had to carry it all inside the garage ourselves.

    Terry stayed with the boys as I moved all the smaller boxes inside, then went to work on the two-bys. I decided to wait for Brad to help me with the plywood and drywall and cement board. By the time I was done, I could barely pick up the boys to carry them inside. Brad helped me move the rest of it that evening after dinner.

    I suppose I should tell you about the twins. Just to catch you up. Well, I can tell you everything in one single word: fantastic! As far as they're concerned, this was their home and this was where they were going to stay. Nancy had already returned for two visits and Mr. Sparks came with her one evening to meet Brad.

    We were sitting together in the livingroom having coffee and chatting when Jeremy came tearing upstairs from the den and clambered into Brad's lap to show him the new picture he'd painted for him on the easel. He was already bathed and dressed in his PJs and bathrobe.

    "Remember what I told you about running on the stairs?"

    "Sorry, Brad," Jeremy said. "I forgot."

    "Try to remember next time, okay?"

    Jeremy nodded.

    "Well, this one seems to be completely at ease with you," Mr. Sparks said.

    "Jeremy," Brad said. "Right from the first day we met. He's my best little buddy, aren't you, Jer?"

    Jeremy, who was lying back against Brad's chest, tilted his head up and turned it to one side, his lips puckered and ready. Brad gave him a nice, loud smacker and hugged him. Brad had such a smile of pride on his face. Jeremy's smile was pure contentment.

    "Daddy? Can we have a cookie?"

    "Just one, and then it's time for bed, okay?" Jeremy nodded. "Go tell your brother and sister."

    Jeremy slid out of Brad's lap and ran to the basement stairs. He yelled, "We can have a cookie!" Then he went to the kitchen to join Brad, who had gone to fix them their bedtime snack. Lindsay and Justin joined them moments later.

    "They certainly look more at home now," Nancy said.

    "I have a feeling they think they are home now," I said.

    "And what do you think?" she asked.

    I looked at her. "I think they are, too."

    "Would you mind if we speak with them alone?" Mr. Sparks asked. "Your daughter, too?" he added.

    "Of course not," I told him. "Is the kitchen okay?"

    "It's fine. Thank you." Both he and Nancy disappeared into the kitchen. Brad appeared a few moments later and sat beside me. My left arm found its way to his shoulders.

    "Do you think this is wise?" he whispered.

    "We don't hide it from the kids," I said. "I'm not going to hide it from Sparks."

    "Then I won't hide this," Brad said, and he kissed me.

    "Nancy has a crush on you, you know."

    "You're kidding."

    "Nope," I grinned. "Fortunately, she knows I've got a bigger one. Crush, that is."

    "Lucky me," Brad said, and he kissed me again.

    * * * * *

    Mom and Dad arrived again on Friday night. One more month to the day before Christmas and one month minus two days before Brad's birthday. Dad was all ready to begin the plumbing. We would hit the store in the morning to get what he needed. Everything was ready. The plywood flooring had been replaced and the framing had been started. At least the walls were laid out and a few studs were in place and the tub and shower access had been framed in.

    The boys were already in bed this time. Of course, Mom had brought along another bag full of things with which she could spoil her grandchildren. Lindsay wasn't too happy that she had to wait until morning so they could all get their surprises together, but she survived.

    Saturday morning, we carried in the tub, toilet, and sink, setting them roughly in place. The kids were playing with their new toys. Dad took his measurements and made his list of supplies. The boys came with us, but Lindsay stayed with home Mom. By early afternoon, Dad was drilling his first holes in the floor. Lindsay and Mom were over at Grandma Hayes. The boys stayed with me, holding my pantlegs as they watched Grandpa de Villiers work. John and Pete would be here later to continue the framing.

    Boys and tools and heavy equipment. I think it's genetic.

    After he'd drilled the holes for the toilet, Dad handed Brad the drill and showed him where to drill the rest of the holes. Brad had his shorts on again, but, without the heavy work, he wore a T-shirt as well. There wasn't much sweat involved in drilling holes in floors.

    We all went to the Hayes household for dinner that night. The twins loved going over there for dinner or lunch. So did Lindsay, for that matter. Grandma Hayes meant cake. The twins fell asleep in our arms while we sat around after dinner. They'd barely managed to eat their cake before their eyes started to sag. They'd missed their afternoon nap. Too much going on to even think of sleeping.

    We didn't even dress them to take them home. We just put their coats over their shoulders. Even Lindsay was too tired for her bath, so she changed behind her blanket wall as Brad and I changed the boys. Justin woke up. "Bathroom, Daddy," he said. I carried him to the bathroom and set him on the toilet. I held him as he went. His eyes were already closed. By the time he finished, he was sound asleep again. Brad managed to awaken Jeremy long enough to get him started as well.

    Properly tucked in and kissed goodnight, we left the three kids to their dreams and joined Mom and Dad in the kitchen. Of course, Mom had a pot of tea ready for us.

    "You sure all this is worth it, Son?" Dad asked.

    "Even if it's just for six months, it's been more than worth it, Dad."

    Mom cut in. "They wouldn't think of taking those boys away now, would they?"

    "It's only been a few weeks," I told her. "Who knows what's going to happen five months down the road?"

    "They belong here, Son," Dad said. "They belong here with you and Brad."

    "It's not my decision, Dad."

    "Well, they're damned fools if they can't see this is they place my grandsons need to be. They'll never find two more loving fathers than you two."

    Brad was dumfounded. "I. . . um. . . I'm not going to be their father," he said.

    "Well, you could have fooled me, Son," Dad said. "The way that boy hangs onto you? The way you take care of him? Sure look like a father to me."

    "Thank you, Sir," Brad said.

    "And I'll have no more of that ‘Sir' trash. The name's Dad."

    It was official. Brad was a de Villiers.

    Mom came up behind Brad, put her hands on his shoulder, and bent down to give him a kiss on the cheek. "Welcome to the family, Brad."

    * * * * *

    Brad and I made love to each other that night. I went first. Or, more correctly, I should say that I came first. We could do a lot of things at the same time. This wasn't one of them. We had to take turns.

    Brad was extra gentle and extra loving. Perhaps he was celebrating his acceptance as a de Villiers. Perhaps he was in an especially romantic mood after smashing wood with his bare hands. Whatever it was, we both had an extra special, extra satisfying night that night.

    * * * * *

    Dad finished up his plumbing Sunday morning before they left for home in the early afternoon. He would come back after the inspector had been in and the room had been tiled to hook everything up. The framing was finished as well and John and Pete had completed the repairs to the walls caused by the closet removal. Now, I could call in the electrician to wire the place, call the inspectors to come in and check it all out, and then we could begin the drywalling.

    It was happening.

    * * * * *

    Later Sunday afternoon, we went grocery shopping. Justin sat in the child seat in my cart. Lindsay rode on the front, standing on the rack beneath the cart and holding on. Jeremy rode with Brad. It took a lot of food to feed this family, let me tell you. Tomorrow, I promised myself, I'd go shopping for a freezer.

    I bought supper at Kentucky Fried Chicken. I was too tired to cook and Colonel Sanders was so good at it. He was more than welcome in my home that night.

    Brad jerked off for me that night. I lay on his right side, cuddled next to him with his left arm around me and my head lying on his shoulder so I could watch from his perspective. It was an incredible sight. I had a hardon as well, but I kept my hands off it. I played with Brad's balls for him instead.

    My mind flashed back to that first night I had watched Brad through his bedroom window. I remembered the innocense and intensity with which he had pleasured himself. I had been mesmerized by his beauty and size. Of course, I hadn't thought of him as ‘beautiful' back then. He was a man. Men weren't beautiful. Not back then.

    So many things had changed since that night. Men could be beautiful now. At least my Brad was. And dangerously sexy. My life was so different now, and, for the first time in my life, I felt fulfilled. I had given up wondering why he fell in love with me. I didn't care anymore. He loved me and he pleased me and he made me happy. I couldn't imagine anything that could make me happier than my life as it was now.

    Brad was still just as mesmerizing as he had been so many months ago. He still jerked off with the same enthusiasm as he always had. He jerked off for me because he knew I liked watching him, but he also jerked off because he liked doing it. He made love to himself with the same care and expertise with which he made love to me.

    I licked at his pre-cum as he squeezed it along his mammoth tube until it appeared at the slit at the tip of his cockhead, and then I'd settle back and wait for the next helping. From where I was, from where my head rested against him, I was surrounded by smells, and they were all exciting. The last remnants of his deodorant mixed with the perspiration which was now gathering in the hairy pits of his arms. I could smell his breath and his shampoo, and there was his scent from his chest and, finally, the smell of sex that came at me from straight ahead. It all screamed of Brad, and there wasn't a more enticing, exciting smell in the world.

    Brad's stroking became more rapid, more urgent. His cockhead began to swell and pull tight. His chest moved up and down beneath me and I could feel his moans and groans from inside him where they began. His breath blew over me, fanning me and exciting me. His hand gripped tighter and moved faster. The strokes became longer, from the base of his cock to the flared ridge of his cockhead. His chest began to heave.

    I could hear his climax beginning inside his chest. A long, soft moan of ecstasy, barely heard by my ear, was felt inside his chest. He was breathing hard now - deep, gasping breaths. His hand flew along his shaft and the head began to pulsate, the slit winking at me, telling me he was ready.

    I knew the moment well, and I placed my lips over the tip when that moment came. And then Brad came. His cream blasted off the roof of my mouth, filling it over and over. I could taste it on my tongue and I could smell it in my nose. The scent reached me even from the inside.

    Brad came a lot that night. It continued much longer than usual, and I was more than eager to help him make it last as long as I could.

    "Oh, God, Ted!" That's all he said, and he said it in a whisper.

    I let Brad shoot into me, accepting his prize without complaint. As his hand slowed, squeezing the last droplets of his cream into my waiting mouth, my tongue licked away whatever remained on the head of his cock.

    He had barely finished cumming when Brad pushed me onto my back and sank his mouth over my own cock. Moments later, I was cumming as well. Brad was equally eager to accept my prize.

    I had to climb over him to get to his other side to go to sleep. I couldn't sleep on his left side, and he couldn't sleep on my right. It felt strange any other way. I fell asleep with the thoughts of a perfect life going through my mind.

    I couldn't imagine myself being any happier.

    * * * * *

    Monday afternoon, I left work early to go freezer shopping. I quickly found one I liked, and the size was right to fit the space. I would hold a lot of food and I could start stocking up on sales and such. It would be nice to have a few bags of milk and a few loaves of bread handy without having to run to the store all the time. Four litres of milk didn't last long in this house.

    The freezer would be delivered on Wednesday. I had decided to put it in the laundry room to the right of the basement stairs instead of in the storage room. All we had to do was to move one of the folding tables to another wall.

    Terry joined us for dinner that night. I think, if there was room for her, she would have moved in with us. She loved the kids and the kids loved her. And she'd been working hard with the boys and their Leapsters. They knew their alphabet now and could recognize numbers up to one hundred. They were learning to tell time now, too, on both a hand clock and a digital clock. Terry was an amazing care-giver and teacher.

    On Tuesday, Lindsay joined a neighbourhood friend for dinner. Her spot at the table sure looked empty. Brad stayed with the boys as I walked the few houses away to get her at seven-thirty.

    The boys were bathed and in bed by eight and Brad and I sat on the sofa waiting for Lindsay to finish her bath. When she came out, she climbed into my lap and settled against my chest. Something was wrong.

    "Are you okay, Sweetheart?"

    "My tummy hurts, Daddy," she said.

    I felt her forehead. It felt fine. No temperature.

    "Get the thermometer," I told Brad, and he left to do so. "Show me where it hurts, Sweetheart."

    She pointed and I began rubbing the spot gently. Brad returned with the ear thermometer. Her temperature was a bit above normal normal.

    "Maybe you're getting the flu, Sweetheart," I told her, and cuddled her as Brad went to the kitchen to mix her an Alka-Seltzer. "Drink this, Sweetheart," I said to her when he returned with it. "Drink it all if you can."

    She did, and then I took her to bed and stayed with her until she fell asleep.

    "How is she?" Brad asked when I returned.

    "Sleeping," I said, and then I chuckled. "She let out one helluva burp."

    "I know," Brad smiled. "I heard it."

    "I'll stay home with her if she's not feeling better in the morning," I said. "She might be coming down with the flu. Happens every year about this time, what with school and all."

    We cuddled and hugged, and hugged and cuddled some more, and then we closed up the house and went to bed.

    * * * * *

    The scream startled me awake. It was Justin. "Daddy!" I was out of bed, grabbing my robe, and on my way to their bedroom before Brad's feet hit the floor. I turned on the light. The boys were staring at the blanket wall.

    I could smell it before I saw it, and I knew what it was immediately. Lindsay was retching and crying when I reached her bed. Puke was all over her, the nightgown, the blankets, and on the floor. Her forehead was covered in sweat and I put my hand to her forehead. She was burning up.

    "Ted?" Brad said.

    I glanced at him. "Get an ambulance," I said as calmly as I could.

    To Be Continued

  44. #344

    Re: Watching Brad

    I know, I know, I have not read the chapter but the last line here bothers me. I hope it is not too bad.

  45. #345
    HUGS! ;-)
    Kyanimal's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    "And I'll have no more of that ‘Sir' trash. The name's Dad."

    O.K., Neil. THAT line "got me"!!

    And I "trust" it is "just" Lindsay's appendix? Yes?
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  46. #346
    The 'Eyes' have it
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyanimal
    And I "trust" it is "just" Lindsay's appendix? Yes?
    If you think way back to when Brad had his attack, Ted said that he had been through it all before with Lindsay.

    You'll just have to wait until tomorrow morning, I guess.

  47. #347
    HUGS! ;-)
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Oh! "SHOOT"!!!
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  48. #348
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Damn, Neil! Now I'll be a nervous wreck at my wedding today!
    How come Ted & Brad never relax with a beer anymore? Doesn't all that coffee keep them awake?

  49. #349
    On the Prowl mushka's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Food poisoning? She was at someone else's house for dinner...

  50. #350
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    Re: Watching Brad

    God!! I hope she is better quickly

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