William Ellison got out of the hospital five days after surgery on his heart and was feeling just fine. Now, one month later, he had a new lease on life. He was going to watch what he ate and take better care of himself. That meant walking. He needed to stay around a few years more and control those boys of his. Besides, it looked like Steven was going to be getting married and that Jim was thinking about getting a house with Blair. Or at least that’s what the boys had told him. It all gave William a wonderful way to look at his world. He had lots to do and should be around for a long while to do it.
He was sitting in his house, wondering what he could do in the garden when there was a knock at the door. William looked out the peephole that Jim put in for him and saw it was Jim and Blair. He opened up the door with a huge smile on his face and said, “Come in-come in.”
“Dad, you’re supposed to be resting. You have your gardening clothing on. You can’t resume everything for another two weeks. Didn’t you listen to what the doctor said?” Jim asked, sounding somewhat annoyed.
“I was bored, Jimmy. I don’t have anything to do. I did my exercises that the hospital told me to do, and then that left the entire afternoon. What am I supposed to do for the rest of the day?” His father tried to look as stern as he could, but it was hard when he was still in some pain and arguing just made it worse.
Blair noticed the look of pain on William’s face and said, “Sit down we want to talk to you.”
William let Blair lead him to the living room and he sat down in his recliner. William had to admit it did feel nice just to relax a little bit in his favorite chair.
“Okay, I’m sitting where is the talking?” William teased.
Blair snickered as he and Jim sat down side by side on the sofa across from William.
Blair then smiled at William. “We know you’re going to get bored, so we’ve been looking up things for you to do that will keep you busy and also have you interact with other people your own age. Do you mind us giving some suggestions?”
“No, Blair, I would love it. I am bored out of my mind.”
“Okay, first of all, we checked into a senior citizen meal site that is about six blocks from here. You could walk there each day and spend the day with some of these people. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday they play bingo, starting at 9:00 in the morning and, play until lunch, and then start again after lunch until 2:00. They look for volunteers to help get the tables ready for lunch, so you could help out if you wanted to do something meaningful. Most of the people there are in their 70s and 80s. So you would blend well with them. What do you think of that idea?” Blair asked.
“I’ve never played bingo in my life. I don’t see myself starting now. I think I’m past the trying something new stage, don’t you agree, Jimmy?” William asked.
“No, I don’t agree, dad. We checked this place out and the people there have been going for years and they have all become very good friends. You’re missing that in your life. I want you to think about this idea. We put a lot of thought into everything we came up with. At least think about it more than two minutes before you shoot Blair’s ideas down. Okay, dad?”
“Okay, I will give it some thought. But I feel funny about going to a place where everyone knows everyone else and I would know no one.”
“That’s why we would go the first three times with you and get you used to it. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to continue going. But I think it would work out well. A lot of the folks bring their sons or daughters with them to the meal site, so it wouldn’t look at all strange if we went along. Jim would go on the first Monday, I would go on Wednesday and Steven could go on Friday until you get used to it. What do you think?” Blair asked.
“I think it’s very nice that you boys are willing to put so much work into it, but it still boils down to the fact that I don’t think bingo sounds fun,” William said.
“What do you think of Texas Hold’em Poker, dad?”
“They play poker?” William asked, suddenly much more interested than he was before.
“Yes, they play poker all three days at a special table. Some of the men just don’t like bingo. So they started the poker game. I asked them if it was too late for you to join in, and they said there was always room for another person at their table. There are only five of them playing, and they play for nickels. A nickel a game doesn’t sound too bad to me,” Jim joked.
“Yes, I would consider this idea. I could walk there if it’s only six blocks. And I wouldn’t need you boys to go with me except to get me started the first day. I’ll be a little bit nervous, you know?” William said.
Jim smiled. “Yes, we understand that, dad. So I’ll come with you on Monday and we’ll walk together there and spend the day. I love poker, so it sounds fun to me, too.”
“You’d stay the entire day with me?” William asked, sounding very surprised.
“You bet I would. Dad, I would do anything to make your life a little bit easier and a lot more fun,” Jim admitted.
“Thank you, Jimmy and Blair. I don’t know what I would do without you two. Okay, without you four. I love Frances so much and she has really made Steven a better person, if you ask me,” William said.
“I couldn’t agree with you more, dad.”
“We both love Frances too, William. But we love Steven also. Do you want to hear the latest news about them?” Blair asked.
“What? Something great, I hope,” William replied.
“I’ll let Jim tell you all about it.”
On cue, Jim said, “Steven asked me to be his best man and Blair to be one of his groomsman. The wedding is only a month away, so we’re going to have to go shopping soon for our tuxes and get more prepared. Steven wants to go this weekend. We’ll all stop over and say hello to you when we’re done shopping.”
“That’s nice that Blair was asked. I think that Blair is one of Steven’s favorite people now. You can sure turn a person, young man,” William said laughing.
“Not everyone, William. Frances has a couple of brothers that think we’re sick and twisted. Or was it twisted and perverted? Jim, which one of these are we again?” Blair laughed.
Jim laughed along with Blair and said, “It doesn’t matter. Steven and Frances ignore them, so we do too. Not everything can be rosy, you know?”
“Now what other ideas did you have for me to keep me busy?” William asked.
“Blair checked with the library four blocks away and they need a children’s story teller twice a week. On Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 to noon, you would read to preschoolers and kindergartners. What do you think of that idea?” Jim asked.
“That’s a wonderful idea. I’m not going to get any grandchildren anytime soon, so I guess I could spend time with other people’s children. This sounds doable. How do I see about this, Blair?”
“It’s already in the works. I was hoping you would like the idea and I set it up for tomorrow. The librarian’s name is Stella Wilson and she’s going to be ready to take you under her wing tomorrow at 10:00. Good luck, William,” Blair said.
“The library is only four blocks away? That’s a shame that I didn’t know that,” William said.
“It’s okay, dad. We all do this in our lives. When you have to change things is when you become more aware. Blair and I are going to be cooking nothing but good meals on Sundays from now on. You’re going to keep those arteries unclogged, if we have anything to say about it.”
“Thank you, Jimmy. You and Blair are both so good to me. I could never thank you enough. Well, that gives me five days of things to do. That’s more then I ever dreamed would happen. I can’t wait.”
Jim beamed with joy over his dad liking him and Blair, both. “You’ll have the rest of the week to rest up a little bit before we start the meal site on next Monday. It’s going to be great, dad. But you take it easy today and the rest of the week.”
“Okay, you boys go have a nice rest of the day off,” William said as he started to get out of his chair.
“We thought you might want to go shopping with us for the tuxes, dad. Steven told us where to get them and what to get, but you can tell us if they look good or not,” Jim said.
“I would love to go, thank you for asking me. I’ll be right down. I want to get something better on for shopping,” William said, happily.
“Dad, we’ve both got jeans on. Your jeans are fine. Where is Sally?” Jim asked.
“She’s off today, so I was a little bored. She usually keeps me company since I got home, but today was her day off and she had plans. Thank you, boys, for picking up the slack,” William said smiling.
The three men walked out to Jim’s new SUV and Blair opened the door for William to sit in the front seat.
“Blair, I would just as soon sit in back. I don’t want you to go to any trouble.”
“There will be trouble, sir, if Jim sees you in the back seat,” Blair said.
William nodded and got into the front seat and smiled at his son. “Again, thank you for thinking of me on your day off.”
“You’re welcome… Everyone buckled up?” Jim called out as he pulled away from the curb.
Frances Miller, fiancée to Steven Ellison, was fairly upset. That morning, three of her brothers and one of her sisters informed her that they wouldn’t be part of the wedding ceremony because there were going to be two fags in it. They didn’t want anything to do with Frances’s wedding from that day forth. She had cried all morning after she got the phone calls, but now she was past that and was just downright pissed off.
She picked up the phone, dialed Steven’s number and said, “How do you feel about a civil ceremony?”
Steven was right in the middle of a meeting with a client and said, “I’ll call you back in a moment.”
Frances hung up the phone and got depressed again. She always thought that her family was very open minded, but come to find out they were closet bigots just like a lot of the world. Now she just had to see if Steven would marry her at the court house. She had always dreamed of a huge wedding, but dreams weren’t everything. In fact, they were usually ruined by someone or something. She paced the living room until the phone rang.
“Hello?” She answered.
“What happened?” Steven asked, quickly.
“Three of my brothers and one of my sisters won’t have anything to do with the wedding as long as Jim and Blair are in it. They don’t want to be associated with fags. That’s what they called them, Steven. I don’t even know where to turn. I want to have a civil ceremony as quickly as possible and I’m not even telling them.”
“Calm down, Fran. You know you want your family to be a part of our wedding, so we’re going to have to work something out. Do you have any other ideas?”
“Steven, why won’t you marry me in front of a judge? I’m sure Jim and Blair would stand up for us and we can have a reception afterwards and if my family wants to come they can, if they don’t want to come, they can lose out on it all,” Frances said almost crying.
“We’ll discuss this more when I get home tonight. I don’t want your dream wedding to be at the courthouse. It won’t work, Fran.”
“Okay, we’ll talk when you get home. I’m so upset I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“What if we ask Jim to be my best man, but not Blair as my groomsman? We could have him doing something else, would that work?” Steven suggested.
“But honey, he was so excited about being a part of our wedding. Remember when he said, he had never been in a wedding before?” Frances asked.
“Yes, but he would want your family there and would totally understand, I’m sure,” Steven said as calmly as he could.
“I guess we could talk to them and see what they say. I’ll talk to you tonight, sweetheart,” Frances said, before she hung the phone up.
She paced some more and finally picked up the phone and called the loft to see if Jim or Blair were home. She was thrilled when Blair answered.
“Blair, I need to talk to you as soon as possible. It’s important. If Jim is home, he can come over too. Oh, I’m home by the way,” Frances pointed out.
“I’ll be right over. Jim got called into work, but I still have the day off for a change. What about lunch?” Blair asked.
“Lunch would be wonderful, thank you,” Frances replied and hung up after she said goodbye.
Jim was at the station house when Steven called him on his cell phone.
“This is the other Ellison. Could we meet for lunch?” Steven asked.
“Sure, I’ll meet you at Olive Garden in about twenty minutes, how does that sound?” Jim inquired.
“That would be perfect, Jim. See you then.”
Jim went over to Simon’s office and knocked on the door and entered when he heard Simon’s gruff, ‘what do you want, now?’.
“Simon, I’m going to lunch and just wanted to tell you I’ll be gone for about an hour or more. Is that okay with you?”
“That’s fine, Jim. Now leave me alone so I can get this paperwork done for the commissioner. This is turning out to be a piss poor day, let me tell you.”
Jim smiled and walked out of the room before Simon changed his mind. He really wanted to know what was going on with Steven. He could hear worry in Steven’s voice when he had called.
Jim went down to the parking garage, got into his SUV and took off for Olive Garden. At least he was going to get a good meal out of it. One really nice thing about his senses was that once he got into the parking lot at Olive Garden, he was instantly aware of all of the scents. He loved these senses sometimes.
Blair arrived at Frances’s house carrying chef salads for both of them. He knew she loved salads as much as he did and would be thrilled with his choice.
She opened the door and said, “Oh wow, this is what I was thinking about ordering if we went out for lunch. You’re good, Blair.”
“I knew something was wrong and figured that it might be easier to talk here at the house then at a restaurant. So let’s wash up and eat and you can tell me what’s on your mind.”
Frances began to fill Blair in on what had transpired and got tears in her eyes as she was telling him. She ended up with saying, “I told Steven I wanted to get married in front of a judge and he refused. I don’t know what to do now.”
“If I pull out of the Groomsman role that might make them happy enough to let the wedding go on as planned. And really I don’t mind at all, Frances. I was excited about being part of it, but I can sit with William and be just as excited. How does that sound?”
“Blair, I feel so terrible about all of this. It’s just so shitty, you know what I mean?”
“It’s called life, Frances. Don’t worry about it. Now throw that your family’s way and see if that doesn’t make them happy, okay?” Blair never mentioned once that he had already gotten a tux the day before while shopping with William and Jim. Blair would live, he knew that much.
Frances got up and hugged Blair in his chair. “You are such a loving and giving man, I still feel horrible about all of this.”
“Don’t fret over it, Frances. Now call Steven and tell him the good news. That’ll make him worry less and everything will be fine.”
Frances did indeed call Steven and filled him in on what was said between her and Blair. Steven sounded a little relieved, but knew he was going to have to break it to his brother next.
Frances got off the phone and asked if Blair felt like shopping for a wedding dress with her. “I have my dress picked out, but I want to be sure it’s ‘the’ dress, you know what I mean?”
“Sure, I’ll go with you. But wouldn’t your mom like to go?” Blair asked.
“Blair, let me be angry at my family for a little while. Now let’s go shopping,” Frances said smiling and grabbing Blair’s arm in hers.
Jim met Steven and could see the worry and sadness on Steven’s face. Jim walked up to him smiling and said, “Do you have a table yet?”
“Five more minutes, Jim.”
Jim leaned against the wall, just as Steven was, with his hands in his front pockets with not a care in the world. Nothing Steven could say would ruin his day.
They got called to the table and placed their order.
“All right, Steven, you’ve gotten my attention. What’s going on?”
Steven explained what had happened with Frances’s family and what Blair had offered to do. When he was done he just sat waiting for Mount Ellison to erupt. He didn’t have long to wait.
“Steven, I don’t mean this against Frances, but we won’t be coming to the wedding. We don’t have to be included where we won’t be wanted. We take enough crap as it is, I’m sure not going to add this to the list. And Blair always wants to make everyone’s life easier, even if it breaks his heart. Do you know that we already bought tuxes? I’m just saying this isn’t going to work.”
“Jim, you have to be there. You’re my best man. Jesus, this is getting so ridiculous. Let’s talk about this,” Steven said.
“No talking about it. We aren’t going and that’s that.”
“I’ll tell Frances what you said. I’m really disappointed, Jim.”
“Like I’m not?” Jim asked.
Their lunch came, but neither of the men ate much. Jim picked up the tab and they left an hour later. Jim hugged his brother goodbye and left in his SUV.
Steven watched the sad man walk to his vehicle and wondered how in the world he could fix this. He and Frances were going to have to think up something.
Blair went home, not knowing that anything was up. Steven also went home, but he knew that something was up. He walked in the front door and Frances said immediately, “Oh no, bad news?”
Steven looked as if he wanted to cry. “I talked to Jim about what Blair said and he said they won’t be coming to the wedding. He feels that if ‘they’ think this way, he wouldn’t be welcome anyway, so he backed out and said he and Blair would be staying home.”
“Oh no. This is horrible news. I’m so angry at my brothers and my sister about this. If they could have just kept their opinions to themselves we would still be having a happy wedding. I don’t know about you, Steven, but I don’t even want to have a wedding now.”
Steven pulled Frances into his arms and said, “Let’s talk to dad about it, before we make any rash decisions. Okay?”
“Okay. Why don’t you call him and ask him to come over for dinner?” Frances asked sweetly.
Steven called his dad, filled him in on what was going on and William said he would be over in an hour. Steven could tell that William was upset about Jim not being in the wedding. Hell, they all were. Why did Jim have to be so fucking difficult and stubborn?
Blair made a nice meal for Jim, knowing he probably didn’t eat as well as he should have during the day, no matter where he went to lunch. When Jim came walking through the front door, he looked like he had lost his best friend.
“Hey, man, what’s wrong?”
“We’ll discuss it in a moment. I’d like to get my jacket and gun hung up if you don’t mind,” Jim snapped.
“Fuck you, I don’t need to know what’s wrong with you. Figure it out yourself,” Blair snarled as he went back into the kitchen and finished dinner up.
“Let me start over again, Chief. Hi there, the house smells great. I love when you make meatloaf. I had a really shitty day, but it’s no excuse to take it out on you. Sorry, Blair. Anything new happen today?”
“Apology accepted, now tell me what’s really wrong?”
“We’re not going to Steven’s wedding. In fact, I signed us up for special duty that day at work,” Jim said.
“Jim, you know damn well we can’t ‘not’ go to the wedding. This is your brother, damn it. He’s asked you to be his best man for God’s sake. Now tell me what’s really bothering you?”
Jim sighed deeply and said, “I hate it that her family hates us before they even meet us. They’ve decided already that we’re sick and twisted and they don’t want to be around that. They sure don’t want their kids to be around it. I think it’s best that we do what they want. This is Frances’s big day and we don’t want to upset her family.”
Blair started pacing and glared at Jim. “Are you afraid of her bigoted family and what they might say or do?”
“I’m not afraid of anyone. I just don’t think a wedding is a place to have a shouting match between family members and in-laws. It just sucks and I won’t put us through it. I decided it was in our best interest to work that day. It’ll keep our minds off of it and we’ll do just fine, Chief.”
“You didn’t ask me, Jim, and I would have told you the opposite. I’m going with your dad. You can work if you want, but I’m going to the wedding. You’re being an immature asshole,” Blair said, angrily and then walked into the office and slammed the door.
Before Jim went and knocked on the door, he listened with his senses to see how Blair was doing. He could hear the sadness in Blair’s breathing and that was enough for Jim. He finally knocked. “I have a counter offer.”
Blair walked out and looked into Jim’s sad eyes and said, “What?”
“We both bow out of the wedding party and we’ll both sit with my dad in the pew. What do you think of that?”
“I like that. That way we won’t miss their big day. Call Steven and tell him right now, because he’s probably having a nervous breakdown,” Blair ordered.
Jim picked up the phone and dialed while Blair set the table.
“Ellison,” Steven said.
“Steven, we talked it over and this is what we think is best for everyone. We don’t want to miss your wedding, but I don’t want to have to deal with her brothers and sister, so we’ll sit in the church with dad and record the wedding and you can ask one of her brothers to be your best man. How does that sound?”
“I don’t like it, Jim. You’re supposed to stand up for me. You shouldn’t care what anyone says or thinks. This is between you and me. Please think about it some more and then let me know. I’ll tell Frances what you said about the wedding and I’ll see what she thinks about it. I’ll talk to you later, Jim. Dad’s here and I need to talk to him.”
Steven didn’t even say goodbye, he just hung up the phone. Jim knew he was upset.
Blair said, “What did he think of your idea?”
“He thinks I’m a coward.”
“He said that?” Blair asked, incredulously.
“No, but it was in his tone. He thinks I should still be his best man and tough up. He asked me to think about it for a couple of days.”
“Then let’s think on it for a couple of days. He’s probably only going to have one wedding, Jim. Let’s at least give it some time for thought.”
“All right…Could we eat now? I’m hungry, believe it or not,” Jim said shoving Blair into the kitchen area.
Steven told his dad and Frances about what Jim and Blair had decided on and left it at that. He said that Jim was going to think on it a couple of days.
William could feel the tension in the air and the bitterness coming from Frances towards her family. William didn’t want to be witnessing the couple’s first argument and felt uncomfortable being there.
Frances was steamed up and wasn't going to calm down any time soon. "I really hate the way they, my family, have taken control of our wedding out of our hands. This is supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life and yet they are making everything impossible to deal with. I understand why Jim wanted to not come to the wedding. I don't want to go to the wedding at this point in time. I still think that a civil ceremony would be the best thing around. Steven, will you please think about it?"
"I'll tell you what will happen if we get married at the justice of the peace. Your family will think that my family got their way and they will be pissed off at both you and me. They might not forgive you too easily either. Also you have to think about me fitting in some day," Steven said.
"Okay, this is what I'm going to do. I'm having a big family meeting and telling everyone that Jim is the best man, Blair is the groomsman and we aren't changing it. If they want to stay away from our wedding, it's their choice. I've made my decision, Steven."
Steven didn't agree with her at all, but he knew better than to argue with a lawyer, even if she was going to be his wife soon.
Frances turned to William and asked, "So what do you think about this?"
"I think that Blair was very hurt about not being the groomsman and wished he could change things, but you also know that he tries to make everything work. So I wasn't surprised at his first idea. But I think I agree with you, Frances. If they don't like it, they get to make the choice to not come, not be in the pictures and not see their baby sister marry her true love. It would be their loss and I think they will realize it as soon as you give them the new ultimatum. Jim and Blair don't want trouble, but they also don't want to be treated badly at what is supposed to be the best day of your life. We'll see what they have to say about all of it." William hugged Frances because she looked like she needed one. She gladly accepted it.
"William, I want to thank you for having two wonderful sons. I'm so happy to have both of them in my life, but especially Steven," she teased.
Steven snickered and said, "Well, I would hope you picked me over Jim. There are going to be days you'll wonder why you picked me."
"No days will be that bad, Steven. I promise, we're going to make the effort to make this work."
William stood up and said, "I know you both will. Now it's time for me to take my leave."
"Dad, you don't have to leave already. We haven't even offered you anything to drink yet," Steven said.
"I'm fine. I feel better than when I first got here, so things are looking up. If you need any help with anything, let me know," William stated as he went to hug both of them.
Steven and Frances returned the hugs and walked him to the front door.
William stopped by Jim and Blair's on his way home. He thought he would fill them in on what was going on. He already knew that Blair would be worried about Frances. Jim would probably just be irritated, for the sake of irritation, but they would probably be relieved to hear the news.
He knocked on the door and Jim opened it up wearing a smile. "I thought you were going over to Steven's house tonight."
"I did. And now I'm here to tell you the latest of news, from Frances's lips to your ears. She's telling her family that you and Blair are both still in the wedding party and that's how life is going to be. She figures some might not come, but someday they will regret it and be sorry for it too. So, Jimmy, you are the best man and Blair, you are the groomsman. What do you think of that?"
Jim was first to speak. "I think she's making a big, big mistake. Someday she'll have to make amends with her family. It's such a mess. I'm so sorry we caused all of this."
Blair hugged Jim quickly and then looked him in the eyes and said, "Jim, we didn't cause anything. They did. What if you were married to a black woman and they didn't like blacks, would you have backed down from that?"
"I guess not. Now you're saying that we should just keep things the way they are?" Jim asked.
Blair smiled. "I just needed to hear that Frances felt all right with us being in the wedding. She's never really said too much to us about the whole gay issue, but I was hoping she didn't mind."
William asked, "You wanted to be in the wedding the entire time?"
"Hell yes. I've never had any family but my mom and I was hoping I could use Jim's to have a fun life. I've never been in a wedding before, so I was really excited about it. Weren't you, Jim?" Blair questioned.
Jim smiled. "Yes, I wanted to be my brother's best man more than anything."
"I think everything will work out fine, boys. Just think, someday we're going to have a child in the family. Are you both looking forward to that?" William asked.
"Yes and no." Jim answered.
"What do you mean, no, Jim?" Blair asked.
"It reminds me that you and I will never have a family of our own," Jim confessed to a shocked Blair Sandburg.
"They will be like your own, Jimmy and Blair. I promise. I love Rucker like he was one of my very own. Still do. He's coming to the wedding, by the way," William said.
"It's not the same, dad. I thought about us adopting, but we're too old now."
"Who are you calling old, Jim?" Blair asked, looking for a fight, but wearing a smile at the same time.
"I'm going to be forty soon and I think that's a little old to start your family," Jim said.
"I don't agree, Jimmy. I was 35 when you were born. Even older when Steven was born. So I don't want to hear about how old you are from this point on. If you want to think about adopting you'll have to think up more than that for an excuse."
"Why am I just hearing about you wanting a family now? I had no idea you wanted children," Blair said.
"We can discuss this privately, Blair." Jim answered quickly.
"And don't think we won't, Jim."
William cleared his throat and said, "Time for me to leave. Don't forget about Rucker and Andy staying at my house. You and Blair can take them out a couple of times while they're here. Now, no arguing and have a good night together."
Jim said, "We're not going to argue, dad. There are too many other things to discuss, no time for arguing. Drive carefully going home." Jim hugged his dad at the door and stepped back.
Blair hugged William next and said, "Thank you for everything you always do for us, William."
William smiled, opened the door, walked out and said, "My pleasure."
Jim shut the door and locked it and then watched from the balcony to be sure his dad got to his car all right. William waved at his son from the parking lot. Jim waved back and smiled. Then once his dad drove out of the parking lot, he turned to Blair and said, "I'm all yours."
Blair locked up the entire loft and said, "Let's talk upstairs where we are most comfortable."
Jim knew by the look on Blair's face that it was going to be a very long night. "Maybe it could hold for tomorrow night. I'd like to sleep sometime tonight."
"No, it won't hold for tomorrow. I would like to know when you first decided you wanted children. You've never said word one to me about it."
"Blair, you didn't seem that interested, so I didn't want to ruin a good thing."
Blair looked confused and then sort of angry. "Don't you think it's something we should have discussed before we started dating?"
"Second thoughts, already?" Jim asked, sarcastically.
"Oh fuck you. You know I have no second thoughts when it comes to you and me. But I would have liked to know there was a chance of a family in this arrangement. You should have told me."
"You want a family too?" Jim almost whispered.
"I adore children, especially ones that can't find good homes. We would be excellent parents to older children too. We'll start Frances on the hunt to help us as soon as she's done with the wedding," Blair said, smiling.
"Sounds good to me, Chief. We'll just take our time. It's going to be just fine," Jim said happily.
Blair started stripping out of his clothing and Jim followed suit as quickly as he could. Jim knew damn well he was going to get fucking lucky tonight and that worked for him.
They crawled into the clean sheets and smiled at each other. Jim reached over to turn the lamp off, but Blair stopped him.
"Not tonight, man, I want to see exactly what I'm doing and seeing. I love you, Jim."
"I love you, Blair." Jim pulled Blair on top of him and they began to make out like crazy. They felt like it was the first time. Both of the men were right on the edge of coming and Jim said, "Stop."
"Why?" Blair asked.
"I'm losing control of myself and I don't want to come while we're just making out."
Blair went back to what he had been doing and Jim realized that now it was like a quest for Blair to make Jim come as quickly as he could. Jim decided there were worse things in life and went with his good feelings and came so hard, he thought his head was going to explode, throwing his head back and whispering, 'Blair' for only Blair to hear.
Blair pushed into Jim's hip a few times and came all over Jim.
They lay there quietly for about five minutes and then Jim said, "Let me up, Chief. I'm going to clean us up."
Blair moved and let Jim go downstairs to get the warm washcloth. He liked the chance to see Jim's ass any chance he could. God the man was built so beautifully. Sometimes it bothered Blair that he wasn't as cut as Jim was, but Jim didn't seem to mind, so Blair got over it.
Jim came back with wet wash cloths and a glass of water for each of them. They both needed it, too. Jim cleaned them all up and they got under the covers and Jim turned off the lamp, this time with no objection from Blair. It wasn't long and all that could be heard in the loft were soft little snoring sounds from both men.
Frances woke up in a very good mood. Steven always made her feel so good with sex that anyone would wake up in a good mood. Steven was already gone to work and that left her half a day to plan the big meeting with her family. She wasn’t going to let anyone push her around. It was as simple as that. She called her mom and asked her to call half of the family so they could all meet for dinner. Frances was kicking ass and taking names. Her mom asked what was going on and Frances said, “You’ll see tonight, mom.”
Once that was taken care of, Frances went to her office and dove into her work pile. There were so many kids that needed help, that sometimes Frances felt a little overwhelmed. But this was the life she chose.
Blair called William to see how the day before had gone at the library. With all of the commotion that was going on, he had forgotten all about it. Jim was driving them to work when Blair heard, “Ellison.”
“I have one of you Ellison’s too.”
“Good morning, Blair. Is everything all right?”
“Everything is fine but I wanted to ask how the library reading went yesterday. I forgot to ask, I can’t believe I let that slide right by me,” Blair said.
“It was fantastic. The children told me I had a nice voice and they seemed happy with my choice of books for the day. I get to choose them every Tuesday and Thursday. I really enjoyed it and it gave me something to do besides work family problems out. Thank you for setting it up for me, Blair.”
“You are most welcome, William. I just knew you would make a great reader. You do have a terrific voice for it,” Blair said, smiling.
“Thank you and tell that son of mine I said thank you, too.”
“He just said he heard you and you’re welcome,” Blair said.
“Are you on your way to work?” William wondered.
“Yes, just wanted to check in with you and see how the library went. Talk to you soon,” Blair said before he closed his cell.
“Thanks for calling him, Chief.”
“You’re welcome. I aim to serve,” Blair answered laughing. Jim joined in on the laughter all the way to work.
The day seemed to fly for everyone except Steven and Frances. They were dreading the evening coming up. At first she was going to tackle her family alone, but Steven insisted on being part of it, since he was part of the package now.
When 5:00 finally rolled around, both of them left their jobs and met each other at home. Then Steven drove Frances in his SUV and they were off to meet the family at Joe’s Crab Shack. They wanted somewhere loud, so the arguing wouldn’t be so noticed. Joe’s Crab Shack was always busy and booming with noise, music and laughter.
When they arrived they got the table and waited for her family to get there. One by one, they came in with their husbands and wives and Steven felt a little out of place since he wasn’t actually a husband yet. But right now, Frances was all that mattered.
Everyone sat down and ordered except for Frances and Steven. They didn’t plan on staying.
“Why didn’t you order, sis?” Mike asked.
Mike was Frances’s oldest brother and he was one of the ones that was raising hell. She cleared her throat, stood up and said, “I have something important to tell all of you and I’d like to be able to say it without interruption and then you can all discuss it when we leave. I’ve decided that this is my big day. It’s ‘my’ wedding and I want to ask the people I want to be in it. We’ve asked Jim and Blair to be in it and if you can’t accept that, then you’ll have to miss your sister's wedding. I’ve never missed one of yours. You never asked me about the person you were marrying or their families. I just went to the wedding and wished you well, each and every time. This is what I expect in return. No one will say anything about this, because the decision has been made. Now, we will leave you to discuss it on your own.”
Frances and Steven started leaving and Mike said, “So you’re picking a fag over your brothers?”
“Yes, I am, Mike. And I’m glad to do it. They’re kind and would never call you names. They are good men and you’ve never even met either of them. But yet you are quick to call them horrible names. If you don’t want to come to my wedding, I’ll have to learn to accept that. Now, talk about it and make your decisions. I need to know who is coming by this week. If one of you could call me, that would be most kind,” Frances said.
Her family all started ranting and raving at once and Frances took Steven out of the restaurant. “I hate them when they are like this. I had forgotten how close minded they were. There is a chance that I might have to ask your dad to walk me down the aisle.”
“Fran, he would gladly do it, but I think your family is going to come around when they see you mean business. You didn’t fold under Mike’s evil glare and that was good.”
“I can’t stand Mike. He’s such a jerk. He was when I was young and he stayed that way. I couldn’t care less if he comes or not, and I mean that seriously.”
“At least we got this out of the way and they can make their decision,” Steven said.
On the drive home, her cell phone rang and she answered, seeing it was her mom’s number. “Hi mom.”
“Hello, Frances. I just wanted to let you know that only ten of us are coming. Mike turned a lot of them against you tonight. I’m sorry, sweetheart. But your dad and I will be there, if that makes you feel better,” Mrs. Miller said.
Frances had tears rolling down her face as she said, “Thank you, mom. I was so afraid that dad would say no.”
“And miss walking his youngest down the aisle? Never. They all might come around, sweetie. Give them time,” Mrs. Miller said.
“I will mom, thank you for calling and letting me know. I love you,” Frances said. She shut the cell off and moved over closer to Steven and started to cry.
“I knew this would happen and you would end up crying. That’s just what happened. I’m sorry, babe.”
“It’s tears of joy, Steven. Mom and dad are going to come. That’s all that really mattered. I wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle. In three weeks, we’re going to have a beautiful wedding and it’s going to be a happy one, damn it.”
Steven hugged her and when they came to a red light, he kissed her soundly. “I love you, Frances.”
“I love you, Steven.”
On the way home after work the next day, Jim asked Blair, “How would you feel about getting a real estate agent and looking at some houses? If we ever plan on adopting or whatever, we need to get a real home with a yard.”
“That would be great. I have a great agent picked out already. I told her that we would want to look at three or four bedroom homes and she said that she’s got some really nice ones to look at,” Blair answered.
“How do you know her?”
“From Steven, she was a client of his and asked if anyone was looking for houses. He thought of us. I forgot to tell you about it. She called last week while you were in court. I’m sorry, Jim. I wasn’t thinking.”
Jim smiled. “That’s fine, Blair. What is her name?”
“Rita Murphy and she’s a really nice woman. Let me call her really fast and see if she’s got anything to show us tonight,” Blair said as he brought her number up on his cell phone.
The phone rang and Rita picked her line up. “Hello?”
“Rita, this is Blair Sandburg, we spoke last week about a four bedroom house.”
“Oh yes, I was hoping you would call back. I have about nine with great potential to show you. They are in super school districts and fantastic neighbourhoods. You’ll love all of them. Prices are lower at this time, so you can get a good deal on a house. It’s a buyers’ market, for sure,” Rita said, happily.
“When could we look?” Blair asked.
“When is your next day off?” Rita wondered.
“I’ll have them all lined up by then. We’ll start at 9:00 in the morning, if that’s all right with you,” Rita said.
“That’s perfect. Do we meet at your office?” Blair inquired.
“That would be wonderful. Do you know where I’m located?”
“At 9579 Kolb Road, suite 200?” Blair asked.
“That’s it. We’ll see you on Saturday at nine,” Rita said.
“Thanks for everything, Rita. See you then.” As Blair shut down the phone he realized he didn’t know if she knew they were gay or not. He should have asked. He called her right back and she answered just as quickly.
“Rita, I never mentioned that I have a domestic partner, or life partner, whatever it’s called now. I just wanted you to know that up front,” Blair said.
“Oh, I knew. Steven told me all about you boys. Don’t worry about a thing.” Rita hung up her phone and smiled. Blair seemed like a very nice young man.
“Why did you have to tell her that?” Jim asked when Blair closed his cell phone.
“We’ve had enough misunderstandings about us being gay already. I didn’t want another one to happen. It would have ruined looking at houses.”
“You’re right, Chief. She should know anyhow,” Jim admitted.
Blair beamed with happiness because, for a change, Jim was admitting that he was right. “Saturday it is. We’re officially looking at houses.”
“It’s going to be great, Chief. Don’t you worry about a thing. Then if you don’t mind, we could rent the loft out to Daryl while he’s in college,” Jim suggested.
“Only if he keeps his GPA up. That will have to be a stipulation. We’ll rent it to him cheap, so Simon won’t have to help him.” Blair said, thoughtfully.
“It’s your turn to make dinner, Chief,” Jim said as they pulled into the parking lot in front of the loft.
“It is not,” Blair said, sternly.
“It is, too.”
“Fine, you baby. I’ll make tomato soup and grill cheese sandwiches, how does that sound?” Blair asked.
The evening went well. Comfort food always seemed to do the trick for whatever ailed them.
“I’m going to go with my dad tomorrow to the Senior Meal Site and get him set up, so he has something to do. I’ll be late for work. You’ll have to drive your car,”
“Good idea, Jim. Now how about some making out?”
Jim liked that idea.
The next day in the bullpen, Connor walked up to Blair and said, “Sandy, where is Jimbo? Not that I’m missing him or anything, but you look lost without him.”
“Very funny, Connor. Will you please stop calling him Jimbo? It drives him nuts,” Blair explained.
“I know it does, but that’s why it’s fun. Now where is he?”
“He had some errands to run with his dad today and he’ll be a little late,” Blair said.
“How is his dad doing since the surgery?”
“He’s doing great. You would never know he just had his chest cracked open six weeks ago. He’s doing fantastically. I’ll tell him you asked about him. He’ll like that.”
“I better get busy. Simon’s giving me the evil eye from his doorway. Talk to you later, Sandy,” Connor said as she hurried off to finish her report before she got yelled at about it.
At ten, the elevator opened and Jim walked out. Everyone greeted him as he walked towards his desk. “Hey Chief, how are you doing?”
“I’m doing fine now. You’re doing some of this paperwork. There is a ton of it and I’m not doing it all,” Blair joked.
“Sounds fair. Hand my share over.” Jim took the pile from Blair and started working on the first file.
Connor walked over and said, “Jimbo, would you and Sandy like to have lunch with me?”
“His name is Sandburg or Blair. Not Sandy,” Jim snarled.
“It’s no use, man. I’ve tried to talk sense into her. It doesn’t work,” Blair said as he snickered.
“Why do you want to have lunch with us?” Jim asked.
Megan Connor frowned and said, “I need a reason?”
“I guess not,” Blair replied and added, “we’ll meet you at the elevator at 1:00. How does that sound?”
They all continued to work at their desks, since it was a slow, slow day and then met at the elevator at 1:00. Jim had told Simon where they were all going.
“I’ll drive,” Jim said as they stepped into the garage.
Connor burst out laughing and said, “Like there was any room for doubt.”
They got into Jim’s SUV and took off for the diner down the street. It had fantastic food and they had decided on that.
“So what’s up, Connor?” Blair asked.
“Nothing. I mean, absolutely nothing. I just felt like hearing about the wedding that’s coming up. You haven’t talked about it in the last week so I wondered how things were going.”
Jim was the first to answer, “Everything is great, Connor. Her family hates me and Blair but Frances insists on having the wedding anyhow. Isn’t this going to be fun?”
Connor burst out laughing and said, “There is never a dull moment with you two. I’m sure everything will work out fine. I really like Frances. She helped that young man that I had to arrest the other day who I felt so bad about. She got him placed in a terrific foster home and he’s doing really well, now.”
“What’s his name?” Blair asked.
“Mitchell Librock. He’s only 12 years old, but has been in like ten foster homes. But he’s in a good one now and he’s doing great in school and at his home. It’s nice when something turns out well.”
They got out of the SUV when Jim parked and walked into the diner.
“I’m really glad it worked out for Mitchell. It doesn’t always,” Blair said.
They sat down, ordered, got their drinks and talked about the wedding and the upcoming house hunting. Jim was a little irritated that Blair had told her about the house hunting, but then realized, it wasn’t like it was a surprise or anything.
By the time lunch was done, Jim was exhausted from listening to Blair and Connor yap on about anything and everything. The drive back to the station was much quieter. Connor and Blair both sensed that Jim had a headache.
When they got back, Blair said, “Are you mad about me telling Connor about the house hunting?”
“No, I’m just tired. The two of you wear me out. I’m old,” Jim joked.
Before long it was time for the old man and Blair to take off for the day. They both said goodbye to everyone, including Simon and left. They were off the next day and were going to find a house. Blair could just feel it in his bones.
Jim and Blair met Rita Murphy at her office and they drove in her car. Jim wasn’t happy about that, but he knew he had to put up with it for one day. He could make it one day without driving and being in charge, couldn’t he?
They looked at one house after another until Jim saw one that looked promising. He glanced over at Blair and saw Blair’s eyes lighting up and knew this might be the house. It was a brick home, all on one floor, four bedrooms, three baths, a den, an office and a finished basement that had a pool table already in it. They looked through the house and Jim was in love. The floors were all wood and beautifully taken care of. Every room was really nice and large. It was a big house at 3000 square feet. Jim wasn’t sure what it would cost, but he was sure they couldn’t afford it. “Rita, how much is this one?”
“The family is going into default on the loan, so they only want what they owe. It’s less then you’re willing to spend. Here is the paperwork with the price and the info.”
She was right; it was lower than what they had planned on spending. Jim couldn’t believe his luck. Or their luck. “What do you think of this place, Blair?”
“I think we found our new home,” Blair answered.
“We would like to put in an offer,” Jim said quickly.
“But Jim, this is only the fifth house you’ve seen. Don’t you want to see if there is anything even better?” Rita asked.
“I love the neighborhood, the schools rock here and Blair likes it. It’s perfect. We’ll offer what they are asking, so they’ll deal with us,” Jim said.
Blair hugged him and said, “Oh my God, I can’t believe we’re going to own our own home. This is the happiest day of my life, besides meeting and falling in love with you.”
Jim leaned down and kissed him. He didn’t care if Rita was in the room or not.
They drove down to the office and she put the offer in and told them to sit tight while they waited for an answer. “If they don’t get back to us in an hour, then it might take a day or so. But usually if you offer what they’re asking, they give you exactly what you want.”
Jim and Blair both had a cup of coffee and waited as patiently as they could. The phone rang and Rita answered it. Blair watched Jim’s face because he knew that Jim was listening in. When he saw the smile on Jim’s face, he knew they got it. Blair gave Jim a big hug and kissed him.
Jim said, “We should probably let her tell us the news before we get all excited.”
“I told you those senses would come in handy some day,” Blair teased.
Rita came out of her office and said, “They not only accepted, but they’ll close in two weeks and the house will be yours then. Congratulations, Jim and Blair. You’re now home owners. We need the inspection and a few other things, but I don’t foresee any problems.”
Rita told them what they had to do next, since this was all new to them and they got busy as soon as they got home. They were so excited that they kept hugging and kissing each other.
Jim called his dad and Steven and told them the news. Blair would have called Naomi, but she was in India right then.
“Jim, I loved the address, so much.”
Jim pulled the paper out again and looked and smiled. “Yes, I like it too.”
“Who would have thought we’d ever own a home on ‘Joshua Tree Lane’? It’s so perfect, man. I love it.”
They talked about all of the furniture they would have to buy and some of the excitement wore off a little bit. They weren’t expecting to buy so much furniture, but thus was life.
The phone rang and Blair answered it, “Sandburg.”
“Hi Blair, this is William. I want you boys to know that I’ve already taken money out of savings and put it in a special account for your house. It’s for furniture. You’ll have enough to worry about with the house. It’s my gift to you boys. Just call it a wedding present, okay?”
“Thank you, William. We will accept it and love every bit of the furniture that it buys. Here is Jim.”
Jim grabbed the phone and said, “Thank you, dad. We were just saying how it was going to be tight getting all of the furniture that we need. We’ll buy all used, so it’ll make the money stretch further.”
“Jimmy, you will buy new. There is plenty of money in your account, so I don’t want to hear about it again. Now enjoy. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Thank you, dad. You’re the best,” Jim said before they hung up.
“Wow, I can’t believe we’re getting a house and all of the furniture is going to be given to us by your dad. This has been a kick ass day, hasn’t it?”
“It sure has. Now how would you like to celebrate upstairs, in our bed, naked and doing fun things to each other?” Jim asked.
Jim let Blair win.
William sat down at the kitchen table with Sally and told her what was going on. He was so happy. His youngest son was going to be married soon, his oldest was already married and now everyone was going to have their own house. The wedding might have a problem or two, but they would all be able to handle it in the end. Yes, he had wonderful sons, but now he had an entire family, with Blair and Frances, too. William’s family made him very happy, indeed.
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