Keith & Dean

by Ron Robbins,

edited by Frank Perry

© 2008 All rights reserved


An annoying, persistent sound reverberated through the dark still bedroom, waking Dean McCall up from his deep sleep. He fumbled blindly in the darkened bedroom as he felt for the telephone. He groggily answered, "Hello."

"I'm sorry to wake you, Dean," Keith Lindstrom's voice said through the earpiece of the phone, "but I'm in serious trouble and I need your help."

Dean shook his head as he switched on his bedside lamp, "Christ, it's two o'clock in the morning, Keith."

"Please," Keith pleaded. "You're the only one I can trust. I'm begging you … if you don't help me; I'm as good as dead."

"Okay, okay! Cool down, dude. Are you on drugs? Because if you are, I'll beat the shit out of you."

"You know me better than that. I'm not tripping out, this is serious, Dean. I wouldn't be calling you in the middle of the night otherwise."

"Okay … where are you?"

"I'm home."

"What the hell do you need me for? My God, you have a damn household staff to take care of you. Anyway, where's your watchdog, Bruno?"

"Look, you're wasting valuable time. Can I count on you or not?"

"Okay, okay, I'll leave as soon as I can throw some rags on."

"Dean, don't tell anyone where you're headed, not even your folks."

"Who the hell would I tell at two in the morning? Anyway, my folks are out of town."

"One more thing, buddy, the code has been changed. The new code is 1830. Once you're through the gate, come around to the back entrance. I'll unlock the door and turn off the alarm and the flood lights. Dean, I hate to ask you this, but will you use your bike to get here? I'll explain why after you get here; please hurry."

"You don't want much, do you? It'll take twenty minutes longer by bike to get over to your place."

"It can't be helped. Try not to be spotted and keep off the main roads."

"All right, I see you in a half hour."

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

The mansion looked deserted as Dean approached the main gate to the Lindstrom Plantation. No light was seen through any of the windows. Dean rode his bike around to the back and parked it at the rear entrance. The door was unlocked as Keith said. He took the rear service stairs, two at a time, up to the second floor. The light was shining brightly from the open door to Keith's bedroom suite. Dean noticed four large plastic leaf bags in the hall outside the door.

Dean walked into the sitting room and called out to Keith.

"I'm in the bathroom," Keith answered.

"Holy sweet Jesus," Dean exclaimed when he saw Keith. "What in Christ's name happened to you?!! You look like you went 15 rounds with Mike Tyson?"

Dean was not prepared for what he saw. Keith was completely naked standing in front of the sink. His face bruised and swollen. His back and buttocks were covered with red and blue welts, as if he had been beaten.

"Thanks for coming, Dean. We've got to load up my van and get out of here," Keith said. "I didn't want to get you involve in this, but I'm too weak to make it on my own. Will you please reach into the bottom of that medicine cabinet and take out one of the 6-inch Ace bandages. I tried to do it myself, but I can't bend over. You're going to have to bind my rib cage, I think they broke a couple of my ribs."

Dean found the bandage and wrapped Keith's ribs. When Keith turned to face him, Dean saw the ugly burn marks around his genital area. "Oh my God, Keith, who did this to you? You're in bad shape, buddy. I'm taking you to the emergency room, pronto!"

"No!! You'll find a spray can of Dermoplast and a bottle of pain killers in there," Keith said. "Good, give me two tablets right now and spray the burns in my groin."

Dean did as he was asked. "God that feels better," Keith said. "Now grab several pairs of surgical gloves from the medicine chest and follow me." Keith winced as he walked out of the bathroom.

"Keith, don't you think you should put some clothes on first?"

"Not now, we don't have any time to waste. Anyway, my uncle is the only one in the house and he's out cold until tomorrow." They walked down the hall to his uncle's room. The heavy draperies were drawn. Jeb Lindstrom, Keith's uncle was sprawled out face up on the bed sound asleep. He was dressed in black leather boots, pants and a fancy harness with all kinds of chain and buckles. Dean followed Keith into Jeb's dressing room. The walls were neatly lined with suits, shirts, slacks and racks of shoes. Everything was perfectly in order. Mounted on the wall at the opposite end of the room was a large full-length mirror.

"Dean, put on a pair of those rubber gloves and feel for a button to the right of that fifth shelf, right next to the mirror. Dean found the button and depressed it.

With that, the mirror swung inward revealing a small room. "The light switch is to the right just inside the door," Keith said. One side of the room contained filing cabinets, the other side was lined with all kinds of leather clothes and S&M gear.

Mounted in the center of the back wall was a large steel door to the walk-in safe. To the right of the door was a computer console with two computers, a laptop and a desktop. Keith booted up the computers and copied the files from the desktop to the laptop.

"This won't take long," Keith said. "While that's running, I need to remove the back-up tape copies and some important papers out of the safe."

Keith opened the safe and found the folders and the tapes he wanted and handed them to Dean. "Here put these into one of those plastic bags."

Keith locked the safe and checked the computers. "Good, another ten minutes and the files will be copied." He had Dean open the filing cabinets, remove several file folders, and place them into the plastic bag.

Keith returned to the computers and disconnected his laptop from the host computer. Before turning off the main computer, he formatted the hard drive, zapping the entire hard drive. "Pay back is a bitch, uncle," Keith said as he turned off the computer. They left, closing the safe door and the hidden panel and returned to Keith's suite.

"Dean would you please take all the bags downstairs and set them inside the back entrance?" Keith asked. "When you've finished that, come on back up and help me dress."

When Dean returned, he found Keith was standing with his back against the wall with his eyes shut. "Keith, are you going to make it? I still think I should take you to see a doctor."

Keith opened his eyes with a pained expression on his face. "If you did that, you would be signing my death warrant. I cannot stay in the State of Mississippi. You've got to help me get out tonight. If you don't, you'll never see me again. If you want that on your conscience, than take me to the hospital and kiss me goodbye."

"Okay, Tiger, we'll do it your way."

Keith led out a sigh of relief, "Grab one of the large suitcases in my dressing room and pack it with some underwear, socks, sweat suits and whatever else you think I'll need. One more thing before you close the bag, take the three folders from the middle drawer of my desk and pack them in the bag as well."

Keith slowly and painfully walked to the bathroom and took a clean terrycloth robe from the rack. He filled his shave kit and returned to the bedroom. "Would you help me on with this robe, I can't raise my arms?"

"Jesus, Keith. I can't believe your uncle would allow this to happen to you. Those burns on you testicles and penis are oozing again; I'll give them another shot before we go."

"Thanks, Dean, you're a lifesaver."

After he sprayed him once again, he helped him put the robe on and found a pair of slip-on loafers in the dressing room. "What's next?" he asked.

"My wallet, it's on the night stand. We have one more stop to make, then were out of here. We'll take the elevator to the basement." Keith switched off the light as he left the suite.

They rode the elevator to the basement. Dean followed Keith into the gym and back to the weight lifting room. He opened the door at the back of the room using the touch pad to the right of the door and walked in.

"Holy Christ," Dean said. "This is a damn torture chamber."

The room was complete with ropes and leather hardness dangling from chains from the ceiling. There were leather ankle cuffs bolted into the floor. The same type of restraints were attached to the wall. Directly in the center of the room was a tilt table.

Hanging on the far wall were every type and size of torture device made, from whips, dildos, cock and ball stretchers, tit clamps, electric prods, everything to make a slave's master happy. Dean noticed the fresh blood in the center wooden table. The tilt table had harness straps and special gadgets attached to it. It looked like something from a Frankenstein movie.

"This is where they tortured you, isn't it?" Dean asked.

Keith nodded his head, "We've got to take all the video tapes out of that filing cabinet," Keith said.

Dean filled five bags and carried them out to the elevator. Keith turned off the lights and closed the door. They rode the elevator to the first floor where Dean moved everything to the back door.

Keith pushed the garage door opener and asked Dean to back his van up to the back door and load the van including Dean's bike. After the van was loaded, Keith walked into the garage and returned with a briefcase in his hand. He set the alarm system and closed the back door to the house. Dean helped him into the van. "Where to," Dean asked?

"To the nearest public telephone, then to the airport," Keith said. When they reached the main road, Keith said, "This is the plan. When you find a telephone, I want you to charter an Air Ambulance to fly me to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Ask them to make sure they have a security guard with them as well."

"As soon as that's arranged, you can drive me to the General Aviation terminal at Jackson International Airport. After they load me on the Air Ambulance, you will park this van in the secured parking area and take a cab home.

Tomorrow morning, you can drive back here in your own car and unload the stuff from this van. Take it over to the Airborne Express and have them pack-it up and forward it to me in Atlanta. I am using an alias for now. The name I'm using is Keith Limberg. I've written all the information down for you. Use your name and address as the sender.

After the dust has settled, I would like you to drive the van to Atlanta the first chance you get. This van is special to me and I don't want to leave it around here for my uncle. Will you do this for me?"

"Sure, I'll try to make it this coming weekend. I'll take a couple of days off from Wendy's. Why all the secrecy?"

"My uncle is going to try to find me. He will definitely check out my friends to see if they know anything. He has no clue where I'm headed. That's why I want the van in a safe place until you're ready to drive it to Atlanta."

"After you unload the van, replace Mississippi license plates with the new Georgia plates. They are hidden under the spare tire in the wheel well along with the registration papers. Everything is registered in the name of Keith Limberg. Bury the Mississippi tags, along with the registration papers."

"Look, Dean, there's a telephone in that rest stop up ahead. Pull in there and make the call to the Air Ambulance service. Tell them my blood type is 'O'."

Dean returned after making the call. "You don't look good at all, Keith, I'm really worried about you."

"I'm feeling much better now that you're with me. What did the Air Ambulance people have to say?"

Dean said, "They have a plane standing by and will be ready to take off in thirty minutes. I told them that you wanted to be flown to Atlanta for treatment, and you would need to see a top notch plastic surgeon. They said they would have a doctor and a medic on board that can handle any emergency and provide you with the bodyguard you requested. They'll also arrange to have an ambulance standing by when you land to take you to the hospital. I told them you were going to pay for this with a credit card, Keith."

"Dean, you don't know how much your help means to me. I have one last favor to ask. It's going to take a while before I'm back to normal and I don't know anyone in Atlanta. I'm asking you to move up to Atlanta and take care of me until you start Georgia Tech in August. If you agree, I'll pick-up all your expenses and pay you a salary."

"I need someone I can trust. For now just tell your folks, and the people at Wendy's, that Tech lost some of your paperwork and you need to run up to Atlanta to straighten things out. You may as well pack all the things you're taking to Tech and load them in my van. Tell your folks you're going to look for a job while you're in Atlanta, since they know you're going to need a part time job anyway."

"I'll be glad to help you out, Keith, and I'd do it for free if I didn't need the money for college."

"That's why I want to pay you a salary. I need you more than Wendy's and the pay will be a hell of a lot better."

"Hey, now you're talking my language, Tiger."

Dean parked in front of the general aviation terminal.

"Open my briefcase," Keith said, "and take out the envelope with your name on it. You'll five thousand dollars in cash in it. That should take care of all your expenses after taking care of the airfreight charges."

"Take the backup tapes I made and forward them to me in Atlanta, by registered mail. Would you please pull out my wallet from the briefcase and find my American Express card? You'll need that to pay the Air Ambulance people. God, I wish you were coming with me."

"So do I," Dean said. "Let me run into the terminal and check on your aircraft."

He left Keith in the van and walked into the terminal. He returned a few minutes with the Air Ambulance people and the bodyguard. After introducing Keith to Tom Blake, the bodyguard, Dean said, "Before you move Mr. Limberg, he would like to have a few words in private with Tom."

Tom got into the driver's side and closed the door. Five minutes later, Tom got out. "Mr. Limberg is ready to be moved," Tom said. They transferred Keith to a stretcher and wheeled him into the terminal.

Dean locked the car up and followed them with Keith's luggage. They wheeled Keith directly to the plane.

The bodyguard took the bags, the computer and briefcase from Dean and stowed them in a small baggage compartment. "I'll take care of everything, Mr. Limberg," Tom said.

They filled out the paperwork and the pilot took the credit card from Dean and left. A few minutes later the pilot returned, and said, "Everything is in order, Mr. Limberg; we'll be taking off momentarily."

Dean opened Keith's briefcase and replaced his card and wallet. He walked over to Keith and patted his hand. Dean said, "Tom make sure the hospital locks up Mr. Limburg's bags when you arrive. I'm sure Emory has a secure place to take care of that."

Keith said, "Thanks for everything, Dean, you're a life saver. I'll see you in Atlanta this weekend."

Emory University Hospital

"Mister McCall, sorry to have kept you waiting, I'm Doctor Peterson, Keith's doctor, we spoke earlier this week. Let's sit in the doctors' lounge and talk."

They found a quite corner and sat. "Keith has listed you as his next of kin," Dr. Peterson said. "How are you related to Keith?"

"We are close friends, I'm not a blood relative," Dean said.

"Before I can tell you anything, I would like to see your identification, Mr. McCall."

Dean pulled out his wallet and showed the doctor his driver's license and his GA Tech identification card.

"Keith is still in the intensive care unit and will be for another few days. He had to have emergency kidney surgery two days ago. This is his third major operation in six days. We feel we have stabilized his condition."

"We had to report this case to the Dekalb County Police Department. The Police filed an incident report to cover the hospital and the County. We're required by law to report all cases like this. Of course, there's nothing the police can do about this since the incident took place outside their jurisdiction. However, the report will be on file with the County if Keith decides to press charges. All Keith told us was he was beaten up and he knows who his attackers were."

"Keith has hired the law firm of Hancock, Graceland, & Hancock to representing him. In fact, John Graceland is his personal attorney. He will not allow anyone to talk to Keith without his permission," Dr. Peterson said.

"Doctor, please fill me in on Keith's condition," Dean asked.

"He is still listed in critical condition. Keith is lucky to be alive. If it was not for the skills of the doctor on the Air Ambulance he would not have made it. Keith was bleeding internally when he arrived here. He had a punctured lung, a broken jaw, two badly bruised and inflamed kidneys and a bladder infection."

"He has an inflamed scrotum, swollen testicles, and multiple cigar burns in his groin area. His rectum was such a mess it took the specialist two hours to sew him up. His entire body, including the soles of his feet were injured from the severe beating he received. The beating was a deliberate act of a sadist who inflicted the beatings over a period of several hours."

"According to my colleagues, this is not the first time Keith had been abused, Mr. McCall. They found scar tissue on his wrists and ankles. He looked like the POW I treated in Viet Nam."

"May I see him?" Dean asked.

"Of course, you can sit with him as long as you want. The staff may chase you out from time to time, but I see no reason why you can't stay with him. It's somewhat difficult for him to speak, so don't encourage him to talk. He needs a familiar face around him about now."

"Don't be alarmed by all the tubes and monitoring equipment that is attached to him. Since you're are his next of kin, you have a lot to say about what happens to him, more so then his attorney at this point, don't let Mr. Graceland push you around."

"Don't worry, doctor, Keith is my best friend and if I have anything to say about it, no one is going to hurt him, ever again. This shouldn't have happened to a nice guy like Keith. I can only tell that he had a tough life ever since his parents were wiped out in an automobile accident five years ago. One question, where are his personal effects?"

"They're locked up in a vault in our security office."


"I'm glad you asked," The doctor said, "Keith asked me to give you this envelope when you arrived."

"Good, now let me take you in to see Keith." He handed Dean the envelope as they left the doctors' lounge.

The doctor painted a darker picture that necessary, Dean thought. Keith looked like hell, but a lot better than he did the last time he saw him. The doctor left him alone with Keith. Dean sat in the chair next to the bed. He reached over and took Keith's hand.

Dean thought to himself, 'I can't believe a guy as nice as Keith could be treated so shamefully. I've always envied him because he had it all; good looks, intelligence, an outgoing personality.'

Even bandaged as he was Keith was still a handsome young man. He was not tall; about five-ten, with blond, curly hair and green eyes. His face was perfect, with fine chiseled features. He had a trim body, broad shouldered with a narrow waist. Keith could have been a tennis pro, if his uncle didn't stop him. He was also a medal-winning swimmer.

That was the odd thing; he never noticed any marks on Keith's body before. Not like the ones the doctor described. But, then again, this past summer they didn't swim that much. Last week was the first time he had seen Keith naked for some time and he was surprised to see that he had no hair on his body.

Keith opened his eyes and tried to smile.

"Hi, Tiger," Dean said. "Don't try to talk, just listen. The doc said you had a rough time, but the worst is over. Sorry it took me so long to get here, but that butt head of an uncle of yours was keeping an eye on me. You were right about him. He came to see me the day you left."

" I'm glad I stuck around the airport after you left. I took the stuff over to the airborne freight. They packed up everything and shipped it to the address you gave me. I didn't bother keeping that rental car either. I rode my bike back home and slept until it was time to go to work."

"Your Uncle Jeb showed up at Wendy's before closing that night. We talked about everything but you. I asked him to tell you that I was working the weekend and couldn't make it to your pool party."

"I went through our cover story about Tech with the folks and Wendy's. I loaded that pile of junk I call a car and drove it to the airport unloaded my stuff in your van. Then I drove my car to the junk yard. They gave me a hundred bucks for the car and a free ride back to the airport, end of story. The doctor gave me this envelope earlier, should I open it?"

Keith nodded his head yes. Dean let go of his hand to open the envelope. It contained two sets of keys. One set for Suite-22 at Colony Square Condos with a parking garage card for Colony Square. The other key was for a locker at the security office of the Emory Hospital. He opened the hand written note.


Rent two safety deposit boxes at two different banks. Stow all the papers I took from my uncle's safe. You can drop off my suitcases at our apartment. Remove the hard drive from my laptop and lock it in the small apartment safe. Move all your stuff into the apartment and make yourself at home, because that's where we will be living until we find another place. Sorry, it's a one bedroom suite, but that is all they had available.


Dean stuck the envelope in his pocket and took Keith's hand again. "That's fine with me, Tiger," Dean said. "I'm going to stick to you like glue and I'll kill anyone that lays a hand on you again. I'll take care of everything this morning and be back after lunch."

Keith smiled and squeezed Dean's hand, He whispered, "Thanks." He closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

Dean finished his errands and returned to in the hospital by three o'clock. He checked with the charge nurse before seeing Keith. She told him they were moving Keith to a private room on the surgical floor tomorrow morning. She suggested he check with the office for the new room assignment. He returned to the intensive care unit to visit with Keith. He took his hand and felt his forehead.

Keith opened his eyes and smiled. "Feeling any better, handsome?" Dean asked.

"Much better," Keith wrote on his note pad.

"I took care of everything you mentioned in your note," Dean said. "I've moved my stuff into the apartment, it's a great place. It must be costing you a bundle."

"I'm glad," Keith wrote. "It's the best I could do over the Internet. Doc said I could go home in a week."

Dean read the note, "Great, then I can start looking for a job," Dean said.

Keith smiled and shook his head, no.

"Don't worry, Keith, I won't start looking until after I take you home. You get some sleep and I'll be back tomorrow to visit you in the morning. We can discuss our future plans when you can talk again."

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

"The doctor said I can go home tomorrow," Keith said.

"That's great," Dean said. "I'm glad you don't have to keep writing those notes anymore."

"So am I," Keith said, "the doctor said my speech would improve a little every day. It still hurts to move my jaw, but the speech therapist said I'll be back to normal in no time, if I stick with the program."

"Mind if I borrow your newspaper?" Dean said, "It's time to eyeball the want ads."

"I have a proposition to make you, Dean. The doctor has told me that it will be at least two months before I can do things on my own. Even then, I won't be able to do the marketing, or the ordinary everyday things that must be taken care of. For sure, I can't take a shower unless someone is around to assist me in and out of the tub or shower. If you're willing, I would like to hire you to take care of me until I'm able to take care of myself. I'll pay you three hundred dollars a week, including your room and board. Promise me you will give it some serious thought before giving me your answer?"

"What's to think about, I'll take the job under one condition? If you allow me contribute my fare share of monthly expenses."

"It's a deal," Keith said, "One more thing, it you feel uncomfortable helping me bathe, I'll hire a nursing service to take care of that. I also plan to hire a cleaning service to come in once a week to clean the apartment."

"It doesn't bother me one bit to take care of you. I've had plenty of practice taking care of my younger sister and brother. Furthermore, we don't need a cleaning service either. Save your money. I can take care of that too. That's nothing new to me. I did the same thing at home every week. I'll bet I can do a better job than any cleaning service you'd hire. It's not a big apartment and it will give me something to do around the place. Don't worry, Tiger, I'll take good care of you."

"Thanks, Dean, you're a good friend."

"By the way, your lawyer called me last night. He wants me to drop by and tell him my side of the story. What do you want me to tell him?" Dean asked.

"Tell him the truth."

"Keith, I don't know the truth. I only know what I saw that night. Maybe some day you'll tell me what happened that night."

"I realize I owe you an explanation, and you shall have it one day, but let me do it in my own time."

"Did I mention that the apartment did not come equipped with linens?" Dean said. "I went through every closet and cupboard in that apartment looking for bedding, and guess what? Nada. Luckily, Mom had packed some towels and sheets for me. The other day I stopped by the mall and bought a half dozen sets of matched bed linens, mattress pads, pillows, and bath towels. I don't think it's healthy to use another person's pillows. Since you'll be spending a lot of time in bed, I bought you six queen size pillows."

"I don't understand, they said the place was fully equipped," Keith said. "I thought that would include linens."

"I've keep an expense report and the receipt for the five thousand dollars you gave me. I have $3,200 left. Do you want me to deposit it in your bank account?"

"No, you hold on to it for now. Take $1,200 and open up a checking account in your own name. The $1,200 will be your first month's salary."

"What about my share of the rent?"

"Don't worry about that now. We can work that out later. You'll need to establish credit before you can apply for a credit card. Now that you are working for the King Corporation, you will have an income. In a few months you can apply for a credit card. My accounting department will handle your payroll deductions and your expense account. Next week we'll take care of all the paperwork."

"What, or who is the King Corporation?"

"That is a private corporation that I own that takes care of my business and personal expenses. It's like any other corporation. I have my own administrative staff, my legal eagles, financial consultants, tax experts, actually the whole nine yards. The attorneys that administer my trust set it up for me, when my parents died. It was for my own protection. The corporation is the watch dog over my investments and my estate."

"Look, Dean, I'm asking you to be patient with me until I'm mentally and physically able to cope. My main concern right now it to regain my health. Right now, I feel exhausted and drained. It's an effort to stay awake. I'm putting myself in your hands for now. If you do this for me, I promise you will never regret your decision. Be my friend, or brother, I trust your judgment. Do what ever you think is necessary around the apartment. Don't worry about the cost."

"The pantry is empty at the apartment. Why don't you stock up on the essentials and anything else you think we will need? Buy a case of German Moselle and some imported Merlot wines. You might order a case of Jack Daniels and a couple of bottles of Christian Brother's brandy. We may as well enjoy life while we can."

"I'll take care of everything, Tiger."

"Good, I promise I'll tell you everything," Keith said. "Maybe after you hear my story you won't want to stick around."

"I doubt that, unless you committed murder, or are into drugs. Tell me you're not mixed up in anything like that?"

"Of course not," Keith said.

"Then you have nothing to worry about. You know I don't think much of your uncle. You and I have been friends since you moved into Jackson eight years ago. Granted, I didn't like your choice of friends, but that's your business."

"You never mentioned that before," Keith said. "Who didn't you like?"

Dean said, "Norman Thornton, Ken Grant and Chuck Olson for openers. I could never understand what you saw in them. You're nothing like them. Those three are arrogant, conceited, and down right mean people. You don't know how many times they tried to break-up our friendship.

"You're kidding," Keith said. "How long ago was this?"

"In our freshman year at St. Anthony's Academy," Dean said. "The three of them cornered me one day on my way home from soccer practice. They warned me to stay away from you and proceeded to beat the crap out of me to make their point. That was my first serious warning. Their second warning put me in the hospital for over a week with two broke ribs."

"My folks were afraid that things would get worse if I didn't drop you as a friend. Dad went to the Sheriff's office to make a complaint. The Sheriff told Dad to go ahead and press charges against all three guys, but it wasn't going to do any good. It would be my word against theirs. The Sheriff did question them. The claimed that I got my injuries during practice plays after the school hours."

"After that, Mr. Thornton and Mr. Grant invited Dad out to lunch and told him in a very nice way that their sons may have become too caught up in the game. They apologized for their sons' behavior. They had talked to their sons and assured my father that it wouldn't happen again and hoped my dad and I would forget the incident and not make a case out of this."

"They said they liked to continue working with my dad and hoped that any student rivalry would not jeopardize that relationship. In other words, play ball or you won't get anyone more of our business. Naturally, they knew my father depended on their business."

"So that's the reason you stopped coming around and gave me the cold shoulder in school?" Keith asked.

"Right on, Tiger."

"I never understood why you dropped me like that. I could not for the life of me figure out what went wrong. You really hurt my feelings. Funny thing was when I brought this up to them they claimed they were as mystified as I was about your attitude. Then after what seemed like an eternity, you became friendly once again as if nothing happened. I could never quite understand why you refused to visit the Plantation if the three musketeers were around."

"What changed your mind? After all you went through why did you bother with me again?"

"Because, I finally took care of your friends. Look Keith I valued your friendship, and consider you as my best friend. Yet, at the time I had no choice. It was either your friendship, or my family's well-being that I had to weigh in the balance. I could not allow our friendship to stand in the way of my father making a living."

"Your friends don't fight fair, Keith. If it was between them and me, I would have won in the battle. I could take care of each of them in a fair fight."

"But why didn't you come and tell me, Dean? We could have worked it out together."

"You are wrong, Keith. It would only have gotten worse. Those guys are spoiled rotten and are used to having things go their way. They're sadists really; they enjoyed beating me up, and furthermore, they liked having that control over us. I'm sure they relished the idea of cutting me out of your life. They're cowards really. They can dish it out when they're together, but they're a bunch of wimps when the tables are turned."

"It took me a while, but with the help of a few of my good friends, I got even. We followed them for months until I knew their routine. I caught each of them alone and gave them a dose of their own medicine. They aren't stupid. They got the message all right, but, they couldn't prove it was me and they weren't about to start talking."

Keith smiled, "I sure wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of your hands in a dark alley. You could snap me in two without any effort at all. You're one big dude, Dean. I'm curious, how tall are you anyway?"

"Six-four and 195-pounds of solid muscle," Dean said smiling.

"That's what I figured," Keith said. "One thing I never understood is why you never went out for football?"

"Don't think I didn't want to, however, the risk of a serious injury was too great. My dad went to college on a football scholarship and to this day is still is in pain for the injuries he sustained playing ball. If he doesn't take his medication he can't function."

"My dad is 43 years old and he has had both hips and both knees replaced. You think I want to be like that when I reach his age. That's why I went out for soccer and participated in the Decathlon.

"I've always wanted to try out for the decathlon like you did," Keith said. "But, my uncle wouldn't allow me."

Dean saw that Keith was beginning to tire. He couldn't keep his eyes open. "Look, Tiger, I think you've had enough talking for one day. I'm going to run along now. I'll see you in the morning."

Keith smiled, "Yeah, I'm a little sleepy all of a sudden. Thanks for staying so long."

Dean patted his hand and left.


Dean pulled into the underground parking garage of the Colony Square complex. He pulled over to the elevators and helped Keith out of the van. "You wait here," Dean said, "our parking space is only a few isles over."

He returned with Keith's overnight bag and they took the elevator up to the 22nd floor. "This is a nice apartment," Keith said. "The windows face south, that's great; I've always liked a southern exposure."

"It's really a super apartment," Dean said. "It's very quiet. The manager told me that the walls and floors between apartments are concrete. The only time I've heard any noise at all is when the fire trucks pass by, even then the sirens are hardly noticeable."

Keith looked around and sat very gingerly in one of the club chairs. "This is a lot softer than those hospital chairs," Keith remarked.

"It's almost lunchtime," Dean said. "Is there anything in particular you would like to eat for lunch?"

"Anything you fix for yourself is fine with me," Keith said, "I'm not a fussy eater." He turned on the TV and watched the local news.

Dean set up a snack table in front of Keith and one in front of the chair facing Keith. He was back a few minutes later with a two large trays. He set one on each snack table. He had prepared chicken soup, a club sandwich, chips and ice tea for each of them.

"This looks delicious, I'm starved," Keith said. "I was too excited to eat much for breakfast this morning. I was anxious to get home."

After they ate, Dean took the trays back to the kitchen and cleaned up. He returned to the living room. "Would you like to change into a lounging robe and lie down for a while?" Dean asked.

"Yes, I would," Keith said. He struggled to stand up from the low chair. Dean helped him into the bedroom and made Keith sit on a chair while he undressed him. He shook his head when he was completely naked. "You had the most beautiful body before this, what a crying shame. I can't believe anyone would want to hurt you this much. When will they remove the rest of the stitches?" Dean asked.

"They won't, they are dissolving stitches. A nurse will be by in a couple of days to change the bandage and check on my condition," Keith said. "I'm not allowed to get the bandages wet. I hope you don't mind giving me sponge baths every other day?"

"I don't mind at all," Dean said. "One thing for sure, I'm going to call the beauty salon in the hotel to come up and give a decent hair cut and a pedicure. I'll shave you tomorrow and give you a bath."

Keith smiled, "Look, Dean I don't expect you to shave me. We can have the barber come in every morning to take care of that."

"What, and pay a barber to shave that peach fuzz of your, better still, I'll buy a pussy cat and put a little sweet cream on your face every morning had have her lick it off. I'm going to earn the salary you're paying me. Anyway, I'd do it for you even if you didn't pay me. I don't consider it a chore to take care of you. As I told you before, if I didn't need the money, I do it for nothing."

"You're all right, Dean. I feel more comfortable having you around than any nurse. The plastic surgeon warned me to be very careful around those incisions. I feel so helpless and down right embarrassed to have you do these things for me. I don't think I'll ever get over the disgusted look on your face when you found me three weeks ago."

"If that's what you thought, you were wrong. Jesus, Keith, I was horrified seeing you like that. I wasn't prepared for that kind of a shock. I was afraid you weren't going to make it. Hell at that point I didn't know what to think. All I wanted to do is get you out of there."

"I'll tell you something, for a runt, you sure got a big pair of balls. I couldn't believe the way you took the time to gather all stuff while your uncle's sound asleep in the bedroom. Anyone else would have passed out from the pain alone. I admire you for that. But, I don't think you're too swift in taking the chances you did. You were dammed lucky that I was home that night. Promise me that you take me into your confidence the next time."

"There will never be a next time," Keith said. "We'll talk about that some other time. I'm not ready to discuss it with you yet."

"I'm as curious as hell about this whole mess," Dean said. "I don't need to know; okay. Just concentrate on getting your health back, screw everything else."

Keith smiled, "Thanks for not pressing me."

After he helped Keith into bed and gave him his medication, he lay on his side of the king-size bed and read his book.

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

They settled into a regular routine. The nurse came by to check on Keith until the stitches were disolved. After that, he could take regular baths. Keith continued with the same regimen of limited exercise and lots of rest."

"As the weeks passed, they explored the city of Atlanta and learned the points of interest. Keith had recovered well enough to sit through the entrance exam to Georgia Tech. Dean had planned a surprise dinner for Keith's twenty-first birthday.

As a treat, Dean took him to the Halfway House restaurant, one of the new upscale restaurants in Buckhead. It was expensive but well worth the cost."

"After they returned to the apartment, Dean brought out the gifts he had hidden away. Other than two small bottles of cologne, Dean gave him a half-dozen pairs of sexy briefs he ordered from International Male. "I'm tired of seeing you in those goofy boxer shorts you've been wearing. Now that your scars have healed I thought you would enjoy these," Dean said.

"This has been a wonderful birthday," Keith said. "I never expected anything like this; thanks."

"While you're going through your mail, I'm going to change," Dean said, "be back in a few minutes."

Keith was all smiles when Dean returned; he held up a letter and waved it in the air. "I've been accepted by Georgia Tech."

Dean chuckled as he read the letter, "Congratulations, Tiger. This is great, now that we're taking the same classes, we'll be able to help each other. This calls for a nightcap, what will you have birthday-boy?"

"Pour me a brandy, please," Keith said. "I'm going to change while you fix the drinks.

Dean returned with the decanter of brandy and two brandy snifters. He set the tray on the heavy glass coffee table in the living room and loaded up the CD player with his favorite warm jazz CD's. He sat down on his favorite club chair and poured the brandy.

Keith returned and made for the sofa. He had changed to his lounging robe. He opened it and said, "I thought I'd model one of your gifts," Keith said, "I like them."

Dean smiled, "you fill them out perfectly. Next time you take a shower, I'll give you a shave."

Keith laughed as he tied his robe and moved the pillows on the sofa, "I think I might take you up on that offer." He stretched out on the sofa. "Ah, this is glorious." He raised his glass, "To Dean the best friend in the world. "You're a great roommate, I've never been happier. I hope the next four years will be as good as these last two months."

Dean chuckled, "Piece of cake. You're easy to get along with."

"You'll always be my friend no matter what?" Keith asked. "Right?"

"No matter what," Dean answered.

"Now that I'm twenty-one I can tell you what has been going on at Lindstrom Manor and what led up to that incident in my uncle's home the night you found me."

"After my family was killed in that automobile accident, the court appointed Uncle Jeb my legal guardian until I reached my twenty-first birthday."

"That rather bulky envelope that arrived today was from the law firm that handles my estate. They officially notified me that my uncle is no longer my guardian and he is relieved of all legal authority over me. I'm now in complete control of my inheritance and my estate"

"Up to this point, my uncle received two checks every month from my estate, one for my expenses and the other was his fee for being my guardian. Bruno, in reality was my employee as his salary came out of my trust fund. Of course, my uncle uses him more as my jailer. Poor Bruno knew nothing about this until four months ago.

"I was twelve when I moved in with Uncle Jeb. He was my father's younger brother and between them, they owned the Lindstrom Plantation. My uncle was the logical choice as my guardian since my mom's parents were too old to take care of me."

"The Lindstrom Plantation Trust is the parent corporation that controls all the divisions that comprise Lindstrom Industries. Neither my Dad nor uncle Jeb wanted to run the corporation, so they turned the management over to a business-consulting firm that ran the business.

"Uncle Jeb and I jointly own all the stock in the Lindstrom Plantation. Since I am the only surviving member of my family, I inherited my Dad's interest in the company. In addition to the Lindstrom holdings, I inherited my dad's private financial holdings as well, which I might add are considerable. This does not include the seventy-five million dollar insurance settlement I received from the accident.

"The first few years I lived with Uncle Jeb, things went smoothly. He traveled eighty percent of the time. I was in boarding school during that period. When I was of high school age, I move back home. Uncle Jeb hired a full staff to run place and hired Bruno to look after me. As long I stuck by his rules I was fine."

"Of course, as you know I was a computer buff, which was my salvation during the long boring years as a teenager. I loved my family dearly and their deaths were difficult for me to accept."

"Living on the plantation was nice but I wasn't happy. I was lonely and isolated from everyone. My computer and my psychologist helped me make it through that period."

"Besides being a mover and shaker in politics, my Uncle Jeb was always a social animal and likes to entertain at the Plantation. It was at those lavish parties that he made most of his deals. Usually with those unethical and unsavory characters that he could not be seen with in public. The parties were a perfect cover for his wheeling and dealing."

"Naturally, I was expected to attend these parties as well. It was at one of them that I was introduced to other teenagers that were of my same social background. My uncle insisted that I socialize with young people of my own class and discouraged me from bothering with people like you."

"Unfortunately, my uncle considers you, and most teenagers like you, below our social status. It was at one of those gatherings that I met Norman Thornton and Ken Grant. I had seen them in school, but our paths never crossed since they were two years older that me. It was not long after that they transferred to Choate."

"Actually, Chuck Olson was the one that introduced us. You must remember Chuck, he was our age and in several of our classes? Chuck was a nice guy and was acceptable, according to my uncle's standards. He turned out to be a friend and the only one of the group I trusted."

"By the way, Chuck was the only one that stood up for you against Norm and Ken's ugly remarks. He helped me convince my uncle that you were not only a jock, but also one of the top scholars in our school. That was the only reason my uncle relented and allowed me to associate with you."

"I'm glad you never dropped me after everything that happened. Norm and Ken were extremely jealous of you, mainly because you were everything they weren't. You were a jock, intelligent and a hunk. Besides which, you were decent, likable and outgoing, and not afraid of them. You had no idea how much I treasured your friendship. You were the only person I felt that I could depend on in an emergency."

"All I can say is thank God for computers and modems. I know I would have gone crazy if we didn't continue communicating over the Internet. The computer was my only escape from the dark and ugly world that I was slowly being drawn into."

"My uncle saw that I was a wiz on my antiquated computer. So he bought me the latest state-of-the-art PC. It was loaded with games and the best software. He also hired a tutor to teach me how to use the all the different software programs loaded in the computer."

"I thought it strange at the time that he took such an interest in my education. It didn't take me long to master the entire Microsoft Office suite, and a new cost accounting program. He reasoned that my training would come in handy some day."

"I didn't mind really, since it was something to pass the time. Of course, uncle Jeb had a lockout installed on the computer. So I was limited to only educational or informational sites. He also controlled the times and hours I could be online.

"At fifteen, my uncle and his computer guru paid me to enter confidential information onto disks on my new computer, which would be copied into his computer. Of course, I was only given the codes to enter specific information files. I would receive several disks of raw data every week."

"We worked out a data entry system according to date. The codes were mostly initials and job numbers, hours and in some cases, dollar amounts. I developed my database system and created folders to enter the data by code numbers. My uncle would extract the information. It didn't take a genius to figure out exactly what he was up to. I had an inquisitive mind and secretly copied all the files for later use."

"I was careful not to let my uncle, or the tutor know how much I knew about software programming. It was not difficult for me to change several of their programs so they crashed. The guru had to come back each time to fix the program. When he did, I memorized the secret codes he used to access the programs. Then bingo, I had all the codes I needed."

"My uncle thought the educational web sites were safe. However, he did not realize that I could learn how to program from the wealth of free information available on the Internet. Not only did I print hard copies of the text, I also use the chat rooms to ask questions when I was stuck."

"When I was a kid, I never had the chance to get to know my Uncle Jeb that well. Sure, I'd see him on his visits to the old Lindstrom Manor, but that was it. For some reason, I never completely trusted him. After my family was gone, he was my only living relative."

"You know how you have this gut feeling about people. Well that's how I felt about Uncle Jeb. I never understood why it was unnecessary to have a bodyguard like Bruno watching me all the time. I didn't know why he chose my friends and kept me isolated from other teenagers. My parents were not like that. There was too much secrecy and game playing. I couldn't see why he chose me to enter data into his computer either. Why not hire a data entry person to do that for him. That's what prompted me to start my own game playing."

"If my uncle knew how much I knew about his software programs he would have been more careful. After I became a hacker, I created a new identity for myself. That's when I became Keith Limberg."

"Things were uneventful until I was getting close to my sixteenth birthday. It was then that I was allowed to invite one of the chosen ones to spend the weekends. Of course, I was forbidden to sleep over at a friend's house. In fact I couldn't go anywhere without Bruno. That complicated things somewhat. What family do you know of that would invite a teenager to stay overnight with a bodyguard in tow?

"Up to that time, Chuck was the only guy that I was allowed to invite to sleep over. Chuck was the one that educated me on the finer points of male sex. He taught me well. Anyway, this one weekend Uncle returned home unexpectedly, he caught Chuck and me in bed having sex. I thought he would hit the ceiling and send Chuck home in disgrace. But, he didn't. Instead he laughed it off and made a joke about it."

"The next day, after Chuck left, he asked me if my school had discussed the subject of AIDS. He said it was normal that boys my age experimented with different kinds of sex and he wanted to make sure that I used a condom if I engaged in anal sex."

"I was shocked when he instructed Bruno to buy me assorted boxes of condoms and KY gel. Finally, he asked me if I was having sex with any other boys. Of course I wasn't so that ended our discussion.

"The evening before Uncle Jeb was to leave for an extended trip, we had one of his usual 'do's and don'ts' lectures. Then unexpectedly he said he wouldn't object if I were I to invite some of my friends over to make-out on the weekend, as long as they were on the approved list. Naturally, I was embarrassed. Uncle Jeb doesn't say two words to me most of the time, yet he openly discusses sexual entertainment for the weekend."

"The next day I told Chuck about my uncle's conversation. He said he was not surprised at anything my uncle said, or did for that matter. He didn't elaborate on the subject and I had no reason to question his statement at the time."

"Nevertheless, I was to learn otherwise, much later. Chuck told me that Norm and Ken wanted to get it on with me and would I like to invite them over for a good time? Chuck admitted that they had been having sex together for over three years and they were great in bed."

"It all started out innocently. The four of us got together the following weekend and had a ball. Norm and Ken are wild in bed. I was completely unaware of how enjoyable male sex could be and the many ways you could be satisfied, sexually. At my age I couldn't get enough. After that weekend we had sex as often as we could, and believe me I became an expert and enjoyed every session."

"We all treated sex as a natural thing and never even thought of it as bad or dirty. Certainly, we never considered ourselves as abnormal or as homosexuals. We were sex buddies and that was all. As intimate as our sexual relationship was, we never displayed any affection toward each other whatsoever. We never hugged or kissed of anything like that."

"I remember one time in the heat of passion I kissed Norm and I thought he was going to slug me. You would have thought I did something awful the way he overreacted to something as innocent as that. He became angry and ugly with me after that. He said only faggots and queers acted that way."

"It wasn't long afterwards that Chuck began to find reasons not to join us in our sessions. We remained friends and all, but his visits became sporadic. If he did join us, he only stayed Friday night and took off Saturday morning. He told me he was more interested in girls now. Although, he enjoyed the hot sex when he was horny, he was disenchanted with it as a regular diet, and in particular, any sessions with Norm and Ken."

"I wanted to have one more session with him for old time's sake, and asked him if he would spend a weekend with me alone. He said he would and I could do anything I wanted with him."

"Up to that point, I guess I took Chuck for granted. I had the feeling I was losing a close personal sex partner whom I really liked. I know you don't like Chuck, but he is blond and beautiful with the sexiest smile. He is well built and very gentle."

"I became depressed every time I thought about losing him. This was going to be our special weekend and I wanted to make it a memorable one. Knowing Chuck as I did, I knew he would let me have my way with him. So I planned the weekend with care and knew exactly how I wanted it go."

"It was going to be exotic, but not a hot and heavy weekend that we were so accustomed to with Ken and Norm. I wanted it to be romantic as well. You know I never knew what it felt to make love to another male and I wanted to find out what it was like with Chuck. I never experienced that side of the sexual experience before and I wanted to know."

"I knew exactly what Chuck meant about our sessions. I thought I wanted to have more sex, yet it was not enough. Something was missing. Don't get me wrong, I love having sex, but I found I was less and less satisfied. This is why I planned to have an erotic evening. A rubdown done right can be just as simulating as the sexual act itself."

"I racked my brain to think of all the things that would turn us both on, yet be enjoyable and relaxing as well. We were not going to spend the weekend in my bed. By the time the weekend was set, I had everything arranged. From the casual dinner with wine, to the games we would play, to the movies we would watch."

"After dinner, we retired to my bedroom suite where we snuggled together to watch Maurice. We made out like any couple would and Chuck enjoyed it as much as I did. After the movie was over, I played some music for lovers and we danced. We kissed and held each other close. Then I began undressing Chuck. He did the same to me. When we were completely naked we danced some more until he was completely turned on and wanted to go to bed."

"I had Chuck lie on the bed; I shaved his entire body from the neck down; after which, I took him into the bathroom and gave him a cleansing enema. After we showered together, we returned to bed. I gave him a hot oil rubdown. Chuck was really turned on; he loved the feel of his body without hair."

"Chuck was well endowed, but with no pubic hair, his penis looked enormous. Chuck had a bad experience with anal sex and he would not allow anyone in the back door. I had purchased two inflatable dildos. After I had massaged his anus with oil, I inserted the smaller dildo. I inflated it until he started to react to the pressure."

"While the dildo was stretching his rectum, I continued to arouse him as I kissed and sucked every part of his body until he was moaning and sighing with pleasure. I continued to inflate the dildo until it reached its maximum size. I rotated it, worked it in, and out of his rectum, and rubbing his prostrate, intensifying his sexual arousal until he was rotating his hips."

"His anus had stretched enough to insert the larger dildo. Again, I slowly inflated this one to its maximum size. I took his testicles into my mouth, and kept working the dildo until Chuck was moaning with pleasure again. I slipped a condom on and removed the dildo. I pushed his legs against his chest and entered him. Chuck was moaning with pleasure and wanted the feeling to last."

"I stopped pumping, and leaned forward and kissed him on the neck and nibbled on his ears. He pulled me to him and forced his tongue into my mouth. We climaxed together. It was so powerful and beautiful that I thought I was going to black out. It was an earth-shattering experience. I pulled out of him and fell into his arms. We kissed again and fell asleep in each other's arms."

"Chuck woke me up four hours later and we made love again. The sex that evening was intense and beautiful. We woke up later that morning and showered together and played tennis. We sat around the swimming pool and talked."

"After a long leisurely lunch, we saddled up the horses and rode through the countryside. We talked about everything under the sun. We returned at sunset and showered for dinner. We watched two more movies snuggled together and went to bed after the last movie was over."

"We lay together and talked about our lives and of our sexual relationship. After which we made love and drifted off to sleep satisfied."

"The next morning we showered, dressed, had a hearty breakfast on the patio and read the Sunday morning papers. Chuck had to be home for Sunday dinner with the family so we took a short walk around the grounds. He said that it was the most enjoyable weekend he had ever known and one he would never forget."

"Chuck told me that as much as he loved me at this moment, he was too much of a coward to live life as a gay man. He was at a point in his life where he could go either way, and his shrink said that in the end, it would be better if he remained on the heterosexual path."

"Chuck thought it was fitting that his lovemaking with me was the ending of his male bonding experiences. He asked me to try to understand his feelings and wanted to remain my friend. There were tears in his eyes when he told me he would never forget this beautiful weekend. He took me into his arms and kissed me tenderly. That was the most wonderful weekend and for us both. When we parted, we both discovered the truth within ourselves. He was following the straight path and I knew I was gay."

"Norm and Ken were in Choate by then and I saw them on holidays and during summer vacations. Even though they were dating girls, we still got together for sex. They did introduce me a few of their friends who had the same sexual appetite, so it was not too bad, sex wise."

"After I reached my seventeenth birthday I asked my uncle to help me pick out a college. He said he would bring a book home and we could pick a few that I might like. Well, he never did bring the book home. One night I became annoyed with his evasive answers. I told him if he didn't want to help, I would pick out a college without his help. Uncle Jeb said it was time to discuss my future. He took me into the den and began to play a video. The video was of me having sex with Norm and Ken and Chuck. He said he wanted me to stick around home for a while and help him with some special projects before I took off for college."

"Uncle Jeb said he liked having me around and that he wanted me to concentrate on graduating from prep school and we would talk about college next year. That's when he took me down to show me his playroom. He told me that he was a homosexual and I was welcome to use the room to entertain my friends when he was out of town."

"He was my guardian until I was twenty-one and should I oppose him he would have me committed to a mental institution to cure me of my homosexuality. Sodomy was a felony in Mississippi and he would hate to consider that option. Uncle suggested I think it over and let him know my decision."

"I could not believe my ears. After all, he is the one that encouraged my sexual behavior. Now, he intended to keep me under his thumb. I decided to go along with his game and get even with him."

"It was not until much later that I learned how deeply my uncle was into S&M. Ken let it slip one night that my uncle had the hots for me. That explained why he wanted me to sick around. After I experience every sort of normal sex, I was introduced to S&M. That was a completely different experience that I never knew existed."

"My uncle had initiated Norm and Ken into his little group and they in turn became his disciples. As I said, I became their pupil, but they never forced me to participate in any type of bondage that I did not like. After a while, the thrill wore off and I became disenchanted with the whole scene."

"I don't want you to think that I had sex every weekend; it was only when Norm and Ken were in town, or when I felt the urge. My uncle began to trust me more after I agreed to go along with him and to forget about going away to college."

"He was also pleased that I took an interest in the family businesses and gave me complete access to the corporate records and the minutes of the board of directors meetings. He went as far as introducing me to the man who ran the Lindstrom Corporation and gave me carte blanche to learn anything I wanted to know about the businesses."

"Uncle Jeb said he rarely read the reports and signed on the line they marked. Why the hell did he have to worry about anything, that's what he was paying the business consultants and his lawyers for. Even though I owned fifty percent of the stock, my uncle controlled my shares until I reached twenty-one. In lieu of college he did agree to hire private teachers from the local university to teach me finance, business law, and the piano.

"I became fascinated with the history of Lindstrom Plantation. It was a good feeling to know that my ancestors build this company and that I was part of all this. I could not understand how my father and my uncle never wanted to be part of this dynamic company."

"In my zeal to learn everything I could about the family history, I discovered my great grandfather's Will. There was a very interesting clause in that Will. That clause would allow me to take over the company. The clause was really an incentive for future generations to become active in the company."

"In essence, it stipulates that any family member that actively participated in the operation of the business would be entitled to an additional five percent of the voting stock. The document went on for many pages setting forth the conditions in detail. That meant if I took an active part in running the business, I could demand and get an additional five percent of the voting stock and squeeze my uncle out of control of the business. There was not a thing he could do to stop me."

"Uncle Jeb handed me the company on a silver platter. I was able to establish a regular dialogue with not only the board of directors, but also with the management group and the presidents of each division. I spent every spare moment reading reports and listening to the tape recordings of the weekly meetings of each division. I found it not only stimulating, but an education in itself."

"The work I did for my uncle was child's play by comparison. By then my uncle felt he didn't have to hide his secret life from me any longer. Many times, he would invite a friend to spend the weekend. You would never suspect these men were gay. They were all macho and in most cases well known. I was never allowed in his playroom when he was entertaining. But, he did allow me to watch the video tapes of some of his sessions. That is how I discovered his extensive library."

"Since I was devoting my spare time to studying, I was less interested in the sessions with Norm and Ken. My weekend with Chuck was a wake up call for me. I realized what part of my life I had been missing. I wanted a loving relationship with a man who would feel the same way toward me. Having sex is great, but it cannot compare with having a sexual experience with someone you love."

"Even though I wasn't "in love" with Chuck, the experience was close enough to make me realize that there was an unselfish desire on my part to please him and to make him happy. Chuck took stock of life and decided on the path he was going to take for the future. He would go to college, find the right girl, get married and raise a family. I plan to do the same thing, only with a man.

"The intimacy Chuck and I had shared unlocked the door to my most guarded thoughts. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that I didn't want to continue down the path my uncle had chosen for me. I was determined to get away from him and make a serious effort to take my rightful place as the head of the Lindstrom Corporation."

"If I was to accomplish that, I knew I had to prepare myself to run a company. My uncle didn't care about my future, or that of the family business. I don't know how many times he told me to enjoy life and forget about working. My trust fund would take care of me handsomely."

Keith smiled as he looked at his watch, "It's after two o'clock, I think we should get some sleep. I didn't realize the time."

"My God, Keith, you have been talking for three hours. I was so engrossed in your story I didn't realize the time," Dean said. "I never had a clue as to what was going on at Lindstrom Manor. It's hard to believe you are gay. I can see why you didn't want to tell what was going on at the Plantation."

"I'll understand if you would rather sleep on the couch," Keith said. "It will take a couple of days to have twin beds delivered."

"Don't be silly, granted I'm surprised to learn you're gay, but I'm not afraid of you. The sleeping arrangements suit me just fine and forget about ordering any twin beds. It's hard to believe that Norm, Ken, and your uncle would treat you the way they did. I can't figure out people like that. I'd like to go back home and beat the crap out of them. I have a million questions to ask you, but they can wait until another time. Come on, let's hit the sack; you need your sleep."


Keith's narrative

A month has passed since my birthday and Dean never mentioned our talk. Knowing him as I do, I knew he was mulling it over in his mind and it was going to take time before he could assimilate everything. I was so relieved to know that he was not angry with me for not telling him that I was gay when he moved in with me. He was definitely not homophobic, nor did he treat me any differently after that night after my revelation.

Dean is a clean-cut guy from a wholesome loving family. Thank God, he was not one of those righteous types who think homosexuals are wicked and should be ostracized by society. I knew Dean would broach the subject again when he was ready.

The first week at Tech was confusing, to put it mildly, as luck would have it, we both were able to take the same classes. By the end of our first month, we settled into a regular routine. Dean landed a part time job as a computer research assistant at one of the law firms in Perimeter Center. At least he was making use of his computer skills and I knew he felt better in knowing that he was earning a salary. Of course, I continued to pay him a salary to take care of me.

My internist gave me a clean bill of health. However, he wanted me to go slow on my usual exercise routine. The Physical Therapist at Emory worked out a program that would gradually bring me back up to where I was before my operation. Fortunately, there was an excellent spa right in the Colony Square complex, which I used every day. Dean would drop me off after our last class each day then take off for his part time job. Since, Dean was working every day, and I was home every afternoon, I cooked dinner and Dean did the washing-up.

After two months, I began to feel my strength returning. The dull pain in back and chest were gone, and for the first time since my beating, I felt good. Up to this time, I had not had the desire to concentrate on my plan to pay back my uncle, and his boys.

Shortly after I was able to speak coherently, I retained the services a top criminal attorney in Atlanta. He advised me on a plan to even the score with Norm, Ken, and my uncle. My uncle had no idea that he would be instrumental in my plan to destroy both Ken, and Norm's families. Although, part of the plan, might be considered illegal in Georgia, it was legal in Mississippi. It was essential that I keep everything legal on the off chance that the Federal Government stepped into the case.

My uncle was the key link in my plan. I wanted to come down on him hard, yet, I couldn't risk a hint of a scandal that would hurt my company, or our family's good name.

My first task was view every S&M porno tape my uncle made. I edited the tapes and removed those portions that would expose some of the people that could be hurt.

It was amazing how many prominent men were on those tapes. They were not important to my case, and I didn't want to make any enemies. It took several weeks to complete the final version.

Finally, I edited the videos my uncle made of me with Norm and Ken and their friends. This editing took the most time, because I did not want to be recognized, in any of the tapes. Satisfied that the tapes were perfect, I made several duplicates and was ready to set my plan in motion.

My next target was Bruno. Bruno was easy to find. He was still working for the same security agency. In spite of what happened, I liked Bruno. I called his boss and had him fly up to Atlanta for a meeting with me and my lawyer.

After I learned he was the one that was responsible for saving my life, I went a little easier on him. Yet, I didn't let him off the hook for letting the beating go on as long as it had.

My attorney laid it out for him and gave him his choices. Either he could cooperate with us, or he would be charged as an accessory to a felony, and for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In addition, he could also be charged with aiding and abetting in the execution of a felony, and aggravated assault.

Bruno was crushed. It was the first time I ever saw him lose his cool. He agreed to cooperate with us and gave my lawyer his statement.

After the meeting, my attorney gave me the go ahead to send my surprise package to my uncle. I waited three days and called my uncle. When he answered the phone, I said, "Did you receive my package, Jeb?"

He spoke very softly, "We've got to talk," Jeb said.

"We are talking," I said. "Jeb, I want you keep your mouth shut and listen to what I have to say. I am only going to say it once. In addition to the tapes and the letter you received, I have a copy of every deal you've made for the last three years.

Not only can I substantiate every deal, but I can link the cash deposits you've made to your offshore banks. In addition, I have telephone records of all the calls you made to the private telephone numbers of your Mafia contacts and their bagmen. I also have witnesses, and proof, that you ordered that little going away party for me."

"Oh my God," Jeb said. "You're going to destroy me; I may as well take a gun and shoot myself." Jeb keep mumbling and crying into the telephone.

"Get control of yourself and listen," Keith said. "I really don't care what you do after I'm finished with you. Now pay attention."

"You are to going to transfer all your shares of the company and the deed to the plantation over to me. I strongly recommend that you leave the country before I take on Ken and Norm. Among the packet of papers is a release my attorneys have prepared for you to sign. In addition, there is an affidavit stating that Ken and Norm were the men responsible for beating me up."

"If my attorneys do not receive the signed documents within ten days, they will take everything to the Federal Attorney in Atlanta and let them deal with you. I know you don't need it, but I don't plan to cheat you out of your inheritance. You will receive fair market value for your forty-five percent of the stock in the company. Of course, you won't get it in a one lump sum. You can work out a payment schedule with our corporate attorneys."

"What do you mean my 45-percent?" Jeb said. "I own 50-percent of the stock."

"Not any more, you don't. I now control 55-percent of the stock of Lindstrom Plantations as of last month. Believe me it was all done honestly according to Great-grandfather's will. You can check that out with our corporate attorneys if you don't believe me."

"Since this is the last time we will ever speak again, I would like to know why you treated me the way you did. For God's sake, I'm your own flesh and blood, and your only surviving relative. What could I possible have done to make you hate me so much? I lost my whole family and needed your guidance and understanding. Instead, I got a cold-hearted sadistic bastard that wanted to see me dead. Well you taught me a valuable lesson, Jeb … you taught me how to hate."

"I never meant to treat you that way," Jeb said. "I've never hated you in spite of how it turned out. The truth is I loved you, and always have. This S&M thing took control of my mind. I'm a sick man, Keith."

"I don't believe this," Keith said. "If that's how you show your affection, I'd hate to learn what would have happened if you hated me. You're still young enough to have a wholesome life, Jeb. My advice, for what it's worth, is to see a good shrink and work out your problem before someone ends up killing you."

"You should try to be like your brother; he was a great man. I feel sorry for you, but I can never forgive you for what you did to my life. Don't every try to contact me again. Goodbye, Jeb." I hung up the telephone before he could answer.

My campaign to ruin the Thornton's and the Grant's was in the works, but I needed my uncle's cooperation before I could move against them. Both families had relied heavily on Lindstrom Corporations for their survival.

Once I had gained complete control of the corporation, it was an easy matter to destroy them. When my uncle returned the signed papers, I had the advantage I needed to break Ken and Norm. I couldn't wait to tell Dean of this news when he got home.


The telephone rang about six. It was Dean. "What's up?" Keith asked.

"Have you started fixing dinner yet?" he asked.

"It's too early," Keith said. "Are you going to have to work longer tonight?"

"No, I have a date," Dean said. "I'll be eating out tonight and I wanted to get to you before you started cooking anything."

"That's fine."

"One more thing, is it all right if I use the van tonight?"

"Sure, I'm not going anywhere; I have a ton of reports to catch up on tonight. Have a good time."

"Are you alright, Keith? You sound disappointed, did you have something planned for tonight? I know how you hate sudden changes."

"I'm fine, have a good time. I'll see you in the morning." I smiled and took a chicken pot pie out of the freezer and popped it into the microwave.

I finished reading the textbook for my assignment. I was not going to get caught again by being unprepared, once is enough. I sat in front of my computer and began downloading the memos from Lindstrom Plantation. Many required my comments, but most were routine. I kept plugging away.

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

When Dean returned home at eleven, he found Keith sound asleep sitting in front of the computer. He went over to the computer and saved the file Keith was working on and shut down the computer.

He shook Keith to wake him, but he was dead to the world. The shrink kept Keith on special medication to stop the nightmares. He was okay during the day, but if he didn't take them before bedtime he would wake up screaming in the middle of the night.

He carried him into the bedroom and pulled back the covers and striped him. Dean smiled; he noticed Keith was wearing a pair of the briefs that he had given him for his birthday. He removed the briefs and observed that Keith was back to shaving himself again.

The burns scars were still noticeable in his groin area, as were the scars from the kidney operation. The surgeon said that it would take years for that scar to fade, even with all the special lotions the plastic surgeon gave him.

He covered him with a sheet, picked up his clothes, and hung them the dressing room. He undressed and turned off the lights and returned to the living room.

He noticed the red light flashing on the answering machine. There were two messages. He played them back. One was from Keith's Uncle Jeb. "I've taken your advice; the signed and notarized documents are on the way to your lawyers now."

"My attorneys will have the deed for the Plantation ready for your signature tomorrow. I've discharged and paid the staff, so it's your responsibility now. I'll be out of your way and will be out of the country, by Wednesday. Maybe one day you will find it in your heart to forgive me. I will always love you."

The second message at ten thirty was from Keith's attorney.

"Keith, just got off the phone with your uncle, he has agreed to all your terms and is overnighting the signed documents to me; congratulations."

Dean smiled and shook his head in amazement. He took his book out and began to read. He turned off the lights at 1AM, and slipped into bed next to Keith and fell asleep.

The clock radio went off at 8AM. Dean opened his eyes and heard the shower running in the bathroom. He got up, put his robe on and headed out to the kitchen to make the coffee. He poured two glasses of orange juice and set them on the table. He took out the Canadian bacon, eggs, butter and bread out of the refrigerator. He beat half a dozen eggs in the bowl and heated the frying pan.

"Good morning," Keith said as he walked into the kitchen. "Would you like me to make the toast?"

"Sure," Dean said.

"Thanks for putting me to bed last night."

Dean chuckled, "I can't leave you alone anymore, can I?"

"Sure looks that way. I take it the fair damsel turned you down and didn't put out for the savage beast?"

"What are you, psychic this morning?"

Keith had a broad grin on his face when he answered. "If you had scored, I wouldn't have woken up in your arms this morning. You know I think I'm going to stop taking those sleeping pills, I'm missing out on the fun."

Dean blushed, "I'm sorry, I wasn't aware of that."

"Don't be sorry, I enjoyed it. I must say, you have one fine looking piece of meat there, Dean, I only wish you had gone further. That gal didn't know what she missed."

Dean chuckled, "Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky the next time."

"Promises, promises," Keith said laughing.

"For your information, wise guy, she didn't turn me down. I turned her down. I'll never go on a blind date again. What a wasted evening. I could have had a hooker for a lot less. Not to mention the satisfaction."

Keith smiled, "Look, baby, I'd be happy to take care of you for free. What are buddies for anyway?"

Dean chuckled, "Look out, Keith, I may just jump your bones. One thing's for sure, you're a lot more attractive then the air head I dated last night. I noticed you've taken to shaving from the face down again? I also saw that you nicked yourself in a few places. I told you I would shave you."

Keith blushed, "I couldn't let you do that."

"I don't understand you sometimes," Dean said. "I've been your nurse for five months; what's your problem?"

"If you must know, you would turn me on. It was different when I was recuperating; I hurt so much I didn't care. But, that's all changed now."

Dean raised his eyebrows, "Oh, thanks for telling me," Dean said. "Do you mind me asking how long you've felt this way?"

"For the last two years," Keith said.

Dean smiled and shook his head, "Congratulations on knocking your uncle out of the box. I didn't think it was going to be so easy. You're one smart dude."

"How did you know about that, I only spoke to him yesterday afternoon?" Keith asked.

"I checked the answering machine when I returned last night. Why don't you check it out while I shower and dress?"

After Keith checked his messages, he cleaned up the kitchen and made the bed while Dean was dressing.

"I have a big favor to ask you," Keith said. "Will you fly with me to Jackson early Wednesday morning?"

"Sure, how long will we be gone?"

"About two days, tops. You're a prince, Dean. I'm afraid to walk into that manor house alone. We'll be flying back Thursday night."

"That's cool," Dean said.

"Call your dad and ask him if he's free to meet me Thursday morning? I like to have him take care of some renovations I'm planning. One last thing, do you want to stay with your folks Wednesday night, or share a room with me at the Marriott in Jackson?"

"I'll stay with you at the Marriott," Dean said. "We can have dinner with the folks Wednesday."

"Dean, I'm going to need your help to get rid of all that crap in my uncle's play room before you dad starts his work on the house. I have some special plans for the S&M toys, however. I'm going to have your dad turn that playroom into a storage area."

"We better get a move on, or we're going to be late for our first class," Dean said.

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

Keith's narrative continues:

The trip back to the scene of the crime was a nightmare for me. I was a nervous wreck by the time I reached the attorney's office in downtown Jackson. Dean took off in the rental van to see his folks while I sat down with the attorneys. They transferred the deeds of the Lindstrom Plantation, and Jeb's stock over to me.

After finishing with them, I headed over to the Jackson Security Systems office. I needed to sign a new contract with them to guard the plantation. I had discussed the arrangements with them over the phone, Tuesday. They were to install a new state of the art security system in addition to the 24/7 guards. I made sure that Bruno was the man assigned to be responsible for my security. I paid for their Class-A service. It was costing me a bundle, but I felt it was worth every cent.

The mansion had been in the family for generations and it had an outstanding collection of fine art and porcelain. Not to mention the antique furniture collection that my family had collected over the years.

In spite of his misplaced loyalty, I held no ill feelings against Bruno. He said he did his best to protect me in spite of my uncle. Bruno was right; Uncle Jeb was his employer. After signing the papers, Bruno and I left the office and made two more stops.

One was to the Lawn & Landscaping Company to sign a service contract for the maintenance of the Plantation grounds. The other stop was to the House maintenance service. Even though I would not be living in the house, it still had to be maintained. Again, Bruno had to schedule extra guards to watch the maintenance and cleaning staff.

Since Bruno had his car, I called Dean and told him to pickup lunch for the three of us and meet us at the plantation. On the drive over, I explained to Bruno how I wanted him to dispose of the S&M toys.

He was to divide the toys and hide them at Ken, and Norm's homes, in a place were they would not be discover accidentally. He was to make sure there were no prints on the toys.

We would go through my uncle's room to remove his costumes. He was to contact the insurance company for a copy of the current inventory. In addition, Bruno was to arrangement to have a certified appraiser catalogue and appraise everything in the manor house and to videotape every item.

Dean was parked outside the gate waiting for us when we arrived. Bruno opened the gate and we drove around to the kitchen entrance. We ate lunch in the staff dining room. After lunch, we headed down to the basement. Bruno packed up the toys while Dean and I began removing the chains, hooks, and paraphernalia that my uncle had installed. After Bruno finished his task, he worked with Dean to finish the job. I went up to my suite to pack up some clothes that I would need in Atlanta.

I felt a mixture of fear and hate when I stood alone in my bedroom. The original staff was gone, and the house had that feeling of emptiness. I've never felt this alone in my life before. I walked over to my desk and looked at the last family photograph we had taken together.

The tears welled up in my eyes and I began to cry. I missed my family terribly. I often wished I had died with them. Sure, I had won the battle, and taken control the family business, but so what. What did it all mean when my family was gone? I had no one to share my life with. I had no children to leave it to. All this would go to charity one day and I'll end up as another statistic when I died.

I was startled when Dean came up behind me and started rubbing my back and tried to console me. He didn't say a word, he put his arm around me and pulled me to him and handed me his handkerchief.

"Breath deeply, Tiger," Dean said. "You miss your folks, don't you?"

"Yes, I do, that and remembering what happened the last time I was in this room. You know, as stupid as it may sound, the beating I received was not as painful as the thought of being alone once again. That together with the realization that I'm the last of line; there will be no heirs to pass on the family name. I feel I let my family down. This has been bothering me for some time."

"I even considered a marriage of convenience. Yet, that is fraught with all kinds of problems, as you can well imagine. Anyway, I haven't the will or desire to have sex with a woman. I really would want to have children. And even if it were possible, what guarantees would I have that my wife wouldn't leave me and take the children with her. She could demand that I support her and the children, yet not allow me to see the children. A homosexual hasn't a leg to stand on in this society, and particularly in Mississippi."

"Are you absolutely sure you are a homosexual. You sure don't act like one," Dean said. "Have you tried going out with a woman?"

"I know what I am, Dean. I have no interest in the opposite sex at all. Don't misunderstand me, I enjoy the company of women. It's just that I don't have any desire to have sex with them. My shrink tried to help me on that score. I tried dating some lovely women, but I had no desire to pursue them any further"

"I was still getting calls from women inviting me to gatherings and dinner. You know how big my uncle was on me socializing. I suppose that has something to do with my money, but not all of it. After spending that weekend with Chuck, I had no doubts about what I am. Even my shrink had to agree."

"That's my point about dating; according to you, Chuck was just as turned on as you were, yet he is not gay?"

"That's true, but not all of us are the same. Chuck happens to be one of those rare men who do not feel threatened by male sex. I'm sure he means what he said about being straight. But, who knows if he'll stay that way. I personally feel he is bisexual, who knows. Whatever he is, I wish him well."

"Look, Keith, I think you should find a shrink in Atlanta and talk to him about your problem. Christ, you're only twenty-one, you're wealthy, and you have your whole life ahead of you. You're an intelligent guy and have a lot going for you and I'm not alone in that opinion."

"You proved to your board of directors and the lawyers that you were intelligent enough to be given control of the Lindstrom Corporation. Do you know how many men would give their right nut to be in your spot right now?"

"You're not alone, Keith, I'll always be here for you and I'm sure Chuck feels the same way. I know were not family, but so what. We're a hell of a lot better than that uncle of yours, and he's gay. You've been through a lot and it's finally catching up to you. I don't want to see you do anything stupid like going off the deep end, or worse. I would really miss you." Dean chuckled, "And I'm not saying this because you're a hunk."

Keith smiled and blew his nose, "you're right. I need to find out what's causing these nightmares. I don't want to keep taking those knock-out pills. Who knows, one night you might take advantage of me when I was asleep and I would miss all the fun. Thanks for the kind words, Dean. Are things presentable enough to have your father in to look at the room?"

"The room looks like any other room now," Dean said. "We've disconnected the hoses and capped the water lines. Believe me, it's fine. Let's see what Bruno has turned up in your uncle's old room."

Bruno had completed the search of Jeb's bedroom suite when they walked in. "Everything is as clean as a whistle, boss, the place is empty."

"That's fine, Bruno," Keith said. "Sometime next week Ms. Whitehall, my interior decorator, will be calling you from Atlanta to make an appointment to see the house. She probably needs a couple of days to look the place over. She said she would be accompanied by some of her assistants to take pictures, and measure."

"I'm also having an architectural firm in from Atlanta to give me a price on restoring this Plantation to it's original condition. I rather like the original classic design my great grandfather intended for the place."

"One last thing, I want you contact a few employment agencies and start interviewing staff people to run this house. I'll need a butler, a housekeeper and a chef. I would like you to screen at least three qualified people for each position. I'm planning to have a big Christmas party this year and I want them in place by then."

"Yes, sir," Bruno said. "Anything else, sir?"

"When we're in public, or around the staff you can address me as Mr. Lindstrom. When we are alone, or I am with Dean, please call me Keith. I'm going to ask you an embarrassing question Bruno, but it's important that you answer it honestly. My uncle used to use you to check out people for him and to run his, shall we say confidential errands, didn't he?"

"Yes, sir, that was part of my job."

"Did he have you check out, Dean?"

"Yes, sir."

"What did you learn about him?"

"Squeaky clean, honor student, outstanding athlete, normal all-American boy, doesn't do drugs or booze, and is active in the community."

"Did my uncle have you check out Chuck, Ken, and Norm as well?"

"Yes, sir, he did."

"What did you learn about them?"

"They all came from old line Mississippi families. But, the Olsen family was the only decent one of the three. Chuck is a nice kid. His parents brought him up properly and made him toe the mark. He had curfews and he stuck to them. He wasn't allowed out on a school night and his folks had to know who his friends were."

"He only got in trouble once and that was because he was with those two spoiled rotten kids, Ken and Norm. They were always getting into trouble. As far as their parents were concerned, they could do no wrong. You know the type. My buddy found out through private sources that they were into kinky sex and you weren't the first guy they did a number on. The police couldn't prove anything, but they think they were responsible for several unsolved cases. That's why your uncle approved of them. He did caution me to keep an eye on them. He didn't want you hurt. Those two can get carried away when they're doing drugs. If anything happened to you or Chuck there would have been hell to pay. You two were considered jail bait until you were sixteen."

"How could you stand to watch those gang-bangs?" Dean asked.

"I've seen much worse in my job. It was not my business to judge you boys. Sure you were jail bait, but you were enjoying yourself. I felt that if I didn't keep an eye on you, your uncle would hire someone else to guard you. Believe me; you were much better off with me. I was glad I was here that night. They were all so high on drugs that I thought they were crazy."

"At the time, I knew that they were beyond caring. I slipped some strong drugs in their drinks and waited until they passed out. I quickly untied you and took you up to your room. Then I carried your uncle up to his room. One by one, I carried the boys out to my van and dumped them on a dirt road out in the country. When I came back to take you to the doctor, you had disappeared. My boss told me to say nothing and leave the house since none of you would remember what happened."

"Your uncle called me late the next day and wanted to know where you were. I told him I had no idea. You see, I had already quit after what they did to you. I suggested he call his two slaves and ask them. I never heard from him again."

"So that's what happened that night," Keith said. "I couldn't sleep the pain was so intense. I could hardly breathe. That's when I called Dean."

"Thank you for saving my life," Bruno. How would you like to work for me?"

"I'm already working for you."

"You're working for the agency, I'm your client. I don't want that kind of an arrangement. I want you to work for me exclusively. I don't want your loyalty to be split between me and your employer. You think about it and let me know before I leave tomorrow."

"I can't leave the agency even if I wanted to, I've signed a three year contract with them," Bruno said.

"That's not a problem; I can buy your contract out. Think about it and let me know your answer tomorrow."

"Yes, sir."

"Hire someone to come out here tomorrow and pack up my clothes and airfreight them to Atlanta as well," Keith said. "And let's change that entry code before we leave tonight."

"Yes, sir. Will you need me earlier than eight o'clock tomorrow morning?" Bruno asked.

"No, that's fine," Keith said. "If you need me for anything, I'll be having dinner with the McCall's tonight. After that, you can reach me at the Marriott in town. Oh, before I forget, if you need petty cash, or have any unpaid invoices, take them to my Attorney's office in town. I've authorized them reimburse you for any expenses you have. We'll be leaving you now, see you in the morning, Bruno."

"Good night, sir. Good night, Dean."

They got into the van and drove out the front gate.

"Well, I think we got a lot accomplished today, don't you?"

Dean grinned, "You know, little man, if I didn't know you better, I'd think you were crazy."

"What's wrong?"

Dean shook his head, and smiled, "Nothing really, how are you feeling now? Are you over your blue funk?"

"Yes, thank you," Keith laughed, "you made it all better. I thought about what you said and you were right on two points. I have a good friend and I'm wealthy. I plan to make good use of both."

"Mmmmmm, I don't know if I like the sound of that, Tiger. I saw the way you got into Bruno's head today. I don't understand why you just don't leave the arrangements the way they are? This way, if you don't like the way he does something, you can always replace him."

"That's true, but I trust Bruno; he is competent and will take good care of me. He has already proven that. Anyway, he knows all about my family background and me. Bruno will make sure he doesn't make any more mistakes. If he works for me, he will learn the way I want things done. Another thing, he knows my enemies. The important thing is that you two get along. I have a proposition to make you and I want you to give it a lot of thought before you give me your answer."

"This sounds very serious," Dean replied with a grin.

"I want you to continue to live with me until we graduate from college. We both want to get our MBA and now is the time to make the decision. It means carrying a heavy program in the next four years. Now that we've been at it for a while, I think we should consider taking the accelerated program that Tech is offering. We may have to give up our Friday evenings and Saturdays for a while, but I think it is worth the effort. I know we have the marks and the brains to do it."

"Hold it right there, Tiger. Even if I wanted to go along with the program, I can't swing it financially. I can't ask my parents for any more money."

"I know your financial situation and we'll talk about that in a minute. We are compatible and think alike on most issues. Right now, I need your moral support and companionship. The shrink will help me to straighten out my life again. If you do this for me, I will not only foot your bill at Tech, but I'll pay for your other expenses as well. Since you will be giving up your part time job, my company will send you a paycheck for the same amount you are presently earning. You're not getting a free ride. I want you to work for me and design a new computer system for the Lindstrom Corporation."

"If this works out, and you want to stay with the company, I'll move you into our new Executive training program. After that, you can have pick your career path with the firm. We both have different life styles and I would expect you to do your thing, I will do the same. We can work that out if you agree to live with me. We will continue the petty cash arrangements for the household expenses. If you agree to go along with the arrangements, I'll provide you with a company credit card. That will make the bookkeeping much easier all around, plus we get bonus miles on our airline tickets."

"Jesus, Keith, that's a tempting offer, but I'll feel like I'd lose my independence if I allowed you to support me like that. I don't think this is a good idea knowing how you feel about me. Look, you're only human. Suppose you decide that you don't want me around any more, or you want more from me than I'm willing to give. On the other hand, suppose you meet Mister Right and decide to play house together? Where does that leave me?"

"That's not going to happen," Keith said. "I've been honest with you from the beginning. Sure, I have a thing for you, but that has not affected our friendship. I have never made a pass at you and I never will. I'd certainly never use my position, or money to force you into a compromising situation. I value our friendship too much to allow that to happen. You should know me well enough by now to know that I never go back on my word. I intend to draw up a letter of agreement that will cover all the points you've made and will guarantee that no matter what happens, your education, and subsistance will continue until you receive your MBA."

"Look, you could find the girl of your dreams and leave just as easily. I'm not saying that this is going to be the ideal arrangement, but it's something to strive for. I'm willing to do everything I can to make it work. Look, Dean, there are no guarantees in this life and everything you get comes with a price tag. Look at the price I paid for what I have today. I have more money than I can ever spend in three lifetimes. Yet what good is it to me if it cost the lives of my family."

Dean shook his head and smiled, "Your uncle didn't realize what a treasure he cast aside. You're smooth, Keith, I can see why the board let you have controlling interest in Lindstrom. This is a big decision to make. I need some time to think this through."

"Take all the time you need."

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

After dinner at the McCall home, they drove back to their motel.

Keith showered first and slipped into his robe. He plugged in his computer and checked his email. He read and answered ten messages by the time Dean returned to the sitting room. "I don't know about you but I'm going to hit the sack before that pill kicks in," Keith said.

Dean turned off the lights and followed Keith into the bedroom. "I'm going to call it a night, too." They both crawled into the king-sized bed. Dean reached over and turned off the lights.

"You have a great family, Dean; they are down-to-earth people. It was nice to be part of a loving family again. I had forgotten how nice it can be."

"They like you too, Tiger. You really made a big hit with my dad. He still can't believe you're giving him the opportunity to become the prime contractor for Lindstrom. His eyes got a little watery when he told me about what you had said. Do you know how long he been trying to land a contract from your company?"

"If your father is as good as you say he is, then he shouldn't have any problem landing the contract. I told your dad he needs to present a sound proposal to my managers. He will be bidding against some tough competition but I think he can land the contract if he can line-up enough of the top sub-contractors to handle the work. He knows who they are. Now all he has to do is sign letters-of-intent with them. It wouldn't be ethical for me to show favoritism, but you tell your father that it wouldn't hurt his cause at all it he let it be known that he has a direct pipeline to me. If the subs want to check that out with me, they can. I've given your father the name of my investment banker who will make sure he gets the financing he needs."

"It looks like I'm going to owe you big time," Dean said.

"You don't owe me anything, that's what friends are for. If you hadn't been there for me when I needed you, we would not be talking about this tonight. Well, buddy, I can't keep my eyes open any longer, good night."


Keith narrates

These last four years have been some of the happiest and most rewarding of my life. Dean accepted my offer and we settled into a relaxed, comfortable existence. This is not to say we didn't have our period of adjustment. Any relationship takes some fine-tuning. In our case good judgment prevailed and we both feel that our friendship has grown stronger because of it. It took us almost a year to find the right place to live. I know for sure, we drove several real estate agents up a wall. Yet, it was worth it in the end. We both agreed on the ideal house in Roswell, Georgia. Dean was not completely sold on the location at first, but decided to humor me in the end. He felt the place was too big for two people. He was right in a way. It was almost as large as the Plantation in Jackson. Yet, he was not aware of my ulterior motives. I pacified him by adding a pool and tennis courts and bought a new van. Then he was happy.

We both carried heavy programs at Tech, in addition to our work for the company. We commuted to Jackson, Mississippi several times a month; Dean for the computer programs and me for my board meetings. Three years ago, we decided to use the Agrochemical Division to test our new computer program. The program was so successful I had the system installed at all the divisions. We actually cut our costs by 15-percent it the first year alone. The board approved my decision to hire Dean as project director of computer systems. Of course, they had no choice but to agree. They were not disappointed in my decision.

Although I had always felt Dean was above average as a friend, I never had the opportunity to evaluate him as an employee. His parents had a strong work ethnic that they bestowed on their children. After working with Dean's father, Jerry, over a period, I felt certain that Dean would have the same traits. My judgment proved me right. Not only did he do a fine job, but he earned the respect of my executives in the four divisions as well. The job has helped Dean to mature also. He became more self confident and felt more at ease, not only with the job, but in our relationship too. I was delighted with his newfound inner peace.

In the beginning, Dean felt ill at ease because he felt I was treating him like my fair-haired boy. Invariable, he would ask me if it was all right to do this or that in the house. He was making me feel uncomfortable; I wanted him to feel that we were partners and that this was his home too. I sat him down one afternoon and told him how I felt. That if he didn't stop I was going to break him of the habit. After that he was fine. Oh, he did have an occasional relapse every now and then, but who's perfect. The thing that changed him the most was the high salary and bonuses he was earning. No longer did he acquiesce to my every decision. Now, he felt confident to air his views on a given subject. He dressed better once he began to buy his wardrobe at the better stores.

Toward the end of our first year together, I realized how much I cared for Dean. I wanted more than the platonic relationship we had. Naturally, we were both dating at the time and we cultivated a group of friends that we both enjoyed. Nevertheless, some of the young men I dated left a lot to be desired. Dean refused to allow me to frequent the gay bars, so we settled on an upscale private club that catered to straights and gays alike. They always had a nice crowd and separate dance facilities for the gay men. Your average college kid could not afford this place to begin with; secondly, you had to be a sponsored before you could become a member.

Dean was so much a part of my life by then; I knew that it would be devastating when he moved out on his own in three years. It was a very emotional time for me. I also knew that as long as we were together, I could never have a meaningful relationship with another man. That is when I decided to raise a family. I discussed this at some length with my shrink and then with a family councilor. Adoption was not an option for me, because I was gay. However, my shrink put me in touch with an agency that specialized in finding surrogate mothers. The mother's background was meticulously screened for any heredity defects, as well as their social status. After consulting with my attorneys, I made my decision to start a family.

Before I could set the wheels in motion, I had to get Dean's approval. He didn't embrace the idea with open arms, yet he did not stand in my way. I've always been open with Dean and I felt I couldn't make the move unless he knew my reasons. It was an agonizing decision for me because I really didn't know how Dean would react. I felt that I was putting undue pressure on him by telling him the truth.

When I finally marshaled my courage and told him how I felt, he surprised the hell out of me. He told me that he had suspected as much and realized that my having children would be the right solution. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Here, I though I was being so clever, hiding my feelings. However, I redoubled my efforts to be more careful.

Today, I have four of the most beautiful children in the world and I love them so much. My first-born were twins, now three years old. The boy I named, Dean, and my daughter, Betty, after my mother. My two year old daughter, I named Georgette after my sister, and my two year old son, Keith, Jr.

I had the family room soundproofed and made the house childproof. I moved Dean's desk to one side of the room, and had a half wall built so we could be with the children when they were awake. I had an outdoor fenced-in play area designed so that it could be reached through the sliding glass doors from the family room. The children shared the wing with Dean and me. They each had their own bedroom and there was a nursery complete with a small dining room and kitchen.

Dean and I continued to share a large comfortable suite with adjoining bedrooms each with its own bath and dressing rooms.

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

The story continues …

Keith's plan to ruin the Thorntons and the Grants was moving along nicely. It had taken three years to destroy the business of the two arrogant men. The final blow would be struck in two weeks. His private investigators finally had enough solid evidence on Ken and Norm to put them behind bars where they belonged.

Keith was in the nursery, lying on his stomach while Dean and Betty were sitting on him riding him like a pony. All the while, he was helping Georgiana stack her blocks.

Dean smiled as he walked in. "I thought I'd find you in here."

When the older two children heard his voice, they leaped to their feet and ran to him. "We were waiting all afternoon for you, Uncle Dean."

He reached down, gathered them into his arms and hugged them. "My plane was delayed again, kids. Did you miss me?"

"Yes, Uncle Dean. Daddy said we couldn't go to Stone Mountain unless you were with us. Can we go tomorrow?"

"We'll see, kids. I have to talk to your daddy first," Dean said. "Hi, Tiger, I missed you and the kids. It's good to be home."

"We missed you too," Keith said. "How was your trip?"

"Productive, yet exhausting," Dean said. "I don't know about you, but I could go for a drink. But first I'm going to shower and change."

"Let me read to the kids and I'll meet you in the living room as soon as I finish here," Keith said.

"Sounds like a plan," Dean said.

Dean had one of his favorite jazz CD's playing softly on the stereo when Keith walked into the room. Keith had changed into one of his new lounging suits. Dean stared at him for a few seconds before speaking. "You know I love those kids, Keith, and you looked like a kid yourself playing with them in the nursery. You know my contract will be up in less than six months."

Keith smiled, "Yes, I know. Would you like to renew it for another four years?"

Dean chuckled, "I just may do that, but we're going to have to make a few changes. You know you're a very clever guy, Tiger. You knew I would fall in love with the kids."

"My children and I thank you for the compliment," Keith said.

"Would you like me to go to Stone Mountain with you and the kids tomorrow?" Dean asked.

"Yes, it should be fun," Keith said. "I have to be in Jackson next Saturday, would you mind sticking around to keep an eye on things? I hate to leave right now but it cannot be helped. Keith Jr. has an ear infection and I'd feel better knowing you will be here."

"Sure, no problem, I have a backlog of work to catch up on anyway. Not to mention the classes I missed. Were you able to record the two lectures I missed?"

"Sure did, they're on your desk," Keith said. "I also got our marks for the last marking period and they were outstanding. We're doing all right for two red necks from Mississippi."

Dean laughed, "You can call yourself a redneck if you want, but I'm a Southern gentleman from Mississippi, I'll have you know."

"And so you are," Keith said. "You've come a long way, baby."

"You'd better believe it," Dean said. "You know there was something that happened at the club that I forgot to mention. I was cleaning out my wallet tonight when I found the card. The last time I went to the club was the night you decided to stay home. Well anyway, I was sitting at our usual table when this attractive person walked to me and said, "Dean McCall" and I nodded. He extended his hand, "My name is Alex Savage." He was a clean cut looking man, so I invited to sit down. He said he was waiting for his other half to arrive. He mentioned that he had noticed us in club before and wanted to introduce himself. He knew who we were and said he would like us to join them for cocktails at his home some evening when we were free.

We talked for a while, when his other half, Sandy appeared on the scene. Sandy happened to be the most strikingly handsome man I have met. Not only was he polished, but he was interesting. He was the type of person that makes you feel at ease and makes you feel that you're the most important person in the world. You know the type. Anyway, I bought them a drink and we talked for a bit. Than this vivacious, drop dead gorgeous woman, by the named Lois Parr joined us for a drink as well. They finished their drinks and left shortly to attend a dinner party."

Dean handed Keith the card. "I didn't think much about it until I called Dad, I asked him it he ever heard of Stonewall & Savage Engineering. He told me they were the largest engineering construction firm in the southeast. It seems that Alex Savage is the president and owner of the company and Sandy Lambert, is his number two man. Lois Parr it turns out is a high-powered well-connected woman. Dad said it wouldn't hurt to get to cultivate those people."

"Did you forget to mention it to me because they were gay, or because they though we were a couple," Keith asked?

Dean smiled, "That was ungenerous of you, Tiger. You know I don't have any animosity against gay men. It doesn't bother me if people think we're a couple. I think your jealousy is showing, Tiger."

Keith chuckled, "You're right, I thought I had that under control."

"You've been very good about that," Dean said. "You're forgiven."


Keith's private jet landed at Jackson International Thursday at seven. Bruno met him at the arrival gate and drove him to his attorney's office. It was quite a large group waiting for Keith to arrive; his private security team, his lawyers, the assistant District Attorney, and a detective from the police criminal department were in attendance. Keith's lawyers presented their case backed up by the evidence the private detectives had gathered. The video tapes plus Bruno's and Keith's depositions were all the DA needed to prosecute the two men.

The next morning Bruno drove Keith to corporate headquarters for his nine o'clock board meeting. His second meeting was scheduled for 1PM at the DA office. They drove back to the Lindstrom Manor for lunch. He called home to check on Keith Jr. before taking off for their appointment.

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

Dean narrates

"Dean McCall?" the detective asked.

"This is he," Dean replied.

"Your friend, Keith Lindstrom, and his driver have been involved in an automobile accident, sir, according to his attorneys you are listed as his next-of-kin and have his power of attorney. Mr. Lindstrom is unconscious and is in critical condition."

"Thank you for calling, officer." I could not believe my ears. I called my dad and asked him to go to the hospital and find out what he could. My only thought was to be with Keith. I asked the nurse and the nanny to get the children ready, we were all leaving within the hour for Mississippi. I called the charter service and ordered a jet to fly us all to Mississippi.

I had the nurse called the pediatrician to make sure it would be okay for Keith Jr. to travel. She told me he would be okay as long as we did not fly above twenty thousand feet. That was fine with me, so what if we burned more fuel. We arrived in Jackson International in less than two hours, that's not bad considering I had four babies, a nurse and a governess aboard. I took Dean and Betty into my cabin and played with them until they fell asleep next to me.

I prayed to every saint I could think of to let Keith live. He had suffered enough. I didn't want to raise his children alone. I was scared for the first time in my life. I'd never felt this way before. I was terrified of what I would find when I arrived at the hospital.

I had called the agency and had a special security team meet us at the airport to escort all of us to the Plantation. After they were safely home, I had my dad pick me up and drive me to the hospital. Keith's doctor briefed me on his condition and his prognosis. Other than the concussion and a broken leg, his other injuries were minor.

The doctor allowed me to stay with him for as long as I wanted. I asked that Keith be moved into one of the VIP suites. I also requested that another bed be set-up in the sitting room as I planned to stay with him. I called our security chief to have him assign a team to guard our suite around the clock and to do a check on anyone entering his room including the hospital personnel.

When the doctor dropped by later that evening, I asked him if it was possible to move Keith to the plantation. The doctor said Keith could not be moved until his condition stabilized. The imaging equipment that Keith needed was located in the hospital.

"We have all the tools we need to work with here, Mr. McCall," the doctor said. "We will know more about Keith's prognosis in a few days. Brain injuries are the most difficult to predict. Every patient reacts differently. The neurologist is optimistic in Keith's case. All his vital signs look good. We're going to have to wait and see. I suggest you go home and get a good night's sleep. Don't worry about Keith, he's in competent hands. If anything changes, I know where to reach you."

I checked in on Bruno before I left. He had suffered a broken arm and leg, and was resting comfortably. The doctor said he would be able to leave the hospital in five days. I took the doctor's advice and returned to the Plantation to be with the kids.

The doctor called early the next morning to tell me that Keith's brain scan showed a slight improvement but was not conclusive.

"His brain tissue is responding to the medication and the swelling has diminished somewhat," the doctor reported. "That's a good sign; we'll take another scan in two days. Until then were just going to watch and wait. Keith can have visitors; they should act normal around him. They should act as they would if he were awake. Speak in your normal voice. People that have awakened from a coma have told us they were aware of sounds and voices. If you like, bring his children along to see him, let them act normally, it may help him."

We left for the hospital at ten. I wanted Dean and Betty to spend some time with their father. Keith's hospital suite was comparable to a suite at the Ritz Carlton. It had a spacious sitting room and a large size bedroom. Of course, Keith's bed was a regulation hospital bed with all the normal equipment you'd find in any private hospital room. The rest of the furniture and the interior decoration were colorful and tastefully designed. Both rooms were equipped with top-of-the-line large screen television sets and a sound system as well.

When we arrived, the double doors between the sitting room and the bedroom were open. Keith's bedroom was sunny and bright. With the exception of the feeding tube in his nose and the intravenous drip in his arm, Keith looked normal. Of course, the urine bag was connected and suspended from a hook at the other side of the bed. His flesh tone looked much better this morning and his forehead felt normal to the touch.

I held each of the children up so that could each kiss him on the cheek. I patted his hand and talked to him in a normal voice. The children became fidgety after an hour, so I turned on the TV and let them watch Sesame Street. That kept them occupied. They were well mannered and well behaved. Yet, like most children their age, they needed to move around to burn off some of the pent-up energy. There wasn't much I could do for Keith, so I decided to take the kids for a walk. "Come on, kids, let's go; say goodbye to Daddy." I held them up once again so they could kiss Keith on the cheek and we left.

I decided to take them over to my parents' house for lunch. I needed to talk to Dad. They were content knowing that their daddy was sleeping.

Keith and I have never left them alone for more that a couple of days since they were born. If Keith was on a trip, I stayed with them. The kids jumped out of the car and ran to the front door. The kids loved visiting their grandparents. Over the years, a close friendship had developed between Keith and my family. They treated Keith like family and he felt welcome in my home. Of course, my father never forgot what Keith did for him, and it took a long time for my dad to accept Keith as my friend. Dad was from the old school. To him, Keith was his client. It was hard for him to separate the two. Keith wasted no time in setting my dad straight on that score. He told Dad, when he was in his home he was there as family not as his client. After that, they got along just fine.

Keith was a good to my family. Every time he was in town, he invited them to the plantation for dinner. He also took us all on vacation with him and the children. Which was at least four times a year. When you traveled with Keith, you traveled first class, and he would not allow us to pay for a thing. Of course, we traveled in one of Keith's corporate jets. Keith became an instrument rated pilot and had qualified in multi-engine jet aircraft. He had logged quite a few hours flying all over the country on his many business trips.

Keith spoiled me as well. If we were both free for a long weekend, we took off in one of the jets for a trip to one of the Islands. When we did take off on one of our normal family vacations, with the folks, there was quite a large group. There was my whole family, Keith and the four children, a nurse, the nannies, and two bodyguards plus the aircrew of three.

Keith was a good father and he adored his children. He took them with him whenever he could and spent a lot of quality time with them. He made it a practice of allowing the older ones to join us for breakfast and dinner, if he wasn't entertaining.

After the children came along, Keith asked my folks to be their godparents and grandparents. Of course, my parents were thrilled. So my mom became Nana, and Dad became Gramps.

Keith's grandparents were living in a nursing home in Virginia for quite a while. They had their good days and bad days. Sometimes they didn't even recognize Keith. Even so, Keith went to see them every month and brought them pictures of the children.

After lunch, Mom took the kids out in the back yard to play to allow Dad time to talk.

"I visited Keith and Bruno early this morning," my dad said. "Bruno was awake and was able to talk. He told me it wasn't an accident. They were forced off the road. Bruno said the guys that did it were pros and definitely not from around these parts. He has ordered his security team to put as many men on this case as they need to find out who ordered the hit. He made a statement to the police and the DA after he came to yesterday. Bruno thinks this may be tied to either Grant or Thornton."

"I hate to say it, Dad, but I had this suspicion in the back of my mind since this happened." I said. "Bruno is too good a driver to have an accident like that. I'm convinced it wasn't caused by a blown tire. All our cars have bulletproof tires and are kept in perfect condition."

"I'm really worried about Keith. What if he has permanent brain damage? Suppose he doesn't wake up for months?"

"Don't think about that now, Son. Knowing Keith as I do, I'm sure he has taken care of everything. I suggest you talk to his lawyers about this."

"He told me he has made out a will and that the children will never have to worry about anything. But, that's if he dies, God forbid."

"Keith's attorney was at the hospital yesterday. He told me that Keith had given you power of attorney and it's irrevocable. If he has brain damage and cannot function, the ball is in your court. Keith has seen to that. I feel he made the right choice."

"Thanks, Dad, I find this all so mind boggling. Poor Keith, he has really had a rotten time of it so far. It doesn't seem right that Ken and Norm get a second chance at him. He is such good person. If Keith doesn't make it, those two will wish they had never been born. They got away with it the first time, but I assure you, they are not going to get away this time."

"Dean, listen to me," my father said. "Don't do anything stupid, you have big responsibilities now. Use your head; don't do anything that will get you in trouble with the law. Your only thoughts right now should be to take care of Keith and the children. Let the police and Bruno do their job."

"Don't worry, Dad, I wouldn't lay a finger on those two. There are other ways to handle them. I read a book once about the mob. It seems the boss of one of the families learned that one of his own men was playing around with his beautiful young wife. He never mentioned this to his wife. He had his henchmen kidnap the boyfriend and take him to a specialist. He disfigured the guys face and had his genitals cut off. He had them gift wrapped and delivered to his wife. The boss made sure all his men got the message. I wonder how Ken and Norm's fathers would feel if they received their sons' testicles the same way?"

"My God, Dean, you wouldn't?"

I had a sadistic grin on my face, "If those two families were responsible for this, that is exactly what will happen. You didn't see what Keith looked like after they finished torturing him. The doctors at Emory were amazed that he survived at all. Never mind the years of therapy he has gone through. At least now, he doesn't wake up in the middle of the night screaming as much as he used to. Those two bastards, if they are convicted, will probably only be in jail for a few months. Well let's see how they'll act walking around neutered."

"I never knew that about Keith," my dad said.

"There's a lot you don't know about Keith, and that crazy uncle of his. Maybe he'll tell you about it some day."

"Keith has been very good to our family, Dean. He's made it possible for me to become a major player in the construction business. You know how tough it was to get the good jobs in this state. Unless you're well connected, or have a backer bankroll you, it's almost impossible to get any of the big contracts, like Lindstrom."

"I knew you and Keith were good friends for many years, but that alone was not enough. All that talk about subcontractors and letters of agreement from my subs was all window dressing. The prime contractor is a god in the construction business, and a prime can have any subcontractor he wants. Keith told his CEO's that he wanted me to be his prime contractor and they made it happen."

"If I remain his prime contractor, I will be a rich man. Yet, I never knew until today why Keith did this for our family."

"I don't understand, Dad, what do you mean?"

"Keith was paying you back for the debt he owed you. You were there to help him when he needed you. I respect a man that pays back his debts. I'll tell you something else about Keith, he is one hell of a smart businessman and his word is his bond. He is wise beyond his years. Did you know he told me he was a homosexual, before we signed that first contract? He wanted me to know because he felt that there was going to be bad feelings when he named me prime contractor. He wanted me to know in case things got ugly."

"He told me the same thing before we signed our first contract," Dean said. "I had my misgivings at first, as you well know, but I've never regretted it since. He's is a prince and a great roommate. You are right about his fantastic head for business. He taught me so much, Dad. Things I could never have learned from a textbook, or in college. He is his grandfather's boy alright. He sure didn't inherit it from his father. His father and uncle didn't care two pins about the family business."

"Let's pray that he pulls through this in one piece," my father said. "Let's go see what your mother and the kids are up to."

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

Keith awoke from the coma the following day. I had him moved home to the Plantation. He was week and needed assistance walking. He was prone to headaches if he over taxed himself. Gradually, he regained his strength. His old recurring nightmares were back again, but now were worse that ever. His screaming woke me up two or three times in the middle of the night. He begged me not to hire a nurse because he would also talk in his sleep.

That is when I decided to sleep with him again. He broke my heart at times. He would cry and beg for mercy. He was reliving that dreadful night over and over again. Many a night he had me in tears as well. He was like a young teenager when he was like that. I held him in my arms and rocked him like a child until he fell back to sleep. When he had a particularly bad night, he would be exhausted the next day with dark circles under his eyes.

Poor Keith had suffered enough. I called his psychiatrist, Dr. Quemby, in Atlanta, and explained what was going on. He agreed that Keith needed help right away and suggested I get him back to Atlanta where he could start his treatments again. He said he would call his internist and have him write a prescription for a tranquilizer.

The pills were delivered to the house an hour later, Keith was sleeping soundly. I left him sleeping and went down the hall to the nursery. I told the staff to get the children ready for our flight back to Atlanta. I called the chief pilot and told him to be ready for travel in a few hours. My mom and dad came by to say goodbye to Keith and the kids. I called Bruno at the hospital and told him of my decision to fly back to Atlanta. He said he would take care of everything and keep me informed on the investigation.

By the time, I returned to my suite, our bags had been packed. Keith was awake when I returned to his bedroom. "What's going on, Dean? Why are they packing my bag?"

I sat down on the bed next to Keith. "I spoke to Ed Quemby in Atlanta an hour ago and he agrees with me that you should come back to him for treatment. He has prescribed some medication that he wants you to start immediately."

"Can't we stay here for a few more days or at least until I feel a little stronger?"

"Look, Tiger, I'm not going to sit by and see you suffer like you have for the last four nights. It's tearing me apart to watch this. You need professional help. I don't want anything to happen to you, do you understand?" I patted him affectionately on the cheek. "I'm taking you home."

Keith smiled, "I'll do whatever you say. Help me change into a leisure suit."

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

The story continues …

After taking off, Dean made a call to Dr. Quemby's office and made an appointment for 5PM that evening. Keith fell asleep and slept until they landed in Atlanta two hours later.

The chauffeur was there to meet their plane. The flight attendant and the bodyguards loaded up the van and we took off for home. Two hours later Keith and Dean were seated in Ed Quemby's office. Dean explained in detail what happened to Keith. The doctor asked a few questions, and then spent the rest of the time listening to Keith's recollections of the event and his explanation of the nightmares. After that, they went into the examining room. Doctor Quemby ordered a battery of tests for the following morning at West Paces Hospital, starting at 7AM. He was to have a light supper at six and take his sleeping pill at seven.

"If Keith doesn't sleep the night through without waking up, let me know tomorrow morning," the doctor said.

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

Dean's alarm woke him up at six the following morning. He woke Keith, "Come on, Tiger, let's hit the showers."

Keith opened his eyes, "I could use another couple of hours of sleep. Well, did I wake you up last night?"

"You whimpered a little around eleven, but other than that you did just fine. How do you feel?"

"It too early to tell, why don't you ask me again in an hour." Dean led him into the walk-in shower and helped him bathe. Keith was still a little unsteady on his feet. He almost slipped on the soapy floor. Dean made him sit on the ledge while he bathed him.

Dean chuckled, "This is like old times again, Tiger. Looks like you need a shave again."

Keith chuckled, "That will have to wait until I'm steadier on my feet. Unless you want to do it the next time I shower. I don't think I have to worry about an erection. This medication makes my wizzy shrivel up to a nubbin. Will you look at that?"

Dean howled, "In that case I'll shave you tomorrow. I better be really careful around that little nubbin of yours, I just might lob it off with the razor."

"Let's not joke about things like that."

Dean used the hand wand to rinse them off and made Keith stay seated until he dried him off. After they finished in the shower area, they walked to the sinks. "Remember, Keith, nothing to drink when you brush your teeth. You can use your electric razor this morning; I don't want you to cutting your face."

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

Keith's tests came back negative. Doctor Quemby took him off the tranquillizers but had him continue with the sleeping pills every evening. Dean went back to his regular routine. Keith was strong enough to continue his classes at Tech. After two weeks of steady improvement, Doctor Quemby allowed Keith to exercise three times a week under supervision.

By the end of the second month, Keith's health was almost back to normal. He was not ready to throw away the sleeping pills yet. They were both back to their full workload once again.

Keith noticed that something was bothering Dean ever since their return from Jackson. He did not like to pry, but he thought it had something with Beth, Dean's steady girl friend. He thought maybe the three of them should take a long weekend and fly down to the islands.

Keith decided to broach the subject that night. "How about the three of us take off for a long weekend in St. Thomas?"

"The two of us maybe, but I don't think Beth would be too keen on that. She thinks we spend too much time together."

"I don't understand, what happened between you two?"

"It's a long story and I don't have the time to go into it now. Tell you what, Tiger, let's you and me take that trip to St. Thomas this weekend. We could both use the break."

"Great, we can leave Thursday night and be back on Monday night, how does that sound?"

"Like a winner, Tiger. Now stop talking and let me get some work done."

Keith smiled, "God, I'm glad I don't have you for a boss."

Dean laughed, "Maybe if you did you'd get more work done."

St. Thomas

They checked into the Villa at the Stouffers late that evening. They were both tired after the long day and they hit the sack early.

The next morning they awoke after nine. After showering, they walked out onto the patio for breakfast. The housekeeper served them their meal. They were looking over the brochures that the Hotel supplied for the guests.

"How about renting a sailboat for the day; we'll pack lunch and go skinny dipping on one of the deserted islands. I need to get my tan back," Keith said.

"Sounds fine to me, one thing for sure I'm not going to get my wizzy sunburned."

"What, did you just fall off the banana boat?" Keith asked. "You use the same sun block on your pecker that you use on the rest of your body."

"You know you are really a storehouse of knowledge," Dean said. "I'm so glad I took you along."

Keith called the consierge and told him the kind of boat he wanted and made the reservations. The assistant manager returned his call ten minutes later with all the information. The yacht would be ready to sail as soon as they arrived at the Yacht Haven Country club.

After spending a glorious day sailing around the island, the captain swung the boat around and headed back to the Yacht club.

"This has been a relaxing day; we should do this again," Dean said.

"Do you feel like telling me why Beth didn't want to come along? I thought you two were going to get hitched?"

"Beth told you that?"

"She didn't come right out and say it, but she sure let it be known that was her plan. Beth could never be accused of being subtle. She is a diamond in the rough."

"You're right about the unpolished part," Dean said. "Just to set the record straight, I never had any intention of marrying Beth. Not then, not now, not ever. She was a good lay, period. I told her that from the get-go. Evidently, she had other ideas. I should have put a stop to it six months ago when she insisted that we should go steady. Thankfully she played hard to get. That didn't work so she started cutting me off."

"Frankly, I was getting bored with her and all her silly games. I ended our relationship when she accused you of trying to break up our so-called relationship. Beth said you were jealous of her and wanted to keep me all to yourself. She claimed you were a control freak, and used your money and power to hold on to me. She said you were a clever bastard that would stoop to any level to keep me. I told her to go fuck off when she accused you of staging that accident in Jackson to keep me away from her."

"Interesting, in a way I feel sorry for her. She is really a silly girl. She knows how to play the game, but she miscalculated her seductive powers. She tried to reel you in before she hooked you. She thought she had you pussy whipped. Beth is bitter, because you refused to marry her; she is trying to use me as the scapegoat for her failure. She was right about one thing though, I will do anything to keep you, but not for the reasons she thought. Is that the reason you've been in a funk lately?"

Dean smiled. "No, not really. I've had a lot on my mind lately. Your accident was really a wake-up call." The captain edged the bow of the yacht into its berth. "Let's save that for later. How would you feel about barbecuing some steaks for dinner with baked potatoes and a salad, maybe a good bottle of wine?"

"That would hit the spot; I really don't feel like dressing for dinner tonight."

After returning to the villa, they both showered and dressed. Dean told the housekeeper that she could take the evening off. He started pulling the ingredients together for the salad. Keith joined him and set the table. He opened the wine and poured two glasses of wine and handed one to Dean.

"What, you're not taking your sleeping pill tonight?" Dean asked.

"No, I thought I'd skip the pills tonight. Dr. Quemby said it was all right to drink alcohol in moderation. I can still take a sleeping pill as long as I wait four hours after consuming my last drink. I've been a good boy, this will be my first glass of wine in four months."

"Go for it, Tiger," Dean said smiling.

They finished dinner and cleaned up the kitchen. "How about a brandy and coffee?" Dean asked.

"Coffee yes, but no brandy for me, thanks. I'll stick to the wine. I feel in a mellow mood right now."

"Let's have our coffee out on the patio," Dean said, "It's a beautiful night."

"Dean, what did you mean earlier when you said my accident was a wake-up call?"

"You have no idea how terrified I was when the policeman called me from Jackson. My first thought was that you were going to die. Then he told me you were in the hospital in critical condition. God it was almost a repeat of what happened to you four years ago. But this time it took me five hours to reach you. Those were the most agonizing five hours in my life."

"Then to be faced with the awesome responsibility you placed on my shoulders. Frankly, I was overwhelmed. To this day, I don't know how I would have held up with those responsibilities if you had remained in that coma. After I talked to Bruno, my first reaction was to get even with Ken and Norm. I wanted to destroy them for what they had done to you. After your nightmares returned, I am still tempted to go after them."

"Was it the thought of razing my children that bothered you?" Keith asked.

"Hell, no, I love those kids. I feel as if they're mine anyway."

"Then my judgment was not misplaced in you. Those children are my only concern and the most precious possession I have on this earth. Everything else, with the exception of you, takes second place. For a moment, you had me worried. I thought I made the wrong decision in naming you the children's guardian. There was never any doubt in my mind that you were the logical one, and the only one to raise my children."

"In addition, it's not just because I love you either. It's because we both share the same values and I knew you would instill those values in the children. You also have a caring and supportive family that I knew would help. Even if you marry one day, I know the woman you marry will have felt the same as you. So I was never afraid of that eventuality."

"I suppose it was inconsiderate of me not to let you see a copy of my Will. But, now that I'm well again, I'll make sure you receive a copy. In essence, the Will states that if I die, you and the children are the principle beneficiaries of my estate. There are other beneficiaries, but the gifts are much smaller by comparison. You are also have my power of attorney. That document spells out in detail exactly how my affairs are to be handled. Look, baby, I have the utmost faith and confidence in your judgment. You have the intelligence and the drive to run the Lindstrom Corporation until such time as the children are ready to step in to run the company."

"It's understandable that you would be overwhelmed to have all that thrust on you overnight. Granted, I had years of training and guidance before I began to run the company. You did the right thing the way you handled yourself while I was recovering. I would not have done it any differently. You also made the right decision in taking me home to Atlanta."

"I'm happy that everything turned out the way it did," Dean said. "You know I've been lucky, I had a damn good life so far. Having you for a friend has made it even better. You're the best thing that ever happened to me Keith. However, I was naive to think that this could go on forever. I was happy with the status quo. Everything was moving along smoothly and the future looked great for both of us. Your accident changed everything. Life shook the hell out of us once again. Here you were on death's doorstep once again."

"What I haven't told you is I thought you were not going to make it this time. We been through a lot together, Tiger, and I want you to live to a ripe old age. I'm scared that something may happen to you again. I know the plantation is your ancestral home, but as far as I'm concerned it has brought you and your family nothing but grief. I hate that place and everything about it. I don't want you to go back there again."

"So that's what been eating at you," Keith said. "Look Dean, let's talk about this tomorrow; I can't keep my eyes open. The wine is putting me to sleep."

"You go on, Tiger. I'm going to finish my brandy and watch the late news."

Keith was snoring away when Dean crawled into his side of the bed. He turned off the light and drifted of to sleep.

Keith's screams and his thrashing awakened Dean, Keith's last swing almost got him on the head. He grabbed him, wrapped his arms around him and pulled him close. Keith's eyes where closed but the tears were streaming down his face. "Keith, wake up!" Dean shouted. He opened his eyes and stared at Dean.

"Wow, that was a bad one, I'm sorry," Keith said. "I should have taken the damn pill."

Dean gently wiped the tears from Keith's cheek and kissed him on the forehead.

"That's all right, Tiger. I hate to see you suffer like this." Keith wrapped his arm around Dean's waist. He lifted his head and kissed Dean on the lips. "Sorry, I couldn't resist those sensual lips. Would you mind holding me a little longer if I promise not to kiss you again?"

Dean smiled, and continued to rub Keith's back. Keith was rubbing Dean's back the same way. They stayed like that for some time. "Hey, Tiger, would you mind adjusting junior, you're crushing my family jewels."

Keith reached between their legs moved Dean's testicles aside and shoved his penis between Dean's legs. "Is that better, baby?"

"Mmmmmmm, that's much better." Dean said as he lifted Keith's head and kissed him tenderly. He squeezed his buns and forced his tongue deep into Keith's mouth. He pulled away and rose up to stare into Keith's face. "You realize you're turning me on don't you?"

"From the size of your pecker, I'd say big time," Keith said.

Dean laughed as he leaned over and kissed him on the eyes and mouth. "I haven't had sex with another male since we were kids, but I would like to try again, Keith. Are you willing to take me on without any strings attached?"

Keith smiled and returned his kiss. "Lay on your back and put your hands behind your head and relax. I'll take you to a height of sexual passion you never thought possible," Keith said.

He started kissing Dean's face then his neck. He licked and nibbled each armpit and then across his chest to his nipples and on down to his naval. Dean was moaning softly. Keith worked slowly down to his groin, being careful to avoid his genitals. He worked down the right leg to his feet sucking each toe. Then up the left leg and back to his groin. He placed a pillow under Dean's rump, bent and spread his legs, giving him unrestricted access to his genitals and the erogenous area between his testicles and anus. He sucked and nibbled this area spending time rimming and nibbling his anus. He forced his tongue as far as was possible into his rectum. He had Dean moaning and writhing with sensual desire.

"Oh please, Keith, let me come," Dean keep repeating in a husky voice.

Keith worked his way back to Dean's testicles, taking each one in his mouth, working them with his tongue and biting down on each one in turn. Keith could see that Dean's penis was pulsating and the precum oozing down the shaft. He knew Dean was close. He started licking his penis from the base like a lollipop. Dean was moaning louder and went to reach for his penis. But Keith pushed his hand away, not allowing him to touch himself.

"Please, Tiger, you are driving me crazy, I'm ready to explode, please baby, let me come?"

Keith closed his lips around Dean's penis and slid down, swallowing the rigid shaft until his lips reached his pubic hairs. He held his breath for several seconds and slid back to the mushroom head once again. He kept this up for several strokes. Stopping each time and twirling his tongue around the head. Dean forcing his hips forward, driving his penis deeper into Keith's throat. Keith moistened his finger and worked it into Dean's anus and massaged his prostate. Dean was wild; his testicles were drawn up to the shaft of his penis.

"Keith, I'm coming," Dean shouted. With that, he arched his body and shot his sperm deep into Keith's waiting throat. His penis continued to ejaculate into Keith's sucking mouth. His body was covered in perspiration. Keith could hear Dean's heart pounding as he lay next to him. His eyes were closed and his breathing slowly was returning to normal. He took a deep breath and exhaled loudly. He turned and pulled Keith into his arms and smothered him with kisses. He could taste his own semen in Keith's mouth.

"That was the most fantastic orgasm I've ever had in my life," Dean said, "you're wonderful."

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

Dean was the first one to awaken the next morning. Keith's head was laying on his chest with his arm and leg draped over his. He smiled and untangled himself and got out of bed. He covered Keith with the sheet and headed for the bathroom.

The sun was up by the time Dean finished dressing. He headed for the kitchen to make coffee. He carried his cup of coffee out to the patio and listened to the seagulls' calls as they searched for food. He was completely relaxed and enjoying the morning. Keith walked out to the patio an hour later.

"Good morning, Keith," Dean said, "How do you feel this morning?"

"Fine, thank you, how do you feel?"

"Terrific, how would you like some eggs and bacon for breakfast? I'm starved this morning."

"Sounds like a winner," Keith said. "I'll fix the fruit and set the table while you're cooking breakfast." Keith decided not to mention last night, he decided to let Dean broach the subject first.

After they finishing eating Dean said, "How about a game of tennis and a little jet skiing this morning?"

"That would be nice," Keith said. "I'll ask the housekeeper to prepare us a nice salad for lunch with all the trimmings before she leaves for the day."

They returned to the apartment around 1PM. "I don't know about you Keith, but I'm starved?"

"Me too," Keith said. "Would you mind checking the answering service? I'll put everything on the table."

Keith was pouring the wine when Dean walked out on the patio and took his place at the table. "There are quite a few messages from the office in Jackson, and the usual from the family. We've been invited to dine with Sandy and Alex Savage this evening. Can you beat that? They heard we were on the Island and would like to get together again. Would you like to join them this evening?"

"Absolutely, I really like them," Keith said. "Do we need to call them to confirm?"

"The message said regrets only. Cocktails are at 6PM."

They finished lunch and cleaned up the dishes. "If you don't mind, Dean, I think I'll have a lay down," Keith said.

"Sure, go ahead, I might do the same after I make a few calls."

Keith was already asleep when Dean walked into the bedroom an hour later to take his shower. Keith was sound asleep sprawled out naked in the center of the bed. Dean sat down on lounge chair to admire the body of his handsome friend. Dean began to realize, as if for the first time how beautiful Keith was. His skin shone from the deep tan he had cultivated. Only faint traces showed from his operations. His daily exercise routine made his body even more attractive than before. His deep tan skin highlighted his well-developed muscles.

Keith had a beautiful body. He was more upset about his scars then he was from the beating itself. Of course, the mental scars were still there. Keith had always taken good care of his body and had this thing about body hair and two-toned skin. His body was devoid of hair from his neck down. Keith disliked the white skin showing under his trunks so he had his own tanning booth at home to tan those areas as well.

Dean remembered how sexy Keith looked the first time he saw him naked. It looked like the statue of David. Keith was not a vain person; in fact, he was a modest and private person. 'His beautician, his doctor, and I are the only ones that have seen him naked,' he thought to himself. Dean was troubled by what happened between them last night. Keith had triggered some deep emotional feelings. Could it be that Keith's unselfish love made him realize that he was in love with his best friend?

Keith was very understandingin mentioning the sex they had last night. That's one of the many things that makes him so special. Dean shook his head as he stood up and walked into the bathroom to get ready for their dinner engagement. He returned after his shower and sat on the bed next to Keith and gently rubbed his back. "Come on baby, it's time to take your shower."

Keith groaned, "Do we have to go," Keith asked. "I'd much rather stay home and make love to you until morning."

Dean chuckled and rubbed Keith's back. "I'll bet you would. Never mind that, baby. Go on in the bathroom and take a cold shower." Dean stood and walking into their dressing room.

Keith smiled, "Sweetheart, I do believe I've cracked your armor. That's the second time you've called me 'baby'."

Dean turned with a grin, "You see what a bad influence you are? Now stop procrastinating; you have thirty minutes to get ready."

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

They made it to Alex's villa with five minutes to spare. Alex and Sandy greeted them warmly and ushered them out to the terrace for cocktails.

"I wish we had known that you two were here this week, we could have done something together. Sandy and I are returning to Atlanta tomorrow afternoon."

"We only decided to come down at the last minute. Keith came damn close to being killed on his last trip to Jackson. He has been through a lot since the last time we saw you guys. This is the first chance we've had to get away," Dean said.

"I can't believe this, why didn't you call us, there must have been something we could have done to help," Sandy said.

"I'm sorry, but there wasn't much anyone could have done. Thank God he made it through and is back to normal again." Dean told them about the accident, and how serious it really was.

"Well thank God you pulled through okay," Alex said. "We gave the staff a break tonight, so Sandy and I are preparing the meal. Sandy is in charge of the grill, and I'm in charge of the rest of the meal. Dean, why don't you give Sandy a hand, while Keith and I, get started in the kitchen."

"Sounds like home," Dean said.

Keith followed Alex into the kitchen, while Sandy started the barbecued. "What can I do, Sandy?" Dean asked.

"You can help me set the table," Sandy said. "Do you mind answering a personal question?"


"How long have you and Keith been lovers?" Sandy asked."

Dean smiled, "Keith and I are not lovers, were just good friends."

Sandy raised his eyebrow, "You're kidding? Now, that surprises me," Sandy said. "Alex and I thought you were a couple. I've always seen you both together. I naturally assumed, after seeing you together all the time that you were married. I can't get it through my head that we could have been so off base about you two."

"Why do you find that so hard to believe?"

"I guess it's because you are both so comfortable with each other. You both act as it you are a married couple. You are both so together; I couldn't help but noticedthe way you feel toward each other. It's obvious that Keith adores you. You, on the other hand, are very protective of him."

"It's true, Keith does love me. He makes no secret of that. Don't misunderstand me, I love Keith, but I'm not in love with him. I am very protective of him. The poor guy has had a rough life and I don't want to see anything happen to him again. Keith is a prince, and has been very good to my family and me.

This accident made me realize just how deeply I care about him. To be honest, I've been having trouble grappling with these feelings. Keith is so much a part of my life now that I would feel lost without him. This past week with him has been delightful. We were completely isolated from our normal hectic schedules. It has given me the time to reflect upon my true feelings for Keith.

There's no question in my mind that my feeling for him has grown far beyond friendship. I think I'm falling in love with him. On the other hand, the thought of being gay has caused me a lot of anxiety. It's been tearing me apart; my love and desire for Keith grows stronger every day, yet, my straight upbringing has troubled me; I hate the thought of being labeled a homosexual. You're right though, Keith knows something is wrong. He can read me like an open book."

"Keith has suffered enough; I don't want to make it any harder for him. That is why I must be absolutely sure that I can make that commitment to him without reservations."

"Dean, I understand what you are going through, believe me. I had to make that same tough decision. It was a traumatic gut-retching experience for me also. But, if you really love Keith, above anything else, your sexual orientation and what people think, come secondary. Remember, you will only walk this way once. If Keith is the one you want by your side, then you have no choice. Your close friendship with Keith has endured, and from what I can gather, it has been one of mutual trust and understanding."

"My advice, for what it's worth, is to talk this over with Keith. If not, you'll continue to ride this emotional roller coaster for a long time. Keith is a sensitive person, and I bet he is aware that you're troubled. Let him help you. I'll tell you one thing from my experience, married life can be wonderful when you've found the right person. I've never thought I could be this happy. Let me know when you two decide to tie the knot. We would like to have a little wedding party for the two of you to celebrate the event."

"That would be great; I know Keith would like that. Thanks for your advice."

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

As Keith and Dean walked back to their villa after dinner, Keith said, "They are a delightful couple. We should continue to cultivate them as friends."

"I agree, not only are they interesting, down-to-earth people, they are also well connected," Dean said. "While you were in helping Alex with dinner, Sandy was asking me about us."

"What did he want to know?"

"How long we were married, how we met, the usual questions."

"What did you say?"

"I told him the truth, that we were good friends and had known each other a long time. That surprised the hell out of him, he and Alex assumed we were a couple."

"I could see how they could make that observation," Keith said. "It's such a beautiful night, would you like to walk along the beach?"

"Sure, it's still early." The beach was deserted, not a soul in sight. Dean pulled Keith close to him and wrapped his arm around his waist. "You don't mind, do you?"

Keith smiled and kissed him on the cheek. "I think it's romantic," Keith said as he wrapped his arm around Dean's waist.

They walked for a while longer without speaking. "Keith, about last night," Dean said. "I've avoided mentioning it because I wanted to be sure of my own feelings first. I told you last night how satisfying it was. I also couldn't put you out of my mind all day."

"I guessed as much. Somehow, I knew you would be struggling with it today. Do you feel like talking about it?"

"We've both had sex with guys during high school. To me it was nothing more than getting my rocks off. It was a guy thing and all the guys accepted it for what is was. For sure, I'd never allow another guy to make love to me the way you did last night. Even the relationship I had with Betty never rose to that level. The same holds true with all the women I bedded."

"Last night was different. It wasn't just sex. You made love to me and it was wonderful. I've been troubled about my feelings for you ever since the accident. You know I've always had a warm place in my heart for you, but last night was different. I knew for the first time in my life, what it felt like to be loved. I knew from our first kiss, that I found the love that has eluded me for all these years. Here it was right under my nose."

"However, for the third time in my life I was frightened. Yet, in spite of all the consequences I need to face about my orientation, I want you more than anything in this world. I am also a little intimidated by your power and wealth. I'm concerned that if we become lovers, I'll lose my identity as a man. That is what's bothering me."

"You have no idea how much I wanted to make love to you this afternoon. I spent an hour gazing at your beautiful body while you sleep. I wanted to take you in my arms and kiss you. I'm so confused."

Their walk had taken them to a deserted part of the beach. Keith looked around to see if anyone was about. He stopped, turned and faced Dean. The tears were running down his cheeks. Dean pulled close and kissed him passionately. He pulled back from his lips and kissed the tears from his eyes and cheek. "Please, don't cry baby." He kissed his lips again and he rubbed his back.

Keith buried his head into Dean's powerful chest and cried for a long time. Dean held him tight and rubbed his back until he cried himself out.

Keith tried to speak through his sobbing. Dean said, "Don't try to talk now, baby, just take deep breaths." He turned around and they headed back to their villa.

After a few minutes, Keith regained his composure. "You've made me so happy," Keith said. "I've been hoping and dreaming this day would come ever since I fell in love with you ten years ago. Those were tears of joy, my beautiful, lovable giant. I knew something serious was bothering you for some time.""

At first, I thought you were angry with me for placing so much responsibility on your shoulders. Then, I thought you were thinking of leaving me. I really didn't know what to think, and was too afraid to ask. Finally, this past week, your attitude changed. You were your old self once again. I began to notice your need to touch me more and more. That's the reason I made love to you last night. I've always wanted to make love to you and taste your body."

"If you love me as you say, why should you be afraid of my wealth or power? It hasn't affected our friendship up to now, has it? Don't you know that everything I have is yours? You are the most important person in my life. You made this all possible by helping me when I needed you. Don't worry about anything except loving me and taking care of me. Everything else is secondary. I love you and I want to be with you forever. You and our children are all I care about; do you understand how I feel?"

Dean smiled, "Yes, dear. Do you feel like fooling around when we get back to the villa? You've given me an erection that won't go down."

Keith chucked, "Mmmmmm, I'll have to think about that. If this wasn't such a high class place I race you back to the villa."

When they returned to the villa and locked up, Dean led Keith into the bedroom. He took Keith in his arms and held him close. He kissed him passionately. He slowly undressed him, kissing each part of his body as he removed his clothes. Keith removed Dean's clothes. When they were completely naked, Dean took him in his arms and held him again. "God, your body is such a turn on. Come, lay down."

Keith was lying on his back. Dean lay on top of him and kissed him passionately. He kissed his neck and down to nipples where he licked and nibbled each one until they were both hard. Keith was moaning softly as Dean continued working his tongue down Keith stomach and down to his erect penis. He licked it all over and on to his shaved genital area. Slowly he licked and bathed the entire area. He than lovingly took each of his perfectly shaped testicles in his mouth, driving Keith even closer to the edge by gently biting down on both. Keith was moaning louder and pulling his body back enjoying the pressure that Dean was applying. He remembered that Keith liked that kind of rough play with his testicles. Dean noticed the precum leaking down Keith's penis.

"Oh, baby, don't stop, if feels so good," Keith whispered. Dean let the testicles flop of his mouth and went back to the penis to lick off the precum. He reached over and grabbed the KY tube and put some on his fingers and began massaging his lover's anus. With his other hand, he grabbed Keith's testicles pulling them to the bottom of the scrotum. He engulfed his lover's penis in his mouth again and swallowed him to the base, than pulled back to the head again. He continued this until he could see Keith was almost ready to burst. On each upward stroke he pulled and squeezed Keith testicles down. On the down stroke, he pulled the testicles in the opposite direction. He continued this for several strokes adding more pressure to Keith each time.

Keith's penis was engorged with the blood, the vessels pumping more blood with each stroke. His testicles turned a deep purple from the pressure. Keith's body stiffened, he held his breath as he began pumping sperm into Dean's throat. Dean added more pressure to Keith's testicles and at the same moment forced his fingers into his lover's rectum. Keith was ramming his hips into Dean trying to force himself down his throat. Finally, the spasms subsided and Dean released Keith's testicles and pulled his fingers from his rectum. He sucked the last drop from his lover and slid up close to Keith taking him in his arms and holding him. He could feel Keith's heart pounding and his breath slowly return to normal. He was breathing as if he just ran a race.

"Baby, are you alright?" Dean asked.

"God, that was awesome," Keith said. "I'm still tingling all over. You're wonderful; I've never had a blow-job that good."

"Thanks for the compliment. That's the first time I've ever done that. I must admit I like the feel of your cock, and your sperm tastes a hell of a lot better than mine. I wanted to give you the same wonderful feeling you gave me last night."

"This was great for me," Keith said.

Dean began kissed him and forced his tongue into his mouth. He could feel Keith getting hard again. He turned him on his back and began massaging his testicles again. He tried to fit the condom on but couldn't get in beyond the first two inches of his penis. "Baby, I think we have a problem, I'll never be able to get one of those boy-cock sized condoms on Junior," Dean said. "I've always used large size."

Keith laughed, "I had a bit of a struggle last night with Junior. Have you ever measured that monster," Keith asked.

"I didn't, but Betty did. It's ten inches long and two-inches in diameter."

"Look, baby, before we go any further, I need to take an enema before you shove Junior inside me."

"Are you sure you want to take me, baby? I don't want to split you open."

"You've got to be joking," Keith said. "I've wanted you in me for ten years. I'll be back in a few minutes, sweetheart."

Keith returned in a few minutes with a couple of towels. He covered the pillow and lay back down and spread his legs. Keith was semi-erect. Yet it didn't take Dean long to have him rock hard again.

Dean liberally coated his penis and Keith's rectum with the KY. He adjusted a pillow under Keith lower back and pushed Keith's legs over his head. He inserted two fingers into Keith's rectum. His anus was already stretched and in a few seconds, he was able to slip three fingers into his rectum without any resistance. He grabbed hold of his lover's testicles again and pulled them up and away from his rectum. Keith was rock hard again, softly moaning.

Dean inserted his tip into his lover and waited a few seconds until Keith told him to keep pushing. Dean fed in a few inches at a time until all ten inches were deep inside of his lover. After a few minutes, Keith began rotating his hips. That was the cue for Dean to begin in earnest.

Dean pulled back until only the head of his erection was in, than plunged it back in again until he was fully seated. He continued this steady motion. Keith forced his hips forward to meet Dean's thrusts and contracted his rectal muscles as he pulled back. Dean was slow, and deliberate. He had Keith moaning with pleasure. They were both starting to reach a climax.

Dean stopped and released the pressure on Keith's testicles. Dean lean forward and kissed Keith forcing his tongue deep into his mouth. He kissed and nibbled on Keith's nipples until they were hard. He kissed him on the lips once again and said "I love you, Keith." Then he grabbed Keith's testicles in a vice grip and his penis in the other hand and began to pump his again only this time much faster. They were both moaning now and Dean felt his orgasm building from deep within his body and it kept building. His testicles pulled up against his penis.

Keith started to scream, "I love you, Dean," as he pulled Dean lips to his, cutting off Dean's groans. Dean released Keith's testicles and penis, lowered his legs and collapsed in Keith's arms, totally drained. Between breaths Keith said, "That was the most sustained organism that I have ever experienced in my life."

Dean was about to pull out of Keith. "No, baby, please stay in me," Keith said. Their hearts were pumping hard and they were soaked with perspiration. They lay there cuddled together, arms about each other, the aroma of their seed fresh in their nostrils and their naked bodies glowing with the warmth of post-climactic bliss. They drifted off to sleep like that, their organs still semi-erect.

The next morning Keith was up early. He made the coffee and opened his email. He read and answered the accumulated messages that he had let slide for the past two days. Dean walked up behind him and kissed him on the ear.

"Good morning, sweetheart," Dean said. "What are you doing up so early?"

"I thought I'd get a head start on my correspondence before I had to pack for our trip home this afternoon."

"I hate to leave," Dean said. "It has been a great vacation. Not only that I finally got married."

Keith chuckled, "You can't beat that kind of luck."

Dean said, "I'll fix breakfast while you finish up your emails."

"Call me when you're ready," Keith said. "I won't be much longer. I've have a lot to tell you."

Keith finished up and turned off his laptop. He walked into the kitchen and set the table on the patio for breakfast.

Dean carried out the two plates and set them down at each of their places at the table. "This must a special occasion, Champagne and red roses," Dean said. "I know I'm a good cook, but you didn't have to go all out for this breakfast, sweetheart."

Keith smiled, "Sit down you silly boy," Keith said. "This is the first day of Chapter One of our married life. I though it was fitting to start the day off on a high note." Keith raised his glass of Champagne and said, "To us and our children, may we all have a long and happy life together."

Dean raised he glass and touched Keith's glass. "This is to you, my Love, for accepting me as your husband, and for making me the happiest man in the world."

They both drank, and ate their breakfast. As they were having their coffee, Dean said, "Any news from Mississippi?"

"My lawyer told me that Ken and Norm agreed to a plea bargain with the DA. They each pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and a few other felony charges. On my case and two other assault charges the DA was able to tie them into. They each got twenty-five years in the State Prison. They're already in the slammer serving their sentences. I don't think I need to worry about punishing their families. After the news broke in all the newspapers, their business started to feel the pinch. I understand your father is inundated with new business. Maybe your dad will throw them a few bones."

"That is great news, babe," Dean said.

There is more to come, I've decided to take your suggestion and get rid of the Plantation. I'll ask my uncle if he wants the place. If not, I'll clean out all the antiques and fine art and donate the place to the county. It has too many bad memories for me. I have a feeling that my uncle has no desire to move back to the plantation. I don't think he would want to spend the money to keep the place up. When I need to attend the board meetings, I'll stay in a hotel or, sleep on my plane if need be. There should be no reason why I can't take care of my business during the day and fly back home that night."

"I think that makes sense," Dean said. "I hate to say this about my home town, but they are not gay friendly. We could never be accepted as a couple in Jackson."

"I agree, sweetheart," Keith said. "When we get back to Atlanta, I want to build a new home with all the amenities. I want a Lindstrom Manor look, with a guest house. I can fill it with all those priceless antiques from Lindstrom Manor. I'm going to ask Alex Savage and Sandy to handle the design and construction. What do you think about that my love?"

"Now you talking my kind of house," Dean said. "I have a feeling from the way you are talking, were going to need a good size chunk of property."

"You've got that right, baby. I was thinking around a thousand acres, up near Lake Altoona. I plan to build a small office building close to the main house. This is where you and I will work every day. We can relocate our staff up to the area as well. I also think you should plan to use that sperm of yours to add to our little family. I want add a few more children in the family."

Dean smiled, "I think that is the best idea you've had so far, not that I don't think everything so far is super, but I so like the idea of having the children around us as they are growing up, and the more the merrier."

"Good, I'm glad that's settled," Keith said. I think I'll call Alex and get him started on the plans. He may even know a reliable real estate broker to find the property we want."

Dean wrapped his arms around Keith and kissed him. He chuckled and said, "I'm really excited about this, sweetheart. You've made our future sound exciting. You know, I think I'm going to enjoy being married to you."

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The End

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