The next morning while Aaron was still sleeping Jay knocked softly on Tommy and Andy’s door after listening for a moment to make sure they weren’t in the middle of something. “Come on in” Andy yelled.
“Got a minute, guys? There’s something I’d like to talk over with you real quick.” Jay asked, sitting on the foot of the bed.
“Sure, what’s up?” Tommy responded as he made room for Jay to sit on the bed.
“I don’t know if I ever told you guys this or not, but you know the candles Aaron gave me for my birthday? He made them himself.”
“He did? Wow. That’s so cool.” Andy replied. “I had an aunt that was really into that. She made some awesome candles. I think I still have a couple that she made for me around here somewhere.”
“He really loves to do it, but the place he goes to do it charges like twenty bucks an hour on top of having to buy all of the supplies which, unless you’re making a shitload of them at the same time is really expensive, so I was thinking about getting him a bunch of stuff for Christmas to do candle making here instead of having to pay out the ass to do it at Candle Crafts.”
“Why don’t you get a list together and we’ll help you get the stuff.” Tommy replied.
“I already have. He loaned me a book on candle making and I wrote down everything they suggested, plus I went online and checked out some craft stores and candle making websites. I was also thinking about taking the room over the garage that has that little kitchenette and putting a couple of tables and some shelving units up there and making it into a candle-making place for him.”
“That has a familiar ring to it.” Tommy said with a twinkle in his eye.
“What do you mean?” Jay asked, puzzled.
Andy caught on and spoke before Tommy did. “I seem to recall something about an attic being converted over into a photo studio once as a Christmas present…..” he said slyly, causing Jay to blush with embarrassment.
“I can’t believe I had forgotten about that. It was the greatest Christmas present anyone had ever given me, except for Kyle giving himself to me bareback, insisting that I come inside him…”
“We don’t need or want to know about that!” Tommy interrupted. “However, I think that giving that room to Aaron for his candle making is a great idea. We’ve never used it for anything. It probably has about three feet of dust covering everything, but it shouldn’t take us long to clean it up. Do you have the list?”
“Yeah.” Jay handed the list to Tommy, who took two thirds of the list, handing the rest back to Jay. “We’ll take care of this part of the list, clean up the room and help with the shelving. You take care of the rest of the list, the shelving and the tables.”
“I was thinking about getting a couple of six-foot banquet tables, and something on wheels like a microwave cart that he can move around as necessary. I’m going to wait on the shelving until we have everything.” He paused for a moment, mulling things over in his mind. “Actually, it might be a better idea to get him a gift card to IKEA so he can pick out his own shelving and storage units. That way he can decide how and where he wants to store everything.”
“That’s a great idea. When do you guys have to leave for the airport?” Andy asked, stretching.
“We’re picking up Adam, Kelly and the baby at two, then Janita and Janine at six-thirty.
“Everyone is going to be tired from the long flights so I think we’ll set up a taco buffet by the pool so everyone can just relax and get to know Aaron and he them. Everyone is going to love him.”
“God I hope so. The timing couldn’t be better being that today is the start of his off-rotation. I should go see if we need anything from the store for dinner tonight.”
“Tommy and I will take care of that. You go fuck that man of yours senseless while I make breakfast or in your guys’ case, brunch. He’s going to be a nervous wreck and is going to need some loving.”
“Thanks guys, I appreciate all the support you’re giving Aaron.” Jay got up and returned to his own room to find Aaron sitting in a chair staring out the window, apparently deep in thought. “Good morning, baby.” He said as he came up behind Aaron and snaked his arms around him, causing him to jump out of his skin.
“Jesus Christ, Jay. You scared the shit outta me.”
“Sorry baby. I didn’t mean to scare you. Are you all right?”
“Yeah, I just I’m a little scared that your kids aren’t going to like me.”
Noticing that Aaron was naked, Jay dropped his robe, came around and sat on his lap, wrapping his arms around his neck and kissing him passionately, pleased that Aaron’s dick started to harden. “You worry too much. They’ll love you.” He told him as he started nibbling on his ear. Aaron picked him up and carried him to the bed, laying him down gently, coming to rest on top of him. “Make love to me, please, Jay. I need you inside me.” Jay was all too happy to comply. After a round of intense love-making they got up, showered, dressed and went down to the kitchen for some lunch.
“I totally understand you’re being nervous and all, but really, there’s no reason to be. Everyone is going to love you.”
“I hope so. I can’t bear the thought of losing you.”
“You’re not going to lose me. Why would you think that?”
“If either or both of your kids don’t like me, then it would come down to a matter of you having to choose between me or them, and it would be wrong for you to choose me over them.”
“Is that what you’ve been worrying about all this time? Aaron, look at me. Trust me, it won’t come to that. They will love you. The possibility that one or both of them wouldn’t is so remote it’s unthinkable. However, should the unthinkable happen and they don’t, nobody will force that choice on me. There’s no reason for them not to like you.”
“What about our racial differences?”
“You mean the fact that I’m Caucasian and you’re Latino?”
“Why should it matter?”
“It shouldn’t, but it has in the past. Iukekini lost a number of friends when we got together because he was native Hawaiian and I’m Latino.”
“Janita’s black, and Adam’s biological father was full-blooded Arapahoe Indian even though you can’t tell by looking at Adam because he’s blond with blue eyes. Believe me, ethnicity will not be an issue here. Are you about ready to go? We have to leave soon.”
“I guess I’m just a little scared, Jay.” Actually, I’m terrified out of my mind. I don’t know what I’ll do if I lose Jay. I can’t go back to living the way I was, especially with the threat of the firehouse being shut down due to budget cuts.
“I know. Trust me, baby. Everything will be just fine.” Jay drew Aaron into a fierce, protective embrace.
Aaron shuddered and sighed an endearing, child-like sigh. “I do trust you, honey.”
“Good. Let’s go. Tony’s letting us use the club’s courtesy van so we have to swing by the club to…”
“JAY! THERE’S SOMEONE AT THE DOOR FOR YOU!” Tommy yelled, interrupting him.
“Perfect timing.” He grumbled as he and Aaron quickly dressed and headed towards the door, only to find Max, Tony’s limousine driver waiting for him.
“Max. Don’t tell me, let me guess. Either Tony or Billy told you to pick us up and take us to the airport to pick up my kids.”
“That is correct, Mr. Matthews-Williams, so whenever you and Mr. Suarez are ready to leave, just let me know.”
“We’re ready now, Max. The first plane arrives in about forty-five minutes and the second plane arrives at six-thirty.” Jay said, resigned to the situation, yet at the same time secretly tickled that his children and grandchild would be travelling in style. It will do them good considering the last time they were here…. Shortly they arrived at the terminal and were waiting anxiously in the baggage claim area, since they couldn’t go to the gate themselves without a boarding pass. They didn’t have long to wait since, surprisingly, the plane arrived early. Aaron made himself as inconspicuous as possible along the wall as Jay scanned the throng of arriving passengers for Adam and Kelly. He spotted them at the far end of the baggage claim area. As he approached them Kelly turned and spotted him. He quickly put his finger to his lips indicating for her to not say anything. He got out his cell phone and dialed Adam’s number.
“Hey, Dad. We’re already at the airport. Our plane got in early and we’re in baggage claim waiting for our stuff. Where are you?”
“Oh, I’m standing about five feet behind you.” He said with a shit-eating grin on his face as he flipped his phone shut and quickly put it in his pocket before he was nearly crushed in Adam’s exuberant hug of greeting.
“It’s so great to see you, Dad. We’ve missed you so much.”
“I’ve missed you as well.” Jay responded, releasing Adam only to pull Kelly and one-year-old Kyle into his arms. “How’s this little one doing?”
“He’s doing much better than anyone could have anticipated, considering that he was born two months prematurely and addicted to crack. It’s been a rough road, between the adoption procedures and all the time at the hospital, but it’s been worth it to finally have a child.” Kelly responded, her eyes glistening with moisture.
“Is Aaron with you? We’re both anxious to meet him.”
“Yeah, he’s over there trying to disappear into the woodwork.” Jay replied, pointing him out. When Adam raised his eyebrows in question Jay explained. “He’s afraid you guys and Janita won’t like him and will try to force me to dump him.”
“Why would we do that?”
“Because when his ex died, he had to go on public assistance and food stamps in order to survive. He’s a Firefighter who only makes about thirty-five thousand a year and was living in a shithole apartment over a strip club, using almost all of his salary to pay his rent and utilities. He’s convinced that you’ll think that he’s only looking for a sugar daddy and that’s why he’s with me.”
“Are you absolutely certain of that?”
“Not only am I, but Tommy and Andy are as well. He truly loves me for me, and I love him as well.”
Adam and Kelly exchanged glances. “Good enough for us. Let’s go meet our future step-father-slash-step-father-in-law.” Adam grabbed a cart and they loaded their luggage onto it and approached Aaron who nervously tried to push himself through the wall. Shit. Here we go.
“Aaron, this is my son Adam, his wife Kelly and their son Kyle. Adam, Kelly, this is Aaron.” Jay put his arm around Aaron’s shoulders as he made the introductions.
Aaron, smiling, extended his hand towards Adam. “I’m very pleased to meet the three of you.” The smile slowly faded as Adam refused to shake his hand. Fuck. He doesn’t like me. Now what do I do?
“Apparently Dad failed to inform you of one very important custom in our family.” He paused for a dramatic effect, his eyes twinkling. “In our family, we don’t shake hands with other family members. We hug.” With that, Adam pulled Aaron into a tight embrace, which, after an awkward moment was tearfully returned. “I want to thank you for making my father so very happy and I’m honored to welcome you into our family.”
After a minute or two Kelly tapped Adam on the shoulder. “Enough already. My turn.” When Adam broke the embrace she handed the baby to him then pulled Aaron into an embrace of her own. “Welcome to our family. I’m so happy to finally meet you. We owe you a huge debt of gratitude for making Jay happy after so long. Thank you.”
As Aaron started to lose it completely, Jay pulled him into his arms. “Shhhh. It’s okay, baby. I told you they’d love you, and yes, they do know about how you used to live. I told them as we were waiting for their luggage to arrive. As you can see, it made not one bit of difference to them. They accept you for who you are, not how you were forced to live. If there were any doubt about your love for me, or that you were only looking to me as a sugar daddy, Adam would never have hugged you. He would have shaken your hand. He’s a very perceptive man. He can spot a liar ten miles away. That’s one of the things that makes him such a good cop. He made Sergeant in record time with the PPD. Now, are you ready to go home?”
He sniffled and rubbed his eyes. “I’m sorry for breaking down like that Jay. I was just so scared.”
Adam put his arm around his shoulders. “There’s nothing to be scared of. You’re a part of our family now, and if Dad mistreats you, you let me know and I’ll kick his ass all over Oahu!” That statement made Aaron laugh and relax. As they exited the terminal they looked around for Jay’s SUV, but all they saw was a limo. “Where’s your SUV, Dad?”
“It’s home. We’re traveling in style today.” He nodded towards the limo.
“You’re kidding, right?” Adam’s eyes popped out of his head while Kelly just stared at the limo. Neither had ever been in a limo in their lives.
“Nope. Compliments of Tony, and if I know him, outfitted with the most expensive baby seat available. So let’s get loaded up and head home. I’m sure you guys are tired from the trip. Janita and Janine’s plane will arrive around six-thirty. I figured we’d all stay in tonight so everyone can get rested up from the trip and get to know Aaron. Tomorrow we can go out to the club. We have child care all lined up for little Kyle.
“That sounds great dad. We’re beat.” Adam said with a yawn as they got situated.
Shortly thereafter the limo pulled up to the front of the house where they were greeted by Tommy and Andy. “Rest first, luggage later. Take only what you absolutely need upstairs i.e. the diaper bag. The rest can wait.” Nurse Andy ordered. Nobody argued with him. Jay escorted them upstairs to their suite and within minutes Adam, Kelly and little Kyle were settled in and fast asleep.
When Jay returned to the living room he looked around but didn’t see Aaron anywhere. “AARON?” He called out.
“I’M IN THE FOYER.” Aaron shouted back. I need to make a good impression on them. Perhaps if I take their luggage upstairs that will help. Jay quickly crossed the living room and entered the foyer only to find him completely loaded down with luggage.
“Baby, what are you doing?” He asked as he jumped in to relieve him of some of the luggage, not that there was a lot to begin with.
“I’m taking their stuff upstairs and putting it outside their door so that when they wake up it will be there waiting for them. All they’ll have to do is grab it and unpack. I’d put it inside their door but I don’t want to take the chance of waking them.”
“That’s very thoughtful of you, but you don’t have to do that.”
“But I want to. I want to make a good impression on them.”
“Believe me, you already have. Adam and Kelly both welcomed you with open arms. I told you they would.”
“I know. It’s just very important to me that they like me.”
“Well, guess what. They don’t like you. They love you. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever about that. You should know me well enough by now to know that I wouldn’t tell you that unless it was absolutely true.”
“I know. I’m just so relieved that they do. Now I just hope I can make your daughter and her girlfriend like me as well.”
“You will, baby. Just be yourself. That’s all you need to do. Let me help you get these things upstairs then I’m going to see if Tommy and Andy need any help getting everything ready for dinner tonight. Why don’t you go take a swim or a walk along the beach?”
“I have a better idea. We have three hours. How about fucking my brains out again?”
“Only if you return the favor.” Jay responded as they placed the luggage outside the door to Adam and Kelly’s suite.
“What favor?” Andy asked as he reached the top of the stairs. “On second thought, I don’t want to know. Listen. I have to run to the store to pick up some more salsa. What kind do you like Aaron, mild, medium, hot, nuclear?”
“Whatever you get is fine with me.”
“Get some of everything. That way everyone can pick and choose. We can also stop on the way to the airport if you discover anything else we need, as long as it’s non-perishable, since we don’t know how long we’ll be at the airport. We might not be so lucky the second time around. One plane arriving early is lucky. Two planes arriving early is not likely but we can hope.”
“True, but miracles have been known to happen. Can you guys think of anything else we might need?”
“Not off the top of my head. We might have to make a run for diapers or baby food or whatever. I don’t know what Adam and Kelly might need along those lines. I told them not to bring a lot. We can get whatever they need now that they’re here, but we’ll worry about that when the time comes.”
“Okay, I’ll catch up to you guys later. Don’t miss the plane.” Andy said as he left, giving them a sly wink.
At six-fifteen Jay and Aaron arrived at the airport and discovered that this time they were early as Janita’s plane was scheduled to arrive on time. Both men were silent as they strolled leisurely towards the waiting area, having decided to wait for Janita and Janine there rather than meeting them in baggage claim since Jay had forgotten his cell phone and they weren’t sure how Aaron’s number would show up on Janita’s caller ID. She seldom answered calls from numbers she didn’t recognize, having received numerous threatening and degrading calls from friends of her biological parents after their trial and subsequent incarceration. No matter how many times she had her number changed, they still managed to get her new number. Finally they changed her service provider and the calls stopped, but she still remained understandably wary.
They reached the waiting area just as the passengers started to deplane. Aaron looked around, planning on a repeat performance of his ‘disappearing into the woodwork’ act, but Jay was not about to let him get away with it this time. He grabbed Aaron’s hand and gripped it tightly. “Not this time.” He whispered. “You are not going to try to disappear into the woodwork. You’re going to stand right here next to me.” Aaron looked at Jay with a slightly horrified look on his face which was quickly kissed away. He smiled weakly as Jay released him. “It will be fine, baby. Trust me. I didn’t steer you wrong the last time, did I?”
“So trust me this time. Look. There they are.” He pointed to the two women entering the waiting area. “JANITA! JANINE!” He called to them excitedly as he made his way towards them, literally dragging Aaron along. The two women, upon hearing their names called started searching for the voice they both knew so well. They were all soon caught up in tangles of arms as hugs abounded. “Janita, Janine, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the love of my life.” Jay’s face was infused with the glow of a man deeply in love. “This is Aaron. Aaron, my daughter Janita and her wife Janine.”
Janita pulled Aaron into a rib-crushing embrace. “I’m so very happy to meet you. Thank you so much for making dad so happy. Welcome to our family.” Janine also gave Aaron a hug, but mercifully, not quite as tight. Thank God they like me. At least I think they do. Time will tell. The two couples made small talk as they headed towards baggage claim. Just as soon as they entered the area, Aaron grabbed one of the quickly vanishing luggage carts, not knowing how much luggage the two women had brought with them. After what seemed like an eternity the luggage conveyor dutifully delivered the plane’s load of luggage to their rightful owners who, like Adam and Kelly, were shocked to find themselves being transported to the mansion-like home via limousine. The greetings and reunions were again joyful between siblings, spouses and longtime family friends.
Dinner, which was accompanied by one of the most beautiful sunsets Hawaii had to offer, was full of great food and great conversation as family members caught up and everyone got to know Aaron and he them. As they turned in for the evening, Jay pulled a relieved and grateful Aaron into his arms. “I told you that you had nothing to worry about. It’s you and me forever, baby.”
“I know. I was just so scared that something would happen, that I would fuck things up somehow, like I did with my own family.”
“Baby, it’s not your fault that your family all turned their backs on you when you came out. You had to be true to yourself. I’m just so sorry that the cost of that was so high.”
“It doesn’t matter. They’re the ones losing out.”
Yeah, but it wasn’t any of their doing. It was all your parents, baby. “Perhaps someday you’ll run into your sister and your twin brother again and maybe find out why they turned their backs on you. You may not like what they have to say, but at least you’ll have some closure. But then again, who knows what the future holds.”
“It isn’t like I didn’t try to get in touch with them. Every letter I sent to them was returned, and my parents had the phone number changed to an unlisted number. None of their friends, or any of my aunts or uncles would give me their new number.”
“I can’t even begin to know how you feel, but know this, you have a new family now, one that loves you unconditionally and will stick by you no matter what.” Jay gently turned Aaron’s head to look him in the eye. He gently placed his lips on his. “No matter what.” Aaron pulled him into a fierce hug, deepening the kiss. Soon Jay was deep inside him, making passionate love to him. Afterwards they drifted off to a blissful sleep.