My Foster Father

Chapter One: The First Days

by Zarek A Dragon

Saturday, 10 November 2018

We were eating breakfast; Jase had made bacon, scrambled eggs and English muffins. I poured each of us a glass of orange juice and some coffee. Jase had a full cup, I only had half a cup. As we ate, I looked at Jase, "We never really discussed this, but what am I supposed to call you? Dad, Jase or what?"

"Well, what do you feel comfortable calling me? My name is Jase, so I wouldn't be upset if you called me by my name. I am your foster dad, but I don't feel it necessary to call me Dad unless you want to. And if you have another name you prefer, we can discuss it." Jase made it really easy to love him.

I smiled, perhaps a little mischievously, "Well, what I want to call you is boyfriend, but if I did that, I might slip where the wrong person could hear me. I respect you too much to call you Jase. I'd like to forget my real father even exists, so can I call you Dad?"

"I would like that, and I am glad you are learning."

"School? What am I supposed to do for school? My classes were at the group home, and I can't continue going there."

"Today is Saturday, so Monday, I will be taking off work to get you registered."

"Will I need to take a bus, will you drive me, or do I walk?"

"The high school is four blocks from here. You can either walk, or would you like a bike?"

"A bike would be cool, Dad," I told him. He smiled when I called him Dad. We finished eating, and I grabbed the dishes and took them to the sink. Without being asked, I washed them. I thought Dad would like that. That's right, I will be calling him Dad at least until I am eighteen.

"Zack, you did a good job of washing the dishes, but we have a dishwasher."

"Oops, I should have known," I felt embarrassed.

"No problem," Dad declared. "I appreciate you making the effort without being asked, but next time, save yourself some work." Then Dad hugged me; it wasn't just a simple hug. No, he squeezed just enough to say, I love you and enjoy being in contact with you. It felt awesome. Really, it felt more than awesome, maybe almost euphoric.

"Get dressed," Dad told me, but didn't give a reason.

"But…" I must have looked like a deer staring into headlights.

"I don't mind you wearing just your boxer briefs, but I don't think other customers will appreciate your body while we go shopping."

"Oh…" I kinda chuckled. He did ask if I wanted a bike, so I guess we were going to get one.

I got dressed and Dad took me to a Verizon Wireless store. He added me to his plan and updated his phone. They had a deal where if you bought a Galaxy Note 10+ and added a line, you got a second Galaxy Note 10+ for free. He also bought a case for each, black for himself and aura blue for me. It took just a few minutes for the sales guy to transfer Dad's contacts and everything to his new phone. I'd tell you my phone number, but Dad told me to only give it to people I know.

We left the Verizon Wireless store and Dad took me to a place called Dr. Slutz. I thought that was a funny name, and was expecting prostitutes, but it was a sports gym run by a former Navy guy. Dad said that he was a great guy and was very knowledgeable. He took me to the counter, "Dave, this is my son Zack."

"I never knew you had a son," the guy Dad called Dave proclaimed.

"Right now, he is a foster son and just moved in with me yesterday, but I may adopt him and just want to think of him as my son."

"I am pleased to meet you, Zack. My name is David Randall Sloutz . I own this place, and I have known your dad since he was about your age."

"If your last name is Sloutz, why is the business named Dr. Slutz?"

"When I first named it, I accidentally left out the 'o.' Can you imagine my embarrassment when I realized that I misspelled my own last name? So, I left it."

"Dad said that you were in the Navy."

"Yes, I served during the Vietnam War."

I shook his hand, "Thank you for your service."

"I appreciate that. It was my honor and pleasure; thanks for remembering. Do you like jokes?"

"It depends on the joke."

Dave then asked, "What do you call a deer with no eyes?"

I just shook my head, "I don't know."

"No idear," Dave laughed and I just groaned.

"I know I probably shouldn't ask this, and you don't have to answer if you don't want, but would you mind if I asked your age?"

"I was born in 42…" Dave began saying

I acted shocked, "You are 1976 years old?"

Dave just laughed, "Heavens, no. I meant I was born 1942."

"I knew what you meant, but I couldn't resist," I laughed. I like Dave, he's a really nice guy.

"So, Dave," Dad asked, "how long do you plan to run this place?"

Dave answered, "As long as guys younger than me keep coming in, I suppose."

"At 1976 years old, everyone is younger than you," I teased. Dave chuckled and came around the counter. He hugged me and told me that he liked me.

"Dave, can I add Zack to my membership?"

"Sure can, it'll only be an extra five dollars a month. Since you pay annually, it'll be an additional sixty dollars per year. And since you have two months before you are due to pay again, I will allow these two months for free." Then in just a few minutes, Dave handed me a membership card. Technically, he had my name wrong, but I liked it. He had my name as Zack Alexander. If Dad does adopt me, or we get married, I wouldn't need to change it. Dave asked, "Are you planning to work out while you are here?"

"Maybe later, but right now, Zack doesn't have any gear with him."

We left there and drove to Aéropostale, a teen's clothing store on Sunland Park Drive. Dad told me to assemble five outfits for school. While I was getting my clothes, he went to the underwear section. I found what I wanted and put them in a cart. I showed him what I had and asked if each item was alright.

He told me, "You're the one who will be wearing them, so if you'll feel comfortable, they are alright." Then he leaned over and whispered in my ear, "You should try these on." He was holding a pair of silver briefs like you might see a Greek god wearing in the movies.

I tried them on, then poked my head out of the curtain, "Do you want to see how they fit?"

I think he really wanted to; he turned red, but he asked, "Do they feel comfortable and will you wear them?"

"They feel almost like a second skin. I'd wear them around the house, but probably not to school." Jase grabbed six more pair and threw them in the cart. Then, when I got dressed, he had me throw the pair I tried on into the cart. He also grabbed three black jockstraps for me.

He asked if I had a preference on jeans; I told him that I always wore whatever was given to me, but I liked the feel of Levi's best. And he said he likes Levi's best, too, so we went to a Levi's store next. We picked up four pairs of jeans. Two pair were 501's and two pair were 515's. Dad said, "You live in El Paso, you gotta have boots, and you need boot cut Levi's." I didn't argue.

When we left the Levi's store, we went to Tony Lama's shop and Dad had the guy (I'm guessing Tony) fit me for a pair of cowboy boots. They were going to be custom made, so we were told it would be about a week before they would be ready. Then we went to Jones Hatters to picked up a Stetson hat for me. After Dad paid for it, I wore the Stetson out of the store.

LaptopWe filled up the back seat of Dad's SUV, but we still hadn't picked up a bike. When we left the tack shop, we drove to Best Buy. It was less than a block away from Aéropostale. We looked at laptops. I was admiring a Dell G5587 Gaming Laptop with a 15.6" LED Display, 16GB Memory, 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD in Licorice Black. The next thing I heard was Dad telling the salesman (Is it politically wrong to call a guy a salesman instead of a salesperson? I mean, he IS a man), anyway, Dad said he would buy that system IF he threw in a printer.

The salesman talked to another salesman, probably his boss. When he came back, he told Dad, "I can't throw in a printer, but my boss (I was right) did authorize me adding an HP 6968 Officejet all-in-one printer for an additional $50. They normally run $149.99."

"Great, my son will also need a desk, a thirty-two inch monitor, a mouse and a gaming keyboard."

"Dad, how much did they give you? You are spending a lot of money on me. We can forget the bike, if you want."

"Money is no issue with me. I am getting things you will need, and besides… they haven't given me anything, yet. When they do, it will be going into a savings account in your name, but you won't have easy access. Instead, I plan to set up another account that you will be able to use with a debit card. If you overspend, I will be notified, asking for permission to transfer funds, and letting me know what you are buying."

"You have to keep some of that money, you spent a fortune on me."

"Zack," Dad smiled, "what I spent isn't even close to a week's salary for me. I make really good money; my dad owns the company and made me vice president once I graduated from high school. I am also getting a business degree."

"What exactly do you do?"

"I am not allowed to say, but the US Government pays our company well."

The salesman rang Dad up and said they would deliver everything on Tuesday after four o'clock. As we left to go to Trek El Paso on North Resler Drive, Dad commented, "If I knew they would deliver it, we could have stopped earlier. I just didn't want to leave the laptop in the vehicle while we shopped."

BikeEven though I told Dad not to worry about the bike, he insisted that I needed one… at least until I got my driver's license. I saw a bike that I liked but thought it was too expensive. It was over three hundred dollars. Dad told me to straddle the bike, so I did. There were about twelve inches between my crotch and the cross bar. The saleslady said that is about what you want, so Dad bought it. Dad spent so much on me, it had to be at least a million dollars. Not really, but when you grew up with almost nothing, any amount of money would seem like a lot.

When we got home, Dad put my new bike in the garage, then asked what was taking me so long to unload the SUV. I gave him a funny look and chided, "Let ME buy you a million dollars' worth of clothes and see how long you take to unload the vehicle."

Dad grinned, "I didn't buy you that many clothes, maybe a thousand dollars at most." Then he grabbed the rest of the bags and followed me to my room.

"Yeah, then you spent almost another two thousand at Best Buy, and then my bike. When I lived with Mom…" I couldn't continue, I started to cry.

Dad put the bags down and took me in his arms. He spoke gently, "It's alright, I know you miss her a lot. Want me to help you put your clothes away?"

"Can I take a nap before worrying about that? You dragged me all over Texas, and I am tired."

Dad kissed my forehead and informed me, "First, we didn't even cover all of El Paso, let alone Texas. Second, you can put your clothes away whenever you feel up to it. If you want to take a nap now, you don't need my permission."

I joked, "But I do need you to let go of me so I can get undressed and get on my bed."

"I know," Dad spoke softly. "but this feels so good. I love just holding you like this."

"I love you holding me like this, Dad, but if I fall asleep, you have to make me comfortable and put me in bed."

"Fine," Dad pouted, then started tickling me. That made me hard, but then, any attention Dad gives me has that effect. "I'm gonna take a nap, too. When I wake up, I'll fix lunch. I plan to heat up some of the lasagna we made. If you are still asleep, I'll wake you."

"You wanna take a nap in my bed?"

Dad shook his head as he walked out of my room. I think I heard him ask, "Still trying, aren't you?"

As Dad walked out, I thought, I never said anything about sex, but you said we could cuddle. I never said anything out loud but was maybe a little hurt. I could see where Dad was coming from, so I didn't let it bother me. Instead, I stripped down, put on one of my new silver briefs and went to sleep.

I heard a knock on my door. It was open, but Dad knocked anyway. The knock woke me up and I looked at the clock. It was almost two. Dad said that lunch was ready. As we ate, Dad said that he hated waking me up because I looked so peaceful sleeping. I joked, "Yeah, I dreamt that I was on Mount Olympus, but the Greek gods were jealous. I love these briefs."

"I can imagine," Dad chortled. "Compared to you, they are ugly, even Adonis."

 I smiled. "You really believe I am that handsome? Why wouldn't you cuddle with me as we slept?"

"Zack," Dad looked serious, "I really would love to cuddle with you, and more, but as I said, I cannot do anything that might be construed as sexual while you are in foster care. If either of us slipped and said something, I would never be allowed to see you until you are at least eighteen; they may even say twenty-one."


Dad nodded his head, "Even joking about it, you can get us into trouble."

"So…" I was thinking, "what are our options?"

"I could adopt you, but then you would be my son. Being my son, I would never sleep with you because it would be morally wrong. Also, I could never marry you."

I shook my head, "Don't adopt me."

"I could ask to marry you, but what do you think the chances are they would allow it"

"Probably not a fat chance." I didn't like that option, either.

"Or, I can foster you until you are eighteen and aged out of the system. We couldn't have sex until then, either."

"So… what we are doing now," I sighed.

"Yeah, what we are doing now. Here is the deal… you quit trying to get me to sleep with you, and I won't adopt you unless you get a serious boyfriend."

"I may get a boyfriend, but I may still want to stay your foster son… he and I may break up before I am eighteen. I want to keep my options open."

"I ever tell you, I think you are cute?"

"I know, it's these silver briefs, right? Who wouldn't look cute in them?"

Dad cracked up, then he and I put the dishes in the dish washer. He hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Monday morning, Dad took me to Coronado High School to register. He made me get up early enough, we were to school before the first person showed up. Once someone from the office was there, she let Dad and me in so he could fill out the registration forms. After he filled out all that paperwork, the lady had me take several placement tests. I'm not sure why, I mean, Dad gave her my transcripts, but she insisted, since I didn't come from a public school, I had to be tested so they knew where to place me. Dad didn't need to be around any longer, so he left and said he would pick me up when school let out at 3:15.

I completed the tests and think I did very well. Mind you, I am a junior, so I figured I would have close to the same courses as I had in the group home. Well, the lady looked at me and told me that I did exceptionally well, and for me to sit at a desk set up to create my schedule. My choices were decided by my scores on the tests. The hard part was going to be that this is November and the semester was almost over, so I might struggle for THIS semester. Still, I felt up for the challenge; I was always an A student.

For first period, I chose to take AP Literature & Composition. Second period will be AP US Government & Politics. Third period I elected to take AP Calculus. I know, that seems to be a heavy load of AP classes, but I told you, I did very well on the placement tests.

Fourth period was PE, but since I didn't know what to expect, I don't have any gym clothes with me. I'm not even sure I have the proper clothes for gym at this school. After gym, was lunch; I liked that. It meant I didn't need to rush in the shower, plus I did all my exercising before eating. To me, it couldn't get any better than that.

After lunch, I had Spanish I. I never had any foreign languages in the Home, and I was told I had to have two years before I graduated. Since I am getting a late start, I may have to take Spanish in summer school, but being we are in El Paso, for many of us, Spanish is almost a second language, so we'll see. I hope I can avoid summer school.

Sixth period, I choose Physics. I'm no Sheldon Cooper, but then he's no Zack Alexander, either. Okay, I know that isn't my real last name yet, still he's not me.

I like writing, as you can see, so for seventh period, I chose Creative Writing as my elective. And finally, eighth period was study hall. Hopefully, I will be able to get all my assignments completed and not have any homework to take home.

Once my classes and my Homeroom were assigned, my schedule was printed, and I was given admission slips for each class I was joining. I was getting ready to leave, but Miss Hampton told me to hang on. She seemed to be watching for a specific boy to enter the school. As he entered the building, she asked him to come with her to the office.

Brandon JamesWhen they walked in, she said, "Brandon, this is Zack. He is new here and in your homeroom. I believe you have many of the same classes, too."

Brandon held out his hand and asked to see my schedule. He perused the sheet of paper, "We have all the same classes except, I have Journalism seventh period. I'll be happy to show you around."

"Thank you, Brandon," Miss Hampton offered, as he led me to Homeroom.

As we walked, Brandon told me, "As you may have guessed, since Miss Hampton called me Brandon, my name is Brandon; Brandon James is my full name, but my friends call me BJ."

"As in blow job?" I chuckled.

"Hey, I give good ones, I hope you don't mind I'm gay, and not afraid to say it."

"Aside from my dad, I never told anyone, but I'm gay, too. That feels so good saying it to someone else."

"Kind of liberating?" Brandon inquired. "Just know, here, no one cares if you are gay or straight, as long as you don't do anything sexual here, which is against school policy, anyway. Since I am the first person you told other than your dad, I'm guessing you don't have a boyfriend."

"Not yet," I started really looking at Brandon. "You?"

"Right now, no, but ask me after school lets out," he chuckled. I think he likes me, and I think he has a great smile, not to mention gorgeous eyes. Sorry, Dad, I may have found a boyfriend.

We got to Homeroom and Brandon introduced me to the teacher. "Mr. White, this is Zack Morris; he is a new student." Now you know why I waited to give my last name… Personally, I think I am cuter than that boy on Saved by the Bell.

"Thank you, Mr. James. Zack, do you have an admission slip?"

Fortunately, the slips were in order, so I gave him the top slip. He told me to grab a seat next to Brandon. All day long, Brandon took me to my classes, even seventh period. He was given a late slip to explain he was taking me to my classes. Before we get to that, though, when we went to PE, Brandon said he had extra pairs of clean shorts and a Coronado HS tee shirt I could borrow. The shorts were navy blue, and the tee shirt was gold with white colors. Brandon explained that the school colors were navy blue, white and gold.

The locker beside his wasn't in use, so I took it. He stripped to his boxer briefs, and I stripped to mine. He smiled as he looked at me, and I thought he was gorgeous. I felt my boxer briefs getting tighter in the crotch, if you know what I mean.

We got dressed and Brandon took me to meet the gym coach. "Coach Leopold, this is Zack, he's new to the school. I let him borrow a pair of shorts and a tee shirt for today."

"That was nice of you, Brandon. Zack, come with me and I will give you five tee shirts and five pairs of shorts. Put them in your locker, and make sure they get washed every week. Once we get that done, I will introduce you to the rest of the class." As we walked to his office, he asked for my admission slip, so I handed it to him. "Do you play football? You have the build for it."

"No, I've passed the football with friends, but have no interest in playing. Mom was always worried I would hurt myself, when she was alive."

"Football has the third highest sports injury ratings in high school, so I really can't blame her, but we strive to lower that number every year."

I was surprised, "Third highest? What's first?"

"Believe it or not, basketball has the highest rating of sports injuries followed by lacrosse. There are almost 200 thousand more injuries in high school basketball each year than in football. Of course, that is across the country, but sports injuries are still really high." We continued chatting as he selected the proper size shorts and shirts for me. He said they were brand new and mine to keep, even after I graduated. If I needed to replace any, other than if they were ripped in class, then I would need to buy new ones. If they were accidentally damaged in class, he would simply give me whatever was damaged at no cost.

I had my new gym clothes stored in my locker, then Mr. Leopold led me back out to the gym. "Guys, we have a new student, his name is Zack Morris and he just moved into the school district."

"Welcome to the school, Zack," the other boys said in unison. Then we did calisthenics and had to climb a rope to the ceiling. They had two ropes, so two boys climbed at the same time. We raced and the first boy to reach the top and climb back down was the winner. Some boys had trouble reaching the top but were not allowed to climb back down until the other boy was done. I was pitted against Brandon. He was pretty quick, but I surprised him and kept up. Mr. Leopold said that we tied. Brandon gave me a hug… nothing sexual, just a friendly, "good job" type of hug. None of the boys remarked.

As we showered, one of the boys asked, "Hey Brandon, did you tell him?"

"Yeah, I told him that I am gay, and he's cool with it."

The boy said, "That's cool, you seem alright, Zack."

"Thanks," I smiled, and felt daring, "by the way, I'm gay, too."

"Sweet, Brandon needs a good guy like you, are you two going to date?"

"Neither of us have a boyfriend, so maybe. We haven't really discussed it yet."

"Well, if I were gay, I wouldn't mind dating either of you. You should give it some serious thought." Brandon told me that his name was Ashton Williams. Brandon had known him since pre-school, and he has always looked out for Brandon. He was the first person that Brandon came out to. I liked him and wanted to be friends.

Brandon took me to the cafeteria and told me what foods were really good and what foods to avoid. We went to the table where he usually sat and he introduced me to his friends. Everyone welcomed me to the table. A girl named Jessica asked, "Are you planning to play any sports? Brandon plays baseball and is on the track team."

"I like baseball, but don't know if I am good enough for a team. I never really had the opportunity to play. And I love jogging. When my mom died, I was taken to a group home, and I jogged five miles every morning before breakfast."

"Your mom died, and you were in a group home? That's sad to hear, but I am glad you are here now."

"Thank you, Jessica," I replied, "so far, I like everyone at this school."

The rest of the day was basically all the same stuff, Brandon introduced me to the teacher, who introduced me to the class. After school, I looked at Brandon, "You said to ask you after school, so do you have a boyfriend?"

"I'm still working up the nerve to ask this really cute guy out. As cute as he is, he may tell me no."

"Never know unless you ask," I urged. "Has he ever been in your pants?"

"Pants, no, but he did borrow a pair of my gym shorts." When Brandon said that, I smiled. "Okay, I have been being a pussy about this all day. Zack, I don't know if it'll work out, but would you consider going on a date with me to see if maybe we can be boyfriends?"

"What about coming to my house, and we can discuss it?" I was being torturous!

"Will your dad mind?"

"He's picking me up, so we can ask him. What about your parents?"

"They'll be cool with it, and we can always work on homework together, although today we got it all done in study hall."

Dad pulled up and I asked, "Dad, this is my new friend Brandon. With one exception, we have all the same classes. Do you mind if he comes home with us?"

"As long as it's fine with his parents, and you remember the rule about being comfortable with company."

"It's fine with them, but if you would feel better, I can call so you can talk with them."

"That would make me feel more comfortable," Dad declared.

Brandon called and spoke for a few minutes, then he handed Dad his phone. "Hello, Mr. James, this is Jase Alexander…" Dad paused for a minute and I could barely hear Brandon's Dad.

"Jase Alexander on Three Rivers Drive?"

"Yes, that is me, how did you know where I live?" Dad seemed surprised.

"Jase, this is Brian, Brian James, you and I have talked MANY times. Friday, you said you were going to a group home to see about fostering or adopting a son."

"Brian? As in the Brian who has lived next door to me since I moved in two years ago and I have neglected to get your last name until now?" Dad chuckled. "Well, my son and your son met in school, and are becoming good friends. Brandon wants to spend time at my house."

"Well, when he's ready to come home, he won't have far to travel, will he. What do you say, the boys spend time at your house until supper time, then you and your son can come over with Brandon for supper? I would love to meet your son."

"That sounds like a plan, Brian. Are you sure Brandy won't mind, and what time should we come over?"

"Brandy is standing beside me saying supper will be ready at six o'clock. See you then."

Dad was laughing as he handed Brandon his phone back. I had to admit that it was kind of funny, and I liked that Brandon lived next door.

"We may be in El Paso, but this is November and too cold for swimming, but when the weather warms up, we'll have to decide, your pool or mine," Brandon joked.

The temperature was 68˚, no need for a heavy jacket, but definitely not swimming temperature, but I joked, "I don't know, I'm not the type of guy who swims in just any cute guy's pool." I could see Dad eying Brandon for a reaction.

Brandon looked me in the eyes and said, "I'm glad. I hope you swim only in my pool, if you know what I mean."

Dad gave me a look like, "Did he really just say that?" Then he gave me a knowing grin.

If I had to say who was cuter between Dad and Brandon, that would be a very hard choice, but Brandon IS within months of the same age as me, and I don't have to worry about us getting into trouble like I would with Dad. I know Dad really loves me, possibly to the point of being in love with me, but I think he feels relieved that I may have found someone. He mouthed, "I'm happy for you." Then he asked, "So, how did you boys meet?"

I looked at Brandon, "Parents just never listen, do they?" He chuckled, and I retold my dad, "Brandon and I are in the same classes except seventh period, when I have Creative Writing and he has Journalism."

"I do too listen," Dad smiled, "so, for a third time, how did the two of you meet?" Dad just started laughing; Brandon and I shook our heads.

"Do you really expect me to answer that?" I asked.

"No, Mack, I don't." Dad was grinning big time.

I knew he was playing, but I had to comment to Brandon, "So sad, he's only twenty-one and I think Alzheimer's has already set in. I think I should start looking for a home to put him in."

You would think four blocks would be quick by car, but with all the stop signs and the traffic light, it wasn't. Finally, Dad pulled into the garage. Brandon and I went to my room, where I stripped down to my boxer briefs, then pulled on a pair of baggy shorts and a tee shirt. Dad came to my room, and knocked on the door jam, "We have a few hours before supper, would you boys like a snack?"

"What do you have?" Brandon asked.

"I was thinking grilled cheese sandwiches with some Chili Cheese Frito's," Dad replied.

"That sounds good, do we have any salsa or dip for the Frito's?" I inquired.

"Frito Brand jalapeño cheddar," Dad answered.

We chatted in the kitchen while Dad made the grilled cheese. He was able to make four at a time, so he made two for each of us, and then two for himself. "So, Brandon, a comment you made in the car…" Dad began and Brandon started turning red, "you don't have to answer, but it gave me a vibe that you are gay."

"I don't mind answering," Brandon responded, I think he was actually relieved that was the question, "yes, I am gay, and I am out to anyone who asks."

"Just be careful," Dad urged. "This may be 2018, but there are still some homophobes out there."

"I told Brandon that I am gay, too, Dad."

"Like I just said to Brandon, be careful."

"You don't mind that I am gay?" Brandon questioned.

Dad smiled, "You just heard Zack tell me that he told you he is, and for the record, so am I."

"Then you wouldn't mind if I dated your son?"

"Heaven's no. I think you will be perfect for him." Then Dad looked at me, "How was your first day at this school?"

"I really like it, Dad. The kids are friendly, the teachers seem nice and I have already made a few friends. In gym class, one boy said that he thinks Brandon and I would be perfect boyfriends for each other. He said that if he were gay, he wouldn't mind dating either of us."

Brandon added, "I've known Ashton for twelve years and he's a cool guy."

"I've already said that I think the two of you are perfect for each other," Dad approved. "You have my blessing to date."

I walked up to Dad, hugged him, kissed him on the cheek and whispered in his ear, "I love you, and if you decide to adopt me, I wouldn't mind. I think Brandon and I are the real thing."

Dad hugged me back and said, "I am happy, but let's give it a few months before we decide on the adoption. I have no doubt either of us will change our minds, but it'll look better for the courts if it seems we took time to come to a decision. I love you."

When Brandon finished eating, I grabbed his plate, rinsed his and mine off, then stuck both in the dishwasher. Dad was still eating, so I left his. I grabbed two cans of Barq's root beer, handed one to Brandon and we headed to my room. I had a king size bed that felt humongous compared to my bed at the group home, so I laid down and began chatting with Brandon. It was mainly about random stuff, like what music does he listen to, what foods does he like, what hobbies does he enjoy? I sipped on my root beer as we talked.

Brandon climbed onto the other side of my bed. He asked me the same questions, but then, he leaned over and kissed me. It wasn't a really big kiss, it was just a sweet, "I love you" kiss. "That was nice, I really liked that," I responded.

Brandon looked into my eyes, "I thought about doing a French kiss but thought it might be too soon."

"Probably, but that kiss was perfect," I reached up and kissed his nose.

"I really like you, Zack, maybe even love you, but we need to know each other better before we jump to that," Brandon whispered.

"I know the feeling, I really like you, too. I could lay here all day with you staring into my eyes, kissing whenever the mood strikes you, and I wouldn't mind."

"I want to lay my head on your chest and take a nap, feeling the closeness of you."

"I wouldn't mind, I like feeling the closeness of you." I didn't realize it, but I started stroking his hair. I think that added to the effect and he was out. Feeling euphoric with his head on my chest, I was asleep almost as soon.

Dad woke us up at five, he said, "As far as we need to travel, you might want to start getting ready,"

Brandon borrowed my brush for his hair. I know some people who would be grossed out by that, but as long as his hair is clean and mine is, I didn't mind. Besides, I'm gonna save his hair and make a clone of him. Probably not really, but it is a nice thought. I took off my shorts and put on a pair of jeans.

Dad looked at us as we came downstairs, "You know, I videoed the two of you sleeping. It looked so precious."

"I don't snore, do I? That would be so embarrassing," Brandon begged.

Dad smiled, "No, neither of you did what I consider snoring, but your breathing was so harmonic that it sounded like music. Oh, and I appreciated the fact that you left the door open."

"I felt like you would want us to so you knew we weren't doing anything we shouldn't," I replied.

Dad put on his Dad Hat, so to speak, "I know there will come a time when the two of you do decide to act on your feelings for each other. Now, I am not giving you permission to do so, but I don't want you to feel you need to sneak around. I have been where you are, so if you have any questions, you can ask me."

"So, if Brandon and I decided we wanted to have sex, you wouldn't get upset?" I tested Dad.

"All I ask is that you make sure you are both ready to do whatever you do. I prefer you wait, but I was sixteen the first time I had sex with another boy. His name was Heath. We had been experimenting for years before he asked me to take his anal cherry, but then we drifted apart. I think I hurt him too much."

"So, anal sex hurts?" I asked. "Then, why do guys do it?"

"The first time can hurt like hell, especially if both boys are inexperienced, but as you gain experience, the pain disappears, and a special bond is formed."

Brandon looked at me, "We're waiting for anal sex, maybe until we go to college." I nodded in agreement. Then Brandon admitted to Dad, "I've given blow jobs. Do you have a problem with those?"

"You mean oral sex," Dad corrected Brandon.

"Sorry..." Brandon apologized, "yes, I've done oral sex a few times."

"If you two are not exclusive, then yes, I do. You can possibly get an STD from another boy and pass it on to my son. If you get tested and are exclusive, then I am fine with it."

Brandon looked down, "I never thought about that, but I want to be exclusive with Zack, just like I hope he'll be exclusive with me."

"Brandon, Zack, if you swap any body fluids with another boy, you run the risk of passing or getting an STD; that includes semen, blood, sweat or even saliva. If you are exclusive, there is still a risk, but it is minimal. You add even one more boy, the risk jumps astronomically. It's like you had sex with everyone he's had sex with. Have either of you been tested?" Dad asked.

"I've never had sex with anyone else," I replied, "Do I still need tested?"

"It wouldn't hurt, but you are probably safe," Dad told me. "I get tested every six months, even though I am currently not dating or having sex with anyone."

"I've never been tested," Brandon admitted, "but if I am going to be Zack's boyfriend, I want to be."

We discontinued the conversation as we walked into Brandon's house. Brian met us shortly after he heard the door being unlocked. He was armed with a smile. Dad offered, "Hey, Brian, I would like for you to meet my son, Zack. Zack, this is Brian, our next-door neighbor, and apparently Brandon's father." Brian looked very much like Brandon, only fifteen to twenty years older. If Brandon looks like him when he is that age, he will still be handsome.

Brandon didn't beat around the bush, "Dad, I want to get tested for STDs."

"Have you been sexually active?" Brian looked a little surprised, but he didn't flinch.

"I've given a few bl... er, I mean I've had oral sex, but nothing else. I want to date Zack, and I want to be sure that if we kiss, or whatever, I don't pass anything to him. Mr. Alexander plans to have Zack tested, even though Zack hasn't been sexually active."

"Please, call me Jase," Dad stated, "Mr. Alexander is my dad."

"And what sort of 'whatever' do you have in mind?" Brian inquired.

Brandon quickly replied, "Sorry, Jase, and Dad, nothing anal. We agreed to wait until we are in college before we go that far. I won't say we won't masturbate together or maybe do... um, oral sex, but right now, we haven't discussed how far we may go, so just kissing."

"Well, I see you really care about Zack and want to take things slow. Being tested is a wise thing to do."

"Great, can Zack and I go to the clinic to have it done? They don't require parental approval for the test but will share the results with a minor's parents."

"You've already checked into it?" Dad was surprised.

Brandon smiled, "I heard it was a good idea, but I guess I was really waiting until I found someone I wanted to be with. It'll cost us each twenty dollars, and it's close enough to school that we can ride our bikes there, so neither of you have to take off work."

"Well, I am pleased to hear that you are being proactive about this. You have my blessing," Brian agreed.

"Well, I was going to schedule an appointment for after school Friday for Zack, but if you boys want to go to the clinic, I have no issue with it. I'll even cover the first time."

"Thanks, Dad," Brandon and I chimed together, and then laughed.

Brian led us into the kitchen, "Jase, you already know my wife, Zack, this is Brandon's mother, Brandy."

"I'm pleased to meet you," I offered. "Whatever you are fixing smells really good."

"Wait until you taste it. I am serving Swedish meatballs over linguine. It should be ready in about ten minutes. Brandon, if you'll wash your hands and then set the table, I would appreciate it."

Brandon and I washed our hands at the kitchen sink. They keep a bottle of liquid hand soap there for that reason. Then I helped him set the table. About the time we were done, Brandy was bringing out a dish. She filled each plate with linguine, then returned the empty dish to the kitchen. She brought out another dish and placed three meat balls on top of the linguine, with just a little juice. She made exactly fifteen meatballs. I guess that means if Dad and I didn't come over, they would have had two more meatballs each. I hope I got two of Brandon's balls. I started thinking about it and smiled.

"What are you thinking about?" Brandon asked. I know, you probably think I think about sex too much, but I am a teenage boy. Correction, I am a normal teenage boy, which means I get horny all the time.

I whispered to Brandon, "I was thinking that maybe I was getting two of your meatballs, and well, you probably get the picture."

"Yeah, and that may eventually happen, but I don't want to rush into things. I want to do everything right so that we last forever."

"I like that, so are we officially boyfriends?" I asked.

"Not officially, at least not yet, but I wouldn't mind if you want to be officially my boyfriend."

"Brandon, we've only first met today, but I have fallen so hard for you, yes, I want to be your boyfriend, officially or not."

"Then, I guess we are officially boyfriends," Brandon flashed his gorgeous smile. "And to answer your question from earlier, yes, I have a boyfriend. He is the cutest guy in all the world."

"I'm not sure about all the world, but I know one guy cuter than your boyfriend. He's my boyfriend."

"Teenagers in love," Brandy commented with a smile.

"So, I have a question, when it is just Dad and me, Dad said that he doesn't have a problem if I run around the house in my boxer briefs, after all, we have the same equipment. When we have company, he insists that I wear at least shorts and a tee shirt. Brandon and I have gym together and see each other in the shower…"

"Yes, you still need shorts and a tee shirt when Brandon is over," Dad insisted.

"Well now, Jase, it is your house and whatever you say goes, but they are both boys," Brian argued, "I see no problem if they are shirtless, but I agree, they should have at least a pair of shorts on."

"Okay," Dad caved, "when Brandon is over, you must have on at least a pair of shorts, but you needn't put on a shirt. Anyone else, you must also have a tee shirt."

"Thanks, Dad," I smiled. Then I thanked Brian, too. He did argue on my behalf, if you want to call that arguing.

We finished supper and Brandy had cherry cheesecake for dessert. She made it with cherries in the cheesecake as well as over the top. Every time I put a cherry in my mouth, I smiled at Brandon. We chatted while we ate, but then, Dad and I walked all those miles to go home. We walked with Dad's left arm draped across my shoulders and my right arm around his waist. He commented, "I really like Brandon, and am happy you found someone your age."

"But aren't you also sad that I no longer want to marry you?"

"Perhaps a little, but you being happy outweighs any of that."

"I'm glad, and I am serious, when you think the time is right, if you want to officially adopt me, I would like that."

"Okay, but when I do, you won't get any more checks from the State. Instead of giving you an allowance from it, what do you think of the idea of letting that money sit and collect interest. I will give you an allowance from my own money."

"We never did discuss what kind of an allowance I will get."

"I was thinking twenty-five dollars a week until you turn seventeen, then upping it to fifty dollars a week. Or, you could get a job, but I would rather you concentrate on school."

I started to cry, here I was a poor boy all my life, and the most money I ever had was when Mom gave me ten dollars to get supper for me and my twin sisters. A loaf of bread, bologna and cheese took most of it. Some days, I was able to get ramen noodles. Now, I felt rich beyond my wildest dreams, and to be honest, money really had nothing to do with it.


I hope you enjoy the story and that it draws you in, wanting more. If you have any suggestions or concerns, don't hesitate to email me. Thoughts and suggestions are always welcomed and may or may not be implemented. Concerns will be considered and addressed as much as possible.

Please contact me at Zarek A Dragon. Please let me know that you read it on The Story Lovers' Website or whichever Fort Family Site you have read it on.