“Corey, are you ready?” Matt asked me after we’d placed our overnight bag in our vehicle.

“I guess so,” I replied and handed him the keys.  “You drive.”

“I don’t mind at all,” he said.  He gave me a kiss and held me close.  “Everything will be okay.”

“Let’s hope.  I’m going with the mindset of hope for the best and expect the worst.”

“No, go with the mindset that this is going to be a nice night. Stay positive.”

We walked to the vehicle after his complete inspect despite the fact it was only going to be for one night, this Saturday in early March.  He started up and headed towards my real Dad’s hometown for his birthday party that Beth was throwing him.   We’d planned on a full weekend but things didn’t work out.  JJ and Teague had other plans Friday night much to my disappointment since I waited until the last minute to call them. 

“It looks like finally it’s gonna be a nice day,” Matt commented driving since we’d had two winter weather events since returning from our Valentine’s Day trip.  One was bad enough that I missed a day of work due to the icy roads and not wanting to risk it while Matt was able to work from home. 

“Finally, I am sick of winter,” I said.

“Then tomorrow the time changes.  You’ll have an extra hour of daylight when you get home. Just think of all we can do now outside.  I don’t how much longer I can stand seeing our pool covered.”

“Me either but I’m so ready for an extra hour.”

With the bad weather, we were both very anxious for the spring and summer to arrive to take full advantage of our pool.  Matt had found some nice patio furniture and two lounge chairs since we’d returned.  Needless to say, our winnings were now invested on outdoor furniture. 

We continued down the interstate and talked.  Our marriage has been nothing but a dream for me.  I attributed it to the fact that we were still in our ‘honeymoon’ period but I knew it was because I was with the right person.  Since returning from the casino, we had spent a lot of time together and had a regular schedule.  A few wintery cold days helped out matter greatly as well.  I loved spending time with my husband and loved holding his great body next to me.

We arrived at our hotel just after two with me unloading our bag while he checked us in at this nice economy all-suite hotel that he’d found for us online.  We carried our bags into the room with a little time to rest from the drive down.  Opening the door, we saw how nice it was and regretted being able to spend only one night.  It had a living area and kitchen with a separate bedroom. 

We sat on the sofa with my arm around him. 

“Corey, relax.”

“Reality is beginning to set in that I’m about to come face-to-face with my brother and sister.”

“You are but remember there will be others.  Also don’t focus all your attention on Eli either.  Ruth will feel left out,” he said.  “Again, don’t force things with Eli.  Be yourself.  If that’s not good enough, then it will be his loss.”

“You say that shit but what if it was you?” I asked.

“I’d feel the same way and did when I first met VJ,” he replied.  “I know it’s hard but remember you’ll get to spend time with your dad as well and maybe meet more family.”

“Okay, I’ll try my best,” I said.

“I love you,” Matt said and kissed my cheek.

Always his love made me feel better.  “I love you too.”

We did watch some television to kill a little time.  We got up and freshened up before leaving to find the restaurant of the party.  It was going to be early with Dad arriving around 4:30 while we were expected to be early.  One nice thing was that Teague assured me that he’d be there.

Matt found the restaurant without much trouble thanks to our phones.  The restaurant was large and seemed big enough to handle our party.  We exited the vehicle with the smell of barbecue hitting my nostrils.  Matt smiled at me before we headed to the front door. 

Inside the receptionist showed to a separate room.  Opening the door, I saw about twenty or so people and felt as if everyone was staring at us.  There were some tables with a few balloons as decorations.  Teague stepped forward and came up to us.

“Corey, as always, you look great,” Teague said.  “Damn, I guess now I can call you my cuz.”

“You can.  I owe you big time,” I said.

“I heard Matt here was the hero that saved the day,” Teague said.

“You were by giving those annuals to Corey a few years back,” Matt said.

“Hey, I hope you remember my Mom and Dad,” Teague said and began walking.  They were staring right at me and Matt.  His dad extended his hand while his Mom gave me a hug.

“It is great that you could make it, Corey.  Phil has been so excited since you two united.  Billy said you’d really gotten big and you have.  I remember a little skinny boy that came over to the house a few times,” Terri, Teague’s mom, said.

“Yeah, he’s a well-built man now.  I can see where Phil couldn’t see the resemblance.  Welcome to the family, Corey,” Teague’s dad, Rob, said.

“Thanks.  This is Matt,” I said and didn’t want him to feel left out.

“We heard about your wedding,” Rob laughed and shook Matt’s hand. 

“I think everyone did,” Teague said.  “They threw a great party.”

“Thanks, it was our pleasure,” I said.

As we were standing and talking, Terri waved someone over.  They introduced me to my Uncle Kevin and his wife Abby along with their son, Jared.  I stood looking at the lanky Jared and saw how’d I’d looked if not for my weight program.  Jared was a senior here and about to graduate with a degree in civil engineering.  I did meet a few more that were related to me before Teague directed to sit at a table with Jared joining us.  

Once we were seated, a waiter came by for our drink orders.  Teague and Jared ordered a beer while Matt and I had water.  Teague ragged me a little bit about not having a cold one but it just didn’t feel right at the moment.  We sat around talking and finding out how Teague’s date went which was why he wasn’t available.  I asked about JJ and was happy to hear that he was dating as well.

Our drinks were sat in front of us by the waiter.  My leg began bouncing up and down until Matt placed his hand on my leg.  With my back to the door, I heard the door open.  Everyone stood and yelled ‘Surprise’ with Dad and Beth ahead of Eli and Ruth.  Everyone began singing while my focus was on my brother and sister.  Eli was dressed nicely in his tee shirt and khaki shorts.  He was thin as I was at his age of 14 with his blond hair spiked in the front.  Ruth was so cute and looked more like Beth with her dark hair hanging to her shoulders and wearing a cute sundress. 

Dad was thoroughly shocked to see everyone there and thanked everyone for coming.  He walked over to me and gave me a hug.  “Son, it is so good to see you again,” he said. 

“Same here, Dad,” I said hugging him.

He walked over and gave Matt a hug as well and told him the same thing.  He motioned Eli and Ruth over.  Eli had the blankest look on his face ever while Ruth was all smiles.  “Corey and Matt, I’d like for you to meet Eli and Ruth.”

I extended my hand and smiled shaking Eli’s hand.  “Nice to meet ya.”  He just nodded before I moved to Ruth and did the same while Matt shook Eli’s hand. 

“Dad, he’s big,” Ruth said.

I laughed as did Dad.  “Ain’t he.  Eli, maybe one day you can be as built as your brother is,” Dad commented

“Maybe,” Eli said.

Dad walked away and wanted to greet everyone else with Beth along with him.  We sat back down and enjoyed our drinks.   Soon we began ordering our meals and enjoyed talking to Teague and Jared.  I felt a little sorry for Matt but he was taking everything in and was by my side. 

After a great meal that left me about to explode and then birthday cake for Dad, I was able to talk to a few more people and enjoyed doing so.  While we were talking, I saw Eli slip out the door.  I politely excused myself and headed out.  He was exiting the bathroom and put his head down seeing me. 

“Can we talk just for a minute, Eli?” I asked.

“I guess,” he replied shrugging his shoulders.

We walked outside and sat on a bench just outside the door with the restaurant filling up.  “Eli, I’ve heard you haven’t taken all of this very well.  I’m sorry.  All I ask is that you give me a chance to be your big brother.”

“Dude, you are my brother,” he said.

“I know. Ummm… maybe I should have said give me a chance as a person.  Don’t judge me until you get to know me better.  I fully understand the resentment or dislike but I’d ask that you get to know me just a little.  If you don’t like me as a person, then that’s something I can live with or try to live with.  I’ve been really looking forward to meeting you and getting to know you and Ruth.  I’ve never had a brother or sister so this is exciting for me.  Honestly, I never had a real Dad either.  I’d just like us to be brothers whatever that really means since I don’t live here and won’t see you but just ever so often.   Will you at least give me a chance?”

“I’ll try.”

“That’s all I can ask of you,” I said and wiped my face.  “Damn, it is hot out here.”

He laughed.  “It is.  Can we go inside?”

“We can.  Sorry for cursing in front of you.  I shouldn’t do that,” I said.  “It’s just a habit.”

“It’s cool,” he said and did give me a smile.

We headed inside.  Dad was talking to everyone while I found Matt sitting alone.  “Sorry, I took so long,” I said to Matt.

“Don’t apologize.  How’d it go?”

“Okay at best,” I replied shaking my head.

“It’ll take time, Corey.  I don’t know what you said but you made the effort and tried.”

Teague and Jared came back.  We started talking again and began laughing.  I looked over and saw Eli watching every move that I was making.  People began leaving and saying goodbye to Dad and Beth.

Dad walked over to me, “Corey, would you and Matt please come to the house?  Beth and I would love for you come visit with us.  You can get to know Eli and Ruth better too.”

“We can do that,” I replied with Matt nodding his head in complete agreement while we stood in the center of the room.

Matt got his address and stored it in his phone.  We said goodbye to Teague and Jared with them leaving.

It was about 7 when we left the restaurant with Dad and his family.  It now made sense why it was early with the restaurant being so packed.  Matt and I got in our vehicle and began following Dad.  Matt did his best to keep up with him but once on the highway we were left behind. 

We made it to their house with Dad waiting on the porch.  It looked like a nice two story house and maybe a little older.  Matt grabbed the gifts that we had brought with us for Ruth and Eli.

“Corey, it made my day just seeing you and Matt again.  Beth told me how she had worked it out,” Dad said.

“We were glad to there,” I said.

“You did get to meet a lot of new people,” Dad said leading us inside.

“Just don’t ask him to recall any names,” Matt said and laughed with us entering.  It looked nice with lots of furniture.

Ruth was sitting on the couch while Beth was in the kitchen.  “Did y’all like coffee?” Beth asked from the kitchen.

“We sure do,” I replied and sat next to Ruth.  “What are you watching?”

“Splitting Adam,” she replied.  I did see it was a kid show on Nickelodeon.

“Cool.  Corey and I brought you a gift,” Matt said and handed it to her.

“What do you say, Ruth?” Dad asked.

“Thank you.  I like gifts,” she said and torn into the crudely wrapped paper. She saw her gift with her eyes lighting up.  “Wow!  My very own tablet!  Thank you Corey!”

“You’re welcome,” I said and was pleased to see she was excited. 

“What did you get, Ruth?” Beth asked handing us some coffee.

“A tablet.  Now Eli won’t scream at me for using his,” Ruth said and was digging in to get it out.

“That’s really nice of your brother,” Dad said.  It was hard not telling Dad that we were coming but I did say that we’d be down soon and wanted to get them gifts so he suggested a tablet for Ruth.  Getting the tablet was easy since Matt could get one from his work.

“Matt, you sit next to her and show her how it works,” I said and moved over.

Matt was great.  He showed everything about it including some apps that he thought she’d like.  He was able to connect to their internet and said he’d set the controls on it as well.  She took a picture of all of us with it before Matt pulled out his phone for more pictures. 

“Eli really needs to get down here,” Dad said.  “He’s being a brat.”

“Matt and I have something for him,” I said.  “We’ll take it to him after finish our coffee.”

“No, I’m going to get him right now,” Beth said.

“If you don’t mind, I’d like to take it to him,” I said. 

“It is still rude of him and he knew that you were coming,” Beth said.

“If I know kids, he’s probably on his phone.  He’s fine,” I said.  “Besides, we can spend time with Ruth.”

We did get to spend some time with her.  She really seemed to like her tablet and was no longer interested in her show.  Matt was leaning over and constantly showing her different apps and games.

Once we finished with our coffee, I grabbed Eli’s present and asked that Ruth show us her room and Eli’s room.  She jumped right up and went bouncing up the stairs with her tablet in her hand.  Matt and I saw her room with usual dolls and one poster of One Direction on her wall.  She was interested in her tablet and pointed to Eli’s room before getting on her bed.

Matt and I walked across and softly knocked on the door.  He came dressed in athletic shorts and a tank top.  It was amazing how much we did favor seeing him in person.  He opened the door and quickly returned to his bed while I saw a big poster of Tony Romo and a big helmet plastered on his wall.

“Matt, I think someone likes the Cowboys,” I said.

“I’m not sure if he does or not?” Matt said.  “Do you?”

“Duh,” he said looking up from his phone.

“Hmmm… I wonder if he’s ever heard of Ted Wilcox?” I asked.

“I have.  He plays linebacker for them,” Eli replied and sat down his phone.  “Do you like the Cowboys?”

“We went to a few games last year but didn’t make any this year,” Matt replied.

“I guess he might like his gift,” I said and handed it to him. 

Eli began opening the big box.  Matt and I hadn’t opened it yet after Ted had sent it to us.  It did look big for a football.  He pulled out two team shirts, some stickers and two hats.  He reached the bottom and pulled out the football.  I saw it was cluttered with signatures written in black.  Eli began studying the ball.  “Is it real?”

“Ted sent it to us,” I replied.  “I would think it is.”

“No, he didn’t.  You don’t know him,” Eli said.  “Hold on there’s something else in here.”  He pulled out a note. 

“What does it say?” Matt asked.

“Eli, I hope you like the autographed football.  Your brother said you were a big fan and might like it.  I hope you do.  You know this year I sacked a QB named Eli.  Get Corey and Matt to bring to a game and I’ll leave you tickets.  Go Cowboys!  Ted Wilcox.”

“What do you think?” I asked.

“It’s cool but I don’t believe ya.  I think the autographs are fake,” Eli said.

I looked at Matt who was looking at me.  “They’re real.  Ted got it and sent it to us.”

“The label is still on there,” Matt said and pointed it on the side of the box.

“Guys, thanks but I’m not stupid.  I know that you mean well but nice try,” Eli said.  “The shirt and hat are nice though.”

“If we called him, would you believe us then?” I asked.

Eli laughed.  “Like he’d ever talk to you.  Keep dreaming.”

“You’ll see.  Matt, call him.  It’d be our luck that he’s not home,” I said.

Matt reached in his pocket and called.  Matt shook his head and hung up. 

“Thanks any way.  I can play catch with this ball,” Eli said.

“I’ll admit that I do want you to like me but I’d never stoop that low to deceive you.  Since you think the ball is fake, I’m sure someone else would enjoy having it,” I said.

“Catch,” Eli said and tossed me the ball with Matt’s phone ringing. 

“Hey Ted, thanks for calling me back… We did too.   Hey we’re with Corey’s brother Eli… he thinks the ball is not real and that we don’t know you… I can do that,” Matt said.  He turned his phone around.  Ted’s face appeared.

“Hey Eli, wassup?” Ted said on FaceTime.

“Is it really you?” Eli asked and was stunned.

“As real as I get,” Ted laughed.  “We get six balls a year and Corey mentioned to me when we saw each other about a month ago.”

“Ummm… so do you know Tony and Dez?” Eli asked.

“Of course I do.  I go against them in practice all the time.  I saw Tony earlier this week when I was working out,” Ted said.

“Oh dude that is so cool.  Do you have a jersey that I can see?” Eli asked.

“Sure give me a minute.  I’ve got the one I wore in the last game,” Ted said and left the screen.

“You’re really putting him through the mill, aren’t you?” I asked.

“I just wanna see one of his jerseys,” Eli said.

“Here it is,” Ted said returning and showed the jersey.  “Here’s a real grass stain from Lambeau Field.”

“Was it really that cold, dude?”

“It was if you stood around.  I didn’t play that much since Rodgers throws the ball every down,” Ted replied.

“Wow!  So how do you know these guys?” Eli asked with his big blues eyes getting bigger.

“I meet them in college.  I’ve been on a few trips with them including a cruise.  They are great guys that I really like hanging out with.  I’ve been to their house and last month I ran into them.  Corey and I played cards for a long time,” Ted said.  “So what do you like to do?”

“Not much other than hang out with my friends and talking on the phone.  I play soccer.  I watched all of your games this year,” Eli said with his face really lighting up.  “My friends will never believe that I talked to a real pro player.  This is so cool!”

“I like talking to you.  Maybe one day I can meet you in person.  Just from what I can see I can tell you and Corey could be brothers.  Corey told us he was thin like you when he was younger,” Ted said.  “Have them bring you to a game.  I may not be able to see you but I’ll for sure get ya tickets.  How’s that?”

“That’d be sweet!  Thanks!” Eli said.  “I’ll let you talk to Corey and Matt.”

“Nice talking to you, Eli,” Ted said.

“You too,” Eli said.

“Thanks Ted, you’re the best.  We’ll see ya soon,” I said, seeing his face.

“Thanks for everything,” Matt said, leaning over.

“Let’s get together one night.  Luke is still around and we can at least go grab something to eat,” Ted said.

“For sure.  Hey, thanks!” I said.

“No problem at all,” Ted said.  “See you guys!”

“Bye,” Matt said and hung up the phone.

I spun the football in my hand.  “I’m glad you don’t want this because it is really nice.”

“I’m sorry Corey,” Eli said and extended his arms.  I placed it in his arms.  He took a picture of it.  “I believe ya but I can’t believe that I just talked to a real player and he’s friends of yours.”

“He is.  Ted’s a really great guy,” Matt said.

Eli stood and gave me a hug.  It was all that I could do to not get emotional at that point.  “So would you take me to a game?”

“Of course we would,” I replied.

“Dad likes you so I’ll let you talk him into it.  He believes I need to be in church every Sunday,” Eli stated.

“We’ll work something out,” I said.

The door opened with Dad walking in.  “Is everything okay up here?  You’ve been up here a while now.”

“Dad, look at this awesome football that Ted Wilcox gave me.  I got to talk to him.  He’s good friends with Corey and Matt.  How cool is that?” Eli said with excitement still in his voice.

“Really cool.  I told you that Corey wasn’t a bad guy,” Dad said.

“He’s not.  He might make a good big brother,” Eli said. 

“I’ll try my very best to be.  You might be a good little brother too,” I said.

“Dad, Ted said he’d get us ticket to a game.  Do you think maybe Corey and Matt could take me to a game?”

“That can be worked out,” Dad replied.

“Maybe if you ever wanted to visit us, we could get Ted to come over,” Matt said.

“That’d be awesome,” Eli said.

“I see everything is okay and Ruth hasn’t moved from her tablet,” Dad said.

“Matt and I hang around here for a minute or two then we’ll be right down,” I said.

Dad headed back down.  Matt and I talked with Eli for a few minutes and found a little more about him.   While we were doing so, a friend of his sent him a text and said that he hated him because he got the signed ball.

We stopped by to check on Ruth.  She had to show us one of the games that she was playing that Matt had installed.  I tried my best to give them equal time. 

We headed down and sat down on the couch.  We said we didn’t need any more caffeine and had water instead after Beth offered more coffee. 

“So everything’s okay now?” Beth asked.

“I think so.  I guess a little gift didn’t hurt,” I replied.

“I’d say not.  He’s not the excitable type so I could tell that meant a lot to him,” Dad said.

“Trust me.  He didn’t want to believe for one second…”

“It was a good thing that Ted called me back,” Matt said.

We told them how we knew him and about our friends in college.  Naturally we’re so very proud of each one of them.   We spent a good hour while talking to them before Ruth came down to join us for a few minutes before Beth took her to bed. 

“Corey, I’d be more than honored to have you and Matt at the service tomorrow,” Dad said.

“I don’t see why we can’t,” I said.  “Give us the address and time and we’ll be there if you promise not to embarrass me.”

“I’ll try not to,” Dad said.  “You’ve really proven to me since we’ve met that you’re just people.  When someone says gay, there’s this image that pops into your head.  You and Matt are nothing like that from what I’ve seen.  You’re just two guys who like guys and that’s it.”

“We appreciate that,” I said.  “I know what you mean, Dad.”

Matt and I stayed around until I thought we’d stayed long enough.  Beth did request us to return for lunch on Sunday after church, which we said we would.  We went upstairs and said good night to Eli before saying good night to Dad and Beth.  I left feeling like so good inside.

I drove us back to our hotel with me and Matt talking the entire time.  I hated that the night was all about me but he more than understood.  Once we arrived, we sat for a few minutes on the sofa.  The temptation grew too strong before I had to have him in bed and make love to him and show my dear appreciation.  My body was filled with so much love that I wanted him to feel it as well.  I attacked him and his hot ass with so much love and felt his love too. 

We lay together after great love making.  The glow of our love and sex filled the room. 

“We need to come here more often,” Matt said.  “My husband was on fire.”

“Just like you are for me every fucking night,” I said and kissed his cheek.

Matt and I woke up the next morning and headed down to enjoy the breakfast offered here.  It wasn’t much but enough to fulfill our hunger.  We dressed and prepared to attend Dad’s church.

“Matt, when’s the last time you went to church?” I asked.

“It’s been so long that I can’t remember,” he replied.

“Me too,” I said and laughed.

“It probably won’t hurt us,” Matt said.

We headed off and found the ‘church’.  It was more of a meeting hall similar to the one where we had our college graduation party with folding chairs.  There were probably 60 or so attending.  As soon as Eli saw us, he ran up to us.  We were able to meet a few before taking a seat.  Eli was with us before Ruth spotted us and had to sit with us too.  I was flanked by Eli and Ruth and loved it. 

Dad’s sermon was nice and not too preachy.  I was so thankful that he never called me out but did acknowledge me with eye contact in the beginning.  He wasn’t too long winded and had us out a little early according to Eli.  He did introduce to some of the people there at his church. 

Eli and Ruth had to ride to their house with us.  Beth had a roast cooking and didn’t take long before serving us a nice Sunday lunch.  Dad was smiling with us all gathered around the table.

We did try to spend time with both Ruth and Eli including throwing around an old football that he had after we ate.  Matt made sure to get pictures of all of us with Beth taking some of my new family.  I hated saying goodbye but felt so good inside.   This weekend was such a success and turned out perfectly for me.   I wasn’t sure how often that I could see them but knew I’d try to see them as much as possible. 


I hope you enjoyed this chapter.  It took longer than intended so I apologize for that.   There will be more at the end of the month or the first of the next month.   Thanks for reading!!!


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