Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.
Today we have the next issue in my historical M/M romance, Dear Jon, which is set in 1945. Every issue of this serial will be under 1500 words so they're quick reads. Our word prompt today is 'Mirror'. This story contains mature language and gay sexual situations. If that offends now would be the time to move onto another Tuesday Tales offering.
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Charlotte had brought my oils up from Greenwich a few at a time. I had sold several to tourists, and had three new ones with a decided rural feel hanging in my lover`s shop. She had also sublet my studio for me. Life was good. Ross and I had finally found some peace. We spent nights fishing or playing baseball with Andy then we would retire inside and listen to the radio until Andy drifted off. Ross and I would then slip off to make love after the boy fell asleep. I never once felt like the pulse of the city was missing. I simply could not imagine anywhere else I would rather be that angry librarian aside.
It was on a sweltering Friday evening that three of us men - Ross, me, and Andrew - were splashing in the creek that runs behind my place. George and Gracie stretched out their necks at us from time to time, but those two goofy birds in their down vests were too hot to honk. We were in shorts. I was seated on a large rock while Ross waded about in the swimming hole with his arms under Andrew`s pale belly. The lad was kicking to beat the band. His swimming lessons were going rather well. A car horn pulled my attention from Andy and Ross. I stood on the flat grey rock to see who was coming. Charlotte was sashaying across my yard, chunky heels to match her pink and black polka-dot dress. Even her hat had a polka-dotted band.
"Well, well, look at all the wet, gleaming muscles!" the redhead announced when she arrived at the creek bank. A dragonfly zoomed past my face.
"Aunt Charlotte! I got muscles too!" Andy yelled then flexed. Charlotte fanned her face with her gloved hand.
"Why you`re another Johnny Weissmuller," she remarked, to which the boy did his best Tarzan call. The geese took exception to the lad being louder than they were. They flapped off to lounge in the shade on the other side of the creek.
"I thought you weren`t coming up this weekend," Ross said then scooped Andy up for a ride out of the water. I followed behind in case the wild one toppled off Ross`s wide shoulders.
"Yes, well, the man I had planned to go to Martha`s Vineyard with went with his wife instead," Charlotte said with a scowl. The wind tugged some red strands out from under her hat. "So, I decided to come spend the weekend with more faithful boys. Come give Aunty Charlotte a smooch."
As soon as Andy`s bare feet hit the ground, he was kissing Charlotte dutifully on both cheeks.
"He smells like frog spit," the ginger said as she straightened with some assistance from me. She patted my wet arm then squeezed my bicep. "As do you. Tell me, Ross, do you smell of tepid creek water as well?"
Ross lifted his armpit then sniffed loudly. "Yes, Ma`am, I do."
"Well to heck with all of you stinky men! I`m heading back into town for some food. What shall I bring us? No! Do not think to offer to pay Ross Coleman. I am celebrating getting rid of a philanderer."
Five minutes later Charlotte was speeding off to fetch us a rare take-out dinner. Cash wasn`t quite as tight now as it had been, but Andy and I were still living frugally.
"Uncle Ross?" the boy pulled on Ross` hand. We both glanced down at the sodden young man. Water trickled from his sandy blonde bangs down his nose. "What is a philanderer?"
"Don`t look at me, Uncle Ross," I chuckled then headed into the bungalow to gather some dry clothes for the three of us. He was on his own for that one.
"Well, Andy, a philanderer is someone who collects dinosaur bones." Ross`s answer drifted in the open windows. I snorted at the clever reply. That lover of mine was one quick thinker.
"Then I want to be a philanderer when I grow up!"
Ross laughed long and hard. There was no suppressing my laughter either. God, did we both love that child. Our lives could not be much better. We were no sooner dried off and dressed when we heard a car rolling into the drive. Andrew went barreling out the front door as he always did when Charlotte was expected.
"That boy is infatuated with his aunt," Ross said as he pulled a sleeveless t-shirt over his dark, damp head.
"She`s a real doll," I said with a wink before grabbing a kiss. Out we went, to help Charlotte carry in her bounty. We both stopped cold. Andrew was still on the porch, the bare toes of his left foot fiddling with his old ball and glove lying beside his toy box.
A tall man slowly opened the door of a rather rough Chevrolet coupe. He was tall, fair-haired, and lean. So lean that he looked like he was just this side of starvation. His once handsome face held the dark hollows of someone who had recently come back from emaciation. He was in uniform, although it hung off his once strong shoulders. I tipped my head as he limped across the yard. His chin held my attention, as did the bold stroke of his eyebrows. I reached out to find Ross`s hand. The name over his heart read Corporal David Brooks. My throat grew tight. My grip on Ross increased.
"Evening," he croaked as he removed his hat," I - I`m sorry I came unannounced but, well, you have no phone. I just had to come as soon as I was discharged. I never got her correspondence, not until I was released from the P.O.W. camp. I was too sick to come then, after the war. They gave me all her letters. I read them over and over in the hospital. I never knew about him . . . My God, he's the mirror image of her . . ."
"No, he's the mirror image of you," I told Andrew`s father.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
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