CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN – THE TRIAL
“All rise! The Family Court of Kanawha Count, West Virginia, is now in session. The Honorable LeeAnn Harvey presiding.” The bailiff looked around sternly to ensure that everyone was standing.
The judge, in a flowing black robe, entered from a side door and climbed the steps to her throne behind the oversized desk.
“Please be seated. Bailiff, call the first case.”
“In re the Matter of the Competency of Timothy Ryan Hobson, all persons having interest in this matter, now approach the court and be heard!” The bailiff’s formal language was archaic and might have seemed humorous, but for the seriousness of the situation.
I was in a typical courtroom, as you might see on television, except that it was old and shabby. Facing the judge were two long tables, chipped and worse for wear. On her left, the room’s right, were the people known as the Complainant: my son of a bitch fucking asshole of a brother-in-law, Will Thomas, and my son, Bruce. Will had a look of superiority and disdain on his face. I supposed he’d been practicing it for weeks. Bruce looked totally out of place and very uncomfortable.
Behind the two tables was The Bar, the divider or barrier between the officers of the court and the public. Seated directly behind her husband was my sister-in-law (my wife Julia’s sister) Charlotte Thomas, and behind her brother was my daughter, Natalie Bronson. Charlotte looked miserable and Natalie looked furious.
On the judge’s right (the room’s left) were the Respondent, me, and my attorney, Henry Parsons, Esquire. Behind me sat my life-long friend and confidant, Keith Cartier, who was going to be a witness for the defense, and beside him sat Beau. My lover. My boyfriend. We all hoped he wouldn’t be called to testify.
There was a jury box, but it was empty. My attorney had explained that competency cases were always heard by a judge alone, and that the courtroom was not open to the public. Everyone present had been summoned as a potential witness.
The opening formalities involved introducing all the parties at the two tables. Then Judge Harvey asked the bailiff to read the complaint.
It was long and full of legal bullshit, but the upshot of it was that my children wanted the court to declare me incompetent to manage my own affairs, and to appoint Will, Bruce, Charlotte, and Natalie to manage them for me.
If they won, I would be entirely at their mercy for the rest of my life, forced to live where and how they decided, while they had the right to do any fucking thing they wanted with my considerable fortune.
The judge made a short speech about how difficult it is when families reached the point where they had to go to court over a matter such as this. She asked both attorneys to stand and said, “Is there any chance of mediation in this matter?”
Will spoke first, “That would only be possible if my father-in-law were in full possession of his faculties, but, as we will demonstrate, he no longer knows who or what he is, and he has lost all memory of his loving wife of 50 years, Julia Hobson.”
Henry jumped right in with the first objection of the trial, “Facts not in evidence, Your Honor, and those allegations are actually the substance of this hearing. But to answer your question, Mr. Hobson offered each of the four people you see here one million dollars apiece as a settlement.”
“And they refused the offer, Your Honor.”
“You say that Mr. Hobson made this offer?”
“Yes, Your Honor.”
“And he made it himself, or through you or someone else?”
“He made it to them himself, in person, although in the presence of myself and Mr. Keith Cartier.”
“And who is this Mr. Cartier?”
Indicating Keith, who was seated behind him, Henry said, “He is Mr. Hobson’s life-long friend, attorney, and accountant.”
“If he is Mr. Hobson’s attorney, why is he not representing him?”
“Mr. Hobson is currently residing in California and his attorney is from Colorado and not admitted to the Bar in West Virginia.”
The judge paused, clearly surprised. “And why is this proceeding taking place in West Virginia?”
Henry paused, unsure how far to go, but Will rose to his feet and said, “Some of Mr. Hobson’s major investments are in energy suppliers in West Virginia, Your Honor, which places this matter within the Court’s jurisdiction.”
“And are there additional assets in other states?”
“Yes, Your Honor, but we are completely within our rights to file in this state.”
“Because you expect a more favorable disposition from this court?”
Will blushed but said nothing.
“Never mind,” Judge Harvey cut off the discussion. “The matter of jurisdiction being settled – for now,” she glared at Will, “we will proceed. Mr. Thomas?”
Will began reading from a long document. He described my long and happy marriage to Julie, her protracted battle with cancer and painful death.
He then said, “On the day of Mrs. Hobson’s funeral, my wife noticed that something was very different about my father-in-law, Mr. Hobson. He seemed distant, detached. He did not appear to mourn or even to be aware of his wife’s passing.
“We put it down to the shock of her death, but then, about a year later, he abruptly sold the beautiful house that they lived in outside Denver and disappeared, severing all contact with his children, who became distraught.
“We have since learned that he went to Las Vegas and lived in a hotel for approximately one month. From there, he went to San Diego, where he established himself in a luxury suite at the Del Coronado Hotel. While at the hotel, he invited a 27-year-old man, a gay pornographic actor, to take up residence with him. They lived together in the hotel suite for two months and then moved to Los Angeles to stay at The Charles, a gay hotel, where Mr. Hobson suffered a heart attack. That led to triple-bypass surgery.”
He took a breath. “While we were visiting my father-in-law at the hospital, he revealed to us that he had turned gay. He offered no explanation, but he did seem to take an unnatural interest in a male nurse who was caring for him. Upon returning to the hotel from the hospital, Mr. Hobson again took up living with the porn star.”
The entire recitation was dry and utterly devoid of all the emotion that I so clearly remembered. My mind began to wander, as I remembered happier times.
Beau drew me close and kissed me deeply as the elevator slowed and stopped. In a trance, I didn’t even notice the doors opening, the two of us crossing the hall, myself taking out the keycard and opening the door to the suite at The Del. Inside, somehow the door got closed and locked, and we were back in each other’s arms. Our tongues dueled and parried. When Beau pressed his body against mine, I was shocked and thrilled to feel our two hard cocks make contact through our clothes.
Rousing myself from the day-dream, I was aware that my dick was getting hard. I squirmed a bit in my seat and sat up straight.
With an air of triumph, Will concluded, “This unnatural and abrupt change of behavior is totally unlike the man who, for 50 years, was a loving husband and father. His choice of the gay ‘lifestyle’ (he said the word with deep sarcasm) is totally out of character with his entire 70-plus years of life prior to that event, and his infatuation with a gay porn star who is young enough to be his grandson is completely unexplainable.”
The first time I saw Beau completely naked, I thought I was looking at a statue of a Greek god. From his perfectly-styled blond hair, to his muscular chest and abs, I was transfixed by his masculine beauty. His nipples were hard and his eyes were such a deep blue that I felt I was falling into a pool of lust. When my eyes fell on his hardness, it took my breath away. His cock was eight inches of solid man-flesh, gently pulsing with each beat of Beau’s heart. I melted into an aching desire to kiss it, to love it, to suck it, to drain it dry, and to give him the pleasure of his life.
“Thank you, Mr. Thomas. You may call your first witness.” Again, I jolted out my reverie and tried once more to convince my cock to soften.
Will proceeded to call Harold Wilmer, a private investigator who had stalked Beau and me, who corroborated that Beau and I were living together in The Charles. His testimony was dry and matter-of-fact.
Henry then rose to cross-examine the P.I. “Mr… Wilmer, for how long did you investigate my client, Mr. Hobson?”
“I arrived in Los Angeles the day after his heart attack, at which time I located the place where they were living. I observed them for two weeks after Mr. Hobson came home.”
“And how was my client behaving?”
“Well, I would say he was behaving just like a gay sugar-daddy.”
“I beg your pardon?” This from the judge.
Wilmer turned toward her. “I’m sorry, Your Honor. A rich older man who has a young boyfriend who he supports financially or gives expensive gifts.”
Natalie groaned loudly, to which the judge barked, “Order!”
Henry continued, “And what expensive gifts did my client give to his partner?”
“Objection, Your Honor,” Will jumped to his feet. “‘Partner’ is an undefined term.”
The judge addressed my attorney, “What do you mean by ‘partner’?”
“I mean a person with whom he is living and sharing a relationship.”
“A sexual relationship?”
“Sometimes, Your Honor.”
“And in this case?”
“Yes, Your Honor, I believe that was the case.”
“And this ‘partner’ is 27 years old?”
“I understand that he just turned 28, Your Honor.”
“And he is a gay pornographic actor?”
“From time to time, Your Honor, but…”
I was stunned to find Jimmy Coxx, naked in the shower and sucking Beau’s cock. My own dick quickly rose to erection, as they two young porn stars asked me to join them. Jimmy sucked Beau’s manhood and then mine, proving his expertise in pleasuring two men at the same time. Then Beau and Jimmy taught me how to fuck a man. As I watched my lover and his onscreen partner go through a litany of sexual positions, I only longed the more to be the one doing the fucking and getting fucked.
The judge continued, “Does he have any other employment?”
“No, Your Honor,” Henry said quietly.
“So, your client is his primary means of support?”
“My client pays for a hotel in which he himself resides, so it is not solely for the benefit of his partner. He dines there, and shares his meals with his partner.”
“I’m tired of referring to this person as ‘his partner’. What is the young man’s name?”
“It’s William Beauregard Cardeen, Your Honor.”
CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT – THE P.I.’S TESTIMONY
Will jumped to his feet, “He performs under the pseudonym of ‘Beau Bottom’, Your Honor.”
“Botham,” Henry corrected him as he addressed the Court. “Actors often take stage names, Your Honor. It’s a time-honored tradition and does not indicate any attempt at subterfuge.”
“Point taken, Counselor. You may continue.”
Henry turned back to the witness, Wilmer. “So, what did my client and his partner do while you were observing them?”
The man pulled a small notebook from his coat pocket. “Every morning, they went to the gym on the main building of the hotel, where the young man exercised for about one hour, while Mr. Hobson walked on a treadmill. Upon their return, breakfast was delivered to the bungalow.”
“What did they eat?”
“Well, one of them usually had fruit and granola, and the other had pancakes or eggs and bacon or sausage.”
“And how do you know that?”
“I paid the waiter to let me look before he delivered the meal.”
“I see,” Henry said sarcastically, looking up at the judge, who sat stone-faced. “Go on, please.”
“Well, after breakfast they usually went down to the pool area where they spent the day. Your client did a lot of reading, and his ‘partner’ occasionally went swimming. Around 4 PM each day, they went to the pool bar and had a cocktail, then went back to their bungalow until around 7 PM, at which time they went out for dinner.”
“Did you follow them to dinner?”
“Most of the time. Sometimes, they ate in their room – uh, love-nest.” He said, looking at Will, who had obviously coached him to use the word.
“Move to strike, Your Honor.”
Henry continued, “And when they went out to dinner, where did they go?”
“There seemed to be four or five restaurants that they favored – all expensive.”
“And what did they eat?”
“Oh, the usual things, mostly steaks for Hobson and salads for the kid. They always shared a bottle of wine.”
“Red or white?”
Will rose to object, “Your Honor, I fail to see the relevance of the color of the wine.”
Henry responded, “Your Honor, it appears that all these activities are those of ordinary people. If they had ordered some exotic or expensive beverage, that might be worthy of note, but they were just two people living an ordinary life.”
“An abnormal life,” Will muttered loudly.
“Are you testifying, Counselor?” the judge asked him sternly.
Will rose to his feet meekly, “No, Your Honor. My apologies to the Court.”
“Well, see that it doesn’t happen again. This is not a jury trial, Mr. Thomas, and you will not impress me with your out-of-order asides.”
“Yes, Your Honor,” Will blushed as he said this, then sat down.
Henry went on, “So, to summarize, Mr. Wilmer, in your – how many did you say? – two weeks that you followed and observed… and photographed?”
“And photographed my client and his partner, you observed nothing but the ordinary everyday behavior of two people who live together?”
“Ordinary, except that they were both men, and one of them was a lot older.”
“No wild parties?”
“No, they lived a pretty dull life, if you ask me.”
“No loud arguments or violent fights?”
Wilmer shook his head.
“No naked orgies or streaking in the streets?”
“Objection!” Will almost shouted.
“Withdrawn, Your Honor,” Henry said matter-of-factly.
“So, Mr. Wilmer, tell me this: did you feel that you earned your fee?”
Wilmer blushed. “I did what they paid me to do. I watched Hobson and the kid and took a few pictures. That’s all I was paid to do.”
“Did you observe them having sex?”
Wilmer squirmed. “I didn’t get inside their place while they were there.”
Henry stopped, stunned. “You mean to say that you DID go inside when they were not there?”
Realizing his mistake, Wilmer said, “I uh… That is…”
“And did you find anything out of the ordinary when you unlawfully entered and searched the bungalow?”
“The witness will answer the question.”
“Well, in the bedroom, they had some sex toys…”
“Please be specific.”
“Um…” Wilmer blushed again. “There was a dildo shaped like a penis and another one about two feet long, with a penis on each end of it.”
“Now, you’ve been a private investigator for how long, Mr. Wilmer?”
“Fifteen years or so.”
“And, in your 15 years’ experience, have you ever found similar sex toys in the homes of the persons you are investigating?”
“A few times. They’re not all that unusual.”
“So, to summarize, Mr. Wilmer, you investigated and found two men who live together, who spend their days together, who eat normally, albeit perhaps a little richer than the rest of us, and who have sex toys in their bedroom?”
“That’s about it.”
“And what conclusion did you draw from this investigation?”
“Objection!” Will interjected. “Calls for a conclusion.”
Henry looked at the judge with clear exasperation at Will’s inexperience.
Her Honor looked sternly at Will again. “If this witness is not qualified to come to a conclusion, why did you call him to testify?”
Will turned a deep purple, but said nothing. Judge Harvey said with sarcasm, “The witness will answer.”
“What conclusion? Well, I guess it was like you said: two men living together and having sex.”
“And in your 15 years of experience, how many men living together and having sex have you encountered?”
“Oh, I don’t know. It’s not all that unusual these days.”
“And does that shock you, Mr. Wilmer?”
“Well, 15 years ago, it would’ve, but today it’s kinda run-of-the-mill.”
“And finally, Mr. Wilmer, did you observe anything that would suggest to you that my client is not in his right mind or is unable to make decisions for himself?”
“No. He seemed like a happy guy, and he had a pretty good life.”
“Thank you, Mr. Wilmer,” turning to the judge, “No more questions for this witness, Your Honor.”
Will then called his wife, Charlotte, who said that her father’s behavior on the day of the funeral was strange, and that he had disappeared until they learned of his heart attack and then were told that he was gay.
When it was Henry’s turn, he treated her respectfully. “His behavior on the day of the funeral: in what way was it strange?”
“Well, everyone came back to the house for a lunch, and then I sent Tim to bed because he was so tired.”
“Tired from what?” Henry interrupted.
“Well, he had nursed Julie for almost a year, and the last few months, I doubt he slept more than a couple of hours a night. That’s why I insisted that he get some rest. He came down to have dinner with us at around 8:00, but he didn’t eat much.”
She stopped speaking, so Henry asked, “And what part or parts of that behavior did you find ‘strange’, Mrs. Thomas?”
Charlotte was stymied. She looked to Will for coaching, which the judge saw right away. “Answer the question in your own words, please, Mrs. Thomas.”
“It just wasn’t the way he normally acted,” Charlotte said, at a loss for words.
“And was the death of his wife after a long and harrowing illness something that you would call ‘normal’?” Henry demanded.
“I guess not.”
“And was being exhausted ‘normal’ after such an ordeal?”
“Yes, I guess.” Charlotte stole a glance at Will, who was clearly not happy about where this line of questioning was going.
“And how did you feel at that time? Were you worn out, too?”
“Yes. It was rough on all of us.”
“So, looking back, would it be safe to say that you were all in a state of exhaustion and grief?”
“And what else did my client do that was not normal?”
“Well, for a year, nothing, really. Then he sold the house and packed up and left. And we found out he went to Las Vegas and then San Diego, and then started living with that porn star, and then they moved to Los Angeles.”
“So, let me see if I understand, Mrs. Thomas. You have testified that Mr. Hobson was exhausted from the long illness of his wife. He needed to rest on the day of the funeral. He managed his affairs and lived in his house for a year. Was he there alone for all that time?”
“Well, we visited as often as we could…”
“And when you visited, what did he do?”
“He chatted with us, had cook-outs, you know, just family things.”
“And then he sold the house in which he was living all alone. Was it a big house?”
“Oh, yes. Six bedrooms, a pool, and a lot of land.”
“Did he give you any reason why he sold the property?”
Charlotte hesitated and looked to Will again for a sign of what to say. “The witness will answer!” Judge Harvey barked.
Charlotte jumped, startled by the severity of the judge’s order. “He said it was too big for him, and that he thought he would get away, do some traveling.”
“Thank you. Now, you say he went to Las Vegas. To the best of your knowledge, had he ever been there before?”
“Oh, yes. He and Julie went there for their honeymoon.”
“So would it be possible that he wanted to relive some pleasant memories of his wife, after the years of her suffering and death and his lonely existence in that big house?”
When the young man and I reached the door to my suite, I invited him in, offered a drink, and suggested we get more comfortable. We began kissing and pawing each other eagerly. We were soon naked, writhing on the silken sheets of the big bed. Frantic with desire, I took his hard cock into my mouth as he gasped in pleasure. As he lay on his back, I sucked and teased and deep-throated his perfect prick. Finally, the youth came in my mouth, and I eagerly drank his hot juices.
CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE – WILL THE LEGAL EAGLE
“Objection. Calls for speculation.” Will was on his feet again, glaring at Charlotte as if to shut her up. Once more, I was jerked back from my memories and thrust into the harsh reality of the courtroom.
“Withdrawn,” Henry said. “So, when was the next time you saw your brother-in-law?”
“We got a call from Keith, his friend, saying that Tim was in a hospital in Los Angeles, and that he had had a heart attack and surgery. We rushed out there and found him, and that’s when he told us he was gay.”
“He told you this?”
Charlotte hesitated, her face reddening. She looked over at Will, then at the judge. “Well, we had gone for coffee, and we overheard a remark that Keith made when we came back to the room. And then Tim said it was true that he was living with this young man.”
“That must have been quite a shock for you.”
She teared up. “Oh, yes it was. I mean, after being married to my sister for 50 years, how could he suddenly decide that he didn’t love her any more?”
“Did he say that?”
“No…” Charlotte clearly didn’t want to respond to this line of questioning. “He said she was the love of his life, but how could that be true, when he was living with a man?”
Henry didn’t answer. “Just one more question, Mrs. Thomas. In the time that your brother-in-law was absent, how did he manage his affairs?”
“I think Keith took care of those things.”
“And did Keith give you any indication that Mr. Hobson was spending money foolishly or was not participating in his own finances?”
“I think it’s very foolish to spend even one cent on a gay lover!” Charlotte said viciously.
After letting that outburst sink in, Henry concluded, “So your testimony is that you consider Mr. Hobson to be incompetent to manage his own affairs, based entirely on his statement that he is gay and that he has a male friend living with him?”
“Well, wouldn’t you?”
Will bowed his head and put his hands on his forehead. Charlotte realized that she had not helped their case.
At that point, Will gave up calling witnesses, and it was Henry’s turn. He only had one: Keith.
“Mr. Cartier, how long have you known my client?”
“Since ninth grade. We went to the same prep school. So that must be… What? 60 years, more or less.”
“And what has been your relationship with him?”
“We were roommates in college, and then he started his business. We remained friends and golf buddies, and for the past 40 years I have been his accountant and personal attorney.”
“Were you involved in the care of his wife during her illness?”
“I helped in any way I could. Tim wanted to focus on Julie, so he put a lot of his funds in a trust and made me trustee.”
“Did he take any role in managing the trust?”
“Oh, yes. We met once a month to go over everything. I made recommendations, and he usually agreed with them.”
“Usually – not always, though?”
Keith grinned, “Tim has a mind of his own. I sometimes suggested investing in companies that Tim didn’t want.”
“Could you give us an example?”
“Sure. He was what some people call an ‘issues investor’. He didn’t want to own stock in companies that made guns or tobacco products or that supported things like apartheid in South Africa.”
“So, would you say that he was actively involved and paid close attention to his investments?”
“Yes, up until the last three or four months before Julie died. At that point, he told me that I knew what he needed and asked me to please take care of it.”
“And after her death?”
“He wanted to sell the house right away, but I advised him to wait one year before making any major decisions. That’s a fairly common standard.”
“So that’s why he sold it one year after his wife’s death?”
“Yes, and the market had risen substantially by then, so my advice made him a nice chunk of change!” There was the sound of soft chuckling in the courtroom.
“Order!” Judge Harvey insisted, banging her gavel.
“And then he sold the house and left for Las Vegas?”
“That’s right. He wanted to see how much it had changed since his and Julie’s honeymoon there.”
“And had it changed?”
“Oh, you bet your a… I mean, yes, it had. He stayed there about a month and then told me he couldn’t stand the place. Everything that he remembered was gone, all replaced by kitsch and tawdriness.”
“And that’s when he went to San Diego?”
“Yes. He checked into ‘The Del’, that’s the Del Coronado Hotel, and settled in for the winter.”
“And he made friends there?”
“So he said. I think there was a small group of men his age, all widowed or divorced, and they kind of hung out together.”
“And that’s where he met Mr. Cardeen?”
“Apparently so. I had made Tim promise me to keep in touch. He wanted me to keep on managing his investments, but I said I wouldn’t do it unless he checked in once a month so we could go over everything. He never liked reading reports. He just wanted me to give him the highlights and ask for any decisions that needed to be made.”
“And did he keep in touch?”
“At first, but then he missed a month. And then it got to be nearly two months, and I was worried, so I had someone check on him.”
Keith hung his head, still embarrassed by the unpleasant memory, “I hired a P.I. to find out where he was and what he was doing.”
“And what did your investigator discover?”
“Tim was fine. He was in great health, had a nice tan, had a bunch of friends…”
“And… apparently a young man who was living in his suite with him.”
“Did you confront him with this information?”
“I was thinking about it, when I got a call, saying that he was taken to the hospital in L.A. with a heart attack.” Keith was fudging a bit, but nobody was the wiser.
“Who called you?” Henry asked.
“He didn’t say, but I think it was Beau, er, Mr. Cardeen.”
“Did you meet Mr. Cardeen at that time?”
“No. When I arrived at the hotel, Mr. Cardeen had moved out, taking all his effects with him.”
“That’s a little unusual. Why do you think he did that?”
“Let me rephrase. What did the absence of all his belongings suggest to you?”
“I can only surmise that he didn’t want his presence there to be an embarrassment to Tim.”
“Objection!” Will said pleadingly.
“So you went to see Mr. Hobson in the hospital?”
“Yes, he was in the cardiac stepdown unit. I went to see him while his family were in the coffee shop. I asked him about Beau, and he told me that he thought he loved him. And that’s when the family busted in and overheard our conversation. They went bananas! Will called Tim a bunch of names, and Charlotte just cried. Natalie read him the riot act.”
“And his son, Bruce Hobson?”
“I don’t recall Bruce saying or doing anything. He just went along with the crowd.”
“And after that, they left?”
“Yes. Will said that Tim had to be crazy, and that he was going to see to it that he couldn’t manage his own affairs any longer.”
“And you personally witnessed that statement?”
“Now, Mr. Cartier, during Mr. Hobson’s time out West, did you continue to manage his investments?”
“And did he participate actively in that endeavor?”
“He did. He apologized for losing touch and immediately asked about resuming our monthly reviews of his finances. He made some decisions when we spoke, but mostly just took my advice. By this time in our lives, we know each other inside and out, so it is natural that what I recommend is what he would prefer if he were making the decisions himself.”
“You say you know each other inside and out. Did you know he was gay?”
Keith paused and thought for a long time. “Honestly, no. But I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was devoted to Julie, and I couldn’t see him ever finding a woman he would love as much as he loved her. I think he might just have been at a point in his life where he wanted something different, something new and exciting.”
Henry asked a few more questions and then turned to Will. “Your witness.”
Will swaggered over to the witness box where Keith sat. Keith glared at him with disgust.
“So, Mr… Carteer, is it? Not Car–tee–ay?”
“You’ve known me for over 30 years, Will, so what do you think?”
“Move to strike, Your Honor: unresponsive. Move to treat as a hostile witness.”
Judge Harvey sighed deeply, thought a moment, and said, “The witness’s hostility toward you, Mr. Thomas, is quite apparent, but also not in the least surprising. Suppose you just get on with your questioning and drop the theatrics?”
Will blushed a deep purple. He was unable to speak for a minute. Then he gathered his thoughts and turned to Keith. “All right, Mr. Cartier, how long have you known the defendant?” He gestured grandly in my direction.
Henry stood up. “This is not a trial, Your Honor. My client should be referred to as ‘the Respondent,’ which I should think any first-year law student would know. And by the way, ‘asked and answered’ during direct, Your Honor.”
CHAPTER FORTY – VERDICT AND BEYOND
“You are correct, Counselor, on both counts.”
Turning to Will, the judge gave him a withering look and asked, “How long have you been practicing law, Mr. Thomas?”
“Almost thirty years, Your Honor.”
“And what kind of law do you practice?”
“Um, mostly… well… corporate.”
“Do you mean ‘contracts’, Mr. Thomas?”
“Uh, yes, Your Honor.”
“So how much courtroom experience do you actually have?”
“Well… I guess this is the first, Your Honor.”
“I suspected as much. And I also suspect you’ve learned your courtroom law by watching Law and Order or something like that. Correct?”
“Uh, no, Your Honor. We covered it in law school.”
“Thirty years ago?”
Will blushed deeply again. “Yes, Your Honor.”
The judge took a deep breath. “Mr. Thomas, your clients – the ‘Claimants’, as they are identified in the matter before this court – are entitled to competent representation with regard to their cause. Do you feel that you can rise to that standard of expectation?”
Will seemed to shrink into the floor. “I… uh… object, Your Honor. I am qualified and admitted to the Bar in the State of West Virginia, so I should be able to practice law anywhere in this state that I choose.”
“Well, then, Mr. Thomas, why don’t you start practicing? I’m sure we’re all tired of what has passed for proper procedure up until now.”
Chastened, Will asked Keith a few more questions, getting more and more direct. Finally, he went for the kill: “So, isn’t it true, Mr. Cartier, that it is YOU who have been managing the financial accounts and making all the decisions, ever since the… Respondent’s… wife died?”
“Absolutely not. Like many wealthy men who have stepped back from the day-to-day management of their wide-ranging financial affairs, Mr. Hobson has nonetheless remained vitally involved in every decision and result. This arrangement began almost 40 years ago, and it has not changed one iota since then, despite his wife’s terrible illness and painful death. He did forget to contact me one time – ONE TIME! – in the past year, and he apologized and returned to his preferred arrangement of a monthly review of all of his holdings and making his own investment decisions.”
“And does he make wise investment decisions?”
“His assets have increased by 12 per cent in the past year alone, so I would venture to say so.”
“But that was only pursuant to your careful advisement?”
“That’s what a financial advisor does, and the majority of my clients only concern themselves with the state of their investments once or twice a year. Tim is unique in the degree of interest he takes and the wisdom he shows in discussing his finances. I wish more of my clients were so actively involved.”
Defeated, Will said, “No more questions, Your Honor.”
Henry rose. “The Respondent rests, Your Honor.”
Pausing for a heartbeat, he looked straight at the judge, considered for a moment, and then added, “And we ask for a summary judgment in favor of the Respondent, Your Honor.”
Will jumped to his seat, opened his mouth, closed it abruptly, looked confused, and gave the judge a mournful look.
“That means the Respondent wants this Court to declare in his favor without any further ado, Mr. Thomas, and we are inclined to do so, unless you have something pertinent to add.” Judge Harvey told him.
“This isn’t fair, Your Honor! He has control of all the money, and his children and sister-in-law only get a meager allowance. We should be able to share in his wealth, since his wife was my wife’s sister, and the children’s mother!” Realizing what he had said, Will fell back into his chair. Charlotte whimpered. Natalie whispered, “you asshole!” and Bruce was silent.
Judge Harvey looked at Will for a long time in disbelief. She started to speak several times, but stopped and thought.
Finally, she gathered herself into an imposing stature and addressed the back wall of the courtroom. “This Court finds in favor of Respondent. All questions with regard to his competency to manage his own affairs are settled in his favor. Further, I am imposing sanctions on Claimant’s Counsel and cautioning him never again to appear in a trial court in the State of West Virginia. If he does so, I will initiate action with the West Virginia Supreme Court to have him disbarred. For the record, I have never seen such a display of incompetence and lack of training in my courtroom or any other!”
Turning to me, she said, “Mr. Hobson, first of all, I recognize your competence statutorily and release you from any inhibitions on the free exercise of your financial decision-making. Second, I apologize to you for the farce that you have just been forced to endure. And finally, I state unequivocally for the record, that being gay is NOT, and never will be, an indication of incompetence or mental deficiency, in this state or any other!” And with that she slammed her gavel on the desk so hard that I thought it would fly apart in a thousand pieces. Evidently, though, it was made for just such a situation.
I rose and hugged Keith. Then I turned and hugged and kissed Beau. I probably did that mostly for the benefit of Will, Charlotte, and Natalie, but I also enjoyed it quite a lot.
Will had shoved all his papers roughly into his briefcase and left the table and quickly headed for the door. Charlotte, still whimpering, followed him quickly. Natalie rose from her seat, glared at me, and then directed her ire at Beau: “Faggot!” she growled and then stomped out.
Bruce rose slowly from his seat in the front row. He smoothed his suit, adjusted his tie, and took a couple of steps toward me. “Dad. I love you. I always will. I am so sorry that I got involved in this bullshit. Please forgive me.” He choked on those last words. I took my son into my arms and hugged him tightly.
“I know you were railroaded into this, son. I’m not angry.”
Bruce pulled back a bit and looked me in the eyes. “Dad?”
“Do you think this gay thing is hereditary?”
I stopped, confused, then shocked, then filled with joy. “You mean…?”
“I have a partner, Dad. But I’ve never been as brave as you to introduce him to anyone.” With that, he turned to the door at the back of the room, where a handsome man of about 40 stood, smiled, and walked forward.
“Dad, this is Miles, my partner. We’ve been together for almost 12 years.”
Shocked, I said, “I had no idea. Why… why didn’t you tell me?”
Bruce smiled, “For the same reason you didn’t rush to introduce Beau to all of us. It’s… well, it’s not what the family expects of us.”
I put one arm around my son, another around Beau, and as Miles joined us, I tried to include him in the group hug. Keith, feeling left out, managed to squeeze in with the rest of us.
As we moved apart for a little breathing room, I said, “I have an announcement.” They all stopped to look at me.
“As we happen to be in a courthouse, and as I happen to have anticipated the brilliant defense of my attorney, Henry Parson, I asked him to prepare the necessary paperwork for a little additional legal matter.”
They all looked at me expectantly. Then Beau began to smile, so big that I thought it would break his face. “I do!” he shouted. And with that, we adjourned across the hall to the County Court Clerk’s office, where the formalities were sorted out.
After the wedding, Henry excused himself, and Beau and I, and of course Keith, plus our newfound gay couple, Bruce and Miles, adjourned to the finest restaurant in Charleston, where we toasted and celebrated our nuptials in high style.
CHAPTER FORTY-ONE – LIFE GOES ON
That night, as Beau and I climbed into our bed in the best room in the best hotel in Charleston, West Virginia (no condescension intended or implied), we held each other tight.
“I still can’t come to grips with Bruce’s news,” I told Beau.
“Do you know if he’s right? Is being gay hereditary?”
“I think the jury’s still out on that one. There was talk about a ‘gay gene’ a few years ago, but it’s not widely accepted. I think it’s still a combination of nature and nurture.”
With that, I pulled Beau closer and kissed him deeply. “I want to fuck you, and then I want you to fuck me, and then I want to do it all over again and again all night… husband!”
Beau tittered, “Husband? That’s gotta piss off your whole fucking family!”
“All except one.”
“All except one.” Beau repeated.
As we caressed each other and then moved into the 69 position, I was overcome by the powerful emotion I was experiencing. I took Beau’s hard eight inches out of my mouth and took a deep breath.
“I really do love you,” I whispered to him, then waited with my heart pounding with fear and anticipation.
After a moment, Beau replied softly, “I love you, too, Tim. You’ve taught me what love really is, and I’m so glad that we’re together.”
Beau paused. “In fact…” He suddenly sat up, got out of bed, and walked over to his suitcase. He rummaged around in it for a moment, picked something out, and turned back toward me. He was holding the two-headed penis in his hands and had a big smile on his face.
“I thought maybe we could try this fucker, if you’re up for it,” he said with sly delight.
I let out a whoop and bounced to my feet. Taking the pink monster out of Beau’s hands, I examined it closely.
“I haven’t seen this shit since shortly after the day we bought it at that sex shop!”
“You had such a look on your face, I thought it best to keep it out of sight for a while, but now that we’re… married…” Beau took a deep breath, “I can hardly fucking believe that…”
I took Beau’s face in both hands and drew him into a deep, passionate kiss. With that, we returned to the bed, and I said, “OK. Show me how this monstrosity works.”
Beau arranged us so that we were sitting, facing each other, our legs crossed. He reached under his pillow and retrieved that same bottle of lube we had been using for months. Holding the dildo in the middle, he pumped a little lube on one end, then the other.
“There’s a couple of ways that we can use this…”
“I’m ready, willing, and able!”
Beau then guided me to straighten my legs and lean back until I was lying flat on the bed.
“Lift up your ass a bit.” As I did so, he gently guided one end of the double-header toward my ass. Pressing on my pucker, he pushed one end of the sex toy inside me.
“Shit! It’s cold!” I exclaimed. “I’m used to your hot dick, not fucking cold plastic!”
Beau chuckled. “We’ll warm it up pretty soon.”
Leaning back, he lay down with his legs parallel to mine and guided the other pecker-head into his own ass. Moaning softly as it penetrated him, he sighed, “you’re right. It is fucking cold!”
With the unnatural stimulant positioned inside both of us, Beau said, “Now, if we do this right, we can fuck each other just by moving back and forth.” With that he slid his ass toward mine and the pink dick moved deep inside me.
“Now, you push it back to me.” I repeated his motion and felt it plunge into Beau’s rectum. We quickly figured out how to keep it moving. Beau was right, it warmed up quickly and became quite pleasant.
I was lying on my back with my head and shoulders raised to that I could see what we were doing.
“You’d better lie flat, or you’ll get a sore neck!” Beau warned me. As I did so, I closed my eyes and thought back over our time together.
The first night, we had merely traded blowjobs – pretty tame for two horny gay men, but no doubt the most I could have managed on my first time with a man.
I remembered learning to 69, then to rim, then to fuck my lover, and finally to take his magnificent eight inches all the way inside me.
Along the way, Jimmy and Brett and Adam had joined in our exploration, and I had to admit that sex with two men was a lot of fun and not the least disconcerting for me. In less than six months, I had gone from believing myself hopelessly alone and totally straight, to being married to my lover and willing to try any kind of sexual experience he offered. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going gay.
For a moment, my thoughts turned to my son, Bruce. It was impossible not to think that he, too, must enjoy having sex with a man, and that he may have gone through the same gradual learning experience that I had. I was truly happy for him and Miles, and I hoped that their sex life together was at least as fulfilling as mine and Beau’s.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Beau interrupted my reverie.
“Oh, just got to thinking about Bruce… and Miles…”
“Wanna invite them to join us?” Beau said wickedly.
I jumped, almost losing the plastic dick from my ass, “Fuck no! That’s disgusting!”
Then I thought for a moment. “Unless it’s OK with you and both of them!”