I had wondered about church and the
two new lovers. John had asked Sandy where he wanted to
celebrate Easter and he said he didn't know since he never had.
"Since I guess I'm about half a Thurmond, I guess I'll do what
the Thurmonds do." When he learned John went one place and his
parents another, he said he'd go with John.
Seems Michael's parents belonged
to one of the fundamentalist, rigid country churches with a
preacher who spent a lot of time warning against the dangers of
the secular humanists and especially the 'ho-mo-sex-u-als and
other perverts.' "When I was sure I was at least one of those, I
rebelled against church and my parents let me. Tell the truth,"
he grinned, "they let me do pretty much what I want to. Been
kinda spoiled. 'Course, I'm not sure but what that may not
change once they find out I'm after Sandy's body," he laughed.
When we arrived at St. Paul's,
Kenneth took Michael and Sandy in hand since the rest of us were
on duty. Of course, once they were inside, they also had Mom,
Mrs. Crandall, Clarisa and Miss Amy Louise to make sure they
didn't get hopelessly lost during the service.
The Easter sermon wasn't as
exciting as Palm Sunday or, I guess, what you'd expect an Easter
sermon to be, but maybe even more powerful. Maybe it was what an
Easter sermon should be. Fr. DeBruhl preached about what he
called "resurrection potential," the possibility of death and
destruction being overcome by love and care, of resurrection
leading to life and growth. "Some of this community have shown
us the power of death -- of hatred and indifference -- and some
are pointing out the dying who are crying for resurrection. We
are being called to proclaim to them resurrection, not in words
but in actions.
Of course, the sermon was
ungrounded as usual since exactly what those actions might be
were unnamed! Well, they were until folks started leaving.
Clarisa and Miss Amy Louise, together with a number of other
members were passing out leaflets listing places where action
was needed and were pretty specific as to what that action
needed to be. Even at a glance I could see fur flying in the
Mom planned for Easter dinner at
the lodge. Parents and siblings of the Clan would join us. When
the list was being made, Mom asked about inviting Adam and his
family but, before I could say anything, Mrs. Crandall said,
"Ann Carter, you don't want to do that."
I was sure Clarisa would like to
invite her partner in crime, but also knew she'd never ask. As
much as she was a member of the family, she still held on to
some of the old servant mentality and nonsense. When I said,
"Mom, you need to include Miss Amy Louise on the list for Easter
dinner," she informed me Clarisa had taken care of that, thank
you. So what did I know?
After the Eucharist, we all
headed to Sunset Lodge where we changed into shorts and shirts.
As soon as they had changed, Sandy, Michael, John and Susan went
to the marina to bring John's boat around to the lodge. I guess
Bobbie managed to get Kenneth "lost" since they didn't arrive
until long after the rest of us. In fact, Mom, Mrs. Crandall,
Miss Amy Louise and Clarisa showed up before they did.
Clarisa and Miss Amy Louise
arrived, still dressed for Easter including church hats.
Clarisa's was a magnificent creation in white trimmed in gold
braid. It surrounded her head, then a wing soared skyward.
Around the crown and the skyward-soaring wing were gardenias. A
wonderful creation indeed but, after all, it was just a slightly
more festive version of the church hats she wore every Sunday.
What was an exception was the only slightly less flamboyant hat
perched on Miss Amy Louise's white, not blue, hair. It was a
dark blue creation, trimmed in silver and decorated with
When we arrived, the caterers
were busy setting up tables on the deck and preparing the food.
Justin and I appointed ourselves barkeeps and set out the
buckets of ice, champagne, juices and soft drinks. The caterers
had brought plastic party glasses, but I knew Mom would have
none of that and, sure enough, when they walked in, she and
Clarisa were carrying boxes of glasses.
Bobbie and Kenneth arrived as I
heard the boat pulling up to the dock. As the marine crew
started up the boardwalk, I saw Mr. Thurmond and Lacy were with
them, the three couples holding hands. I guess the young forget
that love knows no age limit.
When the six reached the deck,
Sandy and Michael were hanging back while the others greeted
those of us waiting for them. Mom finally noticed Michael and
asked, "Sandy, who are you hiding back there?"
"Mrs. Porcher, everyone, this is
Michael Duncan," a huge grin on his not-quite-healed face.
When he finished, Mom said,
"Sandy, I get the idea that Michael is more than a casual
"Yes, Ma'am," Sandy replied,
blushing bright red. "He's my boyfriend."
"Good to know. Michael, treat him
well or you'll have to deal with me and Lacy," Mom said and
The Wilsons arrived -- as Justin
said, the younger Wilsons like a bunch of puppies poured from a
basket -- and both Michael and Sandy had to be introduced to the
"Now that we are all here," I
said, "Welcome on behalf of the Porchers and the Clan. We are
ready to take drink orders, after which Mr. Wilson will have the
"Before Justin and Marc take your
drink orders," Mom said, "no-one knows any better than I the
dangers of alcohol. At the same time, I also see it as a great
gift which is to be used and appreciated and never abused.
Unfortunately, I cannot use it without abusing it, but Justin
and Marc have my permission to have champagne to celebrate this
very holy day. The rest of you older children may with the
permission of your parents. Michael, I guess you will just have
to make a decision based on what you think your parents would
I opened the champagne and poured
flutes for the Clan, including Sandy, and when I looked at
Michael and winked, he grinned and said to me, "What's a little
alcohol after I tell them I have a boyfriend?" While I passed
around the champagne -- and a nice juice drink to Mom and Mrs.
Crandall -- Justin had been busy fixing Shirley Temples. When he
asked Woody if he wanted a Shirley Temple he responded, "That's
for girls! I want a Virgin Mary!"
I don't remember Mr. Wilson's
toast since I was all caught up in the moment. We had a great
dinner with good food, good conversation and good friends. When
we had finished, the "visitors" excused themselves and the Clan
-- plus Michael and Kenneth -- sprawled out on the deck,
enjoying the setting and the beautiful Easter day. I was glad
everyone had been here for dinner, but I was ready for a little
peace and quiet afterward. When I commented as such, Susan said,
"You don't know how to enjoy peace and quiet until you have had
Woody and the girls around for a time." She was right, they were
a lively bunch.
After a half hour or so, John
said, "Well, enough of this peace and quiet. Time for adventure!
Who's for the water?"
"You know Bobbie and I are,"
Susan laughed, "so I guess that means you and Kenneth are.
Michael, Sandy, up for water skiing or kite sailing?"
"Never tried either," Michael
"Me neither," Sandy said, "but if
Michael's game to try, so am I."
"How about you and Justin?" John
"Think you can take us to the
marina?" I asked.
"Sure. Susan, to the ship!"
Fifteen minutes later, we were at
the marina where Justin and I launched my boat and headed for
open water under power. There was probably enough wind to
eventually get us out of the sheltered area of the marina, but
we wanted to get out where there was real wind. Long before we
reached open water, John had pulled alongside, waved and was
soon out of sight.
Justin and I caught a good breeze
and reached the open water twenty minutes after John and crew
were already kite sailing. John's boat was powerful enough to
put two people in the air or pull two skiers. While Michael and
Sandy both said they had never tried water skiing or kite
sailing -- surprising since they lived on the coast, but I guess
economics play a big part in what you do for recreation -- both
took to kite sailing like they had been doing it for years.
Michael also quickly got the hang of water skiing, but Sandy
couldn't seem to figure it out.
After they had all the skiing and
kite sailing they wanted, John pulled his boat alongside ours.
"Michael and Sandy, care to enjoy some real sailing and get out
of the exhaust fumes," I asked, and both joined us. There was a
brisk breeze and sailing was great, but the wind was shifting
enough to make just drifting impossible. Both Justin and I were
kept busy, but the sailing was exciting. Michael and Sandy were
both captivated by the whole process and were soon involved.
"It's always cool on Easter" did
not apply this year and the day had been sunny and exceptionally
warm -- actually, summer hot. Of course the ocean had not warmed
up to where those skiing could spend hours in the water, but it
was warm enough for them to enjoy the summer sport, that is
until late afternoon.
Late afternoon, the wind started
picking up and clouds rolled in. I hailed John and said we were
heading in. We were making good progress until the wind picked
up sharply. It was soon so brisk Justin and I were busy trimming
sails and keeping the craft on course.
Of course there were always life
preservers aboard, ready for use, but as the wind grew even
stronger and the seas became quite rough, I opened a chest and
put on my life vest and tossed vests to the others. The wind was
strong enough to make handling the boat a full-time job. Justin
had been sailing as long as I had and we were both good but, as
the wind kept growing stronger, I decided we needed to furl the
sails and continue under power just as he said, "Marc, let's get
the sails in."
It wasn't an easy job and Sandy
and Michael were a big help. The boat's motor wasn't designed
for speed and, in fact, its intended purpose was just to get the
boat out of the marina and, eventually, get us back if we were
becalmed. It was struggling, but the wind had both shifted and
increased until we were facing a strong headwind, so strong we
were making little progress when the rain started falling in
sheets. Not only was the rain cold, but there was a sharp
temperature drop. The rain came so quickly, we didn't have time
to break out the bad weather gear, so we were soon wet and
miserable. Sandy had turned green and Michael was not far
behind. They were so miserable they didn't realize Justin and I
were pretty worried. I was hoping the wind would drop with the
arrival of the rain, or shift so as to help us reach the
sheltered marina. Neither happened.
I was so busy and worried I
didn't hear John's boat over the wind when he sped past us or
when he saw our distress and turned around to come to our aid.
He hailed us, using the loudspeaker on his boat, and finally
Justin heard him. He pulled alongside and, after several
attempts, Michael managed to catch a line Kenneth tossed. He and
Justin attached it to our bow and John opened up his boat and we
headed to the marina.
John had a powerful boat, but the
wind was against us and he was towing my boat, so even with it
under power, movement was slow. Finally, we got into the
sheltered area of the marina and were able to pick up speed.
When we had finally docked and got the boats tied down, we were
all soaked, cold and exhausted.
We stowed my boat and half an
hour later we were all back at the lodge, in dry clothes,
sitting before a roaring fire. "Fire looks more like 'Merry
Christmas' than 'Happy Easter,'" Susan said as she cuddled up in
a chair with John.
"Well, at least we're here and
warm and not in the briny deep," I said. "I was definitely
worried about the outcome of our cruise back to the marina.
Michael, Sandy, I hope today won't keep you off the water," I
"No way," Sandy said. "It was fun
and I was too ignorant to be afraid."
Michael grinned and said, "Well,
I hope I get to try it all again, but I wasn't quite as ignorant
or brave as Sandy. I was scared shitless, I kid you not."
"Let this be a warning to all of
us. Before we go out, we need to check the weather. We were
foolish not to have John's weather scanner on," Susan said. She
was right of course.
The wind and rain continued
unabated, but we were safe inside. The fire warmed us and after
our late night, early rising and adventure -- and cuddling with
the one we loved -- we were soon all asleep. We had been asleep
an hour when Justin kissed me awake. I awoke to his smiling,
beautiful black eyes looking into mine. He kissed me again and
said, "Rise and shine, lover."
Sandy and Michael were in the
kitchen, getting food ready for an early supper -- between
kisses. Sandy had started the weekend as a rank amateur but,
under Michael's coaching, he was definitely ready for the
semi-pro kissing team!
Food was finally ready and we all
sat down for a grand supper. Michael and Sandy had fixed supper
from leftovers from Easter dinner, but you would have never
known they had not prepared it from scratch. I don't know which
one was so good in the kitchen -- maybe both -- but there was
definitely talent between the two.
After supper we were, again,
lounging around the fire when Justin said, "Marc and I seem to
have fallen into the role of parents for this weekend and have
heard from everyone except you and Kenneth, Bobbie," then added
with a leer and raised eyebrow, "Young man, what're your
intentions? Or how's prom week been for you two?"
Bobbie looked at Kenneth, who
blushed! "Been great," Bobbie said. "John's got a nice cousin."
"And?" Justin wasn't about to
take that as an answer.
"Well, it's like this," Kenneth
said. "We have been surrounded by hormones running wild. You and
Marc fell into the parents role because you are an old couple.
The new has worn off by now, I guess...."
"Wrong, McGee!" I quickly said.
"Dead wrong. But anyway...."
"Anyway, y'all know that Bobbie
broke up with a long-standing boyfriend not long ago and I don't
know whether or not John told you, but I had recently done the
same. Cindy, the girl I had been paired with since I was six and
who I had expected -- along with everyone else -- to marry in a
few years, was interested in someone else, at least interested
enough to bed him.
"To go back to the beginning, a
while back Dad called me into his office one afternoon. As soon
as he did, I knew I was in trouble -- I had been there before!
-- but had no idea what the problem was. 'Son,' he began, 'I
hope you will be honest with me and I'll stand by you to help
you solve your problem.' Before I could ask, 'What problem?' he
continued, 'What have you and Cindy been doing? Sexually, I
mean.' I asked what he meant and he responded 'Seems like a
pretty straightforward question, son, but to put it bluntly, how
long have you been fucking Cindy? Is that clear enough?'
"It was and I told him we had
been having sex for several months, actually almost a year. 'I
suppose unprotected sex,' he added. I told him she was on the
pill, but I had used a condom each time because she thought sex
was too messy without one. He asked how many had broken and I
told him none. Dad said, 'You must have had a condom break or
slip off because you are about to be a father.' 'No way,' I
said, 'No way!'
"'Some way,' he said. 'Her
parents are ready to hang you.'
"I told Dad, again, Cindy said
she was on the pill and I had used a condom every time and none
had broken or slipped off. Dad said he didn't know how it
happened, but apparently I had impregnated Cindy. I had a couple
of rough weeks before her brother let the cat out of the bag.
"Her parents had gone to the
Bahamas for a couple weeks, but before their vacation was over,
her father got an urgent call about a business crisis and they
came back three days early. When they got home -- all this came
from her brother later -- and went upstairs to change, she was
in their bed with a jock from her school. Their daughter and the
jock were fucking away and didn't hear them arrive.
"The two attended one of the most
exclusive and expensive of the Raleigh private schools, but the
jock was a 'scholarship kid.' That means some rich dude or dudes
covered his school expenses and slipped him 'a little something
extra' so he could drive a nice car and dress well so as not to
embarrass the school. In spite of that he was both the wrong
social class and wrong color.
"Of course Cindy's parents
exploded. They ordered Cindy to go to her room as if she was a
six-year-old. Her dad then rounded on Issac, shouting about what
they were going to do to him for sexually abusing their
daughter. Issac may have been the wrong color and the wrong
social class and a scholarship student, but dumb he was not. He
pointed out Cindy was eighteen. 'Cindy invited me to join her at
her place and in her parents' bed. If anything, maybe I should
consider a sexual abuse suit. She's fucked me half to death!' he
said and laughed. He actually laughed, according to Cindy's
brother who heard it all and told his friends. I don't know what
all else went on, but Cindy's dad offered Issac a pile of money
if he would leave Raleigh for a school in New England. Issac
knew a good thing when he saw it and took the money and headed
north. He was in the boarding school in New England two days
after Cindy's parents showed up while she was fucking him.
"The family managed to clamp down
on the episode so effectively no-one knew about it for some
time. I was, truly, in the dark for a couple months.
"Seems Cindy found out she was
pregnant and told her brother, asking him to help her out. The
plan was for her to take spring break to go to New Mexico for an
abortion. Apparently when she got to Atlanta, she switched
planes, flew to New England and spent a couple or three days in
the jock's dorm room, then flew to New Mexico, had an abortion
and flew back to Raleigh. I guess there were complications and
Cindy told her brother he had to take her to the emergency room.
Her brother got frightened when she was admitted to the hospital
and called their parents and told them what was going on. Cindy
denied all and I guess her parents landed on him for such an
idea -- although they, of course, knew part of the story.
Nevertheless, they landed on him like a ton of bricks, hoping to
keep him quiet. To get even, he told several of his friends and
soon the tale was all over their school.
"He was enjoying his moment of
fame and wanted more, so he called me and told me all, starting
with the two being caught in his parents' bed. When I confronted
her she let me know I didn't have what she wanted and the jock
did. My male ego was wounded and I guess I thought I had been in
love with her because I was supposed to be, but I was also
"Anyway, Bobbie has become very
special in a very short time, but we are also aware of the
dangers of rebound. Guess that covers it."
"So Daddy and Daddy, you
approve?" Bobbie laughed.
"Always approve of love," Justin
said as he walked over and kissed Bobbie on the cheek.
"Ok, enough of this mushy stuff,"
John said. "Where are the games?"
We all went exploring and Bobbie
found a closet with games and cards and immediately got a
Monopoly game under way with Susan and John, as usual, in a
cut-throat mode, taking on Kenneth and her. They all soon
discovered cut-throat Monopoly was a game well-known in Raleigh
as well as Elizabethton.
Sandy, shuffling a deck of cards
like a Las Vegas dealer, suggested a game of strip poker.
Michael grinned and said "Later, Baby."
Sandy grinned, leaned over, stuck
a tongue in Michael's ear and said, "Later you won't have to
play poker to win! Anyone for poker?"
Justin and I joined the two in
playing poker, starting with five card stud, but then switching
to more arcane versions, some new to me. Seems Elizabethton's
new lovers were accomplished poker players and Justin and I were
soon busted and the two continued for a couple hands until Sandy
said, "Still like the idea of strip poker!" grinned, stood,
grabbed Michael's hand and headed for their bedroom.
Justin looked at me, grinned and
said, "Not a bad idea, but I noticed he left the cards as he
headed toward the bedroom."
"You needn't bother with them
either," I smiled, extended a hand and pulled him to his feet.
"I hear the bed calling."
Laughing, Justin said, "You must
be learning from our farmer friend, Sandy, wanting to go to bed
with the chickens."
"Maybe he's going to bed like the chickens," I laughed, "but I bet he isn't planning on tucking his head under his wing and going to sleep. I certainly am not!" I kissed him quickly and led him toward the bedroom.
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