Johnson Financial Advisors, Inc

I thought I needed a few more chapters to this but now I think it's Ok just by itself. Let me know what ya think, please.

Ed's Family Estate

Frank had finally been able to get James to relax. Talk of the baseball game had lulled James into a sense of security. It all went away when Frank said, "I know about JFA Escorts."

James was glad Frank had waited for him to put his snifter of brandy down before he hit him with that little morsel. James frowned. "I beg your pardon?"

Frank didn't let him finish, but his tone was calm and sure. "Please, James. I knew what my son was getting himself into when you pretended to hire him as your CPA. I was too screwed up in the head at the time to try and warn him. But he's a big boy, and it turns out, I might have ruined something, if I had."

James changed to a strained smile. "He is my CPA, now."

Frank smiled that familiar cocky smile. "Oh, he's more than that. And I'm glad. It's taken me a while to get my head around knowing my 'little boy' was going to be settling down with another man's 'little boy'. My darlin' wife has helped me come to my senses, as is often the case. No, James. I can see that he's more than just your CPA and he's been happier than I've seen him in a very long while. So I'm happy and proud of my Eddie, Ed, Edward. I'm proud of my son. He's chosen a very smart business man for his partner. I also know just how well your advising firm is doing."

James had recovered his calm and wit by the time Ed's father finished what he had to say. James mischievous smile should have warned Frank. "My lord, the acorn doesn't fall far from the oak, now does it. You have that same cocky 'I know what you need' smile that Ed has when he really does know what some body needs."

That got the minor blush that James wanted to see on Frank's face. "I bet your wife had her hands full, keeping the ladies away from you in college."

Bella said, "And a few men as well. But Frank wouldn't have noticed them as much."

James nearly dropped the snifter of brandy he had been picking up when Bella walked into the room. He laughed when Frank suddenly looked shocked by what she said.

This was news to Frank. "What?"

Bella walked around and sat in Frank's lap. "Oh hush. My turn now."

She turned her head and addressed James. "Yes, James. My husband is a handful, but a good one."

She wiggled her hips on Franks crotch and James eyebrows shot up. Frank missed James reaction and just chuckled and held Bella a little tighter as he buried his head in her shoulder.

James recovered first. "Mrs. Maston!? Such behavior from such a fine lady?"

Bella giggled and Frank looked up at her with the same love he had for her the first day he saw her.

"A true Lady knows when to lay aside all pretense and show her Lord what all her love for him means."

She wiggled again, and they both giggled. His head reached up as her head reached down for a sweet kiss. Straight, gay, or anything under the sun, that kind of a kiss, just said LOVE.

Ed chose that moment to walk in. "Euww. Not in front of my boyfriend. It could scar him for life."

His parents were chuckling while trying to keep their lips together. James took the opportunity to pull Ed's head down for a quick kiss. He should have known that Ed's kisses are never quick.

Frank and Bella let out a little sigh as they stopped kissing and turned to the "Boys". Bella and Frank smiled. Bella looked down to see Frank's reaction. Her smile brightened the area she was in, which told Frank to look up. The same goofy grin was on his face and the question in her eyes led Frank to say, "Thank you for getting my head straight. Thank you for bringing my boy back to me." They kissed for a moment, while James and Ed looked over thinking they were talking to them.

Ed's eyes looked a little watery for a second, and James smiled before he pulled him into a brief kiss. They parted and James hooked a thumb over at the two love birds still kissing.
"Now that's one classy lady."

Ed chuckled. "Got that right."

Bella chuckled and sat up straight. "Oh, I forgot. Dinner's ready." As she got off of Frank's lap, she got a soft pat on the butt. She turned and coyly said, "My hero."

She walked out of the room with three appreciative sets of male eyes on her backside.

She was out of earshot when James told Frank, "You're a lucky dog."

"Woof. Got that right."

Ed looked at his father for a moment. When his father looked at him, he said, "My hero."

Frank looked to see if there was any of that famous sarcasm, Ed was known for. All Frank could see was his 'little boy' wanting a hug. Frank's smiling response to Ed's words, led to him to pulling his son in to a big bear hug.

A bass voice said, "Damn, I miss all the family drama."

James looked over and saw this huge man smiling at Ed and Frank. It looked like an expanded version of Ed. But the sarcastic sneer on his face ruined the resemblance. Ed never made anyone feel small, even when he was much taller than them.

James said, "Chase. Where's Mel? She usually keeps that sneer off of your face."

Frank walked up to Chase. "You're late. Does your mother know you're here?"

Chase hugged his father which usually calmed things down. "Yes, she said I was right on time and to remind you three to wash your hands before dinner."

Frank looked concerned. "Where is Melanie? You two haven't had another argument, have you?"

Chase kept himself from commenting on that remark. "Mel's best friend from high school died four days ago. The funeral and wake are today. I would have gone with her, but she said I wasn't.. 'tactful' enough." He looked at his toes for a moment.

Ed blurted out, "Terry Sands is dead? I just bought his latest tell-all slash diet book."

Chase was a little shocked by that. "After the way he treated you in high school and you bought his book?"

Ed grinned. "Mel told me to. You haven't been able to tell her no, either."

Chase chuckled and nodded his head. Frank tipped his head to the side for a moment then nodded.

"Well I can understand why she didn't want you at the wake or the funeral."

He turned to Ed. "Chase popped him on the nose two days before graduation for something he said about you. I never did find out what he said."

James was intrigued. "You people knew Terry Sands. I never knew that. His partner is a client of ours."

The interested looks got James to add, "I advised him personally on how to diversify his portfolio. They were devoted to each other." He thought, 'Come on, guys. get your head out of the gutter'.

Chase continued with, "Yeah. His partner, Brent Yates, that huge bodybuilder, told Mel that they had wild sex the night before, and he wakes up to Terry dead. The coroner said it was an aneurysm in the brain. Even tried to say it was related to steroid abuse, but Brent went off on him, cause Terry always gave Brent a hard time about his steroid abuse. Brent even offered to take a drug screen to show he was clean, too. Then he insisted that the coroner release the drug screen he performed on Terry. Brent threatened to bring in a private coroner to do their own tests, if the coroner didn't tell the truth. Terry's family apparently had a history of these kinds of medical problems."

Ed remembered now. "Oh yeah. You're right. Terry went to a funeral for a cousin who was twenty five and an Uncle who was just in his forties, all in the same year. Both from aneurysm in the brain."

James commented. "That must be nasty for a family to go through. Not knowing if you get that part of the family genetics, but always having that sword over your head."

A sultry voice spoke over the intercom. "Boys, dinner is served. I haven't heard the water running, so wash your hands. Then get marching." The intercom clicked off, and Frank pushed Chase through the door in a playful way.

James followed Ed to the other bathroom. "Your father sure knows which side of the bread it's buttered on."

Ed handed James the towel to dry his hands. "Yeah and she's the one who taught me how to bake that bread, so be careful."


The dessert was a triple chocolate Bundt cake, straight out of the oven, served with vanilla ice cream.

James patted his stomach. "Mrs. Maston."

Bella cut him off halfway through her last name with, "James, you promised."

James blushed. "Sorry Bella. Bella you are not only one of the finest chefs I know, you are also an excellent teacher. I know I have had this dessert before when your son made me dinner."

"Why thank you. Twice. Or should it be thrice? Chef, teacher and mother?"

Ed smiled and held up his right hand in a fist. His mother tapped knuckles with him like at a sporting event.

Chase burped up a laugh. "Well I've seen it on TV, so I guess cooking can be a pretty competitive sport."

James caught himself. "Bella. I may goof up again with that promise. It's just strange for me to call my boyfriend's mom by her first name."

Chase cut in. "Try the rest of it. Bella Estelle Martine Maston. Grandpa said the only time mom heard the whole thing was when Grandma was upset with her or at her wedding."

Bella smirked. "Was dad talking about my mother or mother-in-law? They both seemed to like trying to tell me how to raise a family, or cook, or paint a picture the right way. After a while my father started to ask if it was High or Low that had me so angry."

James said "That takes a lot of balls for... two little ladies." He realized his goof but finished it anyway.

Chase was shocked at James. "Little?" He looked at Ed. "Little?! You haven't shown him the family photo albums, have you. Grandma Martine was little but only in height. You jumped when she said frog. And as for Grandma Maston. My God. Grandma Maston. The only thing little on her was her patience."

Bella had a far away look as she muttered, "Got that right." She realized she actually said that and looked at her husband, only to find a smirk on his face. She softly said, "Sorry darling."

Frank shook his head. "No need to apologize, dear. Every one of my brothers and my sister would have said the same thing you did, and praised you for your patience with Mom. That's one of the reasons that my whole family, Dad included, are so into running and working out and swimming. Oh swimming's the best. When she would follow you out to where you were trying to get away, the water would drown out her voice for at least half of the time. And you could always test your lung capacity by dropping to the bottom of the pool for a few minutes."

Bella put it together. "Is that why Tom has the longest record staying under water, in your family?"

Frank chuckled. "Yep. The same brother that foolishly, actually told my mother to shut up."

Bella looked shocked. "No."

Frank was like a little kid. "Honest. And dad wasn't going to say a thing. It got her even more angry. She was telling Tom that Sally was a girl with no morals. Sally!"

Bella covered her mouth as she said, "Oh my God!" and laughed with her husband and older son.

James was confused. "Tom and Sally? Your uncle and aunt with three children and the lovely home?"

Ed chuckled and nodded. "Aunt Sally, who's the preacher's daughter." James joined Ed and the rest of his family, in laughing at the audacity of Frank's mother.

Chase finally pieced it together, too. "So that's why we got a pool when I turned five."

Bella explained. "Tom gave me the suggestion but none of the background story. Just the idea of how long he could hold his breath under water. And the fact that Mother Maston doesn't like the water."


James and Chase were flipping through a Maston family photo album and Chase held down one page.

"That's her. Now do you see anything little on her?"

James couldn't help himself commenting. "My God. You're related to water buffalo."

Chase burst out with a laugh. "Pretty much. But water buffalo that's afraid of the water. This explains so much that went on at family gatherings. Uncle Tom would get in the pool and smile at Grandma Maston. I could never understand why she was so angry at him for being in the pool."

"He was escaping her wrath."

"Smart man."

James held out his hand and Chase frowned. James had a warm smile on his face for Chase.
"For defending my man. I've had some wrong ideas about you. I'm sorry if I've come off as a snot. Anybody that would risk pissing his girlfriend off, by punching her best friend cause he bad mouthed their little brother. Well, you're alright in my book." Chase shook his hand and smiled.

"I know what Ed's been doing for the past three years. I found out when Dad did. Dad even had me talk to Ed and remind him to use protection when he fooled around. I never mentioned that I had a reason for saying any of that. Ed just assumed it was because I found out he was gay. I knew that when he was fifteen and found all his muscle magazines."

James frowned and Chase cut in before he got the wrong idea. "I had my own muscle magazines. But mine didn't have pages stuck together." Chase chuckled as James said, "Oh, wow."

"I have to apologize for the way I've treated you. I really thought you were just using my brother. But recently, he's the happiest I've seen him."

"Thanks. You know, it's taken the death of your girlfriend's best friend for me to see what a lucky girl she really is. You are an expanded version of Ed in a lot of ways. But the sneer on your face that I've seen every time we've met, made me feel sorry for the girl. I guess it was just for me. 'Cause your Dad, Ed, and now, even you. You all three have that cocky, 'I know what's good for you' smile that turns out to be so true. I really didn't know that it was the truth when I hired Ed. Hell, the whole Escort service thing started out as a lark. I had all these hot gay friends showing up at my office and then when I started my own firm the clients I pulled with me mentioned how many hot employees I had. They didn't know that half of them were just friends that came by in the middle of the day to chew the fat, or get away from their awful place of employment. It was only a few months before I met Ed that a client came to my office to turn in some Stock certificates. Four model friends of mine came in and over ran my secretary, to get me to promise to go with them that evening. They all claimed I was being a workaholic. I guess I was at the time. So when I pointed out that I was with a client, they calmed down. But not before Jas said, 'A very sexy client' ."

"Why was that different. Ed used to mention how your clients all seemed to be current or former GQ models. Whether they really were or not."

James looked bemused. "That was how bad it had gotten with me. Practically all of my clients were handsome in one way or another. But I was so focused on the firm, that I wasn't even looking at the men anymore. For a well adjusted gay guy, that spells trouble."

"Sounds about right. was that the event that brought you to your senses?"

"Oh I couldn't call it that. It did wake me up. My client, Tony Grimes, turned to me and said 'When was the last time you went out to a club?' Well the guys in back of him started saying 'Yeah James when was the last time?' They meant something else and Tony picked up on it. So he turned to loud mouth Paul and asked 'What are you doing on the thirty first of this month? I have a big charity dinner to go to and nobody half as handsome as you to go with me. You available?" Now Paul is a player. But he decides to turn to me and say 'James is my back up manager. What does my schedule look like on the thirty first.' The son-of-a-bitch had annoyed me a month earlier, trying to get me to at least visit one of his outdoor photo shoots. He had gotten into my computer while I took a leak and copied in his schedule for the next three months. So he knew if I acted like I didn't know he could come over and pull it up, So I beat him to it instead of beating him to a pulp and brought up his schedule. Tony's eyes lit up at that and wonder of wonders, the thirty first is open. All day long. As well as the next day. Then I make the stupid remark 'Well my boy is open that day and he doesn't even have to come home that night. Nothing scheduled for the next day.' That pissed Paul off cause he likes having all the cards if he wants to change things. Now he had no excuse for saying no to dinner or staying the night. He hated doing that with a one night stand. Now he was stuck. Luckily Tony turned out to be one of Paul's long term relationships. But that didn't end it. Tony found out where the guys were going to take me that night and showed up there half an hour after we did. He had three of his friends with him and that's when Paul knew he was just complimenting him. Cause the guys were just as hot looking as Paul. Well one thing lead to another and one of Tony's friends asked me if I had any other guy escorts available that night. I almost explained what had happened that day when the guy mentioned how much the other escort services charge for a whole evening. I blurted out 'Just for the evening?' He must have thought either he was being charged to much or too little. He said 'Oh it's two hundred an hour extra if we decide on any sex.' That just blew me away. It was already two hundred an hour for the escort service alone."

Chase shook his head to clear it. "What? People pay that much just for eye candy?"

"That was the median price. People pay even more. And when they ask for sex, they expect it right quick. If the escort doesn't tell them up front 'No Sex' and the manager for the service doesn't stress it at the very beginning, then the client assumes that it's an add on fee and service. And they get pissed if they get told no. I had my reservations about a few new clients and stressed 'No Sex' at the very beginning. Then when one of my guys got there, he told the client the same thing. Now I always brief my guys what's going on.ÊSo when the client tried to say he OK'd it with me, My guy got on the phone and called me right then and there. I told him to walk to the door and open it after he handed the phone to the client. I then told the client that he would be refunded the entire price of the service and that he could call two of the other escort services I knew of that take clients the same night. I told him I don't work with clients that lie about me to get what they want. I then told him to hand the phone back to my guy. He started to yell at me over the phone. I waited till he ran out of steam and was listening. I asked him if I could say something. He said yes so I yelled as loud as I could for my guy to forget the phone and leave now. My guy knew to do that and slammed the door in the creeps face. He was slowed down when he tried to yell at me some more. I got him to calm down after he ran out of steam again. I just said 'you do know I've been recording all of this?' Then I told him that I warned you "No Sex' and you ignored me. I told you moments ago 'No Sex' and you yelled at me. You tried to lie to my worker and got angry when you were caught. Now just throw the phone away, because I will now report it stolen. It is registered to the Escort service and if the cops catch you with it I will have them prosecute you.' Then I hung up. My guy got back to me when he got home and said the creep tried to run after him and could only waddle. I thought I had heard wheezing. One of the creeps neighbors found the phone near the elevator and speed dialed the ICE number, which happened to be me. They got a fifty dollar reward which I asked them to tell their neighbors, to show what an honest person gets for their trouble."

James and Chase laughed at the idea of that Creep Client having his nose rubbed in his lie.

James caught his breath. "No Chase. I came to my senses when Ed asked me if I thought he would look better with another hundred pounds of muscle on him. He had run into an old friend that found a new muscle up thing that really works. I woke up to the fact that my heart and mind agreed on the same thing. Ed was perfect just the way he was. And I had never told him that. I thought 'What kind of an idiot am I?' The escort service had him going out where he could get hurt. I could loose the best... That's when Ed stopped working for the escort service and became my CPA. I'm foolish at times, but I'm not stupid. You don't let the best things in your life get away."

Chase put out his hand. "Thanks for looking out for my brother."

James shook it. "Welcome. You do know that Mel is a lucky girl?"

Chase had a lopsided grin on his face. "She may have a different view point. I better remind her, just in case."

Ed walked in just as Chase was walking out. Chase pulled Ed into a bear hug. " Hey little bro."

Ed smiled back. "Hey big bro. You're not leaving yet are you?"

"No. I just need to give Mel a call and see how she's holding up."

Chase walked out to the living room and called Mel as Ed sat down across from James.

James leered at his lover. "Ya know, I sorta liked how your mom sat down earlier today."

His leer got Ed to wiggle his butt. "You did?"
Then he got up and sat in James lap. They kissed for a moment, then heard Chase on the phone in the other room.

"No baby I was real good. James and I buried the hatchet. He's looking out for my brother and makes him real happy. I never did have a problem with them being gay."

Chase listened some more. "Baby, now is not the time for me to talk about it."

"Cause I was taught to not talk bad about the dead."

Chase was getting angry. "Well maybe if Terry hadn't come on to me and talked shit about my little brother, after he practically tortured him acting like Ed might have gotten some where with him, then the son-of-a-bitch outs my brother, acts like he wants to get it on with the man dating his best friend. That would be me and you. I just couldn't handle the idea that your best friend was such a snake. You saw how he would treat people. He used his charisma like a weapon. And kept you talking about him like he was a saint. How many people there are talking about the good things Terry did? Or are they bringing up times he really pissed them off? They still love him, but they don't have any illusions about him."

The pause was electric. Chase waited for her to finish. "I just couldn't say anything about your best friend. He never told anybody else that I hit him before graduation. And you never pushed for the reason, so I left it alone. Who am I to tell you who to like or not. Maybe I was missing something about him. But I know what he said to me and what he did to my little brother. And I took care of it as well as I could."

Chase ducked his head as he heard what she said. James and Ed were in the doorway watching Chase. "I love you too, baby."

Then he stood up straight and said "What?"

He repeated "What?"

"Where are you? I need the address."

Ed piped up and gave themselves away. "I know where Terry Sands parents live."

Chase heard Mel tell him something. "I'll bring him along. Hell, I'll bring the whole damn family."
He answered her next question "In my pocket. It's been there for about eight months now. I love you. See you in a few minutes." He hung up and yelled "Mom! Dad!"

His parents were a little disheveled as they walked into the livingroom. Frank yelled back, "Where's the fire?"

Chase was walking towards Ed. "Mel needs me right now and I think you all should come along with. Please?"

Ed smiled. "Well I'm giving directions so I have shot gun."

They headed for the front door and Frank asked to make sure "The wake is at Terry's parents house, right?"

Chase said "Yeah. James, you coming with us or Mom and Dad?"

"I'll keep your parents company. You two get going. we'll catch up."

Chase smile got wider. "Thanks, Bro." Then the Maston brothers headed towards Chase's car.

Frank and Bella apparently knew what was about to happen, so James waited till they were on the road before he asked them "What is going on?"

Bella giggle.d "Ed hasn't said anything about this?"

"No. Just that he didn't like Terry, but he thought Mel was a great girl. That's my opinion on the matter, too. All I ever heard about Terry made me think he was luckier than he deserved.

Frank muttered "Got that right."

Bella filled in the blanks. "Terry was a strange one. He acted so macho, and dated girls once and then never again. He had Mel as his best friend and never asked her out for a date. Then it seemed that Ed had a crush on Terry and was getting mixed signals. Before he ever said anything to Terry, he came to Frank and I and told us he was gay. We were supportive, but he never told us about his crush. Or the things that Terry was telling him. That all came out after Chase punched him and gave him two black eyes for graduation. We never did get the full story. Only that Terry was the one who let the whole school know that Ed was gay. Luckily enough people on the swim team and soccer team were cool with the situation. It caused a slew of guys in the closet on both teams to come out in support of our Ed. Stock in Terry went down after that. Ed got a bit of ribbing, but never any of the horrible things you hear about other gay men having happen to them. Ed was lucky. And Terry was lucky Chase didn't do more than just punch him once."

Frank announced "We're here."

They got out and found Ed as the one leading Mel out front to Chase. Chase pulled something out of his pocket and Ed's eyes grew huge. His mouth flew open and Chase got down one knee. They walked up to Chase telling Mel "You know how much I love you. And I won't lie. Waiting for you to tell me you're ready has been the sweetest hell I've gone through. But only because of those two words you told me a few minutes ago. I'm ready, too. I love you Mel. Will you marry me?"

Mel was nearly crying. It looked strange on such a happy face. She nodded and held out her hand. Chase opened the little box and pulled out the engagement ring. He trembled just a bit as he held her hand. The ring slipped onto her finger and the crowd around them burst into applause as Chase hugged and kissed her. James found his way to Ed's side and hugged him.

James whispered "Maybe we should go looking for some rings?" Ed was speechless and James finally got that cocky, 'I know what you need' smile on his face. "You don't think I'm ever letting you go, do you?"

Ed kissed James and his parents turned to them. James broke the kiss and said "Besides, I got your heart right here and you're not getting it back." He pointed to his own chest and then to Ed's heart. "And you know where mine is."

Ed just nodded and kissed James again, and again, and again.

The End