It turned out that Dr. Branstetter was right about several things. I really did need the three days talking things over with him after everything I had been through. I had more nightmares that second night so the nurse came into my room and gave me the sleeping medicine to let me get some rest after she heard me wake up screaming. I was really missing Robin, but at the same time, I talked to the doc about the fact that I didn't want to rush into something with him that either of us might not really be ready to handle. He had Mrs. Keane bring Robin to the hospital so that he could talk to him, first alone, and then both of us together that third day. It was pretty embarrassing getting the birds and bees talk gay version from my psychiatrist, but Robin agreed with me that we wanted to make sure that we could stay friends as we became more than friends. He and I both wanted a relationship like his parents had.
After the meeting with Robin, the Doc, and me I had another meeting with My Queen and the Doc. He started to raise some questions when he heard me calling her that, but when I explained why I did it, he shrugged and said that it sounded reasonable enough to him. Although he did just have to point out in front of her that after seeing Robin and me together, I should probably work on calling them Mom and Dad or something similar as it looked like they would be my in-laws soon enough. Mrs. Keane hugged me tight and kissed my forehead, announcing that she couldn't be happier to have me in her family no matter how I fit into it.
The Doc finally turned me loose and discharged me, with instructions to see him at his office once a week for the next two months. We would reevaluate then and decide if I still needed weekly sessions. Once we finally left the hospital, I was taken somewhere I really didn't want to go, but needed to go. I was driven to my old home so that I could go through it and pick out the personal items I wanted to keep. Most of the furniture had come with the house, and even though they were being pretty mean about everything, I decided that the church could keep all the other furniture, except maybe one piece.
"Frodo sweetie, that is the fourth time you have stopped and stared into the dining room," Mrs. Keane said softly as she rubbed my arm supportively. "Is there something in there that you want to keep, but can't make up your mind about?"
"How did you know?" I asked her.
"I may not be your mother, but I am a mother," she smiled. "Teenage boys aren't nearly as hard to read as they think they are. Come on; show me what you are thinking over."
I walked over to the china cabinet and ran my hand over the glass in the doors. "These dishes have been in my mother's family for three generations. It's the one thing Fath.... that man let her keep when my grandparents were put into the nursing home."
"Oh sweetie, of course, you will keep those, then," Mrs. Keane told me with a hug. "Besides that, they are nicer than the cheap stuff from Wal-Mart that I have. I don't really have a china cabinet for them, but we will definitely take them."
"Well, that's just it, my grandfather made this cabinet himself just for this set of dishes when my grandmother was given them as a wedding present from her parents," I told her. "I just didn't think you would want a bunch of old second-hand dishes and a handmade...." I was silenced by her hand over my mouth.
"Young man, who do you think you are talking to?" she scolded gently. "We run a medieval fantasy faire for a living. Of course, we have room for handcrafted antique furniture and priceless heirlooms. If I didn't have room for it, I would make Marshall make room for it, even if he had to build a new room on the house. I think we will have to come back to get it when we have more help to move it, though."
I couldn't help myself, I hugged her and cried on her shoulder for a few minutes. "Thank you so much for being such a wonderful person to me," I told her as I sobbed a little bit.
"Thank you for being so easy to be wonderful to," she replied. "Now sweetie, there is still one room that you have avoided going in and I don't have to ask why, but I would like to know if there is anything in the kitchen that you might want?"
"My mother keeps... kept her cookbook in there," I whispered still wiping tears away.
"I will get it for you," Robin said from the doorway. "You just tell me where to look, never mind I think I see it on the counter by the fridge. Denim three-ring binder?"
"That's it," I confirmed.
"Now what do you want to do about your parents' bedroom?" Mrs. Keane asked with more arm rubs.
"I... I can't go in there either," I gulped. "That's where Fa..Fath... I was disciplined in there."
"Do you know of anything that might be in there you would want? Perhaps your mother's jewelry or favorite book?"
"Mom wasn't allowed much jewelry and the only two books she ever touched were her Bible and her cookbook," I answered. "There is a cedar chest in there, though, that might have my birth certificate and stuff like that in it."
"I will go take care of that room, then," she told me. "Why don't you and Robin go start clearing out your room? I saw your bed, and it is the same size as the one you will have at our house, so you can bring your blankets or bed linens if you want them."
"Well, I do kinda really like my purple sheets," I said with a bit of a blush.
"My handsome prince shall have his royal purple sheets," Robin announced with a deep bow. He stood back up with a naughty grin, though. "They aren't satin, are they?"
"No, why?" I questioned.
"I heard some guy joking one time to his girlfriend about satin sheets to lay on, satin sheets to play on," he replied with a giggle.
"You really still want to... still want me even after the talk from Dr. Branstetter today?"
"Of course I still want you," he answered quickly. "I'm not sure how much playing I really want to do just yet on your sheets, satin or not, but I do know I don't want to play with anyone else but you. I do hope kissing is still ok, though." I answered him by pulling him to me and kissing him all over his face before finally kissing his lips. We separated a minute or two later and he had the dopiest, cutest grin on his face. "I guess that's a yes to kissing."
"Yeah, definitely a yes to kissing," I assured him. I took his hand in mine and led him to my bedroom. "Wow, you have no idea how many times I dreamed of being able to do that," I said as I pulled him into the room.
"Do what?" he asked.
"Hold my boyfriend's hand as I brought him to my bedroom," I whispered as I blushed all over.
"You called me your boyfriend," he said with that adorable dopey grin again. He leaned in still holding my hand and gave me the kisses all over my face this time.
"We had better get busy here, or we will get into trouble," I told him and turned to start grabbing clothes out of my closet. He went over to the dresser and opened a drawer then groaned sadly. "What?" I asked turning to him quickly.
"I was just hoping that the first drawer I opened would be your undies," he pouted like a little kid.
"They're just regular plain white undies," I told him with a laugh.
"They may be white undies, they are not plain or regular, because they are yours," he informed me seriously.
"Just pack, you goof," I blushed intensely.
"Elijah, I'm really sorry if I made you uncomfortable," he blurted suddenly. "I don't want you to think I am some kind of sick, perverted sex fiend, but I can't help myself thinking about how hot you are. I mean you are so gorgeous, and it's like you don't even have a clue how sexy you are. I have had so much trouble trying to think of what I was doing the last three days because all I could think of was you and all the things I want to do with you. And I don't mean sex things, well not just sex things. But I want to tell you, I am really scared of doing anything much more than kissing just yet. I want it, want your body so bad, but I want you more. I want the whole, real you, not just the sexy parts, and I don't want to push things before we are both ready."
"I can handle a little teasing if you can too," I told him. "The not plain, not regular, white undies are in the third drawer." I giggled and blushed a little as he snatched open the third drawer and let out a little whoop of joy.
Mrs. Keane joined us in my room a little later with a few papers, a little white book, and some blue cloth in her hands. She also had my mother's small jewelry box. The book turned out to be my baby book, which my mother had written all sorts of things in through my whole life apparently. The cloth was actually a little sailor outfit that I had been brought home from the hospital in when I was born. "I'm keeping both of these items for you, whether you want them now or not, because someday you might want them," she told me in that mother tone of voice. "Now if you boys are just about done here, we need to get home and get cleaned up for the other really hard part of the day for you, Elijah."
They had told me when we were driving to my old home that the viewing for my mother would be this evening at a local funeral home. The sheriff would have men there to make sure that no one got in that wasn't ok'd by me. He himself would be inside with me offering some advice on those decisions, and Mrs. Keane assured me that she and My King, and Baka, would also be there for support. No one with bad intentions would get anywhere near me.
We pulled into the driveway of one of the coolest houses I had ever seen. It looked like a cottage right out of Grimm's fairy tales only much bigger, with lots of stone and wood everywhere and arched windows. "WOW!" I gasped. "I really am in a fairy tale come true."
"I take it you like the house?" Mrs. Keane asked with a smile.
"This is the prettiest house I have ever seen," I gushed as we pulled into the garage. All three of us gathered up stuff from the truck and I was led into the house through a mudroom. Mrs. Keane pointed out the laundry room just beside the door we had come in, saying that if I had any clothes that needed to be washed, I could leave them in there for now and we would get to it later. We then went into the kitchen which was absolutely gorgeous. It looked like a photo shoot for Southern Living Magazine. From the kitchen, I could see into the living room which had a vaulted ceiling with really decorative beams. Robin called me to a short hallway out of the kitchen and I saw two doors and a set of stairs going up that had a desk with a computer on it underneath the stairs.
"This is our study area, and this first door is my room," he told me as he nodded to the door directly across the hallway from the desk. "This one is yours," he added while he struggled to open the door with his hands full. When he got it opened, he stepped back to let me walk in first.
"Now about the walls, Elijah," Mrs. Keane began as she followed us into the room. "This was Tania's room before we agreed with her that she was old enough to climb the stairs and take the princess tower as she calls it. We can repaint the walls so you don't have to put up with this."
"Oh, please don't change it," I begged. I was looking at a beautiful mural of a landscape with a unicorn peeking out of a forest at one side of the room, and a castle at the other side.
"You like this stuff a lot, don't you?" Robin asked quietly.
"I'm sorry, I guess it does make me pretty immature, wanting fairy tales and castles and unicorns, but it is one of the most beautiful paintings I have ever seen," I said with a blush as I stared at the floor which was carpeted in green so it sort of looked like the grass in the painting.
"On the contrary, I think it makes you perfect for this family," Mrs. Keane told me as she hugged me tightly. "And, I will be sure to tell Marshall that you liked the painting. He is the artist."
"Really?" I whispered. "It's gorgeous. I would never paint over this. Verily, My Queen, My King has a talent unmatched."
"We don't have to stay in character all the time, Frodo," Robin teased me.
"This from the boy that won't say my name and always calls me Frodo," I retorted and poked his ribs with my finger and grinned as he nearly dropped the boxes he was carrying. "OOOO my fair, sweet Robin Goodfellow has a weakness," I said with a big grin.
"You wound me, sir," he replied. "Are not we all weak in our way? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you show us the most wonderful boy in the world, do we not fall in love?"
"I don't know whether to hose down two horny boys or applaud two great actors," Mrs. Keane laughed. "You have an hour to unpack stuff before dinner, and then we all need to get ready for tonight. I don't expect you to put everything away, but I do want you to get some unpacking done, not just sucking each other's tonsils out."
"MOM!" Robin squealed as we both imitated stop signs. She left the room and Robin walked up to me and grabbed me in a tight hug. "I am so happy you are here, and so glad you are part of my life now."
"I can't think of any place on earth I would rather be, and no one I would rather be there with," I told him as I returned the hug.
"So, I get that you are a preacher's kid, but seriously do you not have any jeans and t-shirts and that is a crap load of neckties," Robin told me as I started putting my clothes into the closet.
"As the son of the pastor of the church, I had to uphold the image of my father any time I was in public," I explained. "I really hate wearing the neckties all the time. I started to leave them in the closet for someone at the church to clean out for the next pastor and his family. I thought about it though, and realized they might just take them home and use them. After the way I have been treated by those people, I refuse to give them anything that they will value."
"When I was outed to my parents by that asshole, my Dad was really supportive because he was afraid that I was.... well... he told me that the best revenge I could get on him was to have a long and happy life," Robin told me. "I'll make a deal with you. You be my happy, and I will be yours, and we will work on that long life part together."
"Sounds like a plan, My Handsome Prince," I told him as I hugged him tightly.
Fort Chief Editor's Notes:
Boudreaux thank you for such a heartwarming chapter; it is really nice to see Elijah and Robin deepen their bond and their relationship. Robin's parents and family are doing a lot to build up Elijah's low self-esteem. I am looking forward to a lot more of this charming story.