The Sins of the Father

by N Fourbois

Chapter 1

This Saturday evening in June the Lindstroms had set aside for a family celebration. It was the celebration of Carl and Veronica's elder sons' eighteenth birthday. Hugo and Magnus were twins. Hugo had beaten his brother into the world by some twenty minutes and two years later Rufus arrived on his own, at which point the Lindstroms decided that they had both fulfilled their duty to the human race and also disrupted their social life sufficiently, and so Carl did what so many men in his position did and presented himself to the medical profession for a vasectomy. Not that it should be inferred that the three boys were either unloved or unwanted. Quite the opposite although Veronica largely kept to herself the wish that Rufus had been a girl.

Carl drove his family in his large Mercedes to the local country club where they were members. Veronica was wearing a long black evening gown while the menfolk sported dinner jackets. The waiter showed them to the table Mr Lindstrom had reserved by the large window with its panoramic view across the ornamental lake and the golf course to the hills beyond. This was one of the rare occasions that Hugo and Magnus approached the popular conception of twins for, school uniform apart, they had from early days been discouraged from dressing alike. In their teens Hugo wore his hair longer so that if he was running or standing in a wind it would flow majestically like a stallion's mane, while Magnus kept his Nordic blond hair close cropped. From early days Carl and Veronica had insisted that their two elder sons should be viewed and treated as individuals and with such conviction that within days of their birth they sacrificed Magnus, the younger's, foreskin to the rite of circumcision as a permanent and distinguishing mark. Rufus bore little resemblance in appearance, less so in nature, to his elder brothers. The Viking red hair that distinguished him now and which justified his name he had presumably been born with.

By and large the Lindstroms gave the impression of being a happy family. They were close and the boys were loved in equal portions. Every family had its underlying stresses, but these never surfaced. Carl Lindstrom headed his own company of chartered accountants, perhaps the leading one in the large town where they lived, and so the family enjoyed every material comfort. Veronica Lindstrom had her own successful career running her modelling agency.

The sky had remained almost cloudless. Sitting round their window table the Lindstroms could take in the slow setting of the sun over the hills. As it was June it was gone nine o'clock before it dipped behind the hilltops, leaving the long afterglow of twilight. The dinner party was an opportunity to reminisce over family affairs. Carl's father was indeed a full blooded Swede, as implied by his name, who married an English girl and they settled down in England. Through their father's efforts and family visits to the Scandinavian homeland Carl and his sister had a working knowledge of Swedish, which they kept up, but didn't pass on to their children. Even so, because of his upbringing he always considered himself British rather than Swedish, although he occasionally commented that children of mixed marriages could never rid themselves of that dichotomy. Only he, however, knew what he had inherited through his Swedish genes and he kept that hidden, even from his wife Veronica.

"It's interesting," Veronica commented quietly to her husband, "now that the we finally have the boys dressed the same, to see how individual they are, and I know it doesn't count if their mother says it, how handsome they are in their own ways." The boys were not listening. A new arrival on the other side of the dining room had caught their attention. Fortunately all three had inherited the English sense of humour gene and the lady's hat was amusing them. "I would certainly welcome them in the modelling agency."

"Give them a chance over the summer holidays."

"I could only take one at a time. It might be a career opening. I don't honestly see any of them becoming chartered accountants."

"So what do you think of that, boys?"

"What's that, Dad?" asked Hugo now that the parents had regained their attention.

"Your mother thought you boys might like to try your hands at modelling."

"What? With all those stick insects?" said Magnus.

"Some of the boys look quite hunky," contradicted Rufus.

"You won't be sashaying down the catwalk on work experience," interjected Veronica, "but we might find you the odd photo shoot for an advertising campaign."

"Keep it in the family," added Carl.

The birthday meal continued with the lively banter that three likeminded brothers could be expected to produce. At times their parents felt outnumbered. Finally the coffee was served and it was time for speeches. As head of the family it was Carl who rose to propose the toast to the two new eighteen year olds. He expressed how proud he and their mother were at the way they had grown up, free from trouble, when he thought of other families with teenage children they knew. Mother, father and Rufus rose to toast the twins. Then came their combined replies which expressed their gratitude for the way they had been brought up, educated and cared for. The serious stuff over they could lapse into the banter that only twins could. At the end of their speech the mood became serious again.

"Mum and Dad," said Hugo. "We have something to tell you." Rufus was staring down at his soiled white linen napkin.

"We have known this for a little while, but felt that we ought to wait until we came of age before announcing it officially," said Magnus. Then they held hands and said in unison and in a quiet voice so that only the family could hear

"We're gay."

The silence at the family table was masked by the merriment of the other diners around them. Carl looked nonplussed. Veronica looked dismayed. Carl broke the spell by getting up from the table, walking round, hugging his twin sons and kissing them on the cheek. The family was seated again. Carl took the initiative and said

"Hugo, Magnus, we are so pleased you have found your true selves. I am sure I can speak for your mother when I say we wish you every happiness for your lives." However, he did not notice that he could not speak for their mother. "We love you dearly. We conceived you, brought you up in tolerance and so we made you what you are and we're going to go on loving you. Rufus, haven't you anything to say to your brothers?" He looked up sheepishly and said

"I've got something to say to you all. I knew what Hugo and Magnus were going to say because now I have to come out as well. I'm certain that I'm gay too." Veronica gave a quick intake of breath. It was obvious that she was having difficulty controlling herself, that 'No grandchildren' was writ large across her forehead. Carl took control of the situation, took Rufus into a hug. Veronica managed at last to get out some words, if only it was

"I love you, boys, all of you."

The evening had come to a natural, if abrupt end. The Lindstroms were beginning to draw attention to themselves.

"Carl, I want to go home," said Veronica. He called for the bill and paid while the other four made their way out to the car.

"Was everything in order, sir?" enquired the waiter.

"Yes, perfect, thank you," Carl replied without conviction. "It's just that we had some family news which upset my wife."

"I'm sorry, sir. Good night."

The atmosphere in the car told the boys that their mother was not in the best frame of mind. Had she not spotted the signs in her sons? Or had she spotted them and gone into denial? If one twin was gay, it was on the cards that the other was pre-disposed to be so, but why the third son as well? She worked frequently and comfortably with young (and older) gay men in her profession, but when it was her own family the perspective suddenly became different.

When the Lindstroms arrived home, Veronica announced she was going to bed straightaway and said a curt good night without giving her children a good night kiss. Carl and the boys looked at each other without saying anything, all four so bitterly disappointed that this day of celebration, a day not only celebrating the twins' coming of age, but the fact that they could admit to their parents who they really were, had ended so dismally.

"I'll give your mother a few moments and I'll go up and comfort her. The English are so touchy about this. The Swedish side of the family would have accepted the fact and then worried about whether they were going to get to work on time the next day."

"Is that true?" said Magnus.

"It actually happened."

"How do you mean?" asked Hugo.

"It happened to me." The boys were astounded. "Look, I need a drink. Would you boys like one as well?"

"No thanks," they said in unison.

"We've still a little more celebrating to do," said Magnus.

"Though this has been a bit of a dampener," added Hugo.

"Go and sit down in the living room, boys. I'll get a drink. Do you want any nibbles?" They didn't after such a superb dinner. A couple of minutes later Carl came back with a glass of whisky and joined them.

"I think after you three opened up this evening, I'd better do the same." Carl settled back into his deep armchair; the boys sat on the edge of theirs. As you know, your aunt and I spent our school holidays with the family in Sweden. Sometimes your grandfather and grandmother were there, sometimes they weren't. It didn't matter. We had long dry summers, the days were longer that far north without being colder. I also had my cousin Björn. He didn't look unlike you, Rufus. He had the red hair of the Vikings. I know everyone thinks of Swedes as blonds like you, Hugo and Magnus, and me before my hair turned white, but not all of them are. He became my best Swedish friend at eight, my best friend at ten, my – what do you call them these days? – we became sexbuddies at twelve and by fourteen we were lovers. By then it was not just in the summer holidays we saw each other, but at other times of the year, either in Sweden or England. In Sweden we could disappear into the forest, swim naked in the lake and nobody would worry about us. We were safe. Our parents and grandparents knew about how we felt about each other. Nothing was said. Everything was tacitly accepted. I'm not going to tell you what we got up to any more than I would expect you to tell me what you do. When you're fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, life apart from school and exams is fun. Then it gets serious. You have to study and work. No more extended holidays and so Björn and I grew apart. We see each other at family gatherings and greet each other as long lost friends. He has a beautiful lover, a boyfriend, partner – call him what you will and they live together in a beautiful house in the hinterland of Göteborg… Gothenburg." The boys realised who their father was talking about. "I went to university in England, graduated, trained as an accountant and set up the business. Meanwhile I had met your mother, we fell in love, married and produced our three adorable sons all of whom we love dearly.

"Did Mum know you were gay when she married you, Dad?" asked Magnus.

"I have always tried to be open with your mother. I was considered bi rather than gay and she said it made me a better lover, more considerate… more experienced even, and so with all this in mind she still said yes when I asked for her hand in marriage. I never looked back, but she did, more so I think because of the gays she employs in her agency. Don't get me wrong. There is absolutely no side to her professionally. She has just found it difficult to accept with her own children."

"But, Dad," said Hugo, "we only came out this evening."

"Yes, my sons, you only came out this evening, but your mother, and consequently me, we have known for some time." There were gasps from the three boys for they had thought they had kept their secret well hidden. "Mothers always know. It's a fact of life. Still, I must go up and see to your mother." He got out of his chair and hugged each boy in turn. "Enjoy what's left of your birthday, Hugo and Magnus, and all of you, remember you haven't done anything wrong."

"Good night, Dad," they chorused.

The three boys went up, the twins to their room, Rufus to his. Rufus took off his dinner jacket and carefully hung it up, untied the bowtie, took off his trousers, hung those up, put his dress shirt into the linen basket. He soon stripped off the rest of his clothes, stood in front of the full length mirror, cupped his hand round his balls and waved his dick about.

"I could quite fancy you myself," he murmured. He took a jockstrap out of his wardrobe, pulled it on quickly before he got a full erection, took time adjusting himself before slipping into his capacious bathrobe, switching off the lights and going along the landing to the twins' room. He knocked the door, went in without waiting for a reply and said

"Here I am, boys, to give you the rest of your birthday present." Magnus and Hugo looked at each other and grinned.

"Our birthday present might not be what you thought it was going to be. Hugo and I have given each other surprise presents and we need a brother to try them out on." Rufus's eyes lit up.

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