Kaiser's Pavilion

by Bensiamin


They settled into their seats on the train to Seattle after stowing their bags and placing their day packs in the overhead rack. "Here we go!"

Roger smiled back and nodded. "We'll be seeing a lot of places in the next ten days."

"For sure. It worked out so cool that we get to stay with JC's friends tonight and Saturday before my parents fly in. That way we get to check out Seattle and not have the rush to the cruise ship."

"I don't envy your parents, flying cross country on Sunday, then we all leave early Monday morning. Feels way rushed to me."

"It is rushed. They get in late afternoon, and we're all staying at a hotel near the pier on Sunday night so we can board early. I'm betting we'll have dinner with them, they'll want to crash early 'cause they're on East Coast time, so then we can have fun downtown."

They felt the jerky motion as the train started to move and slide away from the platform. Roger settled down leaning against Jerrod and said, "It's been a great summer so far, hasn't it? The beach trip, the family reunion and now this."

Jerrod nodded as he settled further back into his seat, helped by the motion of the train. "Great events one right after the other. And Kaiser is fully back to normal, too, that's a great event. So's working at the hospital full time. Last summer was interesting, but going to all those different hospitals meant we only saw almost all of the patients just once. This is way better, where we get to know them, and they get to know the dogs."

"And we get to use the new pavilion every day. The design Behlen came up with is so cool and functional, everyone loves it." Roger paused and then added, "Oh, and while we're talking about summer and events, we need to go visit Michael's parents and grandpa before classes start in the Fall. Or at least, I do."

"We both do. You couldn't go up there alone anyway 'cause you don't have a car or a license." He grinned. "We need to change that, you know. You need to learn to drive at least so there's back up."

"But we live in a city with great mass transit, and I have you and Matt."

"Yeah, but I said back up or whatever. Mass transit doesn't work to go skiing, or to the beach, or to the hospital from where we live."

"I hear you. Maybe I can find a driver's ed course in the fall."

"That would be good, and we do need to go up to Pendleton. Maybe the last week before the quarter starts. We won't be working so we've got time, you can see your grandpa, and we could help Michael move down to Portland. I bet he can't get all his stuff in the Scout."

"You're right about that. Oh, and guess what? Mom told me this morning she got to know Nate and Matt's mom at the reunion, and she invited Laurie over for dinner this weekend and guess who's coming with her?"

Jerrod could imagine the wry smile that must be on his boyfriend's face as he asked the leading question. "Can't even guess, I'm too relaxed. You'll just have to tell me."


"What?" Jerrod kind of sat up in his seat. "JC's been seeing Laurie. How come we didn't know?"

"Because mom thinks they've only gone out once, and Nate's gone for the summer and with Matt working full time we don't see him that much, so our info channel has been cut off. Pretty cool though, right?"

"Yeah, if it works out. That's another positive that came out of the family reunion. It was also neat getting reconnected with Gary and Lois. I mean, I've met them a couple of times, but never spent any time with them. They're cool and now we know their two youngest kids go to Oregon state."

"They sure were driving a fancy pickup truck," Roger responded.

"Well, yeah. Her dad still owns the Ford dealership in Newberg, so Gary gets good deals on all the tricked-out rigs. Remember he said all his company's trucks are Fords, so he must be getting fleet pricing plus the family discount."

"Did you know he still owned an old International pickup. The one that was his first truck?"

"No, that was totally new. I knew Jackson and Gary had a lawn mowing business back in Newberg and that's where Gary's landscaping business got started. I didn't know anything about David kind of putting the deal together that got them that truck."

"And then that he kept it for sentimental reasons."

"He comes off like a tough guy, but I guess that says he's got a soft spot inside."

"Yeah, I don't know the whole story, but he had a tough childhood, too, and David helped him a lot. Did you see David light up when he found out that Gary still had it and had kept it stored in one of his equipment buildings? He seemed so satisfied."

"And then when Jackson went to work on him about restoring the truck instead of just letting it sit there."

"Yeah, that was fun to watch. Not like an old pickup is in the same league as the Challenger, the Super Bee or the Nova."

"That's true, but it's still an older pickup, and Gary had all the details about what made Internationals better pickup trucks than Ford or Dodge or Chevy. Did you hear him talking about zinc coating on the body panels and heavier duty crank shafts and torsion bar suspensions?"

"I didn't know what most of that stuff was."

"Me either, selle, but a lot of it is that you don't drive so you see all this vehicle stuff from a distance. We get you a license and put you behind the wheel of the Challenger, and I bet that changes fast!"

"Could be." Roger paused reflectively and then added, "the Scout is an International vehicle, so all that stuff must apply to it too."

"Pretty sure it would," Jerrod replied. "It's so great Michael got accepted to PSU and he'll be down here with the Scout come fall."

Roger grinned. "Yeah, it will. I'm so happy for both of them. I mean they toughed out the year mainly apart, Michael got straight A's last year and Nate was a mix of A's and B's. They're really good for each other."

"Sure are," said softly. "Almost as good as you and me."

"Ha, ha! Though we are good for each other," Roger said softly. "Michael won't have his dad's mechanic friend down here so hopefully everything is fixed before he mores down. Pretty soon we'll have a fleet of old cars." He paused and then added, "As cool as the family reunion was, it's too bad your parents couldn't be there. I mean I know camping isn't their thing, but to be together with all the other family would have been cool."

"Yeah, I know. That would have been great in a lot of ways. I mean, we'll spend next week with them, but to have them in the loop more with everyone else would be nice. It's the problem of them living back east and my life being out here now."

"Long distance is hard," Roger replied softly. "I know about it with no relatives here in the States." He'd puled Jerrod closer, so they were leaning together again. "We'll have to make the most of next week."

"And talk to them about coming out to visit in Portland when we can all spend time together."

"Are you going to talk to them about your decision?"

"You mean about going pre-med?"

"Yeah," Roger said softly. "That one. You don't need to share all the drama behind it, but since you've decided, don't you think you should tell them."

"I plan on it," Jerrod said, wiggling his body so his head rested on Roger's shoulder. "You're right that they don't need to know the drama, just the decision."

"Good choice."

"No point in getting them all riled up," Jerrod said, then quietly added, "about something that's over and in the past."

"You sound like you're going to fall asleep."

"Maybe. Leaning on my liebling like this is such a good place for a nap."

They took a cab from the train station to JC's friends home which was near University of Washington. The couple were very friendly, he was a pilot and she worked at Microsoft and their home was amazing. It was a custom modern home, just south of the campus and overlooking Lake Washington from the west side. Besides all the modern accoutrements, it had an infinity pool that appeared to be a continuation right into the lake, and that took some getting used to.

They all had dinner together, and after catching them up on JC's move and settling into Portland and especially the purchase of the Super Bee, they discussed plans for the next day. Jerrod and Roger wanted to see downtown in the morning, and that's when they learned that their hosts would be gone for the afternoon and evening at a fundraising event. However, they planned on giving the boys a key to the house and insisted they should enjoy themselves.

That's when Jerrod innocently said, "I've kind of planned on taking my boyfriend out to dinner tomorrow night. Would that be alright?"

The response was that it certainly would, and that they should enjoy the pool and the great weather in the afternoon, and if their paths crossed later in the evening, then so be it, if not, they'd all have brunch on Sunday and the boys could get organized to meet Jerrod's parents after they flew into Seattle.

Later when they were in bed, Roger said. "So, you're taking me out to dinner tomorrow night?"

"Well, that was my plan. But my idea of a surprise kind of fell apart when we got talking about schedules for the next couple of days. However, will you go out to dinner with me tomorrow night?"

"What are the plans?"

"I want us to have a romantic dinner in the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle."

"Why the Space Needle? I heard it's really expensive."

Jerrod smiled demurely and then said, "Are you suggesting that I can't take my boyfriend out to a romantic restaurant for dinner just because I want to?"

"No, no liebling! I would never do that. I know we're on vacation, but I also know it's expensive, so I just wondered. Seattle has lots of less expensive sea food restaurants."

"They do, selle, but that's not the point. Also, it's not very romantic to discuss all the details when you're asked out on a special date."

"Point taken." Roger grinned lasciviously and his blue eyes twinkled. "I'd love to accompany you on this romantic date, and you'll hear nothing but positive things from me from now on."

"Well said," Jerrod replied as he pulled Roger close and ran his hand down his belly and began to dance his fingertips on Roger's pubes.

After breakfast with their hosts the next morning, they headed downtown and walked around quite a bit, including visiting Pike Place Fish Market, then along the docks and the adjoining old parts of town. After lunch they headed back to the house, planning on swimming and lounging around for the afternoon.

They'd agreed that since they had the house and pool to themselves that they'd swim naked. They were sitting on the side of the pool after kind of playing around in the water. Jerrod said, "Let's swim some more… you know, laps, so we get some exercise."

Twenty minutes later they climbed out of the pool. The sun was high in the sky, and it was still warm, and as Jerrod settled onto a chaise lounge, he watched Roger walking toward him from the pool. He was waiting for Roger to do that simple thing that he thought was so beautiful, so sexy, so Roger – to shake his head with it's longish blonde hair to shed the water. Right on cue he did, and Jerrod's heart leapt at the sheet beauty and sexiness of it. Roger gave his hair a couple of quick passes with the towel, wiped down his arms and torso and turned his gaze to his boyfriend. Jerrod held up his hand, which Roger took as he stepped next to the lounger.

"You do know you are the most beautiful and sexy boy I've ever seen, don't you?"

Roger tried to act nonplussed and not begin to blush, and softly said, "I think you've told me that before, liebling."

"I have because it's true." He pulled Roger toward him and said softly, "Sit here," and guided him down so he was sitting between Jerrod's legs. He kissed the back of Roger's head as he hugged his chest and pulled him back down against his chest.

Roger lay back into Jerrod's grasp, tipping his head back on Jerrod's right shoulder and exposing the left side of his neck. Jerrod leaned in and slipped his tongue into the little indentation below Roger's ear.

"I love you totally, you know. You're the best thing in my life."0

"Really?" Roger tried to sound cute, but it was hard with Jerrod's tongue working the sensual spot on his neck. "The single best thing? But you have so many other wonderful things in your life."

"True, but there's only one of you. There's Kaiser and Chloe and David and Jackson and all the others, but there's only one of you."

Jerrod's hands were stroking up and down Roger's stomach and chest, softly feeling the contours of his skin and underlying musculature as he dried in the sun. Roger turned his head toward Jerrod's face so he could kiss his boyfriend's cheek.

"I love you, too, totally."

"It's so great that we get these two days alone, don't you think? I mean I love everything in our life, but this is nice for a change."

"It is," Roger said softly as he further relaxed back against Jerrod's chest.

"And tomorrow my parents get here and the day after we're off. Off to Alaska."

"That'll be a trip."

"In the meantime, we're having some romantic time to ourselves." Jerrod's left hand had slipped down and across Roger's stomach and into the top of his pubes, while his right hand had started to tease Roger's left nipple.

"Uhmmmm! I like that. Very romantic."

"That's the idea." Jerrod softly took Roger's soft cock in his right hand.

"Your hands are so soft."

"Your cock is sexy even when it's soft."

"Uhmmmm! Feels good."

Jerrod had begun ever so slowly sliding the foreskin back off the head of Roger's cock, and could feel the response as it slowly plumped in his hand.

"Uhmmmm," he heard wheezing softly in his ear. He squeezed Roger's nipple more firmly and wrapped his hand around his boyfriend's hardening cock.Then he turned his head to kiss the side of Roger's face as he softly moved his fingers to the other nipple.

He felt Roger wiggle in his arms, and was pleased he was responding. Another kiss and he felt Roger's cock swell and lengthen, and he completely slid the foreskin back as he said, "Can you feel that? Your beautiful cock is hard in my hand, and it's standing there at full attention." He paused. "God, you're gorgeous. I could almost get off just watching your cock get hard."

"If you do, you won't be the only one."

"Good, 'cause that's the plan." He squeezed Roger's nipple harder as he began to stroke Roger's foreskin back and forth. "Feel good?"

"Feels amazing."

Jerrod continued, slowly stroking for a couple of minutes, but limiting it to moving the foreskin up and over the head of Roger's cock and back. He was listening to Roger's breathing and then felt him begin to squirm in his arms in response to the stroking compounded by the nipple manipulation. He knew the squirming meant he was reaching full arousal and his body was already wanting to cum.

Kissing the side of Roger's face, he kept the slow stroking going for another minute as he heard Roger's groans deepen. Then he pushed Roger's foreskin down on his shaft and quickly reached up for as much saliva as he could get onto his fingers at once. He placed his fingertips on the head of Roger's cock and slowly started making finger motions around it. He could feel the slickness and heard Roger's groan deepen as he wiggled his hips back against Jerrod's own hardness.

It only took another minute, and he heard Roger's breathing quicken, followed by his hips reflexively pushing upwards so Roger was fucking himself up into Jerrod's hand.

"Oh, Jerrod! So good. It feels so… so, amazing. How do you do this?"

Jerrod kissed the side of Roger's face again and intensified the finger stroking and seconds later Roger erupted, his groans turning into small shouts of pure pleasure as he bucked up into Jerrod's hand and shot up across his chest. Seconds later he collapsed back against Jerrod's body, totally relaxed.

That evening when they were in the back seat of the taxi on the way to the Space Needle, Roger took Jerrod's hand and said, "Thanks again for this afternoon and for wanting to take me on a romantic date. I didn't mean to sound like I don't appreciate it." He laced his fingers through Jerrod's, and Jerrod lifted them up and kissed them.

"You're my soul mate," Roger continued. "You can take me some place romantic any time you want to. You can take me to unromantic places too."

Jerrod shot him a quick look and Roger smiled devilishly and went on, "In fact, you can take me anytime you want, any place you want. Like, say, this afternoon at the pool!"

Jerrod's face broke into a wide smile. "Is that a threat or a promise?"

"I like the promise idea better than the threat idea, don't you?" Roger was wiggling his eyebrows and trying to look seductive.

"Me too. So, since it's a promise I think I want you to fulfill your promise tonight. I want to be so deep inside you that you see stars and I feel like I'm going to melt when I cum, and then I'm going to make you feel the same way when you cum."

"That promise will be easy to keep!"

The elevator door opened, and they stepped out onto the landing at the top of Seattle's Space Needle along with six other people. Before them was the entrance to the Sky City restaurant, the very expensive and rotating restaurant at the top of the famous Seattle landmark.

Jerrod squeezed Roger's hand and said, "Come on selle, our table's waiting."

The receptionist confirmed their reservation, and the concierge seated them and explained how the upper deck rotated and that they would have a complete 360-degree view of Seattle as it turned.

After they were seated and had their menus, Roger said, "Well? I'm still trying to figure out why you're smiling and giggling so much when we're talking about having sex."

Jerrod tried to get a serious look on his face and then said, "Well, you're right that our sex is too wonderful to be giggling about, but what was funny to me was something David told me the other night. He's been reading some different studies on happiness. As in, what makes people happy. You know, they assess workplace satisfaction, relationships with friends and relatives, the effect of sunlight versus dark, family dynamics, the amount of money people make, where they live, all that stuff."

"And sex? You left sex out."

"I did that on purpose, just to see what you'd say."

Roger was dipping some bread into the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and before he took a bite he replied, "Well, good. Just so it's part of the assessment."

"It was, but you have to understand that there's these different studies and like the ones on workplace satisfaction isn't going to be assessing satisfaction with sex, right? But the study on relationship satisfaction would. So, David was telling me about these studies because I took Psych 101 last quarter and finally after hearing all these details about all these different factors, I just said, 'David, tell me what the summary is. What's your conclusion?' And he got this devilish grin on his face, and then he said, 'The happiest people are those who have sex with the love of their life on the beach on a warm, sunny day.' Wild, huh?"

Roger had to cover his mouth so he wouldn't spit out the half-chewed bread.

Jerrod broke into a grin and then reached for the bread himself. "So, selle, that's what I was trying to create this afternoon at the pool."

When Roger had swallowed his bread and composed himself, he said, "Well, mission accomplished. And I can see how thinking about that would have you grinning and giggling all day. I will also say that David should have told you about this before our time at the beach last month. Then we could have made a pact to have sex in the sun on the beach every day."

"So, we'll commit to that from now on?" Jerrod paused, staring deeply into Roger's blue eyes, and then continued, "but we also have to promise to be adventurous, like different kinds of sex and positions and stuff." He was wiggling his eyebrows.

"You mean because this is part of serious research, and we want to make sure we explore all the possibilities?"

"Something like that, yeah!"

Just then the waiter arrived at their table, asking if they were ready to place their dinner orders.

An hour later they were both sipping their cappuccino and reveling in the Tiramisu they'd had for dessert when Roger said, "Maybe the best dinner ever with the best and sexiest boy on the planet!"

Jerrod squeezed his hand across the table and replied, "Exactly how I feel." He turned Roger's hand over, so it was palm up and softly stroked the palm with his fingertips. "I want to tell you something else, and it's why I wanted a romantic date tonight."

Roger's eyes widened and turned serious.

"So much has happened since I first met you. Do you remember when that was?"

Roger smiled. "Oh yeah! Two summers ago."

"Right, and it was right about now two years ago that Eric and Kim got me to come along to play tennis and you were there… and here we are now."

"Amazing. I can remember it like yesterday. You showed up with Kaiser and I'm thinking 'What? He brought his dog along to play tennis!' And then come to find out there was a really good reason, and Kaiser was such a cool dog, and once you relaxed a little you turned out to be as fun to be with as you were cute."

"Was cute? As in, I'm not anymore?"

"I didn't say that. I meant when I first saw you, my reaction was 'Wow! Totally cute.' But it turned out you were still kind of distant and edgy and it took awhile to get through that. Then I found out you were as wonderful as you were cute. That's what I meant." Roger had turned Jerrod's hand over on the table and was now stroking the palm of his hand.

Jerrod smiled at him and said, "So this is kind of like our two-year anniversary. And I wanted to do something special and romantic because you changed my life."

"I thought it was Kaiser that changed your life." Roger said it softly and with a teasing smile.

"Well, you're right. He was a pivot like you said that night a few months ago when you gave me that special therapy." He smiled back, getting emotional. "But he wasn't the only pivot. Arguably David, and Jackson were, too, but there's a third pivot and without him, I wouldn't even be here."

Roger was quiet, seeing the emotion well up in Jerrod's eyes. "I was struggling with being gay, and I had no concept of what a soul mate was, let alone that I'd find one. But I did, and it's you and I just want to tell you that and say, 'Thank You.'"

Roger took Jerrod's hand, so their fingers were hooked around each other's and squeezed. "I feel exactly the same way. But you don't need to thank me. You make my life as great as you say I make yours."

"I know. You keep telling me that, but I said it that way on purpose because I'm going to do a David on you."

"Really? Don't keep me in suspense."

"I won't. So, a while ago I found Jackson's copy of the Led Zeppelin II album. It's got a bunch of cool songs, and I really liked the lyrics of one, but didn't really like the arrangement. Then a couple of months later I ran into Dr. Yanowitz in the cafeteria while you were working with Kaiser. Remember I told you that?"

Roger nodded. "Well, we talked a little about music and I told him about the lyrics of this song, and he said if I was serious about the meaning of the lyrics but wanted a killer jazz cover, I needed to run down a copy of it by Tori Amos. Anyway, it's not on any of her albums, you know, the major label albums. But the guy at Music Millennium told me he could get me a bootleg CD of her performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival from like ten years ago."

"This is getting more complicated and more and more romantic," Roger said softly.

"It's supposed to. That's my plan, and then wait till later!" He paused and reached into his jacket and brought out a card that had calligraphy on it. "I had Susan write the lyrics, so you'll have them, but now I'm going to read them to you. I had to change 'kind woman' into 'wonderful boy,' but that made it even better. Are you ready, selle?"

Roger now found the emotion welling up. He nodded and then Jerrod softly started to read.

If the sun refused to shine
I would still be loving you
When mountains crumble to the sea
There will still be you and me

Wonderful boy, I give you my all
Wonderful boy, nothing more
Little drops of rain, whisper of the pain
Tears of love's lost in the days gone by

My love is strong, with you there is no wrong
Together we shall go until we die, my, my, my
Inspiration's what you are to me
Inspiration, look 'n' see

And so, today my world it smiles
Your hand in mine, we walk the miles
Thanks to you, it will be done
For you to me are the only one

When he was done, Jerrod kissed the card and then slid it across the table to Roger who had tears leaking out of his eyes. He picked the card up and kissed it in response and softly whispered, "Thank you, liebling."

Then he heard Jerrod say, "I've got the Tori Amos CD and we're going to listen to it when we get back to the house, and then we're going to make wild and passionate love!"

Watch the YouTube video of Tori Amos perform Thank You at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1992



Muscle cars

Author's Endnote

Jerrod and Roger have completed two years together, building and solidifying their relationship. They've been fortunate to be mentored by a pair of caring and loving men in addition to other supportive adults, and a growing number of both gay and straight friends.

Along with their circle of close friends, they've all weathered their share of challenges, both minor and major, and been there for each other throughout. They've all been fortunate to have a wise old dog in their life, one who brought into their life the old maxim from the time of Alexander the Great (who also had a wonderful dog, named Peritas), that dogs are always faithful and never tell a lie. As we've learned along with Jerrod and Roger and their friends, sometimes dogs tell the truth in transcendent and life-altering ways.

Jerrod and Roger are well on their way to complete their education, deepen in their relationship together, and begin to map out their lives… as will the other couples and friends in their circle. So, this story brings the series to its end.

I'm thankful for all the correspondence from readers, especially those about the role of therapy dogs and especially about Sean. It was reader comments that encouraged me to dig deeper and expand the role of the dogs in the lives of the characters and it was reader comments about youth with handicaps that encouraged me to have a continuing role for Sean in the series and a more central role for him in this story.

All of the places in this story are real, and described as accurately as I could manage, and hopefully between the Kaiser series and the Revelation of & Redemption series, the reader now knows a great deal more about Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Many thanks to all who have read these stories and commented along the way, and especially to Michael, my editor, who spent countless time not just editing the writing, but suggesting ways to improve it to be a better experience for you, the reader.


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