by Jeremy Myers

Chapter 16

And in the End

'And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make'


The sun had begun to set, slowly disappearing into the Indian Ocean. A band of clouds above turned pink then orange, reflecting their glow over the scene below. From our vantage point you could just see the top of the beach that Logan and I, along with our wonderful friends, had frequented. Where we were, there were people everywhere, scattered in groups and couples all over the large patio and lawn area behind the house. A few children swam in the pool watched over by their parents. Catering staff mingled with the crowd, topping peoples drinks up and serving finger food.

Dan held a half empty flute of champagne in one hand, a dessert spoon in his other and proceeded to clink the spoon against the glassware, drawing attention to himself. The crowd slowly broke away from their conversations and eventually all eyes were on our dear friend Daniel Lucas. Even all the kids were quiet.

"Good evening one and all and welcome. On behalf of our hosts, Logan and Jeremy, I would like to thank you all for coming this evening to help celebrate this very, very special occasion. Back in June 1973, these wonderful men, who I know all of you, friends and family alike, are so very fond of and are so proud to be associated with, commenced a life-long friendship that no-one thought possible after what could only be called a very inauspicious start. That friendship, however, grew and flourished until, on the 29 th December 1973, they consummated their relationship and have remained together as one ever since. Built on true friendship, love, trust, respect and…..."

Logan and I stood side by side, our hands firmly clasped together, as Dan proceeded to tell all our friends and family our story, the story of us. It was 29 th December 2013. I looked at my beautiful Logan and thought back over the forty years we had spent together as partners, as friends and as lovers. So much had happened since that wonderful first day in the shower stall, so much since the dash to Kalgoorlie; it seemed like yesterday when Logan made the call to me from that phone box 700 kilometres away.

Where had those years gone?

The day Logan and I had come out to our friends, on the sands of City Beach, most of the inner sanctum finished up down the local, staying well into the evening. We had to leave the car there overnight and walk home, not a particularly easy task given we both gave the alcohol a pretty good nudge that day and home is mostly up hill.

After lunch, and well before too much alcohol had passed my lips, I was able to get Dan by himself for a while. I needed to talk to him about how much his calls meant to me after Logan's departure to Melbourne.

"Hey Dan, all good mate?"

"Of course Jeremy. You?"

"Yes, mate, I'm pretty damn good. Ummm, Dan, I want to thank you mate, you know, for calling me, making sure I was alright, you know? It meant a lot to me, bud, you were the only one I felt close to at the time, even if I didn't show it."

"Ah shit Jezza, it's fine dude, you're my best mate, it was the least I could do. I understood what you were going through. I mean, given we knew about you and Logan, I figured you would feel like absolute shit."

"Yeah, well, you were right, I was plummeting at a great rate of knots mate. I really came to look forward to your calls even though I was a complete prick."

"All good Jezza, I'm glad your life is back on track mate, glad you and Logan are back together."

"Thanks Dan. Say, ummm, what Chris said, you know about you enjoying the, ahh, entertainment in the showers, is that true? I mean, Loges and I, we don't mind if it is."

"Ahhhh, yeah, fuck it Jeremy, yeah, I was kind of a regular visitor, yeah, sorry mate."

"Dude, it's fine. I'm just curious though, and tell me to fuck off if you want, but what about all your girlfriends and stuff? I mean, you know, we heard things dude, lots of things."

"All bullshit Jeremy, well most of it. You remember us jerking off together a couple of times?"

"Yeah Dan, I thought you had a nice package for a 13-year-old."

"Hah, thanks, it kind of got bigger since then, dude." He smiled a little then turned to me, serious.

"Those episodes, and not your fault, I coerced you both times, but those episodes scared the shit out of me Jeremy. I liked them, I wanted to do so much more and it scared the living shit out me mate."

"Shit Dan, I'm sorry mate. I never…"

"Hush now Jeremy, like I said, not your fault. Anyway, it scared me into dating girls, never anyone from the sanctum, way too risky, you know? Huh, I never did much, felt a boob, maybe fingered a minge, but I never got into it, never. The girls though, fuck, it was like a contest to them. Shirley Divine started it, she told her mates I ate her pussy and all I ever did was barely tongue her fucking mouth.

"So, my next girlfriend had to go one better and before I knew it, I was like this fucking stud. I never did anything, honestly Jeremy. All those girls, all those bitches, they made me out to be something I'm just not. And there I was trying to actually be that person, never denying anything, trying to be what they said I was.

"I hated it. When you and Logan were enjoying yourselves, you know, in the stall, I could, for a while, at least, be myself mate, you know fantasize that someone was doing those things with me."

"Oh shit Dan, honestly mate, that's hard man, I'm so sorry."

"Why? Why are you sorry Jeremy? Because you found happiness? Because you found love? Don't be sorry, dude."

"Okay, so not sorry now Dan." I smiled at my mate. "Have you, you know, ever fooled around then? You know, with a guy?"

"Nah, I stopped dating girls last October, after the school ball. I finally decided to be true to myself and kind of accepted it, but, no, I've never even seen another stiff dick, other than yours, of course, Jezza."

"Fuck Dan, you know how fucking hot you are don't you? You know you could pull some real talent don't you?"

Danial blushed and sighed. He looked a little sad I think.

"Wouldn't know how Jeremy. Honestly, I'm not the guy everyone thinks I am. Anyway, enough about me man. Tell me about your plans with Logan."

I let it go but I was not finished with Daniel yet. I would be speaking to Logan about this and we would do whatever we could to help our mate find a nice, caring boy to play with and to gently and carefully show him the true joys of sex, boy sex.

My fucking oath we would.

Although slightly the worse for wear, Logan and I walked the 15 minutes back to the pub the next morning, taking Barry with us, then drove the car back home. After breakfast we started to get all the camping gear together, checking everything was okay, including the double air mattress, and then began packing the wagon up. We had a mountain of food, a couple of coolers full of food and beer, a small table, folding deck chairs and a heap of other kit together with the two boards we had borrowed from Chris.

As we packed up I talked to Logan about Dan. Logan agreed. We needed to do something. Danny was our mate and, hell, at 17 he needed someone to enjoy. We did have one enormous problem though. We might be gay and in love but we knew fuck all available gay guys. Sure we knew Miles and Rod, both of whom we still corresponded with and who were doing really well in Sydney, and then there was Marcus and David. We thought they were a couple too, though, so, no go there. Trevor and Mathew might be a go but we had not seen either of them for nearly two years and they too were discounted.

We were hamstrung; our list was no list at all, so we decided to leave it until we returned. Maybe Logan would meet a nice guy at uni we could introduce to Dan?

We headed off south the next morning arriving in Yallingup just over 4 hours later. We decided to set up camp there for the full two weeks and do day trips to wherever we wanted in the general area. The camp ground is on the right of the road coming into the settlement and sits overlooking the ocean. Back then it was pretty much undeveloped and it was bloody beautiful. Somehow we managed to get ourselves a prime location with ocean views you would pay millions for now days. It took us a couple of hours to set up camp; the tent was a big canvas thing with a kitchen/living area and screened off bedroom. It had two enormous windows on the front and one side with a large doorway on the other side. A large awning came off that side providing a nice spot to sit and look at the view. You could stand inside easily and we had a heap of room. Both Logan and I had grown over the last couple of years and I stood a little over 5'11". Logan was an inch taller maybe but the tent accommodated us easily.

By 4.00 we had everything set up as we wanted. There was a light sea breeze blowing keeping things comfortable. Logan and I placed the deck chairs under the extended awning and sat down next to one another with a beer looking out over our temporary domain. As we toasted each other, another vehicle pulled in nearby. Two guys got out and surveyed the area. They waved to us and we returned the gesture. Both looked to be our age and were well tanned with nice bodies and faces. They had brown hair, one straight and long, the other wavy, similar to Logan's but not as short. Two boards sat on the roof racks so they were here for the same reason as us.

We turned and watched as they unpacked their car and began setting up a two or three-man tent about five metres behind ours and adjacent to our bedroom. Well, they were going to be entertained then. Logan and I had no intention of being discreet when we were having sex here; fuck, we were out to the world now and stiff shit to anyone who didn't like it. We turned back to our view and enjoyed the beer, the company and the outlook.

"Ummm, hi guys, I'm Craig. Sorry to disturb."

We turned and watched as the straight haired guy walked up to us. We both stood and introduced ourselves.

"Ah, really sorry but we were wondering if you guys had a hammer? My mate Steve just broke the handle on the one we have."

"Oh, bummer. Yeah, we can lend you one, no probs." Logan went into the tent and grabbed the hammer out of our toolbox. He came back and handed it over.

"Sweet thanks Logan, Jeremy. I'll bring it straight back, okay?"

"Sure dude."

Craig was a little shorter than me, had a lovely oval face with light brown eyes. His thin lips concealed some slightly prominent front teeth but rather than detract from his looks they actually gave him some character. He had the lean but muscular build of a regular surfer and a nice little treasure trail disappeared into his burgundy board shorts. All up he was a nice package.

Steve returned the hammer about half an hour later, just as Logan and I were thinking of a third beer. He was taller than both of us but, like his mate, was still lean and with nice muscular structure. He had a square face framed by his long wavy hair parted in the middle. Deep blue eyes, a nice sized nose and full pink lips finished his face. He had no hair on his chest and just a hint of a trail but had very nice brown nipples the size of a twenty cent piece. His green boardies were well filled at both the front and the back.

He thanked us for the hammer then asked what we were doing for dinner.

"Oh, we've got a couple of steaks all ready to go mate. What about you?"

"Yeah, we've gotta go and get something then come back. You guys look to be well set here. You been here long?"

"Just this arvo, like you."

"How long you staying?"

"Two weeks. We were lucky, Jeremy's Dad had all this stuff so, you know, all good."

"Yeah, nicely done. We'll be here for a while too I think. We wanted to stay down at Margarets but that was packed out. Anyhow, I guess we'll see you later then."

"Come over later if you want, bring a few drinks if you got them and we'll play a few rounds of Uno or something."

"Oh, okay, sounds good."


Steve headed back to his campsite and Logan headed to the cooler for two more brews and returned quickly. The neighbours headed out shortly after and we sat in peace enjoying our time together and watching the sun slowly descend to the horizon.

We threw our steaks into the frypan around 6.00 and, while I watched those, Logan prepared some salads. Half an hour later and we were all done and both decided to head off up to the shower block to remove the day's grime and sweat. Naturally we showered together but decided against any sexy stuff, plenty of time for that later. We did each enjoy a long piss while holding each other and making out, thanks to the three pre-dinner brews, but stopped short of anything else, despite being hard as rocks.

By the time we returned to our tent the neighbours had returned and were sitting on a couple of chairs outside their tent. They asked if we had eaten and we said sure, give us five minutes and come on down. Logan and I went into the bedroom and dumped our stuff. We hugged and kissed for a short time, still horny after our shower. I think we both regretted inviting the guys over.

The guys came on down not long after and we got into a few rounds of Uno. They both seemed nice enough blokes and we figured we would spend more time with them over our break. By 10.00 Logan had started to yawn and we politely kicked the visitors out and prepared for bed. We headed up to the shower block for one last piss. On the way back we passed by the neighbour's tent. We could hear them talking inside but did not linger to eavesdrop. Until we heard our names mentioned.

"Logan and Jeremy, they both seem pretty cool, you know, not fuck wits or anything."

"I think they're into each other Steve."

"You think everyone's into each other."

"Seriously dude, I can see these things. They are right into one another."

"You jealous dude?"

"Nah, don't reckon. Although I could jump either of them given the chance. Maybe both of them at once!"

"Fuck Craig, control yourself."

We'd heard enough and quietly moved on, smiling. So Craig enjoyed guys and Steve didn't? Ha, what did it matter, we could not care less either way.

We went into our tent, zipped up the door and stripped off to nothing before climbing on top of the double sleeping bag. The night was pleasant enough and we didn't think we would need to cover up, at least not initially. It was a little different laying on the air mattress. Logan climbed on top of me and we began making out while grinding into each other. We seldom went straight to sleep when together; the temptation of pleasuring ourselves and each other always seemed to win over sleep and exhaustion.

I reached over to the KY, conveniently stashed nearby for a change, and Logan lifted himself off allowing me to lubricate our hard tools. Logan moaned while I lubed up his magnificent piece of manhood. We had not dry humped since Logan had returned but we both settled back in to the machinations of it, pleasuring our bodies as much as we possibly could. Our dicks rubbed and slid over each other and our stomachs while our balls and sacks rolled around under us. We kissed long and deep while we made our usual moans and groans.

The sensation of rubbing myself over my man always felt great and I knew by his sounds he too was enjoying the humping. While we didn't limit the noise we did try to keep the volume down, we weren't exhibitionists after all, but knew some of our sounds would be heard over the way. Too bad, they either accepted us or not.

We continued pleasuring ourselves, grinding, rubbing and sliding over each other. It was a new experience doing it on an air mattress. The mattress, being subject to the laws of physics, moved and bounced under us causing a small fit of the giggles from me which of course spread to Logan. It was just weird; goodness knows how we would handle it when we were coupled. We settled back to the business at hand fairly quickly.

My hands cupped Logan's cheeks and I parted them, shifting my hands a little and probing my left-hand fingers well into his crack. Logan moaned deeply, almost growled, as I rubbed over his hole and surrounds. He stepped up the humping a little and I responded, helping his cause and providing more stimulus to his beautiful grommet. Logan had done most of the work but, given the pleasure my fingers were offering, was reluctant to move. I allowed him to continue as I felt my orgasm build. We broke our kiss and looked at each other, smiling. Logan bit his lip and I knew we were both close to climaxing.

I felt my spunk rush forth over us, unloading several shots, grunting and moaning in pleasure. Logan continued for a short time then he too began his climax, adding to the serious flooding occurring on my stomach. The smell of sex was heavy in the air as Logan stopped moving and lay quietly on top, catching his breath, our orgasms subsiding as our closeness squeezed some swimmers from between us and leaked slowly down my sides. I nuzzled Logan's neck and ear as we both came down from our high.

We continued to kiss and hold, enjoying the feel of each other and the closeness of our bodies. Logan rubbed his semi-hard dick over us, well lubricated from the results of our orgasms, and moaned a little as it stimulated his sensitive cock. Eventually he lifted himself up and grabbed a towel to begin the big clean. He smiled down at me as he wiped around my stomach and dick. Once he had cleaned both of us he grabbed a damp towel and cleaned us again, removing the last vestiges of our orgasms and cooling our skin. When it was done he turned out the gas light and we snuggled into each other, slowly drifting off to a well-earned sleep.

We were up early the following morning and headed to the north side of the Cape to Bunkers Bay and then walked on to The Farm, surfing the morning away. The surf wasn't huge but it was breaking nicely for a couple of guys who weren't regular. By the time we finished, around 11, we were famished so headed back to the car then in to Dunsborough and the bakery. A couple of meat pies and cream donuts later we headed west, back to Yallingup.

Once we returned to camp we both wandered up to the showers and spent 30 minutes washing each other of the salt and sand before heading back and laying down on our bed. We made out for a while before we both drifted off to sleep in each other's arms, waking up around 4.00 to the sound of Craig calling out.

"You guys in?"

"Yeah, yeah dude, hold up a tick." Logan got up and stretched smiling down at me and rolling his eyes.

I got up too and we went out together. Craig was standing under the awning and smiled as we came out through the kitchen space.

"You guys were up early, did ya get a surf in?"

We told Craig of our morning and while we did we sat down in our chairs, side by side. I placed my left arm on the chair arm and Logan took my hand. Craig was standing in front of us and looked, his eyes widening a little, then he smiled.

"Ah, so you guys, you're together then?"

"Yes mate, living together, playing together. Boyfriends for two excellent years now."

"Oh wow, true? Wow, we heard you last night, you know, enjoying yourselves. It was fucking hot guys. Really."

He kept looking at our hands and carried on. There was a noticeable amount of tenting happening in his shorts right then.

"I had to relieve myself twice while you were at it. Like I say, it was hot. Sorry, hope you don't mind? Even Stevo had to relieve himself and he's not really into that sort of thing. Wish he was but not so lucky.

"Huh, sorry, I get talky when I'm nervous, you know. And fuck, I've chubbed up too, fuck." He looked embarrassed but to his credit he stood his ground.

"Dude, cool it, it's okay. You're not the first to enjoy listening in on us. Just be cool okay?"

"Yeah, yeah, sorry Logan."

"Have a seat mate, pull up the cooler. Actually, it's time for a brew anyway, want one?"

"Sure thanks; I'll get them out for you."

"So Craig, you and Steve then?"

We opened the cans and all said cheers before taking a swig.

"Nope, not at all Jeremy, I'd be happy to, you know, have some fun. We've known each other forever but he's just not into it at all. No girlfriend, like ever, but not interested in guys either, or at least not interested in me. I love him, as a mate you know, but gave up lusting over him years ago. We're just really good mates. I had a boyfriend last term but he was a bit of a tosser so it didn't last. We had a shitload of fun though. I'm a giver and a taker, you know, be a top or be a bottom, so to speak."

Fuck, this guy could talk. We almost had his entire relationship history in less than a minute. We continued on talking for a while, mostly about the surf and general stuff. After a while Steve wandered down to see where Craig was. He looked at us all drinking and went back, grabbed their cooler and joined us.

The next two weeks flew by. We spent a bit of time with the boys, obviously they were cool with Logan and I, and we got to know them pretty well. Logan and I couldn't get a handle on Steve's sexuality at all and we stopped discussing it after a day or two. According to Craig the both of them continued to pleasure themselves listening to us and I told Logan I was beginning to feel a bit too much like a porn star, maybe even a bit slutty, so we tried being even quieter.

Craig asked us if we fooled around with other guys at all; obviously, we said no. We told him about our commitment to each other and he seemed a bit disappointed. He asked a few questions about it and said he enjoyed dick way too much to be exclusive. We did say we both loved dick, but only each other's, we didn't think he really could comprehend that sort of commitment. They headed back to Perth a few days before us and we exchanged phone numbers promising to stay in touch.

While we were away the exam results and university offers came in. Logan's had gone to Melbourne and his Mum posted them on to home. She had strict instructions though, open them and let Jack and Pam know the results. We were phoning home every day or so and Mum gave Logan the good news. He pissed them in of course, and he had been accepted into uni doing Commerce. We celebrated that night, not too hard though because we celebrated in bed too, three times.

Logan and I had a ball really, surfing, swimming, enjoying each other's bodies and company. It was the longest we had ever been together and not once did we argue or get sick of one another. We always seemed to want to do the same things, go to the same places. It was a wonderful two weeks and we were sorry to be heading home.

Beth Phillips headed back to Perth the last week of January and began cleaning out Nan's place. We helped, of course, and kept what we thought we would need. The house was even better than I remembered and by the end of the month it was all ready for us to occupy and we moved in a few days before I started work.

Logan commenced Saturday work as well and we started getting a nice little income. We discussed Dan a few times and decided perhaps we would invite Dan and Craig over for a Saturday swim and BBQ dinner in late February, just before Logan was due to commence uni. Dan had been offered a position to do Commerce as well and would be able to transport Logan around so that worked out well.

Craig was probably not an ideal choice but we thought even if it was only one night then he would be able to at least give Dan some useful instruction and perhaps bring him out of his shell a little. Both Dan and Craig accepted our invite but we had to ask Steve as well, otherwise Craig was bit reluctant. Okay no probs. We had plenty of beds so they could all spend the night.

Dan arrived first, around 4.00, and was relaxing in the pool when the other two rolled up. He climbed out of the pool so we could introduce them around. He looked positively gorgeous. His fluorescent green boardies highlighted his wonderful tan and showed his assets off very nicely. We watched as he shook Craig's hand, Craig looked him up and down, licking his lips a little. Dan showed no interest. Then he looked at Steven. They both looked at each other, right deep into the other's eyes, I think, as they shook hands. POW. We all saw it; it was like fucking electricity. They both held each other's hand way too long and stared at each other way too long and wow, it really can happen. Steve's mouth was half open and Dan just gave a silly grin.

That was totally unexpected. They both finally regained some sense and we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon mucking around in the pool. There was some tension there though, real sexual tension. We all got out of the water eventually and Logan and I began preparing the BBQ stuff while the guys chatted. Dan and Steve were sitting next to one another around the outdoor setting and struggled to keep their eyes off one another. Wooo, this was going to be interesting.

We were in the kitchen doing some prep when Craig came in.

"Hah, good try guys, that was not how you planned it was it?"

"Ah, no, sorry man, fucking totally unexpected, sorry dude."

"Don't worry about it Logan, all good mate. Dan is a hottie though, pity.

"I will be having a word to Stevo about honesty, like why he just couldn't tell me he wasn't interested in me years ago instead of being this asexual creature he made out to be. He will be made to pay. Oh, don't worry, nothing too severe. It was amazing to watch though wasn't it?"

"Ahhh guys, I'm not sure we should have left them alone." I was standing where I could see straight out through the patio door and Dan and Steve looked to have their heads a little too close together to be talking.

Logan shifted over a little while Craig turned around.

"Well, I'll be buggered. We're watching our Danny get his first boy kiss!"

"Never mind Dan, Logan, I think that's probably Steve's first kiss with anyone, ever!"

Eventually we had to go outside, we wouldn't be eating otherwise. We made plenty of noise so they knew we were coming but still they didn't break apart until we opened the screen door. They looked at us shyly and sat back in their chairs. They were now holding hands though. Wow. We cooked, we ate, we drank, we laughed and we talked. The boys kept making eyes at each other and both seemed happy to try and eat with just one hand, the other still being firmly gripped by the other's. Craig helped Logan and I clear and again the two love birds were left alone.

"Loges, I think we'll put them in the spare double mate. Best to put lube, condoms and some extra towels in there too I reckon, love."

"Yeah, I reckon so."

Logan left to take care of that while Craig started washing up.

"Condoms, Jeremy?"

"Just saves on some of the mess, you know, if they go experimenting."

"Ah, yes, I understand." Craig gave a big cheesy grin and continued washing the dishes. He really was quite cute and I felt a bit sorry for him.

I looked outside and the boys were now in the pool, standing very close, each with a hand behind the other's head as they did some serious making out. By the time we finished cleaning up they were out drying themselves, or more accurately, each other. Logan went out and grabbed both of them by their hands and led them through to their bedroom. Dan just smiled at me as they walked through and that was the last we saw of them until well into the next day. Not quite the expected result but still a mission success.

Craig, Logan and I were standing around the island bench the next morning enjoying a coffee when we heard the bedroom door open. Then, a little later, the toilet flushed. Dan came wandering out dressed only in some very tight, very sexy, red jocks. Fuck, he looked really hot. A little wet patch showed at the front where he had some post pee leakage. He was looking a little ruffled, a little dazed but smiled at all of us. As he approached I noticed a snail trail of dried cum on his tanned skin running from just below his right nipple up over his shoulder. He walked up to Logan and me and wrapped his arms around us both, bringing us into a group hug before kissing us each on the cheek. He smelt strongly of sex.

"Thank you."

That was all he said before turning and walking back towards his bedroom.

"Ah, Dan, you guys need food, drink?"

He turned, smiling.

"Thanks Jeremy, but we've eaten."

He winked, turned and headed back to Steve.

When we heard the door close we all just looked at each other and burst out laughing. Steven and our Daniel had become men!

They finally surfaced around 3.00 that afternoon. They came straight out in board shorts and we sent them straight back to shower. They reeked of boy sex, it was, like, everywhere. They reappeared half an hour later and we fixed them some toasted sandwiches. They remained close, a little sheepish and said very little. Once finished they headed back to their room and stripped the bed linen off and threw that and a bundle of towels into the wash for us. Then they remade the bed and opened the window, the room was potent to say the least. By 5.00 the boys had headed off home and it was just Logan and I. We were still amazed at how that one had worked out.

The weeks and the months passed by quickly. Logan was doing really well at uni, I was learning all the intricacies of Castledean and life progressed wonderfully. Barry was living with us full time; he was not happy going back to Mum and Dad's after spending three months with us while the parents were in Europe, so we brought him back. No problem. We visited Nan as often as we could, at least once a fortnight. And we brought her out of the home for Sunday lunch regularly too. It was the least we could do for her.

Sunday lunch became a pretty big deal with our families and our friends. We always put on a roast of some sort, mostly leg of lamb, with roast vegetables and often had up to 10 or 12 people enjoying it with us. It became a tradition; one we maintain to this day. For a long time, Logan and I were the only ones living away from our parents so our place kind of became drop-in central along with the odd party. We didn't mind one bit. We loved entertaining and watching our friends enjoy themselves, it was great. And everyone made a contribution, we were seldom out of pocket.

Logan had made a few friends at uni and spent time with them at the uni tavern, mostly on a Friday evening. They were all straight but could not have cared less about us. I had friends at work too and we often had a few at one of the local pubs in the city on Friday nights. Logan, Dan, sometimes Steve, and I would regularly meet later for a feed before heading home. We allowed Steve and Dan to spend whatever time they wanted at our place. It was hard for them since they both lived at home and hadn't come out to their parents yet. They always left money and cleaned up after themselves; besides, we thought it was fun watching their relationship grow.

The two weeks surfing had awakened a new love for us both and we now surfed as often as we could, either at the breaks around Perth or, depending on Logan's assignments or study commitments, heading down south after work on Saturday and spending Sunday surfing before heading back late that afternoon. Dean and Tony Castle were both avid sailors and owned a beautiful 15 metre sail cruiser 'Silk Road' which they took out regularly, sailing on the river sometimes but mostly taking her out and running up and down the coast or over to Rottnest. Logan and I became regular visitors, well, actually, regular crew, and we loved it. We competed in some local ocean races and had some reasonable success.

By the end of 1977 I was out on the road selling for Castledean. It paid better, gave me more freedom and provided us with a company car. Logan finally got around to getting his licence during a break in 1976 and used the Chrysler regularly, he and Dan taking turns to drive to uni. Logan and I were both working hard, especially Logan, what with work and uni. We knew, though, that whatever we did now, in these defining years, would be repaid tenfold later.

Our friends were mostly now in serious relationships, heck some were engaged, and were busy at uni or work forging their own careers. Daniel and Steve continued in their relationship and it seemed to be growing stronger every day. The inner sanctum, now just the Sanctum, gathered for dinner the first Saturday in November, every year. No-one ever missed one, no-one would ever have thought to. They were always wonderful affairs, no outsiders, just the original 12 boys and 8 girls.

On the 2 nd July 1978 Logan asked me to marry him.

It wasn't romantic or anything.

After seeing our Sunday lunch guests off, we were sitting in our lounge relaxing and watching M*A*S*H. During an ad break Logan went off to the fridge and grabbed out a bottle of champagne and a couple of glasses.

"Hey Loges, what are we celebrating love? You get a perfect score in an exam or something?"

Logan just smiled and opened the bottle, poured two glasses and handed one to me as he sat next to me and took my spare hand into his. He looked directly into my eyes, directly into my soul.

"Jeremy, my most gorgeous man, you are the light of my life, baby. You said once that you were nothing without me. Well, without you, I am less than nothing. I love you so very much, J."

"I love you too babe, more than I can ever tell you."

"Jeremy, it's just that we have always said we are everything to each other, we mean the world to each other and that we want to spend the rest of our lives together, be with each other, always and forever. Well, let's do that then."

"Do what?"

"Marry me babe, please?"

"Oh God, Logan. My beautiful, wonderful man. My word I'll marry you."

Then we hugged, tight. And we cried. Just a little.

So, no, not at all romantic.

We couldn't actually get married, in Australia we still can't, but we could at least have an affirmation ceremony. And, of course my answer was yes. What else could it have been?

We decided it would be just a small ceremony with close friends and family on the sands of our favourite beach and on the date we have always considered our anniversary. We told Mum and Dad, Nan, Beth and Dean about it over the space of a couple of weeks. We weren't to know that those closest to us conspired together, yes conspired, and the small affair became a full blown ceremony and reception, fully paid for by the co-conspirators. Far out.

The 29 th December 1978, 5 years to the day since Logan and I enjoyed each other for the first time, came up on us very quickly.

158 guests were invited and 157 guests attended, Rod and Miles came across from Sydney, the whole Brand family were there actually, all my family, all Logan's except, sadly, his Dad (that's another story), Nan, all the Sanctum and their partners, other friends including Steve and Craig, Dean and Tony and all of Castledean, damn it was huge. Daniel was our Best Man, Chris and Max our Groomsmen and Rod and Miles drove the five of us in the Brand family's two black 'S' Class Mercedes.

So, there we were, at sundown, us five guys in our black suits, red ties and white shirts, shoeless and sockless, on the white sands of our beach, surrounded by loving families and dearest friends. Logan and I both wrote our own vows, our own words to each other affirming our love and commitment to one other, our partnership and our friendship. It was a moving ceremony, or so I'm told. For Logan and I, it went so quickly, and, to be honest, while we each said our vows, it felt as if we were the only two people on the entire beach. We exchanged rings and then the Celebrant said a few more encouraging words and it was done.

Logan and Jeremy, always and forever.

From the beach it was on to a local reception centre for a huge party. Logan and I entertained the guests for a while as we got to show off our dance skills to the tunes and songs we held dear. Our first dance together was the Bee Gees and "How Deep is Your Love' followed by Bowie and 'Let's Spend the Night Together' followed by Nina Simone and 'My Baby Just Cares for Me'. After that, it's a total blur.

Our lives didn't change that much following the affirmation, they went on just as before. But we both felt different. We experienced a greater sense of belonging, of loyalty and of love. Ours was a friendship, a relationship, that had grown and continued to grow every day. I personally feel, even now, so many years later, that my love for Logan grows greater every day.

In a huge surprise, Logan's Mum and siblings did not return to Melbourne following our ceremony. They had had enough after three years away. Neither Erica nor Scott had settled over there and Beth wanted to be closer to Nan. Erica should have started uni in 1977 but worked instead for the two years. She would be heading off, along with Scott, to uni in 1979. The three of them would be moving back into the old family home which had been rented out for the duration. Logan's Dad would remain in Melbourne but he still considered the family as being 'whole', except for Logan apparently. His Dad, despite the success we were both having, refused to acknowledge either Logan or our relationship. It was his Dad's loss.

1979 was a huge year, so many people we knew turned 21 that year so it seemed nearly every week we were trundling off to one celebration or other. Logan and I had a low key 21 st , just closest family and friends at our place for a quiet BBQ. There were still 60 people there, I mean, who don't you invite from the Sanctum? After our affirmation party that was certainly enough anyway. And, we had our first hetro wedding. Max and long-time girlfriend, Amanda, announced their engagement in March and tied the knot in October. How good was that!

Both Dan and Logan graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing), with honours, at the end of 1979. Financially, we were very sound so we decided for Logan to go on and do his Masters. Logan had been doing work experience for all of 1979 with the local branch of a national agency and they thought very highly of him. He could remain with them while he completed his Masters and then they would bring him in fulltime. It made complete sense, a couple more years and he would be set.

So we stepped into the 1980's and slowly but surely all our friends began to be secure in their jobs, get engaged and married, buy houses and, generally, try to be responsible adults. Unlike some friends or groups, we did not drift away from one another. The Sanctum stayed close, the Class of '75 had reunions every five years and Logan and I continued to host gatherings semi regularly.

Dan and Steve broke up amicably in mid-1982, it didn't surprise anyone. The relationship had burnt so bright at the beginning and for so long it just could not be sustained and cracks had been appearing for 12 months or more. They remained friends and each found themselves new, wonderful partners. Their relationship had been an important stepping stone for each of them. Both had repressed their true selves, so they understood what the other was feeling; their emotions and their sexual experience grew as one and they truly cared for one another. Craig, well, Craig continued to be the fidgety little bugger that we loved dearly. He slept around too much though and we kept telling him to find a nice guy and settle down. He didn't listen.

We lost our beloved Barry in August 1983. He was 16 years old so had had a good innings. Logan and I though, well, we were very distraught. He had been a huge part of our life together and we loved the other boy in our lives deeply. We buried him at a pet cemetery not too far away from home. Three months later Mum and Dad gave us Lizzy, a beautiful honey coloured Labrador that created absolute havoc at home. We loved her to bits.

Logan began work for the agency at the start of 1982 and immediately made a good impression. He was on the fast track to success there for sure. We had now been in Nan's place for six years and we had saved a huge amount for a deposit on our own place. The problem was, we didn't want to go anywhere else. Nan's house had become our home so we had decided some time ago that we would eventually buy out Logan's siblings when Nan passed. We remained right where we were. Mum and Dad were happy because we were still close and they didn't have to worry about making good on the promise of equalling our savings. I think, with what we had saved, it would have sent them to the poor house!

Dean Charles turned 60 in 1984 and was keen to step away from the business as soon as he could. He and Tony wanted to travel more and generally have more 'me' time together. Dean brought me back off the road and began to hand the running of the business over to me. Chris had been selling for various companies since dropping out of uni in 1978 and he was a natural salesman. After interviewing him, Dean engaged him and he took over my old sales role. I kept my company car so no hardship there. We still had the old Chrysler. Fact was, Logan and I loved that car and we kept it in pristine condition. It sat mostly in the garage now, only used on special occasions and would one day be a classic.

I began travelling with Dean to trade shows on the east coast of Australia and into Asia, the US and Europe, buying suitable merchandise and networking with others in the giftware trade. We would generally be away for a week or two at a time. When he could, Logan would come with us at our own expense and we would stay over for a few days after the show and be tourists. Logan didn't come with us often due to work commitments but when he did it was fantastic.

Logan accompanied me on one trip in June 1984 to Los Angeles. We stayed over and almost 10 years after his one and only visit there we were finally able to enjoy Disneyland together. What a great time we had, acting like little kids the whole time. We have returned several times since and it still holds the magic.

Sadly, Nan passed away in August 1984 at age 81. She had been bright and personable right up until she stroked out in her sleep. Logan, Erica and Scott were her main beneficiaries. Each received one third of the house and her remaining cash, no small amount as it turns out. With what we had saved along with Logan's inheritance we were able to pay out his siblings, renovate the bathrooms, laundry and the patio area, update some furniture and take a well-earned holiday to Paris and London. We missed Nan very much as it turned out and will forever be grateful to her.

Logan and I continued to surf, sail and enjoy life together to the absolute maximum. We considered ourselves very lucky, we were still surrounded by all our friends and family, our jobs were rewarding and enjoyable and we had a home that we enjoyed immensely and shared often with others.

1985 rolled around and with it the Sanctum's first child. Max and Amanda were the proud parents to Joshua Maxwell Parsons. Neither of Joshua's parents had siblings but that still did not excuse them from naming Logan and me Godparents. To think we may actually be responsible for a child! In truth, we were both very proud to be given that honour. It was one that eventually would be given to us another 15 times by various family and Sanctum members. There were the occasional Logan's and Jeremy's in the middle names too.

By the mid 80's the landscape was changing in the retail sector. Castledean's bread and butter retailers such as mum and dad stores were slowly being swallowed by nationals and multi-nationals while country towns began to lose many of their local shops and co-operatives. We could see the change and began to plan for the future to ensure Castledean survived.

1986 was a horrible year. While jogging along a beach in March, just north of our beach, Tony Castle suffered a massive heart attack. There was nothing anyone could have done for him. Dean was devastated and, while he had already begun stepping back and leaving Chris and I to run the business, he now disappeared almost entirely. I was at a loss. I felt Dean's pain immensely, hell, we were shocked and hurting too, but Castledean needed to be restructured and soon. Towards the end of July, I asked Dean how he wanted us to handle the business. He knew we were trying to keep it from disappearing and suggested we bring in a marketing expert, someone with some experience and a quick mind. I knew he was talking about Logan.

My man had been doing too well at the agency. They kept pushing him to transfer to head office in Sydney, something that would have certainly enhanced his career but ruined all other facets of his life. He kept resisting, Perth was home, Jeremy was home.

When I made the offer to Logan he readily agreed, he would join Castledean as Marketing Manager, taking a pay cut I might add, but at least he was home. The money was of no consequence. So, we set about reinventing the business, it would not be an overnight thing but at least we had started. Dean still avoided work, not us, just work. He never looked well and seldom smiled when we saw him.

He passed away in early December, aged just 62, I think from a broken heart. We hadn't heard from him for a few days and he was not answering his phone. I went to his penthouse, no answer there either. His car was in the parking garage so I thought he should be there and I could swear I could hear noise inside the apartment. I rang Logan and asked him to come over with the spare keys Dean had kept at the office. We found Dean slumped in his chair, the television still on and half a can of beer on the table. He had been dead for some time. It was horrible, really horrible.

Several weeks after Dean's funeral his lawyers made contact with us. We made an appointment to see them the following week, just before the Australia Day long weekend. We were expecting to be told to begin winding the business down. It turned out both Tony Castle and Dean were very wealthy men, far more than we were aware of. Tony had left most of his assets to Dean and he in turn left all his personal assets to his family and friends.

We were not expecting what happened in that office next.

Castledean and all its holdings and assets, including operating capital, stock and properties, were all left to Logan and me.


The CBD property, a huge parcel of vacant land in a light industrial estate 10 minutes up the freeway north of the city and a whole host of factory and warehouse units all over the greater Perth region. 'Silk Road' was also included. Holy fuck. And a great wad of cash. Holy fuck again.

We could not believe it. We were totally stunned. Dean had given us so much over the years, he was not so much our boss but a dear, much respected and treasured friend. He had been there for me in my darkest time and had provided both Logan and me with work and security. Damn, we missed Dean so much and this, well this, we could never thank him enough in life for what he had done for us before this. Now, in death, we were at a loss.

Without being boring, we eventually sold the CBD warehouse and office complex for 8 figures and used some of the funds to build a new state of the art warehouse, showroom and office facility on the vacant land. On the advice of both our accountant and lawyer we separated all properties from Castledean the business and established Two Dogs Investments.

Chris was travelling east regularly now selling to the national stores that had nearly destroyed the business and Castledean began going from strength to strength. Logan and I had all the investments and money we would ever need; at the age of 28 we were, on paper at least, millionaires many times over. We decided to give staff shares in Castledean based on years' service. We would always retain 51% but the balance would be shared with our staff.

Most of the 90's were pretty good. Logan and I, well, we continued to enjoy each other's bodies and company. We still enjoyed a robust sex life, maybe not six times a night, our record, but still a damn lot. We travelled, loved our friends and family and each other of course. We never argued, sure we had disagreements, but we never lost our tempers, never shouted. We were both naturally docile I guess and because we knew each other so well we almost always had nothing to argue over, not even at work. Had Castledean come between us, one of us would have happily departed the business.

We loved to sail and had 'Silk Road' out regularly. Steve and Craig, along with some of our other mates, loved to crew for us and it really became a huge social occasion for us all. Steve had a wonderful man, Terry, while Craig had finally found his love, Bradley. He was ten years younger and a right hottie; it would have been hard to find a happier couple. We were so happy Craig had settled down. Hell, we were glad he survived the 80's!

All of our friends were now married and settled into family life. We also had a few of them working for us. Daniel and his partner of nine years, Adam, had moved to Sydney in 1992 working as Castledean agents on the east coast, expanding our presence as far as we could. They were responsible for managing the major national accounts and were doing really well. Chris managed the rest of Australia, together with two additional sales representatives and loved it. Ben, another member of the Sanctum, was our Financial Officer while a couple of the girls worked in the office and showroom. As the new millennium approached we were on top of the world.

There are some dates that are forever etched in a person's memory. When an event of real significance occurs, you know exactly what you were doing, exactly where you were, who you were with.

24th April 1999 was one such date.

It was a Saturday morning like any other really. I was out the back cleaning the pool and Logan was doing some weeding in the garden. I heard the front door bell and ran in to answer it. Christopher was standing there; he did not look good.

"Hey Jeremy, is Logan home too?"

"Yes mate, are you okay, Chris?"

"Just get Logan mate, please."

"Sure, come through."

I went to the back door and called Logan to come in.

"You want a cuppa or anything Chris? You look awful mate. What's going on?"

He didn't answer, he looked troubled, his eyes were awful, this was so unlike Chris and I was becoming a little concerned.

Logan came through the patio door and saw Chris.

"Oh hey Chris, what's up?" He was smiling, he hadn't yet seen Chris' eyes. The smile faded quickly.

"Fuck Chris, are you alright, what's happened mate?"

"Oh fuck, guys, I don't know how to…., I'm sorry, it's Maxy."

"What about Max, Chris, what's happened?"

He just looked at Logan and me, his face haunted. Whatever it was, it was bad and he was struggling. I walked up to him, put my arm around him and guided him through to the lounge and sat him down on the sofa. Logan and I sat either side of him.

"Chris, take your time mate, what's happened to Maxy?"

"I, I'm so sorry, his Dad rang me 20 minutes ago, I couldn't tell you guys over the phone. Oh fuck guys."

"Chris?" He had begun to shake. His head slumped forward and he held it in both hands. I prepared myself for the worst; this was not going to be good. Logan and I both had an arm around his shoulders. I looked over at Logan and he looked at me. I think we both knew what was coming.

"Ohhh fuck guys oh fuck, he's gone, our Max, he's fucking gone."

No. Not Max. I let out a long groan and shut my eyes.

Chris broke down entirely then and we both held him. We all broke down. Our mate, our Max, was gone. He had turned 41 just the week before.

I allowed myself time to grieve but I knew what I had to do. No-one in the Sanctum knew other than us three. Like Chris I felt that we could not just make phone calls. I needed to be strong one more time. I let go of Chris, got up and sat beside Logan, my arm around him, holding him tight. I kissed him and he looked at me.

"I've gotta go babe, you know, the others, they need to know."

"I know J; will you be okay?"

"I'll have to be. Can you call Dan? And Sarah and Kyle too?"

"Yeah, sure Jeremy, hurry back please, and stay safe J."

Sarah and Kyle were living elsewhere in the state. I felt bad leaving that to Logan but I had 13 others I had to go to.

"Don't let Chris go until he's okay Loges, alright?"

"Yeah, sure love."

"I love you Logan, I love you so much."

"I love you too J, come back to me, be safe love."

We kissed and hugged each other and I left my dearest Logan to care for Chris and do what had to be done.

It was the worst day of my life. I drove around the suburbs stopping for a short time at 13 different houses giving 13 people the same awful news. I got home at 7.00 that night and bawled my eyes out in Logan's arms. It lasted a very long time.

Max had been out riding, as he did every morning, and some fool had gone through a roundabout and not seen him. He didn't stand a chance. Everyone was at the funeral of course, all the Sanctum, a whole lot of other classmates too. We sat with Amanda and with Max's two boys, Joshua, now 14, and his brother Liam, just 11. They were our Godsons; we were their male role models and we were now partly responsible for them and their welfare.

The Sanctum came together as one and did what it had to do for the family. Max was an auto electrician and employed two other guys and an apprentice. Amanda ran the office. She wanted the business to continue so we all did whatever we could to make that happen.

Logan and I started taking the boys everywhere. We sailed, surfed, hiked, went off to see our favourite Australian Rules football team play, both in Perth and interstate, took them and their Mum on holidays and strived to give them a good boy's life. They were both swimmers, like their Dad, and we tried to never miss a meet. Just as we had for our nieces and nephews, we set up trust funds for them to insure their future. Neither would want for anything but nothing could make up for losing their Dad.

The Sanctum continued to meet annually, only now there were just 19. There was always an empty seat, an empty place setting, in memory of Max. When he turned 18, Joshua asked if he could honour his father by attending the annual gathering. We told him it would be a privilege to have him. When Liam turned 18 the boys began alternating attendance and continue to do so.

Castledean's business model that we had worked so hard to implement back in the 80's was so effective we just kept growing. Similar businesses that had failed to see the changing retail climate withered and died while we grew and expanded. Dan and Adam now had five staff in Sydney and we were considering opening a distribution centre over there. A South African based multinational had been courting us for a few years and made a couple of nice offers. We needed to think of the staff though, the minority shareholders. Logan and I would be fine, no matter what, but we wanted to ensure the staff got the best dollar for their shares that they could.

Finally, in early 2002, the multinational made us an offer we could not refuse. We brought everyone in, all our shareholders, and gave them the offer, what it would mean to them. The multinational had guaranteed their jobs and the executive team were to stay on for two years during the transition. Most of the staff would be millionaires or close to it. The executive team did even better. Logan and I, and our families, well, we would never want for anything I guess.

The executive team, consisting Ben, Chris, Dan, Adam, Logan and me, lasted six months. We walked out as one in January 2003. The multinational were a bunch of pricks and we didn't need to work for pricks. While Castledean had been a wonderful provider for us and our actions in the 80's had saved it from oblivion, it never truly was our company. It was always Dean's, we were simply caretakers, destined eventually to pass it on to someone else. So, when the time came to walk away we had no regrets, no disappointment, no remorse. The property assets had been separated from Castledean years ago so they remained with us and the multinational actually had to pay Two Dogs rent.

Once free, Chris packed his family up and moved to a lovely property down on the southern coast, just out of Denmark. He now grows olives and produces award winning oil. We spend time down there regularly enjoying his family, his company and the local produce.

Back in 2000 we purchased a property about a kilometre inland from our beach as an investment. The land had an old shit fighter on it but boasted wonderful views of the Indian Ocean and you could almost see the top of our beach. We decided to build our dream home there and by the time we walked out of Castledean the place was ready to move in. We were uncertain what to do with Nan's; it held a great deal of sentimental value to us. Dan and Adam decided to return home from Sydney and solved our problem. Dan asked if they could buy Nan's and we happily handed it over. We knew it had some sentimental value to Dan too.

So, at 45, Logan and I were pretty much retired. We travelled, everywhere. We either went five star or roughed it, depending on what it was we wanted to do. We hiked some of the most magnificent trails the world had to offer and stayed at some of the most exclusive hotels.

We sailed, surfed and sunned ourselves, all the while staying fit and healthy and remaining true to our friends and families. We volunteered at an animal shelter and funded a couple of programs for gay youth. We were still leading active and fulfilling lives in all aspects of it.

I did need to watch what I ate and drank; I tended to put on weight easy and my cholesterol had become an issue. If I didn't stay active, then I think I would have ballooned out quite quickly. Logan, on the other hand, never seemed to struggle with weight and always had great cholesterol levels.

It was somewhat surprising then when Logan began getting short of breath after just mild exercise in the latter part of 2008. We thought it may be asthma so after a few weeks of this we went off to the doctors and within four days Logan was in hospital getting a quadruple bypass.

Holy shit, it scared the fuck out of us, I could have lost my beautiful Logan so easily. The blockages were chronic and he could have suffered a coronary at any time. We were so, so lucky. I had tests straight away and came through unscathed. It doesn't figure.

My darling man made a full recovery, thankfully, and we returned to the lifestyle we both enjoyed so much, but we did do everything in moderation.

Except for sex, never sex.

As Logan and I stood together looking over our backyard full of our many friends and family I thought of those no longer with us; Mum and Dad were gone now, both passing in their 92nd years, Nan, Dean and Tony and our wonderful mate Max.

Today though, all our friends surrounded us along with their own families. Joshua Parsons held his new born son, Maxwell, in his arms, standing next to his beautiful wife Elyse. Maxy would have been so proud. Our brothers and our sisters, our nieces and nephews, and, in a few cases, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, were all there too. While Logan's Dad remained estranged, his Mum, Beth, was thankfully present, a very proud, happy and sprightly 82-year-old.

Two black Labradors wandered around collecting any food dropped by our guests. They are our current loves, Boris and his sister Natasha. Like all Labradors, food is a religion to them.

Logan and I know that we are living a lucky life. We take nothing for granted, nothing. Life is ephemeral. We both feel truly blessed. Somehow we have managed to surround ourselves with unbelievably wonderful people who accepted us for who and what we are and who love us as we love them. We have tried to share our good fortune with as many people as possible and hope that when the time comes we will be remembered as loyal friends and good men.

Our love for one another will never diminish, never fade. Logan is and always will be my most precious treasure. I do honestly believe I love him more every day.

We have, for forty years, remained true to that commitment we made to each other at my parents' house, aged just 15. We are proud of that; we are proud to have each other. I am so grateful to Logan, grateful that he persevered with me all those years ago and we became friends then lovers then life partners. I am grateful to him for having the balls to defy his father and return to me and I am grateful to him simply for being my friend.

I cannot imagine my life without him. He is my Logan; he is the love of my life.

Daniel was just wrapping up his speech, which somehow had managed to keep everyone's attention and had kept them moderately entertained with memories invoking laughter, happiness, sadness and, above all else, love.

"And so my fellow guests please raise your glasses to our most wonderful mates, our loyal and loving friends.

"To Logan and Jeremy. Always and Forever."

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead