The Courtship of Levi Moore

by Nicholas Hall

Chapter 14

" Dream along with me
I'm on my way to the stars.
Come along, come along
Leave your worries where they are.
And if we go in the right direction
Heaven can't be very far
Dream along with me,
I'm on my way to a star."

(Carl Segmen – from the song 'Dream Along with Me.')

"Everything okay?" David asked, concerned over the day's ups and downs, holding my head in his hand, pressing my face close to his chest, cradling me gently but securely to his naked body. David is really not that much bigger than me, perhaps two to three inches taller and maybe fifteen pounds heavier, but he is well developed, not skinny like me, but really fit, and I find it easy, comforting, and safe snuggling myself into his embrace.

"Yeah!" I responded softly, my lips brushing his chest, sending ripples of goosebumps across his body.

"I'm so sorry, Levi, you had to endure all the bullshit and humiliation you've experienced today at dinner with all the questions and all!"

"It wasn't that bad; the dinner experience, I mean. I really felt good about everything and am really happy how it all turned out. So, don't worry David."

"Good; you know I love you don't you?"

"Yeah, but tell me again."

"I do love you so much! It's comforting holding you, reminding me how much I love you and how incomplete my life was before you, even though I had Mattie."

Raising my head from his chest, I remarked, "Speaking of Mattie; he's growing into a fine young man."

"He'll make us proud someday!"

"He already does, David. Did you see how he was johnny-on-the-spot to come your side to aide me today?"

David did indeed notice and mentioned it to Mattie when they were alone. According to David, Mattie just grinned, responding, "Isn't that what a family supposed to do when they love each other and someone needs us?"

Changing the subject, David mentioned they usually came up to the farm for Christmas. Ordinarily, it was only Mattie and him, the others preferring to be with their own families for Christmas.

"I've been thinking," he pondered, "if the folks have no objections, with Mattie and Jacob being so close to each other, Mattie must really miss him during this break. Perhaps we could have Christmas Day at our own home and, inviting Jacob, come up here for a few days between Christmas and New Year's. It'll give them a chance to do some ice fishing with Dad. He seems to look forward to it."

I couldn't disagree. I ran my hand down his side, reaching over, finding his firm, well-formed butt cheeks, while noticing the state of his erection pressing up against my stomach, twitching and oozing clear fluid of desire on me.

"Again?" I questioned flirtingly, wrapping my hand around the rigid stalk, before scooting back, leaning over, and licking it free of fluid, feeling him shudder and moan with desire.

"Man," he moaned, "I get so hard when I touch you!"

"Or when you see me, hear me, think about me, or even picture me in your mind."


"Let me relieve your pain," I suggested, turning over and presenting my backside to him.

Lunch time on Friday found only Craig, Clay, Mattie, David, and me partaking of delicious leftovers with Lettie and John. Everyone else departed by mid-morning, expressing desire to head for home before any more inclement weather would hit, although none was predicted.

After lunch, David invited me to join him as he and his Dad discussed some financial information and reviewed his long-term and short-term investment strategies. We joined John at his desk where he produced several manila folders, each filled with various documents and charts.

It was then I discovered John served as David's investment counselor and as a business partner. They were involved in several joint ventures. I also rediscovered David was every bit as astute, if not more, than his dad. John listened just as carefully to David as David did to him. Together, I thought they presented a formidable pair when it came to turning a buck, so to speak. John was correct, however, everything David seemed to touch turned to gold and he valued David's knowledge, advice, and abilities.

"If the year continues as it has," John began referring to one of the folders and the charts in it, "we will have another good year and it appears yours, in particular, will be exceptional."

David's personal income, derived from Coleman Enterprises and his commissions from real estate sales he made through Lawrence's real estate office, were very good indeed. Coleman Enterprises, LLC consisted of his carnival income which added cash to his accounts and a four-plex in Cedar Falls in addition to the house we lived in. The rent from the four-plex made the bank payments, maintenance, and taxes, plus a little extra.

Aside from Coleman Enterprises, he had some stocks, mostly blue chip, and had been buying U.S. Savings bonds since his wartime ventures. Starting with twenty-five dollar bonds and graduating to one hundred dollar bonds, they were a bargain at half price, paying the full amount at maturity. These were part of his long-term strategy, realizing the interest was low, but the principal would stay intact.

Mattie had his own folder and his portfolio consisted of government savings bonds and two bank savings accounts (one in Iowa and the other in Brainerd). His summer earnings were going into savings accounts and savings bonds, although David was also buying a bond a month in Mattie's name since Mattie came to live with him.

"Looking ahead," David said, "I'd like to add a couple of small farms to my holdings, perhaps separate from Coleman Enterprises or our agreements. They'd certainly help Mattie through college and graduate school someday. I'd need your help with that, Dad, with the usual agreements, payments, and interest, if you would."

I learned my first lesson in the use of leverage, consisting of using the equity in one piece of property to purchase another before the first was paid off. It meant having the valuation of the property being used for equity higher than what was owed using the difference to borrow against.

"Use your four-plex to leverage one purchase, as a loan to another LLC you'd create for the farm purchases, note the cash flow either through rents or sharecropping for two, three, four years, and buy the others while paying back the loan," John advised. "You have sufficient disposable cash to make the down. Start your purchases in Iowa and I'll keep my eye out up here for bargains."

"Any up here, Dad, I'd like to be lake property. I still think someday that particular type of property will skyrocket in value. Look for the less desirable ones and let me know. I don't want to expend all of my available current assets for property. I'm looking seriously at purchases stock in a camper company in Forest City, Iowa. They're manufacturing self-contained camper units on a Class C truck chassis. I think they're going to take off."

"Done your research?"

"Yep, they're pretty sound."

"Go for it and I might too," John responded.

"Also," David continued, "I'd like to add another joint or two to my Carny operation. They produce a hefty income and have much to desire in tax benefits, especially if the summer is good and people spend."

"It also provides plenty of opportunity to hide income if needed," added John

Apparently, there were numerous ways to use the tax laws to one's advantage and David and his father certainly did. I learned never to put on paper you don't want someone else to find out, especially in financial books. Keep one set and use only one set. However, there may be times one might forget to record something, especially cash. There were business right-offs using Coleman Enterprises which reduced the taxable income considerably, but not necessarily the actual cash used for various items.

John suggested he might be interested in investing in it as well, if David needed some help.

"Don't think I'll need you, but I don't think anything will pop up right away."

The next and final folder John opened was one concerning their joint ventures as business partners. The partnerships, in the forms of Limited Liability Companies, with his father, contained properties and other investments, producing a nice revenue stream for both of them John had used part of David's wartime ventures, including his summer work with his cousin in the carnivals, to partner with him in property investments, particularly in lake front property David was so keen on. Jointly they owned several parcels with David holding the majority share in each. David indicated he wanted to retain custody of the properties since he felt the properties would increase in values. They were receiving enough in revenues from the properties to pay taxes and maintenance on any buildings.

He pointed out to John several parcels Mattie and he looked at in August when they were up for their end of summer visit, asking him to watch the parcels closely, and notify him if they came on the market. If the price was reasonable, David would arrange for financing through one of the banks his uncles managed. Any legal documents would be drawn by either an uncle or a cousin. He did make it a point, he was in no hurry to move on these properties. Listening to the discussion, I became aware Lettie's family, originally from the Ames area, were just as educated and professionally engaged as David's family.

At some point in the discussion, nearing the end as I recall, John looked over the desk at me, sitting next to David trying to assimilate and process all I'd heard, and asked me, "You've heard David's financial goals, yet we've not heard yours. Care to tell us or not?"

I thought momentarily, my brow furrowed, scrunching my face around a couple of times, and finally, my face flush with embarrassment, confessed, "I never really thought much about financial wealth, being thankful for what I have. I remember from a Philosophy Class reading something from Horace, written centuries ago, ' He is not poor who has enough things to use. If it is well with your belly, chest and feet, the wealth of kings can give nothing more ,' so my goals are to have or earn enough to complete my undergraduate work and then obtain a PhD. But now, those are my secondary goals. If I have more than I need, there are others who need it as well so I believe the other saying I heard, "Whatever you do for the least of us, you do for all of us." "

I paused, wondering if they thought me ridiculous in my desire to help others. I half expected one of them to spout, "get real,' but there was no reaction, so I plunged ahead. In for a penny, in for a pound, I thought.

"But, John," I continued, addressing him since he was the one who posed the question, "You may find this foolish, perhaps the obvious or presumed, but what I really want, my goal in life now, is to love David, keeping him happy, and me safe from those who would do us harm. I feel safe with him and loved. Nothing else really matters to me, except him! I want to share his dreams. His dreams become my dreams and I become his since he is what I've dreamed about for so long."

I don't know what kind of response I expected, if any, since I was merely expressing myself, baring my inner self to someone other than David, announcing to all how deeply I loved him and how he was shaping my life. David said nothing, he didn't need to. His eyes and face shouted volumes to me, communicating only as lover's can.

John, on the other hand, wiped a small tear from one eye, coughed to clear his throat, and muttered softly, "I'll be damned," and more emphatically, "I'll be a son-of-a-bitch! I always hoped and prayed someone would love David the way you do and share his life with him as you want. I can't say I've ever heard someone express their love in such a way except in books or movies."

David leaned over, kissed me, and whispered, "I love you!"

"I know," I giggled softly, "but say it again, please."

He did!

Sunday, we dropped Mattie off at home, and continued to Cedar Rapids to deliver Craig and Clay to their house. Fred was waiting anxiously for their arrival; not that he expected any problems, he just missed his sons. Speaking out of hearing of the two boys as they hustled to their bedrooms with their suitcases, he informed us Lindsey moved out and into a friend's house temporarily until other arrangements could be made. According to Fred, she intended sticking around until the papers were signed and filed and the settlement decided. He intended on keeping custody of the boys since she claimed she wanted no part of them since she felt they'd be a hindrance to her life.

Our conversation came to an abrupt halt when the boys clambered back into the room. Making our leave, indicating Mattie would be anxious if we delayed too long, we received "thanks" and hugs from both boys with Clay asking bashfully and hopefully, if he could come visit us sometime. We assured him he'd be welcome anytime, but it'd have to be with his father's approval.

I felt sorry for the boys, caught in the middle of a divorce, having a mother who really didn't give a good-rat's-ass about her own children. So different from David, who loved Mattie with all of his heart and soul, claiming parenthood so he'd have a father and a family.

The days raced by to the Christmas Season. I was so excited- Christmas in our very own house, with David and Mattie! The three of us spent an entire Saturday afternoon picking out "just the right tree," setting it up in the living room near the fireplace, and decorating it. We had to purchase the lights, tinsel, colored balls, and other trinkets to put on the tree, but the three large stockings Mattie insisted on hanging on the fireplace mantel, we scrounged from our winter clothes.

I made several trips to Waterloo and downtown Cedar Falls by bus while David was working and Mattie in school to do my Christmas shopping for them and to purchase stocking stuffers. You know, the various items, such as toothpaste, deodorant, candy, gum, and other little trinkets and treats and personal items. I bought Mattie shaving cream and a safety razor. He was beginning to need to use them on occasion and thought he might appreciate it.

David's present would fit in his stocking as well. I found the nicest silver bracelet at a small jewelry store in downtown Cedar Falls. I had it engraved with "David from Levi – Love, Christmas 1958."

David and I shopped together for Mattie's special presents. He would receive a new wrist watch, something he never had and wanted, and a guitar. He'd talked about it for several years according to David, claiming to have some skills he'd picked up while in foster homes and on the street. He'd receive a flat-top acoustical guitar, with case and pitch pipe for tuning, along with arrangements for some lessons from a local music teacher.

Christmas morning I was almost giddy with excitement! It was as if I'd not had a Christmas before, all giggly and excited, not so much for the anticipation of gifts, but just the fact I was sharing Christmas with David and Mattie. What more could I ask for, having Christmas in our own home with those who loved me and I loved them?

I was surprised, upon looking into the stocking we'd hung on the fireplace mantel, to find a silver bracelet, identical to mine, from David. It was engraved, "Levi from David – Love, Christmas 1958." A wink from Mattie confirmed he'd had a hand in selecting the gift. David had no idea what to give me, wanting it to be something special, so Mattie, knowing what I planned on giving his Dad, suggested the same without revealing my gift.

Mattie was thrilled with the guitar and watch, wanting each for some time. He hoped someone would give him a razor since he was beginning to grow quite a mustache and announced Jacob played the violin and was learning how to fiddle as well. Tucked under the tree was a small package with his name on it. It almost went unnoticed since it was so well hidden near the base of the tree, until David mentioned there was one more for Mattie. It was a complete, fairly new, set of lock picks in a leather case. He was more than elated. Picking locks was not only a hobby, but something he was really adept at. There was no doubt he'd continue to improve his talents.

I asked David where in the world he found the set.

"Pawn shop!" he replied with a grin.

Roast goose with all of the fixings was the main entrée, with side dishes of mashed potatoes, dressing, glazed carrots, scalloped corn (using what I learned from Lettie), twenty-four hour salad (Lettie again), brown and serve rolls, roasted mixed vegetables, and finished off with pecan pie and apple pie. Curious where I learned to cook, I explained his mother gave me plenty of instructions and the cooks at the deli in the market I worked for so many years, taught me most of what I knew. I think they took sympathy on me, hoping if I learned to cook, I wouldn't starve to death someday and disappoint them all.

The day after Christmas, David, Mattie, Jacob, and I left for Spirit View. The days we spent at the farm were relaxing. Jacob and Mattie just had a blast! Grandpa Coleman took them ice fishing several times and they were quite successful each time. Jacob absolutely fell in love with the place, vowing someday he and Mattie would have a place "up north" of their own on a lake.

The most comforting part of the trip for David and me, other than enjoying each other's company and his folks, was their pronouncement Mattie had the sweetest, best looking boyfriend ever. Mattie agreed; pleased and proud his grandparents approved. So were we! David and I were both concerned how Lettie and John might accept Mattie as gay with a boyfriend.

Shortly after the first of the year, my cousin Wyatt, Claire's older brother, called and wanted to know if I was interested in purchasing the "Popper." He was ready to give it up since he was graduating from college. Most of the bookings were made since they were basically the same ones he used each year. David told me to grab it since it would fit in with our long-term growth plans so I did, with his money- I suppose, really our money now. It became the newest addition to Coleman Enterprises, LLC. We also added my name to the articles establishing the LLC as partner and an agent, bringing our total of partners to three, including Mattie. David was also an agent able to act on behalf of the company, so with my name as well, made us more flexible and, if something happened to David – God forbid, I'd be able to have the business through right of survivorship.

"Basically," I said, "that's how we began with growing our business. It was the opportunity David wanted to grow and it was perfect for us. I had the experience and the knowledge on "The Popper" and David didn't. It also formed the basis, along with several other small ventures, what we termed our "seasonal" operational segment of Coleman Enterprises. We now have three joints and three popcorn wagons working every summer, employing ten young men, mostly relatives, every summer."

I paused noting only two of my audience were still awake and aware of my dialogue. Elgee leaned up against Rick, Rick's arms around his shoulder, Carl, flat on his back on the floor, sound asleep, and Ray, head in Rick's lap, absolutely dead to the world. Both the sleeping young men were snoring softly. It'd been a long and very active day. Frankly, I was surprised all four weren't out like lights in a blackout.

Elgee looked at me and smiled; "Uncle Levi, I think you lost half of your audience."

"So I did. Perhaps it's time we got them and ourselves to bed."

"Do you have anything planned for tomorrow, Uncle Levi?" Elgee asked hesitantly.

I thought they might enjoy a day or two to relax and sort of "veg" out so I hadn't planned anything extra. "No, do you have something in mind?"

"Well, sort of," he began. "We'll be going home in a couple of days or so and we sort of talked about taking enough fish home, if they're biting, so Rick's family could have a 'taste of the north,' so to speak. If it's not too much bother, we'd like to fish and just sort of relax, depending on the weather."

It suited me just fine. I enjoyed taking them fishing and wouldn't mind doing some myself. "It could be tough with all of the traffic on the lake this past couple of days and the fireworks yesterday, but I'm more than willing to give it our damnedest. How's that?"

It was fine with Elgee and Rick. Carl and Ray were in no condition to give an opinion, but as much as I'd observed how they loved to fish, I was certain there'd be no objection. I let Rick and Elgee get the other two off to bed while I retired to my own bedroom for what I thought would be a well-deserved rest.

Sleep seemed to escape me, my mind a jumble of thoughts, remembering how we moved quickly to purchase the "Popper" and the step-van used to haul the supplies for it. David was much calmer and relaxed concerning it than I was. My concern, not David's since he just seemed to exude confidence, was paying back the dollars we borrowed for the purchase. Ingrained in my mind was something my father pounded into my head when I was younger and living at home, if that's what it could be called.

There happened to be some small item, I forget exactly what now, I wanted to purchase at the "5 and 10" store downtown and I'd not brought enough money from my meager allowance, to make the purchase. I think maybe I needed a nickel or less and asked him if he would loan me the needed amount until we got home and I'd pay him back.

I remember him snarling at me, berating me, and wagging a finger in my face, embarrassing me in front of the clerk and others, "Neither a borrower or lender be!"

Devastated and angry, I kept my silence and a week or so later, I rode the city bus downtown, this time with enough money in my pocket, to purchase the item. I discovered the thing I so desperately wanted was gone! For some reason, it stuck in my mind never to purchase something unless I had the money to do so.

"Don't worry so much, Levi," David stated, "our credit is good and our collateral is sound."

His words did little to assuage my worries since he was using the four-plex as security and it wasn't paid off either. Leveraging the equity in it would finance the "Popper."

"We'll pay it off before you know it," he assured me.

That well may be, but in the meantime I'd worry about doing so or fear losing the four-plex if we went bust!

The end of January we drove over to my former hometown to finalize our purchase and bring the "Popper" and step-van to Cedar Falls. Rather than leave Mattie at home, knowing if we did, he'd be just fine and well occupied fucking the tightness out of Jacob's sweet, little ass all weekend, we gave him the option, noting we could really use his help.

"May as well," he announced, "Jacob's going to be gone with his folks to visit a sister or brother, I forget which, in Des Moines."

We arrived late Friday, got a motel room, and a bite to eat. I called Claire and Bill to see when we could get together, decided on breakfast at their house, and called Wyatt to make arrangements to conclude the deal on Saturday morning. David wanted to have the deal done and us on the road by ten, no later than eleven. It'd give us plenty of daylight on our way home if we happened to have problems or hit inclement weather, although none was predicted.

In the morning, taking turns showering, I happened to glance at Mattie, naked of course on his way in to the shower as I exited. He was well into puberty, developing his body and his genitals, maturing more every day. I thought back to Christmas, smirking to myself, thinking the Christmas goose wasn't the only thing that got stuffed that Holiday. Jacob did too; plum full and overflowing.

Breakfast was delightful, preceded by much hugging and a few tears, before we sat down at table to enjoy the meal, interjected with laughter and more conversation. At one point, Mattie asked if the carillon towers were still stationed along the riverfront. Bill thought a moment before declaring, hesitantly, he thought they were, "Although I've not paid much attention."

Quickly picking up on Mattie's question, curious, I asked how he knew of them.

"I was here one time in the summer a few years ago. Not for long, just overnight," Mattie responded.

I asked no more and neither did anyone else. I thought Bill might, but I saw a slight movement of Claire's leg and decided she gave him a nudge to keep quiet.

Our goodbyes were tearful, but joyful once Claire announced a new addition would be coming to their family sometime in late spring.

We met with Wyatt, concluded our deal, and hooked the "Popper" to the pickup truck. David felt he'd be more comfortable driving the van than pulling the "Popper" since I was familiar with how it handled. If we ran into problems or slippery conditions he thought it might be easier to control "the wreck," as he put it, if he drove the van.

I agreed!

We didn't encounter any bad roads or delays, making it home by five that evening. The "Popper" went into the shed behind the house and the step-van was parked in the back yard. We'd decided to sell it since our other truck had just about double the capacity and would handle supplies for the "Popper" and the joint supplies and set up equipment.

The day proved to be long, I thought, the drive home tiring, and my worries seemed to consume yet again. I just wished I had David's confidence and experience. He was eight years older than me, a degree in business, and years of experience dealing with people, investing, sales, and money handling or, as some would say, manipulating the coin. I just had to have faith he knew how to "turn a buck" as others put it so adroitly.

David sensed my discomfort, cuddled up close, reaching down cupping my scrotum in his hand, gently fondling and tickling the orbs inside, giving rapid rise to my penis. Just his touch or soft breath on my body, nowhere in particular, seemed to be the height of eroticism, and caused me to shiver, tremble, and go to an immediate full, throbbing cock-stand in anticipation of the pleasures to come.

Carefully releasing my balls and, using one finger, he traced ever so lightly from them up the underside of my stiffness, following the thick tube on the underside, causing my dick to jerk and thump against my abdomen until he reached the swollen, weeping head, where clear, sticky fluid oozed from the urethra opening at the tip, whereupon he ran his finger around it before using two fingers to slip the foreskin down, securing it beneath the fluted helmet. I could do nothing but whimper softly, begging for more.

"I sense, my love," he cooed tenderly, "you are upset, worrying about our financial future. Have I caused any reason for concern? If so, perhaps I can relieve your fears and stress," as he encircled my cock, sliding his hand up and down several times before leaning over, whispering kisses on my neck, face, and ears before engaging his lips with mine, pushing his tongue to open my mouth to receive him.

Pulling his tongue from my mouth, he confessed, "I can't resist the taste of you. Levi, you enchant me, bewitching me with your beauty, your love, your tender affection, all calling me as the Sirens of Greek Mythology did mortal man, reminding me how fortunate I am you would have me."

Head, nose, lips, began a sensuous migration south, not fast as would geese flying in "V's" or elegant swans calling softly as they glided, but akin to a Monarch Butterfly floating on gossamer wings, fluttering, drifting on the winds, alighting carefree on sweet morsels tucked within petals of flowers to sustain its journey.

One breast, then the other was adored and tasted before those sweet, tender, moist tantalizers fluttered further south to my navel, the proboscis contained behind teeth, emerged, swirled around, causing my abdominal muscles to contract, and my cock to twitch.

My stomach sucked in making my hip bones prominent as a result and seemed to thrust my hardness up as if seeking an invitation to be worshipped as well. David did, first lick to taste, then lap like a kitten face deep in a saucer of warm milk, before slipping his lips over my erection engulfing it to the root, and gently suckled as a newborn babe would at mother's breast.

I expected him to bring me to fruition, especially when I felt a finger carefully invade my puckered opening. It was not to be; he was lubricating me, preparing me for the delight of receiving his prodigious prick and a good and proper fucking! David rose, spread my legs, knelt between them, and raised them to his waist, affording me a better grip on him and him a better angle to enter me. He leaned forward, kissed me lightly, then more arduously, scooting closer, lifting my butt for accessibility, until the large, weeping head of his cock nudged my sphincter, now twitching and flexing, ready for entry. With a slight push, the bulbous head popped through with less resistance than it did the first time it found its home port, followed by the thick length of his shaft until he was embedded to the root inside me. I could feel my internal muscles and intestinal walls stretching and adjusting to the very large intruder.

We rested a moment, lips still engaged, before he began a gentle, but determinedly slow thrust forward and back, forward and back, a movement seemingly needing very little instruction for the male of the species, but certainly experience to prolong and heighten the pleasure of both participants in the dance of erotica. Perhaps I'm unusual, perhaps not, but even with David's much larger than average sized penis moving back and forth to full depth to almost exiting, I felt no pain. What I really felt was quite full, satisfied, wanting and longing our coitus to continue forever. Even when he thrust deep, clear to the root so his balls rested against my butt cheeks, in his final, mind-blowing climax, I felt no pain, only the exhilarating explosion of my own climax, meeting his flooding my gut with his hot, voluminous seed.

He was always so considerate of bringing me to my own pleasure, often, as he was doing now, stroking my cock in unison with his fucking in order to bring me off with him. David often didn't need to since it seemed, flat on my back, eyes locked on his, lips many times engaged in the ardor of the act, I could fire ropes of semen across my abdomen and up onto my chest the minute I felt his thick tube expand and began throbbing with each spurt of the massive quantities of white, thick, semen he seemed to produce and empty into my bowels.

Laying locked in love, his stiff cock still embedded, seeming to take a rest in order to resume, our post-coital bliss mutual and satisfying, David murmured, "Did that relieve you of your stress and anxiety, Levi?"

How could it not? All things were possible with David by my side.

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