"Dad?" Aaron said, cautiously, as he entered the lounge. His fathers look up from the couch, where they were snuggling, naked. Normally, Aaron would smile, run to them, and join in - his family was very much of the free love type. This time, he just stood in the doorway, his six brothers behind him.
When the seven of them had decided to approach their fathers about this, there had been no question who would be their spoke person, Aaron had headed for the lounge before the others had even finished talking. He had been full of confidence, which evaporated as he entered the lounge.
"Aaron!" said one of them.
"Don't just stand there, come join us," said the other.
One of his father as Daniel, and the other was Donald, but they were twins, and he couldn't tell them apart, no one could. So everyone who knew the tigers treated them as one person.
"What's wrong?" his fathers disentangled themselves, and looked at him with concern.
His brothers chose that time to crowed the doorway, and push Aaron forward. "We have something to ask you," he said, glaring as his brothers, before straightening.
"Of course, come on in, all of you." His fathers exchanged a worried look. All their sons were wearing pants. A clear sign they didn't want anything to distract from what was going to be talked about.
They moved closer to the couch, but stayed far enough they could run off without being caught. That worried the two older tigers. Their sons were actually afraid this would anger them.
"Alright, what do you want to know?"
"It's, it's about are mothers." Aaron paused, and watched for a reaction from his fathers, they remained calm so he continued. "You've never talked about them. We know we all have different mothers, it's the only way we could all have been born at the same time . . . How did that happen?"
Donald nodded to himself, actually surprised it had taken them this long to bring up their mothers. They had turned eighteen three days ago.
"You guys are going to want to sit down," Daniel said. When his sons looked at each others with worry, he added. "You don't have to worry about running off, you're not in trouble."
With reticence, the young tigers sat on the chairs, in twos and threes, snuggling together out of habit.
That was good, Donald thought, at least they weren't so worried to forget comfort. "Okay," he started, "before we start, I'd like to know if you've been to afraid to ask before, or you've just become curious about them now?"
"We've been curious for a while now, but we didn't know how to ask. Now that we're eighteen, we figured we should just ask, and get what ever it causes over with." Aaron had Aiden leaning against him, and he was rubbing his chest.
"Alright, like Daniel said, you're not in trouble. I'll admit we don't particularly care to talk about them, but that isn't because anything bad happened, we simply don't think they are all that important.
"Well, as you can imagine, eighteen years, nine months ago, me and Daniel had sex with your mothers. We spent the year before that looking for the right tigresses to give birth to you. We wanted good genetic stock."
Arthur stood a little straighter, his ears standing tall with interest.
"Yes, Arthur, even your mother, unfortunately, nothing's guaranteed when making babies. So you ended up with genes that mean you're not going to be more then five feet tall." They had consulted specialists, and they had confirmed that Arthur had dwarvinism.
"Because of my mother?" his tone was annoyed.
"Or us," Daniel said, "there's not really any way to know. But that isn't important to us, you know that, right?"
"I know, I just that that if it was because of her, I might be able to . . ." He didn't finish his thought. Arthur had always been unhappy about his small stature, even if everyone in his family made sure not to treat him any differently, he was an Orr, that was all that mattered to them. Albert hugged his brother tightly, and nibbled on his ear.
"Stop that," Arthur said with a chuckle.
"We found ten tigresses," Donald continued, "who agreed to have sex with us. We wrote up a contract, so there would be no miscommunications, they were being paid, and any boys they give birth to, we be ours, and they wouldn't have anything to do with you."
A chuckle ran among them, at the wording, like any girls might have been born.
"That must have been quite the orgy," Alexander said
"Not really. Not as many people are into that as you'd think. You have to remember that we travel in peculiar circles, us Orrs. No, we got ten hotel rooms, and spent a week going from one to the other. The sex was pleasurable, but utilitarian, really. We were all there to get a job done. After that we kept in contact, they were followed by one of Damian's fertility clinic. Even then, two of them had miscarriage."
Alexander frowned, counted them, to make sure. "We're missing one. There's only seven of us."
Daniel nodded. "One of the mother disappeared before giving birth."
"We have another brother?" Aaron asked, and everyone was paying close attention now.
Daniel shrugged. "Maybe, we don't know. We didn't try to find out."
"We had the seven of you," Donald said, "you are all precious to us. We figured that if she wanted a child this badly, we were okay with it."
"But," Arthur said, "he's our brother, we should go find him."
"No." Daniel stated, keeping his voice calm. "Let him live his life. At eighteen, being confronted to our lifestyle would be too much of a shock."
"Now that you know this, do you want us to track down your mothers?"
The kids looked for one to the other, and then as one they shook their heads. "No, we just wanted to know about them."
"Alright. Do you want us to spend the rest of the evening with us?"
"No, thanks," Aaron said, a little subdued, "I have a paper to write up, I should get to it." He stood.
"I have to study," Arthur said, and the other agreed they had something else to do, and left in silence.
Donald and Daniel looked at each other. Their sons weren't as okay with this as they'd said. They thought about going after them, but decided to give them a bit of space, if in a few days they were still this sullen, they would see what they could do.
As it turned out, the next day they were back to their joyful and sexual selves. So the two of them didn't worry about it anymore
* * * * *
Anakin parked the minivan in the first available parking on the side of the street he saw.
"We could park in the underground parking," Alexander said.
Anakin looked at his brother. "Right, because they would let this heap in there. I don't know if you noticed, but while we drove by, two Cadillacs exited, a Bentley, and a Ferrari, entered. This is a place where they only let people with money in."
"We have money," Aiden said.
"Dads have money, we're just the kids, and a minivan doesn't exactly scream, rich family coming through."
"It's uncle Damian's building," Arthur said, looking up in awe, at the tall glass sky scraper. "He'd let us park inside." He'd seen big buildings before, it wasn't his first time in the San Francisco financial district, but the fact that this building was in his family awed him.
"Uncle Damian doesn't know we're coming," Aaron said, "and it's probably going to be cheaper putting money in the meter. We shouldn't be here long, if he's even going to see us."
"Of course he's going to see us, we're family." Said Alexander.
"This isn't a family gathering," Aaron replied, "were everyone gets to have sex with everyone else. This is his company. Uncle Damian is a busy man."
"Maybe we should have called before coming, Arthur said.
"And risk him telling our fathers what we were planing? I don't think so."
As far as their fathers were concerned, the kids had taken the minivan to go to the mall, catch a movie, ogle the guys, and make out. If they had any idea they were coming here to see their uncle, Aaron was certain they would be grounded until they were fifty.
"Alright, lets go."
The seven of them exited, and Anakin put the eight dollars in the meter, that gave them an hour, it should be long enough. They walked through the large entrance, and into the building. They attracted a few stares, but no one stopped them. They were dressed casually enough to make going to be mall credible, but well enough they didn't stand out, too much.
They took the elevator to the top floor, during which Aiden got stared at for humming along with the muzak. He shrugged, and kept on humming. Aiden was the musically talented in the family, he had perfect pitch, sang in the choir, and played the guitar, the flute, the piano, and the trumpet. Their fathers had suggested he become a concert musician,but Aiden didn't care for that kind of pressure. He was studying to become a composer.
And he already had enough of a following on Youtube, with all the music he uploaded there, that he'd make money the day he decided to publish an album.
The door open to a wall, with a diamond shaped glass in the middle of it. Above that a sign read: "Diamond Industries", under the diamond another sign: "because Diamonds are just coal under pressure."
They looked at it for a moment.
"Does that make any kind of sense to you?" Albert asked.
"Uncle Damian must have come up with it," Arthur said, and everyone agreed with him.
They walked around the wall, and the space opened up with cubicles, and offices with glass walls. Everyone was extremely busy.
They headed for the largest office, at the back of the room. Like the others it was glass, but at least twice the size. The blinds were currently closed.
As they got close, they saw the name on the door: "Damian Orr". Since there was no one there to stop them, Aaron opened it.
It opened to a reception office, with a gazelle at the desk. Behind her was another wall, wood this time, with a door in it. She looked up at then, ears shaking for a moment, before she got them under control.
"Can I help you?" she asked, as they reached her desk. The place on it read 'Alice Turbone.
"We'd," Aaron started, and then lost his nerve. He breathed in. "We'd like to see Mister Orr," he said.
"Do you have an appointment?"
Aaron shook his head.
"Mister Orr, is a very busy man," she said, her tone firm, but friendly. "He doesn't have the time for walkings."
Arthur elbowed him. "Tell her," he whispered.
Aaron shook his head. He wasn't going to use the fact that he was related to the richest man in the world to get him to see them. He hated when people name dropped, he wasn't doing to do it. "Could you . . . Could you check with him? Please?"
She looked at him, then Arthur, and the others, studying them for a moment. She picked up the phone. "Mister Orr, I'm sorry to disturb you during your meeting, there's a group of youth here who would like to know if you can find the time to see them." She listened for a moment, then looked the tigers over, counting them. "Seven of them, sir. Yes, tigers." She was silent for a moment, then surprise let her face. "Very well." She hung up. "If you'll wait a moment, he is wrapping up his meeting, and he'll see you."
"Thank you Alice," Aaron said. "Thank you very much."
The kid looked around while they waited.
"Excuse me," Albert asked Alice, "but is this an actual Rembrant?" he pointed at the painting he had been looking at.
"No, dear, it's a reproduction."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, the original is in a museum."
Albert looked at it closer, then smelled it. "It smells right for the era," said, to himself. He took out a small flashlight, put his head as close to the wall as he could and moved the light on the painting. "The shadows are moving, so this is actual paint. This is one hell of a forgery." He finally said, if it actually is one, he kept to himself.
His brother's didn't bother him, his fascination with old painting amused them, mainly. They kept telling him there was no money to be made in art restoration, and joked that he'd have to mooch off their father for all his life. The jab were friendly, he knew, and he didn't mind them. He knew he wouldn't keep the kind of lifestyle he had now, once he strode out on his own, and he was ready for that.
The door to the office opened, and an angry looking elephant, in a very expensive looking gray suit, stormed out. He glared at them, and left.
Alice looked at him, not flinching when he slammed the door, and then at them. "Mister Orr can see you now."
The seven of them entered an office that was larger than their living room, and they had had parties there with over fifty people there. The walls were wood, honey colored, except for the one facing them, it was a large window, looking over San Francisco. The floor was white and polished, which made the sole things in the room stand out, a black desk, with two black chair before it, and Damian sitting behind it.
"Come on in!" he said, jovially. "I have to say this is quite the unexpected surprise. I'm afraid most of you will have to stand, this is the most people my office has ever seen.
"Hi, uncle Damian," Aaron said. He'd never been this nervous around him. You've had sex with him, he told himself, snap put of it. But here, in this office, he didn't feel like his uncle, the one who could get into his mind, and get him to do thing he'd never dare do, would be afraid to even contemplate doing, but would end up loving.
No here, his uncle looked like what he was, one of the most powerful man in the world, one of the most feared.
Damian smiled at him, and Aaron felt himself relax, that was a smile he's seen so often, on his back, his uncle over him, and moving in him. "There," Damian said, "that's better. The lot of you know you're always welcome here, even if it's taken this long for you to visit my office."
He stood, and came to hug, and kiss each one of them, leaving them smiling, and blushing. Aaron was sporting a hardon after that kiss.
Damian leaned against his desk. "So, to what do I owe this pleasure."
"We found out we have a brother," Aaron said, once he found his voice again.
Damian stood, and listened carefully as they told them what they had found out from their father.
* * * * *
Damian stormed into Donald and Daniel's office. "How the fuck could you let that happen!"
"Hi Damian," they both said at he same time, and stopped typing moments later, looking up from their computers and at him.
Damian was next to their desks, now. The desk being one against the other, facing together. He looked from Daniel to Donald, and he growled. "One of these days, I am going to carve your names in your foreheads. I shouldn't have to wait until we're having sex to be able to tell you apart." He calmed himself. "Now, who's who?"
"I'm Daniel," he said, raising a hand.
"We can always start wearing name tags," Donald offered.
"No. If father could tell you apart, so can I."
Daniel smiled. "Good luck with that. Now, what has you breaking down the door and screaming at us?"
"How could you let that woman leave with your son."
Donald sighed. "The kids told you."
"Yes, three days ago. And don't you dare blame them. You had no right to keep that from me."
"Hey, our lives are our own. We don't have to tell you everything we do, Dam."
"No, you don't, but when it affect the family I have to know. I promised father I would look after everyone."
"Damian, Dad didn't mean that you have to be our guardian angel, we're able to look after ourselves, the lot of us."
"Tell that to Dietrich," Damian grumbled. "Look, this isn't up for debate. He is an Orr, and I am going to get him."
"No!" Donald stood. "You are not going to storm in, and break up that family. He might have our genes, but he's her son now."
"He's eighteen, and no one has educated him. Do you have any idea what he's going to go through?"
"The same thing the rest of the world does," Donald stated. "So he might not end up perfectly adjusted, so what? Most people seem to manage."
"You're not thinking this through. His mother's Christian, she's going to fill his head with nonsense about sin and an angry god. What if he's the one who has a family. You really want our line to become tormented people, repressing what comes naturally to them? Because I promise you, if we don't do anything, that might happen. He's going to feel forced to find a girl, have kids, and raise them the same way he was raised.
"I am not letting that happen. I don't need your permission, not if you're not planing on seeing him as you own kid."
That took some of the anger out of Donald. He sat down.
Damian looked at Daniel, who'd remain silent through all that. "What about you, what do you think?"
"I think you're right, we have to do something." Donald glared at him, not used to having his twin not take his side. "But Donald's right too. You can't be the one to go take him. I'm sorry Damian, but you're not exactly the most well adjusted person. You're idea of helping him probably involves kidnapping him, locking him up in a bedroom and twisting him up until he doesn't know what he is anymore. I can't let you do that to my son."
"What do you suggest then?" Damian didn't bother denying Daniel had basically outlined what his plan had been.
"I think we should let the kids handle it, at least the first contact. They're the same age he is, so it might be easier for him to accept it."
Damian thought it over, and nodded. "Alright. And then?"
"Then, you let us handle it. As you pointed out, he's our son, he's our responsibility."
"And if you screw this up?"
"Then it's on our head. We all screw up sometime, even you, we accept that. We'll do our best, and see what happens.
Damian nodded, then reach out, grabbed each of them by the collar. "Now come on. Lets go seal this agreement in your bedroom"
* * * * *
"Are you sure this is the place?" Adam asked. They were parked a block away, in the minivan, again. They were looking at a small one story house, with faded, and peeling, blue paint on the walls. The lawn was mowed, but they could see a lot of weeds.
"It's the address uncle Damian gave us," Anakin said.
"I wouldn't want to live here," Alexander commented.
"You have to remember, not everyone is has fortunate as us." Was Aaron's contribution. "It doesn't make them any less good people."
"Would *you* ant to live here?" Alexander challenged him.
Arron didn't reply. His bedroom was probably larger then the house he was looking at. He probably didn't have a pool in the backyard, or workout equipment. Did it even have a backyard?
"How about you runt? Would you live here?" Alexander turned to look at Arthur, and saw an opened door. Their brother was running toward the house.
With curses everyone left the minivan to run after him. He was knocking on the door, when they caught up to him. The door opened, and a tiger, was standing before them.
No one could say anything, as they looked at the brother they never knew. He was disheveled, had a cut on his left bicep, where his fur wasn't regrowing. He was wearing a wife beater that had seen much better days, and ripped jeans. Not professionally ripped, ripped because of age.
Aaron moved next to Arthur, who was just gawking at the man. "Hi. I'm Aaron. We're your brothers."
The tiger looked at them. Burst out laughing, and slammed the door shut.
They all stared at the door, stunned.
"What should we do?" Adam asked.
"Should we knock again?" Alexander asked.
Aaron didn't know what to do. All of them had imagined what this moment was going to be like, but he was certain none of them had imagined this. He certainly hadn't. Would knocking again accomplish anything? The guy had laughed at them. He turned, and saw that Aiden and Albert's eyes were wet.
"Lets go back to the minivan, the very least we can do, is not crowd his porch." They headed back in silence, and sat there.
"I'm sorry," Arthur said, "I shouldn't have done this, maybe it would have gone better if I hadn't run there."
"No Runt," Adam said, ruffling his hair. "I'm pretty sure we'd still be sitting here, debating what do to, or commenting on his house, but certainly not going to knock on that door. You got the ball moving, good on you."
"Did we sound that crazy?" Albert asked, he'd dried his eyes. "He laughed at us."
"Well, it's bound to be a shock," Alexander replied, "seven guys he doesn't know showing up at his door, announcing they're his brothers. I don't know what I would have done in that situation."
"We have his phone number," Aiden offered, "maybe one of us can give him a call, and try to explain the situation?"
"And what would we say? The situation hasn't changed." Adam said dryly.
"Hey guys," Anakin said, nodding toward the tiger that was walking toward them.
Aaron lowered the window.
"Look," the tiger started, "I'm sorry for laughing at you, and slamming the door in your face. But there's no way you guys are my brothers, I don't have any brothers. My dad died right after I was born."
"I'm Aaron," Aaron said, and proceeded to introduce everyone, "this is Anakin, Adam, Alexander, Albert, Aiden, and Arthur."
There was a long silence. "I'm Patrick," he finally said. And most of the brother winced. "What?"
"We were kind of expecting your name to start with 'A'," Anakin said.
"Why would you expect that?"
"It's a family tradition," Aaron said.
"Look, I already said I wasn't related to you."
"What day were you born?" Aaron asked. "March seventeenth? Eighteenth? Or nineteenth?"
Patrick looked at him for a moment. "Eighteenth."
"Us too," Aiden exclaimed.
Patrick smirked. "Right, all seven of you were born on exactly the same day I was."
"No," Aaron said. "Our birth actually range between the seventeenth to the nineteenth, but we've always ended up celebrating it on the eighteenth, so we decide to make it easy on everyone and picked that day as our official birthday."
"So what? You guys were born around the same day, a year apart, or something?"
"No, we're all eighteen, just like you."
"How the hell is that possible? Are you guys some sort of genetic experiment?"
"No, our dads just didn't want . . ."
"Dads?" Patrick stiffened.
"Yes, our fathers wanted . . ."
"Look. I told you I'm not your brother. Now leave me alone." Patrick headed back to his house.
"What just happened?" Albert asked.
"I have no idea," Aaron replied. He sighed. "Okay, lets go home, we can ask dad for advise."
* * * * *
Donald knocked on the door, while Daniel looked around, that pale blue paint, the weed covered lawn, the gray door. They had decided to come themselves after their sons told them what had happened. They had an idea why it had happened.
The door opened, and a tigress was standing before them.
"Hello Margarette," Donald said. Her name had been part of the information Damian had given their kids, they would have been able to find it on their own, they had all the records, in a box, somewhere in the attic.
She looked at them. "Hello, can I help you with something?"
"Yes, we'd like to see our son."
She seemed confused for a moment, and then her eyes grew wide. "No. Absolutely not. He's my son, not yours." She tried to close the door, but Donald held it open.
"Margarette, you signed a contract, which you broke when you vanished. We didn't pursue it, back then, but if you don't let us talk with Patrick, we will drag you to court over this. Our brother has an entire law firm at his disposal, and believe me, we will use them." Donald's tone hard.
Daniel put a hand on his brother's arm. "Donny, calm down." He looked at the tigress. "We're not here to take him form you. We have sons, we're happy, but he is our son too, and there are things he needs to know, and you too."
"He's not here," she said, "and even if he was, I wouldn't let two fags like you get anywhere near him."
"Mom?" the voice came from further in the house. "Who's at the door?"
"No here, huh?" Donald sneered. He tried to push his way in, but Daniel held him back. "Danny, don't take her side on this. He is our son, she's probably poisoned his mind already."
"Donny, please, calm down. I'm not taking her side, I'm trying to avoid this blowing up. Margarette, regardless of what you think of us, Patrick is our blood, and that means he needs to be told some things. I really don't want to use the law, but we need to talk to him. You can either let us do that here, now, with you present, or we can go to court, where you will lose him."
Margarette's face was a study of stubborness, broken only when her son appeared behind her.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"Hello Patrick," Daniel said. "I'm Daniel, this is Donald. We're you fathers."
"Is this a joke?" Patrick asked. "Mom, who are these fuckers?"
Margarette didn't reply, her body seemed to deflate. "Come in," she said, barely audibly.
"Mom? What's going on?"
Daniel and Donald entered a small living room, crowded with Christian symbols, crosses on the wall, angels on the tables, the small couch was upholstered with cherubs.
"Sit down, Patrick," she said, again, he voice barely audible.
She indicated two seats for Donald and Daniel to take, but they sat on the couch. Donald smirking at her. Resigned, she didn't comment.
"Mom?" now Patrick's voice was filled with concern.
She sat, and never looked away form the floor. "One of them is your father."
"What? What do you mean, 'one of them'?"
"I had sex with them, and nine month later, you were born."
Patrick stared at her for a long moment, then he turned, grabbed a picture of a shelve and shook it at her. "Then who the fuck is that?" She looked up at the picture, and then away. "You told me my dad was a war hero, you said he was deployed just after I was born, and that he died in Afghanistan! Are you telling me that was a lie. That I'm the son of one of those fags?"
Donald was about to stand and make the situation worse, but Daniel held him down, which earned him another glare. He knew he Donald was going to be royally pissed at him for some time, but a screaming match here wouldn't help anything.
Daniel looked at Patrick. "You're gay too, Patrick."
"No!" both him and his mother said together.
"You can deny it all you want, but it's in your blood."
"No, I am not a fag. I'm straight. I'm not a sinner."
"What the fuck does sinning have to do with anything?" Donald growled.
"Donny," Daniel warned. Another glare.
Patrick gave a sardonic laugh. "What's it got to do with it? Everything. I'm a church going Christian. I read the bible, I know right from wrong, and I know being a fag's a sin."
"So is lying," Daniel said, not raising his voice, but looking at Margarette.
"Patrick, you don't want to act on it, that's your choice, but you need to know who you are. As our son, you are gay. That's in your blood. You can deny that you get turned on by looking at guys in the change room, but it doesn't change the fact that you do." Patrick looking away told him he was right. Not much of a guess, the kid was an Orr. "It isn't a sin, and it isn't a choice. If you're not going to act on it, make sure it's an informed decision, not a reaction to fear."
Daniel stood. "Come on Donny. It's time to go."
Donald started at him in surprise for a moment, and then the anger was just barely controlled.
Daniel took a card from his wallet, and handed it to Patrick. "If you have questions, this is our number. Any time, day or night, call us." Then he lead his brother out, and to the car. Donald reach for the driver's door, but Daniel grabbed it first, getting yet another glare. He sat, put his hands on the steering wheel
"Go ahead, let me have it."
"What the fuck was that?" Donald yelled. "You saw what that woman's done to our son, he's fucking terrified of who he is!"
Daniel looked straight ahead. He hated seeing his brother when he lost his temper like that, so he wasn't going to look at him. "What did you want me to do, Donny." He kept his voice calm, a counter point to his brother's scream. "We can't change things just by sitting him down and having a talk with him. Things don't happen over night."
"So that's you're idea? Leaving him with his mind twisted mother, so she can continue the damage she's already inflicted?"
Daniel closed his eyes, and did his best not to flinch. He took his cell phone and handed it to his brother.
"What's that for?"
Daniel did flinch at having the anger directed at him. "Go ahead." He still managed to keep his voice form shaking. "Call Damian, tell him to come take our son and bring it to that bedroom, so he can do what ever he feel he has to to him."
That silenced Donald.
"Fuck." Donald hit the dash. "Fuck." Hit again. "Fuck!" again. "FUUUUUCK!" when the scream ended, the silence was deafening.
Daniel let the silence hang for a long moment, before opening his eyes, and glancing at his brother. Donald was crying. He pulled him against him, resting his head on his shoulder and let him cry.
* * * * *
Patrick looked at the house he was standing in front of. That wasn't a house, that was a mansion. His house could probably fit in there over twenty times. Who the fuck lived in places like that. He'd gotten a friend of his to do a reverse lookup on the number the two f . . .. He stopped himself, like it or not, one of those guys was his father. His friend had found the address. He said it had taken him a bit more work than he'd expected to find it, something about it being unlisted, or something like that. So Patrick had given him the forty bucks he had on him.
The house was big, two story, white stucco. A garage on the side, he stared for a moment, fuck the garage was bigger than his house. He'd been amaze that a place like this didn't have a gate, with armed guards in front.
He knocked on the door, which was a deep crimson. An then noticed the buzzer button. Maybe he should have used that instead? But moments later the door opened. It was the smaller one who opened it. The one who had knocked on his door. He didn't remember his name. He was only wearing sweat pants.
"Hi," Patrick said.
"Is your dad here?"
The guy nodded, too a deep breath and the yelled. "Guys! Patrick's here!"
Patrick winced. Man, for a guy so short, he certainly had one hell of a pair of lungs on him. Once his ears stopped ringing, he thought he could hear people running around. Not long after that, one of the two guys who had said he was his son showed up. He too was only wearing sweat pants.
"Thanks, Arthur," he said, ruffled his hair, and then moved out of the way to let him in.
For a moment, Patrick wasn't sure if he should go in. Sure, he'd taken the bus all the was across the city to come here, but now that he felt like he was about to enter an entirely new world. It wasn't just the obvious wealth, these guys were f . . . Gay, and they acted like it was the most normal thing to be. Patrick couldn't see himself being comfortable around another naked guy, let along doing something with him.
Still, he had made the journey, now it was time to enter the dark cave, and learn the secrets. The entryway, hall was more like it, had a black floor, polished to the point where he could see his reflection in it. The walls were white, there was a mirror on one side, in a gold frame. At his point he figured the frame was actual gold.
"Should I take off my shoes?" he asked. He was scared of dirtying the floor. He was scared of touching anything. If he broke something, there was no way he'd be able to replace it.
"Only if you want to. Don't worry about getting stuff dirty," he added, as if he'd read his mind. "We've got seven kids, nothing stays clean long here. If you want to take off your jacket, the closet is behind you."
Patrick turned, and there was a polished wood door. Should he leave his jacket there, did they expect him to get down to his boxers, or something.
"Is there a dress code, or something?"
"You and Arthur are only wearing sweats. Is that how you dress here?"
The guy looked down at himself, as if he'd forgotten what he was wearing. "Oh, no. You just caught us, exercising. If you prefer I'll go put on something more appropriate."
"Exercising, like the whole lot of you?"
"Yes, it's a family tradition, we like to stay in shape. Looked like you do to."
Patrick shrugged, he was muscular, sure, but it wasn't because he liked to stay in shape. In his neighborhood, if you weren't strong enough, you got the crap beat out of you.
He decided to put his jacket in the closet. It looked like rags next to the others there.
"Look, I don't want to offend you, but I don't remember your name. I didn't really pay attention when you, or the other one gave them to me."
"I'm Donald, and I understand. That meeting wasn't exactly smooth."
"That's certainly one way to say it."
"How would you describe it?"
Patrick thought about it for a moment, maybe he shouldn't use that kind of language here. Except, he got the feeling that guy, Donald, appreciated honesty over proper language.
"I'd call if a shit load of shit, blowing up over everyone."
Donald laughed. "That's certainly colorful. My brother's name is Daniel, but don't worry if you can't tell us apart. No one can. Don't be afraid to ask who's who. The kids just call us dad, so they don't have to worry about screwing it up. I don't expect you to call us that."
"I wasn't planing on it," Patrick said, defensively.
"I understand. How did you find our house?
"I know a guy who's good at finding stuff out. I gave him your number." He left it at that.
They walked by what had to be a living room, with large couches, plush looking carpet, a large entertainment center. The place was a mess, cushions were all over the floor, it looked like one of the chairs was leaning against another. There was a scent of those artificial air fresheners coming from that room, roses or something.
"What happened there?"
"Like I said, we have seven kids," was all Donald gave as an answer.
They reached a dining room, which again, was larger than his house. At the table, which could seat at least twenty people, was the other guy, Daniel, and the seven kids sitting one one end.
"Grab a seat," Donald said, and he went to sit next to Daniel. Patrick didn't move immediately, he looked at the two of them, trying to see some difference. He'd said no one could tell them apart, but that couldn't be true, no two tigers had the same stripe pattern, and they could always tell each other apart, it was a subconscious thing, he knew, you might not know their names, but you can tell them apart.
Except for them, he realized, as far as he could tell, their patterns were identical, at least what he could see on their arms, and chest, where they faded into the while belly fur. He looked at the teenagers, and he could tell their patterns apart easily. Then he was realizing he was breathing a little hard, looking at those bare chest, so he looked at the table. He sat at the opposite end of the table.
"I have some questions."
"Feel free to ask them," Daniel said. It was Daniel, right? He was pretty sure Donald had sat on the left. That didn't matter, he decided.
"First off, why do you even want me to be your kid? I mean, I'm poor, I live in the bad part of town, I won't exactly fit in here."
"Hey, you can fit in anywhere you want to." One of the kids said.
"It isn't about us *wanting* you to be our son," Donald? Said. "You are our son. That you live here, or not, and we don't expect you to do so. We are your fathers, but I don't expect that we'll be your family."
"Actually, can you clear something out? Exactly which one of you is my father?"
Donald and Daniel looked at each other. "We don't know," one of them said.
"How can you not know?"
"We both had sex with your mother, so there's no way to tell."
"We can get a paternity test done."
They smiled. "I don't think that's going to help," the other said. How the fuck was he going to tell them apart. They hadn't moved and he was already mixed up
"Sure it will, everyone's DNA is different, so it'll tell us whose genes I got."
"Just like no two tigers has the same stripe patterns?" the same one said.
"We'll be happy to get the test done, if you want," the other said, "but I don't think you'll get he result you're hoping for."
Patrick looked at the kids. "How do you deal with it?"
"What's there to deal with?" said the one who had been in the passenger's seat. Aaron, maybe? Or Albert? At least he could tell them apart, he's just have learn the names. "They are both our fathers, we don't care who's genes are in us."
"So long as they are in us," someone said softly, which elicited chuckles from a few of the others.
"Aiden" on of the adult said. "Watch your language, we a have guest. You know the rules."
Patrick took a breath, okay, this was the big one. "How do you know I'm . . .." Fuck, he couldn't actually say it. He'd practiced it, he'd practiced asking the question without purring any scorn in it, because he knew being that was wrong, but he actually wanted to respect them, and to find out if there was any actual chances the bible might be wrong about this.
They didn't say say anything, they let him figure it out by himself, but eventually he gave up.
"I can't say it. I'm sorry, but I just can't. But you know what I mean, right?"
"That you are gay," on of them said, and Patrick winced. "Yes, we know."
"How do you know that?" Patrick felt his voice break slightly.
"Because you are an Orr."
"I'm not an Orr, I'm a Sanders."
"That's your last name, but the blood that flows through your veins, that makes you an Orr."
"I could take after my mother."
"How can you know that?" this time his voice did break. They gave him time to regain his composure
"Somethings, you take after your mother, you have her eyes, but when it comes to your sexuality, you take after us. Children always do. We alway have sons, and they are always gay."
"And weird," added another of the kids.
"Albert," one of the father said, with a warning tone. Okay, so if that's Albert then the other one's Aaron, I'm sure of it.
"What? It's true."
"What does he mean, weird?"
There was a pause.
"Do you mind if we keep that question for the end?" said the other father. "The answer will make you uncomfortable, and I'd prefer we go through the ones you already have first."
"Okay, sure." Patrick said. "You had kids, so you're not entirely gay. I could be like that too."
"Yes, we had sex with women. So we could have sons. The sex was fun, it always is." He looked at Patrick. "Have you had sex?"
Patrick's ears felt like they could start a fire, and he looked away, which earned him seven stares of shock.
"Like I said, it as fun, but it wasn't what we love to do. We're virile man, even now, if we were to set our mind to it, we could have sex with a woman, but it isn't want we want. We want men. That's what makes us gay." He paused. "That's what makes you gay."
Fuck. That wasn't what he'd wanted to hear. "But I don't have to do anything about it. I don't have to act on it, right?"
"What?" Aaron said.
"Why would you ever not want to have sex with another guy?"
"Yes dad." Alexander looked at the table.
There was enough whispers doing off, that Patrick could tell Alexander's opinion was shared by all of them. It was wrong, he reminded himself. Man didn't sleep with men. Okay, he could, for the sake of argument, accept that the desire wasn't the devils work, that it was genetics, like a lot of people claimed, but he didn't have to act on it, he wasn't going to.
Didn't he have other questions? He was sure he had, but he couldn't think of them right now. Well, he could think of one. Might as well get that over with. "What's the weird thing, Albert mentioned, about?"
The fathers sighed, but the kids looked up, excited?
They looked at each other. "We did promise ourselves we wouldn't lie."
"Yeah, we did." He took a deep breath. "Okay, on top of being gay, Orr men always have, lets say eccentric tastes."
"What does that mean?"
"As an example, me and Donald, we like to tag team our partner. It isn't a fetish, we don't *have* to do it, but if given the chance, that's how we prefer do to it."
"Aaron liked them old," Albert said.
"What wrong with liking mature men?" Aaron countered.
"With wrinkles," Albert shuddered.
Patrick swallowed. "Okay, I think that's enough." He stated and stood.
"You're leaving?" one of those he didn't know the name of said.
"Yes. I am, you were right, this is making me very uncomfortable."
"But, we haven't showed you."
"No!" Patrick slammed his hands on the table, and rested his weight on them. He was panting. His entire body was scream for him to run. He started at the tabletop "Look. I came here of my own free. I asked my questions, and you answered them. I can't fault you for anything. But. I. Really. Don't. Want. To. Be. Here. Anymore."
"I understand. Arthur, why don't you escort Patrick to the door."
Patrick started walking, barely aware of the small tiger next to him. He grabbed his jacket, and the door was already open by the time he had it on.
"Patrick?" Arthur said, when he was halfway down the stairs. Patrick stopped, but he didn't turn around. "I'm sorry we made you feel uncomfortable. I hope you'll visit again."
"I don't know, Arthur." He paused. "I don't think so." He started walking again.
By the time he reached the main road, he was shaking. Well, he'd gotten his answer, and a fucking lot more. What was he doing to do now? He wasn't going home, he was still pissed at his mom for lying about his dad, maybe in a day or two he'd be ready to go home. Maybe he could crash on Steven's couch, his folks didn't mind him doing that once in a while.
He became aware of the car driving next to him, keeping pace with him, when he heard the window roll down.
"Hop in, kid. I'll give you a ride."
"No thanks, I'm just going to the bus stop."
"Really? You barely have ten dollars left to your name. That's not going to get you anywhere near your house."
"Fine, I'll walk then. I don't get into a stanger's car."
"Kid. I'm not a stranger, I'm your uncle, now get in. I'm taking you home."
Patrick stopped, and so did the car. There was a tiger behind the wheel, and the door clicked open.
Patrick didn't move.
The driver pierced him with cold gray blue eyes. "Patrick," he said in a measured tone, "get in the fucking car."
Patrick realized he was sitting in the car, and it was moving. "Who are you?"
"My name is Damian."
"So what? You were just waiting there, waiting for me to leave?"
Damian chuckled. "Nah, I was coming to visit my nephews, I saw you walking away, and you looked to be a bit out of sort. It would have been late by the time you got to the other side of town, if you made it that far. In your state someone was bound to jump you, so I decided to give you a ride home."
"I'm not going home." Patrick stated.
"Yes you are. Your mother's been worrying herself to death for the last four days. You need to take better care of her, you know."
"Why should I, after all the lies she told me."
"Most people lie."
The driver thought this over, he actually had to think about it? Patrick couldn't believe it.
"Yeah, I guess I do, but always with good reasons."
"Fine, I don't care. I'm not going home. I'll tell you where to drop me off when we get close to it."
Damian didn't reply. He was silent for about a minute, and then the car swerved into an almost empty parking lot. There, Damian turned and looked at him. His face was slack, an those eyes, which had been blue gray were now pale blue, they were cold, emotionless eyes. They weren't looking at him, Patrick realized, they were looking in him. He tried the handle.
"Door's locked," Damian said.
Patrick looked for a way to unlock it, but he couldn't see any button. He slammed his elbow in the glass, and only had pain for his effort.
"Bullet proof glass. You're not getting out of this car unless I let you."
The tone, the words, they made Patrick shy back, trying to push himself as far away form this man as he could. He remembered what he'd been told about all the Orr men having eccentric tastes. He had the feeling that the few he'd heard had been mild compared to some. "What are you going to do to me?"
The eyes blink, and live seemed to come back to them. Damian gave him a wry smile. "I'm going to explain a few things to you. Relax kid. You have nothing to worry about. Not yet, anyway." He chuckled. "When someone tells you about me, you're going to remember this meeting, and you are going to piss yourself." He got the car moving again.
"When my father was on his deathbed, he made me promise that I'd look after my family. I take my promises extremely seriously. And to be clear, to me, it isn't your last name that makes you my family or not. It's your blood. So no matter what you call yourself, your an Orr. So I'm going to take care of you." He thought about something. "And your mother. She isn't blood, but you care for her, so I'm going to make an exception this time."
Patrick calmed a little, and wonder if he had imagined his cold eyes. No one could really have eyes like that.
"What do you mean, by 'take care of me'. You're going shower me with money, so I never have to work. Get my mom a house like that Donald and Daniel have?" it was odd how he couldn't seem to think of one of them, without thinking of the other.
Damian laughed, a cold and mirthless laugh. "Your mother would spit on anything a fag like me would give her. No, I'm not going to give her anything. That's not how I work anyway. You need to make your own way in life. You don't appreciate it if you don't have to work for it."
"Here's my promise to you kid. You're never going to have to worry about your safety again."
Patrick stared at him.
"Yeah, I know about them. About how you go that cut."
Patrick reflexively put a hand over his bicep.
"They won't bother you again, I swear that to you."
"How do I know? Or how can I promise that? I know people, that's the answer to both questions. Which reminds me." He pulled a business card out of his breast pocket, and handed it to him.
there was a diamond in the center of it. With 'Diamond Industries' over it, and 'because diamonds are just coal under pressure'.
"That doesn't make any sense, you know that?"
"Sure it doe, kid." Damian glanced at him. "And something tells me that if anyone can manage to figure it out, one of these days, it's going to be you." Patrick just stared at him. "Anyway, on the back there's the number to my company's recruitment office. Give that to that friend, the one who tracked down my brother's address. If he ever gets tired of shady deals, and going hungry for weeks at a time, I'm always looking for talented people."
"If you know so much about him, why aren't you making the offer in person?"
Damian glanced at him. "You can answer that one yourself."
"He doesn't know you from Adam, he'd never trust you. I'm not sure I trust you myself," he mumbled.
"That's very wise of you."
"So I take it you're not offering me a job?"
Damian thought this over. "Do you want me to?"
Patrick was about to say yes, he could use an actual job, but he remembered those eyes, blue and cold. What would it be like, working for someone with eyes like that. He shook his head. "No, I think I'm going to make my own way."
Damian smiled. "Another wise thing you've said."
"Although I could use someone to pay my tuition to school."
Damian snorted. "Don't look at me for that. That's what fathers are for."
They drove in silence for a time, and when the car stopped, Patrick realized they were in front of his house.
"How did you know where I lived, I never told you."
Another wry smile. "Who do you think gave those kids your address? You go in now, your mother is going to be relieved to see you."
The door clicked, and opened. Patrick stepped out, and looked in, holding it open. "D . . . Uncle Damian," the words felt strange coming out of his mouth, he'd never had an uncle. "Why am I scared of you?"
Damian gave him the brightest smile he'd ever seen, but it didn't comfort him at all. "Because you are a wise young man, Patrick. Very wise indeed." Damian motioned for him to close the door, and he drove off.