Messages In the Wind

Chapter Eight

I woke with a pair of big brown eyes looking at me - I had no idea when Cameron had crawled into my bed. "Hi," he said with a big smile on his face. "Can you play with me?"

"Good morning, little man," I said. "Let me go to the bathroom and then get some coffee first."

Cameron giggled and said, "Yeah, I'm a little man. I'll show you where the bathroom is." He then took my hand and led me to the bathroom. He even offered to guard the door while I did my morning business. When I'd finished my bathroom business, Cameron took my hand and guided me to the kitchen and coffee pot. Walter and Chuck were already enjoying their morning caffeine fix. Tanner apparently was still sleeping. I wondered if Tanner's sleeping in had anything to do with my revealing my sexuality to him last night. I hoped not, but he did seem quite bothered by my revelation.

"Good morning," both men said at the same time. Chuck got up and got a cup of much needed coffee for me, while Walter got a glass of apple juice for Cameron.

"I hope you slept well," Walter said. "It appears that Tanner's sleeping in this morning, but we'll have breakfast soon."

"I want pancakes and bacon," Cameron commanded. "Tyler wants some too."

We chatted through a second cup of coffee before Tanner finally arrived, going directly for the coffee pot while mumbling, "Good morning."

"Somebody must've got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning," Chuck laughed.

Cameron added, "Daddy's grouchy."

"I'm sorry, but I didn't sleep all that well last night," Tanner apologized.

I couldn't help but wonder if our conversation had anything to do with his not sleeping well. I probably shouldn't have mentioned that I was gay until we were reacquainted better.

Walter and Chuck didn't seem to notice that neither Tanner nor I had little to say during breakfast, which was probably because Cameron talked almost nonstop.

After thanking Chuck and Walter for the great breakfast, I asked for a ride home. Cameron protested of course, but I promised that I'd see him again soon. "Why don't you drive Tyler home?" Walter suggested to Tanner. "We'll take Cameron to Billy's birthday party."

Tanner agreed, but seemed somewhat reserved about driving me home. We rode in silence until we were a few blocks from my apartment when I finally asked, "Okay, Tanner, what's wrong? Is it because I told you that I'm gay?"

"Nothing's wrong," Tanner quietly stated.

"Tanner, you may be a good lawyer, but you're not a very good liar."

"Okay, Tyler, it doesn't really bother me that you're gay," Tanner stated. "I just think it's best that Cameron be around more straight guys."

"What in the hell does that mean?" I almost shouted. "You were adopted by a gay couple."

"That's just it," Tanner stated. "I was teased about that. Look, I love both of my dads. But it would have been much easier to have had a mother and a father."

"Would it have?" I questioned. "You saw what kind of mother Aunt Barbara would've been. Would you have been better off living with her?"

Tanner sat silently for a few minutes and then said, "Yeah, you're right. Living with Aunt Barbara would've been a living hell. Walter and Chuck were very good to me and they both love me. I guess I meant parents like my biological parents."

"I know," I said. "It would be easier for me if I weren't gay too. But that's something I have no control over. So I just try to be happy with who I am. Now, are you telling me that you don't want me to see Cameron anymore?"

"Well, I was thinking that," Tanner admitted. "But I also realize that Cameron thinks the world of you. So, there's no way I can deny him a friendship with you just because you're gay. I'm sorry; I admit that I was wrong and over reacted. Come and see Cameron anytime you like. You're family and families stick together."

"Thank you, Tanner. I'd hate to think that I couldn't see Cameron again. He's a great kid and I've grown very fond of him. I'll be like his 'straight' uncle."

"Just be you, Tyler," Tanner laughed. "It seems that Cameron likes you the way you are."

The next time I saw Cameron in the park, he came running up to me yelling, "Uncle Tyler! I missed you, Uncle Tyler."

"Oh, so I'm Uncle Tyler now?" I laughed.

"Yeah, Daddy said that I should call you Uncle Tyler now," Cameron said with a huge grin on his face.

"What should I call you? Squirt?" I teased.

"No silly, I'm Cameron," he stated firmly.

Cameron and his family truly became my family. When I called Mom and Dad to let them know that I'd met Tanner again, Mom insisted that they come to Tulsa for a visit. They decided to come during spring break from school, which was two weeks away. This would give me time to clean my apartment to meet Mom's approval ... maybe.

"Are they my grandma and grandpa?" Cameron asked when I told him that my Mom and Dad would be coming for a visit.

"Sure they are, if you want them to be," I answered.

Cameron was excited about meeting his other grandparents. And he insisted that he go with me to the airport to pick them up when they arrived. "Grandma, Grandpa," he called out when I pointed them out as they arrived at the airport.

Dad swooped up Cameron in his arms for a big hug as Mom moved right in for her turn for a hug from Cameron. "Did you bring your horses?" Cameron inquired.

"I wanted to bring them, but they wouldn't fit in my suitcase," Dad laughed. "You'll just have to come to Nebraska and ride them, I guess."

"Yeah, that would be fun," Cameron said. I knew then that Cameron had worked his way into their hearts the same as he had mine.

Cameron insisted that he help carry the luggage to the car. Mom and Dad smiled as he struggled with the heavy bag before Mom showed him the wheels, so he could pull it without lifting. He loved that, but before we arrived to the parked car, Cameron was sitting on top of the luggage and Dad was giving him a ride.

We got Mom and Dad settled into the spare bedroom, with Cameron's help of course. It was then about time for Tanner to get home from work. Mom was anxious to see Tanner and insisted that we go visit right away. When we arrived at Tanner's house, Mom and Dad were as impressed as I'd been.

We arrived just before Tanner got home from work, but Cameron was a perfect little gentleman and introduced Walter and Chuck to his new grandparents. "Now I have three grandpas and one grandma," Cameron boasted. Mom and Dad were about to burst with pride.

Mom cried of course when she saw Tanner for the first time when he arrived home from work. Dad shed a few tears too. "Tanner, you certainly grew up to be a handsome man," Mom stated as she hugged Tanner again.

Mom complimented Walter and Chuck for doing such a great job of raising Tanner.

"Susan, we owe you for getting Tanner away from Barbara and to us," Walter told Mom. "My niece is a bitch and Tanner deserved better."

Walter and Chuck grilled steaks for dinner with a nice salad, baked potatoes, and a wonderful cheese cake for dessert. After dinner, we sat around visiting and enjoying coffee. Cameron provided the entertainment of course. Mom and Dad loved being called Grandma and Grandpa, and Cameron was thrilled that he had a grandma and another grandpa.

"It's getting late and we've had a long day, we should go to the apartment," Mom said. "Why don't all of you come over to Tyler's tomorrow for dinner?" Mom asked.

As we prepared to leave, Cameron jumped off of Dad's lap and ran toward his room saying, "Wait right here, I'll be right back." He returned with his backpack and announced that he was going to spend the night with Uncle Tyler and Grandma and Grandpa.

Tanner laughed and said, "I didn't hear anyone invite you."

Dad said, "Well, I can fix that. Cameron, do you want to come spend the night with us?"

"Please, Daddy, can I go?" Cameron begged.

"Alright, but you mind Uncle Tyler and your grandma and grandpa," Tanner said. "Now let me check your backpack to see that you've packed everything."

"I'll mind, I promise," Cameron said.

"Cameron, you need more than your bear," Tanner laughed. "You need clean clothes and your toothbrush."

Cameron was asleep before we arrived at the apartment, so I carried him in and put him in my bed ... and with Mom's help, got him into his pajamas. Then we each kissed him goodnight.

I woke up with a little boy foot in my back. He looked so cute and innocent sleeping. I slipped out of bed and found Mom ready to make breakfast. "I wonder what Cameron likes for breakfast?" She asked.

"I know that he likes pancakes and bacon," I replied.

"Pancakes and bacon it is, then," Mom announced.

Cameron arrived in the kitchen still rubbing the sleep out of his eyes as Mom was mixing the pancake batter. "Yay! Pancakes," he said.

"Come on, little man, let's get you washed up while Grandma finishes the pancakes," I said. Cameron informed me of our plans for the day as I helped him wash up for breakfast. Cameron planned to take Grandma and Grandpa to the zoo, then to the aquarium.

Cameron was a perfect tour guide. They learned that the elephants came from Africa and that the monkeys lived in the jungle. By the time we finished our tour, I was carrying Cameron. Of course, I really didn't mind.

When we arrived back at the apartment in the late afternoon Cameron was sleeping. Dad insisted that he carry him up to the apartment. He and Mom got Cameron undressed and in my bed for his afternoon nap.

When Cameron woke from his nap, Mom treated him to some of her homemade cookies. He declared that they were better than the ones Billy's mom made. Of course, that was the right thing to say to Mom and that earned him another big hug and two extra cookies.

When Cameron finished his cookies and milk, Dad borrowed my Jeep keys and announced that he and Cameron were going for a drive. That announcement, along with the sugar high from the cookies, had Cameron bouncing around like the monkeys we'd seen at the zoo.

When Dad and Cameron returned from their 'drive', Cameron was wearing cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. And he promptly announced that they were for when he went to Nebraska to ride Grandpa's horses. We almost had Cameron calmed down by the time Tanner and his dads arrived for dinner.

"Where did this cowboy come from?" Tanner teased when he saw Cameron in his cowboy outfit.

"I'm going to ride Grandpa's horses in Nebraska," Tanner proudly announced.

"Who decided this?" Tanner asked with a smile.

"Grandpa and Grandma did," Cameron stated. "And I helped them."

"I'm sure you did," Tanner laughed.

Chuck looked at Walter and asked, "Did we just lose a grandson?"

Cameron went to Chuck, sat on his lap and said, "No, Grandpa, I just got a Grandma and another Grandpa."

When it was time for Mom and Dad to return to Nebraska, Cameron had decided that he was going back with them. Only a promise from Tanner that we would all go for a visit in a few weeks convinced Cameron to stay in Tulsa with his family.

Cameron was an excited little boy when the day finally arrived that we flew to Nebraska. All of the flight crew and most of the passengers knew that Cameron was going to visit his grandma and grandpa in Nebraska, and that he was going to ride Grandpa's horses.

Then we heard, "Are we there yet?" about 100 times during the two and one-half hour drive from Omaha to the farm. Cameron bounced out of the car and ran toward the barn to ride the horses before Tanner managed to stop him. He threw a little fit when he learned that since it was so late, he'd have to wait until the next day for the horseback ride. Of course, promising him some of Mom's chocolate chip cookies were the perfect bribe.

"Wow, it's just as I remembered it," Tanner said after he'd corralled Cameron and headed to the house. "I have fond memories of this place."

"Tyler, why don't you show Walter and Chuck the guest room, and you three boys can sleep in your room," Mom said.

All attempts by Tanner at getting Cameron to take a nap ended in failure. Tanner finally gave up and allowed Cameron to have the run of the place. Fortunately, by the time we'd finished our dinner, it was dark and Cameron gave up on riding the horses for the day.

By the time Tanner got Cameron bathed and in bed, he was out like a light as soon as his head hit the pillow. Cameron insisted that he sleep on the roll-away bed that I'd planned on using, so they could have my double bed. "Well, I guess we'll have to share a bed," I said as Tanner and I undressed for bed.

"You just stay on your side of the bed," Tanner laughed.

"I'm sorry, Tanner, I can sleep on the couch," I said. "I never thought about how you might feel about sharing a bed with a gay man."

"Don't worry about that, Tyler," Tanner said. "I'm not that homophobic."

I awoke in the middle of the night and Tanner had his arm over my chest; I assumed that he'd done this in his sleep. I turned toward him to move out from under his arm before I realized that he was awake, then he suddenly pulled me into his arms and kissed me.

"Tanner, what was that about?" I questioned.

"Tyler, I love you," he said quietly.

"But you were upset when I told you I was gay," I said.

"I wasn't upset with you," Tanner said. "I was upset with myself that I couldn't admit that I was gay too. I've loved you since we were boys." I pulled Tanner into my arms and we kissed passionately.

"Have you ever had gay sex?" I asked Tanner.

"When I was in the eighth grade, a buddy and I sort of played around a little," Tanner admitted. "Does that count?"

"Probably not, I think a lot of guys do that," I said. "Maybe we should take this slowly. Besides, we have our little man over there in the same room with us."

"Yeah, you're right," Tanner said. "Besides, if he caught us everybody between here and Oklahoma would know about it."

"You've got that right," I laughed. I pulled Tanner into my arms and said, "Let's get some more sleep, we can explore this more back in Oklahoma. Besides, I have a feeling that a certain little boy will be waking us up early for some cowboy stuff."

I woke with Cameron between Tanner and me. My eyes were being held open by a cute little boy, who was commanding, "Uncle Tyler, wake up and take me to see the horses."

"Hold on, little cowboy," I said. "Your grandma isn't going to let you out of the house until after breakfast."

"I want pancakes and bacon," Cameron stated.

"Well, why don't you go tell grandma what you want while I wake up your dad and then get dressed," I said.

"His dad's awake," Tanner said as he rolled over and pulled Cameron into his arms and kissed him.

Tanner and I made our way to the bathroom for our morning piss before washing up for breakfast. "When are we going to tell them?" Tanner asked as we both emptied our bladders.

"About us?" I asked.

"Yeah, about us," Tanner said.

"Let's tell them tonight after we put Cameron to bed," I suggested.

When we arrived for breakfast, Cameron was already tackling his second serving of pancakes and bacon. "I had a feeling that we'd be having pancakes and bacon for breakfast," I stated as I kissed Mom on the cheek.

"Well, it's what Cameron likes," Mom said as she served Tanner and me our breakfast.

"Yeah, it's what I like," Cameron said as he waved a piece of pancake on his fork, dripping syrup on himself and the table.

After we'd eaten, Cameron said, "When are you taking me to see the horses?"

"First, I think we need to get this syrup washed off of you or you'll stick to the horse," Tanner said as he carried Cameron off to the bathroom.

"So, when are you going to tell the rest of the family about you two?" Mom asked.

"Mom, how did you know?" I asked with surprise.

"I could tell by the way you two were looking at each other," Mom stated.

"We were going to tell everybody tonight after we put Cameron to bed," I said.

"Tell everybody what?" Walter asked as he entered the kitchen.

"About Tanner and Tyler," Mom stated as she handed Walter a cup of coffee. "I'll have some more pancakes ready in just a minute."

"Oh, that," Walter stated as he sipped on his coffee. "Chuck and I already suspected that."

"I guess there won't be anyone left to tell," I said.

"Your dad and I have already talked about it too," Mom stated as she served Walter and Chuck their breakfast.

Cameron came bouncing into the room wearing his cowboy boots and hat. "Let's go see the horses," he ordered.

"Now, you two be careful with him," Mom instructed us. "He's a new cowboy."

"Yes, Mom," Tanner said as he kissed Mom on the cheek.

After riding for more than two hours, only a promise of some of Grandma's cookies got Cameron off of the horse. We had to promise that we'd ride again after lunch, also.

Our visit in Nebraska ended all too soon and it was time to leave. Tanner and I knew that we had a lot to talk about once we arrived back home.

I soon was spending more time at Tanner's house and less in my apartment. Cameron thought that I should be sleeping in his room and not Tanner's room, but he usually ended up in our bed before morning anyway. We quickly learned to lock the bedroom door when we were intimate. Lovemaking with Tanner was a beautiful and wonderful experience ... we'd decided to take our lovemaking one step at a time. Our love for each other made the intimacy that much more special.

"Who do you want to invite for your birthday party?" Tanner asked Cameron as plans were being made for his fourth birthday.

"Uncle Tyler, Grandpa Walter, Grandpa Chuck, Grandma and Grandpa Lucas, Billy," and there were about ten other kids from his daycare.

"You do know that Grandma and Grandpa Lucas are in Nebraska, don't you?" I asked Cameron.

"Well, yes," he stated, as if I was accusing him of being a dummy. "But they'll come."

"Have you invited them?" I asked.

"Not yet," Cameron said. "Can I call them?"

"Okay, but they'll be at work now," I said. "You can call tonight when you get home from day care."

"Do you want me to dial the number?" I asked when Cameron was ready to call his grandparents.

"I can do it," he insisted, so I said the numbers and he punched them on the phone. I was always astonished at how smart he was.

"Hi, Grandma," Cameron said into the phone. "You and Grandpa are coming to my birthday party." Cameron had a way of giving an order rather than asking when he really wanted something.

"When is my party?" Cameron asked me.

"Two weeks from Saturday," I replied.

"Daddy Tyler said two weeks from Saturday," Cameron replied. I was surprised to hear him refer to me as daddy - I'd always been Uncle Tyler up to now. I looked at Tanner and he just grinned.

"Grandma wants to talk to you, Daddy," Cameron said as he handed the phone to me.

"Hi, Mom," I said. "Yes, I heard. He just now started calling me that, I suspect Tanner may have had something to do with it." Tanner's grin confirmed my suspicion. "Yes, I still have the apartment. I still have three months left on the lease."

"Okay, Mom, call me when you get your flight arranged," I said. "Goodbye, I love you. Cameron, Grandma wants to talk to you again." I handed the phone to Cameron and pulled Tanner to the side. "Daddy Tyler?" I asked.

"I guess that should have been a family discussion," Tanner apologized. "But when I picked him up from day care yesterday, he said that he wished that you were his dad. At first I thought he was annoyed with me about something, but when I asked him if he didn't want me to still be his dad, he said that he wanted both of us to be his dads. He said that if I had two dads, he could too."

"Wow, that's cool," I said. I looked over at Cameron who was still in an animated conversation with Mom. "I already love him like a son."

"I know you do," Tanner said, "and I want you to think of him as your son. I'll have legal papers drawn up giving you the rights to sign for his medical care and pick him up at daycare or school. There isn't a lot we can do to make you a legal parent with current Oklahoma laws, but I want you to be his dad too. If anything happens to me, you'll be his legal guardian. That is, if you want to be."

"Of course I want to be, but nothing's going to happen to you," I said. "I've loved him from the first day I met him."

Cameron could hardly contain himself in anticipation of his birthday party and helped plan the entire party. He decided that 'old' people wouldn't want to go to a party at McDonalds, so the party should be at the house instead. He didn't want a store cake because his Grandma could bake one for him. She, of course, agreed.

Cameron was a perfect little host at his party. He greeted each of his guests as they arrived, thanked each for their gifts, and acted as if it was the most wonderful gift he'd ever received.

"How could you ever play with all those toys?" Mom asked Cameron after the last guest had left.

"I could give some of them to the kids I saw on TV that lived at the army," Cameron said. "I have lots of toys already and they don't have any."

"What army is he talking about?" Mom asked Tanner.

"What army is that?" Tanner inquired of Cameron.

"You know that place where kids live when they don't have a home," Cameron said.

"I think he means the Salvation Army Shelter," Walter said. "He was watching the news with me and they had a story about homeless families that lived there."

Mom hugged Cameron and said, "You're such a wonderful grandson. I'm so proud of you."

"Yeah, I am," Cameron grinned. "And you're a good grandma that makes me cookies." That of course earned him another hug from Mom.

I arrived home from work to an empty house and a ringing phone. I assumed that Cameron had his grandparents out doing his thing ... my guess was that they were at the park. Of course they could have been anywhere since Walter had insisted that they use his car while in Tulsa. "May I speak to Mr. or Mrs. Lucas?" The woman said.

I refrained from saying that my husband was at work, but instead, said, "This is Mr. Lucas."

"Mr. Lucas, we've scheduled the closing on the sale of your farm for next Thursday at three," the woman said.

"I think it's my father that you need to talk to," I said. "They're out somewhere with my son. If you could leave a number, I'll have Mom or Dad return your call."

When Mom, Dad, and Cameron finally arrived back home, Cameron was all excited, saying, "Dad, we saw some real Indians." Now this was Oklahoma and there are lots of Indians around. Cameron has seen plenty of them, but they didn't look like TV Indians.

I looked at Mom and Dad with a questioning look, and Mom explained, "We took him to the Cherokee Culture Center in Tahlequah."

"Yeah, and we saw real Indians and they did a war dance," Cameron said as he climbed on my lap, talking excitedly.

"They called it a stomp dance, Honey," Mom corrected Cameron.

"Yeah, a stomp war dance," Cameron continued breathlessly. "They were making bows and arrows and it was fun."

"Did you thank Grandma and Grandpa?" I asked Cameron.

He jumped off of my lap and ran to give his grandparents a hug, saying, "Thank you Grandma and Grandpa. I love you."

"We love you too, Son," Dad said.

"So, when are you planning on moving here?" I asked.

"How did you know?" Mom asked with a surprised look on her face.

"There was a call that the closing is at three next Thursday," I said with a smile. "When did you decide on this and why didn't you tell me?"

"We didn't want to say anything until the farm was actually sold," Dad said. "Your Uncle Ray is buying it, as well as the cattle and the horses."

That statement caught Cameron's attention. "You sold the horses?" Cameron asked. "Why?"

"Because we want to move here and be near you," Dad said, "and your dads too, of course."

"Gee, thanks, Dad," I laughed.

"Yay, yay," Cameron cheered.

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