Sen. McCain Defends Gays in Russia
Sen. John McCain, a Republican who ran against President Obama in 2008, recently made strong statements against Russia, which include comments about Russian discrimination against gays. McCain spoke out in reply to a NYT editoral by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Among many things McCain slammed that include ruling through oppression, McCain said this about how Russia treats gays.
“They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn. They throw the members of a punk rock band in jail for the crime of being provocative and vulgar and for having the audacity to protest President Putin’s rule,” he said.
At least someone’s saying something…other than the smallest voices in the US. You can read more here.
Free Excerpt Chase of a Dream
Here’s another free excerpt from one of my indie pubbed books, Chase of a Dream. It’s the second book in the Chase series, and I released this one in both abridged and unabridged versions so that people who prefer erotic gay romance could buy the version with sex, and those who don’t like too much sex can buy the toned down version. This is from the unabridged version, and you’ll have to click the link to my Word Press blog at the end to read the adult rated parts.
From the raw unedited version:
Cain rolled his eyes at Len and smiled at Jim. “I’ll find it. Like my dad said, I’m a big boy now.” He spoke with a snide tone, as if he wanted to say something nasty to Len but was holding back.
“There are clean towels in the guest bathroom,” Jim said. He bit his lip, hoping they wouldn’t argue his first night there. “If you need anything else let me know. I think you’ll find everything you need.”
Cain said good night and turned toward the house. Jim noticed that even though he’d lost weight, he still had that cocky swagger he’d had since he was a child. That was another difference between Len and Cain. Len walked with his head high and his back squared; Cain left a room as if he were about to go up on stage and do a striptease act.
When Cain was gone, Jim sat down in the lounge chair next to Len’s and sighed. He stretched his legs and yawned. He’d been up since six that morning and he hadn’t stopped moving all day. Though Len helped as much as he could with Culum, Len had to go to the office every day and he didn’t have the freedom Jim had. Jim’s career in public relations was thriving by then. He had an impressive list of clients that included more than a few famous names, from celebrities to technology executives in Silicon Valley. This allowed him to work from home most of the time. A good deal of the public relations work he did now focused on web presence for his clients, and online promotion. Jim had seen the importance of the Internet the first month he started working in public relations, and now he was considered one of the finest online promoters in his field. He only went into the office in Beverly Hills for meetings. And though sometimes he had to travel, it was never more than a few days at a time.
“Are you tired?” Len asked. He reached over and held Jim’s hand. It was getting cooler out; the palms below them began to sway.
“Exhausted,” Jim said. His feet tingled and his back ached. “It’s been a long day. I had one client almost melt down this afternoon. I spent an hour trying to calm her down so she wouldn’t do anything drastic and ruin her online image. She actually phoned me in tears. She’s being attacked online by some flaming lunatic with sockpuppets.”
“What’s a sockpuppet?” Len asked, as he ran his fingers up and down Jim’s forearm. He always did this when he was getting horny. Jim didn’t pull away from him.
Jim smiled. A lot of the new jargon on the Internet seemed so foreign to Len. He worked in a bank all day, where people in the real world weren’t exposed to these things…yet. “An Internet sockpuppet is kind of like when someone has multiple identities on the Internet and they abuse those identities. In this case, my client, a smaller client who runs a furniture business on the Internet is being harassed by some fruitcake with multiple identities. The fruitcake is leaving vicious reviews and defaming my client and her products with these fake identities. She knows exactly what she’s doing. It looks like twenty five different people left bad reviews, and discussed them together, but it’s really only one person.”
“Do you know who it is?”
“We’re not sure yet,” Jim said. “But we’re taking legal action and trying to get a court order that will allow us to get to the bottom of this. Our attorneys are working hard on it.”
“Is it legal to sockpuppet?” Len asked.
“I don’t know,” Jim said. A lot of this was new to him. “It’s certainly not ethical. I’m still learning as I go. But it is illegal to defame anyone, and that’s what this nutcase is doing. And my client is sick and tired of dealing with it. Trust me; we’re going to hear a lot more about these things in the future as more and more people start using the Internet for business. Right now there really aren’t many ethics and standards on the Internet.”
“Why on earth would anyone torment another human being that way?” Len asked. “It’s insane and counterproductive.”
Jim laughed. “Because my client is this lunatic’s biggest online competitor, and when it comes to money people will do anything.” He yawned again and closed his eyes. “Let’s talk about something else. The whole thing is so creepy I’ll have nightmares if we keep talking about it. The fact that someone could stalk, harass, and defame someone else makes me want to triple lock the doors.”
“Did Culum get off to sleep okay?” Len asked.
“He’s fine,” Jim said. “He asked a few questions about Cain, but nothing we haven’t already discussed before. I read him a story and Clinger is right next to him. How did things go with Cain while I was gone? I hope you guys didn’t argue. I really think it’s time to make peace.”
Len sat up and rubbed his eyes. He seemed as tired as Jim. “I just don’t get him. He was always on the wild side, but I thought he’d grow up eventually. He always got such good grades in school, and he was captain of all the sports teams. It’s like after he graduated from Stanford he went berserk and I don’t know how to get through to him. He told me he’s moving to LA and he wants to open one of those stores where they sell marijuana legally with a prescription from a doctor. Did you ever hear of such a thing?”
“You’re joking,” Jim said. He turned and leaned closer to Len.
“I wish I were,” Len said. “He didn’t ask me tonight, but I have a feeling he’s going to ask for money to help get this business going. He was just setting things up tonight. I know him too well. And frankly I don’t want to be associated with a business like that. I would gladly give him the money to go back to grad school, or to law school, or to do anything normal. But this idea of opening a storefront to sell pot just isn’t something I can support.”
Jim laughed. Len could be very conservative when it came to things like this. Though Jim had smoked pot in Princeton, and he would have liked a joint once in a while to wind down at night, Len wouldn’t allow it in the house. “They are called Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, not pot stores. And it’s all perfectly legal in some states. California is one of them. In California you’re allowed to have up to a certain amount of plants, more, I think, if you get permission from a doctor. It’s complicated and there are a lot of rules to follow. But it might not be a bad idea for Cain. At least he has a goal.”
Len turned and flung Jim a glance. “Dispensaries? How on earth do you know all this?”
Jim shrugged. “I have a client who owns a dispensary. I guess I never mentioned it before.” Because Jim worked at home, he liked to leave work behind when he shut down his office for the day. He rarely discussed his clients unless Len asked him specific questions.
“I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” Len said. “Let’s go to bed early.” He reached over, put his hand between Jim’s legs, and squeezed his ass.
On any other night, Jim would have spread his legs wider so Len’s fingers could go deeper. Their love-making had calmed down in the past year, and Jim often wondered if the proverbial honeymoon was over. When they’d first fallen in love, Len had been more aggressive, almost sleazy in his love-making. Now he yawned in front of the TV most nights and Jim couldn’t blame him. He was just as tired. Working full time, raising a child, and dealing with the everyday realities in their lives wasn’t always easy.
But that night Jim sat up and blinked. “Len, don’t do that.” He smacked Len’s hand and clamped his knees shut. “Cain could walk out here at any moment and see it. I’m still not sure he accepts the fact that you’re gay, let alone that I’m your husband.” Sometimes even Jim had trouble believing he was his best friend’s stepdad. They’d had a small marriage ceremony with a few close friends. And though same sex marriage wasn’t federally recognized, they referred to each other as husband and husband.
“He’s had three years to process all this,” Len said. “It’s time for him to grow up and realize that I’m gay, we’re married, and that it’s not going to change. If he were gay I would feel the same way.”
“I know,” Jim said. “But I’d feel more comfortable while he’s here if we remained discreet. And it’s not like we’re the kind of couple that holds hands while walking down the street.” Neither one of them had ever been overly affectionate in public. And it had nothing to do with them being gay. Len was a very discreet man in every aspect of his life. He didn’t drive a flashy car to let people know he had money; he still wore the same cowboy hat he’d had for the past ten years. Len and Jim didn’t have anything to prove to anyone, nor did they feel the need to put on a show or a display in public for the sake of shock value. They kept their passion and emotion for the privacy of their own bedroom.
Len stood up and scratched his crotch; he yawned. He was wearing those baggy short pants that Jim always thought looked so cute on him. “I’ll go take a shower and wait for you in bed.”
Jim glanced at him and smiled. “Don’t take a shower; just wait for me in bed. I’ll be there in a minute. I just want to do a few things in the kitchen first.” Jim preferred Len to smell natural, like a man, when they made love. He didn’t want him to smell soft and powdery and sweet.
“But I went to the stables and rode for an hour this afternoon,” Len said. “I really should shower.” Twice a week, without fail, Len put on his cowboy hat, his cowboy boots, and drove to a ranch in Chatsworth where he could ride horses. Sometimes Jim went with him if he had time. But for the most part it was Len’s private time, to be alone with his thoughts and release all the stress that had built up from working as an investment banker.
Jim glanced back to make sure Cain wasn’t standing in the kitchen. Then he ran his hand up the side of Len’s strong leg, up through his baggy short pants and boxer shorts, and he grabbed Len’s dick. He squeezed it and said, “I’d rather you didn’t shower first. We can both shower afterward.”
While Len was waiting for Jim in the bedroom, Jim pulled a few of his favorite cleaning supplies out from under the sink and touched up a few things in the kitchen. When he walked into the kitchen every morning sparkling appliances made him smile. He liked the black granite counters to shine and he used a special product for this. He liked to see his reflection in the stainless steel appliances, and he had another special product for that. He’d always believed that if he kept up with things daily he wouldn’t have to spend long hours cleaning during his spare time. In other words, he never actually spent a full day house-cleaning. He cleaned as he went along.
Len had offered to hire a cleaning person to come in once or twice a week but the house was small enough for Jim to handle on his own. And it wasn’t as if Len didn’t pitch in. He would have done more around the house if he’d had time. Their relationship may have been defined in the bedroom in very specific ways, but around the house they were both equals. There were times when nothing turned Jim on more than seeing Len push the dust mop across the hardwood floors.
Before Jim put the stainless steel cleaner away, he spotted a few smudges on the bottom of the refrigerator. So he quickly went down on his hands and knees and sprayed the surface. But while he was down there wiping, he glanced up and saw a pair of naked legs in front of him. When he looked up, his head jerked back and he stood up so fast he dropped the cleaner.
Cain was standing there stark naked, with wet hair and a ridiculous grin. He smiled and said, “I was wondering if you have a hair dryer I could borrow. I left mine in Hawaii and I didn’t see one in the bathroom.” Then he bent down slowly, picked up the cleaner, and set it on the counter.
Jim started rubbing the clean counter, pretending to be busy so he wouldn’t have to look at Cain. “There’s one in the closet in the guest room,” he said, with a nervous lilt in his voice. “It’s hanging on a hook. You can’t miss it.” His head went down and he started rubbing the counter faster.
“Okay, man,” Cain said. “Thanks. Sorry to bother you. I guess you’re going to bed now. I guess when you’re with someone my dad’s age you go to bed earlier.”
“I was just ready to turn out the lights, and don’t be cute,” Jim said. “Your dad can run circles around me when it comes to energy.” He wanted to tell Cain to go back and put on a robe. He didn’t think it was appropriate for Cain to be walking around naked that way. But he decided not to say anything at all. He’d grown up with Cain. They’d been best friends all through school. They’d showered together in locker rooms, they’d undressed in front of each other without thinking twice about it, and they’d even gone skinny dipping on hot summer nights. There had never been anything sexual between them. Of course there were times when Jim had been attracted to Cain. Back when Jim was still in the closet and very frustrated sexually he used to secretly long to be with Cain. He’d sniffed his underwear and socks more than once. But none of this had ever led to anything sexual.
Cain crossed to where Jim was standing, loping in his bare feet. While Jim was still cleaning the counter, Cain put his arms around him and said, “Thanks for taking me in this way. I just want you to know that in spite of everything that’s happened I still consider you my best friend in the entire world.”
Jim stopped moving. He didn’t try to put his arms around Cain. He nodded and said, “I feel the same way about you.” He didn’t feel even slightly attracted to Cain. He felt more awkward than anything else and he couldn’t wait for Cain to go back to bed and leave him alone.
Cain squeezed him hard and then stepped back. He turned and said, “I’ll see you in the morning, man. I guess you want to get to bed. I’m sure my dad, with all his extra energy, is waiting for you right now.”
Jim ignored that remark. It sounded innocent enough. “I’ll see you in the morning.” He knew Cain too well not to suspect there wasn’t a slight hint of sarcasm between the lines. Cain was insinuating that Len was waiting for Jim in the bedroom for sex, not sleep. He obviously still had problems with the fact that Jim and Len were lovers and partners in every sense of the word. But Jim let that remark go on purpose. He had gay friends at work that actually slept in separate bedrooms when their families came to visit them. For some reason, they thought it was inappropriate for their families to see them go into the same bedroom. Len and Jim didn’t do this, not even when Jim’s mom and dad visited from Texas.
As Cain loped back to the guest room with the same cocky swagger he had when he walked down the street fully dressed, he sent Jim a backward glance and said, “Sweet dreams, baby-boy.” Jim hadn’t been called baby-boy in years. It was a nickname Cain’s mom used to call Jim when he’d been a child. He’d never liked it.
Jim looked up and caught a glimpse of Cain’s naked back. The lights were low. From that distance it could have been Len walking back to the guest room instead of Cain. Their naked bodies were almost identical. “Unless you want to be up early, you’d better close your bedroom door. We’re all up around seven in the morning. I take Culum to pre-school at eight, and your dad leaves for the office around the same time.”
“No problem, dude,” Cain said. “I’m an early riser.”
Jim watched him turn the corner. Before he turned, he reached down and scratched his dick. Jim closed his eyes and shook his head. If Cain continued to walk around naked in the house he’d have to say something to him. This wasn’t a frat house; Len and Jim wore clothes at all times, especially with Culum around. If he was going to live with them indefinitely he had to conform to their rules.