Posted June 6, 2012

Legacy

A Naptown Tales Sequel by Altimexis

Chapter 4 - Offspring - Jeremy Kimball

“Jer, are you all right?” emerged a familiar voice, bringing me out of my reverie. I looked up to see a concerned look on the familiar face of Kurt DeWitt, David’s Chief of Staff and one of my oldest and dearest friends. I’d just finished talking to David’s brother and parents, and to my parents, and I felt depleted. “I know that was a stupid question,” he went on, “but how are you holding up?”

“We all knew this day was coming,” I admitted aloud, “but it doesn’t make it any easier.”

“Losing a loved one is never easy,” Kurt replied, “But David was your lifelong partner, your husband and your best friend. He was the father of your children. He was your rock.”

“That he was,” I agreed. “He was always the confident one. No one was ever more suited for a life in politics than my husband.”

“No doubt. David had charisma unlike anyone since JFK or FDR,” Kurt continued. “He was a born leader, but so are you Jer. David got his convictions from you, and you’re destined to carry on his legacy. It won’t be easy, but you’re going to have the ear of the American public, perhaps even more so than President Schroeder. What you say and do will have an enormous impact on the future.

“Know too that you have friends. Besides Trev and me, there’s Randy and Altaf, Zach and Kevin, Lance and Cynthia, Will and Brian, Barry and Lisa, Debbie and Cathy, Brad and Kayla, and of course, Sam. There are many others, too, and we’re all here to help you get through this.”

“Thanks, Kurt,” I replied. “I know I have friends, and I appreciate your support… and Trevor’s, even as you’re hurting, too.”

“As much as Trevor means to me,” Kurt responded, “I’ll never have a friend like David, nor like you, and I know Trev feels the same way.”

“The feeling’s mutual,” I said as I got up and squeezed his shoulder. “I think I’ll get back to Rayburn and start work on David’s eulogy.” The Rayburn House Office Building was where I had my Congressional office.

“I’m sorry, Jer, but you can’t leave,” Kurt replied. “Not yet anyway. It won’t be safe until we determine that there’s no terrorist threat associated with David’s assassination. Trevor’s on top of it, as is Debbie.”

As much as I didn’t like it, I knew Kurt was right, and I trusted Trevor as David’s National Security Advisor and Debbie McLaughlin as the Attorney General to get to the bottom of things. I smiled when I thought of Debbie, who was a PhD psychologist with a second PhD in Criminology, and was one of the leading authorities on the criminal mind in the world. A full professor at Indiana University and a best-selling author, she’d been David’s most difficult recruitment of all. Not only did she not want to leave her academic life behind, but also there were many who were skeptical of her ability to lead the Department of Justice. Of course her skeptics were quickly proved wrong.

“I’ve got to be doing something, Kurt,” I countered as I sat back down. “I can’t just sit around and do nothing.”

“I know,” Kurt agreed, “but you have speech writers to tackle the eulogy for you and, frankly, they’re better at writing than just about anyone except David… was.”

“Shit!” I suddenly realized, “We’re all going to have to move out of the White House.” Indeed, Kurt and Trevor as well as their children lived with us in the White House. It was an arrangement that was unique in history, but they were more than just friends. They were family to us. We’d gotten married in a double ceremony and even our wedding rings, which were etched with a design consisting of two interlocked sets of entwined vines, symbolized our close friendship. There was nothing sexual about our relationship to each other but, short of that, we were as close as any two couples could be.

“Damn, you’re right,” Kurt noted. “I’m sure Schroeder will give us a little time. I guess we’ll have to move back to the house in Georgetown and it’ll probably cost us to break the lease. It’s a good thing we rented it out rather than selling it.”

“That’s true,” I commented, “but I’m going to miss my five-minute commute.”

“Won’t we all?” Kurt agreed.

Getting back up, I said, “I may have speech writers to help me out, but no one knows David’s history the way I do. I’m going to get started making an outline.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Kurt replied as he got up. “If you need anything, let me know,” he added as he went off in his own direction.

I had an office in the Underground White House and it was there that I headed. No sooner did I sit down than my phone rang. It was my White House assistant, ringing to tell me that the Russian President was on the line. His was the first of many calls of condolence I would receive over the next few hours. Under ordinary circumstances I would have received numerous people in my role as ‘mourner in chief’ but these weren’t ordinary circumstances. We were in lockdown and would remain so until the situation was deemed safe. That didn’t keep people from calling, however. They spoke to President Schroeder and then they spoke to me, and so it was that I ended up scarcely having time to think as I received call after call.

It wasn’t until late in the evening that I had a moment to realize I was hungry. Catching up with my children, who hadn’t felt like eating all day, we sat down to a light supper with Trevor and Kurt and their children. After dinner, Sandy, Josh and I retired to our underground living quarters. After tossing and turning for over an hour without sleep seeming to come, there was a knock at the door. Throwing on a pair of boxers, I went to the door to find my kids, Josh in a pair of bikini briefs, which were considered more fashionable than boxers for the teens of the day, and Sandy in a nightshirt.

“Couldn’t sleep either?” I asked and they both shook their heads. “Would you like to sleep in here?” I asked and, with smiles on their faces, they both leapt onto my bed. Climbing in between the two of them, we all snuggled together as I continued to think about the eulogy I was going to give.

David Reynolds and I had a lifetime together and compressing that into at most a half-hour speech would indeed be a tall order. We met when we were in middle school and became boyfriends just as we were about to enter high school. Our lives were both shaped by our relationship and by what we faced together, but how could I put that into a speech?

We married right out of high school… not something I would recommend for most people, but we’d already been together for three years by then. We truly were soul mates. We went to college together and, after winning my Olympic medals in 2012, we both entered Harvard Law. Then we both clerked for the Supreme Court and could’ve written our own tickets at that point, but David had set his sights on public service. He thought a non-combat military job would go a long way toward gaining the respect of the armed services should one of us ever be in the role of ‘Commander in Chief’. Little did we know where that stint with the American Red Cross would lead us.

After returning from Guatemala as war heroes, the last thing I expected was for David to challenge the political establishment of our own home state but that’s exactly what he decided to do. I think he might have run for governor straight away, were it not for the minimum age requirement being thirty. The four years we spent in the interim working for my dad, learning the ins and outs of running a small business, were among the most valuable of our lives.

Thus 2024 found us, both just over thirty years of age, embroiled in a race for governor in a conservative state… and David was gay and married to a man in a state with a constitutional ban on gay marriage. On the other hand, he was a war hero and, based on that alone, he had little trouble winning the Democratic primary. But winning the primary and surviving the debates were completely different things. I can still remember the very first question…

Mr. Reynolds, you’re 31 years old, you have absolutely no political experience, and you’re a gay man married to another gay man. Are you going to challenge our state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage?

I just about shit my pants when I heard that question, but David took it all in his stride. He was masterful in his answer, pointing out in good humor his three years in high school politics… and more appropriately his clerking for the Supreme Court. He then ripped apart the question, saying he had every reason as a citizen of the state to challenge the state’s ban on gay marriage as a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution’s first and fifth amendments, which he’d have been happy to expand upon in a more appropriate setting. He explained that his views on same-sex marriage and his own sexual orientation had absolutely nothing to do with why he was running for governor and he went on to list three failures of the current administration and how he would fix them, all while staying within his allotted time.

In that moment I knew… after hearing his response, I was sure that one day he would be president. Yes, that story would be a part of the eulogy.

David served his two terms as Governor… and we had our two children along the way… and I thought he might run straightaway for president after that, which would have made him the youngest president in history. However, even he realized he was too young and so we mounted a successful campaign for one of the congressional seats in a district near where we lived, and into which we moved, which had been held by a Republican at the time. Two years later, David challenged the senior senator from our state, who was also a Republican. With his encouragement, I ran in David’s place for the congressional seat he was vacating.

After serving one full term in the senate, David announced his candidacy for the Presidency…

 

Saturday, March 21, 2043
One Day after the Assassination

Feeling a hard member poking me in the ass, for a moment I forgot about the events of the previous day. At first I thought David was still alive but then I realized there were two bodies sharing my bed with me and it all came flooding back to me. It was not David’s boner that was poking me in the behind, but rather my son, Josh’s. Equally embarrassing was the fact that my own erection was firmly planted in my daughter’s cleft, and my hand was cupping her breasts. Although we needed each other’s comfort overnight, our current positions were definitely not appropriate for a father and his two teenage children.

Carefully removing my hand from my daughter’s chest, I slowly turned on my back and then attempted to extricate myself from between my kids. It was only after my penis caught on the sheets that I realized it was poking out the fly of my boxers. The sound of Josh’s chuckling let me know he was awake and had seen my predicament, causing me to turn scarlet red all over.

“I didn’t know old guys like you still got morning wood,” Josh whispered, causing me to turn even redder.

Pulling my erection back through the fly of my boxers and tucking it into the waistband as best I could, I ruffled his hair as I climbed over him to get out of bed.

“Old guys like me, huh?” I chided him. “Another comment like that one and you’ll ever know what it’s like to be an old guy like me.”

Josh laughed at my joke, and then reached for my arm and used it to pull me back down to him, kissing me on the cheek when my head was next to his. “I love you, Dad,” he whispered, “but I miss Pop so much… I can’t stand it.”

Noticing the tears that were starting to spill out onto his cheeks, I kissed his forehead and replied, “We all miss him, Josh. He was a wonderful man, a terrific husband and father, and probably one of the best presidents the world has ever seen. You two mean more to me than anything else but right now the world needs us to be strong. It won’t be easy, but we’ll get through this. We’ll get through it together.

“Will we? Can we?” I heard my daughter say as she turned to face us.

“Yes, we will, and we can, Sandy,” I replied, and then I added, “Why don’t the two of you go back to your rooms and shower, then we’ll grab some breakfast and you can get together with your cousins.” By their cousins, I was referring to Trevor and Kurt’s kids, just as we referred to Trevor and Kurt as their uncles. “Uncle Randy and Uncle Altaf’s bunch are here, too,” I added.

“Dad,” my son began, “I hear you’re gonna be working on Pop’s eulogy. Could I maybe help with that? I mean I know I haven’t known him as long as you, but I’ve listened to all your stories. Maybe you could bounce some ideas off of me. I’d really like to help. I think just talking about Pop would be good for both of us, you know?”

Before I could even contemplate answering, Sandy chimed in, “Dad, I’d like to help, too. Like Josh said, I think it’d be good therapy for all of us.”

“I’m not sure how well it’ll work,” I answered honestly, “but we can try.”

“Thanks Dad. You’re the greatest,” Josh responded as he threw his arms around me and hugged me tightly. Of course I responded in kind.

No sooner had he released me than Sandy added, “Thanks Dad,” and then she hugged me, too.

After my kids left the room, I hit the shower myself, shaved and got ready to face the world. My kids and I then grabbed some breakfast in the Presidential dining room, along with Trevor, Kurt, Randy, Altaf, Kevin, Zach and all their children. Debbie and Cathy were there, too, but their children were already grown, as was the case with the President and First Lady, who were also present.

“Is there any word yet on who might have been behind David’s assassination?” I asked as I ate.

“So far, no one is taking responsibility,” Trevor answered. “One possible clue, however, is that there was a series of suicide bombings in the Middle East this morning. There were seven separate bombings. It’s possible they were in response to David’s assassination but, with seven attacks, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say they were planned in advance, and coordinated.

“We’re keeping our ears to the ground and listening for any electronic chatter,” he added.

Trevor was certainly well connected in the intelligence community. We’d tapped him to be David’s National Security Advisor and, before that, he’d been the director of the National Security Agency. The NSA was in charge of protecting the U.S. against attacks on our data infrastructure, both public and private, foreign and domestic, and for gathering electronic surveillance from the world at large.

He would probably have never received the appointment from David’s predecessor had it not been that Trevor was a Republican. So was Kurt, for that matter. Both of them were socially liberal and diametrically opposed to the Party’s religious wing but they firmly believed in a much more limited size for the Federal Government than would have made most Democrats ever feel comfortable. Neither of them hesitated in the slightest, however, when David asked them to join his administration. Kurt had been the Dean of the National Cathedral when David tapped him to be his Chief of Staff.

“I’m tempted to think the terrorists knew David’s assassination was coming,” Debbie chimed in, “however there was nothing even remotely on our radar screen,” she added. “Our agents are still scouring the crime scene but, so far, there are no viable leads.”

“I have every confidence you’ll find something,” President Schroeder stated, pretty much ending all discussion on the matter.

That the Middle East was acting up again was of grave concern. It had been years since the last suicide bombing and, thanks to David, Israel was at peace with all her neighbors for the first time in history. This was no cease-fire, either, but a full-fledged peace agreement that would lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Now, all that was in doubt. Whoever instigated the suicide bombings was either taking advantage of David’s death, or they were instrumental in causing it.

When I saw that Sandy and Josh were barely touching their food, I whispered to them, “I’m not very hungry, either, but we need our nourishment for the tough time ahead of us.” I wasn’t sure if my encouragement helped all that much, but at least some of the food disappeared from their plates. It was a tiny fraction of what they would have eaten ordinarily.

Excusing ourselves, we headed to my office in the Underground White House to begin work on David’s Eulogy. The office was surprisingly nice for one that was intended to be used only at times of crisis. There was a small desk with a computer, a small conference table, a sleeper sofa and a coffee table. I sat down at my desk and fired up the computer, while my kids plopped down on the sofa.

The three of us just sat there for the longest time without saying anything. Finally, Sandy began to speak. “You’ve gotta talk about how you two got together,” she stated. “It’s sooo romantic, the way you ran into each other in Broad Ripple, got caught in a downpour, rode back to your house on Pop’s bike, and then spent the afternoon together talking by candle light after the lights went out.” Sighing, she added, “It doesn’t get more romantic than that.”

“I think the whole world’s heard the story, but it might be a nice way to start the eulogy, so long as I keep it brief,” I said as entered it into my computer.

Noticing that Josh was crying again, I asked, “Joshie, are you OK?”

“No, I’m not OK,” he answered. “Thinking about the two of you makes me miss Pop even more. I grew up hearing the story of how you met, but now I’m fifteen… a year older than you were when you became boyfriends. You were so young. I haven’t even been on my first date. It’s kinda hard when you’re the President’s son, and you’re gay, and you’ve got Secret Service agents around all the time. But God damn it, I’d give up dating ’til I’m thirty if it would bring Pop back.”

Getting up from my desk, I pulled my son into a hug. “I’d do just about anything to bring him back too son,” I said as I patted his back. That Josh was gay wasn’t a surprise, given that both his biological parents were gay, but no one knew for sure just how much of a factor that might be. The first natural children of gay parents were just coming of age. There was conjecture that the probability of a son being gay in these cases was comparable to that of identical twins both being gay, which was just over fifty percent. The odds were far murkier for girls and, indeed, Sandy was straight. It would probably be years before we’d know the answer for sure.

“Come to think of it,” Josh interrupted, “did the two of you really only talk when the lights went out? You were fourteen, after all.”

I must have turned three shades of red when I realized what Josh was asking. We’d always told our children that we spent the afternoon talking and becoming friends, and that was the official version of the story we’d given the press from the beginning. Obviously, our kids were growing up and they were smart.

Josh laughed when he saw me blushing, and then he added, “On second thought, I’m not sure I really want to know what you did that afternoon.”

“Actually, it’s probably not what you think,” I stated once I regained my composure. “We really did spend most of the time talking, but we also spent a lot of time making out. We didn’t really have sex or anything like that,” I explained, “but we got to know each other very well, and I think we’ll leave it at that.”

“Not really having sex, I guess means you got naked,” Josh countered, “and jacked off, or jacked each other off. I’ll prolly have nightmares for the rest of my life thinking about it now,” he added for good measure.

“I don’t want to hear this,” Sandy interrupted, thankfully.

“And I’m not going to say anything more,” I agreed. “We met, we became friends, and we fell in love in the course of an afternoon. We came out to both sets of parents, and we spent the night at Pop’s house, but in separate bedrooms.”

Josh’s grin told me he figured he’d hit a bullseye, which he had. David and I had indeed jacked each other off, and we’d even showered together, but that was all innocent foreplay compared to the things we did just a couple days later. By the end of that summer David and I knew each other’s bodies intimately and we knew just how to give each other pleasure. It wasn’t merely about sex, however. David and I fell head over heels for each other and never once looked at anyone else in the course of three years of dating and thirty-three years of marriage. With David it truly had been about making love.

“As I recall from the story, it was actually Uncle Brad that outed you to Pop’s parents,” Sandy interjected.

“Yes, well he was very perceptive for an eleven-year-old,” I replied. “He didn’t become politically tactful until later.”

“Just two years later,” Sandy noted, “he was testifying before Congress. The story’s so awesome how he organized a caravan of school buses full of kids in a show of support for you guys. And he became the Class President that fall, and remained Class President all through high school.”

“Uncle Brad’s so much like Pop, it’s scary,” I agreed. “The only difference is that he’s straight.”

“And he met Aunt Kayla when he was only thirteen,” Sandy added. “Now there’s another fairy tale come true.”

“And Kayla became pregnant with Stacey when she was only sixteen,” I pointed out, “in spite of taking precautions. I think there’s a lesson in all of that.”

“Point well taken, Dad,” Sandy replied.

“At least I don’t have to worry about getting some girl pregnant,” Josh chimed in.

“It’s hard to get someone pregnant when you’re still a virgin, Josh,” came Sandy’s stinging retort, causing Josh to color up.

“I think that’s enough of that,” I broke in, “but there’s no doubt that your pop and I, and Uncle Brad and Aunt Kayla, as well as Uncles Trevor and Kurt, and Randy and Altaf were extremely lucky to have found true love so early in life. At least Pop and I had thirty-six years together, which is more than most couples have in a lifetime.

“The day I fell in love with Pop was the third happiest day of my life,” I added.

“The third happiest?” Josh asked.

“The first two happiest days of my life,” I explained, “were the days you two were born.”

“Really?” Josh responded. “Which day was happier, the day Sandy was born, or the day I was?”

“You really expect me to answer that?” I asked playfully. “Seriously, both days were equally happy. You cannot imagine in this day and age the joyousness of two men being able to father children together. Your pop and I always assumed we’d have to adopt. Even then, adoption by gay parents wasn’t easy. Many courts, particularly in the Midwest, would look for any reason at all to deny such an adoption.

“There was also the fact that we were very busy in the early days of our marriage. First there was school and the Olympics, and then clerking for the Supreme Court, and then our stint in the American Red Cross. After returning from Guatemala, we totally immersed ourselves in Grandpa Tom’s business, and then there was Pop’s campaign for the governor’s race.

“Once Pop won the election, we decided it was time to start a family even though Pop had to deal with all the work of being the governor during tough economic times. “Originally we wanted to adopt children, but we kept putting it off and putting it off,” I related. “In retrospect, it’s a good thing we did, or we might have missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“The Watanabe Procedure?” Josh stated more than asked.

“Exactly,” I replied. “Thanks to the Watanabe procedure, the genders of the parents are now pretty much irrelevant when it comes to having biological children. Pop and I were among the first test subjects.”

“But Uncles Trevor and Kurt decided not to wait, which is why all their children are adopted,” Josh added.

“That was part of it,” I agreed, “but they had their own agenda, too. They wanted to do something to help kids who’d been in an abusive situation like Uncle Sam had. Trevor and Kurt sought to take in kids in need and provide them with a loving home.

“I can’t imagine the patience needed to work with kids who’ve never learned to trust adults. It’s a real calling.”

Indeed, Trevor and Kurt had adopted two lovely children, a three-year-old girl and her one-year-old brother, just a few months before Sandy was born. Both children had been beaten by their mother’s boyfriend and when it became apparent the mother would not put her children’s welfare first, the children were placed in foster care. The mother even signed away her parental rights rather than face jail time herself, paving the way for Trevor and Kurt to adopt them.

Three years later, not long after Josh was born, they adopted a two-year-old girl whose teenage mother had abandoned her, and who’d been in an abusive foster home. Because the Watanabe procedure was still experimental back then, they would have had to either enroll and been accepted as test subjects, just as David and I had, or waited several years until the procedure was approved by the FDA. They chose to adopt instead. Elizabeth, who was now twenty, was a student at Georgetown and her eighteen-year-old brother, Danny, would be starting school at American University in the fall. He and Sarah, who was sixteen, were then attending Sidwell Friends along with our two kids.

“What you and Pop have done with your lives is no less important,” Sandy chimed in. “You could have become famous lawyers and made a fortune, but you chose public service. A lot of politicians are in it for the ego trip… believe me, I know… I go to school with a lot of their kids. Not you guys. You’ve given up so much of your lives to make the world a better place, and now Pop’s paid by giving up his life, too,” she added as she burst into tears.

“Promise us you won’t become president,” Josh asked me. “It’s not worth it, and I couldn’t stand it if anything were to happen to you, too.”

Pondering how in the world I could respond to that, I suddenly had an inspiration. “Do you think that’s what Pop would want me to do?” I asked.

No,” Josh answered, “he’d want you to do whatever’s best for the country and, if the opportunity arose, he’d want you to go for it.”

“I don’t have Pop’s charisma and I’m not nearly as experienced in politics as he was, so I doubt I’ll be running for President any time soon,” I tried to reassure my children.

“But you’re in your fifth term in Congress, and you’re the same age as Pop. Lots of people run for president with less experience than that. If the party leaders came to you tomorrow and asked you to run, you’d do it, wouldn’t you?” Josh asked.

“I’m not going to lose sleep worrying about that happening,” I answered. “There are so many people who are better qualified to run, so it ain’t gonna happen.”

“But you would, wouldn’t you?” Sandy asked.

“Let’s just say we’ll cross that bridge if it comes to that, which isn’t all that likely,” I replied.

“God, I hope you don’t,” Josh added, “but you’d make one Hell of a president,” and then he added with a sob, “just as good as Pop was.”

“I’m glad you think so,” I said as I gave my son another hug, and then returned to my desk.

Seeing my children in so much pain really took a lot out of me - every bit as much as did David’s assassination. They really were my life. Sitting with them that day, I couldn’t help but remember the day Sandy was born…

 

Tuesday, January 6, 2026
Seventeen years earlier

“Hey, Kurt,” I said in greeting as I whisked into his office at the State House. David was three years into his first term as governor and Kurt was his chief of staff. “Is Dave still meeting with the teachers’ union?” I asked.

“He’ll probably be in that meeting the rest of the day,” Kurt replied. “Education’s way over budget this year and David needs to find a way of doing more with less.”

Laughing, I said, “Knowing Sam, he’ll probably hold my husband to his pledge not to cut the Education budget any further.” Sam Austin was Kurt’s brother-in-law and one of our closest friends. In recent years, Sam had become increasingly frustrated at his inability to bring about real change. He was a teacher, training inner city youth in Literature and Foreign Languages. He’d won numerous awards as the teacher of the year in his high school, as well as awards at the state and national level. He was an extraordinary teacher, but was coming to realize there was only so much he could do in the classroom. He’d recently become active in the union, but couldn’t stop talking about how most of the leadership cared only about its membership and not the students they taught. He was starting to talk seriously about becoming a principle or even school superintendent in an effort to have an impact on as many kids as possible.

“In that case, there are some bills coming up for a vote that I’d better discuss with you,” I explained. I was David’s legislative advisor, keeping a close watch on everything going on in the State General Assembly and advising him on bills that needed his attention. I was his eyes and ears on the floor of the House and Senate, and his chief lobbyist, too.

“Shapiro slipped some language into the dairy farmers’ bill that could really balloon the budget over the next several years,” I began. “It would be a real bonanza for the farmers but it could leave us with huge surpluses of milk we’d end up selling below cost.”

“That could be a real problem,” Kurt agreed. “David’s on record as supporting the dairy farmers and making sure they get a fair price for their efforts, but there have to be limits. Is there a chance of removing the offending language?”

“If we make a concerted effort, we can probably get it stripped out when it gets to the Senate,” I explained, “but if the Senate goes along with the House language…”

“David’ll have to veto it,” Kurt said, finishing my sentence, “and the Republicans will have another issue with which to fight David in the next election.”

“Far better to force the Republicans to come down on the side of increased spending and increased taxes than to let them paint us as the ones doing it,” I pointed out.

“How true,” Kurt agreed. “Of course they’ll never admit to favoring raising taxes, but then let them explain how they intend to pay for increased subsidies…”

“Mr. DeWitt,” Kurt’s secretary interrupted over the intercom, “is the First Gentleman still in there with you?”

“He sure is,” Kurt answered.

“Would you please tell him that we just got a call from Debbie McLaughlin? She’s gone into labor and is on her way to University Hospital.”

“Holy shit!” I shouted as Kurt answered that he’d relay the message. “Holy fucking shit!”

“Calm down, Jer,” Kurt tried to say… not that I was listening. “You’re already hyperventilating. It could be hours or even days before your daughter’s born.”

Still in a near panic, I replied, “She’s already had one child of her own, so it may not take all that long. We need to get going!

“Has my husband been notified?” I asked Kurt’s secretary, who by now had popped into the office.

“Yes, but he’s still tied up with the teachers. He said he’d be there as soon as he can possibly get away.”

At that moment, I was grateful David was the governor and not I. For him, dropping everything just because he was about to become a daddy was not an option.

“I’ll take you to the hospital,” Kurt offered, and I agreed it probably would be best for him to drive. Fortunately, University Hospital was just minutes away from the State House.

Dr. Debbie McLaughlin was a close personal friend from back in high school. She and her wife, Cathy Andrews, already had two children of their own, but Debbie had graciously agreed to serve as surrogate mother for our first child. Because we were taking advantage of a new experimental procedure developed by Dr. Carl Watanabe, a fertility specialist at the Medical Center, Debbie did not need to contribute any genetic material of her own. The only thing she needed to provide was an enucleated egg, and her uterus.

David and I each provided a single sperm, one of which was used to replace the missing nucleus in Debbie’s egg, and the other to fertilize the egg. The sperm were selected at random, but care had to be taken to ensure that the fertilized egg didn’t end up with two ‘Y’ chromosomes, in which case it wouldn’t have been viable.

We were extremely grateful to Debbie for carrying our child for nine months. She was very busy with her own career and being a mother to her own children. She was already an associate professor of Psychology and was beginning to make quite a name for herself as an expert on the criminal mind.

When we got to the hospital, we found that Debbie was already situated in a birthing room. At least she was being allowed a traditional childbirth but a team of physicians was standing by, just in case there were problems resulting from the use of the Watanabe procedure.

Kurt and I both had to change into scrubs before we were allowed to enter the room with Debbie and Cathy. I was glad they were allowing Kurt to stay with me, since David couldn’t be there as of yet. Kurt really was family.

David and I had spent plenty of time preparing for this day but it still didn’t prepare me for the intensity of the pain Debbie went through with each contraction. Whoever it was that said that women are the weaker sex had obviously never gone through childbirth. The contractions kept coming closer and closer together and all too soon the room was prepared for the arrival of our child. No sooner was Debbie up in the stirrups than David flew into the room.

One thing I learned that day was that childbirth is a very bloody, messy affair, and that the human placenta is one of the most disgusting things ever to be seen. None of that diminished the thrill, however, of holding our newborn daughter and, two years later, again with Debbie as our surrogate, our newborn son.

The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope in editing, Low Flyer in proofreading and Ed in beta reading my stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Nifty for hosting them.

DISCLAIMER: This is a fictional account of the assassination of the first openly gay president of the United States. Except as noted, all characters are fictitious and the reader is cautioned against attributing anything from the story to real individuals. There are occasional descriptions of consensual sex between underage boys and it is the reader’s responsibility to ensure the legality of reading this material. The author retains full copyright.