Posted November 7, 2012


A Naptown Tales Sequel by Altimexis

Chapter 48 - Funeral for a Friend - Billy Mathews

Sunday, April 5, 2043
Sixteen Days after the Assassination

This had to be one of the saddest days of my life and, yet, I felt pure joy as I sat by my husband’s side. Rick had made a full recovery and that in itself was worth celebrating. I myself had been cleared of all charges stemming from the assassination of David Reynolds. Although there was no proof that I had not played a part, nor could there ever be, the President himself assured me that there was no evidence whatsoever tying me to his husband’s murder. It would always be a burden on my conscience that someone who was involved had acted on my behalf, resorting to killing Cam Dunnington’s mother to ensure my safety.

The National Cathedral was packed. Dignitaries from around the world were here, among them presidents, prime ministers, kings and queens from all over. This was like no presidential funeral the world had seen since that of President Kennedy, if even then.

We were all given programs when we entered the sanctuary, which noted that musical accompaniment was provided by Zachary Taylor, the President’s Science Advisor, playing the cathedral’s massive pipe organ, Kevin Williams, previously the Director of the National Institutes of Health and now the Surgeon General, playing the cello, and members of the National Chamber Orchestra. I’d known Zach and Kevin for many years and had heard them play numerous times before. Zach’s usual instruments were the piano and the harpsichord; however, he once told me that while he could play the organ, it was a hundred times more difficult and was an instrument he doubted he would ever be able to master. I would have never known it by the way he played today, accompanied by his husband and the rest of the chamber orchestra as we all took our seats. Once everyone was seated, the first item on the program was a performance of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. It was a very somber piece, and hauntingly beautiful - a fitting start to the funeral service.

I could scarcely believe the events of the past two weeks, and I had been in the thick of it. Was it really only two weeks ago Friday that President Reynolds was assassinated? Little did we know at the time that one of the men involved in the assassination, Tariq Tanner, had a gay brother, Ryland, who would end up in our care.

All because young Rye was caught getting a blowjob from his best friend, Darrell, our home became the focus in the initial investigation of David Reynolds’ murder. Of course David would have never been in Saint Louis in the first place had I not invited him there. That was something that would haunt me the rest of my life, even though I knew his visit there only served to provide a convenient time and place.

The events that followed the assassination were even more unbelievable. There were suicide bombings throughout the Middle East, and then the Israeli Prime Minister and the American Secretary of State were gunned down by one of the Prime Minister’s own body guards.

Then Rick and I were taken hostage and gassed, and we woke up in the hospital, but my baby remained in a coma for some time.

For reasons that still weren’t clear to me at the time, we sent Baltimore Homicide Director Lieutenant Paul Manning to Israel. The Israelis claimed that he attempted to assassinate the Palestinian Prime Minister. Only later did we learn that he shot one of the Prime Minister’s bodyguards, who was attempting to kill the Prime Minister.

In the meantime, we sent the new Secretary of State to the Middle East on a mission of peace, but he was kidnapped right after he landed in Israel. The real surprise, however, was that he, along with Lieutenant Manning and the Palestinian Prime Minister, was taken to a safe house in Southern Turkey. Just who it was that abducted them was still a mystery.

However, the biggest shock of all was that the new President of the United States, the former Speaker of the House, had been behind President Reynolds’ assassination. Sure, the White House was glossing things over, claiming that Schroeder was, at most, close to those who had been responsible, but hadn’t himself been involved. However, how close does one need to be before they cannot not know? For me, the proof was in the pudding. Why would Schroeder have killed himself if he hadn’t been an accomplice to David Reynolds’ murder?

These were extraordinary times indeed!

Rick and I were sitting near the front of the cathedral, along with other close friends and family. Sitting next to us were our very close friends, Lyle Herndon and Cameron Dunnington. Also near us were Paul Manning, his wife, Linda and their children, Sam and Cliff. Just in front of us were members of the President’s cabinet, most of whom were longtime friends as well.

It was nice to see Secretary of State Altaf El Tahari, newly returned from his mission to the Middle East, along with his husband, Secretary of Health Randall Bernstein. I could only imagine what a joyous reunion they’d had when Altaf returned to the States just yesterday. Curiously, Randy was wearing the white military uniform worn by the Surgeon General. Perhaps members of the Cabinet were attending in the positions they held in the Reynolds’ administration rather than in the Kimball administration. Because of the size of their family, the Bernstein-El Tahari foster children were seated as a group several rows behind us.

Seated in the left nave were heads of state and the most elite foreign dignitaries. Seated in the right nave were members of President Reynolds’ immediate family, including his parents, his brother and his brother’s family, his children and, of course, his husband, President Jeremy Kimball. Jeremy’s parents, his brother and his sister were there as well.

Interestingly, Trevor Austin and the Austin-DeWitt children were seated with the immediate family but, then, Trevor and Kurt were truly as close to David and Jeremy as any brothers could have been. The two couples had been married jointly in a double wedding and they had nearly always lived under the same roof - even in the White House. They really were family.

The only reason that Kurt DeWitt wasn’t sitting with his husband was that he was officiating the funeral service. He might be the White House Chief of Staff, but he was also the immediate past Dean of the National Cathedral. No wonder he seemed right at home at the huge central altar of the Cathedral. Although the Cathedral was officially Episcopalian and Kurt was ordained an Evangelical minister, he did an excellent job of keeping the service as non-denominational as possible. He even added a recital of the Mourners’ Kaddish, undoubtedly in deference to Jeremy and the portion of his family that was Jewish.

As the memorial service reached its conclusion, I saw that it was time for Kurt DeWitt to recite what he called ‘A Prayer for a Fallen Hero.’ Kurt approached the dais and began his prayer.

Dear Lord, You left us such an imperfect world. You set us apart from all the other animals in the Garden of Eden, where there was perfection, yet You knew we would never be satisfied to live off the fruits of Your labors alone. Many have claimed we strayed from Your plan, yet You placed temptation before our eyes. The story of a serpent sent by Satan to tempt us may provide comfort to some, but would not we have strayed, regardless? Was this not also a part of Your plan? You made us in Your image with the power to build, to create and to love, yet You gave us a choice. You left the world imperfect, a place ready for us to finish the work of creation, or ready for us to destroy.

You also made us imperfect. We are not perfect in our design as some would want us to believe. Hidden deep within us are the seeds of terrible diseases, ready to spring upon us at any time. We can ask why, but that doesn’t change the facts of Your plan. As with the world at large, we recognize the need to complete Your creation. Had You made us perfect, there would be no reason for us to study, to learn, to grow and to advance ourselves toward the perfection of Your Kingdom.

But there are some who see Your imperfect world and who see humanity’s imperfections as something to be exploited. They see the wonders of Your creation… The vastness of space and the miracle of the birth of a newborn baby… and rather than seeing evidence of Your existence, they see it as evidence that You do not exist. Not that belief is a necessary part of your plan. Indeed much evil has been done in Your name. Many who profess belief do not translate their core beliefs into good deeds, or worse, they pervert those beliefs into actions of hate and malice. Then there are those who do not believe, yet they carry on Your work with selfless abandon. You have given us as many paths of righteousness as there are people on earth.

I will never comprehend why some people choose to do evil, yet I know this is also a part of Your plan. If it were not for the need to overcome evil, we might never learn… and grow. How sad it is when evil claims the life of one of Your angels here on earth. You sent us your only son to absolve us of our sins, and You continue to send us men and women of extraordinary good, and we continue to bring them harm. David Reynolds was such a person. He was truly one of your angels in the flesh, killed for committing the most forgivable crime… the crime of waging peace.

President David Reynolds was a hero to us all. In a world in which we have learned to overcome our fears of those who are different, You made him gay, challenging those of us not born that way to overcome our last remaining prejudice… our last remaining fear. You made him smart and you made him strong, and You sent him a husband who also possesses incredible intelligence and strength… a true world-class athlete.

You blessed David and Jeremy with two wonderful children, challenging every preconception of what it means to be gay. You showed the world that whether you’re born gay or straight, truly makes no difference. Even as a youth, David Reynolds helped many of us come terms with being gay. He was there for me when my own father rejected me. Now, thanks in part to David Reynolds and of course to my wonderful husband, my father’s hatred has been turned to love.

So too may the hearts of all humanity turn from hate to love. We praise you, oh Lord, for the gift of David Reynolds, a hero to us all. May we all be inspired by his life. Although cut short, he did more in his nearly fifty years than most ever could in ten lifetimes. Please watch over him, oh Lord, and grant him a well-deserved rest.


Hearing Kurt’s prayer transported me back to the first time I heard Kurt lead people in prayer. It was way back when I was just fourteen and Rick and I were attending the first annual Gay Youth Council Halloween Ball. Even back then, Kurt could compose a prayer like no one else could. I knew that some might find his prayers to be a bit ‘preachy’ or more like a sermon than a prayer but, after all, Kurt was an Evangelical Christian. Evangelists evangelize. Then again, I couldn’t find anything in his prayer I disagreed with - not one thing.

I came out of my reverie in time to see that Brad Reynolds was now standing at the dias, getting ready to give his eulogy.

Ever since I can remember, David was a part of my life. Although I don’t remember back to when I was a baby, my parents told me how my older brother would hold me and cuddle me, and treat me gently even though he was only three. I do have some memories from when I myself was three, and more from when I was four. Even though David went to school with all the other ‘big boys’, he always took the time to say hi to me after school and to play with me for a while. He never ignored me the way so many other big brothers do. And when I started school, he helped me with my homework, taught me how to ride a bicycle and how to throw a football. Throughout my childhood and my early teens, he was my mentor… he was my brother… he was my friend.

As Brad spoke, I couldn’t help but remember back to when I’d first met him…


Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thirty-four Years Earlier

I was enjoying a pleasant dream when my peaceful slumber was interrupted by a loud banding on the door, followed by my dad shouting out, “Get your lazy ass out of bed, boy, or we’ll be late for church!” Fuck! What a way to start a Sunday morning. Isn’t there some sort of law against waking a teenager up before noon on the weekend? If not, there should be!

There was another loud knock on the door, followed by, “You up, boy?”

“Yeah, Dad,” I replied, suppressing an urge to giggle at the double meaning, “I’m up.”

After taking care of business, taking a quick shower and shaving, I threw on a polo shirt and some dressy khakis and headed downstairs, where Mom was busy preparing Sunday brunch. I could smell the bacon frying. Moments later I was seated at the kitchen table with a plate of pancakes, eggs, bacon and hash browns in front of me. I was a growing athlete and Mom was more than happy to feed what she called the bottomless pit, otherwise known as my stomach. A glass of OJ and a steaming cup of coffee to wake me up completed the picture.

I grabbed the sports section of The Star and was busily reading it when my phone rang. Knowing from the ring tone that it was Rick calling, I immediately got worried, ’cause he knew better than to call me when we were eating. Answering, I quietly asked, “Are you all right, Babe?”

“Have you seen the paper?” Rick asked in return.

“I’m reading the sports section right now,” I answered.

“Not the sports section… the front page. Read the front page and call me back, will ya?”

“I can’t call you right back,” I responded. “You know that.”

“Find a way, Babe,” Rick replied. “I’ll be waiting.”

“Billy!” Dad shouted.

“Sorry,” I responded, but then asked, “Could I please have the front section?”

“If I can have the sports section,” Dad replied.

“Deal,” I agreed as I slid the sports section toward him. He in turn slid the front section towards me.

As I started to scan the front page, my eyes were drawn immediately to a photograph of Brad Reynolds. I couldn’t help but wonder what his picture was doing in the paper. Brad was a wide receiver for the Northview Falcons, the Westlane Wildcats’ main rival, and I’d played against him several times over the past couple of years, although we were never on the field at the same time ’cause we both played offence. I couldn’t help but admire Brad’s skill - he was easily the best wide receiver I’d ever played against, or with for that matter. The accompanying story explained how Brad was organizing a caravan of school buses to take kids to Washington in a show of support for his brother and his brother’s friends. How cool was that?

David Reynolds and his boyfriend, Jeremy Kimball, had been unjustly accused of running a prostitution ring out of their dorm room while serving as White House Interns. Their friends, Kurt DeWitt and Trevor Austin, who were paging in the Senate, had also been wrongly accused. What was particularly galling was that Kurt had just received the Congressional Gold Medal. Indeed, the whole reason behind the scandal was that some idiot called into a talk show, taking exception to a gay boy getting the highest honor in the land. Now Congress was holding hearings on the alleged prostitution ring and the four boys were spending the rest of their summer in front of TV cameras, being treated like criminals.

As soon as I read the article, I knew that Rick and I had to go, but how to convince our parents? Other than going to summer camp, we’d never been out of state before, let alone on our own. I’d just turned fourteen in March and Rick at the beginning of May. Although I would be entering high school in the fall, Dad still treated me like a little boy. It was high time he recognized that I was nearly an adult.

“Dad,” I began, summoning up all my courage, “There are times when a man has to stand up for what he believes in. As a gay man, it’s important for me to stand up for my gay brothers and sisters whenever and wherever oppression exists. Rick and I both feel this way.

“Brad Reynolds, the brother of David Reynolds, is leading a bunch of kids on a trip to Washington in a show of support for his brother and his brother’s friends. Dad, what’s happening in Washington is just plain wrong . It’s high time someone shows Congress that we aren’t gonna let them treat kids like that, just because they’re gay. Dad, Rick and I have got to go on one of those school buses. We need to stand up for what’s right.”

“Let me get this straight,” Dad answered. “You want your mom and I as well as Rick’s parents to let the two of you go to Washington, unsupervised, with some two hundred other teenagers, stay overnight for two nights in a hotel room with two other kids and march on the U.S. Capitol? You really expect us to let you do that?”

“But Dad, we’re fourteen years old now,” I responded.

“Don’t remind me how young you are,” Dad replied.

“Fourteen is not that young.” I replied. “I’m already shaving, just about every day…” but then what my father said suddenly dawned on me. “Wait a minute… how is it you know all the details about the trip?”

“Son, you should realize by now that your mom and I are always two steps ahead of you,” Dad answered. “While your lazy ass was in bed, wasting a perfectly good Sunday morning, I was up reading the paper. When I saw the item about the trip to Washington, I knew you and Rick would want to go. Your mom and I discussed it with Rick’s parents and we agreed it was high time we treated you like the mature young men you’ve become. We called and reserved a couple of spots for the two of you.  Good thing we did . . . you got two of the last spots left.”

Running around the table, I threw my arms around my father and said, “Thanks, Dad! You’re the greatest!”

“Don’t thank me,” he replied. “You’re going to have to earn the hundred dollar cost of the trip, and that means extra chores once the football season’s over. Now hurry up and finish your breakfast… and then call your boyfriend back… I know he’s waiting to hear from you. And we’ve got church to go to.”


Three days later, at an obscenely early hour on a sunny Wednesday morning, Mom dropped me and Rick off in the parking lot at the high school, where fifteen school buses awaited us. The scene was one of pure pandemonium as kids arrived by the carload. It turned out that Brad had arranged to put us up in a larger, nicer hotel so more kids could go. There were well over six hundred kids going with us to Washington. Wow!

As chaotic as things seemed, it was amazingly well organized as Brad and a half-dozen kids checked us in alphabetically and directed us to our respective buses. Rick and I had to wait in separate lines, but we were assigned to the same bus. It was Brad himself who was checking in the M’s and, when I got to the head of the line, he actually shook my hand and said, “Billy Mathews, glad to have you with us. You’re one hell of a quarterback. I look forward to playing with you someday for the Panthers… if I make varsity, that is…”

“I have no doubt you’ll make varsity, Brad,” I interrupted. “You’re an amazing wide receiver.”

Brad actually blushed as he responded, “Yeah, well, I do OK but, unlike me, you’re gonna go all the way to the NFL.”

“From what I’ve seen, there’s no reason you couldn’t make it to the NFL too, Brad,” I replied.

Shaking his head, he countered, “Football’s your passion, Billy. Don’t get me wrong… I love the game, but it’s not what I want to do for a living.”

I was about to comment on what a shame that was, but then I thought about how he had organized this whole trip on his own at the age of thirteen, no less, and I realized he prolly was destined for far greater things than playing football.

“Anyway,” Brad continued, “I put you and your boyfriend on my bus, the first bus. Our chaperones are Debbie McLaughlin and Cathy Andrews. I believe you’ve already met them.”

Remembering our ride to the five hundred, I replied, “Oh yeah. We rode with them and with Tim and Larry. Cathy was the pregnant one, right?”

“Actually she delivered by emergency C-section a few weeks ago. She and Debbie just got back from Connecticut, where they were attending a friend’s wedding at the time. Both moms and baby are doing fine now.”

“Both moms?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Brad explained, “They got married while they were in Connecticut.”

“Wow, they were hardly talking to each other when we met them,” I responded. “That was sure fast.”

“Not really,” Brad answered. “They were girlfriends for four years, but hit a rough spot, which was how Cathy became pregnant in the first place. She couldn’t deal with losing her parents’ love.”

“How sad,” I replied, “but maybe it was a blessing in disguise. Rick and I hope to have kids some day, but it’s not easy when you’re gay. I’m just glad both sets of parents have been so accepting from the get go.”

“Coming out at eleven prolly caught them off guard,” Brad replied.

“No doubt,” I agreed.

Rick and I boarded our bus and immediately said hello and congratulated Debbie and Cathy. Spotting Lyle and Carrie, we settled into the seat right behind them and started to chat.

“Hey guys,” I began. “Maybe we could all share a room together when we get to Washington,” I suggested.

“That’d be awesome ,” Lyle agreed, but Rick looked perplexed and I couldn’t figure out why.

Finally, he asked, “How could Carrie room with the three of us. I mean, she’s a girl?”

Oops. I had forgotten that Rick didn’t know about Lyle and Carrie. Fortunately, Carrie took matters in hand and said, “Rick, I have something important to say, but it’s very, very secret. I know I can trust you, so I’m just going to say it.” Looking briefly to her boyfriend and getting a nod, since it was his secret too, she continued in a whisper, “Rick, I’m really a boy in drag.”

Lyle then added, “She’s much more comfortable playing the role of a girl. Middle school was hell for her, and she didn’t have the support of a boyfriend the way you did, Rick. She was just so effeminate… all the boys teased her and she ended up trying to kill herself… twice.”

“Oh man, I can imagine what you went through,” Rick responded. “I don’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t been for Billy. Believe me, I know what it’s like to be an effeminate boy. There is no closet for guys like us. Thanks to Billy, I was able to embrace my effeminate nature. I didn’t have to pretend.”

Then turning toward Lyle, he asked, “So Lyle, I take it that means…”

“Yup,” Lyle answered before Rick could finish his question. “I’m just like Billy. I’m even out to the coaches and my teammates. The coaches advised me to stay in the closet if I can, ’cause the NBA’s still homophobic, but that alone wouldn’t keep me from coming out. The main reason I’m staying in the closet is for Carrie’s sake.”

“But Rick has a point, Honey,” Carrie broke in. “I can’t room with you guys because everyone thinks I’m a girl, but I can’t room with a bunch of girls because I’m not. What if one of them came into the bathroom, for example, when I’m stepping out of the shower.”

“Shit, how are we gonna handle that,” Lyle asked aloud.

“Maybe I just shouldn’t go,” Carrie suggested. “Much as I’d like to go, it may be too much trouble for what it’s worth.”

“But I really want you there with me,” Lyle stated with a pout.

“You know, Brad Reynolds seems like a decent guy,” I suggested. “I think it’d be pretty safe to tell him…”

“I don’t know, Billy,” Lyle interrupted. “I know he’s a good guy, but it’s one thing to be accepting of a gay brother… a gay brother who’s a jock like he is, but it’s a whole different matter to accept a gay teenager in drag. Besides which, too many people know as we are, but there’s been rumors about us. Brad may not out us, but he wouldn’t have to if Carrie rooms with us, that could be enough to confirm the rumors. If she rooms with three girls who are informed of the situation, assuming there are three girls who could be trusted and who would be willing to sleep with a gay boy, that’s three more opportunities to be outed.”

“I’ll just stay home,” Carrie reiterated. “It’s the easiest way.”

“Guys, I trust Brad,” I said, restating my case. “Let’s at least talk to him.”

Taking in a deep breath, Carrie agreed, “OK, we’ll talk to him, but only after feeling him out.” I wasn’t sure how we could feel him out, but I was willing to try.

“Save our seats for us, Babe,” I told my Ricky as I gave him a little peck on the lips.

“Will do, and good luck,” Rick replied. Then Lyle, Carrie and I got off the bus and headed to see Brad.

“Brad, as soon as you have a minute, we need to talk to you,” I stated as we approached him.

“Zack,” Brad called out and a stunningly handsome young boy with long, sexy brown hair ran over. “Could you take over for me for a few?” Brad asked, and the boy agreed.

Moving away from the crowd, Brad spoke to us in a whisper. “If this is about what I think it is, I’ve got you covered. After all, you don’t grow up with a gay brother without developing a little gaydar. First of all, Lyle, does Billy know about your situation?”

With a look of bafflement on his face, Lyle answered, “Well, if you’re talking about Carrie and me, yeah, he knows everything.”

“Not that you’re obvious, Lyle,” Brad continued, “and I know you only have eyes for Carrie, but your eyes linger a bit longer when looking at cute guys than cute girls, just as they did with young Zach. And Carrie, you make a very convincing, stunningly beautiful girl but, in profile, the bridge of your nose is that of a boy. I would have never even thought to look had it not been for my observations of Lyle. Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me and I’ve got your back.”

“If you figured it out so easily…” Carrie started to speak.

“Don’t worry about it, guys,” Brad replied. “It’s not at all obvious. I know there have been rumors but, as long as you keep doing what you’re doing and not responding to the rumors, you’ll be fine. I’ll do everything I can to deflect the rumors, too.”

“So what are we gonna do about the hotel situation?” I asked.

“Very simple,” Brad answered. “I assume there’s no problem with the four of you, the fourth being Rick of course, sharing a room together?”

“That’s kinda what we were hoping we could do in the first place,” I answered.

“Great,” Brad replied. “I just happen to have a room with a king-size bed adjacent to a double room, with a connecting door between the two. I’ve arranged for my girlfriend, Kayla, to share the room with the king-size bed with Carrie, and I’ll share the double room with you guys. Of course once we’re situated, there’s no reason Carrie and I couldn’t swap.”

“How very understanding of you, Brad,” I commented with a laugh, “and I assume the fact that you would get to spend a couple of nights with your girlfriend has nothing to do with it.”

“None at all,” Brad answered with a laugh as well. “Seriously, Kayla and I haven’t gone any further than making out and we’re not gonna until we know each other a lot better than we do now. Kayla’s really special. I think she may be the one and I don’t wanna fuck things up by rushing into sex.”

“Rick and I have been doin’ it since we were eleven and it sure hasn’t hurt our relationship any,” I commented.

“I dunno,” Brad responded. “Maybe it’s different with guys. After all, guys often experiment with each other, gay or straight.” The way Brad blushed when he said it, it was pretty obvious he was talking about himself!

“Do you trust Kayla to keep my secret?” Carrie asked.

“I’d trust her with my life,” Brad answered. “Besides, she has a brother who sometimes likes to dress up in drag, so she’ll understand, but that’s in the strictest of confidence, by the way.”

“You can count on us to keep Kayla’s secret,” I assured Brad.

The trip out to Washington was long, but we had a blast! Spending a couple nights sharing a room with Lyle and Carrie was a lot of fun too. It was amazing the transformation that took place when Carrie removed all the makeup and the falsies, and stripped down to her panties. He was actually a rather delicate-featured, very cute and sexy boy… and well endowed! I could certainly see what it was that Lyle saw in his boyfriend. Either way, they made a handsome couple.

The real highlight of the trip, however, was when we got to the Capitol. I’d seen pictures of it on TV and all but it was so much more real seeing it in person. And then this lawyer guy came around and chose some of us to sit inside the chamber during the hearings, and I was one of them! Poor Rick had to stay outside with most everyone else, but he was thrilled for me. I was even given a chance to testify! I hadn’t prepared anything to say, but I was only given a few minutes to speak, anyway, so I talked about how the four boys were real role models for gay boys in general, and particularly for gay athletes like me.

Some of the committee members seemed shocked that someone like me was gay. One of the members even asked me outright if I was sure I was gay and I answered, “Absolutely 100%. I guess I’ve always known, but my boyfriend and I have been out and proud since we were eleven years old.” That sure got some gasps from a lot of folks in the room. I then added, “To tell the truth, girls just don’t interest me at all.”

Football practice started up the next week after we got back, and so did soccer practice. Thank God David and Jeremy were able to get home in time to take part. They were awesome athletes. More importantly, the committee ended up exonerating them, and Kurt and Trevor as well. In the end it was the committee that ended up taking the flak for the hearings, which was fine by me.


The utter silence that ensued after Brad stepped back from the dias alerted me that he’d finished his eulogy. I felt badly that I zoned out through the whole thing, but I’ve heard Brad speak many, many times over the years. He and David were major supporters of the Sanctuary project from the beginning. Judging from the profoundness of the silence, it was evident that Brad had given one hell of a eulogy.

The service concluded with young Joshua Kimball-Reynolds and Trevor Austin on guitar, and Sandra Kimball-Reynolds on the tambourine, all singing a song I never heard before called Turn! Turn! Turn!, a song apparently made popular back in the 1960’s by a group called The Byrds. I recognized the lyrics, though - they were from the Bible, and very appropriate. The song was beautiful, and uplifting. I loved it.

Kevin, Zach and the National Chamber Orchestra played again as we all filed out of the National Cathedral and boarded buses for the short trip across the Potomac to Arlington National Cemetery.

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.