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“Aww James look,” I whisper.
James walks into the living room. “Aww,” he whispers back. “They’re so young and adorable and in love.”
I slip an arm around his waist. “Don’t they remind you of us a little?”
James thinks. “Mm. You mean back when I had hair?”
I chuff through my nose. “You’re sexy bald.”
“You’re biased.”
“Am not.” I lean my head on his shoulder. “The poor babes…they’re exhausted..”
“Aye, they are,” James responds.

These stray lads were young runaways. They had left their rural homes in North Carolina for the guarantee of work and money from the summer season at Myrtle Beach. They had plans to start community college in the spring with the money earned, and were already enrolled. Getting told to evacuate Myrtle Beach because of Hurricane Florence hadn’t been on their itinerary. They desperately wanted more weeks of work to save up money, and now the Hurricane as threatening to wipe the hotel where they work off the map. As well as you know, the shitty apartment building where they live.

The real problem though was that they had no where to go during the mandatory evacuation. One of them, Kayden, had posted on Reddit asking about shelters for gay youth in the Carolinas that may take them – and James thought this was silly. We had a perfectly good spare room in Raleigh. He approached me with the idea to take these two lads, and I agreed in a heartbeat.

Both had arrived via bus today and were exhausted. They had settled in to watch the news, and just dozed off.

I nuzzle James. “Let’s give them their privacy.”
James hooks his fingers into my belt-loops. “You know, love, I think I’m a bit jealous of them.”
“…Jealous?” I repeat. We walk out of the living room and into the kitchen together.
“Yeah. Look at them. Out in the world and gay and surviving like it’s no big deal. They’re not scared at all. It’s so remarkable how much the world has changed.”
“Mmm… well remember they did run away from home because of homophobia.”
“True. But for the most part, no one cares. Gay marriage is even legal now. I’m jealous of how much fight they have. I spent so much of my life hiding,” James says.
“You did. I thought you were straight for like, two years when I met you.”
“Ahaha, I forgot about that.”
I take a glass down from the cabinet and fill it with water. “I was shocked when Jane told me you had a crush on me.”
“I was so shocked you didn’t know. But also shocked you said yes to a date…”
I smile. “It was an easy decision. Man, I had so much fun sneaking you into my dorm room and fucking on that tiny bunk bed.”
James grins. “Man, that was fun, even if we risked being kicked out of university if we were caught together.”
I reminisce. “Yeah. Man, that was wild.” I sip my water. “Hey James?”
“I’ve been thinking…that maybe I want to help these boys a little bit more than how we are.”
James leans against the counter. “How?”
“Money. They need money. This Hurricane is going to ruin their lives. But besides that, they need support. Guidance. They probably have no gay role models.” James was staring at me. I shrug. “I don’t know, just have this urge to protect them.”

James furrows his brow and stares off into space. “Oh my god you’re right. They have no idea about anything. About sex, about love…”
“About the community, about kink, about clubs, about Pride…”
James folds his arms. “They need fairy godparents.”

I laugh. “Well honey, I’m the fairy in this equation.”
James sticks his tongue out at me. “Well, we’re covered then.”
“Are you like, ok with it though?”
“Well, we barely know them, but I do agree with you. They will need help. And we have money to spare. I like the idea of giving back to the community, for all the help I received through-out the years. We need to be strong as a group.”
“Yes. Yes, I agree. We have to support each-other. It may be easier now, but it will always hard to be gay in a straight world.”

James walks over, puts his fingers in my belt loops, and kisses me. “You are the kindest soul.”
I smile and wrap my arms around him. Outside, it starts to rain. We look at each-other. The storms are here. We are safe though, and our guests are safe, and James and I share a look of contentment.

“Do you want to take a bath?” James asks.
I brighten. “I’d love to. As long as you don’t comment on my knees creaking when I get out of the tub.”
“Fine, as long as you don’t comment how saggy my balls are now…”
I laugh. “I like your balls.”
”Pffft. No way. You do?”
“Yeah. They’re sexy.”
James looks at me like I’m crazy. It only makes me laugh harder. Marrying him has been a fun adventure. I hope our guests learn something from us. After all, we’re them thirty years in the future.

Captions are fictional. Stay safe, East Coast.


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