By E Walk
(Copyrighted by the Author)
Edited by Radio Rancher
Chapter 4 - The Cousins
I was awakened the next morning by the sweet aroma of chocolate. I went downstairs in my pajamas and Spring was cooking something on the stove. When she saw me she started, "Look, Autumn honey, I'm not your maid, you know. Why don't you go take care of the horses while I finish the food for the barbecue before we go to church."
I decided to be funny, "You don't suppose the horses will laugh when they see me in my pajamas do you?"
"They'll probably be so excited that they'll hide their faces in the corner so you can't see them snickering."
"Spring, you're in rare form this morning. Just because my pajamas have lips that look like they want to kiss someone doesn`t make them weird. At least they don't have Cinderella on the front of them like yours do, and I'm not wearing Minnie Mouse slippers like you."
When I got to the stable, General Beauregard looked at me and turned away. I thought to myself, `Horses don't really care what humans wear, do they?' Then I realized he was upset because I wasn't in my riding clothes and was pouting because he wasn't going to get any exercise, at least not now. I put the horses in the corral so they could be outdoors while we went to church.
After I finished in the stable, Spring and I had coffee and bagels to hold us until lunchtime. When we arrived at the church, we were ushered to a pew in the middle of the church. We had just sat down when we were joined by Trent and a young lady. He introduced her as Cyndi. We were joined shortly by Leonora and Trevor.
I thought to myself, `The Nixon's seemed to have attached themselves to us for some reason. Where are Mr. Nixon the Second and Mr. Nixon the third?'
As we were leaving the church after the service, we saw Mr. Willingham with George and Michael.
Lenora looked at us, "Why don't we meet for brunch at The Markham House. I think it would be best if the guys and I not go home just yet, so we won't bother Robert and his father. They have some things they needed to discuss. Amber and Spring, why don't you join me so I have some company to drown out the three teenagers."
Trevor looked at his Mother, "Mom, you're making Trent and me look like we're juvenile delinquents. What are Amber, Spring and Cyndi going to think?"
Spring spoke before I could, "Don't worry your buns about that, Trevor. We already realized that you were trouble makers. I was never so embarrassed as when I was beaten yesterday by a thirteen year old, yesterday."
Trevor scowled, "Ladies, we'll discuss this more, over brunch."
We took three cars to the restaurant. We were greeted and seated immediately. The owner, a lady about Leonora's age, came to talk to us, "Good to see you Leonora. Hi Trent and Trevor. I recognize Miss Cyndi but I don't think I know your other two lady friends. Trev, are you stringing the beautiful ladies along?"
Trevor was laughing, "No Ms. Georgia, we found them hitchhiking and felt sorry for them. The young lady with the blond hair is engaged to be married to some Army officer who is in Iraq. His name is Adrian and hers is Spring Winters. The other lady with the auburn hair is Miss Autumn Summers. She's a shrink in the school system. I figure she's too old for me, since she must be at least thirty years older than me."
Everyone was laughing as I threw my napkin at him, "Well, I've never been so insulted in my life. I think I'll leave now."
Trevor jumped out of his chair, "Here, let me help you, Auntie Autumn. I wouldn't want you to hurt yourself when your going through the buffet line. Auntie Spring, do you think you can take care of yourself. He held his Mother's chair then mine while Trent was helping Spring and Cyndi.
Brunch was fun. Leonora seemed to be more relaxed than I had ever seen her. When we had finished eating, Leonora went to pay the bill and she and Georgia were talking.
As we were getting into our cars, Trevor yelled, "We'll see you older ladies at the Willingham house and don't forget the brownies."
As Spring and I were driving to our small spread, we were trying to determine why we were all of a sudden becoming involved with the Nixon family. It was like they needed us for a security blanket. When we pulled into the driveway, there was a strange car parked there. It had Georgia plates, but it wasn't from our county and we didn`t recognize it. Spring and I shrugged our shoulders because we didn't know who it could be.
We had locked the house before we left, or so we thought. When we entered through the locked kitchen door, we were greeted by the sight of a handsome young man reading the paper and having coffee. He looked at us, "Hi Autumn, I hope you don't mind me making myself at home. You left your front door unlocked."
My younger brother Austin was sitting there with his feet on another chair, "Good to see you Spring."
"Austin, why didn't you tell us you were coming or we would have been home to greet you. We went to church and then had brunch with some friends. Why are you here from Atlanta? Georgia Tech isn't on break is it? I thought you were a teaching assistant for this term?"
Austin stood, "First, I didn't know that I was going to be coming here until this morning. My roommate's Mother flew in from Tallahassee. She is planning to drive her Father back to Tallahassee, so I drove them here since Derek's car is in the shop."
"We're planning to leave about seven after some shindig that his Uncle's family is invited to."
Spring looked at me, and I knew she had something on her mind, "Austin, is this roommate more than just a roommate?"
Austin looked a little ruffled, "So, what if he is? What's it to you?"
I took over, "Austin, do Dad and Mother know that you are having a relationship with another man? The last I heard, you were dating one of the Oglethorpe girls."
Austin sucked in his gut, "Look ladies, I finally realized that I like men more than I did woman. I guess I'm probably bisexual, but I've fallen in love with Derek. Does that bother you? And yes the parents know and they are not thrilled about it, but they're not fighting it either."
Both Spring and I started to laugh and Austin was turning bright red. I felt sorry for him, "Look Mr. Summers, we have been involved with gay men all weekend. Where did you drop Derek and his Mother?"
"They had me drive to a horse farm that's not too far away. I think it was called Fairacres. The only people home were Derek's Uncle, Robert and his Grandfather, Mr. Nixon. Derek's Mother, Mrs. Mitchell, decided that they would visit until Derek's cousins and their Mother got home. Derek's uncle made a phone call and we were invited to go with them to a barbeque at some place tonight. I told them that I was going to come spend time with my sister and her partner, that is if you don't mind."
Spring and I started to laugh. I was finally able to speak "We don't mind. We're invited to the same barbecue. Let me make a call and tell Howie know that you will be accompanying us. Just let Derek be surprised when we show up. You're going to love Derek's cousins. Spring and I are going to go change clothes and then why don't you come ride with us while we exercise the horses?"
Austin gave us a funny look. "Yeah, you just want to get me killed so you can claim all of the inheritance."
We spent the afternoon excising the horses and taking care of them. Austin was getting his eyes opened about what it meant to be in the horse business.
We smelled rather horsey when we finished. We offered the spare bedroom to Austin so he could take a shower. We apologized that we didn't have any clothes that he could wear.
He laughed, "Never fear, I always go prepared. I carry a bag with extra clothes in the trunk of my car at all times. You never know when you will need them."
Spring and I were sitting in the living room when Austin finally reappeared. Spring looked at him, "Austin, how in the world did the women ever let you escape to the other side. You're one handsome stud."
Austin started to blush again, "Look, I have a lover and I'm not ashamed that it's another man. Wait until you meet Derek. I'll look like the Phantom of the Opera."
I had a sudden thought, "Austin, what do Derek's parents' think about your relationship?"
"His Mother has no problem with it. In fact, she treats me like a son. Derek's father died in the Persian Gulf War."
Spring looked at the clock, "We'd better be going. Autumn, get the macaroni salad while I get the brownies."
She flipped the keys to Austin, "Okay driver, let's get a move on. We don't want to be late."
We were the last to arrive at the Willingham spread. We were met by Trevor. "I was beginning to think that my dates had stood me up. You did bring the brownies didn't you?"
Austin nodded, "Sorry kid, we started with them, but we were so hungry that we ate them all on the way here. We came by way of the South Pole and fed some to the penguins."
Trevor was looking at me and at Austin. "Wait a minute, you have to be related to Miss Autumn. I can see the resemblance in your eyes. I hope you aren't as mean as she is. Come, meet the rest of the guests.
Austin nodded, "I already met your old man and your Grandfather. I was Mrs. Mitchell's and her son's chauffeur here. I suppose you want me to eat in the stable with the horses now that I'm Autumn's brother and hired help for your Aunt and cousin."
Trevor realized that he was being had, "Trenton, we need to make sure this person is real. Derek, we may need your help."
Trevor stopped, "Wait a minute, Derek, you introduce Mr. Summers around. I think you probably know him better than anyone else. I'll introduce Miss Spring and Miss Autumn to Aunt Louisa."
Aunt Louisa turned out to be a lovely lady. She was so easy to talk to. She and Leonora spent a lot of time talking. We were just getting ready to eat when the explosion hit. Mr. Nixon the Second stood, "This entire world is gone berserk. First my son turns out to be queer and now one of my grandsons turns out to be queer. You're all going to hell."
Mrs. Mitchell went and put her finger in her Dad's face, "Dad, if you're going to talk like that, you're not welcome in my house. I can't imagine that Leonora and Robbie will let you stay with them either. I suggest that you realize that the genes to cause them to be gay had to come from somewhere and I suspect that they came from you. I think it is time for you to join the twenty first century and refer to the relationships as being gay. You're the one who is queer. You can't understand why everyone can't be as overbearing as you."
Howie broke the tension, "Dinner is being served. I ain't going to serve anyone. You need to get your own food or starve. Mrs. Mitchell and Mrs. Nixon, would you please start the line?"
Trevor poked me on the arm and pointed to his Grandfather. Mr. Nixon the Second knew that he was being put in his place. Spring and I were escorted by four handsome gentlemen and Cyndi. Everyone had gotten their food when Mr. Nixon finally went through the line. He had a heaping plate full as if it was his last meal. The rest of us got a few extra things and the brownies that Spring had made disappeared.
When we finished eating, Mrs. Mitchell stood and thanked Mr. Willingham. "Dad, let's go back to Leonora and Robbie's house. We have some things we need to talk about. Derek and Austin, why don't you head back to Atlanta after you help Mr. Willingham clean up the mess we made. Derek, I'll call you and let you know what's happening."
Mrs. Mitchell was very gracious. She chided Spring and me about showing her nephews how to jump. She added, "Of course Derek and Austin would never make it through the first jump. They would probably wind up in the hospital in traction. Cyndi, you be good to that ugly nephew of mine."
We watched as Mr. and Mrs. Nixon the third, Mrs. Mitchell and Mr. Nixon the Second left. We helped with the cleanup as did George and Michael. George looked at those who were still there, "This has certainly been an interesting day. I don't know how anyone could complain of being bored around here. Austin and Derek, are you planning to drive back to Atlanta tonight?"
Derek spoke for the two of them, "Mr. Wetmore, we were planning to spend the night since school is on break tomorrow and Tuesday. My Mother wasn't sure what was happening."
Howie interrupted, "Guys, you're welcome to stay here. I'm living by myself. Perhaps you can entertain me."
Fortunately Trent and Cyndi had left before this dialogue started. Trevor could hardly stop laughing, "Mr. Howie, are you going to make them do a strip tease or what. If it's anymore than that, I need to make sure that Miss Autumn and Miss Spring get out of here."
Derek grabbed Trevor, "Look cousin, you're the only person who had two dates. It's you we should be worried about."
Trevor pretended as if he was crying, "Please Derek, don't humiliate me anymore. I promise I'll be nice."
Derek released Trevor. Trevor backed away, "Come on Miss Spring and Miss Autumn, let's get out of here before I see something I'm too young to see. It's too bad that my cousin and Miss Autumn's brother are such rednecks. I don't understand what went wrong. I guess that's what going to Georgia Tech does to you. It turns you into bullies of the nth degree."
Trevor ran to Spring's car and locked the door until Spring and I approached.
As we were taking Trevor home, he was thinking out loud, "I'm almost afraid to go into the house. Granddad is probably totally out of control."
When we arrived at the Nixon house, Trent was saying goodnight to Cyndi who was driving. We watched as the two guys entered the house. They turned and waved. Trent gave us a thumbs up, so we started for our home.
As we were riding, Spring and I were discussing everything that had happened in the last two days. I looked at Spring, "Well, at least none of your relatives turned out to be gay or were outed this weekend."
Spring took a deep breath, "Autumn, Georgia Markham is my aunt. I think that she and Leonora are more than just acquaintances. Aunt Georgia doesn't even spend time with the family when they come in for dinner. It's like, hey, good to see you and thanks for coming."
"Trent and Trevor seemed to know her better than I do. What was your reaction to finding out that your brother, Austin, was gay?"
I started to laugh, "Spring, after this weekend, I'm not sure who is gay and who isn't gay. I guess, I just thought 95% of the world was heterosexual. I'm going to have to lower my estimate.
When we got home the phone was blinking. Spring turned the speaker on. "This is Spring Winters, how can I help you?"
"Miss Spring, this is Trevor. Could you and Miss Autumn come and get us? Our parents, Aunt Louisa and our Grandfather are saying things that we shouldn't be hearing. Could we spend the night at your house. We were going to call Mr. George and Mr. Michael, but we thought that might be placing them into a bad position. Besides you can give us a ride to school in the morning."
Author's Note: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, you might wish to visitwww.tickiestories.us.
Editor's Notes: I just knew that Mr. Nixon the second was going to be making more trouble. Some people just never learn, do they?
This story is getting more and more interesting with each new chapter. It's also getting more and more complicated. I am very impressed.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher