Disclaimer: This is a work of complete fiction.  It does not and will not exist outside the fantasy world.

Matt Caper

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Chapter 20

 

 

I awoke to voices floating in from the kitchen. Eli's new friends had stayed the night, and Garrett and I had a morning nap after eating breakfast. After checking my phone, I was shocked to see 11:30 had already arrived. Garrett stirred, and I removed our covers and slapped his naked butt lightly. "Dude, we should get up. I can't believe it's lunch time already."

 

He got up instantly, surprising me. "I gotta pee real bad," he whimpered, and ran to my bathroom. Laughing, I rolled off the mattress and staggered into the kitchen. Pete and the boys were there, and no one else had dressed, either.

 

"I can't believe you slept this late," Pete said to me. "We just got up, too."

 

"Garrett and I got up and had breakfast, but then we crashed again," I said. It seemed Pete had made sandwiches for everyone already. "Wow, thanks for making them lunch."

 

"No problem," Pete smiled. "There's more in the fridge for you and Garrett."

 

"Sweet!" I retrieved them, and Garrett showed up, this time in his clean undies. I served us both, and we sat in separate chairs this time. "What do you guys want to do today? When do you have to go home?"

 

"Can they stay another night?" Eli asked.

 

"Seriously, my sister doesn't care if I don't come home," Kyle said.

 

"Kyle, can I ask about your parents?" I asked. "Why do you live with your sister?"

 

"My parents died when I was a baby," he stated plainly. "My sister is, like, twenty years older than me. Her and Bill were kind of stuck with me."

 

"Sorry, man. I thought I'd better ask instead of assuming anything."

 

"No big deal," he said. "Sarah says since I'm eleven now, she trusts me if I want to hang with friends all Summer. I just gotta check in every night. Same goes for weekends during school."

 

"What about you guys? Matt and Garrett, do you have to be home at a certain time? Y'all can stay over again, if your parents say it's okay."

 

"I have to call my dad," said Matt.

 

"I have to call my mom, too," said Garrett.

 

"Well, I tell you what. We'll go to each of your houses. You have to have clean clothes anyway, and I want to meet your parents or guardians. So answer my other question," I said. "What do you want to do today?"

 

Everyone shrugged and thought, until Eli spoke up again. "Let's do something fun," he suggested.

 

"Like?" I prodded.

 

"I don't know."

 

"Well that's helpful," I laughed.

 

He looked up at me, daring to hope. I could see the pleading on his face. "Can we play laser tag?" That was met with echoes of affirmation by the others. I knew, and I knew he knew, that meant driving an hour one way to Amarillo. But again, I thought of my promise to him. As long as I had the time and money, I was willing to give it to him.

 

"Y'all better get dressed, `cause we're going to your houses. And then to play laser tag," I grinned.

 

All the kids but Garrett left the table immediately, shouting for joy. Garrett and I still had sandwiches to finish. I winked at him, and he grinned, too.

 

We hit Garrett's house first, since it was the closest. I met his dad, who was working on an old car in the driveway. We introduced ourselves and shook hands, and that was apparently enough for him. He wasn't unfriendly, but obviously not very social, either. He directed us inside to see Monica, not saying anything to any of the kids or Pete, not even to Garrett. Monica was busy doing housework, but afforded us a few minutes of her time. We also discovered Garrett had two toddler siblings, twins a boy and a girl, that Monica was also busy with. It was probably a relief to her when Garrett spent time with his friends, with the other responsibilities she had.

 

Matt's house was next. I learned there that the reason he'd mentioned only his dad, never his mom, was because his dad was the only parent he had. Calvin Ferguson was in his early fifties, had a daughter a few years older than Matt, and was divorced. Matt's mom had left a few years back and had nothing to do with her family anymore. I got the distinct impression that Mr. Ferguson treated his son and daughter quite differently. He pretty much let Matt do whatever he wanted, while his daughter, Clara, seemed to have more restrictions placed on her. We were in and out of that place within only a few minutes. Although he didn't seem to be concerned, I gave Mr. Ferguson my address and phone number nevertheless.

 

Kyle lived in a two bedroom apartment with his sister and brother-in-law. He indicated to me that Sarah probably wouldn't be home, because she spent a lot of time with her own friends. He was right, too. I met Bill, and he was nice enough. But like most parents or guardians of teenage boys that I'd ever encountered, he was just glad not to have Kyle under his feet and in his care. Again, I left my info, and we headed to Amarillo.

 

Somehow Pete got roped into sitting in the backseat with Matt and Eli, and Kyle and Garrett sat up front with me, with Garrett in the middle. I don't know if I was really missing Nicholas that badly, or if Garrett really was a lot like him, but as I drove down the highway, I couldn't help comparing the two. Garrett idly caressed my thigh, and I was reminded of the time I took Nicholas and Noah to the Justin Bieber concert; on the way home, Nicholas had caressed me in the same way, and he never really stopped after that.

 

I was drawn out of my walk down memory lane when I noticed Kyle had unbuckled and was hanging over the back seat, interacting with Matt and Eli. I reached over Garrett and slapped his ass, making Garrett laugh out loud. "Sit your ass down!" I commanded. He sat in a hurry, shocked that I'd reacted like that. "You make me get a ticket, and I'll really beat your butt!" Everyone else giggled, except Kyle himself.

 

"You wouldn't really do it," Kyle stated, as if he knew for sure I was joking.

 

"Yes he would!" said Eli loudly, laughing some more. Kyle's face pinkened, and he didn't respond after that.

 

"Pete," I said, looking into the rearview mirror. "I have an idea. Remind me to tell you about it later."

 

"You gonna spank him, too?" asked Matt, and all four boys cracked up. Even Pete couldn't help giggling, though he blushed furiously.

 

"No, you're next," Pete told Matt.

 

"Ooh, I love it when you talk dirty," Matt said sultrily.

 

I knew I shouldn't have, but I couldn't help laughing aloud. Pete was crimson, while everyone else laughed, too. I changed the subject at that moment, mostly for Pete's benefit.

 

We played three games of laser tag that day. I couldn't believe how expensive it was, but I didn't make Eli use any of his allowance. I didn't let Pete pay any, either. I wanted to treat them to a special day, even if I was going to go broke doing it. Dinner afterward wasn't cheap, either. When I didn't let Pete pay for that, either, he got upset.

 

"Come on, Grey. I have enough to share the cost." We were in the mall and headed toward the theater. I had already limited the boys to one large drink to share and no candy. I had ice cream and snacks for them at home.

 

"I know, Pete. Just let me do this today. You're not paying for your movie ticket, either." He frowned, which turned into a scowl, and I scowled back. "We're not playing this again. You're my best friend, and I get to do nice things for you every now and then." He started to respond, but I already knew what he would say, and I cut him off. "Shut it," I said. "I'm not keeping count, and neither should you."

 

He sighed exasperatedly, clearly biting his tongue. "What was your idea?" he finally asked.

 

I put him on hold while I bought movie tickets and returned my attention to him on the way to the drink counter. "I've been thinking about buying a bigger car, like an SUV or a minivan. Since you don't have a car, I thought you might want mine."

 

His eyes brightened, but only for a second. "I don't know if I can afford that. How much?"

 

I shrugged. "Well, I only paid a thousand for it. The insurance money we got after the tornado paid for the rest. Dad paid the extra grand, and I paid him back. I'll just sell it to you for a grand. You can make payments. I don't care if you pay five bucks a month. But only if you like the car and would want to buy it."

 

Pete laughed. "Grey, you moron, the car is worth more than a grand. Sell it to someone who can give you more."

 

"No, Pete, I'm serious. That's all I want out of it. And you need a car, so you don't have to keep bumming rides. Just say yes, and it's yours. I wouldn't charge you anything, but I know you too well."

 

"Yeah, I sure as hell won't let you give it to me," he muttered. The boys got their drink, and we moved toward our screen of choice. Before Pete and I entered, I demanded a response.

 

"So buy it for a grand. Do you want it?"

 

"Yes, I want it, but-"

 

"No buts. It's yours. I don't care how much you pay me each month, or when. You can have the title tonight. But you have to drive me to get another one tomorrow."

 

Pete smiled, looked around quickly, then kissed me on the lips. "You're the best friend I ever had." He looked like he was tearing up, but he moved through the door too quickly for me to tell.

 

By the time we reached the boys, at the very top and back of the theater, they already had designated seats for us. Matt wanted Pete on one end next to him, and Garrett wanted me on the other end next to him. Eli sat between Matt and Kyle, trying to divide his attention between the two. I could tell he was fond of both of them. That made me happy, especially knowing how their interaction began.

 

No sooner had the movie started, Garrett reached into my lap, where my hands rested, and took my hand in his. I turned and smiled at him, but he was watching the screen. I arranged our position so we could comfortably hold hands between us, under the arm rest, and neither one of us had to extend our arm. And we stayed that way throughout the movie.

 

On the way to the car, I gave Pete the keys and made the announcement. "Attention, boys. Pete and I have made a deal. He's buying this car from me, so it's his now. Which means he gets to drive us home." I grinned at Pete, and he chuckled, merely shaking his head. Matt climbed in front with him, and I got in the back seat. Garrett expectedly followed me, but Kyle and Eli wanted to sit together this time.

 

"Garrett, you sit in front with Matt," Kyle ordered. Garrett looked horrified, and I knew for certain he didn't want to move.

 

"Don't order people around, Kyle. You and Eli can sit back here, too, if it's all right with Pete. We'll just squeeze together."

 

Pete nodded. "Get in, guys. Just don't move around a lot."

 

Garrett happily cuddled with me, and Eli and Kyle created their own little huddle. It wasn't long, though, before all of us in the back seat were snoozing. Even though we'd slept in that morning, we'd played hard that day. I jerked awake about halfway home, feeling awful warm. Garrett wasn't even on me, surprisingly, but was leaning against Eli instead. I leaned forward to whisper to Pete to turn up the air, but I never got the words out of my mouth. When I peered over the seat, I saw Matt laying in Pete's lap, which I thought was sweet. However, in the next few seconds I discovered Matt wasn't merely laying, he was bobbing. Noticing my presence near him, Pete panicked and urged Matt upright. I clearly saw, then, Pete's hard cock sticking out of his pants, and I saw Matt wiping his mouth.

 

When Matt turned and saw me, he gasped, suddenly afraid. But that was nothing compared to the expression on Pete's face. All I could convey myself was shock. I leaned back, saying nothing. Making things even more uncomfortable, and ironic, Garrett turned and embraced me in his slumber. His right hand fell on my lap and remained there, as he secured his head on my chest. I remained still, trying to process what I'd just seen.

 

I could see, now, that Matt had been attracted to Pete from the beginning. He'd been the one to invite Pete to watch a movie with us the night before, and then he'd asked to sleep in Pete's bed. I'd had no idea Matt was even gay. I never thought a twelve year old would have those sorts of attractions. I'm sure they do all the time, but I had only my own experience to draw from. I was fourteen or fifteen before I understood what I was feeling toward other boys. Maybe boys these days have more support and information, which helps them know who they are earlier. Either way, Matt apparently knew what he wanted.

 

I guess I was just shocked that their attraction had been mutual. I never knew Pete would go for that kind of relationship. I was already worried for him, for his safety. But I couldn't say I held judgment toward him. I felt I had to make sure Matt wasn't being coerced, but in my heart I knew that wasn't true. I knew Pete well enough to know he'd never force a boy to do something like that. If anything, Matt would've had to instigate it.

 

At home, once the boys woke up and got inside, it seemed they were `on' again. They wanted ice cream and whatever else I had to offer. And I happily made it for them. As they sucked down sweets to their hearts' content, I urged Pete into my bedroom.

 

"Grey, please don't yell at me," he began, before I could say anything. "I already feel terrible. He insisted on doing it, and... Oh god." He was near tears already.

 

"Did y'all fool around last night, too?" He nodded fearfully. "I'm guessing he started that, too?" He nodded again. "I wanna know something, Pete, and I want you to tell me the truth. Are you attracted to Matt in return?"

 

Pete looked like he was going to collapse, but he nodded a third time. "I can't help it," he whispered. "He initiated everything, but... I don't know, I really wanted him to. I think, I mean, I know I really like him. A lot."

 

I drew a deep breath and hugged Pete. I didn't know what to think or feel, but I decided to try to be Pete's friend, regardless. "I didn't bring you in here to yell at you," I said, as we held one another. "Just be careful, okay?"

 

"Thanks, Grey," he said, tears spilling on my neck. "That means a lot." He pulled away and wiped his eyes and nose. "We had a long talk last night. We both know the consequences if anyone finds out. We'll be more careful."

 

"Good. How about some ice cream, huh?" We hugged once more and rejoined the boys, who were still pigging out. I ruffled Matt's hair and winked at him, letting him know things were all right. Then I bent down and kissed Eli's head, ruffling his hair too. Kyle pointed and laughed from across the table.

 

"What's so funny?" I asked.

 

"You just kissed Eli!" Kyle replied.

 

"Yeah. I like to love on my boys." I rounded the table and kissed Kyle in the same way.

 

"Oh my god!" he shouted, rubbing his head. "That's so gay!"

 

Eli jerked his head up and glared at Kyle, though Kyle immediately realized what he had said. He had the decency to blush. "Sorry," he said.

 

I placed a gentle hand on Kyle's neck. "I believe in showing affection to my kids. And I happen to think Eli's made him some good friends here, so I'm adopting you guys as my kids, too. That means I get to treat you as my own," I smiled.

 

"Bill and Sarah would never do that," he stated. I bent down and kissed his cheek for good measure. He blushed again, but this time he accepted it.

 

"Well, I would," I said.

 

"I want a kiss, too!" Matt declared. I rounded the table again, and he kissed me chastely on the lips. Kyle laughed again, and I glared at him.

 

"You keep laughing, and I'm going to come kiss you on the lips," I told him. That shut him up. I stole another kiss from Eli, this time on his ice cream-covered lips. I knew Garrett was hoping for one, too, and I didn't disappoint him. And then I kissed Pete on the lips, and Kyle laughed again.

 

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" he said, as I headed his way. I laughed and ruffled his hair.

 

"Honestly, Kyle, I won't kiss you if you don't like it. But I hope you'll let me hug you, at least. Even boys need affection from adults who truly like them. I don't mean sexual stuff, just loving on you and such. It's good for the soul."

 

"It's cool," said Kyle. "I like it. I'm just not used to it."

 

At that moment, Landon and Noah walked in the side door. "Oh good, more boys to kiss!" I exclaimed. When they appeared around the corner, I greeted each of them with a hug and sloppy kiss. "See, they like it, too."

 

"Aww," said Landon. "I haven't gotten a kiss in a while! Except from Noah, of course."

 

"Me neither!" said Noah.

 

"Y'all were due for one. Kyle called me gay when I kissed Eli," I shared.

 

Landon gasped dramatically, and Kyle rose from his chair to defend himself. "I didn't mean it!" Kyle shouted desperately.

 

Everyone laughed. "I'm just giving you a hard time, Kyle. This family jokes around with each other a lot."

 

To add to the fun, Will and Dane also came through the side door. Of course, I couldn't leave them out of the kissing spree. They were just as surprised as the other couple.

 

"Anyone else?" Will inquired. Eli surprised me by leaving his ice cream and running to kiss Will. He returned to his seat without a word. "That was sweet, Eli, thanks," Will beamed.

 

"You guys want some ice cream, or anything else to eat?" I offered the newly arrived couples. Will and Dane declined, opting to go do some more kissing of their own. Landon and Noah ate and hung out with us. When we moved to the livingroom, no one was in the mood for another movie. Instead we plugged in the Wii that I'd given Eli for his birthday, and took turns competing in Wii sports.

 

"Do you guys always hang out with your kids, or are you just being nice because we're here?" Kyle asked Pete and me.

 

"We're not doing this just to be nice," I said. "What else am I gonna do? My kids and friends are my life. Do your parents hang out with you when the three of you stay over at one of your houses?"

 

"No way," said Matt. "All they do is tell us to be quiet all the time."

 

"My parents don't want us to wake the twins," added Garrett. "But Bill and Sarah like it quiet all the time."

 

"Yeah," Kyle piped in. "They even tell me to be quiet when I'm there by myself."

 

"Hmm," I said, taking it all in. "Well, I like being with all of you. And as you may have noticed, we're not too quiet around here, anyway."

 

"Can we stay over here every time?" asked Garrett.

 

"Yeah!" echoed Matt, Kyle and Eli.

 

I laughed. "Hey, y'all are always welcome here. As long as your parents don't mind you being here, neither do I. I'll make sure you follow my rules, but I'll also try to make sure we have as much fun as possible."

 

"You're awesome, Grey," said Kyle.

 

"Thank you, Kyle," I said, truly touched. "I appreciate that. Y'all are awesome, too."

 

Landon and Noah eventually retired to their bedroom, and Pete retired to his. As I expected, Matt followed Pete within a couple of minutes. "Kyle and Eli, you guys want to sleep out here again tonight? Or do you want the extra bed in my room?"

 

"Out here," Eli spoke for them.

 

"Okay, I'm going to bed." I kissed Eli goodnight and glanced at Kyle.

 

"Okay, you can kiss my head," he conceded. I laughed and did just that.

 

"Night, boys." I looked to Garrett, which was what he was apparently waiting for, and he instantly followed me to the bedroom. We did our business in the bathroom, and soon we were crawling in that wonderful bed of mine.

 

Garrett snuggled against me while I lay on my back, and he lifted his head to see my face. "Do I get a goodnight kiss, too?" he asked bashfully.

 

"Of course you do." I wrapped him in my arms, and he went ahead and climbed completely on top of me. When he put his lips on mine, he remained there for several long seconds. I opened my mouth to break the kiss, but he merely opened his slightly as well and continued what was an awkward gesture. I guessed it was a passionate kiss for a twelve year old, and I let him play it out, trying to gauge his intentions.

 

When he stopped, I continued to caress his back and head. I couldn't quite tell, with the particular way he was laying on me, but I thought he was aroused. "Who taught you to do that?" I asked as gently as I could.

 

"Matt," he said.

 

"Oh." I guess I should've seen that coming.

 

"But he likes Pete now."

 

I guess I should've seen that coming, too, but he continued to surprise me. "Did he tell you that?"

 

"Yeah. He says Pete is hot." He adjusted his body, and I definitely felt his hard-on against my crotch.

 

"What else did you and Matt used to do?" I asked, hoping I wasn't going to embarrass him too badly.

 

He sort of shrugged. "He just showed me how to do stuff." His face turned red, and he couldn't look at me.

 

"It's okay if you don't want to tell me. But it's okay if you do, too. I mean, I've done lots of stuff, too."

 

He gazed at me with searching eyes. "Does that mean I'm gay?"

 

"No," I said firmly. "I'll tell you what I told Nicholas. It's okay if you are gay, but doing stuff with other boys at your age doesn't make you gay. It's pretty normal, actually. In a few years, you might decide you like girls and get married, have kids, and all that good stuff."

 

"It's okay if I am?" he questioned with surprise.

 

"Of course it is," I said. "I mean, not everyone will say it's okay. I obviously will, because I'm gay, too. But I like you just how you are, whether you're straight or gay. And you don't have to figure it out now, not at your age."

 

"My dad would hate me if I was gay," he said sadly. "He hates gay people."

 

I frowned. "I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully he'll love you for who you are, though. My dad had a hard time with it, but he still loved me just the same. You might meet my parents one of these days. Heck, you probably know my mom, I just realized."

 

"I do?" he asked, shocked.

 

"You know Mrs. Taylor in the school office?"

 

He gasped with a bright expression. "That's your mom?!"

 

I laughed. "Yep. And now I'll know if you ever get in trouble at school."

 

He giggled. "Mrs. Taylor is always nice, not like the office lady at my old elementary school."

 

"Yeah, all my kids love her. They call her Gram. If you hang around here long enough, you might call her that one day, too."

 

"I wish I could stay here forever," he sighed.

 

I rolled him off of me, since his bodyweight was becoming too much. "Be thankful for your parents. Some kids, like Kyle, don't have parents. And Matt doesn't have a mom anymore. You're lucky to have both."

 

He shrugged. "I guess."

 

I leaned in and kissed him again. "But this can be your secondary home, as long as you want it to be." He grinned brightly and cuddled with me, and we both slipped into dreamland.