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Sudden Family
by: Kewl Dad

Chapter One
Shawn comes a knocking

The knock on the door caught me by surprise, I was in the middle of washing dishes so I dried my hands and went to see who was there. I looked out the small window at the top of the door and saw a little cotton top, and I knew is was one of the kids from next door.

His names was Shawn and he was six, a perfect little boy missing two teeth in front and as sweet as any little boy I'd ever met. I opened the door and he looked up at me with sad eyes.

"Have you seen my momma?" he said near tears.

"No buddy, isn't she at work?" I didn't know if she currently had a job or not, she was between jobs a lot, but fortunately she received some sort of government check that kept the small brood fed.

"Uh uh, she got fired. She went to get some cigrats (his word for cigarettes) and she never comed back."

I was about to invite him in and question him further when his older brother Jacob stepped up behind him and put his hands on his shoulders, "Why are you bothering Rob?" he scolded. Of the four kids from next door he was the only one who called me by my first name, the others called me uncle Rob, even though we were not related.

"It's no bother Jake, he's worried about his momma. How long has she been gone buddy?"

He shrugged, I could see that he was trying to be strong. As the oldest the others looked up to him but he was only 13 and that was a lot of weight for a kid his age to carry. "Since Tuesday I guess."

"Why didn't you come and tell me?" I asked in horror. "You know I'm here for you kids when you need me," I scolded. Then feeling terrible about my tone of voice I added, "I'm sorry....come in please and we'll talk. Shawn why don't you go get Sarah and Joseph while Jake and I talk?"

"Okay, unca Rob," he said smiling shyly. He knew unca Rob would make things alright, but could I?

I directed Jake to the big recliner I usually favored and he sat down heavily, but he seemed to pull into himself. His arms were crossed and I took this to mean he was closing himself to me. I knew I could pull him out of it though, we had a good relationship and we respected each other. He knew I liked boys and he was always careful not to flirt or become too close, and I knew he was curious and open for something to happen, but I respected his right to decide if and when it did.

"Do you guys have food?" I asked first and foremost the kids needed to be fed.

He shook his head, "We ate the last of it today. Shawny was hungry...." he said lowering his head.

"Don't be upset with him Jake," I said softly, "he's just a little boy and he was hungry and he knew I would help. He loves you and looks up to you, but sometimes he gets impatient, you know like kids do."

He nodded, "I'm really sorry. I  know we're a pain in the butt, but I don't know what to do."

"Well, the thing to do has been done. I know about it now and I can help."

We were saved further conversation as the other three came knocking and when I let them in Sarah hugged my waist.

"Hi uncle Rob," she said sweetly. She was a pretty girl, petite and sweet natured and she mothered little Shawn as if he was her own.

Next was Joseph and at 10 he was almost as tall as Jacob. He was dark haired and had big soulful brown eyes and was the quietest of the four, but good natured none the less. He bumped fists with me and I winked.

Shawn threw himself at me next. I was surprised he hadn't done it earlier when he knocked on the door, and I picked him up and he slipped his little arms around my neck and gave me a butterfly kiss. He was a sweetheart too and a lap sitter by nature. If I sat down anywhere near him I could alway count on him climbing up and making himself comfortable on my lap. Often he would fall asleep there and for me that was one of the sweetest moments in life.

"Are you kids hungry?" I said and got a enthusiastic "yes" from all but Jake who was still pouting a little.

I didn't think they could wait for me to cook anything so I opted for turkey and cheese sandwiches, except for Sarah who preferred peanut butter and jelly. I opened a couple of bags of chips and sat them in the middle of the table and poured milk for all of them. I knew from past experience that milk was their preferred drink, though sometimes they'd drink soda with a snack. 

Since they'd moved in next door my life had changed significantly. I was 50 and had taken an early retirement and there wasn't much purpose in my life, but once I discovered that I could help the brood next door I began to step lively as I found a new purpose. I fed them regularly while their mother was working or away usually on the weekends when I'd cook hamburgers and hot dogs but sometimes during the week if the occasion arose. She scolded them for bothering me, but readily accepted my acts of kindness and eventually began to count on them. As a mother she was a failure, but I reasoned that if she hadn't been I wouldn't have had as sacred a place in the lives of her children. They trusted me and respected me and yes...loved me and I loved them in return. I did my best not to undermine or put down their mother in front of them, but it was hard some times.

I watched as they ate and eventually Jake came around and chowed down enthusiastically. I tidied up the kitchen and finished the dishes I'd been washing and thought about what came next. How could I find their mother? and more importantly, did she want to be found? And if I couldn't find her, what would I do with the kids? Theoretically I had permission to have them, since I frequently baby sat for them, but how long was that good for? The thought of these four sweet kids being split up and sent to foster homes made me sick at my stomach.

I served them ice cream for dessert and Jacob insisted on helping me clean up the mess. I let him because I knew it was important to him to feel useful and to pay me back somehow for my kindness. He was a smart kid and sensitive, but he didn't understand that I was helping because it was something I had to do, it was my way and always had been to help the underdogs.

It was growing dark and I knew the kids were dreading going back home so I decided that at least for the night they would stay at my house. I had two spare bedrooms, both with full size beds and the two little ones could share one and the two older boys the other. Jacob didn't object and I took that as a good sign that he was coming around to my helping out and not feeling so useless. I would have a long talk with him later, but for now there were things to get ironed out.

I sent Joseph to get clothes for all of them and he returned with a laundry basket full. Fortunately in his mother's absence Jake had kept the laundry caught up even though he'd ran out of detergent the day before, they were at least washed in warm water.

"Bath time," I said picking Shawn up. I had two bathrooms, the one off the master bath and another in the hallway between the other two bedrooms and we split it up with Shawn and Sarah using my bath and the other two boys using the other bathroom.

I handed out towels and washcloths and left them to bathe and went in to check the pantry and fridge. If I was going to feed four kids for any length of time, I'd need provisions. Fortunately I kept lots of frozen meat and other frozen food in the deep freeze off the laundry room and I'd gone grocery shopping a few days before so I was pretty well set for the rest of the week anyway.

Shawn came in dressed in just undies and his little tow head was still wet.  I took his towel and dried his hair as he stood between my knees humming a little tune. When I was done he turned and kissed my cheek then ran over and jumped up on the couch. I handed him the TV remote and he found some cartoons and was happy for the moment.

Sarah appeared next, looking like a little princess in a worn but pretty little dress with butterflies on it and a pair of light blue shorts beneath it. She had brushed her hair and as usual was the living example of grace and poise. She sat down next to Shawn and started watching TV without a word being said.

Joseph was next and he gave me a shy smile as he settled in beside the two but he was watching me as much as the TV. If I hadn't known him as well as I did I'd have been nervous beneath his stare, but I knew it was just his nature. 

Jake came out still drying his chest and back and looking clean and refreshed. Jake was a beautiful boy, maybe the most beautiful boy I had ever seen, and sometimes when I looked at him my heart sped up a bit and my palms started to sweat. I knew he was unobtainable, but that didn't matter. I was happy just to know him and to be his friend and now perhaps to help him and  his siblings. 

He gave me a little nod as if he knew what I was thinking them plopped down on the loveseat beside me. "Thanks for dinner and for letting us stay here."

"You are very welcome Jake, I can't let my niece and nephews starve now can I," I joked.

He nodded, "How come you wanna help us? Really...I mean it's not like you're really our uncle."

I sighed, "Jake how long have we known each other?"

He thought about that a minute then said, "I don't know maybe a year."

"Nine months I think, but my point is: in that nine months haven't you gotten to know me pretty well?"

"Yeah, I guess." He replied still not getting my point.

"And what kind of person do you think I am?"

He blushed, but he left out the obvious part of my personality. "Uh, a nice person I guess. You help my momma and us kids and I see you give people rides to the grocery store and stuff."

"Now, let me ask you another question, if you were me and four kids from next door needed your help, what would you do?"

"Help em I guess....oh, I see," he said understanding at last. He smiled shyly and lowered his head, "I...want to be just like you some day." He said softly.

I was so surprised and so thrown off guard that I could barely squeak out a reply, "Thank you Jake, that means a lot to me."

"Welcome," he mumbled, "So...what do we do now?"

"Well, tonight we do nothing. We watch TV or talk or play games, snack if you're hungry and get a good night's sleep, then tomorrow I try to find some things out."

"Like where my momma is?" He said cocking his head. He was so cute with those lovely green eyes peering directly into mine and I felt those feelings I mentioned earlier.

"Yes, but meanwhile, don't are all four staying here till we get this worked out. I am your babysitter so I have a legal right to keep you here till we get things worked out,'s probably best if we don't let this get out to the neighbors. Someone might call the authorities and they'd take you kids to a shelter till they found your mother."

"I don't wanna go to no shelter," Shawn said jumping up and climbing into my lap.

"Shhh..buddy, that won't happen if I can help it." I said rocking him gently. In a few minutes he was quiet and I looked down into his angelic face and he was asleep.

I sat there holding him for some time then carried him to the back bedroom and laid him down gently on the bed and covered him up. I bent low and placed a kiss on his forehead and he smiled in his sleep. Does life ever get better than this? I wondered.

Sarah was looking droopy but Joseph looked as if he were ready to run a race, but I was feeling a little tired myself so I suggested they go to their rooms and Sarah gladly agreed then disappeared down the hallway. 

Joseph seemed reluctant till I suggested they could take the PS4  with them and hook it up to the TV in there. Jake helped him move it and I checked on them a few minutes later to make sure they had it hooked up right. Joseph was playing a game while Jake lay on the bed on  his tummy and watched. 

"Good, I see you figured it out. Well, goodnight boys. I'll see you in the morning. If you need anything just come wake me, I'm a light sleeper."

Joseph grunted goodnight, but Jake jumped up and followed me out the door.

"Can I talk to you Rob?"

"Of course, let's go in the living room."

"Naw, let's go to your room, it's more private." he said looking and sounding nervous.

"Well, okay, if that's what you want." I said starting to get a little nervous myself.

Once the door was closed Jake looked around and then at the floor, "Uh, I know you like know, in that way...and that's cool. So if...if you want stuff...I...guess that's okay...since you're helping us and all."

Oh my God, I thought, suddenly feeling very ill, this poor boy was offering himself up to me to save his brothers and sister. And of course the shame of it was that he needn't do anything, but my attitude toward him had led him to believe that he did.

"Jake, please sit down on the bed. I want to tell you something about me."

He nodded and climbed up on my king sized bed. He looked so small and tragic and my heart ached for him. He was without a doubt the most beautiful and special boy I had ever known and I had hurt him deeply just by being who I was.

"Jake, first of all you don't need to do anything to get me to help you and your siblings, I would do that no matter what. It's what I do...what anyone with a conscious would do. And secondly as beautiful and perfect and sweet as I think you are, I would never ruin the friendship we have by doing anything you didn't want me to do. I know you know that I like you in a special way, but that's my problem, not yours. You have nothing to fear from me, ever...I would never take advantage of you or do anything inappropriate with you. Do you understand?"

He nodded, "I'm sorry...I made a mess out of things again, didn't I?"

"No, dear boy...dear didn't do anything wrong. It was my attitude toward you that made you think I would ask something in return for my help and I am sorry for that. I think the best thing for us to do is to forget what just went on here tonight and start over. How does that sound?"

"Okay, I guess," he said smiling shyly, "but...I just don't get it. If you want me so bad, why didn't you take me up on my offer?"

"Just because I admire a beautiful painting in a museum or a flower in a garden, it doesn't mean I have to have it. Looking at you and knowing you is a joy in itself and that is all I need."

He nodded, "I guess I see. Anyway...thanks again and I'll try to make sure they behave."

"I know you will. We can work together on this and make it right. Friends?" I said extending my hand

He surprised me then my sliding off the bed and hugging me quickly. Then bouncing toward the door, he turned and in a sweet adolescent voice said the most wonderful words a man can hear from a boy, "Goodnight, I love you Rob...I really do." 

Then he was gone, leaving me to stare after him. I stood there for a very long time hoping he'd return but I knew that he was like a wild colt and I didn't want to be the one to tame him or break his spirit. That was a task for others hopefully later in his life. 

I went in to take a shower and found Shawn's  dirty little underpants in the floor and I smiled as I picked them up and dropped them in my hamper. Sarah's things were there as I knew they would be. She was not only  prim and proper but  very neat and tidy. I took my shower and dressed in shorts and a tee I laid down for what I hoped would be a good night's sleep.

I was awakened sometime later by the bed moving and as I opened my eyes I was looking into Jake's sweet face.

"Hi," I said still half asleep. Or was I dreaming and still fully asleep?

"Hi, Joseph is snoring so loud I can't sleep. Can I sleep in here?"

"I guess," I said hoping he wasn't about to try something we'd both regret," but this is my side of the bed," I said trying to make it sound like a joke.

"Okay, this is a big bed," he said slipping beneath the covers. You probably won't even know I'm here," he chucked.

Oh, my how wrong could he be. I could not only feel his presence but I could smell his unique aroma and it was both comforting and unsettling at the same time. I was aware of his thrashing around trying to get comfortable then he pounded his pillow as if it had lumps and finally settled in. 

I heard him sigh loudly and then he whispered, "Good night. Love ya."

There was those words again and this time I would make sure he knew the feeling was mutual. Reaching out for him I touched the side of his face and stroked it gently, "And I love you, more than you will ever know. You and your brothers and sister," I added so he wouldn't feel I was putting pressure on him.

"I wish you really was our uncle...or our dad," he said softly.

"So do I," I admitted. Then I'd have a legal recourse if their mother didn't show up again.

"Can...can I move a little closer?" he said sounding much younger than his 13 years.

"Sure," I said holding the cover up for him.

He surprised me once more by snuggling up to my side and throwing his arm around me. His head rested in the crook of my arm and he sighed once more. I managed to move the arm beneath him and wrapped it around his shoulder and pulled him closer to me. We lay there in silence for a good long time but eventually I realized he was sobbing softly and as quietly as he could.

I bent down and kissed his hair. He hadn't washed it and it smelled of boy and sweat, but I thought I had never smelled a lovelier bouquet. I didn't try to talk, I just held him and let him cry and eventually he cried himself to sleep and somewhere along the way I drifted off with him. I think that was the most peaceful and enjoyable night's sleep I'd ever had in my life.

Morning came and I awoke refreshed and ready to tackle the various tasks that lay ahead. Jake had gotten up early and was slowly rousing his siblings one by one and sending them off to pee and get dressed. I started breakfast and soon he joined me and offered to help. I gave him a dozen eggs and had him scramble them while I cooked a rasher of bacon and a ton of hash browns. It was fortunate that I had a large griddle, one I didn't use much, and I was able to cook up the feast in short time.

The kids were starved and ate heartily and drank their milk as if it were some rare delicacy. I knew they didn't starve thanks to my frequent feeding but I wondered if they needed vitamin supplements. Just one more thing to check into if they stayed around much longer. 

We finished breakfast and I let the kids clean up the kitchen and Jake loaded the dishwasher and started it. I showered and brushed my teeth and got dressed and made my plans for the day.

I was just about to start calling some the kid's mom's hangout when a knock came on the door. Surprised I got up to see who it was and came face to face with the very person I'd been about to track down.

"Oh, hi Rob. I guess the kids are over here, right?"

"Yes Evelyn, they were hungry and upset when you didn't return and I let them spend the night. I hope that's all right." I said biting my tongue. What I really wanted to do was light into her and read her the riot act, but I knew that would only upset the kids and in retaliation she might keep me from helping the kids in the future.

"What, oh yeah...fine. Thanks for that."

I invited her in and little Shawn mobbed her. Of all the kids he loved his momma the most, but what little boy doesn't?  It wasn't that the other's didn't love her, it was just that they were older and knew her habits and I suppose they didn't want to get too close for fear of getting hurt.

As she sat holding her youngest child and fidgeting, I waited for her to explain her absence or at least apologize to the kids or to me. I offered her a drink, but she said she had to go soon and still I waited.

"Uh...I was wonderin...Rob, since you and the kids get along so good...if you could watch them for a little while. I got a chance to go to Vegas with some friends and maybe a job offer there."

My heart sank, if she took a job in Vegas these sweet lovely children would be ripped form my life and I wasn't sure if I could stand that. But, what could I do? I nodded and told her they were welcome to stay, but that I would insist on something in writing just in case one of them got hurt or sick and to make it legal.

I wasn't a lawyer but I knew what forms I needed and I pulled them off the internet and printed them and had her sign them. I gave her a copy and she folded them and stuck them in the pocket of  her jeans no doubt to be discarded later, but it didn't matter, I had my copies and I had a legal right  to them, at least for the time being.

She left after a few minutes but not before giving the kids a stiff and uncomfortable looking hug while Shawn clung to her and cried.

"Momma...momma...momma....please don't leave me," he wailed. 

Any decent mother could not have ignored his heart breaking sobs, but Evelyn just pried him from her leg, gave him a quick kiss and handed him to me. I took him and he wrapped his legs and arms around me and stayed the way long after she was gone.

Jake followed her out the door but returned a few minutes later looking angry and near tears and I held out my arm for him. He lowered his head and ducked under my arm patting Shawn as he did so and soon I had all four kids hugging me. I knew this was hard for them, and that I needed to cheer them up, but for the next few minutes all I could do was hold them.

Eventually they pulled away, all but Shawn who had a death grip on me and I sat down with him in my lap and kissed his sweet face.

"This will be fun," I said trying to sound upbeat. First thing we'll go to Kmart and do some shopping. You kids need some new clothes and shoes and maybe..just maybe, if you're real good, we'll stop by the toy department and get something."

"Really?" Shawn said peeking up at me with his blue eyes and smiling.

"Really," I said tickling him. He giggled and pulled away a little and finally hopped down to go pee.

When he was gone Jake gave me a worried smile and I winked at him. He sighed and dropped his chin to his chest. Of all the kids this thing hit him the hardest. He was the oldest and in charge, but now...someone else was taking over his I decided I would have to include him in my decision making from now on and make him feel needed and important.

"Jake, can I talk to you my room?"

"Uh, sure Rob. Sarah, you watch out for Shawny, okay?"

"Okay Jake," she said softly as we started toward my room.

Once in my room Jake sat down on the bed looking nervous, "Uh, what's up Rob?"

"Well, I need your help buddy."

" do?"

"Yes, I mean these are your brothers and sister and you know them better than I do. I need you to help me take care of them, tell me when I mess up and clue me in on what they need and want. That sort of thing. You understand."

His smile was worth a million dollars and I smiled back, "Sure, problem, but you do a great job Rob. They really love you...we all do, and you know what to do. Are you sure you need me?"

I sat down beside  him, "I can't do it without  you buddy. Together we can make this work, but I gotta have your help."

"Okay, got it. Okay, what's next?"

"We go shopping. We're gonna need more food too. I hope you're strong, cause there will be a lot of stuff to carry in."

"I'm real strong," He said making a muscle for me. 

I felt  his muscle and whistled my appreciation, "man, you're buff. Do you work out?"

"Naw, not really....I just got natural muscles I guess."

"Well, come on Hercules, let's go," I said jumping up and offering my hand. 

He let me pull him up and I took a chance and put my arm around his neck. He reached up and grabbed it and held on and sort of leaned into me and I knew we were good.

Two hundred sixty seven dollars and some odd cents later we were headed home. I had a blast buying clothes for the kids and when we finally headed to the toy department I was in for a real tear jerking experience. I knew from watching the kids play that what few toys they had were mostly junk and I thought they deserved more. I started with Shawn, being the youngest he was the easiest to please and a few Hot Wheels and action figures later he was good to go. Jake was reluctant to accept a gift, but after a little coaxing he picked out a hand held game and thanked me profusely for it. Joe was easy, he loved Legos and I bought him a couple of sets.

But it was Sarah who touched my heart the most. I found her staring wistfully at a Barbie doll and touching the package gently.

"Do you like that sweetie?" I asked as I came up behind her.

"I never had a Barbie doll," she said sadly, "I always wanted one, but momma could never afford one..not even for Christmas." She said softly touching the package almost reverently. My heart nearly broke to hear that this sweet little girl had been denied something so simple all her life.

"Well, we're gonna fix that right now," I said kissing the top of her head, "you get that Barbie doll....and what's Barbie without her man?" I said trying not to let my emotions get out of control, "Better grab a Ken doll too."

She turned to me and her smile was worth all the Barbie dolls in the world, "You mean it uncle Rob?"

"Yes Sweetie, and pick out some clothes for them too, they can't wear the same stuff all the time," I joked.

On the way home Sarah sat in the back seat hugging her two dolls and looking happy while Shawn zoomed his hot wheels all over the seat. Joe sat between them studying the instructions book of one of his Legos sets and looking content. Jake sat beside me looking happy but reserved and I wondered if he thought I had gone too far by buying the other kids so much stuff. 

"Are you guys hungry?" I asked after a while.

"I am," Shawn said perking up, "and I needa go pee."

I laughed, "How's MacDonalds sound?"

"Can we play on the playground?" Shawn asked excitedly.

"As long as you eat you dinner first," Jake said looking at me for support. I smiled and nodded and Jake beamed with pride.

Happy meals for the three youngest and a Big Mac for me and A quarter pounder with fries for Jake and we found a booth in the back so we could watch the kids in the playground area. Shawn sat up on his knees and ate his food like a typical kid smearing ketchup all over his cute face. I reached over to wipe it off and he smile and grabbed my hand and kissed it before I could react.

"Thank you uncle Rob," he said sweetly, "I wuv you."

"I love you too buddy," I said tearing up, "I love all you kids." I took a minute to get my self under control then looked over at Jake who was studying me closely. Of all the kids he was the one I most wanted to please. 

He seemed happy and continued to eat his food slowly watching the other kids like a mother hen and I smiled at him and nodded my approval. He smiled sheepishly and soon we were finished with our food and we turned the kids loose on the playground. At first Jake held back and sat with me on a bench but I could see the boy in him wanted to join in and I finally coaxed him into joining the others on the pretext that he could watch them better if he was with them.

I watched with joy as they played together and eventually began to interact with other kids. I noticed that Jake was especially good with younger kids, helping him up on the slide and watching over them making sure they stayed safe. Jake was an amazing boy and I think at that moment I loved him even more than I had before. He was everything I had even dreamed of in a boy, cute, smart, sexy, but he was so out of my reach that it almost hurt. I was still upset that he had offered himself to me in exchange for helping them, but I blamed myself for that. My attitude toward him had led him to believe that I was only after one thing, him, and I had to change that thinking as soon as possible if this was to work.

After about an hour I coaxed the kids out of the ball pit and we headed home. Fortunately I hadn't bought any thing that would spoil or melt but as soon as we got home I had the kids help me unload the car then sent them off to change into some of their new clothes while I put the groceries away.

Shawn came running down the hall dressed only in his cute little Transformer undies and jumped into my arms, "Uncle Rob can you help me...I can't get dressed all by myself."

I kissed his cute tummy causing him to giggle and threw him over my shoulder like a sack of flour and carried him to the room he and Sarah shared. Sarah was dressed in a pair of shorts and a pullover and looked very cute. I was surprised she hadn't helped Shawn get dressed, but supposed he had refused her help so he could get mine.

He picked out a short set with Jurassic Park figures on it and as he help his arms up I skinned on the t-shirt and then gave him a gently hug, "It looks good on ya buddy. You did a good job picking things out."

"Now that shorts," he said dancing around. He leaned into me raising first on tiny foot then the other as he stepped into the shorts and then I pulled them up and patted his small bottom. 

He jumped up and spun around twirling like a dancer and giggling, "How do I look daddy...I mean uncle Rob," he said covering his mouth as if he'd said a bad word.

Daddy, how I loved the sound of that. I'd raised two and a few that weren't mine and being a dad was probably the greatest achievement of my life.

"You look like a million bucks," I said swooping him up and kissing his sweet face.

He nuzzled my neck and whispered softly, "I wish you were my daddy."

My heart melted, "So do I buddy, so do I, but it's almost like that now. You're just like a son to me."

"Really? I love you sooo much," he said throwing his arms around my neck and rubbing his little face against mine.

"I love you more," I said lifting him up and swinging him around. His giggles were priceless. I threw him over my shoulder again we went to find the others.

The other three had assembled in the living room and when I came in they looked at me anxiously. 

"Oh, my God, are these my nephew and niece? No, surely these are child actors for the Disney Channel," I said sitting Shawn down. He giggled and ran to Jake and hugged his waist.

"You look great kids, how do  you feel?"

"I feel happy," Sarah said smiling sweetly, "Thank you uncle Rob."

"You're welcome sweetie. How about a hug?"

She swarmed into my arms and I kissed the top of her pretty head, "I love  you uncle Rob."

"I love you too sweetie, now...where are Ken and Barbie? I bet they're lonely."

"Oh, yeah," she said smiling brightly, "I'll go get them."

She dashed out and I turned my attention to Joe, the shyest of the four. He was a good boy, sweet natured and kind, but I still hadn't quite figured him out. He wasn't exactly stand offish but he still hadn't warmed to me like the others and no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get as close to him as I had the others.

"Joe, you look awesome buddy," I said offering my fist to bump. I knew a hug was probably not something I could expect from this one, but it did occasionally happen.

"Thanks, uncle Rob. And for the Legos, they're awesome."

"You're welcome buddy."

He moved a little towards me and I smiled and waited to see what he had in mind. I didn't want to spook him but I wanted to appear open to him. He licked his lips nervously then took a deep breath. "Can...can I give you a hug?" he asked shyly.

I held out my arms, "Joseph I hope you will feel free to give me a hug any time you feel like it. I know we're not as close as the other kids but I love you just as much as I do them."

He nodded, "I'm sorry," he said hugging me tight, "I love you too. It's just how I am."

I patted his back gently, "I know that buddy and that's fine. I'm not trying to change you, I just want you to let me in a little, okay?"

He nodded and pulled away, he was blushing, but he looked happy. I patted him once more and he went back to sit on the couch. 

All that was left was Jake who had watched my interaction with Joe with interest. I looked him up and down and found myself almost breathless. He had chosen washed jeans and a striped pullover that made him look even more slender. I could see the bulge of his baby six pack but his tummy was flat. Letting my eyes drop further I saw the outline of his boy bits in his jeans but I tried not to think about that. His legs were long and muscled and at the end of them were his two small socked feet.

"Wow, Jake, what can I say? You look like a different boy. How do they fit?"

"Good, I like them. Thanks Rob," he said giving me that looks that said he'd noticed my cool appraisal of him.

I blushed, "Well, you're welcome. You kids deserve some new things."

"Yeah, since our momma don't even buy us any," Jake said suddenly turning angry.

"Shut up Jake," Shawn wailed, "Don't you talk about our momma like that."

"I'm sorry Shawny, but it's not fair. Rob shouldn't have to be taking care of us.  She's no good Shawny and she just doesn't care what happens to us." Jake said near tears.

I knew I had to stop this quick before it got out of hand, but it was hard to dispute Jake's words since I felt exactly the same way.

"Boys, please don't fight. I know this is hard on you, it's hard on all of us, but we can make the best of it...right? Your mother has her problems, all adults do, but she trusted me to take care of you...that's a good thing, right?"

"I'm sorry Shawny," Jake said holding out his arms for his little brother who sniffed back tears and jumped into them. Jake kissed his face and I felt a tear slide down my cheek. He was so devoted to his little brother and the rest for that matter, but it was Shawn that had his heart.

"Why don't you kids play with your new toys while I check some email and pay some bills? I'll be in my office if you need me, but don't bother me unless it's life or death," I chuckled.

I'd been in my office about thirty minutes when Jake lightly knocked on the open door, "Sorry...I know you're busy...but can I talk to you?"

I motioned him in, "Pull that other chair up here. What's up buddy?"

He looked unsure for a minute then he sighed, "I'm sorry...about making Shawny sad...talking about momma. But sometimes I just get so mad. selfish hurts the kids so much."

"And hurts you too," I said meeting his sad eyes.

He nodded, "But I'm older, I know how she is. I've been putting up with this all my life. Shawn loves her so much, but I don't think she even cares what happens to him. It's just so hard sometimes."

I slipped my arm around him and he leaned into me, "Well, I'd be a liar if I said I approved of your mother's behavior or understood it, but it is what it is. I don't know what you did before, but now you have  a friend who cares and who will help. Your mother trusts me...or at least I'm convenient," I chuckled, "and for as long as I can keep her on my side she will continue to let me help. That's why I keep my mouth shut even though I want to grab her and slap some sense into her sometimes."

Jake smiled knowingly, "You and me both Rob. I understand that, I know you care about us and I know it's hard for you, but I promise we'll help too. I'll keep the kids in line and we won't give you any grief."

"Jake, you kids are the sunshine in my otherwise dull life. I love you all and I'm happy you're here. Sometimes....well...sometimes I feel like it's a good thing that your mother is the way she is. I know that's selfish, but if she wasn't...I wouldn't get to be Uncle Rob to four wonderful kids."

He smiled, "Yeah, I guess I see that." He searched my eyes for a moment then sighed, "I'm sorry if I hurt your feeling last know offering to...well, you know."

"Oh, that," I sighed, "that was mostly my fault. Let's just forget that. We both know what that was all about, but it's over with."

"Okay, but I know how you feel about me and...well, it doesn't seem bad any more. It actually seems pretty cool. I never had anyone like me that way before."

        "Jake, you're an amazing young man and I can promise you that there will be plenty of girls...or boys liking you that way before too long.

He blushed, "Why did you say boys?"

I shrugged, "I  didn't mean anything bad by it. It doesn't mean you will feel the same...about boys I mean, but there will be boys who like you. They may be afraid to show it and will most likely just be your friend and admire you from afar, but it will happen."

He nodded, "I think I understand. But you like me best, right?"

I laughed, "I don't want to confuse you with my feelings Jake. But let's just say that there is nothing I wouldn't do for you, nothing. I'd even die for you."

"Wow, that's pretty deep. Well, I hope you don't have to die for me," he said smiling, "but the rest makes me feel...happy."

"You should be and your brothers and sister. This should be the best time of  your lives."

"It's, but sometimes I just wish our mom was a regular mom and that we had a dad."

I sighed, "I can't be your dad, but I can be the next best thing."

"Yeah, thanks. Well, I guess I'll let you get back to or whatever," he said but he didn't move.

"You can stay if you'd like, here let me show you how to check email....."

We settled into a routine and as the day passed I began to dread the time when Evelyn might return and reclaim her brood. I loved rocking Shawn to sleep each night and brushing Sarah's long blond hair and sitting and talking with Jake at the end of each day. Joseph continued to be aloof, but he did allow me to play with his Legos and we had many happy hours building things together. We were one very happy family and I couldn't stand to think of what would happen when our time was over.

Evelyn returned on Sunday but didn't inform us of her arrival until the next morning. We were having breakfast as usual when I hear d a knock at the door. When I returned with Evelyn in tow the looks on the kids' faces were mixed. Shawn was the only one who looked remotely happy and he jumped up and hugged her and placed little kisses on her face.

"Momma..momma...momma, I'm so glad to see you. You should see the new clothes uncle Rob bought us and toys...momma he bought us toys,' he squealed.

"That's nice," she said giving me a nervous look, "I hope you kids been behavin. I just come back to get a few things. Momma's got to go back tonight."

I was torn between disgust at this poor excuse for a mother and elation that the kids would no doubt continue staying with me.I tried not to show any emotion however as I replied, "So you're going back to Vegas?"

"Oh no...not Vegas. That was a bust. We're going to LA this time. Thomas says he knows some people there who can help us find work."

California? God if she found work there I'd never see the kids again. But what could I do?

"Well, you know the kids are more than welcome to stay here while you're gone."

"Good, I was hoping you'd say that. Can't be dragging four kids around with me," she chuckled.

God how I wanted to pound her into the ground and I think Jake was feeling violence toward her as well. His fists were balled up and he was frowning, biting his tongue no doubt,  and he looked ready to explode at any moment.

"Momma...I love you," Shawny cooed softly, "why do you hafta leave me?"

", momma has to do this. You'll be okay here with Rob. Don't you like it here sweetie?"

"Oh yes momma. We love it here, but we miss you...a lot. I wish we could all live here together."

I squirmed at that thought, living with four sweet kids was wonderful but I had no desire to put up with a women.

"Well...if momma find a good job, I'll come back and get ya and we can live in a nice apartment in LA and be together again."

"You promise?" Shawn pleaded.

"I promise. Now, give momma a hug and a kiss. I gotta go get my stuff together."

Shawn hugged her tightly and clung to her leg as she stiffly hugged the others then she turned to me, "Can we talk Rob?"

I nodded and followed her outside while the kids tried to finish their breakfast. Once we were alone she sighed, "Things is  not working out quite like we'd hoped. I don't know how much longer I can afford to keep this up."

Was she hinting for money or what? "Do you need some money Evelyn?" Hell it was worth it to keep the kids a bit longer.

"I could use a little..maybe two or three hundred if you have it. I could pay you back when I get a good job."

I almost laughed, that was money I'd never see again, but I could afford it. Fortunately I kept about five hundred cash in the safe in my office and I asked her to wait on the porch while I went in to get her money. The kids looked at me curiously but I told them to finish breakfast and I'd be right back.

I took two hundred out, then on second thought added another hundred and folded it and stuck it in my pocket. When I rejoined Evelyn she was smoking a cigarette and pacing nervously. 

"Here's three," I said handing her the money, "Don't worry about the kids, they'll be fine. Just do what you have to do and hurry home to them. The love you and miss you a lot."

For one minute I saw what I thought was a human reaction in her, then  it passed and the old selfish Evelyn reappeared, "Thanks, I'll do that. And thanks for the money, I'll pay ya back..I promise."

I nodded and we shook hands and she practically sprinted across the yard to her house. I watched her go in then went back to the kids. They had picked at their food but I guess none of us had much of an appetite in light of what had happened. Jake helped me clear while the others went off to play and I knew he had plenty on his mind.

"I hate her sometimes," he said shaking with anger, "she doesn't care about us...and poor Shawny he loves her so much and she just treats him like crap."

I didn't try to dispute him, instead I just listened as he vented all the hurt and anger built up over the years and when he was done he collapsed into my arms and sobbed quietly. I held him and soothed him as best I could, my own tears running down my face as I shared his pain. 

At last he sighed and pulled away slightly and wiped his eyes. "I'm sorry I'm such a baby."

"Don't be sorry. Crying is not just for babies, look at me Jake."

He looked up and seeing the tears in my eyes he reached up and wiped at them, "You cried for us too?"

"I love you all so much," I said sniffing back tears, "and I love you most of all and when you hurt, I hurt."

He nodded, "I think I love you...uh, that way too," he muttered.

"Don't confuse gratitude for that kind of love. I don't expect anything from you Jake except your respect and that you be honest with me."

"I do respect you and I do love you. I don't need anyone to tell me what I feel."

I nodded, "I understand, but let's not worry about that now. Let's get this mess cleaned up and go talk to the others. We need to have a family talk."

Jake smiled, "Family, that sounds nice...really nice."

The others seemed to be expecting us and I wondered if some little ears hadn't been listening to our conversation. I sat them down on the couch Sarah, Shawn, and Joseph while Jake and I sat side by side on the loveseat in a show of solidarity.

"I guess you kids are wondering about what's going on and what's going to happen to you, and Jake and I are going to tell you and then answer any questions you may have."

The kids nodded and little Shawn climbed into Sarah's lap. She soothed him and kissed his sweet face and I smiled at her. Someday she would make the kind of mother her's never was, one that was loving and caring and one who would never leave her kids with a stranger. Joseph looked more upset than I'd ever seen him and my heart broke for him. For the first time since meeting him I felt that he needed a human touch maybe more than even the rest of them did.

I took a deep breath and smiled, "First of will be fine..all of  you. I will take care of you until your mother gets back. You will be fed and clothed and loved as if  you were my own," I said stopping a moment to compose myself, "I gave your mother some money and she is going to California to look for a job. Personally...I hope she doesn't find one....I'd miss all of  you if you moved, but you belong to your mother and where she goes you must go. But until are mine," I stopped to allow that to settle in, "You can call me uncle Rob, even though we are not related, but I couldn't love you more even if you were my own children. I will treat you with love and respect and that's all I ask in return. I know you will miss your mother, but your lives will be pleasant here with me....I promise. Just one more thing then I'll let Jake talk. Jake is your older brother and he knows you much better than I do, so...I have asked him to help me when dealing with you kids. I expect you to respect him and give him the same cooperation you give to me. Okay, Jake....."

"Uh, thanks Rob. Uh,'s like Rob said, we'll be happy here and he'll take real good care of us. I'm not the boss of you, but I know what you guys like and what you need so just help me with this okay? I guess that's all I got to say, except you guys should thank Rob for taking us in. He's a good guy and he loves us," he turned to me blushing but smiling, "and I say we all....jump him and show him how much we love him back.."

I began to think this was rehearsed, but either way I got jumped on by all four kids and for a few minutes we were rolling around on the floor as kisses and hugs were exchanged. Even shy and reserved Joe got his share of me and when it was over I was as happy as I can ever remember being.

The kids clung to me all afternoon and we wound up watching an old movie on cable snuggled up on the couch. Shawny claimed my lap and Sarah and Joseph sat on either side of me while Jake sat on the floor at my feet leaning back against my legs. I felt cozy and surrounded by love and I think they did too. 

But eventually they became hungry and since I didn't feel like cooking I offered to take them out for pizza. They were so excited as they ran off to get dressed in some of the new clothes I'd bought them and soon we were on our way. We hopped into the car, Jake riding shotgun and the other three in the back of my Chrysler 300 and I waited for them to buckle up.

The pizza place was one that catered to kids but the pizza was decent and I had to admit I enjoyed the atmosphere myself. There was a stage with puppets, a real merry-go-round, and a huge arcade which of course the kids had to visit. I gave them each five dollars in tokens and sent them off to play but soon Joseph returned to where I was waiting on a bench and plopped down beside me.

"Already broke," I teased.

"I gave my money to Shawn," he said studying his feet as if there was something interesting there.

My eyes were drawn to his small but sturdy feet and I smiled. He was wearing the new shoes I'd bought him and they looked very cool on him.

"That was really nice of you. You know Joe, I don't know if I've ever told you this,'re a really cool guy. Kind of shy maybe, but really cool."

He blushed but nodded, "So are you uncle Rob."

I smiled at hearing him call me uncle. He didn't do it often, but when he did it had special meaning to me. "Well, thank you Joe. I appreciate that."

"Welcome." He said then he was quiet for a few minutes before starting again, "I know sometimes I don't show it or say it..but I really do.....uh, like you a lot...maybe even love you," he said blushing bright red and studying his feet again.

"I know Joe, it's just not your way...but, I feel it...I feel the love. I see it in your eyes and in the way you treat me. I know you're growing up and being affectionate with an adult isn't as cool anymore. Not like Shawny, who loves every one and doesn't mind showing it," I chuckled.

He smiled and it lit up his whole face. His dark eyes sparkled with joy and well being and I hoped I had something to do with it, "Yeah, Shawny really loves you. He calls you daddy when you're not around," he teased.

"Not just when I'm not around," I admitted, "I hope he doesn't get too attached though....."

"What? Why?" he said jerking his head up to stare at me with concern.

"I just mean...this is only temporary and I don't want him to get hurt...or miss me too much if...well, if your mother moves all of you to California or wherever."

He sighed, "She's always trying to find something better somewhere else. Don't worry, she never finds it. She just goes off and then comes back and does the same old thing till the next time."

I was actually encouraged to hear this, if that was indeed the case I didn't have to worry about losing touch with "my kids".

"Well, until she returns it's the five of us and we're going to have a good time...right?"

He smiled, "Yeah, I like it at your house. Thanks again uncle Rob."

"You're so welcome Joe, but I have to admit I'm enjoying it as much as you."

" Aren't we a pain in the a...uh rear?"

"Naw, you guys make me feel young and Shawny's kisses are like magic, they make my worst day a good one."

He giggled, "I guess I don't understand all of it, but you do look happier these days."

I winked, "If I was any happier they'd have to shoot me," I teased.

"Noooo," he giggled, "no once should shoot you. We love  you." He said leaning into me in a most un-Joseph like way. 

I hugged him to me and  he didn't pull away, "I love you too buddy. You guys are like my family now," I said bearing my heart.

"We are your family...unca Rob," he said happily.

Jake showed up about then and Joe pulled back as if he'd been caught doing something bad. He scooted over a bit and Jake plopped down next to me.

"What are you guys doing, bonding?" he joked.

I cocked my head, "Why Jake, did you make a joke?"

"I guess I did. That was cool of you to give your money to Shawny. I have some left if  you want to play a game with me Joe."

"Okay," Joe said perking up, "that's cool. Thanks."

They jumped up and I watched them as they headed toward the game machines talking and laughing like two brother should. I smiled, they'd only been with me one day and I could already see a change in these kids. I hoped I wasn't setting them up for disappointment later, but damn it I was going to make their stay with me something to remember.

Shawn came running up after a while all excited with a long string of tickets he and Sarah had won playing skee ball and insisted I go help him redeem them. He left with a handful of junk toys but I had never seen a little boy so happy. The ride home was filled with laughter and singing and I smiled at my brood and joined in.

A week passed without so much as a post card from Evelyn but the kids didn't seem to notice or at least they didn't mention it. They seemed happy and well adjusted and we easily fell into a routine. It was summer and school was out so I had them all day as well as night but it was no hardship. I became accustomed to their ways, their moods and their personalties, each one unique, and they became accustomed to mine.

They knew that when I was in my office, I was doing business and didn't like to be disturbed. They soon found a way around this however, if they really needed me they'd send Shawn in and they knew I could never resist him charms. He'd shuffle in and lean against me and nuzzle my arm and I was lost.

I found out rather quickly that kids needed their privacy as well. Quite by accident while bringing in a load of towels I walked in on Joseph masturbating in the bathroom. He yelped and jerked his pants up and I backed out apologizing profusely, but the damage was done. He moped around for the rest of the day and refused to speak to me or make eye contact and I finally decided I had to do something fast or he might never get over this.

I enlisted Jake's aid and asked him to take the Sarah and Shawn outside to play explaining that I needed to talk to Joseph about something, but not elaborating. He didn't ask questions but I could see the look of concern on his face.

"Don't worry, it's no big deal. Just embarrassing for him, and I want us two to be alone so he won't have to worry about the others' overhearing us."

He shrugged, and I added. "If he says it's okay I'll fill you in later, okay? But don't worry, it's nothing big."

By now Jake trusted me emphatically and he gathered up his sister and brother and took them out to play.  I found Joseph staring at the TV, but he wasn't really watching it. When he saw me he squirmed on the couch and pretended to  be engrossed in a TV commercial.

"Hi Joe, can I have a minute?"

"I'm kind of busy," he muttered.

"Thinking of buying some toilet paper?" I teased referring to his pretend interest in the Charmin commercial.

"What do you want?" he asked sounding panicky.

"Just to talk. Can I mute the TV?"

He nodded, "It's your house, you can do what you want."

"Whoa, where did that come from?" I said sitting down beside him, "This is your house too, as long as you are staying with me and I try to respect that fact, but....I sort of messed up earlier."

"What do you mean?" he asked looking interested but still wary.

"I should have knocked before I opened the bathroom door. In fact I should have fixed that latch, you kids need your privacy when you're in there. I'll check into that as soon as we're done talking."

"It's no big deal," he said shrugging, "I was done...uh, using the bathroom any way."

I smiled, "Joe, you're what 11 now?" I said upping his age on purpose.

"Almost, I gotta birthday next month."

That was useful information for later, but I stored it away for the time being.

"Lot of changes ahead buddy, you're growing up fast. Your body is changing, getting you ready for becoming a young man. Do you know what I'm talking about?"

" it about....about what I was doing?"

I smiled, "That and lots of other things. Do they teach any kind of sex ed at your school?"

"Next year I think," he said fidgeting nervously.

"Unfortunately that's a little late for most boys. They tend to grow up so much faster these days," I said more to myself than Joe, "but you my friend are not going to have to wait. If you will follow me to my office, I have some things I'd like to show you on my computer."

No, not case that's what's you're thinking. I had previously Googled some useful information on puberty and I wanted to use it for my little talk with Joe.

As we settled in side by side at my desk Joe looked at me nervously, "Am I in trouble uncle Rob?"

I almost laughed, "No, not at all. If anyone should be in trouble it should be me for not knocking. Okay, first of all what you were doing is not bad or sinful or dangerous or sick. It's natural and beautiful and I guarantee most every boy and some girls do it every day."

"They..they do?" he asked wide-eyed.

I did laugh this time, "Why is it every boy thinks he's the only one?"

He laughed too, "Well, actually I know I'm not the only one. I'm do it, but don't tell him, okay?"

"It's our secret, now let me show you what I've found on the internet."

I explained to Joe about puberty, about hormones and the changes he could expect as he got older. He listened with interest and asked some very good questions along the way and when I had said all I could think of he leaned back and smiled.

"This is what a dad does for his son, isn't it?"

I nodded, suddenly overcome with emotion, "I had this talk with my son when he was 11, but unfortunately I didn't  have the internet to back me up."

"He was lucky to have a dad like you."

"Well, thank you. And I was lucky to have a son like him. And I feel privileged to do this for you."

"'s okay to do that...what's it called...masturbation?"

"Yes, but it's sort of a private thing. I'm sure you've noticed Shawn touch himself a few times when he's watching TV or sitting on my lap, but he's too young to understand that. He just knows it feels good and he doesn't see why he shouldn't do it. Sort of like scratching an itch or picking your nose."

Joe chucked, "Yeah, Sarah gets mad when he does that."

I smiled, "Girls aren't as cool with this stuff as boys. Anyway, I'll get the latch fixed so you can have your privacy. should respect the other kids' privacy as well."

"Hey, Jake and I were sharing a bed," he chuckled, "it was hard no to see what he was doing."

I nodded, "Do you mind if I tell Jake what we talked about today?"

He scrunched up his cute face and thought about it a minute, "I guess it would be okay. He won't make fun of me that's for sure."

"Okay, any questions for me?"

"Uh...well...not right now, but can I talk to you later if I think of anything?"

"Any time buddy, whether it's about this or any thing else. I'm here for you."

He gave me a quick hug then ran out to join the others leaving me  to smile after him and bask in the good feeling of helping one more kid move forward in life. I loved these kids more and more every day and their lives were becoming so entangled with mine that I feared that when the strings were broken none of us would fare well. I sighed, there was really nothing I could do except wait and enjoy the time we had together no matter how short.

I jumped up and went out to the freezer in the garage and grabbed five steaks and laid them out to defrost. Tonight we were cooking out on the grill and having a patio party. I was as excited as I'd been in a long time as I went out to tell the kids and they were as excited as I was. Sarah suggested we decorate the patio and I dug some lights out of the boxes that held my Christmas decorations and the kids put them up around the patio. I had some left over balloons from a party I'd hosted for a friend and we blew them up and hung then on the light strings. Shawn wanted to draw some pictures to hang up and I encouraged him and the other kids added their own and soon we had all sorts of pictures and cut outs hung all over the patio. 

I took pictures of the kids as they worked and lots of pictures of the decorations and later I told the kids we'd make a movie with my HD camera. Sarah was more excited than any of the kids and I wondered if she had aspirations to be a movie star. She was certainly cute enough. She could be a Disney star easily if someone discovered her. Heck, all the kids were cute and smart and model or star material as far as I was concerned, but of course I was a bit prejudiced.

Once the steaks were thawed I placed them in a bowl with marinade and baked a cake for dessert. Since it was sort of a special occasion (just one of many) I decided to let the kids decorate it. I filled the icing bags with different colored icing and placed different tips on each bag and let the kids have at it. Shawn drew a turtle on his part while Sarah made delicate little flowers and Joe wrote all their names in the neatest handwriting I'd ever seen. Jake seemed reluctant to join in at first but in the end he topped the cake off with his own message. In shaky but readable block letters he wrote. We love  you uncle Rob.

I almost lost it right then and there but when the kids tackled me and drug me to the floor I was giggling like a little kids myself.  We watched a movie on TV while the steaks marinated and later I went in and made a salad and put some potatoes on to bake in the convection oven. I didn't know if the kids were salad eaters, but I knew they loved potatoes of any kind.

At 6:30 I started the steaks on the grill while the kids played in the yard occasionally coming up to check on things. Jake stayed by my side the whole time and I showed him how to turn the steaks and how to test them for doneness. He was a curious guy and soaked up everything you told him like a little sponge.  He seemed more relaxed now and it seemed like we were growing closer with each day. I was glad he understood me and I thought I was beginning to understand him a little better too. 

"So, Joe is jerkin it now," he said chuckling, "I sort of thought so, but he keeps it a secret."

"Some boys prefer to keep it private. Unlike some who make it public knowledge," I teased.

"Who..oh Shawn?"

"No, Shawn doesn't know better. He just knows it feels good and doesn't see anything bad about doing it. I was referring to a certain fourteen year old who does it in bed with his younger brother laying next to him."

He chuckled but blushed, "I know, but I didn't have much privacy at the old house. I actually have more here, but I still have to sleep with him."

"Would you prefer to have your own bed?"

"Huh, where?"

"Well...I could put you in my office for now. I could move that couch against the wall and stick a twin size bed in there. Of course you'd still have to share it with me," I laughed, "but only during the day when I need access to the computer and such."

"I...I'll think about it, okay?" 

"It's up to you. I'm happy if you're happy."

"Joe might not like it, but it would be cool. When could we do it.....if  I decided to do it?"

"As soon as you decide. I have a spare bed in the garage in the storage loft."

"Okay, I'll think about it tonight, okay."

"Sure. Now it's time to turn the steaks. I'll go get the salad and potatoes and by the time I get back we should be ready to eat."

I yelled at Joe to come help me and soon we had the table set and the steaks were just right. I cut Shawn's up for him to make it easier on the little guy, and he ate with his fingers much to Sarah's dismay.

"Shawny, use a fork. You're not an animal."

"Fingers are better," he said frowning.

"It's okay sweetie," I said tousling his blond mop, "you eat however you want. Uncle Rob doesn't mind."

Shawn stuck his tongue out at Sarah and she sighed but laughed, "I guess if Uncle Rob don't care I shouldn't."

"I tell you what, when we eat out he can use a fork, but at home he can eat any way he wants. Is that okay?"

"Yes Uncle Rob," she said smiling, "he's never had steak before...none of us have, so I guess he just got excited."

Never had steak? I thought to myself. I mean I didn't have it every day, but to think these kids had never tasted a nice thick steak was almost too much to bear.

"Well, enjoy it guys." I said trying not to let my feelings get out of control.

"It's yummy," Shawn said licking his fingers and grinning. 

He was so cute I couldn't resist kissing his greasy face and he giggled and gave me a greasy kiss on the cheek in return.

"I love you unca Rob," he said smiling  sweetly, "Thank you for taking care of us."

I felt tears well up in my eyes, but I sniffed them back and patted him gently, "You are so welcome, buddy. I love you kids and I love having you here."

"We love you too," Sarah said sweetly.

We turned our attention back to our meal then and soon the kids started talking about normal kid stuff and I relaxed and joined in. It was a pleasant evening and when it was time for the cake I served it with ice cream and the kids had a wonderful time. 

"It's just like a birthday party," Shawn said. He had ice cream on his cute face and I leaned over and wiped it off with a napkin.

"It's a celebration for sure," I said smiling, "we're together and having fun and sharing things. I don't know about you kids, but I'm having a wonderful time. Thanks for being such good company."

"We love it here unca Rob, we never want to go," Shawn said looking up and smiling shyly.

"Shawny," Jake scolded, "Rob doesn't want us here all the time. He has a life too and he doesn't need four bratty kids to deal with."

"Can I answer that myself?" I said smiling at Jake, "I have a life, yes, but until you kids came along it was boring and dreary and some days I hated getting  out of bed...but now.....I have something to get me out of bed each morning and I feel younger and more energetic than I have since I retired. far as I'm concerned...I hope you are here a long time."

The looks on the kids' faces were priceless and when one by one they came to give me a hug and a kiss (all except Jake who held back) I was leaking a few tears. Finally Jake sighed and got up slowly and came over to where I sat. For a moment the just stood there then he leaned down and hugged my neck and without a word he ran from the patio and into the house. I frowned. Had I said too much and once again  undermined his authority?

"Excuse me kids, I'll be right back," I said following Jake inside.

I found him in his room laying face down on his bed. His shirt had pulled up and I could see about six inches of his back and the top of his Fruit of the Looms. Despite my pledge to keep things platonic, I couldn't help but admire his young smooth body.

"Hey, you okay?"

"Sure, just....well...I'm sorry. I didn't mean to spoil the party."

"You didn't. It's fine. If I said the wrong thing...."

"No, it wasn't that, it was....." he sat up then and sighed, "it's just that I don't want the kids to get to used to this, because when mom gets back, it's back to the same old shit."

I ignored the profanity and sat down beside him, "I know. I worry about that too...and not just for the kids. I worry that I'll become too attached and when you have to go...well, it won't be easy for me."

"I...I never thought of it that way," he said looking at me tenderly, "You're amazing, you know that?"

I shrugged, "If anyone is amazing it's you. You take care of your family and you keep your head together no matter what. I am very proud of you Jake and I feel privileged just knowing you."

"Aww..I aint that great," he said grinning.

"Yes, you are...we both are...we all are," I said grabbing him and tickling him.

He giggled and when it was over our eyes were locked and for one brief moment I thought about kissing him. I mean really kissing him, full on the mouth and the look in his eyes said he might just let me. Then I came back to reality and pulling away a little I sat back and said, "We can't let what might happen spoil what we have now. You guys have had your ups and downs and you've adjusted each time. This time will be no let's just enjoy now and not worry about what comes next...okay?"

He nodded, "Okay, but...I think I'd miss you most of all...if we had to go away."

I smiled, "And I know I'd miss you most of all," I said tenderly touching his face, "You are the most wonderful boy I've ever known."

He sighed, "Stop it or I'll start to believe this stuff," he joked, "but seriously...what I said goes double now."

I shook my head and frowned, "I don't want to mess up what we have Jake. Let's just leave things as they are for now, okay?"

He nodded, "Okay, but when you're am I."

Not if, but when. He was so sure I'd cave eventually. I had never been so torn in a decision in my life. On the one hand it was everything I had ever wanted and on the other it hurt me to even think about the consequences if things went wrong. I supposed in the end the decision was already made somewhere by fate or whatever and we'd just have to play out our parts and see what that decision was. Meanwhile what we had was nice and I was satisfied to keep it that way.

"Let's go see what the others are up to."

"Hey, what about the video you said we'd make?"

"Oh, yeah thanks for reminding me. Let's go grab the camera and tripod."

We had a blast making the video and the kids were very photogenic. Even shy Joseph got into the act and soon we had a full length video in HD of the kids and me frolicking in the backyard. When it got dark I sent the kids in to bathe and get ready for bed and copied the video onto a flash drive so we could watch it on the big TV in the Family room. I took a quick shower afterwards and when we all met up in the family room everyone was excited.

We watched the movie sitting side by side on the couch, Shawn on my lap and Jake poised on the arm of the couch next to me. We laughed at the video especially Shawn's antics but it was sweet beautiful Sarah who too center stage. If ever there a natural born actor, I think it must've been her. Even her sweet little voice came across with a quality that said star. I wondered if anyone had even told her just how wonderful she was and I made it point to do just that.

"Sarah, you really shine in this video sweetie. Have you ever acted a school play or anything?"

"No, but I'd like to. It's so much fun to pretend you are someone else."

So that was it, acting was a form of escape for her. Well, I could certainly understand that.

After the video I tucked the kids in, all except Jake who was following me around the whole time and when I finished he asked if he could talk to me alone again. We went to the kitchen and over milk and cookies we talked.

"I been thinking about the bed thing. If it's not too much trouble I'd like to move into your office."

"Okay, no problem. You can help me tomorrow. Does Joe know?"

"Actually I talked to him about it and at first he wasn't too happy about it. Then I reminded him that he would have more privacy and I think he sort of liked that," Jake laughed, "Now that he's discovered playing with himself is so much fun."

I smiled, "Well, I hope he doesn't wear it out," I teased, "or  you either for that matter."

"Why, you want some of it?" he asked staring me down.

I blushed but managed to reply, "Who wouldn't? But it's probably not a good idea for either of us to think that way."

He rolled his eyes and shook his head, "You want don't want it, I'm confused. I finally say yes and you're scared. I give up."

"I'm sorry. You know that old saying, Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it, well that sort of applies here. It's like a dog chasing a car, what are they gonna do with it once they catch it?" I chuckled.

He grinned, "Well, this car is yours to drive when you get ready. I'm going to bed now. Thanks for today, it was awesome."

He hopped down and leaned into me and gave me a hug and I hugged back, "Good night buddy. Sleep tight. We'll get an early start tomorrow and get the bed set up."

"K night, love  ya."

"Love ya too." I said as he rocketed out of the kitchen. I sighed and cleaned up our mess and headed to bed.

I couldn't sleep so I went in and grabbed the flash drive with the video on it and watched it on my laptop. I was half way through it when there was a little knock on my door.  I was dressed in sleep shorts but no shirt so I grabbed a tee and slipped it on and went to the door. To my surprise it was Joseph and he looked nervous, maybe upset. I thought it might have something to do with Jake moving out of their room but what when I found out the real reason I was not only relieved but amused.

"Uh...did I wake you up?"

"No, come in buddy. I was actually watching the video we made. I couldn't sleep and I thought that might help relax me."

"Oh, okay," he said looking around and then up at me with worried eyes, "You said....uh, if I had any more questions....that I could, ummm...ask you any time. Well...I think I might have done something wrong."

I was interested but not alarmed and I sat him down and asked him to explain.

"Well...I know...masturbating....cause you said it was natural and not bad...but something happened this time."

I was pretty sure I knew what that something was but I encouraged him to continue.

"I...well...this time when...when I had that good feeling.....the ummm...orgasm...right?" he asked looking up and I nodded, "I think I broke something...cause there was this wet stuff and it wasn't pee," he added looking worried.

I chuckled, "Joe remember when we discussed sperm and ejaculation? That's what this was. You may not have sperm yet, but that wet stuff you described was most likely semen. That's a slippery whitish fluid that will eventually carry your sperm from your testicles, nuts," I giggled, "to your penis and shoot it out the end."

He smiled, "'s normal...I didn't break it?"

"No, a penis is pretty hard to break," I chuckled, "it can take a real beating and come through ready for more."

"So...does this mean I'm growing up even faster now?"

"Sounds like it. The next thing you can expect is hair above your penis. It may only be a few sprouts at first, but eventually you will have a nice little patch. I am so proud of  you Joe," I said hugging him to me.

He clung to me for a minute then placed a soft kiss on my cheek, "Thanks uncle Rob, I could never have talked to my mom about this...or Jake."

"I think you're  underestimating Jake. He really loves you Joe and I don't think he would make fun of you and he knows all about this stuff."

"He does? Did you talk to him about it?"

"Well, most of it he already knew. Being older he's had time to experience most of these changes and he could most likely tell you more about how they make you feel than I can. I mean it's been a long time since I was a boy," I chuckled, "but one thing I do remember....I liked it when those changes started to happen."

"I was wondering," he said lowering his head and studying his cute feet, "do...ummm...guys stop masturbating when they get married or have a girl friend?"

I laughed, "I suppose some may, but I suspect that most continue simply because it's convenient and enjoyable. I know from personal experience that no one can make me feel as good as I can."

He smiled, "So you still do it?"

I blushed but nodded, "These days it's all I have."

"Oh, sorry." He said looking serious, "I was wondering, how come you don't get married again?"

"Well, that's a story for another day. I think you should get to bed buddy I'm feeling a little tired myself."

"Okay, I am kind of tired," he said yawning and stretching, his shirt hiking up to reveal his cute tummy. I wasn't aroused but I couldn't help but stare at his flat tummy and innie belly button. He was such a cutie.

"Oh, one more thing," now that you are making wet you may want to keep a towel handy when you masturbate or use an old sock."

He blushed but nodded, "Like Jake," he giggled, "I always wondered what the sock was for, now I know."

"Well, good night buddy. See you in the morning."

"Good night...and thanks," he said smiling warmly.

I walked him to the door and hugged him one last time then watched as he walked down the hall to his and Jake's room. He was growing up right before my eyes.  I stripped off my shirt and piled into bed and soon I was fast asleep.

Chapter Two

Somebody's jealous

The next day I woke up around eight and started breakfast for my brood. The Heavenly smell of bacon and fried potatoes brought them out of their slumber and into the kitchen one by one, Jake being the first. He insisted on helping and I was glad for his help. I had in fact become accustomed to his help and we made a good team.

Sarah set the table while Shawn zoomed his Hot Wheel cars around the place mats and Joe sat quietly occasionally giving me a sly smile. I wondered if he'd gone back to bed and gave his penis another try before finally falling off to sleep. Oh, to be a boy and discovering the wonder of my body again. I envied him and Jake but it was nice to be on the other side watching them grow up and I was thankful I had that.

After breakfast Jake made the announcement to the others that he was moving into my office. Of course Joe already knew but Sarah and Shawn seemed to accept it and didn't question him as to why he was doing this. I left Sarah and Joe to clean up and Jake and I went off to prepare my office for his bed.

By moving the small couch to the opposite wall we freed up enough space for the bed and a small dresser for his clothes. There was a small closet behind the door and other than an umbrella and a couple of my jackets it was empty and plenty large enough to hold what few hanging clothes Jake had.

It took us about twenty minutes to get things ready, and by then Joe showed up and offered his help and we gladly accepted. Between the three of us we got the bed out of the garage and by ten o'clock we were completely finished.

"Well, here it is Jake, your own space....except during the day when I need access to my computer."

"This is so cool. Thanks Rob," he said giving me a quick hug then plopping down to try out his new bed, "nice...and comfy too."

"Well, maybe you'd like some time alone in your new room," I teased, "Joe let's go see what the other two are up to."

"I'll come too," Jake said jumping up, "nothing has changed except I sleep in here, that's all."

"Okay, guys. Hey I was wondering if you guys would like to go swimming today. There is a nice pool just a few blocks from here."

"Yeah!" Joe said enthusiastically.

"Okay, but Shawn can't swim so we'll have to watch him close," Jake added looking worried. Little did I know that Jake couldn't swim either. "I'll keep him in the shallow end."

"Or he can stay with me, I just enjoy floating and catching some rays."

"Oh...okay, well...what about swim suits?"

I hadn't thought of that, "I don't suppose you have any at home?"

Jake shook his head, "The few times we went swimming was at the lake or creek and we just wore shorts."

"No problem, first stop Kmart for new swim wear for my family."

Joe ran off to tell the others and I grabbed my wallet and car keys and we all met in the garage. At Kmart we got swim wear for the kids and some water toys as well as some sunscreen and then I drove us straight to the pool. It was pretty busy on this hot summer day but it was a big pool and there was lots of room for my brood to play. 

Before too long Joe picked up a buddy and they were diving for the dive sticks I'd bought and bringing them back up. Sarah took control of Shawn and was keeping him happy in the shallow end while I floated nearby. I noticed Jake wading out till he was about neck high then he stopped and just floated there. 

I saw a cute blond boy swim up to him and they exchanged a few words then Jake shook his head and the blond boy nodded and swam off. I wondered what that was all about. If I'd been Jake I'd have followed that cutie anywhere...ha ha. I had insisted on applying sunscreen to my little charges and Joe had volunteered to smear some on my back. He was certainly coming out of his shell more and more each day. We were growing closer and all because I had answered his questions about his body.

Suddenly I was pulled out of my thoughts as Jake dog paddled up to me.

"Hi, enjoying yourself?"

"Yeah, it's nice here."

"I saw you talking to that blond boy, what happened there?"

He shrugged then wiped some water from his nose, "He wanted to go dive off the high board...I...can't do that...yet."

"I see. Jake it's not big deal but, can you swim?"

He lowered his head and shook it slowly, "No, not really. I can dog paddle and swim on my back, but that's about all."

I smiled, "Well, my friend, you are in luck. I am going to teach you everything I know about swimming."

I am no Mark Spitz but I've been swimming since I was six and in no time flat I had Jake trying things he'd never thought he would. We continued to work on his swimming skills and I lost track of the others until Joe came swimming up with his buddy and I encouraged Jake to swim with them while I took a breather. 

I walked down to where Sarah and Shawn were playing and Shawn dog paddled over to me and wrapped is little arm around my neck and gave me a little kiss.

"Thanks for bringing us here, I'm having sooo much fun daddy....oops, I mean unca Rob."

My heart fluttered at the words daddy and I gave him a big hug, "You are so welcome buddy. Sarah, sweetie if you want to go swim with your brothers I'll stay here and play with Shawn."

"Okay, thanks uncle Rob," she said smiling widely and swimming off toward the boys.

Shawn and I had a good time visiting and playing and soon it was time to go. I gathered up the others with my eyes and waved them over and Joe's new friend came with them.

"And who's this?" I teased, "I thought there were only four of you."

"This is Mike," Joe said giggling, "I know him from school. We're friends."

"Hello Mike, any friend of Joe's is a friend of mine."

Mike blushed but smiled and he was as adorably cute as Joe and Jake. Nice compact little body and well developed for a boy his age. He had what I called a swimmer's body and from the looks of his tan I supposed he spent many hours right here in the water and the sun.

We said our goodbyes and we stopped for ice cream at DQ on the way home and by the time we got to the house my little brood was ready for a nap. I insisted they shower off the chlorine and Shawn whined for me to help him.

"I'm gonna fall asleep unca Rob, please help me shower."

I laughed and gathered him up and carried him to my bathroom and without any thought whatsoever I stripped off my own swimsuit and showered with him. He seemed curious about my body, but he didn't say much until we were drying off.

"You got a big peenie," he said scrunching up his cute nose.

"It's about average for a man," I said clinically, "yours will be as big or bigger someday when you're older."

"Jake's is bigger....Joe's too. So it grows when you get older....I see," he said figuring it all out for himself. Then he smiled, "I wish mine was big." He added grabbing it and stretching it out as if he could make it bigger that way.

"It will get bigger, don't worry. Right now, it's just right."

He smiled, "I can make it bigger if I rub it," he said mischievously, "it gets hard too. Joe says it's called a boner."

I laughed, "Yeah buddy, I know, but that sort of thing should be private, okay?"

He frowned, "How come, is it bad?"

Oh no, here we go again. So I found myself sitting my smallest charge down and giving him the abbreviated version of "the talk". He listened attentively but being only six he giggled at some parts. By the time I was done he was yawning and looking sleepy and I laid him down on my bed and patted him gently till he sighed and drifted off. I sat there watching him sleep and tears came to my eyes. I loved him so much, just as I did the others, and I was almost overwhelmed with that love. He was so perfect, so sweet, so wonderful and to think that his mother treated him as she did broke my heart. 

I had never understood how anyone could harm or abuse a child and I had always gone out of my way to treat any child I met with respect and love. While raising my own children I had earned a reputation among their friends as the only adult they could trust. More than one called me dad, especially those who had none and even the parents of these children came to accept me as someone they could trust with their children. And I never violated that trust despite my love for boys.

I sighed, I was very confused about my feeling toward Jake and now Joe, but determined not to let things get out of hand. My priority was to take care of these children and make a home for them in the absence of their mother, that was all....nothing more. This wasn't about me or what I needed, this was about them.

I busied myself paying bills and checking my email while Jake slept soundly a few feet away in the bed we'd carried into my office. Once or twice he made little sounds in his sleep and I glanced over to see his mouth working and a smile on his face. I wondered what sort of marvelous dream he was having and I sighed. It seemed the more I was around these wonderful beautiful children the happier I was and the more I appreciated the simple things. To look at the world through a child's eyes was an amazing thing and I had been lucky enough to experience it many times in my life, but this seemed all the more amazing. 

I guess growing old had it's perks, but sometimes I envied my young charges. How wonderful it must be to have your whole future ahead of you, to experience all the firsts, first love, first sex, first broken heart. I guess I was zoned out thinking about all this because I hadn't noticed that Jake was awake and staring at me with a curious smile on his face.

"Oh, hi...sorry if I woke you."

"No, you didn't." He stretched his long lithe body and yawned and his beauty shone like a beacon and I felt overcome with the magnificence of him.

"Did you have a nice nap?"

"Ummm...yeah. Didn't you sleep any?"

"No, I'm not much of a nap person. I put Shawn down in my bed after his shower and took care of some business."

He frowned, "We're costing you a lot of money, aren't we?"

"No, not really and every penny is worth it just to have you here. I was so alone before...before I met you guys and I love having you around."

He smiled shyly, "You're something, you know it?"

I shrugged, "Yeah, we just don't know what yet?" I joked.

"Come lay by me." It was more of command than a suggestion and I obeyed.

Stretching out beside him I stared up at the ceiling and waited for him to continue. He rolled onto his side and scooted closer and threw his arm across my chest and patted me as if I were the child and he the adult.

"We love you Rob...a lot, all of us, but me...I love you the most. I....never knew I could feel this way about anyone else...especially another guy, but I do and what I said before still goes."

"I love you too....and yes more than the others, but not by much. You are all very special to me, but you have always been extra special to me."

"Because you like me...uh, that a sexy way?"

"I don't know if I'd put it that way. Do you know what a boylover is Jake?"

He frowned, "Not exactly, but I've seen some sights on the internet that used that word. Is it...uh, guys who like boys instead of women or men?"

"Well, it's more than that really. It's hard to explain but I'll try. To me boys are the most amazing and wonderful and beautiful thing in the world. I love how they look, how they talk, how they move, even how they smell. He giggled at the last part. "It doesn't mean I want to have sex with every boy I meet or see, it's just that I love them in a way that could lead to certain intimacy if things progressed that way. But the boy would always be in charge and nothing would ever happen unless the boy initiated it. Do you understand?"

He scrunched up his cute face and shrugged, "Sort of. So there are like guys who love boys, but don't have sex with them?"

"Yes, of course. Just like there are guys who love girls or women but don't bed everyone of them they meet."

"So...does that mean you're gay?"

"Well, not all boylovers are, but yes...I am. It took me a while to admit it to myself, but now I'm very comfortable with my sexuality."

" have sex with men?"

I laughed, "I  have, yes. But not lately."

"Because of us being around all the time?"

"No, it's a matter of choice. I just haven't felt the need to seek anyone out lately, that's all."

He nodded, "Oh, well...if you uh...want to do that...I could watch the kids while you went on a date or whatever."

I smiled, "Thanks, I'll keep that in mind."

He sighed and I could tell there was more, but he seemed hesitant to go on. I felt a little drowsy laying there in the soft comfort of his bed, his warm arm across my chest, but when he spoke at last I was wide awake.

"I want to do stuff, but I don't want you to think it's cause I' trying to pay you back or anything," he said softly covering his eyes with his free hand as if to hide from his words and me.

I didn't want to hurt his feeling or confuse him any further, but what he was asking was just too much, even if it was for all the right reasons. "Look Jake, I know you think that's what you want right now, but I'm not sure it's right for you or for me at this point."

" want it too, right?" He asked looking at me with puppy dog eyes. Oh, gawd how I hated the power of puppy dog eyes.

"Jake, I love you more than I think I have ever loved anyone and the thought of.....well, taking that love to the next level is so exciting that I can barely describe my feelings, but..."

"Always a but," he muttered then giggled at the double meaning of the word.

"I tell  you what, if you still feel this way in a month we will discuss it again. How does that sound?"

"A month, okay I can wait a month," he said brightening up.

"I didn't say we'd do it in a month I said we'd talk about it."

"Oh, least you're not saying no," he said pulling back his arm and rolling out of bed, "I gotta go pee."

I chuckled, "Okay, I'm going to go check on the others."

Shawn was just waking up when I peeked in on him and he held out his little arms to me and I picked him up and he buried his sweet face in my shoulder. Then placing a butterfly kiss on my cheek he whispered in my ear, "My thingy is hard, I gotta go pee."

I laughed and carried him to the bathroom and sat him down and turned away while he did his business. When he was done I lifted him up so he could wash his hands and I realized I need a little stool for him so he could reach the sink. I mentally put that on my list of things to buy and carried him to the living room.

Joe and Sarah were up and watching TV and Jake was in the kitchen rummaging through the fridge. He returned shortly with sodas for him and the older kids and a juice box for Shawn. Shawn plopped down beside Joe and sipped his juice box happily and soon he was immersed in the TV. Jake sat down in the arm chair near the window, sideways with his legs across the arm, and gave me a wry smile. He was such a special boy and his advances were becoming harder and harder to resist and I think he knew it.

"So, what do you guys want to do tonight?"

"What can we do?" Joe asked first surprising me. Though he had loosened up a great deal he was still the shyest of the boys.

"Well, have you guys ever been bowling?"

They looked at each other and only Jake had even been in a bowling alley. He had played on a league for a short time, but apparently his mother couldn't afford to let him continue. One more strike for motherhood.

"Well, how about after dinner we go bowling then?"

Everyone was excited after that and kept asking questions about bowling and the alley we were going to but I finally answered all their questions and went in to start dinner. Jake wandered in after a while and offered to help and I put him on potato peeling duty again.. He was quiet for a while then he sighed and said, "We don't have to go somewhere or do stuff all the time. I know it costs you money and we're just as  happy to stay home and watch TV and stuff."

"Oh, well...I guess I never really thought about that. I guess I'm trying too hard," I laughed nervously, "but I want to spend as much time with you guys doing fun stuff as possible. I'm making memories," I said smiling.

He frowned, "Making memories?"

"Yeah, memories. Someday when you kids are grown and I'm an old, old man, I will remember the days and nights we spent together. Those are the memories I'm making now. I know that might seem a  little selfish of me, but I hope you kids are making memories too."

He put his arm around my waist and nodded and I thought for a moment that he was crying, then he looked up at me and smiled and it lit up the whole room, "These are the best memories of my life," he said from the heart, "Thanks, thanks a lot."

I hugged him to me and he melted into me. Kissing the top of his head I smelled his boyish fragrance and it excited and comforted me, "You are so welcome. about those spuds? I'm ready to put them on to boil."

We had fried chicken strips, mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans (the one veggie all the kids agreed on) and for dessert I promised them we'd stop for ice cream at DQ after bowling. The kids chattered on about the upcoming trip to the bowling alley and I began to get a little excited myself.

The kids all pitched in and cleaned up and loaded the dishwasher while I got dressed for our outing and then we hit the road. The bowling alley was only a couple miles away and we arrived there shortly before seven. The kids bubbled over with excitement as they slipped on their bowling shoes and I found us a couple of lanes side by side. I put Jake with Joe and took Sarah and Shawn and I let Shawn bowl with me. Sarah was actually pretty good. After a few times up she bowled her first strike and went on to beat me and Shawn by a few points. 

Shawn was a maniac with the ball and it went all over the place until I finally put the rails down and by then he was throwing a bit straighter. We stopped after a bit and had nachos and cokes and then bowled until around 9 o'clock.  

As we piled into the car, the kids chattering excitedly about this new experience, Jake turned to me and smiled, "I get it now...making memories, that's what we're doing now...right?"

I nodded, "And very good ones at that."

We stopped at DQ and had dip cones and as usual Shawn got as much on him as in him, but we managed to keep the mess confined to him and off the car seats. By the time we got home shortly before ten Shawn was nodding off and I carried him to his bed and undressed him down to his undies and tucked him in. Sarah wandered in and slipped in beside him and when I walked around to kiss her good night she reached her little arms up and hugged my neck, "Thanks, uncle Rob. I had fun."

"You're a natural sweetie, you should bowl more often."

"I will now that I know I like it...when I can I mean."

"Well, we'll go often while you kids are staying with me."

"Okay," she said then yawned delicately, "Good night uncle Rob."

"Good night sweetie, sweet dreams."

When I walked out into the hall I bumped into Joe who was wearing a pair of cotton shorts and no shirt. I was once again taken by his perfectly proportioned body and boyish six pack. He was obviously on the cusp of puberty and I imagined I could even smell the changes that he was going through.

"Whoa, sorry buddy. What's  up?"

"Nuttin, just not sleepy. Can I stay up a while?"

"I don't see why not. I was going to watch a movie, want to join me?"

"Yeah that'd be cool. Can I pick it out?"

"Sure, I trust your judgment, just no kiddy stuff okay?" I joked.

"So.... no My Little Pony?" he teased back.

"Not unless Leatherface beheads the pony," I joked.

He giggled and I smiled at his boyish voice. It would soon be deepening but I was sure it would still be music to my ears.

We settled on a Harry Potter movie, I had the entire collection, and I have to admit that no matter how many times I watched them I still found myself becoming quite engrossed in them. Perhaps so engrossed that I didn't notice when Jake wandered in and took one look at us sitting side by side on the couch and slipped into my recliner. When I noticed him at last I smiled and he gave me a curious look. Was he jealous? I wondered. If so he certainly had no reason to be. I had no designs on Joe or him for that matter and it wasn't like we were touching or holding hands.

"You can sit with us," I said after a while, "there's plenty of room."

He hesitated only a second before standing and taking a place on the other side of me. Unlike Joe who had settled a good foot from me, Jake sat so close that his leg pressed against mine. It felt warm and and caused a pleasant sensation to sweep through me but I can't say it was sexual in any way. It was more like the intimacy one feels when cuddling or holding hands.

We watched in silence and eventually Joe began to grow tired and he stretched out and put his head on my thigh as if it were his God given right. I supposed it was in a way. A true boylover like myself believed that we were here for the boy, that it was all about the boy, and if he wanted to use me for a pillow, I was his.

However Joe's familiarity did not go unnoticed my Jake who seemed to be watching him as much as the movie now. He gave me a curious look and I shrugged, "I have another pillow right here," I said patting my leg. 

Since I was sitting in the middle there was plenty of room for Jake to stretch out on the other side but he didn't do so right away. He continued to watch the movie and occasionally glance at Jake who had somewhere along the way fallen asleep. Once he was satisfied that Joe was no longer a threat, he spun around and stretched out placing his head in my lap and almost bumping against Joe's head.

He sighed and I instinctively reached over and put my arm on his flat tummy. It was warm and soft and I could felt the steady rise and fall of his chest as he breathed. His head was pressing against my crotch in a most arousing way, but I tried to not to think about that. I had two wonderful, precious boys who trusted and loved me and I was not about to violate that trust.

I felt a little sleepy myself after awhile, but I didn't want to disturb either of my charges so I continued to watch the movie and stifle my yawns as best I could. When the movie finally ended I stretched and yawned widely, hinting that it was time to go to bed. Joe roused as the movie ended almost as if on cue and sat up and stretched his lithe body and rubbed his eyes.

"Ready for bed bud?"

He nodded, "Will you tuck me in uncle Rob?"

This was new, his asking to be tucked in, but I supposed as he became more and more comfortable with me we would see lots of new things.  Jake sat up then and gave me a wary look. I smiled and winked, "Be right back Jake."

"I'm going to bed," he announced almost angrily, "come tuck me in when you're done."

I didn't like the tone of his voice, but I nodded and followed Joe off to the spare bedroom. Joe had stopped along the way to pee and when I  caught up to him he grabbed my hand and pulled me down the hall to his room. Jumping into bed he pulled at the covers and I helped him situate them around his chest. I leaned down to kiss his forehead and he wrapped his arms around my neck and pulled me down to  give me a peck on the cheek. I was surprised but pleased at his show of affection and I was glowing as I said good night and went off to see if Jake had mellowed any.

I found him laying in bed on top of the covers wearing just a pair of underwear. They were baby blue boxer briefs, one of the pairs I had bought him at Kmart, and I had to admit they fit him in all the right places. He was staring at the ceiling and ignoring me and I shook my head and smiled. I knew that boys Jake's age pretty much wore their feelings on their sleeves and something was bugging my oldest charge.

"Did you have a good time tonight?" I said sitting down on his bed.

"Yeah, thanks," he said sounding more like himself, but his tone changed almost immediately, "Do you like Joe more than me?" he said sullenly.

I wanted to laugh but I knew he was serious and this was important to him, "Why would you ask that Jake? I try to treat all of you equally. If anyone gets more attention it would be you."

"I saw the way he was looking at you and the way he put his head in your lap," he said frowning.

I did laugh this time, "Jake are you jealous?"

He blushed and quickly said, "No, what would I be jealous of? Joe is just a kid...unless you like em younger than me."

That hurt a little, but mostly it made me angry, "Jake I am going to ignore that last part, because I don't think you are thinking clear right now. I have never done anything to suggest that I see Joe as more than a sweet boy who is currently in my care. I am surprised at your attitude right now Jake and I think it's best that we say goodnight and forget this conversation."

He lowered his eyes and nodded and I gave him a quick hug and left him to his thoughts and went off to mine. Everything had been so good earlier and now Jake was acting like a jealous women. I took a long hot shower and thought about what had happened, but I could find nothing wrong with my own behavior.  I felt confused and concerned but I was convinced Jake would get over these feelings in time.

I slipped on a pair of soft cotton shorts and stretched out in bed and  felt sleep overtake me almost immediately. I awoke some time later to something warm snuggled up against me. My chest was wet and as I came awake I realized the warm someone snuggled against me was Jake and the wetness was his tears.

I wrapped an arm around him and hugged him to me as he sobbed quietly. I knew what he was feeling but we didn't need to talk about it till he was ready. After awhile his sobbing lessened and in a shaky voice he said, "I'm sooo sorry. I don't know what came over me. I never felt this way before. It's crazy. Please forgive me Rob."

"Nothing to forgive. We all get these feeling at times. Insecurity and jealousy, but they don't have to rule our lives. If you really think about things you usually find the right answer. You did this time and I have faith you will again."

He sighed, "I just....I love you so much."

I squeezed him a little tighter, "I love you too, more than is probably good for me," I sighed, "but I have no more control over how I feel than you do."

"So....what I don't get is....why can't stuff?"

I blew out a breath and sighed, "It's very complicated buddy. There was a time when I wanted nothing more than to get to know you that way, but now that I know you...well as a friend and surrogate uncle, things have changed. I care about you too much to risk hurting you if things went wrong."

"You mean....uh (blushing) the butt stuff? Does it hurt?"

I laughed, "No buddy I meant hurt your feelings. I would never knowingly do that, but there is always a risk....for both of us."

"Well....we could try it and if it didn't work out...."

I laughed again, "Always the practical one. I stand by what I said earlier. Give it time and we'll see."

"Okay, I guess I got no choice," he whined, "Can I sleep in here tonight?"

"Seems like you've already spent part of the night here, so you might as well stay."

He yawned and stretched pushing his warm smooth body against me and I almost regretted denying him further intimacy. I soon forget about that and just enjoyed the simple intimacy of sharing a bed with another human being.  I slept extremely well after that, but when I awoke Jake was gone.

At first I thought he might have gone to pee, but a quick check of the bathroom found it empty and Jake nowhere in sight. I peed and washed my face and brushed my teeth and went in to prepare breakfast for my little angels.

Joe wandered in first looking sleepy eyed but sniffing around like a hungry bear cub. Sarah and Shawn appeared next and Shawn ran to me and attached himself to my legs staring up at me with his baby blues. I picked him up and kissed him and sat him on the breakfast bar and gave him a piece of fruit to keep him busy.

Half way through prep Jake showed up looking sheepish and rubbing sleep from his eyes. "Sorry I overslept. I was really tired," he said giving me a little smile.

"No problem, in fact there are no rules about how long you can sleep. If you sleep through breakfast you can always have cereal or pastry. That applies to all of you, long as it's summer and there is no school, your time is yours for the most part."

"But we like having breakfast together," Sarah said shyly.

"Yeah," Shawn said around the banana I'd given him," Cause we like seeing you in the morning."

"And seeing all of you is the highlight of my morning."

Jake took up egg duty this time, stirring them as they cooked in the hot butter while I took up the bacon and potatoes and pulled the biscuits out of the double oven on the wall. Sarah and Joe set the table and soon we were all sitting down and enjoying our first meal of the day, together.

If you've never been lucky enough to live in the same house with children, you don't know what you are missing. Sure there are some drawbacks, like dirty clothes on the floor and tracked in dirt, but the perks far outweigh them. Like the sweet sound of their voices as they share their plans for the day, or the way they brush against you and give you little hugs and oh..those butterfly kisses that little boys like Shawn give, they are worth more than gold. But the biggest perk of all is knowing that you are needed and appreciated and looked up to and no amount of money can buy that.

The kids insisted on cleaning up, mostly at Jakes insistence, and I guessed he was paying penance for his behavior the night before. I accepted gratefully and went off to make my toilet and get dressed for the day. I had plans for the kids, but I wanted to keep them secret as long as possible.

There was only so many days in summer and I wanted to take advantage of as many as possible. I had dressed in shorts and a light weight  pullover and a ball cap to keep the sun off my head. Where we were going we'd need sunscreen and hats and that might necessitate a stop at Kmart.

I found the kids lounging in the living room and when they saw me they looked up with curious eyes. 

"Where are you going uncle Rob?" Shawn asked jumping up to take my hand in his tiny paw.

"Oh, I thought I'd go to the zoo and see the monkeys. Anyone want to join me?"

"You mean it? I never been to the zoo. Are there lots of animals there uncle Rob?"

"Yes, buddy...lots of them. Now why don't you kiddos hop up and get ready. Do any of you have a hat?"

No one did of course so after a stop at Kmart for ball caps for the boys and a cute sun hat for Sarah we hit the road for the zoo. It was kids get in free day so all it cost me was a five dollar donation for me and as soon as the kids saw the inside of the zoo they went crazy. First stop was the miniature train that looped around the entire zoo and as we found seats in the back the kids were bubbling over with excitement.

I have to admit that the train was one of my favorite things at the zoo, but my second favorite was the polar bear exhibit and that was our next stop. The polar bears were housed in a dual habitat with an inside and an outside exhibit. In this heat there was no doubt where they'd be and once we were inside the mammoth building Shawn led the way to the huge glass wall that separated us from the polar bears swimming about and touching their noses against the glass.

As Shawn placed his small hand on the glass a mother polar bear swam up as if recognizing him as a cub and pawed at the glass.

"He high fived me," Shawn said giggling.

"Its a she Shawn. She thinks you're one of her cubs," I teased.

Speaking of her cubs, one of the little bears swam up next and as the other kids rushed over to ooo and ahh at it he put on quiet a show. I sat on the steps leading down into the pit where the kids were slapping the glass and calling to the bears and watched them with love and joy in my heart. Such a simple thing and yet these kids had never known this joy until today.

I bought souvenirs for the kids and once I was able to pry them away from the tank I led them to the next exhibit. Slowly but surely we made our way around the zoo stopping midway for a snack and wound up at last at the monkey exhibit. I have always been torn between joy and sadness as I observed the closest thing to humans the animal kingdom can produce, but the kids bubbled over with joy and laughter as they observed the antics of the simians.

I finally herded them back onto the train and we rode it back to the gate and reluctantly made our way to the car. The kids were tired and starting to sag a little as we drove back home, but there was plenty of talk about their day as each one named their favorite animal and exhibit.

I was a little tired myself but energized by the children's enthusiasm and when we got home I skipped a nap and did some laundry instead while the kids watched TV. Jake joined me in the laundry room as I was folding a fresh load from the dryer and he offered to help. With a little instruction from me he was soon doing an acceptable job of folding the clothes and as we folded we talked.

"That was about the nicest thing anyone has ever done for us, taking us to the zoo."

"Nicer than taking you in and feeding and clothing you?" I teased.

"You know what I mean. Sure that other stuff is nice too, but this was special. Did you see Shawny's face when he saw the monkeys kissing?"

"Yes, Shawn is at that age when everything is new and exciting and watching him react to it makes me feel like I'm six years old again."

"He loves you so much, we all do...but I think Shawny loves you most. He...he's so little and I don't want to see him get  hurt. I worry about him a lot."

"Well, kids are resilient, I don't think he will get hurt...even if we don't get to stay together for as long as we'd like. But let's not worry about that now, let's just enjoy our time together and have fun."

Jake nodded, "I know, you're right. I'll try."

We had a quiet dinner that evening and sat outside for a while watching the sun set, Shawn on my lap and the other kids beside me. When it got dark the fireflies came out and Shawn was first to go chasing them, but soon all the kids, including Jake were in pursuit of the twinkling lights in the night. 

I felt a peace and happiness that I had never experienced before and I felt a wetness in my eyes and dabbed at it with my hands. Shawn ran up holding the pocket of his shirt tight and when I looked I saw the flash of several lightening bugs shining through the thin fabric.

"I got my own flashlight now," Shawn giggled.

Around nine we went inside to escape the mosquitoes and I sent the kids to take their baths. I showered and dressed for bed and waited for them to finish. As I sat in the living room watching TV they appeared one by one, Shawn first and as he climbed into my lap he sighed.

"Thanks for taking us to the zoo. I loved it, specially the polar bears."

"They are cute, but not as cute as you," I said nuzzling his damp hair and kissing him there.

He giggled, "I love you uncle Rob," he said then pulled me down and kissed my cheek.

"I love you too buddy," I said giving him a hug.

Sarah appeared next looking like the little princess that she was and she gracefully sat down beside me and put her hand on my arm, "Thank you for taking us to the zoo uncle Rob."

"You're welcome sweetie. I'm glad you had a good time, I know I did."

Joe and Jake came in together looking fresh and clean and plopped down on the other side of me. Joe was next to me and I could feel the heat coming off of his leg as he pressed it against mine. Was I misreading his intentions or was he trying to start something? No that was silly, but still....Jake had been suspicious as well and he knew his brother better than I did.

"Joe would you do me a favor and go grab my camera? It's on the dresser in my room."

Joe jumped up and when he returned with my camera I pulled up the pictures I'd taken from earlier that day at the zoo and the kids gathered around to look at them. Joe and Jake were leaning into me as Sarah stood before me trying to get a look at them too. I finally sent Jake to get my laptop and I downloaded them to the laptop and sat it on the coffee table so everyone could get a good look. The kids were very photogenic, as most kids are, and I knew that some day when they were gone I would treasure these images of them having the time of their lives. In a way it was the time of my life too and I had made sure to get a few pics of me with the kids as well.

Finally it was bedtime and my little charges were exhausted. I wondered if I was trying to fit in too many activities and decided that for the next couple of days I'd keep things simpler. When I stood with Shawn I got another shock.

"I'm sleeping with Joe now," Shawn said sleepily, "Right Joe?"

"Yeah, we decided Sarah should have her own room so now Shawn is gonna sleep with me."

"Well, whatever you kids decide is fine with me. That was very gentlemanly of you boys."

Sarah didn't comment one way or the other and I wondered if she'd even been informed of the change. Still it made sense, boys should be with boys. So I carried Shawn off to Joe's room and tucked him in. I told him we'd move his things tomorrow and he  yawned and shook his head in agreement.  I tucked Joe in next and when I left the two they were already asleep.

Next stop was Sarah's room and she was already in bed waiting for her good night kiss. She was such a pretty girl and so sweet. I imagined she would have the boys lined up before too long, unless she liked which case the girls would be lined up. She seemed happy all the time and sometimes I wondered if she was really masking her true feelings. 

"I bet you're glad to be rid of that stinky old boy," I teased.

"It's nice having a room to myself, but I'll miss Shawny."

"Well, you know what you need is a big teddy bear to replace him."

She smiled, "I never had a teddy bear before. Are they nice?"

"Very, I slept with mine till I was 13, then my mom threw it away one day while I was gone to school. I cried for a couple of days," I laughed.

"Why did she do that?"

"I guess because she thought a 13year old boy was too old to have a teddy bear."

"But if you had been a girl, she wouldn't haven't done that, would she?"

I nodded, "No, I guess she thought it was too girlish," I sighed, "But you don't have to worry about that. I'll buy you a teddy and you can keep it forever if you want."

"Really? Oh Uncle Rob...I love you soooo much," she said grabbing me and pulling me down for a kiss on the cheek.

I finally got her tucked in and moved on to find Jake who was already in bed and half asleep.

"Hi bud, I won't stay a minute. Just wanted to say good night."

"You can stay all night if you want to," he said grinning.

"Might be a little tight in that small bed."

"Then I could come to your bed," he said giving me the puppy dog eyes again.

I chuckled, "You look pretty cozy right here, why don't you just try to get some rest?"

He sighed, "Okay, I am pretty beat...but I had a good time today, we all did."

"So did I kiddo, so did I. Well give us a hug and I'll leave you to your sweet dreams."

He reached up and hugged me and held on for a long time. I could feel his warm breath on me and smell his spicy boy aroma. It was both exciting and comforting and I had to admit the thought of inviting him to my bed crossed my mind. At last he let go and fell back down looking sleepy eyed but happy. I kissed his forehead and we said our good nights and I tip toed out the door.

I barely got my clothes off and almost as soon as I fell into my bed I was asleep. I awoke to what I call that "married feeling" and as struggled up from the depths of sleep I realized it was Jake once again sharing my bed. This was becoming a habit and as nice as it was it bothered me. I knew I was only human and could only resist so much temptation and Jake was pushing my limits.

He had his hand on my lower stomach just inches from the waist band of my boxer briefs and I had a raging hardon. A couple of inches lower and his hand would be resting directly on top of it. I squirmed a little and he moved his hand a bit lower and I began to panic.

He sighed in his sleep and scooted a bit closer pushing his boy bits into my thigh and not surprisingly, he was also erect. His crotch felt hot and hard against my thigh and as I lay there he suddenly began to move slightly humping my leg gently. Needless to say that only added to the throbbing and discomfort between my legs and I reached down to rearrange my junk hoping to hide it a bit better. 

But you can only do so much with 6.5 inches of hard flesh and it still tented my undies obscenely only inches from Jake's small warm hand. I lay there with my heart beating faster minute by minute and waited for what I didn't know. Should I move or just lay there and let him finish humping my leg like a pup, or gently move him onto his back and away from my aching throbbing cock?

"You awake?" Despite his whispering I jumped as if he had shouted.

"I...yeah, I...felt something warm pushing against me...."

He laughed softly, "Is it okay?"

"I...I'm not sure....this is sort of what I've been avoiding."

"But why? Don't you like me that way?"

"Well...yes, but I like  you in other ways too. You're not just a toy for me to play with," I chuckled.

He giggled softly and his sweet voice sent chills down my body. "If you love me and I love  you...isn't that okay?"

How could I answer that one without sounding like a complete hypocrite. "Well...I do believe sex is an expression of love, but I just don't know if I can live with myself if I let things get out of control."

He sighed as if dealing with a difficult child, "Rob, I want it too, doesn't that mean anything. I know at first I acted like I didn't, but the truth is...I have always sort of found you...well, sexy and wondered what it would be like to be with you that way. I...I think I may be gay Rob," he added sounding small and scared, "It's sort of scary, but when I met you and when I figured out...well, that you were that way too, I thought to myself maybe it's not so bad...and now...well, you seem really cool and really happy and I want to be that way too."

He had laid his heart out to me, I could either push him away or accept him...accept our fate. It was not an easy decision, but my life had always been full of moments like this and usually I chose the right path. I hoped my luck was holding up with this one.

"I suppose you already know what you'd like to do?" I chuckled.

" doesn't really matter as long as...well, you know," he giggled, "I get off, and you too of course."

I blushed as his language, but I supposed he probably knew as much about sex as he needed to at this point.

"Jake, I love you very much. Do you trust me?"

"Oh yes Rob, I trust you with all my heart," he said sounding very emotional.

"And I trust you. If we do this I only ask one thing of you," I began, "that you be completely honest with me. If I do something you don't like or if you decided this isn't what you want, I want you to be honest with me and just tell me. Can you do that?"

"I promise," he said sounding excited, "does that mean we're gonna do last?"

I sighed, "You've practically been throwing yourself as me for weeks. You must've known I'd cave eventually."

He chuckled, "Well....I just didn't think it would take so long. I mean before we came to live with you you would have done it a lot sooner."

I chuckled, "I guess...that was before I realized just how much I cared for you and about your feelings."

He burrowed his face into my neck and wrapped his arm around my chest giving me cold chills once more. Then nuzzling my neck he kissed me gently and whispered the words that took away all my doubts, "I love you Rob, please love me back."

"I do love you Jake and I am ready to show you just how much."

I pulled him into my arms and showed him how to kiss. Amazingly he took to kissing like a duck to water. Some boys (and men) don't like kissing or at least aren't very good at it, but Jake was amazing. His lips were sweet and soft and his tiny pink tongue darted around my mouth like a hungry fish. He tasted so good and I wondered if my breath was all that fresh after sleeping, but he never complained and when I finally broke the kiss and moved on down to his neck he whined a little.

I could feel his little heart beating fast in his chest and he was shivering with anticipation, but then so was I. I nuzzled his soft neck and moved down to his chest and found his tiny pink nipples. They were erect and sensitive to my tongue and he squirmed a little as he grabbed my head and tried to pull me up. 

I laughed softly and he sighed again, "Do you want me to stop?" I whispered.

"Uh uh..nope, do it all..anything you want."

I licked and sucked his nipples for a while longer and he finally seemed to get used to it, maybe even  like it. I could feel his hard little prick against my chest as I hovered over him and he kept humping up to press it against me. It was warm and a little damp from the pre-cum his balls were producing in anticipation of what was to come, or cum if you will.

His chest was well defined and smooth as a baby's behind and it felt wonderful beneath my gentle touch. I traced a path down his chest to his belly button and tongued it out as he giggled. Then grabbing my head in his hands he tried to force me lower to where his boy bits ached for attention.

"Not yet," I chuckled, "if I'm gonna do this I'm gonna do it my way. But remember if I do anything you don't like...tell me."

"Okay, but I think I'm gonna like it all."

"Then hold on, this roller coaster ride is about to begin."

I love feet, well boy feet anyway,  and the few times I'd seen Jakes I was taken by their beauty and perfection. I wasn't sure if he would be as into my foot worship as I was, but I had to try. Sliding down to the end of the bed I picked up his left foot and sniffed it while he watched me with interest and a sly grin on his face.

"Mmmmm....nice. May I taste it?" I teased.

"Uhhh...sure....whatever you want. I'm down with it if you are?"

I smiled at his easy attitude and began to gently massage his foot working each toe as he sighed and relaxed. Most people enjoy a good foot rub and Jake was no exception but I don't think he knew what was coming  next because when I finally  raised his foot to my face the look on his face was priceless. And when I began to lick the sole of his foot he shivered and pulled back a little.

"Too much?' I asked with disappointment.

"Nnnnnoooo, more," he purred, "just tickles a little."

I was so happy that I began to kiss and lick his little foot all over and when I finally stuck his big toe in my mouth he moaned softly. I smiled around that fat tasty piggy and for the next fifteen minutes I licked and sucked and worshiped his little boy feet until we were both so hard and wet we couldn't have lasted another moment.

"These need to go," I said finally tugging at his briefs. He raised his little butt to make it easier and as his cock came into view I took in a sharp breath and felt my heart rate go up. His boy parts were absolutely perfect and my mouth watered at the thought of tasting them, but first I had one more thing I wanted to do.

"Roll over on your tummy," I said softly expecting at least a questioning look, but he complied without comment. He trusted me implicitly and I would not betray his trust.

"You are so perfect," I gasped as his soft round bottom and strong back came into view, "Don't worry, I just want to make you feel good. This isn't about me," I said trying to calm any fear he had, but I think he was long past any fear and was now swept up in the excitement of being loved for the first time.

I straddled him and began to massage his upper back as he moaned and sighed in appreciation. As my hands moved lower he took in a deep breath and humped his butt up a little grinding it into my crotch and causing me to moan this time. Scooting down a bit I let my hands move down to the swell of his buttocks and kneaded them gently.

"Nice," I cooed, "this may be a little intense, but I think you'll gonna like it," I said as I lowered my face and blew my breath between his wide open cheeks. His little brown pucker was in plain sight and my mouth watered at the thought of finally tasting the center of the boy I loved most in the world.

He shivered and grunted and pushed his butt higher opening it up for me and I dived in tongue first and began to run it up and down his crack pausing at this boy pucker and lapping at it hungrily on each pass.

"Oh so...awesome."

I was hoping for such a reaction and inspired by his reaction I zeroed in on his little starfish and began to probe it with my tongue. He squirmed and wiggled and pushed back against me and soon I had a half inch of so of my hungry tongue in his tight little hole. The amazing think about boys is how anal they are. I mean I'm not saying that every little boy wants to have a dick up their ass, but a finger or a tongue seems to always be welcome and one thing leads to another. Not that I'd had that much experience with dicks up boys' butts. The youngest I'd ever had anally was 15 and he'd practically forced himself onto my hard throbbing cock. Of course I didn't protest, especially when he began to bounce up and down on my lap until I nutted deep in his tight teenage ass.

But I digress, here I was my tongue probing deeper and deeper in Jake's hot tight ass when suddenly he cried out and began to pump his young seed all over my bed sheets. Damn, was my first thought, I wanted that in my tummy. I knew how sensitive boys' butts were and I must've touched something that sent him over the edge. It was too late to worry about it now though.  I figured he'd wipe himself off and head back to his bed but instead he pushed back into me even harder and encouraged me to continue. 

I ate his sweet tasty ass for another fifteen minutes and by the time I finally let up and he rolled over he was recharged and ready for more lessons. His boy cock was glistening with his boy seed and I greedily bent down and licked it clean.

"Oh, shit....ugh...ugh...ugh," he gasped.

And when I took all of him in my mouth he trembled and moaned loudly. "Gawd..yes...yes...yes, that feels so good."

He grabbed my head but he didn't try to take control, he just needed something to hold onto and my head wast convenient. He played his fingers through my hair and made little mewling sounding that caused my toes to curl. He was such a little sweetheart and making him feel good was one of the most amazing moments of my life. My only goal at that momet was to bring him pleasure and I seeemed to be succeeding. I wanted him to remember this night for the rest of his life and if it was a one time thing, I wanted to remember it for the rest of my life.

I memorized every inch of his sweet body as I ran my hands up and down his body and between his legs to jiggle his perfect little walnut sized balls. I paused long enough to take them into my mouth and make love to them as he moaned even louder. Boy nads are sensitive and I knew just how to make them feel good and it was paying off with my new little buddy. He tasted so good and his scent was making me crazy with lust. Finally I could wait no longer and taking his boy cock into my mouth once more I herded him toward orgasm.

He bucked and thrust and pulled at my hair as his orgasm approached and as I gave his balls one final gentle squeeze his cock throbbed and thickened and his delicious sweet boy seed flooded into my mouth. Despite having soaked my sheets earlier he was still able to produce a substantial amount of his boy cream and I rolled it around in my mouth savoring the taste and feel of it before swallowing it.

I sighed as I finally got what I had wanted for so long, but I wondered if it was everything Jake had hoped it would be. My answer came a few seconds later when I kissed his cock one last time and fell down beside him. He grabbed me and buried himself in my body and kissed me with more fervor than any adult I had even kissed. His tongue probed my mouth and I finally figured out he was trying to taste himself there. I smiled at his enthusiasm and sweetness and when he finally broke the kiss I was really in love.

"That was sooooo awesome. Thanks. Did you like it too?" he asked breathlessly.

"No..I loved it. It was without a doubt the most fun I've ever had with another male," I said with tears stinging my eyes, "And I mean that with all my heart."

"I gotta rest a minute," he panted, "and then I want to make you feel good too."

"Oh, buddy...that's sweet...but you don't have to,"

"But I want to...that's part of the fun. I want to make you feel as awesome I do."

"Well, if you really want to. Just rest now. The night is young."

I slept for about an hour and woke up to someone rubbing my chest gently. It was of course Jake and he was wide awake and horny again. His soft warm hand made it's way boldly down my chest onto my stomach and at last came to rest on my semi hard cock. My cock began to swell immediately and I must've moaned because he giggled as he continued to rub me there making me harder and harder.

Then reaching inside my boxer briefs he pulled out my throbbing cock and began to work it as if it were his own. I suppose he'd had a lot of experience working his own, but the skill he exhibited in working mine was years beyond that. I moaned lowly and reached down to push my underwear on down to give him full access and his other hand went to my balls. 

I keep myself shaved down there and he seemed surprised to find me smooth and hairless, but I think he liked it. It was more familiar to him and less threatening perhaps and he adjusted easily. He continued to work my cock using the pre-cum as lube while I moaned and rubbed his shoulders in appreciation.

What happened next caused me to have a whole new level of respect for Jake's budding sexuality. Lowering his small face to my crotch as he continued to jack me, he suddenly swooped in and swallowed all of my fat 6.5 inches in one gulp. He gagged a little then pulled up some and began to give me what I can truthfully say was the best beejay of my life. Maybe it was simply because it was coming form this 13 year old boy that I loved so much, but I don't think so. I genuinely began to  think that Jake was experienced at this sort of thing.

Squeezing my balls gently he brought me to an intense and ball wrenching orgasm that brought me up off the bed and gasping for breath as wave after wave of ecstasy pulsed through my body. When I finally fell back down I realized two things, one that Jake had never missed a beat the whole time he was blowing me and  two, that he had swallowed every drop of my cum and was now licking my cock clean like a kitten cleaning itself.

"Wow!" I gasped, "that was amazing."

"Really, was it good?" he said grinning, "I'm glad. You taste really good, not like I thought you'd taste."

"Where did you...I mean was this your first time?"

He sighed, "Do I have to tell?"

"No, not if you don't want to. It's really none of my business," I said softly.

"It's okay. I just don't' want to talk about it right now. Not now, cause this was so nice and I don't want to spoil it."

"It was nice, I'm glad you liked it."

He sighed, "I should go back to my bed now. I don't want the other kids to know I spent the night in here. They might not understand."

That hurt me a little and just emphasized that what we were doing was profoundly wrong, but damn it, it was the most wonderful night I had ever spent with another male and it was hard not to be happy.

I kissed him goodnight and he tiptoed out the door and I went in to pee and clean myself up a bit.  As I stared at myself in the mirror I saw a stranger standing there. Gone was the man with the noble ideals who's only interest was in making a good home for the kids while he had them, and in his place was this sex fiend who had just bedded a 13 year old boy and shown him the wonders of male sex. The man in the mirror glared at me with a sly smile on his lips and I thought he looked years younger than the last time I had seen him. I shook my head and laughed, then aloud I addressed the stranger in the mirror, "Okay, you old pervert., what's next?" But the man in the  mirror just smiled back and after awhile I went back to bed.

End of Chapters 1 and 2

More to come

Something a little different. It's about love and family, but yes there is a little sex too. If you like it please let me know, there is a bit more of the story to tell, but I am still committed to my other series The Year I Learned to Love my Brother, so it may take a while to get the last part out. Thanks to all my loyal readers who keep me focused and moving forward.

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Kewl Dad