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            The Guardian

Installment 18


by Erastes
Copyright 2015 by Erastes
Chapter 35 – Getting to Opening Day. 

When the alarm went off on Monday morning, I woke Tyler and got him moving first, before I went to wake up his brothers.  I didn't want either Ethan or Marcus to become suspicious about what Tyler and I had done the night before, so I hustled him off to his own room.  I didn't think they'd figure out what we'd been up to, and I wasn't ready to answer the questions they might ask if they did.  Trying to act as normal as usual, I got the boys ready for school, fixed their breakfast and sent them off on the bus. 

All day long my mind kept drifting to Tyler, while images of our encounter the previous evening kept replaying in my brain.  Even though I was mildly distracted by this, I still got most of my work done, but I took the rest home to finish up later.  That wasn't a problem, however, since I didn't have to take any of the boys to practice this evening.  Don and Cherie were picking up Marcus for me, although I expected Dylan would be staying at our house, so he could study with Tyler.  They'd be doing their own thing though, so it shouldn't be a problem. 

Things happened just the way I'd expected, so once Marcus left, I got busy on the computer, while Tyler and Dylan studied and Ethan went to the family room to watch the Disney channel.  When Marcus returned home later and Dylan had gone home with his parents, I took Ethan and Marcus upstairs for their shower and got them ready for bed.  Once Tyler and I had also gone through our nightly rituals, I let him sleep with me again.  There was no sex this time, but I knew doing this would help him get a good night's sleep and I wanted him at his best when he took his tests the following day. 

Tuesday was pretty much a repeat of Monday at work, except my mind wasn't filled with visions of Tyler.  When I finally arrived home later, I fixed dinner and took Ethan to his practice.  Marcus went with us, but Tyler stayed home so he could study again.  I had no problem with that and took the other pair to the practice field.  Sally didn't stay to watch this time, because she said she had too much to do at home, so I promised to keep an eye on Andrew for her.  I even offered to drop him off afterward, so she thanked me and gave me her address. 

After the practice, I was convinced Ethan and Andrew would be starting on Saturday, which made me feel good for both of them.  I didn't say anything to either one about it though, in case I was mistaken.  Then we drove Andrew home and I walked him to his door to make sure he made it inside.  Sally thanked me again and invited me in, but I told her I had three boys to get to bed, since they still had school the following day.  She said she understood and didn't feel slighted, so I told her I would see her at the next practice. 

Once again, I showered with the little ones and then tucked them into bed, but I also let Tyler sleep with me again.  He really liked this idea and thought maybe I'd let him do it every night from now on, but I told him it was only to help him do well on his finals.  He was mildly disappointed, but said it was still better than before. 

Wednesday was basically a repeat of the previous two days and Don and Cherie picked Tyler up and took him to practice for me.  Marcus went with them too, since Justin was also going with them, but Ethan wanted to stay home.  I think he felt he'd rather get a little extra attention from me, rather than spending more time with the others.  For that reason, I held him on my lap the entire time after I had finished my work, as we watched the Disney channel together. 

When the other boys got home, we went through our normal nightly routine again and just as soon as the little ones were in bed, Tyler rushed over to spend the rest of the night with me.  Even though I told him this was just temporary, I knew I was going to miss doing this as much as he would, because it helped me get a good night's rest too. 

Thursday started off just like all of the other days this week.  I got the boys off to school in the morning and then I headed in to work.  The workday, however, turned out to be a little different.  The company that had developed the accounting program we'd been using had discovered another potential problem and had sent an additional fix that our IT department was currently trying to add.  This meant they needed us to stay off of the beta system for a while longer, so they could work on it.  It wasn't too big of a deal, although it meant we'd have more to catch up on later.  The boss said we could do most of it on Friday and then everyone would come in on Saturday to finish up. 

This immediately set alarm bells off for me, because my entire weekend was already fully booked.  After I explained to my boss about the boys' baseball games on Saturday and that Marcus' birthday party was already scheduled for Sunday, he agreed to let me finish up what I needed to get done from home.  I was certainly grateful he was allowing me to do this. 

I knew I was seriously behind when I left work that night, but I was also told not to get on the beta system from home this evening, because the IT department would still be working on it.  That was fine with me, except it would put me even further behind, but it actually wouldn't have made a difference.  I still had the boys final practices this evening, so that would have taken up most of my time anyway. 

After we finished eating, the boys got ready and Don and Cherie showed up to pick up the oldest two.  Don took Dylan and Tyler with him, while Cherie took Justin and Marcus with her.  After they left, Ethan and I headed over to his practice. 

When Sally showed up, she apologized and asked if I could watch Andrew for her again.  I told her I'd be happy to and even offered to drop him off afterward.  She thanked me and then raced off to do whatever it was she had to take care off. 

Coach Lucas only held a short practice tonight, since he just wanted to get the team ready for Saturday's game, without working on anything new.  That was fine with me, although I wondered if Sally would be there when we arrived.  She was, so I dropped Andrew off and still got home well in advance of the others. 

When Marcus and Tyler arrived, I had them all get ready for bed.  After getting the little ones cleaned up, I tucked them into bed and kissed them goodnight.  Tyler automatically showed up in my room again, just as soon as he knew his brothers were asleep, and then he spent the night cuddled against me.  Damn, I really loved doing this with him. 

Friday, after I got the boys off to school, I drove into work as usual.  We were immediately informed that the beta system was up and running again, but we soon discovered there were new problems that would need to be addressed first.  This meant the IT department would have to take the beta system offline again, while they tried to correct the various issues we had just discovered. 

The head of the IT department called just before noon and told our boss we could start using the beta system again.  Since we had so much to do, most of the others decided to work through their lunch hour today.  They opted to order take out from a nearby restaurant and then sent one of the staff over to pick it up.  I decided I might as well order something too and then we all ate at our desks while we worked on the computer. 

When it was time for me to leave later, I realized I had a lot to do at home before Monday.  I couldn't think about that now though, because I had to rush to pick up the boys.  Before they'd left for school that morning, I told them to be dressed in their uniforms and ready to leave by the time I got there, so we'd have time to run out and eat first, before the parade started.  They had done as I'd asked, because they were excited about the parade too, so I drove them over to the diner to chow down. 

Our usual waitress wasn't there tonight and one of the others greeted us as we entered.  The manager then came out to say hello. 

"I see you boys are all in your uniforms tonight.  Do you have a game or something?" he asked next. 

"A parade," Ethan and Marcus both answered. 

"All of the summer leagues are having a joint parade tonight and then the boys will have their first game tomorrow," I clarified. 

"Good luck then and I hope you win," the manager added, while grinning broadly. 

After we finished eating, I hustled over and parked near where the parade would be ending, near one of the ball fields, and then we walked to where it was going to form up.  The teams were lining up according to age, from the youngest to oldest leagues, and each coach was organizing his team the way he felt best.  Each league would line up with the various teams in the same order they had finished the previous season, from the first place team leading the group and then on back to the team that came in last.  This meant Ethan and Marcus' teams would be somewhere in the back half of their leagues, while Tyler's team would be pulling up the rear of that particular group. 

I stayed with Ethan and had Tyler walk Marcus back to where his team was getting organized.  Then, Tyler kept on going until he'd joined up with his own team.  There were a great many people wandering around, since most of the players' parents were also there, along with grandparents, other relatives, friends and curious spectators, so I didn't think I'd find Sally, Cherie or Don easily.  I was right and didn't run across any of them until the very end, when they showed up to pick up their sons too. 

No one was staying with anyone else tonight, but I suggested to Don and Cherie that they might let their sons stay over with us the following night.  That way, they wouldn't have to bring them to our house for Marcus' birthday party on Sunday.  They said that would be fine and they'd bring everything the boys would need to their games, so they could transfer it to our car before we left.  Now that everything was set, I led my three over to the Outback and took them home. 

Tyler had wanted to stay and watch the older boys play their game, but I told him I had brought work home that I needed to get done.  I also explained that this was going to be a very busy weekend, so I'd have to do it when I could, which meant doing some of it when we got back later.  He didn't put up a fuss and we left a few minutes after that. 

When we returned home from the parade, Marcus asked if he could speak with me alone.  I wasn't sure what this was about, but I took him to my office and closed the door.  "What's up?" I asked, as soon as we were by ourselves. 

"Uncle Blake, is it wrong that I'm looking forward to my birthday party and I'm really excited about it?" he asked.  The expression on his face told me he wasn't in a good mood. 

"No, of course not, sport.  Why should it?" I countered, hoping to draw him out. 

"Because mommy and daddy won't be there," he basically whispered, as his head hung facing the floor.  "They were at all of my other parties and I really miss them, so is it wrong that I'm glad all my friends will be at my birthday party?" 

I could only look at him with a great deal of empathy, because I could almost feel the internal struggle he was dealing with.  Therefore, I thought very carefully about my answer before saying anything, because I wanted to put him at ease and not make matters worse.

"Marcus, your mommy and daddy would want you to be excited about this," I answered, doing my best to assure him.  "They'd want you to have the best time possible at your party and they wouldn't want you to be sad that they aren't with you." 

"Really?  You think they'd want me to be excited and have fun?" he asked, while looking up at my face with a hopeful expression. 

"Absolutely, sport!" I said with as much conviction as I could manage.  "I'm positive they wouldn't want you thinking about them or being sad at all.  They would want you to have the best time possible and have a wonderful birthday." 

Suddenly, his face brightened and a smile gradually replaced the frown that had been there moments before.  "Thanks, Uncle Blake.  That makes me feel a lot better and I don't feel so guilty now," he stated, just before he took off for his bedroom. 

I felt as if I'd just dodged a bullet and was glad that Marcus had accepted my version of things.  Now, I had to go upstairs and get the boys ready for bed.  After getting the little ones cleaned up and tucked in, I went down to the dining room and got busy.  I worked for over an hour, until I reached a good place to stop.  I then went upstairs to get ready for bed and saw Tyler waiting for me in my room, as I headed toward the master bath. 

"You don't mind if I sleep with you again, do you?" he asked, although he already knew the answer to his question. 

"No, it's fine," I assured him, as I went into the bathroom to start my nightly ritual. 

When I finished, I crawled into bed beside him and Tyler slid toward me, like a piece of metal being drawn toward a powerful magnet.  He cuddled against my side as he usually did and we soon drifted off to sleep.  We had a big day ahead of us and it would keep me running nearly the entire time. 

Just as soon as I got the boys up and dressed for their big day, I had them grab everything they would need and loaded it into the Outback.  We were going to be gone for hours and I wouldn't have time to make emergency trips back home to get things later, so the boys had to make certain they had it all with them now.  We also swung by to pick up Justin and Dylan, because they wanted to watch Ethan play as well.  Once they were in the Outback, we set out for the field where Ethan's team would be playing. 

When we got to that location, Ethan went off to let his coach know he had arrived, while the boys and I found seats in the bleachers.  I sat down on the third row, while the boys moved higher up in the stands.  They wanted to be able to see over any people that might walk between the bleachers and the field during the game, so they wouldn't miss any of the action. 

When Sally and Andrew arrived, I saw her accompany Andrew over to the coach and then she walked toward the bleachers.  I waved at her, so she came over and sat down beside me.  We were discussing how excited the two boys were about this game, when suddenly she changed her focus. 

"Blake, I'd like to introduce you to someone," she announced, as she looked over my shoulder.  She had obviously noticed a person she knew that was approaching from the other side, so I turned in that direction as well.  "This is my sister, Ann, and she's coming to watch Andrew play too." 

When I saw who she was referring to, my mouth dropped open.  I wasn't anticipating it would be someone I knew.

"I certainly didn't expect to see you here," I said, as soon as I recognized the individual. 

"I thought I might see you around.  In fact I was looking for you and the boys last night at the parade, but I didn't expect to find you sitting with my sister," she replied.  "I guess I must have been too focused on Andrew to notice your youngest one in the same group."

"Do you two know each other?" Sally asked, totally confused. 

"Yes, he and his sons come into the diner at least once a week," Ann answered.  "They sometimes bring the boys' friends with them too and they are all the most polite, well mannered and best behaved youngsters I've ever had the pleasure of serving.  In fact, my manager took a picture of them and hung it on the wall by the cash register with a sign that states they are our 'Most Outstanding Customers'." 

"That's certainly a glowing endorsement and from someone I know and trust too," Sally responded.  "I certainly don't have any problems with Andrew hanging out with your family in the future after hearing that." 

"No, sis, you shouldn't have any problems with doing that at all," Ann agreed.  "In fact, Andrew might pick up a few things from his boys.  By the way, where are they?" 

"If you look a few rows higher up, I'm sure you'll spot them," I answered.  "That would be all except Ethan, the youngest, who will be out on the field playing with your nephew." 

Ann looked behind us and spotted the boys quickly.  They had obviously been watching us as well, because they all started waving at her when she located them.  She immediately smiled and waved in return, pleased by their acknowledgment. 

"And they've got their friends with them too," she added, as she turned back to us. 

"Yes, those boys spend a lot of time with us too and their parents are going to help me get the two older ones to their games and practices when there are conflicts in our schedules.  Each pair is playing on the same team, which helps out tremendously." 

"Why don't you come over and sit next to me, sis," Sally offered next, so Ann walked around the front of the bleachers and then climbed up to take a seat beside her sister. 

We continued chatting until the game started, and just as I'd suspected Ethan was starting at shortstop and Andrew at first base.  It was a fun game, sometimes actually hilarious, since the kids on both teams were still learning how to play the game.  There were times when one of them would keep running when he should have stopped or he stayed put when he should have taken off.  A couple of them even started running in the wrong direction after hitting the ball and a few throws went higher than they traveled in the direction they were supposed to go.  In the end, Ethan and Andrew's team won and they'd both played quite well, with very few mistakes, mental or otherwise.  They were both beaming as they came over to be with us. 

"We won!" Ethan announced as he got closer. 

"I know.  I saw the game and you did great," I confirmed, much to his delight, but then he turned to look at Sally. 

"Can Andrew come over to my house today," he asked her next.  Suddenly, he spotted Ann too.  "Hey, you're the lady from the diner."  Ann smiled broadly at his acknowledgment. 

"Yes, I am, but I'm also Andrew's aunt," she informed him. 

"Wow!  That's neat," Ethan responded, before turning back to Sally.  "Can Andrew come over to my house today?" he repeated, in case his question had been forgotten. 

"Can I?  Please, Mommy?" Andrew chimed in. 

"Maybe we should ask Ethan's uncle first," she stated, as she turned toward me. 

"Maybe I should explain," I began.  "The older two are having their friends stay over tonight, so Ethan feels left out.  One more boy certainly isn't going to be any more trouble for me and the way I look at it, the more the merrier." 

"Well Andrew will need to get some things from the house first," she confessed, as she looked at her son.  "Would you like me to get him cleaned up and fed first?" 

"That won't be necessary and we can follow you to your place so he can pick up whatever he needs," I answered.  "We've got two more games to go to, so I'm sure he'd just get dirty again, and we're going to stop for lunch after we leave here, because the next game isn't until 2:00." 

"Andrew, do you mind going to the other games?" Sally asked her son in return. 

"Nah, it'll be fun.  I can sit with Ethan and the other boys and watch the game with them," he replied. 

"Then I guess you've just acquired another house guest for the night," she told me with a grin.  "Can I give you some money for his food?" 

"No, I've got it covered," I assured her.  "We'll stop at Subway for lunch and then we'll probably end up at the diner after the last game." 

"Then I'll make sure we're ready for you," Ann chimed in, as she smiled too.  "It will be nice to see Andrew getting away from us women and spending time with a bunch of guys for a change." 

"And I hope he doesn't become a problem," Sally added.  "By the way, what would you like him to call you?"

"He'll hear all of the boys calling me Uncle Blake, even Justin and Dylan," I responded.  "In return, my boys call their parents Aunt Cherie and Uncle Don." 

"Then that will do just fine," Sally agreed.  "Andrew can call you Uncle Blake and your boys can call me Aunt Sally." 

"And me Auntie Ann," Ann chimed in.  "I like them to use that name instead, because it flows off the tongue much easier than Aunt Ann." 

"Kind of like Auntie Em from the Wizard of Oz," I teased, as Ann grinned and reached over to swat me playfully in return. 

Ethan and Andrew were smiling as well.  They had just acquired a new relative, in Ethan's case two, and they were both thrilled that they would be together for the rest of today and tonight.  The other boys seemed to like the idea too, since they had come down behind us once the game ended. 

"Andrew will also get a chance to see each of my boys in action tomorrow, when they bring their hampers down so I can do the laundry.  They will also be clearing off the table and rinsing their dishes after breakfast and lunch tomorrow too, before loading everything into the dishwasher," I informed Sally, since I knew she was interested in her son seeing that as well. 

"Good, then maybe Andrew will see that he needs to help his mother more," Ann added, before Sally could say anything. 

"Yes, I am sure it will be good for Andrew to see your boys helping you do things too," Sally agreed. 

"Then we'll follow you back to your place," I told Sally, before I turned toward Ann.  "And we'll see you later at the diner." 

"I can hardly wait," she replied.

Then we all said goodbye to Ann, with the boys yelling "bye Auntie Ann," as we headed to our cars.  It had already been an interesting day so far, but it wasn't even half over yet.

I followed Sally to her place and then she and Andrew ran inside quickly.  When they came back out, Andrew was carrying a small duffle with the things he would need in it.  He then ran over and hopped in the back with Ethan and I could see he was absolutely glowing. 

"I'll bring Andrew home sometime tomorrow afternoon," I stated, once Andrew was seated with the others.  "Do you have any particular time you'd like me to have him home by?"

"Just as long as he's here by dinnertime," Sally answered.  "We eat around 6:30." 

I assured her I'd do that and then I got in the wagon and started the engine.  Sally waved and smiled as we pulled away. 

I drove directly from there to Subway, so I could feed the hungry mob.  After I got each of the boys what they wanted, we carried everything back to a booth and sat down.  I let the boys sit on either side of the booth, while I pulled up a chair from one of the tables and sat at the end, between Andrew and Ethan.  That way I'd be able to help them too. 

As soon as we finished, I hustled the boys out to the Outback again, so I could drive them over to Marcus and Justin's game.  It started at 2:00, but at a different field than where Ethan and Andrew had played, so I wanted to leave enough time to get there, in case we ran into traffic along the way.  We arrived at the field well ahead of schedule, so Justin and Marcus ran over to join their coach and the other players that were already there, while the other boys and I found a place to sit in the bleachers. 

"So have you been to many other baseball games before?" I asked Andrew, as he and Ethan sat beside me. 

"No!  We never went to anything like this," he answered. 

"I usually point out things to the boys during the game so they can learn from it and get better too," I informed him and got a smile in return. 

"Neat!" he responded, simply.  "I want to get better too."

"So have you ever stayed over with another friend or anyone else before?" I decided to ask next, since we still had a little time to kill. 

"Just with Auntie Ann," he responded.  "I've never stayed at a friend's house before.  I'm really excited." 

"I'm glad and I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself tonight," I added, as I ruffled his hair. 

About that time, Don and Cherie showed up and sat down with us in the bleachers.  I chatted with them for a while, until Justin and Marcus' team took the field to warm up.  Then, we merely watched what they were doing. 

"We can't believe Marcus and Justin aren't starting," Tyler told me, with Dylan nodding his head in agreement. 

"There are quite a few older boys on the team, so I suspect the coach probably decided to go with their experience to start," I responded.  "Things might change as the season progresses, so please don't make a big deal out of this with your brothers.  They both seem to be handling the matter just fine." 

Once the two older boys agreed not to mention this further, especially with their brothers, we went back to watching the game.  Marcus and Justin came in as substitutes in the third inning, which meant they would end up playing four of the six innings if the game went the distance.  That's when I pointed out to the older boys that playing more than half of the game might be better than starting and they reluctantly agreed. 

Marcus had come in to play second base and Justin went out to left field.  I was impressed by that simple fact too, since I knew the weakest outfielder was generally placed in right field, with only a few exceptions.  Drawing the analogy further, it meant Justin probably wasn't considered the weakest player on the team. 

Both boys played well in the field and didn't make any errors, but they also did well when they were at bat.  They both hit the ball solidly and quite hard every time they were up, even if they made an out, which was much more than some of the other players did.  I was impressed by this fact too and I think their coach probably was as well. 

At the top of the sixth inning, Cherie offered to drive Dylan and Tyler over to their game, so they wouldn't be late.  It was already 3:20 and their game started at 4:00.  We all knew there was no guarantee about how long an inning might last when being played by kids this age, so this way we'd be sure the older boys wouldn't be late.

"Thanks, Cherie.  That would help out a lot and prevent any problems," I told her, as I walked to the Outback with the other two so they could get their baseball things to take with them.  "Don can ride with us to the game and we'll see you all there in a little while." 

"Um, you can just leave Don here if you want," Cherie teased, as I locked up the wagon again.  "He's been kind of grumpy and a pain in the butt today."

"Oh, I know you don't mean that, so we'll see you later," I replied as I shook my head.  I then went back to watch the rest of Marcus and Justin's game. 

In the end, Justin and Marcus' team won and both boys played the final four innings.  The coach called the team together before he dismissed them and then the boys came running over to us. 

"Great game!" Ethan told them, just as soon as they joined us.  "You both looked super." 

"Yeah, you guys were better than most of the other guys on your team," Andrew continued when Ethan stopped talking. 

"You both played very well," Don added in a slightly aloof manner.  I merely looked at him, since he wasn't showing very much excitement and hadn't even made the slightest amount of physical contact with his son. 

"You should have started," Ethan added, while looking at his brother.  I guess maybe I should have warned him too. 

"Me and Justin knew we wouldn't," Marcus replied.  "The coach told us at our last practice that the older boys would be starting today." 

"What's important is that you both played more than half of the game and you looked really good doing it," I added, in an effort to downplay the fact that they hadn't started.  I also gave each of them a quick hug and didn't worry about what Don might think about that. 

"Yeah, you really played good," Ethan confirmed in his own way. 

"I hope I can learn to play as good as you," Andrew added and this elicited a smile from both Marcus and Justin.  

"You already did," Justin countered.  "You played great in your game too."  Andrew grinned at the compliment, but he also blushed slightly at the same time.  It was cute to watch. 

Don and I then guided the boys over to the Outback so we could go to the next park.  Dylan and Tyler's team was already on the field when we pulled in, so I looked to see where they were playing.  I immediately spotted Tyler at shortstop and Dylan at second base, with one of the older boys pitching.  We quickly located Cherie as well and went over to sit with her. 

"They just started," she told us as we were getting comfortable.  The boys found another spot to sit in the bleachers, since there wasn't enough room for us to all sit together. 

"Just stay in a group," I told them, before they moved away.  "And Marcus and Justin, please keep an eye on the little ones for me." 

Marcus and Justin's chests seemed to puff out with pride when I gave them this responsibility, so I knew they'd happily do as I asked.  I just wasn't sure if I'd hear complaints from Ethan and Andrew later that the older pair was being bossy. 

The other team was quite good and it was obvious this was going to be a tough game.  The pitcher for Tyler's team was doing fairly well, although they were down a run.  He got into even more trouble in the fourth inning, after he'd allowed runners on first and second.  It could have been worse though, but Zach was doing fairly well behind the plate and had kept the runners from advancing on some poorly thrown pitches. 

At this point, however, Coach Washington had seen enough and decided to make a change.  To my surprise, he called Tyler in to take over.  I wasn't expecting this, since I felt the coach would likely have another older pitcher he could use instead.  When Tyler took the mound, the coach moved Dylan over to shortstop and sent the pitcher out to left field.  He then had the left fielder come in and take over at second base. 

Dylan and Tyler's team was still down a run when they came to the bottom of the last inning, since Tyler had worked out of the first jam and then kept the other team scoreless the rest of the way.  Unfortunately, his teammates hadn't been able to score either, but suddenly they started showing a spark of life.  They managed to get two men on base in the bottom of the seventh, so there were runners on first and second when Curtis stepped to the plate with one out.  Curtis had struck out his previous time at bat, when the opposing pitcher fooled him with an off-speed pitch.  This time, however, Curtis was expecting him to try it again. 

When the pitcher attempted to sneak another off-speed pitch by him on the third pitch, Curtis was ready for it.  He hit the ball solidly and it sailed out to left-center field, splitting the two outfielders.  It looked as if it would be an easy double and the runner on second scored easily to tie the game.  The runner on first also hustled the entire way and ran through his coach's stop sign at third, as the throw was coming in to the cutoff man.  The shortstop then wheeled around and made the relay throw to the catcher, but it was slightly offline, so the runner was able to slide across the plate ahead of the tag to win the game. 

Tyler, Dylan and their teammates were ecstatic, but I knew what Dylan and Tyler were going to say even before they joined us a few minutes later. 

"I guess Curtis meant it when he said he wasn't going to screw up this time," Tyler stated, as we celebrated their victory with them. 

"Can you believe it?" Dylan added.  "I don't think I've ever seen Curtis hit the ball that hard before." 

"Yes, I think he's proved his point and I'm glad you boys gave him a chance to redeem himself," I concurred.  "I think it made you all winners and I don't just mean for today either." 

We chatted for a little while longer, before I told Don and Cherie I thought I'd better get going before the hungry horde turned on me.  Cherie laughed and told Justin and Dylan to follow them to their car so they could get their bags with the other things they'd need.  Both boys agreed to do that and I told them to just meet us at the Outback once they had everything, as I took the rest of the boys with me.  As soon as we were all together again, we loaded into the wagon and I took off for our next destination. 



            The Guardian

by Erastes
Copyright 2015 by Erastes
Chapter 36 - Celebrations. 

The boys were all in a great mood, since each of their team's had won their first game.  Ethan was also thrilled that Sally had agreed to let Andrew stay over with us and Andrew was excited about spending his first night away at a friend's house.  I was praying they'd remain on their best behavior though, as we pulled into the diner's parking lot a few minutes later.  I herded them all inside and Ann greeted us as soon as we walked through the door. 

"Hi, Auntie Ann," the boys all chirped when they saw her.  She smiled broadly at their greeting. 

"I've kept a spot open for you," she announced, as she led us back to a booth with a 'reserved' sign on it. 

I told the boys to sit on either side, the same as they'd done at Subway, and I grabbed an unused chair from one of the tables so I could sit at the end.  Once again, I was situated between Ethan and Andrew so I could help them.  As soon as we were all settled in, Ann handed us all a menu and soon returned with our water. 

"Have you had fun so far?" she asked Andrew, while the boys decided what they wanted. 

"Yeah, it's been really fun," he answered, while flashing her a grin that nearly split his face in two.  "I got to watch the other boys play in their games and Uncle Blake's been teaching me more so I'll get better."

"I knew you would enjoy yourself and I'm glad your Uncle Blake is helping you to get better too," she replied, while smiling at me.  "They are really great guys, so you be a good boy and do what you're told." 

"I will, Auntie Ann," he assured her.  "This is so much fun and I really like Ethan."

"That's great and I know you'll have a good time!" Ann replied.  "Well I was there when Andrew and Ethan's team won, but how did the rest of y'all do in your games?" 

"We won too!" they pretty much all chimed back.  Ann merely smiled and congratulated them. 

After we'd ordered, the boys started to discuss the various games and commented on how well each of the others had played.  They only stopped when the food arrived; because they were so busy stuffing it into their mouths that they didn't have time to say anything.  When they finished, Ann came back to the table to take away the dirty dishes. 

"Well that certainly didn't take long," she said with a grin.  "I hope y'all enjoyed it." 

"We did!" they assured her.

"Ok, so what topping would you like on your sundaes?" she wanted to know.  "And that includes you too," she added, while staring down at me and poking me in the shoulder.  When I looked at her funny, she explained. 

"They're only the small sundaes, but this is my treat," she announced.  "We have hot fudge, butterscotch, chocolate, strawberry, cherry and pineapple.  It's to celebrate your victories today and to show my appreciation for what you're doing for my nephew.  He needs a strong male in his life and I think it's great that you're doing this for him." 

Reluctantly, I had the boys give her their orders, since I could tell she wasn't about to change her mind.  Then, we all enjoyed this little treat when it arrived.  When Ann returned with the check later, she announced the next surprise. 

"The manager said you stopped in here last night too and after I told him what you were doing for my nephew, he told me to give you my employee discount," she stated.  "It's not that much, but every little bit helps."

When I looked at the check, she had taken 20% off, which was a decent amount.  Since I knew I wouldn't be able to convince her or her manager that they didn't need to do this, I left her a huge tip when I paid the bill.  Ann and her boss had done much more than I could ever have ever hoped for, so I thanked her and told her to pass my thanks on to her manager too.  She said he had to leave for a little while and took off shortly before we finished our meals, but she'd tell him when he returned. 

By the time we reached the house, it was starting to get late and the boys were all dirty from their games.  I quickly pulled Ethan and Andrew aside, away from the others, so I could discuss how they wanted to do this. 

"Andrew, do you usually take a bath or shower?" I began and he immediately replied 'bath'.  "Do you take your bath by yourself or does someone wash you?" 

"My mommy gives me my bath," he answered while looking at me sweetly. 

"Do you want to take a bath with me?" Ethan quickly followed, before I could continue. 

"I have never taken a bath with another boy before, but yeah," he agreed.  "I think that will be fun."

"Yeah, it will," Ethan assured him, since he was happy this was going to occur. 

"And do you have a problem with me washing you?" I followed, just to be sure. 

"Nah.  Why would I?" Andrew replied, as he looked up at me, slightly confused. 

"Well you'll be naked, so I just wanted to be sure you were ok with that," I pointed out. 

"Yeah, I don't take a bath with my clothes on," he stated, as he looked at me strangely.   

"Ok then, let's go," I urged, as I led both boys upstairs.  "You can get undressed in Ethan's room with him, while I fill the tub and get ready for you." 

The tub was only partially full when I realized I had two naked boys standing behind me.  They were having fun reaching over and touching each other's genitals, which made me wonder if Andrew had ever done anything like this before either. 

"Have you ever been naked with another boy before?" I asked directly, to avoid any confusion. 

"No and this is fun," he squealed back, as he touched Ethan's penis again.  "Ethan's wiener is just like mine." 

"Yes, it is and I know boys enjoy checking each other out, like you are doing now," I responded.  "However, I don't think you should tell your mother about doing this.  She was never a little boy, so she might not understand why you like to touch each other there.  She might even stop letting you come over here again." 

"I won't say nutin about this then," Andrew assured me.  "I want to come back again, so me and Ethan can have more fun doing this." 

I then helped both boys get into the tub and sit down.  I had Ethan seated closest to me, so I could wash him first.  I wanted Andrew to see exactly what I did with Ethan, before it was his turn to be washed.  He didn't seem to have a problem with anything he saw me do, so after I finished bathing Ethan I had them change places and I washed Andrew next.  These two were just so cute together and Andrew was totally innocent, but I knew that wasn't going to last much longer though, at least not after he started hanging out with this group. 

Before I finished bathing them, Marcus and Justin entered the bathroom too.  I didn't notice them at first, until Andrew made a comment. 

"Hey, they don't got no clothes on and I can see their wieners too," he pointed out.  I quickly turned my head to confirm his observation. 

"Yes, since there are only boys here in the house, they often walk around upstairs with nothing on," I confirmed.  "There isn't anything wrong with it, but I don't think you should tell your mother about this either." 

"Ok," Andrew stated, simply.  "This is fun and I like seeing their wieners, but I won't tell mommy about it."  I could only chuckle at his observation. 

"I take it you boys want me to wash you next?" I asked, although I was pretty sure I already knew the answer to my question. 

"Yeah, Justin and me agreed to take a bath tonight," Marcus answered. 

"Ok, that's fine and I'll be ready for you in a couple of minutes," I told them, although I didn't think they were in any particular hurry to do this.  I think they had merely decided to give Andrew a chance to check them out, while they did the same with him.

Just as I was getting Ethan and Andrew out of the tub to dry them off, Dylan and Tyler showed up and they were also naked. 

"Hey, they've got big wieners!" Andrew exclaimed, as he pointed at the older pair.  "They got hair on them too." 

"Yes, it is something that will happen to you boys too, when you are as old as they are," I confirmed.  "Once again, you probably shouldn't tell your mother about this either." 

"I won't say nutin about the other boys' wieners," he agreed, one more time. 

"Uncle Blake, can we use the shower in your bathroom?" Tyler finally asked, once the commotion had died down. 

"Yes, I don't have a problem with you doing that and you should be aware of that by now," I replied, mildly confused.  I wasn't sure if they really felt they needed to ask this or if they had just come in to give Andrew a thrill. 

"Yeah, but we just wanted to make sure," Tyler stated, before he and Dylan left and walked to the other end of the hallway. 

Once I got Andrew and Ethan dried off, I took them both to Ethan's room and made sure they put on their pajamas.  I told them they didn't have to go to bed yet, but I wanted them ready, in case they got tired and fell asleep.  I then went back to the bathroom to wash the next pair. 

Marcus had already emptied the tub, rinsed it and filled it again before I got back, so I merely asked which one wanted me to wash him first.  Justin said he did, so they got into the tub accordingly.  As I was washing him, Ethan and Andrew entered the bathroom again. 

"Do you need something?" I asked, since I was surprised to see them. 

"Nah, I just wanted to see their wieners again," Andrew answered honestly.  "Is that ok?" 

Justin and Marcus quickly assured him they didn't mind, so I concluded Andrew was trying to make up for lost time, since he'd never seen another naked boy before.  The other boys weren't bashful and they had got to look at Andrew when he was naked too, but I also realized there would probably be more experimentation going on during future visits. 

As I was washing Justin and Marcus, they both got erections.  This did not go unnoticed by Andrew. 

"Why did their wieners do that?" he wanted to know. 

"It's something else that will happen to you as you get older," I explained simply.  "I was rubbing the area as I washed it and it's just the way their bodies reacted." 

"Oh, ok," Andrew replied, seemingly satisfied. 

Once all four boys were in their pajamas, I decided it was time for them to go to sleep.  They'd all had a long and exciting day, but they would be having another one tomorrow, since we would be having Marcus' birthday party.  I tucked Andrew and Ethan into Ethan's bed first, wished them both sweet dreams and gave them each a kiss on the forehead. 

"Thank you for letting me come here with Ethan, Uncle Blake," Andrew told me before I left the room.  "I had a lot of fun, 'specially seeing all the wieners." 

"I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, but now it's time to get some sleep," I told him as I turned off the light and headed next door. 

I then repeated the process with Marcus and Justin.  Now I just hoped they would fall asleep quickly and not stay up fooling around.  I also prayed that Andrew wouldn't slip and tell his mother about some of the things that had happened here tonight or she might not be as willing to let him come back again. 

When I went over to my room, Dylan and Tyler were still there, sitting on my bed.  They didn't appear to have wet hair, so I doubted they had taken their shower already, since they were obviously waiting for me.  I could tell something was on their minds, just from the expressions on their faces. 

"I know what you're thinking," Tyler began when he noted my reaction to seeing them.  "We haven't showered yet, because we were hoping we could all do it together.  We want you to wash us too, like you just did with the other boys."  My immediate reaction was that Dylan had set him up to do this. 

"So that's what you're hoping for, huh?" I quipped back, eyeing them suspiciously. 

"Yeah, I know you haven't showered yet, since Ethan and Marcus took baths tonight.  After I mentioned it to Dylan, we thought you could shower with us instead," Tyler added, while giving me his special, sad and pleading look. 

"Yeah, Uncle Blake, we'd really like to do that with you.  Please," Dylan whined, while making a very similar face. 

"Is this just so you can see me naked too?" was my retort, just to see how he would respond. 

"Maybe a little, but you've washed everyone else and we just want you to do it to us too!" Dylan stated, while looking at me hopefully. 

"I did wash the others, but they're all younger," I pointed out, even though I figured it wasn't going to do much good.  "Aren't you boys too old for this?"

"Maybe, but my dad would never do nothin' like that for me when I was their age, so I was hoping you would do it for me now?" Dylan pressed, while looking even more pathetic than before. 

"Ok, I suppose I can do that for you, as long as you behave," I agreed, going against my better judgment.  I'd decided to give in because I could understand how he felt and why this seemed to be so important to him.  I reasoned that maybe I could help him reconcile with his past emotional traumas, so he wouldn't be scarred for life. 

As soon as he heard my answer, Dylan leaped into the air first and pumped his fist, before bolting toward me.  I wasn't sure what he was going to do, but he merely wrapped his arms around me and gave me a hug, before lifting his head and giving me a quick peck on the lips. 

"Thank you!  Thank you!" he gushed, while bouncing up and down with joy.  His penis was basically flopping around like the tassels on a stripper's pasties. 

Since they were both naked already, I told Tyler to go warm up the water in the shower while I got undressed.  I said I'd join them shortly, so they both raced into the master bath.  I started taking off my clothes, while at the same time hoping I wasn't making a huge mistake by doing this. 

When I walked in to join them, Dylan's eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets.  "Damn, he is hung better than Jacob," he gasped to Tyler.  I also noticed his penis immediately begin to rise. 

After he calmed down a bit, Dylan asked me to wash him first, which I agreed to do.  He was eager to give me access to all areas of his body while I was doing this and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying it.  I even washed his butt and allowed my fingers slide up and down his crack in the process, but then I intentionally skipped over his genitals. 

"Hey, you forgot something," he announced, as he thrust his hips at me. 

"You're already aroused and that thing will probably go off if I touch it," I offered in reply, which caused him to giggle. 

"I don't mind if that happens," he quipped, as he studied my face.  "Come on!  At least wash that part of me too.  I wouldn't mind if you helped me with the other thing while you're at it though."  I just stared at him without responding. 

"Go ahead, Uncle Blake," Tyler urged.  "You know Dylan has wanted you to do this for him, so just go ahead and quit worrying about it." 

I quickly turned my head and glared at Tyler.  I was surprised by his comment, since I'd discussed this with him before and he knew how I felt.  Now, they seemed to be ganging up on me about doing it and I didn't know how I was going to respond. 

"Please, Uncle Blake," Dylan pleaded.  "You've touched me there before, so just do this for me." 

"Yes, I've touched you there before, but not in a sexual way," I reasoned, although I could tell he didn't see a difference. 

"It's pretty much the same thing, isn't it?  So please do it for me," he whined. 

I looked Dylan in the eye and could see how much this meant to him.  Then, I glanced over at Tyler and he was nodding his head slightly, to let me know he thought I should do this too.  They basically just wore me down, so I finally gave in. 

"Ok, I'll do it for you, but don't think this means I'll do it again," I told him.  "This is a one time deal, so I hope you enjoy it." 

I quickly washed that area for him and his penis was like a piece of granite.  Since I felt Dylan might hyperventilate or get weak in the knees while I was masturbating him, I stood behind him, wrapped my left arm around his waist to support him and then reached my other arm around and grasped his penis.  I heard him sigh in contentment as soon as I touched him that way.

When I began to masturbate his blood engorged organ, I could hear Dylan panting and he was panting pretty hard.  This gave me the feeling that this wasn't going to take long.  Unexpectedly, he turned his head and tried to kiss me, but I didn't let it happen.  I merely continued to stroke him until his body stiffened and ropes of semen erupted from his dick.   I was glad I had a good grip on his waist though or else he might have fallen over when he ejaculated.  I continued to hold him afterward, at least until he had a chance to recover.  Just as soon as that happened, he whirled around in my arms, his face glowing. 

"Thank you, Uncle Blake!  That was great and I really enjoyed it," Dylan gushed, as he hugged me and gave me another peck on the lips.  I had a feeling he hoped to do more, but I pulled back at that point, before anything more could happen. 

"I hope you enjoyed it, because it will probably never happen again," I replied, although my statement didn't seem to dampen his mood. 

"My turn," Tyler announced, as he quickly moved toward me. 

"Ok, I'll wash you too," I agreed, as I began to lather him up. 

As soon as I finished washing his entire body, including all of the vital spots, he gave me a sad look. 

"You've got to take care of that for me now too," he said, as he glanced down at his penis. 

"I suppose, since I already did it for Dylan," I agreed.  "I guess I can't do it for one and not the other."

Tyler was smiling broadly as I moved behind him and repeated the exact same process I had used on Dylan.  I also held him around the waist with one arm and used the other to masturbate him, until he had released his load as well.  Now that they had both gotten the relief they desired I thought we'd be done, but they weren't ready to quit yet. 

"Now we'll wash you," the boys stated, almost in unison. 

"Just wash," I agreed.  "Nothing more." 

"Ah, come on," Dylan whined, but I wasn't about to give in this time. 

"It's that or nothing. I was willing to help you both out, but I'm not ready to have you do it to me," I offered, so they hesitantly gave in.

With disappointment etched on their faces, they reluctantly agreed with my demand.  After they finished washing me, I had them make sure all their semen had been rinsed from the walls and floor of the shower stall.  I certainly didn't want it to dry and harden and then have the younger boys notice it.  I didn't want to have to explain to them why it was there or, even worse, have them figure out what we'd done.  I guess I could have found an alternate explanation for it, but I'd rather not take the chance. 

Dylan and Tyler then asked to sleep with me again.  Since I felt they should both be sated, I relented, as long as they promised no monkey business.  They agreed, because they were thrilled I was letting them do this.  We also slept really well until the following morning. 

When I woke up on Sunday, I knew I had a lot to do before the boys got up too.  I hurriedly prepared everything so I could make pancakes for them when they came downstairs.  I knew five of the boys liked pancakes, and since most kids do too, I hoped Andrew would like them as well.  It was only about twenty minutes after I'd finished getting it all together before the first of the boys came downstairs.  It was Marcus and Justin. 

"Why don't you two go sit down at the table while I make your breakfast.  I've fixed pancakes this morning," I stated, since I'd already set the table too. 

"Ok, that sounds good," they both agreed, before going into the dining room and taking their place at the table. 

A couple of minutes later, I delivered a plate with a rather large pancake on it to each of them, just before Ethan and Andrew came wandering down the stairs too.

"Good morning.  Do you like pancakes, Andrew?" I asked and he eagerly nodded in reply.  "Then go sit down at the table with the others and I'll bring you each one to get started." 

When I had made two more pancakes, I carried them into the dining room and helped both boys butter and add some maple syrup to them.  Then, they began tearing into their breakfast.  I asked Justin and Marcus if they wanted another, which they did, so I went out to make two more.  When I brought those in to them, Ethan and Andrew said they couldn't eat another whole one, but they would like a little more too.  I told them I'd make another pancake and then split it between them, which they seemed to think was pretty special.  They liked the idea of sharing a pancake with each other. 

When Dylan and Tyler came down to join us, I made them two pancakes each, before I even took them in to the pair.  After they'd downed those, I made them one more before I sat down to eat as well. 

After the boys finished their breakfast, they carried their dishes into the kitchen, rinsed them off and then placed them in the dishwasher.  When Andrew saw the other boys doing this, he followed suit, with Ethan telling him exactly what to do.  When they finished, I yelled out some additional instructions. 

"Ethan, Marcus and Tyler, I need you to bring down your laundry hampers after you get dressed.  Today's going to be very busy, since we'll be having Marcus' birthday party later this afternoon.  Andrew seemed mildly surprised by this announcement, so Ethan explained it to him as they went upstairs to get dressed and retrieve his hamper.  A short time later, I heard it sliding down the stairs. 

"Do you work like this all the time?" I heard Andrew ask Ethan, as he helped him carry the hamper to the laundry room. 

"Yep, we clean our dishes off every time we eat and we bring these down every weekend," he confirmed.  "Sometimes we run the vacuum cleaner and dust too, to help Uncle Blake.  That way he has more time to do fun stuff with us." 

Andrew seemed to be absorbing this information, although he didn't immediately comment.  I guess this was new to him, so he was taking time to process everything. 

I wanted to finish a couple of loads of laundry before lunch and asked Tyler to help with that.  Andrew noticed this too and I heard him ask Ethan about this as well. 

"Only Tyler does that, because he's older," Ethan explained.  "He can reach the dials, but I'm too little yet.  We all take our clothes upstairs and put them away when they're clean though."  Slowly, Andrew was analyzing everything he'd been told. 

I also asked Tyler and Dylan to watch the boys for a little while, while I ran a couple of errands.  First, I drove over to pick up the passenger van I had reserved for today, but I also stopped at the grocery store.  Once there, I picked up the cake I'd ordered for today, as well as selecting several containers of ice cream and a couple of other items.  I then drove back to the house, took everything inside and put it away. 

While I was gone, Ethan had taken Andrew out to the back yard to hit the Wiffle ball off the batting tee.  When I looked out the window to see how they were doing, they seemed to be having a good time with each other.  A couple of minutes later, I noticed Justin and Marcus going outside to join them.  I'd never seen either of these boys do this before, so I felt they must just be trying to get to know Andrew a little better this way. 

While Tyler was taking care of the laundry for me, I hurriedly put a baked ziti together and placed it in the oven.  I also prepared several bowls of salad and hoped Andrew liked salad too.  I then sliced up the two loaves of Italian bread I had picked up at the grocery store earlier, so each boy could have some of that as well. 

When I called the boys inside for lunch later, they all seemed pleased with what I'd made and Andrew confirmed that he liked salad too.  He said his mother made him eat it a lot at home, but he liked Thousand Island dressing, while the rest of the boys all used ranch dressing. 

After they finished eating, everyone immediately started to clear the table, while Dylan and Tyler helped me put away the leftovers.  Andrew didn't hesitate or complain as he chipped in and did what the others were doing.  I was just wondering if there would be any carryover when he got home, but I hoped there would be. 



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I wish to extend my thanks to Donny for editing these chapters for me and offering his suggestions. 


E-mail responses to the stories, story suggestions, or other 'constructive' comments or advice may be sent to:  ErastesTouch@aol.com  - but please put the story title in the subject line, so it doesn't get deleted as junk mail. 


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Although the boys in these stories sometimes have unprotected sex, I strongly urge all of you out there to be smart and protect yourselves from various sexually transmitted diseases by using taking appropriate precautions before engaging in sex.