Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction and any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental. The story contains graphic descriptions of sex between men. Anyone who is forbidden by law to read such material must stop now. This story is being posted to the Nifty Archive solely for the enjoyment of its readers.
Jeff's Note: I want to thank all of you who've E-mailed to express your enjoyment of David's story. That kind of feedback means so much to me that it's difficult to adequately express my appreciation. Some have asked how much longer this story will continue. In all honesty I have to say that I don't know. David, Tony, and their friends continue getting themselves into situations that challenge me to get them out of. The characters are now writing this story and I'm as curious to find out how they do as the rest of you.
Thanks again for writing,
You're welcome to E-mail your comments firstname.lastname@example.org
David's Initiation: The Partnership 10
Friday, January 2nd, the Philos Foundation quietly and without fanfare opened its doors on a new venture to provide aid and comfort to abandoned and abused children. After much discussion the Board of Directors decided not to name the activity initially but to wait and see if an appropriate title would develop naturally over time.
Tony took a lunch break from the realty office and joined Dave, Dan, Mike and Todd at Philos to check on how the new operation was going. The men were well recognized as longtime friends, volunteers, and supporters of the Foundation and Judy Lindsay, the Director of the new activity whom Dave had hired from the AANCF in Dallas, gave the Platoon members a detailed briefing of each child's case.
Three children were accepted on that first day. The first two were twin black girls, age 5, whose parents had a history of domestic violence. Their parents were still living together and through their church pastor agreed to place the girls in a safe environment until the adults could get counseling at Philos. The objective was to ultimately restore the family unit.
The third child was a Hispanic boy, 7 years old, found living in a cardboard box under an overpass. Through an interpreter he said his family had dropped him off on the street a week ago saying they'd be back to get him in about an hour. They never returned. The objective in this case was to first find the boy's family and then decide where to go from there.
The young men's hearts ached for the kids but they were pleased that the youths were now in an environment that would provide the kind of security and assistance that was needed. Mike was particularly drawn to the Hispanic boy and wanted to take him home but that wasn't possible. It only made him even more determined to become certified as a foster parent. He and Todd had discussed the possibility and agreed that they liked the idea but had no clue how to begin or whether there was any hope of success.
Judy also reported that the State Department of Children's Services was being more cooperative than originally expected. Dave's personal connections with the Governor and Mayor may have had something to do with that but Tony was the only one who knew about it.
Monday, January 5th, Sean and Shannon picked up Dave and Tony and they all drove to the airport. They were checking their luggage at the ticket counter when John and the boys arrived. Sean knew that Shannon had spent time with John's boys at Dave's house but he was still a little surprise at how they immediately struck up a lively conversation; he hadn't realized just what good friends the boys were.
Sean worked with the ticket agent and arranged for the entire party to sit together. The boys were seated in row 2, A through D, and the men were seated directly behind them in row 3. The boys, having flown many times, were pictures of sophistication. Heads topped with baseball caps, they carried their backpacks with them so that they would have quick access to the heavy coats they'd need when they arrived in Denver. Each of the adults had carry-on luggage that contained a heavy jacket plus essentials they might need if their luggage didn't happen to arrive at the same time they did.
The baseball caps were an item of interest. Shannon was wearing his turned around with the bill in back when Mark, Matt and JD arrived. Without anyone noticing, the three forward facing caps mysteriously got turned around like the fourth one. The boys had to look the same.
They had arrived in plenty of time for their flight so Dave took everyone to the Cirrus Executive Lounge. Spying the buffet table, the boys dumped their backpacks in one sitting area and rushed to fill plates with stuff to eat.
The men weren't quite so obvious. They dropped their bags in the cloakroom and sat down in a conversation area adjacent to the one the boys had claimed and waited patiently for the boys to finish raiding the buffet table. Only after the boys were seated and eating and talking non-stop did the men get up and, like the gentlemen they were, made their way to the buffet.
The two groups sat talking and eating in a very casual way. The boys were being boys, only aware of their own little circle. The men sat talking and observing the boys without thinking about the one thing they all had in common - they were all risk takers.
Sean was perhaps the greatest risk taker of the bunch; one doesn't aspire to be a fighter pilot if he isn't prepared to take enormous risks. But those days were past. Sean now had the responsibilities of a family and his days of risking his life were over. John, too, had been a risk taker in his football days. He had even paid the physical price of those risks and his life had changed considerably. He was now focused on providing for and protecting his family and raising his children. Dave and Tony were risk takers in their own right. Each had been willing to give up the safety and security of their homes and families and seek the unknown by enlisting in the Army and Marines. Now they were settled comfortably together and risk-taking, to a lesser degree, was still a part of their immediate future.
Would the boys turn out like their fathers? Maybe some signs already existed. Mark and Shannon seemed to have developed a solid friendship in the short time they'd known each other. Perhaps it was because they were so much alike. Both boys seemed to possess a spirit of adventure and were known to push the boundaries from time to time, like natural leaders. They seemed to feed off each other and they needed watching. And their fathers were watching.
Soon the group picked up their belongings and began walking to the gate. Although seats were assigned, it didn't matter who sat where. Mark and Shannon decided to sit together in seats 'A' and 'B'. That put Matt and JD on the other side of the aisle in 'C' and 'D.'
Tony had earlier mentioned to Dave that he'd like to sit with John so that they could get better acquainted and Dave welcomed the chance to talk to Sean. Although all the men saw each other frequently, it was always in a family setting and there never seemed to be an opportunity to have a really good man-type conversation.
When Sean accepted Dave and Tony's invitation for some fun in Vail, he had insisted on renting the transportation they'd need at Denver. Sean rented a Suburban just like his and it easily held the gang and their luggage.
"Okay, Dave, where is this condo?" Sean asked when the doors to the SUV were closed.
"Ha!" Dave laughed. "I've never been there."
"Surely you have an address," Sean asked. Dave searched his palmtop, found the address and read it to Sean who entered it into the GPS navigation system installed in the vehicle.
"You sure you know how to operate that thing?" Dave chuckled.
"Navigation is my specialty," Sean stated quite confidently. "Hold on to your seats, gang, here we go," he announced as they pulled out of the rental car lot.
The roads were clear of snow and the trip was pleasant. The closer they got to Vale, the more excited the boys got. When John pulled into the parking lot of the condo, the boys were about ready to explode. They piled out of the SUV, rushed to the closest mound of snow and began throwing snowballs at each other. John and Sean quickly established order and put the young men to work carrying their things into the building. There'd be plenty of time for snowball fights later.
The building was definitely upscale. Each condo had its own balcony and the balconies at either end of the building were set back from the one below, giving the ends of the building a slanted look. Dave's condo occupied the entire West end of second floor. The great room had a very comfortable look to it and the kitchen and dining areas were also roomy. Sliding glass doors in the great room opened onto a balcony that stretched the full length of the end of the building. A hot tub large enough for four adults was to the left. Another set of sliding glass door connected the master bedroom to the balcony. All three bedrooms were about the same size but were furnished differently. The master had a queen sized bed. The other two bedrooms had two sets of bunk beds. The Property Management Company had arranged everything on Dave's instructions. Each bedroom had it's own shower and the master bedroom also had a Jacuzzi tub.
Everyone took a few minutes to walk around and familiarize themselves with the layout. The boys quickly found the bunk beds and staked their claims.
"Hey Sean," John called out as he stood in the door of the master bedroom.
"Yeah?" Sean replied.
"I think I found our bedroom, which side of the bed you want?"
Sean peered through the doorway and saw the queen sized bed. "I need to have the right side. That okay with you?" Both man were trying hard to keep a straight face.
"Yeah, that's fine with me, I always have the left side a home."
"Okay you two," Dave spoke up. "You're in there," and he pointed to the other bedroom with the two bunk beds.
"Awe shucks!" Sean exclaimed trying to sound highly disappointed. "John and I were lookin' forward to sharin'."
"Yeah, right!" Tony exclaimed and the four men burst out laughing. Dave explained that the four of them would be in the second bedroom with bunk beds, that their only choice was who got the bottom bunks.
"Now look, Dave," John began. "You and Tony ought to be together. I know you're concerned about the boys but get real. They often sleep together and won't think anything about you two sleeping together."
"I agree," Sean interjected. "Now get your asses in that other bedroom. At least that way John and I won't have to fight over who has to climb to the top bunk."
They all had a good chuckle and Dave and Tony picked up their things and carried them to the master bedroom. Now that the sleeping arrangements were clear everyone began to unpack and settle in; their four-day excursion was beginning on a good note.
By now darkness had set in and the boys were starting to complain about being hungry. Rather than try to cook something on such short notice, and considering the time change, the troop decided to take a stroll down town, find a restaurant, and enjoy the local color.
After returning to the condo, the boys turned on the TV and began surfing for something to watch. John and Sean knew from experience that certain things needed to be done before the boys settled in to watch TV. They sent the boys to their room to get ready for bed, brush their teeth and go the bathroom. The boys returned dressed in T-shirts and briefs; Mark was dragging a blanket behind him. The boys settled down on the sofa, snuggled warmly under the blanket
The men gathered around the kitchen table with a can of Coors Lite each to discuss how they would spend the next four days.
"How many here have never been skiing before?" Dave asked as he held his hand into the air. A quick look around made it clear that he was the only one.
"I've skied most of my life and Shannon's been skiing since he was four," Sean volunteered for the groups edification.
"Kate and I took the boys to Reno-Tahoe a couple of times so they'll probably remember how to do it," John added.
"When I was in high school we went skiing in North Carolina a few times but that's been quite a few years ago." Tony had a sense that Dave might be feeling left out so he placed his left hand on top of Dave's right wrist and looked him in the eyes. "I know I need a refresher course so tomorrow morning how 'bout you and I start by finding an instructor and get both of us some lessons?"
"That's a great idea, Tony," John stated, more or less cutting Dave out of a reply. "Then you can join us. I'm going to restrict my boys to the beginner's slope until I'm comfortable that they're ready for the intermediate level."
"I like that idea, John," Sean jumped in. "If you keep your boys on the beginner's slope it'll make it easier for me to keep Shannon there too. With his experience I can promise you he's gonna want to start out as an intermediate."
"Sounds like I'm the only beginner in this group," Dave said sounding somewhat insecure.
"Look, Babe, our lessons probably won't take more than thirty minutes and then we'll be out there with the rest of the gang. You'll learn how to 'snow plow' and how to use the poles, and how to get on and off the lift, and some other things like how to fall. You're gonna get plenty of chances to laugh at me fallin' down."
The beginning of Tony's comment was kind of a milestone in their relationship. His calling Dave "Babe" while touching Dave's wrist so intimately was the first time either of them had allowed themselves any expression of public affection outside the Platoon. And he did it so naturally that John and Sean didn't even react. It was exactly what Dave needed.
"Okay, if I get to laugh at you, it won't be so bad when you laugh at me," Dave smiled. The other three men chuckled.
"Hey, look over there," John said as he nodded toward the sofa. Four young men were sound asleep - it had been a long day.
Each man picked up a sleeping boy and carried him to the bedroom. Without any arguments, all four youths were soon tucked in and fast asleep.
Back in the great room, Sean walked over to the window and looked out at the hot tub. "Does that thing work?" he asked.
"It should," Dave replied. "You're not thinkin' what I'm thinkin' you're thinkin', are you?" Dave asked incredulously.
"Let's find out." Sean slid the door open, stepped outside, closed the door and quickly lifted the cover on the hot tub. The steam that billowed from under the cover answered the earlier question but Sean stuck his hand in just to be sure. Then he removed the cover completely and rushed back inside.
"Well, who's comin' with me?"
"C'mon, Sean," John encouraged as he began removing his clothes and dropping them on a nearby chair. "It'll be fun!" this is a real guys' vacation."
"You can't be serious!" Dave exclaimed. "You know how cold it is out there?"
"C'mon, Dave, John's right, it'll be fun." Tony was in the process of stripping.
"Okay," Dave agreed in submission. "But I'd better turn of some of these lights first." He quickly doused all the lights except the one over the stove that would provide enough illumination for them to see when they came back inside. Then Dave began to strip.
Sean was the first to reach the hot tub. His dash from the door to the tub had been quick and he hadn't felt the cold temperature except on his feet. He settled feet first into the hot water, sank up to his neck and turned to watch John rapidly cross the deck from the door to the hot tub. Sean couldn't help but admire John's impressive physique; he'd managed to trim his 6-foot 4-inch frame down to 195 pounds and it looked great. Sean also couldn't help notice John's ample endowment before it disappeared below the water.
Sean looked up just in time to watch his brother-in-law make the dash to the hot tub. It was the first time he'd seen Tony naked and he didn't pass up the opportunity to check him out also. Tony quickly slid neck deep into the hot water and turned to look for his partner who was close behind.
Dave had turned out the lights in the great room to avoid being illuminated while they were in the hot tub. He slid the door open, stepped onto the balcony, turned and closed the door. The slight delay to close the door was just enough to allow him to begin feeling the cold air. Dave turned quickly, scurried across the balcony and hopped into the hot tub right between Tony and John.
All three men had watched Dave as he rushed to the hot tub and each experienced different reactions. Sean saw a beautifully proportioned 5-foot 10-inch male figure, a lean, tightly muscled runner's body rush toward them. He almost gasped when he saw the flaccid appendage swinging from Dave's bush. He judged Dave's equipment equal to or bigger than John's but it only seemed bigger on Dave's smaller body. Sean was embarrassed at his next thought, 'My god, does Tony take that up his ass?' He quickly pushed the thought from his mind.
John watched Dave rush to the hot tub and couldn't help smiling at his little brother. He loved Dave for the man he'd become and admired how he had taken care of himself. There wasn't anything sexual about John's thoughts.
When Tony watched Dave close the distance from the door to the hot tub he saw his partner, his lover. Dave was a hot commodity to look at and Tony always got turned on. He instantly sprang a boner but in the darkness, under the water, nobody could see it.
Dave couldn't get into the hot water fast enough. And when he did, his right hand grazed against his lover's hardness. Playfully, Dave's right hand returned to the stiffness he'd found and wrapped tightly around it. He and Tony looked at each other with knowing grins. Tony reached his left hand out and wrapped it around Dave's exited member and they chuckled like little boys who were getting away with something.
The four men sat quietly for a few minutes, adjusting to their environment. Fortunately the wind was calm, the sky was clear, and the moon shown brightly. They all looked up at the stars.
"Dave, this place is super," John began. "I cant believe this is the first time you've been here."
"Well, I guess I never had a reason until now." Dave replied.
"If I had a place like this I'd bring Kate here for a week at least once a year so we could unwind and renew our relationship."
"Why don't you, John, you're welcome to it."
John looked directly at Dave. "You're serious, aren't you."
"You know I am. I can't think of a better use for this place than to promote happiness. I'll bet I can get my partner here," Dave gave a tug on Tony's softening tool, "to help me take care of the boys for a week."
"Sure can, Babe." Tony tugged on Dave's semi-hard member. Their initial stiffness had subsided somewhat because they merely held each other without any further stimulation. Now however, with their attention refocused, they began to harden once more. John and Sean were oblivious to what was going on beneath the water.
"And Sean, the same invitation extends to you and Sophia. Y'all are part of my family and I'd like you to enjoy this place. Several members of my Texas family have been here and at all times of the year. I've been told that this is a great place to relax in the summer. There are walking trails everywhere and lots of wild flowers blooming."
"Dave, you sure know how to make an offer that's hard to refuse," John responded. "I'm gonna take you up on that. I don't know if I can afford a whole week but after school is out early next summer I'm sure I can talk Kate into coming out here."
Dave thought for a moment about the time when John was at his place recovering from his injury and he helped John get cleaned up. He thought better of suggesting that John and Kate be more careful next time if they didnt want any more kids.
"Well Dave," Sean began. "I really appreciate the offer. I'll check with Sophia and let you know."
Tony could have felt jealous that Dave was able to offer such a wonderful gift and he couldn't but he was over that. He was just happy that his partner and lover was the kind of man who was willing to share what he had with his friends and family.
They'd been in the hot tub about fifteen minutes when Sean began to wonder out loud. "How do you suppose we get back inside without the water freezing us into statues?" He chuckled and the others laughed at the possibility.
"I think someone needs to run over and open the door so the rest of us can get inside quickly," John suggested. It was clear from the way he said it that he wasn't going to be the one.
"I'll go," Tony volunteered. "But will my wet hand get stuck to the door handle? Remember that kid in the movie who got his tongue stuck to the flagpole? I don't want that to happen."
"I dont care about your hand," Dave chuckled. "Just don't get some other appendage frozen to the door handle." They all laughed.
"Here's a trick, Tony," John said. "Fill your hand with snow before you take hold of the door handle. It'll stick to your hand but will prevent your hand from sticking to the handle. Then once you're inside you can run water over your hand to remove the snow."
Like a flash, Tony vaulted himself from the hot tub. He bent over, scooped some snow into his right hand and yelling "O-o-o-o-o-o-oh" ran to the door, pulled it open and rushed into the great room. Dave, John, and Sean followed in rapid succession. Once inside the four men stood shivering, their teeth chattering.
"Who's bright idea was this anyway?" Sean asked. The other three stood in the middle of the room dripping wet and laughed at Sean.
"Some dumbass who didn't consider how we were gonna get back inside without freezing our balls off." Tony exclaimed. "I don't know about you guys but I'm headed for a hot shower."
"I'm with you, Hon," Dave added, his teeth still chattering and they moved rapidly toward their bedroom. After a quick shower, Tony hopped into bed and Dave went into the great room to make sure the doors were locked and the lights were off. Then Dave returned to the bedroom, slipped under the covers and snuggled against Tony. Both men were tired and still cold and by the time their bodies warmed up they were asleep.
Tuesday morning, Dave awakened before the sun came up, probably due to the time change. He was about to slide out of bed when Tony's arm encircled him and pulled him close.
"Wanna fool around?" Tony asked quietly.
"Thanks for the offer but I gotta pee. Then I think we need to get a move on and start fixin' breakfast for the troops." Dave leaned in and planted a tender kiss on Tony's lips. "Let's try to slip away this afternoon. Huh?"
"Gotcha! Now I gotta pee too." Tony followed Dave into the bathroom and together they emptied their bladders.
They brushed their teeth, threw on boxer briefs and T-shirts, combed their hair and proceeded into the kitchen. Dave suggested pancakes because he knew the boys would love that. If the other men wanted something else, Dave knew the fridge was already stocked with eggs and bacon if anyone wanted it. Actually, the fridge was pretty well stocked and Dave had already formed some ideas for some evening meals.
There was a rustle coming from the door leading from the bedrooms and Dave and Tony turned around to see four young men dressed in briefs and T-shirts wandering sleepily toward the kitchen.
"There's juice on the table, men, and your Uncle Dave's makin' pancakes." Tony was all smiles as he watched the four urchins come to life upon hearing there was something to eat in their future.
The boys quickly and noisily pulled the chairs away from the table and climbed into them ready to eat. No sooner had the juice disappeared than Dave was placing short stacks of pancakes in front of the boys who began eating silently. It seemed like the moment the first bites of pancakes hit the bottom of their empty stomachs their mouths began to chatter about the exciting things they were gonna do just as soon as they could. John and Sean appeared in the doorway about that time, Sean wearing boxers and a T-shirt and John in boxer briefs and a T-shirt. This was definitely going to be an informal 'guy' experience.
"Okay, who didn't read the memo dress code?" Dave asked with a smile as the three men in boxer briefs stared at the lone boxer clad adult in their midst.
Sean looked around and saw that was the only one in boxers. "I confess; I'll run right out and get the proper attire," he announced with a chuckle.
"The coffee's over here, guys," Tony explained. "And juice too. We'll have to do something about the odd-ball of the group." They all laughed. The men downed a sip of coffee first then polished off the juice before picking up their cups of coffee and joining their sons at the table.
"Sleep okay?" Dave asked.
"Yeah, I guess, Sean snores though."
"Do not!" Sean responded trying to sound indignant. "You snore."
"Okay, Boys, behave yourselves." Dave chuckled out loud. "We got pancakes or there's bacon and eggs if you want it."
"Gee, this is my kind of hotel," Sean exclaimed. "Haven't had pancakes for quite a while; bring 'em on!"
"Me too!" John chimed in.
"Ya may have to wait a few minutes, the young men at the table have already consumed the fresh supply. There'll be more in a few minutes." Dave was in the process of flipping the next batch.
Everyone managed to get through breakfast as the sun flooded in through the windows in the great room. And in very short order they were dressed and ready to leave for the ski lodge. Tony felt empathy pains when he watched John sit down and secure a brace to his right knee. He admired John for doing what was necessary to participate in sports with his sons.
Just as planned the evening before, Tony and Dave began with some lessons and gravitated to the beginner hill. Dave, being so athletic, caught on quickly and soon was swooshing down the beginner's hill without falling.
Shannon was the first to upset tranquility when he traded his skis in for a boogie board. He was quite good and loved to show off his skills. Of course Mark had to try it too and John reluctantly acquiesced. It wasn't long before the other two boys were following Shannon's lead. The Close boys all had skateboards so their transition to a boogie board occurred smoothly.
Shortly after 10:30, the group assembled back at the lodge for lunch and something hot to drink. Dave, Tony, John, and Sean almost collapsed in their chairs and waited for a server to come around to take their orders. When they looked around for the boys they saw them across the room sitting at a table with four darling young ladies who looked to be about the same ages. The men had to laugh to themselves as the watched the boys trying to act so mature and debonair. They were obviously going all out to impress the young ladies. Boys will be boys, even at their ages.
After lunch they decided to give the intermediate hill a try. Tony made sure he stuck close to Dave but Dave was holding his own. Tony was face down in the snow more times than Dave. They were having a really great time. John and Sean had their hands full trying to keep track of the boys as they went out of their way to impress the girls they'd met at lunch. The boys would need a talking to.
Just after 2:00, Dave and Tony met up with John and Sean at the lodge for some hot chocolate.
"I think I've had enough for one day, how 'bout you, Tony?" Although he was really enjoying himself, Dave was ready to return to the condo.
"Oh yeah, I'm beat."
"You young guys can't take it, huh!" Sean challenged.
"I was thinkin', if I go back now, I'll be able to get dinner ready for when the rest of you come in." Dave grinned.
"Well, I'm ready now but I'll stay here until our young charges are ready." John chuckled. "If they aren't ready by 4:00, I'm draggin' them back."
"I'm with you, John," Sean added.
"Okay, we'll expect you shortly after 4:00 then," Dave replied. He began to drag himself out of the chair, "C'mon Tony, let's get movin'."
The condo smelled delicious when John, Sean, and the boys burst through the front door. The boys started following the aroma toward the kitchen but their dads stopped them and made them get out of their wet clothing, hang it up and get washed up for dinner. John and Sean did the same and a few minutes later John walked into the kitchen as Dave was stirring a large pot of stew on the stove.
"Man, does that smell good!" John exclaimed as he stood to Dave's left, placed his right hand on Dave's right shoulder and bent over to get a good whiff of the stew. Dave kept his head down like he didn't want to look at John but it didn't work. John turned his head sideways and looked at Dave.
"Gee, Dave, looks like there's been more than stew cookin' here." John grinned. Dave's cheeks were still a little flushed from the entertainment he and Tony had shared while they had the place to themselves. Dave blushed a little but he held his tongue and only grinned. "You dog, you," John chuckled and turned to go to the bedroom.
Dave was really surprised at how well John was handling his relationship with Tony, even in the confined setting they found themselves. He surmised that John had come to accept them as a couple and all that it entailed.
Tony entered the kitchen and began setting the table. He had just finished taking his shower and smelled fresh as he settled in behind Dave and licked the back of his ear. Dave shuddered and giggled, even though it hadn't been that long ago that they'd enjoyed each other's treasures.
"John knows," Dave said quietly as he turned his head and briefly pressed his lips against Tony's.
"I guess that explains that strange grin he gave me as we passed in the hallway."
"Yeah, but he's cool with it. You smell good," Dave added.
"So do you and I'll bet that stew's gonna taste almost as good as you do." About that time the boys wandered into the room.
"How long before we eat, Uncle Dave?" JD was the interrogator.
"Yeah, we're hungry!" Mark inquired followed by two more 'Yeah's.'
"You wash your hands?" Tony asked. Four sets of hands shot into the air for inspection. "Okay, take you seats.
The sound of chairs scraping on the tile floor filled the room as the boys positioned themselves at the table. Tony set glasses in front of the boys and filled them with milk while Dave ladled the stew onto plates and placed one in front of each boy. Sean and John arrived about that time and carried their own plates to the table. Tony filled the glasses with water and everyone sat down to eat. Dave asked Mark if he'd say Grace and he did. At that moment, the timer on the oven sounded and Dave jumped up to remove the rolls he heated.
Dave's stew was a hit. It contained plenty of beef and the boys gobbled down the vegetables without complaining. The conversation around the table began with the boys reliving their exploits of bravery on the slopes and progressed to the topic of the girls they'd met that afternoon. The girls were from California and were very good skiers. They all had blond hair but the boys weren't sufficiently astute to notice that at least two of them had dark roots. The adult men just let the boys ramble, interrupted occasionally by a simple question, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing them so excited by the day's activities.
After dinner the boys settled in front of the TV and selected the Cartoon channel for their entertainment.
John and Sean volunteered for the cleanup detail. They placed the dishes in the dishwasher then washed the pot and utensils that Dave used to cook the meal. They sat around chatting for a while as they finished off some beer then went to their bedrooms to get more comfortable and brush their teeth.
Before leaving their bedroom, Dave and Tony took the opportunity to steal a quick kiss and a hug. They bumped into John and Sean on the way back to the great room. Dave, Tony and John had changed into T-shirts and boxer briefs and Sean was clad in a T-shirt and boxers. A quick look around the room established that the boys had disappeared.
"Well, would ya look at that!" Tony exclaimed!" Looking through the window, the four men could see the heads of four young boys, neck deep in the hot tub, their heads surrounded by steam. The men walked toward the door, each trying not to smile or laugh. Sean opened the door.
"Whose idea was this?" he asked in his most authoritative tone of voice trying to sound like the boys were in heap big trouble. Four sets of eyes stared back looking like deer caught in the headlights while four faces were covered with guilt. Moments passed until finally Shannon's hand rose from the water.
"It was mine, Sir," Shannon spoke in a meek voice.
"Like father like son," Dave chuckled quietly from the back. It took all the control they could muster to keep from laughing.
"I wanted to do it too, Sir," Mark quickly added.
"Ditto," Tony exclaimed quietly, applying to Dave's earlier comment to John.
So far, the four men were doing a good job of suppressing their laughter. Tony happened to notice an object on the floor and bent over to pick it up. He was standing behind John and Sean when he spoke softly.
"Sean?" Three men turned toward Tony to see that he was holding two pairs of underwear. Obvious conclusion: the boys were naked. They must have stripped, opened the door and run to the hot tub. The same question occurred to each of the men at the same time, 'Wonder which one closed the door?'
"Aren't you a little cold out there?" John asked.
"Oh, no Sir!" four young voices replied in unison. There's nothing like sticking together when you've been caught. The men knew that the boys wouldn't have admitted it if they were freezing.
"Well, don't you think it's gonna be a little cold when you get out?" Sean asked. Four young faces looked at each other. They obviously hadn't thought about that. "Didn't think about that, did ya."
"Well " Mark started to speak but then fell silent. While this conversation was going on, Dave had gone to the linen closet and grabbed four towels.
"How long you gonna stay out there?" John asked.
"Well, Sir," Shannon began."
"Helloooo!" It was a young female voice. "Helloooo!" More young female voices sounded. The men watched the boy's heads tilt back as though they were looking at the balcony above them. "You didn't tell us you were staying down there!" One of the young female voices exclaimed. Suddenly Matt and JD shot out of the hot tub and made a beeline for the open sliding glass door. Dave and Tony were waiting and immediately wrapped each boy in a warm towel as the adults howled with laughter.
"There's GIRLS up there!" JD exclaimed as if their domain had been invaded.
"Well, don't worry about it, you're safe now," Sean said reassuringly to Matt and JD. "Here, take your clothes into you room, have a nice warm shower and get ready for bed." Feeling suitably embarrassed, the two boys gathered their clothes and went to the bedroom without argument.
Shannon and Mark's reaction was remarkably different. Each stood and casually, but not too slowly climbed out of the hot tub and walked toward the door. There was no question that they were deliberately parading their wares for the ladies above. To John and Sean it sounded like the girls were shrieking with either delight or embarrassment, they presumed the former. Dave and Tony were struck by the boys' bravado. Neither of them would have done such a thing at 8 years of age.
The instant they were certain the girls could no longer see them, Mark and Shannon bolted for the door. John and Sean were waiting with towels. The two young men were handed their clothes and given the same instructions JD and Matt had received.
A short time later the boys reappeared dressed for the evening in briefs and T-shirts and asking for desert. Dave offered them ice cream with hot fudge and nuts. He could see them wince slightly at the thought of eating ice cream so soon after the hot tub episode but they quickly accepted the offer.
Everyone was dead tired from all the exertion they'd expended on the slopes that afternoon. Lights were out early.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were much the same as Tuesday, with one exception. There was no replay of the hot tub incident. The boys continued to show off their snowboarding skills for the girls and they all seemed to have a lot of fun together. The four men also had a great time. In addition to watching over the boys, they were able to engage in numerous discussions on a variety of subjects.
Dave had remembered to bring his laptop and John had brought his digital camera so at the beginning of each day they E-mailed some selected photos home to the ladies. Sophia E-mailed back that she and Kate had joined forces and all the girls were having a wonderful time at the day spa and the malls.
And at the end of the four days the adult men had bonded like brothers, as had the boys. Saturday morning was a drag. They had all had a great time and could have stayed longer. However, they also thought of home. School would start on Monday for the boys and the men had jobs to go to. The SUV was loaded by 9:30 and as they began the drive to the airport for the flight home, they all turned and took one look back and remembered the great time they'd shared.
(To be continued.)