Don Hanratty
My Belovèd is mine, and I am his.
  Song of Songs 2:16


Cam, Kevin, Carl and Art Smith were sitting in the study of the Malibu house on Saturday night before Thanksgiving week.  They were watching television when Cam's cellphone rang.  He checked the cellphone screen and recognized the number for Assurances.  It had to be Jeff Miller.

"Jeffie Miller," Cam said.  "How they hangin', dude?"

Jeff laughed.  "Side by side, one lower than the other.  As least the last time I looked.  You ask me that every time we talk."

"That's called called 'continuity of care.'  If they were hangin' even, we'd have to get you checked out by a balls doctor," Cam said.  "So, what's the good word about your furlough for this coming week?"

"I'm all set, starting tomorrow," Jeff said.  "Do you think somebody can pick me up?"

"I do think somebody can pick you up.  Now that I think about it, why don't we pick you up in time for church tomorrow?  We're going to the ten o'clock Mass.  Father Ryan will be glad to see you, and I think your parents will probably be in church.  I know your dad is in town, 'cause I saw him from a distance yesterday."

"You're the source of so many great ideas," Jeff said.  "And that's one of your better ones."

"Well, pack up your shit for the week, boy, let your parents know that we're picking you up, and we'll be by to get you about 9:30.  Capiche?"

"Capiche.  And thanks."

The guys looked over at Cam as he broke the connection.

"Well?" Kevin said.

"We have to pick Jeff up at 9:30 at Assurances," Cam responded.  "But you knew that.  You spied on every word I said."

Kevin smiled.  "I know.  But you're tricky.  Sometimes you say things to throw me off."

Cam looked over to see if Casey was awake.  He was dozing.  "That's such bullshit!" he insisted to Kevin, speaking quietly so Casey couldn't possibly hear.  "Unlike yours, my conversations are an open book."

Kevin grinned and shook his head in denial.

"Will you guys shut the fuck up!" Carl said.  "I'm trying to watch this program."

Cam and Kevin subsided, but each of them gave Carl the silent finger.

*  *  *

Cam and Kevin had Carl and Art Smith up at 6 a.m. on Sunday so they could run.  Another beautiful southern California morning was dawning, a little humid that day, but cool enough for running on the beach without too much discomfort.  As usual, Alice and Samantha were ecstatic to be running with their humans, and they milled around while the guys did their warm-ups before hitting the beach.

Because it was Maria's day off, Kevin stayed behind with Casey as the other guys began their run.  He put the baby in a sling around his neck, and walked on the beach with him for a half-hour before bringing him back to the house for a bath, fresh diaper, and some breakfast.  The little guy talked a mile a minute all the way down the beach and back, and Kevin noticed that more of his babbling was making sense as time passed.  Kevin smiled and stayed in a dialog with him as much as he could.  Casey was going to be a talker, for sure.

Kevin put the baby in his upstairs crib after bathing and dressing him while he got himself showered, shaved, and dressed, then took him downstairs to the study and played roll-the-ball with him until the three runners returned from the beach.  By the time they had showered, Kevin had fixed them scrambled eggs with toast and bacon, and poured them tall glasses of cold water  They were trying to cut down on the orange juice because Carl had belatedly learned on the internet that it quickly turned to sugar when digested.

"Thanks, babe," Cam told his partner, and gave him a hug and kiss before saying grace and sitting down to eat.

"Yeah, thanks, babe," Carl told Kevin, mimicking Cam.

"I didn't know you cared," Kevin told Carl.  "Andy Helder will be surprised to hear that."

"Andy knows he's Numero Uno with me," Carl said happily.  "But I love all my bro's."  And that was true.

Cam cleaned up the kitchen after breakfast while Kevin checked out the diaper bag to make sure everything Casey would need was in it when they left for church.  Cam set the house alarm and the four of them went out to the Highlander.  Kevin got the baby situated in his car seat--the little guy was still in his usual good mood--and they headed toward Santa Monica with Carl at the wheel. 
They went to Assurances first.

They pulled into the Assurances parking lot right at 9:30, and Jeff Miller came out of the front entrance carrying a duffel bag on his shoulder with clothes for the week.  Carl hit the button to open the back hatch.  Cam stepped out of the SUV to stow Jeff's bag in the cargo area, and then greeted his friend with a hug and kiss on the cheek.

"Good to see ya, dude," Cam said as they got in the car.

"Back atcha," Jeff said.

Jeff said hello to Carl and Kevin, and Kevin introduced him to Art Smith.

"Art's staying with us because of a family situation," Cam said.

"I know how that goes," Jeff told Art.  "I was fortunate enough the get the same hospitality from these guys when I needed it, and it literally saved my life."

Art talked with Jeff all the way to St. Dunstan's Church in Hollywood, and got filled in on what Jeff was doing at Assurances to stay clean.

Traffic was light, so getting to church didn't take long.  Carl pulled into the St. Dunstan parking lot at 9:45, found a spot to park, and the five of them headed for the front entrance with Cam carrying the baby.  Father Ryan was celebrating the Mass, and the altar party was gathered in the narthex.  Kevin introduced the priest to Art.

"Good to have you here, Art," Father Ryan said, shaking his hand.  "And Jeff.  I'm glad to see you," he said, giving Jeff a hug to welcome him back.

The priest looked over at Cam.  "I need to ask you a big favor."

"Oh oh," Cam said.

"I need another acolyte to carry to carry the processional cross.  The person who was scheduled didn't show."

"Cam's your man, Father," Kevin told him.  "He's a well trained professional who's done this once before, and he's more than ready to serve the Lord."

Cam gave his partner a dirty look, but then smiled and nodded to the priest.  "All right, Father.  I hope I don't mess up, though."

"You'll do fine," Father Ryan said.  He turned to one of the other young acolytes.  "Mike, take Cam back to the servers' vesting room, and get him a black cassock and a surplice, and a pair of white gloves, and hotfoot it back here.  I want to start the Mass on time."

"Yes, Father," Mike said, and beckoned to Cam.  They quickly walked down a side aisle, through a door into a back hallway, and went into a door labeled "Vesting Room."  Going over to one of many sliding doors in the room, Mike opened it and pulled out a cassock, holding it up against Cam to check the fit.  It was too short.

Putting it back into the closet, Mike pulled out another cassock.  Perfect.  Cam stepped into it, putting his arms into the sleeves and shrugging it on over his shoulders.  He fastened the front snaps while the young man went over to another set of doors and took out a freshly laundered, glistening white surplice.  He helped Cam put it on over his head, and smoothed out the wrinkles.

"Lookin' good, dude," Mike said, reaching into a drawer for some white gloves and handing them to Cam.  "Put these on, and let's hit it."

"Why the gloves?" Cam asked.

"So you don't get fingerprints or sweat on the handle of the processional cross.  It's brass."

"Got it," Cam said.

They retraced their steps back down the side aisle, arriving just as the celebrant put incense into the thurible and made the sign of the cross over it with the words, "Be blessed by Him for whom you are burned," and then the thurifer ran the thurible top back down the chains.  Incense was billowing as Father Ryan offered an opening prayer for the altar party and then pushed a button on the wall to signal the organist to begin the processional hymn.  The thurifer moved into the main aisle, followed by Cam with the processional cross, then Mike and another acolyte side by side, and finally the celebrant in cassock, alb, stole and chasuble.  They moved down the main aisle toward the altar.  The choir in the balcony sounded excellent, at least to Cam's untrained ear, as they led the opening hymn for the congregation.

Cam glanced out of the corner of his eye at his family as he passed them.  Kevin, holding Casey in his arms, was standing beside Art, Carl and Jeff, and Cam noticed that all the guys were singing from hymnals, or at least making an attempt to do so.  Mr. and Mrs. Miller were standing on the other side of Jeff, and Jeff looked happy to be with them.  That pleased Cam.

Father Ryan's homily presaged the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, making a case that we should not only be thankful for what we have in terms of worldly possessions, but for who and what we are spiritually as human beings and followers of Christ.  He didn't mention specifically the issues of race or sexual orientation, but the implications were clear to all those who knew the atmosphere of St. Dunstan's parish that parishioners here were welcoming and thankful for all who came through its doors.  Art Smith, as he was to tell the other guys later, was very impressed with the message and with the Mass itself.

Cam stood in the sanctuary to the side watching the altar during the service as the Father Ryan blessed the elements of bread and wine.  He was interested to see the manual acts which a priest used in creating the Blessed Sacrament which would soon be administered to the faithful.  When he glanced out at the congregation later during the Lord's Prayer, he saw Kevin holding their baby and looking back at him.  Cam's and Kevin's eyes locked in a look of pure love, clearly thankful for the relationship they had with each other and for the little boy they shared.

Kevin leaned over to Art in their pew just before Holy Communion was administered.  "Are you baptized, dude?" he asked.

"Yes," Art said.

"You can received Holy Communion, then," Kevin told him.

So Art went up to the altar rail with the family to receive the Sacrament.

At the end of the Mass, Cam had a big smile on his face as, carrying the crucifix, he led the altar party back up the main aisle to the narthex during the recessional hymn.  At least I didn't trip over my own feet and fall on my ass, he thought to himself with satisfaction.

When the recessional hymn concluded, since their was no Deacon present at that Mass, Father Ryan offered the dismissal to the congregation:  "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord."

"Thanks be to God," the people responded.

Cam fastened the cross to its holder on the wall in the narthex, and turned around to see Father Ryan offering his hand.

"Cameron, thank you for your help.  You did a great job.  Would you consider becoming a regular acolyte?"

"Well, I do think I should be doing more for our parish than just attending Mass.  Let me talk it over with Kevin, Father."

"Good enough," the priest said.  "While you're at it, ask him and Carl if they'll serve, too, and let me know."  In for a penny, in for a pound, Ryan thought to himself about trying to recruit Kevin and Carl.

"I'll do that.  Father, is your family all set to come over to our place on Thanksgiving Day?" Cam asked.

"Yes.  We're all looking forward to being with you.  What time do you want us to show up?"

"We're not going to eat until 4:00, but why don't you come over about noon.  Make sure you and Mrs. Ryan and the kids bring your swimming gear.  We're going to swim in the Millers' pool and maybe play badminton or touch football or something on the beach.  It's gonna be a fun day!"

"Excellent!" the priest said.  "The kids are excited to be spending some time with you guys."

"Same here," Cam said.  "I think my family will probably all come to Mass on Thanksgiving morning, but you and I may not have a chance to talk then.  So I just wanted to make sure we're on the same page, time-wise."

"Thanks, Cam."

While Cam and the priest were talking, most of the worshippers were going through a side door in the nave into the parish house for coffee and rolls.  Father Ryan stayed behind at the front door to say good-bye to the few parishioners who didn't stay for coffee hour.  Kevin, Carl, Art and Jeff Miller went into the parish house with Sean and Susan Miller, and Jeff introduced Art Smith to his parents.

"I've seen a lot of your movies," Art told Sean Miller, "and really liked them."  The two of them began talking while Susan Miller and the other boys went to get coffee and rolls for everybody.  Samuel, Joshua and Rachel Ryan congregated around the guys as they all found a vacant table and sat down.  Cam came into the parish house a few minutes later and joined them after shedding his vestments.  Kevin had brought him coffee and a roll.

Rachel Ryan immediately took charge of Casey, and began her usual thing of walking him around the huge parish hall with the little boy standing on her black patent leather shoes.  Casey loved doing that, and everywhere Rachel walked him the people made a fuss over the child.

"Kev and Carl?" Cam said.

"You rang?" Kevin asked.

"Father Ryan wants me to ask you something.  And don't give me attitude about it."

"Lay it on us," Carl said.

"He wants to know if you guys will join me to get some training and serve as acolytes."

Kevin groaned and Carl moaned, "Oh, man. . ."

"Don't give me that," Cam said.  "We should be doing something here other than just showing up and dropping a check in the collection plate."

"Why don't we talk about it at home?" Carl suggested.  "That way, if we say 'no' and you yell at us, you won't embarrass yourself."

"You better say 'Yes,'" Samuel Ryan, the older of the two Ryan sons, told Kevin and Carl.  "I know from experience that misery loves company."

"I'm with ya there, bro," Cam said, smiling.  He was sipping his cup of coffee and looking around when he spotted George Eisner across the room with a lady, his wife, obviously.  She was svelte and pleasant looking, and beautifully dressed.  Cam stood, picked up his coffee, and crossed the room to the couple.

"Good morning, Mr. Eisner," Cam said.

"Hello, Cam," Eisner said, shaking hands with him.  "I'd like to introduce my wife, Karen."

"How do you do, Mrs. Eisner?" Cam said.

The beautiful woman offered her hand with a smile.  "Good morning, Cam," she said.  "George told me a lot about your visit to the studio with your partner Kevin and another young man--was it Carl?--a few weeks ago."

"Yes, it was Carl.  We all enjoyed ourselves so much," Cam responded.  "We had a wonderful meal and got to see some of the headquarters building.  And we saw a preview of my dad's last movie.  The day was a real treat."

"I was so pleased you three joined us," George Eisner said.

"We loved it," Cam said earnestly.  "You asked us during our visit if we would let you know when the rest of our family was going to visit us from San Francisco.  They're flying into LAX tomorrow morning, and will be here all week.  I hope it's not too late to set up a tour of Magnum Studios while they're here."

"Not at all," Eisner said.  "Pick any day but Thanksgiving Day, and I'll set it up.  As I told you, I'd like to meet your family.  Just let me know how many there will be."

"Will it be all right if we bring our friends Art Smith and Jeff Miller, along with the Ryan kids and the Millers' maid, Juanita, with us as well as the family?" Cam asked.  "And our maid, Maria and her two kids also?"

Eisner smiled broadly as the list got longer.  "Absolutely," he said.

"I think it will be twenty-four people, then, including our son, Casey," Cam said.  "What about Tuesday morning about 10:00?"

"Good.  I'll alert our Tours Department staff.  We can all have lunch in our commissary after the tour.  The food's not bad."

"I can't thank you enough, Mr. Eisner."

"I'll look forward to seeing you and everybody then, Cam."

Just then Rachel Ryan came walking by with Casey perched on her shoes.  Cam beckoned her over.

"Is this your son?" Eisner asked about the baby.  "We've seen Rachel walking this little guy around before."

"Yes, sir.  This is Casey."

"I thought it might be," Eisner said, bending down to look at the two children.  "Hello, Rachel.  Hello, Casey," he said.

"Hello," Rachel said.

Karen Eisner squatted down to get a better look at Casey.  "He's darling," she said, looking up at Cam.  "And he has such a pretty tour guide this morning," she said, smiling at the girl.  "How are you, Rachel."

"I'm fine," the little girl said.  "Casey is so cute.  I wish he was my little brother."

"You'll get to spend some time with him on Thanksgiving Day," Cam assured her.

After a little more conversation, Cam wished the Eisners a good Thanksgiving week, and ushered Rachel and Casey back over to the table where the boys were sitting.  Kevin picked Casey up after thanking Rachel for walking the little boy around, and she left.

"Eat up, you slackers," Cam told his bro's.  "Time's wasting."

"Hit him!" Carl demanded of Kevin.

"I can see Holy Communion did you a lot of good, Carl," Cam observed archly.  "We do not strike others when we're at church."

"Why not?" Carl said.  "Where better?  This is a place of healing, dude."

Kevin burst out laughing.

"I'll really be glad when Andy gets here and gets you calmed down," Cam said in a low voice to Carl so other parishioners wouldn't hear him.  "You haven't been getting enough sex."

Art was a little taken aback
at such talk in a church building, but Kevin laughed out loud again and Carl grinned bigtime.

"You've never been more correct, Camarino.  I really haven't getting enough you-know-what," Carl said.  "But all that's about to change."

"Let's book," Kevin said before the conversation deteriorated further.

"Wait," Cam said.  "I need to talk to Father and Mrs. Ryan before we leave."
"Hurry up," Kevin said, just to annoy him.

Cam walked over to the priest and his wife, and then came back smiling.

"What was that all about?" Kevin asked.

"We're going to tour Magnum Studios on Tuesday morning, and Mr. Eisner said I could invite Jeff, Art, the Ryan kids and Maria and her two kids to go with us," Cam explained.  "And Juanita, too, hopefully, after I check with the Millers."  He pursed his lips disapprovingly.  "I suppose you and Carl will want to go along."

Kevin laughed.  "You're such a busy little schemer, Cameron," he told him as he stood up and kissed Casey, who squirmed and tried his best to avoid his dad's lips.  Art stacked the dirty cups and dishes on a tray and took them to the kitchen, and then they all headed for the parking lot.

Art Smith and Jeff Miller had really hit it off, and they talked all the way back to Malibu.

"You've never met the rest of Cam's and Kevin's and Carl's family, have you?" Jeff asked Art.


"You'll like 'em.  The guys are a gas!"

"Well, if they're anything like Cam and Kevin and Carl," Art said, "I'm sure they are."

Carl filled Art the newbie in on some of the San Francisco guys' more outrageous exploits, particularly those of William Carson.  Art couldn't believe some of the things he heard.

"You Episcopalians are pretty down to earth," he commented to Jeff.  "That's encouraging."

"'Down to earth' is one way to put it," Carl said with a laugh.

*  *  *

On Monday morning Jeff Miller had gone next door to talk to his parents and to Juanita Fuentes, his parents' maid.  At Cam's behest, Jeff asked his parents whether Juanita could go with the family group which would tour Magnum Studios on Tuesday, and Sean and Susan readily agreed.  They weren't going themselves because Susan had been there before, and Sean said he had spent half his life there.

Art, Carl, Cam and Kevin sat with Casey in the study kibitzing while they were waiting for the San Francisco contingent to arrive from the airport.  Kevin's cell phone rang with a distinctive whooping ring tone.  He glanced at the ID and smiled.  It was Mark Carson.

"Marky-Mark!  Where are ya, dawg?"

"Where do ya think?  My feet are standing on LAX concrete right now.  And it's nice and warm down here in LaLa land."

"That's because we're a warmhearted people here in southern California.  Get your ass over to Malibu."

"Ass," Casey interjected from his crib, and Kevin smacked his own knee in annoyance at himself that he wasn't better monitoring what he was saying.  The other guys snickered to themselves.

"If you're in that big a hurry to see me," Mark told Kevin, "you should have come to the airport.  I'm not in charge of transit over here."

"Yeah, yeah," Kevin said.  "Have you been running every day and workin' out, or am I gonna have to make you suffer?"

"I'm gonna make you suffer, dude.  It's my mission in life. 
You're gettin' older and I'm gettin' stronger."

"We'll see who suffers and who doesn't," Kevin laughed.  "
Hurry up.  I've been missing you, bud."

"Same here.  See ya in a little while," Mark said, and broke the connection to get into a big, black stretch limo after helping load the luggage.  The guys from up north were all amped by now and all talking at once as the driver started the engine and began to maneuver his way out of the airport.  The adults watched the boys with amusement.

Kevin's phone whooped at him again forty minutes later.  It was Mark again.

"Well?" Kevin demanded.

"We just pulled off the Pacific Coast Highway.  Get your ass out in the driveway and make us feel welcome!"

"You're such a bold little snot!" Kevin told him.  "We'll be outside, and you better have cleaned up your act by then!"

Mark laughed and hung up on him.

Jeff had come back from his parents' house next door by then, and he, Kevin, Cam (holding Casey in a sling), Carl, Art and Maria all went out into the driveway with the dogs just as the huge black limo pulled in on an angle and came to a stop.

A back door opened, and Berto, smiling in the bright sunshine, his white teeth contrasting with the beautiful olive skin of his face, stepped out.  Ever the gentleman, he stood there and helped Catherine, Mary, Rosa and Yolanda out of the vehicle as Father Mason, Ian and the young guys started pouring out of the other side of the car.  Cam and Kevin surrounded Catherine first and kissed her soundly many times by way of greeting before moving on to the rest of the crew.

It was chaos.  There was a lot of hugging and kissing going on, and not just male/female, either.  It was no surprise, of course, when Andy Helder pulled Carl Emrick into a long hug, smooched him on the lips, and then held his hand as Carl moved around greeting the new arrivals.  Maria circled the group, meeting and re-meeting the group.

Beautiful, loving people, Cam thought to himself as he looked around at his extended family as they milled around enjoying the sight of one another.  Easy to love.  Easy to look at.  How could I be so lucky?  He watched Kevin, who was smiling and eating up the scene, both of them noticing how healthy-looking and handsome all the boys were.  These guys had obviously spent some time in the gym since their last visit, and that always pleased Kevin.

Mark Carson made a beeline for Kevin, and they embraced for a long moment and kissed each other on the cheek.

"Glad to see ya," Mark said.  "I don't know why, but I always miss ya."

"Back atcha, Marky-Mark.  I'm happy you're here," Kevin said, hugging him again.

William went over to Cam.  Bending down, he kissed Casey in his sling, and then put his arms around them both and kissed Cam on the lips rather than on the cheek.  Cam was a little taken aback by that, but responded in kind.

"Dude," William told Cam.  "Lookin' good!  And so is Casey.  He's grown since I saw him, and he's as cute as ever."

"Yeah," Cam said.  "Casey is talking, and even starting to make sense, unlike yourself."

William laughed.  "Cameron, Cameron, don't be a dick."

"Dick," Casey repeated.

William looked surprised.

"Now you know why we have to watch what we say when Casey is around," Cam admonished his friend.

William nodded.  "I'll do that," he promised.

After all the greetings were made, the women headed into the house and the men and boys went to the car and started unloading all the luggage.  When it was all piled on the driveway, Ian pulled out his wallet and paid for their ride with a credit card.  After he signed, he pressed some additional cash into the driver's hand.  The driver thanked him, stepped into the car, and drove away.

Kevin saw what Ian had done, and looked approvingly at him.  That's Ian, he thought to himself.  He always takes care of people who work for a living.  As Kevin walked over to take some bags into the house, he patted Ian on the back.  "Thank you for bringing the family down here again, Ian.  We really appreciate it."

Ian smiled.  "Well, we appreciate your hospitality, Kevin.  We love you guys.  You know that."

Once in the house, Kevin and Cam escorted the family to their bedrooms first.  All the young guys would be sleeping in the master bedroom--some in the huge bed with Kevin and Cam and some on the floor on sleeping pads--so that the common areas downstairs were free for eating and socializing.  At her own insistence, Catherine would sleep in Casey's room next door to the master bedroom so she could monitor the baby.  Yolanda Vega and Rosa Mendez would share a bedroom with double beds down the hall.   Father Mason would have his own room, and Ian and Mary Carson their own room.

"Hmmm," Carl spoke to Cam quietly in the master bedroom.  "How are Andy and I gonna get it on when all you guys are staying in here?"

Cam grinned.  "Do it in the shower standing up.  Just be sure you wash you-know-what down the drain."

"Call me Mr. Clean," Carl said with a chuckle.

When everyone had unpacked a few of their essentials, they all went downstairs to the large living room where Casey was the center of attention.  Before the visiting got out of hand, Cam informed them that they would all be leaving for Magnum Studios at 9:00 the next morning for a 10:00 tour, and then have lunch with the CEO, George Eisner.  Everybody seemed really pleased about that.

"Cam, are we going to need a limo for tomorrow, then?" Ian asked.

"I guess we will," Cam said.  "We could probably fit everybody into our cars if we used all of them, but it would probably be more fun to get a limo and use the Highlander and maybe my car for the overflow.  The limo will be our treat, though, Ian.  This trip has already cost you enough."

"No, I'll cover it," Ian said.  "We'll just tap William's college fund.  He can get a part-time job when he goes away to school."

William blushed and gave that idea a thumbs-down as the guys all laughed, clapped and whistled.  "I'll be on a full ride football scholarship anyway," he asserted.  "So I'm not gonna worry about it."

Cam looked at Ian.  "Ian, while I'm thinking about it, we're going to need an extra $1700 transferred into our household account this month," he said.

"Gambling debts?" Ian kidded him.

"No, we had a new door put into the wall between our room and Casey's room."

"I'll take care of it," Ian said.  Then he went into the next room for some quiet and called the limo company about a ride to Magnum Studios.  When he finished, he went back into the big living room and told Cam he'd asked for a small bus rather than a limo so they could all ride together.

They all talked and kibitzed for about an hour, and then Carl suggested that they change into swimming gear and go next door to the Millers' house to swim.  That got an affirmative vote, and they all headed upstairs to change.  The guys all crowded into the master bedroom, and began stripping down.

Standing there naked, Kevin made a quick phone call to Susan Miller to confirm that they had blanket permission to use the pool for the week, starting immediately, and got the okay.  Shoulders to hips, his upper body formed a perfect V, he had a perfect sixpack, and his legs were muscular and in proportion with the rest of him.  There wasn't a guy in the room who didn't take a minute to admire that boy's body and all its parts while he was on the phone!

Dan Emrick looked around with a grin.  "There's an awful lot of dick in this room," he said.  "And the smell of testosterone in the air."

"And some dicks are bigger than others," Berto said.  "But no peeking!"

The guys laughed, finished changing and grabbed towels out of an upstairs linen closet before heading downstairs and out the door to the front deck and the beach.  They didn't wait for the adults.  Cam chained up the dogs on the deck with fresh water in their bowls, and then led the guys toward the pool.  Taking the gate key out of its hiding place behind a brick in the wall at the Millers', he opened the gate.  The sun was shining brightly, and the emerald green water in the pool awaited.  Dropping their towels on beach chairs, they approached the edge of the water.  William hesitated before diving in, and Cam gave him a shove to encourage him.

William hit the water hard, turning his abs red.  His face emerged from the water with a shout, and with a look of innocence Cam asked him, "Is the water warm?"

William laughed.  "Oh, yeah!  Revenge will be sweet, too, Cam!  Count on that, dipshit!"

Cam dived in and swam under water toward William, who also ducked under the water, saw his antagonist coming, and swam away as fast as he could.  The two guys emerged about ten feet apart and eyed each other warily.

"Pussy," Cam told him, swimming away as William came after him.  Then other guys began cannonballing into the pool, splashing Cam and William as much as they could.  Things didn't calm down until the adults finally walked onto the pool deck and staked out their spots.  Catherine was carrying Casey, dressed in his little red swimming trunks.  The child's skin gleamed with sunscreen that Catherine had already applied.

"Mommy, come swim with me, and bring Casey," Cam said to Catherine.  "Protect me.  William is trying to drown me."

"You're on your own, buddy," Catherine said.  "Don't play innocent with me.  I know you did something to get things stirred up."

"She knows you too well," Dan Emrick said to the general agreement of the other guys.

Carl swam over to his brother and threw an arm over his shoulder.  "How ya doin', Dan.  I'm glad to see ya."

"Same here," Dan said.  "You're lookin' all buffed up."

"I don't have any choice.  Kevin is a tyrant in the gym."

"So was William when he was in charge of our gym," Dan said.  "Thank goodness he's too busy with football and his girlfriend to spend much time with us peasants.  Berto is in charge now, and gets the same results in workouts without being a dick about it."

Carl laughed.  "Well, Berto's work with you has paid off.  You're lookin' good.  How's school?"

"I'm doing all right.  I'm on the dean's list, anyway.  Mark and I both are."

"Excellent!  Are you dating?"

"No," Dan said.  "I'm friends with some girls, but no girlfriends."

"Let's talk about that later."

"Okay.  By the way, it's a good thing Andy Helder will be transferring down here to UCLA starting next semester.  He comes over to the house a lot for supper and to study, and kind of mopes around because he's not with you.  He's got it bad for ya, dude."

"How could he not?" Carl chuckled.  No modesty there.

"Hey, did I hear my name taken in vain?" Andy asked, swimming over and putting an arm around Carl's waist as they treaded water mid-pool.

"Yeah," Dan said.  "We were talking about how UCLA has just raised their admission standards, and you might not be able to get in after all."

"You better talk nice to me," Andy said.  "I'm going to be your brother-in-law before too long."

"I'll be nicer to you if you give me free martial arts lessons," Dan said with a grin.

"Deal!" Andy said.

Carl studied his boyfriend's great physique, and started to get a stiffie.

Just then, the Millers' back door opened, and Susan and Sean Miller and their maid Juanita Fuentes stepped out on to the patio with heaping trays of sandwiches and snacks and many pitchers of lemonade, and put the goodies down on the pool-side tables.  The guys cheered, clapped and whistled from the pool, and the adults stood up to offer hugs and thanks to their hosts. 
Juanita went back inside, and brought out a tray loaded with plastic glasses, hors-d'oeurve plates, plastic utensils and napkins, and the guys piled out of the pool and walked toward the food table.

"Let's offer thanks first," Kevin suggested, and he did so for the group.  Cam looked at him in amazement.  His partner was more religious than he liked to let on.  Father Mason beamed--his influence on the guys hadn't gone to waste.

"Serve the ladies first, you klutzes," Berto told the first guys as they strode up to try to pour themselves some lemonade.  To their credit, the guys listened to Berto, asking Mary, Yolanda, Rosa and Catherine if they would like glasses of lemonade.  With that done, the guys poured themselves lemonade, heaped up plates of fresh fruit, sliced sausage and cheese and lunch meat sandwiches, and began to chow down.

After they had eaten and let their food settle for a few minutes, the guys stretched a net across the pool and found a waterproof volleyball in the pool house.  Game on!

"I pick Father Jim," Kevin said first as he and William were choosing up sides.

The priest stood up and grinned.  "Excellent choice," he told Kevin.

William chose his dad first, and then he and Kevin took turns picking the boys.

The teams alternated playing from the shallow and the deep ends of the pool to even up the challenge, and were very well matched.  But eventually Kevin's team won, much to a competitive William's chagrin.

The game over, the guys ate some more food and drank more lemonade, and then rested a few minutes before adjourning to the beach to play some touch football.  This time William's team won, and he felt redeemed.  Cam noticed that every one of the guys, young and old alike, including Ian, Sean Miller and Father Mason, showed a lot of  athletic ability out there.

While the pool was quiet during the football game on the beach, Mary Carson and Catherine took Casey into the water, and he loved it as they supported the little guy while he pretended to swim.  He fussed when they eventually took him out of the water, but he soon calmed down and went to sleep in Mary's arms in the shade of one of the large umbrellas.

"I wouldn't want to be pregnant and carry a child to term at my age, but I sure do like taking care of a baby again," Mary confessed.

"I do too," Catherine agreed.  "And Casey has such a good temperament, it's really a pleasure.  Cam was an easy baby, but I think Casey even has him beaten on that score.  Kevin's mom told me once that she didn't think Kev was an easy baby, but he's turned out to be a fine, even-tempered young adult.  A tough guy, I guess you'd say, but good-tempered.  So apparently there's always hope."

"Well, William still has some rough edges, but I think being around Berto and Cam and Kevin are good examples for him.  Mark, on the other hand, was an easy baby to raise."

"William is good boy," Yolanda Vega protested to Mary in her thick Spanish accent as Rosa nodded in agreement. 
"All these boys are good boys," Yolanda affirmed.

"I know," Mary said.   "One of the reasons we like to come down here is to see all these boys together and how they interact.  They give each other a hard time sometimes, but they really love each other.  I think they help each other become the kind of people we can be proud of."

"You're right," Catherine said.

Just then the touch football players came roaring back on to the patio, sweating and picking on each other about the game they'd just played.  After washing the beach sand off themselves with a hose, one after another they dived into the pool.

Ian dived in and swam over to William and drew him into a hug.  He kissed his boy on the cheek.

"What was that for?" William asked his dad.

"I don't know.  'Cause I love you, and you just won that football game for our team.  You have some moves out there on the gridiron, boy, I'll have to give you that, even when the gridiron is California sand!"

To look at him, one would have thought that William just shrugged off what his dad had said to him and had done to him by giving him a kiss, but it meant a lot to the kid. "Thanks, Dad," he said after a long minute.

Kevin and Mark Carson were standing on the edge of the pool.  "You did a good job out there on the beach," Kevin told Mark.  Then he picked him up and threw him into the water.

"Ow, ow, you hurt me!" Mark yipped when he came to the surface.  "You broke my ribs!"

"You little liar," Kevin responded, and cannonballed into the pool next to Mark, splashing him good.  Mark laughed, swam to the steps at the shallow end and got out of harm's way.

Cam swam over to Kevin and hugged him from behind with one arm while reaching around under the water and rubbing his partner's package.  There was an immediate reaction between Kevin's legs.

"You horny little shit," Kevin said to him quietly, swiveling around to face Cam and giving him a kiss.

"I'm a horny little shit?" Cam whispered to him.  "I'm not the one getting hard."

"Everybody's watching you," Kevin said.  "Now they know what kind of person you really are."

"That hasn't been any secret for quite a while," Cam said.

"No, it sure hasn't," Dan Emrick agreed, bobbing in the water not too far from them.

Kevin and Cam went after him, but he escaped their clutches.

Cam pulled himself up and out of the pool, and went over and sat beside his mother.  He held her hand.

"Are you ready to move into Ian and Mary's condo in San Francisco when you start teaching at Stanford?" he asked Catherine.

"No," she said.  "To tell you the truth, I haven't done a thing."

"Do you want us guys to come up to San Rafael to pack you up?"

"No.  Part of my deal with Stanford is that they'll pick up my moving expenses," Catherine said.  "So I'll hire someone to pack me up.  There won't be any furniture involved in the move.  By the way, we have to decide whether you guys are coming to San Rafael for Christmas this year, or whether we're coming down here."

"Kevin and Carl and I haven't even talked about it.  I guess we should go north.  All of you have been so good about coming down here for holidays, I don't think it would be right to ask you to fly down here again."

"Well, we'll make a plan one way or another before we go back," Catherine said.

"My only problem would be what we do about Art Smith if we go north," Cam said.  "I haven't told you about his situation, but long story short, he can't go home for Christmas.  So..."

"Bring him," Catherine said.  "We can always find room for one more."

"You're a sweetheart, Mom.  Thanks."

"I love you, honey," Catherine said.  Then she looked over at Mary.  "What are we going to do about supper?"

"Kevin said they have enough steaks to feed us all.  But they're in the freezer, and need to be thawed out before we can throw them on the grill."

The upshot was that Cam and Kevin went back to their house and pulled huge packages of filets mignon out of the freezer.  Opening them, they spread them out on plastic trays, and put them in the large shower in the garage under a slow, cold spray to thaw.

"Looking at all this meat gets me hot," Kevin told his partner, kissing him on the neck.

"Looking at your meat gets me hot," Cam said.  "Without fail."

"You cute little shit.  You don't know how much I love you," Kevin said.

"Oh yes I do."

They stood there kissing each other, exploring each other's mouth with their tongues.

Kevin pulled back, and they were both hard.  "We better go back, or Dan and Mark will be over here looking for us."

"Yep," Cam agreed.  "But let's talk with Maria first, and see what we're gonna have with the steaks."


After the bulges in their swimming trunks subsided, they conferred with Maria in the kitchen, and decided they'd have baked potatoes with sour cream, with fresh green beans, the latter first boiled and then thrown on a grill for just a minute or two to crisp them up.  And salad.

"Thanks, Maria," Kevin said.  "Call us when the steaks are thawed, and we'll fire up the grills.  If you need help with anything else, let us know."

"By the way, bring your kids to work with you tomorrow so they can leave with us at nine o'clock to tour Magnum Studios," Cam said.  "You're going with us, too, y'know."

Maria teared up.  "You don't know how much I appreciate everything you do for me and my family," she said.

"We owe you a lot," Kevin said, and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  "You keep things running around here, and we appreciate it."

Cam did the same, and then they headed back next door to talk about supper.  The crowd was enthusiastic about the menu.

While they were at it, Cam and Kevin invited Sean and Susan Miller along with their maid Juanita Fuentes to join the family for the evening meal.

*  *  *

Supper was outstanding.  Ian Carson and Father Mason borrowed three grills from the Millers, making for a total of six grills on Cam and Kevin's spacious front deck to cook steaks to order, bake whole potatoes, and crisp up the green beans.  The cooks, now including Sean Miller, were rewarded with drinks as they cooked--all of them elected to have vodka martinis made from a large, lone bottle of Grey Goose vodka that Kevin had found at the back of John Kelley's liquor cabinet.  The three chefs were in a very good mood by the time they finished cooking.

Father Mason, surrounded by the extended family, said grace before everyone sat down.

By adding all the leaves to the dining room table and opening two aluminum tables in the study, they had enough room for everyone to sit down and eat.  The adults all had glasses of pinot noir with their meal.  Maria had tossed three huge bowls of lettuce and added tomatoes and green peppers for the salad, and prepared four loaves of garlic bread to complement the staples.

Kevin was surprised when Mark Carson offered to feed Casey, seated in his highchair between the two boys.  Kevin acquiesced, and Mark got into it, patiently spooning baby food into the Casey's mouth along with an occasional, very, very small piece of steak or piece of potato.  When he had eaten most of his own food, Kevin took over the feeding duties so Mark could eat.

"Thanks for the help, dude," Kevin told Mark.

The young guys all ate like pigs until there wasn't a scrap of food left on the tables.  Dessert was bowls of butter pecan ice cream scooped from several two-gallon cartons out of the freezer in the garage.  Casey got just a little of that ice cream from his dad, and loved it, of course.

Mary, Catherine and Susan Miller helped Maria with the clean-up.  After clean-up was finished, the young guys commandeered the dining room table to play cards.  Of the adults, only Father Mason and Sean Miller elected to join the boys in what was to be a half-marathon, low stakes poker game  The other adults sat in the large living room and talked.

Kevin and Cam and Andy Helder managed to break even when the poker game ended about 10 p.m., while Sean Miller, Carl Emrick, Mark Carson, Jeff Miller, Art Smith and Dan Emrick lost a modest amount.  But William Carson and the priest were big losers.  The big winner was Berto Hernandez--who else?

"Can't you cast a spell on him, Father?" Andy Helder asked the priest as they watched Berto count his winnings.

Mason laughed.  "I'm a priest, not a warlock," he said.

"Is that a 'no?'" Andy kidded him.

"That's a 'no.'"

Before Sean and Susan Miller left for next door, Ian talked to them about the upcoming Thanksgiving meal.  "Y'know, I've never tried this before, but I was thinking about cooking a turducken to go with the turkeys for our meal on Thursday," he said.  "I know it's a little late in the game, but do you know where I could rent a cooker and get a ready-to-cook turducken?"

Susan looked at her husband and smiled.  "You're asking the right people, Ian."

"It just so happens that I have a cooker in my garage made especially for cooking turducken," Sean said, "and I know where we can get the birds, prepared Cajun style and all ready to cook.  And I have the cooking oil on hand all ready to go."

"Outstanding!" Ian said enthusiastically.  "Fill me in on who I can call to get the birds."

"Well, you're all going to Magnum Studios tomorrow morning, right?" Sean said. "Why don't you let Susan and me get the birds, and I'll move the cooker to the deck over here while you're gone."

"That would be wonderful!" Ian said.  "But I want to pay for the food."

"Let us supply the turducken so we don't feel like we're freeloading," Susan suggested.

"You don't have to do that," Ian said.

"It's settled, then, Counselor," Sean said.  "To be on the safe side, a medium-large turducken will take about 10-12 hours to cook, so we need to be on the ball by say, 5 a.m., to start the process."

"I'll set my phone for 5 a.m. so I can start it cooking before the family runs on Thursday morning," Ian said. "And we can leave it cooking while we go to church," Ian added.

"Sounds good to me!" Sean said.   They shook hands, and Ian kissed Susan on the cheek before they left.

*  *  *

By 11:00 p.m., all the guys and adults had gone upstairs to get ready for bed.  Catherine had bathed and put Casey down earlier in the evening.

Except for Cam and Kevin, the boys had each snagged a sleeping pad to crash on the soft carpeting of the master bedroom.

William stripped off his clothes and went into the bathroom with a towel over his shoulder to scout out the shower.  After he checked it out, he looked back into the bedroom with amazement on his face.

"Holy shit!" he said to Cam and Kevin.  "Your fucking shower is almost as big as the boys' locker room gang shower at San Rafael High."

"Yeah," Cam said with a grin.  "Kevin likes a shower with lots of room in case he gets hard.  He has a big dick, obviously, and doesn't like to scrape it on the tiles in close quarters."

"The shower is humongous," Kevin admitted, laughing.  "There are six overhead adjustable shower heads in there, plus six waist-high shower heads.  You guys can all shower at once, but no touching each other, please.  We do have some standards."

Berto went into the bathroom to confirm what William had said.  There were two sinks, a toilet and a urinal in there, a bathtub, and the immense, glass-doored shower had walls and floors of marble tiles with rich brown, white and gold markings which matched the rest of the bathroom.  Spot and flood lights beamed down on all the strategic places, and heating and exhaust fans dotted the ceiling.  Stylish benches hugged one wall so that one could sit down and dry one's legs and feet after bathing.  A cluster of switches inside the bathroom door controlled the lighting and the fans.  A commodious linen closet held wash cloths and what looked to be at least fifty large, luxuriously soft towels.

"Awesome!!  You two must get lonely in there," Berto told Cam and Kevin before pulling off his sneakers and clothes, and joining William in the shower.  The sound of water was making a hissing noise as Dan and Mark also went in to shower with Berto and William.

Carl went into the bathroom and grabbed two towels.  "Andy and I are gonna use the garage shower," he told Cam as he and Andy headed for the hallway and stairs.  Cam gave them a smile and a thumbs-up, understanding that those two weren't shy and certainly not ashamed of their bodies; they just needed some privacy.

Cam and Kevin first brushed their teeth, then stripped and joined the other four guys under some as yet unused shower heads.  This is pretty much a gay boy's dream, Cam thought to himself as he and Kevin squeezed past William, Berto, Dan and Mark to go to the far wall.  The four earlier arrivals were still soaping up their bodies as Kevin turned on the last shower heads, and he and Cam let the hot water soak them.

Wetted down, the partners began to soap each other from a bottle of liquid soap in a wall receptacle.  Kevin grabbed a brush from a hook on the wall and began to scrub Cam's back and butt.  When done, he handed it to Cam and sighed in pleasure as Cam returned the favor.  Paying no attention to the others, the partners then began to wash each other all over, turning to the wall when they washed one another's crotch.

By the time Cam and Kevin had finished washing everything except their feet, the other boys had rinsed off, dried themselves, and were just leaving the shower.  Kevin smiled as he noticed that William's cock was half hard.  The kid is well hung, Kevin thought to himself.  Really well hung!  No wonder all the girls in his one-time harem doted on him so much.

Jeff and Art claimed shower heads after William and Berto had finished washing, and before long they, too, had left for the bedroom.

Kevin and Cam took their time drying each other, and then held either other and kissed deeply before they emerged from the bathroom.  They each pulled on a fresh pair of boxers and then headed for the king-sized bed.  The other guys, some naked and some wearing clean boxers, were unrolling sleeping pads, taking pillows from a pile, shaking out sheets, and staking out floor space as Kevin and Cam turned down their bedspread and top sheet, and climbed into bed, moving toward the center.  There was plenty of room for one boy on each side of them in bed, and Mark Carson claimed the space next to Kevin.  Cam beckoned to Dan Emrick, who smiled as he moved on to the bed next to Cam.  Kevin reached down and covered the four of them with their top sheet.

The overhead light was still on for Carl and Andy, who arrived wearing towels around their waists, fresh from their shower in the garage.  They looked happy and very relaxed.  The two of them unrolled sleeping pads right next to each other on the floor, got pillows and a sheet, and lay down naked together after Carl turned off the light.

Cam and Kevin rolled to face each other and kissed softly before preparing to sleep.  They each gave thanks silently for their family's presence before closing their eyes.

Within a few minutes, soft snores were the only noise heard over the muted sound of cool air blowing out of the air conditioning vents in the ceiling.

*  *  *

Kevin's cellphone on the bedside table sounded an alarm at 5:30 the next morning.  Tuesday.  Magnum Studios day.

Kevin yawned, reached over Mark Carson to grab his phone from the bedside table, and shut off the alarm.

"All right, you lazy assholes, get the fuck up!" he said in his gravelly, early morning voice.  "It's time to run!"

Groaning and complaints ensued.

"Shut the fuck up," William responded to Kevin before covering his face with his pillow.

Kevin laughed.  First kissing Cam on the side of the head, he crawled over a supine Mark Carson and headed for the bathroom, his boxers clearly tented with his usual early-morning hardon.  Fishing out his cock, he stood over the urinal for a minute until his erection eased and he could begin to urinate.  He glanced over at William, who had joined him and was standing over the toilet next to him, also sporting big wood.

"You should have brought Alicia down here with you to help you out with your 'little problem' this morning," Kevin suggested.

"It wasn't for lack of trying," William said.  "Anyway, don't be lookin' over here at my equipment."

"You're right," Kevin said, shaking off and preparing to vacate the urinal to make room for the next customer.  "But it is kind of 'hard' to miss."

"Try 'harder,'" William said with a grin.

Kevin went back into the bedroom to a tableau of built and athletic young guys in various states of undress digging through their luggage for jock straps and running shorts.  Easy on the eyes! he thought to himself.  And stimulatingLike the opening scenes of a male porn video!

Kevin discarded his boxers and pulled on his jock, running shorts, T-shirt, socks and running shoes, and went to the bedroom door.  "We still have a few minutes before we run, so if some of you want a bottle of water or piece of toast or something else before we leave, go down to the kitchen."

The guys responded with nods and a few grunts as Kevin walked down the upstairs hall knocking on doors and inviting those inside to get a move on if they wanted to run that morning.  Then he went downstairs to the kitchen and greeted Maria Romero and her two sleepy looking sons, Juan, Jr., age 13, and Roberto, age 11.  Both were handsome boys wearing nice polo shirts and khaki pants.

"Hey, guys," Kevin said, slapping hands with them.  "I'm Kevin."  The two boys identified themselves with a smile.

"We're all gonna run in a few minutes," Kevin said.  "We usually go eight miles.  You're welcome to join us, but you don't have to--I guess you're not dressed for it."

Juan and Roberto looked at each other.

"Too far for me," Roberto said.

"I brought a pair of swimming trunks and a T-shirt, so I might give it a shot," Juan said.  "I do a lot of running for soccer.  But I might only do about five miles," he added.

"That's okay, man," Kevin said.  "There's a bathroom right down the hall if you wanna change."

"Cool," Juan said.

Kevin took a loaf of bread out of a bread box and started putting slices into their four-slice toaster.  Maria retrieved butter and apple butter and grape jelly and orange marmalade out of the refrigerator and put them on the counter so the runners could slather toast with a topping of their choice before going out to the deck to warm up.  Kevin introduced the guys to Roberto as they came into the kitchen, and then to Juan when he came back from changing clothes.

When Berto came in and saw the Hispanic boys, his eyes lighted up.  Kevin introduced Maria's sons to him.  "¡Hola!" Berto said, and went and slapped hands with the kids.  He spoke briefly to them in Spanish, and they grinned and answered him in Spanish.

Kevin kept making toast and supplying water until everyone who wanted a little sustenance had something, and then they all went out on to the deck and started warming up.  Kevin unchained the dogs after his stretches, and everyone headed for the beach.  It was going to be a hot, humid day--it was already very warm even though the sun hadn't been up all that long.

Berto talked to Juan Romero before they started running.  "Why don't you run beside me, and whenever you're ready to break away to go back to the house, I'll eome back with you."

"Well, thanks, but you don't have to," Juan said.

"I know," Berto said.  "But I want to.   It won't hurt me to do less than the usual eight miles."

Juan nodded, and then on a signal from Cam the whole crew began running.  Ian, Mary, Catherine, Father Mason, Kevin, Cam, Carl, Andy, Berto, Juan, William, Mark, Dan, Jeff and Art spaced themselves out in two's and three's so that everyone could run on the hardpack near the water rather than in the soft sand.  William had brought his pedometer/stopwatch with him, and he clicked it during the first few steps he took so he could share the results with everyone when they arrived back at the house.

Cam got a lump in his throat as he looked around at his extended family as they ran.  He always got a little emotional when the family was all together, and counted his blessings that he was in such a close and loving relationship with people who put themselves out there to promote their health and strengthen their bodies.  Exercising together inevitably strengthened their bonds with one another.  They were people who had never, and would never, let him down no matter what, Cam knew that.  People who accepted him and Kevin and Father Mason and Carl and Andy for who and what they were, gay men in a world that sometimes wasn't all that understanding when it came to gays.

Kevin glanced over at Cam, somehow sensing what his partner was feeling about the family, and patted him on the shoulder as they ran beside each other.

Cam smiled at him.  How does he always know what's on my mind?  Love vibes, I guess! he thought to himself.

Everyone was starting to perspire before very long.  William was running just ahead of Cam, and Cam scoped out William's broad shoulders and sturdy legs and bubble butt as the boy moved along with long, firm strides.  Looking good! Cam thought to himself.  William was wearing a pair of white, sheer polyester running shorts which were becoming transparent as the boy sweat into them, revealing William's jock and the contours of his ass.  Cam looked away before he fixated and couldn't look away.  Then he found himself staring at Berto's butt, another great example of jock boy ass.  Unfortunately, Berto's running shorts weren't turning transparent like William's had.

Juan Romero looked over at Berto at about the three-mile mark, and poked his shoulder.

"I think this is it for me," Juan said.

"Okay," Berto said, and looked back toward Cam and Kevin.  "Juan and I are going to head back to the house."

"All right, guys," Kevin said.  "We'll see you later."

Berto and Juan swung out of the crowd and into the soft sand, and then headed in the opposite direction on the hard pack.

William dropped back beside Cam.  "Are Berto and Juan okay?" he asked.

"Yeah," Cam said.  "Juan is in pretty good shape for soccer, but he's not used to doing eight miles.  How far have we run so far?"

"Three on the button," William said, checking the pedometer.

Cam nodded.  "Okay, then that's six for Juan and Berto.  Not bad for the kid."

"Yep," William agreed, continuing to run beside Cam.

Tongues lolling out of their mouths, the two border collies were running in and out of the surf to cool off.  Not a bad idea, Kevin thought to himself.  But he stayed the course and continued to run on dry land.

He smiled to himself as he thought about the upcoming trip to Magnum Studios.  He knew everybody would love it, especially the guys!

© 2014 Don Hanratty

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