Chapter 12: Jason.
**Author's Note:** Please read the disclaimer in Chapter 00 before you read this.
I went out to greet the boys. "Welcome back to our home, Jason," I began. "I'm happy you feel comfortable enough to spend the night with us." I gave him a quick once over, since I hadn't looked at him that closely at our first meeting. Jason was about 6' 1" (185.5 cm), had blond hair that was beginning to darken and the brownest eyes I'd ever seen. They reminded me of Bambi's eyes, in the Disney film.
"Oh, I wouldn't have missed this for anything," Jason announced. "Colt has become a great friend. You should have seen him play basketball today. He did great and I think he can make the team with us next season. It's going to be great being teammates with him."
"I'm glad to hear that," I told him, feeling a bit of pride for Colt. "I'm also happy you two have become friends and that you are doing so much to help Colt. Not everyone would have been as generous."
"Maybe it's not so generous," he informed me. "I think it's more that I'm being selfish, because I want Colt on my basketball team. If he plays baseball, I'd like to get him on that team too." Jason was smiling and eyeing Colt, to see his reaction to that comment.
"I've played baseball with some of my friends where I used to live and in gym class," Cole explained, "but never on a team -- kind of like with basketball."
"In that case," Jason offered, "we'll work on that over the summer too, but basketball season comes first. We'll keep working on that for a while and then we'll see how you do at baseball. Okay?"
Colt was beaming.
"Yeah, that would be great," he conceded. "Jason, you can watch TV or put in a movie, while I make dinner," Colt continued. "Just tell Leo what you need and he can help you."
"You're cooking dinner?" Jason asked, somewhat shocked.
"Yeah, Leo and I take turns, but I wanted to do it tonight," he explained, almost as if he wanted Jason to know he was doing this just for him.
"Wow!" Jason exclaimed. "That's pretty cool. Can I help?" Colt thought about this momentarily.
"Yeah, that would be great," he finally replied, as he graciously accepted Jason's offer of help. "Come on, and I'll show you want to do." Jason seemed pleased by his response.
"Would you like my help too?" I asked, indicating I didn't want to place all the responsibility on them.
"Nah, we can do it," Colt responded. "You can go relax and we'll call you when everything is ready." I'd been summarily dismissed, so I slinked to my bedroom, to do a few things on the computer.
It must have been forty minutes or so later when Jason came into my room. "Colt told me to tell you dinner is ready," he announced meekly.
"Okay," I answered, while shutting down the things I was working on. "I'll be right there." Jason left and I soon followed him.
As I exited my bedroom, the smells coming from the kitchen overwhelmed me. They immediately caused my stomach to begin to growl. The scent was absolutely delicious. As I entered the dining room, I noticed the table had been set formally, as Colt had used the china, instead of the everyday dinnerware. He also had two candles lit on the table, although he had not bothered to dim the lights. I guess it was just for atmosphere.
In addition to the spaghetti and meatballs, Colt had fixed garlic bread and a salad. The salad was comprised of Romaine and endive lettuce, along with some spinach leaves, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and chic peas. He had also covered it with croutons and bacon bits, before coating it with his own salad dressing, which he had made using balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and a few other spices. Everything looked quite delicious.
In a gracious and gentlemanly manner, Jason pulled my chair out for me when I approached the table. I was quite impressed. Then he took his seat, as Colt began to serve the meal. The salad was wonderful and started the meal off nicely. Once we finished that, Colt dished out the spaghetti and then passed around the dish with the meatballs, the grated cheese and garlic bread.
I chose that moment to open a bottle of wine and I told the boys I would allow them one glass of wine each with their meal. I think Jason was impressed that I was willing to do this for them, but I had already talked it over with Colt the night before. I told him as long as he promised he would not take advantage of my generosity again, as he had done at the restaurant, then I would offer them each some wine. I didn't think one glass would harm either of them and I was sure it would add to their appreciation of the meal. He agreed, so that's why I went ahead and did this.
The main course was just as wonderful as the salad and we all stuffed ourselves, enjoying the wonderful feast. Jason told Colt several times how good it was and what a fine job he had done, which caused Colt to blush with each compliment.
After dinner, I cleaned up the mess, with Jason's help. He wouldn't allow me to do it alone, even though I'd told him it would be fine and it was part of Colt's and my agreement. However, he helped me make sure everything was taken care of, while Colt set up the movie that Jason and he had agreed to watch.
I was going to slip down to my room and work on the computer, leaving the boys alone, but they weren't about to let me do that. They insisted I join them. They wouldn't even let me sit in my chair alone. Instead, they told me to sit on the couch and then they sat on either side of me. I thought this was a little strange, as I assumed they would probably want to sit together. It wasn't because I thought there was anything romantic between them, but that they would just want to sit together as friends.
I wasn't surprised when Colt leaned against me, but I was a little concerned. I wondered what Jason would think, once he noticed it. However, I shouldn't have worried, because soon Jason was leaning against me as well. I was sort of confused by this action, but made no move to stop it. I figured I'd question Colt about this later. About halfway through the movie, the boys put it on pause and declared a short break. Each of us used that opportunity to go to the toilet, but Colt used the remaining time to do something else. He served desert.
One of the things Colt had asked me to pick up on my way home was a cheesecake, which he had topped off with blueberries. Somehow, he had discovered that Jason preferred blueberries to cherries or strawberries, and he happily offered a piece to his friend. Jason was thrilled by his thoughtfulness and told him so, which caused Colt to blush once more. I wish I had kept count of the number of times that had happened during the evening, although I knew it was quite a lot.
When the movie ended, I announced I was going to bed. The boys said they were too, before Colt told me Jason would be sleeping in the spare room. I bid them both good night and they responded by doing the same, but Jason had a bit more to say. "Leo, thanks for letting me stay over tonight," he began. "I've had a wonderful time so far and thought maybe you could join us for a game of basketball tomorrow. Some of our friends are going to meet us at the school and there may be an odd number of players. Even if there isn't, we could always rotate guys in and out."
"I haven't played serious ball in a while," I replied, "except for a little game with Colt, so I'm not sure how much help I'd be. I will drive you guys down to play your game, and if needed, I will play too, but you won't have to work me in, if you have a sufficient number of players."
"I hope we need you to play then," Jason retorted, which surprised me. "You look like you can still handle yourself on the court."
"Thank you," I replied, while wondering about his motives. "I appreciate the compliment."
I noticed Colt was smiling, while looking at his friend, and I wondered if he also had suspicions about the motives behind the comment. It just seemed strange; especially if he was merely trying to help Colt make the team, unless he thought making me feel part of the process would help his cause. Nonetheless, I put it out of my mind and headed off to bed.
The next morning, I awoke before both boys, as I suspected I would. After emptying my bladder, I threw on some clothes and headed for the kitchen. On the way, I noticed the doors to both bedrooms were shut, which they normally weren't, so I didn't disturb them. I made my pot of coffee, retrieved the morning paper and sat down to enjoy a cup of java and read. Before long, Colt was following his nose into the kitchen.
"Smells good," he announced, groggily, before fixing himself a cup. It didn't even dawn on me at the moment that he was only clad in his underwear.
"Let me know when you're ready for breakfast," I told him. We sat silently for the next few minutes, while both of us enjoyed our beverage and I went back to the paper.
"Do you think it would be all right for me to eat now," Colt asked, "or should I wait for Jason to join us?"
"It would probably be polite to wait," I answered, "but if you're really hungry, I don't think Jason would mind."
"Nah, I'm not that hungry," he told me. "I'll wait a little longer, until he gets up." I just nodded my acknowledgment and said no more. I knew Colt wasn't totally awake yet either.
We must have been alone for another thirty minutes or so, as Colt slowly woke up and I read the news. We were eventually distracted, when Jason entered the kitchen, wearing only his boxers. He was yawning and stretching. "I wondered where everyone was," he informed us. "Have you been up long?"
Colt didn't look like he was going to answer, and I assumed he was probably still a little out of it, so I answered for both of us. "I've been up for a couple of hours, but sunshine here has only been up for a half-hour or so." Colt looked up and gave me a half-hearted look of disgust. "He takes a while to come to life," I added, getting an even harsher look from Colt, while Jason giggled.
"Yeah, my mom says I'm like that too," he admitted, which caused
Colt to perk up a bit.
"Are you ready for some breakfast?" I asked him, "or would you like some coffee first?"
"Nah, I never touch that stuff," he informed me, "but breakfast sounds good."
"Well, we can either fix something here or go out to eat. Which would you prefer?" I offered, giving him the choice.
"Uh, we could eat here," he answered. "We don't need to go out anywhere."
"It's not a problem," I countered, impressed by his thoughtfulness. "Going out for breakfast is no big deal. How about you, Colt? Which would you like to do?"
Colt looked at me thoughtfully, before he answered. "If you wouldn't mind," he began, "it might be nice to go out." I nodded eagerly.
"My thoughts precisely," I told him. "Why don't you boys go get dressed, unless you think they'll let you in wearing only your undies." My comment caused them suddenly to look at themselves and then each other. They had both obviously not thought about their current state of attire. They blushed slightly, before breaking out in laughter.
"My mother gets so mad at me for walking around the house like this when I first get up," Jason admitted, after he quit giggling. "But I guess I never really think about it. I s'pose maybe it's because I'm not quite awake when I first get up."
"Seems to be a lot of that going around," I shot back, causing Colt to glare at me. Jason saw that and started laughing again.
"What's so damn funny?" Colt challenged.
"I think it's funny we do the same thing," Jason responded, "but at least I admit it, while you try to pretend it's not true." Colt thought about this for a few seconds and then started giggling too.
"Okay, guilty as charged," he conceded, "but I don't like people ragging on me about my one flaw." He seemed smug after saying this.
"Maybe your most obvious flaw or most notable flaw," I offered, "but certainly not your only flaw." If looks could kill, I would have died that very instant. Colt's eyes were shooting lightning bolts at me. I don't think he enjoyed my playfulness in front of Jason.
"He has a slight coordination problem too," Jason added, jokingly. "Sometimes he trips over his own feet when we're playing basketball." Suddenly, Colt's glare shot to his friend, but he looked more hurt than annoyed. That was until he saw Jason's rather large smile.
"No way!" he exclaimed. "You tripped me and wouldn't admit it." Colt flashed an evil grin at Jason.
"Be a man, not a wuss," Jason shot back. "Admit that you have trouble moving and thinking at the same time. Hell, you have trouble moving, even if you aren't thinking. By the way, are you even capable of using your brain?" I thought their playfulness was getting a bit carried away, so I decided to stop it, before someone's feelings really got hurt and they did something they'd regret.
"Guys, if you want to eat, you'd better go shower and get dressed," I stated, emphatically, which caused them to think about food, rather than each other. Reluctantly, they went down the hall and I heard Colt tell Jason he could use his bathroom, because he would use mine. I was glad I had showered and dressed when I first got up. It took about twenty minutes before they were both ready. I guess food is still a decent motivator for growing boys.
I took them to my favorite little diner. Jason ordered waffles, while Colt wanted French toast and I went with an omelet. I also made sure we each had something else to go with it, as I was pretty sure they wouldn't be satisfied with just the little bit they ordered. When I requested home fries, sausage and bacon to go with my meal, both boys did the same, and then we all ordered a large glass of orange juice too.
Their food disappeared quickly, but they waited patiently while I finished mine. I suggested next time they might try chewing before swallowing, instead of just inhaling, but that didn't go over well. They quickly defended their eating methods by explaining that they had to eat that way in school, or they'd never get to their next class on time. I wasn't truly convinced, but I let it slide.
Once we were back home, the boys told me we had to hurry to get to the high school in time to meet the others. I couldn't believe they had set something up for this early, especially after such a big breakfast, but they said they had just expected to go play after they got up. They figured they might have a bowl of cereal first, but they didn't expect such a huge breakfast, like the one we just finished. I told them if they had explained that to me beforehand then I'd never have taken them out, but they quickly told me they'd learn to live with it. If only I could.
After we changed into appropriate attire, I drove them to the outdoor courts at the high school. There was a group of guys already waiting and Jason quickly informed me they were the friends we had come to meet. I eyed the group and noticed it consisted of a rather broad range of young men, but all were aspiring to make the high school basketball team next fall. I followed the boys over to the others, but hung to the rear, not quite sure if I wanted to get involved with this after all. They were all young, athletic and in shape, something I wasn't.
Once we reached the group, Jason began the introductions. "Leo, this is Ron, Simon, Gary, Ben and Albert," he informed me, pointing to each of them in turn. I knew I'd never remember all of their names, but then Jason added something more. "You can call Albert either Al or Bert, as people call him both. He'll answer you either way, but we usually call him Bert." I nodded my understanding and studied Albert first.
He was quite tall, maybe 6' 3" (190.5 cm) or 6' 4" (193 cm), but he didn't have much meat on his body. He was quite lanky. He also wasn't quite as cute as the other boys and seemed to have a serious, even dour, expression most of the time. His hair was the color of straw and he had hazel eyes, which normally I would find appealing. I think it was the look on his face, not his physical characteristics, which really put me off.
While I had been studying Bert, the boys had decided on teams. We had eight people in all, which included me, so that meant a four-on-four game. Even though I wasn't sure I wanted to play, seeing I was out of shape and out of practice, I now had no choice. I was on the team with Bert, Jason and Ben. Ben was about six foot even (183cm), black hair, blue eyes and a slender, yet muscular build. I was told by Jason that Ben had a good shot, so I should try to feed him the ball whenever possible. I nodded my head in agreement.
The other team had agreed to be skins, which was fine with me, as I'd prefer to see their bare bodies than have them gawk at mine -- not that they would want to. Now, we were ready to begin the game. My moment of truth had come.
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