Chapter 13: Getting to Know You
**Author's Note:** Please read the disclaimer in Chapter 00 before you read this.
The boys decided to play a full court game, even though I tried to convince them Colt might learn more if we kept it to half-court the first time or two. Actually, I was more concerned about me being able to keep up with the rest of them, seeing they were in better shape than I was, but I would soon learn how badly out of shape I was.
We started to match up and I wanted to guard Colt, but that was not to be. Instead, I was told to guard Gary, a cute 5' 10" (178 cm) blond with blue eyes, while Jason defended against Colt. I noticed that Jason seemed to be doing a lot of hand-checking with Colt, and was frequently touching his lower back or butt, but I wrote that off as the way he played the game. However, he would have to break that habit while playing on high school and college teams, as the refs would call a holding foul each time he did it.
The boys showed early that they liked to run, so I tried to keep up with them the best I could. After about twenty minutes of nonstop running, I was starting to get a cramp. I called a time out and walked off the court, moving onto the grass. As I bent over to catch my wind, I lost my breakfast. Whoosh! It was out of me before I knew what was happening. I felt like an idiot and I knew the boys were either laughing or getting ill themselves. Colt raced to my side, to see if I was all right. He lovingly rubbed my back and asked me if I was feeling okay. I was just about to answer him when, wham, he did the same thing. I guess the smell from my deposit triggered his gag reflex and now there were two partially digested meals on the lawn.
When we turned around and faced the others, we saw Jason nearly rolling on the ground in hysterics, but he was smart enough not to come over and risk losing his breakfast too. The other boys were politely trying to stifle their laughter, but Colt and I were still extremely embarrassed. To give us a little extra time to get over this, we walked over to the drinking fountain, rinsed out our mouths and spit the water onto the ground. Once we felt our stomachs were settled, we drank a little of the water, so our bellies weren't quite so empty. The boys gave us a few more minutes before we continued, and then they suggested we go to a half-court game. I certainly wasn't about to argue.
The rest of the game was fun, hard fought and uneventful, as far as non-basketball related events went. The two big guys, Bert and Simon, battled hard against each other, yet were still able to help out a lot on defense. I had a lot of trouble guarding Gary, because he was so damn quick, and it was nice to have Albert backing me up.
As predicted, Ben shot the lights out and took the pressure off of the rest of us offensively. However, no matter how hectic things were, I still had time to be impressed by Colt's natural ability and raw talent. He did fairly well, even though Jason wasn't cutting him any slack. I was really impressed one time when Colt helped out Ron, who was guarding the hot shooting Ben. Not only did Colt block Ben's shot and nearly ram the ball down Ben's throat, he was also able to maintain control of the ball and turn it into a score for his team. With a bit more instruction and polish, he could become a real threat on the court.
When the game ended, my team had won by two baskets, with very little help from me. At least I didn't think so. The boys were quite generous in their praise and told me I did well, after I barfed my guts out. However, I was convinced they were only saying this because Colt lived with me. After the rest of the boys went home, Jason and Colt got back into my car and I drove them to our place, because Jason wanted to spend more time with us.
"You guys were so funny when you blew chunks," Jason teased, as soon as I started the car.
"I wouldn't have done it, if I hadn't gone over to see if Leo was okay," Colt shot back, defensively.
"And I wouldn't have done it if you had told me we were playing so early," I added. "I probably wouldn't have eaten until after we got home, had I known that."
"Yeah, sure," Jason continued, "and then we'd have missed out on all that fun." He was laughing hysterically again. "I ate a big breakfast too and I didn't upchuck," he gasped out.
"Yeah and you didn't go over to help Leo and smell that crap," Colt told him, "or you would have puked too."
The boys continued this verbal sparring all the way home, but I stayed out of it. I'd already done my part in this little fiasco and I wasn't about to thrust myself back into the spotlight. I felt it was best to let that pair continue, while I kept out of harm's way.
Once we got back, I let the boys spend time alone in the house. They watched a movie while they unwound and then went into my bedroom and got on the computer. I wasn't sure what they were doing, but I wasn't about to invade their privacy either. If Colt was legally independent, I had no right to monitor his activities.
As I was fixing dinner, Colt raced out to ask me a favor. "Leo, would you mind if Jason stayed over again tonight?" I had expected Jason to stay for dinner, but this current request was a surprise. However, it was not that big of a deal.
"Is it all right with his folks?" I asked.
"He wanted to make sure it was okay with you first, before he called them," Colt informed me. "He says they won't have a problem with it anyway."
"Okay, but have him call them to make sure," I explained. "If they don't have a problem with it, he is welcome to stay anytime he wants."
"Thanks, Leo," Colt squealed, as he hugged me and kissed my on the cheek. I thought this was a little brave of him, since we didn't know if Jason might appear at any second, but Colt didn't seem to care. After he released me, he went off to tell Jason the good news.
Later, when I called the boys for dinner, Jason approached me. "Leo, thanks for letting me stay longer," he began. "I really like it here and it's much better than being home and bored."
"I take it your parents had no problem with it then?" I pressed, mildly.
"Nah, as long as I'm not getting into trouble, they couldn't care less," Jason replied. I thought this a strange response, since I had always thought that Jason came from a well-to-do, loving and caring family. Apparently, having money does not always mean a good home life.
"As I told Colt," I explained, "you are welcome to stay any time, as long as you clear it with your parents first." Jason smiled at me and spoke again.
"Thanks, Leo. You really are as cool as Colt said." I must have blushed a little, because both boys looked at me and giggled, before they looked at each other.
It was a warm night, so about an hour after dinner I offered to take them out for ice cream. Both boys jumped at the idea, so we loaded back into the car and headed for the local establishment. We all decided to get a sundae and the boys wolfed theirs down in no time flat. Of course, they had to sit and wait for me, as usual, but they chatted about a bunch of things as they did so. I was impressed with how well they were getting along and how comfortable they felt in each other's presence. It was really nice seeing Colt have such a good time and making such a great friend.
The boys decided to watch another movie after we got back and asked me to join them. I had turned the air conditioning on when we left for ice cream and the house had cooled down nicely, so I agreed to their request. They had me sit on the couch, next to Colt, and Jason sat on the other side of him. This was a little different than the previous night, when one sat on either side of me, but this was what I had expected to happen in the first place. I guess that last night they were just trying to make me feel good for letting them spend the time together at my place.
About halfway through the movie, I happened to glance over and noticed that Jason had his head on Colt's shoulder. I figured he was probably tired and thought nothing more of it. When the movie ended, I told the boys I was heading to bed, but they could stay up, as long as they made sure everything was turned off and the doors were locked when they went to bed. They quickly informed me they were going to bed too, so I did those tasks instead. Once that process was completed, I made my way to my bedroom and got ready to sleep. I was pretty worn out myself. That basketball game had taken more out of me than I had thought.
I slept like a log that night. I don't remember dreaming or getting up at all during the night, but I was up and rearing to go at my normal time the next morning. After going to the toilet, taking a shower and dressing, I opened my bedroom door and noticed something strange. The door to the spare bedroom was wide open. I peeked inside, to see if Jason was all right, but the room was empty. In fact, the bed hadn't even been slept in. I knew that he slept there the night before, because I straightened the bed out after we got home from the game. I guess he and Colt had decided they'd share Colt's bed instead last night, so I went on with my morning ritual.
After making a pot of coffee and grabbing the Sunday paper, I sat down to relax and make my way through this week's monstrosity. I had breezed through the first three sections before Colt and Jason rose from the dead. They came stumbling out of the bedroom in their underwear. "You guys couldn't find your clothes again?" I quipped.
"Hey, it's only us. What's the big deal?" Colt asked me.
"Okay, I won't push it," I told them. "So what would you like for breakfast? I can give you cereal, eggs, English muffins..." I hadn't finished the list before I got cut off.
"Yeah," Colt told me.
"Yeah, what?" I asked, confused.
"That sounds good. We'll take cereal, eggs and English muffins," he explained, with Jason nodding. I decided to accept that answer and ask my next question.
"How would you like your eggs?"
"How about scrambled," Jason suggested, with Colt quickly agreeing. I had their order, so now all I had to do was fix it.
"Colt, do you think you could pour three glasses of O.J. while I'm whipping this up?" He looked at me groggily.
"Sure, Leo. No problem," he mumbled, before grabbing the orange juice from the fridge and the glasses from the cupboard.
It wasn't long before we were enjoying our breakfast together, even though I had to get up one more time and make a fresh supply of eggs. Once they had finished eating, Jason and Colt chilled out for a bit, before they went outside to play a little one-on-one. I was happy they didn't ask me to join them. When they finished their game, they came in and messed around on the computer for a while and stayed on it until it was time for lunch.
"When are you supposed to be home?" I asked Jason, while we were eating.
"I guess as long as I'm home before bedtime tonight, my parents won't care," he responded, which made me wonder about his home life.
"Leo, Jason and I were talking earlier," Colt informed me, "and we were wondering if it would be alright if Jason stayed here again next weekend." I wasn't ready for this.
"Jason, don't you think your parents might like to see you for a while?" I asked, not wanting to cause problems between his parents and him. They might have plans and want the family to spend time together."
"Not likely," he answered quickly, dismissing my idea. "They're too busy working and making money, and when they're not doing that, they're partying with their business associates or trying to impress prospective clients." Hearing this made me feel sorry for him.
"Don't you ever do things together?" I followed.
"Oh, yeah, once in a while they have a family business gathering and then I'm expected to go and help them impress everybody," he quipped, with a sneer. "Those things are so boring that I wish I could find a way to get out of going to them too." I saw Colt's mouth drop open and he quickly glanced at me, to gauge my reaction.
"You mean your mom and dad don't take you places or spend time with you?" Colt almost gasped.
"Yeah, I guess they do on the holidays or if we go visit family," Jason replied, without much emotion, "but I don't mind. I actually enjoy it more when we're not together. I get tired of having to act like I'm their business partner or something." Colt looked as if he were in a state of shock.
"What do your parents do Jason?" I asked him.
"They're into real estate," he answered, simply.
"You mean they sell properties?" I countered, trying to get him to clarify this a little more.
"Well, they do have their own Real Estate company," he began, "but they have a bunch of employees to take care of the small stuff. My `rents own a bunch of places too. They own the Eastside mall and a couple of office buildings downtown, plus they have a few apartment buildings."
"Damn!" Colt exclaimed. "They own all that?" Now, Colt actually looked as if he were in shock.
"Yeah, and they expect me to take over the real estate company some day," Jason told us, saying it almost as if he had something bitter in his mouth, "'cept I don't want to spend my life working like they do. I want to have some time to have fun too." I suddenly had a new appreciation for Jason's situation and I think Colt did as well.
"As long as your parents don't mind," I reiterated, "then you're welcome to stay here next weekend too." Both boys seemed pleased, but there were still many unanswered questions.
Jason had dinner with us and then rode his bike home shortly thereafter. Once he was gone, Colt came to find me. "Can you believe what Jason said about his family?" he asked me. "They almost sound as bad as my `rents." I didn't know quite how to respond to that.
"Well, there is an old adage that money can't buy love," I told him, "and if what Jason told us is completely accurate, then it looks as if his parents love money more than they do him."
"Why would they have kids then?" Colt asked next. It seemed like a fair question.
"It could have been that he was unplanned or that at one time they actually wanted a family," I told him. "Maybe they think they are showing him love by doing so well and giving him so much. It's hard to say, but people look at life differently."
"Well, I don't think they're looking at him at all," Colt shot back. "From what Jason said, they only know they have a son whenever they need him to make them look good. Parents are supposed to be there for their children, not the other way around."
"I won't disagree with you," I responded, "but I doubt we're going to change them, so it doesn't do Jason or us any good getting all worked up about it. We'll just make sure he also has a place where he can to be happy and feel wanted. Okay?"
Colt threw his arms around my chest and squeezed me tightly. "Thank you, Leo," he squealed, "You not only took a chance and helped me, but now you're willing to help Jason too. You're so sweet." Colt suddenly thrust his mouth against mine and used his tongue to part my lips. I readily acquiesced and soon our tongues were dueling in a playful expression of our love. Colt didn't seem to want to break this kiss, so we continued on like that for some time, taking turns sucking on each other's oral muscle. When he felt he had enough, Colt released me, but just stood there gazing into my face.
"You have school tomorrow and I have to work," I reminded him. "Do you have all your homework done?"
"I have a little more to do," he responded, rolling his eyes.
"Why don't you go finish that and then we can spend the rest of our time together, before we go to bed," I suggested.
"I can do it tomorrow in study hall," he protested.
"Look, I know you didn't do it because Jason came over," I reminded him, "so if Jason's visits are going to upset your work habits, I may have to reconsider letting him come over so much." I knew I was sounding like a parent again, but I thought he needed some motivation.
"All right, you win," Colt conceded, "but this isn't fair. I thought I was my own boss and could make my own decisions now," he added, giving me an evil glare.
"You are and you can do your homework whenever you want," I countered, "but I get to make the decisions about my house and who's welcome here and when."
"Okay, okay. I'm going," he told me, as he gave me a semi-disgusted look and headed toward his room. I knew he'd get over it, but it's tough playing so many roles with him – friend, protector, confidant, occasionally lover, sometimes even parent and who knows what else.
I suddenly switched my thoughts to Jason now and wondered if maybe I should try to help him too. I thought maybe I'd start by doing a little investigation on my own during the coming week, to see if I could find out more about his family.
The night passed by swiftly and I went to bed early. I peeked in on Colt before doing so, to bid him good night. He was still working on his homework, so I knew he couldn't have finished it during a study hall, had I not pushed him into getting it done. However, he looked stressed and fatigued, so I didn't linger and let him get back to his work.
I had been in bed for quite some time, when I felt the bed move beside me. I hadn't even heard the door to my room open, but did feel Colt sliding over and cuddling up behind me. "I wasn't sure you'd be joining me tonight," I whispered.
"Why?" Colt asked, confused.
"I thought you might have gotten out of the habit over the weekend," I replied, "and you didn't look too happy with me a little while ago, for making you do your homework."
"Actually, I'm glad you did," he replied. "It took me much longer to finish than I'd expected. And I'll never get out of the habit of sleeping with you," he added, before hugging me tightly. His little show of affection helped me to get a wonderful night's sleep.
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