This story is a continuation of the story of Kevin Foley, Rick Mashburn, and their "sons," Tim Murphy, Kyle Goodson, and Justin Davis that started in "Tim" and continued in "Justin." It is about gay men and gay boys living and loving together as a family, and it contains descriptions of sex. The sex is never intergenerational. If you are offended by descriptions of gay sex, or if the law in your area forbids you to read them, please exit the story. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy it. I appreciate feedback, and you can send it to me at email@example.com.
Kyle, Part 1
Although Sunday morning was our time together, Rick and I were very aware that we had a house full of company. It was Brian's first Sunday among us, and, while I was sure Tim and Kyle had filled him in on our routine, I didn't think it was a good idea for us to hang around our bedroom as long as we sometimes did. Not only that, but Pat and Jerry were in the house, too, and I didn't want to inconvenience them by having to put up with the kids without us being there. Evidently, Rick had the same ideas.
"I think we'd better get up, don't you," he said, after we had made love.
"I was just thinking that," I said.
"Great minds think alike, I guess," he said.
I started to get up, but he grabbed my arm and pulled me back to him. He kissed me intensely and fully.
"I love you," he said. "If the homophobes who beat Jerry up could get a glimpse into our relationship, they would celebrate our love, not try to hurt it."
A huge wave of affection for him swept over me at that moment. I knew that nothing would ever pull us apart.
"If I stay here, I'm going to melt into a puddle of happy tears," I said.
"So we'd better get up, right," he asked.
"Yeah, I think so."
"Okay. Let's go."
We pulled on our briefs and went out into the den. Just as I had suspected, Pat and Jerry were already up, as were Tim, Kyle, and Brian. Dave hadn't spent the night with us. It was too early in his relationship with Brian for that to happen. We had had an impromptu pool party at Kyle's house after Mass the evening before. He had stayed for that, and then he walked next door to his house.
"Did everybody sleep good," Rick asked.
Kyle and Tim got us cups of coffee, and they sent Brian out to get the papers. All three of them were in underwear, too, but Pat and Jerry were dressed.
"We haven't told the friends yet about Jerry," I said.
"It's only 8:30. It's a little early to call, don't you think," Rick said.
"You must follow the nine-and-nine rule," Jerry said.
"What's the nine-and-nine rule," Tim asked.
"Never call before nine o'clock in the morning or after nine o'clock at night," I said. "Unless it's an emergency, of course."
"We call each other after nine at night all the time," Kyle said.
"When," Rick asked. "You're never apart."
"Sometimes we are," Kyle said, a little defensively, but comically so.
"Are your parents all okay with your relationship," Pat asked. "I mean, I assume it's not purely platonic."
"What does that mean," Tim asked.
"It means he assumes you guys have sex," Rick said.
"They're all cool with it," I said.
Just then George Murphy came into the house. He had started doing that on Sunday mornings a few months before, and I think he enjoyed that time as much as we all did.
George said hello to everybody. He appeared a little surprised to see Jerry at our house at that time on a Sunday morning. Tim and Kyle hugged him, and then they went to get him some coffee.
"George, I want you to meet my brother Patrick. Pat, this is George Murphy, Tim's dad," Jerry said.
George and Pat shook hands.
"What's with the crutches," George asked.
Jerry told George the "real" version of what had happened to him.
"Pat came down because my parents are in Europe," Jerry said.
"I would have come down even if they had been here," Pat said. "I've only got one big brother, and I have to take care of him."
We all chuckled politely.
"I didn't see you guys at Mass last night," George said.
"I said Mass here, George," Jerry said. "I wish we had thought to call you, but it was a pretty spur-of-the-moment occasion."
"I, too, wish you had called. I think that would be very intimate. If you do that again, please call me," George said.
"We will, buddy," Rick said.
"Tim said you grew up in Boston, George," Pat said. "Where about?"
"The Back Bay section," George said. "I lived in the house my great-great-grandfather had built for his bride."
"Is the house still there," Pat asked.
"Oh, yes. It's divided into apartments now, but it's still there. My parents still live in it, as does my grandmother."
"Amazing. Do they still own it?"
"My grandmother does. Her house, the house my father grew up in, is right next door. She still owns that one, too," George said.
"That's a pretty pricey neighborhood," Pat said.
"Well, it's changed since I was a kid. For the better, actually," George said, obviously wanting to change the subject.
"George is an oral surgeon, and he keeps a pair of pliers in his glove compartment, if you have any bad teeth that need attention," I said.
"Do y'all want us to cook," Kyle asked.
I checked my watch, and it was nine o'clock.
"Yeah, please, guys. Brian, go wake up your brother and Jason," Rick said. "Just knock on the door. Don't go in, even if it's unlocked, unless he tells you to come in, okay, man?"
"Yes, sir," Brian said.
"How's Brian getting along here," George asked.
"Wonderfully," I said. "Tim and Kyle and Justin have been just great to him, especially Tim and Kyle. He had his first date and got his first kiss ever on Friday night."
"And he plays for your team, right," George asked.
"Yep," Rick said. "But he's still a rookie, so we don't know if he's going to play pitcher, catcher, or both."
"I wish straight men could be as open about their sexuality as you guys are," George said. "Most of them are so damn hung up on making sure everyone knows they're straight that they only ever talk about who they've taken to bed or who they'd like to take to bed."
"I've made that same observation with my colleagues and friends," Pat said. "By the way, George, I play for their team, too, not yours."
"I meant to ask you Friday night if you have a boyfriend or partner or someone, Pat," I said.
"I'm single, and, until very recently, I thought that was the way I wanted it to stay," Pat said.
"What changed your mind," Jerry asked.
"Well, these guys, of course," Pat said. "Now I want to be like Rick and Kevin."
Justin and Jason sort of staggered into the room, followed by Brian.
"Hi, guys. How you doing," Rick asked cheerfully.
"Okay," they mumbled. "What time is it," Jus asked.
"It's after nine. Did you guys stay up real late last night," I asked.
"Midnight," Jus said. "Why are y'all up so early?"
"The early bird gets the worm," George said.
"No! The early worm gets the bird," Jus said. We laughed at his pun.
There were going to be ten of us for breakfast, and the table would have to be expanded. I recruited Jus to help me get a couple of leaves for it.
"Brian, come here," I said. When he was over where we were, I said, "You and Jus set the table. There are ten people here this morning, so make sure everybody has a place. Oh, and use a table cloth and some cloth napkins from that chest over there. The two middle drawers. Call me over if you have questions about where to put stuff, okay?"
"Okay," Brian said. "This is so cool. In fact, you guys are unbelievable."
"It took me a while to believe it, too, Bri, but it's true," Justin said. "This is a real family, man. But you see who's working, don't you? The kids."
"Get your asses in that kitchen right now and set this table," I said. Justin stuck his tongue out at me.
I stuck my head in the kitchen to see how Tim and Kyle were doing. They were both laughing so hard they could hardly breathe, and they both had huge erections tenting out their briefs. I scanned the room, and it looked like things were under control, otherwise. I decided not to interfere.
"Kevin, George and Jerry and I were just talking about having a party tonight. A pool party at Kyle's house. What do you think," Rick asked.
"Gene and Rita are out of town until Tuesday," I said, "and it's November second."
"Their being out of town never stopped us before," he said, "and it was 78 degrees yesterday. It'll warm up that much today, too. Plus, we went swimming last night. We can say it's a delayed Halloween party."
"Then that sounds good to me, too, Babe. It'll give everybody a chance to meet Brian and Pat, and to find out about what happened to Jerry. It's a great idea," I said.
"How much longer are they going to be," he asked, nodding toward the kitchen.
"I'd say a good fifteen minutes," I said.
Just then Justin called for Jay to get his ass into the kitchen.
"Let's do some calling," he said. We used the house phone and our two cell phones to call our friends. Rick, George, and I did the honors, and, within fifteen minutes, we had everybody lined up to meet at Kyle's house at three. That included Philip and Ryan, Tim and Kyle's friends.
"Breakfast is ready," Kyle announced by poking his head through the kitchen door. We all went to the table and found places. Rick and I took the head places. Jerry and Pat sat next to each other on one side, and George sat next to Pat.
When everybody was seated, the boys brought in the food. First came a huge platter of meat. There were sausage patties, sausage links, smoked sausage, ham, bacon, and what looked like small square hamburgers. I later learned they were hamburgers that had been ripped off frozen hamburger meals. Next was a huge platter of scrambled eggs. I knew we had two dozen fresh eggs in the house, but those were supplemented by some of Rick's frozen egg whites. The third boy carried a bowl of grits. The fourth carried a big basket of bread goods. There was toast, toasted English muffins, bagels, a dozen freshly baked frozen biscuits, and a dozen fresh, warm glazed doughnuts. Evidently somebody had run to a convenience store that carried Krispy Kreme doughnuts to get them. The fifth boy bore the beverages. He had a pot of coffee in one hand and a pitcher of orange juice in the other. The last one had another pot of coffee and a bowl of fruit salad--some fresh, some canned, some frozen--tossed with Cool Whip. Salt, pepper, butter, jam, jelly, and cream and sugar were already on the table. They set it down all at one time, and everyone applauded.
Jerry said a quick blessing, and then we went at it.
"God, almighty, how'd y'all do all of this," Rick asked as the platters were being passed around.
"We've watched you for months, man," Kyle said. "We can learn, you know?"
"Well, you learned damn good. This is extraordinary."
Kyle, Tim, and Justin beamed. They knew the places of Rick and Little Rick in the hierarchy of our family, and they coveted his praise.
"Justin, Jay, and Brian were troopers, too, Rick," Kyle said. "Justin went and got the doughnuts, which are great, by the way."
"Did you go in just your underwear," Rick asked.
"Yup," Justin said. "I just pretended I was in a Speedo. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke."
The whole table laughed.
I don't know if the food was as good as I now remember it being or not, but it seemed like that was the best breakfast of my life. I had had very fancy "breakfasts" at a restaurant in New Orleans called Brennan's, and ours that morning wasn't in that culinary league at all. But for a breakfast put on by five teenaged boys, it was remarkable.
"Guys, we've called the friends for a party at Kyle's house this afternoon," Rick said.
"Pool party," Kyle asked, expectantly.
"Yep," Rick said.
"What time," Kyle asked.
"Three o'clock," Rick said.
"As soon as we clean up here we need to go get that heat on," Kyle said to Tim.
"I think it's only fair we clean up, Kyle," Rick said.
"No way, dude. You make fantastic meals for us all the time, Rick. We messed it up; we clean it up," Kyle said.
"Whatever," Rick said.
"It'll take me ten minutes to turn on the heat. I'll go do that and then come back and help clean up," Kyle said. "Justin, you're the dishwasher captain. Do you know how to do that?"
"I reckon I can figure it out, stud," Jus said.
"I reckon you can," Kyle said. "Tim, you're in charge of putting everything away. Don't save the toast. It won't be good tomorrow. Save everything else, though. Put the jams and jellies back in their same jars."
"Okay," Tim said.
"Brian, you're on p and p. Do you know what that means?"
"Pots and pans," Brian asked.
"You got it, brother," Brian said. "Jason, you get the room back in shape. Put the table cloth and napkins in the washer and start it. Do you know how to do that?"
"I've never washed anything before," Jason said.
"Wait till I get back. I'll show you how to do it," Kyle said.
With that said, Kyle lit up a cigarette. I was pretty sure it was his first one since Friday night, and I wondered why Kyle smoked at all. Justin, Jason, Pat, and I lit up, too.
"All right. Let's go," Kyle said when he had finished his smoke.
Kyle left without bothering to put on clothes. The other boys started taking things from the table to the kitchen. Kyle left the house just as the adults were moving into the den.
"He is unbelievable," Pat said.
"Who? Kyle," I asked.
"Yes. My God! That's a very motley crew of boys, and they're eating out of his hand. They love him, they respect him, and they obey him. That kid is something," Pat said.
"I sometimes think about the fact that I disapproved of him as Tim's friend at first because he smokes," George said. "What a fool I was! Now I thank God every day that Tim found him. I now know my Tim is going to be happy for the rest of his life because of Kyle. Kyle's dad, Gene, and I have become close friends."
"George, I insist on presiding when they formally commit to one another," Jerry said.
"Father, that will be one of the happiest days of my life," George said.
Jesus Christ! I got back home from turning on the heat in our swimming pool, and they hadn't done shit!
"What's the fucking problem here," I asked.
"The problem is Justin," Brian said. "He won't let me get to the sinks to wash the pots and pans."
"What's your story, Jus?"
"I thought I needed to rinse every plate and cup and silverware before I put it in the dishwasher," Jus said.
"No, you don't, Bubba. Just put 'em in there. This machine will wash 'em clean. Just put 'em in. You need help with the laundry, right?"
Jason had stripped the table, but he didn't know what to do next.
"Follow me," I said. We put soap and the tablecloth and napkins in the machine, and I fired it up.
"Is that all there is to it," Jason asked.
"Yeah. Don't you wash your clothes," I asked.
"No. My mom does that," he said.
"Cummy sheets and towels, too," I asked.
He turned really red when I said that. I ignored it.
"Let's go help 'em in the kitchen," I said.
They were almost finished when we got back in there. The dishwasher was going, and Brian was washing the dishes that couldn't fit in the dishwasher. Jus was drying.
"That was a really good breakfast," Tim said to me.
"You're really good at making them mind you," he said.
"It wouldn't have happened without you, though," I said. He smiled at me, and I knew once again he was all I would ever want.
When we got finished in the kitchen, I knew we had to do some shopping for that afternoon. It was going to be a big party because our family kept getting bigger and bigger. Just that week we had added Brian and Pat.
"Tim, help me count up how many are going to be eating tonight," I said.
"The seven of us, my dad. That's eight. Jerry and Pat, that's ten."
"Mont, Sam, and Fred. That's thirteen. Chad and Gage. That's fifteen. Who am I leaving out?"
"Philip and Ryan. That's seventeen," Tim said.
"Shit, we forgot Dave. I hope they invited him," I said.
"I'm sure they did," Tim said. "Let me go make sure."
He came back a minute later, and, yes, they had invited Dave.
"Eighteen for dinner. We'll get twenty steaks and twenty twice-baked potatoes. A huge salad and three cakes. Do you think three cakes are enough?"
"Let's get four," Tim said. I wasn't a real big dessert eater, so I tended to underestimate how much dessert we would need. "We can get some ice cream, too."
"Okay," I said. We told everybody we'd be back in a little while, and Tim and I went to a grocery store that had a huge deli. We bought the main ingredients, but we also bought a shit load of snack stuff. I paid for it all with my Goodson Enterprises credit card. We swung by the Goodson warehouse and loaded up three cases of beer and three cases of soft drinks. I signed out for it, according to Rick's new system, and I wrote PR, public relations, as the reason I needed it. That's what he had told me to do.
We took the stuff to my house and unloaded it. I loved having parties for my brothers and friends, and that was probably going to be the last one before it turned too chilly to swim, even with heat in the pool.
"Do you want to test out the pool," I said, hoping he wanted to as much as I did.
"Yeah. Let's test it out," Tim said, grinning.
We went in the water, and it was a very pleasant 80 degrees. We didn't swim much, though. Instead, we took that time to make love. It had been a few days since we had had the privacy to really make love to one another, and that afternoon Tim showed me how much he loved me. He was so fine and so cute. He played with my nipples like I liked him to, and I was just so happy to have him. I did him good, too, and I know he really liked it. I think I shot an extra-large load when he fucked me in the shallow end of that pool.
"Where you been, little brother," Rick said, as we walked in to the den at his house.
"Buying food for tonight," I said. "Where do you think we've been?"
I knew he knew exactly where we had been, and I knew he and Kevin had expected us to do that. It was kind of weird that a lot of the time Rick knew what I was thinking, but I also knew what he was thinking, so I guessed it worked both ways.
We farted around for a few hours, mainly doing homework. Brian drifted into our room while Tim was looking for something on the Internet and I was reading a book for English. I was lying on the bed, and Tim was at the desk.
"Do you guys like me," Brian asked, out of the blue.
"Of course we do, dumbass. Why did you ask that stupid-ass question," I said.
"Because I like you and Tim a lot, and I just wanted to make sure, that's all," he said.
"You're our brother now, Brian," Tim said.
"Why didn't we do anything last night," Bri asked.
"You mean sex," I asked.
"Yeah." He sort of mumbled that, and I figured he was a little embarrassed.
"Kevin and Rick really didn't want us to," Tim said. "Besides, Kyle and I are sort of like Kevin and Rick."
"We do stuff with other guys sometimes, which they don't," I said. "But Kevin crawled all over me about messing with you, Brian."
"Because he's concerned about you, little brother," I said. "We all are. We don't want you to be hurt in any way."
He sort of hung his head a little.
"Did we hurt your feelings by not coming on to you," I asked.
"A little bit. Am I sexy to you guys," he asked.
"Of course you are, Bri, but that would have been kind of like a set-up, you know? Why didn't you make a move?"
"I don't know how to do that, Kyle. I'm still pretty young, you know? I don't know much about sex," he said.
"I know, but you want it bad, don't you, dude? We did, too, when we were fourteen. But you have to take it slow. Do you like Dave," I asked.
"I like Dave a lot. A whole lot," he said.
"Dave knows what to do. He'll show you when you guys are ready for that," I said.
"How do you know he knows," Brian asked.
"It's not important how we know he knows, but we know he knows," Tim said.
"I'm sort of scared about the party tonight," Brian said.
"All the guys there will be our friends, man. You'll like them, and they'll like you," I said.
"How do you know they'll like me," Bri asked.
"'Cause I know 'em. I know they'll like you. You're cute, you're smart, you're funny, you're good looking. They'll like you. Trust me," I said. "What's not to like, Bubba?"
"I'm still scared, though. Besides, it's a pool party, and I don't even have a bathing suit," he said.
"That's okay. We all swim naked," I said.
A look that was pretty close to panic came over Brian's face when I said that.
"But if you want a suit, I've got plenty you can wear, Bri," I said.
He was struggling. I wanted to help, but I didn't know how.
"Does anyone ever get, er, you know, er..."
"Hard," Tim asked.
"Sometimes we do, but we just ignore it. It's all guys there. Nobody cares," Tim said.
"Are you sure," Bri asked. "What if some of them are like us?"
"You mean gay," I asked.
"Everybody there but Tim's dad is gay, Bri," I said. "And maybe Pat."
"Pat's gay," Tim said. "Just trust me on that one."
"They're all gay? Won't that just make it worse," he asked.
"You're going to be just fine, buddy. We're your family now, man. We don't care if you get hard, and you can't care if we get hard, okay," I said. I was trying to be gentle with him.
"You guys are the best," Brian said.
At the party that afternoon, Brian got naked and got in the water with the rest of us. We played and wrestled and dunked one another the way we always did. Pat wasn't shy about joining in the fun, and Brian wasn't either. We had a great time.
We always had music going on the stereo during our parties. That night, though, Gage introduced a new thing to us: dancing.
I had been to a few dances at school, and Clay and I had even taken dancing lessons one summer at a camp we went to. I pretty much knew how to dance. At least I thought I knew how to dance. A line dance song came on the stereo from a CD that was a kind of mix of all kinds of music. Gage made me and Tim, and him and Chad get up to dance, and he taught us how to do it. Justin liked the shit-kicking beat of that song, and he and Jay got up to dance, too. Before we knew it, everybody but Jerry was up and dancing. A few of the grown-ups had put shorts on, but all of the boys were naked. We hit the repeat button, and we did that dance for four or five times through that song. It was fun.
Some of the older guys, like Mont and Fred, were a little bit winded, and all of us kids were puffed out a little in the dick department. Nobody was really hard, but you could tell there had been some flopping around out there.
A slow song came up, and Gage showed us how to dance slow. All the old guys sat down to rest. Tim was my partner, and we did it pretty good. He and I both got hard, though, and Chad and Gage, and Jus and Jay got hard, too. That was a sexual hard-on I got, not a mechanical one from running naked or a piss hard-on like in the morning. That one really made me want Tim. Philip and Ryan joined us in the slow dance, too, and they both got hard like we did.
We were down at the other end of the pool, and there wasn't very much light down there. When the dance ended, we all sort of looked at one another, a little embarrassed. Rick came down to where we were.
"Guys, I think we need to cool it with the slow dancing, don't you," he asked.
"Yeah," we pretty much all said.
"Kyle, y'all walk down to the lagoon until those things are gone, okay, buddy," he said to me.
"Are they all talking about us back there," I asked. I was hoping they weren't talking about our hard dicks and laughing at us.
"I don't think anybody else noticed. There's nothing to be ashamed of, boys, or embarrassed about. It's a perfectly natural reaction. If you had clothes on, it wouldn't matter. We just need to cool it with slow dancing naked, okay?"
"Yes, sir," I said. "Thanks."
I knew Rick and Kevin really loved us, but, when he grinned at me right then, I knew there was a connection between him and me that didn't even exist between me and Tim. Rick was hot. There was no question about that. And I knew he thought I was hot, too. But there was no sexual stuff between us. We were connected like twins or something, brothers who were identical in every way but age and looks.
"Come on guys," I said. "Let's walk down to the lagoon."
"Does anybody have cigarettes," Gage asked, as we walked down.
"Yeah, I got a pack right here in my breast pocket, Gage," Justin said. "Ease it out with your tongue, man."
"Very funny," Gage said. "You're just interested in my tongue."
"I swear to Christ, Gage," Jus said. "Sometimes you say the dumbest things. Where do you think any of us would have cigarettes, man? Up our asses?"
"Don't be mean to him," Chad said.
"I'm not being mean, Chad," Jus said. "I'm just saying he wasn't thinking. Oh, and Gage, thanks for teaching us how to dance, man. I had a great time, and I want to dance some more. I guess there won't be no more slow dancing, though. I liked that the best."
"You're welcome, you big stud, you," Gage said, smiling and winking at Justin, flirting with him outright in front of both their boyfriends.
Justin grinned at him. "You are so queer," Jus said, laughing.
"Did you ever think that might be an act," Gage said. Suddenly, his voice dropped deeper, and there wasn't a trace of a lisp or whatever the hell it was in his voice that made him sound queer.
"Holy fucking shit," Jus said in total surprise. "What the hell was that?"
"That was my real voice," Gage continued in the same voice. "I can act just as straight as you, Justin. But I don't because I'm not straight. If I acted like you, everybody, well most people, anyway, would think I'm straight. You guys are so unlike any group of people I have ever known in my life. You accepted me, queer and all. But that queer act is who I am now."
"Is it an act for you, too, Chad," Justin asked.
"Oh, God, how I wish it were," Chad said. "No, this is me. Take it or leave it."
"Well, we obviously decided to take it," I said.
"I know you did, Kylie, and don't think that didn't remake my whole life," Chad said.
"What do you mean, remake your whole life," I asked. All that they were saying was blowing my mind. I had thought we would walk down to the lagoon, separate, and get our partners and ourselves off. I was totally limp by then. Well, almost totally.
"Kyle, you and Tim were the first friends I ever had in my life. Do you remember what I looked like that first time I came over here with Sam and Fred? I had thirty or more pieces of jewelry on, and I was wearing makeup. That didn't bother the two of you at all. Do you remember the camping trip and what we did? That was the beginning of my life, Kyle. You probably best remember riding the horses with Rick, but I was born in that tent the night before y'all went riding. Gage knows how I feel about the two of you."
"What are you pussies talking about," Philip asked. He and Ryan had gone off from us, and I knew they had both gotten off.
"None of your fucking business, Philip," I said, grinning at him.
"Don't tell me that, asshole. I'm your best friend," Philip said.
"I know, and you always will be, but I ain't tellin' what we're talking about," I said. I pinched one of his nipples. Philip shoved me on my shoulder, but he was grinning so it didn't piss me off and make me want to fight him. That was just the way he and I did with each other.
"Let's go back up and dance some more," Tim said. "Have you got any more music that we can do that country dance to, Babe?"
"I don't know. We can look," I said.
"Shit, I got ten CD's in my truck that we can dance country to," Justin said.
"Get 'em, Bubba," I said.
Justin grinned like he was real happy with us, and he took off at a trot.
We danced a good bit more, and it was really fun. A few times a slow one came up, and I wanted to dance slow with Tim so bad I could taste it. Holding him close, swaying back and forth, rubbing our hard dicks against one another had been really great. I knew right then dancing was going to be part of what we did from then on. When we finished dancing, we were all covered with sweat. We jumped in the pool to wash off.
By about seven o'clock, I knew the grown-ups were getting a little bit drunk, and the kids were getting a little bit hungry. Brian and Dave hadn't done the slow dance, but they damn sure liked the line dancing and other fast dances. I let them stay out there with the other guys, but I got Justin and Jason in to help me and Tim get the food on the table. It was a real easy meal, and it took us about thirty minutes to get the potatoes hot in the microwave, the salad tossed up, some frozen corn on the cob heated up, some rolls heated in the oven, and the steaks cooked on the gas grill. I didn't bother taking orders for steaks. I knew they liked them either rare or medium rare, so I cooked half of them medium rare and the other half pure rare. They were cut from a real nice tenderloin, so they were tender and tasted great.
We had some iced tea and soft drinks for whoever wanted them, but the grown-ups said the boys could have a small glass of red wine with dinner if they knew their parents wouldn't mind. I hadn't picked up any wine, but Kevin helped me pick out a few bottles of some red wine my parents had in the house.
"Rick and I will replace this wine tomorrow," he said.
"Why? It's here for people to drink," I said.
"Kyle, you have no idea how generous your parents have been to us, do you," Rick asked.
"I don't know what you mean," I said.
"All the parties we've had here? All the fun? All the money they've spent on us? You paid for all this food, didn't you?"
"So? I'm their son, and you're my brother. Guess what that makes you? It makes you, me, and Rick the only sons they've got left."
I was thinking about my brother Clay at that moment, and I sort of teared up.
"Do you think about Clay a lot," he asked.
"I think about Clay all the time, Kev. I miss him so bad." I grabbed Kevin around the waist and hugged him to me. I was a total basket case right then. Our penises rubbed against one another because we were still naked, but there was no reaction from either of us.
"I know you do, baby," he said. "And you miss Jeff this weekend, too, don't you?"
"I miss Jeff bad right now," I said. "Why didn't he come home this weekend?"
"Baby, Jeff has to find a new life. You know that, don't you," Kevin asked me.
"I know he does. But not this soon, right?"
"It's getting close to the end of the semester. He's got papers to write and books to read and exams to study for. Plus, we weren't here last weekend, remember? Jeff hasn't given up on us. We're the only family he has. He'll be here for your birthday weekend after next and then for Thanksgiving the weekend after that."
"I think my parents might make me go to Charleston for Thanksgiving," I said. I was very down about that, and I'm sure it showed on my face.
"I'll talk to your dad about that, Bubba," Kevin said.
"Please make him let me stay here," I said. "This is where I belong."
"I agree, Kyle. But if they make you go to Charleston, you're going to be a man about it, right? You're going to be cheerful? You're going to make Tim and Rick and me proud of you, right?"
I lost it right then, and I cried. I wanted to say "yes" so bad, but I really didn't know if I could do that.
"Is somebody going to get some wine," Rick said, as he came into the room with us.
I pulled away from Kevin, wiped my eyes, and got the first four bottles of red wine I saw that had the same labels on them. We took it out, Jerry said the blessing, and we ate a great dinner.
Gene wasn't back in the office until Tuesday morning, and Rick and I were in there first thing.
"Whoa! Has my business gone to hell in a hand basket over the weekend," Gene asked. He was jovial.
"This ain't about your business. This is about our kid," Rick said.
"What??!" His voice let us know he was totally surprised.
"Gene, Kyle really does not want to go to Charleston for Thanksgiving," Rick said. "Is there any way you can talk Rita into letting him stay here with us?"
He laughed, which I thought was a little strange. "Rita and I talked about that this weekend, and we both agreed he belongs here with you boys," Gene said. "Your whole family is coming in for it, right, Kev," he asked.
"Yes," I said.
"They need to meet him, and he needs to meet them. George and I talked about this, too, you know? He and Tim need to be together. And Jeff needs them together here, too. I assume Jeff is going to be here."
"Yes, Jeff will be here," Rick said.
"And all of your extended family," Gene asked.
"Well, Thanksgiving Day will be my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, Rick, me, Kyle and Tim, and Justin and Brian, and Jeff and George," I said. "An even dozen. Saturday, though, we'll have the whole crowd."
"Of course you know that if you want to use the pool, feel free," Gene said. "It might not be too cold, especially with the heater on."
"We might. The kids love those pool parties," Rick said.
"What about you, big fella," Gene asked him, smiling like he knew the truth.
Rick grinned. "Me, too," he said.
"We put that pool in when the boys were little fellas. I told Rita that one day it would be a kid magnet, and, sure enough, it is. Of course, now-a-days, everybody's got a pool, almost," Gene said.
"We don't," Rick said, looking at me. He had brought up the idea of us putting in a pool when I first bought the house, but I didn't think it was a good idea because of the maintenance.
"By the way, guys, have y'all given any thought to a bigger house. You've got quite a family now, and, knowing you boys, this ain't as big as it's going to get," he said.
"We haven't yet, but we probably need to," Rick said. "I think we can afford it, thanks to you, Gene."
"Thanks to me, bullshit! Y'all earn every dime you make, that's for damn sure. And you're making me a lot more money, thanks to those new systems y'all put into place. You can say what you want to about business school, but they sure taught you boys how to run businesses," he said. Then, to tease us, "Think how much more you'd know, though, if you had gone to Florida instead of Florida State."
We chuckled politely, but Gene laughed like it was a hilarious joke.
Around three o'clock my secretary buzzed to say I had a visitor. I told her to send the visitor in. I knew it wasn't a salesman because she knew how to fend them off unless they had an appointment. The visitor turned out to be Kyle.
"Hey, buddy," I said when he came in my office. "This is a pleasant surprise."
"Hi," he said. He had a serious expression on his face, but he didn't look upset or troubled. He took a seat without being asked.
"Where's your boy," I asked.
"He and Philip and Ryan wanted to ride go-carts," he said.
"You didn't want to go?" Kyle loved doing stuff like that.
"No, I wanted to talk to you. Do you have time to talk?"
"I always have time to talk to you, Bud," I said. "Do you want something to eat or drink?"
"I'm pretty hungry, but I can wait," he said.
"Do you want to go down to the coffee shop? I usually have a cup of coffee around this time, anyway. You can get something to eat down there," I said.
"Yeah, let's do that," he said, rather more eagerly than I expected.
We went down to the coffee shop on the first floor of our building and ordered at the counter. He couldn't decide between apple pie and lemon meringue pie, so he got a piece of each. He ordered coffee with cream and sugar. I ordered plain black coffee. We took out stuff out to a table on the deck. It was a magnificent day, about seventy degrees with no wind to speak of.
"What's on your mind," I asked after we were settled.
"Something happened last night, and I don't know what to make of it. I just need to talk about it."
"What was it," I asked.
He told me about Gage acting straight when they went down to the lagoon.
"Have you ever heard of anything like that," he asked.
"No, I haven't," I said.
"Why would he do that? Why would he act femmy if he really isn't?"
"He told you acting straight is an act for him because he's really not straight? Is that what he said," I asked. I wasn't sure I had gotten it right.
"Yeah. Is that weird or what? Justin asked Chad if he was just acting, too, when he acts effeminate, but he said no. It really blew Justin's mind," Kyle said.
I didn't know what to say, so I nodded.
"And you know what else Chad said," he asked. "He said Tim and I were the first friends he had ever had in his whole life! He said he was remade on that camping trip when Tim and I fooled around with him. Did you know about that?"
"Yeah, I knew," I said.
"Can you believe we were his first friends ever?"
"I can believe it, Bud," I said. "Chad was, and maybe still is, a pretty fucked up little guy. Kyle, I don't think you and Tim understand the effect y'all have on people. You guys got those medals for saving those two people in the storm, but you've saved more people than that."
He looked like he didn't understand or believe a word I was saying.
"What are you talking about?"
"Justin. Chad. Jeff. Probably Brian, eventually."
"All we did was be nice to 'em," he said.
"When nobody else had ever been nice to them before," I said.
There was a very pensive silence all of a sudden. Kyle pulled a box of cigarettes out of his shirt pocket and took one out. Then he offered them to me, and I took one, too. He lit his and then handed me his lighter.
"How can that make such a difference? For Chad to think he was remade just because we liked him?"
"I don't know Chad all that well, son, but I know he was pretty unappealing when we first met him, don't you think," I asked.
"Yeah, he was such a sissy. He was wearing makeup that first night we went swimming with him."
"Yeah, I knew that. I noticed. Now he doesn't even wear earrings, does he?"
"He wears one now and then, but it's just one. A lot of guys do that."
"Kyle, I'm getting the feeling I'm not helping you much here," I said.
"I don't think I need help, I just...I just don't understand stuff very good, Kevin."
"Well, you've told us you were pretty sad and lonely before you met Tim," I said.
"I was. I was sad a lot, but I always had friends. I just didn't have any gay friends. Although it turns out my best friend was gay, and I didn't even know it. Philip. How stupid was that?"
There was another thoughtful pause.
"Kyle, thank you for coming to talk to me, for trusting me that much," I said.
"No, Kevin. Thank you for caring about us," he said. We finished our coffee and he left.