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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kyle, Part 1
The kids hauled ass out of the house as quick as they could on the Sunday morning after Kyle's party to get out on that new boat of his. They called Dave to see if he wanted to go with them, and, of course, he did. So, Tim and Kyle, Justin and Jason, Brian and David, and Jeff took off for a day of skiing and boating. Ordinarily Jason would have had to go to church with his family, but that day he had apparently been able to get out of it.
It was peaceful at our house. Rick was reading the newspaper, and I was watching Meet the Press.
"Do you think we ought to buy a bigger house," he asked, out of the blue.
"You know. Like Gene said. Get a house with more bedrooms."
I wasn't opposed to the idea, but I really hadn't given it any thought.
"Is there something listed in the paper," I asked.
"As a matter of fact, there are two that sound good. One has four bedrooms with a two-bedroom garage apartment, and one has seven bedrooms with seven baths. They're both about a million," he said.
"A million bucks! Wow! Are they on water?"
"They're both on this lagoon," he said. "On the other side of the street, though, of course."
"That seems like a lot of money," I said.
"It is, but we make a lot of money. What could we get for this house? A quarter of a million?"
"Yeah, I think so," I said. "Do the ads give the square footage?"
"The four bedroom has a total of 5,000 livable square feet, and the other one has 6,500 square feet. That's the better buy, it looks like."
"Do the ads give the addresses? We could take a ride to see what they look like."
"Yeah, they both do. They're both empty, too, apparently. They both say 'immediate occupancy.'"
"Let's go check them out."
We put on jeans, shirts, and shoes, and drove down to see the houses. The one with the garage apartment was a one-story brick house. It was pretty traditional looking from the front, but it had a huge glassed-in porch/rec room across the back facing the water. It turned out the "garage" apartment was really a boathouse with an apartment above it. The boathouse looked like it could accommodate Monte's grandfather's yacht, which was not the kind of boat we were ever likely to own. The landscaping was nice, and it had a small pool on a terrace made of the same kind of brick as the house. It definitely had possibilities. We took a copy of the floor plan from the box that was on the For Sale sign in the yard.
The second house was four doors down from the first. It was a two-story, and it had huge oak trees in front that reminded me of my parents' house in New Orleans. It was white frame, and it had a circular drive in the front that looked like it was designed for parking lots of cars during parties and such. That house had a much larger pool than the other one, and it had a dock that looked like it could accommodate a boat about the size of Kyle's or one a little bigger. The landscaping there was really nice, too, and the shrubbery looked older and more mature than the first house. We got a floor plan from the box on the sign, and it showed a nice master suite downstairs and four bedrooms on the second floor. It also showed a third floor, that we didn't really notice until we walked back around to the rear of the house. There were six large dormers and one smaller dormer facing the lagoon.
"This is a better house," Rick said.
"It sure looks like it. I don't really care for the idea of having two of the bedrooms in a separate building like that other house has. We need the kids to be under the same roof as us so we can hear what's going on," I said.
"Yeah, you're right. Plus, this house is bigger. Look at this," he said, showing me the floor plan. "There's some kind of extra room on the third floor. I guess it could be storage or something. It looks like it's got a bunch of closets in it."
That room was labeled "hobby room" on the floor plan. The bathroom was between the two bedrooms on that floor, but it was accessible from the hall, not directly from the bedrooms. That room could easily serve as an eighth bedroom, if it had to. On the back of the sheet of paper was another floor plan for the building out back. It was mostly concealed by trees and shrubbery, and we had thought it was just a shed or something. But it was labeled "cabana" on the floor plan. It was essentially one large room with two huge bathrooms with several showers in each. There was a smaller room at one end that looked like it was set up as a kitchen, and another smaller room next to it that was labeled "Exercise Room." The main cabana room was 40 feet by 60 feet. It was a perfect party place.
"Let's call and see if we can look at this place today," Rick said.
"Are you sure, Babe," I asked.
"It doesn't cost anything to look. From what I'm seeing on this paper, it looks perfect for us. Let's call them."
I pulled my cell out of my pocket and flipped it open. I dialed the number. I was sure I'd get an answering machine, but a man answered it on the second ring. I told him who I was and where I was, and I asked him if we could see the house. He said he and his partner would be there in twenty minutes.
"We're in luck. The realtor and his partner will be here in twenty minutes," I told Rick.
"Don't get your hopes up. I'm sure it's his business partner, and it's probably a woman," I said with a grin.
He grinned back.
We walked around some more. Rick was impressed with the underground sprinkler system the house had, and he told me that most of the landscaping was old but that the new stuff had been done by a professional.
"How can you tell that," I asked.
He pointed out some things about symmetry and the "voguish" choices of the plant material. I had to take his word for that. He knew about stuff like that; I didn't.
The back of the house had a wide porch, only part of which was screened in. There was a flight of steps leading up to the porch from the ground.
"This is good. We'd have to have thirty feet of water before this place would flood."
"What are you talking about?"
"Look at the grade here. See how much the yard slopes down toward the lagoon. This is high ground, and this house is built into the grade, off the ground. It's not on a slab, like our house is," he said.
"I take it that's good," I said.
"That's very good. If we got a flood surge in a hurricane that was more than thirty feet high , we wouldn't care about whether our house was here or not because the rest of the beach would be gone. Whoever built this place knew what they were doing."
The real estate agent caught up with us about then. He was in his late twenties or early thirties, and the guy with him was about the same age. I noticed he and the other guy wore gold wedding bands that were identical to the wedding bands Rick and I wore. So? Two young married guys who are business partners, I thought. I hated thoughts like that, always sizing guys up about whether they were gay or not. Why should it matter to me, I asked myself.
We introduced ourselves and they introduced themselves to us. The agent's name was Craig, and his partner's name was Brian. They said their last names, but they didn't stick.
They showed us the house, and it was great. Downstairs there was a foyer with a nice staircase and a closet. There was a living room, a dining room, a separate breakfast room, a large kitchen, a family room, and the master suite with a huge bathroom and a small sitting room off the bedroom. There was also a laundry room with, of all things, a second staircase. There was an honest-to-God butler's pantry, plus a regular walk-in pantry with floor-to-ceiling shelves in the kitchen.
The second floor had four very large bedrooms.
"These were actually built to have sleeping areas and sitting areas," Craig said. "As you can see, they're much larger than ordinary bedrooms."
Each bedroom had its own bathroom. They were smaller than the master bath, but they were twice the size of the hall bathroom in our house.
The third floor was just as we had imagined it and as the floor plan had depicted it.
"So who owns this place," I asked, when the tour was finished.
"A corporation, actually," Craig said.
"And what's the price," I asked.
"Well, they're asking $850,000, but I think they're pretty eager to get rid of it. They bought it for an executive vice president and his family, but that all fell through. They were going to let him buy it at some ridiculously low price. It was part of an incentive package to get him, but he didn't bite. Those kinds of guys don't stay put for more than a few years, you know?"
"What corporation is it," Rick asked. I knew his mind was working as fast as mine was on that score.
"I'm sorry, but I promised confidentiality on that one, guys. Why are you guys interested in it, if I may ask?"
"For us and our family. We have a big family, and it's growing all the time," Rick said.
That announcement seemed to startle Craig. He looked at Brian, who raised his eyebrows to indicate that he had no clue what we were talking about.
"This is definitely a family neighborhood. Er, any groups, like a church group or a rehab program or something like that, would not really be welcome here, guys," Craig said.
"We know. We live a block down. We have a bunch of foster kids, is all."
"The two of you are foster parents," Craig asked. I could tell he was really confused.
"Yes," I said. "We have two foster children now, but there are really three others who are part of our family, plus their boyfriends. We really have a lot of kids."
"And your wives..."
"No wives. It's just the two of us," I said.
"So, did, er, you just, er, come out to me," Craig asked.
I nodded. "Yeah." I knew Rick was enjoying the hell out of that. "If we decide we want this place, what do we have to do next?"
Craig looked at Brian, and, if there had been any doubt before that they were a gay couple, all of that was cleared up in that instant.
"Well, er, you, er..."
"You make an offer," Brian interjected. "Tell them what you're willing to pay for it. They'll make a counter offer, and that process goes on until the two parties agree on a selling price or until the seller or buyer reaches a point where further negotiations are pointless."
"Has anybody ever actually lived in this house," Rick asked.
"Er, no. It's really brand new. Well, it's been here for eight months or so, but nobody has ever lived in it," Craig said. He had recovered his composure by then.
"Do you know how much it cost to build," I asked.
"Not exactly, but it was around half a mil," Craig said.
"We have to think about this for a while," I said. "Can we get you pretty much any time," I asked.
"Here's my card. It has my cell phone number on it. That thing doesn't," he said, indicating the flyer with the floor plan.
"Here' mine," I said, handing him my card.
"And mine," Rick said, giving him one of his. Craig didn't look at either of them.
"Guys, it's been a pleasure meeting you," Craig said. "I hope we have lots more meetings in the days and weeks ahead. This is a great property, and I know you'd be happy here."
"Thanks," Rick and I both said. We shook hands with Craig and Brian, and they left.
"What do you think," I asked.
"I absolutely love it. It's the perfect house for us and our brood," Rick said. "Do you think we ought to get Gene to come and look at it and give us advice?"
"I don't know. I'm sure Gene owns it, aren't you?"
"Well, that's what I thought, too. I'd hate to put him in a spot where he thinks he has to sell it to us cheap because it's us, you know?"
"Yeah, I do know," Rick said. "That's what I was thinking, too. What if we offer five fifty and see what happens?"
"That's way low," I said.
"I know, but he can counter. I really would like to keep this quiet so Gene doesn't know it's us he's dealing with."
"Yeah, me, too. I wonder if Kyle knows about this place," I said.
"Why? What do you mean?"
"I'd like the boys to see it, but Kyle will make Gene give it to us, if he knows his dad owns it," I said.
"Kyle's pretty savvy, but he doesn't know about stuff like this," Rick said.
The boys came home from skiing around three. They were starving, exhausted, and red as lobsters.
"Why didn't y'all take sunscreen," I asked.
"We didn't think you could get burned in winter time," Tim said.
"Well, y'all obviously did. I want each one of you to take a vinegar bath, and then we'll put some aloe lotion on you. Y'all could get sick from this much sun," I said. I was pretty annoyed that Kyle, who had grown up on the beach, hadn't thought of that. Then I realized he still had a pretty good tan, and he wasn't really burned like the others were. His naturally darker skin served him well that day.
"A vinegar bath? What do I look like, a head of lettuce," Justin asked.
"You look more like some other fruit," Kyle said.
"But not a banana or a cucumber," Brian said.
"He got you last that time, Jus," Kyle said affectionately.
"Yeah? I'll show his ass my banana," Jus said. We all knew Justin was teasing Brian, but Brian reacted like he was suddenly scared of Justin. He stepped back a little, and he got the deer-in-the-headlights look on his face. Jus noticed it.
"Come here, little brother," Jus said, putting his arm around Brian. "I was just teasing, man. I would never do anything bad to you. I would to that asshole, or that one," he said, pointing first to Kyle then to Rick, "but not to you."
I could see Brian relax in Justin's embrace, and the bulge in Brian's Speedo started getting bigger. I was sure the others noticed it, and I moved to change the subject.
"What you look like is a tomato, not a head of lettuce, Justin. Come here, and let's get some vinegar." I grabbed Justin by the arm.
"Why vinegar? That'll burn like fire on my sunburn," Jus said.
"No it won't. Just the opposite, in fact. It'll take the sting out. Now come on," I said.
When I had Justin in the kitchen, I said, "What you did to Brian was very nice. We have to be careful with him, okay? He still doesn't know us all that well, and he had some pretty scary stuff happen to him in his last home."
"I honestly didn't mean anything by what I said, Kev. I hope you know that."
"Of course, I know that, Bub. I know there's a heart under them stud pecs of yours." I grinned at him and ruffled his hair.
"Did you see him start to bone up," Jus asked.
"Yeah. That's why I wanted you to come in here with me," I said. "You and I should have had this talk before, I guess, but now's as good a time as any. I think Brian has a crush on you, son. Are you aware of that?"
"Yes, sir. He has a crush on Kyle, too. Big time. He might be able to work something out with me, but there ain't no way he's gettin' anywhere with Kyle, that dick-whipped motherfucker."
"You almost sound jealous, Bubba," I said.
"Well, goddamn, Kevin. Look at him. And I don't mean just his looks, although you won't do better than that. I'm talking about all of him. And he's rich besides."
"It sounds like you've got a crush on Kyle, too, dude," I said.
"Duh! Hell, yeah, I do. It's pointless, though, and I know it. Kyle's an old married man, just like you are, Kev."
"Please don't resent Tim, though, okay?"
"I don't resent Tim. I love Tim. Hell, I want to be Tim." Jus and I both laughed.
"How are things with you and Jason," I asked.
"Aw, Jason's a good ole boy, that's for sure. I like Jason a lot, but I don't love him. He ain't the one for the rest of my life. We have fun together, though, and we fit together good in the sack. You know what I mean?"
"I know what you mean. At your age it's kind of all about having fun, isn't it?"
"That's what I keep thinking," he said. "But Tim and Kyle have a lot of fun, too."
It had been a while since Justin and I had had that kind of talk, and it felt good to know he was making progress.
"Let's get that vinegar," I said.
"Are your really serious about taking a bath in vinegar?"
"Well, you put water in the tub, too, but it really works. Trust me, okay?"
"Hell, I trust you in every other damn thing. I don't know why I wouldn't trust you on this," he said.
All seven of the boys went into our bathroom and filled up the big tub. I poured in a gallon of vinegar.
"I'm going to let y'all figure out how you're going to do this," I said as I left the room.
I closed the door to our bedroom and joined Rick in the den.
"Are they all going to try to get in at the same time," he asked.
"Probably," I said. "I think I'll get a mop and bucket, and put it next to the bathroom door."
"Good idea," he said.
I got a mop and a bucket and took it in the bedroom. There was no way in hell I was going to open that bathroom door and walk in on them, but I knew they'd see the equipment if they needed it. Which I was sure they would. I heard a lot of laughing coming from behind that closed door, and I smiled thinking about how cute they all were together.
Once they had soaked in the vinegar water and had rubbed each other down with aloe lotion, they dressed in shorts or jeans and tee shirts.
"We looked at a house this morning," Rick announced.
They all had big plates of leftovers from the party the night before. There were just enough leftover steaks to go around, and for Rick and me to each have one later, too, but there was a lot of everything else left. Justin and Jason had shucked all the oysters, so there was even a plastic container of raw oysters for them to eat. Kyle, Dave, and Jeff, the three native Florida boys, seemed to be the only ones eating them, though. There were a good many shrimp left and about two dozen crabs. The eggplant casserole, which we used to call stuffed eggplant when I was a kid in New Orleans because they would put the mixture into the eggplant shells and bake it in the oven, was a meal in itself, and there was a whole lot of that left. There was one untouched salad and part of another one, and that was delicious, too.
"What do you mean, you looked at a house today," Kyle asked.
"We're thinking about buying a new house. A much bigger house," Rick said.
"Are you moving away," Tim asked. There was a forlorn quality to his voice that sounded like he thought we were abandoning him.
"It's in the next block," I said.
"That one with the boathouse," Kyle asked.
"We looked at that one, but only from the outside. The one we went in was a few doors down from it. It's three stories, and it has a big pool, a dock, and a cabana. It has seven bedrooms, and, really, there's another room that could be the eighth bedroom," I said.
"That is a cool house," Kyle said. "It's real high off the ground, right?"
"Yeah, that's the one," Rick said.
"Can you afford it," Kyle asked.
Every once in a while I had to remind myself that Kyle was actually quite a superb actor. I'd seen him manipulate an audience when he was on stage, and I'd watched him manipulate us many times with that gift.
"Maybe. If we sell one of our cars and stop having parties," I said.
"Naw. Y'all can afford it," he said. "Excuse me. I told my parents I'd call them, and I forgot until just now. I want to thank them again for Clay."
Kyle got up, dinner half eaten, and went back to his and Tim's room. I knew he had his cell phone back there, and I knew that's what he would use to call home.
The rest of us made small talk about skiing, about the house, about school, about the up-coming Thanksgiving weekend, about nothing and everything.
Kyle came back in the room and took his place on the floor. He started eating without saying anything. Rick looked at me with a kind of anxious look, and I'm sure my face had the same kind of anxiety on it that his did.
"Is everything all right, Kyle," I asked.
"With them? Yeah, everything's fine. They had a great time at the play last night. My mom was still a little weepy over the fact that I named the boat Clay, but she'll get over it."
"That was a wonderful thing to do, Kyle," Jeff said. "I cried when I found out, man."
"Well, that boat's going to give us a lot of fun, happiness, and joy, just like Clay would have done, if he was here," Kyle said. Tears were streaming down his face. "Excuse me again," he said, and he got up and went to the back. Jeff followed him.
The crowd in the den was really subdued for a few minutes.
"Looks like I got friends in low places right now," Justin said. "I wish there was something I could do."
Tim got up and put the Garth Brooks CD with "Friends in Low Places" on it into the CD player. He pulled Justin up from the floor. "Dance with me," Tim said.
Justin and Tim started doing the line dance that Gage had taught us, and the rest of us joined in. In no time, the somber mood changed to a mood of celebration. Jeff and Kyle came out into the den while the first song was playing, and they joined in the dance. Kyle and the other boys were barefoot, but he raced back to his room and got his boots and cowboy hat on.
"Now you're a sure-'nuff shit kicker, just like me," Justin said.
"That's right, Bubba, and proud of it," Kyle said. He got next to Justin and pulled Brian next to him on the other side. And we danced away the sorrow.
We had been dancing a while when the phone rang. Rick was closest to it, and he answered. The music was pretty loud, so he walked toward our bedroom with the phone, closing doors along the way. He was gone for about ten minutes, and he came back with a long face.
I turned the music off and the dancing stopped.
"What's the matter," I asked.
"That house has been taken off the market. That was Craig on the phone. Apparently he just called the CEO of that company that owns it, and the guy said he didn't want to sell it anymore," he said.
"Can he do that? Don't they sign contracts and stuff," I asked. I vaguely remembered fragments of real estate law from a course I had taken in college.
"Yeah, he can do it. The contract ran out last week, and Craig hadn't renewed it yet."
"Well, I guess it just wasn't for us," I said.
"Evidently not. Hey, let's put the music back on and dance," Rick said.
"Can we slow dance," Kyle asked.
"No," Rick said. "You know what I told you."
"But we're wearing clothes," Kyle said.
"If you want to slow dance with Tim, go in your room," Rick said.
"We're not gonna leave. It's only five o'clock."
"Then shut up and dance with us," Rick said.
"I knew you were going to say that," Kyle said.
"Then why did you ask, asshole?"
Kyle grinned at him. "Let's dance," he said, and we did.
In about fifteen minutes our doorbell rang. I answered it, and it was Gene.
"Hey, come on in," I said. "We're dancing."
"I hear ole Garth a-singing in there," Gene said. "Now I can cut a rug with the best of 'em."
Gene went into the den and started dancing with us without shaking hands, hugging his son, or anything. And he was really good.
That CD ended, and Justin had another one ready in an instant.
"Is there someplace quiet we can talk," Gene asked us.
"We can go into the living room. What's up," I asked.
"You'll see," Gene said. "Can I have a drink, please. Jack and ice would be nice."
Rick and I both laughed at his rhyme, and Gene did, too.
"Coming right up, Colonel," Rick said. "Do you want one," he asked me.
"Yeah, I'll have one, but I want water in mine. I'm just a lieutenant."
Gene thought that was funny and laughed.
Once we were in the living room away from the racket in the den, Gene said, "Here's the deal, guys. I've got me a piece of property that I can no longer afford to insure. It's a real nice house. It's on this street, even."
"Gene, cut the bullshit, man," Rick said. "We know the house you're talking about. We looked at it today, and we love it. We also know Kyle called you when he figured out which house we were interested in. Let's don't play games, okay?"
"Goddamn, boy. You're better at business than I thought you were, Rick. I figured you for the weak sister, but I guess I was wrong."
"Get out of my house," Rick said. He was grinning, and so was Gene.
"No, you get out of my house. Your house is down the street."
"Here's what I propose, boys. We'll swap properties. I know y'all own this house free and clear, and I own that one down there free and clear, too. We do a legal swap. No money changes hands. We each pay the lawyer $500, and it's a done deal."
"Gene, we can't take advantage of you like that," I said. "You've already been too good to us."
"Kevin, I've always considered you the intellectual of this crowd. Now follow my logic here, okay? I hired you guys on your merit, not on personal attachment. Have I been disappointed?"
"No, I hope not," I said.
"Not only have I not been disappointed, I've been elated. I had that house built to lure some big shot guy to take over my businesses, which you and Rick have done. The one I thought I wanted wouldn't take it; then I looked in my own backyard. Quite literally. I was basically going to give the guy that house as part of his signing package."
"Cool," Rick said.
"Yeah, cool for him, but not for you. What kind of signing package did I give y'all," he asked.
"Good jobs, great salaries, wonderful benefits," I said.
"Yeah, but no up-front money. Oh, and who's out in that room right now? Dancing and having a wonderful time?"
"Kyle, of course," I said.
"That's right. My only son. My eyes. And who else?"
"Tim," Rick said.
"Yep. My son-in-law. My son's eyes. Who else?"
"Jeff?," I asked.
"Exactly. Jeff. My other son's eyes. Clay's gone now, but Jeff is still very much here. In your house. In your family. Where he most wants to be."
"Gene, when you put it like that, man, it sounds great, but..."
"How the hell would you put it, Rick," he demanded.
"Those boys are here because we love them and they love us, Gene," Rick said.
"I know that. But they're my flesh, son. Don't you see my point? I want my flesh in a different house. In that house down the road. I'm done arguing with you. We're going to swap houses. Period. It's a corporate decision, and you just have to live with it or move on."
Rick and I looked at one another. We both grinned.
"Jesus Christ! You're a fucking task-master, man. I guess we have no choice but to agree," Rick said.
"That's right. You guys drive a hard bargain, and I need another drink. Oh, and I want y'all out of my house by the end of the week, you hear?"
"Yes, sir, Colonel, sir," Rick said.
"Fine. Now carry on with the drinks, lieutenant." We all laughed.
The dancing was still going on out in the den when we went back out there.
"Turn the music off. We've got something to talk about," Rick said. "We've been evicted from this house. We have a week to move. Can anybody help this week?"
"I can help every day, if my damn boss will give me some time off," Justin said. I was, ultimately, his boss, and he was saying that for my benefit.
"I know your boss, Jus. You'll get the time off," I said.
"The rest of us have school, Rick," Tim said.
"Yeah, but we get four days of sick leave every nine weeks. I'll be there. I ain't been sick yet," Kyle said. "Hack, hack. Looks like I'm coming down with something."
We all laughed.
"You can't miss school, Brian," I said.
"I can. I'm as sick as Kyle," Tim said.
Again, more laughter.
"Jeff, you can't miss classes," I said. "And Jason and Dave, we wouldn't want you guys to miss school for this, either."
"Hell, I'll miss school in a minute," Jason said. "I've got my four days coming to me, too."
"My parents won't let me miss, either," Dave said. "I want to be here with y'all, but I don't think I can be."
"No. The moving squad is going to be Kevin, Rick, Tim, Kyle, Justin, and Jason. That's it," Rick said.
"Why are we moving," Tim asked.
"It was a corporate decision, Tim," I said. Kyle smiled, and that smile implied he'd fill Tim in on the whole thing in private. "It's a house about twice this size. Maybe more," I said.
On Monday we took care of all the legal stuff, and by the end of that day we were the proud owners of a new house on the other side of the street.
Tuesday was moving day. We actually hired a moving company, much to the boys' chagrin, since they had really wanted to miss school, but they got it all done in a day. We had some pretty nice furniture. The only problem was, it didn't go far enough. We'd have to buy more. We wanted the place ready for everybody at Thanksgiving.
Late Tuesday afternoon, after the movers had finished and left, Tim and Kyle drove up in a pickup truck with a load of firewood. The truck had a Goodson Enterprises logo on it, so I knew where that had come from, but I had no idea where the firewood had come from. They unloaded the firewood onto the back porch, in the firewood stacking place. Our other house didn't have a fireplace, but the one in the new house was huge. Like the Boy Scouts they were, they laid out a large fire for us.
"Are we gonna eat," Justin asked around 6:30.
"There are still lots of leftovers," Rick said. "We brought them all down here."
"Let's eat. Okay?" Justin must have been hungry. He either didn't have class that night or he was cutting it. Nobody asked.
We got out the leftovers, and everybody made themselves a plate of food. Ordinarily we didn't eat all that much at night because we all had big meals at lunch. The four boys ate huge platefuls, and Rick and I socked it in pretty good, too. We had had just a sub for lunch, and we needed food.
After we ate, Tim lit the fire. At first it was novel and nice, but the temperature that day had been in the high seventies, and, before long it got hot, despite the fact that we had the air conditioner on. We all stripped down to our briefs. The four boys were on the floor, and Rick and I were on the sofa. Tim and Kyle were on their sides, spooning. Rick was on top of me in our usual position.
"Come here, Brian," Justin said. "Let's snuggle up like those guys are."
"You're not going to hurt me, are you," Brian asked.
"Hurting you is the last thing on my mind, Bri. You have to trust me, man. I was hurt, too, you know? I don't hurt people I love," Justin said.
"Brian, he's not going to hurt you," Kyle said. "And if he does, I'll kill him."
Tim and Justin both laughed.
"You don't think I would, Jus," Kyle asked.
"I know you'd try," Justin said. "But I also know you know you don't have that to worry about."
"Snuggle with him, Brian. He's our brother, man," Kyle said.
Brian moved against Justin and let him hold him. It didn't take long for the deep breathing of sleep to permeate the room. Rick was asleep on me, and I knew the boys were all asleep in each others' arms. The heat of the fire was like a sedative, and I remember thinking that just before I drifted off, too. It was only nine o'clock when we went to sleep.
I woke up and looked at my watch. It was two o'clock in the morning. Rick was still on top of me, and I was numb in several places. I nudged him awake.
"Let's go to bed," I whispered in his ear.
"What time is it," he asked.
"It's two o'clock."
"Okay," he said.
We got up off the sofa. The four kids were still wrapped together on the floor.
"We can't wake them up," he said. "They won't know where to go in this house."
"No. Let's leave them there," I said.
"The fire's almost out. Do you think they need blankets?"
"Yeah. There are some in that closet next to the bathroom." We got blankets and covered the boys. I noticed that all four of them had erections, but sleep will do that to boys. Brian had a patch of what looked like dried cum in his briefs. Oh, well, I thought. I hope he enjoyed it.
Rick didn't run the next morning, even though it was Wednesday. That was his day for a long run in the middle of the week.
"This is unbelievable," he said. "How'd we get so lucky?"
"You mean the house," I asked.
"Yeah, and each other and the kids," he said.
"I don't know," I said. He entered me with his finger just then, and he took me to paradise.
"Wake up, wake up, wake up," Rick said, marching through the den. The boys gradually, in turn, came back to life.
"I don't want to get up," Kyle said.
"Yeah, but you have to. Get up," Rick said, nudging him with his foot.
"Do you have a toenail clipper," Kyle asked.
"Shut up and get up," Rick said.
They slowly disengaged from one another and got up.
"Y'all go upstairs and take showers," Rick said.
"Where's our stuff," Tim asked.
That was actually a very good question. In our haste to move, we had brought all their stuff with us, but we hadn't really sorted out where all of it was.
"Does anybody have a test today? Or a presentation? Or anything like that," Rick asked.
There was a chorus of no's.
"Well, I declare a holiday. It's officially moving day. It's the day to get settled in."
"Cool. Let's go out to breakfast," Kyle said.
"I could eat me a whole buffet table," Justin said.
So, out we went. It was still pretty early when we finished breakfast, so we went back home.
"We need to do some furniture shopping today," Rick said, after we had sorted out who had which room on the second floor. "Y'all get cleaned up. We leave in a half hour."
Rick and I needed to clean up, too, so we went to our new bathroom to do it. We showered separately that morning, and we got dressed. The boys took a few minutes longer than we did, but they came down looking good.
"Brian, you needed to shave this morning," I said when I saw him.
"I don't know what happened to that shaver I've been using," he said. "I looked for it, but I couldn't find it."
"It's time you learn how to use a blade," Rick said. "Can one of y'all show him how to do it?"
All three of them volunteered, and they all went upstairs. Fifteen minutes later Brian came down with four little dabs of toilet paper in places where he had cut himself. He smelled like the cosmetics counter in a department store.
"Too much cologne, guys," Rick said. "You put that stuff on in little dabs."
"Ain't that the same as aftershave," Justin asked.
"No, Jus. Aftershave is meant to soothe the skin. Cologne is perfume for men. You just dab on cologne. You don't douse your face in it. Aftershave goes away, pretty much, but cologne doesn't. Don't confuse those two, guys. They're not the same."
"I've been to Cologne," Kyle said.
"What are you doing? Why did you say that," Rick asked. He often pretended to be annoyed at stuff that Kyle said. It was a game they played.
"Cause why are you so uptight about what he smells like? It smells good, and you know it," Kyle said.
"We're trying to teach you guys, Kyle. I'm not putting him down. We just want y'all to know. That's all."
"Okay. Now we know. Can we drop it?"
Rick grinned at Kyle, and Kyle grinned back. The communication between them was obvious.
We bought a bunch of new furniture that day. In the car we had made a list of what we needed and wanted, and we hit six different stores on the beach and in town. Rick had a friend from his running club who had a furniture store, and we bought the bulk of the stuff there. It was more expensive than some places, but it was obviously much better quality. We furnished our new home that day, and everything was delivered by the end of the week, just in time for Thanksgiving week.