Kyle, Part 3
Disclaimer: This story is a continuation of the story of Kevin Foley, Rick Mashburn, and their "sons," Tim Murphy, Kyle Goodson, Justin Davis, and Brian Mathews that started in "Tim," continued in "Justin" and "Kyle," "Kyle, Part 2," and now continues in "Kyle, Part 3." 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, though. 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.
We beat Gene, Rita, and George home by a good half hour on Christmas Eve. We had a great trip, and I think all of us were tired from laughing as much as we had.
We unloaded all of our stuff, including the very large cooler of food from the party my mom had sent home with us, and we got ready for a nice at-home family evening. The other car load pulled up around six. I expected them to go home for at least a little while, but they didn't. They came into our house like they were ready to stay.
"Midnight" Mass was at nine o'clock. That was one of Jerry's innovations, and it worked for us. We all went, and his homily that night was about the Incarnation of Jesus and it's implications for Christian community. He looked at us a lot while he was talking, and I knew he had our family in mind. He talked about acceptance of others, being non-judgmental, and loving everyone who presented themselves in our lives.
"Jerry is talking about you guys. About us," Kyle whispered to Rick and me.
"I know. Shut the fuck up and listen to him," Rick said.
"Ohhhhhh, you said 'fuck' in church. Your ass is gonna fry in hell, Bubba," Kyle said.
"Kyle, shut up and listen to him," I said. "He's talking about us."
"I know. I've heard it before, remember," he said.
"Yeah, I know. But I want to hear it again, so shut up," I said.
He was quiet after that. I knew he was still excited from the trip and excited about the fun we would soon be having. Rick looked at me and grinned, and I knew he was amused with Kyle's antics.
Back home, after Mass, Jerry, Pat, and Father Larson joined us. Rick had made some hors d'ouevres after we had gotten home that afternoon. They were simple things, like a cheese ball with crackers, raw vegetables with a creamy dip, and a tray of sliced summer sausage with crackers. He put out a bowl of pickled okra and a bowl of peanuts. Rick made the drinks, too, and he did his evil-twin-Craig imitation as far as the boys were concerned.
Father Larson, or Tony as he told us to call him, was a nice man. He was around 40 and somewhat quiet. He was interested in our trip to New Orleans, so we regaled him with stories of that.
"Kyle, did you save those slide shows you and Tim made," I asked.
"Yes, sir," Kyle said.
I got out my laptop from work and he set it up. He had all of his slide shows on a couple of zip disks, and he put the first one in the machine to show the slides. We enjoyed watching them.
Kyle did something that was sort of out of character for him. He got on the sofa next to his mom and snuggled up with her. She put her arm around him like she was protecting him or something. I knew she was thinking about Clay and was missing him at that moment. She needed to hold her boy right then, and I was glad Kyle did what he did.
Jerry, Pat, and Tony didn't stay very long. In fact, they left by 11:30. The household agreed that we would assemble at nine the next morning in the den around the Christmas tree, and we all went to bed, tired and happy.
Rick and I woke up at 6:30 on Christmas morning. He kissed me good morning and wished me a Merry Christmas.
"I'm going to get up and run, okay, Babe," he said. "I'll be back in an hour or so, okay?"
I kissed him.
"Have a good one, Baby," I said. He hadn't run since the day before we left for New Orleans, and I knew he was probably hurting from not giving his body the dose of endorphins it had come to depend on.
I dozed a little. It was warm and comfortable in bed, and I could faintly detect Rick's aroma on his pillow beside me. I hugged it to me for a little while. Before long, I became aware of my very full bladder, so I got up to empty it. I went ahead and jumped in the shower, got dressed, and went out into the public part of the house. I suddenly remembered the pool table and the weight equipment we were supposed to have gotten, so I slipped out the back door to go check on that. It was certainly daylight, but the light still wasn't the full, strong light of day. It was chilly enough for the light jacket I was wearing but not really cold.
I punched the combination into the lock and opened the cabana. It had a sort of sour odor from the local paper mill. I propped the door open to let some fresh air in, and then I opened a couple of windows, too. The pool table was right where it was supposed to be, and somebody had screwed a rack for the cue sticks to the wall. The ping pong table was there too, folded up and out of the way. I rolled it out to the middle of the room and unfolded it.
I turned the light on in the weight room, and I was rather amazed at the amount of equipment George and Rita had given us. There were two stationary bicycles, a treadmill, a couple of standard weight benches with a ton of free weights, an ab machine, a pec machine, a delt machine, a machine for doing chin ups, leg lifts, and dips, a machine for doing squats and leg presses, and a bench for doing preacher curls. It was really an impressive array of equipment. The room had mirrors on one whole wall so you could watch yourself work out. There was even a water cooler in the corner.
After I had finished checking out all of the equipment in the cabana, I went back inside. Kyle and Tim were in the kitchen in just their underwear.
"Morning, guys," I said brightly. "Merry Christmas."
They were obviously in a good mood.
"Merry Christmas, Kevin," they both said. Then Kyle did something he had never done before. He gave me a kiss on the cheek. It surprised me a little.
"That was nice, Kyle," I said. "Did you catch me under the mistletoe?"
He laughed his good-natured laugh.
"No. Kevin, I want to thank you for taking us to New Orleans. We really had a good time."
"You're welcome, Bubba," I said.
"Yeah, me, too, Kev," Tim said. "Thank you so much."
"You're welcome, too, Tim."
"What were you doing outside," Kyle asked.
"Just checking on something," I said. "Say, did you forget your parents are here, Kyle?"
"Your mom and dad spent the night here last night, remember," I said.
"Oh, yeah. We did forget. Let's go get dressed, Tim."
They went up the back stairs to get dressed. Rick came home after they left the room.
"Merry Christmas again," he said, and then he kissed me.
"Did you have a good run?"
"Kind of slow today. It's amazing how much you lose in just a few days."
"You probably ought to try to get in at least a short run every day, even when we're traveling," I said.
"I know. I'll be able to do that in Sarasota, I think," he said.
"I went out and checked on the stuff in the cabana. You should see the exercise equipment George bought. It looks like a gym," I said.
"Let me get a shower, and then let's go look at it," he said.
I poured myself a cup of coffee and went into the den. I plugged in the Christmas tree and went out front to get the newspaper. It was as thin as it ever gets. I sat down to look at it. Kyle and Tim came back down, all dressed for the day.
"What are we going to do until it's time," Kyle asked.
"I'm going to read the paper," I said.
"Can Tim and I go down to my house," Kyle asked.
"Sure. Just remember to be back by nine," I said.
"Okay." Then they left.
Rick came back down, and he got himself some coffee, too. Then he and I walked out back. It was much brighter than it had been earlier.
"Damn," Rick said when we went into the work out room. "He must have spent a fortune on all this stuff. Man, this is first class."
"Do you think they'll use it," I asked.
"I'll use it," he said. "If I can get Kyle interested in using it, the others will because they'll want to be like him. He worked out on the beach last summer, didn't he?"
"Yeah, he did. I forgot about that. Tim and Justin did, too. Maybe they'll do it, then."
"Kyle will. I'll make him," Rick said.
I laughed. "What do you want to bet that if they do use it, they'll want to do it nude," I said.
"I don't see any problem with that, do you?" Rick was actually serious.
"No, I don't. As far as I'm concerned, they can stay nude out here, even playing basketball, if they want to. And certainly swimming. We're going to need some furniture for the other room, don't you think?"
"Yeah. What's in that room now?"
We walked into the main room of the cabana to check out the furniture. There was a ratty vinyl- covered sofa and a couple of threadbare upholstered easy chairs. There was a coffee table and a card table with four folding chairs.
"What are you thinking we need," Rick asked.
"This place would make a great clubhouse sort of thing, you know? What do you have in a clubhouse?"
"You're right. Probably a couple of game tables, for starters. How about an entertainment center with a TV, stereo, VCR, that kind of stuff?"
"Yeah, I like that idea. You know, a couple of sofas that can open out into beds wouldn't be a bad idea. I know we've got lots of places to sleep in the house, but the guys might like to have a gang sleepover some time. Or we might, for that matter," I said. "Or maybe an orgy."
Rick laughed hard.
"Should we put a computer out here," he asked.
"Not a bad idea. If Kyle keeps up with his photography, it would be nice to be able to see the pictures during a party or something. It was fun being able to see them every day while we were in New Orleans."
"Yeah, it was. You know, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to have a washer and dryer out here for towels," Rick said.
"You're right. I think there's actually a hookup in a little room off one of those bathrooms"
There were two bathrooms that were accessible both from inside and from outside. The first one we looked in was obviously intended for men, since there were four urinals, in addition to two toilet stalls, and a shower room with four shower heads, two each on opposite walls. It was bigger than I remembered it being. In fact, the whole cabana seemed larger than I remembered. We had only lived in the house a little over a month, and, frankly, I hadn't bothered to even go out to the cabana more than once or twice. The other bathroom had four little rooms with toilets in them and four private shower stalls. Both bathrooms had ten lockers with padlocks. The keys to the padlocks were attached to safety pins, presumably to pin to your bathing suit while you were swimming. I didn't think those pins would get much use with our crowd.
"This one must be for women," Rick said.
"No, Baby. They use the urinals," I said. I rubbed his butt. "Are we having a blond moment this morning?"
He was laughing hard at me and my foolishness.
"Shut up, shithead," he said through his laughter.
I opened a door off the ladies' room, and, sure enough, there was the place for the washer and dryer.
"Here it is," I said.
The room was actually like a utility room. There was a large sink and a counter with cabinets above and below it. There were wire utility shelves and a small closet that presumably was for brooms.
"This is a lot nicer than I thought it was," I said.
"Kevin! Rick! Are you guys out here." It was the voice of Gene.
We walked into the main room.
"Hi, Gene. Merry Christmas," we said, more or less in unison.
"Merry Christmas, guys. Did you check out the equipment?"
"Absolutely," Rick said. "Gene, man, thank you so much. But you kind of went overboard, don't you think? It's better than the gym I belong to."
Gene was grinning. He was happy.
"Rick, once you start buying stuff like that, you just don't know where to stop. Besides, it only cost about half as much as I thought it would. Do you like it?"
"Do we like it," I asked. "We love it, man. Are you kidding?"
"I can't wait to see the reaction of the kids," he said. What he meant was, I can't wait to see Kyle's reaction, and we knew from previous experience that Kyle knew how to carry on appropriately when he received a gift.
"Is everybody up," I asked.
"Pretty much, I think. We had said nine o'clock, but..."
"But that was totally arbitrary," Rick said. "If everybody's ready, there's no point in waiting. I need to put breakfast casseroles and a pastry in the oven, and that needs to cook for about an hour. Let's go."
When we walked into the den, we were greeted with a chorus of "Merry Christmas" from everybody. They were all there, and they all seemed pretty excited. There was a fire going in the fireplace, but I also noticed they had a couple of windows open to let in some cooler air so it wouldn't get too hot. The room was very cozy.
"Is everybody ready for Christmas," Rick asked.
"Yeah," the boys all shouted.
"Does anybody need coffee or egg nog or anything else before we start."
"Rick, I haven't had any egg nog in years. I would love a cup, if that's not too much trouble," Rita said. George said he would like some, too.
"I'm afraid it's store-bought and not homemade," Rick said.
"Rick, that is my favorite kind," Rita said. "I find the homemade kind rather watery."
"Any of you guys for egg nog," he asked.
"What does it come with," Justin asked in a completely innocent voice.
"It doesn't come with anything, you little elf," Rick said.
Rick, the five boys, and I burst out laughing.
"I'm afraid I don't get the joke," Rita said.
"Mamma, you don't want to get this joke," Kyle said, still laughing.
"It's kind of a fam...a thing with us," I said.
"You started to say 'family,' Kevin, and this is your family. And thank you so much for making Gene and me and George a part of it," Rita said.
"I'd certainly drink to that, if I had something to drink," George said. He smiled a smug smile, proud of his witticism.
"Point well made, George. I'll bring out coffee and egg nog and mugs, and you can help yourselves. Give me a hand, stud," Rick said.
Kyle and Justin both leaped up.
He chuckled. "Okay, then. Give me a hand, studs," Rick said. George and Gene laughed.
It took about five minutes for them to get the refreshments, but they also brought in a couple of trays of pastries that had been part of the party leftovers we had brought home the day before. When I saw the heaping trays, I thought the boys might eat too much and ruin their appetites for brunch. Rick makes great brunch casseroles, and I wanted the boys to enjoy them. Then I thought, Kevin!!! They could eat twice that much and still have room for a whole casserole each!
"Brian, you did a good job giving out the presents in New Orleans. How about doing that again, would you, buddy," I asked.
"Sure," Brian said.
Brian was cute scampering around giving out the presents. By then I had forgotten how many we were supposed to get by the rules I had promulgated. As it turned out, everybody ended up with three presents.
We took turns opening gifts. When it was Justin's turn, all eyes were on him.
"Open the smallest one first," Kyle said.
Jus picked up a present to open it.
"No. The other smallest one," Kyle said.
Justin opened his "other smallest" gift, and it was from Brian. It was a gold neck chain, and Justin had a fit over it. He hadn't had any gold jewelry before then. Rick, Tim, Kyle, and I had the gold ankle bracelets the boys had given us and each other for Valentine's Day earlier that year. Kyle also had the gold ID bracelet that Tim had given him for his birthday. Jus kissed Brian, and then put the necklace on. There were tears in Justin's eyes but a bright grin on his face. Brian was happy, too.
The next gift Jus opened was the "other smallest one" from Tim and Kyle, and, yes, it was a pack of condoms. His third gift was also from Tim and Kyle, and it was a carton of cigarettes. Justin went crazy. He was laughing as hard as I'd ever seen him laugh. He jumped up and ran over to Tim and Kyle. They stood up from their places on the floor, and the three brothers hugged one another, dancing up and down.
Rita, Gene, and George were definitely puzzled, and I could tell they rather questioned the appropriateness of Justin's gifts.
"Jus, tell everybody why you reacted the way you did just now," Rick said.
"It's a long and kinda ugly story," he said, "but the bottom line to it is this is all that I got last year for Christmas," he said, holding up the pack of condoms and the cigarettes. "Kyle, I thought you said you were going to put them under my pillow."
"I tried, Bubba, but the door was locked this morning," Kyle said.
"I love you, Kyle. You know that, don't you," Jus said.
"Yeah, and you know the other part," Kyle said.
"Yeah, you and Tim just showed me that," Jus said.
Rita had tears in her eyes. I suppose in some ways, Justin had replaced Clay as Kyle's living brother. Certainly the affection between Jus and Kyle was that of two very close blood brothers, and it showed. Jeff was up next, and I knew that was going to be a weep-a-thon when he opened his gift from Clay, via Kyle. I decided we needed a break.
"Why don't we stop for a few minutes so everybody can go to the bathroom," I said.
"Good idea," Rick said. He gathered up the pots of coffee and egg nog to replenish them.
Justin opened his carton of cigarettes and took out a pack. "Let's go outside, Bubba," he said to Kyle. Kyle grinned and got up to go with him.
I went into the kitchen with Rick.
"Is Rita going to make it through the gift from Clay to Jeff," I asked him.
"Your guess is as good as mine. She was really moved by what Kyle did for Jus, wasn't she?"
"Yeah. I say we prepare for a fucking breakdown."
"I know. What are we going to do," Rick asked.
"Well, at least they'll be happy tears, I guess," I said.
"No question about that. Do you think we should say something to Gene," Rick asked.
"That's probably a good idea," I said.
I went into the den and asked Gene to join us in the kitchen. The stuff in the ovens was done, and Rick turned them off and took it all out.
"Gene, we wanted to give you a head's up on what's about to happen. Jeff is going to open his gifts next, and there's one there from Clay. Actually, it's from Kyle, acting as Clay's representative," Rick said.
"What is it," Gene asked.
"It's a shadow box, and it's really beautiful. It has Clay's Boy Scout ring, his Eagle badge, all of his merit badges, and his picture," I said.
"Oh, my God," Gene said. He got huge tears in his eyes. "All of that meant so much to him."
"And I think Kyle wrote a poem or a letter or something to go with it, Gene. It's to Jeff from Clay," Rick said.
Gene was biting his bottom lip.
"Guys, I'm about to be a basket case right now, but I'm much more happy than I am sad. Kyle is too much, isn't he? How did he think of that?" Gene wiped his eyes with his fingers, and he took several deep breaths. "Rita will cry, and Jeff will cry," he said.
"All of us are going to cry, Gene," Rick said.
"I know. But it will be a huge step forward for us, guys, and we need this. Did either of you see what Kyle wrote?"
"Yes, Gene, and it's magnificent," I said.
Gene stepped over to the sink and washed his face. Rick handed him a paper towel to dry off. Rick and I did the same thing, and then we went out to the den.
"Okay, Jeff. You're up, buddy. It looks like you've got three strikes," I said.
"When I saw him, he had three balls," Justin said.
Rita was the first to react to that, and she laughed out loud. Jeff reacted by laughing and ripping a stick-on bow off one of his gifts and throwing it at Jus. Jus caught it and put it in his mouth, which only made us laugh more.
Jeff's first gift was from Rick and me. It was a toy car with a gift certificate for a car wash.
"He needs that," Kyle said. "His car smells like ass."
Rick laughed hard at that one, but the rest just chuckled politely.
His second gift was from Gene and Rita, and it was a leather-bound copy of Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations. Jeff was clearly appreciative of the gift, but it was also clear he didn't understand it.
"Look at the bookmark," Gene said.
Something was sticking out from the middle of the book, and it looked like a check. Jeff opened the book to the bookmark, and his eyes got the size of saucers when he read what was written on the bookmark.
"Oh, Gene. Mr. Goodson. I can't...."
"Oh, yes, you can, and, yes, you will cash it, Jeff. It's your company bonus. These guys got a Christmas bonus, too. It's company policy," Gene said.
Rick and I had each gotten fifteen thousand, and I wondered if that was what Jeff had gotten, too.
"Mr. Goodson, thank you so much," Jeff said. "I don't know what to say."
"Take the money and shut up," Kyle said. "They're rich, and you've got another present to open."
"I'm rich, too, now," Jeff said. "Who's it from? It doesn't say."
"Open it and see, man," Kyle said.
Jeff opened the gift slowly. I was on pins and needles, and I knew Rick, Kyle, and the other boys were, too. We had all seen it when Kyle got it from the framer.
"Oh, my God!! Oh, my God!!" Jeff said. "This is unbelievable. Who did this?"
"Read the letter," Kyle said.
Jeff started reading the letter silently, but he broke down.
"Give it to me. I'll read it," Kyle said.
"My beloved," Kyle started, "this shadow box contains many of the triumphs of my youth. These were awards for hard work and diligence, and they represented my best self at the time. And then, still in my youth, I met you. All of these things, which had once been so important to me, suddenly meant nothing compared to you. At one time, merit badges and the rank of Eagle were everything to me. They consumed all of my thought and all of my time. I put those things aside the moment I met you. I have never thought of them since. I have only thought of you.
"I'm not gone, Jeff. I'm there with you and with my parents and with my brother. Love does not die.
"He is here with us, isn't he," Rita said. "Love does not die. My son is here. Clay is here with us, isn't he?" She was crying, but she was also smiling.
Jeff grabbed Kyle.
"Thank you so much. How can I ever say thanks for that?"
"Thank you for loving my brother and making him happy, Jeff. He's here with us now, and he's happy," Kyle said.
"You're right, Kyle. You are so right. Thank you so much."
Justin, ever the pragmatist, got up, went to the stereo, and put on his favorite song, "I've Got Friends in Low Places." He walked over to Jeff and pulled him up off the floor. In a second they were dancing. Kyle pulled his mom up, and they started dancing. The rest of us grabbed partners, too. When the song finished, Justin pressed "replay," and we did it again, only that time we all sang it. Everybody knew the words, and it was the perfect transition into the rest of the day. We kept playing that song over and over, and we danced away the tears.
"Let's do the stockings," Kyle said. He got them and gave everybody theirs. "Let's don't take turns, okay?"
We agreed, but we were all eager to see what people were able to come up with for two dollars or less. There were lots of single handkerchiefs and pairs of socks. Somebody had busted out with water guns. The smokers all got cheap plastic lighters, and everybody, including Rita, got a disposable razor. We all got homemade CD's. Mine had a note on it in Kyle's handwriting that said "Look at this with Rick before you let anybody else see it." I looked at Rick's, and his had the same message on it. When I looked at Kyle, he winked at me so I figured there were monkeyshines involved with that. There were lots of other little things, and all of them were fairly useful. Apparently everybody had figured out that you could buy a box of cheap pens, say, for ten bucks and give everybody one each and stay under the limit. The stockings were fun, and I was glad we had decided to do that.
The brunch casseroles Rick had made were delicious. There were three different kinds. It was basically the same recipe made with ham, sausage, and chunks of beef steak. They were made with slices of bread for the bottom crust, then an egg and meat mixture, then they were topped with sharp cheddar cheese. They had the consistency of quiche We had a bowl of cheese grits, a bowl of curried fruit, and a platter of bread, half biscuits and half corn bread.
"These casseroles are all wonderful, but I like the sausage one the best," Kyle said.
"Yeah, you would, stud," Justin said, in total deadpan.
Rita was the first to laugh at that joke, and everyone else did, too, once they knew it was all right to laugh.
"You got me last there, Bubba," Kyle said.
"Kyle, I think you and Justin are good friends," Rita said.
"He's better than my friend, Mamma. He's my brother now."
Justin had no idea of the implications that statement by Kyle would have for the rest of his life, but I did. I knew that the Goodsons, with their many millions, would see to it that Justin had money. He would have to work, of course, just as Kyle would, but Justin would never be without means. Kyle was already a multi-millionaire, even if the business went bankrupt tomorrow, but Kyle would be expected to work in the business, too. So would Jus, but it would always be there for him.
After we had finished eating, Kyle said, "I thought somebody said something about some big presents for us."
"Yeah, there are some more presents," I said.
"Let's do them," Gene said.
"Get jackets, guys," I said. They were all wearing their short sleeve "Crew of The Clay" shirts, and it was in the mid-fifties outside.
"Where are we going," Kyle asked.
"Outside to the back yard," I said to him.
"Did y'all get us another boat," he said excitedly.
"Wait and see, dude," I said.
We all marched out to the cabana. I pressed in the numbers on the cipher lock, and I held open the door for them. Rick led the crowd in.
"Le Pool Table," he said in fractured French."
The kids burst into cheers.
"Kevin, Rick, Dad, Mom. This is so good, y'all. I love pool. I'm totally encaptured," he said.
"Do you mean 'enraptured,'" Rick asked.
"Yeah, whatever the word is. I'm totally that. And that's a ping pong table, too. Is that part of the present? I love ping pong," he said. "Mom and Dad, thank you so much!"
"Son, these are the gifts from Kevin and Rick. These and the basketball goal outside," Gene said.
Kyle, as the spokesman for the boys, grabbed us.
"This is too much, guys. You got my three favorite things right in a row. Thank you so much."
Kyle kissed each of us on the cheek. That was my second-ever kiss from Kyle, and I felt pretty sure it was Rick's first.
Justin and Jeff were already shooting a game of pool.
"Who wants to lose at ping pong," Kyle asked.
"I'll take your ass on," Rick said.
I knew they were both athletes, but I had no idea they would be that good at that game. They slammed balls back and forth at one another at speeds that I couldn't keep up with. I knew Kyle could slam a volleyball down Rick's throat if he had to, but I had never seen anybody play ping pong the way they played it. By their third game, the rubber match, all of us were watching. Kyle had an awesome serve wherein he cut the ball so that it bounced just over the net. Rick had wised up to that strategy, though, and he slammed a couple back. Rick slammed his serves hard, and Kyle got about half of them. I had never thought of ping pong as a demanding sport before, but it was that day. Rick won the third game 21-19.
"I'll be getting your ass next time, Bubba," Kyle said.
"Did you ever play this game before," Rick asked.
"Asshole," Kyle said.
"Guys, this isn't all your present," I said.
"What else is there," Kyle asked excitedly.
"Do you see that room over there," I asked, point in the direction of the work out room. "Go see what's in there."
Tim and Kyle got to the room before anybody else. One of them switched on the light, and then we heard Kyle let out a shout of excitement. "Whoooooooo! Whoooooooo!"
"Come see this," he screamed. "You're not going to believe all of this!"
Gene and Rita were beaming.
"Mom! Dad! This is fantastic! I can't believe it," he shouted. "Thank you so much!"
The others were excited, too. Even Justin, who ordinarily didn't express excitement the way the others did, was sort of jumping around. He and Kyle hugged, and then Justin made a muscle for Kyle to admire. Justin had told us more than once that he had been forced to lift weights, and his physique showed it.
"I'm going to get all of you big and strong like me," Jus said. "Rick, will you help me set up programs for all of them?"
"I sure will, Bubba," Rick said. "In fact, we can get started today, if you all want to."
"I do," Kyle said. "I worked out all last summer, and I'm sorry I didn't keep up with it. I need to develop my ping pong muscles."
Jus said, "I'm going to need you to help me improve in my pool game. In fact, how about right now?"
"I thought we were going to work out," Kyle said.
"Can't we do both," Jus asked.
"Sure," Rick said. "You can't work out in those clothes, though. Go put on some shorts and some better shoes. I'll meet you guys back here in about thirty minutes."
We all went inside. Rick and I put away the leftovers and put the dishes in the dishwasher. Then we joined the others in the den.
"What time is your flight, Gene," George asked.
"Two o'clock," he said. "We probably need to head on home to repack our luggage."
"I need to be getting on home, too," George said. "I want to call my parents, and I'm supposed to go over to Sonya's house this afternoon. Her sister and her family are visiting, and they want to meet me."
"Kevin and Rick, I don't think I've ever had more fun in New Orleans, or anywhere, than we had on the trip, and this morning has been wonderful, too," Gene said.
"I had been worried that I would have trouble getting through the holiday, boys. That's why I insisted on going to New York. It hasn't been easy, but it would have been so much harder without you and your folks," Rita said.
"Well, it's been wonderful for us, too," I said.
"This looks like the beginning of a tradition to me," Rick said.
"It could well become that," George said. "I had a wonderful time, as well, fellows, and I know Tim did. And Kyle."
They went upstairs to get their things, and then they left. The boys came in all ready to work out.
"Did you guys tell your parents bye," I asked Tim and Kyle.
They said they had upstairs.
"Do you like your stuff, guys," I asked.
"You guys are too good to us," Kyle said. "I think I can speak for everybody. We love our stuff, big brothers. But we love you all more."
"We love all of you, too," I said.
"Are we ready yet," Kyle asked.
"Let me go change," Rick said. He did, and he and the boys went out to the clubhouse.