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.
The trip to North Carolina to celebrate Justin's passing his GED was a huge success, and we came back with fond memories, great pictures thanks to Kyle, and a new set of friends, the Broman family. We spent the actual Martin Luther King holiday on the slopes, and we all did a lot of major skiing. By the time we left, Justin and Brian, who had never skied before that weekend, were doing great at it.
On Wednesday of the week we were back at home, my secretary was out attending a work-related seminar. Around three o'clock the girl who was filling in for her called me.
"Yes," I said, when I picked up the phone.
"Mr. Foley, I hate to disturb you, but there is somebody here asking to see you. You don't have any appointments this afternoon. He says his name is Kyle, but he didn't give me a last name. What should I do," she asked.
"Send him in. He probably thinks you know who he is," I said.
"Sir, I've never seen him before. Are you sure?"
"Yeah, he's my honorary brother and son. It's Kyle Goodson. Does that name ring any bells," I asked.
"No, sir, it doesn't, but I'll send him in." Pause. "Oh, my God! Kyle Goodson?"
"Yeah. And Cindy, memorize his face. You're likely to see him around here again," I said.
"Yes, sir, Mr. Foley."
Cindy showed Kyle to my office, and he came in.
"Who are you? What are you doing here? What do you want?" It was our game.
"I want a bottle of cold water and a bag of microwave popcorn, that's what I want," he said. His demeanor was as gruff as mine.
"Cindy, get this jerk what he wants, please," I said. After she left with a look of confusion on her face, I said, "Hey, Bubba, what's up?"
"Her blood pressure, probably," he said laughing. "I finally had a chance to talk to Justin and Tim 'in private' about what they had said they wanted to talk to me about on the trip."
"It's summer work for the four of you, isn't it?"
"Yeah, exactly. Brian was there, too, but he was sort of out of it as far as knowing what we were talking about."
"I figured he would be," I said. "So what happened?"
"Tim was all fired up about what a tyrant you were being about this thing. Justin was pretty pissed off at you, too, about it. They wanted me to talk to my dad."
"What did you say," I asked.
"I told them no way was I doing that. I reminded them that they all knew him, and they could talk to him if they wanted to. But I said I wasn't going to do that," Kyle said.
"Go on," I said.
"I told them you were the boss, and they'd have to take it or leave it."
"What did they say to that?"
"Kevin, you have to understand how they think. They think I can do anything, make anything happen. They said you said it doesn't make good business sense to have four of us doing the work one, or at the most two, guys can do. I agree with that, by the way. I knew last summer that my dad would never have hired Justin for his job, except that I sort of begged him to. He was too busy with his new deal to worry about details like that, and I took advantage of it," he said.
"What did you do? Take a maturity pill?"
"What do you mean," he asked.
"Well, it just seems that you're being pretty mature about this. I mean, you act mature most of the time, but you're standing up to your boys on this one. That's got to take some guts," I said.
"Not really. The decision is still going to have to be yours. I mean, it would be fun to work the pool and beach again, but it's also hot as hell doing that. I liked watching the people, and I got an awesome tan, but it might be fun working in a gift shop, too, you know? Or some other place that's air conditioned."
"A gift shop. That might also be a way to get you guys working together, too," I said. "I hadn't really thought about that before. The wild card is Justin. I really do want him to start training to become a manager, but at a hotel, not a gift shop. It wouldn't be a bad idea for you to get a little in-house experience in a hotel, either, Bubba."
"Last summer, transportation was a problem, but this summer three of the four of us will be able to drive," Kyle said. "Maybe Jus and I could work at a hotel, and Tim and Brian could work together at a gift shop."
"You wouldn't mind working apart from Tim?"
"No. Why should I? We're not joined at the hip, you know?"
I thought about the last arrangement he proposed. Kyle and Jus had gotten to be very close friends in the last several months, and I wondered if I dare bring up the possibility that there may be more than a simple fraternal bond between them. Before I could decide about asking, Kyle beat me to it.
"Are you thinking that maybe Jus and I have something going on," Kyle asked.
"It had crossed my mind, yeah."
"Kevin, I'm not going to lie to you."
He was very serious, and I knew I was going to get the truth. I was suddenly overcome by a wave of near panic over what he might say.
"Kyle, you also don't have to tell me about your private life. You know that, don't you? I'm not your confessor," I said.
"That's okay. You can know this. Justin and I are very attracted to one another. He told me he had wanted to be my boyfriend before he fell in love with Brian. But it's not going to happen, Kev. I love Tim. Tim turns me on in lots of ways, not just sexually. There is an innocence that Tim has that Jus could never have, and there's a faithfulness, too. I don't really think Jus is ever going to be totally faithful to somebody. I feel bad saying that, Kev, because you know how much I love him, but I just don't feel it with him."
"You're pretty amazing," I said.
"What do you mean?"
"Ever since Jus came into our family, I've read everything I could get my hands on about the long-term effects of child abuse, especially sexual abuse. One of the themes that keeps coming up over and over is an inability to sustain relationships. It's not true of everybody who's ever been abused, but it's definitely true for many of them," I said.
"Can anything be done to help him with that?"
"Rick and I talked to Jus a lot at first about getting counseling, but he wouldn't hear of it," I said. "We've talked about it with Tyrone Williams, Jus and Brian's caseworker, too, and he said you can't really force anybody to get counseling and expect it to do any good. Jus, and to an even lesser extent Brian, doesn't really show many of the classic symptoms. And we don't even know if Justin's breaking up with Jason was related to his abuse or not. It's incredibly complicated," I said.
"Anyway, back to what we were saying, physically there is no question that sex with Justin would be incredible, especially now that he's not afraid of butt sex," Kyle said.
That was news to me, but I knew the boys were very open with one another about their sex lives, so I wasn't surprised Kyle knew that about him.
"But if Jus and I were to get together, even in secret, it would tear everything up. It would destroy our family, and neither one of us wants to do that."
"Thank you, Kyle."
"How about if I just say for being wonderful?"
"You and Rick think I'm more than I am, Kevin. I'm just a kid, you know?"
"Okay, if you say so, but I still think you're wonderful. And I like your idea about you and Jus working together in a hotel and Tim and Brian working together in a gift shop," I said.
"I wish I could quit school and start tomorrow," he said.
"You don't like school much, do you, Bubba?"
"No, I like it okay. It's just so confining. By the way, I am going to run for SGA president. I've been telling people that yesterday and today, and so far everybody I've talked to likes the idea."
"I'll vote for you," I said.
He laughed, and that ended our interview.
I walked down to Rick's suite of offices, and that whole area of the building was deserted, too. I wondered why, and then I remembered the seminar at the local college that all of our clerical people were attending, not just my secretary. I told him what had just transpired with Kyle.
"He's unbelievable, isn't he," Rick said.
"Kind of like the man I married," I said.
"That's sweet, and thank you. But you know what I mean. I was nowhere near that mature at his age."
"Neither was I, and that's for sure. I got a kick out of the fact that ole Kyle thinks he'd like to work someplace air conditioned," I said, chuckling.
"I know. He ain't dumb, that's for sure," Rick said.
"These kids have really enriched our lives, haven't they," I asked.
Rick got out of his desk chair and moved over to me. He locked his office door with a grin on his face.
"What are you up to," I asked coyly.
"About six inches, the last time I measured," he said.
He led me over to the leather sofa that was in the "sitting room" area of his office. He started undressing me, and I started doing the same thing to him. We had never done anything like that at work before, but I had certainly wanted to many times. In a matter of moments, Rick and I were joined in passionate coupling, expressing our love for one another through primal means.
"God, that was fun," he said after we were recovered a bit.
"I could sort of make a habit out of that," I said.
"We'll have to line up training sessions for the clerical staff more often," he said.
The lady from the curtain place lived up to her part of the bargain, and our new curtains for downstairs were hung on Friday, January 30th. It took half a day for them to be installed, but they were magnificent. With what they cost, they should have been, but they were beautiful and gave the house a "finished" look.
Tim and Kyle were at our house when we got home. They had worked out with Jus and Brian, and were all showered and in clean clothes waiting for us in the den.
After we told them hello, Kyle said,
"The new curtains look good. Why didn't you get some for upstairs?"
"We did. They're just not ready yet," I said.
Rick and I went into our bedroom to change clothes, and we admired the new curtains in there, too.
Back in the den with the boys, Rick said,
"How was the last day of your old job, Jus?"
Rick was standing over Justin, and he was giving him a small shoulder massage. All of the boys liked that kind of physical attention from us, but Justin seemed actually to crave it. Rick and I had made a concerted effort to do stuff like that with him whenever the opportunity presented itself naturally.
"It was good," he said. "They had a cake for me at one hotel."
"That was nice of them, wasn't it," I said. "They obviously like you."
"Yeah, it was nice. It was good cake, too," he said.
"Are you all ready to start at the Laguna on Monday," I asked.
"Yeah, but I'm kind of scared," he said.
"I'll skip school on Monday and go with you, Bubba," Kyle said.
"Like hell you will," Rick said.
"If our brother needs us, shouldn't we all be there for him," Kyle asked.
"Yes, of course, but he doesn't need you," Rick said.
"He said he was scared."
"Yeah, but you're supposed to be . . . Kyle, you're teasing me, aren't you?"
"No. I'm getting your ass last," Kyle said.
They all laughed.
"Rick, he does that to me all the time, too," Tim said. "Let's beat him up."
Tim jumped on Kyle is a pretend fight, and they wrestled around a few minutes. Kyle could easily have pinned Tim, but he let his boyfriend win the match. Tim had his butt on Kyle's groin, and he had Kyle's arms pinned to the floor above his head. In a few seconds, Tim said "Oh-oh," and jumped off Kyle.
Kyle was giggling.
"What did you expect, Babe," Kyle asked.
Tim blushed a little, which was extremely cute, and Kyle lay there spread eagle on his back, the erection Tim had caused obvious to everyone. As per our rules, he didn't touch himself except to adjust his crotch to a more comfortable position.
"What are you guys doing tonight," Rick asked.
"We're going to a movie with Philip and Ryan," Kyle said.
"We're going skating with Morgan and Blake, and maybe Riley, too, if his parents let him go," Brian said.
"They seem to keep Riley on a fairly short leash," Rick said.
The plans that evening were fairly typical of plans for a Friday night. There evidently wasn't a basketball game at school that night. If there were, at least some of them would probably have gone to it. Kyle and Justin didn't technically have a curfew, but Tim and Brian both had to be home by 11:30, ten o'clock on school nights, if we gave permission for Brian to go out at all. For special occasions, like big parties or dances, the curfew was extended.
The issue of dances was rather interesting, given the sexual orientation of that crew. Jerry Taylor had rejuvenated the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) in our parish, and all four boys had joined. There had been two dances to kind of kick-start the club, and our guys had gone. Kyle had thought they shouldn't go, even though they all wanted to.
"Why don't you think you should go," I had asked when it had come up.
"Aren't dances sort of for straight people," Kyle had asked.
"Yeah, some are, but other people can go and have a good time, too," Rick had said. "You know you love to dance. What's the problem?"
"The problem is Kyle turns into a chick magnet in situations like that, and he thinks it makes me jealous," Tim said. "It doesn't, though. I don't mind it when he flirts with girls. I know the truth about him."
"Is that right, Kyle," Rick asked.
"Yes, sir. Sort of," he said.
"Not 'sort of.' You know that's the reason," Tim said.
"Kyle, there's no harm in flirting, as long as you don't lead girls on to think you're more interested in them than you are," I said. "That could hurt somebody's feelings, and I know you don't want to do that."
"No, I don't. I don't think I do it too bad, do I?" That question was addressed to Tim.
"I don't think you do. That's why I'm not jealous," Tim said.
"Tim, I would think all four of you guys would turn into chick magnets," Rick said.
"They do, don't think they don't," Kyle said. "Our friends at school haven't met Justin yet, but he's going to have more chicks sticking to him than we have magnets on the refrigerator."
"Who knows, I might just get to liking me one or two," Justin said.
Brian looked kind of mock sad when he said that.
Tim put his arm around Brian. "He's just teasing you, Bubba."
"Absolutely, Bri. I'm sorry I said that, Buddy. I was just making a joke," Justin said in a rush.
According to Jerry's report, the first dance had about twenty kids, and the proportion was fifteen girls to five boys. In addition to our four, there was another freshman boy there, but he only danced one or two slow dances. Ours danced their asses off. The second dance had about sixty kids, and the girls outnumbered the boys two to one. Our guys recruited Chad, Gage, Philip, Ryan, Morgan, Blake, and Riley to go. Chad and Gage had held a dance lesson for Morgan, Blake, and Riley in our clubhouse the night before the dance, and they all had a great time.
Gene Goodson had been enthusiastic about Justin going to work at a hotel in a trainee position, but, in Gene's mind, he wanted Justin to have a taste of lots of different aspects of hotel operation, not just management. I agreed with him. Justin was still only seventeen, and he had no hotel experience or business experience at all. We decided to start him in housekeeping for a few months, move him to valet parking, then move him to the bell service by Memorial Day. As a manager, having had first-hand experience with those parts of hotel operations would serve him well. Eventually, he'd become a desk clerk, an events coordinator, part of the sales force, and then into General Management. He'd start at one of the smaller places, but eventually he'd be at the top. One day, once Kyle took over, he'd be near the very top, assuming, of course, he wanted to stay with Goodson Enterprises.
"I wish I had had this kind of training," I said to Gene.
"You came from the kind of background where you had stayed in hotels all your life, Kevin, so you knew what they were all about. Plus, you had a college degree in the field, from a good college with a good internship. You started small, for a manager, at the resort, and you worked your way up. Kyle's going to do the same thing that Justin's doing, although I think I want him working with Jus in the bell service this coming summer, not changing sheets. You realize we're creating the next generation of our business, don't you?"
"Yeah, and it's pretty exciting to me," I said.
"It's damn exciting to me, son," he said.
Ordinarily, Tim and Kyle spent Sunday night at one of the other houses. Where they slept more or less depended on which parents were going to be home for them to spend time with. That particular Sunday night, though, they were at our house so they could see Justin off to work the next morning. Jus showed up for breakfast dressed in his housekeeper uniform.
"You look damn good dressed like that, Bubba," Kyle said.
Justin was a handsome young man, and he did look good in that uniform. On any given Monday, we probably started a dozen new staff is some capacity or other at our hotels, but nobody else starting that day got the "you-look-damn-good-Bubba" routine from a Goodson. Our company was the eighth-largest non-governmental employer in the county, but Kyle had no clue about that.
When the food was on the table, Kyle said he wanted to say the blessing.
"Dear God, you sent our brother Justin to us in chains. Under your inspiration, we helped him break those chains, and he sits with us at this table this morning in a shining suit of freedom. Thank you for that, and thank you for him. There is no guy at this table who doesn't love Justin, and we love you the more for having given him to us. May he do well in his new job. Thank you for the food we are about to eat and for those who cooked it with loving hands. Amen."
Nobody moved a muscle when Kyle finished that blessing. I looked around the table, and everybody but Kyle had tears in his eyes.
"Is somebody going to start passing stuff," Kyle asked.
That broke our reverie, and breakfast started as usual.
"That was an awesome blessing, Kyle. Thank you," Justin said.
"Thanks, and you're welcome, Bubba." Kyle looked at Jus with tremendous love for him. "It's okay when you just hold the sausage, like you're doing now, dude, but it's better when you pass it to somebody else."
It took us a second to sort through Kyle's double meaning because Jus was, indeed, just holding the platter of sausage. When we finally got his meaning, we howled with laughter.
All of them were in the den when Justin got home from his first day on his new job. It was around five o'clock, and Jus looked exhausted.
"So, how was the first day," I asked.
"I'm tired," he said. "Where's my dinner, Alice?"
We laughed. Justin was a great fan of the Nickelodeon Network on TV, and he had obviously seen episodes of The Honeymooners. He was playing the part of Ralph Cramden to the hilt.
"Was it fun," Kyle asked.
"The people were fun. Being at work in a nice place was fun. But the work itself wasn't fun," he said. "I think I changed eighty beds today, and cleaned eighty bathrooms, and straightened up shit in eighty rooms. Seeing what people have in their rooms is kind of fun, though. And figuring out what they did."
"What do you mean by that," Kyle asked.
"Well, I really only cleaned twenty rooms, not eighty. There are eighty on my floor, but there are four of us working it. Of the twenty rooms I worked, twelve guys had come the night before," he said.
"Oh, wow," Kyle said. He was grinning his ass off at the sexual statistics.
"Yeah, and two women started their periods during the night."
"Oh, gross," Brian said. "I hope you wore gloves."
"Actually, he's supposed to have worn gloves," I said. "Did you?"
"Of course I did. I did what I was told," he said.
"So, do we want to stay in the hotel business," Kyle asked.
"Yeah, but not at this level," Jus said. "We don't want to clean bathrooms the rest of our lives. We want to do clean stuff."
"But what you did today is part of it, Jus. An important part," I said.
"Am I going to have to do this a long time," he asked. He didn't sound resentful. He really just wanted to know.
"Not too long, Bubba, but long enough to get a taste of it," I said. "You're going to have to boss those people some day, and it's going to be good for you and for them that you've done that a while."
"Whatever. I'm nasty. I'm getting a shower. Brian, you look like you need a shower, too," Jus said.
Brian jumped up to accompany his man upstairs.
I thought about the first time I had heard him say "whatever." That first time had been filled with contempt and arrogance and defiance. That night, though, "whatever" meant compliance and acceptance and collaboration with what we had planned for him. What an incredible turn-around, all symbolized by a single word!
Our household consisted of seven gay males, ages fifteen to twenty-six. It was fluid, with Jeff coming home only on weekends, and Tim and Kyle spending only about a third of their nights with us. If Rick and I had a philosophy that guided the way we dealt with the boys, it was rooted in the belief that a normal family atmosphere had to prevail at all times. The fact was, though, that seven young gay males living together, more or less all of the time, wasn't a normal family. A few of our family crises occurred because we were gay, but the overwhelming majority occurred because we were male. Typical of that is a story about Tim.
One night we were all playing in our clubhouse. Rick and I, and Tim and Kyle were in a game of Nine Ball at the pool table, and Justin and Brian were playing ping pong. Tim had been dancing around a little, like he had to go to the bathroom, but he hadn't said anything about it.
Suddenly, right before his shot, he declared he had to pee. He took off. The rest of us laughed at him, but because he was cute, not to make fun.
"He waited till the last minute again," Kyle said.
We all agreed.
In a few seconds, we heard a blood-curdling scream from the men's room.
Kyle dropped his cue stick, and Rick and I set ours on the table. Jus and Brian stopped their game, and all of us ran to where Tim was. Tim was standing in front of a urinal, apparently writhing in pain. He was whimpering and crying a little bit. His fly was open, and we could see part of his penis sticking out the top of the fly. Kyle got to him first.
"Ohhhhhh," Kyle said.
"What is it," I demanded of Tim.
"I caught it in my zipper," Tim said. "Help me."
We gathered around to look. Indeed, he had caught the tip of his foreskin in the zipper of his pants. I had a momentary vision of that scene in There's Something About Mary where the kid gets his balls caught in his zipper. I knew that couldn't really happen, but I knew from first-hand experience that what had happened to Tim really could happen.
I got down on my knees and moved his hand away. Then I grabbed the tab of his zipper and pulled it down. His foreskin came loose but not without blood.
"Tim, I'm going to touch it, okay, Bubba? I need to see how bad it is."
Tim just whimpered. I knew that hurt really bad because I had done the same thing a few times in my younger days. He had been in a hurry to get back to the pool game, I figured, and he hadn't paid attention to what he was doing when he zipped up. Ouch!
"Get me some toilet paper," I said to whoever was listening. Rick presented me with a wad in a few seconds.
I examined his penis, dabbing it to stop the blood, and I could tell he had only gotten a very small part of the foreskin caught.
"Does it still hurt like it did," I asked.
"No, sir. It stings, though," he said.
"How did that happen," Kyle asked.
"I pulled up too fast," Tim said. "I was in a hurry to get back to the game."
"I think we need to take him to the emergency room and call Grandma," Kyle said. "This could be a disaster."
"We don't need to do either one, Kyle. It's a little nick. I've done it before myself," I said.
"He didn't cut it off, Stud. There's still plenty left for you," Justin said.
That made everybody, including Tim, laugh.
"I'm okay, Kyle. It doesn't hurt much anymore. It just stings," Tim said.
"I'm going to give you some anti-bacterial ointment. Just put it on for the next couple of days," I said. "And, er, keep it out of dirty places, at least until it's healed."
They all screamed with laughter, and Tim blushed
I took Tim inside and gave him a tube of ointment. He went into a bathroom to apply it, and he was soon back out to take his shot on the pool table.
"When I saw what had happened, my whole life flashed in front of my eyes," Kyle said dramatically.
"You are such a horn-dog, Goodson," Justin said.
"Oh, yeah? Let's see how you like it." With that, Kyle grabbed Justin's crotch hard.
"Ow!" Justin said, but they were both laughing.
"Stop it, Kyle. That's making me hurt," Tim said.
Kyle turned Justin loose, and we continued shooting pool.
Brian completed his Eagle Scout project during the first weekend of February. It was a landscaping project similar to the one Tim had done for his, and on that occasion all seven of us, along with Pat, Fred, Chad, and Gage, turned out to help. Brian had things planned down to the minute, and he did a great job answering questions and making decisions that he hadn't anticipated. Of course, when your parents, your brothers, and some of your best friends make up your crew, it's pretty unlikely things will get screwed up too badly.
It was close to dark when we finally finished that Saturday afternoon. We ordinarily went to the Saturday vigil Mass at five o'clock and then went out to eat. It was too late for that, and we had already planned to have everyone over to our house for dinner, anyway. I had picked up a bag of oysters, and we had some steaks for the grill and some potatoes for the microwave. Add a little salad from the deli, and we had a feast.
"Brian, I think that went as smoothly as any Eagle project I've supervised has ever gone," Sam said, as we were seated and eating.
"Thanks, Sam," Brian said. "I want to thank all of you for your help. Especially you, Tim. You really helped me plan it, and I appreciate that."
It was still too chilly to swim, even in a heated pool, so we adjourned to the clubhouse for pool, ping pong, and cards. We had music going, of course, and Justin and Brian danced a little with Chad and Gage, but mostly we played games.
"Every time I'm around you people I feel good," Gage said.
"Well, that just means you need to come over more often, dumbass," Justin said.
"Seriously," Gage said. "I always feel good here. I always feel safe."
Kyle's antennae went up.
"Do you not feel safe at school," he demanded of Gage.
"Not always. No. But I do here."
"Do you know how to find me at school," Kyle asked.
"Yeah. You're the one who's always in the center of a pack of girls. Cute girls, too, I might add," Gage said.
"Come on, Gage. I'm trying to be serious, man," Kyle said.
Gage lit a cigarette.
"Gimme one of those," Kyle said.
It had been so long since I had seen Kyle smoke that I had forgotten he did. He took one and lit up, though. He coughed a little on the first inhale, so I knew he hadn't had one in a while.
"I know you're serious, Kyle, and I know that you and Tim and Brian will get my back at school if I need you. You're one of the most popular kids in school, and you're going to be president next year. And you know what? It's no secret at Beachside that you're queer," Gage said.
"What do you mean?"
"Just what I said. Most people know you're gay, with the exception of some of the dweeb freshmen, present company excluded, of course," Gage said.
"I haven't told very many people," Kyle said.
"Maybe not, but people know. And you know what? They don't care, Kyle. They don't fucking care."
"So, the stud's out at school, huh," Justin said. "If you were in my class, I'd want to sit right next to you." He was sitting right next to Kyle and put his hand on his thigh, close to his groin.
"Get off me," Kyle said. "Come on. Let's shoot some pool."
"Will you grow a cue stick for us tonight," Justin asked, alluding to the night Kyle had gotten an erection in a game of strip pool.
Kyle was laughing delightedly at his friend.
"Shut up, asshole, and shoot pool, before I shove a real cue stick up your butt," Kyle said.
"Uhhhhhhhhh," Justin said seductively. He and Kyle were laughing and shoving each other. They got up and played pool.
"Is what you said true, Gage," I asked.
"Absolutely," Gage said. "They really love him, Kevin, and he has lunch every day with Chad and me. How do you think that makes us feel?"
"Pretty special," I asked.
"That doesn't even begin to describe it," Gage said.
"That must be a pretty liberal school," Sam said.
"Oh, there are pricks there aplenty, don't think there aren't. But he just has a way with people. It doesn't hurt that his daddy owns half the beach," Gage said.
"He doesn't brag about that, does he," I asked. Because if he does, I thought, that's got to end.
"I've never even heard him mention it," Gage said.
"Me, either," Tim added.
"But people know, Kevin. But they want to be his friend because of him. It's almost like he's got some kind of magic glow around him, or something. It's amazing to me."
That little chat circle started to break up. Rick and Brian went to the ping pong table, Tim went to the bathroom, and Gage got up to put some more CD's on the player. The only ones left were Chad, Sam, Fred, and me.
"What Gage was saying is true, Kevin. It's like we're acceptable because we're Kyle's friends," Chad said. "I wonder what's going to happen to us when he graduates."
Sam, Fred, and I were silent. I was thinking about the implications of what Chad had said, and I figured they were, too. Chad got up to fool with the CD's with Gage.
Fred spoke. "Have you guys ever heard of the concept of the alpha male in a wolf pack?"