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.
ANNOUNCEMENT: In Chapter 4 of "Kyle, Part 1," I made a mistake and said Matthew Shepherd's murder occurred in Montana, instead of Wyoming, where it really happened. Several readers were kind enough to point out my error, and I appreciate that. I have asked the Nifty archivist to correct that mistake, and he has done so. The correction might not make it onto all the mirror servers right away, but it will eventually be rectified. My apologies for any confusion my error might have caused readers, and my gratitude to those readers who took the time to notify me. When that awful event took place, I was outraged. I read everything about it I could get my hands on, and I followed the trial of the murderers every day. How ironic that I would make so basic an error in a chapter that, in part, was intended to "teach" some of the younger readers something about our history. Sowy. --Brew
Kyle, Part 1
We went to one of those sports bar and grill places with our friends that Thursday night. I knew Justin was hurting because of what Jason had told him, but my main focus was on Monte and Terry. Those guys had been together longer than we had, and I knew they were as committed to one another as Rick and I were. True, it was only a short separation, but I knew that would be very, very hard for Rick and me to endure. The same would be true for Mont and Ter.
"Are you guys okay with what's going on," I asked, after we had ordered drinks.
"Well, we're not exactly okay with it, but we know there isn't anything we can do about it," Mont said.
"That's not exactly true, Mont," Ter said. "I could quit my job."
"Yeah, but you've worked so hard to get ahead at work, Babe. I could never ask you to do that," Mont said.
"You just don't want to have to support me," Ter said. Mont laughed, and we all followed his lead.
"You all know what's been going on with us. What's been happening with you guys," Mont asked.
Rick eyed me to see if I was cool with him telling the story of the guy at the gym, and, of course, I was. He told what happened in the gym and whirlpool.
"I would have done him," Justin said, when Rick had finished the story.
"Would you really, Bubba," Kyle asked.
"I would tonight. After what Jason said today," Justin said.
"I wondered why Jay wasn't here tonight," Mont said. "What happened? Did you guys break up?"
"He broke up with me. I didn't break up with him," Justin said.
"I love him. I don't want to break up with him," Jus said.
"Sometimes people need a little space in a relationship, Jus. To see if it's as important to them as they think. Mont and I did that," Ter said.
"Y'all broke up," Justin asked.
"Yeah. For about a month," Ter said. "We were both miserable about it, though. I had some roaming eyes for a very short time."
"But we patched it up, Jus. You and Jay can, too," Mont said.
"You guys have taught me so much," Jus said. "I was so fucked up about gay sex when I met y'all. Seeing Kevin and Rick, and Tim and Kyle, has taught me what the word 'relationship' means. And you, too, Mont and Terry. You guys have it, and I want it."
"It'll happen for you, Bubba," Kyle said. "If not with Jason, with some other really neat guy. Don't worry."
Saturday morning we were all at the air force base to see Terry off. It was like when we had seen George Murphy off. Monte and Terry cried, of course, and we cried for them, looking at them from a distance.
We invited Mont to come home with us, and he accepted. We went to a restaurant and got some lunch before he came over, and Rick and I sat with Mont on the sofa the rest of the afternoon. We didn't talk much, and all of us sort of felt the sorrow that was plaguing our best friends.
Around two o'clock Jason showed up. He looked like he hadn't slept for a long time, and he obviously hadn't shaved that day. He wanted to see Jus, so we called him from his room. Tim and Kyle were out doing whatever they did; skateboarding, probably. Jus ushered Jason back to his room. We kept watching whatever game was on, and all three of us went to sleep.
Tim and Kyle woke us up when they came in.
"That's Jason's car out there," Tim said. "What's he doing here?"
"He came to see Justin," I said.
"How long ago," Kyle asked.
"A couple of hours, I guess," I said.
"All right," Kyle said, and he and Tim did the high-five. "They've worked it out."
I looked at my watch, and it was almost four o'clock.
"Guys, we need to get ready for church," I said.
Kyle wasn't Catholic, but he went to church with us on a regular basis. We had missed the weekend before because of our camping trip, but that was okay.
Jason belonged to the Methodist Church, but he had no problem going with us to Catholic services. Justin had no recollection of belonging to a church in his past, but he actually though he had been baptized at some neighbor's insistence when he was about ten. Nobody had a problem with that. Justin was our brother, and his religious affiliation didn't matter in the least. Mont and Ter weren't church-goers, either, but Mont wanted to be with us that night, so he decided to go with us, too.
We all piled into Rick's car to go to church. We walked in together. George Murphy got there at the same time we did, so we all marched in with him, too. The eight of us took up a whole pew.
We fumbled around with the hymn book and the book that had the readings in it. A couple of guys had grabbed bulletins as we walked in, and we passed them back and forth, like we really cared who had donated the flowers that week or who the Masses in the coming week were being offered for.
Finally, the lector said for us to stand to greet our priest-celebrant, Father Jerry Taylor.
Father Jerry Taylor was just as good looking as Rick had said he was. All during the Mass I kept looking at his consecrated hands, and I kept seeing his consecrated hands wrapped around my baby's dick. He spotted Rick in the crowd, and he stared at him and averted his eyes almost instantly. The boys and George and Mont had no idea what was going on, but it was very obvious to us that Jerry was embarrassed.
After Mass Father Taylor stood on the steps of the church to greet the people and to say good bye to them, as was the custom.
"Hi, Jerry," Rick said, as we left the church.
"Hello," Jerry said. His voice was totally neutral, as though he had never seen Rick before.
"This is Kevin," Rick said. "Kevin Foley. I told you about him."
"How do you do, Kevin? I'm Father Taylor," he said.
"I'm fine, Father. How are you," I asked.
"I'm fine, too," he said.
"Why are you acting like this, Jerry," Rick asked. "We're your brothers, man. We're going out to eat after this. Come on and go with us."
"I have to close up the church," Jerry said, as though that meant his whole evening was booked.
"We'll help you, man," Rick said. "Close it up, boys. Father is going to eat with us."
Tim told them what to do, and they had the church building secured in no time. He knew to lock the sacristy doors, and we all knew to lock the main doors and side doors of the church.
Jerry pulled Rick aside, and I could tell that Jerry was embarrassed and apologetic. Rick's body language let me know that he was trying to make Jerry comfortable. They talked for a few minutes, and then Rick walked over to our group.
"Babe, can I talk to you for a second," Rick asked me.
He and I walked away from the rest of our group. The four boys were curious about what was going on. Mont and George were talking, and I was sure Mont was filling George in on where Terry was.
"Jerry would really like to join us, but he's uncomfortable with such a large group. He wants to talk to you and me," Rick said.
"That's cool," I said. "Let's tell the rest to go ahead without us and to meet us back at home later on. Is that okay?"
"Yeah," he said.
We sorted out our dinner plans, and we made it clear to everyone that we'd all meet up at home after dinner. Rick gave Kyle the keys to his car so he could drive the kids. Rick and I would ride with Jerry, and Mont would ride with George.
I suggested we go to the Pelican's Post because I knew the rest of them would go to our usual place. Jerry needed directions, but that wasn't a problem.
Once we were seated in the restaurant, Jerry started.
"Kevin, I want you to know how sorry I am about what I did the other night at the gym."
"Don't beat yourself up about that, okay," I said. "Did you ever think that I might consider that a compliment? That my man here is desirable to other guys, but he chooses me?"
"It's big of you to look at it that way," Jerry said.
"We don't want to hear any more about how sorry you are, Jerry," Rick said. "Let's just get on with being friends, okay?"
"Well, I'm more than ready for that," Jerry said.
There was a brief pause as we all scanned our menus. Rick and I had eaten at that place once or twice before, and the menu was an eclectic mix of southwestern food and traditional dishes, like hamburgers and vegetable soup.
"I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to have a drink," I said.
"I think I'll join you," Jerry said.
I ordered a Martini, and Jerry ordered a double scotch on the rocks. Rick ordered iced tea. We also ordered our food.
"Where are you from, Jerry," I asked.
"Boston, actually," he said. "My parents live here now, though, so I guess I'm sort of a local by default."
"Boston, eh? We've been there," Rick said. "Are you a Red Sox fan?"
"What Boston kid isn't," Jerry asked with a cute grin.
"What's your read on all the stuff that's going on in Boston with priests and kids," I asked. "It seems like it's a pretty big scandal."
"That's why I'm here," Jerry said.
"What do you mean," Rick inquired.
"It was a case of wanting to get the hell out of Dodge," Jerry said. "I got caught in a compromising situation with a guy about six months ago. It didn't make the papers, thank God."
"What happened," Rick asked.
"It was pretty much like with you the other night, Rick," he said. "Only he and I got it on. Then he arrested me. He was an undercover cop, and he had me dead to rights. I got off with six months' probation, but it was pretty embarrassing, as you can imagine. That's why what I did with you the other night was so incredibly stupid on my part."
"We're going to forget about that," Rick said.
"Jerry, help me out here," I said. "You're a priest and you're gay?"
"Yeah. Why is that a surprise, Kevin," he asked.
"I don't know. I mean, I know some priests are gay, just like in any other group of men, but are a lot of priests gay? And if they're gay, do they have sex?"
"In my ordination class there were sixteen guys. Twelve of us are gay," Jerry said. "Most of them, maybe all of them but me, are totally faithful to their vow of celibacy, and I'm faithful most of the time." He paused for several moments. "This is hard to talk about, guys."
"We don't have to talk about it, if you don't want to," Rick said.
"No, I do want to talk about it," Jerry said. "It's a national crisis, at the moment, and people need to discuss it. I want to say this, though. I am not a pedophile. I've never touched a kid inappropriately, and, God willing, I never will. I don't really understand where those guys are coming from. I mean, it's one thing to be gay, but it's a whole other thing to want to have sex with kids."
"We understand that completely," I said. "One of those boys that were with us in church tonight was sexually abused for years. He tried to come on to us at first, but neither of us would ever do anything with him. He's healing now. We had a little crisis with him the other night because his boyfriend called it off, but he came over this afternoon, and I assume everything is okay with them now. The boyfriend was with us in church tonight."
"Is he the one you asked me about the other night, Rick? You asked me if I had had any experience dealing with sexually abused kids," Jerry said.
"Yeah. You had said you do counseling. His name is Justin, by the way. We call him Jus most of the time."
"I'm not really a trained counselor, like a psychologist or anything, but I've done a good bit of counseling as a priest. I've worked with a good many gay kids, too. They are often so needy. They just want to know they're not alone. That it's okay to be gay. That they're not some kind of freak or something."
"We know what you mean," I said. "All four of those boys with us tonight are gay. Justin is our foster son, but the other three are more or less our little brothers. Two of them, especially. They spend a lot of time with us, and I think we've helped them some with what it means to be gay."
"Rick, you said the other night that you guys are married, right," Jerry asked.
"Well, of course not legally, but we are in every other way," Rick said. "A priest even heard our vows, blessed us, and blessed our rings. He signed our certificate, too."
"Really? And you both wear wedding rings. That is really cool," Jerry said.
"Yeah, we're in it forever," I said. "We've been together over four years now. I realize that's not a lifetime, but it's a start on a lifetime."
Our food came, and we dug into it.
"So why are so many priests gay," Rick asked.
"I've thought about that a lot, Rick," Jerry said. "I've read a good bit about it, too. I guess it's sort of the nature of the life, in some ways."
"What do you mean? I don't really understand what you're getting at," Rick said. "Don't you guys take vows or something?"
"Yeah, we do, and I think that's a big part of it. Okay, follow this. The Church says you can't do anything about being gay, so it's not a sinful state anymore. But you can't have sex with anybody if you are gay. That's still officially a sin. You're this good kid who wants to please God and do what the Church says, but you're gay. You look around. You see the priesthood, where you have to be celibate whether you're gay or straight. You think, That's not a bad life. You're helping people. You're bringing them the sacraments. You have a certain status in the community, especially in a big Catholic city like Boston. You think, If I have to be celibate anyway because I'm gay, why not become a priest?"
"Was that your thinking," I asked.
"Yeah, more or less. Plus, I had a lot of encouragement from my family. My parents really encouraged me to become a priest, especially my mother. They didn't know at the time that I was gay. Hell, I'm not sure I really knew. That's not exactly true. I knew, but I was pretty deep in denial."
"Have you ever had a boyfriend," Rick asked.
"Yeah. Once. For about eight months. It was when I was a deacon. You have to do a kind of internship in a parish for a year after you've been ordained a deacon, and I met this guy then. He was interested in the priesthood, and we spent a lot of time talking and going out. We got to be very good friends. I already knew he was gay, and one day he asked if he could kiss me. From there it was...you know."
"Yeah, we know," I said. "Do a lot of gay priests have, er, boyfriends?"
"Some do, for sure. They're human beings just like you and Rick," he said. "But, of course, celibacy, or chastity, is the expected norm. When I'm with a guy, I'm breaking my vow, and there's no question about that. It's a major wrong for me."
"Were you, like, run out of town in Boston," Rick asked.
"No, not at all. I requested a year's leave of absence from the Boston Archdiocese. I saw the pedophile scandal coming, and I wanted to be away from there when it broke. I couldn't leave Massachusetts for six months because of my probation, otherwise I would have been out of there sooner. The bishop here knows my history, and he was willing to give me a chance. I almost screwed that up with you, Rick," he said.
"Do your parents know," I asked.
"My parents know I'm gay, and they're fine with it, as long as I'm celibate. The only people who know about my arrest are the Archbishop of Boston, the bishop here, and you guys," he said. "I took a real chance in telling you about it, but I felt I owed it to you."
"Well, you don't owe us anything," Rick said, "but we're flattered that you felt comfortable telling us about it. It won't go any further, that's for sure."
"I appreciate that. It actually feels good to have somebody else know about it," he said.
"How'd it happen, if you don't mind talking about it," I asked.
"No, I don't. I did something totally stupid. I went to a rest stop on the Interstate and picked the guy up. I didn't know it at the time, but the police had had a bunch of complaints about that place, so they had a couple of undercover officers assigned there at night. The cop and I were the only two people in the men's room. I performed oral sex, but I didn't get off myself. How's that for irony?"
"That stinks," I said. "I'm surprised the guy went through with it that far."
"So was my lawyer. They got me for public indecency, but he, of course, wasn't arrested. My lawyer said that they'd probably throw the book at me if they knew I was a priest, given the present climate there, but I was able to keep that little fact off the record. Not even my pastor knows about it," he said.
"Is the other priest here gay, too," Rick asked.
"I don't know for sure, but my suspicions are that he is," Jerry said. "I mean, I did some snooping on the rectory computer, and he's definitely been to gay Web sites. That's usually a sign, isn't it?"
"Yeah, but he might just be curious, too. Who cares, really," I said.
"Your attitude is great, Kevin, but I'm not sure everybody in the parish would feel the same way as you and Rick do. Do you know what I mean," Jerry said.
"This is kind of awkward, Jerry," Rick said, "but are you interested in hooking up?"
"Actually, I'd love it, but I've done a lot of soul searching in the last few days, and, no, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to try like hell to keep my vow of chastity," he said.
"We'll support you any way we can," I said.
"For sure," Rick agreed.
"Guys, I know it's not that late, but tomorrow is my big day," Jerry said. "I need to get home. Thanks for listening and for being so understanding. Can we get together again?"
"It's our pleasure, Jerry," I said. "Here's my business card. It's got my cell phone number on it. Give me a call when you feel like hanging out."
Rick gave him his card, too.
Jerry dropped us off at home. We shook hands and said good night.
Back at our house the four boys, George, and Mont were engrossed in the Saturday night movie on HBO. There were three large baskets with popcorn leavings in them and soup bowls all over the place with ice cream stains on them. We kept a candy dish on the coffee table, and I had filled it up with miniature peanut butter cups that morning. It was empty except for the foil wrappers. The kids were sprawled on the floor, and George and Mont were on the sofa.
The movie ended about ten minutes after we got home.
"Whoa! That was totally awesome," Kyle said.
"No shit," Jus said. Everybody pretty much agreed with him and Kyle, even if their language wasn't quite as vivid.
"Kevin, Rick," George said, "do you know Father Taylor?"
"I met him the other night at the gym, George. I'm about the closest thing to a friend he has here. Well, Kevin and I, after tonight," Rick said.
"He seems like a really nice man," George said. "I went to his Mass last weekend, too. When he was introducing himself, he said he's from Boston. That's our old stomping grounds, too, of course."
"Yeah, I knew that," I said.
The kids excused themselves and went back to Tim and Kyle's room.
Rick was sitting next to Mont. He put his hand on Mont's shoulder and kneaded it a little.
"How are you feeling, Buddy," Rick asked.
Mont let out a pretty deep sigh.
"I'm okay. I've been thinking about him constantly, of course. Much more than I would if he were here," Mont said.
"If you want to camp out here for a few days, Mont, this is your home away from home," I said.
"You all don't need me in the way," Mont said.
"What is this, dude," Rick asked. "You know you're always welcome in this house."
"Thanks, Rick, and thank you, too, Kevin," Mont said. "I kind of would like to stay here tonight, if that's all right."
"Of course it's all right," I said. "You can sleep in Rick's room."
"Rick's room," Mont asked.
"We call it my room, but it's really a spare room with a bed in it. That's where I store my stuff. You ain't sleeping with me, buddy." Rick was grinning big.
"Shit, I thought I was going to get some nookie tonight," Mont said, also grinning.
"Nookie. Yes, I remember it well," George said.
That made all of us laugh because of the way he said it.
"I've got an idea," Mont said. "Are you all interested in going out on the boat tomorrow?"
"You know I am," Rick said, "and you know those boys are."
"Let's do it, then," Mont said. "Let's call Sam and Fred, too."
"Mont, would you mind if we invited Jerry, too? Father Taylor, I meant," Rick asked.
"What do you think, asshole," Mont asked jokingly.
"I think somebody who is sleeping in my bed tonight had better not bring up the word 'asshole,' if he knows what's good for him," Rick said.
"Yeah, promises," Mont said.
George laughed so hard at that line I thought we'd have to call out Tim and Kyle for some mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
We called Sam and Fred, and they and Chad could go. Rick called Jerry, and he could go, too. We set the time at 11:30 to give Jerry a chance to get his ten o'clock Mass in. Rick and I agreed to shop for food and drink the next morning, so the party was set.
"Is Father Taylor gay," George asked out of the blue.
"That's a question he needs to answer for you, George," Rick said.
"Not anymore," George said. "And, of course, it's fine with me. I just never thought I'd be a minority in my own homeland."
That made everybody laugh.
We called the kids out of their rooms, and they got really excited about going out on the boat. We told them Sam, Fred, and Chad would be going, too, and that Father Taylor would be joining us as well.
"Maybe Father Taylor and Chad can hook up," Kyle said.
"Whoa! Bubba! Come here and sit with me," Rick said.
Kyle did as Rick said.
Rick put his arm around Kyle.
"What was that all about, man?"
"It was a wisecrack, Rick. I didn't mean anything by that," Kyle said.
"Come on, son. This is Rick, remember? What were you thinking, Kyle?"
"I guess I was thinking priest, queer boy. Perfect match."
"Kyle, baby, that is so wrong, man. Jerry is gay, but he's not after kids, any more than Kevin and I are. He's a gay priest, but that doesn't make him want to go after kids. I know you've heard a lot about it in the news, but Jerry's our friend. He's hurting right now, just like Mont is, but for different reasons. Are you okay with that? Are all of you okay with that," Rick asked the room.
They all said they were.
"Kyle, when was the last time you had a shower," Rick asked him.
"Please go take one now," Rick said.
"You don't like the way I smell," Kyle asked. There was devilment in his voice and in his eyes.
"Actually, you smell very good, Kyle, and I'm sure every gay horse in Northwest Florida has an erection for you right now. But you really do need to clean up. And shave, too, okay?"
"I'll take a shower, but I'm not shaving till tomorrow morning. You and Kevin don't shave on Saturday, and I don't either."
"Fair enough, Buddy," Rick said. "Now get your ass in that bathroom and clean up."
Kyle got up to shower, and the other boys went back to their rooms.
"You are incredible with those kids, Rick," George said. "I'm way too formal with them. I could never have brought that off the way you did."
"You don't know Kyle as well as I do, George," Rick said.
"Yeah, that's true. But more and more I think of him as my son. My second son."
"I think you're right, George. I really think you're right on that one, buddy," I said.
The next day we all converged at our house to go to the boat. There were nine guys, and that was way too many even for Rick's Trooper. Kyle drove his car with the four boys, and the rest of us went in Rick's car.
"So, Father, I understand you're a Boston boy," George said. "I'm a Boston boy, too. Back Bay, actually."
"I'm not in your league, George. And the name's Jerry, not 'Father,'" Jerry said.
"We're all in the same league here, Jerry. We're all tramps. Tramps like us...Baby we were born to run," Rick said.
"These guys are anything but tramps, Jerry," George said, "and their hearts are in the right place."
"I know that, George," Jerry said.
"What do you make of the scandals going on in the Archdiocese right now," George asked.
"Well, it's pretty dreadful, actually," Jerry said. "Most of the priests are pretty demoralized. I talked to one of my classmates recently who said he doesn't wear his clericals anymore out of embarrassment."
"Oh, my," George said. "Do you think Cardinal Law will resign over this?"
"I rather doubt it. In fact, he said he wasn't going to," Jerry said.
"I read something in the New York Times last Sunday about the Vatican saying they should stop ordaining gay men priests," I said.
"I heard the same thing on the news," George said.
"Well, that would be a damn shame," Rick said. "You don't have to be gay to be a pedophile, that's for sure. I hate how people are linking those two things in their minds. We've got enough of a public relations problem just being gay. Now all this shit is just making it worse."
"Anyone who knows a gay man knows that homosexuality and pedophilia aren't the same thing," George said.
"Do you think there's anybody who doesn't know a gay man," Mont asked. He had kept quiet until then.
"Very good point, Mont. And I see what you mean," George said. "It's like the stereotype of effeminacy. From what I've read, only about twenty percent of gay men are effeminate, but that's the stereotype."
"You seem to know a lot about homosexuality, George," I said, teasingly. "Are you sure you're telling us everything about yourself?"
"Well, with a queer son, a queer son-in-law-in-training, two queer best friends, and an almost-exclusively queer circle of friends, I've made it my business to find out everything I can about it. And since I've gotten to know you guys, I'd be proud to be queer myself," George said. His tone was more serious than I had intended my joke to elicit from him.
"Well said, my man," Rick said.
"Indeed, George," Jerry said. "By the way, what type of work do you do?"
I watched Rick's lips curl in a smile at what was going to come next.
"I'm an oral surgeon," George said.
Rick burst out laughing.
"Why do you do that every time I say what I do for a living?"
"Because every time you say you're an oral surgeon I want to say, 'And Kevin's an anal surgeon,'" Rick said.
That made everyone laugh, especially George.
We got to the marina and found a place to park. Sam, Fred, and Chad were already standing there waiting for us. Chad was completely jewelry-free except for one small gold loop in his left ear. His hair was spiky, of course, but that was the style all the boys liked.
We introduced Jerry to the three of them, and then we unloaded from the cars the stuff we had brought. The kids carried all of it, as we expected them to do. It occurred to me then how take-charge they were without having to be asked.
Jerry was suitably impressed with the boat, and the kids were as excited about it as they always were. We motored out to Dune Island, docked, and set up our little camp in more or less the place we had set up on previous visits. Somebody had brought a volleyball and a net, and before long we were ready to organize a game. Rick and Kyle appointed themselves captains, and they were getting ready to pick sides.
They did the scissors-paper-rock thing to see who would pick first, and Kyle won.
"I want Chad," Kyle said.
"What," Chad asked in disbelief.
"You ever been picked first for a team before, Chad," Sam asked.
"Now, Uncle, dearest, what do you think," Chad asked. He exaggerated his effeminacy, and everybody but Jerry laughed.
"I want Kevin," Rick said.
"Yeah? Well I want Tim," Kyle said.
"And I want Mont," Rick said.
"I want Justin."
"I want Jerry."
"And I want Jason," Kyle said.
"Well, I want George," Rick said
"I want Sam," Kyle said. He gritted his teeth when he said that, presumably to intimidate Rick. Rick grinned at him.
"Oh, yeah, asshole? Well, I want Fred," Rick said, matching Kyle's aggressive tone of voice.
"You don't scare me, boy," Kyle said.
"Yeah? Well you scare the hell out of me every time I look at that face," Rick said.
Neither Rick nor Kyle could hold back the laughter after that exchange, and the rest of us laughed as well. I looked at Jerry, and he seemed delighted at what was going on.
"Let's shoot for dicks or suits. Winner gets dicks."
"What did he say," Jerry asked, a little taken aback.
"He wants them to shoot to see which team has to wear suits and which team plays naked," I said. "Are you okay with that? I can stop it, if you aren't?"
"Is this what you guys ordinarily do," Jerry asked.
"Yeah, pretty much," I said.
"Hell, let's do it," he said.
Rick and Kyle shot again, and, again, Kyle won.
"Get them suits off, dudes," Kyle told his team, and he scrambled out of his own.
Each team had a little huddle. Rick told the grownups the positions he wanted us in to start off. Kyle, presumably, did the same thing with his team.
"Those little bastards got the advantage," Rick said, "but we can't pay any attention to them, hear guys? We play this game fast and hard. I'm not sure how equal the match is, but don't forget, Tim and Kyle play beach volleyball all the time. This is their sport. Is everybody clear on the rules and such?"
"I could use a refresher," George said.
"We only score points when we serve. We get three taps per side to get it over the net. The first one is usually a block, the second one sets up the spike, and the third one is the spike over the net. It'll be coming in very fast and very hard. It the server's good, it'll be low. Let the back guys make the block to set up the front guys for the spike. A one-handed volley is okay, the way we're playing it. Make 'em dive in the sand as much as you can. It's more fun playing naked like they are except when they have to dive into the sand. Then it's sandpaper time on those dicks. We've got to use that every chance we get. The game's 15 points, or 12/7, but I doubt it will be that lopsided. Is everybody okay with what I said?"
"Rick, you're going to need to help me out from time to time," George said.
"No problem, George. Jerry, are you cool with this," Rick asked.
"I'm kind of like George. Beach volleyball isn't a sport I've played before, but I'm game," Jerry said.
"Okay, let's go get those little weenies," Rick said. We all laughed.
Little weenies (actually not all that little) they might have been, but they beat us in the first game 15-13. We swapped courts. Thanks to a few unbelievable saves by Rick, some pretty good spiking by me, and some incredibly powerful serves by Jerry, we won the second game.
"Hold up," Rick said to Kyle. "Let's rest a minute."
Every man and boy on the beach was drenched in sweat. I was thirsty as hell, and I figured everyone else was, too. We drank water from the bottles we had brought in the coolers.
"Has everybody noticed how good Chad's doing," Tim asked.
Chad absolutely beamed when Tim said that.
"I did," Rick said.
"I can't wait to get home to check out the Web site for the Gay Games in Sydney," Chad said. "I wonder if the volleyball team has all its members yet."
Of course he said that for comic effect, and we all laughed.
"Maybe you could just provide the balls," Justin drawled.
Chad got an incredibly excited look on his face when Justin said that, and we all howled.
"Oh, what an honor," Chad said. We all laughed again.
"You guys are pretty incredible," Jerry said.
"Jerry, I'd never been around a bunch of gay men before I met this crew," George said, "and I've never known a more accepting group of people in my life. I'm glad you were able to join us."
"Thanks, George. It's been an eye-opener for me, for sure," Jerry said.
The third game, the rubber match, as Kyle and Rick insisted on saying repeatedly for comic effect, was nip and tuck all the way. Kyle made a magnificent save, sliding across the sand on his belly, and he came up screaming "OHHHHHHHHHH. My dick's on fire!"
Everybody laughed, but we also sympathized.
At one point, Kyle had a spike that could have sent the ball directly into Rick's face. He purposely aimed it at me, though, and I scored a point when it bounced off Chad's knees.
"Thanks, Bubba," Rick said.
Kyle smiled at his alter self.
"You'll get me next time, right," Rick said.
"You got that right," Kyle said.
The final score of that game was also 15-13, in favor of the kids. They all ran into the Gulf to celebrate. They played around a while in the surf.
"This is absolutely unbelievable," Jerry said.
"No, it's not," Rick said. "I knew they would be good."
"I don't mean the score, Rick," Jerry said. "I mean just the general sense of community I feel with you guys. You people all love each other, don't you?"
"Yeah, we do. What's wrong with that," Rick asked.
"Wrong?!! It's all right, Rick. It's the way God intended people to get along. It's what I've been looking for all my life."
"Well, those boys are special to us," Rick said. "They're our little brothers, you know?"
"That is very obvious, and thank you for including me in your family," Jerry said.
When the boys and Sam came back from the water, Kyle wanted to know who wanted to go find the fort on that island. That was our fifth visit there on Mont's boat, and they still hadn't located the fort.
"I'm staying put," Sam said, as he put on his bathing suit.
"What time do you want us back," Tim asked.
"We're going to eat at 5:30," Mont said.
"Can we borrow your watch, Rick," Tim asked.
Rick handed Tim his watch. The boys took off, still naked, and the adults settled down for naps.