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 "Kyle, Part 3." It now continues in "Summer Fun." 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 email@example.com.
(Kyle's Perspective, Continued)
The rest of the morning went really good. I had a couple more room services and a couple of check-outs. Justin was right about the check-outs. They didn't tip for shit.
It so happened that day that Justin, Jeff, and I had lunch at the same time. Lunch and breaks had to be staggered so that there were enough bellhops on duty all the time, but we happened to luck out that day. The other bellhop who was off for lunch with us was Stephen.
One of the things I learned at that lunch was that the break room was for all the employees, not just the bellhops. There were a bunch of housekeeping people in there, mostly ladies, a couple of valet parkers, a few people--ladies and men--from the bookkeeping and financial part of the hotel, and us. They had a special line in the kitchen for the help, and it was free. That day it happened to be beef stew, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, and salad. We filled up our plates big and went in to eat. We only had thirty minutes to eat, but that was okay. We all got glasses of tea from a service cooler, and it was good and sweet, just like I liked it.
Stephen joined us, probably because he saw the uniforms we were wearing. He had no way to know how we were related to one another.
"You ladies mind if I join you," he asked.
"Come on and join us," I said, "but don't call us ladies. We all have dicks."
He sort of grinned. "Even more interesting," he said.
Nobody said anything at first. We were all eating pretty hard. That stew was damn good, and those were real mashed potatoes, too, not canned or out of a box, like at school. Breakfast and lunch were the meals I ate the most at, and I got me a good lunch that day.
"Has your day been good, Kyle," Stephen asked.
"Yeah, it's been real good. I love being a bellhop," I said.
"Well, some of us have greater aspirations," he said.
I didn't know exactly what he meant by that, but I didn't stop eating to try to figure it out.
"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them," Jeff said.
Stephen perked up when Jeff said that.
"Exactly," Stephen said. "Julius Caesar, right?"
"Right," Jeff said.
"You guys know each other, don't you," he said. "I saw you drive up together this morning."
"The three of us are brothers," I said.
"How can that be? You don't look anything alike, and you're all different. Muscle Man, Redneck, and Shakespeare."
"Yeah, but we are brothers, dude," Jus said. "Sort of foster brothers and honorary brothers, but we're brothers."
"Foster brothers and honorary brothers? I don't get it," Stephen said.
"It's a long story, Stephen, but that's what we are," Jeff said.
"Do you have any brothers, Stephen," I asked.
"I don't even have parents anymore, much less brothers," he said.
"You don't have parents anymore? I'm sorry, man. Was it an accident," I asked.
"Yes. An accident of birth. My parents disowned me and kicked me out a year ago. That's when they found out I'm gay," he said. "You guys knew I was gay, right?"
"Yeah, we figured," Justin said.
The peach cobbler we had for dessert that day was shit. They used damn canned peaches, and there was way too much corn starch in it. I knew how to make a fruit cobbler, and that was definitely not the way to do it. I wondered if that was on the menu in the dining room. Probably not.
After we finished eating, Stephen lit up a cigarette. Justin did, too, and he passed me his pack. I had already had one that day, but I took one anyway. I figured I was turning into a cigarette fiend, with a nicotine stain on my index finger, just like that boy in The Music Man. I looked at my finger, but it was clear. I didn't know what a nicotine stain looked like, but I was going to be on the lookout.
We went back to work after we finished lunch.
A lot of what we did that afternoon was just hanging around. I talked to a few of those guys, and they were all real nice. They were all college students or older. A couple of them had gone to Beachside, and they seemed to think it was cool that I was still a high school student and had that job.
In mid-afternoon a Mr. Rooney came around looking for me. He was the General Manager of the hotel, or the GM, as they all called him.
He called me out to talk to me.
"Kyle, we're very happy to have you here, son," he said.
"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. I'm very happy to be here," I said.
"I've known your dad for four years or longer, and when he called me to say he wanted you to work here, I was thrilled. Welcome aboard, Kyle."
"Thank you, sir. I'm going to be good for you," I said.
I knew that was lame, but I didn't know what else to say. That guy was my top boss. I knew, and he knew I knew, that Kevin was ultimately my boss, and his boss, too. What he didn't know, but I knew, was that Kevin would fire me ten times faster than he would fire him if I stepped out of line. And I knew my daddy would back Kevin up, too. I didn't have a choice but to be a good employee, which I wanted to be, anyway.
"I know you'll be good, Kyle. It's in your blood, son. It's in your blood."
"So who the fuck are you, that the GM would come out to see a bellhop on his first day," Wayne asked me. "Are you blowing him?"
"He knows my dad," I said.
"Is he blowing your dad? No, your dad must be blowing him. That's how you got this job, right?"
"Leave me alone," I said.
"I ain't leaving you alone, motherfucker. I hate homos. I don't know for sure yet that you are one, but I saw you eating lunch with that queer, Stephen. I will haunt you Kylie, just like I'm going to haunt Justine and Jeffette. You fucking queers are going to get torched by me, and I know you need these jobs. You can't quit, motherfucker, and I know it."
"Are you saying all of this because the general manager came down from his office to say hello to me? That made you think my father is blowing him? Wayne, I think you're crazy, man."
"Yeah, crazy like a fox," he said.
Before I knew it, it was time to punch out and go home. I relaxed when I sat down in my car when we all got in it, and I was tired. I had been standing up almost all day, and that really takes it out of you.
Nobody was in the den when we got home. Jus and Jeff went up to their rooms to change or something, and I laid down on one of the sofas in the den. I was out in ten seconds.
They woke me up when they came home. I had only been sleeping for a few minutes, like maybe thirty, but I really felt good when I woke up. It was like I had had a full night's sleep. I was still in my uniform, so I hopped upstairs to put on shorts and a tee shirt to work out in. Tim was asleep in our bed. I thought about crawling in there with him, but I really wasn't tired anymore. I decided just to change and to leave him alone. I figured they had worked him and Brian pretty hard at the gift shop, and he was tired out.
One of 'em made a pot of coffee, and I wanted some as soon as I smelled it when I went downstairs. I checked my watch, and it was just a few minutes after five.
"Hi," I said, when I went into the breakfast room. Kevin, Rick, and Jeff were sitting at the table, having coffee. I fixed myself a cup and joined them.
"Hey, Bubba," Kevin and Rick said.
"How was your first day," Kevin asked.
"It was great. I think this kind of work is in my blood. At least that's what Mr. Rooney said," I said.
"Oh, you met Jack Rooney? He's a really nice guy, isn't he," Kevin said.
"Yes, sir, I did, and he seems to be real nice."
"Kyle had his first encounter with our resident homodion," Jeff said.
"Homodion? What does that mean," Kevin asked.
"It's a word I sort of made up," Jeff said. "Homophobe means somebody who fears homosexuals, right? Well, the Latin word for 'hate' is odi. I just put that together with 'homo' and got homodion, somebody who hates homosexuals."
"Interesting," Kevin said. "So who is this guy? Tell us about him."
"He's some asshole," I said.
"No more details than that? What did he do," Rick asked.
"He called Justin Justine and Jeff Jeffette. He asked me if I was blowing Mr. Rooney. I told him my dad knows him, and he said something like, oh, your dad must be blowing him, then, for you to get this job. Just shit like that," I said. "He said he was going to haunt us and that we'd get torched by him. He said he knew we couldn't quit because we needed our jobs."
"He does that kind of stuff all the time, Kevin," Jeff said. "But not just to us. He does it to everybody except Jason, I think. Jason's the bell captain."
"That's harassment, Babe, plain and simple," Rick said.
"I know. Do you guys want me to do something about it," Kevin asked.
"We told you this stuff as our brother, Kev, not as our boss," I said. "Let us have a few more days with him before you do anything. You told me not to pull rank, and I don't want to."
"Yeah, but that's a direct violation of our personnel policies," Rick said. "That's not pulling rank, Kyle. That's protecting your human rights, man, and the human rights of the other guys."
"Still, let us work on it, okay?"
"Okay, but if this shit keeps up, I want to know about it, as your boss, not your brother," Kev said. "This could be a legal issue with other employees, guys. I need to know what's going on."
Justin came in dressed for a work out, and he got a cup of coffee, too.
"Hey," he said. "Brian's dead to the world. They must have worked his ass off at the gift shop."
"Tim, too," I said. "I caught me forty winks on the sofa. I was tired, too."
"You'll get used to it," Jus said. "I did."
Rick, Justin, and I worked out, and then we went for a swim to cool off and relax. The puppy came in the pool with us, and we all played around with her.
You could really see those suntan tattoos on Jus, and mine looked sharp and clear, too. Rick kept looking at them. I knew he wasn't checking us out. He had had plenty of chances to do that if he had wanted to, and he had never given us more than a glance before. I wondered what ole Wayne from work would say about them. I chuckled to myself when I thought of that.
Our first day of work at the gift shop wore me out. I don't usually take naps after school or on Saturday afternoon the way some of them do, but I sure needed one that day. The work wasn't hard, and we didn't have to lift heavy things, or anything, but we had to stand up all day. I wasn't used to that, and I think that's what made me tired. Tim was tired, too, and he took a nap also.
Working with Tim was the most fun. He and I are really a lot alike, and both of us liked talking to people who came into the shop. Rick or somebody had said there would be five people working, but there were more than that. For one thing, there was a snack bar in the back of the place. It was in a separate room, but it was definitely part of the operation. There were two cooks and a girl on the register. She did the bus work, too. A girl named Ellen was the manager of the whole thing, and she was super nice. The assistant manager, who came on as we were leaving for the day, was a guy named James. He seemed really nice, too, and he seemed glad to meet me and Tim.
We got there around ten minutes to eight, and we were the first ones there. We couldn't even get in the place. It didn't open to the public until ten, and we spent the first two hours restocking the shelves. Rick was right about learning the stock, but I thought we were going to do nothing but that for the first few days. He must have meant we would do that the first thing every day because that's what we did.
We sold a lot of different things, but the most popular items were bottles of water, sunscreen, disposable cameras and film, and cigarettes. We weren't supposed to sell cigarettes to anybody who was under eighteen, but if somebody who looked like Justin or Kyle asked for some, we just sold them to them without asking for ID. I carded one guy, and he was only sixteen, so I wouldn't sell them to him. Two minutes later, this other guy comes up and asks for the same brand as the sixteen-year-old. He was definitely older than eighteen, so I sold them to him. I saw him giving them to the younger guy not a minute later. They looked like they were brothers.
We sold a good bit of beer, too. The age for beer was twenty-one, and we were a lot stricter about checking ages for that. I figured there were some fake ID's floating around in that place when one group of about ten came in together, but we let them have it if the ID said they were twenty-one. Ellen said we weren't the cops, although I noticed that she confiscated one ID that looked fake even to me. It had been made using a scanner and a computer, and it was printed out on regular paper. I mean, what state issues driver's licenses that way? The Florida ones had a hologram on them, so they were harder to fake. Of course, Kyle had a Florida one that had belonged to his brother. It had Clay's picture on it, but it looked enough like Kyle for him to get by with it. The thing is, it said that Clay was twenty-two. If Clay was still alive, he'd still only be twenty, so it must have been a fake when he had it.
One thing I hadn't counted on was seeing all the people in just their bathing suits. I don't really notice cute girls all that much, but I did that first day. A few of them were just plain beautiful, and they had on bikinis that really showed a lot of skin. This one girl had really nice breasts. They weren't really all that big, but they were really nice. Tim noticed them, too.
Both of us noticed the guys who came in. This one guy came in wearing just a yellow Speedo that was almost the same color as his hair. He had a cool tattoo on his left bicep and a nipple ring in his left nipple. He had a great tan, with just a little reddish underglow, and he had really good muscles, especially his abs. He didn't have an erection, but you could clearly see the outline of his softie, and it was a big one. I've never had a wet dream, but he was what I thought I would dream about if I had one. Tim saw him, too. That guy wanted to buy cigarettes, and I knew he was old enough to buy them. I started to ask for ID anyway, just so I could know what his name was, his age, and where he lived, but I didn't do it.
"Hey, Buddy," Jus said when I went into the den. "Did you have a good nap?"
"Yeah. Hey," I said, and I gave him a little kiss.
"How was your day? Did you check out any cute boys in the shop," he asked.
Before I could say anything, Kyle said,
"Yeah, he did. Look how he's blushing." He ruffled my hair and grinned at me.
"Don't tease him," Jus said. "You would have done the same thing, and you know it."
"Hell, yes, I would have," Kyle said. "In fact, I scoped out a few at the hotel."
We all laughed.
Tim came down just then, and they went through almost the exact same routine with him, only it was Jus teasing him about the cute boys instead of Kyle. It was like they had worked out an act between them, and they played different parts, depending on whose boyfriend they were teasing.
"Did you guys work out," Tim asked.
"Yeah," Kyle said. "I'll go again, though, if you want me to."
"Naw, that's okay. I can skip a day," Tim said.
I was glad he said that because I didn't feel like working out. I knew that if he did it, I would have to do it, too, and I didn't want to.
We all got a snack of some watermelon and cantaloupe that was in the kitchen, and then we watched TV. All the boys except Jeff went to bed early.
Kyle's first day on the job was a good one. He learned all the stuff in about twenty minutes, which I knew he would. I mean, it's not real hard or anything. I could tell he loved doing it, too.
One of the first things he asked about was getting some more uniforms. They gave us two when we got the job, but you had to buy them if you wanted more than that. I had bought me three more so I'd have at least enough for a week, and that's what Kyle did, too. All the uniform was was navy blue pants and a navy blue shirt that you were supposed to wear untucked. You had to wear a white tee shirt so it showed at the neck of your shirt, but the tee shirt had to be tucked. The shirt had a breast pocket with a Laguna Hotel logo on it. You weren't supposed to carry cigarettes in the shirt pocket, though. A pen and a little pad were okay to have there, but no smokes. I didn't know why they had that rule, but I did like they told me. The pockets in the pants were plenty big and loose enough for cigarettes, though, and they didn't care if you kept them there.
The first day, Kyle had a little run-in with Wayne, the asshole. He said something like Kyle had gotten his job because Mr. Gene was blowing Mr. Rooney, the General Manager of the hotel. I thought Kyle was going to go off and bust that dumb fuck, but he didn't. He just told Wayne to leave him alone. I knew Kyle had to force himself not to get pissed off, and he did a very good job doing it, too.
The second day was pretty much like the first and like most of the others. One difference was that Mr. Gene came by to say hello to the three of us. That man was so proud of his boy you could just see it on his face. Kyle was all happy and excited to see him, and he explained everything a bellhop has to do, like his daddy hadn't done that kind of stuff his whole life. Gene listened to him, though, like maybe Kyle had some insight after a day and a half that Gene and all those other guys hadn't thought of in all those years. Even if Kyle wasn't my brother and best friend, I'd still know he was cute.
It started up with Wayne right after Gene left.
"Who was that? Your sugar daddy," Wayne asked with a real mean tone in his voice.
"He's my daddy, not my sugar daddy. I don't have a sugar daddy," Kyle said. His voice was even and calm-sounding, but if you knew Kyle like I did, you would have known there was a volcano fixing to erupt right under the surface.
"I guess your 'daddy' must be in the back sucking Rooney's cock," Wayne said. "All you faggots are alike."
"My daddy don't do that, man, so shut up about it," Kyle said.
"Or what," Wayne said.
"Just shut up, okay," Kyle said, and he walked away from Wayne.
Jeff was standing there watching it all with me.
"That guy doesn't have good sense," Jeff said. "He doesn't know what he's dealing with in Kyle, now, does he?"
I laughed at what Jeff had said, and he laughed, too.
"You got that right, Bubba," I said.
Jason was sitting on a stool behind the bell desk, and we were close enough to it for him to have heard what we had been saying. I didn't know if he had heard what went on between Kyle and Wayne, though. Jason was a live-and-let-live kind of guy, so he never said anything when Wayne was picking on people. He more or less pretended he didn't notice it, but I knew he did. He called me and Jeff over.
"It's been my experience that when a guy hates gays as much as Wayne claims to, that guy is hiding something," Jason said.
"Are you saying Wayne is queer," I asked.
"I didn't say that," Jason said.
"But that's what you meant, isn't it," Jeff asked.
"Jeff, I don't judge people," Jason said, "and I also don't care if Wayne is gay. The hospitality industry has always been gay-friendly, though. Hell, this company even offers domestic-partner benefits to gays and lesbians and their partners."
"Really," Jeff asked.
"Yeah, for a little over a year now. The rumor is the owner's son that died was gay, and he wanted to do that in honor of the son and his partner, even before the son died. I don't know if that's true or not, so don't go spreading it. That would tick Wayne off even more than he already is," Jason said.
"I won't," Jeff said.
Buddy, if you only knew, I thought.
That night we were talking about it with Kevin and Rick. Tim and Kyle were spending that night at Kyle's house, so they weren't around.
"Kevin, you would not have believed it was the same Kyle, man. Our Kyle. All I could think of was Kyle's knee in the nuts of that guy in New Orleans at Mardi Gras who was picking on me. I thought, Wayne, son, you don't even know what you're dealing with here," I said.
"Why do you think he's being so restrained," Rick asked.
"Because he doesn't want to disappoint you guys or his dad," Jeff said.
Jeff told them what Jason had said about maybe Wayne is hiding something.
"Jason may be right on target," Kev said. "It wouldn't be the first time some--what was that word you used yesterday, Jeff?"
"Yeah, some homodion had that as a motive," Kevin said.
"What would really be cool is for Kyle to get a picture of Wayne in some compromising position, like on his knees blowing some dude," Jeff said.
"You guys watch too much TV," Rick said.
We all laughed.
Later that evening, Brian and I were in our room watching TV. Jeff knocked on the door. Brian and I were both naked in bed, but we weren't doing anything. Brian said "come in" before we thought to put on shorts or something, so Jeff came in.
"Oops," Jeff said. "Sorry, guys."
"It's okay, Jeff. How many times have you seen us like this? We're not even hard," I said.
We did get up and slip on some briefs, though.
"What's up, Jeff," Brian asked.
"I've been thinking about us getting a picture of Wayne giving somebody a blowjob. I know it'll never happen, but wouldn't it be great if we could do that?"
"We'd have to really set that kind of thing up," I said.
"I know. It's ridiculous, and I know it," Jeff said. "And it all goes up in smoke if it turns out he's a top."
We laughed hard at that.
Tim and Kyle were sitting at the breakfast table the next morning, all dressed and ready. They hadn't spent the night there, but Tim had to take Brian to work. Jeff and I could have gotten to work without Kyle, but we knew Kyle wanted to go in with us.
"Did you tell your daddy what Wayne said about him yesterday," I asked.
"Hell, no. I would never tell him stuff like that. He's about as open-minded as they get, but he doesn't want to know that shit, that's for sure," he said.
"I was just teasing you, Kyle," I said. "Jeez, lighten up, man."
"I know. And I got you last," he said.
They all thought that was damn hilarious. I didn't think it was all that funny, but I laughed, too, just to be a good sport.
We finished out the week, and it felt good to kick back on Friday night. The first thing Kyle wanted to do was count his tips. I never counted mine all at one time. In fact, a lot of days I didn't have any idea how much I had made in tips. We also got an hourly wage, but it wasn't even enough to worry about. It was with tips that you made your money.
"How much did you make," I asked when he had finished counting it.
"None of your business," he said.
"You mean you're going to sit here and count it right in front of us and not tell," I asked.
"I reckon so," he said.
"Are you satisfied with it," I asked.
"Kyle, you're starting to frustrate me, now. How much damn money did you make? You're probably going to spend it all on us anyway. You might as well tell."
When I said that, it finally dawned on my pea brain what was going on. Everybody in the damn room had a big grin on their face. Everybody but me.
Kyle jumped on me and started wrestling around with me. He was laughing his ass off, too, and the rest of them started laughing.
"Okay, you got me last," I said. "So how much?"
"Eight forty-something, almost eight fifty," he said. "How much did you make this week?"
I didn't know exactly, but it was about the same amount.
"About that," I said.
"You don't know, do you," Kyle asked.
"I don't know exactly, no. So what?"
"What do you do with your money," Kyle asked.
"None of your damn business," I said. Two can play that game, buddy, I thought.
"Seriously, what do you do with it," he asked.
"I carry some on me, but mostly I bank it," I said. "You've got to pay income tax on that, you know. Wait till you get your check and see how much tax you have to pay. It's almost my whole check."
"They didn't explain that to you, Jus," Kevin asked.
"For tip employees, we estimate what the tips will be and pay tax on that amount out of your check. That's why the tax is so much and the check is so little. That way, you probably won't have to pay much income tax when you file, if any."
"No, they didn't explain that. Man, that puts things in a whole new light. I thought I would have to pay the government most of what I was earning," I said.
"Did you know that, Jeff," Kevin asked.
"Yeah, but not because they told me that at the hotel. I knew a lot of restaurants did that for wait staff, and I figured out that must be what's done for us when I saw how much my check stub showed I had paid in taxes," he said.
"You guys didn't sign a form authorizing us to do that," Kevin asked. He seemed kind of annoyed.
"I signed a bunch of stuff when I got hired, but I didn't read any of it," I said. "If it was there, I signed it."
"Me, too," Jeff and Kyle both said.
"Why didn't y'all read the stuff you signed," Kevin asked.
"I didn't have time to read it all," I said. "The lady said it was all routine and for me just to sign 'em."
"She was supposed to explain it to you, too," Kevin said.
I could tell he was starting to get pissed, but it wasn't at us for once.
"Babe, I remember my mom saying more than once that she didn't really know about the school she taught at until I was a student there. This sounds like a case of the same thing," Rick said.
"Well, things will be different come Monday morning," he said.
Then he did something that I though was pretty cool and that I would never have thought of. He made a phone call, but he must have gotten a machine.
"Reminder to myself: Send a memo to tip employees regarding withholding tax. Ask Mary Ann to schedule a meeting of all human resources people for Monday afternoon. Get with payroll to make sure they haven't fucked up the withholding tax."
Then he hung up.
"What was that all about," I asked.
"I called and left a message for myself on my voice mail at work so I won't forget about that stuff between now and Monday," he said.
"Wow, that's pretty cool," Kyle said.
"You guys don't ever leave reminders for yourselves," Rick asked.
"No, but I will from now on," Kyle said. "But how do I call my cell phone from my cell phone?"
"You have to use another phone, dummy," I said.
"Jus, can I borrow your cell a minute, please," Kyle asked.
"Sure, Bro," I said.
I had it on my waist band, and I flipped it to him. He dialed a number, and in a second his cell rang. He didn't answer it, though, and let his voice mail pick it up.
"Reminder to myself: bite off Justin's dick the first chance you get," he said and hung up.
He handed me my phone back, just a-grinning. The rest of 'em were just about on the floor laughing so hard. I had to admit, that was pretty funny, and I laughed, too.
"Who wants to shoot pool," he asked, and the five kids all went out to play.
"Are y'all up for some strip pool," Kyle asked.
"Hell, yeah," I said, "but only if you promise to grow your own cue stick again."
The others laughed.
"You're never going to let me live that down, are you," Kyle said.
"Nope. It don't look like it," I said.
That made 'em laugh even more.
"How do you play strip pool, Kyle? I wasn't in on the famous game," Jeff said.
"Every time you scratch, you have to take something off," Kyle said. "For purposes of this game, a scratch is when you pocket the cue ball, when you don't hit any balls at all on a shot, and if you shoot the cue ball, or any ball, off the table. Everybody got that?"
"Yeah. Are we going to play Eight Ball," Jeff asked.
"You really can't play that with five people," Kyle said. "Let's play Continuous Pool. It's sometimes called 14-1 Pool."
"How do you play that," Tim asked.
"You take turns shooting, and you can shoot at any ball, anytime, but you have to nominate the pocket," he said. "You get a point for every ball you get in a nominated pocket."
"What does that mean," I asked.
"That means you have to use a wall chart or something to keep track of your points," he said.
"No, I meant a nominated pocket."
"Oh, that means you have to say what pocket you want the ball to go in," he said. "If it doesn't go in, it's the next man's turn."
"What if it goes in the wrong pocket? Is that a scratch," I asked.
"You're thinking of Eight Ball, Jus," Kyle said. "If the eight ball goes into the wrong pocket, then you lose. In this game, you just spot the ball, and the next man shoots. You just keep playing continuously. There's one thing about this game that's a little peculiar. After fourteen balls have been pocketed, you rack them, except for the ball in play. The shooter is supposed to get his ball into the nominated pocket and mess up the others, too. If it just goes in and the rack isn't disturbed, the ball is spotted and that guy loses his turn. It sounds more complicated than it really is. I'll tell you what to do when we get that far."
"How do you know all this stuff, Kyle," Tim asked.
I just took it for granted Kyle knew everything about having fun. Of course, for all I knew, he might have just made every bit of that up. I wouldn't put it past him.
"I make it my business to know," he said. "You, Brian, and Jeff ain't the only smart ones, you know."
"I see I was left out of that line-up," I said.
"You and me are smart, Bubba, but just in different ways," he said.
"You guys are people-smart," Brian said. "I'd much rather be people-smart than book-smart."
"So would I, Brian," Jeff said. "Tyler loves all of you guys, but he especially loves you two." He meant me and Kyle.
"Speaking of Tyler, where is he tonight," Kyle asked.
"He'll be over in a little while. Today's his roommate's birthday, and he took him out for a drink to celebrate," Jeff said.
"That's everybody's wet dream. A drunk boyfriend, and you don't even have to pay for it," I said.
"You nut," Jeff said, laughing.
"Do y'all want to lag for break," Kyle asked. "The official break is pretty complicated, so I usually just play regular break. Is that okay with you all?"
"Why don't you just break for us," I said.
"Yeah, but the one who breaks doesn't have much chance of sinking a ball," he said.
"I'll do it," Jeff said. "We can go in reverse order of age, starting with me."
"Wait, before we start, let's even up on the clothes we're wearing," Kyle said.
"What do you mean," Tim asked.
"We all start off with the same clothes on. Shorts, underwear, and two shoes. No shirts and no socks. Is everybody wearing underwear?"
We all said we were. We all had shirts on, too, except Kyle, so we got out of those. And then we started the game.
Brian was the first one to lose a piece of clothes. I would say that of all of us, Jeff was the least athletic and Brian was a close second. Of course, he had some skills with balls that I fully appreciated, but don't put him on a basketball court or a pool table and expect much.
We had a great time playing pool together. We always had fun, though, and Kyle and I were cracking wise back and forth at one another, keeping everybody laughing. It was funny watching people play with just one shoe on. All of us were wearing deck shoes, and it's harder to shoot pool when you aren't balanced quite right. I remembered what Kyle had told me about keeping my head down. I was making some good shots, but I was scratching more than I should have been, too. After about an hour I was down to just briefs.
"Let's take a break," I said.
"Who wants something to drink," Kyle asked.
"I'll have a margarita," I said. I had no idea what that was, but I had heard Craig say that one time at breakfast and get a laugh out of it.
"That sounds good," Jeff said.
"I was just kidding. I don't even know what that is," I said.
"I do, though," Jeff said, "and I know how to make them."
"I'd like to try one," Kyle said. "I've never had one before."
We all gathered around the bar to watch Jeff make the drinks. Tim and Brian just wanted cokes, so they were easy.
The first thing Jeff did was to pour some coarse salt onto a towel. Then he wet the rim of the glasses with some lime juice out of a bottle that was in the refrigerator. He turned the glasses face down in the salt, and it stuck to the rims. He put some ice from Kyle's new ice machine into the glasses and poured a jigger and a half of tequila into each one, followed by a half jigger of something called triple sec. He added two jiggers of lime juice, and the drinks were done.
He said "cheers," and we clinked our glasses together. I knew better than to take a big swig of that stuff, so I just took me a sip. I could tell it was a strong drink, but the taste was like nothing I had ever had before. It was sort of sour and sweet and salty all at the same time.
"This is good, Jeff," Kyle said.
"Yeah. Thanks, Jeff," I said. "Brian, take a little sip, Buddy."
He did, and Kyle gave Tim a little sip of his, too. Tim made a face to show that he thought it was nasty.
"We ought to give Trixie a taste," Kyle said. "Get her tipsy."
"No way," Brian said.
"I'm just teasing, Bubba," Kyle said. "Besides, she's inside with Kevin and Rick."
He said he was teasing, but I'd bet money he'd of done it if Brian hadn't said something. That's all we'd need was a drunk dog.
Tyler came in as we were starting on our drinks.
He told everybody hello, and we told him hello, too.
"Go ahead and kiss him hello, Ty. It's just us, and I know you want to," I said.
"You guys," he said, all shy and embarrassed, but then he kissed Jeff.
"We're having margaritas, Ty. Do you want me to make you one," Kyle asked.
"I've already had a couple of beers," he said.
"Ty, if you feel like you can't drive later on, you can spend the night. We've got lots of extra places for people to sleep. I'm not pimping Jeff. We have two empty bedrooms on the third floor that nobody is using, and both of these sofas out here open up," Kyle said. "Besides, this is a celebration."
"What are we celebrating," Ty asked.
Yeah, I thought. What the hell are we celebrating?
"We're celebrating our first week of gainful employment," he said, "and we're going to play all weekend."
"I'm all for that, guys. Yeah, Kyle, make me a drink, please."
I hoped real hard, and prayed to God, too, that Jeff and Tyler would fall in love with each other. I had gotten to know Jeff much better in the last few months, and that boy was a prince. Tyler was as nice as he could be, too, and I wanted them both to be happy.
Kevin came out with Trixie to check on us around 10:30. He said he and Rick were going to bed but for us to stay up as late as we wanted. If he noticed we had had some drinks, he didn't say anything.
"Tyler's going to spend the night with us, and we're all going to sleep out here, okay," Kyle said.
"That's fine. That's why we bought the sofa beds," he said. "Good night, guys. Rick and I love all of you."
We all said good night and that we loved him, too.
We all had another drink, and by then pretty much everybody was just about asleep. We slept three in a bed, but that was all we did. Sleep.