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Chapter Twenty Eight
"Are you sure it's okay, dad?" I asked, looking at his expression carefully for any indication that he might be fibbing. The two of us had been bonding a lot lately, and I wanted him to know that my loyalties would always lie with him first. He gave me a warm smile that told me I had his blessing, so I dialed my mother's number to make my own arrangements to meet with her.
Our kitchen and dining room were separate, but at the same time, they were open to each other. If I was sitting at the table, I could see everything that was happening in the kitchen with a quick glance. The same held true from the kitchen. All I had to do was turn my head and I had a full view of the dining room, table and all. As odd as it seemed, even to me, I wanted a little privacy so I could call my mom, but I didn't want to blatantly shut my dad out. So I took the cordless into the kitchen and sat down on the small stool that served as nothing more than a resting place for my dad's morning newspaper and the mail. At the moment, it was cleared off, so I took the opportunity to plant my posterior on it before I dialed my mother's number.
I admit that I felt more than a little nervous when the phone started to ring, but I was able to overcome my insecurities because I'd already planned my first words and what I wanted to say. Unfortunately, the phone rang five times with no answer and I got her voice mail, so I left her a message saying that I'd call her back. I'm sure I stammered a little while I was leaving the message, but I managed to get through it and got off the phone before I made myself sound too silly.
I set the phone down with a sigh and looked at the floor. I knew it was silly, but I was having my doubts about whether I'd hear from her. For some reason, I couldn't shake the paranoia that I was feeling that she looked at the caller ID screen, saw it was me, and decided not to answer. I finally shook it off and got up, bringing the phone back into the dining room with me to rejoin my dad, who raised an eyebrow at me as he looked up from his stack of paperwork.
"That was fast," he commented in an inquisitive tone. "Everything alright?"
"Yeah," I answered in a small voice, not wanting to let on that I was feeling a little rejected, especially since it wasn't a very logical feeling to have at the moment.
"What happened, buddy?" he asked, looking and sounding concerned.
"She didn't answer," I said quietly, a heavy feeling spreading all over my chest and a lump growing in my throat.
"Well, she's probably at work, son," my dad said, pulling his chair out motioning me to him. I shuffled over to him, hanging my head a little as I approached his chair. I felt him lift my chin and when we made eye contact, he smiled at me and brushed my bangs out of my eyes. "I'm sure she'll call back, Kevin."
"You don't think she's mad at me, do you?" I asked, a croak emanating from my larynx as tears started to well up in my eyes.
"Why would she be mad at you, buddy?" my dad asked, pulling me close for a hug.
"I don't know," I sobbed into his chest, realizing the lack of logic behind my paranoia but still unable to stop my emotional state from getting the better of me. I realized how badly I was missing my mom at that moment, and nothing short of seeing her face would take that away. Hearing her voice, though, would at least be a little consolation.
"Don't you worry about your mom being mad at you for anything," he told me, planting a kiss on my head.
"Will she want to see me?" I asked, my face still buried in his chest. I felt him run his fingers through my hair, then stroke the back of my head gently before answering.
"I'm positive," he said softly. "I can tell you really miss her."
"I'm sorry dad," I cried, feeling like a traitor for wanting to see her.
"Why would you be sorry?" he asked.
"For doing this," I explained, taking a deep breath to get my crying under control.
"Kevin, you aren't doing anything wrong," he said. "You miss your mom. That's nothing to be sorry for."
"It doesn't make you mad that I want to see her?" I asked through my tears, which were starting to subside a little. I felt him cup the back of my head and with the strength in his left hand, he lifted my head so that I was looking up at his face.
"What do you think you'd want to do with her?" he asked, affirming that he had no problem with my desire to be reunited with my mom again, even though it would only be for a couple of hours at the most.
"I don't have any pictures of her," I said, looking him in the eye. "I'd kind of like to go to the mall and take some pictures with her so I can have them to look at."
"That sounds like a good idea, Kevin," he said. "Tell you what, buddy. Why don't you ask Justin if he wants to come over and you guys can jump in the pool, okay? Are you spending the night tonight?"
"What if she calls while I'm in the pool?" I asked, once again fully aware of my irrational fear of missing her phone call but unable to keep my emotions in check.
"I'll be right here, kiddo," he assured me. "Call Justin."
"Okay," I said, knowing full well that he was trying to keep my mind off of my mom. He gently ran his hand over my forehead and down my cheek with a smile before he sat up and looked back down at the large stack of paperwork he had in front of him. I headed back into the kitchen to retrieve the phone and call Justin, who I had already made plans with that day.
I was pleasantly surprised when I found out Mark was there already. I turned and asked my dad if it was okay for Justin to bring his brother and Mark along, and my dad looked at me as if he were wondering why I even felt like I had to ask. I just shrugged and told them I'd be waiting, then I ran as fast as I could to my room to find my newest pair of swim trunks.
I felt a little jittery when I heard the sound of mark's stereo in our driveway, but at the same time, I was bubbling with a giddy brand of excitement that I've always experienced when I was eagerly anticipating something. I opened the front door and wanted to run out and greet them in the driveway, but I let them approach the porch instead. It was all I could do to keep myself from holding Mark's hand as we walked inside, but I knew for sure that we'd all regret it if I did.
My dad greeted my three guests and made small talk with them for a moment, but I was impatient and wanted to jump in the water. I practically dragged the three of them out to the pool side area so we could be alone, and I watched with a daring smile when Justin's brother tucked a pre-rolled joint in his shoe.
I'm honestly unsure as to why I got so excited. It wasn't as if any of them hadn't been there before. They'd all come over to swim, but I think I was still on an emotional high, or maybe I was recovering from an emotional low, from my tearful breakdown. Either way, I found myself in a playfully silly mood, and as Justin and Mark were simultaneously dipping a foot in the water to test the temperature, I ran up and pushed them both in with all my might.
Before I had a chance to hear the splash of the water, I was in the air, landing not too far from the two of them, who menacingly swam my way for revenge. Mark held me in place while Justin used an opened hand to splash me in the face with huge waves of water. I giggled and kicked, but there was no escaping my boyfriend's powerful grip.
As I wiggled around, I managed to position myself so that my legs were on the surface of the water and I was able to kick my feet enough to splash Justin back. Out of nowhere, I saw him come out of the water and fall backwards. I stopped kicking just in time to see his brother come up to the surface.
We rough housed and splashed and swam and took turns on the slide for what seemed like hours. When we finally got tired, we got out and each took a lawn recliner. Shortly after we got out, my dad stuck his head out the back door to tell me he had to go to my grandparent's for a few minutes. I jumped up and ran inside to see him to the door, then I locked it and set the alarm so I'd know when he was back.
I listened for his truck to pull off, and in a flash, I was back out at the pool.
"Wow, babe," Mark said, looking straight up at the ceiling from his recliner as I climbed in with him, longing to feel his touch. "I've never stopped to notice how nice this room really is."
I wrapped my arms around him and snuggled up to his chest, not too concerned with the features of our indoor pool room. I felt him wrap his arm around my shoulders and squeeze me tightly, prompting me to seek out his mouth with mine.
The jolt of pleasure I experienced when our tongues met was intense. It seemed to me that it had been forever, but the truth was, it had been less than 24 hours. I was horny, though, and I was seriously considering taking Mark to my room so he could give my body the action it was calling out for.
As the pace of our kiss intensified, I took each one of his hands into mine and repositioned myself so that I was straddling his lap. I could feel his hard on against the seat of my swim trunks and the urge to grind myself on it was strong, but I knew it would've been tacky with Justin and his brother only a few feet away.
"Let's smoke that joint," Justin said.
"Is that going to be such a good idea?" Mark asked, breaking the kiss we were sharing. I rested my arms around his neck and smiled at him, then I turned to the other two and said, "My dad won't be back for a while. We'll be okay."
It was a risk, to be sure, but I was in a mood to take risks. I was trying to dare myself to sneak Mark to my room for sex, but I wasn't feeling that daring. We walked out the door leading from the pool room to the back yard and found ourselves standing under the branches of a giant fig tree that was growing in the yard of the house behind us.
Breakfast. That was what was on my mind after we finished the joint. I was craving pancakes with a lot of maple syrup. Normally I put peanut butter and applesauce on my pancakes, but as my high set in, I found myself thinking about a stack of pancakes with a cup of thick, rich maple syrup streaming down the sides and a pad of butter on the top.
"Are you sure this is going to be okay with your dad?" Justin asked as I took a brand new box of Bisquick out of the pantry and set it on the counter.
"Dude, I'm positive," I said, curiously opening various cupboard doors in search of a mixing bowl. Justin's brother and Mark were enjoying their highs by the pool while Justin and I took to the kitchen in search of the elusive stack of pancakes that I was craving.
I opened a cupboard door right next to the stove and hit pay dirt in the form of a neatly stacked collection of clear Tupperware mixing bowls. I grabbed the second largest bowl and set it on the counter, then I reached for the box of Bisquick at the same time Justin was reaching for it. I let him take it in his hands and watched intently as he read the instructions on the box with a serious expression.
Just as he was moving to open the box and pull the sealed plastic lining apart we heard the front door open and the familiar chirp of the alarm. I walked out to the dining room and watched as my dad punched the code into the keypad, disabling the alarm. He was carrying a covered bowl, and I knew what that meant.
My grandma always sent us home with food. It was a given that she was going to have something ready for us to take with us when we left. It seemed like she would go to her kitchen with the sole purpose of making sure we had food in our possession as we walked out the door. I guess it was just the way she was raised, but it never failed.
"What's in the bowl, dad?" I asked, as he got closer. "We were about to make pancakes."
"It's potato salad," he said, setting it on the table and pulling the tin foil from the top. "You guys go ahead and polish this off. I know you're all probably hungry from swimming."
"Can we still have pancakes too?" I asked, and with a chuckle, he sighed and nodded.
"I'll make them, son," he said, walking into the kitchen and taking the box from a relieved looking Justin.
Hungry was probably an understatement. I know I put away three pancakes, which was a record for me. Justin killed three off himself, and between his brother and Mark, they killed off about ten pancakes. When we were full of pancakes and potato salad, we moved to my room, where I cranked up my stereo and let Justin apply moisturizer to my face. Mark was fascinated with my wax tub, so I plugged it in and invited him to try it out. I think he was a little freaked out about sticking his feet in hot wax, but he soon learned to enjoy it and everyone else took a turn, too.
With the door closed I managed to steal a few kisses from my boyfriend. We even had a few minutes alone in my walk in closet, where I used the privacy we were enjoying to shove my hands down his pants and run them all over his hard shaft. I moaned with excitement when I made contact with his veiny shaft, wanting so badly to unzip his pants and take it in my mouth so he could deposit a tasty load down my throat.
Justin had to go to the bathroom, so when he walked out of my room I left the door opened and rummaged through my collection of CD's. As soon as the bathroom door closed, my dad rounded the corner with the phone in his right hand and a smile on his face.
"It's for you, Kevin," he said, and I immediately stopped what I was doing and made a beeline for him.
"I'll be right back," I said as I walked out of my room and toward my dad, who was holding the phone out for me to grab. I took it from him and followed him back to the living room, holding the receiver to my ear and settling down on the couch by the front door.
"Hello?" I said eagerly, knowing for sure that I was talking to my mom.
"Hi sweetheart," my mom gushed, her voice sounded like the sweetest song I'd ever heard I my life.
"Hi mama," I answered, feeling a small lump growing in my throat that I couldn't contain. "How are you?"
"I miss you, honey," she said, and my heart broke.
"I miss you too," I said in a weepy voice. "Are we going to get to see each other soon?"
"Of course, baby," she said softly.
"Can we see each other next weekend?" I asked hopefully. There was a long, awkward pause before she spoke again.
"Well, not this coming weekend," she said uneasily, and my heart sank.
"You have to work?" I asked, feeling a little let down.
"Actually, I have to go out of town," she explained.
"Where too?" I asked, and again, there was a long, awkward silence.
"I have something I have to do in Vacaville," she said, and I instantly felt crushed. I knew why she was going to Vacaville without having to be told. The two of us drove to Vacaville every other weekend the year before, and just hearing the name of the town gave me a sick feeling. In fact, I thought I would vomit.
The most amazing thing was how she managed to continue our conversation as if nothing were wrong. She had to know that I knew what she was doing there, but she pretended that it was nothing more than a casual part of our conversation. I couldn't believe she was going to visit Billy.
"So daddy says you want to take pictures," she said, interrupting my thoughts.
"Yeah," I said in a small voice, finding it harder than ever to keep my emotions in tact. From the couch I could see that my dad was watching me with a puzzled look, slowly standing back up and making his way back to the living room.
"Well, we'll do it soon, okay?" she said, trying to make it sound as if blowing me off to go see Billy was no big deal.
"Okay," was all I could spit out as I tried to wipe away the tears that were running down my cheek. I cleared my throat and tried to compose myself, but it was no use. By the time my dad sat down next to me, our call was over, and it was all I could do to keep from breaking down.
As I sat in stunned silence on the couch, my dad took the phone from me and let loose with a loud sigh. I felt him put his arm around my shoulder, pulling me into him for a hug, but all I could do was stare straight ahead.
When I finally looked around, I could see Justin standing at the entrance of the living room from the hallway, watching sadly as I wiped tears from my face. I looked away, too ashamed to face him, his brother or Mark at the moment. It wasn't that I was crying, or because I had done anything wrong. It was more than that.
When my dad and I had gone to Modesto that first time, I came back bragging. I was so confident that my mom was getting better that I told them that she was sorry for what happened and that she was finished with Billy. I told them that she was going to tell the judge what Billy did, and that she was going to make sure he never had a chance to hurt anyone again.
Of course, she had never told me those things. They were all a figment of my imagination. I was so wrapped up in the way my life was finally shaping up, though, that I made myself believe it. Then I tried to make Mark, Justin and his brother believe it too. I was so sure of myself.
Sitting there on the couch with my dad, though, I wasn't too sure of anything anymore. I even had thoughts that my dad could betray me again. I quickly shook those thoughts out of my head, though, when I realized that he was being the rock of strength I needed. Still, I was crushed.
It was my neediest moment, to be sure. I felt so unloved, and yet at the same time, I had a yearning deep down inside of me for passion that I couldn't ignore. Justin's parent's had gone to bed and as soon as they did, Mark and I commandeered his brother's room. We both stripped down to nothing, then we climbed under the cover of the freshly washed linen. I wasted no time in snuggling up to my boyfriend and letting him wrap his arms around me in a protective embrace.
He turned me around and spooned up to my backside, then his fists locked at my diaphragm. I felt him blowing in my ear, so I eased back into his crotch with my butt, longing to be penetrated. When I didn't feel an erection in my crevice, I started to gyrate my hips a little to stimulate his hard on, but nothing happened.
"Kevin, not tonight," he said softly in my ear, planting a kiss on my cheek.
"How come?" I asked desperately as I lifted the side of my head from the pillow we were sharing, feeling a sudden wave on insecurity sweep over me. "You don't want me anymore?"
"Of course I want you, babe," he said in a low, gentle voice. "I just want to love you tonight."
"But I need you to love me the other way," I said seductively, wanting to feel him inside of me.
"No you don't," he said, tightening his grip around me. "It wouldn't be right, babe. Not right now."
"Why not?" I asked, but I already knew the answer. I was vulnerable, and Mark knew it. I had been rejected by my mom, and I was looking for affection anyway I could get it. My boyfriend was wise enough to see what I couldn't see.
"Just let me hold you, okay?" he said, shifting behind me and pulling me closer into his chest. "I love you Kevin."
"I love you too, Mark," I said, cracking a little smile because I was starting to realize that both of us meant what we said. "Will we get to make love tonight?"
"We're making love right now," he said, letting his two joined hands caress my torso with light brushes. I closed my eyes and let the warmth of his embrace envelope my frame as his light breath tickled my left ear and I drifted off into a deep, restful sleep.
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