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I acknowledged that maybe I had been getting carried away; apparently I had gone well over sixty. We got off the dirt road and I followed a little track and we found ourselves in an arroyo carved from the red sandstone by water flow. I shut off the quad and Ely um Cab hopped off and I swung my leg over and stood next to him.

I pulled off my helmet and put my gloves in it and hung it on the handle bars. Cab did the same and we explored the arroyo. I found a nice smooth patch of wall and pinned Cab against it and kissed him like I might die without it. He responded and we spent quite a bit of time just doing that. I slid my hands down and rubbed his ass through his jeans as we kissed. I undid his belt and fly and seized the prize inside. He did the same to me and we had our first physical encounter right there, out in the boonies. I would have to rinse out my bandanna when we got back but it was all we had to wipe up the mess.

We decided it was time to go back and Cab suggested that I should drive. I promised to take it easy and I did; mostly. There was this one hump in the road that was begging to be jumped. I got all four wheels off the ground about four feet. We both whooped and celebrated.

Then as we rode on a jackrabbit crossed the road followed by a Bobcat who nailed the jackrabbit right in front of us. They rolled over twice and I heard the rabbit make a whistling scream, and then the Bobcat stood up and grabbed his meal and took off back the way he came.

“I told Bob about it back at the shop while I was cleaning the quad and checking for loose parts. I used his fueler to drain the tank and then started it and ran it out of gas as he instructed me. The idea being that it’s not a good idea to put them away with gas in the tank; it can go bad and also destroy or clog the fuel lines. Bob was playing with his other Sugga; he had the body off the chassis and was mocking up the installation of the Dodge hemi crate motor. I asked if I could help but he said he was just brainstorming the engine mounts and exhaust runners. Those are the two major concerns about doing an engine swap.

Cab and I walked back to the house and I got us a couple cokes, we went up to my room to talk.

We kind of stunk from the stable work and the ride on the quad; so we decided to shower and change. Cab was running out of clothes so I dug out my old Levi’s that were tight on me. They fit him great and we took his laundry down and stuck them in the machine. It would take two loads so we washed our underwear first.

Back in my room Cab and I cuddled in my big chair by the window. He sat across my legs and we looked out on the balcony. We could see the corner of the shop but more importantly we could see the path to the arroyo. A little nub of a hill obscured our view of the entrance but it was cool all the same.

“That was really cool what happened down there, wasn’t it?” Cab said.

“Oh yeah dude, I’ve never done anything like that before. Have you?”

“A little, just some fooling around though; John and I messed around when we were Loren’s age. He, Mike and I have been bro’s since kindergarten. We occasionally jerk off together; but we haven’t done it in a long time. The most I’ve ever done is when John and I sucked each other for a while; then we finished each other off by hand.”

“That’s more than I’ve ever done; but I want to do more with you. I want to taste you, not just your dick, but your cum too.”

“Oh damn dude, that’s just so cool, I want to do the same with you.”

“It’s a different thing when you love somebody isn’t it?”

“It is, for sure.” Cab said.

“I hate to break this up but I gotta pee.” I said.

Cab got up and then sat on the chair when I got up.

So there I was peeing away through a semi when Maddy walked into Loren’s room and looked directly at me. Loren wasn’t there and we had left both doors open in the bathroom to let it air out after our shower.

“Sorry sweetie, but I was probably going to see it at some point.” She said from somewhere in Loren’s room.”

“Is that you doing laundry?” she asked.

“Yes, Ely was out of clothes and underwear so I put his undies and tees with mine and we’re washing them and then I was going to do our jeans. Is that okay?”

“Are you kidding, that’s fabulous; Bob does his own and the towels but Loren hasn’t mastered the machines yet.”

“Maybe I could teach him; it’s not hard and he’s really smart.”

“That would be fine but don’t wash his Red jockeys with your whites unless you like wearing pink undies to school. He likes red so he has a lot of red tees and jockeys.”

“I noticed. He’s a neat kid and he’s got his own style.”

“He told us about you meeting Carter.”

“Oh man, I’m sorry about that; I thought he was being bullied and I can’t stand that. I don’t know what I thought I was going to do but I had to stop it.”

” No apology needed Porter, what you did was valiant and selfless. It touched Loren so much to know that you would protect him if he needed it. But just so you know; a bully Carter’s size would have his hands full. Loren has been taking Karate since he was six and he studies Judo as well. He’s pretty good.”

“I would have liked to do that; my Mom wouldn’t pay for it and I’m probably too old for it now.”

“That’s nonsense Porter, you are never too old to learn self-defense. Art teaches a senior’s class and some of them are pretty tough old ladies. I go on Thursdays with Loren but we could talk to Art and see if he could do an assessment, then you could start lessons yourself. Ely just started a few months back, talk to him about it and I’ll mention it to Bob.”

“But isn’t that expensive? I don’t want to be a burden or greedy, and now Bob wants to take me to get a new phone because Mom dropped me from her plan.”

“I know honey, he told me but just let us worry about the cost. We’re fairly comfortable financially, we won’t be buying a football team anytime soon but we’re okay in that department.”

“Well okay, I’d like to try it as long as it’s okay.”

“It’s very okay sweetie, we’ve gotten very fond of you in the few weeks you’ve been here. Look we were going to wait until Sunday to discuss this but it looks like you’ll be here long term, you mother told the attorney that if you were safe and happy she would surrender her rights to custody and sign over the trust your grandfather set up for your college fund.”

I didn’t know what to say. I sat down on Loren’s bed and put my head in my hands to think. Maddy sat beside me and put an arm around me.

“I’m sorry sweetheart; I know it has to be a blow. I hope I didn’t just ruin your weekend.”

“Do you mean I can stay her until I graduate? Would you really take me on for that long?” I asked with great excitement.

“That’s not how it works Porter, when we take you on it’s for life. You can’t be expected to go through life with no family connection. It doesn’t matter that you’re not a blood relation, we’re taking you on as our son and all that that brings with it, good and bad but mostly good I hope.”

I was really surprised that I wasn’t crying, I hugged Maddy and kissed her cheek.

“I know I should be sad that my Mom doesn’t want me but I never thought she did very much. I was sort of an inconvenient consequence of something she did. Grampa always seemed to be in my corner, he really had my back. When he died my life got a lot harder.”

“I think she loves you at least in some way and this is what she can do so that you get a chance.”

“I guess I should call her and thank her; she didn’t answer the last two times I called so maybe I’ll email her.”

“That might be the best, that way you can word it in such a way that you feel good and you get your point across. One more thing, about you and Ely or is he letting you call him Cab now?”

“Cab, um what about us?”

“I want you to know that you are free to show your affection for each other here, you don’t have to hide in your room.”

“What about Loren?”

“You can be affectionate with him too, he thrives on it.”

“No I meant kissing Cab in front of him; I don’t want to mess him up.”

“I wouldn’t worry; Loren is used to gay people expressing affection. We have several Gay and Lesbian friends that visit here. Bob even owns a couple Gay themed clubs.”

I should have known; you guys are so cool about all that. I just never met anyone like you and Bob.”

“I’m so glad you did, and for what it’s worth I think Karma may have played a role. You’re a good person Porter and you deserve a loving home; and that’s what you’ll have here if you choose to stay.”

“Why would I go anywhere else?”

“One proviso Porter, no more first names for Bob and me, from here on out call us Mom and Dad, or Mama and Papa like Loren says. You’re part of this family now baby boy.”

“Can I change my name?”

“Well we were thinking about adoption but we would want to run that past you first.”

“You’ll get no objection from me but Forrest is gone. I’d like my first name to be Jules, because the first serious book I ever read was twenty thousand leagues under the sea and I’ve been reading for entertainment ever since.”

“Verne was a wonderful author I agree; I think it’s a great name and fitting for such a bright boy as you.”

“Thanks Mom, that really sounds good, I can say Mom to you and it has a different meaning to me now.”

“The process will drag on a bit, but they have to be sure before they’ll grant the adoption.”

“Are you sure about this, you don’t know much about me. Not that there’s much to know and you already know my biggest secret.”

“Yes we’re sure; Bob had some friends ask around about you. There was a man called Wes who said you were likely to be a top notch mechanic, he said you helped him get his Bronco running and wouldn’t take a dime for it. There were a lot of people who had nice things to say about you. I spoke to Evan and his Mother, she said she felt bad about their reaction but she was just trying to protect her son, she wishes she had tried to protect you from that awful man. She also said you were always helpful around their home and you and Evan used to do his chores together. Evan told me he was sad he lost you but he was glad you were safe and comfortable. He said you were warm and caring and the nicest person he’d ever met.”

“Evan said something else and it bothers me; why haven’t you sung for us yet?”

“My Mom didn’t like me singing in the house, I like to think she just didn’t like country instead of my voice. I used to sing for Evan, he seemed to like it fine.”

“Well I want to hear you soon; maybe Bob will play his guitar while you sing something for me.”

“What became of Cab?”

“I don’t know; he was in the chair by the windows when I got up to pee.”

We walked around to my room and Cab was sleeping like a baby in the big wingback chair.

I shook his shoulder and said “hey Cab wake up; I have someone I want you to meet. Cab this is my Mom her name is Maddy. Mom this is my boyfriend Cabel but he goes by Cab for short.”

“Um what, did I miss something, what’s going on?”

“I’ll let Porter tell you about it Cab; and Porter, you should go out and talk to Bob; I’ll let him know I spilled the beans.”

I filled Cab in on the discussion I had with Maddy and his first reaction was tears and kisses. His second was more tears and I went in to the bathroom for tissues and a damp wash cloth. I followed that up with more kisses and several hugs.

“You should go talk to Bob, I’ll go down and talk to Maddy and find out what you left out of the story.”

“Toad.”

“Croak.” Cab answered.

I found Bob sipping a coke and looking at a notepad with a bunch of measurements. He said he could take all that and upload it to a CAD program and it would lay out all the pieces he would need to fab his motor mounts and exhaust.

“Maddy sent me a text; she said the cat was out of the bag.” He said.

“So what do you think Porter, are you up for this, it won’t be easy. I have high standards for behavior and achievement and I expect you will live up to them. I know you’re capable but are you willing?”

“I think you should stand up so I can hug you Dad; I think I’m ready for your standards but are you ready for mine?”

“Well I guess you’ll have to tell me what they are.”

“I need a lot of hugs and some kisses. If you’re home when I go to bed I expect a kiss. Even if we’re pissed off at each other okay?”

“I can do that what else?”

“You have to tell me when I’m screwing up so I can fix it. I can’t read minds like my Mom always seemed to think. And I need more stuff to do around here, I like feeding the horses and I don’t mind cleaning their stalls but that doesn’t take long.”

“We will see to both of those, I’m not much for yelling at people especially youngsters, but I will let you know when either your performance or behavior is lacking. As for chores, wait till spring, there’s always lots to do in the yards and we do a lot of maintenance in the spring and summer.”

“Will I be able to help you work on stuff out here?”

“Absolutely, as a matter of fact we’ll have to find you something you can work on for a first car or truck. I’m guessing you lean more towards trucks, is that right?”

“Oh yeah, I’d like to have one like your big Dodge someday but that’s a long way off.”

“Well I will give you some auction sites to watch and we’ll see what you find.

Let’s talk about how you’ll use that new computer. You will notice there is a plastic cover over the camera lens. Under no circumstance will you send live pics of yourself doing anything. You can record things on your phone and post on You Tube but we will monitor what you are posting. This part is non-negotiable because there are guys out there that will ruin your life with a video you thought would only go to another kid. Even other kids you don’t know can’t be trusted. Once something is out there you can’t stop it. When kids do that; they expose their family to possible harm and their parents to prosecution.”

“I understand Dad, and I won’t let you down; I’m too body shy to be seen naked by anyone outside this family. This family, you probably can’t understand what that means to me to just say “this family” and being able to call you Dad. I love you Dad and I have for a while now.”

“Same here Porter, I love you too. Not many youngsters go straight to my heart but you sure did.”

“I’m glad, because you make me feel really special and that I matter in the world.”

“You do matter and you are very special to us.”

“Well help me roll down the doors here and we’ll go in for lunch. Oh hey, your Mom says you are a big Jules Verne reader. My favorite is “Around the world in eighty days” I really liked Passepartout, he was so resourceful.”

I agreed while I closed one of the bay doors and Dad got the other.

In the kitchen I kissed Mom and Loren and even Walter on the cheek. I didn’t know why the last two were there but I was in a kissing mood. I looked at Cab and grabbed him and gave him the most romantic kiss I could manage.

“Dad, Walter, Loren, I’d like to introduce you to my boyfriend.”

“What about Mama?” Loren asked.

“I introduced them earlier. Hey why are you here? Where’s Jamey?”

“In the hospital, he ate something that had strawberries in it by accident and he’s allergic. He was so sick he could barely move and he was all swollen.” Loren explained.

“And he had blotches everywhere,” added Walter.

“I’m sorry, well maybe you can play some games with us and we’ll think good thoughts about Jamey okay?” I suggested.

“That’s why I tore out of here so fast, I needed to get Loren and Walter picked up before the ambulance got there.”

I was alarmed that they had to call an ambulance but I didn’t say anything in front of the younger guys.

“Why don’t you two run up and change clothes and then you can play okay?” Dad told them.

“Okay Papa,” said Loren, and Walter added his assent.

Once they were out of range I asked if Jamey would be okay.

“They seemed to think so; as long as his airway stayed open it’s not usually a problem. By now they should be at the E/R and he should have had his epinephrine or whatever they give him for his anaphylaxis. But I can’t say I’m not worried.”

“I’m sure he’ll be fine Darlin’ my Dad told Mom.”

“Oh so am I but you worry all the same, even if they’re not your babies.”

It was quiet a while and the Dad said, “We should get you over to Verizon Porter; let’s get some lunch and get that done.”

“Okay, what do you want on your sandwich?”

“Um ham and Swiss is fine with me, on sourdough if we have it.” he said.

“Lettuce, tomato, anything?” I asked.

“Nope I like them simple. Loren and Walter will opt for cheese and butter only on wheat bread.”

“Mom?”

“Sandwich?”

“Oh, ham and Swiss; but with a little tomato and on rye bread.”

“Cab; are you with me here?”

“Yeah, I’ll help, I like them the same way Bob does.”

Between us we got the table set and sandwiches made before Mom returned with Loren and Walter.

We ate quietly and Just as we finished Mom’s phone rang. I could tell by her expression that Jamey was okay. A fact she confirmed as soon as she was off the phone.

“He’ll have to stay overnight for observation but he should be back to school on Monday.”

The little guys grinned and we were all relieved.

“Why don’t you guys go get your coats and we’ll go get your phone sorted out.” Dad said.

Up in my room Cab grabbed my shirt the same way Carter had grabbed Loren. “So I’m your boyfriend now eh?” he sounded pissed, but then he grinned and said, “That’s okay here but we need to talk before you make any more public announcements, okay?

“Okay, I was just excited. I’m sorry if I embarrassed you.”

“You didn’t and I get that you were feeling really good but not everybody is as tolerant as your Mom and Dad.”

I couldn’t stop grinning at him; I had a Mom and Dad and they really cared about me. I reached out and pulled Cab into a kiss and his pissy face went away.

“Look, I know we can’t kiss or hold hands in public but here’s something that Evan I worked out. When I put the back of my hand to the back of yours that’s a kiss and a hand on your shoulder is a hug. Are you cool with that?”

“That’s brilliant, nobody else will know.”

“Oh, I suppose some will but they probably have the same system because they’re gay too.”

Dad rolled out the Sugga again; I think mostly because I like it so much but he also said it needed fuel. I like the sound of the diesel engine and the car really rides nice. The back seat is huge and you could have a party back there. That was because it originally had a desk and a ton of radio gear.

Dad had a couple stops to make and I hopped out at the first one and pumped the diesel into the tank.

The next two he went in alone and Cab and I snuggled in the back seat. I held his hand up and examined it. He had long pretty fingers and nicely trimmed nails; I considered his hands to be elegant. Mine were not as pretty; my fingers were shorter and more blunted and I had dirt under my nails from doing chores.

“So what’s the penalty for screwing up at school and calling you Cab?”

“No penalty at all…Forrest.” He gave me an evil giggle.

“I wanted to kiss him but people and kids were always looking in as they passed. Kids would climb the running boards and put their noses to the glass to look in and I enjoyed surprising them with a “Hey you!”

The phone store was quiet and I ended up with a Galaxy S4 which at the time was a really hot phone. The tech moved everything from my old phone except a couple apps that wouldn’t cooperate.

I sent Mom, Dad and Loren texts so they would have my new number and I called Cab’s phone for the same reason. I sent Evan a text to let him know I was okay and that I would call him soon.

When we got back I went out and cleaned the stalls and put the horses back in their stalls with fresh straw and then fed them. I made sure their water troughs were working okay and patted each of them. All the stalls met at one corner and the horses all nuzzled each other.

“For a novice rider you sure are good with horses.” Cab said.

“I like them, and I like riding. I’m finding out about a lot of stuff that I like to do. I never got much of a chance before so I’m making up for it now.”

“Well let’s go in the storeroom and try something else that’s new.”

Cab dragged me behind him and took me inside with him. He got to find out what I tasted like and a few minutes after I recovered, I got a chance to taste him.

Cab and I are both attending U.N.L.V. and loving life. We don’t go into Vegas much but we manage to have a good time.

I was adopted and became Jules Porter Reynolds. Well not really Reynolds because that’s just a surname I picked for the story. Loren is doing really well in school and he will probably join us here after he graduates. He wants to work at NASA or JPL or even SpaceX. I attend classes year round so I can complete my master’s degree and start on my doctorate work. My Grandfather’s trust made it possible for me not to work while I go to school and between our two scholarships and my trust paying for a quiet little house outside town. We have time to do what we want and less stress than the average college student. We camp and hike quite a lot.

Not long after Mom spilled the beans as it were, Dad got a call from Shannon and set her up with an interview. She got a job at the club and she came for dinner a couple times with one of the other students that worked there. Audrey was a daughter of Mom’s friend. Shannon works for the U.S.G.S. and now has an assignment in Hawaii.

My Uncle Jack came for a visit and reconnected. He was all for the adoption and helped sell my original mother on the idea. He also told me what he did after I told him about Macey answering his phone and sending me on the road to death.

He cancelled the cable service but it was paid to the end of the month so he visited his friend in the next apartment and changed the Wi-fi password to Maceyisawhore and then told his friend to pass the access around the complex. He also shut off the electricity service. Same deal it expired at the end of the month and they came out and turned it off. He changed the lock on the storage room so she would have to hire a locksmith to open it and get her stuff. But what really pissed her off was changing his Netflix password. She had a screaming fit about that according to jack.

Last year Jack married a lady named Rachel who appears reasonably sane. They have a new baby now and she’s a cutie.

Albert decided to take a deal and he was given five years for battery on a minor, that was about half of what he would have got if he’d gone to trial. Mom’s marriage to him was declared invalid because Albert had four other wives from various states. He still had at least two of those states that wanted to extradite him when he finished serving his time in California.

Evan’s ear healed with very little hearing loss. Bob loosened the restriction on live video to allow Skype and we kept in touch with him and a boy named Richard who I guess he’s still going with.

I lost track of my birth mother after that, she made no attempt to contact me after the adoption. She never even responded to my email thanking her for releasing custody to Bob and Maddy.

When I was seventeen I bought a DNA test kit and got a tremendous shock.  Whoever my father was, he was a close relative of my mother like a first cousin. They do warn you that you can get quite a shock from the results and I did. But I was perfectly healthy with eleven toes and twelve fingers like everyone else; although I do have a compulsion to visit West Virginia or Wales. Hey, there’s a reason all those people are named Jones.

Okay, being serious again, I had told Mom and Dad that I wanted to find a way to honor the sequence of events that brought us together. I heard about an outreach program that focuses on getting homeless and runaway teens off the street and into a safe environment. I share my story with them and try to steer them away from getting chewed up by the street. I’ve had some successes and some failures.

I learned a lot from Mom and Dad, mostly I discovered that I wanted to live the same way they did; Helping kids and others to have a better life. They still have a younger kid living with them. Dad says it keeps them young. He’s completely retired now and just works on his truck projects and raises Kerry. He’s a nice kid that just needs a safe place to be himself for a while.

*End*

Published May 12, 2019